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Full text of "A history of Wilkes-Barré, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania : from its first beginnings to the present time, including chapters of newly-discovered early Wyoming Valley history, together with many biographical sketches and much genealogical material"

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Author of "A History of Lodge No. 61, F. & A. M.","The Harvey Book", 
"A History of Irem Temple", Etc. 



President and Editor of the Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader "- • ; 

Illustrated With Many Portraits, Maps, Facsimiles, Original > ,' , 
Drawings and Contemporary Views ','"'' 



V\ c' H3-\ 

Contents of Volumes V and VI 

(See Index in Volume VI). 

Chapter Page 

XLIX — Bench and Bar i 

L — The Medical Profession 27 

LI — Banks and Banking 43 

LII — The Anthracite Coal Industry in its Modern Development 58 

LIII — The Manufacturing Industries 85 

LIV — Education 90 

LV — Mercantile Interests 99 

LVI— The Press '. 104 

LVII — The Townships of Luzerne County no 

LVII — (Continued) The Cities and Boroughs of Luzerne County. 140 

Biographical 173 



From 1762. when Connecticut first attempted to settle the region of the 
Susquehanna, to the year 1771, when the physical strife between Connecticut 
and Pennsylvania ended in the ousting of Pennsylvania armed forces from the 
vallev. little had been done to bring the forms of law and civil government into 
regular functioning. In 1772, with Connecticut's authority recognized, town 
committees began to take up matters of law — at least to the extent of deciding 
land rights. Apparently, they made fair decisions, for. it is recorded that the 
year happily passed without "justice or lawyers."' Local government in that 
vear was patterned, temporarily, after the customary New England plan of 
town government, the settlers gathering in town meeting and electing Captain 
Stephen Fuller as moderator. One of the resolutions adopted was to forfeit 
the. goods of, or to expel, any settler who Avas found guilty of selling spirituous 
liquors to the Indians. 

On June 2, 1773, a code of rules and laws for the government of the Susque- 
hanna colony w^as adopted by Connecticut, at a meeting in Hartford. The 
preamble of this historic document refers to the strife between Connecticut 
and Pennsylvania. As loyal subjects of King George III, the colony of Con- 
necticut pledged itself to refer all proper questions to the King's counsellors, 
and to be peaceful, loyal upholders of the laws. They agreed "to choose for 
each settlement three able and discreet men to manage local afifairs, suppress 
vice and preserve the peace of God and the King; provided for a general town 
meeting on the first of each month ; the three directors to meet every three 
months to hear complaints and settle disputes ; crimes enumerated were 
swearing, drunkenness, gaming, stealing, fraud, idleness, 'and the like.' They 
agreed to banish all convicted of adultery, burglary, etc." 

Accordingly, in December of that year, male settlers who were of major age, 
met in the townships of the Susquehanna country, to choose town directors. 
Those first appointed were as follows : 

Wilkes-Barre — Major John Durkee, Captain Zebulon Butler and Obadiah Gore, Jr. 
Plymouth — ^Phineas Noah, Captain David Marvin and J. Gaylord. New Providence — Isaac 
Tripp, Timothy Keys and Gideon Baldwin. Kingston — Captain Obadiah Gore, Nathan Denison 
and Parshall Terry. Pittston — Caleb Bates, James Brown and Lemuel Harding. Hanover- — 
Captain Lazarus Stewart, William Stewart and Jchn Franklin. 

These, then, were the pioneer forces of law and orderly government within 
what is now Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Fuller organization was efl:ected 
in 1774, Connecticut then boldly asserting its right to the disputed territory in 
January, by legislative act which put all these settlements into one town — 
Westmoreland. Zebulon Butler and Nathan Denison were commissioned as 
justices, and with the subdivision of the township into districts, or precincts, 
corresponding in names and locations with the settlements already estab- 
lished, the Town of Westmoreland took regular Connecticut status, and full 
governmental dignity. No fewer than one hundred of the settlers were elected 
to town office, the list including selectmen, constables, collectors, surveyors, 
fence viewers, listers, leather sealers, grand jurors, tything men, sealers of 
weights and measures, key keepers. The grand jurors were Jabez Sills, James 
Stark, William Buck, Elias Church, Phineas Nash, Thomas Heath, Barnabas 
Cary, Lemuel Harding, Hezekiah Bingham, John Franklin, Timothy Keys. 

In April, 1774, application was made to the Connecticut Assembly for a 
Court of Probate, and a tree near Captain Butler's house was designated as 

w.-B.— 1 T 

''ye town sign post." It was also the town whipping post, a pair of stocks 
being placed at that public spot. At one town meeting of that year nine of the 
most discreet and respected settlers were appointed as a committee "to make 
inquiry into the search after all suspected persons whom they may judge to be 
'unwholesome persons to the good settlers,' " with a view to the expulsion of 
such undesirables from the town. Whether these suspected undesirables were 
only the settlers who had intruded without permission upon township lands, 
or were those apprehended for crimes more serious than those which could be 
expiated at the whipping post or pillory, is not clear. 

In the first year of the Revolution, the Pennsylvania Government sought to 
end. bv force of arms instead of by legal debate, the dispute with Connecticut 
over the Susquehanna lands. Colonel Plunkett, at the head of seven hundred 
Pennsylvanians, marched into the Wyoming Valley, but was countered by a 
resolute force of settlers under Colonel Butler, and again checked by Captain 
Lazarus Stewart's company. With the retreat of Plunkett, Connecticut 
seemed to be still further strengthened in jurisdiction of the Susquehanna 
country. At that time the population of the Town of Westmoreland was 
almost two thousand (1.922 in 1774), sufficient it was deemed to advance the 
town to county dignity. In 1776, therefore, the county of Westmoreland was 
organized, the districts now becoming townships. John Jenkins was appointed 
"judge of the county." 

In 1782, a Federal Court sitting at Trenton decided that the land north of 
latitude 41° claimed by Pennsylvania, but settled by Connecticut, was rightly 
a part of Pennsylvania. Connecticut bowed to the decision ; therefore. Con- 
necticut civil and judicial records of this part of Pennsylvania should have 
ended with the year 1782. Giving that part of the Civil List which has to do 
with Bench and Bar while the region was within the jurisdiction of Con- 
necticut, it seems that the following justices of the peace were judges of 
Probate of AA'estmoreland County, Connecticut : John Smith, Thomas Maf- 
fitt, Isaac Baldwin, John Jenkins, Zebulon Butler, Silas Parks, Bushnell 
Bostick, Joseph Sloman, John Sherman and Nathan Denison. On June i, 
1778, Governor Jonathan Trumbull appointed justices for the county as fol- 
lows : Nathan Denison, Christopher Avery, Obadiah Gore, Zera Beach, Zebu- 
lon Butler, William McKarrican, Asaph Whittlesey, Uriah Chapman, Ander- 
son Dana, Ebenezer Marcy, Stephen Harding, John Franklin, 2d, Joseph 
Hambleton, William Judd. The first four named were appointed "to assist 
the judges." Other justices during the Connecticut period were: Caleb 
Bates, Zebulon Marcy, John Hurlbut, Nathaniel Landon, Abel Pierce, Hugh 
Fordman, John Franklin, John Vincent and John Jenkins. Nathan Denison 
was appointed judge of the county in 1781. The two pioneer lawyers were 
Anderson Dana and a Mr. Bullock. Both were killed at the Battle of Wyom- 
ing; whereupon, it seems, the court appointed Lieutenant John Jenkins as 
"State's Attorney." 

Under Pennsylvania jurisdiction, the Wyoming V^alley was within the 
bounds of the county of Northampton, which had been organized in 1752, out 
of loucks County. But, of course, Northampton County exercised little author- 
ity in the disputed region. In 1772, Northumberland County was formed. 
With the termination of the dispute in 1782, Pennsylvania gave this other 
county — Northumberland — authority to administer the former Connecticut 
lands. Luzerne County was not created until the passage of the act of Septem- 
ber 25, 1786. During the Northumberland period, the following were justices of 
the peace at Wyoming, all appointed in April, 1783 : Alexander Patterson, 
Robert Martin, John Chambers and David Mead, all recorded as "of North- 
umberland County" ; John Seely, Henry Shoemaker and Luke Brodhead, 
recorded as "of Northampton County." Nathan Denison was also appointed, 
but he refused to act. 

The Act of Assembly, approved September 26, 1786, creating Luzerne 
County, organized the county into three election districts. In each of these 
districts four justices of the peace were to be elected. Votes were cast in the 
Third District (at Sheshequin) on April 19, 1787, and the following were 
elected: Obadiah Gore, Elijah Buck, Nathan Kingsley and Joseph Kinney. 
In the First District (Wilkes-Barre), election took place on April 26, the suc- 
cessful candidates being Mathias Hollenback, William Hooker Smith, Chris- 
topher Hurlbut and Ebenezer Marcy. The four justices for the Second Dis- 
trict were elected at Forty Fort on May 3, 1787. They were Benjamin Car- 
penter, James Nesbitt, Hezekiah Roberts and John Dorrance. 

Commissioner Pickering left Wilkes-Barre on May 6, and four days later 
reported to the Supreme Executive Council, at Philadelphia, the results of the 
Luzerne County elections. Next day, May 11, the Council chose from these 
twelve justices two from each district to serve as associate justices of the 
County Court of Common Pleas. The six chosen and commissioned, on May 
II, 1787, were: Mathias Hollenback and William Hooker Smith, of the First 
District; Benjamin Carpenter and James Nesbitt. of the Second District; 
Obadiah Gore and Nathan Kingsley, of the Third District. 

These Common Pleas justices were to sit also, when needed, as judges of 
the Orphans' Court, and the Court of Quarter Sessions and Oyer and Termi- 
ner. Over the last-named court, however, none but judges of the State 
Supreme Court could preside. 

On May 24, Colonel Anthony Pickering and Daniel Hiester, Jr., left Phila- 
delphia, to act as commissioners of the Confirming Law and to organize the 
courts of the new county. They reached Wilkes-Barre on Monday, May 2'8, 
and next day, May 29, the opening session of the first court of Luzerne County 
began. It was held in the house of Zebulon Butler, and from the entry which 
begins Minute Book No. i, of the Court of General Quarter Sessions of the 
Peace, it seems that there were present on that day only three of the six com- 
missioned associate justices of the Court of Common Pleas. They were Wil- 
liam Hooker Smith. Benjamin Carpenter and James Nesbitt. After High 
Sheriiif Lord Butler had commanded "all persons to keep silence," the commis- 
sions issued by the Supreme Executive Council to the six local justices of 
Common Pleas were read, also the Dcd'unus Potcstatum given by the Supreme 
Council to Timothy Pickering and Nathan Denison, to "administer the oaths 
to persons who were, or should be, commissioned in said county" ; whereupon 
the justices present, Messrs. Smith, Carpenter and Nesbitt, "took the oaths of 
allegiance and of office, and Justices of the Peace, and of the County Court of 
Common Pleas for said County. . . . before Timothy Pickering, Esq." 

The court was then opened, and Dr. Joseph Sprague was appointed crier. 
Various commissions granted by the Supreme Executive Council to Colonel 
Pickering- were also read. Among the many county offices to which he had 
been appointed were those of Prothonotary of Court of Common Pleas, Clerk 
of the Peace, Clerk of the Orphans' Court, Register for the Probate of Wills, 
and Recorder of Deeds. He held also a judgeship of Common Pleas, to facili- 
tate his work as prothonotary. This was customary, although only upon 
unusual occasions would a prothonotary sit on the bench. 

The only business done in the first session of court seems to have been the 
administering of oath to four attorneys who applied for admittance to practice, 
and the hearing of petition presented by Lord Butler, "Esq.," relative "to the 
erecting of a jail." The four attorneys sworn were Ebenezer Bowman, Put- 
nam Catlin, Roswell Welles and William Nichols. In a letter to his wife, on 
May 29, Colonel Pickering refers to Attorneys Catlin and Welles as "two 
young gentlemen from Connecticut, who have been here a few months." 

The oath of allegiance, as well as the oath of office as Justice of the County 
Court of Common Pleas, was administered by Colonel Pickering to ^Mathias 

Hollenback on June 2, 1787, and to Obadiah Gore and Nathan Kingsley a 
week later. The organization of the courts of Luzerne County was completed 
by the appointment of Obadiah Gore as "President Judge of the County 
Court," he being the unanimous choice of his associates on the bench. 

The second term of court opened on September 5, 1787. Seemingly, the 
third term of court was not held until a year later. Then, as is shown on page 
1613, a most important case was pending. Fourteen men were indicted as 
participants in "a riot, rout, unlawful assembly, assault and battery and false 
imprisonment of Timothy Pickering, for nineteen days." Twelve other resi- 
dents were implicated, and all were bound over in various sums to '"appear 
personally before the Justices of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, at their 
next session of Oyer and Terminer, to be holden at Wilkesbarre." The ring- 
leader. Col, John Franklin, had already been arrested, and imprisoned in 

It was, indeed, a plot to "subvert the Government and to erect a new and 
independent State in the room and stead thereof." So it happened that the 
first session of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held in Luzerne County 
had to decide one of the most serious major cases of Pennsylvania history — a 
charge of high treason, which held the attention of almost all Pennsylvanians. 
On November 2, 1788, the Attorney-General, then at Easton, advised the 
Council that "The Judges set out for Luzerne tomorrow. John Franklin went 
forward this day under the custody of Sheriff Butler." In due course, the 
cavalcade approached and entered Wilkes-Barre. The impressive occasion has 
been well described on page 1621. And in due course, on November 4, 1788, 
Chief Justice Thomas McKean took his seat as presiding justice of the first 
session of Supreme Court ever held in Luzerne County. Seated beside him 
was Associate Supreme Court Justice Jacob Rush. Present also was Edward 
Burt, Prothonotary of the Supreme Court. The proceedings are reported in 
detail, on page 162 1, ct scq., and are merely referred to here, because it would 
hardly be proper to omit altogether, from a survey of the Bench and Bar. all 
reference to an event of such unique importance. 

In 1790 Pennsylvania adopted a new Constitution. By its provisions the 
judicial powers were vested "in a supreme court, courts of oyer and terminer 
and jail delivery; courts of common pleas, orphans' courts, register court and 
court of quarter-sessions for each county, justices of the peace and such other 
courts as the Legislature may provide. Judges of the supreme court and courts 
of common pleas to hold office during good behavior. The supreme court 
judges were ex-officio justices of oyer and terminer courts in the several coun- 
ties ; the governor to appoint for each county at least three and not more than 
four judges of the county; the State divided into six judicial districts, and a 
president of each circuit to be appointed. The president and any two of the 
lay judges to be a quorum, to hold courts of common pleas and oyer and 
terminer, and two of the lay judges could hold a court of quarter sessions and 
orphans' court." Most of the judicial offices were appointive, and the Gov- 
ernor was restricted in his choice of president judges to those who were 
"skilled in the law." 

The new judicial system undoubtedly raised the standard of judicial tind- 
ings. Formerly, in local courts, the legal decision — in Common Pleas and 
lower courts — depended more upon the integrity and common sense of the lay 
judges, who constituted the bench, than upon their knowledge of law r but 
laymen were no longer expected to decide a complicated legal issue. The local 
justices were to be under the guidance of the professional judge, the president 
judge, much as under the English system the local lay justices are under the 
guidance of the professional member, the Stipendiary Magistrate. Neverthe- 

*On June 2.5, 1787, after organizing the Luzerne County Courts, Colonel Pickering- 
reported to the Supreme Executive Council that the Luzerne County justices were quite 
"destitute of the laws of the State." — See Vol. Ill, p. 1576. 

less, the lav judges were apt to be men of strong and independent minds. 
There are many instances in Pennsylvania judicial history of associate judges 
differing with the professional members of their court, much to the chagrin of 
the supposedly better judge of law, the president judge. Judge Rush, the 
pioneer professional judge in the Luzerne County judicial district, more than 
once excoriated the lay judges of his court for findings with which he, a pro- 
found student of the laws, could not agree. 

Under the new State Constitution, justices of the peace became appointive 
officers, or at least those that were to sit in Common Pleas Court did. The 
old election districts were reorganized, Luzerne County, under the reorganiza- 
tion, having ten districts from which to draw justices of the peace. The rec- 
ords show appointment of justices as follows: 1791, Lawrence ISIyers, King- 
ston Township : Arnold Colt and William Ross, Solomon Avery and John 
Phillips. Wilkes-Barre District; Guy Maxwell, Tioga District; Peter Grubb 
and Nathan Beach, Kingston District ; Christopher Hurlbut, Wilkes-Barre 
District ; Joseph Kinney and Isaac Hancock. Tioga District ; Minna Dubois, 
\\'illingboro Township ; John Paul Schlott, Wilkes-Barre Town and Town- 
ship. This does not seem a complete record, but, such as it is, it is culled from 
Bradsby's "History of Luzerne County." Another local work, covering that 
part of Luzerne County which is now Susquehanna County, gives the follow- 
ing information : "Among these (ten) districts were the Sixth District, 
which was formed from Braintrim and Wyalusing, having two hundred and 
twenty-five taxables, who elected H. D. Champion, Jonathan Stevens and 
Guy AA'ells justices. The Ninth District was Rush, with one hundred and 
three taxables, who elected Isaac Hancock justice. The Tenth District, which 
was composed of Willingborough, Lanesville and Nicholson townships, with 
two hundred and eighty-six taxables, elected John Marcy, Thomas Tiffany and 
Asa Eddy justices. "f 

AX'hile it was from such groups of justices of the peace that the Governors 
usually appointed the associate judges of Common Pleas, it was by no means 
compulsory. Section three of the Act of April 13, 1791. reads: "In and for 
each of the said (judicial) districts, or circuits, a person of knowledge and 
integritv. skilled in the laws, shall be appointed and commissioned by the 
governor, to be president and judge of the courts of common pleas, within 
such district or circuit, and that a number of other proper persons, not fewer 
than three nor more than four, shall be appointed and commissioned judges of 
the courts of common pleas, in and for each and every of the counties of this 
commonwealth, which said presidents and judges shall, after the said thirty- 
first day of August next, respectively, have and execute all and singular the 
powers, jurisdictions and authorities of judges of the courts of common pleas, 
judges of the courts of oyer and terminer and general gaol delivery, judges of 
the orphans' courts and justices of the courts of quarter sessions of the peace, 
agreeably to the laws and constitution of this commonwealth." Not all jus- 
tices of the peace could sit on the bench of Common Pleas, but all local lay 
judges of that court could exercise the powers of the justice of the peace, "so 
far as relates to criminal matters." The judges of the Common Pleas Court 
could act as justices of Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol delivery, for the 
trial of capital and other offenders, except "when the judges of the Supreme 
Court, or any of them, shall be sitting in the same comity." 

Lender the first constitution of Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court had held 
most of its sessions en banc in Philadelphia. By the new Constitution, how- 
ever, the justices were required to go on circuit duty regularly. Thus can it be 
said, beyond conjecture, that to the little "primitive temple of justice," — a 
hew^n log structure, more useful than ornamental, and only 25-50 feet — at 
Wilkes-Barre the highest judicial functionaries of the great Commonwealth 

fCentennial History of Susquehanna County, Pa.," by Rhamanthus M. Stocker, p. 70. 

would come in all their pomp and dignity — in their knee-breeches and buckled 
shoes, their periwigs and their togas, adding regal dignity to the judicial by 
their rattling scabbards and flashing sword-hilts. The populace would witness 
impressive ceremonies, and the majesty of the law was apparently not in the 
least belittled by the fact that the courthouse at Wilkes-Barre, in 1791, was 
merely the upper story of the jail and jailor's quarters. The august dignitaries 
of the highest court of the Commonwealth, as they solemnly passed Jailor 
Stephen Tuttle's front door and mounted the outside steps that led to the 
court room on the second story, would no doubt have noticed over the door 
the "cake and beer sign," which the jailor's good wife had nailed there. And, 
having noticed it, possibly other thoughts than that of an affront to the dignity 
of their court, would have come in their minds. In any case, they would 
hardly have ordered the sign removed, as likely to detract from the awe- 
inspiring majesty and impressive dignity that all citizens should see in the 
powerful arm of government of which they were the august custodians. They 
knew that conditions on the frontier could not all be patterned after those of 
Philadelphia, but at the same time they recognized that to forego any of the 
pompous ceremony of "court days" in the "back woods" would be harmful to 
the majesty of the law. Therefore, when such a high dignitary as Chief Jus- 
tice Thomas McKean went on circuit, the full glamour of the Supreme Court 
went with him ; and whether the setting was in city or in frontier town, he 
was ever the impressive central figure. He had been Chief Justice under the 
old Constitution and had been continued under the new. His associate jus- 
tices on the Supreme Court bench, in 1791, were Edward Shippen, Jasper 
Yeates and William Bradford, Jr., all jurists of the highest professional stand- 
ing and aristocratic connection. Presumably, in their new circuit responsi- 
bilities, some or all of these Supreme Court judges would periodically visit 
Luzerne County and hold court in the Wilkes-Barre log courthouse ; and, so, 
would give the Wilkes-Barre settlers some idea of the majesty of the law. 
Judge Conyngham, in 1856, at the corner-stone laying of the third courthouse 
at Wilkes-Barre, referred to the old-time pomp that surrounded the visiting 
judges. He said: "There were some ceremonies connected with the courts 
now entirely abrogated. At the opening of every term the sheriff, with his 
staff of office, attended by the crier of the court, and frequently by several con- 
stables, waited upon the judges at their lodgings, and then conducted them in 
formal procession to the courthouse. Justices McKean, Smith and others, of 
the Supreme Court, always wore swords when they attended court, some bear- 
ing rapiers and other heavier weapons." Their tours were taken long before 
the time of the railroads, before that of canals, almost before the time of the 
stage coach, and in some instances even before the time of good wagon roads. 
The only comfortable mode of travel was on horseback. So these Supreme 
Court judges would start from Philadelphia on horseback, with their library 
in a pair of saddle-bags — at least as much of it as they could stow into the 
bags, though it must be inferred that they carried most of their law in their 
heads, for their saddle-bags would be needed for other things than books. 
They would depart usually accompanied by lawyers — for in those days the 
leading lawyers "rode the circuit" with the judges. At Easton, sometimes, 
more lawyers would join the cavalcade, and the journey would continue 
farther and farther from the long-settled parts of the State. The farther they 
went, the more primitive would be the accommodation. There was a log tav- 
ern in the backwoods of Pike County, on one of the old State roads. There, 
the court would sometimes stay overnight. Once, they did not reach the place 
until long after the tavern-keeper had retired to bed. He was awakened 
somewhat violently, it seems, and apparently did not like being disturbed. 
Opening his bedroom window, he yelled: "What do you want?" The tired 
judges, seated upon their horses, replied: "We want to stay here all night." 

"Then stay there !" said the irate innkeeper, as he banged down his window. 
He went back to bed, but was given no peace until he had reluctantly admit- 
ted the travelers. Had he not done so, the judges would have had to spend the 
night to all intents in the wilderness, for the cleared areas were few and far 
between in that region at that time. Judge Jessup, at Wilkes-Barre, in 1859, 
said : "I well remember when the court set out from Wilkes-Barre. followed by 
the bar on horseback, through Cobb's Gap. Wayne, Pike and Susquehanna 
counties, bringing up at Bradford County.'' During these circuit ridings Bench 
and Bar came closer together than at any other time. In the county seats and 
in the courthouse, the judges were always mindful of the dignity of the court, 
"but when they and the lawyers were traveling together they were as jovial 
a set of fellows as could be found." "Court week" in most of the county seats 
had a significance that it does not carry now. Then, the coming of the judicial 
cavalcade into one of the frontier towns was a memorable occasion. The gath- 
ering of these great and learned men in the small log-housed communities 
seemed to suggest to the settlers of the neighborhood that some extraordinary 
way of acknowledging the honor should be found. Usually, the form of 
acknowledgment would take the shape of gala days. "Court week" drew into 
the county towns not only litigants but all people who wished to be now and 
then part of a merry throng; and while they looked with awe and reverence 
upon court and bar, it must be confessed that another bar — that of the tavern 
— took much of the time of the average merrymaker during those memorable 
court days. 

Although the writer purposes to deal more directly, in this review, with 
the court that is more directly identified with the county, c. g., with the Court 
of Common Pleas, it seems proper that some passing reference should be made 
to the eminent Supreme Court justices of Luzerne County's pioneer days. 
Thomas McKean (1734-1817), one of the great statesmen-patriots of pre- 
Revolutionary days, was born in Pennsylvania, but educated in Delaware. 
Before he was of major age, he was admitted to the New Castle (Delaware) 
Bar, and when in his twenty-second year was admitted to the bar of Chester 
County, Pennsylvania. Soon afterwards he went to England to study, gaining 
admission to the Middle Temple, London, in 1758. During the next decade, 
he was prominent in Delaware legal and legislative circles. Member of Assem- 
bly, delegate to the Stamp Act Congress, codifier of laws, and Judge of Com- 
mon Pleas of New Castle County, Delaware. Notwithstanding that, for a part 
of the time, he was a resident of Philadelphia, he was annually returned to the 
Delaware General Assembly from 1762 until the Revolution ended its sessions. 
From 1774 until 1783, McKean was a member of the Continental Congress, the 
only member who sat in every Continental Congress during the war period. 
During this critical period he was Congressional delegate from Delaware, and 
it was mainly by his own effort- — in sending post-haste for his absent fellow- 
delegate, Rodney- — that Delaware cast its vote in favor of the Declaration of 
Independence and thus brought about a unanimous approving vote on this 
vital issue in Congress. At one and the same time, McKean was holding high 
office for two states : being a Member of Congress and President of Delaware, 
and at the same time Chief Justice of Pennsylvania. He was President of 
Congress in 1781, when Washington's memorable dispatches announcing the 
surrender of Lord Cornwallis came before the House. From 1777 to 1799, 
IMcKean was Chief Justice of Pennsylvania, from which high judicial office he 
went to the highest executive office in the State. Justice McKean was thrice 
Governor of Pennsylvania. Certainly, the log-cabined settlers of the remote 
county of Luzerne had good reason to flock to the county seat, Wilkes-Barre, 
upon occasions when it was likely that such a distinguished citizen would be 
visiting it. Although an unflinching Republican, a patriot who had not flinched 
or swerved in the least from his line of duty even when his life was endan- 

gered. Chief Justice AIcKean was of aristocratic inclination ; and he sur- 
rounded his court with ahnost all the pomp and ceremony that had prevailed 
in the King's courts of provincial days. It is even said that Justice McKean, 
when on the bench, "wore an immense cocked hat and was dressed in a scarlet 
gown." He was "a stern and arbitrary man," and held "all his attendants to 
the most rigid observance of respectful duty." In this way, he set a rigid 
standard of judicial deportment which most judges, who aspired to the higher 
courts, favored. Although of strong prejudices. Justice McKean was undoubt- 
edly honest and unquestionably able. The public preferment that came to him 
was a tribute more to his ability than to his popularity. His remarkable 
strength of character became more noticeable after he had taken his seat as 
Governor. He appointed /Vssociate Justice Edward Shippen to succeed him as 
Chief Justice, and there seems to have been little opposition to the elevation of 
the worthy Shippen, to whom Pennsylvania owes its first Law Reports ; but 
when an interfering group of Philadelphia politicians, in 1806, sought to sway 
McKean — who was still Governor — from his choice of the successor of Ship- 
pen, the plain-speaking delegation quickly realized that politics could not 
swerve Governor McKean, when judicial appointments were the matters in 
hand. "Indeed!" exclaimed the Governor, when informed that his appoint- 
ment of A\'illiam Tilghman, as Chief Justice, would "never meet the approval of 
the great democracy of Philadelphia," "inform your constituents that I bow 
with submission to the will of the great democracy of Philadelphia, but, by 
God, William Tilghman shall be Chief Justice of Pennsylvania." Upon another 
occasion, a legislative group waited upon Governor McKean, to remonstrate 
with him for disapproving a certain Act of the Assembly. When the spokes- 
man of the delegation presumed to point out to the Governor the merits of the 
vetoed law, the Chief Executive interrupted. "Pray, sir, look at my watch," 
he said, calmly, handing the timepiece to the xA.ssemblyman who was address- 
ing him. "She has been out of order for some time," he continued ; "Will you 
be pleased to put her to rights?" "Sir," replied the astonished chairman, "I 
am no watchmaker, but I am a carpenter." The watch was handed to the 
other two members of the committee ; but neither could put it to rights, for it 
appears one was a currier and the other a bricklayer. "Well," said Governor 
McKean, "this is truly strange. Any watchmaker's apprentice can repair that 
\vatch. It is a simj^Le piece of mechanism, and yet you can't do it! The law, 
gentlemen, is a science of great difficulty and endless complications; it requires 
a lifetime to understand it. I have bestowed a quarter of a century upon it; 
yet you, who can't mend this little watch, become lawyers all at once, and 
presume to instruct me in my duty." The humiliated committee departed, less 
confident of their knowledge of law. Another illustration of Justice McKean's 
decisiveness of action is in the following incident: A steady responsible citi- 
zen applied to him for a commission, as justice of the peace, but frankly con- 
fessed that he could produce no certificate or backers. "Never mind," said the 
Governor, "I require none; and if any one should ask you how you got the 
appointment, tell him Thomas McKean recommended you, and the Governor 
appointed you.'' 

Such was the personality of the man who was Chief Justice of the Supreme 
Court of Pennsylvania in 1788, when that court first began to hold sessions 
in Wilkes-Barre. 

Erom 1 79 1 to 1806, Luzerne was one of the counties of the Third Judicial 
District. This consisted of the counties of Berks, Northampton, Northumber- 
land and Luzerne — at least at the outset. Lycoming was added in 1795 and 
Wayne in 1798. For the whole of this period Jacob l^ush, who was President 
Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of the Third District and made his home 
in Reading, rode the circuit regularly. Throughout the period, also, he was 
the rod that scourged careless and indifferent associate judges. Judge Rush 

coincided with Chief Justice ]\IcKean. in th-e determination of the latter to 
preserve the highest standard of judicial deportment. Rush had been a member 
of the hig-her bench, and was somewhat disgruntled when transferred to a 
circuit of the Court of Common Pleas, even though in the capacity of president 
judge. This thought of having been demoted may have warped his opinion of 
his lay associates on the bench of Common Pleas ; certainly President Judge 
Rush more than once expressed himself contemptuously as to the judicial abil- 
itv of some of the lay judges of his circuit. 

judge Rush, a native Philadelphian, was born on November 24, 1747. He 
graduated at the College of New Jersey in i/(^S^ '^i^tl on February 7, 1769, was 
admitted to the Bar of Philadelphia County. In May of the same year, he was 
admitted to the Bar of Berks County also. That he was determined to become 
a master of his profession may be inferred from his entry as a student of the 
Middle Temple in London early in 1771. In 178J, he was elected to the Penn- 
sylvania Assembly, as a member from Philadelphia County. Reelected next 
year, he resigned soon after he had l)een appointed to the Supreme Court 
bench, in the place of John Evans, deceased. Seven years as a Supreme Court 
Justice and service on the bench of the High Court of Errors and Appeals did 
not tend to make Judge Rush view enthusiastically his assignment to the 
Common Pleas in 1791, under the new Constitution. David Paul Brown, in 
his "Forum,'' writes of Judge Rush, as follows: " .... he never appeared 
to be satisfied with his position in the Common Pleas ; yet, his uprightness of 
conduct and unquestionable abilities always secured to him the respect and 
confidence, if not the attachment, of his associates, the members of the bar. 
and the entire community." Judge Rush was a jurist of great ability, firm and 
decisive of character, very eloquent, and unquestionably a man who was 
"learned in the law." "Perhaps there are few specimens of judicial eloquence 
more impressive than those wdiich he delivered during his occupation of the 
bench," writes Brown. "Some of his early literary essays were ascribed to 
Dr. Franklin, and for terseness and clearness were w^orthy of him." 

Judge Rush was a "gentleman of the old school, plain in his attire, unob- 
trusive in his deportment ; but. while observant of his duties towards others, 
never forgetful of the respect to which he himself was justly entitled." On 
one occasion, he openly upbraided his associates "for not appearing promptly 
upon the bench at the hour fixed for opening court." His despotic leaning 
influenced his associates to seek his impeachment: but the investigating 
committee of the Legislature reported that the charges w^ere unfounded. 
Judge Rush was an ardent Federalist, and he lost no opportunity of "promul- 
gating his political views in charges to grand juries." However, despite his 
eccentric actions and an arrogance he could not at all times curb, wdien coun- 
tered by men of weaker intellect, less legal knowledge and far less judicial 
acumen. Judge Rush was generally esteemed. When the courts and judicial 
districts were reorganized in 1806, he was commissioned as President Judge 
of Common Pleas Court of the city and county of Philadelphia. He died on 
January 5, 1820, in his seventy-third year. Almost to his death, he had regu- 
larly,, vigorously and ably performed his judicial duties. The Bar of Luzerne 
County might well hold in high esteem this, their pioneer, president judge. 

Probably, President Judge Rush had found that his associate judges in 
Luzerne County were not silent "dummies" like some others that were seated 
on Common Pleas benches. Some could go a solemn silent way for years 
without ruffling the professional ire of the president judge. It is recorded that 
one associate judge (Hugh Lloyd, who resigned from the Common Pleas 
bench of Delaw^are County in 1825, after thirty-three years of service) "on 
being asked if the duties devolving on an associate judge were not onerous," 
replied: "Yes, verv. I sat five years on the same bench in the old courthouse 
at Chester without opening my mouth. One day, however, towards night. 


after listening to the details of a long and tedious trial, the president leaned 
over towards me, and. putting his arm across my shoulder, asked me a ques- 
tion. 'Judge,' he said, 'don't you think this bench is infernally hard?' To this 
important question, I replied: T thought it zvcre,' and that's the only opinion 
I ever gave during my long judicial career."* 

Luzerne County lost the colorful visits of President Judge Rush in 1806, 
when, by a reorganization of judicial district (Act February 24, 1806, 4 Sm. L., 
270), the Eighth District was established. It took from the Third Judicial 
District the counties of Northampton, Luzerne and Lycoming. The president 
judge of the new district was Thomas Cooper, who was transferred from the 
Fourth District. He was of English birth. Educated at Oxford L'niversity, 
he seems to have become proficient in most of the major sciences — chemistry, 
natural sciences, law and medicine. However, he chose the law as the profes- 
sion he would follow, and for some years "rode the circuit" in England. He was 
unfortunate in public affairs, for he espoused causes which were not favored 
by the Government. Eventually, in 1795, he followed his friend, Dr. Joseph 
Priestly, to America. He settled in Northumberland, Pennsylvania, and prac- 
ticed law in the circuit courts of Judge Rush. As an attorney, he may have 
appeared in the Wilkes-Barre court. For a virulent attack upon John Adams, 
President of the United States, in 1800, in a Sunbury newspaper which he 
edited. Cooper was prosecuted and jailed for six months. Nevertheless, he 
became a Judge of Common Pleas, and in 1806 President Judge of the Eighth 
District. Judge Cooper quickly showed that he intended to rule the court with 
an iron hand. So stern did he become with all who entered his court — judges, 
lawyers, suitors, spectators — that ere long an attempt to impeach him was 
made. On December 20, 1805, a petition was filed, charging him with acting 
as prosecuting attorney after he had become judge, and with receiving fees 
therefor. He was acquitted, but another attempt was made in 181 1. charging 
him with official misconduct. Among the charges was that of fining and 
imprisoning Constable Hollister, in 1807, at Wilkes-Barre, "for whispering in 
court." The fine was $2 and the imprisonment one hour. The sentence was 
not very severe, but the afifront was excruciating. Another charge was that of 
"passing sentence of one year's imprisonment, at Wilkes-Barre. on one 
Gough, a young horse thief, who had confessed his guilt, and, on the next day, 
on hearing of his being an old offender, calling him up before the court and 
passing a second sentence on him, increasing his imprisonment from one to 
three years." Other charges included : "Browbeating counsel and witnesses" ; 
"Refusing to hear parties speak in their own defense" ; "Fining and imprison- 
ing Constable Cooper for neglecting to execute a warrant." Judge Cooper had 
logical answers to all charges ; nevertheless, the Senate Committee was of the 
opinion "that the official conduct of President Cooper" was "arbitrary, unjust, 
and precipitate, contrary to sound policy and dangerous to the pure adminis- 
tration of justice." Consequently, he was removed from office, and on July 
II, 181 1, Seth Chapman was commissioned president judge in his place. The 
impeached jurist returned to the practice of law, but soon afterward accepted 
appointment as professor of chemistry at Dickinson College. He continued 
in academic office for more than twenty years, going from Dickinson to the 
University of Pennsylvania and finally to the College of South Carolina, of 
which he was president for many years. Judge Cooper was a man of profound 
learning, the extent of his learning being strikingly evident in his literary 
works. He was better fitted for the professor's chair than the judicial bench. 
Undoubtedly Judge Cooper served some leading American institutions of 
higher education very ably for almost a generation. His judicial impeachment 
was hardly a black mark on his career, for no charge of dishonesty was made 

*Ashmead's "History of Delaware County, Pa.," p. 241. 


against him. Judge Cooper erred in setting the order and decorum of his 
court at too high a level. Democracy would not be tied hand and foot. Young- 
America would not be hushed even when in sight of the judicial ermine. 

Impeachment proceedings were not unusual in those days. Judge Cooper's 
successor, Seth Chapman, had to defend himself against three attempts to 
impeach and remove him. Finally, in 1833, his enemies succeeded — at least to 
the extent of getting the Senate Committee to recommend his removal, "owing 
to age and bodily infirmities." Judge Chapman then resigned. 

Long before that time, however, he had ceased connection with the judi- 
cial district in which Luzerne County was. Indeed, in less than a year after 
the appointment of Judge Chapman to the place of Cooper, at the head of the 
Eighth District, Luzerne County had passed to another district. On Alarch 
24, 1812, act was passed creating the Eleventh Judicial District, the new circuit 
to consist of the counties of Luzerne, Tioga, Wayne, Susquehanna and Brad- 
ford. Judge Chapman seems to have presided over both the Eighth and the 
Eleventh districts for some time, but on July 16, 1813, John Bannister Gibson 
was commissioned as president judge of the Eleventh.* This great jurist — one 
of the greatest that Pennsylvania has had — was destined to be connected w4th 
the Court of Common Pleas of the Luzerne County district for only three 
years, but during that time he lived in Wilkes-Barre and endeared himself to 
many Wilkes-Barre people. After leaving Wilkes-Barre, in 1816, he went to a 
greater career as a jurist — to a Supreme Court judgeship which carried him 
upward to the eminence of Chief Justice of Pennsylvania, and held him on the 
bench of the highest court of the Commonwealth for almost four decades. At 
his demise, in May, 1853, a Wilkes-Barre journal, the "Record of the Times," 
reviewed his few years of connection with Wilkes-Barre thus : 

His residence was on Northampton, between Franklin and Main streets, recently occupied 
by Dr. Wright. Naturally affable and easy of access, he united in manners the familiar courtesy 
of the gentleman with the appropriate dignity of his judicial station. Hence, he became a 
general favorite, while his patience to hear, his talent (without seeming to hurry) to accelerate 
business, his fairness and promptitude to decide, soon commanded universal confidence. 

In the hours of relaxation from the exercise of official duties, and his law and literary 
reading, he seemed to take especial pleasure in company with his scientific friend, the late Jacob 
Cist, visiting several portions of the valley, noting its geological structure, particularly the 
extent and position of the anthracite coal deposit, then, from the praiseworthy experiment of 
Judge Fell and its fortunate result, just beginning to emerge into importance ; and also, with 
more than common curiosity and delight, to visit the ancient Indian fortifications. In one of 
their excursions to examine the large fort on the plantation of Mr. James Hancock, they found 
a medal of King George the First, which, owing to their care, is yet happily preserved. 

As a Mason, he entered into the spirit of the society, found pleasure in attending its com- 
munications, for he met there numbers of intelligent citizens, whose localities and various pur- 
suits could hardly have brought them elsewhere together ; and we think for a year or two His 
Honor presided as master of the lodge. . . . 

When called to the supreme bench, his departure was regarded with emotions of mingled 
pleasure and regret. All were glad at the occurrence of an event so propitious to him person- 
ally, and promising increased utility to that elevated tribunal ; yet all were sorry to part with 
him, as a judge or a citizen. His wife was a Miss Galbraith, and during his residence, the visits 
of her sisters and other female friends added to the social charms in the village, less populous 
and far more secluded from the busy world than now. 

Judge Gibson, when in Wilkes-Barre, did not show more than a promise of 
greatness as a jurist. He had only been in legal practice for ten years, and his 
preparation had not been so thorough and extensive as that of some of his 
predecessors. He had attended Dickinson College in 1795 or 1796, and is 
believed to have graduated in 1800. Later, he became a law student in the office 
of Thomas Duncan, of Carlisle, who later became a justice of the Supreme 
Court. But his opportunities for study were not extensive. As Judge Porter, in 

♦Gibson Tvas at least acting as President Judge of the Eleventh District in January, 
1813, for on the fourth Monday of that month, he presided over the first court opened in 
Susquehanna County, then recently created. The court record refers to the presiding judge 
as "the Honorable John B. Gibson, President of the Court of Common Pleas." — See "Cen- 
tennial History of Susquehanna County, Pa.," by Rhamanthus M. Stocker, p. 72. 


his "Essay on Gibson," points out : "In that day, the learning of the profession 
was confined mainly to special pleading and real estate. The former attracted 

the attention of students by its utility in practice The doctrines of real 

estate were investigated with care, because in the state of the country, the 
settlement of titles to land necessarily formed the bulk of every lawyer's 

business. Of commercial law, we had next to none In this branch, 

therefore, we must suppose that neither preceptor nor pupil had made any 
considerable attainments at the outset of his career. I think it might be 
shown by citations from his opinions that Judge Duncan's taste inclined more 
strongly to special pleading than to real estate, and that his accuracy in that 
department was greater than in the law of property.'' His pupil, young Gib- 
son, however, eventually acquired eminence in all three branches, but in his 
years at the bar Gibson came more prominently into political affairs than into 
legal. He sat as a Democratic member from Cumberland County in the State 
Assembly for two sessions (1810-11 and 1811-12) ; and in the latter session was 
chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary. Before this committee came the 
petitions for the impeachment and removal of President Judge Cooper. Chair- 
man Gibson was the most emphatic of the four members of the Assembly who 
dissented from the address to the Governor recommending the removal of 
Judge Cooper; indeed, Gibson was so profoundly stirred by the action of the 
House that he filed a written protest ; but it did not stay the action. Judge 
Cooper was removed, and, as has been shown, Gibson — though he had gone 
contrary to the will of the House, in defending the accused jurist — found him- 
self a president judge in the reorganization of judicial districts. 

It is said that as a Common Pleas judge, Gibson "exhibited much energy in 
the transaction of business," but was "too impulsive in his judgments." Never- 
theless, some of his decisions showed distinct judicial merit, and attracted the 
notice of leaders of the bar throughout the Commonwealth. On June 2^, 1816, 
he became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. "When he first came 
on the Bench," wrote his successor as Chief Justice — Jeremiah S. Black — "he 
was scarcely prepared for his mission. Those who came with him and after 
him were as thoroughly furnished as they could be for the work they had to 
do. But when his powers unfolded themselves, all saw so plainly that no man 
who sat with him afterwards could pretend to be his equal, without becoming 
ridiculous. Competition gave up the contest, and rivalry itself conceded to 
him an undisputed preeminence." 

In written opinions, it is said that Justice Gibson had no peer; indeed, "the 
wording of his opinions is given verbatim in reports, being as the finished 
Parian marble, and not capable of being condensed or taken to pieces." Judge 
Porter, in his "Essay on Gibson," makes reference to the latter's manner of 
reaching conclusions and writing opinions. Quoting therefrom : 

It is believed that he took little part in the consultations of the bench, communicating his 
views usually in short detached sentences, sometimes not at all, but when he did, hitting the 
exact point, and diffusing additional light on the principles in question. When appointed to 
deliver the opinion, he generally made an examination of the authorities, and sometimes, it must 
be admitted, much too brief an examination. His habit then was to think chiefly without the 
aid of his pen, and out of the reach of books. He did this in his chamber, on the street, at the 
table; sometimes, it is feared, on the bench during the progress of other causes, and not infre- 
quently in the public room of the hotel. Persons who approached him on these occasions were 
struck with and sometimes offended at his abstracted and careless air. To those who knew 
what he was doing he frequently complained of his difficulty in determining on what principles 
to pitch the cause without mentioning it particularly. He did all the labor of thought before he 
commenced to write, and he never wrote until he was ready. Before he began, it is believed, 
the very sentences were formed in his mind, and when he assumed his pen, he rarely laid it aside 
until the opinion had been completed. The bold, beautiful and legible character of his hand- 
writing and its freedom from erasure induced those obliged to read his opinions in manuscript 
to suppose that he transcribed them, but this was very rarely if ever done; he had too little 
time and too much horror of the pen to attempt it. Such a method of writing undoubtedly pos- 
sessed great advantages. It gave his tine logical powers full play. It contributed to that con- 


densation which forms one of the distinctive features of his writings. It enabled him to proceed 
with directness right to his conclusion, and to make everytliing point to it from the very first 
sentence to the last. No repetition occurs. We see each idea but once, and need not count on 
seeing even the shadow of it more than once. Having always something to do ahead, the pen 
spent no more time on the thought in hand than was necessary to complete it. He knew pre- 
cisely where he was to end before beginning, and he avoided all the difficulties of those writers 
who begin to write when they begin to think, and sometimes before it, and who produce works 
resembling, for the most part, the patch-work emblazoned on the best beds of German house- 
keepers, and giving evidence not to be mistaken of the exact places at which they have been 
joined. . . . The most casual reader of Judge Gibson's opinions must have observed how 
seldom he professes to give any history of the decided cases, from the creation of the world, 
from the reign of Richard I, or from the assumption of the reins of justice by Chief Justice 
McKean; and how invariably he put his decision upon some leading principle of tlie law, 
referring but to a few cases for the purpose of illustration, or to show their exception to the 
general rule, and how all this is done with the ease and skill which betokens the hand of a 
master. . . . 

Ill the matter of settling the law of Pennsylvania on the subject of riots. 
Justice Gibson rendered to his State, so often disturbed by riots in his time, 
his supreme act of service. Chief Justice Black succeeded Gibson, after the 
latter's death on May 3. 1853 ; he delivered the eulogy of Gibson, in the 
Supreme Court, and greater tribute could hardly be paid to a great man than 
was then paid to the deceased. The following is extracted from the eulog\- : 

At the time of his death, he had been longer in office than any contemporaneous judge in 
the world ; and in some points of character he had not his equal on the earth. Such vigor. 
clearness and precision of thought were never before united with the same felicity of diction. 
Brougham has sketched Lord Stowell justly enough as the greatest judicial writer that Eng- 
land could boast of, for force and beauty of style. He selects a sentence and calls on the reader 
to admire the remarkable elegance of its structure. I believe that Judge Gibson never wrote 
an opinion in his life from which a passage might not be taken, stronger, as well as more grace- 
ful in its turn of expression, than this which is selected with so much care by a most zealous 
friend, from all of Lord Stowell's. 

Truly, the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas was adorned by a great 
jurist when John Bannister Gibson was its president judge. 

Thomas Burnside succeeded Gibson in the Eleventh District, being its 
president judge from June 28, 1816, to July 6, 1818. In that year, by Act of 
February 25 ( 1818, P. L. 107), Bradford, Tioga, and Susquehanna counties 
were taken out of the Eleventh District to create the Thirteenth, leaving 
Luzerne, Pike and Wayne counties to constitute the Eleventh. Judge Burn- 
side passed to the Fourth and later to the Seventh Judicial District, from 
which he was elevated to an associate justiceship of the Supreme Court in 


Judge Burnside was born in Ireland, and had many of the pleasing char- 
acteristics wdiich enable men of that nationality to become popular with their 
acquaintances. Bedford, in his "Early Recollections," says of Judge Burnside 
that "he was so homely that he had to rise from his bed every night at mid- 
night to rest his face." ^Moreover, he w^as "notably careless in his dress." 
Still, he was popular with both men and women, and his creditable judicial 
record brought him into general esteem. Nevertheless, he was not able to live 
on cordial terms wdth his brother-in-law, Judge Huston. It was only when 
Burnside was stricken by sickness, and the end seemed near, that his wife and 
her sister were able to bring their husbands together. At Judge Burnside's 
deathbed, or at least so it seemed, the conversation, as stated bv Bedford, 
began with what was almost a confession by the stricken man. 

"Judge Huston, I have been a very bad man," gasped Burnside, "a verv 
wicked man ; I swear some and drink too much, and altogether am a very 
wicked man." 

Judge Huston was quick to respond, answering with marked promptness : 
"Judge Burnside, you say truly that you have been a very bad man and a ver\ 
wicked man." He got no farther. He had too readily assented to Judge 
Burnside's confessed declaration. The latter raised himself from the pillow. 


doubled his first, and shaking it in the face of Judge Huston, with emphasis 
exclaimed : "You are a damned old liar, and I will live to fight you yet." He 
was as good as his word. 

David Scott succeeded Burnside in 1818, as president judge of the Eleventh 
District. He had served in like capacity in the Twelfth District, and was of 
good professional repute. Judge Scott was born in Connecticut, but had 
grown to manhood in Bradford County. Of his law studentship not much is 
recorded ; indeed, he may be said to have been "a self-made lawyer." Of great 
force of intellect, Scott was aided by a pugnacious temperament which carried 
him on when his professional gait was unsteady. As a judge, he was "honest 
and upright, but rather overbearing and of an irascible temper." However, it 
is recorded that he "presided with great ability" for twenty years. Deafness 
caused him to resign from the president judgeship of the Court of Common 
Pleas of the Luzerne County District on March 17, 1838. 

One court incident of Judge Scott's period in Wilkes-Barre is given in 
Colonel Wright's "Historical Sketches of Plymouth." It appears that Colonel 
George P. Ransom, a worthy veteran of the Revolution, was before the court, 
charged with assaulting a young man. The old soldier, undefended, pleaded 
guilty of felling "the impudent young sprig" who had spoken disparagingly of 
General Washington. Judge Scott presided, and his associates were Mathias 
Hollenback and Jesse Fell. Judge Scott interrupted the hearing, remarking 
as he arose : "This is a case which I choose to leave to my associates, as they 
are old soldiers and can fully appreciate the circumstances." Then he departed. 

Judge Hollenback asked Colonel Ransom where he was on such a date. 
The answer was : "In my father's company in Washington's army." "And 
where on the 3d of July, 1778?" "With Captain Spaulding on my way to 
Wyoming." "And where the following summer?" "With General Sullivan in 
the lake country flogging the Indians." "And where the next fall and winter?" 
"A prisoner on the St. Lawrence." "Ah !" said Judge Hollenback, "all that is 
true enough. Colonel Ransom, and did you knock the fellow down?" "I did so 
and would do it again under like provocation." "What was the provocation?" 
"The rascal abused the name of General Washington." The judge replied: 
"Colonel Ransom, the judgment of the court is that you pay a fine of one cent 
and that the prosecutor pay the costs." This sentence, adds Attorney Bed- 
ford, "can still be read on the old pages of Quarter Sessions Docket No. i, in 
the archives of the Luzerne County Courthouse." 

The successor of Judge Scott was William Jessup, who had been a member 
of the Susquehanna County Bar for eighteen years. Born at Southampton, 
Long Island, educated at Yale, William Jessup (1797- 1863) entered the law 
office of Almon H. Read, Esq., at Montrose, in 1818. For the remainder of his 
life, Montrose was his home. He had served in several county offices in Sus- 
quehanna County before being appointed, in 1838, to the seat vacated by Judge 
Scott. The Eleventh Judicial District centered at Wilkes-Barre, and the presi- 
dent judge of that district usually made Wilkes-Barre his place of residence. 
It was somewhat difficult for Judge Jessup, living at Montrose, to properly 
attend to his judicial duties in the Eleventh District, and it was not long before 
an arrangement was made whereby the convenience of the president judges of 
the Eleventh and Thirteenth districts — Jessup and Conyngham, respectively — 
was met. John N. Conyngham, who had resided in Wilkes-Barre for almost 
twenty years, and had been a member of the Luzerne County Bar for as long, 
was appointed President Judge of the Thirteenth District (Susquehanna and 
adjoining counties), in 1839, found it just as inconvenient to attend to his 
judicial duties in Susquehanna as Jessup did his own in Luzerne. So, in 1840 
(Act of April 13, 1840, P. L. 319), Luzerne County was transferred to Conyng-- 
ham's judicial district, the Thirteenth, and Susquehanna County was trans- 
ferred to Jessup's district, the Eleventh. Thus it was possible for the Luzerne 

judge, Conyngham, to function from his own town, Wilkes-Barre, and for the 
Susquehanna jurist, Jessup, to center his own activities in his own county- 
town, Montrose. The arrangement was continued until 1849, when Conyng- 
ham's commission, as President Judge of the Thirteenth District, expired. 
Jessup's commission had also expired, and although he was reappointed, 
Conyngham was not, another reorganization of judicial districts in 1849 (x\ct 
of April 5, 1849, P- L- Z^7) restoring Luzerne County to the Eleventh District. 
The reorg-anization of the Eleventh District, however, brought into it, also, 
Jessup's home county, Susquehanna. So Judge Jessup continued to preside 
over the Court of Common Pleas of the Eleventh District until 185 1, when, by 
virtue of a constitutional amendment that made the judiciary elective, his offi- 
cial term expired. Judge Jessup did not seek election to the Court of Common 
Pleas; he aspired to a Supreme Court seat, but was unsuccessful. So, in 1852. 
he returned to law practice, going to greater opportunities and wider repute 
as a corporation counsel in New York City. Plowever, he retained his resi- 
dence in Montrose, and there died in 1868. in his seventy-second year. One of 
Judge Jessup's "most brilliant forensic triumphs was his defence of the Rev. 
Albert Barnes, the leader of the New School Movement in the Presbyterian 
Church, who was charged with heresy and tried before the General Assembly 
of the Church." His style at the bar "was perspicuous, pleasing, and strongly 
impressive." As a judge, "he was remarkable for clearness and readiness upon 
any subject within the range of his profession, and for a prompt and proper 
dispatch of business." Judge Jessup's activities w^ere not confined wholly to 
the Bench and Bar ; at one time he was president of the Lackawanna Railroad 
Company ; in 1856, he delivered an address before the New York State Agri- 
cultural Society ; and during the next four years was among the eastern lead- 
ers of the political movement which established the Republican party and 
placed Lincoln in power in the years of the Nation's greatest need. Judge 
Jessup, with Colonel Swain and Judge Swan, of Ohio, was appointed to visit 
Washington in May, 1861, and present to Lincoln the views of the "Nine War 
Governors," who had met at Cleveland and had resolved to give Lincoln their 
full support and cooperation. So, although Judge Jessup was out of judicial 
harness long before his usefulness had waned, he found other ways of con- 
tinuing in worthy public service. 

After Judge Conyngham had completed his term as president judge of the 
Thirteenth District in 1849, he entered the political arena. He sat in the State 
House of Representatives in 1850. He was one of the most active advocates of 
the constitutional amendment which would make the judiciary elective. With 
the ratification of the amendment, Judge Conyngham decided to seek the favor 
of the electors of the Eleventh Judicial District. In due course, he w^as elected 
to the president judgeship vacated by Judge Jessup ; in fact, there was no 
opposition to his election in the autumn of 185 1. Ten years later, Conyngham 
was reelected. He served for almost the full further term of ten years. How- 
ever, in 1870, he announced his intention to resign. Judge Conyngham's end 
was tragic. "While on his way to Texas, on Eebruary 23, 1871, for the pur- 
pose of bringing home his dying son, he was run over by a train, and both 
legs were crushed below the knees, from which injury he died w-ithin two 
hours after the accident." He was then, however, w^ell nigh at the end of his 
normal life-span, being seventy-two years old. His name is perpetuated in 
many ways in Luzerne County, where he was esteemed as a jurist and citizen. 
For more than fifty years, he had been part of Wilkes-Barre life, not an unim- 
portant nor inconspicuous part one would imagine, reading the testimony of 
Attorney George R. Bedford, who had enjoyed close intimacy with Judge 
Conyngham. Mr. Bedford states that the judge "was a man of striking 
appearance — tall, erect, of large stature and dignified bearing and looked every 
inch a judge When Judge Conyngham walked from his home to the 


courthouse all whom he met on his way showed becoming deference." The 
judge "had a very tender heart." "It is recalled that, when passing sentence 
upon James Cadden, convicted of murder in the first degree and executed 
in March, 1849, J'-^'^fe^ Conyngham showed much more emotion than the 
prisoner himself, the tears coursing down his cheeks as he pronounced the 
sentence of the law." When the news of Judge Conyngham 's tragic death 
reached Wilkes-Barre, "a hush fell on the whole town. The community was 
stirred and shocked as never before by the death of any citizen." 

The Eleventh Judicial District underwent its last reorganization in 1856 
when, by Act of April 22d (P. L. 530), the last two of the counties grouped 
for judicial purposes with Luzerne were transferred to other districts, leaving 
Luzerne alone to constitute the Eleventh. However, Luzerne County was 
developing rapidly, and the court calendar soon became more than Judge 
Conyngham could handle. So, in 1864. by Act of June 27th (P. L. 1329). an 
additional law judge was provided for the Eleventh District. Henry ^Martin 
Hoyt was appointed. 

Judge Hoyt served until the end of 1867.. He was a native of Kingston, 
Luzerne County, born June 8, 1830. After graduation from Williams College, 
in 1849, he studied law in the office of George \^^ AVoodward. In 1856 he was 
admitted to the bar of Luzerne County. The Civil War interrupted his pro- 
fessional work, but after some military service Lieutenant-Colonel Hoyt 
resumed law practice, and in 1864 was appointed to the Common Pleas bench. 
Edmund L. Dana was elected additional law judge in October, 1867, and 
Judge Hoyt, therefore, resumed law practice. He also took very active part 
in political affairs. In 1875, Ji-^dge Lloyt was chairman of the State Republican 
Committee. Three years later he was elected Governor of Pennsylvania. He 
served until 1883. Thus it is seen that this native son of Luzerne had advanced 
far in professional and public life. He died on December i, 1892. 

Mr. Bedford describes Judge Hoyt as "big bodied and big brained," a man 
"of attractive personality," a man who intellectually "ranked with the best 
minds of his generation." Indeed, many people looked upon Judge Hoyt, 
when Chief Executive, as "the brainiest Governor in the history of the Com- 
monwealth." While Governor, Judge Hoyt prepared and read before the 
Historical Society of Pennsylvania a paper entitled "A Brief of Title in the 
Seventeen Townships — A Syllabus of the Controvesy Between Connecticut 
and Pennsylvania." This paper "firmly established .... the Governor's 
standing as a lawyer." ♦ 

Judge Edmund L. Dana, elected for ten years, in place of Judge H»>yt, 
began his term as additional law judge on January i, 1868. The difference 
between the additional judge and the associate judges was that the former 
was required to be "learned in the law," whereas the latter had always been 
lay judges. Before the termination of Judge Dana's term, however, a consti- 
tutional change in the judiciary article had provided that all counties having 
40,000 inhabitants or more should be made a separate judicial district, having 
one judge "learned in the law" ; also that as the judicial business of the respec- 
tive judicial districts expanded, the Legislature could authorize the election of 
an additional judge, or increase the number of additional law judges, drawing 
these, however, only from the bar membership. When the Constitution of 
1874 went into effect, Luzerne County was entitled to two additional law 
judges. President Judge Plarding and Additional Judge Dana were in com- 
mission at that time, and on the first Monday of January, 1875, John Handley 
was also elected, to serve for a term of ten years, as additional law judge. 
Two years later, at the expiration of the term of Judge Dana, William H. 
Stanton was elected in Dana's place. 

Judge Dana was, says Bedford, "generally considered the most scholarly 
member of the bar." His legal and judicial opinions "were expressed in mc.tdel 


English." He was often engrossed in his Greek testament, and was an eager 
student of classical literature. He is also of no mean record as a soldier. 
During the Mexican AVar, he was with Major-General Winfield Scott, at the 
head of a company of the Wyoming Artillerists. During the Civil War. he 
was colonel of the 143d Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, and com- 
manded a brigade at Gettysburg. For distinguished gallantry in action. Dana 
was brevetted a brigadier-general. 

Judge Garrick M. Harding, who had been appointed in July, 1870, to serve 
the eighteen months left of Judge Conyngham's second term as president 
judge, was also a native son of Luzerne. Born at Exeter, on July 12, 1830, 
Harding had been educated at the Eranklin Academy in Susquehanna County 
and at Madison Academy at W'averly (Lackawanna County), before entering 
Dickinson College. He read law in the office of Henry AL Fuller at W'ilkes- 
Barre and became a member of the Luzerne County Bar in 1850. In 1858. he 
was district attorney. For some years after the Civil War, Harding was in 
law partnership with Henry A\'. Palmer, who eventually became Attorney- 
General of Pennsylvania. The partnership ended when Harding was com- 
missioned as president-judge in 1870. Judge Harding had to seek election to 
succeed himself in 1871, and his opponent was a very eminent Wilkes-Barre 
citizen, one who had gone very much farther than himself in the judiciary. Xo 
less eminent a jurist than ex-Chief-Justice George W. W'oodward was his 
opponent. Nevertheless, the people of Luzerne County returned Judge Hard- 
ing, and on January i, 1872, he began a full term of ten years as president 
judge. He did not, however, complete his term, for in 1879 he resigned to 
resume practice. Judge Harding died May 19, 1904. He had been a law part- 
ner of Hon. Henry M. Fuller for many years. After retiring from the bench, he 
had resvmied practice, but seems to have given little time to it. He became an 
ardent sportsman in later years; indeed, one eminent lawyer, Franklin B. 
Gowen, said of the ex-judge : "Harding is one of those lawyers who fish and 
hunt for a living and practice law for fun." 

Lackawanna County was erected in 1878, out of part of Luzerne County. 
At that time, the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas consisted of Gar- 
rick M. Harding, president judge; John Handley and A\'illiam H. Stanton, 
additional judges. Act of April 17, 1878, providing for the division of, and the 
erection of a new county out of any county containing 150,000 inhabitants, 
stipulated that the judicial districts should remain, and that the judges of the 
existing court should organize the court of the new county. Under this act, 
Lackawanna County was erected, election being held on August 13. 1878. and 
final proclamation being made by the Governor on August 21, 1878. But some 
Scranton people were not yet satisfied. As there were more than 40,000 
inhabitants in the new county, claim was at once made that it thereby became 
a separate judicial district. Governor Hardranft also thought so, and did not 
hesitate to make it so. Forthwith, he appointed Benjamin S. Bentley as 
President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County. Linder 
this authority. Judge Bentley opened the court. The members of the Luzerne 
County Court made no attempt to interfere with this separation, but to test 
the constitutionality of the Governor's action, "an application was made to 
the Supreme Court for a mandamus against the former judges to organize the 
Lackawanna courts." The Supreme Court ruled against the Governor and 
Bentley, and ordered the judges of Luzerne County to organize the Lacka- 
wanna County Court. Judges Harding, Handley and Stanton, therefore, 
opened the courts of the new county on October 24, 1878. In February, 1879, 
Additional Law Judge Stanton resigned. He was succeeded, a month later, 
by Alfred Hand, who took office by appointment. Lackawanna County, how- 
ever, was not for much longer to rest contentedly in the Luzerne County 

AV.-B. — 2 

Judicial District. The first attempt to separate it had been irregular, but, by 
the Constitution, the Governor might make a separate judicial district, in a 
county of 40,000 inhabitants or more, by merely issuing a proclamation to that 
effect. This done, the president judge of the old county could be directed to 
elect to which district he would be assigned. The additional law judges of 
the old district had no option ; they were to go to the new district, in case the 
president judge chose the old. Therefore, as Judge Harding elected to remain 
at the head of the Eleventh Judicial District, the other judges of that district 
— Handley and Hand — were transferred to the Forty-fifth District, which had 
been created to serve Lackawanna. So it happened that, on March 27, 1879, 
John Handley became President Judge of Common Pleas of Lackawanna 
County, with Alfred Hand as the additional law judge of that court, thus 
properly organizing the Forty-fifth Judicial District. 

Luzerne County was thus left, temporarily, with only one Judge of Com- 
mon Pleas. Of course, its court work had been very considerably reduced, for 
a very active and growing part of Luzerne County had been lopped off to 
form Lackawanna. However, Judge Harding seems to have taken umbrage 
at what seemed to be the belittling of his judicial district. He announced that 
he would resign on December 31, 1879. Provision was therefore made for the 
election of a successor. Luzerne County might still have one additional law 
judge as well as a president judge. The former office was filled by the election 
of Charles E. Rice in the fall of 1879. ^^ entered upon his office on January 
4, 1880, and the next day was commissioned as president judge, for the full 
term of ten years. A few days later. Governor Hoyt appointed Stanley Wood- 
ward additional law judge, vice Rice, and in the fall of that year Woodward 
was confirmed for ten years by election. Judge Rice had been a member of 
the Wilkes-Barre Bar since 1870, and had done well as district attorney, to 
which office he had been elected in 1876. He was an able lawyer, graduate of 
Hamilton College and Albany Law School, and after fifteen years as President 
Judge of the Eleventh District, he was chosen, in 1895, to organize the Supe- 
rior Court of Pennsylvania, then created. He was its first president judge, 
and served as such, with great distinction, for twenty years, retiring in 1916. 

Stanley Woodward, son of ex-Chief Justice George W. Woodward, was 
advanced from the minor judgeship to the dignity of President Judge of Com- 
mon Pleas of Luzerne County in 1895, when Judge Rice left the Eleventh 
Judicial District to organize the Superior Court. Stanley Woodward was 
born on August 29, 1833. He attended Wyoming Seminary, and progressed 
to Yale University, majoring in law at Yale Law School. After graduating in 
1855, he returned to Wilkes-Barre, and entered the law office of his cousin, 
Warren J. Woodward, whose merit at the bar was eventually recognized by 
election to the bench of the Supreme Court. Stanley Woodward was admit- 
ted to the bar of Luzerne County in 1856, and came almost at once into a busy 
practice. During the Civil War, he was in military service, but later continued 
his law practice in Wilkes-Barre. As has been stated, his judicial career 
began in 1800. It did not end until the first day of the twentieth century. He 
was then quite willing to retire. Six years later, on March 29, 1906, he closed 
his eyes forever. 

In passing, it might be well to spread here a few notes regarding the dis- 
tinguished record of Judge Woodward's father, George Washington Wood- 
ward. The latter was born March 26, 1809, in Wayne County, Pennsylvania, 
son of Judge Abishai Woodward. After he had been given a good academic 
education, George W. began to read law in the Wilkes-Barre office of Garrick 
Mallery. In 1830 Woodward was admitted to the bar of Luzerne County. In 
the next year young Woodward took over the whole practice of Mr. Mallery, 
who had been appointed President Judge of Common Pleas of the Fourth 
Judicial District. Mr. Woodward continued in extensive law practice in 


AVilkes-Barre until 1841. with what success one might judge from the diary 
entry of a young Philadelphian, wdio was visiting in Wilkes-Barre in August. 
1840. The diary entry reads: 

I should like to remain here another day, as the ladies were telling me that there will be 
a general turnout of the Wilkes-Barre girls tomorrow — they having determined to visit the 
court "en masse" to hear a lawyer by the name of Woodward address the jury in behalf of 
four men on trial for murder. 

In 1841, Mr. Woodward followed his old law partner, Judge Mallery, on 
to the bench of the Fourth Judicial District, becoming, in his turn, the presi- 
dent judge of that district. Judge Woodward had done well in the Consti- 
tutional Convention of 1836, and was to give even more valuable service in a 
later Constitutional Convention, that of 1873. In 1844, he was Democratic 
candidate for United States Senator, but was defeated by Simon Cameron. In 
the next vear President Polk nominated Judge Woodward for a seat in the 
Supreme Court of the United States ; but Senate opposition brought the nom- 
ination to nought. Judge Woodward, however, had not given up his Common 
Pleas seat, and he continued as President Judge of the Fourth District until 
185 1. Then he declined nomination to succeed himself, preferring to resume 
law practice in Wilkes-Barre. Ere another year had passed, however. Judge 
Woodward was again in judicial robe, going, in 1852, to the State Supreme 
Court, in the place of Justice Coulter, deceased. In the fall of that year, he 
stood before the electors for confirmation of his appointment, and he secured 
election for a full term of fifteen years. For four years of this period he was 
Chief Justice of Pennsylvania. He was the unsuccessful candidate for the 
Governorship, against Andrew G. Curtin, in 1863. After retiring as Chief Jus- 
tice, he was elected to Congress, and was given a second term. Death came to 
him while he was in Rome, Italy, on May 10, 1875. 

Warren J. Woodward, into whose office Stanley Woodward went from 
Yale Law School in 1856, was another of that distinguished Wilkes-Barre 
family of lawyers to attain judicial eminence. In 1856 he was appointed 
President Judge of the Twenty-sixth Judicial District then created ; and at 
election time in that year was elected by the people. He resigned in 1861, to 
take like ofBce in the Twenty-third Judicial District, and. as president judge of 
this district, he was given a second term in 1871. In 1874, he was elected to 
the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, of which tribunal he was an associate 
justice until his death, in 1879, when in his sixtieth year. 

The fifth member of the same distinguished Wilkes-Barre family of law- 
yers to become a judge was John Butler Woodward, until 1925 a judge of 
Common Pleas of Luzerne County. He was a son of Judge Stanley Wood- 
ward. iVIr. Bedford draws attention to a somewhat interesting connection of 
the Woodward and McClintock families over the greater part of a century of 
prominence of both families at the bar of Luzerne County. He writes : 
" .... it is interesting to recall that in 1836 George W. Woodward moved 
the admission of Andrew T. McClintock. Twenty years later, in 1856, Andrew 
T. McClintock moved the admission of Judge Woodward's son, Stanley. 
.... After twenty years more, that is, in 1876, Stanley Woodward moved the 
admission of Mr. McClintock's son, Andrew H. McClintock. In 1885 Andrew 
H. McClintock moved the admission of J. Butler Woodward, and in 1912 J. 
Butler Woodward moved the admission of Gilbert S. McClintock ; thus this 
pleasant function descended from father to sons and grandsons, in the two 
families, in alternate succession." 

Reverting now to the direct story of the Eleventh Judicial District, it 
became apparent during the 'eighties that a second additional law judge would 
be needed to cope with the growth of court business. Since the resignation of 
President Judge Harding, at the end of 1879, after Lackawanna County had 
been separated from Luzerne, the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County 


had consisted of President Judge Rice and Additional Law Judge Stanley 
Woodward. In 1891, under the provisions of Act of April 29, 1891 (P. L. 35), 
which authorized the appointment of another additional law judge in the 
Eleventh District. Governor Beaver appointed John Lynch (1843-1910), who 
had lived in Wilkes-Barre most of his life. After preparatory course at the 
Wyoming Seminary, Lynch had entered the law office of Judge Harding. 
From 1865 until 1891, he practiced law in Wilkes-Barre, and was worthy of 
the preferment that Governor Beaver gave him in 1891. At the end of that 
year, he was elected for a full term, and, when reelected in 1901, he became 
president judge. He died in August, 1910. 

La 1895, upon the resignation of President Judge Rice to organize the 
Superior Court, Judge Stanley Woodward was advanced to President Judge 
of Common Pleas, and Lyman H. Bennett was appointed to the vacant addi- 
tional law judgeship. He was elected in due course, and on January i, 1896, 
began a full term of ten years. Death, however, came to him before he had 
completed three years (October i, 1898). 

He was succeeded by Gains Leonard Halsey (1845-1911). He was a native 
of Nesquehoning, Carbon County, but was educated at the Wilkes-Barre 
Academy, afterwards going to Tufts College, Massachusetts, from which he 
was graduated in 1867. After a period in civil service in Washington and 
Harrisburg, he studied law with Lyman Llakes and Charles E. Rice. He was 
admitted to the bar of Luzerne County in September, 1872, and from that time 
until 1898 practiced in Wilkes-Barre. His appointment to a judgeship was 
followed by election for a full term beginning January i, 1900. He lived only 
a year after retiring from the bench, death coming on February 16, 191 1. 

With the new century, it became necessary to still further enlarge the 
Common Pleas bench, to cope with the ever-increasing court calendar. On 
July II, 1901, therefore, act was passed (P. L. 655) which gave the Eleventh 
judicial District a third additional law judge. Frank W. Wheaton, a leading 
Wilkes-Barre lawyer, was appointed, and subsequently elected. He served 
until 1907, then resigning to resume his law practice which had been substan- 
tial. Judge Wheaton, born in Binghamton, New York, on August 2"], 1855, 
graduated from Yale in 1877, and studied law in the office of E. P. and J. V. 
Darling, of Wilkes-Barre. In September, 1879, he was admitted to the bar of 
Luzerne County. In 1890 he became a partner of his preceptors, and upon 
the death of J. V. Darling, in 1892, formed the law firm of Wheaton, Darling 
and Woodward. 

With the appointment of a third additional law judge in 1901, the judicial 
personnel of the Eleventh Judicial District was as follows : John Lynch, presi- 
dent judge ; Gains L. Halsey, George Steele Ferris, and Frank W. Wheaton, 
additional law judges. Judge Ferris (1849-1913), a native of Pittston, and a 
graduate of Allegheny College, Meadville, Pa., and Columbian Law School, 
Washington, District of Columbia, opened law office in Pittston in 1872. For 
almost thirty years thereafter, he maintained an extensive law practice. He 
was a Common Pleas Judge for eleven years, his term ending with the year 
191 1. After the death of Judge Lynch, in August, 1910, Judge Ferris became 
president judge. 

Upon the resignation of Judge Wheaton in 1907, Henry Amzi Fuller was 
appointed to succeed him. Judge Fuller is still in office, and for many years 
has been president judge. More regarding his distinguished career will be 
given later herein. Of "Mayflower" ancestry. Judge Fuller was born in 
Wilkes-Barre on January 15, 1855, son of Henry Mills Fuller, who became one 
of Wilkes-Barre's leading lawyers and eventually sat in Congress. Henry A. 
graduated at Princeton University in 1874, and then began to read law in the 
of^ce of Llenry W. Palmer at Wilkes-Barre. In January, 1877, he was admit- 
ted to the bar, and soon came into public notice as a lawyer. 


To succeed Judge Halsey at the end of 1909, John M. Garman was elected. 
He was born in Thompsontow'n, Juniata County, Pennsylvania, on December 
I, 1 85 1. After graduating from the Bloomsburg State Normal School in 1871, 
he taught school for thirteen years. While principal of Tunkhannock schools. 
he continued the reading of law he had begun at Mifflintown. He entered the 
law ofifice of William j\I. and James W. Pratt, of Tunkhannock, and in due 
course, in June, 1884, was admitted to the bar of W^yoming County. Remo\ - 
ing to Nanticoke in 1886, he was admitted to the Luzerne County Bar. He 
had developed an extensive law practice in Nanticoke before his elevation to 
the judiciary, in 1909. 

The death of Judge Lynch, in 1910, brought Benjamin R. Jones into Com- 
mon Pleas ofiice, by appointment, to serve from September of that year until 
the end of 191 1. Judge Jones was succeeded on January i, 1912, by Peter xA.. 
O'Boyle. who was of Irish birth, but had spent all but three years of his life 
in this country. He was onlv three years old when his parents, in 1864, set- 
tled at Pittston. Li the schools of that place he was educated, and in the office 
of Alexander Farnham he studied law. In 1885, he was admitted to practice at 
the bar of Luzerne County, and came into particular notice as district attorney. 

An opportunity to give Judge Jones a further term on the Common Pleas 
bench occurred in 1913. when, by Act of July 21, 1913 (P. L. 872). Luzerne 
County was permitted to have a fourth additional law judge. To this office 
Judge Jones was appointed, but he declined the honor. Thereupon Mr. Dan- 
iel A. Fell was appointed, to serve until the end of that year. In November, 
1913. Mr. J. B. WoodAvard, a former law partner of Judge Wheaton, and a son 
of Judge Stanley Woodward, was elected to succeed Judge Fell. Thus, he 
carried another generation of the famous Woodward family into the judiciary. 
He was well fitted to uphold the distinguished record of his family, but not 
until his death, in 1925, was it fully realized how widely he had been respected 
in his native city, by bench, bar, and laity. 

On April 6, 1925, Governor Pinchot appointed Attorney Clarence D. Cough- 
lin to the vacant judgeship. Born in Kingston, Luzerne County, July 27, 1883, 
son of probably the foremost educator of all time in Luzerne County — see 
Chapter LI\' — Judge Coughlin came to the bench well founded in academic 
and legal knowledge. After graduating at Harvard University, in 1906, he 
taught in schools of Luzerne County for some time, but took the legal exam- 
ination in 1910 and was admitted to the bar. In 1912 Attorney Coughlin fol- 
lowed Roosevelt in the Progressive campaign, but in 1917 was appointed 
county chairman of the Republican party. In 1920 he was elected to Congress 
from Luzerne County. After one Congressional term, he returned to the prac- 
tice of law. 

Associate Judge William Swan McLean, Jr., was born in Wilkes-Barre and 
is a graduate of Lafayette. He studied law under his father, and, during the 
\\'orld War distinguished himself in the military service, being decorated in 
France for bravery in action. After the war, he became colonel of the reor- 
ganized 109th Pennsylvania Field Artillery. In 1926, he became a brigadier- 
general. Judge McLean is the subject of more extensive reference in another 
volume. Associate Judge Benjamin R. Jones is also mentioned elsewhere. 
Associate Judge John S. Fine Avas elevated to the bench on January 3, 1927. 
one of the last judges appointed by Governor Pinchot. Judge Fine takes the 
vacant seat caused by the death of Judge Garman, November 25, 1926. The 
latter's judicial service had been especially good. It was his brilliance, as a 
lawyer, that in the first place brought him, a Democrat, enough votes in 1909 
to defeat Judge Halsey, who was standing for reelection. And it was his 
merit as a judge that caused Republicans to forego party considerations in 
reelecting Judge Garman in 1919. In the short time that Judge Fine has been 
on the bench, he has shown that he is a worthy successor of the deceased 


jurist. In the Domestic Relations Court his opinions are often unusual, but 
always logical, indicating that his hearings of multitudinous domestic differ- 
ences are not merely taken as matters of routine, but are marked by alertly 
reasoned and clearly grasped analyses of domestic problems. For example, 
one of his recent decrees in Non-Support Court indicated that wives who neg- 
lect their homes and go to dances unaccompanied by their husbands need not 
expect to find support orders awaiting them in his court. Judge Fine was 
born in Luzerne County, April lo, 1883, attended Nanticoke public schools, 
and took the law course at Dickinson College, graduating, as Bachelor of 
Laws, in 1914. In 1915 he was admitted to the bar of Luzerne County. He 
went to France, in military capacity, during the World War, and before 
returning home took a graduate course in law at Trinity College, Dublin. 

The only other member of the bench of Luzerne County in 1927 who has 
not yet been mentioned is Judge Eugene Foster Heller, who has charge of the 
Orphans' Court. It would perhaps be well to separately trace the history of 
this court. 

The Constitution of 1873 permitted counties in which 150,000 or more 
people resided to have a separate Orphans' Court. Indeed, it was mandatory 
in the case of counties of such size ; it was, likewise, mandatory that such 
separate orphans' courts established be conducted by a judge or judges 
"learned in the law." This was not to be a lay court, such as are orphans' 
courts in some states. According to the new Constitution, the orphans' courts 
of Pennsylvania were also to take over the jurisdiction of register's courts. 
Under the constitutional requirement, and particularly under Act of May 19, 
1874 (P. L. 206), a separate Orphans' Court for Luzerne County was formed, 
with Daniel la Porte Rhone as president judge. 

Judge Rhone was born in Luzerne County on January 19, 1838. He was edu- 
cated at Wyoming Seminary and at Dickinson. Admitted to the Bar of Luzerne 
County in April, 1861, just as the Civil War was beginning, the young lawyer 
did not begin practice until after the military call had been personally met. 
After the war, he settled in Wilkes-Barre to practice. For a term he was Dis- 
trict Attorney of Luzerne County, and as such became favorably known in 
professional and public circles. In 1874, he had no dil^culty in securing 
nomination and election to the Orphans' Court then created. Reelected in 
1884, he served another full term of ten years in this court. He will be remem- 
bered as the author of Rhone's "Practice and Process in the Orphans" Courts 
of Pennsylvania." He died March 29, 1908. 

His successor on the bench of the Orphans' Court, in 1895, was Alfred 
Darte, who was born at Dundaft', Pennsylvania, April 28, 1836, the son of 
Judge Alfred Darte. As a young man, Alfred Darte, Jr., followed the course 
at Wyoming Seminary and later read law in his father's office, in Susquehanna 
County. In May, 1859, young Darte was admitted to the Bar of Luzerne 
County, and settled at Kingston. When war broke out in 1861, Attorney 
Darte enlisted as a private in a Pennsylvania regiment of infantry. Soon he 
was commissioned and joined a troop of Pennsylvania cavalry. He was in 
command of a company of cavalry in Virginia in June, 1864, when severely 
wounded. This honorably ended his war service, and he returned to his pro- 
fessional work. He was prominent in the municipal affairs of Kingston, 
served two terms as District Attorney of Luzerne County. Judge Darte was 
Orphans' Court judge from the beginning of 1895 until his death on July 20. 
190 1. 

In October of that year George H. Troutman was appointed to the vacant 
judgeship, but in November of the same year another was elected Orphans' 
judge. The other lawyer, Andrew M. Freas, was elected for the full term of 
ten years, and at its expiration was reelected for a further ten years. Judge 
Troutman (1841-1909) was a native of Philadelphia, in which city he was 


admitted to the bar in 1862. He came to Luzerne County in 1874, and in that 
vear was admitted to the county bar. Judge Freas was born in Berwick, 
Pennsylvania, on October 31, 1862. He graduated from Bucknell University 
in 1886, and then took the law course of Yale l^niversity, graduating there- 
from in 1890. He entered the law office of Judge L}nch in \\'ilkes-Barre, and 
in 1891 was admitted to the Bar of Luzerne County. Ten years of capable 
practice brought him favorable public notice and the Orphans' Court judgeship. 

Eugene Foster Heller, who became Orphans" Court judge in 1921, was born 
in Hazleton, March 9, 1880. He was educated in Hazleton public schools, and 
at Dickinson College, graduating from the latter, as Bachelor of Laws, in iip5. 
Admitted to practice at the Luzerne County Bar in the same year, he opened 
an office in Wilkes-Barre, and soon came under favorable notice as a lawyer. 
He has earned even more favorable notice as a jurist. 

With this year, 1927, President Judge Fuller ends his second term of ten 
years as a judge of Common Pleas in the Eleventh District. Much to the 
regret of almost the entire bar of Luzerne County, President Judge Fuller has 
announced that he will not seek reelection. During recent years, however, he 
has been called upon to make some difficult decisions, some in which his 
sterling integrity as a jurist and profound knowledge of law drew him to 
decisions which were not liked by the average citizen nor by the politicians. 
Especially is he popularly criticized for his recent decision in the coal tax 
assessment appeals. But Judge Fuller has never put office first. Recently, he 
remarked to newspapermen : "Certain individuals and journals have inti- 
mated that by the decision ( Coal Tax Assessment Appeals, which, if upheld, 
will, it is asserted, bring bankrutpcy to some municipalities) I drove a big 
long nail into my political coffin. If that be so, I am quite content with the 
prospect of a political interment and willing to drive a few more nails of the 
sort if they ought to be driven." If he retires, he will do so with honor. He 
had never permitted outside interests to in any way swerve him from a judicial 
decision that his understanding of the law dictated. His opinions have made 
him widely known. They show characteristics somewhat like those of the 
peerless Gibson, particularly in their originality of thought and freedom from 
the entangled chains of quoted legal precedents. Invariably logical, always 
forceful. Judge Fuller occasionally originates a striking phrase to add empha- 
sis to his thought. It was he who described reckless autoists as "wild asses of 
the macadam."' Judge Fuller is esteemed by almost every member of the bar 
of his district, and the regret will be general if he should hold to his determina- 
tion not to be a candidate for reelection. His retirement from the bench will 
be a distinct loss to Luzerne County. 

In reviewing the history of the courts of Luzerne County, the survey has 
necessarily been largely of the bar of the county. But some of the most 
capable lawyers have never sought judicial office. One of the most successful 
Wilkes-Barre lawyers of the last century was Andrew T. AlcClintock, "who 
gave more years to the continuous practice of law than any other member of 
the Luzerne bar." He was admitted to the bar in 1836. Three decades later 
(1867) "lawyers and laymen alike and by a common instinct turned to Mr. 
McClintock, and persistently urged him to accept the place" of additional law 
judge. Mr. McClintock, though grateful, then declared: "I am adverse to 
public life and greatly prefer the bar to the bench." He appeared regularly in 
court vmtil he was seventy-five years old, "and for the remaining seven years 
of his life he rarely missed a day at his law office," writes George R. Bedford 
in his "Early Recollections," a paper that he read before the Wyoming His- 
torical and Geological Society in November, 191 7. Mr. Bedford's own life 
story is another instance. Admitted to the Bar of Luzerne County in 1862, 
when Wilkes-Barre's population was not much more than four thousand, 
George R. Bedford continuously practiced for more than sixty years; and not 


once during- all those years did Mr. Bedford seek public office. As he himself 
wrote: "In all these years I have never held public office, but have ever been 
content with the private station and the practice of my profession." Mr. Bed- 
ford was signally honored in 191 1 by election to the presidency of the Penn- 
sylvania Bar Association; but he did not regard this office as public. With 
the exception of Mr. Alexander Farnham, who was admitted in 1855 and was 
still in fairly active practice in 1917,* Mr. Bedford at the time he wrote his 
"Recollections" was the only surviving lawyer of those who were in practice 
at the time he was admitted. In sixty years of continuous association with 
the members of the Luzerne County Bar, he had come to know most of them 
intimately, and also to see most of the eminent men of what he terms the "Old 
Bar" pass away. No one is, therefore, better citialified to write of the Bar 
of Luzerne County; and, if the writer of this might interject an opinion, 
readers might peruse a dozen reminiscent articles before finding one as inter- 
estingly written as that which this veteran of the local bar, George R. Bed- 
ford, put into historical record in 191 7. Having little space available, the 
writer cannot do more than touch here and there a few of the richest gems 
of Bench and Bar information contained in Mr. Bedford's "Early Recollec- 
tions," which take up the first 107 pages of Volume XVI (1918) of the Pro- 
ceedings of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society. 

His reminiscences go back even as far as 1848, when he witnessed the wel- 
come tendered to Captain (later Judge) Edmund L. Dana upon his return 
home with his company of Wyoming Artillerists from active service in Mexico. 
It was a "turnout of practically the Avhole valley," the reception and parade 
being followed by an address of welcome delivered by Judge John N. 

Mr. Bedford writes even of one of the first four attorneys on the organiza- 
tion of the county in 1787 — of Putnam Catlin, or rather of Putnam's son, 
George Catlin, who was born in Wilkes-Barre in 1796, was admitted to the bar 
in 1819, but who soon forsook law for art. Catlin became famous for his por- 
traiture of Indians, his collection of Indian portraits ultimately finding honored 
place at the National Museum at Washington. Once, it seems, George Catlin 
was in France, received in audience by King Louis Philippe, who told him that 
more than fifty years earlier, in 1797, when an exile, he had stayed over night 
"at a little village named Wilkes-Barre." By the way, the first four attorneys 
admitted to practice at the Bar of Luzerne County were Ebenezer Bowman, 
Putnam Catlin, Roswell Welles and William Nichols. Roswell Welles, who 
married a daughter of Zebulon Butler, was "an accomplished lawyer and a 
finished orator." 

]\Iany of the early lawyers Mr. Bedford mentions have already been 
referred to in their judicial connections. As Mr. Bedford says, the Bar of 
Luzerne County, as a whole, from early times, was known throughout the 
State and was recognized as of marked ability. He points to Luzerne County's 
contribution of "Justices George W. Woodward and Warren J. Woodward to 
the bench of the Supreme Court ; Garrick Mallery, a very distinguished law- 
yer, to the bench of Berks and Northampton counties ; Oristus Collins to the 
bench of Lancaster County ; Luther Kidder to the bench of Schuylkill and 
Carbon counties ; Winthrop W. Ketcham to the United States District Court 
for the Western District of Pennsylvania ; Charles E. Rice as President Judge 
of the Superior Court, and Henry M. Hoyt to the Governorship of Pennsyl- 
vania." Mr. Bedford takes pride in remarking that "the professional career 
of each of these eminent lawyers prior to his advancement was of the Luzerne 
Bar." The careers of most of these great lawyers have already been reviewed 

*Mr. Farnham died in February, 1920. He had been a member of the bar for sixty-five 
years, a record Mr. Bedford him-self did not quite equal. 


At the time of Mr. Bedford's admission to the Luzerne Count}^ Bar, there 
were not more than forty lawyers resident in the county. Fifty-five years 
later, in 1917, there were about three hundred. Confining his reminiscences to 
the "Old Bar," Attorney Bedford devotes three pages to the life of Judge John N, 
Convngham, "the acknowledged leader of the bar at the time of his election to 
the bench in 1839." Ex-Judge Oristus Collins, who was admitted in 1819, 
spent some years in Lancaster County as a judge, but returned to Wilkes- 
Barre to practice in 1839. He was still in practice in 1862, when Mr. Bedford 
was admitted, and is described by the latter as "a striking figure, considerably 
above the average height, very erect, long white hair, deep-toned voice and 
withal a venerable appearance." At that time Judge Collins was in his 'seven- 
ties. He lived to the venerable age of ninety-two years. His "very decided 
vein of humor" was illustrated by the following anecdote: "On one occasion, 
in the earlv days of the Bar Association, he remarked to Judge Conyngham in 
court "that he had just visited the law library and had painfully observed the 
absence of a volume which was the fountain of legal principles,' whereupon he 
drew from its concealment a copy of the Bible and begged the court's accept- 
ance of it from him as a gift to the library then being formed." 

Hendrick B. Wright, who was admitted in 183 1, practiced for more than 
fifty years. He was a man of "particularly fine presence and address ; had 
exceptional power as a public speaker, and his sway over the jury was phe- 
nomenal.'' "On one occasion," narrates Bedford, "at the conclusion of the 
evidence in the case on trial, opposing counsel submitted points of law which 
he requested the court to embody in the charge to the jury. The judge asked 
Colonel Wright if he desired to submit any points, whereupon he answered, 
with almost dramatic manner: 'Points, your Honor! Points! What care I 
for points? These twelve honest men in the jury box are my points" — and so 
they proved." yiv. Wright had "a great power of ridicule." Judge Stanley 
A\'oodward, who had man}' times been opposed to him, declared "that Colonel 
^^"right laughed more cases out of court than the average lawyer won after 
most careful preparation." He became prominent in politics also ; was chosen 
.to preside over the National Convention at Baltimore that nominated James 
K. Polk for the Presidency, in 1844; and earlier, in the State Legislature, he 
had been one of the most stalwart supporters of Governor Porter, in the fight 
to prevent the Commonwealth from repudiating payment of interest on the 
State debt. 

]\[r. Bedford's list of distinguished lawyers of the Luzerne Bar includes 
Volney L. Maxwell, admitted in 1831, an ofiice lawyer of high standing; Caleb 
W. Wright, admitted in 1833, "a ready speaker, very self-contained and apt at 
repartee." and, moreover, "the author of several works of fiction of decided 
merit"'; Charles Denison, grandson of Nathan, admitted in 1840, a very popu- 
lar lawyer, elected to Congress in 1862, "by the largest majority up to that 
time ever given to any candidate in Luzerne County"' ; Lyman Hakes, admit- 
ted April 6, 1841, who, I\Ir. Bedford ventured to say, "had greater success in 
the defense of men charged with crime than any lawyer ever had at the 
Luzerne Bar"; Henry ]\L Fuller, admitted in 1842, one of the most distin- 
guished lawyers of his time and cut down when seemingly in his prime of 
manhood and professional prestige; Lazarus D. Shoemaker, admitted in 1842, 
who was a capable lawyer, but more inclined to seek the excitement of politics, 
eventually stepping from the State Senate to the National Congress ; ]\Iilton 
Dana, brother of Judge Edmund L. Dana, admitted in 1846; George Byron 
Nicholson, admitted in 1848, "one of the brightest legal lights of his day," a 
"past master in the art of special pleading," and most successful as a trial 
laAvyer, only because he was well aware of his own weakness, never having 
been known "to argue his case to the court or the jury — that duty being per- 
formed by some other lawyer of ready speech, whom he associated with him- 


self for that purpose alone." Not every capable speaker is alert enough to 
see when his own personality begins to pall upon his audience. Attorney 
Nicholson apparently had this gift. Asa R. Brundage, admitted in 1849, was a 
very capable trial lawyer, but clung to office work ; and so perhaps did not 
advance as far as he might have into public notice ; Garrick M. Harding, admit- 
ted in 1850, was "a conspicuous figure in both the civil and criminal courts of 
the county" ; Winthrop W. Ketcham, admitted in 1850, "decidedly a self- 
made man," forged ahead at the bar, on the bench, and in public life by his own 
sheer merit ; Stephen S. Winchester, a newspaperman who came to Wilkes- 
Barre in 1853 ^o practice law and edit a newspaper, succeeded as a lawyer ; 
Charles Pike, admitted in 1853, was an astute lawyer, partner of Hendrick B. 
Wright; Samuel P. Longstreet, admitted in 1855, a most careful lawyer, who 
succeeded well at law, failed as a business man, and finally found competence 
in the ministry ; the brothers Edward P. and J. Vaughn Darling were both 
brilliant lawyers; Agib Ricketts, admitted in 1857, was the "foremost chan- 
cery solicitor at the bar" ; Jerome G. Miller was successful in commercial law ; 
Robert C. Shoemaker, admitted in 1859, was a man of "high ideals and abso- 
lute personal integrity." "No member of the bar and no citizen of the town 
commanded greater respect and esteem than Robert C. Shoemaker," wrote his 
"closest friend," George R. Bedford. 

Mr. Bedford's sketches, w^hich should be read at length, are limited to the 
"Old Bar," the dividing line between "Old" and "New" being the first year of 
the Civil War period. Many Luzerne County lawyers have made brilliant 
records since that time, but, as Mr. Bedford writes : "To extend the sketches 
to take in any considerable portion of the very large number since admitted is 
simply impracticable, and any section might seem invidious." The writer of 
this survey of Bench and Bar is of the same opinion, but much information as 
to the bar of today will be found in appropriate place in the biographical 
department of this work. 



Luzerne County, as originally bounded, embraced a considerable part of 
northeastern Pennsylvania. From the mouth of the Nescopeck Creek, oppo- 
site Berwick, northward to the New York line, "a distance of 150 miles by the 
rough bridle paths of that day," is the region in which the historian must look 
for trace of white settlements of the eighteenth century, if he should have a 
desire to base the medical history of Luzerne County properly. The journey 
has already been taken and recorded in earlier chapters of the current work. 
In Chapter XXXV will be found some mention of early physicians and preach- 
ers, but only passing mention, only to the extent that these pioneers came into 
the general subject under review. It is. therefore, advisable to go further into 
early records in beginning this chapter of medical history. 

The first physician to practice his profession in the Wyoming Valley seems 
to have been Dr. J. M. Otto, for whom an Indian Runner was despatched to 
Bethlehem, in i/SS- The Moravian missionary among the Indians, Christian 
Frederick Post, had, it seems, sustained a leg fracture while passing through 
the Wyoming Valley, and it was to attend to him that Dr. Otto came. He 
remained a week, then returning to Bethlehem, the Moravian settlement. 

Of course. Dr. Otto cannot be looked upon as the pioneer physician of the 
Wyoming Valley. That honor seems to rest, and rightly, with Dr. Joseph 
Sprague. He came with his family from Poughkeepsie, New York, between 
1770 and 1772. His name appears in the original "List of Settlers on Susque- 
hanna River, October, 1771."' 'T^he prospective profits from land speculation 
probably contributed more," says Hollister, "to bringing him hither than anv 
expectation of professional emolument or advantage in a wilderness." For 
such the region was at that time. Dr. Frederick C. Johnson writes : " . . . . there 
was little opportunity in a vast wilderness like Westmoreland (by which name 
the region is recorded in the Connecticut records) for the practice of medicine 
in the earlier days. The population was widely scattered and — what was a 
greater obstacle to doctors than all else — hardy. The sturdy life of the pioneer 
had few emergencies which called for medical interference. Under these cir- 
cumstances, the doctors who came had necessarily to identify themselves with 
other callings, in order to earn a living. Like other settlers, they took up 
tracts of land, or 'pitches' as spoken in the language of that day. Sometimes it 
was for making homes for themselves, but as often it was for speculation." 

The early settlers sulTered mostly from fever and ague. In almost all set- 
tlement history of the American wilderness these "febrile disorders of the 
malarial type" have been the sicknesses that have sometimes prostrated whole 
communities, threatening to bring to nought the determined efforts of even 
the sturdiest most heroic pioneers to wrest a living from the wilderness. 
"Fever and ague." says Pearce, "has raged at various periods along the Sus- 
quehanna, ever since the white man lived on its banks, and even earlier, for 
Shikellimus, the viceroy of the Six Nations, died at Shamokin (now Sunbury) 
from this malady in 1749." It is not strange that settlement history so com- 
monly refers to fever and ague. In those days, there were no roads. The 
waterways were the natural means of transportation, the access to the outer 
world. All else was wilderness, the dense vegetation penetrated here and 
there by footpaths — Indian trails that never wandered far from the water- 
ways, or if they did, only to tread a path to some other waterway. So the 
white settlers clung to the river reaches — the malarial zones. 



Fever and ague were prostrating diseases, but not nearly so dreaded, by 
Indian or white, as smallpox. The French, when in occupation of that part of 
Pennsylvania which is in the Ohio Valley, found that smallpox was epidemic 
in the Indian towns. They hoped that it would spread to hostile Indian tribes 
of the region, if not to other humans that were challenging their right to the 
region — the English colonists of Virginia and Pennsylvania. Smallpox, again, 
was the disease that swept away the winning strength, the conquering spirit, 
of those heroic Americans who, in 1775, essayed to capture Quebec and add 
Canada as the fourteenth confederated colony. Whether or not the retreating 
remnants of that disease-ridden army in 1776 may be deemed to have been the 
principal carrying agents of the disease, certainly smallpox in 1776 and 1777 
was epidemic in many parts of the thirteen colonies. It swept over the little 
settlement at AVyoming in 1777, the infection, it is said, being brought from 
Philadelphia. Dr. Johnson, in his "Pioneer Physicians of the Wyoming Val- 
ley," a paper contributed to the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society's 
Proceedings in 1888, writes as to this first epidemic in the Wyoming Valley as 
follows: "Vaccination being then unknown, the only means for combatting 
the disease was innoculation. Great alarm prevailed, but a town meeting was 
held and measures were taken to fight the disease with the utmost vigor, the 
result being to allay the public fear and to keep the disease within bounds. 
Persons desiring this protection could not receive the virus at their own 
homes, but were compelled to resort to a pest-house, one of which was estab- 
lished in each township, half a mile from a traveled road. As far as possible 
these rude hospitals were quarantined." 

Indians feared smallpox more than aught else, and whites seemed instinc- 
tively to look upon Indians as the chief carrying agents of the dreaded malady. 
Pearce gives the information that when the marauding Indians entered Forty 
Fort on the day of the massacre, the quick-witted women cried out "Small- 
pox!'' in the hope of frightening the Indians away. Unfortunately, the ruse 
did not succeed, and the Indians went on with their bloody work. 

Typhus fever was present in the valley in 1778, says Pearce. In 1780, 
according to Miner, an endemic fever prevailed. "It was widespread in extent 
and distressing in its severity. An unusually hot summer was followed by an 
autumn of unprecedented sickness. On the Kingston side of the river, the 
prevailing malady was fever — remittent and intermittent, of a particularly 
severe type," writes Dr. Johnson. "Dr. Wm. Hooker Smith skilfully dis- 
pensed calomel, tartar emetic and Jesuit bark, and the number of deaths, 
though considerable, bore a very small proportion to the great number 
afflicted. In the next year, 1781, typhus was again present, adding to the dis- 
tress caused by the remittent and intermittent fever. Lydia, the wife of Colo- 
nel Zebulon Butler, died of typhus. A servant of Capt. Mitchell fell dead at 
the fort. A son of Capt. Durkee died of nose bleed." A contagious disease 
called "putrid fever," raged in the settlement in the spring of 1778. The wife 
of Dr. William H. Smith died of it. So the pioneer physicians were called 
upon to combat the ravages of diseases that baffled their knowledge of medical 
science. As a matter of fact, medical science was still, to all intents, in the 
"dark ages" — at least by comparison with the astounding steps forward into 
enlightenment it made in the second half of the nineteenth century, and the 
phenomenal advance medical science has made in the first quarter of this. 

JNIiner says that Dr. Sprague was in the Wyoming Valley as early as 1770, 
further that this "may be regarded as the date of the first settlement of Wyom- 
ing." When Dr. Sprague first viewed the town plot, it "was covered with 
pitch pines and scrub oak." A stockade at Mill Creek fenced in the inhabi- 
tants. Besides the wife of Dr. Sprague, Wilkes-Barre Township then had only 
five white women in residence. Within the settlement of about an acre, the 
whole community dwelt. The men, armed and ready for any emergency, left 


the stockade each morning, going- to their farm lots. At sundown, or before, 
they returned. There were only a few log houses within the stockade, and of 
those Dr. Sprague's was the largest. Because of its size, and also probably 
because of the diminutive proportions of Dr. Sprague's professional earnings, 
the house was also the boarding house of the settlement. Much of the good 
doctor's time was given to other than professional afifairs. "For bread they 
used corn meal," writes 3iliner. "as the only mill in the settlement was a samp 
mortar for pounding grain. Dr. Sprague would take his horse with as much 
wheat as it could carry and go out to Coshutunk (Cochecton) on the Dela- 
ware to have it ground. A bridle path was the only road, and seventy or 
eighty miles to mill was no trifling distance. While at the Delaware settle- 
ment having his grist ground, he would buy a few spices and a runlet (small 
cask) of Antigua rum. The cakes baked from the flour, and the liquor, were 
kept as dainties for some special occasion, or when emigrants of note came in 
from Connecticut. 

"No furniture, except homemade, was yet in the settlement. Venison and 
shad were plenty, but salt was a treasure. All were elate with hope, and the 
people for a time were never happier. 

"But soon w^ork came for Dr. Sprague. Zebulon, a son of Capt. Zebulon But- 
ler, died, also two daughters of Rev. Jacob Johnson, and Peregrine Gardner and 
Thomas Robinson. Lazarus Young was drowaied in bringing up mill-irons for 
the Hollenback mill. At this time the Indians were numerous about the set- 
tlement, some of them very friendly, belonging to the Moravian Society. For 
about two years the people made their headquarters at the fort, then became 
numerous and feeling secure, they scattered over the valley." As a matter of 
fact, there were no Indian towais in the Wyoming Valley, which had been to them "after the tragic death of Teedyuscung in 1763." Those 
Indians that came to the fort w^ere from the encampment at Friedenshutten 

There are many township records that relate to Dr. Sprague. One reads : 
"W^ilksbury. Sept. 30, 1771. Voted in town meeting that Doctor Joseph 
Sprague shall have a settling in one of ye five towns." On December 17, 1771, 
at a town meeting at Wilkes-Barre, it was resolved "that Joseph Sprague (and 
others named) have each a settling right in ye towaiship of Lackaw'orna." 
Another town meeting minute reads : "At a meeting of the inhabitants of 
Wyoming, legally warned and held at Wilkes-Barre, January 21st, 1772, it was 
Resolved, that Dr. Joseph Sprague shall have a settling right in the Township 
of Wilkes-Barre provided he gives bond for Fifty Dollars to Capt. Butler 
and the rest of the Committee for the use of the Company." He executed a 
satisfactory bond within a month, as the records show. 

Dr. Sprague did not become one of the permanent residents of Wilkes- 
Barre. Hollister writes : "Of the yet uninhabited forest, called in the ancient 
records 'Ye Town of Lackaworna,' Dr. Sprague was one of the original pro- 
prietors For a period of thirteen years (1772 to 1785), wath the excep- 
tion of the summer of 1778, Dr. Sprague lived near the Lackawanna, between 
Spring Brook and Pittston, in happy seclusion, practicing medicine when 
opportunity oflr'ered, and in fishing, hunting and farming, until, with the other 
Yankee settlers, he was driven from the Valley in 1784 by the Pennamites. 
He died in Connecticut." Miner says that Dr. Sprague died in Virginia, and 
other records testify to Dr. Sprague's presence, as a resident, in Wilkes-Barre 
in 1774 and 1776. 

That Dr. Sprague speculated to some extent in land is indicated by the 
record of "May ij, 1772. Joseph Sprague, of Wilkes-Barre, conveys to Jere- 
miah Blanchard, of Coventry, Kent County, Rhode Island, for £50, one set- 
tling right 'in township of Lackawanna, so called.' " In the final distribution 
of lots to the proprietors of Wilkes-Barre, in the spring of 1772, Dr. Sprague 


drew four lots. In March, 1774, he was living on Lot. No. 30. Third Division 
of Wilkes-Barre ; and a realty transaction of 1776 indicates that he was still 
upon that lot. In October, 1776, he sold "the whole of said lot on which I 
now dwell — to extend from the Centre Street (now Main Street) eastward." 
The purchaser was Darius Spofford. On March 9, 1774, Dr. Sprague deeded 
to Dr. Samuel Cook, of Poughkeepsie, New York, thirty-five acres at Jacob's 
Plains. This sale was not completed, apparently, for in July of the same year 
Dr. Sprague sold it to Dr. William Hooker Smith, for £100. 

From Wyoming, on November 25, 1786, Dr. Sprague addressed a letter to 
the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, complaining of the injustice 
heaped upon the Connecticut settlers by Pennsylvanians. "The true State of 
afares here at Wyoming is," he wrote, "a total Rejection of government." 
However, he had not taken contentedly to the Trenton decree, and he was 
somewhat out of favor in Pennsylvania governmental circles. 

The reviewer must not end his sketching of Dr. Sprague's life until Eunice 
(Chapman) Sprague, his second wife, has been brought into the picture, for 
she, too, was among the pioneer practitioners of the Wyoming Valley. At 
some time between 1786 and 1790 Mrs. Sprague, of Wilkes-Barre, filed in the 
Luzerne County Court a libel in divorce against "Joseph Sprague of sd Wilkes- 
Barre, Practitioner of Physic." The libellant addressed "the Hon. Thos. 
McKean, Doctor of Laws, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Penna, and 
his Associate Justices of the same Court," setting forth that her grounds for 
divorce were "barbarous and cruel treatment." The divorce was granted, and 
"Granny" Sprague, as she was aft'ectionately known, lived on in Wilkes- 
Barre, in active obstetrical practice, almost to her death, in April, 1814, when 
she was eighty-two years old. Dr. Frederick C. Johnson writes : "The influ- 
ence of her husband's medical skill was not lost on the wife, and when thrown 
on her own resources she engaged in midwifery, and practice among children, 
for which by nature she was well fitted." 

Dr. Hollister writes of her as follows : "Dr. Sprague's widow, known 
through the settlement as Granny Sprague, returned to Wyoming in 1785, and 
lived in a small log house then standing in Wilkes-Barre on the southwest 
corner of Main and Union streets. She was a worthy old lady, prompt, cheer- 
ful and successful, and at this time the sole accoucheur in all the wide domain 
now embraced by Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming counties. Although 
of great age, her obstetrical practice as late as 1810 surpassed that of any 
physician in this portion of Pennsylvania. For attending a case of accouch- 
ment, no matter how distant the journey, how long or fatiguing the detention, 
this sturdy and faithful woman invariably charged one dollar for services 
rendered, although a larger fee was never turned away if anyone was able or 
rash enough to pay more." 

Dr. William Hooker Smith, who took up residence in the Wyoming Val- 
ley soon after the coming of Dr. Sprague, was of better public record than the 
latter. Dr. Smith was born in 1724, and is of Wilkes-Barre record in 1772. 
Soon afterwards, he acquired land and settled, he and his son-in-law, James 
Sutton, purchasing, on February i, 1773, three tracts in Kingston Township. 
Dr. Smith's house-lot of five acres was No. 29. His son-in-law settled at 
Jacob's Plains (now Plains). This perhaps was the land that Dr. Smith 
acquired from Dr. Sprague in July, 1774. 

Possibly, no professional rivalry existed, but certainly those two pioneer 
physicians of the Wyoming region did not recognize that they, as a medical 
fraternity, should stand together as models of peace, amity and professional 
accord. Dr. Smith was a justice of the peace, also Associate Justice of Com- 
mon Pleas, in 1787. Dr. Sprague was also connected with the court, but in the 
humble office of crier. Whether his offense was in the courtroom or outside 


is not stated, but Dr. Sprague certainly aroused the judicial ire of his confrere 
in medicine, as the following entry on the docket of Justice Smith shows : 

Be it remembered that on the 29th day of October, 1788, Joseph Sprague of the county of 
Luzerne, mason, is convicted before me, one of the Justices of the Peace, etc., of swearing 
seven profane oaths, by the name of God, and I do adjudge him to forfeit for the same and for 
each oath, the sum of 5 shillings. 

To the gaol keeper of the County of Luzerne: You are hereby required to take the body 
of Joseph Sprague and keep him in close custody the time appointed by an Act of this State 
intitled an Act to prevent vice, immorality etc., dated in 1786 unless he the said Sprague shall 
pay the several sums, with the cost to wit — 5 shillings for each oath. 

Wm. Hooker Smith. (L. S.) 
Justice of the Peace. 

These two physicians, in 1772, were the only two practitioners in a terri- 
tory of one hundred and fifty miles — from Cochecton on the Delaware to Sun- 
bury. Hollister writes of Dr. Smith as follows : "The doctor was a plain 
practical man, a tirm adherent to the theory of medicine as taught and prac- 
ticed by our sturdy ancestors of those early days. He was an unwavering 
phlebotomist. Armed with huge saddle-bags, rattling with gallipots and vials 
and thirsty lance, he sallied forth on horseback over the rough country calling 
for his services and many were the cures issuing from the unloosed vein. No 
matter what the nature or location of the disease, bleeding promptly and 
largely, with a system of diet, drink and rest, was enforced on the patient with 
an earnestness and a success that gave him a widespread reputation as a 

Dr. Smith is of military record. He was with Sullivan in the march north- 
ward in Iroquois country in 1779; and from July 3, 1778, until the end of the 
war. Dr. Smith was the post surgeon at Wilkes-Barre. 

As to another of the activities of Dr. Smith, Johnson writes : "The then 
hidden mineral wealth of the Wyoming Valley and adjacent territory, now 
making Luzerne County the fourth in importance in the Commonwealth of 
Pennsylvania, was early recognized by this pioneer physician. Dr. Smith was 
a man of many eccentricities, but he was a generation ahead of his time in 
recognizing the existence of our subterranean mineral treasures, and in making 
purchases of lands, of little market value then, but destined to become sources 
of great wealth when the deposits of coal should become known. The use of 
coal, except as it had been burned under a bellows blast in the smithy's forge 
of Obadiah Gore, was wholly unknown, and its availability for domestic fuel 
was not recognized until Jesse Fell discovered in 1808 that anthracite coal 
could be burned in an ordinary grate, without the aid of a bellows or other 
artificial draft. Yet we find Dr. Smith, as early as 1791, purchasing the right 
— the first in our local annals — to dig iron ore and mine stone coal near Pitt- 
ston. The first purchase was made of a Mr. Scott, of Pittston, for the sum 
of five shillings, Pennsylvania currency. Numerous other such investments 
were made by Dr. Smith throughout the valley between 1791 and 1798, the 
result being to stamp the purchaser as an enthusiast and to make him the 
object of ridicule. 

"He located permanently on the Lackawanna two or three miles above 
Pittston, at a place since known as Old Forge, from the fact that he and his 
son-in-law, James Sutton, erected a forge there in 1789, for converting ore of 
the locality into iron. The forge produced iron for several years, the product 
being floated down the Susquehanna to market. The ore was, however, 
lacking in quality and quantity, competition had sprung up at Slocum Hollow, 
now Scranton, and the enterprise had to be abandoned. Dr. Smith removed up 
the Susquehanna to a point near Tunkhannock, where he died July 17, 18 15, 
at the age of ninety-one years." 

Perusal of some of the correspondence of Dr. Smith indicates that he was a 
man of superior education — much superior to his fellow-pioneer, Dr. Sprague, 


who in the communication before quoted wrote : "Know one Dare to say one 
word in behalf of government .... as he would amedely fall a Sacrifice to 
Lawles and arbartary Power ; for this Reason thar is many good Sitezens" and 
so forth. No such illiterate evidences are seen in Dr. Smith's compositions. 
On of his last literary efforts might be quoted — his will. It was written in his 
own hand in i8io, and reads : 

"I recommend my soul to Almighty God that gave it to me, nothing doubt- 
ing but that I shall be finally happy. My destiny, I believe, was determined 
unalterably before I had existence. God does not leave any of his works at 
random subject to change, but in what place and when and how I shall be 
happy, I know not. Now to the sacred spring of all mercies and original foun- 
tain of all goodness, to the Infinite and Eternal Being, whose purpose is unal- 
terable, whose power and dominion is without end, whose compassion fails 
not, to the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity and dwells in light, be 
glory, majesty, dominion and power, now and forevermore. Amen." Some of 
this composition is in the phraseology of the Common Prayer Book of the 
Church, but much of it is original and indicates a cultured mind. Dr. Smith 
comes almost into the exalted class of the learned sages of mediaeval times, in 
one respect. He gave considerable study to alchemy, and, late in life fully 
believed that he had discovered the secret of transmuting base metals into 
gold. A few years before his death, he went so far as to publish a book on the 
subject. Its title page reads: "Alchymy Explained and Made Familiar; or, 
A Drop of Honey for a Despairing Alchymist ; Collected from the Alchymist's 
Rock or Philosopher's Stone. By Wm. Hooker Smith, M. D.. Putnam Town- 
ship, Luzerne County, Jan. i, 1811. Printed for the author." Possibly. Dr. 
Smith had higher hopes than of turning iron-ore at Old Forge into iron. In 
any case, however, Dr. Smith comes into Luzerne County history chiefly as a 
physician. Aliner sums up Dr. Smith's life, when he writes, in Appendix, 
p. 43: "Dr. Smith filled a large place in public estimation at Wyoming for 
nearly half a century. A man of great sagacity and tact, as well as of an 
excellent education, his influence was extensively felt and acknowledged. For 
many years he held the front rank as a physician." .... 

A daughter of Dr. Smith married Dr. Lemuel Gustin, who had studied 
medicine under Dr. Smith. Gustin may have come at the same time as Smith. 
It seems that he was born in Connecticut in 1749, "and came to \\'yoming 
about the time he attained his majority." At the time of the death of his wife, 
of putrid fever, in June, 1778, their daughter was three years old; so it would 
seem that Dr. Gustin was in the Wyoming Valley prior to the Revolution. 
Some months before the death of his wife. Dr. Gustin, on March 10. 1778, 
bought a house-lot of Israel Walker, in Kingston. 

P)Oth Dr. Smith and his son-in-law Lemuel Gustin come as surgeons 
notably into the Battle of Wyoming records. Dr. Gustin "was one of the last 
to leave the bloody field." After the battle, Dr. Gustin and his father-in-law 
put their families "on a raft or rude boat and escaped down the Susquehanna." 
Dr. Gustin settled at Carlisle, and there practiced medicine until his death, in 
1805. This worthy pioneer physician is referred to in a Cumberland \ alley 
history, "Men of Mark of Cumberland Valley, Pa.," as "a man of great 
strength and activity, as well as of courage." The sketch continues ; '"While 
the Indians were plundering Forty Fort one attempted to take some property 
or apparel from the doctor. He resisted and giving the Indian a trip, threw 
him to the ground. The other Indians were so much pleased at the doctor's 
courage and activity that they handed him a rope and said: 'Indian is a 
drunken dog. Tie him !' " 

The records are not quite clear as to some of the names that come into 
medical history. Anderson Dana was in the region not long after the coming 
of Dr. Smith, it would seem. Bradsby's "History of Luzerne County," i^age 


2'i3, states that when, in 1773. the Connecticut settlers organized the Town of 
Westmoreland, "a subscription paper was circulated to raise a sufficient sum 
to induce a physician to locate in the (sic, and) practice among' them, and 
this brought Dr. Anderson Dana." He does not come further into medical 
records, but comes cjuite prominently into the legal records, as one of the two 
pioneer attorneys of the region. He was killed at the Battle of Wyoming. 

The name, Anderson Dana, however, comes into the record of another 
similar effort to induce a physician to settle among them. Dr. Johnson says 
that, in 1773, Dr. John Calkins visited the Wyoming \'alley. He came from 
New London, Connecticut, and the people, '"desirous of inducing him to settle 
among them, drew up a subscription," which proposed "to pay Dr. John Cal- 
kins, in case he should settle among us in the quality of a physician, the sum 
set opposite to our names, the money to be laid out in land for his benefit and 
use." Among the signers was Anderson Dana, whose subscription of £2.8s.od. 
was the largest. According to Miner, Calkins was "a noted surgeon." Appar- 
ently, the prospect was not especially appealing to Dr. Calkins, for two years 
later further encouragement was held out. On September 11, 1775, Anderson 
Dana and Jabez Fish conveyed to Dr. John Calkins a parcel of land, the con- 
veyance paper reading: "In consideration that Doctor John Calkins settle in 
the District of Wilkes-Barre in Westmoreland, as a physician, do give to said 
John Calkins one certain parcel of land lying in said District of Wilkes-Barre." 
Whether Dr. Calkins settled in Wilkes-Barre is somewhat doubtful, but he 
was certainly in the district often during the years 1775 to 1788. He boarded 
himself and his horse with Elisha Blackman, at somewhat irregular intervals 
over this period. Steuben Jenkins told Dr. Johnson that in his opinion. Dr. 
Calkins "did not locate at Wilkes-Barre, but settled at Cochecton, on the 
Delaware, from which point he made occasional visits to this locality." 

Another early physician about whose residence there is doubt is Dr. Sam- 
uel Cook, who in 1777 deeded a lot in Hanover Township to John Staples. In 
1774, Dr. Joseph Sprague sold a lot to "Dr. Samuel Cook, of Poughkeepsie, N. Y." 
The transaction, however, was not carried through. Dr. Frederick Johnson 
connects this Dr. Samuel Cook with a "Dr. Cook," who advertised in the 
Wilkes-Barre "Advertiser," March 31, 181 5, "that he had returned to his former 
residence in Bridgewater, Susquehanna County," where he would "attend to 
all the calls in the line of his profession." But. Stocker, in his "Centennial 
History of Susquehanna County," states that "the first regularly educated 
physician in Bridgewater" was Dr. James Cook, who practiced there for sev- 
eral years after 1810. Blackman's "History of Susquehanna County" also 
gives the name as James ; so it hardly seems that the Dr. Cook, of Hanover 
Township record in 1777, and the Dr. Cook, of Bridgewater record in 181 5, 
can be one and the same. 

Dr. Shadrach Darbee was recorded as "of Westmoreland," in a deed 
executed on November 5, 1777, by William Darbee, his father, of Connecticut 
residence. And at that time, Elisha Noyes Sill, a boy of sixteen, was in Cap- 
tain Durkee's company at Wyoming. The Sill family later returned to Con- 
necticut, and there the boy of Wyoming days was now a man, and eventually 
became "a distinguished physician," writes Miner. Sometime before the 
Wyoming massacre, also, there was, in Exeter Township, a Dr. John McMil- 
lan, graduate of the University of Dublin. He is not of further record, and 
this completes the record of all physicians who were of the Wyoming region 
prior to the massacre. 

If one might draw inferences from one incident of medical history, the 
region took many years to recover from the effect of 1778. In the Pennamite 
strife of 1788, "during an encounter between the contending factions at 
AVysox, one Joseph Dudley was wounded," writes Miner. "Pickering thus 

w.-B.— 3 


describes it: 'Dudley was put into a canoe and taken to Wilkes-Barre, a dis- 
tance of perhaps sixty or seventy miles. The doctor was sent for, but had no 
medicine. I had a small box of medicine that had been put up under the care 
of mv friend, Dr. Benjamin Rush. Of these, upon application of the physician, 
I furnished all he desired. But Dudley survived only two or three days.'" 

During the last two decades of the eighteenth century, the following new 
names come into the lists of medical practitioners : Matthew Covell, Joseph 
Davis, Nathaniel Giddings, Anna Morse, Franklin Cressey, Benjamin Smith, 
Charles E. Gaylord. Oliver Bigelow. C. P. J. Cristel and Samuel Johnson. Dr. 
Matthew Covell was born in Glastonbury, Connecticut, in 1760, "settled in 
^^'ilkes-Barre when a young man and practiced medicine there during the 
remainder of his life." Caleb Wright describes him as "a tall, slim man .... 
highly educated and for a long time was the reigning functionary of his pro- 
fession. He had the field almost to himself." On May 18, 1813. he died of 
what the newspapers called "the prevailing fever." Dr. Joseph Davis settled 
in the Wyoming Valley in 1787, and died at Spring Brook in 1830, aged ninety- 
eight years. His remains were taken to Wilkes-Barre for interment. Hollis- 
ter savs that Dr. Davis died at Slocum Hollow, and Dr. Throop, in his history, 
also connects Dr. Davis with Slocum Hollow, saying that Dr. Davis was the 
first doctor in that village ; but a granddaughter of the latter contradicts both 
statements, believing both to be errors. She says that "there was no physician 
nearer Slocum Hollow in 1800 than Dr. Giddings, at Pittston" ; also that Dr. 
Davis "practiced medicine in Wilkes-Barre until 181 3, when he removed up 
the Lackawanna River to Spring Brook." Dr. Nathaniel Giddings is said to 
have been "a lad of 18" when he settled in the Wyoming Valley in 1789. After 
a year or two in Plymouth Township, he removed to Pittston, where he prac- 
ticed for the remainder of his life. He died in 1851, aged eighty years. "He 
at Pittston Ferry and Dr. Robinson at Providence, were the only physicians 
between Wilkes-Barre and Carbondale." By one testimony. Dr. Giddings 
"was a specimen of the complete New England gentleman in his day. His 

social powers were of the very first order In his profession he stood 

unrivaled at the time of his advent .... He had the largest and best selected 
private library." 

Apparently Dr. Giddings did not practice in Plymouth. Colonel Wright 
says that "the first physician residing in Plymouth, so far as he knew, was 
Dr. Anna Morse, a stout lady of 200 pounds," who "invariably prescribed for 
all disorders a hemlock sweat and a dose of calomel and jalap." "Primitive 
physics for pioneer people" may have been her slogan. 

Dr. Charles E. Gaylord was only three years old when the Gaylord family 
came from Bristol, Connecticut, in 1773, and settled at Plymouth. His brother, 
Asher, was killed in the Wyoming massacre, and for a period the family 
returned to Connecticut. There, Charles Eleazer was educated, and there he 
studied medicine, under Dr. James Henderson. In 1792, he returned to Penn- 
sylvania, settling in Huntington Township. Mrs. Hartman, in her sketches 
of the Huntington Valley, says that Dr. Gaylord "was probably the first phy- 
sician who located in Huntington Valley as a permanent settler." He prac- 
ticed for more than thirty years, though not all the time, it seems, in Hunting- 
ton. On December 6, 1816, the Wilkes-Barre "Gleaner" displayed a profes- 
sional announcement which reads : 

Dr. Charles E. Gaylord informs the inhabitants of Kingston and vicinity that he intends 
removing to Kingston soon to practice his profession as a Physician and Surgeon. He has 
long been in practice in Huntington Township. 

A\^right says that Dr. Gaylord "had an excellent reputation as a physician 
and surgeon," that he was considered "one of the ablest physicians in ... . 
old Westmoreland." 


A Bavarian, Charles Francis Joseph Christel, settled in Salem, Luzerne 
County, in 1/9/ or 1798. He studied medicine and began to practice in Hunt- 
ington in 1800 or 1801, making his home in Harveyville. He practiced in the 
Huntington \"alley for twelve years, and then removed to Buttonwood, Han- 
OA'er Township. In 1822, in Hanover, he became an innkeeper, but still prac- 
ticed medicine. However, in 1825, he moved to Wilkes-Barre, and there, until 
his death, was a hotel keeper, conducting the A\'yoming Hotel, which stood 
where the Christel Block was erected in 1882. 

According to the "Wilkes-Barre Gazette and Luzerne Advertiser" for Janu- 
ary, 1798. Dr. Oliver Bigelow was then in practice in Kingston. Johnson says 
that he "practiced for a time on Ross Hill, Plymouth, then at AVilkes-Barre, 
and subsequently removed, about 1800, to Palmyra, N. Y." ]3r. Franklin Cris- 
sey's name appears on the Hanover Township assessment for 1799. Appar- 
ently he lived there. Bradsby says he "located at Plymouth." Dr. Samuel 
Jameson, who began to practice medicine in his native township, Hanover, in 
1799, was just ten months old when his mother took him in her arms and fled 
down the Susquehanna after the A\'yoming massacre in 1778. When danger 
seemed over, they returned, but his father, John Jameson, was destined to be 
killed by Indians four years later, near the Hanover Green burying-ground. 
Dr. Samuel Jameson practiced in Hanover until his death, in 1843. Harvey 
describes him "as a man of amiable character and of sound judgment and 
integrity." Johnson says: "He lived about one mile north of Nanticoke, on 
the River Road, since known as the Dr. Harry Hakes' place. Squire Jameson 
(a justice of the peace for many years) was one of the best and most favor- 
ably known of the early physicians, and his was the place where the over 
sanguine farmers were bled by the same hand that pulled the teeth and ears 
of our bashful grandmothers." 

Dr. (better known as Captain) Benjamin Smith, grandson of John, one of 
the original proprietors in the Susquehanna Purchase, and son of Captain 
Timothy, who "was a leading man in the Susquehanna Company, at their 
meetings in Hartford, before settlement was made in Wyoming," lived the 
greater part of his life in Kingston. Captain Benjamin Smith "was a man of 
singular benevolence and an admirable nurse of the sick." JMiner says he was 
"a practicing physician for a number of years in Kingston." His public spirit 
in practice brought him to his death, for when, in 181 5, "the typhus fever pre- 
vailed throughout the country, he threw himself in the midst of it, took the 
disease and died." Death came on January 19, 1816, when he was fifty-seven 
years old. At that time, his son, John, was also a physician. 

Dr. John Smith, one of the early presidents of the Luzerne County Medical 
Society, which was founded in 1861, was born in Kingston in 1789, and died 
in AA'ilkes-Barre eighty years later — a long and useful life spent almost wholly 
in Luzerne County. For twenty-one years, from 1815, he practiced in New 
Tro}- (Wyoming), removing in 1836 to Wilkes-Barre. The county seat, then 
a place of 1,500 inhabitants, already possessed three active physicians — Drs. 
E. L. Boyd, Thomas W. Miner and Lathan Jones — but Dr. Smith retained 
some of his old practice, and in later years extended it until it reached from 
Pittston to Nanticoke. He took active interest in public affairs, was justice of 
the peace for several years, prothonotary and clerk of the courts for a period, 
councilman of Wilkes-Barre for several years, once president of the borough 
council, and for a time president of the school board. 

The first decade of the nineteenth century brought the following into 
medical practice in Luzerne County : Lewis Collins, Dr. Schott, Mason Crary, 
Davis Dimock, Ethel B. Bacon. Dr. Lewis Collins, of Litchfield, Connecticut, 
settled in Salem in 1801. One of his daughters married Dr. Virgil Diboll ; 
another espoused Judge Oristus Collins. The Dr. Schott who was practicing 
in Kingston soon after 1800 was a son of Captain John Paul Schott. Dr. 


Mason Crary, after studying medicine in Albany, New York, came to Luzerne 
County in 1804. From 1806 to 1814 he practiced in Berwick, and afterwards 
in Wilkes-Barre, the local paper carrying his interesting announcement, in 
July, 1814. It reads,: 

Dr. Crary will attend to the practice of Physic and Surgery in Wilkes-Barre and the adja- 
cent town ; having had an opportunity of a regular study under the direction of eminent physi- 
cians, and having since had an extensive and successful practice for a number of years in city 
and country, he flatters himself that by assiduous attention he may merit public approbation. 

He was an enterprising doctor, and optimistically advertised his pills and 
other preparations. One of his advertisements in July, 1814, reads: 

Dr. Crary informs the public that he has removed his family to the house laterly occupied 
by Judge Gibson in Wilkesbarre, and has just received a fresh supply of genuine drugs and 
medicines. Crary's Antiseptic Family Physic in Pills will be sold by the dozen or single boxes ; 
great allowance by the dozen and the money returned at any time if the pills are not damaged. 
Storekeepers will find it to their advantage to keep a supply of the above cheap and safe Family 
Physic. He is not ambitious of being called a half-price Physician, yet he disapproves of rais- 
ing wages in consequence of ardent spirits being a little higher; he prefers taking a little less 
stimulus and using more industry ; his charges shall be as low as any regular bred practitioner, 
always favoring the industrious and virtuous poor, and discharge his duties without prejudice 
or partiality, either religious or political. He will not, under any pretence, call to see other 
physicians' patients and endeavor to prejudice them against their physician. He gives advice, 
either written or verbal, gratis at his shop. Wilkes-Barre, July i, 1814. 

Dr. Crarv also kept boys of the neighborhood busy, pinching off from the 
mass of calomel, jalap and rhubarb in his mortar as much as they could roll 
between finger and thumb into a pill of normal size. These went out to suf- 
fering humanity as "Dr. Crary's Anti-Bilious Family Pills.'' They did not 
seem to hurt his professional practice, for during the next decade his practice 
"extended for miles up and down the Susquehanna," and, indeed, became "so 
arduous as to require an assistant." Dr. Lathan Jones took this capacity, and 
in 1824 bought the practice, Dr. Crary returning to Salem, where he continued 
as a practitioner until about 1845, ""> excellent repute ; indeed, "in fevers, his 
success w^as .... almost marvelous.'" He died in 1855, aged seventy-five 

Davis Dimock, "the pioneer Baptist minister of the Valley." gave much 
medical service during the first half of last century. He had studied medicine, 
and after being ordained to the ministry in 1804, "went from settlement to 
settlement through the forest preaching the gospel," His medical services 
"were frequently called into action." "Finding it an aid rather than a detri- 
ment to his gospel ministry, he continued more or less to practice medicine 
during subsequent life," writes Dr. Johnson of the venerable preacher, whose 
long life ended at Montrose in 1858, when he was eighty-two years old. 

Dr. Ethel B. Bacon, who married Anna, daughter of Captain Daniel Hoyt, 
of Kingston, in 1809, w^as in practice at Wyoming for some time, before 
removing to Tioga County. 

The second decade of last century — an especially arduous decade of recur- 
ring epidemics — brought many physicians into practice in Luzerne County. 
Among them were Drs. George W. Trott, Samuel Baldwin, Eleazer Parker, 
Robert H. Rose, Joseph von Sick, Reuben Montrose, Asa C. Whitney, Ebene- 
zer Chamberlain, Henry Green, Orlo Llamlin, John Smith and Dr. Aloreland. 
Typhus, or, as Dr. Edward Covell described it in 1819, o." pulmonic fever," took 
eleven lives in Wilkes-Barre during the winter of 1815-16, and it was "epidemic 
over the country generally." Dr. Benjamin Smith succumbed to it, and Dr. 
George W. Trott died while in busy Wilkes-Barre practice in 1815. Dr. 
George W\ Trott was in Wilkes-Barre practice in 1810, when he married 
Lydia, sister of Isaac Chapman, the first historian of Wyoming. During his 
practice. Dr. Trott, writes Judge E. L. Dana, "acquired little more than a 
reputation, a practice and a long list of uncollectible accoiuits.'' His widow, 


and their daughter, five years old, were unprovided for in 1815, but the 
widowed mother, by teaching, maintained herself and daughter, and the latter 
eventually became the wife of Chief Justice George W. Woodward. Dr. 
Samuel Baldwin, who is of Wyoming record in 1807 and of Wilkes-Barre 
practice in 18 10. later removing to Forty Fort and eventually, in 182 1, going 
out of the county altogether, was an eccentric man who seemed more engrossed 
in his hopes of inventing perpetual motion than in his medical practice. Dr. 
Eleazer Parker practiced in Great Bend for a few years before, in 1810 settling 
at Kingston. In an age when alcohol was often prescribed and freely imbibed, 
Dr. Parker's attitude was remarkable. "He was a teetotaler and never pre- 
scribed alcohol in a practice of 60 years," writes Johnson. In 1808 "he suc- 
cessfully performed tracheotomy and removed a watermelon seed from the 
windpipe of a two-year-old child." He died in Susquehanna County in 1877, 
when about ninety-tive years old. Dr. Robert Hutchinson Rose, who owned 
100,000 acres of land in Susquehanna and western adjoining counties, was an 
English gentleman who graduated in medicine at the University of Pennsyl- 
vania, but with no idea of practicing. He built a baronial home at Silver 
Lake, Susquehanna County, and there lived the life of an English Lord of the 
Manor. His descendants still live in ]\Iontrose. Dr. Joseph von Sick came, 
with good credentials, to Wilkes-Barre in 1810, and became active in public 
affairs ; so active, indeed, as treasurer of Luzerne County, that his accounting 
came under question in 1815. The family left Wilkes-Barre a few years later. 
Dr. Reuben Montross, who settled in Exeter in 1812, and eventually gained 
wide repute in the setting of bones and for queer cures that were "something 
on the faith cure order," was credited "with almost miraculous gifts." One 
old settler spoke of him as follows : "Yes, I remember Dr. Montross. He 
went up to Nehemiah Ide's ; the old lady had been bedridden for seven years, 
but before he left her he ordered her to go down and bring him cider from the 

cellar, and she did. Yes, she was well for years after He had great 

power and I do not understand it. He did not give much medicine." In later 
life. Dr. ^lontross practiced in Wyoming County, where he died in 1857. Dr. 
Asa C. Whitney, regarded as one of the most skillful and daring surgeons in 
the valley, was a New Englander who lived in Bradford County before com- 
ing to Luzerne in 1810. A year earlier he had married Betsey, daughter of 
Lieutenant-Colonel George Dorrance. He lived at Kingston, but later bought 
the Sinton home, corner of Hazle Avenue and Park Avenue, at Wilkes-Barre. 
There he lived, and in WMlkes-Barre he practiced until 1824, when death took 
him while scarcely yet in his prime. Dr. Orlo Hamlin, a young physician, 
came with his wife to Providence in 1813, thinking that the community and 
neighborhood might have ailments enough to support one physician, but, as 
Dr. Hollister says, "this locality, fresh with ozone from the forest, offered so 
little compensation to a profession without need of appreciation among the 
hardy woodmen, that the doctor removed the next year to Salem, Wayne 
County." In 1814 or 181 5, a Dr. Moreland set up in practice at Plymouth. In 
1816, Dr. Ebenezer Chamberlain succeeded him, beginning a practice which 
extended over a half century. He held several public offices, and was an 
esteemed Plymouth townsman until his death, in 1866. 

Dr. Isaac Pickering, who in 1820 married Nancy, daughter of Judge Jesse 
Fell, came to Wilkes-Barre from Massachusetts. Later he was of Pittston 
practice, and still later of Huntington, but eventually he took his family to 
Michigan, where he died. A man of huge stature and commanding personal- 
ity. Dr. Pickering was a skillful practitioner, but apparently restless. It is 
said that he was a graduate of a medical college. There were few so qualified 
then in the backwoods ; indeed, there were very few medical colleges. Dr. 
Francis Carey and Dr. Virgil Diboll were practicing in the Wyoming Valley 
in the 'twenties, but both moved away. Dr. Lathan Jones, who bought the 


practice of Dr. Crary in 1824, practiced in \\"ilkes-rjarre for more than forty 
years after, widely respected as a citizen and generally esteemed as a physi- 
cian. Dr. Andrew Bedford, father of Attorney George R. Bedford, was born 
in Wyoming in 1800, and died at Waverly, Pennsylvania, in his ninetieth year. 
He, too, was a graduate of a medical college — Yale — and he began his profes- 
sional career at Dundafif in 1825. In 1826 he settled at Waverly, but did little 
or no professional work after 1840. Thereafter, he gave most of his time to 
public afifairs, but he maintained a drug store in Waverly, and one of his sons 
continued it until about twelve years ago. Dr. Thomas W. Miner, born in 
Wilkes-Barre in 1803, graduated from the medical school of the University of 
Pennsylvania in 1825. From that year until he died, in 1858, Dr. Miner prac- 
ticed in the Wyoming Valley, skillfully following his profession and actively 
entering into public affairs, acting indeed as one would expect a cultured, 
well-informed reputable physician to act — as a leader in his community. Dr. 
Silas Robinson received more encouragement in Providence than his prede- 
cessor. Dr. Orlo Hamlin. For almost forty years, from about 1822, Dr. Robin- 
son practiced in a field in which for many years he had no competitors. Dr. 
Hollister writes of him : "During his long practice, he always carried his own 
medicine, which he purchased in Wilkes-Barre, at the nearest drug store, 
nineteen miles away. He always went on foot, no matter how great the dis- 
tance or urgent the case. A colt once ran away with him and never after- 
wards would he ride in a wagon. He always carried his rusty turnkeys to 
twist out teeth. He had two peculiarities, one was to always read the Bible 
at the bedside of his patient, and the other was his great habit of profanity. 
He would rarely utter a sentence without an oath. He had no competitor in 
the field, while Dr. Nathaniel Giddings, at Pittston Ferry, Dr. Andrew Bed- 
ford, of Abington, and Dr. Thomas Sweet, of Carbondale, were his nearest 
colleagues." Dr. Sweet was practicing in Carbondale as early as 1823. 

Dr. Atkins, a Bostonian, who practiced in Kingston for about ten years, 
from 1825, was notably successful as a surgeon. He "achieved local reputa- 
tion by cutting for stone in the bladder," taking from a Plymouth patient in 
one operation a stone "as big as a walnut." Dr. Johnson writes : "Another 
operation was the incision of portions of the leg bones and the saving of a leg 
which other physicians had pronounced a case for amputation. The patient 
.... had sustained a compound comminuted fracture of the lower third of 
the small bones of the leg. The surgeon removed the spiculae, sawed off the 
projecting extremity, made extension, constructed a fracture box and was 
rewarded with an excellent result. This operation, like that for stone in the 
bladder, is common enough in our day, but required a boldness that was rare 
in the country doctor of the first quarter of the nineteenth century." 

Dr. Alden I. Bennett was the first physician to settle at Nanticoke. He 
began practice in 1825. In 1833, Dr. Sidney H. Warner began a practice 
which continued for fifty years in Huntington. In 1846, Dr. L. C. White set- 
tled in Shickshinny. In the next year, his brother-in-law. Dr. Charles Parker, 
became his associate. Dr. White moved to Mississippi, but Dr. Parker was 
in practice in Shickshinny neighborhood until he was eighty years old. 

These were some of the uncomplaining "ministers of the sick," ever at the 
call of suffering humanity, ever ready day or night to mount a horse and pass 
through forest or along trails to the homes of the settlers, never expecting 
much for their service and rarely demanding anything'. The wealth of the 
average country doctor of the pioneer days was largely a matter of record — 
in his list of uncollectible accounts. One hundred years ago, the region from 
Pittston to Carbondale was spanned by three physicians ; now "perhaps every 
square mile will average a disciple of the healing art." Even forty years ago, 
Luzerne County had a practicing physician for every seven hundred inhabi- 
tants, and since that time the number of practicing physicians has consider- 


ably increased. With the vast strides forward in medical science, practice has 
taken different ways. During the twentienth century, the trend has been 
increasingly toward specialism. Every major department of medicine in every 
large community is now the special practice of some physician who has for- 
saken, or never undertaken, general practice, but has centered his study of 
medical science upon this branch,, necessarily becoming more skillful in his 
specialty than a general practitioner could hope to become. Therefore, the 
family physician, always seeking to bring to the aid of his patients the most 
expert medical treatment, is leaning more and more upon his specialist 
confrere. To name all the living physicians of Luzerne would serve no use- 
ful purpose in this article, and to single out some for mention would be 
invidious when all are medical college graduates, some have diplomas for 
post-graduate courses, and almost all are holding to the noble standards of the 
profession, in their practice and their observance of its ethics. 

While the physician's professional conduct is governed mainly by the 
extent of his own human interest and fellow-feeling, coming as he does into 
the closest touch with scenes that influence the heart and bring the nobler 
human qualities uppermost, the medical societies by their associated strength 
exercise some control over the medical fraternity. Luzerne County has had a 
medical society for more than sixty years. It was formed on jNIarch 4, 1861. a 
convention of regular physicians of the county being held on that day in the 
courthouse at W' ilkes-Barre. Those w^ho attended this convention were : Drs. 
P. C. H. Rooney. of Hazleton ; N. P. Moody, of Lehman ; H. Ladd, C. Marr, 
William Green, B. H. Throop, of Scranton ; G. Urquhart, W. F. Dennis, E. R. 
Mayer, C. Wagner, E. B. ]\Iiner. of Wilkes-Barre ; R. H. Tubbs, of Kingston ; 
S. Lawton, of Pittston ; A. L. Cressler and J. R. Casselbury, of Conyngham. 
The Luzerne County Medical Society was then formed. The original officers 
were: Dr. Benjamin H. Throop, of Scranton, president; Drs. E. R. ]\Iayer and 
A. L. Cressler, vice-presidents; Dr. G. Urquhart, secretary; and Dr. R. H. 
Tubbs, treasurer. 

The successors of Dr. Throop, as presidents of the Luzerne County ]\Iedi- 
cal Societv are named below : 

W. F. Dennis 

S. W. Lawton, Jr 

R. H. Tubbs 

John Smith 

A. L. Cressler 

J. B. Crawford 

Horace Ladd , 

S. Lawton 

Edward R. Mayer 

James B. Lewis 

Horace Ladd 

J. E. Bulkley 

G. Underwood 

Charles Burr 

Edward R. Mciyer 

J. B. Crawford 

L E. Ross 

Joseph A. Murphy 

Fred. Corss 

A. D. Tewksbury 

C. A. Spencer 

J. B. Crawford 

Reese Davis 

Lewis H. Taylor 

S. W. Trimmer 

W. G. Weaver 

C. P. Knapp 

J. L. Miner (died July, 1899) 
George W. Guthrie 




88 r 

W. H. Faulds 1891 

John T. Howell 1892 

G. Underwood 1893 

W. S. Stewart 1894 

T. A. James 1895 

Charles Long 1896 

John B. Mahon 1897 

J. Harris Jones 1898 

Maris Gibson 1 899 

H. M. Neale 1900 

Alexander G. Fell 1901 

Granville T. Matlack 1902 

Walter Lathrop 1903 

Levi L Shoemaker 1904 

Olin F. Harvey 1905 

W. R. Longshore 1906 

J. L Roe 1907 

James W. Geist 1908 

S. P. Mengel 1909 

George A. Clark 1910 

Charles H. Miner 191 1 

C. W. Prevost 1912 

E. U. Buckman 191 3 

Delbert Barney 191 4 

H. L. Whitney 191 5 

R. P. Taylor 191 6 

E. L. Meyers 1917 

Boyd Dodson 1918 

August Trapold 1919 


H. B. Gibby 1920 John E. Scheifly 1924 

Lewis Edwards 1921 Samuel M. Wolfe 1925 

Walter Davis 1922 Peter P. Mayock 1926 

N. L. Schappert 1923 George Drake 1927 

The Medical Society has a Hazleton branch. In 1916, the physicians of 
that part of the county met to form a local society, because of their inaccessi- 
bility to Wilkes-Barre and of the inconvenience they suffered in attending 
meetings of the county society. They formed the local society, the Associated 
Physicians of Hazleton. It functioned as such from 1916 until January i, 
1924, when its name became the Hazleton Branch of the Luzerne County 
Medical Society. The Hazleton physicians by this time had fully succeeded in 
their major purposes; to promote closer professional fellowship, and to eradi- 
cate "the intolerable system of contract practice" that prevailed in the mining 
districts. As Dr. M. H. Kudlich described it, in a paper read before the parent 
society on November 4, 1925, "Contract Practice" was "a system of profes- 
sional slavery, owing its existence," he believed, "to the elder Dr. George 
Wentz, of Drifton, whereby a physician was bound by contract to serve entire 
families for the munificent sum of seventy-five cents per month, which, in 191 1, 
was raised to one dollar per month, under a storm of protest from the indig- 
nant public." Dr. Kudlich continues : "In fairness let it be understood that 
extra charges could be levied ; for example, five dollars for confinement, 
twenty-five cents for vaccination and extraction of teeth (oh yes ! a pair of 
dental forceps was part of our surgical equipment in those days). To add to 
the humiliation of the system, it was our duty to canvass each family to col- 
lect our monthly stipend, thus taking our position upon a plane quite equal to 
the newsboy, the beer man and the collectors for the industrial insurance com- 
panies." The contract system was finally abolished on January i, 1925, when 
it was decreed that any physician who persisted in this form of practice would 
autoinatically cease to belong to the county society. 

The Hazleton society had done for its district what the parent society had 
done fifty or sixty years before for the greater part of the county, that is, as 
Dr. E. R. Mayer said, after twenty-five years of the functioning of the county 
society, it had been "bringing order out of chaos in all medical matters, in 
unifying the decent and honorable members of our guild in one harmonious 
whole, in dignifying its character and in demanding and securing from the 
public the appreciation and compensation which we, its members, earn and 
deserve." In the early chaotic days, before the formation of the county society, 
one physician of Luzerne County, with no professional body to stay his action, 
had "originated the novel method of hastening delayed labor by incising the 
scalp of the child with a pair of scissors and inserting the fingers between the 
scalp and skull, for purpose of traction." But that dark period soon passed. 

The Luzerne County Medical Society started in 1861 with fifteen members. 
Fifty years later, it had one hundred and fifty. Now its membership embraces 
to all intents all the reputable allopathic physicians of the county. Its meet- 
ings, in early years, were sometimes held in Scranton, soinetimes in Pittston, 
and sometimes in Wilkes-Barre. They are now all held in the county seat, 
and in its own magnificent building on Franklin Avenue. The Medical Build- 
ing was built in 1914, and houses a medical library of 8,000 volumes or more, 
in modern stacks. 

Of the worthy physicians of the latter half of the nineteenth century. Dr. 
Lewis H. Taylor spoke, at a meeting of the County Medical Society, in 191 1. 
He referred to Dr. Welden F. Dennis (1818-79). who, being a physician "of 
great ingenuity and resourcefulness," on one occasion, "being in need of an 

obstetric forceps had one forged by a blacksmith in a few moments, 

which answered his purpose." Dr. Taylor spoke of: Dr. George Urquhart. 
"a kindly sympathetic elderly man"; of Dr. Edward R. Mayer (1823-91), who 




"was facile princcps among all the good, true, and worthy men that this society 
has numbered in its long and worthy roll of membership" ; of Dr. Melissa A. 
Bradley, who died in July, 1878, "the first female physician ever elected to 
membership in a county medical society in Pennsylvania" ; of Dr. J. E. Bulk- 
ley (1825-85) ; Dr. J. B. Crawford; Dr. Isaac l\. Ross, Dr. Gideon Underwood, 
Civil War surgeons, and subsecpiently of noteworthy practice in Wilkes-Barre : 
of Dr. Reese Davis ( 1837-95 ), who in the last years of his practice was, thought 
Dr. Taylor, "without doubt the chief surgeon in this part of Pennsylvania'" ; 
of Dr. Joseph A. ]Murphy, also a brilliant surgeon, "the most rapid operator" 
that Dr. Taylor had ever seen "handle the knife" ; also of that "whole-souled 
companion," Dr. Harry Hakes, who was "by occupation a lawyer" but, to the 
last, "by inclination, a physician"; also of Drs. Rogers, Corss, Trimmer, Hile- 
man, Kirwan, ^liner. Young, Jones, Shoemaker, Carle. Weiss, Farrell and 
others, who have passed to the Great Beyond after a lifetime of service to their 
fellowmen of this planet. Of those who have gone to their last reward after 
long service in the Hazleton district, Dr. Kudlich names Drs. Hutchison, 
Casselbury. MacKellar and Doolittle. The physicians of Luzerne County 
responded nobly to the call for war service in 191 7. No less than ninety-four 
physicians of the county served in military hospitals during the ^^^orld War. 
The roll and biographies are given in the Transactions of the Duzerne County 
Medical Society for 1919 and 1920. 

The homeopathic physicians of the county associated in a professional 
body, for social intercourse and professional and ethical purposes, as early as 
1866; and for many years they have maintained an excellent hospital service. 

The hospitals of the county are as follows : 

Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, which was founded in 1872, and opened as the Wilkes- 
Barre City Hospital on October 10 of that year. Until 1874 the hospital was maintained wholly 
by voluntary subscriptions but since then State appropriations have been made. In 1875 a tract 
of four acres, on River Street near Mill Creek, was donated by John Welles Hollenback, and 
upon this site during the next year a hospital building, providing accommodation for 75 to 100 
patients, was erected. It was opened on April i, 1876. The hospital has expanded considerably 
in lifty years. Its capacity in 1926 was 325 beds. Elmer E. Matthews is superintendent. 

Wyoming Valley Homeopathic Hospital, at No. 147 Dana Street, Wilkes-Barre. is a 
generaf hospital service that has been maintained under homeopathic auspices for fifteen years. 
Established in 191 1. the hospital has grown to a capacity of eighty-five beds. Miss Eva E. Dean 
R. N.. is superintendent. 

Mercy Hospital. No. 196 Hanover Street, Wilkes-Barre. is a general hospital conducted by 
a Roman" Catholic order but open to all people, without distinction of class, color or creed. 
It was founded in 1898. and now has a capacity of 177 beds. Sister Mary Bernard is super- 

Home for Friendless Children, at No. 335 South Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre, established 
in 1893 a children's hospital, the capacity of which is now thirty hospital beds. Miss May 
Blvthe is superintendent. 

Emergency Contagious Diseases Hospital. East Division Street, Wilkes-Barre, is a 
municipal service established in 1918. with the city physician, G. A. Clark, in charge. 

Nesbitt West Side Hospital, at Kingston, was established in 1912. It is a general hospital 
of seventy-three beds. Miss May W. Templeton, R. N.. is superintendent. 

Pittston General Hospital, at Port Griffith. Pittston. was founded in 1892 and now has a 
capacity of sixty-five beds. Miss Esther J. Tinsley, R. N.. is superintendent. A new hospital 
of seven wards and 140 beds was opened in 1927. Its cost was $300,000. 

Hazleton State Hospital was founded in 1889. four-fifths of its original cost being borne by 
the State. The original hospital plant consisted of two wards of 24 beds each, in "a spacious 
and elegant building on the hill east of the town." Its present capacity is 131 beds. The medical 
superintendent is Dr. Walter Lathrop. 

Nanticoke State Hospital, situated at Washington Street, Nanticoke, is. like the Hazleton 
State Hospital, a general hospital service for injured persons of the coalfields in particular. 

Nanticoke State Hospital, Washington Street. Nanticoke, was founded in 1908. Like the 
Hazleton institution, its major purpose when founded was to receive injured persons of the 
mining district. Neither, however, confines its service to mine-workers. The Nanticoke Hos- 
pital has a capacity of 95 beds. Dr. E. G. Heyer is surgeon-in-chief and Lillian V. Kilgus is 

Retreat Mental Hospital, a county institution for nervous and mental cases, was established 
in 1900, and is under the control of the Central Poor District. Its capacity is 700 beds. Miss 
Augustine J. Atkinson. R. N.. is superintendent. 


Retreat Home and Hospital for Chronic Diseases, is a general hospital of 135 lieds. D. A. 
Mackin is superintendent and the controlling body is also the Central Poor District. 

Almost all of the general hospitals have out-patient departments, giving 
dispensary service to all who need it. The State also has State Clinic No. i at 
56 West Union Street, Wilkes-Barre. The Medical Director of Luzerne 
County is Dr. E. W. Bixby, of Wilkes-Barre, who is also recording secretary 
of the County Medical Society. 

There are several tubercular institutions at Whiteha\en. The largest and 
the oldest is the Whitehaven Sanitarium (Free Hospital for Poor Consump- 
tives). It was founded in 1895 and has two hundred and forty beds. ^Nliss 
Anna L. Morris is superintendent. The others are : Sunnyrest Sanitariimi, 
founded in 1901, fifty-five beds ; Fern Clifif Sanitarium, founded in 1894, twenty 
beds; Hill Crest Sanitarium, founded 1908, eight beds; Clair Mont Sanitarium, 
founded 1910. ten beds. 



In the earliest days of white settlement in America, the pioneers, especially 
in their dealings with the Indians, used wampum as the means of exchange in 
trading, although where possible the practical and prudent New Englanders 
preferred to barter product for product. In Virginia bundles of tobacco were 
the accepted circulating mediums of commerce ; in other settlements stamped 
wood and leather were taken. Paper money did not come into use in America 
until the end of the seventeenth century. Alassachusetts was the first of the 
American colonies to issue bills of credit. This experiment was made in 1690, 
and was thoughtfully followed by at least one interested English financier. 
William Patterson, then in the colonies, noticed that the Massachusetts bills 
of credit, payable to bearer on demand and made legal tender in payment of 
taxes, were confidently accepted by the colonists. He carried the idea to 
England, and five years later was instrumental in establishing that great 
banking institution, the Bank of England, which, until after the World War 
of 1 91 4- 1 8, was to be the banking barometer of the world. Pennsylvania did 
not follow the example of Massachusetts until 1723, when an emission of 
$75,000 of paper money was made by the province. All went well until war 
came. Then it was seen that paper money was not a safe circulating medium. 
In 1745, the Massachusetts expedition against Louisburg, a Canadian strong- 
hold of France, shattered Massachusetts credit so appallingly that its paper 
money could only be exchanged at the rate of eleven dollars for one dollar of 
silver. Pennsylvania, not having been involved in the military expedition, 
found its currency almost unshaken. The fall in Massachusetts currency had 
an indirect effect on Quaker paper, but only to the extent of a fall of the latter 
to $1.80 of paper for $r of silver. During the Revolution, however, the case 
was different. All colonies were involved in the financial chaos that overtook 
the Confederacy. To meet the extraordinary call for the sinews of Avar, all 
the states made emission after emission, and the National body, the Con- 
tinental Congress, in addition, made stupendous issuances. The intention, 
of course, was that all should eventually be funded, as the liabilities of the 
United States of the opening period. The first emission of Continental cur- 
rency was to the extent of $2,000,000. authorized in May, 1775, and issued in 
June of that year. Between that month and November, 1779, there were no 
less than forty emissions of notes, the staggering total being $241,000,000 — the 
liability of a Nation not yet born. In addition, the issuances by the young 
states, amounted to $209,000,000, backed by nothing more tangible than faith 
in Congress. The National governing body had repeatedly called upon the 
State governments, and the states had met the call, without heed to means for 
redemption. In 1780, the Continental Congress made provision for the accept- 
ance of paper in place of silver at the rate of forty to one, but "depreciation 
(of Continental paper) continued until the notes were regarded as worthless," 
the exchange rate reaching one thousand to one. Ultimately, holders of paper 
recovered some of their stupendous loss in exchange, for by the Funding Act 
of 1790, the Continental notes still in circulation were retired at the rate of 
one hundred to one. 

This experience, it may be supposed, was not soon forgotten by the average 
hard-working citizen. There were no local banks in any colony at that time, 
and, in their shaken confidence in anything but metallic currency, farmers 
developed the custom of making produce or merchandise, or something 



equally tangible, serve as the means of exchange in the absence of coin, or 
specie, as it is termed. There were some private banking houses in Philadel- 
phia in late colonial times. Wharton and Company was doing business in the 
middle decades of the eighteenth century, but it was not until 1781 that 
Robert Morris, in an endeavor to save the National finances from absolute 
disaster, prevailed upon the Continental Congress to charter the Bank of 
North America. This National bank was to function from Philadelphia, but 
it did not come at once into operation. Both Pennsylvania and New York 
opposed, both doubting the power of Congress to grant the charter. However, 
in 1782, the State of Pennsylvania incorporated this bank under its own laws. 
Thus, the first National banking institution of the United States — which 
indeed were, as yet, all separate distinct independent sovereignties, all watch- 
ful of State rights and suspicious of control by a National Government — 
became a State bank of Pennsylvania. The charter of the Bank of North 
America was revoked in 1785, but again granted in 1787. This pioneer bank- 
ing house is still in existence, still under the name it was given in 1781. 

Robert Morris, Stephen Girard, and some other capitalists conducted pri- 
vate banking businesses, but no other bank was chartered in Pennsylvania 
until 1793. when, in granting a charter to the Bank of Pennsylvania, the State 
subscribed for one-third of its stock. Alexander Hamilton had, of course, by 
this time overcome popular prejudice and also founded a National bank, the 
United States Bank, which was to be the strongest financial pillar of the 
Nation for twenty years, but the Bank of North America and the Bank of 
Pennsylvania for many years represented the whole of Pennsylvania's efifort 
to encourage banking. Indeed, in most of the former thirteen colonies, finan- 
ciers were focusing their strength upon the United States Bank, which they 
sought to destroy. They succeeded in 1810, and for the next five years each 
State felt itself in full control of its own financial afifairs. 

The reaction was toward the promotion of State banks. Applications for 
banking charters were encouraged by most of the State governments. Banks 
multiplied, and, having wide authority under their charters, currency increased 
alarmingly. The smallest State banks were authorized to issue paper money, 
and most of them did so. By 1813, the amount of currency in circulation had 
increased to $62,000,000. In the next year, in Pennsylvania, specie payments 
almost wholly ceased and the financial situation went from bad to worse. 
"The Federal Government had no control over the states, and the states had 
little over the bankers." In Pennsylvania alone forty-one State banks were 
incorporated in 1814. some of them destined to have a very short life and to 
bring embarrassment and bankruptcy to many citizens who had imagined 
themselves to be well circumstanced. 

The Wyoming Valley communities took no part in this era of banking 
promotions. The settlers were generally substantial in thought and act, if 
not in purse, and it did not occur to them to seek personal profit in the issu- 
ance of paper money that they could not support with specie. As a matter of 
fact, a Philadelphia bank had been stripping the region of its silver for some 
time. In 1810, the Bank of Pennsylvania, or the Bank of Philadelphia, as its 
name had become upon renewal of its charter, in 1807, had established a 
branch in Wilkes-Barre in 1810, on River Street, and for some years had had 
the confidence of the people, but when, in 1814, a shortage of specie became 
increasingly apparent to Philadelphia financiers, Wilkes-Barre began to feel 
it. Stewart Pierce, in his "History of Luzerne County," states that the local 
branch of the Bank of Philadelphia was closed in 1820. Further, that the 
effect of its operation "was to drain the county of specie." "At one time," he 
writes, "Steuben Butler and Col. Bowman, directors of the bank, took $40,000 
in silver in wagons to Philadelphia. Philip Reed was the wagoner." This 


drainage occurred in 1814 and 1815.* In September, 1814, all specie payments 
were suspended in Pennsylvania, and although "An Act Regulating Banks"' 
which had been passed on March 21, 1814, in Pennsylvania brought forty-one 
State banks, capitalized at $17,000,000, into operation — or rather into corpo- 
rate existence, for some of them never functioned — and bound these banks to 
utter no notes of smaller denomination than five dollars, most of them within 
a year were issuing notes of one dollar face value and scarcely any true value. 
They were also showering the country with "bills" of much smaller denomina- 
tion. Bills of a face value of five or ten cents became commonly circulated. 
This condition was not local to Pennsylvania. The stringency was felt with 
equal severitv in most states ; and in most of them like expedients were 
resorted to. It was a time of war — protracted campaigns that upset National 
and State fiscal systems — and the war needs had to be met, whatever might 
be the resultant financial chaos. It is said that army officers in Wilkes-Barre 
— which was an important recruiting station — "issued their individual notes 
for $1 and $2, and these passed as money." 

The financial situation did not worry the average citizen. He did not know 
what bankers knew. Paper money was plentiful. Loans were easy to nego- 
tiate on doubtful security. Apparently, the country was prosperous. Indeed, 
realty values began to advance surprisingly, and the absence of specie was not 
felt. Bankers, however, knew that it was a dangerous artificial prosperity ; 
and the financial counsellors of the National Government were making desper- 
ate efforts to stir the United States to action, so that a strong National bank 
might step into the breach and save both National and State financial systems, 
by curbing the abnormal issuance of State paper money. These financial 
counsellors succeeded in reestablishing the United States Bank. The Act of 
April 3, 181 6, rechartered the National bank for twenty years, with an author- 
ized capital of $35,000,000, of which the United States Government subscribed 
$7,000,000, also making the institution its agent for negotiating Federal and 
State loans. The act seated the United States Bank at Philadelphia, with 
power to establish many branches, each of which would, obviously, be stronger 
than any local bank. Thus, it is apparent that its establishment boded ill for all 
unstable State banks. The functioning of the United States Bank brought on 
a money "panic," by forcing all State banks to resume specie payments in 
181 7, but undoubtedly the great institution saved National and State credit by 
forcing to the wall of bankruptcy all State banks that could not resume specie 
payments. Although the paper emissions of these local banks could not now 
be'redeemed, they were at least prevented from issuing more worthless paper. 
Of the forty-one Pennsylvania banks chartered for ten years in 18 14, six failed 
to report to the State Auditor-General in 1816, and only twenty-two reported 
at the end of the ten-year term. 

One of the banks that had failed to function was a Wilkes-Barre institu- 
tion. Its life had been snuft'ed out, fortunately, while it was still in embryo. 
The Susquehanna Bankj of \A'ilkes-Barre was one of the institutions char- 
tered, but apparently its promoters were unable to bring their banking plans 
to consummation in time to participate in the manufacture of worthless paper. 
Joseph Sinton, who was the president of the Board of Directors, may have 
been the stumbling block. Certainly, this worthy old Quaker merchant was. 
in later years, widely known and respected for his exactness and honesty in 
all his trading. Bedford, in his "Early Recollections," writes : "The Quaker 
merchants, Jacob and Joseph Sinton, were most scrupulous and exact in all 
their dealings ; most particular were they to see that full weight and full 
measure were accorded every customer .... the Sintons, unable to return 
change to the half cent, would hand the customer part of a paper of pins or 

*See Vol. Ill, pp. 17S3-S4. 
tSee p. 1783, Vol. III. 


needles of equivalent value." Men of this type would hardly wittingly give 
their name to a banking promotion of doubtful prospect. The record has it 
that "a wave of hard times" prevented the Susquehanna Bank "from ever 
opening its doors to the public,"' though it seems that its preparations reached 
even to the stage of having plates made for the issuance of its own bank notes. 

The next ^Mlkes-Barre bank to be organized, and the first, it seems, to 
come into operation, was the Wyoming Bank, now the Wyoming National 
Bank. At the time it was chartered, in 1829, there was only one National 
bank, the United States Bank. All other banks were governed by State bank- 
ing laws. As a matter of fact, even the United States Bank was governed in 
Pennsylvania by Pennsylvania law ; indeed, it possessed a State charter, 
under which, in 1836 — when political opposition again robbed the great 
National bank of its Federal charter — it tried to carry on. Had the shrewd 
Wilkes-Barre gentlemen identified with the founding of the Wyoming Bank, 
in 1829, foreseen the stormy decade ahead of them — the most disastrous in 
American financial history, made so by political interference with a sound 
National financial system — they would probably have hesitated and, after a 
little thought, resumed the normal course of their own affairs, shelving unused 
the banking charter they had secured. But they could not see the future, and 
A\'ilkes-Barre stood in need of banking facilities, controlled by Wilkes-Barre 
men. So, having been granted a charter on November 4, 1829, certain local 
men of substance associated to make use of it. William Ross, Henderson 
Gaylord, John N. Conyngham, \Mlliam Swetland and Isaac Bowman were 
made "commissioners to receive subscriptions," and on November 16, 1829, the 
Wyoming Bank was organized. The first Board of Directors consisted of 
Benjamin Dorrance, who 'became first president; William Ross, John N. 
Conyngham, AVilliam Swetland, George N. Hollenback, O. Collins, Ziba Ben- 
nett, PI. Gaylord, James Nesbitt, Jr., Steuben Butler, Abraham Thomas and 
]\Iiller Horton. Air. Bennett acted as secretary "until a cashier should be 
chosen." The first cashier was Edward Lynch. Mr. Dorrance was the presi- 
dent until ]\Iay 30, 1832. Then, upon the resignation of Mr. Dorrance, who 
indeed had sought to retire a year earlier, George M. Hollenback became 
president. He carried the institution through all the uncertainties and wor- 
ries of two financial panics — 1837 and 1857 — as well as through the strenuous 
exciting Civil AA'ar period. He remained at its head until his death, Novem- 
ber I, 1866. He had lived through many crises. Andrew Jackson had gone 
l^ack to the White House in 1832, vowing that he would tear down Democ- 
racy's foe, the United States Bank. In order to complete its destruction, he 
took from it the moneys of the United States. These he deposited with State 
banks. Probably none came to Wilkes-Barre, but the WA'oming Bank, in 
common with all other State banks, went forward w^ith the swell of importance 
that all State banks derived from the Presidential favor. The removal of nine 
millions of National deposits from the United States Bank within nine months 
caused the latter to curtail its discounts. On the other hand, however, the 
State banks, Jackson's "pet banks" as they were called, were easing the situa- 
tion. Rising, over night almost, to dignity and importance to which they were 
unused, the State banks, as was to be expected, were over-reaching themselves 
in their emissions of paper money. Again, it was the day of the State bank. 
Again the country was to be showered with "shin-plasters" blown into the 
light air by flimsy institutions whose power to blow came from systems dan- 
gerously inflated by the knowledge that, almost in a night, they had been 
transformed from unimportant little citified bodies to great National figures, 
from small-town banks to National institutions, the chosen depositaries of 
the money of a great Nation. 

The Wilkes-Barre institution probably was not one of those State banks 
that basked in the Presidential favor, but it had to live through, or expire dur- 


ing, the exciting period, 1830-37, in which paper money in circulation increased 
from $66,628,898 to $149,000,000. In 1837, America had six hundred and 
thirty-four State banks, aggregating a capital of $291,000,000, against which 
had been issued $149,000,000 of notes and $525,000,000 of loans and discounts. 
Deposits were only $127,000,000. Some banks could show only one dollar in 
specie for every twenty-five of its issued notes. As a matter of fact, since the 
beginning of minting in 1792, the United States had coined barely $50,000,000, 
and of this the bulk had been exported to meet foreign obligations. Therefore, 
when Andrew Jackson, in denying the rechartering of the United States 
Bank, "stopped the balance-wheel which regulated the finances of the country," 
the State banks were expected to prove the compensating force. But the Presi- 
dent jolted the v^tate banking systems out of all chance of preserving equilib- 
rium by his famous "specie circular," which recjuired all payments for public 
lands to be made in specie. New York and Philadelphia banks suspended 
specie payments in May, 1837, and almost all the banks of the country fol- 
lowed their example. 

In some parts of the country, where development had been phenomenal 
during the artificial period of seeming prosperity that had preceded the crash, 
the state of the people was deplorable. Whole communities sank into insolv- 
ency, and had it not been for the Bankrupt Law of 1840 many of the sub- 
merged debtors would never have emerged to solvency again. Andrew 
Jackson had been triumphant in his fight against the United States. Bank, but 
his own fall from popularity came with dramatic suddenness. His case, 
thinks Dr. Lord, should be "a lesson to all future Presidents who set up their 
own will against the collected experience and wisdom of the leading interests 
of the country." 

The country did not recover from the panic of 1837 for almost ten years, 
and politicians, as a rule, avoided banking legislation. The State banks did 
what business was to be done, and the average man did as little business as 
he could with banks. However, with the discovery of gold in California in 1848 
and 1849, ^ "S'vv^ period of financial stability seemed to have come. Banking- 
became more active in Pennsylvania, and in 1850 another "Act Regulating 
Banks"' became law. 

Once again, the courage that seems inevitably to come when pockets long 
empty begin to fill led the courageous and imprudent on much farther than 
they should have gone. The State banks, having no competition as financial 
agents, eased the money market. This was fortunate for there was so much to 
be done in that wonderful decade of railway pioneering. Undertakings that 
called for immense loans were begun with carefree optimism. In 1850, the 
country possessed only 7,000 miles of railways. During the next seven years 
20,000 miles more were laid, the construction calling for $700,000,000 of bor- 
rowed money. Again, the country — through the State banks — had overstepped 
itself. Its footing had become so precarious that one slip — a "run" on one 
Cincinnati bank — sent the whole banking system tottering. Within a few 
weeks a financial storm "began to sweep over the country and strew it with 
wrecks." It swept overseas, indeed, for the mighty Bank of England "was 
saved only by a suspension of the operation of the Banking Act." Almost all 
Pennsylvania banks followed the lead of Philadelphia in suspending specie 
payments in September, 1857. 

The recovery was rapid, however. The local banks resumed specie pay- 
ments in February, 1858, although the industries of the Nation were not well 
upon their feet again in i860, when the rumblings of approaching war brought 
uneasiness into banking circles. Pennsylvania had followed New York.^in 
1860, in introducing a system of "free banking," whereby chartered institu- 
tions might, without restriction, issue their own notes to the value of securi- 
ties they had deposited with the State. It was not a successful system, and the 


day of the State bank was almost over. The question of a Federal banking 
system again became one of the most vital matters of business in the National 
Legislature. Congress and Senate were driven to the consideration of this 
partly because of the need of developing strong sinews of war, and partly to 
grapple with the ever-increasing evidences of counterfeited or altered bills. 
"When almost every bank had its own plates for six or more denominations of 
notes, the land was full of counterfeits and alterations." In 1862 there were 
counterfeits on the notes of two hundred and fifty-three banks, and on even 
the best notes a discount of as much as fifteen per cent, was exacted in busi- 
ness circles, to cover possible losses. 

The United States Government decided, as one of the earliest war meas- 
ures, to borrow $50,000,000 from the State banks, issuing demand notes to that 
extent. In 1862 an issue of $150,000,000 of treasury notes was made, $50,000,- 
000 of this being apportioned to wipe out the demand notes of 1861. The 
National Banking Law came into efifect in 1863, and was amended in 1864. By 
this law a Currency Bureau, and Comptroller of the Currency, were made part 
of the Treasury Department, Avith power to authorize banking associations to 
handle National currency under financial advantages not possible to the State 
banks. The latter desired to come into the new system, and nearly all of the 
states made this possible by withdrawing from circulation their old notes, the 
banks taking new ones from the L^nited States Treasury. Of the Pennsylvania 
State banks, fifty-seven entered the National system in 1863-65. By the year 
1867, Pennsylvania possessed only six State banks, not counting savings 
banks. By 1869, Luzerne County possessed five National banks, and three 
savings banks, if one might include in the latter the Markle private banking 
house which twenty-five years later became the Markle Banking and Trust 
Company. The five National banks, giving them in the order in which they 
were granted Federal certificates to do business as National banks, were : The 
First and Second National Banks of Wilkes-Barre, certificates Nos. 30 and 104, 
respectively; the First National Bank of Pittston, No. 468; the First National 
Bank of Plymouth, No. 707; and the Wyoming National Bank, of Wilkes- 
Barre, certificate No. 732. 

With the full establishment of the National banking system, American 
banking had finally emerged from the precarious experimental period. Hence- 
forth, American banking was to go forward along safe and sane lines, and 
carry the country with prosperity into first place among the wealthy nations 
of Occidental civilization. More than once, since the Civil War period, has the 
National system been put to the test, but in each test the Nation has emerged 
financially sound — all classes being convinced of the advantage they derive in 
making the Nation the bedrock of the banking system. A very sharp financial 
stringency occurred in 1873 — caused again by railway construction over- 
reaching the financial means — and some National banks failed, but "the one 
redeeming feature of the 'panic' of 1873 was the demonstration it aft'orded of 
the protection given by the National banking system. Securities deposited 
with the Treasury Department, against issuances of currency by the National 
banks that failed, made it possible for the Government to honor all the 
National bank notes issued." Banking, therefore, being set, by the National 
Banking Act, along the lines which it has, in general, followed ever since, the 
writer will devote the remainder of this review to a closer survey of the bank- 
ing history of Luzerne County. 

Strange to say, the Wyoming Bank, in 1861, came into possession of the' 
site of the Susquehanna Bank of 1816. The Sinton store, a one-storied frame 
building at the corner of Franklin and Market streets, had for long been a 
landmark, and indeed the place of considerable business — probably the largest 
general store business in Wilkes-Barre during its time, which by the way was 
before that of the department stores. The store was torn down in i860, and 



the new Wyoming Bank Building erected. ■ The latter was opened on March 
17, 1861. On January 19, 1865, the Wyoming Bank added "National" to its 
name, and as the Wyoming National Bank the institution has ever since l)een 
conducted. In November of the next year President Hollenback died. While 
most of his successors have held the chief executive office for lengthy periods, 
no Wyoming National Bank president has approached Air. Hollenback's rec- 
ord of thirty-four years as such. Among his successors have been General 
William S. Ross, Hon. Ziba Bennett, Col. Charles Dorrance, Sheldon Rey- 
nolds, Andrew H. McClintock. The present officers are : Dorrance Reynolds, 
president; Theodore S. Barber, vice-president, and C. M. Austin, cashier. At 
the end of 1926, the Wyoming National Bank had a paid in capital of $500,000 
and a surplus of more than $1,000,000. Its deposits totaled to $5,454,800. 

The First National Bank of Wilkes-Barre was evidently one of the first to 
apply for a National charter. It holds charter No. 30 of all the thousands of 
National charters that have been issued to National banks. The bank, organ- 
ized on April 14, 1863, was chartered on July 21 of that year, and opened its 
doors for business two weeks later — on August 8, with a capital of $51,500. 
Its first officers were : James McLean, president, and Thomas Wilson, cashier. 
Alexander McLean, brother of James, was one of the leading projectors of the 
bank, and the McLean family is still identified with the institution, William 
S. McLean, Sr., the existing president, being a son of Alexander McLean. He 
has been president for almost forty years. The existing vice-presidents are 
AVilliam H. Conyngham and Charles F. Huber. Francis Douglas is cashier. 
At the end of 1926 the First National Bank had capital of $375,000, a surplus 
of $1,125,070, and deposits aggregating $7,370,580. 

The Second National Bank of Wilkes-Barre, charter No. 104, was organ- 
ized on September 23, 1863, with a capital of $250,000. The original officers 
were: Thomas T. Atherton, president; M. L. Everett, cashier. Its officers in 
1926 were: H. B. Schooley, president; W. T. Payne, A. P. Kirby and E. B. 
Mulligan, vice-presidents ; and W. E. Lewis, vice-president and cashier. Its 
capital is $1,000,000, with surplus of $2,757,280, and deposits of more than 

The First National Bank of Pittston was organized in June, 1864, receiving 
National Charter No. 478. Theo. Strong was president for many years, 
and William L. Watson, once its cashier, was president fifteen years a^'o.' • The 
existing officers are: H. J. Mahon, president; S. M. Parke, vice-preside«t ; J. 
Benfield, cashier. At the end of 1926 its capital was $250,000, its surp.lri5 was 
$805,230, and its deposits amounted to $5,781,070. Identified with the bank fpp • 
many years was the late Mr. C. S. Crane, a shrewd, conservative bafike/ aM; 
for some years virtually managing the bank, as cashier. ! ,',i ^^'' 

The First National Bank of Plymouth, the fourth of the five chai'iv-r^d ir^' 
the 'sixties, w^as organized in September, 1865, its charter number belh^ 70.7;* 
and that of the Wyoming National Bank 732. The Plymouth instituticjj^b.egHii/ 
with a capital of $100,000. For its first few decades the bank had as it^i°i:a"esi- 
dent the Hon. John B. Smith, son of Abijah Smith, who, in 1807, helped i''^^' 
open at Plymouth the first anthracite coal mine operated in the United' ^Vates.' 
The first cashier of the bank was Henderson Gaylord. Edwin Davenp6tt' wae-- 
president for many years, Henry Lees, the present incumbent, being his* suc^- 
cessor. A. K. DeWitt, who is vice-president and cashier, has for the^ greater . 
part of his lifetime held the latter office. At the end of 1926 the bank ireported ■ 
its deposits at $5,498,200. Its capital is $200,000 and surplus $830,050.*.....* 

These National banks did their part in carrying the Nation's fmaaiceV* 
steadily during a critical period. The National currency in circulation at the end 
of the Civil War amounted to about $450,000,000. This flood of paper money 

w.-B.— 4 . 


would have constituted a most ominous financial state had the financial con- 
trol not been in the hands of a central authority. As it was. the Nation man- 
aged to exist and to rise above its financial difficulties during the next fifteen 
years, in which very little specie was in circulation. 

The two savings banks organized in Luzerne County during the 'sixties were 
the Miners' Savings Banks of Wilkes-Barre and Pittston. They were organized 
under State law, the Wilkes-Barre institution being the first of its kind in the 
county. An act incorporating it was passed on February 13, 1868, the associa- 
tors being authorized to conduct a savings and loan institution, and indeed to 
do all other business that came within the power of a State bank. The savings 
bank was the forerunner of the trust company, having power also "to act as 
executor or administrator of any deceased testator or intestate." The Wilkes- 
Barre institution had a paid-in capital of $150,000. and its afifairs were in the 
care of the following officers: A. C. Laning. president; Ziba Bennett, \\'alter 
G. Sterling and A. T. McClintock, vice-presidents ; J. A. Rippard. cashier. 
The institution was conservatively managed and steadily expanded its opera- 
tions. Latterly, it has been known as the Miners' Bank of Wilkes-Barre, and 
is now an immense banking institution, its deposits at the end of 1926 being 
S18.980.520. Its capital is two million dollars and its surplus in reserve is 
almost five millions. The present executives are : F. AL Kirby, chairman of 
board; C. W. Laycock. president; L M. Thomas, J. X. Conyngham, Samuel 
^IcCracken and F. A. Gamble, vice-presidents ; W. J. Rufif, cashier. 

The Miners' Savings Bank of Pittston was chartered under State law on 
November i. 1869, and, with a capital of $60,000, began to do a banking busi- 
ness much like that of the Wilkes-Barre institution, having as wide powers. 
Mr. A. Bryden was president for many years, and the present chief executive, 
W. L. Foster, was for many years cashier. Mr. W. J. Fowler is vice-president 
and Mr. Leo Reap is cashier. At the end of 1926 the condition of this strong 
institution was: Paid-in capital. $100,000; surplus, $1,595,530 ; deposits, 

One more of the existing banks of Luzerne County dates back to the 
"sixties. In 1867 a private banking company began to do business in Hazle- 
ton. the leading coal operators of that district giving banking accommoda- 
tion to their employees under the banking name of Parlee. Markle and Grier. 
In 1S72 they built a banking house. Eventually the company name was 
changed to Markle Ijrothers and Company. In June, 1892, as the volume of 
banking had grown considerably, corporate powers were taken, under the 
name Markle Banking and Trust Company, Avhich is the present name. At the 
end of 1926 its capital was $600,000, its surplus $1,224,190. and its deposits 
totaled 'to $6,621,120. The officers then were: Alvan Markle, president; 
Alvan Markle. Jr.. and C. J. Kirschner. vice-presidents. 

In the early 'seventies three of the existing banks of the county were 

', ^founded. Some others were established, but could not stand the stress of the 

financial storm that raged in 1873 ^^""^^ ^^^^ debris that could not be cleared for 

.'many .years. Perhaps this explains the blank space on Luzerne County's list 

\o:f ban'kmg promotions from 1872 to 1888. The People's Union Savings Bank 

of Ffttston and the Wilkes-Barre Deposit and Savings Bank were organized 

in 1 87 1, and the \Miitehaven Savings Bank in 1872, but the next that calls for 

notice is the Hazleton First National Bank, founded in 1888. In one or two 

instances, banks organized during this period, and conducted successfully 

-'througli the critical period, have since been merged with other banks, and so 

'•hav>? lost their identity in this record, which is of current institutions. 

■ The People's Union Savings Bank of Pittston, organized in 187 1 under 

State_law, was operated on a capital of $75,000 for many years. Its capital at 

end £}i.jg26 was $250,000; its surplus then was $504,530; and its deposits 

totaled- to $3,129,210. W. J. Kilgallon is president. The vice-president, A. C. 

■li- .,^1233 ^^ ^^ EE 



i| hill ii « ^J_ \_ i I 





Shoemaker, and cashier, W. H. McMillan, have held these offices for very 
many years. 

The movement to establish a bank in Whitehaven was active in 1871, and 
on January 2, 1872, an act was passed authorizing the associators to begin 
banking business, under State law, with a capital of $25,000, with authority to 
increase to $50,000. Mr. Abram F. Peters was identified with the Whitehaven 
Savings Bank during its early decades as its president. R. P. Crellin, wdio is 
now president, was a director of the bank more than thirty years ago. H. P. 
Baker is vice-president, and F. F. Baetz cashier. At the end of 1926 its capital 
was still $25,000. but its surplus was $135,600. The deposits then were 

The A\'ilkes-Barre Deposit and Savings Bank was incorporated, under 
State law, on ]\Iay 20, 1871, w'ith an authorized capital of $300,000. Before the 
bank opened for business on July i, 1871, $150,000 of this capital was paid in by 
the stockholders, who, in the main, constituted the directorate. The first 
directors were C. L. Lamberton, Stanley W^oodward, C. Brahl, J. McNeish, 
Jr.. ^^^ A\'. Ketcham, A. J. Pringle, F. J. Helfrich, Joseph Lippincott and J. P. 
Williamson. The two last named were elected president and cashier, respec- 
tively. In its fifty-five years of careful operation the bank has become an 
institution of $300,000 paid-in capital, $740,570 surplus and more than $5,000.- 
000 of deposits. The officers in 1926 were: J. R. Davis, president; J. J. 
Becker, vice-president; B. F. Williams, secretary. 

The First National Bank of Hazleton was founded in June, 1888, charter 
No. 3893, with capital of $100,000, and the following officers : A. W. Leisen- 
ring, president ; David Clark, vice-president ; John R. Leisenring, cashier. 
John B. Price, wdio was assistant cashier in the first years, is now^ president, an 
office he has held for almost a generation. The Heidenreich family, also, has 
been closely identified with the bank since its beginning; H. W. Heidenreich, 
vice-president, and P. G. Heidenreich, cashier, have acted as such for many 
years. At the end of 1926 the bank's paid-in capital was $500,000 ; its surplus 
was $806,280; and its deposits were $5,638,720. 

The First National Bank of Nanticoke was founded in November, 1888, 
charter No. 3955. Its doors were opened for business on January 14, 1889. 
Its original capital was $75,000. After three years of operation it had accumu- 
lated a surplus of $13,000 and deposits of $167,189. At the end of 1926 its 
capital was $150,000, its surplus was $1,250,000, and its deposits stood at 
$7,000,000. This tells its own story. The officers in the first years were ; 
John Smoulter. Jr., president; H. A\\ Search, vice-president; H. D. Flana- 
gan, cashier. Both Mr. Smoulter and Mr. Flanagan were in those respective 
offices for the first cpiarter century of the bank's existence. The officers in 
1926 were: C. A. Shea, president; J. H. Lecher, and F. H. Kohlnroker, vice- 
presidents, and William T. Harris, cashier. 

During the 'nineties four of the existing banks began theii careers. The 
Citizens" Bank of Freeland was incorporated on January 30, 1890, under State 
law'S. Its capital w^as $50,000, and its original officers were : Joseph Birk- 
beck. president; H. C. Koons, vice-president; B. R. Davis, cashier. Mr. Koons 
succeeded to the presidency and William Birkbeck became vice-president. 
The latter is now president, with C. O. Boyle as vice-president and W. E. 
Kahler as cashier. At the end of 1926 the paid-in capital was $200,000, the 
surplus was $447,680, and the deposits were $2,688,310. 

The Hazleton National Bank was founded in February, 1890, though it 
really might date its history back to May 23, 1871, when the Hazleton Savings 
Bank was organized and began business with a capital of $30,000. The 
National bank succeeded this savings bank of Hazleton by purchase in 1890, 
when it received its National charter, No. 4204. The original capital of the 
Hazleton National Bank was $100,000 and its first officers were A. S. Van 


Wickle, president ; Frank Pardee, vice-president ; A. M. Eby, cashier. Its 
paid-in capital in 1926 was $500,000; its surplus was $936,160, and its deposits 
totaled to more than five and a half millions of dollars. The officers at that 
time were : I. P. Pardee, president ; Frank and J. L. Pardee, vice-presidents, 
and B. E. Kunkle, cashier. 

The Wyoming Valley Trust Company of Wilkes-Barre was organized in 
1893, the first trust company, as latterly constituted, to be formed in Luzerne 

The year 1893 "^^s another of those of financial stringency in which even 
the very strong banks find themselves sorely strained to meet banking demands 
after one or two of the greatest have temporarily closed their doors. The 
failure of the great English banking house of Baring Brothers and Company, 
in 1890, shocked the world and started a period of depression. There has prob- 
ably never been such a money famine in the United States as that of 1893. 
The political strife over free silver had shaken confidence in the National 
prospects. The storage of silver as bullion by the United States Treasury had 
inflated the paper currency, and, after the Baring failure, Europe began to call 
in her loans and investments in this country. The closing of some banks 
started a scramble for coin, and in a few days the hoarding of money had 
swallowed up all our circulating medium. "No other civilized nation ever 
experienced such a currency famine" ; but the country was to witness another 
such hoarding of metallic currency in 1907. Early in 1893, the United States 
Treasury was "scraping on bare bottom." Soon, "there was not a gold dollar 
in the Treasury," and the bank crashes followed. President Cleveland ended 
the unnatural inflation of currency by repealing the law which compelled the 
purchase of silver, and McKinley, in 1896, pledged to sound money and a 
protective tarifif, brought a more satisfactory state of mind into financial cir- 
cles, but the National banking system had suffered severely. The uncertainty 
of National politics of recent years had influenced several of the National 
banks to give up their Federal charters and reorganize under State laws. 

In Pennsylvania the Trust Company Law seemed to promise better scope 
for banking business ; the trust companies came under the General Corpora- 
tion Act of 1874 and its supplement of 1889, and had certain privileges which 
were attractive, but nevertheless had to conform with certain adamant require- 
ments which were distinctly protective. Hence, the trust company form of 
banking promotion, or reorganization, became increasingly evident in Penn- 
sylvania between the two periods of National stringency — 1893 and 1907. By 
the year 1903 the funds of the trust companies of Pennsylvania aggregated 

Represented in this total were those of the Luzerne County trust com- 
panies. The Wyoming Valley Trust Company had gone on steadily through 
the periods of stringency. After twenty years of operations its capital paid in 
and fully pledged for the performance of its trusts, was $350,000. In addition, 
it had a surplus of $665,000. The officers then (in 1913) were: Fred Theis, 
president; John T. Lenahan, vice-president, and J. N. Thompson, treasurer. 
Mr. Theis is still president; W. B. Schaefifer, G. W. Moore are vice-presidents, 
as well as treasurer and secretary, respectively. At the end of 1926 the condi- 
tion of the Wyoming Valley Trust Company was reported as follows : Capi- 
tal, $350,000; surplus, $1,525,970; deposits, $5,869,670. 

The Kingston Deposit and Savings Bank has been merged in the Kingston 
Bank and Trust Company now functioning. The former was established in 
1896. In 1912 the officers of the Deposit and Savings Bank were: T. L. 
Newell, president; E. M. Rosser, vice-president, and E. J. Evans, cashier. Its 
capital was $100,000, with surplus of $200,000. Fifteen years later (1927), the 
Kingston Bank and Trust Company was officered by E. M. Rosser, president, 
and E. J. Evans, cashier, both of the old company. T. C. Edwards is vice- 


president and secretary. The condition of the Bank and Trust Company at 
the end of 1926 was reported as : Capital, $950,000; surplus, $486,000; deposits. 
$5,126,160. In August, 1927, the directors of the West Side Trust Company 
voted to merge with the Kingston Bank and Trust Company, the consolidation 
creating an institution with resources totaling to about $13,000,000. 

Banking was especially active during the first decade of this century. No 
less than nine new National banks were founded in Luzerne County, and in 
addition five State banks and trust companies were chartered. The National 
banks came into operation in the following order: Schickshinny First National 
Bank, charter No. 5573, in 1900; Freeland First National Bank, charter No. 
6175, in 1902; Plymouth National Bank, charter No. 6881, in 1903; Nanticoke 
National Bank, charter No. 7406, in 1904; Dallas First National Bank, 
charter No. 8164, in 1906; Wyoming First National, charter No. 8517, in 
1906; Avoca First National Bank, charter No. 8494, in 1907; Ashley First 
National Bank, charter No. 8655, in 1907; Luzerne National Bank, charter No. 
8921, in 1907. The State banks organized were: The People's Savings and 
Trust Company of Hazleton, in 1905 ; the Wilkes-Barre South Side Bank and 
Trust Company, in 1906 ; the Dime Bank Title and Trust Company of Wilkes- 
Barre, in 1908; and the Citizens' Bank of Parsons, the Discount and Deposit 
Bank of Old Forge, and the West Side Bank of Pittston, in 1909. The growth 
of these fourteen institutions during the last fifteen years is shown by the 
following statistics : 

Capital Surplus Profits 

Shickshuniy First National Bank: 

191 1 — Jesse Beedle, president; E. W. Garrison, vice- 
president ; D. Z. Mensch, cashier $50,000 $25,000 

1926 — E. W. Garrison, president; R. W. Beedle, vice- 
president; D. 2. Mensch, cashier 125,000 125,000 $1,649,790 

Freeland First National Bank: 

191 1 — A. Oswald, president; G. S. Christian, vice- 
president; J. G. Bell, cashier 75,ooo 15,000 

1926 — J. G. Saricks, president ; S. S. Hess, vice-pres- 
ident ; G. S. Christian, cashier 150,000 227,600 2,071,720 

Plymouth Natio)ial Bank: 

191 1 — J. R. Powell, president; G. N. Postlethwaite, 

cashier; J. J. Aloore, vice-president 100,000 65,000 

19-6 — Chas. Kuschke, president; C. L. Ashley, vice- 
president ; W. H. Ha3'ward, cashier 100,000 304,250 2,632,050 

Nanticoke National Bank: 

191 1 — A. A. Enke, president; A. Lape, vice-president; 

E. M. Muir, cashier 100,000 30,000 

19-^6 — D. S. Pensyl, president; E. J. Williams, vice- 
president; R. R. Zarr, cashier 100,000 321,060 3,078,170 

Dallas First National Bank: 

1911 — George R. Wright, president; Reese D. Isaacs, 

vice-president ; F. Leavenworth, cashier 25,000 8,000 

19^6 — Geo. R. Wright, president; D. P. Honeywell 
and C. A. Frantz, vice-presidents ; W. B. Jeter, 

cashier 50,000 30,810 539,460 

Wyoming First National Bank: 

191 1 — W. J. Fowler, president; J. B. Schooley, vice- 
president; Frank D. Cooper, cashier 50,000 30,000 

1926 — W. J. Fowler, president ; J. I. Shoemaker, vice- 
president ; Frank D. Cooper, cashier 50,000 215,000 1,540,000 

Avoca First National Bank: 

191 1 — Jno. F. McLaughlin, president; Edward Laird, 

vice-president; H. N. Weller, cashier 50,000 25,000 

1926 — John F. McLaughlin, president; J. Henderson, 

vice-president ; H. N. Weller, cashier 50,000 198,380 1,582,770 

Ashley First National Bank: 

1911 — W. B. Foss, president; W. A. Edgar, cashier.. 50,000 25,000 

1926— The same officers 150,000 189,656 2,272,990 


Capital Surplus Profits 

Lnzcnic National Bank: 

igii — \V. J. Parry, president; Henry C. Johnson, vice- 
president ; G. M. Harris, cashier 50,000 20,000 

1926 — W. J. Parry, president; S. P. Frantz, vice- 
president; W. W. Burleigh, cashier 150,000 135,55° i,'V3,530 

Peoples Savings and Trust Company, Hazlcton: 

191 1 — A. W. Drake, president; C. C. Heller, vice- 
president; M. G. Shennan, treasurer; H. Ole- 
vvine, secretary 125,000 50,000 

1926 — A. W. Drake, president; G. W. Wilmot, vice- 
president; M. G. Shennan, treasurer; W. A. 

Deisroth, secretary 250,000 500,000 4,500,000 

South Side Bank and Trust Company, of IVilkes-Barre : 

191 1 — Geo. T. Dickover, president ; Henry Schappert, 

vice-president; Roger F. Williams, cashier.... 75,ooo -5,ooo 

1926 — G. T. Dickover, president; Hy. Shappert, J. G. 
Schuler, vice-presidents ; R. S. Williams, treas- 
urer ; G. M. Reiley, secretary 125,000 I79,350 i.740,900 

Di)ne Bank, Title, and Trust Company, of IVilkes-Barre: 

191 1 — (As Dime Deposit Bank), Charles F. Hess, 
president; J. Frank Hart, vice-president; O. 
R. Wolfe, cashier 200,000 100,000 

1926 — Ross H. Lloyd, president; A. G. Isaacs, J. E. 

Griffin; Z. S. Robbins, vice-president 400,000 684,000 3,^)39,390 

Citizens Bank of Parsons: 

191 1 — Frank J. Scouten, president; Fred V. Chase, 

vice-president; Vincent A. Shindel, cashier.... 50,000 3, 700 

1926 — F. N. Chase, president ; J. W. Wall, vice-pres- 
ident ; Jos. L. Golden, cashier 50,000 121,540 952,180 

Old Forge Discount and Deposit Bank: 

191 1 — T. J. Stewart, president; Frank Berger, vice- 
president; J. J. Rawson, cashier 50,000 10,000 

1926 — -T. J. Stewart, president ; Frank Berger, vice- 
president ; R. E. Siebecker, cashier 50,000 127,000 1,149,440 

PVest Side Bank, of Pittston: 

191 1 — ^L. B. Hillard, president; T. B. Mitten, vice- 
president ; B. W. Tennant, cashier 50,000 1,500 

f926 — R. S. Brenton, president ; S. J. Howell, vice- 
president ; B. R. Sayes, cashier 50,000 .^1,050 '>39.340 

Since 1907 the State has been gaining ground on the Nation in the matter 
of banking promotions. Although the first seven years of the twentieth cen- 
tury saw the founding of nine National banks in Luzerne County, and only 
two State banks during the same period, the two decades since 1907 have seen 
only five additional National banks organized in the county, but during the 
same twenty years twenty-six new banking institutions of Luzerne County 
have elected to operate vmder State charter. The inference is that the l^anking 
laws of the Commonwealth have lost their one-time looseness and as now 
framed give the State a banking system as steady and well protected as that 
of the Nation. It is, of course, not possible to do without the National system, 
but the State system now amply supplements it, and for some phases of bank- 
ing is preferable. 

The National l)anks incorporated since 1907 are : Edwardsville People's 
National Bank, in 1910; Pittston Liberty National Bank, in 1920; Nescopeck 
National Bank, in 1922; Mocanaqua First National Bank, in 1923; and King- 
ston First National Bank, in 1926. 

The State banks of Luzerne County that have come into existence since 
1910 are: The Heights Deposit Bank, of Wilkes-Barre, chartered in 1910; the 
Dime Bank of Pittston, and the Hanover Bank and Trust Company, in 191 1 ; 
the Glen Lyon Bank, in 1912; the Pennsylvania Bank and Trust Company of 
Wilkes-Barre, in 1912; the Miners' Bank of West Hazleton, in 1913; the 
American Bank and Trust Company of Hazleton, in 1916; the Miners' Trust 


Company of Nanticoke. in i()2o; the AVest Side Trust Company of Kingston 
and the Union Savings liank and Trust Comjjany of W'ilkes-lUirre, in 1921 , 
the Farmers" State IJank of Shickshinny, the Lil)erty State I'ank and Trust 
Company of Wilkes-Barre, in 1922; the People's Saving and Trust Company 
of Nanticoke, Merchants' and Miners' State Bank of Luzerne, People's State 
Bank of Newtown, People's Savings and Trust Company of Duryea, the State 
Bank of Plains, the City Bank and Trust Company of Plazleton, the -Miners' 
and Merchants' State Bank of Old Forge, and the Pincoln Deposit and Savings 
Bank of Wilkes-Barre, all incorporated in 1923; the North Fnd State P)ank 
of Wilkes-Barre, in 1926, and the Forty Fort State Bank, opened in 1927. 
At the end of 1926 the condition of these banks was reported as follows: 

National Banks. 


1910 — Edwardsville. People's National Bank; charter No. 98O2 ; \V. J. Treniliath, president; 
John H. Rice, vice-president; L. L. Reese, cashier; capital, $123,000: surplns, $225,000; 
deposits, $1,500,0000. 

1920 — Pittston. Liberty National Bank; F. L. Pinola, president; C. F. Donnelly, vice-presi- 
dent; F. A. Loro, vice-president and cashier. Capital, $250,000; surlpus, $134,760; 
deposits, $1,434,460. 

1922 — Nescopeck National Bank. Wilson Harter, president; C. M. Harter and E. S. Walker, 
vice-presidents; William T. Hettcr, cashier. Capital, $25,000; surplus, $16,000; 
deposits. $277,080. 

1923 — Mocanaqua First National Bank. S. AI. \\ hitesell. president; Jnlin Bridal, vice-pres- 
ident; W. D. Taylor, cashier. Capital, $25,000; surplus, $5,000; deposits, $250,000. 

1926 — Kingston First National Bank. O. R. Mullison. president; E. G. Chapin, R. H. Scure- 
man, vice-presidents; H. R. Hay, cashier. Capital, $100,000; surplus. $30,000; deposits, 

Statk Baxks. 

1910 — Wilkes-Barre. Heights Deposit Bank. J. H. Shea, president; John Repa, vice-presi- 
dent; L. J. Moore, cashier. Capital, $50,000; surplus, $21i,7(k3; deposits, $1,642,520. 

igii — Pittston. Dime Bank. Alexander Sloan. Sr., president; T. A. Giblwns, vice-president; 
B. W. Tennant, cashier. Capital, $100,000; surplus, $257,050; deposits, $2,226,110. 

191 1 — Hanover Bank and Trust Company. Geo. Nicholson, president; W. S. Goff, vice-pres- 
ident; D. R. Tredinnick, cashier. Capital, $250,000; surplus, $373,990; deposits, 

1912— Glen Lyon Bank. J. L. Myers, president; W. B. Miller. Z. Sweitzer and W. C. Miller, 
vice-presidents; C. H. Seitz, cashier. Capital, $50,000; surplus, $69,120; deposits, 

1912 — Wilkes-Barre. Pennsylvania Bank and Trust Company. A. \'. Kosek, president; Mich- 
ael Eosak, A. S. Chuya, vice-presidents: J. AL Hiznay, cashier. Capital, $200,000; 
surplus, $314,740; deposits, $2,348,590. 

1913 — West Hazleton. Miners' Bank. J. H. Jones, president; Daniel Sachse, vice-president; 
Horace H. Price, cashier. Capital, $125,000; surplus, $152,630; deposits, $1,337,920. 

1916 — Hazleton. American Bank and Trust Company. John Shigo. president ; J. G. Koch- 
ezynski and M. Yurkanin, vice-president and treasurer ; A. G. Kotch, secretary. Cap- 
ital, $400,000; surplus, $552,540; deposits, $4,754,360. 

1920 — Nanticoke. Miners Trust Company. Emil Malinowski, president ; John Karboski, 
John Malinowski, vice-presidents; H. S. Twarowski, treasurer: M. J. Cannon, secre- 
tary. Capital, $125,000; surplus, $223,470; deposits, $2,090,220. 

1921 — Kingston. West Side Trust Company. Donald O. Coughlin, president; F. P. Oliver, 
Charles F. Hess, vice-presidents ; Harold Tippert, treasurer ; W. H. Cocking, secre- 
tary. Capital, $450,000; surplus, $295,630; deposits. $1,885,350. 

1921 — Wilkes-Barre. Union Savings Bank and Trust Company. H. N. Rust, president; A. J. 
Sardoni, L. B. Jones and M. E. Moore, vice-presidents; O. S. Parker, treasurer; Neil 
Chrisman, secretary. Capital, $452,350; surplus, $348,730; deposits, $1,787,380. 

1922 — Shickshinny. Farmers State Bank. L. B. Davenport, president ; E. B. Koons, vice- 
president ; J. M. Bredbenner, cashier. Capital, $50,000; surplus, $10,000; deposits, 

1922 — Wilkes-Barre. Liberty State Bank and Trust Company. T. F. Farrell, president : F. C. 
Wintermute, vice-president; G. Yesko, treasurer; J. J. Kocyan, secretary. Capital, 
$150,000; surplus, $119,200; deposits, $362,680. 



1923 — Nanticoke. Peoples Savings and Trust Company. Wm. W. Smith, president; F. E. 
Davis, F. W. Quoos, vice-presidents; W. J. Morgan, cashier. Capital, $180,000; sur- 
plus, $30,790; deposits, $602,650. 

1923 — Luzerne. Merchants and Miners State Bank. R. Cobie, president; C. A. Hoff, vice- 
president; J. M. Sheibley, cashier. Capital, $50,000; surplus, $15,570; deposits, 

1923 — Newtown (Ashley P. O.). Peoples State Bank. T. A. Curley, president; Calvin M. 
Keller, vice-president; R. J. Lynott, cashier. Capital, $75,000; surplus, $15,000; 
deposits, $337,650. 

1923 — Duryea. Peoples Savings and Trust Company. Geo. Swantkowski, president; E. G. 
Watkins, J. H. Breymeier, A. J. Baker, vice-presidents ; W. F. Barson, treasurer ; E. T. 
Daniels, secretary. Capital, $125,000; surplus, $41,190; deposits, $784,440. 

1923 — Plains State Bank. T. H. James, president ; J. F. Kropp, vice-president ; Butler O. 
Bowen, vice-president and cashier. Capital, $175,000; surplus, $71,000; deposits, 

1923 — Hazleton. City Bank and Trust Company. H. Drosdick, president; J. H. Lahm, vice- 
president; Z. Drosdick, secretary and treasurer. Capital, $125,000; surplus, $56,950; 
deposits, $1,055,510. 

1923 — Old Forge. Miners and Merchants State Bank. G. L. Timlin, president; L. M. Potter, 
W. J. G. Salmon, vice-presidents; Frank Lally, cashier. Capital, $62,500; surplus, 
$12,990; deposits, $273,060. 

1923 — Wilkes-Barre. Lincoln Deposit and Savings Bank. M. S. Frederick, president; John 
F. McGroarty and E. J. Brislin, vice-presidents ; Geo. O. Mutter, cashier. Capital, 
$50,000; surplus, $10,000; deposits, $362,500. 

1926 — \\'ilkes-Barre. North End State Bank. D. J. Cray, president; G. A. Johnson, vice- 
president; J. Petro, cashier. Capital, $50,000; surplus, $10,000; deposits, $224,570. 

1927 — Forty Fort State Bank. E. M. Rosser, president ; R. H. Garrahan, A. A. Killian, vice- 
presidents ; H. B. Glidden, cashier. Capital, $100,000; surplus, $25,000. 

The financial stringencies of 1893 ^^^1 1907 seem insignificant when one 
brings under discussion the extraordinary measures taken by the Nation in 
191 7-19 to find the means with which to successfully wage the greatest of all 
the wars of history. The banks of the country virtually carried the First Lib- 
erty Loan themselves, and had leading part in steering the others, and with 
them the Nation, through to victory. When it is pointed out that the Nation 
was called upon to provide, during the few years of war and reconstruction, 
more than fifty billions of dollars — including Government loans to our allies — 
and that the four years of the Civil War did not call for more than two and a 
half billions, one realizes what a responsibility rested upon the financial 
advisers of the United States during the World War period. In no year pre- 
vious to 1917 did appropriations made by Congress exceed a billion dollars; 
in 1918 the appropriations made by Congress exceeded eighteen billions 
($18,144,861,745), and the appropriations of 1919 exceeded twenty-five bil- 
lions ($25,598,967,518). That these astounding, well-nigh incredible, appro- 
priations were made and met is not perhaps as surprising as that the National 
credit was maintained when the reaction came. The triumphant outcome has 
demonstrated the strength of American banking systems, also the ability of 
American bankers. Undoubtedly, the great stabilitating factor was the Fed- 
eral Reserve Bank, which was organized to meet the impending extraordinary 
financial burdens of the World War; but there were times during 1919, 1920, 
and 1921 when it seemed that even the strongest of strong systems would 
collapse, just as aliuost all European banking systems had. Few people realize 
how near America was in 1921 to a money panic — to a stringency more dis- 
astrous than any in history. As 1920 ended, the Federal Reserve Bank had in 
actual circulation Federal Reserve paper to the extent of three and one-third 
billion dollars. The lending resources of the banks had been taxed to the 
verge of danger. The Federal Reserve ratio stood at forty-five per cent., or 
within five per cent, of the danger line which the framers of the Federal 
Reserve Bank Act forbade banks to cross. The year 1921 opened ominously, 


but. fortunately, the peak of inflation had been reached, and, by skillful 
manipulation of finances, the disaster which had been feared was averted. By 
the end of 1921, the Federal Reserve ratio was found to be appreciably above 
seventy per cent., with a billion dollars less of its paper money in circulation 
than in the beginning- of that year. This great achievement was made possible 
only by the combined effort of all the responsible bankers of the country. 
Undoubtedly, Luzerne County bankers had part in this supreme financial 
effort which steadied the National credit, and safeguarded the abnormal 
investments of the public. There was scarcely one patriotic American family 
that had not pledged itself to the limit — the greater number of them far 
beyond the sane limit — during the Liberty Loan campaigns. Had the National 
credit even temporarily collapsed, the Government securities might have tot- 
tered to depths reached by those of European governments. The loss to the 
average investor would have been overwhelming. Instead, by the masterly 
handling of finance by great American bankers — those who make it their life- 
work to protect the savings of the hard working productive American citizens, 
the latter were enabled to carry on their industrial enterprises unembarrassed. 
The business man could not do without the banker, and the wage-earner would 
soon find his surplus disappearing through holes in his pocket had he not 
formed the habit of putting his money in the safe custody of one who makes it 
his business to safeguard it, c. g., his banker. Progressive Americans no longer 
hoard money in stockings. They know it is safer in the bank ; moreover, more 
productive. The time when money was permitted to lie idle has long since 

Luzerne County has three clearing houses as a necessary part of the bank- 
ing system. All bank traffic — cheques, drafts, and so forth, handled in the 
interchange of the circulating mediums of commerce — in the Hazleton district 
pass through the Hazleton Clearing House to or from the banks of that part 
of Luzerne County. In 1926 the Hazleton Clearing House was headed by : 
M. G. Shennan, chairman; Alvan Markle, Jr., president; B. E. Kunkle, vice- 
president ; M. Yurkanin, secretary, and George H. Martin, manager. The 
Pittston district is a clearing house zone, the Pittston Clearing House in 1926 
having the following officers: T. A. Gibbons, president; A. C. Shoemaker, 
vice-president; F. A. Loro, treasurer; William Wicks, secretary. The Wilkes- 
Barre Clearing House, necessarily the largest in Luzerne County, is governed 
by: William .S. McLean, chairman; George O. Motter, secretary, and C. M. 
Austin, manager. The bank clearings of AVilkes-Barre totaled to $208,000,000 
in 1925. 



So much has been written in earlier chapters — particularly, in Chapters 
XL, XLIV, XLVII and XLVIII, which are devoted mainly to the history of 
anthracite coal mining — that this chapter, on the same subject, must neces- 
sarily be more technical and statistical than historical. It is, of course, an 
historical review, or at least, the historical background must be shown, but 
only to illustrate subsequent development and to compare early mining condi- 
tions with modern. 

The leading mineral industry of the Lhiited States is coal mining. Penn- 
sylvania, thirty-second among the states in size and second in population, 
takes first place in the value of mineral products and in the number of persons 
employed in the industry. Almost all the anthracite coal produced in America 
is mined in Pennsylvania, and all the anthracite of Pennsylvania is contained 
in an area of about 500 square miles of ten eastern counties of that State. Of 
these ten counties, the richest in mineral wealth is Schuylkill. Xext comes 
Luzerne, which is really the heart of the anthracite coal region of America ; 
and it is in the Wyoming region that one must delve for the bases of anthracite 
mining industry, also for the last word as to its modern development. It was 
from the Wyoming Valley that the pioneer operators, Abijah Smith & Co., 
shipped fifty-five tons of "stone'' coal, in 1807. It was they who did what 
earlier miners had failed to do. Difficulties in marketing the product only made 
the brothers Smith more determined to find markets. They were the first to 
depend for their livelihoods upon anthracite coal mining, and though they did 
not reap the full monetary reward that should have been theirs, the despised 
industry they sponsored grew to such proportions that, a century or so later, 
it was producing coal to the extent of almost one hundred million tons in a 
year (output of anthracite coal in 191 7 was 99,611,811 tons of 2,000 pounds — - 
according to the report of the LT. S. Geological Survey). The mining of coal 
represented, in 1919, the labor of 147,372 mine workers ; it was made possible 
by mining plants Avhich had cost $433,868,039, the equipment including 245 
coal breakers for the 374 mines operated. Truly, the primitive mining of one 
hundred and twenty years ago, and the difficulties of subsequent years have 
led to wonderful industrial achievements — to an industry that yields the means 
of life to at least 500,000 persons and provides the warmth that keeps Ameri- 
cans comfortable in their homes at times when zero conditions prevail outside. 

The "stone" coal which, in the first disastrous days of trying to market it, 
was thought to be fit only for use as gravel, in driveways and garden pathways, 
is now so necessary to winter comfort in the average American home, so vital 
a heating means in large cities — because of its smokelessness — that a labor 
dispute which stops mining is looked upon as a National calamity, afii'ecting 
not only capital and labor, but the American public in general. The enterprise 
and persistence of a few sturdy men of the Wyoming Valley more than a 
century ago, therefore, had an important bearing upon American prosperitv 
and life of the present. In the truest sense, those early coal miners of the 
Wyoming Valley were not only industrial pioneers of Luzerne, but of America 
— at least, so far as anthracite coal mining comes into the National industrial 
efifort. That it does come, and importantly, has already been shown. 

Anthracite coal measures lie in the counties of W^ayne, Susquehanna, 



Lackawanna, Luzerne, Carbon. Schuylkill. Columbia, Northuml)erland. Dau- 
phin, and Sullivan counties. They are divided into three principal fields : 
known as the Northern or AX'yoming-; the Middle or Lehigh, and the South- 
ern or Schuylkill. There is a fourth held, the Bernice basin, in Sullivan 
County, but this, for statistical purposes is put into the Northern. The great 
Northern coalfield crosses Luzerne County, and the so-called Eastern ^Middle 
coalfield runs along the southern border of the county. Subdivided into 
twenty-five local districts, the Northern or Wyoming field includes the Car- 
bondale, Scranton. Pittston, Wilkes-Barre, Plymouth and Kingston districts, 
also the Bernice district ; the Eastern Middle or Lehigh field includes the 
Green Mountain. Black Creek, Hazleton. Beaver ^Meadow and Panther Creek 
districts ; while the Western Middle field of three districts (East Mahanoy, 
West Mahanoy and Shamokin) is grouped with the Southern District in the 
Schuylkill trade region. The chief districts of the Southern coalfield are East 
Schuylkill, West Schuylkill, Lorberry and Lykens Valley. 

Between the Northern and Middle fields in Luzerne County runs "the great 
Montour's Ridge rock-arch, bringing to the surface an anticlinal belt of !Mar- 
cellus, Hamilton, and Chemung rocks," and although Wilkes-Barre and Hazle- 
ton are twenty miles apart, "the same coal beds can be recognized at the two 
places, showing that they once spanned the wide rock-arch of the W'apwal- 
lopen valley,"' indeed, "that all the coalfields w^ere once united ; and that the 
slow erosion of ages has spared to the people of Pennsylvania but a small 
fraction of the mineral which once covered the entire area of the State." 

"The Wyoming coal basin." reads the Report of Progress X of the Second 
Geological Survey of Pennsylvania (1885), "enclosed between the Shick- 
shinny Mountain on the north and the Wyoming Mountain on the south, with 
their terraces of Conglomerate, is (as to its coal area) 4 miles wide at Pittston. 
5^2 at Wilkes-Barre. 2i/< at Nescopec and comes to a point at Hartville, a 
length in the county of about 25 miles. Its floor, being crumpled into many 
diagonal rolls, it is sub-divided into as many small basins, which run out east- 
ward against the side of the Wyoming Mountain. The deepest of these basins 
near A\'ilkes-Barre holds about 900 feet of coal measures, and 16 coal beds, 
mined at 59 collieries (in the Wyoming Mine Inspector's District), producing 
in 1883 7.400.096 tons. The Pittston ]\Iine Inspector's District (three-fourths 
of which is in this county) supports 39 collieries, producing in 1883 2.173,144 
tons The Eastern Middle coalfield in the southern townships is sub- 
divided into fourteen coal basins, lying side by side on an elevated plateau of 

the Conglomerate some of them deep enough only to hold the lowest 

workable coal bed; others, the Buck Mountain Mammoth and several higher 
beds. Of these, the Black Creek Basin has an east and west length of 2t, miles 
(in this county) by a width of i to 1^4 miles; the Hazleton Basin a length of 
12 miles and a width of one mile. In the Green Mountain Mine District are 
5 collieries, producing, in 1883, 429,555 tons ; in the Black Creek District. 24 
collieries, producing 2,455,091 tons; in the Hazleton District. 15 collieries, 
producing 1.443.448 tons; and in the Beaver Meadow District (partly in 
Schuylkill County) 12 collieries, producing 1.236.006 tons; total (for Eastern 
Middle coalfield). 56 collieries and 5,564.100 tons. While in the Wilkes-Barre 
Basin there remain about 900 feet of coal measures, w^ith a total thickness of 
90 feet of coal, more or less, there remain in the Black Creek Basin only 558' 
of measures, with 38 feet of coal; and at Hazleton 528' of measures, with 81 

feet of coal The Carbondale main coal is 7' thick ; the Baltimore bed 

at Wilkes-Barre 15', and the Red Ash bed 17'; the Buck Alountain bed at 
Nanticoke 10'. In the Black Creek Basin the Buck Mountain bed is 13' and 
the Mammoth bed 2/'. At Hazleton the Twin bed is 12' (with a 3' parting) ; 
another 158' below it is 9'; a third 42' lower is 4^2'; a fourth 6' lower is 


63%'; the Mammoth 124' lower is 33'; the Wharton bed, 44' lower is 9'; and 
the Buck Mountain bed 88' lower is 8' thick." 

According to the statistics of the Fourteenth Census of the United States, 
63.4% of the anthracite mines of Pennsylvania operated in 1919 were in the 
Wyoming (Northern) coalfield, and only 13.6% of Pennsylvania's total were 
in the Lehigh (or Middle) coalfield. Of the 374 active anthracite mines of 
Pennsylvania in 1919, 237 are in the Wyoming field and 51 in the Lehigh field. 
Of the 245 coal breakers, 135 are in the Wyoming coalfield and 29 in the 
Lehigh. Of the 261,355 acres of coal land operated, 120,168 (or 46.0%) are in 
the Wyoming and 26,746 acres (10.2%) in the Lehigh coalfield. Of 147,372 
wage-earners, 83,959 were in the Wyoming field (or 57.0%) and 19,472 (or 
13.2%) in the Lehigh. Of $433,868,039 invested in the 254 anthracite mining 
enterprises of Pennsylvania, $233,977,334 (or 53.9%) is the proportion of 
Wyoming coalfield properties and $64,057,110 (or 14.8%) is the Lehigh coal- 
field investment. Of $210,289,473 expended in wages during 1919, $118,765,340 
(or 56.5%) was earned in the Wyoming coalfield, and $27,964,063 (or 13.3%) 
in the Lehigh. Of $364,084,142 worth of coal produced in 1919, $208,738,489 
worth was produced in the Wyoming field (or 57.3%) and $54,376,559 worth 
in the Lehigh field (or 14.9%). Of 78,723,668 tons of anthracite produced in 
1919, 43,016,303 tons were mined and 298,807 tons washed in the Wyoming 
coalfield (or 55%), and 11,881,375 tons were mined and 176,846 tons were 
washed in the Lehigh coalfield (15.3%), all figures given being of "long" tons 
(2,240 pounds). It is thus seen that the Northern, or Wyoming, coalfield, the 
greater part of which is in Luzerne County, yields more than one-half of the 
anthracite coal mined in America. 

Although Abijah Smith and his brother are looked upon, and rightly, as 
the pioneers of the anthracite coal industry, they were not the discoverers of 
the coalfield. Neither were they the first operators. The Smith brothers come 
into place as the pioneers because they were the first to steadily apply them- 
selves to shipping coal out of the Wyoming region and to finding markets for 
it. The discoverers of the "stone" coal were undoubtedly the Indians, who 
were first in the region. The outcrop of the coal measures was exposed and 
visible to the eye of any passer-by. John Jenkins, who surveyed a part of the 
Wyoming Valley for the Connecticut proprietors, the Susquehanna Company, 
in 1762, reported "finding coal outcropping at two points." The company, on 
April 17, 1763, voted "to reserve for the use of the company all beds and mines 
of iron and coal that may be within the towns or ordered for settlement." 

This followed the usual procedure of colonization companies of colonial 
days. Penn's colonization plans hinged importantly upon the possibility of 
finding mineral deposits, in the exploitation of which the Penns would benefit, 
by reserving a proprietary interest. But Penn's agents were not looking for 
coal. W^illiam Penn, and his early governors and advisers, were ever hope- 
ful of discovering the more precious mineral deposits, gold, silver, copper. In 
1708, Avhen Penn first had an inkling that "the King of the Shawnee Indians 
was quietly working mines for Mitchel" and his own lieutenant-governor, 
John Evans, he was jubilant and optimistic. In a letter to James Logan, sec- 
retary of the province, William Penn indicated what the news augured for 
him. He wrote: "I am glad .... that mines so rich are so certainly found, 
for that will clear the country and me of all other encumbrances." William 
Penn was an ironmaster, and iron ore might interest him, but he was, in fact, 
in desperate straits for money and was pinning his faith on the discovery and 
exploitation of higher minerals, which alone could bring him quickly the 
money he needed. The operations of the "King of the Shawnee Indians" in 
1708 are believed to have been in Lancaster County, far from the Wyoming 
Valley, but had Indians of the latter region taken pieces of the outcropping 
"black diamonds" to Penn's mining experts of that period, it is doubtful 


whether they would have viewed the pieces of "stone coal" as anything more 
than interesting geological specimens. Penn went to his grave, with hope 
deferred — as so many other pioneers have — and his sons and grandsons had 
little better fortunes. The lieutenant-governor, in 1720, sank some of the 
proprietor's money in trying to operate the copper mines, and Thomas Penn, 
in 1730, had a one-sixth interest in another copper mining company, which 
failed. In 1766, James Filghman, of Philadelphia, wrote to Thomas and Rich- 
ard Penn, informing them of a "very great fund of coal in the hills" of the 
Wyoming region ; but all the response was a polite note from Penn to Filgh- 
man, informing the latter that his specimens had been handed over to "some 
persons skilled in that article." 

A few years later, in 1768. one of the settlers in the Wyoming Valley was 
using anthracite (or "black stones") in his smithy. In blacksmiths' forges it 
was used in the Wyoming Valley quite successfully during the next decade ; 
and, during the Revolution coal mined near Wilkes-Barre was shipped to 
Carlisle, and there used in the making of guns for the Continental Army. In 
1788, Jesse Fell, of Wilkes-Barre, was forging nails, with anthracite as his fuel. 

By this time, therefore, it was recognized, at least in the Wyoming region, 
that "stone" coal had a definite industrial value. In 1790, the statement was 
made that coal existed, in abundance, in the Schuylkill region, but was not 
much used. In 1791,, Philip Ginter, while hunting, discovered a bed of coal in 
Carbon County — on the Mauch Chunk Mountain. A century later a move- 
ment was initiated in the Pennsylvania Senate to erect a monument to Philip 
Ginter "as the discoverer on anthracite coal in Pennsylvania." The move- 
ment died an early death, for it was soon apparent that although important 
developments might, justly, be attributed to the finding of coal by Ginter, he 
should not be lauded as the "discoverer." No white man has the right to that 
distinctive place. Ginter took his samples to Fort Allen, and, for some recom- 
pense, showed Colonel Jacob Weiss and some associates where the coal bed 
outcropped, or at least where it clung to the roots of a fallen tree. The Lehigh 
Coal Mining Company was the outcome — the first group of men associated to 
undertake an anthracite operation. Its successor eventually was the Lehigh 
Coal and Navigation Company, a corporate name prominent for more than a 
century in anthracite mining history. 

The Lehigh Coal ]\Iining Company did not carry their exploitation very 
far for some years. In the Wyoming Valley, blacksmiths generally used the 
coal in their smithy forges, but the Lehigh Company could not find even such 
a market, and for domestic use the coal was not yet thought well suited. 
Coal was found in Carbondale in 1799, and in the first year of the new century, 
Robert Morris, the great financier of the Revolution, made the first shipment 
of coal from the Schuylkill region. In 1802-03, the Lehigh Coal Mining Com- 
pany shipped two arks of coal to Philadelphia. The operators hoped to develop 
a domestic trade, as well as a municipal demand, for the hard coal, but they 
seemed doomed to disappointment and failure. The trials were unsatisfac- 
tory and the broken coal was not a very acceptable substitute for the gravel 
used in driveways and garden paths. 

However, at least some of the coal was put to good use. Oliver Evans, 
when requested to give his "opinion of the qualities of the Lehigh coals," 
certified, on February 15, 1803, that he had "experienced the use of them in a 
close stove and also in a fireplace," and that he had found the anthracite coal 
to give "a greater degree of heat than any other coal" he was "acquainted 
with." Further testimony was given in May, 1805, by Frederick Grafif, clerk 
of the Philadelphia Waterworks. He said he had "made a trial of the Lehigh 
coal sometime in the year 1802 at the Pennsylvania Bank, in the large stove," 
and had found it "to answer .... exceedingly well." "They (the coals) give 
an excellent heat and burn lively," he said. Graff was of the opinion that 


"for the use of familys, the fireplaces can be so constituted with a small expense 
as to have the sufficient draft required." 

A "newly-invented iron grate, calculated for coal," was on the market in 
Philadelphia in 1807. Evidently, thoughtful men were beginning to see that 
coal might come into place alongside wood as household fuel. Nevertheless, 
a shipment of anthracite to Philadelphia in 1806 met with no better fate than 
the first. The Lehigh Coal Mining Company's operations were not pursued 
with such persistence as that manifested during the next decade by a Wyom- 
ing Valley operator. In 1807 Abijah Smith and Company, of Plymouth, 
began to ship coal down the Suscjuehanna River. The Smiths were the first to 
acquire a tract of land in the Wyoming Valley expressly for coal mining. They 
had had enough confidence in the future of the coal industry to venture five 
hundred dollars — a by no means insignificant sum of money in those frugal 
days — in acquiring a tract of seventy-five acres of coal land ; and they set to 
work, with pick and wedge, in the outcrop of the vein of coal on Curry Hill, 
Plymouth. The Reynolds, or Washington, mine, still operated by the Lehigh 
and Wilkes-Barre Coal Company, is the continuation of Abijah Smith's 
"drift" in 1807. In the autumn of 1807, having by hard quarrying wedged out 
c|uite a lot of coal, Abijah Smith did not sit idly by waiting for an ark owner 
to chance by and offer the use of his vessel (which, but for its arklike caboose, 
was little better than a raft) to carry the coal to market; Abijah Smith bought 
an ark for $24, brought it to Plymouth, loaded on to it fifty-five tons of coal, 
also himself, and the venturesome voyage down the Susquehanna, to market, 
was begun. In the early days of Plymouth, the coal taken from Abijah Smith's 
mine was hauled in ordinary wagons by horses or mules from Coal Street 
down to the river bank, near the present Flat Road, and there loaded on to the 
arks. But that was not the last responsibility of the pioneer shipper. The 
treacherous rocky bed of the shallow Susquehanna, it is estimated, ended the 
life of about two of every three arks that started down the Susquehanna 
waterway from the Wyoming Valley. However, had all the coal shipped 
reached the market, a glut might have resulted. Still, Abijah Smith's first 
loaded ark was safely navigated to Columbia, Lancaster County — a rendezvous 
for raftsmen and then an important ferry point on the route West — but that 
was all the satisfaction he got. The "stone" coal was unsalable ; it had to be 
left for local men to find a market. It was necessary to educate the public ; 
and there was no better way of doing so than by demonstrations in the public 
houses, the taverns. Abijah Smith and Company were in the coal business to 
stay, and if their product was not salable in one way they must find another. 
If stoves and grates must be put into public houses, to prove the advantage 
that anthracite gave the consumer, then they, Abijah Smith and Company, 
must go that way to market. 

In an earlier chapter. No. 40, the epoch-making experiments of Judge Jesse 
Fell, of Wilkes-Barre, have been given the extensive notice they deserve. In 
the grate that he fashioned and set up in his Wilkes-Barre tavern in 1808, 
Judge Fell demonstrated that anthracite coal could be used to advantage in 
the home. Thereafter, Abijah and John Smith had no doubt as to the future 
of the coal industry. From that year until 1826 the firm of Abijah Smith and 
Company sent several arks yearly to market. Columbia was not the only 
market; the arks ran to tidewater. "In 181 1 and 1812," writes John B. Smith, 
"they ran 220 tons of coal to Havre-de-Grace, had it unloaded on the schooner 
'Washington' and sold in New York, the bills for which were rendered by the 
commission merchant in 1813." In almost all cases during the first years, the 
operator almost invariably took the risk of sale. It was missionary efifort. An 
instance is seen in the records of Marietta, just above Columbia, in Lancaster 
County. "In 1816 a raftsman from the north branch brought down some stone 
coal, as they called it. There being no sale for it, it was given to Henry 


Cassel (on to whose lumber wharf the coal had been dumped) for distribution, 
and for which he opened a market, and sold a few years later 455 tons at $10 a 
ton in one season." This is not surprising', for in the average small commu- 
nity, before the introduction of anthracite, an unsightly pile of wood was 
generally to be seen at every door in the fall of each year. If the stone coal 
could take the place of the unsightly mountain of wood, those who had any 
civic pride at all would, if not too costly, ]:)urn coal. 

So the coal industry steadily found a footing in most of the communities 
on the seaboard and along the waterways. Of course, there were no railways 
at that time. The era of canals, indeed, had not yet come in Pennsylvania. 
Yet we find one far-sighted Wilkes-Barre citizen seriously advocating, as 
early as 181 3, "the opening of a communication from the Susquehanna to 
Philadelphia by a road or railway from AVilkes-Barre to Lehigh, and thence 
by that river to the Delaware, and thence to Philadelphia." This well-informed 
W'ilkes-Barrean, Charles Miner, editor of the "Gleaner," used his journal to 
broadcast the idea. Early in 1814, Mr. Miner wrote a long editorial on the 
subject of "Navigation on the Lehigh"; the editorial ends in this way: "I 
hope our grandchildren may live to see a complete railway from this place to 
the Lehigh, and a canal from thence to Philadelphia." Probably not one in ten 
of his readers had more than a vague idea what a railway was ; certainly, they 
did not associate such a road or way with steam. Another fifteen years were 
to pass before the first locomotive brought to America was to turn its wheels 
on American soil. At best, the railway would be a tramway, along which the 
propelling force would be the horse, or mule, where gravity would not move 
the wheels. Nowadays, there are thousands of miles of tramways in the 
mines ; one mine alone, of the three hundred and sixty-four of the anthracite 
region, operates, in its underground workings, no less than eighty-five miles 
of tramways. A\'e think of them as "tracks," but hardly as "railways." But 
this was in most cases the type of road that men who talked of railways one 
hundred and ten years ago pictured. 

Mr. ]\Iiner was among the men of imagination and initiative who saw hope 
in the anthracite coal industry in 1813. A year before, Messrs. White & 
Hazard, ironmasters, had spent a whole morning trying to coax "stone" coal 
into a blaze, at their furnace plant at the Falls of the Schuykill. But it would 
not blaze. At mid-day they gave up the attempt as hopeless, and went to their 
mid-day meai. L'pon their return, they fully expected to find the furnaces 
cold. Much to their astonishment, however, they discovered that the furnace 
was hot — very hot. The coal was not blazing, but was obviously burning, 
giving such fear, indeed, that the furnace "was in danger of melting." 

Thus, an important industrial market had been opened for anthracite coal, 
ironmaking being at that time probably the principal manufacturing industry 
of Pennsylvania. The coal tried by A\'hite and Hazard had been part of nine 
wagon loads sent from Pottsville by Colonel Shoemaker, for trying to sell 
some of which the wagoners barely escaped arrest. 

How'ever, the success of the Hazard and White experiment resulted in a 
number of mining operations being begun in the Schuylkill region in 1813. 
In that year it occurred to Charles Miner and several other Wilkes-Barreans 
to lease the Lehigh Coal Mining Company's property. This was done, and 
coal from the "great coal bed near the Lehigh, commonly called the Weiss 
bed."" was carried to Philadelphia, and there sold to Messrs. White and Hazard 
at $21 per ton ; 1)ut even this high price did not recompense the shippers for 
even the cost of transportation. So the leased property found its way back 
to the owners, and the W^ilkes-Barre group of operators retired from the field 
sadder and poorer men. 

How the cost of transportation mounted may be imagined by the follow- 
ing "Recollection" made public fifty years later by James A. Gordon who, in 


i8i4, had helped to build arks for the Lehigh coal operators. "On the 17th 
July, 1814," writes Mr. Gordon in the Wilkes-Barre "Record of Times," Febru- 
ary, 1874, "with Abail Abbott" and others, I "shouldered knapsacks and tools 
for a march to the Lehigh to build arks for Messrs. Cist, Miner, and ]\Iillhouse. 
Four arks were ready for loading by the first freshet. The estimated cost of 
fifty tons, one ark load of coal, was : Mining, $50; hauling from summit. $4.50 
per ton, $225 ; cost of ark, $125 ; loading ark, $15. Total, $415. Lehigh pilots 
were on hand. The fleet moved ofif with the rapid current, and in fifteen 
minutes brought up on a reef called 'Red Rocks,' half a mile below. One ark 
got through." That one ark represented a cost at shipping point of $1,660. 
Therefore, even $21 a ton for its fifty tons would leave the shippers much on 
the wrong side. Still, had the war continued, Mr. Miner and his associates 
might have risked another year of coal mining and ark-shooting, but the war 
ended in December, 1814, and the price of coal on the seaboard dropped to $6 
a ton, a price at which no anthracite coal could be delivered at Philadelphia 
or New York. "Sea" coal, from Wales, could be shipped across the Atlantic at 
a lower cost than Pennsylvania anthracite could be transported to Philadelphia. 

The slump in price did not long prevail, though no such price as that of 
1814 ever again came to cheer the pioneer operators. Rather, the leanness of 
the possible profit caused the mining companies to look for ways in which their 
mining and transportation costs might be reduced. It did not seem that there 
was much chance of reduction in the cost of mining. Methods were very sim- 
ple. Mechanical devices were entirely absent. The steam engine had not yet 
come to the mines, so there was no mining below the water-line. Had it been 
necessary, the operators might have adopted methods somewhat like those 
followed by the Penns, in their copper mining of almost a century before ; in 
the Gap copper mines (Lancaster County, Pennsylvania), in 1730-40, eight 
pumps were going night and day, so that the miners might work in the pit ; 
but coal miners of 1814 had such an abundance of coal within sight above the 
water line, accessible without pit-sinking, that search for other mining' methods 
than those of the drift would be folly. The pick and wedge, wielded by man- 
power, could produce all the coal they could market, so why search for more 
complicated systems, thought the pioneer operators. "Mining systems were 
hardly known," writes Dever C. Ashmead, "but such as were used were on the 
type of the room and pillar method of mining. There was no engineering and 
the easy coal only was taken. Only that coal in the bed which was bright and 
shiny and free from impurities was mined. The rest was considered worth- 
less, for there was no attempt at preparation. Only lump coal was shipped to 
market ; the rest, as far as possible, was left in the mine." 

This, of course, was wasteful mining ; but there was so much coal to be 
had, that it did not seem so to the operators, who found it difificult enough to 
market even the lump coal. When the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, 
in 1820, took over the coal measures found by Ginter in 1791 (and operated 
successively — but not successfully — by the Lehigh Coal Mining Company, 
Charles Miner and his Wilkes-Barre associates and by Smith and Hazard), the 
price obtainable for lump anthracite coal in Philadelphia was $8.40 a ton. 
Colonel Butler, who owned the wonderful Coalbrook property that later, in 
its magnitude, became known as the Baltimore mine, used to quarry lump coal 
and send it in to Wilkes-Barre consumers at $3 a ton. It yielded more 
profit, probably, than $8.40 a ton in Philadelphia would. In 1820. Colonel 
Washington Lee sent several hundreds of tons from his Hanover mine to Bal- 
timore, Maryland. There, the coal was sold at only $8 a ton. In 1823, Colonel 
Lee and an associate leased an operation in Newport. He contracted for the 
mining and delivery of 1,000 tons of coal in arks at Lee's Ferry at $1.10 a ton 
from this property, a contract which was carried out; yet, after the sale of the 

coal at Columbia, Colonel Lee found that he and his associate had lost $1,500 
on the operation. 

Reduction in transportation cost rather than in cost of mining, therefore, 
was the vital need of the time. The advent of canals, and later of railways, 
brought about this reduction in carrying cost, but only after many years had 
passed, years in which anthracite coal never failed to dangle alluring prospects 
before capitalists, and never failed to use up most of the available capital 
Despite losses, discouragements, failures, the development of the anthracite 
coalfields went steadily forward. This is shown positively in the statistics of 
shipments from the Wyoming coalfield. As given by George R. Culp, in 1890, 
in an address then delivered before the Wyoming Historical and Geological 
Society, the figures from 1807 to 1820 are: 

Year Tons Year Tons Year Tons 

1807 55 1812 500 1817 1,100 

1808 150 1813 500 1818 1,200 

1809 200 1814 700 1819 1,400 

1810 350 1815 1,000 1820 2,500 

1811 450 1816 1,000 

That was the period of the small operator. The next decade, however, 
brought several large corporations into the field. The Lehigh Coal and Navi- 
gation Company was incorporated in February, 1822, a merger of the Lehigh 
Coal Mining Company and the Lehigh Navigation Company, both of which 
companies had been organized, with Smith and Hazard as the chief promoters, 
in 1818. This early consolidation of mining and transportation corporations 
created a strong company which was destined to have a leading place in 
anthracite mining for a century. Baltimore capitalists, in the corporate name 
of the Baltimore and Pittsburg Coal Company, took over Colonel Butler's 
operation at Coalbrook, and made the Baltimore Mine famous. The 2,500 
tons of coal shipped in 1820 seems an insignificant output when compared with 
the production of a decade later. The United States Geological Survey's 
statistics of anthracite coal begin with the year 1829. The production in that 
year was 138,086 tons. Ten years later, in 1839, we find the anthracite ship- 
ments reaching into the seventh column, with an output of 1,008,322 tons. 
Twenty years later, it stepped almost into the next column, with an output of 
9,619.771 tons. Thirty-two years later (1891), the annual output exceeded 
fifty millions (50,665,431 tons), and the peak reached in 1917 was almost a 
hundred millions (99,611,811 tons of 2,000 pounds). 

In all their fanciful dreams, with all their optimism, initiative and courage, 
the pioneer operators probably never imagined it possible to mine and ship 
and sell in one year even the odd thousands of the output of the year 1917. Of 
course, it never could have been done by methods such as they used. Expan- 
sion came steadily in the evolution of methods of handling the commodity in 
all phases of its journey from the coal bed to the ashpit. 

Prior to 1818 it had not seemed feasible to use powder in the mining of 
anthracite coal ; but in that year Abijah Smith and Company again stepped 
into pioneer place. John Flanigan was employed expressly to bore and blast 
the coal. Flanigan Avas, writes Colonel Ernest G. Smith, "the first man who 
ever bored a hole and applied the powder blast in the anthracite coal of Penn- 
sylvania." How much powder Flanigan used to shoot down the few hundred 
tons of coal shipped by his employers in that year is not recorded, but he 
proved the practicability of its use, and in the century of mining since Flani- 
gan's time the powder-blast has lightened the labor and increased the output 
of almost all anthracite miners. Nowadays, every anthracite miner who 
works steadily uses about $2,000 worth of powder in a year. 

w.-B.— 5 


Preparation of coal, emphasized nowadays by the pyramidal breakers that 
vie with the mountains and culm piles as topographical features of the coal 
region, was a science unheeded, and indeed unneeded, in the pioneer days of 
mining. Prior to 1830, preparation of coal inside or outside of the mine meant 
no more than to load the lumps and let the remainder lie. After wedging or 
blasting his coal from the vein in the drift or tunnel, the miner, ordinarily, 
loaded the lumps of coal on to his wheel-barrow, and dumped it into the barge 
or ark, or into a long chute which had its lower end in the barge. The hand- 
rake was introduced in 1830, or thereabouts, and its use in the mine workings 
at that time may be deemed the first step taken in the preparation of coal. 
With the rake the miner, after loading all the large lumps shot down, was 
recjuired to make a second selection. The rake's teeth were one and three- 
quarter inches apart, and what the rake did not catch was left in the mine. 
What a number of sizes of marketable coal this residue would represent in 
the classification of today ! The salable grades include specks of coal three 
sixty-fourths of an inch big. 

In 1830, with the completion of the canal to Nanticoke, the way was opened 
for better communication with Philadelphia. A canal boat, the "Wyoming,'" 
loaded with coal, voyaged all the way from Nanticoke to Philadelphia and 
landed its cargo of ten tons safely. Ice closed navigation before the boat 
could complete the return voyage, and it was not until 1834 that a loaded 
boat successfully made the "round trip" betwen Philadelphia and the coal 
field in one season. Still the coal operators were imbued with optimism and 
began more closely to consider the domestic demand of the metropolis. 

They began to prepare the coal outside of the mine. This, the first attempt 
to break the coal after mining, seems a crude process by comparison with the 
breaker systems of the present, but it was at least an effort in the right direc- 
tion. The coal from the drifts would be dumped on to a perforated iron plate. 
There, men with picks and hammers would break the coal small enough to 
pass through the perforations to bar screens below, the openings of the latter 
being about the same as those of the hand-rake used in the mine. Later, 
revolving screens were introduced. Revolved by man or mule, these screens 
separated the commercial sizes of coal from the smaller grades for which there 
was no market. 

This waste material — or, to be more exact, wasted material, for it was 
coal of excellent quality — form the bases of the culm-piles of today — those 
unsightly features which are the unavoidable result of the mining and prepara- 
tion of coal. 

For almost a century coal has been heaped up on these so-called culm-piles, 
larger coal in the early years, but at all times good burnable coal. Anthracite 
being so much superior to bituminous coal for household use, it has an almost 
impregnable position in the domestic market, but for steaming purposes its 
advantage over the bituminous product is not so great. The so-called "steam" 
sizes, c. g., the smaller grades of broken anthracite, down almost to dust, that 
were the residue of breaker operations in the anthracite coalfields, would have 
been unsalable, were it not for the great advantage that anthracite offers in 
its smokelessness. Anti-smoke ordinances in large cities created some demand 
for the "steam sizes" of anthracite, and the extraordinary industrial fuel 
demands of the World War period firmly established a new industry — that of 
recovering the good coal from the culm-piles — in the anthracite region. It 
was found that exposure to the elements wrought no noticeable depreciation 
in the hard coal of the anthracite fields, and as, the operators mined only the 
cleanest coal in the wasteful early days when the culm-piles began to rise, 
much that is now being recovered from the culm-piles is coal of better quality 
than most of the freshly-mined coal of today. Of course, much of the mate- 
rial that makes the culm-pile is not clean coal — in fact, is not coal at all. For 


that reason, the process of recovering the wasted coal of former years is to all 
intents a cleansing of it, or separation of it, from the impurities — shale, slate, 
or "bone" — that were also thrown upon the culm-pile. Hence, the process is 
known as "washing," and the product is known as "washery" coal. 

Washery coal came into its own during the World War. At that time, 
there was vital need of conserving and of controlling all the mineral resources 
of the Nation. The National Fuel Administration's engineers then whipped 
up coal production. Never in Anthracite history was so much coal mined ; 
yet it was not enough, so the experts gave careful thought to the utilization of 
what the culm-piles contained. Government engineers, in 191 8, estimated 
that these piles contained fifty millions of tons of merchantable coal, and that 
of this quantity one-fifth would be coal of pea size and above. 

It was not a newly-found use for the waste-piles of the mines. Culm-pile 
coal was being shipped in substantial quantities even before the twentieth 
century dawned. Indeed, about a hundred million tons have been recovered, 
and the piles are still almost as evident as in the old days. The State Depart- 
ment of Mines did not begin to separately record the shipments of washery 
coal until the year 1894. In that year 386,960 tons were recovered, so even at 
that time the operations were not insignificant. In 1900, the total of washery 
coal shipped was 1,055.425 tons. Twice as much was recovered in 1901, four 
times as much in 1903, and 5,630,169 tons in 1907. This was about the aver- 
age yearly output during the next five years. The production in 19 13 was 
2,934,157 tons, but that was a year of general trade depression. The World 
War began in 1914, and, after the first brief period of bewilderment, had con- 
siderable eftect upon industrial America. The efifect was felt even by the 
washery industry. In 1916, 4.432,606 tons were recovered, and in 1917-18, the 
years of America's part in the war, the output of washery coal was more than 
thirteen millions of tons. This peak prodi:ction was not maintained, but in 
1922 the culm-piles gave up 2,525,402 tons of their fuel reserve. The total 
quantity of culm-pile coal recovered during the period 1894- 1922 was 97,538,- 
591 tons. 

The demand for washery coal is not now very active, but all the good coal 
contained in the culm-piles will, undoubtedly, find a market in due time. Cer- 
tainly, it is gratifying to know that the coal which seemed to have been wasted 
in the first years of coal preparation was, in fact, merely stored for later use. 
At least, this was so in some cases. Some immense culm-piles have, indeed, 
been wasted, having burned themselves to ashes where they lay — ignited, it is 
supposed, by spontaneous combustion. Still, an appreciable industry lies in 
these culm-pile operations of the anthracite regions. In 1919. forty-one coal 
washeries were in operation in the Wyoming coalfield, thirteen in the Lehigh 
field, and twenty-seven in the Schuylkill. 

The washeries, of course, cannot find a coal market for the shale, or slate, 
that one also finds in the culm-piles, but science seems to be casting hungry 
eyes even toward the shale. A new process of extracting oil from coal shale 
is now in an advanced stage of experiment, and oil refiners are looking hope- 
fully to the future, in this connection. 

Improvements in the methods and appliances used in the preparation of 
coal for market kept pace with the need of the time, though hardly, it seems, 
with the degree of improvement in transportation. The perforated iron plate 
and the breaking by hand was good enough for the period of canals ; but it 
continued even into the period of the railways, when most things seemed to 
take a quicker step. 

Capitalists and legislators began to discuss railway projects in the 'twen- 
ties. As the 'twenties passed into the 'thirties some railway schemes were in 
process of development ; and as the 'thirties passed into the 'forties many 
ambitious projects of connecting the coalfields with the principal markets, by 


means of the iron roads, were either in operation, or well advanced in con- 
struction. Before the financial stringency of 1857 totally suspended all rail- 
road building, the anthracite coal operators were shipping to market, mostly 
by the iron road, eight or nine millions of tons of coal a year. 

As may be supposed, the incessant burrowing into the coal veins for such 
stupendous quantities yearly had driven the working face farther and farther 
out of sight. No longer was the operator able to choose only the brightest, 
cleanest veins that outcropped. Many of the clean beds that had attracted the 
pioneer miners had been entirely exhausted, or had been worked so far under- 
ground as to be inaccessible by "drifts," or tunnels, from the point where the 
vein had outcropped on the mountainside. Other beds which formerly had 
been considered worthless, owing to the large number of partings — i. c, 
shaly streaks in the coal bed — had to be operated to maintain the output. 
This meant dirtier coal, and more labor in preparing it for market. It was 
necessary to pick the impurities out of the mined coal. The breaker work 
was also increasing, in other ways, the marketable sizes constantly changing, 
as smaller and smaller sizes became salable for household consumption. It 
was not difficult to meet the call for cleaning the coal. Boys could be 
employed, to the number required, to pick out the shale from the coal, but it 
was not an easv matter to devise means of improving the methods of breaking 
and screening. 

In 1853, mechanical rolls and breakers were introduced, but it was not 
until i860 that hand-operated breakers were entirely superseded by the 
mechanical. In the 'fifties, George B. Markle, a young carpenter with a 
mechanical bent, became the righthand man of Ario Pardee, one of the leading 
operators of the Lehigh field. Markle saw that breaking methods were crude. 
He soon saw a way of improving them, but he could not get his idea into the 
heads of the mine mechanics. However, here his skill in carpentry served him. 
With a penknife, he made a model, in wood, of the new type of breaker he 
wished built. It was to all intents the type still in use, and those who have 
seen one of these towering structures, and also an ordinary stone-breaker, will 
have some idea of how revolutionary the Markle breaker was. He has been 
called the "Father of the Breaker," and he seems to have deserved the title. 

The new mechanical type of breaker came with the advent of steam in the 
operation. The old type of bar screen was superseded by the revolving, and, 
after many years, the latter gave way to the shaking screen. Eventually, 
mechanical slate-pickers displaced the breaker-boys. Other changes occurred, 
and changes will continue to come in the preparation of anthracite for market. 
Processes, however, have reached almost the limit in one respect. Prepara- 
tion, nowadays, has, as its main object, the cleaning of coal, rather than the 
sizing of it. Sizing has almost run its full course, the range being down now 
almost to nothing. However, the problems of cleaning, or of ridding the coal 
of the impurities mined with it, are ever increasing. The old dry methods of 
cleaning the coal are now almost obsolete. The wet methods give surer 
results. Most of the anthracite coal now mined "is cleaned in jigs, or by the 
Chance Sand Flotation method, or on tables, or by the new Rhelauveur 

It is quite obvious that steam wrought as great a revolution in coal mining 
as in transportation methods. In the 'thirties, the average enlightened citizen 
looked with awe upon the railway coaches, dreading that the strap rails might 
curl up, pierce the floor of the coach and impale him. By the 'fifties, however, 
the average industrial worker was a little better versed in the ways and uses 
of steam. 

With the advent of steam, the day of drift-mining began to wane. Until 
the 'fifties, all mining was above the water level, but then, with steam har- 
nessed, power pumps could be used. So the operators began to sink shafts 


and work below the water level. Mr. Ashmead writes : "Pumps have changed 
considerably from the old type of Cornish pump to the modern electric driven 
centrifugal pump, which is a great advancement, as is also the amount of 
water pumped. In the early history of the region, it was impossible to oper- 
ate the mines if there was any water, but now the average amount of water 
pumped for every ton of coal produced amounts to 10.5 tons. There is one 
mine in the ^^'yoming \'alley that pumps 88 tons of water for every ton of 
coal produced, and that mine burns 25 per cent, of its output just to pump 
water. There is sufficient water pumped yearly in the anthracite mines to 
raise the level of Lake George, in Xew York State, 29 feet, or putting it 
another way, there is more water pumped from the mines daily than there is 
used in New York City." New York City, by the way, consumes 846,900,000 
gallons of water in an average day. 

With the sinking of shafts some former methods of operation ended. No 
longer Avas it possible, for instance, for a horse and wagon to back into the 
workings, take a load of coal, take it out of the mine and dump it at the con- 
sumer's door. No longer could the miner load his wheel-barrow in the cham- 
ber and wheel it out to the wharf and there dump its contents into a boat. 
That much maligned, but, nevertheless, most useful beast-of-burden, the mine 
mule, was a factor in mining long before the time of the shafts. No doubt, 
long before the advent of steam, the mule was jogging along between the 
"strap" rails of mine passages, fractiously pulling what the miner formerly 
had had to push out of the drift himself. Those were the happy days for the 
mule. Then, at least, he had frequent glimpses of sunlight. Later, with the 
sinking of shafts, he was to pass the greater part of his working years under- 
ground. Still, progress rarely follows sentimental lines. Its goal is utility; 
in its never-ending search for more useful servants, utility is the only object 
that catches its eye. So there came a time, in anthracite mining, when mule- 
power had to give way to horse-power — horse-power of a lively though not 
living type — in underground haulage. For a time, the mule still held his own 
against the iron monster, for in very many mines the steam locomotive could 
not be used underground, owing to the gaseous nature of the coal and the con- 
sequent danger of explosion ; but, when, in the late 'eighties, electrical appli- 
ances became the vogue and found their way into mining operations, the place 
of the mule in mining seemed seriously challenged, if not taken. 

The first electric locomotive used in an anthracite mine was that taken into 
the Lykens Colliery of the Susquehanna Collieries Company in 1887; and in 
the forty years since then — years of steady progress and of incessant search 
for better mining methods — power motors or locomotives, of the electric or 
compressed air types, have found places in almost all large mines, superseding 
the mule, at least, on all the main roads underground. 

The mule is still used to haul empty cars from the distributing points on the 
main roads to the working face, or mine chamber, also to haul loaded cars 
from the working face to the mobilization points, where the trains of coal are 
made up ; but from those junctions outwards to the pit-shaft, the mule is dis- 
placed by the locomotive. In some of the large mines, mule haulage has given 
way entirely before the quicker mechanical means, but in most of the mines 
the mule is still favored for the lighter hauls. Hence, it happens that, in 
anthracite mines, there are still about 10.000 mules whose chances of airing 
their heels in the sunlight hinge almost entirely upon the possibility of labor 
disputes among their masters. 

Electricity has played a most important part in the improvement of mining. 
It has reached out its helping hand into almost all phases of mining operations. 
It pumps the water, hauls the coal, lights the chamber, protects the worker, 
forces in the fresh air and draws out the foul, works the breaker, hoists the 


coal, and, in general, helps to make the mine workers' occupation a lighter 
and safer one. 

Ventilation, in the early days of mining, was not a serious problem. 
Indeed, it was not a problem at all, because the miners were able to work 
with only natural ventilation. But when the workings went farther and 
farther from the fresh air, the difficulties of mining increased more and more. 
At first, furnaces were resorted to. They were of doubtful benefit. They 
created currents of air, but also dangers of explosion. So furnace ventilation 
soon became obsolete. Since the advent of the electric ventilating fan, the 
installation of the furnace method of ventilation has been forbidden by law. 

Bituminous, c. g., soft coal, mining seems more dangerous than the anthra- 
cite mining, because of the explosive dust that is ever present. Poisonous 
gases are to be found in all mines, however. Ceaseless vigilance is neces- 
sary. The three venomous demons that ever seek the life of the miner are 
known as choke-damp, fire-damp and after-damp. The first and last of the 
demons are the silent gases that come upon mine workers unawares, and 
stifle them, but cause no explosion. Fire-damp, however, if given the slight- 
est opportunity, would blast away in a second all chance that a mine full of men 
would have of life. So, to clear the mine of gases, the ventilating fans must 
whirl night and day. They must never stop, for the enemy never sleeps. 

Some of the anthracite mines seem comparatively safe ; others, but for cease- 
less precautions, would be constant death traps : "One mine in the northern 
anthracite field produces over ninety tons of inctJionc, or white-damp, or fire- 
damp, each twenty-four hours from one of its shafts." If there were not two 
shafts mining would be impossible. At all events, since the Avondale disaster 
of 1869, which trapped one hundred and eight men in a one-shaft mine, the 
law compels all mines to have two shafts, one for hoisting and the other for 
air — and in emergency for escape of mine workers also. Through the one 
shaft, giant ventilating fans, that revolve with a rim-speed of a mile a minute, 
force a current of fresh air continuously. Out of the other shaft, powerful exhaust 
fans suck the gases that are driven before the fresh air. The latter, by an 
ingenious arrangement of doors and curtains and bridges, has been prevented 
from taking the shortest cut to the exit, and forbidden to find its way out until 
it has gone the full round of the mine workings, driving out the poisonous 
gases from every heading, passage, and chamber, making it possible for the 
miner to work in comparative safety, while he burrows in the catacombs for 
more and more of the commodity that American householders demand. Ven- 
tilation is so good in some mines that naked lights are used by the miners, but 
generally, nowadays, the mine workers carry electric lights in their caps. 

It is estimated that for every ton of coal produced in the anthracite fields, 
1 1.5 tons of gases are expelled from the mine workings — enough in a year to 
set the whole population of New York State, or of Pennsylvania, gasping in a 
layer, house-high, of gases as deadly as any that were let loose during the 
World War. 

Accident hazard statistics of mining show some surprising facts. Inas- 
much as bituminous coal dust is highly explosive and that anthracite dust is 
entirely non-explosive, one would suppose that the fatality rates would be 
mvich higher in bituminous mining than in anthracite. In fact, taking the 
statistics of eight recent years, they are not. Undoubtedly, the danger of a 
general disaster is greater in bituminous mines, but the accident hazards 
daily before the anthracite miner are much greater than those risked by the 
bituminous miner. The thick pitching seams of the anthracite coalfields make 
timbering much more difficult than in the thinner and flatter coal beds of the 
bituminous areas. In safeguarding the lives of the robbers (miners) who steal 
from the earth the dead forests (coal) of the Paleozoic era, we sacrifice to 
Mother Earth vast tracts of living forests every year. It is estimated that for 


every ton of coal taken from antharcite beds al:)out fourteen board-feet of 
timbering is put in — to keep the roof from falling", in any one of recent years 
of anthracite mining almost a billion board-feet of lumber have been needed 
for mine timbering; yet many miners lose their lives by falls of roof. Again, 
the dangerous gases pocket are more in the irregular pitching formation of the 
working places and breasts of anthracite mines than in the flatter bituminous 
workings. ^Moreover, more blasting is needed in the hard anthracite than in 
the soft bituminous. Xevertheless, the safety work done — with miners, opera- 
tors, and State cooperating — in recent years is so thorough that the loss of 
life underground among one thousand anthracite miners in a year of steady 
work barely averages five workers. Among bitvuninous mine workers the 
highest percentage of fatality is among motormen ; in anthracite mining, the 
highest percentage is among the miners and miner's helpers. 

Although the preparation of anthracite coal, during recen.t decades, has 
become almost an exact science, it does not seem that there has been a cor- 
responding- advance in mining methods. The old "room and pillar method of 
mining, or the pillar and breast system" are still in general use in the anthra- 
cite field. The engineering problems have been met, as they arose, in ways 
that put the anthracite mining engineer upon a high professional plane for 
efficiency, ingenuity, and resourcefulness : yet, in some phases of the actual 
mining, the bituminous methods seem to be more modern than the anthracite. 
Coal-cutting machines are common in the soft coal areas, but are the exception 
in the anthracite fields. 

There is, however, a natural reason for this. (ieneralK- the hardness of the 
coal, the unevenness of the floor, and the steep pitch of the anthracite veins, 
prevent commcm use of mechanical ct)al-cutters. Tlu* electric, or compressed 
air jack-hammer is the main tool of the anthracite miner. In days gone by, 
our hearts used to go out in sincerest sympathy with the poor miner who 
shouldered ])ick and sho\-el, and. day after day. went down — deep down into 
the dark, damp, dismal depths, "of the coal mine underneath the ground," as 
the dirge has it, to delve for "dusky diamonds'" to satisfy our needs. We pic- 
tured him. worming his way through small openings, in order to get to his 
working place, where, we supposed, he would often have to work, flat on his 
back, in oozy slime, picking down the coal he could not reach in any other 
position. As a matter of fact, no such miserable conditions are before the 
anthracite miner. At one time he wt)rked hard for little pay. but he does so 
no longer. Thanks to modern tools and a militant protective labor union, his 
lot has improved. His work is still dangerous, but not hard. A\'ith his power- 
hammer, the anthracite miner bores his holes twenty times as fast as he once 
did by hand. He handles his explosives with care — if he is of the cautious 
type, which some miners are not — tamps the charge carefully in, fills the holes 
with clay, shoots down his coal and goes home, after from five to eight hours 
of work, leaving to his helper the heavy work of loading the loosened coal into 
mine cars. 

Loading of coal, at the working face, is done entirely by hand, or by mine 
scrapers. Coal-loading machines are used in In'tuminous mines, but their 
introduction into anthracite operations is still a matter for future record — 
probably the near future. Possibly, the dearth of coal-loading machines in 
the hard coal regions is explained by the difficulty that prevails nowadays of 
mining clean coal. /'. r., coal free from impurities such as bone or shale. A 
mechanical loader cannot discriminate; the human loader can. Indeed, he 
has too. Each mine car loaded bears the miner's number, and if more than 
seven per cent, of slate is found in a car, the miner is notified and his helper 
warned. Two or three such evidences of carelessness puts the miner's helper 
out of work. Strictly speaking, the miner is usually an independent worker — 
a contract miner, working on tonnage or yardage basis, and generally is able 


to make a comfortable living in less than an eight-hour day. His helper, how- 
ever, is on a day basis, his pay corresponding approximately to that of 
unskilled labor. 

From the mine chamber, the mules haul the coal to the train-making points 
underground, and the electric motors transport it quickly over the main roads 
to the exit — the pit-shaft. In the same cages that the men use, the loaded mine 
cars are hoisted to the surface. There they are rolled off the mine-cage by 
hand to go on their way by gravity to the breaker building, a huge structure 
which generally towers above all other buildings at the mines. The cars are 
hoisted up to the breaker top, either by a vertical lift or an inclined plane. At 
the breaker hoist are boys whose work it is to sprag the mine cars as they 
come, and release them one by one to the hoist. In the breaker building the 
cars dump their flashing ''black diamonds" — as well as their "bone" which 
dogs would not eat and their slate that would never make ideal roofing mate- 
rial — on to oscillating bars. The process of sizing the coal and of separating 
it from the impurities now begins. The coal descends from level to level in 
the breaker process, encountering on its way the mechanical slate pickers or 
other watchers whose duty it is to consign the worthless material to the 
waste pile, and let the coal go on its way with a clean bill of health. It has had 
rough treatment, for in the breaker the coal is "dropped, rolled, rubbed, 
crushed and shaken" until only that part of it which is smaller than three 
sixty-fourths of an inch has failed to find a commercial billet in a railway car. 
Nothing that is coal seems to be wasted. Even the small sizes and fine dust 
that are swept away from the jigs and tables, with the water used in cleaning, 
is not forever lost, it seems. Most of the natural watercourses of the coal 
regions go on their way dark with coal silt ; but eighty-one dredges were in 
use in 1919, and they recovered 621,365 tons of coal. 

If the breaker system shows a conservation method that is near perfection, 
the underground mining does not, although this is not the fault of the mine 
management, nor of the miners. The waste in mining is still approximately 
one-third of the original coal content (percentage in 192 1 was 34.6), but this 
was mainly due to the difficulties of mining in the pitch depth and faults of 
coal bed. Anthracite mining is much more difficult now than it was. This 
is indicated by the declining output per man per day. In 1877 the production 
per man per day was 7.5 gross tons ; in 1922 it was 4 tons. The average thick- 
ness of the coal bed in 1872 was 158 inches; in 1922 it was 80 inches. The 
thick seams of early years have been worked almost to death, and year by year 
the operators have to give attention to thinner and thinner beds. For use in 
the latter, some of the companies have adopted successfully the shaking chute, 
to avoid having to take down the roof over the mine tracks. In this way the 
cost of mining has been lessened and the companies enabled to work seams 
that a few years ago could not be mined. Some of the seams now worked 
by long-wall or semi-wall methods of European coalfields are barely two feet 
thick. Therefore, a waste of only one-third of the coal in the ground is in fact 
a mining triumph, if compared with the wasteful mining of early days. In 
1880, an engineer of the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company 
thought that the waste of only 61.3 of the original coal content was a mining 
achievement worthy of notice by mining engineers. In the pioneer decades 
of anthracite mining, the waste in mining was, it is said, 75 to 80 per cent, of 
the coal worked. Therefore, present-day waste in mining would not cause 
such pondering in company circles as it does, were it not for the acknow- 
ledged fact that the anthracite industry is going down hill, more than one-half 
of the coal deposits yet found in the anthracite region having been exhausted. 
There is need of conservation. Mining is going farther and farther from the 
surface. One hundred and twenty years of delving has burrowed ways under- 
ground long enough, if placed end to end, to about circle the earth. One of 


the twenty-five State mine inspectors of the anthracite field, in 1922, estimated 
that in his inspection district there were 1.500 miles of nnderground gangways 
and workings. The miner has gone far underground to get the heating com- 
modity that American householders demand. He will go farther and deeper 
during the next century of delving. Then perhaps he will have robbed Mother 
Earth of the whole of the wonderful mineral deposit she placed in Pennsyl- 
vania's beautiful valleys aeons of time ago for use in this tireless industrial 
age. In 1872 the average depth at which anthracite mining was done was 235 
feet below the surface; in 1922', the average depth was 415 feet. Maybe, as 
times goes on and the search for other coal measures becomes more intense, 
more will be found at deeper levels. Indeed, in 1926, in one part of the Lacka- 
wanna A^allev, deeper sinking discovered a seam which will give a new and 
indefinite lease of life to a mining town that otherwise was expected to develop 
all the earmarks of the Deserted Village thirty years or so hence. Possibly, 
this experience will be repeated in other parts of the anthracite coalfields, but 
the estimate of the United States Coal Commission of 1923 was that, at pres- 
ent rate of production, Pennsylvania would come to the end of its anthracite 
coal resources in about one hundred years. 

Production has declined more than one-fourth from the peak level of war 
years. Of course, that w^as an extraordinary efl:ort, not normal production. 
Still, the suspicion has gained ground that the anthracite operators have, of 
late, been restricting output to maintain price level. Certainly, movements of 
anthracite coal have been somewdiat sluggish since the last two great strikes, 
1922 and 1925, forced consumers to use substitute fuels. Oil-burning furnaces 
have made more devastating raids upon anthracite markets than the coal 
operators seem to realize. To the average uninformed citizen — the "poor 
consumer'' — it seems that the anthracite producer, conscious of the superiority 
of his fuel for home consumption, sees nothing ominous in the present sluggish- 
ness of demand. They imagine, he reasons, that when consumers seek the 
best fuel, they will call for anthracite ; that no strenuous hunt for buyers is 
necessary ; that they will come of their own accord — -wdien they want the best. 
Meanwhile, business logic seems to tell the operators to "sit tight," to "hold 
their end up" — in other words, to maintain sale prices at a level which will 
give the producer a reasonable return on his investment, and put into the pay 
envelope of the miner the war level wage that his powerful union has forced 
his employer to promise him for the next four years. 

As a matter of fact, the operators are looking just as apprehensively at the 
existing state of things as the miners, who of late have been working only 
part time, or as the tradespeople of the mining region, whose trade depends 
almost wholly upon the mining pay roll which eventually finds its way, almost 
wholly, into their tills. The resources of the mining companies were severely 
tested by the last two general labor strikes, or lockouts. The miners have 
lived through two suspensions of about five months each — 1922 and 1925 — ■ 
and when peace came, with surety of a truce of five years, they were looking 
to that period with confidence, hoping in that time to again reestablish their 
depleted savings accounts. The tradespeople were looking with equal confi- 
dence to the miners — an honest, responsible class as a whole — to make good 
their advances ; but latterly, the men have been earning barely enough to pay 
their way. 

How seriouslv a suspension of mining aft'ects the tradespeople of the 
anthracite region may be understood roughly by a statement recently made. 
Every day of idleness at the mines makes the region a million dollars poorer 
— a region of only 1,300,000 people. A special efit'ort to keep the mines work- 
ing steadily seems called for. 

Of course, the sympathy of the common people — the average consumer — 
is instinctivelv against the big interests. (Jreat industrial combinations are 


always viewed with suspicion. The political spell-binder since the beginning 
has ever condemned the few who have brought order out of industrial chaos, 
who have swept away the hundreds of petty dabblers at industry and in their 
places put a few strong corporations able, by better working methods and 
abler executive control, to stabilize prices, give the worker a fair return for his 
labor, and also prevent the squandering of a valuable mineral resource of the 
Nation. In the report of the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission, appointed 
bv President Theodore Roosevelt in 1902, is a paragraph which reads : 

In the study of anthracite conditions, one can not but be struck by the thought that a 
commodity so valuable and indispensable, lying within a small area, limited in quantity, should 
not be wastefully mined, and that the needs of future generations should be considered and 
their interests conserved. 

There was a time, near the end of the nineteenth century, when there was 
a scramble for anthracite coal lands, over-production resulting. In conse- 
quence ariother scramble developed for Avhat markets there were. Selling at 
less than the cost of production, some of the weaker proditcers were driven to 
the wall, putting many mine workers out of work. The industry was stabi- 
lized by tlie "big interests,'' the Coal Commission of 1902 having to recognize 
in its report that "the gradual concentration of anthracite mining properties 
in the hands of fewer corporations, .... contributed to secure more uniform 
conditions in mining." The distributed state of almost all industries during 
the World A\'ar provided many opportunities for profiteering; and the 
anthracite coal industry has many black marks against it on consumers' 
books. Yet. strange to say, the "big interests" that control eighty or ninety 
per cent, of the production were not the offenders. The United States Coal 
Commission, authorized by Congress in 1922, to investigate all phases of the 
coal industry, found that although the uniformity of price asked by the big 
companies, year after year, indicated some degree of price fixing, this com- 
bination was not harmful to the consumer, for the big producers maintained 
this price level even in the face of opportunities to sell at very much higher 
price. The serious instances of profiteering were found to have been commit- 
ted by a few of the smaller "independent" producers who hang on the fringe 
of what the Coal Commission described as "a natural monopoly." The smaller 
"independents" are not bound by what the big companies deem to be best for 
all concerned — for producers, miners, and consumers. They have been known 
to take advantage of a shortage of supply, to extort an extra dollar or two. 
This led to further profiteering, for retailers had opportunity of extorting 
more, not only for what little coal the "independents" had, but also the larger 
quantities they had obtained at "reasonable" price froiu the "companies" — 
the "big interests." Thus, a discreditable opportunism was charged to the 
industry as a whole, instead of to only a small, irresponsible fraction of it. 

It can hardly be denied that the anthracite coal industry, as at present 
conducted, is a monopoly, or at least a community of interests in which the 
average American consumer does not share. It is a seven-member combina- 
tion : I. The Commonwealth, the original owners of this natural monopoly. 
2. County. 3. Municipality, these three drawing what might be classed as 
unearned increments to the extent of $25,000,000 in taxes in 1926. 4. The 
landowners, who draw unearned increment also — royalty on their coal lands 
that the capitalists operate. 5. The "big interests," who have invested hun- 
dreds of millions of dollars in mining plants, mined the coal and sold it at 
prices which have yielded them an average profit of forty-one cents a ton over 
ten years (1913-22, as ascertained by the U. S. Coal Commission). 6. The 
150,000 mine workers, who, when work is steady, are able to live comfortably, 
imder good social conditions, on their pay. 7. The million or so more people 
of the coal regions whose living depends upon the trade that the anthracite 


industry brings into the region. At times it is hard to say which is the dom- 
inating member — the capitalist or the laborer. The Coal Commission report 
reads, as to the labor unions : "There is a unified control of mine labor, the 
entire region being, for practical pur])Oses lOO per cent, organized for collective 
bargaining. For better or for worse, the fact to be faced today is that wages, 
hours, and w^orking conditions must be satisfactory to the workers." On the 
other hand, the capitalist is the man who holds the key to the mine. If he 
cannot sell his coal at a profit, he can lock the mine ; then all th<t other mem- 
bers of the monopoly lose lOO per cent, of their revenue. In view of the exist- 
ing irregularity of work at the mines, and the keen competition wdiich other 
fuels are bringing into anthracite markets, an uneasy feeling is creeping over 
many logical business men of the anthracite region. They are not so sure that 
the "goose that lays the golden eggs,"' in bright and shiny anthracite, will ever 
again have strength enough to produce at the old rate. So many of its pin 
feathers have been plucked recently that the bird cannot be expected to con- 
tinue strong and productive. A drop from 99,000,000 tons to 72,000,000 tons 
in nine years of a period of constant increase of ])opulation — and consequently 
of fuel consimiers — needs more than Avar-time al)normality to explain it. The 
average American will buy what he wants, if it conforms in price to his idea 
of comparative value. If it does not, he will get along with the other article. 
Anthracite is the best, but not the only fuel. Anthracite may l)e the hard 
coal monopoly, but there is soft coal and oil. 

From the beginning, the "big interests" of the anthracite coal industry have 
been unfortunate. They seemed unable to avoid countering the basic State 
and National laws which very definitely laid down the corj)()rate bounds of 
common carriers. The alliance of transportation and mining C()r|)orations was 
attacked by law-makers more than a hundred years ago ; yet in the develop- 
ment of the anthracite coalfields such an alliance was logical, and indeed 
inevitable. The coal deposits were worthless without good means of transpor- 
tation. Common carriers, to exist, must have something to carry. The one 
need dove-tailed into the other. It cost some Wilkes-Barre men, in 1814, $1 
a ton to mine Lehigh coal and $31 a ton to transport it to Philadelphia. The 
Lehigh Navigation Company was organized in 1818, with power to clear the 
slack-water navigation on the Lehigh River, and to dig a canal from White- 
haven to Easton. The prime purpose of this waterway improvement was to 
enable the Lehigh Coal Mine Company to deliver its coal in Philadelphia at a 
lower price than Welsh coal. In 1822, the two companies, having allied inter- 
ests combined, the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company being then char- 
tered. It went forward in its dual capacity, notwithstanding legislative 
attempts to curb it. It promoted the building cjf the first blast-furnace at 
Catasauqua, in 1841, after tests had shown that anthracite coal could be suc- 
cessfully used in the making of pig iron. The iron deposits, {probably, of the 
Scranton district, influenced the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company to 
become railway builders also. The company l)uilt the Lehigh and Susque- 
hanna Railroad, from Phillipsburg to Scranton, leasing it subsequently to the 
Central Railroad Company of New Jersey, for a share of the gross receipts of 
the latter. It is thus seen that the pioneer coal company of the Lehigh coal- 
field could not, in dcAeloping its coal property, avoid being drawn into trans- 
portation enterprises also. The history of some oi the other now great eastern 
railroads shows somewhat similar association with early mining enterprises. 

Throughout the history of anthracite mining — at least since the beginning 
of canalization of waterways and the building of railways — almost each decade 
has shown a decrease in the percentage of coal mined by the independent 
producers, /. c, by those operators who were not recognized as closely affili- 
ated with some railway com])any. In 1895, the "independents" produced 
forty-five per cent, of the tonnage mined ; in 1900, thirty-eight per cent. ; in 


1905, twenty-five per cent; in 1921 (after the dissolution of the Temple Iron 
Company), twenty-four per cent. If, however, the Susquehanna Collieries 
Company be included in the railroad group of mining- companies, the percent- 
age of "independents" for the year 1921 would be nineteen only. 

The railroad group of operators is now generally referred to as the "com- 
panies" and this sufficiently differentiates them from the "independents." In 
1900, the anthracite coal carrying railroads and their affiliated coal companies 
were : 

Railroad. Mining Company. 

Delaware, Lackawanna & Western R. R Coal Dept. of D. L. & W. R. R. 

Delaware & Hudson Canal Co Coal Dept. of D. & H. Canal Co. 

Erie & Wyoming Valley R. R Pennsylvania Coal Company. 

(Absorbed by Erie interests.) 

Erie R. R Hillside Coal & Iron Co. 

New York, Susquehanna & Western Absorbed by Erie R. R. 

New York, Ontario & Western R. R Scranton Coal Co., and New York & Scranton 

Coal Co. 

Pennsylvania Railroad Coal Companies of the Pennsylvania Railroad. 

Lehigh Valley Railroad Lehigh Valley Coal Co. 

Delaware, Susquehanna & Schuylkill Cross Creek Coal Company. 

Central Railroad of New Jersey Lehigh & Wilkes-Barre Coal Co. 

Philadelphia & Reading R. R Philadelphia & Reading Coal and Iron Com- 

In 1921-22 there was some change in name, but to all intents the saine car- 
rier groups were connected with the same mining operations. As shown in 
the reports of the U. S. Coal Commission, there were ten so-called railroad coal 
companies, or eight mining "interests," in 1922. They were: 

Railroad. Mining Interest. 

Philadelphia & Reading R. R Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Co. 

Delaware, Lackawanna & Western R. R Glen Alden Coal Co. 

Delaware & Hudson Co Hudson Coal Co. 

Lehigh Valley R. R Lehigh Valley Coal Co. 

Coxe Bros. & Co., Inc. 
Erie Railroad Co Pennsylvania Coal Co. 

Hillside Coal & Iron Co. 

Central Railroad of N. J Lehigh & Wilkes-Barre Coal Co. 

Lehigh & New England R. R Lehigh Coal & Navigation Co. 

New York, Ontario & Western R. R Scranton Coal Co. 

Although it cannot be said that pioneer anthracite coal i)roducers were the 
pioneers also of all of these railways, it might, with good reason be claimed 
that the anthracite coal industry had appreciable part in the origin and sound 
establishment of most of them. For instance, the Delaware and Hudson, 
which is likely to be the leading link in a Loree chain of railways that would 
reach far into the continent, had its beginning in one of the oldest of the 
anthracite mining corporations. The Delaware and Hudson Canal Company 
was mining coal at Carbondale, the northern end of the Wyoming coalfield, in 
1829. The first steam locomotive used in America was imported from Eng- 
land by this pioneer coal mining and transportation company. Coal was, it 
would seem, the spur that drove the pioneers on to this dangerous experiment 
in mechanical haulage. Rivalry spurred on others vitally interested in coal 
to bring the new means of transportation to their mines also. So it happened 
that during the next few decades the ancient saying "All roads lead to Rome" 
might well 1)e applied to P'ennsylvania's region of catacombs. The iron roads 
of the East were making pilgriinages to King Coal, all anxious to carry back 
to his shivering subjects outside his warmest blessings. Still, the American 
pioneer of steam locomotion — the D. &- H. Co. — hardly seeins to have been as 
faithful to that means of coal haulage as some of the later carrier companies 
were. The Delaware and Hudson Company had built a gravity road connect- 
ing its Carbondale mines with its canal system, six miles or so distant, at 


Honesdale. Along" the canal for very many years the coal would slowly go to 
its terminus at Rondout, on the Hudson River, thence making" quicker way 
down the historical natural waterway to New York City. Not until 1898 did 
the Delaware and Hudson Company abandon the gravity-road-and-canal route 
to market. In that year they built a railway spur, of standard gauge, to con- 
nect their Carbondale mines with the Erie Railroad at Honesdale. Much of 
the D. & H. output, however, was going northward, over the Jefferson branch 
of the Erie Railroad, from Carbondale to Nineveh, there connecting with the 
Delaware and Hudson main road to Albany. This Erie branch is now part of 
that known as the Susquehanna branch of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad 
system. The Delaware and Hudson Railroad Company owns and operates 
several of the largest mines in the Lackawanna and Wyoming valleys. Its 
coal properties extend from Carbondale to Plymouth, and its Susquehanna 
branch of raihvay extends from Nineveh to Wilkes-Barre, serving these mines. 
Its allocation of work involved in its mining enterprises is somewhat unusual. 
The Hudson Coal Company is closely affiliated with the Delaware and Hudson 
Railroad Company. Indeed, the coal company is absolutely owned by the 
railroad company. The latter not only owns all the mines but works them, 
delivering the coal at the mine mouth to the Hudson Coal Company, whose 
part in the operation is to prepare the coal for market and sell it, through whole- 
salers. From the Hudson Coal Company's breakers, the coal passes into the 
railway cars of the parent company, the latter, of course, reserving to itself 
the important prerogatives of carrying agent. 

This alliance of coal and carrier corporations is all part of a system of 
public service which the Federal investigating body, the United States Coal 
Commission, in 1923, admitted to be superior to earlier methods of operating 
the vital anthracite industry. Quoting from the general report of the commis- 
sion, '"the question squarely before the public is, which better serves it in 
certainty of supply and in quality and price of product, the large or the small 
anthracite companies?" .Vnswering this question, the report, a few para- 
graphs further on reads : " . . . . the commission is convinced that the pul^lic 
would benefit by increased production by the larger and lower cost com- 
panies" .... "and thereby gain some measure of protection against the 
demands of unscrupulous dealers. If there be a monopoly in effect it is not in 
the sense of pooling cost and profit among the 'railroad' companies, but in the 
sense that practically uniform prices have been charged by the 'railroad' 
group.'' "Real benetits have flowed to the public from strongly financed com- 
panies" is another quotation from the same report, this the opinion, remem- 
ber, of an independent body of investigators appointed by' the Federal Gov- 
ernment to find out what was wrong with the anthracite coal industry at a 
time when consumers were crying out for protection against extortionate coal 
prices and at least one New England State Government was considering ways 
of banning anthracite coal altogether. The complete divorcing of mining and 
carrier corporations would probably do nobody any good; yet the average 
man of small means seems instinctively to welcome a chance to sprag the 
W'heel of "big business" by legislation, based on a warped understanding of 
common right and no consideration at all of common weal. 

The Delaw^are, Lackawanna and Western Railroad is one of the pioneer 
coal owning roads that have their origin in the anthracite region. Coal and 
iron brought the Scrantons to the fair city that perpetuates their name. He 
and his associates began railway building eastward. In 1856 they reached 
Delaware Water Gap and there united with the Warren Railroad, the latter 
connecting with the Central Railroad of New Jersey, at Junction, and so fur- 
nishing Scranton and the northern anthracite field with an iron way to the 
seaboard at New York. The Lehigh Valley Railroad also connected with the 
Central Railroad, and both users of the latter were subsequently driven to 


find other ways to New York. One company, the D., L. & W. R. R., con- 
nected with the Morris and Essex road, which was continued to Easton, cross- 
ing it at Washington, New Jersey; the other, the Lehigh V'alley Railroad, 
built a line from Phillipsburg to Elizabeth, almost paralleling the Central 
road. To regain its share of coal traffic the Central Railroad of New Jersey 
was now forced to ally itself with the Lehigh and Wilkes-Barre Coal Com- 
pany, and also with the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, so that it 
might use the line of the latter — the Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad — to 
complete the connection. So the rivalry went on, coal companies and railroad 
corporations working hand in hand to out-manoeuvre another such combina- 
tion. In one notable instance, a railroad company tried to "scpieeze out" some 
of the big coal operators. And the latter, in self defense, were compelled to 
build a "belt line" of their own, so as to connect their mines with other rail- 
roads. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were lost before the competing 
railroads eventually realized that there w^as room for them all in the anthracite 
field — not only room, but ample room — big profits and fat dividends for con- 
tented stockholders. The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad is 
one of the wealthiest, if not the richest, railroad corporation of the East. It 
comes legitimately into the coal industry, with charter rights "to mine, trans- 
port and sell coal." It acquired immense coal holdings in the Lackawanna 
and Wyoming valleys, one group of mines being in the Scranton vicinity and 
another important group being between Pittston and Plymouth. In addition, 
it acquired an immense field in the Nanticoke district. A branch of the D., L. 
& W. R. R. system runs from Scranton, along the Susquehanna River, to 
P>loomsburg and Northumberland, there connecting with the Pennsylvania 
Railroad system. Along this route much coal passes from D., L. &: W. mines. 
In 1909, the Delaware, Lackawanna and West Coal Company was organized, 
"to ship and market all the coal mined" by the railroad company. Its stock 
was taken by stockholders of the railroad company. The affiliation continued 
until September, 1921, when "the Glen Alden Coal Company succeeded the 
Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad Company as the producer of the 
coal, but continues to sell its output through the Delaware, Lackawanna & 
Western Railroad." The D., L. & W. Coal Company's stock of $6,500,000 was 
made possible of purchase by the stockholders of the railroad, by a stock divi- 
dend of $13,000,000 made by the railroad company at that time. The Glen 
Alden Coal Company took over the coal property of the railroad company at a 
nominal price — original value, and has continued to be a "close" corporation — 
to all intents, the coal producing department of the railroad company. Lat- 
terly, it has been the coal sales department also. 

A somewhat similar process has been followed by the Lehigh Valley Rail- 
road Company, one of the pioneer coal roads. Its ostensi1)le divorcing of min- 
ing and carrying interests, however, occurred along before the D., L. & W. 
R. R. Co. acted. Since 1881, the Lehigh Valley Coal Company has been the 
coal producing branch of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and in 1912 the Lehigh 
Valley Coal Sales Company took over the sales branch of the coal interests of 
the Lehigh Valley Railroad group (including Coxe Bros., Inc.). Everything 
was "cut and dried." The Coal Sales Company issued stock to the amount of 
$6,060,800. but gave the Lehigh Valley Railroad stockholders the privilege of 
purchasing the whole of it. To make this possible, the railroad company 
simultaneously, or soon thereafter, declared a stock dividend of $6,060,800. 
The Lehigh Valley Coal Company operates mines in all the anthracite coal- 
fields. In addition to this output, the railroad company carries all the coal 
mined on those of its coal lands that it has permitted tenants to operate. The 
Lehigh Valley main road runs through the anthracite field from Mauch Chunk 
to Pittston. "but the Lehigh and Schuylkill districts, as far as Mount Carmel, 
are a perfect net work of branch roads, known as the Coal Branches." The 


Coxe interests, which are now in the Lehigh Valley Railroad group, were the 
pioneers of the Delaware, Susquehanna and Schuylkill Railroad, and its opera- 
tions — carrying and mining — centered in Drifton. The Coxe company led the 
"independent" coal operators in their fight against control by the Lehigh 
Valley Railroad, and eventually brought the carriers to terms that were fair. 

The Central Railroad of New Jersey mined coal in the anthracite fields 
under the name of the Lehigh and Wilkes-Barre Coal Company, operating 
collieries in the AA^yoming coalfield, and also in the Lehigh region, near Audcn- 
ried. A branch of the road entered the Panther Creek Basin, to take the out- 
put of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company. In addition the Central 
Railroad of New Jersey acquired immense holdings of undeveloped coal land 
between Wilkes-Barre and Nanticoke. From Wilkes-Barre to within four 
miles of Scranton', the Central Railroad of New Jersey passed over the Dela- 
ware and Hudson tracks, before entering its own system, and connecting with 
the New York, Ontario and Western at Scranton. A few years ago, a new 
chapter in the history of the Central Railroad of New Jersey was begun, the 
United States Supreme Court issuing a decree separating it from the Lehigh 
and Wilkes-Barre Coal Company. The latter has since been operating under 
changed status. 

The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company, "the most extensive 
owner of lands and the heaviest miner of coal of all the operators." has also 
been separated from mining, a decree of the Supreme Court compelling them 
to dispose of their coal holdings to the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron 
Company. Their operations came into the ^Middle coalfield, but were mainly 
in the Schuylkill region. 

The Erie Railroad Company has extensive coal holdings in the Lacka- 
wanna A'^alley, also at Moosic, Avoca and Pittston. Its coal passed over the 
Delaware and Hudson road to Carbondale, or over the Erie and Wyoming 
Valley Railroad, which superseded the old Pennsylvania gravity road from 
Pittston to Hawley. The Pennsylvania Coal Company and the Hillside Coal 
and Iron Company are the producing companies of the Erie Railroad Company. 
The New York, Susquehanna and Western road was absorbed by the Erie ; so 
also was the Erie &: Wyoming Valley road. 

The New York, Ontario and Western Railroad Company, through its coal 
companies, the Scranton Coal Company and the New York and Scranton Coal 
Company, operated mainly north of Scranton. It acquired most valuable coal 
holdings about twenty-five years ago. Its railway connected with the Cen- 
tral Railroad of New Jersey at Scranton. 

The Susquehanna Collieries Company is usually grouped with the "inde- 
pendent" producers though, in antecedents at least, it was distinctly a "rail- 
road company." The Susquehanna Collieries Company succeeded to the coal 
interests of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Of the "independent" producers, the 
Susquehanna Company is the largest, its mines being at Glen Lyon and near 
Nanticoke. The other large "independents" include the Hazle Brook Coal 
Company, which was organized in 1921, consolidating the Girardville Mining 
Co., Maryd Coal Co., Midvalley Coal Co., the Raven Run Coal Co., the Upper 
Lehigh Coal Co., and the Hazle Brook Coal Co. The Markle interests have 
been prominent among the "independent" group of the Lehigh coalfield since 
the middle decades of last century. The Jeddo-Highland Coal Co., the Pardee 
interests, the Kingston Coal Co., the Lytle Coal Co., the Buck Run Coal Co., 
the Darkwater Coal Co., the Repplier Coal Co., the Temple Coal Co., the 
Wilkes-Barre Colliery Co., and the Alden Coal Co. are also among the larger 
producers of the so-called "independent" group. In efficiency and steadiness, 
the operations and sales systems correspond generally with those of the 
"railroad group." The mischief, in past years, of high prices has been gener- 
ally attributed to the small producers who have little to sell and have not 


hesitated to so arrange their deHveries as to take full advantage of temporary 
shortage of supply. 

It is not possible to give detailed statistics of mining for the year 1926 ; in 
fact, the publication of mining reports by the State seems to be much over due. 
It was not until May 29, 1925, that the Secretary of Mines submitted to 
Governor Gifford Pinchot the reports of the Department of Mines for the 
years ending December 31, 1921 and 1922. For the purpose of this record, the 
statistics for the year 1921 will serve quite as well as those for the year 1926; 
indeed, those for the year 1921 will serve better for that was a normal year, 
whereas 1926 was a strike year. So, also, was 1922. In the latter year the 
output of anthracite coal was only 53,910,201 net tons, whereas in 1921, 90,358,- 
642 net tons were mined. The figures for the year 192 1, therefore, will give a 
truer indication of the modern development of the anthracite mining industry. 

The Luzerne County mining districts are the 8th, 9th, loth, nth, 12th, 13th, 
14th, and 15th, also about one-third of the 7th and about one-half of the i6th 
districts. From Luzerne County mining districts, in 1921, 31,648,629 tons of 
coal were shipped to market, 3,633,711 tons were consumed at the collieries, 
and 1,400,862 tons were sold locally. The total production was 36,683,202 
tons, or 40.60 per cent, of the total quantity of anthracite coal produced. The 
average number of days worked was two hundred and seventy. Further 
details are : 

Operators and Collieries. Railroad to Mine 

Grand Total. Luzerne County's Part of the Seventh District. 



Net Tons 

GIcii Aldcn Coal Co.: 

Hallstead Colliery D. I.. & W 203,350 

Hillside Coal & Iron Co.: 

Consolidated Colliery Erie 125,097 

Pennsylvania Coal Co.: 

Central Colliery Erie 263,380 

Suffolk Coal Co.: 

Avoca Colliery D. & D 125,462 


Number of 




Operators and Collieries. 

Hillside Coal & Iron Co.: 

Butler Colliery Erie 

Hudson Coal Co.: 

Laflin Colliery D 

Pennsylvania Coal Co.: 

No. 9 Colliery Erie 

Ewen Colliery Erie 

No. 6 Colliery Erie 

No. 14 Colliery Erie 

Barnum Colliery Erie 

Quinn Coal Co.: 

Pickaway Colliery E. V 

Railroad to Mine 

& H. 



Net Tons 

Number of 







8, 1 88 


Grand Total. Eighth District 3,666,462 



Operators and Collieries. Railroad to Mine 

Lchiqli J'allcv Coal Co.: 

Stevens Colliery L. V. ( Idle) 

Exeter Colliery L. \' 

Westmoreland Colliery h. V 

Maithy Colliery L. V 

Broadwell (Lackawanna ) ( 

Heidelberg Colliery ) D. & H. and 

Seneca Colliery 1 L. A' 

William A. ( Lackawanna ) [ 

TcnjpJc Coal Co.: 

Forty Fort Colliery L. \' 

Harry E. Colliery.'. D. L. & W. ; L. \' 

Kingston Coal Co.: f D. L. & W. ; L. V.; 

Kingston No. 4 i Penna. ; D. & H. ; C. R. 

Kingston Washery ( R. of N. J 

Mount Lookout Coal Co.: 

Mt. Lookout Colliery 1 ). L. & W . ; L. V 

Harris-Dcnlx Coal Co.: 

Kintz Cofliery D. L. & W. : L. V 

Hcalcy Coal Co.: 

Troy L. \' -'1.344 . 49 

JoJin .hues Coal Co.: 

Photnix Washery L. V 7.4^5 44 

John Fib Coal Co.: 

Wyoming Washery L. \' S''^-? 30 



Net Tons 


amber of 

-254.-22 1 










Grand Total. Ninth District 2,683,320 5,448 


Operators and Collieries. Railn)ad to Mine 

Central Coal Co.: 

Wyoming Colliery D. & H 

John Conlon : 

Conlon Colliery D. & H 

East Boston Coal Co.: 

East Boston Colliery j^' ' *" i~x' ' n tt 

Penna. ; D. ot H.. 

Glen A Id en Coal Co.: 

Pettebone Colliery D. L. & W 

Haddock Mininq Co.: 

Black Diamond L. \'. ; D. L. & W 

Hcalcy Coal Co.: 

Miners Mills Colliery L. \' 

Hudson Coal Co.: 

Pine Ridge Colliery D. & H I 980,19 

Delaware Colliery D. & H. 

Pine Ridge Washery D. & H 

Lehigh Valley Coal Co.: 

Henry Colliery .• L. V 

Mineral Spring Colliery L. V 

Raub Coal Co.: 

Louise Colliery h. V 

Traders Coal Co.: 

Ridgewood Colliery C. R. R. of N. J. ; Erie. 

IVilkes-Barrc Collierx Co.: 

Madeira Colliery ." D. L. & W. ; D. & H. . . 

Grand Total. Tenth District 3,242,035 6,233 

W.-B. — 6 


Net Tons 

Number of 













\ 980,192 













Net Tons 


Operators and Collieries. Railroad to Mine 

Hillitwn Coal Co.: 

Hillman Colliery 1,. Y 

Hudson Coal Co.: 

Baltimore No. 5 D. & H 

Lehigh & Wilkes-Barre Coal Co.: 

Hollenback No. 2 C. R. R. of N. J 326,921 

South Wilkes-Barre No. 5 C. R. R. of N. T 479,528 

Stanton No. 7 C. R. R. of N. T 

Empire Washery C. R. R. of N. j 

Lehigh Valley Coal Co.: 

Dorrance Colliery L. V 

Prospect Colliery L. V 

Red Ash Coal Co.: 

Red Ash No. 3 C. R. R. of N. J 

Number of 












Grand Total. Eleventh District 3.709,926 


Kingston No. 2 Collierv. 

f D. L. & \V. ; L. V. ; D. & 
\ H. ; Penna. ; C. R. R. of 

I N. J 

fD. L. & W.; D. & H.; 
\ Penna. ; C. R. R. of N. T. 

Gaylord Colliery 

Lehigh & Wilkes-Barre Coal Co.: 

Lance No. 11 Colliery C. R. R. of N. J 

Nottingham No. 15 Colliery C. R. R. of N. J 

Plymouth Red Ash Coal Co.: 

Plymouth Red Ash Colliery D. L. & W 





TWELFTH DISTRICT, 1921. ^^^^^ 

Operators and Collieries. Railroad to Mine Production 

Glen Alden Coal Co.: Net Tons 

Woodward Colliery D. L. & W 1,229,700 

Woodward Bank D. L. & W 37.2X3 

Nanticoke Power Plant I). L. & W 

Hudson Coal Co.: 

Loree No. 6 Colliery D. & H i, 590,201 

Loree Washery D. & H 

Inter-City Fuel Co.: 

Plymoiith Co. Washery C. R. R. of N. J 8,052 

Kingston Coal Co.: 

umber of 







Grand Total. Twelfth District 4.527,194 


Operators and Collieries. Railroad to Mine 

Glen Alden Coal Co.: 

Loomis Colliery D. L. & W 


Net Tons 


Truesdale Colliery D. L. & W i, 533,152 

Avondale Colliery D. L. & W 242,668 

Culm Bank to Avondale Breaker. . . D. L. & W 82,743 

Geo. F. Lee Coal Co.: 

Chauncey Colliery D. L. & W 98,285 

Lehigh Valley Coal Co.: 

Franklin Colliery L. V 41 5,566 

Warrior Run Colliery L. V 95.234 

Lehigh & Wilkes-Barre Coal Co.: 

Sugar Notch No. 9 Collierv C. R. R. of N. 1 423,401 

Maxwell No. 20 Colliery C. R. R. of N. J 583,961 

Buttonwood No. 22 Coiliery C. R. R. of N. J 277,577 

Pittston Coal Mining Co.: 

Hadleigh Colliery^ C. R. R. of N. J 134.446 

West Nanticoke Coal Co.: 

West Nanticoke Colliery Penna 3^,7-^ 

Grand Total. Thirteenth District 4,718,503 

umber of 

2 122 











Operators and Ct)llieries. Railroad to Mine 

Aldcii Coal Co.: 

Alden Colliery C. R. R. of N. J 

East Aldcn Mining Co.: 

East Alden Colliery L. \' 

Glen Alden Coal Co.: 

Auchincloss Colliery D. L. & W 

Bliss Colliery D. L. & \\' 

Lehigh & Wilkes-Bar re Coal Co.: 

Wanamie No. 18 Colliery C. R. R. of N. J 

Wanamie W'ashery C. R. R. of N.J 

Sfaeklioiise Coal Co. E. S.: 

Salem Colliery D. L. & W 

Susquehanna Collieries Co.: 

No. 5 Colliery Penna. R. R 

No. 6 Colliery Penna. R. R 

No. 7 Colliery Penna. R. R 

Nanticoke Washery Penna. R. R 

JVcst End Coal Co.: 

West End Colliery Penna. R.R. ; C.R.R. of N.J. 



Net Tons 








Grand Total. Fourteenth District 4,306,067 

Number of 






■ 68 




Operators and Collieries. Railroad to Mine Bros. & Co., Inc.: 

Drifton Colliery L. ^' 

Eckley Colliery L. V 

Deringer Colliery L. ^ . 

East Point Coal Co.: 

Pond Creek Colliery C. R. R. of N. J 

Jeddo-Highland Coal Co.: 

Highland No. 2 Colliery 



Net Tons 


L. V. 

Highland No. 5 Colliery L. \'. 

L. V. 

C. R. R. of N. J. 













Grand Total. Fifteenth District 3,803,078 

Jeddo No. 4. 

Jeddo No. 7 

Keuuncrer & Co. M. S.: 

Sandy Run 

Lehigh J 'alley Coal Co.: 

Hazleton No. i Colliery 

Hazleton Shaft 

Pardee Bros. & Co.. Inc.: 

Lattimer Colliery 

Uf't'er Lehigh Coal Co.: 

Upper Lehigh Colliery C. R. R. of N. J. 

/. S. JVent:: Co.: 

Hazle Brook Colliery L. \ 

Wolf Collieries Co.. Lie.: 

Wolf Colliery L- \' 

L. \" 
L. \' 

L. V 

Number of 














C. R. R. of N. T... 

Operators and Collieries. Railroad to Mine 

Cranberry Creek Coal Co.: 

Cranberry Colliery L. \ 

Charles ^L Dodson & Co.: 

Beayer Brook Colliery L. ^ 

Harivood Coal Co.: 

Harwood Colliery L. \ 

Lehigh ]\illcy Coal Co.: 

Spring Mountain Colliery L. \' 

Spring Brook Colliery L. V • / 

Spring Brook Washery L. V ) 

Thomas R. Rees & Son: 

Dusky Diamond Colliery C. R. R. of N. J 



Net Tons 






Number of 




Grand Total. Luzerne County's Part of Sixteenth District 1,584,119 


In the three-quarters of a century of shaft mining in the anthracite region, 
there have been surprisingly few serious general mining disasters. On Sep- 
tember 6, 1869, the fire at Avondale Colliery, Plymouth, took the lives of 
one hundred and seventy-nine miners. The next serious accident was on 
December 18, 1885, at Nanticoke No. i. Colliery. Twenty-six men were killed 
by an inrush of quicksand. An explosion of gas in Jersey No. 8 Mine, at 
Ashley, on May 15, 1890, killed twenty-six men. A fall of roof imprisoned 
the workers in the Twin Mine at Pittston, on June 28, 1896, and then fifty- 
eight lost their lives. Fire in the Pancoast Mine, at Throop, on April 7, 191 1, 
took toll to the extent of seventy-two lives ; and ninety-two were killed in 
Baltimore No. 5 (Baltimore Tunnel), at Wilkes-Barre, on June 5, 1919, in an 
explosion of powder and dynamite. With these exceptions, no single mining 
disaster in the anthracite coalfields has taken the lives of more than twenty 
men. Fatal accidents are constantly occurring in mining, of course, but the 
mine disasters have been few. Five hundred and forty-six mine workers lost 
their lives in 1921, while at their work in the anthracite region, and of this 
number one hundred and ninety-eight were of Luzerne County. This was the 
casualty total of the operation of a dangerous occupation for one year by 
161,926 men. Over the period 1870-1922, the fatalities per 1,000,000 tons of 
anthracite coal mined averaged 7.60. 

The mines attract workers of almost all the nationalities that make up the 
American population, but the larger national groups among the 161,926 
anthracite miners in 1921 were as follows: American, 70,625; Polish, 24,926; 
Italian, 12,063; Lithuanian, 12,099; Slavonian, 9,276; Austrian, 9,222; Rus- 
sian, 8,265; Irish, 3,098; Welsh, 2,854; English, 2,752; Hungarian, 1,954; 
German, 1,357; Greek, 793 ; Tyrolean, 565 ; Swedish, 472 ; Scotch, 426; Span- 
ish. 267. 



Anthracite coal has come so dominantly into the industrial history of 
Luzerne County that a stranger is apt to think the other industries are of 
little importance. It requires little research, however, to discover that the 
Wyoming \^alley is not only a mining- region. Anthracite coal mining is, it 
is true, the leading industry, but the textile industry has been looming large in 
Luzerne during recent years. The textile mills of the Wilkes-Barre district 
employ about 9,000 operatives ; and, by the way, Wilkes-Barre is not the only 
textile center of Luzerne County. At Hazleton there are five silk mills and 
seven knitting- mills. For a generation or more, one of these Hazleton mills 
has found steady employment for more than a thousand workers. It is said 
that Luzerne County, in 1925, took the place of Paterson, New Jersey, as the 
dominant silk center of America. Wilkes-Barre has a lace mill which employs 
about a thousand operatives. It is in the class of the largest American lace 
manufacturing plants, and in one respect is unique, in that the Wilkes-Barre 
mill is "the only one of its kind in the world that spins yarn from raw cotton 
to weave into curtains." The metal manufacturing plants of the W^yoming 
Valley are by no means insignificant. They employ more than 4.000 workers. 
Several internationally-known makes of automobiles, trucks, and busses use 
Sheldon bumpers. Wilkes-Barre axles and springs go under many cars. 
Wyoming shovels are known from coast to coast. The Vulcan Iron Works, 
at their several plants, find employment for movt than a thousand skilled 
workers. Vulcan locomotives are known in most of the leading countries of 
both hemispheres. Kingston manufactures adding machines that find many 
foreign markets. For seventy-five years Pittston stoves and ranges have been 
leaders. For a century Hazard wire rope has been used — the first ever used 
in America for suspension bridge purposes, it is said. And, during recent 
years, the Hazard insulated wire specialties, particularly the Hazard parkway 
underground cable, have, been the operating connection of many of the fire 
alarm and traffic regulation systems of leading American cities. Wilkes- 
Barre has three large tobacco manufacturing establishments that hold their 
own against the great tobacco trusts ; and, quite recently a cigar manufactur- 
ing plant at Forty Fort assumed such large proportions as to give credence to 
the assertion that it is the largest in the world ; certainly, it is the largest of 
the fifty plants of the General Cigar Company, a National corporation, whose 
factories are to be found in many states. The Forty Fort cigar factory 
employs about 1,500 operatives. "Planter'' peanuts are in demand all over the 
United States, but not many persons know that they represent a Wilkes-Barre 
business which has an annual turnover of $8,000,000. The flouring mills of 
the Wyomiing Valley are not only historic ; they are establishments that keep 
abreast of modern milling improvements and successfully compete with the 
more extensively advertised flours. 

The manufactured products of the Wilkes-Barre district include art glass, 
automobile commercial bodies, automobile parts, car wheels and axles ; chemi- 
cals, cigars, clay products ; coal breaker machinery ; copper wire ; curtains, 
electric hoists, electric machines ; engines, steam, electric and gasoline ; iron 
and wire fencing; fire escapes; farm implements; hosiery, some Nationally 
known ; insulated wire, iron and steel ropes ; knitted products ; laces ; loco- 
motives; metallic steam packing; mine drills, motor generators, paints and 
oils ; paper products, including waterproof paper tubes ; peanut butter ; pow- 


cler ; power (one electric plant furnishing power to 200 communities, over a 
radius of one hundred miles) ; printing- (a recent merger of two large plants 
promising, it is said, to give Wilkes-Barre the largest printing establishment 
in northeastern Pennsylvania, another plant being fully occupied in the print- 
ing of colored supplements for Sunday papers) ; shovels ; shirts ; silks ; snow 
guards ; springs ; steel drums ; stove castings, stoves and ranges, sugar 
machinery, tobacco; toilet preparations; umbrellas, underwear, violins, ven- 
tilators, wire rope. 

Altogether, Luzerne County's manufacturing industries, at the time of the 
taking of the last Federal industrial census (1919), numbered five hundred and 
seventy-nine, employing an average of 24,856 workers, whose earnings were 
$21,400,673. Value of products was $94,702,494. The value of the coal output 
of Luzerne County is about twice as much ($199,289,572, in 1924), but the 
foregoing is sufficient to indicate that the manufacturing industries are by no 
means negligible factors in the industrial life of the Wyoming Valley. The 
coal measures may have become exhausted a century hence, or reduced to such 
small vokmie as to be no longer the dominant industry, but the probability is 
that long ere that industrial change takes place, the other industries will have 
so far increased as to be able to provide satisfactorily for the majority of the 
workers of the region, thus keeping the former coal region in the prosperous 
industrial state to which it had been so long accustomed. Indeed, the proba- 
bility is that the change will take place unnoticed, a gradual dwindling of 
mining importance being counterbalanced by gradual increase in manufactur- 
ing activity. It is generally recognized that anthracite mining, after some 
more decades of peak activity, will gradually diminish, but recent expansion 
of other industries indicates that as an industrial manufacturing centre Wilkes- 
Barre's future is bright. 

In substantiation, the recent history of the silk industry in Luzerne County 
might be cited. There was only one silk mill in the county forty years ago, 
and few in Pennsylvania. In 1919, Pennsylvania, for the first time, led all the 
states in the value of silk textile products. Luzerne County's share in Penn- 
sylvania's textile development was fifty of three hundred and seventy-three 
establishments. And there has been considerable expansion since 1919. In 
the last six years it is estimated that the silk throwing industry of Luzerne 
County has expanded twenty-five per cent., now providing for an average of 
about 12,000 operatives, the freqvient labor strikes at Paterson, New Jersey, 
reacting to the benefit of Wilkes-Barre. 

The pioneer silk company in the Wilkes-Barre district was the Hess- 
Goldsmith Company, which established a plant on Waller Street in 1886. It 
is now one of the largest. In 1899 the Duplan Silk Company built the first 
mill at Hazleton. Fifteen years later it was putting out annually about 
7,000,000 yards of broad silks. Now Hazleton has five silk mills, and the 
Wilkes-Barre district is forging ahead, seriously challenging, if not having 
recently taken, Paterson's place as the chief silk manufacturing center of 

The Wyoming Valley silk companies in 1927 are : The Anthracite Silk 
Throwing Company, Wyoming; Avoca Silk Co., Avoca ; Bentley Silk Corp., 
Pittston ; Century Throwing Co., Wilkes-Barre ; Crane Bros., Kingston ; 
David B. Edmund Silk Mill, Wilkes-Barre; Dorranceton Silk Works, King- 
ston ; Durvea Silk Throwing Co., Duryea ; Empire Silk Co., Wilkes-Barre ; 
Fashion Silk Co., Plymouth ; Forty Fort Silk Co., Forty Fort and Swoyers- 
ville ; Franklin Mill, Wilkes-Barre ; Fromberg Silk Co., Kingston ; George- 
town Silk Co., Wilkes-Barre; Gillis-Krych Silk Co., Edwardsville ; Gillis 
Krych Silk Corp., Pittston; Goebel Silk Throwing Co., Wilkes-Barre; Wes- 
ton E. Good Co., Pittston ; Guaranty Silk Corp., Nanticoke ; Hamilton Silk 
Co., Swoyersville; Henry R. Heitman, Inc., Wilkes-Barre; Hess, Goldsmith 


& Co., Inc., A\'ilkes-Bari'e, Kingston, and Plymouth; Kingston Silk Throwing 
Co., Kingston ; Klots Throwing Co., Moosic ; Leon-Ferenbach Silk Co., Sugar 
Notch, Parsons and Wilkes-Barre ; Liberty Throwing Co., Nanticoke ; Nanti- 
coke Silk Throwing Co., Nanticoke; Newark Silk Co., Wilkes-P)arre ; Patricia 
Silk Co., Pittston ; Plains Silk Throwing Co., Plains; Post & Sheldon Silk 
Corp., Dupont ; Puritan Silk Co. (Duplan Silk Co.), Wilkes-Barre; Ramsey 
Silk Co., Avoca ; Rosedale Silk Co., Wyoming; Schwarzenbach-Huber Co., 
Inc., AVilkes-Barre ; Sheldon-Robertson Silk Co., Plymouth and Wilkes-Barre ; 
Sheridan Silk ]Mill. Pittston ; Tamor Silk ]\Iills, Inc., Pittston ; Universal 
Industrial Corp., Duryea ; Verigood Silk Throwing Co., Pittston; Wallace- 
Wilson Hosiery Co., Kingston ; West Pittston Silk Throwing Co., West 
Pittston ; Wilkes-Barre Silk Co., Wilkes-Barre. 

The advantage that the Wyoming Valley possessed in this manufacturing 
industry was demonstrated during the coal strikes of 1922' and 1925. Then, the 
labor of the 10,000 or 12,000 young women who constitute the bulk of the mill 
operatives went a long way to sustain thousands of families wherein the male 
members were forced to endure idleness for many months. 

The silk throwing industry finds an ideal center in the coal regions. Fuel 
is at hand at first cost, and in a populous region wherein the dominant 
industry — coal — can find employment only for males, they find abundance of 
labor of the type they want — female operatives. Thus it happens that the silk 
and other textile industries are increasing so rapidly in the Wyoming Valley. 

Altogether, of the about 60,000 operatives of the Wilkes-Barre district, 
about 35,000 find employment in other industries than coal mining. These 
are estimated figures for the year 1926. The Federal statistics for the last 
census year, 1920, giving the figures for the manufacturing industries in 1919, 
credit Luzerne County with only 24,856 operatives in these industries. The 
expansion in other industries than coal mining must, therefore, have been 
substantial during the last seven years. A few more years will bring us to 
another Federal census year. Meanwhile, for purposes of record, it might be 
well to spread here some more statistics of the 1919 census. Quoting from the 
tables for cities and boroughs of 10,000 inhabitants, or more, we find that the 
average number of w^age-earners in manufacturing industries of Hazleton in 
1919 were 3,815; of Nanticoke, 1,029; of Pittston, 974; of Plymouth, 588; of 
Wilkes-Barre, 9,408. The majority of these worked between 48 and 54 hours 
a week. Hazleton possessed 74 manufacturing establishments, including four 
valued at $500,000 or more ; Nanticoke had 36 plants, including four valued 
at $100,000 or more ; Pittston had 40 plants, including twelve valued at $100,- 
000 or more; Plymouth had 21 plants, including five valued at $100,000 to 
$500,000; and Wilkes-Barre had 179 plants, including 44 valued at $20,000 to 
$100,000, 29 worth from $100,000 to $500,000, six worth from $500,000 to 
$1,000,000, and eight plants valued at more than $1,000,000. The value of 
products in 1919 was: Hazleton, $14,830,168; Nanticoke, $2,015,014; Pittston, 
$3,835,864; Plymouth, $1,285,256; Wilkes-Barre, $41,986,203. Included in the 
Wilkes-Barre figures were silk goods valued at $6,023,928. 

Wireless Telegraphy Pioneer — The dawn of the twentieth century wit- 
nessed the introduction into the world of science of that most mystifying yet 
stupendously valuable discovery — wireless telegraphy, and the succeeding 
years have been filled with progressive activities in the practical application of 
this marvel. First applied to ships at sea it revolutionized maritime trade and 
travel and of recent years has been the basic principle for the great strides 
which have been made in radio broadcasting, trans-Atlantic telephone service, 
and pictorial transmission. 

As one of the pioneers in the perfection of wireless telegraphy, the Rev- 
erend Joseph Alurgas, of Wilkes-Barre, stands out prominently for his origi- 

nal and valuable contributions to the development of this remarkable innova- 
tion in the annals of scientific history. Father Murgas, a man of great crea- 
tive genius, devised a system of tone transmission which was an incomparable 
improvement over previous methods, and on October 2, 1903, applied to the 
United States Patent Office, Washington, D. C, for patent letter covering his 
first invention, which patent was granted under date of May 10, 1904, desig- 
nated as No. 759,825, "Wireless Telegraphy Apparatus," and No. 759,826, 
"Method of Communicating Intelligence by Wireless Telegraphy." 

The first, "Wireless Telegraphy Apparatus," contains a description of a 
revolving imperfect contact receiving apparatus for wireless telegraphy in 
which apparatus, a steel needle slowly rotates by clock work touching some 
small carbons forming an imperfect contact, which in proper connection with 
one cell battery and a telephone receiver reproduces faithfully and perfectly 
the signals emitted from a wireless sending station. 

The second patent letter describes a new method of wireless communica- 
tion, the so-called tone system. The invention consists of the construction in 
proper relation of the units of the so-called oscillatory circuit apparatus in the 
sending station, comprising the condensers, inductances, the spark gap and by 
a given electrical energy adjusting the same permanently in such a way that 
they emit a musical tone of a certain pitch. By selecting properly the units of 
the mentioned closed circuit in the sending station, it is possible to obtain at 
will several tones of different pitch, of which can be formed the alphabet 
replacing the Morse signals, the dot with one tone and the dash with another 
tone of different pitch. Because the tones thus obtained to form the Morse 
* code do not depend upon time duration, the musical tones emitted are all of 
short duration, but differ in pitch, thus making it possible to send and receive 
signals with greater ease and certainty. However, this property of utilizing 
tones is not the only factor in establishing Father Murgas' system as superior 
to all rivals, as one of the greatest advantages is the perfect reception of sig- 
nals from long distances. By negotiating a common sender in a sending 
station, the spark emitted from the spark gap has irregular crackling noises, 
and in receiving the same from a distance, the noise is similar to the ever- 
present static interfering therefore with the clear reading of the signals. On 
the other hand, in signals employing the musical tones, the pitch of the tone is 
clearly distinguished from the static noises, thus making possible direct mes- 
sages between points of greater remoteness. 

The electrical energy for this system was delivered at first from a large, 
self-made induction coil, using various interruptors, and was replaced later 
by another invention of which the application was filed October 7, 19^5, and 
patented on April 6, 1909, bearing the name, "Wireless Telegraphy," Patent 
No. 917,103. The patent letter describes the apparatus necessary for feeding 
the sending station with alternating current of higher frequency than the usual 
lighting circuit. Soon as the first patent letter was obtained, a company was 
formed in Philadelphia, "The Universal Aether Company," to place the system 
in practical operation. According to the contract which Father Murgas 
signed, the company was to furnish the necessary money for the erection of a 
laboratory and two aerial stations two hundred feet high in Wilkes-Barre and 
in Scranton. Father Murgas was obliged to show his system in practical 
operation and, in September, 1905, the public test was witnessed by Lieutenant 
Robinson, of the United States Navy, and by several guests from Wilkes- 
Barre and Scranton. The Universal Aether Company also witnessed the test 
with full satisfaction and proposed plans for the erection of several stations 
for commercial use, but unexpected circumstances occurred which prevented 
further developments. Two of the most prominent members of the organiza- 
tion died the same year, while about the same time, the station in Scranton 


was destroyed by a gale, causing- the company to al^andon its plans for further 

It is proper to mention here that the Fessenden and Marconi companies 
evolved this" system still further, improving the alternators to emit much 
higher cvcles, but using only one tone for signaling, and calling the improve- 
ment the sonorous system. In 191 3. and again in 1914, the two companies 
started a law suit in the New York Supreme Court regarding the priority of 
the invention, and both concerns sent expert engineers to Father JMurgas' 
laboratorv to investigate the apparatus, especially the special alternator. After 
their findings were communicated to the judge, the case was thrown out of 
court, leaving the priority of the invention to Father Murgas alone. 

In addition to the aforementioned three patents, Father Murgas invented 
several other innovations in wireless telegraphy, on which for eleven dift'erent 
inventions patents were granted. Thus in his "Means for Producing Electro- 
magnetic Waves" (application filed January 4, 1905, patented January 14, 
1908), the discovery comprises a direct current source of high voltage (from 
300 volts up) which through an adjustable inductance coil feeds the closed 
oscillatory circuit of which the primary coil with the secondary forms an air 
core transformer, the secondary being connected through a second spark gap 
to the aerial and to the ground, respectively, and very sharp selectivity is 
obtained in this manner. Another invention deals with underground antennae 
and bears the name "AA'ireless Telegraphy," application filed May 17, 1907, 
patented March 2^,, 1Q09. The invention comprises two patents. The aerial 
wires are dispensed with and are replaced by an adjustable capacity and 
inductance. The ground wire leads to the ground and is insulated from the 
same. This invention when built on a small scale proved to operate with 
excellent success, but their construction on a large scale aroused many dif- 
ficulties regarding the insulation, so that the experiment on account of heavy 
expenses was abandoned. 

Still another invention bearing the name, "Method and Apparatus for 
Producing Electric Oscillations for Alternating Current," was filed on April 
2T„ 1909, and patented (patent not at hand), in which the spark gap forming 
the closed oscillatory circuit is afl:ected by a strong air blast which unites its 
discharge in one single thick discharge which is purely oscillatory in character 
of a very high frecjuency and practically noiseless. Two other patents relate 
to a magnetic detector apparatus (application filed March 17, 1909, patented 
August 10, 1909), in which a rotating magnetic wire solenoid (preferably iron) 
is rotated in a magnetic field and connected to the antenna and to the ground. 
Around this solenoid is a stationary wire bobbin at ninety degrees connected 
to the telephone. Another invention of this type shows a magnetic field of 
proper zone whereon is rotated a disc made from magnetic material sur- 
rounded by a stationary wire bobbin of wire connected to the antenna, 
ground and telephone. The balance of the patents contains a wave meter, 
patented April 2, 1907, in which a so-called talking condenser is applied, and 
in the patent "Electric Transformer," patented April 2, 1907, is designed a new 
oscillatorv transformer for the closed circuit in the sending station. 

— 5««<— 


^lore than fifty years before free education became general in Pennsyl- 
vania, free schools were being conducted in the Wyoming Valley. This state- 
ment will surprise the average Luzerne County resident. Only the well- 
informed, historically, will know that free schools in the Wyoming A^alley. in 
colonial times, merely meant that the region was functioning normally, in its 
local government. They will remember that the Wyoming Valley was then 
a part of Connecticut, not of Pennsylvania, or rather that the Wyoming Valley 
was then peopled by men from New England who recognized the govern- 
mental authority of Connecticut, not that of Pennsylvania. They will also 
know that the New England plan of local government called for the estab- 
lishment of free schools in every settled community. 

In the early days of the Plymouth Colony, in Massachusetts, it was pro- 
vided "that all such profits as might, or should, annually accrue to the Colony 
from time to time from fishing with nets or seines at Cape Cod for mackerel, 
bass, or herring, should be improved for, and towards, a free school in some 
town of the jurisdiction." In the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Puritans 
went farther. In 1642, the General Court passed a law requiring that those 
chosen to manage "the prudentials of every town in the several precincts and 
quarters where they dwelt, shall have a vigilant eye over their neighbors, to 
see, first, that none of them shall sufifer so much barbarism in any of their 
families as not to endeavor to teach by themselves, or others, their children 
and apprentices so much learning as may enable them to read perfectly the 
English tongue, and a knowledge of the capital laws, upon penalty of twenty 
shillings for each neglect therein." Pennsylvania and Massachusetts are far 
apart; nevertheless, a century and a quarter or so later "prudentials" \yere 
elected to care for the governmental afifairs of townships then being organized 
in the Wyoming Valley. 

In 1647 the Puritans took more positive steps to establish a free school 
system. Then the General Court of Massachusetts passed an act which pro- 
vided for the establishment of a free public school in every town of fifty house- 
holders. Larger towns, those in which there were domiciled one hundred 
families, or more, were required to do more. Therein must be maintained a 
secondary school — "a grammar school, taught by a schoolmaster who could 
impart instruction in Latin and mathematics." In course of time, all land 
grants for township organization were made conditional upon the establish- 
ment of a church and a school within the town projected. 

This, substantially, was the governmental principle followed by the Con- 
necticut settlers of the Wyoming Valley. The Connecticut law of township 
organization made provision for the maintenance of schools. Accordingly, 
when the townships were surveyed in the Wyoming Valley, one full lot — 
five hundred acres — in each township was set apart for school purposes. This, 
in time, would provide a school fund ; meanwhile the settlers were not to 
evade their moral liability to have the rudiments of academies taught to their 

Thus it happens that the settlement records for 1773 show that "'the town 
voted a tax of three pence on the pound in support of a free school in each 
township." And thus it came about that Luzerne County might rightly claim 
pioneer place in the establishment of a free common school system in Penn- 



In 1682, William Penn had. it is true, directed his deputy-governor and 
provincial council to "erect and order all publick schools and encourage and 
reward the authors of useful sciences and laudable inventions." A year or so 
later, in considering "ye instruction and sober education of youth," he had 
summoned Enoch Flower, a schoolmaster, and had ])revailed upon him to 
establish a school, in which pupils might be taught and fed for £10 a year; 
but this — the William Penn Charter School — \vas not a common school. It is 
true that the Provincial Assembly of Pennsylvania, at its first session, passed 
an act to compel parents and guardians to educate the children ; but no free 
schools, maintained by township taxes, were organized. It is true that the 
first State Constitution of Pennsylvania, that of 1776, directed that "a school 
or schools shall be established in each county by the Legislature for the 
convenient instruction of youth, with such salaries to the masters paid by the 
public, as may oiablc thciii to i)isfnict xoufJi at lo-c^' prices: but this was no 
more than the subsidization of the schoolmaster by the State. It was not a 
system of free schools. Not until 1834, when the Common School Law was 
passed, did Pennsylvania adopt a system of free education. 

The unique place that the Wyoming Valley holds in the history of educa- 
tion in Pennsylvania is, therefore, not difficult to see. Just as easy is it to see 
that she owes her distinctive place to the fact that her townships were organ- 
ized vmder Connecticut law, not Pennsylvanian. The Wyoming Valley pioneers 
may not have been superior in intellect to those of other parts of Pennsylvania, 
but they had grown up under a governmental system which inexorably linked 
free schools and State-aided churches with local government; so they natu- 
rally thought of no other educational system than one free to all children, and 
maintained out of township funds. 

It seems that, in 1774, a committee of sixteen elders of Westmoreland 
Township — which at that time embraced all of the Wyoming Valley, and 
much more besides — headed by Captain Lazarus Stewart, "was appointed with 
power to erect schoolhouses and employ teachers." 

The several settlements that were soon to become separate townships of 
Westmoreland County, Connecticut, were then merely "districts," or pre- 
cincts, of Westmoreland Township. Wilkes-Barre and Kingston records 
show that action to establish schools was taken in these districts in 1774, and 
most probably other districts also took steps to meet their liability. The set- 
tlers were beset by many difficulties, but. to a New Englander, church and 
school were inescapable charges upon the town, and no self-respecting parent 
would chafe at the imposition of a school tax. Nevertheless, one can hardly 
hold back admiration of these rugged pioneers who so courageously faced 
their liabilities. Miner, in his history of the region, writes: "It may be justly 
regarded equally honorable and extraordinary that a people just commencing 
a settlement in the wilderness, wrestling steadily with the yet rude and 
unbroken soil for bread, surrounded by so many intrinsic difficulties and 
causes of alarm and disquiet, should be found so zealously adopting and so 
steadily pursuing measures to provide free schools throughout the settlement." 

The school system was not substantially changed in Luzerne County dur- 
ing the next fifty years. Miner writes: "This system substantially continued 
in operation in the Wyoming region up to the time of the adoption of the 
common school system in 1834. when, with little change and no disturbance, 
it was merged into it; and. as the nearest approach to our modern public 
schools of any class or schools then known in Pennsylvania, it had consider- 
able influence in shaping the school legislation which culminated in the act 
of 1834. It was Timothy Pickering, of Luzerne who, in the Constitu- 
tion Convention of 1790, secured the adoption of the article on education upon 
which was subsequently based the whole body of laws relating to common 
schools in Pennsylvania, up to the year 1874; and by so doing saved the con- 


vention from the threatened danger of committing itself to a much narrower 

The Constitution of 1790 provided for the free education of those children 
whose parents were too poor to pay for tuition. This half-measure was not a 
success, and in ten years the State was called upon to pay only $3,000 for the 
education of poor children of Luzerne. The settlers, in general, had little 
money, but they objected to the stigma of pauperism suggested by the con- 
stitutional article of 1790. They would prefer to meet school expenditures by 
township tax. At the most, this would not be an overwhelming liability. 
There were not many teachers in Luzerne County in 1790, and not many 
scholars ; indeed, the county has almost as many teachers today as she had 
inhabitants just after the Revolution. In 1790, when the first Federal census 
was taken, Luzerne County had a population of 4,904. In 1927 the schools of 
Wilkes-Barre City alone had a teaching staff of 480. 

Wilkes-Barre possessed a school, if not a schoolhouse, before 1781, when 
the first public school in Pittston was opened. Charles Miner writes : "Through- 
out the year 1777 schools engaged the greatest attention, They levied an 
extra penny to the pound for free schools. Each township was to establish 
a legal school district with power to sell the lands sequestered by the Susque- 
hanna Company therein for the use of schools, and also to receive of the school 
committee appointed by their town their part of the money according to their 
respective rates." 

The first Wilkes-Barre school building stood "on the east side of the public 
scjuare." Later, one was built "on the plains near the Cortright residence." 
The third building was on Dr. Covell's farm, near the railroad station. Bradsby 
writes : "The earliest teachers remembered were Godlove N. Lutyens, a 

German university graduate. In 1802, Asher Miner was a teacher 

Prior to 1806, select schools had been successfully taught. Mr. Parmaly had 
opened a school in the old stillhouse on Main Street. Another was on East 
Union Street, taught by William Wright. This continued to be a prosperous 
school until the time of Mr. Wright's death, 1816. Mrs. Jabez Fish had a 
juvenile school, taught only in summer. This was on the river bank, at the 
lower end of the commons. It is said the chief purpose of her old-fashioned 
Puritan school was to teach the Westminster Catechism from the John 
Rogers Primer." 

As to township schools, the best description is perhaps that which Mrs. 
M. L. T. Hartman contributed to Johnson's "Historical Record." In an inter- 
esting article she describes early school conditions in Huntington Township. 
"In the settlement of Huntington." she writes, "were young men and women 
competent for teachers on their arrival ; and. therefore, here at least, their 
rude log cabins had hardly more than been built before they built schoolhouse 
cabins as comfortable as the best of the houses, and the supposition is that 
desks and seats made of planed boards were in use as early as 1800." Mrs. 
Hartman's "first recollection of a schoolroom was in 1822. in the old school- 
house nearly opposite the site of the Harveyville church, and then the desks 
seemed to be old, but were made of planed boards and were comfortable — the 
house, a frame, one-story, 20x24; the writing desks built along each wall. A 
large wood stove occupied the center and the teacher's desk was movable. 
The door was near one corner, and opened into an ante-room for hats and 

wraps. A respectful bow admitted a boy and a courtesy a girl Many 

of the children came more than a mile, some more than two miles. All were 
instructed in spelling, reading, and writing. Grammar and history were 
taught to any who wished to study them, or were well advanced in the others. 
Noah W^ebster's 'Easy Standard of Pronunciation' and the dictionary were our 
spelling books. John Rogers' 'Primer,' the 'English Reader,' 'Columbia Ora- 
tor' and 'American Preceptor' were all used as reading books. Daboll's, Ben- 


net's and Pike's were the arithmetics. Lindlcy Ahirray's Tirammar' was 
generally used until superseded by Kirkham's about 1835." 

School conditions were probably much alike in all well-settled townships of 
that period. It will not be necessary, in this general cha])ter, to follow closely 
the separate school history of individual townships, for in most of the town- 
ship reviews, that make up Chapter LYII, something has been written regard- 
ing the pioneer schools. John Jenkins was teaching school in Pittston in 1781. 
Plymouth built two schoolhouses soon after the Revolution. Nanticoke was 
using a schoolhouse of logs in 1820 ; Dallas built a hewn-log schoolhouse in 
1816; Exeter had a log schoolhouse before 1800, and long before had had a 
school maintained by township tax. In Plains a schoolhouse of round logs 
was built in 1818. In Newport township was a schoolhouse as early as 1803. 
In 1837, Hazleton erected a village hall, to serve all communal purposes — - 
school, church, social and governmental. Although all townships did not at 
once build schoolhouses, a schoolroom was no doubt soon provided wherever 
there were children of school age in sufficient number. 

When the Common School Law went into operation in 1834, only three 
townships of Luzerne County voted in the negati^•e on the measure ; and these 
three "non-accepting" school districts conducted schools, at township expense, 
equal in everv respect to those of other townships wherein the Common 
School Law was in operation. This free school measure called "for a levy on 
all taxable property and inhabitants ; provided that townships, boroughs and 
wards should be school districts and that schools should be maintained at 
public expense, the supervision of schools in each district l)eing entrusted to a 
board of six school directors to be elected." The Secretary of the Common- 
wealth had general superxision of education, l)ut in each county two inspectors 
of common schools were to be appointed by the Court of Quarter Sessions. 

This system continued almost unchanged until 1857, when the Department 
of Public Instruction was separated from the Department of State. Act of 
April 18, 1857, provided for the ap])ointment of a State Su])erintendent of 
Common School. The way to this change in State control of education had 
been paved bv Act of May 24, 1854, which created the office of county super- 
intendent, the latter an elective office. In 1873, the title of the State office 
was changed to "Superintendent of Public Instruction," and, inferentially, the 
office of county superintendent then automatically became that of "Public 
Instruction," not of "Common Schools." In 1862, boroughs were permitted 
to have their own superintendents. In 1868, an act was passed which, by 1870, 
swept into the common school system all the so-called "non-accepting" school 
districts. Thereafter, all operated under the Free School Law of 1834, as 
amended. Township high schools were established, or authorized, in 1884. 

Progress was steady, but led inexorably to compulsory education. During 
the 'eighties and 'nineties, this "spectre" of the free school system was fought 
as bitterly as had been Thaddeus Stevens' Free School Law of 1834. In 
Bradsby's "History of Luzerne County" (1892), the historian gives his own 
opinion on the subject in discussing the question: "Do schools educate?": 

Is it possible we are deceiving tiie rising generation on a subject so vital to them as 
their education? Let us hope not. But it must be confessed that this demand by the rank 
and file of educators for compulsory schools is very near a fatal admission. 

This much we may now know : if it is imperative that we have compulsory free schools, 
then inevitably the State must furnish lavatories, fine-toothed combs, and decent clothing for 
those compelled to attend. When these are supplied, and this should be done promptly and 
ungrudgingly, then these newly-fashioned children cannot go to school and become .... 
Solomons on empty stomachs. 

However, compulsory education was the inevitable way that expansion of 
a system of free schools would take. Acts were passed in 18Q5, 1897, and 1901 ; 
and the State has not yet been called upon to clothe the children of the poor 


that they might be fit to sit beside their richer schoohnates. Until compul- 
sory education became the law of the land, it hardly seems likely that the free 
schools can have been as commonly used as they should have been. When 
Mr. Frank P. Hopper became the superintendent of Luzerne County schools, 
in 1899, the county employed only seven hundred teachers. In 1925, when 
Mr. Hopper resigned the office of county superintendent, the number of 
teachers under his jurisdiction had increased to 1,935. On this basis, the 
school enrollment should have almost trebled in the quarter century. 

The districts now under the supervision of the county superintendent are 
as follows : 

No. of 
District Teachers 

Hanover Tvvp 141 

Plains Twp 130 

Duryea Boro 82 

Larksville Boro 90 

Edwardsville Boro 59 

Jenkins Twp 55 

Forty Fort Boro 51 

Parsons Boro 46 

Freeland Boro 45 

Wilkes-Barre Twp 45 

Swoyersville Boro 43 

Foster Twp 41 

Exeter Boro 36 

Luzerne Boro 35 

Pittston Twp 35 

Plymouth Twp 34 

West Hazleton Boro 32 

Wyoming Boro 31 

Avoca Boro 30 

Miners Mills Boro 26 

Kingston Twp 24 

Sugar Notch 22 

Dupont Boro 21 

Conyngham Twp 20 

Hughestown Boro 19 

Shickshinny Boro 19 

Pringle Boro 18 

West Wyoming Boro 16 

Black Creek Twp 15 

Huntington Twp 13 

Lake Twp 12 

No. of 
District Teachers 

Nescopeck Boro 12 

Salem Twp 12 

Butler Twp 11 

Lehman Twp 10 

Warrior Run Boro 10 

Dallas Twp 9 

Ross Twp 9 

White Haven Boro 9 

Fairmount Twp 8 

Sugar Loaf Twp 8 

Fairview Twp 7 

Hunlock Twp 7 

Dorrance Twp 6 

Laurel Run Boro 6 

Yatesville Boro 6 

Courtdale Boro 5 

Dallas Boro 5 

Hollenback Twp 5 

Jackson Twp 5 

Laflin Boro 5 

Wright Twp 5 

Exeter Twp 4 

Franklin Twp 4 

Nescopeck Twp 4 

Slocum Twp 4 

Jeddo Boro 3 

Bear Creek Twp 2 

Conyngham Boro 2 

Buck Twp I 

New Columbus Boro i 

Nuangola Boro i 

Superintendent Hopper was succeeded in 1926 by A. P. Cope, who had 
been teaching in Luzerne County schools for twenty-two years, at first in his 
native township, Union, later in Shickshinny, Plymouth Township, Wyoming 
Seminary, followed by sixteen years as principal and superintendent of Ashley 
public schools. The associate county superintendents are: C. F. Dengler, 
Shickshinny; If. E. Heller, Wapwallopen ; Z. R. Howell, Trucksville ; P. T. 
Kane, Parsons ; and T. A. Wakefield, Drums. 

Several of the larger borough and city school districts are of independent 
status, and, therefore, should be added to the county school statistics. The 
public schools of the city of Wilkes-Barre used a corps of 480 teachers during 
the school year 1926-27, Hazleton had 256, Nanticoke about 150, Pittston City 
no, Kingston Borough 135, Hazle Township 90, Plymouth Borough 85, West 
Pittston 52, and Ashley 43 teachers in 1926. This brings the total for the 
county to almost 3,000 — a greater number, probably, than there were inhabi- 
tants in the Wyoming Valley at the close of the Revolution. As late as 1864 
Wilkes-Barre, which now has 480 teachers, had only 187 scholars in its com- 
mon schools. 

The borough then had three schoolhouses, all one-storv structures. The 


teaching staff pnibably did not exceed ten. In 1865, when George B. Kul]x 
Daniel L. Rhone and Cieorge D. Miles were school directors, the Washington 
School Building was erected. In 1866, the school directors were: George B. 
Kulp ; Henry M. Hoyt, wdio became Governor of Pennsylvania, in 1879, and 
Henry \Y. Palmer, who became Attorney-General in Governor Ployt's admin- 
istration. These three worthy citizens built the Frank Schoolhouse, of twelve 
rooms, in 1869, and continued in direction of the school affairs of W'ilkes- 
Barre until 1871, when the borough was promoted to city class. 

As a city, Wilkes-Barre had enlarged boundaries, absorbing part of Wilkes- 
Barre Township, as well as the whole of the borough. For school purposes 
also, the remainder of Wilkes-Barre Township was included in three inde- 
pendent school districts provided for by the Act of Incorporation .of the City 
of Wilkes-Barre, J\Iay 4, 1871. The new school districts were: The First 
District, consisting of city wards i, 2, 3, 6. and 9, and the remaining north 
portion of the township; the Second District, consisting of city wards 13, 14, 
and 15, and the remaining south portion of Wilkes-Barre Township ; the Third 
District, consisting of city wards 4. 5. 7, 8, 10, 1 1, and 12. The Third District 
had a board of seven directors, and the other six each — nineteen directors in 
all to manage the schools to which probably not more than a thousand pupils 

The Third District was the wealthiest, and thus was able to conduct bet- 
ter schools. Ere long, therefore, the other school districts of the city sought 
to effect a consolidation, or at least to equalize the facilities available to all 
school children of the city. Dr. William G. W^eaver, Edward Mackin and H. 
G. Reichard. directors of the First District, were especially active agitators. 
So also were Directors Michael Lynch and John A. Flynn, of the Second Dis- 
trict. The newspapers also took up the agitation, but many years passed 
before legal action was taken. In 1889 two acts were passed by the State 
Legislature, both designed to meet the same end. Act of May 23, 1889, would 
provide only a single school district for any borough thereafter raised to the 
status of a city of the third class. The law also permitted any existing city of 
the third class to become a single school district. Each ward was to have 
representation on the school board. The other act, that of May 31. 1889, was 
more direct. It repealed that section of the W^ilkes-Barre city charter which 
provided for the establishment of three school districts, and consolidated the 
schools of the fifteen wards of the city, but excluded the township portions 
that had been put into school districts One and Two in 1871. The consolida- 
tion was to go into effect on the first Monday in June. 1890. 

Considerable confusion, as to directorates resulted. Each ward elected a 
director to a board of fifteen, as provided for in the Act of May 23. But the 
existing directors of the three districts, acting on legal advice, considered that 
the .Act of j\Iay 2^,, 1889. was superseded, so far as Wilkes-Barre was con- 
cerned, by the Act of Alay 31, 1889. Consequently, they nominated two can- 
didates from each of the three boards to represent the city at large in forming 
a consolidated school board of six members. However, the school district 
which had most to lose by the consolidation — ^District No. 3 — refused to 
recognize either the board of fifteen or the board of six. Therefore, although 
the board of six took general charge of school affairs, at least, in Districts I 
and 2, on June 2, 1890. their authority was not recognized by the Third Dis- 
trict even after Judge Rice, in July, 1890, had issued writs of quo warranto 
against the board of fifteen and the board of the Third District, and ruled that 
the Act of May 31, 1890, had placed control of school affairs in the city of 
\\'ilkes-Barre in the hands of a board of six. On January 5, 1891, however. 
Judge Rice's decision was upheld by the Supreme Court, and this ruling ended 
all resistance to the authority of the board of six. 


The six directors were : Dr. W. G. Weaver and Edward Mackin, of the 
First District; Walter H. Franks and Henry A. Reid, of the Second District; 
Dr. G. W. Guthrie and S. J. Strauss, of the Third District. Dr. Weaver, who 
has been called the "Father of Consolidation," continued as a school director 
until his death in 1908 ; Edward Mackin was a director until 1897 ; Dr. Guth- 
rie, who was the first president of the consolidated school board, remained a 
school director until his death in 19 15 ; Hon. S. J. Strauss was a member until 
1895 ; Walter H. Franks was the first secretary and district superintendent of 
the Consolidated School District, but died suddenly before the authority of 
the board of six had been fvdly recognized : Henry A. Reid was director only 
for the first year. For the few unexpired months of Secretary Franks' year of 
office Mr. J. B. Woodward acted, and in February, 1891, Thomas F. Hart was 
elected, vice Franks. In the reorganization of the board in June, 1891, Dr. W. 
G. A'A^eaver became president ; Thomas F. Hart secretary ; Bernard Long 
treasurer, and James J. Lenahan secretary. 

The board of six lost no time in equalizing the educational facilities of the 
three old school districts. The deficiencies of the old First and Second dis- 
tricts were substantially removed by the erection of two new schoolhouses — 
the North Alain Street and Hazle Street buildings. On August 24. 1891, James 
M. Coughlin, who had been county superintendent of schools since 1878, was 
elected city superintendent — to serve until June, 1893. His was an impor- 
tant pioneer task, and the board did not feel inclined to place the future of the 
city schools in his hands for long. But he apparently did well, for he was 
reelected, again and again, serving continuously until 1918. when, of his own 
accord and because of ill health, he resigned the superintendency. The official 
records say of Mr. Coughlin and his work: "Mr. Coughlin's was a pioneer task. 
It was his to organize and systematize the schools. This was so successfully 
done that the schools of Wilkes-Barre enjoyed an almost Nation-wide repu- 
tation for their excellent management." Mr. Coughlin's standing as an educa- 
tor and school executive was recognized by the State, when he was appointed 
to a commission of four educators to formulate the existing school code. 

The new school code was adopted throughout the State in 191 1. Under its 
provisions. Wilkes-Barre was entitled to elect a school board of nine members. 
The members of the new board, which took office in December, 191 1, were: 
Dr. G. W. Guthrie, Dr. Boyd Dodson, and Richard A. Ward, elected for a term 
of six years ; Miss Mary L. Trescott, Dr. A. G. Fell, and A. E. Burnaford, for 
four years ; John C. Bell, Dr. E. L. Meyers, and William F. Steinhauer, for 
two years. Dr. Guthrie was elected president. 

Under the new school code it became necessary to appoint annually two 
school auditors. Those appointed for the school year 1911-12 were Attorneys 
P. F. O'Neill and Edmund E. Jones. 

In 1916, Harry H. Zeiser, who had been head of the Department of Mathe- 
matics in Wilkes-Barre High School was appointed assistant to the city super- 
intendent, Mr. Coughlin. He took much of the burden of administration from 
the drooping shoulders of Mr. Coughlin, and upon the resignation of the lat- 
ter, in Alay, 1918, Mr. Zeiser was appointed city superintendent of schools. 
He still holds that office, and ably administers it. 

The directors of the Wilkes-Barre City School District in 1927 are: John 
H. Jones, president; Michael Mayock, vice-president; Dr. E. L. Meyers, 
Louis Frank, George H. Brown, John A. Hourigan, Walter Wilson, Morgan 
Jones, John Nobel, George Yesko, John Blazejewski, Mrs. Elizabeth Burt, 
Richard Gill, Stanley Witkowski, Walter J. Williams, Richard Trethaway, 
George Sutton, kaigene T. (iiering, Joseph L. Golden, Elmer E. Edwards, 
John Gallagher. 

The schoolhouses now in use in the Wilkes-Barre District are: The J. M. 
Coughlin High School ; the G. A. R. Lligh School ; the Carey Avenue School; 


the Centennial Schoul ; the Strauss School ; the Conynghani School ; the 
Courtright School ; the Custer School ; the Dana School ; the East End 
School; the Franklin School, the Grant School; the TIazle School; the Hill 
School ; the Hillard-Grove School ; the Hoyt School ; the Meade School ; the 
North School; the North Main School; the Palmer School; the Parrish 
School ; the South ]\Jain School ; the Union School ; the Weaver School ; the 
Continuation School. Some of these are old buildings remodelled, but most 
are modern schoolhouses of large size. The (i. A. R. Memorial High School 
cost about $2,000,000, for site, structure and equipment; and the Meyers High 
School Building, now (1927) in course of construction, will cost about as 

AMlkes-Barre city schools enrolled 16,238 pupils in the school year 1926- 
1927. W'ilkes-Barre city high school graduates, of the class of 1927, numbered 
398. The corps of teachers — including principals and assistants — of Wilkes- 
Barre common and high schools in that year numbered 480. Their salaries 
totaled to v$854,055.92. The total cost of conducting Wilkes-Barre city schools 
during the school year 1926-27 was $1,571,329.76. Approximate cost per pupil, 
based on current expenditures for the year 1926-27 Avas $76; approximate cost, 
based on total expenditures for that year, was $97. 

In addition. Wilkes-Barre has seven well-attended parochial schools and 
three private schools, llie preparatory schools have been .referred to in the 
general Wilkes-Barre narrative, the Wilkes-Barre Academy somewhat exten- 
sively in Chapter XXXVHI, and the Wilkes-Barre Institute in Chapter 
XLIII. In Chapter XXXVIII, also, will be found the story of the most famous 
educational institution of the Wyoming Valley — -the Wyoming Seminary. 

The Catholic institutions, the parochial, preparatory and collegiate schools, 
conform well with the State school code, and at the same time the parochial 
schools provide added religious instruction which the church thinks its chil- 
dren should have. In Wilkes-Barre, in 1878, a boarding and day school for 
young girls was founded l)y the Sisters of Christian Charity, who emigrated 
from Germany to America in 1873. This, substantially, is the origin of the 
Mallinckrodt Convent, on South and Meade streets, and the St. Ann's Acad- 
emy. In October, 1875, a school for boys and girls was organized in the St. 
Mary's Convent on Canal Street. Out of this eft'ort of fifty years ago has 
grown St. Mary's High School. At Dallas is the College Misericordia, a resi- 
dential and day college for women. Chartered by the State of Pennsylvania, 
the courses of the college are standard, leading to the degrees of Bachelor of 
Arts and Bachelor of Science, which the college is empowered to grant. 

One of the most helpful features of the county school system is the teachers' 
institute. More than 2,000 teachers in Luzerne County schools gather in con- 
ference, with the county superintendent, at the beginning of each school year. 
This is the outgrowth of the gathering annually, from the year 1867, at the 
State capital, of teachers from all parts of the State They met to exchange 
ideas as to public instruction, and to have laid before them the current plan of 
school procedure. The county teachers' institute weeks have like purposes. 

In 1920, according to United States Census Bureau statistics, there were in 
Luzerne County 73.901 children under seven years of age. Some of these 
would have begun their schooling, inasmuch as the public schools accept chil- 
dren six years old, and place them in the first grade. Where there is a kin- 
dergarten department, the child's schooling begins at five years. However, 
the Federal school statistics begin with children of seven years. In Luzerne 
County, in 1920, there were 66,490 children aged from 7 to 13 years, inclusive. 

*Those who seek further information regarding- the Wilkes-Barre school buildings 
will find ample historical data in the Triennial Report of the Wilkes-Barre City School 
District for 1920-22. There, on pages 68-71, have been separately spread the individual 
histories of the schoolhouses. 

W.-B.— 7 


Of these, ^2,'J2Q), or 96%, were attending school. Of the 15,847 children 14 and 

15 years old, 11,008, or 69.5%, were attending school. Of the 16,080 children 

16 and 17 years old, 4,073, or 25.3%, were attending school. Of the 20,150 
inhabitants who were between the ages of 18 and 20 years, in 1920, 1,867. or 
9.3%, were still attending school. 

It is, therefore, obvious that public education has long since passed the 
period in which parents of the wage-earning class were wont to believe that 
three or four years of schooling were quite enough for their sons, who would 
be called upon to use more muscle than brain in their manhood labors. Many 
of the older residents of the Wyoming Valley closed their schooling when only 
nine or ten years old, to work for wages in the mine breakers ; but the greatest 
aspiration of many mine workers of today is to help their sons and daughters 
through a college course. So is America progressing. 



In all probability wbite men traded in, or witb the Indians of, the Wyom- 
ing region prior to the coming of the Connecticnt settlers. The intrepid fur 
traders of New York and of southern Pennsylvania were penetrating far 
beyond the frontier of civilization long before the settlement of the Wyoming 
region began. And a reflection of it is seen in settlement history. It is recorded 
that John Jacob Astor, one of the most successful fur traders, was in the Wyom- 
ing Valley in 1775. Matthias Hollenback was his guide to Niagara in that year, 
also his partner in fur trading, over at least that route. Mr. Hollenback, after 
that trip, planned further trading over the route. Previous to the Battle of 
Wyoming, in 1778, Plollenback kept a store on South Main Street, just below 
the corner of Northampton Street, Wilkes-Barre. After the return of the 
settlers to the devastated region, Hollenback reopened his store, and it was 
used until about 1820, when the business was removed to a brick store built 
by George M. Hollenback. "Mr. (Matthias) Hollenback was the first regular 
merchant in Wilkes-Barre, and one of only two merchants in Westmore- 
land in 1781." He traded up the Susquehanna River, and had trading posts at 
Wysox, Tioga, and Niagara, succeeding Mr. Astor as owner of a large trading 
station at Niagara in 1783. 

After the close of the Revolutionary W^ar. storekeepers increased in num- 
ber in the AVyoming Valley. One of the first to open was Pord Butler, whose 
store was on the corner of River and Northampton streets. It was continued 
until 1820. About the same time John P. Schott opened a store on River 
Street, between Butler's and South Street. As early as 1795, and perhaps 
earlier, Thomas Wright and Thomas Duane conducted a store business, in 
partnership, "on the corner of the Public Square and North Main Street." In 
1801 it was removed to Pittston Ferry. In 1800 Rossett and Doyle opened 
"quite an establishment" on the corner of River and !^Iarket streets, and ran 
the business for three or four years. They were succeeded by Jacob and 
Joseph L. Sinton, these Quaker merchants removing in 1816 to the corner of 
Franklin and Market streets, where for some years they conducted a general 
store business which was the largest in town. Upon the site of their store 
the Wyoming Bank was eventually built. Reference to Sinton's store is made 
in Chapter LI. An Irish emigrant, named Allen Jack, "opened a store on 
South Main Street in the residence of Dr. M. Covell," in 1803, and there con- 
tinued in business until his death, in 1814. In 1815, Matthias Hollenback 
admitted, as partner, Ziba Bennett, who came from Elmira, New York. Ben- 
nett went into business for himself, on North Main Street, in 1826, and for 
more than sixty years was a merchant in Luzerne County. He conducted his 
Wilkes-Barre store business until his death, in 1878. 

"These were the principal storekeepers of that early period, when the 
goods were brought from Philadelphia to Harrisburg by wagons and shipped 
in Durham boats up the Susquehanna to Wilkes-Barre." 

Regarding early trading conditions, Bradsby writes : "The Hollenback 
storehouse was built to accommodate the river traffic in salt, plaster, grain, 
etc., which was brought down from York State in arks during high water in 
the river. The salt was in barrels and the plaster in bulk, which was deposited 
upon the bank and weighed out to farmeis, in quarter and half tons, as 
required. The same was true of the Arndt stone house, which stood opposite 
the Darling property. John Arndt kept the tavern, which stood upon the site 



of the Darling property, adjoining which was his store. Thomas Morgan kept 
the Stage House there in 1830, from which the Troy coaches departed for 
New York, Philadelphia, etc. As money was scarce in those days, most of 
the business Avas barter of produce for goods, and farmers brought grain in 
wagons many miles to trade. This grain was also deposited in these store- 
houses, taken from the wagons to the shoulders of the clerks and carried up 
into the second story and deposited in the bins. It was in the Arndt stone 
house that 'old Michael' lived alone for many years, and died there. In the 
year 1846 John Myers, not being able to agree with the terms of the Bridge 
Company, started a ferry immediately below the bridge, and ran a flat and skiff 
until he brought the company to terms. The tolls were high, and many farm- 
ers and others tied up their teams on the west side and crossed on foot with 
light produce, and so many took advantage of the free ferry that it was kept 
going to its capacity. The trade in butter, eggs, etc., was never so great in the 
town. Butter was worth eight to ten cents and tons of it were brought in, 
showing what an advantage a free bridge would have been." Apparently, the 
bridg'e, which was built in 1818, had considerable effect upon Wilkes-Barre 

In the "Historical Record" in 1888 was a letter from Dilton Yarington, 
giving, so far as he remembered, the names and occupations of Wilkes-Barre 
men in 18 18. According to this "directory" of the county seat, Wilkes-Barre 
then had fifteen attorneys, one author, one baker, one basket-maker, eight 
blacksmiths, one butcher, two cabinet-makers, seventeen carpenters, one cloth 
dresser, one coal dealer, one confectioner, two constables, one cooper, one 
court crier, one distiller, two druggists, forty-one farmers, two ferrymen, two 
gunsmiths, three harness makers (see also saddlers), four hatters, one Indian 
killer, three judges, two justices of the peace, seven landlords (inn keepers), 
one manufacturer, fifteen merchants, two millers, two nailmakers, four paint- 
ers, eight physicians, one plasterer, one poet, two potters, four printers, four 
preachers, one river pilot, one saddler (see also harness makers), one sexton, 
one shipbuilder, seven shoemakers, one silversmith, six owners of stage lines, 
two stone cutters or masons, three surveyors, three tanners, four tailors, five 
teachers, two teamsters, two wagon-makers. 

It will be interesting to compare this with the classified business directory 
of Wilkes-Barre for 1892. There'were in the city in that year eighteen bak- 
eries, five cracker factories, two basket-makers, one bedspring factory, one 
belting factory, two bird dealers, twenty-six blacksmiths, two blank book- 
makers, three boiler makers, eleven stationers, twenty-two boot and shoe 
dealers, two shoe jobbers, sixty-two shoemakers, three shoe factories, two 
brass and copper foundries, three breweries, two brickyards, one brush fac- 
tory, two bus lines, twelve carpet weavers, ten wagon and carriage factories, 
three china and glassware dealers, thirty-six cigar factories, three wholesale 
tobacco factories, seventeen clothiers and merchant tailors, six clubs, fifteen coal 
mines and handlers, three coal screen manufactories, one coffee roaster, six com- 
mission merchants, seventy-five confectioners, three wholesale confectioners, 
twenty dentists, twenty-eight drug stores, twenty-three dry goods stores, six 
dyers, four dealers in electrical supplies, three engine and boiler factories, two 
engravers, five express companies, ten fancy stores, six florists, two flour grist- 
mills, four v/holesale fruit dealers, eight furniture stores, three galvanized 
cornice dealers, one gun factory, twenty-one hardware stores, eight harness 
and saddle shops, five hat and cap stores, four heaters and rangers, fifty-two 
hotels and restaurants ; eight house furnishing, two ice companies, six instal- 
ment stores, one lace factory, one dealer in ladies' furnishings, eleven laun- 
dries, one hundred and nineteen lawyers, two leather and findings (mer- 
chants), six lime and plaster, seventeen livery-stables, seven lumber yards, three 
mantels and tiles, four marble and granite works, fifty-one meat markets, 



seven wholesale meat dealers, thirty-four merchant tailors, two postal and 
messenger services, sixteen milk dealers, seven mill and mine supplies mer- 
chants, eight dealers in millinery goods, seven oil dealers, one overall fac- 
tory, one paper manufactory, one hundred and sixteen physicians, six piano 
dealers, four planing mills, thirteen printing offices, ten produce dealers, 
two soap factories, eight stone merchants, seven tea and coffee merchants, 
twelve undertakers, two upholsterers, seventeen jewelers, two wire-rope fac- 
tories, five variety stores. In addition, there was, in 1892, a grand opera house, 
just completed, a music hall, and one other attraction, "Wonderland." 

For further comparison, it might be well to put into this record statistics 
from the business directory of the Wyoming Valley for the current year, 1927. 
In part, the directory shows : Advertising agents, tAvelve ; aldermen, fifteen ; 
artists, three ; ambulance service, three ; antique shop, one ; architects, nine- 
teen ; armories, four; art glass dealers and makers, three; art studio, one; 
artificial limbmakers, four; art school, one; asbestos dealers, four; asbestos 
material maker, one; attorneys, about one hundred and forty; automobile 
dealers, about one hundred and twenty-five : auto accessories, fifty ; acces- 
sories, wholesale, two ; automobile service, about one hundred ; awning 
makers, eleven; badge and regalia makers, one; bakeries, eighty-seven; 
wholesale bakery, one ; bakers" supplies merchant, one ; bands, two ; banks, 
forty-five ; barbers, sixty-three ; barbers' supplies, four ; basket-maker, one ; 
auto and radio battery service, twenty-seven ; beauty shops, about one hun-' 
dred ; bedding manufacturers, six ; belting, one ; bicycle dealers, four ; billiard 
halls, sixty-five ; blacksmiths, five ; blasting- supplies, three ; boiler manufac- 
turers, two ; bookbinders, one ; booksellers, three ; bottlers, forty-eight ; box- 
makers, five ; brass foundry, one ; brickmakers, ten ; bridge builder, one ; 
broommaker, one ; builders, twenty ; building supplies, twenty-one ; butter, 
wholesale, two ; cabinet-makers, four shops ; calendars, two ; can manufac- 
turers, three; cap manufacturers, one; caterers, seven; cement blocks, two; 
cement contractors, two ; cement products, four ; cheese, wholesale, two ; 
chemist, one ; children's wear, six shops ; china shops, two ; chiropodists, ten ; 
chiropractors, twenty-five; Christian Science practitioner, one; cigar dealers, 
about one hundred and sixty ; cigars, wholesale, five ; cigar manufacturer, 
one ; clay products, two ; cleaners and dyers, twenty-four ; clergymen, two 
hundred and eighty-eight ; clothing stores, fifty-eight ; retail coal dealers, 
nineteen; wholesale, six; coal producers, see Chapter LII ; coal novelties, 
two ; coffee wholesalers, two ; concrete block makers, four ; concrete contrac- 
tors, seven; concrete products and fireproof specialties, three; conduit mate- 
rials and constructors, one; confectioners, about two hundred and ninety; con- 
fectioners, wholesale, five ; contractors, general, sixty-four ; cooperage, one,; 
coppersmith, one ; corset dealers, ten ; house decorators, four ; delicatessen 
shops, seven ; dental laboratories, two ; dentists, about one hundred and sixty; 
department stores, twenty-two in Greater AVilkes-Barre, thirty-seven in whole 
of Wyoming Valley ; detective agency, one ; diamond merchants, seven ; dress- 
makers, eight ; druggists, about one hundred and forty-five ; druggists, whole- 
sale, six; dry goods stores, about sixty-four; dry goods, wholesale, three; 
eggs, wholesale, two ; electrical equipment, thirty-six shops ; electrical service, 
thirty-two; elevator companies, five; embalmers. twenty-four; employment 
agencies, three ; engineers, twenty ; engravers, five ; explosive comipanies, 
six ; express companies, tAvo ; feed stores, eight ; fertilizer works, one ; iron 
fence makers, six; fire escape makers, live; fish dealers, eleven ; five and ten- 
cent stores, eighteen ; flavoring extract maker, one ; florists, forty-six ; flour 
millers and merchants, twenty; fruiterers, sixty-eight; funeral directors, about 
ninety ; furniture dealers, eighty-one ; furniture manufacturers, two ; furriers, 
seventeen; garages, about ninety; garbage disposal, two contractors; gaso- 
line service stations, eightv-two — gasoline consumption in A\'ilkes-Rarre zone 


alone was 435,343 gallons monthly in 1926; general merchandise stores, one 
hundred and sixty-eight ; gift shops, seven ; glass dealers, eight ; grocers, 
retail, about seven hundred and twenty; grocers, wholesale, twenty-five; 
hardware stores, sixty ; hardware, builders', three ; harness dealers, three ; 
hatters, five ; hauling contractors, thirty-eight ; heating plant specialties, ten ; 
heating contractors, twenty-eight; horse dealers, four; horseshoers, three; 
hotels, twenty-two ; house furnishings, wholesale, one ; house mover, one ; ice 
merchants, twenty-seven ; ice cream manufacturers, eighteen ; ice cream cone 
maker, one ; investment brokers, twenty-five ; jewelers, forty-seven ; jewelers, 
manufacturing, two ; lace works, two ; landscape gardeners, three ; laundries, 
twelve ; leather merchants, seven ; livery stables, one ; locksmiths, one ; lum- 
ber merchants, forty-nine ; lumber, wholesale, eight ; malt dealers, two ; mar- 
ble dealers, two ; mattress makers, two ; meats, wholesale, seventeen ; meat 
markets, about three hundred ; men's furnishings shops, forty-six ; mercan- 
tile agencies, three ; merchandise brokers, four ; milk dealers, eleven ; millinery 
shops, twenty-nine ; mine supply contractors, eleven ; motor truck dealers, 
eight; motor cycle dealers, six; movers, furniture, sixteen; music stores, 
seven ; musical instrument shops, six ; nurserymen, six ; nurses, about three 
hundred and twenty-five ; oil merchants and refiners, twenty ; olive oil 
importer, one ; opticians, seven ; optometrists, eighteen ; osteopathic physi- 
cians, eleven ; overall factories, two ; packing, meats, six ; paint shops, twenty- 
three ; master painters, eighteen; paper dealers, twelve; paper, wholesale, 
three ; paperhangers, see painters ; paving contractors, three ; photographers, 
eight ; physicians and surgeons, about three hundred ; piano dealers, nineteen ; 
planing mills, six; platers, nickel, two; plumbing jobbers and wholesalers, 
twelve; plumbers, sixty-nine; potato chip maker, one; poultry dealers, eight; 
printers, thirty-four; produce merchants, forty; produce wholesalers, six; 
radio broadcasting station, one ; radio dealers, twenty-seven ; real estate agents, 
about sixty-five ; refrigerator companies, eight ; renderers, three ; restaurants, 
about one hundred and fifty ; roofing contractors, seven ; saloons, about two 
hundred and twenty ; sand merchants, twelve ; sausage-makers, wholesale, 
four ; scrap iron merchants, nine ; screenmakers, five ; shoe dealers, about 
ninety ; shoe manufacturer, one ; shoe repairers, forty-seven ; shovel works, 
one ; sign painters, four ; silk mills, fifty ; silk mill supply companies, three ; 
soda fountain supplies, five ; sporting goods stores, twelve ; squib manufac- 
turer, one ; stationers, seven ; stationers, manufacturing, one ; steamship agen- 
cies, four ; steel specialties, ten ; stone merchants, five ; storage warehouses, 
five companies ; store fixtures, nine companies ; tailors, forty-nine shops ; tan- 
ners, three ; taxicab service, ten companies ; tea merchants, four ; telegraph 
companies, two ; telephone company, one ; theatres, thirty-one ; tiles and 
mantles, eight companies ; tinners, sixteen ; tire dealers, fifty-one ; vulcan- 
izers, eight; tobacco packers, seven companies; transfer companies, twelve; 
typewriter agents, six; undertakers, see funeral directors; upholsters, twelve; 
veterinarians, seven ; washing machines, seven companies ; welding, nine 
plants ; window cleaners, five companies ; wire rope manufacturer, one ; 
women's wearing apparel, sixty-one shops. 

It is thus seen how extensive is the scope of the mercantile business of the 
Wyoming Valley. A Chamber of Commerce publication gives the infor- 
mation that the business done in Greater Wilkes-Barre in 1923 totaled to 
$128,519,610. Wilkes-Barre, of course, is the business center of a populous 
industrial area, one in which the bulk of the annual pay roll of mining and 
manufacturing enterprises is spent in the retail establishments. 

These are so many that individual mention here is hardly possible. The 
many large department stores — hives of mercantile activity — of Wilkes-Barre, 
furnish assuring proofs of the prosperity of the region. A few of these great 
mercantile houses are historic in Wilkes-Barre associations, and, passing 


through several generations, have connected Wilkes-Barre's colorful past with 
its busy present. Miss Brower, in her enchanting story. "Little Old Wilkes- 
Barre, As I Knew It," makes several references to these stores ; and, in 
earlier chapters of the current work will be found other references. In addi- 
tion, the two succeeding volumes, devoted to the individual record, will be able 
to do justice to those capable business men who have led in the mercantile 
affairs of the Wyoming Valley. 

In their multitudinous transactions with a constantly changing population, 
the retail merchants have been very well served by an alert credit reporting 
agency. In these days of extensive credit and extravagant living, the wage-earner 
is often tempted beyond his immediate means. It is in keeping these transac- 
tions within sane proportions for the buyer and safe limit for the seller that 
the Retail Credit Reporting Association, of Wilkes-Barre, has efficiently and 
effectively had part in both encouraging and safeguarding merchandising 
operations. The officers and directors of the Association in 1926 were : George 
M. Huey, president; George E. Shepherd, of Shepherd-Rust Electrical Co.; C. 
Robbins, of Duncan and Homer Co. ; S. Hirshowitz, of The Hub ; Griffith 
Lloyd, of the Snyder Music Co.; A. H. Popky, of the Select Furniture Corpo- 
ration ; T. F. Kane, of the Hurley-Loughran Co. ; W. E. Black, of Lazarus 
Bros. ; and M. F. DeMun, of Fowler Dick and Walker, directors. 



The story of the press of Luzerne Comity will never be fully told. The 
editorial activity has been so self-sacrificing, the journalistic effort so strenu- 
ous, the publications so numerous, the changes so frequent, and the ramifica- 
tions so tortuous that it is doubtful whether anyone will ever have the courage, 
as well as the time, to attempt to explore the Luzerne County highways and 
byways of newspaperdom back to the period covered by Mr. Harvey in his 
sketch of "Wilkes-Barre's Earliest Newspapers" (Coll. Wyoming Hist. & 
Geol. Soc, Vol. XYHI). Colonel Smith refers to these earliest newspapers 
in Chapter XXXV. Again, in Chapter XLV, he writes about the first daily 
newspaper ; but no attempt has been made to set down the brief histories of 
the innumerable journals that have come and gone in the last century of 
printers' ink-spilling. 

Indeed, it is doubtful whether such a study would be worthwhile. In 
Wilkes-Barre it might be, but in other parts of the county it would not — at 
least, if the press history of most places is at all like that of Pittston. During 
the last half century, it seems, rival journals of the Pittston "Gazette" have 
come into fitful circulation almost as frequently as hay fever ; but few have 
survived the first touch of frost. Indeed, it is said that the most elaborate 
attempt to establish a second Pittston journal was that which recently 
launched the Pittston "Press" ; but that paper barely lived through its first 
year of discouragement and public neglect. Joseph Wright, of the Wilkes- 
Barre "Gazette," in 1799-1801, was not the last editor of a Wyoming Valley 
journal to finally recognize that he had "worked long enough for nothing." 
The lot of a founding newspaper editor has invariably been hard. In alm.ost 
all cases, it has been his misfortune to be quite unable to make the reader see 
even one-tenth of the labor that has gone into the making of a page of print. 
Consequently, his valedictory has rarely cast prostrating gloom over his com- 
munity. His fellow-townsmen have not appreciated his effort to serve them, 
because he has been unable to show them his full worth. Consequently, news- 
papers have come and gone, and those that have survived have generally 
passed through many, many hands, for it seems that there was not even one 
year, in the last century of journalism in Luzerne County, in which some 
courageous knight of the quill had been unwilling to prod a neglectful public 
into closer attention to the news of the world, or to the purveyor of the news. 

The Wilkes-Barre "Times-Leader," for instance, holds aloft the torch of 
publicity first lighted in 1810, by Samuel Mafifet, editor of the "Susquehanna 
Democrat." By the way, a collateral line of the "Times-Leader" is "The 
Gleaner and Luzerne Intelligencer," edited by Charles Miner, in 181 1. The 
"Susquehanna Democrat" passed through many hands before it passed alto- 
gether into another Democratic journal, the "Republican Farmer," in 1832. 
The latter had been founded in 1828 by Henry Pettebone and Henry Hold, 
and in its first decade or so absorbed almost all rival Democratic journals in 
its field, including: The "Wyoming Herald," founded by Edward Butler, in 
1818, and the "Wyoming Republican," founded by Sharp D. Lewis, in 1832. 
From 1839 to 1852, the "Farmer" was owned by Mr. S. P. Collings. "a man of 
brilliant parts." Lie was the first to attemjit a daily paper. In 1852, he was 
appointed consul at Tangier, in Africa. His newspaper interests then passed 
to Mr. S. S. Benedict. The latter, soon afterwards merged the "Farmer" with 
the "Luzerne Democrat," which had been in existence for seven years The 



consolidated journal took the name of the "Luzerne Union," but within a year 
or so it was again controlled by a former owner of one of the merged papers, 
the "Wyoming Republican." Seven or eight changes of ownership occurred 
during the next twenty-five checkered years of the "Union." In 1879, its 
involved property was sold to the Leader Publishing Company. Joseph K. 
Bogert and George B. Kulp were at that time the owners of the "Luzerne 
Leader," which had been founded in July, 1876, by E. A. Niven and C. H. 
Chamberlin, of Pittston. The paper and plant were removed to Wilkes- 
Barre in 1877, and in 1879, with the purchase of the "Union" plant and paper, 
Messrs. Bogert and Kulp launched the "Union-Leader," the first issue of that 
paper leaving the old "Luzerne Union" office on the Public Square on Janu- 
ary 17, 1879. O" October i, 1879, the "Union-Leader" became a daily paper, 
though the weekly edition was not discontinued. A few months later, Mr. 
Bogert became sole owner. He published the paper until his death, in 1887. 
A year later, his brother, Edward Freas Bogert, who, with John S. McGroarty, 
had been publishing a "Sunday Leader" since 1885, purchased the daily and 
weekly "Union-Leader" papers. 

As the century lagged to its close the "Union-Leader" was feeling the 
decrepitude of old age. In January, 1903, steps to rejuvenate it were taken. 
In Alarch of that year additional capital was obtained, the reorganized com- 
pany introducing Abram Nesbitt, W. P. Billings and Fred C. Kirkendall. 
With the last named as editor, the journal passed the next two years, being 
issued as "The Leader." In 1905, i\Ir. Mulligan withdrew, and Air. Ernest G. 
Smith took his place. For more than twenty years thereafter Air. Kirkendall 
and Colonel Smith were the active principals of the paper, their partnership in 
newspaper building ending only with the death of Mr. Kirkendall in Decem- 
ber, 1925. The standing of the "Times-Leader" of today is the measure of the 
success of these two capable newspapermen. That it was a newspaper of 
uncertain future twenty-five years ago is indicated by the reorganization in 
1903. That it is today the leading newspaper of Luzerne County is indicated 
by its circulation. During the last ten years the "Times-Leader" has out- 
grown two plants, and in 1926 took possession of its last enlargement— adding 
the remodeled Grand Opera House to the enlarged Eraser Building to give 
the needed floor space. 

The "Times-Leader" gets its hyphenated name from the merger of the 
"Times" and the "Leader" in 1908. The "Times" was first published in Decem- 
ber, 1885, as a weekly. In August, 1889, it became a semi-weekly. On Deceni- 
ber 4 of the same year the first "Daily Times" was issued. Not long after- 
wards it was removed to Wilkes-Barre, and became an afternoon daily journal 
of the county seat. Its affiliation was now Republican. Formerly, the 
"Times" had been independent. But when the "Times" and the "Leader" 
merged, the new afternoon journal, "Times-Leader" became an independent 
paper ; and it still is. The American Newspaper Directory records the paid 
daily circulation of the "Times-Leader" in 1926 as 26,204.* the next highest 
in Luzerne County being its morning contemporary, the "Wilkes-Barre Rec- 
ord." which had a paid daily circulation of 23,020.* 

At one time politics played such an important part in the life of news- 
papers that one is somewhat surprised to find that Luzerne County has now 
not even one Democratic newspaper and only a few of Republican affiliation. 
Wilkes-Barre has two Republican papers — the "Record" and the "News." 
Outside, the only G. O. P. journals are the Pittston "Gazette" and the White- 
haven "Journal." All other newspapers in the county are classed as inde- 
pendent. However, the editorial masthead is apt to bend a little to the wind. 
When politics get tempestuous, the party lines of most newspapers are more 
clearlv seen. 

*A. B. C. statement. 


The leading Republican journal, the Wilkes-Barre "Record," is almost one 
hundred years old ; and throughout the century it has been loyal to the Repub- 
lican party and its Whig ancestors. Of course, as a daily, the "Record" is not 
one hundred years old. It had its beginning in the weekly "Anti-Masonic 
Advocate," which was published in Wilkes-Barre in 1832, by Elijah Worthing- 
ton. The Anti-Masonic party was to all intents a faction of the Republicans, 
or rather of the Whigs, who were the party predecessors of the Republicans. 
As a matter of fact, the Democrats of that time were more commonly known 
as Democratic Republicans. The Anti-Masonic furore soon passed, and the 
Anti-Masonic party passed into the Whig. Hence, we find that when, in 1838, 
Amos Sisty acquired the Wilkes-Barre paper, he dropped its Anti-Masonic 
name, and published the journal as the "Wilkes-Barre Advocate," a Whig 
organ. After his death, in 1843, it passed to Sharp D. Lewis, and in 1853 to 
William P. Miner. A few years later Mr. Miner dropped the "Advocate" and 
founded the "Record of the Times." In 1866, the "Record" plant, on West 
Market Street, below Franklin, was gutted by fire, and in the new material 
that Mr. Miner quickly gathered was a steam power press — the first installed in 
Luzerne County. Four years later, Mr. Miner began tO' publish the "Record" 
daily as well as weekly. This was not the first daily to be published in 
Luzerne County, but it was the only one then in the field. Nevertheless, it 
taxed all of Mr. Miner's excellent journalistic abilities to keep it going. Like all 
pioneers, he had to pay for pioneering. In 1876, he sold the plant to a stock 
company, the stockholders being mostly men who were prominent in political 
and public afifairs. Mr. Miner retained a stock interest, but relinquished edi- 
torial control. Dr. W. H. Bradley became managing editor. In 1883 the 
plant was leased to C. B. Snyder, F. C. Johnson and J. C. Powell. In 1888. Mr. 
Snyder withdrew, but his partners subsequently acquired all of the oustanding 
stock of the Record of the Times Publishing Company, and continued to pub- 
lish three journals: The "Daily Record," the weekly "Record of the Times," 
and Dr. F. C. Johnson's "Historical Record." 

The morning "Record" has ever since led in its field, and, generally has 
followed the English style of journalism and make-up. It avoids scare head- 
lines. Indeed, until a year or two ago, its front page was given over to classi- 
fied advertising, after the style of the front page of a most conservative 
English newspaper. Now, the front page of the first section of the "Record" 
carries only National news. Local news of importance one finds on the front 
page of the second section, and classified advertisements take an inside page. 
Both Dr. Johnson and Mr. Powell are dead, but the paper is still owned by 
their families. Guy W. Moore is general manager, and E. T. Giering has been 
editor for many years ; indeed, he has been a journalist in Wilkes-Barre for 
thirty-nine years. In 1927, the "Record" Building was torn down, and a new 
building is rising. Its estimated cost is $600,000. 

The other Wilkes-Barre newspapers are the "News," an evening journal ; 
the "Courier-Herald," a weekly, and two Sunday papers, the "Independent" 
and "Telegram." There are several others, covering special fields. 

The Wilkes-Barre "News" is nearing the half century mark. Its history 
connects with the "News Dealer," and back to the "Sunday Plain Dealer," 
which was first published in Pittston in June, 1878 — the first Sunday paper 
published in Northern Pennsylvania. J. C. Coon was its founder, and the 
capable editor who carried it through its many early vicissitudes. In 1880 he 
published the "News Dealer," and also a weekly, called the "Dollar Weekly 
News Dealer." In 1884, a daily edition of the "News Dealer" made its appear- 
ance. In 1886 Samuel W. Boyd and John J. Maloney were the publishers of 
the "Daily News Dealer." After many other changes, the "News" came into 
the possession of its present owner, John A. Hourigan. John J. McSweeney is 
editor, and the paid circulation in 1926 was 14,118 per issue. 


The "Wilkes-Barre Sunday Telegram" is a continuation of the Wilkes- 
Barre edition of the "Elmira Telegram," which had its beginning in 1881 and 
which eventually had a larger circulation in Wilkes-Barre than in its home 
town. Indeed, the Wilkes-Barre department was to all intents pul^lishing a 
Wilkes-Barre paper. In "Billy" Leslie, the Elmira journal had a Wilkes- 
Barre correspondent who seemed to note everything that happened. In three 
weeks he increased the circulation in Wilkes-Barre from 400 to 12,000. His 
personality and journalistic energy carried the "Elmira Telegram" in Luzerne 
County for more than thirty years. He retired in 1920, Joseph Gorman becom- 
ing Wilkes-Barre correspondent. In 1924, George F. Williams, a former edi- 
tor of the "Evening News," purchased the Wilkes-Barre "Telegram," and he 
has since been both publisher and editor. 

Leslie, had he been so inclined, might have written such a history of the 
press of his time in Luzerne County as no other Wilkes-Barre editor could 
have. His experience spanned a lifetime. "In his time," reads a reference to 
his work in the "Telegram" of May 2, 1926, "Leslie has seen many changes 
in the newspaper business and newspapermen in Wilkes-Barre. He has seen 
two printers, John A. Hourigan and Guy W. Aloore, become publishers of two 
of the city's leading dailies, the "Evening News" and the "Record," respec- 
tively. He has seen one of the city's underpaid reporters elevated to the post 
of city treasurer and twice elected to the office of mayor. He has seen three 
crude cub reporters develop into the class of famous magazine writers, Frank 
Ward O'Malley, Louis Weitzenkorn and Samuel Hoffenstein. He has watched 
other figures in the local newspaper field lay down their pencils and pads 
and garner for themselves success in theatrical realms, the political world and 
in the professions of law, theology and medicine." Leslie could have written 
a most interesting intimate living story of the press. But he has not done so, 
and this fragmentary, lifeless compilation of names and dates must stand until 
some one more conversant with the personalities applies himself to the narra- 
tive of the Fourth Estate in the Wyoming Valley. 

The other Wilkes-Barre Sunday paper, the "Independent," was founded in 
1906.. by John J. Maloney. He sold to Thomas F. Hefifernan, in 1913. It is 
edited and owned by T. F. and J. V. Heffernan, and has a large circulation — • 
18,777 ^^^' Pci" issue in 1926. The "Independent" leads in its field. 

The special journals in Wilkes-Barre are: The "Bratstvo" (Slovak), a 
seven column weekly, published by I. V. Patala, with a circulation in 1926 of 
19,519 copies weekly; the "Courier-Herald," a weekly, founded in 1920; the 
"Critic," an illustrated weekly, founded in 1926 by C. B. Strome and John L. 
Rice ; the "Gornik Miner," a Polish journal founded in 1893, ^"^ edited by St. 
Popiel, circulating to the number of 21,264 copies weekly in 1926; the "Labor 
News," a weekly founded in 1923: the "Niedzieny Gornik," a Sunday paper 
founded in 1893, 'I'^d circulating among the Polish people of the Wyoming and 
Lackawanna valleys, to the extent of 16,230 copies weekly in 1926, St. Popiel, 
editor; "Praca," a weekly founded in 1905, S. J. Tyburski editor; the "Svit," a 
Russian weekly, founded in 1897. and published by the Russian Orthodox 
Catholic Mutual Aid Society, E. K. Hoyniak. editor; and the "Wachter," a 
German weekly, one of the oldest journals of Luzerne County. It was in 1842- 
that Major Jacob Waelder started to publish in Wilkes-Barre the "Democratic 
Wachter," a four-column folio. In 1851, Robert Baur, a bookbinder, became 
the publisher ; and for the next half century Robert Baur, and his son, G. A. 
Baur, regularly published the journal. It had a jiositive influence in its field, 
and still has a steady circulation. In 1865 the "W^achter" became a seven- 
column quarto. 

The Hazleton papers have been reviewed in the general sketch of that city. 
Briefly, they are : The "Standard-Sentinel," a morning paper, eight columns, 
founded in 1866, W^ E. Bachman. editor, Henry Walser, publisher, circulation 


9,968 daily in 1926; the "Plain Speaker," an eight-column evening paper, 
founded in 1882, J. H. Dershuck, editor and publisher, circulation 10,020; the 
"Vigilant," a seven-column w^eekly, founded in 1903 and published by W. A. 
Evans, who is also editor; the "Anthracite Miner," a seven-column labor 
weekly, founded in 1925, the Cooperative Publishing Co., Inc., owners ; the 
"Slovensky Obean," a seven-column weekly founded in 1912, and published 
by the Citizen Publishing Co., circulation 10,838 copies weekly ; the "Tren- 
tino," an Italian weekly, founded in 191 2, and now having a weekly circulation 
of 19,500 copies, International Printing Co., owners, M. Mesotella and P. C. 
Flaim editors ; the "Unione Italiana," a seven-column weekly, founded in 1920, 
and having a circulation of 4,200 weekly in 1926. 

The Pittston paper is the "Gazette." It was founded in 1850, by G. M. 
Richart and H. S. Phillips. It began as a seven-column weekly, of Whig 
affiliation. Ifi 1856, it became Republican, and is still a Republican journal. 
Mr. Richart became sole owner in 1853, but sold to Dr. J. H. Puleston, in 1857. 
Richart, a printer, was again part owner of the "Gazette" in i860, and in 1863 
became sole owner. In 1870 Theodore Hart, Jr., bougdit a half interest, and in 
1878 acquired the Richart interest. Thus, commenced the long connection of 
the Hart family with the Pittston "Gazette." In 1882 Mr. Hart began to pub- 
lish a daily paper, the "Daily Evening Gazette," as well as the weekly. The 
daily began as a six-column folio, but in 1890 became an eight-column paper, 
which it still is. It has a paid circulation of 4,805 copies daily. The present 
owners are the Pittston Gazette Co., William J. Peck, editor. Mr. Taliesin 
Evans, a native of Pittston, has been editorially connected with the "Gazette" 
for forty years — since 1887, when he became a reporter under Mr. Hart. 

Nanticoke has two papers: The "News," which was founded in 1889, a 
seven-column weekly, edited and owned by Thomas R. Callary ; and the 
"Review," a six-cokmin weekly, founded in 1921, George L. Myers editor and 
owner. At one time Nanticoke had a daily paper, the "Nanticoke Daily Eve- 
ning News," which ran for many years after 1890. Another strong weekly 
was the Nanticoke "Sun," which strove for many years, from 1879, to find a 
rift in clouded skies. 

Whitehaven has a journal almost fifty years old. In 1877, Levi Miner 
went from Wilkes-Barre to Whitehaven with some type and began to issue 
the "Wliitehaven Standard." In a year or two the sheriff was in possession. 
The plant was brought by William A. Feist, who, in 1882, began the White- 
haven "Journal." It is a Republican paper, and for many, many years was 
edited by Mr. Feist. It is still a weekly, still a six-column paper, still a 
Republican organ, but not still owned by the Feist family. D. M. Taylor is 
the present editor-owner. Whitehaven has another newspaper now — the 
"Whitehaven Record," a seven-column weeklv, founded in 1923, and edited by 
G. R. Baletz. 

At Freeland is another old paper — the "Freeland Journal," said to have 
been founded in 1876. It is a six-column paper, with a weekly circulation of 
1,100 copies. R. P). McKee is editor-owner. 

Shickshinny goes even farther back, the "Mountain Echo" having been 
published under the same name, weekly, since 1873. It was founded by M. E. 
AValker, and has had a comparatively steady existence, with few changes of 
ownership. The ])resent owners are M. H. & S. B. Adkins, Avho are also the 

The only current newspapers of Luzerne County that have not yet beei^ 
noticed in this review are : The "Tri-Town Topics," a seven-column journal 
published weekly, since 1921, in Plains, and now edited and owned by J. N. 
Conniff and E. A. Keeley ; and the "Wilkes-Barre Pictorial," a weekly illus- 
trated paper, now in its eleventh volume, published by Norman E. Davis and 
Ham Fisher. 


In conclusion, it may be remarked that Luzerne County has fewer news- 
papers today than she had twenty-five years ago. The trend of the time is 
toward consoHdation of effort. This trend has been most noticeable in news- 
paper developments of recent years. When Colonel Smith became connected 
with the "Leader" in 1905, Wilkes-Barre alone had two morning papers and 
three evening journals. Now, in the whole of Luzerne County, there are only 
two morning and four evening papers. In pre-motor times, when a hard; 
working printer-publisher could live comfortably on a Goldsmithian stipend,' 
almost every community of fair size had a weekly news-sheet that it could 
call its own. Now, in all the forty incorporated places and thirty-five town- 
ships of this populous county, no more than seven weekly newspapers — other 
than Sunday publications and those of special field — can be found. 

There is, of course, a reason — the high cost of time. Time waits for no 
man. It will wait on only that employer whose pockets are well-lined. 
"Shoe-string" business has no chance of life in modern operations — at 
all events in those of the newspaper field. Gone forever is the time when a 
man could live "on nothing," as a worthy Wilkes-Barre editor of long ago 
complained had been his lot. Newspaper publishing, in this expensive age, is 
the field of "big business." So it happens that few new Fourth Estate enter- 
prises are attempted in a newsfield already covered. Instead, rising costs 
incline publishers to a merging of interests, so as to cover the field with fewer 
publications, using this economy to provide better news service. 


When \^^illiam Penn arrived in Pennsylvania, in 1682, he divided the prov- 
ince into three counties, Philadelphia, Chester and Bucks. On March 13, 1752, 
part of Bucks County was taken to form Northampton. On March 21, 1772, 
part of Northampton County, and parts also of the counties of Lancaster, 
Cumberland, Berks, and Bedford, were taken to form the county of Northum- 
berland. And, on September 25, 1786, part of Northumberland County was 
set apart to form the county of Luzerne. 

However, in the actual settlement of civil government of what is now 
Luzerne County, the colony of Connecticut preceded Pennsylvania. Follow- 
ing the usual New England plan of organizing large tracts into townships, 
under county government, the "Town of Westmoreland" was organized in 
1774, under Connecticut law, and attached to the covuity of Litchfield, Con- 
necticut. So vast in area was the new town that within its bounds (sixty by 
one hundred and twenty miles) are the present counties of Cameron, Lycom- 
ing, Potter, Sullivan, Tioga, as well as almost all of Luzerne County and parts 
of eight other counties of Pennsylvania. As settlement expanded under Con- 
necticut jurisdiction, the town of W'^estmoreland became detached from Litch- 
field County, and for some time thereafter was the county of Westmoreland, 
under the Connecticut system. The Yankee and Quaker governments clashed 
over jurisdiction of this region until 1782 when, by the Trenton decree, Con- 
necticut had to relinquish the tract to Pennsylvania. Strife was not ended, but 
Westmoreland County, Connecticut, now legally became Northumberland 
County, Pennsylvania. Four years later, part of Northumberland County 
became Luzerne County. 

In 1790, Luzerne County was divided into eleven townships. These took 
the same names as they had held in Westmoreland County, Connecticut, 
though township boundaries underwent change. The eleven original town- 
ships were Wilkes-Barre, Pittston, Hanover, Newport, Exeter, Plymouth, 
Kingston, Salem, Tioga, W^yalusing, and Tunkhannock. Sub-divisions of the 
county and townships have created other counties and townships. During 
Luzerne County's first century such changes considerably reduced her terri- 
torial area, but much increased the local sub-divisions. In 1920, Luzerne 
County possessed thirty-five townships. Some are prosperous, some decadent. 
A reliable indication of their state and prospects may be gathered from census 
statistics. The thirty-five townships are : 

Population in 1920 Population in 1900 

Bear Creek 34i 240 

Black Creek 1,868 2,352 

Buck 87 103 

Butler 1,719 1,661 

Conyngham (twp.) 2,540 . 1,373 

Dallas (twp.) 97i 1,006 

Denison 706 796 

Dorrance 670 830 

Exeter (twp.) 513 504 

Fairmount 728 1,070 

Fairview 805 i ,087 

Foster : 5,530 4,497 

Franklin 427 501 

Hanover 11,139 4,655 

Hazle 10,932 15,143 



Population in 1920 Population in looo 

Hollenback 4S7 654 

Hunlock 871 837 

Huntington 1,234 1,428 

Jackson 642 658 

Jenkins 5,722 2,792 

Kingston (twp.) 1,467 2,061 

Lake 1 ,080 1,397 

Lehman 995 ■• i ,120 

Nescopeck (twp. ) 639 702 

Newport 10,992 6,529 

Pittston (twp. ) 3.581 4,370 

Plains 13,985 6,872 

Plymouth (twp.) 3-558 9,655 

Ross 911 " 1.386 

Salem 1,841 h3^7 

Slocum 511 543 

Sugarloaf 1.256 1,500 

Union "84 9i9 

Wilkes-Barre (twp.) 6,608 3,805 

Wright 475 3^9 

Very little space is available, but a few of the formative facts in the history 
of the townships might be given. These brief township reviews will follow 
alphabetical, not chronological, order. 

Bear Creek Township, the largest in Luzerne County, was organized in 
1856. out of Wilkes-Barre, Pittston, Bucks, Plains and Jenkins townships. 
The Sullivan military road passed through this township, and along this road, 
in 1786, a log cabin was built. Oliver Helme built the first sawmill on Bear 
Creek in 1800. At this point is the only hamlet. Bear Creek Township is wild 
and rugged. It is beyond the coal area, and has little good farming land. 
Lumbering has been its principal industry. 

Supervisors, 1926: Ira Kreage, H. R. Lewis, Albert Kreage. Taxables, 
1926: 1,235. Assessed valuation, 1926: $1,107,196. President of school board: 
Ray A. Clark. 

Black Creek Township was formed on August 8, 1848. its territory l:)eing 
taken from Sugarloaf Township. The first settlers in Black Creek Township 
were the Huntsinger, Rittenhouse, Shellhammer, Short and Swoyer families. 
Barney Huntsinger came as a surveyor in 1806. Martin and William Ritten- 
house came in 1810, and built a saw and gristmill on Black Creek, A hamlet 
developed at this point, approximately the center of the township. A store, a 
tannery, and a tavern soon gave the Rittenhouse hamlet added importance. 
Other hamlets sprang up, and eventually the coal measures within the region 
were explored and developed by the Coxe companies. Derenger and Gowen 
became "company" mining towns. 

Supervisors, 1926: George Sewell, C. H. Troy, Fred Logan Taxables, 
1926: 403. Assessed valuation, 1926: $284,449. President of school board: 
W. C. Foose. Principal: Navin J. Cook. Teachers: Three high, twelve graded 

Buck Township takes its name from George Buck, the first tavern-keeper. 
The township was formed in 1833, froin Covington. John Nagle, who built 
a log cabin on the Sullivan military road in 1782, was the pio'ueer settler in 
Buck. Other early settlers were : Conrad Sox, Justice Simonson, Samuel 
Wildrick, and Thomas Taftershall. In 1806, Hugh Conner erected a sawmill. 
at what became Stoddartsville, its only village. The township might have 
been distinguished by another community, the "City of Rome," had that ambi- 
tious and somewhat unscrupulous town-platting of the "Great Swamp," in 
1810, been upon dry land. It was an age of town-planning, and Rome was but 


one of the many cities-to-be that never passed beyond the settlement stage 
of development. 

Taxables, 1926: 129. Assessed valuation, 1926: $61,852. President of school 
board : Mrs. Margaret Blakeslee. 

Butler Township, in the Sugarloaf Valley, was set apart from Sugarloaf 
Township in 1839. When organized, Butler Township was larger than now, 
for in 1861 Hazle Township took part of Butler. 

The first settler was John Balliett, who came from Northampton County in 
1784, with his wife and two children, and built a log cabin about one mile 
west of the village of Drums. He was the pioneer tavern-keeper. Within a 
year or two, other families settled, including the Benner, Shober, Dolph, Hill, 
Bachelor and Spaide families. Other early families of Butler were the Wood- 
ring, Davis, Mowery and Drum. Raymond Conyngham erected a sawmill on 
Little Nescopeck Creek in 1809, also a gristmill on Big Nescopeck, in 1820. 
There were several other mills. The first carding mill was built in 1810 on 
the Little Nescopeck ; and near the carding mill twenty-five years later Philip 
Drum built the first woolen mill. Henry B. Yost, the first merchant in the 
township, opened a store in 1832. He was also the pioneer postmaster, his 
post office being named East Sugarloaf. 

Three miles north of Drums was the village of Hughesville, and nearby 
was an older German settlement. The first weavers in the township were 
Michael Klouse, Elias Balliett, and Jacob Schauber, who' all lived in this dis- 
trict. When Hughesville became a post office, it was necessary to change the 
village name to St. Johns. The German church at St. Johns was organized 
in 1799. 

In 1926, the supervisors of Butler Township were : Calvin Young, Theo- 
dore Santee, Josiah Thomas. Number of taxables: 1,061. Assessed valuation: 
$821,683. President of school board: Gilbert A. Peters. Principal: H. C. 
Wenner. Teachers: Eleven, graded school only. 

Conyngham Township was not organized until 1875, t)ut its settlement 
dates back to 1795, when Martin Harter was attracted by riparian rights near 
the mouth of the Little Wapwallopen Creek. Soon after he had settled, other 
Germans came in from Northampton, among them James Santee, Philip Fen- 
stermacher, John Andreas, Michael Weiss, John Fenstermacher, and Jeremiah 
Hess. James McNeil was also among the pioneer settlers. The first frame 
house was built by Martin Harter, in 1797. Upon his old homestead, George 
Fenstermacher erected, in 1836, the first stone house in the township. The 
first store was opened in 1805 by Philip Fenstermacher. The first gristmill 
was erected in 1806. Two years later the first school was organized. The 
instruction was conducted in German for two years. The principal village, 
Wapwallopen, is the center of a prosperous farming district, but has also been 
the center of important explosives plants of the du Pont Company, which 
National corporation bought the powder mills near the mouth of the creek in 
1857, f'"on^ G. P. Parish and Company. 

In 1926, the supervisors of Conyngham Township were : J. D. Smith, Wil- 
liam C. Boyd, Burt Denoy. Number of taxables: 1,636. Assessed valuation: 
$1,158,652. President of school board: Walter S. Gragle. Teachers: Twenty, 
graded schools only. 

Dallas Township, formed in 1817 from Kingston Township, was settled in, 
or before, 1797. In that year Ephraim McCoy, a soldier of the Revolution, 
built a log cabin near the site of McClellandsville (Dallas Borough). Nearby 
was a smaller cabin, untenanted ; when and by whom it was built is not 
known. William Briggs followed McCoy in settling, and other settlers are 
said to have come in the following order: Daniel Spencer, John Wort, John 



Kelley, Elani Spencer, J. Mears, John Honeywell, Sr. and Jr., William Honey- 
well, Isaac Montague, and two Ayers brothers. William Honey, who came in 
1808, built a frame addition to his log house in 1809. This was the first frame 
structure in the township. Baldwin's mill, on Tobey Creek, was the first in 
the township; it was built in 1813. On the same creek Christian Rice hnUt 
another sawmill five years later. 

Kunkle Village, with its population of. about one hundred and seventy, is 
still the home of the Kunkle family. The first postmaster was J. Wesley 

In 1926, the supervisors of Dallas Township were : Xelson \\'hii)p, Frank 
Moore, AI. C. Myers. Number of taxables : 1,^114. Assessed valuation: 
$966,890. President of school board : George Landon. Nine teachers, graded 
schools only. 

Denison Township was taken, in 1839, from one oi the original townships 
— Hanover. The land is poor and farming difticult. For half a century, how- 
ever, lumbering was an active business within the township. Israel Inman, 
the first settler, who built a cabin about half a mile below where the Lehigh 
Railroad crosses the Nescopeck, in 1833, erected a sawmill, and later a forge. 
In 1837, the Lehigh Navigation and Coal Company cut a road through the 
township from near Whitehaven. Passing through other toAvnships. it con- 
nected Wilkes-Barre with Alauch Chunk. Stages ran from ^^'ilkes-Barre to 
Whitehaven, and sailing packets gave regular service for passengers who 
wished to go farther afield. In 1863 railroad construction began, and trains 
j^assed through the township in 1865. The Lehigh Valley Railroad and the 
Central Railroad of New Jersey cross Denison Tow^nship. 

The first settlers within the township in the vicinity of Whitehaven were 
John Linespand, A. P. Chi Ids and the brothers Lynch. Childs settled in 
1835. In 1838 this little hamlet became a post office town, under the name of 
Middleburg. Many years later the village name was changed to Jerusalem. 

In 1926. the supervisors of Denison Township were: Fred Helmer, Wil- 
liam Smith, and Arthur I5arry. Number of taxables : 552. Assessed valua- 
tion : $230,207. President of school board: N. A. Smith. Five teachers, 
graded school only. 

Dorrance Township perpetuates the name (^f one of the pioneer families of 
Luzerne County, and particularly that of Lieutenant-Colonel George Dor- 
rance, who fell in battle on July 3. 1778. at AVyoming. The township was set 
apart from Newport in 1840. The Big Wapwallopen and Little Wapwallopen 
creeks pass through the township. The larger creek is to the southward, and 
in this part of the township the first settlers were the Woodring, Eishen- 
brout, Reinheimer. AVener, Heller, Whitebread and Eroh families. The 
pioneers along the Little W^apwallopen in the northern part of the township 
were the Myers, ]^)leim, Vandermarle, Engler. Lutz and Stuart families. Dor- 
rance Township was part of the original township of Hanover. In those days 
the prominent families included the Arnold, Stair, Hawk and Lee families. 
North and south of Dorrance Township lie valuable coal measures, but lum- 
bering has been the main industry of Dorrance. The only village in the town- 
ship bears that name, and must not be confused with Dorranceton, a borough 
four townships away, northerly. 

In 1926, the supervisors of Dorrance Township were: George Eigenbrod, 
Harry Vandermark, and J. L. Peters. Number of Taxables: 486. Assessed 
valuation: $315,099. President of school board: August Seigel. Six teach- 
ers, common schools only. 

Exeter Township — In Exeter Township and Borough the greater part of the 
fighting during those exciting first days of July, 1778. occurred. The murder 

w.-B. — s 


of the Hardings on July i quickly developed the subsequent bloody incidents 
that come into American history as the Wyoming Massacre. The story has 
been told and retold in National, State, county, and local works, and is, of 
course, an important chapter of this work. Therefore, further reference on 
this page is unnecessary. 

Exeter was one of the "certified" townships that retained its name when 
the division of Luzerne County into townships occurred in i/QO. Its original 
area was much greater than its present. Ransom Township, in Lackawanna 
County, was once part of Exeter; and Franklin Township, to the westward, 
was taken from Exeter. The latter township has now an area of about twenty- 
three miles, less the area of the boroughs of West Pittston and Exeter. The 
Wyoming coalfield, or strictly the Wyoming Valley part of the Northern 
coalfield, has its northern limit in Exeter Township, which, nevertheless, has 
been a profitable farming center for more than a century ; within the township 
are more than a hundred good farms. 

The earliest records of Exeter have been lost, but in 1796 the township con- 
tained sixty-nine taxables. The first grist and sawmills were built on Sutton's 
(now Coray) Creek twenty years earlier, by James Sutton and James Had- 
sall. The latter lost his life in the Lidian raid of 1778, but a namesake of the 
next generation — a boy at the time of the massacre— -lived in the township 
until he became almost a centenarian. A subscription paper circulated in 
1795, to establish a building fund for a "meeting house," bears the names of 
John Jenkins, Thomas Jenkins, James Scoville, Elisha Scoville and Benjamin 
Smith. The Scovilles owned the tract in which is Indian Park, where the 
marauders from the Niagara frontier encamped on the night before the Battle 
of Wyoming. Harding is a village of about one hundred inhabitants. 

In 1926 the supervisors of Exeter Township were : L. B. Dymond, Ed. L. 
Brown, and W. J. Lewis. Number of taxables : 524. Assessed valuation : 
$381,886. President of school board: Archibald Kitchen. Four teachers, 
common school only. 

Fairmount Township, which lies in the extreme northwestern part of 
Luzerne County, was part of Huntington Township until 1834. It is a farm- 
ing country, and has enjoyed a steady growth. Its population was 594 in 
1840, 1,085 ^^ 1880, and in 1900 it was 1,070. In the last decade, however, it 
has fallen back. 

The first settler was probably Jacob Long, who came in 1792 and built a 
homestead in the south part of the township. The first settler at Fairmount 
Springs was Joseph Potter. Other early settlers were Charles Fritz, George 
Gearhart, Peter Boston, Joseph Moss. The first tavern-keeper was Gad 
Seward, who opened a public house, in 1818, at Fairmount Springs. In the 
days of stage-coaching along the Tioga Turnpike, his was a famous hostelry. 
Shadrach Lacock established a foundry in Fairmount Township in 1830, and 
there made the Lacock plow, which was so much in demand in its day. The 
first post office was at Fairmount Springs; it was opened in 1835, with J. C. 
Pennington as postmaster. 

There are several villages in Fairmount Township. At the foot of North 
Mountain, which rises more than 2,000 feet from the Susquehanna Basin, is 
Red Rock. Mossville is the center of a prosperous farming group; so also is 
Fairmount Springs. Rittenhouse has about one hundred inhabitants and 
Kyttle about twenty-five. 

In 1926, the supervisors of Fairmount Township were : C. W. Dohl, Har- 
vey Marshall, and C. H. Marshall. Number of taxables : 629. Assessed valu- 
ation : $296,105. President of school board: C. A. Dohl. Eight teachers, 
common school only. 


Fairview Township, which was created in 1889, is the yonngest township 
of Luzerne County. It was taken from Wright Township, and its history 
spans more than a century and a quarter. Conrad Wickeiser, the pioneer 
settler, came with his ox-team in 1798. James Wright settled soon afterwards. 
As was usually the case, the pioneer years were spent mainly in lumbering, 
the necessity of clearing the land making lumbering the principal industry. 
There were many sawmills in the township, but James Wright's was probably 
the first. He was also the first tavern-keeper. Other early settlers were : 
Harvey Holcomb, Samuel B. Stivers, William Vandermark, John Hoffman. 
A schoolhouse was not built until 1840, and that was of logs. Charles Fine 
was the first teacher. Stephen Lee was the pioneer blacksmith and also the 
first storekeeper; his place was near the Stivers' homestead in the northwest 
part of the township. 

Fairview is aptly named. From Mountain Top, the principal village, one 
is able to get a perspective of enchanting beauty and inspiring industry. The 
natural beauty is not harshly marred by the artificial evidences of Pennsyl- 
vania's main industry ; "in the distance is the valley, Wilkes-Barre, Ashley, 
Plymouth, Kingston, Dorrance, Bennett, Luzerne, Wyoming, Forty Fort, and 
the great coal breakers and their ever-ascending columns of steam." 

Mountain Top is to all intents a railroad center. The incline coal road 
from the Wyoming Valley to the mountain top has its terminus at Mountain 
Top. Also, for many years, the two main lines, Lehigh and Jersey Central, 
have been forced by natural conditions to make their stations — Fairview and 
Penobscot — at Mountain Top to all intents terminal points, for, in ascending 
the steep gradient from the valley, all trains have to have extra power. These 
extra engines are uncoupled at the Top, and the journey continued under nor- 
mal power. The village of Mountain Top accounts for about four-fifths of the 
population of Fairview Township, and most of the inhabitants gainfully 
employed are railroad employees. 

In 1926, the supervisors of Fairview Township were : Howard W. Snyder, 
John J. Roberts, Herman Weiss. Number of taxables : 699. Assessed valua- 
tion, $493,631. President of school board: F. H. Arbogast. Principal: B. L. 
Clark. Seven teachers, high and grade schools. 

Foster Township, originally a part of Denison, owes its entity to the min- 
eral wealth that counterbalances a surface poverty. Its poor land would yield 
meagre return for agricultural effort, but Asa L. Foster, who in 1854 began to 
explore below the surface of this barren region, found such encouraging 
evidences of coal deposits that mining machinery was quickly installed, and 
within a year 2,000 tons of coal had been mined. 

Foster's operations were in the southwestern part of the township, at a 
place now known as Fckley ; but the first settlements in the township were in 
the northeastern part. John Lines, the pioneer settler at Whitehaven, came 
in 1824. Thomas Morrison settled about three miles southeastward of him 
in 1840. The hamlet that took his name was at one time of greater importance 
than Whitehaven. Morrison operated saw and gristmills on Pond Creek, and 
employed much labor in lumbering. Joseph Birkbeck was the first settler in 
the Freeland District. He came in 1844, and built a house just north of the 
Freeland Borough line. His tract extended northward, and when mines were 
opened at Upper Lehigh, Mr. Birkbeck platted a village, which he called South 
Heberton. Upper Lehigh has absorbed most of the pioneer village. The 
former is a "company town" ; it was platted in 1865 for the mining company, 
and the Upper Lehigh Company kept it almost wholly for its employees. A 
"company store" was opened in 1866, in which year actual production of coal 
began. Three years later the company built the Upper Lehigh Hotel. The 


village has about one thousand inhabitants. The Upper Lehigh Coal Com- 
pany still directs its industry, and the "company store" is still running. 

There are several other active mining villages in the township. Near 
Jeddo. which is a borough of three hundred and sixty-four inhabitants, is the 
mining town of Eckley. It is a larger village than Upper Lehigh and owes its 
prosperity to the enterprise of the Coxe Brothers Company. Freeland is a 
borough within the bounds of Foster. Near Jeddo is Foundryville, where 
Merrick had his foundry; it passed from iron to coal, from a group of iron- 
workers to a mining community. Highland is a mining town of Markle inter- 
ests. Drifton, a community of more than two thousand, was the headquarters 
town of the Coxe interests. Mines, machine shops, railroads of the company 
had their directing impetus in or from Drifton. Sandy Run is another mining 

In 1926, the supervisors of Foster Township were : Joseph Wargo, Peter 
Shambura, and John Jurballa. Number of taxables : 2,489. Assessed valua- 
tion : $2,633,122. President of school board : William Bachman. Principal: 
H. E. Hofifman. Forty-one teachers, including five for high school. 

Franklin Township, organized as such in 1843 — from Kingston, Exeter, 
and Dallas townships — has a settlement history which reaches back to pre- 
Revolutionary years. The township is named in honor of Colonel John 
Franklin, one of the outstanding military figures of this region during the 
Revolution and the Pennamite troubles. Gideon Bebee is believed to have 
been the first settler, though this family soon moved away. Another aban- 
doned clearing was that of the Pease family. It adjoined that of Bebee, in the 
northeastern part of the township, and both families are believed to have been 
here before the Revolution began. Other early settlers include Ezra Olds 
and Michael Munson, who came in 1782; Captain Artemadorus Ingersoll, a 
veteran of the Revolution; Abel Hall, Elisha Rogers, Elijah Brace, William 
Brace, Benjamin Chandler, James Hadersal, Thomas Mann, Alexander Lord, 
David O. Culver, Oliver Lewis, Josephus Cone, Amos Jackson, Robert Moore, 
Jacob Halstead, Benjamin Decker, Jona Wood. As settlement developed, the 
prominent families included the Winter, Badle, Corwin, Seward, Hallock, 
Durland, Casterline, Longwell, DeWitt, and Wintz. Walter Munson built 
the first sawmill on Sutton Creek, in 1808. About the same time Elisha Brace 
built the first and only gristmill, nearby. 

The township center has always been at the village latterly known as 
Orange. Jacob Drake was the pioneer settler, and the hamlet was known as 
Draketown. As a post office it took the name of Unison. When Franklin Town- 
ship was organized, the village name became Franklin Center. The village of 
Orange has a population of about two hundred, and has always had a good 
general store, the trading place of a wide farming circle. The first tavern- 
keeper was Peter Hallock; the first physician was Dr. Skeels. 

In 1926, the supervisors of Franklin Township were: Shay Lewis, David 
Emanuel, Fred Dymond. Number of taxables: 310. Assessed valuation: 
»$35i,oo5. President of school board: Robert Fink. Four teachers, common 
schools only. 

Hanover Township has a larger population than any other, excepting 
Plains ; and, like Plains, Hanover is possessed of most interesting history. It 
was one of the original Connecticut townships, and its early history, inter- 
woven as it is with some of the most stirring incidents of Wyoming Valley 
life of pioneer days, is largely covered in the volumes written by Mr. Harvey, 
the talented historian who, in his devotion to Wilkes-Barre and the Wyoming 
Valley, conceived and began this work. And Plumb's "History of Hanover 
Township," published in 1885, will give the searcher far more Hanover history 


than could be logically attempted in any general Luzerne County work such 
as this is. Hanover Township is worthy of more space here, but the space is 
not available, so brevity must govern this review. 

The pioneers in Hanover Township had already made history in southern 
Pennsylvania. Among the settlers were strong-minded self-reliant men of 
Scotch-Irish antecedents, men who, in the time of Indian unrest that followed 
the French and Indian War, had relied more upon themselves than upon the 
government for protection. The "Paxton boys," of Lancaster County, had 
dealt so sternly with the Conestoga Indians in 1763 that there was peace on 
the Conestoga, and that part of the Susquehanna, for many years after. Cap- 
tain Lazarus StcAvart and his company of forty — most of whom were "Paxton 
boys" — moved from Lancaster County into the Wyoming Valley in 1770, 
and fought for Connecticut against the Penns. Fort Durkee was stormed. 
It was retaken by the Penn forces, but the determined "Paxton boys," led by 
Captain Stewart, again recaptured the fort in December, and expelled the 
Penn forces from the valley. For their services to Connecticut, Captain Stew- 
art and his followers were granted the tract of land which became Hanover 
Township. The township area embraced all that lay between Wilkes-Barre 
Township and the Lehigh River — an area of five square miles, including most 
of the land now within Hanover, Wright, Fairview, Bear Creek, Buck, Deni- 
son, and Foster townships. 

The tract, under township organization, was divided into three parts, each 
part, or division, having thirty-one lots of four hundred and thirty acres each. 
Twenty-eight of the lots in the first division were granted to Captain Stewart 
and his men ; the other three lots, as was the custom in New England, were 
reserved for public use. In the Wilkes-Barre records are the minutes of a 
town meeting held October 19, 1772, at which it was voted: "That Captain 
Lazarus Stewart and AVilliam Stewart are deserving" the town of Hanover, 
agreeably to the votes passed at the general meeting of the proprietors of the 
Susquehanna Company, held at Windham, January 9, 1771." The lands 
were surveyed, and the first division allotments made in 1771 or 1772. The 
second division was made in 1776 and the third in 1787. 

The first allotment, or division, established eighteen men as the original 
proprietors, the allotments being made as follows : Captain Lazarus Stewart, 
lots I, 2, and 3 ; Lazarus Stewart, Jr., 4 and 5 ; John Donahow, 6 ; David 
Young, 7; Captain Lazarus Stewart, 8; William Graham, 9; John Robinson, 
10; James Robinson, 11; Thomas Robinson, 12; Josias Aspia, 13; Hugh 
Cafifion, 14; John Franklin, 15; Robert Young, 16; John Young, 17; William 
Young, 18; William Stewart, 19; Thomas Robinson, 20; James Stewart, 21; 
William Young, 22; Captain Stewart, 23 and 24; William Stewart, 25 ; Charles 
Stewart, 26; William Stewart, 27; Silas Gore, 28. The Stewarts, therefore, 
were granted thirteen of the twenty-eight lots. John Franklin and Silas Gore 
were from Connecticut, but the others were Lancaster County men. 

Captain Stewart and his Hanover company performed prodigies of valor 
in the battle of Wyoming, July 3, 1778. The intrepid leader fell, with one- 
fourth of his men, battling heroically against enormous odds. All the houses 
of the settlement at Hanover were put to the torch. It is not surprising, 
therefore, that the township records for the first years have never since been 
found. Township records for 1776 are available, and show the second division 
of land. In addition to the "proprietors" already named in the first division, 
there were also in Hanover Township in 1776 several other families, the latter 
including the Hopkins, Campbell, Caldwell, Spencer, Bennett, Hibbard, lame- 
son, Inman, Wade, Lasley, McKarrican. Espy, Line, and Pell families. 

In 1796, Hanover had ninety-one taxables. This would indicate a total 
population of about four hundred and fifty to five hundred, in the region 


between Wilkes-Barre Township and the Lehigh River. Reduction of the 
territory of Hanover came in 1839 and a further reduction in 1853. 

Mills were erected in Hanover, and on Mill Creek, about 1775. In 1789, 
the town voted that half of Lot 29 be given to Elisha Delano for sawmill pur- 
poses, and the other half to Frederick Crisman for tavern purposes. Both of 
these public conveniences were established. 

Early in the nineteenth century roads wxre cut through the township, and 
in 1807 the Easton and Wilkes-Barre Turnpike was completed. Transporta- 
tion was by wagon road or by river until 1843, "^vhen the "iron horse" — the 
Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad — crossed Hanover, from Wilkes-Barre to 

A postal service was begun in 1797, a postboy passing through Hanover 
weekly between Wilkes-Barre and Berwick. In 1820 Hanover had a popula- 
tion of eight hundred and seventy-nine. There were then in the township 
"120 dwellings, 4 gristmills, i clovermill and 16 unmarried men; 13 non- 
naturalized foreigners; 135 engaged in farming; 30 manufacturing, and one 
merchant." The Bloomery forge, then valued at $600, employed two men and 
used one hundred and fifty tons of bog ore — presumably in a year. The forge 
was built in 1775 or 1776, and was a profitable enterprise until about 1830, 
when it was possible to bring in iron ore by canal. In 1840 Holland "built his 
railroad from his mines at the mountain to the Hanover Canal basin." The 
Garrison Sterling and Shoemaker properties, sold to Samuel Holland in 1838, 
were the first tracts ever sold or bought in Hanover for mining purposes. The 
sale price then was $25 an acre; in 1850 coal lands had an average market 
value of twice as much, and the farmers were delighted to think that they 
were able to sell their stony farming acreage at so high a price. The farmers 
moved westward and the coal operators began their ventures — enterprises 
rudely shaken by the financial panic of 1857. 

Hanover Township may be said to have gained its second breath in i860, 
by which time the country was beginning to recover from the panic. There- 
after, coal mining became the mainstay of the people of Hanover. In 1878 
"there were nine breakers in Hanover, Sugar Notch, Ashley, and Nanticoke, 
within the old township lines." Five years later, there were ten coal breakers. 
"Lands about the mines and their neighborhood for a distance of half a mile 
or more are generally uncultivated and thrown open to commons," wrote 
Henry Blackman Plumb in 1885. "In the whole township and the three 
boroughs, with a population of more than 12,000 in 1884, it is doubtful whether 
there are more than four blacksmith shops not connected with the mines or 
railroads, while in the early times it took one blacksmith to every 100 people, 
old and young." .... "Indeed, there is almost nothing made here now and 
nothing produced except coal. But of coal the production is very large and 
overshadows everything else." Historian Plumb bemoaned the probability 
that Hanover's "future history, while the coal lasts, will be merely statistical 
• — the amount of coal she produces, number of men employed, wages, persons 
injured or killed in the mines, or the capital invested." Taxes forty years ago 
were so high that, as Plumb says, "no farmer can now own the back land and 
make a living on it and pay the taxes, insurance and repairs." Unfortunately, 
taxes now are higher, but there can be no doubt that the prosperity of this 
coal region is far greater than when it was a farming district. 

Hanover is one of the four first-class townships of Luzerne County. It 
was promoted to this class on Febraury 24, 191 1. In 1926, the township com- 
missioners were : Joseph Fela, Thomas Finnegan, Harold Henry, John Manley, 
Frank Balasieszus, Reese Walters, Earl Rescora. Number of taxables : 8,923. 
Assessed valuation: $73,051,581. Supervising school principal: F. W. 
Nyhart. One hundred and forty-one teachers, including fourteen in senior high. 


eighteen in junior high, and seven special. President of school board, 1926: 
P. J. Lenahan. 

Hazle Township was formed in 1839 from Sugarloaf Township, and was 
increased in area, at the expense of Butler, in 1856. It is the most southerly 
township of Luzerne County. 

Probably the first settlement made in Hazle was a surveyor's camp, in 1804, 
when the turnpike road, part of which is now Inroad Street, Hazleton, was 
being surveyed. The camp was within the borough limits of Hazleton. The 
earliest settlers in the township were : Anthony Fisher, Joseph Fisher, Casper 
Thomas, Conrad Horn, and Adam Winters, at what became known as Horn- 
town, just bevond West Hazleton. The first internal improvement was a 
sawmill erected on High Creek in 1810. Lumbering was good, but the land 
was not ideal farming acreage. The development of Hazle Township, there- 
fore, may be dated from 1836, when coal mining began. 

By reason of its coal deposits, Hazle Township quickly advanced into sec- 
ond place in the county. The surface evidences of mining are not objects that 
enchant the nature lover, but the breakers and culm-piles that crowd the sky 
line of Hazle Township are impressive evidences of great industrial enter- 
prises. And wherever surface mining works confront the viewer, he may be 
sure of finding nearby a substantial active mining village. Jeanesville, about 
two miles south of Hazleton, is a place of thirteen hundred people. The vil- 
lage development followed the development of the Spring Mountain collieries. 
The winning of the coal was begun in 1845, when William jNIullins opened the 
slope. The "father of the coal industry in the Hazleton District" was Ario 
Pardee, but one of the outstanding pioneer operators was J. C. Hayden, who 
took charge of the Spring Mountain Coal Company's mining operations in 
1865, and subsequently leased them, building two new breakers. The com- 
pany, however, eventually sold the mines to the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and 
thereafter Jeanesville became to all intents a "company town." At that place 
are some large machine shops. Lattimer is a village of about two hundred 
people. Lattimer mines are still operated by the Pardee family, and these 
pioneers of mining still exercise a proprietary interest in the village. Sugar- 
loaf is a mining village developed by the Diamond Coal Company; the village 
of Japan grew around Oakdale colliery. Harleigh is another mining town that 
grew with the mining at this point of the Big Black Creek Improvement Com- 
pany. The collieries are now owned by the Markles, who have had such 
prominent place among the operators of that region during the last half cen- 
tury. Beaver Brook, on the southern county line, Cranberry, Crystal Ridge, 
Stockton, Humboldt, Hollywood, Milnesville, Foundryville, Ebervale, and 
Drifton are all mining towns, some small, some of more importance. Stockton 
is a place of about one thousand inhabitants ; Ebervale, like Foundryville. is 
a Markle town, and Drifton is the home of the Coxe family, so long identified 
with the coal mining industry in this district. 

In 1926, the supervisors of Hazle Township were : James Julian, Andrew 
McNamee, and Leo Conohan. Number of taxables : 5,307. Assessed valua- 
tion: $9,127,053. President of school board: William Hale: School super- 
intendent: Joseph B. Grabris. Teachers: Ninety, including sixteen for high 

Hollenback Township was settled in 1789, by a few German farmers who 
came from Northampton County. In 1796 the region, which was still part of 
Nescopeck Township, could count only ten taxables ; and these applied them- 
selves more to lumbering than to farming. Seventy years later, the townsmen 
were still employed mainly in lumbering. No less than six sawmills were then 
in constant use. The first sawmill was built on the Shortz place by a man 


named Craig. The first gristmill stood near the site of the du Pont Powder 
Mills (upper) on the Big Wapwallopen Creek. A tannery was built by Sam- 
uel Snyder on the creek, near where John Harter, in 1848, built the first frame 
house. The pioneer storekeeper was Amasa Shoemaker, who opened in 1825. 
In the same year Peter Goode opened a tavern — the first at Hobbie. He was 
the pioneer settler at Hobbie, which dates from 181 5. This village is the 
township center. It became a post ofiice town in 1852, with Henry Grover as 
postmaster. Hobbie has a population of only about one hundred, but it is an 
active trading center, having two stores, a hotel, a couple of mills, a garage, 
and a smithy. The Moyer and Hoch families operate stores, gristmill and 

The supervisors of Hollenback Township in 1926 were: F. L. Eroh, E. F. 
Peters, and Arthur Peters. Number of taxables : 395. Assessed valuation : 
$232,824. President of school board: H. E. Bittenbender. Four teachers, 
common schools. 

Hunlock Township was formed on January 8, 1877, from Union and Plym- 
outh townships. The pioneer settler, Boggs, found that Indians lived in the 
region, and that they had cultivated some of the open land. Boggs is supposed 
to have been a soldier of the Revolution, and it is believed that while he was 
away, his famaly was massacred by Indians, the friendly tribe of the neighbor- 
hood sharing the same fate. The second attempt by whites to settle the region 
was made in 1778 by Jonathan Hunlock and Edward Blanchard, at the mouth 
of the creek now known as Hunlock's. About 1790 Frederick and John Croop, 
also the Sorber family. Both families built mills, and had leading parts in 
subsequent lumbering. Other early families were the Miller, Case, Davenport, 
Cragle, Deit, and Brader. They were typical hardworking Germans. The 
Dodson family came in 1797, from the Plymouth settlement. Frederick Hart- 
man built a flouring mill in 1843, Leonard Ritchie a saw and feedmill in 1850. 
The Croop family still own the milling business that was the pioneer industry, 
and the Whitsells still own the general store at Hunlock Creek. At Hunlock 
Creek the large power plant of the Luzerne County Gas and Electric Corpora- 
tion was built in 1925-26. 

The supervisors of Hunlock Township, in 1926, were: K. I. Lanning, W. 
W. Benscoter, and B. L. Sutlifif . Number of taxables : 590. Assessed valua- 
tion : $240,514. President of school board: George E. Minimier. Seven 
teachers, common schools. 

Huntington Township was one of the seventeen "certified townships" laid 
out by the Susquehanna Company, and confirmed by Acts of Assemblv in 
1799. In the Connecticut title, previous to 1776, it was known as "Blooming- 
dale Township," the name being changed to Huntington in 1799, in honor of 
Samuel Huntington, a native of Windham, Connecticut, who was one of the 
signers of the Declaration of Independence. 

The first settler was John Franklin, a person of note in the affairs of the 
Susquehanna Company under the Connecticut claim. He came in the spring 
of 1775, locating on Huntington Creek, below Huntington Mills. Because of 
the outbreaking of war, however, he returned to Connecticut, with his family, 
before the summer was spent. In 1776, other Connecticut settlers came, Levi 
Seward settling in the northern part of the township, and Nathaniel Goss, the 
latter on a tract of three hundred and thirty-four acres at Huntington Mills. 
In 1782 or 1783, Abraham Hess settled near the headwaters of Fishing Creek. 
He was from New Jersey. Other early settlers, included : Stephen Kings- 
bury, who helped to make the original survey of the township ; Reuben Culver, 
in 1795, one of whose descendants is W. B. Culver, of Red Hill ; Abel Fellows, 
Stephen Harrison, Samuel Franklin, Amos Franklin, all of whom settled in 


1777' and are yet represented by many descendants in the township; Thomas 
Williams, in 1778; Solon Trescott, who was taken prisoner by the Indians and 
Tories, in 1778, but escaped and with Solomon Gas and Thomas and Samuel 
Williams returned to their Huntington homes a few days later. The Trescott 
family still live in Harveyville, Colonel Edward L. Trescott, of the second 
Huntington generation of that family, rising to much prominence in public 
and military afifairs, and being a famous hunter. 

Other early settlers were : John Dodson, who came in 1796, the first Penn- 
sylvanian to settle; Jabez Matthias and Reuben W'illiams; John Johnson, 
Earl Tubbs, Stephen Davenport ; Jonathan Wygant, Nathan Monroe ; Ama- 
ziah Watson, AVilliam Brandon, William, Jared, and John Edwards. The 
Pattersons, who located in Huntington, in the northeast part of the township, 
in 1799. came from Ireland, but were of Scottish ancestry, of noble lineage. 
They still live in Huntington. The Koons family is still represented, E. B. 
Koons owning a planing mill. A decade or so ago, the firm of J. R. Koons and 
Son owned a wholesale paper business in Huntington Mills. John Koons, 
who settled in New Columbus, in 1819, was a leading citizen for sixty years, 
having part in many public undertakings. At one time he was a Common 
Pleas judge of Luzerne County. 

Epenetus Wadsworth, who settled near Town Hall, in 1794, was the first 
blacksmith in the township. Thomas Harvey, after whom Harveyville is 
named, was also a blacksmith. Benjamin Fuller had a tannery near the 
Earned place on Huntington Creek. The first gristmill was built in 1788, by 
a Mr. Hopkins, at the mouth of Marsh Creek. Nathaniel Goss was also a 
miller, owning a plant that could grind three bushels a day. His son, and 
namesake, built a larger one, known as the Workheiser Mill. There were 
several other mills. 

The old turnpike road, from Berwick to Towanda, passed through Hunt- 
ington, and was used for stages daily from 1812 to 1840. The Nanticoke and 
Hughesville Turnpike passed through New Columbus ; it was chartered in 
1836. The Union Turnpike Road Company was formed in 1875. 

New Columbus became a borough in 1859, marking the establishment of 
an excellent academy, the Columbus Male and Female Academy. Judge John 
Koons and D. L. Chapin were the leading promoters of this institution, 
which made creditable educational history for Huntington. Eventually, it led 
to the township being made an independent school district. New Columbus, 
as a borough, has not gone far. Its population in 1920 was only one hundred 
and thirty-six, and apart from the academy and a few mills, it has not much 
claim to borough status. 

Huntington Mills was at one time known as Hublerville. The paper mill 
there was erected in 1872, wrapping paper being its specialty. Following the 
example of New Columbus, an educational institution of good foundation was 
opened at Huntington Mills in 1878. The Huntington Mills Educational 
Society opened its first term as an academy in 1878 with one hundred pupils, 
under Prof. J. W. Swingle. 

The other villages of Fluntington Township are: Town Hill, about two 
miles east of New Columbus; Cambra ; Harveyville, and Register. 

In 1926, the supervisors of Huntington Township were : Marion Wilkin- 
son, Myron Chapin, and W. B. Pennington. Number of taxables : 862. 
Assessed valuation : $589,035. President of school board : F. E. Bitten- 
bender. Principal : Robert Hosier. Thirteen teachers, including four for 
high school. 

Jackson Township is part of the original township of Plymouth. It was 
organized in 1844, but, of course, its settlement history goes much farther 
back. The first settler in this part of Plymouth Township was Palmer Ran- 


som, in 1795. Soon afterwards John Lamoreaux, Jesse Brown, Major B. 
Fuller and some others settled. In 1850, Jackson Township's first census- 
taking- showed a population of five hundred and ninety-two. Seventy years 
later, in 1920, its population was six hundred and forty-two ; so it seems likely 
that the township had reached its full growth while still part of Plymouth. 

The first settler in the western part of the township was Henry Cease, in 
1831. The first sawmill was built by Asahel and Rufus Drake, in 1795. Later 
millers in the township have been the Baldwins, the Fullers, Ziegler and Wil- 
cox, George F. Ransom, Chester Ransom, John Lamoreaux, and Daniel Dav- 
enport ; Henry Cease, Sandford Parsons ; Fuller and Atherton ; Egbert 

One great improvement in Jackson Township is the Conyngham farm, a 
stock farm such as only a man of considerable means could establish. Thirty 
years ago it was widely known for its blooded stock — cattle and horses. 

The villages of Jackson Township are Huntsville and Cease's Mills. 

In 1926, the township supervisors were: C. S. Behee, W. D. Cease, and 
Stanley B. Gardecki. Number of taxables : 472. Assessed valuation : S358,- 
016. President of school board: William Gabel. Five teachers, common 

Jenkins Township, named in honor of Colonel John Jenkins, who surveyed 
the Wyoming Valley for the Susquehanna Company in 1762, and was the first 
to note the presence of coal in the region, was originally part of Pittston 
Township, from which it was detached on June 24, 1852. 

Settlement began in this part of Pittston Township in 1794, Joseph Gard- 
ner building his gristmill, on the creek that bears his name, in that year. Isaac 
Gould settled about the same time, his home being near where the Laflin 
powder mills were later placed. Other early settlers were : Daniel Seeley, 
who built the first sawmill ; Jesse Thomas ; the Thompson family, who lived 
just below Sebastopol; John Stout, the first blacksmith. The last named 
settled in 1824, and his shop was on the hill near Yatesville. The first brick 
house in the township was erected by George Price, in 1846. on the Wilkes- 
Barre to Pittston Road. Among other early^settlers were the Swallow, LeBar, 
Miller, Lacoe, Thomas, Hess, and Goode families. 

In 1810, or 1812, on the Wilkes-Barre and Pittston Road, in Sebastopol, the 
first schoolhouse was erected. At Inkerman, there was a log schoolhouse, on 
the hill above Port Blanchard. Joel Hale was the first teacher at Sebastopol 
and Roswell Hale the first at Inkerman. 

Jenkins Township, like Pittston, owes its development to coal. Mining is 
the business of its residents, in general. Its communities are composed mainly 
of mining men. Port Griffith was an important place in the days of the old 
gravity road of the Pennsylvania Coal Company. Its terminus was at Port 
Griffith, but it lost some of its possibility of growth when the gravity road lost 
its identity ; but because of the mining, the community has continued to hold 
its own. Port Blanchard, near Port Griffith, was named in honor of Captain 
Jeremiah Blanchard, the pioneer settler, whose log cabin was the first struc- 
ture to be raised in that neighborhood. Port Blanchard owes the first part of 
its name to the fact that it was a ferry point ; and because of that, it also had a 
tavern that was of some importance to travelers. Samuel Hodgson was the 
tavern-keeper in 1845, when it was opened. He was also the first postmaster. 
Inkerman's first settler was Peter Winter, a blacksmith. It is a mining town 
as large in population as some townships. Winter was operating his black- 
smith shop on the back road from Pittston to Wilkes-Barre, at this point, as 
early as 1810. More than half a century later, mining shafts were sunk in the 
town, to take the place of the drifts of earlier days. Sebastopol is a mining 
suburb of Pittston. 


In 1926, the supervisors of Jenkins Township were: M. J. Dougher, Wil- 
liam F. Burke, John J. O'Donnell. Number of taxables : 3,150. Assessed 
valuation, $6,688,084. President of school board : Edward Hinchcliff, super- 
vising principal: F. J. Regan. Fifty-five teachers, including eleven for high 

Kingston Township — One of the most historic townships of Luzerne County 
is Kingston, which has had name and importance since the beginning of set- 
tlement of the Wyoming Valley. It was one of the original divisions of the 
Connecticut regime, and was confirmed as Kingston Township when Luzerne 
County, Pennsylvania, was formed. From it have been taken the territory 
that is now Dallas Township, and parts of Franklin and Lake townships were 
once parts of Kingston. Again, it has carried several boroughs of interest- 
ing history through their first halting days as communities. Kingston, Dor- 
ranceton, Forty Fort, Luzerne, and Wyoming have all gone out to independ- 
ence with generous territorial gifts from its parent, Kingston Township. 
Reviews of the boroughs are given on other pages, and the early history of the 
township is part of the great events covered by Mr. Harvey in his volumes of 
pioneer history. Therefore, little more need be written here of the "forty" 
Connecticut settlers w^ho christened the township "Kingstown," in 1769, and 
built the old Forty Fort just below the church and about eighty rods from 
the river. 

The list of taxables of Kingston Township in 1796 (and, therefore, includ- 
ing those of Dallas and parts of Lake and Franklin townships) is as follows : 

James Atherton, Elisha Atherton, John Allen, Joseph Brown, Oliver Big- 
loAV, Alexander Brown, William Brown, Daniel Burney, Andrew Bennett, 
Josephus Barber, Caleb Brundage, Samuel Breese, Laban Blanchard, Almon 
Church, Gilbert Carpenter, Jonathan Carver, Samuel Carver, James Carpen- 
ter, Tunis Decker, Jesse Dickerson, Benjamin Dorrance, John Dorrance, 
Nathan Denison, Christian Cornigh, Joshua Fuller, Benajah Fuller, Hallet 
Gallop, William Gallop, Peter Grubb, John Gore, James Gardiner, Lewis 
Hartsofif, John Horton, Peter Hartsofif, Daniel Hoyt, William Hurlbert, Elijah 
Harris, Joseph Hillman, John Hinds, Stephen Hollister, Philip Jackson, John 
Joseph, John Keely, Samuel Landon, Nathaniel Landon, David Landon, 
James Landon, James Love, AA'illiam Little, Isaiah Lucas, Lawrence Myers, 
Philip Myers, Nathan Mulford, Lewis Mullison, John Montoney, Isaac Mon- 
toney, Joseph Montoney, Andrew Miller, Elisha Matterson, Anning Owen, 
Abel Pierce, John Pierce, Joseph Pierce, Elias Pierce, Oliver Pettibone, David 
Perkins, Aaron Perkins, John Rosenkrans, Aaron Roberts, Benjamin Roberts, 
Nathan Roberts, James Rice, Sherman Smith, Daniel Spencer, Martin Smith, 
Luke Sweetland, Joseph Sweetland, James Scofield, Comfort Shaw, Alexander 
Swartwout, Elijah Shoemaker, Abraham Shoemaker, Adam Shafer, Peter 
Shafer, Frederick Shafer, Peter Shale, Henry Tuttle, John Tuttle, Joseph Tut- 
tle, William Trucks, Isaac Trip, Israel Underwood, Gideon Underwood, Abra- 
ham Van Gordon, Lemuel Wakely, John Wart, Ashel Fish, Benjamin Smith. 

Kingston, so near Wilkes-Barre, has grown with the greater place, and 
effort was made to bring much of the township into the Greater Wilkes-Barre 
ushered in in 1927. It is said that no part of the Wyoming Valley has shown 
such rapid growth during the last few years as the western environs of 
Wilkes-Barre — those towns of which Kingston is the hub. Mining is, of 
course, the mainstay of the district, but other industries have been develop- 
ing. The silk industry of the West Side employs about 2,500 workers, and at 
Forty Fort is a cigar factory which is said to be "the largest in the world." 
Other industries which are of National reputation and scope are the Wales 
adding machine plant and the Wallace-Wilson hosiery plant. 


In 1926, the supervisors of the Kingston Township were : Charles Shaley, 
Adam Stock, and Wesley Svitton. Number of taxables : 1,700. Assessed 
valuation: $1,436,015. President of school board : G. B. Pollock. Principal: 
Clarence Phillips. Twenty-four teachers, including seven for high school. 

Lake Township was organized in 1841, territory to form it being taken 
from Lehman, Monroe, and Kingston townships. It derives its name from 
Harvey's Lake — the largest lake in Pennsylvania — which is within its bounds. 

Most of its land is upland, invigorating, majestic, beautiful, but not very 
productive. The beautiful sheet of water that is known as Harvey's Lake 
covers 1,285 acres, and draws a large summer population. It is reached by 
the Lehigh \"alley Railroad, from Pittston and Wilkes-Barre, and in addition 
by an interurban electric road from AVilkes-Barre. It has been a summer 
resort for very many years. The Lake House, on the eastern shore, was built 
in 1857 by Henry Hancock. 

The first settler in Lake Township was Matthew Scouten, who came as 
land agent in 1792. Jacob Sorber afterwards settled where Scouten had lived. 
Daniel Lee settled at the head of Pike's Creek in 1806. Lee's Pond perpetu- 
ates his name. Others who settled between 1838 and 1845 were: Josiah, 
Nathan, and Stephen Kocher, John Jackson, Andrew Freeman, Thomas 
Lewis, Ephraim King, in 1838; Jonah Roberts, Elon Davenport, Daniel Case- 
bear, David Moss and John Fosnot, in 1839; Moses C. Perrigo, Jacob Sorber, 
Jonah Bronson and Jonathan Williams, in 1840 ; Clarke Wolfe, Jesse Kitchen, 
George P. Shupp, James Hawley and Edward Ide, before 1845. 

Hollenback and LTrquhart, lumber manufacturers, owned the greater part 
of Lake Township, and for many years lumbering, in their employ, was the 
main work of most of the settlers of the vicinity. Hollenback and Urcjuhart 
had a mill on the outlet of Harvey's Lake as early as 1839, and several other 
mills were built, som.e for the landowners, some for private enterprise. Hol- 
lenback and Urcjuhart built a gristmill in 1840, also a planing mill. All the 
mills of these people eventually passed to the Hoffman Lumber Company, by 
purchase. The operations of Hollenback and Urquhart were on a large scale 
for many years, as much as a million board-feet of lumber coming from their 
main mill in a year. Lumbering was an important industry in Lake Township 
up to almost the end of last century. 

The proprietors applied themselves to their lumbering operations almost 
exclusively for many years, but in 1875, much land having been cleared of 
timber and settlement now being more inviting, they cut a road through the 
township, leading from Wilkes-Barre to Bradford County. This was the first 
road. The first frame house was that built by Josiah Kocher, in 1841. The 
first blacksmith was Stephen Kocher. The first store was that conducted by 
the lumber company, Hollenback and Urquhart, for a decade from 1850. 
Another firm, Ruggles and Shonk, operated a tannery in the 'seventies ; they 
also had a store. Otis Allen was the first person buried in Lake Township. 
He died in January, 1842, and his burial place is known as the Allen Cemetery. 
The first burial in the West Corner Cemetery was of the body of Sarah, wife 
of Moses C. Perrigo, in 1852; the first buried in the White Cemetery was Eva 
A., daughter of Theodore Wolfe, in 1872. The first school in Lake Township 
was opened in the blockhouse of Otis Allen, near Lee's Pond. Jonathan Wil- 
liams was the first teacher, holding school during the winters of 1842-43 and 
1843-44. In the west corner, a school was conducted by Mr. Williams, in 
1847-48 and 1848-49, in the house of Nathan Kocher, who had a mill below the 
site of the Beaver Run Tannery. Jonathan Williams built a small mill on 
Harvey's Creek for Kocher and Urquhart in 1849. Apparently, school teach- 
ing w^as an avocation. 


At the south end of Harvey's Lake a village grew. As a post office it was 
known as "Lake"; later it took the name "Outlet." Ruggles was the name of 
another hamlet, the center of the lumbering operations of Ruggles and Shonk. 
Loyalville and Fade's Creek were not much else than post office addresses. 

In 1926 the supervisors of Lake Township were : Corey Moss, James 
Hoover, and C. M. Anderson. Number of taxables : 1,643. Assessed valua- 
tion: $1,304,767. President of school board : E.S.Honeywell. Supervising 
principal : A. W. Marvin. Twelve teachers, including three high. 

Lehman Township — The territory taken from Dallas Township, in 1829, to 
form a new township took the name Lehman Township, in honor of Dr. Wil- 
liam Lehman. Its history begins tragically before settlement proper began. 
Pike's Creek, one of the hamlets of Lehman Township, was so named to mark 
the spot where Abram Pike was making sugar, in March, 1780. when pounced 
upon by marauding Indians. The savages had previously raided the sugar 
camp of Asa Upman and John Rogers, killing Upman and carrying Rogers 
off. Pike and his wife were carried off, and Moses Van Campen was captured 
next day in the vicinity of where the hamlet of Orange later developed. The 
story is elsewhere told, and is referred to here merely to carry its connection 
into Lehman Township records. 

Nehemiah Ide and Jeremiah Brown came into the township in 1801, and 
are looked upon as the first settlers. A man named Avery next came, but soon 
moved away. William Fuller settled in 1802, and his brother Isaac two years 
later. Joseph Worthington settled at Harvey's Lake in 1806. Other early 
settlers were: William Newman, in 1806; John Whiteman, in 1813; J. I. 
Bogardus and Ogden Mosely, in 1814; Minor Fuller and Fayette Allen, in 
1819; Thomas Major, in 1821, and Oliver Mekeel, in 1823. 

The first frame house was built by William Fuller, in 1801 or 1802. The 
first carpenter was Fayette Allen ; the first blacksmith was Jonathan Heusted ; 
the first coopers were David Gordon and Ira Lain ; the first shoemaker was 
William Gordon : the first physician was Dr. J. J. Rogers ; the first teachers 
were J. I. Bogardus and Obed Baldwin, the schoolhouse being a log building 
built in 1810, near the site of the Ide homestead. The first mill was erected 
in 1837 for Lewis Hoyt on Harvey's Creek, by Frederick Hartman. George 
Sorber built one in the same year, and in 1840 sold to Jameson Harvey. The 
mill was burned in 1876. but was rebuilt by i\Ir. Harvey. The first store was 
that of Daniel Urquhart and Edward Shott. opened in 1848. The first burial 
was of Nehemiah Ide, who died in 1823. aged seventy-seven years. 

Lehman Center is the principal village of the township. It was here that 
Urquhart and Shott erected the first store, in 1848, its site being near where 
the Lehman Center Schoolhouse stands. The first schoolhouse at Lehman 
Center was built in 1836, by Daniel and Oliver Ide: the first teachers in this 
schoolhouse were Ellen Pugh and ]\Iaria Fuller. The West Lehman School- 
house was erected in 1842 by Nathan and Oliver Ide. The Lrquhart store at 
Lehman Center passed to Bogardus & Fisher, and from them to Flick and 
Flannigan, later to Flannigan. who ran it for many years before selling to 
R. A. Whiteman. John Whiteman kept a store in 1820, and at that time was 
postmaster, weekly mail coming from Kingston. 

Lehman is now a place of a few hundred inhabitants. The general store is 
conducted by T. N. Major and Son, who have also had a lumber mill there 
for many years. W. R. Neeley has also had a general store business at Leh- 
man for a couple of decades or more. 

In 1926 the supervisors of Lehman Township were : Joseph Rogers, C. S. 
Neeley, and Walter Brown. Number of taxables: 1,024. Assessed valua- 
tion: $682,108. President of school board: Floyd Ide. Principal: O. H. 
Aurand. Eleven teachers, including two for high school. 


Marcy Township, which was org-anized in 1880, from Pittston, Ransom and 
Old Forge townships, is no more, having been absorbed by the borough of 
Duryea in the first decade of the twentieth century. Its history will be found 
as part of that of Duryea. 

Nescopeck Township — Nescopeck is one of the old townships of Luzerne 
County. In Stewart Pierce's Annals of 1866 is the following : 

"Nescopeck Township was separated from Newport in 1792. Jacob Smith- 
ers, Jacob Shaver, INIartin Arner and Jacob Seyberling settled in the territory 
of this township in 1791, on the banks of the Nescopeck Creek, near its mouth. 
In 1796, including Hollenback, Sugarloaf, Butler, Black Creek and Hazle 
townships, it contained 31 taxables, 36 horses, 58 head of horned cattle, 3 
gristmills and 3 sawmills. In 1797 Harvey D. Walker built a grist and saw- 
mill about one mile from Nescopeck village. The first church was erected in 
181 1, on the turnpike, by the Lutherans and German Reformed members, 
about four miles from the village." 

Nescopeck has somewhat romantic history, from the fact that the village 
was the site of an ancient Indian town. It was the rendezvous of hostile 
Indians during the French and Indian War. 

The list of taxables in 1796 included the following names: 

Walter Kaar, Henry Hepler, William Sims, Jacob Hepler, Abraham Arn- 
old, Henry Mattis, Joseph Bush, Martin Herner, Henry Nulf, Lawrence Kur- 
rens, Cornelius Bellas, Jacob Severlin, Michael Horriger, Christian Smeeders, 
Casper Nulf, John Nulf, Adam Nulf, John Freese, Benjamin Van Horn, 
George Tilp. Robert Patton, John Kennedy, James McVail, Adam Lurner, 
John Decker, Isaac Taylor, Daniel Lee, Zebulon Lee, John Pattman, William 
Rittenhouse and Joseph Kaar. 

The first settler in the township is believed to have been George Walker, 
who came in 1786, and began to erect a mill near where Benjamin Evans' 
gristmill later stood. Walker's structure, however, was carried away by the 
"Pumpkin Flood" of that year. Another family settled on the Michael Raber 
farm, but the whole family was massacred ; whereupon Walker moved away. 

Along the Nescopeck Creek, the following settlers were to be found in 
1791 : Jacob Smithers, Jacob Shover, Martin Aton, and Jacob Seyberling. In 
1807, the following had settled, nearly all coming from Northampton County: 
Henry Dewespecht, Michael Harrier, Conrad Bloos, Jacob Bittenbender, Jr., 
William Moore, Thomas Cole, Conrad Reiderich, John Henry, Casper Henry, 
Michael Whitenecht, Michael Nauss, Conrad Bingheimer, Peter Clingeman, 
Bernard Snyder, John Rooth, George Bittenbender, George Chesney. The 
Fortners, Sloyers and Smiths came about 1828, the Evanses and Williamses 
soon after. Jonas Buss settled in 1807. William Rittenhouse, a large land- 
owner in this part of Luzerne County, sought to encourage settlement by 
building a gristmill on Nescopeck Creek in 1795. The mill was sold to Jacob 
Rittenhouse in 1808. Nathan Beech erected a mill on Wapwallopen Creek, 
near a place called "Powder Hole," in 1795. In the same year Samuel Mifflin 
built his sawmill near the mouth of Nescopeck Creek. Later millers in the 
township have been, says Pierce : Henry Bowman, Daniel Evans, John 
McMurtrie, J. Johnson, John T. Davis, J. Stephenson, H. Haschner, Theodore 
and George Naugle. The Naugles built a tannery on Nescopeck Creek in 
1858, and conducted it until 1870. A forge, with three fires and two ham- 
mers, to make bloom and bar iron, was built in 1830 on Nescopeck Creek by 
E. & J. Leidy. They imported ore from Columbia County, and at one time 
Hon. Simon Cameron had an interest in it. 

Nescopeck Village dates from 1786, when Samuel Mifflin opened his little 
store on the bank of the river. William Baird managed the store for him. It 
was the first frame structure in the township. George Rough soon opened a 


smithy nearby, and a ferry and log cabin hotel, opened by George Steiner,. 
made the place a hamlet of some activity. In 1807 the log hotel was replaced 
by a frame hotel built by John Myers. Another was built in 1815 by John 
Rothermel, whose son, born here, became an artist of some renown, his paint- 
ing, "The Battle of Gettysburg," bringing him fame. Christian Kunkle built 
a stone house in 1817. Michael Raber built the first brick house, and burned 
the brick used for most of the other brick houses of the neighborhood. 

The southern line of Luzerne County crosses the Susquehanna River at 
Nescopeck Village, cutting the Nescopeck bridge diagonally, about midway. 
The first bridge to span the river at this point was erected in 1816. It was car- 
ried away by flood in 1836, and in the next year was rebuilt, an important 
undertaking, for it was 1,250 feet long. In the days of canals, it seems that 
the "total business of the people" of Nescopeck was canaling, the adults being 
owners and masters of canal boats and the boys driving the mules that towed 
them. Later, Nescopeck became an important railroad junction, a branch 
road from Hazleton joining the Pennsylvania at Nescopeck. 

In 1890, Nescopeck was a village of six hundred and fifty inhabitants, had 
two hotels, a gristmill, three general stores, a railroad roundhouse and rail- 
road machine shops employing about sixty men, two drug stores, one furniture 
store, one grocery, one hardware store, one butcher's shop, a smithy and car- 
penter's shop, and some other smaller places of trading. Twenty years later, 
1910, Nescopeck had a population of eleven hundred ; it had three hotels, the 
landlords being \V. E. Hackenbrack, William W. Shobert. and Albert Tiets ; 
four general stores. Freeman Harter & Son, Harter & White, Freas A. Hip- 
pensteel, and ^^'illiams Bros. ; one cigar factory ; three lumber plants and 
mills ; three contractors and builders, indicating building activity ; and numer- 
ous other stores and services that one would find in a growing community. 

Nescopeck is now a borough, with a population of 1,638, in 1920. 

In 1926, the supervisors of Nescopeck Township were : D. Y. Sitler, Fred 
E. Hess, R. Schafifer. Number of taxables : 374. Assessed valuation : $300,- 
907. President of school board : Boyd J. Sitler. Four teachers, common 

Newport Township, which takes its name from Newport. Rhode Island, 
had a place among the original townships of the Connecticut county of West- 
moreland, the county name given to the Pennsylvania territory that Connec- 
ticut claimed and occupied. Westmoreland County embraced much more 
than the present county of Luzerne, just as Newport Township of the Con- 
necticut regime was much larger than the present Newport. Originally, its 
bounds included all that is now Newport, Slocum, Dorrance, Hollen'back, 
Conyngham, and Nescopeck townships. 

The first settlement in Newport was made by Major Prince Alden, in 1772, 
on the Colonel Washington Lee property. Much of its early history has 
already been reviewed in earlier volumes — those that Mr. Harvey himself 
wrote, from a lifetime of research and historical study. Two or three years 
after Major Alden settled in Newport, his sons. Mason F. and John, built a 
forge on Nanticoke Creek. Near the forge in the same year Mr. Chapman 
erected a log mill — "the only mill in Wyoming that escaped destruction from 
floods and from the torch of the savage." It was so necessary to the reestab- 
lished settlements after the massacre that, in 1780, it was guarded by armed 
men. The nearest other mill was fifty miles away — Stroud's at Stroudsbvirg. 
a week's journey away. 

Newport was once a farming district of some standing, but that was long 
ago. For almost a century it has been a coal mining district, and in the 
greater importance of that pursuit, good farming land has been neglected. 


An interesting minute on the township records is that which begins its 
second life as it were. The minute reads : 

Newport Township — At a meeting legally warned and held at the house of Prince Alden, 
Saturday, June 9, 1787, made choice of Mr. Prince Alden, moderator, and Mason F. Alden, 

Resolved, Whereas the survey of this town was utterly lost at the destruction of this set- 
tlement, it is, therefore, resolved that a committee of three persons be appointed to carefully 
inspect into and ascertain the proprietors and actual settlers of the Town of Newport at or 
before the decree of Trenton, etc. 

Prince Alden, Mason F. Alden and John P. Schott were constitvited a 
committee. They were authorized to "allot out the third division of 300 acres 
to each proprietor." Those settlers who were in residence and entitled to rank 
in this allotment as proprietors were found by the committee to be as follows: 
James Baker, Mason Fitch Alden, John P. Schott, Prince Alden, Sr., William 
H. Smith, John Hegeman, Ebenezer Williams, William Smith, Caleb Howard, 
Clement Daniel, Isaac Bennett, William Stewart, George Miner, Peleg Com- 
stock, Samuel Jackson, Benjamin Baily, Anderson Dana, John Canaday, John 
Jameson, Elisha Drake, John Carey, Edward Lester, Luke Swetland, William 
Hyde, Hambleton Grant, Turner Jameson, John Bradford, John Nobles, James 
Barks, Prince Alden, Jr., Andrew Alden. Seven other names of absent pro- 
prietors were reported. They were classed as non-resident, c. {/., as not resi- 
dent with the valley. Several of the names given above were of pioneers who 
even at that time were not in Newport, some having moved to other parts of 
the Wyoming Valley; but this did not constitute non-residence, for the 
purpose intended. 

The land was surveyed by Prince Alden and John P. Schott, with Shubart 
Bidlock and Elisha Bennett as chain-bearers and ax-men. 

Some extraordinary entries are to be found in Newport Township records 
of that period. There were land trials to be settled with Pennsylvania, and 
some of the land seems to have been unassigned. The township committee, 
on October 4, 1794, leased for 999 years lot 18, second tier, first district, to 
Elias Decker, at a yearly rental of one pepper corn, if demanded, to be paid into 
the town treasury. Jacob Crater secured lot 49, third division, on similar 
terms. In 1800, lot 25 was leased to John Alden, for 999 years, for $43. this 
to be paid into the treasury at any time before the expiration of the lease. 
This would have been absolutely a gift, but for another stipulation — that the 
lessee also pay $2.58 a year to the town treasurer. Henry Schoonover secured 
lot I, Abram Setzer lot 13, and Andrew McClure lots 26 and zy on similar 

On February 25, 1805, the undermentioned persons "signed and agreed to 
abide by the lines and surveys established by William Alontgomery, the 
Pennsylvania agent," under the confirming act : 

Silas Jackson, James Stewart, John Noble, Ijenjamin Berry, Mathew Covel, 
Andrew Dana, Nathan Whipple, Martin Van Dyne, Abraham Smith, Jr., John 
Fairchild, Abraham Smith, James Mullen, Frederick Barkman, Philip Croup, 
William Bellesfelt, Cornelius Bellesfelt, Isaac Bennett, Andrew Keithline, 
Cornelius Smith, William Nelson, Jacob Reeder, Christian Sarver, Casomin 
Fetterman, Daniel Adams, James Reeder, John R. Little, Jonathan Kelley, 
Daniel Sims, William Jackson, John Jacob, Jr., Elisha Bennett, Henry Ben- 
nett, Michael HofTman, Valentine Smith, John Lutsey, James Millage. Andrew 
Lee, Jacob Lutsey, Conrad Line, Jr., Jacol:) Scheppy (Slippy) and Henry 

Chapman's mill, so valuable to the early settlers, served their need for 
many years. When worn out, William Jackson erected a mill on Newport 
Creek to replace Chapman's. Jackson's, also, was for many years the only 
mill in the township. Indeed, these were the only two gristmills ever erected 


in Newport Township. John Slippey built a sawmill, but in later years (about 
1820) converted it into a plough foundry. Not far from Chapman's mill, Mason 
F. and John Alden operated a forge on Nanticoke Creek, using ore dug in 
Newport Township, and at one time selling their product — bar iron — at $120 
per ton. The forge was later owned by Washington Lee. 

Nanticoke Borough, of course, took part of its land from Newport Town- 
ship, and part of the township history is included in that of the borough, or, 
as it now is, the city of Nanticoke — elsewhere reviewed. The first store in 
the township was Jacob Ramback's, on the road between Wanamie and Nanti- 
coke. Almost without exception the communities of Newport Township owe 
their growth to coal. Wanamie is the mining town that was provided for the 
mine workers at Wanamie Colliery. It has a population of about fifteen hun- 
dred. Glenlyon, about four miles from Nanticoke, is a much larger mining 
town, having more inhabitants indeed than half of the communities that have 
borough status in Luzerne County. It may be said to have begun its existence 
in 1870, when the shafts at that point were sunk. The Central Railroad of 
New Jersey was quick to grasp the carrying opportunities of the district. 
They built a branch from Ashley to Nanticoke and Wanamie, and extended it 
to Alden and Glenlyon, as these places developed. Alden is east of Nanticoke 
about four miles. Shafts were sunk there in the 'eighties, and the mine 
operated by Sharp and Company. It is now the seat of the Alden Coal 

Notwithstanding these mining operations, however, Newport Township 
has slipped back more than two-fifths in population during the last twenty 

Newport became a first-class township on December 7, 1899. In 1926, the 
township commissioners were : Frank Strazalka, Lewis Stankiel, John Zoba- 
rowski, Arthur Wright, W. N. Starr, John J. Riordan. Number of taxables : 
4,721. Assessed valuation : $27,523,869. 

Pittston Township was one of the five original townships formed by the 
Susquehanna Land Company, a Connecticut colonization group, authorized by 
that colony under what is supposed to be its charter rights. The story has 
been already told, in most interesting detail, in Mr. Harvey's volumes and, 
therefore, need not be restated here at any length. Briefly, the five townships, 
each of five miles square of land, were to be settled by two hundred persons 
from Connecticut, each township to divide its land among the first forty set- 
tlers therein. 

The townships were organized in 1768, and were surveyed in that year, or 
earlier. In 1784, however, the surveyors' marks were washed away by flood 
in many places and the land had to be resurveyed. 

The families resident in Pittston Township before or during the Revolution 
were the Blanchard, Brown, Carey, Bennett, Sibley, Marcy, Benedict, St. 
John, Sawyer, Cooper. Daniel St. John was the first person murdered after 
the surrender of Forty Fort. Benedict was the pioneer preacher in the locality. 
Captain Jeremiah Blanchard, Sr., Avas the commander of the Pittston com- 
pany. Zebulon Marcy "was the first white man that ever built a brush or log 
cabin in the township." Thus, he may be given the pioneer place in the rec- 
ords of settlers. Brown's blockhouse was built in 1776, and was the refuge of 
the women and children of the township in 1778, Captain Blanchard guarding 
it with thirty men, and surrendering it only upon terms that assured them 

The List of Taxables for the year 1796 gives us the names of very many 
families that have since become prominent in Luzerne County. The names, 
as given in Pearce's Annals, in 1866, are as follows : 

w.-B.— 9 


James Armstrong, Enos Brown, David Brown, Elisha Bell, Waterman 
Baldwin, Jeremiah Blanchard, John Benedict, Ishmael Bennett, A. Bowen, 
James Brown, Jr., Anthony Benschoter, R. Billings, Conrad Berger, J. Blanch- 
ard, Jr., Samuel Cary, John Clark, George Cooper, James Christy, Jedediah 
Collins, John Davidson, David Dimock, Asa Dimock, Robert Faulkner, Solo- 
mon Finn, Nathaniel Giddings, Isaac Gould. Ezekiel Gobal, Joshua Griffin, 
Daniel Gould, Jesse Gardner, Richard Halstead, Isaac Hewitt, Daniel Hewitt, 
John Honival, Joseph Hazard, Abraham Hess, Jonathan Hutchins, John Her- 
man, Lewis Jones, Joseph Knapp, Samuel ^Miller, A\'illiam Aliller, Samuel Mil- 
ler, Jr., Ebenezer Marcy, Jonathan Marcy, Isaac Miles, Cornelius Nephew, 
John Phillips, James Scott, John Scott, William H. Smith, Rodger Searle, 
William Searle, Miner Searle, James Stephens, Elijah Silsby, Elijah Silsby, Jr., 
Comfort Shaw, Jonathan Stark, James Thompson, Isaac Wilson, John W'arden, 
Crandall Wilcox, Thomas AVright. 

The first physician in Pittston Township was Dr. Nathaniel Giddings, who 
came from Connecticut in 1787, and practiced in Pittston until his death, 
sixty-four years later. He farmed also, his property being near the Ravine 
Shaft. There he planted one of the first orchards set out in the township. 
Nearby lived the Searle family, William Searle being in Pittston before the 
massacre. One of the first clearings in what became the lower part of Pittston 
Borough was of land where the railway station and the Farnham house 
eventually were built. 

Pittston Township was dominantly Yankee in population until the influx 
of mining population. Supplanting the New Englanders, at least in numbers, 
were men of another sturdy British stock. The emigrants who came during 
the 'fifties of last century from the British Isles were mainly from the north- 
ern part — Scotland, where coal mining had been carried on for generations. 
x\fter the Scotch came the Welsh, also from mining regions of Britain. Among 
those of Welsh origin was William R. Griffith, who seems to have a more 
important place in mining history than any other Pittston resident. One of 
the pioneer operators in the township was Colonel James W. Johnson, but 
his operations were before the time of the railroads. William R. Griffiths 
acquired his coal lands, and eventually organized the great mining corpora- 
tion which has ever since been so vital to the prosperity of Pittston — the 
Pennsylvania Coal Company. The Erie Railroad Company, through its 
coal company, the Hillside Coal and Iron Company, operated at Pleasant Val- 
ley, later known as Avoca. The Pittston Coal Company, in 1875, took over 
the operations of the Pittston and Elmira Company. Mining history, how- 
ever, is extremely reviewed elsewhere, and need not be given space here. 

Transportation was mainly by water in the first half century of Pittston 
Township. Near the mouth of the Lackawanna River, Solomon Finn and 
E. L. Stevens built a sawmill in 1780. In 1772, two years after settlement 
began on the Pittston Piorough side of the river, John Jenkins, Isaac Tripp, 
Jonathan Dean and others established a ferry for communication with the 
settlements at Wyoming and Exeter. Two wagon and foot bridges, at Pitt- 
ston, have since spanned the river that was crossed with the aid of this rope 
ferry in earl}' days. The first bridge was built in 1850. In 1864, a covered wooden 
bridge was built to replace it. The ice jam of 1875 destroyed it, and in the 
next year an iron bridge was built by the Kent Iron Bridge Company, and 
conducted as a toll bridge. The spanning of the river by the Depot Bridge 
was begun in 1874, the structure being much damaged in 1875, but it was 
repaired in the same year. The latest is the new Fort Jenkins Bridge, recently 
constructed of concrete, a massive structure of eight or ten spans. 

The most important history of Pittston Township is, of course, that also 
of Pittston Borough, latterly indeed a city. Its story will be found on other 


In 1926, the supervisors of Pittston Township were: Leo A. Carroll, 
Michael Conners, and Martin Howery. Number of taxables : 3,806. Assessed 
valuation: $2,156,920. President of school board : Peter McDonnell. Prin- 
cipal : John Howley. Thirty-five teachers, all common schools. 

Plains Township — The history of Plains Township does not reach back 
into the tragic early days of settlement, but the territory which became that 
of Plains, is most historic ground. Mr. Harvey, in the earlier volumes of this 
work, has told the story of the coming of the Connecticut settlers in 1762, and 
of their reception by the Delaware Indians who were in the region. Jacob's 
Plains takes its name from that — or at least the Anglicized name — of the 
Wanamie chieftain who lived on the cleared space near where the borough of 
Parsons later grew. The intercourse with the Indians was at first friendly, 
but finally, in 1763. l:)y one of those unfortunate misunderstandings which are 
apt to send reckless men to their arms before they have time to hear calmer 
counsel, the settlers were attacked by Indians and driven out of the region, 
wdth a loss of many of their number. For more than five years thereafter the 
region Avas the hunting ground of the Indian. 

In 1769, however, Amos Ogden, John Jennings, and Charles Stewart, hav- 
ing leased 100 acres of land from the Pennsylvania proprietaries, came into the 
Wyoming Valley, and settled on the cleared land that the Connecticut settlers 
had been driven from. The Connecticut authorities heard of the action of 
Pennsylvania, and in the same year sent many of their own people into the 
Wyoming A^alley. But it was found that the Ogden party had erected a 
blockhouse, and were prepared to defend themselves against both white and 
red men. Thus, the conflicting governmental authorities pitted white against 
white, at a time when neither could be sure of being able to withstand attack 
by the original possessors of the region — the red men. The two so-called 
Pennamite Wars had to run their course before the right of Pennsylvania to 
the Wyoming region was conceded by Connecticut. All this is told at much 
greater length in Mr. Harvey's narrative, but is referred to here so as to give 
Plains Township what seems to be its rightful place in Luzerne County his- 
tory. As Bradsby points out. "thus, it will be seen that Plains, in point of 
settlement, is the senior township in the valley, and that her soil was the first 
to be moistened by the tears of aflliction and sorrow, and drank the blood, 
and entombed the bodies of the first victims of savage hate in the bloody 
annals of the Wyoming V^alley." 

In 1773, the pioneers were again in possession of Plains and ]\Iill Creek. 
At that time, the nearest gristmill was Stroud's, at Stroudslnirg, fifty miles 
away, not that distance along ways such as we now have, but of almost 
unbroken forest. However, in 1773, it was known that Nathan Chapman's 
mill on Hollenback's mill-site would soon make this arduous and dangerous 
trip to Stroudsburg unnecessary. 

In 1773, Stephen Fuller, Obadiah Gore, Jr., and Seth Marvin were given 
riparian rights below Chapman's mill on Mill Creek, provided they erect a 
sawmill before November of that year. This was done. It was "the first 
sawmill built on the upper waters of the Susquehanna." \\'hen it was in 
operation, a ferry was established at the mouth of Mill Creek to Forty Fort. 

The first burying-ground in Plains Township was the Gore Cemetery, "on 
the flats, between the old plank road and the canal, northeast of the Henry 
colliery." Tw^o other early cemeteries — one near the Methodist Church, and 
the other in Wilcox's field, near Plains Village — have nothing now to mark 
their sites. In 1815 George Gore's smithy stood on the flats, near the Gore 
burying-ground. Obadiah Gore was a blacksmith. It was in his smithy, in 
1769 or 1770, that the stone coal of the region was first used in a foro-e, or. 
indeed, for any purpose, it seems. Out of that first attempt to use it none of 


the settlers ever supposed the industry that has dwarfed all others in this part 
of Pennsylvania would come, that in other townships — including- Plains — 
has to all intents ousted all others. Mining, with the paraphernalia that 
goes with it — hoists, breakers, railway tracks, engine houses, machine shops, 
culm-piles, and so forth — has monopolized Plains and many other townships 
of Luzerne and Lackawanna counties. Not to their detriment, however, let 
it be said, for mining has brought prosperity and increased population. 

Plains is the most populous township of Luzerne, and an attempt was 
made to absorb it in the Greater Wilkes-Barre movement, the change to take 
place on January i, 1927, when the city of Wilkes-Barre increased its bound- 
aries. However, Wilkes-Barre only partially succeeded. The vigorous bor- 
ough of Parsons was separated from Plains Township fifty years ago and now 
comes into the enlarged county seat. The other large community in Plains 
Township is the village of that name. At first the village was known as 
Jacob's Plains, but finally became Plains. The early settlers in Plains Village 
were: John Cortright, Elisha Blackman, James Stark, Thomas Williams, a 
Mr. Richardson, and Samuel Carey. Cortright was tavern-keeper, in 1815 ; 
Blackman and Richardson were also later tavern-keepers ; Stark was the first 
storekeepers ; James Canady was the first blacksmith. James Stark, in 1808, 
quickly followed Judge Fell's example, and burned anthracite coal in an open 
grate in his store. Plains is a village of about 5,000 inhabitants. Hudson (or 
Mill Creek, as it was once known, Hudson being the post office name) is about 
half as large as Plains. Plainsville is another community of appreciable size ; 
Midvale and Port Bowkley are also mining villages. Plains Township has 
more than doubled its population in the last twenty years. It was made a 
first-class township on December 7, 1899. 

In 1926, the township commissioners were : Rinaldo Cappalina, Joseph 
Sarnecki, John Pizybylawski, Anthony J. Lavelle, Michael Walsh, Allen Ran- 
dall, C. Dominici, Charles Keil, John F. Goobic. Number of taxables : 7,309. 
Assessed valuation: $11,514,668. President of school board: Thomas H. 
James. Principal : J. A. McCaa. One hundred and thirty teachers, including 
twenty-two for high school. 

Plymouth Township^ — Plymouth was one of the five townships organized 
by the Susquehanna Company, at Hartford, Connecticut, on December 28, 
1768, with jurisdiction over a tract five miles square. In 1790 it became one 
of the original eleven townships of Luzerne County, being then enlarged to 
embrace the area that includes the present township of Jackson and part of 
Hunlock. Plymouth lost land to Jackson in 1844 and to Hunlock in 1877. 

Lengthy review of the early history is not called for here, inasmuch as it 
has such conspicuous part in the early history of the Wyoming Valley, and, 
therefore, has been covered by Mr. Harvey in the first two volumes. Settle- 
ment begain in 1769. In 1773, an enrollment of the inhabitants of the valley 
contained the names of the following Plymouth settlers : Noah Allen, Peter 
Ayres, Captain Prince Alden, John Baker, Isaac Bennett, Daniel Brown, 
Naniad Coleman, Aaron Dean, Stephen Fuller, Joseph Gaylord, Nathaniel 
Goss, Comfort Goss, Timothy Hopkins, William Leonard, Jesse Leonard, 
Samuel Marvin, Nicholas Manville, Joseph Morse, James Nesbitt, Abel Pierce, 
Timothy Pierce, Jabez Roberts, Samuel Sweet, John Shaw, David Whittlesey, 
and Nathaniel Watson. The list of "Taxables" of Plymouth Township in the 
year 1796 contains the following names: 

Samuel Allen, Stephen Allen, David Allen, Elias Allen, William Ayres, 
Daniel Ayres, John Anderson, Moses Anderson, Isaac Bennett, Benjamin 
Bennett, Joshua Bennett, Benjamin Barney, Daniel Barney, Henry Barney, 
Walter Brown, Jesse Brown, William Baker, Philemon Bidlack, Jared Baldwin, 
Jude Baldwin, Amos Baldwin, Jonah Bigsley. Peter Chambers, William Craig, 


Jeremiah Coleman, Thomas Davenport, Asahel Drake, Rufus Drake, Aaron 
Dean, Henry Decker, Joseph Dodson, Leonard Descans, Joseph Duncan, 
Jehiel Fuller, Peter Grubb, Charles E. Gaylord, Adolph Heath, John Heath, 
Samuel Hart, Elisha Harvey, Samuel Harvey, Josiah Ives, Josiah Ives, Jr., 
Crocker Jones, T. and J. Lamoreux, John Leonard, Joseph Lenaberger, Sam- 
uel Marvin, James Marvin, Timothy Meeker, Ira Manville, Ephraim McCoy, 
Phineas Nash, Abram Nesbitt, Simon Parks, Samuel Pringle, Michael Pace, 
David Pace, Nathan Parrish, Oliver Plumley, Jonah Rogers, Elisha Rogers, 
Edon Ruggles, Hezekiah Roberts, David Reynolds, Joseph Reynolds, George 
P. Ransom, Nathan Rumsey, Michael Scott, Lewis Sweet, Elam Spencer, 
Willam Stewart, Jesse Smith, Ichabod Shaw, Palmer Shaw, Benjamin Stoo- 
key, John Taylor, John Turner, Abraham Tilbury, Mathias Van Loon, Abra- 
ham Van Loon, Nicholas Van Loon, Calvin Wadhams, Noah Wadhams, 
Moses Wadhams, Ingersol Wadhams, Amariah Watson, IJarius Williams, 
Rufus Williams, and John Wallen. 

By the end of the eighteenth century, Plymouth Township seemed to be 
well settled. As a matter of fact, however, it was not until 1827 that the first 
settlers in that part of Plymouth lying between Jackson and Hunlock town- 
ships took up their tracts, the first to settle being Henry Cease, George Sorber, 
and Jacob Sorber. 

Plymouth took its full share of the dangers of settlement. In 1776, a fort 
was erected on Garrison Hill, and manned by Plymouth men under Captain 
Ransom, who in December of the same year led his company farther afield, by 
command of General Washington. Some were in service in the Continental 
Army until the end of the war; some returned home in time to add their 
strength to the defending force at the Battle of Wyoming, in 1778. Forty- 
four men of Plymouth, under Captain Asaph Whittlesey, were present on that 
eventful tragic day. During the night of the battle, the women and children 
of Plymouth and other settlements fled down the Susquehanna. Not all 
escaped ; and for many, many months after the Wyoming massacre, the region 
was in a disturbed state, the Indians continuing their depredations. During 
the winter of 1782-83 those Continental veterans who had remained in Wash- 
ington's army until the end returned. During the next summer they prepared 
the ground for winter wheat. Their labor was all in vain, the greatest ice 
flood of Susquehanna River history occurring in the following March, sweep- 
ing away almost all the improvements in the township and spoiling the crop. 
Most of the dwelling houses were swept away. 

Soon afterwards the situation was made worse by the attempt of the agents 
of Pennsylvania to dispossess the Connecticut settlers. It was in Plymouth 
Township that the most serious engagement of the so-called Pennamite War 
took place, "Plunkett's Battle" of December 4, 1785. Plymouth men bore the 
brunt of the fighting, and some of them gave their lives in defense of the com- 
mon cause of the Connecticut settlers. They had come by their farms honestly 
and, as they thought, legitimately; they had fought their way through the 
dangers of the pioneer period, had cleared their farms, had literally hewed 
out of the wilderness a living for their families and they were determined not 
to be cheated out of their homestead rights by any Federal decree in the con- 
troversy between the two governments, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. This, 
however, was to be the last of the trials that men of Plymouth would be called 
upon to bear — at least from Indians and hostile whites. It seems strange 
now to read of Americans being pitted against Americans — of Connecticut 
in deadly war against Pennsylvania ; America owes its immunity from the 
warring of one State upon another almost wholly to the centralization, or 
federalization, of government. There have been many instances when State 
jealousies might have resulted in strife between individual contiguous states, 
if there had not been a Federal power at hand strong" enough to enforce peace. 


This factor was, of course, destroyed in 1861, when the whole Nation divided 
into two contending factions, and no higher power was at hand to mediate or 

Probably the most authentic historical narrative of Plymouth yet written 
is Hendrick B. Wright's "Sketches of Plymouth," which appeared in 1773. 
Students are especially referred to this excellent work. The first mills in 
Plymouth Township were built in 1780, Benjamin Harvey building a log 
gristmill on Harvey's Creek, and Robert Faulkner building another on 
Shupp's Creek. In the same year the first sawmill was erected on Ransom's 
Creek, by Hezekiah Roberts. Fifteen years later, in 1795, Samuel Marvin 
built a sawmill on Whittlesey's Creek. The first store was opened by Benja- 
min Harvey, Jr., in 1774, in the log house of his father. When the son went 
into the Continental Army, the father sold the stock and closed the store. 
Extraordinary as it may seem, Plymouth had no other store until thirty-two 
years later. Then, in 1808, Joseph Wright, father of Henry B. Wright, opened 
a small store in the Wright homestead. Goods were brought overland in 
Conestoga wagons from Easton, or by Durham boat, from Sunbury. 

Frame houses probably began to be built in Plymouth in 1795, or soon 
afterwards. The first stone house was Mr. Coleman's, built in 1806. In this 
house the first coal burned for domestic purposes in the township was set 
afire by Abijah Smith, the pioneer coal operator. This probably occurred in 
i8c8, after Jesse Fell had demonstrated in his Wilkes-Barre tavern that anthra- 
cite coal would burn in an open grate. Abijah Smith boarded in the Coleman 
house. The first brick house built in Plymouth was by Matthias Nesbitt, in 
1847. The first tavern in the township was probably that kept by Widow- 

The first township officers were Phineas Nash, David Marvin, and J. Gay- 
lord, elected in December, 1774, to act for the Plymouth District of the origi- 
nal Town of Westmoreland. At that time the whole of the Wyoming Valley 
was, strictly speaking, one town, though each settlement had its separate 
"district" officers. The other original officers of the "Plymouth District" were: 
Samuel Ransom, selectman; Asaph Whittlesey, collector of rates; Elisha 
Swift, Samuel Ransom, and Benjamin Harvey, surveyors of highways ; John 
Baker and Charles Gaylord, viewers of fences ; Elisha Swift and Gideon Bald- 
win, listers, to make enrollments ; Phineas Nash and Thomas Heath, grand 
jurors ; Timothy Hopkins, tything man ; Thomas Heath, key keeper. It 
was the duty of the key keeper to carry the keys of the church, fort, school- 
house, pound and swing-gate. The office was not altogether a sinecure, for in 
the early morning the key keeper must unlock the swing-gate, to permit the 
men and boys to go to their farming lands, and when the last had passed 
through at sundown, he must lock it. As poundmaster, also, there were 
times when his duties caused him some trouble and other expense, for any 
cattle that ran at large during the day could be impounded, and the owner 
fined, both of them awkward tasks at times. 

The population of Plymouth Township was only 3,558 in 1920, but it has 
developed several communities of importance. The borough of Plymouth had 
a population of 16,500 in 1920; Larksville was a borough of 9,438 inhabitants 
in 1920. West Nanticoke, across Harvey's Creek from Nanticoke, has gone 
ahead with that borough, now, since 1925, indeed, a city. 

In 1926, the supervisors of Plymouth Township were : Jacob Sprow, John 
Pokego, and William Ives. Number of taxables : 1,705. Assessed valuation : 
$3-853,716. President of school board: Mason Cragle. Principal: Thomas 
McCarthy. Thirty-four teachers, including nine for high school. 

Pringle Township — See Pringle Borough. 


Ross Township was formed in 1842, territory l)eing taken from L^nion and 
Lehman townships for the purpose. It is mainly rugged uphmd, but, never- 
theless, has yielded some good farming acreage. 

The first settler was Abram Kitchen, who came in 1795, it is said. There 
is, however, record that Daniel Devore was in the territory in 1793. The 
place as pioneer is claimed for him. He lived to the venerable age of one hun- 
dred and four years. Timothy Aaron and Jacob Meeker settled near Grassy 
Pond in 1796. Four years later, they sold their farms to G. J\f. Pringle and 
Hiram Berth. Archibald Berth, a British soldier of the Revolution, settled in 
the same year, t8co. John A\'andell, another Revolutionary \eteran. also 
came in 1800. 

An Irish community grew at a place at first known as Broadway, but later 
given a post oftice name more descriptive of its people. A.s 'Trish Lane" this 
place of the Crocket. Irw'in, Holmes, and other immigrant families from Ire- 
land comes creditably into township records. 

The first store was at Bloomingdale. It was opened by Alvin Wilkinson, 
in 1835. Sweet \"alley was the place at which the first schoolhouse was built, 
in 1820. The first teachers were Joseph Moss and Anna Turner. The first 
merchant here was Josiah Ruggles. 

The early decades of Ross Township were spent mainly in lumljering. In 
1865, there were five sawmills active in the township, the stand of timber being- 
thick. With the clearing- of the forest, however, the population decreased. 
It has less inliabitants now than fifty years ago. 

In 1926, the su])ervisors of the township were: Joseph La Bar, S. W. 
Blaine, and Rol^ert Ijirth. Number of taxables : 790. Assessed valuation : 
$349,246. President of school board: (ieorge Crockett. Nine teachers, com- 
mon schools. 

Salem Township — When Luzerne County was formed, Salem ^vas one of 
the townships into which the county was divided. It had earlier entity as 
such, for the record shows that on April i, 1773. the i)roprietors met at Wind- 
ham, Connecticut, and appointed Nathan Wales, "ye 3d," and Ebenezer Gray, 
Jr., a committee '"to repair to Susquehanna River and make a pitch for a 
township and survey and lay out the same." The name "Salem" was adopted, 
and Thomas Gray was appointed clerk of the new toAvnship. 

On July 7, 1773, the committee, having completed the survey, reported, 
and as they found one settler already upon the "patch," it was "voted that the 
7th lot in the first division now laid out belong to ^Ir. Nathan Beach .... 
because he now lives on the same." Nathan F>each served in the military 
forces during the Revolution, and later took leading part in .township and 
county afi'airs, was justice of the peace, legislator, and an influential promoter 
of turnpikes, canals, and other pul^lic improvements. 

On November 7, 1774, Ebenezer Lathrop, Jr., and Asa Edgerton were 
authorized by the proprietors "to repair to and lay out the town of Salem 
in lots,'' after the customary manner of Connecticut. Samuel Gray, Jacob 
Lyman, "Esqs.," and Prince Tracy were appointed "to take care of the pruden- 
tial matters of this township,'' in other words, to be supervisors. 

Thus it is clear that the township was settled and functioning long before 
it became Salem Township of Luzerne County. The township had forty-five 
names on its "List of Taxables" in 1796. This would represent a population 
of two hundred or three hundred. The taxable inhabitants were : 

Nathan Beach, William Bryan, John Cortright, Elisha Cortright. Abraham 
Cortright, Joseph Curry, Christopher Klinetob, Robert Dunn, Elisha Decker, 
Thomas Dodson, James Dodson, John Dodson, William Gray, Andrew Gregg, 
Samuel Hicks, Christopher Hans, Joseph Plans, Martin Hart, Moses Johnson, 
Alexander Jamison. Joseph Jamison, Jonathan Lee, William Love, James 


Lockhart, Jonathan Lewis, David McLain, Andrew Mowrey, Amos Park, 
John Rhodes, George Smuthers, Henry Smuthers, James Santee, Valentine 
Santee, Jacob Smuthers, Reuben Skinner, OHver Smith, Reuben Smith, Sebas- 
tian Sibert, Jacob Smuthers, Jr., Richard Smith, Jacob Shones, Levi Thomas, 
Richard Thomas, John Varner, and Anthony Weaver. 

Beach Haven, the only community of larger than hamlet size in Salem 
Township, was founded by Josiah Beach, son of the pioneer settler. He built 
a gristmill at that point in 1832. However, the first settler in this part of 
Salem was Elisha Cortright. It is a beautiful spot. Beach Grove in another 
community, and this place rather than Beach Haven takes its name in honor 
of Nathan Beach. Beach Haven has four or five hundred inhabitants. The 
population of the township, in 1920, was 1,841. 

Nathan Beach was the pioneer settler in Salem Township. He came to 
Wyoming Valley in 1769 with the two hundred settlers. His mother, Desire 
Herrick (Bixby) Beach was the first white woman to cross the Blue Moun- 
tains into this valley. Nathan Beach was long one of the most distinguished 
men of Luzerne County, for many years a justice of the peace, and for a long 
time postmaster of Beach Grove, being the first postmaster of this township. 
He represented Luzerne County in the Legislature, was a Revolutionary sol- 
dier, and a major in the War of 1812. He was always in the front rank of 
every enterprise, including building turnpikes and mills. He took an active 
part in the construction of the Wyoming Valley Canal, and was one of the 
party that broke ground for that enterprise. He was the owner of much coal 
land, the Mocanaqua and Shickshinny coal beds, and owned and opened the 
Beaver Meadow mines in 1813. The Beach family was from Wallingford, 
Connecticut. His relative, Zerah Beach, had much to do with the early history 
of Wyoming Valley. It was he who wrote and signed the Articles of Capitula- 
tion at the surrender of Forty Fort, after the massacre in 1778. This docu- 
ment was traced to Great Britain and finally to Quebec, among the Haldimand 
papers. Mr, D. M. Rosser, County Commissioner, has restored and lives in 
the beautiful colonial house of Nathan Beach, Esq., of Beach Grove, Penn- 

lu' 1926, the supervisors of Salem Township were : Leo Turner, Enoch S. 
Walton, and Clyde Bower. Number of taxables : 1,402. Assessed valuation: 
$792,341. President of school board: Robert Elliott. Twelve teachers, com- 
mon schools. 

Slocum Township was organized in 1854, from part of Newport Township. 
Its first settlers were: John and William Lutsey, who came with their fami- 
lies in 1785. By 1799, the taxable inhabitants in this part of Newport were: 
John Alden, John Lutsey, James Millage, Jacob Mullen, James Mullen, James 
Mullen, Jr., Henry Fritz, and Jeremiah Vandermark. The following settled 
early in the next century : Ira Winters, John Ogin, Jacob Weiss, Jacob Paine, 
Richard Paine, Jacob Finks, John Rosencrans. also the Fredericks and Dela- 
mater families. The township is almost wholly agricultural, and many of the 
old families are still occupying the original homestead tracts. 

The village of Slocum was at first known as "Lutsey," at least as a post 
office, in the early days. Mails then came in once a week, from Nescopeck. 
John Rosencrans was postmaster. The first store was that opened by Silas 
Alexander in 1848. It later passed to the Myers family. They still live in 
Slocum. So also do the Lutseys. In 1837 William Lutsey built the first 
frame house. Hiram Rosencrans was the first blacksmith. Below the Myers 
residence, in 1838, a building was erected to serve as church and schoolhouse. 
The first teacher was John Rosencrans. The Ogin Cemetery was given to the 
town by John Ogin, who was buried there, in 1844. 

Slocum Village has a population of about 350. That of the township was 


only 511 in 1920. The township supervisors, in 1926. were: Wesley, Clarence, 
and H. A. Ogin. Number of taxables : 447. Assessed valuation: $197,763. 
President of school board : Frank Yeager. Four teachers, common schools. 

Sugarloaf Township — This cone-shaped elevation known as Sugarloaf Moun- 
tain, which seems to stand guard over the valley at this point, furnished the 
inspiration for the township name. Sugarloaf Township was organized in 
1809, from Nescopeck. 

The most tragic incident of its early history was an Indian raid and 
massacre. The story has been given place in Mr. Harvey's narrative of early 
days in the Wyoming Valley, and need not be further mentioned here. 

According to Pierce, the first settler in Sugarloaf Township was George 
Easterday. Following him came Christian Miller, Anthony Weaver, Jacob 
Mace, Jacob Rittenhouse, Jacob Drumheller, Sr., Jacob Spade, Christian 
Wenner — a group of sturdy men of German origin. They came from North- 
ampton County. In 1818, the following names appeared on an election paper, 
as inhabitants eligible to vote in the township : 

Valentine Seiwell, Henry Gidding, John Wolf, John Gidding, Jacob Drum- 
heller, Jr., Conrad Harman, Casper Horn, Henry Winter, Jeremiah Heller, 
Jacob Keifer, Philip Woodring, James Lormison, Archibald Murray, Jacob 
Drum, Richard Allen, Andrew Decker, George Drum, Jr., Joseph McMurtrie, 
George Drum, Sr., Abraham Smith, Daniel Shelhamer, Samuel Harman, 
Phineas Smith, James Smith, Andrew Wolf. John Merrick, Michael Funton, 
Henry Yost, Michael Boesline, Jacob Spaid, Henry Boesline, Jacob Boesline, 
Daniel Maurer, Jr., George Fenig, Sr., Christian Weaver, George Clinger, 
Anthony Weaver, Andrew Oxrider, Philip Yost, Michael Markley, Peter 
Stoehr, Michael Frous, Samuel Yost, George Wener, Valentine Line, John 
Cool, Philip Drum, George Thresher, Michael Shrieder, Archibald Murray, 
Jacob Foose, Peter Claiss, Jacob Thresher, Conrad Bellasfelt, Abraham Mil- 
ler, Philip Root, George Hoofman, George D. Strain, Solomon Stroam, Jacob 
Taffecker, Abraham Steiner, John Adam Winters. David Seickard, Jacob 
Drumheller, Sr,, Christian Wenner, and John McMurtrie. Total, sixty-six. 

Sugarloaf Township then, however, included Black Creek, Butler, and 
Hazle townships also. It will be noticed that the Pennsylvania Dutch pre- 
dominance was maintained. Sugarloaf Township has, indeed, throughout its 
century and a quarter of existence, been peopled largely by this sturdy reliable 
stock — men who till the soil steadily six days a week, and go to church on 
Sunday. Christ Church, of Conyngham, dates from 1800, when a log church 
was raised by the Lutheran and Reformed churchmen on a site given by 
Redmond Conyngham. 

Conyngham Village was so named in honor of Captain Gustavus Conyng- 
ham, who commanded a privateer during the Revolution. The first settler 
within the village was George Drum. Next came George Woodring. The 
Mc]\[urtries were among the early settlers, though not within the village. 
William Drum was the first postmaster, being appointed in 1826. Conyngham 
was at one time known as "Venison Market"; it is now a borough, with a 
population, in 1920, of three hundred and eighty-five. 

Seybertsville, another village in Sugarloaf, is about two miles northwest 
of Conyngham. Benjamin Koenig was a tavern-keeper at this point in 1825, 
but Henry Seybert, who opened a general store nearby, in 1833, was the chief 
factor in the growth of the village. A subscription schoolhouse was erected 
in 1836. Seybert was postmaster for many years. 

In 1926, the supervisors of Sugarloaf Township were : C. E. Kirken- 
dorfer, Claude E. Miller, Ami Welsh. Number of taxables : 988. Assessed 
valuation: $956,951. President of school board: A. B. Klinger. Eight 
teachers, common schools. 


Union Township — Part of the original township of Huntington was taken, 
in July, 1813, to form Union Township. Shickshinny Borough was within the 
township limits until 1861, and was the first to be settled ; but outside of it the 
first settlement was made in 1790, northwest of River Mountain, by Peter 
Gregory and George Fink. They located in Shickshinny Creek and erected a 
sawmill — the first in the township. 

Soon after these two brothers-in-law settled, another two brothers-in-la\\ 
brought their families and settled near where Muhlenburg is. They. Stephen 
Arnold and Moses Derby, developed good farms, and induced other farmers to 
settle. Immigration was steady from about 1793. Among the early families 
were the Marvins, Roberts, Culvers, Shaws, mostly from New England. A 
Dutch settlement gathered strength in the Van Scoter, Iiellas, Davenport. 
Hans. Muchler, HufT, and Cragle families. Others who came in 1799, or 
during the next few years, included : William Moore, from Maryland, and the 
HuiTman, Harned, Post, Bonham, Wolfe, Johnson and Santee families. 

Shickshinny, of course, has been the outstanding community of Union 
Township, but others are : Muhlenburg, a village of two hundred inhabi- 
tants ; Reyburn, a community almost as large; Koonsville, and Town Line, a 
place of one hundred inhabitants. The old families are still represented in the 

In 1926, the supervisors were: D. A. Hartman, J. C. W'alton, and Frank 
Search. Number of taxables : 553. Assessed valuation : $304,426. Presi- 
dent of school board : Edward Vosler. Seven teachers, common schools. 

Wilkes-Barre Township — Necessarily most of the early history of Wilkes- 
Barre Township has already been given, its story being, in the main, that of 
the comity seat. Wilkes-Barre was one of the original townships, or "dis- 
tricts," under the Connecticut jurisdiction, and it became one of the original 
eleven townships of Luzerne County, under Pennsylvania government. 

In Wilkes-Barre Township (including the village of Wilkes-Barre, Cov- 
ington, Buck and major parts of Plains and Bear Creek townships) there were 
one hundred and twenty-one names on the "List of Taxables" in the year 
year 1799. They were: 

Charles Abbot, Stephen Abbot, Edward Austin, Christopher Avery, Thomas 
A. Alkin, W^illiam Askani, John Alexander, Asa Bennett, Charles Bennett. 
Wilbur Bennett, Eleazer Blackman, Cain Billings, Timothy Beebe, Clark 
Beebe, Isaac Bowman, .Stephen Barnes, John Carey, Hugh Conner, Arnold 
Colt. Mathew Covell, Putnam Catlin, Cornelius Courtright, Henry Court- 
right, John Courtright, James Conlin, Peter Corbit, Nathan Draper, Isaac 
Decker, Daniel Downing, Daniel Downing, Jr., Reuben Downing, Joseph 
Davis, Aziel Dana, Anderson Dana. Sylvester Dana, Thomas Duane, James 
Dixon, William Dixon, Arthur Eiek, Jacob Ely, Jabez Fish, Jesse Fell, Daniel 
Foster, Daniel Gore, Timothy Green, Willard Green, William Augustus 
George, Daniel Gridley, Matthias Hollenback, Jonathan Hancock, Godfrey 
Hitchcock, Oliver Helme, Jacob Hart, Lewis Hartsouff, Solomon Johnson. 
Jacob Johnson. Jehoida P. Johnson, Christiana Johnson, John Johnson, Jacob 
Jenong, Luther Jones, Reuben Jones, John Kennedy, Jr., James Kennedy, 
Daniel Kelly, Joseph Kelly, James Morgan, Richard Maybury, Thomas Mar- 
shal, Enoch Ogden, Jacob Ossencup, Samuel Pease, Nathan Palmer, Benja- 
min Perry, Benjamin Potts, John Potts, Mary Philips, John Pooder, David 
Richards, William Ross, Eleph Ross, John Rosecrans, Jacob Rosecrans, the 
Widow Rosecrans, Thomas Read, William Russell, John P. Schott, William 
Slocum, Joseph Slocum, Benjamin Slocuni, Ebenezer Slocum. Jonathan SIo- 
cum, Eunice Sprague, Polly Stevens, Obadiah Smith, Paul Stark, Henry 
Stark, William Shoemaker, Joshua Squire, Henry Tilbury, Stephen Tuttle, 
Benjamin Truesdale, Daniel Truesdale, Elias Vandermark, Nathan Waller, 


Phineas Waller, Eliad Waller, Andrew Wickeizer, Conrad Wickeizer, Joseph 
Wright, Thomas Wright, Philip Weekes, Thomas Weekes, Jonathan Wild- 
man, Henry Wilson, James Westbrook, Richard W>stbrook, Justice Wool- 
cott, Crandal Wilcox, Isaac Wilcox, William Wright. Rosswell Wells. 

In 1926, the number of taxables were 3.337. The assessed valuation then 
was $7,851,568. Since December 7, 1899, \Vilkes-Barre has been a first-class 
township. In 1926, the township commissioners were : Thomas Golden, 
Joseph Weiss, Joseph Strobel, Jr., Isaac Ford, Alex Cominsky. President of 
school board : Cornelius Ward. Supervising principal : John P. Shannon. 
Forty-five teachers, including eight for high school. 

For other information regarding Wilkes-Barre Township, the general 
history given of the city of Wilkes-Barre and environs might l)e studied. 

Wright Township, formed in 1851, was so named to honor Colonel Hendrick 
B. Wright, of Plymouth, whose "Sketches of Plymouth," published in 1873, 
are so valuable a contribution to Luzerne County's historical records. 

The first settler in the territory that became Wright Township was Conrad 
Wickeiser, in 1798. He lived near where James Wright some time later had 
a tavern. That part of Wright, however, eventually passed to Fairview 
Township. The first settler in what is Wright Township was Cornelius Gar- 
rison, who came in 1833 or 1834, and built a sawmill on the Big Wapwallopen 
Creek. He set out the first orchard. But most of Wright Township's early 
history passed from it with Fairview Township, when the latter was formed, 
in 1889, for within what was then made Fairview most of the early settlements 
of Wright Township were made. 

The first assessor of AA^right Township was Eleazor Carey ; the first post- 
master, William G. Albert ; the first miller, James A\^right. When the new 
township was formed, with the dividing line between school districts I and 2 
made the dividing line between Wright and Fairview townshi]:)s, the new 
township took from the old the only village it had, and left the old township 
with a population of only one hundred and fifty-two. In the last three decades, 
however, the population of Wright Township has increased to four hundred 
and seventy-five. 

In 1926, the supervisors were: George A. Week, F. W. Thomas, A. P. 
Childs. Number of taxables: 795. Assessed valuation: $4,495,513. Presi- 
dent of school board : Mrs. Beatrice L. Williams. Five teachers, common 

CHAPTER LVII—r Continued). 

The first part of this chapter has been devoted to township history. This 
part, which traces the histories of those township communities that rose to 
corporate entity as boroughs and cities, takes second place in the narrative 
for the simple reason that all are offsprings of townships. In all cases, settle- 
ment began under township government. To facilitate reference, also, the 
compilation will follow an alphabetical course. Thus it comes about that 
apparently unimportant townships and communities are given notice in 
advance of obviously important municipalities and cities. 

Luzerne County, as constituted in 1920, consisted of three cities, thirty- 
seven boroughs and thirty-five townships. There has been some change since 
1920, the Greater Wilkes-Barre movement, which did not wholly succeed, but 
which absorbed two boroughs on January i, 1927, was perhaps the most 
important, though the advancement of Nanticoke to city dignity, and the 
merging of Kingston and Dorranceton, as Kingston Borough, were also most 
important municipal changes. 

In reviewing the histories of the boroughs and cities, the writer does not 
lose sight of the fact that all were, at one time, integral parts of townships. 
It, therefore, seemed proper to include in township history much of the early 
history of those hamlets and villages that passed from township jurisdiction 
when chartered as boroughs. Hence, the following brief sketching of the 
municipalities will be found to have been amplified by township records, and 
in very man}^ cases by the general county narrative, also by the many special 

Until the 'forties of the nineteenth century, there was only one borough in 
Luzerne County. Wilkes-Barre, the county seat, was raised from village to 
borough status on March 17, 1806, the year in which Abijah Smith, and his 
brother, John, settled at Plymouth, prepared to make the mining and market- 
ing of coal their vocation — not their avocation, as some earlier miners of 
anthracite coal had done. 

Half a century of subsequent industrial effort gave Luzerne County many 
more boroughs, many in which the main business of the bulk of the gainfully 
employed was coal mining. 

The boroughs established prior to the Civil War were : Wilkes-Barre, 
Whitehaven, Pittston, Hazleton, Kingston, New Columbus, and West Pitt- 
ston. Shickshinny was incorporated in November, 1861 ; Plymouth in 1866, 
and Sugar Notch in 1867. In the 'seventies the number of boroughs in Luzerne 
County was doubled, the newly chartered places being: Ashley, Avoca, Jeddo, 
Nanticoke, Parsons. Freeland, Yatesville. Hughestown, and Dallas. In the 
'eighties the villages incorporated were : Laurel Run, Luzerne, Miners' Mills, 
Exeter, Edwardsville, Wyoming, Dorranceton, Forty Fort, Laflin, Swoyers- 
ville, and West Hazleton. Four municipalities came into corporate existence 
in the last decade of last century: Courtdale, West Wyoming, Warrior Run, 
and Nescopeck. In the first decade of the twentieth century five new boroughs 
were made : Conyngham, Larksville. Nuangola, Duryea, and Pringle. Dupont, 
chartered in the next decade, completes the list of municipalities. 

Luzerne County, in its political sub-divisions, townships, boroughs and 
cities, possessed 248,537 taxable inhabitants in 1926. The assessed valuation 
of the property of these taxables in that year was $414,423,512. Of these 



aggregate figures, Wilkes-Barre city's share was 50,007 taxables and $97,136,- 
866 of property. 

The history of Wilkes-Barre has ah'eady l^een reviewed; l)iit of the other 
incorporated places (boroughs and cities) individual reviews follow, in alpha- 
betical order : 

Ashley became a borough on December 5, 1870. The first officers were : 
Jeremiah N. Gette, burgess ; J. C. Wells, M. A. McCarty, E. L. Diefenderfer, 
John Campbell, and A. D. Le Bar, councilmen. It was an important railroad 
point, and an important mining town also, yet though only three miles from 
the county seat, the new borough was then to all intents "in the backwoods." 
Between Ashley and Wilkes-Barre there lay heavy dark forests. These have, 
however, long since given way to continuous streets of houses, without a 
break, from the county seat to the borough of the inclined planes, so vital to 
the transportation of coal. 

Ashley, in its hamlet and village days, went by many names. It was at 
different times known as Shunktown, Peestone, Hightown, Newton, Alberts, 
Hendricksburg, Nanticoke Junction, Scrabbletown, and Coalville. Never, it 
seems, was it known as Wadestown, though it might with good reason have 
been, for its first settler was Abner Wade. As Scrabbletown it was known 
in the 'thirties, when Daniel Kriedler had a forge on Solomon's Creek, and 
Huntington had a sawmill nearby. Both were closed in 1839. 

Some of the oustanding events in Ashley history were : Opening of first 
tavern by Fritz Deitrick ; of first general store by Alexander Gray, of first 
frame tavern, by Samuel Black ; opening of railroad communication between 
Whitehaven and Wilkes-Barre in 1843 - beginning of plane building at Ashley 
in 1840; abandonment of "straps" for wire-ropes on planes in 1850; of sink- 
ing of shaft in 1851 ; building of breaker over old shaft in 1856; tunneling of 
slope to reach the Baltimore vein in 1856; sinking of Dundee shaft in 1857-59, 
the village now taking the name of Coalville; building of Jersey Central 
machine shops; incorporation of village as Ashley Borough in 1870; replac- 
ing of wooden bridge by iron bridge over tracks of planes in July, 1892 ; of 
electrification of street railroad in November of same year, making Wilkes- 
Barre not more than three "modern" miles away. 

The population of Ashley in 1900 was 4,046 ; in 1910 it was 5.601 ; in 1920 it 
was 6,520. Ashley had 3,990 taxable inhabitants in 1926, and the assessed 
valuation of their property then was $6,750,319. In 1926 Arthur Kearney was 
burgess of Ashley. 

Avoca — The borough of Avoca began its corporate existence, as Pleasant 
Valley, on May 24, 1871, being then taken from Pittston Township. Its first 
officers were: P. B. Brehorny, president; Robert Reid, and George Lamp- 
man, councilmen. 

Outstanding events in the history of Avoca must include: The coming of 
the first settlers to this part of Pittston Township, among the earliest being 
James Brown, Sr., Aaron Riddle, John Mitchel, Jacob Lidy, James L. Gid- 
dings. A. McAlpin, and William Rau ; the building of a box factory by Mr. 
McAlpin, in 1837; the opening of first Avoca store by Martin F. Reap; build- 
ing of brick store by him in 1871 ; the appointment of James McMillan as 
postmaster in April, 1871, the post office name being "Marr"; the organiza- 
tion of hose company in 1886; the changing of borough name from Pleasant 
Valley to Avoca in 1889; the organization of Board of Trade in 1887. The 
opening of mines were, of course, the most outstanding events in the history 
of Avoca ; but these have place in other reviews. 

The place has had a steady growth during this century. In 1900 the popu- 
lation of Avoca was 3,487; in 1910 it was 4,634; and in 1920 it was 4,950. 
Number of taxable inhabitants in 1926 were 2,829. Assessed valuation then 


was $1,566,112. Michael J. Healey was burgess in 1926, Thomas J. O'Malley 
was president of the school board, and Charles B. Webber was supervising 
school principal. The new high school at Avoca was ready for the school year 
1926-27. There are six high school teachers and twenty-four for graded 

Conyngham — See Sugarloaf Township. 

Courtdale — The borough of Courtdale began its corporate existence on 
September 6, 1897, by decree of court, being taken from Kingston Township. 
It is a mining town and adjoins Luzerne and Pringle boroughs. The borough 
has almost doubled in population since it was incorporated. In 1900, its 
inhabitants numbered 1,373; in 1910 its population was 2.183, '^"'^ ^^ 1920, 
2.540. Courtdale has always remained a small borough ; it had only 420 inhabi- 
tants in 1900. 548 in 1910, and 600 in 1920. In 1926 Courtdale had 439 taxables, 
and its assessed valuation then was $424,889. John H. Fralick was burgess in 
1927, and William C. Rowett was the president of school board. James H. 
Goodwin was principal of school. 

Dallas, a borough of more importance than many that are ten times larger 
in population, was incorporated on April 21, 1879, but had long before made 
itself the principal community of that upland part of the county. Its early his- 
tory is part of that of King-ston and Dallas townships. 

The first settler was Ephraim McCoy, a Revolutionary soldier, who built 
the first log" cabin in 1797, near the site of old McClellandsville, by which 
name Dallas Borough was once known. To all intents the township center, 
the village developed steadily, its trading radius being wide. The region is 
almost entirely agricultural, and for decades Dallas has been an agricultural 
center of importance. It was the logical course of events that a strong agri- 
cultural society should develop at Dallas. The Dallas Union Agricultural 
Society, organized in 1884, held some memorable fairs on its eighty acres 
of grounds. 

For very many years Dallas has been, and still is, an important educational 
center. Indeed, the village owed its advancement to borough status to the 
importance that the high school within its bounds gave to it. The first bor- 
ough officials were : Dwight Wolcott, burgess ; Jacob Rice, Ira D. Shover, 
William Snyder, Theodore Fryman, Charles Henderson, and Philip Raub, 
councilmen ; Charles H. Cooke, clerk. 

The population of Dallas Borough in 1900 was 543 ; in 1910 it was 576, and 
in 1920 it was 581. The high country of that part of Luzerne County has. 
however, drawn a considerable summer population during recent decades. The 
taxables of Dallas in 1926 numbered 1,288, with assessed valuation returned 
as $591,152. 

The burgess of Dallas in 1926 was J. H. Anderson ; H. Stanley Doll was 
president of school board, and Harry F. Doll school principal. At Dallas is the 
College Misericordia, to which reference is made in Chapter LIV. 

Dorranceton, a suburb of Wilkes-Barre and contiguous to Kingston, was 
incorporated as a borough on June 20, 1887. George H. Butler became the 
first burgess of Dorranceton. and Colonel Charles Dorrance became presi- 
dent of council. The name of the borough, like that of Dorrance Township, 
was chosen to honor the Dorrance family, which has had such notable con- 
nection with the county since settlement days. Colonel Charles Dorrance was 
eighty-two years old when he became president of the borough council of 
Dorranceton, and his worthy life ended five years later ; but his influence con- 
tinued in the place wherein he had spent almost all his long life. He was born 
in the Dorrance homestead at what became Dorranceton, and lived practically 


his whole life in it — a life marked by commendable public service. For fifty 
years or more, Colonel Dorrance was one of the leading" bankers of Luzerne 
County, latterly as president of the Wyoming National lUmk. His father, Hon. 
Benjamin Dorrance, was the original president of that bank — the oldest in 
Luzerne County — and was probably the most influential of its founders, in 
1829. Lieutenant-Colonel George Dorrance, grandfather of Colonel Charles 
Dorrance, fell, severely wounded, at the Battle of Wyoming-, July 3, 1778, and 
was slain next day by his relentless captors. The Dorrance family, however, 
has lost the distinctive place in municipal history that the incorporators of 
Dorranceton intended it should have, for that borough itself has passed away, 
or at least has lost its entity and name by merging with its older neighbor, 
Kingston. The consolidation took place in 192 1, at which time Kingston's 
population was 8,952 and that of Dorranceton was 6,334. 

Dupont — Li 19 10 Dupont was a mining village of Pittston Township, and, 
therefore, included in statistics and review of that township. In 1920 Dupont 
Borough had 4,576 inhabitants, and since March 26, 191 7, had been a borough. In 
1926, its taxables numbered 2,290, and the assessed valuation then was $1,054,- 
307. Albert Struck w^as burgess ; Albert J. Casper was president of school 
board, and Theron Davis was principal of a stafif of twenty-one teachers. 

Duryea — On May 28, 1901, Duryea, then incorporated as a borough, 
absorbed the whole of Marcy Township. Necessarily, therefore, it takes to 
itself the history of Marcy, and earlier political divisions of that territory. 

It is alluringly historic ground. In 1754, Conrad Weiser, then an Indian 
interpreter, found an Indian village, which he called "Asserurgney," on the 
bank of the Susciuehanna River between the mouth of the Lackawanna River 
and Campbell's Ledge, near the site of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Station. 
There the Indians hunted and fished, and upon Campbell's Ledge, 2,000 feet 
above, could they establish their scouts and build their signal fires. Camp- 
bell's Ledge was the inspiration for an Indian legend, which is elsewhere 
referred to. The ledge also connected with Campbell's work, "Gertrude of 

The first white man to settle within what is now Duryea was Zebulon 
Marcy, who came from Connecticut in the spring of 1770 and settled about 
three miles above Pittston Borough, "on the left side of the road leading up 
the valley." There he built a log house, wherein, as the years passed, he gave 
shelter and hospitality to many travellers. In January, 1772, Zebulon Marcy 
was elected constable, upon the organization of Pittston Township. 

The mining village of Duryea developed somewhat nearer Pittston Bor- 
ough, in the vicinity of the mine w^orkings that were established. With the 
building of the Phoenix, Columbia and Babylon coal breakers, Duryea became 
assured of growth. On January 19, 1880, Marcy Township was formed, tak- 
ing territory from Pittston, Ransom and Old Forge townships. In 1880, its 
population was 1,159; ^^ iSgo the census was 2,904; in 1900 it was 5,541. In 
1901, Marcy Township became Duryea Borough. In 1910 the borough had 
7.487 inhabitants and in 1920 7,776. 

In 1926, Duryea taxables numbered 3,973, its assessed valuation was 
$3,942,224. its burgess was Ladislaus Wyoworksi ; its school board president 
was Peter C. Fidula, and its supervising school principal was John P. Gibbons. 
Duryea schools employed eighty-two teachers in 1926. 

Edwardsville — Edwardsville and Kingston are quite contiguous boroughs, 
the boundary line being "simply one of the prominent streets." Both are min- 
ing communities, and both, consequently, are prosperous. As a post office 
tOAvn, Edwardsville w^as known as Edwardsdale, the change in last syllable 


being generally accepted only with the chartering of the mining town as 
Edwardsville, on June i6, 1884. 

The first borough officials were : Fred Williams, burgess ; James Curry, 
president of council; Herbert S. Jones, secretary; John Vahley, treasurer; 
Jacob Linn, John Lohman, David Baird, councilmen. 

In 1900, Edwardsville had 5,165 inhabitants; in 1910 the census was 8,047, 
and in 1920, 9,027. Until the consolidation of Kingston and Dorranceton, in 
192 1, Edwardsville was a larger community than its older neighbor. In 1926 
Edwardsville had 4,875 taxables, and the assessed valuation of their property 
then was $6,986,272. Harry E. Jones was burgess in 1926, John R. Hatten was 
president of school board, and Victor E. Lewis was supervising school prin- 
cipal. Edwardsville schools in 1926 had a stafT of ten high school teachers 
and forty-nine graded school teachers. 

Exeter, the Sturmerville of Revolutionary days, one of the historic com- 
munities of settlement days in the Wyommg Valley, has necessarily been the 
subject of many references in the general narrative of the county. The com- 
munity, however, had lived for more than a century before it became a 
borough, Exeter not being incorporated until February 8, 1884. Formerly, it 
had been a part of the township of Exeter. 

Its industrial history is comparatively recent, and its prosperity has come 
mainly from the operation of collieries within or near the borough — the 
Schooley, the Mount Lookout and the John Hutchins mines. Two railroads, 
the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western and the Lehigh Valley pass through 
the borough. 

James S. Slocum, a descendant of Johnson Scovell, who owned the land 
at Sturmerville in 1776, was the first burgess of Exeter Borough. He was 
elected in 1884, and reelected every year for eight years. The first borough 
council consisted of Matthew Dougher, Abraham Hoover, Colonel A. D. 
Mason, Isaac Carpenter, J. B. Carpenter, J. J. McCalley. 

An immense power plant — the largest in northeastern Pennsylvania — is 
now being erected at Ransom. It is probably the most important development 
in that neighborhood during recent decades. 

Exeter Borough, however, has more than doubled its population in twenty 
years. In 1900 the population was 1,948; in 1910 it was 3.537; in 1920 it was 
4,176. In 1926, Exeter taxables numbered 3,109, with property valued on 
assessment basis at $5,162,336. Lewis N. Jacobs was burgess of Exeter in 
1926, Steven Skrinok was president of school board, and Elizabeth Dougher 
was supervising principal of schools. Teachers numbered thirty-six, including 
twelve for high school. 

Forty Fort was the place at which the first forty Connecticut settlers in 
the Wyoming Valley built a fort to protect them from the Indians. No 
attempt, however, will here be made to enter into this early history, for it has 
been amply covered in the preceding volumes. 

Forty Fort rivaled Wilkes-Barre in the early years of jurisdiction by Penn- 
sylvania. Indeed, Forty Fort hoped to be chosen as the county seat; but, 
losing this distinctive place, the village grew slowly. 

One of the first merchants within the limits of the existing borough was 
Robert vShoemaker, whose store stood at the corner of River and Wyoming 
streets. Shoemaker's store, and that later conducted by Samuel Pugh, was 
patronized by river men. They would tie their craft here, and step ashore for 
supplies, before going down the Susquehanna, perhaps as far as tidewater. 
A famous old tavern was the Forty Fort Tavern, also on the river bank, and 
also probably frequented by river men. The raftsmen of the Susquehanna 
were a bibulous fraternity. The old Forty Fort Tavern was kept by Henry 
Stroh, whose descendants are still in the borough. 


The village was given borough status in 1887, the first borough officers 
being: Abram Live, burgess; George Shoemaker, president of council; 
Crandall Major, secretary; L. A. Barber, treasurer; J. Shook. Adam Heisz, 
and A. C. Stout, councilmen. 

Forty Fort was then a place of eight hundred or nine hundred inhabitants ; 
a growing suburb of Wilkes-Barre. Its population in 1020 was 3,339. It has 
evidently grown rapidly since, for in 1926 the school children of the borough 
numbered about 1,200. At Forty Fort is a cigar factory which is said to be the 
largest in the world ; certainly, it is the largest of the fifty factories of the 
General Cigar Company, a corporation of National scope. In the Forty Fort 
plant they employ about 1,300 workers, mostly girls. At Forty Fort also is 
one of the leading preparatory schools of northeastern Pennsylvania, the 
Wilkes-Barre Institute, established three-quarters of a century ago. 

The public schools of Forty Fort use a teaching staff of fifty-one, including 
twenty-seven high school teachers. The supervising principal is A. A. Kil- 
lian, and J. Milton Rossing is principal of high school. President of school 
board is J. H. Evans. 

Population: 1900,1.557; 1910,2,353; 1920.3.389. Taxables in 1926 num- 
bered 3,868. Assessed valuation, $6,259,786. Robert Rozelle is burgess of 
Forty Fort. 

Freeland, standing 2,190 feet above sea level, a vigorous, healthy and beau- 
tiful borough, owes its life to mining, though it is not a mining town. Many 
mines are nearby, in the valley, but the mine workers, who were the pioneers 
in Freeland, preferred to live on the hilltop. Incorporated as a borough on 
September 11, 1876, Freeland held its first borough election on October 10, 
1876. The first officers were : Rudolph Ludwig, burgess ; Henry Koons, 
president of council ; Manus Connaghan, John L. Jones, Patrick McGlynn, 
Hugh O'Donnell, and Christopher Weigand, councilmen. 

The outstanding events of Freeland history before and since its incorpo- 
ration are: Purchase in 1842, by Joseph Birkbeck. of land within and con- 
tiguous to the later site of borough ; opening of Howe farm, westward of 
Birkbeck's, about same time for a similar purpose ; coming of William John- 
son, laborer, the first to settle within borough limits ; purchase of townsite 
by Mr. Donop, clerk to George B. Markle at Jeddo. in 1868; building of house 
by Donop, and platting of village, which he called Freehold ; opening of first 
schoolhouse in 1868; opening of first store, by Joseph Lindsey, in 1875 ; incor- 
poration as borough in 1876; completion of waterworks system in 1883, with 
Joseph Birkbeck as president ; organization of hook and ladder and hose 
companies in 1885; laying of sewers, 1890; establishment of bank, 1890. 

Woodside Colliery was the nearby mine that gave Freeland its first spurt 
of prosperity. At one time Woodside was the village name. It became Free- 
land appropriately after Eckley B. Coxe gave to the town ten acres of land for 
park purposes to the south. The Coxe mines of the vicinity have considerably 
added to Freeland's trade and inhabitants. 

Population: 1900,5,254; 1910,6,197; 1920,6,666. Number of taxables in 
1926: 3,856. Assessed valuation, 1926: $2,409,899. Burgess: Thomas J. 
Lewis. President of school board : Joseph Saricks. Supervising school prin- 
cipal is N. P. Luckenbill, heading a teaching stafif of forty-five. Salary of high 
school teachers ranges from $1,400 to $1,800, and the maximum in the grades 
is $1,400. 

Hazleton, the logical trading center of a most progressive, prosperous 
and populous part of Luzerne County, owes some of its prosperity to the 
physical difficulties that obstruct the way to Wilkes-Barre. the county seat. 

w.-B. — 10 


The topographical features which make Wilkes-Barre inaccessible to the 
people of the southern part of the county have given Hazleton a natural 
advantage. Nevertheless, her prosperity has come, mainly, by the initia- 
tive, industry, and enterprise of her own people, in successfully mining and 
marketing the minerals which are of no value until taken from the ground 
and which, in the mining and marketing, might have brought disaster to the 
operators had they not been alert and capable captains of industry. Coal 
mining gave Hazleton her start in municipal life, carried her forward to civic 
dignity, and, in all probability, will sustain her in increasing civic importance 
for many, many decades, because her coal mining operations are in the care 
of executives of the same high order — technical and commercial — as those who 
so firmly set the basis of her prosperity. A stranger entering Hazleton is at 
once impressed by the many evidences of substantial prosperity that surround 
him. The magnificent public buildings, the lofty modern office buildings of the 
banking institutions, the well-lighted and well-appointed stores, the well- 
dressed shoppers, and that surest of all indications of commercial activity, the 
new million dollar hotel — an investment which would not have been made 
without good reasons — are sufficient indications that Hazleton has genuine 
present prosperity and an assured future. 

Historically, Hazleton has no share of the colorful settlement history that 
centered about Wilkes-Barre. She had no part in the Battle of Wyoming — - 
no Revolutionary histor3^ in fact. Almost the whole of southern Luzerne was 
still the land of the Indian, or at all events wilderness almost untrodden by 
white men, as the eighteenth century passed into the nineteenth. The only 
connection Hazleton can struggle to hold with the romantic first decades of 
the Republic is in the statement that, in 1780, Captain Klader, with his com- 
pany of minute men, passed over the site of Hazleton along an Indian trail to 
ambuscade and death "in the ravine at the base of Buck Mountain, a short 
distance below the country clubhouse." Very few doubt that Captain Klader 
passed this way, or that other white men were in the vicinity earlier. Hazle- 
ton owes its name, it is said, to the naming of a swamp by Moravian mis- 
sionaries to the Indians of the region. Hackwelder Mack and other mission- 
aries of his time knew the spot upon which Hazleton now stands as "Hazel 
Swamp." Still, Hazleton was a place of only two or three houses fifty years 
after Captain Klader passed by. 

As the eighteenth century closed, plans were being made to construct a 
turnpike road from Berwick to Elmira, New York. A road was to run from 
Mauch Chunk to Berwick. The route of the road in Luzerne County was 
through Nescopeck Township, which at that time embraced all of Luzerne 
that is south of the present Nescopeck Township. To be more exact, the 
route would pass along that unsettled southerly part of Nescopeck which is 
now Broad Street of Hazleton. 

The road builders reached this spot in 1804, but, of course, were only tem- 
porary settlers. A few years later, however, when this highway was com- 
pleted and stage coaches used to pass along it, there was need of wayside 
taverns — no so many perhaps as were opened along the first American turn- 
pike, which soon after its construction in 1792, could count along its sixty- 
two miles, between Lancaster and Philadelphia, no less than sixty-one tav- 
erns. Nevertheless, some taverns, or "stage stands" as they were sometimes 
appropriately called., were established along the Berwick Turnpike. One such 
hostelry was, in 1809, to be found near the "Forks," within what became the 
borough limits of Hazleton, but then had no other significance than that there 
the road from Wilkes-Barre intersected the Berwick Turnpike. 

The tavern-keeper was Jacob Drumheller, and his log house stood on East 
Broad Street, Hazleton, for many years after Hazleton was platted. How- 
ever, another generation was to pass before this was done. No other house 


was raised near Drumheller's until 1817, and in 1834 there were only four 
houses in the vicinity. According to Daniel P. Raikes, who became an early 
resident in Hazleton, and who had known the "Forks" much earlier, the sec- 
ond building, which was called the "Old State House," stood "at the crossing 
of the turnpike by the old State road running from Wilkes-Barre to McKeans- 
burg." This tavern, or "stage stand," stood "where Henry Dryfoos once 
lived, on the northwest corner of Broad and A'ine streets," where the new 
Schultz Garage now is. 

If the village at the "Forks" was slow of growth, the same cannot be said 
of some other places in the neighborhood. Beaver Meadows, in the 'thirties, 
promised to outstrip Conyngham, and Whitehaven was the village of lumber- 
men. Earlier, it seemed that a village might develop nearer Hazleton. In 
1810, a sawmill was built on Mill Creek, approximately at wdiat is now the 
intersection of Mill and Broad streets. Many men were engaged in lumbering 
at that point, in all probability, but with no more intention of settling than 
have the lumbermen of today who go into the virgin forest. They would 
camp near the standing timber, and get their logs to the mill, and from there, 
by team, to the Lehigh and Schuylkill rivers, in time for floating down- 
stream, to the lower counties, during the spring freshets. That done, they 
would return to their farms for the growing season. So there was only a 
slight chance of permanent settlement developing rapidly out of lumbering. 

Another element, however, was soon to show itself in the region. In 1813 
some Welshmen had come from the Panther Creek Valley. They were look- 
ing for coal. They found it at Spring ^Mourttain, which was soon to be 
known as Beaver Meadows. Following them, came Nathan Beach and Tench 
Coxe, prepared to exploit the discovery. What is now No. 3 Hazleton Mine 
was the site of Beach's operations. Tench Coxe had such faith in the future 
of anthracite that after the "stone coal" had been found in Mauch Chunk, after 
it had been tried and pronounced unburnable, he bought nearly eighty thou- 
sand acres of land in the direction in which he thought the coal measures 
must lie. All the land he purchased was not coal land, but his intuition, based 
on more than a superficial knowledge of geology, laid the basis of an enormous 
fortune for his descendants. Hon. Eckley B. Coxe, grandson of the great 
economist. Tench Coxe, did not begin to mine coal in the Lehigh coalfield 
until 1865, but when he did so, it was upon land inherited from his grand- 
father — land that had been leased, for mining purposes, to others in the time 
of his father. Judge Charles S. Coxe. and operated, in most cases, with dis- 
couraging results by the lessees. 

However, only time proved this. After the Welsh prospectors had dis- 
covered coal at Beaver Meadows, the mineral was not allowed to lie long 
unexploited. At first the operations followed the primitive methods used at 
Mauch Chunk and in the Wyoming coalfield. To mine the coal was simple, 
but to transport it to southern markets was exceedingly difficult. Indeed, the 
situation at Beaver Meadows was such that other means of transportation 
than by teams had to be found. And the new way was so new that it was 
hardly more than experimental. In 1827. the Lehigh Coal and Navigation 
Company, operators of the Mauch Chunk mines (or drifts as they all were in 
in those early days) built a railway — or tramway — from their mines on the 
Mauch Chunk IMountaiu to the river. Soon, the Beaver Meadows operators 
followed their example. In 1830 the Beaver Meadow Railroad and Coal 
Company was chartered, and in 1833, Ario Pardee, a young civil engineer of 
the stafif of Canvass White — who had built the Erie Canal, and had become a 
consultant on all matters of canalization and railroad construction — was sent 
by Mr. White to Beaver Meadows, Pennsylvania, "to make the survey and 
location of the Beaver Meadow Railroad, from the mines of that company to 
the Lehigh Canal at Mauch Chunck." This quotation is from a letter written 


by Mr. Pardee more than forty years later (April 6, 1876), to Dr. W. C. Cat- 
tell. Mr. Pardee's letter continues : "After several changes in the engineer- 
ing corps the entire charge of the road was given to me, and in the fall of 
1836 it was finished and the shipment of coal commenced, when I resigned 
my position." The railroad built to Beaver Meadows crossed the mountains 
by planes, "as it was then supposed engines could not be built to haul trains 
up steep grades." 

All this had happened before Hazleton had even begun its existence. 
Beaver Meadows was a railroad terminus, a mining center, the only promis- 
ing village, in fact, of that region. But when Ario Pardee resigned his 
Beaver Meadows position, in 1836, he did so with a particular purpose well in 
mind. He was to have part in the founding of Hazleton. While he was at 
Beaver Meadows, he was told that John Charles (Fitzgerald), a Conyngham 
blacksmith, had discovered coal outcropping at what is now known as the 
"Old Hazleton Mine." Pardee was sent, or went, to verify the report, espe- 
cially as to the quality of the coal which the Conyngham blacksmith had 
found and had tested in his forge. The outcome was the organization of a 
company to mine the coal and build a railroad from the Hazleton mines to 
the Beaver Meadow Railroad at Weatherly. 

Mr. Pardee, in the letter before quoted, states that, after visiting his par- 
ents in Michigan, he returned to carry forward the work he had begun at 
Hazleton. His letter reads : " . . . . after visiting my parents, who had 
moved to Michigan, I, in the month of February, 1837, took up my quarters at 
Hazleton, having previously located a railroad from the Hazleton coal mines 
to the Beaver Meadow Railroad at Weatherly. We finished the road, and 
commenced shipping coal in the spring of 1838, and I continued in the employ 
of the Hazleton Coal Company, as their superintendent, until 1840, when I 
commenced business as a coal operator." 

This is authentic record ; and in the same catagory must be placed the 
diary of Robert Miner, of Wilkes-Barre, who went from the latter place in 
1836 to Hazleton, to enter the employ of the Hazleton Coal Company as clerk. 
The following quotations from Mr. Miner's valuable diary give the founda- 
tion facts of Hazleton's history quite conclusively : 

"The Hazleton Coal Company was incorporated March 18, 1836. " 

"November i, 1836. Came to Hazleton to be clerk for a company on trial; no terms 
fixed. Board at the old Drumheller house tavern, kept by Lewis Davenport. The company's 
office is in the lower room of an addition built on the east end of the old house. Railroad 
located and contract just assigned. Village laid out." 

"November 10, 1836. Town lots were laid out and sold by company. Wages offered for 
'good hands' are $16 a month with board on Sundays." 

"1837. First dwelling put up and occupied by Charles Edson, on lot No. 9, Sq. 11. Then 
by S. Yost, F. Santee, T. Peeler. Store and house by L. H. and J. Ingham. R. Miner hotel." 

"4th of July (1837). Moved my family from Wyoming Valley, Plaines, to Hazleton, in 
house I have just finished on corner of Broad and Poplar streets." 

"L. Davenport moved to hotel 23rd October, W. Apple taking the old house." 

"First birth of child in Hazleton, October g — W. Apple's; born in house at junction of 
old state road and turnpike— daughter ; 2nd, child of F. Santee, blacksmith: 3rd, my son, John 
Howard Miner." 

|Tirst corpse interred in graveyard was wife of Th. B. Worthington in the fall of 1837." 

"Locomotive Hazleton on the railroad." 

It is quite obvious from these quotations that Hazleton had its beginning 
in 1836. Two years earlier, there were only four houses in the vicinity. Lewis 
Davenport had settled in 1832', occupying the old Drumheller house, appar- 
ently continuing the tavern service. Old Jacob Drumheller, who may be 
looked upon as the first blacksmith as well as the first tavern-keeper at Hazle- 
ton, had probably passed out of the reckoning by this time. That he had been 
a leading townsman in his day is testified by one record of Sugarloaf Town- 
ship, which since 1809 had had jurisdiction over all the territory that is now in 


Butler, Hazle and Black Creek townships, as well as over its own area. Drum- 
heller, in 1822, was captain of the Sugarloaf Rifle Company, an appointment 
that signified as high a communal standing in those days as the office of mayor 
would in these. By the way, several of the early families of Hazleton may be 
found in the lists of taxables of Sugarloaf Township, as Conyngham Village 
was a comparatively important center to draw upon for labor in the first years 
of the new mining town. 

Lewis Davenport vacated the Drumheller Tavern in the fall of 1837, having 
built the Exchange Hotel. His account books from 1835 to 1850 give the fol- 
lowing names, presumably, of Hazleton people : John Andrews, Lewis Comp- 
ton, Charles Edson, Tobias Smith, William Engle, Henry Seybert, Thomas 
Peler, John Jones, John Mickgagins, William Apple, Samuel Yost, Samuel 
Cox, David Richards, George and Isaac Hughes, Dr. Bols, Jonathan and G. 
Ingham, Samuel Dever IMcCullum, Nathan Cortright. John Newbold, Jona- 
than Cooper, Ario Pardee, Edward Yauzen. Jacob Hausneack, William Bron- 
son, Mikel Grover, William Hunt, J. G. Fell, A. Foster ; also the following 
firms : Cooper & Sons, Sugar Loaf Company, Pardee, Miner and Hunt. In 
the "forties, the accounts were of the firm of Davenport and Jacobs. They 
show the following names : S. B. Markel, David T. Jones, Doct. Scot, George 
Fenstamacher, J. H. Baldwin, John R. Miller, Robert Nealy, Jonathan Moore, 
Jacob Hues, Lewis Ketchman, Joseph Greenawalt, Samuel Colans, Kier 
Powell, R. S. Weaver, Thomas Worthington, and Norman Denis. The fol- 
lowing company names appear: Hazleton Coal Company, Craig & Bro., 
Hanes & Miller^ A. S. & E. Roberts, Gracey & Bro. 

Robert Miner did not continue his diary, and very little other pioneer 
testimony is available by which a consecutive history of the village years of 
Hazleton might be written. Ario Pardee is again the most informative. An 
affidavit, made by him for court purposes, many years later, corroborates the 
statement already given, as to his service to the Hazleton Coal Company, as 
"engineer and superintendent," from 1837 to 1840. Then, testified Mr. Par- 
dee, "in connection with Robert Aliner and William Hunt (I) formed the 
company — Pardee, Miner & Co. — to mine coal and transport it to Penn Haven, 
to load on boats. This continued three years. Miner and Hunt having left the 
firm, when J. Gillingham Fell became partner. In 1842 we undertook to 
market the coal ; we took part and marketed it. The Hazleton Company 
marketed the rest, paying us a fixed sum on their part of the coal. This con- 
tinued until 1844; then we made them an arrangement to pay them a royalty, 
which continued as long as the Hazleton Company exisited and after it was 
merged and became the Lehigh Yalley's (Railroad Company's) property." 
Apparently, the original operators, the Hazleton Coal Company, were the 
landowners, and Pardee and Company seem to have been the first operators 
in that section to mine coal on royalty. For almost fifty years thereafter the 
firm of A. Pardee & Company "was the largest individual shipper of anthra- 
cite coal in Pennsylvania." For more than fifty years, Ario Pardee unosten- 
tatiously went his way between his mine office and his home in Hazleton, 
asking no homage, but silently pursuing his great operations, accumulating 
vast wealth for himself, but at the same time providing employment for very 
many Hazleton residents. Either as a firm, or as an individual, Ario Pardee, 
during his lifetime, which ended in 1892, was at some time connected with 
mines at Hazleton, Cranberry, Sugarloaf, Crystal Ridge, Jeddo, Highland. 
Lattimer, Hollywood, and Mount Pleasant, all in the vicinity of Hazleton, and 
all contributing to the prosperity of that borough. At the time of his death, 
the local newspaper, the "Plain Speaker," thus wrote of the deceased, who had 
done so much for Hazleton, but whom so few of his fellow-townsmen had 
known intimately : "This was our master man. For more than fifty years 
he has been foremost in the development of the community. The history of 


the mining of anthracite coal in this field would be told if the life work of Ario 

Pardee were set out in detail .... he worked as giants worked He 

was our master workman ; he has done the work of a hundred men . . . . ; his 
work is done — 'the silent man' will no more walk slowly from his house to his 
workshop." Long before his last years, Ario Pardee was known as a multi- 
millionaire ; and, as is usual in such cases, he was a man of multitudinous 
industrial interests ; but he never swerved from control of his main interests, 
which were in Hazleton. 

(3ther great men have contributed to the industrial prosperity of Hazle- 
ton. The Markles, the Haydens, and the Coxes loom large in Hazleton his- 
tory. But Ario Pardee, the great silent giant who gripped the reins of indus- 
try with steady strong hand in the early days when the road was rough, the 
way dangerous, and the goal by no means sure, seems entitled to first place in 
the industrial records of the city. He opened the first mine, laid out the town, 
opened the way to market, marketed the product, and maintained firm grip 
of the industrial reins while the little mining town he had founded advanced 
from village to borough, and from borough to city. 

A little further information as to the first years of Hazleton may be culled 
from testimony of a few of the early residents. Mrs. A. M. Eby, daughter of 
Lewis Davenport, testified in 1892 that her father settled in the vicinity 
in 1832, "first living- at the old Bird Hotel, just below the present Lehigh sta- 
tion ; house still standing (1892)"; also that her father built the Hazleton 
House, at the corner of Wyoming and Broad streets. .She knew the "Old 
State House," on Vine and Broad streets, and also the tollhouse kept by Peter 
Starr on the old turnpike in the southern part of the village. As she remem- 
bered the village "as a little girl," Hazleton was "strung along the turnpike" 
in this order: "Pardee's house, then Markles', Dr. Lewis', Blackwell's, then 
the Hazleton Tavern." Also, "there were a few houses on Mine Street, occu- 
pied by Irish families mostly." The Irish, is seems, were the first miners in 
the Hazleton region. Quite possibly they came in first as railroad builders, 
introduced by Pardee, through Canvass White, who had employed so many 
Irish immigrants on the "Big Ditch" (Erie CanaH and subsequent canal and 
railroad construction. 

William Kisner settled in Hazleton in 1840. His recollection fifty years 
later was that in 1840 "there were about ten houses in the place." At that 
time, he said, the company (Hazleton Coal Company) was working two mines, 
one in Lower Hazleton and the other at Laurel Hill, or Upper Hazleton. 
Stage coaches at that time ran daily to Wilkes-Barre and Mauch Chunk. 

Another old resident to testify at the same time (1892) was Mrs. Rosanna 
(Charles) Greenawalt. She was then about seventy years old, and said that 
she had come to Hazleton with her father when she was "a little girl." Her 
father was John Charles, who is said to have been the first to find the coal 
outcropping at Hazleton ; his name, as such, appears on the list of taxables of 
Sugarloaf Township in 1822, though his full name, it is said, was John Charles 
Pltzgerald — evidentally an Irish patronymic. Of the early residents of Hazle- 
ton, Mrs. Greenawalt recalled the names of Samuel Barenger, Thomas H. 
Worthington, and John Hurst, all of whom lived near the "upper mine." "Two 
German families (one was Heckroth) lived in the east part of town." Across 
the street from Davenport's Hotel lived Anthony Fisher. 

The Hazleton Hotel was burned to the ground subsequently, but was soon 
rebuilt. The tenth house on the village plot was Heckroth's, a dwelling house 
which still stands on the south side of Mine Street, between Wyoming and 
Pine, "just below what was Fox's restaurant, and until recently was occupied 
by Davis' candy store," wrote Miss Anne Baum, in an interesting sketch of 
Hazleton history, in 1925. This house of Heckroth's was, it seems, put to pub- 


lie use. "It had a dance hall in the rear, where all people went to dances." 
It was built in 1838. 

A year earlier, in 1837, the Hazleton Coal Company had put up a building 
which was intended to serve all communal purposes — as schoolhouse, meeting 
house, town hall, concert hall, and so forth. Singularly enough, the site of 
this pioneer municipal building was the one later chosen, and still used, for 
city purposes — the northwestern corner of Church and Green streets, where, in 
place of the little one-room frame building, a magnificent pile of masonry, 
impressively architectured and topped by a tower and belfry that make it a 
landmark, now gives the city government an administration building com- 
mensurate with the magnitude of their work and the dignity of their offices. 
However, the little schoolhouse served all the community needs of its day. 
The first to teach school in it was Miss Fannie Blackman. 

Of the pioneers, Jacob Drumheller was the pioneer blacksmith, William 
Apple the first carpenter, the Ingham brothers the first storekeepers, John 
Megargell following them closely, however. Dr. Lewis Lewis was the first 
physician, and although it is not known who first preached in Hazleton, the 
first church society to hold meetings in the little frame schoolhouse was of 
the Presbyterian denomination. 

When, to comply with the school law, it became necessary to separate the 
school from "company" sponsorship and bring it under township direction, a 
schoolhouse was built ; but the first decade of school history centers in the 
little village hall that the company had built in 1837. The immediate succes- 
sors of Miss Blackman, as teacher, in this schoolhouse were N. D. Cortright 
and Isaac H. Baldwin. Lewis Ketchum, later a member of the Senate of 
California, was the pedagogue in 1843 ^^^ 1844, his brother, H. H. Ketchum, 
succeeding to the responsibility in 1845. The school year was very short, and 
the school was maintained wholly by private contributions. In 1847, Ario 
Pardee built another schoolhouse, seemingly with the intention of making it 
a higher school. The building stood on the south side of Broad Street, between 
Wyoming and Laurel. In it, for two years, a private school was conducted. 
The first township schoolhouse in Hazleton stood on the northeast corner of 
Cedar Street and Spruce Alley. In 1853, the pioneer schoolhouse on the city 
hall plot was burned. While a new schoolhouse was being erected, the store 
that stood where the American Bank and Trust Company Building now is, at 
Broad and Wyoming streets, was rented for school purposes. In February, 
1855, the new schoolhouse, of brick, erected on the north side of Green Street, 
between Church and Laurel streets, was ready for use. Abel Marcy was then 
principal, and in this schoolhouse. it is said, the first graded school in Luzerne 
County was organized. This assertion was made by a county historian. 
Bradsby, in a survey of Luzerne County school history. That it was a graded 
school is not doubted, for Mr. Marcy was assisted by four teachers. Meri- 
torious service as principal of Hazleton school brought Mr. Marcy advance- 
ment to the responsibility of county superintendent of schools in i860. His 
place as principal of Hazleton School was taken by C. L. Rynearson. Since 
1857, the place had been a borough, and school afifairs. consequently, were 
under the direction of a municipal school board. The first Hazleton School 
Board was elected in the spring of 1857. Another phase of Hazleton's school 
history had its beginning in 1874, when a parochial schoolhouse was built, 
under Roman Catholic auspices, on Wyoming Street. Sisters of the Catholic 
Order of Mercy came in that year to conduct the school. 

An indication of the growth of Hazleton is seen in the expansion of its 
school system. When the borough was organized in 1857, Hazleton had one 
schoolhouse, one school principal and four teachers. Seventy years later, in 
1927, the city possessed twenty schoolhouses (including one senior high, three 
junior high school buildings and three parochial schools) and more than two 


hundred and fifty teachers. In its schools 7,631 children were enrolled in 1926, 
the facilities including a vocational school. 

Hazleton was incorporated as a borough by Act of Assembly on April 3, 
185 1. At least, that was the date on which the act was passed. For some 
reason, however, the movement went no farther until after passage of supple- 
mental act of April 22, 1856. Even then the residents did not hurry. The 
first election was not held until March -zy, 1857. The place of election was the 
house of Thomas Lawall. Abraham Jones, who became the first burgess of 
Hazleton, was a brother-in-law of Ario Pardee, and by trade a tailor. "He 
kept a tailoring shop where Honig's store now stands." The members of 
the first borough council were : George Brown, John Schreck, Andrew Rin- 
glebew, Joseph Hamburger, and George B. Markle. F. A. Whitaker was sec- 
retary ; Charles H. Myers was treasurer, and John Kahler was supervisor. 

Being now a borough, Hazleton could no longer tolerate the village 
"lock-up," which place of incarceration of the unruly had been "a coal car 
turned upside down, back of Adam Schmauch's property on East Broad 
Street." This primitive jail could gather no added prestige from the hyphen- 
ated name, "Smith-Fulton," by which it was commonly known, for the name 
carried no recommendation, investigation showing that the house name 
merely connected the names of those two law breakers who were its first 
reluctant guests. To those respectable citizens who, in 1857, were entrusted 
with the safety of the municipality, it seemed that continued use of such a 
primitive prison would be a breach of faith with the Commonwealth, the 
Pennsylvania Legislature, in granting corporate powers to the village, having 
manifested confidence in Hazleton's power to govern itself. So Hazleton's 
first municipal fathers made haste to erect a jail of stone, at the corner of 
Mine and Cedar streets. It was ready for occupancy in 1857. Whether occu- 
pants were to be had is not stated. 

Further improvement came in 1868. A municipal building, of brick con- 
struction, two stories high, was built at 53-56 North Wyoming Street. It was 
planned to accommodate all municipal departments in this building. In addi- 
tion, quarters were to be provided in it for the fire engine and fire-fighting 
equipment, and also for all the law-breakers who had to be kept behind bars. 
The building served all the purposes intended, and its jail was rarely over- 
crowded, notwithstanding that that was a somewhat restless, lawless period — 
the natural reaction after four years of war, such a reaction, indeed, as the world 
is now experiencing after the recent upheaval, the World War. 

While on the subject of wars, it may here be interjected that Hazleton. and 
its environs, did as nobly in National service during the Civil War as during 
the World War. In i860, its population was only about 4,000, but 800 went 
into service. Those of their families who remained at home had to depend 
upon Ario Pardee for almost all news from the front. Hazleton had no 
newspaper then, and all news came to Pardee, to be bulletined out to the 
inhabitants through his "company" store. 

This emergency news agency served the emergency need, but very soon 
after hostilities ceased, plans were made to provide Hazleton with a news- 
paper. On January 18, 1866, the first number of the Hazleton "Sentinel" made 
its bow to the reading public. It was a seven-column folio, published weekly 
by a Civil ^^^ar veteran, John C. Stokes. It passed from him to the bankers, 
Pardee, Markle, and Grier, two years later, and from them to others. Indeed, 
it followed the course of the usual local journal through a precarious infancy, 
bringing more of labor than of recompense to its editors. In 1870 it became a 
daily, and although always a reliable news service, many, many years had to 
pass before it became what it latterly has been — a lucrative investment of 
time and money. The "Plain Speaker," which is its sister journal, or its chief 
contemporary, covering the afternoon field, was founded on February 6, 1882, 





by Dershiick and Lewis. The latter stayed with the enterprise only a few 
months, but John Dershuck stuck to the paper. He had had some previous 
drilling in the vicissitudes of newspaper publishing, and was prepared to plod 
on, giving much for little, as he had been doing for a decade. The Hazleton 
"Volksblatt" had been launched in April, 1872', by the publishers of the "Sen- 
tinel" (Moore and Sanders), to serve the German people of that part of 
Luzerne, but a year later had passed to John Dershuck, who carried it for- 
ward for some years before embarking on the "Plain Speaker." Of the latter, 
he was the publisher until his death, in 18S9. Undoubtedly, his journalistic 
experience, hard, disappointing, ill-requited, killed him. He was only thirty- 
three years old at the time of his death and all his adult years had been spent 
in thankless public service which he hoped would build his paper. Of course, 
he was not the exception ; what happened to John Dershuck has happened to 
hundreds of newspaper publishers before and since his time. Mighty journals 
have been slowly built, but generally so slowly that the founders have spent 
all their vital forces before the reward has come — to others. However, in this 
case, the journal has stayed in the founding family, the present owners of the 
Hazleton "Plain Speaker," also the "Sentinel," being J. R. Dershuck and 
Henry Walser. The "Sentinel," or the "Standard-Sentinel," as it now is, 
absorbed the "Standard," which began as a semi-weekly in 1885, but seven 
years later became a daily. There are five other Hazleton weekly journals, 
covering special fields. 

As the decades passed, Hazleton, under municipal government, increased 
its public services. A fire company was organized in 1866; waterworks had 
been built by the Lehigh Company, in 1862, and its water piped to the borough 
streets ; a banking house, that of Pardee, Markle and Grier, opened for busi- 
ness in 1867; a library association was formed in 1872; a gas company was 
organized in 1872, and before the end of that year gas was the illuminant in 
many Hazleton homes; an electric lighting plant was set up in 1882-83, the 
first domestic use of electricity, as illuminant, in Hazleton being in February, 
1883; a larger water works was built in 1887; a hospital was opened in 1889; 
and an opera house in 1892. These were some of the principal municipal 
improvements of the borough period. There were, of course, several other 
service agencies, several other organizations of public or semi-public purpose 
and communal interest. The religious societies were vigorous, the Civil War 
soldiers had had their local post since (Robinson Post of the G. A. R) 1866, 
singing societies had been functioning since 1854, when the Germania Society 
was formed, the next being the Concordia Singing Society, in i860 ; the Hazle- 
ton Liberty Cornet Band was organized in 1856; the Young Men's Christian 
Association began its work in Hazleton in 1879. erecting its own building in 
1897; Hazle Hall was built in 1866-67; the Father Mathew T. A. B. Society 
of Hazleton came into existence in 1869, with forty members; and in all prob- 
ability several of the major fraternal orders were represented in the borough. 
All these agencies pointed in the right direction, and the borough went for- 
ward to greater place in the county and Commonwealth. 

It should not be forgotten, of course, that all these activities, this steady 
progress of the municipality, hinged largely upon the development of its main 
industry — coal mining; and these operations depended almost wholly upon 
the efforts of a few very capable operators. More than in other coal centers 
of the anthracite fields, Hazleton shows in the history of its coal industry some 
outstanding personalities — not corporations, but men ; independent operators 
who were strong enough to prevent absorption of their coal interests by the 
transportation combines that at one time desparately sought to sweep away 
•all private operators of anthracite coal. Ario Pardee's great part in the devel- 
opment of Hazleton mines has been referred to ; the part taken by the Markles 
has been, to all intents, a continuation of that of the pioneer. They held indus- 


try in the quick-step that Mr. Pardee had set, but the central figure in the 
fight that saved the private operators of the Lehigh coalfield from domination 
or ruin by the railroad companies was Eckley B. Coxe. The operations of 
Coxe Bros. & Company, from 1865, pivoted from Drifton, but affected Hazle- 
ton as much as many other parts of the Lehigh region. Rather than be 
squeezed out of their coal properties by the avaricious railroad companies — 
who wanted the properties so as to be sure of the freight — Mr. Coxe started to 
build a belt line of railway that would give most of the large independent 
operators of the district access to most of the rail routes out of the coalfield. 
In this way, he broke the strangle-hold that one carrier company thought it 
held on the Eastern Middle coalfield ; and to the present time the majority of 
the large operators of the "independent" class — so classed, to dift'erentiate 
them from the "railroad coal company" class — are found to be in the Hazleton 

George Bushar Markle, a carpenter, settled at Hazleton in 1849. ^J mar- 
riage, he was related to the wife of Ario Pardee, and his first work in Hazleton 
was as clerk in the "company" store of Mr. Pardee. The Pardee and Markle 
families were next-door neighbors. Indeed, both at first lived in the double 
house that stood where the Markle Building now is. When the Markle Bank 
Building was erected, the old frame house was drawn to the rear, on Mine 
Street, and torn down. Markle was Pardee's "right-hand man" — the right 
man to carry mining operations through a difficult period. The preparation of 
coal for domestic uses was getting increasingly difficult. The coal breakers 
then in use could not meet the need. More than half of the coal in the ground 
was wasted in mining. Other methods of mining and breaking must be 
devised. Markle, by this time, was in business for himself — at least, was in 
direction of a mine operation for a company of which he was the head, the 
other partners being Ario Pardee, J. Gillingham Fell, and William Lilly. The 
company was formed in 1858, and the mine they opened was the Jeddo Col- 
liery. There, Mr. Markle laid the sound bases of the vast fortune that he 
made ; but he made the mine a success mainly by his mechanical genius which 
enabled him to see what other engineers and master mechanics could not. He 
designed what is to all intents the coal breaker of even recent years. For this 
service to the anthracite coal industry, Mr. Markle has been called the "Father 
of the Breaker." His breaker brought him no advantage, except in its use in 
his own extensive operations, but its use benefited dozens of other operators, 
and the industry in general. He also invented the "Markle pump," which 
came into demand after shaft-mining became general. 

The history of mining in the Hazleton District cannot be spread exten- 
sively on these pages, but in giving current statistics, showing the magnitude 
of the coal mining industry of today, the great services rendered to all the 
communities of the Eastern Middle coalfield by the pioneer operators will be 
emphasized. Within a radius of twenty miles of Hazleton are twenty-six col- 
lieries and one hundred and twenty-three mines. In 1924 the output was 
6,820,317 tons, giving employment to 13,671 mine workers, who were paid 
$28,450,343.97 in wages during that year. The value of the output was 
$42,365,632. The coal operators of the Hazleton District in 1926 were: The 
Lehigh Valley Coal Co., Coxe Bros. & Co., Inc., Jeddo-Highland Coal Co., 
Pardee Bros. & Co.. Inc., Cranberry Creek Coal Co., Harwood Coal Co., C. M. 
Dodson & Co., Hazle Brook Coal Co., Lehigh & Wilkes-Barre Coal Co., Upper 
Lehigh Coal Co., M. S. Kemmerer & Co., Coleraine Colliery Co., Evans Col- 
liery Co., East Point Coal Co., Wolf's Collieries, Inc., Haddock Mining Co., 
Scotch Run Coal Co., Clift Coal Co., Harleigh Coal Co., Buck Mtn. Coal 
Mng. Co. 

A reliable index to the prosperity of a city is in the condition of its banking 
institutions. Hazleton has seven such corporations, the aggregate surplus 


funds of these, on June 30, 1926, being- $3,903,767. Their capital then was 
$2,200,000, and their total deposits were $28,457,849.41. Bank clearings for the 
year then ended totaled to $168,771,410.83. It is not necessary here to trace 
the individual histories of the Hazleton banks, for they have been reviewed in 
Chapter LI. 

On December 4, 1891, Hazleton became a city. Charter was granted on 
that day, and election held soon afterwards, distributed the city offices as 
follows: N. L. Gavitt, mayor; J. W. Bogle, T. D. Jones, F. Lauderburn, 
William Martin, Frank McHugh, H. C. Mills, James E. Roderick, Anton 
Wagner, select council, with H. B. Casselbury as president and James B. Mac- 
Cartney as clerk. Henry Bontz, Thomas Coburn, John W. Cooper, Peter 
Deisroth, George J. Heyer, Andrew Houston, Henry Iffert, John F. Lemmer- 
hart, Philip Lindemann, John H. Moyer, William L. Murphy, Clark Price, 
Anthony Reilly, Andrew Ringlaben, Oliver Rinker, Josiah Smith, Andrew 
W. Wagner, Elliott P. Kisner constituted the common council, with the last 
named as president, and C. H. Lindemann as clerk. The city clerk was James 
P. Gorman. The city then had a population of 11,872, an assessed valuation of 
$9,000,000, a school attendance of about 2,000, and an aggregate of people's 
savings accounts of about $5,000,000. "Today," said John H. Bigelow, in 
January, 1927, "from State and Federal agencies, we gather the information 
that our population is now estimated at 38,732 ; our assessed valuation is 
$28,500,000; our school attendance is 7,600, and our bank deposits reach a 
total of more than $27,000,000." In other words, the city has more than 
trebled its possessions during the last thirty-five years. 

Hazleton adopted the commission form of government in 19 13, James G. 
Harvey being the mayor who introduced this method, and who is still mayor. 
His four city commissioners are: Jacob Martin, C. B. Bittenbender, Miss 
Caroline Kemp, and Michael Fescina. Ira Mann is city clerk, and A. D. 
Thomas is superintendent of schools. 

The city has a bonded indebtedness of $1,560,000, but to offset this liability 
can show 60.62 miles of opened streets, 13.13 miles of paved streets, 32.2 miles 
of sewers, 35 miles of water mains, 154 fire hydrants, boulevard lighting sys- 
tem, a modern city hall, many large schoolhouses, three parks and eight play- 
grounds, five firehouses, eight sets of motor-driven fire-fighting apparatus, and 
62 fire alarm boxes. The public buildings include a modern post office and a 
pretty library building. Hazleton Public Library, in its modern form, was 
organized in 1907, and in 1912 entered into possession of the Markle Alemorial 
Library, "the only all-marble library in Pennsylvania," which building had 
been erected by John Markle, in memory of his parents, at a cost of about 
$65,000. It faces city hall, and houses about 26,000 volumes. A city tax of 
one-half mill covers the cost of maintaining it. 

In transportation, Hazleton is served by two steam railroads, the Lehigh 
Valley and the Pennsylvania ; one electric (third rail) railway, to Wilkes- 
Barre, and electric trolley service in all directions, also by a dozen or more 
motor bus lines. All roads seem to lead into Hazleton, and in one important 
respect, all lines seem to lead out of this city. This one recent development in 
public utilities is the Hazleton power plant, which distributes electric power to 
more than two hundred communities within a radius of 100 miles of Hazleton 
— power generated from culm, the waste product of anthracite coal mining. 

In addition to this huge electric plant, which uses the waste of Hazleton's 
main industry, the industries of this essentially mining center are more diversi- 
fied than one would suppose. Hazleton has seventy-one manufacturing 
establishments that provide work for 3,267 males and 4,163 females. The 
pay roll in 1926 totaled to $6,530,154. This is in addition to the $28,450,343 
mining pay roll. The manufacturing plants include a bleaching mill, a facing 
mill, six knitting mills, five silk mills, eight clothing factories, two iron and 


steel plants, a centrifugal pump manufactory — these in addition to the estab- 
lishments that draw the bulk of their business from the community itself. 

Hazleton has twenty-one Protestant churches, fifteen Catholic edifices and 
two Hel)rew synagogues; she has fifty-six fraternal and secret societies, seven 
instrumental band organizations, forty clubs of social, civil or other character ; 
forty-seven societies of professional, cultural and other purpose, eight recrea- 
tional clubs — indeed, so many organized bodies of Hazleton citizens that one 
begins to realize that here, in this mining center, few citizens live their lives 
apart from their fellows. The community spirit — the spirit of democracy — 
is apparently strong in Hazleton. 

Hughestown was taken from Pittston Township. Its early history will, 
therefore, l)e part of that of that township. It has always been an essentially 
mining community, adjoining Pittston Borough, and extending toward Avoca. 
The borough charter was granted on April 7, 1879, with jurisdiction over 
approximately four square miles. In 1892, its estimated population was 1,350; 
and the subsequent Federal figures of population are: 1900, 1,548; 1910, 
2,024; 1920, 2,244. 

In 1926, Hughestown had 1,256 taxables, its assessed valuation was $1,558,- 
537 ; Fred Leppart was burgess, William Hutchings was president of school 
board, and Gail B. Young was supervising school principal. The borough then 
employed four teachers in high school and fifteen in the graded schools. 

Jeddo — The village of Jeddo had its beginning in the mining operations of 
the-Markle brothers of Hazleton. It was incorporated as a borough on Octo- 
ber 23, 1871, its territory being taken partly from Hazle Township and partly 
from Foster Township. To what extent it functioned separately from those 
townships for some years is not known ; its municipal affairs were apparently 
in disorder for some time, as Bradsby, in his "History of Luzerne County" 
(1892) makes the following reference to Jeddo, on page 582: "Jeddo was 
authorized to form a borough in 1871, but has neglected to perfect any of the 
machinery of such a municipality." 

In 1900, the population of Jeddo was 1,632; in 1910 the borough had 
shrunk to 377 inhabitants ; and in 1920 to 364. In 1926, it had 308 taxables, 
with an assessed valuation of $357,468. Harry W. Buckalew was burgess in 
1926, W. C. Pierce was school board president, and Sam Shellenberger was 
school principal. 

Kingston — The village of Kingston was advanced to borough status on 
November 23, 1857. The first election was held at the house of Thomas Wam- 
bold on December 15, 1857, and resulted in the election of the following: 
Reuben Jones, burgess ; Bestor Payne, Marshall G. Whitney, Reuben Marcy, 
Thomas Pringle, and Richard Hutchins, councilmen ; Edward A. Pringle, high 

The outstanding events of Kingston's history are in many instances linked 
with those of Kingston Township, and, indeed, with the settlement history of 
the Wyoming Valley. Many other pages of this work contain Kingston his- 
tory. The coming of the forty men of Connecticut to this part of the Wyom- 
ing Valley in 1769 gave Kingston its first settlers. Who the first settler 
within the borough limits of Kingston was is not certainly known, but it is 
generally recognized that James Atherton, who came in 1769, with his sons 
James, Ashael, and Elisha, was the pioneer who built Kingston's first log 
house. Its site was later that of the old academy on Main Street. 

Prior to 1796, the first frame house was built. It was occupied by Epaphras 
Thompson, "a silversmith, and a Baptist of the Hardshell order." The first 
and only mills — grist and saw— built in Kingston were those of Peter Grubb, 
on Toby's Creek, in 1790. They were torn down in 1826 and became the site 


of the Kingston Coal Co.'s No. i Shaft. The first storekeeper was Henry 
Buckingham, who was doing business in the village even before the time when 
Conestoga wagons, drawn by four, six, or eight horses, began to bring goods 
from New York or Philadelphia into the valley. It is said that in Revolu- 
tionary days a schoolmaster and poet named Tracy (or Tracey) kept a tavern 
in Kingston. He comes into particular notice as the author of the ballad, 
entitled "The Massacre of Wyoming." The Exchange Hotel was built in 
1804, by John Ebert. A distillery was built opposite in 1808. There "corn 
juice" was made — mostly from potatoes. The first interment in the first 
cemetery, which was on the Gallup farm, was the body of Nathaniel Gates. 
He died on November 7, 1793. 

Basing its prosperity mainly on coal, Kingston has gone steadily forward 
in other directions as well. It is now an important silk manufacturing center, 
especially since Kingston and Dorranceton merged municipalities. The con- 
solidation of these two places took place in 1921, and in the two places, all now 
in Kingston Borough, are the West Side Mills, Crane Bros., Inc., Dorranceton 
Silk Works, Hess-Goldsmith Co., the Fromberg Silk Co., Kingston Silk 
Throwing Co., Luvan Silk Co., Gillis-Krych Co., Fashion Silk and Belmont 
Silk, these employing approximately 2,500 mill workers. The mining com- 
panies of the West Side are the Glen Alden Coal Co. (formerly the Delaware, 
Lackawanna and Western), Lehigh Valley Coal Co., Hudson Coal Co., King- 
ston Coal Co., East Benton Coal Co., Haddock Mining Co., and the Temple 
Iron and Coal Co. 

In 1900, Kingston's population was only 3,846; in 1910 it was 6,449; ^^^^ 
in 1920 it was 8,952. With the population of Dorranceton, the enlarged bor- 
ough of Kingston, in 1921, possessed a population of 15,286. In 1926, King- 
ston's taxable inhabitants numbered 12,543, and the assessed valuation then 
was $19,791,061. Burgess, 1926: G. Murray Roat. 

Kingston has had phenomenal growth in industrial directions, and it has 
always been an educational center, widely known as the home of the Wyoming 
Seminary. In secondary and elementary public schools, also, Kingston has 
high rating. The public schools of the borough employed no less than one 
hundred and thirty-five teachers in 1926. When incorporated, Kingston prob- 
ably had not that many pupils. 

As the birthplace of Henry M. Hoyt, one of the ablest Governors Pennsyl- 
vania has had, Kingston comes into distinctive place in State records. The 
old Hoyt house was on "Goose Island," now "an extension of Main Street, 
west from Railroad Avenue." 

Laflin began in the activities of the Laflin Powder Company, which in 
1872 erected powder mills, at a cost of about $100,000, along Gardner Creek. 
The inhabitants of the village w^ere employees of the mills. Corporate munici- 
pal powers were sought in 1889, and charter secured on September 10 of that 
year. The first borough officers were : Josiah Twist, burgess ; John George, 
C. M. Rouse, AVilliam Weaver, Anthony Brown, E. R. Scureman, Albert Wil- 
liams, councilmen. 

The first settlers in Jenkins Township, in the vicinity of what became 
Laflin, were Isaac Gould and Joseph Gardner. The latter was operating a 
gristmill, on the creek which bears his name, in 1794. 

Population in 1900 was 254, in 1910 it was 526, and in 1920 only 473. In 
1926, Laflin taxables numbered 192. Assessed valuation then was 244,981. 
M. J. Walsh was burgess, Edward Hart president of school board, and Thomas 
Carl, Jr., school principal. School enrollment was 144. 

Larksville — Until Kingston and Dorranceton consolidated, in 192 1, Larks- 
ville was the largest municipality in Luzerne County, at least in population. 
In 1900, Larksville's population was part of that of Plymouth Township, but 


as a borough Larksville was given separate enumeration. So we find the 
Federal Census Bureau crediting Larksville in 1910 with 9,288 inhabitants. 
Kingston then had only 6,449. I" 1920 Larksville had 9,438 inhabitants, and 
Kingston only 8,952. 

Larksville, incorporated as a borough on November 10, 1909, was formerly 
a village of Plymouth Township, and at one time was known as Blind Town. 
Many references to Blind Town will be found in the history of Plymouth 
Township. Hendrick B. Wright's work is the most extensive. Here it may be 
said that the industry of the borough, also that of the township, has always 
been mainly coal mining, with the progress that normally comes to a steadily 
operated mining property. 

The taxables of Larksville in 1926 numbered 5,072. Assessed valuation : 
$8,916,130. Burgess: Michael Fender. President of school board: M. L. 
McCann. Supervising school principal : F.R.Gilbert. Number of teachers : 
Ninety, including twenty-six in high school. 

Laurel Run — The borough of Laurel Run takes its name from station on 
the Central Railroad of New Jersey, in Wilkes-Barre Township. The village 
was separated from that township in 1881. Elections were held in February, 
1882, and the following officers began the municipal government: Henry 
Race, burgess : H. C. Burrows, Emanuel Marshall, Patrick Walsh, Alexander 
Young, Thomas Hughes, and James Spearing, councilmen ; O. H. Hartland, 
clerk. It was an isolated community, and might well be, for its main industry 
was powder manufacturing, the Oliver Powder Mills having opened its Laurel 
Run plant in 1873. 

Population: 1900, 696; 1910, 790; 1920, 774. Taxables in 1926: 555. 
Assessed valuation, 1926: $664,479. Burgess, 1926: Joseph G. Davies. Presi- 
dent of school board, 1926: John Edwards. School principal: E. R. Austin. 

Luzerne Borough — Li 1882, the village of Luzerne was detached from 
Kingston Township and became a borough. Its early history is to some 
extent told in that of Kingston Township, also to some extent in the general 
county review. John Mathers, in Johnson's "Historical Record," also gives a 
most complete narrative. He writes : "Josiah Squires built the first house 
ever in Luzerne, the noted log that stood on Toby Creek, a few rods from 
Waddell's Shaft. The first child born there was Elizabeth Bowman, July, 
1807; the first preacher was Benjamin Bidlack ; the first Sunday school super- 
intendent, James Abbott; first physician, Eleazer Parker, 1809; first school- 
house, the Island, built 1818; first teacher, Esther Dean, fifteen pupils; first 
blacksmith, Johnny Bowman ; first butcher, John Woods, 1825 ; first whiskey 
seller, Adam Shaver, 1814; first cabinet-maker, George W. Little; first wagon- 
maker, Daniel F. Coolbaugh ; first politician, William Hicks, Sr. ; first under- 
taker, John W. Little ; first miller, James Gray ; first shoemaker, Peregrine 
Jones; first carpenter, Jonas DeLong; first tanner, Samuel Thomas; first 
painter, Rhode Smith ; first cooper, Josiah Squires ; first miners, William 
Evans, Henry Beck, Abel Flint ; first news agents, William Barker and John 
Karkofl:; first tailor, David Laphy ; first merchant, Reuben Holgate ; first 
gunsmith, Abel Greenleaf; first combmaker, George Floughton ; first mill- 
wright and surveyor, James Hughes, Sr. ; first milliner, Amanda Pettebone ; 
first dressmaker, Maria Trucks ; first tailoress, Esther Marsh ; first moulders, 
George Shafer and William Norris ; first temperance lecturer, Thomas Hunt ; 
first gristmill. Little & Gore's; first plaster, oil, and clover mill, George Hol- 
lenback's ; first drug store, William Tucks ; first postmaster, E. Walter Abbott, 
May 15, 1866; first tinsmiths, Martin Pemberton and James Pettebone, 1869; 
first candy shop, Morris Gibler's ; first culm bank, the Black Diamond." 

This to all intents gives the formative history of Luzerne. In the early 
days, it was known as Hartseph, taking that name after Zachariah Hartseph, 


"the early settler." In 1866, having four mills and a post office, the village 
name changed to Mill Hollow. In 1882 it was incorporated as Luzerne Bor- 
ough. The first borough officers were : Ziba Mathers, burgess ; T. M. Fry, 
secretary ; Jesse T. Welter, president of council ; Thomas Wright, James L. 
Crawford. Michael Laphy, John Thomas, and Michael Farley, councilmen. 

The population and industry until 1864 were agricultural ; from that year 
it has been mainly mining. Wilkes-Barre water was piped to Luzerne in 
1880. Kingston electric light in 1890, and Wilkes-Barre street railway con- 
nection in the same year. 

Luzerne Borough had 3,817 inhabitants in 1900, 5,426 in 1910, and 5.998 in 
1920. In 1926 its taxables numbered 3,881, with assessed valuation then 
totaling $1,868,231. Burgess in 1926 was Fred J. Banta. President of school 
board was William R. Thomas, and T. J. Osborne, supervising school prin- 
cipal, headed a corps of thirty-five teachers. 

Miner's Mills — The history of the community known as Miner's Mills is 
to all intents the history of the Miner family and of Charles A. Miner and 
Company, millers. That is elscAvhere given, and need only be briefly stated 

Thomas ^^'right came from Philadelphia into the Wyoming \'alley in pre- 
Revolutionary time. He founded ^^^rights^"ille, which is now Miner's Mills, 
erecting a mill at that place in 1795. This milling business passed to his 
son-in-law, Asher Miner, and has passed, in turn, from generation to genera- 
tion of the Miner family. It is still one of the leading flour milling companies 
of northeastern Pennsylvania. Likewise, the Miner family continues to hold 
the prominent part in Luzerne County's public afl:'airs that it has always held. 

The borough of Miner's \U\\s was chartered on December 12, 1883, and 
began to function with the following officers : Joseph Moore, burgess ; Evan 
T. Morgan, secretary ; John Gallagher, treasurer ; George Ayres, Bernard 
Burke, Gavin Burt, and Thomas Borland, councilmen. The borough charter 
has, however, now been given up, and, with the consent of the voters, IMiner's 
Mills was absorbed by the city of Wilkes-Barre on January i, 1927. 

Nanticoke, platted for ^^'illiam Stewart in 1793. liecame a borough in 1874 
and a city in 1926. 

Originally, Nanticoke was Lot No. 27. First Division^ of the Hanover 
Township of the Susquehanna Company. For services rendered to the Con- 
necticut settlers, in preventing Pennsylvanians from encroaching upon the 
lands that Connecticut claimed as her own. Captain Lazarus Stewart, William 
Stewart and others were given land in Hanover Township in 1771. Lot No. 27 
belonged to William Stewart, but it was not until 1793 that he tried to turn 
the land to advantage by town-siting it. The plat showed one hundred and 
thirty-six village lots, and these are approximately the old part of the present 
Nanticoke. At $10 each, he sold thirty-six lots quickly to Pennsylvanians 
who lived near Harrisburg, but not one of these buyers, it seems, took up his 
abode upon the acquired lot. It was a speculative age, and realty was the 
favored speculation. However, SteAvart could sell no more than thirty-six lots 
at $10 each ; so he sold the remainder of Lot No. 27, First Division, of Han- 
over Township, to Matthias Hollenback, another large land owner. He, in 
turn, sold to John !Mills and others; and some of those who purchased these 
lots settled upon them. By the way. Lot 27 was not the only tract of Hanover 
Township land that William Stewart owned. The several members of the 
Stewart family were granted thirteen of the twenty-seven lots that made up 
the township. 

There were some settlers in the vicinity of Nanticoke, even in colonial 
days. William Stewart had a ferry service at this point, and in 1774 Captain 
AN'illiam McKarrichan (McKerachan) opened a school here, also a store. He 


was killed in action, at the head of his column, in the Battle of Wyoming-, on 
July 3. 1778. Captain Lazarus Stewart was also killed in that action. 

Hanover Township, in 1796, had ninety-one "taxables," these heads of 
families probably being widely spread over the township. However, there 
was much activity along the stream that is known as Nanticoke Creek, but 
which Plumb, in his "History of Hanover Township," refers to by many other 
names — Lee's, Miller's, Robins, Bobbs, Rummage, and Warrior Run Creek. 
That McKarrichan should open a store and school at that point indicates that 
many families were settled in that part of Hanover. In 1793 a gristmill was 
built on Nanticoke Creek, near where the Dundee Shaft was later sunk. 
Plumb thinks it was Pelatiah Fitch's mill. John P. Arndt owned mills and 
forge at or near Nanticoke in 1818. They had evidently been long in use, for 
Harry Plumb was asked to go there at that time to repair them. Iron-making 
and iron-working was an important industry of Hanover Township until about 
1830. Bradsby's "History of Luzerne County," page 606, gives this informa- 
tion : "A man named John Oint in 1820 built the pioneer gristmill, sawmill, 
oilmill, and the old forge called the trip-hammer shop. Oint sold soon to 
Colonel W^ashington Lee, who in addition opened a store and built and oper- 
ated a distillery." Possibly this John Oint and John P. Arndt are one and the 

Colonel AVashington Lee comes prominently into the early history of the 
anthracite coal industry. He was the first to mine coal in Nanticoke, doing 
so in 1825. Hanover Township, however, is underlain with coal from the river 
to the mountains, and the early blacksmiths and iron workers of Nanticoke 
had no difficulty in getting all the coal they needed. 

The first physician to settle in Nanticoke was Alden I. Bennett, in 1825. 
The first tavern on Main Street was kept by Mathias Gruver. The first post- 
master was David Thompson, appointed in 1830. The canal by this time had 
reached Nanticoke, and from that time forward Nanticoke was among the 
promising progressive villages of Luzerne County. The first railroad was 
completed through Hanover Township in 1843; i^'^ 1848 the first locomotive 
was used below Ashley plane. Other railroads came into the region, and the 
day of canals was over, time inexorably bringing the abandonment of the 
North Branch Canal from Nanticoke to Waverly, New York. Nanticoke no 
longer needed it. Her prosperity was assured — in her coal and her railroad 
facilities. Colonel W^ashington Lee's mine, now owned by the Susquehanna 
Collieries Company, was producing 20,000 tons a year. The Dundee Shaft 
was sunk in 1857, through the whole of the about 900 feet of coal measures, 
but inining was not done until recently at Dundee. The first breaker was 
erected in 1859, and abandoned in 1891. No. 2. Breaker was erected in 1870 
and abandoned in 1892. No. 3 was built in 1872 and abandoned in 1896. No. 
6, at Glen Lyon, was built in 1885. No. 5 Breaker, now a washery, was built in 
1868. No. 7 Breaker was erected in 1892 and destroyed by fire in 1923. It was 
soon afterwards rebuilt for the Susquehanna Collieries Company. This com- 
pany mines about 1,600,000 tons a year of coal in Nanticoke. 

Nanticoke, incorporated January 31, 1874, began to function as a borough 
after election on February 17, 1874, put into office the following: Lewis C. 
Green, burgess; Xavier Wernett, E. N. Alexander, Patrick Shea, George T. 
Morgan, councilmen. Water company was organized in 1885 ; electric light 
company in 1889; bank in 1888, and board of trade in 1886. The borough was 
now well established. Growing steadily, fifty years passed by, then the fiftieth 
anniversary of the borough, the electors, in 1924, voted to seek a city charter 
for Nanticoke. This was granted, and the first city officials took oath of office 
on January 4, 1926. 

Nanticoke, in 1920, had a population of 22,614. Its industries include six 
collieries, employing about 9,000 men in Nanticoke and vicinity ; four silk 


mills ; two clothing- factories, and a cigar manufacturing plant that employs 
500 workers. The assessed valuation of the city is about $17,000,000; there are 
eleven public schoolhouses, five parochial schools, and tweny-two churches. 
The county assessors assessed Nanticoke property at $17,249,568 in 1926, 
the property of 11,517 taxables. 

Nescopeck — See Nescopeck Township. 

New Columbus — See Huntington Township. 

Nuangola, an upland lake summer resort between Wilkes-Barre and Hazle- 
ton, was incorporated on November 16, 1908. The Federal census statistics are 
somewhat misleading as to Nuangola, for in 1910 the borough was credited 
with only one hundred and twenty-four inhabitants, and in 1920 only eighty- 
seven, whereas the county assessor's report for 1927 shows that Nuangola had 
three hundred and sixty taxables in 1926, only one-fourth of whom would have 
been in residence at the time of year that the Federal census is taken. The 
assessed valuation of Nuangola in 1926 was $173,827. Stanley Rosencrans was 
burgess, and Charles S. Balliet president of the school board in 1926. 

Parsons, incorporated as a borough on January 17, 1876, was formerly a 
village of Plains Township, a village long established, but of only recent 

The first settler was Daniel Downing, who came in 1785. He built the 
first sawmill across the run, in 1800. In 1813, Hezekiah Parsons built a one- 
story house, unique in that it was the first frame house in the village. Heze- 
kiah built a cloth-dressing mill nearby, and in 1814, with J. P. Johnson, built a 
carding mill, and also operated a gristmill nearby. John Holgate's turning 
mill stood just below Johnson's, on Laurel Run, in 1812. Parsons was thus a 
milling center. 

Tne first blacksmith was Rufus Davidson, who worked in McAlpine's 
turning mill in the 'thirties. In 1839 '^ powder mill w^as erected, by Captain 
Alexander, on the site of Laurel Run coal breaker of later times. The powder 
mill blew up several times and eventually, in 1865, was abandoned. Some 
other attempts to manufacture powder in Parsons ended disastrously. 

The first storekeepers were Golden and Walsh ; the first tavern was the 
Eagle, kept by Lewis R. Lewis ; the first postmaster was Samuel Davis ; the 
first coal mining in Parsons was begun in 1866, the Mineral Spring Mine then 
opened robbing the village of a mineral spring which had certain curative 
qualities. The mine, however, gave Parsons, in exchange, a new life in the 
industry it established. Thereafter, the village went forward steadily. A 
year or two later, another mine shaft was sunk and a breaker erected, making 
Parsons predominantly a mining town. In 1876 it had reached sufficient 
importance to justify borough statvis. The first borough officials were : John 
D. Calvin, burgess; William Smurl, president of council; O. A. Parsons, G. 
W. ]\Iitchell, A. A. Fenner, H. McDonald, and Philip Harris, councilmen. 
Richard Buchanan was clerk. A decade or so later, the street railway com- 
pany connected Parsons with Wilkes-Barre by trolley. 

Parsons was a place of 2,529 in 1900. In 1910 the population was 4,338, 
and ten years later the census was 5,628. In 1926 its list of taxables contained 
3,066 names. The assessed valuation then was $3,664,233. This was its last 
year as a borough, however, for on January i, 1927, Parsons was absorbed by 

Gomer Griffiths was the last burgess of Parsons ; Walter J. Williams was 
president of the school board in 1926 ; and E. A. Evans was supervising school 
principal. Forty-six teachers were employed. 

W,-B. — 11 


Pittston — The history of Pittston — hamlet, village, borough and city — is 
spread over more than a century and a half ; and during the greater part of 
that time it has held a place of comparative importance among the commu- 
nities of the Wyoming region. 

In 1770, possibly a little earlier, David Brown and Jeremiah Blanchard 
settled. In 1772, enough settlers were on the Pittston side of the river to 
justify the establishment of a rope ferry across it, for connection with their 
fellow-settlers at Wyoming opposite, and at other places along the Susque- 
hanna. The settlement history of Pittston, and of the Wyoming Valley in 
general, is the subject of the greater part of two volumes of this work, and, 
therefore, need not be retold here, in this necessarily brief sketch. Additional 
data will be found in the Pittston Township review. 

Brown's blockhouse comes dramatically into Pittston history of 1778, and 
the terrors of that time might have ended settlement, had the pioneers been of 
less tenacious type than the men of Connecticut who had come into the 
Wyoming Valley to conquer both Indians and wilderness. Even sixty years 
later the Yankees predominated in this Pennsylvania town. 

Pittston was an important ferry-point. Here, therefore, it was necessary to 
provide accommodation for travelers. A weekly mail route, between Wilkes- 
Barre and Owego, was established in 1799, and in the same year Colonel 
Waterman Baldwin opened his house on the lower side of Main Street, to 
travelers. It became a famous tavern. "Under the huge antlers that sur- 
mounted the bar. Miner Searle, Jacob Bedford, John Sax and Calvin T. Rich- 
ardson have stood and ministered to the demands of travelers." Another 
historic tavern was the Baltimore House, on the east side of Main Street. 
Peter Decker was the tavern-keeper in 1805, and his successors were Eleazer 
Cary, Asaph Pratt, and William Hart. Near Morgan's stone quarry another 
tavern, the Bull's Head, was conducted by the Benedict family for many years. 
Another historic inn was that built in 1830 by Calvin Stockbridge, and later 
owned partly by Judge Alallory, the hotel name changing to Port Mallory. 
The Eagle was built in 1849. 

In 181 1, Pittston became a post office town, and a weekly mail route 
between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton was maintained for a decade, Deodat 
Smith and Zephaniah Knapp being the carriers. Eleazer Cary was the first 
postm.aster at Pittston, Zephaniah Knapp succeeding him. Under the third 
postmaster, John Alment, the post office was known as Pittston Ferry. 

He owned the most southerly house on Main Street, and at that time 
(1828) Pittston consisted of only fourteen families. The heads of these were: 
John Alment, Calvin T. Richardson, Calvin Stockbridge, John Stewart, 
Nathaniel Giddings, John Benedict, Jacob Lance, Samuel Miller, Solomon 
Brown, Adam Belcher, Amos Fell, Ishmael Bennett, and Frank Belcher. Cal- 
vin T. Richardson, Calvin Stockbridge, John Stewart, and John Benedict were 
tavern-keepers, Nathaniel Giddings was the pioneer physician, and Solomon 
Brown and Ishmael Bennett were blacksmiths. It is, therefore, apparent that 
Pittston even in that day was a place that drew its trade from other com- 
munities than its own. 

The village, however, did not begin to show indications of advancing to 
borough status until the coming of William R. Griffith and the development of 
the coal mining operations of the Pennsylvania Coal Company. Before the 
opening of the canal in 1832, Calvin Stockbridge and Colonel James W. John- 
son mined intermittently and shipped precariously, their coal going down the 
shallow rocky Susquehanna during spring freshets in primitive arks — crude 
carriers scarcely better than rafts, and so unmanageable during the freshets 
that more than half of them soon became wreckage in the difficult navigation 
of the Susquehanna River. The Pennsylvania Coal Company, however, oper- 
ated under better conditions, theirs being the era of canals, or railways, and of 


shaft-mining. The company was organized in 1849. ^^^ with the building of 
their gravity road the future of Pittston was assured. Eventually, the gravity 
system gave way to steam railways, and for many decades Pittston has been 
helped onward by excellent transportation services. The mining story is 
given elsewhere — in four special chapters, and the development of transporta- 
tion is also separately reviewed. 

Industrially, Pittston has always been essentially a mining center, one of 
the most important in the Wyoming coalfield. It has had some manufacturing 
industries that are only indirectly connected with its major industry, but if 
coal mining were to cease, Pittston, temporarily, at least, would take on a 
cadaverous appearance. Instead, however, it continues steadily in the way it 
has gone for three-quarters of a century — a place of good business, substantial 
citizens, and well-appointed civic agencies. The Pittston Stove Company is 
the only outstanding industry that has been independent of the mining indus- 
try, though its product, of course, is essentially for coal users. The founders 
of the Pittston Stove Company began their operations in 1864, and the now 
widely-known Pittston stove is still being made. The Pittston Iron Roofing 
Company is another old company. Its beginning was in 1885. The Exeter 
Machine Shops flourished for many years, and then seemed likely to rust away 
in idleness until recently rescued by the Glen Alden Coal Company. Now, as 
the machine shops for its mines in the Pittston District, the old Exeter plant 
provides steady employment for many machinists. This, indeed, is the out- 
standing industrial change that has taken place in the Pittston vicinity during 
recent years. 

Pittston became a borough on April ii, 1853, when court order was issued. 
Election was held on April 30, 1853. The following constituted the municipal 
government in that year : John Hosie, burgess ; J. V. L. DeWitt, H. P. Mes- 
senger, George Daman, Theodore Strong, and James McFarlane, councilmen ; 

John Kelchner, constable ; Alvah Tompkins, Nathaniel Giddings, James 
M. Brown, Levi Barnes, J. A. Hann, John Love, school directors. 

On December 10, 1894, Pittston became a city, and as such has. gone stead- 
ily forward. In 1900, Pittston was a place of 12,556 inhabitants; in 1910 its 
population was 16,267; and the Federal census taking in 1920 gave Pittston 
city 18,497 residents. The Luzerne County assessors listed 11,414 Pittston 
taxables in 1926, and the assessed valuation of Pittston property in that year 
was .^10,563,327. 

That the sons of miners are not nowadays ending their school days after 
graduating from the common schools is seen in some recent statistics from 
Pittston records. The registration at the junior and senior high schools of 
Pittston city for the school year 1926-27 totalled to 1.080. No less than one 
hundred and ten teachers are employed in Pittston city schools. West Pitt- 
ston employs another fifty-two, and Pittstown Township an additional thirty- 
five teachers. The Pittston District is, therefore, well served educationally. 

Plymouth — On November 2, 1865, a petition was circulated in Plymouth 
village, praying the court to incorporate the community as a borough. It was 
signed by Draper Smith, J. W. Eno, H. Gaylord, John B. Smith. Peter Shupp 
and fifty-three other residents. On April 23, 1866, the borough of Plymouth 
was chartered. The first municipal officers were : E. C. Wadhams, burgess ; 
Samuel Wadhams, Henderson Gaylord, Peter Shupp, Ira Davenport, and Frank 
Turner, councilmen ; Theodore Renshaw, high constable. The first meeting 
of the borough council was held on May 16, 1866, at the house of the burgess. 

Some of the outstanding events of Plymouth history are given below. 
According to Stewart Pierce, the "first white man that ever trod the soil" of 
Plymouth was Conrad Weiser, who visited Indians of the Wyoming Valley 
and preached to them on the site of Plymouth, in 1742. The first settlers 


reached the vicinity in 1769. The first name by which Plymouth village was 
known was "Shawnee Flats." The first preacher of settlement days in Plym- 
outh was, it seems, Rev. Noah Wadham. The first public and judicial officials 
were Phineas Nash, Captain David Marvin and J. Gaylord, appointed by the 
Susquehanna Company, in the first days of the settlement, as "directors" of 
the "prudential affairs" of the district of Plymouth. The first schoolhouse was 
upon "Ant Hill," near the old parade ground, where, thinks Wright, there 
was also a whipping post. The first fort was built on Garrison Hill, in August, 
1776, Captain Samuel Ramsom "hauling the first log." First home defense 
company was organized in Plymouth, in August, 1776, and, notwithstanding 
its original purpose, departed to join Washington's field forces in the follow- 
ing December. Some of the soldiers returned in 1778, but the weakened 
defending force in the Wyoming Valley could not withstand the savage 
onslaught made by Tories and Indians from the Niagara frontier in the first 
tragic days of July, 1778. Thirty stalwart sons of Plymouth laid down their 
lives at the Battle of Wyoming, in a desparate defense of their homes and 
families. The day went against them and their women and children were 
forunate in being able to escape down the Susquehanna River. Torch reduced 
the settlement to ashes, but ere another year had passed other log houses rose. 
Another disaster soon befell the settlement, the flood of 1784 causing much 
damage on the Shawnee flats. 

The outstanding industry is mining. The outstanding incidents have to do 
with mining. Whether the most important year in Plymouth history was 
1807, when Abijah Smith loaded his first ark with Plymouth coal, or 1854, 
when Thomas Weir and some fellow-townsmen sank No. i Shaft, or 1865, 
when W. L. Lance sank Shaft No. 11 and proved that seventy feet of coal 
beds underlay Plymouth, may be left for others to decide. All were auspicious 
years, all fraught with alluring possibilities for Plymouth. However, the story 
of anthracite coal mining has been elsewhere told, and there, as will be seen, 
the pioneer miners of Plymouth have been given their rightful place. 

Coal was first burned for domestic purposes in a Plymouth house in 1808. 
Abijah Smith setting up a grate in the Coleman home, where he was boarding, 
this installation probably following the demonstration made by Jesse Fell in 
his Wilkes-Barre tavern. Now the demand for anthracite coal for heating 
homes is Nation-wide. It is almost a century since the opening of the canal 
to Nanticoke opened the safer way of Plymouth coal to outside markets. The 
opening of the iron road, the Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad, in 1837, pro- 
vided a quicker way. Thereafter, the transportation problems of Plymouth 
shippers were not so serious as those the pioneer operators had successfully 
overcome. However, other difficulties presented themselves, and it was not 
until shafts were sunk that Plymouth production reached a steady, substantial 
volume. Since then, the progress has been steady, and Plymouth held its 
place among the important boroughs of the county. Its energetic neighbor. 
Larksville, has been forging ahead, but is still far short of Plymouth, in popu- 
lation. Kingston, in 1921, almost doubled its population by absorbing Dor- 
ranceton, but even yet is smaller than Plymouth. Nanticoke is larger, but is 
now a city. So Plymouth stands as the most populous borough of Luzerne 
County. Its population in 1900 was 13,649; in 1910 it was 16,996; and in 
1920 somewhat less, 16,500. 

The prosperity of these people depends mainly upon the continuance of 
coal mining ; and although Plymouth operations have continued for one hun- 
dred and twenty years, even the property that was first worked is not yet 
exhausted. The Reynolds, or Washington, mine of the Lehigh and Wilkes- 
Barre Coal Company that still produces coal is the continuation of the first 
mining operation in Plymouth. Altogether, in Plymouth Township, Larks- 
ville, and Plymouth Borough, the larger coal companies operated thirteen 


mines, and there are some other smaller ones independently worked. The 
largest operations in the Plymouth district are the Nottingham, Washington, 
and Lance No. ii, operated by the Lehigh and Wilkes-Barre Coal Company; 
Loree Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, and the Boston mines of the Hudson Coal Co., the Gay- 
lord Colliery of the Kingston Coal Co., the Avondale Colliery of the Glen 
Alden Coal Co., the Lindsay Colliery of the Plymouth Red Ash Coal Co., the 
Chauncey Colliery of the Geo. F. Lee Coal Co., and the Susquehanna Colliery 
of the Susquehanna Coal Co. 

In general history, Plymouth's interesting story may be followed in Hen- 
drick B. Wright's excellent work, and in Plymouth Township history. It 
cannot be given space here, more than to indicate the steps forward. Gas was 
first used as an illuminant in Plymouth in October, 1875 ; water company 
was organized in the same year; the first Plymouth banking institution was 
opened ten years earlier; and electric lighting units were first installed in the 
borough in 1886 or 1887. 

In 1926. the assessed valuation of the borough was $7,024,635. The num- 
ber of taxables was 8,027. William E. Smith was burgess, in 1926. Education- 
ally, Plymouth's progress may be gauged by the statement that the number of 
teachers employed in borough schools in 1926 was eighty-five. 

Pringle — Bordering on the boroughs of Kingston, Edwardsville, Courtdale 
and Luzerne, and also the township of Kingston, Pringle Borough was at one 
time a village of Kingston Township. It was incorporated as a borough on 
January 17, 1914, absorbing the territory which had formerly been Pringle 
Township, the latter having been organized out of part of Kingston Township 
in the previous decade. 

Pringle is essentially a mining community, and takes its name from that of 
a prominent family of that vicinity. Thomas Pringle was first president of the 
borough council of Kingston, formed in 1857, and Edward A. Pringle was 
Kingston's first high constable. The early history of Pringle may be studied 
in that of Kingston Township. 

In 1910 the population of Pringle Township was 1,875; '^^ 1920 the census 
taking was, of course, of Pringle Borough. The latter was then found to have 
a population of 1.960. County assessors' statistics for 1926 show that Pringle 
then had 1,665 taxables, and property of an assessed value of $1,083,204. 
Andrew Leeson was burgess, in 1926; John Butkievicz was president of the 
school board, and Francis Leeson was school principal, heading a teaching 
staff of eighteen. 

Shickshinny Borough — The place where five mountains, Newport, Lee's, 
Rocky, Knob, and River, meet was so indicated by the Indians ; hence Shick- 
shinny's unusual name. And as the mountain ranges meet here, it might also 
be expected to be the meeting place of waters. Two streams pass through 
Shickshinny Borough and flow into the Susquehanna River just beyond. 
Shickshinny is a beautiful river town. The center also of a beautiful agricul- 
tural region, for at Shickshinny the northern coalfield ends. Some claim the 
name originally to have been Shickshawnee, but an early deed, 1774, from John 
and Thomas Penn, settles the question, for reference is made definitely in this 
deed to the name Shickshinny for this locality. 

The borough was chartered on November 30, 1861. Its territory being 
taken partly from Salem Township and partly from Union. The first borough 
officers were: Jesse P. Enke, burgess; T. W. Search, B. D. Koons, N. B. 
Crary, John F, Nicely, and Thomas Davenport. 

Some of the outstanding events of Shickshinny history are here given. 
Others will be found in township and general reviews. The first permanent 
settler in what became Shickshinny was Ralph Austin (the great-grandfather 
of Charles Austin, cashier Wyoming National Bank, Wilkes-Barre, Penn- 


sylvania). This was the period of Connecticut jurisdiction, 1782. Austin's 
land passed to Matthias Hollenback under the Pennsylvania claim. His 
daughter, Mrs. Cist, held it until her death, in 1857, when the tract was sold 
by Attorney A. T. McClintock to Nathan B. Crary, G. W. Search, Lot Search 
and Nathan Garrison, who associated to lay off a village upon it. There was 
at that time only one family living on the plotted land. Just below town, 
however, was a colliery and breaker, called Beach's mines from the owner. 
Nathan Beach, of Beach Grove, Salem Township (see Egle's "History of 
Pennsylvania," page 884) diagonally across the river from the Mocanaqua 
mines ; Mocanaqua mines also owned by Nathan Beach, of Beach Grove, 
Pennsylvania. He sold these mines to Carey and Hart, of Philadelphia (hence 
the early name of Hartville instead of the present one — Mocanaqua). Carey 
and Hart sold to the Duponts, they to Major Conyngham and Company, of 
Wllkes-Barre, they to Simpson and Watkins, of Scranton, and they to the 
present owners, the Dickinsons, of Scranton and New York. 

The mines on the Shickshinny side of the river were opened by Nathan 
Beach, the owner. His grandson. Dr. Erasmus Crary, in 1840 invented the 
first inclined chute that had been used in the coal industry, sending the coal 
down from the mountin by this chute ; it was then loaded in arks or boats for 
shipment to Philadelphia and elsewhere. The next one to operate these 
Shickshinny or Rocky Run mines was Nathan Beach Crary, in 1858. He was 
a grandson of Nathan Beach. Later, Mr. Crary leased Beach's mines for a 
short period to Jesse Beadle, who paid the lease by the out-put of coal. Later, 
in 1865, Mr. Crary sold them to Stackhovise and Weir. In 1866, owned by 
Cyrus and John Stackhouse, which became under them the Salem Coal Com- 
pany, and finally ownership became vested in E. S. Stackhouse, the present 
owner. Thus through the years, the history of ownership is briefly: ist. 
Beach's mines with Dr. Erasmus Crary and N. B. Crary operating. 2d. Salem 
Coal Company (Cyrus and John Stackhouse). 3d. and last, E. S. Stackhouse. 

Shickshinny has had three bridges across the Susquehanna to Mocanaqua. 
In 1859 the first toll bridge, followed by a second toll bridge and the present 
beautiful concrete free bridge, the product of State and county. 

Almost a mile up Shickshinny Creek was a sawmill, which ran steadily 
until 1885. There was a mill nearer the village in earlier years; and another 
gristmill was built in 1865, by G. W. and Lot Search. The canal to Nanticoke 
was built through the township in 1828. At that time a little schoolhouse 
stood a mile below Shickshinny. It was taught by William Robinson. Union 
Township erected a schoolhouse opposite the Presbyterian Church in 1858. 
The first church was the Protestant Methodist, built in i860, situated on its 
present site. At a revival in this church was the beginning of the Methodist 
Episcopal and Presbyterian churches. Methodist Episcopal built in 1870 and 
the Presbyterian in 1874. Mr. and Mrs. N. B. Crary founded the first Sunday 
school in Shickshinny. It was organized in 1857 i^ ^ ^^§ schoolhouse back of 
what is now Glen Avenue, Shickshinny, in Union Township. Mr. Crary was 
the superintendent, Mr. A. L. Nicely assistant superintendent, and Mrs. 
Crary the one and only teacher for a time. The circumstances attending the 
founding of this school are well remembered by some now living. 

The beginning of the town was the beginning of the hard times of 1857. 
This was the beginning also of real mercantile effort in Shickshinny. This 
effort steadily grew until now there are many flourishing stores. A small 
store was already active for the few inhabitants of this village at the time of its 
plotting in 1858. This store was thrust upon N. B. Crary. It was located in 
the upper part of Union Street on the site of Freeman Robbins' residence. In 
1861 Mr. Crary built at the corner of Main and Union a store building and 
established a mercantile business there in which he continued until 1906. 


Eventually, Mr. Crary's daughters sold this site and buildings to Mr. Wal- 
ter Garrison, president of the Shickshinny First National Bank. The bank has 
erected a beautiful building here. 

In 1877, a turnpike was built along the Shickshinny Creek Gap, six miles, 
and crossed to Huntington Mills. The promoters of the Union Turnpike 
Company were: N. B. Crary, J. W. Stackhouse. B. D. Coons, William A. 
Campbell, F. A. B. Koons, S. F. Monroe, and D. G. Larned. The officers were : 
N. B Crary, president; B. D. Koons, secretary, and D. G. Larned, treasurer. 
The Shickshinny Tube Works were organized with Millard Tubbs president, 
N. B. Crary vice-president. In 1884, the Shickshinny Water Company was 
organized with the following officers : President, G. W. Search ; secretary, 
M. B. Hughes ; treasurer, Jesse Beadle. 

Shickshinny has advanced far since the one-room, one-teacher for all 
grades period. In 1926, the borough schools enrolled seven hundred and eight 
pupils, including one hundred and seventy-five in its high school. Nineteen 
teachers were employed. Mr. Dengler is the efficient superintendent. A 
building is devoted to occupational work with a directing principal. Shick- 
shinny has always been intensely patriotic, responding with eagerness to all 
appeals. In the Civil War and the Great War, Shickshinny's men, women 
and children gave of their time, strength and means. 

Sugar Notch was made a borough in the 'sixties also, its charter being date 
of April 3, 1867. Warrior Run, although a separate community two miles 
west of Sugar Notch, was included in the boundaries of the latter ; neverthe- 
less, they have to all intents remained independent. Both are mining towns, 
W^arrior Run taking entity as such in 1837, when mines were opened on the 
"Crocker estate by Holland and Hillman. The Sugar Notch Shaft was sunk in 
1866, and a new breaker erected. The Germania Company opened a mine in 
1864 about half a mile east of the Hartford mine of the Lehigh and Wilkes- 
Barre Coal Company. With the Lehigh Valley and the Jersey Central rail- 
roads passing through the town and three or four mines and breakers in 
operation. Sugar Notch, with its counterpart. Warrior Run. was a busy min- 
ing center. There was strife as to the post office. This Avas known as Peely, 
and for years was kept at Sugar Notch, Warrior Run residents having to get 
their mail from that end of the town ; but when Peter T. Riley was appointed 
postmaster in 1885, he moved it to Warrior Run, where it remained as long as 
that place remained with Sugar Notch. Both are now separate boroughs, and 
both are steadily growing, Sugar Notch having 1,887 inhabitants in 1900 and 
2,612 in 1920. During that period Warrior Run (Peely Post Office) grew 
from 965 inhabitants to a population of 1,387. 

The burgess of Sugar Notch in 1926 was Michael Gaughan, the taxables 
numbered 1,291, and assessed valuation aggregated $2,729,642. Anthonv 
Durkin was president of school board, and A. L. Lenahan was school prin- 
cipal, heading a teaching corps of twenty-tAvo. 

Swoyersville, which borders on the boroughs of Forty Fort, West ^Vyom- 
ing and Luzerne, and also the township of Kingston, was first chartered as a 
borough on December 17, 1888, but was unable to function as such until the 
courts finally ruled in its favor, confirming the charter on December 12. 1899. 
In 1900 the population of Swoyersville was 2,264; in 1910 it was 5,396, and in 
1920 the Federal census was 6,876. 

In 1926 Swoyersville had 3,621 taxables; its valuation was $3,079,344; 
Patrick J. Hayden was burgess, Michael A. Lavin was president of school 
board, and Joseph H. Finn was supervising principal over the borough schools, 
which employed five high school and thirty-eight graded school teachers. 


Warrior Run — The connection of Warrior Run with Sugar Notch Borough 
has been referred to in the sketch of the latter. Warrior Run became a sepa- 
rate borough on January 25, 1895, under that name, with Peely as the post 
office address. In 1900 the population of Warrior Run was 965 ; in 1910 it 
was 1,251, and in 1920 the borough has 1,387 inhabitants. 

In 1926, Warrior Run had 747 taxables. Its assessed valuation then was 
$1,687,071. Enoch Thomas was burgess, Charles Wagner was president of 
school board, and Edward S. Williams was school principal over ten teachers. 

West Hazleton — The borough of West Hazleton dates from 1889, and as 
its name infers, it is to all intents the westerly section of the city of Hazleton. 
It is, of course, separately governed, but its prosperity and growth depends 
largely upon that of the city. 

West Hazleton was founded by William Kisner of that family that settled 
in Hazleton in 1840. Its growth has been rapid during the present century. 
West Hazleton's population in 1900 was 2,516; in 1910 it was 4,715; in 1920 
it was 5^854; and in a survey made in 1926 its population was then estimated 
at 7,224. 

Borough officials in 1926 were: Anthony Kubitsky, burgess; Thomas 
Koch, president of council of six; Austin Quinn, chief of police ; George Wen- 
ner, president of school board of seven ; E. A. Encke, supervising school prin- 
cipal, heading a teaching staff of thirty-two. Number of taxables in 1926 : 
3,022. Assessed valuation : $2,010,563. 

West Pittston, the beautiful suburb of Pittston, became a borough in 1857, 
and began to function as such with the election of Armhurst Wisner as bur- 
gess, and A. J. Griffith, William Apple, Cornelius Stark, Bradley Downing, and 
Theodore Strong as councilmen. The first election was held on January 7, 
1858, at the Vine Street Schoolhouse. 

The early history of West Pittston is part of that of Pittston. Jenkins and 
Exeter townships. Fort Jenkins stood within the bounds of the borough, 
fifty yards above the west end of the bridge, on ground long since, however, 
washed away. This fortified place was the first to feel the force of the blood- 
thirsty marauders from the north, as they swept into the valley ; and some 
human bones found while excavating in a West Pittston street more than a 
century later were supposed to be those of one of the Hardings, of Pittston, 
who lost their lives during this savage onslaught in 1778. Benjamin and 
Stukely Harding were buried "in the little graveyard" that was so long known 
as the Harding-Jenkins graveyard. 

Statistics of population indicate that the growth of West Pittston has been 
steady. In 1900, its inhabitants numbered 5,846; in 1910 the census showed 
6,848 residents ; and in 1920 the population was 6,968. County records credit 
West Pittston with 6,097 taxables in 1926, and assess its property at $4,448,- 
260. William H. Klinger was burgess in 1926. The most recent outstanding 
feature of West Pittston history is the building of a $400,000 high school. 

West Wyoming, which is bounded by the boroughs of Wyoming, Exeter, 
and Swoyersville, and by the townships of Exeter and Kingston, was incor- 
porated on June 23, 1898. Its history may be traced in that of Wyoming, also 
that of Kingston and Exeter townships. In 1900, the population of West 
Wyoming was 1,344; in 1910, 1,621 ; in 1920, 1,938. 

In 1926, West Wyoming had 1,535 taxables; its assessed valuation was 
$1,844,424; David Lawson was burgess; Samuel VanScoy was president of 
school board, and Walter E. Roberts was supervising principal of schools, with 
a staff of sixteen teachers. 


Whitehaven, the second village of Luzerne County to be granted munici- 
pal powers, assumed borough status on a false start in 1843. ^^ -'^ct of the 
Pennsylvania Assembly of that year incorporated the village of Whitehaven 
as a borough, and authorized the holding of the first election, at "the house of 
Isaac Ripple," on the first Monday of September, 1843, 'i"cl annually thereafter 
on the third Friday in March. The polling, however, was taken on March 17, 
1843. The officers then elected were : Joseph Yardley, burgess ; Abinthar 
Tuttle. John Sheft'erstine, Jacob Zink, Samuel Hunter, Jonathan Brock, and 
David Dean, councilmen. 

Subsequently, it was ruled that this election was unauthorized, and, there- 
fore, was annulled by the court. The Legislature did not act promptly in the 
matter, and it was not until 1848 that authorization was granted for the 
holding of a special election to give the borough regular status. The election 
was held on the third Monday of May, 1848, "at the house of Samuel Hovise." 
Joseph Yardley was again elected burgess. The councilmen were : David H. 
Taylor, Edward Lockwood, Horatio G. Hoven, David Dean, Daniel Wasser, 
and L Cowley Past. The last named was also clerk. 

Some of the outstanding events in the history of Whitehaven are here 
given briefly. The first settler was John Lines, who "squatted .... just 
over the hill back of Whitehaven," in 1824. The community that grew in 
that vicinity was known as Linesville. His log cabin was destroyed by fire, 
and he then Iniilt "the first hewed-log house and the first tavern." First indus- 
try was lumbering. First coal company, the Lehigh Coal and Navigation 
Company, began to construct its canal from Whitehaven to Mauch Chunk in 
1835. Joseph White made the operation of canal possible by building the 
"bear trap" locks in the Lehigh River. Whitehaven was so named in honor of 
this capable leading citizen. First sawmill erected in 1826 or 1827 by John 
Lines ; next, in 1835, by Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company : lumbering 
expanded until, in i860, Whitehaven had ten sawmills and was cutting as much 
as 20,000,000 board feet of lumber in a year. It was one of the busiest lumber 
depots in the State. Canal locks and dams swept away in 1862 by freshet; 
canal service superseded by tw^o lines of railway. First plank house built in 
1837, by John Fordsman ; first schoolhouse, of rough logs, in 1838; iron 
foundry and machine shops in 1859. The first storekeeper was A. O. Chahoon, 
whose log store was built in 1835. First physician was Dr. Boyd ; first lawyer 
was Oaius Halsey ; first postmaster, William Hoven, in 1835 ; first brick build- 
ing. Odd Fellows' Hall, built in 185 1 ; last raft of logs floated dowm Lehigh 
River from Whitehaven District, ending its lumber industry, was in 1892. In 
its heyday as a logging center, Whitehaven "was the headquarters of a thou- 
sand hardy lumbermen," the annual cutting reaching as high as 35,000,000 feet. 
Whitehaven waterworks were commenced in 1856, piping from two springs. 
Fire department organized in 1872. Electric light plant installed in 1892. 

In 1900, the population of Whitehaven was 1,517; in 1910 it was 1,438. and 
in 1920 it was 1,402. Its taxables in 1926 numbered 1,112. and then its assessed 
valuation was $677,863. 

Frank Schatzle was burgess in 1926, M. J. Hess was president of school 
board, T. G. Gardner was supervising school principal over nine teachers. 

Wyoming, the most historic spot in northeastern Pennsylvania, entered 
upon a more prosaic phase of its history in 1885, when it carried through the 
details that made it a borough. The municipal charter was secured in June, 
1885, and the first election was held on the 15th of the next month. The first 
borough officers were : William Hancock, burgess ; John P. Smith, president 
of council ; John A. Hutchins. John Sharp, J. I. Shoemaker, Dr. C. P. Knapp, 
and John Daugher, councilmen ; H. C. Edwards, secretary. 


Wyoming's historic past enriches the pages of the preceding volumes ; and 
the Wyoming Monument, perpetuating the valiant stand made by those heroic 
men of 1778 who gave their lives to save their women and children from the 
ferocity of the savage marauders, will ever connect Wyoming with the noble 
past and surround the place with an atmosphere of heroic Americanism. How- 
ever, this phase of the history of Wyoming has been reviewed elsewhere ; here, 
the review must be of municipal and industrial history. 

Benjamin Carpenter came from Connecticut in 1780-81, and settled "on 
Abrams Creek, at the lower end of the gorge, where the creek breaks through 
the Kingston mountains." There he erected a gristmill, a mill-site that was 
being used for its original purpose more than a century after Carpenter's time. 
He also built a woolen mill, the latter passing eventually to Jacob Shoemaker. 
At one time the hamlet was known as "New Troy," later as "Carpenter's 
Mills" and "Carpenter Town," even after 1807, when Mr. Carpenter sold his 
gristmill and other interests to Isaac C. Shoemaker and moved away. Jacob 
I. Shoemaker rebuilt the gristmill in 1840. 

The first blacksmith at Wyoming was John Jones, who came in 1820. The 
pioneer physician was Dr. Thomas J. Halsey ; the first school mistress was 
Mrs. Gordon, who, in 1802 or 1803, taught in a schoolhouse that stood on the 
corner where the Wyoming House was later built. The first postmaster was 
William Swetland, in 1830. He was also one of the first merchants. John 
Gardner was the first cabinet-maker at Carpenter Town, settling in 1820. At 
about the same time Charles Tuttle occupied the "old storehouse," which stood 
opposite where the Pollock House was later erected. 

Wyoming has always been a "foundry town," or at least an important iron 
working center. In the first decade of the nineteenth century, an ax factory 
was operated, above Carpenter's Mills, on Abram's Creek. Below the grist- 
mill was a small foundry. The Wyoming Shovel Works, whose products go 
all over the continent, and also to foreign parts, dates back to 1872; the iron 
fence works of the Wilde Fence Company, was established in 1876 by John 
Wilde. And for many decades coal mining has been steadily pursued. Also, 
the historic old gristmill, modernized — in fact, rebuilt — is still in use. James 
Fowler and Sons have been the millers for several decades. Altogether, 
Wyoming is an historic old place, even apart from the great event of 1778, 
which will forever give it unique place in Wyoming Valley history. 

In 1900 the population of Wyoming was 1,909; in 1910 it was 3,010; in 
1920 the census-taking showed Wyoming to have 3,582; and in 1926 the 
county assessors found 2,508 taxables in the borough, with assessed property 
valuation of $2,954,403. John Masel was burgess in 1926, F. B. Kleintob v^'as 
president of school board, and John E. Piatt supervising principal of teaching 
corps of thirty-one. 

Yatesville — Formerly a villag'e of Jenkins Township, Yatesville was made 
a borough on May 20, 1878. First officers were : T, T. Hale, burgess ; George 
Faircloth, president of council ; Thomas Nattrass, secretary : John Shields, 
William Learch, Alexander Frazer and Alfred Day, councilmen. The bor- 
ough took its name from the association an Englishman, Francis Yates, had 
with the place. It seems that Yates bought from Theophilus Brooks ninety 
acres of land in the vicinity. For some time he lived with his wife in the log 
cabin that was upon his land. Yates, in association with Joel and William D. 
Hale, was the first to mine coal in the place. They stripped a vein near where 
it outcropped, and after quarrying the coal, dragged it away by sled and 
ox-team. Eventually, the Pennsylvania Coal Company became the operators, 
and Yatesville became literally a mining town. 

The pioneer settlers were Joel and William D. Hale, H. Frederick, George 
Day, David Reese, James Cooper, Isaac and George Naphus, Joseph and John 


Stout and James Thompson, who all settled in 1809 or 1810. Joel Hale erected 
the first frame house ; his brother was the first tavern-keeper. The place, 
however, remained a very small hamlet until the 'fifties, when coal operators 
began to sink shafts in the anthracite coalfields. The first schoolhouse was 
built in 1S51 ; the first store opened in 1855. 

The population of Yatesville in 1900 was 433 ; in 1910 it was 573, in 1920 
it was 709 ; and in 1926 the borough had 333 taxables. Its assessed valuation 
then was $514,198. Carl De Snee was burgess in 1926, Nicholas Vidzzar was 
president of school board. 

<y^?f/ /Ji^^/%^no 1^7 


(^iXy %c:f^T72^ 



Autograph of William Reynolds, 
original nienil)er of the Ivevnolds family to settle in W'vomin"- \'allev. 

'cl<^/pC^ ^^^z^^y^ (7ta^ 

Autograph of David Reynolds. wIkj served in the Continental Army 



//r-(^./'3^ ^^^^^^ 



DORRANCE REYNOLDS— One of the historic 
families of Wyoming Valley is that of the Reynolds', 
the records of this section showing that William Reyn- 
olds and his family settled here in 1769, since which 
time all of that name have been prominent in public and 
community affairs in and around Wilkes-Barre. The rep- 
resentative of the clan today, a direct descendant of 
William Reynolds, the first of the name to land on Ameri- 
can soil, about 1629, is Dorrance Reynolds, president 
of the Wyoming National Bank, at Wilkes-Barre, and 
one of the prominent citizens of the valley. 

Dorrance Reynolds was born in Wilkes-Barre, Septem- 
ber 9, 1877, the son of Sheldon and Annie Buckingham 
(Dorrance) Reynolds, the former a son of Hon. William 
Champion and Jane Holberton (Smith) Reynolds. 

It is most interesting to trace the family from the 
original pioneer adventurer, William Reynolds, who came 
from Gloucestershire, England, to Bermuda, whence he 
immigrated ab<5ut 1629 to Salem in the new Puritan 
Colony of Massachusetts Bay. He was associated with 
Roger Williams in the settlement and foundation of the 
colony of Providence Plantations, now Providence, Rhode 
Island. In July, 1640, William Reynolds and twelve 
others, "Desirous to inhabit in the town of Providence," 
signed a compact in which they promised to subject them- 
selves "in active and passive obedience to all such orders 
and agreements" as should be made for the public good 
of their community. He died about 1650, at a home 
he had built at what is now North Kingston, Wash- 
ington County, Rhode Island. He was survived by sev- 
eral children, among them being James Reynolds, who 
was born about 1625. James Reynolds took an active 
part in the struggle of that day and held a number of 
public offices, such as constable, overseer of the poor and 
conservator of the peace of the town of Kingston, for 
which office he was selected by the Colonial Assembly. 
He married a girl whose last name is not given in tlie 
records, but who is simply mentioned as "Delxsrah." He 
died in Kingstown in 1702, leaving seven children, of 
whom the second was James, born October 28, 1650. 

James Reynolds, the son of James and Deborah Reyn- 
olds, was one of the signers of a petition to the King 
of England in 1679, praying tiiat he would put an end 
to the difficulties then existing between Rhode Island and 
Connecticut. On February 19, 1685, he married Mary, 
daughter of James and Deliverance (Potter) Greene. 
They had two sons and one daughter, the second son, 
William, being born about 1698, at Kingstown. This 
William Reynolds was the original member of the Reyn- 
olds family to settle in the Wyoming Valley. In 1759 
he disposed of an estate he had purchased in Coventry, 
Rhode Island, selling it for one thousand pounds, and 
removed to Eastern New York. In 1753 the Susque- 
hanna Company had been organized in Connecticut, and 
in July, 1754, it purchased from the Si.x Nations Indians 
the Wyoming lands on the Susquehanna River. Many of 
the inhabitants of Dutchess and Orange counties in New 
York bought interests ni the "Susquehanna Purchase," 
among them being Benjamin Reynolds, the fifth child 
of William and Deborah (Greene) Reynolds. William 
Reynolds had married Deborah Greene, September 18, 
1729. She was the daughter of Benjamin and Humility 
(Coggeshall) Greene. Benjami^l Reynolds was one of 
the one hundred and sixty-nine signers of a petition, 
dated at Wilkes-Darre, August 2[). 1701). to the general 
assembly of Connecticut, praying that body lo erect and 
establish a county out of the Wyoming region. The fol- 
lowing morith William Reynolds, who had joined his son, 
Benjamin, at Wilkes-Barre with twenty-five other New 
Yorkers, signed a petition to the general assembly pray- 
ing that a township of si.x square miles of land be granted 
to them lying westward of the Susquehaima lands. 
Shortly afterwards, David Reynolds, the third child of 
William and Deborah (Greene) Reynolds, joined his 
father and brother at Wilkes-Barre. This David Reyn- 
olds was born in West Greenwich. Rhode Island, June 
'7. I734- He served in the Continental Army in regiments 
of the Connecticut line from May, 1777, to .\ucust, 1782, 
having enlisted for the duratiim of the war. He was in 
the Battle of Wyoming. He escaped from the \'alley 
after the surrender of Forty Fort, returning there late 
in the autumn of 177S. In 17711 he married a second lime, 
his wife being Mrs. Hannah (.\ndrus) Gaylord, born in 

Connecticut, in 1746; the widow of Charles (iaylord, 
formerly of Plymouth, who died in July, 1777, while a 
soldier in the Continental Army. There is no record of 
the first wife of David Reynolds, and the probabilities 
are that she perished in the Wyoming massacre. David 
and Hannah (.'Kndrus) Reynolds had one child, Ben- 
jamin, born February 4, 1 780. He was brought by his 
parents lo Plymouth, Luzerne County, about 1785, and 
there spent the subsequent years of his life. He carried 
on a general merchandise business, and in January, 1832, 
was appointed sheriff of Luzerne County by the Governor 
of the Commonwealtli. At a time when Masonry was so 
unpopular that it was almost dangerous to belong to a 
Masonic organization, he was a member of Lodge No. 
61, Free and Accepted Masons, having been initiated at 
Wilkes-Barre, January 4, 1819. He was for many years 
the justice of the peace in and for the town.ship of 
Plymouth, was captain and then major of the militia, 
and for nearly half a century was one of the representa- 
tive and substantial citizens of Plymouth, doing much 
for the promotion of religion and education in his com- 
munity. He married, March 22, 1801, Lydia Fuller, 
daughter of Joshua and Sybil (Champion) Fuller, born 
in Kent, Connecticut, November 5, 1779- She died in 
Plymouth, August 29, 1828, and oit February 23, 1830. 
Benjamin Reynolds married Ruey Hoyt, daughter of 
Daniel and Anne (Gunn) Hoyt. Mrs. Ruey Hoyt Rey- 
nolds died .\ugust 26, 1835, and Mr. Reynolds was mar- 
ried February 16, 1837, to Olivia M. (Frost) Porter, 
daughter of Samuel Frost and widow of Major Orlando 
Pcrter, Benjamin Reynolds died in Plymouth, February 
22. 1834. Mr. and Mrs. Lydia (Fuller) Reynolds had 
nine children, of whom William Champion Reynolds was 
the lirst-horn. 

William Champion Reynolds was born in Plymouth, 
I )(.cenilxr <). 1801. He worked on his father's farm in 
the summer months and attended the local .schools in the 
winter. In 1819 he entered the Wilkes-Barre Academy, 
:mu1 had prepared for Princeton College, but was not 
financially able to go and was forced to abandon that 
purpose. He taught school for a time and then became a 
business partner of Henderson Gaylord, his cousin. Under 
the firm names c f Gaylord and Reynolds, and Henderson 
Gaylord and Company, they carried on an extensive and 
I)rofitable mercrntile business, having one store at Plym- 
outh and another at Kingston. The partnership was dis- 
solved by mutual consent in 1835, and for almost a score 
of year.s .\lr. Reynolds was engaged in mining and ship- 
ping coal and in operating farms in Plymouth and King- 
ston townships. In October. i83(), and again in 1837, he 
was elected one of the two representatives from Luzerne 
County to the State Legislature. He was appointed and 
commissioned by Gfivernor Porter on March 15, 1841, 
one of the a.ssociate judges of the courts of Luzerne 
County for a term of five years. 1 .1 1840, and for several 
\ears thereafter. Judge Re>noids served, by the appoint- 
ment of the .\uditor General of Pennsylvania, as a mem- 
ber of the Board of Managers of the Wilkes-Barre 
Bridge Company, the owners of the Market Street 
Bridge, to represent the interests of the Commonwealtfi 
in that corporation. He was chosen a trustee of the 
Wyoming Seminary, at Kingston in 1845, although not 
a Methodist, and was continued in office for thirteen 
years. In 1852, with Henderson Gaylord, Hon. George 
W. Woodward, William Swetland, Samuel Hoyt, and 
others, lie secured the charter for and built the Lacka- 
wanna and Bloomsburg Railroad, which now forms part 
of the extensive Lackawanna system. He was president 
of the company during the construction of the road. He 
declined reelection to the presidency in i860, but con- 
tinued a director of the company until 1865. He was a 
director of the Wyoming National Bank of Wilkes- 
Barre. He was an original member of the Wyoming 
Historical and Geological Society of Wilkes-Barre. 

On I line Hi. 1832. Judge Reynolds married, at Plym- 
outh, jane Holberton Smith, born at Plymouth. .'Kpril 3, 
1812, the third child of John and Frances (Holberton) 
Smith. Judge Reynolds died at his home in Wilkes- 
Barre. Icinuarv 23. 1869, and his wife passed away there, 
March 6, 1874. thev had eight children, of whom Shel- 
don, born at Kingston. February 22. 1844. was the seventh. 

Sheldon Revnolds received his preliminary education 
at the Wyoming Seminary, Kingston; the Luzerne 



Presbyterial Institute, Wyoming, and the Hopkins Gram- 
mar School, at New Haven, Connecticut. In 1863 he 
entered Vale College, graduating with the degree of 
Bachelor of Arts in 1SO7. He continued his studies in 
the law school of Columbia College, New York, receiv- 
ing his degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1869. The year 
of 1870 he spent in Europe travelling and studying. On 
October 16, 1871, he was admitted to the Bar of Luzerne 
County. In 1872 he received the degree of Master of Arts 
from Yale College. 

He was deeply interested in the history and the histor- 
ical records of the Wyoming Valley, was a life member 
of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society, and 
at the time of his death, its president. He was a member 
of the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia ; The Associa- 
tion for the Advancement of Science; Historical Society 
of Virginia; Historical Society of Bangor, Maine; the 
Anthropological Society of Washington, District of 
Columbia, and the American Historical Association. He 
was one of the original trustees of the Osterhout Free 
Library of Wilkes-Barre ; a member of the Board of 
School Directors of the Third District of Wilkes-Barre 
(1875 and 1876); a director of the Wyoming National 
Bank from 1884 to 1892, when he was elected president ; 
president of the Wilkes-Barre Water Company, now a 
part of the Scranton-Springbrook system, and president 
of the Wilkes-Barre Electric Light Company, then one 
of the tirst electric service companies in existence and 
now a part of the Pennsylvania Power and Light Com- 

In politics, Sheldon Reynolds was a Democrat; in 1880 
he was chairman of the Wilkes-Barre city committee of 
his party, and in 1881 was chairman of the county com- 
mittee. He was repeatedly urged to accept Federal or 
State nomination for his district, but he declined. Sheldon 
Reynolds was the author of a number of essays and 
monographs, majnly dealing with the history of Wyoming 
Valley. His death occurred on February 8, 1895. 

Sheldon Reynolds married, November 23, 1876, .Annie 
Buckingham, Ixirn May 6, 1850, the daughter of Colonel 
Charles and Susan E. (Ford) Dorrance. They were the 
parents of one child, Dorrance. 

Dorrance Reynolds, lineal descendant of the pioneer 
adventurer, William Reynolds, who came from Glouces- 
tershire, England, was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsyl- 
vania, September 9, 1877. His education was received at 
Hillman Academy, \\'ilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the 
Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, Connecticut, Vale Univer- 
sity (Bachelor of Arts, 1902), and the Harvard Law 
School (Bachelor of Laws, 1Q05J. In igu he took the 
Field Officers course in the United States Army Service 
Schools, .\lthough Colonel Reynolds has been admitted 
to practice at the Luzerne County Bar and the Bar of 
the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, he has never been in 
active practice. He is now president and chairman of 
the board of directors of The Wyoming National Bank of 
Wilkes-Barre (1928). He is president of the Wyoming 
Historical and (xeological Society of which his grand- 
father, Hon. William Champion Reynolds, was an organ- 
izer ; a memljer of the Board of Managers of the Wilkes- 
Barre Genetal Hospital; a dfrector of the Wilkes-Barre 
Institute, a director of the Smith-Bennett Corporation ; 
and president of the Wilkes-Barre Symphony Orchestra. 
In 1921-24 he was a member of the Kirby Park Com- 
mission, which_ accomplished the design and construction 
of this beautiful park comprising one hundred and 
twenty acres, which has greatly enhanced the attractive- 
ness of Wilkes-Barre. In political adherence Colonel 
Reynolds nominally is a Democrat, and in 1907 was the 
candidate of his party for mavor of Wilkes-Barre. He 
is a memlier of Lodge No. 61. Free and Accepted Masons, 
and a thirty-second deeree Mason ; a member of Kanpa 
Psi. Delta Kappa Epsilon and the Elihu Club of Y'ale 
University; the '^'ale Club and the Harvard Club of New 
York City, Westmoreland and Craftsmen clubs of 
Wilkes-Barre; Irem Country Club of Dallas, Pennsyl- 
vania : the United States Infantry Association; Ameri- 
can Historical .Association; American Statistical Associ- 
ation ; the Society of Colonial Wars, etc., and a member 
of the First Presbyterian Church of Wilkes-Barre. 

Colonel Reynolds saw thirteen months overseas service 
in the American E.xpeditionary Force in the World War. 
Previously, he was for eight vears an officer in the 
Pennsylvania National Guard, being a company com- 
mander (1908 to 1012), and reeimental commander (1012 
to T016) of the 9fh Infantrv Regiment. In 1917, at the 
outbreak of the World War. Colonel Reynolds, beine 
then out of llie service, entered training camp and ioined 
the Infantry Reserve Corps with the rank of captain, and 
m the following year was promoted to the rank of 

major "for gallantry in action," and later to the rank of 
lieutenant-colonel for his work as an Intelligence Officer. 
On October 7, 191 8, he was wounded in the Battle of the 
Meuse-Argonne while commanding a battalion of infan- 
try. France awarded him the French decoration, Etoile 
Noire Du Benin, Grade of Officer, 7, November, 1918, 
and he received from his own government a Silver Star 
Citation, reading: 

Dorrance Reynolds, captain, 112 Infantry. For gal- 
lantry in action on October 7, 1918, during the Meuse- 
Argonne offen.sive. In face of heavy artillery, infan- 
try and machine gun fire. Captain Re.vnolds per.sonally 
led and steadied his men in the attack on the strongly- 
defended village of Chatel Chehery, France, and 
the .seeijjingly impregnable eastern face of Hill 244. 
Although severely wounded, he continued to direct his 
battalion and. after the colonel had fallen, he also 
directed his regiment until the capture of the position 
was assured. 

During the months preceding the Battle of the Argonne 
he was detailed to the Intelligence Section of the General 
Staff at the General Headquarters, American Expedi- 
tionary Forces. 

Dorrance Reynolds married, June 30, 1903, in New 
York City, Mabel Doudgc, daughter of James Reuben 
and Sevilla Brace (Hayden) Doudge. CbtoneF and Mrs. 
Reynolds are the parents of three children: i. Constance, 
born October 25, 1905. 2. Nancy Buckingham Dorrance, 
born February 17, 1907. 3. Patricia, born March 21, 

HON. LORRIE R. HOLCOMB— Both in his pro- 
fession as a member of the Bar of Luzerne County, and 
as a citizen who by his gifts and abilities has proven his 
efficiency as a Representative of his District in the State 
Legislature, Hon. Lorrie R. Holcomb has long held a 
place of distinct leadership in Wilkes-Barre political and 
civic life, as well as in the high esteem of his con- 
stitutency and the general public. He is a thoroughly 
able and progressive factor in all matters pertaining to 
the present-day interests of his township and county, and 
he has come to the front of affairs solely through his 
own worth and well-directed effort, 

Lorrie R. Holcomb was born October 3, 1870, in 
Hanover Township, Luzerne County, a son of Miles W. 
and .\nn F. (Metcalf) Holcomb, both parents now de- 
ceased. Miles W. Holcomb, a descendant of one of the 
oldest families in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the first 
of the name having come to Wyoming in what is now 
Luzerne County, prior to the Revolutionary War, was a 
son of Harvey Holcomb, also a native of Hanover Town- 
ship. Miles W. and Ann F. (MetcaPf ) Holcomb were the 
parents of five children : Milton E. Holcomb, cf Buffalo, 
New York ; Minnie M. Holcomb, married George Keiser, 
of Hanover Township; Lorrie R. Holcomb, of whom 
further ; Goodwin Holcomb. deceased at about thirty- 
six years of age ; .Ashland, deceased at eleven years of 

Lorrie R. Holcomb attended the public schools at Han- 
over, and was graduated at Wyoming Seminary, at King- 
ston, in the class of 1895. He then accepted a position 
as clerk in the office of the county clerk, where he con- 
tinued two years, familiarizing himself with interests that 
were to share in his profession. In 1897, Mr. Hol- 
comb matriculated at Dickinson Law School, at Carlisle. 
Pennsylvania, where he was graduated in the class of 
T90T witli his degree Bachelor of Laws. On January 5. 
1902, Mr. Holcomb was admitted to the Luzerne County 
Bar. and for a quarter of a century he has been active 
in general practice. 

In his political views a Republican, Mr. Holcomb in 
1902 was nominated and elected to the Pennsylvania Leg- 
islature from the Sixth Legislative District of Luzerne 
County, and he served in the session of 1903, and again 
in 1 90s, and although he ran on the Republican ticket 
in a Democratic District, he was enabled to win aeainst 
the opposition. Fraternally, Mr. Holcomb is affiliated 
with Landmark Lodge, No. 442, Free and .Accepted 
Masons; Patriotic Order Sons of America, of which 
he is a Past State President; Junior Order L'nited Ameri- 
can Mechanics ; Loyal Order of Moose, and Sons of 

Lorrie R. Holcomb married, June 29, 1904, Danna G. 
Pace, of Hanover, daughter of Dr. S. S. Pace. 

BERTON L. HESSLER— One of the most prom- 
inent laundry owners in the State of Pennsylvania, is 
Berton L. Hessler. founder and president of the Hessler 
Laundry Company. Inc.. whose modern, well equipped 
nlant is located at No. 165 No.rth Main Street, in Wilkes- 





tl.-<. — ^ 




The Hessler family is one of the old and respected 
families of this part of the State. John H. Hessler, 
father of Mr. Hessler, came to Wilkes-Barre with his 
family about 1889. Here he leased the old Oscar Smith 
Laundry on South State Street and built up a prosperous 
business, which he continued to the time of his death, 
which occurred in 1905, at the age of fifty-three years. 
He married Anna M. Wildrick, who survives him and 
lives in Wilkes-Barre, aged seventy-two years. They 
became the parents of ten children ; Berton L., of further 
mention; William, of Wilkes-Barre; Minnie, who mar- 
ried John Ashelman, of Wilkes-Barre: Archibald R., of 
Kingston, Pennsylvania; Howard, of Detroit, Michigan, 
is a twin of Harry, who died in childhood ; Lehman C, 
of Truckville, Pennsylvania; Edward J., who lives in 
Truckville; Irene, wife of Lester Uavis, of Johnson 
City, New York ; and Earl Randolph, of Forty Fort, 
Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. 

Berton L. Hessler, son of John H. and Anna M. 
(Wildrick) Hessler, was born in Moosic, Luzerne Coun- 
ty, Pennsylvania, in September, 1874. He received his 
education in the public schools of Wilkes-Barre. con- 
tinuing in school until he was fifteen years of age. 
He then became his father's helper in the wash room 
of his big laundry, and in this connection he thoroughly 
learned the laundry business. In 1907 lie organized the 
Hessler Laundry Company, Inc., and located at Nos. 16- 
18 East South Street, moving to his present modern 
building at No. 165 North Main Street in 1014. This 
is a three-story building, one of the largest laundry 
plants in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the largest in 
Wilkes-Barre, and here Mr. Hessler is taking care of a 
very large number of family washes. He has equipped 
his plant with every modern convenience for quick and 
efficient work and his patrons have learned that he can 
!>e depended upon to give excellent service. Mr. Hessler 
has been president of the comps^ny since its organization 
in 1907. In his political faith he is a Republican. Frater- 
nally, he is identified with Kingston I^dge, No. 395, 
Free and Accepted Masons: Shekinah Chapter, No. 182, 
Royal Arch Masons ; Dieu le Veut Commandery, No. 45, 
Knights Templar : Caldwell Consistory, thirty-second 
degree; and Irem Temple, .\ncient Arabic Order Nobles 
of the Mystic Shrine. He is also a member of Irem 
Country Club, tlit Rotary Club, the Craftsmen Club, 
and is identified with several other local organizations. 
He is an active member of the Greater Wilkes-Barre 
Chamber of Commerce and of the Pennsylvania Laun- 
dry Owners' Association, also of the National Laundry- 
men's .Association. His religious membership is with 
the Presbyterian Church of Forty Fort. 

Berton L. Hessler was married, October 1, ii)05, to 
Louise Flory Hughes, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, 
daughter of David F. and Helen (Flory) Hughes, both 
now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Hessler are the parents 
of one daughter, Ruth, who married Donald R. Mac- 
Keevy, of Wilkes-Barre, and has one daughter, Mar- 
garet Ix>uise. 


Coughlins treated in this biographical sketch, James Mar- 
tin Coughlin and his son. Judge Qarence D. Coughlin, 
were descended from forebears who represented the best 
citizenship in the North of Ireland. The head of the 
family, John Coughlin, was born in Kilrish, County 
Clare, Ireland, in 1810, was reared and received his edu- 
cation in that country and came to the United States 
in 1829, at the age of nineteen, and settled at Hunting- 
ton Township, Luzerne County, where he was employed 
by Titus Seward, dealer in lands and contractor for the 
Lehigh Valley Railroad Company. Later Mr. Coughlin 
settled on a farm in Fairmount Township of the same 
county, and in addition to agricultural pursuits acted as 
fireman and engineer in the saw mill industry. During 
the Civil War he enlisted in Company I. 143d Regiment 
of Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, under command of 
Captain Hughes, served two and a half years and was 
honorably discharged with the rating of sergeant. He 
married Diana Seward, daughter of Titus and Clarissa 
(Forbes) Seward, the former of whom came from Con- 
necticut to Huntington \^alley, and who died in the prime 
of life, and the latter of whom died at the ripe old age 
of ninety-two years. Titus Seward was a descendant 
of Enos Seward. Sr., born July 7. 1735, and a son. Enos 
Seward, Jr., who married Sarah Goss and lived in Gran- 
ville, Massachusetts, until he came to Huntington and 
occupied the farm formerly owned hy his father-in-law, 
Philip Goss, Sr.. fatiier of Mrs. Sarah (Goss) Seward, 
was one of the first landowners m Huntington. His sons, 
Philip, Solomon, David, Comfort, and Nathaniel, were 

living there before the Tory invasion of 1778. Solomon 
Goss was a prisoner in Forty Fort for a short time with 
Captain John Franklin and others. The names of Phihp 
and Comfort Goss are enrolled among the first two hun- 
dred settlers who braved the hardships and dangers of 
the advance force who came "to man their rights. Prior 
to the Massacre of Wyoming, Pennsylvania, the family 
of Philip Goss, Sr., occupied the farm which in later 
years passed to Levi Seward. John and Diana (Seward) 
Coughlin had eight children, of whom James Martin 
Coughlin, father of Judge Clarence D. Coughlin, was 
the fourth, and the eldest son. 

James M. Coughlin was a farmer boy, self-educated 
and self-made. By the time he was twenty he was fairly 
well qualified for his work as teacher, which he took 
up and pushed energetically. He taught one term at 
the Montgomery School, and for two years following 
taught in the Mossville School of Fairmount Township, 
then in a private school for a year, a public school in 
Red Rock for two years, a private school in McKendry, 
Union Township, and a public school in Butler Town- 
ship. He was then advanced to the principalship of the 
Bennett Grammar School at Mill Hollow, a borough of 
Luzerne, in which he made a good record for three years. 
He next taught a year in a Muhlenburg private school, 
after which he became principal of New Columbus Aca- 
demy. He remained here three years, and upon remov- 
ing to KingEton, taught in the public schools of that place 
for several years, until 1878, when his fine record caused 
him to be elected superintendent of schools for Luzerne 
County. His first election was for a term of three years, 
and it is high compliment to his ability that three times 
thereafter he was returned to the post, making a total 
of twelve years, which was twice as long as any predeces- 
sor had served. In this position he had charge of eight 
hundred schools, and in his first year he examined tleven 
hundred and fifty-five teachers. Since then he examined 
more than 15,000. In 1890 and 1891 he was vice-principal 
of the Blooinsburg State Normal School, in charge of 
civics and history ; he was reelected for another term 
but resigned to accept the position of superintendent ot 
city schools at Wilkes-Barre, a place he filled very credi- 
tably until his death in 1920. He served as president of 
the State Teachers Association of Pennsylvania, and was 
a member of the College and University Council of 
Pennsylvania under appointments from Governors Has- 
tings, Stone and Pennypackei. He was a member of the 
commission appointed by the Governor of Pennsylvania 
to revise and codify the school laws of Pennsylvania 
under which code the present public school system of the 
State is now functioning. He enjoyed prestige all over 
the country as a progressive educator. In secret order 
circles he was a member of the FVee and Accepted Ma- 
sons ; of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society 
in literary affairs ; and in church matters of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, having served at Kingston as super- 
intendent of the Sunday School. He was born in Fair- 
mount Township, Luzerne County, in 1849, and died Sep- 
tember 21, 1920, while his wife died in 1923. He mar- 
ried December 26, 1878, at Kingston, Mary E. Welter, 
horn November 10, 1853, daughter of Joseph I\ and 
Barbara (Lawrence) Welter. She taught school in Dal- 
las, later in Kingston Borough up to 1876, and graduated 
from Wyoming Seminary in 1878; she became gifted in 
painting and art. Their eight children were: i. Ellen 
Martin, born December 13, 1879, a graduate in 1903 of 
Welleslty College, Wellesley, Massachusetts. 2. Flor- 
ence Rowena, born December 21, 1881, died May 8, 1883. 
3. Clarence D., born July 27, 1883, a graduate of Harvard 
University in 1906. 4. James Martin, Jr., born February 
15, 1886, a graduate of Cornell University. 5. Joseph 
\V'elter, born September 29, 1889, and died in February, 
1921 ; he was a graduate of Pennsylvania State College. 
6. Mildred Marion, born July 16, 1892; a graduate of 
Wellesley College. 7. Hale Seward, born September 7, 
1894, a graduate of Pennsylvania State College. 8. Rob- 
ert Lawrence, (see accompanying biography). Henry 
Welter, the original American settler of his family, 
ancestor of .Mrs. Coughlin, was born in Germany in 
173S- and served in the Revolutionary War from New 
Jersey. Roxbury. Morris County, enlisting in May, 1775, 
and serving for three years in a New Jersey regiment 
under Colonel John H. Helme, so that on both sides of 
the family Judge Coughlin is qualified for membership 
in tlie patriotic societies, Henry Welter applied for a 
pension at the age of ninety-nine, and settled at I-'ox- 
iiill. New Jersey, as a farmer, where he died at the age 
of (jne hundred and four years. His son was Jacob 
Welter, born in 1778, died in 1827. His son, Conrad 
Welter, born in 1799, died in Morris County, New Jer- 

176, in 1886. His son, Joseph Fulkersin Welter, born in 
i8j8, (lied in 1920, he married Barbara Ann Laurence, 
born in 1829, died in 1908, daughter of John and Mary 
(I.eBar) Laurence of Bushkill, Pennsylvania. Their 
daughter, Mary Esther Welter, became the mother of 
Clarence D. Coughlin, of whom further. 

Judge Clarence D. Coughlin was born in Kingston, 
Luzerne County, July 27, 1883, and as a boy attended 
the public schools, after which he matriculated at Wes- 
leyan College, Middletown, Connecticut ; but he soon 
transferred to Harvard University at Cambridge, Massa- 
chusetts, from which institution he graduated in 1906 
with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He then became 
a teacher of English in the Fairview Township High 
School, later in the Wilkes-Barre High School. In ig«6 
he registered as a law student in the office of Judge 
Henry A. Fuller. In 1910 he was admitted to the Penn- 
sylvania Bar. He first began practice in association with 
Sydney R. Miner and Colonel Frank G. Uartc. Judge 
Coughlin followed the law for a decade. For ten years 
Judge Coughlin was instructor in law in the Wharton 
Extension School of University of Pennsylvania. He 
was elected to Congress at Washington from the Twelfth 
Congressional District, in 1920, and served acceptably his 
constituents during one term of two years, attlie expira- 
tion of which he returned to his private practice, which 
has always iK'cn considerable. On October 6. 1025, he 
was apiwintcd by Governor Pinchot, Judge of the Com- 
mon Pleas Court, Luzerne County District, succeeding 
Judge Woodward, deceased. .'\t the November election 
of 1927 Judge Coughlin was elected as a Republican can- 
didate to succeed himself tor ten years, receiving the 
highest vote on the Republican ticket that was ever cast 
ior any candidate in Luzerne County. He has served 
as a member of the Republican State Committee, and 
has been county chairman three times. During the World 
War Judge Coughlin was appointed bv the Governor 
as a member of the State Committee of Public Safety 
He has also been a member of the commission to revise 
the criminal laws of Pennsylvania, having been appointed 
to this position by governors of three succeeding terms 
He IS a director of the Wilkes-Barre Academy a school 
for boys and is a director of the Wilkes-Barre Can Com- 
pany, manufacturers of all kinds of drums and metal 
containers; a director of Wilkes-Barre Deposit and Sav- 
ings Bank, and of the Diamond Land Improvement Com- 
pany. He owes his allegiance in religious matters to the 
church of his father, the Methodist Episcopal He is 
a meml)er of Landmark Lodge, No. 442, Free and Ac- 
^'''u^ iv^^^°"^' °f Wilkes-Barre; the Chapter, Royal 
Arch Masons ; Dieu le Veut, Commanderv, No. 45 
Knights Templar; and the Consistory. In addition, he 
IS a member of Irem Temple of the Ancient Arabic 
?xlu gobies of the Mystic Shrine of Wilkes-Barre- 
W likes- Barre Lodge, No. 109, Benevolent and Protective 
Order of Elks ; the Junior Order United American Me- 
chanics; the Grange; the Loyal Order of Moose; and the 
Sons of Union Army Veterans. His clubs include the 
Westmort'land, Wyoming Valley Country and the Har- 
vard of Philadelphia. He belongs to the county. State 
and American bar associations, has been active on various 
important committees of the State Bar Association. He 
also holds membership in the Wyoming Valley Historical 
Society. Judge Coughlin finds his chief diversion in 
conducting a farm of one hundred and forty acres near 
New Columbus. 

Judge Coughlin married Helen V. Barring June 27 
1910, a daughter of Herman and Louise (Hesse) Bar- 
ring, o Wilkes-Barre, and they have had two children • 
a daughter, Helen B., and a son, Barring H. Coughlin, 

lawyer who has had an unusually valuable training in 
human affairs, especially at the National Capital, Robert 
Lawrence Coughlin, of Nos. 405-06 Coal Exchange Build- 
ing, Wilkes-Barre. has won high place among his asso- 
ciates and contemporaries, and bids fair to become a lead- 
ing member of the bar of the county, as he is now a promi- 
nent member of the bar of Wilkes-Barre and of Penn- 
sylvania. Mr. Coughlin left school to enlist in the United 
States Navy during the World War, and after the con- 
flict, when his brother. Judge Clarence D. Coughlin, 
(q. v.), was elected to Congress, be went to Washington 
with him as his private secretary, and there had entree 
to the treasure chest of world politics for one term of 
two years, during which he rendered splendid service and 
learned some of the most valuable lessons of his life. 
This touch with men of big affairs in the United States 
and the universe broadened Mr. Coughlin like nothing 
possibly could have done, and it was a fortunate augury 

for Wilkes-Barre and his native State that he decided 
to settle here instead of lending his talents and experi- 
ence to some other locality. 

Robert Lawrence Coughlin was born at Wilkes-Barre, 
-March 24, 1900, the son of James M. and Mary E. 
(Welter) Coughlin, for an account of whose activities 
the reader is referred to the accompanying sketch of 
Judge Clarence D. Coughlin. He received his education 
in the Wilkes-Barre public schools, including the high 
school, from which he was graduated in 1918, where- 
upon he patriotically entered the United States Navy, 
being discharged early in 1919. Determined to complete 
his education, Mr. Coughlin entered Harvard University 
at (Cambridge in 1919, and graduated in the class of 1921 
with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. It so happened 
at this time that his brother, Judge Coughlin, had been 
elected to Congress, and the younger brother was invited 
to go along as his advisor and private secretary. Judge 
Coughlin served the Twelfth Pennsylvania Congressional 
District, comprising Luzerne County, in the Sixty-seventh 
Congress. In 1922, Mr. Coughlin's duties at Wa.shington 
being ended, he entered the Law Department of the Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with the 
class of 1926 with the degree of Bachelor of Laws, and 
upfin succcFsfuUy standing the examinations was admitted 
to the Luzerne County Bar in the same year. We thus note 
a very unusual circumstance, or series of circumstances, 
in the life of this ambitious Pennsylvanian : the World 
War interrupted his education and he went forth to help 
his countrymen defeat the Germans, after which he deter- 
mined to finish his education, and attended Harvard Uni- 
versity ; when this was done and he was ready to take 
up a study of the law for a degree, he >vas halted tem- 
porarily by his summons to aid his brother in Washing- 
ton, and with this duty performed he won his law degree 
at the University of Pennsylvania and straightway went 
to practicing law. To one who has never been tb rough 
such interruptions they could not be appreciated, but they 
only steeled the resolution of Mr. Coughlin to attain his 
goal, and attain it he did, and with the result that now 
he has a diploma and a clientele, the rough bumps are 
an asset rather than a liability. 

Robert L. Coughlin married, September 24, 1927, Eve- 
lyn E. Wick, and they have a son, Robert L. Jr, He 
is a member of the Republican party in political spheres, 
and of Landmark Lodge, No. 442, of the Free and Ac- 
cepted Masons in fraternal order work. He joined the 
Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity at the University of 
Pennsylvania, and takes an active interest, has plenty of 
friends and is known as one of the most promising of the 
junior members of the bar. 

JAMES HOSIE HUGHES— One of the well-knowji 
consulting engineers of Wilkes-Barre, James Hosie 
Hughes occupies offices in the Second National Bank 
Building, Rooms No. 504 to 506. Earlier in his profes- 
sional career he was identified with several coal com- 
panies, as an engineer ; then he became a consulting en^ 
ginecr. He is now with the firm known as Hughes, 
Moore and Sterling, of Wilkes-Barre. 

Mr. Hughes was born in Carbondale, in what is now 
Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, on January 22, i860, 
a son of John and Lucretia (Smith) Hughes, both of 
whom are now deceased. John Hughes, a native of 
Aberdare, Glamorganshire, Wales, who was born on 
.March 24, 1817, was for many years inside superintend- 
ent of the Delaware and Hudson mines at Carbondale; 
he married Lucretia Smith in Aberdare on July 14, 1838. 
She, also a native of Aberdare, was born on November 
30, 1820. They were the parents of fourteen children : 
Francis, born April 6, 1839, died September 27, 1840; 
Francis, 2d, born May 6, 1841 ; Elizabeth, born September 
24, 1842; Edward, born January 11, 1844; Samuel, born 
Dccemljer 4, 1845; Cieorge, born July 9, 1847; William, 
born October 24, 1848; Margaret Jane, born August 22, 
1850; l>avid, born January 24, 1852; Margaret Jane, born 
May 6, 1854 1 Mary, born November 30, 1855 ; John, born 
Ottober 16, 1857; James Hosie, of this review, and Ruth, 
born July 13, 1861. All of these children are now dead 
except Edward and James Hosie Hughes. The Hughes 
family left its native land and came to the United States 
in 1840. 

James H. Hughes, who spent most of his boyhood in 
Carbondale, Pennsylvania, whose public schools he at- 
tended, went later to Colorado, and was graduated from 
the Black Hawk High School in 1879, after which he 
became a student at the University of Colorado, receiving 
ill 1882 a certificate of competency as an assayer of ores. 
However, during these years he had prospected in the 
Gunnison, Buena Vista and Leadville districts and had 


i.tK / 




been employed in a mining camp at Leadville, After he 
had spent five years in Golden, Colorado, where he \yas 
assistant assayer for the Golden Smeltmg and Reduction 
Company, and later in charge of the sampling department, 
he returned to Pennsylvania where, m December, 1882, 
he took a position as engineer, and later m the general 
manager's department with the Lehigh and Wilkes-Barre 
Coal Company. Still later he served as general superm- 
tendent of the Keystone Coal Company. Subsequently 
he formed a partnership with W. F. Dodge under the 
firm name of Dodge and Hughes, consultmg engineers, 
in VVilk-es-Barre. This partnership lasted for eighteen 
years, 1893-1911, at the end of which time he formed the 
present firm under the name of Hughes, Moore and Ster- 
ling, with offices in the Second National Bank Building. 
Along with his other work. Mr. Hughes, for the past 
thirty-five years, has acted as consulting engineer for the 
principal estates in the Wyoming Valley; he has been 
consulting engineer and operator for the receiver of the 
Natalie Coal Lands of Northumberland and Columbia 
counties ; consulting engineer for the Mt. Carmel and 
Natalie Railroad, 1898-1917; engineer, general manager 
and later president of the Archibald Coal Company in 
Lackawanna County, 1908-16; president and general man- 
ager of the Lauralla Slate Company of Slatington, Penn- 
sylvania, 1906-11. 

In his political affiliations Mr. Hughes is a member of 
the Republican party. Religiously he is identified with 
the Methodist Episcopal Church of Kingston. He is a 
member of the Free and Accepted Masons, in which order 
he is affiliated with the Caldwell Consistory, of Blooms- 
burg, Pennsylvania ; the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, 
in which he received the thirty-second degree; Irem 
Temple, of the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mys- 
tic Shrine, in Wilkes-Barre. He is a member of the Irem 
Temple Country Club, the Wyoming Valley Country 
Club, the Westnioreland Club, the Press Club, the Wilkes- 
Barre Automobile Club (ex-president), and the Chamber 
of Commerce. He is a member of American Institute of 
Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, and was a director 
of the Engineering Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania. 
For more than thirty years Mr. Hughes has been one of 
the foremost representative citizens of Wilkes-Barre, 
keenly interested at all times in the welfare of the city 
and eager to promote any movement that he believed 
would improve its social and civic life. 

James H. Hughes has been married twice; (first) to 
Emma Laird, daughter of James D. and Patience (Jack- 
son) Laird; and (second), in 1913, to Madge von Storch, 
daughter of Robert Miner and Arabella (Rogers) von 
Storch. By the first marriage there was one daughter. 
Patience Laird, who is the wife of Charles F. Turner, of 
Wilkes-Barre, by which marriage there is one child, 
James Hughes. By his second marriage Mr. Hughes has 
no children. Mr. and Mrs. Hughes reside at No. 465 
Wyoming Avenue, Kingston. 

EVAN C. JONES — For the past twenty-seven years 
Evan C. Jfones has been actively engaged in legal prac- 
tice in Wilkes-Barre, where he had made for himself a 
reputation as a skilled practitioner and as a man of wide 
legal knowledge. Mr. Jones is a graduate of I^fayette 
College, and was admitted to the Luzerne County Bar in 
July, 1900. He is well known in Masonic circles, and 
has many friends in this city. 

John C. Jones, father of Mr. Jones, was born in 
Cardiganshire, Wales, and came to Luzerne County, 
Pennsylvania, in 1864, settling at Warrior Run, Han- 
over Township, where for thirty-five years lie was super- 
intendent of the Warrior Run Coal Mines. He was a 
Republican in his political allegiance, and a member of 
the Presbyterian Church. He and his wife, Elizabeth 
(Rowland) Jones, who also was a native of Cardigan- 
shire, Wales, were married in their native land and came 
to this country in 1864. They were the parents of the 
following children : John R,, who is associated with the 
Ryman Lumber Company of Wilkes-Barre; David C. 
who was engaged in the grocery business in Wilkes- 
Barre, and died in August, 1915: Benjamin R.. who is 
associate judge of the Eleventh Judicial District, which 
includes Luzerne County; Janet, widow of David Phil- 
lips, of Wilkes-Barre; Thomas R.. who is superintendent 
of the Madeira Hill Anthracite Coal interest at Frack- 
ville, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania; and Evan C, of 
further mention. 

Evan C. Jones, son of John C. and Elizabeth (Row- 
land) Jones, was born at Warrior Run, Hanover Town- 
ship, Luzerne County, Peimsylvania, Novein1)er 26, 1876, 
and received his early education in the local public schools, 
graduating from Sugar Notch High School in 1891. He 

prepared for college in the Harry Hillman Academy, at 
Wilkes-Barre, completing his course there with gradua- 
tion in 1894, and then matriculated in Lafayette College, 
at Easton Pennsylvania, the following fall. In the spring 
of 1898 he graduated from Lafayette College, receiving 
at that time the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy, and 
then returned to Wilkes-Barre, where he began the study 
of law in the office of his brother, Benjamin R. Jones, 
now Judge Jones. He was admitted to the Luzerne 
County Bar. July 14, IQOO, and for the past twenty- 
seven years has been one of the leading attorneys of 
Luzerne County. He is a member of the Luzerne Cx)unty 
Bar Association and of the Pennsylvania State Bar 
Association. Fraternally, he is identified with Theta 
Delta Chi Fraternity, Sons of Liberty Lodge, Independ- 
ent Order of Odd Fellows, of Wilkes-Barre ; and is also 
prominent in the Masonic Order, being a member of 
Wilkes-Barre Lodge, No. 61, Free and Acepted Masons; 
of all the Scottish Rite bodies; and of Keystone Con- 
sistory, in which he holds the thirty-second degree; also 
of Irem Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the 
Mystic Shrine; and of the Shrine Country Club. He is 
also a memter of the Wyoming Valley Country Club 
and of the Westmoreland Club, and his religious affilia- 
tion is with the First Presbyterian Church of Wilkes- 

Evan C. Jones was married, June 6, 1905, to Dorothy 
Schlingman, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and they 
became the parents of one daughter, Dorothy Elizabeth, 
who died in childhood. 


—For generations one of the prominent families in 
.\merica, notably in Pennsylvania and Luzerne County, 
has been that of Woodward, which was established on 
this continent by Richard Woodward, who sailed from 
Ipswich, England, on April 10, 1634, in the "Elizabeth," 
of which William Andrews was master, and brought 
with him his wife. Rose, and his sons, George and John. 
From them most of the older families of Woodward in 
the United States today are descended; and one of the 
descendants, who for years held a prominent place in the 
life of Wilkes-Barre and Luzerne County, was the Hon. 
John Butler Woodward, a man of gracious and dignified 
bearing, a lawver of note, possessed of rare charm and 
refinement, and dearly joved by his fellowmen, who 
keenly regretted his passing. 

Before going into the life and works of the Hon. Mr. 
Woodward, perhaps it would be well to give some account 
of the family itself, going back to the founder, Richard 
Woodward, who was admitted a freeman on Septem- 
ber 2, 1635, and whose name apiiears on the earliest list 
of proprietors of the plantation of Watertown. He after- 
ward acquired many tracts of land, amounting to about 
three hundred and fifty acres, and by purchase in 1640 
came into possession of a mill property in Boston. He 
lived in Cambridge in 1660, and died February 16, 1664-65, 
after which his estate was administered by his sons. His 
wife. Rose, died October 6, 1662, and in 1663 he married 
(second) ,\nn Gates, born in 1603, widow of Stephen 
Gates, of Cambridge. She died in Stow February 5. 
1683. From Richard, the Woodward line has been traced 
through his son George, (Jeorge's son John, John's son 
Richard, Richard's son Amos, and Amos's son Enos, the 
pioneer in Pennsylvania and the great-great-grandfather 
of the Hon. John Butler Woodward. Enos Woodward, 
born January 31, 1725-26, removed about I775 from Con- 
necticut and took his residence in the wilderness of the 
Wallenpaupack, in what is now Pike County, Pennsyl- 
vania, wh re he was harassed time and again by Indians ; 
he married Mary Bennett. Abisha Woodward was born 
January 10, 1768, and was about eight years of age when 
iiis parents settled in the wilderness of Wallenpaupack, 
in what is now Pike County, Pennsylvania, atout 1775. 
Here Abisha Woodward grew to manhood with very 
little chance for an education. After he had married and 
was yet a young man, while on his way home from a 
meadow where he had been mowing, carrying his scythe 
on his hack, he was crossing a little brook when he slipped 
and fell. In throwing out his left hand to break his fall, 
he brought it against the edge of the scythe and cut 
it almost off at the joint of the wrist. He was alone, 
and some distance from home, but he held the mutilated 
member with his other hand and hurried home as rap- 
idly as iiossible; mortification set in, and there being no 
surg"on in the wilderness. Dr. Hollingshead, who lived 
in Northampton County, forty miles away, was sent for 
and amputated the left arm midway between the wrist 
and elbow. While this painful accident disqualified him 
for manual labor, it proved in one way a blessing. Owing 


to the lack of schools and the unsettled state of the 
country, then slowly recovering from the depredations 
of the Indians during the war, he had had but little 
opportunity for getting an education, and the long 
confinement attendant upon his injury afforded him a 
chance to repair this deficiency. In the year or more 
of his compulsory retirement from active life he applied 
himself so diligently to his mental improvement that on 
his recovery he was able to devote himself to teaching 
school. Later he held the office of constable, deputy 
sheriflF, justice of the peace, high sheriff, and associate 
judge. He married. October 6, 1789, Lucretia' Kimble, 
and died on his farm near Bethany, Wayne County, Penn- 
sylvania, November 27, 1829. They had ten children. 
One of these, the Hon. George Washington Woodward, 
born in Bethany, Pennsylvania, March 26, 1809, died in 
Rome, Italy, May 10, 1875, having sailed from Philadel- 
phia in October, 1874, to join his daughter; he studied 
at Geneva Seminary, at Hobart Q)llege, Geneva, New 
York, and the Wilkes-Barre Academy, and read law 
with Thomas Fuller, of Wayne County, and with the 
Hon. Garrick Mallery, of Wilkes-Barre ; he was admitted 
to the bar August 3, 1830, and was active in the Demo- 
cratic party. George Washington Woodward was one 
of the great men of his time. A book has been written 
of his life. He was delegate to the Constitutional Con- 
vention of Pennsylvania in 1837; president judge of the 
Fourth Judicial District in 1841, also chief justice of the 
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania after his resignation in 
1867. He was Congressman and delegate-at-large m the 
Constitutional Convention of Pennsylvania in 1872-73. 
He ran unsuccessfully against Andrew Curtin for Gov- 
ernor of Pennsylvania, and was appointed to the Supreme 
Court of the United States by President Polk, but was 
vetoed by Simon Cameron, president of the Senate, a 
life long enemy. He married, September 10, 1832, Sarah 
Elizabeth, only daughter of George W. Trott, M. D. 
One of their children was the Hon. Stanley Woodward, 
father of John Butler Woodward. 

The Hon. Stanley Woodward was born in Wilkes- 
Barre, August 2a 1833; attended the local schools; 
and was prepared for Yale College at the Episcopal 
High School, of Alexandria, Virginia, and at Wyoming 
Seminary, Kingston, Pennsylvania. .At the Wyoming Semi- 
nary lie studied under Professor Henry Martyn Hoyt, 
who later became Governor of the State, as well as a 
law partner of Judge Woodward. The professor was 
an ardent Republican, while the student was as ardent a 
E)emocrat ; but the men became, nevertheless, close friends 
and Mr. Woodward received his first commission to the 
bench from his former preceptor. After he left the 
seminary, Stanley Woodward entered Yale College, from 
which he was graduated in the class of 1855 with the 
degree of Bachelor of Arts. He was in college the 
recipient of a number of prizes for excellence in English 
composition, and was elected editor of the "Yale Literary 
Magazine." In his last year at college, he studied law 
at Yale Law School, and after graduation entered the 
office of his cousin, the Hon. Warren J. Woodward, who 
later was apixsinted Judge of the Supreme Court of Penn- 
sylvania. On August 4, 1856, he was admitted to the 
Bar in Luzerne County; and, as his cousin had just been 
elevated to the bench, Stanley fell heir to the large law 
practice of the judge. He attained a high place in his 
profession, beginning to rise almost immediately; and 
throughout the greater portion of his career was counsel 
for the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad 
Company, the Lackawanna and Bloomsburg Railroad 
Company, the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company and 
the Central Railroad of New Jersey. For twenty-one 
years he graced the bench of the State for Luzerne 
County, and from 1879 until his retirement was Presiding 
Judge of the County Court. During the Civil War. he 
served with the 3d Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteer 
Infantry, and became captain of Company H. He was 
later in command of Company A of the 4Sth Pennsyl- 
vania Regiment during the celebrated Gettysburg cam- 
paign. He was a candidate for the State Senate in 1865, 
and for the United States Congress in 1872. When he 
retired from the judgeship, Stanley Woodward resumed 
his private practice, becoming a member of the firm 
of Woodward, Darling and Woodward, and remained 
active in his profession until his death, on March 29, igo6. 
He was one of four men who founded tlie Wyoming 
Historical and Geological Society on February 11, 1858, a 
member of that organization for forty-six years, its vice- 
president in 1894. and president of it from 1895 until his 
death. His death caused great sorrow throughout the 
State, for everyone knew him as a brilliant lawyer and 
judge and a wise and considerate man. On June 3, 1857, 

he married Sarah Richards Butler, daughter of the late 
Colonel John Lord Butler and great-granddaughter of 
Colonel Zebulon Butler, commander of the American 
Forces at Wyoming on July 3, 1778. Her great-grand- 
father on her mother's side was Captain Samuel Rich- 
ards, a member of the Connecticut Society of the Cin- 
cinnati. Captain Samuel Richards was one of the builders 
of West Point, and shared for six months a log cabin 
with Kosciusko, the Polish htro. His diary, begun in 
1773 and continuing until 1783, began with the Battle of 
Bunker Hill. It is in the possession of Judge Wood- 
ward's family, still in a perfect state of preservation and 
legibility. Mrs. Stanley Woodward was descended from 
three Colonial governors : Governor Gordon Saltonstall, 
Governor John Haynes and Governor Thomas Welles. 
Mrs. Woodward also belonged to the Society of Colonial 
Governors. Judge and Mrs. Stanley Woodward became 
the parents of three children. I. Ellen May, born May 
27. 1858, died in May, i860, 2. Jqhn Butler, of further 
mention. 3. George Stanley, M. D., born June 22, 1863, 
a graduate of Yale University, class of 1887, degree of 
Bachelor of Arts, received Bachelor of Philosophy degree 
in the following year, received his Doctor 01 Medicine 
degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1891 ; 
married, October 9, 1894, Gertrude Houston, daughter of 
Henry Howard Houston, of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, 
and they had five children: Henry Howard Houston, 
who was killed in the World War, while in combat with 
a German aviator, April i, 1918. He was a member of 
the Lafayette Elscadrille; George, Jr., Stanley, Charles 
Henry, and Gertrude Woodward. 

John Butler Woodward, the second of the three chil- 
dren of Judge Stanley and Sarah Richards (Butler) 
Woodward, was born April 3, 1861. He attended the 
Wilkes-Barre Academy ; St. Paul's School. Concord, New 
Hampshire ; and Yale College, from which he was grad- 
uated in the class of 1883 with a fine scholastic record. 
Like his father, he was honored with election to the 
celebrated "Skull and Bones" society, and was a leader 
ill the student body. He entered the University of Penn- 
sylvania Law School, where he studied for one year, being 
admitted to the Bar of Luzerne County on September 
7, 1885. He immediately began practicing his choseh 
profession in Wilkes-Barre. Until 1892 he was alone, 
and then, upon organization of the firm of Wheaton, 
Darling and Woodward, became the junior partner. His 
partners were Judge Wheaton and Thomas Darling, both 
of whom stood high in the legal fraternity in their Sta^e. 
In 1901, when judicial honors fell to Mr. Wheatofc, the 
partnership was dissolved. Judge Stanley Woodward, 
the father, retired from the bench and became associated 
with the two remaining partners, he becoming senior 
member of Woodward, Darling and Woodward. This 
arrangement continued until 1906, when Judge Wood- 
ward died. James L. Morris was then admitted, and the 
firm name became Woodward, Darling and Morris. In 
1907 Judge Wheaton retired from the bench and reentered 
the law firm, which then became known as Wheaton, 
Darling and Woodward. This form of partnership con- 
tinued until 1913, when J. B. Woodward was elected 
Judge of the Luzerne County courts. He was elevated 
to the bench in 1914 for a period of ten years, and 
reelected in 1924. Both as lawyer and judge, he was 
known as a wise leader of his profession, a man of great 
resourcefulness and splendid intellect, and an impartial 

In addition to his activities in his profession and on the 
bench. Judge Woodward was deeply interested in all 
the public affairs of Wilkes-Barre. Judge Woodward 
in his early manhood was appointed superintendent of 
the Luzerne County schools to complete the term of the 
deceased superintendent. He did most execellent work 
and won '.he lifelong friendship of all the teachers with 
whom, he came in contact. He was a member of the 
Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, which he joined in 
college; the Malt Club, of Wilkes-Barre; the Westmore- 
land Club and the Wyoming Valley Country Club, both 
of Wilkes-Barre; the University Qub, of New York; 
and the Yale Club, of New York City. When he was 
young, Judge Woodward was active in military affairs, 
having been a non-commissioned officer of the 9th Regi- 
ment of Infantry of the Pennsylvania National Guard 
and a member of the veteran corps of that regiment. 
He was vice-president of the Wyoming Valley Historical 
and Geological Society, founded by his father in associa- 
tion with other leaders in his day. He was a trustee 
of the Children's Home, the Wilkes-Barre Institute and 
the United Charities, and a director of the Deposit Sav- 
ings Bank of Wilkes-Barre. He was a member and elder 
of the First Presbyterian Church of Wilkes-Barre. He 

EngrBved b}- Campbell l-levi xcri: 


look a great deal of pleasure in the historic associations 
of his residence place, his home having been situated 
on the site selected as the homestead of his ancestor, 
Colonel Zebulon Butler, a pioneer settler of the Wyo- 
ming Valley. This land has remained in the possession 
of the Butler family to the present time. Seven genera- 
tions of the family have lived on the plot, and five in 
the present house, at No. no South River Street. 

On June 6, 1888, Judge John Butler Woodward mar- 
ried Marion Hillard, only daughter of Thaddeus S. and 
Esther (Reynolds) Hillard, of Wilkes-Barre. The chil- 
dren of this marriage were; I. John Butler, Jr., born 
December 30, 1889, died in New Haven, Connecticut, 
January 13, 1909, while a freshman at Yale University. 
2. Marion Hillard, born July 23, 1895, married Bruce 
Payne, president of the Payne Coal Company, and they 
have children, Marion, Barbara and Elizabeth. 3. Stanley 
Hillard, born July 26, 1899, and served in the Naval Avia- 
tion Department during the World War. 

The death of Judge John Butler Woodward occurred 
suddenly on September 6, 1025, in his summer home at 
Glen Summit Springs, and brought to an end a life 
highly useful, a leader in public affairs, and the scion of 
a noble race. John Butler Woodward was the fourth 
Judge Woodward in direct descent. 

Wilkes-Barre, in which community they attend the Epis- 
copal church. 

well-known insurance firm of Biddle and Eno, whose 
offices are located at No. 103 Coal Exchange Building. 
Wilkes-Barre. was born in that community on July 27, 
1885. This Mr. Biddle is a son of Walter S. and Laura 
M. (Hamrick) Biddle; and a grandson, on the paternal 
side, of William Biddle who was also bom native to 
Pennsylvania. William Biddle was the. father of five 
children: Grace, Edward, Clarence, Walter S., and 
Horace. Walter S. Biddle, the father, was born during 
the month of May, of the year 1849, in Danville, Penn- 
sylvania, and he died on May .19, 1919, at Wilkes-Barre. 
He was for many years prominent in the insurance world 
of his part of the State, and he was known as one of the 
thoroughly substantial citizens of Wilkes-Barre. By his 
marriage to Laura M. Hamrick he became the father of 
three children: Charles H., of whom further; Walter 
Sterling, of Wilkes-Barre; and Dorothy, who married 
Ernest C. Heg, of Pasadena, California. 

Charles H. Biddle, the first son and first child of 
Walter S. and Laura M. (Hamrick) Biddle, received 
his early education at the Harry Hillman Academy, in 
Wilkes-Barre. He later attended and graduated from the 
Wyoming Seminary, at Kingston, Pennsylvania, the 
Swarthmore Preparatory School, and the Mercersburg 
Academy, at Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. He later at- 
tended the University of Virginia. Then, up on the death 
of W. G. Eno, the junior memter of the insurance com- 
pany of Biddle and Eno, the senior member returned to 
Wilkes-Barre to become a partner in the business which 
was then very largely owned by his father, Walter S. 
Biddle. This concern was founded during the year 1874, 
and is thus one of the oldest insurance brokerages in 
the Wyoming Valley. That the present Mr. Biddle has 
made a success in this type of endeavor is widely con- 
ceded, for he is, indeed, spoken of as one of the most 
progressive, alert, keen-minded business men in Luzerne 

Mr. Biddle has always displayed a keen interest in the 
civic and general affairs of Wilkes-Barre. In his political 
views he is a staunch supporter of the Republican party, 
and as such he is noted for the excellent manner in 
which he stands behind any movement designed for the 
welfare or advancement of his community. He has been 
especially active in the commercial world of Wilkes- 
Barre, and he is now one of the most prominent members 
of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce. He 
has been almost equally as active in his club and social 
life, for he now holds membership in the college frater- 
nity of Zeta Psi, of the University of Virginia, and 
the Kiwanis Club of Wilkes-Barre, the Westmoreland 
Club, the Franklin Club, the Camera Club, the Wyoming 
Valley Country Club, the Fox Hill Country Club, and 
the Valley Club, as well as the Wyoming Valley Motor 
Club. He has always been fond of athletics and outdoor 
sports, and he has contributed very substantially to the 
advancement of athletics in Wilkes-Barre and the im- 
mediate vicinity. 

Charles H. Biddle married, October 16, 1916. at 
Wilkes-Barre, Althea Mackenrow. of that city, da'.'^hter 
of Edward and Clara (Ford) Mackenrow, both deceased. 
Mr. and Mrs. Biddle maintain their residence at the 
Marion Apartments, No. 147 North Franklin Street, in 

prietor of a prosperous company, the John N. Eschen- 
bach Lumber Company, with offices at 810-14 in the 
Second National Bank Building, Wilkes-Barre, John 
Noll Eschenbach is numbered prominently among the 
substantial and public-spirited citizens of the city, and in 
business circles here is regarded with both admiration 
and respect. 

Mr. Eschenbach was born in Luzerne County on April 
6. 1885, son of C. H. and Eva (Noll) Eschenbach, resi- 
dents of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. C. H. Eschenbach 
is 3' contractor and builder, and with his wife shares the 
distinction of membership in a family old in the annals 
of the county and State. The houses of Noll and 
Eschenliach have occupied honorable places in their 
communities since established in Pennsylvania in the 
days of the early settlers. C. H. and Eva (Noll) 
Eschenbach are the parents of four children: I. Martha, 
wife of Redmond Melvin, of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. 
2. Kathryn, wife of Ira Heller, of Stroudsburg. 3. 
Chailes. a contractor and builder, associated with his 
father, at Stroudsburg. 4. John Noll, of whom further. 
Jiihn Noll Eschenbach received his education in the 
public schools of Sullivan and Lackawanna counties, 
Pennsylvania, and received his high school diploma in 
1902. He went immediately to work, on the Erie Rail- 
road, and became a telegraph operator for that com- 
pany, stationed at Clifton, Pennsylvania. Here he re- 
mained as telegrapher for six years, then relinquished 
his key to engage in the lumber business, in Wilkes- 
Barre, operating retail and wholesale yards and main- 
taining saw mills at various points in the State. These 
he has continued to operate during j-tars subsequeTit, 
mnaufacturing and dealing in all kinds of lumber. Al- 
though his many business affairs take the greater portion 
of his time, Mr. Eschenbach constantly participates in 
public programs for the development of the community, 
and his contributions to these enterprises, both in funds 
and direction, are greatly appreciated by the townsmen. 
.\ Republican, be is loyal to the party's principles of 
government and is possessed of a considerable influenct 
in matters political in Wilkes-Barre. He is a member 
of the First Reformed Church of Wilkes-Barre, and 
his contributions to charitable and kindred causes of a 
worthy character are generous and ready in forthcom- 
ing. Fraternally he is very active, with membership in 
Caldwell Consistory at BloomsbuTg, Pennsylvania, An- 
cient Accepted Scottish Rite Masons of the thirty- 
second degree ; the Wilkes-Barre Rotary Club, and the 
Franklin Club. 

John Noll Eschenbach married, October 21, 1909, 
Edna Cole, of Ashley, Luzerne County, daughter of 
Emanuel Cole, of Ashley, and to this union have been 
born two children : Jack and Emily. Mr. Eschenbach is 
well acquainted at Ashley, where he is a member of 
Coalville Lodge of the Free and Accepted Masons. 

ily of Conyngham, of which William Hillard Conyngham, 
a prominent merchant and manufacturer of Wilkes- 
Barre is a worthy example, has long been distinguished 
in Luzerne and the contiguous counties of Pennsylvania. 
Of ancient Scottish origin, transplanted to the North oi 
Ireland, and subsequently to America, it has produced 
patriots of the highest type, heroes of the Revolutionary 
and Civil wars, a famous judge of the State courts and 
members of the mercantile and industrial callings, all 
of whom have contributed strength and enterprise to the 
growth of the Nation and the Commonwealth. 

Redmond Conyngham, the founder of this branch of 
the family in America, who had his roots in Scottish 
forebears, came very early to Philadelphia, where he be- 
came one of the foremost citizens. He was a devout 
religionist, and vestryman and warden of old Christ 
Church of that city. He was one of the founders of 
St. Peter's Church of Philadelphia, and continued as a 
member of the united parishes of Christ and St. Peter's 
until his death. 

David Hayfield Conyngham, son of Redmond Conyng- 
ham, was born in the North of Ireland in 1750, or about 
that year, and was ^uite young when he arrived in 
Philadelphia. His patriotic instinct found expression 
early through his activity in military affairs, and he was 
one of the organizers of the first troops of the Philadel- 
phia City Cavalry. He became a prominent merchant 
of his city as a member of the firm of J. W. Nesbitt & 


Company, and as the senior partner of Conyngham &• 
Nesbitt. This last-named house displayed a most glow- 
ing example of patriotism during the days when the 
clouds hung heaviest over Washington's enfeebled and 
poorly nourished army, in 1780, during the Revolution. 
The firm, sensing the great need in this crucial hour 
of American life, advanced some five thousand pounds, 
which went a very long way towards alleviating the 
sufferings of the soldiers. This gracious and patriotic 
act was most feelingly acknowledged by Washington him- 
self and also by that financial genius of the Revolution, 
Robert Morris. B.v it Washington was enabled to keep 
the field with a reinvigorated and heartened force and 
make successful headway against the British. 

John Nesbitt Conyngham, son of David Hayfield 
Conyngham, was born in Philadelphia, December 17, 
1798. He \yas given every advantage by his wealthy 
father of a_ liberal education. Having received his prepar- 
atory training in schools of his native city, he entered 
tlie University of Pennsylvania, from which he was 
graduated with high honors in the class of 1817. Hav- 
mg elected the law as his profession, he became a 
student m the office of Hon. Joseph R. Ingersoll. of 
Philadelphia. He was an apt student, and was admitted 
to the bar in that citv February 12, 1820. Removing in 
that year to Wilkes-Barre, he was admitted to the bar 
of Luzerne County April 3, 1820, and without delay he 
engaged m practice. He was energetic and possessed 
an active and discriminating mind. Patient, thorough 
and methodical, he did not appear to be making rapid 
headway at first, but with the passing of the years his 
practice took on increasing volume, until he was in the 
ranks of the leading members of the bar of the juris- 
diction. For nearly twenty years he ably cared for the 
interests of his valued clientele, and for two years of 
that period he represented his district in the Pennsyl- 
vania Legislature. 

In i8j9 he was appointed by Governor D. R Porter 
to the office of president-judge of the Thirteenth Judi- 
cial District of P'^nnsylvania, which (hen comprised the 
counties of Susquehanna. Bradford, Tioga, Potter and 
-McKcan. This honor, conferred as an honor upon the 
recipient, was cordially received bv bench and bar and 
the laity. He formally ascended the bench at the first 
sitting of his court in Tioga, and this was a red-letter 
event m his long and useful legal career. Under an act 
"L . Legislature, passed, April 13, 1840, Luzerne was 
added to the district, and Susquehanna was transferred 
to the Eleventh District, and by this arrangement, Judge 
Conyngham was enabled to live at his home in Wilkes- 
Barre. Although his commission expired in 1849. in the 
fall of 1851, under the amended constitution he was 
elected president of the Eleventh District, then consist- 
ing of Luzerne, Wyoming, Montour and Columbia coun- 
ties. In 1853 and 1856 changes were made in the dis- 
trict, which eventually consisted of Luzerne County only 
Regardless of the fact that he held political opinion 
differing in many points from those espoused by the 
w- u'^^'i^^'"'"'^"'^*'""' ''*^ ^^^ reelected to office in 1861. 
r^'*i ilr ''i^Sinning of hostilities by the South in the 
Civil War, Judge Conyngham threw partv lines and feel- 
ings to the winds and exerted all his powerful influence 
as leading uidicial officer of the Eleventh District in 
hehalf of the Union cause. His support was whole- 
hearted substantial and sustained, and constituted a 
splendid example for his fellow-citizens. On his resigna- 
tion from the bench in 1870, he was signally honored by 
the bar of Luzerne County, in a unanimous and most 
cordial manner. .Sixteen judges, members of the United 
states Supreme Court and the judiciaries of this State 
gave their tribute in manuscript of his character and 
qualifications as a judge. 

Judge Conyngham married, in 1823. Ruth .\nn But- 
ler, daughter of General Lord- Butler, and granddaughter 
of General Zebulon Butler, Revolutionary hero. Of 
their seven children six arrived at maturity: .. Colonel 
John Butler, Lulled States Annv. 2. Thomas 1). ,. Wil- 
liam Lord, of whom further. 4. Mary, married Charles 
I arrish_ 5. .\nna Maria, married Right Rev. William 
l.acon Stevcns^of Pennsylvania. 6. Major Charles Miner, 
who distinguished himself as an officer in'the Civil War. 
aiid became prominent in the mining, manufacturing and 
mercantile interests of his section of Pennsylvania. Judge 
Conynghan, died February 23, 1871, aged seventy-two 
Mksi'ssi i "' ^ railroad accident at Magnolia, 

William Lord Conyngham, born November 21, 1829, son 
ot Judge John Nesbitt and Ruth Ann (Rutler) Conyng- 
ham, was a product of the Wilkes-Barre school system. 
i-or many years he was engaged in the coal business as 

merchant and operator, and at one time was a very 
powerful principal in that line, controlling all the anthra- 
cite that was moved over the lines of the Pennsylvania 
Railroad. He was a lifelong and loyal Republican and a 
vestryman of St. Stephen's Church, Wilkes-Barre. He 
married, December 6, 1864, Olivia Hitlard, of Wilkes- 
Barre, a daughter of Oliver Burr Hillard, who was a 
native of Charleston, South Carolina. To them were 
born children: i. John N., a leading citizen of Wilkes- 
Barre. an appreciation of whom appears in this work. 
2. William Hillard, of this review. 3. Ruth Butler, who 
died in childhood. William L. Conyngham died Decem- 
ber 2g, 1907. 

William Hillard Conyngham, son of William Lord 
and Olivia (Hillard) Conyngham, was educated in select 
schools of Wilkes-Barre and at Yale College, when he 
was graduated in the class of 1889. Mercantile and 
manufacturing pursuits on a large and important scale 
have since commanded his attention. He is president 
of the Eastern Pennsylvania Supply Company, president 
of the Hazard Manufacturing Company, president of the 
First National Bank of Wilkes-Barre, and a director of 
(he Lehigh Valley Coal Company, Morris Run Coal 
Mining Company, the Wales Adding Machine Company, 
the Spring Brook Water Supply Company, Burns 
Brothers, incorporated, of New York, the Sheldon Axle 
and Spring Company and the Pennsylvania Power and 
Lighting Company. In politics he is a Republican of life- 
long affiliation. He is a member of Wilkes-Barre Lodge, 
Loyal Order of Moose; and is connected with the fol- 
lowing clubs : Westmoreland, Franklin, North Mountain, 
VVyoming Valley Country, Scranton, Graduate of New 
Haven, Connecticut; Riltenhouse, of Philadelphia; Uni- 
versity, of New York; Racquet and Tennis, of New 
York; New York Yacht, Saddle and Sirloin, of Chicago, 
Illinois ; and Wyoming Valley Motor. His religious fel- 
lowship is with St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Wilkes- 

Mr. Conyngham married (first), February 17, 1897, 
Mae Turner, who died February 22, 1902, daughter of 
Samuel G. and Ella Turner. He married (second), 
April 10, igi8, Jessie Wright Guthrie, daughter of Dr. 
George W. and Sarah Guthrie. Children, all by second 
marriage: William Lord, 2nd, born September I, 1920; 
George Guthrie, born October 31, 1923; and John Nes- 
bitt, 3rd, born September 17, 1925. 

JACOB S. PETTEBONE— Prominent in the pro- 
fession of architecture in the city of Wilkes-Barre, 
Pcunsylvaiiia. Jacob S. Petteboiie for more than a quar- 
ter of a century has been active and has won the h'gh 
regard and confidence of the various other members of 
the industrial commercial and building enterprises of the 
city, and carries on a substantially successful and dis- 
tinguished business. Mr. Pettebone is a man of wide a.nd 
varied interests and enjoys an honored and estimable 
position in the social and fraternal as well as business 
circles of the community. The Pettebone family of the 
Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania, has l)een long resident 
there, and its records fully justify the high regard in 
which it is held by neighbors and friends. Mr. Pette- 
lione at a family reunion aptly referred to his ancestors 
?nd distinguished descent as follows: "The family took 
an active part in the struggle for freedom, in which 
struggle many of them lost their lives. Since that- time, 
1 am happy to say, the history of the family has been 
on the whole, equally honorable." The early form of the 
name was Pettibonc, but the Wyoming branch, whose 
record is herein contained, changed it to Pettebone. 

John Pettibone, the founder and first progenitor of 
(he family in America, was born in France, and was 
among the Huguenots who forsook their native land to 
escape religious persecution. He took refuge in the 
British Isles, where he allied himself with the Royalists, 
thus iiKurring the displeasure of Cromwell and the Eng- 
lish Parliament. Once more he was forced to flee for 
safety and this time came to America sometime between 
1640 and 1650. to find the freedom and opportunities 
which the New World offered. His name appears as a 
freeman at Windsor. Connecticut, m 1658, and in 1669 
he was among the first settlers at Simsbury, Connecticut, 
where he died July 15, 1713. He married, at Windsor, in 
1664, Sarah Eggleston, a daughter of Bigot Eggleston, 
and they were the parents of nine children. Their son, 
Stephen Pettebone, through whom the line is traced, was 
born October 3, 1669. His son, Noah Pettebone, was 
born April 16, 1714, and died March 25, 1791. He came 
to Wyoming Valley from Simsbury, Connecticut, in 
1760. His was the hardy life of the rugged frontiersmen 
and he was ever in danger of his life from the ravaging 

y //1/^H.rl^^^^K 


of the Indians. He survived the massacre at Forty Fort 
in which his son, Noah, was slaughtered. Another son 
was in the Continental service and later in Sullivan's 
Army engaged in driving the Indians out of the valley, 
and upon his discharge from service was way-laid and 
killed by the Indians. He married Huldah Williams who 
predeceased him by many years. Their son, Oliver Pette- 
bone, who also survived the maraudings of the Indians, 
was born May 13, 1762, and died March 17, 1832. He was 
in Forty Fort at the time of the attack, and was one of 
the three hundred and eighty men who escaped. He 
went to Amenia, Du;;chess County, New York; and married 
December 21, 1783, Martha Payne, a daughter of Dr. 
Barnabas Payne. Thereafter they returned to Wyoming 
Valley, Pennsylvania, and lived on a site adjoining that 
which his father had owned. They were the parents of 
thirteen children. From them is traced their son, Noah 
Pettebone, and his son, Stephen Pettebone. Stephen 
Pettebone was born in Kingston, Luzerne County, 
August II, 1829, and died October 4, 1905. He was reared 
on the family homestead and began his education in the 
public schools, continuing an advanced course in the 
Wyoming Seminary. At the age of twenty-six, he rented 
a farm and was engaged in agricultural pursuits for 
many years. He then removed to Orangeville, Columbia 
County, where he remained for five years and thence 
to Kingston Township where he continued for seventeen 
years. He finally located at Kingston where he occupied 
a part of the old homestead. Stephen Pettebone was 
active in community affairs and served his township 
estimably. On January 24, 1854, he married Lucinda C. 
Pettebone, a daughter of Joshua and Eleanor (Gay) 
Pettebone, a descendant of the same immigrant ances- 
tor, John Peltibone. Their children were: i. William, 
born December 12, 1854, retired at Forty Fort, Luzerne 
County, Pennsylvania. 2. John B., born February 13, 
1856, and died March 12, 1890. 3. Margaret E. (twin), 
born February 8, 1859, died in 1928. 4. Mary E. (twin), 
born February 8, 1859, died September 6, 1859. 5. Annie 
M., born April 7. 1861, living at Forty Fort. 6. Edgar 
R., born November 24, 1863, deceased. 7. Jacob S., of 
whom further. 

Jacob S. Pettebone, the youngest son of Stephen and 
Lucinda C. (Pettebone) Pettebone, was born at Orange- 
ville, Columbia County, Pennsylvania, June 20, 1866. He 
was reared on the family farm in Dorranceton, and at- 
tended the public schools of that district. Thereafter he 
went to the Wyoming Seminary and later graduated from 
Cornell University, at Ithaca, New York, with the class 
of 1893, receiving his degree of Bachelor of Science in 
Architecture. Upon the completion of his course he re- 
turned to Luzerne County where he has since been identi- 
fied in the practice of his profession. From 1893 until 
1901 he was in the business as a general architect, and 
at the end of that period formed a partnership with 
Robert Ireland under the style, Pettebone and Ireland, 
specialists as breaker architects. This partnership was 
dissolved in 1912. 

In addition to his professional activities, Mr. Pette- 
bone is affiliated with various fraternal bodies, among 
which are the Landmark Lodge, No. 442, of Wilkes- 
Barre, Free and Accepted Masons, and the Chapter, 
Council, as well as the Dieu le Veut Commandery, 
Knights Templar. He is also a member of .the Irem 
Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic 
Shrine. He belongs to the Wyoming Valley Historical 
Society and the Wyoming Valley Commemorative Asso- 
ciation. In religious faith he is communicant of the 
Methodist Church of Dorranceton, Luzerne County, and 
is serving as a member of the board of trustees of the 

Jacob S. Pettebone married (first), August 9, 1894, 
Minnie Lutz, of Forty Fort, Luzerne County, Pennsyl- 
vania. Mrs. Pettebone died November 2, 1896. He mar- 
ried (second), September 25. 1901, Lucy Hershberger 
of Plymouth, Pennsylvania. The children of the first 
marriage are: Hattie (twin), born May 28. 1895, died 
in infancy, and Harlow (twin), born May 28. 1895. 

JAMES H. SHEA— With recognized standing in 
legal circles of Luzerne County, where he has practiced 
the profession of law with gratifying success for many 
years, James H. Shea also has assisted materially in the 
conduct of financial affairs of his native city, Wilkes- 
Barre, having organized the Heights Deposit, of which 
he is president. 

Mr. Shea was born on July 7, 1865, at Wilkes-Barre, 
son of Patrick and Mary (Burke) Shea, both of whom 
are now deceased. Patrick Shea was, for an extended 
period, manager of the retail coal business of F. J. 

Leavenworth, of Wilkes-Barre. He was a Democrat 
and a devout member of St. Mary's Roman Catholic 
Church. By his marriage to Mary Burke he became the 
father of seven children, six of whom grew to maturity : 
I. Mary, married Joseph Keller, of Wilkes-Barre. 2. 
Ellen, married John Hughes, of Wilkes-Barre. 3. James 
H., of further mention. 4. Frank, now deceased. 5. John, 
deceased, was for many years prominent at the Luzerne 
County Bar. 6. Alice, who married Thomas Lawler of 
Wilkes-Barre. Patrick Shea died in the eighty-second 
year of his age; a man beloved by those who knew him 
well and respected by all with whom he came in con- 

James H. Shea was reared in Wilkes-Barre, and when 
he was eight years of age, became a ''breaker boy" at 
the Wilkes-Barre coal mines. He was variously em- 
ployed about the mines, and while attending public 
school, but later obtained an unbroken education at the 
parochial schools and the Knight School for Boys. He 
later studied at the Wyoming Seminary, Kingston, Penn- 
sylvania. After leaving the coal mines for good, he began 
the study of law in the office of James L. Lanahan, and 
in February, 1894, was formally admitted to practice at 
the Luzerne County Bar. He has since carried on a 
general practice of the law in Wilkes-Barre, and has 
won notable success in this profession. He is a member 
of the Pennsylvania State Bar Association and the 
Luzerne County Bar Association; and he is admitted to be 
one of the most active lawyers in the eastern part of 
this State. 

In his political views he is a staunch supporter of the 
Democratic party as was his father, and during his early 
days in business he was quite active in party politics. 
One of the outstanding achievements of this Mr. Shea's 
life came in 1907 when he organized the Heights De- 
posit Bank of Wilkes-Barre. He is the first and only 
president of this highly successful institution, having 
filled that office since the bank was established. This is 
one of the most conservative banking houses in the city, 
having a capital and surplus of more than two hundred 
thousand dollars. John Repa is vice-president while Leo 
J. Moore and Charles A. Dana serve as cashier and 
assistant cashier, respectively. Mr. Shea has also been 
active in social life, being affiliated, fraternally, with 
Wilkes-Barre Lodge, No. 109, Benevolent and Protective 
Order of Elks, and the Order of Eagles. 

James H. Shea married, November 10, 1897. at Wilkes- 
Barre, Margaret Jane McDade, a daughter of James and 
Mary' (McGuigan) McDade of Wilkes-Barre, both de- 
ceased. Mr. and Mrs. Shea maintain their residence at 
No. 299 East South Street, Wilkes-Barre, in which com- 
munity they attend the St. Mary's Roman Catholic 

Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, located in Wyoming Val- 
ley, a valley far-famed because of its historic associa- 
tions, natural resources and industrial development, owes 
its growth and present prestige to the vision and brain 
of big-hearted and public-spirited men. 

Prominent among those who contributed to the devel- 
opment of the city and one whose service extended to 
the entire country and many lands beyond the seas was 
John Welles HoUenback. Business executive, public- 
spirited citizen, churchman, philanthropist, and always, a 
courteous, approachable friend, for more than half a 
century he was busied with the affairs of the town. He 
watched the Modern grow out of the Victorian Age. 
He observed the simplicity of living and the frugal busi- 
ness ways of an earlier period of American life give 
way to luxury and the complication of present-day indus- 
try! Almost in direct touch with the Revolutionary War 
through his maternal grandfather (who was a survivor 
of the Battle of Wyoming and who was still living when 
Mr. HoUenback was Ixirn). he also lived through the 
cataclysms of the Civil War and its great successor, 
the World War. Through all the changes of the years 
he retained certain fundamentals of plain living, high 
thinking, love for his fellowman, and faith and loyalty 
to God. and throughout the entire period of his mature 
life he was occupied in constructive service. 

Mr. HoUenback, on both paternal and maternal lines, 
inherited historical traditions and lofty ideals. His ances- 
tors were among early prominent (Colonial families of 
Pennsylvania and New England. The Pynchons (from 
William Pynchon, founder of Springfield, Massachusetts, 
in 1634), the Holyokes, the Hollisters, the Talcotts and 
the Welles family, all of whom were among the earliest 
settlers of Massachusetts and Connecticut. 

The HoUenback ancestor was George HoUenback, born 


m Germany, who came from there in 1717. His son, 
John, took up land in Lebanon County, and John's sec- 
ond son, Matthias Hollenback, came to Wyoming Val- 
ley in 1770, settling in Wilkes-Barre in 1774 on land 
now on the west side of Public Square, the site of the 
present "Welles Building." Later, he built a large frame 
house for a combined store and dwelling on South Main 

Matthias Hollenback was appointed ensign in the Con- 
tinental Army and fought in the battles of Millstone, 
Trenton, Princeton. Brandywine and Wyoming, and was 
later several times appointed on special commissions by 
General Washington. After the local battle of Wyoming 
he narrowly escaped massacre, being pursued by the 
Indians and escaping by swimming the river. He grew 
in importance to his county after I'-s war as merchant 
and land owner, serving as justice of the peace, judge 
of common picas and associate judge for the thirty- 
eight years, and he was first treasurer of Luzerne Coun- 
ty and burgess of Wilkes-Barre. In 1787 he was com- 
missioned lieutenant-colonel ist Battalion Luzerne County 
Militia, was reelected in 1792 and in 1793. Colonel Hol- 
lenback married Sarah Burritt Hibbard, and it was his 
second daughter, Eleanor Jones Hollenback, who became 
the mother of John Welles Hollenback, marrying, in 
1816, Charles Fisher Welles. 

Charles F. Welles was born in Glastonbury, Connec- 
ticut, and was brought to Pennsylvania at the age of 
nine, growing up in Bradford County. He was promi- 
nent in public affairs, filling the positions during the 
years 1812 to 1822 of prothonotary, clerk of courts, reg- 
ister and recorder, and acquiring an extensive legal knowl- 
edge. During the remainder of his life he devoted much 
time to the care of his large estate at Wyalusing, Penn- 
sylvania, dying there in 1866, almost seventy-six years 
of age. His father, George Welles, had graduated from 
Yale University with the degree of Bachelor of Arts 
in 1799, and was directly descended (in sixth line) from 
Thomas Welles, the fourth Colonial Governor of Connec- 

On August 15, 1816, Charles F. Welles married Elea- 
nor J. Hollenback, who was born January 21, 1788, and 
died March 14, 1876. Among their large family of chil- 
dren was John Welles Hollenback, christened John Roset 
Welles, subject of this record. 

John W. Hollenback was born in Wyalusing. Brad- 
ford County. Pennsylvania, March 15, 1827. He was 
educated at Athens Academy, Athens, Pennsylvania, and 
when he finished his schooling and had taught school 
for a year, he was associated with his brothers in man- 
aging the paternal' estate, for seventeen years being in 
entire charge of the large farm of several hundred acres. 
It was in 1862 that his name was changed by legislative 
authority to John Welles Hollenback, by request of his 
uncle, thus retaining his mother's maiden name. 

Recognizing his ability, his maternal uncle, George M. 
Hollenback, invited him to come to Wilkes-Barre to 
help in the management of his affairs, and in 1863 Mr. 
Hollenback moved into the home bu^t by his uncle at the 
corner of River and Market streets, the site now occupied 
by the Coal Exchange Building, He soon became promi- 
nent in many local' interests. For six years he was a 
member of city council. He was chosen as a director 
of the Peoples Bank of Wilkes-Barre when it was 
organized in 1871, and was its president from 1884 until 
1915, at which time it merged with the Miners Bank. 
He was also president of the Wilkes-Barre Bridge Com- 
pany, of the Hollenback Cemetery Association, director 
of the Title Guaranty and Insurance Company of Scran- 
ton, director of the Scranton Trust Company, direc- 
tor of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, presi- 
dent of the Wilkes-Barre Lace Company, directoV of the 
Sheldon Axle Works, director of the Hazard Manu- 
facturmg Company, and also of the Spring Brook Water 
Supply Company, and had' many other large landed and 
corporate interests. 

In addition to these many financial activities Mr. Hol- 
lenback carried more than his share of educational and 
CIVIC responsibilities. He was a director of the Harry 
Hillman Academy, now known as the Wilkes-Barre 
Academy, and a member of the board of trustees of 
Wilkes-Barre Institute. In 1865 he was elected a mem- 
ber of the board of trustees of Lafayette College, serv- 
ing continuously until his resignation in May, 1921,' when 
he was made an honorary member of the board, which 
honor he held to the day of his death. From 1892 until 
1914 he was president of the board. Mr. Hollenback's 
services to Lafayette College extended over a longer 
period than those of any trustee in the history of the 

college, and during all those years he was a staunch 
supporter and generous benefactor of the institution. 

He was a director of the local Young Men's Chris- 
tian Association from its organization, and at different 
times served in the capacity of secretary and president. 
The land for the Wilkes-Barre City Hospital (now 
the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital) was given by him 
and he was one of the original incorporators of the 
institution in 1873, and was one of the directors from 
that date until his death, a continuous service of fifty 
years. From 1892 to 1903 Mr. Hollenback served as 
vice-president of the City Hospital's board and as presi- 
dent from 1903 to 1908. He was a life member of the 
Wyoming Historical and Geological Society, of which 
he was vice-president from 1875 to 1878, and president 
from 1879 to 1880. He was vice-president of the 
Wyoming Valley Commemorative Association and rarely 
missed attending the annual commemorative exercises 
at the Wyoming Monument. Such was Mr. Hollen- 
back's capacity for work and fidelity to any responsibility 
or trust, that at one time he was a member of twenty- 
one different organizations and associations. 

His political affiliations were with the Republican party, 
but his broad and just views led him in political campaigns 
to support the best man of whatever party. The deeply 
religious character of John Welles Hollenback, forming 
ihe warp and woof of his whole life, had an especial 
manifestation in his intense loyalty to the Christian 
Church of every denomination and, in particular, to the 
Presbyterian church of which he was for nearly three- 
ciuarters of a century a ruling elder. Having been 
at the early age of twenty-one elected elder to the Wyalu- 
ring Presbyterian Church, he was later installed elder 
in the First Presbyterian Church of Wilkes-Barre, on 
October I, 1865, and served with a great zeal and fidelity 
until his death. In addition to his services as elder he 
conducted a large Bible class of young men at South 
Wilkes-Barre Chapel (now Westminster Church), of 
which he was one of the organizers. He had also for 
several years a class at Grant Street Chapel and also 
rt the First Presb'yterian Church. His distinction as a 
leading layman of the denomination was indicated by his 
appointment four times as a delegate from the Lacka- 
wanna Presbytery to the General Assembly of the church. 
Always from early youth a devoted student and reader 
of the Scriptures, he was from 1879 until his death in 
1923 treasurer of the Luzerne County Bible Society. 
In spite of his many activities he faithfully attended 
the iiieetings of the Young People's Society of Chris- 
tian Endeavor, in which he was always interested, and 
no one in the society was younger at heart than he. 
He vvas also interested in the work of the Home for 
Friendless Children and the Home for Homeless Women, 
Iiaving been at dififerent times a director of both insti- 

Mr. Hollenback's act in giving to the city in 1907 a 
beautiful park site of one hundred acres, since named 
Hollenback Park, was the first step in the development 
of Wilkes-Barre's present park system. 

A mere recital of the many activities of this remark- 
able life, however varied and unusual, would fail in 
giving the true estimate of the personality of the man. 
It would have been necessary to meet him in the office 
where he so often listened with courteous attention, kindly 
sympathy and response to recitals of need and pleas 
for help. Cr to listen to his quick replies of ever ready 
wit which so often enlivened the dull sessions of busi- 
ness or brought a season of fun and laughter to cheer 
the harassing cares of civic committees. Or to see him 
in the home amidst the loving and sympathetic relation- 
ships of family and neighborly life. 

Upon the occasion of his ninetieth birthday an en- 
grossed hand-illumined resolution of esteem, affection and 
congratulation, signed by officers of all the organizations 
with which he was connected, was sent to Mr. Hollen- 
back. The resolution said in part : 

Your fellow-citizens .... desire to show their 
earnest appreciation of the life you have led before 
them and the example you have so nobly expressed of 
uprightness, generosity, blamelessness and purity, 
civic virtue and true Christian character and living. 
The privilege is rarely given to a community to have 
in its midst a citizen who, during a long and useful 
career, by his constant and unchanging devotion to 
high ideals and his love and goodness towards his fel- 
low-men, has maintained the high esteem, respect and 
reirard of everv one and made his example a model and 
an inspiration for others to pattern after and to follow. 

This long and useful life ended for this world June 
ig, 1923, but its influence will make itself felt for gen- 
erations to come. Due partly to his early life spent in- 


outdoor activities on his father's farm and to the chance 
of inheritance, as well as to a life of temperate, self- 
denying liabits, Mr. Hollenback enjoyed a constitution 
of remarkable endurance and elasticity. With the excep- 
tion of some minor illnesses in earlier years he never 
had a seriims illness until in his eightieth year he suf- 
fered an attack of pneumonia. For several years after 
this illness, or until his ninetieth year, he spent part of 
the winter months in Morida accomijanied by one of 
his daughters, thus preserving in a good degree his won- 
derful health. 

His close touch with business, church and civic affairs 
was retained until the last year of his life, when his 
extreme age made a life of greater leisure and retire- 
ment necessary. To the very last of his long life of 
over ninety-six years l.e retained his keen mental qualities, 
his quick sense of Inmior, his elastic step and erect 
carriage, while his eyesight and hearing were l)ut slightly 

Mr. Hollenback married three times. His first wife, 
Anna E., daughter of Eli Beard, of Troy, New York, 
and later of Brooklyn, New York, he married, October 
25, 1854. She died September 11, 1864. On December 
13, 1866, he married (second) Frances josepliine, daugh- 
ter of John Woodward, of New York City, who died 
April 9, 187J. On June 18, 1874, he married (third) 
Amelia Beard, sister of his first wife. She died Decem- 
ber 19, 19:8. By his first wife his children were: Wal- 
ter M., who died in childhood; Samuel, who died in 
infancy; and Emily B. (married to Dr. Lewis H. Taylor, 
of Wilkes-Barre). His second v/ife bore him three 
children: Eleanor J. (married to Murray Gibson, of 
Philadelphia, and later, Merion, Pennsylvania) ; Josejjhine 
W. (married to Louis V. Twyeffort, of Brooklyn, New 
York, and later Paris, France); and Anna W., who 
resides in Wilkes-Barre. His third wife's children were: 
Julia A., who died in infancy; Amelia B., and Juliette G. 
Of these nine children only four daughters, Mrs. Lewis 
H. Taylor, Mrs. Murray Gibson, Anna W. Hollenback, 
and Amelia B. Hollenback, survive him. 

Of the many editorial and personal testimonials on the 
life and works of this man, who was one of Wilkes- 
Barre's most noted citizens, the tribute from the directors 
of the Miners Bank is one of the most illuminating and 
sympathetic. In part it reads : 

The fundamental element (in Mr. HolIenl)ack's char- 
acter) was a firm faith in the Christian reliRion, con- 
stantly marifest n his deep spiritual devotion to its 
beliefs, as well as in his undeviating practical fidelity 
to its duties. 

It was inevitable that from such a nature should 
come, by the law of Rrovvth, and not by mere softness 
of the heart, the enlightened philanthropy which 
formed another element of his life and which found 
benevolent exercises in a multitude of worthy objects, 
civic, educational, religious and charitable. 

Notwithstanding his strong tendency to be conserv- 
ative, he was eminently and intelligently progressive. 
a public-spirited citizen having in view and at heart 
community advancement along all proper lines. This 
quality brought him into intimate connection with all 
the large enterprises which have contributed to the 
development of the region, and to which he gave un- 
stinted support in money and management. 

His gentle speech, kind heart, quiet humor, unvary- 
ing affability, simple, unswerving life, gave him a hold 
upon the affection of all who knew him. 

The memorial window in the First Presbvterian 
Church, given by Mr. Hollenback's family, was unveiled 
June 8, 1924, and a memorial service called back to tlie 
minds of his friends the beautiful character of the man 
and the untiring, devoted service expressed in the life 
just closed. 

JOHN H. UHL — Few business men are better known 
in Wilkes-ljarre than is John H. Uhl, president of the 
Penn Tobacco Company, manufacturers of tobacco, 
whose plant and offices arc located at No. 454 Main 
Street, in Wilkes-Barre. Mr. Uhl has been identified 
with this concern since his graduation from Princeton 
University in igu, and has fully demoiistrated his ability 
in this connection. He is a member of numerous frater- 
nal, business, and philanthropic organizations. 

Pussell Uhl, father of Mr. Uhl, was the manager of 
the Penn Tobacco Company for fourteen years, and was 
holding that position at the time of his death, which 
occurred April 4, 1914, when he was forty-nine years of 
age. He is survived by his widow, Sarah (James) Uhl, 
who lives in Wilkes-Barre (1929) and the following 
children: John H., of further mention; James, who is 
a resident of Daytona Beach, Florida ; ^Iargaret, who 
married James H. Dcvereux, of Norfolk, \'irginia. 

John H. Uhl was born in .Somerset County, Pennsyl- 
vania, August 28, 1890, but was brought to Wilkes- 

Barrr by his parents when he was four years of age. 
Here he attended the public schools and the Harry Hill- 
man Academy, after which he prepared for college in 
the Lawrencjville School, at Lawrenceville, New Jersey. 
When his preparatory course was completed he matricu- 
lated in Princeton University, at Princeton, New Jersey, 
from which he was graduated with the class of 1912, re- 
ceiving the degree of Bachelor of Literature. He then 
spent one year at the Wharton School of the University 
of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. In 1913 he returned to 
Wilkes-Barre and entered the employ of the Penn To- 
bacco Company, as a salesman. Upon the death, of his 
lather in 1914, he was made vice-president and manager 
of tlie company, and in 1928 he was elected president. 
-Mr. Uhl is a member of the Pennsylvania State (Chamber 
of Commerce, also of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber 
of Commerce. He has served on the boards of various 
philanthropic organizations. He is a member of the board 
of trustees of the Wilkes-Barre Academy, a member of 
the board of trustees of the Wilkes-Barre General Hos- 
pital, and a member of the board of directors of the 
Wyoming Valley Crippled Children Association. Politi- 
cally, he is an Independent. Fraternally, he is a member 
of Landmark Lodge, No. 442, Free and Accepted Ma- 
sons ; Keystone Consistory, Ancient Accepted Scottish 
Rite, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, in which he holds the 
thirty-second degree ; and of Irem Temple, Ancient 
.■\rabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is also 
a member of Irem Country Club and of the Wyoming 
Valley Qiuntry Club, and Wilkes-Barre Rotary Qub. 
His religious aflfiliation is with the First Presbyterian 
Church of Wilkes-Barre. 

John H. Uhl was married, November 28, 1913, to Re- 
becca U. Magraw, of Helena, Montana, daughter of 
Henry S. and Eugenia (Norton) Magraw. Mr. and Mrs. 
Uhl have seven children : John H. Jr., Russell H., Rob- 
ert P., Richard R., Margaret E., William M.. and 
Eleanore J. The family home is in Kingston. 

HARRY A. WHITEMAN— As the head of the firm 
of H. A. Whiteman and Company, a wholesale paper and 
stationery establishment of Wilkes-Barre, Harry A. 
Whiteman holds a prominent place in the business life 
of the city and of this section of Pennsylvania. The 
company was established on January i, 1900, and is now 
one of the largest wholesale paper establishments in 
northeastern Pennsylvania. Mr.. Whiteman, who is a 
member of an old family of Pennsylvania, is active in 
civic and social aflfairs, and is affiliated with several 
organizations and fraternal orders. 

He is a son of Stephen J. and Lydia Ann (Major) 
Whiteman, the former of whom was born in 1848, and 
died in 1928, and the latter of whom died at the age of 
seventy-six years; and on the paternal side of his family 
is a grandson of Daniel J. and Eleanor (De Reamer) 
Whiteman. The Whiteman family was among the first 
to settle in Berks County, Pennsylvania; and Eleanor 
De Reainer, who came of French stock, v/as a native of 
.\'cw Jersey. .Stephen J. Whiteman, a son of Daniel J. 
and Eleanor ( De Reamer) Whiteman, married Lydia 
.\nn Major, and they became the parents of four chil- 
dren : 1. Harry A., who is the head of the paper and 
statiuiiery company, and who will be discussed at greater 
length in this article. 2. Frank A., who is a member of 
ihc same firm. 3. E. Victor, also of this paper company. 
(. Ruth, who is the wife of Stanley K. Walborn, of 

Harry A. Whiteman was born in Lehman, Luzerne 
County, Pennsylvania, in July, 1870; attended the public 
schools of this city, and later became a student at the 
Harry Hillman Academy. When he left school, he be- 
came associated with his father in the wholesale grocery 
business under the name of Whiteman and Patterson. 
Subsequently, when they sold their interest in the gro- 
cery business, they established the wholesale paper and 
stationery firm known as H. .A. Whiteman and Company, 
which is recognized generally in this part of Pennsylvania 
and elsewhere for the high quality of its product. Mr. 
Whiteman, as the head of this firm, has come to be 
known widely throughout his commuunity for his busi- 
ness talents and ability, and is highly respected as one 
of the substantial citizens of Wilkes-Barre. He is keenly 
interested in civic matters and is ready at all times to 
take part in whatever movement he believes will tend 
toward the improvement of the civic, social, or industrial 
conditions of Wilkes-Barre and the Wyoming VaUey. 
.Active in a fraternal way, Mr. Whiteman is a member 
of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, in which 
order he is affiliated with the Wilkes-Barre Lodge, No. 

1 84 

6i ; the Sliekinah Chapter, No. 182, of Royal Arch 
Masons ; the Dieu le Veut Commandery, No. 45, Knights 
Templar ; Irem Temple of the Ancient Arabic Order 
Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; the Irem Temple Country 
Club ; and is a Past Master Mason by service. He is a 
member of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Qiamber of Com- 
merce, of which organization he was president in 1921 ; 
a member of the Rotary Club, of this city ; and a member 
of the board of trustees of the Homeopathic Hospital of 
Wilkes-Barre. His religious affiliation is with the King- 
ston Presbyterian Church, of which he is not only a 
member but also a trustee. 

Mr. Whiteman married, October 25, 1900, Jane Lucas, 
of Philadelphia, a daughter of John and Hannah Lucas, 
of Philadelphia. Harry A. and Jane (Lucas) Whiteman 
had three children: i. Jean L., who is unmarried and 
living at home. 2. Marian, who died in childhood. 3. 
Miriam, who died at the age of thirteen years. 

tinguished lawyer, a notable citizen, and a leading busi- 
ness man of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, is everywhere 
regarded as a motive force for community progress. He 
belongs to a family long a part of American history. 
The Ballou Genealogy, in noting the marriage of Sarah 
Ballou and Moses Whcaton, says that this Moses prob- 
ably was a descendant of the Wheatons of Rehoboth, 
Massachusetts. As a matter of fact. Moses Wheaton, 
who married Sarah Ballou, was a descendant of Robert 
Wheaton, the immigrant ancestor of the Wheaton family 
in America, who came from England in 1636 and joined 
the colony of planters at Salem, Massachusetts, when 
he was about thirty years old. He married there Alice 
Bowen, daughter of Richard Bowen, and in i645itioved 
with his family to Rehoboth, where he died in 1696. 

Moses Wheaton, of Richmond, New Hampshire, a 
descendant of Robert Wheaton, is recognized as the 
progenitor of the Wheaton-Ballou families who in later 
generations have been important in public life, in the 
professions, and in business. He married in Richmond, 
New Hampshire, October 14, 1781, Sarah Ballou, born 
in Scituate, Rhode Island, May 4, 1763, who died October 
15, 1824. She was the daughter of Rev. Maturin and 
Lydia (Harris) Ballou, her father, in early life a farmer 
and mechanic, having become a Baptist preacher at the 
age of thirty in 1752. The Ballou family is descended 
from Maturin Ballou, and his wife Hannah Piki, the 
husband being a proprietor of the Providence plantations 
in the colony of Rhode Island, a follower of the for- 
tunes of Roger Williams, one of the signers of the 
compact, and one of the principal personages of the 
Providence settlement. The line of descent was through 
his son, John Ballou, of Providence, married to Hannali 
Garrett; their son, Peter Ballou, likewise of Providence, 
married Rebecca Esten ; their sons, Peter Ballou and 
the Rev. Maturin Ballou mentioned above. The fourth 
son of Moses and Sarah (Ballou) Wheaton was Moses 
Ballou Wheaton, born in Richmond, New Hampshire, 
September 9, 1790, died in Jackson, Pennsylvania, De- 
cember 9, i860. Moses Wheaton added his middle name 
to his nomenclature on permission of the legislative act 
making the adoption of Ballou legal for him. He is 
believed to have moved from Richmond to Pennsylvania 
shortly after his marriage, before 1815, and to have settled 
in Jackson, where he was a farmer and cooper. "He 
inherited good physique and mental stamina from his 
ancestors on both sides; and so did his wife. Thev 
reared their large family well, and left a good memory"— 
This excerpt from tlie Ballou Genealogy epitomizes the 
family history of those Americans whose virtues have 
made America the country it is today. Moses Ballou 
Wheaton married, November 26, 1812, Mary Aldrich, 
born in Richmond, New Hampshire, September 24, 1794, 
died in Jackson, Pennsylvania, February 20, 1875, daugh- 
ter of Nathaniel Aldrich and Cleopatra (Ransdell) Aid- 

Dr. Thomas Jefferson Wheaton, ninth child and third 
son of Moses Ballou and Mary (Aldrich) Wheaton, 
was born in Jackson, Pennsylvania, March 29, 1826. He 
attended the district scliools near his home and Hai ford 
Academy, an educational institution of excellent repute 
in that day, then under the charge of Rev. Lyman Rich- 
ardson. Dr. Wheaton studied medicine with his brother. 
Dr. W. W. Wheaton, attended lectures at the Eclectic 
Medical College, Rochester, New York, and practiced 
his profession from 1849 to 1858 in Bradford and Sus- 
quehanna counties, Pennsylvania, and in Binghamton, 
New York. During the war of 1861-65 he was on the 
iron-clad monitor "Dictator." The last years of his life 
were given over to the practice of dentistry, in Bing- 

hamton until 1873, and then in Wilkes-Barre, until his 
retirement. Thomas Jeflferson Wheaton married, April 
10, 1851, Maria T. Woodruff, born June 6, 1831, daugh- 
ter of Lewis H. Woodruff, a native of Litchfield, Con- 
necticut, Ixjrn there February 25, 1798, and died in 
Wilkes-Barre, June 25, 1875. His wife was Almeda 
Hutchinson, whom he married March 21, 1830. Lewis 
H. Woodruff was educated at Hamilton College, became 
a leading citizen of Dimock, Pennsylvania, where he 
built the first academy in the town and had a large part 
in the erection of the Presbyterian Church. His first 
American ancestor was Matthew Woodruff, of Hartford 
and Farmington, Connecticut, a proprietor of the sec- 
ond town in 1640, and the line descended through his 
son, Matthew ; his son, John ; his son, Samuel, who 
married Anna Judd ; their son, IDeacon Samuel, of Litch- 
field, who married Anne Nettleton; their son, Andrew 
Woodruff, who married Miranda Orton ; and their son, 
Lewis H. Woodruff, whose daughter, Maria T., became 
Mrs. Wheaton, mother of the subject of this record. 
There were four children: Florence E., born March 19, 
1852, died August 17, 1854; Frank Woodruff, born 
.'Kugust 2-;, 1855, of further mention; Jessie £., born 
May 23, 1858, married (first), October 21, 1879, Samuel 
R. Rhoads, who died May 23, 1882; and (second) Henry 
H. Sherman; Kittie K., born December 2, 1866; married, 
February 10, 1886, William S. Kelly, and resides in 

Hon. Frank Woo<lruff Wheaton, son of Dr. Thomas 
Jefferson and Maria T. (Woodruff) Wheaton, was born 
in Binghamton, New York, Au.gust 27, 1855. His ele- 
mentary educatitjii was acquired in the public schools 
and ill the Pingliamton Central High School, from 
which he graduated in 1873. He prepared for college at 
the Hopkins Grammar School, New Haven, and in Bing- 
hamton, New York, under the tutelage of Rev. E. S. 
Frisbie, noted educator, graduate of Amherst College, 
and for many years president of Wells College, Aurora, 
New York. Mr. Wheaton then graduated from Yale 
College with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1877. 
On his return to Wilkes-Barre, he read law in the office 
of E. P. and J. V. Darling, winning admission to the 
Luzerne County Bar September 2, 1879. 

In the forty-eight years which have intervened since 
that date, Mr. Wheaton has built up a commanding repu- 
tation as a wise, forceful, and idealistic lawyer, and 
an astute business man. His early law partner was 
Daniel S. Bennct. who died in 1885. His second was 
John Vaughan Darling, who had been his legal precep- 
tor and who died not inany years later. Judge Wheaton 
then allied himself with a law firm of which he was the 
:enior member, Wheaton, Darling and Woodward, re- 
maining in this connection from 1892 to 1901. Appointed 
in 1901 judge of the newly created office in Luzerne 
County by Governor Stone, Judge Wheaton was elected 
to this office without opposition the following Novem- 
ber, to a ten-year term. Resigning April i, 1907, Judge 
Wheaton resumed his large and lucrative private practice. 
Professional triumphs came to him in the shape of 
selection for the office of general counsel of the Lehigh 
N'allcy Coal Company, of which he is chairman of the 
ixard of directors. Judge Wheaton is also director and 
general counsel for the Miners Bank of Wilkes-Barre, 
and for the Wilkes-Barre Railway (Corporation of 
Luzerne County, while he is general counsel for Cox 
Brothers and Company, Inc., of Wilkes-Barre. 

All these outstanding achievements and responsibilities 
have not prevented Judge Wheaton's active participation 
in civic affairs. He is a Republican and for three years 
sat in the city council, not, however, as a political adher- 
ent, but as a public-spirited citizen. He has been perma- 
nent of the Republican State convention and 
county chainnan for Luzerne. His professional affilia- 
tions are with the Luzerne County Bar, the Pennsyl- 
vania State Bar, and the American Bar associations. 
He is a tru!-tec of the Young Women's Christian Asso- 
ciation of Wilkes-Barre, a member of the Alumni Ad- 
visory Board of Yale University, and for many years 
was trustee of Lafayette College. His church is St. 
Stephen's Kpiscoiial, of which he is a liberal supporter. 
He belongs to Wilkes-Barre Lodge, No. 109, Benevolent 
and Protective Order of Elks; the Yale (Ilub of New 
York; the Scroll and Key Society; the Delta Kappa; 
the Phi Theta Psi ; the Delta Kappa Epsilon; the West- 
moreland Club of Wilkes-Barre ; the Fox Hill Country 
Club; and the (Concordia Club. 

On May 16, 1878, Judge Wheaton married L. Maria 
Covell, of Binghamton, New York, born in Tolland, 
Connecticut, and of old New England stock. 


DONALD O. COUGHLIN— Some men prefer to 
devote their business careers to one particular activity 
and subordinate everytiiing else to it ; others find profit 
and pleasure in diversifying. Science and the professions 
usually attract less men who maintain multifarious inter- 
ests, yet wlvjn they do they are often the better for the 
acquisition. In Donald O. Conghlin, well known W^lkes- 
Barre lawyer, is furnished an illustration of the man who 
makes the law his main activity, but is still so versatile 
that he can give much time to financial, commercial, edu- 
cational, and social pursuits. A fair idea of Mr. Cough- 
lin's range may be had from the statement that he is 
the surviving member of his father's law firm, vice- 
president of the Ford automobile agency in Wilkes- 
Barre, known as Motor Twins, Incorporated; is presi- 
dent of a bank and a coal company; is engaged in work 
for the Girl Scouts of America ; belongs to several fra- 
ternal orders ; and devotes some time to post-World 
War military activities. The |xiint in his case is that he 
is not only an able lawyer with a fine practice, but that 
he is such a good business man thai he makes a splendid 
success of these other activities. In addition, he is pos- 
sessed of such an intensely human side that he is welcome 
company everywhere, has jilenty of close friends, and out 
of the bigness of his heart gives generously to every 
worthy charity and public enterprise. 

Donald O. Coughliu was born in Luzerne, a suburb 
of Wilkes-Barre, August 2, 1894, son of the late Dennis 
O. Coughlin, for forty-five years one of the leading law- 
yers of Luzerne County, and Emma (Hughes) Coughlin. 
His grandfather, John Coughlin, was a native of Luzerne 
County and a highly respected farmer. Hrs fathef 
served as chief deputy internal revenue collector of the 
city for eight years under appointment of President 
Grover Cleveland. For many years he had been a trustee 
of the Luzerne Methodist Episcopal Church, and had 
served as a lay delegate to many important conferences. 
Mrs. Coughlin, the mother, was a woman of character 
and fortitude who made many sacrifices to put her 
family in the position of accomplishments such as have 
been attained by her industrious son. 

Mr. Coughlin received his early educational training 
in the local schools of his borough, where he made a 
very good record, and in 1910 was graduated from the 
Luzerne High School, and in 191 1 from the Wilkes- 
Barre High School. He tliereuixin entered LaFayette 
College at Easton, from which institution he graduated in 
1915 with the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy. He 
soon entered the law office of his father at Wilkes- 
Barre, where he read law and studied in preparation for 
the State bar examinations, which he passed and was 
admitted September i, 1021. He and his father then 
formed a partnership known as Coughlin & Coughljn, 
which maintained offices in the Miners' Bank Building 
and built up a most gratifying practice. Mr. Coughlin 
enlisted in the United States Army, Infantry Division, 
May II, 1917, a little over a month after war had been 
declared upon Germany. He attended the First Officers" 
Training Madison Barracks, at Sackett Harbor, 
New York, and then was transferred to Camp Lee, 
Virginia, where he was assigned to the One Hundred 
and Fifty-fifth Depot Brigade as sergeant. Here he 
remained until be was discharged as a first sergeant May 
3. 1919. When the -American Legion was organizing in 
Pennsylvania, Mr. Coughlin succeeded in rallying tlie 
veterans of Kingston, where the Coughlin family makes 
its home, and assisted in the organization of the West 
Side Post of that organization, of which he is a charter 
member and director and for three years served as its 
adjutant; this [wst, by the way, is now one the largest 
in the State, 

In July. 1920, Mr. Gaughlin l)ecame one of the found- 
ers and a director of the West Side Trust Company of 
Kingston, and on January 10, 1922, he was elected presi- 
dent of this institution, which has grown and flourished. 
Since then he has been made president of the Gienvicw 
Coal Company, retail coal dealers, and vice-president of 
the Motor Twins, Incorporated, which concern does one 
of the largest businesses in Pennsylvania in the Ford 
automobile and truck. To a less extent he is interested 
in collateral enterprises. He is much interested in outdoor 
aflfairs and is a director of the Wyoming V'alley Girl 
Scouts of America. He belongs to the Free and .Ac- 
cepted Masons, having membership in the Ancient 
.Accepted Scottish Rite, the Royal Arch Masons, the 
Knights Templar, and *he .Ancient .Arabic Order Nobles 
of the Mystic Shrine; and he belongs also to the Benevo- 
lent and Protective Order of Elks. He is a leading 
member and former first vice-president of the Wilkes- 
Barre Lions' Club, of which he has been A director since 

it was established. He and his family arc communicants 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Mr. Coughlin married, September 17, 1919, Margaret 
Perrin, daughter of Fred and Barbara (Wallace) Perrin, 
of Forty Fort. Two daughters, Barbara Ruth, born No- 
vember 30, 1920, and Nancy Jean, born July 26, 1926, have 
blessed their union. 

WILLIAM J. TREMBATH— For almost three- 
score years William J. Trembath has resided in Wilkes- 
Barre and for the last forty years has been an active 
and prominent member of the legal profession. Today he 
is one of the most highly respected members of the 
Luzerne County Bar and, with unimpaired faculties, is 
one of the oldest lawyers in active practice in the county. 
Mr. Trembath was born in the town of Ballarat, 
-Australia, the place famed in history as the rich gold- 
bearing locality of Australia, December 16, 1859, and 
was the son of Thomas and Adelaide (Love) Trembath, 
both natives of Penzance, Cornwall, England, who left 
England for .Australia some three years before Mr. 
Trembath's birth. Mr. Trembath's mother died when he 
was but eighteen months of age and his father decided 
to return to his native land. After three years in Eng- 
land Mr. Trembath's father again felt the urge to travel 
and he came to -America, bringing with him his young 
son. In 1871 Mr. Trembath's father arrived in Wilkes- 
Barre and was so satisfied with the city that he decided 
to locate there ptrmanently. 

The son attended the public schools and later entered 
the Wyoming Seminary at Kingston. Lafayette College, 
of Easton, Pennsylvania, was the next rung in Mr. 
Trembath's scholastic ladder and he graduated from that 
institution in the class of 1885 with the degree of Bache- 
lor of Arts. Returning to Wilkes-Barre, Mr. Trembath 
began the study of law in the offices of Nathaniel Taylor 
and was admitted to the Luzerne County Bar on Decem- 
ber 10, 1888. For the last forty years Mr. Trembath has 
been in active practice in Luzerne County. He is a mem- 
ber of the Luzerne County Bar Association, for twenty- 
three years a member of the school board of the 
Borough of Kingston, and for many years has been a 
member of Grace Episcopal Church at Kingston, serv- 
ing for a lengthy period as an officer of the church. Mr. 
Trembath was appointed in 1921 by Governor William 
Cameron Sproul as a member of a commission organized 
for the purpose of revising and codifying the Poor Laws 
of Pennsylvania and, by unanimous choice of that body, 
he was selected to officiate as chairman: "The General 
Poor Relief -Act" that was proiiosed by the Commission 
was adopted by the Legislature of Pennsylvania during 
the session of 1925. Since 1917 Mr. Trembatl* lias 
served as a member of the Poor Board for the Central 
District of Luzerne County. He is connected in an 
executive capacity with the Peoples National Bank at 
Edwardsville, Luzerne County, holding the position of 
president of that institution since its organization in 
1910. He is a Democrat in politics but has never taken 
a very active part in political life. 

Mr Trembath married (first), June 20, 1890, Sarah 
B CoUey. (jf Kingston, who died in 1903, a daughter of 
William H. ami Elizabeth G. (Arey) Colley. He mar- 
ried, second, in 1907. Mrs. Isabel (Hested) Carter, of 
New .Albany. Bradford County, daughter of Joseph T. 
;in<l Celcstia (Orinsby) Hested. Mr. Trembath has five 
( liildren : i. Thomas Wayne, assistant principal of the 
high school in Camden, New Jersey. 2. Elizabetli Ade- 
laide, a graduate of Kingston High School, and of State 
College, Pennsylvania, completing in three years the four- 
years course in chemistry. She was employed prior to the 
war by Heinz and Coinpany, during the war by the Atlas 
Powder Coinpany and subsequent to the war by the 
Roessler and Haessler Chemical Company, of Perth 
.Amhoy. New Jersey. She died, unmarried, in 1922. 3. 
Nathaniel Taylor, a member of the class of 1918, La- 
fayette College, but left before his graduation to enlist 
in (Tanada as a member of the Royal Flying Corps, later 
transferred to Squadron No. i, Royal .Air Force. After 
seventeen months active service, with five enemy planes to 
his credit, he was sent down from the air and became a 
prisoner for the last si.x weeks of the war. He is now 
manager of the Dorrance Realty Corporation and the 
Valmont IX-velopment Company, of Wilkes-Barre. and 
secretary of the Guarantee Title and Mortgage Com- 
pany. 4. Karl Colley, in the employ of Montgomery, 
Ward and Company. 5. Robert Ware, educated at La- 
fayette College and graduate of Dickinson Law School. 
class of 1925, as Bachelor of Laws, and admitted to 
practice at the Luzerne County Bar February 22, 19^7' 


GENERAL ASHER MINER, who at the time of 
his death was retired from the Pennsylvania National 
Guard with the rank of major-general, a man with a 
particularly brilliant military record, a distinguished citi- 
zen of Pennsylvania, particularly Wilkes-Barre, and a 
direct descendant of one of the most prominent families 
in America, was born November 14, i860, at Wilkes- 
Earre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. General Miner 
was a son of the Hon. Charles A. Miner; a great- 
great-grandson of Seth Miner, who was an ensign in the 
Connecticut line and who served on the staff of General 
Jedediah Huntingdon in the American Revolutionary 
War; a great-grandson of General William Ross who, 
as a boy of sixteen, served at the time of the Wyoming 
Massacre and afterwards held various official positions 
in the militia, including major-general. A beautiful 
sword was presented to General Ross, bearing the fol- 
lowing inscription : "Capt. William Ross — The Supreme 
Executive Council present this mark of their approbation 
acquired by your firmness in support of the laws of the 
Commonwealth on the 4th of July, 1788." General Asher 
Miner's great-uncle, Joseph Miner, served in the Mexican 
War as a lieutenant of the I3t Pennsylvania Volunteer 
Infantry : and his father, the Hon. Charles A. Miner, 
served during the Civil War as a sergeant of the 30th 
Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteers. 

In Pennsylvania history, the Miners of the Wyoming 
Valley trace their ancestry back to the pioneers Asher 
and Charles Miner. In America the family dates back 
to Thomas Miner who came to this country from Eng- 
land, landing at Salem, Massachusetts, during the year 
1630, at the time of the founding of that colony. The 
complete family line is traced down with clarity from 
Henry Miner, who died in England during the vear 
I3S9 A. D. 

Asher Miner received his education in the public schools 
of the cornmunity in which he was lx)rn, and he later 
attended the Wilkes-Barre Academy, and. still later, the 
Williston Seminary, at Easthampton, Massachusetts. In 
the year of 1879 he was employed by the firm of Miner 
& Thomas, one of the oldest establishments of its kind 
in the United States, having been founded in the year 
1795, and it v/as there that he received his early train- 
ing in the milling trade and its various ramifications. 
With this concern he filled practically every iX)sition 
of importance, up to and including general manager, 
having been appointed thus iii the year 1887. In 1894, 
he was instrumental in the consolidation of Miner & 
Company and Hillard & Brother, forming the Miner- 
Hillard Milling Comiiany, of which he was appointed 
vice-president and general manager. Upon the death of 
his father, the Hon. Charles A. Miner, Asher Miner 
then became the president of this organization. .Asher 
Miner was also active in a number of outside inter- 
ests, among the more important of which were the of- 
fices he filled as president of the W^ilkes-Barre Board 
of Trade, the Pennsylvania Millers' Association, the Na- 
tional White Corn Millers' Association, the Pennsylvania 
Millers Mutual Fire Insurance Company, the Wyoming 
National Bank of Wilkes-Barre, and as a director of 
several other organizations. 

An ardent supporter of the Republican party, this mem- 
ber of the Miner family served the people of his com- 
munity as a member of the Pennsylvania State Legis- 
lature, having been a member of tViat body during the 
session of 1906-07. He was also active in his club and 
social life, for he was fraternally affiliated with Land- 
mark Lodge. No. 422. Free and Accepted Masons, and 
he was a member and the vice-president of the Penn- 
sylvania Society of Sons of the .American Revolution, 
and a member of the Westmoreland Gub, and the Wyom- 
ing X'alley Country Club. He was an elder of the First 
Presbyteriati Church. 

It is for his military service, however, that .Asher 
Miner is best known, for he began as a private in the 
National Guard, and he ended his service as a major- 
general in Pennsylvania National Guard. He enlisted as a 
private, in the year 1884, in Company D, 9th Infantry. 
Pennsylvania -Vational Guard, and he was promoted 
through the various grades until he had reached the rank 
of captain in this unit. Then, in 1805, he was appointed 
by Governor Hastings to fill the post of general-inspec- 
tor of rifle practice, and to hold the rank of colonel. 
At this time the National Guard was enlisted in the 
service of the United States for service in the Spanish- 
American War. The 9th Infantry was called into action 
in this war, and Colonel Miner was ordered to command 
the 7th Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry, which never 
actually went into service. .After being in readiness for 
several months, and during this time attending the in- 

auguration of Governor Stone, it was disbanded after 
the termination of hostilities with Spain with several 
other organizations of its kind. Colonel Miner was 
recommissioned with the rank of colonel, 9th Infantry, 
on February 11, 1907, and he served until the expiration 
of his commission, in 1912. On March 7, 1916, he was 
recommissioned to the same rank again, and soon after 
the regiment was reorganized as a light artillery unit, 
becoming the 3rd Pennsylvania Field Artillery, on Au- 
gust 16, 1 916, and on September 8, 1916, he was mustered 
into the United States Service at Mt. Gretna, serving 
with his regiment along the Mexican Border Patrol, 
particularly near El Paso, Texas. This continued until 
March 13, 1917, when the regiment left El Paso, Texas, 
for home stations and was mustered out of Federal serv- 
ice on March 29, 1 91 7. For duty in the World War, 
Colonel Miner answered the call of President Woodrow 
Wilson, as commanding officer of the 3rd Pennsylvania 
Field .Artillery, later the logth Field Artillery, 53rd Field 
Artillery Brigade, 28th Division, United States Army. 
He continued in this command until he was severely 
wounded in action on the battlefields of France. On 
July 15, 1917, a camp was established at West Pittston, 
PeimsyU'ania. and this was named "Camp Colonel R. 
Bruce Ricketts." The entire regiment remained in this 
camp until September 7, 1917, when it departed for Camp 
Hancock. Augusta, Georgia, to join its brigade and divi- 
sion. Under Colonel Miner's supervision an intensive 
training program was followed until December 31, 1917, 
when Colonel Miner was ordered to report at the Field 
Officers' Training School, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, 
and upon completion of the course, proceeded to the 
School of Fire, Fort Sfll, Texas, where he remained for 
one week, when he was obliged to accept a leave of 
absence due to ill health. Upon the dose of Colonel 
Miner's leave of absence, he returned to the regiment, 
and upon receipt of orders early in May, 1917, proceeded 
to Camp Mills, Long Island, New Y'ork, to prepare for 
overseas' service. Preparations were completed rapidly, 
and on May 16 orders were received to proceed to Pier 
No. 59. North River, New York, and embark for Eu- 
rope. The commanding general of the port of embarka- 
tion directed Colonel Miner to assume command of the 
troops sailing on the S. S. "Justicia," which was to 
transport about five thousand 'roops for duty overseas. 
The embarkation of the regiment and the other troops 
completed, the S. S. "Justicia" sailed from New York 
on May 19. Liverpool, England, was reached by May 
31, 1918. .After a few days at Knotty Ash Camp, Liver- 
pool, the regiment entrained for Southampton, England, 
where boats were obtained for transporting the command 
to La Havre, France, where it arrived on June 5, IQ18, 
leaving there for its training camp near Vannes, Morbi- 
han, France. On August 5, the initial movement of the 
regiment was to join the infantry of the 28th Division 
from which it had been drtached at the time of embarka- 
tion. By August 10, afll the units !had arrfved at Mezy, 
near Chateau Thierry, and marched to Fresnes, Depart- 
ment of Aisne. The regiment, commanfled by Colonel 
Miner took up gun positions on August 11. It parti- 
cipated in the Fismes-Vesle Sector and in Oise-Aisnes 
offensive. For this action it remained in the line twenty- 
six days, being relieved on September 8. The next day 
the regiment proceeded to a destination, at that time 
unknown, and arrived in the Argonne Forest September 
22. where it participated in the famous barrage of Sep- 
tember 26, 1918, in support of the infantry in advance 
from Neuville to Apremont, France. Colonel Miner was 
wounded at .Apremont, France, on October 4, 1918, and 
successively spent periods in Mobile Hospital No. 2; 
Rarecourt. Base Hospital No. 47 : Beaume. Base Hos- 
pital No. 65, Brest. At Mobile Hospital No. 2 his left 
leg was'amputated below the knee. The Colonel left 
Brest, France, December 17, 1918, arriving in the United 
States. Decemljer 24, 1918, and after a short period at 
St. Mary's Hospital, Hoboken, New Jersey, was removed 
to the Walter Reed General Hospital, Washington, Dis- 
trict of Columbia. Colonel Miner was cited for bravery, 
and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross under 
authority of General Order No. 140, War Department, 
December 24, 1918, by order of the Secretary of War, 
Peyton C. March, Chief-of- Staff, presentation taking 
place at Governors Island, New York, April 3, 1919, 
by Major-General Barry. The citation is as follows: 

Colonel Asher Miner, 109th Field Artllle-y for extra- 
ordinary htiolsm in action at Apremont, France, Octo- 
ber 4, 191S;— One of the batteries of the regiment com- 
manded bv this offlcer, asslKned to an advance position 
in direct !5upport of an Infantry attack, was heavily 
shilled by the enemy while it wa.s going Into action. 
It being necessary, therefore, to take another position. 

^^..C- A^ 


he went forward under heavy shell fire and personally 
supervised the placing of the guns in the new position. 
He continued his efforts until he received a severe 
wound that later necessitated the amputation of nis 

By Courier froin General Headquarters, American 
Expeditionary Forces, June 9, 1919, Colonel Miner was 
awarded a Distinguished Service Medal, under provision 
of cablegram No. 2830, March i, 1919, from War De- 
partment to Commanding General, American Exi)edition- 
ary Forces. The citation to Colonel Miner follows : 

The Commander-in-Chief, in thf name of the Presi- 
dent, has awarded the Distinguished Service Medal to 
you for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished 
service as set forth below: — "Colonel Asher Miner. U. 
S. A., for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished 
service: — He served with notable success as Command- 
ing Officer, 109th Field Artillery, giving proof of high 
qualities of leadership, inspiring his men by liis self- 
sacriflcing devotion to duty. He maintained a cred- 
itable standard of efBclency, in that his regiment con- 
stantly furnished the most effective artillery support 
to the attacking Infantry." By Command of General 

Colonel Miner was honorably discharged from the serv- 
ice of the United States, September 24, 1919. Colonel 
Miner was officially credited with participation in the 
major operations of the Fismes-Veslc sector, the Oise- 
Aisne offensive, and the Meuse-Argonne offensive. On 
April 26, 1921, Colonel Miner was appointed brigadier- 
general in command of the 53rd Field Artillery Brigade, 
Pennsylvania National Guard. He was retired as major- 
general on July 23, 1923. General Miner died September 
2, 1924. 

Major-General Asher Miner married Hetty McNair 
Lonsdale, a daughter of Henry Holloway Lonsdale, of 
New Orleans, who was a member of the celebrated 
Washington Artillery of Confederate fame, and he served 
through the entire length of the Civil War, taking part 
in many of the hard fought battles. General and Mrs. 
Miner became the parents of five children: i. Helen 
Lea, who married Dr. Edward W. Bixby. 2. Elizabeth 
Ross, whn married Neil Chrisman. 3. Major Robert 
Charles, whose biography follows in this work. 4. Mar- 
garet Mercer, who married Marcus Morton. Jr., of 
Cambridge, Massachusetts. 5. Hetty Lonsdale, wiio mar- 
ried Samuel B. Bird, of Wilmington, Delaware. 

dent and general manager fif the Miner- Millard Milling 
Company of Wilkcs-Barrc, Pennsylvania, the scion of a 
particularly fine old .American family, and a man <if much 
ability and high distinction in his own right, was born 
.\pril 10, 1894. at Wilkes-Barre. 

Robert Charles Miner, the first son and third child 
of Major-General Asher and Hetty McNair (Lonsdale) 
Miner, received his early educatioti at the Harry Hill- 
man Academy in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and he 
later attended and graduated from the Lawrenceville 
School at Lawrenceville, New Jersey. He then attended 
Princeton University, graduating from there with the 
class of 1915. when he received the degree of Bachelor 
of Science. He entered the employ of the Miner-Hillard 
Milling Company after graduation. On September 11, 
1915, he enlisted in Company K of the 9th Infantry 
Regiment, Pennsylvania National Guard. His regiment 
was later converted into the 3rd Pennsylvania Field Artil- 
lery, and was on active duty along the Border during 
1916 and 1917. Mr. Miner was commissioned first lieu- 
tenant of artillery during ici6, but in the month of 
July, 1 917. in response to the proclamation issued by 
President Woodrovv Wilson, he reported for duty in the 
greater activities of the World War. the United States 
having become embroiled in^'this conflict but a very few 
weeks before. Lieutenant Miner was permitted to retain 
his original commissioned rank, but was re-assigned to 
duty with Battery D, 109th Field Artillery which was 
then being mobilized at West Pittston, Pennsylvania. In 
the month of September, 1917, this regiment was ordered 
to Camp Hancock, Augusta, Georgia, and Lieutenant 
Miner accompanied it in this change. In the month 
of March, 1918, he was promoted to the rank of captain 
and placed in command of Battery D, of the 109th Field 
Artillery, 53rd Field Artillery Brigade, 28th Division. 
In the month of April, 1918, this entire brigade was 
ordered overseas, and in due course of time was sta- 
tioned in Brittany, France, where it completed its train- 
ing. On August S, 1918 this brigade rejoined the 28th 
Division in action in the Fismes-Vesle Sector, and it 
later was under enemy fire in the Oise-.\isne offensive a:id 
the famous drive through the Meuse-.^rgonne off'.nisive. 
It also saw active combat in the Leys-Schcltc offensive 

in Belgium, at which point they were fighting on Novem- 
ber II, 1918, the date of the signing of the Armistice, 
when the temporary cessation of hostilities was obtained. 
For his bravery in action. Captain Miner was decorated 
with the Croix de Guerre of Belgium. Then, in the 
month of April, 1919, he returned to the United States 
with his command; and he was mustered out of serv- 
ice during the month of May, 1919, at Camp Dix, New 

Since his return to civilian life, Robert Charles Miner 
has assumed the duties of his citizenship with marked 
interest and success. In his political views he is a 
staunch supporter of the Republican party, and he has 
been exceedingly active in the commercial and general 
affairs of his home community, Wilkes-Barre. He has 
since become a director of the Pennsylvania Millers 
Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Wilkes-Barre, direc- 
tor of the .American Corn Millers' Federation, director of 
the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, and of the Greater 
Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce; secretary and 
treasurer of the Princeton Alumni Association of North- 
eastern Pennsylvania ; and shortly after the death of his 
father, Major-General Asher Miner, in the month of 
September, 1924, was elected vice-president and general 
manager of the Miner-Hillard Milling Company, one of 
the oldest establishments of its kind in the United States, 
a concern dating back to the year 1795 for its founda- 
ticn, since which time it has steadily grown in volurne 
of business and general commercial importance until, 
today, it is one of the most important milling houses 
in the eastern part of our land. Corn, wheat, rye and 
buckwheat are now milled, and this company also enjoys 
a large wholesale grocery trade. The market for their 
manufactured products covers the eastern part of the 
United States. They also do an extensive export busi- 
ness. Mills and warehouses are now maintained at 
Miners Mills, Wilkes-Barre, Plymouth, Pittston, and 
Scranton, all in Pennsylvania, and the head offices are 
located at No. 212 in the Coal Exchange Building, 
Wilkes-Barre. The officials of this concern are among 
the most prominent men in the northeastern part of the 
United States, and whose family names, like that of the 
present Mr. Miner, are closely identified with both the 
early history of the thirteen American Colonies and 
with administrative and operative aids of modern com- 
merce and finance in the present generation. Mr. Miner 
himself has been active, not only in commerce, but also 
in the club and social life of the world in which he 
lives, and he has not lost contact with his military inter- 
ests. On November 4. 1919. he was commissioned with 
the rank of major, Pennsylvania National Guard, and 
assigned in command of the 2nd Battalion of the 109th 
Field .Artillerv. He now holds membership in the West- 
moreland Club, the Wyoming Valley Qub, the Princeton 
Club of New York, and the Charter Oub of Princeton 

Major Robert C. Miner married, September 23, 1925, 
Elizabeth Chace Carter, of Newtonville. Massachusetts. 
Mr. and Mrs. Miner maintain their principal residence 
in Wilkes-Barre, in which community they attend the 
First Presbyterian Church. They have one daughter, 
Elizabeth C-.roline, born May 28, 1927. 

THOMAS MORGAN LEWIS, district attorney of 

Luzerne County is regarded as one of the leading men 
of the comnuniity. His father, Morgan V. Lewis, came, 
like his wife, Gwenny (Morgan) Lewis, from Wales, to 
the United States when a child. He was for thirty-five 
years foreman of the Avondale Mines of the Glen Alden 
Coal Company of Luzerne County. He is a Republican, 
residing now in Plymouth. 

Thomas Morgan Lewis, son of Mofgan V. and 
Gwenny (Morgan) Lewis, was born in Plymouth 
Township, Pennsylvania, November 20, 1891. He was 
reared in Plymouth attending the public schools in boy- 
hood. Later he began working for the Glen Alden Coal 
Company, serving in various capacities over a period 
of four years. He studied at the Wyorning Seminary at 
K'ligston, where he was graduated in the class of 1913. 
Then he entered the law department of the University 
c i Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1916 with the 
degree of Bachelor of Laws. Passing the Pennsylvania 
Sat: Bar Examination, he was admitted to practice in 
the county, State and Federal courts. Mr. Lewis main- 
tains offices at No. 1200 Miners Bank Building, Wilkes- 
Barre. Pennsylvania. 

Successful as his practice has been, in political life 
Mr. Lewis has advanced most rapidly. He is a Re- 
inil'lican, ha\ing served as chairman of the County 
Speakers' Committee for five years, and as district 


chairman of the Fifth Legislative District of Luzerne 
County for 1924-25. He was assistant district attorney 
from April i, 1924, to November 3, 1926, under Arthur 
H. James, present Lieutenant-Governor of Pennsylvania, 
and it was during his service in that capacity that Mr. 
Lewis won prominence in several important cases. On 
November 3, 1926, Mr. Lewis was the unanimous choice 
of the Court of Luzerne County to fill the unexpired 
term of .Arthur H. James, who resigned to accept the 
aforementioned office. 

In 1927 Mr. Lewis aspired for a full term in the office 
of the district attorney. He was unopposed for the 
Republican nomination and at the primaries secured the 
nomination of all political parties. Mr. Lewis is attorney 
for the boroughs of Plymouth and Shickshinny in 
Luzerne County, and a director of the First National 
Bank of Plymouth, and The Wilkes-Barre Brick Com- 
pany. He is a member of the Kiwanis Club and the 
Greater Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, both of which 
organizations he has served as president; a member of 
the Wyoming Valley Country Club, the Franklin Club 
and many fraternal organizations. Mr. Lewis is married 
and continues to live at Plymouth, Pennsylvania. 

nently associated with operating companies in the antlira- 
cite coal fields of Pennsylvania, and with financial and 
other corporate interests in dififerent parts of the country, 
John N. Conyngham, of Wilkes-Barre, is a member of 
an ancient and honorable family whose line traces to 
distinguished representatives of the Scottish peerage. 
Mr. Conyngham also gives close attention "to the main- 
tenance of large and valuable agricultural holdings, in 
the cultivation of which he takes a deep and pleasurable 
interest. He devotes a goodly proportion of his time and 
means to the support of charitable and philanthropic 
enterprises in the Wilkes-Barre area. 

The Scottish progenitor of this well-known Pennsyl- 
vania family was Right Rev. William Conyngham, D. D., 
born in 1512-13, and bishop of Argyll, who was a young- 
er son of William Conyngham, fourth earl of .Glencairn 
in the peerage of Scotland. This William Conyngham 
was educated for the church, matriculated at the Univer- 
sity of St. Andrew's, 1532; made provost of Trinity 
College, Edinburgh, 1338, and raised to the See of Ar- 
gyll by James V, February i, 1539. 

Very Rev. Ale.xander Conyngham, M. A., was the 
grandson of Bishop William Conyngham, of Argyll, 
Scotland. In 1616 he was naturalized as an English 
subject; was the first Protestant minister of Inver and 
Kellymard, County Donegal, in 161 1; ordained Prebend 
of Inver, 161 1, and that of Kellymard, the same year, 
both in the Cathedral of Raphoe ; vacated Kellymard in 
1622, and Inver in 1630, on succeeding to the Deanery 
of Raphoe, by patent of April 27; installed, June 22, 
1630, when Dean Adair was consecrated Bishop of 
Killaloe, 1629-30. He was born about 1580, died Sep- 
tember 3, 1660. Dean Alexander Conyngham, of Rap- 
hoe, IS said to have had twenty-seven sons and daughters, 
four of the sons attaining their majority: i. Alexander, 
died durmg the lifetime of his father. 2. George, of 
Killenlesseragh, died without male issue, of whom 
further. 3. Sir Albert, who was knighted and whose 
grandson became Marquis Conyngham, of Mount 
Charles. 4. William, of Ballydavit. 

George Conyngham, of Killenlesseragh, County Long- 
ford, by will dated May 5, 1684, proved November 25, 
1684, devised lands to his brother, William, of Bally- 
davit, to his nephew, Alexander, of Aighan. and his 
brother, Andrew; and named his brother. Sir Albert 
Conyngham. William Convngham, of Ballydavit, County 
Donegal, by will, October 8, 1700, entails on his nephew, 
Alexander, of Aighan, all his land in County Donegal, 
with bequests to others of the family. Alexander Conyng- 
ham, of Aighan, gentleman, by will, December 27 1701 
entails land on his eldest son, Richard Conyngham of 
Dublin, merchant, and on Ricii.-rd's male heir, in default 
of which to his second son. Andrew, and on his male 
heir, in default of which to said Richard's right heir 
These very lands ("Conyngham Reminiscences," page 
18s) thus limited on Richard's right heirs are found, in 
1 721, in possession of Captain David Conyngham of 
Ballyherrin and Letterkenny, the son of' Alexander 
Conyngham, of Rosguil, Ireland, whose will (March 21 
177.8) conveyed the estate to his son, David Hayfieki 
Conyngham, whose eldest son. Redmond (2) Convng- 
ham, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, by law would have 
inherited it, but at whose instance his father broke the 
entail, disposing of the estate for one hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars. 

Alexander Conyngham, of Rosguil, County Donegal, 
had, among liis ten children: 1. Rev. William, rector of 
Letterkenny, who died in 1782, aged ninety-one years. 2. 
Captain David, of whom further. 3. Adam, of Gran- 
ford, died in 1729, father of (Zaptain John Conyngham, 
who served with General Braddock when he was defeat- 
ed by the Indians, in 1755. 4. Alexander, died without 
issue, leaving his estate to his nephews. 5. Andrew. 

Captain David Conyngham, of Ballyherrin and Letter- 
kenny, Ireland, married Katherine O'Hanlon, daughter 
of Redmond O'Hanlon, one of the Royal Standard Bear- 
ers of Ireland, dispossessed by Cromwell. They were the 
parents of children: i. Redmond, of whom further. 2. 
Isabella, married David Stewart. 3. Mary, married Rev. 
Thomas Plunkett, and they had William Conyngham, 
Lord Chancellor of Ireland ; Baron Plunkett, and Cap- 
tain David Plunkett, of the American Army, 1776-83. 4. 
Alexander, died in Philadelphia, October 14, 1748. 5. 
Hannah, married Rev. Oliver MacCausland, Rector of 
Finlangen, Ireland. 6. Catherine, married Colonel Sir 
David Ross, of Ireland. 7. Isabella Hanlon. 8. Martha. 
9. Margaret. 10. Lydia. 11. Elizabeth. The last four- 
named daughters died unmarried. 

Redmond Conyngham, Esq., son of Captain David and 
Katherine (O'Hanlon) Conyngham, and the founder of 
the American family of that name, was born in Letter- 
kenny, Ireland, in 17IQ, and died there January 17, 1784. 
He came to Philadelpnia before the Revolution, and rose 
to prominence as a citizen. He was a member of the 
mercantile house of John Maynard Nesbitt & Company. 
He returned to Ireland in 1766. He was succeeded in 
(he business of J. M. Nesbitt & Company by his son, 
David Hayfield, of whom further. He served Christ 
Cliurch of Philadelphia as vestryman and warden, and 
was one of the founders of St. Peter's, continuing as a 
member fif tlie United parishes of Qirist and St. Peter's 
until his deatii. Redmond Conyngham married, January 
13. 1749, in Philadelphia, Martha Ellis, born in Phila- 
delphia. February 13, 1731, died in Derry, Ireland, April 
15, 1768, daughter of Robert and Catherine Ellis, her 
father a prominent Philadelphian, ironmaster and county 
justice. Mr. and Mrs. Redmond Conyngham were the 
1 arents of five sons and seven daughters, of whom was 
David Hayfield, of whom further. 

David Hayfield Conyngham, son of Redmond and 
Martha (Ellis) Conyngham, was born in Philadelphia, 
March 21, 1750, died March 3, 1834. He was an ex- 
tremely patriotic citizen, and was one of the organizers 
of the first troops of the Philadelphia City Cavalry. In 
1775. he succeeded his father as a partner in John May- 
nard Nesbitt & Company, and in the following year the 
latter returned to Ireland to spend the rest of his days. 
Later he became the senior member of the firm of 
Conyngham & Nesbitt, and attained the status of one of 
leading merchants of Philadelphia. The house of Conyng- 
ham & Nesbitt. of which he was the head, came grandly 
to the succor of Washington and his starving forces, in 
1780, in a crucial hour of the Revolution. The firm ad- 
vanced about five thousand pounds, and this proved a 
mighty factor towards relieving the sufferings of the 
soldiers. This generous and patriotic act was made the 
subject of heartfelt thanks to the firm by Washington 
himself and by Robert Morris, whose genius as a finan- 
cier was placed at the disposal of the Revolutionary 
cause. The gift, or loan, enabled Washington to main- 
tain the field with a renourished and encouraged force 
in its movement against the British. David Hayfield 
Conyngham married, December 4, 1779, at Whitemarsh, 
Pennsylvania, Mary West, born in 1758, died August 
29, 1820, dau'^liter of William West, a prominent Phila- 
delphia merchant, and Mary Hodge, his wife, daughter 
of William, Jr.. and Eleanor (Wormley) Hodge. They 
were the parents of ten children : i. William, born Sep- 
tember 13. 17S0, died September 20, 1780. 2. Redmond, 
Iiorn September 19, 17S1 ; married Elizabeth Yates, 
daughter of Hon. Jasper Yates of Pennsylvania. 3. Mary 
Martha, born August 18, 1783, died February 16, 1792. 
4. Catherine, born August 29, 1786, died at Towanda, 
Pennsylvania, May 14, 1839; married. October 2, 1806, 
Ralph Peters, son of Hon. Richard Peters of Pennsyl- 
vania. 5. William, born July 7, 1788, died March 11, 
1789. 6. Hannah, born January 6, 1790, died in 1869. 7. 
Mary, horn February 11, 1793, died June 27, 1895. 8. 
David, horn February 6, 1795, died September i, 1853. 
c Elizabeth Isabella, born May 6, 1797. 10. John Nes- 
bitt. of whom further. 

Hon. John Nesbitt Conyngham, LL. D.. youngest 
child of David Hayfield and Mary (West) Conyngham, 
was born in Philadelphia, December 17, 1798. He was 
graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, in the 

€>-/ir^ty t^ le^ 


class of 1817, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, 
making his Master's degree in 1820, and received the 
degree of Doctor of. Laws from his alma mater in 1866. 
As an aspirant for the bar he studied law under the 
preceptorship of Hon. Joseph B. Ingersoll, a well-known 
attorney of Philadelphia County. Early in 1820 he re- 
moved to Wilkes-Barre, and on April 3 of that year was 
admitted to the bar of Luzerne County. He rose steadily 
in the esteem of the bench and his legal brethren, and in 
April, 1839, he was commissioned judge of the common 
pleas in the Bradford and Susquehanna districts, and, 
in 1841, by exchange with Judge Jessup, he assumed 
the judicial office in Luzerne County, eventually, under 
appointment from Governor D. R. Porter, becoming 
president- judge of the Thirteenth Judicial District of 
Pennsylvania, which then comprised the counties of 
Susquehanna, Bradford, Tioga, Potter and McKean. For 
practically thirty years he filled the judicial office with 
dignity and intelligence, characteristics which were pre- 
eminent in his long and useful life. Luzerne was sub- 
sequently added to the district by an act of the Legisla- 
ture. Through subsequent changi.s, the district was made 
to include Luzerne County only. His political views dif- 
fered on many points from those held by the Federal 
administration then in power, but regardless of that fact 
he was reelected to office in 1861. At the outbreak of 
the Civil War he gave his cordial support, moral and 
financial, to the cause of the Union, and exerted the 
great influence and prestige of his judicial position for 
the promotion of the success of the Northern Army. In 

1870, on his resignation from the bench, he was made the 
recipient of a tribute in manuscript form from the bar of 
Luzerne County, judges of the L'nited States Supreme 
Court and members of the judiciaries of Pennsylvania, 
bearing attest to iiis excellent character as a man and to 
his splendid qualifications as a judge. Judge Conyngham 
represented Luzerne County in the Legislature in 1840; 
for twelve \ears he was a trustee of Wilkes-Barre 
Academy; at the time of iiis death he was president of 
the Wilkes-Barre Tract Society, president of the Luzerne 
County Bible Society, president of the .American Churcli 
Missionary Society, vice-president of the American Sun- 
day School Union, and of an institution of deaf mutes 
in Philadelphia. He served twice as burgess of Wilkes- 
Barre and was president of the Borough Council in 
1849-50. He was a member of tiie first board of direc- 
tors of the Wyoming (Pennsylvania) Bank, and one of 
the original members of the Wyoming Historical and 
Geological Society, which he served as vice-president in 
1866-67 and as president in 1869. He was a vestryman 
of St. Stephen's Church, Wilkes-Barre; a delegate to a 
special convention in Philadelphia, in 1844, held to con- 
sider the question of electing an assistant bishop in the 
diocese ; and subsequently was a delegate to every Gen- 
eral Convention, save one. 

Hon. John Nesbitt Conyngham married, December 17, 
1823, Ruth Ann Butler, born January 11, 1801, died July 
3, 1879, daughter of General Lord and Mary (Pierce) 
Butler, the former the eldest son of Colonel Zebulon 
and Ann (Lord) Butler, of Lyme, Connecticut, and 
Wilkes-Barre. Colonel Butler was the military com- 
mander of Wyoming as lieutenant-colonel of the 24th 
Connecticut Regiment, a soldier from his youth, rising 
from ensign of the Colonial forces to colonel of the ist 
Connecticut Regiment of the Continental line, which 
rank he held when the Revolutionary War ended. He 
commanded the American forces at the battle of Wyo- 
ming. A personal friend of Washington, the Commander- 
in-Chief reposed implicit confidence in him. To John 
Nesbitt and Ruth Ann (Butler) Conyngham were I)orn : 
I. David, born June 17, 1826, died in April, 1834. 2. 
Colonel John Butler, a distinguished soldier of the Civil 
War, bom September 29, 1827, died May 27, 1871 ; never 
married. 3. William Lord, of whom further. 4. Thomas 
Dyer, born December 11, 1831, died in New York, No- 
vember 6, 1904. 5. Major Charles Miner, born July 6, 
1840, who distinguished himself as an officer in the Civil 
War, and became prominent in mining, manufacturing 
and mercantile interests of his section of Pennsylvania. 
6. Mary, married Charles Parrish, of Wilkes-Barre. 7. 
\nna Maria, married Right Rev. William Bacon Stevens. 
D. D., LL. D., Protestant Episcopal Bishop of the Dio- 
cese of Pennsylvania. 

The death of Judge Conyngham occurred February 23, 

1871, as the result of an accident. On his way to Texas 
in that month to bring home his invalid son, Colonel John 
Butler Conyngham, he fell on the railroad at Magnolia, 
Mississippi, and was so severely crushed under the wheels 
of a passenger car that he died shortly after the acci- 

dent. His last words were: "I know that my Redeemer 
liveth." In his honor, the name Conyngham School was 
given to the public institution on St. Clement's Street, 

William Lord Conyngham, third son of Hon. John 
Nesbitt and Ruth Ann (Butler) Conyngham, was born 
in Wilkes-Barre, November 1, 1829. For many years 
he was active as a member of the firms of Parrish & 
Conyngham, coal operators, and Conyngham & Paine, 
commission merchants. For thirty-six years he was asso- 
ciated with Joseph Stickney in Wilkes-Barre and New 
York as Conyngham & Company of Wilkes-Barre, and 
Stickney & Conyngham of New York and Boston; J. 
Hilles & Company, Baltimore, Maryland; James Boyd & 
Company, Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania ; 
Boyd. Stickney & Company, Chicago, Illinois, and St. 
Louis, Missouri, agents for the Pennsylvania Railroad 
Company's anthracite coal, north, south, east and west. 
He was connected with many business enterprises of 
the Wyoming \alley also; a life member and former 
vice-president of the Wyoming Historical and Geological 
Society. He was a loyal Republican all his life, a mem- 
ber of St. Stephen's Protestant Episcopal Church, Wilkes- 
Barre, which he served for many years as vestryman. 

William Lord Conyngham married, December 6, 1864, 
Olivia Hillard, daughter of Oliver Burr and Harriet A. 
(Roberts) Hillard, of Charleston, South Carolina, and 
Wilkes-Barre. Mrs. Conyngham was descended from 
Captain David Hilliard (original spelling), of Little 
Compton, Rhode Island, son of William Hilliard, of that 
town, 1650; from Joseph Hilliard, of Norwich, Connecti- 
cut, and his wife, Freelove Miner, great-granddaughter 
of Lieutenant Thomas Miner, of Salem, Massachusetts, 
1630, and Stonington, Connecticut, deputy to the Gen- 
eral Court of Connecticut and prominent in church and 
colony. Lieutenant Miner's son. Captain Ephraim Miner, 
ensign, captain, justice, and for years deputy to the Gen- 
eral Court, and his wife, Hannah Avery, daughter of 
Captain James .\very, who was equally prominent in the 
colony, were the grandparents of Freelove Miner, who 
was the only daughter of Lieutenant James Miner, of 
New London, Connecticut, and his wife, Abigail Eldridge, 
daughter of Captain Daniel Eldridge. Joseph Hilliard, 
of Norwich, was the father of Lieutenant Joseph Hil- 
liard, of Killingworth, Connecticut, who served :n the 
Revolutionary Army, and was the father of Oliver Hil- 
lard (note change of spelling), born in October, 1773, mar- 
ried, in May, 1800, in Philadelphia, Ann Eliza Crawford, 
and settled in Charleston, South Carolina. Oliver Hil- 
lard was the father of Oliver Burr Hillard, for many 
years prominent as a merchant in Wilkes-Barre. Mr. and 
Mrs. William Lord Conyngham were the parents of 
three children: i. John Nesbitt (2), of whom further. 
2. William Hillard, a review of whom appears else- 
where in this work. 3. Ruth Butler, who died in infancy. 

John Nesbitt (2) Conyngham, eldest child and son of 
William Lord and Olivia (Hillard) Conyngham, was 
born in Wilkes-Barre, September 13, 1865, and he re- 
ceived his preliminary and college preparatory courses 
in schools of his native city, and graduated from Johns 
Hopkins Preparatory School, New Haven, Connecticut. 
He then entered ^'ale University, where he took a special 
course in the Sheffield Scientific School. After leaving 
Vale, he lirst took a position as secretary and treasurer 
and time-keeper with the Annora Coal Company, in the 
development of their properties, and also became super- 
intendent of that company. For many years he was 
associated with his father in the operation of his coal 
properties and distributing concerns, and became one of 
the most prominent men in the coal trade. An idea of 
the importaj'ce and ramifications of his associations in 
ihe trade is to be had from the following list of his 
[iresent and former connections : He is a former presi- 
dent of the West End Coal Company at Mocanauqua, 
1893, and of the Tioga Coal Company, New York; direc- 
tor of the Staples Coal Company, and Staples Transpor- 
tation Company, Massachusetts; director of the Parrish 
Coal Company ; director and vice-president of the Red 
Ash Coal Company. He is vice-president of the Miners' 
Bank; director of the Anthracite Savings Bank; presi- 
dent of the Bretton Woods Company, of Bretton Woods, 
New Hampshire; president of the Standard Register 
Company, of New York City; director of the Havana 
Marine Company, Cuba, and president of the Muskegon 
County Traction and Light Company, Michigan. 

One of the principal channels of Mr. Conyngham's 
energy and thought is his farming interests, in which 
he has a keen pleasure and healthful diversion — this may 
be said to be his principal hobby, and one that he has 
turned to very good account. His political preferences 


all lie within the province of the Republican party, to 
which he gives both moral and substantial support. His 
philanthropic and civic interests comprise the Luzerne 
County Humane Association and the United Charities 
of VVilkes-Earre. of Ijotii of which institutions he is 
president; the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, which 
he serves as director and treasurer. He is a member 
of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society, and 
his social organizations include the Westmoreland Gub, 
Wilkes-Barre, the Union League CUl), Metropolitan Club, 
New York Yacht Club and Piping Rock Club, all of 
New York City. He helps perpetuate a fine family tradi- 
tion of religious fellowship through his own member- 
ship and active interest in St. Stej^hen's Protestant Epis- 
copal Church, to which so many of the Conynghams have 

John Nesbitt Coyngham married, April i8, 1895, Bertha 
Roliinson, daughter of John Norris and Mary (Moore) 
Robinson, of Wilmington, Delaware. Mr., and Mrs. 
Conyngham are liberal supporters of civic and welfare 
organization work in Wilkes-Barre community life, in 
whose circles their presence and influence are highly 

ily of which George Riddle Wright, leading member of 
the Luzerne County Bar, is a worthy member, proceeds 
from John Wright, who came to America in 1681 with 
William Penn's colf]ny of immigrant Quakers, and be- 
came the founder of the village of Wrightsville, Bur- 
lington County, New Jersey. He held commissions under 
King Charles H as justice of the peace and captain of 
militia. He married Abigail Crispin, daughter of Silas 
Crispin, the elder, and his wife, Mary (Stockton) Shinn, 
daughter of Lieutenant Richard Stockton, prominent in 
the annals of Long Lsland and New Jersey. The line 
of descent fiom John Wright to George Riddle Wright 
is through the following: 

(II) Samuel Wright, son of John and .Abigail (Cris- 
pin) Wright, was born in Wrightstown, New Jersey, in 
1719, and died in 1781 ; he married Elizabeth Haines, 
daughter of Caleb Haines, of Evesham. 

(III) Caleb W^right, son of Samuel and Elizabeth 
(Haines) Wright, v\'as born at Wrightstown, January 14, 
1754; married, in 1779, CTatherine Gardner, daughter of 
John Gardner, and in 1795 removed to the "Susquehanna 
Country." He purchased a farm and settled on it in 
Union Township, Luzerne County, two miles above Shick- 
shinny. where he remained until 181 1, when he returned 
to New Jersey, where he and his wife died and were 
buried in the Friends" Burial Ground at East Branch, 
Upper Freehold, Monmouth County. 

(IV) Joseph Wright, son of Caleb and Catherine 
(Gardner) Wright, was born May 2, 1785, and was ten 
years of age when his parents removed from Wrights- 
ville to the "Susquehanna Country." When his father 
returned to New Jersey he was already married, and 
he was the only member of the family who remained 
in Wyoming Valley. He lived in Plymouth more than 
half a century, engaged in merchandising and took a 
prominent part in the affairs of the town. Although 
Joseph Wright was a loyal Quaker, he believed in bear- 
ing arms under certain circumstances, and we find him 
in Captain Halleck's company which in the War of 181 2 
marched to the defense of Baltimore. He attained the 
rank of sergeant, and for his services later was awarded 
one hundred and forty acres of public land. He mar- 
ried, June IS, 1807, Ellen (Hendrick) Wadhams, widow 
of Moses Wadhams, and daughter of John and Eunice 
(Bradley) Hendrick, who was a descendant in the fourth 
generation of Daniel Hendrick. Joseph Wright died 
August 14, 185s, and his wife August 6, 1872. 

(V) Hendrick Bradley Wright, eldest child of Joseph 
and Ellen ( Hendrick- W^adhams) Wright, and of 
George Riddle Wright, was born April 24. 1808, at Ply- 
mouth, Pennsylvania. In his youth he assisted his father 
on the farm and attended winter terms of school at 
Plymouth; in 1826 he entered Dickinson College at 
Carlisle; at the end of his junior year he withdrew from 
college and entered upon the study of the law in the 
law office of John N. Conyngham at Wilkes-Barre, and 
was admitted to the bar November 8, 1831. About a 
year later he was appointed deputy attornev-general for 
Luzerne County, and in November, 1833, he was re- 
appointed by .Attorney-General Dallas. In August, 1835, 
he resigned on the ground that he was "politically of>- 
posed to the State administration." The anti-Masonic 
Party was at its zenith at this time in Pennsylvania; 
Wolf, Democrat, was governor, and in his camnaign 
for reelection he was defeated by Ritner, nominee of 

the anti-Masons. Mr. Wright, then twenty-seven, was 
prominent in Luzerne County as a member of the anti- 
Masonic party. In 1835 he was elected and commis- 
sioned colonel of the Wyommg Volunteer Regiment, Sec- 
ond Brigade. Eighth Division, Pennsylvania Militia, 
which commission he held until 1842. He succeeded 
well in his practice, and at tiijies gave attention to poli- 
tics. ,'\fter having filled local offices he was elected to 
the lower house of the State Legislature, and was offered 
strong support if he would run for the Senate, but he 
declined, and was elected to a third term in the lower 
branch. At the opening of the next session he was 
chosen speaker, in which position he strongly opposed 
the Porter wing. In the 1844 National Democratic Con- 
vention held at Baltimore he acted as delegate-at-large 
from Pennsylvania, and was chosen temporary chairman, 
and then permanent chairman, over the deliberations of 
the body which nominated James K. Polk for the Pres- 
idency ; this action displeased Colonel Wright's faction, 
which had consistently opposed Polk. In October, 1850, 
he ran strongly for Cqngress, but was defeated by the 
Whig candiilate, Henry M. Fuller. Two years later, 
however. Colonel Wright defeated Mr. Fuller. In 1854 
their names again headed the ticket, and this time Fuller 
was successful. In March, 1856, Colonel Wright was a 
delegate to the Democratic .State Convention, and was 
elected its chairman. He advocated the nomination of 
James Buchanan by the Democrats as their offering 
for the Presidency. In 1858 he was substitute delegate 
to the State Convention and chairman of the commit- 
tee on resolutions. In 1861 he was the candidate of the 
War Democratic party for Congress, and obtained an 
overwhelming endorsement at the polls. He strongly 
opposed the secession of the Southern States from the 
Union, but voted against a bill abolishing slavery in the 
District of Columbia. When criticized for this stand, he 
replied : "I voted against the bill for abolishing slavery 
in the District of Columbia, and it is my purpose to 
vote against any bill abolishing slavery anywhere, with- 
out the consent of the people in the State where it exists; 
and in doing this I will violate no pledge that I ever 
assumed, either by word or implication, in the remotest 

In March, 1863, (Colonel Wright returned to his home 
and the extensive law practice which circumstances had 
forced him to relinquish when he went to represent his 
constituency in Washington. In 1871 he published "A 
Practical Treaties on Labor," which had originally ap- 
peared in a series of articles in the "Anthracite Monitor," 
under the noin dc pUime of "Vindicator." He published 
in April, 1873, "Historical Sketches of Plymouth." In 
1872, during strenuous political times. Colonel Wright 
was again called upon to bear the Democratic standard 
for Congress, but he met with defeat. At Erie in 1873 
he presided over the Democratic State Convention, and 
until 1875 served as chairman of the State committee. 
He was elected to Congress in 1876 and again in 1878. 
With the conclusion of tha Forty-ninth Congress in 1881, 
Colonel Wright closed his political career, after eleven 
years of faithful service in State and National legisla- 
tures; and at this time he also gave up the practice 
of law and business affairs, and retired to the inner sanc- 
tuary of contemplation at his country residence on the 
shores of Shawanese Lake, some twelve miles from 
Wilkes-Barre. His local honors included membership in 
the first board of trustees of the Wyoming Athenaeum; 
first president of the Wilkes-Barre Law and Library 
Association; an organizer and president of the Wilkes- 
Barre Water Company: stockholder and director of the 
Second National Bank; and presidency of the Wyoming 
\'alley Historical and Geological Society. 

Colonel Wright married at Wilkes-Barre, April 21, 
1835 Mary Ann Bradley Robinson, born at Wilkes-Barre, 
June 9 1818. died here September 8, 1871, only daugh- 
ter of John W. Robinson and Ann (Butler) Robmson, 
and granddaughter of Colonel Zebulon Butler. She was 
a descendant of the fifth generation of the Duxbury 
pastor. Rev. John Robinson, and a descendant of the 
seventh generation of Major William Bradford. She 
was an eighth generation descendant of Governor Wil- 
liam Bradford. Mavflower leader and second governor 
of the Colony of "Massachusetts. Other ancestors in- 
cluded Rev. James Fitch, of Saybrook, later Norwalk 
Connecticut; and Major-General John Mason, leader of 
the Connecticut forces in the Pequot War and at one 
time deputy of the colony. Her father, John W. Robm- 
son, bom at Norwich, Connecticut, April 5, 1779- was 
the eldest child of Samuel and Priscilla (Metcalf) Robin- 
son ; great-grandson of Rev. John Robinson, able but 
eccentric pastor of the church at EKixbury, Massachusetts. 



LngrBved iy ::.'\JviF3ELL JV' 


The children of Hendrick Bradley and Mary A. B. (Rob- 
inson) Wright were ten: i. and 2. Charles Robinson 
and Ellen Hendrick, twins, born and died in 1836. 3. 
Joseph (1827-62), served in the Civil War on the 
side of the Union. 4 Ann Augusta, born June 18, 1839. 
5. Mary Elizabeth (1841-88), married Christopher 
Eldredge Hawley, mining engineer. 6. Caroline Griffin, 
born September 28, 1844. 7- Hendrick Bradley, (1847- 
1880). 8. George Riddle, of whom further. 9. Ellen 
Hendrick (1852), married, in 1872, Thomas Graeme, 
native of Virginia, resident of Wilkes-Barre. 10. Charles 
Robinson Wright (1854-60). 

Colonel Wright died at Wilkes-Barre, September 2, 
1881, and three days later ,was interred in the Hol- 
lenback Cemetery. Of him it was said, "Oiarity and 
benevolence were the ruling features of his heart. The 
distribution of his holiday loaves to the poor, a prac- 
tice he continued for years: his acts of generosity to 
the poor the year round ; his aid to people in debt, con- 
tributions to public charities, and various subscriptions 
for public purposes, ail indicated in him the existence of 
that priceless feature of exalted manhood and the true 
ornament of human life." 

(VI) (George Riddle Wright was born in Wilkes- 
Barre, November 21, 1851, son of Hendrick B. and Mary 
Ann Bradley (Robinson) Wright. He was educated at 
Wilkes-Barre and attended private schools and Edge Hill 
Academy at Princeton, New Jersey. In September, 1869, 
he entered Princeton University, graduating in the class 
of 1873 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and later 
with the degree of Master of Arts. He won the senior 
gold medal for oratory in a competition at Clisophic 
Literary Hall. Then he returned to Wilkes-Barre and 
began t^ie study of law in the office of his father, and 
in 187s was admitted to the Luzerne County Bar. In 
the summer of 1877 he was tendered a nomination to 
Congress by the committee appointed by the Labor Con- 
vention ; he could easily have been elected, as the whole 
ticket went through that fall, but he refused the liomina- 

Mr. Wright is a member of the American Bar Asso- 
ciation, the County and State Bar associations ; he served 
as president of the United Charities of Wilkes-Barre 
from 1895 to 1901. He is a member of the Sons of the 
American Revolution, the Society of the War of 1812, ' 
the Robinson Genealogical Society of Boston, the Wyom- 
ing Valley Historical and Geological Society, and the 
University and Princeton clubs of New York. In i8g6 
he was a gold standard Democrat, and was an elector 
in the nomination of Palmer and Buckner in opposition to 
the Bryan free silver standard. He declined nomina- 
tion on the Democratic ticket for Congress at the time 
Judge Lynch was elected from the Eleventh District, 
and also declined the nomination for the legislature and 
State Senator. For twelve years he was a director of the 
Wilkes-Barre Water Company, three years its presi- 
dent ; for several years he was a director of the Wilkes- 
Barre Electric Light Company. In 1906 he organized 
the First National Bank at Dallas, Luzerne County, and 
for twenty-one years has been its capable president. He 
is a member and attendant of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church. He is unmarried. 

REV. MICHAEL E. LYNOTT— Head of St. Ig- 
natius Parish, Kingston, the Rev. Michael E. Lynott has 
given long and devoted years to the secyice of his church, 
and is one of the oldest living Catholic rectory in point 
of service within the Wyoming Valley. Ordained a 
priest fifty-three years ago (1928), through that extended 
period his works for good have been incalculable, and 
for twenty-seven years he has had charge of the parish 
in Kingston. 

Father Lynott is a native of Pennsylvania. He was 
born at Scranton, July 17, 1852, son of John and Catherine 
(Thomas) Lynott, both of whom are since deceased. 
John Lynott came to (old) Luzerne County in 1846, 
settling in the community that subsequently became 
Scranton, Lackawanna County. In the family were thir- 
teen children, sons including Patrick, Martin. William, 
Edward, and John. Of this large family of children. 
Father Lynott is the only one to survive. 

In the public schools of his native Scranton Father 
Lynott secured his earliest academic education. Later 
he studied in private schools, at St. Bonaventure College, 
and at St. Vincent's in Latrolie, Pennsylvania. For his 
theological training he attended the Grand Seminary, at 
Montreal, Dominion of Canada, and was ordained to the 
priesthood September 29, 1875, at St. Peter's Cathedral. 
Scranton, by the Rt. Rev. William O'Hara, First Bishop 
of Scranton. Then began the long career in the service 

of the church which has filled the years intervening. 
Father Lynott's first post was that of assistant in St. 
John's Church, at Pittston, where he served for seven 
years, until 1882. In that year he was appointed pastor 
in charge of St. Peter's Church and Missions, at Welb- 
boro, Tioga County, Pennsylvania, and there remained 
in charge for seven years. In 1889 he was _ appointed 
pastor in charge of the new parish of St. Mary's Catholic 
Church at Jermyn, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, 
and there served for twelve years. In November, 1901, 
he was appointed rector of St. Ignatius' parish, King- 
ston, and here has served continuously through the years 

St. Ignatius parish of Kingston was founded by Rev. 
John Bergan, in 1885. The church was built in 1886, 
and Father Bergan carried on his work until death, 1891. 
He was succeeded in the charge by Rev. John P. C>'Mal- 
ley, who was at the head of the congregation for ten 
years, until Father Lynott assumed charge in 1901. The 
parish now consists of eight iiundred families, number- 
ing thirty-five hundred parishioners. Ehiring the nearly 
three decades of his leadership the parish has grown 
steadily, as has the city of Kingston; and while Father 
Lynott has been devoted most of all to his parishioners 
he has assisted mightily in the healthful development of 
the community as a whole. He is loved and respected 
universally by all who know him, as a clergyman, man, 
and citizen. In the general affairs of Kingston he has 
been active, never disregarding a mtovement designed for 
the common welfare. Politically he votes as an indepen- 
dent Democrat and uses his influence quietly, and to best 
efifect. He makes his residence at the parish house, No. 
339 North Maple Avenue, Kingston. 

Wilkes-Barre from 1908 until 1922, and since 1922 in 
Kingston, Charles Frederick Hess is vice-president of 
the powerful Kingston Bank and Trust Company, is 
known well and with respect in banking circles through- 
out Pennsylvania, and is accounted 6ne of the Outstanding 
men of Kingston and Wilkes-Barre. Mr. Hess was bom 
in Scranton, Pennsylvania, June 23, 1870, a son of Henry 
and Elizabeth H. (Simon) Hess, both of whom are de- 

Henry Hess was for many years superintendent of the 
Scranton Coal and Iron (Company. He was industrious, 
temperate and kind. Although his financial means were 
limited, lie ever considered the advancement of his chil- 
dren ; so. too, his wife, Elizabeth H. (Simon) Hess, to 
whom nVi self-denial constituted hardship if it were for 
the welfare of hfrr children, whom she loved dearly, and 
who, thosi? who now ( 1929) survive, retain her memory 
in fondest affection. Mr. and Mrs. Hess were the par- 
ents of seven children: i. George W., of Scranton. 2. 
Henry A., deceased. 3. William, of Scranton. 4. Jolin 
E., deceased. 5. Mary Amelia, deceased. 6. Charles 
Frederick, of whom further. 7. Robert, deceased. 

Charles Frederick Hess attended the public schools 
of Scranton, his native city, and while young in years, 
worked with his brother, John E. Hess, founder of the 
J. E. Hess Baking Company, Scranton. This employ- 
ment he left, however, in 1885, at the age of fifteen 
years, to become a clerk in the Merchants' and Me- 
chanics' Bank, of Scranton, where he remained for a 
comparatively extended period and mastered the funda- 
mentals of banking, the foundation for the comprehen- 
sive knowledge that later became his. His next position 
was with the Dime Deposit Bank, of Scranton, as teller, 
and soon after engagement in this capacity he was made 
cashier. He had now attained to the highest place open 
to hint in a bank controlled by others than himself, and, 
ambitious, and realizing what the future might bring, 
became associated with Joseph Jermyn, organizing the 
EHme Bank of Wilkes-Barre. Of the new. enterprise 
he was named president, which office he held fourteen 
years, with r^reat success to his associates and pros- 
perity to the organization. Mr. Hess came to Wilkes- 
Barre thoroughly trained in finance, and immediately 
took his place in local banking circles, rapi(Jly deepen- 
ing the regard in which his judgment was held by the 
ever increasing numbers of those who knew him. When, 
in 1922, he removed to Kingston to become associated 
with the then new West Side Trust Company, he was, 
indeed, respected of all bankers in the two communities. 
As vice-president of the trust company, which office he 
retained until the summer of 1927. when the company 
was consolidated with another, forming the Kingston 
Bank and Trust Company, he accomplished great good 
for Kingston, through support of worthy enterprises 
calculated in his trained reason to be of permanence and 


lasting benefit to the community, and, conversely, though 
opposition to those enterprises which his reason told him 
would fail, or would otherwise wreak disadvantage to it. 
The Kingston Bank and Trust Company, with Mr. Hess 
as vice-president, is one of the largest and strongest of 
banking houses in Luzerne County. It occupies a new 
and imposing building completed in 1927 ; the structure is 
a model of its kind, among the most modern in North- 
eastern Pennsylvania. 

Although his principa' interest lies in banking, Mr. 
Hess is far from unconcerned regarding general affairs 
of the community. A Republican, he is a staunch sup- 
porter of the party and the principles that it represents. 
Because of his position and his possession of those high 
qualities of character that make men esteemed by their 
associates he owfis great voice in political and other 
questions of Kingston, and this he exercises without fan- 
fare, quietly, always to the welfare of the public. Frater- 
nally, he confines his activities to Kingston Lodge, No. 
395. Free and Accepted Masons. He is a communicant 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, is devout in its serv- 
ice, and ready in contributions to charitable and kindred 
worthy causes, regardless of their sponsorship, race or 
creed. During the World War, Mr. Hess participated 
in the activities of various boards and committees in 
charge of the prosecution of the war from within this 
country, and, as banker, was in a position to contribute 
a substantial support to the several Liberty Loan cam- 
paigns. In 1917, Mr. Hess was appointed by the Fed- 
eral Reserve Board as Liberty Loan chairman for the 
counties of Carbon, Luzerne. Bradford, and part of 
Wyoming County, and devoted practicallv his entire time 
to the various loan drives until the close of the war. 
Of him it is said by those who know him well, that 
he is a patriot, as a citizen a valuable asset to country. 
State and community, and as a man honorable in every 

On May 31, 1904, Charles Frederick Hess was united 
in marriage with May A. Graves, of Scranton, daughter 
of George Graves of that city. To this happy union 
were born seven children: i. Amelia, a teacher in the 
public schools of Kingston, Pennsylvania. 2. Ruth, who 
is the wife of Harris A. Long, the latter connected with 
the Lehigh and Wyoming Valley Coal Company of Du- 
pont, Pennsylvania. They have one child, Isabel Ruth 
Long. 3. Robert G., a student in the Lehigh Univer- 
sity. 4. Charles F., a student in the State College of 
Kingston. 5. Henry E., in high school. 6. Elizabeth. 
7- George, in school. Mrs. Hess owns a fine character, 
and is greatly endeared to a large number of persons 
for her charm and refinement, and for the care that 
she devotes to her children's well-being. 

DOUGLAS BUNTING— To members of the engi- 
neering profession is due much of the progress that has 
been achieved in this country, especially along indus- 
trial lines, for the skill of mechanical and chemical engi- 
neer has advanced civilization at a rapid rate enabling 
rnen through mechanical invention to achieve in a short 
time what was formerly done only by slow processes. 
As a Cornell man who carried his engineering skill into 
the Pennsylvania coal fields, the late Douglas Bunting, 
of Wilkes-Barre, achieved a success which gave him 
an enviable place among alumni of that institution who 
are doing big things. He was one of the foremost men 
in the coal industry in Pennsylvania, holding the posi- 
tion of vice-president and general manager of the Lehigh 
and Wilkes-Barre Coal Company, and that of a director 
of the Wyoming National Bank of the same city, and also 
a director of the Morris Run and Lehigh and Wilkes- 
Barre Coal Mining companies. His interest in all move~ 
ments of a progressive nature undertaken for the benefit 
of Wilkes-Barre was always sincere and into .^uch 
he put the enthusiasm that inspires others to take part 
in the affairs of civic betterment. He was a descendant 
of the best of early American pioneer stock, coming 
from families whose names on the pages of the early 
history of this country record deeds of heroism and 
valor as they took part in the trying times of the 
Revolutionary War and the founding of the Republic 
of the United States of America. 

The Bunting family traces its origin to Anthony Bun- 
ting, of Matlack, Derbyshire, England, whose wife was 
named Ellen Their son, Samuel Bunting, came to this 
country in 1678 and settled at Cross-we-sung, now Cross- 
wicks Creek, New Jersey, near Burlington. The land 
and the reconstructed homestead of this pioneer are still 
in possession of members of the family. This Samuel 
Bunting was a minister in the Society of Friends 
(Quakers), and an early Philadelphia minute shows that 

he was approved by the founders of that city. In 1684, 
he married Mary Foulke, daughter of Thomas Fbulke, 
one of the commissioners sent from England by William 
Penn to negotiate with the Indians for their lands in 
West New Jersey. The descent from Samuel and Mary 
(Foulke) Bunting to Douglas Bunting was through their 
son, John Bunting, who was born at Crosswicks, New 
Jersey, in 1685, and married Alice Lord Nicholson, widow 
of George Nicholson, Mrs. Nicholson having been a 
minister in the Society of Friends; their son, Samuel 
Bunting, born at Crosswicks in 1724, died in 1767, had 
married, in 1762, Elsther Syng, daughter of Philip and 
Elizabeth (Warner) Syng. Philip Syng was a com- 
missioner of Pennsylvania under John Penn and a close 
friend of Benjamin Franklin and was treasurer of the 
city of Philadelphia for a decade; their son, Philip Syng 
Bunting, was born at Philadelphia in 1763 and died there 
September 6, 1826, a recommended minister of the So- 
ciety of Friends, who married, in 1788, Elizabeth Tomp- 
kins ; their son, Joshua Bunting, was born at Philadel- 
phia, December 15, 1797, and died there March 30, 1850. 
He was a merchant and married Henrietta Barron Wade, 
of Elizabeth, New Jersey ; their son. Dr. Thomas 
Crowell Bunting, born at Philadelphia, November 7, 
1832, died in East Mauch Chunk, December 24, 1895, 
where he had successfully practiced medicine for more 
than thirty years, being a physician of the homeopathic 
school. He married, June I, 1869, Elizabeth Crelland 
Douglas, daughter of Andrew Almerin and Mary Ann 
(Leisenring) Etouglas, of Mauch Chunk. They had five 
children: i. Douglas, of whom further. 2. Mary Doug- 
las, married George B. Home, of Mauch Chunk. 3. 
Laura Whitney, married James S. Heberling, of Reding- 
ton. 4. Henrietta Wade, who married J. Irwin Blake- 
lee, of Mauch Chunk. 5. Wade. Mrs. Elizabeth Crel- 
land (Etouglas) Bunting was a descendant of the Doug- 
las family who came from Scotland to this country in 
1800. Her father was a cousin to the noted statesman, 
Stephen A. Douglas who was the vigorous contestant of 
Abraham Lincoln in political debates as well as for 
office. In the upholding of the characteristics of his 
ancestors for patriotism in the finer things that make 
for the greatness of community or country, Douglas 
Bunting was conspicuous, and his life reflected credit 
on his parents. Dr. Thomas Crowell and Elizabeth Crel- 
land (Douglas) Bunting. 

Douglas Buntiijg was born at East Mauch Chunk, 
Pennsylvania, March 17, 1870. He was educated at the 
public schools of Mauch Chunk, the Bethlehem Pre- 
paratory School and the Spring Garden Institute of 
Philadelphia. After this preparatory work he entered" 
Cornell University, at Ithaca, where he was a student 
in the school of engineering, and in 1894, he graduated 
from there with the degree of Mechanical Engineer. He 
immediately entered upon the practice of his profession 
and in the autumn of 1894, he entered the employ of 
the Mount Jessup Coal Company, at Scranton, where 
he remained for a short time only, and then on Novem- 
ber I, of the same year, he removed to Wilkes-Barre, 
and in 1899, he was advanced to the position of me- 
chanical engineer of the Wilkes-Barre Coal Company. 
His efficiency and the record of his admirable achieve- 
ment was so splendid that on October i, 1903, he was 
promoted to the position of chief engineer and from that 
time on, his executive ability being recognized, he was 
continuously promoted until he filled the office of vice- 
president and general manager. 

Mr. Bunting was a member of the Chi Phi college 
fraternity which he joined when a student at Cornell 
University and he always took an active part in its alumni 
activities, which are chiefly carried on through the Cor- 
nell Club of New York City of which he was a member. 
He was a member of the American Institute of Mining 
Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engi- 
neers, the Sons of the American Revolution, the Na- 
tional Engineering Society, the Wyoming Valley His- 
torical and Geological Society, the Westmoreland Club, 
the Wyoming Valley Country Club, the Hazelton Qub, 
and the Republican party. He attended the First Pres- 
byterian Onirch of Wilkes-Barre. 

At Scranton, Pennsylvania, on January 2, 1901, Doug- 
las Bunting married Helen Romayne Seybolt, one of five 
children of Calvin and Helen (White) Seybolt, of Scran- 
ton. Mr. and Mrs. Bunting had one daughter, Elizabeth 
Douglas Bunting. Mr. Bunting died on December 15, 
1927. At the time of his death he was one of the lead- 
ing men in the coal industry in the Wyoming Valley, 
and a man generally beloved for his genial disposition 
and modest charities. His place in the community was 
that of an exemplary citizen, his business acumen was 




without question, his clear understanding of values mde 
his advice desirable on questions pertaming to public 
welfare He was devoted to his friends and to his 
family and in every act proved himself a citizen of 
the highest type. His death is a great loss to this 
community in all the lines and social circles where he 
moved with such dignity and where he at all times com- 
manded such respect. No man here has ever been held 
in greater honor. 

SAMUEL McCRACKEN— A prominent character in 
the banking and financial world of the Wyoming Valley 
is Samuel McCracken, vice-president of the Miners' Bank 
of Wilkes-Barre. He was born November 12, 1876, m 
Scranton, Pennsylvania, son of l^eroy and Charlotte 
(Little) McCracken, both of whom are now deceased. 
The McCracken family traces its descent from Scotch- 
Irish stock in America, and the name first appears on 
the early tax records of Northampton County, Pennsyl- 
vania. Leroy and Charlotte (Little) McCracken be- 
came the parents of eight children : John Wesley, Archi- 
bald, Jennie, Samuel, of whom further; Hattie, now 
deceased. Sallie, Elizabeth, snd Leroy, now deceased. 

Samuel McCracken, third son and fourth child ot 
Leroy and Charlotte (Little) McCracken, was reared in 
Scranton, and received his education in the district schools 
of that community. At sixteen years of age he went to 
work, as a messenger boy for the Traders National 
Bank of Scranton, where he remained for more than 
eleven years. Then, in 1903, he was appointed treasurer 
of the Union Savings Bank and Trust Company of 
Pittston, Luzerne County. Mr. McCracken remained 
with this well known institution until 1907, when he 
resigned to become assistant cashier of the Peoples' Bank 
of Wilkes-Barre, later becoming cashier. In 1915, the 
Peoples* Bank was merged with the Miners' Bank of 
Wilkes-Barre, one of the largest financial institutions in 
Eastern Pennsylvania. Mr. McCracken continued as 
cashier of the Miners' Bank after the merger, and served 
thus until 1922, when he was promoted to the vice-pres- 
idency, an office which he is now filling. He also is a 
director of this bank and holds a similar position with 
the board of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company. A self- 
made man and an active worker, Mr. McCracken is con- 
sidered one of the substantial citizens of Wilkes-Barre. 

Mr. McCracken has always found time in which to 
take a helpful interest in the civic and general affairs 
of his community. In his political views he is a Repub- 
lican, and he stands behind any movement designed for 
the benefit of Wilkes-Barre. He has been active in 
welfare work, and is now a director of the Wilkes-Barre 
branch of the Young Men's Christian Association. He 
is also a member of the Westmoreland Club, and is a 
valued worker in church and religious circles. 

Samuel McCracken married, June 4, 1902, Phoebe 
Englert, of Dunmore, Pennsylvania, daughter of George 
and Siddie (Van Buskirk) Englert. Mr. and Mrs. Mc- 
Cracken became the parents of three children : i. George 
Englert, a graduate of Princeton University; now an 
instructor in Greek and Latin at Lafayette College, 
Easton, Pennsylvarria. 2. Elizabeth J., who resides at 
home. 3. Samuel McCrScken, Jr., who died in child- 
hood. Mr. McCracken and his family maintain their 
principal residence in Wilkes-Barre, in which community 
they attend the Central Methodist Episcopal Church, of 
which Mr. McCracken is a trustee. 

EDMUND EVAN JONES, a member of the well- 
known law firm of Bedford, Jones, McGuigan & Waller, 
whose offices are at No. 832 in the Miners' Bank Build- 
ing, Wilkes-Barre, was born on September 12, 1870, at 
Coaldale, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, a son of 
David E. and Elizabeth (Gwilliam) Jones, Iwth of \vhom 
are now deceased. David E. Jones was a native of Wales, 
in the British Isles, but he came to this country with his 
parents when he was still but a four weeks old infant. 
His father was Evan E. Jones, who became the father 
of and reared to maturity a large and prosperous family. 
By his marriage to Elizabeth Gwilliam, David E. Jones 
became the father of six children : Edmund Evan, of 
whom further ; Mary, who is now deceased : Sarah ; 
William, who held the degree of Doctor of Medicine, and 
who was a successful physician up until the time of his 
death ; Severus G.. of Tamaqua, Pennsylvania ; and 

Edmund E. Jones, the first son and first child of 
David E. and Elizabeth (Gwilliam) Jones, received his 
early education in the public schools of the community 
in which he was born and reared, Coaldale. He then 
studied and mastered telegraphy, later being employed 

as a telegraph operator for the Lehigh Valley Railroad. 
After some years at this work he resigned to become 
associated with the Shelden Axle and Spring Company. 
He later became an expert stenographer, opening a pub- 
lic stenographic office in Wilkes-Barre. During this satne 
period of time he also undertook the study of the law 
under the competent preceptorship of the late Thomas 
H. Atherton. So well did he succeed that in the year 
1896 he was admitted to practice at the Luzerne County 
Bar. Immediately after his admission, he prepared him- 
self by private study for college, and in the fall of that 
same year he enrolled as a student at Princeton Univer- 
sity, and graduated from there with the class of 1900. 
when he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts. After 
the completion of these courses of study he at once re- 
turned to Wilkes-Barre and there began the practice of 
his profession as a lawyer. This has unquestionably 
proved to be the right field for Mr. Jones' talents, and he 
is today considered one of the outstanding men at the 
Bar of Luzerne County. Not only is he a member of one 
of the most prominent legal firms in Wilkes-Barre, as 
above stated, but he is also a director of the Morris 
Run Coal Mining Company, and Wyoming Valley Build- 
ing and Loan Association. 

Mr. Jones is particularly noted for the keen interest he 
has shown in the political and general affairs of his 
city and his county. He has, indeed, taken much of his 
own time to serve the people of his community in other 
than a private capacity. In his political preferences he 
is strongly inclined toward the Republican party, and 
as such he served for more than six years as secretary 
of the Wilkes-Barre Park Commission; and he served 
for a like period, six years, as assistant district attorney 
for Luzerne County. During the World War Mr. Jones 
served as a "Four-Minute" speaker; was active in Red 
Cross and Liberty Loan Drives, and a member of the 
Draft Board. He has been equally active in his club and 
social life, for he is now affiliated, fraternally, with the 
Wilkes-Barre Lodge, No. 61, Free and Accepted Masons, 
the Shekinah Chapter, No. 182, Royal Arch Masons, the 
Dieu le Veut Commandery, No. 45, Knights Templar, the 
Irem Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the 
Mystic Shrine of Wilkes-Barre; the Sons of Liberty 
Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; and fie is a 
member of the Westmoreland Qub : the Wyoming Valle}» 
Country Club: the Irem Country Club, and Nassau Qub 
of Princeton, New Jersey. For twenty-one years he was 
the secretary and treasurer of the Wyoming Valley 
Country Club, and for two years he was its president, 
also for three years, secretary and treasurer of West- 
moreland Club. 

Edmund E. Jones married, April 22, 1908, Bertha von 
Kolnitz, of Charleston, South Carolina, a daughter of 
Crtorge F. and Mary (Wayne) von Kolnitz. both de- 
ceased. Mr. and Mrs. Jones are the parents of one child, 
a daughter : Esther Trezevant. who is now a student at 
Vassar College. Mrs. Jones is also active in the social 
life of Wilkes-Barre. and she now holds membership in 
Charleston chapter of both the Daughters of the Ameri- 
can Revolution and the E>aughters of the Confederacy 
Mr. Jones and his family maintain their residence in 
Wiikes-Barre. in which community they attend the St. 
Stephens Episcopal Church. 

G(EORGE) MURRAY ROAT— Continuing a busi- 
ness established by his father many years ago and con- 
ducting it to ever increasing prosperity. G(eorge) Murray 
Roat. of Kingston, has reached a high place in the com- 
mercial activities of the region and in the esteem of his 
fellow-citizens. Knowing him from boyhood and watch- 
ing his career through the years, the electorate of the city 
has given him its whole hearted approval by choosing 
him to hold its highest elective office. He takes a great 
iride in the growth of Kingston, in its many industries 
and in the administration of its official affairs. The 
respect in which he is held is only equalled by the staunch 
friendships he has made, through his honesty of purpose 
and his fidelity to trust. 

G. Murrav Roat was born in Kingston, February 29, 
1864 His father was Andrew Jackson, and his mother 
Mary (Gabriel) Roat, both natives of Luzerne County 
and members of one of its oldest and most respected 
families. Andrew Jackson Roat was born in 1834 and 
learned and followed the trade of blacksmith for many 
vears Staiting on a broader career, he established the 
A. I. Roat Supply Company, in Kingston, which became 
the leading hardware and mine supply company in North- 
east Pennsylvania. It was Andrew Jackson Roat who 
imported the first ton of iron into Kingston, bringing 
it here from Philadelphia, before the railroads had come 


to this district, by way of the old Pennsylvania canal. 
For many years he was one of the leading merchants 
and citizens of Luzerne County, a staunch Democrat and 
a supporter of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His 
death occurred February 13, 1913. There were three 
children : Harry, Edward and Murray. Murray re- 
ceived his education in the Kingston public schools and 
at the Wyoming Seminary, at Kingston. Upon his grad- 
uation, he entered into association with his father, toge- 
ther with his two brothers, remaining until 1924, when, 
after more than forty years of unceasing work, he sold 
out and retired. He chose the Republican party as his 
political faith and the Methodist Episcopal Church for 
his religion. In 1925 he was elected burgess of King- 
ston for four years. He is president of the Merchants' 
and Miners' Bank, of Luzerne, a thriving financial insti- 
tution. He served for six years as a member of the 
Kingston School Board and for more than forty years 
has been one of the active and leading citizens of the city 
and county. 

Mr. Roat married Blanche Stroud, of Dallas, Luzerne 
County, daughter of Barney Stroud and a descendant of 
Colonel Jacob Stroud, founder of Stroudsburg, Penn- 
sylvania. They are the parents of one child, Gertrude 
Marion, who is the wife of Ira G. Hartman, of Wilkes- 
Barre, prominent in real estate there. Their children, 
grandchildren of George Murray Roat, are Murray Roat, 
and Ira George Hartman. 

the surname Loveland of the Wyoming Valley of wliich 
Charles Noyes Loveland, well known member of the 
Luzerne County Bar, is a member, was founded in 
.\merica by Thomas Loveland, who settled in Wethers- 
field, now Glastonbury, Connecticut, previous to 1670; 
and from him the line of descent is traced to John, 1683- 
1750, to John, 1710-51, and to Joseph, 1747, of whom the 
last was first to visit Pennsylvania. He came twice to 
the Wyoming- Valley in search of a home, once before 
the Revolution and once afterward. Because of the un- 
certainty of the land titles granted by the Susquehanna 
Land Company, he refrained from purchase of a home- 
site, however, and returned to Connecticut. On one of 
his visits to this State he was a participant in several 
of the skirmishes so frequent between the Pennsylvanians 
and the Yankees, and every instinct of his nature impelled 
him to take up arms with the latter. For a time he 
lived in New Hampshire and in Vermont, and while in 
the former State enlisted in Colonel Jonathan Chase's 
regiment to reinforce the Continental Army at Ticon- 
deroga and other points in the Champlain Valley. There 
were many Lovelands who served during the Revolution, 
from beginning to end of the war. Joseph Loveland 
married, November 12, 1772, Mercy Bigelow, and thev 
had thirteen children, of whom two sons, William and 
Elijah, came to the Wyoming Valley. 

Elijah Loveland, the eighth child, was born in Nor- 
wich. Vermont, February 5, 1788, and with his brother, 
in 1812, settled in Kingston, Pennsylvania. He was a 
farmer, broom corn grower and broom maker, distiller 
of peppermint and other essences which he sold to 
apothecaries, and manufacturer of bricks; no man in 
the township was more industrious or more resourceful 
than Elijah, and he achieved a fair competence. He 
thought seriously of joining the tide of emigration to 
the West but reconsidered and purchased a farm of fifty 
acres instead. He was the first elder of the Kingston 
Presbyterian Church. Elijah Loveland married, in Kin;?- 
ston, in 181 5, Mary Buckingham, a descendant in the 
seventh generation of Thomas Buckingham, the Puritan, 
who arrived in Boston, June 26, 1637, from England, 
and also a descendant of Rev. Thomas Buckingham, one 
of the founders of Vale College. This union resulted in 
the birth of six children, and of these George Love- 
land was the third son, of whom further. 

George Loveland was a native of Kingston, born No- 
vember 5, 1823; was a senior member of the Bar of 
Luzerne County; retired during the first decade of the 
twentieth century, and died in Wilkes-Barre, June 12, 
1910. He acquired his preparatory education in the 
Dana Academy, and matriculated in Lafayette College. 
After leaving college he taught school alx)u't three years, 
then read law in the offices of General E. W. Sturde- 
vant; he was admitted to practice his profession in 1848, 
and for half a century was closely identified with '.he 
professional life of Wilkes-Barre. As counsellor in office 
he attained to an enviable reputation, and sought to 
prevent litigation rather than to promote it. In his 
intercourse with clients he was thoughtful and conserva- 
tive; his counsel was always preceded by mature delib- 

eration, and, as a result, his conclusions were found to 
be correct almost invariably. He proved himself a use- 
ful citizen, a conscientious lawyer, a faithful friend, and 
an honest Christian. He was made an elder of the Pres- 
byterian Church while in Kingston, and continued to fill 
that office after his removal to Wilkes-Barre. For many 
years he was a director of the First National Bank of 
Wilkes-Barre, and a memlier of the Wyoming Historical 
and Geological Society. In Lyme, Connecticut, Septem- 
ber 29, 1869, George Loveland married Julia Lord Noyes, 
a native of Lyme, born September 23, 1833, died in 
Wilkes-Barre, June 18, 1885. Mrs. Loveland was a 
daughter of Daniel R. and Phoebe (Griffin) Lord Noyes. 
Her father, a son of Colonel Thomas Noyes, of Westerly, 
Rhode Island, was bom there October 3, 1754, and died 
September 19, 1819. Thomas Noyes served as colonel 
in the Revolution, at White Plains, Long Island, Trenton, 
Valley Forge, and, it is thought, at Germantown ; he 
was representative to the General Assembly, a senator for 
twenty years, and president of a bank. His father was 
Captain John Noyes, owner of Stony Point, and Captain 
John was a son of Rev/ John, who graduated from Har- 
vard University in 1656, and was one of the founders of 
Yale College. Rev. John was a son o{ Rev. John Noyes 
of Newbury, Massachusetts, who came with his brother 
Nicholas from England to locate in New. England, in 
Newbury, in 1634. George and Julia Lord (Noyes) 
Loveland were the parents of three children : I. George, 
lx>rn October 25, 1 87 1, died November 30, the same 
year. 2. Charles Noyes, of whom forward. 3. Jose- 
phine Noyes, born November 5, 1874. 

Charles Noyes Loveland, second son of George and 
Julia Lord (Noyes) Loveland and of the sixth genera- 
tion from I'homas Loveland, founder of the family in 
.\mcrica, was born in Wilkes-Barre November 26, I.872. 
He received his preparatory education in the public 
schools of his native city and in the Harry Hillman 
Academy, thereafter matriculating in Yale College, New 
Haven, Connecticut, whence he graduated with the degree 
of Bachelor of Arts, in the class of 1894. He returned 
then to Wilkes-Barre, and began to read law in the .office 
of Judge Henry A. Fuller, where he applied himself with 
intelligently-directed industry; and in 1896, in January, 
was admitted by examination to practice his profession 
before any bar in Pennsylvania. Mr. Loveland, like his 
father before him, has achieved to distinction as coun- 
sellor, and his offices are known to a clientele of im- 
portance. While the greater part of his time has been 
devoted to the profession, he has not failed to partici- 
pate freely in civic matters, and is accounted one of the 
most public-spirited members of the community. A 
Republican and loyal to the principles of government 
upheld by the party, he has exercised a considerable 
political voice locally, and has filled a number of public 
offices. In 1910, Mr. Loveland was elected from the 
Tenth Ward as a member of the Common Council, and 
served with high credit to himself for two years; in 
1913, he was elected one of the first four councilmen to 
serve under the commission form of city government, 
acted in that capacity for two years as superintendent of 
streets and public improvements, and in 191 7 was again 
elected to the council and served as superintendent of 
parks and public property. In 1916, Mr. Loveland was 
accorded the honor of representing his district in the 
National Republican Convention which met in Chicago 
and nominated the Hon. Charles E. Hughes for President 
of the United States. In 1919, 1923 and 1927, Mr. Love- 
land was crndidate for the office of mayor of Wilkes- 
Barre, and while he was each time defeated, it was by 
small majorities, and it is believed that should he choose 
to run once more his election will be a natural result. 

Mr. Loveland is a communicant of the First Presby- 
terian Church, and an elder. Toward charity he has 
ever been large of heart, regardless of whether or not 
appeals are sponsored by his own denomination and with 
no limiting considerations of race or creed. He is a 
director of the First National Bank of Wilkes-Barre, the 
Young Men's Christian Association, the Wilkes-Barre 
General Hospital, and the United Charities. Of the last- 
named he is vice-president. He is also a director of the 
Wyoming Council of Boy Scouts and the Community 
Welfare Federation, as well as a trustee of the James 
Sutton Home for .\ged and Infirm Men, of Wilkes-Barre. 
Fraternally, he is affiliated with several organizations, 
including the Wyoming Valley Motor Club, the Wyoming 
Valley Country Club, and the Westmoreland Club. Mr. 
Loveland heard the call of his country in the Spanish- 
American War, and enlisted in the 9th Pennsylvania 
Volunteer Infantry. He was made a carporal in Com- 
pany D, and his record is meritorious in line of duty. 

^^^^^^^^C^-^^^^t-^e^ ^, ^K^it/Zj^/^T^ 


AltVioueti too advanced in years for service in the mili- 
tary during the World War. Mr. Loveland did serve 
tirelessly on boards and committees in charge of the pros- 
ecution of the conflict from within this country, and was 
most instrumental in securing subscriptions in each of the 
Liberty Loan campaigns. 

On June 7, 1900. Mr. Loveland was united in marriage 
with Mabel Huidckoper Bond, of Jamaica Plain, Massa- 
chusetts, a daughter of ("Tcorge and Rebecca (Huidc- 
koper) Rnnd. and they are the parents of three children: 
I. Rose Cracroft, wife of John E. Toulmin, of Boston, 
Massachusetts, and by him mother of one child, a son. 
Peter Koyes. 2. Charles Noyes. Jr., a student in the 
Sheffield Scientific School of \'ale Lniversity. class of 
'29. .3. George, a student in Yale College, class of '32. 
Mrs. lx)vcland is a woman of many pleading qualities of 
character, and is popular in the circles in which she 

WILLIAM NELSON MULTER is one of the most 
progessive business men in W'ilkcs-Barre, Pennsylvania, 
and an exceptionally active intlutnce for good in the 
affairs of the \'oung Men's Christian .Association and^ 
other organizations there affecting the welfare ol I)oys 
and young men. A descendant of an old New York 
family, Mr. Multer is now in partnership with his son 
as an insurance and real estate agent. 

Mr. Multer was born in South Worcester, Otsego 
County, Xew ^'ork, where many of the original Dutch 
settlers made their homes when they landed at Niewe 
Amsterdam and braved the wilderness and hostile Indians 
to conquer a new world. This son of Jacob J. and Cor- 
delia J. fWniiur) Multer, was lx)rn October 17, 1S63. 
His father was a lawyer and newspaper editor in his 
native town and there were four other children: Leslie, 
deceased; Marcus M., of Hudson, Massachusetts; J. J. 
Multer of California; and Lewis H. Multer of Kingston, 

William Nelson Multer attended the public schools 
with other hoys of his age and neighborhood and later 
entered the high school. He and his brother, Lewis H.. 
were much of an age, with tastes and inclinations in 
the same channel. Both were anxious to prove their 
worth in the lousiness world and had hardly finished their 
full C(nirsc in the high school when they decided to form 
a partnership. The laundry business appealed to them, 
and they found an excellent prospect in Norwich, Con- 
necticut, and ojiencd for business there. The business 
continued profitably for some years, when William Mul- 
ter began to interest himself in the work of the Young 
Men's Christian Association in Norwich, so much so that 
he was offered the post of assistant secretary there. He 
sold out his interest in the laundry and acci-ptcd the 
offer and continued in the service of the Norwich branch 
for two years. His work in Norwich had been called 
to the attention of his superiors and he was promoted 
to the position of secretary and librarian of the asso- 
ciation's branch in Berwick. Columbia County, Pennsyl- 
vania. During lijs three years in this capacity he ex- 
tended the service and activity of the branch, increased 
its membership and gained the goodwill of the entire 
town, especially of the boys and young men. The State 
organization of the association heard of him and his 
work and again he was promoted, this time as an as- 
sistant secretary of the Pennsylvania State Young Men's 
Christian Association. 

It was about this time that the association first began 
to organize branches among the male employees of rail- 
roads and other large employers of labor, whose hours 
gave them no access to the regular branches. The State 
association decided to entrust the orga:iization and devel- 
opment of a Pennsylvania Railroad Young Men's Chris- 
tion Association to Mr. Multer and he was appointed gen- 
eral secretar.v, with unusual success. His next post in 
the service of the association was as general secretary 
of the large branch in Washington, District of Columbia. 
He was in charge of this branch when news of the 
explosion in Havana Harbor, in 1898, sent a fever of 
. war blazing through the Nation's capital. There was an 
immediate necessity, with those first soldiers sent into 
camp for service in Cuba, for an organization to provide 
entertainment and preserve the morale of officers and 
men in those weary days of waiting for action, so the 
Christian Commission of the United States Army was 
formed, with Mr. Multer in charge. Because of the 
nature f)f the commission's work, it was necessary that 
the headquarters be in Washington, in close touch with 
government affairs, and he directed the course and scope 
of the commission's activities until the end of the war. 

A desire to enter business, after the excitement of 

the war had subsided, sent him to Wilkes-Barre at the 
beginning of 1899, as the agent of the Fidelity Mutual 
Life Insurance Company of Philadelphia. For the next 
twelve years he dcxotcd his energies to this work and 
so developed the company's territory in Luzerne County 
that he had earned a comfortable income and a solid 
reputation as an insurance expert by the time he decided 
to establish a business of his own in conjunction with 
L. A. Diamond, as real estate and insurance agents. The 
partnership was profitalile and continued until 192,3, when 
Mr. Diamond moved to California and William W. Mul- 
ter became a partner with his father. The business has 
since tiecome even more expanded under the name of 
William N. Multer & Son, with offices in Room 512, 
Coal Exchange Building. Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. 

I'or many years Mr. Multer was a speaker for the 
.\nti-Saloon League and is regarded as one of the most 
substantial and public-spirited citizens in the city. He 
is a member of Landmark Lodge No. 442, Free and 
.\ccepted Masons, of Wilkes-Barre; and of Kingston 
Lodge, No. 709, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He 
has been always interested in affairs of the Kingston 
Methodist Episcopal Church, and a member of the board 
of stewards and has served as superintendent of the Sun- 
day schcKil for the last twelve years. 

.Mr. Multer married, February 23, 1890, Ida Walton, 
daughter of Ellis P. and .Anna { Hossler) Walton, for- 
merly of Plymouth, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. They 
have three children: Ruth Walton, now the wife of 
William Traxler, professor of science at Wyoming Semi- 
nary, Kingston ; William Walton, associated with his 
father in the insurance and real estate business; Walton 
L., a professor of music, now living in Beaumont, Te.xas. 
Both of Mr. Multer's sons are veterans of the World 
War, William Walton Multer serving as a first lieuten- 
ant with the Marine Corps, stationed at Madison Bar- 
racks, Wisconsin, where a training camp for recruits had 
been established. William W. Multer has served as 
Itresident of the Rotary and Lions' clubs and was chair- 
man of the Welfare Federation Campaign which raised 
S375,ooo for charitable purposes. Walton L. Multer, 
graduate of Wesle\an L'niversify, Middletown, Connecti- 
cut, served overseas with the 2nd Division of the 
Marine Corps and took part in nine major battles on 
the Western Front. He was transferred later to a 
Machine Cur. Battalion and won the Distinguished Serv- 
ice Cross for bravery while in action. He was sent 
with the .Ann) of Occupation to Coblenz, Germany, and 
was later mustered out of service, decorated for merito- 
rious service and honorably discharged, when American 
forces were withdrawn from German territory. The 
Multer family home is at No. 295 College Avenue, 
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. 

THOMAS H. ATHERTON, skilled architect and 
prominent citizen of Wilkes-l'arre, is a son of the late 
Thomas H. and .Melanie (Parke) .Atherton, and a direct 
descendant of Robert and Mary Ann Henry, who came 
to this country from England in 1722, settling in Chester 
County, Pennsylvania. 

From Robert and Mary Ann Henry, the line is traced 
through their son, John, who married Elizaljeth- De- 
X'iniie ; their son, William Henry, who married Ann 
Wood ; their son, William Henry, who married Sabina 
Schropp; their son, William Henry, who married Sarah 
Atherton. and by her became the father of Thomas H. 
Atherton, whose wife .VIelanie (Parke) Atherton, was a 
daughter of the Rev. N. G. Parke, prominent minister 
of the Presbyterian Church. Mrs. .Atherton died in 
iViCi; while her husband. Thomas H. Atherton, who was 
born July 14, 185,3, at Wyoming, Pennsylvania, died in 
iiJ23, at Wilkes-Barre. Thomas H. Atherton, Sr., a 
graduate of Princeton University, class of 1874, degree 
I if Bachelor of .Arts, was an able lawyer and a prominent 
b:uiker. He was regarded as one of the most brilliant 
,-uthorities on corporations and corporation laws in the 
State of Pennsylvania. He served as attorney for several 
large concerns local to Wilkes-Barre; was a counsel 
director and chairman of the board for the Second 
National I5ank of that city. He was deeply religious and 
a constant attenrlant of the First Presbyterian Church of 
Wilkes-Barre, serving as a member of the sessions of 
that body. He was active in the Young Men's Christian 
.Association, and materially assisted in making it one of 
the leading welfare organizations of the State. He also 
contributed substantially to charities and charitable or- 
ganizations. Mr. Atherton, Sr., was a man of high and 
admirable character, beloved by those who knew him 
well, and respected by all with whom he came in con- 


Thomas H. Atherton, Jr., only son of Thomas H. and 
Melanie (Parke) Atherton, was born January 16, 1884, 
in Wilkes-Barre, and obtained his early education in 
private schools, and a graduate of Harry Hillman Acad- 
emy. He later attended Princeton University, graduat- 
ing in the class of i<;o6, with the degree of Bachelor of 
.Arts, and from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 
with the degree of Bachelor of Science, in 190Q. He 
also spent a year of study in England, France and Italy. 
Returning to Wilkes-Barre, he began the practice of his 
profession as an architect, in 1912, a type of endeavor in 
which he has achieved marked success. Among the note- 
worthy e.xamples of Mr. .Atherlon's ability as a designer 
are the Brooks Building, of Wilkes-Barre, the Wilkes- 
Barre Armory, and the Stroudsburg Armory. He also 
designed the \oung Women's Christian Association 
Lodge at Harvey's Lake, the Memorial Grade School at 
Ashley, Artillery Park, Wilkes-Barre, and many of the 
handsome residences throughout the vicinity. His prin- 
cipal offices are located at No. 139 South Main Street, 
Wilkes-Barre, and he is considered one of the most sub- 
stantial men of the city. Mr. Atherton is commissioned, 
in association with Paul P. Cret, of Philadelphia, to 
erect war memorials to Pennsylvania's dead in France 
and Belgium, and he is also architect for the State 
Armory Board of Eastern Pennsylvania. 

During the period of the World War he gave freely 
of his services, holding the rank of major in the 109th 
Field Artillery, Pennsylvania National Guard. He was 
commissioned a captain in the National Guard in the 
late part of 1914, and was assigned to duty as com- 
mander of Battery F, 109th United States Artillery. 
With this unit he went overseas, where he saw active 
service along the battle lines of France and Belgium. 
With Battery F he took part in four principal engage- 
ments and later was prorhoted to the rank of major. 
He proved a valorous soldier and was awarded the 
Croix de Guerre (with Palm), by both the French and 
the Belgian governments. Major .\therton held his com- 
.iiission until 1927, when he was promoted to lieutenant- 
colonel, I09th Field Artillery. 

Since his return, although busily occupied with the 
duties of his profession as an architect, he has contrib- 
uted generously in promoting the civic and general wel- 
fare of Wilkes-Barre. In his political views he is a 
Republican. He belongs to the Kiwain's Club, the West- 
moreland Club, the Delta Psi Fraternity, the Concordia 
Society, Princeton Alumni Association, American Le- 
gion, and .American Institute of .Architects. 

Thomas H. Atherton married, February 2. 1921, Mary 
Mish, daughter of Charles and Ann Mish of Forty 
I'ort, Luzerne County. Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. 
Atherton are the parents of a daughter, Mary, and a 
son, William Henry. He and his family reside at Stone 
Bridge, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, on the old farm that 
has been possessed by Athertons since 1768. 

ROBERT CHALLIS, JR., is a well-known member 
of the Luzerne County Bar, with offices at 34 City Hall 
Building, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Mr. Challis was 
born March 26, 1881, son of Robert and Jane (Reese) 
Challis, who reside at 392 East Market Street, Wilkes- 
Barre, Pennsylvania. The name Challis (sometimes 
spelled Chellis) is of English origin and the Chellis 
family as l)een prominent in New England, (particu- 
larly New Hampshire and Massachusetts. 

Robert Challis, Jr., was reared to inanhood in his 
native city of Wilkes-Barre. -As a boy he attended the 
public schools and with the class of 1900 graduated from 
the Wilkes-Barre High School. In 1909 he entered the 
Dickinson School of Law at Carlisle, and graduated with 
the class of 1912 with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. 
In the spring of 191 3 he was admitted to the Luzerne 
County Bar and the Sui)reme Court of I\-nnsylvania; 
thereupon he entered the practice of his profession at 
Wilkes-Barre and has since devoted himself to profes- 
sional work. He enjoys the confidence and respect of 
his fellow members of the bar, and in civic affairs has 
taken active part. 

Mr. Challis is a member of the Republican party and 
the Welsh Presbyterian Church. He fraternizes with 
the Sons of Liberty Lodge of the International Order of 
Odd Fellows of Wilkes-Barre; the Junior Order of 
United American Mechanics ; the Fraternal Order of 
Eagles ; the Brotherhood of America ; Ancient Mystic 
Order of Samaritans; and the United Sportsmen of 

Mr. Challis married in 1920, Maude Miller, of Wilkes- 
Barre, and they reside at No. 28 Taft Street, Wilkes- 
Barre, Pennsylvania. 

GRANVILLE J. CLARK has, since 1891, been en- 
gaged in general legal practice in Wilkes-Barre, Penn- 
sylvania. His offices are located at No. 1012 Brooks 
Building, at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, ^where he has 
been engaged in practice for about thirty-eight years, 
and where he has achieved a high place in the esteern 
of his professional associates. 

Amos D. Clark, father of Mr. Clark, was born in 
Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, sofi of George D. and 
Calista (Scouton) Clark, both of whom were natives of 
Wyoming County. He was engaged in business as a 
merchant in Beaumont, Wyoming (bounty, Pennsylvania, 
and died at the age of thirty-five years. He married 
Sarah E. Shotwell, and they became the parents of six 
children: Granville J., of whom furher; Nettie, de- 
ceased ; Caroline, deceased ; Leslie G., deceased ; Jessie 
C, deceased: and Amos G., Jr., also deceased. 

Granville J. Clark was born in Beaumont, Wyoming 
County, Pennsylvania, December 31, .1863, and grew up 
in that place, attending the public schools, and later be- 
coming a student in Wyoming Seminary, at Kingston. 
Pennsylvania. When his academic course was completed 
he prejiared for teaching in the Bloomsburg State Nor- 
mal School, from which he was graduated with the class 
of 1883. He then taught school for seven years, his 
lirst teaching position being in Bowmans Creek, Wyom- 
ing County. His next school was at East White Haven, 
in Carbon County, and later he taught at Forty Fort, 
Luzerne County. While teaching, Mr. Clark was also 
studying law in the offices of Judge Alfred Darte, of 
Wilkes-Barre. For a time while studying law he served 
as weigh master in the employ of the Wyoming Valley 
Coal Company. He was admitted to the Luzerne County 
Bar January 5, 1891, and since that time has been suc- 
cessfully engaged in general practice in Wilkes-Barre. 
He has built up a very large and important practice 
and has also built up a reputation which is a valuable 
business asset. He is known as a man of sound judg- 
ment and of wide professional knowledge, also as an 
effective advocate, and in whatever case he undertakes 
he is a force to be reckoned with. He Is a Republican 
in his political sympathies, and in 1913 and in 1923 he 
was a candidate for judge of the Eleventh Judicial Dis- 
trict of Luzerne County. In addition to the responsi- 
bilities of his large practice Mr. Clark is a member of 
the board of directors of the Luzerne National Bank, of 
I^uzernc. Pennsylvania, and for several years he was 
one of the trustees of the Bloomsburg State Normal 
School. He is a member of Luzerne County Bar As- 
sociation. Mr. Clark is a man of genuine and earnest 
public spirit, a lawver of assured standing in his profes- 
sion, and a loyal friend and associate who is very highly 
esteemed by those who know him best. 

(iranvillc J. Clark was married, August 23, 1893, to 
Emma Scureman, daughter of Apollos E. and Lydia 
(Wilt) Scureman, of Sullivan County, Pennsylvania. 
Mr. and Mrs. Clark are the parents of two children: i. 
Helen, who married Albert D. Fonda, of Fonda, New 
York, and has four children, Harriet E., Sibyl C, Corne- 
lia Marie, now deceased ; and Albert Granville. 2. Roger 
S., who married Marie Berger, of Wilkes-Barre, and 
resides in Kingston, Luzerne County. 


iTian has served twenty-two years as secretary and treas- 
urer of a commercial concern, it means that he is not 
only thoroughly familiar with every twist and turn of 
the business hut that he has added greatly to the suc^ 
cess which has enabled it to carry on its operations. 
.Andrew C. Overpeck has undergone such an experience 
with the Hazard Manufacturing (Company of Wilkes- 
i?arre. now the Hazard Wire Rope Company, one of the 
largest makers of wire rope and insulated wire and cables 
in the United States. Mr. Overpeck has thus won a com- 
mendable place among his associates and contemporaries, 
while in civic affairs he has also taken a leading part, 
to the extent of giving generously of his time and sub- 
stance to the end that "Wilkes-Barre and vicinity might 
gniw and prosper. He has made his place not by chance 
but by hard licks intelligently applied. 

Mr Overpeck was born at Summit, New Jersey, 
November 16, 1875, son of Theodore W. and Elizabeth 
R. (Brodhun) Overpeck, members of old settler families 
of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. On the tax list of 
1784 of Pike County, Pennsylvania, appeared the names 
of George. John and Adam Overpeck. George Over- 
peek was the great-great-grandfather of Andrew Charles 
Overpeck, and among his children was Andrew Jacoby 
Overpeck, born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in iSiO. 
Andrew Jacoby Overpeck was the father of twelve chil- 
dren, one of whom was Theodore Overpeck, father of 


Andrew Charles Overpeck. Theodore \V. Ovcrpeck was 
born in 1848 and died March 10, 1885: he married, April 
,,_ 1873, Elizabeth R. Brodhun, of Wilkes-Barre, daugh- 
ter of B. Henry and Elizabetli (Drum) Brodhun, and to 
them were born three children; i. Bessie V., wife of 
Cyril G. Smith, of East Orange, New Jersey. 2. Andrew 
C, of whom further. 3. Boyd Henry Overpeck, of 
Orlando, Florida. 

Andrew C. Overpeck came to Wilkes-Barre with his 
mother when he was only ten years of age; he grew 
up in Wilkes-Barre and attended public school and night 
school, and then took a commercial course in a busi- 
ness college. At the age of fourteen he became an office 
boy for the Hazard Manufacturing Company, and has 
been (in 1929) with this company for forty years. In 
1906 it was seen that he had made himself so proficient 
that he was due for high promotion, and when January 
I, 1907, came, it was announced that he had been made 
secretary and treasurer, a position it had been his ambi- 
tion for years to attain. In collateral activities he has 
been extremely active, and few men in Wilkes-Barre have 
been more prominently identified. He is a leading mem- 
ber of the Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce, 
a director in the Wilkes-Barre Young Men's Christian 
Association, and secretary of the board ; a trustee and 
secretary of the Wyoming Valley Homeopathic Hospital 
of Wilkes-Barre and member of the Community Welfare 
Federation; a director of the Keystone Building Loan 
Association, and has been vice-president of it for the 
last fourteen years ; director and treasurer of the Indus- 
trial Loan Corporation ; director of the Union Savings 
Bank and Trust Company; director of the Oaklawn 
Cemetery Company. He is a Republican in politics, and 
served on the Wilkes-Barre School Board for five years, 
resigning because of his moving out of the district. In 
religious affairs he is a member of the Central Methodist 
Episcopal Church, where he has been a trustee for many 
years and an officer of the Sunday school thirty-four 
years, and now its superintendent. He has been secretary 
and treasurer of Mangola Chapel ."Xssociatioii, Luzerne 
County, since August 7. 1902. In fraternal order circles 
he is a member and Past Master of Landmark Lodge, 
Mo. 442, Free and Accepted Masons ; Past High Priest 
of Shekinah Chapter, No. 182, Royal Arch Masons; Past 
Thrice Illustrious Master of Mt. Horeb Council, No. 
.34, Royal and Select Masters ; Past Commander of Dieu 
le Vent Commandery, No. 34, Knights Templar ; mem- 
ber of Irem Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of 
the Mystic Shrine; and the Masonic Club. He is a mem- 
ber of the Sons of Veterans and takes great interest in 
military affairs, having joined Clompany K, 9th Regi- 
ment, Pennsylvania National Guard, in 1908, and served 
as corporal, sergeant, captain of Quartermaster Corps, 
and Captain of Commissary, having been mustered out 
in 1915. During the World War he helped organize the 
Second Regiment of Pennsylvania Reserves, and served 
as captain and adjutant until 1917, when he resigned be- 
cause of ill health. He qualifies for membership in the 
Sons of Veterans from the fact that his f?ther, Theodore 
VV. Overpeck, served as a soldier in the Civil War on 
the Union side. 

Mr. Overpeck married, June 7, 1900, Charlotte F. Wey- 
hcnmeyer, daughter of Jonathan and Sarah (Butler) 
Weyhenmeyer, of Wilkes-Barre, and they have two chil- 
dren : I. Jane North, a graduate of Wyoming Seminary 
of Kingston, Luzerne County. 2. Andrew C. Overpeck, 
Jr., who resides at home. No, 1814 Wyoming Avenue, 
Forty Fort, Pennsylvania. 

GEORGE F. LEE— Well known to the coal trade in 
Wilkes-Barre and in New York City, George F. Lee is 
owner of the Chauncey Mines, at Avondale, Plymouth 
Township, Luzerne County. Mr. Lee, who has his 
offices in the Miners Bank Building, in Wilkes-Barre, 
has owned and operated these mines for the past twenty- 
four years under the name of the George F. Lee Coal 
Company, and has recently completed in Brooklyn, New 
York, the largest coal pockets and coal station in the 
United States. 

Conrad Lee, his father, was born at Hanover Town- 
ship, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, November 3, 1842, 
a son of Stephen and Jane (Lines) Lee. His paternal 
grandfather, James Lee, and his maternal grandpar- 
ents, Conrad and Mary (Fairchild) Lines, were pioneer 
settlers in Newport and Hanover townships, Luzerne 
County. Conrad Lines, born July 26, 17S9, passed all 
his married life of about fifty-three years in Newport 
Township. He was a blacksmith by trade, and accumu- 
lated a valuable tract of coal land of over two hundred 
acres. He reared a family of six children. 

Stephen Lee and Jane Lines were married February 
10, 1824, and removed to Delaware County, Ohio, where 
Mr. Lee cleared and improved a farm, at times also 
working at his trade which was that of a plasterer. After 
a residence there of six years he returned to Luzerne 
County, Pennsylvania, locating at Wright Township, 
where he erected a sawmill and engaged in lumbering 
and farming. After a period of twenty-two years he 
removed to Wilkes-Barre, and purchased the planing 
mill at Canal and North streets. He died in that city 
June 12, 1874, at the age of sixty-two years. His widow 
died September 25, 1881, at her home on North Street. 
Stephen and Jane (Lines) Lee had seven children: Con- 
rad, of whom later; John R. ; Mary, who at her death 
devised all of her property (some $25,000) to her 
nephews and nieces, died at the old homestead; Priscilla, 
married M. S. Roberts, of Askam, Hanover Township, 
and had seven children; Amanda, married Edward 
Lutsey, now retired, of Clarke Summit; they had three 

Conrad Lee, eldest child of Stephen and Jane (Lines) 
Lee, was reared in his native county, and completed his 
education at the Wyoming Seminary, Kingston. In his 
early manhood he taught school for several terms in the 
home neighborhood, and on attaining his majority, went 
to Rome Corners, Delaware County, Ohio, where he 
taught lor a term. The following three years he was 
vard foreman in the lumber department of John L. Gill 
and Company, at Columbus, Ohio. Returning to Lu- 
zerne County, Pennsylvania, he gave some time to 
dealing in government mules and western cattle, dis- 
posing of them in the principal markets throughout the 
country. In 1865 when but twenty-three years of age, 
he was appointed outside superintendent of the Avon- 
dale coal mines, a position which he held for twenty-one 
years, marked with peculiar experiences. Shortly after 
his appointment, a sudden freshet threatened the sweep- 
ing awav and entire loss of the timber for the erection 
of the coal bunkers which had bt>en floated to a point 
just below Plvmouth. Mr. Lee with the aid of his men, 
lashed the timbers to trees and in the morning discover- 
ing that a continued rising of water had brought it to a 
convenient height, cut his lashings and floated his timber 
over fields and fences to the exact spot where they were 
needed. The owner, John C. Phelps, coming to the river 
bank in the morning and unaware of what had occurred, 
seeing no trace of the timber, gave it up for lost, and 
considered himself thousands of dollars out of poc1<et. 
When the water had subsided enough for him to cross 
the stream he found his property on the spot to which 
it had been conveyed by Mr. Lee, to whom he expressed 
his gratitude and admiration, and thenceforward he re- 
posed unbounded confidence in one who had served so 
faithfulh- and sagaciously. During the Molly Maguire 
difficulties, Mr. Lee was regarded with hatred hy the 
murderous band, and his footsteps were dogged on va- 
rious occasions, but he fortunately escaped unhurt. 
While in charge of the mines the first great mining dis- 
aster in the coal region occurred, September 6, 1869, m 
which one hundred and eight men lost their lives. This 
accident was the direct cause of the passage of the law 
known as the "mine ventilation law," which makes it 
obligatory to have two openings to every mine. 

In his younger days at home, Mr. Lee had become 
thoroughlv familiar with the lumbering business through 
his association with his father in the mill in Wright 
Township, and after the death of the latter in 1874, 
young Conrad became interested in the Wyoming plan- 
ing mill and lumber business at Wilkes-Barre, with 
wiiich his father had been connected, and also a mercan- 
tile business at ,A,vondale. After 1886, he was the sole 
proprietor of the planing mill and lumber business, which 
he expanded very greatly, making one great enterprise. 
Mr. Lee was also president of the George F. Lee Coal 
Company ; the Forty Fort Land Company ; and a stock- 
holder ill the Wyoming Valley Trust Company. He was 
one of the original members of the firm of Scouton, Lee 
and Coinpanv, of Parsons, Pennsylvania. He was a large 
owner of and dealer in real estate in Wilkes-Barre, and 
was a most enterprising and public-spirited man, taking 
an active part in the community affairs and exerting 
himself to further advancement of the varied interests 
(if the city and county. He was an active member of the 
Wilkes-Barre Board of Trade; a member of the Pres- 
bvterian Church and in his politics he was a Republican, 
in all of his relations, both social and in business he was 
regarded with entire confidence for his unassailable in- 
tegrity, while his personal qualities of character made 


him a favorite wherever he was known in a broad circle 

of friends. 

On July 28, 1868, Conrad Lee married Agnes Weir, 
daughter of Martin and Jane (Govan) Weir, of Hazle- 
ton, and natives of Renfrewshire, Scotland. To this 
marriage were born four children : George F., of whom 
further; Margaret Weir; Jean; and William S. Both 
Mr. and Mrs. Conrad are now deceased. 

George F. Lee was born in Avondale, Luzerne County, 
Pennsylvania, September 23, 1870, and received his edu- 
cation in the public schools of Luzerne County. As a boy 
he worked at odd jobs about the mine, but when he was 
twenty years of age he engaged in the lumber business 
at Parsons and Nanticoke. and the firm of Scouton-Lee 
and Company became and still is (1929) the largest 
lumber company in Luzerne County. In 1902 Mr. Lee 
purchased the Chauncey Coal Mines of Luzerne County, 
and since that time, a period of twenty-seven years, he 
has been operating these mines, under the name of the 
George F. Lee Coal Company. The mines produce what 
is known as Premium Avondale Red Ash Anthracite 
Coal. Mr. Lee has recently completed the construction 
of the largest retail coal pockets in the United States, 
with a storage capacity of Bixty-five hundred tons. This 
retail coal business is capitalized at $750,000 and is oper- 
ated under the name of John M. Lee, Incorporated, the 
name of his son. The station is located in Brooklyn, 
New York. The plant is the most modern in Greater 
New York and is equipped to handle one thousand tons 
of retail coal per day. Mr. Lee is well known to the 
coal trade throughout the country, and also to the lum- 
ber trade. In Wilkes-Barre he is one of .the leading 
business men, known as a public-spirited citizen, as well 
as a successful business man. Politically he gives his 
support to the principles and the candidates of the Re- 
publican party, and his religious affiliation is with the 
Presbyterian church. 

George F. Lee married, in 1893, Phebe English, of 
Jersey City, New Jersey, and they are the parents of 
three children: John M., of New York City; Abbie 
Louise, who married Dr. Lewis T. Buckman, of Wilkes- 
Barre ; and Phebe, who lives at home. 

OSCAR H. DILLEY— The Dilley family, repre- 
sented in Wilkes-Barre by Oscar H. Dilley, leading mem- 
ber of the Luzerne County Bar, traces its antecedents 
in this country to John Dilley, whose name appears in 
the land records of New Jersey as having been in 1669 
the owner of property in the town of Woodbridge on 
the Rohowak River. John EHlley, of a later generation, 
together with Joseph Dilley, were privates in a company 
which went out from Morris County, New Jersey, to 
serve in the Revolutionary War; Ephraim Dilley also 
served as a man in the ranks. Biographers and genealo- 
gists have searched to discover a connection between these 
Dilleys (or Dillys) and Richard Dilley. who removed 
from New Jersey shortly after the close of the afore- 
mentioned war to Wyoming Valley. Pennsylvania, and 
settled in what is now Hanover Township, Luzerne 
County. In 1784 Richard Dilley removed to the river 
road at Bnttonwood, and there passed the remainder of 
his life, dying at Hanover in 1799. His wife's name is 
not mentioned in family records and apparently has been 
lost from history's page. The descent from Richard 
Dilley to Oscar H. Dilley, real estate title lawyer of 
Wilkes-Barre, proceeds through the following. 

Richard Dilley, Jr.. son of Richard Dilley above, was 
born in New Jersey, came with his father's family to 
Hanover Township, lived at Buttonwood, and married 
Polly Voke. 

Their son, Jesse Dilley, born February 17, 1794, at 
Hanover Township, died at Wilkes-Barre. in 1852, mar- 
ried Mary Magdalene Lueder, born November 15, 1801, 
died March 24, 1878. daughter of Christian Lueder, who 
came from Northampton County and settled among the 
pioneers of Wyoming Valley; he became a butcher and 
meat dealer. 

Their son, Sylvester Dilley, born at Hanover Town- 
ship, January 29. 1823, died December 24, 1892; he mar- 
ried Mary Ann Barkman, on January i, 1846, a daughter 
01 William and Mary Ann (Preston) Barkman. Like 
his father and brothers, he engaged in the meat business 
after he had engaged in carpentry, and carried on a 
market at Wilkes-Barre; he also dealt in cattle, and a 
number of years was manager of the farm of the Wilkes- 
Barre Coal & Iron Company, which then was made up 
of some six hundred acres of coal and iron lands, a large 
part in what is now Wilkes-Barre City, and much of 
which is now covered with dwellings. 

Their son, Oscar H. Dilley, the youngest son and 
child, was born at Wilkes-Barre, January 14, 1869, while 
the Nation was busy mending the damage done to the 
sections by the Civil War. He received his education 
at the Wilkes-Barre public schools, where he made the 
most of limited opportunities, and completed his courses 
with further study at the Wilkes-Barre Business Col- 
lege; intending to embark upon a business career like 
his immediate predecessors in the family. On July I, 
1891, he accepted the position of clerk in the law office 
of Frank W. Lamed, of Wilkes-Barre, and later, desir- 
ing to become a lawyer like his learned employer, he 
began to read law under the preceptorship of Mr. Larned. 
He was a poor boy and his progress was due to two 
factors : his own initiative and ambition and the inter- 
est shown by his kindly preceptor. He passed the bar 
examinations and was admitted to practice in 1895, and 
until 1904 was connected with this same office, where he 
rendered faithful and efficient service. Since that time 
he has conducted his office alone and has done unusually 
well. He is a valued member of the Republican party 
and takes great interest in local political campaigns, but 
has never aspired to high office. His specialty in the 
profession is real estate law and land titles, and he has 
done much to advance the interests of numerous clients 
in these important fields. For many years he has been 
a leading member of the Junior Order of United Ameri- 
can Mechanics in Lodge, No. 166, and of the Free & 
Accepted Masons in Wilkes-Barre, Lodge No. 655. He 
is also a member of the Franklin Gub. 

Mr. Dilley married, May 21, 1903, Sara S. Johnson, 
of Wilkes-Barre, and their union has been blessed with 
a son, Robert F. Dilley, a graduate of the Dickinson 
School of Law at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and a member 
of the Supreme Court and the Luzerne County Bar, 
having been admitted to the practice of law in Luzerne 
County in March, 1929, and to the Supreme Court of the 
State, April 15, 1929. 

RIDGWAY BOWERS ESPY, a prominent member 
of the Luzerne County Bar, and the trust officer and a 
director of the Wyoming National Bank at Wilkes-Barre, 
Pennsylvania, was born in this city, September 2, 1881. 
Mr. Espy is a son of Barnctt Miller and Caroline (\\oo<l) 
Espy, both of whom arc now deceased. Barnett Miller 
Espy, the father, was a well-known attorney of Luzerne 
County, having been a member of the bar for more 
than fifty years. He was born May 16, 1846, in Nanti- 
coke, and he died in Wilkes-Barre, August 29, 1926. He 
was a descendant of George Espy who was born in 
Hanover Township. Lancaster County (now Dauphin 
County), Pennsylvania, during the year 1749, and who, 
with the Poxtang Rangers, removed to Luzerne County 
prior to the Wyoming Massacre in 1778. He located 
upon a tract of land not far from the present city of 
Nanticcke. and there he built himself a log house where 
he resided up until the time of his death, 1814. He was 
commissioned a justice of the peace on May 30, 1800, 
and his district inoluded all of Hanover Township and 
Wilkes-Barre. Barnett Miller Espy was educated at the 
old Wilkes-Barre Academy, and, later, at the Wyoming 
Seminary, at Kingston, graduating from the latter in 
1869. He then began his legal training under the com- 
petent preceptorship of the late Edwin S. Osborne of 
Wilkes-Barre, and he was admitted to practice at the 
Bar of Luzerne County on September 20, 1873. He had 
married, September 23, 1873, Caroline Wood, and they 
became the parents of six children, four of whom grew 
to maturity : Blanche W., who is now deceased ; Ridg- 
way Bowers, of whom further ; Bruce M., a real estate 
dealer of Wilkes-Barre; and Carl W., a physician and 
surgeon of Pottsvilie, Pennsylvania. 

Ridgway Bowers Espy received his early education 
in the public schools of the community in which he was 
born, and he later attended the Wilkes-Barre High 
School, graduating from there with the class of 1808. 
He then attended the Wyoming Seminary at Kingston, 
and he graduated with the class of 1899. In the fall of 
that same year he entered the Wesleyan University at 
Middletown, Connecticut, and graduated with the class 
of 1903, when he received the degree of Bachelor of 
Arts. He then returned to Wilkes-Barre and there began 
his study of the law, in his father's office. In the mean- 
time he filled various public offices, includfrtg that of 
clerk in the recorder's office and, later, in the county 
clerk's office. Then, in the year 1909, Mr. Espy was 
formally admitted to practice at the Bar of Luzerne 
County. In 1919 he was also chosen trust officer for 
the Wyoming National Bank at Wilkes-Barre, and he 
has held this office ever since. He is also a director of 


this well known financial institution; and he is serving 
as a member of the board of directors of the Wilkes- 
Barre General Hospital, and as a member of the board 
of trustees of the Wilkes-Barre Academy. 

Mr Espy has always evidenced a keen interest in the 
civic and general affairs of his community. In his polit- 
ical views he is a staunch supporter of the Republican 
party ; and as such he is noted for ;he excellent manner 
in which he stands behind any movement designed for 
the welfare or advancement of Wilkes-Barre. He is 
now a member of the American Bar Association, the 
Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Luzerne County 
Bar Association, and he is spoken of as one of the very 
brilliant lawyers in this part of the State. He holds 
active membership in the college fraternity of Alpha 
Delta Phi; he is a member and the secretary of the 
Wyoming Valley Country Club; and a member of the 
Franklin Club. 

Ridgway Bowers Espy married, April 23, 1914, Au- 
gusta Baird Halberstadt, a daughter of Dr. George 
H. and Edith (Moore) Halberstadt of Pottsviile, Penn- 
sylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Espy have become the parents 
of three clwldren, all of whom are sons: Bowers W., 
George H., and Ridgway Bowers, Jr. Mr. Espy and 
his family maintain their residence at No. i99 James 
Street, Kingston, and attend the First Methodist Episco- 
pal Church. Wilkes-Barre, of which Mr. Espy is one 
of the stewards. 

SAMUEL COGSWELL CHASE— Among the enter- 
prises which have claimed the time and attention of the 
leading business men throughout this country is the 
real estate profession, and one who has gained substan- 
tial and distinguished success in this particular field in 
his community of Wilkes-Barre, is Samuel C. Chase, who 
for more than a quarter of a century has been identified 
with the prominent members of the real estate business. 
Few other lines of endeavor have offered such wide and 
varied opportunities as real estate. In a country of the 
size of America, with vast areas, north, east, south and 
west covered with forests, swamps and arid lands, lim- 
itedly cultivated, there is much room for the labors of 
the pioneers, roadmakers, lumbermen, builders and 
kindred workmen which go toward making the earth's 
crust and this country habitable for mankind and Ameri- 
cans. The importance of the realtor immediately im- 
presses itself upon the minds of people, for he appears 
on the scene when the surrounding country is ripe for 
human settlement ana is ready for community growth 
and expansion. A thriving and popular center in Penn- 
sylvania is Wilkes-Barre where Mr. Chase has created 
a flourishing field for his activities and civic contribu- 
tions. The first ancestor of the Chase family in .America 
was Aquilla Chase who emigrated from Cornwall, Eng- 
land, and settled in Massachusetts in 1640. From him 
have descended many honorable and patriotic citizens. 
During the war for independence, Benjamin Chase in 
the line, whose record is traced herein, was a musician 
and a well-known resident of Newbury, Massachusetts. 
His son, Sam.uel Chase, was a nati\e of Hampstead, New 
Hampshire, and later removed to Haverhill, Massachu- 

His son, Edward H. Chase, was born in Haverhill. 
Massachusetts, February 28, it'35. He received a liberal 
education for that period and was duly graduated from 
I'nion College in New ^'ork State in the year 1855. For 
a short time thereafter he taught school, and in 1^57, he 
came to Wilkes-Barre. Pennsylvania, where he began 
the study of law in the office of the Hon. Edmund L. 
Danna. Two years later, in 1859, after diligent and con- 
scientious application, he was admitted to the liar of the 
State of Pennsylvania, and established himself in the 
active practice. When the Civil War broke out, Mr. 
Chase was a member of the Wyoming Light Brigade. 
and soon left with his company for the scene of the 
lighting. .About April of that year, his organization was 
reformed as Company E. of the 8th Pennsylvania Regi- 
ment. Thrown into battle almost immediately, he was 
line of the first thirteen prisoners taken in the war and 
detained in Raleigh, Salisbury and Libby prisons eleven 
months, at which time he was exchanged. .At the close 
of the war, Mr. Chase returned to Wilkes-Barre and 
was for many years an able practitioner in the law and 
one of the representative citizens of the town. On June 
18. 18(13, he married Elizabeth Tavlor, a daughter of 
the late Hon. Edmund Taylor and Mary .Ann (Wilson) 
Taylor, of Wilkes- Uarre. and they were the parents of 
the following children: i. Harold Tavlor. for more than 
lorty years the editor of the "Topeka Capital, " a lead- 
ing Kansas newspaper. 2. Ethel H.. deceased. 3. Samuel 

C, of whom further. 4. Frances Brooks, residing in 

Samuel C. Chase was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsyl- 
vania, November 6. 1868. He attended the local public 
schools in his boyhood and then went to the Harry 
Hillman .Academy. Upon the completion of his studies, 
he obtained employment in the clerical department of 
the Hazard Manufacturing Company of Wilkes-Barre, 
and continued with that concern for ten years. In 1909, 
he became the private secretary for John Hollenback, 
which position he held until Mr. Hollenback's death in 
1923, and he was appointed one of the executors of the 
latters will associated with Dr. Lewis H. Taylor of 
Wilkes-Barre. .At the same time since last year, Mr. 
Ch.Tse has been developing a real estate business on his 
own account, and owing to his knowledge of local con- 
ditions, and business acumen, together with the spirit in 
which he engages in the work and his popularity among 
his fellows, he is recognized as one of the highly suc- 
cessful realtors of the city. He is active in various 
tnttrprises throughout the social and fraternal and civic 
circles of the city. In 1908, he joined the 9th Pennsyl- 
vania Regiment of the National Guard and served as 
quarter-master sergeant for a number of years, having 
served through the Spanish-American War. He also 
supported all the patriotic drives and campaigns carried 
on during the World War. He is a member of the board 
of directors of the General Hospital of Wilkes-Barre, 
treasurer of the Luzerne County Bible Association, sec- 
retary of the L^nited Charities Association of Wilkes- 
Barre and he is likewise a member of the Wyoming His- 
torical and Geological Society of which he is secretary, 
and a member of the Westmoreland and, the Wyoming 
Valley clubs. In politics, he favors the Republican party. 
He is a member of the First Presbyterian Church of 

JOHN QUINCY CREVELING, a prominent mem- 
ber of the Luzerne County Bar, and one of the very 
substantial citizens of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, was 
born June 6, 1861. upon a farm in Fishing Creek Town- 
ship, CcluiTil)ia County, Pennsylvania. Mr. Creveling 
is a son of .Alfred T. and Susan B. (Rhone) Crevel- 
ing, the latter of whom still survives in the nine- 
tieth year of her age. The late Alfred T. Creveling, 
the father, spent all of his life as a farmer. He was a 
son of John and Lowley (Tubbs) Creveling of Colum- 
bia County, one of the older and best known Pennsyl- 
vania families. Alfred T. Creveling was the father of 
six children: I. Darryl L., of Wapwallopan, Luzerne 
County, who for more than thirty-five years was asso- 
ciated with his brother, John Q. Creveling, in the prac- 
tice of the law at the Bar of Luzerne County ; he mar- 
ried Katherine Hice, of Huntington Township, Luzerne 
County, and to them were born three children : Esther, 
who married James J. Brennan, of Wapwallopan, Lu- 
zerne County; Alfred H., of Columbus, Ohio; and Helen, 
who married Charles Brennan, of McAdoo, Pennsylvania. 
2. John Q., of whom more follows. 3. Laura M., who 
married G. A. Hinterleitner of Charleston, West Virginia, 
4. George R., of Binghamton, New York; he married 
Cora Bulgin, of Vienna, New Jersey, and they have a 
son, John Edwin. 5. Emma, who is now deceased ; she 
married G. A. Hinterleitner, who after her death, mar- 
ried her sister, Laura M. G. A. and Emma (Creveling) 
Hinterleitner had a daughter, Ruth. 6. Forrester, who 
died in childhood. .Alfred T. Creveling, the father of 
the foregoing children, came to Luzerne County with 
his family during the year 1882, settling near Plymouth. 
He was a staunch Democrat ; and an ardent supporter 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He died in the sev- 
enty-third year of his age. 

~ His son, John Q. Creveling, received his early edu- 
cation in the public schools of the community in which 
he was reared, and he later attended the New Colum- 
bus .Academy in Luzerne County. He then taught school 
for four years in Huntington Township, and also in 
PI \ mouth, after which he pursued his legal training, and 
was admitted to practice at the bar of Luzerne County 
during the early part of the year 1886. Mr. Crevel- 
ing at once began the practice of his profession in Wilkes- 
Barre, and such has been the success with which he 
has met that today, at the date of the writing of this 
biographical history (1929'), he is considered one of the 
foremost lawyers at the Luzerne County Bar. He is now 
a member of the Luzerne County Bar Association, and 
other learned organizations pertaining to his profession. 

In his political views Mr. Creveling is a staunch sup- 
porter of the Democratic party ; and as such he is noted 
for the excellent manner in which he stands behind any 

movement designed for the welfare or advancement of 
Wilkes-Barre. He has been equally active m his club 
and social life, for he is affiliated, fraternally with the 
Plymouth Lodge, No. 332. Free and Accepted Masons; 
for manv years he was treasurer of the Lnited Sports- 
men's Association of Pennsylvania, and is now its presi- 
dent and in a like cause he served as president ot the 
Conservation Council of Pennsylvania; is a member of 
llie Craftsmen's Club and other local organizations of 
t!ii'> city. 

John O. Creveling married, in June, 1889, Annie M. 
Pressler,"of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Creveling 
died in 1918, without issue. The family is perpetuated, 
however, in the children of Darryl Laport Creveling, 
of George R. Creveling, and their sister Emma. The 
familv are members of the First Methodist Episcopal 
Cluirch of Plymouth, of which John Q. Creveling has 
for a great many years served as a trustee. 

CHARLES E. ASH — Among those associated with 
llie anthracite industry, who started at the bottom and 
rose to an important position with his company, is 
Charles E. Ash, vice-president and secretary of the 
Lehigh and Wilkes-Barre Coal Company. He is the 
son of Tiighman Henry, and Alice Grace (MacDonald) 
Ash, both deceased. 

Charles E. Ash was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsyl- 
vania, iVugust g. 1874. He entered the employ of the 
Lehigh and Wilkes-Barre Coal Company, at the age of 
nine years, as a slate picker at their Empire Colliery. 
By successive promotion, he was advanced to the posi- 
tions of supply clerk, colliery clerk, clerk in the general 
(ilTice, and, in igoi, was appointed auditor of the Honey 
I '.rook division. In 1912, he was made paymaster of the 
Wyoming division, and, in 1921, was elected secretary 
and treasurer of tiie company. In January, 1928, he was 
elected vice-president and secretary of the cornpany, 
anfl, in March of the same year, was elected a director 
of the company. He is also vice-president and secretary • 
(if the Lehigh and Wilkes-Barre Corporation, and a 
director of the Wyoming National Bank of Wilkes-Barre. 
Mr. ,'\sli is a Republican in politics and is affiliated 
with Lodge No. 109, Benevolent and Protective Order 
of Elks, of Wilkes-Barre, and a menitxr of the West- 
moreland Club. 

Charles E. .Ash was married, June 24, 1902, to Hen- 
rietta Blaum, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. They have 
four children: Charles E. Jr.. Kingston, Pennsylvania; 
Philip L, Chicago, Illinois; Edward T.. Kingston, Penn- 
sylvania ; and Gertrude E., Kingston, Pennsylvania. Mr. 
/\sli resides at No. 29 Hedge Place, Kingston, Pennsyl- 
\ania, and his office is located in the Lehigh and Wilkes- 
Barre Coal Company building, on South River Street, 
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. 

ISAAC PLATT HAND— The family of Hand, of 
which Isaac Piatt Hand, Wilkes-Barre attorney, is a dis- 
tinguished member, originated in England, and its mem- 
bers have played a highly important role in .American 
affairs, particularly at the law, in the States of Pennsyl- 
vania and New York. 

The paternal American ancestor who was the progeni- 
tor of Mr. Hand's branch of the connection was eight 
generations removed; he was John Hand, of Maidstone, 
County Kent, England, a landowner in two parishes of 
his county in the old country, and upon reaching America 
in 16,^5, settled first in Massachusetts and then on Long 
Island prior to March, 1644. I" 1648 he joined others 
in founding the town of East Hampton, where he re- 
ceived grants of land; his will, dated January 24, 1660, 
shows him to have been a man of wealth and promi- 
nence; he married Alice Stanbrough, and died at E'.ast 
Hampton in 166.^. The descent from him to Isaac Piatt 
Hand is through his son, Stephen, who died in 1693; his 
son, Stephen (2). born in 1661, died in 1740: his son 
John, baptized in 1701, died in 1735, and his wife Hannah; 
their son, John (3), Ijorn January 31. 1725, and his wife, 
Rebecca; their son, Aaron, horn April 27, 1773, died 
Octoter 27, 1832, who married Tamar Piatt, of New 
Mil ford, Connecticut, born in 1773, died January 16, 
J854, daughter of Epenetus and ."Kiina (Bostwick) Piatt, 
the ceremony having been solemnized August 17, 1795, at 
Kingsbury, New York; their son, Aaron Hicks Hand, 
the father of Isaac Piatt Hand, of Wilkes-Barre, of 
whom additional. 

Rev. Dr. Aaron Hicks Hand was born in Albany, 
New York, December 3, 181 1, and attended the Albany 
Academy of that place. At the end of his period of 
I)reparation he matriculated at Williams College, Wil- 
liamstown, Massachusetts, from which institution he was 

graduated in the class of 1831. He thereupon entered 
the Princeton Theological Seminary at Princeton, New 
Jersey, and was graduated from this institution in 1837. 
He was immediately ordained in the ministry of the 
Presbyterian Church, and in 1842 he became pastor of the 
Presbyterian church at Berwick, Columbia County, Penn- 
sylvania, which position he filled with ability until 1845, 
when ill health caused him to withdraw from the ministry 
and remove with his family- to Florida. After six years 
his health was restored, so he returned North and was 
assigned to the Greenwich Presbyterian Church near 
Stewartsville, Warren County, New Jersey, where he 
ministered for twenty years. He served as a member 
of the board of trustees of Lafayette College at Eastern, 
whose forward-looking program he did much to advance ; 
and was the recipient of the honorary degree of Doctor 
of Divinity from this institution. He married, in Nor- 
wich, Connecticut, August 13, 1838, Elizabeth Coit Bos- 
well, whom he had met in 1837, after graduating from 
the Princeton Theological Seminary, while visiting a 
brother, Bayard Hand, a prominent lawyer of Savannah, 
Georgia. Mrs. Hand was a daughter of John L. Bos- 
well, who, after following the i^ca until his thirtieth year, 
left the sea, became a ship-owner, and attained wealth 
and prominence. The part played by the progenitors 
of the families to which Mrs. Hand belonged, stands out 
in the early history of New England, Connecticut espe- 
cially, and compares well with the records of the best 
families of that State. 

Isaac Piatt Hand, son of the Rev. Dr. Aaron Hicks 
and Elizabeth Coit (Bos well) Hand, was born at Ber- 
wick, Columbia County, Pennsylvania, April 5, 1843. He 
undertook preparatory studies at Media, Pennsylvania, 
after which he entered the institution of which his father 
was a trustee, Lafayette College, at Easton, Pennsyl- 
vania. His study at this institution was interrupted 
by a term of enlistment in Company D, 38th Regiment, 
Pennsylvania Volunteer Emergency Militia, mustered 
June 29, 1863, at Reading, for service in defense of the 
Union during the Civil War, and which was mustered 
out August 7, 1863, at the same place. Mr. Hand then 
resumed his studies at Lafayette College, and finished in 
the class of 186=;. He is a member of the Delta Kappa 
Epsilon Fraternity. He then accepted a position with the 
Hyde Park School at Scranton as principal, an office 
he filled for two years ; he spent two more years as 
clerk of the Scranton City Council. While teaching, and 
serving in public office, he studied law with the late 
Judge .\lfred Hand, and on November 15, 1869, was 
admitted to the bar. Until December, 1870, he con- 
tinued the practice of his profession at Scranton, at 
which time he removed to VVilkes-Barre, where for six 
years he was junior member of the firm of Wright & 
Hand, and has since engaged in independent practice, 
with a large measure of success, recognition and admira- 
tion from his associates and gratitude from a wide 
clientele. Although Wr. Hand has been a student of 
politics, he has never offered for high office. For nine 
years he served as a member of the Wilkes-Barre Board 
of Education, and one term as its president, and he has 
been numerous times chairman of the Luzerne County 
Republican Committee since 1884. His political influence, 
exerted in a quiet way, has been of great value to the 
Republican" organization in each local. State and National 
contest, and he is in close touch with many of the key 
men whose decisions affect the policy of the entire body. 
For twenty years he acted as secretary of the board of 
trustees of the Wilkes-Barre Institute, and in 1880 he 
became a director of the Harry Hillman Academy, and 
held this office many years. Lafayette College and the 
Hand family have been in close relationship continuously 
for nearly seventy-five years, counting the trusteeship 
of his father before him, and no alumnus of the Easton 
institution has had no more devoted or loyal sentiments 
for his alma water. His business interests have been 
som.ewhat overshadowed by his professional activities, 
vet he has found time to devote to the People's Bank 
as a director and later the Miners' Bank, and the Dolph 
Coal Company as its treasurer. For many years he was 
a trustee of the First Presbyterian Church of which he 
is a member. 

Mr. Hand married. May 3, 187 1, Mary Lyman Richard- 
son, daugTnter of John Lynaan and Catherine (Heermans) 
Richardson; her father, a native of Vermont, and of 
distinguished New England ancestry, was the first super- 
intendent of the Luzerne County school system and a 
well-known educator. Mrs. Hand is prominent in the 
philanthropic and educational work of Wyoming Valley 
and the social life of Wilkes-Barre; she is a devoted 
member of the First Presbyterian Church; the Wyoming 


Valley Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution; 
the Society of Colonial Dames; and the Wyoming His- 
torical and Geological Society. Mr. and Mrs. Hand have 
become the parents of the following seven children: i. 
Kathleen, at home. 2. Bayard, of whom further. 3. 
L^ura, wife of Judge Albert E. Campbell, of Canastota, 
New York. 4. Richardson, well known Wilkes-Barre 
engineering contractor. 5. Joseph H.. of Dolgeville, New 
York. 6. Emily, who married Olin Derr, of Wilkes- 
Barre. 7. Philip L., of Chicago, Illinois. 

Bayard Hand was born at Wilkes-Barre, July 2i, 1878, 
and attended the public schools. He graduated from 
Lafayette College in 1899, and studied law in the office 
of his father, after which he was admitted to the bar 
July 22, 1901, since which time he has been associated 
with his father in the practice of the law. He married, 
May 25, 1912, Margaret Barclay Colton, of Jenkintown, 
Pennsylvania, and they have three children: i. J. M. 
Colton Hand, born September 6, 1913. 2. Bayard Rich- 
ardson Hand, born April 15, 1917. 3. Barclay Lyman 
Hand, born August 3, 1924. Mr. Hand is a member 
of the Union League of Philadelphia ; the Pennsylvania 
Bar Association; the Wilkes-Barre Law and Library 
Association ; the Westmoreland and Wyoming Valley 
Country clubs ; and the Zeta Psi Fraternity. 

JOHN EVAN JENKINS, senior member of the law 
firm of Jenkins, Turner & Jenkins, of Wilkes-Barre, 
and a prominent citizen of that community, was born 
June 17, 1862. in Coal Township, Northumberland 
County, Pennsylvania, son of Morgan C. and Maria 
(Coban) Jenkins, both of whom are now deceased. 
Morgan C. Jenkins was born in Llauwrtyd, Breconshire, 
Wales, while Maria (Coban) Jenkins was a native of 
'>orstone, Herfordshire, England. Morgan C. and 
laria (Coban) Jenkins came from England in 1852, 
ettling at Minersville, Pennsylvania, In 1857, however, 
they moved to Northumberland County, where most of 
their children were born. They were the parents of two 
sons and four daughters : Mary, who married Isaac 
Hobbs ; Catherine, who married William Falconbridge ; 
Margaret, who married Herbert S. Hobbs ; Charles C, 
now deceased, who married Emma Rodman ; John Evan, 
of whom further; and Ada, who married Warren Reed. 

John Evan Jenkins, son of Morgan C. and Maria 
(Coban) Jenkins, received his early education in the 
public schools of the county in which he was born and 
in the Wyoming Seminary at Kingston, Luzerne County. 
He then attended Wesleyan University at Middletown, 
Connecticut, graduating from there witli the class of 
1891, with the degree of Bachelor of. Philosophy. He 
spent the following year, 1892, as city editor of the 
Middletown "Daily Herald," of Middletown, Connecti- 
cut. In the fall of 1892, however, he removed to Wilkes- 
Barre, and began his study of the law in the office of the 
Hon. Henry Amzi Fuller for twenty-one years, present 
judge of Luzerne County. On September 17, 1894, Mr. 
Jenkins was admitted to the bar of Luzerne County, 
since which time he has carried on an increasingly suc- 
cessful practice" of the law. He is senior member of the 
law firm of Jenkins, Turner & Jenkins, the other mem- 
bers being Arthur L. Turner, Mitchell Jenkins and Hugh 
Coban Jenkins, the last two of whom are sons of John 
Evan Jenkins. The firm are attorneys for the Hanover 
Bank and Trust Company, the Luzerne County Insur- 
ance Exchange; also for the Borough Council and the 
School Board, Dallas Borough, and several other cor- 
porations. Mr. Jenkins is president of the Valmont 
Development Company, of Kingston and Hazleton, Lu- 
zerrve County, which nas been a very important factor 
in the development in those communities, and is presi- 
dent of the EVorrance Realty Corporation of Kingston. 

Despite his exacting professional duties, Mr. Jenkins 
has been a liberal participant in the civic affairs of his 
community. Mr. Jenkins served for several years as a 
member of the board of managers of the Kislyn School, 
maintained by Luzerne County, for delinquent children ; 
also for several years was chairman of the Borough of 
Kingston Planning Committee, until he resigned in 1926. 
He is popular and respected in social circles, being a 
member of many prominent local organizations. He is a 
member of Phi Nu Theta (Electic Society) of Wesleyan 
University, Middletown, Connecticut; Mystic Seven; 
Wesleyan Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and the Socratic 
Literary Society. He is affiliated, fraternally, with King- 
ston Lodge, No. 395, Free and Accepted Masons ; Cald- 
well Consistory, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rile ; and 
Irem Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the 

Mystic Shrine, of Wilkes-Barre. He holds membership 
also in the Patriotic Order Sons of America. 

John Evan Jenkins married, April 3, 1895, Katharine 
B. Mitchell, daughter of the Hon. James Mitchell, of 
Remsen, New York, and Sarah G. (Thomas) Mitchell. 
Of this union there are two sons: Mitchell and Hugh 
Coban. Both sons are members of their father's law 
firm, and all four members of this family — father, moth- 
er, and sons — are graduates of Wesleyan University at 
Middletown. Connecticut. Mrs. Jenkins is a member of 
Phi Beta Kappa Society, and since her marriage has 
been particularly active in the social life of Kingston. 
For several years she was president of the West Side 
Women's Club; one of the organizers of Kingston Civic 
League which preceded the Women's Club ; and was 
one of the organizers of West Side Welfare Associa- 
tion. Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins and their sons reside in 
Kingston. They attend the Kingston Presbyterian Church, 
of which Mr. Jenkins for many years served as a mem- 
!)er of the board of trustees and as superintendent of 
the Sunday school. 

BENJAMIN DORRANCE— The progenitor of the 
family of the surname Dorrance in the United States 
and the ancestor from whom was descended Benjamin 
Dorrance, late of Kingston, was Rev. Samuel Dorrance, 
a Scotch Presbyterian from Ireland, graduate of Glas- 
gow University, licensed to preach by the Presbytery 
of Dumbarton, who came to New England "bringing 
with him satisfactory testimonials of his ministerial char- 
acter and standing from several associations in Scotland 
and Ireland." ("History of Windham County, Connecti- 
cut.") On April 17, 1723, the people of Voluntown, Con- 
necticut Colony, called upon Rev. Samuel Dorrance to 
preach the gospel in that town, at a stipulated salary of 
sixty ixiunds a year, with fifty pounds settlement money 
for installing himself in the community. Rev. Dorrance 
had five sons and one daughter; and of these two sons, 
John and George settled in the Wyoming Valley, upon 
lands held by the family at the present time (1928). 

Lieutenant-Colonel George Dorrance, son of Rev, Sam- 
uel Dcrrance, was one of the notable characters in the 
history of the Wyoming Valley, and founder of the 
family here, for his brother John died, unmarried, in 
July, 1804. Lieutenant-Colonel George Dorrance was 
born March 4, 1736, and on July 4, 1778, the day follow- 
ing the tragic affair at Wyoming, a prisoner and weak- 
ened by suffering and a severe wound, his captors killed 
him. .\ hero and a patriot, as he had lived, so he 
died. He married (first) Mary Wilson, and had Sarah 
Susannah, who marr'ed Samuel Tubbs, also Elizabeth 
who married Dr. Seth C. Whitney. Colonel Dorrance 
married (second) Elizabeth (perhaps Murphy), she later 
married Jabez Fish, and had Robert, who was killed in an 
engagement with the Indians, November 4, 1791; Ben- 
jamin, of whom further; Gershom, who shortly after 
returned to Voluntown, Connecticut. 

Colonel Benjamin Dorrance, oldest son of Lieutenant- 
Colonel George Dorrance, was born in Voluntown, Con- 
necticut, in 1767, died August 24, 1837. He was a child 
when his family removed to the Wyoming Valley and 
settled in the locality where he afterwards lived and 
which for many years was part of the borough "Dor- 
ranceton." The Borough of Kingston consolidated about 
1922. He held his rank of colonel in the State Militia and 
was commonly so addressed. He was sheriff of Luzerne 
County, member of the State Legislature in all some 
fourteen years, and was one of the organizers and first 
president of the V/yoming Bank of Wilkes-Barre. He 
married, November 25, 1795, Nancy Ann Buckingham, 
daughter of Jedediah and Martha (Clark) Buckingham, 
and a descendant through her father of Thomas Buck- 
ingham, Puritan ancestor of the American Buckinghams. 
Colonel Dorrance and his wife, Nancy Ann Buckingham, 
were the parents of three sons. 

Rev. John Dorrance, eldest son of Colonel Benjamin 
and Nancy Ann (Buckingham) Dorrance. was born in 
Kingston, February 28, 1800, and died April 18, 1861. He 
graduated from Princeton College, A. B. in 1823, from 
Princeton Theological Seminary in 1827, and was or- 
dained in November of that year, by the Presbytery of 
Mississippi. In 1833 he was called to the First Pres- 
byterian Church of Wilkes-Barre, where he continued 
until his death. Princeton conferred upon him the degree 
of Doctor of Divinity in 1859. He extended the field 
of his labors throughout the county, and was kncwn 
in Nanticoke. Newton, Pittston, Providence and Scran- 
ton. He married, December 6, 1827, Penelope Mercer 
and they had eight children. 

Colonel Charles Dorrance, second son of Colonel Ben- 
jamin Dorrance and Nancy Ann (Buckingham) Dor- 
rance, was born in Kingston January 4, 1805, and died 
January 18, i8g2. Like his father, he held the rank 
of colonel in the State Militia, and was so addressed. 
He was a farmer, president of the Luzerne County 
Agricultural Society from its organization in 1858 until 
1868; he was appointed a commissioner of the Luzerne 
County Prison, and was president of the board through- 
out his connection with it. He was president of the 
Wyoming National Bank, succeeding his father, from 
1835 until 1892; president of the Wilkes- Barre Bridge 
Company, of which his father was an incorporator, in 
1 81 6; and a member of the Wyoming Historical and 
Geological Society for thirty-four years. He married, 
August 28, 1845, Susan E. Ford, daughter of James and 
Maria (Lindsley) Ford, of Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania; 
and they were the parents of seven children: i. Ben- 
jamin, of whom further. 2. Maria L., born August 31, 
1848, died luly 27, 1849. 3. Annie Buckingham, born 
Mav 6, 1850; married Sheldon Reynolds, died October 
4, 1905. 4. James Ford, born April 19, 1852; married 
Elizabeth W. Dick. S- Charles, born August 2, 1854. died 
in Chicago, September 16, 1914- 6. John, born Septem- 
ber 27, 1856, died in Kansas City, Missouri, March 13. 
1914. 7. Frank' P., born January 8, 1859, died March 
6, 1864- 

Benjamin Dorrance, eldest son of Colonel^ Charles and 
Susan E. (Ford) Dorrance, was born in Kingston, Au- 
gust 14, 1846. His early education was acquired in 
the Presbyterian Seminary, Troy, (now called Wyoming), 
Pennsylvania, and in Wyoming Seminary, Kingston. He 
graduated from Princeton College with the degree of 
Bachelor of Arts in 1868 and received the degree of 
Master of Arts in 1871. Meanwhile he read law in the 
offices of Andrew T. McClintock, LL. Dl, of Wilkes- 
Barre, and was admitted to the bar, August 20, 1870. 
In all he practiced his profession, in Wilkes-Barre, about 
eighteen years, when impaired eyesight compelled him to 
lay aside professional work, and he turned to farming 
pursuits, at Dorranceton, and incidentally to horticul- 
ture. For a number of years he was president of the 
Wyoming Commemorative Association, succeeding Calvin 
Parsons ; he was a member also of the Wyoming His- 
torical and Geological Society, and a Fellow of the Royal 
Horticultural Society of England. Benjamin Dorrance 
married. May 22. 1872, Ruth Woodhull Strong, daugh- 
ter of Schuyler Strong, of Bath, Steuben County, New 
York, and his- wife, Frances ( Cruger V Strong, descended 
from Elder John Strong, of Windsor, Corinecticut. where 
he was a resident as early as 1630. From Elder John 
Strong, who later removed to Northampton, to Ruth 
Woodhull Strong, wife of Benjamin Dorrance, the line 
of descent followed to Thomas; to Selah ; to Selah, (2) ; 
to Selah, (3) ; to Major Nathaniel (who was killed 
by the British and Tories, November 6, 1778) ; to Selah, 
(4), to Schuyler; who married Frances Cruger; and 
from Schuyler and Frances (Cruger) Strong, to Ruth 
Woodhull (Strong) Etorrance, of the eighth generation 
from Elder John Strdng. The Crugers were of Hugue- 
not ancestry, who escaped the massacre at St. Bartholo- 
mew and formed a temporary home in Altoona, in the 
Duchy of Holstein, Germany. The branch from which 
Mrs. Dorrance was descended was brought to America 
by the father of General Cruger, in 1768. Benjamin 
and Ruth Woodhull (Strong) Dorrance were the par- 
ents of three children; i. Anne, bom June 26, 1873, 
graduate of Vassar College, 1895, F- R- H. S. 2. 
Frances, born June 30, 1877, graduate of Vassar, 1900, 
with honor, elected to Phi Beta Kappa.^ 3. Ruth, born 
August 9, 1879, died February 13, 1895.^ 

Benjamin Dorrance enjoyed the most cordial of friend- 
ships throughout his useful life, was constantly active 
in affairs directed toward the good of Wilkes-Barre and 
Kingston, and an honorable member of an honorable fam- 
ily. When he died, January 23, 1922, at the age of sev- 
enty-six years, there were many, indeed, who mourned 
his loss. His widow survived him three years, and 
died in the family residence in Kingston January 21, 1925. 

who we-re members of families distinguished in State 
and local affairs. 

Dr. Ahlborn received his education at the following 
institutions : the public school? and the Harry Hillman 
Academy at Wilkes-Barre, the Medical Department of 
the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, which 
he entered in 1894, and from which institution he grad- 
uated with the class of 1898 with the degree of Doctor 
of Medicine. After graduating here he took post-grad- 
uate courses in pathology, gynecology, surgery and inter- 
nal medicine. Desiring to still further equip himself 
with the best of two continents, he went to Europe and 
pursued his studies further. He graduated in the class 
of 1898 at Vienna and in the class of 1899 at Munich, 
specializing in surgery, which he has practiced almost 
exclusively exer since. 

Eh-. Ahlborn's contribution to Wilkes-Barre's progress 
and to the advancement of science and the profession 
may be measured by the statement of his present and past 
activities. He has served as pathologist and assistant 
surgeon for the Mercy Hospital ; as associate pathologist, 
later associate surgeon for the Wilkes-Barre Genera! 
Hospital ; and as city bacteriologist, charged particularly 
with the inspection of water and milk, from 1902 to 1908, 
for the city of Wilkes-Barre. He now holds the fol- 
lowing positions : Chief surgeon for the Wilkes-Barre 
General Hospital ; consulting surgeon for the Mercy Hos- 
pital ;' lecturer on Anatomy and physiology at the Train- 
ing School for Nurses at the Wilkes-Barre General 
Hospital . He is a valued member of the Luzerne County 
Medical Society, and was its president in 1928; the Penn- 
sylvania State Medical Society and the American Med- 
ical Association. He belongs to the medical fraternity 
of Nu Sigma Nu, which he joined while a member of 
the student body of the Medical Department of the Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania. In fraternal order work he is 
a member of Wilkes-Barre Lodge, No. 442, Free and 
Accepted Masons; Shekiiiah Chapter, No. 182, Royal 
Arch Masons ; Dieu le Vent Commandery, No. 45, 
Knights Templar; Keystone Consistory of the Ancient 
Scottish Rite Masons of the Thirty-second degree; and 
Irem Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the My- 
stic Shrine. In religious life Dr. Ahlborn is a member 
of the St. John's Lutheran Church; in political affairs 
a member of the Republican party; and in club life of the 
Westmoreland and Irem Country clubs. During the 
World War he served as a member of the Draft Board, 
No. 3, for Wilkes-Barre. 

Dr. Ahlborn married. May i, 1900, Eleanor Natalie 
Thomas, daughter of Isaac M. and Sarah Hollenback 
(Duhlap) Thomas, of Wilkes-Barre, and they are the 
parents of four children: i. Hervey Ehjniap, born April 
14, 1901 ; in business at Wilkes-Barre. 2. Sarah Hollen- 
back, born March 30, 1908, a student at Vassar College, 
Poughkeepsie, New York. 3. Henrietta Teufel, born 
December 21, 1910. 4. Eleanor Natalie Ahlborn, born 
December 24, 191 7. 

MAURICE B. AHLBORN, M. D.— .According to 
neighborhood philosophy, a man does best in tsusiness or 
professional life away from his native town That this 
does not always hold good is proven in the case of Dr. 
Maurice B. Ahlborn, who has made a highly commend- 
able record as physician and surgeon as a native and 
practitioner of Wilkes-Barre. Dr. .Ahlborn was born at 
Wilkes-Barre, April 30, 1877. son of Frederick Christian 
and Henrietta (Teufel) Ahlborn, deceased, of this city, 

REV. LEVI L. SPRAGUE, D. D., L. H. D.— The 

oldest head of an educational institution in the State of 
Pennsylvania, and the longest in continuous service in 
such capacity is the Rev. Levi L. Sprague, D. D., L, H. D., 
president of Wyoming Seminary, Kingston, Penhsyl- 
vania, which has enjoyed its greatest prosperity under 
his scholarly and efficient management. 

Born in Beekman, EHitchess County, New York, De- 
cember 23, 1844, Dr. Sprague is the son of Nelson L. 
and Laura (Spencer) Sprague, and a descendant of one 
of the oldest of Rhode Island's colonial families. Jona- 
than Sprague settled in Providence in 1675, having in- 
herited sixty acres of land from his father, William 
Sprague, who lived in Hingham, Massachusetts. A 
deputy from 1695 to 1714, he was the speaker of the 
Rhode Island House of Deputies in 1703, and was active 
in the Baptist communion, and occasionally a preacher. 
The family remained in that denomination for many 
years, but a few years before his death. Nelson Sprague 
allied himself with the Congregational Qiurch. On the 
maternal side Levi L. Sprague descended from John 
Spencer, who was one of a band of forty-seven people 
who removed from Massachusetts in 1652, and took up 
a grant of five thousand acres of land in East Green- 
wich. Rhode Island. .-Mso on the distaflf side, he num- 
bers among his ancestors Theophilus Whaley, an officer 
of the Parliamentary Army whose regiment took part in 
the execution of Kiiig Charles I, in 1649- In the ftiiddle 
of the eighteenth century some of the Spragues settled 
in Putnam and Dutchess counties, New York, and about 
the same period, some of the Spencers also founded new 
liomes in Dutchess County. 

fa/m^-i) r^&^ 

/-. L . ^(J^\A-<<-'<p^^^^L_ 


In 1847 Nelson Sprague moved his family to Pennsyl- 
vania, and lived in several villages doing business as a 
carriage maker, but in 1858, he retired to a farm near 
Le Raysville, Bradford County, owing to impaired 
health. Here Levi L. Sprague had the good fortune to 
come under the influence of Chester P. Hodge, a teacher 
who had studied at Wyoming Seminary and Union Col- 
lege. At the age of seventeen years, while still a student 
at Le Raysville Academy, Mr. Sprague taught school, 
excepting for a term he spent at the Eastman Business 
College in Poughkeepsie, New York. When Professor 
Hodge went West to practice law, he became principal 
of Le Raysville .A.cademy, at that time being but twenty 
years of age. In 1866 Mr. Sprague entered Wyommg 
Seminary as a student. 

It was then but a small institution, opened for students 
in 1844, under the auspices of the Oneida Conference but 
was presided over by the Rev. Dr. Reuben Nelson, a 
man of great energy and vision. On completing his 
studies under this great schoolmaster, Mr. Sprague was 
elected principal of the seminary's College of Business. 
He became a student of law under the late Hon. W. W. 
Ketcham, but eighteen months later, having decided that 
his real vocation was the Christian ministry, he sub- 
stituted theological study for that of the law, and in 
1874, joined the Wyoming Annual Conference of the 
Methodist EpisccJpal Church. Mr. Sprague continued as 
principal of the College of Business, and in 1882 was 
elected president of the seminary, teing the fourth man 
to hold that post. The first. Dr. Reuben Nelson, after 
twenty-seven years of service, was made publishing 
agent by the General Conference of 1872 of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church with headquarters in New York. 
The second,. the Rev. Y. C. Smith, held the position for 
one year, 1863, while Dr. Nelson acted as presiding 
elder. The third, the Rev. Dr. David Copeland, held 
the post ten years. 

With the growth of the Wyoming Seminary, its presi- 
dent has grown rich in academic honors. In 1879 Alle- 
gheny College made him an honorary Master of Arts, 
and in 1886 he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity 
from Wesleyan University. In 1886 Rutherford College, 
North Carolina, gave him the degree of LL.D., and in 
1920 Syracuse LIniversity conferred upon him the de- 
gree of L.H.D. 

Eh-. Sprague is a member of the Free and Accepted 
Masons, Kingston Lodge, Pennsylvania ; Shekinah 
Chapter, No. 182, Royal Arch Masons: Dieu le Veut 
Commandery, No. 45, Knights Templar; Irem Temple, 
Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; 
Caldwell Consistory at Bloomsburg ; holding the thirty- 
second degree in this order. 

On December 22, 1869, Dr. Sprague married Jennie 
E. Russell, of Otego, New York, a niece of Dr. Nelson, 
former president of the Seminary. Mrs. Sprague died 
September 16, 1921. Dr. and Mrs. Sprague were the 
parents of two children: i. Laura J. Sprague, of King- 
ston, Pennsylvania. 2. E. Russell Sprague, a physician 
of Rochester, New York, who married (tirst) Helen 
Breese Graves, of Syracuse, New York, their daughter, 
Elizabeth Louise, being born November 11, 1905: he 
married (second), Margaret Fergusoli,. of Lockport, 
New York, and they have one son, Ferguson, Kingston, 

EDWARD F. RYMAN, of No. 224 South Franklin 
Street, Wilkes- Barre, was bom November 24, 1878, at 
I>allas, Luzerne County. Pennsylvania, a son of Theodore 
F. and Eliza (Barnes> Ryman, both now deceased. Theo- 
dore F. Ryman was born in Dallas Township, August 
23, 1845, and died in Wilkes-Barre, September '4, 1919. 
He was a son of Abraham Ryman, born August 21, 1817, 
and his wife, Jemima (Knukle) Ryman, born Septem-. 
ber 12, 1817, both of whom were descendants of pioneer 
New Jersey and Pennsylvania families. Abraham Ryman 
was one of the pioneers in the lumber and sawmill trade 
in Northeastern Pennsylvania. In those days the lumber 
dealer manufactured the lumber that they sold, and this 
brought the family into direct contact with the virgin 
timber-tract districts. Theodore F. Ryman was asso- 
ciated for many years with his father, .\bra|aam Ryman, 
under the firm najne of A. Ryman & Sons. He was 
one of the very successful men of Wilkes-Barre, and at 
the time of his death was head of the firm of A. Ryman 
& Sons; president of the Hazard Manufacturing Com- 
pany; a director of the Vulcan Iron Works, the Miners' 
Bank, all of Wilkes-Barre; the Pennsylvania Lumber- 
men's Mutual Fire Insurance Company, of Philadelpiiia ; 
and a director of the Eureka Lumber Company, of 

Washington, North Carolina. Theodore F. Ryman mar- 
ried, September 16, 1874, at Mehoopany, Pennsylvania, 
Eliza Malvina Barnes, a native of Wyoming County, 
who was born May 16, 1845, and died October I, 1919. 
Of this marriage there were two children: I. Thad- 
deus B., born July 18, 1875, in Mehoopany, Pennsylvania; 
graduate of Yale University in 1897; died October 2, 
1922, unmarried. 2. Edward F., of whom further. Theo- 
dore F. Ryman was a staunch supporter of the Repub- 
lican party. He and his wife were attendants of the 
Presbyterian church. 

Edward F. Ryman received his early education at the 
Harr.\- Hillman Academy, Wilkes-Barre, and later at- 
tended Phillips Academy at Andover, Massachusetts. 
Immediately after the completion of this course of study 
he returned to Wilkes-Barre and entered his father's lum- 
ber business. In June, 1920, he purchased full interest 
in the concern and founded the E. F. Ryman Lumber 
Company. This he conducted, as president, until 1924, 
when he sold his entire interests and retired from active 

In his political views Mr. Ryman is a staunch sup- 
porter of the Republican party. In his fraternal affilia- 
tions he is a member of Wilkes-Barre Lodg«, No. 109, 
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and has twice 
served as vice-president of the Phillips Academy Alumni 
•Association of .\ndover, Massachusetts; he also is a mem- 
ber of the .American ,'\cademy of Political and Social 
Science, the Wilkes-Barre Camera Club, and the Wyom- 
ing Historical and Geological Society. Mr. Ryman is 
now living, retired, at his home in Wilkes-Barre. In 
tracing his family genealogy, on his mother's side he 
is a descendant of William \Vhipple, who, in 1776, was 
one of those who assembled at Independence Hall, in 
Philadelphia, and added his name to the American Dec- 
laration of Independence. Mr. Ryman is a communicant 
of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Wilkes-Barre. 

PROF. HARRY H. ZEISER, Superintendent of 
Scl.ools of Wilkes-Barre, and one of the most promi- 
nent educators in the northeastern part of this State, 
was born January 5. 1872, in Nescopeck Township, Lu- 
zerne County, Pennsylvania. He is a son of Victor B. 
and Samantha J. (Lutsey) Zeiser, both now deceased. 
The Zeiser and Lutsey families were among the early 
settlers of Southern Luzerne County; the grandfather 
of Harry H. Zeiser, John N. Zeiser, a farmer of Luzerne, 
and a son of John Nicholas Zeiser, a minister of the 
Reformed Church, who founded, about 1810, the first 
Reformed Church circuit in the southern part of Luzerne 
County ; he died in 1835. On the maternal side, Professor 
Zeiser traces his lineage to the grandfather Richard 
Lutsey, a soldier during the American Civil War. Rich- 
ard Lutsey was killed at the Battle of Spottsylvania, 
Virginia, in the engagement which took place around 
the Court House there. He held the rank of sergeant 
in the 96th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. His father 
was John Lutsey, 2d, a farmer of Slocum Township, 
and a son of John Lutsey, who was the first settler in 
the southern part of Luzerne County, clearing land there 
for himself about 1783. \'ictor B. Zeiser, father of 
Professor Harry H. Zeiser, was also a farmer. By his 
marriage to Samantha J. Lutsey he became the father 
of a large family, of whom six of the children grew 
to maturity: 1. John R., of Endicott, New York. 2. 
Adlow, a contractor of Nescopeck Borough, Luzerne 
County. 3. Harry H., of whom further. 4. Katherinc, 
a graduate nurse, residing in Wilkes-Barre. 5. Mary, 
who married Fred Semner, of Wanamie, Luzerne County. 
6. Edna L.. who married Guy Conner, of Lewistown, 

Harry H. Zeiser, third son and third child of Victor 
B. and Samantha J. (Lutsey) Zeiser, received his early 
education in the public schools of Nescopeck Township. 
When he was eighteen years of age he began his work 
as a teacher in a school at Dorrance, Luzerne County. 
■\t the end of one year there, however, he resumed his 
education at the Pennsylvania State Normal School, 
Bloomsburg, graduating from there in 1892. He returned 
to Luzerne County and taught school for another year 
ill Nescopeck Borough. In 1893 he entered Lafayette 
College at Easton, Pennsylvania, was graduated with the 
class of 1897. and* received the degree of Bachelor of 
Arts. Immediately afterward he returned to Wilkes- 
Barre, and taught school until the spring of 1916, when 
he was appointed assistant superintendent of the school 
system of Wilkes-Barre. So welT did he perform the 
duties of this office that two years later, in 1918, he be- 
came Superintendent of Schools for Wilkes-Barre. He 
was reappointed to this office in 1922, and again in 1926. 


Under Professor Zeiser's able management, the school 
system has been raised to a high standard of efficiency 
and there are more than fifteen thousand pupils enrolled. 

'Professor Zeiser has been a generous contributor to 
civic movements on public affairs in his community. In 
his political views, he is a supporter of the Republican 
party. He is a member of the Rotary Club, and he has 
contributed much toward the general betterment of his 
vicinity. He is piopular in social life, and is a member 
of many societies which pertain to his profession, such 
as the National Education Association, and the Penn- 
sylvania State Educational Association. He is also affi- 
liated with the Wilkes- Barre Lodge, No. 6i, Free and 
Accepted Masons; the Shckinah Chapter, Royal Arch 
Masons; Dieu le Veut Commandery, No. 45, Knights 
Templar, and Irem Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles 
of the Mystic Shrine, of Wilkes-Barre. 

Professor Harry H. Zeiser married, December 28, 1897, 
Margaret E Smith, daughter of John E. Smith of Nes- 
copeck Township, and they are the parents of three chil- 
dren : I. Bruce R., a graduate of Lafayette College, 
who married Louise Hunter and by her became the father 
of two children, Bruce Hunter Zeiser, and Robert Hunter 
Zeiser, and is now living with his family at Providence, 
Rhode Island. 2. Myra Jean, a high school teacher at 
Wilkes-Barre. 3. Margaret J., who resides in Wilkes- 
Barre. Professor and Mrs. Zeiser maintain their resi- 
dence in Wilkes-Barre, where they attend the First 
Presbyterian Church. 

number of learned organizations pertaining to his pro- 
fession, and among the more important of these are the 
American Medical Association, the Pennsylvania State 
Medical Society, the Luzerne County Medical Society, 
the Lehigh Valley Medical Association, and he is, as 
has been stated, a Fellow of the American College of 
Surgeons. Dr. Stewart maintains his residence in 

WALTER S. STEWART, M. D., Fellow of the 
American College of Surgeons, one cf the oldest prac- 
ticing physicians and surgeons in eastern Pennsylvania, 
particularly in Wilkes-Barre, where he is held in high 
esteem, was born on November 16, 1856, in Snow Shoe, 
Center County, Pennsylvania. Dr. Stewart is a son of 
Ur. Miller and Patsey (Elliott) Stewart, and grandson, 
on the paternal side, of James Stewart, one of the early 
settlers of Huntington County. Dr. Miller Stewart, the 
father, was a graduate of the Jefferson Medical College, 
class of 1845, when he received his degree as Doctor of 
Medicine, a profession which he followed with success 
for several years. He had later removed to Center 
County and there became increasingly interestetl in the 
lumber trade, a type of endeavor to which he later de- 
voted all of his time and attention, and in which he 
achieved m^ich prominence as a successful timber opera- 
tor in that part of the State. He was the father of 
seven children: i. William, who resided in Seattle, 
Washington, now deceased. 2. Walter S., of whom fur- 
ther. 3. and 4. Mary E. and David, twins, the former 
married a Dr. Miller. 5. DeL.aune G., a retired dentist 
of Bellefont, Pennsylvania. 6. Margaret A. 7. R. Fin- 
ley, who is now deceased. 

Walter S. Stewart, the second son of Dr. Miller and 
Patsey (Elliott) Stewart, was reared upon the home- 
stead farm in Center County, and he received his primary 
education in the public schools of that district. He at- 
tended the Sheppensburg and Millersville State Normal 
schools, after which he taught school for some two 
years. In the year 1880 he entered the Medical College 
of the University of Pennsylvania, graduating from 
there with the class of 1883, when he received his degree 
as Doctor of Medicine. On April 29, 1884, he journeyed 
to Wilkes-Barre, and it is there that he has since re- 
mained, carrying on a most successful practice of his 
profession for forty-five years. His work in this respect 
was temporarily interrupted during the year 1889. how- 
ever, when he took a post-graduate course in sur- 
gery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore. Upon the 
completion of this work he returned to Wilkes-Barre 
with the happy sequel above noted. He is, today, at the 
date of the writing of this biographical history (1928) 
spoken of as one of the most able men in his profession. 
And he is particularly active, although he is now in the 
seventy-second year of his age. During the major por- 
tion of his life and his work in Wilkes-Barre he has 
served steadily as a member of the medical and surgical 
staff of the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital; and he is 
noted for the excellent manner in which he stands behind 
any movement designed for the welfare or advancement 
of his community. Besides all of this work and his gen- 
eral practice as well, Dr. Stewart is also a surgeon of 
the Lehigh Valley Railroad, the Pennsylvania Railroad, 
the Kingston Coal Company, of Kingston, Pennsylvania, 
and he is a director of the Wilkes-Barre General Hos- 

Dr. Walter S. Stewart, who is unmarried, has given a 
considerable amount of interest to his membership in a 

the Miners' Bank of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Charles 
Wilbur Laycock is well known in hanking circles in this 
section of the State. He has been identified with the 
Miners' Bank since 1913, and has served as its president 
since 1924. Mr. Laycock has been connected with the 
banking business throughout the greater part of his 
career and his long and varied experience, together with 
his ability and his integrity, make him a tower of strength 
in his present position. 

The Laycock family is an old Pennsylvania family, 
dating back to the early years of the history of the State, 
and is of Scotch, English and Irish extraction. Rev. 
Shadrack B. Laycock, grandfather of Mr. Laycock, was 
for many years a local preacher of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church. He married Susan Bowman, an aunt of 
the late Bishop Thomas Bowman, who for many years 
was a prominent bishop in the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. Among their children was Adam Clark Lay- 
cock, who was born near Berwick, Pennsylvania, Decem- 
ber 3, 1826, and who married Clarissa A. Millard. They 
were the parents of two children: I. Mary Amanda, 
now deceased, who married Lewis K. Poust. 2. Charles 
Wilbur, of further mention. 

Charles Wilbur Laycock, son of Adam Clark and 
Clarissa A. (Millard) Laycock, was born in Fairmount 
Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, October 3, 
i860, but when he was only six years of age his par- 
ents removed to Shickshinny, Luzerne Couijty, Pennsyl- 
vania. He received his education in the public schools 
of Luzerne County, and in the Wyoming Seminary of 
Kingston, in Luzerne County. His parents removed to 
Kingston in 1879, when he was nineteen years of age, 
and when his course in the seminary was completed he 
secured a position as clerk in the Second National Bank 
of Wilkes-Parre. That connection he maintained until 
i8go, in which year he made a change and accepted the 
position of cashier of the Anthracite Savings Bank of 
Wilkes-Barre. Ability, application and faithfulness, with 
strict integrity, made him an important factor in the 
development of this bank, with which he remained for a 
period of twenty years. At the end of that time, in 
1910, he became the local representative of a New York 
and' Philadelphia bond house, and three years later he 
was chosen cashier of the Miners' Bank of Wilkes-Barre, 
Pennsylvania. In 1915 he was elected vice-president of 
the bank, and in May, 1924, he was elected president, 
which responsible position he now holds (1928). In 
addition to his responsibilities as president of the Miners' 
Bank of Wilkes-Barre, Mr. Laycock is a director, sec- 
retary, and treasurer of the Wilkes-Barre Railway Cor- 
poration ; director and treasurer of the Penn Tobacco 
Company, of Wilkes-Barre; a director of the Lyman H. 
Howe Film Corporation of Wilkes-Barre; a trustee of 
the Wyoming Seminary, of Kingston, Luzerne County, 
and a trustee of Irem Temple, Ancient Arabic Order 
Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Wilkes-Barre. For 
the past twenty years Mr. Laycock has been one of the 
active supporters and leaders in all community welfare, 
both civic and religious, in the Wyoming Valley. He has 
been a member and an official for many years in the 
Wyoming Historical and Geological Society. 

Politically, he gives his support to the Republican party. 
Fraternally, he is identified with Kingston Lodge, No. 
395, Free and Acceptetl Masons, of Kingston, Shekinah 
Chapter, No. 182, Royal Arch Mason, EHeu le Veut 
Commandery, No. 45, Knights Templar of Wilkes-Barre, 
Caldwell Consistory, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, .Ancient 
Accepted Scottish Rite Masons thirty-second degree and 
Irem Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic 
Shrine, of Wilkes-Barre. Mr. I^aycock is one of the 
six Masons in Luzerne County who have had conferred 
upon them th? thirty-third degree of Masonry, the high- 
est rank and honor in Free Masonry, .'^.s has already 
been mentioned, he is a member and one of the three 
trustees of Irem Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles 
of the Mystic Shrine. His religious affiliation is with 
the Methodist Episcopal Church and he is a trustee of the 
First Methodist Church of Kingston, Pennsylvania. He 
was a delegate to the General Conference of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church in 1908 and 1912. Mr. Laycock 


T^? "-'-i-iiitT 

Jy£:^^^^^^J:^c£ ^^=*^4-x--z^^^^2-^^ 


for about twelve years was a member of the general 
Board of Ethication of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
and served on the finance and and executive committees. 
Charles Wilbur Laycock married. June 5, 1890, L. 
Jennie Clapp, and they became the parents of four chil- 
dren : I. Nesbitt E., who died in childhood. 2. Charles 
Harold, who was born March 15, 1893, attended the 
local public schools and then prepared for college at 
Wyoming Seminary. He then continued study in the 
Wesleyan University, at Middletown, Connecticut. He 
is now the local representative of Green, Ellis, and Ander- 
son, d New York bond house. He married Esther F. 
Weckesser, of Wilkes-Barre, and they have two child- 
dren: Mary Anna and Charles Frederick. 3. Robert Clark, 
born June 24, 1896, received his early education in the local 
public schools, prepared for college at Wyoming Semi- 
nary, and then matriculated in Lafayette College, at 
Easton, Pennsylvania, where he completed his course with 
graduation. He is manager of the store of F. W. 
Wool worth and Company, at North Fifty-second Street, 
Philadelphia. 4. Millard Day, born in Kingston, Luzerne 
County, Pennsylvania, June 24, 1899, received hh educa- 
tion in the local public schools, in Wyoming Seminary, 
and in Lafayette College, at Easton, Pennsylvania, and 
is now connected with the J. J. Newberry Company, 
rnd is located in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He married, 
in 1928, Jonelle Meily, of Tyrone, Pennsylvania. Al! 
three of Mr. Laycock's sons were volunteers and served 
in the United States Navy during the World War. 

Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, June 7, 1862. His father, 
James Campbell, a son of .-Xnthony and Mary (Shields) 
Campbell, was born (1825") at iS'iount Charles, County 
Donegal, Ireland, came to the United States in 1847, took 
an active part in the business and political life of Wilkes- 
Barre, and died .\pril 21, 1896. His mother, Ann Campbell, 
a daughter of Thomas and Ann (Slavin) McGourty, was 
born (1833) at Camberry, County Leitrim, Ireland, came 
to this country in 1849, and died July 16, 1915. They 
left to survive them the following children : Anthony 
C, James H., Jane (in religion, Si.^ter ^L Dionysia of 
the Sisters of Mercy): Lillian, intermarried with P. 
J. Collins; Mary E., and Maude (in religion, Sister M. 
Callistus of the Sisters of Mercy). 

Mr. Campbell attended the public schools, was grad- 
uated from Wilkes-Barre High School in 1879, taught 
one year in Plymouth Township (now Edwardsville) 
Public School, entered Lafayette College in 1880 and was 
graduated in June, 1884. In college he participated in 
many of its activities, and gained considerable fame as 
an athlete. 

He studied law in the office of Attorney-General H. 
W. Palmer, and was admitted to the bar on October 
18. r886. He remained with his preceptor until 1S90, 
when he opened an office for himself and has continued 
in general practice of the law, now having as associates 
his nephews, .A.ttorneys J. Campbell Collins and John H. 
Collins. In 1896, he married Ellen V. Walsh, a daughter 
of Richard F. Walsh, a leader in Wilkes-Barre business 
circles, and Mary (O'Malley) Walsh. 

Mr. Campbell has always made time to serve the 
community. He vi'as a lieutenant of Company D, 9th 
Regiment of Infantry, president of St. Mary's Institute, 
a trustee of the Boys' Industrial Association, a member 
of the City Planning Commission and also of the Art 
Jury, president of the General Alumni .^ssociation of 
Lafayette College, president of the Chamber of Com- 
merce, secretary-treasurer of Mercy Hospital, and one 
of the organizers and a vice-president of the Community 
Welfare Federation. During the World War he was 
vice-president of the Red Cross Society and Fuel Ad- 
ministrator of Luzerne County. He is a director of the 
Second National Bank. In 1888 he was unanimously 
nominated for mayor of Wilkes-Barre by the Democratic 
party. He declined the honor and always refused to 
become a candidate for any office. He is a member of 
Concordia Society, Westmoreland Gub, Wyoming His- 
torical and Geological Societv, the Metropolitan Museum 
of Art, the Luzerne County, the Pennsylvania, and 
American Bar Associations. 

must acquire numerous friends ; and many, indeed, were 
the acquaintanceships that he formed during his residence 
in Luzerne County, which covered the more productive 
years of his career. His death brought widespread sor- 
row to the hearts of his fellow-citizens here, for his 
career was an extremely useful one, both to the com- 
munity in which he lived and to those persons whose 
privilege it was to be associated with him in- any of the 
business or social enterprise in which he jiarticipated. 

Mr. Edwards was born at Groeswen, Glamorganshire, 
South Wales, on .\pril 25, 1825. and while a young man 
he came to the United States in 1856. Two years later, in 
1858. he was made manager of the iron mines at Dan- 
ville, Pennsylvania : and, almost as soon as he began this 
new work, he showed remarkable executive ability, with 
the result that before long he was well started on the 
read to successful achievement. In 1876 he took charge 
of the coal mines at Kingston, Pennsylvania, and here he 
again showed rare business qualities in the development 
of these properties. From then onward until his death in 
1901, Mr. Edwards became more and more important as 
a factor in the mining industry in this part of Pennsyl- 
vania until at length he was one of the wealthy anthracite 
operators in the State. He was president of the King- 
ston Coal Company, and also president of the Kingston 
Bank, and was the prime motivating force in the founding 
of this bank, out of which grew the present day Kingston 
Bank & Trust Company, one of the largest banking insti- 
tutions in the anthracite coal region of this State. His 
genial personality, his ready ability to make friends and 
keep theiu, and his interest in the activities of his fellow- 
men and the leaders in community life — all these were 
elements of his character which rendered his contribution 
to Kingston and Luzerne County most valuable, and \)\s 
career a profitable one to his fellowmen and to himself. 
Mr, Edwards was also a director of the Wilkes-Barre 
Hospital and a member and an official of the Welsh Con- 
gregational Church at Edwardsville, Luzerne County, 
Pennsylvania, a town which, by the way, was named after 
him. .\lso keenly interested in political developments in 
his city and county, as well as in the State and Nation, 
Mr. Pxiwards was identified closely with the Republican 
party, whose policies and candidates he regularly sup- 
ported. One of the foremost citizens of the W'yoming 
Valley and a man of rare business and executive ability, 
he was naturally called upon on many occasions to render 
judgment on important public problems and to help leaders 
in local affairs to arrive at just and equitable decisions. 
Daniel Fdwards married, on January 17, 1852, Margaret 
Edwards, who was also born in Wales. At the time of 
Mr. Edwards' death, he was survived by three daughters: 
Mrs. Theodore L. Newell, Mrs. Bennett J. Cobleigh, and 
Mrs. Walter C. Teter. 

The death of Daniel Edwards, which occurred on May 
18, 1901. was an occasion of profound sorrow in Kingston, 
the city of his home, as well as in the neighboring munici- 
I'alities and throughout the Wyoming Valley. For he 
was one of the outstanding citizens of the Valley, a man 
broad and liberal in his actions, kind and genial in dis- 
position, whose charities were extended to all creeds and 
races. His work was especially appreciated since he was 
a self-made and self-educated man, who, coming to 
.America with little means, was able, by his strong fore- 
sight and business ability, to shape out a place of leader- 
ship for himself in the life of this great industrial com- 
munity of Luzerne County, where he became one of the 
most solid and siibstantial of citizens. 

DANIEL EDWARDS— One of the foremost citizens 
of the Wyoming Valley, where he stood high in the 
anthracite industry and the banking profession, was the 
late Daniel Edwards, who. althougli he has now passed 
from the scene of nis worldly endeavors, is remembered 
for the work that he did and for the c|ualities of character 
that he consistentl\ demonstrated in all his relationships 
with his fellowmen. Needless to .say, such a man as he 


was organized in 1896 for the convenience of the popula- 
tion of Kingston and the adjacent communities on the 
west side of the Susquehanna River. At that period there 
were no banking institutions on the west side of the river 
from the borough of Plymouth to a distance of many 
miles north of the Susquehanna River. The population of 
tlie community known as Kingston at that time was ap- 
proximately five thousand people and with the adjacent 
communities a total population of approximately fifteen 

The bank commenced business in May. 1896. with the 
following members ot the Board of Directors: Daniel 
Edwards, Kingston: Morgan B. Williams. Wilkes-Barre: 
.-\. H. \andling. Scranton ; S. L. Brown, Wilkes-Barre: 
Edmund H. lones, Wilkes-Barre: Frederic Corss, King- 
ston- George Shoemaker, Forty Fort; Robert P. Brod- 
head' Kingston ; Andrew G, Raub, Luzerne ; Theodore L. 
Newell, Kingston: E. Waterman Dwight, Philadelphia. 
Of the directors originally elected, E. Waterman Dwight 
of Philadelphia is the only member of the original board 
now serving. 


At the time of organization, the capital was $50,000.00 
with a paid in surplus of $25,000.00. On November 26, 
1919, the name of the bank was changed to that of the 
Kingston Bank & Trust Company, at which time the 
bank acquiied its fiduciary powers and began the develop- 
ment of a substantial trust department. The officers at 
the date of organization were Daniel Edwards, president 
(q. v.); Theodore L. Newell, vice-president; W. E. 
Preston, cashier ; Frederic Corss, secretary ; and Loren 
M. Luke, attorney. 

Mr. Daniel Edwards served as president until the date 
of his death and on January 14, 1902, Theodore L. Newell 
was elected president and continued in this capacity until 
the date of his resignation in March, 1915, at which time 
Edward M. Rosser (q. v.), the present .incumbent, was 
elected president of the institution. Mr. William E. 
Preston, the first cashier, served until his death in May, 
1897. On May 9, 1898, Edward M. Rosser was elected to 
succeed him and served in this capacity until the date of 
his election as vice-president. Mr. Edward J. Evans was 
elected cashier to succeed Mr. Rosser on May 10, 1009, 
and was succeeded by Mr. Harold Tippett, who was 
elected cashier in 1027, at the time of merger of the West 
Side Trust Company, of Kingston, at which time Mr. 
Edward J. Evans was elected vice-president and secretary 
of the combined institution. The secretary of the insti- 
tution at date of organization was Dr. Frederic Corss, 
who served until the date of his resignation on May 24, 
1897. He was followed by Andrew G. Raub, who served 
until May 8, 1905, and was succeeded by Dr. T. Cynon- 
fardd Edwards, who served until March 2, 191 5, Daniel 
E. Newell was elected March 2, 191 5. and was succeeded 
at the date of his resignation by Felix W. Bolowicz, the 
present incumbent. Mr. Loren M. Luke, the first attorney, 
served until his death in September, 1898, and was suc- 
ceeded by Anthony L. Williams, who resigned on May 12, 
1913, and his successor. Burton W. Davis, then elected and 
still serving. 

On January 21, 1908, there was an authorized increase 
in capital stock of $50,000.00. making the capital then 
outstanding $100,000.00. In 1919, $25,000.00 additional 
capital stock was issued, thus increasing the capital of 
the institution to SS125, 000.00. In November, 1922, a 
100 per cent, stock dividend was declared and an additional 
$50,000.00 issued and sold, bringing the capital stock out- 
standing to 5:300,000.00. In January, 1926, through the 
declaration of a 200 per cent, stock dividend and the 
further authorization of $100,000.00 capital stock to he 
sold, the authorized capital was increased to $1,000,000.00. 
In 1927, the West Side Trust Company of Kingston was 
merged witii the Kingston Bank & Trust Company and 
all stockholders and directors of both institutions were 
united by the merger and the authorized capital increased 
to $1,500,000.00 to make possible giving proner share in 
interest to the stockholders of both banks. 

During the process of increasing the capitalization, the 
par value of the shares was reduced from ^50.00 each to 
$25.00 eacri, and the Kingston Bank & Trust Company 
stockholders received two shares of .^25.00 par value each 
for one share of $50.00 par value of each, and the West 
Side Trust Company received one share for one share 
each of $25.00 par value. 

The following comparative data will indicate the prog- 
ress of the growth of the institution during the past 
decade : 

June 30, 1918 $2,922,953.21 

•June 30, 1919 3,797,133.54 

•Tune 30, 1920 3.634,649.58 

June 30, 1921 4,257,508.35 

June 30. 1922 4.272 352 0" 

June 30, 1923 5 118 492 47 

•Juni 30, 1924 5,742,568.46 

.June 30. 1925 6,537,617.60 

June 30, 1926 7 084 M4 4<t 

June 30, 1927 7;774;235:o6 

June 30, 1928 10,369,4&4.06 

The present officers and directors are as follows : 
Officers— President. F:dward M. Rosser; vice-presidents 
Donald O. Coughlin. Charles F. Hess, William W. Inglis, 
Dr. John E. Scheifly, Frederic E. Zerbey, Dr AUxn D 
Thomas, Frank P. Oliver; vice-president and secretarv, 
E J Evans; cashier, Harold Tippett; assistant cashiers, 
Lharles E. Davies, Frank I. Remmell, and Alexander M 
KTe.sge; trust officer, R. B, Malkames. 

Directors— E. Waterman Dwight, Philadelphia; Afartin 
Haloga. bwoyersville; Burton W. Davis, Kingston- Rev 
G. A. JBend'ck, Luzerne ; Robert H. Garrahan, Kingston ; 
I. J. Callahan, Swoyersville ; William W. Inglis Scran- 
ton; W. H. Cocking, Luzerne; Edward M. Rosser, King- 
ston; Horace G. Cook, Jr., Kingston; Dr. John E Schef- 
ny, Kmgston; D<jnald O. Coughlin Forty Fort ■ Dr 

Albert D. Thomas, Forty Fort; Charles F. Hess, De 
Munds; Frederic E. Zerbey, Wilkes-Barre ; Louis N. 
Jacobs, Exeter ; Daniel E. Newell, Kingston ; Louis Mar- 
ines, Luzerne ; Frank S. Crane, Kingston ; Frank P. 
Oliver, Kingston; Felix W. Bolowicz, Larksville; George 
P. Steinhauer, Kingston; Dr. D. F. Daley, Kingston; E. 
M. Tripp, Forty Fort; Charles Betz, Luzerne; Charles 
Wood, Kingston; William V. Davis, Kingston; J. S. 
Wurman, Kingston; Edward J. Evans, Kingston; E. C. 
Yaple, Kingston; Chas. B. D. Wood, Kingston; Andrew 
J. Sordoni, Kingston. 

EDWARD M. ROSSER— As president o,f the King. 
Ston Bank and Trust Company, Edward M. Rosser is 
one of the prominent figures in business, finance and 
community progress in the Wyoming Valley. The King- 
ston Bank and Trust Company holds a, place as the 
third largest bank in Luzerne County. Besides his posi- 
tion in this bank, Mr. Rosser has been treasurer of the 
boroughs of Kingston and Edwardsville and of the school 
district of Kingston for more than twenty-five years; is 
president of the Forty Fort State Bank, of Forty Fort, 
Pein;sylvania, and of the Hoyt Library Association, of 
Kingston ; elder of the First Presbyterian Church ; and 
a trustee of the Wyoming Seminary and the Nesbitt 
Memorial Hospital, of Kingston. He is also a director 
of the Kingston Coal Company, and has many other 
interests and community appointments. 

Mr. Rosser has been a resident of Kingston since early 
childhood. His identification with the Kingston Bank 
and Trust Company has covered a period of more than 
thirty-two years. He started with the bank as a clerk 
in 1896; became assistant cashier on May 31, 1897, 
cashier on May 9, 1898, vice-president on February 15, 
1908, and president on March 2, 1915. When he first was 
engaged in the banking profession, the institution which 
he now heads was known as the Deposit and Savings 
Bank of Kingston, and was scarcely more than a small 
sized country bank. As evidence of its growth, the bank 
now occupies one of the most beautiful homes possessed 
by any organization of its kind in Northeastern Pennsyl- 
vania, and is an important factor in business develop- 
ment throughout the entire Wyoming Valley. Through 
its merger with the West Side Trust Company in August,' 
1927. it achieved its present position as the county's 
third largest bank. 

The president of this banking house, Mr. Rosser, was 
one of the ten children of Morgan D. and Mary 
(Edwards) Rosser, seven of whom lived to maturity. 

Edward M. Rosser was born at Ystrad Rhondda, 
Wales, on October 27, 1869, and was brought to the 
United States by his parents when he was only two 
years old, in 1 87 1. They settled in Kingston, Pennsyl- 
vania, where his father, who died August 11, 1910, was 
superintendent of the Kingston Coal Company for a 
number of years. He was educated in the Edwardsville 
public schools and the Wyoming Seminary. He was 
graduated from the College of Business at the Wyoming 
Sefninary in 1902, and prior to starting his banking 
career spent four years in the office of the Kingston 
Coal Company. During this period he was confidential 
secretary to the late Daniel Edwards, president of the 
company, and following Mr. Edwards' death became 
manager of the Daniel Edwards estate. Mr. Rosser is 
a member of the American Bankers' Association, the 
Westmoreland Club, Wilkes-Barre Lodge, No. 109, of 
the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. 

Edward M. Rosser, on September 20, 1905, married 
Sara Walsh Deen, of Danville, Pennsylvania, and they 
reside at No. 26 Pierce Street, Kingston. 

CHARLES E. NICHOLSON, M. D.— Practicing 
medicine in Pittston since his graduation from college 
and hospital service in 1916, Charles E. Nicholson has 
made for himself a commendable position in the ranks 
of the profession. Known in this district from his boy- 
hood, his professional career has been observed with 
interest by the older practitioners, who are a unit in 
according him the congratulations of their longer experi- 
ence on the work he has done. He is a man of energy 
and an ambition to make his way to the forefront of a 
group of professional workers who have brought to the 
medical ranks of this district a fund of knowledge and 
who rank high as practitioners and students. Still in the 
prime of his strength, he may confidently look forward 
to the full achievement of his ambition, since his industry 
and studious nature must materially aid him to that end. 

Dr. Nicholson was horn in East White Haven, Penn- 
svlvania, March 14, 1887, a son of James S. and Ella 
f]-fardiug) Nicholson, now residents of West Pittston. 





His education was acquired in the public schools and at 
Harrv Hill Academy, following which preliminary 
courses he attended the Medico-Chirurgical College in 
Pftiladelphia, from which he was graduated with the 
class of 1915, receiving the degree of Doctor of Medicine, 
^e then took one year as an interne in the State Hos- 
pital at Scranton, after which he located in Pittston and 
established himself in practice. In December, I9i7,_ he 
entered the service and was commissioned a first lieu- 
tenant in the Medical Corps of the United States Army 
and was stationed at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, until 
May, 191 8, when he was sent to France with the Ameri- 
can Expeditionary Forces. There he was stationed at 
Bordeaux, Base Section No. 2. He was returned to the 
United States and mustered out, June 12, 1919. He then 
resumed his medical practice in Pittston and in 1923 
took a post-graduate course at the University of Penn- 
sylvania in Otolaryngology, since which time he has spe- 
cialized in those diseases. He ts a member of the staff 
of the Pittston Hospital and is surgeon for the Lehigh 
Valley Railroad and the Glen Aldin Coal Company. His 
fraternal affiliations include membership in Valley Lodge, 
No. 499, Free and Accepted Masons ; Pittston Chapter, 
No. 242, Royal Arch Masons ; Wyoming Commandery, 
Knights Templar; I rem Temple, Ancient Arabic Order 
Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He also belongs to the 
Craftsmen's Club and to the Rod and Gun Club of West 
Pittston and attends the Protestant Episcopal Church. 
He is a member of the State, County and American 
Medical societies and has his residence at No. 11. Lu- 
zerne Avenue, West Pittston. 

Charles E. Nicholson married, November, 1921, Re- 
bekah Robbins Streng, of West Pittston, daughter of 
William Streng. Their children are : Ellen Barbara 
and Charles E. 

ROBERT T. ROSELLE— For many years one of 
the foremost figures in Luzerne County building opera- 
tions, ever instrumental in advancing the welfare and 
prosperity of the different towns and cities of the Wyom- 
ing Valley, Robert T. Roselle has come to be regarded 
highly by all who know him. It is comparatively a re- 
cent development that he has undertaken in the real 
estate field, although since his earliest business ventures 
he has been closely identified with building and con- 
tracting in this region of Pennsylvania. Mr. Roselle was 
born in West Wyoming. Pennsylvania, .\ugust 24, 1887, 
a son of Wilbur and Olive A. (Covert) Roselle. His 
father, born in Mount Zion, Pennsylvania, in 1850, died 
November, 1926, was a general contractor all his life; 
while the mother, who was born in Trucksville. Pennsyl- 
vania, is one of the widely known and highly respected 
residents of Luzerne County. 

Robert T. Roselle attended the public schools in Wyo- 
ming, and subsequently studied at Valparaiso University, 
from which he was graduated in the class of 1913 with 
the degree of Civil Engineer. When he returned from 
the university, which was situated in Valparaiso, Indiana, 
he went into the general contracting business with his 
father, Wilbur Roselle, in Wyoming, the firm having 
become known at that juncture as Wilbur Roselle and 
Son, successors to Roselle Brothers, who first tecame 
engaged in the contracting business about 1875. Mr. 
Roselle continued with his father until the elder man's 
death, which occurred in 1926; and after that time he 
remained in it himself until 1927, when he gave up build- 
ing contracting and continued in the real estate business, 
devoting all his time to this work and becoming associat- 
ed with the firm of Lessley A. Steel, Inc., of Kingston, 
Pennsylvania. Mr. Roselle and his father, throughout 
their many years of contracting work, were instrumental 
in the erection of many homes, churches, schoolhouses 
and stores in all parts of the Wyoming Valley ; and they 
came to be recognized as real leaders in the field of 
work which they had chosen for their careers. Robert 
T. Roselle played a prominent part in a number of differ- 
ent building programs and land development enterprises, 
and came to be justly regarded as a most important citi- 
zen in his community. 

Never satisfied with working only in his own business 
interests, Mr. Roselle has at all times been active in the 
affairs of this city, community and -State. His political 
views are those of the Republican party, whose policies 
and Gandidates he has supported consistently and vigor- 
ously. In 1925 he was appointed burgess of Forty Fort, 
while in the fall of that year, after he had been serving 
in the office for a time, he was elected his town's chief 
executive for the regular four-year term, expiring in 
1930- In addition to his other activities, Mr. Roselle is 

a member of the Free and Accepted Masons, in which 
his affiliation is with Wyoming Lodge, No. 468; Sheki- 
nah Chapter of Royal Arch Masons; the Dieu le Veut 
Commandery, No. 45, of Knights Templar; and Irem 
Temple of the .\ncient Arabic Order Nobles of the MyS' 
tic Shrine. He also was a member of the Junior Order 
of United American Mechanics, in which he was identi-. 
fied with Troy Council No. 76; and the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, being associated in that organiza- 
tion with the Monument Lodge in Wyoming. It need 
not be pointed out that all of these groups play most 
important parts in the fraternal life of the Wyoming 
Valley, and that Mr. Roselle's membership in them is 
ample testimony to the character of the man and to the 
type of enterprises in which he is interested. He also is 
a' director of the Home Builders' Mutual Building and 
Loan Association and a member of the Progressive Club 
of Forty Fort. His religious affiliation is with the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, in which he has been chosen to 
serve on the official board. 

In 191 5 Mr. Roselle married Clara Coughlin, of Lu- 
zerne, a daughter of D. O. Coughlin, a Wilkes-Barre 
attorney-at-law, and of Emma (Hughes) Coughlin. By 
this union there have been four children: I. Donald O., 
born in June, 1916. 2. Roberta Jean, born March 20, 
1920. 3. Priscilla Lee, born August 7, 1924. 4. Curtis 
Coughlin, born July 26, 1928. 

WILLIAM J. RUFF— One of the prominent citizens 
of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, is William J. RuflF, 
cashier of the Miners' Bank of Wilkes-Barre. Mr. Ruflf 
is also treasurer of the American Auto Accessories Stores, 
a director of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Com- 
merce, and a director of the Community Welfare Con- 
federation, also organizer of the local chapter of the 
.\merican Institute of Banking. 

James R. Ruff, father of Mr. Ruff, was born in Hull, 
England, and came to this country, as a young man, 
locating at Dallas, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, where 
he died. He married Sarah Orre, and they became the 
parents of five children: Marion S., who is unmarried; 
William J., of further mention ; Agnes, who married 
Ralph J. Adamy, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania ; Dorothy 
M.. unmarried ; and Hazel, also unmarried. 

William J. Ruff, son of James R. and Sarah (Orre) 
Ruff, was born in Dallas, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, 
February 14, 1886. He received his early education in 
the public schools of Luzerne, and graduated from the 
Luzerne High School in 1904. -A.fter graduation he 
secured a position as clerk in the employ of Payne and 
Perrin, proprietors of a general store in Luzerne, with 
whom he remained for three years. At the end of that 
time he made a change and identified himself with 
Haddock and Fowler, proprietors of another store in 
Luzerne, and this connection he maintained for two 
years. He had been thriftily saving all this time with 
the hope of continuing his education, and he now entered 
the business department of Wyoming Seminary, from 
which he was graduated. After the completion of his 
course in the seminary he came to Wilkes-Barre and 
entered the employ of the hardware firm of Phelps, 
Lewis and Bennett, with whom he remained as clerk 
and bookkeeper for six months. His next position was 
with the Luzerne County Trust Company of Wilkes- 
Barre, which he served as bookkeeper until 1908, when 
it was made a national bank under the name of the 
Luzerne County National Bank. In 1912 Mr. Ruff was 
made cashier of this bank, and he continued to hold this 
position until July 14, 1923, at which time the Luzerne 
County National Bank was merged into the Miners' 
Bank of Wilkes-Barre. Mr. Ruff was chosen cashier of 
the new organization, and has continued to fill that 
official position. Politicially Mr. Ruff gives his support 
to the principles and the candidates of the Republican 
party, and is very prominent in the Masonic order. He 
is a member of Kingston Lodge, No. 395, of Kingston, 
anfl of Keystone Consistory, in which he holds the 
thirty-second degree ; is a member of the Scottish Rite 
I ndies, and a member of Irem Temple, Ancient Arabic 
Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Wilkes-Barre. 
He is also identified with the Rotary Club, Westmore- 
land Club, and Irem Temple Country Club. Mr. Ruff 
is well known as a man of excellent business ability and 
nf sound judgment, and he freely contributes his busi- 
ness ability as well as his means to the advancement of 
the general welfare of Wilkes-Barre. He is president of 
the Wilkes-Barre Young Men's Christian Association, 
anfl in addition serves as vice-president of the Greater 
Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, a director of the 


Community Welfare Confederation, also treasurer of 
the Wilkes-Barre Salvation Arnjy. He is treasurer of the 
American Auto Accessories Stores, as has already been 
stated, and as organizer of the local chapter of the 
American Institute of Banking he has rendered valu- 
able service. For many years he has served as superin- 
tendent of the Bennett Presbyterian Sunday School, of 
Luzerne, and he gives most generous support to projects 
planned for the advancement of the general welfare 
both in Wilkes-Barre and in Luzerne. As a representa- 
tive citizen, a successful business man, and an active and 
efificient supporter of all that is best in the life of the 
city Mr. Ruflf has few peers, and he is held in very high 
esteem both in Wilkes-Barre and in Luzerne. Mr. Ruflf 
has never married. 

and surgeon of prominence through a broad area in Lu- 
zerne County, Daniel Guy Robinhold, resident and prac- 
titioner of Forty Fort, was born in Port Clinton, Schuyl- 
kill County, Pennsylvania, May 13, 1874, son of George 
H. and Emma (Teter) Robinhold. His father, native 
of Port Clinton, was born in 1845. He was with the 
Reading Railroad Company, with which company he had 
been employed through a number of years. Emma 
(Teter) Robinhold was born in Berks County, Pennsyl- 
vania, in 1851, and died in 1904. 

Dr. Robinhold attended the public schools of Port 
Chester, graduated from high school with marks of dis- 
tinction in 1889, and went to work in the employ of the 
Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Con'pany, of 
Philadelphia, with which organization he continued until 
1896, as a member of the road's accounting staff. Mean- 
while his inclination bent him toward increased inter- 
est in medicine as a career, and in due course he had 
taken steps to enter Jefferson Medical College. From 
this institution, in 1900, at the age of twenty-six years, 
lie took the degree of Doctor of Medicine, and in that 
same year opened offices for general practice in Forty 
i'ort. Here he has continued in continuous and lucrative 
professional exercise through the years that have fol- 
lowed, during nearly three decades. Engaged in general 
practice v.'ith a large clientele, he is on the attending 
staff of Nesbitt West Side Hospital, and a memlier of 
the County, .State and American medical associations. 
During the World War he was with the Medical Corps, 
United States .Army, holding the rank of Major, sta- 
tioned at Camp Greenleaf, Fort Oglethorpe, in Ge<irgia. 
Discharged, lie resumed the course of the career outlined. 
His discharge was tendered him January ig, 1919. 

A Democrat, of independent preference, Dr. Robinhold 
has supported the party's p