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Full text of "A twentieth century history of Erie County, Pennsylvania : a narrative account of its historic progress, its people, and its principal interests"

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A TWENTIETH CENTURY 



HISTORY 



OF 



ERIE COUNTY 

PENNSYLVANIA 



A NARRATIVE ACCOUNT OF ITS HISTORICAL PROGRESS, ITS 
PEOPLE, AND ITS PRINCIPAL INTERESTS 

BY 

JOHN MILLER 



ILLUSTRATED 



Volume II 






1909 

THE LEWIS PUBLISHING COMPANY 

CHICAGO 



I THE NEW YORK 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 

706983 

*STOH, LENOX AND 

TluDiN FOUNDATION* 

R 1915 I- 



• • « 




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Frederick Brevillier. Nearly a half century ago Frederick 
Brevillier became one of the two interested principals in what eventually 
became one of the leading wholesale grocery houses of Northern Penn- 
sylvania and until within very recent years he continued to be identified 
with this line of enterprise in the city of Erie, where he remains to-day 
a representative citizen and one whose course has been such as to com- 
mand for him the confidence and high esteem of the community which 
has been his home during the major portion of his life. His capitalistic 
investments are of important and varied order, and as a man he is es- 
sentially broad-minded, liberal and public-spirited. Self-aggrandizement 
has not hedged him in, and his name is known in the realm of practical 
philanthropy and judicious benevolence. His influence has definitely 
permeated the civic and business life of the city of Erie, and it is most 
consonant that he be accorded recognition as a publican of this pro- 
vince. 

Frederick Brevillier was born in Sonnenberg, Sachsen-AIeiningen, 
Germany, on the 29th of August, 1838, and is a son of Alexander and 
Christiane (Koch) Brevillier. The agnatic lineage is traced back to 
stanch French-Huguenot origin, and the founders of the family in Ger- 
many were refugees who fled from France to escape the persecutions in- 
cident to the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, in 1685. Like many 
others of the same patrician French lineage, they found hospice in Ger- 
many and located in the city of Frankfort-on-Main, where they be- 
came identified with extensive business and banking enterprises. The 
m.other of Frederick Brevillier was of German descent. In 1840, when 
he was about two years of age, his parents removed from his native 
place to Hildburghausen, Thuringia, and there he received his rudimen- 
tary education in a private school, after which he entered the local gym- 
nasium, a collegiate preparatory institution comparing with the Ameri- 
can high school. He there continued his studies until the spring of 1852, 
when he entered a polytechnical school in the citv of Nuernberg, Bavaria, 
where he remained a student until the spring of 1851, when he with- 
drew to accompany his parents on their removal to the city of Erie, 
Pennsylvania, where his elder brother, Gustave F., had taken up his resi- 
dence several years previously. The family arrived in Erie June 10, 
1854, and this city has represented their home during the long inter- 
vening years. Here the honored father died on the 20th of July. 1860, 
and the cherished and devoted wife and mother was summoned to 
eternal rest on the 16th of February, 1876. 

During the year 1855 Frederick Brevillier was a student in the Erie 
Academy, and in the spring of the following year he became an employe 
in a large importing house in New York City, where he remained until 
the latter part of 1857. He then entered the Bryant & Stratton Business 
College in the city of Cleveland, where he completed a three months' 
course, after which he accepted the position of secretary and treasurer 
of the Croton Glass Works, at New Castle. Pennsylvania. Later on, 
in compliance wdth the wishes of his venerable parents, Jie returned to 
Erie, where he entered the employ of J. V. Boyer, who conducted a 
hardware establishment on upper State street. In Januar3^ 1861, he be- 
came bookkeeper in the wholesale grocery establishment of J. Johnston 
Vol. II— 1 



2 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

& Brother, and on the 23rd of February, 1864, he was admitted to the 
firm as a copartner with Joseph and Orville Johnston, under the firm 
name of Johnston & Brevilher. Under this title the business was con- 
tinued for nearly two score of years, and during all this time the reputa- 
tion of the firm was impregnable, while it advanced to the rank of one 
of the leading commercial concerns of this section of the state. Based 
upon honorable dealings and most efifective service, the business of the 
house reached extensive proportions and covered a large territory. On 
the 12th of ]\Iarch, 1901, Joseph Johnston retired from the firm, owing 
to advanced age and the desire to be free from the exactions of active 
business. Mr. Brevillier purchased his honored partner's interest in 
the business, which he thereafter continued under his own name until 
April 1. 190G, when, after forty-five years of arduous and effective work 
in the wholesale grocery trade, he too felt it expedient to retire, and the 
business was closed out. 

A man of fine intellectuality and broad mental ken, it is but natural 
that j\Ir. Brevillier should have taken at all times a lively interest in public 
affairs, especially those of a public order. He has been repeatedly 
honored with positions of public trust, and no citizen has maintained a 
more secure hold upon popular confidence and esteem in Erie than has 
this veteran business man and sterling citizen. He is one of the charter 
members of the Erie Board of Trade, which w^as organized in 1874, and 
for many years he w^as a member of its dii;ectorate ; he was president of 
the organization for the fiscal year 1902-3. As a member of the board of 
corporators of St. \'incent's liospital, he has served several years on its 
board of directors, and he is also connected with the board of corporators 
of Hamot Hospital, and that of the Erie cemetery. In the latter he has 
served as a member of the board of directors since May. 190.j. He was 
for seven years a valued member of the Erie board of education, and 
was president of the East ward school board at the time when, in June, 
1870, the East and West ward school board were consolidated, under 
the title of the Eric school district. In February, 1901, Mr. Brevillier 
was elected a member of the board of trustees of the Erie public library, 
to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Charles Jarecki, and in the 
following December he w-as elected for the regular term of three years, 
at which expiration he was chosen as his own successor, retiring at the 
expiration of his third term. December 31, 1907. 

In politics Mr. Brevillier gives his allegiance to the Republican 
party. He became a charter member of the Erie Liedertafel, organized 
in September. 1802. and served as its president for two terms. He has 
been affiliated with the Masonic fraternity since October 20, 1868, when 
he became an entered apprentice in Perry Lodge, No. 392, Free & 
Accepted Masons, with which he is still identified. In the Scottish Rite 
he is affiliated with Presq'isle Lodge of Perfection, and the Pittsburg 
Consistory, besides which he is enrolled as a member of the adjunct 
organization. Zem Zem Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles 
of the Mystic Shrine. 

Since his retirement from the wholesale grocery trade Mr. Brevillier 
has kept constantly in active touch with the business affairs of his home 
city, where he has various capitalistic investments, including stock in 
manufacturing concerns. He has devoted much of his time and attention 
to the various civic and public offices of which he has been incumbent 
since his retirement from active business. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 3 

On the 6th of October, 1864, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. 
Brevillier to Miss Charlotte M. Walther, daughter of the late Jacob 
Walther, of Erie, and of this union have been born four sons, all of 
whom are actively identified with business interests in Erie. Frederick 
A., who married Miss Katharina E. Conrad is secretary of the Erie 
Brewing Company ; Charles G. is one of the representative members of 
the bar of his native county and is engaged in the practice of his profes- 
sion in the city of Erie ; Arthur W., who married Miss Eda W. Conrad, 
is secretary and treasurer of the Morse Iron Works ; and Edwin H. is 
identified with the Union Iron Works. 

. In studying a clean-cut, sane, distinct character like that of Frederick 
Brevillier interpretation follows fact in a straight line of derivation. His 
character is the positive expression of a strong nature, and he has made 
his life count for good in all its relations. In his home city he is veritably 
surrounded by "troops of friends" and by other gracious influences 
which make for the gaining and holding of the "durable satisfactions'' 
of life. 

Edwin Walker, president of the Erie Specialty Company, is one 
of the best known citizens of the city. He is a native of Bradford 
county, Pennsylvania, and descended from hardy pioneers of the Key- 
stone State, his ancestors occupied a prominent place in the development 
of Northeastern Pennsylvania also having been noted woodsmen and 
Indian fighters in the early days of the commonwealth. His great- 
great-grandfather, as well as several other members of the Walker 
family, met death at the hands of Indians, some of them in the historic 
Wyoming Alassacre. His great-grandfather was last seen when starting 
out on a hunting trip from which he never returned ; he was supposed 
to have been killed by Indians or lost in the wilderness as his fate was 
never known. He left but two sons at his death, one of whom drifted 
into the wilds of Canada and was never heard of thereafter by his family; 
the other, William Walker, became a rugged pioneer, passing through 
many hardships and exciting experiences. He was a fine specimen of 
manhood, nearly six feet in height and proportioned accordingly. His 
wife, Amanda Granger, was a descendant of the family whose members 
have figured in the history of the country since 1640, at which time 
Launcelot Granger, the progenitor of this family in America, came to 
Massachusetts from England. Since this time, men of the name have 
figured in every war from King Philip's to the present time, and in 
times of peace have shown their ability in all the walks of life, in the 
professions, politics and commercial affairs. 

At the time Launcelot Granger returned to England to secure 
his share of his father's estate, he met an adventure that might well 
have resulted disastrously to one of a less brave and intrepid nature. 
After securing his patrimony, which he secreted about his person, he 
proceeded toward the nearest seaport, intending to embark immediately 
for America ; as night overtook him, he thought it advisable to repair to 
an inn, but when he reached one he was able to see at once that it was 
of an unsavory character, so he felt safer in continuing his journey, 
although the landlord of the inn urged him to rest there for the night, 
warning him of danger from highwaymen. He had not proceeded far 
on his way when he saw in the moonlight two masked figures by the 
roadside, who peremptorily halted him and demanded his money or his 
life; though armed only with a loaded cane, while the highwaymen had 



4 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

broadswords, he offered to fight tlicm singly, and after a short parley 
they agreed to this ; one stepped forth, his broadsword to be used 
against the loaded cane. Launcelot Granger was an expert with the 
broadsword, and was of such alertness as soon to send his adversary 
to earth with a blow on the head that made him drop in his tracks and 
never stir again. Upon this unexpected outcome of the encounter, the 
other miscreant took to his heels, and Launcelot pushed on to the next 
village and informed the authorities of what had taken place. When 
the mask was lifted from the face of the dead highwayman, it was 
discovered that he was a man of considerable prominence in the village, 
supposed to be a respectable citizen. Upon his return to America, 
Launcelot Granger settled on what is known as Kent's Island, near 
Newburyport, IMassachusetts, and there built a house which stood until 
1884, and his descendant above named, Edwin Walker, now has in his 
possession some of the bricks which were used in building the fireplace, 
and which were brought from England. 

Though not a Puritan himself, Launcelot Granger lived among 
these people, and the high regard in which he was held by his neighbors, 
as well as his personal worth and uprightness of character are shown 
by the fact that for his wife he won the daughter of a Puritan, whose 
first American ancestor was Deacon Hanchett, who settled in Boston, 
in 1G34. W'hen the Connecticut X'alley was opening up, Launcelot 
Granger decided to locate there, so started to make the journey with 
an ox team and took one cow along, to what was then considered the 
far west, then full of hostile Indians. King Philip's war, a few years 
later, made it necessary for the women and children around Suffield, 
Connecticut, where the Granger family settled, to take refuge at West- 
field, Massachusetts, while the men took up arms against the Indians. 
Launcelot Granger, who commanded a company, was wounded in one of 
the encounters. When peace was restored, the family again took up 
their residence at Suffield, and a house was built there which is standing 
to the present day. From Launcelot Granger have descended families 
who settled in all parts of New England, and later in the region west 
and south. Amanda Granger, grandmother of Edwin Walker, came with 
her parents to central New York, when young. 

The father of Edwin Walker, George Walker, a native of Owego, 
New York, and reared in Pennsylvania, was a man of very large stature 
and great strength, as well as superior mental attainments. He was a 
well read man and an earnest student of the Bible, with which he was 
thoroughly familiar; he was also a deep thinker along other lines, 
and kept himself* wcll-infornied on all the leading questions 
of the day. Though in early life he was imbued with the idea 
that there was no hereafter, he later became a convert to the spiritualistic 
faith, of which he became a strong exponent, and into the realms of 
which he made deep research. Until the date of his marriage he 
resided in Bradford county, Pennsylvania, but afterwards removed to 
Southeastern JNIichigan, making the journey thereto by way of the Erie 
Canal, thence by boat to Detroit, and from that city to the interior 
of the state by means of the old fashioned "prairie schooner." The 
climate of Michigan, however, was not agreeable to him. and manv in 
the locality suffered from the prevailing cliills and fever, which also 
claimed Mr. \\'alkcr for a victim, so he returned to Pennsylvania, 
settling at Towanda. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 5 

George \\'alker was an expert mechanical engineer, bridge-builder 
and milhvrighf; in 1851 he planned and built the bridge across the 
Susquehanna River at Towanda, which is standing at the present time, 
and he built many other bridges in that section of Pennsylvania, 
a? Well as in Western New York. In 1856 Mr. Walker removed to 
Hamburg, Erie county, New York, and at that location and throughout 
the surrounding country built large flouring mills, mostly run by water. 
He foresaw the early necessity in utilizing the natural resources of the 
county's water powers, so made an extensive research and study with 
a view to obtaining the greatest amount of power from the fall of water 
which resulted in his discovery of the action of water and formulas for 
determining the lines of turbine water-wheels to obtain the highest per- 
centage of power from the water, this was his greatest work and to this 
date there is no evidence that any one else has discovered the same 
since. His discovery was put into practical and successful use in build- 
ing tiu-bines, but owing to his death was never made general use of. 
His plans and formulas are extant but not in operation at present. Now 
that water powers are proving so valuable owing to electric pow'er being 
so extensively used, it is the intention of his sons to put his valuable 
discoveries into general use, thereby saving the great waste of power 
under present conditions. His wife, Mary McMicken, was the daughter 
of William and Mary (Bathrick) McMicken. Her great-grandfather 
McIMicken was a scout in the Revolutionary war and was killed by the 
Indians while making observations from the top of a stump. His first 
wife died on the ocean when on the way to this country. The McMicken 
family were of Scotch descent, and early settlers in Eastern Pennsylvania ; 
the American ancestor first settled in Connecticut. Mary Cleveland 
Bathrick, mother of Mrs. McMicken, was first cousin to Moses Cleve- 
land, founder of Cleveland, Ohio. George Walker died in 1889, at 
Hamburg, from lagrippe, and his widow died about four weeks later. 
Here their only daughter, Miss Eliza I. Walker, and remaining son, Mr. 
Frank Walker, sister and brother of Edwin Walker of this sketch, now 
reside. 

Edwin Walker was born at Sheshequin, Pennsylvania. He spent 
his boyhood at Bradford county, Pennsylvania, and at Hamburg and 
Springville, New York; his parents removed to the last-named place 
about 1858, in order to secure for their children better educational 
advantages, the town afifording an academy, which is now knov/n as 
Griffith Institute. After spending ten years at this place, during which 
time Edwin finished his education, they returned to Hamburg. As a 
boy he evinced a genius for mechanics and invention, and when a young 
man constructed a bicycle, with the assistance of his father, using as 
guide designs and descriptions published in the "Scientific American," 
which was the first bicycle ever seen by him, and which he became an 
adept at riding, winning many hotly contested races on this wheel. He 
also constructed a mud-guard for his machine, which was of his own 
invention, and same as the guard with which all modern bicycles are 
fitted. 

Mr. Walker left home at the age of twenty-one years, his first 
employment being at Silver Creek, near Dunkirk, New York, for a 
concern manufacturing flour-milling machinery; in a short time he be- 
came superintendent of another plant in the town in the same line of 
manufacture, and remained with them until 1880, when he removed 
to Erie. In Erie he entered the employ of Sterns Manufacturing Com- 



6 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

pany, as draughtsman and pattern-maker, and later became employed in 
a similar capacity by Taper Sleeve Pulley Company, and later by Skinner 
& Wood Engine Company. His first independent business venture, in 
1883, was in the manufacture of tools under the firm name of the 
E. Walker Tool Company, his plant being on Eighteenth street, in the 
plant of the Noble Sewing Alachine Company, and later he bought a 
plant on West Fourth street, near State, which is now used by the 
Erie Lithographing Company. At this time E. Walker Tool Company 
was reorganized and incorporated as a stock company, with a capital 
of fifty thousand dollars, and in 1888 Mr. Walker severed his connection 
with the company, shortly after which he organized what is now the 
Erie Specialty Company, on an upper floor of what was then Reifle 
Pump Works plant, on West Twelfth street; the business was a partner- 
ship affair, consisting of Benjamin B. Brown, present collector of the 
port of Erie, T. A. Thomas, and Mr. Walker, as equal partners. Three 
years later Mr. Walker bought out the interests of his partners, and 
took as partner Z. T. Brindley, at the same time changing the name 
of the firm, which was Erie Specialty Manufacturing Company, to Erie 
Specialty Company. In 1902 the business was incorporated, with a 
capital of one hundred thousand dollars, and Mr. AValker's son, Clarence 
L. W'alker, became the third stockholder and an officer of the company. 
October, 13, 1908, Mr. Walker purchased the holdings of stock belonging 
to Mr. Brindley, and since this time all the stock has been held by him 
and his immediate family. 

Mr. Walker has natural gifts in the lines of inventor, mechanic, 
manufacturer and salesman, in combination with great executive ability 
and business acumen. He has a thorough knowledge of all details of 
his business, and is equally efficient in the office, the factory or on the 
road as salesman, a combination rarely found in one individual. The 
large enterprise over which he presides has been completely under his 
control from the beginning, and its policies shaped and executed by 
him. He has taken out some fifty or more patents, all his own inventions, 
covering articles and appliances which are leaders in their lines, and 
find a ready market not only in all parts of the United States, but in 
foreign countries as well. They are in the lines of sundries for hotels 
and kitchens, hardw^are articles, soda water specialties, and metal 
advertising contrivances, all of which are manufactured at the Erie plant 
on West Twelfth street. The company occupies a three-story brick 
building, covering three hundred sixty-five square feet, modern in con- 
struction, and containing special automatic machinery, all designed and 
constructed by ^Ir. Walker and his son. The Erie Specialty Company 
is very successful as a business enterprise, and ranks among Erie's 
leading industries, while its guiding and controlling spirit, Edwin Walker, 
has long been accorded a place among the city's most enterprising and 
progressive manufacturers. Besides managing the affairs of th.e factorv, 
Mr. Walker gives his personal attention to the sale of their products, 
spending considerable time in visiting the large trade centers of the 
country, in search of trade. Though busy in the interest of his business 
ventures, Mr. Walker finds time to spend in the interest of hi; fellow- 
citizens, and the progress and development of the city and its institutions, 
and is an active member of the Chamber of Commerce and Board of 
Trade. 

In physical characteristics Mr. Walker inherits the fine frame and 
figure of the \\'alker family, but has inherited to a remarkable degree 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 7 

the features of the Granger family. So strong is his resemblance to 
them, in fact, that when he paid a visit to the old Granger home at 
Suiifield, Connecticut, on being introduced to a man who had ten genera- 
tions before branched from the Granger family, the two men bore such 
a striking likeness to each other as to be immediately noticed, and 
frequently commented on. Before Mr. Walker's identity was known in 
the town, several old inhabitants recognized in him a descendant of the 
Granger family. 

Edwin Walker married, in 1871, Edith May Wight, born at Sheri- 
dan, New York, and reared from early childhood at Silver Creek, same 
state. Her father, Amos Wight, who died at Fredonia, New York, 
at the age of seventy-six years, was a man of unusual gifts, being author, 
poet, artist and newspaper man. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Walker are: Clarence L., of whom further mention is made; Jessie, 
who married Miles Sterrit, of Erie; Mary G. married Albert Steiner, 
of Erie ; Edith May died at the age of four years ; Bertha E., living at 
home ; and Irene, who resides with her parents. 

Clarence L. Walker, treasurer and superintendent of the Erie 
Specialty Company, is one of Erie's well-known young manufacturers. 
He was born at Silver Creek, New York, November 15, 1871, and 
educated in the common schools and commercial college. Since com- 
pleting his education he has been identified with the business interests 
of his father who finds in him an able assistant in the conduct of his 
affairs. He also is a member of the board of trade. Mr. Walker 
married Alice, daughter of John and Anna (Webber) Strucken, both 
natives of Germany. The father was born in 1831 and the mother, who 
was born in 1830, died in 1890. Mr. and Mrs. Walker became parents 
of one son, Clarence Edwin, July 4, 1906. 

Winter J. Olds. "Jesse" Olds, the proprietor of the Union City 
Greenhouse, represents a family well-known in Erie county. The Olds 
family is of English origin, but w'as established in the colonies as early 
as 1669, the founder of the American line being Dr. Robert Old (also 
written Ould), who, according to colonial records, resided in Windsor 
and Suffield, Connecticut, from 1669 to 1728, and whose third son, 
Mindwell Old, was the first white child born in Suffield. Robert Old 
was the father of fourteen children, thirteen of whom were sons, and 
at least ten of these sons grew to manhood. There was little of "race 
suicide" among the early Olds families as the official records of the 
state of ]\Iassachusetts contain the names of more than twenty members 
of this family who bore honorable part in the early Indian and French 
wars, and of more than fifty of this name who served in the Revolu- 
tionary war. The direct ancestor of the Erie county Olds families was 
Captain William Old, the sixth son of Robert Old, who lived in Brook- 
field, Massachusetts, where he was the first to organize and establish 
the public school system in that town, and the first public school was 
held in his home. Captain William Old took active part in the famous 
Cape Breton expedition in Queen Anne's war 1746-1747. The siege and 
capture of Louisburg, by this expedition was reckoned one of the most 
notable military events in history. 

The fourth son of Captain William Old was Ezekiel, who is on 
record as having been a sergeant in the French and Indian war in 1751, 
and a captain of ^Massachusetts troops at the siege of Boston and the 



8 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

battle of Bunker Hill. He was also a member of the Committee of Cor- 
respondence, Inspection and Safety, dying in the service in 1777. 

The sixth son of Captain Ezekiel Old was Phinehas, who settled about 
1795 in Williamstown, Vermont, where he became eminent as one of 
the leading agriculturists of that part of the state. He was the father 
of thirteen children, seven of whom were sons, and four of these sons 
settled in Erie county. The eldest of these sons was Joel Olds, who 
came with a company from Vermont in the early spring of 1813. This 
Company were intending to go on to Ohio and settle in the "Western 
Reserve," but having camped overnight at a little settlement then or 
later known as Federal Hill (now wnthin the city limits) a sudden thaw 
set in and the company having come on sleds or sledges found themselves 
unable to proceed on the bare ground and were constrained to settle 
in that immediate neighborhood — thus many good citizens were saved 
to the state of Pennsylvania who except for "hard sledding" would have 
gone further west. Joel Olds settled about two miles south of the city 
near the old French Military road. He was followed some two cr three 
years later by the next younger brother, Asa Gilbert Olds, who settled 
on the Lake Pleasant road just where the P. & E. R. R. now crosses 
that highway. He became the father of the late L. W. Olds, for many 
years one of the leading residents of Erie City, Nelson Olds, late of 
Greene township, and Erskine Olds, late of the old homestead in Mill 
Creek township. A few years later came another brother, Elisha Olds, 
who settled on the next farm east while still later, in 1835, came Lewi^, 
seventh and last son of Phinehas Olds. Lewis was born in Williams- 
town, \^ermont, March 14, 1814, and located in Conneautville, where 
in 1840 he was married to Eunice V. Scovel, whose ancestry also dates 
back to the Revolutionary period and whose maternal grandfather was 
Col. John Titus, a member of Washington's staff, who by special act 
of Congress was granted a pension for gallant service. The children 
born of this union were Mary E., born April 7, 1850 ; Independence L., 
born July 4, 1852, at Conneautville; and Winter Jesse, born in Fillmore 
county, Minnesota, January 22, 1860. 

Winter J. Olds followed clerking during the first year of his business 
life, and coming to Union City in 1873 he has since made his home here. 
Fie is the present proprietor of the Union City Greenhouse, one of 
the leading establishments of its kind in Erie county. He is well versed 
in the germination and cultivation of flowers of every kind native to cr 
grown in this climate, but he has made a specialty of the growing of 
chrysanthemums. His greenhouse contains ten thousiind square feet of 
glass, and he receives orders from all parts of the United States, his 
trade extending as far as Oregon, Texas and Nova Scotia, and this 
extensive business has grown from his small gardening plant of 1882. 

On the 22d of January, 1889, Mr. Olds was married to Miss Evan- 
geline Van Meurs, and they have had four children: Lewis W., born 
November 18, 1889; Mary E., deceased, was born September 4, 1892; 
Hugh W. was born April 13, 1895; and John Alfred was born June 
27, 1904. Mr. Olds votes with the Prohibition party, is one of the 
pioneers of that party organization in Erie county, and has served as 
secretary of the Prohibition county committee and is one of its strongest 
men and most efficient workers in the county. He is a member of the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the Royal Arcanum. Since 
1884 his religious home has been with the Presbyterian church. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 9 

Franklin Farrar Adams. Now a retired and deeply honored 
citizen of Erie, Franklin F. Adams was for half a century a leader not 
only in its business and industrial development, but in its municipal and 
civic progress. A pioneer in many things; ultimately successful in all 
his undertakings ; a careful, practical calculator, and yet a broad operator 
in all the affairs of his life — Mr. Adams is a typical New Englander, 
transplanted in his youth to the more stirring life of Pennsylvania, where 
his substantial and adaptable nature has developed into a type of man- 
hood fully representative of the state and his home community. Ex- 
mayor of Erie, ex-president of its board of trade, for years at the head 
of some of its largest business and industrial enterprises — no man is 
more representative of past progress, present aspiration, and future ad- 
vancement all along the line. 

Air. Adams was born at Amherst, New Hampshire, on August G, 
1830, son of Levi and Lucy (Farrar) Adams, natives respectively of 
the Granite and the Green Mountain states. Li early life his father 
was a merchant, subsequently keeping a hotel at Ipswich, New Hamp- 
shire, and farming near that town, his death occurring on his homestead 
in the latter locality in 1834. Following the death of her husband, when 
Frank F. was but four years of age, the widow went to make her home 
with her father in \ermont. At the age of nine years the boy was 
apprenticed to a farmer to remain until he reached his twenty-first year, 
at the end of wliich service he was to receive one hundred dollars in 
money and a yoke of oxen. But his new home was not congenial to 
young Adams and at the end of a year his mother took him away. When 
he was twelve years of age the boy came to Pennsylvania and spent 
a year with his uncles, F. F., and A. J. Farrar, merchants at Waterford, 
this county. He then joined his uncle, Wheeler Farrar, of Boston, and, 
until 1848, resided on Mr. Farrar's farm at Lexington, Massachusetts. 
Then (in his eighteenth year) he left the Lexington farm and returned 
to Waterford, soon afterward buying the right for Permsylvania for 
the manufacture and sale of a patent washing machine. This v^'as the 
commencement of a long and remarkably successful career in this 
field. Mr. Adams began the manufacture of the washing machines 
at Waterford on a very small scale, first selling the finished product to 
the citizens of the village and surrounding country. A year later he sold 
his patent rights for $2,000, with which he went to Winchendon, Mass- 
achusetts, where he purchased a machine for the manufacture of clothes- 
pins. This he brought to Waterford and installed it at Middleton dam, on 
French creek, at which point was located the Hayes chair factory, and 
to which concern he sold his business a year later. He next began the 
manufacture of cheese boxes in Waterford. In equipping this factory 
he went to the state of Maine and purchasing a steam engine of a 
Kennebec river mill owner shipped it to Waterford. But the engine 
was delayed in transit and was finally frozen in the ice of the Erie 
canaJ. Impatient to get his box factory in operation, Mr. Adams de- 
termined not to waste the winter, and so came to Erie and had the old 
firm of Senet and Barr make him an engine. Discovering, also, on the 
docks, a boiler that had been taken out of the steamer "Missouri," 
he purchased it and shipped it to Waterford. Within thirty days his 
engine was complete, but he put in the balance of that winter in sawing 
lumber. In the spring, however, he began the making of cheese boxes 
and so continued for two years, when he sold his factory to H. H. 



10 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Whitney. The Alaine engine finally arrived, but he sold it to Walter 
Little, of Erie. 

After disposing of his cheese box factory, as a member of the firm 
of Phelps and Adams, j\Ir. Adams engaged in general merchandising 
at Waterford, but after an experience of about two years in this line 
sold his interest in the business. At about this time he was seized with 
the prevailing "Colorado gold fever," but his attack proved so light 
that it passed away in the establishment of a general store at Waterford 
which he called "Pike's Peak Store." This he conducted for about 
two years, when he sold it to a Mr. Oliver. In 1860 Mr. Adams came to 
Erie and took a clerical position in the wholesale grocery store of Johnson 
Bros., receiving a salary of $1,200 a year. He induced the firrn to 
handle flour, put some of his own money into the venture, and received 
half the profits made on the sale of that commodity. A year later he 
left the firm and, with Casimer Seigel, engaged for about three months 
in the flour and feed business, when Mr. Adams bought the bakery of 
Dodd Goodrich, on the corner of Fifth and Sassafras streets, at the 
same time opening and operating a "variety" store on State, near Fifth 
street. Knowing nothing about baking Mr. Adams went to Bufifalo in 
quest of a practical baker, and in that city met William S. Sands, then 
about eighteen years old, whom he brought back to Erie in that capacity. 
Their division of labor was as follows : young Sands would go to work 
at three o'clock in the morning baking rolls which a\Ir. Adams would 
load, hot and crispy, into the two-wheeled cart he had bought in Bufifalo, 
and, ringing a large bell, would peddle his goods over the city in time 
for breakfast. That was the first time the people of Erie were supplied 
with hot rolls for breakfast from an outside source, and, so far as 
history goes, the last time. In his variety store, Mr. Adams established 
the first ice cream parlor in Erie, and also the first depot for the sale 
of fresh oysters in cans. He also manufactured candy in large quantities 
and put men and wagons on the road to sell his goods all over northern 
Pennsylvania. After becoming firmly established in this business his 
plant was destroyed by fire with considerable loss, but he removed across 
the street to the southeast corner of Fifth and State streets and con- 
tinued there for about two years, when he sold out to Benar and 
Burgess. 

In the course of a year, however, he opened another store on North 
Park Row, where he remained for about two years, and next removed 
to State street near Eighth. There he established another bakery^ in 
connection with his variety store, also continuing the ice cream parlor. 
While at that location a man came to Erie with a patent driven well, 
the rights of which he tried to sell Mr. Adams. Of course it was a new 
thing and Mr. Adams was skeptical, naturally remaining unconvinced 
when the experiment made in the rear of the store was a failure. Mr. 
Adams, therefore, refused to purchase and the man departed to Corry. 
this county, in his search for a purchaser, leaving the pipe in the ground 
where it had been sunk. Then Mr. Adams investigated and experi- 
mented himself, and for a change drove the pipe into the gravelly soil 
in front of the store with the result that it brought water. When the 
man returned to Corry still anxious to sell the rights in Erie county 
at any cost, Mr. Adams secured them for about one hundred dollars 
"taken out in trade." After several demonstrations in different parts of 
the county the purchaser began selling township rights, and in about 
a month's time cleared about $3,500 on the well. Later, ^Ir. Adams 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 11 

removed his store to the old Noble (now Penn) block, Eighth and 
State streets, and there continued for two years, when he sold his 
business to George Barr. 

In the meantime Mr. Adams had conceived the idea of engaging in 
the manufacture of patented articles, and finally made arrangements 
with the late M. N. Lovell and a Mr. Walker as partners to carry out 
his plans. They erected a brick factory one door south of the corner 
of Eleventh and State streets, installed the necessary machinery and 
began the manufacture of washing machines, step and extension ladders, 
etc. After the plant was in full operation, Mr. Adams entered into a 
contract with A. H. Franciscus, a wealthy carpet merchant of Phila- 
delphia, whereby that gentleman was to be furnished with one hundred 
and fifty thousand washing machines to be delivered at the rate of one 
hundred per day, Mr. Franciscus to have the sole right of sale for the 
United States. At the appointed time shipment of the machines began 
as agreed upon and continued until Mr. Franciscus, failing to dispose 
of them by sale as rapidly as anticipated, countermanded the order. Mr. 
Adams called on him, made a reduction in the price of the machines, 
and the deal continued, but not for long, as finally the contract was 
rescinded by the payment of $5,000 to Mr. Adams and his partners. 
The machines thus being left on his hands, Mr. Adams began a selling 
campaign throughout the county by disposing of sale rights in dififerent 
localities ; and so successful was he in this venture that the machines 
brought greater returns than if the contract with the Philadelphia mer- 
chant had been carried out. 

Mr. Adams' next move was to build the F. F. Adams factory on 
Cherry street, near Fourteenth, where the manufacture of the different 
articles was continued. In the meantime both Mr. Walker and Mr. 
Lovell had withdrawn from the business ; but on the completion of the 
new factory Mr. Lovell returned and Messrs. T. W. and C. W. Farrar 
were received as partners. Sometime later Mr. Lovell again withdrew 
and was succeeded by Mr. Adams' son, Charles F. The business flour- 
ished, became highly successful and remunerative to all interested. In 
1880 the factory, after having been enlarged by the addition of another 
story, was destroyed by fire, at a loss of upwards of $80,000, covered 
by insurance, however. The company began at once to rebuild and until 
the completion of the new plant small factories were rented, in different 
parts of the city, and manufacturing operations were scarcely inter- 
rupted. The enterprise met with strong competition from large concerns 
all over the country; suit was brought by rivals for infringement and 
much expensive litigation ensued ; but Mr. Adams and his partners met 
the opposition at all points and continued a successful business. In 
1888 was formed the American Wringer Company to which the F. F. 
Adams Company sold its business for $330,000, its founder at that time 
owning a three-fifth's interest. The Erie plant was then closed, and Mr. 
Adams retired from active business. In 1886, Mr. Adams purchased 
the Hoskinson farm of one hundred acres, just east of the city on the 
Lake road, and there he spends his summers. It may be added that 
he recently sold fifty acres of this tract to the General Electric Company 
for its projected plant, for which he received. one thousand dollars an 
acre. 

Mr. Adams always took an active and prominent part in public 
affairs, and in 1885 was elected mayor of the city, but ill health made 
it necessary for him to resign after he had served about a year and a 



12 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

half of his term. He has also served as president of the board of trade, 
of which he is yet a member ; is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, 
and for fifteen years was president of the Humane society. He is a 
Mason of high degree. Reared from boyhood as a Universalist, Mr. 
Adams has long been very active in the local church at Erie. In 1854 
Mr. Adams married Martha A., daughter of WiUiam Lowell. His wife 
was born in Jamestown, New York, in 183G, and died at Erie in 1901. 
To Mr. and Mrs. Adams the following children were born; Charles F., 
Jennie F. and Frankie, the two last named being deceased. 

As already stated, the status which Mr. Adams holds at Erie is 
that of a representative citizen, but the fact should be emphasized that 
he stands for its best type not for his strength and ruggedncss of char- 
acter alone. He has struggled manfully against great material obstacles 
and forged on to success, but he has not thereby become proud,- hard 
and autocratic. He is a man of too much breadth and depth for that. 
On the contrary the struggles along the hard road have mellowed him 
and made him kind and charitable toward his toiling, stumbling fellows. 
and this combination it is, more than all else, which has given him the 
enviable standing he now enjoys. 

Erastus B. Lipton, retired, is one of the well known citizens of 
Erie and for years was esteemed one of the most expert accountants of 
this section of the state. A native of Pennsylvania, born at Milesburg, 
Center county, on September 29, 1832, he is a son of Samuel Lipton, also 
a native of that county, born in 1801. The grandfather, Robert Lipton, 
was a native of Ireland who came to Center county in the seventeenth 
century. He was a farmer and was also interested in iron works, in 
connection with the Curtins (father of Governor Curtin) owning a num- 
ber of furnaces. As a young man. Samuel learned the trade of shoemak- 
ing which he followed for a number of years, and subsequently engaged 
both in mercantile and lumbering pursuits. The latter business was 
mainly conducted on the Susquehanna river, in Center and Clearfield 
counties in connection with Governor Bigler. Grandfather Lipton mar- 
ried Anna Maria Hoover, a native of Center county born in 1802, daugh- 
ter of Jacob Hoover, also born in that county, of German ancestry. Sam- 
uel Lipton died March 20, 1850, and his widow passed away March 2, 
1877, mother of the following: Robert, deceased; James H., who re- 
sides in Kansas ; Nancy Jane, who married William ]\IcMean and re- 
sides in Center county, Pennsylvania; Theodore, deceased; E. B., of this 
sketch; John H., Anna Eliza, Samuel and David A. P., all deceased; 
Edwin, who resides in Oregon, and Mary Clara, also dead. 

^Ir. Lipton. of this biography, was reared in Center county and 
received his education in its common schools, and at Allegheny College. 
As a lad, he clerked in his father's store, his collegiate course being 
pursued after the death of the senior Mr. Lipton. In 1852, when twenty 
years of age, Erastus went out to California, spending about eighteen 
months in Sonoma and Napa counties. Returning to Center county he 
became successively associated with an uncle and two brothers (Robert 
and James) in the lumber business. In 1856 he located in the northern 
part of Iowa, where he remained until 1863 returning then to Center 
county and for two years being a clerk in the office of prothonotar>'. 
then held by his uncle, at Bellefonte. In ISG-i he came to Erie, at the 
invitation of J. Johnston, taking charge of his books and remaining with 
the Imuse after it became Tohnston and Brevillier. Later he acted as 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 13 

bookkeeper for Clemens, Caiighey and Burgess, grocers, and subsequent- 
ly for W. L. Scott and Company and the Stearns Manufacturing Com- 
pany. Mr. Lipton was then connected with a bank at St. Petersburg, 
Clarion county, Pennsylvania. Returning from the latter place in May, 
1800, he assumed a position as bookkeeper for the Jarecki Manufacturing 
Company, at the time mentioned Henry and Charles Jarecki being at 
the head of the works. For twenty-seven years Mr. Lipton remained 
as head bookkeeper for that company, retiring in 1907 on account of ill 
health. 

In 1862 Mr. Lipton was married to ^lartha R. Pruden. who was 
born in Mercer county, Pennsylvania, daughter of Isaac Pruden, an 
early settler of that section. She died in 1901:, at the age of sixty-three, 
mother of the following: — Cora N., who resides with her father; Anna 
M., wife of James D. Hay; Emma, deceased; John H., bookkeeper with 
the Jarecki Manufacturing Company; and Ada, who married A. W. 
Milne, treasurer of the Ball Engine Works. Mr. Lipton is one of the 
oldest and most honored business men of Erie, his entire hfe being a 
fine and striking illustration of faithfulness and efficiency. A Democrat 
in pohtics, he has been too busily engaged performing the legitimate 
duties assigned him to engaged in politics, and, in retirement, has no in- 
clination to enter the field. 

William S. Brown. The late William Saltsman Brown, who died 
in his native city of Erie in his eighty-second year, was both a remark- 
able and a thoroughly good man. There are few who have been con- 
nected with the founding and up-building of the place who have made 
so fine a record as he, in so many active and practical fields. In the 
founding of railroads and elevators, in the administration of the public 
service, in the development of the common school system and in the 
support of worthy charities, his strong, clear mind and generous, warm 
heart were ever constant influences always working for the 
substantial and higher interests of the city to which he was so firmly 
attached. His noble wife, who survived him less than two months, was 
even more a pioneer and a leader than he himself, in the establishment 
and promotion of not a few of Erie's most worthy charities. Airs. Brown 
will be long remembered with gratitude and love as one of the founders 
of the Home for the Friendless, the true mother of the Bethel Mission 
and to the last, an ardent and unfaltering promoter of not only their ad- 
vancement but of the general progress of practical charity and philan- 
thropy in her community. 

William S. Brown was born in the old Brown block, on French 
street, opposite the Reed House, on November 20, 1826, his father, Sam- 
uel Brown, being a native of Berks county, Pennsylvania, born in 1796. 
The Brown family came to America in 1736, settling in Berks county 
at an early day. Samuel located in Erie in 1822, and there became a 
man of prominence. There he also married Elizabeth Saltsman, born in 
1800, at Wesleyville, just east of Erie, William Saltsman, her father, was 
a native of Pennsylvania, son of Anthony Saltsman (who was killed by 
the Indians on the Susquehanna river) and first came to Erie county in 
1796, being well known as one of its surveyors. Settling here permanent- 
ly in 1800, he married Jane Stephenson and died in 1865, his wife passing 
away in the following year. 

It may be stated as one of the early and noteworthy events in the 
life of William S. Brown that he was the first child baptized in the First 



14 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Presbyterian church of Erie. He was educated at the Erie Academy and 
at the age of fourteen years was ready to enter Princeton College, but 
because of business reverses which his father sufifered, he enrolled him- 
self as a world's worker at this time instead of a college student. At 
first he became a clerk for his uncle and three years later entered the 
Erie postoffice in a like capacity. Later he assumed a position in the 
office of General Reed and thus became an associate of the late Hon. W. 
L. Scott and the ties of intimacy and friendship thus formed, death alone 
terminated. It was at this period of his railroad career that Mr. Brown 
became a member of the committee which received Zachary Taylor, then 
lately returned from the Mexican war, who came to Erie county to 
participate in the celebration of "Perry Day" in 1849. In 1851 Mr. 
Brown became the local agent of the Erie & North East Railroad (now 
the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern) and later continued that office 
with that of treasurer, being thus identified with the railroad for many 
years. He was prominent during the "railroad war" and in 1865 be- 
came superintendent of the Erie & Pittsburg Railroad, having previous- 
ly been a director of the old Oil Creek Railroad. In 1866, with Orange 
Noble, Joseph AlcCarter and Henry Shannon, Mr. Brown built the first 
elevator in Eric, an enterprise which was the beginning of the Erie and 
Western Transportation Company, now the Anchor Line The elevator 
property was afterward sold to the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and 
Mr. Brown's active interest in railroads closed at that time. As agent 
at Erie he had charge of the train which carried Abraham Lincoln 
through Erie on his way to this first presidential inauguration and in 
1865 he had charge, in the same capacity, of the train which bore the 
remains of the martyred president through Erie toward Springfield, Illi- 
nois. He was brought prominently before the public, in 1876, in con- 
nection with the great Ashtabula railroad wreck, being selected to as- 
sist in the settlement of claims against the Lake Shore Railroad. 

During President Grant's first term, Mr. Brown's name was sent to 
the United States senate for confirmation as collector of revenue for his 
district. Senator Cameron was his sponsor; the appointment (quite un- 
solicited) was unanimously confirmed and he resigned the office after 
holding it about eighteen months, subsequently serving as deputy col- 
lector of customs of the Erie port for four years under the administration 
of Presidents Taylor and Fillmore. At a later date Mr. Brown had a 
personal acquaintance with Grant, Conkling and other men of national 
note. Locally, he served for eleven years on the Erie school board ; but 
in still later years he lived in retirement, his only active participation be- 
ing in connection with his directorship of the Second National Bank, 
with which institution he had long been identified. 

On October 10, 1845, Mr. Brown married Rosena, the daughter of 
the late Joseph and Sallie (Shattuck) Winchell, of Erie. The Winchells, 
who were of English origin, first settled in New England, and then in 
New York state, migrating to Erie at an early date. Her mother was 
Ijorn at Harborcreek. Eric county. Mrs. Brown was educated in Erie 
and, even as a young girl, was active in church work. As stated she was 
one of the founders of the Home for the Friendless and an ardent pro- 
moter of its interests, as well as the founder of the Bethel Mission. On 
October 10, 1903, Mr. and Mrs. Brown celebrated their golden wedding 
anniversary at the old Brown home. No. 831 Peach street, where they 
had lived during the entire fifty years. At that time they were the only 
couple living who were born in Erie. ^Ir. Brown died July 24, 1908, 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 15 

his widow surviving him only until September 19th following. They 
had become the parents of three children. Andrew Scott, the eldest, was 
born February 11, 1855; educated in the Erie schools and at Lafayette 
College and began his railroad career as cashier of the Lake Shore & 
Michigan Southern Railroad at Erie. He then became identified with 
the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad at Denver, Colorado, and subsequently 
with the general traffic department of the Chicago & Northwestern Rail- 
way at Chicago. Benjamin Bruce, the second child, was born January 
22, 1859. He was educated in the public schools and at Erie Academy 
and was engaged in the wholesale iron business as a member of the firm 
of Brown and Thomas from 1879 to 1906. Benjamin B. Brown was ap- 
pointed collector of the port in 1895, which position he has since held, 
as well as that of custodian of federal properties in Erie. He is a mem- 
ber of the Chamber of Commerce, of the Erie Club, of all the Alasonic 
bodies, and the Elks, now serving on the building association of the latter 
order. His wife (nee Sophia Dinsmore) was born in Erie and is a daugh- 
ter of W. W. and Amy (Bliss) Dinsmore. They have one daughter, Amy 
Dinsmore Brown. JMary, the third child of Mr. and Mrs. William S. 
Brown, is the wife of Commander George R. Clark, United States Navy. 

August Albert Schutte, of Erie, one of its leading business men 
of the younger generation, of late has attained special prominence as a 
grocer— so much so, that he was selected as a delegate from the local 
association to the last annual convention of his business associates. Mr. 
Schutte was born at No. 1041 West Fifth street, Erie, December 17, 
1868, but has lived at No. 926, on that thoroughfare, for the past thirty- 
five years. Consequently he may be said to be fairly settled in the city 
of Erie. August Schutte, the father, was one of the city's early promi- 
nent German citizens, who for many years was closely identified with its 
business and public life. He was a native of Hanover, Germany, born 
in 1827, and came to the United States and to Erie about 1817. Four 
brothers emigrated to this country at the same time, the only one alive 
being Frederick, a resident of Erie. August was engaged in various lines 
of business in the city, being a wholesale dealer in fish, a restaurant 
keeper, and for many years a constable in the Fourth ward. He was 
also at one time in the clothing business, associated with Captain Frank 
Wagner. August Schutte served in the Civil war as a member of Com- 
pany I, One Hundred and Eleventh Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer 
Infantry. He married Caroline Ludwig, at Erie, the wife being born 
in Helmstadt Baden, Germany, and still living in her seventy-fifth year. 
The father died in 1875 from long-continued inflammatory rheumatism 
originally contracted during the war. The deceased was a member of St. 
Paul's Lutheran church. Four of the eight children born to Mr. and 
Mrs. August Schutte are still living, as follows: — Charles W., a resident 
of Erie ; Carrie, who married Albert Henderson, a former Erie county 
man who now lives in Buffalo, being at the time the widow of John 
E. Graham; August A., of this sketch; and William L., also an Erie 
citizen. 

August A., of this sketch, was reared in Erie and attended the public 
schools of that city until the age of thirteen years, when he and his broth- 
er William entered the Pennsylvania Soldiers' Orphans School, at Mercer. 
At this writing Mr. Schutte is president of the school organization known 
as the "Sixteeners" for the year 1909, of eighteenth reunion of ex-stu- 
dents which will be held at Mercer, Wednesday and Thursday of the 



16 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

third week in August. These are the permanent dates for the reunion, 
or conventions, which are attended by former students from all sections 
of the country, in which list is included a substantial array of leading 
citizens. The old school itself is now out of existence. 

Before he was thirteen years of age, August A. Shutte had gone 
to work in the old rolling mills, and, upon returning from his schooling 
at Mercer, he secured employment with J. E. Patterson in what was then 
called the "99-cent Store." He ultimately joined the revenue cutter 
"Perry" as a wardroom boy, in which capacity he served two years, and 
was then wardroom steward for two years. All-in-all he devoted five 
years to the lake service, the last two years with the merchant marine. 
]\Ir. Schutte was married in 1889 and then spent several years as a clerk, 
a portion of the time for John Shields, whose store w^as at Fourth and 
Myrtle streets. The following year he was janitor of the No. 10 public 
school, after which, for three years, he was connected with the grocery 
store of Levi Roland, and for five years with the John Scorlett Grocery 
Company. In 1900 he established his own grocery at No. 928 East Sixth 
street where he continued for three years, and then removed to Ninth 
and German streets. After remaining at the latter location for four 
years he removed to his present place, No. 408 State Street. In all 
justice to Mr. Schutte's present high standing as a business man, and 
his steady advancement, it should be added that he has nothing to thank 
except his own preseverance, ability and honor. He is not only the 
founder and owner of a fine business, but holds valuable city real estate 
and enjoys a reputation as substantial as it is honorable. 

In 1889 Air. Schutte married j\Iiss Frank B. Jordan, who was born 
in Harbor Creek township, Erie county, daughter of Warren W. Jor- 
dan, also a native of that township. When a boy of sixteen the latter 
enlisted in the Eighty-third Pennsylvania Regiment Volunteer Infantry. 
He married Matilda Roberts and both are still living. To ]\lr. and Mrs. 
August A. Schutte three children have been born as follows : Ethel, De- 
cember 22, 1891; Albert A., December 22, 1894; and F. Harold, May 9, 
190G. He is an active member of the Grocers' Association and the Busi- 
ness Men's Exchange. He served as a delegate from the former body 
to the annual grocers' convention held at New Castle, Pennsylvania, in 
1908 and is first alternate delegate to the 1909 convention of the ]\ler- 
chants' Association, to be held at Pottsville, Pennsylvania, and although 
a Republican has never been a politician. His grocery is one of the most 
up-to-date in the city and he carries not only a large and complete stock 
but his furniture and fixtures are of the best. He employs four clerks 
and keeps three delivery wagons in constant motion. Air. Schutte is one 
of the original stockholders in the Erie Wholesale Grocery Company and 
has an interest in the Mutual Ice Company. 

Frank W. Lairu, a well-known citizen and member of the general 
contracting firm of Laird Brothers, son of Wilson and Helen (Sloan) 
Laird, was born in the Third ward, in Erie., April 7, 186S. His father 
was born in Erie, February 29, 1825, and was the son of Thomas Laird, 
who was an early settler, and conducted one of the early taverns of 
Erie, one the site of the present office of the Western Union Telegraph 
Company, on the Northwest corner of Eighth and State streets. Wilson 
Laird was one of Erie's leading attorneys, and his fellow citizens 
honored him by electing him three times to the office of mayor of the 



THE fip^'vrypv f 

{PUBLIC L 

I 




Qy\ a^i?-o~-oL<i^ \yltjyty^-f^^4A^ ^ 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 17 

city; he died October 11. 1893. His wife was born at Pontiac, jNIich- 
igan, January 22, 1837. To Wilson and Helen (Sloan) Laird were born 
the followiiig children : Clarence, a printer, residing in Erie ; George 
B.. a printer, also resides at Erie ; ^Margaret, married Frank Webber, 
a contractor of Erie ; Helen, married William Comfort, and resides at 
Jamestown, New York; Frank W., of this article; Frederick W'., of the 
firm of Laird brothers, contractors; Edith, married Fred Davies, of 
Erie ; Lillian, married William AIcKinney, of Erie. 

Frank W. Laird received his education in the public schools of 
his native city and later learned the tanner's trade, but after working 
at it a short time started to learn the trade of carpenter. In 1898 he 
went into partnership with his brother Frederick, in the contracting 
business, and by their industry and careful attention to the details of 
their business they have built up a tiourishing enterprise. Mr. Laird has 
always been interested in the progress and affairs of Erie, and active 
in politics. In 19(Jo he was entered as a candidate for the common 
council, against his wishes, but to please the party, and carried the 
Fifth ward by more than one hundred fifty majority, while the can- 
didate for mayor on the opposing ticket, at the same time carried the 
ward by over four hundred majority. He is immensely popular with all 
who know him. and has a large circle of friends. He is a member of 
Perry Lodge, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, and also belongs to the 
P>enevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Knights of the Mac- 
cabees. Mr. Laird married Mary, daughter of George Mertz, born in 
Corry. Pennsylvania, and they have had six children, as follows : Helen, 
Frank, LeRoy, ]\Iarie, Josephine and George. 

Hkxrv Ki'Gi-x, of the firm of Gottfried & Company, of Erie, w'as 
born in Philadelphia. September 29, 1857; his parents were Jacob 
Kugel. who emigrated from Germany in 1846. and Pauline Maier. a 
native of (jermany. who came to the United States some time before 
her marriage. Henry Kugel lived in Philadelphia until 1894. and there 
learned the bakery business of his father, who had been established in 
that city in the business since 1850, and was very successful. Upon 
the death of his father, in 1890, Henry succeeded to the business and 
conducted same for some two and a half years, and then removed 
to Erie, having sol'd the bakery. He became a member of the firm 
of A. Gottfried & Compan}'. of Erie, and is considered one of the city's 
representative business men. He is a member of the German Baptist 
church, and is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of that institution. 
He has met with success in all his undertakings, and is a public-spirited 
and enterprising citizen of Erie, having the confidence and trust of all 
who have business or social dealings with him. 

^^Ir. Kugel married Wilhelmina Goebel. a native of Germany, who 
came to the United States when a young girl, and to them have been born 
the following children : Elsie, who is attending the Erie high school, 
Grace. Harry. Reuben, and Esther. 

Thomas Woods Sterrett, of the borough of Fairview. Erie county, 
is of the seventh generation of Sterretts of Pennsylvania, born at Ster- 
rtttania in IMcKean township, this county, and. like his father before 
him is engaged in conveyancing and private banking. 

]\Ir. Sterrett dates his birth March 14, 1873. His father, Thomas 
Sterrett. w^as a son of David and j\Iarv (Sterrett) Sterrett, and a grand- 
Vol. II— 2 



IS HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

son of James and Anna (McKnight) Sterrett; and James was a son of 
William and Jane (Morrow) Sterrett, who was a son of Robert and 
Alary (Ramsey) Sterrett; and Robert was a son of Benjamin and 
Isabella Sterrett. Robert and Isabella Sterrett moved from Scotland, 
their native land, during the religious persecutions there, and took refuge 
ni Donegal county, Ireland (then the home of persecuted Scots), to 
evade those opposed to their religious belief, and this was their home 
until about 1711) when they and their children: Thomas, John, Robert, 
Benjamin and Isabella together with their families emigrated to Penn- 
sylvania, then the asylum for the harassed and depressed sons and 
daughters of the relics of the reformation; and whither William Penn 
invited the persecuted of every creed and religious opinion. John and 
Benjamin ])artici])ated in Cresop's war and were among others who 
captured and took Cresop a prisoner to Philadelphia. They settled in 
what is now Lancaster county where one died in 1739; their numerous 
descendants are widely dispersed throughout the land, and their in- 
fluence contributed greatly to the progress of the community enlightened 
by their presence. Robert and Mary (Ramsey) Sterrett were married 
and their oldest son was three years of age at the time of their migration 
to America, and they settled in what is now Dauphin county, at Lower 
Paxtown township on Swatara creek, where they resided until his death 
April, 1777, and where they reared a family of seven children as follows: 
William, whom we will refer to; James, who was born in 1723, settled 
near Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, wdiere he died in 1808, he married Sarah 
Montgommery who survived him and died at the extreme age of nearly 
one hundred years. He had many descendants among whom were the 
Plon. James Patterson Sterrett, chief justice of the supreme court at 
Philadelphia, for many years, and Dr. John Patterson Sterrett of Pitts- 
burg; Agness, the wife of Samuel Hanna ; Mary, the wife of John Bow- 
man: David, who was born in 1746, removed to Cumberland county in 
1762, where he built a grist mill which he operated until his death 
November 2, 1790; and Robert Sterrett. William and Jane (Morrow) 
Sterrett removed to Cumberland county about 1750 and settled on the 
Barrens north of Big Springs, where he acquired considerable land. He 
held the office of sheriff and overseer of the poor for several terms and 
reared a family of seven children : Robert, who married Margaret Mc- 
Comb. and came to Erie county in 1804 and settled on four hundred 
acres of land in the north-west corner of McKean township, two hundred 
acres of which has ever since remained as the Sterrett homestead; James, 
whom we will refer to again; William: Thomas; Jane, who became the 
wife of William Trimble: Mary, the wife of James McKnight and Eliz- 
abeth who married a Mr. Laird. 

James Sterrett, born in 1755, married Anna McKnight, who was 
born in 1760, and, engaged in farming in Cumberland county until 1807, 
when he sold his fine farm of four hundred acres there, and came to 
Erie county in June of that year ; they came across the mountains with 
two four horse wagons and one two horse wagon for grandma and the 
children to ride in ; they cut their way through the forests and camped 
out at night. The village of Sterrettania was named after the wife of 
James "Sterrett Anna" who died March 30, 1815, he died October 15, 
1822, and they are buried in the Sterrett cemetery. He was a soldier in 
the Revolutionarx- war: their children were: Ann, who married George 
Clark, who are the parents of Robert, James, Samuel, David, Ann Eliza 
and Jane Clark; William, who married Martha Chambers, and has 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 19 

Chambers, James C, William, Benjamin, Ruth Ann, Louisa, Mary Jane, 
Martha R. and Ezekiel; James M., the tanner, who married Jane Spesser 
and they are the parents of James B., David, Joseph, William, Samuel, 
John Q. A., George L., of Erie, Caroline, Mary Jane, and Elizabeth; 
Jane, who became the wife of Sheldon Ball, and is the mother of Gideon, 
Ann, Maria C, Hermian, James and Eliza; David, whom we will refer 
to; Robert T., who married Mary Woods Stewart, and they are the 
parents of Woods, Jane, wife of David Clark. Eliza, wife of Hon. Samuel 
E. Woodruff, James S., Martha, Sophia. David, Joseph, Harriet and 
Robert ; Thomas, who married Sibby Jenkins, and whose children are 
Mariah, Fanny Lucinda, Harriet Jane, Eliza. Charlie J., Clementine, 
and Rose ; Samuel who married Lydia Kitsmiller, and has James, Joseph, 
Mary, Anna Levia, and Samuel ; Hon. Joseph M. Sterrett, who married 
Catharine Riblet. the founder of the Erie Gazette established January 
15. 1820, associate judge for several years, postmaster of Erie from 
March 27, 1861, to April 8, 1869, county commissioner in 1829, was 
captain of the Erie guards in 1823, was elected to state senate in 1837, 
the parents of Mary Ann, Jane, Elizabeth, David, Catharine, Joseph, 
Henryetta and John Sterrett. 

David Sterrett, born March 30, 1789, returned to his native place 
and on March 23, 1815, married Mary Sterrett, born March 10, 1794, 
a daughter of Robert and Martha (Woods) Sterrett. a granddaughter 
of David and Rachel (Innis) Sterrett and a great-granddaughter of the 
Robert and Mary (Ramsey) Sterrett above noted. He and his bride 
returned to the old farm on horse-back by the way of Pittsburg, it 
taking them three weeks to make the journey ; he built a sawmill and 
grist mill, in 1839, the latter of which is doing useful duty to this day. 
He cut down the timber in the primeval forest, which he sawed and 
seasoned, from which he built a large log house, in 1817, which still 
stands on the old farm. In 1828 he and his brother Thomas built a 
distillery which they operated for not more than six or seven years ; as 
according to his own statement "it was a hard proposition to make money 
trusting out whiskey." He donated the land for the grave-yard, the 
school house and the church ; the church was built by contract he having 
subscribed one hundred dollars and advanced most of the other subscrip- 
tions only a small portion of which was ever paid him ; the use of the 
church land contained a clause designating that the church was to be used 
by any denomination but that the Presbyterians were to be given the 
first preference. During the war of 1812 he was an ensign in the state 
militia, and bore a part in that war. He brought the first cook stove 
into the county which he carted from Pittsburg by teams. He died on 
the old farm December 22. 1865, his widow survived him, making her 
home with her son Thomas until her death January 13, 1873. Their 
children in order of birth are as follows: Ann M., who became the 
wife of Rev. Hiram Norton, and had two children. Lvsander and Mary 
Norton; Brice Innis; Martha J., who married Peter Wright; James L. ; 
Rachel R., the wife of Charles Brockway, parents of Mary. Fred B. 
and Charles; Mary E. ; Andrew J., who was the county commissioner's 
clerk for seventeen years, he married Helen Brecht. thev were the par- 
ents of Ralph B.. Reid G.. Scott, Lysander N., Mack M.. Andrew J.. 
Thomas G. and Ruth Ann ; Robert Woods, who married Mary Ann 
Sturgeon, has one son, David Innis ; Thomas, of whom further mention 
is made; Isabel, wife of Rev. A. Hall, the only survivor of this family; 
and David Brice Innis, who was a prominent attorney. 



20 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Thomas, father of T. Woods, was born March 20, 1830, in the old 
log house above referred to and passed his life on the old farm which 
came into his possession, in 18G8 he built a modern house opposite the 
old one. He was justice of the peace for nearly twenty-four years in 
succession, and it is said of him that he settled nearly every case brought 
before him ; that he never had a decision reversed in the higher courts. 
Vov many years he was a private banker for his neighbors, who went 
to him with their financial matters. He was one of the best known men 
in the county, was thoroughly posted regarding the financial standing of 
nearly every man within a radius of many miles, had no desire to hold 
office yet held all the important offices in the township, was well 
posted in law matters and did considerable legal writing; one could 
.scarcely go by his door without seeing teams hitched there. He was one 
who dearly loved his home and his family, a feeling which was reciprocal. 
Our readers need not be reminded of the manner in which he performed 
his work, there was a method in his business ; a patience and afifability 
in official intercourse; an unobtrusive civility and endurance of labor, 
a courtesy of manner, and tenacity of memory, accuracy in figures and 
neatness of penmanship, and a vigilant interest in the public weal which 
were strikingly manifest, which especially fitted him for this work. His 
home like that of his parents and grandparents was one of liberal hos- 
pitality. In all his long and eventful career no breath of suspicion ever 
sullied his fair name, he died February 20, 1898, respected by all. 

His widow, whose maiden name was Nancy C. Sturgeon, was born 
November 3, 1838, and was the eldest child of Samuel C. and ^lartha C. 
(Eaton) Sturgeon, a granddaughter of Jeremiah and Jane (Moorehead) 
Sturgeon, and Jeremiah was a son of Samuel and Margaret Sturgeon. 
From early childhood she was instructed in the doctrines and duties of 
the Christian faith, in early life she became a member of the Fairview 
Presbyterian church, whose doctrines and usages she has cordially in- 
dorsed. June 7, 1864, she was married and always cheerfully shared 
with her husband the toils, sacrifices and joys of his eventful life. In all 
the relations of domestic life in which she has been placed, she has been 
an honor to her sex, and, as the wife of a business man, was eminently 
useful. She now makes her home on the old farm with her son Theodore 
S. D. and reaps much pleasure visiting among her children who are 
always glad to have her with them. Of the children of ]Mr. and Mrs. 
Sterrett we record that Mollie M., wife of Samuel E. Persons, resides 
at Ripley, New York; Anna B.. wife of Lorin Benjamin Cushman is a 
resident of North East, Pennsylvania ; Theodore Samuel David married 
a Miss Minnie M. Carver, and they are the parents of Esther, Thomas, 
Barbara and Emma and he now owns and occupies the old homestead. 
He has filled the office of justice of the peace ever since the death of his 
father and is following the same work that his father laid down, which 
he is well prepared to perform; Charles James Johnson, deceased; 
Thomas Woods, whose name introduces this sketch ; and Fred Earl, who 
died in early life. 

T. Woods Sterrett received his education in the district school, 
and at an early age gave his attention to the study of architecture. For 
fifteen years he was engaged in general contracting. As already stated at 
the beginning of this sketch, he is doing a conveyancing and private 
banking business, and since 1902 he has filled the office of justice of 
the peace. Thus, in a measure, he has taken up the work laid down 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNT V 21 

by his honored father, and is carrying on that work in a manner that 
entitles him to the representative place he holds in the community. 

Mr. Sterrett is both a Mason and an Odd Fellow, being a member 
of the Masonic Lodge at Girard, the chapter, commandery and Shrine 
at Erie, and consistory at Pittsburg. November 14, 1899, he married 
Miss Sarena May Krcider, who presides over his home. She too is a 
native of Sterrettania. and was born February 26, 1876, on the old 
Kreider farm which joins the Sterrett farm on the north. She is a 
daughter of Levi M. and Sarena Francis (Weidler) Kreider, grand- 
daughter of John and Susan (Heidler) Kreider, and a great-grand- 
daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Rohrer) Kreider, who came to Erie 
county in 1829 from Lancaster county. She is a member of Trinity 
Episcopal church, also of the Eastern Star and Rebekahs. 

Mr. Sterrett in his researches has collected many relics, one of 
which he prizes the most is a piece of silk embroidered cloth which was 
a piece of the coat which his great-great-great-grandfather wore at the 
time of his migration to America. 

Ch.\rles II. Urick Sr., president of the L'rick Foundry Company, 
of Erie, was born at Lebanon, Pennsylvania, on the 18th of December, 
1849, and comes of a sturdy stock which has been established in that sec- 
tion of Pennsylvania for several generations. The maternal grandfather 
was a native of Pennsylvania, and the ancestry on both sides of the 
family is such as to account for the industrious, thorough and useful traits 
of character which have ever marked the personalities of the descendants. 
Mr. LTrick is the son of Elias and Amanda (Atkins) Urick. His father 
was a hatter by trade and, after working for many years at Lebanon, 
he accumulated a small capital to establish his own business; but just as 
he had opened a ])lace of his own, death claimed him. The widow died 
in Erie, the family moving to that city after Charles FI. had become a 
resident of it. 

Mr. Urick, of this sketch, spent his boyhood days at Lebanon, in 
whose public schools he was educated, and at the age of sixteen he com- 
menced work in a nut and bolt factory in that place. A year later he 
began to learn the trade of molding in the same establishment, and after 
following that occupation at Lebanon and other parts of the country 
until 1871, he became a resident of Erie and a molder for the Stears 
Manufacturing Company. In the following year he entered the employ 
of the Jarecki ^Manufacturing Company and in 1876 was promoted as 
foreman of its foundry department, continuing in that position of re- 
sponsibility until 1893. Li that year he was associated with the Walker 
Brothers in the establishment of the Walker foundry, of which he was 
superintendent until 1905. In February of that year he withdrew from 
the company and in the following April broke ground for the erection 
of the Urick foundry on Cherry street and the Lake Shore Railroad. 
With the incoropration of the LIrick Foundry Company, he was elected 
president and treasurer while his sons became identified with it in the 
following capacities : ^V. J. Urick, secretary ; W. J. LIrick and Charles H. 
LTrick Jr. (with Charles H. Urick Sr.), directors. The plant, which is 
strictly modern, covers an area of 16.'5 by 300 feet, all the main build- 
ings being of brick. The foundry proper is 90 by 96 feet, with an addi- 
tion 30 by 69 feet. In another building, 60 by 64 feet, are the cleaning 
and engine rooms and the carpenter shop. The pattern storage room is 
40 by 100 feet, and outside of these main structures are the office building, 
barns and sheds. The works employ an average of one hundred men, and 



22 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

the business has so expanded from Erie that it now covers northern 
Pennsylvania. Personally the senior member of the foundry company 
is thoroughly esteemed as one of the most skilled iron workers in the 
state which justly claims the best in the world, and in the broader field 
of business and manufactures he stands in the van. He is an influential 
member of the Erie Chamber of Commerce and in his religious faith is 
a stanch Presbyterian. His wife, formerly Margaret Moran, is a native 
of Erie, a daughter of William and Bridget Moran, and mother of the 
following: William J. Urick, secretary of the Urick Foundry Company, 
who married Miss Marie Diefenbaugh. of Erie; Charles H. Jr., a part- 
ner in the foundry company, who married Miss Florence Dunn, of that 
city; and Earl, also identified with the foundry, whose wife was former- 
Iv Miss Edna Hunt, of Erie. 

John Ferdinand Decker. The Decker family, which has taken so 
leading a part in the development of the southwestern portion of Erie, 
is typical of that useful, practical and progressive German-American 
element which is so largely at the basis of the prosperity of the urban and 
agricultural committees of the middle west. Children and parents have 
all contributed to its progress, and especially John F., of this biography, 
who has resided in the county for fifty-three years and is recognized 
as the largest property holder in southwestern Erie and one of its most 
honored citizens. In fact, the entire city sees in him one of its most 
sturdy builders and most able and upright men. He is the owner of 
half a dozen business blocks and a score of residences ; has behind him 
many years of successes as a merchant, and has been active and promi- 
nent in municipal and religious matters. He is, in a word, a rounded, 
wholesome German-American, proud of the liberal institutions of his 
adopted country, and contributing in every practical way, consistent with 
honor, to their advancement. 

The Decker family came from State Hesse, Germany, its pioneer 
member to come to the United States being Mary M., the eldest sister 
of John F., who became a resident of Erie in 1850. In 1862 she was 
joined by George, the eldest brother, and two years later came Jacob, 
another brother. In 1856 the parents, John Phillips and Eliza (Hufe) 
Decker, with their son, John F., and their daughters, Kate and Margaret, 
joined themselves to the Erie circle, and the household was then com- 
pletely transferred to America, the last contingent landing at New York, 
and coming to Erie on the Erie and Lake Shore roads. The family first 
settled on the East BufiFalo road, on a piece of land then owned by the late 
Dr. Brandis, near the shops of the Pittsburg & Lake Erie Railroad. About 
two years later they located on West Mill creek, between. Swantown and 
IManchester, but a few year^ xnereafter returned to the city, where the 
father died in ISG'v and the mother, in 1889. The parents were both 
members of the German Evangelical church. 

John F. Decker, of this biograjjhy, was born in the State Hesse, 
Germany, on the 13th of August, 1839, received his preliminary schooling 
in that part of Germany, antl was fifteen years of age when he came 
with his parents and two sisters to the United States. His first work 
after coming to r:rie county was in a paper mill near Swantown, and he 
hacl made some progress as a shoemaker's apprentice when he came to 
reside in the city in 1858 and entered the employ of Neibauer and Gross. 
Si.x months later, his health being threatened, he abandoned the trade 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 23 

altogether ; then entered the employ of his brother George in the grocery 
business, and was thus engaged until he was twenty-one years of age. 
This proved an epoch in his life in more ways than the attainment of 
his majority; for he then established a grocery of his own, on Peach 
street between Fifteenth and Sixteenth streets, asserting his independ- 
ence in business, as well as in all other affairs. At first he occupied 
rented quarters, but in a few years erected a brick store at No 1521 Peach 
street, in which he conducted his business during the period of the Civil 
war. In 1865 he sold his store and purchased the property at No. 427 
West Eighteenth street which now covers the site of his present resi- 
dence. The building of the car shops in the year mentioned suggested 
to Air. Decker's good business sense the establishment of another grocery 
business at No. 431 West Eighteenth street, for which purpose he erected 
a store at that location. For nearly thirty years thereafter he continued 
in business in that locality, engaging in the grocery line for more than 
ten years, and in a general trade (embracing groceries, shoes and dry 
goods) during the latter portion of the period, until 1894. His more 
general store was conducted at Nos. 450 and 452 West Eighteenth street, 
although quite early he turned the grocery department over to his daugh- 
ter, Kate J\I., retaining the dry goods, building a more commodious store 
and adding notions, wall paper and paint. In 1894 he turned over the 
latter business to his son, Edward J., who, live years later, erected his 
own store, the original enterprise being resumed by Mr. Decker and his 
son, Charles F. In 1905 the latter became its sole proprietor, and the 
elder man, the founder of so much of the substantial prosperity of south- 
western Erie, retired from the field as an active merchant. As a property 
holder, however, he still retains his old-time position, being the owner 
of six stores (all brick except one), and all located on West Eighteenth 
street except one (on Walnut and Seventeenth streets), as well as fifteen 
or more residences in southwest Erie, a fine house on West Eleventh 
street and a piece of property on the corner of French and Twenty-first 
street. 

Mr. Decker is best known to the people of Erie as an enterprising 
and successful business man, but there are other decided phases of his 
character. He is deeply interested in civic progress and, although his 
actual municipal service is confined to several years in the common 
council in the seventies, his advice in public matters has always been 
considered disinterested and valuable. He is a Republican, casting his 
first presidential vote for Lincoln, and remembers with gratitude that he 
was privileged to hear the solemn, quaint words of the great and simple 
man, while he was passing through Erie on his way to Washington and 
his inaugural. Mr. Decker is devoted to the faith of his forefathers — the 
Evangelical Lutheran — and has served as president, secretary and treasur- 
er of St. John's church in Erie. The members of his family are also 
active in the work of that society. Mr. Decker's wife, to whom he was 
married August 14, 1860, was Miss Elizabeth Felenbaker, who w^as born 
in Bavaria, Germany, and when only three years of age was brought 
by her parents to this county, first living on a farm and then removing 
tc the city. The four children of this union were as follows : Kate M., 
who married Henry H. Strieker, a citizen of Erie; Emma. Mrs. Charles 
R. Aichner, also of that city; Edward J., who married Emma Aichner, 
and Charles F., whose wife was Miss Anna Bierbauer, all residents of 
Erie. 



24: 111 ST( )RY OF ERIE COUNT V 

Christopher Rlokskr, whose special position in the business coni- 
nnuiity is treasurer of the Erie Wholesale Grocery Company, stands on 
a broad plane of public enterprise and citizenship. He is otherwise finan- 
cially interested in various industries of a private and semi-public nature, 
and is one of the large j)roperty owners of the city. In the special field 
of his greatest prominence he has been an active figure for the past 
tliird of a century, the Erie Wholesale Company being virtually his crea- 
tion. Mr. Blocser is a native of Erie, the place of his birth being a house 
on I'^rench street, which is second from the corner of Thirteenth street, 
and his birthday, June 10, 1848. His parents, Christopher and Elizabeth 
( Boer) Bloeser, were both born in Germany, but commenced their resi- 
dence in l'>ie when quite young. The father learned the carpenter's 
trade in that city and there followed it for many years, being one of the 
builders of the locks on the old Erie canal. His death in 18G9 resulted 
from an accident by which he fell from a railroad bridge. Mr. Bloeser's 
wife is a daughter of Laurence Boer, who, with his wife, located in Erie 
after the birth of the daughter mentioned, and died in the city at the age 
of ninety-three years. ]\lrs. Elizabeth Bloeser is not only still living at 
the age of ninety-one years, but remarkable to relate, is in the enjoyment 
of all her faculties. The six children born to this remarkable mother 
were as follows: Mary A., who is married ; Charles F., deceased, formerly 
of Erie; Helen, also married, who is the wife of C. Kessler, of Erie; 
Christopher, Jr., of this sketch ; John S. and William, also both of that 
city : and Anna, who resides in Erie and is the widow of Bruno Wieland. 

At the age of eleven years, Christopher Bloeser. who had been reared 
at Erie, went to work in Brown's Hotel at five dollars per month. His next 
employment was with Barney McGrapp, the clothier, and immediately 
after the Civil war, when he was in his eighteenth year, he became con- 
nected with the grocerv business of C. Kessler. He was successively 
employed in the same line and in the same building with Burton and 
Grifiith. r>urton and Wilkins and Mattheas Hartlet, and on April 1, 18TG, 
he began his independent career as a grocer by opening his store on the 
corner of East Eighteenth and Holland streets. He has occupied the 
same location continuously ever since, and on June 1, 1900, chiefly through 
his exertions, was organized the Erie Wliolesale Grocery Company. This 
was an outgrowth, or an ofifshoot, of the Erie Grocers' Association, each 
of which organizations has now its separate field of business. Mr. 
Bloeser has been treasurer of the later company from the time of its 
organization, lie is also financially interested in the Erie silk mills and 
the Mutual Telephone Company, and his successful business interests 
have brought him the abundant means which he has so largely invested 
in. real estate. In his ventures of this character, also, his sound judgment 
of present conditions and future ])rospects has brought him into the fore 
ranks of pro])erty owners. Among his valuable pieces of city property 
are three residences and one business block on Eighteenth street, and one 
residence on East Nineteenth street. Mr. Bloeser is an active member 
of the Erie Chamber of Commerce and the Erie Business Men's Ex- 
change. His political affiliations are with the Democracy, in national 
affairs, while in local matters he votes according to his independent judg- 
ment of men and measures. In his religious faith, he is a stanch 
Lutheran. Mr. Bloeser's wife was formerly Miss Elizabeth Koster. 
who was born in Erie and is a daughter of Laurence Koster, one of 
the well known merchants of the city, now deceased. Lillian and Clara, 
the two children by this marriage, are both at home. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUXTY 25 

Daniel Mitciiki.l McDannel, one of the best known citizens and 
business men of Erie, and vice president of the h:rie Wholesale Grocery 
Company, is a native of that city, born in a house which stood on the 
site of his present home and grocerv store at Nos. 900 and 908 East 
Sixth street, on the Tth of October, '18(51. Me is the son of O. H. P. 
McDannel, who was born in East Mill Creek township, this county, 
about 1832, and the grandson of Daniel McDannel, one of the pioneers 
of the township named. The mother of Daniel M. was Mary Ann Nel- 
son, a native of New York City born in 1842, whose father emigrated 
from Scotland and her mother, from Ireland — the former dying in the 
summer of 19U;5 and the latter still surviving. 

Daniel M. McDannel was reared in East Mill Creek township (now 
the city) until he was about live years old, the parents then locating 
on a farm on the i'.uffalo road and still later founding the homestead 
on the East Lake road. The boy received his education in the public 
schools ; worked on the home farm until he was twenty years old, and 
then went to work in the shops of the Lovell Manufacturing Company, 
M. N. Lovell, its proprietor, being his uncle by marriage to his mother's 
sister. After remaining about four years in the shops, the youth rented 
a farm in Harbor Creek township and operated it for chree }ears, re- 
turning then to his home farm on the Lake road in East i\Iill Creek 
township, where he spent six years in agriculture connected both with 
general farming and gardening. He next farmed in Suiumit township 
for a time, and on January l(i, 189(), located in Erie, i)urchased ground 
on East Sixth street, built a stone warehouse and engaged in the retail 
grocery business, which he has continued to successfully prosecute ever 
since. In August. 190(), he erected a large and handsome brick resi- 
dence adjacent to his store, which is considered one of the most con- 
venient and modern homes on East Sixth street. 

Speaking more in detail regarding his business, it may be stated 
that Mr. McDannel has made a decided success of it, and now has the 
leading store of its kind in this section of the city, it having outlived 
several other groceries which were in the field long before his. He 
now employs three clerks and runs two delivery wagons. Mr. McDannel 
and Christopher Bloeser were the prime organizers of the Erie Wholesale 
Grocery Company. They had firm faith in the enterprise, and worked 
steadilv for it until now it is a complete success in every respect and is 
still growing in volume of business and importance. Air. McDannel 
was the second secretarx- of the company, succeeding William Heiss who 
had served six months. After holding that office for two years he was 
chosen to his present position, that of vice president of the company. 
His more extended commercial relations are as a leading member of 
the Business Men's Exchange and of the Erie Grocerymen's Association, 
and he has held the treasurership of the latter for the past nine years. 
He belongs to the Woodmen of the \\'orld and his politics may be 
classed as liberal Republican. 

On December 3. 1891, Mr. AIcDannel married Aliss Kate A. Root, 
who was born in Summit township, Erie county. June 30, 1870, daughter 
of Sidney and Rebecca (Eckert) Root, both citizens of Summit county. 
Her father came with his parents from Connecticut, the family making 
the overland journey in an old ox wagon. Mr. and Mrs. Daniel M. 
McDannel have become the parents of the following children: Ruth, 
born October 10, 189(), and Ethel, born March 29. 1901. The parents 
are active members of the Alethodist church. 



20 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Henry L. Brevillikk, prothonotary of Erie county, well known 
in the city of Erie as a representative resident, was liere born and reared, 
his father being Gustav F. Brevillier, one of the leading German citizens 
of this portion of the state. While spending his youthful days in his 
parents' home Henry L. Brevillier attended the public and high schools 
of Erie and also pursued a thorough commercial course in Germany 
while on a visit in that country with his parents, who were spending 
some time amid the scenes of their youth. Indeed the visit covered a 
period of several years, so that JMr. Brevillier became well acquainted 
with the land of his forefathers. For twenty-six years his connection 
with business interests was that of shipping clerk with the old firm of 
Johnston & r»revillier, of Erie, and in July, 1900, he became deputy 
prothonotary under the late Theodore F. Noble. The ability which he 
displayed in discharging his duties led to his election in November, 1905, 
to the office which he is now filling and to which he was re-elected in 
November, 1908, as the Republican candidate. His official record has 
at all times been characterized by the utmost loyalty and devotion to 
duty and he is well known as a public-spirited and progressive man. 

Mr. Brevillier belongs to the Qiamber of Commerce and to the 
Board of Trade and is interested in all the movements of those organiza- 
tions for general progress and improvement. Fraternally he is connected 
with the Royal Arcanum, the Knights of Honor, the Benevolent and 
Protective Order of Elks and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows 
and in his life displays the beneficent spirit which underlies these or- 
ganizations. 

Air. Brevillier was married in 1879 to IMiss Elise Eichhorn, of Erie, 
and unto them have been born three children : Johanna Catherine, who 
was born July 28. 1880, and died October 23d of the same year ; Gustav 
li., born September 9, 1882 ; and Alexander F., who was born February 
24, 1885, and on the 26th of October, 1908, wedded Mary Emeline Foster. 
The Brevillier family has long been a prominent one in this city and 
Henry L. Brevillier is widely and prominently known in social as well as 
business and official circles of the city. 

Rev. Johx J. F. Doxnellan, Rector of St. Peter's Cathedral, Erie, 
and Chancellor of the Diocese of Erie, is a native of Jersey City, New 
Jersey, born on May 18, 1872, and is a son of the late Hon. John F. 
Donnellan of that city. Fie received his early education at St. Mary's 
Academy, Jersey City, after which he entered St. Mary's Catholic In- 
stitute, conducted by the Christian Brothers. He was "next a student 
for three years at the De La Salle Institute, New York City, whence he 
graduated with high honors, and upon the completion of his collegiate 
course at Seton Hall College, South Orange, New Jersey, in 1892. he 
received the Degrees of A. B. and A. AI. Father Donnellan's theological 
studies were continued at Seton Hall Seminary and completed at St. 
Bonaventure's Seminary, Allegany, New York, where he was ordained 
to the Holy Priesthood on June 24, 1897. by the Rt. Rev. James E. 
Quigley, D. D., now His Grace, the Archbishop of Chicago. He cele- 
brated his First Solemn High Alass at St. Mary's Church, lersey Citv, 
on Sunday, June 27. 1897. 

On July 9, 1897. J*'athcr Donnellan reached Erie to assume the 
sacred and responsible duties of his present offices as Chancellor of the 
Diocese and Rector of St. Peter's Cathedral. Under his conscientious, 
thorough and al)le administration of material and spiritual affairs, the 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 27 

membership of his Parish has greatly increased ; its schools have advanced 
in efficiency and attendance ; financial conditions have been bettered ; 
poverty and distress of body and mind have been relieved, and the gen- 
eral community centering in the Cathedral and its broad work has been 
blessed and uplifted. 

Henry Shenk. A man of versatile talents, possessing great me- 
chanical, artistic and business ability, Henry Shenk, of Erie, is widely 
known as one of the leading contractors and builders of Erie county, 
his work being in evidence in the more important cities of Western 
Pennsylvania. Putting forth his best endeavors in the fulfillment of his 
many and large contracts, he has invariably met with success. Ever true 
to his convictions, honor and integrity are synonomous with his name, 
and he enjoys to a marked degree the respect of his fellow-men. He is a 
native-born son of Erie county, his birth having occurred, July 31, 1836, 
in Mill Creek township. He comes of Pioneer stock, his paternal grand- 
parents having migrated to this county from Lancaster county at an 
early day, making the journey through the almost pathless woods with 
teams. John Shenk, Air. Shenk's father, was then a lad of nine years. 
He grew up with the county, and after his marriage with Xancy Miller 
began the improvement of the homestead on which he and his faithful 
helpmate spent the remainder of their lives. 

Acquiring such knowledge of books as could be obtained in the rural 
schools of his youthful days, Henry Shenk began working at the car- 
penters trade in the spring of 1853, finding plenty of employment in the 
vicinity of his home. In the fall of that year, desirous of broadening 
his field of action, he came to the city of Erie, entered the employment 
of John Hill, and for several months worked on what is known as the 
Paragon and Austin building, in North Park Row. Going to Girard, 
Pennsylvania, the following spring, he w^orked there, and in the near-by 
country for two years. In the spring of 1857 Mr. Shenk returned to his 
home to build a house for his father on the old homestead, completing, 
it in the very early part of 1859. Coming then to Erie, he was for a 
short time in the employ of Messrs. Crook & Lytle, after which he worked 
three years for Messrs. Jones and White, and two years for Mr. Hill. 
Forming a partnership, in the spring of 1863, with I. P. Kinsey, he 
carried on business for a number of seasons as junior member of the 
firm of Kinsey & Shenk, his first work of importance being the erection 
of a house in Mill street, near State street, for Henry Jarecki. A few 
years later this firm admitted into patrnership Peter Brubaker, and in 
connection with other business operated the planing mill located at the 
corner of Eleventh and French streets. The partnership, however, did 
not long continue. Air. Kinsey selling out his interest to L. F. White, 
and the nrm name bemg changed to L. F. Wliite & Co. Dissatisfaction 
among the members of this new firm soon became apparent, finally reach- 
ing such a stage that the troubles were taken to court, and before a 
settlement was reached the mill was destroyed by fire. Air. Shenk then, 
by agreement of the partners, took charge of the company's afifairs, 
turned all that was left into money, and with the proceeds paid as far 
as possible the debts of the firm. Creditors still having claims against 
the firm gave him ample time, and he finally succeeded in paying every 
debt in full, an achievement bespeaking in no unmeasured terms of his 
business sagacity and judgment. 



2H HISTOID' OF ERIE COUNTY 

After the Inirning (^f the mill Mr. Shenk continued business as a 
builder and contractor in Erie, doing the best he could without capital, 
remaining here until the spring of 1878, when he concluded to take 
contracts outside of the city. Accordingly, that very spring, he took 
the contract to build the Oil Exchange in Bradford, Pennsylvania, and 
the ensuing spring erected the Oil Exchange at Titusville, Pennsylvania. 
His work proving most satisfactory in each case, he was given the con- 
tract in the summer of 1879, to build the Court House in Cambria county, 
Pennsylvania, which was completed the next, year, and proved a credit 
to his'good taste and skilful workmanship. The same year Mr. Shenk 
erected a part of the Huntingdon Industrial Reformatory, afterwards 
taking a contract to complete the same, the contract covering a period 
of nearly six years, the cost being about $U00,00(). 

In 1882 Mr. Shenk began business operations in Pittsburg, his first 
contract being the erection of the Y. M. C. A. building. His ability and 
integritv meeting with a ready recognition, he subsequently continued 
business in that thriving city, opening an ot^ce, and has since filled many 
contracts of importance, having erected some of the finest public struc- 
tures, business blocks,- private buikhngs, and palatial residences of recent 
years, among others worthy of note being the Christ ^Methodist Episcopal 
church, a magnificent piece of architecture, costing nearly $300,000 ; and 
the famous Carnegie Library Building, which alone would establish the 
fame of any builder. This building, which was dedicated November 5, 
18!)5. cost over $700,000. ]\Ir. Shenk's operations in Erie have also been 
large and important, including the erection of the Central High School 
Building ; the Downing Block ; the Park Opera House ; the Hamot Hos- 
pital ; and other notable buildings. His business establishment in Erie, 
situated at the corner of Twelfth and Sassafras streets, is one of the 
largest and best-equipped manufacturing plants in the city, and is operated 
by the Henry Shenk Company, which consists of himself and his two 
sons, Mr. Shenk being president, his son Charles E., vice-president, and 
his son ^Vilbur is secretary and treasurer. 

About seventeen years ago ^Nlr. Shenk was stricken with paralysis, 
since which time he has taken little active part in the business, it being 
carried on by the above mentioned firm, and has been constantly in- 
creasing and now it is one of the large contracting firms of the country. 
While not taking any active part in affairs, Mr. Shenk has kept himself 
thoroughly posted through all his years of sickenss to just what the firm 
has been doing, and how the work has been conducted, and in giving his 
valuable advice from time to time, which has been thoroughly apprec- 
iated by the members of the firm. 

^^'Ir.LI.\M P. H.WK.s. one of Erie's oldest active business men. one of 
its most highly respected citizens, is a native son of Erie county, and was 
born at Waterford, December 3, 1829. He is descended on both sides 
of his family, from Pennsylvania pioneers, and is the son of James and 
Poll\- (Boyd) Hayes. The Hayes family of which he is a descendant was 
founded in America by John Mays, a native of Donegal, Ireland, who 
came to America in 1730, settling first in Chester county, Pennsylvania, 
and removing a few years later to Northumberland county, where he 
made permanent settlement and spent the remainder of his life. He 
was the father of a large family, and five of his sons served in the Revolu- 
tion and were with Ceneral Washington at the historic Crossing of the 
Delaware. One son. Captain John Hays, raised and commanded a com- 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 2!) 

I^aiu'. and for this and his service as an officer, he received a grant of 
a large tract of land. Captain John's son Robert, grandfather of William 
P. Hayes, was also a soldier in the Revolution, and this branch of the 
family for some reason inserted the "e" in the name. His son, James 
Hayes, was born in Northumberland county. Pennyslvania, in 1799, and 
removed to Waterford, Erie county, about 1821-22. and there died March 
1, 1874. He married Polly Boyd, who was born in Northumberland 
county, in 1800. and died in 1866. She was daughter of John Boyd, 
whose father served as musician in the Revolutionary war, and was one 
of the pioneers of Erie county, the family settling in Waterford about 
ISOO. 

lames Hayes was a wheelwright and chair maker, and at one time 
built and operated a mill on French creek, where he carried on the manu- 
facture of chairs. James and Polly Hayes had fourteen children, of 
whom the following are living: Charles AI., of Titusville, Pennsylvania; 
Ellen, who married John Holden, and resides at Chicago; and William P. 

William P. Hayes left Waterford in 1845, when sixteen years of 
age, proceeding to Erie, where he found employment in the store of 
Charles M. Tibbals ; in 1851 Mr. Tibbals gave him an interest in the 
business, and the name became Tibbals & Hayes, general merchants. 
I'lve or six years later the health of Air. Tibbals failed and he sold his 
interest to Mr. Hayes, who then formed a partnership with William A. 
Jordan, taking the name of Hayes & Jordan. About this time the firm 
began to occupy the hue store fitted out by General Reed, in the Reed 
House Block, and soon after this Mr. Jordan retired from the business. 
In 1860 General Reed became a partner of Mr. Hayes, and under the 
name of Hayes & Company they did a growing business. At this time, 
when Mr. Hayes proceeded to New York for the purchase of goods, he 
carried with him a letter from Mr. Reed to A. T. Stewart, at that time 
a merchant prince, telling of the partnership, and asking him to let the 
bearer have all the goods he wanted; General Reed was well-known in 
New York and Mr. Stewart informed Mr. Hayes he could have every- 
thing in his store if he wished. The firm of Hayes & Company did busi- 
ness until the destruction by fire of the Reed block, after which General 
Reed withdrew. Mr. Hayes at this time removed his stock to a store on 
State between Eighth and Ninth streets. At this time the Civil war was 
being fought, and when peace was near General Reed advised Mr. Hayes 
to get out of business, as a period of commercial depression was at hand, 
and following this sage advice, he closed out his entire stock at auction 
and private sale. Mr. Hayes purchased a farm in Chautauqua county, 
New York, although he never lived on same. In later years Mr. Hayes 
handled considerable real estate for General Reed, and was a lifelong 
friend of that wonderful business man, who did so much for the prog- 
ress of Erie in early times. 

In 1867 Mr. Hayes and S. P. Keplar, under the firm name of Playes 
& Keplar. organized the first real estate business of Erie. In 1876 Mr. 
Keplar withdrew from the firm, and Mr. Hayes managed the enterprise 
alone until 1889, in which year his son, Charles B., became a member 
of the firm, and the name became Flayes & Son, which has done a large 
amount of business, and is the largest enterprise of the kind in the city. 
Mr. Hayes has contributed much to the progress and development of 
Erie, and his business methods have gained for him the confidence and 
esteem of his fellow-townsmen. 



30 HISTORY OF ERIE COLXTY 

iMr. Hayes married Juliet 1'"., daughter of Captain John Justice, who 
was born in Erie, in 182'J. John Justice, who was a ship carpenter, came 
to Erie to help build Perry's lieet, and became one of the city's most 
honored citizens. He married Ann, daughter of Sheriff Gray, of Erie 
count}'. To Air. and Airs. Hayes were born children as follows : 1. 
Frank AI., manager of the American Security Company, with headquar- 
ters at Pittsburg, where he resides. He was at one time employed by 
the United States Government as expert and as receiver wound up several 
banks throughout the country, which had failed, among them the Key- 
stone Bank, of Erie. 2. William J., now employed by the government 
as expert in bank defalcations, in New York City. He was at one time 
cashier of various banks, and was in the employ of the government during 
Cleveland and Flarrison's administrations. 3. Joseph FL, was cashier of 
the Keystone Bank' of Pittsburg, one of the city's largest banking institu- 
tions, but on account of poor health was forced to resign his position, 
and died in October, 1898. 4. Charles B., of the firm of Hayes & Son, 
ib one" of the prominent young business men of Erie. 5. A daughter, 
who died in infancy. 

Charles S. Clarke. A citizen whose influence has permeated in a 
most beneficent way the business and civic life of the city of Erie, where 
he has rendered distinguished service in offices of high public trust and 
where he has been a strong factor in forwarding the industrial prestige 
of the community, Air. Clarke, former postmaster and former mayor of 
Erie, is clearly entitled to a place of honor in every compilation which 
touches the history of Erie county. In both the paternal and maternal 
lines he is a scion of old and honored families of America, with whose 
annals the respective names have been identified since the colonial era 
in our national history. 

Charles S. Clarke was born in the city of Washington, D. C. on 
the 2\)\.h. of July. 1852, and is a son of Alajor Robert and Alartha (Tal- 
bott) Clarke, both of whom were likewise born in the capital city of 
the nation and both of whom were representatives of old and dis- 
tinguished Alaryland families. Alajor Robert Clarke bore the full pat- 
ronymic of his honored father, Robert Clarke, who was a soldier in the 
war of 1812, who was a son of a valiant patriot soldier in the war of 
the Revolution, and who removed from his native state of Alaryland to 
the city of Washington in an early day. Alajor Robert Clarke was a 
successful contractor in Washington up to the time of the Civil war, 
when he promptly manifested his inherent and personal patrotism by 
tendering his services in defense of the Union. In response to President 
Lincoln's first call for volunteers he organized in Washington a company 
for the three months' service, and of this compnay he was commissionetl 
captain. After the expiration of his term of enlistment he re-enlisted 
as a veteran, and finally he was promoted to the office of major of the 
First District of Columbia \'olunteer Infantry, with which he saw long 
and arduous service and made the record of a gallant officer and loyal 
and valiant soldier of the Republic. In the time honored Alasonic fra- 
ternity he attained to liigh degrees and distinguished honors, having been 
one of the most ])romincnt members of the fraternity in the Union. For 
many years he served as treasurer of the grand lodge of the order in 
the District of Columbia, and in his official capacity it devolved upon 
him to deposit the Alasonic jewels in the cornerstone of the Washington 
Monument, and in that of one of the wings of the national capitol. He 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 31 

continued to reside in Washington until 1868, when he removed with 
his family to Erie, Pennsylvania, where his devoted wife died in 1888, 
and where he continued to reside until his death, which occurred in 
February, 1905, at which time he had attained to the venerable age of 
eighty-nine years. His funeral obsequies were held in the city of Wash- 
ington, under distinguished Masonic auspices. ^lajor Clarke was a 
Democrat in his political allegiance, and both he and his wife held mem- 
bership in the Baptist church. 

Charles S. Clarke secured his earlier educational training in the 
public schools of the city of Washington and supplemented this by a 
course in Columbian College, now known as Columbian University. He 
began his business career in the city of Erie, where he assumed the posi- 
tion of bookkeeper in the dry-goods establishment of Edson & Churchill. 
From 1880 to 1885 he was a member of the tirm of Churchill, Clarke & 
Companv, engaged in the same line of enterprise and the business 
was closed out in the year last mentioned. In the same year 
Mr. Clarke was elected to the office of comptroller of the city of Erie, 
and at the expiration of his first term he was chosen as his own successor, 
so that he served two full terms of two years each. In 1889 he was 
elected mayor of the city, under the old law which limited the mayor's 
term to two years, and in 1890 he was practically legislated out of the 
office under the necessary provision of the new law. In the same year, 
however, he was returned' to the mayoralty in the regular popular election, 
and he remained incumbent of this chief executive office of municipal 
government for the full term of three years. His administration was one 
that reflected distinctive credit upon him and he accomplished much for 
the progress of the city along normal lines of improvement and upbuild- 
ing. His regime was marked by progressive ideas and distinct business 
policy, so that he gained the uniform commendation of all classes of 
citizens. 

In ]\Iay, 1894, ]\Ir. Clarke was appointed and commissioned post- 
master of Erie, under the administration of President Cleveland, and of 
this position he remained incumbent for four years, within which he 
made improvements in systematizing and facilitating the service of the 
local office. In 1899 he became one of the interested principles in the 
extensive contracting firm of Constable Brothers Company, of which 
he is secretary and treasurer and to whose affairs he has given the 
major portion of his time and attention since his retirement from public 
office. In principle and practice he is a fundamental advocate of the 
cause of the Democratic party, in which he has rendered yeoman ser- 
vice. He is an active and valued member of the Erie Board of Trade, 
becoming its president in 1909, and is affiliated with the Masonic fra- 
ternity, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Royal Arcanum, 
the Sons of the American Revolution, the Country Club, and other civic 
and social organizations. His popularity in Erie needs no further vouch- 
er than that offered in the positions of trust to which he has been called, 
and it may consistently be said that no movement for the betterment of 
Erie along civic, commercial or moral lines, has lacked his sympathy or 
his active, energetic support. 

In 1880 Mr. Clarke was united in marriage to Miss Alice Churchill, 
daughter of George T. Churchill, who is one of Erie's oldest business 
men and most honored citizens. Mr. and Mrs. Clarke became the par- 
ents of one son, Lawrence N., who was born in 18S1 and who died in 
1903, being thus summoned to the life eternal in the very flower of his 



■32 TITSTORV OF ERIl-: COL'XTV 

young manhood and when his noble and generous (|ualities of mind and 
heart augured for a career of signal usefulness and honor. 

Rev. Petkk M. Caulkv. True religion exists in a sincere love of 
truth and in a hearty approbration and compliance with doctrines funda- 
mentally good, in an inward good complexion of mind, and in the active 
practice of the substantial parts of religion. Such has ever been the 
purpose and life work of Rev. heather Peter M. Cauley. pastor of St. 
Patrick's Roman Catholic Church of Erie, who is carrying on a note- 
worthy work in this city. A son of Peter Cauley. he was born. December 
18, 1855, in Rochester. Xew York. 

A native of Ireland. Peter Cauley came to this country in early 
life, locating first in New York state, where he was engaged in cjuarrying 
until 1858. Turning his attention then to agricultural pursuits, he 
carried on general farming in AIcKean county, Pennsylvania, a number 
of years, remaining there until 189J:, when he removed with his family 
to Erie. He married, in Portage county, Xew York, Catherine Mc- 
Kensey, a native of Ireland, and they became the parents of ten child- 
ren, namely: Terrance ; Peter M., of this sketch; Winifred and IMary 
A., twins; Rosa; John; Joseph ^I. ; Stephen H. ; Charles L. ; and Cassie. 

Rev. Father P. 'M. Cauley acquired his elementary knowledge in 
the jniblic schools of McKean county, and obtained his knowledge of 
philosophy and theology at St. Bonaventure's College, where he spent 
eight years, entering in 1879, and being graduated in 1887. Ordained in 
St. Patrick's Cathedral. Erie, July 24. 1887, he afterwards served as 
assistant for three months each at Titusville, and at Warren. The 
ensuing year he was located at Oil City, doing excellent work there. 
Then, after spending a few weeks at Sartwell, Father Cauley was 
placed in charge of a mission at Conneautville, Pennsylvania, where he 
labored most efificientlv for four and one-half years. He was subse- 
quently employed in pastoral work for ten weeks at East Brady, but 
smce that year, 1893, has filled his present pulpit in Erie. A man of 
strong convictions, and of extreme earnestness of purpose, his influence 
in visible in the upbuilding of his parish, which is one of importance in 
the community. In his labors he has as assistants his three younger 
brothers. Revs. Joseph M. Cauley, Stephen H. Cauley. and Charles L. 
Cauley. three men of intellectual force and much ability, who are most 
efficient aids in advancing the cause of the church. 

James M. Dickkv. \\y no means among the veteran insurance men 
of the country. James ]\I. Dickey, of Erie, has nevertheless attained a 
prominent standing both with his associates and the public. On the sunny 
side of forty, he has also evinced his powers as an originator in whatever 
field he has exerted his influence. He was one of the organizers and the 
second president of the Erie Association of Life Underwriters, and is 
a charter member of the Erie Chamber of Commerce, the Civic Club 
of Erie and the Country Cluk A mere mention of such identification 
indicates his deep and steadfast interest in the business field of his present 
activity; in the commercial, municipal and other broad affairs relating 
to the city's progress, and in those necessary recreations and sports 
which keep the typical American on his best physical mettle for accom- 
plishment. Mr. Dickey is also a member of the Erie Club and the 
"Conewango Club of \\'arren. Pennsylvania, as well as identified with 
the local "S'oung Men's Christian Association and the Benevolent and 




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HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 33 

Protective Order of Elks. His religious affiliations are at present with 
the Park Presbyterian church, to which he was admitted by letter from 
the Jefferson United Presbyterian church of Jefferson county, Pennsyl- 
vania, with which he had long been connected. 

Mr. Dickey is a native of Jefferson county, Pennsylvania, born 
September 25, 1870, on the old family homestead in that part of the 
state. He is a son of David Blair and Margaret (Kennedy) Dickey and a 
grandson of Matthew and Elizabeth (Templeton) Dickey. His grand- 
mother was of an old Pennsylvania family, while his grandfather was 
of Irish nativity, coming to the United States when sixteen and marrying 
when nineteen years of age. First he settled at Leatherwood, on the 
Allegheny river in Clarion county, this state, but later sold his property 
and bought a fine farm in Jefferson county, which is still considered a 
model country place in that portion of Pennsylvania. The last years 
of his active life were spent on the farm and there he died in his 
eightieth year. He became the father of three sons — James, William 
and David Blair Dickey. David B. Dickey, father of James M., was 
born September 5, 1837, and has always been engaged in farming on 
the old Dickey homestead. His wife, who died in 1880, was born at 
Brookville, Pennsylvania, and was a daughter of William Kennedy, a 
leading hardware merchant of the old times who reached the advanced 
age of ninety-three years. 

James M. Dickey, of this sketch, was reared on the old ancestral 
farm in Jefferson county, and was a pupil in the district school of the 
neighborhood in which his father, his sister and he himself served as 
teachers. Later, he attended the academy at Belleview and the State 
Normal at Clarion, teaching for several years both in Jefferson and Mc- 
Kean counties. In November, 1896, he became manager of the local 
branch of the Amiour Packing Company, at Punxsutawney, Pennsyl- 
vania, and continued in that position until 1900, which marked the active 
commencement of his insurance career. It was at that time that he be- 
came connected with the Pittsburg agency of The Mutual Life Insurance 
Company of New York, and on January 1. 1901, he was appointed in- 
spector of agencies in the Pittsburg district. He was transferred to Erie 
in January, 1902, and in 1905 was appointed to the responsible position 
of manager of the Northwestern Pennsylvania agency, with headquarters 
at Erie. 

Mr. Dickey's wife (nee Josephine Livingston Lacy) is connected 
with the faimly so famous in the political, educational and religious 
history of the country, representatives of which have repeatedly been 
sent to Congress from New York and held high positions in the national 
cabinet and diplomatic corps. One of its members, Philip Livingston, was 
also a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and not a few were 
active figures in the Revolutionary war. Mrs. Dickey is a daughter of 
Isaac and Mary (Livingston) Lacy of Warren. Pennsylvania, and her 
genealogy on both sides of the family has earned her membership in the 
"Daughters of the American Revolution." She is the mother of Harriet 
Estella. Lois Livingston and Allen Lacy Dickey, and a woman of do- 
mestic, social and refined tastes. 

Col. J. Ross Thompson. A man of broad mind and scholarly 

attainments, thoroughly versed in legal lore, Col. J. Ross Thompson of 

Erie holds high rank among the leading members of the Erie bar, with 

which he has been intimately associated for a full half century. Of 

Vol. II— 3 



34 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

the many noted lawyers that have practiced in this locaUty during the 
past fifty years, he is one of the best known and most eminent, while 
his forceful arguments, his skill in solving perplexing legal problems, 
and his many successes, have given him a wide and merited reputation. 
He was born in Franklin, X'enango county, Pennsylvania, December 6, 
1832, a son of Judge James Thompson, one of Pennsylvania's most dis- 
tinguished jurists and statesmen. 

A native of the Keystone state, Judge James Thompson w^as born, 
in 1805, in Butler county, and began life for himself as a printer. Sub- 
sequently turning his attention to the study of law, he was admitted 
to the bar, and in 1832 began his long and brilliant public career by 
being elected to the state legislature. He served as Representative six 
consecutive years, in 1834 being chosen speaker of the House. He was 
afterwards elected to Congress from Erie county, and served three full 
terms in the National House of Representatives, in Washington, D. C. 
In 1854 he was again elected to the Pennsylvania legislature. Three 
years later, in 1857. he had the honor of being chosen a judge of the 
supreme court of Pennsylvania. For fifteen years the judge rendered 
noteworthy service in that capacity, for five years of that time being chief 
justice of the court. Previous to his election to the supreme court he had 
served as circuit judge. After his election to the supreme court, Judge 
Thompson removed to Philadelphia, and in that beautiful city spent the 
remainder of his life, passing away in 1873. 

After his graduation from the Erie Academy, J. Ross Thompson 
entered Princeton University, from which he was graduated with the 
class of 1854. Immediately after leaving college he began the study of 
law, and since his admission to the Erie bar, in 1856, has been actively 
engaged in the practice of his profession in this city. His wide legal 
knowledge, keenness of comprehension, unflagging perseverance, and 
aptitude for clear incisive statement, have contributed to his professional 
success, and have won for him a foremost position among the members 
of the bar. In 1859 Mr. Thompson was admitted to the bar of the 
supreme court, and in 18G0 to that of the United States courts. During 
the latter-named year he became attorney for the Pennsylvania Railroad 
Company and has held the same ever since, and since 1871 has held a 
similar position for the Pennsylvania Company. 

During the administration of Governor Packer, Mr. Thompson 
served as his aide-de-camp, with the military rank of lieutenant-colonel. 
He was subsequently commissioned colonel of the Sixteenth Regiment 
of Pennsylvania Militia, and in that capacity performed the duties devolv- 
ing upon him with ease and dignity. For many years Col. Thompson has 
been active and prominent in the Democratic ranks, and in 1876 was a 
delegate to the National Convention in which Samuel J. Tilden was 
nominated for the presidency; and four years later, in 1880, he was a 
Democratic nominee for presidential elector and in 1887 Democratic can- 
didate for the supreme bench. In 1888 the candidacy was again at his 
disposal but he declined to enter the race. His brother, Samuel Gustine 
Thompson was a member of the supreme court of Pennsylvania for 
two terms by appointment of the governor. 

Colonel Thompson married in 1858, Josephine Mayer, daughter of 
the late M. Mayer, of Erie. She died in 1877, leaving seven children. 
One of these children, W. L. Scott Thompson, has inherited in no small 
degree the legal talent and ability of his father and grandfather, and is 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 35 

now actively engaged in the practice of law in Erie, being junior member 
of the firm of J. Ross Thompson & Son. 

Uriah D. Sweigard. Generally speaking a leader in the building 
trades and master of the metal workers, Uriah D. Sweigard is special- 
ly identified with the Erie field as proprietor of one of the largest and 
most complete roofing and cornice works in the county. In every way he 
Vj, also one of its best known citizens. He is a native of Halifax, Dauphir 
county, Pennsylvania, born on November 27, 1858, the son of David B. 
and Emeline Catherine (Rouch) Sweigard, both natives of that locality. 
The father was born in 1833 and died in September, 18(i(), and the mother 
who was born in 1836, passed away in the December following her 
husband's decease. They were the parents of the following five children: 
Susan Catherine, who married H. W. Sweitzer and resides in Pitts- 
burg, Pennsylvania ; Uriah D., of this sketch ; Ida Isadora, who married 
D. A. Lowe, the well known Peach street photographer of Erie; Ellen 
Linda, who is now Mrs. I. H. Foster, and resides in Erie; and Sherman 
L., also of that place. 

The Sweigard family is an old one in Pennsylvania, the original 
ancestors having come over from Germany many, many generations ago, 
settling in Daphin county. The parents of Mr. Sweigard, were members 
of the United Brethren church. After their death for about seven years, 
Uriah D., made his home with an uncle who was a farmer in Dauphin 
county, near Harrisburg. The Vouth next spent about three years work- 
ing on different farms, obtaining from three to four months attendance 
at the district school during the winter months. At the age of seventeen 
years, he began an apprenticeship at the tinsmith's trade in Halifax, 
serving four years. In the spring of 1880, he went to Pittsburg, where 
he worked at his trade the first year for T. W. Irwin, and the succeeding 
six years for Rasner and Dinger. He next became foreman of the tin 
department of the Union Switch and Signal Works of Pittsburg for one 
year ; was then foreman two years for S. Keighley and Company, and 
held the same position a year for John T. Bealor and Company. In 
1891, he went into business for himself, establishing a shop in Allegheny 
City, and in the spring of the following year, located at Erie and be- 
came a partner in the Flickinger Cornice and Roofing Company, also 
taking charge of the business as superintendent. In January, 1898, Mr. 
Sweigard was elected secretary and treasurer of the company and in 
January, 1901, became, by purchase, the sole proprietor of the business 
The plant is at No. 424 West Nineteenth street, and covers an area 
of 40 by 120 feet, employing an average of eight men. The establishment 
turns out a general line of sheet metal and slate roofing, galvanized and 
copper cornices, skylights and metal ceilings — mostly contract work. Mr. 
Sweigard has handled, among others, such contracts as those connected 
with St. Joseph's school, St. Michael's and St. Ann's churches, St. John's 
church and school, the Public Library, No. 2 public school and numerous 
business blocks and residences. He is also president of the Automatic 
Dumb Waiter Refrigerator Company, which was organized and incorpo- 
rated June 13, 1906. He is also a charter member of the Erie Builders' 
Exchange, having served as its secretary from its organization, and is 
secretary of the Master Sheet Metal Workers Association. He is further, 
a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Erie Business Men's Association 
and of the South Erie Improvement Association. Mr. Sweigard has 
been a fraternal leader in Odd Fellowship for many years, being a mem- 



36 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

ber of Lake Shore Lodge No. 718, and a past noble grand of Pittsburg 
Lodge No. 336. He joined the order at Halifax in May, 1879; was 
transferred to Pittsburg lodge in 1884, and demitted to Lake Shore lodge 
in 1894. 

Mr. Sweigard's wife was Sadie Ann Sockett, of Pittsburg, born 
in England and daughter of John Sockett. She is a member of Chestnut 
Street Presbyterian church, and a popular and highly respected lady. The 
pleasant family home is at No. 355 West Twenty-first street, the attractive 
residence having been erected in 1896. 

Dr. Francis Anton Goeltz has been practicing medicine in Erie 
for the past eight years, or since 1901. He is one of the younger repre- 
sentatives of the profession, whose youth has not been detrimental to his. 
progress, for in the comparatively brief period he has been rendering 
medical services in this city he has gained an enviable reputation as a 
physician, while his skill as a practitioner summons him to attend an ex- 
tensive patronage. Both as a physician and surgeon he has rapidly risen 
in the estimation of the community, courts the esteem of his fellow 
practitioners and deserves honorable mention among the leading members 
of the medical fraternity of the city. 

Born in New York City. December 13, 1876, Dr. Goeltz was the 
son of Francis Anton and Alvina (Steinsieck) Goeltz. The father was 
of a German family who left the fatherland and located in Vienna. Au- 
stria, where for several generations its members were prominent jewelers. 
It was there his birth occurred June 19, 1847, and he was but a boy when 
he accompanied his parents to the United States in 1856. They settled 
in New York City, where his father, who also bore the given name, 
Francis Anton, and who had been a jeweler in the old country, remained 
for a time but spent his later years on his farm in Huntington. Long 
Island. The son, however, established his home in New York City, 
where he learned the jewelry business and in 1873 engaged in the enter- 
prise for himself, conducting operations at No. 377 Third avenue. At 
that location he continued until the fall of 1906, wiien he retired from 
commercial activities. His death occurred July 13, 1907, while his wife 
had departed this life in 1889. She was a native of Long Island, born 
in 1851 and a daughter of Charles and Marie (Schlingheid) Steinsieck, 
both of whom were natives of Germany. 

In New York City Dr. Goeltz was reared, acquiring the rudiments 
of learning in the public schools. Following the bent of the family and 
that which had commanded the skill and attention of his ancestors for 
many generations, he then associated himself with the jewelry business, 
entering a wholesale establishment as an office boy. Strict application 
to duty soon won him advancement and he was given a clerkship, con- 
tinuing in the employ of the house for three years. * After that period of 
service he severed his connections with the firm and, in fact, with the 
commercial world and became a pupil at a preparatory school, in prepara- 
tion for entering the profession he now follows. Then, having com- 
pleted his studies at that institution, he was matriculated in the medical 
department of the University of New York, from which he was gradu- 
ated with the class of 1898. Immediately after graduation his career as 
a physician began and from 1898 until July 1, 1900, he served on the 
resident staff of the J. Hood Wright Memorial Hospital of his native 
city. His incumbency there was in every sense satisfactory, greatly 
adding to his experience and enabling him to put into practice his know!- 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 37 

edge of materia medica and surgery, thereby enhancing his self-reliance 
and strengthening his confidence as a practitioner. Upon leaving the hos- 
pital he was appointed instructor in histology in the medical department 
of New York University and assistant physician of the college dispensary, 
which appointment evidences a high appreciation of his talents as a 
student of medicine. Arriving in this city February 1, 1901, well qualified 
to conduct a private practice, he established an office at No. 210 West 
Eighth street, where he remained until 1903 when he removed to his 
present quarters at No 205 on the same thoroughfare. The doctor is a 
profound student in all branches pertaining to his profession, careful and 
accurate in the practice of surgery and his kindly and cheerful disposi- 
tion, reinforcing the virtues of his remedies, makes him a welcome 
visitor to the sick room. In addition to caring for a large private prac- 
tice he also serves as attending surgeon of Hamot Hospital, of this city, 
to which post he was appointed on July 1, 1901, his long continuous 
period in this position indicating his high reputation as a physician. 

On September 17, 1902, was celebrated the marriage of Dr. Goeltz 
to Miss Frances Lelia Boydell, of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, and the 
couple have two children : Francis Boydell and Henrietta May. The 
doctor keeps in close touch with the progressive thought of his profession 
and is affiliated with a number of organizations which are specifically 
designed for the consideration of the various phases of materia medica 
and surgery. He belongs to the Erie County Medical Society, the Penn- 
sylvania State Medical Society, the Northwestern Medical Society and the 
American Medical Association ; while he finds gratification for his social 
propensities as a member of the Country Club. 

John S. Scheer, alderman and well known citizen of Erie, was 
born at the old land light house, east of the city, on November 25, 1859. 
He is a son of the late John A. and Catherine (Kent) Scheer, both natives 
of Germany, who came to the United States in 1844. They were mar- 
ried in St. Mary's Roman Catholic church, Erie, and in 1901, celebrated 
the golden anniversary of their union in that church. John A. Scheer, 
was a contractor, and accomplished much public work in that line. He and 
his wife died in 1902, within about three months of each other. 

John S. Scheer was reared in Erie and was educated in various 
public and parochial schools of the city. In 1876, he worked for a firm 
in the Centennial Exposition grounds at Philadelphia. Later, he entered 
the service of the Union News Company, operating on different rail- 
road lines, and finally becoming superintendent of the business at Cleve- 
land. Three years later, he was promoted to the superintendency of 
the entire southern division of the company, with headquarters at Cin- 
cinnati. Ohio. In 1891 he returned to Erie and engaged in business in 
State street. Mr. Scheer's term as alderman commenced in 1906, and 
his service in that capacity has been thoroughly appreciated. He is also 
widely known in fraternal circles, being a member of the Knights of 
Maccabees, Woodmen of the World, Eagles, and Order of the Moose, 
ai» well as of the Press Club and East Erie Turner Society. His religious 
connections are with St. Mary's Roman Catholic church. Mr. Scheer's 
wife was formerly Florence E., daughter of George and Florence 
(Beutz) Ritchie, of Cleveland, Ohio. 

Benjamin J. Coates is superintendent of the City Waterworks 
Pumping Station, whose services in that capacity are all that can be de- 



38 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

sired, his ingenuity as a mechanic being on par with any who work along 
the hne of his vocation and, having throughout his entire hfe been a 
resident of Erie, he is well known, not only for his mechanical skill 
and unsurpassed services in the position he now holds, but also for 
his excellent traits and qualities of character, which give him high stand- 
ing as a worthy citizen of this city. 

The Coates family were numbered among the pioneers of this part 
of the state, having located in Erie in the fall of 1832, members of the 
family at that date having come from the village of Eckols, Yorkshire, 
England. Upon the arrival of the ancestors in this country the constituent 
was made up of the maternal grandparents, Joseph and Mary (Holmes) 
Burnlev, Benjamin Coates and his wife, Elizabeth, the parents of the 
subject^ of his review, John and Grace Coates, a brother and sister, two 
cousins, Joseph Hardacker and Joseph Burnley, who were orphans 
reared by Grandfather Burnley, and the Waddingtons, the wife of one 
of whom was an aunt of Benjamin J. Coates. In all the party that came 
from England to this country was composed of twenty-one souls. The 
paternal grandparents, John and Mary Coates, remained in their native 
land, where they departed this life. Two of their sons, who have since 
passed away, also remained in England, while two daughters came to 
the new world sometime after the above mentioned party. Of these 
Martha married John Thornton of Fairview. Erie county, while Anna 
married his brother. Thomas Thornton, of Girard, this county. All of 
the above mentioned have since entered into rest with the exception of 
Benjamin J. Coates, of this review, who is the only surviving member 
of his family. Joseph Burnley, the maternal grandfather, upon his ar- 
rival in the new world, first settled in Mill Creek township, near this 
city, where his wife responded to the summons of death in 1848. Two 
years later, in 1850, he removed to Newcastle, Pennsylvania, where he 
resided until his demise. 

Benjamin Coates Sr.. was born in 180.5 and for eighteen years was 
foreman for Vincent, Himrod & Company, founders and machinists, 
being considered a skilled and expert mechanic, whose death occurred 
in 1855, while his wife whose birth occurred one year later than that 
of her husband, in 1806. passed away in 1889, thus surviving her last 
companion by upwards of thirty-four years. They were the parents 
of five children, namely : John, whose birth occurred in the old country 
in 1829 and his death in this city in 1900, whose first wife was Char- 
lott Sennett, after whose death he married Lucinda Weigel, by whom he 
had the following children : Clara, who wedded Charles W. Geibel, who 
is engaged in the plumbing business; Gertrude, the wife of Pierce Flinn, 
of this city; Howard J., who resides here; Florence, the wife of Walter 
Bull, a resident of this place ; and Adella, who is at home with her mother. 
The other children of the elder Mr. Coates are : Grace, w^hose birth oc- 
curred on the other side oi the sea in 1832 and whom death called in 
this city September 10, 1850 ; Samuel, born here in 1835 and who died in 
1895; Edward, whose birth occurred here in 1837 and his death in 1873; 
and Benjamin J. 

In the Bay city Benjamin J. Coates was born October 6, 1842, and 
here he acquired his education in the public schools, completing his studies 
at the age of fifteen years when, desirous of taking part in the activities 
of life, his natural faculties leaning toward mechanical work, he became 
apprenticed as a machinist with his brother John, with whom he became 
proficient as a tradesman. About six years after entering upon this ven- 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 39 

ture, being then a skilled journeyman, he became employed with the 
Bay State Iron Works, with which he remained for a brief period, when 
he became engaged by the Erie City Iron Works, in whose employ he 
worked for t>vo years, at the termination of which period he returned to 
the Bay State Iron Works, where he plied his craft as a journeyman for 
ten years. His ingenuity as a mechanic being noted and his excellent 
class of workmanship observed, he soon proved himself to be worthy of a 
higher station in the establishment of his employers and he was promoted 
to the position of foreman and later to the responsible position of super- 
intendent, serving in the latter capacity until 1897, during which year he 
resigned his position and accepted a place at the City Pumping Station as 
a machinist. There he served with eminent proficiency and, being ad- 
judged as the best man for the general duties of that department of the 
city, in October, 1904, he was made superintendent, the duties of which 
responsible post he is now performing. 

The marriage of Mr. Coates to Rosanna Weigel, born in this county, 
January 20, 1847, was celebrated on December 8, 1868. She is a daugh- 
ter of Joel Weigel and to this union the following children have been 
born : Charles B., who was married to Eva Gould of this city, the couple 
residing at Wilmette. Illinois, fourteen miles from Chicago, where he is 
an electrical engineer for the Chicago Pneumatic Tool Company ; Alice 
R., who taught in the Erie high school for four years and then wedded 
Frederick A. Mott, of Syracuse, New York, the couple now residing in 
Rochester, that state, and Mr. Mott is an electrical engineer in the employ 
of Wheeler Green Electric Company, of that city ; Bertha E., a teacher 
of English in the Erie high school ; and Eva C, the wife of Rev. Roy 
George Catlin. a Lutheran minister stationed at Decatur, Illinois. Rev. 
and Mrs. Catlin were both residents of this city until their marriage 
August 26, 1907. 

The Republican party has always commanded the support of Mr. 
Coates. by reason of the fact that, having given due consideration to its 
principles in comparison with those of other political cults, he deems the 
product of the wisest statesmenship, in every particular best suited to 
subserve the utmost interests of the commonwealth and consequently his 
fealty has always been strong in the advocacy of the principles of his favo- 
rite party and its candidates. He belongs to Lakeshore Lodge, No. 718, 
I. O. O. F., of which he has been a member of thirty years, having ef- 
ficiently served in the entire round of chairs, and the Henniossis Adelphon 
Encampment, No. 42, I. O. O. F., having also performed the duties of 
its offices. Moreover he is a member of Erie Lodge No. 327, Knights 
of Pythias and, an honorary member of Local No. 7, N. A. S. E., while 
at the same time being dutiful to his religious obligations, both he and 
the members of his family attend divine services at the Central Presby- 
terian church. Mr. Coates is one of the best known citizens of Erie, 
whose present position is indicative of his success in life and he justly 
deserves a place in a volume of this kind and mention as a deserving and 
highly respected citizen. 

John W.' Schmelter, M. D. Among the medical practitioners of 
Erie who are sharing the honors of the profession, by reason of their 
excellent services and success in restoring health, is Dr. John W. Schmel- 
ter. He is one of the most popular physicians of the city and, although 
he has spent his entire life in this country, his medical career is embraced 



40 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

within the past nine years and he now attends to a large private prac- 
tice, his office being at No. 813 Sassafras street. However, within that 
period his skill and ability as a practitioner has brought him prominently 
before the public and for four years he served as coroner of Erie county. 
Being thoroughly familiar with every phase of his profession, profound 
in his knowledge of materia medica, accurate in surgical operations and 
careful in his diagnosis, he has met with a full measure of success in 
the treatment of cases and stands high in the ranks of the medical fra- 
ternity of the city. 

Fairview township, this county, was the birthplace of Dr. Schmelter 
and there he entered this life on October 30, 18G7, as a child of John 
and Mary (Knodel) Schmelter, the father having been born in West- 
phalia, Germany, in 1820 and the mother in Summit township, this 
county, in 1834. It was in 1851 that the elder Mr. Schmelter left his 
home and kin folk and crossed the Atlantic to the new world, being the 
only one of his family to sever relations with the fatherland. Immediate- 
ly upon his arrival in the United States he came to Erie where, for a 
period, he worked on the old Sunbury Railroad, now known as the Lake- 
shore Railroad. Finally he gave up railroad work and became employed 
as a farm hand in AIcKean township. In the meantime by modest living 
and practical economy, a life characteristic of the sons of the fatherland, 
he accumulated considerable means and bought a farm in Fairview 
township, where he pursued agriculture until September 26, 1895, when he 
met death by being run down by a railroad train at Avonia. His wife 
entered into rest in 1899. In their family were six children : Elizabeth, 
deceased, who was the wife of John Grappy ; George, a resident of Mill 
Creek township; Henry F., who lives in Erie; Albert M., a resident of 
Mill Creek township ; Dr. John W. ; and Charles E., a member of the 
Erie police force. 

On the home farm Dr. John W. Schmelter was reared, part of the 
year finding him busily engaged in the fields, plowing, planting or har- 
vesting, while in the short winter months, during his boyhood days, he 
availed himself of the educational advantages of the country schools. He 
was also afiforded the privilege of a business-college course. Until he was 
twenty-three years of age he followed agricultural pursuits but, at that 
period of his life, he left the farm, being ambitious for larger opportuni- 
ties and accepted a clerkship in a retail grocery store in this city. The 
duties of this position he faithfully performed for four years and, since 
it has been his ardent ambition to become a member of the medical pro- 
fession, in 1896 he began the study of medicine in the office of Dr. J. 
E. Silliman. His natural bent being in that direction, he advanced rap- 
idly, at the same time acquiring both theoretical and practical knowledge 
and prepared himself for matriculation in the Ohio Medical University, 
at Columbus. In that institution he successfully completed the course of 
study and was graduated with the class of 1900. He then opened an of- 
fice at No. 18 East Eighth street, in this city, where he practiced until 
1892, when he changed his office to his present location at No. 813 Sassa- 
fras street. 

Shortly after beginning the practice of medicine, or in 1902. the 
doctor was elected to the office of county coroner, in which he officiated 
during the specified term of three years and also an additional year, 
owing to the demise of his successor. On January 5, 1909, the doctor 
was appointed poor physician over the West side, the duties of which 
office he is now performing. He is of a highly intellectual turn of mind, 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 41 

directing his study chiefly in those branches of study pertaining to his 
profession and his profound investigations have yielded him such knowl- 
edge as enables him to meet all emergencies and successfully cope with 
constantly recurring perplexities. 

Dr. Schmelter was united in marriage to Miss Bessie Davison, a 
daughter of the late William Davison, of Harbor Creek, this county, and 
the couple are enjoying the happiness of a refined home. Politically he 
is a Republican, being a stanch and able supporter of the principles of 
the party. His fraternal relations are with the Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows and the Golden Eagles, in both of which organizations 
he has many friends, while he is widely known both for his social qualities 
and professional worth. 

Isaac Wolf, a retired agriculturist of Erie county, who is now living 
in the enjoyment of well earned rest in his own residence at No. 242 
West Twenty-first street, is a native of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, 
his birth having occurred in the village of New Holland, on March 17, 
1828. However, from early boyhood he has been a resident of Erie 
county, where as soon as he was vigorous enough to engage in agricultural 
duties worked upon his father's farm and carried on the pursuit of hus- 
bandry until the year 1900, when he withdrew from the activities of life 
to enjoy somewhat of the fruits of his energies extended through many 
years. During his career in this county he has witnessed many changes, 
has seen the approach of civilization, marked the transformation of wood- 
lands into fertile fields, of fertile fields into villages and, with respect to 
the city of Erie, he has witnessed its growth from a mere hamlet to its 
present large and prosperous proportions. There are few men of his 
day now living, who can converse with him upon the scenes and experi- 
ences of those early days and it is with delight that he reverts to the 
past, remembering the times when the surrounding region, which now 
bears every mark of civilization, was then in a primitive condition without 
any apparent promise or prospect. Mr. Wolf is widely known as a ven- 
erable gentleman, his life always having been such as to command the 
respect of all with whom he came in contact and today, in his declin- 
ing years, as a resident of the thriving Bay city, perhaps there is no man 
who is better known or more highly esteemed. 

Mr, Wolf's parents were Jacob and Catherine (Piatt) Wolf, while 
his grandfather was Henry Wolf, a native of Lancaster county, Penn- 
sylvania, who came to Erie county, in 1820, where he purchased four 
hundred acres of land in Mill Creek township, his property being located 
about three miles south of the city of Erie. There he settled and, need- 
less to say, at that time the region was a thick forest unlike its ap- 
pearance today when it is a succession of fertile fields as far as the eye 
can see. However, being of the sturdy pioneer type, he was undaunted 
in the presence of difficulties and obstacles, being only too willing to have 
a promising prospect toward which to bend his energies and soon the 
forest was hewn out and in course of time the once undeveloped land 
yielded for him bountiful harvests. On that farm he spent his entire 
life, passing away about the year 1842. His wife entered into rest in 
Lancaster county prior to his location in this county. The maternal 
grandparents were natives of Ireland, who came to America at an early 
day. The parents of Mr. Wolf, both of whom were born about the year 
1802, in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, were there united in marriage, 
removing to Erie county about the year 1838, locating on the tract of 



42 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

land settled by his grandfather. The estate was large and the elder Mr. 
Wolf took up one hundred acres and this he cultivated until he departed 
this life in 1872, his wife entering into rest in 1884. In his family were 
the following children : Elem and Isaac. Elem, whose birth occurred 
in 183U and who died in 1870 wedded Leah Heidler, the daughter of 
Curtis Heidler, a pioneer of Fairview township, this county. They left 
the following children: Cassie, the wife of Christopher Rilling, residing 
in Girard; Tillie, the wife of George Wagner, residents of Summit 
township, this county ; Jacob, who married Mary Heintz and resides in 
Sterrettania ; Ida, who became the wife of Lee Milliner, the couple living 
at Twenty-second and Reed streets, this city; Annie, the wife of George 
Stark, also residing here ; Levi, who married Mary Aleyers ; Etta, who 
was twice married, first to Lester Saunders, after whose death she wedded 
George Jackson ; Frank, married and lives at Union City ; and Elem, who 
departed this life in his nineteenth year. 

The other member of the family, Isaac Wolf, reared to farm life, 
passed through the usual experiences common to the country lad during 
his boyhood days and at that time the city of Erie and environs were far 
different than they are today, the entire region being constituted of vast 
stretches of woodlands while the present site of the Bay city itself was 
little more than a village with but few houses. The farm upon which he 
was reared was in Mill Creek township and there during the summer 
months he toiled in the pursuit of agriculture, plowing, planting and 
reaping in due season, while during the winter months he took advantage 
of the educational privileges afiforded by the district school. The school- 
house in his day was a log-cabin, which stood where his present farm- 
house now stands and, while seated on a peg-leg bench, he acquired the 
rudiments of learning which, although not comprehensive, served him well 
throughout his later business experiences. After he finished his school- 
ing he remained upon the home farm and upon the death of his father he 
inherited one hundred acres of the original four hundred acre tract and 
to this, through the fruits of his industry and energy, he added one hun- 
dred and eighty acres so that his farm was very extensive and one of the 
finest in the township. In the pursuit of agriculture he continued, at the 
same time paying some attention to stock raising until 1900, when he re- 
tired from active life and took up his abode in the city of Erie, although at 
the same time he still owns his farm and supervises its management. 

Mr. Wolf was united in marriage to Fannie L. Heidler, the daughter 
of Curtis Heidler Sr., a pioneer of Erie county. Her birth occurred 
March 28, 1832, and she is the mother of the following children : Curtis 
N., born August 5, 1850, married Ella Carr and they now reside in 
Springfield, South Dakota, their family consisting of one son, Robert, 
and two daughters. May and Esther. The father went west in 1877, so- 
journing in Kansas and Nebraska, previous to his location in South Da- 
kota. Saphronia M., born March 28, 1853, married John B. Burton, and 
departed this life May 1, 1892, her husband surviving until November 
24, 1895, leaving two children: Hattie J., born in 1874 and died February 
13, 1890 ; and Edith L., born in 1880 and passing away May 9, 1898. John 
C. born March 10, 1855, was twice united in marriage, his first union be- 
ing with Lillian Church, who died November 13, 1883, leaving one child, 
Lillian, born November 2, 1883. His second wife was Jeanette Arbuckle, 
the wedding being celebrated October 25, 1888, to whom were born 
two children: Richard, born in 1890; and John S., who passed away 
August 5, 1899. Charles A., born January 19, 1857, was educated in the 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 43 

common schools, supplementing his preliminary training by a commercial 
course, at Clarks College and, being prominent in the locality in which he 
resides, has held the offices of register and treasurer of Mill Creek town- 
ship. Hattie J., born March 12, 1859, married Frank B. Foot, the couple 
residing in this city, and to them were born two children, Maude M. and 
Marshall. Seth H. who was born December 10, 1864, wedded Anna Mil- 
ler and to this union were born two children, Harold Isaac and Florence. 
Mr. and Mrs. Wolf have led a wonderfully active life, having been 
reared amid the primitive conditions and surroundings of this county, 
which required stern and insistent application in order to make an inroad 
into the forests and thereby make the region habitable and to him, as to 
other pioneers, is due the credit for laying the foundation for the present 
development of the city of Erie and environs. He has always been deeply 
interested in the welfare of the community in which he lived and while 
actively engaged on his farm in Mill Creek township was honored with 
every political office within the gift of his fellow townsmen. The family 
are members of the Lutheran church, in which during his early days he was 
an active worker and, having always endeavored to live in obedience to the 
teachings of his faith, he may now, as he has progressed on the journey 
of life beyond the eightieth milestone, look forward to a still happier one 
when, in answer to the promise of the faith he has long followed, he 
shall have been graced with the earnest of his hope of a blissful immor- 
tality. 

Charles A. Curtze. The business career of the late Charles August 
Curtze was significantly characterized by courage, confidence, progressive- 
ness and impregnable integrity of purpose. He long held precedence as one 
of the representative citizens and influential business men of his native 
city of Erie, and he contributed much to the civic and commercial ad- 
vancement of the city. He was signally loyal and public-spirited as a 
citizen, was a member of one of the old and honored families of Erie 
county, and his life counted for good in all its relations. 

Charles August Curtze, who was a scion of that stanch German stock 
which has played so important a part in the upbuilding of the old Key- 
stone state, was born in the city of Erie, on the 6th of April, 1849, and 
was a son of Frederick and Mary A. (Beckman) Curtze, both natives of 
Germany, where they passed their entire lives and where the father was 
long identified with the business interests of Erie county. Charles A. 
Curtze attended the public schools of Erie until he had at- 
tained to the age of fifteen years, when he identified him- 
self with farming interests in this vicinity. Three years later, 
however, he returned to Erie and assumed a position in the 
employ of the firm of Johnston & Brevillier, wholesale dealers in grocer- 
ies. Within a period of six months he was advanced to the position 
of traveling salesman for the concern, and he was thus engaged in suc- 
cessful work throughout his assigned trade territory for a period of 
more than ten years. In 1875, however, he had formed a partnership 
alliance with John W. Swalley and engaged in the manufacturing of 
soap, under the firm name of Swalley & Curtze. With this enterprise 
he was identified for one year, while still acting as traveling representa- 
tive for the firm previously mentioned. In 1878 he associated himself 
with Mr. Rice in the wholesale grocery business in Erie, under the firm 
title of Curtze & Rice. The enterprise was thus continued until 1883, 
when he purchased the interest of his partner,. after which he remained 



44 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

sole proprietor of the business until his death. He was a man of much 
initiative power and distinctive administrative ability, and he so directed 
the affairs of his business as to make its success constantly cumulative. 
The enterprise expanded in scope and importance from year to year and 
under his able management assumed precedence as one of the leading 
wholesale concerns of this section of the state. The trade territory was 
expanded through the excellent service and fair dealing accorded and 
the house has long controlled a large and substantial business through- 
out the region tributary to the city of Erie as a commercial supply center. 
In the same year that the business was founded a spice mill was added to 
the plant, and from that time forward a specialty was made of handling 
spices and coffees. The general grocery department has been kept up 
to the highest standard, and its facilities remain to-day unexcelled by 
those of any other house of the kind in Erie. In the fire which de- 
stroyed the Mayer block, September 28, 1908, the entire stock of the 
Curtze wholesale grocery was likewise wiped out by the fiames, but with- 
in the same week temporary quarters were secured at the corner of 
Twelfth and French streets, where the business was resumed with but 
slight interruption. The fine quarters of the concern are now located 
at Twelfth and Sassafrass streets. Since the death of Mr. Curtze the 
business has been continued by the estate and his policies are being car- 
ried out under effective management, so that the reputation of the house 
still continues as a tribute to his business sagacity and integrity. 

In all that tended to conserve the progress and material and civic 
prosperity of his native city Mr. Curtze maintained a deep and loyal 
interest, and this interest was one of definite helpfulness and co-opera- 
tion. His political allegiance was given to the Republican party, but 
he was essentially a business man and had no desire for office or for the 
turmoil of the political arena. He was an appreciative and valued mem- 
ber of the Erie Board of Trade, of which he served one term as presi- 
dent. His administration was signally progressive and did much to 
further the commercial interests of the city. He was affiliated with the 
time-honored Masonic fraternity and was an active and zealous member 
of St. Paul's Lutheran church, to the various departments of whose work 
he was a liberal contributor. Mr. Curtze was summoned to the life 
eternal on the 1st of October, 1901, and in his death Erie suffered the 
loss of one of its most honored citizens and most valued business men. 
He commanded at all times the unqualified confidence and esteem of the 
community in which his entire life was passed, and thus set at naught 
any application of the scriptural aphorism that "a prophet is not without 
honor save in his own country," In personality he was not demonstra- 
tive but he was ever courteous and kindly, tolerant in his judgment and 
altruistic in his viewpoint. He won and retained inviolable friendships 
and his life record is one that offers both lesson and incentive. 

On the 3d of July, 1879,was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Curtze 
to Miss Amanda Emma Jarecki, daughter of the late August Jarecki, 
who was one of the important jewelers of Erie and representing the 
most important industrial enterprise in Erie of its kind and who was 
one of the honored and influential citizens of this city. Mrs. Curtze 
died on the 22d of January, 1890, and of the four children three are 
living: Julia is the wife of Dr. R. A. Kern, of Erie; Arthur and Edwin 
are associated in the management of the wholesale business so long 
conducted by their honored father; and Adelheidt Caroline died at the 
age of eleven months. On the 25th of May, 1893, Mr. Curtze contracted 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 45 

a second marriage, being then united to Miss Antonie Jarecki, a sister of 
his first wife. Mrs. Curtze survives her husband and resides in the at- 
tractive family homestead, where she dispenses a gracious hospitaHty to 
a wide circle of friends. She is a devoted member of Christ church and 
has long been prominent in the representative social affairs of Erie. 

John Daniel William Swendsen. Among the prominent com- 
mercial factors of Erie engaged in the hat manufacturing business is 
John Daniel William Swendsen, who owns the distinction of being the 
only Danish tradesman in this city. As a practical hatter he thoroughly 
understands every detail and particular of the industry and, as to the class 
of goods he turns out, he stands on a par with any in the same under- 
taking in this part of the state. His business standing, from every 
point of view, is unassailable and it has been on the strength of his own 
merits that, from year to year, he has so augmented his trade that he 
today conducts one of the leading enterprises in the Bay city. A native 
of Copenhagen, Denmark, he was born January 8, 1877, a son of Carl 
William and Josephine (Carlson) Swendsen. The father, also a native 
of that city, was born in 1837 and he applied himself to general con- 
tracting and building lines until he departed this life in 1889, while the 
mother, who was a native of Smoland, Sweden, now resides with her 
son of this review. 

It was in 1889, when in his twelfth year, that John Daniel William 
Swendsen came to the United States and' went to work for his brother, 
Rudolph, who was engaged in the manufacture of hats in this city. It 
was not without being hampered that he engaged in the business circles of 
this country, by reason of the fact that he was unfamiliar with the En- 
glish language, which obviously constituted a considerable impediment to 
his progress. However, he continued in the employ of his brother, with 
whom he completed his trade as a hatter, in the meantime acquiring 
conversant intelligence of the English tongue. In 1893 he went to Chi- 
cago. Illinois, where he opened up an establishment for himself on Lincoln 
avenue and for a period of two years manufactured hats of all kinds. 
He met with wonderful success, inasmuch as he produces a high class 
quality of goods which won him a wide reputation, his product finding 
ready sale in the market. At the expiration of that period returning_ to 
this city, he opened a hat manufactory at No. 1313 State street, of which 
he was proprietor for a brief period when he disposed of the business 
and repaired to Cleveland, Ohio. In that place he established a hat 
manufactory and on a very large scale continued to turn out all kinds of 
that commodity, remaining proprietor of the establishment for about 
four vears. when he sold out his interests and again took up his abode 
in Erie. Here he founded his present business at No. 1215 State street, 
where he engages in the manufacture of his own brands of goods, 
including silk, soft and stiff hats and of all descriptions. Through con- 
stant application to his trade he has gradually built up an extensive and 
prosperous enterprise and, as proprietor of the establishment, he now 
conducts, he is one of the most successful and reliable business men of 
the city, whose extensive business interests have enabled him to ac- 
cumulate considerable valuable property. Aside from owning the site 
upon which he conducts his enterprise he also owns his elegant residence 
on West Ninth street, the edifice costing in the neighborhood of five 
thousand dollars. It has been through the straightforward business 
methods which he has observed, reinforced by hard work and incessant 



46 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

application, which have enabled Mr. Swendsen to attain to his present 
position of prominence in the commercial life of the city and here he is 
not only numbered among the successful business men but is also highly 
esteemed and respected for his social qualities and as a representative 
citizen. 

On the 24th of April, 1901, Mr. Swendsen wedded Miss Nina E. 
Ward, who was born on Kelley's Island, Ohio, and was a daughter of 
Bert Ward. To this union have been born two children: Ward William 
and Laura Belle Ruth. Master Ward from childhood has been noted 
for his brilliancy and when but three years of age was awarded three 
amateur money prizes at various theatres in the city while at the age of 
four years he sang at the Princes Theater for a salary of thirty dollars 
per week. In 1908 he won the third prize, amounting to eighty-five dol- 
lars, in the Erie Times baby contest. 

Mr. Swendsen is well known throughout fraternal organizations, 
his relations being with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which 
he is also a member of the encampment, the Benevolent and Protective 
Order of Elks and the Woodmen of the World. His business conduct 
has always been such as to give him high standing in the commercial 
circles of the city, while socially he is highly respected and as a man of 
means is a prominent factor in Erie's industrial life. 

Hon. William Ayers Galbraith. The specific and distinctive ofifice 
of biography is not to give voice to a man's modest estimate of himself 
and his accomplishments but rather to leave the perpetual record establish- 
ing his character by the consensus of opinion on the part of his fellow- 
men. Throughout Pennsylvania Judge Galbraith was spoken of in 
terms of admiration and respect. His life has been so varied in its 
activity, so honorable in its purposes and so far reaching and beneficial 
in its effects that it has become an integral part of the history of Erie 
and also left an impress upon the annals of the state. A native of 
Franklin, Venango county, Pennsylvania, William Ayers Galbraith was 
born ]\Iay 29, 1823, and came of a family honored and conspicuous in 
the early history of the nation and particularly in the state of Pennsyl- 
vania. Of this family no less than four members served on the bench. 
The father of Judge Galbraith was the late Judge John Galbraith who, 
in 1837, came with his family to Erie county. 

The son, Judge William Ayers Galbraith acquired his literary educa- 
tion in Allegheny College and at the old Erie Academy. Whether in- 
herited tendency, natural predilection or environment had most to do with 
his choice of a profession it is impossible to determine, but at all events 
the choice was a wise one for in the practice of law he gained distinc- 
tion and honor, his record reflecting credit upon the judicial history of 
the state. He read law under the direction of his father and was admitted 
to the bar in 1844 on the twenty-first anniversary of his birth. In 
September of that year he became a student in the Dane Law School, a 
department of Harvard University, and was graduated from that institu- 
tion as a mem1)er of the class of 1845. 

Returning to Erie Mr. Galbraith entered upon the active practice 
of his profession in partnership with his brother-in-law. William S. 
Lane, and in 1846 he was appointed deputy attorney-general, which posi- 
tion he filled through appointment of the attorney-general of Pennsyl- 
vania until 1850. Re-entering the general practice of law his clientage 
became so extensive that it overtaxed his strength and on the advice of 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 47 

his physician he temporarily abandoned his law work. About that time 
he became interested with General Herman Haupt in the building of 
the Hoosac tunnel and gave to that historic and gigantic enterprise the 
major part of his attention for a period of two years. Returning to 
Erie he was appointed attorney for the Sunbury & Erie Railroad, a 
division of what is now the Pennsylvania & Erie system. In business as 
well as in professional relations he displayed marked ability and that 
enterprise which is always a factor in the success of any undertaking. 
His analytical mind enabled him to clearly judge of the possibilities of 
every business situation while his energy constituted a factor in co- 
ordinating forces and bringing them into a harmonious and unified whole. 
Thus the various business undertakings with which he became connected 
were carried forward to successful completion and his co-operation was 
therefore eagerly sought. He not only became one of the directors of 
the Sunbury & Erie Railroad but was also a director of the Cleveland 
& Erie, now the Lake Shore Railroad. He contributed freely from his 
ample means to the development of Erie's industrial resources, becoming 
one of the heavy investors in the Erie Car Works, the ^rie Car Wheel 
Works and the Burdett Organ Company. He was also one of the in- 
corporators of the Erie Dime Savings & Loan Company and was its 
president at the time of his death. He likewise made large investments in 
real estate, particularly in Chicago where, among other properties held by 
him at the time of his death was the so called "Galbraith Building" at the 
corner of Madison and Franklin streets. His judgment was seldom if 
ever at fault and while his interests were extensive he displayed none of 
the erratic movements of the speculator, for his judgment was at all 
times tempered by a safe conservatism that made his efiforts at all times 
productive of substantial results. 

While his business affairs made heavy demands upon his time. 
Judge Galbraith, by reason of the resourcefulness of his nature and his 
unlimited energy, became an active and effective force in matters of 
citizenship. He was recognized as one of the prominent leaders of the 
Democratic party in this section of the state and was a delegate to the 
Democratic national convention at Charleston, South Carolina, in 18G0 and 
at Chicago in 186-i. In the spring of 1861 he was nominated as a union 
candidate for the state senate and such was his personal popularity that 
he received strong support and failed but little of election. In 1876 he 
was nominated by the independent voters of Erie county for president 
judge and was chosen for a full term of ten years. His course upon the 
bench was such as reflected the highest credit and honor upon the peo- 
ple of the county. He was clear in his exposition of the law and few of 
his rulings were reversed by the higher courts. He possessed a well 
balanced intellect, was thoroughly familiar with the science of juris- 
prudence, and possessed moreover an analytical mind and a self con- 
trol that enabled him to lose his individuality, personal feelings and pre- 
judice in the dignity, impartiality and equity of the office to which life, 
property, right and liberty must look for protection. While Judge Gal- 
braith was long an ardent and zealous advocate of the Democracy, he 
left the party in 1896 upon the adoption of the money plank in its platform 
of that year, being opposed to the unlimited coinage of silver and the 
ratio of sixteen to one. He took an active part in the campaign in favor 
of the gold standard of the Democratic party, delivering many strong 
campaign addresses and rendering valuable aid to the cause which he 
espoused. After leaving the bench he resumed the practice of law in 



48 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Erie in partnership with his two sons, Davenport and John W. continu- 
ing an active member of the bar until his death which occurred January 
3, 1898. 

Juflge Galbraith left a widow and his two sons who had been his 
law "partners. On the 25th of May, 1846, he had wedded Miss Fanny 
Davenport, a daughter of the late Captain William Davenport and a 
sister of the Hon. S. A. Davenport of Erie. Her birth occurred De- 
cember 11, 1826. Of the two sons, both became active members of the 
bar and the younger, Davenport, is now vice president of the Erie Trust 
Company. The home life of Judge Galbraith was largely ideal for his 
devotion to the welfare of wife and children led him to put forth a most 
earnest efifort to promote their interests and happiness. He possessed 
moreover a spirit of broad humanitarianism that was manifest in many 
tangible ways. At a time when colored children were not admitted to 
the public schools he rented a room, employed a teacher and paid all the 
expenses for a school that the negro children of the city might be edu- 
cated. He also established the first night school in Erie for white pupils 
and provided the money for its support until the board of education took 
it over with his consent. He contributed liberally to other charities in 
this city and was ever active in support of the Central Presbyterian 
church. He lives in the memory of his friends enshrined in a halo of a 
gracious presence and a name which in all of his varied relations, was 
never sullied by any dishonorable act. At all times he held to high ideals 
of manhood and of citizenship and was honored and respected wherever 
known. 

Charles Fredrick Loesel is president of the Bay City Forge 
Company, and engaged in sheet and metal work at No. 211 East Eigh- 
teenth street, this city. He is a representative type of the energetic and 
enterprising business man of Erie who, through years of stern and un- 
wearied application to the various phases of commercial life, has estab- 
lished an industrial concern which has not only enabled him to attain 
an honorable station in the business world but also thereby to contribute 
considerably to the financial worth of the city. His rise to his present 
post of honor and responsibility as a leader of finances is due solely to 
his own innate resources and perseverance, for he began his industrial 
career simply as an iron worker and has since brought to bear such 
faculties for managing afifairs and ingenuity relative to his craft as 
made it possible for him, step by step, to enlarge the borders of his 
enterprise and develop the business, of which he is the executive head, 
to its present gratifying proportions. 

Born in this city June 17, 1868, Mr. Loesel is a son of Michael 
and Emma (Stickel) Loesel. highly respected German residents of 
Erie, whose nativity occurred in the fatherland in the years 1836 and 1848, 
respectively. Here, where was celebrated their marriage, they have spent 
their entire lives since arriving in America and for thirty-five years 
continuously the father, a carpenter by trade, was prominent in the indus- 
trial circles of the city as a contractor and builder. He took an active 
part in the upbuilding of the residence portions of the municipality and 
by his eflforts and industry, as well as by those of others, the city has 
been developed to its present prosperous condition. His long season of 
unremitting application, aided by excellent business judgment and careful 
management, had placed him in circumstances enabling him to withdraw 
from active life in 1891. Of a family of nine children born to him and his 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 49 

wife tlie following survive: Lisetta, the wifeof Henry Housmann. resident 
of Erie ; Ida, who married W. R. Baker ; the couple living in Lewistown, 
Pennsylvania ; Mabel, who resides in Erie with her husband, Dan'l G. 
Baldwin ; and Charles Fredrick. Five sons passed away in childhood 
within ten days of each other during an epidemic. 

Reared in the city of his birth Charles Fredrick Loesel was at the 
usual age enrolled as a pupil at the public schools, pursuing his studies 
there until the age of fifteen years. Inheriting the industry of his father 
and also a desire to become associated with the building trades, at that 
early age, he became an apprentice to the carpenter's trade under his 
parent and plied his craft until he was nineteen years old. At this period 
of his life, however, with every opportunity before him in the pursuit of 
the occupation, his desire turned toward railroading and for two and a 
half years he was employed as a fireman on the Erie & Pittsburg Railroad, 
which vocation not only added to his physical vigor but also in some 
respects supplemented his experience in a department of work akin to 
that in which he is now engaged. Upon leaving the railroad Mr. Loesel 
opened up a shop on his own account and engaged in the sheet metal and 
tinning business, in which he has since continued successfully. Being 
naturally apt at mechanical work and entering upon the undertaking with 
determination to succeed, at the same time bringing to bear upon his daily 
tasks a conscientious desire to produce the highest class workmanship and 
thereby establish a worthy reputation in his department of industry, his 
business gradually grew until now he conducts one of the most extensive 
metal industries in the city. In 1907 he established the Bay City Forge 
Company, of which he is the president and which is at present located at 
the corner of Eighteenth and Cranberry streets. Mr. Loesel has exercised 
executive control over the company since its organization and his practical 
experience in the various phases of the industry, together with his keen 
business discernment ably qualify him for his responsible office, while his 
just and fair business methods assure the industry steady growth. 

Mr. Loesel wedded Miss Lou Baker, a native of Erie city and a 
daughter ^of John O. and Mary Baker. To this union have been born: 
Fred M., George O.. Charles G. and Agnes E. Aside from the duties 
incumbent ujxm him as a business man Mr. Loesel finds time to enter 
into municipal afifairs and from 1904 until 1908 was a member of the city 
council, his services for the public as a constituent of that honorable body 
having shared the interest and administrative ability he brings to bear in 
his own private business concerns. In 1908 he was elected a member of 
the board of poor directors of Erie county, taking his seat on January 
1, 1909, for a term of three years. Mr. Loesel is a thirty-second degree 
Mason, a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and 
the Knights of Pythias while further his social nature finds gratification 
as a member of the Shrine Club. He belongs to the Chamber of Com- 
merce and Builder's Exchange, both of which he assisted in organizing and 
his individuality is a strong feature both in the city's industrial and 
municipal life. 

John Stevens Richards. He coveted success but scorned to 
attain it except through industry and honest means. He acquired wealth 
without fraud or deceit, and the results of his life are full of inspiration 
to the rising generation. These are significant words, and well do they 
indicate Captain John Stevens Richards as he stood as a man among 
men. He was a dominating factor in connection wath the material and 
Vol. II— 4 



50 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

civic progress of the city of Erie, and no shadow rests on any portion 
of his career now that he has been called from the scenes and labors 
of this mortal life. His success, and it was pronounced, was largely 
attained through his connection with lake-marine and coal interests, and 
he gave of his splendid ability to the promotion of enterprises which 
conserved the general welfare of the community. Now that a perspective 
view of his career in its entirety may be gained, it is most consistent 
that at least a brief review of his life history be entered in a work 
of the province assigned to the one at hand. 

John Stevens Richards was a native of the city of Erie, which 
represented his home during practically the entire course of his long 
and useful life. He was born in the old family homestead on Second 
street, between French and Holland streets, on the 5th of June, 1821, 
and his death occurred in Chicago on the 23d of April, 1897. He 
was a son of John and Ann (Henton) Richards, both natives of Card- 
iganshire, North Wales. John Richards left his home in Wales when 
a youth and thereafter followed a seafaring life for some time. He 
eventually took up his abode in the city of New York, where he served 
an apprenticeship in the yards of a large shipbuilding firm. At the time 
of the war of 1812 this firm sent out a large number of its operatives to 
construct the war vessels which eventually constituted Commodore 
Perry's historic fleet on Lake Erie, and among the men assigned to this 
work was John Richards, who rendered eflfective service in this connec- 
tion. After the close of the war he established his permanent home in 
Erie, where his name is honored as that of a sterling pioneer and loyal 
and influential citizen. For a time after taking up his residence in Erie 
he sailed on the Great Lakes, after which he engaged in shipbuilding, in 
which connection he had charge for many years of the construction of 
all of the Reed Line steamers. Both he and his wife continued to reside 
in Erie until their death. 

Captain John S. Richards gained his early education in the school 
conducted in what was long known as a landmark of Erie, — the old 
"Yellow Meeting House," on Sassafras street, and this he supplemented 
by attending the Erie Academy. For a number of years after leaving 
school he was associated with his father in the operations of the local 
shipyard, and he then initiated his career as a sailor on the Great Lakes. 
He was thus identified with lake-marine service for more than twenty 
years, and he won rapid promotion through more subordinate offices to 
that of captain, in which position he had command of such vessels as 
the "Ohio," "Queen City," "Keystone State." and "Western World," 
the last mentioned of which held the route between Bufifalo and Detroit. 
His last command was that of the steamship "Milwaukee." which oper- 
ated between Grand Haven, Michigan, and Milwaukee. Wisconsin, as a 
connecting adjunct of the Detroit. Grand Haven & Milwaukee Railroad, 
which is now a part of the Grand Trunk system. 

In 1863 Captain Richards retired from the lakes and became a mem- 
ber of the firm of Henry Rawle & Company, of Erie, lake shippers of 
bituminous coal. This firm was succeeded by that of Richards. Pelton, 
Reed & Company, and the latter had its dissolution upon the abandon- 
ment of the Erie extension canal. In 1871 he became an interested 
principal in the firm of John Hern & Company, wholesale coal dealers, 
and with this concern and its successors, W. L. Scott & Company, and 
the W. L. Scott Company, he continued to be identified until his death, 
and was its president after the death of Mr. Scott. He also became 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 51 

interested in other enterprises of important order, not the least of which 
was the Second National Bank of Erie, in which he was a large stock- 
holder and a director. His charities and benevolences were large and 
varied, but invariably unostentatious, and as a citizen he was moved by 
deep public spirit. He was one of those prominently concerned in the 
founding of the Hamot Hospital, one of the noble institutions of Erie, 
and as president of the Hamot Hospital Association he gave freely of 
his time and means to the promotion of the interests and to the main- 
tenance of the hospital. His political allegiance was given to the Re- 
publican party, in whose cause he maintained a deep interest, though 
he never consented to become a candidate for public office. He was 
affiliated with the Protestant Episcopal church, and was a liberal contrib- 
utor to the various departments of the work of St. Paul's parish, in 
whose membership Mrs. Richards has long been identified as a zealous 
church woman. In the city and county of his birth Captain Richards 
will long be remembered for strength of character which would have 
made him a man of mark anywhere and for personal qualities which 
attracted and held all with whom he came in contact. 

On the 19th of September, 1853, was solemnized the marriage of 
Captain Richards to Miss Adelaide McAllister, who was reared in the 
city of Erie and who is a daughter of the late David and Caroline (Gil- 
son) McAllister, the former of whom was born at Springfield, Vermont, 
November 18. 1800, and the latter of whom was born at Chesterfield, 
New Hampshire, January 24, 1813. Both families were founded in New 
England in the early colonial epoch of our national history. David 
McAllister came to Erie from Jefferson county. New York, in 1840, 
and for the ensuing seven years he was here engaged in the dry-goods 
business. In 1848 he was appointed clerk to the county commissioners, 
and in 1851 he was elected register and recorder of the county, of 
which dual office he remained incumbent for two full terms of three 
years each. Later he was elected treasurer of the Erie Canal Company, 
and the last official position held by him w^as that of deputy collector of 
internal revenue, of which he was incumbent at the time of his death, 
which occurred March 26, 1880. He was a man of sterling character, 
was one of the honored pioneers of the city of Erie, and ever commanded 
the confidence and esteem of the people of the community in which he 
so long maintained his home. His cherished and devoted wife was 
summoned to eternal rest October 13, 1892. 

Captain and Mrs. Richards became the parents of three children, 
who, with their mother, survive the honored subject of this memoir. 
Harry is now a resident of Perley, Minnesota, where he has extensive 
farming interests and is a representative citizen ; Mary is the wife of 
George R. Metcalf, of Erie ; and Adelaide is the widow of William W. 
Michener, of Chicago, who died in the autum of 1908. 

Philander Harlan, who is active in the conduct of an extensive fur- 
niture establishment in Erie, has attained prominence in commercial 
circles solely on the strength of his own exertions and innate business 
acumen. For twenty-six years he has been identified with the city's 
commercial life, his initial venture being upon a very small scale and 
apparentlv without prospect to one possessed of a lesser degree of fore- 
sight and resolution than he. However, as the years came, every mo- 
ment was utilized toward a definite end and every opportunity seized 
for the advancement of his business interests, so that today he controls 



52 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

a large furniture house and owns considerable valuable real estate ; 
wherein, when he started in business, he was practically destitute of 
finances and had but a small stock of second-hand goods. Such a 
career strongly indicates a full measure of business ability, economical 
management and the faculty of making circumstances, as they occur, 
serve the end in view. 

Mr. Harlan was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, November 
11, 1852, a son of Samuel Harlan, also a native of that county. Orig- 
inally the family came from England and is numbered among the early 
ones of the above named county. When Philander Harlan was a mere 
boy his father died, and he was put on a farm in Delaware county, 
Pennsylvania, where he was to remian until he had reached his sixteenth 
year. During that period he gave his services for h-is "keep" but, upon 
attaining the stipulated age, he was paid ten dollars a month for the 
next half year.^ At the termination of that period he had his wages, 
amounting to sixty dollars. Five dollars of that sum he paid for a 
valise and then came to Erie, where for a year he worked in a restau- 
rant for a man by name of Nunn. In that position he remained for a 
time, but, before reaching his twenty-first year, enlisted in the United 
States navy, being assigned aboard the old "Michigan." For eleven 
years, or until 1883, he was in the government service on the Great Lakes 
and on the open sea. In that year he located in Erie and engaged in 
the furniture business, his stand being in the old Elsworth block. Second- 
hand goods, which he had accumulated during three previous years, 
constituted his stock. From the outset he determined to succeed, bring- 
ing to his aid that strong force of character developed by stern naval 
discipline and the business grew in response to his incessant application 
and wise methods, so that he soon began to deal in new furniture. His 
venture had proved so successful that by the year 1891, eight years after 
he had taken the step, he had amassed sufficient means to justify his 
purchase of the old Wright block, on the northeast corner of State and 
Fifth streets. It is a three-story brick building with a frontage of 
eighty-two and one-half feet. From time to time he made improvements 
on the edifice, in all spending about ten thousand dollars in reconstruc- 
tion, so that today the building presents the appearance of four capacious 
rooms, connected by archways and stocked with all descriptions of 
high class furniture. Pie conducts a large and growing trade since he 
has become ver}^ popular throughout the city owing to his reliability 
as a merchant and the high standard of commercial ethics he observes 
in his business transactions. 

In 1898 Mr. Harlan bought the old Marshall homestead, on Fifth 
street near Peach, this being a well-known residence of Erie and, since 
purchasing the property he has completely remodeled the house, equip- 
ping it with all modern conveniences. Here he enjoys the comforts of 
an elegant home with his wife, who was Susanna Shinier, a native of 
Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of John Shimer, 
Mrs. Harlan having been reared in Delaware county of her native state. 
Interested in the welfare of the city Mr. Harlan exerts his influence for 
its betterment as a member of the Chamber of Commerce and the 
Business Men's Exchange. Fraternally he is associated with the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, while both he and his wife are members 
of the Baptist church. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 53 

Hudson W. Hosier. If any man ever fairly earned a leading posi- 
tion with a representative business house it is Hudson W. Hosier, a 
foreman of the Watson Paper Hill Company, at Erie, who has applied 
his abilities to the best interests of that corporation for nearly thirty 
years. In other words, he has devoted nearly three-fifths of his entire 
life to the industry as represented by that company. His career fur- 
nishes a fine example of faithfulness as an employe, with a hearty recog- 
nition both of constancy and efficiency by the employer. Hr. Hosier is 
a native of the village of Fairview, born September 22, 1859, and is a 
son of Samuel and Sophia (Osborn) Hosier. His father was a native 
of Hontgomery county, Pennsylvania, born April 4, 1825, and the mother, 
of Erie county, born on the 29th of January, 1830. The grandfathers, 
on both sides of the family, were Daniel Hosier and James Osborn, 
pioneers respectively of Hontgomery and Erie counties. Samuel Hosier 
lost his parents when quite young and was only nine years of age when 
he accompanied his two brothers and one sister to Erie county. Journey- 
ing hither in a wagon, they first located at Le Boeuf, but afterward settled 
in Hill Creek township. There the father learned both shoemaking 
and wagon-making, following the latter during the last active years of 
his life in Fairview township. He died in 1893, his wife having passed 
away June 1. 1886. Two children were born of this union — Harion, 
who died in infancy, and Hudson W., of this sketch. 

Hr. Hosier was reared in Fairview township as a farmer's boy 
and there obtained a district school education. He worked both on 
neighborhood farms and in a brick yard before he became connected 
with the business which has absorbed most of his life since early man- 
hood. In 1879, when twenty years of age, he went to work for the 
Watson Paper Company in the Fairview mill, and in 1882 accepted a 
position in the Erie plant. For a number of years past he has been a 
foreman of the flourishing paper mill. Albeit the thirty years of his 
service with the Watson Paper Company have engrossed his working 
hours, his residence ward (the Sixth) has honored him with membership 
on the school board for four years, and his brother Hasons have ad- 
vanced him to one of the highest offices in the order. At the expiration 
of his recent term as potentate of Zem Zem Temple of the Hystic Shrine, 
Hr. Hosier received as an evidence of its members' esteem a handsome 
diamond jewel, beautifully and elaborately set. He is also past master of 
Keystone Lodge, No. 455 ; a member of Temple Chapter and Hount 
Olivet Commandery, and secretary of the Hutual Building and Loan 
Association for over thirteen years. 

Hr. Hosier's wife, who was formerly Hiss Laura J. HcCully, was 
born at Fairview and is a daughter of John and Haria (Hayer) HcCully. 
Their daughter. Hazel K., was born October 5, 1885, and their son Paul 
H., February 22, 1888. The latter has been on the Pacific coast for 
about two years, being an assistant engineer on the Standard Oil steamer 
"Atlas." 

Eligius Kohlmiller. The dye and cleaning works of Eligius 
Kohlmiller, of Erie, represent not only the first of their kind in the 
city, but are pioneers in the use of dry cleaning and other 
present-day processes, as well as among the most extensive establish- 
ments in their Hne in the United States. Hr. Kohlmiller is a native of 
Erie, born on Ninth street, between German and Parade streets, on the 
29th of Harch, 1857. His parents, Joseph and Walburga (Christal) 



54 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Kohlmiller, were born in Germany, married in that country and came 
to Erie in 1854. Having thoroughly learned the trade of a dyer, the 
father soon opened a small shop— the first in Erie— its location being 
on East Ninth street, near the present site of Webber's photographic 
studio. In 18(i0 he removed his business to the location of the extensive 
establishment developed and conducted for twenty-six years by the son, 
Eligius Kohlmiller. Its founder retired from active work in April, 1883, 
when the latter assumed its management, and died in the following 
month, at the age of fifty-eight years. His widow survived him until 
June 11, 1890, when she had reached her sixty-third year. Both were 
faithful members of St. Mary's Roman CathoHc church. They were 
the parents of the following children : Walburga, who became Mrs. Frank 
Boelte, of Erie; Eligius; Julia, who is deceased; Theresa, who mar- 
ried Henry Runser; Henry J., deceased; and Louisa, who died as the 
wife of Henry Arens. 

Mr. Kohlmiller was educated in the public and parochial schools of 
his native city of Erie, and when a small boy commenced to receive 
his training as a dyer in his father's establishment. At the age of 
fourteen, however, he entered the employ of Barr and Johnson, stove 
manufacturers, with whom he remained for several years, before becom- 
ing a machinist at Stearns Manufacturing Company. In 1879 he went to 
Detroit and received a thorough training in the cleaning and dyeing 
establishment of a French expert, being called home in April, 1883, to 
assume the charge of his father's business. It was small and rather 
crude when he became its manager and, soon after its proprietor, its 
development to its present large proportions, along modern lines, being 
solely due to his energy and practical ability. Mr. Kohlmiller was one 
of the first in Erie to adopt and push the dry-cleaning process, and has 
gradually developed his plant so that it embodies all the newest and 
most modern sanitary machinery. He now employs eleven women and 
six men in his works, and the business has grown to 14,000 pieces annu- 
ally, the quality of his work having obtained so high a reputation that 
his patrons are found in New York, Boston, Cincinnati, and other large 
cities east and west, and as far south as Austin, Texas. Mr. Kohlmiller 
is a member of the Erie Chamber of Commerce and the Business Men's 
Exchange, and also of the Erie Maennerchor, East Side Turners, Knights 
of Pythias and Elks. Both himself and all the members of his family 
are Roman Catholics, members of St. Mary's church. 

Mr. Kohlmiller was first married in Detroit to Miss Minnie St. 
Amour. She was a native of that city and died in 1882, leaving one 
child, Frank J., who is now associated with his father in business. The 
second marriage was on August 24, 1886, to Miss Margaret K. Eisert, 
who was born in Erie October 29, 1866, daughter of Martin and Frances 
(Kegel) Eisert. Her parents were both natives of Germany, her 
father dying in October, 1900. The children of this marriage were as 
follows: Elenor, born June 29, 1887; Albert, born October 24, 1888, 
who met his death on the railroad June 23, 1907 ; Elmer, born July 21, 
1891, and Lavina, born April 28, 1896. 

Christian Kessler. There are few if any of the German citizens 
of Erie, who have taken a more active and prominent part in the affairs 
of the city than Christian Kessler who has resided here for quite half a 
century, during which long period he has been closely identified with 
the city and its government, holding many positions of honorable trust 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 55 

and responsibility and discharging his official duties with an eye solely 
to the best interests of the community. Mr. Kessler is a native of 
Bavaria, Germany, where he was born November 21, 1842, the youngest 
son of the late Henry and Elizabeth (Backfish) Kessler. The mother 
died in Bavaria in 1852, and in 1857, the father brought his family to 
America. He was a quarryman by vocation. He first located in Greene 
township, Erie county, but later removed to Iowa, where he died in 1869. 

Christian Kessler attended school in the old country until he reached 
the age of fourteen years ; but the only instruction in the English 
branches which he secured was limited to what he obtained in a three 
or four months attendance at the public schools of Greene township. 
When he thus became a pupil he could not speak a word of English, 
yet so apt a student was he, that in a few months he could "spell down" 
the entire school. In 1859, he came to Erie without capital, and first 
worked as a grocer's clerk for six years, in February, 1865, becoming 
a retail grocer, on a small scale at number 408 State street. There he 
continued until 1870, and then removed to No. 403 State street, where 
he has since continued. Later he added wholesale whiskey to his grocery 
business, that department of his establishment being located at No. 401 
State street, corner of Fourth. In 1904, he closed out his grocery depart- 
ment, since when he has given his entire business attention to the whole- 
sale liquor store. 

Mr. Kessler began his public career in April, 1873. when he was 
elected to the common council of Erie, serving until 1875. In April of 

1875, he was appointed a member of the license board, serving one year, 
and enjoys the distinction of having been the only man appointed to 
such a position in the state, who is engaged in the liquor business. In 

1876, he was elected to represent his ward to the city select council, 
serving as such until 1878 ; in 1880, he was unanimously elected to rep- 
resent his ward in the city select council, serving until 1882, and from 
1886 to 1892 he was a member of the board of water commissioners. 
Mr. Kessler was one of the incorporators of the Hamot Hospital, and 
took an active part in establishing the People's market house, securing 
the major part of the subscriptions and personally overseeing the erection 
of the buildings. 

In 1863, Mr. Kessler married Helen Bloeser, of Erie, who died May 
4, 1883, aged thirty-eight years and five days, leaving the following 
children: Elizabeth, who married John Kolb, of Erie; Helen D., living 
at home with her father; Annie K., who is bookkeeper for her father; 
Minnie J., a teacher in the Erie public schools ; Clara L., who married 
W. S. Nason of Erie ; C. Harry, vice president of the Wayne Brewing 
Company, that city; Louis J., who died as an infant of two months; 
and Florence A., who married Frank L. Feisler, a druggist of Erie. 

Mr. Kessler is a Mason in high standing, a successful and honorable 
business man, and a citizen of public enterprise, ability and unimpeach- 
able integrity. 

Robert J. Rosswog. The art of dyeing is largely hereditary in the 
Rosswog family of Erie — that is, three generations have numbered ex- 
perts in that line, and as Robert J. Rosswog, one of the leaders in his 
field in Erie, is himself the father of two living sons, the genealogical 
history in this particular may be continued into a fourth generation. 
Mr. Rosswog mentioned, who is proprietor of one of the two largest 
dyeing and cleaning establishments in the city, is a native of Baden, 



56 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Germany, where he was born on the 7th of May, 1879. His parents, 
JuHus and Amelia (Brucker) Rosswog, were also both natives of the 
duchy, where the paternal grandfather followed his trade and business 
as a dyer for many years. He was succeeded by his son Julius, who 
emigrated to the United States with his family in 1888, continuing the 
business in Erie at No. 1330 Turnpike Road. In 1892 he erected the 
large two story brick building at the corner of Fourteenth and Peach 
streets, and there developed his cleaning and dyeing establishment until 
1903, when he sold it to his son, Robert J., and retired from active 
business. Julius Rosswog died in 1905, at the age of seventy-four years, 
his wife having passed away in 1895, aged fifty. He was twice married, 
both times in Germany, and by his first wife had six children, of whom 
the five survivors still reside in the fatherland. The children by the 
second marriage were as follows: Julius, Jr., who is a business man of 
Cleveland, Ohio; Amelia, now Sister Eugenia, O. S. B., of Erie; Lena, 
who married Henry B. Rastatter, a tinner and hardware merchant of that 
city, located on Parade street ; Josephine, who married Louis Bierig, the 
painter and frescoer of Erie ; and Robert J., of this sketch. 

The child last named was nine years of age when the family located 
in Erie, receiving his literary education at St. Mary's Catholic school 
and his technical and business training under his father. Mr. Rosswog 
commenced as a delivery boy and not only mastered every detail of the 
business, but of the mechanisms and processes connected with dyeing 
and cleaning, so that he was fully competent to assume active charge of 
the establishment in 1903, when his father relinquished the control. In 
the fall of 1908 he purchased the business property which he now 
occupies from the family estate, and to this has added the Johnson 
pToperty to the south, giving him a plant site of 40 by 90 feet. In the 
former Johnson building he installed his modern dry cleaning works. 
In 1903 he introduced the automobile as a delivery agency in Erie, and 
in 1907 he installed the Hoffman Sanitary steam presses, so that his 
establishment is one of the most complete in Pennsylvania. His average 
number of employes is twelve and his work covers the city and neigh- 
boring towns, the name Rosswog, having been considered, for many 
years, a certain guarantee of skill and honesty applied to dyeing and 
cleaning. Mr. Rosswog is an active member of the National Dyers' 
and Cleaners' Association and, locally, is identified with the Erie Chamber 
of Commerce, Business Men's Association, Erie Maennerchor, Knights 
of Columbus, Catholic Order of Foresters and the Knights of St. John. 

Mr. Rosswog married Miss Otillia Haibach, a native of Erie and 
daughter of Lorenz and Mary Haibach, the father being engaged in the 
meat business on East Tenth street and a well-known citizen. The three 
sons of this union were as follows: Robert E.. born October 8, 1903; 
Anthonie J., born May 11, 1906, and Bernard, who was born March 30, 
1908. and lived only until the following 15th of Julv. The mother of 
the family, who was born August 25. 1877, died April 9, 1908. 

Francis Carrick, vice president and manager of the Globe Iron 
Works, of Erie, which he assisted in founding, is also part owner of the 
Hinsley Manufacturing Company, a stockholder in the Stearns 
Manufacturing Company, and since boyhood has been almost 
continuously identified with the development of the city's industrial life. 
He is a native of St. Catherine's, Canada, born on the 10th of July, 1853, 
and is a son of John and Margaret (Ryan) Carrick, the former a 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 57 

Scotchman of Montrose and the latter, a daughter of Ireland of county- 
Clare. Both parents emigrated to the Dominion in their youth and were 
married in Canada. In his early life the father was an ocean pilot and 
at a later period, for many years, captain of the passenger steamer "City 
of Bradford," plying between St. Catherine's and Montreal. In 1859 he 
located at Erie, where he was long in the employ of the Pennsylvania 
Railroad Company, passing away in that city at the age of seventy-four 
years, in January, 1878. The widow survived until 1898, dying as the 
mother of thirteen children, of whom eight are still living. 

Mr. Carrick, of this sketch, obtained a common school education 
and learned the molder's trade at St. Catherines, and when he came to 
Erie with the family in 1859 entered the employ of the Erie City Iron 
Works, being then in his seventeenth year. A year later he engaged with 
the Bay State Iron Works, subsequently with the Stearns Brothers Man- 
ufacturing Company, and then became identified with various establish- 
ments in other sections of the country, his main design at this period of 
his career being to familiarize himself with all branches of iron man- 
ufacture. At his return to Erie in 1888 he became an employe of the 
Erie Car Works, with which he spent five years, and then followed a 
service of seven years with the Nagle Company. Wisely deciding that 
he was now fully qualified to conduct a business of his own, he associated 
himself with Fred Hope in the establishment of the Globe Iron Works, 
a year later his partner selling his interests to F. F. Curtze. At that time 
the firm became Curtze and Carrick, and in 1902 the business was incor- 
porated as the Globe Iron W^orks Company, with Mr. Curtze as president 
and Mr. Carrick as vice president and manager. The partners in this 
large enterprise also are members of the Heisley Manufacturing Com- 
pany, and, as stated, Mr. Carrick himself is a stockholder in the Stearns 
Manufacturing Company. He is also a member of the Erie Board of 
Trade ; is identified, in his church connections, with St. Peter's Roman 
Catholic cathedral ; belongs to the Knights of Columbus, and is a director 
of St. \"incent's Hospital. Air. Carrick's wife (nee Mary Kerwin) 
is a daughter of Daniel Kerwin, of Warren, Pennsylvania, and mother 
of the following : Frank and Leonard, employes of the Globe Iron 
Works ; Paul, deceased, and Cecilia. 

Philip August Becker. The distinctive and specific office of 
biography is not to give voice to a man's modest estimate of himself 
and his accomplishments but rather to leave the record establishing his 
position by the concensus of public opinion. In all things Philip A. 
Becker measured up to the full standard of honorable manhood in his 
business, social and official relations. For over a third of a century he 
was closely identified with the commercial interests of Erie and during 
a portion of that time was probably the most conspicuous figure in 
municipal afifairs, especially at the time when Erie was passing through 
its transformation period from a borough into a city. Indeed so active 
and helpful a part did he take in that work that his record has become 
inseparably interwoven with the history of the municipality and what he 
accomplished along the lines of progress and improvement in municipal 
affairs will ever be a most interesting and valuable contribution to the 
city's annals. 

Mr. Becker was born at Essingen, Rhein-Pfalz, Bavaria, on the 
10th of April, 1835, and his parents, Jacob and Mary (Berle) Becker, 
were also natives of that kingdom. Both the father and grandfather 



58 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

were school teachers and it was therefore but natural that Philip A. 
Becker should receive a collegiate education, owing to the interest of 
the family in intellectual progress. Following the German revolution 
of 1848, when so many of his countrymen found it expedient to seek 
homes in a new country, Mr. Becker also came to the United States and 
in 1851 established his home in Erie. Here he entered upon a business 
career in which he was destined, by reason of his laudable ambition, 
unfaltering energy and capable management, to win notable success. 
He first began as a clerk in the store of Jacob Berger but, with a college 
training and natural business ability, he was too ambitious to remain long 
in the position of salesman and the fall of 1852 found him at the head of 
his own establishment as proprietor of a wholesale grocery and liquor store 
at the corner of Fourth and French streets. The same year Mr. Becker's 
parents and sisters joined him in Erie and here the father died in 1853 
but the mother long survived, passing away in January, 1890, at the 
very advanced age of eighty-four years. 

In 1856 Mr. Becker, now well established in commercial lines, re- 
moved his business to the corner of Sixth and French streets, where in 
1872 he erected a fine business house which is now known as the Becker 
block. It is a three-story brick structure and it remained the scene 
of his commercial operations until his death, since which time the busi- 
ness has been carried on at the same location by his sons and is still 
©Iterated under the father's name. It is one of the oldest and best known 
business houses of the city, the sons maintaining its management along 
the same honorable, straightforward and progressive lines laid down by 
the father. In his commercial career Philip A. Becker was very progres- 
sive, seeking out new lines of activity whereby he might extend his com- 
mercial interests, and the success which he achieved was due to his 
honest, careful and persevering labors and his reliable principles. He 
ever maintained an unsullied name, his integrity standing as an un- 
questioned factor in his commercial life. 

In political circles and municipal afifairs Mr. Becker made a repu- 
tation which was equally commendable and reliable. He was conscien- 
tious in the discharge of every public duty, faithful in meeting every 
public trust and in all his municipal service looked ever to the advance- 
ment and growth of the city. Probably no public official of Erie has 
left his influence and impress on the city to better purpose than he. In 
every position which he filled he was a leader and sought continuously 
to advance reform, efficiency and improvement. His fellow townsmen, 
recognizing his worth, ability and unfaltering devotion to the general 
good, called him again and again to office and over the record of his 
official career there fell no shadow of wrong or suspicion of evil. From 
1867 until 1873 he was a useful member of the board of school directors, 
putting forth effective and beneficial effort in behalf of the system of 
public education. He served for nine full terms as a member of the city 
council and in both branches thereof was honored with election to the 
presidency. In 1883 his useful public career culminated in his election 
as mayor of Erie, to which he was chosen by a large majority as the 
Democratic candidate. His friends, constituents and the people in gen- 
eral expected much of him as the city's chief executive, nor were they 
disappointed, for his term was characterized by various needed reforms 
and the inauguration of a number of movements resulting in great 
benefit. He strongly advocated the building of a new city hall in keeping 
with the needs and dignity of the growing town and it was during his 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 59 

administration that the project was successfully developed, that ground 
was broken and the work of construction begun. He also reorganized 
and uniformed the city police force and established much needed disci- 
pline in that department. He likewise reorganized the fire department, 
which he greatly improved, bringing it up to a high point of efficiency 
never before known in its history. To him, more than to any other 
individual or number of men, is due the credit for installing the system 
of electric lighting in Erie. Many other tangible evidences of his pro- 
gressive spirit could be cited and in fact his administration accomplished 
more in the line of municipal reforms and improvements than that of any 
mayor the city has ever had. 

In social, church and fraternal circles Philip A. Becker was also 
prominent, influential and helpful. He was one of the organizers of the 
Erie Liedertafel and was a leading member of the Lutheran church. His 
life exemplified the beneficent spirit of the Masonic fraternity and also 
of the Odd Fellows society and indeed his interest and influence were 
always on the side of right, justice, truth and advancement. When 
death claimed him on the 12th of January, 1888, his passing was 
mourned by a wide circle of personal friends and by the entire community 
at large, for his life was so wrought in the public fabric that his death 
brought a sense of personal bereavement to all. Commenting on the 
death of Mayor Becker, one of the local newspapers, in a tribute to his 
citizenship and character, voiced the following sentiment, which was 
echoed by all who knew him : "Liberal and progressive as a citizen, 
capable and honest as an official, loyal and generous as a friend and 
tenderness itself beside his own hearthstone, Philip Becker died as be- 
comes a man of such character— brave and patient to the time when that 
blessed provision of nature for the great change robbed him of conscious 
being, only a few minutes before life left his body." 

The home life of Philip A. Becker was also most attractive in his 
devotion to his wife and children. In 1858 he was united in marriage 
to Miss Eugenia L. Jung, who died in February, 1896, at the age of 
fifty-seven years. There were four children born unto them, of whom 
Eugenia A., the eldest, died at the age of eighteen. Emil A. Becker, 
who was born in Erie, January 28, 1861, was educated in the public 
schools, after which he was under a private tutor in Philadelphia for 
a time. In 1878 he entered his father's store and continued with him 
until the father's death, when he and his brother Otto succeeded to the 
business, which, however, has since been conducted under the old style 
of P. A. Becker. He is a member of the various Masonic bodies and 
of the Erie, Country and Shrine Clubs. He is also connected with the 
Chamber of Commerce and, like his father, is proving his progressive 
citizenship in many tangible ways. He married Miss Ruth SpaflFord, 
and to them one son has been born, Spafiford J. Becker. Mrs. Becker 
is a daughter of John D. Spafiford and a granddaughter of Oliver Spaf- 
ford, the pioneer book man of Erie, of whom mention is made elsewhere 
in this volume. The mother of Mrs. Ruth Becker bore the maiden name 
of Emily Lejeal and belonged to a prominent family of this city. Armin 
Becker, the third member of the family, died at the age of a year and a 
half. Otto E., the youngest and the second surviving son, was born in 
Erie, January 5, 1865, and is indebted to the public-school system for the 
educational privileges he enjoyed. In 1882 he entered his father's store 
and continues the business successfully in connection with his brother. 
He, too. is loyal to the teachings of Masonry, having taken the degrees 



60 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

of the York and Scottish rites, while his membership relations also 
include the Erie, Country and Shrine Clubs and the Chamber of Com- 
merce. He married Salona, a daughter of Dr. B. A. Smith, a well-known 
physician of Erie, and to them, in 1903, was born a son, Philip S. Becker. 
For almost six decades' the family has figured in connection with the 
history of Erie and the name has always been a synonym here for 
progressive and valued citizenship. 

William Conradt Kraemer. Secretary and treasurer of the Dis- 
patch Printing and Engraving Company, of Erie, and a public citizen of 
influence and official standing, William C. Kraemer is a worthy type 
of the German-American who is behind much of the substantial life of 
Erie and Northwestern Pennsylvania. He is a native of Chautauqua 
county, New York, born March 18, 1868, and is a son of William and 
Eva (Bender) Kraemer. Although the father was born in Baden- 
Baden and the mother in Bavaria, both emigrated from Germany to 
the United States in their early years. William Kraemer, who was a 
wagon maker, was living in Missouri at the outbreak of the Civil war, 
and served in a Union regiment from that state under General Fremont. 
Afterward he went to Dunkirk, New York, where one of his sisters was 
living, and followed his trade there and at Fredonia, also in that state. 
In 1868 he located at Forestville, New York, where, as a member of the 
firm of Jones and Kraemer, he established a wagon manufactory and 
blacksmith shop. His death occurred at the latter place in 1873, at the 
age of thirty-three years, the widowed mother being now a resident 
of Erie. 

Until he was thirteen years of age, W. C. Kraemer lived at Forest- 
ville, New York, attending its public schools and Free Academy. In 
November, 1881, he located at Girard, where he learned the printer's 
trade on the Cosmopolite, a newspaper established by Dan Rice, the 
well-known showman. Mr. Kraemer remained thus engaged until July, 
1891, when, at the age of twenty-three, he became a resident of Erie. 
After continuing as an employe of the Dispatch for some time he 
bought an interest in the paper and the printing plant, and acted as 
foreman for about six years. When the newspaper and job departments 
were divided, Mr. Kraemer became identified with the latter. This was 
organized and incorporated as the Dispatch Printing and Engraving 
Company, and of this he is third owner, holding the office of secretary 
and treasurer. To the development of this enterprise Mr. Kraemer 
has given his chief attention, although his activity and influence in public 
matters have been noteworthy. In 1902 he was elected, by independent 
voters, to the office of county register and recorder, and in 1905 returned 
to the same position without opposition. He is also in line with other 
enterprising citizens as a member and active supporter of the Erie Board 
of Trade, and is earnest and liberal in his association with the frater- 
nities. He has attained especially high rank in the Masonic order, being 
a member of Perry Lodge, A. F. & A. M. ; Presque Isle Lodge of Per- 
fection ; Pittsburg Consistory and Zem Zem Temple of the Mystic Shrine ; 
as a natural consequence of his standing in the order, he is identified 
with the Shriner Club of Erie. As an Odd Fellow he belongs to Lake 
Shore Lodge No. 718, and Heneosis Adelphon Encampment No. 48; his 
Knights of Pythias connections are with Erie Lodge and the Dramatic 
Order of Khorassan, and he is a member of Alpha Tent No. 1, K. O. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 61 

T. M. Mr. Kraemer's wife was formerly Miss Alice L. Hays and both 
are members of the Central Presbyterian church. 

Thomas Oldman. A well-known and popular business man of the 
city of Erie is Thomas Oldman, who is proprietor of the Tenth Avenue 
Cafe & Restaurant, and who previously was prominently identified with 
manufacturing industries of an important order. He is a member of the 
city council, in which he is a representative of the Second ward, and 
during his services as a city official he has made a record for care and 
fidelity in the conservation of good municipal government. 

Thomas Oldman is a native of the city of BufiFalo, New York, where 
he was born on the 22d of January, 1862, and he is a son of William 
and Jane (Crighton) Oldman, the former of whom was born in Man- 
chester, England, in 1833, and the latter of whom was born in Buffalo, 
New York, in 1840. William Oldman was about five years of age when, 
in 1839, his parents came to America, and from New York City, to which 
point they had made the voyage on one of the old-time sailing vessels, 
they made their way to Buffalo on a canal packet-boat on the Erie 
canal. At that time no railroad had penetrated so far west as BufiFalo. 
In the city mentioned William Oldman was reared to manhood, and he is 
now one of the oldest citizens of BufiFalo, where he has maintained his 
home continuously since his childhood days and where he was long 
identified with successful business undertakings. For many years he 
was engaged in the manufacturing of boilers, having been an expert 
boiler-maker and having long conducted a shop of his own. For the past 
several years he has lived retired from all active business associations, 
and he rests secure in the confidence and esteem of all who know him 
in the city which has long been the scene of his earnest and fruitful 
endeavors. 

Thomas Oldman was reared to maturity in his native city, to whose 
excellent public schools he is indebted for his early educational discipline. 
As a youth he entered upon an apprenticeship to the boiler-maker's trade, 
under the effective direction of his honored father, and he continued to 
follow the work of his trade in Buffalo, until 1889, when, at the age of 
twenty-seven years, he came to Erie, Pennsylvania, where he became 
superintendent of the boiler department of the plant of the Stearns 
Manufacturing Company. Later he engaged in business for himself, 
by establishing the American Boiler Works, and he built up a prosperous 
enterprise, in which he continued until July, 1908, when he disposed of 
the plant and business and purchased the Tenth Avenue Cafe & Res- 
taurant, which he has since conducted with much success. The estab- 
lishment is modern and attractive in appointments and the service is such 
ar. to constitute the best possible advertising for the popular institution. 

In his political adherency Mr. Oldman is found arrayed as a stalwart 
supporter of the principles and policies for which the Democratic party 
stands sponsor, and he has been the popular and able representative of 
the Second ward in the city council continuously since 1904. He was 
first elected in that year, was chosen as his own successor in 1906, and 
in the election of 1908 renewed mark of popular appreciation of his 
services was given when he was again elected to succeed himself as 
one of the members of the administrative body of the municipal govern- 
ment. He is affiliated with Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the 
Fraternal Order of Eagles, and the Protected Home Circle, besides 
which he is identified with the Erie Chamber of Commerce, an organi- 



62 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

zation which has done much to further the industrial and commercial 
advancement of Erie. 

Samuel B. I'ayle. As a representative member of the bar of his 
native county, as one who has also attained to much prestige as an 
educator, as one who has rendered effective service in the state legislature, 
and as a scion of families founded in the old Keystone commonwealth 
in the colonial epoch of our national history, there is ample reason for 
according consideration in this publication of Samuel B. Bayle, who 
bears a name that has long been identified with the annals of Erie 
county and one that has ever stood exponent of the best order of 
citizenship. 

Samuel B. Bayle was born on the old homestead farm of his father, 
in McKean township, this county, and the date of his nativity is to be 
recorded as August 20, 1860. He is a son of Elias and Mara Ann Louisa 
(Brecht) Bayle, the former of whom was likewise a native of McKean 
township, where he was born in the year 1822, and the latter of whom 
was born in Fairview township, this county, in 1830. James Bayle, 
grandfather of him wdiose name initiates this review, was a native of 
Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, when he removed to Erie county 
and became one of the pioneer settlers of McKean township in the open- 
ing years of the nineteenth century. He rendered valiant service in 
guarding the port of Erie during the war of 1812, and during the prog- 
ress of this conflict also assisted in the construction of the historic 
old Edinboro plank road. He became one of the influential citizens 
of the county, and here continued his residence until his death. A great- 
grandfather of Samuel B. Bayle in the maternal line was Stephen Oliver, 
who had served as a loyal soldier in the Continental line in the war of 
the Revolution and who was present at the historic Wyoming massacre. 
He became one of the pioneers of McKean township, this county, and 
contributed his quota to the material and civic progress of this now 
favored section of the old Keystone state. 

Elias Bayle was reared to manhood in this county, and made good 
use of the advantages of the common schools of his day, as is evident 
when it is stated that he became a successful and popular teacher 
when a young man. He was reared on the home farm, and in later years 
he found it expedient and grateful to continue his allegiance to the great 
basic art of agriculture, in connection with which he has been duly 
successful in his operations. He continued to be engaged in farming 
in McKean township until 1864, when he removed to the state of Mich- 
igan, where he continued to reside until 1872, when he returned to his 
native county, where he has since maintained his home. He now resides 
with his son in Fairview borough, and he has long been recognized 
as one of the sterling and influential citizens of Erie county, where he 
has been called upon to serve in various township offices and where he 
has so ordered his course as to retain at all times the confidence and 
inviolable esteem of his fellow men. His cherished and devoted wife 
was summoned to the life eternal on the 6th of January, 1890. She was 
a woman of most gracious and gentle personality, and ever showed a 
deep sympathy for "those in any ways afflicted, in mind, body or estate," 
so that her memory will long be revered by all who came within the 
sphere of her immediate influence. She was a daughter of Samuel 
Brecht, who was one of the pioneers of Fairview township, this county, 
whither he came from Lancaster county. His old homestead farm is 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 63 

now owned by his grandson and namesake, the subject of this sketch. 
Samuel Brecht married Miss Isabella Nicholson, daughter of John Nich- 
olson, who came from Londonderry, Ireland, to America in 1783, in 
which year he became a settler in Mill Creek township, Erie county, 
where he reclaimed a farm from the virgin forest. 

Samuel B. Bayle was reared on the home farm and after duly 
availing himself of the advantages of the district schools, he entered 
the Pennsylvania State Normal School at Edinboro, in which he was 
graduated as a member of the class of 1889. In 1892 he received from 
Allegheny College the degree of Master of Arts, and later he took a 
post-graduate course in the University of West Virginia. In the mean- 
while he had taken up the study of law under the most effective precep- 
torship of Hinckley and Rice, Warren, Pennsylvania, and in 1891 
he was admitted to the bar of both Warren and Erie counties. In 
1892 he took up his residence in the city of Chicago, and he followed 
the work of his profession in the great western metropolis until 1898, 
in which later year he returned to Erie county. Here, in 1899, he be- 
came principal of the Waterford high school, which was changed from 
the academic system of operation in that year. He proved most suc- 
cessful in his pedagogic work, and in 1901-2 he was engaged in 
the work of this profession at Waterford, this county. In the latter year 
he was elected county superintendent of schools, and of this important 
and exacting office he continued to be the able and popular incumbent 
until 1908, when he retired from the position to assume the discharge 
of his duties as a representative of his native county in the state legis- 
lature, to which he had been elected in that year. As superintendent of 
schools of Erie county, Mr. Bayle accomplished a splendid work, unify- 
ing the system of management and operation and doing much to promote 
efificiency in all departments of the school work throughout the county. 
His administration gained to him the hearty co-operations of the teach- 
ers in his jurisdiction and the unqualified commendation of the people of 
the county in general. 

In politics Mr. Bayle is signally well fortified in his convictions, and 
he accords a stanch allegiance to the Republican party, of whose principles 
and policies he is an effective exponent. As a member of the legislature 
he has proved himself active, watchful and duly conservative. He has 
been assigned to membership on important committees of the house, 
among which may be mentioned those on education, agriculture, high- 
ways, public health sanitation, and electric railways. Since his retire- 
ment from the field of educational work he has resumed the practice 
of law, and is successfully following the work of this profession in 
Erie, where his clientage is of representative order. He also maintains 
a general supervision of his fine farm property, in Fairview township. 
He is affiliated with the local lodge, chapter and commandery of the 
Masonic fraternity, as well as with its social adjunct, the Ancient Arabic 
Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and is also identified with 
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Benevolent and Pro- 
tective Order of Elks. He attends the Episcopal church. 

In 1882 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Bayle to Miss Edith 
May Fargo, who was born in Fairview township, this county, and who 
is a daughter of William and Esther (Spence) Fargo, honored pioneers 
of that township. Mr. and Mrs. Bayle have only one child, William 
Fargo Bayle, who was born in 1889. He was graduated in Oberlin 
College, Oberlin. Ohio, as a member of the class of 1905, receiving the 



64 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

degree of Bachelor of Arts. He is now preparing himself for the 
priesthood of the Protestant Episcopal church, at Arden, North Caro- 
lina, where he was head master of Christ Episcopal School in 1908. 

Peter Henrichs. Many men excel in achievements and command 
success in some particular direction, but very few attain eminence in 
several lines of endeavor. In Peter Henrichs, one of the leading Ger- 
man citizens of Erie, we have a notable exception. As a dry goods mer- 
chant he won pronounced success ; as an inventor he has met with 
public recognition and endorsement; as a manufacturer his results have 
been positive and satisfactory; and as a writer for the press his literary 
ability has been established. He is now especially engaged in manu- 
facturing, being at the head of the Exhibition Show Case Manufactur- 
ing Company, whose plant is located at No. 1816 German street. A 
native of Prussia, Germany, he was born February 16, 1839, a son of 
Joseph and Margaret (Armbruster) Henrichs. 

Emigrating with his family to the United States in 1845, Joseph 
Henrichs lived first in Cincinnati, Ohio, and afterwards resided for a time 
in Covington. Kentucky, following in both places his trade of a cabinet 
maker. Coming to Erie, in 1853, he opened a cabinet maker's shop 
on Peach street, near Eighteenth street, and continued in his chosen 
occupation, obtaining an excellent start. In 1855, however, he was so 
seriously injured by the collapsing of the gallery in St. Patrick's Catho- 
lic church edifice that he died in March, 1856, while yet in the prime of 
life, being but forty-five years old, his birth having occurred in 1811. 
His widow subsequently removed to Mishawaka, Indiana, where she 
made a home with a daughter until her death, in 1888, at the age of 
seventy-nine years, her birth having occurred in 1809. Both parents 
were faithful members of the Roman Catholic church. 

Receiving his educational training in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Coving- 
ton, Kentucky, Peter Henrichs came with his family to Erie, in 1852, 
and at once took a position as salesman in the old Sennett, Barr Com- 
pany's foundry, with which he continued until its failure in 1857. The 
following three years he was clerk in the dry goods store of William 
Bell. In 1860 Mr. Henrichs formed a partnership with Jacob Gobel, 
and embarked in the dry goods business, in the American block, be- 
coming junior member of the firm of Gobel & Henrichs. Buying out his 
partner in 1866, he managed the business by himself until 1872. In 
that year, he became manager of the cloak and suit manufacturing de- 
partment of Edson, Churchill & Co., and during the very same year in- 
vented a combination infant's chair, and formed a company for its 
manufacture. Subsequently Mr. Henrichs sold out his interest to the 
other members of the company, who continued the manufacture of his 
patent, paying him a royalty on all manufactures. Still keeping his 
inventive faculties in use. Mr. Henrichs patented, in 1877, a sectional 
exhibition show case, and, in company with J. W. Churchill, engaged in 
the manufacture of the same under the firm name of "The Exhibition 
Show Case Company," of which he has ever since been the active head 
and manager. Under his wise superintendence, the business has been 
materially increased, the company now manufacturing not only show 
cases, but a full line of store fixtures, its business being one of the 
largest and most renumerative of the kind in the city. 

A writer of talent and ability, Mr. Henrichs has for a number of 
years contributed articles of interest to the press, principally along the 



IPUBl. 






HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 65 

lines of local history, with which he is familiar, and he is now engaged 
in the preparation of a voluminous work on the history of the German 
population in Erie county, which he designs to publish in book form at 
some future time. 

On January 13, 18G0, Mr. Henrichs married Catherine Preuss, a 
native of Prussia, and to them eleven children have been born, namely: 
Edward N. ; Amelia; Leo, deceased; Rosa; Cornelia; Virginia; William; 
Eugenia and Nova, twins; Katie; and Edith. Politically Mr. Henrichs 
supports the principles of the Republican party, and rehgiously both 
Mr. and Mrs. Henrichs are members of the Roman Catholic church. 

Louis Rosenzweig. Of the many eminent lawyers that have hon- 
ored the Erie bar within the last quarter of a century Louis Rosenzweig 
is one of the more prominent, his legal knowledge, skill and ability hav- 
ing gained him success and distinction in his profession. He is a man 
of intellectual power and force, wise in all departments of law, and as a 
safe, prudent and sound counsellor has a large and lucrative patronage. 
A native of Georgia, he was born in the city of Macon, April 25, 1844. 
His parents, Isaac and Bena (Baker) Rosenzweig, were born in Germany, 
married in Philadelphia, and subsequently located in Georgia, where the 
father was engaged in mercantile pursuits. In 1846 the family came 
north to Erie, where the father continued in business as a merchant 
until his death, October 8, 1884. 

Having completed his early studies in the public schools of Erie, 
Louis Rosenzweig was for a number of years employed as a clerk in 
his father's store. Ambitious, however, to enter upon a professional 
career, he read law with Edward Camphausen, Esq., devoting himself to 
his legal studies with the industry and persistency that has ever been 
characteristic of his life, and in due time was admitted to the bar. After 
practisiilg his profession alone for a time, Mr. Rosenzweig formed a 
partnership with George A. Allen, and under the firm name of Allen & 
Rosenzweig continued in practice until the death of the senior member 
of the firm. Exceedingly successful from the start, this firm built up 
one of the most extensive and remunerative lines of practice in North- 
western Pennsylvania. As the firm's successor, Mr. Rosenzweig has con- 
tinued the business, which has in nowise deteriorated, but on the contrary 
has visibly increased in magnitude and importance, being one of the most 
noteworthy in the city. 

Mr. Rosenzweig married, October 19, 1864, Minnie, daughter of 
the late Jacob Newberger, a merchant of Cumberland, Indiana, and of 
their union four children have been born, namely: Grant I., a graduate 
of Yale University, is now an attorney in Kansas City, Missouri ; Bert 
R., Hving in Cleveland, Ohio ; Eta, wife of Isadore Levi ; and Harriet, 
wife of Fred Davidson of Schenectady, New York. Religiously Mr. 
Rosenzweig and his family are members of the Jewish Temple. Political- 
ly he is a stanch adherent of the Democratic party, and though not an 
aspirant for official honors has served two terms as school director. Fra- 
ternally he is a member of the Free and Accepted Order of Masons ; he 
was one of the organizers and one of the original members of the board 
of trustees of the public library. 

Rev. Benjamin J. Raycroft. The honored pastor of St. Anne's 
church in the city of Erie is one of the distinguished members of the 
priesthood of the Catholic church in his native state, and in his high 
Vol. II— 5 



GG HISTORY OP^ ERIE COUNTY 

calling he has accomplished a most successful work for the aiding and 
uplifting of his fellow men. He is a man of fine intellectual attain- 
m.ents and his record has been the positive expression of a strong and 
deeply sympathetic nature. 

Benjamin Joseph Raycroft, A. M., was born in the city of Pitts- 
burg, Pennsylvania, and is a son of Benjamin and Margaret (Flynn) 
Raycroft, both of whom were born in the fair Emerald Isle. Rev. 
Father Raycroft gained his early educational discipline in a school con- 
ducted by the Franciscan Brothers in his native city, and in the early 
'TOs the family came to Erie county and located on a farm west of 
Edinboro, in which village Father Raycroft became a student in the 
Pennsylvania State Normal School, in which he was graduated as a mem- 
ber of the class of 1880. In the same year he entered St. Vincent's 
College, in Westmoreland county, this state, where he remained a stu- 
dent for two years. He was then matriculated in Niagara University, 
near Niagara Falls, New York, and after remaining there one year he 
entered St. Bonaventure's College, at Allegany, New York, where he 
was graduated in 1884, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He passed 
the ensuing three years as a student in the theological seminary connected 
with the college, and on the 24th of July, 1887, he was ordained to the 
priesthood. 

Father Raycroft's first pastoral incumbency was as first assistant 
to Father Patterson, of St. Mary's church at Sartwell, Pennsylvania, and 
later he was pastor of the parish of the Sacred Heart, Sharon, Pennsyl- 
vania, for a period of three and one-half months. Thereafter he held 
charges at Warren and Oil City, this state, in which latter place he was 
assistant in St. Joseph's church until February 2, 1890, when he became 
identified with the parish of old St. Patrick's church in Erie. On the 
11th of the following August Bishop Mullen assigned to him the charge 
of St. Boniface's parish, at Kersey, Elk county, Pennsylvania, where he 
continued his labors until the 3d of January, 1901, when he returned to the 
city of Erie and assumed his present pastoral charge. Here his labors have 
been most potent in advancing both the spiritual and temporal welfare 
of his parish. Through his earnest efforts, with the zealous co-operation 
of his parishioners, the fine new church edifice of St. Anne's was com- 
pleted in 1905, and while at Kersey he also erected a new church build- 
ing, which was completed and dedicated in 1894. In Erie Father Ray- 
croft has the high regard of all classes of citizens, and in his parish 
his indefatigable labors, his zeal, his devotion and his selif-abnegating 
spirit have won and retained to him the afifection and regard of those to 
whom he ministers. 

Father Raycroft has special talent in the field of literature, and is 
essentially a deep and appreciative student. He received from his alma 
mater, St. Bonaventure's College, the degree of Master of Arts, in 1889. 
He is the author of two books of sermons, and one entitled "Devotions to 
the Blessed \^irgin," besides which he has written six very effective 
dramatic compositions, which have been presented on the local stage. 
His deep humanitarian spirit and his gracious personality gain to him 
friends among "all sorts and conditions of men," and his popularity in 
the city of Erie is of the most unequivocal order. 

RuFUS L. Perkins. The names and deeds of those who have 
wrought nobly in the past should not be allowed to perish, and it is 
in the making of perpetual record concerning such persons that a publi- 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 67 

cation of this order exercises its supreme function. The family of 
which Rufus L. Perkins was a scion bears a name which is ineffaceably 
traced on the pages of our national history from the early colonial epoch 
to the present time. Strong men and true ; gentle and gracious women, 
have represented the name as one generation has followed another onto 
the stage of life, while the family escutcheon has ever been a symbol of 
integrity, honor and usefulness. In New England, in Pennsylvania, 
in Ohio, and in divers other sections of the Union there have been 
many distinguished citizens to upbear the prestige of the name, and not 
the least of these was Rufus Lord Perkins, to whom this brief tribute 
is dedicated and who was known and honored as one of the represen- 
tative business men and sterling citizens of Erie county. 

Rufus Lord Perkins, who died at his home in the city of Erie, on 
Wednesday, March 17, 1909, was born in the village of Athens, Ohio, 
on the 17th of December, 1819, and was a son of Dr. Chauncey F. and 
Lydia (Lord) Perkins. The original American ancestor in the agnatic 
line was John Perkins, who was born in Gloucestershire, England, in 
1590, and who landed at Boston, Massachusetts, in 1631. For two years 
he was a resident of Boston and at the expiration of this period, in 1633, 
he established his permanent home at Ipswich, ^Massachusetts. From this 
worthy ancestor the subject of this memoir was of the seventh generation 
in line of direct descent. Eliphas Perkins, grandfather of Rufus L., 
figures as the founder of the family in the west. He was a native of 
Norwich, Connecticut. He graduated from Yale College, and after 
securing his medical education practised his profession in his native 
state for some years. In 1799 he removed to the wilds of Ohio and 
settled in the little pioneer village of Marietta whence he subsequently 
removed to Athens, where he passed the remainder of his life. 

Dr. Chauncey Fitch Perkins was born at Canterbury, Connecticut, 
and his wife, Lydia (Lord) Perkins was a native of Norwich, that state. 
She was a direct descendant from Thomas Lord, who was born in 
England, in 1.585, and who emigrated to Hartford, Connecticut, in 1G35. 
Dr. Chauncey F. Perkins received excellent educational advantages and 
gained distinction as an able physician and surgeon. He was engaged 
in the practice of his profession at Athens, Ohio, until 1828, when he 
removed with his family to Pennsylvania and took up his abode in 
Erie. He was one of the pioneer physicians of this county, where he 
ministered to suffering humanity with abilty and self-abnegaton for 
many years and where he is held in reverent memory as one of the 
earnest and noble representatives of his profession in this section 
of the state during its formative period. 

Rufus Lord Perkins w^as a lad of nine years at the time of the 
family removal from Ohio to Erie, and in the schools of the locality 
and period he secured his early educational discipline, which was 
later to be broadened to knowledge and appreciation of all that is 
best in literature. As a youth he secured a clerical position in the 
office of the Erie Railroad at Dunkirk, New York, during the period 
of the construction of that road, and after being thus engaged about 
two years he returned to Erie, where, in 1843, he engaged in the 
drug business in partnership with John H. Burton. This alliance con- 
tinued until ]\Iay. 1849. when Mr. Perkins disposed of his interest in the 
enterprise and engaged in the manufacture of paper. He erected his mill 
at ^layside, this county, near the mouth of Walnut creek, and in 1850 
he established his home at ]\Iayside, where for more than a score of 



68 HISTORY OF ERIE COUXTY 

years he was identified with the manufacturing of paper. For a portion 
of this period he had* as his associate in the business his brother-in-law, 
Samuel Selden, and later Colonel John H. Bliss became an interested 
principal in the enterprise. 

In 1873, after' his retirement from the business just mentioned, 
Mr. Perkins returned to Erie, where he passed the remainder of his 
life and where for a number of years he continued to be actively 
associated with business interests, — for a time as agent for the Un- 
ion Mutual Life Insurance Company and later as the local represen- 
tative of the Bradstreet Mercantile Agency. During the later years 
of his life he lived retired and was permitted to enjoy to the full 
the attractions of his beautiful home and his large and select library. 
His circle of friends was circumscribed only by that of his acquain- 
tances, and no citizen had a more secure place in the confidence and 
esteem of the community than did he. From an appreciative arti- 
cle published in a local newspaper at the time of his demise the fol- 
lowing statements are taken : 

"Mr. Perkins was a man of very marked Christian character, and 
had all his life taken a very active interest in his church and every- 
thing the church stands for. He united with the First Presbyterian 
church of this city in 1834. Upon his removal to Mayside he trans- 
ferred his membership to the Presbyterian church of Fairview, Penn- 
sylvania, where he became an elder. When he returned to Erie, in 
1873, he united with the Park Presbyterian church, with which he 
continued to be identified until his death. The distribution of the 
Holy Scriptures as a means of extending the kingdom of Christ in 
the world, appealed to him very strongly, and, for many years, his 
support and co-operation had been given to the Pennsylvania Bible 
Society, of which he was a vice-president ; for nearly twenty-five years 
he was secretary of the Erie County Bible Society, and at the time 
of his death w'as secretary and treasurer. 

"From his boyhood his tastes were decidely literary, and even 
during the very active years of his business life he found time to write 
much for the papers and periodicals, and this habit he kept up almost 
to the last. He was an idefatigable student, and his mind was a veri- 
table storehouse of information, not only on matters of history and 
the world of letters, but also in regard to the news and vital inter- 
ests of the day. His disposition was bright and cheerful, and by 
his kindly manner and his abiding sympathy he attracted to him all 
who had the privilege of his acquaintance. His death came suddenly, 
but we can believe, as he did, that it was only the opening of the door 
into his heavenly home." 

Even in so intimate an article as this review of the career of the 
honored subject of this sketch there can be no desire to intrude upon 
the sacred precincts of his home, in which his interests ever centered, 
in which the domestic relations were ever of idyllic character, and in 
which the noble and generous attributes of his character stood forth 
in stronger relief than in any other of the varied relations of life. In 
the city of Erie, on the 9th of September, 1845, w^as solemnized the 
marriage of Mr. Perkins to Miss Mary Ann Lattimore, who was 
born in Painesville, Ohio, on the 24th of February, 1820, and who 
was a daughter of William and Rhoda Williams Lattimore. The first 
break in the family circle, and one which brought the maximum loss 
and bereavement in the life of Mr. Perkins, was that which occurred 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY CO 

when the devoted wife and mother was summoned into eternal rest, 
in January, 1883. They became the parents of six children, concern- 
ing whom the following brief data are consistently entered in con- 
clusion of this tribute: William Rufus, who was for a number of 
years a member of the faculty of Cornell University and later pro- 
fessor of history in the University of Iowa, died on the 27th of Jan- 
uary, 1895; George Williams was a member of the bar of Pittsburg, 
Pennsylvania, at the time of his death, on the 7th of May, 1900 ; Hen- 
ry Lattimore, who was engaged in business in Erie, died on the 9th 
of January, 1903 ; Chauncey Fitch, who was general ore and coal 
agent for the Pennsylvania Company, with headquarters in the city 
of Pittsburg, died January 3, 1909; and Charles Lord and Julia Eliza- 
beth, the only surviving members of the immediate family, reside at 
the home on West Sixth street, in the city of Erie. 

Rev. Andrew Ignasiak. A man of earnest thought and sincere 
purpose. Rev. Andrew Ignasiak, pastor of St. Stanislaus Roman Cath- 
olic Church, in Erie, is a teacher and leader among his people, and 
through ties of sweet ministry and love has greatly endeared him- 
self to his parishioners. A son of John and Katarina Ignasiak, he 
was born, November 6, 1863, in Slawienko, near Obornik, Prussian 
Poland, and there received the rudimentary education that developed 
in him a taste for higher knowledge. He afterwards attended the 
Gymnasium at Posen, and then entered the American College at Lou- 
vain, Belgium, where he made a special study of theology. 

Being graduated from that institution in 1886, Father Ignasiak was 
there ordained to the priesthood in the Roman Catholic church, and 
given the mission to the diocese in Erie. Arriving in this city, Aug- 
ust 21, 1886, he immediately assumed charge of St. Stanislaus' church, 
with which he has since been actively identified. In his ministerial 
labors. Father Ignasiak has been eminently successful, his kindly spirit, 
beneficence, and sympathetic nature enabling him to touch the hearts 
and influence the lives of the unlearned as well as the cultured, bring- 
ing him into close personal relations with the members of his parish. 

Albert N. Daniels. Among the strong and honored figures in 
the business circles of the city of Erie is Albert Nathaniel Daniels, 
who is known as a worthy type of the steadfast, honorable and up- 
right business man and loyal and public-spirited citizen. Ex-secretary 
and superintendent of the Carter Smart Weed Company, an important 
industrial concern of Erie, he is a representative in the third genera- 
tion of one of the sterling pioneer families of this county. 

Mr. Daniels was born in Cussewago township, Crawford county, 
this state, on the 14th of May, 1860, and is a son of David A. and 
Philura (Hills) Daniels, the former of whom was born at Gospel Hill, 
Harbor Creek township, this county, in 1822, and the latter of whom 
was born at Fabius, Onondaga county. New York, January 29, 1826. 
David Albert Daniels was a son of William Daniels, a native of the 
state of New Jersey, who came to Erie county in an early day and 
became one of the pioneers of Harbor Creek township, where he se- 
cured a tract of heavily timbered land and essayed the reclamation 
of a farm. He had learned the trades of shoemaker and tanner and 
in earlier years devoted his attention to the same, after which his vo- 
cation w^as that of farmer. When his son David A. was a boy Wil- 



70 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Ham Daniels removed to Crawford county, this state, where he fol- 
lowed agricultural pursuits during the rest of his active life and where 
his death occurred. For more than thirty years he served as captain 
of a militia company in Crawford county, and he was thus familiarly 
known by the title of captain. Upon his death his son David A. was 
appointed his successor in the captaincy, by Governor Mifflin, but the 
company, with others in the state service, was disbanded soon after- 
ward. The parents of William Daniels were born in Ireland and 
Holland respectively, and their marriage was solemnized in America, 
wliere the respective families were founded in the colonial days. 

David A. Daniels became one of the prosperous farmers of Craw- 
ford county, where he was reared to manhood and where he ever 
commanded the unqualified esteem of all who knew him. His death 
occurred on his old homestead in that county, in 1902. His devoted 
wife, who died in 1885. was a daughter of Obed and Alsemina (Ba- 
con) Hills, both of wdiom were of English lineage. Obed Hills was 
a blacksmith and millwright by trade and in addition to having been 
engaged in the milling business he also operated largely in the hand- 
ling of lumber and became a successful farmer. He took up his resi- 
dence in Crawford county, this state, in 1837, but in 1866 he removed 
to Genesee county, ^Michigan, where both he and his wife continued 
to reside until their death. 

Albert Nathaniel Daniels, passed his boyhood and youth on the 
old homestead farm in Cussew^ago township, Crawford county, and 
his early educational advantages were those afforded in the common 
schools of the locality and period. That he made good use of his 
opportunities is evident when it is stated that at the age of nineteen 
years he proved himself eligible and secured a teacher's certificate, 
after which he was a successful teacher in the district schools of his 
native county for several terms. Thereafter he was for a time em- 
ployed as a salesman of nursery stock. After his marriage, in 1893, 
he was identified with agricultural pursuits in Crawford county un- 
til 1889, when he assumed the position of a driver on a star-route mail 
and stage line, with which he continued to be identified for a period 
of four years. In 1894 Mr. Daniels came to Erie, where he forthwith 
was engaged as a salesman for the Carter Smart Weed Company. In 
this capacity he w^as employed for the first eighteen months, at the 
expiration of which he became a foreman in the plant of the com- 
pany in Erie. In 1898 he was promoted to the office of superintend- 
ent and also became secretary of the company, in which he served 
until May 7. 1909. when he retired from the business. 

In politics, though never a seeker of official preferment, ]\Ir. Dan- 
iels is a supporter of the Republican party. He has attained to no 
little distinction in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in whose 
afifairs he maintains a deep interest. He has been affiliated wnth the 
order since 1891 and was one of the organizers of Fraternal Lodge, 
No. 188, of Erie, of which he was the first noble grand. In 1905 
he represented this lodge in the grand lodge of the order in Pennsyl- 
vania, at the meeting held in the city of Scranton. He is now sec- 
retary of Fraternal Lodge, and is a valued member of Lake Erie En- 
campment, and Canton Nicholson, Patriarchs Militant, — representing 
advanced degrees in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 

In 1883 ]\Ir. Daniels was united in marriage to Miss Ida E. Vaughn, 
who was born in Cussewago township, Crawford county, this state, 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 71 

and who is a daughter of Nathan and Ruth (Mellott) Vaughn, well 
known citizens of that county. Mr. and Mrs. Daniels have four chil- 
dien, namely: Benjamin F., Bernal I., Ruth K., and Edna P., all of 
whom remain at the parental home with the exception of Benjamin 
F., who is now a resident of Levi, New Mexico, where he is the own- 
er of a valuable tract of land. 

William J. Sciiaaf, one of the well known citizens and business 
men of Erie is engaged in the commission business at No. 1009 Ash 
street. He is a native of the city, having been born on July 1, 1858, in the 
old Schaaf homestead at No. 603 East Tenth street which he now owns 
and in which he resides. ^Ir. Schaaf is the son of Peter and Franciska 
(Sanner) Schaaf, both of whom were born in the fatherland, the father 
in Schwarzwald, Rhenish Germany, and the mother in Alsace, same 
province. Peter Schaaf was born in 1818 and came to the United States 
in 1806, and as he first settled in Erie county was considered one of its 
pioneers. After his marriage, he located at what was called New Ger- 
many, near McKean. but about two years afterward returned to Erie, 
and fixed his residence on State street near Twenty-fiftk He then went 
to Cincinnati, Ohio, w^here he learned the manufacture of old fashioned 
oil cloth, for this purpose leaving his family in Erie and residing about 
one year in that city. Returning to Erie, he built a factory on the site 
of the buildings now owned by his son, William J., and then engaged 
in the manufacture of oil cloth for several years. In the distribution of 
his product, he sent men by wagon and on foot to different parts of the 
country, as far south as Pittsburg, west to Chicago and east to Bufifalo, 
even embracing various Canadian points in his selling operations. After 
the manufacture of oil cloth by machinery began he abandoned the in- 
dustry and then engaged in the brewing business with John Kalvalage in 
the old "Eagle Brewery" now incorporated as the Erie Brewing Com- 
pany. He continued in that line for a number of years and then went 
into the grocery business on the corner of Sixth and French streets. 
Later he removed to the corner of Seventh and State streets (the Hughes 
Block) ; where he broadened out both as a wholesale and retail grocer 
under the firm name of P. Schaaf and Son, the son being George, who 
died at the age of twenty-seven years shortly after the firm was formed. 
This was during the Civil war period. In 1868 the senior Mr. Schaaf 
erected the building now occupied by William J., removed the business 
thither and continued at that location until his death in the spring of 1877. 
His sons, William J. and Peter, then conducted the business for about 
three years under the title of P. Schaaf's Estate, then purchasing it and 
conducting it until 1890. In the meantime they had added produce and 
commission to the scope of their operations, and when they dissolved part- 
nership, about 1895, Peter assumed the grocery business and William J. 
continued the commission trade. 

The mother of the family died in 1894 at the age of- seventy-eight 
years, and of her eleven children, three sons and two daughters are now 
living. The entire family was as follows : George, deceased ; Philip, who 
resides in Erie ; Maria, w'ho married U. Schlandecker, also of that city ; 
Susan, who died as the wnfe of Captain Peter Schlandecker ; Joseplime, 
deceased, who married John Mehl of Erie; Michael and John, also de- 
ceased; Helen, who married Joseph Burger, and is deceased; Peter, re- 
siding in Erie ; Francis, who married Charles Gunther, of that city, and 



72 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

William ]., of this sketch, the youngest child. All the living members of 
the family are identified with St. Mary's Catholic church. 

William J. Schaaf was first educated in the St. Mary's parochial 
school ; then spent one year at the Sisters Academy, which w^as followed 
by courses in the public schools and at the old Hubbard and Woods 
Commercial School, the latter being the pioneer institution of its kind 
in the city. He left school when he was fourteen years of age; then be- 
came his father's assistant in the store and his continuous business prog- 
ress since, both in partnership and independently, has been already de- 
scribed. As a material addition to Mr. Schaaf's fine record, it should 
be stated that he served as a member of the city council many years ago, 
and that, although he performs his full duties as a good citizen, he gives 
his business the preference and mixes as little as possible with politics. 

Mr. Schaaf's wife was Ida Vernon Kelsey, born at Conneaut, Ohio, 
daughter of Sidney and Mary (Gunnison) Kelsey. Her father was an 
old and well known journalist who died about 1901. The following 
children have been born to Air. and Mrs. \\'illiam J. Schaaf: Bessie and 
Florence, both deceased; William J., Jr., Clarence K. and Vernon K. 
Schaaf. 

John J. Gredler. Long identified with hotel interests in the city 
of Erie, Air. Gredler is now owner of the Fuhrman House, at the 
corner of Twenty-sixth and Cherry streets, where he caters to a large 
and appreciative patronage and has a speciall}' well ordered hostelry. 
He is a valued member of the select council of the city of Erie, in' 
which he is a representative of the Sixth ward, and his personal popu- 
larity is well indicated by his incumbency of this important official po- 
sition, in which he has made an excellent record as a loyal and public- 
spirited citizen 

John J. Gredler was born on the old homestead farm of his fath- 
er, in Greene township, this county, and the date of his nativity was 
December 25, 1874. He is a son of John and Catherine (Depinet) 
Gredler, the former of whom was born in Baden, Germany, in 1830, 
and the latter in the kingdom of Bavaria, that empire, in 1835. The 
paternal grandfather came with his family from Germany in 1837 
and numbered himself as one of the sterling farmers of Erie county. 
He purchased land in Greene township, and there developed a valua- 
ble property. Both he and his wife continued to reside on this home- 
stead until their death, and the old farm is now owned by their son 
John, father of him whose name initiates this article. John Gredler 
was seven years of age at the time of the family's immigration to 
America, and he was reared to manhood in Erie county, where he is 
now known as one of the substantial citizens and representative agri- 
culturists of Greene township. Both he and his wife are devout com- 
municants of the Catholic church. 

John J. Gredler passed his childhood days on the ancestral home- 
stead in Greene township, and early began to assist in the work of 
the farm. His preliminary educational training was secured in the 
parochial schools of the locality, and when he was about twelve years of 
age he came to the city of Erie, where he secured employment in a 
grocery store. In the meanwhile he also showed his ambition' bv at- 
tending night school in the old Seventh street school building, where 
he gained knowledge which placed him in line for success in connec- 
tion with practical business affairs. He continued to be identified with 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 73 

the retail grocery business for a period of about fourteen years, and 
he then entered the employ of William F. Schulce, who was proprie- 
tor of the old South Erie Hotel. Later he was similarly engaged with 
John Heuer and August Schulce, and finally he became associated in 
the service of the Erie City Hotel, at the corner of Eighteenth and 
Peach streets. In July, 1906, ^Ir. Gredler,_ now fortified by long and 
varied experience, engaged in the hotel business upon his own respon- 
sibility, by purchasing the Fuhrman House, a commodious and well 
appointed hotel, at the corner of Twenty-sixth and Cherry streets. He 
has since conducted this popular house wMth marked success and has 
gained a secure hold upon the appreciative support of his patrons. He 
has made numerous improvements on the hotel property and keeps all 
departments up to the highest possible standard. 

In politics ^Ir. Gredler is arrayed as a stanch advocate of the 
principles and policies of the Democrat party and he has done effective 
service in the party cause. In February, 1907, he was elected a mem- 
ber of the select council of the city of Erie from the Sixth ward, to fill 
the unexpired term of Peter \\'ingerter. He has proved a valuable 
working member of the city's administrative body, and in ihe makeup 
of the council for 1908-09, he was assigned to the important committee 
of laws and franchises and was chairman of the committee on health, 
water and markets, and of the city hall committee. In the makeup of 
the council for 1909-10, he is chairman of the committee on streets and 
bridges, as well as that on health, water and markets, and is a member 
of the committee on laws and franchises and the city-hall committee. 
Through his official services he has amply justified the confidence of 
his constituents, and he maintains a deep interest in all that concerns 
the welfare and progress of the city in which he has so long made his 
home. 

]\Ir. Gredler is identified with the local IMoose lodge, and is affiliated 
with the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association, and the Knights of St, 
John. He holds membership in St. Alphonse's. Bavarian, and Maener- 
chor societies, the Eighteenth Street German Singing Society, the Cas- 
cade Park Club, the Keystone Club, the South Erie Turnverein. the 
Catholic Casino and the Erie Yacht Club ; also the Chamber of Com- 
merce and the South Erie Improvement Association. He and his family 
are communicants of the Catholic church and are members of the Sacred 
Heart parish. In 1896 Air. Gredler was united in marriage to Miss 
Caroline Liebel, daughter of Joseph Liebel, of Erie, and they have seven 
children, namely: Frank, Othmar, Joseph J., Marian, Louise, Cecelia, 
and Caroline. 

William J. Willert. Among the representative business men of 
the city of Erie stands JMr. Willert, wdio here has charge of the interests 
of the Washburn-Crosby Flour Company, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. 
He is manager for this celebrated company's business in Erie and Craw- 
ford counties, and his selection for this office stands as voucher for 
the high reputation wdiich he has attained for progressive ideas and 
administrative abilit}'. As one of the able and popular business men 
of the younger generation in Erie county, he is well entitled to considera- 
tion in this publication ; further than which such representation is due 
b\ reason of the fact that he is a native son of the county and a member 
of one of its honored families. He has gained success and prestige 
through his own well directed efforts, and his advancement has been 



74: HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

the result of ambition, close application and impregnable integrity of 
purpose. 

William J. Willert was born on a farm in North East township, 
this county, October 21, 18TU, and is a son of Herman F. and Frederica 
(Ohm) \Villert, both natives of Germany, whence they were brought 
to America when children. The parents of the latter died in Germany, 
and she came to the United States with her paternal uncle, who settled 
in North East township, this county, where he became a successful 
farmer and where he passed the remainder of his life, as did also the 
paternal grandfather of William J. Willert. Herman F. Willert was 
reared to manhood in Erie county, and from his youth to the present 
time he has been identified with agricultural pursuits, in which con- 
nection he has been duly successful. He and his wife are now residents 
of Harbor Creek township, where he is the owner of a well improved 
farm. 

\Mlliam J. Willert was reared to the invigorating discipline of the 
farm, and his early educational advantages w'ere those afforded in the 
public schools of the village of North East. To attend the village 
schools he walked each day to and from the village, which is four 
miles distant from the home farm on which his boyhood days were 
passed. W'hen about fourteen years of age Mr. Willert came to the 
city of Erie and secured a position in a grocery store located at the 
corner of Twelfth and Chestnut streets, and he received in compensation 
for his services the first year the sum of fifty dollars and his board. 
Thereafter he continued to be identified with the grocery business 
as a clerk for a term of years, and in 1903 he engaged in this line of 
enterprise for himself, at the corner of Seventh and Poplar streets, where 
he built up a substantial trade and gained prestige as a reliable and 
progressive business man. In 1906, he became manager of the business 
of the Erie Wholesale Grocery Company, and here he made a splendid 
record for careful and progressive administration. He retained the 
incumbency until the 1st of Alay, 1909, when he assumed his present 
important office of manager of the business of the Washburn-Crosby 
Flour Company, of Minneapolis, in the counties of Erie and Crawford. 
He maintains his official headquarters in Erie, and the interests of the 
great concern which he thus represents are sure to be continuously ex- 
panded in scope and importance under his control of his assigned terri- 
tory. Mr. Willert is a valued member of the Erie Business ]\Ien's 
Exchange, is identified with various social organizations, and in politics 
he gives a loyal support to the cause of the Republican party. 

In 1901 i\Ir. Willert was united in marriage to ]\Iiss jMarie Gross- 
holz. who was born in Germany, and who is a daughter of Adolph 
Grossholz, who is now one of the representative farmers of Fairview 
township, this county. ]\Ir. and Mrs. Willert have one child, Gertrude. 

Jay C. Grove, the general agent for the Bessemer & Lake Erie 
Railroad Company and during the past sixteen years one of Erie's most 
prominent citizens, is a representative of one of the commonwealth's 
oldest families, he being of the sixth generation of the name in the 
state. Its founder in this country was David Grove, the great-great- 
great-grandfather of Jay C. This David Grove was born in Germany, 
but migrated to Holland at the time of the crusade, an about 1600 he 
came to America and located in Philadelphia. The paternal grand- 
father of Jay C. Grove was Abraham, who moved from Center to Mercer 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY "/o 

county in 1828, and there purchased a tract of land of the Dicks of 
Meadville and for many years was a teacher in private German schools. 
Abraham Grove married EHzabeth Mook, whose people migrated to 
Mercer county contemporaneous with the Grove family. 

Jacob Grove, one of the children of Abraham and Elizabeth, was 
born in Center county, Pennsylvania, ]\Iarch 21, 1811, and he married 
Katharine Vorhees, who was born in Mercer county August 13, 1813, 
and was a daughter of Rheineer Vorhees who had moved there from 
Washington county when the former yet formed a part of Crawford 
countv. He was descended from one of three brothers of the family 
of Van Vorhees who had emigrated from Holland in 1600 and located 
in New Amsterdam, while later their descendants came west into Penn- 
sylvania and other states. Jacob Grove was by trade a carpenter and 
he also did contracting, but in the main followed farming. ^Irs. Grove, 
his wife, was killed in an accident on the Lake Shore Railroad ]\Iarch 
10, 1873, and he died in Mercer county in the year of 1888. 

Jay C. Grove, born in Mercer county, Pennsylvania. August 8, 
1853, attended the public schools and ^McElwain Institute, and for a 
time after the completion of this training he taught school. From 
the spring of 1871 until the fall of 1875 he was assistant postmaster 
at St. Petersburg in Clarion county, and in the last week of September, 
1875, he accepted a clerical position in the service of the Bessemer & 
Lake Erie Railroad Company, which was then known as the Shenango & 
Allegheny Railroad, at Harrisville, this state. From this clerical position 
ho was advanced in a short time to agencies at various points on the line, 
later became clerk in the auditing department, still later became chief 
clerk in the general freight department, and climbing still higher was 
made traveling auditor and held that position for three years prior to 
his coming to Erie in 1893 to take charge of the Erie terminal of the 
B. & L. E. R. R. Company as freight and .passenger agent. On the 
1st of July, 1901, he was made general agent of the road in addition to 
his duties as local freight and passenger agent. 

Mr. Grove married Satira J. Fry, who was born in Sharon, Penn- 
sylvania, to Louis and Hannah Frey, and their children are Dr. Chauncey 
W. Grove, a practicing physician in Geneva, New York, and Elizabeth 
Katharine. Air. Grove is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and 
the Board of Trade, and fraternally he is past master of Keystone 
Lodge No. 455, F. & A. AL, past eminent commander of Mt. Olivet 
Commandery No. 30, K. T., past potentate of Zem Zem Temple and a 
member of the Shrine Club. He and his family are members of the 
Central Presbyterian church. 

Robert Edward Weschler. The city of Erie numbers among 
her progressive business men and worthy citizens Robert E. Weschler, 
a shoe merchant and a member of the city's board of education. He 
entered upon his business career after a good educational training and 
graduation from Clark's Business College of Erie as a salesman selling 
the old Graphic newspaper, of which John Miller, the author of the 
work, was then the editor. From that line of work, he entered the em- 
ploy of M. A. Krug in the shoe business, and he was associated with 
that business house for thirteen years, and at the close of the period 
in 1901 he opened a shoe store for himself on State street. With the 
passing years his business has enlarged, and he is now proprietor of 
one of the largest shoe houses in the city of Erie, and is meeting with 



76 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

desired success. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the 
Business .Men's Exchange, and in 1907 he was elected a member of 
the city's board of education on the Democratic ticket to represent the 
second ward. 

Mr. We'schler was born in the Third ward of Erie on the 2d of 
February, 1877, a son of Leo B. and PauUne (Kimmeth) Weschler, and 
on the paternal side he is a grandson of Jacob Weschler, one of the 
oldest citizens of Erie and one of its old time malt dealers. His son 
Leo was born in this city, but Mrs. Weschler was a native daughter of 
Germany, and came to the LInited States and to the city of Erie when 
a young woman, and still living, she has reached the age of fifty-four 
years. , Leo B. Weschler, her husband, died in the year of 1891. The 
six children born of their union are : Robert E., Charles L., Joseph S., 
Frank J., Harrv J. and Frances. Robert E. Weschler attended the St. 
Joseph's school in Chicago, the Erie public schools, and as above stated 
is also a graduate of Clark's Business College. He married Mae C. 
Scharrer, of this city, and a daughter of one of its oldest residents, 
Jacob Scharrer. Mr. and Mrs. Weschler have four children, Joseph, 
Mildred, Robert E., Jr., and Anna Mae. Mr. Weschler has membership 
relations with the Knights of St. John, the Knights of Columbus and 
was one of the organizers of St. Mary's Ushers Society, in which he has 
filled all of the offices. 

Major John W. Walker, one of Erie's oldest native-born citizens, 
and a retired member of the bar, was born April 19, 1832, and is a son of 
the late John H. Walker. He graduated from Princeton College in the 
class of 1854, read law in, his father's office, and was admitted to the 
bar in the same year. After practicing two years in Erie, he removed to 
St. Louis, Missouri, where he practiced until 1860, and then returned 
to Erie, which has since been his home. In 1862 Mr. Walker raised 
.Company K, of the One Hundred Forty-fifth Pennsylvania Regiment, 
of which he was commissioned Captain, and he commanded the company 
until after the Battle of Fredericksburg, at which time he was appointed 
paymaster in the United States army, with rank of major, and served 
in. that capacity until the close of the war. He was mustered out with 
rank of lieutenant-colonel. He returned to Erie, but on account of ill 
health gave up the practice of his profession. 

Mr. Walker became a Director of the Second National Bank of 
Erie, in 1809. which office he has filled continuously since that time, 
being the oldest member of the board, both in years and length of 
service. He has always been actively interested in public afifairs, and 
w^s the nominee of the Democratic party for state senator in 1876, and 
again in ISSO. In 1S82 he was elected a member of the 
legislature, and was chairman of the committee on municipal 
corporations at that session. During the first administration of Presi- 
dent Cleveland, he was appointed treasury agent, and during Cleve- 
land's second administration he received the appointment for United 
States marshal for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Major Walker 
was a member and Past Commander of W. L. Scott Post. Grand Army 
of the Republic, and took an active part in the establishing at Erie of 
the Soldiers' and Sailors' Home, contributing time and money in the 
cause. He was the first Grand Regent of Pennsylvania for the Royal 
Arcanum order, and a member of the Grand Lodge of the Knights of 
Honor. He is a charter member of the Erie Club. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 77 

Major Walker married, June 18, 1861, Anna H., daughter of Hon- 
orable Samuel S. Harrison, of Kittanning, Pennsylvania, member of 
Congress from that district. Major Walker and his wife are mem- 
bers of St. Paul's Episcopal church. 

Prescott Metcalf. It would be difficult to name a single move- 
ment or institution which promised-to advance the business, mdustrial 
or civic affairs of Erie, which was uninfluenced by the practical inspir- 
ation, abounding energy and wise councils of the late Prescott Metcalf. 
Transportation lines, by land and water ; manufactories of various kinds ; 
banks, business properties, schools, public works and churches — all owe 
a large share of their development and working usefulness to his large 
brain and warm heart. He was, in a word, a city-builder, if any resident 
of Erie may be justly classed under that title of nobility. Mr. Metcalf 
was of old New England stock, born at Putney, Wentworth county, 
Vermont, and a son of Joseph Metcalf, who spent the later years of his 
life in Erie. Prescott came to the city in his early manhood, and first 
entered the employ of his brother-in-law, Ira W. Hart. A few years 
thereafter he became associated with Rufus S. Reed, the great shipper 
and vessel owner and eventually had the active management of all his 
interests. This connection continued from 1840 to 1862, and during 
this period, as well as at a later date, he was prominent in the operation 
of a line of stage-coaches between Erie and Pittsburg, the construction 
of the Canada Southern Railway and the extension of the Erie canal 
and the Erie and the North-East Railroad. He was also one of the 
originators and incorporators of the Erie Cemetery, the Erie Gas Works, 
and the Dime Savings Bank, and was a trustee of the Erie Academy and 
the Park Presbyterian church. A mere mention of this fact is a faint 
indication of the breadth of his activities and influence. From 1860 to 
1873 he was perhaps at the height of his standing as a public man and 
a promoter of real estate and property interests. In I860, with Colonel 
Benjamin Grant, he erected the Wayne block on French street, and re- 
built the same, after its destruction by fire, in 1868. In 1866 he erected 
his fine residence on the corner of Ninth and Sassafras streets, and in 
1872 put up the block on the west side of State street, between Seventh 
and Eighth. Mr. Metcalf was a member of the first common council 
of Erie in 1851; again served in that body in 1860; was on the board 
of education for many years, and was honored with the mayoralty in 
1862-64. At a later period of his busy life he devoted much of his 
attention to the expansion of the city's industries. In 1872. with 
others, he established the Burdett organ factory, and in 1880 
the Erie Malleable Iron Works. In the latter enterprise his associates 
were Capt. Douglass Ottinger, John Clemens and his eldest son, Joseph P. 
On June 9, 1846, Prescott Metcalf was married to Miss Abigail R. 
Wilder, who was born in his native town of Putney, Vermont, — a strik- 
ing and honored figure among the pioneers of Erie. Five children were 
born of this union, of whom Joseph P.. the eldest, and George R.. the 
youngest, were long associated with their father in the Erie Malleable 
Iron Works and other enterprises. Joseph P. Metcalf, who was born 
in Erie. April 15. 1847, was educated in the city schools, at Erie Acad- 
emy. Cleveland (Ohio) Institute and Eastman Commercial College, 
Poughkeepsie, New York. Until 1870 he was engaged in various rail- 
road projects in the vicinity of Erie after which he removed to Ne- 
braska City, there organizing the National Bank, of which he was 



78 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

cashier until 1873. In that year he returned to Erie and became interest- 
ed in the organization of the Malleable Iron Works, holding the posi- 
tion of chairman of the controlling company until the time of his death. 
He also served for several terms in the common council. He was popu- 
lar and highly respected in his business, social and fraternal relations, 
being a member of the Erie, Kahkwa and Cascade clubs and the Masonic 
order. In his religious faith, he was an Episcopalian, identified with St. 
Paul's church. His wife, to whom he was married October 11, 1877, 
was Miss Celia W. Fletcher, of Lockport, New York. 

William Wilder, the second child born to Mr. and Mrs. Prescott 
Metcalf. died in infancy; Frederick W., the third, died September 2, 
ISSJO, at the age of thirty-nine years, and Nellie, the fourth, also passed 
away as an infant. 

George Ralph Metcalf is a native of Erie, where he was born 
September 2(i, 1858. and received his education, in the more advanced 
courses, at the Erie High School, Erie Academy and a boarding school at 
Clinton, New York. For about a year after leaving school he was a 
coal operator at Columbus, Ohio, and then returned to Erie to associate 
himself with his father and brother, as a partner and secretary in the 
business of the Malleable Iron Works. In 1893 he was elected treas- 
urer of the company and president in 1901. He succeeded his father 
as a director in the Erie Gas Company, becoming treasurer of the same 
in 1892. He is also vice president of the American Sterilizer Company 
of Erie, a director in the Second National Bank, and has other business 
and financial interests. Mr. Metcalf is an active member of the Chamber 
of Commerce and the Board of Trade ; socially, is identified with the 
Erie, Kahkwa, Country, Yacht and Golf clubs, and his church relations 
are with the St. Paul's Episcopal society. Married September 3, 1885, to 
Miss Mary Richards, daughter of the late Captain John S. Richards, 
he is the father of two children — John Richards and George Ralph 
Metcalf, Jr. 

Thomas J. Golden, President of the Washburn Manufacturing 
Company, a well-known citizen of Erie, was born at Lockport, New 
York, December 27, 1855. and is the son of Thomas and Marcella (Sum- 
mers) Golden. The father, a native of Ireland, came to the United 
States when a young man, and located in Erie in 1865 ; he died in 1891 
and his widow in 1903. 

Thomas J. Golden received his education in the public school at 
Erie, attending the old East Ward School, now Number Two. WHien 
seventeen years of age he learned the trade of millwright, and entered 
the employ of Carroll Brothers, where for thirty years he had charge 
of a moulding machine. In 1905 Mr. Golden became a partner in XWish- 
burn Manufacturing Company, which enterprise was established in 1900 
by Leon D. Washburn, at 1114 West Eighteenth Street, as a saw mill 
and box factory. Mr. Washburn died in 1908, and his interests were 
principally taken over by Mr. Golden and his family, he being president, 
and his son Herbert vice president. They have a flourishing business, 
and employ the services of twenty men at their plant, manufacturing 
wood specialties and boxes, also a mop, which they manufacture com- 
plete, and which has a market all over the United States. 

Mr. Golden married Elizabeth Bradley, born at St. Catherines, 
Ontario, Canada, daughter of James Bradley, and to them have been 
born the following children : Marcella married Charles Hart, of Erie ; 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 79 

Annette, married C. F. Beyerle, of Erie ; Edward, died at the age of 
twenty-five years ; Herbert, who is associated in business with his fath- 
er; Joseph, married Lilhan Albrecht ; Isabelle and ^Marion Helen. Mr. 
Golden is interested in the progress and welfare of the community, 
and is a public-spirited and useful citizen. He is a member of St. Peters 
Roman Catholic church, also of the Knights of Columbus and of the 
Protected Home Circle. He also belongs to the Marquette and Erie 
Yacht Clubs. 

John Calvin Sturgeon. One of the leaders of the western Penn- 
sylvania bar and a prominent Republican of the state, with a national 
reputation in patent law practice, John C. Sturgeon, of Erie, is a native 
of Fairview township, this county, where he was born on the 5th of Oct- 
ober, 1841. His parents were Andrew and Eliza Jane (Caughey) Stur- 
geon. The father, a farmer, was born September 3, 1817, and died 
February 25, 1879, while the mother, whose birthday was April 14, 181G, 
passed away on the 1st of April, 1885. In their family of six child- 
ren John C, of this sketch, was the eldest. Until he was about seven- 
teen years of age the youth worked upon the home farm in Fairview 
township and attended district school, as well as Girard Academy. He 
then taught school and was a student at Allegheny College until the end 
of his junior year, when he entered the United States navy and served 
until the close of the Civil war. Soon afterward he commenced the 
study of the law, and in 1867 was admitted to the bar of Erie county; 
but after becoming qualified to practice entered the Harvard University 
law school for a more thorough and a broader review of his chosen field. 
On January 1, 1868, after his graduation therefrom, he commenced 
practice at Erie. 

Mr. Sturgeon's pronounced natural ability and his thorough train- 
ing were promptly recognized by the profession and the public of his 
home community, and in 1869 he was elected district attorney of Erie 
county on the Republican ticket. Three years of noteworthy public 
service followed in that office, when he resumed the general practice of 
his profession. His labors and progress continued along these lines 
for the first twenty years of his career, but for the past two decades 
he has devoted himself to the practice of patent law, in which he has 
reached a foremost rank. During this period he has become a familiar 
figure in the circuit courts. United States courts of appeals and the su- 
preme court of the United States. For some years he has been pro- 
fessionally associated with H. M. Sturgeon, the firm being widely known 
and now having a number of important suits pending in Pennsylvania, 
New York and Ohio. For many years Mr. Sturgeon has been active 
and influential in the furtherance of Republicanism, having frequently 
served as a delegate to the conventions of his party. In 1899 his high 
standing both as a Republican and a lawyer was emphasized by a strong 
petition presented to the president — signed by the senators and congress- 
men from Pennsylvania and several other states — asking his appointment 
to the commissionership of patents. In 1904 he was chosen a presidential 
elector for the state of Pennsylvania and in that capacity cast his vote for 
Theodore Roosevelt. Mr. Sturgeon has been an earnest fraternalist for 
half, a lifetime, his connection with the Grand Army of the Republic 
even commencing forty years ago. He has been a Knight Templar in 
Masonry for upward of thirty years and a member of the Mystic Shrine 
since 1890. He is also a charter member of the Erie Board of Trade. 



80 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Mr. Sturgeon has been twice married, and by his second wife is the 
father of two sons. Ralph Andrew Sturgeon who served in the Spanish- 
American war and is now a construction engineer on a prominent western 
railroad, while Berry Albert Sturgeon, a member of the Erie county and 
California state bars, is engaged in law practice at Los Angeles, that 
state. 

Tradition indicates that the Sturgeon family originated in the Nether- 
lands under the name "Steerjon," and that various members emigrated 
to England about the twelfth century and settled in Northumberland, 
the northernmost county, where they became known as Sturgeons. The 
head of the family was ennobled for distinguished services to the 
Crown and, especially during the past century, several of the name have 
become eminent as scientists, Henry Sturgeon being known throughout 
the world as the discoverer of the electro magnet. The Sturgeon family 
was always a stanch supporter of Protestantism, and during the religious 
persecutions of the sixteenth century the American ancestors migrated 
from England to Derry, in the north of Ireland, where at the famous 
siege of that place by the royal forces, in 1689, one of the Sturgeon 
brothers was killed. The other survived and came to Philadelphia with 
William Penn in 1693. Nothing further is definitely known of the fam- 
ily until 1720, when Jeremiah Sturgeon, who is believed to be a de- 
scendant of the gallant defender of Derry, came to Hanover township, 
Lancaster county, where he settled with his wife (nee Ellen Douglas). 
They became the parents of three sons, one of whom, Thomas, remained 
in Hanover township and married Margaret Corbet, daughter of Peter 
Corbet, a well known land owner of Lancaster county. They, also, 
had several children, and their son Samuel was the founder of the fam- 
ily in Erie county — the branch represented by John Calvin, of this 
biography. He was a Revolutionary soldier from Lancaster county and, 
as the records show, served in the fourth battalion of Associators, going 
into active service in December, 1775, and participating in the battles 
of Trenton and Princeton. In December, 1785, the state of Pennsyl- 
vania granted him a land warrant for fifty acres in recognition of his 
services. Samuel Sturgeon died in Hanover township (then Dauphin 
county) on the 2d of October. .1801. The deceased was twice married, 
having five sons by his first wife Margaret. Two of these, William and 
Jeremiah, emigrated to Erie caunty, in 1796, and founded the town of 
Fairview. 

William, the eldest son, was born in West Hanover, Dauphin county, 
on July 10, 1768, and died in Fairview April 12, 1838. His wife was 
Miss Jane McEwen, who was born in West Hanover, August 1, 1767, 
and died in Fairview in 1818, mother of eleven children, one of whom 
was Thomas J., the grandfather of H. M. Sturgeon, the partner of the 
Sturgeon representative with whom this sketch especially deals. Jere- 
miah was born in West Hanover, Dauphin county, on the 10th of Au- 
gust, 1770; as stated, he migrated to Erie county in 1796, and died at 
Fairview, July 17, 1818. His wife was Miss Jane Moorhead, who was 
born October 30, 1776, and died at Fairview. June 30, 1861:. She was 
the mother of six children, of whom Samuel C., the eldest, married Miss 
Martha Eaton and also became the father of six children. Both virtually 
passed their lives at Fairview, Samuel C. Sturgeon being born in 1801 
and dying in 1878, and his wife, born Mav 12, 1813, passing away Feb- 
ruary 24, 1883. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 81 

Andrew Sturgeon, fifth child of Samuel and Margaret Sturgeon 
and of the second generation of the family native to America, was the 
grandfather of John Calvin, of this sketch. He was born at West Han- 
over, Dauphin county, and married Jane Finney (daughter of James 
Finney), who was also a native of that county, born February 5, 1775. 
They migrated to Tonawanda, New York, about 1805, from which the 
husband enlisted in the state militia for the war of 1812. In 1820 they 
located in Girard township, Erie county, where Mrs. Andrew Sturgeon 
died in 1849 and her husband in 1851. They were the parents of seven 
children, Andrew Sturgeon, their fifth child and third son, being the 
father of John C. By his marriage to Eliza Jane Caughey, December 15, 
1840, Andrew Sturgeon became the father of John Calvin. Sheldon 
Franklin, Carson Jay, Mary Jane, Anna Vance and George Andrew 
Sturgeon. The main facts in the life of the first-born have already been 
given. Sheldon F., the second child, served in the United States navy 
during the Civil war, married Rosanna Lowry, and lives at Woodhull, 
Illinois, the father of eight children. Carson Jay, an electrical engineer 
and a manufacturer of electrical machinery, married Miss Lyda Camp- 
bell at Girard, Pennsylvania, and has had six children. Mary Jane 
died March 5, 1909. as the widow of George Piatt, of Erie, and Anna 
Vance Sturgeon died March 11, 1857, when only seven years of age. 
George Andrew Sturgeon, the youngest, who is a Pittsburg lawyer, mar- 
ried Miss Mary L. Davis, by whom he has become the father of four 
daughters, two of whom are deceased. 

The Caughey family, of whom John C. Sturgeon's mother is a 
member, is of old Scotch origin and Presbyterian faith. During the 
religious persecutions of the seventeenth century many of its representa- 
tives migrated from Scotland to the country around Donegal, Ireland, 
and about 1750 Francis Caughey, with a brother, came from that lo- 
cality and settled in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. There he died at 
the age of ninety-three years, the ancestor of the family in Erie county. 
The father of five children, his oldest son and child, Andrew, was 
born in Lancaster county, in 1756, and served in the Revolutionary war 
as a private in the third battalion of the county militia. Colonel Thomas 
Porter commanding. He commenced service in August, 1778, and is un- 
derstood to have participated in the battle of Brandywine. He married 
his cousin, Elizabeth Caughey, and migrated to West Millcreek town- 
ship, Erie county, settling about five miles west of the city of Erie, where 
he lived until his death, March 19. 1828. His wife had passed away 
March 25, 1826. and they were the parents of four sons and three daugh- 
ters, the eldest of whom, John Caughey, was the father of fourteen 
children by his marriage to Miss Ann Vance Wilson. Eliza Jane, the 
fourth in order of birth, was the mother of John C. Sturgeon, of this 
sketch. Thus have been traced the main connections in the genealogies 
of the paternal and maternal side of Mr. Sturgeon's family. 

Ernest Keppel. Inheriting those traits of industry, thrift and en- 
terprise so characteristic of the German people, Ernest Keppel has 
steadily worked his way toward the upper rung of the ladder of success, 
and now, as superintendent of the lumber interests of Moore, Keppel & 
Company, is actively identified with one of the leading industries of 
Corry. A native of Germany, he was born. February 27, 1851, in Hirsch- 
berg, Thuringia, a son of Karl and Henrietta (V^ogel) Keppel. Fur- 
Vol. II— 6 



82 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

ther parental and ancestral history may be found elsewhere in this vol- 
ume, in connection with the sketch of his brother, Henry M. Keppel. 

But two years old when he came with his parents to this country, 
Ernest Keppel was brought up on a farm in Cattaraugus county, New 
York. When eight years old he began working for a neighboring farmer 
during seed time and harvest, receiving fifty cents a week, and his board, 
in the meantime staying at home during the winter seasons, and attending 
school. When eleven years of age, his services became so valuable that 
his wages were raised to five dollars a month. At the age of fourteen 
years he began teaming oil from Pit Hole to Titusville, Pennsylvania, 
continuing thus employed two years. Locating in Corry in 1807, he 
worked in a saw mill two years, and then entered the employ of Howard 
Brothers, who were then just embarking in business, and remained in 
their tannery until. 1872. Beginning then his career as a lumberman, Mr. 
Keppel purchased a tract of timbered land in Dayton township, Cattarau- 
gus county. New York, cut the timber, sold the bark and logs, and was 
there successfully employed until the timber was exhausted. He subse- 
quently did the same thing in Allegany. New York, making money by the 
operation. Buying then a farm in Dayton township, he lived there a 
year, when, renting his land, he located in Bradford, Pennsylvania, where 
he remained two years, being employed not only as a hotel keeper, but in 
drilling for oil. Returning to Dayton township, he subsequently sold 
his farm, and bought two hundred acres of standing timber in Perrys- 
burg, New York, where he was engaged in lumbering for two years. 
Locating next in Torpedo, Warren county, Air. Keppel bought seven 
hundred acres of land, erected a saw mill, and for seven years was there 
employed in the manufacture of lumber. Trading ofi^ the cleared land 
to L. B. Wood for property in Warren county, he lived there a short 
time, and then disposed of the land. The ensuing three years, he lived 
ii: Perrysburg, New York, and the following two years was superintend- 
ent of a large lumber business in Forest county, Pennsylvania. Going 
then to Forest county, he in company with his brothers, Henry M. and 
Charles, bought seven hundred and sixty acres of timber, erected a mill, 
and worked for four years in clearing the land, carrying on a substantial 
business as lumber manufacturers and dealers. Since that time Mr. 
Keppel has been a resident of Corry, and superintendent of the Moore, 
Keppel & Company's lumber business, a position for which he is eminent- 
ly fitted. 

On April 7, 1872, Mr. Keppel married ]\Iaggie Schneider, who was 
born in Germany, a daughter of John Snyder. In 1855. accompanied 
by his wife, and their only child, then an infant, John Schneider emi- 
grated to America, crossing the ocean in a sailing vessel, and being ninety 
days on the water. From New York City, he proceeded first to Buffalo, 
then to Dayton township, Cattaraugus county, where he bought a tract 
of wild land. Having cleared and improved a part of it, he sold at an 
advance, and moved to Allegany, where from a tract of timber he 
cleared and improved a good farm, erected a good set of buildings, and 
there resided until his death, at the age of sixty-seven years. To him and 
his wife, whose maiden name was Mary Fisher, four children were born, 
as follows: Margaret, wife of Mr. Keppel; Caroline; Benjamin; and 
Charles. The three younger children were born in this country. Mr. 
and Mrs. Keppel are the parents of nine children, namely: Lena, Mary, 
Henry, John, Lizzie. Charlie, Florence, Walter, and Clara. Lena, who 
married Will Dannahey, has passed to the life beyond. Mary, wife of 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 83 

Edward Rhinehart, has one child, Clarence. Henry married Ethel Bad- 
jero, and they have two children, Lena and Rupert. John married Alda 
Snow, and they have three children, Karl, Mildred, and Myrtle. Lizzie, 
wife of Harvey Bowles, has one child, Margaret. Charles married 
Lottie Dewoody. Florence is the wife of Henry Bales. Politically Mr. 
Keppel is a Republican. Religiously he is a member of the Methodist 
Episcopal church. Mr. Keppet is a member of the I. O. O. F. at Corry. 
Mr, Keppel's father was Postmaster in old Germany. 

LeGrand Skinner. The strong influence of ancestral traits on 
individual character and the determination of definite and noteworthy 
careers is quite remarkably illustrated in the genealogy and life of Le 
Grand Skinner — inventor, manufacturer and financier, and founder and 
president of the Skinner Engine Company, of Erie. He is a native of 
Pooleville, Madison county, New York, born May 23, 1845, and from 
both sides of the family is descended from inventors and pioneer manu- 
facturers. It would appear that for generations his life lines have been 
clearly converging to the career which he has followed since early youth. 
The American branch of the Skinner family originated in eleven broth- 
ers, who, during colonial times, emigrated from England and settled 
in Massachusetts and Connecticut. His maternal ancestors, the Eatons, 
were of Lancashire. England, and came to Plymouth in the "Mayflower," 
but soon returned to England. His paternal ancestry is directly from 
the Connecticut Skinners, his grandfather, Isaac Skinner, migrating from 
his home in that state and making his way through the dense woods of 
southern New England into the wilderness now included in the thickly 
settled section of New York known as Madison county. The Eatons 
had, in the meantime, re-established themselves in New England, and 
the maternal grandfather of LeGrand Skinner also became a pioneer 
of Madison county. He built a log cabin near the present town of Eaton, 
erected a dam to supply water power, and began the manufacture of 
woolen goods, his mill being among the first to manufacture such goods 
west of Connecticut. Frank Skinner, who became the father of LeGrand, 
when a small boy accompanied his parents to Madison county, and showed 
decided talents at an early age, both as an inventor and a skilled mechanic. 
Among his practical inventions may be mentioned a continuous candle- 
molding machine, which is still in use, and a riving machine for the 
manufacture of shingles. The father moved from New York state 
to New Jersey, dying in the later state in 1907, aged eighty-four years. 
The mother was Charlotte Eaton, a native of Pooleville, New York, 
whose father was a pioneer woolen manufacturer of Springfield, Massa- 
chusetts, who spent his later years in Madison county. Mrs. Frank 
Skinner died in 1901. 

The boyhood days of LeGrand Skinner were spent in the little town 
of Eaton, to which he went to reside with an uncle when he was sixteen 
years of age. This uncle (Wood) was the second manufacturer of 
portable engines in the United States, and was an earnest and valued 
instructor to his ambitious nephew, who remained with him until 1868. 
During this period LeGrand was not only perfecting himself in the manu- 
facturing business, but spent considerable time in the tool room of the 
Remington Arms Manufacturing Company at Illion, New York. In 
1868 he constructed his first engine after his own designs, his work 
being conducted in a little shop built on the site where stood the little 
log cabin previously mentioned and which had been built by his maternal 



84 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

grandfather near the town of Eaton in the real pioneer days of ^ladison 
county. After remaining in service for about sixteen years, this first 
product of Mr. Skinner's inventive and mechanical talents came again 
into his possession and is now one of his most precious belongings. 

In 1871 Mr. Skinner began the manufacture of engines at Chitte- 
nango. New York, subsequently conducted a like business in Chicago for 
a time, and on July 3, 1873, established a small manufacturing plant in 
the Lilley shop, Erie. Not long after the expansion of his business 
forced him to rent larger quarters in John Coats shop, and in 1875 he 
formed a partncrshij) with Thomas Wood, who was still connected with 
the United States navy. The firm of Skinner and Wood occupied a 
new shop for their business, erected by the late John Selden in 1877, 
and in 1881 the proprietors built a plant themselves at the corner of 
Twelfth and Chestnut streets. In 1902 the large addition to the main 
shops was completed, and the entire manufactory is now one of the 
largest and most complete in the city. The firm of Skinner and Wood 
was dissolved in 1883, and for the succeeding two years Mr. Skinner 
conducted the business alone, but in 1885 the Skinner Engine Company 
was incorporated, with himself as president. He is also one of the 
organizers and incorporators of the Union Iron Works, of which he is 
a director. Before her marriage. Mr. Skinner's wife was Miss Hannah 
Harrington, a native of Chittenango, New York, daughter of P. D. 
Harrington. Two children have been born of this union : Allan David 
Skinner who is now in charge of the sales department of the Skinner 
Engine Company, while Helen died at the age of six years. 

Judge Frank Gunnison. In a history of the legal profession in 
Erie it is imperative that mention be made of Judge Frank Gunnison, 
whose record has at all times been a credit and honor to the city of 
his nativity. With thorough understanding of the principles of law 
and actuated by high professional ideals, he made a splendid record 
during his ten years' service on the bench, and in private practice has 
been most successful, enjoying now a large and distinctively representa- 
tive clientage. He was born February 2, 1848, in the city which is now 
his home, his parents being the late Jonas and Charlotte (Spafiford) 
Gunnison, the former a native of Erie county and the latter of the 
state of New York. The father was a prominent Erie attorney and as 
a leading citizen wielded a wide influence in molding public thought and 
shaping public action. He was called to represent his district in the 
state legislature, where he gave careful consideration to each question 
that came up for settlement. In his death in 1871 the county lost one 
of its valued citizens. His widow still survives. 

Judge Gunnison pursued his elementary education in the public 
schools and afterward attended the Erie Academy and the L^niversity 
of Michigan in the accj^uirement of his more specifically literary course. 
Determining upon the practice of law as a life work, he began reading 
under the direction of his father and subsequently entered the Harvard 
Law School, from which he was graduated with the class of 1870, winning 
the degree of Bachelor of Law. On the 5th of February of that year 
he was admitted to the bar at Erie and at once entered upon active 
practice in connection with General D. B. McCreary. with whom he was 
associated until 1875. He was afterward alone in practice until 1886, 
when his professional ability led to his selection for the office of presi- 
dent judge of the sixth judicial district. He served on the bench for the 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 85 

full term of ten years and was uniformly urged to stand for a re- 
election but personal reasons caused him to decline and re-enter upon 
private practice. His decisions indicated strong mentality, careful an- 
alysis, a thorough knowledge of the law and an unbiased judgment. 
Because of a well rounded character, finely balanced mind, splendid 
intellectual attainments and high professional ideals he was most success- 
ful in the discharge of the multitudinous delicate duties which devolve 
upon him who occupies the bench. He is now enjoying an extensive 
private practice of an important character and moreover is interested in 
a mnnber of business enterprises, including the Second National Bank, of 
which he is a director. 

In 187"2 Judge Gunnison was united in marriage to Miss Lila L. 
Lowry, a daughter of the Hon. Morrow B. Lowry. of Erie, and unto 
them has been born one son. Morrow B. Well known in the social 
circles of the city. Judge Gunnison enjoys the respect, confidence and 
good will of his fellow townsmen and at all times he can be counted 
upon to further any movement or measure for the general good. He is 
a public-spirited citizen and one whose efforts for municipal advance- 
ment have ever been of a most practical character. His ability as a law- 
yer has carried him into important professional relations and he is 
widely recognized as a safe counselor and able advocate. 

John S. Rilling. A lawyer of Erie, Pennsylvania, and ex-president 
of its Pjoard of Trade and deeply interested in commercial and educa- 
tional matters, John S. Rilling was born in Mill Creek township. Erie 
county. July 22, 1860, being the son of Christopher and Elizabeth (Acker- 
man) Rilling. The parents were both natives of Tuebingen, Germany, 
which is the seat of the famous Tuebingen University. There the father 
was born on the 7th of February, 1820. In 1834, when his son was 
fourteen years of age. Stephen Rilling, (the grandfather of John S.,) 
emigrated with his family to the United States, coming direct to Erie 
county and locating on a farm just south of Erie City. ■ Stephen Rilling 
was a millwright by trade and erected many of the old mills of Erie 
county. He died in 1866, his wife having preceded him in the early 
■fifties. The mother of John S. Rilling was born August 21, 1827, and 
both parents are living. 

John S. Rilling, obtained his early education in the public schools 
of Mill Creek township; completed a course at the Edinboro State Nor- 
mal ; taught school for two terms and then read law in the office of 
Davenport and Griffith of Erie. On February 19, 1885, he was ad- 
mitted to practice. On February, 2, 1897, he formed a partnership with 
Henry E. Fish under the firm name of Rilling and Fish. On April 15, 
1907. the firm became Gunnison, Rilling and Fish. ex-Judge Frank 
Gunnison being the senior member of the firm which is one of the 
strongest and most progressive in Erie county. Mr. Rilling has at- 
tained a substantial position at the local bar and is also a leader in all 
the commercial and public movements designed for the advancement 
of the best interests of Erie. He served as president of the Erie Board 
of Trade for the year ending 1907. He has also been prominently 
interested in the transportation afifairs of Erie City being one of the 
organizers and operators of the Conneaut & Erie Traction Company. 
In works of charity and educational movements Mr. Rilling has attained 
equal prominence. He was one of the organizers and incorporators, as 
well as secretary, treasurer and president of St. Vincent's Hospital. 



86 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Since 1887 he has served as solicitor for the School district of the 
city of Erie and his standing was such, both as an educator and at- 
torney, that the Governor of Pennsylvania appointed him a member of 
an Educational Commission to prepare a School Code of the State of 
Pennsylvania which was passed by the Legislature, but was vetoed by 
the Governor on account of its having been mutilated after its pas- 
sage. As he was the only lawyer on the Commission a most important 
part of the work fell to him. 

Mr. Rilling was married October 20, 1887, to Miss Stella Arm- 
strong, of Erie, a daughter of Andrew Armstrong, a gallant soldier of the 
Civil w^ar who was killed at the battle of Spottsylvania Court House. 
Their children are : Marion E. and Ruth A. Rilling. 

Dr. Georgk BiGiiAM Kali;, of Erie, is a leader in the general prac- 
tice of medicine and surgery and has a more extended reputation as a 
specialist in diseases of children and the scientific treatment of tuber- 
culosis. The American founder of the Kalb family, Martin, was a 
native of the Rhine Palatinate, Germany, and in 1729 emigrated to 
Philadelphia county, that locality being the home of several generations. 
The doctor was born in Circleville, Ohio, on the 22nd of September, 
1862, and is a son of George Lewis and Mary Elizabeth (Bigham) Kalb, 
his mother's ancestors being Scotch-Irish. After pursuing courses at 
Oberlin (Ohio) College and Indiana University, in 1883, George B. 
was matriculated at Jefiferson M'edical College, Philadelphia, from which 
he graduated as president of the class of 1886. His first location for 
practice was at Audenried, Pennsylvania, as assistant to Dr. W. R. 
Longshore, with whom he remained for about five years, then removing 
to Jeddo, Luzerne county, w'here, for eight years, he was in charge of 
the colliery practice of G. B. Alarkle and Company. In 1898 he located 
at Erie, engaging in the general practice of medicine and especially in 
the treatment of children's diseases. 

Since his graduation from Jefferson ]\Iedical College, Dr. Kalb has 
been actively and almost continuously engaged in practice, virtually 
the only interruption to his practical labors being the two semesters of 
1895 and 1896 which he spent at Munich, and Vienna taking post- 
graduate work. Besides being active in the conduct of his extensive 
practice as a pediatrist, the doctor is surgeon on the Hamot Plospital 
of Erie, examining physician to the Free Hospital for Poor Consump- 
tives of Philadelphia and visiting physician to the Grand View Sani- 
tarium for Tuberculosis at Oil City, Pennsylvania. He has been honored 
with the presidency of the Aledical Society of the Middle Anthracite 
Coal Fields and also served as secretary and president of the Erie 
County Medical Society, and his reputation has been even more broadly 
extended by his numerous and valuable contributions to the leading 
medical journals of the country. And his activities and his prominence 
are not even confined to the field of his profession, as he is a director in 
the Erie Trust Company and the Petroleum Telephone Company of Oil 
City, and is a director in the Mutual Telephone Company of Erie, and 
interested in other financial and semi-public concerns. He is a member 
of the Erie Chamber of Commerce, a director of the Associated Charities 
of the city, a Royal Arch Mason and an elder in the Presbyterian church, 
in whose charitable and religious work he has been active for many 
years. On January 4, 1888, Dr. Kalb married Miss Alargaret I. Leffler, 
of Stockton, California, who died August 30, 1893, leaving one daughter, 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 87 

Lucile. On November 17, 1895, he wedded Miss Letta B. Merriman, 
of Kenton, Ohio, and the child of this union is Miriam EHzabeth Kalb. 

Grant J. Smith, a leading commission merchant of Erie, president 
of the board of county commissioners and a leading Republican of the 
locality, is a native of the county named, and was born in Phillipsville, 
Venango township, January 16, 1868. His parents, Robert T. and Emily 
(Fritz) Smith, are also both natives of that place, the father born in 
1821 and the mother in 1831. The family is of Irish origin, the grand- 
father, John Smith, a native of that country, coming to Erie county at 
an early date and being one of the early pioneers of Venango township 
wiien that part of the state was a virtual wilderness. His wife was a 
Miss Taylor. The grandfather mentioned passed the last years of his 
life in \'enango township, dying there at the age of ninety-one years. 
'Ihe lather of Grant J. (lied in 1887 from injuries received by the acci- 
dental discharge of his gun. The deceased was a very successful farmer, 
widely beloved and a prominent man in many respects. He had held all 
of the township offices and at the time of his death was a member of the 
board of directors of- the Harbor Creek ]\Iutual Fire Insurance Company. 
His taking away was much regretted and his funeral was attended by one 
of the largest concourses which ever honored a like occasion. The 
widow survived her husband until 1903. Both were long active and 
devoted members of the Presbyterian church. 

Grant J., of this review, was reared on the home farm, attended 
the district schools of the neighborhood and, as his father died when 
the son was nineteen years of age, the latter remained on the old farm 
assisting in its management and in the care of the dependent members 
of the family. He was thus occupied until 1892 when he removed to 
Erie and entered his present field, that of the commission business. For 
a number of years past Mr. Smith has been a progressive figure in Re- 
publican politics and local public affairs. He served as tax collector 
of Venango township for about two years and in 1905 was elected a 
member of the board of commissioners of Erie county, assuming that 
office January 1, 1906, and his record was so entirely satisfactory that 
he was re-elected by a flattering majority in 1908. Following the death 
of Commissioner McClellan. in May, 1906, he was honored with the 
presidency of the board and fulfills its duties with ability and dignity. 
In his financial relations he is an active member of the Erie board of 
trade and Chamber of Commerce and in Alasonry has reached the 
thirty-second degree and naturally identified with the local Shriners Club. 

Mr. Smith's wife was formerly Miss Jennie McCrea, who was born 
in Mill Creek township, Erie county, and is a daughter of John and 
Jane (Kimball) McCrea, both deceased. The children of their union 
are Florence, born June 1, 1898, and Robert G., who died in 1899, aged 
three weeks. 

Emanuel \\^\idler Roland, a leading grocer of Erie, this county 
with a fine establishment at No. 601 West Seventeenth street, is a native 
of the county, born on a farm in West Mill Creek township, on the 19th 
of December, 1858. He is a son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Garloch) Ro- 
land, the father being born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, September 
4, 1829, and the mother, in Summit township, Erie county, on the 15th 
of August, 1836. William Roland, the grandfather, was also a native 
of Lancaster county, who married Mary Garber, born in the same county. 



88 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

I'.oth the Rolands and the Garbers are of English stock, the first Ameri- 
can forefathers emigrating to this country about two centuries ago. Jacob, 
the father of Emanuel W., left the ancestral home in Lancaster county 
when a young man, and located in Mill Creek township, this county, 
where he married, and engaged successively in farming and mercantile 
pursuits. Four years before the Civil war he removed to Michigan, 
from which state he entered the Union ranks and served until the close 
of hostilities. His death occurred on the 15th of August, 1905. His 
widow is a daughter of Andrew Oarlock, a native of Wittemburg, Ger- 
niuny, who married a cousin by that name and came to Erie county about 
1835. Mrs. Jacob Roland is a devoted member of the German Evan- 
gelical church, and is a highly honored pioneer of the county. 

E. \V\ Roland, of this sketch, was reared on the family homestead 
in West Mill Creek township, received a district school education, and 
followed farming in different parts of Erie county until his marriage 
in 1888. He then established a homestead on the Lake road in Fair- 
view township and for three years engaged in agricultural pursuits. On 
March 15, 1891, he became a resident of Erie and engaged in the retail 
grocery business on the corner of Eighteenth and Cherry streets, as- 
sociating himself with his brother, Levi, under the firm name of Roland 
Brothers. In 189(5 they erected the store at No. GOl West Seventeenth 
street, and remained in partnership until 1897, when E. W. purchased 
his brother's interest and has since been sole proprietor of the busi- 
ness. i\Ir. Roland was also one of the promoters of the Erie Wholesale 
Grocery Company, of which he was one of the original stockholders and 
of which (since January 15, 1909) he has been a director. He is an 
active member of the Business Men's Exchange ; is a Republican in pol- 
itics, and in his religious faith is identified with tlie Chestnut Street Pres- 
byterian church. 

On February 21, 1888, Mr. Roland married Miss Minnie H. Bochner, 
born in West Mill Creek township, on the 27th of September, 1864, 
daughter of Flenry and Hannah (Sherman) Bochner. The father was 
born in Fairview, Erie county, his people coming here from Lancaster 
county at an early date. He died in the winter of 1900, but Mrs. Bochner 
is still alive — a goodly specimen of the intelligent, sturdy, honorable 
women produced by her German fatherland. Two children have been 
born to Mr. and Mrs. E. W. Roland: — ^Harrison L.. who was born De- 
cember 28, 1889, and died December 25, 1900, and Elsie Elizabeth Ro- 
land, whose birth occurred June 1, 1893. 

Robert J. Moorhead. Possessing in a marked degree the pro- 
nounced ability, forceful individuality, and perseverance of purpose that 
win success in business circles, and command universal respect, Robert 
J. Moorhead is actively associated with the financial growth and pros- 
perity of the city of Erie, and as president of the Security Savings and 
Trust Company of Erie is prominently identified with one of the lead- 
ing institutions of this part of Erie county. A man of great enterprise 
and energy, he has done much towards promoting the mercantile and 
manufacturing interests of Western Pennsylvania, and as a banker has 
carried on business with credit and success, being now one of the lead- 
ing financiers of Erie, of which he is to all intents and purposes a citizen, 
although he still maintains his family residence in his old home town. 
North East. He was born, April 2, 1852. in Aloorheads, Harbor Creek 
township. Erie county, which was the birthplace, likewise, of his par- 



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TILP£N FOUNDaT,;.,,„ 






J 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 89 

ents, Joseph Byers and Eliza (Hampson) IMoorhead. His grandfather, 
John Aloorhead, with his brothers, Robert and George, located in Erie 
county in the early part of the last century, in Harbor Creek township, 
in the town of Moorheads, which was named in their honor. 

Brought up on the farm, hewed from the forest by his father, Joseph 
Byers Moorhead, was there engaged in tilling the soil until 18()5, when 
he removed with his family to North East, where for a period of eight 
years he was employed in the forwarding and commission bu-^iness. Lo- 
cating in Cadiz, Ohio, in 1(ST;3, he remained there until his death, March 
10, 1880. His widow subsequently returned to her old home in North 
East, where her death occurred, September (i, 1891. 

In 186!), having completed his studies at the North East Academy, 
Robert J. Moorhead worked as a book-keeper in one of the business 
houses for a year, and was afterwards book-keeper for a similar length 
ot time in the First National Bank of North East. Coming from there 
to Erie in April, 1871, Mr. Moorhead took charge of the books of the 
Second National Bank, and in October, 1872, went to Foxburg, Clarion 
county, to assume charge of the local Savings Bank which was owned, 
principally by Erie people. Embarking in the oil brokerage business in 
1874, Mr. Moorhead was first located at Parker's Landing, then at Oil 
City, from there going to Pittsburg, where he remained until 1885, when 
he returned to North East. In 1888 Mr. Moorhead purchased the con- 
trolling interest in tlie Short Manufacturing Company, of North East, 
being made president of the comj)any. He was subsequently made presi- 
dent of the Security and Savings Trust Company of Erie and has since 
performed the duties devolving upon him in this capacity with recognized 
ability and fidelity, rendering it one of the strongest financial institutions 
in the county. 

George E. Hichmyer, the owner and proprietor of one of the valu- 
able estates of Harbor Creek township, known as the Pleasant View Fruit 
Farm, is a member of one of the stanch old pioneer families of Erie 
county. Simon Flighmyer, his father, was a German by birth, and com- 
ing from his native land to the United States, he located in Erie county 
in 1830. and was here married to Maria Pherrin, from Northumberland 
count}'. Peiuisylvania. He was a cooper by trade, and his death occurred 
while serving his adopted country in the Civil war in 1862. His widow 
then moved to Mill Creek township in Erie county, and died there in the 
year of 1889. 

George E. Highmyer. the elder of their (3) sons, was born in Fair- 
view township. Erie county. May 19, 1853, and remaining at home with 
his mother until his marriage, he then lived for four years in Mill Creek 
township. At the close of that period he purchased his present homestead 
of forty acres in Harbor Creek township, and has built thereon a valu- 
able brick residence and has devoted his land to the raising of grapes and 
peaches and small fruit. The farm is well improved and splendidly 
adapted to the raising of fruit. 

Mr. Highmyer married A])ril 16. 1885, Emma Ripley, born in 
Greene township, Erie county, a daughter of David and ]\Iary Ann (Kuhl) 
Ripley. Their only child, a son Ray, died when but two years of age, 
but in their home are two adopted children, a niece and a nephew, Elma 
and Ira. Elma has finished high school and Ira is in the seventh grade. 
One brother of Mr. Highmyer, Frank Highmyer, died in 1899, and the 
other A. C. resides in Erie, a carpenter of P. and E. shops ; he is married 



00 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

and has three children. George E. Highmyer is a RepubHcan in his 
poHtical affiHations and he and family are members of the Presbyterian 
church in Harborcreek township. 

Clarence C. French, one of Erie county's leading and enterprising 
business men, is the proprietor of an extensive optical and jewelry estab- 
lishment at No. 923 State street. The coordinating forces usually found 
in those who have traveled the pathway of success, have combined in 
him in large measure, spurring him onward in the pursuit of a noble 
purpose, until now he has a business established upon a solid financial 
basis and honorably takes his place among those who are maintaining 
the industrial worth of the city as a center of trade and field of business 
opportunities. His career, however, has not been without its obstacles 
and discouragements but the firm resolution he early formed to ertter 
business on his own account and succeed has enabled him to surmount 
all difiiculties confronting him and, by persistent efifort reinforced by 
patience and perseverance, he has mastered every situation so that now 
he owns and controls an enterprise which is not only a gratifying source 
of revenue to himself but also a credit to the city. 

A native of Corning, New York, born March 4, 1866, Mr. French is 
a son of George Edward and Cynthia Ann (Davis) French. His father 
was also a native of the Empire state, while his mother's nativity oc- 
curred in Connecticut. In the Keystone state and in Center county 
George E. French engaged in the lumber business until death terminated 
his activities. His widow now resides in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. 
Mr. French was well known throughout the lumber regions of the state 
and the honorable relations he sustained in all his business transactions 
won him the respect and confidence of all with whom he had dealings as 
honest and reliable. 

In Center county Clarence C. French was reared and spent his boy- 
hood days. The public schools afforded him his educational privileges 
and after mastering the branches of study taught there, he became as- 
sociated with his father in the lumber business. In this connection he 
remained until 1884 when, desirous of adopting another calling and, 
preferring that of a jeweler, he went to Phillipsburg, Pennsylvania, 
where he served his apprenticeship in the watchmaking establishment of 
E. A. Davis & Son. Seeking further opportunity whereby to acquire 
a better knowledge and greater skill at the trade, he went to Oil city, 
Pennsylvania, in 1889 where he spent two years with Shapperle Broth- 
ers, jewelers and expert watchmakers, who for years were at the 
head of a department at Tiffany's, New York City. Still anxious to 
further add to his capacity for usefulness and, in order to broaden his 
field of endeavor, he completed a course of instruction at the Julius King 
School of Optics, at Cleveland, Ohio, from which he was graduated 
in 1891. In that year, coming to Erie, Mr. French entered the employ 
of Edward Hoffman, jeweler. Two years later, or in 1893. considering 
his ability and experience adequate to meet the public demand, he began 
business on his own account as a jeweler and optican at No. 925 State 
street. His venture was on a small scale and he rented a window in 
an insurance ofiice. For eight years he labored diligently with a view to 
producing the highest class work and to pleasing his patrons by the sub- 
stantial nature of his services, so that his busines gradually grew, until, 
in 1901 his volume of trade necessitating larger quarters, he removed to 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 91 

hi.= present location at No. 923 State street. Here he occupies a capa- 
cious store and conducts one of the leading establishments of the kind 
in the city, carrying a complete line of solid gold jewelry and optical 
good=. Watch repairing is his specialty and his business is of such pro- 
por.ions to require the assistance of four regular employes. Mr. French's 
commercial career has been one of even growth, due to his progressive 
spirit, his professional skill and. above all, to the straightforward methods 
which characterize his transactions. 

Mr. French was united in marriage to Miss Laura Hudson, a native 
of Phillipsburg, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Robert Hudson. To 
this union have been born two children : Hudson and Helen May. Public- 
spirited and alive to the highest interests of the city he is a member 
of the Chamber of Commerce and a charter member of the Business 
Men's Exchange. His fraternal relations are with Perry Lodge, A. F. 
& A. M. Mr. French is highly respected, both socially and as a busi- 
ness man and is a substantial factor in the city's commercial life. 

Edward D. Carter. The only lake port in the state, the city of 
Erie is advantageously located, and has been itlcntified with the develop- 
ment of some of the more important commercial industries of Pennsyl- 
vania. In the promotion and advancement of several of these industrial 
lines, Edward D. Carter has been a native and conspicuous factor, 
being especially prominent in business circles. Distinguished as a native 
of Erie county, he was born, January 31, 1853, in Mill Creek township, 
a son of John H. Carter, a farmer of prominence. His paternal grand- 
parents, John and Mary (High) Carter, emigrated from England to this 
country in 1835, bringing with them their live children, and settling on 
a farm in Erie county. 

John H. Carter was born in county Norfolk, England, February 
21, 1821. Coming with his parents to Pennsylvania at the age of four- 
teen years, he assisted his father in clearing and improving a home- 
stead, early becoming familiar with agricultural pursuits. With the 
exception of a few years spent in Erie, he was engaged in tilling the 
soil during his years of activity, his farming estate in Mill Creek town- 
ship being one of the best improved and most valuable in that vicinity. 
In 1838 he married Anna Heidelbaugh, who was born and reared in 
Lancaster county, and they became the parents of six children, namely : 
Mary, wife of William Hardwick, of Erie; George W., of Erie, senior 
member of the retail shoe firm of G. W. Carter & Co. ; Edward D., of this 
sketch ; Alfred ; John L. ; and Mrs. Luella Bacon. 

Brought up on the home farm, Edward D. Carter received his 
preliminary education in the district schools. He subsequently attended 
the Edinboro normal school, after which he took a course of study at the 
Iron City Commercial College, in Pittsburg. Securing then a position 
in that city, he remained there two years, in the meantime obtaining a 
practical insight regarding business pursuits. Coming then to Erie, Mr. 
Carter, in company with his brother, G. W. Carter, was for five years 
engaged in the grocery business. In 187G he embarked in the fish 
business, which was the beginning of his connection with an industry 
which he has since continued with great profit to himself, and to the ad- 
vancement of a good paying business, for, in 1893, the Erie Fish Associa- 
tion, in which he was financially interested for many years, was or- 
ganized, and he was made its president. During that period, Mr. Carter 



92 HISTORY OF ERIE COUXTY 

was made president of the Merchants' and Manufacturers' Electric 
Light Company, of which lie was a promoter, and one of the organizers. 
He is still actively interested in many of the leading corporations of the 
city, among others being the Erie and Carter Steamship Companies, of 
which he is president and general manager; the Erie Company, electric 
light, construction, and steam heat, of which he is likewise president ; and 
the Security Savings and Trust Company, of which he is the vice presi- 
dent, and a director. Mr. Carter's commercial standing is irreproachable, 
and his indomitable energy and perseverance enable him to carry for- 
ward to successful completion whatever he undertakes. 

On October 10, 1873, Mr. Carter married Clara, daughter of John 
Robinson, of Erie, and into their household two children have been born, 
Maud and Carl. Politically a sound Republican, Mr. Carter has served 
as a member of the Select Council of Erie. Fraternally he belongs to 
the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and to the Royal Arcanum. 

C.\PT. Edward L. Whittelsey, of Erie, and one of the leading 
members of the Erie legal profession, is a native of Connecticut, born 
in Litchfield county, October 5, 1841, son of Henry R. and ^lary A. 
(Parmlee) Whittelsey, both natives of Connecticut and of English de- 
scent. 

The captain lived on a farm until he was eight years old, and from 
tliat time on until he was nineteen he attended school. He began reading 
law in Erie, before he reached his majority, but abandoned his legal 
studies, July W, 18()1, in order to enlist in the Eighty-third Regiment 
of Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He served throughout the war; 
was regularly promoted to a captaincy, was wounded at the battle of 
Bull Run, and was discharged from the service on June 28, 1865. In 
18G9, Captain Whittelsey was elected to the office of prothonotary of 
Erie county, and upon the expiration of his first term he was re-elected, 
and served until January, 1876. Retiring from public office, he again 
took up the study of law, this time in the office of Benson & Brainard. 
of Erie, and in 1877 he was admitted to the bar and engaged in the 
practice of law, at which he has since continued with success and dis- 
tinction. 

Captain Whittelsey married Charlotte, daughter of Henry Hunt, 
now deceased ; and the fruits of their union were six children, four of 
whom are living, as follows : Maude. Ruth, Mary and Kate. He mar- 
ried for his second wife Miss Isabelle Farley, of Erie. The captain 
is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and he and his wife are identified 
with the Presbyterian church. 

Lyman L. L.wir. Within the pages of this work will be found 
mention of those representative citizens who have contributed to the 
civic and material develoj)ment and progress of Erie county, and among 
those meriting a place of distinction is the subject of this memoir, who 
was long a prominent and influential factor in the business afifairs of 
the city of Erie and who was a citizen of sterling character, holding a 
commanding place in the esteem and confidence of the community in 
which were centered for so long a term of years his various interests. ' He 
was a man of forceful individuality and was associated with many enter- 
prises of importance, which tended to conserve the general welfare of 
Iiis home citv and county. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 93 

Mr. Lamb was born at Homer, Cortland county, New York, April 
30, 1817, and was a member of a family early founded in the old Empire 
state and one whose name has been identified with American history since 
the colonial era. He was reared and educated in his native state, where 
he maintained his home until 1837, when he took up his residence at 
Townville, Crawford county, Pennsylvania, where he engaged in the 
produce business. With the successful production of coal oil in the 
fields of Titusville, that county, in the summer of 1859, there was opened 
to him a broader field of enterprise. He identified himself with the oil 
industry and for a number of years was one of the successful operators 
in that section of the state, where he laid the foundatoin for the compe- 
tence which it was his to gain through well directed efiforts. In the win- 
ter of 181)4: Mr. Lamb became a resident of the city of Erie, where he 
established himself in the coal business, in which line of enterprise he 
continued for many years and in which his operations attained to ex- 
tensive proportions. He also identified himself with other business enter- 
prises. In 18G5 he became one of the organizers and incorporators of 
the Keystone National Bank, of Erie, and he was a director of this old 
and substantial institution at the time of his death. In 1868 he was one 
of the interested principals in the organizing of the Dime Savings & 
Loan Company, now known as the Erie Trust Company, and he served 
as president of the institution for some years. Subsequently to that time 
he lived virtually retired from active business. 

Mr. Lamb was a citizen who manifested a loyal interest in all that 
tended to conserve the general welfare of the community, and his public 
spirit was ever to be depended upon. Though never active in the domain 
of politics he gave a stanch allegiance to the Republican party, and his 
religious faith was that of the Presbyterian church. In his death, on 
the 29th of October, 189U, Erie lost one of her most useful and honored 
citizens. 

In November, 1840, Mr. Lamb was united in marriage to Miss 
Miranda Town, daughter of Noah Town, the founder of Townville, 
Crawford county, this state, whither he came from Granville, Washing- 
ton county, New York, in an early day. Mr. and Mrs. Lamb became the 
parents of eight children. ]\Irs. Lamb still maintains her home in Erie, 
where she is held in affectionate regard by all who know her. 

Henry Himberger. Contracting lines in Erie have afforded num- 
erous openings through which many have traveled to prosperity and 
among those who in this direction have perseveringly applied their 
energies so that they are numbered among those who are leaders in 
industrial lines here is Henry Himberger, who is one of the best known 
building contractors in this part of the state. He is a man whose busi- 
ness relations have been conducted upon the basis of a high standard of 
commercial ethics and this with his aggressive spirit has enabled him, 
from year to year, to so enhance his trade interests and increase his 
popularity that today he holds an enviable position among those en- 
gaged in similar lines of occupation. He was born in Huron county, 
Ohio, near IVIonroeville, November 19, 1862. a son of William and 
Minnie (Horn) Himberger, natives of the fatherland, born in 1813 and 
1821, respectively. They were united in marriage in the old country in 
1842, coming to the new world in 1851 and locating in Huron county, 
Ohio. There the elder Mr. Himberger engaged in agricultural pursuits, 



94 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

in which he was quite successful, being known as one of the most pro- 
gressive farmers throughout the community and at the same time being 
highly respected for the part he took in the development of the natural 
resources of the place and his interest in community afifairs. In their 
family were the following children : William, whose birth occurred 
in the fatherland and who now resides in Norwalk, Ohio; Kate, also 
born in the fatherland and who wedded George Lowe, they now re- 
siding in Michigan ; Jennette. also a native of Germany, the deceased 
wife of Jacob Springer; Louis, deceased, his birth having' occurred in 
Germany ; ^Minnie, a native of Germany and the wife of John Leng, this 
couple residing in this city; Mary, a native of Ohio and the wife of 
Frederick Linder, residents of Michigan; Charles, also a native of Ohio, 
who resides in the west; and Henry. Their father met death from 
injuries received incident to a run-away in the year 1876. 

On the home farm Henry Himberger spent his boyhood days, re- 
maining in the pursuit of agriculture until he was eighteen years of 
age, in the meantime being given the advantage of an education in the 
public schools. At that period of his life he entered business for himself 
and became an employe in a planing-mill at Xorwalk, Ohio, where he 
remained for one year. In September, of the year 1882 he repaired to 
this city, where he secured work with a carpenter and, being an expert 
workman, soon gained wide popularity for the character of his artisan- 
ship and in 1884, feeling confident of his own ability to enter the indus- 
trial world on his own account, he undertook contracting independently. 
As may be supposed his beginning was on a small scale but. being in- 
dustrious and enterprising and at the same time giving careful attention 
to the character of his work, always endeavoring to give value received, 
he soon gained prestige and from year to year enhanced his trade so 
that at the present time he is numbered among the leading and most re- 
liable building contractors of the city. His knowledge of the building 
trades is based upon careful and scrutinizing study, being exhaustive in 
every department and he served as building inspector of Erie from May, 
1903, to the same month, 1905, in this position deporting himself with 
exceptional ability and satisfaction to all concerned. Mr. Himberger 
is a strong character whose perseverance in striving to perfect himself 
in the roimd of trade he is following has made him master of its every 
department and as a contractor and builder he has done excellent work 
throughout the city and is accounted one of the most worthy citizens 
and dependable, industrial factors. 

On the 3d of June, 1884, Mr. Himberger wedded Carolina Steidle, 
a native of Wurtemberg, Germany, and to this union have been born 
the following children : Edwin, who died in infancy ; Elfreda W. L. ; and 
Oscar Carl, who is a student at Pennsylvania State College. Mr. Him- 
berger is deeply concerned in all projects and measures designed for 
the general welfare of the business interests of the city and consequently 
is a leading member of the Erie Chamber of Commerce, and was elected 
school director of the Sixth ward in February, 1909. Fraternally his 
relations are with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Ben- 
evolent and Protective Order of Elks, and he is also a member of the 
Erie Maennerchor. His record is in every sense creditable and he has 
maintained his career on the basis of sound commercial ethics so that 
now he is entitled to honorable mention among Erie's leading business 
men. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 95 

William Hardwick, president of the Erie Engine and Union Iron 
Works, ex-mayor of the city and ex-president of its board of trade, is a 
man who seems to assume leadership in whatever field he enters, in 
fact, there are few citizens of Erie who may be considered its truly 
representative man in more senses than Mr. Hardwick, since he has been 
an active force in the industrial, financial, civic and social progress of 
the city. He is a native of England, born December 1, 1847, son of 
John and Ann Hardwick, the family coming to Erie in 1852, when Wil- 
liam was but five years of age. Since that time he has made Erie his 
home. He was educated in its public schools until he reached the age 
of eleven years, when he left the school room for the work shop, becom- 
ing an apprentice at the machinist's trade, with Liddell Alarsh & Mc- 
Carter now the Erie City Iron Works. Having mastered his trade he 
followed it for some tinie but rose so rapidly that before long he had 
reached the position of foreman of the Bay State Iron Works and after 
r. period of nine years was promoted to the general superintendency of 
that great plant. 

In 1879 Mr. Hardwick commenced his career as a manufacturer, 
associating himself with Frank F. Cleveland in* the organization of the 
Hardwick and Cleveland Company, and engaging in the manufacture of 
engines and boilers. In 1893 the firm was incorporated as the Erie 
Engine Works, with Mr. Hardwick as president and general manager 
and since that time he has been continuously and ably fulfilling the dual 
position. The Union Iron Works were established by the Erie Engine 
Works and the Skinner Engine Company in 1890, its object being to 
provide the boiler department for the two others mentioned. In 1893 
Mr. Hardwick became president of the corporation, which position he 
still holds. February 1, 1904, the Erie ^Manufacturing and Supply Com- 
pany was also organized, with Mr. Hardwick as president and general 
manager so that he is at the head of two of the largest iron manufactories 
in Erie county. In this capacity he has abundantly demonstrated his 
remarkable executive and promotional ability. 

Notwithstanding all these large and absorbing interests he has 
rendered the city valuable service in the shaping of municipal legislation, 
especially in the development of its public works. In 1878 he was elected 
to the common council as a representative from the Fourth ward ; re- 
elected in the following year and in 1880 and 1881 served as a member 
of the select council. He was also chosen to membership on the school 
board of the Third ward in 1890 and while thus serving, in 1891 was 
appointed by Judge Gunnison, a member of the board of water w^orks. 
Resigning from the school board he commenced long and invaluable 
service as a commissioner of the board of public works and during four 
of the seven years of his term he was president of the board. During 
this period the intake of the water works w^as constructed across the 
bay to Big Bend and the water pipes afterward extended across the 
peninsula out into the lake, this insuring the city an abundant supply of 
pure drinking water. This important work was completed in the fall 
of 1898. In 1902 Mr. Hardwick was elected mayor of the city, serving 
a full term of three years. During his administration remarkable prog- 
ress was made in paving the city streets, in fact, more work was accom- 
plished in this line than in any other mayoralty term. The Municipal 
Hospital was also built ; Glenwood Park was accepted by the city and 
paid for; and the viaduct at East Buffalo road was completed (the be- 
ginning of the abolishment of grade crossings in the city) ; West Tenth 



96 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

street was made into a Boulevard and paved and the first crusade 
against gambling and immoral resorts was inaugurated. It was during 
his administration also that the Chamber of Commerce was organized 
with which, as well as the board of trade, Mr. Hardwick has worked 
harmoniously and effectively for the advancement of many of the city's 
most important enterprises. For one year he served as president of 
the board of trade and during his term and under his active encourage- 
ment the Mutual Telephone system was established. That his influence 
and prominence extended far beyond the limits of Erie is evident from 
his selection by the Republicans of Pennsylvania as a McKinley and 
Roosevelt presidential elector in 1901. 

For many years he has also been active and prominent in religious 
affairs of the Methodist Episcopal church of Erie. He has been a 
member of that organization for the past fifty years and when the old 
Wayne street Methodist church was erected he was elected president of 
the Erie Methodist Episcopal Alliance. This church was under the 
management of that body and as its president he was the main factor 
in locating the church in the southeastern part of the city. There he 
remained in active and influential connection with it until the edifice 
was burned and the present church was built. He also assisted in the 
selection of the sites for the Kiiigsley and Cascade street churches and 
during all the years of his presidency of the Erie Methodist Episcopal 
Alliance he was very active in the management and advancement of 
denominational affairs throughout the city and county. In his business 
and social connections Mr. Hardwick is an active member of the Cham- 
ber of Commerce, the Board of Trade, the Erie Country Club and the 
American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He is also a thirty-second 
degree Mason. 

On October 13, 1866. Mr. Hardwick was married to Mary, daugh- 
ter of the late John H. and Anna (.Heidlebach) Carter, both old citizens 
of Erie county. Two children have been born to Mr. and ^Irs. Hard- 
wick, one son and one daughter. John Wesley Hardwick, the son, was 
a native of Erie ; was educated in its public and high schools and chose 
his father's iron works to learn the business in preference to pursuing 
a college course. His advancement was both thorough and rapid and he 
became one of the organizers of the Erie Manufacturing and Supply 
Company and was afterward made secretary and general manager of 
the Union Iron W^orks, wdiich position he was holding at the time of 
his death. He was a most promising young man and death no doubt 
cut short what would have been a career of great prominence and wide 
usefulness. The deceased was married, his first wife being Miss Anna 
Parson, who died as the mother of one daughter, Gladys. His second 
wife, nee Miss Lena Wells, of Springboro, Pennsylvania, still survives 
with their daughter Virginia Hardwick. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. 
W^illiam Hardwick. Luanna, married Albert MacDonald, one of Erie's 
most prominent manufacturers, now superintendent of the Metric Metal 
Works, one of the city's largest and most important industries. 

Thomas M.vckrell, who has been successfully engaged in farming 
in Harbor Creek township for the past quarter of a century, was born 
in county Down, Ireland. September 22. 1852, being a son of Richard 
and Margaret (McGinnis) Mackrell. both natives of that section of Ire- 
land. He was the sixth in a family of six daughters and three sons. At the 
age of twenty, after receiving a common school education in Ireland, Mr. 



PUl>^u 



MT«R, LCM*X 

TILȣN FOUNDATION! 




PHILLIP B. RAEDER 




MR. AND MRS. PHILLIP B. RAEDER 



IP ^ARYl 



L 



riLOEN FOUNDATION* 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 97 

Mackrell emigrated to America at first locating at North East, Pennsyl- 
vania, and after working there a month, coming to Erie where he was 
employed in railroad work. He was then engaged as a farm hand for 
about a year and for a similar period was employed at the Erie Car 
Works. His next experience as an agriculturist covered a period of 
fifteen years on a frontier farm just west of Erie and a considerable 
portion of this period was spent as foreman for Mr. Sampson. In 1884, 
Mr. Mackrell purchased twenty acres in Harbor Creek township which 
he has since cultivated and improved in the raising of fruit and general 
farming. 

On May 11, 1880, Mr. Mackrell married Miss Teressa A. Leiss, a 
native of Waggletown, Mill Creek township, and daughter of Sebastian 
and Catherine (Burlinger) Leiss, both natives of Bavaria, Germany. 
The children of this union were: Richard and Peter, both residents of 
Erie; Thomas, of Mill Creek township; Frances, now Mrs. Joseph Hel- 
man, of South Erie, Pennsylvania ; and John L., George, James, Anna L., 
Joseph and Leo, all residing at home. Mr. Mackrell has so closely de- 
voted himself to his farming operations that he has had little time for 
social or fraternal functions, his only connection in this regard being 
as a member of the Grand Fraternity of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He 
is a member of the St. Anna Catholic church in Erie. 

Phillip B. Raedi:r, a farmer of Harbor Creek township for many 
years, was a fine type of the German-American element in agriculture 
and since his death his faithful and efficient widow, with the assistance 
of her sons, has carried on and even enlarged his original interests. Mr. 
Raeder was a native of Bavaria, Germany, born October 2G, 1839, son 
of Jacob and Charlotte C. (Bolander) Raeder. As his mother died when 
he was but three years of age when he came to Erie county, Pennsylvania, 
in 1852, he was only accompanied by his father and children. The elder 
Mr. Raeder was a baker by trade but was a man of independence and 
industry who did not hesitate in the new .country to accept any honorable 
employment. 

Phillip B., of this sketch, was the sixth to be born in a family of three 
sons and four daughters and commenced life for himself at the age of 
twelve when he secured employment as a farm hand. This was the 3^ear 
prior to his coming to this country so that when he arrived in Erie county 
he had enjoyed some considerable experience in agricultural matters. On 
April 19, 1865, Mr. Raeder married Christina Schwingel, a native of 
Buffalo, New York, born July 25, 1835, and daughter of Christian and 
Christina (Keppel) Schwingel. The former was born in the kingdom of 
Prussia, Germany, and the latter in Alsace-Lorraine, now also a part 
of Germany but then a part of France. Mr. Schwingel located at Buffalo, 
New York, in 1831, later removing to Rochester and in 1839 to Erie 
where for some years he engaged in mercantile pursuits. Still later 
he bought a farm in Mill Creek tow^nship where he lived until his death 
September 25, 1864. 

The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Phillip B. Raeder were as fol- 
lows : Louisa, now Mrs. W. H. Frazier, a resident of Harbor Creek town- 
ship ; Carl, who resides with his mother on the farm in Harbor Creek 
township which Mr. Raeder purchased in 1867 and now consists of tw^o 
hundred acres ; and George C. and William F., who also live with their 
mother. On January 23, 1906, the family residence was burned with all 
its contents but Mr. Raeder at once rebuilt and the present family home 
Vol. II— 7 



98 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

of nine rooms is convenient and modern in every respect. August 10, 
1907, Mr. Raeder died on his homestead and his remains are interred 
in Lake Side Cemetery. 

WiLLARD J. Young. Erie county has ever had reason to take pride 
in the personnel of its bench and bar, and to-day the legal profession in 
the county is represented by men of sterling character and full appre- 
ciation of the responsibilities and dignity of their exacting vocation. One 
who has attained to marked precedence in the practice of law in the city 
of Erie is Willard J. Young. He was born near the village of Water- 
ford, Erie county, Pennsylvania, on the 19th of October, 18G1, and is 
a son of James B. and Phoebe J. (Middleton) Young. James B. Young 
was a native of Ireland, whence he came with his parents to the United 
States in 1842. The family became settlers of Erie county soon after 
their arrival in America, having located on a heavily timbered tract of 
land near the present thriving village of Waterford. James B. Young 
was identified with agricultural pursuits during his entire career, and he 
died in 1878, in the very prime of his manhood. His wife was born in 
the United States, of Scotch parentage, and she is still living in Erie 
county. 

When Willard J. was two years of age his parents removed to Mill 
Creek township and settled on a farm just outside the corporate limits 
of the city of Erie. He was reared to the life of the farm, and he con- 
tinued to attend the public schools of his native county until 1876, when, 
at the age of fifteen years he entered Westminster College, where he 
completed the prescribed course in the literary department and was grad- 
uated as a member of the class of 1883. From this excellent institution 
he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts. For two years after leaving 
college Mr. Young was principal of the public schools of Shefiield, this 
state, and he made an excellent record in the pedagogic profession. 
Finally he began reading law under effective preceptorship, and since 
1888. when he was admitted to the bar, he has been engaged in the prac- 
tice of his profession in the city of Erie, where his success has been of 
unequivocal order and his clientage is of representative character. Since 
1889 he has been local attorney for R. G. Dun & Company, the great 
commercial agency, and also for the Mutual Building & Loan Association 
of Erie. As a citizen he has ever maintained a loyal and public-spirited 
attitude, and has shown deep interest in all that has tended to conserve 
the progress and material and civic upbuilding of his home city. He 
is a member of the Erie Chamber of Commerce, is a stanch Republican 
in his political proclivities, and is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity. 
Mr. Young is a bachelor. 

U. P. RossiTER. A leading member of the Erie bar, U. P. Rossiter 
is also a Republican leader in state politics and closely identified with the 
industrial development of the city. He has attained prominence in the lat- 
ter particular in connection with the development of the Cascade Foundry 
of which he was one of the founders and has been secretary since its or- 
ganization. Mr. Rossiter is a native of Norristown. born October 6, 
1862. and is a son of S. Y. and Mary B. (Johnson) Rossiter, both natives 
of that place. The father was born in 1835, son of Lindley and Mar- 
garet (Pennypacker) Rossiter. both natives of Chester county. Penn- 
sylvania. The former was a tanner and currier and was engaged in 
these lines at Norristown for over forty years, at his death being succeed- 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 99 

ed by his son S. Y. From Norristown the latter removed to St. Mary's, 
Elk county, Pennsylvania, where he remained in business for two years 
and in 1871 became a resident of Girard, Erie county, there succeeding 
to the business of C. I. England. In 1857 he married Mary B. Johnson. 
Mr. Rossiter died at Girard, October 8, 1899, his widow still surviving 
him. 

U. P. Rossiter, of this review, received his preliminary education 
in the common schools of Norristown, St. Mary's and Girard and his 
higher literary studies were pursued at Swarthmore College, Swarth- 
more, Pennsylvania. He then read law with J. Ross Thompson, of Erie, 
was admitted to the bar in June, 1887, and remained in private practice 
until his election to the office of district attorney in 1893. His official 
duties and the fine record and wide acquaintanceship which he made in 
this capacity induced him to become a permanent resident of Erie. In 
addition to his large legal practice he has become interested in various 
business and industrial enterprises and was one of the founders of the 
Cascade Foundry and is, as already has been stated, its secretary, having 
held this position since its organization. His prominence as a Republican 
is indicated by his services as chairman of the county committee of that 
party. As a fraternalist he is an active Mason, Odd Fellow and Elk, 
being one of the incorporators of the building association connected with 
the last named order and which had the active superintendence of the fine 
Elks' Club recently completed ; he is also exalted ruler of the order. Mr. 
Rossiter is an influential member of the Chamber of Commerce and is 
identified with the Country Club of Erie. 

Mr. Rossiter's wife was formerly Miss Ella A. Nichols, a native of 
Girard, Pennsylvania, and on her mother's side is a representative of 
the old Hay family of this county of which the late John Hay, the distin- 
guished writer and diplomat, was a member. Mrs. Rossiter's grandfather 
had the honor of being Erie's first postmaster. Mr. and Mrs. Rossiter 
have become the parents of one child, Samuel Y. Rossiter. 

G. La Verne Pratt. The successive steps in the career of a success- 
ful business man are readily ascertained if one simply marks his onward 
movements, step by step, and in every instance he will discover that his 
progress has been attained not at all by the aid of outside influence but 
altogether by the expression of his inborn merit. Such is true in the 
case of G. La Verne Pratt, who from a small beginning, on the strength 
of his own resources, has developed one of the largest commercial en- 
terprises now in operation in this city, and who is known throughout 
the entire state as a furniture dealer whose business methods are above 
question and whose judgment and keen discernment in business affairs 
are of a nature naturally disposed to bring success to their possessor. 
When Mr. Pratt started out on his commercial career there was nothing 
more ahead of him than that which may appear ahead of other young 
men but he was gifted with a foresight to see opportunity and he lead 
himself along pathways in which there was apparently nothing and 
which were passed by by others and through patience and perseverance 
pursued his way, working hard all along the line until now he is ac- 
counted among the worthy and most prominent business men of the 
city of Erie. 

Mr. Pratt is a native of Chenango county. New York, born Decem- 
ber 10, 1866, and a son of Ogden Alanson and Welthy (Hough) Pratt, 
the father being a native of Connecticut, while the mother was born in 



706983 



100 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Chenango county, New York. Both families were originally from the 
state of Connecticut and were numbered among the old-fashioned Puritan 
stock, Grandfather Pratt having been a wealthy manufacturer of Connec- 
ticut, while Grandfather Hough served as a member of the Connecticut 
state legislature. Both families came westward and located in Chenango 
county, the Empire state, this being before the days of railroads, and 
there they pursued agriculture for a livelihood, death having summoned 
both grandfathers to the life beyond in that county. Ogden Alanson 
Pratt, father of G. L. Verne, engaged in agricultural pursuits during 
the greater part of his life and is now living retired in Chenango county, 
while his wife passed away thirty years ago. 

On the home farm G. La \'erne Pratt was reared, passing through 
the experiences common to the country lad during his boyhood days, 
assisting his father in agricultural duties during the summer months while 
in the winter season he took advantage of the district schools to obtain 
his preliminary education. Later he was given the advantage of a 
course of study in the high school and after he was graduated from that 
institution being then in his nineteenth year, he was ambitious to become 
engaged in the commercial world, and, leaving the farm, he took up his 
abode in the village where he accepted a position as clerk in a general 
store on a salary of five dollars a month with board. He performed his 
duties in this position for about two years and a half, during which time 
he displayed uncommon ability and was promoted as far as the enter- 
prise would permit. Desirous of larger opportunities and a wider range 
of business experience he resigned his position and became a traveling 
salesman, handling a general line of household goods, his territory lying 
throughout the Empire state. As a drummer he attained eminent success 
and continued to follow this line of work for eight years, at the expiration 
of which period he had reached the limit of possibilities offered by that 
vocation by way of experience and salary and his last year as a traveling 
salesman he spent in the city of Erie, this being in 1894. In the following 
year he engaged in business on his own account, securing quarters in a 
small room above Illig's clothing store on Peach street, and, while starting 
the enterprise, he did his own canvassing and having had a wide and 
varied experience in that line, success attended him from day to day, 
his business witnessing rapid growth until in 1901 his trade had reached 
such volume as to necessitate roomier quarters, so he removed to No. 
IGIO State street. All this while he handled a full line of household 
goods, particularly furniture and the borders of his business so widened 
and his trade assumed such proportions as to surround him with un- 
common financial prosperity. He negotiated for the erection of a large 
building in which to carry on his enterprise and in 1907 he completed 
one of the finest brick structures in the city, located at the corner of 
State and Seventeenth street. The building is one of the most modern 
here, being three stories high with basement, the entire structure being 
built out of brick decorated with stone trimmings with floor space em- 
bracing one hundred and twenty-five by forty feet, the entire space in the 
building, which may be devoted to business purposes, including fourteen 
thousand feet without counting the cellar. This elegant structure stands 
as ample evidence of his prosperity and is a living monument to the keen 
business judgment, patience and perseverance and straightforward hon- 
orable methods of its owner. Mr. Pratt, who as proprietor of the estab- 
lishment is one of the foremost financial factors in the city. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 101 

Mr. Pratt wedded Miss Anna Gillow, a native of Tompkins county, 
New York, and the couple have since been enjoying the surroundings 
of a cultured home, graced with every convenience designed for domestic 
happiness. Mr. Pratt is largely interested in all movements having for 
their object the upbuilding of the city and belongs to the Business Men's 
Exchange, of which he is president, while at the same time he is also an 
influential member of the Erie Chamber of Commerce. His fraternal 
relations are with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and he belongs 
to the First Methodist Episcopal church. His career thus far has been 
wonderfully successful and he deserves great credit, in as much as his 
present prosperity and prominence in the commercial and industrial 
circles of the city are due solely to his own exertions, reinforced by 
honesty and straightforwardness in his dealings and as a business man 
he is one of the most valued assets to the commercial life of the city. 

Daniel Stephen Hanley, an undertaker at Erie, Pennsylvania, and 
coroner of Erie county, was born at the old Hanley homestead, corner of 
Seventh and Myrtle streets, this city, on September 12, 1871, son of 
John and I\Iary (Lane) Hanley. Mr. Hanley's parents are natives of 
county Cork, Ireland. They emigrated to this country in 1850, and 
settled first at Philadelphia, where they lived five years, after which they 
came to Erie, where for more than half a century the family home has 
been maintained. On their settlement here, John Hanley took charge of 
the Erie Gas Works, with which he was connected, as superintendent, 
for many years, up to 188-1. when he retired. He is still living, and has 
long been regarded as one of Erie's valued citizens. He and his wife 
had fourteen children, twelve of whom are living: James P., who was 
three times elected and served as treasurer of Erie, is now a resident of 
Wheeling, West Virginia; John R., a practicing dentist of Bay City, 
Michigan ; Edward C, for the past three years acting engineer of the 
U. S. S. Wolverine, on the Great Lakes ; Joseph A., money order clerk 
in the post office, and secretary of the civil service board ; Julia, who 
died December 8, 1893, at the age of thirty-seven years ; Minnie A., who 
married John J. Burgoyne, of Erie; Katherine. wife of John T. Dillon, 
of Erie, now president of the Titusville (Pa.) Forge Co.; Rose M., wife 
of Daniel P. McMahon, of Buffalo, New York; Jennie M., wife of P. J. 
O'Connor, of Erie; Agnes V., wife of C. Harrison Elliott, of Erie; 
Clara M., wife of Francis A. Carrick. of Erie; William, who was acci- 
dentally killed at the age of four years ; Daniel S., whose name introduces 
this sketch; and Edward C. and Miss Nellie, at home. 

Daniel S. Hanley was reared in Erie, and was educated in the 
parochial schools of this city. Fie learned the trade of machinist at the 
Erie Forge, serving an apprenticeship of three years, which work he 
left to take a position as clothing salesman for P. A. Meyer, of Erie, 
and later was with Straus Bros., still later traveling in New York state 
as the representative of the Cleveland Dental Supply Manufacturing 
Co. In May, 1895, he took a position as assistant in the undertaking 
establishment of Hogan & Co., of Cleveland, with whom he remained 
until June, 1898, during that time giving close attention to and thoroughly 
learning every detail of the business. Returning to Erie in 1898, he de- 
cided to establish himself in the undertaking business. Before doing 
so, however, he was required by law to have his petition signed by three 
undertakers. These signatures, for reasons, were withheld by those ap- 
proached and Mr. Hanley was balked in his plans in Erie, temporarily. 



102 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY- 

He then tried at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but again was prevented, for 
the same reason. He next tried Philadelphia, but with like results. Com- 
ing back to Erie, he determined to test the constitutionality of the law, 
and as a means of doing so, engaged in business without a license. At 
the funeral of the late Bishop Mullen, Mr. Hanley was arrested at the 
cathedral and was placed under bond. He continued his business, and 
was rearrested a number of times. In October, 1899, he was brought 
into court, and his case was decided against him. Defeated but not dis- 
couraged, he went to the Superior Court at Pittsburg, which rendered 
a verdict in his favor, and he was ordered to report to the State Board 
at Philadelphia, where he passed the examination and was granted a 
license, on March 4, 1900. From that time he was successfully engaged 
in business. His parlors were at No. 1213 Sassafras street, and April 
1, 1909, he moved to new parlors at 1230 Peach street, his present place 
of business. On January 9, 1906, Mr. Hanley was appointed acting cor- 
oner of Erie county, and in November, 1908, was elected to the office. 

Fraternally he is identified with numerous organizations, including 
the Knights of Columbus, Eagles, Elks, Moose, Modern Woodmen, Mar- 
quette Club and Progressive League Club. Mr. Hanley is married 
and has one child, J. Daniel. Mrs. Hanley, formerly Aliss Catherine 
A. Wagner, is a native of Greene township, Erie county, and a daughter 
of Peter and Elizabeth Wagner, old residents of the county ; she was 
married at Kersey, Elk county, Pennsylvaina, the Rev. Father J. Wagner, 
her brother, performing the ceremony. 

Conrad Klein, as proprietor of the Reed House, the leading 
hotel of the city of Erie, is specially well-known both in local business 
circles and to the traveling public. He has had diversified and ample 
experience in the hotel business, in which his reputation has been further 
fortified by his able direction of the affairs of the house of which he is 
now the popular head. 

Mr. Klein was born in New York City, on the 6th of December, 
1869, and is a son of Conrad Klein, who was a native of Germany, where 
he took part in the historic revolution of 1848. When the patriot cause 
failed he escaped to America and became one of the argonauts to Cal- 
ifornia in the ever memorable year 1849. He passed the closing years of 
his life in New York City. The Klein family is of French Huguenot 
lineage, and the founders of the family in southern Germany were ref- 
ugees who fled from France in the opening years of the seventeenth 
century to escape the persecutions incidental to the revocation of the 
Edict of Nantes. 

Conrad Klein, Jr., was reared and educated in his native city, the 
national metropolis, and in 1886 he initiated his career in connection 
with the hotel business, in which his training has been most scrupulous 
in all departments, so that he is specially well fortified for the manage- 
ment of such a fine hotel as that of which he is now the head. He began 
his association with the hotel business in New Haven, Connecticut, and 
thereafter was identified with hotels in other cities. From 1898 until 
1901 he was in Europe, and in the latter year he assumed the mangement 
of the Continental Hotel, in the city of Newark, New Jersey. In the 
following 3"ear he became associated in the ownership of the Morgan 
House, at Poughkeepsie, New York, the management of which he was 
tl-ius identified with until 1905, when he sold his interest in the business 
and assumed^ control of the Reed House, in Erie, where he has since 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 103 

remained and where he gained to his hotel a signally high reputation. 
He is loyal and progressive as a citizen, holds membership m both 
the Erie Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade, as well as the 
Business Men's Association. 

William E. Hayes, president of the Hayes House Furnishing Com- 
pany of Erie, but for the past few months virtually retired from active 
business, is also widely interested in various important industries and 
commercial enterprises of the city, and has earned his honorable leader- 
ship in the community by three decades of well directed activities. He 
is a native of Erie county, descended from two of its noteworthy families 
of pioneers — the Hayeses and Grahams. The father of William E., 
and the founder of their fortunes in the county, was Lester Hayes, of 
Scotch extraction, born at Granby, Connecticut, in 1800. In 1818, when 
a boy of eighteen years and weighing but seventy-five pounds, Lester 
came to Erie county, remained a few months and then returned to 
Granby. In 1820, however, he located permanently in Harbor Creek 
township, having made the last journey afoot, as well as the two preced- 
ing trips. In the locality which he finally selected, he built and operated 
the pioneer woolen mill' of the county, but ill health compelled him to 
abandon that enterprise and settle on a farm in Greene township. A few 
years later his father Martin and family joined him there, and it \yas in 
this township that he married Mary Graham, the daughter of pioneer 
parents. Lester Hayes died June 19, 1869, and his widow on November 
4, 1884. 

William F. Hayes of this biography was born on the old Hayes farm 
in Greene township, April 23, 18-46. He continued at the family home- 
stead until 1879, when he came to Erie and became member of the firm 
of Patterson and Flayes. house furnishers and galvanized cornice man- 
ufacturers. In 1886 the business was divided, Mr. Hayes becoming owner 
of the house furnishing department. Subsequently he received as partner, 
D. W. Nason. but that gentleman retired a few years later and Mr. 
Hayes continued the business alone until 1907, having in the meantime 
added wall-paper to his stock. In the latter year he turned this depart- 
ment over to his son Arba W., who formed a partnership with Walter 
Willert. In September, 1908, the other branch of the business was in- 
corporated under the name of the Hayes House Furnishing Company, 
Mr. Hayes becoming its president, but retiring from its active manage- 
ment. He is also secretary and treasurer of the Mutual Telephone 
Company and a director in the Petroleum Telephone Company of Oil 
City. At the inception of the Lake Erie Traction Company, when the 
line to northeast Erie was projected, Mr. Hayes was president of the 
corporation. He was also an incorporator of the Edison Electric Light 
Company of Erie, and was one of the founders and promoters of the 
Erie Gas Mantle Manufacturing Company, in which he is still interested. 

While a citizen of Greene township, Mr. Hayes held various town- 
ship offices, having served as county auditor for three terms. He is a 
charter member of the Erie Chamber of Commerce ; was one of the 
organizers of the Business Men's Exchange and its first president, and 
has been a delegate to all its conventions. He is a member of the Erie 
County Historical Society. For years Mr. Hayes has been an earnest 
Presbyterian, before coming to Erie being an elder in the Bell Valley 
church and since locating in the city has been likewise elder of the 
Central church. On September 15, 1870, he married Miss Mary Adela,, 



104: HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

daughter of the late Captain Thomas and Emily (Smith) Perrin, the 
father having been a captain on the Great Lakes for many years. He 
was a native of England and settled in Erie City many years ago. Three 
children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. William E. Hayes : Clemina B., 
after her graduation from the University of Michigan in 1893, married 
Benjamin F. Chase, who was appointed United States consul to Italy, but 
after a year's service was obliged to resign on account of ill health; 
Arba W. Hayes married Miss Addie Wilkins, daughter of the late 
Captain Wilkins ; Gertrude A. married Charles P. Reiley, with the First 
National Bank of Erie. 

George P. Colt. Macaulay, great as a statesman, historian and 
biographer, finally concluded that a nation or epoch was best pictured in 
the lives of its men and women. The truth of his dictum is well 
illustrated in the record of the late George P. Colt, of Erie, which is 
so closely woven into the history of the city as well as by the 
public and business careers of his father and his grandfather. At his 
death Mr. Colt was a representative of the well-known firm of private 
bankers. Ball and Colt, and since the decease of the senior member had 
been the sole manager of its affairs. Outside of his substantial business 
abilities, Mr. Colt was a man of strong personality, and while his life 
work was that of an able financier, at no time did he neglect his public 
duties and was an active force in the advancement of measures of real 
benefit to the city and state. 

The deceased was born in Erie, March 7, 1834, and was a son 
of Thomas G. and Catherine A. (Kellogg) Colt. His parents were both 
natives of Massachusetts, his father being reared in the home of Judah 
Colt, one of the earliest and most prominent pioneers of Erie county. 
In 1795 his cousin named migrated from the (3ld Bay state and settled 
with his family in this county. Judah Colt came into this locality as 
agent of the Pennsylvania Population Company which had purchased 
large tracts of land in what is still known as the "Triangle," in which 
he himself became largely interested as a proprietor. In the following 
year he located in what is now Greenfield township, opening a land 
office at what has ever since been known as Colt's Station. In 1797 he 
opened a road from Lake Erie to that place, its western terminus being 
at the mouth of Sixteen-mile creek, now Freeport. This work was of 
great benefit to the early settlers, as it enabled them to more readily 
transport their supplies into the interior of the county. Moving to Erie 
in 1802, Judah Colt was for many years a leader in the development 
of the stable interests of the town. His cousin. Thomas G. Colt, became 
very prominent in both business and public afifairs, serving first as the 
head of the borough government and subsequently as first mayor of the 
city. He was also for many terms a most valued member of the municipal 
council, and his death in 1861 was a loss of deep concern to many 
interests and numerous citizens. 

Educated in private schools and at the old Erie Academy, George 
P. Colt began life for himself as a clerk in the private banking house 
of William C. Curry, of Erie, entering his institution in 1850. In 1854 
he went to Chicago to assume a bank clerkship in that city, and four 
years thereafter became a grain broker continuing thus for six succeed- 
ing years. Mr. Colt returned to Erie in 1867, and in company with P. H. 
Ball founded the banking firm of Ball and Colt, which became one of 
the leading institutions of the kind in the city and which, as stated, he 



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HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 105 

was conducting alone at the time of his death, November 5, 1908. In his 
civic relations, the deceased was a valued adviser, and rendered especially 
active service as a member of the school board, Hamot Hospital and Erie 
cemetery. In his religious faith, he was an Episcopalian connected with 
St. Paul's church, and for many years an earnest and efficient superin- 
tendent of its Sunday-school at one of its missions. He also served as 
vestryman, junior warden and treasurer at St. Paul's. His wife, whom 
he married in 1861, was Nancy I. Glover, daughter of Rev. Bennett 
Glover, long rector of that church. Mrs. Colt is a native of Erie, but 
received the most of her education at St. Xavier's Convent, Pittsburg. 
Her life has been an elevating influence, both intellectually and morally. 

Walter S. Wheeler. The Wheeler family has long been a potent 
factor in the development of the horticultural and live stock interests of 
Erie county, Walter S. himself being one of the largest raisers and 
handlers of fine beef cattle in this locality. Pie is a native of Le Boeuf, 
this county, born March 13, 1858, son of Charles and Sarah Jane (Clark) 
Wheeler. The father was born near New Ipswich, New Hampshire, in 
1826 and died April 36, 1901:, while the mother, a Massachusetts lady, 
was born at Townsend Center, July 9, 1835, and is living in LeBoeuf 
township. Charles M. Wheeler removed to Erie county about 1853, in 
that year buying land in the township named and devoting it to farming 
and live stock purposes for the balance of his life. At the time of his 
death he was a large land owner, being proprietor of an extensive tract 
of wheat land in Alarshall county, Minnesota, as well as the owner of 
his large and productive farm in Erie pounty. He had prospered in 
worldly possessions and had also earned ^n honorable reputation as a 
public man, having been a member of the Pennsylvania legislature for 
two terms. In ]\lasonry, he had attained to the thirty-second degree, 
being at the time of his death a member of Perfection Lodge of Erie, 
Erie Chapter and Commandery and Pittsburg Consistory. 

Walter S. Wheeler, of this biography, was the second of six sons 
and was educated at the Edinboro Normal School and Waterford acad- 
emy, graduating from the latter institution in 1878. He lived with his 
parents and assisted his father until he was twenty-one }ears of age when 
he was placed in control of the home farm and continued to conduct it 
from 1878 until 1893. He then purchased one hundred and fifty acres 
of land two miles east of North East borough, twelve acres of this tract 
being at the time cultivated to grapes. Since that time he has success- 
fully developed eighty acres of different varieties of grapes, also fine 
orchards of apples and peaches. The balance of his estate is devoted 
to the raising of live stock, and he has christened his place the "Walter 
S. Wheeler Stock and Fruit Farm." As he grows the finest of fruits, 
he naturally commands the highest of prices, and the same may be said 
in regard to his raising of beef cattle. As this has all been accomplished 
through his own persistency and agricultural skill, he naturally takes 
great pride in the appearance and the productiveness of his farm. In 
politics, he has always been a firm Republican. 

On March 25, 1896, Mr. Wheeler married Miss Cora Annette Bur- 
ton, a native of Portland, New York, born August 21, 1865, but who 
spent most of her life from the age of three until her marriage at Rip- 
ley, that state. Her father died at that place, March 4, 1904. and her 
mother is yet one of its honored residents — a venerable lady of eighty- 
nine years, with a strong memory and a bright mind, and finely preserved 



THE ^fE^W msF 






HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 105 

was conducting alone at the time of his death, November 5, 1908. In his 
civic relations, the deceased was a valued adviser, and rendered especially 
active service as a member of the school board, Hamot Hospital and Erie 
cemetery. In his religious faith, he was an Episcopalian connected with 
St. Paul's church, and for many years an earnest and efficient superin- 
tendent of its Sunday-school at one of its missions. He also served as 
vestryman, junior warden and treasurer at St. Paul's. His wife, whom 
he married in 1861, was Nancy I. Glover, daughter of Rev. Bennett 
Glover, long rector of that church. Airs. Colt is a native of Erie, but 
received the most of her education at St. Xavier's Convent, Pittsburg. 
Her life has been an elevating influence, both intellectually and morally. 

Walter S. Wheeler. The Wheeler family has long been a potent 
factor in the development of the horticultural and live stock interests of 
Erie county, Walter S. himself being one of the largest raisers and 
handlers of fine beef cattle in this locality. Pie is a native of Le Boeuf, 
this county, born March 13, 1858, son of Charles and Sarah Jane (Clark) 
Wheeler. The father was born near New Ipswich, New Hampshire, in 
182G and died April 26, 1904, while the mother, a Massachusetts lady, 
was born at Townsend Center, July 9, 1835, and is living in LeBoeuf 
township. Charles M. Wheeler removed to Erie county about 1853, in 
that year buying land in the township named and devoting it to farming 
and live stock purposes for the balance of his life. At the time of his 
death he was a large land owner, being proprietor of an extensive tract 
of wheat land in Marshall county, Minnesota, as well as the owner of 
his large and productive farm in Erie pounty. He had prospered in 
worldly possessions and had also earned ?an honorable reputation as a 
public man, having been a member of the Pennsylvania legislature for 
two terms. In Alasonry, he had attained to the thirty-second degree, 
being at the time of his death a member of Perfection Lodge of Erie, 
Erie Chapter and Commandery and Pittsburg Consistory. 

Walter S. Wheeler, of this biography, was the second of six sons 
and was educated at the Edinboro Normal School and Waterford acad- 
emy, graduating from the latter institution in 1878. He lived with his 
parents and assisted his father until he was twenty-one years of age when 
he was placed in control of the home farm and continued to conduct it 
from 1878 until 1893. He then purchased one hundred and fifty acres 
of land two miles east of North East borough, twelve acres of this tract 
being at the time cultivated to grapes. Since that time he has success- 
fully developed eighty acres of different varieties of grapes, also fine 
orchards of apples and peaches. The balance of his estate is devoted 
to the raising of live stock, and he has christened his place the "Walter 
S. Wheeler Stock and Fruit Farm." As he grows the finest of fruits, 
he naturally commands the highest of prices, and the same may be said 
in regard to his raising of beef cattle. As this has all been accomplished 
through his own persistency and agricultural skill, he naturally takes 
great pride in the appearance and the productiveness of his farm. In 
politics, he has always been a firm Republican. 

On March 25, 1896, Mr. Wheeler married Miss Cora Annette Bur- 
ton, a native of Portland, New York, born August 21, 1865, but who 
spent most of her life from the age of three until her marriage at Rip- 
ley, that state. Her father died at that place, March 4, 1904, and her 
mother is yet one of its honored residents — a venerable lady of eighty- 
nine years, with a strong memory and a bright mind, and finely preserved 



luG IIISTURY OF ERIE COUNTY 

generally, in view of her remarkable age. She is a Unitarian, as was 
her husband. .Mr. and .Mrs. Walter S. Wheeler are the parents of Ruth 
Annette Wheeler, born January 10, 1897, and now a bright pupil in the 
seventh public school grade. 

The biographer wishes to make a few remarks about the modern 
residence of .Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler. They have remodeled the old 
homestead which is situated two miles east of the beautiful little city of 
North East, on the Erie and Buffalo highway. Their country seat is 
one of the most complete and modern homes in Erie county, as a country 
residence. It is heated by the latest improved steam method, and lighted 
by natural gas and wired for electricity ; has polished floors and elegant 
suites of rooms; and the decorator has displayed great artistic skill in 
the adornment. The residence being situated on an eminence, commands 
a charming view of the surrounding country. Mr. and Airs. Wheeler 
are to be commended in the erection of such a beautiful home in their 
home township. 

Frank R. Simmons, a prominent business man of Erie, Pennsyl- 
vania, is a native of the county in which he lives, having been born in 
East Springfield, March 3, 1845, son of Elliott and Mary (Hart) Sim- 
mons. The genealogy of the Simmons family is traced back directly to 
Jonas Simmons, who was born in Berlin, Rensselaer county, New York, 
March 11, 1758, a descendant of German pioneer settlers of that locality. 
Several members of the family took part in the French and Indian war 
and also in the war of the Revolution, and Jonas Simmons, though not 
a regularly enlisted soldier, experienced many of the hardships incident 
to border warfare during the Revolutionary period. About 1809 or 1810 
the family moved to Chautauqua county, New York, and in 1825, Peter 
Simmons, son of Jonas, came to Erie county, Pennsylvania, and settled 
in Springfield township. His family consisted of four sons, one of whom 
was Elliott, the father of Frank R. Elliott Simmons was born in James- 
town, New York, May 20, 1820, and from his fifth year has lived in 
Erie county. Here he was engaged in the tanning business for many 
years, up to the time he retired from active life in 1873. 

Mary (Hart) Simmons, the mother of Frank R., was born in Weston, 
Windsor county, \"ermont, August 27, 1825. Her paternal ancestors 
were English, while her mother's people, who bore the name of Lawrence, 
were of Scotch origin. Mr. Simmons' great-grandfather Lawrence 
enlisted in the Revolutionary army at the age of sixteen, and served 
until the close of the war ; he was one of the latest survivors of that great 
struggle, and died at his home in Vermont, at the age of ninety-six years. 
Grandfather Lawrence had three sons in the war of 1812. 

Fraiik R. Simmons was the first born in his father's family. A 
brother. Herman, born January 24. 1848, died January 15, 18G2. After 
attending the public schools of Springfield, Frank R. entered Oberlin 
College, where he took a classical course, and graduated with the class 
of 1870. Then he accepted the principalship of the graded schools at 
L^tica. Oiiio, which position he held for three years. In 1873 he as- 
sociated himself with Joseph Osborn, a practical tanner, and engaged in 
the tannery business in Girard, Pennsylvania. Mr. Simmons having 
charge of the buying and selling end of the business in Erie. The death 
of Mr. Osborn in 1875 terminated this association, and Mr. Simmons 
removed to 13(5 East Ninth street, where he has since continued to deal 
in hides, wool, pelts, tallow, leather and findings. In 1889 he built a 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 107 

large cold storage plant at 132 East Ninth street, and, in addition to his 
other business, has since that date carried on a large wholesale business in 
butter, cheese and eggs. 

September 11, 1872, Mr. Simmons married Susanna, daughter of 
William and Sarah (Reed) Alsdorf. Like her husband, Mrs. Simmons 
traces her ancestry back to a Revolutionary patriot. Her great-grand- 
father on the paternal side was a soldier in the Revolution. His people 
were among the early Dutch settlers near Schenectady, New York. Her 
mother was descended from Scotch-Irish ancestry, all of whom were 
Covenanters in faith. Mr. and Mrs. Simmons have one child, a daughter, 
Edith May, who is the wife of J. B. Campbell, a well-known manufacturer 
of Erie. 

Politically, Mr. Simmons is a Republican, and while he is not a 
politician, he has always taken a deep interest in local affairs, and has 
served as a member of both the select and common councils of Erie. 

John S. Yakes. A well-known business man of Erie and ah active 
and prominent member of its select council, John S. Yakes, is a native of 
Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, born on the 1st of March, 1862. He 
is a son of Daniel and Margaret (Smith) Yakes, both of whom were 
also born in that county and are now deceased. The grandfather, George 
Yakes, was a native of Germany and founded the family in America. 
John S. was reared in Lancaster county and in 1881. when nineteen 
years of age, obtained his first experience of western life by spending two 
years in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Texas. Deciding, however, 
that he preferred the east as a home section, he returned to Lancaster 
and there engaged in the retail tobacco trade, later becoming identified 
with the Fatman Tobacco Company of New York, packers of leaf 
tobacco. 

Mr. Yakes became a resident of Erie in 1887, first engaging in 
the retail tobacco business in the old Ellsworth House block on North 
Park row. Two years later he moved his business to the Erie Trust 
building and, after conducting it for another two years, sold out to 
Frank Fairbairn. He then became a traveling salesman for the Drum- 
mond Tobacco Company of St. Louis, and a year and a half thereafter 
re-established himself in business as a retail tobacco dealer and a cigar 
manufacturer. He is still successfully engaged in these lines, his factory 
being at No. 361 West Ninth street. In February, 1909, he also engaged 
in the sale of automobiles on North Park row, his wide acquaintance 
with the best people in the city having materially assisted him in estab- 
lishing this enterprise on a good paying basis. Just a year prior to 
that time his popularity and prominence in the community were brought 
into evidence by his election to represent the Third ward of Erie in the 
Select Council, and in that body he is serving as chairman of the com- 
mittee on poHce, docks and railroads and of law and franchises. Mr. 
Yakes is also a member of the orders of Elks and Knights of Pythias. 
His wife, before marriage, was Miss Emma Keech, of Altoona, Penn- 
sylvania, and their daughter, Elaine, was born in 1891. 

Clark W. Zuck. One of the old and honored families of the Key- 
stone state is that of which John Zuck, Sr., founder of the branch in 
Erie county, was a worthy member. He was numbered among the 
sterling pioneers of this county and contributed in liberal measure to its 
civic and industrial development, as have also his descendants in succeed- 



lUS JIISTORV OF ERIE COUxXTY 

ing generations. No family in the county is more clearly worthy of 
consideration in a compilation of the province assigned to the one at 
hand than is that of Zuck, which to-day has numerous representatives 
in Erie county,— prominent in connection with business and civic affairs. 

John Zuck, Sr., was a native of Pennsylvania and was of stanch 
German lineage. The family was founded in this commonwealth in the 
colonial days\ind, so far as available data indicates, he himself was a 
native of Bedford county and was born on the 13th of January, 1767. He 
married Polly Riblet, who was born February 13, 17G7, and they took 
up their residence in Erie county in 1802. They settled in Mill Creek 
township, where the family name has since been one of prominence and 
one uniformly honored. Concerning the children of John and Polly 
(Riblet) Zuck the following data are properly entered: John, Jr., was 
born in Hopedale township, Bedford county, Pennsylvania, October 7, 
1790; Christian, in Bedford county, November 2, 1792; Jacob, in the 
same county, in 1795, and Henry in 1797; Solomon was born in West 
Mill Creek township, Erie county. January 13, 1805; Catherine in the 
same township, February 15, 1807 ; and Abraham was a native of the 
same township, where he was born in 1812. John Zuck, Sr., reclaimed 
a large tract of land in Mill Creek township and was one of the sturdy 
pioneers and successful agriculturists of that section of the county, where 
he continued to reside until his death, which occurred on the 11th of 
August, 1842; his wife survived him by more than a score of years, as 
her death occurred July 24, 1863. 

John Zuck, Jr., was a valiant soldier in the war of 1812, and was 
actively identified with the various operations of the military forces in 
this section of the state during that conflict. For his services he received 
a tardy recognition, as he was granted a pension about two years prior 
to his death. His entire active career was devoted to agricultural pursuits 
and he was one of the progressive and successful farmers of i\Iill Creek 
township until he was summoned from the scene of life's activities. He 
was a man of strong individuality and sterling character and ever held 
a secure place in the confidence and esteem of the community in which 
practically his entire life was passed. On the 29th of June, 1813, he 
was united in marriage to Sally Ebersole, and they became the parents 
of six children: Samuel B. P., who was born July 10, 1815, is deceased; 
Mary A., likewise deceased was born July 9, 1817 ; Catherine, who be- 
came the wife of Levi Gordon, was born March 9, 1821, and both she and 
her husband died in this county; Fanny, born November 19, 1824, is 
the widow of Levi Wolfe and resides in La Grange county, Indiana ; 
John S., deceased, \vas born September 21, 1827; and John Christian, 
of whom more specific mention is made in following paragraphs, was 
born August 2G, 1832. John Zuck, Jr., was summoned to the life eternal 
September 27, 1872. and his wife passed away February 6, 1862; both 
were zealous members of the Dunkard church. 

John Christian Zuck has passed his entire life in West Mill Creek, 
where he has lived and labored to goodly ends and where he is to-day 
one of the oldest and most honored citizens. He has been influential 
in jiublic affairs in his township, where he has been called upon to serve 
in various offices of trust and responsibility, including those of school 
director, road commissioner and a member of the county board of direc- 
tors of the poor. He has long been a zealous member of the Asbury 
Methodist Episcopal church, with which the other members of his family 
are identified, and he has been liberal and zealous in support of all depart- 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 109 

ments of church work. In poHtics he is ahgned as a stanch advocate of 
the cause of the Repubhcan party. During the long years of a signally 
active and useful life he has given a continuous allegiance to the great 
basic art of agriculture, in connection with which he has reaped the 
generous rewards which should ever attend well directed endeavor and 
steadfast integrity of purpose. 

On the 32d of September, 1853, was solemnized the marriage of 
John C. Zuck to Martha Fry, who was born in McKean township, this 
county, August 8, 1833, and who is a daughter of Martin Fry, who came 
to Erie county from Lancaster county in the pioneer days. In 1903 
Mr. and Mrs. Zuck celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, which 
was made an occasion of historic and social note in their home town- 
ship, where they received the earnest congratulations of the host of 
friends who assembled to do them honor. Of their four children all are 
living except one: Wayne E., who was born November 6, 1854, is a rep- 
resentative farmer of West Mill Creek ; William, who was born Novem- 
ber 29, 1855, died at the age of seven weeks ; Clark W. is more definitely 
mentioned farther on in this context; and Lester J., who was born Sep- 
tember 1, 1869, is engaged in hardware business in Erie. 

Clark Wellington Zuck, the third in order of birth of the children 
of John C. and Martha (Fry) Zuck, was born on the old homestead farm 
in Mill Creek township, on the 1st of August, 1857, and he is to-day 
known as one of the most extensive horticulturists and market gardeners 
of his native towaiship and as one of its most popular and loyal citizens. 
He was reared to the sturdy and invigorating discipline of the home 
farm and his early educational advantages were those afforded in the 
district schools. He remained with his parents and was associated in 
the work and management of the home farm until after his marriage, and 
in the spring of 1883 he purchased fifty^five acres of land on the 
Ridge road, West Mill Creek. The property was at the time practically 
unimproved but the soil, of peculiar integrity, he discovered to be spec- 
ially well adapted for gardening purposes and he selected the same on 
this account. He has developed the fine little farm into one of the best 
gardening tracts in this section of the state, and the improvements in 
every department, including buildings, are of the best modern type. He 
has conducted his industrial operations here according to scientific prin- 
ciples, has shown careful discrimination in the selection of stock and 
seeds, and his success had been further assured through the practical 
experience gained in the training of earlier years. He has made a spec- 
ialty of the propagating of lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes, and has an 
entire acre under glass for the forcing of products for the early markets. 
His horticultural greenhouses, equipped throughout with the best of 
facilities, are the largest and most modern in this section of the state, and 
in his prosperous enterprise he finds a ready demand for his products at 
the highest market prices. 

Clark W. Zuck has well upheld the honors of the name which he 
bears and is one of the progressive and public-spirited citizens of his 
native township and county, where he commands unequivocal confidence 
and esteem. In politics he gives his support to the principles for which 
the Republican party stands sponsor, and he and his wife hold member- 
ship in the Asbury Methodist Episcopal church. He served two terms as 
school director and for five years was superintendent of the county alms 
house, — ^1901-03 and 1904-06. In a fraternal way he is identified with the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 



11(1 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

On the 21st of September, 1880, Mr. Zuck was united in marriage 
to Xancy Ocene McKee, who was born in Mill Creek township, about 
one mile distant from her present home, on the 28th of August, 1859, 
and who is a daughter of John and Mary Ann (Pherrin) McKee. Her 
father was born in Mill Creek township, in 1807, and died in 18G8. He 
was a son of John AIcKee, who was born in Ireland, and who was one 
of the sterling pioneers of Erie county, Pennsylvania, whither he came 
from Fayette county, this state, in 1797, in company with his brothers, 
Patrick and Alexander. He married Mary Maxwell, who was seven 
years of age at the time she accompanied her parents on their emigration 
from Ireland to America and who was reared and educated in Penn- 
sylvania. She (lied in 1870. at the venerable age of ninety-three years, 
and it was her portion to survive all of her children, each of whom 
attained to ripe age. John and Mary (Maxwell) McKee became the 
parents of three sons and one daughter, and the family still has numerous 
representatives, in the third and fourth generations, in Erie county. 
John McKee (2d), father of Mrs. Zuck, was one of the successful farm- 
ers of Mill Creek township and was a citizen who ever held the un- 
qualified esteem of the community. He was a member of the Episcopal 
church and his death occurred in 1868, as already noted. His wife, 
Mary Ann (Pherrin) McKee, was born in Northumberland county, 
Pennsylvania, in 1823, and she survived him by nearly forty years, as 
her death occurred in 1906. She was a daughter of Samuel Pherrin, 
an honored pioneer and successful farmer of Mill Creek township. John 
and Mary Ann (Pherrin) ]\IcKee became the parents of seven children: 
Winfield Scott, the eldest, is a representative farmer in West Mill Creek ; 
Thomas Benton likewise is one of the sterling farmers of the same 
township; Anna J. is the wife of Thomas D. Willis of Mill Creek town- 
ship, this county ; Adelaide died at the age of seven years ; Nancy Ocene 
is the wife of Mr. Zuck. as noted in preceding statements ; Ida Rebecca 
is the wife of Daniel E. Butt, a farmer of Mill Creek township; and John 
Clayton is a prosperous farmer of the same township. 

Clark W. and Nancy O. (McKee) Zuck have three sons, all of 
whom are associated with their father in business, under the title of 
C. W. Zuck & Sons. John Floyd, the eldest of the sons, was born 
January 4, 1882, and he married Miss Orra Garloch ; Bert Curry was 
born January 28, 1885 ; and Arthur P. was born May 7, 1889. All three 
of the sons are energetic young business men and enjoy unalloyed pop- 
ularity in their native township, in whose social life they take an active 
part. 

Jacob Kaltenbach. As a citizen Jacob Kaltenbach is held in un- 
qualified esteem in Erie, the city of his birth, where he has served in 
various offices of public trust, and the high regard in which he is held in 
the community indicates his sterling integrity of character and his loyalty 
and public spirit as a citizen. He has been successful in his business 
operations and he is today one of the substantial and popular citizens 
of his native county. Mr. Kaltenbach was born in the family home on 
East Ninth street, in the Second ward of the city of Erie, on the 23d of 
March, 1849, and is a son of Ignatius and Catherine (Weitzen) Kalten- 
bach, the former of whom was born in Baden, Germany, and the latter 
in Rheinpfalz, Prussia. Ignatius Kaltenbach was reared and educated 
in his native land, whence he came to America when a young man and 
numbered himself among the early settlers of Erie county. He landed 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 111 

in New York City, whence he made his way to Buffalo by canal and 
from the latter point to Erie by lake boat, as this was before the era 
of railroad facilities. His future wife came to Erie county about two 
years later, in company with her brother, and the brother died a few 
years later, a victim to the cholera, which was then epidemic. In the 
city of Erie, which was then a village, the parents of Jacob Kaltenbach 
were married and here they continued to reside during the remainder 
of their long and useful lives, ever holding a secure place in the confi- 
dence and regard of the community. 

Ignatius Kaltenbach was among the early devotees of the fishing in- 
dustry in Erie. He began operations in this line long before steam tugs 
or even steam-propelled fishing boats were in vogue. He was a man of 
sterling character and in connection with the years of consecutive industry 
he gained a competency, the while he remained deeply appreciative of 
the advantages and attractions of his adopted country. He died in the 
city of Erie on the 28th of August, 1884, at the venerable age of eighty- 
four years and eleven months, and his wife was summoned to the life 
eternal on the 26th of February, 1892, at the age of seventy-four years. 
They were devout communicants of the Catholic church and in Erie 
originally held membership in the parish of St. Mary's church, in which 
their marriage was solemnized, but they later transferred their member- 
ship to St. Joseph's parish, with which they continued to be prominently 
connected during the rest of their lives. They became the parents of 
six children, of whom three attained to years of maturity and of whom 
one son and one daughter are livmg. The other of the three, likewise a 
son, died in 1871. 

Jacob Kaltenbach, of this sketch, was reared to manhood in his 
native city and to its parochial schools he is indebted for his early edu- 
cational discipline. At the age of fourteen years he entered upon an 
apprenticeship to the trade of harnessmaking, and in 1866 he com- 
pleted his apprenticeship, which was most thorough and through which 
he became a skilled workman. In the year mentioned he went to the city 
of Cleveland, where he was engaged in the work of his trade for a 
period of three years, at the expiration of which he returned to Erie, 
where he entered the employ of Valentine Ulrich, in whose establishment 
he continued in the work of his trade during the ensuing thirteen years. 
In 1881 he engaged in the liquor business on East Eighteenth street, and 
in the following year removed to his present location, at the corner of 
Twenty-sixth and Peach streets. Two years later, however, he again 
established headquarters on East Eighteenth street, near the depot of 
the Nickle Plate Railroad, where he erected a building for the purposes. 
Three years later he purchased the property which he had formerly util- 
ized at Twenty-sixth and Peach streets, where he erected his present 
substantial and attractive building, in which he has since continued to 
conduct a successful business. 

Mr. Kaltenbach has for many years wielded no little influence 
in local politics and is a stanch supporter of the principles and policies 
of the Democratic party. In 1883 he was elected to represent the Fifth 
ward in the common council, and in 1885-86 he represented the Second 
ward in this body. In 1888 he was elected, from the Fifth ward, to the 
select council, to which he was again elected in 1890. He thereafter 
served continuously as a member of the select council until 1896, and 
the entire period of his service in the city council covered eleven years, 
within which he was president of the select council for one year. He 



112 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

gave his best energies and loyal co-operation to the insuring of good 
municipal government, and his long tenure of office is the best voucher 
for the high estimate placed upon his services by the people of the com- 
munity. Upon his retirement from the select council, in 1896, Mayor 
Scott appointed him a member of the city board of fire commissioners, 
and he thereafter continued incumbent of this position through reappoint- 
ment by Mayors Saltsman and Deponet, after which he was continued in 
the office by election in the joint session of the common and select 
councils. He held the office for ten consecutive years and retired from 
the same by resignation, after having made a record for efficient and 
faithful service in this important department of the municipal gov- 
ernment. 

Mr. Kaltenbach and his wife are zealous and valued members of 
St. Joseph's Catholic church, and he is prominently identified with the 
Catholic Mutual Benefit Association, in the subordinate branch of which 
he has held all of the official positions, besides which he has served as 
vice-president of the grand council of the order in the state of Penn- 
sylvania. He is identified with the St. Alphonse Society of St. Joseph's 
parish. He holds membership in the Erie Chamber of Commerce ; the 
Erie Lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; the Erie 
Maennerchor, of which he was president for a period of three years; 
the South Erie Improvement Association; and the Erie Realty Company. 

Mr. Kaltenbach served two years as president of Liquor Dealers' 
Association of Pennsylvania, and under the reorganization, as the State 
Liquor Dealers' Association, he holds at the present time the office of 
vice-president and- is a member of the state executive board of the 
association. He has always been known as a progressive and public- 
spirited citizen and has .d'ciii^' his full share in connection with the up- 
building of his native city, to which his loyalty is of the most insistent 
order. His record in public office has been unspotted and his influence 
has always been given in support of measures and enterprises tending to 
promote the progress and general welfare of his home city. He is a 
man of independent views and in public service has followed the course 
of duty as defined by his judgment, showing neither fear nor favor. 

In 1876 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Kaltenbach to Barbara 
Schloss, who was born in Bavaria, Germany, a daughter of Jacob Schloss. 
She was reared and education in her native land, whence she came to 
America in company with her brother, Philip Schloss, who is a success- 
ful business man in Erie. Concerning the children of Mr. and Mrs. 
Kaltenbach the following brief record is entered : Rosa and Anna remain 
at the parental home; Frank J., who is a member of the firm of Kalten- 
bach & Hershey, wholesale liquor dealers, of Erie, married Lena Setterle, 
daughter of Martin Setterle, of Erie, and they have one son, Frank J., 
Jr. ; George J., who is engaged in business in Erie, married Margaret 
Roeder, of Pittsburg ; Charles J. is engaged in the plumbing business in 
Erie ; and Edward C. is superintendent of the Kohler ice plant in Erie. 
Mr. Kallcnl)ach also served as fire commissioner for ten years. 

James E. Silliman, M. D., one of the leading members of the 
medical profession of Erie, was born in North East, Erie county, Penn- 
sylvania. June 10, 1844, son of John and Minerva (Chapman) Silliman, 
both natives of Pennsylvania. Dr. Silliman's grandfather was a native 
of Ireland, from whence, in 1800, he came to this country and settled 
in Erie county, where he carried on farming for many years. 



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HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 113 

Deciding to prepare himself for a professional life, James E. entered 
Allegheny College, at Meadville, Pennsylvania, where he graduated with 
the class of 1871. At that time he received the degree of A. B., and 
three years later the A. M. degree was conferrd upon him by his alma 
mater. He took a regular course of study in Jefferson Medical College, 
completing the same in 1874, and immediately thereafter he settled in 
Erie and began the practice of his profession, which he has continued 
up to the present time. And during his long identity with the medical 
ranks of Erie, which covers a period of more than thirty-four years, 
Dr. Silliman has enjoyed a leading position in the profession, gaining 
both success and honor. In 1878, he married Hattie I., daughter of 
the late Hugh P. Mehaffey, a native of Erie county, of German and 
Scotch-Irish descent. 

Previous to his college life. Dr. Silliman had a war experience. In 
1865 he enlisted in the 102nd P. V. I., Company E, and was with his 
command until the close of the war. For a number of years he served as 
Brigade Surgeon of the Second Brigade, N. G. P. He was elected coro- 
ner of Erie county in 1875, and continued in that office until 1881. In 
the meantime, he also served as secretary of the Board of Examining 
Surgeons of Pensions, to which position he was appointed in 1877. For 
years he has been identified with numerous fraternal organizations. He 
maintains membership in the local medical societies, in the Pennsylvania 
State Medical Society, and in the American Medical Association, and he 
is prominent in the Masonic fraternity. Both he and his wife are active 
members of the First Methodist church of Erie. 

John F. Applebee. The name of John F. Applebee. deceased, is 
enrolled among the honored pioneers of Erie county, and among the 
native sons of its township of Harbor Creek, where he was born on the 
29th of December, 1829, a son, of one of the earliest families to seek 
a home in this community, Thomas and Sarah (Fuller) Applebee, from 
Connecticut. They established their home in Harbor Creek township 
during a very early epoch in its history, and they were owners of a 
large farm here and were prominent and well known farming people. 
After the death of the husband the wife went to Erie, and there she 
subsequently died. 

John F. Applebee. the fourth born of their eleven children, remained 
with his parents until his marriage, and he spent the following year on a 
rented farm. During the two years following this period he was the 
proprietor of a general store in Erie, and then purchasing a farm in 
Harbor Creek, he was engaged in its cultivation until moving to the 
borough of Harbor Creek in 1879. From that time until his death, which 
occurred on the 20th of December, 1906, he was a veterinary surgeon in 
the village, and was said to be the oldest veterinary surgeon in this sec- 
tion. During his long and useful life he won many friends, and his name 
is an honored one wherever known. 

Mr. Applebee married on September 19, 1854, Maria Stelle, who 
was born in Crawford county, Pennsylvania, January 1, 1834. a daugh- 
ter of James and Naomi (Davis) Stelle, the former from New York 
and the latter from Crawford county, Pennsylvania. She is a grand- 
daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Stelle, of French descent, and of 
Isaac and Nancy Davis, from Wales. The following children were born 
to Mr. and Mrs. Applebee: Cora Lillian, who died in infancy; Tommie 
J., who died at the age of three years ; and Delia Pearl, who died at the 
Vol. II— 8 



Ill HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

age of five years. Mr. Applebee voted with the Repubhcan party, and 
he was honored with many local offices. He and his wife were mem- 
bers of the Baptist church, at Harbor Creek and then at Wesleyville. 
When they first came to Wesleyville they were members of the First 
Baptist Church at Erie, and the Mission at Wesleyville, and Mr. Apple- 
bee was a prime factor in erecting the church building in the village 
and he gave the ground on which the church was erected. Since her 
husband's death Mrs. Applebee has resided with Miss Lulu Glas. 

Joseph Daniel Babo, a well-known cement and concrete contractor 
and an active member of the Erie Common Council, was born in the 
ward which he represents in that body, February 7, 1878. He is a son 
of John S. and Rose (Fisher) Babo, natives respectively of the United 
States and Germany. The mother died in 1901. Mr. Babo was reared 
in Erie, and after obtaining his education at St. John's parochial school 
entered the employ of the Lovell Manufacturing Company. After 
spending three years with that concern, he began work in the concrete 
and cement line, and in 1901 began contracting personally. Since that 
year he has accomplished a large amount of durable and honest work 
on the structures and thoroughfares of the city, and has especially added 
to his substantial reputation in the ward of his residence and birth. 

In February, 1909, Mr. Babo was elected to represent the Fifth 
ward in the common council of Erie, and is a member of the committees 
on conduits and electric supplies and streets and sidewalks, as well as 
chairman of the committee on health and water. He is also identified 
with the Armory and Three C's clubs and is a leading member of the 
Erie Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Babo's wife (nee Margaret Bickford) 
was also born in Erie, so that their children, Beatrice and Margaret, are 
especially daughters of the city. The family is identified with the St. 
John's Roman Catholic church and the residence is at No. 507 East 
Twenty-fifth street. 

Edward H. Mehl. It can not be other than a matter of satisfaction 
to find in the pages of this historical compilation specific records concern- 
ing many of the native sons of Erie county who are today numbered 
among its representative citizens in the multifarious lines of business 
and professional activity. One of this number is Mr. Mehl, who is one 
of the most progressive business men of his native city of Erie and whose 
life and labors have added to the prestige of a name honored' in Erie 
county. He is a member of the firm of Mehl & Sapper, one of the 
oldest and most extensive hardware concerns in this section of the state 
and one whose reputation rests on the secure foundation of correct 
business methods and the personal integrity of the interested principals. 

Edward H. Mehl was born in the Second ward of the city of Erie 
on the 12th of May, 1857, and is a son of Michael and Catherine (Wit- 
ters) Mehl, both natives of France and representatives of stanch old 
families of that great empire. Michael Mehl was reared and educated 
in his fatherland, where he learned the barber's trade. In 1848 he 
severed the ties which bound him to home and native land and set 
forth to seek his fortunes in America, to whose composite social fabric 
France has contributed a most valuable element. Soon after his arrival 
in New York City he came to Erie, and within a short time thereafter 
he here opened a barber shop of his own, — one of the pioneer establish- 
ments of the kind in the place. But it is in connection with musical art 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 115 

that this honored citizen is best remembered in the city which was so 
long his home and in which he ever held a secure place in popular con- 
fidence and esteem. He came of a musical family, was himself a musician 
of marked interpretative and appreciative talent and at least four of his 
sons inherited his taste for the "divine art," becoming prominent in the 
musical circles of Erie. Michael Mehl organized the first brass band in 
Erie and was the director and head of the organization for many years, 
within which he gained, through this association, a wide acquaintanceship 
throughout this and other sections of the state. His sons Michael, Jr., 
Charles, and William O., were members of this band, and Edward H., 
of this review, for many years played the double-bass viol in the Erie 
Opera House orchestra. Michael Mehl, Sr., died in 1882, at the vener- 
able age of seventy-three years, and his widow was of the same age 
at the time of her demise, in 1887. Both were members of the Lutheran 
church, and in politics he gave his allegiance to the Republican party. 
Of the fourteen children one of the sons and four of the daughters are 
now living, the surviving son, Edward H., having been the fourteenth 
in order of birth. Louise is the widow of Joseph Fuess, who was a 
prominent hardware merchant of the firm of Boyer & Fuess of Erie; 
Lena is the wife of ex-Sherifif Ernst E. Steurznickel, of this city; Miss 
Harriet still maintains her home in Erie; and Fredericka is the wife of 
H. J. Sevin, of Erie. 

Edward H. Mehl was reared to manhood in Erie, where in his 
boyhood and youth he duly availed himself of the advantages of the 
public schools, though he initiated his connection with practical busi- 
ness afifairs when but a boy. In 1869, when twelve years of age, he 
engaged in the business of bottling mineral waters, and in the following 
year he became a clerk in the hardware establishment of Boyer & Fuess, 
with which firm he continued about ten years, at the expiration of which, 
in February, 1880, he accepted a clerkship in the establishment of the 
Erie Hardware Company, with which he remained employed until 1884, 
when he engaged in the same line of enterprise on his own responsibility, 
b_\ effecting the organization of the firm of Mehl & Liebel. He brought 
to bear a most thorough knowledge of all details of the business as 
v/ell as marked executive and initiative ability and thus, with 
the further influence of the personal popularity of his partner 
and himself, the business flourished from the start. In 1887 John N. 
Sapper purchased the Liebel interest in the business, which has since 
been continued under the title of Mehl & Sapper and which represents 
one of the most important enterprises of its kind in the city. The large 
and modern establishment of the firm affords ample accommodations for 
the extensive stock carried in the various departments and is eligibly 
located on State street, where it holds a representative patronage. 

Enterprising and progressive as a business man and loyal and public- 
spirited as a citizen, Mr. Mehl holds as his own the unqualified esteem of 
the community in which he has maintained his home from the time of 
his birth and in which he has gained advancement and high business 
standing through his own well directed endeavors. He is a member of 
the board of managers of Hamot Hospital, is a stalwart supporter of 
the principles of the Republican party, though he has never manifested 
aught of ambition for political preferment, and he and his wife are zeal- 
ous members of St. John's Lutheran church. He is affiliated with Ger- 
man Lodge, No. 871, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which 
he has been treasurer for the past six years, and he is also identified 



IIG HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

with the encampment and canton of this fraternal organization, in whose 
affairs he takes a lively interest. 

In 1883 Mr. ]\Iehl was united in marriage to Anna J. Miiller, daugh- 
ter of Frederick W. Miiller, who was a well known builder and con- 
tractor of Erie, and they have four children, — H. Edward, Carl L., Mil- 
lard M., and Alenc A. All of the children remain at the parental home. 
H. Edward married Belle Blackman, a resident of the state of Florida. 

Fredkrick J. Miller is proprietor of the leading plumbing establish- 
ment in Erie and has carried his sound and honorable business principles 
into the public service to such good purpose as to be of acknowledged 
benefit to the municipality. He is a native of the city in which he has 
prospered, and his lifelong residence in it has been mutually beneficial. 
Born in the Third ward of Erie, on the 8th of April, 1857, he is a son 
of Henry and Mary Miller, both natives of Germany, where they were 
reared, educated and married. In the fatherland were born their first 
two children, and in the forties they emigrated with their family to the 
United States, soon after their arrival establishing their home in Erie. 
There, the father entered the employ of the old-time firm of Vincent, 
Himrod and Pressley.foundersof the business upon which was established 
the Germer Stove Works. Later, he engaged in the draying business, 
retiring from a successful career in that line a few years before his death 
in 1887. His wife had passed away in 1866, and both were highly es- 
teemed pioneers of the community, faithful members of the Evangelical 
Lutheran church. The following eight children (of whom the youngest 
two are living) were born to Henry and Mary Miller; Henry, Catherine, 
Louisa, Henry P.. John, William, Frederick J. and Charles C. The last 
named has been, for many years, in the service of the Lake Shore & 
Michigan Southern Railroad, with headquarters at Buffalo, New York. 

Frederick J. Miller, the seventh child of the family, attended the 
public schools of Erie until 1872, when, at the age of fifteen, he became 
an apprentice in the plumbing establishment of Jarecki, Hays and Com- 
pany, with whom he remained until 1879. Then, a master of the trade, 
he purchased a half interest in the business of his brother, Henry P.. and, 
under the firm name of Miller Brothers, a growing plumbing establish- 
ment was maintained until 1880 in the basement of a building that stood 
on State street, where the present business of the William E. Hays Com- 
pany is conducted. In the year named Miller Brothers moved to 1109 
State street, where they continued until 1892. In the previous year 
Frederick J. had purchased ground at the corner of Twelfth and State 
streets, and upon the rear half of this property he erected a substantial 
two-story brick building in which the plumbing business was established 
in 1892. Henry P. Miller died in April, 1893, and the establishment has 
since been owned and rapidly promoted by the surviving partner. In 
the spring of 1909 i\Ir. Miller erected at the corner of Twelfth and State 
street, on the front half of the lot mentioned, a three story block of brick 
and stone, the first floor of which is devoted to business purposes and 
the upper floors to modern flats. The building is one of the most con- 
venient and up-to-date of any in the city, and speaks well for the taste 
and judgment of one of its leading business men. 

While never a politician, Mr. Miller has devoted considerable of 
his time to municipal affairs, having served as a member of the common 
council in 1901-2 and of the board of revision of taxes and appeals, in 
1904-6. Such honors came to him quite unsolicited, and as a conscien- 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 117 

tious citizen he therefore felt called upon to exert himself to the utmost 
to promote the city's interests through the prompt and businesslike per- 
formance of his official duties. In this aim he met the expectations of 
his best constituents and friends. Mr. Miller is a member of the Erie 
Sanitary Association, Erie Business Men's Exchange, Erie Chamber of 
Commerce, Erie Maennerchor and the South Erie Turnverein, besides 
which he is affiliated with Tyrian Lodge No. 362 F. & A. M., the Presque 
Isle Lodge of Perfection (Masonic) and the Benevolent and Protective 
Order of Elks. He and his family are members of the St. John's Evan- 
gelical Lutheran church and are active in its work and support. 

In 1878 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Miller to Ida R. Loesch, 
who was born and reared in Erie and is a daughter of William Loesch, 
an old and honored business man of the city. Mr. and Mrs. Frederick 
J. Miller have become the parents of six children, as follows: Mary, who 
died at the age of six years; William, John E., Frederick H., Loretta 
E. and Margaret E. The three sons are associated with their father 
and are among the popular and progressive young business men of their 
native city. 

Frank Schlaudecker, one of the oldest and best known German 
citizens of Erie, is a native of Ruletzheim, Rheinish Bavaria, where he was 
born May 30, 1831. His parents, John Ulrich and Franceska (Druck) 
Schlaudecker, were both natives of the above-named province. The father 
was born in 1801 and died in 1865. and the mother died about 1855. To 
them were born the following children : Matthew, Frank, Jacob, deceased, 
John Peter, Catherine, Justina and Eva. The three daughters all became 
nuns in a Catholic order ten years after their arrival in America. Mat- 
thew came to the United States in 1849, and engaged in the grocery busi- 
ness with his brother Frank. Soon after the outbreak of the Civil war, 
Matthew raised three companies for three months service, known as the 
"Erie Regiment," and served as their major. In August of that year, 
he received authority from the United States War Department to re- 
cruit a regiment, which became the One Hundred Eleventh Regiment 
of Pennsylvania Volunteers, of which he was commissioned colonel, and 
which he commanded until November 6. 1862, when on account of ill- 
health he found it necessary to resign his commission and retire from 
service. Returning to Erie, he resumed business with his brother. Mat- 
thew Schlaudecker was a man of considerable prominence in Erie, hav- 
ing helped organize the German Bank, of which he became president, 
also the German Insurance Company, of which he also became president ; 
both these companies failed jn the panic of 1874, the insurance company 
having been crippled by the great Chicago Fire a few years before. He 
was also interested in the manufacture of pipe organs in Erie, later re- 
moving his interests to Chicago, and still later to San Francisco, in which 
city he died in September, 1907. John Peter was captain of Company H, 
One Hundred Eleventh Pennsylvania Regiment of Volunteers, from its 
organization in 1861 until December 29, 1863, being discharged from ser- 
vice with a surgeon's certificate. 

Frank Schlaudecker was engaged in the grocery business in his na- 
tive country, and upon coming to America in September, 1849. and set- 
tling in Erie, found employment in the store of Cassimer Seigel, where 
he worked until 1852, and then with his brother Matthew embarked in 
business under the firm name of F. & M. Schlaudecker ; this firm did a 
flourishing business until 1870, when Matthew Schlaudecker withdrew 



118 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

from the firm and the enterprise was carried on four years longer by 
the remaining brother, after which he also retired from business. In 
1875 Mr. Schlaudecker was elected justice of the peace, to which office 
he was twice re-elected, and in 1884 was appointed Collector of Internal 
Revenue of Erie District, in which capacity he served two years. When 
the Erie and Pittsburg districts were consolidated, Mr. Schlaudecker 
continued three years in charge of the Erie Office as deputy collector. 
In 1867 Mr. Schlaudecker was elected a member of the common council 
of Erie although he did not know until his election that he was to be a 
candidate; he was re-elected in 1869 and served as president until his 
retirement from the same. For many years he has been interested in 
insurance, having first taken up the business while he was serving as 
justice of the peace, continuing same while he was in the customs office, 
and at present is at the head of the firm of F. Schlaudecker & Son. This 
firm, organized in 1903, does a flourishing business, its interests being 
actively cared for by the junior member, Leo. P. Schlaudecker. 

Frank Schlaudecker is a member of St. Mary's Roman Catholic 
church of Erie, being one of its earliest adherents, and was a member of 
the building committee at the time the present magnificent edifice was 
erected. He was at dififerent times president of the St. George Society, 
and for many years a leading member of the choir. He was a charter 
member of the Erie Liedertafel Society and one of the oldest members 
of the Maennerchor. 

Mr. Schlaudecker married Catherine Schlaudecker, who 
was born May 30, 1830, in Bavaria, and came to United States and 
to Erie with her parents, in 1837, and to them have been born the fol- 
lowing children: Edward, (deceased) married Carrie Aumer, and they 
had one daughter, Leona, who is now deceased; Cornelius (deceased) ; 
married to Isabella Cummings, now also deceased, and they had one 
daughter. Bertha, who is living; Julius, also deceased, w^ho married 
Estella Kleinfelter and they had a daughter, Estella ; Leo. P., engaged 
with his father in the insurance business, and married to Winnifred Main. 

Clark Olds, one of the most prominent citizens of Erie, a leading 
attorney, ex-president of the Chamber of Commerce, and member of the 
Board of Water Commissioners, is a native son of Erie, and a descend- 
ant of one of the county's most respected pioneer families. His grand- 
father, Asa Gilbert Olds, founder of this branch of the family, was a 
native of the State of New Hampshire, where he was born in Alstead, 
November 15, 1793; when a child he removed, with his parents, to 
Williamstown, Vermont, where he grew to manhood. In 1813, Asa G. 
Olds travelled westward, looking for a location in which to settle, and 
went afoot all the way from his Vermont home to Cynthiana, Kentucky, 
passing through northern Pennsylvania and Ohio. The next winter, 
1814, he loaded his possessions into a wagon, and with an ox team 
started West, his objective point being the Western Reserve, of Ohio; 
he reached Erie in the dead of winter and stopped over nigth, intending 
to proceed with his journey the next morning, but during the night there 
was a thaw, and the snow had disappeared, leaving the roads heavy with 
mud and impassable. This small incident decided the temporary location 
of the family in Erie county, and their surroundings became so agreeable 
that they settled permanently in the vicinity. Mr. Olds purchased a farm 
in East Mill Creek, built a house, and lived there the remainder of his 
life; he died December 8, 1871. He was a public-spirited man and an 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 119 

ardent Whig, and at the time of the aboHtion movement was very much 
in sympathy with the famous "underground railway" movement. He 
was a quiet, thoughtful, religious man, and would prefer to suffer 
pecuniary loss rather than become involved in a lawsuit. He was a 
cb.arter member and an earnest worker in the interests of the First Bap- 
tist church of Erie. Mr. Olds married, April 17, 1821, Lucy Church, 
who was born at Winstead, Connecticut; she was the daughter of John 
Church, who at the age of eighteen years enlisted in the Continental 
Army at Saybrook, Connecticut, was with General Arnold at the siege 
of Quebec, in 1776, and at the battle of Saratoga, where General Arnold 
was wounded, Mr. Olds helped him from his house. Asa Gilbert Olds 
and his wife were blessed with the following children: Lewis W., Nelson, 
Erskine, Clarissa, and Emily J. 

Lewis W., father of Clark Olds, was born in East Mill Creek town- 
ship, Erie county, July 21, 1822 ; he received his education in the dis- 
trict schools and at the Erie Academy, after which he taught school for 
several years. In 1841 he began the manufacture of pumps at East Mill 
Creek, removed his factory to Erie in 1853, and continued the enterprise 
there until about fifteen years ago, when on account of the fact that the 
so-called "cucumber timber" of this section was exhausted, he found it 
necessary to abandon the business. He was very successful, and was the 
first man in the central states, if not in the world, to make the old log 
pump an article of commerce ; previous to the Civil war he shipped a 
large number of pumps to the south, the first consignment being hauled to 
Waterford, from which point he sent them by water to shipping points 
along the Ohio River, as far as Louisville, Kentucky. The Civil war, 
however, destroyed this trade, leaving him with many bad debts. Later 
he shipped his pumps in boat loads by water to Chicago and Milwaukee, 
supplying the states of Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin with pumps. 

Lewis W. Olds was one of the most enterprising and progressive 
citizens in Erie, and appreciated that city's resources and future ; he be- 
lieved in its future, and helped in its development along many lines. 
He erected many residence and business buildings, among the latter be- 
ing the Old Block on State street, which he built in 1869. This block, 
although one of the first large ones built in Erie, is still one of the city's 
most up-to-date buildings, owing to the fact that when Mr. Olds erected 
it he spared no pains to have it meet not only present requirements, but 
also future needs. In this block is the "Boston Store," the largest de- 
partment store of Erie, which has a flourishing trade. The building was 
the first in the city to be built with iron beams over the entrances, 
iron cornices and fire-proof floors, also the first to be fitted with plate 
glass windows, which were made in England, to order. At the time of 
his death Mr. Olds owned a large amount of city real estate, also large 
portions of land in Iowa and Missouri. He was much interested in 
public affairs, though he was not desirous of holding public office. He 
served a period of twelve years or more as a member of the school board, 
also was for a number of years on the board of directors of the county 
poor; the present almshouse was erected under his personal supervision. 
Though liberal and tolerant in his religious beliefs, he was a supporter of 
the church. At the time of his death he was the oldest member of the 
Masons in Erie, having become a member of the order at Westfield, New 
York, where he and several other residents of Erie attended meetings 
many years before a lodge was instituted in Erie ; they were known as 
"Westfield Masons." His death occurred lune 25, 1908, and his loss was 



120 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

mourned by the entire community. Mr. Olds was married, at Erie, Penn- 
sylvania, May 9, 18-18, to Louisa E. Ackerley, born in Middletown, New 
York, March 11, 1826, and who died in 1901; they had the following 
children: Inez L., Clark, Nettie M., Phila, William C, Florence, and 

Charlotta M. 

Clark Olds was born in East Mill Creek Township, July 14, 1850, 
received his early education in the common schools, prepared for college 
at Erie Academy, and in 1866 entered Michigan University, where he 
graduated in the class of 1870, with degree B. S. Two years later he 
received degree M. S. While attending the University he became con- 
nected with the United States Lake Survey, and after his graduation was 
appointed an Assistant Engineer; he remained in the service until 1875, 
although he spent the years of 1872-3 on vacation at Leipsic University, 
in Germany, where he studied law. He continued his legal studies m 
Erie, and April 26, 1876, was admitted to the bar, and a short time later, 
to practice in the Federal Courts. Since that time Mr. Olds has been 
engaged in active practice of his profession, making a specialty of ad- 
miralty practice, in which line he has met with flattering success. 

Mr. Olds has long taken an active interest in public affairs, more 
especially in municipal matters, giving freely his time and attention to- 
wards improving the city's pubHc institutions, and he has been of great 
service to the city as member of the City Water Board, to his efforts 
being due the fact that the city has a generous supply of pure water. 
He became a member of the Water Board January 1, 1896, and since 
that time has served with great credit; during this time the system has 
been practically rebuilt, a large new pump has been installed as well as 
a new boiler house being erected, and the city belted by water mains. 
His fight for pure water, which he never abated until it was accomplished, 
has resulted in the building of an intake three and one half miles long, 
extending one mile beyond Presque Isle, into Lake Erie, thus insuring 
a pure supply of water. After serving a year on the water board, Mr. 
Olds was made president of same, although the junior member, but 
Januarv 1, 1908, he surrendered this position and was succeeded by WilUs 
B. Durling. the present head of the department. Mr. Olds was originator 
of the idea of a new dock for the city, and as president of the Chamber 
of Commerce, had practical charge of the matter, and superintended the 
completion of the project. He is a member of the Erie Club, and of the 
Republican party. 

Mr. Olds married, December 13, 1876, Livia E., daughter of Chaun- 
cey Keator, of Cortland. New York, and they had the following child- 
ren : Romcyn K., deceased, Irving Sands, graduate of Yale University, 
now a junior in Harvard University Law School, Marguerite E., deceased. 

Louie Charles Schauble is not only the leading photographer in 
the city of Erie, but he is the only one of his guild there who has the 
facilities to take likenesses according to the most modern requirements 
of art and science and, if desired, to enlarge the photograph or to frame 
it with up-to-date taste. The accessories to his regular photographic 
studio make his establishment somewhat unique and certainly one of 
the most complete in the state. This feature of his business shows both 
originality and sound judgment, and ]\Ir. Schauble's numerous patrons 
have stamped their approval of his forethought in a substantial way — in 
the gratifying form of substantial dollars and cents. 



THF K 



ARY 



. tENOX 
)LINDATIONt I 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 131 

Mr. Schauble is a native of the Second ward of Erie, born March 2, 
1875, the son of the late WilHam G. Schauble. The father was a native 
of Germany, born in the year 1834; came to the United States when a 
young man, locating successively at New York City and at Erie, and 
dying in the latter city in 1893. Louie C. w'as reared in Erie and edu- 
cated in the city schools. In 1890, when in his sixteenth year, he com- 
menced to learn photography in Fred Pfaff's State street gallery, and in 
1892 entered the employ of F. W. Weber, on Ninth street. After re- 
maining with Mr. Weber for fourteen years he bought the business, and 
as he had purchased Mr. Pfaff's place in September, 1905, while still 
conducting the Weber studio, he entered the field as an independent 
factor under very favorable auspices. Until 1906 he operated the two 
studios jointly, but in that year he found the State street business grow- 
ing so rapidly that he decided to dispose of the Ninth street estab- 
lishment. Since he has carried out that decision he has made his studio 
at 1011 State street one of the finest in Pennsylvania, if not in the 
States. He has accomplished this by not only meeting the requirements 
of a cultured and discerning public, but by the quiet force of his courtesy 
and through his wide acquaintance in the city of his birth and con- 
tinuous residence. 

Mr. Schauble is a member of the Erie Chamber of Commerce and 
Business Men's Exchange, and is widely known in the fraternal orders, 
being especially prominent as an Odd Fellow. In the last named order 
he has served as district deputy grand master, chief patriot, com- 
mandant and noble grand. He is also an active Knight of Pythias and 
a Mason. Mr. Schauble's wife was formerly Miss Pearl Irish, daughter 
of Frank Irish, of this county, and she is the mother of Frank T. and 
Kenneth F. Schauble. 

Charles Hagenlocher was born in the Fifth ward of the City of 
Erie on the fifth day of November, in the year of our Lord, 1878. He 
was the third child born of Jacob and Hannah (Rose) Hagenlocher, who, 
in early life, moved to this country from Germany. Tracing Mr. Hagen- 
locher's genealogy, we discover that a few generations ago, one of his 
ancestors was of Scotch origin ; thus in his lineage is intermingled 
Scotch and German. During his early youth, Mr. Hagenlocher attended 
the public schools of this city, mastering with great aptitude the different 
branches of learning taught therein. Upon leaving school, he entered 
the coal office of R. J. Saltsman as an assistant. There he received his 
early business education, which later proved to be such a valuable asset. 

On December 5th, 1902, Mr. Hagenlocher purchased the real estate 
and insurance business belonging to Frank Sawdey at 922 State street, 
where he has ever since remained. This business, when first purchased 
was in an embryo state, yet through the untiring efforts, the judicious 
management, the shrewd business ability and the keen insight of Mr. 
Hagenlocher it has assumed gigantic proportions. Year by year it has 
grown, year by year it has sent out its tiny tentacles, until, at the pres- 
ent time it is confined to a territory no less than that covered by the City 
of New York. 

In 1905, Air. Hagenlocher was elected a member of the school board 
of the City of Erie. Retaining that position for three years, and serving 
during that time on numerous committees, he was enabled to accomplish 
much in behalf of public education. He is actively connected with the 
Young Men's Christian Association and the Royal Arcanum. The 



122 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Board of Trade, the Business Men's Exchange and the Chamber of 
Commerce number him among- their most active and energetic members. 

Mr. Uagenlocher is conceded one of the best judges of real estate 
possibiHties and insurance hazards in Northwestern Pennsylvania. He 
has negotiated many of the largest realty transactions in the history 
of Erie county. 

Dr. John William Wright is a leading physician of Erie, Mrho 
has enjoyed an especially prominent connection with the National Guard 
of Pennsylvania. He is a native of Richmond township, Crawford coun- 
ty, that state, born September 24, 18()8, and is a son of Delos A. and Vir- 
ginia (White) Wright. His father was born in Busti, Chautauqua 
county. New York, on the 13th of May, 18-40, being a son of William 
and Elizabeth (Kelso) Wright, natives of Massachusetts and Connecti- 
cut respectively. The father engaged in farming until 1873 and then 
embarked in the manufacture of butter and cheese, at one time operating 
three factories in Crawford county. In 1876 he disposed of these inter- 
ests and engaged in the same industrial line at Saegerstown, Pennsyl- 
vania, moving to Union City, Erie county, in 1882, where he established 
himself as a produce dealer and also became identified with other large 
business interests at different points in Pennsylvania. In April, 1865, 
Delos Wright married Miss Virginia White, daughter of David and Pol- 
ly (Lyon) White, natives of Crawford county, Pennsylvania. Mrs. 
Wright died November 11, 1871, and in 1873 Mr. Wright married Mary 
daughter of George and Sarah (McCullough) Charmer, her parents 
both being natives of England. 

John William Wright, of this biography, was left a half-orphan by 
the death of his mother when he was three years of age, and for some 
years thereafter resided with his paternal aunt. He received a public 
school education during this period and in 1883 when fifteen years of 
age, moved to Union City, where he continued his studies in the local 
high school. In the autumn of 1887 he entered the Jefferson Medical 
College of Philadelphia, graduated therefrom in 1890, and after pursuing 
a course in the Philadelphia Polyclinic, in the winter of 1890-1, began 
practice at Wattsburg, Erie county. Three years of professional work 
followed at that place, and before the doctor resumed practice he took 
a thorough course at the New York Post Graduate School. In June, 
1895, he located at Erie and in May of the following year assumed the 
duties of city health officer, a position which he still holds. During the 
year 1896 Dr. Wright was also appointed deputy county inspector for 
the State Board of Health, being an efficient incumbent of that posi- 
tion until 1903. when he was chosen county inspector and county quaran- 
tine officer of that body. In 1905 the State Department of Plealth super- 
ceded the State Board, and Dr. Wright was reappointed to the office 
mentioned, as well as chosen local registrar of vital statistics. 
Upon the establishment of a tuberculosis dispensary at Erie he was 
named as the physician in charge. 

Dr. Wright has become an authority on the treatment of all forms 
of pulmonary diseases, or he would not be at the head of the Erie dis- 
pensary. He is an active member of the Pennsylvania Society for the 
Prevention of Tuberculosis and of the National Association for the 
Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis, and in his relations to profes- 
sional organizations of a more general nature is identified with the Erie 
County Medical Society, State Medical Society of Pennsylvania and the 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 123 

American Medical Association. He also belongs to the American Public 
Health Association, the Association of Military Surgeons of the United 
States and the American Association of Medical Examiners. 

In 1897 Dr. Wright received an appointment as first lieutenant and 
assistant surgeon in the Fifteenth Regiment, N. G. P., his commission 
being dated May 1st of that year. On April 27, 1898. he responded to 
the presidential call for troops, and was enrolled in the service of the 
United States for the Spanish-American war, arriving on the following 
day at Mount Gretna, Pennsylvania, which was later christened Camp 
Hastings. There, on May 5th, he was formally mustered into service in 
the position to which he had been commissioned, and on the 11th of June 
the command was ordered to Sheridan Point Post, Virginia, where it 
arrived on the next day. On September 9th the regiment was trans- 
ferred to Camp Meade, Pennsylvania, performing general provost duty 
from the 10th of that month to October 2nd; was attached to the first 
brigade, second division, second army corps, from that date until October 
29th, and was then transferred to the first brigade, third division, second 
army corps, remaining thus assigned until its final muster-out. On 
November 11th the regiment left Camp Meade for Camp Haskell, 
Georgia, where it arrived on the 14th and remained until it was mustered 
out of the service January 31, 1899. On December 9, 1898, Dr. Wright 
had been promoted and re-commissioned as major and surgeon, and three 
days afterward was re-mustered into the service in his new position and 
re-assigned to the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Regiment. Upon the muster- 
out of the command he returned to Erie and resumed private practice, 
but on July 11, 1900, was again commissioned first lieutenant and assist- 
ant surgeon of the National Guard of Pennsylvania, being assigned to 
the Sixteenth Regiment and serving with it until his resignation from the 
state military service July 29, 1901. He is an active member of the 
Spanish W'ar Veterans and the Military Order of the Serpent. As a 
fraternalist connected with the secret and benevolent orders he is widely 
known, especially in the work of Masonry. In this order he is a member 
of the Tyrian Lodge, A. F. & A. M. ; Jerusalem Council, R. & S. M. ; 
Mount Olivet Commandery, K. T. ; Presque Isle Lodge of Perfection, 
A. A. S. R., and Zem Zem Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. He also belongs 
to the Elks and Knights of Pythias. What is more to the point, he also 
carried the spirit of fraternalism and good will which is inculcated by 
such orders into the individual and private relations of his life. 

On October 15, 1900, Dr. Wright was united in marriage to Miss 
Clara Katharine Keller, daughter of Edward Keller, and of their union 
are two children — Edward K., who was born October 8, 1902, and died 
a week later, and Elizabeth K., born October 31, 1904. 

Henry C. Missimer. In the various professions and pursuits to 
which men devote their time and energies, not one is of more import- 
ance and value to the general public than that of the educator, whose 
task it is to develop the latent faculties and talents of the child, bring- 
ing into prominence those most beneficial to the individual and to the 
world, and to so train our boys and girls that they may become race 
benefactors in the broadest sense implied by the term. The life of 
Henry C. Missimer, for the past eighteen years superintendent of the 
Erie schools, has been cast along these lines, and the fruit of his pro- 
fessional labors may be seen by the high standing of the schools under 
his charge as compared with those in cities of like size. A native of 



124 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Pennsylvania, he was born in Montgomery county, near Pottstown, a 
section of the state in which his immediate ancestors were pioneer set- 
tlers. The emigrant ancestor of the Missimer family came from the 
border country between France and Germany to the United States nearly 
two centuries ago, locating first in Maryland, and subsequently removing 
to the Keystone state, where he purchased a thousand acres of land along 
Spragel'sRun a tributary of the Schuylkill River below Pottstown. 

Receiving his rudimentary education in the common schools, Mr. 
Missimer subsequently attended the High School, in Pottstown, and at 
the age of fourteen year? had read the usual requirements for college 
preparation. Entering then Yale University, he was there graduated 
with the class of 18G9, being one of the honor men, and receiving the 
degree of A. B. Three years later his alma mater conferred upon him 
the degree of A. AL, an honor of which he was eminently worthy. For 
a short time in his earlier life, he was engaged in general business, but 
in 1872 embarked upon his professional career, becoming a teacher at 
New Brighton, near Pittsburg. Putting forth his best energies, he or- 
ganized the schools of that vicinity, placed them upon a permanent 
working basis, while there establishing for himself an excellent reputa- 
tion as an instructor, and as a disciplinarian. Coming from there to 
Erie, Mr. JMissimer was for nearly eighteen years principal of the Erie 
High School, filling the position with great acceptance, winning the 
approval of its friends and patrons, and the high regard and esteem of 
its pupils. Under his regime, the schools flourished from year to year, 
the enrollment, which was but one hundred pupils when he assumed its 
charge, being greatly increased, while each year a much larger number 
received diplomas. In 1890 Mr. Missimer was chosen superintendent, 
of the city schools, and has served most ably and satisfactorily since, his 
long record of service in this capacity bearing speaking evidence of his 
marked success. Talented, scholarly, thoroughly conversant with the 
more modern methods of teaching, and possessing great executive ability, 
he has raised the standard of the schools under his management to a 
high plane of efficiency, bringing them up-to-date in every respect, mak- 
ing them equal to those of any similar city, and the superior of very 
many. Mr. JSIissimer is known to some extent in the lecture field, and 
through his various written works, the productions of his pen being 
received as authority in educational circles, many of his articles having 
been incorporated in the reports of the National Commission of Edu- 
cation. 

Air. Missimer married, in 1875, Emma, daughter of Hugh P. Me- 
hafifey, of Erie, and to them six children have been born. 

Charles Monroe Wheeler. The name Wheeler is so well known 
in the industrial circles of old Erie county as to need no introduction to 
the readers of The Twentieth Century History of Erie County. C. M. 
Wheeler comes from good old Hampshire stock being born in New Ips- 
wich. New Hampshire, January 29, 1826. He was a son of Stephen 
and Hannah (Stratton) Wheeler, both natives of New Hampshire, but 
of Scotch descent. Stephen Wheeler was a character of progress and 
marked ability. He served his people as an official in his county and 
was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and was a member a 
number of terms of the state legislature. He died in 1860. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 125 

Charles M. Wheeler received a good practical education both in 
the public schools and the Academy of his native town. He spent his 
life till 1852 in his native county as an agriculturist and in that year 
located in Erie county in the Township of Le Boeuf and this township 
was his home till his death. Besides being a successful farmer, he was 
proprietor of a cheese factory and a saw mill in Le Boeuf township 
and had large lumber interests in Forest county, Pennsylvania, besides 
large land holdings in Minnesota. He represented his people in the 
state legislature in 1891 and 1893. 

He wedded Miss Sarah J. Clark, daughter of Eben Clark, Decem- 
ber 6, 1851, and five children blessed this marriage: Edward E., fully 
represented elsewhere in this work; Orton H., a manufacturer in Erie; 
Fred C. ; Walker S., one of the leading agriculturists and stock raisers 
of North East township, also mentioned in another part of this work, 
and Dr. Arthur C. Wheeler. Charles M. Wheeler indelibly stamped 
his great business personality upon the pages of Erie county's history. 
He was a man of strict integrity of character and he was possessed of 
those sterling attributes which give prestige to the thorough busi- 
ness man. He set an example in the business affairs of life which has 
been followed by his worthy sons. 

Isaac Baker is one of the leading wholesale and retail clothing 
merchants of Erie, being senior member of the well known firm of 
Isaac Baker and Son. His many years' residence in this city has been 
spent not only in establishing this extensive business but in promot- 
ing the public interests of Erie in many directions. For twenty-one 
years he has been a member of the local board of education; has long 
been deeply interested in the welfare and progress of the city library 
and also identified with hopsital and charitable work. He is a native 
of Germany, born in the province of Rhine, August 22, 1847, being a 
son of Bernard and Barbara Baker, both natives of the fatherland. 
When the family came to the United States in 1849, they located at 
once in Erie but after remaining there for about two months removed 
to Girard, same county, which remained the family home for some 
eight or nine years, during which time the father was engaged in general 
merchandising. Mr. Baker then returned to Erie with his family where 
he established a clothing and dry goods business and was thus engaged 
until the time of his death, his wife having passed away several years 
previous. 

Isaac Baker, of this sketch, was reared in Girard and Erie, received 
a good common school education in these two places and at the age 
of fourteen became his father's regular assistant in the conduct of his 
business, subsequently becoming a member of the firm. Upon the retire- 
ment of the senior member of the firm from active business, Isaac Baker 
and his brother-in-law succeeded to the business, their store then being 
located in the Brown Block, No. 10 State street, in about 1869 they 
purchased what was then known as the Caldwell Block (subsequently the 
Empire Block) on the southeast corner of Fourth and State streets, 
which they remodeled into what became the leading wholesale and 
retail clothing store, as well as merchant tailoring house in Erie or this 
portion of the state. The original style of the firm was B. Baker but 
upon his son's association with his brother-in-law, Jacob Ostheimer, it 
became Baker and Ostheimer. Upon the retirement of the latter, 



r2G HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Alfred Baker, son of Isaac, was admitted into the firm which then 
became Isaac Baker and Son, as at present. 

Mr. Baker is acknowledged not only to be one of the leading 
merchants of Erie but among its most public spirited and progressive 
citizens, his interest in all forms of public education and charitable 
work being especially deep. He was one of the original promoters of 
the Ene public library, having been one of the board which permitted 
the city to own its own library and largely through his energy and wis- 
dom this institution has become one of the leaders of its kind in the 
state. As stated, he has also been identified with the local board of 
education for twenty-one years, having served as president of that 
body for several terms. He has also been a trustee of St. Vincent's 
Hospital since its organization and president of the same one term. He 
is also at the head of various social and religious organizations of the 
city; is an active member of the Chamber of Commerce and is also a 
director in the Security and Savings Bank of which he was one of the 
organizers. Mr. Baker is of the Hebrew faith and has long been presi- 
dent of the Jewish church in Erie. 

Mr. Baker was married to Miss Bertha Einhorn, a native of New 
York City, and daughter of Rev. Dr. David Einhorn. one of the most 
noted reform rabbis of his time. The five children born to ^Ir. and 
Mrs. Baker are as follows : — Clara, the w'idow of J. Alayer, of Cleve- 
land ; Alfred, a member of the firm of Isaac Baker and Son : Edward 
M., now residing in Cleveland; and Belle and Florence, both living with 
their parents. 

Henry E. Fish, member of the firm of Gunnison, Rilling and Fish, 
a leading law firm of Erie is not the only representative of his profes- 
sion whose thoroughness and prominence may be traced to his long train- 
ing as an official court reporter. Such an experience insures an unusu- 
ally precise and practical knowledge of legal forms and court pro- 
cedures, and when grafted upon systematic study of the principles of 
the law makes a professional equipment of remarkable solidity. Mr. 
Fish is a native of Otego, Otsego county. New York, born on the 9th 
of April. 1863, and is a son of Liberal C. and ]\Iary (Briggs) Fish, both 
also natives of the Empire state. He completed his literary educa- 
tion at the Gilbertsville (New York) Academy, and located at Erie in 
1881. For the succeeding years he held the position of official sten- 
ographer in the courts of Erie, Lavvrencq and McKean counties, Penn- 
sylvania. During that period he also prosecuted his law studies under 
the preceptorship of the late John P. Vincent and Judge Emory A. 
Walling. 

^Ir. Fish was admitted to the Erie bar in 1889, to the superior 
and supreme courts of Pennsylvania in 189G, and also to the federal 
courts in the latter year. In 1891, two years after becoming a legal- 
ized attorney, he resigned his position as official stenographer, and has 
since practiced law only, his leadership at the bar having been espe- 
cially pronounced as a civil and corporation attorney. In 1895 he became 
associated with William G. Crosby, as senior member of the firm Fish 
and Crosby, and three years later became junior of Rilling and Fish. In 
1907, by the admission of Judge Frank Gunnison, the firm assumed 
its present style, Gunnison, Rilling and Fish. Mr. Fish is an active and 
valued member of the co-partnership and, individually, is both the 
attorney and a director of the Security and Savings Bank of Erie. In 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 137 

Masonry, he is a Knight Templar, has attained the Scottish rite and 
is a Shriner; and is also identified with the Erie Chamber of Com- 
merce and the Erie and Kahkwa clubs. 

On June 25, 1889, Mr. Fish married Miss Nellie Slocum. daughter 
of the late R. M. Slocum, an old resident of Erie, and to them have 
been born the following: Roger E., in 1892, who is now a student at 
Princeton University, and Howard Mc, born in 1895. 

Davenport Galbraith. To the enlisting of men of notable en- 
terprise, ability and integrity in the furtherance of her commercial and 
industrial activities is to be ascribed the great material and civic pros- 
perity of the city of Erie, and among those prominent and honored in 
such connection stands Davenport Galbraith of this brief review, who 
is a native of this city and a scion of one of its best known families. 
He is a member of the bar of his native county and vice president of 
the Erie Trust Company; one of the leading financial institutions of 
this section of the old Keystone state. 

Davenport Galbraith was born in the city which is now his home, 
April 8th, 1862. He is a son of the late Judge William A. Galbraith, 
long a distinguished member of the bar of Pennsylvania and also a 
jurist of high reputation. Davenport Galbraith was graduated at Yale 
University, in 188-1, with the degree of Bachelor of Science, and then 
matriculated in the law department of the University of Pennsylvania, 
where he was graduated as a member of the class of 1887 and from 
which he received the degree of Bachelor of Laws. After his admis- 
sion to the bar of his native state he became associated with his father 
in the practice of his profession. After a few years, however, he vir- 
tually withdrew from this connection as another field of activity offered 
special attractions to him. He thus became one of the organizers and 
incorporators of the Erie Dime Savings & Trust Company, of which 
he was vice-president from the inception until the institution was reor- 
ganized under his direction, as the Erie Trust Company, of which he 
has since served as vice-president. He has given the major portion of 
his time and attention to the building up of this stanch and popular 
institution, and its success from the start has been in large degree 
due to his able executive policy and unflagging attention to its affairs. 
He enjoys unequivocal popularity in the business and social circles of 
his native city, is independent in politics and is identified with the Erie, 
the Kahkwa, the Yacht and the Golf Clubs. 

On the 18th of June. 1885. !Mr. Galbraith was united in marriage 
to Miss Winifred Downing, daughter of Jerome F. Downing, of Erie. 

Alured p. Burton. Ranking high among the substantial business 
men of Erie is Alured P. Burton, who has been an important factor 
in advancing its growth and prosperity. He is one of the best known 
citizens of this place, and its leading undertaker, being at the head of 
the firm of A. P. Burton & Sons, of No. 1219 Peach street. His in- 
fluence as a man of honor and integrity is felt throughout the com- 
munity, his sterling qualities of heart and mind being everywhere 
recognized and respected. A native of this city, he was born, Septem- 
ber 4, 1836, a son of David and Elizabeth (Irvine) Burton. His grand- 
parents, John and Phoebe (Wooster) Burton, came from Connecticut 
to Erie county in 1811, locating in Mill Creek township, where they 



128 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

took up a large tract of land, on which they spent the remaining years 
of their lives. 

David Burton was born in Connecticut, February 16, 1793, and 
when about eighteen years of age came with the family to Mill Creek 
townsliip. lie served as a soldier in the War of 1812, and aided in the 
building of Perry's fleet. He assisted his father in clearing a home- 
stead from its original wildness, and was subsequently engaged in vari- 
ous kinds of business, spending a large part of his active life in the 
city of Erie, dying January 30, 18G9. His wife, Elizabeth Irvine, was 
born, January 1, 1797, in Lycoming county, Pennsylvania, and came to 
Erie county on a visit, when she met David Burton. She survived him 
a few years, passing away May 9, 1875. They were two of the orig- 
inal members of the class which, organized in 1826, was the nucleus of 
the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Erie, now the Seventh Street 
Church. Ten children were born of their union, namely: Peter E., born 
March 16. 1816, served as sherifif of Erie county, and died October 19, 
1863 ; John, born October 19, 1818, died April 23, 1863 ; Andrew, born 
May 26, 1823, served as treasurer of Erie Citv, and died June 19, 1894; 
Wooster, born April 16, 1828, died October 28, 1856; Alured P., of 
this brief biography; Hannah, born September 16, 1825, married M. 
A. Dunning, of Erie; Sarah, born September 16, 1825, married A. P. 
Durlin, of Erie; Mary, born May 10, 1827, died June 19, 1829; Elsie, 
born September 19, 1831. died January 15, 1884; and Charlotte E., born 
April 4. 1839. married D. J. Pfouts. of Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania. 

After leaving the public schools, Alured P. Burton attended the 
Erie Academy for awhile, and at the age of fourteen years began to 
learn the trade of a printer, which he subsequently followed a number of 
years. He was assistant post master in 1861-2 and afterwards with his 
father and brother Andrew, he was here employed in the coal busi- 
ness for awhile. Establishing himself in the undertaking business in 
Erie in 1876, Mr. Burton has since continued it successfully, being well 
liked, and very popular throughout the community. He has a thorough 
knowledge of the art and science connected with his profession, and 
for many years has been very prominent as an undertaker, and very 
widely known in connection with the Tri-County and State Funeral 
Directors' Association, of which he was president for a time. He is 
still a member of that organization, and also belongs to the National 
Funeral Directors' Association. In 1895, without solicitation on his 
part, Mr. Burton was appointed by Governor Hastings a member of the 
first State Board of Undertakers, and at the first meeting of that body, 
held in Philadelphia, November 1, 1895, he was chosen treasurer of 
the board. In these organizations, the object of which is to promote 
the knowledge of the business, and provide for co-operation among its 
members, Mr. Burton has been quite active and prominent. 

Mr. Burton married. October 1. 1857, Susan, daughter of George 
W. Brecht, of East Mill Creek township, Erie county. Six children 
have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Burton, namely: Charles H., George 
D., Lewis E., one daughter who died in infancy; Harry, of the firm 
of A. P. Burton & Sons, and Ramsay, also associated in business with 
his father. These sons. Harry and Ramsay, are well acquainted with 
the details of undertaking, and share with their father the responsi- 
bilities of the extensive business which the firm is managing. Religi- 
ously Mr. Burton is a member of the Alethodist Episcopal church, to 
which Mrs. Burton, also, belongs. Politically he is a steadfast Repub- 





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O-Cyc^ 



t/4 



cru^ 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 129 

lican, and has served as a member of the common council. Fraternally 
he is active and influential in Masonic circles, being a Knight Temp- 
lar, and a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason. 

Victory M. Thompson, deceased, was for many years closely 
identified with the development of the transportation, coal, oil and real 
estate interests of northwestern Pennsylvania, and was recognized as 
one of the most progressive business men and citizens of Erie for a 
period of over thirty years. Mr. Thompson was a native of Madison 
county. New York, where he was born on August 7, 1829, the son of 
Joseph S. and Rachel (Case) Thompson. The father was born in the 
Green Mountain state, son of Joseph Thompson, a native of France, 
who originally settled in Massachusetts and thence moved to Vermont. 
The maternal family was of Scotch origin. 

The parents of Victory M. located at Erie in 1832, and in 1848, 
when nineteen years of age, the youth engaged in the canal boat busi- 
ness — not as a laborer, but as proprietor of a number of boats which he 
operated and later owned, organizing what was long known as the 
"Thompson Line." During this period he also became interested in the 
oil business, owning and operating the Erie City Oil Works, one of the 
early refineries in the United States. Besides controlling this transporta- 
tion line and conducting his oil refining business, Mr. Thompson as 
a young man carried on a successful coal business, at Erie, Pennsylvania, 
and also operated at Meadville, Pennsylvania. Furthermore, he had other 
large commercial interests, and was an extensive holder of real estate 
ill many of the points around which his business interests centered. At 
his prime, in fact, he was considered one of the most eminent business 
men of northern Pennsylvania. 

Victory M. Thompson married Rebecca, daughter of John and 
Esther (Gillespie) Glenn, who was a native of Erie. Her father was 
born in the north of Ireland, and was a pioneer and honored citizen of 
Erie county. Mr. Thompson died in October, 1887, his wife having 
passed away the year before. Their eldest son, Clarence L., still occupies 
the old Thompson residence at Eighth and Cherry streets, where he has 
resided for forty-five years. 

Orlando E. Crouch, president and treasurer of Crouch Brothers 
Company, representing the largest milling industry of Erie, is also one of 
the pioneer millers of the county. The standing of the family as a 
leading factor in founding the infant communities of the county is fur- 
ther strengthened by the fact that the paternal grandfather, Phineas 
Crouch, migrated wath his family from his native county of Rutland, 
Vermont, to Erie county, as early as 1817. He first located in Fairview 
township, at a later date settling permanently in McKean township. 
The maternal grandparents John and Harriet May, were natives of Ply- 
mouth, Massachusetts, and settled in the locality about the same time as 
the Crouches. The parents of Orlando E., Ansel and Nancy (May) 
Crouch, were natives respectively of Rutland county, Vermont, and Can- 
aan, New Hampshire, the father being born in 1794, and the mother in 
1804. The former was an industrious and prosperous farmer, and 
Orlando E. was born on the family homestead in McKean township, on 
the 18th of September, 1835. He is the fifth in order of birth, the other 
members of the family being Melissa, Sophronia, Phineas and Harvey 
L., deceased ; Joseph B., a resident of Erie ; and John M., who is also 
dead. 

Vol. II— 9 



13U HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Orlando E. Crouch, of this sketch, was reared on the farm in Mc- 
Kean township until he was sixteen years of age and soon afterward 
(in 18.3-0 he became an apprentice at the milling trade and busmess at 
Wesleyville, a suburb of Erie. In 1857 he located at Erie and in the 
following year, with his brother Phineas, he purchased the old Fair- 
mount mill on East Eighth street. Fourteen years of successful busi- 
ness enabled them to build the ^Merchant Alills and when this plant was 
burned in 1892 thev proceeded to erect larger and more modern mills. 
They were completed in the year following the fire, and the business was 
subsequently incorporated with Phineas Crouch as president and Orlan- 
do E. Crouch as treasurer and he subsequently became president. He is 
therefore at the head of the largest and oldest industry of the kind in 
Erie ; is an active member of the board of trade, a director of the Peoples' 
Bank, and a citizen who, in every respect, is a credit to his fine, sturdy 
family and his American citizenship. Since his youth he has been an 
earnest IMethodist and for years has been a substantial and an active 
supporter of the First church of Erie. Mr. Crouch's wafe was known 
before her marriage as Miss Carrie L. Dickinson. She is a native of 
Wattsburg, Pennsylvania, daughter of Dr. S. and Harriet (IMaxwell) 
Dickinson. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. O. E. Crouch are as fol- 
lows : Martha. Charles R. ; Ruth E., who is now Mrs. E. H. Suerkin, 
of Erie ; and Edith A., who married R. C. Arbuckle, also of that city. 

Charles Henry Taft, a native son, conducts one of the most 
extensive tailoring establishments in Erie. From a small beginnmg 
through his patience and perseverance and the manifestation of a high 
grade of business sagacity he has founded an enterprise which from 
year to year gradually enhanced in value until at present he is numbered 
among the leading tailors of the Bay city. Not only in business lines 
is he well known and highly respected but also socially inasmuch as he 
occupies a high place as a citizen who largely devotes himself to the 
uppermost interests of the city and as well to the cultivation of a wide 
circle of intimate friends. 

Mr. Taft, as above stated, is a native son and represents one of the 
oldest families of this emporium. His grandparents were Thruman 
and Sarah E. (Ross) Taft, originally from Vermont and Connecticut, 
respectively. They were both of distinguished New England families, 
the former being of Scotch-Irish while the latter was of Scotch descent. 
It is worthy of remark here that the Taft family, which is now under 
consideration, is identical with that from which descended the present 
president of the United States, William H. Taft. At an early date Thru- 
man J. Taft located in this city and was the promoter and proprietor 
of one of the pioneer lime kilns established here. In the conduct of his 
business he supplied lime for the building of the first "Reed House" and 
for a number of other well known edifices. Later in life he removed 
to the state of Iowa where he entered into rest, while his widow, who 
survived him for a number of years, passed into the beyond in this city. 

Joseph R. Taft. the father of Charles Henry, was born on the corner 
of Sixth and Walnut streets in Erie in 1844. He courted the distinction 
of being the first baggagemaster to go out from Erie on the first passen- 
ger train which was put into operation on the Pittsburg & Erie Railroad 
running between this city and Harrisburg. Pennsylvania. Later he be- 
came a conductor on the same road, continuing to perform the duties 
of that station for many years. Later in his life he and his family 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 131 

repaired to Iowa where they purchased a farm and for about ten years 
they engaged in agricultural pursuits. However, husbandry not being 
that occupation for which he was best fitted, he gave it up and, return- 
ing to Erie, again he engaged in railroading, in which he continued until 
he passed out of this life on October 10, 1905, when he was in his sixty- 
first year. His wife was Sarah E. Lindsley, a native of Harrisburg, 
Pennsylvania, who still survives. In their family were the following 
children: Charles H. ; Arthur N., of this city; May, who was united in 
marriage with Charles M. Pierce, and resides in New York City; Mrs. 
Jennie Standbauch, a resident of Buffalo, New York; Ross L., a resi- 
dent of Erie ; Sarah E., the wife of Irvin Foster, residents of Roches- 
ter, New York ; and Raymond R., also of this city. 

East Eleventh street between Holland and German streets in the 
sixth ward, was the birthplace of Charles H. Taft and there he entered 
into this life January 2{), 18G7. His education was acquired in the city 
schools and upon completing his studies he engaged in employment in 
various capacities in different business houses here for a considerable 
length of time when eventually he launched out in the merchant tailor- 
ing business at No. 1504 Peach street, making this independent venture 
about the year 1891. Meeting with success in his enterprise the volume 
of his trade soon required that he seek larger quarters in a more favora- 
ble district and he removed to No. G West Eleventh street, where he 
remained for a time and in 1908 assumed charge at his present location 
on Peach street in the Kimberly Hotel block. Here he conducts a high 
class tailoring establishment and is one of the most popular men in this 
line of trade in the city, his popularity being so great that he courts the 
reputation of being the leading tailor in the Bay city. His trade is 
exclusively of the very best, his motto being, "there is nothing too good 
to go into clothes" and as a consequence his extensive and prosperous 
business is an evident demonstration that he daily lives in obedience to 
the rule which he has set for the government of his business. He turns 
out the highest class workmanship, being very careful at all times to give 
value received and his output brings him, in every instance, the highest 
approval and as a consequence, as the years have passed by, he has 
increased his patronage to such an extent that he is now one of the most 
reliable and highly respected business men of the city. 

Mr. Taft wedded Miss Dora Woodworth, a native of Girard, Penn- 
sylvania, and a daughter of Parker Woodworth, the couple having one 
son, Harold, who is now in his fourteenth year. 

Fraternally Mr. Taft is well known, being a member of the Masonic 
fraternity and he also belongs to the Royal Arcanum, while socially he 
finds pleasure as a member of the Country Club. Religiously both he 
and his wife uphold the Presbyterian faith and are stanch supporters 
of a local church of that denomination. In this he has deviated some- 
what from the faith marked out by his ancestors inasmuch as his grand- 
parents were pioneers of the First Baptist church of this city. Mr. Taft 
is a man of excellent qualities of character whose straightforward deal- 
ing has commended him to the highest respect of every one throughout 
the community and he is justly entitled to honorable mention as one of 
Erie's foremost business men. 

Frank J. Detzel. One of the successful and enterprising citizens 
of Erie, Frank J. Detzel is a fine representative of the German element 
that has added so materially to the thrift and prosperity of the city. 



132 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Public-spirited and liberal, he willingly devotes much of his time and 
money to advancing the interests of city and county, and is now, in the 
spring of 1909, representing his district in the Pennsylvania Legislature. 
A son of the late Matthias and Apoline Detzel, he was born, January 
24, 1859, in Erie county, on the home farm in yiiW Creek township. 

Matthias Detzel was born, July 25, 1834, in Bavaria, which was 
likewise the birthplace of his wife. Emigrating to the United States in 
1857, he came direct to Erie county, locating as a farmer in Mill Creek 
township. Retiring from agricultural pursuits, he located in Erie, and 
in 1865 opened a grocery on State street, between Eleventh and Twelfth 
streets. Successful as a merchant, he gradually enlarged his operations, 
and in 18TG. built, on Parade street, the first grocery in the east part of 
the city, and continued as a retail grocer until becoming interested in the 
restaurant business. Previous to that time, however, he engaged in con- 
tracting, in 1873 and 1874 receiving the contract for paving Sixth street 
from French to Parade street, and that part of Parade street lying 
between Sixth and Eighteenth streets. He also laid, in 1869, the Parade 
street sewer. In 1867 he was chosen supervisor of streets, and had the 
distinction of being appointed the first city superintendent of streets. 
A valued member of the Democratic party, he served one term as alder- 
man. Religiously he belonged to the Roman Catholic church. 

Brought up in Erie, Frank J. Detzel was educated in the parochial 
and public schools, and as a boy was well trained to habits of industry 
and thrift. Succeeding his father in the grocery business in 1881. he 
has been exceedingly prosperous, enlarging and increasing his operations 
from year to year. Outgrowing the building which he at first occupied, 
he erected, in 1902. at the corner of Parade and Thirteenth streets, one 
of the finest brick business houses in the city, and is here carrying on a 
substantial retail grocery business, the equal of any house in the place, 
not even excepting those on State street. 

For many years Mr. Detzel has been very active and prominent in 
public afifairs, and is to-day one of the leaders of the Democratic party, 
both in Erie city and Erie county. For one term he was school director ; 
he has been a delegate to the Democratic conventions held in Harrison ; 
has served on the city and county committees; in 1906 was elected to 
the State Legislature; and in 1908 attended the Democratic National 
Convention which met in Denver. He is a member of the board of trus- 
tees of the Public Library. 

'Mr. Detzel married. June 30. 1881. Ida R., daughter of Jacob and 
Caroline Heidt, natives of Bavaria, Germany. Seven children have 
blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Detzel. namely: Bertie L., Edward 
M., Olivia, Florence, Louise, Marie and Ida. Religiously ]\Ir. Detzel 
and his family are members of the Roman Catholic church. 

John Bryce, V. S., proprietor of a large livery establishment at the 
corner of Fifth and French streets, Erie, Pennsylvania, is a native of 
Canada, born at ]\Tount Pleasant, Brant county, Ontario. His parents, 
George and Margaret C. Bryce. emigrated to Canada, in 1843. from their 
native town of Doune. Scotland, and became well-known and highly 
respected pioneers, while their sons attained prominence in their various 
walks of life. The eldest son. Rev. George Bryce, LL. D., was a pioneer 
in the then newly created province of Manitoba. In 1871. he was com- 
missioned by the Presbyterian church of Canada to establish a college 
near Fort Garry, on the Red River of the North, as a center of learning 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 133 

for the Presbyterian youth of the colony, and in time he saw his work 
grow into the Manitoba College, which to-day is the most prominent of 
the several colleges comprising the University of Manitoba. Also, for 
years, he was in the employ of the government in the work of organizing 
the public school system of that province. Robert H. Bryce, third son 
of George Bryce, is a prominent and influential merchant of Manitoba. 
The fourth son, Peter H. Bryce, M. A., M. D., a graduate of Toronto 
University and other colleges, held several positions of honor in Canada, 
among which was that of chief executive health officer of Toronto, under 
the provincial government, which position he filled for a long term of 
years. Alexander Bryce, of Toronto, the youngest son in this family, 
also made a name for himself in his calling, he having been one of the 
first to enter into the supplying of dairy products to the city of Toronto, 
in a thoroughly scientific manner, in which business he was very success- 
ful. The only surviving daughter of the family is the wife of Dr. Mar- 
quis, of Brantford, Ontario. 

John Bryce was the second son. After completing his studies in 
the academy of his native village, he went to work in his father's shops, 
where he laid the foundation of that accurate knowledge of horses, which 
was extended by a full course of study at the famous Ontario Veterin- 
ary College of Toronto, founded by the Edinburg professor, Dr. Andrew 
Smith. After practicing his profession for a year or two in the city of 
Brantford, near his native place, he came to Erie. That was in 1872. 
Here he entered upon the practice of his profession, meeting with suc- 
cess from the first, and for years has maintained an acknowledged posi- 
tion at the head of veterinary ranks in Erie county. In connection with 
his practice, he has for years conducted a livery business. He started 
with a, livery barn on French street, between Fourth and Fifth, and in 
1887 purchased the site of his present establishment at Fifth and French 
streets, upon which he erected a commodious brick structure. In 1893 
he bought of Elliott Bros, their stock and business at 130 West Twelfth 
street, and established the People's Hack and Livery Co. He made 
still another addition to his business, in 1894, when he purchased the 
livery stock at the old Knoll stables, at 20 West 18th street. The two 
latter stables, however, he afterward disposed of. For a number of 
years Dr. Bryce was a member of the Executive Committee of the 
Erie County Agricultural Society, and as such was a potent factor in 
advancing the w^ork of that society. Also the Doctor has been influen- 
tial in Erie and Erie county in developing a taste for high class carriage 
horses, having brought here and sold many fine animals. 

Dr. Bryce married in June, 1877, Miss Belle Forbes, elder daughter 
of the late Robert and Agnes (Gourley) Liddell, and granddaughter of 
James Liddell. The Gourley and the Liddell families came to Erie 
county about 1830. They became pioneers in the iron business at Erie, 
and the originators of what is now the Erie City Iron Works, the largest 
and most important industrial plant in Erie today. Dr. and Mrs. Bryce 
are the parents of three children : George Liddell, Roland Forbes and 
Marion. 

Dr. Bryce is a member of all the Erie Masonic bodies and also of 
the board of trade and the chamber of commerce. He is secretary of 
the Veterinary Medical Association of Erie county, a branch of the 
state organization. His city home is at 821 Chestnut street but in the 
summer he finds pleasure, if not profit in looking after his farm situated 



134 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

in a picturesque location on the Kuhl road, in Greene township at the 
Harbor creek Hne. 

William B. Fltcktngf.r. A well known national figure in the field 
of insurance, William B. Flickinger, of Erie, is one of the strongest and 
most popular men in his line in the east, being an active member of the 
firm of Downing and Flickinger and manager of the department of 
accounts in the general agency of the Insurance Company of North 
America, at Erie, of which Mr. Downing is head. With all his suc- 
cesses in his chosen business, Mr. Flickinger has attained wide and ben- 
eficial influence in the public affairs of his city, county and state; has 
been a leader in numerous movements of a humane and charitable 
nature; is a Mason of high rank and a man of broad sympathies and 
liberal mind. Mr. Flickinger has given the best of his energies, his exec- 
utive abilities and his strength of thought and feelings to the develop- 
ment and higher progress of Erie. He is a native of the city, born on 
the 2()th of April, 1859, son of the late George and Anna (Major) Flick- 
inger, both natives of Hert, Rheinpfalz, Germany. The family located 
at Erie in 1852, and the father was there engaged in the manufacture 
of brick for many years. He died on the 16th of April, 1887, his wife 
having preceded him August 35, 1885. 

Mr. Flickinger, of this sketch, began his insurance career on the 
1st of April, 1882, when he accepted a position with the local firm of 
W. B. Warner and Company, and on January 1. 1884, entered the employ 
of the agency conducted as Downing and Crowell. The junior member 
withdrawing in the following year, a new firm was organized under the 
style of Downing and Flickinger, and from that time to the present the 
latter has been one of the most progressive insurance men in Pennsylva- 
nia. On December 1, 1906, he accepted service with the governing com- 
mittee of the "Union" at Chicago, as manager of the department of pub- 
licity. He resigned that position July 1, 1907, to return to Erie and be- 
come manager of the department of accounts in the office of J. F. Down- 
ing, general agent of the western departments of the Insurance Company 
of North America and Philadelphia Underwriters. Besides an active 
leader in the local insurance field, ]\Ir. Flickinger has served as president 
of the .State Association of Local Fire Insurance Agents for three terms 
and an active member of the executive, legislative and grievance com- 
mittees of the National Association, having been honored with the 
chairmanship of the last named committee for two years. 

Mr. Flickinger has served with ability and honor in the city, county 
and state governments, having represented the Fifth ward of Erie in 
the common branch of the council, been auditor of the county and 
spent the legislative sessions of 1889 and 1891 as a member of the 
Pennsylvania house of representatives. His record as a fraternalist 
shows that he is a past master of Perry Lodge, No. 392 (A. F. & A. M.), 
past thrice illustrious master of Jerusalem Council, No. 33, and past 
grand master of the Grand Council, Royal and Select Master Masons 
of Pennsylvania; also past exalted ruler of Erie lodge of Elks and 
past district deputy of the order. He is identified with the Erie Cham- 
ber of Commerce and Board of Trade, and with the Erie, Country and 
Shrine clubs, and since the organization of the Northwestern Penn- 
sylvania Humane Society has been perhaps its most vital and persis- 
tent working force. Shortly after it was founded he became its sec- 
retary and so continued until 1906. since that year having served as 
its president. In his religious belief he is a liberal Unitarian. Mr. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 135 

Flickinger's wife was Miss Katherine M. Kraft, daughter of J. P. Kraft, 
of Erie, and six children have been born of his marriage — Florence 
L., Walter E., Harrison W., Dale W., Carlton P. and Lucile G. Flick- 
inger. 

Rev, Bernard Kloecker. As pastor of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic 
Church of Erie, Rev. Bernard Kloecker is the spiritual adviser of a 
large congregation, who have implicit confidence in his knowledge, 
honesty and integrity, and often seek his wisdom in counsel, and hesi- 
tate not to follow his advice. A native of Germany, he was born Feb- 
ruary 17, 1852, in Weseke, Westphalia, where he obtained his first 
knowledge of books. In 1873 he was graduated from the Gymnasium 
in Munster, Westphalia, after which he entered the American College 
of St. Mauritz, at Munster, and subsequently, in the same city, took a 
course in philosophy and theology at the Royal Prussian Academy, pre- 
paring himself for the ministry. 

On May 26, 1877, Father Kloecker was ordained a priest at Osna- 
bruck, Hanover. A few months later, he came to the United States, 
arriving in New York City November 2, 1877. His first appointment 
was that of assistant to Rev. M. A. De La Roque, of Warren, Penn- 
sylvania. The following year he was made rector of the Catholic church 
at Kane, Pennsylvania, where he also had charge of the Catholics in 
neighboring places in McKean, Elk and Forest counties. While in 
Kane, he labored assiduously, in 1879 establishing a parochial school, 
in 1880 building a parsonage, and in various other ways advancing 
the material and spiritual welfare of his parish. 

On August 4, 1887, Father Kloecker came to Erie to assist Rev. 
J. A. Oberhofer, Rector of St. Joseph's Church, whose health was then 
in a precarious condition. The Reverend Father died January 16, 
1889, and two days later Rev. Father Kloecker was appointed his suc- 
cessor. During the score of years that have since elapsed, his labors 
have been successful and fruitful of good, and in witnessing the hap- 
piness and prosperity of his people he is each day reaping his reward 
as a just and conscientious keeper of his little flock. 

Rev. Seweryn Erazm Lutomsko-Niedbaski. Among those who are 
rendering devoted service in the priesthood of the Catholic church in 
Erie county is Father Niedbaski, whose important charge is that of 
Holy Trinity parish. With all zeal and consecration has he labored for 
the temporal and spiritual welfare of his flock, and his popularity in 
the community is not one of merely ecclesiastical order but is based 
upon his generous attributes of character, so that he has the high esteem 
of all who know him. 

Father Seweryn Erazm Lutomsko-Niedbaski is a native of Prus- 
sian Poland, where he was born in December, 1868, a scion of one of 
the old and honored families of his native land. He was afforded the 
advantages of the historic University of Breslau and in 1893 he came 
to the United States, where he completed his ecclesiastical education in 
the Polish Seminary in the city of Detroit, Michigan. He was ordained 
to the priesthood of the noble old mother church, at Victoria, Texas, 
in 1898, and his was the distinction of having been pastor of the 
Polish parish at Panna Maria, Karnes county, that state, the oldest 
Polish parish in the United States. This important incumbency he 
retained for a period of five years, at the expiration of which he came 
to Erie, where, on the 14th of October, 1904, he assumed the pastoral 



136 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

charge of Holy Trinity parish. His labors here have been prolific in 
the upbuilding of the parish, and his influence has permeated all depart- 
ments of the church work, where he has exercised the beneficent functions 
of his calling with all of consecration and devotion. He shows a loyal 
interest in all that makes for the well being of the community, and his 
earnest labors have gained for him the affectionate regard of those to 
whom he ministers. 

William Br.\ham Washabaugh, M. D. The medical fraternity 
of Erie has enrolled among its coterie of physicians and surgeons many 
able and efficient practitioners whose attainments and skill in the vari- 
ous departments of that profession give the brotherhood as high a rank 
here as in any city in the country. The demands made upon the 
medical practitioners in this day are strenuous,, considering that this is 
an age for advancement, particularly along all lines of materia medica 
and surgery and that one is required to apply himself diligently and 
study in order to keep abreast of the times in the ever accumulating 
knowledge of the art and the ever recurring discoveries pertaining there- 
to. Worthy of mention among the younger men, who are devoting 
their lives to this most of all humanitarian vocations and who possess 
the qualifications necessary to a successful career, is Dr. William Bra- 
ham Washabaugh. During the comparatively brief period he has been 
active in the profession his application to his duties and the interest 
he has manifested in rendering medical services, have won him respect 
and established his reputation for integrity and efficiency. The doctor 
inherits his professional instincts and qualifications, his father being 
a prominent physician. He is a son of Dr. D. J. and Sarah J. (Braham) 
Washabaugh. The father, a native of Fayette county, Pennsylvania, 
graduated from the Miami Medical College, at Cincinnati, Ohio, and is 
now engaged in the practice of his profession at Grove City, this state. 
The Keystone state is also the birthplace of his son. Dr. William B. 
Washabaugh, his nativity occurring at Anandale, Butler county, Novem- 
ber 18, 1878. 

The Grove City high school afforded Dr. Washabaugh his elemen- 
tary education privileges and after he had successfully mastered the 
branches of study taught there, at the age of seventeen years he was 
matriculated in Grove City College, where he pursued a classical course 
and was graduated in 1900. Being then prepared to enter upon the 
studies immediately pertaining to his chosen profession, in that year 
he became a student at Jefferson Medical College, at Philadelphia, Penn- 
sylvania. By taking special work the doctor was able to complete the 
course of study in less time than usually required and he was graduated 
with his degree in medicine in June, 1903. The same year he passed 
the state board examination at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and, at once 
returning to this city, was appointed assistant surgeon of the Pennsyl- 
vania Soldiers & Sailors Home. Faithfully performing the duties that 
devolved upon him in this position until July 1, 1905, he resigned, and 
the following October opened an office at No. 920 East Twentv-first 
street. There he pursued exclusively a general private practice until 
Dr. Chapin. chief surgeon of the Pennsylvania Soldiers & Sailors Home, 
resigned Octol)er 1, !!»()(;. when he assumed the work in his stead, and 
accepted the appointment as surgeon of the Home in December of the 
same year, serving until ]\Iarch 1, 1909, when he resigned. How- 
ever, Dr. Washabaugh, still carries on a general practice. 



, "^c NEW YOnK 
T'UBLIC LIBRARY 



A8T»R. L€W«X 
TiLPfcN FOUNflATiau. 




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HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 137 

The doctor's home life is happy in his marriage to Miss EHzabeth 
C. Mahon, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a daughter of George C. 
Mahon. The couple have three children : William, Elizabeth, and 
David. Dr. Washabaugh's political views find expression in the princi- 
ples of the Republican party, while religiously he is an adherent of the 
Wayne Street Methodist church. Profoundly interested in his pro- 
fession he seeks affiliation with related movements and organizations, 
among which is the Erie County Medical Society, of which he is treas- 
urer. The doctor has shown himself to be a sincere and earnest 
worker in his strivings to benefit humanity within the scope of medical 
knowledge and surgical skill and is justly entitled to the reputation he 
sustains as a practitioner. 

George Truscott Bliss. Our restless, vigorous, forceful nation is 
the native home of men of brawn and brain whose influence has impressed 
itself along the winding channels of thought, progress and accomplishment. 
Conspicuous among this number is George Truscott Bliss, a prominent 
citizen and manufacturer of Erie, now serving as secretary of the Erie 
City Iron Works. He is essentially and broadly American, and his 
lineage is one that is traced back to early colonial times, the founder of 
the Bliss family having settled in New England about 1630. Among 
his Bliss ancestors, and likewise among the EUicott family, from which 
he is descended, were heroes of the Revolution and men of prominence 
in the management of public affairs ; thus it may be seen that he comes 
of an ancestry in which the qualities of patriotism and loyalty to coun- 
try were predominating characteristics, attributes which are his birth- 
right, and have doubtless influenced him in his personal career. A son 
of the late John H. and Ellen (Christie) Bliss, he was born, May 21, 
1864, in the city of Erie, of English stock. 

John Bliss, grandfather of George T., was a son of Joseph Bliss, 
who served as captain of a company of artillery in the regular Contin- 
ental Army of the United Colonies during their struggle for independ- 
ence. He, himself, entered the regular army of the United States in the 
War of 1812, being first commissioned lieutenant, and afterwards being 
promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was a brave soldier, 
ever in the thickest of the fight, and at the Battle of Lundy's Lane was 
severely wounded. He died, December 22, 1854, in St. Augustine, 
Florida. John Bliss married Letitia Ellicott, whose emigrant ancestor 
emigrated from England to the United States about 1730, settling in 
Maryland. Her father. Major Andrew Ellicott, great-grandfather of 
George T. Bliss, was born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, January 24, 
1754. Patriotic and public-spirited, he devoted the greater part of his 
life to the service of his country, and, although a member of the Society 
of Friends, commanded a battalion of Maryland mihtia in the Revolu- 
tionary war. In 1784 he was employed by the state of Virginia in fixing 
the boundary line between that state and Pennsylvania. Two years later 
he was commissioned by the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsyl- 
vania to run the northern boundary of this state. In 1788 he was 
directed to make a survey of the islands in the Allegheny and Ohio 
rivers, within the state of Pennsylvania, a work that took him a year. 
He was then commissioned by the United States government to locate 
the western boundary of the state of New York, and ascertain the 
validity of that state to the territory which is now the northern portion 
of Erie county, and after much labor and many hardships succeeded 



138 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

in locating the present boundary line. The next important service ren- 
dered to the country by Major Ellicott was that of surveying the District 
of Columbia and the City of Washington, a work that he began in 1790. 
In 1796, the government was again in need of one in whom it could 
place implicit confidence, and General Washington, seemingly ever con- 
scious of the Major's sterhng qualities, appointed him commissioner 
to fix the boundary between the United States and the Spanish-American 
possessions. Several years later during the very first months of Jef- 
ferson's administration, that president tendered to Major Ellicott the 
surveyor generalship of the United States, a position that he accepted 
subject to conditions of his own dictation. On September 1, 1813, the 
major was appointed professor of mathematics in the West Point Mili- 
tary Academy. Moving there with his family, he subsequently resided 
in that place until his death. August 20, 1820. He left a widow and nine 
children, one of them being Letitia, wife of John Bliss. 

John H. Bliss was born in Fort Howard, Wisconsin, October 4, 
1823, and was the first white male child born in the Northwest Terri- 
tory, and was the only child of the parental household to reach years of 
maturity. He fitted himself for the profession of a civil engineer in the 
Cincinnati College, and for two years thereafter was employed in the 
survey of the Erie extension of the Pennsylvania Canal. He subsequently 
studied law at Little Falls. New York, and in Bufifalo, attended lectures 
at Harvard College, and on January 15, at Troy, New York, was ad- 
mitted to the bar. Afterwards returning to Bufifalo, he gave up the 
practice of his profession, and remained a resident of that city for a 
time. Locating in Erie in 1855, he soon formed a partnership with Mr. 
George Selden, and established a felloe factory, which they operated 
for three years, when they also began the manufacture of oil barrels, 
then in great demand, continuing until 1864. In that year, in company 
with Mr. W. J. F. Liddell, under the firm name of Liddell, Seldon & 
Bliss, another change of importance was made. This firm purchased 
the Erie City Iron Works, of which Mr. John H. Bliss was the president 
for a number of years. A detailed account of his connection with this 
important industry may be found elsewhere in this volume, in the 
history given of these Iron Works. 

John H. Bliss was twice married. He married first, in 1848, Mary 
Lovering. He married second. October 1, 1850, Ellen, daughter of Dr. 
Peter Christie, surgeon in the L'nited States Navy. She died in 1893, 
in Philadelphia. After his active retirement from business, Mr. Bliss, 
removed, in 1901, to the Hawaiian Islands, and resided in Honolulu 
until his death. October 16. 1907. Of his union with his second wife, 
four children were born, namely: Anna, who married Rev. S. D. Mc- 
Connell, of the Episcopal church of Philadelphia ; Horace John, died at 
the age of eighteen years ; Louise B., widow of the late Wallace Dewitt, 
of Flarrisburg; and George T., of this biographical sketch. 

Obtaining the rudiments of his education in the private schools of 
Erie, George T. Bliss went with his parents to Charlotte, North Caro- 
lina, just as he was entering his teens, and there for a year and a half 
attended the Carolina Military Institute. Returning to Erie, he con- 
tinued his studies in the Erie Academy, afterwards attending a private 
school three years. In 1879 he entered De Vaux College, and at the end 
of a year went to Gambier, Ohio, where he was for two years a student 
in Harcourt Academy, a boys' boarding school. Going then to Troy, 
New York, he completed his studies at the Polytechnic Institute of that 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 139 

city. In 1883, desirous of learning the trade of a machinist, Mr. BUss 
entered the machine shop of the Erie City Iron Works. Although he 
had the exceptional advantage of being an employe in the establishment 
of which his father was at the head, he performed with alacrity and 
fidelity all of the duties of his place, working for four consecutive years 
ten hours a day, and in almost every position in the shop, becoming 
familiar with the work in each department, and at all times studying 
closely steam engine construction. His value and worth being recog- 
nized by the firm, Mr. Bliss was made assistant superintendent of the 
plant in 1893, and upon its incorporation as the Erie City Iron Works, 
in 1894, he was elected secretary, a position which he has since most 
ably and satisfactorily filled. A lover of aquatic sports, Mr. Bliss is 
specially interested in boating, being a skilful yachtsman, and during 
his vacations finds his greatest enjoyment and recreation in cruising 
on the lakes. He was the moving spirit in the organizing of the Erie 
Yacht Club, in 1894, and was made its first commodore. 

On January 16, 1894, Mr. Bliss married Grace, daughter of I. A. 
Forman, of Erie. Two children have been born to them : Meriam and 
John H. Mr. Bliss is a man of broad and practical sympathies, ever 
active in advancing the welfare of his native city, and is held in high 
esteem throughout the community. Both he and his wife are members 
of St. Paul's Episcopal church. 

Dr. John J. Bell is a physician and surgeon of the Bay city. 
His education fitting him for the profession, is as wide as could be 
desired and in every particular he is eminently qualified to sustain the 
splendid reputation, which is already his, and to further extend his use- 
fulness in the alleviation of human sufifering and attain to still greater 
eminence as a benefactor of mankind. His birth occurred in Harbor 
Creek township, Erie county, on August 19, 1868, and he descends from 
an ancestry, the members of which took part in many of the wars in 
which this country has been involved, his family being numbered among 
the pioneers of the Keystone state, who settled there prior to the war 
for American independence. His great-grandfather, Captain Arthur 
Bell, was born in Paxton, Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, January 12, 
1752, and was a distinguished soldier in the Revolutionary war. wherein 
he was raised to the military rank prefacing his name. With his family 
he removed to western New York in 1802, locating upon the land upon 
which the town of Westfield now stands. His wife was Elenor Mont- 
gomery and death terminated his activities on August 6, 1834. Wil- 
liam Bell Sr., the grandfather of Dr. Bell, was a native of Pennsylvania, 
born in Northumberland county, March 14, 1791, and he, too, removed 
with the family to Westfield, New York, in 1802, in which locality he 
followed general farming pursuits in connection with running a grist 
mill and also a general merchandise establishment. He was a soldier 
in the war of 1812. having during that conflict, for his bravery and 
courage, been raised to the rank of colonel. His death occurred August 
23, 1872, while his wife, who was Nancy Shipboy, entered into rest 
January 13, 1842. Among his children was Alexander M. Bell, who 
wedded Rachel Wallace, these being the parents of Dr. John J. Bell. 
Mrs. Bell was a native of Scotland, born in 1845, who, when a girl of 
fifteen years of age, came to America to join her brothers, Mathew 
and Benjamin Wallace, at Westfield, Chautauqua county, New York. 



liu HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

It was in that county that the elder Mr. Bell was born in 1835 and early 
in life he became apprenticed to a millwright, with whom he learned 
his trade and for a number of years plied his craft as a journeyman. 
Although he was a very successful mechanic he gradually withdrew his 
liking for the occupation and for the past forty years has been engaged 
in farming in Harbor Creek township, where he now resides on a 
farm containing one hundred and ninety acres, upon which he carries 
on a lucrative vineyard business. To Alexander Bell and his wife were 
born the following children: Clayton A., an agriculturist of Harbor 
Creek township, who is united in marriage with Ruby Hinton, a grand- 
daughter of Captain Hinton, a pioneer of Erie county; William A., 
who resides in Erie but who operates the old Bell farm in Harbor Creek 
township, his wife being Belle Stirks, daughter of Mrs. Catherine Stirks; 
Dr. John J. Bell ; and George B., who resides on the Pennsylvania state 
line and is engaged in railroading. 

On his father's farm Dr. Bell was reared, nothing unusual having 
occurred during his boyhood days to break the general run of experi- 
ences common to the country lad, his time during the summer months hav- 
ing been taken up by general agricultural duties while during the winter 
periods he availed himself of the educational advantages of the district 
schools. Later, however, he pursued a course of study at Erie Academy, 
and then became a student in the Pennsylvania State Normal School 
at Edinboro, this county, from whfch he was graduated in 1893. While 
yet a junior in this school he taught for one year in the Harbor Creek 
schools. Following his course of training in this institution, he taught 
for two years in the schools of Wattsburg, this county, and for one 
year at Waterford, this county. All the while Mr. Bell had a definite 
object in view and that was to pursue a professional career and, upon 
relinquishing his duties as a preceptor, in 1897 he entered the College of 
Physicians & Surgeons, at Baltimore, Maryland, from which institu- 
tion he was graduated in the spring of 1901. Following his graduation 
he at once entered upon the practice of medicine at Wattsburg, later 
returning to Baltimore, ^Maryland, where he spent one year, part of 
which he devoted to study at Johns Hopkins University and the re- 
mainder of the year he was chief resident surgeon of the Baltimore 
City Hospital. The latter experience considerably augmented his knowl- 
edge, both along the lines of materia medica and particularly that ap- 
pertaining to the several departments of surgery, and when in 1905, 
he located in this city as a resident physician, he was in every particular 
highly qualified to successfully pursue his profession. Since taking up his 
residence here he has become widely known, both as a scholar and in the 
application of his knowledge and experience and has won that measure 
of success which has gained him an excellent patronage. In addition to 
carrying on his private practice, his professional services also reach 
other fields for he is a physician and surgeon of the Lake Shore Rail- 
road, and the Erie, Edinboro & Cambridge Springs Interurban Railroad. 
His services are also elicited as a member of the stafif of surgeons of 
St. Vincent's Hospital and he is moreover the physician for the poor 
directors at East Erie. 

Dr. Bell has been twice united in marriage. His first wife was 
Mary G. Stinson, a daughter of Joseph Stinson, a prominent citizen of 
Harborcreek and she entered into rest in September. 1904. leaving 
her husband and two daughters, namely: Lienor and May S., the latter 
having passed away in February, 1907. The doctor's second marriage 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 141 

was with Miss Alice V. Austin, of Wattsbnrg, this county, a daughter of 
Alford H. Austin, and the couple have since been residing in an elegant 
residence equipped with every convenience with which to make domestic 
life happy. That the doctor keeps abreast of the times in all depart- 
ments of knowledge and science pertaining to his profession is evident 
from the fact that he holds membership in the Erie County Medical 
Society, the Northwestern Medical Society, the Pennsylvania State 
Medical Society and also the American Medical Association. His fra- 
ternal relations are with the Masons, in which order he belongs to the 
blue lodge and also to the chapter. The Odd Fellows, too, claim his 
membership and he belongs to the subordinate lodge and also to the 
encampment and Maccabees. 

Henry Neubauer. Retired from the wearing activities of life 
these twenty years, Henry Neubauer, of Erie, one of its most venerable 
citizens cannot but enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that he is recog- 
nized by several generations of its men and women as one of the 
founders of its business interests and a strong promoter of its standing 
as a city. The reputation of a city is gauged by a variety of standards 
and certainly one of these tests is the ability which it possesses as a 
contributor to the comforts of the public and an entertainer of strangers 
and guests. In fact, the typical commercial traveler would go to the 
length of asserting that a city is "known by the hotels it keeps." Now, 
both Henry Neubauer and his son, Frank (who is now the active mem- 
ber of the old firm of Neubauer and Son) have very largely contributed 
to Erie's standing both as a commercial city and a municipal host and, 
undoubtedly, are public benefactors. 

The elder man is a native of Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, born on 
the 22nd of April, 1825, son of John and Catherine (Weaver) Neu- 
bauer, also a native of that duchy. The family emigrated to the United 
States in the early part of the fifties, but after spending a few months 
in the city of Erie its home was transferred to Greene township, where- 
in the father engaged in farming until his death November 11, 1893. 
His wife had passed away on the preceding 17th of June. The son 
Henry had been reared to manhood in the fatherland as a farmer and a 
shoemaker, and upon locating in Erie opened a shoe shop on the public 
docks, where he both manufactured boots and shoes and conducted a 
retail trade, employing quite a number of workmen. In 1857 he located 
near the corner of French and Sixth streets, where he continued in the 
shoe business for a number of years, then establishing a grocery at the 
same stand. This he so successfully conducted for eighteen years thaf 
in 1870 he erected the elegant Arcade block, on State near Eighth street, 
adjoining the Savings and Trust Bank, where he continued the grocery 
business until 1878. In that year he remodeled the block, adding 
largely to its conveniences and attractiveness, making it one of the 
finest business structures in the city and opening, as its main feature, 
the Arcade Hotel. In 1883 his son Frank, who had been his main 
assistant in his later business successes, became his formal partner 
under the firm name of Neubauer and Son, and in 1889, upon the re- 
tirement of the senior from active work, assumed the immediate man- 
agement of all the Neubauer interests. On April 22, 1851, Henry 
Neubauer wedded Elizabeth K., daughter of Michael Lederer, of Erie, 
and of the eight children born to their marriage four are living. 



142 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Frank Xeubauer, previously mentioned, is a native of Erie, born on 
the 26th of August, 1857. He obtained his education in its city schools, 
and in his early youth became a clerk in his father's business, assisting 
ably in the development of his various enterprises until he became a 
partner of the firm Xeubauer and Company, formed in 1883. As stated, 
he became sole proprietor of the large business upon the retirement of 
the senior partner in 1889. From year to year its scope has been ex- 
tended and its facilities improved until the "Arcade" is now the lead- 
ing house of its line in Erie, and in every respect compares favorably 
with establishments of the same kind found in the larger cities. And, 
while developing this business to its present modern standing, Mr. 
Neubauer has also established a high reputation as a citizen of breadth, 
enterprise and popularity. He is an active member of the Erie Cham- 
ber of Commerce and Board of Trade ; is identified, fraternally, with 
the Elks and the Masons, having reached the thirty-second degree, 
Scottish Rite in the latter fraternity, and being a member of Keystone 
Lodge No. 455. Mr. Neubauer's wife, to whom he was married June 1, 
1880, was Mary Moran, daughter of John Moran, of Erie. 

A. P. DuRLiN. The annals of Erie would be radically incomplete 
without mention of A. P. Durlin, deceased, whose life has been closely 
interwoven with the early history of the city upon which his individu- 
ality has been indelibly stamped. A newspaper man of exceptional 
ability, he exerted a wide influence as a publisher and for many years 
engaged in the job printing business, being a printer of the old school 
whose generation is now an item of recollection. Not only in the art 
of printing and as a newspaper man and publisher did he attain a high 
place in the life of the city but also for the part he took in municipal 
affairs. He was the first water commissioner of Erie, was chief of 
the fire department in the days of hand-pumps and also served as a 
member of the city council, in which honorable capacity he displayed 
uncommon administrative ability and was instrumental in devising 
means and promoting measures to which the present prosperous munic- 
ipality is largely indebted. 

Born in Fredonia, Chautauqua county. New York, August 30, 
1819, Mr. Durlin was a son of David and Ann Durlin. In boyhood 
he left his native state and came to Erie where he learned the print- 
ing trade. Having served his apprenticeship he worked as a journeyman 
for a time when he returned to New York and secured employment in 
newspaper offices. In 1840, coming back to this city, he accepted a 
position as printer, on Oliver Spafford's Spelling Book, his next engage- 
ment being with the newspaper. Observer. Thus far his career had been 
one of exceptional merit and steady progress so that in May, 1S43, 
three years after his return to Erie, in association with B. F. Sloan, 
he purchased and published the Observer, of which he continued pro- 
prietor until January 20, 1856. In the spring of that year he took up 
his abode in Lyons, Iowa, where he published the Lyons Advocate, 
continuing it successfully until 1861, when he gave it up and went to 
Fredonia, New York. While in Lyons his popularity became wide- 
spread and he officiated for a term as postmaster. Upon arriving 
in the Empire state Mr. Durlin, in association with his brother-in-law, 
W. IMcKinstry, engaged in the manufacture of paper at Laona, two 
miles from Fredonia. His connection with this enterprise terminated 
after four years and, going westward, he again located in Lyons, Iowa, 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 143 

where he revived the Advocate which he pubHshed until 1873. In 
that year he sold the paper and came to this city. Here in 1876 he 
established a job printing business and continued it until his death. 

Mr. Durlin was familiar with the newspaper business in every 
detail and in the conduct of his job office became popular for his ex- 
cellent workmanship, while as a business man of keen discernment, 
employing in the conduct of his affairs only such methods as were in 
accord with a high standard of commercial ethics, he contributed much 
to the industrial worth of the city and was a leading factor in the 
promotion of measures to enhance the city's interests and make it 
attractive as a trade center. Highly public-spirited he was enthusi- 
astic, especially during his early life, in his participation in municipal 
affairs. He was a member of the city council at the period of the 
memorable "railroad war" in 1853 and played a leading part in 
the contest. In the days of the bucket brigade and hand-pumps he 
was a member of the fire department and served as the first water 
commissioner of the city. The full round of the city's life benefited 
by his activities and in the days when the Wayne Grays were the pride 
of Erie he was a member of that organization. Being a musician of 
considerable talent he belonged to the Erie band and was a member 
of that musical circle when every constituent, except himself, met 
death at the burning of the steamer, Erie, off Barcelona, he escaping 
the fate of the others by mere accident. Mr. Durlin was to have ac- 
companied his comrades on the excursion and was at the wharf while 
the excursionists were going abroad. He left the wharf to escort a 
young lady home, expecting to get back in time to join the party, but 
upon reaching the wharf the boat had sailed and thus he was saved 
from the calamity which befell the boat a few hours later. 

As to his personal characteristics Mr. Durlin possessed all the 
qualities of a progressive and loyal citizen and, throughout his entire 
career, enjoyed the profound respect of all who knew him. He was 
decided in his convictions on all questions including politics and religion 
and had the courage to maintain and defend the principles for which 
he stood. Although he was outspoken yet he never engendered dislike 
for all knew that what he said came from the heart, being the expres- 
sion of what he believed to be right and, consequently, those who 
disagreed with him were never his enemies. As a man of strict in- 
tegrity, whose conduct was in obedience to a high standard of morals, 
he was known throughout the city while his honesty was proverbial. 
No citizen commanded higher esteem or more implicit confidence. His 
noble traits of character exalted him in favor of his fellowmen and 
enhanced his power in public matters. He exerted a telling influence 
in public affairs and. having the reputation of being invariably in the 
right, his counsel and advice were constantly sought in the consideration 
of momentous questions. Amid the cares of a busy life he never lost 
sight of the needs of his higher nature and was faithful in the per- 
formance of his religious duties and molded his actions in harmony 
with his faith. For many years he was a communicant of St. Paul's 
Episcopal church but later in life he became a member of St. Albans 
parish. In his death, which occurred April 30, 1897, Erie lost one of 
her most progressive citizens, whose noble and useful life bequeathed 
to her a valuable legacy in deeds which will long preserve his memory. 

On the 22d of November, 1843, Mr. Durlin was united in marriage 
in this city to Miss Sarah Burton, the daughter of David and Eliza- 



144 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

beth Burton, old residents of Erie. Mrs. Durlin entered into rest in 
1903 when in her seventieth year. She was the mother of five chil- 
dren, but one of whom survives, namely: Willis B. 

Willis B. Durlin was born in the Fourth ward, of this city, April 
13, 1855, and when a babe of one year was taken by his parents to 
Lyons, Iowa. There he received his educational privileges in the pub- 
lic schools and then learned the printing trade under the supervision 
of his father. In 1873 he returned with his parents to this city where 
he engaged in the coal business with his uncle, A. P. Burton, until 
1870. when he joined his father in founding a job printing establish- 
ment. For four years, or until 1880, he remained in that connection 
and then accepted a position with the Stearns Manufacturing Com- 
pany, with which he continued for thirteen years. In 1893 he became 
associated with the Union Iron Works and in 1898 assumed his pres- 
ent position with A. Booth & Company, fish dealers, one of the largest 
and most important commercial enterprises in the city. Mr. Durlin 
is an aggressive business man and, inheriting the characteristics of his 
father, is a leading factor in the industrial and municipal life of Erie, 
being quite influential in the politics of the city, and was appointed a 
member of the board of water commissioners in 1901, the duties of 
which important office he has since continued to fill. In every partic- 
ular Mr. Durlin displays that wisdom and control which enable him 
to transact whatever business is placed within his hands with the ut- 
most precision and in every respect he is a representative type of the 
business man of the city. 

He was united in marriage in 1881 to Miss Harriet Gibson, a 
native of Buft'alo, New York, and to this union have been born the 
following children : Maude M., Willis F. and Gretchen. Mr. Durlin 
is interested in everything which is designed for the advancement of 
the city and to this end is a member of the Board of Trade. In every 
undertaking to which he has applied himself he has met with success 
and his excellent business judgment together with his executive capac- 
ities entitles him to honorable mention as one of Erie's representative 
citizens. 

Henry J. Conrath, the well known superintendent of the Henry 
Shenk Company, building contractors and manufacturers, is a native 
son of the city of Erie, born in its Second ward on the 5th of February, 
1865. His father, the late Herman J. Conrath, came to Erie from 
Germany in 1836, and he had lived in this city during the remainder 
of his life, dying in May of 1905, when seventy-two years of age. 
He had married Catherine Schnurr, who also claims Erie as the place 
of her nativity, and she is a daughter of one of the city's earliest pioneer 
residents. Their marriage was the first to be solemnized in the pres- 
ent St. Mary's Catholic church, the ceremony being performed before 
the interior of the building had been completed, and the wife is still 
living, being now in her seventy-fifth year. 

Henry J. Conrath received his educational training in St. Mary's 
parochial school, and as a boy his first employment was as a clerk in 
the "Ninety-nine" cent store owned by the late William Bell, and the 
youth spent three years in that establishment. After a year spent in 
the railroad shops he entered upon an apprenticeship at the carpenter's 
trade under Daniel McDonald, his apprenticeship covering five years. 



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A8TeR, Lenox 

;H.DEN FOUNOATinK/n 




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HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY . 145 

and following that period he spent one year with the Bouscher Com- 
pany. Then in 1885 he entered the employ of the Henry Shenk Com- 
pany, beginning as a journeyman carpenter, and his first promotion was 
to the foremanship of the mill, and after five years in that position he 
in 1901 was made the general superintendent of what is known as the 
Erie district and has charge of all the outside work of the company in 
this city and nearby territory. His connection with this company repre- 
sents the long period of twenty-four years, years of efficient and faith- 
ful service. 

Mr. Conrath married Miss jMagdalena Hart', who was born in Erie, 
a daughter of George and Catherine (Zimmer) Hart, and their chil- 
dren are: Clarence F. and Joseph G. The family are members of St. 
Mary's Roman Catholic church. 

Henry C. Dunn was born on a farm in Mill Creek township on 
the Edinborough plank road just south of the city limits, April 2, 1834, 
and was the son of John and Eliza (Reed) Dunn. The father was the 
son of Simeon Dunn, a pioneer resident of Erie and a native of New 
Jersey. Simeon Dunn was born at New Brunswick. April 13, 1783, son of 
Justice Dunn, Sr. The Dunn family removed to Pennsylvania in 1797, 
and located in Crawford county, where Simeon Dunn was married in 1802 
to Martha Lewis. In 1807 he removed to Erie. He was a private in 
the Erie Light Infantry, the first military organization in Erie county ; 
this company was for five months stationed in Buffalo during the War 
of 1812, and he frequently served as express rider to carry messages 
to Commodore Perry. He was a successful business man, accum- 
ulated considerable property, and built some of the first brick houses in 
Erie. 

John Dunn, father of Henry C, was born July 25, 1807, in Erie 
county, near the Crawford county line, and died August 13, 1891. As a 
boy, he saw the British fleet when in the lake near Erie. He married 
Eliza, daughter of George Reed. The Reed family came to Erie at an 
early date from Osw^ego, New York. In 1861 Mr. Dunn removed to 
North Girard, where he spent the remainder of his life. 

Henry C. Dunn spent his boyhood and received his education in 
the common schools of Mill Creek township. He then entered the 
employ of the American Express Company as clerk in the local ofifice, 
and held this position a number of years, resigning to take the position 
of ticket agent for the Lake Shore Railroad at Erie. Later Mr. Dunn 
engaged in the manufacture of brick, his first plant being located on 
Walnut Creek, but later he located the plant near the old light-house 
east of the city, where he continued to carry on a successful business 
for a number of years. He established a new plant just east of the city 
limits, on Twelfth street, where he made brick from shale. As his success 
enabled him to do so, he became interested in other lines of enterprise, 
and became one of the leading business men of the community. He was 
a member of the Masonic fraternity and also a member of the Board of 
Trade and Chamber of Commerce. He died April 28, 1908. 

Mr. Dunn married Anna Henderson, born in Erie September G, 1835, 
and who died March 17, 1900. To them was born one daughter, Jessie. 
Mrs. Dunn was the daughter of Joseph and Jane (Sweeney) Henderson, 
pioneers of Erie. Joseph Henderson was born near Braddock, Allegheny 
county, Pennsylvania, in 1798, and with his parents came to Erie county 
about 1800. The family later returned to Allegheny county, where 
Vol. 11—10 



14(i HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Joseph learned the trade of carpenter. Returning to Erie county, he 
was married there in 1S21. For many years he was the leading contractor 
and builder of Erie, among the buildings erected by him being the court 
house, shortly after the destruction of the old building in 1823, by fire. 
He also had charge of the United States public works at the docks in Erie, 
Cleveland, and other lake ports. In 1843 and again in 1859 he was 
elected county commissioner. An up-to-date and enterprising business 
man, he contributed largely to the growth and development of the town. 

Jacob Hammer is the present president of the common council of 
Erie, a well known citizen and a business man engaged in the merchant 
tailoring trade at o33 West Fourth street. He was born in the village 
of Neupfotz, Rhine province of Germany, on the 16th of November, 
1864. a son of John George and Mary Eva (Heidt) Hammer. The 
father, both a farmer and a basket seller, died in the year of 1876, and 
his wife in 1869, both in their native land of Germany. 

After a good educational training in the fatherland Jacob Hammer 
learned the tailoring trade and followed that line of work for two years 
before coming to the United States in 1881. On arriving in this country 
he came direct to Erie, where three of his uncles w^ere then living, 
Peter. Franz Philip and John Adam Heidt, and he made his home first 
with his uncle Peter. Here he completed the learning of his trade and 
■worked for difiterent employers until opening his own tailoring estab- 
lishment at his present location in 1891. In this city in 1906 he was 
elected to represent the Fourth ward in the common council, and re- 
elected to the ofifice in 1908 he was then made the president of the board. 
In politics he supports Democratic principles. 

]\Ir. Hammer married Annie Hampel, who was born in New York 
City, daughter of Julius Hampel. The Hampel family came to this 
country from Germany in 1865 and located first in the city of New 
York, but subsequently moved west to Ashtabula, Ohio, and from there 
came to Erie, where the father yet resides, but his wife is deceased. 
One son, Jacob G., has been born to Mr. and ]\Irs. Hammer. Mr. 
Hammer is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of the 
Homesteaders, of the Business Men's Exchange, and of the ]\Iaennerchor. 

Lynn E. Stancliff is the head of. the L. E. Stanclifif Carriage 
Works, the largest establishment of its kind in Erie county. He was 
born in _A\'aterford township of this county ]\Iay 29. 1866. and is a rep- 
resentative of one of the most prominent of the early pioneers of this 
community. Thomas Stancliff, his grandfather, came from Erie 
county. Ne\v York, bringing with him his wife, children and house- 
hold efifects in an ox wagon, and he was obliged to cut his way through 
the woods to his new home. In time he became one of the best known 
men of his neighborhood, which he served as a justice of the peace for 
many years, and he also did all of the surveying and deeding of land 
in that section in those early days. He lived 'an active and useful life, 
and is yet remembered and revered by many of the older residents of 
Erie county. While dismounting from his horse he ruptured an artery 
and bled to death, and was laid to rest in the cemeterv which he had 
laid out at Sharp's Corners. He had married Pollv Ann Peek, who 
was born in Erie county. New York, and she lived to' the age of eighty- 
seven years. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 147 

Ellsworth Stanclifif, their son, was born in Erie county, New York, 
]\Iarch 24, 1827, and volunteering with his brother Joseph in the Civil 
war he served in Burnside's t^eet under Commodore Forest. Return- 
ing to Waterford township after the close of the conflict he resumed his 
farming operations, and was also for eighteen years a member of the 
school board. He died on the 4th of August, 1897, while his wife died 
on the 27th of January, 1883. She bore the maiden name of Emeline 
Sherwood, and was born in Waterford township. Erie county, Penn- 
sylvania, a daughter of Cyrus Sherwood, of New England ancestry. 
He was born in \'ermont and became one of the early pioneers of 
Waterford township in Erie county, Pennsylvania, where he died in 
the year of 1880, at the age of about seventy-eight. He was one of 
thirteen children born to John Sherwood, and this John Sherwood was 
the grandfather of an even one hundred grandchildren at the time of 
his death. He had married a Miss Miller, and her brother served as 
a soldier in the Revolutionary war. Cyrus Sherwood married Har- 
riet Attwater, whose paternal ancestors came from near Fredonia, New 
York. To Ellsworth and Emeline Stancliff were born the following 
children : Nettie, the widow of Arthur Marsh and a resident of Titus- 
ville. Pennsylvania ; Cyrus, who died at the age of seven years during 
the Civil war; Thomas, who married Belle Taylor, from Waterford 
township, and they reside in New Mexico; Lynn E. and Linne E., 
twins, but the daughter died at the age of eighteen months ; Hattie, the 
wife of Michael Howe, of Dunkirk, New York; and John Sherwood, 
who married Mary Blair and lives in Girard township. 

Lynn E. Stancliff remained on the old home farm where he was 
reared until the year of 1886, receiving meanwhile a public school train- 
ing, and then learning the blacksmith's trade in West Mill Creek under 
the instructions of J. M. Shenk he in 1890 entered the service of the 
late W. L. Scott and for nine years was foreman in charge of all black- 
smithing, wagon work and plumbing, etc., on the Algeria farm, where 
he made his home. In the fall of 1898 he opened a country blacksmith 
shop on the corner of Twenty-sixth street and Brown's avenue, the site 
of his present large manufactory, and in the winter of 1906 he began 
enlarging his shop by the building of a paint and wood shop, while two 
years later, in 1908, he erected the present building for the L. E. Stan- 
cliff carriage works. This is a three story structure, forty by one hun- 
dred and twenty-five feet in dimensions, and they manufacture on a 
large scale carriages, wagons and sleighs, also having a blacksmithing 
and horse shoeing department, and do general repair work on vehicles 
of all kinds. The works furnish employment to fourteen skilled opera- 
tives, and as above stated this is the largest establishment of its kind 
in Erie county. 

Mr. Stancliff married Clara E. Geist, who was born in Mill Creek 
township, Erie county, to Jacob and Mary Ann (Evans) Geist. Jacob 
Geist is the oldest citizen of Mill Creek township, having been born in 
Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, on November 30, 1817, and he is a 
son of Andrew Geist, one of the earliest of the pioneers of Mill Greek 
township, w^hither he had moved from Lancaster county when his son 
Jacob was seventeen years of age. When he came to this county he 
bought one hundred acres of land, paying four dollars an acre, and this 
same land in 1907 was sold by his grandchildren at one thousand dol- 
lars an acre. Mary Ann, the wife of Jacob Geist, was born in Lan- 
caster county in 1826. a daughter of another of the pioneers of Mill 



148 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Creek township, Erie county. She died in the year of 1869. The chil- 
dren of Jacob and Mary Ann Geist were: Mary Ann, who married 
Jacob Zaun and died in ^lay of 190-4; Thomas, who died in 1891; 
Matilda, who married Amos Northrup ; Frank, who died in 1905 ; John, 
who has never married; Alvin, who married Flora Mason and lives in 
Girard; Edward, who married Addie Kreider; Seth, who married Cora 
Feisler; and Clara E., who became the wife of Mr. Stancliff. Two 
children, Harry E., and Ervin, both attending school, have been born 
to ]\Ir. and Mrs. Stancliff. He has served as a member of the school 
board of Mill Creek township for six years, being for four years the 
chairman of the board, and he is a member of the Board of Trade, the 
Chamber of Commerce and the Business Men's Exchange in Erie. His 
politics are Republican, and he is a member of both the fraternal order of 
Odd Fellows and of the Simpson Methodist Episcopal church. 

James McBrier, one of the honored sons of Pennsylvania, a man of 
progressive ideas, fine attainments and one who has made the most of his 
opportunities in life, has risen to a foremost place among the representa- 
tives of the industrial interests of northwestern Pennsylvania. The pres- 
ident of the Ball Engine Works, a former vice president of the Lake Car- 
riers Association, a member of the board of directors of both the Erie 
Trust Company and the First National Bank and prominent in mi.micipal 
affairs, such in part are the life and achievements of James McBrier. 

He was born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, a son of William and 
Mary (McMasters) McBrier. The father was a native of the north of 
Ireland, but coming to the United States when a young man he was for 
many years engaged in the lumber business in Allegheny City and at other 
points in Pennsylvania. The son James received his educational training 
and his start in business life in his native city. He became associated in 
business with his father when a young man, and after the latter's death 
he successfully carried on large interests. In 1872, while yet in bus- 
iness in Allegheny City, he with several other gentlemen established a 
wholesale lumber business in Erie, and in 1878 he located permanently in 
this city. In 1887 lie became interested in the Ball Engine Works, being 
made president of the company in the same year, and he has ever since 
continued at the head of that large and important industry. He was for 
many years largely interested in the lake trade, at one time owning three 
large freight steamers, and is now heavily interested as a stock holder in 
steamship companies, and as above stated was for a time the vice presi- 
dent of the Lake Carriers Association. In his native Allegheny City he 
was prominent in municipal affairs and served as president of the com- 
mon council two years, and was a member of the select council for sixteen 
years, while for twelve years he was president of the body. He is a mem- 
ber of the Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade in Erie. 

In 18G0 Mr. McBrier was married to Mary E. White, who traces her 
ancestry in America to the Mayflower, the Hon. D. N. \Miite, her 
father, at one time being proprietor of the Pittsburg Co)nmcrcial Gazette. 
The children of Mr. and Mrs. McBrier are: David N., the vice president 
of the Ball Engine Works ; Harry L. ; Frederick, the secretary of the 
same body; Mary Louise; and Lucy, the wife of Alexander Jarecki, of 
Erie. Mr. McBrier is a member of both the Masonic order and of the 
Presbyterian church. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 149 

GusTAVE C. Krack is one of the well known citizens and business 
men of West Erie, and member of the firm of Gustave Krack and Son, 
the leading sheet metal workers of the city. He was born in Wurtem- 
berg, Germany, October 20, 1868, son of Gustave and Matilda (Bausch) 
Krack. The family came direct to Erie in 1884. Both Gustave C. and 
his father learned the tinner's trade in the old country, where for at least 
six generations the oldest son of the family followed the same occupa- 
tion. Upon coming to Erie, the father worked first at the Car Works, and 
then with Conrad Flickinger, continuing with the latter until 1900. The 
son, however, not having thoroughly mastered his trade in Germany, 
completed it after coming to Erie. He then worked as a journeyman in 
various large cities of the country, returning to Erie in 1895. In 1900, 
he and his father formed the firm of Gustave Krack and Son, 
and engaged in business in a small shop at the rear of their resi- 
dence, No. 1025 West Eighteenth street. The business developed so rap- 
idly that it became necessary to occupy larger quarters, and in 1906 they 
erected their present plant at Nos. 1018-1020 West Eighteenth street. 
There they operate the largest factory in their line in the city, and, be- 
sides their specialty of sheet metal, manufacture warm air furnaces; 
ventilation, exhaust, blast and blow pipings ; skylights, metal ceilings, 
cornices, slate, tin and steel roofing and gutters. 

Gustave C. Krack is vice president of the Erie Builders' Exchange, 
and a member of the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Men's Ex- 
change. He also belongs to the I. O. O. F., the Elks and the Erie Maen- 
nerchor. Besides Gustave C, the children born to Mr. and Mrs. Krack 
were; IMatilda, who married George Neth of Erie; William, connected 
with Gustave Krack and Son ; Amelia ; Albert E., also with Gustave 
Krack & Son ; and Bertha, a trained nurse in the New York City Hospital. 
The members of the family residing in Erie, are all identified with St. 
John's Lutheran church. 

Henry F. Petrie. The son of an old and substantial pioneer and 
himself occupying a portion of an old and well known family estate, 
Henry F. Petrie, of Harbor Creek township, was born at Gospel Hill, 
September 25, 1870. He is a son of Frederick and Barbara (Weislogel) 
Petrie, both of whom were German born, the father being a native of 
Hesse Darmstadt and the mother of Baden. The father emigrated to 
the United States in 1855 locating at once in Erie county. Six years later 
he married and lived on diflerent farms in this locality and in 1877 pur- 
chased eighty-five acres which comprises his present homestead of sixty 
acres. Since 1896 the elder Mr. Petrie has lived in comfort and compar- 
ative retirement in Erie, on Myrtle street. 

Henry F. Petrie, of this sketch, is the fourth in a family of three 
boys and five girls, and made his home with his parents until he was 
twenty-six years of age. On March 25, 1897, he married Miss Nellie E. 
Gray, and their child is Florence May Petrie, born July 7, 1900. The 
wife was a native of Harbor Creek township, born March 7, 1874, daugh- 
ter of John H. and Lucia (Richmond) Gray. As to the parents, the 
father was born in Harbor Creek township while the mother was a native 
of Venango township. The grandparents of Mrs. Henry Petrie were 
Thomas and Esther (Hall) Gray, the grandfather being a native of 
county Latham, Ireland, and the grandmother of the state of Connecti- 
cut. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Henry F. Petrie lived for eight 
years on the paternal homestead after which the husband bought twenty- 



150 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

five acres of the old farm upon which he built a comfortable and modern 
residence. On this land he conducts general farming and has one of the 
attractive country places of the locality. He also has strong local influence 
in religious affairs, having been an active trustee of the Methodist church 
since 1901 and steward since 1905 and is also prominent in Sunday school 
work. In politics he is a Republican and is actively identified with the 
Protected Home Circle, known as Good Cheer Lodge, Xo. 137, of Erie. 

Armin J. Baur. For a number of years the name Baur has been 
associated in Erie with the charms of floral beauties and f ragrancies ; and 
it is a reputation which anyone might covet. The greenhouse of the 
Baur Floral Company on west Twenty-sixth street, and its elegant dis- 
play parlors in the Majestic Theatre building are both beauty spots and 
fascinating resorts, which stamp their proprietors as leaders in their line 
in northern Pennsylvania. Armin J. Baur, the moving spirit in the enter- 
prise, is a native of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, born April 4, 1878, son of 
Rev. C. A. and Philipina (Blass) Baur, both deceased. The father was 
a native of Germany ; was educated at the University of Heidelberg, and 
came to the United States in the late sixties, at that time beginning his 
ministry in the German Lutheran church. His calling took him all over 
the central middle Atlantic states, his charges being in many of the larger 
cities of that section. He retired from the ministry in 1896, located in 
Erie, and there died in the spring of 1905. His wife, who died in 1898, 
was born in Germany and belonged to the w^ell known Blass family of 
Erie. 

Armin J. Baur began to learn the florist business in Pittsburg, after 
<vhich he travelled in the eastern cities and as far west as Colorado 
Springs. In 1896, he came to Erie from that city to associate himself 
with his brother, Gustave H. The latter was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 
1880, and travelled with Armin in the west. In Erie they first worked at 
the old Henry Niemeyer greenhouses on west Twenty-sixth street and 
Brown's avenue, this business being originally established about 1885. 
In 1903, the brothers leased the plant and formed the Baur Floral Com- 
panv. entirely remodeling the old ])lant and in the summer of 1908 begin- 
ning the erection of one of the largest and most up-to-date greenhouses 
in this part of the state, and covering 118,000 square feet of floor space. 
The main building is constructed almost entirely of steel, concrete and 
glass, and the plant has its own water works as well as gas and coal heat- 
ing systems. While the Baur Floral Company does a large general busi- 
ness, it makes a specialty of growing the Orchid, the American Beauty 
rose, Poinsettias, Hydrangeas, ferns, etc. The brothers have a large 
cut flower trade throughout the northern section of the state, and their 
elegant retail store and show room in the ^Majestic, is presided over by 
a younger brother — ^William Otto — who was born in Cullman. Alabama, 
in 1888. They make a specialty of interior decorations for parties, 
receptions, etc., and have a large business among the best people of the 
city. Mr. Armin Baur is the inventor, patentee and manufacturer of 
the Baur Carnation Clip, a device for binding together split Carnations, 
which is the only thing of the kind in existence. 

Armin J. Baur married Miss Esther Arnold, of Youngsville, Penn- 
sylvania, and to them one daughter has been born — Catherine. He is 
a member of the Society of American Florists, of the American Carna- 
tion Society and of the Erie Chamber of Commerce, his fraternal rela- 
tions being with the I. O. O. F. and Royal Arcanum. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 151 

Captain Thomas J. Boyd. A well known citizen of Erie is Captain 
Thomas J. Boyd, who has made that place his residence since 1849. He 
was born in 1848, and is the son of Jeffrey and Mary Boyd, both natives 
of Ireland, who emigrated to America in 1849. Jeft'rey and Mary Boyd 
had children as follows : Thomas J., Michael, Jeffrey and Mary. The 
last-named is now Mrs. O'Hara, of Niagara, New York. 

Captain Boyd was reared and educated in Erie, and in 1869 began 
his career on Lake Erie, his first employment being as fireman ; step by 
step, as opportunity offered, he advanced in knowledge and skill, study- 
ing navigation first-hand, until in 1871 he was able to pass the rigid gov- 
ernment examination, becoming master mariner. From that date until 
1900 he served as master of a tug, and was part owner of the following 
tugs : "Wm. E. Scott," "Erie," "America," and "Erastus Day." These 
tugs were purchased by the trust, in 1900. In 1908 Captain Boyd be- 
came interested in the Builders Supply & Sand Company, with which 
he is still connected. The company owns and operates the steamer 
"America," of which he is captain. This boat is known as a "sand 
sucker." that is, it sucks sand from the bottom of the lake, and it is this 
sand which the company furnishes to the builders of Erie. 

Captain Boyd is a member of the Knights of Columbus, also of 
the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He married, in 1871, ]\Iay 
Golden, and to them have been born eleven children, eight of whom are 
living, namely : Thomas J. Jr., Marcella, Minnie, Helen. Leo, Joseph, 
Gilbert and Mildreth. Thomas J. Jr., is a marine engineer employed 
on the great lakes. 

John J. Baxter. A public spirited and highly esteemed citizen of 
Erie, John J. Baxter has been a resident of this city for upwards of forty 
years, and as a skilful carpenter and pattern maker is actively identified 
with its mechanical industries. During the Civil war, he bore arms in 
support of the cause of the Union, and has since been equally as valiant 
in championing every enterprise and project of benefit to his country. 
A son of the late Henry Baxter, he was born, December 27, 1846, in Uti- 
ca, New York. At six years of age he accompanied his parents to Chi- 
cago, Illinois. Here they lived three years and they then moved to Rock 
Island, remaining there three years. After the father's death the family 
moved to New York state and subsequently to Michigan. 

A native of New York state, Henry Baxter was a natural-born me- 
chanic, and early became familiar with the workings of all kinds of 
machinery. His inclinations turned him towards railroading, and he 
gradually filled positions of minor importance until he became a loco- 
motive engineer, in which capacity he won distinction for running the 
engine that drew the first passenger train to make a trip on what is now 
the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway and that time known as the 
Chicago & Rock Island Railroad. He was subsequently killed while on 
duty. He married Jane Yan Slyke, also a native of New York state, and 
they became the parents of six children, namely: G. W. ; John J., of this 
brief sketch ; J. N ; Lottie ; Nancy ; and Charles, deceased. The mater- 
nal grandfather was a soldier in the war of 1812. 

Brought up in Illinois, John J. Baxter attended the common schools 
of his neighborhood, and while conning his books absorbed, unconscious- 
ly, mayhap, practical lessons in patriotism and loyalty to home and coun- 
try. In the fall of 1864, seeing the pressing need of more men at the 
front, he enlisted, October 15, in Company I, Twenty-eighth Michigan 



153 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Volunteer Infantry, which was assigned to the Twenty-third Corps, First 
Division, Second Brigade, of the Department of Cumberland. On Jan- 
uary 18, 1865, his regiment was attached to the Army of Ohio, and he 
took part in various battles fought on North Carolina soil, including one 
at Wise's Forks, on ]\Iarch 8 and 9 ; at Kinston on March 14, when he 
received a slight wound in the head, at Goldsboro, at Raleigh, and was 
present at the surrender of Johnston. Mr. Baxter subsequently served 
with his command on provost duty, being with his command in the Dis- 
trict of Raleigh, in Avigust, 1865; in the Wilmington District, in Octo- 
ber, 1865; and in the District of Newbern, in January, 1866. On June 
5, 1866, he was honorably discharged from service, with an honorable 
record for bravery and fidelity as a soldier. 

Soon after his return from war, Mr. Baxter located in Erie, Penn- 
sylvania, coming here July 3, 1866, and has since made this his home. 
He was for a number of years employed by the Western Union Tele- 
graph Company, and helped to erect the first telegraph wires in this vicin- 
ity, the line bringing Erie in touch with other great centers. In 1871, Mr. 
Baxter enlisted in Company B, Seventeenth Regiment, National Guard 
of Pennsylvania, and on January 14, 1873, was made corporal of his 
company ; was promoted to sergeant October 21, 1873 ; made first ser- 
geant August 4, 1874; second heutenant March 30, 1880; and on August 
27, 1880, received his commission as captain of his company. During 
the Pittsburg riots, Mr. Baxter was on duty with the Seventh Division, 
patroling Kingston on August 2 ; at Wilkesbarre on August 4 ; and in 
Scranton from August 4 until August 10, when he was discharged from 
service. Since settling in Erie, Mr. Baxter has followed the carpenter's 
trade, principally, and as a man of honor and integrity stands well among 
the well known and highly esteemed residents of the city. 

On February 19, 1872, Mr. Baxter married Catherine Quien, who 
was born in Erie, September 17, 1846. Her parents, George and Cather- 
ine (Redding) Quien, were born in Alsace, France, their births occurring 
in 1814, and both came to this country when young, about 1828, and were 
here married. Mr. Quien was a ship builder by trade, and carried on a 
substantial business. To him and his wife eleven children were born, 
of whom five are living, as follows : Elizabeth, Catherine, Sophia, Wil- 
liam and Gustave. Mr. and Mrs. Baxter have three children, William 
H. Baxter Gustave A. Baxter and Annie S. Baxter. Mr. Baxter is a 
member, and past commander of Erie Post No. 67, G. A. R., in which 
he has filled all of the offices. He takes great interest in educational 
afifairs, and for six years served as superintendent of the Erie School 
buildings. 

William H. Smith. Ranking high among the keen, progressive 
and enterprising men that are closely associated with the advancement 
of tlie mercantile interests of Erie is W. H. Smith, who for the past 
twenty years has owned and managed a meat market at 924 Parade 
street. He is a connoisseur in meats, keeping in stock the best to be 
obtained, and cutting and putting it up so artistically and scientifically 
as to attract patronage, and at the same time give evidence of his superior 
knowledge of the details connected with his trade. A son of John Smith, he 
was born ]\Iarch 6, 1857, in Erie, and was here brought up and educated. 

John Smith was born in Germany, and came to this country when 
young. Learning the trade of a carpenter, he followed it in Erie during 
his active career, becoming widely known as a trustworthy workman. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 153 

and a valued citizen. He married Mary Gerhart, who came to Erie from 
Germany when a child, and into their household eight children were born, 
as follows : Sophia ; John ; George ; William H., of this brief biography ; 
Mrs. Minnie Fister; Mrs. Josephine Camp; Mrs. Melia Fitzner; and 
Mrs. Annie Cook. 

Trained to habits of industry and thrift from his early youth, Wil- 
liam H. Smith entered the employ of a butcher when a boy and contin- 
ued work at that trade for twenty years, obtaining a practical knowledge 
of the business in its every detail. In 18S9, embarking in business on 
his own account, Mr. Smith purchased his present establishment on 
Parade street, and has since built up an extensive and remunerative bus- 
iness, being the leading meat dealer in this part of the city. He has a 
very large trade, handling on an average six beeves a week, and one 
thousand pounds of sausage of his own manufacture. 

Mr. Smith married, in July, 1882, Annie Deamer, and of the seven 
children born of their union six are living, namely : Edward, Carrie, 
Helen, Alkey, Norman, and Margaret. 

John T. Brew. The Brews, father and son, are among the best 
known railroad men (classed in the working force) in the history of the 
Pennsylvania Railroad in western Pennsylvania. The latter, John T. 
Brew, is now assistant trainmaster, located at Erie, and is further, one of 
the most prominent Democrats and public men of the city and county. 
Born at Wellsville, New York, on the 14th of December, 1866, he is a son 
of George and Bridget (Quinlan) Brew, the father, a native of Scotland 
and the mother, of Ireland. Having spent all his mature life in railroad 
work, George Brew died at Spring Creek, Warren county, Pennsylvania, 
in 1902, aged seventy-seven years, and the mother passed away at Corry, 
Erie county, in the year 1906, sixty-five years old. 

When John T. Brew was an infant of one year the family settled 
at Petroleum Centre, Pennsylvania, and about ten years later removed 
to Spring Creek. It was at that locality, when he was only fourteen 
years of age, that the youth commenced his lifelong career in railroading, 
and his entire training and continuous progress has been in the service 
of the Pennsylvania Company. During the earlier years he devoted only 
the summer months to his railroad work, attending school the balance 
of the year, and thus managing to graduate with credit from the Corry 
high school in 1886. On June 1, 1889, he became a resident of Erie, 
and continued with the Pennsylvania Company in various capacities 
until the organization of the Chamber of Commerce, when he was 
elected its secretary. But he only held that position for six weeks, 
resigning it to accept his present office as assistant trainmaster of the 
company in whose employ he has been for a virtual lifetime. 

Air. Brew's prominence as a Democrat and a citizen of public 
affairs commenced in 1895, when he was elected to a seat in the Common 
Council of Erie. He thus served for three successive years (one year as 
president), and from 1900 to 1904 was a member of the Select Council, 
holding the presidency of the latter in 1902 and 1903. For two years 
he was chairman of the city campaign committee, handling the funds 
in the contest which resulted in the election of Mr. Saltsman for mayor 
by two thousand majority. In 1897 he was an unsuccessful candidate 
for the mayoralty. Mr. Brew has been a delegate to numerous state 
and county conventions of his party, and in 1908 served as a delegate-at- 
large to the national convention which nominated Bryan. Outside of his 



154 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

political and public relations to the community, he is an active member 
of the Erie Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade ; a loyal and 
leading promoter of various fraternities and a stanch Catholic, being 
identified with St. Peter's cathedral. He is especially prominent in the 
Knights of Columbus, having been deputy for five years of the district 
which embraces Erie, Crawford, Warren, Venango and Forest counties, 
and at Reading, Pennsylvania, May 12th, 1909, at the State Convention 
was elected to the highest office of the order in the state, State Deputy 
in charge of one hundred and six councils in the state of Pennsylvania. 
He also belongs to the Elks. Maccabees and C. M. B. A. Married to 
Ella J. Cooney, of Irvineton, Pennsylvania, Mr. Brew's wife is the 
daughter of John Cooney, a well-known merchant and justice of the 
peace of that place. The children of the union are as follows : George 
Willi, a graduate of the Erie high school (class of '08) and now a student 
at the Pennsylvania State College ; Paul Edward, still a student in the 
city high school ; Mary, who died in infancy ; John Vincent, Mary Colum- 
bia and Eugene James Brew. 

Frank H. Payne. Deserving representation in this publication as 
one of those alert and progressive "captains of industry" who are aiding 
materially in forwarding the commercial prestige of the city of Erie, 
Frank H. Payne is the incumbent of the responsible office of manager of 
the Metric Aletal Works of the American dieter Company, the strongest 
corporation of its kind in the world. 

Mr. Payne was born at Petroleum Center, Venango county, on the 
1st of April, 1868, and is a son of Calvin X. and Martha (Dempsey) 
Payne, the latter a daughter of the late and honored Captain Francis 
Dempsey, of Erie. ]\Ir. Payne is indebted to the public schools of the old 
Keystone state for his early educational discipline. He was graduated in 
the high school at Titusville as a member of the class of 1885, and in 
1887, after a more advanced academic course, was graduated in the Hill 
School, at Pottstown, this state. He w^as then matriculated in Princeton 
University, in w'hich he completed the prescribed course in the academic 
department and was graduated in 1891, with the degree of B. A. While 
at the universit}' he was prominent in the athletic afifairs of the institution, 
especially in connection with the "national game" of base ball, in which 
he was a valued member of the team of his alma mater. 

On the 18th of July, 1891, the month following his graduation, ]Mr. 
Payne became secretary and treasurer of the ]\Ietric ^Nletal Company, 
at Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, and on the 1st of the following October 
he removed to Erie, where he has since been a potent factor in connection 
with the fine industrial enterprise of this company. Since December, 
1895, he has held his present executive office of manager. Mr. Payne 
has shown signal loyalty to the city in which he maintains his home, and 
has given his earnest co-operation in support of measures tending to ad- 
vance the industrial and civic precedence of Erie. He is a member of 
the directorate of the First National Bank of Erie, and is identified with 
the Erie Chamber of Commerce and Erie Board of Trade. In a more 
specific social way he is a member of the Erie and the Kahkwa Clubs, 
and of the local Princeton Club, composed of former students of Prince- 
ton University ; of this last mentioned organization he has been secretary 
from the time of its inception, on the 2d of November, 1897. Though 
never active in the domain of "practical politics" he gives a stanch alleg- 
iance to the Republican party. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 155 

On the 21st of September, 1892, Mr. Payne was united in marriage 
to Miss Grace Barber, daughter of James R. Barber, of Titusville, this 
state, known as the oldest Hving oil operator in the Union. Mr. and Mrs. 
Payne have two children, F. Dana, and Calvin N. II. 

A. A. Deming. Highly esteemed throughout the community as a man 
of energy, enterprise and integrity, A. A. Deming is contributing his 
full share towards the promotion and advancement of the business inter- 
ests of the city of Erie, and as a manufacturer of doors, blinds, sashes, 
and builder's supplies is carrying a large and profitable business, his 
plant being located at the corner of Railroad and Twenty-first streets. 
He was born, in 18(32, in Spring Creek, Warren county, a son of J. O. 
Deming. J. O. Deming, and his wife, whose maiden name was Alary 
Johnson, were born, bred, and married in Warren county, his birth hav- 
ing occurred in 1829, and hers in 1844. They are still living on the farm 
which they improved, in Spring Creek, honored and respected by all who 
know them. Five children were born of their union, namely: L. L. ; A. 
A., the subject of this brief biographical review; C. C. ; Clair; Mattie; 
and Addie D., who died in 1908, married John H. Donaldson of Spring 
Creek. 

After completing his early studies in the district school, A. A. Dem- 
ing served an apprenticeship at the carpenter's trade, at which he became 
expert. Locating in Erie in 1889, he continued at his trade for six years, 
being successfully employed as a contractor and builder. Buying, in 
1895, a large tract of land at the corner of Railroad and Twenty-first 
streets, nine hundred feet by one hundred and ten feet, in dimensions, 
Mr. Deming erected his planing mill, and has since established a thriving 
business in the manufacture of sashes, doors, blinds, and builders' sup- 
plies of all kinds. He has a large patronage, employing fifteen men, 
whose weekly wages amount to from $150 to $175. 

Mr. Deming married, in 1889, T^iliss Flora L. Bogue, of Chautauqua, 
a daughter of James and Pollie Bogue. Taking an interest in local affairs 
INIr. Deming served as constable, tax collector, assessor, and one term on 
the Erie School Board, of which he was elected a member in 1897. Frater- 
nally he is a member of Keystone Lodge, No. 455, A. F. & A. M. 

George N. Banghart. Prominent among the successful business 
men of Erie, is George N. Banghart, who is advantageously located at 
923 East Eighth street, where he has a commodious store building, well 
stocked with fine and fancy groceries, and a full line of notions. A son 
of George W. Banghart, he was born, in 1855, in Paterson, New Jersey, 
of substantial German ancestry, being a direct descendant in the fifth 
generation of Philip Banghart, the emigrant ancestor, the line being thus 
traced — Philip, Michael, Peter. George W., and George N. 

Philip Banghart emigrated to America in 1740, and here spent the 
remainder of his life. He reared four children, Michael, Barney, George, 
and Mary. Barney served as a soldier in the Revolutionar}^ war, and in 
one of it's noted battles lost a leg. Michael Banghart had a family of 
thirteen children, one of whom became a Methodist Episcopal minister, 
and attained a venerable age. Peter Banghart was a life-long resident of 
New Jersey, spending a large part of his time in Belvidere. He married 
a Miss Parks, and they became the parents of a number of children. 
George W. Banghart was born in Belvidere New Jersey, but subsequently 
removed to the city of Paterson, from there coming to Erie,Pennsylvania, 



156 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

where for many years he was employed as a hack driver. He married 
Mri-x \'an Xess. the descendant of one of the earhest famihes to settle 
in the United States, the founder of her family coming to this country 
prior to the landing of the Mayflower. Six children were born of their 
union, namely: George N.. the special subject of this sketch; John H.; 
M. a!, deceased; Rachel; EHza, deceased; and James L., deceased. 

But six years of age when he came with his parents to Erie, George 
N. Banghart 'received the advantages of a public school education, and as 
a young man was interested in military affairs. Enlisting, in 1875, in 
Company G, Seventh United States Infantry, he was in active service in 
the west during the Indian troubles of that time, and at the engagement 
at Big Hole was three times wounded. A brief account of this battle 
may not be amiss in connection with the army life of Mr. Banghart. In 
August, 1877, Captain George L. Browning marched his company to Fort 
Masule, where he was joined by the "Mountain Rangers," a company 
of citizens. Thus re-enforced, the company started in pursuit of the 
Nez Perce Indians, overtaking them in their camps, at Big Hole, where 
a premature fight was brought on through a shot being fired at a single 
Indian who was caring for his mount, the alarm causing the entire camp 
to take the defense. While the Indians, four hundred all told, outnum- 
bered the regulars more than two to one, there being but one hundred 
and thirty soldiers, there were only forty killed, and forty wounded on 
the Government side, while one hundred and thirty red men were killed, 
and many wounded. At this battle, which took place August 19, 1877, 
Mr. Banghart received wounds in the right forearm, the right shoulder, 
and the right groin. He was honorably discharged from the service as 
a private in 1878, and immediately returned to Erie. In 1891 Mr. Bang- 
hart opened his present place of business, and as a retail general mer- 
chant has met with great success, making a specialty of groceries of 
which he keeps a large and valuable stock, his trade increasing from 
year to year. 

Mr. Banghart has been twice married. He married first, in 1879, 
Sophia Perry, who passed to the higher life in 1890, leaving four chil- 
dren, namely: Mabel, now the wife of F. Lord; Roy E. ; AHce V.; Hazel 
P., wife of Charles Rowlands. In October, 1894, Mr. Banghart married 
for his second wife. Miss Anna Langdon, a most estimable woman, and 
a kind, helpful, congenial companion. 

William J. Carroll. The energetic, substantial and valued citi- 
zens of the city of Erie have no better representative in mercantile cir- 
cles than William J. Carroll, who is carrying on a thriving business as 
a dealer in flour, feed, grain, hay, straw, etc., at 1001 Parade street. As 
a man and a citizen he is held in high esteem, and has the full confidence 
of his associates and patrons. A native of New York, he was born, in 
1865, in Dunkirk, and was there brought up and educated. His parents 
James and Ellen (O'Brien) Carroll, natives of Ireland, reared four chil- 
dren, namely: Daniel, John, Nellie, and William J. The branch of the 
Carroll family now living in Union township, Erie county, is of Irish 
extraction, being descended from one Ferdinand Carroll, who emigrated 
to this country from Ireland, but it is not certainly known whether Wil- 
liam J. Carroll belongs to that family or not. On coming to Erie county, 
Ferdinand Carroll bought from the government a tract of wild land in 
Union township, and the farm which he began to improve is now owned 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 157 

by his grandson, George Carroll, a venerable and highly respected man 
of four score years, and more. 

As a young man William J. Carroll was for some time employed in 
a feed and grain establishment in Dunkirk, and worked, also, for a while 
in the office of the United States Express Company, both employments 
entering largely as important factors in educating him for commercial 
pursuits. Thus equipped by knowledge and experience for a business 
career, Mr. Carroll located, in 1894, in Erie City, establishing himself at 
his present place, on Parade street. Here, by his upright and honorable 
transactions, and a ready willingness to oblige all customers, he has built 
up a most profitable trade, carrying a good stock of flour, feed, grain, 
hay and straw. From the very beginning, Mr. Carroll met with almost 
phenomenal success in his operations, his business materially increasing 
from year to year, and, owing to its demands, he built, in 1904, at the 
corner of Twentieth and Parade streets, on a switch of the Nickel Plate 
Railroad, a large warehouse, which greatly facilitates his business, which 
is steadily increasing in interest and volume. He employs a force of 
seven men, keeping them busily employed in attending to the wants of 
his numerous patrons. Mr. Carroll married, in 1896, Aliss Caroline 
Spahr, and their home is pleasant and attractive. 

John Hamberger. The interposition of the able, progressive and 
reliable real estate dealer has greater influence than all other agencies in 
forwarding the material upbuilding and advancement of any commun- 
ity, and in this important field of operations in Erie county none has 
accomplished a more beneficent work than has the subject of this brief 
review, who is a senior member of the well known and popular real-estate 
and insurance firm of John Hamberger & Company, whose headquarters 
are in the city of Erie. 

John Hamberger claims the old Empire state of the Union as the 
place of his nativity, since he was born in the city of Rochester, New 
York, on the 13th of October, 1858. He is a son of George Adam and 
Mary (Rensehler) Hamberger, both of whom were born and reared in 
Wurtemberg, Germany, where they continued to reside until 1855, when 
they severed the ties which bound them to the fatherland and came to 
America. Both located in the city of Rochester, New York, where their 
marriage was solemnized and whence they came to Erie, Pennsylvania 
in 1859. They have here maintained their home for a full half century, 
and to them is accorded the unqualified esteem of the community in 
which they may well be designated as pioneer citizens. Both are nearing 
the age of four score years but are well preserved and find that, as the 
shadows of their lives begin to lengthen from the golden west, their 
lines are "cast in pleasant places." 

John Hamberger was an infant at the time of his parents' removal 
to Erie, and here he was reared to maturity under beneficent influences 
and surroundings. He duly availed himself of the advantages of the 
public schools, including the high school, in which he was graduated as 
a member of the class of the centennial year, 1876. For many years he 
was identified with clerical work of an important nature, and he was 
bookkeeper in the Erie office of the Chicago & Erie Stove Works until 
April 1, 1892, when he engaged in the general real-estate and insurance 
business, in which his personal popularity and his correct business meth- 
ods have conserved a splendid success. Since 1905 his only son, Robert N., 
has been his able coadjutor in the enterprise, under the firm name desig- 



158 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

nated in the opening paragraph of this article. The business has attained 
to wide proportions, and has involved the handling of many important 
properties in this county, especially the city of Erie, while the insurance 
branch of the enterprise is based upon representation of a number of 
the stanchest and Ijest known companies, in the lines of lire, marine, 
life, and accident indemnity. 

Mr. Hamberger has been a prominent figure in connection with 
public affairs as well as business interests in his home city and county. 
He served from 1890 to 1899 as a member of the city council, a continu- 
ous service of four terms of two years each, and in 1890-91, as well as 
in 1895, he had the distinction of being president of the council. In this 
municipal body he wielded a very potent and definite influence in the 
securing of a. wise and effective administration of municipal affairs, and 
by his progressive policy added to his strong hold upon the confidences 
and regard of the people of the community. In 1899 he was appointed 
a member of the Pennsylvania fisheries commission, and since that time 
he has retained this important incumbency, as one of the five members 
of the body. He was recently reappointed to the office by the governor 
of the state, for a term of three years, and has thus entered upon his 
fourth consecutive term. In politics he gives his allegiance to the Repub- 
lican party, and he is a valued member of the Erie Board of Commerce 
and Board of Trade, is affiliated with the time-honored Masonic frater- 
nity, and holds membership in the Kahkwa Club. 

On the 30th of November, 1882, Mr. Blamberger was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Belle Roberts, who was born in the city of Philadelphia 
and who is a daughter of the late Henry C. Roberts, who was for many 
years a well known and highly honored citizen of Erie. Mr. and Mrs. 
Hamberger have two children, Robert N., and Florence N., and the 
attractive family home is a popular center of most gracious hospitality. 

John Valentine Layer, florist, Erie, having greenhouses on the 
East Lake Road, and city sales room at No. 704 State street, is a repre- 
sentative business man in his line. He is a native of State Line, Ohio. 
He was born November 2, 1860, son of Michael and Mary (Buhl) Laver, 
natives of Rhinbeck Province, Germany. The father emigrated to the 
United States in the early fifties, the mother came a few years later, and 
they were married in this country. They lived at different places, includ- 
ing State Line, where they spent two years, and finally they settled on a 
farm in McKean township, which was their home the rest of their lives, 
the father dying here in 1896, at the age of seventy-six years ; the mother 
in 1900, at the age of sixty-one. They were members of the Lutheran 
church, in the faith of which they reared their family. Their four chil- 
dren are as follows: A. G., engaged in the grocery business at Erie : John 
v.. whose name introduces this sketch ; William, who resides on Ridge 
Road in West Mill Creek townsliip, Erie county; Kate, wife of J. H. 
Shaefl'er, 124 East Fifth street, Erie. 

John V. grew up on his father's farm and as a boy attended the 
common schools of the neighborhood. After giving his attention to 
farming for a few years, he decided to specialize and accordinglv entered 
the employ of Henry Niemeyer, florist, with whom he remained for a 
period of nine years. In 1900 he engaged in business for himself. He 
purchased two acres within the citv limits, which, with three acres he 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 159 

owns in East Mill Creek township, he utilizes for this business, and he 
has 35,000 feet of glass, modern buildings, etc., thoroughly equipped for 
the growing of a variety of the most saleable flowers on the market. In 
1892 he opened a sales room at 705 State street, which soon proved too 
small for his increasing business and from which he moved to larger 
quarters at 723 State street. Three years later he moved to 711 on the 
same street, and in July, 1908, he came to his present and still larger 
quarters at 701 State street. 

Fraternally, Mr. Laver is identified with the Masonic order, being 
a Knight Templar and a member of the Scottish Rite and also of the 
Mystic Shrine. Politically, he is a Republican. He married, at Erie, 
Miss Anna M. Ofiferle, a native of Warren, Pennsylvania, and a daugh- 
ter of George Offerle, a native of Germany. 

William J. Flynn. Since Washington, in addressing the delegates 
to the Continental Convention, said "Lay broad and deep the foundation 
for the general diffusion of knowledge," the public schools of our 
country have been more or less in evidence. Each year they have in- 
creased the efficiency, modern pedagogical methods being introduced 
into even the more rural communities, and through these institutions of 
learning we are fast becoming among the most enlightened people on 
earth. The schools of Erie rank well with the other schools of the 
Keystone state, having an excellent board of education, of which Wil- 
liam J. Flynn, a well known and highly esteemed citizen, is the secretary. 

Mr. Flynn was born June 12, 1875, in Rockland, Massachusetts, 
where his parents, Michael and Alice (Clancy) Flynn, first lived on 
coming to this coimtry from Ireland, and where they were married. 
The family came to Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1879, and here the mother's 
death occurred in 1905. 

Mr. Flynn was educated in the public schools of Erie, being gradu- 
ated from the Erie High School with the class of 1892. The same year 
he entered the office of the Erie board of education as assistant sec- 
retary, and served so acceptably in that position that, in 1903, he was 
made its secretary. Since 1899 he lias served as secretary of the board 
of librarv trustees. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and 
of the board of trade, two of the city's important commercial organiza- 
tions, and is a corporator of Hamot Hospital. He belongs to the Knights 
of Columbus, and is a valued member of St. Peter's Roman Catholic 
cathedral. 

Frank P. Coyle, of Erie, who is a leader in the business, industrial 
and civic activities of the city, is a native of Buffalo, New York, where 
he was born April 8, 1867. He is a son of John and Alice (O'Donnell) 
Coyle, natives respectively of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Springfield, 
Massachusetts, and for years residents of Buffalo, where they still live. 
It was in that city that Frank P. received a common and high school 
education, and after he had completed his studies was identified for 
some eight years with the Erie Railroad at Buffalo. 

Mr. Coyle became a resident of Erie in 1895, locating there as 
agent for the Washburn-Crosby Company, the great flour manufacturers 
of Minneapolis. He had charge of their interests in the Erie district 
for six years, and in 1901 commenced to handle all the freight for the 
Anchor line of boats at their Erie docks. In 1909 he withdrew from 
those interests altogether, and since that time has been giving his at- 



IGO HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

tention to the sand and gravel business. He is also identified with other 
enterprises, such as the Cement Products Company and the Arandsee 
Machine Company, both of which concerns he incorporated. For the 
past decade Mr. Coyle has been prominent in the municipal affairs of 
Erie, and from the fall of 1899 to the spring of 1900 filled an unex- 
pired term in the Select Council from the First ward. His relations 
to the work of secret and benevolent societies are confined to the order 
of Elks, of which, however, he is an active member. Mr. Coyle mar- 
ried Miss Mary Johnson, daughter of Patrick Johnson, of Buffalo, New 
York, and they have one son, Frank L. Coyle. 

V. D. EiCHENLAUB, a general contractor of sewers, pavements and 
all kinds of concrete construction and also extensively engaged in the 
manufacture of cement building blocks, has for a long period occupied 
a foremost position in the ranks of Erie's leading business men. As 
the incumbent in local office he has also proved his worth and in the 
various relations in which he is found he commands the honor, respect 
and good will of his fellow townsmen. One of Erie's native sons, he 
was born in the Third ward on the 31st of August, 1852, and is a son 
of the late Ferdinand and Catherine (Trout) Eichenlaub, old and well 
known residents of this city, both of whom were natives of Herxheim, 
Bavaria, Germany, but were married in Erie. The former was a son 
of Joseph Eichenlaub, who in 1845 emigrated to the United States with 
his large family and after a tempestuous voyage of seventy-three days 
landed at New Orleans. On the last day out the rations were reduced 
to one potato for each passenger on shipboard. The family first located 
in Cincinnati, Ohio, but in 1847 came to Erie, where the grandfather 
engaged in pork packing, in which business he was later joined by his 
son Ferdinand. They made extensive shipments of pork by lake to 
Buffalo. For many years after the grandfather retired from active life 
the son Ferdinand carried on the meat business and remained a sub- 
stantial, enterprising and reliable business man of Erie up to the time of 
his death which occurred in 1883. His wife passed away in 1907. 

V. D. Eichenlaub was reared in Erie and attended the city schools. 
When a boy he became his father's assistant in business and when 
twenty-one years of age opened a meat market on his own account, 
continuing in that field of labor until 1880. He then engaged in handling 
fertilizers for four years and in 1889 took up the business of general 
sewer and paving contracting. From the beginning the new work proved 
successful and his interests in that particular have constantly broad- 
ened out bringing increased success annually. In 1905 he added the 
manufacture of concrete blocks, sidewalks and other concrete materials 
and is now conducting an extensive enterprise in this line. He has thus 
long figured as a prominent business man of the city, contributing to 
the growth and progress of Erie, for every successful business undertak- 
ing is a factor in municipal advancement. In 1894 he erected the Eich- 
enlaub block on the southeast corner of State and Eighteenth streets, 
which he still owns. In 1906 he erected the Wayne hotel on West 
Twelfth street, built of concrete blocks, and of this he is also yet the 
owner. He likewise has a valuable business block at the northwest cor- 
ner of Twelfth and State streets and other desirable city real estate, 
both improved and unimproved, including his handsome brick residence 
on West Twenty-sixth street, which he erected in 1887. 



THE NEW YORK 
[PUBLIC LIBRARY! 



TILOEN FOUNOATIOH* 



r^E NEW YORK 
IPUBLIC LIBRARY 



Til pr- ^"■"^n^TIOMj. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 161 

Mr. Eichenlaub was married to Miss Anna M. Quinn, the daugh- 
ter of Francis Ouinn, who for forty years has been an active engineer 
on the Lake Shore Railroad and even now, aUhough in advanced age, 
is still a representative of the road in that capacity. He was born in 
England l)ut is of Irish parentage and in his younger days was a sailor 
on the lakes. His wife bore the maiden name of Catherine O'Rourk. 
Mr. and Mrs. Eichenlaub have become the parents of three children : 
Frank J., a resident of Erie; Mabelle, the wife of Robert McClenathan, 
of Erie ; and Arthur V., also of Erie. 

While the development and conduct of his business interests have 
made large demands upon his time and energies, Mr. Eichenlaub has 
also found opportunity to co-operate in many movements for the gen- 
eral good in the lines of progressive citizenship. His fellow townsmen, 
recognizing his worth have frequently called him to office and for nine 
years he filled the position of market clerk, while for two terms he 
was county assessor. He was also collector of delinquent taxes for the 
county, city and schools in the Fifth ward for one term and was elected 
city assessor, which position he filled for a term of three years under 
the new law. A year later this same law was declared unconstitutional 
and he lost the office. In 1881 he became a member of the city council 
and in all these different positions he has exercised his official preroga- 
tives for the advancement of general public interests, proving himself a 
progressive and public-spirited citizen. He deserves much credit for 
what he has accomplished in a business way, as his success has result- 
ed from his enterprise, careful management and unfaltering diligence. 

Anton Gottfried, of the firm of A. Gottfried & Company, was 
born at Neulussheim, Baden. Germany, February 10. 18(33, and is the 
son of George Henry and Dorothy (Schott) Gottfried. After receiving 
a good education in his native country, he studied organ building, and 
worked for two of the largest manufacturers in Germany, Lauckhuff, 
at Weickersheim, Wurtemberg, the largest organ supply house in the 
world, and W. F. W'alcker & Company, of Ludwigsburg, Wurtemberg, 
the largest pipe organ factory in Europe. In 1888 he came to the 
United States, landing at New York, and entered the employ of 
Frank Rosevelt, at that time one of the largest organ builders of the 
country. He next found employment with C. S. Haskell, of Phila- 
delphia, church organ builder, and later received a request to re-enter 
the employ of Rosevelt. of New York City, who had established a large 
branch in Philadelphia. In 1890 he began the manufacture of organ 
supplies on his own account, on a small scale, in Philadelphia, which 
was the humble beginning of the present firm of A. Gottfried & Com- 
pany, of Erie. His capital was limited, but as he had natural talent 
along the line of his chosen work, and was thorough master of all its 
details, he was able to get a start, and his work was of so superior a 
quality as to be its own recommendation, and in this way he gained the 
confidence of his patrons, and the goodwill of the trade in general. His 
efforts have been along the line of improvements to methods already in 
use ; he is recognized as one of the leading artists in the country in reed 
and flue work, the most difficult feature in the production of tones, and 
in this field he has made a number of important improvements. His 
flue work is of such high character as to have become a standard ; he is 
a close student of his work, and his endeavors place him in the front 
rank of his craft in the country. Mr. Gottfried has invented a special 

Vol. 11—11 



163 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY. 

organ pipe, entirely new in form and style, with which tones can be 
produced of a character so closely resembling different orchestral in- 
struments as to be recognized only by the ear of an expert. This can- 
not be done by other pipes, and they are covered by patents. He has 
also applied for a patent on his device for regulating the flow of air in 
the pipe foot of organs, or in other words regulating the pressure. 

In 1S92 Mr. Gottfried took in as partner, at Philadelphia, Henry 
Kugel, and two years later the plant was removed to Erie, primarily 
through the efforts of Mr. Felgemaker, an organ manufacturer, who 
induced Messrs. Gottfried and Kugel to locate in that city by promising 
them orders for pipes for his organ output. Their business continued 
to grow until they found it necessary to secure larger quarters from 
time to time. Accordingly they removed to their present location, at 
Nineteenth and ^Myrtle Streets, in 1904, and which they built, their 
present cjuarters covering forty by one hundred feet, three stories and 
basement, with ground one hundred thirty-five by one hundred twenty 
feet. They employ thirty skilled workmen, and their product is pipes 
and all kinds of organ supplies, having a market all over the country, 
from Philadelphia to California, and have even shipped goods to 
British Columbia, South Africa, and other foreign countries. They 
have a patent on a special stop, also, which they manufacture. In 1909 
the}^ began the manufacture of a combination instrument embodying 
the piano and organ, styled the piano-orchestrion. 

Mr. Gottfried is a member of the German Baptist church, also of 
several social, business and fraternal organizations. He married Re- 
gina Merz, daughter of William and Margaret Merz. She too was born 
in Neulussheim, Baden, Germany, who came to the United States at 
the same time as yir. Gottfried, and they were married at Philadelphia. 
Thev have children as follows : Elsie, Hilda, Ottilie, Helen, Orlinda, 
Harry A., and Henry. Elsie is a student of the violin, for w^hich she 
has a high talent, having studied under the best teachers of Erie and 
Cleveland, on the piano, pipe organ and violin, and is now a student at 
the conservatory of music at Oberlin College. Ohio, where she is also 
taking a collegiate course. Her special and favorite instrument is the 
violin. She is remarkably gifted along musical lines and in harmony 
is particularly proficient. Hilda is a student at the German AYallace 
College, Berea, Ohio, where she is preparing for the missionary field. 
Ottilie, w^ho is highly gifted in music, is studying under the supervision 
of Mrs. Colby, of Erie. 

Fred \\\ Burnii.xm. The leading wholesale lumber business in 
Erie has Fred \\'. Burnham as its proprietor and active conductor and 
he has become a decided leader in that field after having been engaged 
in it for twenty years of the half centur}^ spanned by his life. He is a 
native of ^Minnesota, born Alay 2. 1859, and is a son of the late ^^'illiam 
B. and Frances (Cowan) Burnham. The father was a native of the state 
of New York; was born January 20, 1824, and was a son of Eliphalet 
Burnham. born in Connecticut of English descent. In the early fifties 
\\'illiam B. Burnham migrated w^estward to Michigan, where after 
spending a number of years he was married and boarding a "prairie 
schooner." with his wife, they journeyed to Minnesota. There he en- 
. gaged in farming until 1871, when he returned to the east and estab- 
lished a grocery iDusiness at Union City, Erie county, which he conducted 
for twenty years following, dying in 1905. His widow^ is also a native 
of New York state, daughter of William Cowan, a Michigan pioneer. 






A-iiOrvA 



^f 



A8T«S, LEHOX 
TU.06N FOUNDATION! 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 163 

Fred W. Burnham was twelve years of age when his parents re- 
turned from Minnesota and located at Union City, this county, and 
after attending the public schools he entered his father's grocery. He 
continued in that line until 1889, and at the age of thirty commenced to 
develop his abilities as a lumberman. He forced such good results from 
every situation that when he located at Erie in 1906, both his finances 
and his experience enabled him to there found the largest wholesale 
lumber business in the city. He has steadily retained that standing, 
having also become one of the most progressive members of the Erie 
Board of Trade and Chamber of Commerce. He is identified with the 
fraternities as a Alason and a member of the Royal Arcanum. Mr. 
Burnham is married to Littie I. Waters, a native of Union township, 
Erie county, and daughter of Alonzo Waters, an early and prominent 
settler. His children are Bessie, Rena J. and Fred W., Jr., and all the 
adult members of the family are active Methodists. 

Jesse Allen Root, real estate and wholesale lumber and timber 
dealer of Erie, with offices in the Downing building, is a prominent fac- 
tor in the business activities of that city. Mr. Root is a native of Mid- 
dlesex, Washington county, Vermont, born just outside the city limits 
of Montpelier on September 15, 1878, son of George and Iris C. (Howe) 
Root. His parents were representatives of old New England families 
and both were born in Vermont, the father at Montpelier and the mother, 
at Turnbridge. The parental grandfather, Webster Root, was a native 
of New Hampshire, and the maternal grandfather, Rhino Howe, was 
born in Vermont. George Root, the father, died in the latter state on 
January 27, 1889, at the age of thirty-six years, and his wife survived 
him until September 8, 1903, when she died on her fifty-first birthday. 

Jesse A. was reared in his native county and his early education 
was obtained in the common schools. Then he entered the Montpelier 
Methodist Seminary (now the Montpelier Seminary), completing a 
course therein, and in 1899 going west to Kirksville, Missouri, there 
entering the American School of Osteopathy and graduating from that 
institution in 1901. Returning east. Dr. Root settled in Erie, which has 
since been his home and where he has large business interests. He is 
secretary and treasurer of the Curtis Company and of several other 
lumber concerns whose aggregate holdings amount to several hundred 
million feet of timber, the company mentioned doing an enormous busi- 
ness. The doctor's personal holdings include his handsome residence 
on the south side of the city and two fine farms in Harbor Creek town- 
ship, this county, one containing one hundred and eight acres and the 
other forty acres, all under grape cultivation. 

Dr. Root married Miss Zella Myrtle Bowman, a native of Kirks- 
ville, Missouri, and daughter of Andrew R. and Emily (Clark) Bow- 
man. Her grandfather, a pioneer minister of Missouri, served in the 
Confederate army both as a preacher and a soldier. Three children 
have been born to Dr. and Mrs. Root — Paul Bowman, Winifred Naomi 
and Virginia Harriet. Fraternally, the doctor is identified with several 
fraternal orders and is a member of the Atlas and the Country clubs. 

James Archibald Henry, Superintendent of the Erie County Alms 
House, which is located near Erie, is a man of prominence among the 
county officials, possessing in an eminent degree the discretion, trust- 
worthiness and force of character requisite for the responsible position 
w'hich he is so ably filling. A native of the city of Erie, he was born. 



164 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

July 25, 1867, a son of the late Michael Henry. He comes of thrifty 
Irish stock, his grandfather Henry having heen a life-long resident of 
the Emerald Isle. After the death of her husband, which occurred in 
1829, Grandmother Henry emigrated with her eight children to the 
United States, coming almost directly to Erie, where the family made 
their first settlement. She died at an advanced age, and all of her chil- 
dren have passed away. There were four boys in the family, John, Wil- 
liam, Nathaniel and Michael, and four girls. 

Born in Ireland, November 18, 1818, Michael Henry was a lad of 
eleven years when he first made his appearance in Erie City, which was 
but a small town, extending westward only as far as Chestnut street, 
south to Eiirhth street, east to Parade street, while the lake was its 
northern boundary. His first work as a wage earner was on the fron- 
tier farm, where he cut wood for twenty-five cents a cord. He was 
next employed on the canal and lake, working a few years for old Mr. 
Reed. Starting then in business on his own account, he took contracts 
for building sewers, and was one of the leading contractors of the pres- 
ent system of water works in Erie. Continuing as a contractor until 
1872, he was one of the bosses when tire present reservoir was built. 
Retiring from that business, he moved to Summit township, where he 
carried on farming until his death, in 1891. Although his book knowl- 
edge was limited, Michael Henry, who attended school but a few days 
in his life, was a natural mathematician, and could figure the dimen- 
sions and requirements of a piece of work as rapidly and accurately in 
his mind as many other contractors could on paper. He did much of 
the stone work on the Philadelphia & Erie Railroad. A man of much 
natural ability, he became prominent in public and political life and 
served as a member of the Select Council and the Common Council for 
the long term of twenty-six years, and was twice director of the Erie 
County Alms House, of which his son is now superintendent. He 
belonged to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and was a consistent 
member of the Presbyterian church. 

Michael Henry was twice married. He married first Mary A. Pog- 
son, who bore him eleven children, of whom three are living, namelv : 
Mrs. Will Irving, Mrs. John T. Pressley, and Mrs. Dr. C. L. Fox. He 
married second Jane W^arren, who was born in Erie county, Pennsyl- 
vania, in 183G, and died in 1870. The only child of this union was a 
son, James Archibald, of this brief personal narrative. 

But three years old when his mother died, James A. Henry sub- 
sequently made his home with his maternal uncle, John Warren, a 
farmer in Summit township. He received a practical education in the 
district school, remaining on the farm until twenty-one years old. Going 
then to Ellwood, Pennsylvania, he began to learn the trade of a ma- 
chinist, and at the end of a year went to Greenville, where for eight 
years he was associated with the Shelby Steel Company, now the United 
States Steel Company. Returning then to Erie, Mr. Henry worked for 
a year in the Stearns Manufactory, after which he accepted the posi- 
tion of engineer at the Erie County Alms House, and retained it until 
February. 1907. when he received his appointment as superintendent of 
this institution, which is one of the best of its kind in the state. 

Mr. Henry married, in 1901, Leonie Bean, who was born in Sum- 
mit township, Erie county, a daughter of William A. Bean. Of this 
union one child has been born, a daughter named Hulda Geraldine. 
Fraternally Mr. Henry is a member of the Knights of Pythias, the 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 165 

Royal Arcanum, Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Benevolent 
and Protective Order of Elks. Religiously he belongs to the United 
Presbyterian church, while Mrs. Henry is a member of the Universalist 
church. 

Peter Hartman, Superintendent of School Buildings, Erie, was 
born in Erie county, in what is now McKean township, January 7, 1853, 
son of John and Elizabeth (Ludwig) Hartman, natives of Germany, who 
came to the United States about 1850. The parents were married in 
the old country, and five children were born to them there, two of 
whom died previous to the emigration of the family to America. On 
their arrival here, they came direct to Erie, where they lived for a time, 
subsequently removing to McKean township, and a year later making 
permanent settlement on a farm in Franklin township, which continued 
to be their home while the parents lived. The father died there in 1871 ; 
the mother, in 1884. They were members of the German Lutheran 
church. Of their large family, the following named members are now 
living; John, a resident of the Fifth ward, Erie; Mary, wife of Free- 
man Grant, of Union City, Pennsylvania; Peter, whose name introduces 
this sketch ; Jacob, a resident of the Sixth ward, Erie ; and Daniel, of 
Union township. 

Peter Hartman passed the first eleven years of his life on his fa- 
ther's farm and received his early education in the country schools. At 
the age of fifteen he began serving an apprenticeship to the carpenter's 
trade, at Girard. Erie county, under the instructions of H. D. Meyers, 
with whom he remained three years. He worked at his trade for some 
time and also did some contract work at Girard and other places previ- 
ous to the spring of 1893, when he came to Erie and established him- 
self as contractor and builder. For eight years he was thus occupied. 
Then he was appointed by the school board to the position he now holds, 
that of Superintendent of School Buildings, having continued in office 
by each year being reappointed. 

December 25. 1887. Mr. Hartman married Miss Anna M. Lacher, 
who was born in Bavaria, Germany, September 6. 1859, and is the daugh- 
ter of John Adam and Margaret (Wettslein) Lacher. At the age of 
twelve years Mrs. Hartman came to America with her father and sister, 
her mother having died in Germany, and upon their arrival here they 
made their home in Erie, where Mr. Lacher still lives, now in his eigh- 
tieth year. 

Edw^ard Perkins Selden, son of Samuel and Caroline (Perkins) 
Selden, was born at Mayside, Fairview township, Erie county, Penn- 
sylvania, on the 27th of April, 1858. In 1868, when he was ten years 
of age, his parents removed to the city of Erie, where he has since con- 
tinued to reside and where he has risen to a secure place as a represen- 
tative citizen and business man. He attended the public schools until 
he was about fourteen years of age. when he secured employment in 
the hardware store of his uncle, John C. Selden on French street: later 
he was for a time a student in the Erie high school, where he supple- 
mented his earlier training. At the age of sixteen years he was ofifice 
boy in the Erie City Iron Works, of which great industrial institution 
he is now vice president. In 1894 he became treasurer of the corpora- 
tion, and of this ofifice he continued incumbent until 1899, when he 
assumed his present office of vice president, in which he finds insistent 



IGG HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

demands upon his time and attention as an executive and administrative 
officer. 

Amid the cares and exactions of a signally active and successful 
business career, Mr. Selden has had no inclination to neglect those 
duties which stand for the higher values in the scheme of human exist- 
ence. His estimate of the complex elements of life has been such as to 
make him intrinsically a strong man and one appreciative of his steward- 
ship in relation to his fellow men. He has thus given of himself, his 
influence and his material co-operation to all measures which tend to 
advance the general welfare of the community, and a generous toler- 
ance and helpfulness have marked his course as a citizen and as a business 
man. 

In his boyhood Mr. Selden became a member of the First Presby- 
terian church, and those who know him best realize how fully his relig- 
ious faith has entered into and dominated his daily life. He was made 
a ruling elder in this church when twenty-five years of age, and during 
the 3'ears since that time his interest and zeal in church work have been 
constant and marked by appreciative consecration of purpose. He has 
been a loyal and earnest supporter of the work of the local Young Men's 
Christian Association,, of which he served as president for two terms, 
and he is identified with various other organizations maintained for 
benevolent, charitable and moral purposes and standing representative 
of high civic ideals. At the time of this writing, in 1909, he is specially 
interested in the promotion and establishing of what is to be known as 
the Elwood Home, designed as a home for boys and as a partial sub- 
stitute for the reform school, to which many wayward boys are sent 
when their needs could be more effectually met by such an institution, 
of semi-probationary and essentially home functions, as that to whose 
establishment Mr. Selden is giving much of his time, thought and labor. 
He believes that many boys are sent to reform schools w'here associa- 
tion with those of the incorrigible type brings disastrous results, while 
such an institution as the Elwood Home can be made to justify its name 
and become a notable contribution to the benevolent agencies in every 
state, — one with practical aims and conducted along practical lines. For 
this proposed home in Erie Mr. Selden, with his cousin, George D. Sel- 
den, and other members of the family, has donated a fine site on the 
shore of Lake Erie, and they are otherwise contributing liberally to the 
furtherance of the philanthrophic enterprise. 

Mr. Selden has traveled extensively in America and in foreign 
lands, and has made his journeyings in the world a source of personal 
satisfaction and the accumulation of wide and varied infonnation. A 
man of culture, of fine intellectual ken, a successful worker in connec- 
tion with the productive activities of the industrial world, and a citi- 
zen ever loyal and public-spirited, Mr. Selden holds a secure place in 
the confidence and regard of the people of his native county. In na- 
tional politics he gives his allegiance to the Republican party ; he is iden- 
tified with various civic and fraternal organizations of a representative 
type, besides being a valued member of the Erie Board of Trade. 

In the year 1895 he married Miss Blanche McCreary. daughter of 
the late Jackson McCreary, of West Mill Creek township, Erie county, 
and they have two children. — Edward Perkins, Jr.. and Caroline Mc- 
Creary. 

Michael Crowley. In this day of scientific farming, methods 
have been originated or discovered, whereby the soil has been made to 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 167 

yield most bountiful crops, and agriculture has taken its rightful place 
among the leading industries of our nation. The men who have brought 
about this marvelous change are men of energy, intelligence, and enter- 
prise, and prominent among the number who are aiding the advancement 
of the agricultural development and progress of Erie county is Michael 
Crowley, of Elgin, an active and highly esteemed citizen. His fine farm 
of one hundred and thirty acres lies partly in Union, and partly in Con- 
cord townships, and, with its substantial buildings, gives ample evi- 
dence to the passerby of his skill and good judgment as a thorough-go- 
ing agriculturist and rural householder. Like many other of our most 
esteemed citizens, he is of foreign birth, having been born, in 1844, in 
Ireland. 

In 1858 Mr. Crowley's father, Jeremiah Crowley emigrated with his 
family to this country, coming directly to Erie county. This part of 
our great state was then comparatively in a primitive condition, there 
being neither railroads, telegraphs or telephones, in fact none of those 
modern conveniences which are now classed as necessities rather than 
luxuries. He assisted to some extent in building the first railway to 
pierce Erie county, and with his son Michael, witnessed the noted rail- 
way war of a half century ago, and well remembered the burning of 
the block house, and consequent excitement. In 1865 he purchased 
land lying in Union and Concord townships, and began the improve- 
ment of the property now owned and occupied by his son Michael. 
By judicious toil and good management, he improved a fine homestead, 
and there resided until his death, in 1893. He married in Ireland, 

Hannah ^ — , who died in the home farm in 1892. Four children 

were born of their marriage, namely : Catherine, deceased ; Michael ; 
Jeremiah ; and Bartholomew. 

Succeeding to the ownership of the parental acres, Michael Crow- 
ley has spared neither pains nor expense in his agricultural operations, 
and by dint of close application to his chosen industry has his land under 
a high state of cultivation, producing crops of such value as to command 
the highest market prices. 

Mr. Crowley married, in 1874, Anna Driscoll, who was, likewise, 
born in the Emerald Isle, and of their union eight children have been 
born, five of whom are living, namely : Thomas ; Martin ; Bartholomew ; 
Catherine, now Mrs. DeWitt; and Mary, who lives at home. The sons 
are all associated with the oil industry in West Virginia, being busily 
and profitably employed as well drillers. ]\Ir. Crowley is a Democrat. 
The family are members of St. Patrick's Catholic church at Union City. 

Harvey S. Lyoxs. Numbered among the successful, enterprising 
and well-to-do agriculturists of Erie county is Harvey S. Lyons who 
is living on the homestead where his birth occurred, in 1843, and on 
which he has spent a busy and active life, engaged, principally, in the 
cultivation of the soil. He comes of honored pioneer stock, being a son 
of John Lyons, who came to this section of the country nearly four score 
years ago, and by cheerful labor and heroic sacrifice cleared a valuable 
farm from its primitive wildness, and assisted in the building up and 
improving of Union township. 

A native of New England, John Lyons was born, in 1810, in Mas- 
sachusetts, and in that state of good morals and good habits M^as brought 
up and educated. He was a natural mechanic, skilful in the use of 
tools, and as a youth learned the cabinet-maker's trade. Soon after at- 



168 I-nSTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

taining his majority, he followed the tide of immigration westward, in 
1832 coming to Beaverdam, Pennsylvania, where he began work at his 
trade. In the meantime, he boarded at the home of Samuel Smith, 
whose pretty daughter Xancy he soon fell in love with, and wooed and 
won. A few months later, in 1835, he purchased one hundred and fifty 
acres of land in Union township, Erie county, and at once began the 
arduous task of improving a homestead. His earnest labors were re- 
warded; and in the course of time he added to his landed possessions, 
until he owned two hundred and eighty acres, a large portion of which 
he succeeded in clearing. Here he lived, honored and respected, until 
his death, April 17, 1904. He was one of the respected and upright 
citizens of the community, prominent in public affairs, holding all of the 
township offices which the citizens could confer upon him,' and was a 
valued member of the Presbyterian church, in which he served many 
years as elder. Nancy Smith, whom he married, was born in October, 
1811. and died April 30, 1909. Counting the years of their courtship, 
John and Nancy (Smith) Lyons, lived under the same roof-tree for 
seventy-three years, more than the allotted period of man's earthly 
life. They became the parents of seven children, namely : James J., 
born at Beaverdam, in 1835 ; David S., born in Union township, in 1838 ; 
Samuel S., born on the home farm in 1840 ; Harvey S., of this sketch ; 
Daniel, born in 1845; John C, also born on the home farm, his birth 
occurring in 1849 ; and Sarah Jane, born in 1853. Three of the sons, 
James J., Samuel S., and Harvey S., did valiant service in defense of 
their country's flag and honor during the Civil war, James J. and Samuel 
S. as members of the Eighty-third Pennsylvania Infantry, and Harvey 
in the 145th Pennsylvania Infantry. Samuel S. was killed at the Battle 
of Gaines Mills, and Harvey . S... was wounded, December 13, 1862, at 
the battle of Fredericksburg. 

A life-long resident of Union township, Harvey S. Lyons received 
a practical common school education, and being reared by a father who 
was well versed in agricultural lore became familiar with general farm- 
ing at an early age. After being honorably discharged from the army 
at the close of the war, he resumed his agricultural labors, and now, 
in conjunction with his brother, John C. Lyons, owns and operates two 
hundred and twenty-six acres of the parental homestead, carrying on 
farming with characteristic skill, vigor and ability. 

Air. Lyons married, in 1878. Florence R. Breed, and to them three 
children have been born, namely: Robert H., born May 9, 1879; Henry 
B.. born July 15, 1881; and Herbert S., born November 6, 1883. Rob- 
ert H. married Nettie Stark, and has one little son, — John Leslie. 
Henry B. married Tessie Horton, and they have one child, Harvey 
Horton. whose birth occurred October 16, 1908. Since the advent of 
this newest member of the family, four generations have lived under 
the same roof, in the home of Mr. Lyons, there being a difference of 
ninety-six years in the ages of the oldest and youngest members of the 
household. Fraternally Mr. Lyons is a member of the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, Clement Lodge of Union Citv. and of the 
Grand Army of the Republic, Post No. 102 at Union City. Succeed- 
ing his father in the good graces of his fellow citizens. Mr. Lyons has 
filled niany public offices with distinction and honor, and now, in 1909, 
is serving as justice of the peace. Mr. Lyons is independent in politics, 
and casts his franchise for the best man. 



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HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 169 

Alfred E. Sewell. The large agricultural interests of the late 
Alfred E. Sewell of Harbor Creek township, who died in 1890, are 
efficiently continued by his widow who not only conducts the old farm 
but has developed a large, good gas well on the place. Air. Sewell was 
a native of Harbor Creek township, born January 2, 1855, son of Sydney 
and Nancy (Riblet) Sewell, both of whom were natives of Erie county. 
The father was of New England parentage and the maternal ancestors 
were of German stock. Sydney Sewell, the father, was born ]\Iarch 27, 
1813, and the mother August 27, 1818. They both died in their native 
county of Erie, the former, January 17, 1891 and the latter December 
27, 1904. Of their family two were sons and four were daughters. 

Alfred E. Sewell, of this review, was the youngest in the family 
and lived with his parents until his marriage in 1882. After that event 
he rented a portion of his father's farm in Harbor Creek township, 
afterward purchasing fifty-three acres of the estate and devoting it 
largely to horticulture, five acres of the place being devoted to grapes 
and small berries. On March 2. 1882, yir. Sewell wedded IMiss ]\Iary 
Flumb, a native of Greenfield township, born November 2, 1860, and a 
daughter of Daniel and Ida (Simon) Plumb, the former a native of 
Greenfield township and the latter of Saxony, Germany. Since the 
death of her husband, Mrs. Sewell has operated the home place, continued 
the rearing of her children and made substantial building improvements 
as well as developed to a considerable extent several gas wells which 
were discovered on her property some years ago. Mrs. Sewell is not 
only a good business woman, but is widely known for her activity in 
religious and charitable works having been a member of the Baptist 
church since 1892. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Alfred E. Sewell 
are Clarence E., residing at home ; Gertrude, a teacher in Fresno, 
California; Bertha, also of that city; Ruth Cleveland, at home. Mrs. 
Sewell's home is known as "Idlewild." 

Richard H. Arbuckle. A worthy representative of an honored 
pioneer family of Erie county, the Arbuckle family having been among 
the first to locate in this section of Pennsylvania, Richard H. Arbuckle 
is one of its most highly esteemed citizens, and as president of the Har- 
bor Creek ]\Iutual Fire Insurance Company is widely known. During 
his earlier life he was for many years in the employ of the government, 
but of more recent years has been an important factor in advancing 
the agricultural interests of the county. His ability and fidelity in per- 
forming his public duties, his integrity, and his excellent good sense in 
all matters pertaining to business affairs, have won for him the regard 
of his neighbors and associates, both in the country, where he spends 
his summers, and in Erie, which is his winter home. A son of the late 
William G. Arbuckle, he was born, October 14, 1835, in Erie. His 
grandfather, Adam Arbuckle came to Erie in the early part of the last 
century, took up Jiis residence on East Sixth street, between Holland 
and French streets, and there his children were born and bred. 

Born at the home on East Sixth street, William G. Arbuckle served 
an apprenticeship when a 3'oung man at the carpenter's trade, which 
he followed many years, afterwards being superintendent of the Erie 
City school buildings. To him and his good wife, whose maiden name 
was Catherine Bowers, six children were born, as follows : Richard H., 



170 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY . 

of this sketch; George W. ; Mary, wife of J. W. Humphrey; Louisa C, 
wife of John K. Hallock ; Frank P. ; and John. 

Educated in the pubhc schools and at Erie Academy, Richard H. 
Arbuckle served an apprenticeship of four years at the printer's trade, 
in the office of the old Erie Observer. He was afterwards clerk in the 
Erie Post Office for a time, and in the years 1875-6-7 and 8 served as 
county commissioner. Subsequently for four years, from 1885 until 
1889, Mr. Arbuckle was collector of customs and disbursing officer at 
the port of Erie, performing the duties devolving upon him in this capa- 
city efficiently and honorably. On giving up public life, he turned his 
attention to agricultural pursuits, his fine farm in East Mill Creek 
township, with its substantial buildings and modern equipments, giv- 
ing ample evidence to the passer-by of his skill and good taste as a 
practical farmer and rural householder. 

Mr. Arbuckle married, in 1859, J. Antoinette Burton, daughter of 
the late John and Charlotte E. (Barnes) Burton, who were the parents 
of four children, as follows : J. Antoinette, now Mrs. Arbuckle ; Phoebe 
J., wife of Jacob Warfel, one of Erie's best known citizens; Lydia M., 
wife of thelate H. C. Sprague, of Toledo, Ohio; and Laura, who died 
in 1853. Six children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Arbuckle, 
namely: Huldah Jeannette, wife of John C. Wolfe; John Burton; 
Katie Eliza died in 1868; Charlotte Barnes; William Irwin; and Richard 
C. 

Edward W. Merrill. Conspicuously identified with the develop- 
ment and advancement of one of the great industries upon which the 
wealth and prosperity of our nation so largely depends, Edward W. Mer- 
rill is meeting with noteworthy success in his agricultural operations, 
and as superintendent of the Scott farms in Erie is carrying on gen- 
eral farming after the most approved modern scientific methods. The 
spirit of progress in every direction was never so much in the air as at 
the present day, and never was the public so ready to give its atten- 
tion to anything and everything that will tend toward the betterment 
of the afiFairs of its people, and of its interests in general. Agriculture 
has come in for its full share of notice in this onward movement, and 
through the aid and counsel of such wide-awake, brainy men as Mr. 
Merrill is establishing and maintaining for itself a place of prominence 
among the more important industries of the world. A native of New 
York state, he was born, September 20, 1850, in the town of Pavillion, 
a son of David M. Merrill. 

The Merrill family, it is supposed, is of French extraction, being 
descended from the Huguenot family De Merle, who escaped to Eng- 
land after the memorable massacre on Saint Bartholomew's day, in 
August, 1572. This family belonged to the Auvergne nobility, and had 
its ancestral estate near Place de Dombes, in that province. The found- 
ers of the Merrill family in x'Vmerica were two brothers, John ]\'Ierrill 
and Nathaniel Merrill, who emigrated to New England, in 1633, from 
Salisbury, County of Wilts, England, to Ipswich, ]\Iassachusetts. In 
1634 these brothers settled in Newbury, becoming charter members of 
the new town. John Merrill died September 12, 1673, and by his wife 
Elizabeth, who died July 14, 1682, had one child, Hannah. Hannah, 
born in England, married. May 24, 1647, Stephen Swett, and died, 
Apr.il 4, 1662. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 171 

Nathaniel Merrill, born in Salisbury, England, about 1610, died in 
Newbury, Massachusetts, March 16, 1654. Of this union with Susan- 
nah Wilterton six children were born, namely: John, born in 1635; 
Nathaniel, born in 1638; Abraham; Susannah; Daniel, born August 26, 
1643; and Abel, born February 20, 1644. The line was subsequently 
continued through several generations to one David Merrill, who was 
great grandfather of Edward W. Barzilla Merrill, the grandfather, was 
born November 17, 1764, and died April 14, 1850, in Fabius, New York. 
He married Electa , who was born May 3, 1770, died August 

4, 1840, in Fabius. They had a family of eleven children, David M., the 
father of Edward W., having been the youngest child. 

David M. Merrill was born June 4, 1815, in Onondaga county. New 
York, about thirty miles south of Syracuse, and died February 4, 1881, 
at North East, Erie county, Pennsylvania. Coming with his wife and 
children to Erie county in 1855, just after the completion of the rail- 
road in this vicinity, he settled first at Johnson's Crossing. Three years 
later, in 1858, he removed to North East, where he continued his free 
and independent occupation of farming until his death. He was a 
Democrat in politics, active in public affairs, serving several terms in 
the borough council. On October 17, 1839, he married Deborah Wal- 
lis, who was born April 22, 1820, in Onondaga county. New York, and 
died March 15, 1907, in Syracuse. They became the parents of four 
children, namely: Wallis E., born November 12, 1841, was drowned 
March 19, 1847 ; Maria H. ; Edward W., of this sketch ; and Evangeline 
A. Maria H., the second child, born August 8, 1843, married, October 

5. 1864, Byron D. Bramer, who died September 26, 1907. Five 
children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Bramer, namely: Fred, born May 
20, 1866 ; Mary Eva, born November 30, 1867 ; Lewis Byron, born June 
16. 1870; B. Edward, born October 9, 1873; and Harry Monroe,_born 
September 5, 1881. Mrs. Bramer, whose only surviving child is B. 
Edward Bramer, lives in Syracuse. B. Edward Bramer married Jane 
A. Pellens. August 3, 1904, and they have one son. William Edward, 
born February 9, 1907. They reside in Syracuse. Evangeline A. Mer- 
rill, the youngest child of the parental household, born May 16, 1855, 
married, in 1882, Frank H. Perkins, and now resides in Detroit. Three 
children have blessed their union, namely : Merrill Alonzo, born Decem- 
ber 24, 1882; Richard Harold, born June 5, 1890; and Frank Donald, 
born November 18, 1893, died December 6, 1897. 

Five years of age when he came with his parents to Erie county 
Edward W. Merrill attended the public schools of North East, and 
from his youth up was well trained in the various branches of agri- 
culture. After attaining his majority he was variously employed, for 
three years running a planing mill in North East, afterwards being 
engaged in business as a contractor for four or five years. He was 
one of the leading men in Nort East while a resident of that place, for 
six years serving as supervisor of the borough, subsequently, as super- 
intendent and secretary, having almost full charge of public matters. 
Accepting his present position as superintendent of the Scott farms in 
1900, Mr. Merrill has since resided in Erie, occupying the Frontier farm. 
A man of much force of character, possessing undoubted business and 
executive ability, Mr. Merrill has met with most satisfactory success in 
the management of the large estate under his care. The sixteen hun- 
dred acres in the property is divided into farms, including the Lake 



172 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

View, Algeria, Carter, Roll, McNary, Frontier, and Lawrence, farms, 
all valuable estates. 

On January 17, 1872, Mr. Merrill married Amanda Wolf, who was 
born, November 3, 1850, in North East, a daughter of Henry and Caro- 
line (Hayberger) Wolf, and the descendant of a prominent pioneer fam- 
ily of North East. Mr. and ]\Irs. Merrill have one child, Nellie M., 
born September 18, 1872. She married, January 17, 1894, Lafey G. 
French, of North East, and they have four children, namely: Ruth G., 
born May 11, 1895; Helen N., born October 5, 1896; Edward M., born 
July 27, 1899; and Florence E., born April 18, 1902. In his political 
affiliations Mr. Merrill is a stanch Democrat, and religiously he is a 
member of the First Presbyterian church of Erie. 

Walter W. Gingrich, general manager, secretary and treasurer 
of the Wayne Brewing Company, and one of Erie's most prominent 
young business men, was born in the city, October 7, 1864. He is the 
son of the late Henry Gingrich, and grandson of John Gingrich, a 
pioneer of the county. The family is of German origin, but has been 
established in Pennsylvania for at least seven generations. John, the 
grandfather, was a native of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, and came to 
Erie county in 1812, settling in Mill Creek township on what afterwards 
became known as the Gingrich farm, but is now a part of the city. Here 
he followed farming the balance of his days. Henry, son of John, was 
born on the Gingrich farm, August 27, 1821. At first a farmer, later 
in life he became interested in one of the pioneer mills of the township, 
and became prominent in not a few public capacities. While he was a 
resident of Mill Creek township, he served as justice of the peace for 
twenty-five years and for twelve years was an active member of the 
city school board. His death occurred June 25, 1896. The deceased 
married Alargaret Wolf, born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, June 
8, 1829, daughter of Cyrus Wolf, an early settler of IMill Creek town- 
ship. The wife died December 24, 1897, mother of the following chil- 
dren: Alary G., widow of the late J. H. W. Stuckenberg, D. D., the 
first pastor of the English Lutheran church of Erie, chaplain of the 
One Hundred and Eighty-fifth Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers 
during the Civil war, and an author and poet of recognized ability; 
Etta, who married the late John M. Ormsbee and who resides in Erie; 
William H., who is an employe of the City Water Works; Louis E., 
who died in July, 1897; Gertrude, an instructor in Wooster (Ohio) 
University, and Walter W., of this sketch. 

Walter W. Gingrich was educated in the public schools of Erie. 
In 1896 he was elected city controller, in which office he served until 
1902. In 1900, while ably performing its duties, he became secretary 
and treasurer of the Consumers Brewery Company, and was made 
manager, in addition to the other positions, in 1901. The Consumers 
became the Wayne Brewing Company in 1908, and in his present of- 
ficial relations i\Ir. Gingrich is one of the main promoters of its large 
interests. He is also an influential member of the Chamber of Com- 
merce and Board of Trade, while as a Mason he is past master of Key- 
stone lodge and actively identified with Temple chapter. Mount Olivet 
Commandery and Zem Zem Temple. His other fraternal relations are 
with the Elks and the Shrine club. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 173 

William E. Beckwith, The faithful and able service of William 
E. Beckwith with the Marine National Bank of Erie is nearing the quar- 
ter-century mark, and in his fourth year as cashier of that institution 
he has strongly demonstrated his talents as an executive financier. He 
is a native of Connecticut, born in Old Lyme, New London county, 
Connecticut, on the 17th of November, 1863. His family has been a fix- 
ture in New England for generations, his father, William J., being also 
a native of New London county, while his mother (nee Mary J. Havens) 
was born in Sag Harbor, L. I. 

William E. obtained his early education in various district schools 
and at private institutions in Old Lyme. Among his teachers in his 
native town, who strongly influenced his after career, was Professor Stone. 
After a few months of uncongenial experience in a general store near 
home, the boy received a letter from his old instructor, who had removed 
to Erie, urging him to complete his education at the Erie Academy in 
which he (Professor Stone) was then teaching. Mr. Beckwith was thus 
induced to move to that city and for three years was an industrious stu- 
dent at the Erie Academy. Then, in 1883, he became a clerk in the book 
store of Ensign & Sherwood, and in 1886 commenced his identification 
with the iMarine National Bank. He commenced at the bottom of the 
scale and has steadily risen to the top, his present position of cashier, to 
which he was appointed January 9, 1906, carrying with it the highest 
active responsibilities of the bank. He is also well known outside of the 
financial field, being an active member of the Board of Trade, Erie Cham- 
ber of Commerce and the Kahkwa Club, as well as otherwise identified 
with the business and social life of the city. Mr. Beckwith's wife was 
formerly ]\Iiss Clara Bull, born in Markham, Canada, daughter of Henry 
W. Bull and mother of Lois H., Mary E., Esther, Winifred and Helen 
Beckwith. The husband and father is a member of the Presbyterian 
church, while Mrs. Beckwith is an Episcopalian. 

Lyman Felheim's leading position as a manufacturer of rough and 
dressed lumber and a dealer in this product of his factory has been 
reached by continuous exertions and able management in the Erie field 
for a period of twenty-seven years. This covers nearl}^ his entire busi- 
ness life since he attained his majority, for he was born in Cincinnati, 
Ohio, on the 7th of November, 1860. His parents, Solomon and Yette 
(Mandelbaum) Felheim, were born in German}^ — his father at Bayreuth 
and his mother near Munich, Bavaria. Both emigrated to the United 
States early in life and were married in Cincinnati. In that city the father 
spent the years of his active business life, spending his last years in Erie 
as a retired citizen. The mother is still living there. After receiving his 
education in the Cincinnati public schools, ' Lyman entered the employ 
of an uncle in Cleveland when fifteen years of age. He was thus em- 
ployed from July. 1875, until March, 1882, when he located in Erie as 
a member of the lumber firm of Schlosser and Felheim. In 1887, by 
purchase, he succeeded to the business as its sole proprietor, and has 
since ably conducted and steadily developed the establishment. His 
factory is at the corner of Sixteenth and State streets and his yards near 
the Nickel Plate Railroad depot. 

Mr. Felheim's firm position in the industry and trade with which he 
has so long been identified is well established, and in 1907 he served 
as president of the Erie Builders' Exchange, of which he has long been 
a leading director. He is also on the directorate of the Erie Chamber 



174 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

of Commerce, is a member of the Business Men's Exchange and the 
Board of Trade. He is actively identified with the ritualistic and benev- 
olent work of several of the fraternities, including Alasonry. In the 
latter he is a member of Tyrian Lodge No. 362, F. & A. \L, of which 
he is past master ; is also past high priest of Temple Chapter and a mem- 
ber of the Lodge of Perfection. His active membership further includes 
the Lake Shore Lodge, I. O. O. F., I. O. B. B. and the Erie Maennerchor. 
Mr. Felheim's wife was formerly Miss Laura Lasalle, born in Toledo, 
Ohio, daughter of Captain Jacob Lasalle. Her father served in the 
Civil war as captain in an Illinois regiment, and is now at the head of one 
of the largest department stores in Toledo. Two sons have been born 
to Mr. and Mrs. Lyman Felheim, S. Lasalle and Robert J. Felheim. 

Thomas Cassius Miller. Members of both sides of the family 
represented by Thomas C. Miller, the ex-county superintendent, educa- 
tor and able lawyer of Mill Creek township, have been strong factors 
in the establishment of the agricultural interests and the pioneer insti- 
tutions of the county. The maternal ancestors (the Brindles) became 
identified with the upbuilding of Erie county and West Mill Creek, as 
early as 1800, the continuous history of the Millers in that section be- 
ginning in 1826. Thomas C. Miller himself, for seven years county 
superintendent of schools and for the past ten years a progressive prac- 
titioner in all the courts, is also one of the most widely known advocates 
of prohibition in the state. He was born on the old farm in West Mill 
Creek, on the 3rd of December, 1855, and is a son of John J. and ]\Iary 
C. (Brindle) Miller, the former being a native of Lancaster county, 
Pennsylvania, and the latter, of Franklin county, that state. The great- 
grandfather, Jacob Miller, who was a native of Scotland, came to .Amer- 
ica in colonial times and served as a soldier of the Revolutionary war. 
His son, also Jacob, was born in Lancaster county, removing therefrom 
to Erie county, in 1826, and locating on a farm which lay on the line 
between Mill Creek and Fairview townships. At a later date he fixed 
his homestead within the limits of Mill Creek township in the neighbor- 
hood of Salem church. He married Mary Manning, also a native of Lan- 
caster county, and the children of the union were John (father of 
Thomas C), Jacob, Eli, Amos and Peter, all deceased; ^Nlary Jane, the 
only one living; and Nancy Ann and Fanny, deceased. John J. Miller 
w^as born in Lancaster county, November 25, 1818, and was therefore 
but eight years of age when he was brought by his' parents to Erie 
county. His after life was spent in acquiring a district school educa- 
tion, in farming as a resident of West Mill Creek and as an intelligent 
citizen, concerned both officially and as a family man in the progress of 
the local educational system. Among other township offices he held the 
position of school director. The father's death occurred February 9, 
1891, the widow still residing in Mill Creek township; and, as she was 
born Ai)ril 25, 1832, she is now in her seventy-eighth year. The birth- 
place of Mrs. John Miller is in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, and she 
is the daughter of Mathias Brindle. Fler grandfather. ^lark Brindle, 
migrated from Franklin coimty in 1800 and established the familv home- 
stead on four hundred acres of land in Mill Creek township. 

Thomas C. Miller, of this biography, was reared on the home farm 
in the above named township ; was educated first in the district schools 
of the neighborhood, and in 1880 graduated from the State Normal 
at Edinboro, afterward becoming a student at Oberlin (Ohio) Col- 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 1^5 

lege. For nearly five years prior to the completion of his normal 
course he had spent various periods in teaching, his career commencing 
in the winter of 1875-6. At that time, shortly after leaving the public 
schools, he began teaching in Union township, and in the winter of 
1877-8 he taught in Mill Creek township and returned to the Normal 
during that season. After his graduation in 1880 he continued as a 
teacher in Mill Creek, and after leaving Oberlin College remained in 
\\^est Mill Creek as an educator of growing reputation until the fall of 
1889. Mr. Miller was then appointed superintendent of schools of Erie 
county by State Superintendent E. E. Higbee, to fill out the unexpired 
term of J. M. Morrison, resigned. In May, 1890, he was elected to the 
regular three years' term and re-elected in 1893, serving continuously 
until the first Monday in June, 1896. His seven years' superintendency 
of the educational system of Erie county were marked by energetic and 
wise management and an expansion along modern lines of progress ; his 
administration was a distinct era of advancement for the county, but it 
also marked the conclusion of his career in the province of teacher and 
superintendent, since at the conclusion of his last official term he gave 
himself wholly to the study of law for three years. 

On July 8, 1899, after prosecuting his studies in the office of Rilling 
and Fish, he was admitted to the bar, at once opening an office at No. 
710 State street, Erie, which has since been the headquarters of his pro- 
fessional business. In 1904 he was admitted to practice in the United 
States courts, the nature of his work being general, but mainly confined 
to civil procedures. An able lawyer and an earnest Republican, his deep 
sense of moral responsibility to the community has also induced him to 
take a firm stand in support of temperance. In. 1908 he was a candi- 
date of the Prohibition party and the Local Optionists of the Third dis- 
trict of Erie county for the legislature, but was defeated with the balance 
of the ticket. He is a Mason, being a member of Tyrian Lodge No. 362 
of Erie, and for the past thirty-five years has been closely identified with 
the work of the Westminster Presbyterian church, being now an elder of 
that body and superintendent of its Sabbath school (since 1881). 

On the 13th of August, 1882, Mr. Miller wedded Miss Emma Jane 
Lewis, born in Fairview township, this county, January 22, 1860. Her 
parents, Marcus and Emily M. (Knapp) Lewis, migrated from Poultney, 
Vermont, at an early date, settling first in Harbor Creek township and in 
1857 locating in Fairview. Three children have been born of this mar- 
riage — James B., a brilliant engineer connected with the coast survey of 
the United States government and now stationed in the Philippines (of 
whom a sketch follows) ; Emma Adena, born October 13, 1888, a grad- 
uate of the Erie high school and now a Junior at Oberlin College; and 
Thomas Cassius, Jr., born August 12, 1891, a classmate with his sister, 
who was also educated in the schools of Mill Creek township and the 
Erie high school, now a Junior in Oberlin College. 

James Blaine ]\Iiller, oldest child and elder son of Mr. and IMrs. 
Thomas C. Miller, was born October 30, 1883, and is a graduate of the 
graded school course of Mill Creek township, the Erie high school and 
OberHn College (class of 1903). While a student at college he was 
appointed to the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, with orders 
to report at Washington, D. C, for duty. Leave of absence was granted 
him for a few days before the college commencement, his entire course 
being marked by high scholarship, as was indicated by his membership in 
Phi Beta Kappa. His first work as a government surveyor was along 



irc HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

the coast of Alaska and in 1903-4 he was engaged in the survey and chart- 
ing of the west coast of Porto Rico. In the summer of the latter year 
Mr. Miller was in charge of a party of government engineers running the 
precise level line from St. Cloud, Minnesota, to Watertown, South 
Dakota, and in the winter of 1904-5 was on duty in and around Wash- 
ington and Chesapeake, among the other interesting duties assigned him 
being that of definitely ascertaining whether the Washington monument 
was settling. In the summer of 1905 he was again on duty in the Dako- 
tas, being placed in charge of parties surveying the precise level line to 
Sioux City, Iowa, and his work was so satisfactory to the department 
of commerce and labor as to draw forth a letter from the general super- 
intendent stating that for speed, accuracy and economy it had not been 
equalled. In the winter of 1905-6 Mr. Aliller was appointed captain of a 
cost survey steamer, and in that capacity surveyed and charted, for the 
first time, Timbelier and Terre Bonne bays, in the gulf of Mexico. In the 
summer of 1906 he re-surveyed and re-charted the Hudson river from 
West Point to a location above Poughkeepsie, and in the winter of 1906-7 
he had charge of a party engaged in work of the same nature at Hampton 
Roads, Virginia. He surveyed and charted the island of Kodiak, on the 
Alaskan coast about seven hundred miles west of Sitka, in the summer 
of 1907, and on December 10, 1907, sailed for Manila, Philippine Islands, 
going by way of San Francisco, Honolulu, Japan and Hongkong. Arriv- 
ing at Manila January 15, 1908, he was dispatched to Ilo Ilo, island of 
Panay, where he has since had his headquarters, as captain of the coast 
survey steamer "Research," in charge of the coast survey of Cebu and 
other islands. Within the past year he has surveyed about 7,500 miles 
of the insular coast, which fixes the record for department work of that 
character. . . 



Andrew Augustus Culbertson, so extensively connected with the 
coal interests of Erie and northwestern Pennsylvania, comes of old- 
world ancestors who migrated from their original home in Scotland to 
the north of Ireland and first came into prominence as among the stanch 
Protestant defenders of Londonderry, Ulster. The first of the family 
to emigrate to America is said to have come over about 1720, John, the 
eldest son of the original emigrant being at the time twelve years of age. 
Andrew Culbertson, the eldest son of the latter, married Jennette Boyd 
in 1763, and in the following year moved from Philadelphia to the present 
site of the town of Williamsport, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania, which 
town he founded in about 1773. The first-born of their nine children, 
William, was the great grandfather of Andrew A., and by his marriage 
to Mary Culbertson in 1794 became the father of four children, viz: — 
Andrew Columbus, Jennette C, John Augustus and Willam Washington. 
This first marriage took place at Williamsport, and in the following year 
(1795) they moved to the mouth of Conneattee lake, where j\Ir. Culbert- 
son erected a grist and saw mill near the site of the present mill at Edin- 
boro. Besides conducting this enterprise, he acquired considerable land 
in the vicinity ; was both farmer and miller and for forty successive years 
held the office of justice of the peace. William Culbertson's first wife 
died at Edinboro March 2, 1802, and by his second wife (Margaret 
Johnson) who passed away in 1820, he was the father of five children,, 
as follows: Maria J., James Johnson, Josiah J., Cyrus A. and Elizabeth. 
The father of these two families died November 11, 1843. John A. Cul- 
bertson, the third child by the first marriage, wedded Clarissa Harrison, 






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HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 177 

in Edinboro, on the 23rd of October, 1827, and they became the parents 
of Harrison, Louis C. (father of Andrew A.), Johnson, Porter and 
Emily. The paternal grandmother died October 16, 1862, and the grand- 
father March 16, 1872. The father, who was born at Edinboro, March 
7, 1832, has spent his life there, and as a carpenter and builder, and an 
industrious and sturdy citizen, has added much to the family record as 
perhaps the strongest agent in the continuous development of the place. 
Louis C. Culbertson married, on May 31, 1859, Miss Martha M. Proud- 
fit, daughter of Alexander Proudfit and granddaughter of Andrew and 
Isabel (Smith) Proudfit, who were of Scotch-Irish ancestry and settled 
in Franklin township in 1833. Seven children were born of this union, of 
whom Andrew Augustus is the youngest. 

Mr. Culbertson was born in Edinboro, December 15, 1874; was reared 
there and received the bulk of his education within the limits of the town. 
In 1893 he graduated from the State Normal at Edinboro and in 1901 
finished his course at Allegheny College. In the latter year he located in 
Erie to assume the management of the Erie and Cambridge Springs 
Suburban Railroad, resigning that position, after three years, to enter 
the coal business. In 1904 he organized the Culbertson Coal Company 
and later the Saltman Coal and Supply Company, and has been president 
of both from the first. As a fraternalist, he is a Mason, and as a club- 
man, connected with the Erie and Country Club organizations. 

Mr. Culbertson's wife was formerly Aliss Anna Giles Reeder, young- 
est child of Isaac R. and Sarah (Giles) Reeder, and is of the well known 
family which since 1799 has been identified with the progress of the coun- 
try tributary to Edinboro. In that year her great-grandfather located 
in the southern part of Washington township, and James Reeder, his 
second son, owned much of the land which, with his brother-in-law (Mr. 
Taylor), he afterward platted into eastern Edinboro. He was a success- 
ful farmer ; built and operated the saw mill now owned by his son, Isaac 
R. ; was a school director and a tireless promoter of education, and in 
ways too numerous to specify an ideal citizen of his times. Isaac R., the 
fourth of his thirteen children, was educated in the schools of Crawford 
and Erie counties, and in 1853 entered into his career as a farmer and 
lumberman by taking charge of the old saw mill erected by his father, 
which has already been mentioned. At the present time about four hun- 
dred and fifty acres of the original six hundred comprising the old mill 
property is still held in the family name. In 1865 Mr. Reeder became 
part owner in the Burlingham pump manufactory at Edinboro and, with 
various members of the Taylor family, conducted it successfully for many 
years, or until its destruction by fire. He has always been a citizen of 
marked public prominence, having held many of the local offices ; has 
served for thirty-two years as a director of the State Normal, being now 
president of the board, and was one of the organizers of the Edinboro 
Savings Bank, of which he is president. His wife's people, the Giles 
family, were natives of Massachusetts, her parents coming from that 
state in 1818 and slowly journeying by ox-team to their first home in 
Washington township. This was, in fact, their wedding trip, and Anna 
Giles was the last of their five children. 

George W. Cook, who passed the last years of his life as a retired 

farmer and citizen of Fairview, Erie county, was a native of Onondaga 

county. New York, born March 6, 1832. His father, Alvin Cook, moved 

with his family to Fairview township, this county, about 1837 and at 

Vol. 11—12 



178 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

that time located just west of the village of that name where he passed 
the balance of his life as an agriculturist. Both he and his wife are 
buried in the cemetery at Fairview. 

His son, George W. Cook, of this sketch, received his education 
in the schools of Fairview township and Fairview village and at the 
age of twenty-one located at Erie where for twenty-five years he was 
engaged as a clerk and bookkeeper. He then returned to his old Fair- 
view home where for a number of years he was postmaster and proprietor 
of a store, spending the last years of his life in retirement. His death 
occurred November 2, 1908, and his decease took from the community 
a popular and Christian man. For many years he was known as a 
strong supporter of the Republican party and during the Civil war was 
a member of the state militia organized to oppose any invasion of the 
Confederate army from the south. He was also an active member of the 
Masonic fraternity at Girard, Pennsylvania, and that order, with which 
he was so long identified, conducted his funeral rites. In his religious 
faith he was an earnest member of the Methodist church. 

Air. Cook's wife was formerly Miss Rebecca Ann Brecht, a native 
of Fairview township, and a daughter of Samuel and Isabella (Nichol- 
son) Brecht. Her mother was born in Mill Creek township and a 
daughter of John and Isabella Nicholson. Samuel Brecht, Mrs. Cook's 
father, was a native of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, who came to 
Erie county about 1820 and located at Manchester, Fairview township, 
where he passed the balance of his life in farming. When Mr. Brecht 
came to Erie county he brought with him his mother, Elizabeth (Kuhn) 
Brecht, and seven other children of the family, so that he may be said 
to have founded it in this section of Pennsylvania. The children born 
to Samuel Brecht and his wife were as follows : Elizabeth Kuhn, now 
deceased, who married Jerome Galliard; Isabella Nicholson Brecht, who 
is now deceased ; Maria Louisa, who is also deceased, and married Elias 
Bales; Rebecca Ann, who became Mrs. George W. Cook; John, and 
Harriett Jane, now deceased. 

John Brecht, mentioned above, was one of the best known and 
most honored farmers of Fairview township although a man of most 
retiring disposition. He was very liberal both in his private charities 
and in his support of the local Alethodist church but all of his generosity 
in this regard was never known until after his death. The deceased 
married Margaret E. Dixon, of East Springfield, and now also buried 
with her husband. 

The children born to Mr. and Mrs. George W. Cook were as follows: 
Miles I'recht, Georgianna Alfaretta. who died while quite young; Kath- 
arine Rosemond living at home with her mother ; and Harriett Isabella, 
who became the wife of Porter A. Newton, and is a resident of Altoona, 
Pennsylvania and the mother of Katharine Brecht and George Cook 
Newton. 

Dr. Miles B. Cook, the eldest of this family and a practicing phy- 
sician of Buffalo, New York, is a graduate of the Cleveland Medical 
College. He married Miss Maud Anna Davis of Forest county. Penn- 
sylvania, and they have had the following three children : Miles George, 
who died in November. 190S. at the age of eighteen : Donald Davis, now 
sixteen years of age; and Ralph Alvin Cook. Miles George was a 
member of the class of '09 in the high school, also a member of the 
Lafayette High School Orchestra and of the Mandolin Club. He was 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 179 

a bright young man and greatly beloved by all his schoolmates and friends 
and his death was a blow to everyone. 

Katharine Rosemond graduated in Erie high school in the class 
1907, and in the class of 1909 at the Birmingham School for Girls in 
instrumental music. 

George W. Cook's great-uncle, Lemuel Cook, was a soldier in the 
WsLT of 1812 and at one time encountering an Indian in his own home 
he defended himself with a chair. He died aged 107 years old. Elihu 
and Sarinda Cook, great-grandparents of George W., are interred in 
Fairview Cemetery. 

Titus Berst. More than three-fourths of a century ago the Berst 
family was founded in Erie county, and few names have been more prom- 
inently identified with the civic and material progress of the county than 
that of this old and honored family, of which Titus Berst of this review 
is a worthy representative. The old Berst homestead is now an integral 
part of the city of Erie, and to the development and upbuilding of the city 
those bearing the name have contributed in most generous measure. Titus 
Berst was born on what was then known as the old Reed farm, now within 
the city limits of Erie, on the 10th of April, 1847, and he has literally 
grown up with the city, in whose advancement and prosperity he has 
ever taken much pride, the while doing all in his power to further the 
work of development and progress along industrial, commercial and 
material lines. His grandfather, Conrad Berst, was a native of Plautz, 
Germany, where he was born in the year 1779, and where he was reared 
and educated. In 1798, when about nineteen years of age, Conrad Berst 
immigrated to America, and soon after his arrival he took up his residence 
at Manheim, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, where, in 1807, was solemn- 
ized his marriage to ^liss Catherine Gunthner. He served as a soldier in 
the war of 1812, and thus manifested his intrinsic loyalty to the land of 
his adoption. In 1827 he removed with his family from Lancaster county 
to Butler county, but three years later, in 1830, he came to Erie county. 
He first rented a small farm south of the city of Erie, which was then a 
mere village, and in 1834 he leased the Reed farm, of which mention has 
just been made. In 1836 he removed to Kosciusko county, Indiana, where 
he passed the remainder of his life, as did also his wife. 

John Berst, father of Titus, was born in Manheim, Lancaster county, 
Pennsylvania, September 3, 1808, and there he was reared to manhood, 
receiving such advantages as were afforded in the common schools of 
the locality and period. He accompanied his parents on their removal to 
Erie county, and here he passed the residue of his long and useful life, 
a man of progressive ideas and one animated by the utmost civic loyalty 
and public spirit. In February, 1836, he was united in marriage to ]\Iiss 
Elizabeth Miller, whose death occurred in 1886 and who is survived by 
five children, namely: Henry, Catherine A. (wife of Hobart Hogan, of- 
Erie,), Jacob, John W., Titus and Hiram L., who died December 19, 1908. 

John Berst continued to occupy the Reed farm until 1866, when he 
removed to his own farm, located west of the city. In 18-42 he had pur- 
chased of Joseph S. Colt about seventy acres of land, extending from the 
present Cherry to Liberty streets and from Seventeenth to West Twen- 
ty-sixth streets in the city of Erie. All of this land was at the time given 
over to farming purposes, and it is now all included in the heart of the 
residence section of the southwest part of Erie. On a portion of this old 
homestead three of his sons still continue to make their homes. For a 



180 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

number of years John Berst continued to devote his attention to agricul- 
tural pursuits, and he then became interested in the nursery business, to 
which he devoted much of his farm, as did he later to the propagation of 
garden seeds. In 1861 he purchased the property on the west side of 
State street between Eighth and Ninth streets, and in 1873 he erected 
thereon the brick business block which is still standing and which bears 
his name. He, with his sons, also became interested in the old Erie Rail- 
way franchise, and at one time they owned the controlling interest in the 
system, which they sold in 1888. John Berst was known as one of Erie's 
most progressive and substantial citizens, and his course in life was char- 
acterized by that impregnable integrity and honor which ever beget objec- 
tive confidence and esteem. He was the architect of his own fortunes 
and his success was won by worthy means, not the least being the great 
appreciation in the value of the land which he had the prescience to hold 
in his possession. He was a Republican in politics, and both he and his 
wife were consistent members of the German Lutheran church. He was 
summoned to the life eternal in April, 1888, and his name has an enduring 
place on the roll of the sterling pioneers and loyal citizens of Erie county. 

Titus Berst gained his early educational discipline in the common 
schools of Erie, and supplemented this by a course of study in the old 
Erie Academy. In July, 1864, while on a visit in the city of Philadelphia, 
he tendered his services in defense of the Union. He was eighteen years 
of age at the time and he enlisted in Company F, One Hundred and Ninety 
seventh Pennsylvania A'olunteer Infantry. He takes much satisfaction 
in reverting to the fact that he signed his enlistment papers in Indepen- 
dence Park just outside of old Independence Hall, undoubtedly the most 
cherished landmark in the history of the nation. After remaining in 
camp at Baltimore, Maryland, for several weeks, his command proceeded 
to Rock Island, Illinois, where it was assigned to guard duty at the federal 
prison, in which were held about fifteen thousand Confederate prisoners. 
At the expiration of the ninety days' term of enlistment the members of 
the company were mustered out, in Philadelphia, where Mr. Berst 
received his honorable discharge. By virtue of his service he is eligible 
for and retains membership in the Grand Army of the Republic. 

After the close of his military services Mr. Berst returned to his home 
in Erie, and later he entered a commercial school in the city of Pittsburg, 
where he was a student at the time of the assassination of President Lin- 
coln. In the autumn of 1868 he was matriculated in Pennsylvania Col- 
lege, at Gettysburg, where he remained as a student for four years, but 
impaired health caused him to withdraw from the institution only a short 
time before the time of graduation. Returning to Erie, he became asso- 
ciated with his father and brother, Hiram L., in the nursery business, 
and gradually the enterprise was changed to that of floriculture, and still 
later to the seed business. The father ultimately withdrew from the 
enterprise, which was thereafter continued for some time under the firm 
name of Berst Brothers. In 1878 Titus Berst became the sole owner of 
the business, and he continued the same until 1901, when he sold out, 
after having developed a large and important industry. For several years 
he was secretary of the Erie City Passenger Railway Company. In 1875 
he was commissioned to investigate and report upon the condition of the 
Methodist Episcopal church interests in the Sandwich Islands. He spent 
two months in the work of this interesting commission, and within this 
period visited all sections of these beautiful tropic isles. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 181 

In 1880 Mr. Berst erected his commodious and attractive brick resi- 
dence, at 655 Brown's avenue, and the same is located on a portion of the 
old Berst homestead of which mention has been made. He has five acres 
of ground, with an abundance of handsome shade trees, and the residence 
is surrounded by beautiful lawns, making it one of the most attractive 
homes in the city. In 1878-9 Mr. Berst was a member of the board of 
education of Erie, but he has never consented to become a candidate for 
political office, though he gives a stanch allegiance to the cause of the 
Republican party. He and his wife are zealous and valued members of 
the First Methodist Episcopal church, and he holds membership in the 
Erie County Historical Society, taking a deep interest in the collating and 
j-^erpetuating of data ccncerning the history of his native county. 

The Berst family has done much in furthering the upbuilding of the 
city of Erie, in evidence of which fact it may be stated that several fine 
business blocks stand as monuments to the enterprise and progressive 
spirit of its representatives. The brick block at 808 State street was erect- 
ed by the father, John Berst, in 1871, and is now owned by his son Jacob. 
The Berst block, 806 State street, was erected in 1867, by John Berst and 
Jacob F. Walther, taking the place of a primitive log house, and this 
property is owned by Hiram L. and Titus Berst. The New Berst block, 
on West Eighth street, and adjoining the block on State street, was erected 
in 1904, by Hiram L. and Titus Berst. 

On the 22d of February, 1877, was solemnized the marriage of Titus 
Berst to Miss Mary G. Brubaker, daughter of George M. and Elizabeth 
(Beaver) Brubaker, of Millersburg, Dauphin county, Pennsylvania. Mrs. 
Berst's mother was a niece of Thomas Beaver and a cousin of Hon. 
James Beaver, a former governor of Pennsylvania. The children of Mr. 
and Mrs. Berst are: Charles Brubaker Berst, born at the old family home- 
stead, was afiforded the advantages of the public schools of Erie, includ- 
ing the high school, and after serving three years as a teller in the First 
National Bank he entered Syracuse College, New York, in the electrical 
department of which institution he was graduated as a member of the 
class of 1907. He is now (1909) completing a practical course in electri- 
cal work in the plant of the Westinghouse Company in the city of Pitts- 
burg. Clara Lois was graduated in the Erie high school as a member of 
the class of 1900, after which she spent three years as a student in the 
Syracuse Conservatory of Music and completed her musical studies in 
the conservatory connected with the famous University of Michigan, at 
Ann Arbor, where she also taught music for two years ; she is now at 
the parental home and is most popular in the social and musical circles 
of her native city. 

John Elmer Reed and George Arthur Reed, M. D. In the pro- 
gress of the agricultural interests and the professional afifairs of Erie 
county, various members of the Reed family have actively and 
prominently participated for several generations, the legal and 
medical fields having been cultivated with signal success by John 
E. and Dr. George A. Reed, residents of the city. Joseph Reed, their 
grandfather, was born in Erie county, and married Jane Grubb, also rep- 
resenting one of the substantial pioneer families of the county; his 
brother, James L., is still living. John Grubb Reed, the father, still owns 
the farm on which he was born in Mill Creek township, September 27, 
1838, and he wedded Miss Candace Eliza Blair, daughter of John W. and 
Candace Blair. Mrs. Reed was born January 1, 18-40, and died May 8, 



182 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

1901. Mr. Reed has been a prominent citizen and a progressive farmer 
of Mill Creek township for many years, having served for two terms as 
tax collector and three terms as justice of the peace. He has also been 
of great activity and influence in the affairs of the Westminster Presby- 
terian church of Mill Creek, having served as trustee, elder and Sunday 
bchool superintendent. Six children were born to the marriage of Air. and 
Mrs. John G. Reed— John E., George A., Joseph W., Mary E., Edith J. 
and James R. 

John Elmer Reed was born on the old farm in Mill Creek township 
on the 27th of February, 1865. He obtamea his education in the common 
schools of his home neighborhood, at the State Normal, Edinboro, and at 
Clark's Commercial College, Erie. After teaching two terms of school 
m McKean township and three terms in Mill Creek, he read law in the 
office of Judge E. A. Walling and was admitted to the bar of Erie county, 
June 28, 1895. Mr. Reed has since been engaged in a growing practice 
at Erie. He is identified with the Erie Tool Works both as attorney and 
secretary and has other interests outside his legal work. Like his father, 
he was a leader in all the active affairs of the Westminster Presbyterian 
church, at West Mill Creek, in which he has served as secretary, Sunday 
school teacher and superintendent. He is now active in the church work 
of the Central Presbyterian church of Erie. Mr. Reed married Miss 
Elizabeth Cora Brown, daughter of James and Anna Jane (Cameron) 
Brown, the former born in Ireland and the latter in London, Ontario, the 
mother being a descendant of the ancient Cameron clan of Lochiel. Mr. 
and Mrs. John E. Reed are the parents of one child, Robert C, born 
March 37, 1901. 

George Arthur Reed, M. D., a leading physician of Erie, was born 
in Mill Creek township, February 27, 1869. He obtained his preliminary 
education in the common schools and at the State Normal at Edinboro, 
and then entered the medical department of the University of Pennsyl- 
vania, from which he graduated in 1895. He first located for practice at 
No. 2113 Peach street, Erie, whence he moved to his present office. No. 
122 West Twenty-first street, which is also his handsome place of resi- 
dence. The doctor is an active member of the Erie County Medical Soci- 
ety. He married Miss Mable A. Love, daughter of James F. and Jeanette 
(Dunn) Love, of Erie county, and the two children of their union are 
Harrison, born January 29, 1895. and Richard, born March 31, 1900. 

Joseph Wilbur Reed, third child and son of Mr. and Mrs. John G. 
Reed, is a leading farmer of Mill Creek township, born on the old family 
homestead, March 27, 1871. He was educated in the common schools and 
at the State Normal ; married Mary Jane Caughey, daughter of John F. 
and Lotta C. Caughey, and is the father of the following: Gilbert, born 
January 14, 1903, and Winifred Candace, born April 1, 1906. Mary 
Ellen, the fourth child of Mr. and Mrs. John G. Reed was born August 
7, 1873, and Edith Jane, born September 16, 1876, are both unmarried. 

James Ross Reed, the sixth and youngest child, w-as born February 
24, 1880 ; received a grammar school and a high school education in Erie, 
and then completed both the literary and medical courses at the University 
of Michigan. After his graduation as an M. D. he became an interne in 
a Boston hospital, and next served for a year on the staflf of the New 
York City Eye and Ear Hospital. In October, 1908, Dr. Reed located at 
Pasadena, California, where he is engaged in practice in partnership with 
his former college mate. Dr. Roberts. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 183 

William Hamilton. In the breadth of his activities and abiHties, 
William Hamilton of Erie represents the strongest type of the English- 
American ; for, although he has but just entered the middle period of life 
he is a leading factor in the iron industries of this part of the state, is 
prominent in the commercial field, and has done much in futherance ot 
the public works of Erie and the development of its system of public 
schools. Mr. Hamilton, who is a native of Hexham, Northumberland- 
shire, England, was born on the 6th of September, 1865, and is a son of 
William and Elizabeth (Stephenson) Hamilton, also natives of the Eng- 
lish county named. In July, 1869, the family emigrated to Canada, but 
after residing in the Dominion for two years located in Erie. There the 
father continued his trade as a blacksmith and, in time, became superm- 
tendent of the old Erie Car Works. He died in 1891, his widow surviv- 
ing him. 

Mr. Hamilton, of this sketch, was educated in the Erie public schools, 
learned the trade of a blacksmith and machinist, and in 1889 succeeded 
his father as superintendent of the Erie Car Works. In December, 1894, 
with Julius C. Knoll, he purchased the plant, which had recently been de- 
stroyed by fire, and thus associated conducted the business until 1898, when 
it was re-incorporated under the name of Erie Car Works with Mr. Ham- 
ilton as president, Mr. Knoll as vice president, J. C. Kuhn as secretary, 
and C. F. McCIenathan as treasurer. Upon the death of the president 
of the Burry Compressing Company Mr. Hamilton succeeded him as its 
head, and is now its vice president. He was one of the organizers and 
first president of the Morse Iron Works and continues to superintend its 
progress. Mr. Hamilton also served as the second president of the Erie 
Chamber of Commerce, as well as of the Business Men's Exchange; of 
the Y. JM. C. a., is a director in that body and has served on the director- 
ate of the board of trade. His club connections are with the Kahkwa and 
Golf clubs ; his fraternal relations, with Masons, and his religious affili- 
ations, with the Methodist Episcopal church. Reference has also been 
made to Mr. Hamilton's prominence in the municipal service. In 1903 
he was appointed a member of the city school board to fill an unexpired 
term, after serving which he was twice elected as a representa- 
tive from the Sixth ward, his present term expiring in June, 1909. 
In 1906 he was appointed a member of the Water Works Commission, 
in which capacity his business and mechanical ability was of great value 
to that branch of the public service. Mr. Hamilton's wife (nee Charlotte 
Ehret), who was born at Pleasantville, Crawford county, Pennsylvania, 
is a daughter of Robert and Catherine (Wagner) Ehret. The children 
of their union are Ruth, Robert, William, Jr., and Catherine Hamilton. 

Frank Connell, treasurer of the Skinner Engine Company and a 
prominent citizen of Erie, is a native of Wooster, Ohio, born September 
34, 1855. He was reared in Lancaster, Fairfield county, that state, until 
he was eighteen years of age, beginning his business career in Pittsburg 
in 1873. Mr. Connell became a resident of Erie in 1885, when he became 
treasurer of the Skinner Engine Company, one of the important manu- 
facturing enterprises of the city. He has also been treasurer of the Union 
Iron Works since its establishment in the early 90's. He is a member of 
the board of directors of the Second National Bank ; and is also identified 
with the Erie Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trade. 



184 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Charles Lewis Cuehertson. The distinction of being the oldest 
living native son of the village of Edinboro belongs to Charles L. Culbert- 
son, and he was born on the place where he now lives March 7, 1832, a 
son of John Augustus and Clarissa (Harrison) Culbertson. John A. 
Culbertson was the first white male child born in this village, he having 
first seen the light of day in the same house in which his son was born, 
his natal day being the 26th of March, 1800, and his parents William and 
Mary Culbertson. They were married at Williamsport, Pennsylvania, 
in 179-1, and coming to Erie county located at what is now Edinboro in 
1795. William Culbertson secured and bought one thousand acres of 
land, and erected the first grist mill and later the first saw mill here, he 
having operated those mills for many years. To him also belongs the 
distinction of platting the village and laying out and donating the land for 
Erie street, a thoroughfare one hundred feet wide, and he also donated 
the land forthe old cemetery in the northern part of the village, and there 
this patriotic and revered pioneer of Erie county now lies buried with his 
family, his death occurring on the 11th of November, 1813. He was a 
soldier in the war of 1812, and while serving as a justice of the peace it 
is said of him that he would often saddle a horse and ride for miles to 
see his parties and settle their troubles before they were brought for trial 
before him. He was known for his sterling qualities of honor, and was 
always ready and willing to help the needy and advance the welfare of his 
community. He was in politics a Whig and was a member and stanch 
supporter of the Presbyterian church. His first wife died on the 2d of 
March, 1802, and was the first person buried in the cemetery which her 
husband had founded. In January of 1806, he married Miss Margaret 
Johnston, from Crawford county, Pennsylvania, and she died on the 30th 
of June, 1820. 

John Augustus Culbertson, a son of William and Mary Culbertson, 
supplemented school attendance with work on his father's farm and in 
his mill, and when -but a lad of sixteen he went to Erie and became 
apprenticed to the cabinet maker's trade, working seven years for the 
same man. He spent four years as a journeyman, and then in 1827 he 
married and returned to Edinboro, his native town, and spent the remain- 
der of his life here, dying on the 16th of March, 1872, being at that time 
a man of considerable wealth and one of the largest real estate owners of 
the village. He was a Republican politically, and was a faithful member 
of the Presbyterian church, as was also his devoted wife, whose death 
occurred on the 16th of October, 1862. Their children were as follows : 
Harrison, who was born September 25, 1829. and died at the age of eleven 
years; Charles Lewis, mentioned below; Johnson, born October 27, 1831, 
is deceased; Porter, born March 1, 1837, is also deceased; Emily, born 
March 24, 1840, married John Proudfit, and resides in Edinboro; and 
Edwin, born March 11, 1843, also resides in Edinboro. 

Charles Lewis Culbertson after attending the schools of his native 
village learned and followed the carpenter's trade until he was twenty- 
one. During two terms thereafter he attended the academy at Girard. 
Pennsylvania, and then returning to Edinboro has since resided here. 
After following his trade for a time he turned his attention to butchering, 
later took up farming and then resumed work at the carpenter's trade. 
He has been very successful as a carpenter, and he erected the first build- 
ing on Meadville street, the lower floor of which he used as a shop and 
the upper as a public hall. During his identification with the carpenter's 
trade he has built and sold about twenty-six houses in Edinboro, and has 



:he new YORK 
;PUBLIC UBRARl 



TILDEN FOUWtMkTfWa 




.^(^T/^:^^.^^- 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUXTY 185 

also erected and sold about five houses in the city of Erie. The site of his 
present residence was in the early days the location of the first frame 
building in Edinboro, and it was used for both school and church purposes. 
Mr. Culbertson married on the 31st of May, 1859, Aliss Martha M. 
Proudfit, a daughter of Andrew Proudfit, and their children are as fol- 
lows : Clarabelle, who married Frank Pulling, of Cambridge Springs, 
Pennsylvania, and their two children are Charles and Louisa ; Mabel, who 
married Charles Dundon, of Edinboro, and they have four children, Helen 
Lewis, Lynn and Roscoe; Agnes, a bookkeeper in the Edinboro Savings 
Bank ; H. E., a resident of Edinboro and one term postmaster, now a 
land agent ; was educated in Edinboro Normal ; Elizabeth, whose home 
is in Lewistown, Pennsylvania; and Andrew Augustus, a resident of 
Erie, the president of the Culbertson Coal Company, who married Miss 
Anna Reeder, a daughter of I. R. Reeder. Mr. Culbertson, the father, 
votes with the Democratic party, and he has served as a councilman of 
his village. Both he and his wife are honored members of the Presby- 
terian church. 

Hon. Milton W. Shreve, of Erie, an able member of the bar of 
Pennsylvania, a prominent Republican of the state and now serving his 
second term as a member of its house of representatives, is a native 
of Crawford county, that state, born May 3, 1858. He is a son of the 
late Rev. Cyrus and Florella (Nourse) Shreve, his father being a faithful 
and beloved Baptist clergyman of Crawford county and vicinity for a 
period of more than half a century. This revered disciple of Christ 
and tireless promoter of his cause was a native of Bloomfield township, 
of the county named, born July 23. 1825. He was a grandson of Richard 
and Margaret Shreve and descended, more remotely, from the English 
nobility. In 1798 the great-grandparents named came from Burlington, 
New Jersey, and settled at the head of Oil Creek lake (now Lake Cana- 
dohta). Their, son Israel, the grandfather of Milton W., was born in 
1794 and married Elizabeth Bloomfield, daughter of Thomas Bloom- 
field — a companion of Richard Shreve. a Revolutionary soldier and 
such a prominent man generally that Bloomfield township was named 
in his honor. Israel Shreve died in 1866 and his wife in 1880, and eight 
children were born to them, of whom only one (Thomas B. Shreve, 
of Bloomfield) is now alive. 

Aside from the groundwork of an education laid in the district 
schools of Crawford county. Cyrus Shreve obtained his mental training 
through his own exertions, and his culture and profound influence over 
men and women from the book of life. His power was that obtained 
by all simple, direct, disinterested souls, who are alive to the needs, 
sufferings and longings of others, and who, in their endeavors to assist 
and comfort, took no thought of self or personal progress. That such 
characters are revered by all is the greatest possible tribute to Christianity 
itself. Mr. Shreve modestly recognized his call to the ministry at an 
early age, and by self-instruction and prayerful thought had attained 
wide scholarship and deep spiritual insight at the reaching of early 
manhood. In the fall of 1851, when twenty-six years of age, he preached 
his first sermon, and two years later assumed his first pastorate as a 
Baptist clergyman, his charges being at Bloomfield and Rockdale. On 
September 10, 1853, he was ordained to the ministry, and the two years 
of his pastorate at the places mentioned were fertile of spiritual results. 
Although he resigned his charge in 1854, he soon returned to Bloom- 



186 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

field, and in 1855 was instrumental in erecting the church which stands 
there today. In 1857 he resigned his pastorate at Bloomfield, for six 
years was in charge of the churches at Chapmanville and Cherrytree, and 
then, because of ill health, withdrew from his ministerial labors and 
resided for a time on his farm in Bloomfield. With fully recovered 
health he returned to the ministry with renewed zeal, and was thus 
engaged at various points until a comparatively late period in his life. 
His last charge, of nine years, was at Centerville, and he finally retired 
from the Christian field, on account of enfeebled health, to his own 
deep regret and the real sorrow of the many whose inspiration and 
comfort he had been for many years. On January 1, 1856, Rev. Cyrus 
Shreve was married to Miss Florella Nourse, whose parents were 
natives of Vermont. Their two sons, Hon. Milton VV. and Dr. O. M. 
Shreve, were both born at Cherrytree, Pennsylvania. The father passed 
peacefully away at his old home in Bloomfield, July 3, 1908, and although 
he had then nearly reached his eighty-third birthday his entire life, with 
the exception of the last few years, had been marked by continuous 
physical and mental vigor ; then it faded away as the result of no chronic 
and wearing ailment but from the weakening effects of an acute attack 
of the grip. The deceased will long be remembered as the father of the 
Oil Creek Baptist association, but longer still as a wise and sympathetic 
personal counselor and a gentle guide toward the spiritual heights. 

Milton W. Shreve obtained his preparatory education at the Edin- 
boro State Normal, for two years afterward was a student at Allegheny 
College, Meadville, Pennsylvania, and finally graduated from the Buck- 
nell University in 1884. He read law, was admitted to both the state 
and the United States courts, and has since been a prominent figure in 
both legal and public affairs. His practice, which of late years has been 
largely in business and corporate channels, has brought him financial 
interests in various financial and industrial concerns. He is a director 
in the People's Bank of Erie and in several manufactories, and has an 
active m.embership in the Erie Chamber of Commerce, Board of Trade, 
and the Country and Shrine clubs. In Masonry he is past eminent com- 
mander of Mount Olivet Commandery, K. T., and past potentate of 
Zem Zem Temple of the Mystic Shrine. 

Mr. Shreve's chief public record covers the past ten years. In 1899 
he was elected district attorney of Erie county, and in 1900 served as 
chairman of the Republican county committee. He was first elected to 
the Pennsylvania house of representatives in 1906 ; was re-elected in 
1908, and has served during both sessions as a member of the committee 
on appropriations, in 1909 being honored by being chosen as chairman 
of the committee on mines and mining. 

JuDSON E. Turner. During many years Judson E. Turner has been 
identified with the agricultural interests of Greene township in Erie 
county, and he is numbered among the progressive business men and public 
spirited citizens of his community. He was born in Wayne township of 
Erie county July 22, 1861, a son of Byron Turner, who is mentioned more 
at length in the sketch of his son Daniel Deville, elsewhere in this work. 
After receiving a good education in the public schools of Wayne township 
Judson E. Turner learned the cheese maker's trade and followed that 
occupation for four years in Greene township. He spent four vears in 
New York state and returning to Erie county, Pennsylvania, he purchased 
in 1887 fifty acres of his present homestead in Greene township, and with 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 187 

the passing years he has not only improved his land but has added to his 
possessions twenty-five acres more and follows general farming and 
dairying. 

Mr. Turner married in 1881 Miss Flora Johnson, who received her 
education in the public schools of Wayne township, Erie county. Her 
parents, William and Sarah (Morton) Johnson, of Syracuse, New York, 
came to Wayne township, Erie county, Pennsylvania, in the spring of 
1866. They bought eighty-one acres of land there, and were prominent 
farmers of that township until their death. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Turner 
have been born the following children: Edith R., Roscoe C, Josalyn S. 
and William Byron. Mr. and Mrs. Turner are members of the Grange, 
in Greene township and Mr. Turner and his son Roscoe are also identi- 
fied with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Lodge No. 574 at Phil- 
lipsville, while Mrs. Turner and their daughter Edith are members of its 
auxiliary, the Rebekahs. Mr. Turner has been elected D. D. G. M. of Erie 
county, second district of the county, and he has been a delegate to the 
Grand Lodge. Mrs. Turner is N. G. of the Rebekahs and the daughter 
is treasurer of the lodge. Mr. Turner was treasurer of the order for ten 
years. He is a true blue Republican. 

C'harles Bartholomew Lorenz. commissioner of Erie countv and 
ex-jiresident of the select council of the city, is one of the most prominent 
Democrats of the locality. He is a native of South Erie, born April 9, 
1857, and is a son of Emanuel and Appolonia (Kasper) Lorenz, both 
natives of Bavaria, Germany, who came to Erie in 1847, being married in 
that city during the following year. In his early life the father was a 
printer in an oil cloth manufactory. He died at Erie, April 2, 1876, his 
widow passing away in 1894, both as loyal members of the Roman Cath- 
olic church. 

Charles B., of this sketch, received rather an incomplete education 
in the parochical and public schools of Erie, as in 1869, when only twelve 
years of age, he commenced work as a clerk in a butcher shop. This he 
followed until 1880 when he established his own business and before many 
years had accumulated quite a large property holding. He has not only 
made rapid and substantial progress as a business man but has obtained 
wide influence as a Democratic leader and a public man. From 1898 to 
1902 he served as a member of the select council of Erie, being president 
of that body in the latter year, and from 1899 to 1902 he was also hon- 
ored with the presidency of the board of tax revision. In 1905 he became 
a member of the board of county commissioners and was re-elected by 
a flattering majority in 1908. 

Mr. Lorenz was married in 1884 to Miss Elizabeth Leslie, a native 
of Waterford township, Erie county, and daughter of Cochran Leslie. 
They have become the parents of the following children : Henry Leslie, 
born October 1, 1884, and died November 5, 1885, and Margaret, born 
July 24, 1887. 

Henry V. Glaus. Among the strong and honored figures in the 
business and civic circles of the city of Erie that of Henry V. Glaus stood 
prominently forth, as he gained a definite success in his chosen field of 
endeavor, was loyal and public-spirited as a citizen, and so ordered his 
life as to retain the unequivocal esteem of the community which so long 
represented his home, and in which his personal popularity was based on 
his generous, kindly and honorable character. He was the architect of 



188 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

his own fortune and he used his forces not alone for self-advance- 
ment but also for the helping of others who were less fortunate. He died 
on the 11th of September, 1893, and his memory is cherished by the many 
friends whom he had "grappled to his heart with hooks of steel." 

Henry \\ Claus was born at Hamen, Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany, 
on the (ith of November, 1840, and was a son of John and Hedwig 
(Kueshner) Claus. representatives of stanch old families of that section 
of the German empire. John Claus was a man of excellent intellectual 
attainments and was a successful teacher in the schools of his native 
land. In 1852 he came with his family to America and both he and his 
wife passed the remainder of their lives in Pennsylvania, where he con- 
tinued to follow the pedagogic profession in connection with other avoca- 
tions. Henry V. Claus secured his early educational discipline in his fath- 
erland and was about twelve years of age at the time of the family 
removal to the United States. The parents located in Erie county, and 
here he w^as reared to manhood. As a boy he was employed on a farm 
in this county for a time, and he then came to the city of Erie, where for 
six years he was a clerk in the grocery store of the late Philip A. Becker. 
In this connection he gained valuable experience and well fortified him- 
self for the attaining of success in his independent operations along simi- 
lar lines in later years. After leaving the employ of Mr. Becker he was 
similarly engaged for one year in the store of F. L. Siegel, and then, in 
1863, he initiated his independent career, which was destined to be one 
of marked success. He opened a grocery and liquor store at the corner 
of French and Fifth streets, and thereafter he continued to be identified 
with the business interests of the city until his death. His loyalty to his 
adopted country, however, w^as such that in the early part of the year 
1865 he placed his business in charge of others and tendered his services 
in defense of the Union. He enlisted in Company K, Ninety-eighth 
Pennsylvania \^olunteer Infantry, and with this command he served until 
the close of the war, when he received his honorable discharge. 

Upon his return to his home in Erie ]\Ir. Claus resumed charge of 
his business, to which he gave his undivided attention. His popularity 
and resourcefulness caused the enterprise to expand in scope as the years 
passed, and he finally found his original store inadequate to accommodate 
his large and substantial trade. He accordingly purchased one of the 
old foundry buildings on State street, between Tenth and Eleventh 
streets, and by putting in a modern front and otherwise remodeling the 
building he made it especially eligible for the uses of his business, which 
was here confined to the handling of liquors and tobaccos at wholesale. 
He continued his original retail store on French street, as a branch of 
the new headquarters, until 1887, when he sold the property and busi- 
ness to Charles B. Wuenchel, and thereafter gave his undivided atten- 
tion to his extensive wholesale business until he was summoned from 
the scene of life's endeavors. He gained success by worthy means and 
ever held the confidence and respect of all with whom he liad dealings. 
He was one of the best known of the German-American citizens of 
Erie, and his popularity was measured only by the circle of his ac- 
quaintances. He was prominent in musical circles and was for many 
years one of the leading members of the Liedertafel Society. He was 
also affiliated with the Grand Army of the Republic, the Knights of 
Honor, the Royal Arcanum and other social and fraternal organizations. 
His political support was given to the Republican party. He was gen- 
erous, kindly and public-spirited, and his integrity was of inviolable 



^ THE NEW YORK 
IPUBLIC LIBRAR 



i 



AST«ft, LENOX 
TILCEN FOUNOATION* 




GEORGE D. REAVLEY 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 189 

order. Liberal and charitable, he did much for others, invariably in 
an unostentatious way, and his memory will long be revered by those 
to whom he has shown the helpfulness of true friendship. 

In the year 1870 Mr. Claus was united in marriage to Miss Fran- 
zeska Curtze. daughter of the late Frederic Curtze, Esq., of Erie, and 
of this union were born four children, namely : Frederick, deceased ; 
Adolph, who is secretary and treasurer of the Globe Iron Works and 
treasurer of the Heisler Locomotive Works ; Anna, who is the wife of 
Charles A. Mertens, a representative attorney of Erie; and Herman, 
who died at the age of nine years. 

George Dawson Reavley. It was within the province of the late 
George D. Reavley to have wielded a large and beneficent influence in 
the commercial, civic and social affairs of the city of Erie, and he was 
exponent of that high type of manhood which ever stands indicatory 
of usefulness and subjective honor. He impressed his strong individu- 
ality upon the community in which he so long maintained his home and 
in which he was held in unqualified esteem, and it is fitting that this 
publication accord to him a tribute of perpetual appreciation as one of 
the representative citizens and business men of Erie county. 

George Dawson Reavley was born near Alnwick, Northumberland, 
England, on the 13th of August, 1841, and was a son of John and Isabel 
Reavley. who passed their entire lives in England. The subject of this 
memoir received excellent educational advantages in his youth, and 
in his native land he also learned the profession of druggist, to which 
he there devoted his attention until 1861, when, at the age of twenty 
years, he came to the United States, where he found employment in the 
vocation to which he had been trained. The land of his adoption must 
have soon appealed to this loyalty, for as the Civil war progressed he 
found himself entering a responsive protest, which culminated in his 
enlistment in the Union service in January, 1864. He was assigned to 
duty on the United States steamship "Curlew," of the Gulf squadron, 
and in this connection was in active service during the later part of the 
great conflict between the North and the South. He received an hon- 
orable discharge at the close of the war, and thereafter he was con- 
fined to the hospital for several months, his illness having resulted from 
exposure endured during his service for the Union. Finally, with the 
hope of recuperating his physical energies, he returned to his native 
land, where he passed about a year at the parental home. He then re- 
turned to America and located at Youngsville, Pennsylvania, where he 
was engaged in the drug business until 1874, in February of which year 
he took up his residence in Erie, with whose interests he was destined 
thereafter to remain closely identified during the remainder of his long 
and useful life. 

Soon after his arrival in Erie Mr. Reavley established a large and 
finely equipped retail drug store on Parade street, and there he built up 
a trade that was essentially representative in character and of large 
extent. His honorable business methods and the courtesy shown to all 
patrons had the effect, coupled with the effective service accorded, 
of making his fine establishment one of the most popular in the city, 
and he continued to give his personal supervision to the enterprise until 
1902, when he practically retired from active business associations. Mr. 
Reavley did much to further the material upbuilding and advancement 
of Erie, where he became the owner of much valuable realty, upon 



190 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

which he made the best type of improvements. In 1890 he erected the 
first three-story brick building to be put up on Farade street, and the 
same is known as the Reavley block. This is still owned by his estate. 
In 1900 he erected the beautiful and commodious family residence, at 
522 East Sixth street, where his widow still maintains her home. 

In 1894 Air. Reavley and his wife made a trip abroad being absent 
for a period of four months, within which they visited his old home in 
England and also made a comprehensive and interestmg tour of the 
European continent. 

As a citizen Mr. Reavley was essentially loyal and public-spirited, 
taking a deep 'ntf^rest in all that concerned the welfare of his home city 
and lending his support to worthy measures advanced for the general 
good of the community. He was a man of most gracious personality 
and had a wide acquaintanceship in Erie county, whce he ever com- 
manded the high regard of all w'ho knew him. In politics he gave his 
allegiance to the Republican party, though he never sought or desired 
official preferment of any description. He was a supporter and attend- 
ant of the First Presbyterian church, of wdiich Mrs. Reavley is a zealous 
and valued member. In a fraternal way he was identified with the In- 
dependent Order of Odd Fellows, the Sons of St. George, the Grand 
Army of the Republic, and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. 
His death occurred on the 6th of June, 1903, and the people of Erie 
felt a sense of personal bereavement in the loss of this honored citizen 
and representative business man. 

In 1873 Mr. Reavley was united in marriage to Miss Emma Mc- 
Kinney, of Youngsville, this state, and she was summoned to the life 
eternal in 1877. being survived by one daughter, Mabel Isabel, who is 
now the wife of Willis D. Hudson, of Erie. On the 21st of October, 
1880, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Reavley to Mrs. Jennie (Car- 
lin) Zurn, widow of George Zurn, whose death occurred in 1876, and 
who left two children. — May Dorothy, who is now the wife of Ben- 
jamin F. Sieger, of Erie, and Otto, who died at the age of seven years. 
Mrs. Reavley was born July 5, 1847, in Chautauqua county, New York, 
and is a daughter of Henry and Angeline (Dibble) Carlin. the former of 
whom was born at Westfield, New York, and the latter in the state of 
Ohio. 

Mrs. Reavley is specially prominent in the social and fraternal 
affairs of her home city and state. She is identified with the Daughters 
of Rebekah, an adjunct of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, 
and has been specially active and popular in connection with the interests 
of the Woman's Relief Corps. In 1888-9 she was president of the Penn- 
sylvania state organization of this splendid auxiliary of the Grand Army 
of the Republic, and in 1887 she was the third to be called to the presi- 
dency of the Strong-Vincent Relief Corps, the local organization in the 
city of Erie, and was again elected to that office in 1909. Of this body 
she has served continuously as treasurer for a period of fifteen years. 
She was identified with the organization of the Erie Bureau of Chari- 
ties, now known as the Associated Charities, and has been active in its 
work for a long period of years, during nearly twelve of which she was 
treasurer of the organization. — an office from which she finallv retired 
in October, 1908. She is a zealous and devoted member of the First 
Presbyterian church, and in the same is president of the Pastor's Aid 
Society. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 191 



Justin Arthur Robison has attained his official majority by hav- 
ing served, for more than twenty-one years, as clerk to the board of 
commissioners of Erie county, and in point of continuous official work 
is the Nestor of Erie. The total years of his life, however, by no means 
make him a venerable representative of the county officers, as he was 
born in Venango county, Pennsylvania, on the 26th of October, 1844. 
His grandfather was a native of Ireland, who became a pioneer farmer 
of that county, owner of a 400-acre farm and also a leading citizen of 
Cherry Tree township. At his death the son, Alexander, inherited one 
hundred acres of the family homestead, and followed farming on this 
division of the old place all his life. He married oSliss Catherine Graham 
Irwin and both died on the old farm. 

It was there also that the son, Justin A., was reared, and in that 
locality that he received a district school education. His earlier years 
were spent in agricultural pursuits and afterward, as a young man, he 
was engaged in the oil fields of Venango county and in the manufacture 
of staves in western New York. He then located in Albion, Erie county, 
as clerk in a general store whose proprietor was also the postmaster of 
the place. Upon the death of his mercantile superior Mr. Robison 
succeeded him as postmaster, holding the office with much credit for 
eleven years. One of his predominating traits seems surely to be stead- 
fastness of purpose, for he passed from the postmastership of Albion to 
his present position, to which he was appointed January 1, 1890. These 
facts require no formal comment as to unusual efficiency of service 
and honorable and substantial personal character. Mr. Robison's wife 
was Miss Martha A. Logan, of Albion, whose father was one of the 
best known practicing physicians of Erie county. The greatest sorrow 
of their lives is the death of their only daughter and child, Ada M. Rob- 
ison, who passed away in 1896, at the age of twenty-one years. 

Thomas Pickering, one of the old and well known citizens of 
Erie, was born at East Islington, Yorkshire, England, June 27, 1845, 
the son of Harland and Elizabeth (Day) Pickering. The family came 
to Canada in 1848, locating in Trafalgar township, Ontario, where Har- 
land, the father followed farming. He died in 1874, and his widow in 
1883. Thomas Pickering located in Erie in 1866, but shortly after- 
wards went to the oil region of Pennsylvania, where he spent several 
years. In 1873 he returned to Erie and engaged in the livery business 
on West Eighteenth street, between State and Peach, and in 1885, re- 
moved to his present stand at Nos. 145-147 on that street, where he has 
one of the largest and best establishments of the kind in the city. 

Mr. Pickering has been very prominent in municipal affairs, as 
will be seen by the brief record which follows : He was a member of 
the select city council in 1887-8 and 1894-7, serving as its president dur- 
ing the last year. In 1896-8, he was a member and president of the 
board of review of taxes and appeals, and he also served on the board 
of education for several years. Mr. Pickering was married January 
12, 1874, to Katherine, the daughter of Anton Knoll, an early business 
man of Erie. 

John N. Sapper. One of the leading business men and citizens of 
public influence residing in Erie. John N. Sapper is also a German-Amer- 
ican, born in the Second ward of the city, on the 16th of November, 



192 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

1848. His parents, A'eit and Anna Dora (Kroph) Sapper, were natives 
of Germany — the former of whom was born in 1821 and died in 1889, 
and the latter, born in 1827 and died in 1881 respectively. In 1848, in 
the year of John's birth, which also marked the revolution when so 
many young men emigrated from the fatherland to the United States, 
the father came direct to Erie, making the entire journey by water. 
Although master of the stone mason's trade, when he located in that 
city he entered the employ of Lester, Sennett and Chester, and later 
became identified with Barr and Johnson. The latter firm was merged 
into the Germer Stove Works, with which Air. Sapper was connected 
for thirty-five years continuously. Both he and his wife were devout 
Lutherans. Ten children were born to them — John N., Adam, Elizabeth, 
Margaret (deceased), George, Kate (deceased), Anna, William, Dora, 
and Frank C. (deceased). 

John N. Sapper, the oldest child of this family, attended the public 
schools of Erie until he was thirteen years of age, and from that time 
until he was sixteen was employed in the foundry. He then mastered 
the tinner's trade, and was employed by one house for twenty-five years, 
his identification with the business commencing when the firm was Barr 
and Johnson and concluding under the Germer Stove works. In 1887 
he became a member of the firm of Mehl and Sapper, hardware dealers 
at No 1114 State street, and since that time has been engaged in a 
large and growing business at that location. He is an active member 
of the Erie Board of Trade, and in his civic relations to the city has 
shown special interest and attained prominence in the educational affairs 
of the municipality,. ,In Jime, 1901, he was elected to the Erie school 
board, and has hekh a member of that body ever since, serving as its 
president in 1906. He belongs to the order of Elks, and is an earnest 
worker in the religious and charitable activities of St. John's Lutheran 
church, of which Jie once served as secretary of the board of trustees 
and with which his wife is also identified. Mrs. Sapper was formerly 
Miss Minnie Miller, daughter of F. W. Miller, of Erie, and she is the 
mother of one child, Frederick William Sapper. The latter was for- 
merly connected with the Marine National Bank of Erie, and is now 
treasurer of the Federal Manufacturing Company. He married Miss 
Zella, daughter of N. A. Watson, of Erie, and to them has been born 
a son, Frederick William. 

Albert MacDonald. It is characteristic of the thrifty and com- 
mon-sense traits of the old Scotch family of which Albert MacDonald 
is a representative that three generations in this country have founded 
their family comforts and based their substantial careers on a special 
form of industry. Albert, the representative of the present generation, 
is now superintendent of the Metric Metal Works of Erie. He was 
born at Albany. New York, on May 11. 1875, and is the son of William 
and Elida (Pangborn) MacDonald. also natives of that city. The grand- 
father came from Inverness, Scotland, to Albany in 1849. and there 
established a manufactory of gas meters. The father has always been 
engaged in the same line and is still active. The mother died in 1890. 

Albert MacDonald reached the period of his youth in Albany, in 
whose common and high schools he was first educated. He then took 
a preparatory course at the Steven's School. Hoboken, New Jersey, 
and then entered the institute proper. While a senior in that institu- 
tion, he left to accept his present position. Mr. MacDonald is widely 



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known in his special line of manufacture, and is a member of the Amer- 
ican Gas Institute, American Brass Foundrymen's Association, Amer- 
ican Foundrymen's Association and the Canadian Gas Association, and 
is a director in the Erie Engine Works and in the Erie Gas Company. 
He also belongs to the Erie and Kahkwa clubs. Before her marriage 
his wife was known as Miss Louanna Hardwick, daughter of Hon. Wil- 
liam Hardwick, of Erie. 

George W. Blaine, connected with various business enterprises 
which he has successfully conducted, is numbered among the represen- 
tative citizens of Erie county, in that his business afifairs have always 
been of a character that have contributed to general prosperity as well as 
to individual success. A native of North East, Pennsylvania, he was 
born on the 6th of March, 1849, of the marriage of A. W. and Sarah 
A. (Piatt) Blaine, also natives of North East. His paternal grandfather, 
James Blaine, was born in Juniata county, Pennsylvania, while his 
maternal grandfather, Jeremiah Piatt, was a native of Connecticut. Both 
became residents of North East township about 1800 and purchased 
land from the Holland Land Company. The tract was all covered with 
timber, which it was necessary to clear away before they could plow and 
cultivate the fields. Both were active in the substantial development and 
improvement of that section and both were equally strong in advocacy 
of Republican principles. George W. Blaine is a cousin of Hon. James 
G. Blaine, the "Plumed Knight" and the lineage is in direct line in the 
Blaine family. 

Reared in the place of their nativity, A. W. Blaine and Sarah A. 
Piatt were married in North East and were prominent and well-known 
residents there. The father was actively and successfully engaged in 
the banking business for a number of years. In 1864 he organized the 
First National Bank in association with Amos Gould, John McCord and 
William Griffith and was elected its first cashier, in which capacity he 
controlled its interests and made it one of the substantial financial 
institutions of that locality. He also did much toward shaping the 
public poHcy of that district, his ability and fitness for leadership result- 
ing in his selection for various offices. For sometime he filled the 
position of justice of the peace and three times he was called upon to 
represent his district in the general assembly, during which time he was 
connected with much important constructive legislation, while to each 
question which came up for settlement he gave earnest and thoughtful 
consideration, casting the weight of his influence on the side that he be- 
lieved would further the best interests of the commonwealth. He died 
January 10, 1879, having for twelve years survived his wife, who passed 
away in May, 1867. Their children were: Alice E., now the wife of 
Colonel W. A. Robinson, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; George W. ; and 
Mary R., the wife of Joseph T. McCord, of North East, Pennsylvania. 

Reared under the parental roof, George W. Blaine acquired his 
education in the public schools, dividing his time between the duties 
of the schoolroom, the pleasures of the playground and such tasks as 
were assigned him by parental authority. In 1870, when twenty-one 
years of age, he began business on his own account as proprietor of a 
grocery store but a year later he sold out and went upon his father's 
farm, which he rented until the father's death. He then purchased the 
place, which he still conducts as a vineyard, it being now within the city 
Hmits and comprising a tract of rich land of fifty acres. As the years 
Vol. 11—13 



194 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

have gone by Mr. Blaine has also extended his efforts into other fields 
of activity. He was for a time engaged in the sawmill and lumber 
business with A. I. Loop and a year later became connected with A. M. 
Backus in the same line, that association being maintained for two years. 
He then severed his business relations with Mr. Backus and in 1893 
turned his attention to banking, joining with several other leading 
business men in organizing the First National Bank of North East. 
He was elected its president, with Robert Dill as vice-president and 
B. C. Spooner as cashier. In the control of this enterprise he has dis- 
played keen discernment, his efforts being an important factor in its 
successful conduct. In 1893 he also purchased a gristmill from the 
Haywood Estate and established a coalyard. In 1903, in connection 
with G. N. Mackay and J. E. Lee, he purchased the Scouller mill, and 
this firm also handles coal and other commodities. Mr. Blaine is now the 
president of the Blaine, Mackay & Lee Company and the firm is enjoying 
continuous and growing success in the lines along which they are operat- 
ing. In 1896, in connection with W. J. Town and Charles S. Moses, 
Mr. Blaine purchased the plant of the North East Cider Works, which 
they converted into a vinegar factory with a capacity of from ten to 
twelve thousand barrels per year. This company was incorporated with 
Mr. Blaine as president and the business is now one of the important 
productive industries of the town. In 1906 Mr. Blaine became owner 
of the American Beauty Stove Works, with W. E. Jorden as partner 
and manager, Mr. Blaine retaining the presidency. It will thus be seen 
that his interests are varied and in the community where he resides he 
is known as a successful business man who carefully formulates his 
plans and is determined in their execution. He allows no obstacles or 
difficulties to bar his path if they can be overcome by persistent and 
earnest effort and his activity has carried him into important public 
relations. In addition to his other interests he is president of the board 
of trustees of the North East cemetery, he is a director of the Mutual 
Telephone Company and is the owner of over three hundred acres of 
valuable farm land, over eighty acres of which is planted to grapes. 

On the 25th of September, 1872, Mr. Blaine was married to Miss 
Anna M. Hampson, who was born in North East townshi]:) and is a 
daughter of James and Matilda M. (Porter) Hampson. Their only 
child, Ruth M., born September 8, 1877, died in February, 1879. The 
parents are members of the Presbyterian church, in which Mr. Blaine 
has filled all of the offices and he takes a prominent part in the church 
of his choice. In 1901 "The Centennial Commemoration of the Found- 
ing of the First Presbyterian Church of North East, Pennsylvania" 
was published and Mr. Blaine was the prime factor in its publication. 
It is a volume of 282 pages, illustrated with halftone engravings of the 
first churches of the society and the ministers. This book is well written 
and of great historical value to the North East Presbyterian Society. Mr. 
Blaine's political allegiance is given to the Republican party and for 
thirteen years he has served as a member of the city council, discharging 
his duties with marked promptness and fidelity, his efforts being practical 
factors in promoting the city's upbuilding. He has also been and is the 
treasurer of North East and without invidious distinction he may be 
termed one of the foremost citizens of the town. His entire life has 
here been passed and through the period of his manhood he has been 
closely associated with its material, intellectual, political and moral prog- 
ress. He stands as a splendid type of the progressive American citizen 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 195 

who realizes and meets his obligations to the community and in business 
affairs holds to high standards, never taking advantage of the necessities 
of his fellowmen but winning his success in the legitimate lines of trade. 

Charles B. Wuenschel is a well known and prominent business 
man of Erie, and a leading member of the city school board. He is a 
native son of Erie, having been born there in 1858, the son of Simon 
and Elizabeth (Heidt) Wuenschel, both natives of Bavaria, Germany. 
Simon Wuenschel was a cooper by trade and came to the United States 
and to Erie in 1847, being there engaged in business as agent for a 
large oil cloth manufactory. He died in 1870, and his wife in 1898. 

Mr. Wuenschel of this sketch, was educated in the Erie public 
schools, and began practical life as a clerk in the shoe store of Joseph 
P. Eichenlob, where he continued for eight years. He then entered the 
employ of the late H. V. Claus, and had charge of the French and 
Fourth street branch of that gentleman's State street busmess, until 
1887, when he succeeded to the entire business and has since success- 
fully conducted the enterprise. For many years Mr. Wuenschel has 
been closely identified with the public school system of Erie, and for 
sixteen consecutive years has been a member of the school board, hav- 
ing served both as secretary and president of that body. He was first 
elected in 1892, and has since been chosen for six different terms, three 
times without opposition. In 1891-5, he served as secretary, and in 
1906, as president of the board and during his term of service, many 
great improvements have been made in the public school system. Dur- 
ing the above period, school buildings numbers 10, 12, 13 and 16 were 
enlarged, numbers 2, 1, 6, 14, 17 and 18 erected, and the city high school 
completely remodelled. 

In 1879 Mr. Wuenschel married Maggie B., the daughter of J. 
T. Sevin. For nine years before her marriage, Mr. Wuenschel's wife 
was a teacher in the public schools of Erie. Two children have been 
born of this union ; Flora E., who died in 1902, at the age of twenty- 
two years, and Charlotte M., who resides with her parents. 

Charles H. English, who is a prominent young member of the 
Erie county bar and also a local leader of the Democracy, was born in 
the First ward of the city, on October 30, 1883. Fie is a son of Mi- 
chael M. and Maria (Sheridan) English, highly respected citizens of 
Erie. His father was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1847, and his 
mother is a native of Ireland, born in the following year, their marriage 
occurring at Lockport. New York. In 1878 they settled in Erie, where 
Michael English has long been a construction engineer identified with 
railroad construction. 

Charles H. English, of this sketch, acquired his preliminary educa- 
tion at St. Patrick's parochial school and later attended the Erie high 
school, from which he graduated in 1902. Being thus prepared for a 
university course, he entered Georgetown College, from whose law de- 
partment he graduated in 1906, having also pursued his professional 
studies in the office of C. L. Baker, of Erie. He was admitted to the 
bar June 27, 1907 ; in that year began the practice of his profession, 
and February 1, 1908, became associated with Francis F. Nagorski to 
form the firm of Nagorski and English. The partnership business is 
increasing at an encouraging rate, and Mr. English is becoming well 
known both as an able and progressive attorney and a forceful element 



196 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

in local Democratic affairs. In 1908 he was chosen chairman of the Erie 
County Democratic Committee and is still engaged in the energetic and 
satisfactory discharge of his official duties in that connection. Air. 
English is also popular in fraternal society circles, being a Grand Knight 
of the Erie Council, Knights of Columbus, and a director in the Alar- 
quette Club, as well as of the Marquette Building and Loan Association. 

Philip W. Dietly. A city acquires high standing in any branch 
of industry or commerce by reason of the quality and originality of its 
manufactures and business methods, as well as because of the bulk of 
transactions in a particular line. Originality and enterprise are always 
at a premium in the markets of the world, however great a value it may 
place upon efficiency and skill. Now, the city of Erie is obtaining — has 
obtained — a fine name as a center of iron manufactures ; as a leading 
headquarters in the production of powerful and complicated mechan- 
isms used in the operation and building of railroads and the general 
development of commerce and municipalities. One of the prime rea- 
sons for this standing is that it has produced such men as Philip W. 
Dietly, proprietor of the Erie Machine Shop, who is not only a master 
of his craft but has original ideas in mechanics which he has put into 
practical execution and actual forms of working iron. His establishment 
was the second machine shop in the United States to build steam rollers, 
which, as much as any one agency, have advanced the "good road" move- 
ment and the stability and beautifying of city thoroughfares and pleas- 
ure grounds. The great asphalt mixers, which every lover of ingen- 
uity and power, as well as economy of labor, has paused to admire in 
the progress of street construction — 'this fine useful piece of mechanism 
is especially Mr. Dietly's favorite child, as it was he who erected one 
of the first asphalt plant (whose central feature is the mixer) in the 
city of Erie. The paving roller and the asphalt mixer are now the 
main specialties of his machine shop, which is the largest individual 
establishment of the kind in the city. 

]\Ir. Dietly is a native of Erie, born on the 26th of September. 
1861, and is a son of the late Uras J. and Caroline (Reasir) Dietly, 
natives respectively of Switzerland and Germany. They both emigrated 
to Erie in 1853, where the father followed his trade as a tailor until 
his death November 4, 1874, at the age of fifty-three years and seven 
months. The mother was born June 20, 1833, and died in Erie, Alarch 
9, 1897. The son first obtained a public school education and then 
served an apprenticeship at the machinist's trade in the old Humbolt 
Iron Works. He steadily worked at the bench for about ten years ; 
then was an engineer on the Anchor line of lake steamers for four years, 
and then engaged in the retail oil business by establishing the first "route" 
in the city. 

Mr. Dietly's career as an individual iron manufacturer dates from 
1885, when he established the Erie Machine Shop at the corner of 
Twelfth and State streets. He continued at that location until 1894, 
when he completed the substantial brick building which is now his plant, 
at the southeast corner of Thirteenth and Peach streets. He is also at 
the head of two other leading industries of Erie, the Volcanic Torch 
Manufacturing Company and the Wayne Brewing Company, and is also 
otherwise interested in various business enterprises. As a public citizen 
he has been prominent for a number of years, and since 1905 has been 
an active member of the city school board. As he is a thirty-second 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 197 

degree Mason, a Knight Templar and a Shriner, he is a member of the 
local Shrine Club, and is also identified with the Elks and the Country 
Club. On the 22d of October, 1891, Mr. Dietly wedded Miss Mary E. 
Milks, daughter of Albert and Deborah (Fogg) Milks. She was born 
at Cranesville, Pennsylvania, November 13, 1861. Her mother is de- 
ceased, while her father lives with her in Erie. The children of the 
household are four, as follows: Hazel S., born December 2, 1892; Uras 
A., born May 18, 1894:; Philip W., born February 3, 1897; and Mary E., 
born March 16, 1900. 

George F. Diehl, one of the prominent of the younger citizens 
and business men of Erie and president of the Colby Piano Company, 
has as one of his strongly marked characteristics a determination that 
enables him to persevere in the pursuit of a persistent purpose. More- 
over his plans are always well formulated and are the result of care- 
ful consideration of the possibilities of every business situation. One 
of Erie's native sons, his birth occurred in the Fourth ward of this city, 
February 8, 1861, his parents being Fred and Barbara C. (Doll) Diehl, 
well known German-American residents of Erie. The father was born 
in the Rhine province of Prussia, November 15, 1834, and was a son 
of John and Elizabeth (Mehl) Diehl, who were also natives of Prussia, 
where they spent their entire lives. Fred Diehl, father of our subject, 
came to America in 1851 and, locating first at Bufifalo, there completed 
the trade of shoemaking in the employ of an uncle. In 1853 he came 
to Erie and was in the employ of Conrad Doll until 1860, when he en- 
gaged in the boot and shoe business on his own account. For thirty-eight 
years thereafter he was closely associated with the commercial interests 
of the city, conducting a successful and growing business until 1898, when 
he retired from active commercial lines, having in the meantime acquired 
a handsome competence sufficient to supply him with all the necessities 
and many of the comforts and luxuries of life. His wife was born in 
Germany, April 30. 1836, and when only a year old was brought to 
America by her parents. Her father, Casper Doll, was a son of Casper 
Doll, Sr. The family were among the pioneer German residents of Erie 
and this part of the state and were prominent here for many years. 
During the long period of his residence here Fred Diehl was actively 
interested in community affairs and in 1883 was called by his fellow 
townsmen to the office of member of the common council, serving for 
two years. Unto him and his wife were born three children : George 
F. ; John C, who is now principal of the high school of Erie ; IMinnie M., 
the wife of Edward W. Horn, now of Cleveland. 

George F. Diehl acquired his education in the city schools of Erie 
and after completing his course was engaged in several lines of business 
prior to 1893, when he became connected with the Colby Piano Company 
as an employe in the office. Mr. Diehl reorganized the company in 1900 
and was made president and general manager of the new concern, which 
is now one of the city's important manufacturing industries. The busi- 
ness is carefully organized, is systematically managed in its various de- 
partments and, studying to produce the best results at a minimum ex- 
penditure of time and labor — which is the basis of all success — the 
officers of this company have made it a profitable concern and one of 
the leading features in the industrial circles of the city. 

]\Ir. Diehl was united in marriage to Miss Anna Smith, of Erie, a 
•daughter of Mrs. Margaret Smith Beckman. Mr. and Mrs. Diehl are 



198 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

prominent in the social circles of the city and are consistent members 
of the Salem Evangelical church. His membership relations also ex- 
tend to the Blue lodge, chapter, council and commandery of the Masonic 
fraternity and to the Mystic Shrine. He is also a member of the Country 
Club and of the Chamber of Commerce and in association with the last 
named is active in affairs for the promotion of the city's welfare and 
upbuilding, giving earnest co-operation to all movements for the public 
good. 

Augustus B. Felgemaker. Blessed with the love for music, the 
late Augustus B. Felgemaker was also endowed with mechanical genius 
and the typical perseverance of his race. The grand result of his life 
was, therefore, that in his early youth he consecrated his abilities to the 
work of practically perfecting and creating one of the most magnificent 
forms through which the vast harmonies and soul of music are ex- 
pressed. After applying his powers of invention and his genius for hard 
labor and business promotion, Mr. Felgemaker developed the first port- 
able pipe organ in the world. Even prior to his death. October 16, 1905, 
he had established one of the largest church organ manufactories in the 
country. He had become known not only throughout the United States, 
but abroad, as one of the leading organ builders of the world. The 
concern was incorporated as the A. B. Felgemaker Organ Company in 
1904, and so firmly was it established that even since the death of its 
founder it has prospered to an unparalleled extent. 

A conclusive test of its remarkable stability was the long business 
panic or depression of 1907-8, during which it enjoyed the distinction of 
being the only manufactory of Erie which continued in operation on 
full force. For years the plant has confined itself to the construction 
of church organs and fully one thousand religious edifices have housed 
its products within their walls, with pride for the manufacture and high 
honor for the manufacturer. 

Augustus B. Felgemaker, founder of this great establishment, was 
born in Prussia, Germany, on the 16th of July, 1836, and is a son of Dr. 
Joseph and Caroline (Benning) Felgemaker, both natives of the Nether- 
lands. The father, who was a graduate of the medical department of Heid- 
elberg University, practiced his profession for a time both in Holland 
and Germany. Emigrating to the United States in 1840, he located at 
Buffalo, New York, where he continued in professional work and, with 
his wife, passed his last years. The son received his education in the 
Buffalo public schools, and while yet a boy showed decided talent and 
mechanical gifts. Moreover, he early chose organ building as a trade 
and business, and while still a youth invented and patented the first port- 
able pipe organ ever made. In 1865 he began the manufacture of organs 
under his own patents in Buffalo, under the firm name of Derrick and 
Felgemaker. In 1872 the business was located in Erie, and in 1875, 
by the retirement of Mr. Derrick, it commenced to be conducted as the 
A. B. Felgemaker Pipe Organ Company, with Mr. Felgemaker as its 
sole proprietor until his death thirty years later. The deceased was not 
only widely known as the head of one of the leading industries of Erie, 
whose uniqueness gave the city itself a special standing, but as a broad 
citizen of many outside activities. He was a well known member of 
the Erie Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade, a director of the 
Erie Trust Company, and a Mason of the thirty-second degree in the 
Scottish rite consistory. As a family man, the deceased was affectionate 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 199 

and generous, and since his taking away there is a pathetic vacancy in 
the household. The surviving members of the family are the widow 
and four daughters, two of whom are married and two, live with their 
mother. On September 14, 1869, Mr. Felgemaker wedded Miss Julia 
Dickman, daughter of George and Catherine (Smith) Dickman, resi- 
dents of Buffalo, New York, and the children of this marriage are as 
follows : Ada E., who is now Mrs. Martin Mayer, wife of the well 
known contractor of Erie; Emma Henrietta, who married Dr. David V. 
Reinoehl, a leading Erie physician ; and Charlotta and Olive, who live 
at home. Mrs. Felgemaker and her daughters are all members of St. 
Paul's Episcopal church. 

Horatio Nelson Bradley. More than forty-three years of indus- 
trious and honorable residence in Erie have brought Horatio N. Bradley 
into the first ranks of its citizens, and the three decades covering his 
career as a railroad man have raised him to the responsible position of 
commercial agent for the Pennsvlvania Company, his progress with 
that great corporation being based upon a record of remarkable faithful- 
ness, adaptability and ability. Born at Dansville, Livingston county, 
New York, on the 30th of March, 1846, he is descended from an 
old and prominent New England family, his grandfather becoming a 
pioneer paper manufacturer of western New York. At a very early 
day, this paternal ancestor located at Dansville, because of the natural 
water power found there, and erected what was the first paper mill in 
that section of the country. Having thoroughly mastered this line of 
manufacture in his native state of Connecticut, the builder and pro- 
prietor made a permanent and broad success of the business. For many 
years, both he and his four sons were engaged in paper making at Dans- 
ville and (at least, a portion of the time) at Niagara Falls. One of 
these sons, Lucius Bradley, was a native of New Haven, Connecticut; 
accompanied his parents to Dansville; after completing his education en- 
tered the paper mills and spent his remaining days in the locality, being 
a leader not only in its industries but in the general progress of the com- 
munity. He also held a commission from Governor Seward as a major 
in the state milita, his brother Chester being a colonel; so that Lucius 
Bradley, father of Horatio N., proved his full worth to the city and th6 
commonwealth in many capacities. He was united in marriage to Miss 
Eunice Knowlton, also a native of Dansville, daughter of Amos Knowl- 
ton, a native of Vermont but a pioneer of Livingston county. New York. 
H. N. Bradley, of this sketch, was reared in Dansville and was edu- 
cated in its public school and academy. In 1866, when twenty years of 
age, he located in Erie as a clerk in the hardware store of John C. Selden 
on French street and was similarly engaged with W. W. Pierce and 
Companv, also hardware merchants. In 1878 he began his railroad 
career as clerk to George V. Maus, then division freight agent of the 
Pennsylvania Company at Erie. Continuous proofs of his ability to 
assume greater responsibilities led to successive promotions as chief 
clerk to C. F. Perkins, division freight agent, and_ (1892) as division 
freight agent himself of the Erie and Ashtabula division of what was 
then the Erie & Pittsburg and the Pittsburg, Youngstown & Ashtabula 
Railroad companies. He continued in the latter position until April, 
1904, when he was appointed to his present responsible position as com- 
mercial agent of the Pennsylvania Company, with headquarters at Erie. 



200 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

]\Jr. Bradley was married at Erie, in 187-i, to Miss Annie Perkins 
Smith, who was born in 1849 and is a daughter of the late Ex-Mayor 
Sherburn Smith, for more than forty years a leading business man and 
citizen of the place. ISlrs. Bradley's father was a native of New Hamp- 
shire, born in 1805. and for some years followed his trade as a hatter 
in the Granite state. He was also thus engaged at Hartford, Connecti- 
cut, and in 1833 became a journeyman hatter in Erie, in that year enter- 
ing the employ of P. K. Rockwell on French street. Two years later 
he founded a business in the old Alansion House, continuing at that loca- 
tion until the great fire of January 22, 1839, swept away that structure 
with a number of adjoining buildings. Mr. Smith then moved his store 
to the east side of French street, where he remained until his death 
December 26, 1876. Besides operating a large establishment as a manu- 
facturer of hats for thirty-five years he was an extensive buyer of wool 
for the eastern markets, during a large portion of his active business 
career, Erie county being considered in the ''western country" and near 
the center of supply of raw material for the woolen manufacturers of 
New England. Air. Smith was also highly respected for his public 
services to the city of Erie, serving in its municipal council and, in 
1859-62, as ma3'or. His marriage in 18-41 was to Miss Susan Heck, 
daughter of J. Heck, long a justice of the peace in Erie. 

Both by marriage and in his individual relations, Mr. Bradley stands 
high as a citizen of Erie. As a railroad man who carries especial 
weight with the business community, he is among the influential mem- 
bers of the Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trade, and he is 
closely associated with those organizations in all the movements fathered 
by them for the general development of the city. He is also a member 
of the Erie Club. His religious affiliations are with the St. Paul's Epis- 
copal church, and both he and his wife are widely known and honored 
for their cultured sociability and their sterling characters. 

Louis Galmish is one of Erie's best known and most popular cit- 
izens, being proprietor of the Parkview Hotel, a leading hostelry of the 
county. A native of the Keystone state, he was born in Frenchtown, 
Crawford county, on the 15th of February, 1861. His parents, Alonzo 
and Frances (Dounon) Galmish, were natives of France, the father 
having been born in Paris and the mother in Belleville. His natal year 
was 1824 and in his boyhood days he came with his father and mother 
to the United States, the family settling in Frenchtown, Crawford coun- 
ty, Pennsylvania. The mother made the voyage across the Atlantic with 
her sister about 1855. Alonzo Galmish followed the occupation of farm- 
ing in Crawford county for a long period and there departed this life 
in 1894 at the age of seventy years, having for more than two decades 
survived his wife, who died in 18T2. 

Louis Galmish was reared on the home farm and the country schools 
afforded him his educational privileges. When not busy with his text- 
books he worked in the fields, but thinking that he would find other 
pursuits more congenial and more profitable, in the fall of 1876, when 
a youth of fifteen years, he left the old home and secured a position in 
a general store in Frenchtown. The following year he removed to Titus- 
ville, Pennsylvania, where he obtained employment in a restaurant and 
in 1878 he went to Franklin, Pennsylvania, where he made his initial 
step in connection with hotel interests by securing a position in the 
United States Hotel, becoming general assistant to the proprietors. 



THE NEW YOFK 
PUBUC LIBRARY 



TH mtH FOUND»TIOW> \ 





c^ ^. ^/>. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 201 

Realizing the value of education in preparation for life's responsible 
duties, he supplemented his early course by attending General Miller's 
free night schools through three seasons. On leaving the United States 
he went to the Exchange Hotel in Franklin, first having charge of the 
dining room, while later he became steward and afterward manager, 
filling the last named position for sixteen years. On the expiration of 
that period he felt that his long and varied experience and the capital 
which he had saved from his earnings justified him in beginning busi- 
ness on his own account and in 1901 he purchased the Hotel Allen, of 
Erie, and the following year enlarged the capacity by building an addi- 
tion. At the same time he changed its name to the Parkview Hotel, 
which is now a fine hostelry situated on South Park Row, fronting 
beautiful Central park. It is one of the most popular of the city's best 
hotels. The building is a four-story brick structure, containing forty 
rooms and a fine dining room. It is equipped with steam heat and elec- 
tric lights and is thoroughly modern in every respect, due attention being 
paid to the cuisine, while every practical effort is put forth for the com- 
fort and convenience of the patrons. The hotel has a large commercial 
patronage and is a favorite with many guests. 

On the 25th of September. 1901, Mr. Galmish was married to Miss 
Catherine Henry, daughter of Michael Henry, of Franklin, Pennsyl- 
vania, where Mrs. Galmish was born. They now have two sons, Louis 
and Henry. The parents are members of St. Patrick's Roman Catholic 
church and Mr. Galmish belongs to the Benevolent and Protective Order 
of Elks, and is a Knight of Columbus. He is also a member of the 
Business Men's Exchange and the Erie Chamber of Commerce and was 
a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard on Major General Charles 
Miller's stafif for seven years and is a member of the Pennsylvania and of 
the National Hotel ]Men's Associations. He has made steady progress 
in his business career, basing his actions upon the rules which govern 
strict and unswerving commercial integrity. An intelligent appreciation 
of opportunities has been one of the salient features in his success and 
his friends — and they are many — rejoice in what he has accomplished, 
knowing that his prosperity is well merited. 

Rev. John B. Tipp, the pastor of St. Boniface's church, in Greene 
township, was born in Neuhaus. Westphalia, Germany, on the 9th of 
May, 1869, and is a son of Joseph and Josefa Tipp, who still live in the 
little .city of Paderborn. The son in his early life was well prepared 
for the high position he now holds, and first attended the College of 
St. Theodore at Paderborn, Germany. In 1890 he matriculated in the 
seminary at Puerto Viejo, in Ecuador, South America, and remaining 
in that institution until 1892 he then entered the Grand Seminary at 
Quito in Ecuador. He continued his studies there until 1894, and on the 
8th of June, 1895, he was ordained to the priesthood by Rt. Rev. Peter 
Schuhmacher, bishop of Puerto Viejo. About this time Rev. Tipp left 
South America on account of a revolution, and coming to the United 
States he was stationed at Pittsburg until 1897, when he came to Erie 
as the assistant to Rt. Rev. Mgr. Decker, and remained' in that capacity 
until June of 1899. At that time he was transferred to Meadville, and 
on the 1st of November, 1900, he was appointed the pastor of the St. Bon- 
iface's church. He is thoroughly earnest and sincere in all his thoughts, 
words and deeds, and his efforts in his divine calling have been abund- 
antly blessed. 



202 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

The first resident pastor of St. Boniface's parish was Rev. Joseph 
A. Oberhofer, appointed June 16, 1857. Mass was said in the house 
of Michael Schnell until September of that year. During this time a 
structure was put up which served as church, priest's house and school 
About fifty families belonged to the congregation and there are a few 
of the old settlers still living in the parish, namely : Martin Moritz, John 
Gredler, Martin Wick, Joe Lavery, Mrs. John Stesel, and Mrs. Elizabeth 
Wagner. Rev. P. F. Maloney succeeded Father Oberhofer in June, 
1867. The old church burned down and a temporary structure was put 
up. In the following year Rev. Father Gerst took charge of the parish 
and was followed by Rev. Y. Vollmeyer in December, 1868. Dissensions 
arose between the nationalities in the parish and the only man who was 
capable lo deal with the difficulty was Rev. Joseph A. Oberhofer. the first 
pastor. The bishop appointed him again and soon the parties were united 
and a new building was erected which stands today. The church was 
dedicated on May 25th, 1873. Shortly after this Father Melchior Appel 
took charge of the parish. In August, 1878, Rev. E. Hasse relieved Father 
Appel who was transferred to Meadville. The next change was made in 
August, 1890, Rev. John C. McEntee being the new pastor. He was 
relieved of his duties by Rev. Jos. W. Sieverding in August, 1891. The 
year 1894 brought another new pastor. Rev. Simon Assenmacher, who 
attended to the wants of the parish up to June, 1895, when Rev. Henry 
F. Dietrich was assigned to the charge. He built a new Sisters 
house but did not enjoy his pastoral works very long because in February, 
1897, he took very sick and died on account of hardships. He was fol- 
lowed by Rev. Jno. H. Heibel, who was transferred to Rasselas in Octo- 
ber, 1900, and succeeded by Rev. John B. Tipp, who is still in charge of 
the parish. A new parsonage was built in 1901. School-work went 
always hand in hand with the church work. The teachers were Messrs. 
Feuersbein, Rohmer, and Adolph Schmidt, and the Ven. Benedictine 
Sisters of St. Mary's, and now the Ven. Benedictine Sisters of Erie. The 
organist in the church since 1903 has been Miss Catherine F. Sens. At 
the present there are about sixty families and as the congregation intend 
building a new brick church all the members of the parish are w^ork- 
ing earnestly for it. Two boys of the parish became priests. Rev. Francis 
Wagner now pastor of Brookville and Rev. Jno. H. Heibel, pastor of 
Rasselas. 

Melvin N. Lovell. The patent of nobility which rested its honors 
and distinction in the person of Melvin Newton Lovell came from high 
authority, since it was based upon fine character and marked ability. 
His life record was one of valuable and generous accomplishment along 
practical, productive lines, and his measure of success was large ; but 
greater than this was intrinsic loyalty, to principle and the deep human 
sympathy which designated the man as he was. As a manufacturer and 
inventor he gained precedence ; he aided materially in the promotion of 
the industrial upbuilding of the city of Erie ; and his life was one of 
signal usefulness and honor in all its relations. 

Mr. Lovell was born at Allegheny, Venango county, Pennsvlvania, 
on the 31st of August, 1844, and is a son of Darias T. and Susan B. 
(Conover) Lovell, both of whom were likewise natives of Pennsylvania, 
where the respective families were early founded, both being of English 
lineage. Darias T. Lovell died about the year 1858 and his wife long 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 203 

survived him, as her death occurred in 1883. When the subject of this 
memoir was a boy the family removed to Kerrtown, a village located in 
the vicinity of Titusville, this state, and there he was reared to maturity, 
in the meanwhile receiving such advantages as were atiforded in the com- 
mon schools of the locality and period. As a youth he served an ap- 
prenticeship at the carpenter's trade, and his natural mechanical talent, 
enabled him soon to become a skilled workman. He followed his trade 
during the major portion of his term of residence in Kerrtown, and also 
became interested in the oil fields of Titusville. 

In 1861, when seventeen years of age, Mr. Lovell left his home and, 
without parental authority, tendered his services in defense of the Union. 
Soon after the outbreak of the Civil war he thus enlisted as a private in 
the One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, 
and with this command he saw active service during his comparatively 
brief career as a soldier of the republic. He received his honorable dis- 
charge at the expiration of his term of enlistment, and in 1865 he took 
up his residence in Erie, where he worked at the carpenter's trade for 
a number of years thereafter. In 1869 Mr. Lovell invented and patented 
several useful articles for household use, and in that year he began the 
manufacturing of certain of these inventions, in partnership with Frank- 
lin F. Adams. Among the principal products of the original factory 
were washing machines and step-ladders. In 1881 Mr. Lovell individ- 
ually began manufacturing other of his patents, including spring beds, 
and from a modest inception the Lovell Manufacturing Company grew 
to be one of the largest industrial concerns of its kind in the Union, even 
as to-day it is recognized as being the most extensive manufactory of 
clothes-wringers in the entire world. 

In connection with his manufactory Mr. Lovell established sales 
agencies for his products in all parts of the country, and these branches 
were known as the Lovell stores. From them goods were sold on the 
installment plan, of which now common system Mr. Lovell was practic- 
ally the originator. After his business had already been established 
upon a substantial basis and had grown to no inconsiderable proportions, 
Mr. Lovell invented and patented the famous wringer which bears his 
name, and in later years he confined his operations largely to the manu- 
facture of this very superior invention, which now finds sales in all 
sections of the civilized world. He was chosen president of the Lovell 
Manufacturing Company at the time of its incorporation, and the con- 
cern is now one of the most important industrial corporations of Erie 
county. Mr. Lovell was also one of the organizers and stockholders of 
the Combination Roll & Rubber Manufacturing Company, of New York, 
which was formed for the purpose of manufacturing his patents, with 
office headquarters in New York City and factory at Bloomfield, New 
Jersey. Of this strong and successful corporation he was vice-president 
until the time of his death. He was the first and most potent factor in 
securing the proper representation of the state of Pennsylvania at the 
Cotton States Exposition, held in Atlanta, Georgia, and was appointed 
commissioner from Pennsylvania to that exposition, where he did an 
enthusiastic and particularly successful work in behalf of his native 
state. He was signally alive to all that concerned the welfare of his 
home city, and his aid and influence were ever given in support of meas- 
ures for the general good of the community. Though never active in the 
domain of practical politics he gave a loyal support to the cause of the 



204 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Republican party, and he was also active in the work of the Methodist 
Episcopal church, to which he was a liberal supporter. He was affiliated 
with the Grand Army of the Republic, and also held membership in var- 
ious civic, business and social organizations. He was steadfast and relia- 
ble as a business man, and left a deep impress upon the industrial history 
of his native state, where his name is held in lasting honor as one of the 
world's noble army of workers. He was summoned to the life eternal 
on the 21st of November, 1895, in the very prime of his strong and use- 
ful manhood. 

In 1870 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Lovell to Miss Eliza- 
beth A Neilson, who was born in New York City, October 15, 1846, and 
who is a daughter of James and Mary A. (Gaggin) Neilson, the former 
of whom was born in the city of Glasgow, Scotland, and the latter in 
Ireland. The parents were married in New York City, where the father 
was a prominent and successful florist for many years, and there both 
continued to reside until their death. In conclusion of this brief sketch 
is enlered record concerning the children of ^Ir. and Airs. Lovell: Susan 
May, rlied in 1888, at the age of twenty years ; Rose Lillian is the wife 
of J.' Edwin Kirk, of Atlanta, Georgia, and they became the parents of 
three children, Melvin Newton, who died at the age of two years, and 
Charles Edwin and Miller Cameron, who are living; Bertha Neilson 
Lovell became the wife of George Rogers Williams, and they reside in 
Buffalo, New York; they have one son, Lowell Wetmore. Airs. Lovell 
still maintains her home in Erie, where she has long been a member of 
the board of managers of the Home for the Friendless, and where slie 
is prominent in social activities and in the work of the First Methodist 
Episcopal church. 

Joseph Orin Wait, prominent among the younger members of the 
legal profession at Erie, Pennsylvania, is a representative of one of the 
pioneer families of Erie county. The Wait family of Erie county is 
descended from Thomas Wait of Portsmouth, Rhode Island. He with 
two brothers, Richard and Gamaliel, came from the west of England to 
America, arriving at Plymouth in 1634, fourteen years after the landing 
of the Pilgrims. Soon after his arrival in America he settled in Rhode 
Island, where on July 1, 1639, he was granted a building lot. On March 
6, 1641, he was made a freeman, a privilege then granted only to church 
members. He died intestate at Portsmouth some time before April, 
1667, and the town council divided his property among his children, Sam- 
uel, Jeremiah, Thomas, Mary and Reuben. John Wait, a descendant of 
Thomas Wait was the fifth justice of the supreme court of Rhode Island. 
The descendants of Thomas Wait continued to reside in the New Eng- 
land states, principally in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, until after 
the close of the Revolutionary war, since which time the family has 
become widely extended over the country, principally through the New 
England states and New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa and 
Kansas. 

Samuel Wait, son of Thomas, married Llannah Whitman, of Kings- 
ton, Rhode Island ; they had four children, Samuel, John, Joseph and 
Susanna. Susanna married Benjamin I'erry; they had a son. Freeman 
Perry, who married Mercy Hazzard, who had one son, Christopher Perry, 
who married Sarah Wallace Alexander, who has a son, Oliver Hazzard 
Perry, Commodore in the United States Navy. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 205 

The great-great-grandfather of Joseph Orin Wait, the subject of 
this review, was Joseph Wait of Broadalbin, New York. He was born 
in Rhode Ishmd in 1759, and died October 19, 1828. He was the son of 
Benjamin (4th), the son of Samuel (3rd), the son of Samuel (2nd), 
the son of Thomas (1st), of Portsmouth, Rhode Island. He was a 
brother of Colonel Beriah, who was an ensign in the Third Company, 
North Kingston, Rhode Island, in 1778, a lieutenant in June. 1780, and a 
colonel in the Continental army for five years. Many of the Waits 
served as soldiers in the French and Indian wars as well as in the Revol- 
ution and Civil war. The family of John Wait was captured by the 
Indians and carried into Canada during the French and Indian wars. 
His wife gave birth to a daughter, while in the hands of the Indians, who 
was named Canada and one of whose descendants was the founder of 
Smiths College at Northampton. 

Joseph Wait, of Broadalbin, served in Captain Delano's company of 
Rhode Island troops during the Revolutionary war. He married Abigail 
Clarke on February 23, 1783. They were the parents of sons as follows: 
George, Clarke, Beriah, Joseph, Benjamin, Walter, Philip and Stephen, 
the great-grandfather of our subject. He was born as Broadalbin, New 
York, August 3, 1802, and died in Le Boeuf township, Erie county, 
Pennsylvania, February 13, 1874. He married at Broadalbin on Janu- 
ary 17, 1821, Jane Shepherd. They settled in Le Boeuf township, in 1833, 
where he took out a patent for a tract of land from the Commonwealth. 
This land is still owned by the Wait family, having been in the family 
for four generations. 

The children of Stephen Wait were, Samuel, S., Peleg P., Eunice, 
Benjamin J., Sarah, Stephen A., Edmund R., Beriah G. and Levi J. 
Peleg P. grandfather of Joseph Orin Wait, was born at Broadalbin, New 
York, January 11, 1824. He married Lois Davis of Washington town- 
ship, Erie county, Pennsylvania, on March 30, 1845. They had four chil- 
dren Daniel, Sarah Jane, Peleg Henry, and Stephen. 

Daniel Wait was born in Le Boeuf township, October 25, 1846, and 
married October 29, 1867, Martha A. daughter of Joseph and Isabella 
(Benn) Arters. To them were born three children: Jennie Viola, Febru- 
ary 27, 1869, married March 30, 1892, Robert McLallen; Joseph Orin, 
whose name introduces this sketch, and Raymond Philip, born July 5, 
1888. 

Joseph Orin Wait was born July 5, 1871, in Le Boeuf township, 
Erie county. He was a student at Waterford Academy and graduated 
from the State Normal School at Edinboro, in 1894, and from Allegheny 
College, Meadville, in 1898, as salutatorian of his class. While in col- 
lege he was on the editorial staff of the "Kaldron," the college "Annual;" 
also of the "Campus," the weekly publication of the college. He is a 
member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. He was admitted to the bar 
in Erie county in 1902, and has offices at No. 8 South Park Row, Erie, 
Pa. 

Mr. Wait was married at Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania, April 
18, 1903, to Nina Ethel, daughter of Joseph and Elza (Buys) May- 
cock. They have one child, a daughter, Lois, born ]\Iarch 16, 1907. Mr. 
Wait is identfied with both the Masons and the Odd Fellows. He is a 
member of Perry Lodge No. 392. F. & A. M., of Temple Chapter No. 
215, of the Shriners Club, of Lake Shore Lodge, No. 718, and of Hen- 
eosis Adelphon Encampment No. 42. 



200 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Charles Gunntson. The growth and development of a city are 
dependent not so much upon the machinery of government or upon those 
who fill the puhlic offices as upon the business men who institute and con- 
trol legitimate enterprises, holding to high standards in all their trade 
rcktions. Of this class Charles Gunnison is a worthy representative and 
is well known to the general public as the senior member of the firm of 
Charles Gunnison & Company, tanners and dealers in hides and leather. 
He was born in Erie, October 29, 1851, a son of the late John B. Gun- 
nison, who was one of the most prominent and influential citizens here 
and one of the founders of the business which is now conducted by his 
£on of this review. John B. Gunnison was born in Erie, April 16, 1826, 
his parents being Ebenezer D. and Sophia (Baker) Gunnison, who were 
pioneers of this city. In his youthful days he was a pupil in the old Erie 
Academy and later he learned the trade of a tanner and currier, while 
subsequently he engaged in the book trade. In 1859 he and his brother, 
Charles E. Gunnison, now president of the Marine National Bank of 
Erie, formed a partnership and erected the large brick tannery on West 
Eighteenth street. John B. Gunnison at once took charge and managed 
the enterprise successfully until his death, which occurred in February, 
1897. In all of his business undertakings he was resolute, determined 
and energetic, carrying forward to successful completion whatever he 
undertook and in all things conforming his actions to a high standard of 
commercial integrity. He served as a member of the common council, 
as city assessor, as a member of the school board and as county assessor 
and in these various relations discharged his duties most ably and faith- 
fully. In his younger days he was assistant chief of the old volunteer 
fire department of Erie and throughout his life he took an active and 
helpful interest in all those activities and movements which were a matter 
of civic virtue and civic pride. He was also a member of the Owl Club, 
one of the prominent early social organizations of the city. He was 
reared in the Baptist faith but in later life united with the Universalist 
church and continued in that belief until his demise. 

On the 5th of February. 1850, John B. Gunnison was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Eleanor Spafiford, who was born in Erie, May 23, 1830, 
a daughter of Oliver and Lucinda (Burton) Spafford. Her father was 
a representative of the old and prominent New England family of that 
name which numbered among its representatives Ainsworth Spafiford, 
late United States congressional librarian. Oliver Spafiford was born at 
West Windsor. Vermont, January 27, 1795, and was the son of John 
and Elizabeth (Kendall) Spafiford. The former was born in A'ermont 
in 1758 and was a soldier of the Revolutionary war. Oliver Spafiford 
was married in Portland, Chautauqua county. New York, and in 1817, 
after having followed various business interests in other parts of the 
country, located in Cincinnati. Ohio, then a town of only three or four 
hundred ]-)opulation. In that place he engaged in the book trade and 
among other volumes published Webster's Elementary Spelling Book 
and the American Preceptor, once noted as a popular reading book for 
the schools. In 1828 he removed to Erie and became the founder of a 
large and prosperous publishing house of this city, which he conducted 
along constantly expanding lines up to the time of his death, which 
occurred September 30, 1881. He had long survived his wife, who died 
January 6, 1855. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Spafiford were as fol- 
lows : Oliver, now deceased; Elizabeth K., who has passed away; Char- 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 207 

lotta A.; Alary j., deceased , Eleanor L. ; Sarah M., deceased; Charles 
R. and Curtis J., both now deceased. 

The children of John B. and Eleanor (Spafford) Gunnison were four 
in nuniljer, the subject of this review being the eldest. Alfred, the second 
son, was born in Erie, March 17, 1853, and pursued his education in the 
schools of that city, after which he went to California in 187-1. He 
spent twenty years on the Pacific coast, where he was engaged in tanning 
and leather business. During that period he married Josephine Springer 
and in 1895 returned to Erie, where he became connected with the firm 
of Charles Gunnison & Company. Anna L., the only daughter, born in 
Erie, Mav 5, 1855, is the wife of Charles Thayer and the mother of three 
children: Lila. the wife of Stanley Byron, of Erie; Edna, the wife of 
George Freas of Williamsport, Pennsylvania; and Paul. Rolla Gunni- 
son, the fourth member of the family, was born in Erie, September 30, 
1863, and was educated in the city schools, after which he became con- 
nected with iiis father in the tanning business as a member of the firm 
of C. Gunnison & Company and still retains his interest in the enterprise, 
although in 1903 he became a member of the George Plumer Leather 
Company of Girard, Pennsylvania. He still retains his residence in 
Erie, however. He married Annie Sisson, of this place, and to them 
have been born three sons : Boyd S., J. Eben and Gordon. 

Charles Gunnison, whose name introduces this review, was reared 
and educated in Erie and after leaving school entered his father's employ, 
continuing with him in business until the father's death, when he and his 
mother and brothers succeeded to the ownership of this enterprise, which 
Charles Gunnison has since capably managed and directed. His thor- 
ough understanding of the trade well qualifies him for the onerous duties 
that devolve upon him in this connection. The output is of superior qual- 
ity and finds a ready sale on the market, their trade in leather and hides 
being now quite extensive and profitable. 

Mr. Gunnison is most pleasantly situated in his home life. He 
wedded Miss May E., daughter of A. B. and Olive M. (Low) Gunnison, 
of Erie, and unto them have been born two sons, but the elder, Arthur, 
who was born September 11, 1880, died at the age of thirteen years. 
Carl, who was born September 17, 1883, married Inez C. Skinner, a 
daughter of F. E. and Mary Skinner, of Erie. There was one child of 
this marriage, Howard Wesley, who died at the age of one year and four 
days. 

Well known in his native city, Charles Gunnison is a valued member 
of the Erie Chamber of Commerce and of the Business Men's Exchange. 
He is also connected with the Knights of Pythias and with the Unitar- 
ian chiu'ch and these associations indicate much of the nature of his in- 
terests and the rules which govern his conduct. The fact that many of 
his warmest friends are those who have known him from his youth to 
the present time is an indication that his life has at all times been an hon- 
orable and straightforward one. 

William Pitt Gilson, who for years was prominently identified 
with the commercial interests of Erie and throughout the entire period 
held to a high standard of business ethics, so that he received the respect 
and esteem of his colleagues and associates, was born in the state of New 
York in the year 1823. He removed from Watertown, New York, to 
Erie, Pennsylvania, when a young man of sixteen years, arriving here 
in 1839. For a long period he was engaged in the coal trade and in the 



208 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

commission business on the docks and during a part of that time was a 
member of the firm of Gilson & Walker. In 1873 he became rental agent 
for the Reed estate, a position which he held until his death on the 8th 
of March, 1898. Mr. Gilson was one of the best informed men in the 
state on turf matters and for many years was the secretary of the Erie 
Racing Association. 

In early manhood Mr. Gilson was united in marriage to ]\Iiss Fran- 
ces Newton, who was born near Saratoga Springs, New York, in Novem- 
ber, 182G. They became the parents of a son and daughter, but the latter, 
Harriet, died in the fall of 1904. The husband and father passed away 
Alarch 9, 1898, and at the time of his demise one of the local newspapers 
said of him: "He was a kind and afifable gentleman whose acquaintance 
was very extended, and wherever known was held in the highest esteem. 
He was a man of honor and his word was as good as any man's bond. 
In his domestic relations he was very happy and his entire time outside 
of business hours was spent at his home. He was a man of refined tastes 
and was exceedingly well read. His home was one of the most attractive 
in the city in its surroundings. The cultivation of roses and other out- 
of-door flowers and growths was a part of the occupations for which he 
had a great liking." His strongly marked traits of character were such 
as won for him unqualified regard and friendship and his memory is yet 
cherished by many who knew him. 

John L. Gilson, a citizen of Erie well known as a theatrical mana- 
ger, was here born June 9, 1851, and spent his youthful days in his par- 
ents' home, while in the public schools he acquired his education. He 
afterward took up the study of telegraphy, became a capable operator 
and from 1870 until 1878 resided in the west, where he was connected 
with telegraphic interests. On the expiration of that period he returned 
to Erie and accepted a position in the office of the collector of internal 
revenue, thus serving from 1878 until 1884. He began his theatrical 
career in 1893, when he assumed the management of the Park Opera 
House of Erie, of which he has since been continuously in charge. On 
the 1st of January, 1905, he became manager of the Majestic theatre, 
one of the most beautiful playhouses in Pennsylvania, and now manages 
this and the Park Opera House conjointly, showing excellent business 
discernment in the control of the two theatres, together with thorough 
understanding of the demands of the public in the way of theatrical 
entertainment. 

Mr. Gilson was married to Miss Florence Sterrett, a daughter of 
Joseph A. and Sarah (Kirkpatrick) Sterrett, both old Erie families. 
Mr. Gilson belongs to the Chamber of Commerce and to the Benevolent 
and Protective Order of Elks. Genial, courteous and cordial, he is a 
popular resident of his native city and has many friends here. 

Paul D. Mullin, a promising young business man of Union City, 
secretary of the Standard Chair Company, is a native of Fayette county, 
Pennsylvania, the son of J. M. and Sarah (Troth) Mullin, and grandson 
of Robert Mullin who was a native of Fayette county and a hat maker 
by trade. J. M. Mullin was a well-to-do farmer, and owned valuable 
coal lands in his native county. 

Paul D. Mullin attended the public schools of his native county, and 
later fitted himself for business life at the Syracuse University, from 
which institution he graduated. After leaving college ^Ir. Mullin en- 
gaged in the insurance business in Pittsburg, but upon the re-organization 
of the Standard Chair Company, of Union City, in 1900, which was 



' THE NEW YOBK 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 



TILDEN FOUNDATIONS 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 309 

incorporated, he assumed the office of secretary of that institution, and 
entered upon the performance of his "duties after the completion of the 
buihhng now occupied by them. This company had been formed first 
m 181)8, and had a force of sixty skilled workmen, but the new factory 
furnished employment for two hundred men, and the output is thirty-five 
hundred chairs in ten hours; the machinery is operated with electrical 
appliances giving four hundred horse-power, and in this city, noted for 
the manufacture of chairs, the company herewith described takes a 
prominent place. 

Mr. MuUin married, October 3, 1906, Marjorie E., daughter of 
Charles H. and Alice AI. (Cady) Church, born in 1882, and they have no 
children. The Church family are further described in the article regard- 
ing H. L. Church, in another part of this work. Charles H. Church and 
his wife had two children, namely : Gertrude E., born in 1878, in 1902 
married O. C. Hatch, and Marjorie E. ]\Irs. C. H. Church was a native 
of Columbus county, Pennsylvania, and both Mr. and Mrs. Church are 
dead he having died in 188G. 

Lowell M. Little. The death of Lowell M. Little removed from 
the city of Erie a citizen who represented a fine type of faithfulness in 
whatever he undertook. Was it business, his associates and superiors 
could always rely upon his absolute integrity although it might run 
counter to his private interests, and upon his unfailing courtesy and 
gentleness, whatever the provocation to anger or even just indignation. 
In a word, Mr, Little was a man who carried the conscience, charity 
and kindliness of his religion into every detail of his daily life, and his 
faithfulness to both worldly and Christian duties was inseparable. 

Mr. Little was a native of Ohio, born at Aurora. Portage county, 
Ohio, on January 1, 1847, and when he came to Erie in 1865 he had 
received a common school education and a wholesome home training. 
At first he entered the office of the American Express Company, at that 
city, but later was transferred to the office at Titusville, Pennsylvania. 
While residing there he became connected with the Titusville National 
Bank, but in 1870 returned to Erie and lived in that city, as one of its 
useful, strong and moral men, until the day of his death. His advent 
to its activities was as secretary and director of the W. L. Scott Coal 
Company, and he ably held the position for thirty years, relinquishing it 
only when compelled to retire from active business on account of fail- 
ing health. For many years he was also a director of the First National 
Bank. His ability, fidelity and elevating influence made him a welcome 
and a prominent personage in the specific circles of religious and chari- 
table workers. In the Park Presbyterian church he was a strong sup- 
porting pillar for many years, being long the leader of its choir, for eight 
years superintendent of the Sunday school and during the last three 
years of his life one of its elders. He was also, for some time, president 
of the local organization of the Young Men's Christian Association, and 
held other positions on the boards of various religious, charitable and 
benevolent bodies. Fully alive to the elevating efifects of a general men- 
tal enlightenment upon the public, he was always a firm and earnest 
supporter of the city library, being one of its original trustees. 

In 1872 Mr. Little married Susan Brewster, daughter of Alexander 
W. Brewster. Her father was a native of Allegheny county, Pennsyl- 
vania, born in 1796, and in 1806 was brought by his parents to Erie, 
where he became a leading citizen. He served as sherifif of Erie county, 

Vol. 11—14 



210 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

was the last burgess of the city, and held other honorable offices. 'Mr. 
Brewster died May 26, 1851, and his was the first interment in Erie 
Cemetery, of which he was one of the incorporators. His wife (nee 
Susan M. Jones) was a native of Connecticut and died in 1880. The 
only surviving child of Mr. and Mrs. Lowell M. Little is ^largaret L., 
who married Professor F. A. Cleveland, a native of Palmyra, Xew 
York, who is now identified with Cornell University. Professor and 
Mrs. Cleveland have one child, Susan Brewster Cleveland. 

Casimer Siegel. For more than a half century the name of Casi- 
mer Siegel was an honored one in Erie, for his labors constituted an 
important factor in the upbuilding and development of the community 
and in the promotion of commercial and industrial progress through his 
intense and well directed business activity. He was a native of Germany, 
his birth occurring in that countr}^ in the year 1814. He was twenty- 
one years of age when in 1835 he crossed the Atlantic to the United 
States. He first located in the city of Bufifalo, New York, where he 
engaged in business for two years and then crossed the boundary line into 
Pennsylvania, locating in Erie in 1837. He remained a continuous resi- 
dent of this city from that time until his death. Soon after coming to 
Erie he met with an accident which resulted in the loss of one of his 
arms but this misfortune did not materially lessen his usefulness as a cit- 
izen or retard his active bvisiness career. He was alert, energetic and 
enterprising and readily recognized and utilized the opportunities for 
business advancement. His first place of business in Erie was in the old 
Witter block on French street and during the time of the construction 
of the old Erie canal he was one of the sub-contractors and while so 
engaged established a supply store on Federal Hill. Continually watch- 
ful of opportunities pointing to success, he extended his business inter- 
ests from time to time. His next venture was in the establishment of 
a linseed oil mill on the site of the old Gingrich mill on Twenty-seventh 
street in South Erie, this being the pioneer enterprise of the kind in the 
county and one of the first in the entire country. Mr. Siegel withdrew 
from that field of labor, however, at a later date because of the failure 
of the crop. He was next engaged in the wholesale grocery and seed 
business, in which he continued for several years at dififerent localities in 
the neighborhood of the park. In 1870 he established his business on 
Eleventh street, where he continued up to the time of his death. 

Honored and respected by all, there was no man who occupied a 
more enviable p9sition in commercial and financial circles in Erie than 
Casimer Siegel or who was more universally respected. He was espec- 
ially popular among the German-American residents of this city and his 
word carried influence with them. He was thoroughly American in 
spirit and interests and gladly cooperated in every movement for the 
welfare and benefit of the city. His wise counsel was frequently sought, 
not alone in business matters but in shaping important measures in muni- 
cipal legislation. For some time he served as a member of the city coun- 
cil and his efforts in that body were always in the direction of betterment 
and improvement. He died October 17. 1886, and the community 
mourned the loss of one whom it had long known and honored. Neither 
fear nor favor could swerve him from a course which he believed to be 
right and his name was ever an unsullied one in commercial circles. 

Dr. Owex M. Shreve, one of the leading specialists engaged in the 
treatment of diseases of the eye. ear, nose and throat, is one of the most 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 211 

thoroughly and broadly trained among the physicians and surgeons of 
Erie. He is a son of the late Rev. Cyrus and Florella (Xourse) Shreve. 
his father, who died at Union City, Pennsylvania, July 3, 1908, having 
been engaged in the work of the Baptist ministry in that section of the 
state for more than fifty years. The family is descended from Eng- 
lish ancestry and Richard and Margaret Shreve, the great-grandparents 
of the doctor, migrated from Burlington, New Jersey, and settled at the 
head of Oil Creek lake (now Lake Canadohta) in 1798. Their son 
Israel, the grandfather of Owen ]\I., married Elizabeth Bloomfield, 
daughter of Thomas Bloomfield, a Revolutionary soldier and prominent 
citizen in whose honor Bloomfield township was named. Eight children 
were born of this union, and, since the death of Rev. Cyrus Shreve, the 
only survivor of the family is Thomas B. Shreve, a resident of Union 
City. Rev. Cyrus Shreve was a native of Bloomfield township, born 
July 23, 1825 ; was ordained to the Baptist ministry September 10, 1853, 
and held charges for the next half century at various places in western 
Pennsylvania. He was a man of remarkable vitality of body and mind 
and retained his vigor until within a few years of his death, when his 
powers were enfeebled by an acute attack of disease. He then resigned 
his pastorate to the deep sorrow of the many whom he had befriended 
and assisted in ways both practical and spiritual, and passed peacefully 
away at his old home in Union City a venerable man of God, revered for 
his earnestness, unaffected character and his Christian desire, as well as 
his strong human ability, to aid those in material or spiritual suffering. 
The two sons of the deceased are Dr. Owen M. and Hon. M. W. Shreve, 
both of whom prominently figure in the professional and public annals 
of Erie. 

Dr. Shreve pursued courses preparatory to his professional educa- 
tion at Bucknell Academy and University, graduating from the latter 
with the class of 1884. He completed his studies at the Buffalo Aledical' 
College in 1892, and after his graduation therefrom went abroad to 
extend his knowledge and training in connection with diseases of the 
eye. ear, nose and throat. He attended several of the hospitals 
and clinics of Europe, and for some time served as an assistant at Moore- 
field's Eye Hospital, London. Returning to the United States in 1902, 
he located at Erie for practice, and his uninterrupted success since is but 
the natural and legitimate result of his thorough training in his profes-. 
sional specialities and his instinctive abilities. The doctor is president 
of the Erie County Medical Society, and is actively identified with the 
Pennsylvania State Medical Society and the American Medical Associa- 
tion and the Hamot and St. \'incent's hospitals. He is also a Mason, and 
a member of the Erie Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade, as 
well as of the Erie and Country clubs. In other words, he is a live citi- 
zen of Erie and one of its most thoroughly representative physicians. The 
doctor married in London in 1903 — Miss Elise Courtier-Dutton and two 
children were born to them in England — Olive E. and Owen M., Jr. 

Orr G. Metzner, the leading retail dealer in meats of Erie, is a pro- 
duct of the county, in birth, education and business development. He 
was born on a farm in North East township. May 24, 1860, and is a son 
of the late John and Catherine (Wallace) Metzner. He was educated 
in the Erie public schools, learned bookkeeping from a private tutor and 
mastered the meat business under his father. In 1882 he founded his 
own establishment in that line on Parade street, but a year and a half 
later became his father's partner. In 1886 he located at his present num- 



212 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

ber 13 West Seventh street, and from the large profits of the business 
erected the fine block on the site of the old building, in 1S90. Mr. Metz- 
ner is an infiuential member of the Erie Chamber of Commerce and Bus- 
iness Men's Exchange, and is past master of Perry Lodge, A. F. & A. 
M. He was married, December 30, 1889, to Miss Carrie Firch, of Erie, 
and to them have been born the following: Maxwell, March 19, 1891, 
and \\'ebster, June 21, 1893. 

John Metzner, father of Orr G., was a native of Germany and came 
to the United States in 1846, his first work being to learn the butcher's 
trade at St. Mary's, Pennsylvania. After residing in Erie for a time he 
purchased a farm in Greenfield township, this county, and resided there- 
on until 1865, when he returned to the city and engaged in the meat bus- 
iness at No. 924 Parade street, retiring in 1892 and dying in Erie three 
years later. His wife (Catherine Wallace) was born in England of Scotch- 
English parents and died in 1876, mother of two sons — James William, 
who was born October 5, 1856, and died May 15, 1874; and Orr G. Metz- 
ner, of this biography. 

RuFUS S. LooMis, deceased, was a member of one of the oldest fam- 
ilies of the vicinity of North East, and was descended through many gen- 
erations from the mother country of England. Born in North East on 
the 20th of January, 1811, he was a son of Joel and Susanna (Baird) 
Loomis, who were married on the 1st of January, 1799. Joel Loomis 
was born in Granville, New York, and was a son of Seth and Mindwell 
(Porter) Loomis. Seth Loomis was born May 22, 1737. and was a son 
of Joshua and Abigail (Langdon) Loomis, of Westfield, Massachusetts. 
Joshua Loomis, born August 24, 1706, died previous to 1788, and he was 
a son of William and Martha (Morley) Loomis, also of Westfield. Wil- 
liam Loomis, born on the 18th of IVIarch, 1672, died February 22, 1753, 
and he was a son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Judd) Loomis. Samuel 
Loomis was born in England, and was a son of Joseph and Sarah (Hill) 
Loomis. Joseph Loomis afterward married Mary Channey. 

Seth Loomis, the grandfather of Rufus S., moved to the town of 
North East during an early period in its history, and he died here on the 
15th of July, 1809. His son Joel bought a large tract of land six miles 
south of North East, in Greenfield township, which was his home for 
many years, but the later part of his life was spent in the town, and dur- 
ing the fifteen years previous to his death he was blind. 

Rufus S. Loomis was a member of his parents' home until he came 
to North East and learned the carpenter and joiner's trade. He assisted 
in the building of the first church in the town, and was its chorister for 
thirty years, finally resigning his position on account of ill health. In 
1847 he purchased a residence in the village, and later, in 1865, became 
the owner of a one hundred acre farm adjoining the village on the west, 
and this he farmed until his death. August 12, 1873. As a Republican he 
served in many of the offices of his community, and as a Presbyterian he 
was very prominent in the religious and social life of the town, active 
both in church and Sunday-school work for many years. 

He married on the 19th of ]\Iarch, 1833, Sarah Tuttle, born in North 
East April 28. 1812, a daughter of Amos and Sarah (Richards) Tuttle, 
and a granddaughter of Colonel Timothy and Mehitable (Royce) Tuttle. 
Colonel Timothy Tuttle was a personal friend of George Washington, 
and was with him during the Revolutionary war. The children born to 
Mr. and Mrs. Loomis were: Sarah Ann and Susan Ann, twins, born 
October 20, 1834, and the former died on the 27th of January, 1853, and 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 213 

the latter on the 2Gth of February, 1851; Amos, born January 14, 1837, 
and now a real estate dealer in Erie, Pennsylvania; John Jay, born June 
13, 1839, enlisted on the IGth of September, 1861, as a musician of the 
Eighty-third Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and was discharged in 
August of 1862, and is now a manufacturer of the Loomis Elastic paint 
for metal preservation; Mary L., born September 22, 1841, died Febru- 
ary 14, 1848 ; Frances Amelia, born June 29, 1844, died February 19, 
1848 ; and Ella May, born May 1, 1850, resides with her brother, John 
Jay, at the Loomis homestead in North East. 

The Schaffner Brothers Company, proprietors of the largest 
meat packing house in northwestern Pennsylvania, is the outcome of the 
small business established in Cleveland, in February, 1884, by Morris and 
Jacob Schaffner. In January, 1887, they moved their business to Erie, 
opening a retail and wholesale store at No. 1327 Peach street, now the 
location of the Dispatch newspaper plant. In 1888 the Schaffner Broth- 
ers commenced to devote themselves exclusively to the wholesale trade, 
their slaughter house being on Mill creek at Twenty-ninth and State 
streets, ^\'ith the increase of their business, in 1891 the firm secured 
larger slaughtering accommodation by obtaining the old Busch establish- 
.ment at the corner of Eleventh and Wayne streets, whose capacity was 
also increased from time to time. In 190G they purchased an entire 
block on East Fifteenth street, breaking ground for the erection of the 
great plant which they now occupy on August 11, 1906. It was com- 
pleted on September 26, 1907. The main building is 100 by 87 feet, 
three stories in height, and is furnished with every sanitary and modern 
convenience known to the trade. As the structures are mainly of con- 
crete and iron, every sanitary advantage is afforded. The power house 
of the plant, which is 40 by 60 feet, also generates electric lighting. 
There is also a two-story warehouse, 30 by 50 feet, and the covered 
yards and sheds for the handling of the cattle cover an area of 300 by 89 
feet. The most approved methods of artificial refrigeration are in use, 
the cellars and great coolers giving ample assurance that all meat pro- 
ducts will be handled with every safeguard as to cleanliness and general 
sanitary conditions. The output of the plant amounts to two carloads 
of live stock daily, or to 5,000 head of cattle, 18,000 of hogs and 7,500 
of sheep and lambs, annually. A large trade is also done in manufac- 
tured meats, for which the city of Erie and the towns along the Pittsburg 
and Eastern and the Bessemer railroads furnish the main markets. 

In 1906 the business was incorporated as the Schaffner Brothers 
Company, with Morris Schaffner as president, Jacob Schaffner as treas- 
urer and Alilton Schaffner as secretary. The head of the company is a 
native of Hehsloch, Hessen, Germany, born on the 28th of November, 
1866, and is a son of Henry and Regina (Sedel) Schaffner. The father, 
who was a butcher, died in the old country in 1893, at the age of fifty-six 
years, and in 1898 the mother came to Erie to reside, being still living 
there in her sixty-ninth year. In 1881, as a boy of fourteen, Morris 
Schaffner came to this country alone, joined some friends in Cleveland, 
and two years later opened a small butcher shop. In 1884 his brother 
Jacob emigrated to the United States and the two became associated in 
Cleveland, as stated, under the name of Schaffner Brothers. He is now 
the guiding force in the Schaffner Brothers Company, as well as presi- 
dent of the National Commission Company of Cleveland, vice president 
of the Fostoria (Ohio) Commission Company and a director of the 



2U HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Presque Oil and Gas Company. Like the majority of leading citizens 
who have combined for the general advancement of Erie, he is an active 
member of the Chamber of Commerce and, in accord with his special 
property interests, he is also closely identified with the work of the South 
Erie Improvement Association. Further, Mr. Schafifner is well known 
as a member of the Cleveland Commercial Travelers' Association, Erie 
^laennerchor, Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Knights and 
Ladies of Honor. His firm religious faith is that of his fathers, and 
from 1903 to 1908 he served as president of the Jewish congregation of 
Erie. On November 28, 1886, Mr. Schafifner married Miss Carrie 
Schuster, of Bufifalo, New York, and the children born to them were as 
follows: Milton, now secretary of the Schafifner Brothers Company; 
Alfred, a salesman in the employ of that corporation ; and Minnie, living 

at home. 

Jacob Schaffner, treasurer of the Schafifner Brothers Company and 
one of the founders of its large business, was born in Hessen, Germany, 
on January 4, 1868, and came to the United States in 1884, as already 
stated. It was at that time that he associated himself with his brother 
Morris in the establishment of the small butcher shop in Cleveland which 
was the forerunner of the present great establishment in Erie. Mr. 
Schaffner is an honored member of the I. O. O. F. and the Knights and 
Ladies of Honor and of the Cleveland Commercial Travelers' Associa- 
tion, and has long been an active trustee of the Jewish congregation of 
Erie. His wife was formerly Miss Sarah Oppenheimer, of Erie, and he 
is the father of Henry and Helen Schaffner. 

GusTAv F. Brevillier. In this volume there is perhaps no history 
which serves to illustrate more clearly the force of determination and 
persistent purpose in enabling one to rise from a humble financial posi- 
tion to affluence than does the record of Gustav F. Brevillier, who for 
many years was a prominent business man of the city but is now living 
retired, enjoying the respect, confidence, good will and honor of all with 
whom he has been associated through business, political or social rela- 
tions. A native of Germany, Gustav F. Brevillier was born on the 8th 
of September, 1830, in Lichtenfels, Bavaria. His father, Alexander 
Brevillier, now deceased, was of Huguenot stock. The ancestors of the 
family, upon the revocation of the edict of Nantes in 1685, were driven 
out of France and took refuge in Germany, locating in the city of Frank- 
fort, where they became engaged in extensive business and banking 
enterprises. Alexander Brevillier was united in marriage to Aliss Chris- 
tiane Koch and they removed to Hildburghausen, Thuringia, in 1840, 
and in 1854 came to this country with their son. Frederick. 

Gustav F. Brevillier continued his education in the common and 
high schools of Thuringia until 1846, after which he spent two years in 
the Polytechnic Institute at Vienna, Austria. Favorable reports reached 
him concerning the business opportunities of the new world and in 1848 
he came to the United States, where he expected to find employment as 
a draughtsman or civil engineer. After traveling to several different 
cities and failing to secure a position in the line of his profession, he 
determined to learn a trade. He was at that time in the city of Reading. 
Pennsylvania, and he took up the task of acquainting himself with the 
manufacture of soap. There he worked as a soap-maker until the autumn 
of 1853, when he decided to seek his fortune further west and came to 
the city of Erie. Here he made a permanent location and soon embarked 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 215 

in business on his own account, engaging in the manufacture of soap and 
candles on a small scale, his place of business being located at the corner 
of Holland and Sixth streets. The business grew from year to year and 
within a decade had assumed large proportions, having become one of 
the profitable productive enterprises of the city. 

Mr. Brevillier continued in the trade until 1871, when failing health 
forced him to retire from active business and. taking his family with him, 
he went to Europe, where he remained for four years, visiting the 
scenes and friends of his early youth. He was always a progressive and 
thorough business man and was among the first manufacturers of Erie 
to utilize natural gas for heating and illuminating purposes. He dis- 
played intelligent appreciation of opportunities and carried forward to 
successful termination whatever he undertook, realizing that determined 
industry and perseverance will eventually win the desired end. 

In Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1854, Mr. Brevillier was united in 
marriage to Miss Johanna Stuebner, who was born in Gera, Germany, 
April 30, 1832, and died in Erie on the 15th of August, 1886, at the age 
of fifty-four years. 'Mv. and Mrs. Brevillier were the parents of the fol- 
lowing named: Henry L., born August 30, 1855, is one of Erie's prom- 
inent citizens and is serving his second term as protho-notary of Erie 
county. He married Elise Eichhorn, of Erie, by whom he has the fol- 
lowing children : Johanna Catherine, who was born July 28, 1880, and 
died October 23, LSSO; Gustav H., born September 9, 1882; Alexander 
F., whose birth occurred February 24, 1885, and who married Miss Mary 
Emeline Foster on the 26th of October, 1908. Louise, the second child 
of our subject, was born November 20, 1856, and became the wife of 
Emil Beyer, of Erie, by whom she has the following children : Edmund, 
whose natal day was April 23, 1891, and who passed away December 3, 
1899 ; and Arthur, born April 15, 1893. Hedwig, whose birth occurred 
on the 5th of June, 1858, passed away on the 12th of June, 1858. Anna, 
born May 1, 1859, was called to her final rest on the 11th of April, 1901. 
She was the wife of Frederick Nick, of Erie, and became the mother of 
the following children : Frederick, Jr., born October 7, 1882 ; Edwin, 
March 10, 1885 ; Louise April 20, 1887 ; Charlotte, who was born Febru- 
ary 25, 1891, and died February 28, 1894; one who died in infancy, being 
born on the 28th of August, 1893, and passing away two days later; and 
Elsie, who was born January 8, 1893. Emma, whose birth occurred 
February 9, 1861, died on the 25th of August of the same year. Emma, 
the second of the name, was born February 7, 1862, and was called to 
the home beyond on the 23d of December, 1900. She gave her hand in 
marriage to Edward C. Siegel and had one child : Herbert B., born Alay 
20, 1896. Ida, who first opened her eyes to the light of day on the 3d 
of November, 1863, passed away at Plymouth, England, July 17, 1871. 
Jennie, whose birth occurred July 27, 1866, became the wife of Fred A. 
Siegel, of Erie, by whom she had two sons, Raymond F. born November 
14, 1897. and Harry S.. born July 1. 1901. Gustav, who was born Janu- 
ary 7, 1868, died on the 3d of August of the same year. 

Mr. Brevillier has been very prominent in the public life of Erie 
and has filled a number of offices of honor, trust and responsibility, 
always discharging the duties incumbent upon him in a most capable 
manner, ever placing the general welfare before partisanship or personal 
aggrandizement. He was a member of the school board from 1858 until 
1861 and again from 1863 until 1866. The following year he became a 
member of the city council and filled the office for two years, while in 



210 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

1888 he was •chosen city assessor and from 1889 until 18L/G was city 
comptroller. The last ofifice which he filled was that of water commis- 
sioner, his incumbency continuing from 1900 until 1906. His devotion 
to duty was most marked and his service was characterized by an intel- 
ligent understanding of the needs of the situation and the opportunities 
for municipal progress. He is a member of the Erie Board of Trade 
and of Perry Lodge, No. 392, A. F. & A. M. He has been conspicuously 
useful in public affairs and in all the multiplied activities of his fruitful 
life his energies, means and influence have been thrown upon the side of 
justice, truth and progress. He is a man of broad mind, of kindly pur- 
poses and high ideals, with whom contact means elevation and expansion. 

Daniel G. Curtis. The Curtis family has been prominently con- 
nected with the development of the lumbering and tanning industries of 
New York and Pennsylvania for several generations, Daniel G. Curtis, of 
Erie, having devoted the past fourteen years of his career to the acquisi- 
tion and promotion of extensive timber interests in British Columbia, 
California and the southern states ; and this is his high standing in the 
business world, although he has but just entered his thirty-ninth year. 
He is a native of Pennsylvania, born at Warren, April 19, ISTl, and is 
a son of John Gould and }vlary (Chambers) Curtis. The grandfather, 
John Curtis, was born in Connecticut, where, for many years, he was 
engaged in the tanning trade. John G. Curtis, the father, is a native of 
Newtown, that state, where he learned the tanner's trade under his father 
and also served his apprenticeship as a machinist. While still a young 
man he, with his two brothers, went to Steuben county, New York, and 
engaged in lumbering and tanning to such advantage that the scene of 
their operations was named the town of Curtis, x^fter disposing of his 
interests in the combined venture John G. located at Alaunch Chunk, 
Pennsylvania, where he became superintendent of a large tannery. Later, 
he purchased an interest in a tannery at Emporium, that state, and sub- 
sequently moved to Warren and Ludlow, at the latter place engaging 
in the lumber business in which he is still interested, although since 1907 
he has been a resident of Erie. 

Daniel G. Curtis was reared at Ludlow, residing there from an early 
age until his eighteenth year, when he went to the Pacific coast and for 
three and a half years engaged in various lines of railroad work. In 
1892 he returned to Ludlow and incorporated The J. G. Curtis Leather 
Company, of which he was chosen president. In 1895 the business was 
absorbed by the J. G. Curtis Leather Company of New Jersey, its foun- 
der relinquishing his interests and returning to San Francisco for the 
Durpose of investing in timber lands on the Pacific coast. This business 
move has resulted in his acquisition of large tracts of sugar pine and red 
wood timber in California and valuable properties in British Columbia, 
as well as extensive lumber and timber interests in Mississippi and Ala- 
bama. At the present time he is president of the Pacific Slope Lumber 
Company, Limited ; Yellow Cedar Lumber Company. Limited, and a 
director in the Tide-water Timber Company, Limited, with headquarters 
at Vancouver, British Columbia. The extent and importance of his 
southern interests are indicated by the fact that he is president of the 
American Timber Company of Alabama and the Tuscaloosa Lumber 
Company, of the same state ; is vice president of the Interstate Lumber 
Company, of Columbus, Mississippi, of which his father is president, and 
treasurer of The Curtis-Attala Lumber Company, of Curtiston, Alabama. 



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HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 217 

In October, 1906, Mr. Curtis fixed his residence at Erie, from which 
he directs his varied interests and where he is also recognized as a popu- 
lar and influential citizen. He is a director in the People's Bank of 
Erie, and an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, and the Erie, 
Country, Khakwa and Shrine clubs. As a Mason, he belongs to Tyrian 
Lodge, Mount Olivet Commandery, Presque Isle Lodge of Perfection, 
Pittsburg Consistory and Zem Zem Temple. Mr. Curtis' wife is a native 
of Spring Creek. Pennsylvania, and was formerly Miss Jennie Eldred, 
daughter of Byron Eldred. Their children are John Gould and Harriet 
Eldred Curtis. 

Charles M. Conrad. The great empire of Germany has con- 
tributed a most valuable element to the cosmopolitan social fabric of our 
American republic, which has had much to gain and nothing to lose 
from this source. Among those of German birth and ancestry who 
have attained to success and precedence in connection with business 
activities in the city of Erie is Air. Conrad, who is a citizen of sterling 
character, honored by all who know him and influential in both civic 
and commercial life. It is, indeed, a "far cry" from the position of the 
German immigrant boy standing on the market place in what was then 
the village of Erie to peddle from his baskets such vegetables as his 
worthy mother had provided for such disposition, — to the status of one 
of the most prominent capitalists and influential business men of the 
city in which his career was thus initiated under most lowly conditions. 
It is the glory of our republic that such personal advancement is pos- 
sible of accomplishment, and no man is more appreciative of the ad- 
vantages of the land of his adoption and none more loyal to its institu- 
tions than is the honored citizen whose name heads this biography. 

Charles J\I. Conrad, president of the Erie Brewing Company, was 
born in the province of Rheinpfalz, Germany, on the 2(3th of February, 
18-11. In 1849, his mother came with her two sons, Louis and Charles 
M., aged respectively ten and eight years, to America, together with 
her mother, her father, Joseph J. Conrad, having come in the preceding 
^year, taking up his residence in Erie, which was then a small village. 
The widowed mother and her two boys landed in New York City, 
whence they proceeded by boat up the Hudson to Albany, from which 
point they went on to Buffalo by the newly completed railroad. While 
in Albany the devoted mother, unfamiliar with the language or customs 
of the country, was robbed of what little money she had, and when 
the little party of four reached Erie they were penniless. From Buft'alo 
they came to Erie on the old side-wheel steamer "Diamond." Upon 
their arrival they found shelter in the modest little home of Henry 
Hechtman, by whom the grandfather was employed in the capacity of 
bookkeeper. This worthy pioneer business man granted to the mother 
and her two boys the use of the upper story of his log house, which stood 
on the southeast corner of Third and French streets, and directly across 
the street from which was the old Franklin House, a pioneer tavern. 
On the top floor of this hotel building was located the first lodge room of 
the Masonic fraternity in this section of the state. The question in 
providing for tjie maintenance of her family was the all important one 
which confronted Mrs. Conrad, and with all of solicitude and devotion 
she made recourse to the best expedient that offered. She engaged in 
gardening on a modest scale, and Charles M., to whom this sketch is 



218 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

dedicated, was able to lend his aid in the work and also in placing the 
products on sale. Equipped with two large baskets, filled with at- 
tractive vegetables, he stood on the old market place in Central Park 
and peddled the contents of his hampers to the citizens of the village. A 
few years after coming to Erie Mrs. Conrad was united in marriage to 
Jacob Fuess, who owned what was known as the Fuess brewery, and 
thereafter the burdens resting upon the shoulders of this noble and in- 
telligent woman were lightened. Soon after the marriage Charles M. 
Conrad went to work for his step-father, with whom his relations were 
ever most agreeable, and from that time to the present the National 
brewery, with its various changes in name and with the improvements 
m.ade from time to time to keep the plant up to modern standards, has 
been largely in the hands of Mr. Conrad. Upon the death of Mr. 
Fuess, in 1863, Mr. Conrad, who was then tw^enty-two years of age, be- 
came associated with his mother in continuing the brewery business, of 
which he assumed entire charge and whose interests he signally ad- 
vanced by his able and progressive management. As the business ex- 
panded in scope and importance, the plant was enlarged and otherwise 
improved, to meet the constantly increasing demands placed upon it, and 
finally, in 1895, the entire institution was remodeled. All of the frame 
buildings were replaced by substantial and attractively designed struc- 
tures of brick, stone and iron, and the latest improved machinery and 
accessories were installed throughout the entire plant, which is the 
largest in this section of the state and wiiich constitutes an imporant 
contribution to the industrial activities of Erie. About the time of this 
rebuilding of the plant Mr. Conrad also engaged in the manufacturing 
of malt and brewers' supplies, in which department of his business he 
built up a successful enterprise, which so continued until the combina- 
tions effected by the leading interests in this line of industry rendered the 
competition so great as to make such individual enterprises unprofit- 
able, and Mr. Conrad accordingly withdrew. Upon the consolidation of 
all of the brewing plants in Erie under the corporate title of the Erie 
Brewing Company, April 1, 1899, Mr. Conrad became president of this 
great local corporation, of which he has since continued the executive 
head, and to the administration of whose affairs he brings the fine forces 
of discrimination, long experience and distinctive business acumen. He 
is also interested in other local enterprises of important order and is 
president of two or more industrial concerns outside of his home city. 
His energy and progressive ideas have led him to make judicious invest- 
ments of his capital and through his well directed efforts and financial 
co-operation he has done much to forward the upbuilding and progress 
of his home city, to which his fealty is unwavering, since he fully ap- 
preciates the fact that here he has risen from obscurity to a position 
of independence as a capitalist and representative business man. 

In politics Mr. Conrad gives his allegiance to the Republican party, 
though he has never had aught of ambition for public office. His only 
official service was as a member of the common council of Erie, a posi- 
tion of which he was incumbent for one term, but every public enter- 
prise and worthy measure projected for the general good is certain to 
receive his co-operation and definite support. He is a member of the 
Eric Chamber of Commerce and the Erie Board of Trade, has attained 
to the thirty-second degree in Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Masonry, 
besides which he is identified with the local lodge of the Benevolent and 
Protective Order of Elks, the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 219 

the Mystic Shrine, and the Shrine Club, maintained by members of the 
last mentioned branch of the Masonic fraternity. 

Within the years of his residence in Erie Mr. Conrad has witnessed 
the rise of the city from the status of a village to that of a fine industrial 
community of seventy thousand population. When he came here as a 
boy from the German fatherland Erie was an obscure lake port, and 
to-day it is one of the busy and important ports on the great inland 
seas, to whose commerce it contributes much, the while it holds pre- 
cedence as one of the most important manufacturing cities of the fine 
old Keystone state. It can not but be a matter of pride to Mr. Con- 
rad to realize that he has contributed his quota to the development of his 
home city, where he is known as a man of genuine public spirit and as 
one of those ever to be depended upon for influence and tangible aid in 
the support of all that tends to advance the general welfare. He has 
guided his life upon the strictest principles of integrity and honor and 
the indubitable evidence of this is that offered by the confidence and 
regard in which he is held in the community which has represented his 
home from his boyhood days. 

On the 26th of June, 1867, Mr. Conrad was united in marriage to 
Dorothy Diefenbach, who was born and reared in Erie and who was a 
daughter of the late Charles Diefenbach, an honored pioneer of this 
county. Mrs. Conrad was summoned to the life eternal on the 22d 
of January. 1882, and is survived by five children, namely: Catherine, 
who is the w'ife of Frederick A. Brevillier, secretary of the Erie Brewing 
Company ; Ida, who is the wife of Arthur Brevillier, secretary and treas- 
urer of the Morse Iron Works, of Erie ; and Dora, Flora and Clara, who 
remain at the parental home. On the 9th of March, 1886, Mr. Conrad 
married Sophia Siegel, daughter of the late Cassimer Siegel, a pioneer 
business man and representative citizen of Erie. Mrs. Conrad presides 
with gracious dignity over the beautiful family home and is most 
popular in the social circles of the community in which she has lived 
from the time of her nativity. 

James Nelson Thayer, proprietor of the extensive business of O. 
C. Thayer & Son, is one of the well-known citizens of Erie, Pennsyl- 
vania. Mr. Thayer was born in this city, September 15, 1864, son of 
the late Oscar Cornelius Thayer, for many years one of Erie's most 
successful business men. Oscar Cornelius Thayer was born at Benning- 
ton, Vermont, September 3, 1827, of English descent, the Thayer family 
having been established in America during Colonial days by two brothers 
who came from England and settled in Vermont. Members of the fam- 
ily participated in the Revolutionary war and otherwise demonstrated 
their worth as citizens and pioneers. The great-grandfather of James N. 
was Simeon Thayer. He was a native of Vermont, as also was his wife, 
who before her marriage was Miss Experience Nelson. Their son Nel- 
son, born at Bennington. Averment, married Lucretia Elwell. a native 
of the "Green IMountain State" and a daughter of Chauncy Elwell, of 
English descent. The children of Nelson Thayer were : Mary Jane, who 
married Lafayette Hamlen of Bennington, where they now reside; 
Oscar C. father of James N. ; Martha, deceased, was the wife of J. H. 
Cushman ; Caroline, widow of W. C. Riddell, Buffalo, New York ; a son 
who died in childhood ; Edward, who served in the 14th Vermont Regi- 
ment of Infantry, as First Lieutenant, during the Civil war, died a few 
years thereafter; a son who died in childhood; Harvey H., a resident of 



22U HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Buffalo, New York; Ellen E., widow of Robert K. Hughes; Corinna, 
widow of James Meacham, resides at Bennington, Vermont; Emily widow 
of Enos Gould, lives at Buffalo, New York; and Dexter, of Pittsburg, 
Pennsylvania. 

Oscar C. Thayer had the advantage of a good education in his native 
town, Bennington, where he remained until about twenty-one years of 
age, when he left the old home and sought his fortune in the lumber 
regions of Michigan. In the spring of 1853 he came to Erie, Pennsyl- 
vania, and on settling in this city he engaged in the manufacture of what 
is known as stoneware, having a factory on the old canal at Third 
street. Later, he engaged in the oil business at Sixteenth and French 
streets, where he manufactured refined and lubricating oils. Subse- 
quently, he sold this business to the Standard Oil Company, after which 
he established large plants in the same line of business at Utica and 
Rome, New York, and conducted operations at both places until 1902, 
when he again sold out to the Standard Oil Company. During the above 
period he maintained his residence at Erie, and here he passed the last 
three years of his Hfe in retirement. He died January 31, 1905. His 
whole business career was marked by signal success, and he left a large 
estate. 

Oscar C. Thayer's wife was before her marriage ]\Iiss Anna Hughes. 
She was born in Erie, daughter of James Hughes, late of Erie. Thomas 
Hughes, her grandfather, was a pioneer of Erie and was closely iden- 
tified with the early history of the city. He was born in Ireland in 1766 ; 
emigrated to this country in 1787, and located at Pittsburg, where he 
followed his trade of brick layer and stone mason. In 1795 he came to 
Erie with the troops to assist in erecting the garrison and fort at this 
point, and built a chimney at the fort, which chimney, being a smoky one,, 
was the source of much annoyance to Gen. Anthony Wayne, when that 
distinguished general was languishing in his bed of fatal sickness. The 
General, upon learning the identity of the builder of the smoky chimney, 
ordered him under arrest, saying, "I will have you shot, sir." Officers 
interceded for Mr. Hughes, and he lived to help dig General Wayne's 
grave. Thomas Hughes built the first brick house in Erie, and helped 
to build Erie county's first court house. In 1810 he erected a carding and 
fulling mill on the west bank of Mill Creek, close to the lake shore, which 
he operated until it was destroyed by fire in 1824. During that period 
he also manufactured brick and lime. After 1824 he removed to his 
farm in McKean township, Erie county, where he lived until 1833, that 
year returning to Erie, and there spending the closing years of his life 
in retirement from active duties. He died March 14, 1837. In January 
1804, he married Alartha Richards, who was born in Lancaster county. 
Pennsylvania, in 1786, but at the time of marriage was living in Union 
township, Erie county. She bore him nine sons and a daughter : John, 
James, Jane, Alexander, Thomas, Robert, William. George W^, Perry and 
David R. Both Thomas Hughes and his wife were members of the Associ- 
ate Reformed Presbyterian church, of which he was an elder from the 
time of its organization until his death. His widow died August 18, 1847. 
James Hughes, son of Thomas, was born in Erie, December 3. 1806. 
Soon after he attained his majority he was appointed postmaster of Erie. 
Later he engaged successfully in merchandising in this city, which busi- 
ness he carried on until LS59, when he retired. January 31. 1833, he 
married Emily Carmack, daughter of Jacob and Ann (Cummings) Car- 
mack. Jacob Carmack was a captain in the war of 1812, while John 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 221 

Cummings, father of Mrs. Jacob Carmack, served as a captain in the 
Revolutionary war. Following are the children of James Hughes and 
wife : Anna, mother of James N. Thayer ; Martha J., deceased ; Emily. 
wife of R. H. Thayer of Buffalo; and Robert K., James C, William and 
Thomas, all deceased; and they had two other children that died in 
infancy. 

James Nelson Thayer was educated in the Erie schools, and is a 
graduate of the high school with the class of 1885. After his graduation, 
he took charge of the stoneware business, which his father has estab- 
lished and carried on all the time he was engaged in other lines of indus- 
try. This stoneware business was closed out in 1894, at which time the 
business of manufacturing wall plaster and the dealing in general build- 
ers' supplies, such as lime, cement, fire brick, etc., was established at 
Chestnut street and the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad, 
under the firm name of O. C. Thayer, of which James N. is now the 
sole proprietor. Mr. Thayer is also interested in other manufacturing 
plants, three of which are among the important ones of Erie. He is a 
prominent member of the National Builders Supply Association, of 
which he served several years as treasurer, and at one time as an execu- 
tive officer. 

Mr. Thayer married Rebecca Sarah Warner, who was born in Erie, 
daughter of the late W. S. Warner, a leading dry goods merchant of 
Erie, for many years, and one of the founders of the well-known firm 
of Warner Bros, of to-day. Mr. and Mrs. Thayer have one son, Oscar 
Cornelius. Mr. Thayer is a member of the Royal Arcanum. 

John Scarlett. For more than a quarter of a century the late 
John Scarlett was one of Erie's leading citizens, from a business stand- 
point, in view of his public enterprise and in the light of his activities in 
religious and charitable movements. He was an Englishman, born at 
Liverpool in 1848. son of John Scarlett. The grandfather was a man of 
considerable scientific attainments and unbounded enthusiasm, being so 
much a pioneer in his studies and investigations that some time in the for- 
ties he sunk his fortune in electrical experiments. Afterward he migrat- 
ed with his family to Hamilton, Canada, where he died in 1857 and his 
widow four years later. As the son John Scarlett was but nine years of 
age at the time of his father's death, but the oldest of the children, he 
became a bread-winner at that early age, and, with the mastery of the 
carpenter's trade, his road to independence was assured. As quite a 
young man he became a resident of New York City, where he followed 
that avocation and married Miss Anna Bell, a native of county Tyrone, 
Ireland, but a resident of the United States since early girlhood. The 
young couple commenced housekeeping on the heights of Jersey City, 
New Jersey, and while the husband was busily at work in New York 
City as a carpenter, the wife conducted the small store which was opened 
in front of their living rooms. Such thrift resulted in the accumulation 
of a little capital, so that when Mr. Scarlett located at Erie in 1876 he 
opened the "New York Tea Store." at No. 2 Noble (now Penn) block. 
In 1885 he removed to even more pretentious quarters at No. 5, same 
block, occupying them until the destruction of the building by fire in 
1890. In that year he erected the fine brick block at Nos. 909-11 State 
street, which is still occupied by the Scarlett store. The gradual and 
remarkable growth of the business founded by John Scarlett and devel- 
oped by him and his sons, William J., Robert H., David, Joseph and 



2-12 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Theodore, are indicated by the following facts. The first branch store 
was established, in 1886, at No. 1718 Peach street, and the second at No. 
100-2 Parade street, in 1889. In 189-2 the elder Mr. Scarlett erected the 
Scarlett block at 1004 Parade street, and established the store there 
which was the beginning of the wholesale part of the business. In 1895 
another branch was opened at No. 402 West Eighteenth street, this 
store being closed out in 1908. In 1896 the founder of the business 
retired from the active management of the retail stores, giving most of his 
attention to the wholesale branch. 

Outside of his business relations, John Scarlett was a man of wide, 
strong and good influence. He was a Mason in fine standing, being a 
member of Perry Lodge, and was actively identified with other organi- 
zations. But outside the interests of his business and his beloved family, 
his deepest concern was for the welfare and growth of the United Pres- 
byterian church, in which, for many years, he was a trustee and the 
treasurer, holding both at the time of his death July 2, 1902. The 
deceased left a widow and seven children, sketches of the latter follow- 
ing in the order of their birth. 

William J. Scarlett, president of the John Scarlett Company, was 
born in Jersey City, New Jersey, on the 17th of February, 1874. Edu- 
cated in the Erie public schools, while still in the early period of his 
youth he entered his father's business, and upon its incorporation in Feb- 
ruary, 1907, he was elected president. Theodore L. is first vice president, 
David D. second vice president, Joseph E. secretary and Robert H. treas- 
urer, these oflficers also forming the board of directors. In 1904 the 
sons of Mr. Scarlett purchased the old established business of John 
Schultz, and opened another branch at that location. In the spring of 
1905 they bought the grocery and meat privileges at Exposition Park, 
Conneaut Lake. The wholesale business is now conducted at Nos. 
909-11 State street. In 1909 they bought the grocery and meat conces- 
sion at Chautauqua Assembly grounds. New York. It will thus be seen 
that the presidency of the John Scarlett Company is weighted with 
heavy responsibilities, only to be carried by a man of thorough experience 
and pronounced business abilities, such as its present head. Mr. Scarlett 
is also an active director of the People's Bank and the Erie Chamber of 
Commerce, having served as second vice president of the latter in 1908. 
He is a married man, his wife being in her maiden days ]\Iiss Margaret 
]\Iehaffey, daughter of Robert MehafFey, a resident of Erie. 

Robert H. Scarlett, treasurer of the John Scarlett Company, is a 
native of Jersey City, New Jersey, born June 7, 1875. He received his 
education in the Erie schools and obtained his business training in his 
father's stores. His wife was Miss Sarah, daughter of John Schabacker, 
of Erie. 

David, the second vice president, was born in Erie March 18. 1872, 
and obtained his education in the public schools of the city, while Rufus 
B., the fourth son, is a graduate of the Erie high school and of the medical 
department of the U. of P., and is practicing his profession in Philadel- 
phia. Joseph, secretary of the John Scarlett Company, is a native of 
Erie, born December 20, 1874, and Theodore L.. first vice president, was 
born in that city June 11, 1882, is a high school graduate and is married 
to Miss Edith, daughter of John Burton, of Erie. Hunter W., the 
youngest, is also designed for the medical profession. He is a native of 
Erie; a graduate from the regular literary course of the University of 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 223 

Pennsylvania in the class of 1907, and now a sophomore in the medical 
department of that institution. 

William Scriven, a prosperous merchant and well-known business 
man of Erie, was born in 1872, at Niles, Ohio, and is the son of Joseph 
and Helen Scriven, both natives of England. They were the parents of 
a large family, and being in only moderate circumstances, were unable 
to provide for them as they wished, in the matter of education and start 
in life. William Scriven had an ambitious nature, and resolved to make 
for himself a recognized place among his fellow men, and to that end 
took advantage of every opportunity offered him for his mental and 
financial improvement. Being possessed of a strong determination, he 
has succeeded very well in accomplishing his undertakings, but he has 
the hope of continuing to improve his condition in life, from time to time, 
as he is able to do. and keeps before him the thought of progress and 
improvement, knowing there is always a chance for those to advance who 
have the required zeal and courage. He has been a citizen of Erie since 
1889, engaging in the meat business, in which he has enjoyed a large 
patronage, and has been for five years at his present location. He is a 
member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Mr. Scriven 
married, in 1888, Louise Knaf. 

Julius C. Knoll. For nearly eighty years three generations of the 
Knoll family have been strong assistants in the progress of the industries 
of the city of Erie, and have well sustained the industrious and honorable 
character of their German countrymen. Julius C. Knoll, of this biog- 
raphy, is a native of the Third ward of the city of Erie, born March 7, 
1858, and is a son of Frank and Eva Marie (Emling) Knoll. The family 
was transplanted from Germany about 1830 by Irvin, grandfather of 
Julius C., who came to Erie and became one of its leading citizens. He 
was both an able mechanic and business man, being a pioneer both as a 
distiller and a manufacturer of oil cloths. Later, he became interested 
in one of the early breweries, and was also successful in that enterprise. 
His son, Frank, for several years had charge of the Lake Shore Railroad 
freight depot, and his life was bright with promise when it was cut short 
by death when it had only covered twenty-nine years. He died in 1862, 
his widow (a native of Germany) residing in Erie until her decease in 
1899. at the age of fifty-eight years. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Frank Knoll were : Anna, who married Philip Kessel and resides in Buf- 
falo, New York ; Frank and Jacob, both deceased ; Julius C., of this 
sketch ; and Barbara, who married John Winston, a resident of Erie. 

Julius C. Knoll has spent his life as a resident of Erie, and began 
to be a useful force in it at a very early age. After a few years of school- 
ing in the city institutions, at the age of twelve he commenced work in 
the old Erie Car Works while they were being operated by the Daven- 
ports. He was apt, industrous and faithful, rising finally to the super- 
intendency of the bolt department. In December, 1894, he associated 
himself with William Hamilton, an expert iron worker and an able busi- 
ness man, who five years before succeeded his father as superin- 
tendent of the plant. When Messrs. Knoll and Hamilton came into pos- 
session the works had just been destroyed by fire, but they were soon 
rebuilt on a larger and more modern scale. The business was incorpor- 
ated under the former name of Erie Car Works in 1898, with Mr. Ham- 
ilton as president and Mr. Knoll as vice president. The latter is also 
interested in the Lippold Valve Company, and is an active member of 



224 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

the Erie Chamber of Commerce. In his religious faith he is a loyal 
Roman Catholic and identified with the Knights of Columbus. His 
wife was formerly Miss Mary Louise Straub, daughter of Captain 
Andrew Straub, and. like Mr. Knoll, is a native of Erie. Their children 
are as follows : Lillie, who married Charles Burk, of Erie, and Elmer, 
employed in the Erie Car Works. 

H. li. FoRiNGER. M. D. A well-known member of the medical fra- 
ternity once said: "It is the actual force of character that makes suc- 
cess, rather than an adaptation. There is a certain inherent force in 
every one that can make some success in anything he undertakes to fol- 
low. There are men with heads large enough to make doctors, but com- 
paratively few with hearts large enough to make great doctors. There 
is one qualification necessary for a doctor. That is a large, warm, unsel- 
fish and loving heart. The man who goes into a sick room with a gentle 
step and a tender expression, not only in word, but in tone, with a heart 
filled with loving emotion, has the inborn qualities of a successful phy- 
sician." These needed qualities are indeed a part of the make-up of Dr. H. 
H. Foringer, one of the most prominent and popular physicians and 
surgeons of Erie. A native of this state, he was born, Alarch 24, 1854, 
at Brady's Bend, Armstrong county, a son of Joseph and Hannah 
(Barnhart) Forringer, natives of the same county, and descendants of 
pioneer American families. 

Obtaining his preliminary education in the district schools. H. H. 
Foringer subsequently attended the Edinboro State Normal School. A 
man of his mental calibre naturally turns towards a professional life, 
and his choice led him to take up the study of medicine. He began his 
preparation in Edinboro, in the office of Dr. S. B. Hotchkiss, after which 
he entered the Western Reserve Medical College, in Cleveland. Ohio, 
where he was graduated, with the degree of M. D., in 1883. Beginning 
the practice of his profession in Edinboro, in company with his old pre- 
ceptor. Dr. Hotchkiss, he remained there a year and a half. Locating 
then in Middleboro, Pennsylvania, Dr. Foringer built up an excellent 
practice, remaining there until the winter of 1888 and 1889. Going east 
at that time, the doctor reviewed his studies in some of the more noted 
medical colleges, becoming familiar with the more modern methods 
employed in medicine and surgery, and in the fall of 1889 settled in the 
city of Erie. In the practice of his profession he has met with distin- 
guished success, and is well worthy of the recognition he has received 
as one of the foremost physicians and surgeons of this part of the state. 

Dr. Foringer married, June 11, 1885, Anna A., daughter of Rich- 
ard and Lorinda (Strohm) Owen, of Ronseville, Pennsylvania and they 
have one son, Owen H. Foringer, now of Ann Arbor, Michigan, studying 
medicine. Fraternally the doctor belongs to the Ancient Free and 
Accepted Masons, and to the Knights of Pythias. Religiously he and 
his family are valued members of the Presbyterian church, and liberal 
contributors towards its support. 

Fr.\nk M. Wallace is president of the Second National Bank of 
Erie and vice president of the Pittsburg Coal Company. He is a native 
of Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, born January 11, 1868. and it will 
therefore be seen that he has attained a high and broad standing in the 
practical affairs of the country at an age which is but the early period 
of middle life. He is a son of Dr. Thomas C. and Elizabeth (Hamilton) 
Wallace, and the grandparents on both sides were natives of county Done- 



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HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 225 

gal, Ireland, who came to the United States about 1825. William Wallace 
and William Hamilton, the grandfathers, also first located near Pitts- 
burg, I'ennsylvania, and later moved to Butler county. They were 
farmers in that section of the state. The father (Dr. Wallace) was a 
native of Butler county and, prior to taking his regular medical lectures, 
was a student at Prospect (Pa.) Academy. After his graduation from 
the Cleveland Homeopathic College, he entered practice at Allegheny 
City, where he continued until the time of his death in 1905, at the age 
of sixty-four years, his wife passing away December 22, 1891, fifty-two 
years old. 

Mr. Wallace was reared and educated in the public schools of Alle- 
gheny City. In 1893, then only twenty-five years of age, he was ap- 
pointed a national bank examiner, resigning that position after service 
of five years, to become vice president of the Second National Bank of 
Erie.- Following the death of the late Daniel D. Tracy, on December 
9, 1901, Mr. Wallace succeeded to the presidency of the institution, and 
has since been the active head of its administrative afi^airs. To these 
responsibilities were added, in March, 190-1, those connected with the 
treasuryship of the Pittsburg Coal Company, and in April, 1909, Mr. 
Wallace was chosen vice president of that great corporation. He is an 
active member of the Erie Chamber of Commerce and, as a Mason, is 
identified with Tyrian Lodge. As an offset to his strenuous life in the 
fields of finances and business, he is associated with numerous organiza- 
tions of a social, out-of-door and athletic nature. This list includes the 
Erie, Kahkwa, Yacht and Country clubs of Erie, the Duquesne Club 
of Pittsburg, the Pittsburg Athletic Club and the Pennsylvania Society 
of New York City. But his domestic affairs are. after all, his chief 
pleasure. His wife was, before marriage, Miss Margaret Shannon, 
daughter of Henry C. Kelsey, of Erie. 

Philip Shade Sr., represents a worthy and prominent family who 
have been identified with the agricultural life of Greene township for 
many years. As a lad of eight years he came with his parents from 
his native land of Germany to the United States in 1836, and coming 
direct to Greene township in Erie county, Pennsylvania, the family lo- 
cated in the woods near where the West Greene Methodist Episcopal 
church now stands. There the father, Philip Sr., bought a little farm 
of ninety acres, cleared his land and spent the remainder of his life, 
a worthy representative of the sturdy German race. His son Philip, 
whose birth occurred in Germany in 1828, accumulated one hundred and 
forty acres of land in Greene township, and he lived on his farm and 
cultivated its fields until he retired from an active business life and 
moved to the city of Erie. By his first wife, nee Emily Pillman, he had 
the following children : Edward and Philander, both deceased, Herman 
F., Philip J. and Charles. He subsequently married Mary Spade, and 
she bore him three children, Lewis, Jesse and Emma, while by his third 
wife, Mary Smith, he had one son, Daniel, who died in infancy. 

Herman F. Shade has devoted his entire business career to farming 
and dairying, and he now owns and operates the farm of one hundred 
and forty acres which his father cleared and improved and on which 
he made his home for many years. This pretty home is known as 
"Shade Villa." On the 30th of March, 1879, he married Nellie Cutter, 
a daughter of Charles A. Cutter and a granddaughter of Jacob Sawyer 
and Orpha Anna (Adams) Cutter, natives respectively of Troy and of 

Vol. 11—15 



22G HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Sandy Lake, New York. Jacob S. Cutter served as a soldier in the 
French and Indian war, and while serving his country he was captured 
by the Indians and died in captivity. Mrs. Cutter, his widow, came 
with her children to Erie county, Pennsylvania, in 1836, and located in 
Venango township. Charles A. Cutter, one of the children, was born 
in Trov. New York, March 11, 1834, and when a lad of twelve years 
he entered upon his career as an agriculturist and farming has been his 
life's work. On the 25th of December, 1856, he was united in marriage 
to Sallie Lorena Weed, a descendant of one of the earliest of Greene 
township's pioneer families, and their children were Perry F., Nellie, 
Guy F. and Andrew and Jake, both of whom are now deceased. In 
July of 1862 Charles Cutter enlisted for the Civil war in Company C, 
Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, and served with his command for two 
years or until he entirely lost his voice, and he was then with the invalid 
corps until the 28th of June, 1865. Another two years passed before he 
regained his speech. He is now a member of the Grand Army of the 
Republic. 

Three children have been born to the union of Herman F. and Nellie 
Shade, — Ralph G., Eva L. and Harry Andrew, but the only daughter is 
deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Shade and their son Ralph are members of 
the West Greene Grange, and Mr. Shade is also a member of the fra- 
ternal order of Odd Fellows, No. 1143 Samaritan and his wife of 
its auxiliary, the Rebekahs, while the son Ralph has membership rela- 
tions with the Royal Order of Moose. It may be added that the elder 
Mr. Shade served as first master of the West Greene Grange, for two 
years, and that he has always been esteemed one of its most influential 
members. 

George Dudley Selden, who is president of the Erie City Iron 
Works, is at the head of one of the largest manufactories of Pennsyl- 
vania, having been president for the past fourteen years and wisely 
guided the business through its most expansive period. He has been 
identified with the progress of the industry since the days of his youth, 
and the business energies and abilities of his life are mingled with its 
advancement and form a large element in the forces which have pushed 
it along. Born in Erie. April 31, 1847, Mr. Selden is the son of Joseph 
and the grandson of George Selden, and as his father died when he was 
but five years of age the boy was received into the home of his uncle, 
John C. Selden. Completing his education at the Old Erie Acadeni}' 
when nineteen years of age, George D. Selden assumed a subordinate 
position in the Erie City Iron Works, which establishment then, as now, 
was controlled by the Selden family. From that time to the present, 
some forty-three years, he threw the force of his personality into the 
development of the works, with the natural result of continuous per- 
sonal advancement. He finally reached the general office of the treasury- 
ship, was then advanced to the vice presidency and in 1895 was promoted 
to the presidency. Under his skillful, but conservative management, the 
Erie Iron Works have advanced into the foremost class of Pennsylvania's 
great industries, and another large addition to the plant is planned for 
the near future. For many years Mr. Selden was also a director of the 
First National Bank of Erie, resigning from the board because of his 
other engrossing duties. He has long been a member of the Chamber 
of Commerce, and his social activities are identified with the Erie and 
Kahkwa clubs. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 227 

Mr. Selden has always taken a deep interest and wielded a strong 
influence in the religious and philanthropic movements of Erie. He is 
president of the board of trustees of the First Presbyterian church; has 
been president of the local Young Men's Christian Association for sev- 
eral terms, and is now serving on the state board of that association. 
Married to ]\Iiss Marie Louise Spader, daughter of J. Vanderbilt Spader, 
of Brooklyn, New York, he is the father of two children — Marie Louise 
and George Dudley Selden, Jr. 

Addison Leech was a member of one of the prominent pioneer 
families of the old Keystone state, and for many years he played an im- 
portant part in connection with the industrial and civic life of the city 
of Erie, where his death occurred on the lOth of April, 1899, and where 
his wido.w still maintains her home. His earnest and successful life well 
entitles him to such tribute as may be perpetuated in the pages of this 
publication. 

He was born at Slippery Rock, Butler county, Pennsylvania, on the 
20th of February, 1824. and was the fifth child of David and Rhoda 
(Findley) Leech, both likewise natives of this state. The Leech family 
traces its genealogy through a long line of sterling English ancestry, and 
the American branch was founded here in the early colonial epoch of 
our national history. John Leech, grandfather of Addison, removed 
from York county, Pennsylvania, and settled near Greenville, Mercer 
county, where his home locality was named Leech's Corners, in honor of 
him. He was a surveyor by profession, and in Mercer county he took 
up a large tract of government land, to which he later added by pur- 
chase of other tracts, so that he became one of the extensive landholders 
of that section of the state. He married Miss Jane Morrison, from 
Morrison's Cove, near the center of this state, and they became the 
parents of ten sons and two daughters. John Leech was one of the 
influential citizens of Mercer county, where he developed extensive 
farming lands and where both he and his wife continued to reside until 
their death. 

David Leech was reared and educated in Mercer county, and he 
became one of the representative citizens and business men of that sec- 
tion. He was the founder of the town of Leechburg, Armstrong county, 
where he established and operated flouring and saw mills, and he was 
also the head of a transportation company which operated a line of 
boats on the old canal between Pittsburg and Philadelphia. Like his 
father. David Leech became a skilled civil engineer, according to the 
standard of his times, and when a young man he came to Erie and as- 
sisted in the construction of the old Waterford plank road, the govern- 
ment highway between Erie and Buflr'alo. Both he and his wife died in 
Leechburg, and their five sons and one daughter are all now deceased. 

Addison Leech gained his early educational training in the common 
schools of Armstrong county, whither his parents removed when he was 
about two years of age, and later he was afforded the advantages of 
Allegheny College, at Meadville. After leaving school he became as- 
sociated with his father's business operations, and in this connection 
became an expert at the miller's trade. The Leech mills made an exhibit 
of their products at the London exposition, and there Addison received 
a bronze medal for flour which he had made. In 1846 the Franklin 
Institute, in Philadelphia, conferred upon him a silver medal, for a 



228 HISTORY OF ERIE COLWTY 

similar exhibit. At the inception of the Civil war he tendered his services 
in defense of the Union. He was appointed assistant commissary with 
rank of major, with which department he was identified until the close 
of the great conflict. 

After the war Mr. Leech returned to his home in Leechburg, where 
he continued in business until 1868, the winter of which year he passed 
in St. Paul, Minnesota. In the meanwhile his brother, William F. Leech, 
of Philadelphia, at that time identified with the Pennsylvania Railroad, 
had purchased a grain elevator in Erie for his company, known as the 
Anchor Line Transportation Company, of which the elevator and the 
subsequent elevators were a part, and in the spring of 1S69 Addison 
Leech came to this city to assume charge of the elevator business. He 
became associated in the ownership of the same and was identified wnth 
operations here until 1880, when he went to the territory of Dakota and 
purchased large tracts of wheat lands for his sons, — in what is now the 
state of North Dakota. Thereafter he passed a portion of each sum- 
mer in Dakota and his winters at his home in Erie. He found much 
satisfaction in these annual changes, and he continued to give a gen- 
eral supervision to his various business and capitalistic interests until 
his death, at the venerable age of seventy-five years. 

Mr. Leech was never an aspirant for public office but was loyal to 
the duties of citizenship and was a stanch adherent of the Republican 
party. He was affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, and his religious 
faith was that of the Methodist church. His wife is a devoted member 
of the St. Paul's Episcopal church. In the city of Erie Mr. Leech was 
known and honored as a man of marked business ability, unswerving 
integrity and gracious personality, so that his memory will long be re- 
vered in this community. 

On January 8, 1852, was solemnized the marriage of ]\Ir. Leech to 
ISIiss Mary Isabel Watson, of St. Louis, Missouri. She was born in 
Armstrong county, Pennsylvania, and was a child at the time of the 
family removal to St. Louis, where she was reared and educated. She 
is a daughter of John S. and Mary (Reynolds) Watson, the former 
of whom was born in Lycoming county and the latter in Armstrong 
county, Penns}'lvania. The \\'atson family were numbered among the 
early settlers of Lycoming county, and the mother of John Smiley Wat- 
son was a daughter of Brattan Caldwell, a noted character of that sec- 
tion of the old Keystone state. 

The children of ]\Ir. and Mrs. Leech are: John Watson Leech, who 
is connected with the Burke Electric Works, of Erie, married I\Iiss Nellie 
Clark, and they have one daughter, Marion C. ; ]Miss Mary Reynolds 
Leech remains with her mother at the attractive family home in Erie ; 
William l""indley Leech is a representative farmer and citizen of Cass 
county, North Dakota ; Isadora is the wife of Chester W. Bliss, of 
Springfield, Massachusetts, and they have three children, — Elizabeth, 
Addison and Isadora; Addison Leech, Jr., is one of the extensive farm- 
ers of Cass, North Dakota, and, like his brother, William F., is a 
bachelor ; Isabella is the wife of Wilson A. Luce, of Sewickley, near the 
city of Pittsburg, and they have two children, — ^^John \\'iLson A. Jr., 
and Addison ; Henry Lansing Leech died at the age of ten years ; Ella 
is the wife of Edward D. Whetmore, of Warren, this state; Louise 
remains at the maternal home and is a popular teacher in the public 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 329 

schools of Erie, with whose best social life the family has long been 
identified. 

Robert F. Devine president of the Erie Forge Company, who 
operates one of the most complete iron manufactories of northwestern 
Pennsylvania, has made success assured at every stage of his career by 
a thorough preparation for every step he has undertaken. He is com- 
plete master of every element of his great industry, from the coal which 
feeds his huge furnaces to the most complicated engine forging of his 
fine modern plant. Mr. Devine is a native of the hamlet of Lake Run, 
located near Pottsville, Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania, and was born 
on the 17th of September. 1860. He is a son of Robert and Jeannett 
(Murray) Devine. natives of Scotland who came to America with their 
parents when in childhood. After residing about a year in Nova Scotia, 
the family migrated to Pennsylvania, the father enlisting in the Forty- 
eight Infantry of that state for service in the Civil war and contracting 
a fatal attack of pneumonia in 1864. 

When he was about eight years of age young Devine went to work 
in the coal mines of Schuylkill county, as a "breaker boy," and continued 
identified with the coal mining industry until 1879. Far from satisfied 
with either his condition or his prospects at this time, the youth aban- 
doned the mines and served an apprenticeship of three years as a me- 
chanic blacksmith in Philadelphia. He worked at his trade for a time 
in that city ; married in 1885, and one month later started for the west 
with his young wife. They located at Kansas City, where Mr. Devine 
found employment at once and before long became foreman of the black- 
smith department of the Armour Packing Company. Soon he found 
himself in condition to buy a small home (which, with other property, 
he still owns in that city), but after several years of profitable employ- 
ment in- the interests of others moved to Seattle, Washington, and es- 
tablished a shop of his own. 

In 1895 Mr. Devine returned to the east and entered the Frankfort 
Steel and Forging Company of Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, and at the 
death of his brother, who was superintendent of the works, he succeeded 
to the vacancy. In 1903 he organized the company which purchased 
the Erie Forge Company (limited), and the new concern was incor- 
porated under that name on May 32nd of that year. The incorporators 
and oflficers (also the present incumbents) were as follows: Robert F. 
Devine, president and general manager; G. W. J. Stout, treasurer and 
general superintendent : A. C. Grove, vice president ; Joseph C. Campbell, 
Charles R. Eckert, T. R. Phillips, Thomas F. Judge, George B. Galey, 
Elizabeth C. McCoy. Robert McLane, -J. G. Mitchell. C. P. Brobeck. 
C. M. Wallace, H. J. Eckert. E. C. Weir, John Greer and E. J. Schleiter. 
Hugh C. McLaughlin, secretary and accountant of the company, is the 
only ofiticial who is not among the incorporators. When the newly or- 
ganized company assumed the old plant it was in very poor condition, 
but with the addition of modern machinery and new buildings the manu- 
factory is now up-to-date and complete. The power plant is entirely 
new ; a charging machine was installed for the modern open-hearth 
furnaces ; over 800 feet of runway is in operation, as well as four over- 
head traveling cranes for handling hot metal — two of five tons each, one 
of fifteen tons and one of forty tons. The employes number two hun- 
dred and fiftv, nearlv all of whom are skilled workmen, and the works 



230 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

turn out iron and steel forgings, including those for steam, gas and 
marine engines and for pneumatic and hydraulic machinery, and, as a 
specialty, crank shafts and connecting rods of from twenty to thirty 
thousand pounds. Air. Devine is widely known in the trade as the head 
of this great metal manufactory, and is also an active member of the 
Manufacturers' Association, the Erie Chamber of Commerce and the 
Board of Trade, and the Engineer's Club of New York City. In the secret 
and benevolent orders he is identified with the Masonic fraternity, the 
Royal Arcanum, Elks. Ancient Order of United Workmen, and Improved 
Order of Heptasophs. 

In 1885 Mr. Devine married Miss Sarah Craig, who was born at 
Grace Hill, a Moravian settlement in county Antrim, Ireland. Five chil- 
dren were born to this union, as follows : May, who died as an infant 
of seven months; Robert F., Jr., who was born Alarch 1, 1888, and is 
a student at the University of Pennsylvania; Elizabeth, born July 25, 
1890 ; Jeannette, born October 29, 1893 ; and Joseph Craig Devine, born 
May 8, 1895. 

C. W. HoRNE. Although he has not yet reached his fortieth year, 
C. W. Home, of Albion, is in such comfortable circumstances that he 
is not engaged in active business, although he transacts quiet dealings 
as a stock broker and is interested in the Dempsey hotel. He is a na- 
tive of Hagerstown, Pennsylvania, born on the 12th of July, 1870, and 
is a son of George D. and Mary E. (Terrill) Home. The father, who 
died in 1906 at the age of sixty-four, spent all the years of his man- 
hood as a train despatcher of the Erie Railroad and various members of 
his family have been prominent officials of that corporation. The 
widow is living in retirement at Meadville, Pennsylvania, and is the 
mother of C. W. Home, of this sketch; Edward A., a general store- 
keeper of the Erie Railroad, residing in New York ; Mary F., now 
the wife of M. T. Foraker, purchasing auditor of the Erie road, at 
Meadville; and Earl S., assistant to the master mechanic of that road 
at the same point. 

After graduating from the public school course at Meadville, C. 
W. Home entered the employ of the Erie Railroad and was a tele- 
graph operator for tw^elve years. Later, he engaged in the wholesale 
oil iDusiness at Toronto, Canada, and after three years in this employ- 
ment, located at Pittsburg as a stock broker. He was an active mem- 
ber of the Pittsburg Consolidated Stock and Produce Exchange until 
1909. In that year he became a resident of Albion, w^here, as stated, 
he is virtually retired from active business, although he is placing his 
means in not a few profitable channels. His fraternal affiliations are 
with the Elks lodge of Johnston, and his religious connections are 
with the Episcopal church. His wife, who was born in Meadville, 
July 6, 1872, a daughter of Henry and Emeline (Brown) Shafer. bore 
him one child, Henry, on the 3rd of September, 1896. 

William M. Orr, of Girard township, who has been farming for 
sixty years in the county, is the typical English type of agriculturist 
— industrious, dependable and not only concerned in his own welfare 
and those nearest to him, but in the good of the general community. 
He is a native of Cornwall, England, born August 14, 1833, and is a 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 231 

son of John and Elizabeth (Handy) Orr. His grandparents were 
William and Ann Orr, and for many generations the most of the male 
members of the family in England have been employed in the tin and 
copper mines of Cornwall. Air. Orr's grandfather was a miner all his 
life, and his father followed that occupation until he came to the 
United States with his family and settled in Washington township, 
Erie county. From that time until his death he was identified with 
the soil as a farmer. Mr. Orr's mother was a daughter of Nicholas 
Handy, who came to the United States with his daughter, her hus- 
band and family, in 1841, settling in Washington township, and built 
the first log house in their neighborhood, known as Ash Corners. The 
first year spent by the Orrs and Handys in Erie county was one of 
many hardships, their food consisting almost entirely of the scant 
crop of corn and potatoes which was raised from their small clearing. 
The winter was also so bitter cold that it was no unusual thing to 
wake up in the morning and find the bedsteads and bedding decorated 
with glistenintr icicles. 

William M. Orr was reared in Washington township, attending 
district school with more or less regularity until he was seventeen 
years of age. From that time until he was thirty he was employed 
on the paternal farm, and then purchased a homestead in Franklin 
township whose development occupied him for thirty years. In 1907 
he bought the sixty-four acre tract in Girard township, which he is 
now cultivating with his old time thoroughness. 'In connection with 
his successful agricultural enterprises of these many years he has also 
served his townships in many public capacities, evincing in his official 
business the same faithfulness and practical judgment which have been 
displayed in the management of his private afifairs. In politics, he has 
always been a Republican. 

In 1864 Mr. Orr married Miss Lucy Fellows, daughter of William 
and Deborah (Fuller) Fellows, the former being a native of New 
York state and the latter of Massachusetts. Mrs. Orr was born in 
Livingston county, New York, August 4, 1832, and was seven years 
of age when the family settled in Washington township. Her father 
died in 1873, at the age of seventy-four and her mother in 1875, eighty 
years old. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. William 
M. Orr. Charles, born January 1, 1869, is a farmer of Franklin town- 
ship, married Miss Emma Alford and is the father of one child, Don- 
ald. Lynn is a resident of Louisville, Kentucky, married Miss Emma 
Kidd and has one child. Nelson and Wilda are both living with their 
parents. Mr. Orr has one sister living — Elizabeth, wife of Morris 
Fritz of Platea, this county. One brother and two sisters of Mrs. Orr 
survive, viz : Charles Fellows, a resident of Corry, Pennsylvania ; and 
AllifT, widow of William Putnam of Edinboro, and Mina, widow of 
W. Sherwood, a farmer of Washington township. 

G. W. F. Sherwin was one of Erie county's representative citizens 
and was closely identified with many of its important interests. He was 
born on a farm near Harbor Creek in this county. July 12. 1831, his par- 
ents being Dr. Ira and Sarah (Wilson) Sherwin. The father was a 
native of Windsor county, Vermont, and a graduate of the Castleton 
Medical College of that state. At an early day he came to this county. 



232 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

settling in Harbor Creek township, where he followed the occupation 
of farming and was also engaged in the practice of medicine for many 
years. He likewise taught three terms in the first schoolhouse built 
in the township and was closely associated with the material develop- 
ment and substantial progress of the region. His wife (nee Sarah Wil- 
son) was born in Erie county, August 10, 1800, and was a daughter of 
William and Sarah (Barr) Wilson, who were natives of Mifflin county, 
this state, and became pioneer residents of Erie county. The children 
of Dt. Wilson's family who remained in this county were, G. W. F. 
Sherwin and the Misses Josephine B. and M. F. Sherwin, the lat- 
ter two still living in Harbor Creek. 

G. W. F. Sherwin spent his youthful days on the home farm, early 
becoming familiar with all the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the 
agriculturalist. His early education was acquired in the district schools 
and was supplemented by study in the Erie Academy, after which he 
pursued a mathematical course in Kingsville (Ohio) Academy. Subse- 
quently he took up the profession of civil engineering, turning his at- 
tention to that work in 1846. He followed it in the summer seasons, 
while in the winter months he engaged in teaching school. In 1850 
he went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he engaged in surveying for the 
North Missouri Railroad and later for the Belleville & Alton road. 
He made the first soundings for a bridge over the Missouri river for the 
Alton & St. Louis Railroad and was chosen engineer in charge for that 
line. His labors in the middle west in connection with railroad build- 
ing were of a very important character and brought him prominently 
before the public in his professional relation. In 1854 he was made 
assistant superintendent and paymaster of the Chicago & Alton Rail- 
road, filling that position until 1855, when he resigned to resume the 
private practice of his profession, in wdiich connection he laid out 
Sioux City, Iowa, and Niobrara, Nebraska. In the latter town there 
were two thousand Indians living at the time. Throughout the 
period of his residence in the west he was a factor in the substantial 
development and in progress along intellectual and other lines. He was 
chosen one of the original eleven trustees of the Iowa Agricultural 
College and was twice elected county judge of Cherokee county, Iowa. 

L'pon the death of his father Mr. Sherwin returned to Erie and 
remained here to settle up the estate. Here he was called to public of- 
fice, being elected county surveyor, in which position" he served for three 
years, while for five years he was city engineer and three terms water 
commissioner, acting as president of the board during the last year of 
his incumbency in that office. During his term as commissioner the de- 
partment advocated and introduced many needed reforms and re- 
modeled the pumping station. After his retirement from office Mr. 
Sherwin was engaged as chief engineer in the conduct of several en- 
terprises, the most important being the construction of the Franklin 
and North East water works. He also made the survey of Corry and 
established all the land marks and corners. He possessed marked abil- 
ity in his chosen field of labor, being widely recognized as one of the 
most capable civil engineers in this part of the state. He died in 1887. 

On the 30th of January, 1861. Mr. Sherwin was married to ]Miss 
Jennie Moorehead. a daughter of Colonel James M. Moorehead, of Har- 
bor Creek township. Erie county. They became parents of five children 
but only two are living. M. F. and James M. While Mr Sherwin was 
widely known as a most capable and successful civil engineer, in which 



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HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 233 

connection he did much important pubhc service, he also deserved the 
gratitude of the community for his labors in lines of general improvement 
and progress. He was the founder of the boys' branch of the local 
Young Men's Christian Association, which is a monument to his dis- 
interested forethought and appreciation of the needs of the boys. He 
was ever deeply interested in the young and realized the fact that their 
environment has much to do with shaping character. He therefore be- 
lieved in surrounding the boys with good influences and they recognized 
in him a warm and constant friend. He was also one of the earliest 
members of the National Historical Society and was one of the founders 
of the Central Presbyterian church, in which he served as an elder, while 
in religious work he long took an active and most helpful part. His life 
contained the elements of greatness in that it was not self-centered but 
was largely devoted to the welfare of his fellow men, his influence being 
ever on the side of progress, reform and improvement. "Not the good 
that comes to us but the good that comes to the world through us is the 
measure of our success ;" and judged in this way Air. Sherwin was a most 
successful man. 

His son, James M. Sherwin. after attending Adelbert College studied 
law and was admitted to the bar. He has since practiced in the state and 
federal courts. He was the first president of the Erie Chamber of Com- 
merce. 

Fred Rose. The agricultural interests of Greene township. Erie 
county, number Fred Rose among its most prominent representatives, 
and in addition to the old Rose homestead where his parents lived and 
labored for so many years he also owns an estate near by where he 
resides. He is engaged in general farming and dairying pursuits, and 
is one the of community's most prominent business men. He was born 
in Greene township on the Gth of March, 1860, a son of Charles and 
Anna Mary (Goss) Rose, who were born in Germany, in Hamburg and 
Wittenberg respectively. After coming to this country Charles Rose 
worked for about two years in the brick yards in Erie, and he then 
purchased and removed to the sixty-six acre farm in Greene township 
near where his son Fred now lives, and he was the first to locate on 
that road. Anna M. Goss came to Erie county some time after the ar- 
rival of Mr. Rose, and after their marriage they located on their little 
farm of sixty-six acres in the uncut woods of Greene township, built 
tiieir home, cleared their land and there reared their children named 
as follows : Emily and Christena, both deceased. Adam, Charles, Freder- 
ick, Mary, Herman, John and Jacob. 

Fred Rose attended in his early life the Lawrence and the Pleasant 
Hill schools, both in Greene township, and with the exception of the 
three years spent in the Bradford oil fields his time since leaving the 
school room has been given to the work of his farm. He married Sep- 
tember 14, 1882, Miss Sophia Dunker, a daughter of Henry and Mar- 
garet Dunker, who came from Germany to the United States in their 
early lives and located in Mill Creek township, Erie county, Pennsyl- 
vania, the birthplace of their daughter Sophia. The union of Mr. and 
Mrs. Rose was blessed by the birth of five children : Anna, Lilly, Edward, 
Carl and Margaret. Mrs. Rose, the wife and mother, died on the 8th 
of September, 1906, after a happy married life of many years. Mr. 
Rose is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Samaritan 
No. 1143, in \\^est Greene, and the Encampment No. 42, at Erie, and he 



234 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

also has membership relations with the Grange and the Royal (Jrder of 
Moose, of Erie. In politics he is a Republican, and he has held the 
various ofifices of his township. The home of Mr. Fred Rose and 
family is known as "Rose Hill." 

Samuel H. Drown. Identified with a dual line of enterprise which 
is of distinctive importance in every community, — that of real-estate 
and fire insurance, — Mr. Drown is recognized not only as controlling one 
of the leading agencies of this kind in the city of Erie but also as being 
one of the loyal and progressive business men of the younger genera- 
cion in his native county, where he has attained to success and prece- 
dence through his well directed eft'orts along normal avenues of enter- 
prise. 

Samuel H. Drown was born in Greene township, this county, on the 
12th of September 1876, and thus made his advent into the world in the 
centennial year, one of the most notable in the history of his native 
commonwealth. He is a son of Hosea and Melvina M. (Hilborn) 
Drown, both likewise natives of Greene township, where the former was 
born on the 13th of July, 1833, and the latter on the 31st of March, 
1848. Hosea Drown is a son of Cyril and Catherine (Zimmerman) 
Drown, whose marriage was solemnized in Greene township, this county, 
where the former took up his residence in the year 1818, so that both 
families are to be noted as having been pioneers of the county. Cyril 
Drown became one of the prominent and influential citizens of Greene 
township, where he became a successful farmer, and he was called upon 
to serve in various township offices. He continued to reside in that town- 
ship until his death, which occurred in 1869, and his wife also passed her 
declining years on the old homestead. 

Hosea Drown was afforded better educational advantages than fell 
to the lot of the average youth of the locality and period, and that he 
put his acquirements to practical test and utilization is shown in the fact 
that for several years he was a successful and popular teacher in the 
district schools of his native county. His principal vocation, however, 
was that of farming, to which he devoted his attention during the major 
portion of his active career, having been the owner of a fine landed 
estate in Greene township, where he continued to reside until 1889, since 
which time he has lived virtually retired in the city of Erie, where his 
cherished and devoted wife died in 1906, secure in the aft'ectionate regard 
of all who had come within the sphere of her gentle and gracious in- 
fluence. Their marriage was solemnized on the 11th of September. 1873, 
and she was a daughter of .Samuel H. and Roxy A. Hilborn, the former 
of whom was born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, October 5, 1802, and 
the latter of whom was a daughter of Martin and Mary Hayes, who 
were natives of New England. When a young man Samuel H. Hilborn 
removed to the state of New York, whence he later went to Ohio, and 
in 1835 he took up his residence in Greene township, Erie county, Penn- 
sylvania, where his marriage was solemnized on the 1st of October, 
1837. He became a prosperous farmer and honored citizen of Greene 
township, where his death occurred February 25, 1877, and his wife 
survived him by several years. 

Hosea and ]\felvina M. (Hilborn) Drown became the parents of 
four children: M. Cyril, who is one of the interested principals in the 
Erie Laundry Company, married Miss Marietta Voltz, of Erie: Samuel 
H., of this sketch, was the next in order of birth; Arthur L., also iden- 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 235 

tified with the Erie Laundry Company, married Bertha Sawtelle and 
they have two children; and Bertha C. is a student (1909) in Drexel 
Institute, in the city of Philadelphia. 

Samuel H. Drown passed his boyhood days on the home farm and 
secured his preliminary education in the district schools of Greene 
township. He accompanied his parents on their removal to the city of 
Erie, in 1889, and here he continued his studies in the public schools until 
he had completed a course in the high school, in which he was graduated 
as a member of the class of 1897. He initiated his business career by 
taking a position in the office of the Erie Trading Stamp Company, and 
later became bookkeeper in the retail store of the Black Manufacturing 
Company. His next position was that of traveling representative of the 
celebrated International Correspondence School, of Scranton, Pennsyl- 
vania, in which connection he had charge in turn of the offices at Erie, 
Niagara Falls, and Rochester, New York, from which last he had charge 
of all territory in central New York. In February, 1901, Mr. Drown 
purchased one-half interest in the real estate and insurance business of 
M. H. Sawdey, of Erie, and the business was- thereafter conducted under 
the title of M. H. Sawdey & Company until August 7, 1905, when Mr. 
Drown purchased his partner's interest, since which time he has con- 
tinued the enterprise most successfully in an individual w^ay and under 
his own name. He handles both city and country realty and on his books 
are at all times represented the best of investments, both for sale and in 
exchange. The fire insurance department, controlling a large and sub- 
stantial business, is based upon the agency of a number of the best com- 
panies in the world. Mr. Drown is known not only as an aggressive 
yoimg business man of much initiative and executive ability but also as one 
whose methods and systems are such as to well entitle him to unqualified 
confidence and esteem. His agency is one of the most prominent and 
popular in Erie county and its business is constantly expanding in scope 
and importance under his effective management. 

Pie is actively identified with the work and interests of the Erie 
Chamber of Commerce, of whose directorate he is a member, and he is 
a member of the Hamot Hospital Corporators Association. He is a 
member of the Erie Real Estate Exchange and the Business Men's Ex- 
change, besides which he holds membership in the Erie Board of Un- 
derwriters and is receiver for the Lakeside Cemetery. His political 
allegiance is given to the Republican party and he is one of the valued 
and zealous members of the Central Presbyterian church, being one of 
its trustees and superintendent of its Sunday school. He is affiliated 
with the ]\Iasonic fraternity, in which he has completed the circle of the 
York Rite and advanced to the llth degree in the Ancient Accepted 
Scottish Rite, as a member of Presque Isle Lodge of Perfection. 

In 1901 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Drown to Miss Bertha 
Russell. She moved to Erie from Clarendon in 1890 and graduated in 
the same class w'ith her husband in 1897 from Erie high school. She 
was born in Butler county, Pennsylvania, and is a daughter of Thomas 
J. Russell, now a representative business man in the city of Erie. 

James D. Hay, treasurer and general manager of the Cascade 
Foundry Company of Erie and one of its leading manufacturers and 
citizens, is a native of Fairview township, this county, born August 31, 
1818, being a son of William and JuHette ( Demsey) Hay. ]\Ir. Hay is also 



23G HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

one of the leading Republicans of the county and was for a number of 
years prominently identified with its progress as a leading official. He 
stands high not only on the basis of personal merit but from the fact 
that his family is one of the oldest and most prominent in this section 
of the state. It was in 1802 that his grandfather, James, and his grand- 
uncle, John, came from their native state of Maryland and made their 
homes 'in Erie county. The former selected Fairview township as the 
family homestead, took up land in that locality and cleared and improved 
it. John Hay, the granduncle mentioned, became the first postmaster 
of Erie and John Hay, son of James and uncle of James D., served as 
captain in the war of 1812, seeing service in the vicinity of Erie and 
otherwise became an honored and prominent citizen. It is on record that 
he was a witness in the second will on file in the court house in Erie 
county. John Hay, the famous author and distinguished statesman, 
was also a member of this family. 

William Hay, the father, was born in Maryland in 1802, the family 
removing to Erie during the same year of his birth. Here he was reared 
and spent his entire life in farming, dying in 1883. He married Juliette 
Demsey, a native of Erie and a daughter of John Demsey, a pioneer 
millwright and carpenter who built many of the early mills of the 
county. Her father also served in the war of 1812, participating in the 
battle' of Tippecanoe and altogether spending a year under the military 
leadership of General WilHam Henry Harrison. Mrs. Hay died in 1879, 
the mother of four sons and six daughters. Henry, the eldest child, 
who was born in Fairview township, is now deceased. William C, i^he sec- 
ond, also a native of that township, served in the Civil war as captain of 
Company H, One Hundred and Eleventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volun- 
teer Infantry, and was also treasurer of B^rie county for one term. 
John, the third son, born in Fairview township, enlisted in Company A, 
One Hundred and Forty-fifth Regiment Pennsylvania \"olunteer In- 
fantry, and was killed at the battle of Fredricksburg, December 13, 1862. 
His death was most untimely, as he would have been only eighteen years 
of age on the following fifteenth of June. James D., of this sketch, 
is the youngest of the sons. Caroline, the oldest daughter, married S. 
R. Miller, of Springfield, Pennsylvania, who served in Company K, One 
Hundred and Forty-fifth Pennsylvania Regiment during the Civil war, 
afterward removing to Kansas, where both he and his wife died. Lu- 
cinda married William Cole, of Fairview, later removed to Amboy, 
Ohio, and both died in that place. Mary became the wife of Joseph 
Wilcox. Her husband served in a Pennsylvania cavalry regiment dur- 
ing the Civil war and they both now reside on a farm near Amboy, 
Ohio. Eliza J., the fourth daughter, married Charles Loverin and they 
both now reside in Cleveland, Ohio. Adelaide is the widow of Charles 
P. Cummings, also a soldier in a Pennsylvania regiment. Mrs. Cum- 
mings is now a resident of Marshalltown, Iowa. The sixth and youngest 
daughter is Nellie, now Mrs. D. E. Waters of Marshalltown. Iowa. 

James D. Hay, of this sketch, received his early education in the 
district schools of Fairview township, taught school for several years 
and subsequently became a student at the University of Michigan. As 
his training had been along agricultural lines, however, in the spring of 
1882 he accepted the responsible position of superintendent of the large 
farm owned by Powell brothers of Shadeland. Crawford county, Penn- 
sylvania. He remained thus engaged for eight years, or until 1890, 
when he was appointed deputy revenue collector in the Erie office. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 237 

He served in this position for three years, resigning with the outgoing 
of the Cleveland administration. He then re-entered the employ of 
Powell brothers and after continuing as superintendent of their interests 
for another two years, returned to Erie to assume the office of deputy, 
under Sheriff George W. Evans. The efficiency which he displayed in 
his official service as subordinate earned him both general respect and 
wide popularity and in 18!) 6 his Republican friends and supporters 
elected him to the office of register and recorder of Erie county. He 
assumed office on the first of January, 1897, was re-elected in 1900 and 
altogether served two full terms of three years each. In the winter of 
1902, Air. Hay, in association with Edward Huer and U. P. Rossiter, 
obtained tlie controlling interest in the Depinet Foundry Company and 
in 19(i;) they assumed the management of the entire plant, reorganizing 
its business as the Cascade Foimdry Company. This is its present style 
and represents one of the largest establishments of the kind in the city. 
In 1907 the present large brick buildings occupied were erected and the 
plant was removed to the corner of Nineteenth and Plum streets. From 
the time of the reorganization Mr. Hay has acted as its treasurer and 
general manager and in this position has done much to bring the estab- 
lishment to its present high standing in the industrial field. ]\Ir. Hay 
is an active and influential member of the Erie Chamber of Commerce, 
is a Mason of high degree (a member of the Shriners), and also actively 
connected with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is 
a man of wide and high social standing and has been long connected 
with the Country Club. 

Mr. Hay was first married to Miss Lillian Davie, a native of War- 
ren county, Pennsylvania, and daughter of O. J. and Esther (Gallowhur) 
Davie, the family being of old Welsh descent. Mrs. Lillian Day died 
in 1892, at the age of thirty-six years, leaving three children. Donald 
D., the eldest, born in 1880, was a student at the University of Penn- 
sylvania and was afterward appointed lieutenant in the United States 
army and is now on duty with the Twenty-fifth Infantry at Parang 
Parang, Philippine Islands. It is interesting to know and decidedly to the 
young man's credit that at the time he passed the required examination 
for his lieutenancy he was under the legal age. When the department 
discovered this, proceedings were suspended for a time but the matter 
was carried to the secretary of war w^ho, in view of his fine record, issued 
an order that he should receive the appointment as soon as he became 
of legal age without further examination or delay. The young man 
resumed his studies at the univeristy and upon his twenty-first birthday 
received his commission without formal application. Florence, the sec- 
ond child and only daughter, is now a student at the School of Industrial 
Arts of Philadelphia. John, the third and youngest child, has com- 
menced a six years' course at the University of Michigan from which he 
will graduate with the degree of A. B. and M. D. Mr. Hay's second 
wife was Anna Lipton, of Center county, Pennsylvania, daughter of E. 
B. Lipton, who for twenty-five years was head bookkeeper for the Jarecki 
Manufacturing Company of Erie. He is now retired from active work. 

Henry C. Kelsey, president of the Union Ice Company, Erie, 
Pennsylvania, was born in this cit_v, October 29, 1844, son of Samuel 
H. and Alary H. (Johnson) Kelsey, natives respectively of Oswego, New 
York, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mr. Kelsey's paternal grand- 
father, Joseph Kelsey, moved -from Oswego to Erie county at an early 



238 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

date and settled on a farm in Mill Creek township, where he carried on 
farming for a numher of years. Subsequently he entered into a partner- 
ship with his son-in-law, Henry Cadwell, and they engaged in the hard- 
ware and tinning business. Samuel H. Kelsey, the father of Henry C, 
also became interested in this business, and was connected w^ith the firm 
for a number of years. Later, under the administration of Postmaster 
Robert Cochran, he held a position in the Erie postoffice, and at the 
expiration of his service there he entered the employ of the late Gen- 
eral Charles M. Reed, as clerk on a lake boat, in which capacity he 
served two years, after which he was given a position as accountant in 
the office at the docks. He remained in the employ of General Reed for 
a period of upwards of twenty years, and after Rawle & Co. succeeded 
General Reed in business, he retained his place with the new firm and 
continued with it until the company went out of business. In 1866, asso- 
ciated with his son, Henry C., Mr. Kelsey established the Erie Ice 
Company, the son taking active management of the business. The father 
lived to the ripe age of seventy-five, and died August 1-i, 1892. 

Henry C. Kelsey was reared and educated in Erie. From 1860 to 
1862 he was in Canada, employed, in different capacities, in the oil fields. 
Returning to Erie in 1862, he entered the employ of Henry Rawle & Co., 
with which he remained four years, until he joined his father in the ice 
business. They established tRe first thoroughly equipped ice plant in 
Erie. In 1890, the Union Ice Company was organized, it being made up 
of the Erie Ice Company and the John R. Cooney Ice Company. The 
People's Ice Company, formed in 1892, was in 1893 added to the Union. 
Mr. Kelsey was made treasurer of the Union Ice Company at its forma- 
tion and so continued until 1900, when he was made president, the office 
he now fills. 

September 3, 1868, Mr. Kelsey married Laura H. Johnson of Erie, 
and they have two daughters : Margaret Shannon, widow of the late 
Harry Saltsman of Erie, who married Frank M. Wallace in 1909, presi- 
dent of the Second National Bank of Erie, and one of the vice presi- 
dents of the Pittsburg Coal Company ; Blanche Elizabeth, wife of Charles 
F. Wallace, assistant cashier of the Second National Bank. Fraternally, 
Mr. Kelsey is a Mason of high degree. 

RiNALDO E. Clemens. When it is stated that Rinaldo E. Clemens 
is a scion of a family which was founded in Erie county more than a 
century ago, it will be at once understood that the name has been linked 
with the annals of the old Keystone state since the pioneer epoch. Fur- 
ther than this the name has been ever honored and has stood for definite 
accomplishment in connection with the civic and business activities of 
this section of the state. Not too often and not through the agency of 
too many vehicles can be recorded tributes to the memory of those who 
have thus wrought nobly in the past and who have left descendants to 
perpetuate in their lives and services equally worthy achievement. 

Rinaldo E. Clemens, who is now living virtually retired in the city 
of Erie, with whose business interests he was long and prominently 
identified as a progressive and loyal citizen, was born in the village of 
Fairview, this county, on the 9th of October, 1844, and is a son of John 
and Lydia (Hutchinson) Clemens. John Clemens was born in Le Boeuf 
township, this county, in 1819. and was a son of John and Mary (Irwin) 
Clemens, whose marriage was solemnized in Pennsylvania. John Clem- 
ens, Sr., was a native of county Armagh,. Ireland, where he was born in 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 239 

the year 1762 and where he was reared to the age of fifteen. In 1777, 
when fifteen years of age, he severed the ties which bound him to the 
Emerald Isle and immigrated to America, to whose upbuilding and 
advancement those of his race have contributed in liberal and noble 
measure from the colonial era to the present day. He first settled at 
Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and in 1795 he removed to Erie county. He 
established his home in Le Boeuf township, about one and one-half miles 
south from the present village of Waterford, and there he secured from 
David McXair two hundred acres of land a very considerable portion 
of which he reclaimed to cultivation. He was a man of energy and 
strong mentality, so that he naturally became a leader and power in his 
community. He developed a valuable property and continued to reside 
on his fine old homestead until his death, which occurred in the year 
1822. His wife, who was a native of north of Ireland, survived him by 
a number of years. 

John Clemens, Jr., father of Rinaldo E., was reared to manhood on 
the ancestral homestead and his early educational advantages were those 
aflforded in the common schools of the locality and period. In 1840, soon 
after attaining to his legal majority, he took up his residence in the vil- 
lage of Fairview, this county, where he became associated with John 
Avery Tracy in the general merchandise business, under the title of Tracy 
& Clemens. Later he conducted a hotel in the same village, where he 
remained until 1848, when he removed to Girard, where he entered into 
partnership with David Olin and again engaged in the mercantile busi- 
ness. His operations in this field were attended with success and he con- 
tinued his residence in Girard until 1854, when he took up his residence 
in Erie, where he greatly amplified the scope of his business by forming 
a partnership alliance with his brother-in-law, William M. Caughey, and 
opening a well ordered wholesale grocery establishment. The prescience 
and judgment of this firm were notable, as they were among the first 
to recognize the advantages of Erie as a wholesaling center and were 
among the first to show their confidence in the definite manner desig- 
nated. They built up a fine enterprise, controlling a trade throughout the 
large territory normally tributary to Erie, and Mr. Clemens continued 
to be actively identified with the business until 1869, when he retired to 
engage in the wholesale and retail lumber trade, in which his acumen 
and honorable dealings likewise made his success assured. In 1878 he 
retired from this field of enterprise and became associated with Prescott 
Metcalf and founded the Erie ■Malleable Iron Works, which grew to be 
one of the most important industrial enterprises in the county. He was 
also one of those prominently concerned in the organization of the com- 
pany which erected the Park Opera House, and his aid and influence 
were given in the promotion of numerous other enterprises conserving 
the progress and material prosperity of his home city, in which his inter- 
ests centered and in which he was ever regarded as a most loyal and gen- 
erous citizen. His life was ordered on a broad plane of integrity and 
honor, and his success, which measured large, was won by legitimate 
means, so that no shadow rests on any portion of his career as a citizen 
and as a business man. His political allegiance was given to the Repub- 
hcan party, and as already intimated, he took an active interest in public 
afifairs, though he never had aught of desire for the honors or emolu- 
ments of political office. His wife held membership in the Episcopal 
church and was active in its work and support. In 1842 was solemnized 
his marriage to Miss Lydia Hutchinson, daughter of the late Judge 



240 HISTORY OF ERIE COUXTY 

Myron Hutchinson, who presided on the bench of the county court in this 
county, and of the two children of this union the subject of this review is 
the elder; Frances Eliza died in 1863, when a young woman. John Clem- 
ens rounded out a life of signal usefulness and honor and was summoned 
to eternal rest on the 24th of August, 1892. His wife passed away in 
Xovember, 1896. and their memories are revered in the city which so 
long represented their home and in whose social life they were prominent. 

Rinaldo E. Clemens was a child at the time of the family removal 
to Erie, and in the public schools of this city he secured his early educa- 
tional discipline. He became in time associated with the various enter- 
prises with which his honored father was identified, and his career has 
added new laurels to the family name. He was concerned in many 
important business corporations, and contributed in large measure to the 
industrial and commercial advancement of Erie, to which city his loyalty 
has ever been on a parity with that shown by his father. Since 1905 he 
has lived virtually retired, though he gives his general supervision to his 
various capitalistic interests, and is a member of the directorate of the 
Alarine National Bank, of Erie, one of the stanch financial institutions 
of northern Pennsylvania. Though never active in the arena of prac- 
tical politics, he is an adherent of the Republican party, and his wife holds 
membership in the Episcopal church. He is identified with no fraternal 
organizations except the Royal Arcanum but is a member of the Erie 
Club, the leading social organization of business men in the city. 

In 1874 was solemnized the marriage of Air. Clemens to Aliss Anna 
C. Hays, daughter of the late William B. Hays, who was an old and hon- 
ored citizen of Erie at the time of his demise. ]\lr. and Mrs. Clemens 
became the parents of two children, John Hays, who died in July, 1908, 
at the age of thirty-three years, and Hays H., who was graduated in the 
Troy Polytechnical Institute and is now a civil engineer by profession : 
he still maintains his home in Erie. 

George S. Ray, M. D. A leader among the younger and most pro- 
gressive physicians and surgeons of Erie, Dr. George S. Ray was born 
at Meadville. Pennsylvania, on the 2(ith of May. 1870. The family is of 
ancient Scotch descent, but its American home has long been in the east- 
ern and especially, the Xew England states. The doctor's parents, S. H. 
and Margaret (Hart) Ray, were early settlers of his native citv. He 
graduated from the ]\leadville High School in 1888 and from Allegheny 
College in 1892, after which he completed a three years' course in the 
medical department of the University of Pennsylvania in 1895. His 
graduation from that institution was followed by service of a year in the 
Methodist Episcopal Hospital, and he began the practice of his profes- 
sion at Cooperstown, Pennsylvania, in the later portion of 1896. 

Dr. Ray became a resident of Erie in the fall of 1897. and has since 
established a substantial general practice and is especially recognized as 
a skilful, but conservative surgeon. At the present time he is a member 
of the surgical staff of St. Vincent's Hospital, Erie, and surgeon of the 
Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad. He is actively identified with the 
Erie Medical Society, of which he served as president for a year, and is 
also a member of the X^orthwestern Medical Society of Pennsylvania, 
State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. Tlie doc- 
tor is a Free Mason, connected with Keystone Lodge of Erie, and enjoys 
membership in the Chamber of Commerce. His wife, known before her 
marriage as Miss Emma Eby, is the daughter of Bishop Isaac Eby, of 



::,W YD: 

.-•i^iL- LIBRARY 



A«T»«, LENOX 
TILDEN FOUNDATION* 




I^i-av-e^ iy s. K Camp" 




HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 241 

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, so prominent a figure in the Mennonite church 
of the east. There is one child by the marriage, Frederick M. Ray, born 
February 16, 1906. 

Charles E. Gunnison. Distinguished not only as the worthy 
representative of a pioneer family of much prominence, but for the 
eminence he has achieved as a man of affairs and one of rare business 
and executive ability, Charles, E. Gunnison occupies an assured position 
among the respected and valued citizens of Erie, and as president of 
the Marine National Bank exerts a wide influence in the realms of 
finance. A life-long resident of this beautiful city overlooking the blue 
waters of Lake Erie, he has been identified with its highest interests 
during his active career, and has contributed in no small measure to 
Its progress and prosperity. Charles E. Gunnison, president of the 
'Nlarine National Bank, Erie, was born August 9, 1829. at Erie. His 
parents were E. D. and Sophia Gunnison who came to Erie in 1815. 
After the usual attendance at private schools he closed his school career 
at the Erie Academy. At the age of fourteen he found employment 
a.'- clerk in the general store known as the "Canadian Store" located 
m the original Reed House block on North Park Row. From 1847 
to the spring of 1851 he was engaged in a clerical capacity in the Reed 
Store owned by the late General Charles M. Reed. 

Mr. Gunnison's banking career commenced April 1, 1851, when he 
accepted a position with Joseph H. Williams, banker, Erie. In 1853 
he went to Terre Haute, Indiana, to assume the cashiership of The 
Southern Bank of Indiana where he remained a portion of the year 
returning thence to become a member of the banking firm of C. B. 
Wright & Co., the members of which were Charles B. Wright, Francis 
P. Bailey and Charles E. Gunnison. This firm was dissolved in 1858. 
In 1859 Mr. Gunnison, associated with his brother John B. Gunnison, 
established the tannery business. During the years of 1860 to 1864 
he assisted in the firm of Vincent, Bailey & Co. He became assistant 
cashier of the Marine National Bank in the spring of 1866 and subse- 
quently became the cashier and then president. 

Mr. Gunnison was married September 1, 1852, to Jane T. Welsh, 
a native of the City of Douglas, Isle of Man. Of their three children, 
Emma G., wife of Dr. David H. Strickland, alone survives. Harry, who 
married Lucy Morrison, died wdiile cashier of the ^Marine National Bank 
and Carrie married Frank T. Kimball, both of whom are deceased. Mr. 
Gunnison has been a member of the board of trade of Erie and of the 
Park Presbyterian church for many years. 

John W. Little. Among those who have stood as distinctive 
types of the world's w'orkers is John W. Little, who is president of the 
People's Bank of Erie, and whose identification with the civic and busi- 
ness interests of this city has extended over a period of fully two score 
of years, within which it has been his to mark by definite accomplishment 
a place of honor on the record of progress made by the city within the 
period noted. It is naught more than simple justice to refer to him as 
one of the representative business men of Erie county, and the most 
emphatic voucher for his sterling characteristics is that offered in the 
uniform respect and confidence accorded to him in the community which 
has so long represented his home and been the center of his interests. 

In a characteristic paraphrase Senator Chauncey j\I. Depew gave 
utterance to the following statement : "Some men are born great, some 

Vol. 11—16 



243 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

achieve greatness, and some arc born in the state of Ohio." This indicated 
a signal appreciation of the part the fine old Buckeye commonwealth has 
played in giving to the nation men of beneficent influence in public 
affairs, and the application may well be taken to wider limitations in not- 
ing the accomplishment of sons of Ohio in the manifold departments 
of productive business activity. The distinction thus lies with Mr. Little 
that he can claim the Buckeye state as the place of his nativity, and he 
is a scion of one of the honored pioneer families of the Western Reserve, 
which has been designated as "the largest and most distinctly individual- 
ized and most influential of all the varied elements" in the compos- 
ite population of Ohio. He was born in Aurora, Portage county, Ohio, 
on the 14th of November, 1848, and is a son of John and Lucy (Eggles- 
ton) Little, the former of whom was born in the state of New York, 
where his parents were temporarily sojourning, and the latter of whom 
was a native of Aurora, Portage county, Ohio, where her father, Mar- 
tin Eggleston, of New England birth and lineage, was an early settler. 
The Little family was founded in America in the colonial epoch of our 
national history, and in the state of Massachusetts was born Warren 
Little, grandfather of John W. Warren Little removed from the old 
Bay state to Ohio in the pioneer days, and it was his to become one of the 
early settlers of the historic Western Reserve, which, though its boun- 
daries are no longer designated in modern geographies, bears a name 
that still belongs to a well defined portion of Ohio, a section whose resi- 
dents are knit together by historic associations and social ties as close 
as though indicated by strict political limits. Upon his removal from the 
east to the Western Reserve of Connecticut, Warren Little took up his 
abode in the wilds of Portage county, where he reclaimed a farm from 
the virgin forest, and there he and his wife passed the residue of their 
lives. He there became the owner of a generous landed estate, and it is 
interesting to record that his old homestead is still in possession of his 
descendants of the name. 

John Little was reared under the conditions and influences of the 
pioneer era in the Western Reserve, where his educational advantages 
were such as were offered in the schools of the day. He lived up to the 
full tension of the arduous labors of the pioneer farm, and continued 
to be actively identified with agricultural operations in Geauga county, 
Ohio (to which he removed in 1852) until 1872. when he removed to 
Erie, Pennsylvania, where he lived virtually retired until his death, 
which occurred in June, 1877. His cherished and devoted wife was sum- 
moned to the life eternal on the 12th of December. 1898. They were 
consistent members of the Disciple church and in politics John Little was 
a Republican. They became the parents of nine children, of whom three 
are living. 

John W. Little, the immediate subject of this review, was three years 
of age at the time of his j^arents' removal from Portage county to Geauga 
county. Ohio, in wdiich latter he was reared to maturity. After duly 
availing himself of the advantages of the common schools of the locality 
and period he continued his studies in Geauga Seminary, a well ordered 
institution, and he put his scholastic attainments to practical test and util- 
ization by assuming the position of teacher in the district schools of his 
home county. In the pedagogic profession his labors were successful, 
and to the same he devoted his attention for two years. 

In June. 18()!), about five months before attaining to his legal major- 
ity, Mr. Little severed the ties which bound him to home and native state, 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 243 

and came to Erie, where he assumed a clerical position in the offices of 
the PennsA'lvania Railroad, under William E. Baldwin, general superin- 
tendent. He continued to he identified with the interests of the corpora- 
tion noted until 187G, when he marked the centennial year by assuming 
a position in the offices of W. L. Scott and Company, long known as rep- 
resenting one of the most important industrial enterprises of this section 
of the state. On the death of VV. L. Scott in 1891 he became one of the 
stockholders and executive officers of The W. L. Scott Company, and 
with the same he continued to be identified until its retirement from bus- 
iness, in 1905. He exerted no little infiuence in the building up of the 
large and successful enterprise of this well known company, whose oper- 
ations were in the mining and shipping of anthracite and bituminous coal 
and during the long years of his connection therewith he gained distinc- 
tive recognition as one of the progressive and representative business 
men of the city of Erie. 

In the year last mentioned Mr. Little became one of the organizers 
and incorporators of the People's Bank, in which he is the largest stock- 
holder and of which he has been president from the time of its incorpor- 
ation. The bank bases its operations upon a capital stock of two hundred 
thousand dollars with a surplus from organization of one hundred thou- 
sand dollars and it has gained secure prestige in popular favor and sup- 
port. A progressive but duly conservative policy has been maintained, 
and as executive head of the institution Mr. Little had ordered its affairs 
with consummate discrimination and ability, so that it stands to-day as 
one of the most solid banking houses of northern Pennsylvania. As a 
citizen and business man Mr. Little has shown much of public spirit and 
loyalty, and all that concerns the welfare of his home city has been a mat- 
ter of definite interest to him during the long years of his residence in 
Erie, where he is held in unequivocal confidence and esteem and where 
his popularity is' based upon a record marked by sterling integrity and 
honor. He is a valued member of both the Chamber of Commerce and 
the Board of Trade, and is identified with various civic and fraternal 
organizations. Though never manifesting aught of ambition for the 
honors or emoluments of public office he is arrayed as a stalwart sup- 
porter of the cause of the Republican party, and both he and his wife 
hold membership in the First Presbyterian church. 

On the "^rjth of September, 1879, was solemnized the marriage of 
Mr. Little to Miss Anna Henry, daughter of the late Robert H. Henry, 
of Erie. Mr. and Mrs. Little have had no children. 

John H. Berkenkamp. For the past twenty years a leading busi- 
ness man of Erie John H. Berkenkamp is a representative German-Amer- 
ican whose family name was established by his father in this section of 
the state more than fifty-six years ago. He himself was born in West 
Mill Creek township, Erie county, February IS, 1803, and is a son of 
William and Louise (Fogel) Berkenkamp. The father was a native of 
Prussia, born in 1832, and celebrated the attainment of his majority on 
shipboard, in the course of his sixty-three days' ocean voyage from the 
fatherland to America. Going direct to Erie, he at once entered the 
employ of John A. Tracy, owner of a farm in West Mill Creek township. 
Subsequently, he purchased a place himself at Franklin Centre, operated 
it for eight years, and then sold the property, after which he was identi- 
fied with the Reed farm, east of the city, for a period of thirty-five years. 
William Berkenkamp then built a home on Buffalo road and Downing 



2U HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

avenue, to the rest and comforts of which he retired until his death in 
September, 1905. His wife and the mother of John H. is still living, in 
her eighty-second year. She is a native of Wurtemberg, Germany ; came 
to Erie when a young girl and was married in the county. She is a life- 
long German Lutheran, as was her husband. 

John H. Berkenkamp, of this sketch, was reared on the old Reed 
farm, received a public school education and obtained a commercial train- 
ing — the latter at Clark's Business College. Until he was twenty-two 
years of age he remained with his parents, and then, for a year, was em- 
ployed on the plantation owned by W. L. Scott at Cape Charles, Virginia 
For the succeeding year and a half he was with the C. F. Adams Com- 
pany, stationed both at Erie and Chicago, and in 1889 he established him- 
self in the furniture and house furnishing business at the former city. 
Having completed the regular course at the Pittsburg College of Embalm- 
ing, Mr. Berkenkamp added an undertaking department to his business, 
which developed so satisfactorily that in 1906 he disposed of the furni- 
ture branch and devoted his entire time to it. Both as an embalmer and 
a funeral director Mr. Berkenkamp is now widely known, his high stand- 
ing being the natural result of his scientific knowledge of the business 
and his straightforward and pleasing traits of character. His popularity 
as a citizen is also partially demonstrated by his membership in the Cham- 
ber of Commerce and the Business Men's Exchange, and his active iden- 
tification with the Masons, Elks, Odd Fellows, Royal Arcanum and 
Knights of the Golden Eagle. He is also a member of the Young Men's 
Christian Association and a leader in the work of the Central Presby- 
terian church. Mr. Berkenkamp's wife was formerly Mrs. Ella Metcalf, 
a San Francisco lady. 

W. Ed. Marsh. For upwards of thirty years W. Ed. Marsh has 
been actively engaged in the practice of law in Corry, Erie county, and 
in the meantime has won in an eminent degree the respect and esteem of 
his fellow-citizens, those who know him best placing implicit confidence 
in his integrity, fidelity, and good judgment. A Pennsylvanian by birth, 
of English descent, he was born, January 15, 1851, in Farmington 
township, Warren county, where the birth of his father, William S. 
Marsh, occurred July !). 1826. Of his parents the following account 
is interesting in several ways : "In a little Quaker church, John Marsh 
and Phebe Allen of the township of Woodbury, Middlesex county. New 
Jersey, having declared their intention of marriage with each other before 
several monthly meetings of the people called Quakers, at Rahway, on 
the 26th day of August, 1790, and in the presence of fifty-one witnesses 
did, according to the custom among them, take each other by the hand 
and declare that they took each other for man and wife, promising by 
the Lord's assistance to be faithful unto each other until death should 
them part." 

On the 10th of March, 1795, Joseph Marsh was born to them, being 
their third cliild. In 1800. when Joseph was a little over five years old, 
the parents saw the opportunity to secure a new and cheap home in the 
lands which had been ceded to the Commonwealth by the Seneca Indians, 
who then occupied this part of Pennsylvania. They left their old home 
in New Jersey, and started for the wilds of Northwestern Pennsylvania. 
They carried their family and goods in ox-carts, drawn by oxen. Slowly 
they wended their way along through rough and hilly roads until they 
reached Franklin, where they unloaded their goods and placed them in 



^^mmm^mm^ 



THE NEW YORK 
.PUBLIC LIBRARYl 



A8T»Ft, LENOX 
TILCEN FOUNOATIONI 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 245 

keel boats, as there was no road up the river at that time, and pushed 
them up the river to Warren — their cattle being driven over the hills and 
through the woods to Warren, where their goods and wagons were dis- 
embarked from the boats, and they proceeded as before, until they reached 
their destination in what was known as Beech-woods, later Pine Grove, 
now Farmington township, on the 15th day of October, 1800. His 
brother, Hugh Marsh, had preceded him two years before. Here he spent 
the remaining years of his life. 

In the year 1803, John IMarsh taught the first school in Warren 
county, in a part of his own house, the scholars being his own and his 
brother Hugh's children, with one or two others. He built the first frame 
building, (a barn) in Warren county, in 1812. 

Joseph Marsh always retained a good share of the Quaker belief, as 
he was reared among them, his parents being of strict Quaker faith, hold- 
ing regular meetings at their own fireside. Succeeding to tlie ownership 
of the parental homestead, Joseph S. Marsh was there engaged in agricul- 
tural pursuits until his death. He was the first justice of the peace in 
what is now Farmington township, Warren county, serving fifteen years 
beginning in 1842. He married Ruth Sheldon, who died in middle life, 
and of their children but three grew to years of maturity, William S., 
John A., and Phebe Ann. 

William S. Marsh grew to manhood on the ancestral farm, and after 
attaining man's estate bought land in Farmington township, and was 
there employed to some extent in general farming during his active life. 
He was also elected justice of the peace serving several terms. He was, 
however, a natural mechanic, expert in the use of tools, and spent much 
of his time in carpentering, although he had never served an apprentice- 
ship at the trade. He spent his entire life in Farmington township, passing 
away, in 1902, at the age of seventy-six years. He married Rosaville 
P. Knapp, who is still living in Farmington township. She was born. 
August 22, 1828, near Boston Corners, New York, being a daughter of 
Hiram and Clarissa (Barrett) Knapp. William S. Marsh and wife 
reared three children, namely: W. Ed., of this sketch; Carrie, wife of 
Sherman Brown; and Fred S., who received the Peabody prize when he 
was graduated from the Buffalo School of Pharmacy, and is now chemist 
for the Straight Dry Plate Company at Jamestown, New York. 

The Knapp family is traced back to a very early period in Saxony, 
a province of Germany, and with the natural tide and flow of human life 
the family entered Wales and England and is found among the records 
of the seventh year of the reign of Edward I, in 1279-80. The coat of 
arms was granted Roger de Knapp in 1540 during the reign of Henry 
\TII. The family motto is: "Spes Nostra Deus." Two of the Knapps, 
William and Nicholas, came to this country in 1630 with the (Gov.) 
Winthrop and Saltonstall emigrant expedition. Uzal Knapp who was 
born in 1753, and died in 1856, was the last survivor of Washington's 
Life Guard, and his monument is beside "Washington's Headquarters" 
at Newburgh, New York. The Knapp house at Danbury, Connecticut, 
is the only house in that part of Danbury that escaped the fire when the 
British burned Danbury. 

Completing his early education in the Union schools of Jamestown, 
New York, W. Ed. Marsh began his professional career as a teacher at 
the age of seventeen years, and taught in Warren county until 1875. 
While there he began reading law in the office of Johnson and Lindsey 
at Warren, Pennsylvania, completing his studies with Crosby and Brown 



246 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

at Corry, Pennsylvania, remaining with that firm until his admission to 
the bar, in 1879. For a short time thereafter, Mr. Marsh was located in 
Smethport, from there returning to Corry, where he has since been 
actively and successfully engaged in the practice of his profession, win- 
ning a place of distinction among the leading lawyers of this part of Erie 
county. He has also devoted a part of his time to other lines of business 
and to both fire and fraternal insurance, at the present time being secre- 
tary and treasurer of the Corry Mutual Fire Insurance Company. Polit- 
ically. Mr. Marsh is a stanch Republican, and has served with acceptance 
to all concerned in various positions of prominence, including those of 
city attorney, police justice, and mayor of the city. Fraternally he is a 
member of the Jonathan Lodge, No. 685, I. O. O. F., and of Corry 
Lodge, No. 470, K. P. He was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge I. O. 
O. F. 1891-"2. For two years he was secreary. also, of the Equitable Aid 
Union. Religiously he and his wife are faithful members of the Presby- 
terian church. 

Mr. Marsh married first. October 1. 1874. Alary L. Brown, daughter 
of Dr. S. W. and Louisa Brown, of Farmington township. After her 
death, Mr. Marsh married, October 1, 1890, Pearl E. Hoffman, who was 
born in Corry, a daughter of Philip and Mary S., (Wells) Hofifman. 
Her grandfather, Paul Hofifman, was born in Germany, a son of Philip 
Hofifman, who emigrated to this country with his wife and eight children, 
locating in Youngsville. Warren county, Pennsylvania, where he bought 
land, improved a farm, and resided until his death. Ten years old when 
he came with his parents to Pennsylvania. Paul Flofifman assisted in the 
pioneer labor of clearing a homestead, and subsequently bought a tract 
of wild land near Pittsfield, W^arren county, where he pursued the peace- 
ful occupation of a farmer until his death, at the age of sixty-six years, 
in 1856. His wife, whose maiden name was Dorcas Andrews, was a life 
long resident of Pittsfield, her death occurring on the home farm in 1854. 
She reared nine children, as follows: Ross A., John W., Matthias. Philip. 
Mary Ann, Martha. Robert. James and Franklin W. Of this family 
Alary Ann. wife of Asahel Davis, is the only survivor. Philip Lloft'man. 
Airs. Alarsh's father, learned the trade of a shoemaker when young, but 
in 1849, abandoned the bench to go with the gold hunters to California, 
where he spent two years in mining being fairly successful, and with the 
gold thus obtained he returned to Pittsfield, purchased his father's home- 
stead, intending to return to California, but yielding to his mother's 
w'ishes, remained at home tilling the soil until after the breaking out of 
the Civil war. Enlisting in 1863, in the Pennsylvania \"olunteer Infantry. 
he served until the close of the war. when he received his honorable dis- 
charge from the army. He was commissary sergeant of Company C. 
Fourteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry. Selling his farm soon after, he 
removed his family to Corry, where for awhile he was engaged in the 
drug business. To be with old comrades, he entered the Soldiers' Home, 
in Dayton, and there remained until his death. January 1. 1904. His 
first wife, whose maiden name was Samantha Bills, was born near Pitts- 
field. a daughter of Chester Bills, a pioneer settler of that town, and died 
on the farm, near Pittsfield. He married for his second wife Alarv S. 
Wells. Air. and Airs. W. Ed. Alarsh have two children, namely :' W. 
Lloyd and Barrett Hugh. 

George F. Raxkix is a well known and successful agriculturist in 
Venango township, where he owns a valuable and well improved home- 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 247 

stead of one hundred and twenty acres of dairy land. He was born at 
Goshen in Orange county, New York, February 22, 1851, a son of Wil- 
Ham H. and Deborah A. (Lockwood) Rankin. WilHani H. Rankin was 
born in Goshen in 1823, where he was brought up on the parental farrn, 
his parents being George and Amelia (Etsel) Rankin, who ended their 
days there. Their son William attended the district schools and also 
pursued a three years' course in an educational institution in New York 
City, and afterward was for three years in the mercantile house of a Mr. 
Bonar there. When twenty-two years of age, after his father's death, 
he returned home to manage the farm, and on the 28th of February, 1850, 
he was married to Miss Deborah A. Lockwood and came to Erie county 
two years later. Of their five children three are now living, George F., 
Charles W. and Judson G. William H. Rankin enlisted with the One 
Hundred and Sixtieth Pennsylvania Regiment in November, 1862, and 
after serving his time was honorably discharged in 1863 and returned to 
farming. He was a stanch Democrat all his life, was a member of the 
Patrons of Husbandry and was captain of the State Police force, known 
as the "Independent Order of Home Guards." He died on the 4th of 
October, 1890, and his wife Deborah died in February, 1900. 

George F. Rankin was reared and educated in Venango township, 
whither his parents had moved when he was but a year old. He pur- 
chased his first farm in 1883 and his second in 1902, and he is now one 
of the large land owners and successful agriculturists of Venango town- 
ship. February 22, 1883 he was happily married to Miss May, a daughter 
of Leonard L. and Almeda M. (Chadwick) Howard, and two children 
have been born of their union, but the only one living is Howard W., a 
graduate of tlie Edinboro Normal with the class of 1908, and who is now 
engaged in teaching in Erie county. Mrs. Rankin was born in Venango 
township. July 22, 1865, and her father, Leonard L. Howard, was born 
in Columbus, New York, August 11, 1835. Soon after the completion of 
his education, received at Kingsville, Ohio, he began teaching school, and 
in 1852 he became a resident of Erie county. On the 2d of May, 1857, 
he was married to Almeda M. Chadwick, and their four children are 
Charles L., Lelia A., Curtis (deceased) and May. Mrs. Howard was 
born in Columbus, Warren county, Pennsylvania, November 26, 1837, 
and in her younger days she taught school for several terms. Leonard 
L. Howard served as a justice of the peace, as a township clerk, as a 
school director and in other minor offices. He became the owner of the 
Ellis place in 1871, and it has since been divided between his daughter. 
Airs. Rankin, and her brother. The Howard and Rankin families are 
equally well known and honored in Erie county, and they have long been 
prominently identified with its agricultural history. 

John Blackman. The wealth and support of our great nation 
depends largely upon its agricultural development and promotion, which 
is carried on by men of energy and enterprise, many of whom come to 
this country from the other side of the broad Atlantic. Noteworthy 
among this number is John Blackman, a prosperous farmer and dairyman 
in Venango township, Erie count3^ He was born in 1854, in England, 
and immigrated to this country in 1872. His father, Benjamin Blackman, 
was born in Canbridgeshire, England, and remained in his native land 
until after the death of his wife, in 1895. He subsequently came to 
Pennsylvania, and spent his last years in Erie county, dying at the home 
of his son John, May 4, 1905. To him and his wife six children were 



248 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

born, as follows : Ruth ; Eliza ; Amy, living in Canada ; Ann ; John ; and 
Joseph, a resident of Erie county. 

Soon after his arrival in Erie county, John Blackman located in 
Venango township as a farmer, and now owns and occupies a valuable 
farm of one hundred acres, which he devotes largely to dairying, keeping 
fifteen cows, in the prosecution of this branch of industry meeting with 
satisfactory results. Mr. Blackman was united in marriage in 1885, with 
Martha Daggett, who was born October 9, 1860, and died March 30, 
1893, leaving three children namely: Benjamin, Blanche and Annie. Mr. 
Blackman married second, in August, 1895, Amanda Fritz. She was 
born in Venango township, in 1864, a daughter of Franklin Fritz. She 
comes of German ancestry on the paternal side, her Grandfather Fritz 
having been a native of Germany. He was the father of eight children, 
namely: Minerva, Daniel, Rebecca, Mary, John, Christian, Jacob, and 
Franklin. 

Franklin Fritz, the youngest son of Christian Fritz, v^^as born in 
Danville, New York, and his wife, whose maiden name was Vashti Aus- 
tin, was born in Canada, being a daughter of Morris and Electa (Rob- 
bins) Austin, who were the parents of eight children, as follows: Weal- 
thy, Almeda, A'ashti, Morris, Stephen, Lindsor, Selah, and Charles. 
Franklin Fritz carried on general farming in Venango township for many 
years, residing here until his death, July 16, 1900. His wife Vashti sur- 
vived him, passing away February 4, 1905. His children, five in number, 
were born on the home farm, being as follows : Rebecca, William S., Deli- 
lah, Christian, and Amanda. Mr. and Mrs. Blackman have two children, 
Frank and Ethel. Mr. Blackman is a sound Republican. 

Elmer E. Bemis is one of the representative agriculturists of Ven- 
ango township and a worthy representative of one of the county's early 
families. Jonathan and Fannie (Billings) Bemis, his paternal grandpar- 
ents, were natives respectively of Massachusetts and of Chenango county. 
New York, and the wife dying in the spring of 1828 the husband subse- 
quently married Martha Kingsley, and in 1837 they located in the north- 
western part of Venango township, Erie county, Pennsylvania, where 
they cleared a farm. In 1853 they moved west, spending four years in 
Iowa and twenty years in Kansas, and they finally settled in Richardson 
county, Nebraska, where Mr. Bemis died in 1881. 

I. Sumner Bemis, a son of Jonathan, was born in Chenango county. 
New York, March 20, 1823, and coming with his father to Erie county 
he became one of the influential residents of his community. He served 
in various township offices, and was a stanch supporter of all movements 
for the public good. He in time settled on the old homestead taken up 
by his father in Venango township, and this land has never since been 
out of the family name. On the 29th of June, 184S, I. Sumner Bemis 
wedded Eleanor Hinton, who was born in Wales, a daughter of Griffith 
liinton. He was born in that country in 1785, but coming to the United 
States he served his adopted land in the war of 1812, and he died on the 
15th of i\Iarch, 1881, when aged ninety-six years. The children born to 
Mr. and Mrs. Bemis were: Fannie, who was born February 13. 1870, 
and is deceased ; Seth, who was born in 1855 and married Lida 
Fritts ; I. Sumner, a resident of this township and a prosperous farmer ; 
Ella, deceased; Elmer E., born in 1862; Henry, in 1864; and Geary, in 
1866. I. Sumner Bemis, the father, was a worthy and acceptable mem- 



r THE NEW YORK 

PUBUC UBRARY 



TH-DtN FOUNDATION* 




VALENTINE SCHULTZ 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 249 

ber of the Presbyterian church, and in its faith he died on the 20th of 
April, 1902, while his wife died on the 8th of November, 1886. 

Elmer E. Bemis, one of the sons of I. Sumner and Eleanor Bemis, 
was born at the family homestead in Venango township January 12, 1862, 
and here he grew to an honorable and useful manhood and received a 
^ood education in its schools. Farming has been his life's work, and he 
has achieved success in the calling. On the 2d of January, 1887, he was 
happily married to Miss Sarah Thornton, who was born January 26, 
18G8, a daughter of Isaac Thornton, and the four children of this union 
are : Glenn, born in 1888 ; Reid S., in 1891 ; Fay, in 1892 ; and Ruth, in 
1896. Mr. Bemis was elected to serve as a school director, and he and 
his family are members of the Grange. Politically he is a Republican. 
Their pretty country residence is known as "Hillside Cottage." 

Frank D. Schultz. A native son of the city of Erie who has well 
upheld the prestige of a name honored in the history of this county and 
who has marked by personal accomplishment a place of his own in con- 
nection with economic, social and industrial affairs in the city of his 
birth, is Frank D. Schultz to whom this brief sketch is dedicated. He 
has held positions of distinctive public trust, and is known as one of the 
city's progressive and influential business men and loyal and public- 
spirited citizens. 

Frank D. Schultz was born in the city of Erie on the 21st of De- 
cember. 1861, and is a scion of one of the oldest and most honored Ger- 
man families of this favored section of the old Keystone state. The 
name which he bears has been prominently identified with the city of 
Erie and its civic and business interests for more than half a century, 
and he is a son of \^alentine and Mary (Bootz) Schultz. The former 
was a son of Valentine and Margaretta (Adams) Schultz, both natives 
of Germany.' A'alentine Schultz, Jr., who bore the full patronymic of 
his father, w^as born in Germany, November 11. 1827, and was reared 
and educated in his native land. He was about nineteen years of age 
at the time of his parents' immigration to America, in 1846. The 
family first located in the state of Connecticut, but in 1847 removal was 
made to Erie, Pennsylvania, where soon afterward Valentine, Jr.. en- 
tered upon an apprenticeship at the moulder's trade, in which he became 
a skilled artisan. He continued in the work of his trade as a journey- 
man until 1857, in which year he engaged in the retail grocery business, 
at the corner of Twenty-sixth and Peach streets. His ambition was one 
of definite action and well placed confidence, and his advancement came 
as the normal result of his own well directed efforts. With the passing 
of years he gained prestige as one of the leading business men and in- 
fluential citizens of Erie, and he was the founder of an enterprise which 
became one of the most representative of its kind in the city. He took 
a lively and intelligent interest in public affairs, was a stanch adherent 
of the Democratic party, and he served as township treasurer from 
1862 until 1863. He was also one of the first members of the city 
council from South Erie, and was a valued member of that body for a 
period of three years. His parents continued their residence in Erie until 
their death, and his own life came to its termination on the 21st of 
August. 1889, in Landau, Germany, and he w^as buried at Erie, Pennsyl- 
vania, September 21st. He was a man of sterling character and to him 
was ever accorded the unqualified confidence and esteem of the com- 
munity in which he so long maintained his home. His religious faith 



250 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

was that of the CathoHc church, of which his wife also was a devout 
communicant. Their marriage was solemnized in 1852, and the devoted 
wife and mother passed to the life eternal in 1895. Concerning their 
children is the following brief data: Mary died in childhood, in 1858; 
F. William is proprietor of the successful enterprise conducted under 
the title of the South Erie Tea Company, and is individually mentioned 
on other pages of this work; Frank D.. of this review, was the next in 
order of birth ; George and Jacob are interested principals in the F. D. 
Schultz Company, of which Frank D. is president ; and Joseph died 
hi 1877. 

Frank D. Schultz gained his preliminary educational training in 
public schools of Erie, and supplemented this discipline by a course in 
the Canisius College, in Buffalo, New York. As a youth he became a 
clerk in the grocery establishment of his father, and after the latter's 
death, in 1889. he and his brothers succeeded to the business. With 
this enterprise he continued to be actively identified until 1899, when he 
became president of the Erie Pepsin Gum and Candy Company, to the 
expansion of whose important enterprise he has contributed most sig- 
nificantly, through the application of splendid initiative power and ex- 
ecutive ability. In 1907 the title of the concern was changed to its 
present form, — the F. D. Schultz Company, — and he has since served 
as president of the corporation, which now conducts the largest manu- 
factory of candies to be found in northern Pennsylvania and which thus 
represents one of the important industrial concerns which are lending 
to the commercial prestige of the city of Erie. Mr. Schultz has lent 
his co-operation in the promotion and substantial upbuilding of other 
representative corporations in his home city, where he has been a mem- 
ber of the directorate of the Erie Trust Companyy from the time of its 
reorganization and where he has served as president of the Mutual 
Building & Loan Society since 1890. The fine building occupied by the 
F. D. Schultz Company was erected by the company in 1907, is three 
stories in height above the basement and is regarded as one of the most 
modern and attractive of the business blocks of the city, besides which 
the offices of the company, in spaciousness and appointments, are un- 
excelled by any others in Erie. 

In the progress and material welfare of his home city Mr. Schultz 
maintains a loyal and abiding interest, and every worthy enterprise or 
measure tending to conserve the prosperity of Erie enlists his earnest 
support. He is a member of the board of directors of the Chamber of 
Commerce, and holds membership also in the Board of Trade and the 
Erie Business Men's Exchange. His popularity in the community is of 
the most unequivocal order, and in a social way he is found identified 
with the Erie Club, the Country Club, the Benevolent and Protective 
Order of Elks and the Knights of Columbus. He and his wife are 
communicants of St. Mary's Catholic church and are liberal in the 
support of the various departments of parish and parochial work. 

In his political adherency Mr. Schultz is found arrayed as a stanch 
supporter of the cause of the Democratic party, and in 1902 he was 
elected a member of the board of park commissioners of Erie, of which 
body he later became president. In the same year he was elected to 
represent his native county in the state legislature, where he made an 
admirable record, but he declined renomination after the expiration of 
his first term. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 251 

In 1884 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Schultz to Miss Grace 
C. Herrmann, who was born in Mill Creek township, this county, and 
who is a daughter of Christian and Agnes (Dick) Hermann, both natives 
of Germany and long numbered among the honored residents of Erie 
county. Mr. and Mrs. Schultz have four children, all of whom remain 
at the parental home. — Herbert J., Valentina, Gertrude, and Frank M. 
Herbert J. is treasurer of the F. D. Schultz Company and is recognized 
as one of the representative business men of the younger generation 
in Erie. 

Matthew H. Smith. Prominent among the agriculturists of Ven- 
ango township is numbered Matthew H. Smith, grandson of the founder 
of the family in Erie county, Thomas Smith and his wife Sarah Harvey 
Smith. They came to America in 1781 in a sailing packet, this having 
been in the days when it took three months to cross the Atlantic, and 
landing in the harbor of New York they made their way to. Westmore- 
land county, Pennsylvania, where some of their children were born. In 
1796, with his wife and family, Thomas Smith came to Lowville in Ven- 
ango township, Erie county, where he took up four hundred acres of the 
virgin forest land, and from out this primeval wilderness in time evolved 
a beautiful and well cultivated farm and also served his adopted country 
as a valiant soldier in the war of 1812. There were born to him and his 
wife Sarah the following children : Samuel, John, Mary, Hannah, Sallie, 
James, David, Thomas, Robert, Harvey, Jane and Mary. 

John, the second born son, who became the father of Matthew H. 
Smith, was born in Westmoreland county. Pennsylvania, February 27, 
1786, and he too served the country as a soldier in the war of 1812. He 
became a true citizen, a good neighbor and an honorable business man. 
He married on the 25th of September, 1810, Elizabeth Taylor, and they 
became the parents of the following children : Thomas H., Ann S., John, 
Sarah, Robert, Jane, Elizabeth, George D. and Matthew H. George D. 
served with the Eighteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry during the Civil war, 
and he died from disease at Cumberland, Maryland, June 27, 1865. The 
father was called from this life on the 3d of March, 1877, and his wife 
EHzabeth died July 1. 1873. 

Matthew H. Smith was born in Venango township Alay 10, 1832, 
and agriculture has been his life's work. He now owns and occupies the 
part of the homestead entered by his grandfather Thomas Smith, and his 
farm contains one hundred and fifty acres of well improved land. He is 
a practical farmer, a worthy citizen and a brave defender of the stars and 
stripes, for he enlisted as a private in the One Hundred and Second Regi- 
ment, Pennsylvania troops, and served as a Civil war soldier until his 
honorable discharge June 23, 1865. He has served his township as a 
road commissioner, as a tax collector and in other offices, and is a stanch 
and true friend to all commendable enterprises for the betterment of his 
community. 

Air. Smith has been twice married, wedding first, on the 14th of 
October, 1858, Miss Sophia Williams, and they had one son, Willis H., 
a resident of North East, Erie county. For his second wife he married 
Mrs. Almira Jones, from Greenfield township and the widow of Edwin 
T. Showerman. They were married on October 26, 1880. Mr. and Mrs. 
Smith are devout members of the Presbyterian church. He has member- 
ship relations with the Grand Army of the Republic at Wattsburg, and 



253 HISTORY OF ERIE COUXTY 

Mrs. Smith is a member of the W. R. C. Mr. Smith is a true blue 
Repubhcan. 

IMarvin E. Janes is a native born son of Erie county, and he de- 
scends from a Hne of Puritans who gave to the world Bishop Janes of 
the ^Methodist Episcopal church. Of a later generation from this illus- 
trious ancestor was James Janes, the grandfather of Marvin E., and he 
was born at Grand Isle, Vermont, August 7, 1789. Moving in early man- 
hood to Oxford in Upper Canada, he there on the 2.Dth of July, 1809, 
wedded ]\Iiss Lucena Sage, a native of Bloomfield, New York. Mr. 
Janes later refused to take up arms against his country during the war 
of 1812. and moving to North East in Erie county, Pennsylvania, in 
1815, he soon afterward sent for his family and in 1818 settled in A^en- 
ango township. He was found to be the first follower of IMethodist doc- 
trine in that township. The children of James and Lucena Janes were 
Lucina, Reuben, ]\Iary, Allen S.. Rebecca. Happylona. Heman, Sallie 
and Abigail. James Janes died January 16, 1831, and his wife passed 
away February 27, 1866. 

James Janes, Jr., a son in the above family, was born Alarch 19, 
1815, and the death of his father left him at the age of fifteen with the 
care and responsibility of the family of six children. He also in time 
paid off all of his father's debts, and kept the family together, becoming 
a hard w^orking but prosperous farmer. Of his own children James H. 
died in infancy, and James L., a Union soldier with the One Hundred 
and Ninety-ninth Regiment of Pennsylvania A^olunteer Infantry, died 
in the hospital at Point of Rocks, Virginia, December 17, 1864. James, 
the father, was a worthy member of the Presbyterian church, and a man 
held in the highest esteem by all who knew him. 

Marvin E. Janes was born June 15, 1836, and w^as reared and re- 
ceived his education in his native county of Erie, but like most of the 
farmers' children of those pioneer days his training was somewhat limited 
but sufificient to fit him for the high position he now holds in his com- 
munity. In 1862 he offered his services to the Union cause and was 
enrolled with the One Hundred and Eleventh Regiment of Pennsylvania 
Volunteer Infantry, and after serving one year with the Army of the 
Potomac he was transferred to Sherman's army and participated in the 
celebrated march to the sea. After his honorable . discharge from the 
army he again took up the work of the farm which he has owned since 
1859 and which he has transformed from a wilderness to one of the 
finest homesteads of the community. In 1858 he was married to Miss 
Geraldine Stafford, and the two children of the union are Annie and 
James H. On the 25th of August, 1868, he wedded Miss Maria Louisa 
Shipman, who died on the 22d of June, 1869, and in 1871 he wedded Alice 
D. Allen, and two children have been born to them, Heman L. and Maria 
L., deceased. "Sir. Janes has membership relations with the Grand Armv 
of the Republic, and he is a stanch supporter of Republican principles. 

Rfa-. Ralph J. Petitt has devoted his life to the work of the ministrv 
and to agricultural pursuits. He was ordained a minister of the gospel 
in the Christian church of the Erie conference August 8, 1869. and was 
connected with that denomination as an active and efficient worker for 
fifteen years, and during that time he served as the pastor of the Pine 
A'alley church and of the Oak Hill church. In September of 1899 he 
transferred his church relationship to the United Brethren denomination 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 253 

and was admitted to a membership in the Erie Annual Conference of that 
church. He is now serving as the pastor of the Lowville United Brethren 
church, where his friends are many, for he has been thoroughly earnest 
and sincere in all his thoughts, words and deeds, and his noble life has 
proved an inspiration to many. Since 1886 his home has been upon his 
farm of fifty acres, which is devoted to dairy purposes. 

Rev. Ralph J. Petitt was born in Chautauqua county, Xew York, 
September 8, 1838, and there he w^as reared and received his educational 
training. He is a son of Ralph and Julia (Lyons) Petitt. both of whom 
were born in \'ermont but moved to Clymer in Chautauqua county, New 
York, in 1826, where they resided during the remainder of their lives, 
owning a farm there of two hundred acres. Ralph Petitt held several 
important township offices, and was held in the highest esteem by all 
who knew him. His children were : Justus, Clarissa, Lovina, Polly, 
Ralph J., William, Charlotte, James, Amanda and Burous. Ralph Petitt, 
the father, born in 1803. died in 1886, and Julia, his wife, born in 1806, 
died in 1883. 

In November of 1857, Rev. Air. Petitt was married to Lucinda 
Rhodes, who was born April 8, 1838, a daughter of Joseph and Ada 
(Church) Rhodes. The seven children of this marriage union are: Al- 
mira. Elvin E., Edith, LeRoy, Otis, ]\Iartin and Elmer, but the two last 
mentioned are deceased. Rev. Mr. Petitt is independent in politics and 
formerly was a member of the Masonic order. 

Dr. Adella B. Woods is a medical practitioner of Erie, who, dur- 
ing the past thirty years, has established an excellent reputation and 
practice. She was born in North Springfield, this county, and is de- 
scended from pioneer families, which were active in developing the 
natural resources of the new country. 

^Matthias Brindle, her paternal grandfather, was a native of Cumber- 
land county, Pennsylvania. He married Miss Elizabeth Hassler, a native 
of York county. In 1800, he took up four hundred acres of land on 
the banks of Lake Erie, in Springfield township. Erie county. Here he 
reared his family, and with their help established a homestead, on which 
he spent the remainder of his life. He was a member of the Presbyterian 
church, and his conduct was in keeping with his faith. He was promi- 
nent in local political afi^airs and served in various township offices, and 
was an incorporator of the East Springfield Cemeterv. He served in 
the War of 1812. He died in 1845. his wife having died'in 1840. The old 
homestead, which the grandfather established, remained in the family from 
1800 until a comparatively recent date, when it was sold to the Carnegie 
Company. Matthias and Elizabeth Brindle had thirteen children, eleven of 
whom lived to maturity. One of these children, Samuel H. Brindle. was 
the father of Adella B. Woods. He was born November 11. 1807, and 
died in January, 181)8. He was married to Aliss Mary Ebersole in 1846. 
Mary Ebersole was one of the four children of Joseph Ebersole and 
Catherine Wagner Ebersole, natives of Pennsylvania and Virginia respec- 
tively, who after their marriage, settled on a farm of forty acres on the 
Bufl:'alo road two and one-half miles from the City Park. All of their 
children were born in the house still standing on that farm, and now occu- 
pied by John A. Brindle. 

]Mary Ebersole was born October 30, 1820, and died August 10. 1904. 
Dr. A\'oods' maternal great-grandfather was Christian Ebersole (also 
written Eversole), a native of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, who 



254 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

with his wife and eight children, came to Mill Creek township in 1801, 
and bought irom the Commonwealth. Reserve Tract Xo. 50. part of 
which later became the Erie County Fair Grounds and part of which still 
remains in the possession of Dr. Woods. Samuel H. Brindle and Mary 
Ebersole Brindle had four children ; Catherine Mrginia, who died in 
infancy; Samuel K., who died in 1882; John A., who resides on the old 
homestead, and .Adella. the subject of this sketch. 

Dr. Woods supplemented her elementary education by a course in 
the Erie high school, graduating with the first class in l8(Ji). She then 
devoted three years to teaching in the city schools, spending a portion of 
that period as a preceptor in the high school. The doctor commenced 
her professional studies in the medical department of the University of 
Michigan, and completed them in the Woman's Medical College of Penn- 
sylvania, and received her degree in 1876. Her theoretical knowledge 
was then put into practice as an interne in the Woman's Hospital, which 
is connected with the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania. In 
1877 Dr. Woods was married to Arthur A. Woods of Erie, from whom 
she separated in 1897. Immediately after her marriage, she began the 
practice of her profession in Erie, and has conducted it with success. 
She is affiliated with the Erie County Medical Society, for which she 
served as secretary for two years. She is a member of the Woman's 
Club and the College Woman's Club, now serving as president of the lat- 
ter. Dr. Woods is the mother of two daughters, who. through her efforts, 
have had the advantages of the best schools in the country. Bertha Ruth 
is a graduate of the Erie high school, and of Wellesley College. She is 
now a preceptor in the high school at Trenton, New Jersey. Ethelreda 
graduated from the Erie high school, completed a course at Drexel In- 
stitute. Philadelphia, and on April 29, 1909, was married to Dr. Jesse 
Glenn Humphrey. They now reside at Tidioute. 

Dr. Woods recently received a public honor, being the first woman 
to be presented as a candidate for school director in the city of Erie. 
The civic department of the Woman's Club brought her forward as a 
candidate in the First ward ; later she received the regular nomination 
of the Republican party, and at the election in February, 1909, she car- 
ried her precinct by a rousing majority, although she was defeated in the 
entire ward by ninety- one votes. 

David A. Sawdey. Few names are more familiar in connection 
with the civic and industrial annals of Erie county than that borne by 
the subject of this review, who is a native of this county, a scion of one 
of its honored pioneer families, and himself a representative member of 
the legal profession in this favored section of the old Keystone state. 
He is engaged in the practice of law in the city of Erie and is the owner 
of the old Sawdey homestead farm, which is recognized as one of the 
finest in northern Pennsylvania and which is one of more than a little 
historic interest, as further data in this article will reveal. 

David A. Sawdey was born on the old homestead just mentioned 
and the same is situated in Conneaut township, whose attractions are 
practically unrivalled by those of any agricultural community in the 
Union. He is a son of Captain David and Eliza A. (Bond) Sawdey. 
Captain Sawdey was a native of Providence. Rhode Island, and was a 
son of Samuel and F21izabeth Sawdey. He gained his early education 
in his native state and was sixteen years of age at the time of the family 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 255 

removal to New Bedford, Alassachusetts, where he was apprenticed to 
the blacksmith trade. The art of Vulcan seems not to have appealed to 
the young man, however, since he soon "bought his time" from his employ- 
er, and went forth on a voyage made by a whaling vessel. A seafaring 
life proved sufficiently alluring to invoke his allegiance after this initial 
experience, and he shipped on a merchant vessel in the then important 
trade with the East Indies, to wdiich tropic islands he made several voy- 
ages. Gradually he gained promotion until he became captain, and 
eventually owner and commander of his own vessel, with which he car- 
ried on independent operations as a merchant trader. On one of his 
return voyages from the East Indies, during the French and English war, 
his ship and cargo were captured and confiscated by the English and he 
himself even sufifered the indignity of being cast into prison. His release 
was finally effected through the insistent intervention of the United 
States government. 

After retiring from his long association with the "merciful, merci- 
less sea" Captain Sawdey located in Paris. New York, where he was 
engaged in the mercantile business until 1821, when he disposed of his 
interests there and came to Erie county, Pennsylvania, as one of the pio- 
neers of Conneaut township, where he purchased a large tract of land, 
upon which he took up his residence in the following year. This home- 
stead, which for four score of years has been known as the Sawdey farm, 
was originally designated as the town of Lexington, which comprised six 
hundred acres laid out in town lots in 1797, by Colonel Dunning McNair. 
Of this original town, representing over-ambitious plans on the part of 
its promoter. Captain Sawdey originally purchased about three hundred 
acres. The little village of Lexington was on this land and at the time 
it had two or more distilleries, two hotels, a general store and a blacksmith 
shop. All of these were purchased by Captain Sawdey. who thus rose 
to the dignity of owner of a "ready-made" town. In 1823, in connec- 
tion with the work of improving and cultivating the broad acres of his 
farm, he also engaged in the general merchandise business in Lexington 
village, where he was appointed postmaster in the same year. This 
position he retained until the removal of the office on the completion of 
the Erie and Beaver Canal. In early days the Sawdey farm was the 
militarv training ground for the people of the northern part of Crawford 
county and southern portion of Erie county, and the records indicate 
that many interesting events there occurred when he populace gathered 
for the "training days." — important features of the pioneer epoch. Or 
the farm today are standing, in good preservation and still in practica. 
utilization, buildings which were erected by Captain Sawdey full}- three- 
quarters of a century ago. At the present time this fine property is 
owned by David A. Sawdey, whose name initiates this sketch, and who 
is now the only living representative of the immediate family. It is 
uniformly conceded to be one of the finest farms in northern Pennsyl- 
vania, and is one of th'e "show places" of Erie county, attracting many vis- 
itors each year. It now comprises five hundred acres of most fertile land, 
whose topography is attractive and whose beauty is enhanced by many 
fine old trees, — veritable monarchs of the primeval forest. Originally 
w^alnut timber grew in great profusion on the land, and the soil is com- 
monly designated as "walnut soil," implying superior excellence and 
long-continued integrity of the elements making for productiveness. 

Captain Sawdey was a man of strong individuality and well forti- 
fied opinions, so that he naturally wielded a marked influence in public 



256 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

affairs in his community. He was one of the first commissioners of Con- 
neaut township, and in 1837 he was elected to the lower house of the 
state legislature, where he ably conserved the interests of Erie county. 
In 1841 further token of popular confidence and esteem was accorded 
him, in that he was elected to the office of county commissioner, of which 
he continued incuml^ent for three years. He was a man of generous im- 
pulses and utmost kindliness, and his name merits an enduring place on 
the roll of the sterling and honored pioneers of Erie county. 

Captain Sawdey was twice married. The maiden name of his first 
wife was Zerviah Smith, and she was a member of a fine old Quaker 
family of New Bedford, Massachusetts. She died in 1847, leaving no 
children, and in 1849 was solemnized the marriage of Captain Sawdey to 
Miss Eliza A. Bond, of Fredonia, New York, where her parents were 
honored pioneers, as well as representatives of well known colonial fam- 
ilies. To this union were born two children. — a girl who died in child- 
hood and David A., to whom this sketch is dedicated. Captain Sawdey 
passed to the life eternal December 5, 1859, in the fulness of worthy 
accomplishment and well earned honors. His wife survived him by many 
years and continued to make her home in Erie county until her death,, 
which occurred May 30, 1895. 

David A. Sawdey secured his rudimentary education in the dis- 
trict schools of his native township, and was prepared for college at 
Fredonia, New York, which was then the seat of a college of no incon- 
siderable note. After due preliminary study he was matriculated in the 
celebrated University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, an institution which 
today takes precedence over all other state universities in the Union, and 
there he was graduated as a member of the class of 187G, with the degree 
of Bachelor of Philosophy. Somewhat later he began reading law under 
effective preceptorship. and on the 1st of December, 1881, he was ad- 
mitted to the bar of his native county, where he has since been suc- 
cessfully engaged in the general practice of his profession, with residence 
and headquarters in the city of Erie. He gives a general supervision to 
his farm, which is now devoted largely to dairy purposes, in which line 
it is a veritable model. 

His interests and affections center in the city and county of Erie, 
and all that tends to forward their welfare receives his earnest support 
and co-operation. He takes a loyal interest in public affairs, though he 
has never sought poHtical office of any description. He is one of the most 
active and prominent representatives of the ^Masonic fraternity in his 
native state. He has passed the chairs of all the ]\Iasonic bodies in Erie 
and has attained to the thirty-third and final degree in the Ancient Ac- 
cepted Scottish Rite of Masonry. Upon the death of John J. Wads- 
worth, in 1893, he was chosen district deputy grand master of the grand 
lodge of Free & Accepted Masons, for the twenty-fourth district. He is a 
member of the committee having in charge the affairs of Masonic homes 
in Pennsylvania, and is a member of the board of trustees of the Thomas 
R. Patton memorial orphanage for boys. His charities and benevolences 
in general are extended with discrimination and without ostentation, and 
his course in life has been so directed as to gain and retain to him the 
unequivocal confidence and esteem of his fellow men. Pie is essentially 
one of the representative citizens of Erie county, and is a worthy scion 
of one of its sterling pioneer famihes, as the text of this article dearly 
indicates. 



r 



TH 



PUBLIC LIBRARY 



A8T«P», LEHOX J 

TILPEN FOUNDATIONg J 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 257 

AIelvin J. Smith. The Smith family, of which Alelvin J., com- 
missioner from Wayne township, is a strong representative, has been a 
recognized force in the progress of the agricultural and governmental 
affairs of Erie county for more than a century. Its ancestors, who were 
from the north of Ireland, were Scotch-Irish, and the paternal and 
maternal grandfathers, Samuel and William Smith, emigrated to Wayne 
township in the early portion of the nineteenth century. Thus they be- 
came among its earliest pioneers. James D. Smith, the father of Alelvin 
J., was born in the township named in the year 1817 and died in 1900, 
while his mother (nee Emeline Smith) was born in 1819 and died in 
1898. They were both life-long and active members of the Presbyterian 
church, and the husband was prominent in the public affairs of the town- 
ship, holding various offices, such as that of justice of the peace, for 
many years. 

Melvin J. Smith, of this sketch, was born on the old ancestral farm 
in Wayne township, August 28, 1861, and he was reared on the home- 
stead which is a part of the original tract of land taken up by his grand- 
father fully a century ago. He received a thorough education in the 
district schools of the township, at the Corry high school and the Com- 
mercial College. He has applied his industry and his trained mind to the 
mastery and appliciation of agriculture — than which, under modern sci- 
entific and business methods, there can be no more satisfying or honor- 
able avocation, or one which more thoroughly proves individual ability 
and enterprise. His personal successes have brought him public prefer- 
ment, and he had efficiently filled various township offices when on May 
10, 1906, he was appointed county commissioner to fill a vacancy caused 
by the death of Norman T. ]\IcClellan. The appointment was quite un- 
expected, but his service was so satisfactory that his Republican friends 
and supporters elected him. to the office for the regular term in November, 
1908. 

Mr. Smith's wdfe was Miss Marion Turner, born in Corry, Penn- 
sylvania, daughter of James and Anna (Purdy) Turner, the former of 
whom was a native of England and the latter, of Scotland. Both are 
deceased, Mr. Turner being well remembered as the able and faithful 
foreman of the Climax foundry at Corry for a period of twenty-eight 
years. Mr. and Mrs. Melvin J. Smith have become the parents of Marian 
Emeline and James Turner Smith, and the mature members of the family 
are active in the work of the local Presbyterian church. 

William Spencer. A dominating figure in connection with finan- 
cial, business and civic affairs in Erie county is this native son of the 
county, and he is not only a worthy scion of sterling pioneer families 
of this favored section of the old Keystone state, but also bears a name 
which has been conspicuously identified with the general development 
and progress of Erie county. He has well upheld the high prestige of 
his patronymic and is one of the influential business men and honored 
citizens of Erie, where he has the distinction of being president of the 
First National Bank, an office in which he succeeded his father, who was 
its first president. His aid and co-operation have been given in the 
support of manv important enterprises and measures which have con- 
served the upbuilding and material prosperity of this native city, and 
his personal and genealogical records merit a place of honor in every 
publication touching the history of Erie county. 

William Spencer was born in the city of Erie, on the 14th of June, 
18-18, and is a son of Judah C. and Lavina S. (Sanford) Spencer, both 
Vol. 11—17 



258 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

of whom were members of influential and honored pioneer families of 
Erie county. Judah Colt Spencer left a record of large and worthy 
achievement. He was one of the pioneer bankers of Erie and a man of 
wide influence in both civic and business affairs. He ordered his course 
upon the loftiest plane of integrity and honor, and his name merits an 
enduring place upon the roll of the founders and builders of this city 
and county. He was born in Hadlyme, New London county, Connecti- 
cut, on the 1st of July, 1813, and was a son of WilHam and Deborah 
(Selden) Spencer. He was reared and educated in New England, 
where he continued to reside- until 1829, when he came to 
Erie to assume a clerical position in the land office conducted 
by his uncle, Judah Colt, who was one of the early settlers 
of Erie county and executive head of the Pennsylvania Company, which 
historic corporation had much to do with the settlement and development 
of northern Pennsylvania, where it became the owner of large tracts 
of land, which were placed on the market and attracted the best class 
of settlers. Judah Colt died in 1832, and his nephew and namesake, 
Judah Colt Spencer, succeeded to much of the business of the land 
company mentioned. He continued in general supervision of the affairs 
of this corporation until the enterprise was brought to a close by him, 
about twenty years later. Within this period thousands of acres of 
land were sold through his instrumentality, and he thus did a most 
beneficent work in forwarding the development of northern Pennsyl- 
vania. As a resident of Erie he took a loyal interest in all movements 
advanced for the upbuilding and civic prosperity of the city, and he 
identified himself with many early industrial and commercial enter- 
prises, whose success was furthered by his wise counsel as well as his 
capitalistic support. He was secretary and treasurer of the Erie & 
Northeast Railroad Company, until its consolidation with the Lake 
Shore & ^lichigan Southern Railroad Company. His was a broad mental 
ken and his heart was attuned to sympathy and tolerance, so that his 
benevolences and charities were invariably well ordered and fruitful. 
In a more public department of necessary provision, it should be stated 
that he was one of twelve citizens who, more than sixty years ago, 
formed an association and literally subscribed the funds for the purchase 
of what is now the beautiful Erie cemetery, and he was the first secre- 
tary of the association, of which he later became manager and finally 
president, of which last mentioned office he continued incumbent for 
many years. For more than a score of years he was secretary of the 
Erie County Agricultural Society, and its interests were substantially 
promoted through his effective labors. 

In 1852 Judah C. Spencer engaged in the banking business in Erie, 
and with this important line of enterprise he here continued to be promi- 
nently identified during the remainder of his long and signally useful 
life. He was one of the first to apply for and avail himself of the ])rivi- 
leges of the law authorizing national banks, in which connection he 
was the founder of the First National Bank of Erie, which was the 
twelfth bank in the L'nion to be incorporated under the new law. He 
became the first president of the institution, and continued in tenure of 
this office until his death. Under his discriminating administration the 
bank gained the highest prestige and it has ever remained as one of the 
sylvania. Amid the exactions and cares of a signally active business 
most solid and prosperous of the financial institutions of northern Penn- 
career Mr. Spencer ever maintained a high appreciation of his steward- 
ship as a man and a citizen, and it was his to aid his fellow men in 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 259 

many unostentatious deeds of kindness and charity. His life was guided 
and governed by the most inviolable integrity, and he left the heritage 
of noble thoughts and noble deeds, — a bequeathment far greater than 
that which he was able to devise through the results of his pronounced 
success in connection with the productive activities of life. His politi- 
cal allegiance was given to the Republican party, and he and his wife 
were members of the Presbyterian church. He was for many years a 
member of the board of trustees of Park Presbyterian church, and was 
a- member of the building committee when the present beautiful edilice 
was erected. 

In May, 1837, was solemnized the marriage of Judah C Spencer 
to Miss Lavinia Stanley Sanford, daughter of Giles and Laura (Good- 
win) Sanford, of Erie, where her birth occurred on the 1st of Septem- 
ber, 1817. Mrs. Spencer was a woman of gentle refinement and played 
a gracious part in the social life of her native city, where her memory 
is held in afifectionate regard by all wdio came within the sphere of her 
influence. Mr. Spencer died on the 1st of September, 1885, and his 
widow survived him by only one year, as she was summoned to eternal 
rest on the 29th of September, 1886. Their children are as follows : 
W'illiam, of this sketch, is the youngest; Lavinia D. is the wife of the late 
Rt. Rev. J. F. Spaulding, Episcopal bishop of Colorado; Miss Frances 
L. remains at the old homestead in Erie and is a prominent and popular 
figure in the church and charitable work of the community, as well as 
in connection with social affairs of a representative order; Catherine 
who died in 1897 was the wife of Rev. Robert S. Van Cleve, a clergy- 
man of the Presbyterian church and a resident of Erie. 

William Spencer was reared to maturity in Erie, and after availing 
himself of the advantages of Erie Academy he was prepared for col- 
lege in an excellent school at Princeton. New Jersey. In due time he 
was matriculated in Princeton College, in which he was graduated as a 
member of the class of 1870. with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. 
After his graduation he made an extended foreign trip, in which he visited 
Great Britain and various countries of the European continent, and 
upon his return to Erie he assumed a clerical position in the First 
National Bank. He was promoted gradually from one position to an- 
other and was an executive officer of the institution for a number of 
years prior to the death of his honored father, whom he succeeded in 
the presidency, an office of which he has since been incumbent. The 
bank was organized in 1863 and it is worthy of particular note tha* 
in its history it has had but two presidents, — ^father and son. This is 
a record probably not duplicated in the history of any national bank of 
comparatively equal age in the entire L^nion. 

Like his father, William Spencer has been closely identified with 
the development of Erie, and all that has concerned his native city has 
ever laid closely to his heart, as the place is endeared to him by the 
generous associations compassing him from the time of his nativity to 
the present. His loyaltv and public spirit are ever to be relied upon, 
and he has given his influence and support to all measures advanced for 
the general good of his home city and county. Liberal in the support 
of industrial enterprises which enhance the general welfare in a direct 
and reflex way, he has been financially interested in the upbuilding of 
some of the largest and most important industrial concerns of Erie, be- 
sides those representing public utilities. Thus he became one of the 



2G0 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

interested principals in the Erie Traction Company and the Mutual 
Telephone Company, in each of which he held the office of vice-president. 
As a man and a citizen he has well upheld the prestige of the honored 
name which he bears, and no resident of Erie stands more secure in 
popular confidence and esteem than does he. He is an elder of the Park 
Presbyterian church, and is active and zealous in the various departments 
of church work, as well as in connection with practical benevolences 
and charities. In politics he gives his support to the cause of the 
Republican party, and he is identified with various social and civjc 
organizations, including the Princeton Club, of Erie, of which he is 
president. 

On the 22nd of January, 1880, was solemnized the marriage of 
William Spencer to Miss Mary DuPuy, daughter of Charles M. DuPuy, 
of Philadelphia, and of this union six children have been born. Concerning 
them the following data are given : Jwdah Colt Spencer, who was gradu- 
ated in Princeton University as a member of the class of 1907, is now an 
interested principal in one of the leading manufacturing concerns of 
Erie ; Charles DuPuy Spencer, is a member of the class of 1909 in 
Princeton University; Maude is the wife of George H. U. Corbett, M. 
D., of Stynnig, Sussex county, England; Eleanor Lavinia remains at 
the parental home ; William Marvin is a student at Pottstown, Pennsyl- 
vania, where he is preparing for entrance to Princeton University ; 
and Herbert Reynolds is attending the Erie schools. 

Fred Orton. Prominent among the business men of Erie county is 
numbered Fred Orton, a manufacturer of lumber and chair legs, and his 
large establishment is located one mile north of Phillipsville. His early 
life was spent in the manufacture of lumber, an occupation in which his 
father was also engaged, and since 1897 he has been identified along his 
present line. 

Born in Harbor Creek township on the 16th of January, 1872, Fred 
Orton attended the common school there and in Venango township. He 
is a -son of Chauncy and Mary J. (Henry) Orton, the former from 
Venango township in Erie county, and the latter from Tennessee, born 
in 1841, and on the paternal side he is a grandson of Erastus Orton. 
The latter was born in Oswego county. New York, May 3, 1821, and 
coming to Erie county, Pennsylvania, November 30, 1840, he established 
his home in Venango township, where three years later he purchased a 
farm of one hundred acres of land. On the 20th of June, 1841, he was 
united in marriage with Lydia Plumb, who was born in Oneida county, 
New York, December 1, 1827, a daughter of Chauncy Plumb. Of the 
eleven children born of this union the following six grew to years of 
maturity: Chauncy, now deceased; Frances, Truman, IJerah, Lydia and 
A. C. Erastus Orton died in 1898, and his wife Lydia survived until 
1904. 

Chauncy Orton learned the blacksmith's trade in his early life, and 
later followed the manufacture of lumber, while still later in life he be- 
came a farmer. He was a good business man, and his various enter- 
prises were attended with success. He died in the year of 1899, his 
widow residing in A'enango township. They were the parents of five 
Francis and Truman. August 30, 1899, Fred Orton was united in mar- 
children : Annie, now ]\Irs. Swanson ; Hazel, ?^Irs. ^IcClelland; Fred, 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 261 

riage with Miss Anna Henderson, who was born in Greenfield township, 
February 10, 1882, and their two children are Gladys I. and Milton C. 

Justus W. Fuller. During many years the late Justus W. Fuller 
was a leading factor in the life and interests of his part of Erie county, 
and as a citizen, as a man of business and as an honorable Christian 
gentleman no man had a clearer record or was more highly respected 
than he. He was a farmer in Venango township during his entire business 
career, and he was also numbered among its native sons, born on the 
27th of July, 1830, to Tififany N. and Nancy (Walker) Fuller, who were 
married October 21, 1823. Tififany N. Fuller was one of eleven children 
born to Timothy S. and Ann (Nettleton) Fuller, and two of the sons 
served their country in the war of 1812 and one in the Mexican war. 
Tififany N. Fuller came from his native county of Genesee, New York, 
to Erie county, Pennsylvania, with his father in 1818, and here by hard 
work he in time hewed a profitable and well cultivated farm from out 
the wilderness. There were born to him and his wife Nancy six 
children, namely : Samuel, Erskine, Justus W., Silas, George W. and 
Maryetta. Silas served with the One Hundred and Eleventh Regiment, 
Pennsylvania Volunteers, during the Civil war. Mrs. Nancy Fuller died 
on the 23rd of December, 1810, and Mr. Fuller married for his second 
wife Betsy Corry. He died on the 29th of May, 1875, honored and es- 
teemed by all who knew him. 

Justus W. Fuller, a son of Tififany and Nancy Fuller, married on 
the 19th of October, 1851, Miss Mary E., a daughter of Abram Coons, 
of Rensselaer county. New York. Mrs. Fuller was born near Albany, 
that state, December 25, 1837, and she was twelve years of age when 
she came with her parents to Erie county, Pennsylvania, in 1849. The 
following children were born into their happy household : Lafayette N., 
Nellie W. (deceased)., Cassius M., U. Silas and George W. Mr. and Mrs. 
Fuller were devout and earnest members of the Baptist church from the 
time its ser\dces were first held at Wattsburg. He was a life-long Re- 
publican, and served his township as a school director for two terms. His 
path was ever upward, his friends were many, and at his death in 1907 
a community mourned the loss of one of its truest and best citizens. 
His widow survives him, and is spending the evening of her long and 
useful life surrounded by her family and friends. 

Cassius M. Fuller, a son of Justus W. and Mary E. Fuller, was born 
in Venango township April Ifi, 1860, and following in the footsteps of his 
honored father he has become an agriculturist and is the owner of a 
well stocked farm of one hundred and thirty-five acres. He married on 
the 30th of January, 1884, Miss Dora E., a daughter of William and 
Elizabeth (Derrick) Black. She was born in Venango township, May 
25, 1861. Although their marriage has been without issue they have 
adopted a daughter. Miss Malinda Fuller, a teacher in the public schools. 
She was educated in the public schools and graduated in the class of 1906 
at Wattsburg. She had attended Edinboro Normal two terms and 
taught two years in the schools in Weeks Valley, and the primary de- 
partment at the Lowville public school. She has had a musical education. 

Albert H. Bliss has throughout his entire life been identified with 
Venango township and its interests, and during many years he has been 
one of its most substantial farmers and dairymen. To his father's home- 
stead of one hundred acres he in 1879 added one hundred and fiftv acres 



262 HISTORY CF ERIE COUNTY 

thus becoming the owner of a large and splendidly improved estate, 
and in 1889 he built thereon the fine home in which he now resides. For 
his dairy he keeps forty cows of the Durham strain, and the many de- 
partments of his farm are conducted under the most modern methods. 

Air. Bliss was born in Venango township September 25, 1839, to the 
marriage union of Albert and Cynthia (Smith) Bliss, and he is one of 
their eight children: Melvina (deceased), Caroline, Theresa, Lovina 
(deceased), Semantha (deceased), Amanda, Emily, and Albert H. Albert 
Bliss, the father, was born in Herkimer county, New York, in 1804, and 
died in 1889, while his wife Cynthia was born in 1807, and died in 1859. 
Moving to Venango township in Erie county, Pennsylvania, about the 
year of 1835, they enrolled their names among the early pioneers of 
this community. The one hundred acres of land which he purchased 
here he brought to a beautiful and productive farm. He was a patriotic 
and substantial citizen, advocating the principles of the Republican 
party, and he was a worthy member of the Presbyterian church. 

In the year of 1879 was celebrated the marriage of Albert H. Bliss 
and Miss Sarah Hall, and February 20, 1895, he was united in marriage 
with Miss jNIinnie Sheller, but there was no issue by either union. Mrs. 
Bliss is a member of the Methodist church. Mr. Bliss is a Republican, 
and he is a member of the I. O. O. F. at Wattsburg. 

James T. Thompson. Grand achievements always excite admira- 
tion, and among those who have brought their names prominently before 
the public in Erie county as one of the public benefactors is J. T. Thomp- 
son, the promoter of the Independent Telephone lines throughout the 
county. In bringing this enterprise into prominence they had to sur- 
mount many obstacles, the greatest of which was probably the established 
Bell lines, but their persistency won success, and they now have 
two hundred and forty patrons and the lines touch every point in the 
county, while the center is at Phillipsville. Mr. Thompson has also an 
agency for the leading farming implements and machinery, including a 
line of dairy machinery such as cream separators, etc. His farm of two 
hundred acres is devoted to dairy purposes, keeping about twenty-five 
cows of the Holstein and Jersey breeds, and he makes his own butter. 
In the manufacture of this commodity he uses the most approved modern 
machinery, and he finds a ready market at Erie City. 

Born in V^enango township August 18, 1866, he is a son of Robert 
and Sarah J. (Demming) Thompson, the former born in Ireland and 
the latter on board ship of Irish parents en route to America. After 
their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Robert Thompson located on a small farm 
of fifty acres in Venango township, and there their three children were 
born: John. Sarah and James T. The daughter married A. O. Yaples. 
Robert Thompson died in 1897, and his widow subsequently married a 
Mr. Vogel, of Wattsburg. 

James T. Thompson married on the 22d of February, 1888, Miss 
Minnie Austin, who was born in Bufifalo, New York, in 1868, a daughter 
of Edward and Rhoda Austin, and to the marriage union have been born 
six children, — Frances, Ross. Ralph, Lewis, Leonard and Harold. Mr. 
Thompson is a worthy member and a stanch supporter of the Grange. He 
began his business career as a poor boy, and it has been on the ladder of 
his own building that he has climbed to success and public recognition. 
He is a Republican. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 263 

Charles H. Bracken. Holding high rank among the active and 
progressive business men of Corry, Pennsylvania, is Charles H. Bracken, 
of the firm of Bracken Brothers, wholesale produce dealers. A son of 
George W. Bracken, he was born in Columbus, Warren county, January 
9, 1845. He comes from substantial English ancestry, being a lineal 
descendant, in the sixth generation, of William Bracken, the emigrant 
ancestor, the line of descent, as traced by Dr. H. M. Bracken, of 
Minneapolis, Minnesota, being as follows: William (1), Thomas (3), 
Thomas (3), William (4), George W. (5), and Charles H. (6). 

In his history of the Bracken family. Dr. Bracken says that so far 
as known William (1) Bracken was born in Yorkshire, England, and 
from there emigrated to America. The first authentic account of him 
in the United States is taken from the public records of Wilmington, 
Delaware, where we find that William Bracken, of Newcastle county, 
Delaware, requested a grant of one hundred acres of land adjoining that 
of John Evans, near Red Clay Creek, for which he agreed to pay twelve 
pounds, ten shillings, per hundred acres, and to give a bushel of wheat 
for each acre per anmmi. to be paid December 25, 1703, with interest 
from December 25, 1702. The will of this William (1) Bracken is re- 
corded among the Wilmington, Delaware, wills, in Book G, Page 459. 

Thomas (2) Bracken, born in England, married in Delaware, where 
the Wilmington records show that his father deeded him two hundred 
acres of land on condition that he would make no further claim on the 
parental estate. Thomas also bought of his father two hundred acres of 
land lying on the north side of White Clay Creek, on November 17, 
1749, the consideration, according to Book Q, Wilmington Deeds, Page 
237, being love, good will, and twenty pounds in money. In consequence 
of the above agreement, his father willed him one shilling, only. Previous 
to 1759, Thomas (2) Bracken removed from Newcastle county, Dela- 
ware, to Huntington township, in that part of New York that is now in- 
cluded in Adams county, Pennsylvania, where he purchased a large tract 
of land. He was, in 1700 and 1761, one of the vestrymen of Christ 
church in Huntington. In his will, probated November 14, 1780, he 
bequeathed thirty pounds in trust to the trustees of that church to be 
put to interest, the money accruing from said sum to be used for the 
poor of the church. 

Thomas (3) Bracken was, without doubt, born in Delaware, and 
lived with, or near, his father, in York county, Pennsylvania. In 1778, 
he removed to Westmoreland county, settling in that portion now in- 
cluded within the limits of Washington county. He there took up two 
tracts of land, one called Three Shares on Chartiers Creek, near Cannons- 
burg, and the other known as Logan Water, on Raccoon Creek. He was 
one of the first ruling elders of the Chartiers Presbyterian church, and 
one of the first trustees of the Cannonsburg x^cademy. He died in Feb- 
ruary, 1803. He was twice married, by his first wife, who was a Miss 
Kilmary, having four children. He married second Ann Shannon of 
Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. 

William (4) Bracken was the oldest son born to his father and his 
first wife, and was ten years old when his ])arents moved to Westmore- 
land county. For a number of years after beginning life for himself he 
lived on a farm near Cannonsburg. He subsequently traded that for 
four hundred acres of land at Fort Leboeuf, near Union City, Erie 



2Gi HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

county, assuming its possession in 1808, when he settled there as a pio- 
neer. He at once erected a two-story log house, a very pretentious 
structure for those days. Settlers were then few and far between, there 
being but few openings in the wilderness thereabout, which was the 
home of wild animals of all kinds, and the hunting ground of the Indians. 
During the war of 1812 he was called upon to serve as a soldier, but 
his son Thomas volunteered to go in his place as a substitute. In 1814 he 
took the contract to build the academy building at Water ford, and at 
that time moved to a farm on the flats near that place, it having been 
reserved by the state to support the academy. In 182G he returned to 
his own farm, where he subsequently resided until his death, in 1850. 
Four years previous to that time, he was left a widower by the death 
of his second wife. Subsequently he started with a team to visit his 
sons and other relatives, driving across the country, and spending some- 
time in the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. 
In the spring of 1850, having" made all of his intended visits, lie started 
to drive to his home, in Pennsylvania, from Kentucky, and had pro- 
ceeded but a short distance when he died at the home of his niece, in 
April, 1850, near Shelbyville, Kentucky. He married first Jane Thomp- 
son, and married second a widow, whose maiden name was Sarah King. 

George W. (5) Bracken was born, December 9, 1816, in Leboeuf, 
Erie county, Pennsylvania. Beginning to learn the trade of a cabinet 
maker at the age of sixteen years, he served an apprenticeship of four 
years with Mr. Vincent, in Cleveland, Ohio, which was then a small city, 
without any railway facilities. Completing his trade, he worked as a 
journeyman for awhile, and in 1841 opened a furniture manufactory in 
Columbus, Warren county. His factory being burned in January, 1847, 
he removed to the old home farm, in Leboeuf, where he resided two 
years. Rebuilding then the factory in Columbus, he continued the manu- 
facture of furniture, and also established himself as an undertaker, carry- 
ing on both lines of business successfully for a number of years. Giving 
up the furniture manufactiiring, he subsequently devoted his attention 
to the undertaking business until his death. May 6, 1895, at the age of 
seventy-nine years. He married Angeline IJoyd, who was born at 
Watertown, New York. April 19, 1823, a daughter of James and Urana 
(Canfield) Lloyd. Left an orphan at the age of four years, she and 
her brother, George Lloyd, were adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Shef- 
field, of Columbus, Chenango county. New York, and with them came, 
in 1827. to Columbus, Warren county, Pennsylvania. She died Febru- 
ary 3, 1879, several years before the death of her husband. She was 
the mother of ten children, namely: Charles H., of this sketch; Louisa 
U.; Minerva; DeWitt L. ; G. Duane ; Archie T. ; NelHe E. ; Martha M.; 
Minnie, who died at the age of five years ; and John L. 

In March, 1864, before attaining his majority, Charles H. Bracken 
enlisted in Company C, First New York Engineers. He went with his 
company to Hilton Head, South Carolina, going by boat, and in that 
vicinity served the greater part of the time until the close of the war, 
when he was honorably discharged Returning home, he was employed 
as a clerk in Columbus until the spring of 1806, when he went to Geneseo, 
Henry county, Illinois, where be was similarly employed for three years, 
and was tlic fourth year eng-aecfl in mercantile business for himself. 
The Indian Reservation in Southern Kansas being then thrown open 
for settlement, Mr. Bracken went there, purchased a claim of one hun- 
dred and sixty acres of land from the government, lived on it for a year. 



THE NEW YORK / 
fUBLlC LIBRARYJ 

MTK. LEH^^X I 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 2G5 

keeping old bachelor's hall, and having secured a title to the land sold 
it, and returned to his native state. In July, 1872. Air. Bracken estab- 
lished himself, in company with Mr. Miner, in the wholesale produce 
business in Corry. Mr. jNTiner retired from the firm the following year, 
and Mr. Bracken's brother DeWitt succeeded him, the firm name be- 
coming Bracken Brothers. This is one of the longest established mercan- 
tile firms in the city, and one of the most successful, its trade being large 
and lucrative. 

Mr. Bracken has been twice married. He married first, in 1878, 
Orrissa Wight, a school teacher. She was born in Allegheny county. 
New York, December 14. 1848, a daughter of Benjamin and Jerusha 
Wight. She died at an early age, her death occurring April IB, 1888. 
Mr. Bracken married second, June 10, 1891, Florence Williams, who 
was born near Scranton. Pennsylvania. July 31. 1860, a daughter of 
Luke S. and Olive Tane (Miller) Williams. By his first marriage, Mr. 
Bracken has three children, Herbert D.. Angeline J., and Bernice. Her- 
bert D. married Stella Powell, and they have one daughter, Orrissa 
Bracken. Air. and Airs. Bracken have one child, Olin W. 

Francis T. Nagorski. A resident of the city of Erie since his 
boyhood days. Mr. Nagorski has here attained to distinctive prestige- as 
one of the able and popular youngeir members of the bar of the county, 
and he has also gained marked recognition as a loyal citizen and progres- 
sive business man. He is engaged in the successful practice of his pro- 
fession in Erie, and is also one of the interested principals in the East 
Side Building & Loan Association, of which he was primarily the or- 
ganizer. 

Air. Nagorski was born in the village of Wyszyn, near Dantzig, in 
western Prussia, on the 18th of September. 1879. and he is a son of 
John and Frances (Klavitter) Nagorski. representatives of old and hon- 
ored families of that section of Prussia. In 1888 the parents severed the 
ties which bound them to their native land and came to the L^nited 
States. In April of that year they took up their residence in Erie, 
where they have still maintained their home and where they have the 
respect and confidence of all who know them. The father was actively 
engaged in business as a contractor and builder until 1895. since which 
time he has lived virtually retired from active business, as his health 
has continued to remain much impaired. 

Francis T. Nagorski gained his rudimentary education in the public 
schools of his native land and was about nine years of age at the time 
of the family immigration to America. He was reared to maturity in 
Erie, and here continued his educational work in St. Stanislaus parochial 
school, after which he became a student in the well ordered Polish semi- 
nary in the city of Detroit, Alichigan. w^here he remained for some time. 
He also attended the high school in Erie, and in 1900 he was matricu- 
lated in the law department of the celebrated University of Alichigan. 
at Ann Arbor, where he completed the prescribed technical course and 
was graduated as a member of the class of 1904. with the well earned 
degree of Bachelor of Laws. 

On the 1st of July, 1905. A/lr. Nagorski was admitted to the bar 
of Erie county, and here he served his novitiate in the work of his 
chosen profession, in which his success has been unequivocal, both as an 
advocate and counselor. Since February, 1908, he has been associated 
in practice with Charles H. English, a graduate of Georgetown Uni- 



266 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

versitv. and the firm maintains the title of Xagorski & English. In 
October, 1907, Mr. Nagorski effected the organization of the East Side 
Building & Loan Association, of which he was one of the incorporators 
and in which he is an executive officer. This association was formed 
for the special purpose of developing the Polish settlement in Erie, 
and by it a most beneficent work is being done. He is affiliated with 
the Knights of Columbus and is the advocate of that order in Erie. He 
enjoys marked popularity in his home city and is known as a young 
man of fine intellectual and professional attainments. 

Charles F. Kapple. No man is better known or more highly re- 
spected in his township than Charles F. Kapple, who was born in Con- 
cord township, Erie county, April 4, 1853. He is a son of George and 
Marjory (Gray) Kapple, of Chautauqua county, New York, who moved 
from there in 1851, settling in Concord township on a farm of one hun- 
dred and fifty acres. George Kapple was a hard-working and prosperous 
farmer, and "his children were: Charles F., William G. (deceased), Alice 
J. (deceased), and Glen C, all except Alice J. being born in Concord 
township. 

Charles F. Kapple was reared in Wayne township, and there received 
his education. He now conducts a farm of one hundred and eighty-five 
acres, mostly devoted to dairying and general farming, and he has twenty 
fine Durham milch cows, besides some other stock. Mr. Kapple has the 
entire confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens, and has served his 
township as supervisor for three terms, being still in that office. He is 
an earnest member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at Watts- 
burg, and is also affiliated with the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. 
Lodge No. 533, of Wattsburg, having with dignity and honor presided 
in the Oriental chair three terms. He is now secretary of the lodge, 
which office he fills with satisfaction to all and credit to himself, having 
held same for a number of years. He is a man of true and sterling 
worth, who directs his efforts towards whatever task lies next him. and 
faithfully performs his duties as a citizen and patriot, and has a large 
circle of friends. 

Mr. Kapple married Mary J. IMcCullough, daughter of James A. and 

Adelaide (Bennett) McCullough, and to this happy union were born 

no children. The McCullough family are further mentioned elsewhere 

. in this work, in connection with an article on Ross McCullough. Mr. 

Kapple is a Republican. 

Delford R. Kim my, of Amity township, Erie county, is a grandson 
of one of the earliest settlers of Amity, James Kimmy. James Kimmy 
was a son of Peter Kimmy, born in coimty Kilkenny. Ireland, in 1770. 
Peter Kimmy emigrated to the United States when sixteen years of age, 
landing in Baltimore. Having the desire to possess land, on which he 
might hew out a living and competence for himself and family, he looked 
about for a place to settle, and finally located in Crawford county. Penn- 
sylvania. Here he married in 1797. Ruth Evans, a most charming and 
worthy helpmeet, who was born in 1772. To them were born nine chil- 
dren, namely: William. !Mary. James. Nancy. Jane. Peter. Catherine, 
Elizabeth and Esther. Peter Kimmy died in 1816, at the age of forty-six, 
and his widow died in 1859. 

James Kimmy was living in Waterford. Erie county, in 1836. In 
1825 he was united in marriage with Ellen ?\TcClenahan. and they had 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 267 

four children, as follows: William (deceased), Peter, Hiram (deceased), 
and Rachel (deceased). Mrs. Kimmy died in 1836, and James Kimmy 
then married Polly Hinkson, by whom he had one son, Isaac. James 
Kimmy died in 1885. and his widow survived him three years. In 1909 
his descendants numbered one hundred and five. 

Peter Kimmy was born August 23, 1827, in Waterford township, 
Erie county, and married a native of Amity township, born April 16, 
1836, whose Christian name was Sarah. To them were born these chil- 
dren, namely: William, Polly, Alary E., Syrenaus, Sylvester (deceaseaj, 
Delford. Charles and Estella. Mrs. Kimmy died January 17, 1909. 
Peter Kimmy was a farmer and carpenter. 

Delford Kimmy, sixth child of his parents, was born in Amity town- 
ship. May 12, 1867, and was educated in the common schools of his native 
township. In early life he learned the trade of carpentry from his father, 
and subsequently took up farming, which has proven very congenial to 
him, and in which he has been very successful. He is a practical farmer 
and mechanic, and owns and operates a farm of one hundred and eighty 
acres, which he purchased in 1905. His fine herd of twenty-three Dur- 
ham cows is a source of gratification and profit to him, and he makes a 
specialty of dairying. He is a useful and respected citizen, and stands 
well in the community. 

Mr. Kimmy married, January 1, 1892, Eva Ticht, daughter of Lewis 
and Emily (Wooden) Ticht, who was born in Delaware county, New 
York, April 13, 1875. Mr. Kimmy votes the Prohibition ticket. 

James R. Smith, M. D. has gained enviable prestige as one of the 
most able and successful of the younger practitioners of medicine and 
surgery in Erie county, and a man of scholary attainments he is making 
a deep and careful research into the two sciences to which he is devoting 
his life. Born at Norwich, Connecticut, in 1878, he was reared and 
educated there, and he prepared for his medical career at the ]vIedico 
Chirurgical College ip Philadelphia, of which he is a graduate with the 
class of 190-1. His first year's practice was in Philadelphia, and he was 
interne one year at Adrian Hospital, Punxsutawney, was then one year 
at Reynoldsville, and then coming to Wattsburg he has practiced here 
since with uninterrupted success, maintaining his position among the 
leaders of the profession. He is a member of both the County and State 
Medical societies. 

The doctor is a son of James H. and Elizabeth (Ringland) Smith, 
both of whom were born in Connecticut, and he was the third born of 
their seven children and the only one of the family living in Pennsyl- 
vania. He married in 1902 Miss Mary A. Palmer. He has fraternal 
relations with both the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Lodge No. 
119, and with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Lodge No. 
519, Reynoldsville. 

Martin Alford, a practical, industrious and progressive farmer 
of Amity township, was born there September 6, 1863, and is a son 
of Wellington and Sylvia (Long) Alford. Wellington Alford, a son of 
Martin and Sallie (Adams) Alford, was born March 31, 1837, in Chau- 
tauqua county, New York, and his wife was born May 6, 1841, being the 
daughter of Peter Long; they were married May 6, 1861. The Alford 
family came to Erie county about 1850, and the Longs were already resi- 
dents of the county at that time. Wellington Alford died in 1882, and his 



268 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

widow still resides in Amity township. They had children as follows : 
Martin, Luella, Chloe, Dexter, Minnie, Corrington, Oliver, Leon and an 
infant, deceased. 

Alartin Alford was educated in the common schools of his native 
township, and has since followed farming in the same place. He has 
a well-cultivated farm of eighty-five acres, and devotes it chiefly to dairy- 
ing, having a fine herd of cattle. Mr. Alford is a member in good stand- 
ing of the following fraternal orders : Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows, No. 118, in Wattsburg, of which he is past noble grand; Odd 
Fellows Encampment of Union City; Order of Rebekahs, and the Order 
of the Moose, of Corry. He is a respected and useful citizen, and enjoys 
the friendship of all who know him. 

]\Ir. Alford married, July 27, 1887, Rachel, daughter of Hiram and 
Betsey (Hinkson) Kimmy, who was born on the farm now occupied 
by herself and husband, March 24, 1871. The Kimmy family are fur- 
ther mentioned in this work, in connection with Delford Kimmy. Ben- 
jamin Hinkson came to Erie county from Vermont, about 1818. Mr. 
and Mrs. Alford became parents of five children, as follows : Ralph, 
born August 5, 1890; Melva, August 16, 1893; Carl A., November 6. 
1900 ; Roy, the eldest child, born June 27, 1888, died the following year, 
and one child who died in infancy. Mr. Alford is a true blue Republican. 

James W. Donaldson, of Wattsburg, descends from one of the 
most prominent of the early pioneer families of Erie county. The 
ancestry is traced in a direct line to one James Donaldson, a native of 
county Galway, Ireland, a coachman who- became in love with the 
daughter of a nobleman. She returned this love two-fold, but her 
father objected to the alliance and disinherited her, after which the 
young couple fled the country. In 1740 we find James and his wife 
Joannah in America, where they arrived after a long and rough voyage 
in crossing the Atlantic. To the union of this loving young couple were 
born two sons, Alexander and Andrew, but it is stated that Andrew was 
killed by the Indians after reaching man's estate. 

Alexander Donaldson married Miss Jane Kennedy, from Lancaster 
county, Pennsylvania, about the year 1768. She was of Scotch origin 
and a member of a wealthy family for those days. Alexander and Jane 
Donaldson bacame the parents of the following children : Andrew, born 
in 1771; John, in 1773; James, February 20, 1775; Hannah, in 1777; 
Mary, in 1779; and Bailey, in 1781. Alexander Donaldson moved with 
his family from Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, with the inten- 
tion of settling in the Bald Eagle country, the wife and children, with 
the exception of Andrew, going by boat by way of the Susquehanna 
river, while Alexander and his son Andrew, then about twelve years of 
age, crossed through the wilderness. The mother and children arrived 
safely, but the father and son failed to appear, and the searching party 
sent out after continuous and incessant investigation found the 
father. Alexander, dead, but the son was never found. Years after 
this the widow married a Mr. Brown and had two children. Jane and 
Moses. Of the surviving children : John never married ; Bailey married 
Betsy Curnahan ; Mary became the wife of John Vast, of Center county. 
Pennsylvania ; liannah became the wife of a Mr. Williams, of the same 
place; Moses Brown married Polly Wilson; and Jane Brown married 
and had ten children. These children all moved to Erie county witli 
the exception of Jane Brown, who sought- a home in Meadville, but her 
death occurred in Erie county. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 2G9 

James Donaldson, the third son of Alexander, with his brothers and 
sisters located in Venango township of this county in the spring of 1797, 
he being then twenty-two years old. The four brothers took land ad- 
joining, and James after the lapse of six years returned to Center 
county and won and wed ]\Iary Moore on May 1(5, 1804. Returning to 
Erie county they made their permanent home here, and their children 
were as follows : Jane, born February 23, 1805 ; Betsy, August 19, 
1806; Hannah, March 14, 1808; Sallie, June 30, 1810; Polly, February 
28, 1812; Anna, March 27, 1814; Margaret, February 2, 1816; Rebecca, 
March 13, 1818; Lydia, April 6, 1820; and William Alexander, Novem- 
ber 20, 1822. James Donaldson served as a captain in the war of 1812, 
serving his country well and faithfully, and he was an expert hunter 
and trapper, successful beyond the average hunter. His grandson, James 
W. Donaldson of this review, after becoming old enough was his con- 
stant companion on these hunting trips. Captain James moved to Amity 
township in 1822, his family following in 1825, and there he built saw 
and grist mills and lived for over forty years, dying on the 5th of March, 
1867, aged ninety-two years, and his wife Alary died December 24, 
1865, aged eighty-eight years. 

William Alexander, the youngest son of Captain J^mes and Mary 
Donaldson, married Emily R. Church, a daughter of Isaac Church, who 
was born in Westchester, Connecticut, September 11, 1790. His wife, wdio 
bore the maiden name of Sylvia M. Clark, was born December 21, 
1795, and they were married on the 26th of February, 1818, and became, 
the parents of the following children : George, Almira, Sylvia, Amanda 
S., Emily R., Matilda, Selina A., Harriet A. and Atchison. To William 
A. and Emily Donaldson were born : Sylvina, on the 14th of November, 
1846 ; James W., on the 29th of December, 1847 ; Flelen, February 15, 
1850; Florence, September 18, 1853; WilHs E., January 4, 1857; Ida 
M., October 27, 1860; and Milo A., June 2, 1864. Willis E. married 
Laura A. Crook in 1882, and one child was born to them, Blanche, in 
1887. He married Elizabeth Hayes in 1888, and their two children are 
Levi E. and Lillian I., born respectively in 1889 and 1894. Milo A. 
married Mary L. Blackmer in 1887, and their two children are Milton 
C, born in 1891, and Mayetta E., in 1894. William Alexander Donald- 
son died August 19, 1898, and his wife Emily, born May 13, 1825, died 
May 7, 1904. 

James W. Donaldson is a practical and experienced machinist, and 
his shop is located in Wattsburg, where he has been in business since 
1889. He is more than ordinarily skillful in all branches of mechanics, 
whether in working at his lathe or making patterns. He has spent 
his entire life in Erie county, born in its township of Amity, but during 
the greater part of the time his home has been in Venango township. 
On the 25th of March, 1877, he was united in marriage with Miss Kate 
Kauffman, and their union has been blessed by the birth of the follow- 
ing children: Ralph, in 1877; George A., in 1880; May, in 1881; Bert 
W., in 1883: Kitty, in 1886; Marshall R., in 1887; Edward (deceased), 
in 1889 ; Wallace, in 1890 ; Delia, in 1891 ; Maria M., in 1893 ; Melvin, 
in 1896; and Frank, in 1899. Mrs. Donaldson was born in New York 
in 1858. James W. Donaldson is a Republican, has been honored by elec- 
tion to a seat in the borough council and to other offices. He is a charter 
member of North Erie Lodge, No. 1073, I. O. O. F., and in his com- 
munity in Wattsburg he is held in the highest esteem. 



270 ?IISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Elfred Rowe Barney, M. D. Prominent among those Avho are 
engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery in Erie county is num- 
bered Dr. E. R. iiarney. of W'attsburg. Following a public school course 
and graduation from Waterford Academy he entered upon the study of 
his life's work in 18(57, and subsequently pursuing a full and com- 
plete course in the medical department of the University of ^lichigan 
he graduated there with the class of 1872. His first practice was at 
Antrim in Tioga county, Pennsylvania, and he continued with success 
there for four years. Moving then to Ithaca, New York, he was in 
practice there until the year 1886. Returning then to Erie, the county 
of his birth, Dr. Carney has since remained here, one of its oldest and 
most successful representatives of the medical profession. Since 1895 
his home has been at Wattsburg, where he enjoys to the full the con- 
fidence of his numerous patrons as well as the public at large. 

Dr. Barney traces his ancestry in this country to the heroes of the 
Revolution, his paternal great-grandfather, Joseph Barney, having per- 
formed good service for his country during those troublous times. The 
paternal family have been located in Erie county since 1833, when John 
Barney with his family moved from their native state of Vermont to 
Greene township and secured .four hundred acres of land there. By 
his wife, Clarissa Manley. he had four children, N. C, Mrs. Jane Chapin, 
Franklin M. and Simeon. Franklin :\I. Barney was born in Vermont 
in 18-21. and was twelve years of age at the time of the family's migra- 
tion to Erie county. In time he secured seventy-five acres of land here 
and began to build for himself a home in the wilderness. He lived and 
labored here for many years, and finally passed to his reward in 190-4. 
His wife had died in 1895. She was formerly Olivia Rowe, and was 
from New York. Their marriage union was blessed by the birth of a 
son and daughter, the latter being Airs. E. M. Gross. 

Dr. Elfred R. Barney, the son, was born at the family home in 
Greene township, December 21, 1850. He has been twice married, wed- 
ding first Mary Swift, to whom five children were born, — Anna, the 
wife of Dudley Yaple ; one who died in infancy; John S., who died in 
the government service during the Spanish-American war; and William 
E. and Helen. The doctor married secondly Ethel Irvin. He is a mem- 
ber of the County, State and American Medical associations, and also 
of the Odd Fellows fraternity at Wattsburg, Lodge No. 118. During 
several years he has served in the office of school director. 

William H. Cornell is a prominent business man in Wattsburg, 
the proprietor of one of its largest hardware stores. He also represents 
one of the old established families of Erie county, for his grandparents, 
Justin and Cornelia (Van Alstine) Cornell, established their home here 
as early as 1828. They were the parents of two children, Betsey and 
Martin V. Justin Cornell was born in Tompkins county. New York, 
and was related to the founder of Cornell University at Ithaca, that 
state. 

Alartin V. Cornell was born in Harbor Creek township, Erie county, 
Pennsylvania, and many years of his business life were spent as a dry 
goods merchant, in which he was more than ordinarily successful. He 
died in the year of 1907, his wife having preceded him to the home beyond 
by two years, dying in 1905. Her name before marriage was Alary A. 
Laugherv, and she was born in Ohio. The children of Alartin \". and 
Mary A.' Cornell are : G. H., William H., L. H., Dr. M. C. and Dr. R. R. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 27] 

William H. Cornell, the second born son, is a native of Edinboro, 
Washington township, Erie county, born on the 29th of July, 1857, and 
after the completion of his education there he engaged in teaching school. 
In his early life he also learned the tailor's trade and in time became 
a merchant tailor, following that occupation for eight years.. Moving 
to the town of Wattsburg in 1887 he embarked in the grocery business 
and continued in that line until 1894 or until he purchased the hard- 
ware store of John Phelps and entered into partnership with the latter's 
son. This association continued through about twelve years, and since 
that time Mr. Cornell has been alone in the business. He carries a 
large and well selected line of farming implements and both light and 
heavy vehicles, and the successful conduct of this establishment has 
placed him among the leaders in industrial circles in this community. 
He is also serving his city as a justice of the peace, having held this 
office for three terms, and during several terms he has been a member 
of the school board. 

Mr. Cornell married November 12, 1881, Miss Cora S., a daughter 
of John Phelps, and their only child was a son, John M. Cornell, who 
is now deceased, as is also the mother, her death occurring in 1889. In 
1893 Mr. Cornell wedded Helen Myers, and she died two years later 
without issue, and in 1898 he married his present wife, formerly Miss 
Mary ^lontague. The two children of this union are, Owen M. and 
Elizabeth. Mr. Cornell has fraternal relations with the Masonic order, 
in which he has attained the Royal Arch degree, and with the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, having filled all of the offices in both 
orders save that of the Chapter in the Masonic fraternity. He is a 
member of the Presbyterian church as is also his wife. 

Ernest L. Young. The business interests of Union City number 
among its earnest devotees Ernest L. Young, a representative of the 
Shreve Company since 1904. He came to this city as a resident on the 
4th of April, 1899, and has ever since been engaged in the work of chair 
manufacturing, while since 1906 he has had charge of the packing of all 
the chairs manufactured by the Shreve Company. These are packed 
in numbers of twos, threes and sixes, depending on the size and pat- 
terns of the chairs, and in this work Mr. Young has under his direct 
care and supervision fifteen employes. He is numbered among the pro- 
gressive young business men of the city and is prominently identified with 
its interests in many ways. 

Born in Crawford county, near the Erie county line on the 13th 
of November, 1875, he was reared on a farm there and attended the 
district school near by. He is a son of W. H. and Laura Ann Young, 
farming people from Crawford county, and of their family of nine 
children six are now living, namely: George, an electric car conductor 
in Ohio ; James, whose home is in Union City ; Henry, a contractor with 
the Shreve Company of Union City ; Frank, a liveryman here ; and 
Ernest L. and Dolly Zibena, also of Union City. Ernest L. Young 
was united in marriage to Miss Alice, a daughter of C. R. and Louise 
Parsons, on the 25th of December, 1900, and their union has been blessed 
by the birth of one child, Merideth Orlean. The family reside in a 
beautiful home on West High street, Union City, where they enjoy to 
the fullest extent the pleasure of a large circle of friends and acquaint- 
ances. 



272 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

Harry T. Dick. One of the many enterprising and energetic men 
that are contributing their share in muhiplying and increasing the in- 
dustrial interests of Erie county is Harry T. Dick, who is carrying on 
a substantial business as one of the leading liverymen of Union City. 
His finely equipped stables are up-to-date in every respect, especial 
care being paid to their sanitary condition. His horses are of the best, 
and give evidence of being well fed and cared for, while their sleek, 
silky coats reflect the grooming of skilful hands. He has vehicles of 
all kinds, and of the latest and most approved patterns and styles, cater- 
ing at all times to the wants of his numerous customers. Mr. Dick was 
born, November 15, 1872, in Union township, Erie county, a son of 
Henry Dick, and grandson of James M. Dick, an early settler of this 
part of the state. 

A native of Madison county, New York, James M. Dick lived there 
until after his marriage with Maria Golden. Migrating with his family 
to Erie county in 1831, he settled first in Waterford, later removing to Le 
Boeuf tOAvnship. In 1855 he located in Union township, and here fol- 
lowed farming with success until his death, October 31, 1859. His 
widow survived him, living to the age of four score and more years. 
They had a family of ten children, as follows : David, Levi, Henry, 
Mary A., Lorenzo, Ira, Caroline, Robert, Eunice, and Sarah. 

Henry Dick was born, September 9, 1836, in Le Boeuf township, 
Erie county, but spent a large part of his earlier life in Waterford town- 
ship. After leaving school he remained at home, assisting his father dur- 
ing the seasons of sowing and harvesting, until twenty years old. Be- 
ginning then life for himself, he bought, in 1857, a farm in Union town- 
ship, and in the care of his land met with good success. In 1862 he 
bought the old Kimball homestead, on which he has since resided, and 
by diligent and well-directed effort, combined w^th practical judgment 
and wase management, has now one of the best kept farms in the 
vicinity. 

In March, 1862, he married Marietta Kimball, a native of Sugar 
Grove, Chautauqua county, born in 1831, and they became the parents 
of two children, namely: Jennie R., wife of M. W. Fairchild; and Harry 
T., of this brief personal narrative. Prior to his marriage, however, 
Henry Dick enlisted, in May, 1861, in Company H, Eighty-third Penn- 
sylvania Infantry, and fought valiantly in defense of his country's 
honor until the expiration of his term of enlistment, and he is now a 
member of McLean Post, No. 102, G. A. R. 

Growing to manhood on the home farm, Harry T. Dick attended 
the schools of his neighborhood, and during his earlier life confined his 
attention to agricultural pursuits. Desiring a change of occupation, 
he came, in 1898, to Union City, and was here for seven consecutive 
years engaged in the plumbing and hardware business. Retiring in 1905 
from commercial ]xn-suits, he embarked in the livery business, and by 
reason of his energy, progressive spirit, courtesy, and willingness to 
oblige, has built up a remunerative patronage. 

Mr. Dick married, in 1897, Katherine B., daughter of E. S. and 
Rachel Crooker. Their only child, Audrey L., was born September 23, 
1908. Mr. Dick takes an intelligent interest in local and national af- 
fairs, and while living in the township served as tax collector. Fratern- 
ally he belongs to Clement Lodge, No. 220, I. O. O. F., of which he is 
past noble grand, and to the Sons of Veterans. 

Thomas Doyle is well known in the business circles of this com- 
munity as the proprietor of the Union City Steam jMarble Company, 
manufacturers of the best New England stone quarried in Ouincy, Mas- 



dRAR 



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A8T«n, L.EN«K 
TIL PEN FOUND*TI«HS 




iwe«»«aiB«5*f:. - >■.-■■ ■♦-^'■^-■■v.- 





^ 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 273 

sachiisetts, and in Berry, Vermont. The business was organized in 
1883 by John Mclntyre, and was conducted by him for twenty-four 
years, the plant then being purchased by A^Lr. Doyle in 1908. It covers 
a ground space of forty by two hundred feet, and the polishing of the 
marble is beautifully executed by steam power, and artistically designed, 
in consequence of which the patronage is large and appreciative. 

Mr. Doyle was born in Columbus, Ohio, in April, 1875, a son of 
John and Mary (Sweeney) Doyle, natives respectively of Ireland and 
Ohio. Thomas Doyle learned and followed his trade in his native city 
of Columbus until coming to Union City, Pennsylvania, in 1906, two 
years before taking over the Mclntyre marble business. He married in 
1896 Miss Pearl Ford, and their two children are Leona and Regene. 
He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and of the Roman Catholic 
church. 

George 1'errv Griffith. In a history of western Pennsylvania 
it is imperative that mention be made of George Perry Griffith, for 
through a long period he was closely associated with professional in- 
terests of Erie as a member of the bar and with many public move- 
ments that were factors in municipal progress and development. A 
native of Chautauqua countv, New York, he was born at Mayville, 
October 29, 1837, a son of Stephen and Susan (Perry) Griffith. The 
father was born in Pomfret, near Fredonia, Chautauqua county, New 
York, in 1812, and was of Welsh descent, while the mother's birth 
occurred in the same place January 25, 1814. Both were pioneer resi- 
dents of that part of New York, their parents having removed from 
New England to the Empire state, blazing their way through forests. Mrs. 
Griffith was a representative of the old Perry family to which Commo- 
dore Perry belonged. When a young lady she was one of twenty-four 
chosen to represent the twenty-four states of the Union in a celebration 
of welcome extended to Alarquis Lafayette when he visited the United 
States as the nation's guest fifty years after he came to America to aid 
the colonies in their struggle for independence. The marriage of Stephen 
Grififith and Susan Perry was celebrated in 1835 and in 1846 they re- 
moved to North East, Erie county, Pennsylvania, where they spent their 
remaining days, honored and loved by all who knew them for their 
sterling traits of character. Mr. Griffith was there engaged in the 
manufacture of hats for a number of years and aside from his business 
interests was associated with various affairs of public moment, serving 
from 1860 until 1865 as justice of the peace. He was also a prominent 
and influential member of the Methodist church and acted as superin- 
tendent of its Sunday-school. He passed away in North East in 1883 
while his wife died there on the 26th of August, 1895. Their children 
were George P., John W. and Josephine S. and Benjamin P. 

George Perry Griffith was educated in the Fredonia (N. Y.) Acad- 
emy, where he pursued his studies to the age of fourteen years when 
he began learning the printing trade with Williard McKinstry, one of the 
old and prominent newspaper editors of Fredonia. When he had com- 
pleted his term of apprenticeship he worked with Mr. McKinstry for 
a time and then went west to Freeport, Illinois, taking up newspaper 
work in that city. While there he reported the famous debate between 
Lincoln and Douglas which was held at that place. 

Coming to Erie Mr. Griffith was connected with the old Observer 
for a time but later withdrew from journalism to engage in the oil 
Vol. IT— ]8 



274 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

business at Titusville, Pennsylvania. Returning to Erie in 18G1 he took 
up the study of law and after a thorough preliminary course of reading 
was admitted to the bar in 1864. For almost a third of a century there- 
after he continued in active practice and his ability and learning carried 
him into important professional relations. He was associated with 
many of the leading cases tried in the courts of the district and, possess- 
ing strong intellect, indomitable courage and energy, his force of char- 
acter and natural qualifications enabled him to overcome all obstacles 
and write his name upon the keystone of the legal arch. When he 
put aside professional interests in 1896 he became associated with the 
Barber Asphalt Company as counsel and continued in a similar capacity 
with the General Asphalt Company when that combination was formed. 
In pursuit of his duties as such he traveled extensively throughout the 
United States, the South American republics and Mexico. He was liold- 
ing that position at the time of his demise, which occurred in the 
Flomeopathic Hospital at Boston, ^Massachusetts, May 19, 1901. While 
in general practice of law in Erie he occupied a prominent position 
at the bar of western Pennsylvania and for years was attorney for the 
school board, while at one time he served as secretary of the board. He 
also manifested his deep and abiding interest in the welfare of the city 
through the active service which he rendered in other connections. For 
a term he was clerk of the city council and was also a leading member 
of the board of trade. 

On the 6th of October, 1864, 3vlr. Griffith was married to Miss Ella 
C. Richards, the only daughter of the late Captain Thomas Richards 
of Erie. Their son, Thomas Richards Griffith, born in Erie in 1865, 
prepared for college in this city and later accepted a position with the 
Barber Asphalt Company with which he remained for several years. 
He next read medicine and graduated from the Boston School of Hom- 
eopathy, practicing at Cambridge, ^Massachusetts, with success until 
failing health compelled him to seek a change of climate in California. 
He is now practicing in Riverside, that state. He married IMiss Florence 
Pier of Camxbridge and they have a son and daughter, Thomas Richards 
and Eveline. By a former marriage one child was born, George Perry, III. 
George P. Griffith, the younger son and his father's namesake, was 
educated in Erie and at the age of eighteen years entered the employ 
of the Barber Asphalt Company, with which he continued for several 
years as superintendent. He then took up an independent contracting 
business in Tacoma, Washington, and afterward became a member of 
the large contracting firm of Fairchild, Gilmore & Wilton Company 
of Los Angeles, California. He wedded Mary J. Matthews of Scranton, 
Pennsvlvania, and thev have two sons. Richard Matthews and George 
Perry,' IV. 

The father of Mrs. Griffith was the late Captain Thomas Richards, 
a well-known and prominent citizen of Erie, who for some time was 
a captain on the lakes. He was born in this city, a son of the late 
John and Anna (Hinton) Richards, natives of Wales. At an early age 
John Richards left his home in the little rock-ribbed country of Wales 
and went to sea. After sailing for a number of years he located in New 
York City and learned, the trade of ship building. At the beginning 
of the war of 1812 he was sent to Erie with others by a ship-building 
firm in New York to construct war vessels which afterward constituted 
Perry's fleet. Pleased with Erie he continued to make his home in this 
city, at various times sailing the lakes, while eventually he concentrated 
his energies permanently upon ship building and for many years was 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 375 

in charge of the construction of all the noted Reed line steamers plying 
the lakes. The Hinton family from which Mrs. Griffith is descended, 
were among the early settlers of Erie. John Richards died in 1845 
while his wife. Mrs. Anna (Hinton) Richards passed away in 1874. 

Captain Thomas Richards, the father of Mrs. Griffith, early became 
employed in the ship yards with his father while later he began sailing 
on the lakes and in time become one of the prominent captains and the 
right hand man of General Charles M. Reed. He sailed many of the 
leading vessels of the Reed line and became known at every important 
lakeport as one of the leading lake captains of the time. During the 
winter of 1848-49 he superintended the building of the fine stean^er 
"Keystone State" at Buffalo, New York, and upon its completion took 
command of that vessel. While on her maiden trip and in port at Chicago 
Captain Richards was forced to leave the vessel on account of illness 
and his death occurred in that city from typhoid fever July 13, 1849. 
In January, 1840, he had married Maria Louise Clarke, the daughter 
of Captain George and Mary (McDonald) Clark. Her father was com- 
mander of a vessel on the high seas. Mrs. Richards was born in Water- 
ville, Maine, January 18, 1817, and spent much of her girlhood in the 
city of Bath, that state. Her brother, John Clarke, was a pioneer of 
Upper ]\Iichigan and it was while visiting him in the west that she met 
Captain Richards to whom she afterward gave her hand in marriage. 
Her death occurred in Erie March 16, 1896. She had long survived her 
husband and devoted her life to her two children, Mrs. George P. Griffith 
and William L. Richards. Macaulay has said that the history of a 
country is best told in the lives of its people and therefore the life record 
of George Perry Griffith constituted an important chapter in the annals 
of Erie. W^hile his life work was that of an extremely able and success- 
ful lawyer, he at no time neglected his duties to the public but was 
interested in all progressive measures for the city and state and on many 
occasions was an active factor in their advancement. 

Harvey Brakeman, a successful architect of Union City, was born 
in Mercer county, Pennsylvania. February 27, 1871, and is the son of 
B. C. and Amanda J. Brakeman. He was educated in his native county, 
and having a natural taste for architecture, decided later to take a course 
of study in this branch, and accordingly entered upon a course with the 
International Correspondence School, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, which 
well fitted him for the position he now occupies. In 1894 he began the 
practice of his chosen profession, and has since been successfully en- 
gaged in the same, each year adding to his stock of knowledge and expe- 
rience, and by his close attention to details, and thorough mastery of 
the subject, has become well known. He has commissions throughout 
his own state, as well as frequently receiving a call for his skill from 
nearby states, thus enjoying a constantly enlarging patronage. Fle spent 
the first three years in Union City, where he opened his first office, and 
in 1897 removed to Pittsburg, where he spent nine years. In 1906 he 
returned to Union City, where he has since occupied an office. 

Mr. Brakeman has a large circle of friends and acquaintances, and 
is a public-spirited and useful citizen. He is a member of the Baptist 
church, and is also affiilated with the Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows and their Encampment. 



2rG HISTORY OF ERIE COL'XTY 

He married, July 9, 1885, Bertha A., daughter of John B. and Lola 

E. Young, and they have been blessed with two children, namely: Rena 
Grace and Helen Baneta. 

Jay L. Hamilton is a worthy young business man of Union City, 
a dealer in books, stationery, papers, periodicals, confectionery, etc., on 
North Main street. He has been identified with the interests of this 
city since the year of 1893, when he came here to engage in the manu- 
facture of chairs, and from that time to the present he has been associ- 
ated with a commercial life. He continued his work as a chair maker 
in this city for about four years. He has been identified with his present 
line of work since 1908. 

Mr. Hamilton was born in Belmont, Allegany county, Xew York, 
and the educational training which he begun there was completed at 
Ripley, of the same state. He is a son of LeRoy and Isabella Hamilton, 
to whom four children were born, — Jay L., Jessie B., Mrs. T. L. Alanley 
and S. T. j\Ir. Hamilton, the father, died in the year of 1878, but his 
widow is still living and resides in Union City. From his maternal 
grandfather, George Mickle, a veteran of the Civil war. Jay L. Hamilton 
inherits hi^ patriotic spirit, and when the Spanish-American war was 
inaugurated he quickly enrolled his name as a member of Company A, 
Sixteenth Pennsylvania \'olunteer Infantry, on the 7th of ^lay, 1897, 
and served until the 28th of December, 1898, when he received an hon- 
orable discharge. In 1909 he was happily married to IMiss Bertha E., 
a daughter of William Pullan. 

Dr. Harvey H. Bates, one of the foremost and most successful 
dentists of Union City, was born in Indiana. August 18, 18G7, and is the 
son of Dr. J. H. Bates, a medical practitioner of Chicago, and a grad- 
uate of Long Island Hospital, in the class of 1870. Dr. Harvey H. 
Bates received his early education in the public schools of Indiana, later 
removing to Chicago, Illinois, where he entered the office of Dr. A. C. 
Wallace, while yet in his teens. A. C. Wallace, D. D. S., was a skilled 
member of the profession, and the time Dr. Bates spent in his office and 
under his supervision was of great value to him. He later entered the 
Chicago College of Dental Surgery, from which institution he graduated, 
^larch 29, 1889. He first opened an office in Chicago, which he occupied 
until 1905, at which time he removed to Union City. Dr. Bates occupies 
a handsome suite of rooms, fitted with modern appliances, and has 
acquired a large and lucrative practice in his profession. 

Dr. Bates has been twice married, first, November 21, 1887, to Anna 
H. Lomax, by whom he had one son, Chester H., a young man of consid- 
erable promise, now studying law. Dr. Bates married, second, Mrs. M. 
Hitchcock Butler July 29, 1901, and they have no children. He is a mem- 
ber of the Baptist church, and an earnest and valuable worker in the Sun- 
day school. 

]\I. F. Jones, an enterprising and public spirited citizen of Union 
City, one of the two joint owners of the Union Iron Works, was born in 
Prospect, Oneida county, New York, April 21. 1858, and is the son of 
Martin and Mary A. (Fanning) Jones. Martin Jones was a native of 
Oneida county. New York, and died in Union City, in 1891 ; for eighteen 
years he conducted a grocery business in Union City. His wife, a native 
of Herkimer county, New York, is now living. Their only child was ]\I. 

F. Jones. 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 277 

After receiving his education in the pubHc schools of his native town 
and Union City, M. F. Jones learned the trade of mechanic in the old 
Union City Iron Works, where he became an expert in his line, 
and followed this work for thirty-five years in Union City. His present 
partner, Thomas Gardner, is also an expert mechanic, and their shop, 
covering an area of thirty-two by seventy-two feet, is equipped with mod- 
ern machinery. They do a line of repairing, but make a specialty of the 
manufacture of the Westcott-Brown lathe. They have met with pleasing 
success in their enterprise, and their dealings with their business patrons 
are satisfactory to all concerned. 

Mr. Jones married Ida, daughter of E. Donaldson, and their onl}^ 
child was Carrie, now the wife of Air. Alarsh. Air. Jones is considered 
one of the reliable and representative citizens of Union City, and takes 
an interest in its public affairs. He is a member of the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, the Alaccabees, and the Coleman Hose Company. 

Thompson J. Lininger. Throughout his active business life 
Thompson J. Lininger has been actively identified with the agricul- 
tural interests of Summit township, and he was born within its borders 
on the 17th of March, 1849, a son of John P. and Katherine Lininger, 
the father born in Erie, Pennsylvania, and the mother in Wittenberg, 
Germany, but she came Avith her mother to Erie in the year of 1829. 
On the paternal side he is a grandson of John Lininger, who came to 
Erie from Lancaster county. John P. Lininger, the father, first worked 
at farming for others, but later on he bought a farm in Mill Creek 
township, and from there after a short time he came to Summit town- 
ship and bought a heavily timbered tract. This section of the state was 
then in its virgin wildness, but in time he cleared his land of timber, 
placed his fields under an excellent state of cultivation, and lived on his 
farm there until his death. Air. and Airs. Lininger had a family of five 
sons and seven daughters: Eliza, Alatilda Veit, Joshua (deceased), 
Clark, Isaac, Alaranda (deceased), Washington, Frances, Thompson. 
Susan, Carrie, and one who died in infancy. Two of the sons, Clark and 
Washington, enlisted in the One Hundred and Forty-fifth Pennsylvania 
Volunteer Infantry, and took part in many of the hard-fought battles of 
the Civil Avar. W^ashington w^as killed at the battle of Gettysburg on 
the 4th of July, 1863, and Clark was taken a prisoner at the same en- 
gagement. 

Thompson J. Lininger was reared in his native township of Sum- 
mit, and he has been a farmer thus far on his life's journey, his present 
estate consisting of one hundred and seventy-five acres of rich and fer- 
tile land, and it also contains a valuable stone quarry. He married in 
1875 Aliss Anna Cummins, a daughter of James and Susan (Stoddard) 
Cummins, who came to this country from Ireland and in an early day 
located in Erie. From there they afterward came to Summit tow^nship. 
Air. and Airs. Lininger have had the following children : John Herbert, 
Lloyd, Alar}' (deceased). Cora. Scott, Harry (deceased), Robert (de- 
ceased), Susan. Thomas E. and Oscar F. Air. Lininger is a Democrat 
and was road commissioner for years. Airs. Lininger is a member of 
the St. Alathew's Catholic church. Air. Lininger belongs to the Pro- 
tective Association. 

E. A. Williams. One of Wayne's prosperous agriculturists and 
dairymen, E. A. Williams, was given birth in Amity township, this 



278 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

county, August 4, 1871, and is a son of Thomas and Harriet E. (Rath- 
burn) W'ilHams, the first named of whom was a native of Albany, New 
York, while the mother was born in Arriity township. Of their seven 
children, only E. A. Williams survives. The father expired February 
2, 1889, and his wife on May 18, 1898. 

Mr. Williams, of this sketch, was reared in his native township, 
where he attended the common schools and worked on the parental 
farm in his youth, supplementing his elementary schooling with a 
course at Wattsburg academy, upon the completion of which he fol- 
lowed carpentry for about six years. Later, he engaged in farming, 
purchasing the place on which he now resides (formerly known as the 
"C. W. Parker Farm") in the year 1899; and the thrifty and attrac- 
tive appearance of both farm and homestead speaks the energy and 
enterprise of the owner. It is largely devoted to dairying. Air. Wil- 
liams having an excellent heard of fifteen milch cows, among which 
are several Jersey thoroughbreds, to which breed he hopes to eventu- 
ally confine his stock. He is also the possessor of an apple orchard of 
some four hundred trees and a grove of about five hundred sugar ma- 
ples, both of which contribute to his handsome competency. Mr. 
Williams' substantial and honorable standing has been reached as an 
industrious, determined and intelligent man, who has relied only upon 
himself, confident from the first that constant and persevering labor, 
guided by straightforward and manly principles, would eventually 
earn him independence and honor. Besides, nature had endowed him 
with superb health and strength, both of body and mind, and he has 
been able to carry his labors with undiminished vigor and zeal. 

In the year 1895 Mr. Williams was united in marriage to Miss 
Hattie M. Sweatland, who has become the mother of four children, 
two of whom are now living: Ruth M., born May 19, 1898, and Nelson 
C, born September lo, 1902. Mr. Williams is a prohibitionist and 
firmly believes in the doctrine of temperance. He and his wife and 
children are members of the United Brethren church, and Mrs. Wil- 
liams is a member of the Ladies' Aid. The Sunday School of this 
church is the most progressive aild largest in the county. Mrs. Wil- 
liams has been a teacher and her husband treasurer of the Sunday 
School. They are both members of the W'^attsburg Grange. 

J. Georgic Krug is well known in the business circles of Erie as a 
shoe merchant, and he has been identified with this line of business 
throughout nearly his entire industrial career. As a boy of twelve he 
began work in a printing office in Erie, but a short time afterward, 
in the year of 18G8, he became connected with the shoe merchant J. A. 
Eichenlaub and remained with him in the capacity of a clerk for ten 
years. In 1878 he became the proprietor of a shoe store at 1015 Parade 
street, and in LS8;> erected the brick buildino- in which be is now lo- 
cated, at No. 912 of the same street. 

Mr. Krug was born in Peskeag, Passaic county. New Jersey, 
August 18, 1855, but his parents, George and Marie L. (Uhlein) Krug, 
were from P)aden, Germany. They were married in their native land, 
and coming to the United States in 1853 they located first at Peskeag, 
New Jersey, where the husband had charge of a farm for several years. 
In 18G0 the family moved to Emporium, Pennsylvania, then known as 
Shippen, where he began work for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company 



HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 279 

in the construction of the Sunberg & Erie line, now known as the Phil- 
adelphia & Erie, and from there they came to Erie in the spring of 
18(54 and located first on East Twelfth street. There the husband and 
father died on the 12th of August, 186-1, at the age of forty-five years, 
and three months previous, May 12th, occurred the death of his oldest 
son, Frank Joseph, who was killed at the battle of the Wilderness 
while serving with Company G, Fifty-third Regiment of Pennsylvania 
Volunteers in the Civil war. Mr. Krug was twice married, and by his 
first union he had three children, Frank Joseph, Catherine and Anthony 
J., all living but Frank Joseph. His second marriage was in 1853 and 
resulted in the birth of seven children : J. George ; Barbara, now wid- 
owed, living in the West ; Mary, a widow living in Erie ; Charles J., 
of this cit}'; William, whose home is in New York City; Matthew A., 
also of Erie ; and Elizabeth, the wife of Thomas L. Austin. Mrs. Krug 
died in 1899, at the age of seventy years. Both were members of St. 
Mary's Roman Catholic church in Erie. 

J. George Krug married Eleonora Brinig, who was born in Buf- 
falo, New York. Her father, Theobald Brinig, a merchant tailor, 
moved from Buffalo to Erie in 1868, and he is now deceased. Mr. and 
M;rs. Krug have the following children: Eleonora A., Edward G., Edna 
Louise and Lorena Marea. The family are members of St. Mary's 
church, and Mr. Krug is also associated with the Knights of Columbus. 
He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce in Erie, and is an inde- 
pendent Democrat in politics. 

Hugh Compton Lord was born January 23, 1867, at Mantorville, 
Minnesota, being the son of Samuel and Louisa M. (Compton) Lord. 
His father, Samuel Lord, was a native of Meadville, Crawford county, 
Pennsylvania, emigrating while a young man to Minnesota. He 
served as a member of both Houses of Legislature and at the time of 
his death in 1880 was serving a second term as president judge of the 
Fifth Judicial District of Minnesota. Louisa Compton Lord was born 
at Ypsilanti, Michigan, but spent the greater part of her girlhood in 
Erie county, Pennsylvania. She died in 1879. 

Flugh C. Lord's paternal and maternal ancestors were early New 
England settlers. The emigrant ancestor of the Lord family w^as one 
of the founders of Hartford, Connecticut, the descendants forming the 
branch to which Hugh C. Lord belongs moving to Lyme, Connecticut, 
and from Lyme to Meadville, Pennsylvania. 

After the death of his father Hugh came east and after short 
residences at Edinboro, Pennsylvania, Dunkirk, New York, and Mead- 
ville, Pennsylvania, came to Erie in 1884, and entered the Erie high 
school. Fie was graduated in 1887, and afterward took a post-grad- 
uate course in the same institution. He read law under the preceptor- 
ship of Judge E. A. Walling. While a student he was appointed dep- 
uty U. S. marshal and also taught in the public night school of the 
city of Erie. He was admitted to the bar in 1890. In 1892 he asso- 
ciated himself with the late John K. Hallock, making a specialty of 
patent law and trade marks, and since that time has confined himself 
to this practice. He served one term (1902-1906) as member of the 
Select Council, presiding over that body the last two years of the term. 



280 HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 

He married June 7, 1893, Rena, daughter of the late Richard M. 
and Cecelia (Partridge) Slocum. Five children have been born to 
them, two of whom are living. 

Joseph A. Hamilton. A man of versatile talents, intelligent, ca- 
pable, and far-sighted, Joseph A. Hamilton holds a foremost position 
among the respected and valued citizens of Wattsburg, Erie county, 
where, in addition to carrying on an extensive printing business, he 
has a general repair shop, in which he successfully treats clocks, 
watches, and, in fact, any thing made of iron, brass, tin, silver or gold, 
that needs repairing. A Pennsylvanian by birth and breeding, he was 
born, in 18T8, in Saxton, Bedford county, a son of \\'. G. Hamilton. 

W. G. Hamilton removed from Johnstown to Erie county 
in 1884, and is now a resident of the city of Erie. A practical machin- 
ist, expert in the use of tools, he was for forty years in the employ of 
the Penns3dvania Railwa}^ Company, from which he now draws a pen- 
sion, being on the retired list. To him and his wife, whose maiden 
name was Annie Reed, six children were born, namely: Frank; Lillie, 
wife of W. W. Bole ; i\Iaud, wife of AV. Klemm ; Frances, Carrie, and 
Joseph A. 

After completing his studies in the common schools of Erie 
county, Joseph A. Hamilton served an apprenticeship at the printer's 
trade, and for a while thereafter was emploj'ed on the Erie Daily Times. 
Locating in Wattsburg in 1899, Mr. Hamilton worked first on the 
Wattsburg Sentinel, then edited by Maurice Buncombe. Becoming 
familiar with the printer's art, he then opened a printing establish- 
ment of his own, arid to tlws has added, as above mentioned, a general 
repair shop, in these'Hnes of industr}^ being kept busily employed. 
His ambition and energy being apparently unlimited, however, Mr. 
Hamilton looks after the local telephone lines, keeping them in repair, 
and furnishes acetylene gas to several business houses of \\"attsburg. 
In his business career. Air. Hamilton has been especiall}^ prosperous, 
now owning his own building, a two-story structure, with a basement, 
and a hall twenty-seven feet b}^ sixty feet. 

Mr. Hamilton married, May IG, 190G, Lizzie J. Parker, daughter 
of Cephas and Julia Parker. Fraternally Mr. Hamilton is a member 
of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows ; and of the Patriotic Order 
Sons of America. He is actively interested in everything pertaining 
to the welfare of town and county, and now, in 1909, is serving as 
president of the borough council. 

RuFUS W. Swift. Numbered among the industrious, progres- 
sive and enterprising agriculturists of Erie county is Rufus W. Swift, 
whose energy, abilit}^ and business tact have gained him success in 
the industrial world, placing him in an assured position among the 
leading farmers of Edinboro. A son of George W. Swift, he was born 
in Summit township, Erie county, July 11, 18G5. His grandparents, 
Julius and Laura (Shove) Swift, were comparativel}'^ early settlers of 
Summit township, moving there from New York state in 1844. He 
was a farmer, and died on the homestead that he cleared and im- 
proved in May. 1875. Julius Swift was three times married, and was 
father of eleven boys and of an equal number of girls. 



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HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY 281 

George W. Swift was born May 10, 1835, in Otsego county, New 
York, and began life for himself as a farmer in Summit township. He 
married, May 8, 18G1, Lucinda A. Graham, who was born in Summit 
township, a daughter of Capt. John C. and Sarah A. (Cook) Graham. 
Her grandparents on the paternal side, Hugh and Margaret Graham, 
migrated from Center county, to Erie county, locating six miles south 
of h2rie, on a tract of wild land containing one hundred acres. There 
her grandfather cleared and improved a homestead, and in addition to 
tilling the soil was for many years keeper of the toll gate. Capt. John 
C. Graham was but a small child when he was brought in his moth- 
er's arms, on horseback, to this county.