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Full text of "Venango County, Pennsylvania: her pioneers and people, embracing a general ..."

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VE>iANGO COUNTY 

PENNSYLVANIA 



HER PIONEERS AND PEOPLE 



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TWO VOLUMES 



ILLUSTRATED 



VOLUME II 
GENEALOGY— BIOGRAPHICAL 



CHICAGO 

J. H. BEERS & COMPANY 

1919 



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BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX 



Adams, Samuel M 879 

Agnew, William 802 

Aigner, Rev. Martin 680 

Allen, Chajles C 1034 

Allen Family 1034 

Allison, Charles W/ 971 

Anderson Families 683, 816 

Anderson, Isaac 951 

Anderson, S. P 683 

Anderson, Capt. Thomas S 817 

Anderson, William J 816 

Anderton, Aloysius F 1025 

Anderton, Thomas 1024 

Anderton, Thomas A 1025 

Andrews Family 1028 

Andrews, Hugh B 1028 

Angove, Joseph A 944 

Angove, William 944 

Arnott, Thomas 1057 

Arnott, Thomas J 1058 

Atwell, Robert J 900 

AtweU, R. Vincent 900 

Babcock, Charles A 832 

Bacon, L. A 987 

Bailey, Robert 933 

Bailey, William M 933 

Baker, William 885 

Bankson, Peter 823 

Barnes, Orson M 590 

Barr, Joseph W 651 

Barr. Wilson R 651 

Barrett, Stephen 1022 

Baum, Daniel 905 

Beatty, E. Calvin 545 

Beatty Family : 545 

Beebe, E. R 535 

Beebe, Hon. Manley C 520 

Beebe, Miss Mildred 522 

Beers Family 427 

Beers, Henry 1 426 

Beers, Percival C 430 

Beers, Walter S 430 

Beifirhlea, William 832 

Bell, Frank P 915 

Bell, George B 918 

Bell, Joseph 915 

Beringer Family 639 

Beringer, George B 639 

Berry, Charles D 641 

Berry, James B 640 

Berry, James D 641 

Bevan, Charles 884 

Billingsley, Alexander S 948 

Billingsley, Robert W 948 

Bishop, Fid 721 



Black, Ephraini 541 

Blackwell, Thomas M 661 

Blair, George A 623 

Blair, James D., M. D 861 

Blair, John H 623 

Blair, Robert H 628 

Bleakley Family 628 

Bleakley, Orrin Dubbs 528 

Bleakley, Rollin R 530 

Bleakley, Wayne W 530 

Boals, Charles D 913 

Boals, Emery J 913 

Boals Family 912 

Boals, Gordon S 912 

Boardman Family 740 

Boardman, Robert 740 

Boardman, William 889 

Bonner, Archibald D 671 

Bonner, William Harvey 671 

Borland, Edward E 969 

Borland, David T 479 

Borland Families 436, 969 

Borland, James B 437 

Borland, Dr. John R 436 

Boughner, Hiram 687 

Boughner, William 687 

Boughton, Reuben H., Jr 582 

Bouquin, Louis 881 

Bowers, Mrs. Elizabeth 809 

Bowers, Bradley E 1002 

Bowers, John 816 

Bowers, Joseph 808 

Bowers, Martin T 809 

Bowers, William W 809 

Boyer. Family 1033 

Boyer, Frederick G 522 

Boyle, Edward R 606 

Boyle, Patrick C 605 

Bracken, John L 775 

Bradley, Curtin A. 1027 

Bradley Family 7027 

Braunschweig^er, Meyer 557 

Breed, Charles 914 

Breed Family 914 

Brierham, Greorge 858 

Britton, Alfred W 1055 

Brodhoad Family 726 

Brodhcad, John P 728 

Brodhead, Watson D 729 

Brosang, Edward H 897 

Brosang, William E 896 

Brown, Alexander W ; . 477 

Brown, Dickson Q 691 

Brown, Freeland H 852 

Brown, John 477, 688 

Brown, John F 478 

iii 



Brown, Miles P 718 

Brown, Samuel Q 688 

Brown, William 478 

Browne, Robert A 908 

Brundred, Benjamin F 417 

Brundred, Mrs. Elizabeth L. 419 

Brundred Family 418 

Brundred, William J 418 

Brutche, George 938 

Bunce, William D 895 

Bunce Family 895 

Bunce, Vincent P 714 

Burch, Ernest A 842 

Burgard, John R 575 

Burgard, Miss Ruth E 576 

Burns, Oscar K 890 

Burrows, Doane 1060 

Burrows, David N 1060 

Burrows, Willard E 1060 

Buxton, Henry 964 

Byers Family 692 

Byers, Henry B 694 

Byers, J. Wirt 692 

Byles, Daniel E 712 

Byles Family 713 

Caffrey, John F 1045 

Call, Lewis 972 

Call, Lewis T 972 

Calvert Family 953 

Calvert, James F 953 

Campbell Families 513, 738 

Campbell, John R. 513 

Carnahan, Buchanan H 760 

Carnahan Family 760 

Carson, Andrew C 1053 

Carson Families 1043, 1053 

Carson, James 1044 

Carson, James M 1000 

Carson, Robert 8 1043 

Cavanaugh, Daniel J 927 

Chadwick, James A 846 

Chadwick, James D 847 

Chambers, Fred N 600 

Chambers, Wesley 592 

Chickering, Kenton 434 

Clark Family 1031 

Clark, James R 1031 

Clulow Family 580 

Clulow, Theodore 580 

Coffman, Daniel 785 

CoflFman, William B 785 

Cohen, Henry 1061 

Cohen, Nathan 1061 

Cohen, Philip 1062 

Cokain, Sylvester 550 



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IV 



BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX 



Confer, Hon. Abel L. 648 

Cooper, Clifford, M. I) 1079 

Cooper Family 1080 

Corse, Qeorge W 887 

Corse, William J 886 

Corwin, Benjamin 534 

Couch Family 999 

Couch, Harry V 999 

Coulter, Clarence G 879 

Coulter, Clarence W., M. B. . . 488 

Coulter, Cyrus B. 679 

Coulter, Mrs. Elizabeth M 680 

Coulter Families 487,679,878 

Coulter, Thomas 878 

Crahan, Peter 1046 

Crandall Family 861 

Crawford, Homer C 530 

Crawford, James B , . 506 

Crawford, John K., M. D 571 

Crawford, Robert, M. D 569 

Crawford, Miss S. Ella 571 

Crawford Families 

506, 569, 742, 748 

Crawford, William A 571 

Criswell, Elisha W 434 

Criswell, Judge George 8 432 

Criswell, Robert C 432 

Cromack, William 759 

Cross Families 517, 603 

Cross, Miss Mary A 604 

Cross, Mrs. Nancy P 519 

Cross, Oliver B 603 

Cross, William 517 

Cross, W. Raymond 519 

Crouch, Eugene M 821 

Culbertson, Alexander 752 

Culbertson Families 752, 904 

Culbertson, Francis 753 

Culbertson, Warren L. 903 

Cunningham Family 964 

Cunningham, Paul E., M. D.. 964 

Dale, Amos P 656 

Dale, Mrs. Elizabeth 657 

Dale Families 656, 811, 837 

Dale, Hiram M 837 

Dale, Isa H 838 

Dale, Oscar M 838 

Daly, Patrick '. 1053 

Daly, Thomas 1052 

Daugherty, Mrs. Cora M 873 

Daugherty, James F 873 

Daugherty, John H 1049 

Daugherty, John M 663 

Daugherty, Mrs. Kate E 1050 

Daugherty, William 962 

Daugherty, William R 662 

Davis, William P 1074 

Deets, Frank H 780 

DeWoody Family 1001 

De Woody, Homer L 1001 

DeWoody, Wesley G 540, 1001 

Dibble, Qaude V 778 

Dick, James C 670 

Dickey, Dr. E. L 947 

Dille, George W., M. D 653 

DUle, James M., M. D 654 

Dimond, James H 553 

Donovan, John W 1086 

Dorworth Family 559, 650 

Dorworth, Hugh C 559 



Dorworth, James W., M. D . . 650 

yrake, Abial 595 

>-4)rake, Edwin L 794 

Duffield Famines 758, 1014 

Duffield, John 758 

Dufford, J. Albert 1061 

Duncan, Charles H 474 

Duncan, Garde C 477 

Duncan, William R 477 

Egan, Patrick 836 

Egan, Thomas 836 

Eakin, A. F 910 

Eakin, David D 977 

Eakin, David R 549 

Eakin, Ernest 978 

Eakin Families. .549, 681, 910, 977 

Eakin, John L 549 

Eakin, William A 910 

Earp, Rev. Dr. Samuel 493 

Ebert, Rev. Adolf P 929 

Elliott Families 611, 723, 899 

Elliott, John B 899 

Elliott, Thomaa 8 723 

Elliott, William D 611 

Evans, Edmund W 578 

Farren, James 1041 

Farren, William C 1041 

Fawcett, James A 495 

. Fielding, Rev. James F 950 

Finch, H. C. 877 

Fleming Family 874 

Fleming, 8amuel L 875 

Fleming, William H 874 

Foggan, Robert 1072 

Foley, Timothy M 665 

Poller, Peter P 695 

Fomof , John 855 

Foster, Arthur T 793 

^ Foster, Charles B 578 

Foster Families 576, 792, 864 

Foster, George W 794 

Foster, Hiram C 864 

Foster, James 577 

Foster, James T 578 

Foster, Joseph T 576 

Foster, Robert A 792 

Foster, Samuel G., M. D 695 

Foust, Walter L 1017 

Fox, Leadom D 1007 

Frewen, Daniel 572 

Frewen, Thomas J 572 

Friggle, Edwin J 884 

Friggle Families 883, 889 

Friggle, Harry B 884 

Friggle, John 883 

Friggle, WiUiam J 884 

Friton, Max 883 

Fritz Family 857 

Fritz, John 857 

Frye, John W 940 

Fulton Family 861 

Furman, Cassius E 863 

Gulloway, Isaac R 865 

Gardiner, John W 815 

Gardiner. Mrs. Sarah S 553 

Geary, Michael 410 

Geltz, Anthony 1062 

Gilliland, C. A 892 



Gilliland Family 892 

Gilliland, Seldo W 1072 

Gilmore Families 1002, 1085 

Gilmore, Joseph C 1085 

Gleason, Charles W 859 

Glenn, Donald 472 

Glenn Family 47^, 493 

Glenn, John B., M. D 493 

Glenn, Rev. Robert 471, 494 

Glenn, Hon. Robert F 471 

Goettel, Daniel 595 

Goodemote, Charles W 936 

Graham, Albert V 812 

Graham, Alexander 750 

Graham Families. 588, 750,756, 812 

Graham, Lyman L 588 

Greer, Charles H 984 

Gregory, Robert S 1051 

Gregory, Thomas 8 1051 

Griffin, Steffy 1076 

Griffin, William 1076 

Griggs Family 442 

Griggs, John 442 

Grimm, Daniel 423 

Grimm, Christian 791 

Grimm, Daniel C 791 

Groser, Frank E 992 

Grossman, Philip 778 

Grossman, Philip J. and Vic- 
toria 779 

Grove, Lieut Peter 781 

Hadley, James T 574 

Hall, Johnston 706 

Hamilton, Charles F., Sr 687 

Hancock Family 449 

Hancock, James Denton 448 

Harlan Family 957 

Harper, Albert G 879 

Harsh, Frederick E 649 

Hart, John A 807 

Haskell Brothers 439 

Haskell, Frank 440 

Haskell, Harvey H 440 

Haskell, Harvey M 438 

Haskell, William A 439 

Hastings Family 621 

Hastings, Quincy D 582 

Hastings, Wayne 621 

Haylett, James 1047 

Haylett, James C Iu47 

Hays Family 501, 646 

Hays, Frederic W 501 

Hays, Frank R 648 

Hays, Ora L 647 

Hazelett, James 1066 

Heffeman, Jeremiah 1023 

Helm Family 548 

Herbert, Christian W 920 

Herbert, George P 920 

Hetzler, Daniel B 666 

Hetzler, John 666 

Heydrick, Hon. Christopher. . 424 

Hitchcock Family 451 

Hoffman, Eli 1084 

Hoffman Families 804, 994 

Hoffman, Howard J 995 

Hoffman, Perry E , 804 

Hoffman, Philip G 994 

Hoffman. Taylor 994 

Horner Family 834 



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BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX 



Horner, John F 834 

Houser, Charles A 895 

Houser, George W 893 

Honser Family 894 

Houser, Hugh P 1052 

Houser, 'WVishington B 894 

Hovis, Charles W 642 

Hovis, Curtis 990 

Hovi^ Families. 643, 830, 965, 986 

Hovis, Fulton B 830 

Hovis, H. Perry 1081 

Hovis, Jacob D 1081 

Hovis, Samuel H 986 

Hovis, T. C 767 

Hovis, William J 989 

Howe, Willard 706 

Hughes, Charles M 998 

Hughes, Donald M 962 

Hughes, Edward E 466 

Hughes Families 466, 960, 1054 

Hughes, Peter T 960 

Hughes, Robert A. 962 

Hughes, Roland 961 

Hughes, William Harvey 952 

Hughes, Wilson H 1054 

Hunsberger, C. F 1086 

Huntsman, F. J 950 

Ihrig, George W 818, 939 

Ihrig, William F 818 

Irwin, James W., M. D 886 

Inman, Edward R 698 

Inman Family 698 

Irwin Family 886 

Irwin, Thomas A., M. D 944 

Jackson, Albert 784 

Jackson. James 986 

James Family 615 

James, Frank A 614 

James, Henry F 616 

Jobson, George B., Jr., M. D. 526 

Johnson, H. Gordon 841 

Johnston, Cecil W 534 

Johnston, David K 838 

Johnston Families 532, 888 

Johnston, Franklin H., M. D. 532 

Johnston, George E 888 

Johnston, Hugh 532 

Johnston, James 838 

Johnston, Thomas 862 

JoUy, Howard T 1087 

Jones, H. L 873 

Jordan, George A 1042 

Karg, Andrew 851 

Kams, A. 8 668 

Kams Families 668, 833 

Kams, Samuel D 833 

Karns, Samuel T 669 

E>ating, Michael 832 

Keating, Thomas E 832 

Kellogg, Lorenzo D 813 

Kern, George A 991 

Kern, James P 990 

Kern, William G 991 

Kingsley, Theodore C 802 

Kinter Family 598 

Kinter, Robert E 598 

Kirschner, M. J 1011 

Kistler, Henry 997 

Kittler, Lecmard 938 



Kistler, Leonard D 938 

Koch, Rudolph G 755 

Kru^, George 866, 996 

Krug, George H 1060 

Krug, Henry 601 

Krug, John H 996 

Krug, William H 866 

Lamb, Alfred 545 

Lamb, John 544 

Lamberton, Charles M 465 

Lamberton, Chess 460 

Lamberton Family 456, 464 

Lamberton, Harry 421 

Lamberton, Henry W 465 

Lamberton, James G 464 

Lamberton, Robert 461 

Lamberton, Hon. Robert.. 422, 457 

Lamberton, Robert G 459 

Latchaw Family 919 

Latchaw, Isaac 8 919 

Laughlin, Edward S 765 

Lavery, F. Lee 637 

Lavery, John H 636 

Leach, Edward E 818 

Leasgang, John F 1008 

Lee, David L 757 

Lee Family 757 

Lewis, George 768 

Lincoln, Seth C 589 

Lockard, Mrs. Mary J 683 

Locke, James R 903 

Locke, John 901 

Loomis Family 420 

Lovell Family .' 813 

Lovell, Thomas A 813 

Lundager, Charles 788 

Lupher Family 781 

Lupher, George F. » 781 

Lytle, Archibald 943 

Lytle, John 1014 

Lytle, Mrs. Sarah A 944 

McAlevy, Achilles 665 

McAlevy, David A 1083 

McAlevy, Edward S 664 

McAlevy Families 664; 1083 

McAlevy, Samuel A 664 

McBride, Rev.. William E 686 

McOalmont, John L 586 

McCalmont Families 453, 587 

McCalmont, Gen. Alfred B . . . 455 

McCalmont, Robert 452 

McClelland Families 734, 805 

McClelland, Frank M., M. D. . 734 
McClelland, Maj. George C. . . 806 

McClelland, George C 805 

McCIintock, Charles T 581 

McClintock, Maj. Charles W..581 

McClune, John 1044 

MeCray Family 468 

McCray, James 8 468 

McCray, William J 443 

McCray, William P 470 

McCready, Daniel H 783 

McCready, Henry 783 

McDaniel, Francis 716 

McElhiney, James 1003 

McElhiney, Joseph 1003 

McElphatrick Family 956 

McElphatrick, Gusta D 956 



McFadden Families 1038, 1058 

McFadden, George McC 1058 

McFadden, John F 1038 

McFadden, Mrs. Louvisa J. . .1059 

McFadden, Philip G 1059 

McGough Family 767 

McGough, Hon. Thomas 766 

McGuire, Thomas 748 

McKee Family 597 

McKee, Thomas J 697 

McKenzie Family 716 

McKenzie, John 716 

McKenzie, Milton 8 1014 

McKenzie, Samuel 1015 

McKinley, James D 786 

McKinley, John L 966 

McKinley, Nathaniel H 962 

McKinley, Ralph 786 

McKinley, Stephen A 966 

McKinly, H. J 962 

McBanney, Hon. John H 825 

McKinney Family 826 

McKinney, Samuel H 826 

McKnight, Hennr G 736 

McKnight, Dr. William J... 867 

McLaughlin, John 993 

McLaurin, John J 498 

McLouth, Charles A 582 

McMichael Family 1075 

McMillin, Oliver D 1069 

McQuaid Family 876 

McQuaid, William H 876 

McRae, D. C 1004 

McRae, E. F 1004 

Mc Williams, Frank 1020 

Mc Williams, John D 1020 

Mackenzie, Duncan R 676 

Mackenzie, Roderick 675 

Mackey, Capt. Charles W 412 

Mackey Family 412 

Magee, F. Earle, M. D 859 

Magee Families 418, 485, 863 

Magee, George C, M. D 853 

Magee, George W., M. D 485 

Maitland Families 624, 1012 

Maitland, Maj. John B 624 

Maitland, William A 1012 

Mallery Family 774 

Mallery, *Frank V 774 

Maloney, Isaac 1071 

Manion, Lawrence M 613 

Manion, Michael 612 

Manning, Joseph 924 

Mark Family 766 

Mark, John N 765 

Marshall, Joseph 8 988 

Martin Family 1018 

Martin, John 1018 

Mays Families 843, 854 

Mays, George E 854 

Mays, Henry C 843 

Means, John F 822 

Mease, Dr. U. G 501 

Miller, Gen. Charles 408 

Miller, Charles A 610 

Miller, Erskine J 941 

Miller Families 556, 610, 941 

Miller, George C 555 

MUler, J. T 977 

Miller, LeRoy G 627 

Miller, Samuel H 982 



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VI 



BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX 



Minich, John 779 

Mitchell, Forster W 472 

Mitchell, Thomas 472 

Mitchell, WilUam 1048 

MofiPett Family 839 

Moffett, George K 839 

Mohnkern Family 1035 

Mohnkern, Ruel E 1035 

Mohr, George C 897 

Mohr, John M 897 

Montgomery, John A 1036 

Montgomery, Matthew D 733 

Montgomery, Samuel S 732 

Montgomery, William B 734 

Monjar, John H 976 

Monjar, Samuel B 976 

Moore Family 1033 

Moore, George W 555 

Moore, Robert 554 

Moore, William J 1033 

Moran Family 827 

Moran, Gus R 827 

Morck, Dr. August C 537 

Moreland Family 1029 

Morrison, John 956 

Morrow Family 709 

Morrow, John W., M. D 711 

Morrow, Miss Nancy C 712 

Moyar, John H 1058 

Movar, Samuel N 726 

Moyar, William 629 

Mover, John P 855 

Mundt, Otto R. T 844 

Mundt, William F 844 

Mvers, Barton A 1020 

Myers, C. A 1020 

Myors, Cliarles, Sr 1013 

Myers, Earl 1082 

Myers, Elias 685 

Myers, Hosea 1082 

Myers, Mrs. Julia 685 

Myers, Newton B 906 

Neely, Robert B 928 

Ncelv, Wilson A 927 

Nesbit Families 631, 645 

Nesbit, Mrs. Effie B 646 

Nesbit, John L 631 

Nesbit, Thomas '. . . . 645 

Nicholson. William A., M. D. . 645 

Nicklin, Daniel T 619 

Nicklin, Harry C 620 

Orr. William 934 

Osborn, John 543 

Osborne, Bryan H 480 

Osborne, Rev. David C 4H1 

Osenider Family 742 

Osenider, J. W., Sr 742 

Osn^er, Archibald R 441 

Osmer, James H 440 

Osmer, Newton F 442 

Oyer, Mrs. Joseph E 535 

Paca, William S 542 

Pardee, Dr. George L 749 

Parker Family 461 

Parker, George W 462 

Parker, Harold T 463 

Parker, William M 463 

Patterson, Charles H 1010 



Peebles Families 657, 907 

Peebles, James B 657 

Peebles, Jesse A 907 

Pennell, James 830 

Perkins Family 449 

Perrine Family 769 

Perrine, Jonathan B., M. D.. 769 

Phinny Family 720 

Phinny, Hopewell S 721 

Phinny, Thomas G 720 

Phillips, John W 613 

Phillips, William 613 

Phillips, WUliam F 613 

Phipps, Cyrus D 848 

Phipps Families 

519, 584, 669, 753, 848 

Phipps, Hon. Marshall L 584 

Phipps, Melvin 753 

Phipps, Porter 669 

Phipps, Maj. Robert J 585 

Phipps, WilUam 855 

Piatt, W.0 526 

Plumer, Arnold 407 

Plumer, Arnold A 434 

Plumer, Benjamin A 512 

Plumer, Charles P 997 

Plumer Family 696 

Plumer, George W 512 

Plumer, Henry B 416 

Plumer, Ralph C 696 

Plumer, Samuel 497 

Polaski, Rev. Maximilian S. . . 937 

Poor Family 954 

Poor, William B 954 

Porter, David 835 

Porter Family 979 

Porter, John A 979 

Potter, Eli S 959 

Power Family 659 

Power, George 659 

Pyle, Charles E 939 

Pvle, John A 1044 

Pyle, Robert J 1044 

Quinn, Eugene 997 

Rand, Henry H 704 

Raymond, Aaron Weeks 673 

Raymond, Aaron Whitaker. . 674 

Raymond Family 672 

Raymond, Shed S 674 

Ready Family 635 

Ready, Georere A., Sr 635 

Reed, George N 447 

Reed, Maj. John M 538 

Ree'^e. Lorma E 974 

Reeves, Charles B 777 

Reeves, Edwin N 777 

Reid, Joseph 608 

Reisinger, George B. McC 1077 

Reisinger Henry G 1077 

Remp. Charles 959 

Rew, Orv L 1019 

R»ieem, Hon. W. C 445 

Rhoades Family 829 

Rhoades. Lyman D 829 

Rial, Edward 415 

Rial, James B 415 

Rice, Elmer W 942 

Rice Family 942 

Rich, Frederick S 510 



Rich, John S 510 

Richey, Charles F 936 

Richey, Thomas C 936 

Richey, William 935 

Richey, William D 936 

Riddle, Charles A 679 

Riddle, Charles M 911 

Riddle, E. Leybum 1015 

Riddle Families 

677, 773, 1004, 1015 

Riddle, Frank L 678 

Riddle, Harry C 679 

Riddle, H. Earl 679 

Riddle, Herbert S 678 

Riddle, James V 1004 

Riddle, John A 677 

Riddle, John K 773 

Riddle, Lloyd E 679 

Rider, William D 507 

Ridgway Family 509 

Ritehey Family 780 

Ritchey, John A., M. D 1080 

Ritehey, John E 661 

Robbins, James L. 970 

Robbins, Samuel G 970 

Rodgers, Harry W 1082 

Roche, John N 905 

Roess, Christian 744 

Roess, Gustav F 780 

Roess, Louis 736 

Rogers Family , . , 919 

Rogers, James 918 

Rogers, McGelland 722 

Rossman, Henrv 946 

Roth, Charles F 738 

Rum?ey, George A 729 

Russell, James P 1021 

Russell, William 1021 

Rynd, Cyrus D 800 

Rynd Family 801 

Rynd, John D 802 

Sampsell Family 890 

Satterwhite, Robert L 775 

Schruers, Raymond E 765 

Schruers, William 764 

Schwartz, George 882 

Schwartzcop, Louis 606 

Scott, Mrs. Catharine S36 

Seott Families 789, 835 

Scott, James Oren 789 

Scott, John 835 

Beaton, Harry B 655 

Seaton, Stephen V 654 

Seep. Mrs. Mary R 412 

Selden, Col. Edwin V. D 488 

Selden Family 489 

Shaffer FamUy 811 

Shaffer, Huirh 'W 810 

Shaffer, John L. 662 

Shannon, Samuel 788 

Sheasley, Charles H 536 

Sheasley. Jacob 536 

Sheats,' Samuel 1051 

Sheffer, Christian K 1008 

Sheldon. Dr. Edward A 700 

Sherbondy Family 1028 

Sborulan.' James 928 

Shields, Patrick H 1039 

Shorts Family 628 

Shoup, Birt 923 



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BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX 



Vll 



Shoup Family 923 

Siederman, Edward A 540 

Sigworth, Oliver C 729 

Siincoz, Mrs. Elmira J 540 

Simcox, Shadrach 538 

Simmons, Charles B 718 

Simmons, Martin S. 719 

Singleton, A. L 1072 

Singleton, Wilbur E 975 

Singleton, William P 975 

Sianej, Harry M...'. 1079 

Sisney, William W 1079 

Siverly, Miss Emily 553 

Siverly Family 552 

Siverly, Mrs. Lucy D 553 

Siverly, Philip Hart 553 

Siverly, Walter 552 

Slingerland, Fernando C 958 

Small Family 524 

Small, Madison M 523 

Smedley, Alfred 499 

Smedley Family 499 

Smiley, Edwin W 484 

Smiley, John Hassan 484 

Smiley, John Howard 483 

Smiley, Thomas 483 

Smith, Charles F 963 

Smith, Charles J 856 

Smith, Christian J 1030 

Smith, Mrs. Elizabeth 725 

Smith, Emmitt E 925 

Smith Families 724, 880 

Smith, James Andrew 925 

Smith, James A 1057 

Smith, John D 1057 

Smith, Marion V 724 

Smith, Mrs. Nellie M 1057 

Smith, Samuel & Sons 1056 

Smith, Samuel 1057 

Smith, Sherman B 880 

Smith, Thomas 856 

Smithman, John B 561 

Snow, -John MeK 909 

Snow, John B 909 

Snow, William 741 

Snyder, Charles 949 

Snyder, William 949 

Speeehley, Samuel 579 

Speer, Alexander 497 

Speer, Peter M 496 

Spettigue, George T 776 

Stanford, Elmer E 988 

Stanford, William B 984 

Steele Family 745 

Steele, John B 745 

Stephenson, H. H 446 

Stenctt Family 595 

Sterrett, Bobert M 595 

Sterrett, Ulysses G 597 

Stevenson Family 787 



Stevenson, S. 787 

Stewart, Miss Mary E 820 

Stewart Families 751, 920, 981 

Stewart, Samuel W 819 

Stewart, Thomas, Jr * 751 

Stewart, William E 981 

Stone, John 824 

Stone, Stephen 824 

Strance, William 1084 

Straub, Augustus B 600 

Straub, John W 952 

Stubler, George 974 

Stubler, George F 974 

Suhr, Charles L 619 

Suhr, Henry 617 

Suhr, Mrs. Louise 618 

Sullinger Family 1078 

SulUnger, Frank 1078 

Surrena, John 841 

Surrena, John Clinton 840 

Surrena, Philip 840 

Sutley Family ^ . 622 

Sutton Family 539, 703 

Sutton, Valentine S 703 

Tarr Family 772 

Tarr, Henry C 772 

Theobald, Edward P 444 

Theobald, Peter 444 

Thompson, Thomas W 1016 

Tibbens, Clyde E., M. D 1041 

Tibbens, George B 1040 

Tonkin, Capt. John 422 

Tracy, Jacob M 1036 

Tracy, James M 1036 

Trax, David L 632 

Trax, Fred H 635 

Trax, Harry B 634 

Trax, Judson D 634 

Turk Family 980 

Turk, Oma W 980 

Turner, Amasa F 992 

Turner, Arthur S 866 

Tyler, Carson 550 

Tyler, William C, M. D 550 

Vanderlin, James 812 

Van Dresser, Jerome J 820 

Van Vliet, George W 558 

Voorus, Hiram A 1005 

Wagner, Christian 922 

Wagner Families 926, 1026 

Wagner, John 926 

Wagner, Joseph E 1026 

Wait, Charles L 822 

Waits, Charles A 652 

Waitz, John W 431 

Waltz, John 431, 652, 845 



Wallace, John 792 

Wallace, John S 792 

Walter Families 967, 985 

Walter, Jacob H 967 

Walter, John W 985 

Wasson, Nathan M 1068 

Watson Families 858, 1037 

Watson, John T. P 858 

Watson, Lewis Manley 1037 

Watterson, Alvin 1021 

Wege, Henry J. E 973 

Wege, Henry P 972 

Welker, William S 754 

Westlake, Leo L 946 

Westlake, William P 946 

Weston, George 637 

Weston, Samuel B 637 

Weymouth Family 593 

Weymouth, Thomas B 593 

Whitaker, Albert P 505 

Whitman, William F 620 

Wilbert, Henry 531 

Wilbert, Peter A. 531 

Wilkins, Benton T 552 

Wilkins, Fred J 552 

Williame Family 1017 

Williams, F. D 641 

Williams, Frank H 887 

Williams, Levi P 1017 

Wilson Families 573, 590 

Wilson, Francis McM 590 

Wilson, John, M. D 573 

Wilson, Samuel Q 574 

Witherup, Capt. Abraham. . . .1065 

Witherup, David 1067 

Witherup Family 1063 

Witherup, James B 1063 

Witherup, John 1063 

Witherup, Joseph 1068 

Witherup, Mrs. Martha L 958 

Witherup, Bobert 1067 

Witherup, William 957, 1069 

Wolford, W. P 681 

Wood, George W 1010 

Woodward Family 861 

Wright, Bev. John 828 

Wright, John H 653 

Wright John S 828 

Wright, Thomas J 653 

Wurster, Charles F 655 

Yard Family 638 

Yardley, George 630 

Toung, James S 694 

Young, William 792 

Young, William T 694 

Zerbe Family 763 

Zerbe, John Irwin, M. D 762 



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BIOGRAPHICAL 



JOHN B. SMITHMAN is a name con- 
nected with so many permanent public im- 
provements that belong to a history of Ve- 
nango county that we give from his autobi- 
ography a condensed account of a few of the 
many activities that have formed a part of his 
busy life. We find here much data of his- 
toric value of the stirring days when the oil 
industr}', bom in Venango county, was in its 
infancy and dominated the affairs of the 
coimty, and which in fifty-nine years has 
grown to stupendous magnitude, changed the 
economic life of every nation, and was an im- 
portant factor in winning the world war that 
ended Nov. ii, 1918. 

Mr. Smithman was born on a farm near 
Shippenville, Clarion Co., Pa., Dec. 31, 1844, 
and in 185 1 removed to a farm near Knox, 
that county, where he attended the country 
district schools three months each year. In 
i860 he entered the Shippenville high school, 
where one professor personally taught all the 
students in attendance; was selected by Pro- 
fessor Haight to teach the hig^ school one 
week in February, 1861, during the Profes- 
sor's absence on other business; taught dis- 
trict school in 1862 near Knox ; again attended 
higrh school ; taught district school in 1863 at 
Hill City, Venango county ; taught school in 
the early part of 1864 in what was called the 
"Red School House," located a half mile south 
of what is now South Oil City. To the latter 
district at that time belonged all of what is 
now South Oil City from Sage Run to Deep 
Hollow, all being then in Cranberry township. 

In the winter of 1864 Mr. Smithman drifted 
into the oil business as a buyer of barrelled 
oil on Oil creek, selling it in Oil City on the 
west side of Oil creek, where then was a great 
busy oil mart, and the principal business part 
of Oil City. At this time he was also en- 
gaged in the business of looking up oil lands 
or leases having thereon ravines, streams, 



86 



large or small, and more particularly streams 
with branch streams running into them; and 
making maps thereof, with the streams con- 
spicuously marked, and turning the lands over, 
on a short time option sale, to promoters, who 
in turn would join other promoters in New 
York, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore and 
other cities, and use these options and maps, 
with flaming prospectuses, as the basis for 
forming stock companies with high-sounding 
names, such as "Ocean Petroleum Company," 
"Pouring Rock Oil Company," "Oil Basin 
Petroleum Company," with large capitaliza- 
tion, and selling stock therein, at fabulous 
prices; all on the theory, then prevailing in 
the oil country, and emphasized to the pros- 
pective buyers of lands, leases or stock cer- 
tificates, that the oil was found in vertical and 
horizontal crevices in the rock formations, be- 
low the surface, and that the ravines, streams 
and coves on the lands offered were sure in- 
dications of crevices, deep below the surface, 
where oil would surely be found. A stream 
or ravine with a branch running into it, made 
it doubly certain that a crevice filled with oil 
existed below, at or near the place where they 
joined. An example of this is the castiron 
drive pipe conductor in Monarch Park, now a 
popular, flowing drinking fountain, where in 
1864 the Fulton Mining Company located an 
oil well at the confluence of Three Lick run 
and Van Buren run, by which names these 
streams were then known. A flow of mineral 
water found at a depth of ninety feet pre- 
vented further progress by the then crude 
methods for drilling oil well holes. In 1865 
the crevice theory of oil deposits gave way to 
the theory that oil existed in a horizontal po- 
rous rock, and that by drilling down to the 
level of the oil rock, oil could be found on 
elevated lands as well as along streams and 
valleys. 

In 1865 and the fore part of 1866 Mr. 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



Smithman owned a shipping platform at Reno, 
and witnessed the rise and fall of C. V. Cul- 
ver's dream of a magnificent city at that place 
that would eclipse and supersede Oil City, 
based on a secret agreement made by officers 
of the Atlantic & Great Western Railroad 
Company, as revealed by Mr. Culver, confi- 
dentially to a few intimate, interested friends, 
that the A. & G. W. R. Company, which had 
a six- foot -gauge road, would stop its road at 
the "narrows'* on the west side of Oil City 
and not extend it through Oil City to its east 
side, and therefore he could isolate Oil City 
by building a road from Reno direct to Rouse- 
ville, and divert from Oil City the Oil creek 
oil business by connecting at Rouseville with 
the Cherry Run & Oil Creek railroad, which 
was organized early in 1865 by directors of 
the Columbia Oil Company to construct a rail- 
road from its oil wells on the Story farm to 
Oil City. Mr. Culver's road, called the Reno, 
Oil Creek & Pithole railroad, was a three-foot, 
nine-inch-gauge road, and was built from 
Reno over steep grades up Shafer run and 
over the hills north of Oil City and down the 
brow of the hill on the east side of Complanter 
run, and on a high wooden trestle and wooden 
bridge fifty feet high over Oil creek to Rouse- 
ville, thence to Plumer, where was located the 
Humboldt oil refinery, then the largest in the 
world; and early in 1866 several passenger 
and freight trains were operated daily between 
Reno and Plumer. The road was graded to 
Pithole, but no cars were ever run there. 
Gen, A. E. Bumside was chief engineer. Ga- 
lusha A. Grow, once Speaker of the National 
House of Representatives, was president of 
the Reno Oil & Land Company, which owned 
twelve hundred acres of land and was cap- 
italized at ten million dollars. Reno was 
named after Gen. Jesse Lee Reno, and in 1865 
was a booming city, with several solid blocks 
of business houses, and a projected seminary. 
The Reno Times was a well edited newspaper 
with a wide circulation. But in the latter part 
of 1865 a cloud aros^. The Jamestown & 
Franklin branch of the Lake Shore railroad, 
a four-foot, nine-inch-gauge road, surveyed 
an extension of its road from Franklin to Oil 
City, including a tunnel under "Hog Back," 
in Oil City, to run its road on a low grade up 
Oil creek. This forced the A. & G. W. in 
self-defense to seek a route to the east side of 
Oil City to connect with the Farmers' rail- 
road, a four-foot, nine-inch road, which, under 
the management of R. R. Taylor, was pro- 
jected to go from the east side of Oil City up 
Oil creek, to meet the Oil Creek railroad, also 



a four-foot, nine-inch road, that was build- 
ing from Titusville to Petroleum Center; and 
with the Oil City & Pithole railroad, a four- 
foot, nine-inch road, which was projected to 
go from Oil City up the river to Pithole. Sir 
Morton Peto, James McHenry and a score 
of other foreign stockholders of the A. & G. 
W. visited the oil country to investigate its 
possible future, and they came to Oil City and 
together with many owners of wharves and 
interested private citizens stormed the Oil City 
borough council and quietly obtained its con- 
sent to lay tracks on the alley that extended 
most of the way from the west side of the city 
to Oil creek ; rights of way for the remainder 
of the distance were purchased; tracks were 
speedily laid ; a track was laid on the ice over 
Oil creek; a steam locomotive was rushed 
across on it for the use of the Farmers' rail- 
road, to hurry its construction up Oil creek 
ahead of the Cherry Run & Oil Creek rail- 
road, and of the Jamestown & Franklin road, 
which was delayed by its forty-thousand-dol- 
lar tunnel. A railroad bridge over Oil creek 
was commenced by the A. & G. W. ; and Mr. 
Culver's dream of a large city at Reno was 
ended. The collapse came on March 27, 1866, 
when occurred the failure of Culver, Penn 
& Co.'s bank in New York and a string of 
affiliated banks in the oil country, including 
the Petroleum Bank at Titusville, the Ve- 
nango Bank at Franklin, the Crawford County 
Bank at Meadville, the Oil City Bank at Oil 
City, and the A. D. Cotton & Co. Bank at 
Petroleum Center, causing a financial panic 
in the oil country and dense gloom in Reno. 
Five years later not a vestige of Mr. Culver's 
railroad remained. The inside history of the 
basis and failure of Mr. Culver's colossal en- 
terprise, here disclosed, was never in any way 
public information. After the failure of the 
banks Mr. Smithman moved his shipping 
platform and office building from Reno to 
Oil City, and sold it to John Munhall & Co., 
who owned an extensive oil wharf in what is 
now the Third ward of Oil City, and who 
used the material to connect their wharf wnth 
the track of the A. & G. W. railroad, Mr. 
Smithman entering the employ of this com- 
pany as a purchaser of oil. He relates that 
one day in 1868 he went up Oil creek on his 
mission and bought a large quantity of oil, 
from Cherry Run to Petroleum Center, pay- 
ing three dollars per barrel in the morning and 
advancing the price by quarters and halves 
until he was bidding six dollars per barrel in 
the evening, without sellers. Oil then was 
shipped in bulk in wooden tub tanks holding 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



563 



fifty barrels each, one on each end of a flat 
car, from Oil creek and from Pithole, to the 
oil yards in Oil City west of Oil creek, on a 
third rail of the A. & G. W. tracks, to be 
transferred to wide-gauge cars, hence the 
names tank car and tank steamer. This meth- 
od was followed until 1880, when the A. & 
G. W. changed its gauge from six feet to 
four feet, nine inches, which soon thereafter 
became the standard gauge of railroads all 
over the United States. This change by the 
A. & G. W. railroad was made on its road 
from Salamanca, N. Y., to Dayton, Ohio, and 
to Oil City, nearly three hundred miles, on 
Sunday, June 20, 1880, without delaying its 
express trains, and was considered a great 
engineering feat. 

In 1867 Mr. Smithman drilled an oil well 
on the bank of Oil creek. above what is now 
Duncomb street in Oil City, in a manner that 
was a radical departure from the way oil wells 
were then drilled. He drove eight-inch iron 
pipe through the gravel to bed rock, instead 
of six-inch, and then, instead of drilling a 
five-inch hole from the bed rock clear down 
through the oil rock, with a column of water 
standing in the hole, as was then the practice, 
he drilled a seven-inch hole down below the 
fresh water rocks. This large hole was 
stopped at 140 feet from the surface, and five- 
inch iron pipe inserted therein to rest on the 
bottom of the hole. He then poured down a 
liberal amount of flax seed and mud on top 
of it on the outside of this pipe, to seal the 
lower end against water going through ; bailed 
out the column of water, and behold the seal 
was tight. A four-and-three-quarters-inch 
hole was then drilled through the inside of 
this five-inch pipe, down through the oil rock, 
free from the usual column of water and its 
various evils. A ten-barrel oil well was ob- 
tained, and no other casing, or seed bag on 
the tubing, was necessary. 

In the days of salt wells, drilled along the 
lower Allegheny river and elsewhere, in 1859 
and before, it was the custom to drill with a 
center bit a two-and-one-half-inch hole, fol- 
lowed by a three-and-one-half-inch rimmer 
and by a second rimmer four and one-half 
inches in diameter, making a four-and-one- 
half-inch hole down through all the rocks in- 
cluding the salt water rock, and then insert 
into this finished hole two-inch tubing, with a 
leather sleeve, filled with flaxseed, called 
seed bag, on the outside of this tubing, at a 
point below the fresh water rocks lying near 
the surface ; the flaxseed would swell and shut 
off the fresh water from descending into the 



salt brine-bearing rock, a horizontal porous 
rock lying four hundred feet below the sur- 
face at Tarentum, Pa.; and later, when oil 
wells were sunk on Oil creek in 1859, this plan 
was followed in every particular, even to the 
seed bag to prevent water from going into the 
oil-bearing rock. In 1865 the Commercial Oil 
Company on the James Tarr farm, having 
much trouble with its pumping outfits, which 
necessitated frequent withdrawals from its 
oil wells of the tubing and seed bags, and con- 
sequent releasing of the column of water into 
the oil rocks, resulting in great damage to its 
wells, conceived the idea of inserting into its 
finished wells three-and-a-quarter-inch casing 
below the upper fresh water rocks with a seed 
bag on the outside of the lower end of this 
casing to keep out the fresh water. The tub- 
ing without a seed bag was then inserted in- 
side of this casing, and this plan was used 
generally in old wells and new wells until the 
method adopted by Mr. Smithman superseded 
it, and which is now in general use. Later 
mud was used instead of flax seed, and five- 
and-five-eighths-inch casing, instead of five- 
inch pipe, came into use, with a five-and-a- 
half -inch hole drilled through it. 

Later he operated for oil in Butler, Qarion, 
McKean, Warren, Washington, Allegheny 
and Venango counties. Pa., and experienced 
the usual ups and downs allotted to the pros- 
pector in a business that is proverbial for pro- 
ducing men of acumen and financial daring. 
At present (1919) he has extensive holdings 
of oil lands and wells in the second sand dis- 
trict of Venango county. 

He also took an active part in the regula- 
tion of the speculative oil trade, which was 
depended upon to absorb and carry the enor- 
mous oil stocks that commenced to accumu- 
late in 1873, ^" account of the fact that the 
amount of the oil produced largely exceeded 
the consumptive demand therefor. This trade 
consisted of buying and selling, for prospective 
profit, so-called oil certificates, in the various 
Oil Exchanges, located, one each, at Oil City, 
Parker, Titusville, Bradford, Pittsburgh, Phil- 
adelphia and New York City, and elsewhere. 
These certificates were negotiable, and were 
issued by various pipe line companies en- 
gaged in the business of transporting crude 
oil from oil wells to refineries, railroad ship- 
ping points, and huge iron storage tanks. 
They were issued for one thousand barrels 
of oil each, deliverable upon demand at any 
point reached by the company issuing them, 
and were subject to a pipeage charge of twen- 
ty cents per barrel, payable when the oil was 



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564 



VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



called for, and also to a charge for storage 
and shrinkage payable in advance every fif- 
teen days. Mr. Smithman was chairman of 
the committee that formulated the rules and 
regulations for the government of the exten- 
sive dealings in these Oil Exchanges, which 
were all more or less affiliated and all governed 
by the same trade regulations, which all the 
members agreed in writing to support and 
maintain. One of these rules provided for 
the settlement by an arbitration committee of 
all disputes arising among members; another 
provided for confining all trading in oil among 
members to the hours between nine o'clock 
a. m. and three p. m., and, to this end, Mr. 
Smithman arranged with the Western Union 
Telegraph Company, which was connected 
with all the Oil Exchanges, to ring in them, 
simultaneously, a gong at nine a. m. and three 
p. m. to mark the opening and closing time for 
trading; this being the first time m history 
when instant time was sent to widely separated 
points by electricity. He was chairman of the 
committee which in 1877 E^^ ^"^ ^ charter of 
incorporation for the Oil City Oil Exchange 
and selected and purchased the site for the 
magnificent building erected on the west side 
of Seneca street, between Sycamore and Cen- 
ter, and which became the home of what had 
always been the leading Oil Exchange, and in 
which the trading amounted to many mil- 
lions of barrels per day, making the base mar- 
ket price for oil throughout the world. 

In 1882 the stocks of oil in one pipe line 
alone, the National Transit Company, oper- 
ating in western Pennsylvania and New York, 
amounted to over thirty-three million barrels, 
most of which Wjas covered by these oil cer- 
tificates ; and the extensive trading in the Oil 
City Oil Exchange by numerous brokers and 
traders, by open bids around a "bull ring," 
caused much confusion when the deliveries of 
these oil certificates and bank checks in pay- 
ment therefor had to be made, which by a 
rule were due and deliverable before three 
o'clock p. m. on the day after the sales were 
made. The brokers and dealers depended 
upon getting in, at this time daily, the oil pur- 
chased by them the previous day, in order to 
make deliveries, at this time daily, of their 
sales of the previous day, amounting to hun- 
dreds of transactions eacti day by each active 
trader. This resulted in a big rush just before 
the close of the delivery hour, often ending in 
failure to make all the deliveries within the 
time set to make them, and frequently causing 
a financial loss to those directly concerned ; 
and various expedients were tried by a com- 



mittee appointed by the Exchange to remedy 
the evil, but none were successful. It was 
then that Mr. Smithman, although not an 
active trader, nor a member of this committee, 
got up a plan, by which each trader was en- 
abled to eflFect daily, with ease, all his receipts 
and deliveries of both oil certificates and 
money. This was accomplished by each trader 
making, on a sheet of paper ruled for the pur- 
pose, a list of his purchases and of his sales, 
with the names of co-traders and prices and 
amounts thereof, and footings of both oil and 
money and balances due to or from the trader, 
and delivery to a clearing house or receiving 
therefrom only the balances shown, of both 
oil and money ; the balances of all the traders 
balancing each other. He demonstrated his 
plan by going through the actual operation of 
clearing at a meeting of the Oil Exchange 
called for this purpose, which thereupon 
adopted it by nearly a unanimous vote, and 
it proved so simple, that all the Oil Exchanges 
and later the stock exchanges throughout the 
United States adopted it, and it is now used 
by all stock exchanges and bourses throughout 
the world for the delivery of different com- 
modities and money at the same time. Since 
the successful opera tioij^ of this plan many 
persons have bobbed up in different cities 
claiming to have invented it, one New Yorker 
even trying to copyri|^ht it; but these are all 
disposed of by the minutes of the meeting of 
the Oil City Exchange held Oct. 10, 1882, 
where appears this record : "Mr. J. B. Smith- 
man presented and demonstrated his plan for 
making deliveries of oil certificates, consisting 
of sheets ruled for the purpose, one sheet to 
be filled out each day by each trader, showing 
his purchases in a column on one side and 
his sales in a column on the other, and the 
amount and prices thereof in separate col- 
umns; the names of the sellers and the pur- 
chasers in other columns ; and showing at the 
foot the amounts of the balances of both oil 
and money due to or from the trader ; check- 
ing up with each trader involved ; and delivery 
of this sheet with bank check, and oil cer- 
tificates, shown to be due from the trader, to 
a clearing house manager, whose duty it shall 
be to prove the balances and deliver them to 
whomsoever is entitled to them. The meet- 
ing adopted the plan." 

In 1883 the question arose among the hold- 
ers of these oil certificates whether the Na- 
tional Transit Company really held sufficient 
stocks of oil to cover or make good the oil 
certificates it had outstanding; and to allay 
suspicion, the Pipe Line Company invited the 



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VEXANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



565 



Oil Exchanges to gauge its tanks and examine 
its books. Mr. Smithman, although an op- 
ponent of the alleged ruthless seizure of the 
oil trade by the Standard Oil Company in- 
terests, was on account of his reputation for 
fairness selected by the Oil Exchanges, and 
accepted by the Pipe Line Company, to act 
as chairman of a committee to make the gauge 
and examine the books. All the oil stocks of 
this company, amounting to over thirty-six 
million barrels in iron and wooden tanks, scat- 
tered over a large area of country, were meas- 
ured in one day, Sept. i, 1883, and the books 
of the company were later examined, showing 
an excess of over half a million barrels of 
oil on hand, which stimulated the price of oil, 
and further speculation in it. On May 14, 
1884, the trading in the Oil City Exchange 
amounted to over twenty-nine million barrels ; 
on the next day, to over twenty-seven million 
barrels; and the extensive dealings in these 
oil certificates made the base for the market 
price of oil for the whole world, which finally 
was not to the liking of the Standard Oil Com- 
pany. So in 1893 ^^^ Standard Oil Company 
interests stopped buying these oil certificates, 
the issues of their own pipe line company, ex- 
cept at a prohibitory discount, which they had 
previously been buying at market prices to 
replenish their needs of crude oil; and an- 
nounced that they would buy only what are 
now termed **credit balances/' at a price made 
by themselves, and thus, in one stroke, was 
enacted the tragedy that killed the trading 
in oil in the Oil Exchanges; and, as a conse- 
quence, killed the Oil Exchanges themselves. 
In 1885 Mr. Smithman was a pioneer in 
the Speechley gas field in Venango county, 
ten miles southeast of Oil City, drilling sev- 
eral good gas wells into the deep gas sand. 
In 1^6 he organized the Manufacturers' Gas 
Company and put into Oil City and vicinity a 
complete substantial gas distribution plant, 
in competiton with a plant owned by Standard 
Oil Company interests, and made contracts 
and delivered cheap gas for three years, and 
also helped to organize the Columbia Gas 
Company, selling to that company fee and 
leased land of over one thousand acres. Both 
of these companies obtained their supply of 
gas from this gas field, and after a war of 
cheap gas became part of the United Natural 
Gas Company, which supplies gas in Venan- 
go, Crawford and Mercer counties. In 1886, 
during the construction of the gas lines in 
Oil City, he invented the flexible coupling for 
connecting gas pipe line joints, whereby a rub- 



ber ring is compressed against the outside of 
the gas pipe by means of bolts and a sleeve, 
thus making a tight joint without a screwed 
coupling, and which is now in universal use 
on gas lines. 

In 1886 he was interested in the Keystone 
Oil Company, being its secretary and the man- 
ager of its oil lines, which extended to the 
Tarkill oil field in Venango county and to 
the Cogley Run oil field in Clarion county, 
where he had many oil wells, and where the 
company purchased oil directly from owners 
of oil wells and piped it to its refinery below 
Rouseville. When a premium for oil in these 
districts locally was bid up by Standard Oil 
Company interests to seventeen cents per bar- 
rel, only three cents below the price for this 
oil delivered at the refineries, causing the pipe 
lines of the company to be operated at a loss 
and helping to reduce the company itself to 
financial straits, he at the request of its board 
of directors purchased the pipe lines of the 
company at their cost to put the company in 
funds, and to save the patrons of the oil lines 
from financial loss and from deserting the 
lines, with the understanding that the company 
could redeem the pipe lines at any time it so 
desired. He paid his own money for the oil 
collected by the oil lines and sold it to the 
refinery company at the market price deliv- 
ered, which was only three cents per barrel 
above the price at the wells, twenty miles 
away, and besides took the companv's obliga- 
tions for much of the oil, for which obliga- 
tions he received later from the receiver ten 
cents on the dollar. Adverse interests, how- 
ever, applied before Judge Charles E. Taylor, 
of the Venango County court, for the ap- 
pointment of a receiver of the company, 
whereupon the directors, realizing that a pos- 
sible hostile receiver could wreck the com- 
pany, which was still a going concern with 
a new, up-to-date, complete refinery, and de- 
siring to convert into quick assets the entire 
property of the company while it was in good 
running order, and for which they had se- 
cured, from a syndicate organized by them- 
selves, •a standing oflfer equal to its entire cost, 
and much more than enough to pay all its 
indebtedness, made, before the time set for 
the hearing for a receiver, an assignment for 
the benefit of all the creditors, there being no 
judgment creditors. But Judge Taylor ig- 
nored the assignment and held a hearing and 
in 1887 appointed a receiver, who a year after 
his appointment sold the entire plant, includ- 
ing the oil pipe lines, at public sales ; Standard 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



Oil interests becoming the buyers, and the 
creditors of the company receiving ten per 
cent, of their claims. 

In April, 1888, while Mr. Smithman was 
operating the pipe lines above referred to, the 
editor of the Oil City Derrick, a newspaper that 
was owned by Standard Oil Company interests, 
brought suit, as an informer, in the Venango 
County court against him for the sum of 
$80,500 penalties for allied violation of an 
act of Assembly passed May 22, 1878, which 
was enacted for the purpose of safeguarding 
owners of oil in the custody of companies or 
persons en^^aged in the busmess of transport- 
ing or stonng petroleum, etc. Mr. Smithman 
coVitended that he himself owned all the oil 
he transported, and therefore did not come 
under the act and should not be compelled to 
reveal his private business to a powerful rival 
bent on crushing him ; and feeling that he and 
the Keystone Oil Company were treated very 
unfairly by the sitting judge in the receiver 
case, he decided to apply for a change of venue 
to another court, to try the penalty case, to 
which change he was entitled on account of 
the county of Venango being entitled to a 
part of the penalty to be recovered. The hear- 
ing upon the application for a change of venue 
was taken up by Judge Taylor, who said to 
the attorneys: "Well, gentlemen, where will 
you send this case?" Mr. Smithman's attor- 
ney, desiring for reasons to prevent it from 
being sent to Butler county, forced the other 
side to make the first suggestion of a place, 
and the other side, probably thinking that their 
first choice would be objected to, named Craw- 
ford county; to which Mr. Smithman's attor- 
ney promptly replied : "We concur in Craw- 
ford county and Crawford county it is." But 
the court arbitrarily, and against the strenu- 
ous protest of Mr. Smithman's attorney, took 
it out of the hands of the attorneys and sent 
it to Butler county ! Butler county and Law- 
rence county constituted one judicial district, 
having a president judge who lived in the town 
of Butler, and an active associate judge, who 
lived in the town of New Castle, Lawrence 
county. The case against Mr. Smithman was 
continued a number of times, and he while 
attending the court sessions observed that the 
president judge always attended to the mo- 
tions and other routine work of the court, and 
the associate judge always took the first jur}*^ 
and first case ready and went into another 
courtroom, and there tried this first case. 
Here was a possible chance to get the case 
away from the Tudge, who he felt had been 
selected by the \^enango county judge to try 



the case. So when the plaintiflf's leading at- 
torney, who lived at Oil City, came to Mr. 
Smithman to get his consent to "just one more 
continuance of the case," he demurred and 
complained of the many times he had his wit- 
nesses at court at large emense for nothing, 
but finally suggested that it the case could he 
placed first on the list at the following term, 
so that he could tell just when to have his 
witnesses there and save the big expense, he 
might consent to one more continuance. To 
this proposition the plaintiff's attorney un- 
wittingly agreed, and a paper in accordance 
therewith was drawn up, signed, sealed and 
left with Mr. Smithman, and the plaintiff's 
Butler lawyers did not know of the full con- 
tents of the paper until the case was called 
and thus got first on the list at the next term 
of court, when it was tried by the associate 
judge on its merits. A vast amount of testi- 
mony was taken, and a Butler county jury, 
upon the trial of the case, ending Nov. 16, 
1889, rendered a verdict in favor of the de- 
fendant, on the ground that the oil transported 
by him was his own oil after receiving it into 
his pipe lines. The plaintiff attacked the ver- 
dict in the columns of his newspaper with bit- 
terness, but the Supreme court of Pennsyl- 
vania confirmed it, and thus ended a hotly con- 
tested case that was watched by the entire oil 
country. 

In 1890 Mr. Smithman incorporated the Oil 
City Street Railway Company, whose cars 
were to be run by electric motors; and being 
unable to make arrangements for running 
street cars upon the then existing toll bridges, 
and there being an act of Assembly, passed in 
1876, and regularly digested, prohibiting the 
building of any highway bridge within three 
thousand feet of any existing toll bridge, with- 
out its consent, he in 1891 secured the pas- 
sage of an act, by the unanimous vote of both 
houses of the Pennsylvania le^slature, em- 
powering street railways to build their own 
bridges over streams within the State, with 
the consent of the local authorities ; but Gov- 
ernor Pattison vetoed the bill after the close 
of the session. Mr. Smithman thereupon, not 
wishing to wait two years for the next session 
of the legislature, investigated all legislation 
and court decisions upon the subject of high- 
way bridges, and by combining the effect of 
three separate decisions of the Supreme court 
of the State, rendered at different times, con- 
cluded that the amendment containing the 
three thousand feet limit was void. In March, 
1892, after three hearings, he convinced the 
secretarv of State of this fact and secured a 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENjMSYLVANIA 



567 



charter to build the ''Relief Bridge" over the 
Allegheny river at the foot of Central avenue, 
between and within four hundred feet of the 
other two toll bridges, erected prior to the 
act of 1876. He commenced the construction 
of the bridge piers and of the street railway 
in 1892 after the great flood and fire in Oil 
City of June 5th of that year, and after all 
his associate stockholders in both bridge and 
street railway had, on account of the gloomy 
future prospects, decided not to invest any 
money whatever in the enterprise. The piers 
and the abutments of the bridge were planned 
and finished at a height to go over the tracks 
of the Allegheny Valley railroad at a distance 
of nineteen feet above the rails, in order to 
meet the grade of Front street ; this being one 
foot higher, above the tracks, than was the 
suspension bridge, three hundred and fifty 
feet below; and two feet higher than was the 
Petroleum bridge, four hundred feet above. 
But the railroad company refused to permit 
a span at a less distance than twenty-two feet 
above its rails, which would mean a jumping 
down of over four feet at the south end of 
the bridge, to get onto Front street. The city 
engineer refused permission to raise Front 
street. The railroad company stood ready 
to serve an injunction against putting a span 
over its tracks at a less distance, and they had 
a nest of Western Union telegraph wires 
running along the right of way, and located 
just where the roadway of the bridge would 
come. And Judge Taylor, who had shown 
unfair hostility in the Keystone cases, and 
who had been attorney for the Allegheny 
Valley Railroad Company, would be on the 
bench to hear the application for an injunc- 
tion! And all the iron work for the bridge 
was on the ground ! And the press of the city 
was attacking him and his enterprises, making 
every step he took difficult and expensive! 
Here was a problem ! Well, a few days before 
Decoration Day, 1893, mention was made to 
fishermen of a newly discovered trout stream 
on Stewart's run in the wilds of Allegheny 
township. The Judge, who was an ardent 
fisherman, heard of it. He and a friend of 
his, with fishing rods, were seen on the morn- 
ing of May 29th, the day before Decoration 
Day, to enter the train for Titusville, on the 
way to Stewart's run. During the early hours 
of Decoration Day holes were dug in front of 
two telegraph poles above, and two poles 
below, the location of the bridge span; the 
poles were then sawed oflF at the level of the 
ground, and dropped bodily into the holes, thus 
lowering the nest of wires down out of the 



way of the roadway of the bridge before day- 
light, the holes were all carefully filled up, the 
ground covered with locomotive cinders as 
before. The two heavy iron plate girders, 
ninety feet long, weighing twenty tons each, 
composing the sides of the span to go over 
the three railroad tracks, were up in the air 
on gin poles at six a. m., out of reach of the 
switch engine that came tearing down the mid- 
dle track five minutes later to ram them down. 
Mr. Thomas, the yardmaster, scrutinized the 
nest of wires, the poles, the ground and all 
surroundings, but could not figure out what 
had been done to the nest of telegraph wires. 
Front street was lined with spectators all day, 
watching and cheering the speedy workmen, 
who by night had completed the iron work 
of the span, the south end of which rested on 
the south abutment, and the north end on its 
own iron pedestal. The railroad attorney, 
after frantic eflForts, got Judge Taylor located, 
and served papers on Mr. Smithman for a 
hearing at four p. m. on the following day 
at Franklin, in proceedings for an injunction. 
But before the hearing took place the span 
was finished, with street car tracks in place 
and loaded hand cars running over them, and 
crowds of people using the span, although no 
other span was as yet completed. At the 
hearing his papers showed the court that he 
had a charter to erect and operate a highway 
bridge over the Allegheny river with ap- 
proaches to Front street and to Main street, 
on plans duly approved by the Secretary of 
War, and that the span in question had a clear- 
ance over the railroad tracks of one foot more 
than a bridge located three hundred and fifty 
feet below, and two feet more than another 
bridge located four hundred feet above, and 
that the span was in daily use and did not 
interfere with railroad traffic, that the A. V. 
Railroad Company had a summit in the road- 
bed one and a half feet high, right under the 
bridge span, and that no injunction could in- 
terfere with public use of his bridge. The 
judge took the papers and gave no decision, 
and the problem was solved. The bridge, 
eight hundred and thirty feet long, was fin- 
ished during the financial panic of 1893, when 
occurred a frightful shrinking of values, and 
the first street car was run over it on Thanks- 
giving Day, Nov. 30th, of that year. The 
price of oil during all of 1892 and most of 
the year 1893 was below sixty cents per barrel, 
on account of the large production of the Mc- 
Donald oil field in Allegheny county, and new 
oil fields in West Virginia, so that the popu- 
lation of Oil City and the "upper country'' 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



migrated in droves to these new oil fields, 
which, together with the effects of the dis- 
astrous fire of 1892, created a feeling of un- 
certainty as to the future of Oil City, and 
therefore the building, by Mr. Smithman, dur- 
ing these panicky times, of the new bridge, 
with one-penny toll for foot passengers, as 
compared with the three cents on the upper 
bridge, and the construction of the street rail- 
way, he furnishing all the money for both and 
giving employment to a large number of idle 
men, were, with the exception of the public 
press, gratefully acknowledged by the people 
of Oil City, but also soon forgotten. These 
public improvements engendered a feeling of 
confidence in the future of Oil City and en- 
couraged people to buy homes and locate here 
permanently. Property values in the city and 
particularly on the south side of the river in- 
creased millions of dollars in a short time. 
In 1894 and 1895 Mr. Smithman extended the 
street railway to Cottage Hill; to the East 
End; and to the West End, and finding that 
the street railway business would not pay in 
Oil City he purchased five hundred and thirty 
acres of forest lands in Cranberry township, 
midway between Oil City and Franklin, and 
thereon founded what was known as **Smith' 
man Park,*' and in July, 1896, against the pro- 
test of the newspapers, extended his street 
railway to it, with a view of extending the 
railway later to Franklin. This park has an 
ideal location, contains valuable mineral 
springs, and at once became a popular resort 
for all classes, attracting picnics from all 
the nearby towns and the surrounding coun- 
try, which had previously gone to distant 
places, at large expense and tedious travel. 
The park thus became a valuable asset to Oil 
City, Franklin, and the surrounding country, 
as well as to the street railway company. 
Early in 1895 the bar of X'enango county held 
a public meeting and there decided to impeach 
Charles E. Taylor, judge of the Venango 
County court, and appointed a committee of 
three to prepare articles of impeachment to 
be presented to the State legislature. This 
committee called upon Mr. Smithman to get 
his testimony in connection with the Keystone 
cases and he had the belated opportunity of 
showing them the ruinous resuhs of diverted 
law and justice as administered by the judge 
in these cases. Judge Taylor resigned. 

In August, 1900, Mr. Smithman sold the 
"Relief Bridge" to the county at half its cost, 
to be made, against the violent protest of the 
Oil City public press, a free bridge — the first 
free bridge over the river in Oil City. Mem- 



bers of the Citizens' Traction Company and of 
the press started proceedings to enjoin the 
county commissioners from closing the deal, 
but they failed. 

In 1900 he secured an ordinance to build 
a street railway in the city of Franklin, and 
a permit from the War Department to erect 
a bridge over the Allegneny river to enter 
that town at Third street, and commenced the 
erection of piers for this bridge and the ex- 
tension of the, street railway from the Park 
to Franklin, and also commenced the con- 
struction, on his lands, of a dam one mile 
below the Park for a lake. But before their 
completion he sold, Jan. 14, 1901, his street 
railway and the surface of sixty acres of the 
Park lands, including the Auditorium, restau- 
rant and pavilion, to the Citizens' Traction 
Company, which backed by the press of the 
city had secured an ordinance to build a rival 
street railway in Oil City, including the right 
to use the tracks of Mr. Smithman's road 
through the center of the city and the con- 
struction of which was actively progressing 
— and he knew that there was no room finan- 
cially for two street railway systems. The 
new company changed the name of Smith- 
man Park to Monarch Park. 

In 1901, after the opening of the Spindle 
Top gusher oil field, near Beaumont, Texas, 
Mr. Smithman was invited to come to Hous- 
ton, Texas, to help form the King Oil Com- 
pany, a three million dollar oil corporation, 
which had oil leases in the coastal counties of 
Texas, including the renowned King ranch of 
a million and a half acres in Nueces county. 
He examined the charter of the company, 
which was the same as others that were being 
granted in Texas, and he convinced the two 
lawyers on the board of the company and the 
attorney general of the State that these char- 
ters were invalid, because they authorized 
leasing and buying of oil lands ; operating for 
oil ; refining, selling and dealing therein ; and 
also the laying and operating of pipe lines for 
transporting oil, and condemning lands for 
rights of way therefor; the latter, as he 
claimed, being a common carrier public serv- 
ice business, separate and distinct from the 
former, and therefore not germane as required 
by law. The charter was changed, and there- 
after no more such charters were granted in 
Texas. The promoters of the company, 
which included Pittsburgh (Pa.) oil men, had 
taken the leases on the northeast and south- 
west belt line theory, prevailing in New York, 
Pennsylvania and West Virginia oil and gas 
fields. He convinced the board of the com- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



569 



pany and the Texas State geologist that Texas 
does not belong to the domain of the Appa- 
lachian mountain range, and that anticlines 
and dwnes in Texas would be dominated by 
the Rocky mountain system and would run 
northwest. Mr. Smithman was thereupon 
elected president of the King Oil Company, 
although another man had been selected for 
the office. Three wells were, however, drilled 
by the company on the leases already taken, 
but they were barren of oil. The one well 
drilled on the King ranch and the well drilled 
in Jackson county proved the presence of ar- 
tesian waters, which knowledge was of incal- 
culable benefit to the coastal r^on. The enor- 
mous production of the Spindle Top fuel oil 
pool sent the price of this oil down to five 
cents per barrel, and the King Oil Company 
and many others quit the business. 

In 1866 Mr. Smithman was secretary of 
the Petroleum Institute, the first organiza- 
tion to engage in library and literary work 
in Oil City, and in 1873, after the general 
exodus of oil men from Qil City to the rich 
oil fields of Butler county, the library, which 
was then located in the third story of a build- 
ing then owned by D. L, Trax, on Seneca 
street, on the north side of the Erie railroad 
tracks, was sold out by the owner of the 
building on a landlord's warrant. Mr. Smith- 
man bought the library, some two thousand 
volumes, with the bookshelves, and gave it 
to the Young Men*s Christian Association, 
which then had rooms on the second floor of 
the Lamberton block. Here he again had to 
redeem it from arrears of rent, and later pre- 
sented the library to the schopl board for the 
south side high school. He was <:hairman of 
the building committee that erected the Car- 
negie Library building on Central avenue in 
1902, and was the president of the Library 
Commission for several years thereafter. He 
gave liberal sums of money to pay for books, 
and also donated the money to found the 
"Renting Collection," now a popular institu- 
tion of the present library. He also gave one 
third of the cost of the brick edifice that 
housed the Second Presbyterian Church be- 
fore the present stone structure was erected 
in 1913. 

After Mr. Smithman sold his street rail- 
way, he had on his hands, in the west end, 
a street railway power house and machinery 
for making gas engines, and he sold a one-half 
interest in it to Edward Gray for the man- 
ufacture of gas engines under the name of 
Riverside Engine Company, with Mr. Gray 
as manager. The works were materially en- 



larged, but the venture was unsuccessful, and 
the plant is now owned by the Pittsburgh Fil- 
ter Company. 

Mr. Smithman now lives in a fine residence 
at No. 113 West First street, in the Fourth 
ward of Oil City. He was married June 9, 
1874, at Paterson, N. J., to Julia Hathaway, 
of that place, a descendant of General Hath- 
away, who served in the war of the Revolu- 
tion. They have four children, Frederick, 
Howard, Mabel and Carlotta. Fred is with 
the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. How- 
ard is in the United States navy in the war 
against Germany, having enlisted for four 
years. 

ROBERT CRAWFORD, M. D., deceased. 
For fifty-five years there was no better known 
citizen of that part of Venango county lying 
around Cooperstown — as well as the adjoin- 
ing sections of Mercer and Crawford coun- 
ties — than Dr. Robert Crawford. As a phy- 
sician he maintained a position of authority 
through the most remarl^ble period of transi- 
tion which the profession has experienced, a 
fact which implies that he was a leader in 
advocating and adopting many of the signifi- 
cant phases of the change from obsolete to 
modem customs in medical practice. Besides 
carrying the responsibilities of an unusually 
large patronage, in a country region where pa- 
tients were scattered over a wide territory. 
Dr. Crawford kept himself in close touch with 
the important advances made in his chosen 
calling, continuing his studies to keep up with 
the demands of the new order of things, sup- 
ported professional associations and their ob- 
jects, bestirred himself and his fellow citizens 
in matters relating to the public welfare, arid 
was diligent in looking after his private affairs. 
He had a dominating nature which made him 
a born leader, but his influence was always 
exerted with an unselfish regard for the gen- 
eral good which gained him friendly esteem 
throughout life. His four sons have shown 
many of their father's characteristics, espe- 
cially vigor of intellect and pro|;^ressive ten- 
dencies, and through their activities the name 
has been prominent up to the present time in 
professional, commercial, financial and agri- 
cultural interests in this section. The records 
of Venango county bear strong witness to the 
useful part they have played in its history. 

The Crawfords are of Scotch-Irish extrac- 
tion. Dr. Crawford was bom May 16, 181 5, 
at Omagh, County Tyrone, Ireland, third son 
of Robert and Elizabeth (Ramsey) Crawford, 
who brought him to America in 1821. His 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



elder brother had taken refuge in this country 
after getting into difficulties over killing the 
dog of a nobleman, and believing that the fam- 
ily would do better here persuaded his parents 
to leave their old home. He returned to Ire- 
land to accompany them hither, but died on 
the ocean on the return trip with them, when 
within sig^t of America. By his advice the 
family intended settling near Freeport, 111., 
and after landing they continued their jour- 
ney toward that point, but the father also 
died, while they were on their way up the 
lakes, near Ashtabula, Ohio, and the mother, 
having acquaintances at Pittsburgh, Pa., de- 
cided it would be best to go there. Leaving 
the boat at Painesville, Ohio, she proceeded 
with her three sons, William, Robert and John, 
by wagon, and arriving at Pittsburgh resided 
there some years, the children attending the 
public schools. Later they lived at Clinton, Alle- 
gheny county, not far from Pittsburgh, and 
when William and Robert settled at Coopers- 
town, Venango county, the mother joined 
them there. William farmed at Cooperstown 
for some years, later settling in Mercer county. 
The third brother, John, also came to Coopers- 
town, but lived there only six months, return- 
ing to Pittsburgh, and he became ver>' prom- 
inent in the medical profession there and later 
in Philadelphia. 

Robert Crawford acquired his early educa- 
tion in Pittsburgh and began to read medicine 
there with Dr. John Wilson. In those days 
dissecting was not looked upon with favor, 
and the young man, in his zeal after knowl- 
edge which he considered necessary, having 
stolen a body for that purpose was obliged to 
leave the city. He went on foot to Cincinnati, 
Ohio, where he continued his medical studies, 
attending lectures in the Ohio Medical Col- 
lege and in the office of Dr. Gross, one of the 
greatest men of his time in the profession, but 
then in hiding for the same action, which was 
a legal offense in Pennsylvania. Dr. Gross 
became noted as a surgeon and author of med- 
ical works, including the famous **System of 
Surgery," and was one of the leading lights of 
Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, and 
his influence was without doubt a valuable part 
of the young man's training. They were kin- 
dred spirits, and the friendship formed 
then lasted through life. Dr. Crawford 
came to Cooperstown in May, 1837, his 
brother William having previously settled 
there, and in a notice in the Venango Spec- 
tator announced that he would be at his office 
except when absent on professional calls. The 
industrious habits of his early years persisted 



to the close of his life. Forty years later it 
was said that he had ridden more miles and 
visited more patients than any other physician 
in western Pennsylvania. He was known to 
prescribe for as many as forty patients on 
one trip. Nevertheless he managed his duties 
so well that he was rarely away from home at 
night. Having kept up his studies, he was 
graduated from the Ohio Medical College, at 
Cincinnati, in 1845, and a niunber of years 
later he received the degree of M. D. from the 
University of Pennsylvania, 1857. Dr. Craw- 
ford was not only popular and respected 
among his patrons, but no less so among his 
fellow practitioners, with whom he had the 
reputation of being the best diagnostician ever 
in Venango county. He took great interest in 
the organizations of fhe medical fraternity, 
being a charter member of the county medical 
society, which he served as president ; a prom- 
inent member and vice president of the Penn- 
sylvania State Medical Society; and a life 
member of the American Medical Association. 
For over twenty years he was censor of the 
medical department of Wooster University, 
Ohio, and he served for a considerable period 
as a United States pension examining surgeon. 
Dr. Crawford's known probity, combined 
with his medical learning, caused him to be 
called frequently as expert witness when 
brother doctors were on trial or in other cases 
when reliable scientific testimony was re- 
quired. He himself was twice sued for mal- 
practice, and it is noteworthy that the two 
suits, about forty years apart, were brought 
by members of the same family. At the sec- 
ond trial Dr. Gross was called as expert wit- 
ness, and the Doctor was acquitted after a 
hearing by jury, who decided that the charge 
was false. The prosecutor is still alive. Dr. 
Crawford had wonderful self control and was 
slow to anger, but once aroused he would let 
nothing interfere with the satisfaction of his 
sense of justice, and though there was nothing 
belligerent about his nature he would fight 
to maintain his convictions, which he did not 
form until he had made careful study of a 
subject and had little doubt about the right. 
On one occasion, when asked an insulting 
question by an attorney in court, he flew into 
a rage and proposed to defend himself, until 
the judge rebuked the attorney. He knew his 
legal rights and stood for them firmly, both as 
a professional man and a private citizen. In 
practice he was honest in his opinions and 
sincere in all his relations with patients, tak- 
ing his work seriously, with a keen sense of 
his responsibility. He was a stickler for pro- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



571 



fessional ethics, and until his death had the 
highest standing in all his connections with 
the medical fraternity. As a man of affairs 
he was equally respected, occupying a substan- 
tial position in business associations. He was 
one of the organizers of the First National 
Bank of Franklin and for over twenty-five 
years one of the directors of that institution. 
He acquired the ownership of fine farm lands 
in Venango and Mercer counties, some of the 
most valuable still in the possession of the 
family. He was a Democrat and a Mason, 
and sustained his interest in all these connec- 
tions to the end of his life, dying on Christ- 
mas morning, 1892, as the result of a fall. 
He was seventy-seven years old. 

In 1838 Dr. Crawford married Sarah P. 
Kelly, daughter of John Kelly, of Center 
county, Pa., a farmer, who moved to Coopers- 
town, Venango county, when she was fourteen 
years old. Mrs. Crawford's sisters all died 
young. Her brother Hon. James K. Kelly 
went to California during the gold excitement 
and was later an early settler in Oregon, 
where he became prominent as a lawyer, drew 
up the State constitution, served as judge of 
the Supreme court of that State, and was sub- 
sequently elected United States senator. He 
died in Oregon. Another brother, Dr. Andrew 
Kelly, went West during the gold excitement 
and lived at Archangel, California. 

Mrs. Crawford died July 21, 1888, after a 
long married life. Of their eight children, 
Elizabeth A. married Hugh Smith, of Coch- 
ranton. Pa.; John K. entered the medical 
profession, practicing at Cooperstown ; James 
R. settled on a farm in Mercer county, where 
his wife died ten years ago, and he h now 
living retired at Mercer; William Andrew is 
mentioned below; Homer C, bom Sept. 26, 
1853, ''ves in Jackson township; Emma mar- 
ried F. A. Curtis, of Cochranton; Etta and 
Sarah Ella complete the family. 

John Kelly Crawford, M. D., after taking 
a course at Allegheny College began the 
study of medicine with his father. Dr. Robert 
Crawford, and then entered the University of 
Pennsylvania. After his first course of lec- 
tures there he commenced practice in Coopers- 
town, and in Titusville with Dr. Jennings, con- 
tinuing for five years, until 1864. Returning 
to the University of Pennsylvania he was 
graduated from that institution in 1869, after 
which he resumed practice in Cooperstown, 
returning to Philadelphia very frequently for 
post-graduate courses. Although known as a 
fine general practitioner, he has had more than 
a local reputation as a surgeon, and has made 



himself a name worthy of the descendant of 
his respected and talented father. 

William Andrew Crawford was born at 
Cooperstown April 25, 1849, ^nd has always 
resided there. After the preliminary training 
afforded by the common schools he entered 
Allegheny College, at Meadville, Pa., besides 
studying one year at Waterford (Pa.) Acad- 
emy. In April, 1869, when he was but twenty 
years old, he formed a business association 
with his brother, James R. Crawford, taking 
over the general store of L. T. Lamberton, 
who had started the business in 1862 and in 
1865 built the double store which Mr. Craw- 
ford still occupies. The older brother had 
some experience, having been a salesman in 
New York City, and the trade thrived under 
their management, being continued under the 
firm name of J. R. Crawford and Brother un- 
til James R. Crawford withdrew, in 1874, to 
engage in farmitig in Mercer county. Since 
that year William A. Crawford has conducted 
the business alone, a period of forty-four 
years. It is forty-nine years since he and his 
brother made their venture, and during that 
time he has witnessed many remarkable 
changes in business practice. In the first ten 
or fifteen years of his experience he made the 
largest sales, which is hard to understand in 
view of the fact that at present, with about 
half the volume of business, he finds it neces- 
sary to carry twice the quantity of stock. In 
former years the stock was more varied, as 
stores were fewer and other trading centers 
not easy of access. Customers nowadays are 
much more exacting, and this spirit has de- 
veloped to such an extent in the shoe trade 
especially that Mr. Crawford has felt it neces- 
sary to drop that line entirely. There was a 
time when a customer would not hesitate to 
take a No. 9 boot if he could not get a No. 8. 
In the old days he often had twenty thousand 
pounds of wool on hand ,' now he does not buy 
more than two thousand annually, as compared 
with twenty thousand thirty years ago. 

Mr. Crawford has always been intensely 
interested in agricultural affairs, and for six- 
teen years he was chairman of the Farmers* 
Institute of Venango county, holding the posi- 
tion until two years ago. In that capacity he 
attended all the institutes held in the county, 
and though there was no salary attached to the 
position as now he gave his time generously 
in their management, securing speakers, pay- 
ing bills, supporting directors of institutes and 
laboring zealously to attract the farmers to the 
meetings, where they could exchange ideas 
and experiences. The attendance originally 



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was limited to twenty or thirty, but he had 
the satisfaction of watching the interest 
strengthen until it reached hundreds. For- 
merly it was difficult to get proper places for 
the meetings, but there is no difficulty on that 
score in these days. The influence of these insti- 
tutes has permeated every avenue of farm life, 
in which fact Mr. Crawford considers himself 
well rewarded for the time that he devoted 
to the work. During his association therewith 
it was under the administration of A. L. Mar- 
tin, who was deputy secretary of agriculture 
and director of State Institutes, and the coun- 
ty chairmen gave their time and efforts for 
the benefit of the cause without financial com- 
pensation, placing the aflfairs of the Institutes 
upon the systematic basis on which they are 
now conducted. Under the present adminis- 
tration the county chairman receives twenty- 
five dollars for each day's work — substantial 
testimony of its value. Mr. Crawford is now 
State vice president of the Farmers' National 
Congress, and as such has the appointing of 
the delegates from the State to attend the 
national sessions, where legislation aflfecting 
agricultural interests is discussed and formu- 
lated. The work of the Pennsylvania dele- 
gates has been a substantial tribute to his good 
judgment. He himself owns two good farms. 
Though not ambitious for public offices Mr. 
Crawford has accepted several and discharged 
their duties with commendable regard for the 
wishes of his fellow citizens, having served as 
member of the school board, burgess, etc. He 
is a regular voter. He is a member and trus- 
tee of the Presbyterian Church, and a Mason 
in fraternal affiliation, belonging to Franklin 
Commandery, K. T., Pittsburgh Consistory 
(Scottish Rite) and Zem Zem Temple, of 
Erie. His interest has led him to attend the 
national conclaves, and all his outings with 
his Masonic brethren have proved highly en- 
joyable. 

In October, 1875, Mr. Crawford was mar- 
ried, at Huntingdon, Pa., to Jemima Linn 
Johnston, of that place, daughter of Col. An- 
drew and Jemima (McCalmont) Johnston, of 
Huntingdon, Pa., and granddaughter on the 
maternal side of Joseph McCalmont. of Sugar 
creek valley, in which Cooperstown is located. 
They have had one daug^hter, Sara, who is the 
widow of Wilham F. Dana, of Belpre, Ohio, 
and now, with her eleven-year-old son, An- 
drew Crawford Dana, makes her home with 
her parents. 

THOMAS J. FREWEN, late of Franklin, 
was a resident of that city for over half a cen- 



tury, and commanded the highest esteem of his 
fellow citizens by his substantial worth and 
honorable character. For twenty-five years he 
held a recognized position in business circles 
as one of the most reliable merchants in the 
town, adding to his reputation by faithful pub- 
lic service which enabled him to use his ability 
for the good of the community. He was a 
man of his word, earnestly desiring to live up 
to all his obligations in any of the relations 
of life, and well earned the reward of leisure 
which he enjoyed during his latter years. 

Mr. Frewen was of Irish birth, a son of 
Daniel and Delia Frewen. The parents, also 
natives of Ireland, came to America in 1849, 
locating first at Philadelphia, Pa., and later 
living at Sellersville, Bucks County, this State, 
at Jersey City and in South Carolina before set- 
tling at Franklin, Venango County, Pennsyl- 
vania, in the year 1861. The father was em- 
ployed here for many years at the Boston Iron 
Works, and remained a resident of Franklin 
until he passed away. May 26, 191 7, in his 
one hundredth year. The mother died March 
25, 1885, in her seventy-eighth year. They were 
members of the Catholic Church, belonging in 
St. Patrick's parish in Franklin. Of their chil- 
dren, Patrick died in New York City; Thomas 
J. is mentioned below; Mary resides in New 
York City; Martin J. died August 6, 1917, in 
Cleveland, Ohio; Margaret, wife of W. J. Gal- 
ligher, lives on Otter Street, Franklin. 

Thomas J. Frewen was bom April 12, 1842, 
at Castle Shannon, County Limerick, Ireland, 
and was in his eighth year when he accompa- 
nied his parents to this country. He attended 
the public schools at the various places where 
the family resided, and while they were at Jer- 
sey City served an apprenticeship to the black- 
smith's trade, which he continued to follow 
after the removal to Franklin, Pa., in 1861. In 
that capacity he was in the employ of James 
Smith, of the Boston Iron Works, for a num- 
ber of years, until he went into business for 
hmself, in 1875. That year he became the 
owner of a grocery store in Thirteenth Street, 
where C. H. Hollister is now doing business, 
vud during the quarter of a century in which 
he remained in that line he built up the leading 
trade, his establishment commanding the widest 
patronage in the city. Mr. Frewen deserved 
his success, for it was accomplished through a 
consistent policy of first-class service to all 
his customers. He made it a point to supply 
them unfailingly with the best goods in the 
market, to engage well-trained and obliging em- 
ployes, to pay prompt attention to all orders, 
and to keep a strict personal oversight of all 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



573 



the details of his business, and he had his re- 
ward in their loyalty and confidence. Thor- 
oughly progressive, he always kept ahead of 
the demands of his trade, keeping his patrons 
assured of his interest in serving them well. 
When he retired in 1901 he turned the business 
over to his nephew, Daniel J. Pre wen, who 
continued it for fifteen years according to the 
same standards, being one of the most pros- 
perous grocers in this section. Thereafter Mr. 
Frewen was out of active business until his 
death, which occurred Nov. 27, 1916, at 
his home. No. 1427 Otter street, in the Second 
ward, where he resided from the time he came 
to Franklin. He was its representative in the 
city council for one term, doing good work 
as a member of that body, in which he made 
a reputation for public spirit that was quite 
characteristic of him and greatly to his credit. 
His death was regretted as a loss to the com- 
munity no less than to his family. 

On April i, 1872, Mr. Frewen married Mar- 
garet Walsh, of Buffalo, N. Y., who was born 
in March, 1848, in County Kilkenny, Ireland, 
daughter of Dennis Walsh. She continues to 
occupy the homestead on Otter street, Frank- 
lin. Mrs. Frewen is a member of St. Patrick's 
Catholic Church, to which Mr. Frewen also 
belonged. Politically he was a Democrat. 

JOHN WILSON, M. D., one of the earliest 
physicians in the northeastern section of Ve- 
nango county, was a popular representative 
of his^ profession there for some thirty years 
and even more widely known as an oil oper- 
ator, his extensive oil investments including 
interests in various parts of the country. The 
handsome home which he erected at Pleasant- 
ville, probably the finest in the county at the 
time of its construction, is now occupied by 
his son Samuel Q. Wilson, who has also met 
with notable success as an oil producer. Maj. 
John Wilson, the Doctor's father, was a na- 
tive of the North of Ireland and a pioneer in 
the Sugarcreek valley in this county. He and 
his wife Catharine (Sutley) had two sons, 
John and Samuel, the latter going west when 
a young man and remaining in that section 
until his death. 

John Wilson was born about 1827-28 in 
what is now Jackson (then Sugarcreek) town- 
ship, Venango county, some four miles west 
of Franklin, and reached a good age, dying 
in March, 1893. He had received an unusually 
good education for the day, attending Alle- 
gheny College at Meadville before he took 
up the study of medicine, with Dr. Samuel 
Axtell, of Mercer county. He was gradu- 



ated in 1843 from Qeveland Medical College, 
and began practice at Neillsburg, Forest Co., 
Pa., which lies four miles east of Pleasant- 
ville, Venango county, and at one time, before 
the days of the oil development, was the prin- 
cipal (village in that section. Its academy and 
other desirable features are now only memo- 
ries. There Dr. Wilson continued to make 
his home until his removal to Pleasantville 
about 1868, maybe a little later, and he had 
the usual experiences of a reliable general 
practitioner in a country region, many of his 
calls coming from remote settlements and ne- 
cessitating long rides on horseback through the 
forests and across streams, regardless of 
weather conditions or personal comfort. Wild 
animals were still numerous here then, and 
deer were a common sight, while he often met 
bear and other dangerous game. He was well 
suited for his chosen calling, having a genial 
personality and helpful disposition which in- 
spired his patients with courage and hope as 
well as confidence, his very touch and man- 
ner having a stimulating effect which no doubt 
contributed as much to his professional suc- 
cess as his skill. Among his clientele were 
many families to whom he had ministered for 
two full generations. Throughout his life he 
gave most of his time to his practice, but for 
years his principal financial interests were in 
oil properties. He was associated with his 
brother-in-law, the late Samuel Q. Brown, in 
many transactions even after Mr. Brown's 
removal to New York City, including heavy 
investments in the Tidewater Oil Company, 
in which he retained important interests un- 
til his death. In partnership with Otto Ger- 
mer, a former Pithole producer, as Germer & 
Wilson, he acquired valuable holdings in the 
Bradford field, being among the first to meet 
with success in that territory, where the re- 
turns surpassed their most sanguine expecta- 
tions. Mr. Germer later established the Ra- 
diant Home Stove Works at Erie, Pa., still 
conducted by his son under the name of the 
Germer Stove Company. The beautiful resi- 
dence at PleasantviUe which Dr. Wilson 
erected in 1872 reflected his own character in 
many ways, its substantial and harmonious 
architecture, roominess and suitability, exem- 
plifying his own typical traits. The nicety of 
detail and excellent taste shown in all the ar- 
rangements give it a permanent value which 
makes it compare favorably with the most de- 
sirable homes in the county to this day, and it 
shows no impairment of solidity after almost 
half a century. Dr. Wilson found much grat- 
ification in his fine dwelling and the opportu- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



nities it aflforded him for indulging his 
hospitable tendencies, knowing no greater 
pleasure than entertaining his friends there 
whenever occasion offered. Though not a 
public man in the sense of taking direct part 
in the administration of affairs, he exerted a 
wholesome influence in the community and 
took a keen interest in the general welfare. 
He was a Democrat in political sentiment. 

In 185 1 Dr. Wilson married Elizabeth 
Brown, a native of New York State, daughter 
of John Brown, the first merchant at Pleasant- 
ville, and his wife Mary Ann (Queen). They 
are fully mentioned elsewhere in this work, 
in the biography of their son Alexander W. 
Brown. Mrs. Wilson survived her husband 
some twelve years. Of the two sons and two 
daughters born to them, both daughters died 
in childhood. John F. Wilson, now of New 
York City, is a well known oil producer with 
interests in Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ken- 
tucky, and a heavy stockholder in the I'ide- 
water Oil Company. Samuel Queen, of 
PleasantviUe, completes the family. 

Samuel Queen Wilson, now residing at 
PleasantviUe, the old home of his parents in 
Venango county, has followed oil production 
as a large operator in the various fields to 
which his interests have led him. For some 
years he has been an extensive producer in the 
Bradford field ; his operations at PleasantviUe 
have been carried on for a period of thirty 
years; and he also has valuable holdings at 
Goodwill Hill, Warren Co., Pa. As a mem- 
ber of the firm of Wilson Brothers & Hun- 
ter he assisted in opening a new oil pool in 
the Illinois field which proved to be one of 
the best in the State, their holdings in that 
territory covering about five hundred acres, 
and the product of the wells there also in- 
cludes an abundance of casing head gasoline. 
Mr. Wilson has never allowed himself to rest 
content with ordinary yields from his proper- 
ties, using the most scientific methods and ap- 
proved equipment to get maximum results 
wherever he operates, and he has a capacity 
for handling large undertakings which has 
been evidenced in his preference for extensive 
enterprises and constantly widening interests. 
Like his brother he is a stockholder in the 
Tidewater Oil Company, in which the Browns 
have been very prominent. He is a director 
of the Commercial Bank at Titusville, Craw- 
ford county, and owns the old Wilson home at 
Neillsburg, Forest county, where he was bom. 
Mr. Wilson has done his share toward secur- 
ing good government and desirable living con- 
ditions at PleasantviUe, having served twelve 



years in the borough council and taken a lead- 
ing part in the deliberations of that body, 
where his comprehensive understanding of 
the needs of the community and the best 
means of supplying them are appreciated by 
his fellow workers. He has never been bound 
by party ties, voting for the men that repre- 
sent the best interests regardless of political 
affiliation. 

By his marriage to Jessie House Mr. Wilson 
has one daughter, Mary Queen, now a student 
in high school. The family are associated with 
the Presbyterian Church. The late William 
House, Mrs. Wilson's father, was a veteran of 
the Civil war, serving from PleasantviUe, and 
on his return from military service opened a 
wagon and carriage shop there which had 
most of the local patronage for years, his repu- 
tation as a mechanic in that line being very 
creditable. From 1893 until his death, which 
occurred in February, 1900, he conducted a 
grocery in the borough. He married Mary 
Benedict, of PleasantviUe. 

JAMES TAGGERT HADLEY, a resident 
of Oil City during most of his mature life, 
was a man whose versatile mentality and broad 
tastes led him into attachments through which 
his career was interwoven with many phases 
of the business and social order of his adopted 
city. How close and numerous those ties were 
was perhaps hardly realized until his untimely 
death, which brought forth expressions of sor- 
row from the many circles broken by his taking 
away. A mere outline of his activities would 
be sufficient to indicate his animated nature 
and energetic habits, wide sympathies and cor- 
dial feeling for his fellow men, from which 
his friendly attitude drew a ready response. 

^Ir. Hadley came from Mercer county, Pa., 
having been a native of the town of Hadley, 
founded by his grandfather and named in his 
honor. He was bom May 22, 1871, son of 
Robert B. and Eliza J. Hadley, whose other 
children were: J. Martin, of Oil City, asso- 
ciated with the Oil City Woodworking Manu- 
facturing Company; Miss Emma J. Hadley, 
residing in Oil City; and Jessie (Mrs. Red- 
ding), who died June 7, 1913. After at- 
tending public school in the vicinity of his 
birthplace Mr. Hadley took a course in the 
Edinboro (Pa.) State Normal School, from 
which he was graduated in i8qi. He taught 
one term of school in Otter Creek township, 
Mercer county, and one at Stoneham, Warren 
county, but business life appealed most to him, 
and he spent some months studying in a com- 
mercial school at Rochester, N. Y., from which 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



575 



he was graduated. He then taught the com- 
mercial department of a school at Yonkers, 
X. Y., for one term, and in 1894-95 had charge 
of the commercial department of the Titusville 
high school, in July, 1895, commencing his real 
business career at Oil City, as bookkeeper for 
Joseph Reid. His ability soon drew greater 
responsibilities to him, and he became a mem- 
ber of the Joseph Reid Gas Engine Company 
and secretary and treasurer of that concern, 
which position he continued to fill until his 
death. Meantime he also became prominently 
associated with the other Reid interests, being 
secretary and treasurer of the Reid Land & 
Development Company of California; a direc- 
tor of the Frick-Reid Supply Company of 
Oklahoma ; and one of the founders of the Oil 
City Woodworking Manufacturing Company. 
His business advancement was made entirely 
on his own merits, and by conscientious appli- 
cation of his best powers to his constantly 
increasing duties. Yet he enjoyed social pleas* 
ures and activities, and always found time for 
the demands of good citizenship and his higher 
obligations toward his fellow men, which he 
fulfilled as scrupulously as those necessary to 
the success of his material affairs. He main- 
tained a keen interest in the Y. M. C. A., 
whidi he served as director and vice president ; 
was a member of the Second Presbyterian 
Church and at one time a trustee of that con- 
gregation; was instrumental in the organiza- 
tion of the Oratorio Society and its president 
from the beginning; a member of the Venango 
Club and Wanango Country Club, and director 
of the latter; and prominent in the Masonic 
bodies, affiliating with Petrolia Lodge, No. 363, 
F. & A. M., Oil City Chapter, R. A. M., and 
Talbot Commandery, K. T., all of Oil City; 
Pittsburgh Consistory, thirty-second degree; 
and Zem Zem Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., at 
Erie, Pennsylvania. 

Mr. Hadley resided in Oil City with his 
sister Miss Emma and here died Dec. 28, 1913, 
after an illness of three years' duration. In 
1911, in the hope of improving his condition, 
he went to southern California, where he re- 
mained for two years without getting the de- 
sired benefit. He was buried in the Hadley 
cemetery at his old home, with the Masonic 
rites. His friends from near and far were 
represented in person and by profuse floral of- 
ferings, and there was every evidence of the 
deep personal feeling with which all his asso- 
ciates r^arded the loss of one whose sincerity 
in his relations with others inspired only the 
utmost esteem and affection. 



JOHN R. BURGARD, late of Franklin, 
though taken away in his prime accomplished 
more than the average, and in and about that 
city are standing many material evidences of 
the fine workmanship and enterprise through 
which he won reputation and prosperity. As 
a builder of unusual talents, both in the way 
of natural endowment and technical acquire- 
ments, he contributed much toward shaping 
ideals of substantial worth and beauty in his 
home city, all work of his construction ranking 
with the highest class of architecture found 
there. Mr. Burgard had a thorough knowledge 
of the practical work of stone masonry and 
bricklaying as a foundation, and as he gained 
in experience developed his craft to a high 
degree, showing a cleverness in designing 
and use of materials which entitled him to a 
place among the gifted men in his line in this 
section. For a number of years before his 
death he was one of the leading contractors 
at Franklin. He was a resident of that place 
from boyhood, but a native of Canada, born 
Sept. 14, 1866. His father, George Burgard, 
was born in 1829 in Germany, and when he 
came to America first located in Canada for 
a few years. In 1869 he made a permanent 
home at Franklin, Venango Co., Pa., dying 
there in July, 1910. at the age of eighty-one 
years. He was active to the end of his days, 
taking contracts for stone masonry, and did 
well in that line, having a high reputation for 
reliable work. To his marriage with Catherine 
Rane were bom seven children, namely : Mrs. 
William Detzenberger, Mrs. Peter Heber, Mrs. 
Elizabeth Blanco, Mrs. Albert Tarr, John R., 
Samuel and Albert. 

John R. Burgard was reared at Franklin, 
and obtained his education in the public schools. 
He learned the stone mason's trade under the 
careful instruction of his father, and later 
served an apprenticeship at bricklaying with 
John Osbom, at Franklin. Having thus ac- 
quired comprehensive practical knowledge, he 
soon began contracting on his own account 
and was so engaged until his death, building up 
a fine business. Many residences in Franklin 
were erected by him, and he also undertook a 
number of important contracts for public build- 
ings, among them being the Franklin hospital, 
the Y. M. C. A. building and the present jail, 
all structures which do credit to his genius 
for planning and conscientious execution of 
all contracts. He also crushed the stone for 
the well known Washington street bridge at 
Franklin, and did a great deal of work for 
Mr. R. G. Lamberton, enjoying the confidence 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



of the most exacting element in this section. 
Mr. Burgard was active up to the time of his 
death, which was accidental. He had some 
men hauling sand on Bleakley Hill, when the 
sand bank caved in and engulfed him, Sept. 
4, 1914. He is buried in Franklin cemetery. 
Besides his interests as a contractor, Mr. Bur- 

fard had acquired large property holdings in 
Tanklin, including the fine stone house where 
his widow and only daughter reside, at the 
comer of Center avenue and Pacific street. 
This beautiful home was built entirely by him. 
Mr. Bur^^ard was married July 5, 1887, to 
Caroline Kistler, daughter of Henry and Julia 
(Sinn) Kistler, who came from Germany. 
Three children were bom to this marriage: 
Frederick Lewis, who died in 1915; Ruth Ele- 
nora, who graduated from the local high school 
in 1916 and now resides with her mother at 
the homestead; and Herbert, who died when 
three and a half years old. 

Mr. Burgard was a member of the Independ- 
ent Order of Odd Fellows and its affiliated 
organizations, and also held membership in 
the Bricklayers' Union. His religious con- 
nection was with the Evangelical Church. 

JOSEPH T. FOSTER, of Franklin, exten- 
sively engaged in the production of oil in 
Venango county, is a member of the well 
known Foster family of Sandycreek township, 
upon whose properties some of the most 
notable oil developments in this region have 
been conducted. He himself owns the larger 
part of his father's old homestead place there, 
upon which he resided until his removal to 
Franklin in 1908. Mr. Foster is a worthy rep- 
resentative of his name, which has long been 
esteemed in the county for the many sterling 
qualities which have come to be associated with 
it, the Fosters in every generation having been 
leaders in industrial and social progress 
wherever found. He is the youngest son of 
the late James Foster, for many years one of 
the most prominent men in his section, which 
he lived to see transformed from its primitive 
state to a flourishing agricultural and industrial 
territory. Born Feb. 14, 1810, in Sugarcreek 
township, Venango county, James Foster 
reached his eighty-ninth year, dying in 1898. 
For something over sixty-five years he lived on 
the old farm in Sandycreek township which is 
now. with the exception of twenty-five acres, 
owned by his son Joseph T. Foster, and which 
ranks with the rich oil lands of the county. 

Little is known of the history of the Foster 
family prior to 1800, but this much is definite, 
that Ross Foster, father of John Foster, and 



great-grandfather of Joseph T. Foster, was a 
customer of Edward Hale, who was a mer- 
chant at Franklin, Venango Co., Pa., from 
1798 to 1800. The Foster family had moved 
hither from Maryland, settling along the Alle- 
gheny river about two miles above Franklin 
some time previous to 1800, and in the year 
1802 Ross Foster took a tract of land for set- 
tlement in Sugarcreek township, above Frank- 
lin on the Allegheny. When the first legal 
assessment of Venango county was made, in 
1805, his property was valued at $235 (the rate 
at that time was three-tenths of one per cent.) ; 
the total amount of tax collected for Sugar- 
creek township that year was $145.66. About 
18 1 2 Ross Foster moved to Pittsburgh with 
all of his family except his son John, and the 
latter's history alone is preserved. 

John Foster, son of Ross Foster, was a 
native of Maryland, and his wife, whose 
maiden name was Mar>' Martin, was also born 
there, daughter of James Martin. The latter 
was a pioneer of Sandycreek township, com- 
ing from Maryland and settling on the Kep- 
hart farm near Franklin, where he planted 
five hundred fruit trees, having one of the 
first orchards in that vicinity. In his old age 
Mr. Martin removed to Indiana. John Foster 
and Mary Martin were married at Franklin 
in 1807, Squire McDowel performing the cere- 
mony. They lived on the farm above Franklin 
where his people had settled until 18 12, when 
they moved down the river to a location 
opposite the mouth of East Sandy, thence a 
few years later removing farther down the 
river, to the place on which he spent the re- 
mainder of his life. The survey of this place 
was the first official survey made by Richard 
Irwin after his appointment as deputy sur- 
veyor of Venango county in 1824. Mr. Foster 
died there in 1837. He was a soldier in the 
war of 1812 and a good citizen in every 
respect. He and his wife raised a family of 
seven children, four sons and three daughters, 
viz.: Ross, the eldest son, married and settled 
on the property afterward famous as the 
Miller & Sibley stock farm, in 1865 moving to 
near Akron, Ohio, where he died some years 
later. Tames, the second son, is mentioned 
at length below. Caleb, the third son, became 
a Methodist minister, associated first with the 
Pittsburgh Conference and later established in 
the West, settling at Aurora, 111., where he 
died in 1898 in his eighty-seventh year : he was 
beloved and honored in the church, and held 
in high esteem by all with whom he came in 
contact. John, the fourth son, died in young 
manhood, and his son, Lorenzo Foster, was 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



577 



killed in a railroad wreck at Sandy Lake, 
Mercer Co., Pa. Mary (or Polly), the eldest 
daughter, became the wife of William 
De Woody, of Sandycreek, where she died. 
Julia Ann, Mrs. John Temple, died when a 
young woman. Elizabeth married Seth Tem- 
ple, who went west after her death. 

James Foster, son of John and Mary 
(Martin) Foster, was brought to Sandycreek 
township by his parents on their removal from 
Sugarcreek township in 1812 and was reared . 
on the old farm. His schooling was limited to 
the meager advantages afforded in the locality 
during his boyhood, but nothing was lacking to 
make his practical training complete. He be- 
came thoroughly familiar with the agricultural 
methods of the day, and in 1833, the year after 
his marriage, commenced farming on his own 
account, settling with his young wife on the 
property in Sandycreek township now owned 
by his sons, Joseph T. Foster's portion includ- 
ing the residence site and Robert A. Foster 
owning another part. James Foster owned 
about three hundred acres there. This old 
homestead, desirably located upon a hill in the 
valuable oil lands of Sandycreek, was all in 
the woods when the young couple settled there, 
and they had to clear a spot for the erection 
of their log cabin, starting life courageously 
under circumstances that to-day would be con- 
sidered anything but promising, but which in 
their time were the usual thing. Development, 
of both the agricultural and oil resources, has 
transformed it completely. -Situated some five 
miles south of Franklin, in the big bend of the 
Allegheny, it was the center of the Bully Hill 
oil region, a noted field in the seventies, but 
long before that James Foster had proved that 
it was valuable for farming purposes, to which 
he devoted his early energies. With the dis- 
covery of the new source of wealth he became 
interested in the production of oil also, pros- 
pering far beyond his early expectations. He 
was not only one of the most successful busi- 
ness men in his neighborhood, but a leader in 
public affairs, serving as member of the school 
board, road commissioner, etc., and he v/as a 
stanch Republican in his political views. For 
over sixty years he was an active member of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, and his wife 
was one of the original members of the East 
Grove congfregation, which he served as 
steward and trustee; he was largely instru- 
mental in the erection of the church. He is 
buried in Sandvcreek township. 

In 1832 Mr. Foster married Catharine 

Smith, daughter of Squire Smith, who lived 

across the river from the Fosters, but she lived 
37 



only a few years, leaving her husband with two 
children. His secdnd marriage, which took 
plAce a few years afterward, was to Margaret 
Armstrong, a native of Qarion county, daugh- 
ter of Robert Armstrong, and she died the 
mother of five children. In 1853 ^^ married 
(third) Mrs. Priscilla (Robinson) Burns, of 
the old Sandy Mill in Venango county, who 
had four children by her first marriage, and so 
the Foster, Pittock and Burns families became 
related. Mr. and Mrs. Foster ended their lives 
on the old homestead, her death occurring Oct. 
5, 1900, two years after his. We have the 
following record of his nine children: 

James M. Foster originally studied medicine, 
and practiced the profession at Clintonville, 
Venango county, in partnership with Dr. 
Whann, later of Franklin. But eventually he 
entered the ministry of the M. E. Church, serv- 
ing in the Erie Conference at Sandy Lake, 
Sheakleyville and other charges in this section, 
principally in Mercer county. He was also 
stationed at Pleasantville and Robinson Chapel, 
in Venango county. After forty years of active 
ministerial work he retired, though he has 
served occasionally since giving up his regular 
duties. He lives with his daughters, one of 
whom is the wife of Rev. Mr. Hewit. 

Mary Foster became the wife of Jackson 
Gordon, of Scrubgrass township, and died in 
Venango county. 

Catharne Foster, eldest child of the second 
marriage, became the wife of Robert Graham, 
and lived and died on part of the old Foster 
farm, reaching her sixty-seventh year. 

Robert A. Foster is fully mentioned else- 
where in this work. 

John F. Foster resides in Sugarcreek town- 
ship, some miles north of Franklin. 

Wesley B. Foster, who died* at the age of 
sixty-five years, lived in Pittsburgh and was 
engaged in the insurance business. 

William S. Foster left home young and 
moved to Clarion county, came back to Bully 
Hill for many years, and later moved to Frank- 
lin, now living near that city. 

Margaret H. Foster, eldest child of James 
and Priscilla Foster, married Rev. W. H. 
Bunce. a min'ster of the Methodist Episcopal 
denomination, and is now living at Kane, Pa., 
where he has of late years followed the insur- 
ance business, though he is still a member of 
Conference. His first charge was the East 
Grove Church, and he served several years in 
Venango county. 

Joseph T. Foster completes the family. He 
was born June 30, 1862, in Sandycreek town- 
ship, and obtained his early education in the 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



public schools of the home neighborhood, later 
studying for a term at the Edinboro (Pa.) 
Normal School. His business training was 
acquired under the able guidance of his father, 
with whom he continued to work until h^ 
found an opportunity to engage in the produc- 
tion of oil for himself. He has followed the 
business without interruption since 1889, with 
gratifying success, his various investments hav- 
ing turned out very satisfactorily. Upon his 
father's death he came into possession of all 
but twenty-five acres of the home place, having 
165 acres of valuable oil land in this tract, 
where he is operating fifty-six oil wells and one 
gas well, all in a good state of production. In 
company with C. L. Goodville he owns the 
Ross Foster farm adjoining, and they have 
sixty wells on that property. Mr. Foster was 
profitably engaged in farming as well as the 
production of oil until his removal from Sandy- 
creek township to Franklin in 1908, and he is 
well known in both the city and county through 
his activities, business and social. He was a 
valued worker in the East Grove Church be- 
fore he left that neighborhood, and since 
locating in Franklin has been associated with 
the Methodist Episcopal Church there, serving 
at present as a member of the board of trustees. 
His qualifications for responsible duties have 
been much appreciated in the congregation, 
whose interests he has supported with his time 
as well as his means. In 1914 he led the cam- 
paign for the dry forces against granting the 
liouor licenses oif V'enango county, which re- 
sulted in the county going dry that year, the 
first time in its history. Mr. Foster bore a very 
active part in this movement. In November, 
IQ18, he was elected to the legislature from 
Venango county by a majority of 5,247. one 
of the largest votes ever given a candidate 
here. 

Mr. Foster was married to Margaret J. 
Houser, daue^hter of W. B. and Florinda 
(Graham) Houser, of Sandycreek township, 
and Jthev are the parents of three children : 
James T., who lives in Franklin, is associated 
with his father in the production of oil ; 
Charles B. is now established in Pittsburgh, 
being assistant secretary of the National Tube 
Company: Alice M. is attending high school. 
The family home is at No. 824 Liberty street, 
Franklin. 

James T. Foster, eldest son of Joseph T. 
Foster, was bom in 1886 in Sandycreek town- 
ship and received his education in the public 
schools there and at the Iron City College, 
Pittsburg'h, Pa. Going to Pittsburgh in early 
manhood he remained there for thirteen years. 



during which period he was associated with 
the National Tube Company. Upon his re- 
turn to his native county he joined his father 
at Franklin and has since been engaged with 
him in the production of oil, doing his share 
in the promotion of the various enterprises 
which have been carried out so successfully. 
He married Minnie E. Ray, daughter of Wil- 
liam J. Ray, a farmer of Cherrytree township, 
Venango county. Mr. Foster is a member of 
the M. E. Church. He is a young business 
man of promise, with every prospect of using 
his advantages to good purpose. 

EDMUND WILSON EVANS, of Oil City, 
has in the course of a quarter of a century of 
successful experience as an oil producer oper- 
ated in almost all the important fields of North 
America, and his profitable investments in such 
property stamp him as one of the reliable 
judges of oil territory. In his pursuit of this 
business Mr. Evans has exhibited the traits 
characteristic of his ancestry for generations. 
As far back as the history of the Evans family 
is known its representatives have been men of 
clear intellect and practical character, filling a 
useful place in the advancement of the indus- 
trial and social activities of their day by dili- 
gence in their respective callings, resulting in 
substantial achievements and real service to 
their fellows as well as prosperity for them- 
selves. 

The family is of Welsh origin and has been 
established in Pennsylvania for over two cen- 
turies, the first of the line to come to America 
from Wales having arrived here before 1700. 
This ancestor, Nathan Evans, was bom in 
Wales in 1682. He lived for a time in Chester 
county, Pa., in 1730 making a new location on 
the eastern bank of the Conestoga river, near 
Beartown, in Caernarvon township, Lancaster 
county. He was one of the founders of the 
Bangor Episcopal Church at Churchtown, Lan- 
caster county, and died there in 1761. 

Among the children of Nathan Evans was 
James Evans, the next in line to Edmund Wil- 
son Evans, who lived at Churchtown. He was 
bom in 1724, and died in 1801. During the 
Revolutionary war he served as a surgeon in 
the 4th Battalion of Berks county, Pennsyl- 
vania. 

William Evans, son of James Evans, was 
bom May 3, 1756, and died at Churchtown 
Jan. I, 1808, his wife, Anne (Shay), also pass- 
ing away there. Among their children was 
Edmund Evans, grandfather of Edmund Wil- 
son Evans. 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



579 



Edmund Evans in 1812 went to Columbia, 
Pa., to learn the printing business with Thomas 
Wilson, who published the Susquehanna Wch 
terman, but he could not have followed it long, 
as his association with the iron business dated 
from his early manhood. His first employer 
in that line was Henry B. Grubb, who owned 
Mount Hope furnace. Later, after a flood, he 
went to Codorus Forge in York county, Pa., 
and was also in the employ of John Shippen, 
of Pottstown. For a couple of years he was 
with his brother-in-law, Peter Epley, in the 
lumber business at Columbia, resuming his 
calling of ironmaster to erect the "Castle 
Finn" forge for Bird Coleman in York county, 
and the Bangor forge in that county was also 
of his construction. In 1833 he went to Hunt- 
ingdon county, this State ; in 1840 erected the 
Elk funiace on Deer creek, in Venango (now 
Clarion) county, with the Shippens; went 
thence to Horse Creek, Venango county, where 
he ran the Qay furnace ; and later removed to 
Franklin, Pa. His death, however, occurred 
in Chester valley, at Valley Home, Chester 
Co., Pa., Sept. 23, 1870. Mr. Evans married 
Julia Sterrett, and they had the following fam- 
ily: Barton, Isabella, William, Edmund E., 
Annie and Emily (Mrs. H. M. Ernst). 

Edmund Evan Evans, father of Edmund 
Wilson Evans, had the traditional enterprise 
of the family, becoming one of the early oil 
producers in the Bradford (Pa.) fields. Later 
he settled in the State of Wisconsin, where he 
w^as engaged in the lumber business and re- 
mained until his death. He married Emma 
Wilson, of Philadelphia, who was of Scotch 
and Irish extraction, and who is also deceased. 

Edmund Wilson Evans was bom Dec. 21, 
1864, at Franklin, Venango Co., Pa. Like 
many successful oil men his early training was 
largely of the practical kind, for though he 
attended school in St. Paul after his parents 
settled in the West, he had to make the most 
of the rather meager advantages offered in 
that section during his boyhood, and he began 
work as a youth of fifteen. At the age when 
boys of the present day are just entering upon 
their serious eflforts toward acquiring an edu- 
cation, he took a position in a bank at St. 
Paul, Minn., and remained in the employ of 
that institution for the succeeding ten years. 
The opportunities oflFered in the growing city 
for profitable real estate transactions led him 
into that business, which he continued to fol- 
low until i8q4, when he decided to try the oil 
industry, a change which he has never had any 
reason to regret. His success in every part 
of the country where his interests have led 



him has been practically unvarying. Return- 
ing to Venango county, Pa., he made his home 
and headquarters at Oil City, where he has 
since been established, having productive hold- 
ings in all the local fields and in most of the 
Western oil developments, including the Mid- 
Continent and Wyoming territories. Mr. 
Evans is socially disposed and maintains asso- 
ciation with leading organizations in the county 
of such nature, holding membership in the 
Venango, Wanango and Oil City Boat Clubs 
at Oil City, in the Franklin Club, and the local 
lodge of B. P. O. Elks. 

On May 19, 1897, Mr. Evans married Ade- 
laide Speechley, and they ar^ the parents of 
two children, Adelaide S. and fedmund Wilson, 
Jr., both students at this writing. 

Samuel Speechley, father of Mrs. Evans, 
was the discoverer of the productive gas sand 
below the oil levels, his experiments resulting 
in the opening of the famous "Speechley gas 
pool," which was the first gas well in these 
fields, and the stratum was known as the 
"Speechley sands'' in his honor. He was a 
farmer in Pinegrove township, this county, 
eight miles south of Oil City, where he settled 
in the early seventies, and where he struck the 
gas sand in April, 1885, at a depth of two 
thousand feet — the deepest drilling in Venango 
county up to that time. The first well opened 
"blew off" for four months with a pressure 
estimated at four thousand pounds per square 
inch, and supplied Franklin, Oil City and Ti- 
tusville with fuel gas for several months. The 
territory was originally leased by the Columbia 
Gas Company, which later was consolidated 
with the Natural Gas Trust, to whom it is still 
leased. 

Mr. Speechley was bom Nov. i, 1832, in 
England, son of Samuel and Maria (Webster) 
Speechley, also natives of that country, the 
father for many years following the hotel 
business at Newmarket, Cambridgeshire. The 
parents were Episcopalians in religious belief. 
They had a family of five children : Adelaide, 
Samuel, Emma, Maria and Charles. Samuel 
Speechley, the son, was reared in England, ac- 
quiring a common school education and me- 
chanical training in locomotive building and 
marine engineering at Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 
When twenty years old he was sent to China 
by the firm of Robert Stephenson & Company 
to join a steamer plying between Hong Kong 
and Calcutta in the opium trade, and was thus 
engaged for about three years, when he en- 
tered the service of the Chinese government 
to help put down piracy on the coast of China, 
then a common menace (1855-56). In 1857 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



he started the first engineering business in 
China, at Hong Kong, and conducted it for 
thirteen years. Visiting America in 1872, he 
decided to remain after he had resided a year 
in Cranberry township, Venango Co., Pa., and 
settled on a farm of one hundred acres in 
Pine Grove township, where besides engaging 
successfully in agriculture he conducted ex- 
periments which eventually led to the great dis- 
covery already noted. 

In 1864 Mr. Speechley was married in China 
to Margaret Galbraith, a native of Ireland, 
daughter of James and Janet (Patterson) Gal- 
braith. They were Scotch Covenanters, and 
reared their children in the same faith, while 
Mr. Speechley was brought up in the Episcopal 
Church. Mr. and Mrs. Speechley had two 
children, Emily and Adelaide, the former bom 
in China, the latter in America. 

THEODORE CLULOW, of Franklin, has 
within the last decade established a legal prac- 
tice which places him among the creditable 
members of the Venango county bar. With 
an acquisitive mind and industrious mental 
habits, Mr. Clulow has been constantly aug- 
menting his thorough preliminary training for 
the profession, and combining with his tech- 
nical proficiency the high personal character 
which invites and holds confidence he is recog- 
nized as worthy of the most important trusts. 
A good share of the legal business in Frank- 
lin and the county has been placed in his hands, 
with entire satisfaction to all concerned. Of 
late he has also entered actively into public 
affairs, for which he has shown a degree of 
adaptability that augurs useful service to his 
fellow citizens and new honors for himself. 

Mr. Clulow was born May 30, 1880, in 
French Creek township, Venango county, son 
of Thomas Clulow and grandson of Henry 
Clulow, both highly esteemed residents of that 
section. His great-great-grandfather, James 
Clulow, spent his life in England, as did also 
the great-grandparents. William and Sarah 
(Smith) Clulow, who died about 1838 and 
183s, respectively. William Clulow was a 
farmer and sawyer. They had two children, 
tht daughter dying when quite young. The 
son, Henry Clulow, bom in Staffordshire, 
England, Oct. 18, 1817, was a well and fa- 
vorably known citizen of his day in French 
Creek township, Venango Co., Pa., occupying 
his farm there until his death in i8g2. He 
was known as "Yard Step" Clulow. Coming 
to New York City when a youth, in the fall ot 
1833, ^^ proceeded to the vicinity of Sandy 
Lake, in Mercer county, Pa., and did farm 



work for some years, meanwhile availing him- 
self of common school privileges whenever 
possible. He became so ambitious for an edu- 
cation that when able he entered Allegheny 
College, at Meadville, Pa., to prepare himself 
for teaching, which he followed several years 
in Mercer county. In the spring of 1845 ^e 
settled in Venango county on a farm near 
Polk, later purchasing the place where he 
made his permanent home, about four miles 
from that borough. He not only made a ma- 
terial success, but also attained a prominent 
position among his fellow citizens, served a 
term as auditor of Venango county, and was 
quite influential as a member of the Republi- 
can party. For many years he belonged to 
the Methodist Episcopal denomination, he and 
his wife uniting with the Reynolds congrega- 
tion. In 1844 he married Mary Nicklin, 
daughter of William and Frances Nicklin, of 
England, and of the five children bom to 
them James is living in French Creek town- 
ship; Thomas is the father of Theodore Clu- 
low ; Sarah F., deceased, was the wife of John 
P. Snyder; Mary A., deceased, was the wife 
of Milton Ohler; Daniel is deceased. 

Thomas Clulow, son of Henry, followed 
farming all his active years in French Creek 
township, retiring from strenuous work in 
1Q14. He still makes his home there. He 
married Jane Bell, daughter of the late Wil- 
liam Bell, and she died in 1908, the mother 
.of the following children: Mar\', who mar- 
ried U. G. McCormick and resides in Okla- 
homa ; William H., now a teacher in the State 
of Washington; Charles J., who is a foreman 
in an iron works in Oklahoma ; Theodore ; and 
Eugene C, residing in French Creek town- 
ship on part of his grandfather's farm. 

Theodore Clulow was reared in French 
Creek township and attended the public 
schools there. Later he was a student in the 
McElwain Institute, at New Lebanon, and 
spent one year at Grove City College, after 
which he taught school four years in Potter 
county, Pa. Resuming his studies he en- 
tered the Northern Indiana Law School at 
Valparaiso, Ind., from which he was grad- 
uated in 1903. The same year he came to 
Franklin, Pa., and began reading law with F. 
A. Sayers, Esq., being admitted to the bar 
of Venango county in May. 1906. He has 
since been admitted to practice in the other 
courts of the State. His offices are in the 
Sheasley building at Franklin. The standing of 
his clients, and the class of work they have 
intmsted to him. is the best evidence of his 
own qualities. 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



581 



Mr. Clulow has for several years shown 
active public spirit, and that conscientious re- 
gard for the general welfare which should be 
part of the equipment of every official, and 
since assuming office himself has endeavored 
to put his principles into practice. In No- 
vember, 1915, he was elected city councilman, 
on the non-partisan ticket, taking office Jan. 
I, 1916; he also holds the office of superin- 
tendent of the department of public safety. 
He is a member of the Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows, and of the Royal Arcanum. 

Mr. Clulow married Henrietta Dee Seth, 
daughter of Joseph Seth, of Pine Grove 
township, this county, and they have two 
children, Geraldine and Kenton. 

CHARLES TYLER McCLINTOCK, of 
Oil City, member of a leading family of this 
section of the State, is a native of Philadel- 
phia and a son of Maj. Charles Wilson Mc- 
Qintock. 

Charles Wilson McClintock was bom in 
Philadelphia Sept. 29, 1829, of Quaker par- 
entage, and was educated mainly at Friends' 
schools in Waterloo, N. Y., where the family 
resided while his father was engaged in the 
drug business there. Charles W. McClintock 
also carried on the drug business at Waterloo. 
When the Civil war came on he enlisted at 
Philadelphia in the I92d Regiment of Penn- 
sylvania Volunteers, and before the war ended 
had risen to the rank of major, being mus- 
tered out as such at Philadelphia Nov. 11, 
1864. The 20th Pennsylvania Militia, which 
had been called out for the defense of the 
State in 1862, under command of Col. Wil- 
liam B. Thomas, and again in 1863, was re- 
organized and recruited in July, 1864, for serv- 
ice in the National army, for a period of one 
hundred days, as the I92d Regiment of the 
line. It was recruited in Philadelphia and 
rendezvoused at Camp Cadwalader, consisting 
of fourteen companies under command of Col. 
William B. Thomas, Lieut. Col. Benjamin L. 
Taylor and Majs. C. W. McQintock and 
Henry J. Snyder, being mustered in July 15th 
and leaving Philadelphia for Baltimore July 
23d. Until the end of the month the troops 
were encamped five miles from the city and 
on Aug. 1st were ordered thence to Fort Mc- 
Henry, on garrison duty. Here they were 
drilled in heavy artillery practice by a lieu- 
tenant of the regular army, subsequently re- 
lieved and proceeded by way of Harrisburg 
and Pittsburgh to Johnson's Island, in Lake 
Erie, where large numbers of prisoners of 
war were confined. After a few days at that 



point they were removed to Gallipolis, a lit- 
tle town on the Ohio river nearly opposite the 
mouth of the Great Kanawha, where a supply 
depot was located. On Sept. 30th Companies 
M, A, B, F, D, L, and G, under Major Mc- 
Clintock, proceeded to Weston, W. Va., where 
they served under the command of General 
Kelley until the close of their term of enlist- 
ment. 

Major McClintock settled at Tidioute, Pa., 
where he became prominent in various activi- 
ties, being an oil producer for a number of 
years and owner and editor of the Tidioute 
News. Upon his removal to Oil City he was 
associated with the Derrick as editor, was long 
a member of the Oil City Oil Exchange, served 
twelve years as State oil inspector in Venan- 
go county under appointment of the court, 
and continued to operate in the oil fields as a 
producer, most of his wells being in Butler 
county. He was a Republican and reliable 
party worker, a member of Petrolia Lodge No. 
363, F. & A. M., and the local G. A. R. post, 
and retained his association with the Society of 
Friends. Major McClintock retained a prom- 
inent place among the influential residents of 
Oil City throughout his active years. He 
married Mary Elizabeth Tyler, a native of 
Seneca Falls, N. Y., bom in December, 1835, 
daughter of Orrin and Nancy (Bliss) Tyler, 
the former a native of Seneca county, N. Y., 
the latter of Hartford, Conn. Of the four 
children born to this union two died in in- 
fancy, and Fanny Bliss passed away in 191 2, 
Charles Tyler being the only survivor of the 
family. Charles Wilson McClintock and his 
wife, Mary Elizabeth, with their daughter, 
Fanny Bliss, are buried in Grove Hill ceme- 
tery, Oil City. 

Charles Tyler McClintock received his lit- 
erary education in Tidioute and Oil City, 
graduating from the Oil City high school. 
After a period in the employ of the Western 
New York & Pennsylvania Railroad Company 
he took a position with the United Pipe Lines 
Company as ganger in the Bradford field, 
subsequently forming a local connection with a 
pipe line cofhpany which enabled him to live 
at Oil City, and when the National Transit 
Company opened its offices there found a place 
as accountant in the treasury department, and 
is now an assistant treasurer. Mr. McClin- 
tock is well and favorably known in the city, 
holding membership in Tent No. 21, K. O. T. 
!M., is a Republican in politics, and a sup- 
porter of the Episcopal Church, where his 
family attend ser\nces. By his marriage to 
Marion Osgood Boughton he has had a fam- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



ily of three children: Gladys Eaton, now the 
wife of Hopewell S. Phinny and mother of 
one child, Marion Boughton ; Tyler Boughton, 
who died when ten months old and is buried 
in Grove Hill cemetery; and Charles Bough- 
ton, a graduate of Oil City high school, a 
student for one year at the Carnegie Institute 
of Technology, of Pittsburgh, and now en- 
rolled in the service of the United States in the 
Naval Unit of the Students' Army Training 
Corps at the University of Pennsylvania, 
Philadelphia. Mrs. McClintock was bom at 
Fortress Monroe, Va., and is a graduate of 
the Titusville (Pa.) high school. 

Reuben H. Boughton, Jr., father of Mrs. 
Charles Tyler McClintock, was born Dec. 3, 
1840, on a farm at Lewiston, N. Y., and died 
Nov. 29, 1900, at Titusville, Pa. He was well 
educated, attending the old academy at Lewis- 
ton, and during his young manhood was cus- 
toms officer at Suspension Bridge, near Ni- 
agara Falls. For a time he was chief clerk in 
the quartermaster's office at Fortress Mon- 
roe, Va., and subsequently located at Titus- 
ville, Pa., as general agent for George W. 
Tiftt & Sons of Buffalo, engine and boiler 
manufacturers, retaining that position a num- 
ber of years. For a few years he was one 
of the owners of the Titusville Iron Works, 
afterward operating as an oil producer in In- 
diana, Illinois, Pennsylvania and other fields, 
until he suffered a breakdown in health. He 
was one of Titusville'^ prominent citizens. 
Politically he was a Democrat, in religion a 
member of the Episcopal Church, and well 
known in the fraternal bodies, holding mem- 
bership in the Knight Templar Masons at Ti- 
tusville, the Knights of the Maccabees and 
the Royal Arcanum. 

Mr. Boughton's first wife, Mary Elizabeth 
Eaton, was bom March i, 1843, at Boston, 
Mass., and died in March, 1868, at Fortress 
Monroe, Va., leaving one child, Marion Os- 
good, now the wife of Charles Tyler McClin- 
tock. His second marriage was to Harriet 
Ashman Ames, who was bom in February, 
1850, at Keeseville, N. Y., daughter of Fred- 
erick W. and Mary (Hurlbun) Ames, and 
survives him, living at present in New York 
Citv. Their only child, Helen Ames, is the 
wife of Dr. J. LeRoy Connell. of New York. 
Mr. Boughton is buried at Titusville. 

QUINCY DICKSON HASTINGS, attor- 
ney at law, has practiced at Franklin through- 
out his professional career, and has a reputa- 
tion and clientele that entitle him to honorable 
mention among the members of the Venango 



county bar. He has not confined his efforts 
to any one kind of legal work, and has been 
so uniformly successful with his cases as to 
commend his services to a high class of 
patrons, whose confidence he has never be- 
trayed. That he is the trusted adviser of some 
of the most substantial residents of Franklin 
speaks well for his own character, both as a 
lawyer and as a man. 

Mr. Hastings is a native of this county, born 
Dec. 18, 1878, in Canal township, where the 
name has long been honored and respected, 
his grandfather, John Hastings, having set- 
tled there in 1809. The latter was born in 
Lancaster county, this State, where he lived 
until his removal to Venango. His son, Wil- 
liam Wilson Hastings, was the father of 
Quincy Dickson Hastings. 

During his boyhood Quincy Dickson Hast- 
ings attended the public schools of the home 
neighborhood. He was allowed excellent edu- 
cational advantages, being later sent to the 
high school at Rouseville, this county, and the 
Indiana Normal University at Valparaiso, Ind., 
where he took a special course and graduated. 
Returning to Venango county, he then took 
up the study of law at Franklin with W. C. 
Rheem, Esq., gaining admission to the county 
bar Sept. 12, 1904. He has since been admitted 
to practice in the Circuit and District courts 
and the State Supreme court. All his time is 
taken up with the duties of his practice, which 
has increased to gratifying and lucrative pro- 
portions as he ha» proved his capacity for han- 
dling important interests skillfully. A good 
share of the best l^al work in the city is 
intrusted to him. His office is in the Hancock 
building. Most of his activities and connec- 
tions are in the line of his professional work. 
Fraternally he holds membership with the 

B. P. O. Elks. 

On Jan. 15, 1908, Mr. Hastings married 
Gertrude Breckenridge, daughter of Albert 
M. Breckenridge, of Oil City, Venango Co., 
Pa., and they have one child, a daughter, 
Gertrude Ruth Hastings, born Sept. 14, 1910. 

CHARLES A. McLOUTH, of Oil City, 
has been long known in this section of Penn- 
sylvania in his prominent connection with oil 
interests, having seen forty-five years of con- 
tinuous service with the Pipe Lines during his 
active career. Born Oct. 12, 1853, at San- 
dusky, Erie Co., Ohio, he is a son of Obediah 

C. Mcl^uth and grandson of Amos McLouth, 
the latter a farmer in Michigan throughout his 
long life. He lived to the age of about eighty, 
dying on his fa mi, and he and his wife Eleanor 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYL\'ANIA 



583 



are buried at Sylvania, Ohio, which is near the 
Michigan line. 

Obediah C. McLouth was brought up on 
the paternal farm in Michigan, but when a 
young man started out in railroad work, which 
he followed a short time. He studied law and 
was admitted to the bar in Erie county, Ohio, 
where he became very prominent in public 
life as well as in his profession. For many 
years he was a member of the law firm of 
Mackey and McLouth, and he filled a number 
of important offices, being mayor of Sandusky, 
county clerk of Erie county, and assistant 
prosecuting attorney of Sandusky, where he 
died Feb. 22, 1909, aged eighty-five years. 
During the last ten years he had lived retired. 
For a number of years Mr. McLouth was in- 
terested in oil production in Bradford, Pa., in 
the Cliarendon field in Warren county, Pa., and 
at Macksburg, Ohio. Politically he was an 
ardent Republican, and fraternally a blue 
lodge Mason. He is buried at Sandusky. 

Mr. McLouth married Elizabeth DeWitt, 
who continues to make her home at San- 
dusky, where she and her family have been 
associated with the Congregational Church. 
She' was born June 24, 1829, at Lambertville, 
N. J., daughter of George and Hannah E>e- 
Witt. her father a farmer of Erie county, 
Ohio, and a famous shot with the rifle. Six 
children were bom to Mr. and Mrs. Obediah 
C. McLouth, namely: Charles Lambert, who 
died in infancy; Mary E., who lives at San- 
dusky ; Charles A. ; Jessie, who died when 
fifteen years old ; Lucy M., wife of F. P. Zol- 
linger, president of the Third National Bank 
of Sandusky ; and Cora L.. wife of Leonard H. 
Goodman, of Columbus, Ohio (she is a mem- 
ber of the D. A. R. at Sandusky). 

Charles A. McLouth acquired his educa- 
tion at Sandusky, where he attended the gram- 
mar and high schools and later the Buckeye 
Business College. He learned telegraphy and 
became an operator for the Tidioute & Titus- 
ville Pipe Line, later doing similar duty on 
the Union Pipe Line. It was in 1873 ^^^i^ ^^ 
took his first position at Titusville. Pa., doing 
clerical work for the Church Run Pipe Line 
Company ; he was also employed at Fagundus 
and Triumph and duringf his association with 
the Union Pipe Line Company was sent to 
Millerstown, Butler, Parker and St. Peters- 
burg before coming to Oil City in September. 
1878. Here he was engaged in clerical work 
under Artemis Pitcaim for the United Pipe 
Lines, under which title various pipe line com- 
panies consolidated in 1877, the United Pipe 
Lines merging with others in 1878 in the for- 



mation of the National Transit Company. As 
his familiarity wth the business of this com- 
pany increased, and his ability made itself felt 
in the competent handling of all responsibilities 
intrusted to him, Mr. McLouth was promoted 
steadily, and for some thirteen or fourteen 
years prior to the dissolution of the Standard 
Oil interests, in December, 191 1, he was audi- 
tor of the National Transit Company. At 
that time he was made assistant treasurer of 
the Southern Group of Pipe Lines, later be- 
coming assistant secretary as well, and at the 
present writing continuing to fill these posi- 
tions. 

Mr. McLouth has a wide acquaintance so- 
cially, holding membership in the Oil City Boat 
Club, Venango Club, Wanango Country Qub, 
National Union, Royal Arcanum and Masonic 
fraternity. His Masonic associations are with 
Petrolia Lodge, F. & A. ^L : Oil City Chapter, 
R. A. M. ; Talbot Commandery, No. 44, K. 
T. ; Venango Lodge of Perfection, fourteenth 
degree ; Pennsylvania Consistory, thirty-sec- 
ond degree, of Pittsburgh; and Zem Zem 
Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.. of Erie, Pa. He 
and his family are identified with the Second 
Presbyterian Church of Oil City. Mr. Mc- 
Louth gives his political support to the Repub- 
lican party. 

On Jan. 18, 1881, Mr. McLouth married, 
at St. Petersburg, Pa., Laura E. Kratzer, who 
was bom April 17, i860, at Allentown, Pa., 
daughter of ?aul Kratzer, a carriagemaker, 
who came to the oil country during the early 
part of the excitement, and was one of the 
early producers, operating at Pithole, Venan- 
go county; at Jefferson, in Clarion county; 
Duke Center, in the Bradford field; and Qar- 
endon, in the Warren count>^ field. He died 
aged seventy years. His daughter, Mrs. Mc- 
I^uth, died Oct. 26, 1917, and is buried in 
Grove Hill cemetery. She was an active leader 
in church and social affairs, president of the 
Ladies' Aid Society of the church and at the 
time of her death president of the Belles 
Lettres Club of Oil City, and greatly beloved 
for her helpful participation in all good works. 
She was the mother of the following children : 
Capt. Ralph DeWitt, born June 18, 1882, was 
graduated from the Oil Citv high school and 
attended the Case School of Applied Science, 
Cleveland, Ohio, was general bookkeeper for 
one of the Southern Group of Pipe Lines, and 
is now serving in France as a captain in the 
ii2th United States Infantry, in the supply 
department; he married Florence M. Morris. 
Gertrude, born Oct. i. i8qo, was graduated 
from the Oil City high school and Wheaton 



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584 



VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



College, Norton, Mass., and received her musi- 
cal education under private instructors in 
Boston, Prof. David Ross at Hamburg Con- 
servatory of Music, at Toronto, Canada, Mr. 
James Cuyler Black of Oil City and New 
York, and Mrs. Florence Wiley Zerbe of 
J'^ranklin, Pa. She lives with her father at 
Oil City, where she holds membership in Put- 
nam King Chapter, D. A. R. 

HON. MARSHALL LEE PHIPPS, mem- 
ber of the Pennsylvania State Senate from the 
district comprising Warren and Venango coun- 
ties, has evidently inherited the typical traits 
of the race to which he belongs. Since the 
Province of Pennsylvania was established 
members of the Phipps family have been prom- 
inent in affairs of business and state, influen- 
tial in its social and educational progress, ready 
and able to do their part in the furtherance of 
all such matters. Mr. Phipps has given ample 
proof of possessing the distinctive character- 
istics attaching to the name. Though bom to 
good position, he has not been content with 
less than making much of his opportunities, 
having one of those fortunate natures whose 
ambition is not dulled by easy circumstances. 
He has worked to good purp)Ose, upholding 
creditably the dignity of the worthy name he 
bears. 

Joseph Phipps, the first ancestor of the 
Pennsylvania line in America, came hither with 
William Penn in 1682. Earlier members of 
the family in this country were James Phipps 
(father of Sir William Phipps) who settled in 
Maine early in the seventeenth century, and 
Solomon Phipps, who settled at Charlestown, 
Mass., in 1642. The former, with others, 
founded a colony near the mouth of the Kenne- 
bec river in Maine, and being a gunsmith and 
shipbuilder was very useful in the activities 
of his community, whose circumstances and 
surroundings were of the most primitive char- 
acter. He was the father of twenty-one sons 
and five daughters. Sir William Phipps, the 
first royal governor of Massachusetts, being 
the youngest son. Through his numerous 
progeny, intermarrying with other old New 
England families, the descendants of this re- 
markable man have for over three hundred 
years borne their part in the history and de- 
velopment of this country. 

Joseph Phipps was born in Reading, Berk- 
shire, England, in 1640. In 1665 he was 
united in marriage with Sarah Brimfield, at 
St. Lawrence Church, Reading. Though mar- 
ried in the Established Church, they later 
joined the Society of Friends, came to America 



from Bristol with the great leader of that sect, 
and settled at Philadelphia, where many of 
their descendants still live. Many of their 
posterity have occupied prominent and use- 
ful positions in the government and develop- 
ment of the State and Nation. Abingdon, a 
beautiful suburb of Philadelphia, was so named 
by Joseph Phipps after a favorite country 
seat near Oxford, England. It remains in the 
possession of his descendants, and a dwelling 
which he erected in 1697, two Friends' meet- 
ing houses, and Abingdon Seminary, are sub- 
stantial reminders of the original owner. He 
was one of the first general assemblymen of 
Pennsylvania, being one of the nine members 
elect who represented Chester county in the 
first assembly convened at Philadelphia, on the 
loth of January, 1683. 

Joseph Phipps (2), son of Joseph and Sarah 
(Brimfield) Phipps, was born in England and 
brought to America by his parents in 1682. He 
lived to be one hundred and two years old. 

Nathan Phipps, son of Joseph Phipps (2), 
was reared in the vicinity of the old Phila- 
delphia homestead of the family, married, and 
resided in Chester county. 

Samuel Phipps, son of Nathan Phipps) was 
born in Chester county in 1735, and lived to the 
remarkable age of one hundred and five years, 
dying Jan. 5, 1841, in what was then Worth- 
ington township, Butler Co., Ohio. He had 
moved to that State in the year 181 5. His 
wife, Mary Marshall, a member of a famous 
Pennsylvania family, cousin of "Mad An- 
thony" Wayne, was bom in 1746 and died in 
1836. Their children were : John ; Sarah, who 
married William Wise ; Samuel, who was killed 
on the Maumee while serving under General 
Wayne in that last campaign against the In- 
dians; Rachel, who died unmarried; Joseph, 
who was accidentally killed ; Mary, who mar- 
ried John Duncan; Robert, who married a 
Miss Halferday; and Nathan, who married 
Edith Updegraff. 

John Phipps, son of Samuel Phipps, was 
bom in Chester county March 22, 1765, and 
died Jan. 22, 1833. After reaching maturity 
he removed to Westmoreland county. Pa., 
where he married and whence he removed to 
Venango county in 1797, settling on a tract 
of fifteen hundred acres of land in Scrub- 
grass (now Clinton) township, upon part of 
which the Witherup and Cross families now 
reside. The land was surveyed for him by 
Col. Samuel Dale. Mr. Phipps was one of 
the first settlers in Venango county, coming 
hither when it was a wilderness, and he and his 
family experienced the privations and hard- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



585 



ships typical of pioneer life. Their nearest 
neighbors were two and a half miles distant. 
Mr. Phipps took an active part in the govern- 
ment as well as the material development of the 
region, being chosen constable in 1811, 1825, 
1&7 and 1828; appraiser in 1822; and over- 
seer in 1820. On June 5, 1792, he was mar- 
ried, in West Fairfield township, Westmore- 
land county, to Catharine Haney, who was bom 
June 3, 1773, and survived him but a few 
months, her death occurring May 14, 1833. 
Both died at their homestead in Scrubgrass . 
township and are buried in the old Calvert and 
Riddle cemetery. Of their thirteen children, 
ten — five sons and five daughters — reached ma- 
turity, and we have the following record of 
this family: David is mentioned elsewhere in 
this work. Mary, born June 12, 1794, married 
Levi Williams. Samuel, father of Cyrus 
Dixon Phipps, of Rocky Grove, is mentioned 
elsewhere in this work. Sarah, born Aug. 16, 
1797, the first white child bom in Scrubgrass 
township, married Allan McDowell and (sec- 
ond) a Mr. Sloan, and removed to Ohio. 
Catharine, bom April 17, 1799, married Rob- 
ert Riddle. Elizabeth, born Nov. 14, 1800, 
married Capt. Abraham Withemp, and died 
Nov. 19, 1880. Nancy, bom June 15, 1802, 
married George McKinly. Jane, born April 
I, 1803, died the same day. John died in in- 
fancy. Maj. John, born Nov. 8, 1806, died 
Sept. 14. 1876: he served a number of years 
as justice of the peace; he married Barbara 
Hoffman and lived in Irwin township, Ve- 
nango county. Robert, born Jan. 6, 1809, died 
in 1862 in southern Venango county; he mar- 
ried Ann Canan. Joseph was the grand- 
father of Hon. Marshall Lee Phipps. 

Joseph Phipps, bom Oct. 12, 1812, in Clin- 
ton township, Venango county, died in 1872. 
He was engaged in farming throughout his 
active career. Possessed of an energetic mind, 
he was interested in public affairs as well, 
always holding some local office and discharg- 
ing its duties capably. On Sept. 13, 1835, he 
married Elizabeth Lowrie Whann, of Scrub- 
grass township (daughter of Robert S. 
Whann), who died Sept. 17, 1852. On May 
4, 1854, he married (second) Jane B. Ander- 
son, daugrhter of Samuel Anderson, of Butler 
county. Pa. She died June 6, 1900. There 
were children by both unions, bom as follows : 
Catharine E., Nov. 30, 1836 (died Jan. 22, 
1840) ; Maj. Robert Johnson, Jan. 24, 1839 
(major in the Civil war) ; John Alorgan, 
June 6, 1841 (died Jan. 24, 1863, from illness 
caused by the hardships of army life while 
he was a soldier in the Civil war, and John 



M. Phipps Post, G. A. R., of Clintonville, is 
named in his honor) ; Walter Lowrie, Jan. 22, 
1843 (died Sept. 25, 1851) ; Abraham Milton, 
Feb. 12, 1845 (died Sept. 25, 1851); Eliza- 
beth, Dec. 8, 1847 (died Oct. 9, 1851) ; Joseph 
Murphy, April 6, 1849 (died Sept 25, 1851) ; 
to the second marriage — Samuel A., Feb. 7, 

1855 (died Feb. 2, 1863) ; Walter A., Aug. 13, 

1856 (married Alice E. Palmer Dec. i, 1886) ; 
George T., Nov. 11, 1858 (married Mary A. 
Cassidy Nov. 3, 1897) ; Melvin, March 3, 1861 
(married Mary Milford, June 24, 1885) ; Vil- 
ena E., May 21, 1863 (married Thomas C. 
Hovis March 10, 1896) : Imelda N., Jan. 12, 
1866 (married Feb. 10, 1886, William Curtis, 
of Oil City). 

Maj. Robert Johnson Phipps, born in Clin- 
ton township Jan. 24, 1839, received a common 
school education. He had a brief business 
experience in Franklin and on Oil creek be- 
fore his enlistment, Oct. 14, 1861, in Company 
H, 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry, and he served to 
the end of the war, all the time with the cav- 
alry corps of the Army of the Potomac- That 
he saw an unusual amount of field service may 
be judged from the number of engagements in 
which he participated, fifty-six, all those of 
his command from the Peninsular campaign to 
Appomattox campaign, when Lee surrendered. 
He became company quartermaster sergeant 
Nov. I, 1861 ; first sergeant, Nov. i, 1862; sec- 
ond lieutenant, March i, 1863; first lieutenant^ 
March 25, 1863; captain, Aug. i, 1864; major, 
March 7, 1865; lieutenant colonel by brevet, 
U. S. Volunteers, March 13, 1865, upon the 
personal recommendation of General Sheri- 
dan; and was honorably discharged May 17, 
1865. Major Phipps was on the staff of Gen. 
J. Irving Gregg, serving as inspector general 
of the 2d Brigade, 2d Division, Cavalry Corps, 
Army of the Potomac, from Oct. 13, 1863, to 
May 6, 1865, when relieved of staff duty at his 
own request. 

After the war Major Phipps was occupied in 
mercantile pursuits for a time, at Franklin, 
Polk and Parker. In 1869 he retumed from 
Parker to Clintonville, Venango county, and 
within a few years was interested in oil pro- 
duction, about 1875 embarking upon operations 
in the Bullion field and later in Butler county. 
In 1886 he undertook the superintendence of 
the extensive oil operations and interests of 
Hon. T. W. Phillips in Butler and Bedford 
counties, continuing: to be so engaged until 
1890, when Mr. Phillips sold out to the Forest 
Oil Company, one of the producing branches 
of the Standard Oil Company. The new 
owners also availed themselves of his knowl- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



edge and experience, and until disabled by ill- 
ness he was superintendent of the Forest Oil 
Company's interests north of the Ohio, with 
headquarters at Butler. A paralytic stroke 
July I, 1904, incapacitated him partly for busi- 
ness, and he was brought to Franklin, where 
he had erected a fine residence in 1889. 
Though he had temporary periods of improve- 
ment he was an invaHd thereafter until his 
death, Dec. 10, 1905. Major Phipps was a 
man of remarkable character. He had great 
gifts for business and masterful executive • 
ability, so that his conscientious devotion to 
duty resulted in wonderful efficiency, enabling 
him to dispatch an unusual quantity of work 
as well as to find a way out of difficult prob- 
lems of all kinds. Yet he was unassuming 
about his own merits, kindly and courteous 
in all the associations of life, and deservedly 
honored wherever he went. He had a wide 
acquaintanceship in the social and fraternal 
organizations, with which he maintained ac- 
tive membership. A Scottish Rite Mason, he 
affiliated with Myrtle Lodge, at Franklin, and 
was one of its oldest members at the time of 
his death : belonged to Tancred Commandery, 
K. T.. at Pittsburgh, and had filled at diflFerent 
times all the offices in the Masonic bodies at 
Butler. As a veteran of the Civil war he 
joined Mays Post. G. A. R., the Loyal Legion 
and the Union Veteran Legion in Butler county, 
, and was colonel commander in the latter of 
Encampment No. 45, for several terms. At 
ClintonvUle, in 1883, he joined the Knights 
and Ladies of Honor, transferring later to 
Crawford Lodge at Franklin. 

On Jan. 16, 1865, Major Phipps was mar- 
ried to Harriet Agnes Cross, daughter of Judge 
Robert and Hannah (McKissick) Cross, and 
they had two children: Marshall Lee and 
Lizzie. The latter, born Nov. 2, 1867, died 
March 11, 1883. Mrs. Phipps is living with 
her son in Franklin. 

Marshall Lee Phipps was bom March 4, 
1866, at Polk, Venango Co., Pa. His prepara- 
tory education was obtained in the public 
schools of the home locality and at Clinton- 
ville Academy, after which he matriculated at 
Lafayette College, Easton. Pa., taking the full 
course. He was graduated in 1888 with the 
degree of A. B., and has since received the 
master's decree. His law studies were carried 
on in the office of Lee and Criswell, at Frank- 
lin, and he was admitted to practice in the 
courts of Venango county in 1892. later gain- 
ing admission to the Supreme and Superior 
courts. Though since engaged in the prac- 
tice of law he has combined many other inter- 



ests with his legal work, his business, profes- 
sional and public responsibilities giving breadth 
and variety to a very busy life. His business 
operations have been chiefly in the production 
of oil, on his holdings in Venango and Law- 
rence counties, this State. Mr. Phipps had 
considerable court experience in the early 
part of his career, having entered the prothono- 
tary's office at Franklin as deputy and served 
six years in that capacity, after which he held 
the office of prothonotary for a like period, 
by election. In 191 4 he was elected to the 
State Senate, and on Nov. 6, 191 8, was re- 
elected, for another term of four years, by a 
majority of 2,600 votes. His services in that 
body have been highly creditable to him per- 
sonally as well as to the district which he rep- 
resents. 

He was honored by three governors, Stuart, 
Tener and Brumbaugh, with appointment as 
trustee of the State Institution for Feeble 
Minded at Polk, Venango county. For fifteen 
years Mr. Phipps was a prominent member of 
the Pennsylvania National Guard, from which 
he retired with the rank of major, having 
served as major and aide de camp on the 
staflF of Major Generals Wiley and Miller. 
The Republican organization in the State 
counts him among its most dependable 
workers. For one term he was dhairman 
of the Republican County committee, and 
he was secretary of that body for ten 
years. His popularity also extends to his 
social connections, which include membership 
in Myrtle Lodge, No. 316, F. & A. M., of 
Franklin; Venango Royal Arch Chapter, No. 
211 ; Franklin Commandery, No. 44, K. T. (he 
has attained the thirty-second degree in Ma- 
sonry) ; B. P. O. Elks, and the Franklin Club. 

On Nov. 6, 1901, Mr. Phipps married Bell 
Campbell, daughter of Howard and Mary 
(EHckey) Campbell, and a granddaughter of 
Hon. John Dickey. Mr. and Mrs. Phipps have 
one daughter, Harriet Campbell Phipps, bom 
Nov. 8, 1905. 

JOHN LINN McCALMONT is now living 
retired at Cooperstown after a well spent and 
prosperous career in Sugarcreek township, 
with which locality this Scotch-Irish family 
has been identified for over a century. There 
is hardly a name in Venango county better 
known than that of McCalmont, or which has 
had more honorable associations, and he is no 
exception to the rule, bearing a reputation for 
substantial qualities which stamps him as a 
worthy member of a race which has acquitted 
itself well in all the relations of life. 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



587 



Many of the McCalmonts have been dis- 
tinguished in the public service, as far back 
as Colonial days in Pennsylvania. The ancient 
history of this line will be found in the sketch 
of Robert McCalmont, elsewhere in this work. 
The branch of the family here under con- 
sideration are the posterity of Thomas McCal- 
mont, the Covenanter minister who was perse- 
cuted for his faith in the reign of Charles II, 
and who made his escape by crossing in a 
fishing boat to Ireland, where he settled at 
Cairn Castle, in County Antrim. His children 
were: Thomas, next in the line we are trac- 
ing; James, bom in 1707, who married Hannah 
Blair; John, bom May i, 1709, who married 
a Latimer, of County Tyrone, Ireland, came 
to Pennsylvania, and settled on the Susque- 
hanna, dying in 1779; Robert — no trace of his 
descendants; and Hugh. 

Thomas McCalmont (2) was a resident of 
County Armagh, Ireland, for a short time 
previous to 1766. Subsequently he joined his 
brother John in America, and he was drowned 
in crossing a river near Philadelphia on his 
way to meet his son Robert, who had come in 
his ship to conduct him back to Ireland. He 
married Susan Wallace. 

John McCalmont, son of Thomas (2), was 
bom in County Armagh, Ireland, near the 
town of the same name, Jan. i or 1 1, 1750 (old 
style), and came to America when sixteen 
years old. He had been apprenticed to a 
clockmaker, but not liking either his master 
or the trade entered into an agreement with 
the captain of the ship "Rose,'' to serve three 
years for his passage to this country, with the 
privilege of selecting the person with whom he 
should live, and of having his indenture can- 
celled on payment of a certain sum of money. 
He remained near Philadelphia until 1773, in 
which year he married Elizabeth Conard or 
Kundcrs, who was born in 1750, daughter of 
Henry and Jane (Stroud) Conard or Kunders, 
of Philadelphia county, and great-grand- 
daughter of Thomas and Ellen (Streipers) 
Conard or Kunders. Thomas Kunders and 
the famous Pastorius were the first in America 
to protest against human slavery. John McCal- 
mont was out with the militia in the Revolu- 
tion one tour of ser\'ice under General Lacey, 
in Capt. Alexander Brown's company, and 
wintered with Washington at Valley Forge. 
In 1783, after a few years* residence in the 
Kishacoquillas valley at Greenwood (now 
Mifflin county), near Lewistown, he moved to 
the Nittany valley in Center county, where he 
purchased a tract of land near where Jackson- 
ville is located, his home being a few rods 



from the Lick Run meeting house. He re- 
mained there until 1803-05, when he removed 
to \'enango county and settled in Sugarcreek 
township, about four miles north of Franklin. 
John McCalmont died Aug. 3, 1832, at the 
home of his son Henry in Complanter town- 
ship, and was buried in the U. P. (Seceder) 
churchyard there, at Plumer. His wife died 
Aug. 10-12, 1829, aged seventy-seven years, 
and was buried in the old graveyard at Frank- 
lin. They were the parents of the following 
children: Thomas, bom Oct. 14, 1774, came 
to Venango county in 1802; Henry, bom 
March 15, 1776, came to Venango county in 
1819, removed to Cornplanter township in 
185 1, and founded the town of Plumer; John, 
bom Jan. 15, 1779, was drowned when about 
eighteen months old; James, born May 17, 
1781, served as a volunteer in the war of 1812, 
was wounded in the battle of Bridgewater 
(Lundy's Lane) and died about three weeks 
later at Black Rock, near Buffalo; Robert, 
bom Aug. 26-27, 1783, came to Venango 
county in 1802 with his brother Thomas, and 
settled a tract on the Dempseytown road some 
five miles from Franklin, with the assistance 
of Jacob Whitman and John Lupher building 
the cabin into which their parents and family 
moved; Alexander, who served ten years as 
presiding judge of the Eighteenth Judicial Dis- 
trict of Pennsylvania, is mentioned in the 
sketch of his grandson, Robert McCalmont : 
John, born Sept. 9, 1788, came to Venango 
county in 1803 and was one of the most promi- 
nent citizens of his day here, a successful 
manufacturer and at one time county treasurer ; 
Elizabeth, bom Feb. 3, 1791, married William 
Shaw; Sarah, born Nov. 3, 1792, married 
George Crain; Jane, born Oct. 8, 1794, mar- 
ried James Ricketts; Joseph was the father 
of John Linn McCalmont. 

Joseph McCalmont was born Nov. 23, 1800, 
in Center county. Pa., and came to Venango 
county with his parents, growing up in Siigar- 
creek township. In 1829 he purchased the 
farm in that township upon which he resided 
until his death, a tract eight miles from Frank- 
lin, near the present Valley Mills, comprising 
160 acres. He made all the early improve- 
ments upon this property, erecting all the 
buildings now standing thereon, the present 
house having been buih in 1855 to replace the 
old log dwelling and the barn in 1848; the 
heavy timbers and solid constmction of the 
latter have endured unimpaired in over half 
a century of use. Mr. McCalmont married 
Margaret Linn, daughter of John Linn, of 
Center county, who was born east of the 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



mountains and came to Venango county with 
her parents in childhood. Mrs. McCalmont 
lived to be seventy-two years old, dying Feb. 
7, 1873, ^"^ her maiden sister, Jemima, who 
always lived with her, also reached an advanced 
age. Mr. McCalmont passed away April 22, 
1874. Mr. and Mrs. McCalmont are buried at 
the Memorial Presbyterian Church, of which 
they were original members, both having been 
stanch Presbyterians. Their family consisted 
of eight children: (i) Jemima Linn married 
Andrew Johnston, of Huntingdon, Pa., and 
had four children, Andrew Porter Wilson, 
Jemima Linn, Joseph McCalmont (who died in 
California in 1912) and Katherine (now liv- 
ing in Norfolk, Nebr.). The eldest son, An- 
drew Porter Wilson, began his life work as a 
civil engineer, and was retired m 191 7 as 
supervisor of the Middle division of the Penn- 
sylvania Railroad, now living in Altoona, Pa. 
The daughter Jemima Linn is the wife of 
William Andrew Crawford, mentioned else- 
where in this work. She was named for 
Jemima Linn, the maiden sister of Mrs. 
Margaret (Linn) McCalmont, and is the third 
of the name. The family are proud of their 
Linn connections, and every descendant has 
either a son or a daughter who bears the 
name. (2) Emily married Samuel Cooper, 
and died in Louisiana when past eighty. (3) 
Sarah J. married T. Wilson Brown and moved 
to Greenville, Mercer Co., Pa. They had two 
children ; the eldest son, George, is one of the 
firm of the Winton automobile manufacturers, 
being secretary and treasurer of the company, 
and the other son, Charles, is connected with 
the Winton automobile business in New York. 
(4) James Fleming taught in Venango county 
in his early manhood and later lived on a farm 
in Nebraska, retiring two years before his 
death. During these two years he made his 
home with his brother John L. McCalmont, 
until he met an accidental death when almost 
eighty years old, being killed on the railroad 
at Prentice Station, this county. He never 
married. (5) Murray L. lived on part of the 
old farm, and his son John K. McCalmont, 
now forty-five years old, is still residing there. 
(6) Susan died in infancy. (7) Margaret 
Elizabeth, widow of Dr. H. M. Crapper, lives 
at Spokane, Wash. (8) John Linn completes 
the family. 

John Linn McCalmont was bom Sept. 4, 
1845, ^^ Sugarcreek township, was reared on 
the home farm, and attended the common 
schools of the neighborhood, having the aver- 
age advantages enjoyed by other boys of the 
period. Practically all his active life was spent 



on the paternal estate, for agreeable to the 
terms of his father's will he bought out the 
interests of the other heirs in the farm and 
continued general farming there until his re- 
.tirement. He operated the place profitably for 
many years, being one of the most successful 
agriculturists of his locality, and eventually 
sold it, moving into the town of Cooperstown 
to enjoy his leisure years in comfort and the 
agreeable associations of many old friendships. 
Mr. McCalmont served his township in the 
capacity of road commissioner for three years, 
and both as an official and private citizen, 
could always be counted upon for public- 
spirited cooperation in the best movements of 
the day. Like the family generally, he has 
adhered to the Democratic party on political 
issues. He has long attended and supported 
the Presbyterian Church. 

In 1870 Mr. McCalmont married Martha 
Beggs, of Canal township, this county, then 
a young ^irl, and she died in 1893, the mother 
of six children : Amy Linn died at the age of 
twenty-seven years, unmarried; Margaret 
died in childhood ; Warren, who never married, 
lived on the home place and later in Colorado, 
where he died when thirty years old; Belle 
died at the age of twenty-two years ; Andrew 
Lee died in infancy ; Stuart is the only survivor 
of this family. He lives at Raton, N. Mex., 
and is engaged as a conductor on the Santa Fe 
& Rocky Mountain railroad. His brothers 
and sisters having sdccumbed to tubercular 
trouble, he was sent West when twelve years 
old for the benefit of his health and has re- 
mained in that section; he married a Kansas 
girl, Pearl Kugher, and they have three sons, 
Warren, Don and John Henry. 

Mr. McCalmont married for his second wife 
Jennie Thompson, of Franklin, daughter of 
William and Helen (Shannon) Thompson. 
Her father was accidentally killed when she 
was a child, while engaged in "shooting" an 
oil well, but her mother reached the age of 
eighty years, dying in 1914. Mrs. McCalmont 
was bom in Venango county, and was engaged 
as a dressmaker in Franklin up to the time of 
her marriage, making many warm friends in 
the course of an active, helpful life. She has 
always been known for her good spirits and 
cheerful outlook on life, and her pleasant, 
vivacious disposition has created a genial home 
atmosphere agreeable alike to her family and 
other social companions. 

LYMAN LINCOLN GRAHAM, of Oil 
City, is associated in responsible capacity with 
the leading gas interests in this section of 



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589 



Pennsylvania. Bom Jan. lo, 1866, at Lincoln- 
ville, in Bloomfield township, Crawford Co., 
Pa., Mr. Graham belongs to a family long 
resident in western Pennsylvania. His great- 
grandfather, James Graham, is buried ifi Fair- 
view township, Beaver county. He was a 
member of the Seceder Church. Of his three 
sons, Hugh, William and Noble, Hugh was 
the grandfather of Lyman L. Graham. 

Hugh Graham was born in Beaver county. 
Pa., and when a young man removed to Craw- 
ford county, following his trade of cabinet- 
maker and carpenter there throughout his ac- 
tive years. He lived retired for some time be- 
fore his death, which occurred at the home of 
his son in Meadville when he was eighty-four 
years old, and is buried at that city. He was 
a Seceder in religion and a Republican in pol- 
itics. To his marriage with Anne Johnson, of 
Beaver county, who lived to the age of eighty- 
seven years, were born four children : James, 
Maria, Samuel C. (who married Lucy Powell) 
and Jane (Mrs. William Donaldson). 

James Graham, son of Hugh and Anne 
(Johnson) Graham, was born in 1840 in Fair- 
view township, Beaver county, and received 
his education in the district schools. By calling 
he was a carpenter. He was only a boy when 
the family removed to Bloomfield township, 
Crawford Co., Pa., where the better portion of 
his life was spent, though his death took place 
in Plum township, V^enango county, in August, 
1894. He served two terms as clerk of the 
courts in Crawford county, to which position 
he was elected in 188 1 and 1884, on the Repub- 
lican ticket, and he held the offices of justice of 
the peace and school director in his home town- 
ship. He was a prominent member of the 
Presbyterian Church at Meadville, serving as 
elder. His wife, Sally (Lincoln), a native of 
Lincolnville, Crawford county, died in 1912 at 
the age of sixty-eight years, and is buried in 
Grove Hill cemetery at Oil City. Mr. Graham 
is interred at Sunville, Venango county. Their 
family consisted of four children : Eva Ellen, 
deceased, who was the wife of R. D. Marsh ; 
Jennie E., now living at West Sunbury, Butler 
Co.. Pa.; Ada A., wife of C. A. Gilliland, of 
Oil City ; and Lyman Lincoln. 

Seth C. Lincoln, father of Mrs. Sally (Lin- 
coln) Graham, lived for a time in New York 
State after leaving his old home near Monson, 
Mass., there following agricultural pursuits. 
Then he came to the headwaters of Oil creek 
and took up a tract of land in the wilderness, 
where he spent the remainder of his life in 
typical pioneer activities. He cut timber and 
rafted it down to Pittsburgh, built a large 



dam for waterpower and erected a fine sawmill 
and grist mill, and founded the town of Lin- 
colnville, named in his honor. When he 
settled there Meadville, twenty-one miles dis- 
tant, was the nearest town. He was accident- 
ally killed while rafting lumber down Oil 
creek, at what is now known as McClintock- 
ville, while yet a young man, still in the midst 
of his labors. He was a son of John Lincoln, 
a native of Massachusetts, and his mother's 
maiden name was Clark. Seth C. Lincoln and 
his wife Lucina (Wood) are buried at Lin- 
colnville. They had children as follows: 
Edwin; Eliza, wife of Lafayette Buchanan; 
Lyman S., who married Sarah Martin, both 
being now deceased; Lodica, a resident of 
Lincolnville, who married Jerome Harrington 
and (second) Lewis Hubbell; Sally, Mrs. 
James Graham; and Polly. 

Lyman Lincoln Graham acquired his educa- 
tion at the Smith business college in Meadville. 
Pa. In 1888 he came to Oil City in the interest 
of William Fleming, an active oil producer, 
with whom he continued for seven months, in 
1889 becoming land agent for the South Penn 
Oil Company in Oil City, and acting as such 
until 1908. His time has since been devoted 
principally to gas interests. He first became 
associated with the United Natural Gas Com- 
pany as land agent in 1898, and ten years ago 
was elected secretary, later being elected vice 
president as well. He is deeply interested in 
local aflfairs of any kind which have the gen- 
eral welfare for their object, has served a term 
on the school board as representative from the 
Seventh ward, and is an earnest supporter of 
Trinity M. E. Church. In sympathy with the 
needs of the hour, he holds membership in the 
National Security League and the Red Cross. 
In political opinion he is a Republican. Upon 
reaching his majority Mr. Graham joined 
Crawford Lodge, I. O. O. F., at Meadville, 
with which he is still affiliated, and has served 
as secretary of that body; in Oil City he be- 
longs to Tent No. 21, K. O. T. M., the Pro- 
tected Home Circle, and Oil City Lodge. No. 
344, B. P. O. Elks. 

In 1887 Mr. Graham married Nettie L. 
Barnes, of Meadville, who was bom Jan. 10, 
1867. and died March 13, 1913, the mother 
of children as follows: Frederick Wallace, 
bom April i. 1889, died Feb. i, 1903; Orson 
James, born May 19, 1894, was educated in the 
Oil City high school, Allegheny College and 
the law department of the University of Penn- 
sylvania (where he attended two years), and 
is now first lieutenant of Company I, 315th 
Regiment, Infantry, stationed at Camp Meade, 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



in Mainland ; Mortimer Elliott, bom Oct. i8, 
1901, is a student in the high school at Oil City ; 
Constance Virginia, bom June i, 1906, is at- 
tending public school in Oil City. Mrs. 
Graham is buried in Grove Hill cemeter}^ For 
his second wife Mr. Graham married Sarah C. 
Councilman, who was bom May 17, 1874, in 
East Fairfield township, Crawford Co., Pa., 
daughter of John and Ellen (Price) Council- 
man. They have no children. 

Mrs. Graham is a granddaughter of Peter 
Kuntzelman (as the name was originally writ- 
ten), a native of Schuylkill county, Pa., bom 
Feb. II, 1796, who settled on a farm above 
Sandy Lake, in Mercer county. Pa., and spent 
the remainder of his life tl^re. He made the 
journey from his early home to this section by 
wagon to Lake Erie, thence down to Harts- 
town and Sandy Lake, and there he and his 
wife Sarah lived to old age and are buried. 
His farm of two hundred acres is now owned 
by his grandsons. His children were born as 
follows: Joel, June 27, 1820; Lavina, April 
5, 1823; Catherine, Sept. 23, 1824; Lucianna, 
Aug. 12, 1826; John, Aug. 22, 1828; Caroline, 
June 29, 1830; Sarah, Nov. 16, 1831 ; Eliza- 
beth, June 12, 1833; Peter, Jan. 12, 1837; 
Phoebe, March 25, 1843; Eliza, Oct. 15, 1844. 
The family were German Lutherans in relig- 
ious connection. Politically Mr. Kuntzelman 
was a Democrat. 

John Councilman, father of Mrs. Graham, 
was bom Aug. 22, 1828, and died in Septem- 
ber, 19 16, at Shaws Landing, in East Fairfield 
township, Crawford Co., Pa. He was a boy 
when he accompanied his father to Mercer 
county, and there he remained until just be- 
fore the Civil war, when he married and re- 
moved to Crawford county, acquiring a large 
farm in East Fairfield township upon which 
he resided until his death. He enlisted at 
Meadville and serv^ed throughout the Civil 
war. By his first wife Mr. Councilman had 
two sons, Charles and William, and seven chil- 
dren were born to his second union, with Ellen 
Price, namely: George N. : Mary, Mrs. Elmer 
McCauley; Fannie, Mrs. F. K. Stern: Sarah 
C, Mrs. Lyman L. Graham : Frank, who is in 
the regular army, at West Point, N. Y. ; Joel, 
of Sharon, Pa.; and Stanley, who married 
Mary Battels. The mother of this family con- 
tinues to reside on the old farm at Shaws Land- 
ing, in East Fairfield township, anS the father 
is buried in the Conneaut cemetery in that 
township. He was a Democrat of the old 
school. 

Mrs. Ellen (Price) Councilman was bom 
Oct. 22, 1845, at Lambertonville, N. J., 



daughter of Nathaniel Price. Mrs. Nettie L. 
(Barnes) Graham was a granddaughter of 
Sluman Barnes, of Ravenna, Portage* Co., 
Ohio, who died when about eighty years old. 
He followed the calling of carpenter all his 
life. He married Abigail Chase, and of his 
large family we have record of Orson M. (who 
married Emily Slater), Harriet (Mrs. Merri- 
man), Lucina (who married Putnam Reed), 
Phila (Mrs. Frank Cannon), Delia Laurinda 
(Mrs. John WilliamUrick, of Meadville, Pa.), 
and Albert E. (of Warren, Ohio, whose wife's 
name is Ida). Orson M.'was the father of 
Mrs. Graham. He was born in Ohio, four 
miles west of Ravenna, where his early life 
was spent and where he enlisted for service 
in the Civil war. At the close of his military 
duties he located at Meadville, Pa., taking a 
position as stationary engineer with the Erie 
Railroad Company which he held until 1889, 
when he removed to Oil City and found 
similar employment with the National Transit 
Company until his death, at the age of sixty 
years. He is buried at Meadville. His wife, 
Emily Elizabeth (Slater), lived to the age of 
sixty-five years. Both their children, Qara 
and Nettie L. (Mrs. Graham), are deceased. 
Mr. Barnes was a Republican in politics, and 
in religion a member of the Methodist Church. 

FRANCIS McMASTER WILSON, of 
Utica, is a member of the firm of Wilson 
Brothers, owners of the leading business estab- 
lishment in that borough and one of the oldest 
in point of continuous operation in this section 
of the county. The Wilsons have been asso- 
ciated with the development and progress of 
French Creek township and the borough of 
Utica since the arrival of Cornelius Wilson in 
the early thirties, he and his sons in tum fig- 
uring among the most enterprising business 
men of the locality during the three quarters 
of a century and more which have elapsed 
since. Their record is one of successful effort, 
marked by the exercise of reliable methods and 
honorable business practices which have gained 
them the confidence of their fellow men as 
well as substantial standing. 

This family originated in the North of Ire- 
land, and Mr. Wilson's great-grandfather was 
the first of this line to come to America from 
that region. He managed to escape from his 
countr}' during a rebellion, bringing all his 
family but two daughters who were in school, 
and whom he never saw afterward. One son, 
Hugh Wilson, was the grandfather of Francis 
M. Wilson, and he lived in New York, losing' 
his life in a stone quarry explosion in the Cats- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



591 



kill mountains. Cornelius Wilson, son of 
Hugh, was born Jan. 13, 1810, at Kinderhook, 
Columbia Co., N. Y., and was a child at the 
time of his father's death. During his young 
manhood he went to Canada, where he was 
employed as a tanner and journeyman shoe- 
maker, and while in Ontario he married Sarah 
Cummings, the young couple coming to Penn- 
sylvania soon afterward and settling at Utica, 
Venango county. Mr. Wilson built a tannery 
on what is now known as Anderson Hill, but 
after a few years, in 1841, he left this enter- 
prise and went to a farm on the North Sandy 
creek, in French Creek township, five miles 
south of Utica, following agriculture for a 
number of years thereafter. He had improved 
this property greatly by the time he traded it, 
in 1858, for a tannery and water power on 
Mill creek, at the point where the latter emp- 
ties into French creek, getting it from the 
original owner, David Goodard. The water 
power came through a race from A. W. Ray- 
mond's mill pond, a quarter of a mile up the 
creek, which still supplies water power. Mr. 
Wilson did custom work at the tannery and 
bought and sold leather, which he worked up 
into boots and shoes, harness, etc., in time 
building up a large business which gave em- 
ployment to f\ve or six men besides those en- 
gaged in the tannery. He continued thus until 
1872, when, taking advantage of the change 
in conditions created by the expansion of the 
oil business, he converted his shop into a fac- 
tory for the production of sucker rods for oil 
weU pumps, the business from that time being 
operated under the name of C. Wilson & Sons. 
The manufacture flourished, six men being 
generally employed, and though the trade 
shrank somewhat when the local oil opera- 
tions decreased temporarily it has been built 
up again by the application of modem methods 
and the enterprise of the owners, who have 
sought patronage elsewhere now that shipping 
facilities make one customer as accessible as 
another. Though Cornelius Wilson remained 
the nominal head of the firm until his death 
he had lived practically retired for about 
twenty years previously, and the firm of Wil- 
son Brothers succeeded the original organiza- 
tion, F. M. & E. A. Wilson constituting the 
present concern. 

Cornelius Wilson reached his eighty-fourth 
year, dying March 16, 1893. His first wife 
died while they were residing at the old tan- 
nery, leaving three children: Cecilia married 
J. C. Paden and resided in Warren county, 
dying Dec. 12, 1892. Eliza married Morris 
Parker and went to live at Lone Rock, Wis., 



returning to Utica after Mr. Parker's death, 
which occurred while he was in the army dur- 
ing the Civil war; she subsequently married 
(second) J. P. Cassidy, and died Oct. 25, 1910. 
William, born March 4, 1841 (his mother dying 
at the time of his birth), enlisted in the 105th 
Pennsylvania Volunteers during the Civil war 
and was killed at the battle of Fair Oaks. For 
his second wife Mr. Wilson married Mary 
McMaster, of near Cooperstawn, who was 
bom Jan. 14, 1818. Her father died when a 
young man and is buried at that place, her 
mother afterward marrying William Gordon. 
Mrs. Wilson died at Utica Sept. 26, 1898, in 
her eighty-first year, and is buried with her 
husband in the Mill Creek cemetery three miles 
south of the borough. They were members of 
the old Mill Creek Presbyterian Church, whose 
congregation now has its house of worship at 
Utica. Seven children were born to Cornelius 
and Mary (McMaster) Wilson: Mortimer H., 
bom April i, 1845, ^^s a manufacturer of 
sucker rods at Utica and at Corry, Pa., where 
he lived from 1882 until his death, Sept. 27, 
1896. Francis McMaster is next in the family. 
Mary Ellen, bom April 18, 1850, resides at 
Toledo, Ohio, widow of H. B. Anderson, 
formerly of Utica; he was a veteran of the 
Civil war. Henry Herrington, bom Sept. 7, 
1852, a commercial salesman, died in 1913 at 
Paterson, N. J. John Manton, born April 2, 
1855, was a member of the firm of C. Wilson 
& Sons and died at Utica Aug. 16, 1898. 
Elmer A., bom Dec. 2^. 1858, is a member of 
the firm of Wilson Brothers. Cornelia M., 
born May i, 1864, married Plum Hickman, and 
died soon afterward, on April 12, 1896. 

Francis McMaster Wilson was bom May 2^, 
1847, on the Sandy creek farm in French Creek 
township which his parents occupied until 
1858. He had such educational advantages as 
the common schools of his day aflforded, and 
helping his father about the tannery leamed 
the business thoroughly in all its details, when 
a young man becoming associated with him 
as a member of the original firm of C. Wilson 
& Sons. From the time of his father's retire- 
ment he had full charge of the business, with 
which he has continued to the present time, he 
Jind his brother operating a saw and planing 
mill and continuing the manufacture of sucker 
rods, of which the output is larger than ever, 
the market now extending beyond Pennsyl- 
vania into Ohio and West Virginia, and even 
Oklahoma. Their foreign shipments have 
gone as far as India and Japan. Branches 
have been operated at Bradford, Titusville and 
Butler for the more convenient handling of the 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



trade in the Pennsylvania fields, but the head- 
quarters of the business have always been 
maintained at Utica. Four men are employed 
regularly, modern methods of manufacture 
having evolved better and more economical 
processes of production. Wilson Brothers buy 
standing timber for their mill, and have it cut 
to order. Naturally, in their contact with the 
oil business they have been tempted to under- 
take oil production on their own account, and 
they sank a few wells, but without results. Mr. 
Wilson has devoted most of his time to prac- 
tical affairs and has taken little recreation, but 
trout fishing is a favorite pastime of his lei- 
sure hours. He has been a member of Lake 
Lodge No. 434, F. & A. M., at Sandy Lake, 
Pa., since 1873. On political questions he is a 
Democrat. 

On March 4, 1874, Mr. Wilson married 
Elizabeth Wilson, daughter of Hugh Wilson, 
a brother of Cornelius, who was a farmer in 
Wayne county, N. Y. Mrs. Wilson was born 
in Columbia county, N. Y., along the Hudson 
river, and grew to womanhood in Wayne 
county. They have had no children. She is a 
Christian Scientist in religious belief. 

WESLEY CHAMBERS (deceased), for 
many years an honored resident of Oil City, 
was of Pennsylvania birth and training, son of 
David Chambers. The father, bom March i, 
1805, lived at Wesleyville, Erie Co., this State, 
and died Jan. 19, 1890. On April 3, 1828, he 
married Mabel Nash, and they had six chil- 
dren, born as follows: Wesley, Sept. 13, 1829; 
Norman Nash, Aug. 2, 183 1 ; Cordelia Ann, 
Aug. 30, 1833; Ezekiel, Nov. 8, 1835; Mary 
Jane, Aug. 7, 1837; William Henry, Nov. 8, 
1839. Their mother died April i, 1840, at 
Harborcreek, Erie Co., Pa., and on March 3, 
1841, the father married (second) Harriet 
Perry, by whom he had four children: Rob- 
ert, bom May 4. 1842; Harriet Eliza, Sept. 8, 
1843; Martha Amelia, Aug. 2, 1845; John, 
April I, 1848. 

Wesley Chambers was born in Harborcreek 
township, Erie county, where he grew up, ac- 
quiring his preliminary education in the com- 
mon schools there. He made the most of his 
literary opportunities, later studying at Alle- 
gheny College, Meadville, Pa., and during his 
early manhood taught school in the winter sea- 
sons, following farming in summer. He was 
caught by the gold fever, and made his way 
overland bv team to California in 1849, spend- 
ing several years in the gold regions and un- 
dergoing the typical experiences of prospectors 
in those days. Returning to Pennsylvania in 



i860, he immediately became interested in the 
oil fields of the western section of the State, 
late in the same year locating at the town of 
Tidioute, Warren county, and subsequently 
at Rouse ville, Venango county. On Aug. i, 
1 86 1, he came to the Kynd farm in that neigh- 
borhood, though he made his home at Rouse- 
ville during most of the time that he was in- 
terested in that property, and he was soon busy 
transporting oil to Oil City and Pittsburgh, 
both by team and boat, from various points 
along Oil creek. It was in 1864 that he began 
production on his own account, his first opera- 
tions being on the Beers & Comen farm, on 
Cherry run, and unprofitable. In 1865 he ven- 
tured operations on the Rynd farm, where he 
did well, remaining there until 1867, and in 
1868-69 h^ made another attempt at produc- 
tion on Cherry run. In 1875 he became inter- 
ested in the Bradford field and a year and a 
half later was associated with J. T. Jones and 
others in the formation of the Bradford Oil 
Company, of which he was the first president. 
His operations in oil became very extensive, 
taking him into Armstrong (at Parker's Land- 
ing) and Butler counties, in Bradford, Warren, 
McKean, Clarion and Venango counties, Pa., 
and Allegany county, N. Y., and in 1880 he 
was one of a group that organized the Union 
Refining Company and erected a plant near the 
mouth of Cornplanter run in Oil City. The 
undertaking turned out well. Mr. Chambers 
spent much of the time of his business career 
in developing the business of producing oil. 
He was one of a small class of men who had 
the vision and business sagacity to foresee the 
future of the oil business and the vital part 
that it was to play in the industrial welfare of 
the nation. At the same time, he had the 
determination to follow his judgment and pur- 
sue the producing business when the lot ofc 
the producer was most discouraging. The cor- 
rectness of his judgment has been confirmed 
by the present state of the oil industr}-. 

Mr. Chambers was also interested with Mr. 
Jones and others in the organization of the 
Ouray Mining Company of Colorado, and be- 
came its president and one of the managing 
directors. The mines were situated in the 
southwestern part of Colorado, in the almost 
inaccessible San Juan mountains, and though 
for years the supplies for the miners had to 
be taken over the Rockies in freight wagons 
at great cost, and the ore brought out in the 
same way, the enterprise prospered. 

Mr. Chambers was alwavs zealous in behalf 
of the general welfare, believing that all citi- 
zens should share in the responsibility for good 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



593 



government and work together toward the at- 
tainment of ideal conditions, and few men 
have performed their duties of citizenship as 
well. In 1876 he removed to Oil City, where 
he ever afterward made his home, and h^ was 
always active in securing good officials and 
promotmg beneficial measures of all kinds. In 
the early days of the Greenback party he joined 
the movement and was one of its most enthu- 
siastic supporters, and he was one of the lead- 
ers in his section of the State, during the most 
powerful days of the party being offered the 
nomination for lieutenant governor of the State 
and for congressman. He declined both hon- 
ors. As his ideas matured he became more and 
more liberal in principle and breadth of mind, 
disregarding party lines when he had a cause 
to work for. He believed thoroughly in the 
abolishment of intoxicating liquors as bever- 
ages, and had the courage to come out as an 
open advocate of the constitutional prohibition 
of. the liquor traffic in the days when such 
opinions were highly unpopular. From the 
time of his return from the West he took a 
sincere interest in church work, and he gave 
generously to the churches of all denomina- 
tions in Oil City, but his particular interest was 
in Trinity M. E. Church. He served on the 
board of trustees and helped with the church 
management for years, being one of the build- 
ing committee when the present fine house of 
worship was erected, some forty years ago. 
He also responded liberally to calls for help 
from struggling churches elsewhere. His ap- 
preciation of music as a part of the church 
services led him to help freely to secure the 
best possible, and the large number whom he 
assisted to secure adequate vocal training ex- 
emplifies his practical interest in everything 
which attracted his attention. He was active 
until his death, which occurred March 18, 
1896, and was sincerely mourned among all 
classes. 

On Sept. 20, i860, Mr. Chambers was mar- 
ried to Cordelia J. Bonnell, who was bom Feb. 
2. 1830, and survived him, passing away Nov. 
7. 1903. They had three children : Fred Nash, 
late of Oil City ; Anne Lee, of Oil City ; and 
George D., who resides in California. Mrs. 
Chambers was a member of Trinity M. E. 
Church. 

Anne Lee Chambers was born at Rouseville, 
\>nango Co., Pa., was reared at Oil City, and 
married Dr. August Carl Morck, one of the 
leading opticians of western Pennsylvania. 
Six children were bom to them : Carl A., who 
died in infancy: Cordelia, now the wife of 
Lieut. Beniamin H. Brinton, L'. S. N. ; Anita, 

38 



who died in infancy; Wesley Chambers, a stu- 
dent ; Augusta Fisher; and William Allen. 

In the maternal line Wesley Chambers was 
descended from old New England Colonial 
stock, his first ancestor in this country, Thomas 
Nash, coming to America in 1637. Having re- 
solved to plant a new colony, the entire com- 
pany sailed from Boston in March, 1638, for 
Quinipiac, where they purchased land from 
the Indians and founded what is now the city 
of New Haven, Connecticut. 

THOMAS ROTE WEYMOUTH has been 
associated in his technical capacity with some 
of the most important interests represented at 
Oil City, where he has made his home since 
1903. His present position, as chief engineer 
with the United Natural Gas Company, is of 
itself a sufficient guarantee of his skill and 
reputation, which have been growing steadily 
under the stimulus of great responsibilities. 

Mr. Weymouth is a descendant of an old 
American family, his first ancestor in this 
country having been Capt. George Weymouth, 
of the English ship **ArchangeV' who came 
from England in 1605, when he visited the 
Gulf of Maine, planted a garden at Boothbay, 
and set up a cross on the island of Monhegan, 
taking possession of the territor}^ in the name 
of the English Crown. He was the discoverer 
of the Penobscot river in Maine. 

Andrew Wiggin Weymouth, grandfather 
of Thomas R. Weymouth, came originally 
from Tamworth, N. H., moving to Wolfboro, 
N. H., Stetson, Maine, and finally to Orono, 
Maine, where he raised his family, and where 
he died when about seventy years old. By 
trade he was a blacksmith. During the gold 
excitement of 1849 he went West with his 
son William, who died there in the wilder- 
ness and was buried by his father. Andrew 
W. Weymouth was a member of the Repub- 
lican party. He married Mary Lary, and 
their children were: Andrew, William, 
Frank, Samuel, Charles, George, Hannah 
(Mrs. Robert Hutchinson) and Amanda 
(Mrs. Frank Weeks). 

George Weymouth, son of Andrew W. 
Weymouth, was named for the original Amer- 
ican ancestor. He was bom Feb. 10, 1839, 
at Orono, Maine, and was reared there, re- 
ceiving his early education in the public 
schools and taking a business course at the 
Eastman commercial college, Poughkeepsie, 
N. Y. When eighteen years old he came to 
Pennsylvania, residing in this State during the 
remainder of his life. After some experience 
in the lumber business with his brother at 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



Williamsport he moved to Lock Haven, Clin- 
ton county, where he became a member of 
the firm of Hopkins, Best & Weymouth, which 
subsequently, by the retirement of Mr. Best, 
became Hopkins & Weymouth. They were 
in the wholesale lumber trade, in which Mr. 
Weymouth was active until his death. He 
was also president of the Falls Creek Coal 
Company, and as a side issue was interested 
in farming, owning a tract of 212 acres in 
the fertile Nittany valley in Center county. He 
was prominent there in other associations as 
well, being a leading Republican and for sev- 
eral years chairman of the county commit- 
tee. He held membership in Council No. 932, 
R. A., and in Great Island Presbyterian 
Church at Lock Haven. His death occurred 
June 4, 1904, and he is buried in Highland 
cemetery at Lock Haven. By his marriage to 
Effie Pamelia Rote, who survives him, Mr. 
Weymouth had four children, Grace M. (Mrs. 
Edward G. Kendall), Thomas Rote, Clarence 
Andrew (married Margaret Tyler) and Bessie 
Harper (who died in 1887 when two years 
old). 

Mrs. Effie Pamelia (Rote) Weymouth was 
bom Feb. 11, 1848, and continues to make her 
home at Lock Haven. Her father, Griffin 
Rote, moved to Nittany valley. Center county, 
near Salona, Pa., from Hartleton, Pa., and 
became the owner of a most desirable farm, 
later bought by his son-in-law George Wey- 
mouth. Mr. Rote followed barn building as 
well as farming. He was a Democrat in pol- 
itics and a Methodist in religion. He mar- 
ried Susan Meyer, of Rebersburg, Pa., and 
they had the following children: Ellen M., 
Thomas J., Cyrus W., Margaret E., Chesty 
A., Susan Jane, Effie Pamelia (Mrs. George 
Weymouth) and Charles C. The parents are 
interred in Cedar Hill cemetery near Salona, 
Clinton county, Pennsylvania. 

Thomas Rote Weymouth was born March 
16, 1876, at Lock Haven, Qinton Co., Pa., 
where he acquired his preparatory education 
in the public schools, graduating from high 
school in 1893. He followed with a course 
in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 
from which institution he was graduated in 
1897 with the degree of bachelor of science 
in electrical engineering. In 1898, after a few 
months in the employ of the Metropolitan 
Street Railway Company, he became the elec- 
trical engineer for the International Hydraulic 
Company, in New York, an engineering cor- 
poration engaged in the development of water 
power and high tension electrical transmission 



systems. In May, 1903, he came to Oil City 
to serve as assistant to the chief engineer of 
the National Transit Company, where he 
found the variety of duties and frequent ne- 
cessity for prompt decision invaluable in 
quickening his executive capacity as well as 
calling out all his mechanical ingenuity. In 
1910 he made an advantageous change to his 
present association with the United Natural 
Gas Company, of which he is a director and 
chief engineer in charge of the engineering 
and chemical departments, including all gas 
compressing stations and gasoline manufac- 
turing plants. The demands of the position 
require unusual breadth of training and ex- 
perience for their effective fulfillment, and 
Mr. Weymouth has shown himself equal to 
them and alive to the practically unlimited 
possibilities which science has opened up in 
the practice of his profession in his chosen 
field of work. A close student, with a well 
grounded technical training, he has helped 
much in applying sound scientific principles 
to the solution of engineering problems aris- 
ingr in the natural gas business, and has con- 
tributed several engineering papers bearing 
on the' subject to the American Society of 
Mechanical Engineers. Mr. Weymouth is 
also a pioneer in the invention and develop- 
ment of orifice meters for measuring gases 
and liquids, and in the design and construction 
of plants for the extraction of gasoline from 
natural gas. He has also secured patents on 
several scientific instruments used in this 
work. Mr. Weymouth is a director in the 
following companies: United Natural Gas 
Company, Pennsylvania Gas Company, Clari- 
on Gas Company, Pennsylvania Oil Company, 
The Mars Company, and Meadville Gas & 
Water Company. He is a member of The 
American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 
the American Institute of Electrical Engi- 
neers, the American Association for the Ad- 
vancement of Science, and the Natural Gas 
Association of America. 

Mr. Weymouth has become thoroughly iden- 
fied with local activities, and has been par- 
ticularly interested in the Second Presbyterian 
Church, in which he holds membership; he 
is chairman of the present music committee, 
and was the first president of the Parker 
Bible Qass. Fraternally he is affiliated with 
Lock Haven Council, No. 932, Royal Arca- 
"num. While at college he became a member 
of the Delta Upsilon fraternity, was treasurer 
and president of his chapter at different times, 
and for several years after leaving college 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



595 



served on the executive council of the national 
organization. Like his father, he gives his 
political support to the Republican party. 

On April 8, 191 3, at Pomona, Cal., Mr. 
Weymouth married Josephine (Goettel) 
Loomis, a native of Oil City, who has a son, 
William Loomis, born March 9, 1905, now 
attending public school in Oil City. 

Mrs. \Veymouth received her education at 
St. ;Mar>''s and Miss Ely's Schools in New 
Vork City. She is granddaughter of Daniel 
Goettel, who came to Venango county. Pa., 
from Rochester, N. Y., and who with his wife 
is buried in Grove Hill cemetery at Oil City. 
Their children were: Philip, Jacob, Daniel, 
Edward, Carrie, Elizabeth and Emma, the 
last named deceased. Of these, Daniel Goet- 
tel was born March 21, 1853, ^^ Toronto, Can- 
ada. He received his education in Syracuse, 
X. Y., and came to Oil City when a yotmg 
boy, and became one of the most prominent 
and successful members of the Oil Exchange 
in Oil City. He now lives in Oil City and is 
engaged in oil production. His wife, Joseph- 
ine (Drake), was born May 11, 1856, at Ship- 
pensville, Clarion Co., Pa., and they have had 
two children: Elsie, deceased, who was the 
wife of J. Alter Fisher ; and Josephine, Mrs. 
Thomas Rote Weymouth. Mr. and Mrs. Goet- 
tel are associated with the Methodist Church, 
and he is a Democrat on political questions. 

Through her mother Mrs. Weymouth is of 
Revolutionary ancestry, being descended from 
Andrew Boggs, the first white settler in Bald 
Eagle Valley, in Center county, Pa., and who 
in 1780 was sergeant in Capt. Daniel McClel- 
lan's Company, 7th Battalion, Cumberland 
County Militia. His great-granddaughter, 
Esther Ann Boggs, married Abial Drake, 
a native of Pittsfield, Mass., who moved 
to Pennsylvania and lived successively at 
Shippensville, Clarion County; Plumer, Ve- 
nango county; and Oil City, following 
merchandising at all of those points. He 
had a general store at Plumer and a dry 
goods store at Oil City, and retired a few 
years before his death, which occurred when 
he was about seventy years old. His wife 
died at about the same age, and is buried with 
him in Grove Hill cemetery. Her parents 
were Rev. John Harris and Catherine (Hoo- 
ver) Boggs, the former a Methodist minister, 
and Mr. and Mrs. Drake also held member-^ 
ship in the Methodist Church. Politically he* 
was a Republican., Their children were as 
follows: Sydney, John, Ada, Josephine (Mrs. 
Goettel), William and Edward. 



ROBERT MONTGOMERY STER- 
RETT, late of Irwin township, was long con- 
sidered the leading citizen of that part of 
Venango county. We need not look far for 
the evidences of his worth. With a fertility 
of mind fully equalled by physical industry, 
he was in touch with local affairs at every 
point important to the general welfare, and 
ready with ideas and material assistance in 
furthering its advancement. His private tm- 
dertakings evidenced foresight and the con- 
stancy of purpose necessary to follow his am- 
bitions to fulfillment, while the confidence in- 
spired by his success in their achievement 
made him eligible for responsibilities of a 
m^ore or less public nature. A mere reference 
to his many interests would suffice to indi- 
cate the versatility and breadth of the man, 
and his possession of uncommon executive 
ability. The beautiful home which he estab- 
lished in Irwin township, probably the finest 
country home in Venango county, the records 
of his connection with agriculture and general 
business, local government, church, school 
and allied phases of community life, show how 
completely he felt himself a part of the local 
social order. That he always retained the 
warm personal regard of his fellow citizens, 
was due to a consistent unselfishness of pol- 
icy upon which rested the foundations of 
more good results than may be calculated. 

Mr. Sterrett was a native of this State and 
of old Pennsylvania stock. His grandfather, 
John Sterrett, was bom in Northumberland 
county and settled in Beaver county, where 
he and his wife, Eliza (Patterson), are buried, 
in the old Westfield churchyard. 

Alexander Sterrett, father of Robert Mont- 
gomery Sterrett, was bom in Beaver county, 
and there lived until some years after his 
marriage to Margaret Montgomery. They 
brought their family to Venango county about 
1834, and Mrs. Sterrett died here in 1837, 
Mr. Sterrett in 1844. They were the parents 
of six children, namely: Rebecca married 
William Simpson, of Mercer county, and died 
there ; John lived with his brother Robert un- 
til his death, at the age of sixty-eight years; 
Robert Montgomery was next in the family; 
WiUiam settled in Ohio, dying in Morrow 
county, that State ; Matthew D. settled in Col- 
orado and died at Colorado Springs ; Thomas 
died in childhood. 

Robert M. Sterrett was bom June 22, 1827, 
in that part of Beaver county now included 
in T^wrence county, and was in his eighth 
year when the family came to Venango coun- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



ty, settling in Irwin township. He was young 
when his parents died, and his early years 
were filled with struggle and toil, but he was 
not easily daunted, and the larger responsi- 
bilities of his later life were carried cheer- 
fully after the trials of youthful experience 
were over. He learned the trade of tanner, 
serving his apprenticeship with Abner Gib- 
son, of Wilmington township, Mercer county, 
and after the completion of his time followed 
the business for two years longer. Then he 
leased land in Irwin township, part of the 
tract where he ever afterward made his home, 
and as soon as possible purchased it, this 
forming the nucleus of his beautiful home 
place of 360 acres, acquired by subsequent 
additions as his means permitted. During the 
first part of his residence there, while he was 
striving to get enough acreage cleared to make 
farming profitable, he would get work winters 
in the Itunber woods, and in the spring ran 
rafts on the Allegheny. Usually he had to 
walk back from Pittsburgh, and after making 
a trip he often went on almost without any 
rest at home to the upper waters near Tionesta, 
Forest county, where another raft awaited 
him. On one occasion he walked from his 
home as far as Wheeling, Ya., to overtake 
a former employer who was reported as leav- 
ing, in order to secure wages due him, and 
as he obtained the money he made the return 
trip, also on foot, with a very light heart. He 
was eminently progressive, and naturally 
when oil was discovered in the county he was 
anxious to prospect, commencing in i860, 
though at the time he had little capital to in- 
vest in anything but his agricultural interests. 
In addition to his home property he became 
the owner of 106 acres of land m Cranberry 
township, and he drilled quite a number of 
wells there, finding a number of productive 
spots. For several years he also had oil in- 
terests in Armstrong and Clarion counties, 
and it was in this business that he made most 
of his fortune, though he followed farming 
extensively and met with large prosperity in 
that line. He made a specialty of the breed- 
ing of Qydesdale horses, and of the better 
grades of sheep and cattle, and in connection 
purchased large quantities of wool. 

Mr. Sterrett had sound ideas on public ques- 
tions, and he served very ably as county com- 
missioner for one term, elected in 1881 on the 
Republican ticket. It was during his incum- 
bency that the principal bridges across French 
creeic were erected. In township aflFairs he 
was active chiefly in behalf of good schools, 
and it was due in great measure to his influ- 



ence that many of the brick schoolhouses 
were provided for and built. In fact, he stood 
for betterment in all things, in the material 
development of his locality and in the higher 
matters aflfecting social conditions, regarding 
nothing as too trivial for his attention. When 
he saw a steam thresher in operation at the 
Mercer Fair he induced the owner to bring 
it to his place, and it was the first used in this 
vicinity. His encouragement and patronage 
made many improvements possible for his 
neighbors as well as himself. AH his life he 
was active in the Amity Presbyterian Church, 
which he served as a member of the session 
for thirty-two years, until his death, and it 
was he who took the first steps to incorporate 
the Mount Irwin cemetery at that church, in 
1887, becoming president and retaining^n offi- 
cial relation to the organization up to Jhe 
time of his decease. The proceeds from lot 
sales were diverted to the improvement of the 
burial grounds, and the beautiful cemetery 
developed from that modest beginning is a 
credit to the community as well as concrete 
evidence of his zeal in its promotion. Through 
his influence also, about forty-five years ago, 
an organ was installed in the church, though 
there was considerable opposition to be over- 
come in the taking of so radical a step, and his 
liberality of mind took many other oppor- 
tunities of expression in the course of an un- 
usually long life. 

In 1878 Mr. Sterrett erected, on his home 
place in Irwin township, the beautiful home 
which was then, as now, one of the most nota- 
ble in Venango county. The brick used in 
its construction was made on the place, three 
kilns having been burned, as the first lot in- 
tended for the house was called for and sold 
for building purposes at Bullion, then a boom- 
ing oil town, six miles distant. Mr. Sterrett 
lived to enjoy his fine home for many years, 
passing away Feb. 14, 191 5, in his eighty-ninth 
year. He enjoyed extending its hospitality 
to his many friends, and kept up the agreeable 
associations of a large acquaintanceship to the 
end of his days. 

Mr. Sterrett married, in 1851, Mary Ann 
Karnes, daughter of Henry Karnes, of Mer- 
cer county. Pa., and of the seven children bom 
to them Mary Melissa married John A. Rid- 
dle (mentioned elsewhere in this work) ; Ful- 
ton B. owns part of the farm ; Zonie Elemine 
became the wife of S. R. Smith, and lived in 
Cranberry township until her death, at the 
age of thirty-five years; Sadie is the wife of 
Wilbur Yard, now a resident of Casper, Wyo. ; 
Ulysses Grant has part of the home farm. 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



597 



Ulysses Grant Sterrett was bom March 
15, 1865, at the place where he still resides, 
was reared there, and received his education 
in the schools of the vicinity. He was well 
prepared for the responsibilities of life, be- 
coming familiar with farm duties and the 
general routine of business as his father's 
assistant. He inherited a share of the home 
property and has increased his acreage by his 
own efforts, now owning more than three hun- 
dred and fifty acres, where he follows gen- 
eral farming and stock raising. He breeds 
Shorthorn cattle, and maintains a flock of over 
one hundred sheep, in every respect keeping 
up the reputation of the Sterrett family for 
up-to-date agricultural activities. His place 
is fifteen miles southwest of Franklin, near 
Wesley postoffice. 

As a citizen Mr. Sterrett is doing his full 
share to keep Irwin township to the front. 
He served seven years as a member of the 
school board and performed his duties faith- 
fully, taking personal as well as civic pride 
in securing the best possible educational facil- 
ities for his community. On political ques- 
tions he is an ardent Republican. He and 
his family have been active in Amity Presby- 
terian Church, and he was choir leader of the 
congregation for twenty-five years, eventually 
yielding place to his daughter, who now has 
charge of the church music. He succeeded 
his father as president of the session and also 
as superintendent of Mount Invin cemetery, 
and in both associations has discharged his 
obligations with the utmost regard for the 
best interests of all concerned. 

On Oct. 15, 1890, Mr. Sterrett was mar- 
ried to Stella Coleman, of Wolf Creek town- 
ship, Mercer Co., Pa., and they have four 
children, namely: Bessie is the wife of J. N. 
Eakin, of Irwin township, and has one son, 
Paul; she has received an excellent musical 
education, taught music for some years, and 
has maintained a high standard of choral work 
while in charge of the music at Amity Church. 
Frank C. married Elda Surrena, and is en- 
gaged in farming in Wolf Creek township, 
Mercer county. Florence and Eleanor are at 
h(mie. 

THOMAS JEFFERSON McKEE (de- 
ceased), of Clintonville, was a man whose 
versatile ability was one of the most potent 
forces in the advancement of that borough. 
Along with the pursuit of his own varied in- 
terests he was no less zealous in citizenship 
and social activities, and in public matters, 
in every association of life making a record 



of service to his fellow men which may well 
remain as a standard in the community where 
he rounded out his long career. In breadth 
of character, usefulness to his generation and 
integrity of purpose he proved a worthy suc- 
cessor to his father, Judge Thomas McKee, 
one of the earliest settlers of Clinton township 
and for about sixty years one of its foremost 
citizens. 

Thomas McKee was bom in 1771 in Frank- 
lin county. Pa., and was a boy when his fam- 
ily moved to Westmoreland county, this State, 
where he lived until his settlement in Venango 
county in 1797. Having adopted the profes- 
sion of surveyor, he came to this county in 
C796 looking for opportunities for such em- 
ployment, and was engaged on the survey of 
much of the land in the county west of Alle- 
gheny. For himself he acquired a tract of 
four hundred acres in what is now Clinton 
township and embracing the site of the bor- 
ough of Clintonville, some of this property 
being still owned by his descendants. In en- 
terprise and public spirit he was not exceeded 
by any of the other residents of this section 
in his day. His business ventures included 
extensive operations in the purchase and sale 
of local lands, but he also had large lumber 
interests, built one of the first sawmills in the 
vicinity, and was one of the first merchants. 
The first wagon in the township was brought 
here by him in 1809. He took a leading part 
in pubhc affairs, serving a number of years 
as justice of the peace in his township, and 
for over thirty years he was one of the asso- 
ciate judges of V^enango county, he and John 
Irwin being the first appointees to such posi- 
tion in the county. Their names appear in 
the records of the first court ever held at 
Franklin, in 1805. Mr. McKee and his fam- 
ily were Presbyterians, and for many years 
he was one of the ruling elders of the Scrub- 
grass Church, later helping to organize the 
Clintonville Church, of which he was one of 
the first rulingj elders. He was a stanch Dem- 
ocrat on political questions. 

In November, 1800, Mr. McKee married 
Mary Parker, a native of Westmoreland 
county, and she survived him almost ten years, 
his death occurring Sept. 22, 1857, when he 
was eighty-six years old, hers in February, 
1867, at the same age. They are buried m 
the McKee cemetery, which is located on land 
donated by Thomas J. McKee. Eleven chil- 
dren were born to this marriage, namely: 
William P., who went to Iowa; Washington 
Parker, who moved to Missouri, where he 
died in 1889 ; James Madison, deceased, father 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



of W. P. McKee, of Clintonville, who married 
Sadie McMillan; Thomas Jefferson; DeWitt 
Clinton, the youngest son, born at Clinton- 
ville June lo, 1825, who remained at the old 
home and was engaged as a farmer and fine 
stock dealer (he married Lucinda Anderson 
Oct. 10, 1855, and they had four sons and 
six daughters, one being Ralph McKee, who 
occupies the stone house at Clintonville where 
his grandfather lived) ; Susanna Nesbit, who 
married James F. Agnew and lived near Em- 
lenton, this county (James Agnew, of Parker, 
is their son) ; Mary Ann, who married James 
Harris, of Harrisville, and removed to the 
West ; Clarissa R., who married P. G. HoUis- 
ter and lived in Venango county (their daugh- 
ter, Mrs. Elmer Adams, of Franklin, is the 
only survivor of their family) ; Jane, Mrs. 
James Russell ; Barbara, who died young ; and 
Juliet Parker, Mrs. J. A. Allen. All this 
family are now deceased. 

Thomas Jefferson McKee was born March 
15, 1821, in the stone house at Clintonville 
where his nephew Ralph McKee now lives, 
and was reared there. He acquired a* very 
good education for the times, and taught for 
a while during his young manhood. But the 
activities of business were more attractive, 
and he found plenty of opportunity for the 
exercise of his talents right at home. For 
many years he carried on a store at Clinton- 
ville, and his enterprise was an important 
factor in the growth of the borough, where 
he built many houses. In 1874 he opened a 
private bank which he conducted successfully 
until his death as the Clinton Bank, prosper- 
ing as steadily in his financial operations as 
in his other undertakings. He was interested 
in agriculture and stock dealing, and several 
of the farms which he bought turned out to be 
profitable oil lands. In public life his prin- 
cipal services were as justice of the peace and 
county commissioner, and he was identified 
with the Democratic party, but he did not 
seek political honors, participating in such 
affairs from a sense of responsibility. Like 
his father he was prominent in the Presby- 
terian Church, which he served officially as 
elder. 

On Jan. 4, 1853, Mr. McKee married Eliza- 
beth Jane Anderson, the ceremony being per- 
formed by Rev. John Miller. Mrs. McKee 
was born in Scrubgrass township Nov. 22, 
1833, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth 
(Grant) Anderson, pioneers in the township. 
Her present home at Clintonville was erected 
by Mr. McKee forty-five years ago. and there 
he died May 8, 1896; he is buried in the Mc- 



Kee cemetery. Though a man of quiet tastes 
he was fond of company and hospitable, and 
held in affectionate esteem by a large circle 
of friends as well as the members of his fam- 
ily and household. Of the nine children bom 
to Mr. and Mrs. McKee eight still survive, 
viz.: Elizabeth is the wife of Rev. J. P. 
Barber, of Grove City, Pa. ; Mary Jane (Jen- 
nie) is Jhe widow of Rev. Robert McCaslin 
and makes her home in Cleveland, Ohio ; John 
Miller is engaged with the Bessemer Truck 
Company at Grove City; Frank Pierce was 
cashier of the Clinton Bank at the time of his 
death, in 1893, when he was thirty-five years 
of age, and he left a wife, Lizzie (Atwell), 
and one child, Frances, now living at Grove 
City ; Arthalinda is the wife of Rev. R. Jack- 
son Phipps, now of El Reno, Okla. ; Ida, 
widow of Robert Lewis Riddle, son of James 
P. Riddle, of Clinton township, resides with 
her mother in Clintonville (Mr. Riddle was 
engaged as an attorney and real estate man 
at Colby, Kans.) ; Rev. Thomas Parker, a 
minister of the Presbyterian Church, is at 
present stationed at Hamilton Square, N. J.; 
William Clinton is a resident of Qeveland, 
Ohio; Maggie V^arena is the wife of Frank 
Cross, of Merchantville, N. J., who is inter- 
ested in the Sun Oil Company. 

ROBERT EDWIN KINTER is known pri- 
marily in Oil City as the head of The Kinter 
Company, whose department store is one of 
the high-class mercantile establishments in 
which the community takes just pride. But 
he has equally strong claims to the favorable 
regard of his townsmen for the high standard 
of citizenship which he has exemplified during 
his residence amon^ them, his personal record 
Having been as creditable as his business career, 
and both conducive to the general welfare. 

Mr. Kinter is a native of this section of 
the State and a representative of old Pennsyl- 
vania stock, his great-great-great-grandfather, 
Philip Kinter. having settled here in 1742. 
He came from Holland. John Kinter, son of 
Philip, and next in the line we are tracing, 
was born in Indiana county. Pa., and served 
as a private soldier during the Revolution 
under four enlistments, during the period from 
1777 ^^ 1780. He married Isabella Findley, 
daughter of John and Sarah (Todd) Findley. 
and in the maternal line a granddaughter of 
Gen. Eli Todd, a Revolutionary soldier. 

John Kinter, son of John and Isabella 
(Findley) Kinter, bom in 1786, lived to a great 
age, dying in 1881. In 1807 he married Sarah 
Ross. 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



599 



James R. Kinter, son of John and Sarah 
(Ross) Kinter, was bom in Indiana county, 
and inherited a farm in Rayne township, that 
county, from his father. He was occupied as 
a miller at Shelocta, in Armstrong township, 
Indiana county. To his marriage with Nancy 
Trimble were bom the following children: 
Scott, James, Samuel, John, Martha, Mary 
and George Trimble. The mother died when 
forty-five years old, the father living to the 
advanced age of eighty-four, and they are 
buried at Homer, Indiana county. They were 
Presbyterians in religious belief, and Mr. 
Kinter adhered to the principles of the Repub- 
lican party. 

George Trimble Kinter, son of James R. and 
Nancy (Trimble) Kinter, was bom July 30, 
1846, on a farm in Rayne township, Indiana 
county, and died April 30, 1881, at Shelocta, 
that county, from the effects of a wound re- 
ceived during his military service in the Civil 
war. On Feb. 24, 1864, he enlisted at Indiana, 
Pa., in Company K, 53d Pennsylvania Veteran 
Volunteers, Infantry, under Capt. D. B. Wine- 
land and Col. John R. Brooks (later major 
general), attached to Barlow's Division, 2d 
Corps, Army of the Potomac, and took part 
in all the engagements of his command to the 
close of the war, including Cold Harbor, 
Spottsylvania Court House (where he was 
wounded May 10, 1864), the Wilderness Cam- 
paign and the siege of Petersburg. He re- 
ceived an honorable discharge June 30, 1865. 
During his earlier years Mr. Kinter followed 
lumbering, which he resumed upon his re- 
turn from the army, continuing thus until 
incapacitated from the effects of wound re- 
ceived in the service. He was a stanch Repub- 
lican, and a Presbyterian in his religious con- 
victions, an eamest Christian man in all the 
relations of life. 

On March 3. 1870, Mr. Kinter married, at 
Elders Ridge, Indiana county, Agnes L. Bills, 
who was born Aug. 28, 1851, and died Dec. 4, 
1881. She is buried with her husband at 
Clarksburg. Indiana county. They had a fam- 
ily of six children, namely: Sadie May, wife 
of Herbert Armbrust, and mother of three 
children. Bertha (married), Grace and Wal- 
lace; Robert Edwin; Anna Mary, married to 
Sheridan Leightner and mother of two chil- 
dren, Elizabeth and Catherine; John Elwood; 
Dorcas Elizabeth; and Arthur Elder. 

Robert C. Bills, father of Mrs. Agnes L. 
(Bills) Kinter, was bom Feb. 15, 1818, and 
was engaged all his life as an undertaker and 
contractor at Clarksburg, dying at the age of 
seventy-four years. On Oct. 31, 1839, he mar- 



ried Elizabeth E. Elder, who was bora Sept. 
29, 1824, daughter of John and Elizabeth 
(McKee) Elder, and in the patemal line de- 
scended from Col. Robert Elder, of Revolu- 
tionary fame, known as the fighting parson. 
On the maternal side Mrs. Bills was a grand- 
daughter of John and Elizabeth (Marshall) 
McKee. Her father, John Elder, was a black- 
smith by trade, but long engaged as a store- 
keeper and miller at Elders Ridge, where he 
died April 4, 1840. Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. 
Bills are buried at Clarksburg. They were 
Presbyterians in religious faith. Their family 
consisted of eight children, namely : Elizabeth 
Jane, John Franklin, Sarah Hill, David Elder, 
Agnes Lecetta (Mrs. Kinter), Rachel Mary, 
Jessie Emma and Robert Allison. 

Robert Edwin Kinter was born June 10, 
1872, at Elders Ridge, Indiana Co., Pa., and 
received a good education, being sent to the 
Soldiers* Orphans* School at Dayton, Pa. His 
first work was in a dry goods store at Butler, 
Pa., where he began his mercantile career as 
a delivery boy for Ritter & Ralston, remaining 
in their employ five years, and meantime be- 
coming a clerk. Following that experience he 
was in Pittsburgh (Allegheny) for six years, 
as salesman in the wholesale department of 
the house of Boggs & Buhl, and eighteen years 
ago he came to Oil City to take the position of 
manager in the William B. James department 
store, the same now operated by The Kinter 
Company. Mr. Kinter's influence was appar- 
ent from the first. He had definite ideas of 
business methods and policy which he tried out 
successfully, widening the reputation of the es- 
tablishment and increasing the scope and vol- 
ume of its trade, not by any sensational activi- 
ties, but a course of sound and systematic at- 
tention to certain details of service and opera- 
tion which appealed strongly to desirable 
patrons. On June i, 191 1, Mr. James sold 
out to Mr. Kinter, who has continued the 
business to the present with the enterprise 
which marked his efforts from the beginning. 
He has not only kept abreast of the changing 
science of trade, but in some respects has been 
a leader, contributing his quota of original the- 
ories and practical demonstrations to the im- 
provement of conditions, and incidentally 
proving his right to the success which he has 
enjoyed. 

But Mr. Kinter has not been content to 
have the esteem of his fellow citizens rest 
upon his business value alone. He has entered 
into the life of the city in all its aspects, being 
assoc'ated with the most progressive element 
taking an active interest in its advancement. 



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He has been a prominent member of the Cham- 
ber of Commerce, and as chairman of the Mer- 
chants' Association of that body was largely 
instrumental in promoting the style shows 
which have stimulated trade in every line of 
merchandising in the city, attracting hundreds 
of visitors from nearby towns. All public 
movements have had his generous support and 
hearty co-operation. Since the country entered 
into the world war he has been doing his full 
share in carrying on war activities, by personal 
work as well as liberal assistance in giving 
them publicity, helping every branch of the 
relief service, Red Cross, War Savings, War 
Chest, Y. M. C. A. and kindred organizations, 
with his means and influence. He was a char- 
ter member of the National Security League 
and has been especially zealous in furthering 
its work, and he also belongs to the American 
Defense Society. In political sentiment Mr. 
Kinter is a Republican. He is a prominent 
member of Trinity M. E. Church and at pres- 
ent serving on the official board, and is a regu- 
lar attendant of the Palmer Bible class. So- 
cially he belongs to the Wanango Country Club 
of Oil City, to R. Biddle Roberts Lodge, No. 
530, I. O. O. P., of Pittsburgh, and to the 
Pennsylvania Society, Sons of the American 
Revolution, which meets at Philadelphia. 

On July 13, 1893, Mr. Kinter married Ida 
Jane Kingsley, of Franklin, Pa., the ceremony 
being performed at Butler, Pa., by Rev. D. N. 
Harnish. Their only child, Rachel Agnes, bom 
June II, 1905, died July i, 1905. 

FRED NASH CHAMBERS was bom at 
Tidioute, Warren Co., Pa., July 10, 1861. son 
of Wesley and Cordelia J. (Bonnell) Cham- 
bers. Shortly after his birth his parents moved 
to Venango county, and he received his early 
education at the public schools of Rouseville 
and Oil City, later attending Allegheny Col- 
lege, Meadville, Pa. In 1882 he commenced 
his business life as clerk in the hardware store 
of George Ross, where he remained until the 
year 1885, when he entered into partnership 
with J. R. Steele and Samuel H. Hoskins, un- 
der the fimi name of Steele, Hoskins & Cham- 
bers, at South Oil City. The business was 
successfully carried on by this firm, but with 
the view of spreading out. it was sold in the 
month of March, 1888. Mr. Chambers then 
bought out Mr. I. B. Jacobs, the oldest mer- 
chant in this line in Oil City, and Dec. i, 1902, 
founded the Chambers Hardware Company. 
When he found that the business of the Cham- 
bers Hardware Company had grown so that 
more room was necessary, he decided to erect 



a large fireproof block for business and office 
purposes. The construction of this block was 
begun on April i, 1905, and on April i, 1906, 
the beautiful six-story, stone, brick and cement 
building was completed. Mr. Chambers was 
prominent as an oil producer, having large and 
profitable holdings in the oil fields of Warren, 
\>nango and McKean counties in Pennsylva- 
nia. He was treasurer and general manager 
of the Strong Oil Company. He was a director 
of the Manufacturers' Light and Heat Com- 
pany, of the Citizens' Banking Company and 
of the Petroleum Telephone Company. He 
was also a member of the Oil City Boy Scout 
Council. He was public-spirited. A man 
with broad sympathies, and noted for the keen 
interest he always held in local charities and 
worthy movements for the betterment of his 
home city, he was always willing to lend a 
helping hand to those in need. Socially he 
was a member of the Ivy, Venango, Wanango 
Country and Oil City Boat Clubs. He was 
an active member of the Second Presbyterian 
Church and chairman of its board of trustees. 
Mr. Chambers died May 3, 1918, after a short 
illness, and was buried at Oil City, Pa. He is 
survived by his wife, Anna M. Chambers, and 
one daughter. Thalia Lee, wife of Lieut. Perry 
Root Taylor, U. S. N. 

.AUGUSTUS BERNARD STRAUB, of 
Rouseville, has been spending his latter years 
in leisure after an active and successful expe- 
rience as an oil producer, for though he still 
owns valuable oil properties, he has retired 
from the burdens of actual management to en- 
joy the rewards of his early energy. He and 
his wife are among the oldest and most hon- 
ored residents of the borough. Mr. Straub was 
bom Nov. 13, 1839, at Apalachicola, Fla. His 
parents, Nicholas and Dorothea (Babst) Straub, 
were both natives of Germany, the father 
born in 181 1 near the city of Berlin, and being 
a youngr man when he came to America, land- 
ing at New York City. He remained there for 
a time, marrying in the meanwhile, and then 
went to Florida, where he lived for eighteen 
months, following the painter's trade during 
that period. Returning to New York City, he 
was shipwrecked on the voyage, losing all his 
possessions. Shortly afterward he went to 
Buffalo. N. Y., making the journey by canal, 
but city life did not appeal to him, and he 
removed to the town of Sheldon, in Wyoming 
county. N. Y., where he spent the remainder 
of his life. During the early part of his resi- 
dence there he sold notions in the surrounding 
country, later purchasing a hotel property and 



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farm which he conducted until his death, April 
26. 1888. His wife, who was born Feb. 6, 
1 8 16, survived him many years, passing away 
April 2, 1909. They were the parents of the 
following children : Augustus Bernard, Frank 
(deceased), Margaret (deceased), Mary (de- 
ceased), Lucy (deceased), Sophia (who mar- 
ried Bernard Fisher and lives in Buffalo, N. 
Y.), John and Eli, the last named still living 
at Sheldon, N. Y., where he was formerly in 
the hotel business. 

Augustus Bernard Straub remained at home 
up to the time of his marriage. He was reared 
at Sheldon, N. Y., where he received a com- 
mon school education and assisted about the 
farm and hotel, acquiring valuable practical 
experience in the duties of caring for the home 
property. For three years after his marriage 
he carried on his father's hotel at Sheldon, 
coming to Venango county in 1865 because of 
the favorable business outlook due to develop- 
ments in the oil fields. In company with Hora- 
tio Castle he purchased the hotel known as the 
'"Rochester House," from Squire & Greely, lo- 
cated on the famous Johnny Steele farm in 
Complanter township, near Rouseville, contin- 
uing in his old business^ for two years, when 
he decided that the oil fields offered prospects 
too good to be ignored. Meantime he had 
been teaming and boating oil, and when he was 
ready to turn his attention to its production 
he located on the Rynd Farm, where he made 
his home for a number of years following, 
buying oil as well as producing, ancj also con- 
ducting a lumber and coal yard. He still owns 
his oil rights at that place, as well as a pro- 
duction at Petroleum Center, this county. In 
1890 he bought the McClintock homestead at 
Rouseville, where he has made his home ever 
since, operating the place until his retirement 
thirteen years ago. Mr. Straub acquired a 
comprehensive knowledge of the local oil busi- 
ness, and was one of the substantially pros- 
perous operators of his day, acquiring an ample 
competence in the course of hfs thirty odd 
years of active experience as a producer. A 
man of thrifty nature and exemplary life, he 
has alwavs been counted among the reliable 
citizens of his section. 

On Tan. 7, 1862, Mr. Straub married Mary 
Tane Kuster, who was born in New York 
March 6. 1842, daughter of Andrew and Mar- 
eraret Kuster, who were married at Buffalo, 
N. Y., May 12, 1841. He was a native of CJer- 
many, whence he came to this country in 
young manhood. Mr. and Mrs. Kuster had 
a family of seveh children, born as follows: 
Mary Jane, March 6, 1842; Margaret, May 10, 



1844; Magdalena, June 4, 1846; Elizabeth, 
Oct. 23, 1848; Andrew J., Sept. 12, 1850; 
Michael J., Nov. 15, 1852; Catherine, 1854. 
All are living but Catherine, whose death oc- 
curred in 1859. 

Seven children have been born to Mr. and 
Mrs. Straub, viz.: Charles Augustus, born 
March 29, 1863, is engaged in the production 
and refining of oil at Moran, Kans. ; Henry 
Frank, bom Feb. 28. 1865, is also an oil pro- 
ducer, living at Titusville, Pa.; Andrew 
Thomas, born Jan. 16, 1868, is engaged in oil 
production at Rouseville, Pa., but spends most 
of his time at St. Petersburg, Fla. ; Clara Belle, 
bom Sept. 28, 1871, is the wife of D. J. Cava- 
naugh, of Rouseville, Pa. ; John William, bom 
April 14. 1876, is an oil producer at Rouseville ; 
George Bernard, bom July 31, 1881, is an oil 
producer at Rouseville ; Lena May, born Aug. 
13, 1884, is the wife of Joseph E. Leroux, an 
oil producer at Rouseville. 

On Jan. 7, 19 18, the family held an appro- 
priate celebration of the fifty-sixth wedding 
anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Straub at their 
home in Rouseville, all of their seven children 
and fifteen grandchildren being present on that 
occasion. A few days later Mr. and Mrs. 
Straub left for their annual sojourn at St. 
Petersburg, Fla., where they have been spend- 
ing the winters for several years. They are 
members of the Catholic Church. 

HENRY KRUG (deceased) is well remem- 
bered by a wide circle of personal friends in 
Oil City, but there as elsewhere his best memo- 
rial rests in the substantial evidence of the 
kindly thought for others which marked his 
whole career. He grew up at Oil City, and 
there began his association with the business 
which eventually brought him national reputa- 
tion, and his benefactions to local institutions 
in his will testify that he never forgot the asso- 
ciations of his youth. A man of abundant en- 
ergy and mental vigor, his vitality was felt 
in every channel into which his usefulness 
flowed. He attained a foremost place in his 
line of business in the country, and a personal 
popularity among his associates in all the rela- 
t'ons of life unusual enough to be noteworthy. 
Yet he always retained the modesty of dispo- 
sition which made him beloved in all classes, 
and the greatest pleasure which he derived 
from his prosperity was apparently in his in- 
creased ability to serve others. He had a 
wholesome and fine outlook upon life, with a 
geniality of spirit so infectious that he found 
a welcome wherever he went, and supplement- 
ed with practical kindnesses that left no doubt 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



as to his sincerity. Throughout his life he 
was extremely reticent even among those who 
knew him best about his philanthropic tenden- 
cies, but his bountiful gifts to various enter- 
prises which had enlisted his approval or sym- 
pathy showed how large a place such matters 
had in his consciousness. 

Mr. Krug was bom Aug. 2, 1859, at Bradys 
Bend, Pa., and lived in Oil City from an early 
age, receiving his education in the public 
schools there. His enterprise was apparent 
in boyhood, when he delivered papers and sold 
flowers to help support himself. His first reg- 
ular employment was in the Imperial Barrel 
Works, a Standard Oil plant on Complanter 
run, where he learned to cull staves — ^a humble 
start, but an excellent foundation for his future 
career. Later he was similarly employed by 
B. F. Brundred, of the Union Refining Com- 
pany, with whom he remained for six months, 
by this time having acquired sufficient famil- 
iarity with the business to be intrusted with 
the responsibilities of purchasing agent, in 
which capacity he was engaged about four 
years. Then he was with the Standard Oil 
Company again for about five years, occupied 
in the same lines. In the course of these activi- 
ties he had met A. Knabb, of Warren, Pa., 
with whom he started a cooperage plant at 
Sistersville, W. Va., in 1886, manufacturing 
staves there for three years. Meanwhile they 
had acquired another plant at Manorlands, 
Md., where they had bought a tract of big tim- 
ber which they cut. selling lumber and them- 
selves making use of that part of the product 
suitable for staves, conducting a shop at that 
point for eleven years. Their interests there 
became so important that the name of the 
place was chang^ed to Krug, the post office as 
well as the railroad station being so called. 
The firm was known as A. Knabb & Company. 
In 1903 they sold their interests at Krug to 
the Youghmanor Lumber Company, and in 
TQ04 started the cooperage at Marcus Hook, 
Pa., which Mr. Knabb is still operating, also 
opening a factory at his home place, Warren, 
Pa., Mr. Krug having the general management 
of the business, which eventually assumed im- 
mense proportions. Taking on new interests 
from time to time as opportunity offered, and 
conductine: them with the admirable system 
which had been found effective in their original 
plants, the firm continued to expand, owning 
and operating stave mills all over the South, 
principally in Virginia, West Virginia and 
Tennessee. For a number of years William 
Harrison Krug. cousin of Henry Krug, was a 
partner in the business, the production includ- 



ing light barrels and kegs as well as staves 
and other cooper work. Henry Krug con- 
tinued to take a leading part in the direction 
of its affairs until his death, although for five 
or six years prior to that event he had indulged 
in an annual trip to some foreign country and 
he was in failing health during the last year 
of his life, passing most of his time at various 
resorts in the hope of recovering. His death 
occurred March 29, 1914, at Augusta, Ga., and 
he was buried the Saturday following at Oil 
City, Pennsylvania. 

Mr. Krug was a business man of high or- 
der. The flattering comment, **he always kept 
his competitors guessing," indicates the orig- 
inality and versatility of his gifts. But he was 
always honorable and liberal in his relations 
with others, a big man physically and in every 
other way, and ever ready with the friendly 
cooperation which gained him the confidence 
and esteem of all who knew him. For many 
years he was an active member of the National 
Coopers' Association, in which he filled a num- 
ber of important offices, his genial influence 
going far toward promoting good feeling and 
harmony among its membership. "The Bar- 
rel and Box," a trade journal representing 
coopers* interests, said in his obituary : "Many 
men in the cooperage trade in the United 
States experienced a feeling of sadness at his 
loss The death of Henry Krug is a dis- 
tinct loss to the industry, and especially those 
of his friends who learned to know and love 
him for the man himself. The editor of The 
Barrel and Box and a thousand men in our 
industry extend to his relatives and friends our 
most sincere sympathy in their bereavement." 

Mr. Krug never married, and for fifteen 
years before his death made his home with 
his cousin, William H. Krug, at Marcus Hook. 
He took a prominent part in local affairs, serv- 
ing as treasurer and burgess of the borough. 
On political questions he was a Democrat. He 
favored the Presbyterian Church in religion. 
He was a member and director of the Chester 
Chamber of Commerce, member of the Penn- 
sylvania Club of Chester, Pa., and of the Man- 
ufacturers' Club of Philadelphia: and a high 
Mason, belonging to Phoenix Lodge, No. 73, 
F. & A. M., Union Chapter, No. i, R. A. M.. 
and Cyrene Commandery, No. 7, K. T., all of 
Wheeling, W. Va., as well as the Shrine at 
that city. He was also affiliated with the B. 
P. O. Elks. Mr. Krug took an active part 
in the work of all these organizations, and the 
family received many beautiful and heartfelt 
testimonials of the esteem in which he was held 
at the time of his demise. But his Masonic 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



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associations were particularly dear to him, and 
the generous bequests made in the disposition 
of his large fortune included two gifts of two 
hundred thousand dollars each, one to the Ma- 
sonic Orphans' Home of Pennsylvania, the 
other to the Grand Lodge, F. & A. M., of West 
Virginia, to be devoted to the building of a 
home for Masonic orphans in that State. 
Among other donations were five thousand dol- 
lars to the Y. W. C. A. at Chester, Pa.; and 
ten thousand dollars each to the Y. M. C. A. 
organizations at Chester and Oil City ; and to 
the Chester and Oil City Hospitals. 

OLIVER BYRON CROSS, late of Clin- 
tonville, lived and died in that borough, where 
he was bom May 14, 1848. Mr. Cross be- 
longed to a family established in Venango 
county by his grandfather in 1831, and ever 
since noted for the enterprise and progressive 
tendencies of its representatives. They have 
been all-around good citizens, identified with 
everything intended to promote the general 
welfare, materially and morally, leading ex- 
emplary lives and endeavoring to establish 
conditions that would help others to do the 
same. 

The first of this family in Venango county 
was William Cross, well remembered in this 
section of Pennsylvania as a pioneer iron 
manufacturer of Butler, Venango and other 
counties. He was a son of Samuel Cross, a 
native of Ireland who lived in eastern Penn- 
sylvania and later at Centerville, Butler county, 
and who had a family of twelve children by 
two marriages, eight sons and four daughters. 
One son, Joseph, was elected to the Pennsyl- 
vania legislature from Butler county, where 
all of the family remained but William. 

William Cross served during the war of 
181 2 in the commissary department. Remov- 
ing in 1831 to Franklin, Pa., he leased a forge 
and engaged in the manufacture of iron there 
for a short time, also living in Rockland town- 
ship, this county, before he settled at Clinton- 
ville, in July, 1835. There he made his home 
during the remainder of his life, one of the 
most active business men of his day. He 
erected a residence and store, being the first 
merchant at that place, and for years carried 
on a grocery and general mercantile business 
alone or in association with others, a great 
part of the time in partnership with his son 
Robert. But he was especially well known as 
a skillful builder of furnaces, having erected 
and operated the following: Slab furnace, in 
Cranberry township ; Sandy, in Victory town- 
ship; Van Buren, in Cranberry township; 



Bullion and Jane, in Clinton township ; Forest, 
near Tionesta; and Pleasant Grove, in Lan- 
caster county. He was also interested in vari- 
ous grist, carding and saw mills, erecting many 
in the western counties of Pennsylvania, and 
at one time having seven in active operation. 
His energy never abated, though he lived to 
his seventy-sixth year. After the discovery 
of oil in his locality he spent a great deal of 
time and money in expenments with refining, 
a process not yet understood, skimming oil 
from the surfaces of rivers and creeks for this 
purpose. He put thirteen thousand dollars 
into these experiments.. His death, on Nov. 
24, 1861, occurred while he was driving home 
to Clintonville in his wagon, with a supply of 
oil from the river. Mr. Cross married Jane 
Weakly, daughter of Robert Weakly, of Butler 
county, and she died at Clintonville, aged 
seventy-five years. They were members of 
the United Presbyterian Church, and he was a 
Whig in politics. Mr. and Mrs. Cross became 
the parents of nine children, viz. : Samuel W., 
Rohnert, Wilson, William C. (who served as 
treasurer of Venango county), Harriet (wife 
of Thomas Hoge, who was mayor of Franklin 
and a member of the State Senate), Sarah 
Jane (Mrs. Nathan Davis), Matilda (Mrs. 
John Maxwell) and two daughters named 
Caroline, one dying young. The family had 
the best educational advantages possible here 
at the time, the parents, who were among the 
most advanced residents of the locality, taking 
great interest in the establishment of the 
academy and helping to start it. 

Robert Cross, son of William and Jane 
(Weakly) Cross, was a prominent citizen of 
Clinton township for many years. Bom May 
3, 181 1, in Pittsburgh, Pa., he attended public 
school there up to the age of eleven years, 
when he moved with his parents to Butler 
county, the family locating at Centerville, and 
he was a young man when he accompanied 
them to Venango county. He learned the 
carpenter's trade and became a contractor and 
builder, and he was also largely associated 
with his father in business, both in merchan- 
dizing and in his expeiiments at refining oil. 
After his father's death he continued the mer- 
cantile trade on his own account at Clinton- 
ville, and meantime also served as postmaster, 
being the first to hold the office, in which he 
was retained for the long period of forty years. 
He was also interested in farming, carrying on 
both his agricultural and mercantile pursuits 
until shortly before his death, which occurred 
at his home in Clintonville June 22, 1874. Mr. 
Cross was the foremost business man of Clin- 



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tonvill^ during most of his active career, and 
equally zealous in all else that pertained to the 
well-being of that place and its inhabitants. 
He was an elder of the Presbyterian Church, 
and one of its generous supporters, an enthusi- 
astic advocate of progress in education and 
other uplifting influences, charitable and help- 
ful to those less able or less fortunate than 
himself in material affairs, and a loyal public 
servant. He was an ardent Democrat and 
active in politics, and served his township as 
roadmaster and supervisor, also filling the 
office of associate judge of Venango county 
for one term. About i860 he built the brick 
house now occupied by the widow of his son 
Oliver Byron Cross at Clintonville, burning the 
brick for it himself. 

On Dec. 25, 1835, Robert Cross married 
Hannah McKissick, who was born April 15, 
1816, at Portland, Maine, daughter of Aaron 
and Mary (Means) McKissick and of Scotch 
ancestry. Aaron McKissick was engaged in 
general contracting. He settled with his family 
at Franklin, Pa,, about 1818, later removing to 
Sandy Lake township, Mercer county, where 
his wife died when about eighty years old. 
His death occurred at Waterloo, Venango 
county, not far from Mercer county. Their 
children, all now deceased, were as follows: 
Putman, John, Henry, Hannah (Mrs. Robert 
Cross), Jane (Mrs. Henry Near), Mary (wife 
of Dr. A. J. McMillen), Sophrenia (Mrs. 
Henry Smail) and Thomas S. 

Mrs. Cross died May 8, 1893, at Sandy 
Lake, Pa. She was the mother of nine chil- 
dren, namely: Caroline died when thirteen 
years old ; Mary Jane married E. P. Newton, 
and both are deceased (they left one daughter, 
Kate, who is married and living in New 
Castle) ; Hattie Agnes married Maj. Robert J. 
Phipps and lived in Franklin, and of their two 
children Marshall Lee married Bell Campbell 
and Lizzie is deceased (this family is men- 
tioned elsewhere in this work) ; Louisa married 
Rev. James M. Foster, who survives her, now 
living at Clark's Mills, Pa. ; William is men- 
tioned elsewhere in this work; Oliver Byron 
is mentioned below ; Emma F. married C. M. 
Riddle, a carpenter, now residing at Clinton- 
ville ; Alice married Dr. H. Jackson and 
(second) Joseph Bowman, an oil well driller, 
of Sandy Lake, Pa. ; Henrietta married David 
V. Eakin, an oil well contractor and well 
driller, of New Castle, Pennsylvania. 

Oliver Byron Cross was given an excellent 
public school education at Clintonville, where 
he was reared. He gained his first knowledge 
of business in his father's store there, of which 



he was afterward part owner until his father's 
death, subsequently being sole proprietor and 
continuing it successfully for thirty years 
longer. Some twenty-five years ago he bought 
the McKee general store at Clintonville, and 
carried it on also for sixteen years, this being a 
separate business. His son Robert M. became 
associated with him, the firm being O. B. Cross 
& Son, but the business was eventually sold 
out. Meantime Mr. Cross had farmed for 
many years and had also acquired valuable oil 
interests, and when he withdrew from mer- 
chandising he turned all his attention to the 
production of oil during the rest of his active 
business life. He took several leases, on vari- 
ous farms, and looked after them all per- 
sonally. He lived retired for seven years be- 
fore his death, which occurred Nov. 7, 191 5. 
Mr. Cross is buried in the M. E. cemetery. 
His ancestors are interred in the Cross 
cemetery. He was a devout member of the 
local Presbyterian Church, its house of wor- 
ship standing on land which he donated from 
his farm for the purpose. Practically all of 
the Cross family have been Democrats in po- 
litical opinion, and he supported the party 
originally, his later convictions, however, lead- 
ing him to join the Prohibitionists. Mr. Cross 
served two years as constable. He was a man 
of high principles, and in his sincere endeavor 
to live up to them won the affectionate regard 
of all his associates, whether in business or 
social relations. 

On Dec. 8, 1870, Mr. Cross married Eliza- 
beth Davidson, who was bom Jan. 12, 1848, 
near Bullion, in Clinton township, at the old 
home of her parents, Patrick and Jane (Pat- 
terson) Davidson, who were farming people. 
Her father was born in Clinton township, son 
of Archibald and Jane Davidson, and was 
reared there. Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Davidson 
had the following children : Martha, who died 
unmarried; Nancy, of Grove City, Pa., who 
is unmarried; William, who died unmarried; 
David, who died in infancy; and Elizabeth, 
Mrs. Cross. 

Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Cross, namely : ( i ) Janet died when eighteen 
years old. (2) Robert Melville is engaged in 
the oil fields about Charleston, W. Va. He 
married Jane Jacobs, and has three children. 
Helen (born in 1896), Eugene (born in i8g8) 
and Robert (bom in 1904). (3) Mary Agnes 
was well educated, studying at Grove City 
College and the Eastman commercial college at 
Poughkeepsie, N. Y., taught school in Clin- 
tonville for a time, and from the organization 
of the People's National Bank there was book- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



605 



keeper and assistant cashier in that institution 
until her death, Aug. i, 1918. (4) William 
Leslie, now of Butler, Pa., engaged as an oil 
producer and contractor, married £k)sca Pierce 
and has three children. (5) Harry Sheldon, 
connected with the Upson Walton Company 
in Cleveland, Ohio, married Vera Eckert. 
(6) Albert, of Butler, Pa., married Ada Metz 
and has two children. (7) Julia is the wife 
of Dr. C. E. Imbrie, now serving as a captain 
in the Medical Corps of the United States 
army. (8) Elizabeth is married to J. S. 
Forbes, cashier of the People's National Bank 
of Clintonville, Mr. and Mrs. Forbes residing 
with her mother at Clintonville. They have 
one son, James Stewart, Jr. (9) One child 
died in infancy. 

Mrs. Elizabeth (Davidson) Cross and her 
daughters continued to occupy the old Cross 
home, located in the heart of Clintonville and 
now as ever a center of community activities. 
She is one of the most highly esteemed resi- 
dents of the borough, active in all the women's 
organizations of church and society, and at 
present especially in Red Cross work, and with 
her daughters maintaining nobly the traditions 
attaching to the family for helpful cooperation 
in all that concerns the general good. 

PATRICK C. BOYLE, long publisher and 
proprietor of the Oil City Derrick and still 
president of the company, has won notable 
honors in that association as much by reason 
of his services to the oil industry as to jour- 
nalism itself. After more than thirty years 
under the present management the Derrick is 
more firmly established than ever as the au- 
thority on oil news, not only in and for the 
locality where it is issued, but everywhere in 
the world where oil is found. The fact that 
its subscribers are found in every quarter of 
the globe indicates how w4de a field it covers. 
Mr. Boyle's connection with this paper dates 
from 1885. 

Bom July 22, 1846, in County Donegal, Ire- 
land, Mr. Boyle is a son of Bernard and Mary 
(Daugherty) Boyle, natives of the same county 
and farmers by occupation, who brought their 
family to America when he was young and 
settled in western Pennsylvania, spending the 
remainder of their lives here. The father died 
in Butler county in September, 1847, the 
mother surviving^ him many years and passing 
away in June, 1883, at Wilkinsburg, Pa. They 
had eight children, namely : Mary, Margaret, 
Edward D., John J., Michael J., Manasses S-^ 
Margery and Patrick C. 

Patrick C. Boyle had such education as the 



common schools afforded, but no special voca- 
tional training in his youth, and when he 
commenced work it was as a laborer. But he 
soon qualified for skilled work, and after fol- 
lowing mining and mechanical engineering be- 
came interested in operations in the oil fields, 
where he was engaged in drilling and on the 
pipe lines. These early experiences gave him 
the practical familiarity with the oil business 
which enabled him to exercise such good judg- 
ment in his subsequent venture as a newspa- 
per publisher, especially as the Derrick under 
his guidance endeavored to merit its fame as 
the "organ of oil," a title which it acquired 
soon after its inception. Mr. Boyle had had 
considerable experience as a journalist in the 
oil regions in Butler, Venango and Crawford 
countie^ in Pennsylvania, and at Bolivar, N. 
Y., before he became lessee and publisher of 
the Oil City Derrick on Aug. 11, 1885. On 
Feb. II, 1887, he formed an association with 
R. W. Criswell, one of its earlier editors, and 
they published the paper as Boyle & Criswell 
until June, 1889, when Mr. Criswell withdrew 
to take a position on the staff of the New York 
World, Mr. Boyle continuing the publication 
alone thereafter, with Charles H. Harrison, of 
Pittsburgh, as editor. He was succeeded by 
Robert Simpson on Aug. i, 1889, at which 
time Joseph W. Orr, the present managing edi- 
tor, was a reporter on the paper, with which 
he has been connected for thirty years. The 
present organization was effected in Septem- 
ber, 1914, Patrick C. Boyle being now presi- 
dent of the Derrick Publishing Company ,-^ J. 
N. Perrine, secretary and treasurer; E. R. 
Boyle, business manager; Joseph W. Orr, 
managing editor. Mr. Perrine has been with 
the Derrick since the eighties, except for the 
period he ser\ed as postmaster at Oil City, 
and Frank H. Taylor, statistician and oil ed- 
itor, was its editor from 1873 to 1877 and 
resumed his association in 191 1. The loyalty, 
good fellowship and harmony prevailing 
among the members of the staff have made 
efiicient cooperation possible all along the line. 
Mr. Boyle's personal influence and exertions 
have been largely responsible for the unabated 
popularity and success of the Derrick, and 
though he has recently withdrawn from the 
more active cares of chief executive, he is still 
in close touch with every part of the business. 
He has always been a Republican in politics, 
and during the Civil war he served with the 
Union army as a member of Company H, S4th 
Pennsylvania \"olunteers, though little more 
than a boy. 

On June 28, 1868, Mr. Boyle was married. 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



at Brady's Bend, Pa., to Anna T. Bingham, 
who was born April 12, 1846, daughter of Wil- 
liam and Sarah T. Bingham, and died April 
9, 1872. On Aug. 21, 1876, he married (sec- 
ond) at Parkers Landings Pa., Mary Egan, 
who was born in Cambria county. Pa., daugh- 
ter of John and Bridget Egan. They are mem- 
bers of the Catholic Church. Mr. Boyle has 
three children, William Francis, Helen Jose- 
phine and Edward R., the latter associated with 
his father in the pubHcation of the Derrick. 

The Oil City Derrick, now a daily with the 
largest circulation of any paper in the oil re- 
gions, is in its forty-eighth year, the first is- 
sue having appeared Sept. 11, 1871. It was 
pubHshed by Bishop & Longwell, the editor, 
C. E. Bishop, having been formerly associated 
in the same capacity with the Jamestown (N. 
Y.) Journal, and W. H. Longwell, the busi- 
ness manager, coming from similar duties on 
the Pithole and Petroleum Center Record. The 
paper soon achieved its ambition of becoming 
the recognized **organ of oil," and has had that 
distinction ever since. The progressive spirit 
of the management was evidenced early in its 
success in securing the reports of the Asso- 
ciated Press, of which he was one of the or- 
ganizers, keeping the news of the day before 
its readers in advance of many city dailies of 
that time, and the system of correspondence 
from every part of the oil regions made it a 
useful as well as interesting sheet. Mr. Bishop 
retired from the editorship in 1873, being suc- 
ceeded by Frank H. Taylor and R. W. Cris- 
well, in turn, the latter establishing a humorous 
department which was quoted all over the 
world. On April 3, 1882, the ownership passed 
from W. H. Longwell & Co. to the Derrick 
Publishing Company, with Edward Stuck as 
editor and manager, succeeded in September 
of the same year by William H. Siviter. Mr. 
Boyle became lessee and publisher in 1885, as 
already noted. Originally a four-page sheet, 
depending upon local patronage, the Derrick 
has grown to an important daily whose average 
size is fourteen pages, publishing world news, 
and with subscribers and advertising patrons 
all over the world. Apparently it has not lost 
anything in either prestige or patronage be- 
cause of its independent stand on various mat- 
ters relating to the oil industry. Its views have 
been impartial and fearlessly expressed on all 
questions, and though the proprietors have had 
to face partisan criticism at times, their posi- 
tion has been so well justified in the end that 
they have gained many friends by holding 
courageously to their own convictions and plac- 
ing them before their readers. 



The oil news presented daily to its readers 
by the Derrick is of such character and cor- 
rectness that a history of the industry during 
the existence of this paper might be compiled 
from its files, so accurate and complete have 
its records been throughout this period. Its 
monthly oil reports, commenced forty years 
ago and kept up faithfully, constitute a busi- 
ness register which no other industry possesses. 
They show the toal number of wells completed 
in each important division month by month, 
whether productive, dry or gas wells, the initial 
production, exact location and names of own- 
ers — a mine of information from which accu- 
rate statistics can be compiled. 

Edward R. Boyle, business manager of the 
Oil City Derrick, was born Sept. 15, 1879, at 
Titusville, Pa., youngest son of Patrick C. 
Boyle. Moving with the family to Oil City in 
1885, he obtained his early education here in 
the parochial schools, later taking a course in 
Georgetown University, at Washington, D. C. 
On April 28, 1908, he was married at Oil City 
to Margaret E. Dwyer, and they have two chil- 
dren, Edward Patrick and Mary Margaret. 

LOUIS SCHWARTZCOP has taken a 
prominent part in the affairs of Oil City both 
as a business man and a public-spirited worker 
for the good of the city in responsible offi- 
cial and social associations, proving himself 
well qualified for leadership in the direction 
of various enterprises which he has carried 
to a successful issue. His fellow citizens have 
honored him with the highest position in their 
gift, and he has given substantial evidence 
that he is worthy of their confidence by his 
fidelity to every trust reposed in him. 

Mr. Schwartzcop has been a resident of Oil 
City since 1884. He was born Oct. 28, 1856, 
at Lancaster, Erie Co., N. Y., son of Friedrich 
Schwartzcop, who came to this country in 
1855. The father was born May 25, 1818, in 
Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany, and being 
but fourteen years old when his father died 
had to help in the support of the large family 
from an early age. Several of the sons came 
to America, but they became separated and 
never saw each other again. While in the 
old country Friedrich Schwartzcop was hostler 
for a noble landlord, or land baron. He left 
Hamburg aboard a sailing vessel in 1855, and 
was thirteen weeks on the voyage to New 
York, whence he made his way to Lancaster, 
N. Y., later moving to Wellsville, that State, 
At the latter place he acquired a farm which 
he cultivated until his death, Aug. 28, 1886. 
He was one of the founders of the Evangelical 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



607 



Lutheran Church at Wellsville and always 
active in its membership, and politically he 
became a supporter of the Republican party. 
In Germany Mr. Schwartzcop married Mary 
Schroeder, a native of the same place as him- 
self, bom in 1825, and she also died in Aug- 
ust, 1886. They are buried at Wellsville. Five 
children were bom to this couple: (i) Minnie, 
who married Peter Theobold, of Titusville, 
Pa., mentioned elsewhere in this work; (2) 
Louisa, wife of Charles Weinhauer of Wells- 
ville, X. Y. ; (3) Louis; (4) Charles, who 
married Carrie Schultz and died March 19, 
1898 (his wndow lives at Tulsa, Okla.) ; and 
(5) Emma, wife of George Frederick, of 
Wellsville. 

Louis Schwartzcop w^as about a year and 
a half old when his parents moved to Wells- 
ville, N. Y., where he grew to manhood and 
received his education. His father being a 
farmer, his early practical experience was in 
the line of agriculture, and he remained on 
the farm until he attained his majority, sub- 
sequently working with the engineer corps of 
the State of New York in the survey and loca- 
tion of railways. The work occupied him for 
two years, and he spent another year in the 
employ of the water company at Wellsville 
as superintendent of the building of reser- 
voirs, imtil he became interested in the oil 
operations of the locality, being variously en- 
gaged in the Allegany county (N. Y.) terri- 
tory for a period of three years. During this 
time he acquired considerable knowledge of 
petroleum wells and their products, and in 
1884 he came to Oil City, w^here for a year he 
was employed in the barrel house of the In- 
dependent Refining Company. Upon the death 
of John Theobold, in 1886, Mr. Schwartzcop 
bought part of his interest in the plant, of 
which he was made superintendent as well as 
manager of the shipping department that same 
year. Within a few years he had become one 
of the principal owners, and upon the death 
of D. E. Byles he was elected treasurer of the 
company in 1913, carrying the 'duties of that 
office as well as his former responsibilities 
until March, 1917, when he sold out and re- 
tired from the refining business. In 1913 Mr. 
Schwartzcop instigated the reorganization of 
the American Railway Appliance Company at 
Oil City, and in 1914 he was elected its presi- 
dent, in which capacity he has since served, 
taking an influential part in the rejuvenation 
of its equipment and trade connections. Their 
manufacturing plant is on North Seneca street, 
and the output consists of gas engines and 
pumping powers, for which there is great de- 



mand in the immediate locality as well as at 
more distant points. His success in re-estab- 
lishing this business has been notable. 

Mr. Schwartzcop's home was formerly in 
Cornplanter township, and during that time 
he served on the township school board, of 
which he was secretary for six years, giving 
his duties the effective supervision which char- 
acterizes all his undertakings. He represented 
the First ward in the Oil City council for five 
years, and was president of that body for two 
years, performing the functions of his office 
with ability and dispatch and giving the closest 
attention to the affairs of the city while at the 
head of its government. He is a Republican, 
and has always been active in the party, though 
he does not allow politics to interfere with his 
loyalty to the welfare of his home place. Mr. 
Schwartzcop was one of the organizers of 
Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church at Oil 
City, in which he and all his family hold mem- 
bership, and since 1898 he has been president 
and treasurer of the congregation, as well as 
superintendent of the Sunday school. Though 
his interests are numerous, he has the execu- 
tive capacity which makes it possible for him 
to care for them all efficiently, ar fact which 
has kept him laden but not burdened with im- 
portant concerns throughout his active years. 
Fraternally he affiliates with Oil City Lodge, 
No. 344, B. P. O. Elks. 

In September, 1885, Mr. Schwartzcop was 
married, at Wellsville, N. Y., to Caroline Mil- 
ler, who was bom Feb. 27, 1858, in Hanover, 
Germany, and they have two children: (i) 
Clara H., bom July 13, 1887, was graduated 
from high school at Oil City in 1907 and sub- 
sequently took a course in the Welsh Business 
College there, and for three years before her 
marriage she was assistant cashier to the 
treasurer of Oil City. On Sept. 10, 1914. she 
married William R. Powell, a machinist in 
the employ of the American Railway Appli- 
ance Company, and they have one child. Ruth 
Caroline, who was born Jan. 8, 1916. Mrs. 
Powell is active in Christ Church and was for- 
merly a teacher in the Sunday school. (2) 
Frieda M., born April 3, 1896, graduated from 
high school in 1914, and lives at home. 

Mrs. Caroline (Miller) Schwartzcop was 
six years old when brought to the United 
States, the family departing from Bremen in 
a sailing vessel in 1864 and arriving at New 
York six weeks later, in September. From 
New York City they proceeded to Wellsville, 
that State, where they made a permanent 
home. Her father, Friedrich Miller (Miiller), 
w-as born Aug. 21, 1818, and died in Septem- 



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VEXANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



ber, 1889. He was a shoemaker in Germany, 
and followed that trade for a time after he 
arrived in this country, later working in a tan- 
nery for many years, but resuming his early 
calling in later Ufe. Mr. Miller was a Repub- 
lican in political allegiance. His wife, Henri- 
etta (Lafferd), was born Sept. 22, 1824, and 
died Dec. 25, 1902, and they are buried at 
Wellsville. They were members of the Evan- 
gelical Lutheran Church and active in its 
work. Mr. and Mrs. Miller had the following 
family: Henry married Louisa Schrader, and 
both are deceased; Louisa is the widow of 
William Weshe, and lives in Allen, N. Y. ; 
JVIinnie, deceased, was the wife of Christopher 
Franke, of Allen, N. Y. ; Mrs. Schwartzcop 
was next in order of birth ; Frederick married 
Matilda Piefer and (second) Frieda I^hman. 

JOSEPH REID, late of Oil City, was one 
of the men who brought distinction to that 
place by his services to modern industry. It 
is no more than due to his personal character 
to say that he was one of its greatest bene- 
factors in other respects as well, for he was 
a man of finely balanced nature, of vigorous 
physique, keen and strenuous intellect, high 
moral standards and the broad sympathy with 
his fellow men which can only come through 
understanding. A native of Scotland, he was 
a very typical member of his sturdy race in 
many ways, particularly in his faculty for in- 
defatigable application, his admirable inde- 
pendence, and the foresight which enabled him 
to judge so accurately of the future needs and 
the certain value of possibilities in his line. 
At the time of his death he was the oldest man- 
ufacturer still doing business in the Pennsyl- 
vania oil regions, where he had been estab- 
lished for forty years. 

Mr. Reid was born Nov. 11, 1843, ^^ May- 
bole, Ayrshire, Scotland, where he was reared, 
attending public school up to the age of eleven 
years. His father then apprenticed him to the 
trade of joiner, at which he served four years, 
and, though he soon abandoned it for the 
calling;- of his own choice, no doubt the train- 
ing did him good. It was his ambition to be- 
come an engineer, and with that in mind he 
went to work as a machinist in the shops of 
the Glasgow & Southwestern Railroad Com- 
pany, at Kilmarnock. Scotland, acquiring the 
kind of experience he wanted. In 1862 he 
came to America, locating first in Montreal, 
Canada, where he was employed as a machin- 
ist for a short time, later following that calling 
in New York Citv, Boston (Mass.), Wilming- 
ton (Del.), Cumberland (Md.) and Philadel- 



phia, in which latter city he was with the 
Baldwin Locomotive Works for some years, 
until 1876. Leaving their employ that year 
he entered the service of the Atlantic & Great 
Western Railroad Company (now the Erie) 
at Meadville, Pa., whence he came to Oil City 
in 1877, at a time when all business was pros- 
pering in line with the great oil developments. 
Here he found work with W. J. Innis & Com- 
pany, and later with Malcolmson & Patterson, 
and he acquired a small oil production and 
farm on Slate run, near Oil City, where later 
much of his experimental work was done, and 
on this farm, when time permitted, he gave 
vent to his great love for nature in his garden 
and orchard. Mr. Reid bought the Malcolm- 
son & Patterson shop and established a small 
business of his own Aug. i, 1878. He did all 
sorts of jobbing and repair work, and his ex- 
perience in the production of oil had been 
sufficient to give him a thorough idea of the 
requirements of drillers and producers, which 
a mechanic of his acquirements was more than 
able to meet. His high-grade workmanship 
and thorough reliability soon had their reward 
in plenty of patronage, and though he suf- 
fered a number of reverses in his earlier busi- 
ness career, having his establishment twice de- 
stroyed by fire, in 1882 and 1887, he always 
had faith enough in the future to keep going 
ahead. His first machine shop was a one- 
story building, thirty-seven feet square, gradu- 
ally enlarged as the increase of business de- 
manded until it was thirty-seven by one hun- 
dred fifty feet in dimensions, and two stories 
high, with iron and brass foundry equipment. 
As soon as he had his general machine work 
well in hand, he began the manufacture of 
various machines and devices which were to 
make his name famous among oil producers 
and consumers. Engines and locomotives were 
turned out after his own plans, the first loco- 
motive built in Oil City being constructed in 
his plant in 1882: new products were added 
constantly, including the Stover pumping rig. 
and log rods, and a specialty was made of re- 
finery supplies, the Reid Manifold and Re- 
ceiving Box being included in the standard 
eauioment of refineries to this day. When the 
oil fields were opened at Lima, Ohio, it was 
found that the refineries were unable to handle 
the grade of crude oil produced, but that it 
was useful for fuel, and the problem of pro- 
vidine a suitable burner for its consumption 
as such was successfully solved by Mr. Reid. 
who, after careful experimentation, designed 
and patented the hydro-carbon oil burner for 
the use of that and other cheap grades of crude 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



609 



petroleum. In 1885, in order to pursue the 
manufacture, sale and installation of the oil 
burner, he organized the Reid Burner Com- 
pany, and this business has been continued ever 
since, the burners now being manufactured and 
sold by the Joseph Reid Gas Engine Company. 

Joseph Reid was a practical executive, as 
well as a mechanical genius, and kept the busi- 
ness end of his enterprises well in hand. The 
jobbing custcwn which constituted most of his 
trade during the early part of his career here 
became extensive and comprehensive, including 
the manufacture and repair of all kinds of 
steam, saw and grist mill machinery, stationary 
engines of up-to-date design, drilling tools, 
steam hammers, and other devices of the same 
order, and by 1887 he was employing twenty- 
two hands and moved his shop to the old skat- 
ing rink on North Seneca street, a building 
forty-eight by one hundred eighty feet in di- 
mensions. 

Mr. Reid always kept the interests of his 
patrons in mind, and proved himself a master 
in solving their mechanical problems. With a 
view of making a more economical power than 
the steam engine for producing oil, he made 
extensive experiments with a crude oil engine, 
and during these tests found that he could use 
natural gas as fuel to obtain the end which he 
sought. As the outcome of this work, Mr. 
Reid sold the first practical natural gas en- 
gine in 1894. In order to replace the steam 
engine with a gas engine for drilling and clean- 
ing out wells, the two-way or reverse-gear 
clutch was necessary, and in 1899 he designed 
and patented this attachment, which enabled 
the producer to drill, clean out, and pump his 
wells more quickly and more cheaply than was 
ever possible with the steam engine. With the 
use of the Reid Gas Engine many of the pro- 
ducer's troubles vanished — from the beginning 
the eng'ne was dependable and sure. In 1901 
Mr. Reid designed the Reid Eccentric Power, 
and later the Steel Band Wheel Power was 
developed to meet the needs of the heavy work 
in the mid-continent oil fields, and a special 
denization, the Frick-Reid Supply Company, 
with Mr. W. E. Prick, of Pittsburgh, presi- 
dent, Mr. Reid vice president, incorporated 
under the laws of Pennsylvania, with head- 
quarters in Pittsburgh, was organized to care 
for the business in that section. 

In February, 1899. Mr. Reid organized the 
Joseph Reid Gas Engine Company, associating 
with him men emploved by him in shop, office 
and field positions, the company consisting of 
Toseoh Reid, W. O. Piatt, J. T. Hadley, G. S. 
Bredin and S. R. Shoup. The business has 



80 



continued to grow. The main buildings of 
the present plant were erected in 1903, and 
new buildings are being added from time to 
time to meet the requijrements of the work. 
Four hundred skilled hands were employed at 
the time of Mr. Reid's death. The tar-reach- 
ing benefits and influence of Joseph Reid's 
assiduous devotion to devising and perfecting 
machinery for facilitating operations in the oil 
fields are almost as tangible as their practical 
value, though it would be practically impos- 
sible to calculate them fully. His achieve- 
ments in the line of mechanics marked a dis- 
tinct advance which will always be associated 
with his name. 

As president of the Reid Land & Develop- 
ment Company, a corporation operating in the 
San Joaquin Valley, California, he became in- 
terested and developed his Fairview Property 
near Ducor, Cal., on which he had extensive 
orange, lemon and olive groves. 

Mr. Reid was a leader by nature, yet not too 
wise to feel the common touch of men. He 
was prominent in the support of all praise- 
worthy movements; ready with time, means 
and counsel to aid to the extent of his ability ; 
equally sympathetic in individual cases; and 
kindly in his relations with all men. His lib- 
erality of thought is well illustrated in the 
remark of one of his friends, "He was a man 
that was able to see things as they really 
were, and from others' besides his own view- 
point.'' That faculty was really the basis of 
his material success also ; but it was character- 
istic of his personal intercourse with others. 

Philanthropic to a degree of personal sac- 
rifice; a liberal supporter of Y. M. C. A. work 
both in his home city and abroad; keenly in- 
terested in the work of the colored people of 
the southland ; and in the homeless boys' and 
girls' organizations in the county and other 
parts of the country ; a contributor to tubercu- 
losis sanitariums in this State; yet the bulk of 
his charities will never be known — such was 
the quiet, unassum'ng nature of this man. 
When away from his desk and other business 
cares, he lived a simple, quiet life, into which 
few people ventured : a deep student always, a 
lover of good books, he spent much time in his 
f)rivate library. 

Mr. Reid was a member of the Masonic 
fraternity, Knights Templars, St. Andrew's 
Society of Philadelphia, and of the American 
Society of Mechanical Engineers of New 
York. He was twice married ; Mrs. Agnes 
Hannah Reid died in .1871, and Mrs. Ruth 
Staples Reid passed away in 1904. In his 
death, which occurred in his home on Orange 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



street, Oil City, Oct. 23, 191 7, the community 
lost a citizen who was a friend to all, but 
whose influence for manly dealing and kindli- 
ness will live on. He was laid to rest in Mount 
Moriah cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

CHARLES A. MILLER, who fills the re- 
sponsible position of superintendent with the 
Galena-Signal Oil Company, of Franklin, has 
demonstrated his capacity for comprehensive 
grasp of large affairs and their management 
very clearly in that connection. Its duties oc- 
cupy most of his time, though he also maintains 
active association with several other important 
local concerns, having acquired valuable inter- 
ests of his own in the course of a well spent 
business career. From early manhood he has 
been a resident of Franklin, coming here in 
January, 1899, from his native place, Boston, 
Erie Co., N. Y. Mr. Miller was born Feb. 7, 
1879, son of William Miller, and is of old 
Huguenot stock. His first ancestor of whom 
we have record was bom in the province of 
Upper Alsace, then a portion of France, and 
had children as follows: Nicklose (born in 
1776), Martin, Michel (bom in 1780), Chris- 
tian and Elizabeth Ann. The three first named 
served in Napoleon's army. The other son, 
Christian, was bom in 1782, in the village of 
Oberhoff^en, canton of Bischweiler^ Alsace, 
and there lived until 1852, when he came to 
America, dying in this country in 1868, at the 
age of eighty-six years. By calling he was a 
blacksmith. He married Elizabeth Schuster, 
and their children were: Christian, the next 
in the line we are tracing; Martin, who lived 
to be over ninety-one years old; Nicklose, who 
married Marie Render ; Michael, who married 
Magdalena Heimlich; Elizabeth, who became 
the wife of George Schuster, and died at the 
age of ninety-one years; Magdalena, who mar- 
ried George Burgroph, and died in France; 
Margaret, who married Jacob Ketterer; and 
Salomae, wife of Philip Kline. All of this 
family died in America but Magdalena. 

Christian Miller, son of Christian and Eliza- 
beth (Schuster) Miller, leamed his fathers 
trade of blacksmith and followed it while in 
France. All his children were born in that 
country, and his first wife died there in 185 1. 
Leaving Alsace on March 24, 1854, he arrived 
at Buffalo May 12th, and was soon established 
on a farm in Erie county, N. Y., near the 
village of Boston, where he purchased 113 
acres of land and followed agriculture the rest 
of his active life, reaching the good old age of 
eighty-seven years, three months. His death 
occurred in 1896, and he is buried at Boston, 
where several other members of the family are 



interred. His ten children were all born to his 
first marriage, with Magdalena Voeltzel, 
namely: Christian, who died at the age of 
fifty-nine years (he was the father of George 
Christian Miller) ; Martin, who died aged 
seventy- four years ; Frederick, who died at the 
age of forty-nine years ; Lewis, who died at the 
age of forty-five years ; Michael, who is living 
in Erie county, N. Y. ; Gen. Charles, of Frank- 
lin, Pa., whose biography appears elsewhere 
in this work; William; George, who died in 
infancy; George, who died at sea in early life ; 
and Magdalena, who married Edward Walash 
and lives in Buffalo, N. Y. The second mar- 
riage of Christian Miller, the father of this 
family, was to Magdalena Cobett, a cousin of 
his first wife. 

William Miller, son of Christian and Magda- 
lena (Voeltzel) Miller, was the father of 
Charles A. Miller. Born April 7, 1845, he was 
a boy of nine years when he accompanied his 
father to America. Spending his early years 
on the home farm in Erie county, his training 
in agricultural work began in youth, and this 
continued to be his principal employment 
throughout life. In time he bought his father's 
farm, and added to it until that property com- 
prised 164 acres, besides which he acquired 
other land in the same county. He retained the 
ownership of his homestead in Erie county 
until 1914, but meantime he had given up farm 
work, having moved to Franklin, Pa., in 1903, 
and he has ever since held the position of 
storekeeper there for the Galena-Signal Oil 
Company, of which his brother, Gen. Charles 
Miller, has long been the head. He has led a 
busy life, earning the respect of all his asso- 
ciates by his consistent course of rectitiWe, 
characterized chiefly by industry and a strict 
sense of honor in every transaction. He mar- 
ried Catherine Schlegel, who died in May, 
1914, and of their four children Carrie is the 
wife of August Young, a merchant of Frank- 
lin, Pa. ; Amelia and William are deceased ; 
Charles A. completes the family. 

Charles A. Miller obtained his education in 
the public schools, taking his high school course 
at Boston, N. Y., where he was graduated in 
1898. In January following he came to Frank- 
lin, Pa., where he has made his home ever 
since. He first went to work here in the em- 
ploy of the Franklin Manufacturing Company, 
one of the various local companies in which his 
uncle, Gen. Charles Miller, is interested, con- 
tinuing at their works for nine months. He 
changed to become assistant superintendent of 
the Galena-Signal Oil Company, of which his 
uncle was then president, and was retained in 
that capacity until promoted to superintendent 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



611 



of the large plant, in May, 1914. Mr. Miller 
reached his present position on his own merits, 
through intelligent, trustworthy service in his 
minor responsibilities, and has shown himself 
thoroughly qualified to meet its requirements. 
He has given serious thought to every phase 
of the operation of the business under his 
supervision, and in the application of his ideas 
to its problems has effected some noteworthy 
changes in methods and results. Having a 
practical familiarity with the oil business, in 
regard to both production and marketing, he 
has made some fortunate investments in oil 
properties, his interests as a producer being 
now quite valuable. He is a director of several 
thriving companies at Franklin, the Fulcrum 
Oil Company, the Sibley Soap Company, the 
Hygiene Baking Company, the Pennsy Coal 
Company and the Franklin News Printing 
Company, and a member of the Board of 
Trade. 

Mr. Miller maintains a number of club and 
fraternal relationships, being a member of the 
Washington and Elks Clubs and affiliated with 
Myrtle Lodge, No. 316, F. & A. M. ; Venango 
Chapter, No. 211, R. A. M. ; Keystone Council, 
No. 42, R. & S. M. ; Franklin Commandery, 
No. 44, K. T. ; the Lodge of Perfection, four- 
teenth degree; Pittsburgh Consistory, thirty- 
jiccond degree; and Zem Zem Temple, A. A. 
O. N. M. S.> at Erie, Pa. He is a member of 
the present school board at Franklin, having 
been elected to that office Nov. 6, 191 7. 

Mr. Miller married Anita Leona Crandall, 
daughter of Winfield Scott and Mary J. (Fas- 
sett ) Crandall, and they have two children, 
Anita and William. 

W1LLL\M D. ELLIOTT, of Franklin, has 
had an active and varied business career. For 
many years he was associated with the oil in- 
dustry, as a producer or dealer in oil well sup- 
plies, but for some time past he has followed 
engineering, in which he is now engaged in a 
responsible connection with the American 
Steel Foundries at Franklin. His experience 
in independent business, though not in the line 
in which he is at present occupied, was a val- 
uable preparation for its duties, having devel- 
oped his initiative and accustomed him to 
shouldering any and all obligations. He be- 
longs to an old established family of this part 
of Pennsylvania and is one of its worthy rep- 
resentatives. 

Mr. Elliott is a grandson of Robert Elliott, 
a native of Ireland, who came to this section 
from eastern Pennsylvania, presumably the 
vicinity of Carlisle, Cumberland county. 
After living in and around Franklin for sev- 



eral years, he settled at the mouth of Hem- 
lock creek, in President township, built the 
first mill in that part of Venango county, and 
also carried on farming, his principal occupa- 
tion through life. He was a leading resident 
of that section for many years. The remain- 
der of his life was spent there, and he and his 
wife, with several other members of their fam- 
ily, are buried in a- small inclosed graveyard 
in the village of President. Robert Elliott 
married Rflbecca Fleming, who like himself 
was of Scotch-Irish parentage, and of the 
children born to them seven grew to maturity : 
David, who died in the West ; Sanderson, who 
died in Warren, Ohio; William; Robert, who 
made his home in President township and 
died in Franklin; Mary, Mrs. Hamilton; 
Martha, Mrs. John Lamb; and George, who 
died in Peoria, Illinois. 

William Elliott, the second son of Robert 
Elliott, was born Jan. 25, 1803, on what be- 
came subsequently known as the James Rus- 
sell farm in the present limits of President 
township. He was reared there, and his op- 
portunities were of course limited, but he had 
an active mind and much practical sense, and 
he was always regarded among his associates 
as a man of remarkable intelligence. When 
a young man he went into business at Frank- 
lin as a merchant, and was so occupied until in 
1849 ^^ becaime interested in the Franklin 
foundry at French creek, as one of the firm of 
Elliott & Epley. Meantime he also acquired 
prominence as a county official. When only 
twenty-six years old, in 1829, he was elected 
county commissioner, which office he held for 
one term of three years. For two years, 1844 
and 1845, he served as county treasurer; and 
in 1854 he was elected prothonotary and clerk 
of the courts, taking the oath of office Dec. 
4th of that year. He died at Franklin July 20, 
1857, before the completion of his term, and 
at the time he was a candidate for re-election. 
He was buried in Franklin cemetery. Politi- 
cally he was a Democrat, and an influential 
party worker practically from the time he at- 
tained his majority. In all his responsibilities, 
whether those of his own business ventures or 
the larger interests affecting the whole com- 
munity, he was uniformly careful, judicious 
and honorable. He was not a member of 
church, but shortly before his death he acted 
as superintendent of the Presbyterian Sunday 
school, and he always supported and encour- 
aged religious enterprises. His parents were 
members of the Seceder Presbyterian Church. 

In 1835 William Elliott was married to 
Mary Kinnear, the eldest daughter of Col. 
James Kinnear, the latter a native of Scot- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



land and an early and prominent resident of 
Franklin, where he owned the leadine hotel 
of the period, known as the "Kinnear House." 
Colonel Kinnear's wife was of Dutch parent- 
age. Of the seven children born to Mr. and 
Mrs. Elliott, six grew up, namely: Jane Hale, 
who married CoL John H. Cain, and resides 
at Franklin; James K., mentioned elsewhere 
in the sketch of Thomas S. Elliott; Robert 
Fleming, deceased; William D.; Thomas H., 
deceased; and Edward C. The dldest three 
sons were for some time associated in busi- 
ness as members of the firm of Elliott Broth- 
ers, dealers in hardware, coal and oil well 
supplies. All continued to reside in Frank- 
lin except Edward C, who was for some 
years at Lie^e, Belgium, in the interest of the 
Anglo-American Oxide Company, and is now 
a resident of Orangeburg, N. Y. Mrs. Elliott 
died May 5, 1905. 

William D. Elliott was born at Franklin 
Aug. II, 1847, ^^^ was reared and educated in 
his native place. For a few years during his 
early manhood he lived on a farm in Erie 
county. Pa., on his return to Franklin obtain- 
ing a position as clerk in the Woodburn store, 
where he was employed for three years. Sub- 
sequently he worked in a hardware store, gain- 
ing sufficient familiarity with this line to give 
him confidence for an independent venture, 
which he made in 1870, buying a hardware 
business at Petroleum Center, this county, 
which he ran in partnership with his brothers 
Fleming and Thomas, under the firm name of 
W. D. Elliott & Co. After two years there 
he came to Franklin, wher^. as above men- 
tioned, he was associated in business with two 
of his brothers under the style of Elliott 
Brothers, dealing extensively in hardware, 
coal and oil well supplies. William D. Elliott 
was engaged with this concern for eight years, 
when he sold his interest and turned his atten- 
tion to the production of oil, following that 
line for three years. He was next in Michi- 
gan for some time, there doing his first work 
as an engineer, in which capacity he has since 
been employed, now in the Franklin plant of 
the American Steel Foundries, where he is 
head engineer. Mr. Elliott has been devoted 
principally to his private affairs, forming few 
outside connections. He belongs to the Pres- 
byterian Church, and is a respected member 
of society wherever known. 

In 1873 ^^r- Elliott was married to Clara 
Eaton, daughter of Johnson and Eliza Ann 
(Adams) Eaton and a niece of the much be- 
loved Rev. Dr. S. J. M. Elaton. Her mother 
was a member of the same Adams family as 



the two presidents of the United States. Chil- 
dren as tollows have been bom to this union : 
Frank E., a druggist, now in the United States 
Medical Corps at the Presidio, San Francisco, 
Cal.; Clarence A., of Idaho, where he has a 
large ranch (his children are Harold, Kich- 
ara and Virginia) ; Charles, who died when 
nine months old; Mary Lilhan, a graduate of 
the Ohio State University, of Columbus, Ohio, 
now wife of W. H. Lambirth, of Cleveland; 
V iola, wife of H. V. Resner, of Detroit, Mich, 
(they have three children, Grace, Raymond 
and Sidney) ; Edna, wife ot Lynchtield iiurks, 
living on a ranch in Idaho (they have one 
child, Billy) ;.Ruth, wife of J. HaUock Speer, 
now a corporal of Company F, 112th Pennsyl- 
vania Infantry, in action in France; Wilifred 
H., living at home; and Dorothy J., wife of 
Heber C. Dunham, of Cleveland, Ohio. The 
family home in Franklin is at No. 807 Liberty 
street. 

AHCHAEL MAXION (deceased), an old- 
time resident of Rouseviile and founder of the 
cooperage business there now conducted by 
his sons, was one of the substantial men of 
his day. Though the plant of the Rouseviile 
Cooperage Company has had its most notable 
growth in the hands of the second generation, 
the solid foundation of the enterprise must be 
credited to the original owner, who not only 
put it upon a sound basis but also trained his 
sons in the line where they have found suc- 
cess. 

Mr. Manion was born at Albany, N. Y., 
and when a youth learned the trade of cooper, 
which proved to be his life work. Coming to 
Rouseviile in the early days, he found a good 
demand for his services and entered business 
on his own account in a small way, building 
up a profitable local patronage which he re- 
tained to the end of his life. He was a thor- 
ough, skilled workman, and as honorable in 
his personal relations in life as he was strict in 
business transactions, holding the unqualified 
respect of all his associates. He died in 1900. 
and is buried at Oil City. Fraternally he held 
membership in the Knights of Labor. Mr. 
Manion married Mrs. Mary (Fitzgerald) Mc- 
Carty, who had two children by her first mar- 
riage, Charles (now a resident of Oil City) 
and Minnie (deceased). To her marriage 
with Mr. Manion were bom the following: 
Timothy, now engaged as superintendent of 
the Sinclair Oil and Refining Company, of El- 
dorado, Kans. ; Patrick, who is associated with 
his brothers in the Rouseviile Cooperage Com- 
pany; John R.. born in 1875, who is vice pres- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



613 



id^nt and general manager of the Sinclair- 
Cudahy Pipe Line Company at Tulsa, Okla., 
and a director of the Sinclair Oil & Refining 
Corporation ; Lawrence M. ; Daniel F., a mem- 
ber of the Rouseville Cooperage Company; 
and Joseph E. 

Lawrence M. Manion was bom at Rouse- 
ville March 31, 1878, and has passed his life 
at that place. He had the excellent advantages 
afforded in the local public schools, and be- 
gan work in his father's plant, where he was 
thoroughly familiarized with the details of 
the coopering business, which he and his 
brothers have continued since the father's de- 
cease. In 1908 they reorganized the concern 
under the present name, L. M. Manion being 
president; D. F. Manion, treasurer; Patrick 
Manion, vice president ; J. E. Manion, general 
manager. When the brothers took hold of 
the business the output was twenty-five bar- 
rels daily, but the trade has been expanded 
until the dailv production is now one thousand 
barrels, considerable shipments being made to 
foreign countries as well as into local terri- 
tory. Origmully barrels were manufactured 
principally for the oil industry, but the prod- 
uct now includes barrels for the large packing 
houses, for food products, from which field 
a large percentage of the new business has 
come. From seventy-five to eighty men are 
employed, and the plant is one of the indus- 
trial assets of Rouseville, where it has a very 
favorable location. The Manion brothers have 
a high reputation among business men in this 
section, where they have added honor to a 
name long associated with all the essentials of 
genuine worth. 

Lawrence M. Manion was married to Loret- 
ta O'Neil, and they have one daughter, Mary 
Norine. Mr. Manion is a member of the 
Catholic Church, and is affiliated with the 
Knights of Columbus and the B. P. O. Elks 
at Oil City. 

WILLIAM FRANKLIN PHILLIPS, an 
up-to-date oil operator in the territory imme- 
diately north of Oil City, is a member of the 
third generation of successful oil producers 
in his family active in the Venango county 
field. Coming of a race whose vigorous pro- 
gressive traits have been outstanding features 
of the type, he is as thoroughly representative 
of the times in his labors as his father and 
grandfather were in theirs. Each has ren- 
dered a contribution of distinct value to the 
industrial situation of his day 

William Phillips, the grandfather, was a 
partner of John Van Ausdell from the earliest 



oil activities until his death in 1877, at the age 
of fifty-five years. They were pioneers in 
various oil fields and made several fortunes, 
being among the men whose successful efforts 
were effective in the initial developments of 
what has come to be an industry of world- 
wide importance. One of the present oil men, 
J. B. Smithman, was for many years their 
bookkeeper. In 1859, shortly after Drake's 
development, Mr. Phillips with Frew & Co. 
drilled a well of forty barrels' flow — one of 
first. In the winter and spring of 1861 Phil- 
lips & Van Ausdell bored a well on a tract up 
the river above Laytonia, in what is now the 
south side of Oil City, striking a thirty-five- 
barrel well in April. The oil sold at sixty-five 
cents a gallon. The excitement over it was 
of short duration. In September of the same 
year they brought in the famous four-thou- 
sand-barrel well on Oil creek, on the Tan- 
farm near Petroleum Center, which set the 
country aflame as to oil possibilities. It was 
known as the Phillips well. Six months after 
it was struck it was still producing thirty-six 
hundred barrels daily. This historic well 
broke loose at night, thousands of barrels of 
oil flowing into Oil creek before it could be 
curbed. Iq 1863, on the Tarr farm, the part- 
ners made the first eflfort to transport oil 
through pipes, now universally the means of 
conveying crude oil from the producing fields 
to refineries. Before this Mr. Phillips had 
made and used bulkhead boats to carry oil 
in bulk to Pittsburgh. He continued to be one 
of the principal oil producers in the county 
until his death. From 1859 he made his home 
at Oil City, that year building the' second 
house on the south side, and he was always 
foremost in movements for its advancement. 
He was a director of the old Oil City Savings 
Bank. To him and his wife Sarah was bom 
a family of five children, three sons and two 
daughters, namely: Sarah J. married J. E. 
Cribbs, and both are deceased; John W. is 
mentioned below; Rachel married Joseph 
HafFey, and both are deceased ; William Braid 
operated a ferry at Freeport, which his father 
had formerly owned ; Parks, the only survivor 
of the family, is unmarried and a resident of 
Oil City. 

John W. Phillips, father of William Frank- 
lin Phillips, was born July 24, 1850, on a farm 
in Westmoreland county, where he remained 
until the family's removal to Oil City. There 
he continued his literary education in the 
graded schools, and subsequently learned the 
drug business, which he followed during his 
young manhood, having stores at various other 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



towns in this section of Pennsylvania — Knox 
(Edenburg), St. Joe and Buena Vista — be- 
fore returning to Oil City, where he opened 
what is now known as the Nichols Pharmacy 
on the south side. As administrator he set- 
tled up the Phillips estate upon his father's 
death, meanwhile buying himself the farm 
tract at Pinoak, in Cranberry township, this 
county, where he ever after resided with the 
exception of part of the time while he was 
serving his two terms as county commission- 
er» 1905 to 191 1, during two of which years 
he lived in Franklin. At Pinoak he brought 
in several productive oil wells. Clever and 
tactful in handling business matters^ Mr. 
Phillips was not niggardly in the application 
of his time, means or efforts in the interest of 
his fellow men. He took a keen interest in 
public affairs, showing sound judgment in ad- 
vocating such improvements as would be of 
permanent value. For many years he served 
in local offices, on the school board, etc., the 
township benefiting greatly by his counsel and 
well considered action in its government. In 
the building of the steel bridge at Oil City his 
idea of providing a broad roadway that would 
suffice for years was originally opposed by 
other commissioners, but he persisted until 
he won them over, as the creditable structure 
which they erected attests. The steel bridge 
at Franklin was also built during his com- 
missionership, as well as the county jail, and 
substantial improvements were made on the 
County Farm. He was a lifelong Republican 
and always prominent in the local ranks of the 
party. Mr. Phillips was a man of sterling 
character, zealous in the discharge of his 
obligations, but modest and unassuming, of 
pleasing disposition and fond of entertaining 
at his own fireside, where he kept open house 
and found his greatest pleasure in the midst 
of his old friends, who were legion. He was 
in poor health for several years before his 
death, which occurred June 25, 1915, at the 
home of his son William F. Phillips on the 
Merritt and Phillips lease, at McClintockville. 
Fraternally he was an Odd Fellow and Ma- 
son, affiliated with Latonia Lodge, No. 1018, 
I: O. O. F., the Masonic blue lodge at Oil 
City and the council and chapter at Franklin, 
his funeral services being conducted by Ve- 
nango Chapter, No. 211. R. A. M., and by 
the pastor of Grace M. E. Church, of which 
he was a member. He is buried in Grove Hill 
cemetery, Oil City. 

On Nov. 23, 1871, Mr. Phillips married 
Gertrude Power, of Franklin, and they be- 
came the parents of four children, all of whom 



survived him: William Franklin; Josephine, 
wife of David W. Moore, of Tulsa, Okla. ; 
Grace, widow of S. J. Swift, of Austin, Texas ; 
and Wendell C, who lives on part of the 
old home at Pinoak. The mother of these 
dying May 15, 1890, Mr. Phillips married 
(second) in 1898 Allie Hastings, of Utica, 
this county, who passed away in June, 191 1. 

William Franklin Phillips had excellent 
educational advantages. He has been at work 
in the oil fields from the age of sixteen years, 
having begun as a tool dresser, and became a 
drilling contractor when but twenty, operating 
a string of tools. He sank several wells on 
his father's farm. In 1907, attracted by the 
high wages paid to experienced men, he went 
out to California, and except for one year 
which he spent at the old home was engaged 
in various of the leading production sections 
of that State until 191 1, his experience as a 
driller extending into the copper regions of 
New Mexico as well. Forming a partnership 
with H. R. Merritt on his return to Pennsyl- 
vania, they secured title to sixty acres with 
leases on an additional tract, and for seven 
years he has given his attention to the devel- 
opment of this property, he and his partner 
now having thirty-seven producing wells 
there, whose yield is at least up to the aver- 
age of Venango county wells. Many old wells 
had to be drawn and reworked, and new ones 
have been brought in, and in the course of 
the operations Mr. Phillips has had many rea- 
sons to be grateful for his years of experience, 
covering every phase of oil production and 
making him thoroughly conversant with all its 
possibilities. His management of this prop- 
erty speaks volumes for his efficiency, persist- 
ence and constancy in the care 'of the multi- 
tude of minor details without which success 
could not be gained under present-day condi- 
tions. He also owns the old farm at Pinoak, 
where there is a satisfactory oil production. 

In 1906 Mr. Phillips married Eva Stives, 
of Spartansburg, Pa., and they have two chil- 
dren, Marion A. and W. F., Jr. Mr. PhilU|>s 
devotes his time principally to business, but 
he maintains fraternal association with the 
Odd Fellows and Masons, being a Knight- 
Templar and thirty-second-degree Mason, 

FRANK A. JAMES, of Rocky Grove, has 
followed in his father's footsteps in business, 
keeping alive the associations which have at- 
tached to the name here for nearly half a cen- 
tury through extensive oil operations. The 
late Henry F. James was active in the oil fields 
adjacent to Franklin for forty years prior to 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



615 



his death, sustaining a high rate of production 
for many years. The son, with equal enter- 
prise and acumen, has done as well, though 
his work has not been confined to the local 
territory, and like hjs father his activities have 
been as frequently in the line of drilling as in 
production. 

Henry F. James was much more than a 
prosperous business man. Descended from 
old New England stock, he had the typical 
sturdiness of physique, rugged character and 
keen intelligence of his race, and he was a 
distinct acquisition, as a citizen, to the com- 
munity in which he settled here in Venango 
county. Industry and thrift were essentials 
of his code of life, but the}' were never ad- 
hered to in the narrow spirit which allows 
material interests to crowd out intellectual de- 
velopment. Bom Dec. 5, 1841, in Nantucket, 
Mass., he traced his ancestry back to Philip 
James, a native of England, who came from 
Hingham, that country, to America in 1638, 
with wife and four children and two servants, 
William Pitts and Edward Mitchell, settling 
at Hingham, Mass. He died soon afterward, 
and his widow, Jane, was married (second) 
in February, 1640, to George Russell. Fran- 
cis James, brother of Philip, also came from 
Hingham, England, to Hingham, Mass., in 
1638, with his wife Elizabeth and two serv- 
ants, Thomas Sucklin and Richard Baxter, 
became a proprietor at Hingham and was ad- 
mitted a freeman May 10, 1643. His house 
was burned in May, 1647, and he died Dec. 
27th of that year. He owned land at Coni- 
hasset. His widow was appointed adminis- 
tratrix of his estate, and on July 12, 1688, she 
administered on the estate of her son Philip. 

Francis James, son of Philip and Jane 
James, was probably bom in England and 
evidently named for his uncle. He became 
a farmer at Hingham Center, and died at 
Hingham Nov. 29, 1684, intestate, his widow 
Elizabeth administering his estate. His chil- 
dren were bom at Hingham, as follows: 
Elizabeth, who died April 11, 1660; Sarah, 
bom Feb. 27, 1661-62: Jane, Nov. 6, 1664; 
Francis, Jan. 25. 1666-67; Thomas, Dec. 7, 
1669; Philip, who died Feb. 15, 1687-88; and 
Samuel, who was born April 6, 1676. 

The next in the line from Francis James 
(H) of whom we have account is Francis 
James of several generations later, born about 
1760. According to the vital records of the 
town of Sherbum (now Nantucket), on the 
island of Nantucket, he was married Feb. 3, 
1783, to Elizabeth Milton, and in 1790, ac- 
cording to the first Federal census, he had 



two sons and one daughter under sixteen 
years old. This census shows but two other 
James families on Nantucket in 1790, Abigail, 
whose family consisted of three females, and 
Hart James, whose family consisted of four 
females. The former was the widow of Rob- 
ert Alsop James, whom she married at Sher- 
burn May 15, 1777. It is likely that all three 
families were closely related. 

Edwin James, either son or grandson of 
Francis and Elizabeth (Milton) James, was 
born April 10, 1808, on the island of Nan- 
tucket, and spent all his life there, dying Aug. 
14, 1868. He received a public school edu- 
cation and learned the trade of ropemaker, 
becoming known as a skillful and industrious 
tradesman. Politically he was a Whig in 
early life, later a Republican, and he and his 
family were Methodists in religious associa- 
tion. He was the father of seventeen chil- 
dren by two marriages, his first union, on 
Aug. 30, 1826, being to Sarah G. Cash, who 
was born Dec. 27, 1807, and died Dec. 27,1833. 
She was the mother of five children, namely: 
Edwin, born at Nantucket Aug. 30, 1827, 
died in infancy. Edwin C, bom at Nan- 
tucket March 10, 1829, died in 1871, was a 
whaler and cooper by trade ; he married Char- 
lotte R. James, a cousin, who died in Nan- 
tucket, and their children were Nellie (who 
lives at Nantucket, unmarried) and Eveline 
(wife of John Smith, foreman of a lumber 
company at Nantucket). Roland B., bom 
July 17. 1830, died in infancy. Phoebe 'Ann, 
born May 5, 1832, died in infancy. Sarah 
G., bom Dec. 11, 1833, died in 1834. For his 
second wife Eldwin James married, at Nan- 
tucket, Sarah G. Sandbury, who was born 
there Sept. 13, 1815, and died March 21, 1902. 
The twelve children of this union were: 
Walter Bunker, bom Sept. 2, 1836, died at 
Nantucket in 1905. Alexander, born Aug. 5, 
1838, died April 6, 1912, was a cooper in 
Fairhaven, Mass.; his wife, Nellie (Haskill), 
of New Bedford, died in 1900. Lydia C, 
born June 22, 1840, married Benjamin B. 
Long, of Nantucket, a painter by trade, who 
died there in 1904 ; she still resides there with 
her two children, Carrie J. (bom in 1866), 
and Anna T. (bom in 1869), both of whom 
are unmarried. Henry F. is mentioned below. 
Obed Sandbury, born Sept. 18, 1843. settled 
at Bradford, Pa., and was a prosperous oil 
producer, dying Jan. 8, 191 5; he married Eliz- 
abeth C. Russell. Isabelle L., born May 23, 
1845, died in 1908; she married William H. 
Gibbs, of Nantucket, a seaman and merchant, 
who died in 1904, and of their three children 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



two died young, Alice, the survivor, born in 
1862, marrying Charles Marks, of Vineyard 
Haven, Mass., now a fanner on Nantucket; 
their children are Mary, Harold and Horace. 
Sarah E., born April 11, 1847, niarried George 
Andrews, of Nantucket, a painter, who sur- 
vives her and now lives at Chelsea, Mass.; 
she died in 1892 leaving two children, Charles 
Andrews (bom in 1874, of Boston, who is 
married and has a family) and Dwight An- 
drews (bom in 1876, also a resident of Bos- 
ton). Andrew C, born Nov. i, 1849, died 
Dec. 6. 1852. Ferdinand, born Oct. 12, 1851, 
died Dec. 19, 1852., Qarence A., bom Nov. 
28, 1853, died June 17, 1865. Horace A., 
born Feb. 6, 1856, is unmarried, and lives at 
Plainville, Conn., where he is in the dry goods 
business. Carrie H., bom May 28, 1857, ^^^d 
Feb. 26, 1865. 

Mrs. Sarah G. (Sandbury) James was a 
daughter of James Sandbury, a native of 
Sweden, bom July 2, 1782, who came to Nan- 
tucket and made a permanent home there, dy- 
ing at that place in i860. In early youth he 
began to follow the water as cabin boy with 
Captain West, and he continued to be a mari- 
ner and whaler throughout his active years. 
On Oct. 18, 1808, he married Anne Qeveland, 
who was born at Nantucket Feb. 7, 1789, and 
died there about 1850. 

Henry F. James, son of Edwin and Sarah 
G. (Sandbury) James, was born Dec. 3, 1841, 
at Nantucket, Mass., and grew up there, at- 
tending school up to the age of twelve years. 
During the next two years he was employed 
in fishing, from the shores to the island, and 
when fourteen he was apprenticed to leam 
the trade of cooper with David Folger, Esq., 
with whom he remained two and a half years. 
But a seafaring life had more attraction for 
him, and he became engaged in whaling, which 
he followed until he became interested in the 
mineral oils of western Pennsylvania and 
found his way to fortune. He went around 
the world three or four times. He first came 
to Venango county, Pa., in 1861, and spent a 
year working in the oil fields on Oil creek, 
after which he made another three years' voy- 
age, his last cruise, before retuming to this 
section in Febmary, .1865. At that time he 
located at Pithole, becoming superintendent 
for A. R. Williams, and in 1871 he came to 
Franklin to take the position of superintend- 
ent of the first pipe line, the Franklin Pipe 
Line in Sugarcreek township, continuing in 
that capacity for a little over six years. In 
the latter part of this period, about 1875, he 
became interested in oil operations on his own 



account, buying a valuable lease which covered 
the oil rights on about 140 acres of the Mc- 
Calmont farm, lying on a hill one mile north 
of Franklin, in Sugarcreek township. There 
were only four wells in operation on this 
property when it came into his hands, so that 
practically all the work of development on the 
place was prosecuted under his management. 
By February, 1878, he had increased the pro- 
duction to such an extent that he was obliged 
to resign the superintendency, his brother 
Horace taking his place, and a year later he 
had twenty-two producing wells with a total 
yield of five hundred barrels per month, with 
the price at four dollars and a quarter a bar- 
rel. Mr. James' native intelligence and broad 
grasp of business principles brought him to 
the front among progressive operators, and 
he was quick to see the advantages of consol- 
idating the various departments of his work, 
connecting all his pumps with one engine and 
in other ways availing himself of up-to-date 
ideas for facilitating business and getting the 
full worth of his equipment. Several impor- 
tant innovations were the substantial results 
of the exercise of his ingenuity, and he took 
out patents for drilling and pumping devices 
of his own invention, soon ranking with the 
leading operators of the region. By 1890 he 
had developed sixty wells in all and had thirty 
flowing, and the yield was so high that at one 
time he was getting nine hundred barrels 
monthly out of about twenty wells. He con- 
tinued prosf>ecting and drilling until he had 
thirty-six active wells, though the yield de- 
creased in volume, amounting to but one hun- 
dred barrels a month. Though interested in 
many fields Mr. James had his oil interests 
centered in this lease, and he was active in 
business until his death, which occurred at 
Franklin Nov. 7, 191 1. He made his home 
on the McCalmont tract from the time he be- 
came interested in its exploitation, later, in 
1878, building the James home at Rocky 
Grove, on the McCalmont tract, in the north- 
em part of the town, now the residence of 
Mr. Bacon. Rocky Grove always counted him 
among her most valuable and public-spirited 
citizens. From early life he took a deep in- 
terest in education, agriculture and politics, 
and was zealous in the promotion of all pro- 
gressive measures and a moving spirit in the 
inception of various projects for advancing 
social conditions in his community. Always 
solicitous of those around him, and diligent 
in helping toward the betterment of all classes, 
he was especially mindful of the young and 
particularly enthusiastic in securing the best 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



617 



possible school facilities for his district, be- 
ing one of a small group at Rocky Grove who 
were ever willing to sacrifice time and money 
in that cause. He served several years on the 
Sugarcreek school board, was its secretary, 
and spent the closing hours of his life with 
one of his fellow directors, Mr. C. D. Phipps, 
in school visiting, the last svunmons coming 
suddenly. Mr. Phipps writes thus of his old 
friend and associate: 

Henry F. James was a gentleman of the 
old school. Like Homer, he lived by the side 
of the road and was a friend of man, hos- 
pitable at home and abroad. While his con- 
duct in public and private life was above re- 
proach, he showed at his best at his own fire- 
side. To him his happy home, brightened by 
a devoted wife, filial daughters and dutiful 
sons, was the dearest and sweetest spot on 
earth, and he believed that every man's home 
should be his palace. He served in the Penn- 
sylvania legislature with honor to himself and 
his constituents, and though always a Repub- 
lican in principle was ever a hearty supporter 
of what was best, nothing being potent enough 
to swer\'e him from his duty to the right or 
from his friends. No one ever stayed with 
his friends and dealt justly better than he. 
His ability as a peacemaker was well exem- 
plified in his services as justice of the peace, 
all who came to him going home friends, and 
none going away without kind words and ad- 
vice. -Adhering to no church, he gave liber- 
ally to all. He never used tobacco or spirit- 
uous liquors, and was a strong advocate of 
Prohibition. 

On Jan. 7, 1866, Mr. James married Susan 
M. Hunter, of Nantucket, Mass., who sur- 
vives him and makes her home in Franklin, 
moving there from Rocky Grove after his 
death. Two children were born to this mar- 
riage: Bertha, bom in 1867, is the wife of 
Charles Hollister, of Franklin (an old pro- 
ducer and grocer), and has one child, Henry 
James, bom June 4, 1900; Frank A. was born 
May 13, 1871. 

Frank A. James is a native of Nantucket, 
Mass., but has passed his life in Venango 
county. He grew up on the McCalmont place 
already mentioned, and was given excellent 
educational advantages, but before leaving 
school he was also learning the details of the 
oil business under the able instruction of his 
father, whom he assisted from an early age. 
He helped to sink nearly all the wells on his 
father's lease, and acquired an expert knowl- 
edge of drilling, which he followed almost ex- 
clusively for ten years on his own account. 



as a contractor, becoming familiar with every 
phase of exploitation work as practiced in this 
region, where he has been closely associated 
with tiie business throughout his life. The 
lease on the McCalmont place was sold three 
years ago to Harry Grant, but Mr. James re- 
tains other interests in the locality as a pro- 
ducer, and he has also made oil investments 
in the fields of other States, including West 
Virginia and Ohio; his operations in Penn- 
sylvania counties away from the home terri- 
tory have been mainly as a drilling contractor, 
but they have been highly important in the op- 
portunities aflforded for enlarging his experi- 
ence. In fact, his success as a producer has 
been largely due to his comprehensive knowl- 
edge of oil lands gained while drilling. 

The family home on the McCalmont place 
in the nortii end of Rocky Grove adjoined the 
present home of Frank A. James, who built 
an attractive residence near by, which he and 
his wife still occupy. When twenty-four 
years old Mr. James married Lois Homan, 
of Cooperstown, daughter of Henry and 
Sarah (Felton) Homan, farming people, both 
of whom are now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. 
James have no children. His chief recreation 
from business is hunting, for which he takes 
a couple of weeks' vacation every year. 

HENRY SUHR, late of Oil City, was one 
of a group of successful men whose 
remunerative activities in the local oil fields, 
covering a long period, not only had the tan- 
gible result of establishing their own fortunes 
but also attracted other brains and capital of 
great value to this region. A man of sub- 
stantial qualities and keen business instincts, 
though modest and unassuming he made his 
way from small beginnings to high financial 
standing and a foremost place as a citizen. 
Throughout his long and honorable career he 
retained the habits of methodical industry and 
careful attention to detail which made his early 
ventures thrive. His talent for handlinp^ large 
affairs seemed to develop naturally with the 
requirements of his expanding interests, for 
he always proved equal to their demands, never 
hesitating to assume new labors whatever the 
burden he already carried. He was well fitted 
for responsibilities of all kinds, however, and 
never avoided them, and his associates showed 
unqualified confidence in his aims and actions. 
The record of his business life constitutes a 
definite part of the commercial and industrial 
history of Oil City. But it was not his material 
wealth that made a place for him among the 
most esteemed residents of that city. His 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



sterling personal traits and companionable 
nature won him friends wherever he was 
known, and his pleasant, genial manners had 
an unmistakable note of sincerity and genuine 
fellowship which justified his popularity to all 
who came within its influence. 

Mr. Suhr was of German birth and ancestry. 
He was born Oct. ii, 1844. in Hardegsen, 
Germany, the eldest of the three sons of 
Christian and Henrietta (Frohne) Suhr. The 
second son, Louis, was engaged in the oil busi- 
ness at Bradford, Pa., and died in 191 7 in Los 
Angeles, Cal. Charles, the youngest, died 
many years ago. Henry Suhr was reared and 
educated in his native land, but when he 
reached manhood he saw possibilities in 
America which his own country did not offer, 
and hither he came in July, 1868, locating first 
in New York City. His parents followed him to 
the United States in May, 1877, but returned 
to Germany after about six years' stay. He 
had learned the trade of locksmith, at which 
he found work in New York City and later in 
Buflfalo, N. Y., and before coming to Venango 
county he was also in Pittsburgh for a time, 
being engaged in a machine shop there for six 
months. Meantime the development of the oil 
industry in this section had attracted his atten- 
tion, and in 1869 he came to the Oil Creek 
region to test its merits for himself. During 
the next six years he was employed by different 
oil concerns, in various capacities, and by that 
time had acquired sufficient familiarity with 
the oil business to make him anxious to operate 
on his own account. He began the business in 
1875, establishing himself in Oil City, where 
he made his permanent home, and his success 
as a producer was immediate and notable. In 
1886 he became identified with another branch 
of the business, joining Louis Walz and 
Samuel Justus in the organization of the Penn 
Refining Company, of which Mr. Suhr was the 
executive head for many years, filling the office 
of president until its absorption by the Penn 
American Refining Company more than a 
quarter of a century afterward. The business 
of the latter company grew to such lai^e pro- 
portions, largely as the outcome of Mr. Suhr's 
eflforts, that they are now refining nearly one 
million barrels of oil annually. Several years 
after becoming interested in the Penn Refinery 
Mr. Suhr joined other local oil men in the pur- 
chase of the plant of the Valley Oil Company 
at Rouseville, this county, and organized the 
Germania Refining Company, which eventually, 
in T914, became consolidated with the Penn 
Refining^ Company under the name of the Ger- 
mania Refining Company (later changed to 



Penn American Refining Company), of Oil 
City. It was about this time that Mr. Suhr 
gave up active connection with the refining 
business. He had acquired other important 
interests in the course of his busy life, and 
though he was not prudent to the extent of 
being over-cautious he exercised such certain 
judgment in the choice of investments that his 
decision on the worth of a financial under- 
taking was practically authoritative. He was 
one of the oldest stockholders of the Oil 
City Trust Company, one of the leading 
banking institutions of northwestern Penn- 
sylvania, and served many years on its 
board of directors. He was interested in 
the Pure Oil Company, the Penn Oil & Supply 
Company of Oil City, the Consolidated Win- 
dow Glass Company, a Bradford (Pa.) con- 
cern with plants at Mount Jewett and Hazel 
Hurst, Pa., and The British American Oil 
Company, of Toronto, Canada. During the 
last few years of his life, owing to ill health, 
Mr. Suhr had not taken as active a part as 
usual in the conduct of these companies, but 
he maintained his association with them to the 
end and looked after the management of his 
interests. Two years before his death he tried 
a sojourn at Nauheim. Germany, for relief, 
and latterly he spent the winters in the South, 
his death occurring at St. Petersburg. Fla., 
Dec. 2, 1914. from heart failure after a severe 
attack of asthma. Mr. Suhr left many friends 
to mourn him outside of domestic and business 
circles. For over thirty years he had been a 
vestryman of Good Hope Lutheran Church, of 
which he was a charter member, and he was 
ever zealous in behalf of its interests, serving 
as a member of the building committee which 
had charge of the erection of the present 
church, completed in 1903. 

In 1875 Mr. Suhr married, at Oil City. 
Louise Schorman. who like himself was bom 
in Germany, coming to America when eighteen 
years old. Her father. Christian Schorman, 
also a native of Germany, came to this country 
in later life, living retired at Oil City until 
his death, in 1914, when eighty-six years old. 
He had been a blacksmith during his active 
years. Mr. Schorman was twice married, 
Mrs. Suhr being the eldest of the four chil- 
dren born to his first union ; Lewis is a resident 
of Oil City: Karl died in Australia; Adolph 
is a resident of Bradford, Pa. By the second 
union there were three children, namely : Mrs. 
John Baumbach, of Oil City: Gustave. also of 
Oil City: and William A.' P.. a resident of 
Toronto, Canada. 

Four children were bom to Mr. and Mrs. 



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VEXANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



619 



Suhr: Charles L. ; Elizabeth, wife of James 
Cuyler Black, of Franklin, Pa. ; Lena, the wife 
of Ernest A. Burch, of Oil City; and Henry 
W., who died in October, 1918, at Saltville, 
\'a., of influenza and pneumonia, while serv- 
ing in the United States Army. Mrs. Suhr 
resides at No. 205 West Third street, Oil City. 

Charles L. Suhr, eldest son of the late 
Henry Suhr, is proving eminently worthy of 
the name and traditions which are his to up- 
hold. Born March 30, 1877, in Oil City, he was 
reared there, obtaining his preparatory educa- 
tion in the public schools, and subsequently 
pursuing advanced studies at Philadelphia. On 
his return to Oil City he learned the refining 
business, becoming superintendent of the Penn 
American Refining Company, of which he is 
now president and treasurer, his official asso- 
ciates being D. J. Cavanaugh, secretary, and 
L. D. Fulton, general superintendent. The 
plant is one of the largest refineries in this 
section, and Mr. Suhr has shown himself quite 
fortunate as the heir of many of his father's 
business qualities as well as his responsibilities. 
Most of his business interests are in allied in- 
dustries. He is vice president of The British 
American Oil Company of Toronto, Canada, 
and president of the Oil City Oil & Grease 
Company, which he assisted in founding. He 
is a director of the Oil City Trust Company. 
Mr. Suhr holds practical ideas on the value of 
wholesome social institutions and their eflfect 
on citizenship and proper standards of life in 
all its associations, and he has been a hearty 
supporter of the Y. M. C. A. work in his city, 
serving as a director of the association. 
Though he has no particular taste for public 
duties he served a term in the city council at 
a time when he felt that he could do some good 
in that position, and there are other services to 
his credit which make it unnecessary to defend 
his title to public spirit or good will in his 
relations to his fellow men. Fraternally he 
is a Mason, affiliated with Petrolia Lodge No. 
363. F. & A. M.; Oil City Chapter No. 236, 
R. A. M. ; Talbot Commandery No. 43, K. T. ; 
\'enango Lodge of Perfection; and Lu Lu 
Temple. A. A. O. X. M. S., of Philadelphia. 
He is a vestryman in the Good Hope Evangeli- 
cal Lutheran Church of Oil City. 

Mr. Suhr was married to Kate Wilkins, 
daughter of Benjamin Wilkins. well known as 
the veteran train dispatcher of Rouseville, Pa. 
They have two children, Henry and Charles. 

DANIEL T. NICKLIN (deceased), of 
French Creek township, was one of the most 



valued men of his generation in that section, 
where his memory is perpetuated in the names 
of such local institutions as the Nicklin M. E. 
Church and cemetery, and Nicklin Hill, where 
he made his home. He occupied the farm 
there now owned and operated by his son 
Harry C. Nicklin. 

Mr. Nicklin was of English birth and an- 
cestry, his grandfather, William Nicklin, hav- 
ing been bom in England in October, 1796, 
and his wife Frances (Moore) on Dec. 16, 
1796. They were married May 16, 181 7, and 
lived in that country until after most of their 
large family were born, coming to America in 
1833 ^"d settling on a farm near Sandy Lake, 
in Mercer county, Pa., near the Venango 
county line, on the place now occupied by their 
grandson John Nicklin, his father Charles S. 
Nicklin having inherited it. There William 
Nicklin died Nov. 11, 1868, his widow Sept. 
16, 1881. They were the parents of eleven 
children, namely: Mar}% bom in 1818, mar- 
ried Henry Clulow and lived in French Creek 
township; Frances, born in 1819, married H. 
B. Rice, of Greenville, Pa.; George D., bom 
June 15, 1820, was a merchant at Salina 
(where he died), as well as a prosperous 
farmer and oil producer in Cranberry town- 
ship; Joseph, born in 1822, is deceased; Eliza 
A., bom in 1824, married Samuel Jackson 
and remained in England,. dying Dec. 5, 1883; 
William, born in 1825, was a resident of Mer- 
cer county; Daniel T. is mentioned below; 
Thomas E., bom in 1830, is deceased ; Simon 
J., bom in 1833, was a business man in Frank- 
lin, where his son John is now similarly en- 
gaged : Ellen J., born in 1835, is the widow of 
Thomas Amitt, of Franklin ; Charles S., bom 
in 1837, lived at the old homestead in Mercer 
county. The parents are buried in the Cath- 
olic graveyard north of Mercer, both having 
been of the Catholic faith. Of this family, 
three sons and one daughter came to Venango 
county: George D„ Daniel T., Simon J. and 
Mrs. Arnitt, now the only survivor of her 
generation. 

Daniel T. Nicklin was bom July 11, 1828, 
at Newcastle under Lyme, in Staffordshire, 
England, and was reared in Mercer county, 
Pa., being only a child of five years when he 
accompanied his parents to this country. 
Though practically self educated, he was a 
man of unusual acquirements for his time, 
and during his early manhood taught school, 
both before and after his marriage, his wife 
having been one of his pupils. Before settling 
down permanently he had also been employed 
in a brickyard at Pittsburgh, and at cutting 



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VEXANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



cordwood on the Mississippi river. At the 
time of his marriage he bought one hundred 
acres of the present Nicklin farm in French 
Creek township, located at Nicklin Hill two 
and a half miles "west of Franklin, and there 
he lived and worked the remainder of his life, 
makmg a fine property of it. Mr. Nicklin was 
thrifty and diligent in his material affairs, 
which prospered steadily under his careful 
direction, but he also kept his mind on the 
higher things of life, doing his share toward 
securing the proper administration of local 
public concerns and taking part in the church 
and social activities of the neighborhood. He 
served his township officially as member of 
the school board and as constable, tax collec- 
tor and assessor when those three offices were 
combined, discharging his duties intelligently 
and with true public spirit. His political alle- 
giance was given to the Democratic party. 
He was always well read, and enjoyed hold- 
ing discussions with his friends to the end of 
his life, his mind remaining clear until the 
last. Though reared a Catholic he became 
one of the leading members of the M. E. de- 
nomination in his vicinity, donating the land 
for the Nicklin Methodist Episcopal Church 
and cemetery, the present organization estab- 
lished in 1869, when he and his wife became 
original members. She had been reared in 
the M. E. church. . Previous to its formation 
as a church it was known as the Nicklin class, 
which was in existence from 1842 and served 
by the preachers from Franklin until 1857, 
being in the bounds of the Hendersonville cir- 
cuit. In June, 1870, when the trustees were 
elected at the Third Quarterly Conference, 
Mr. Nicklin served as secretary, and he was 
a delegate to the lay Electoral Conference held 
in 1 87 1 at Meadville, which sent delegates to 
the General Conference that met in May, 1872, 
admitting laymen. He did the church a 
worthy ser\'ice in compiling its early history, 
getting the records and reliable incidental in- 
formation into excellent shape for an anri- 
versary address at the reunion held June 21 
and 22, 1902, in Seaton's Grove, and put into 
permanent form at that time. He was ever a 
mainstay of the congregation, kept open house 
for ministers and elders, and never allowed 
his enthusiasm to lag under any circumstances. 
He was a great lover of music, and always led 
the singing when he was able to go to church. 
On March 13, 185 1, Mr. Nicklin married 
Eleanor Bunnell, of Sandycreek township, 
near Polk, who was bom Sept. 26, 1832, 
daughter of Isaac and Nellie (Cannon) Bun- 
nell and granddaughter of James Cannon, of 



Ireland. Mr. Bunnell died in 1883. Mr. 
Nicklin died Feb. 21, 1907, his wife Nov. 14, 
1909, and they are buried in the Nicklin cem- 
etery. They had the following family: Isaac 
Bunnell, bom Dec. 23, 1851, was engaged as 
a carpenter while in Venango county, and for 
the last twenty-six years has been living at 
Pomona, Cal. ; Mary Ann, bom Oct. 18, 1853, 
is the widow of H. A. Blair and lives at North 
Clarendon, Warren Co., Pa. ; Flora, bom Sept. 
24, 1855, ^s the widow of J. H. Gildersleeve, 
of Lafayette, Ind. ; Eliza Jane, bom Sept. 27, 
1857, is the wife of W. B. Grace, of Colorado 
Springs, Colo.; Charles Henry Dale, bom 
July 8, 1861, a carpenter, lives at Bleakley 
Hill, Franklin; Lizzie C, born Oct. 16, 1863, 
lives on the home farm with her brother; 
Leah A., born May 2, 1867, is the wife of 
John Wilson, of Wingate, Ind. ; Thomas A., 
ix)rn Aug. 2, 1870, an employe of the Erie 
Railroad Company, resides in Sugar Creek 
township, Venango county; Harry C. is the 
next in the family; John D., born Sept. 17, 
1875, a carpenter, is located in Cleveland, 
Ohio. It is rather remarkable that all of the 
ten children are living, the youngest now for- 
ty-three years old. 

Harry C. Nicklin was bom Dec. 17, 1872, 
at the farm in French Creek township where 
he still continues to reside. He obtained a 
thorough training in the common English 
branches in the public schools of the locality, 
and always helped with the operation of the 
home place, of which he acquired sole owner- 
ship at his parents* death, buying out the in- 
terests of the other heirs. He is engaged in 
general farming, and his enterprise entitles 
him to a place among the progressive agri- 
culturists of his neighborhood. His interest 
in public affairs has led him to service on the 
election board, and politically he has been ac- 
tive in the Prohibition party. He is a worker 
in the Nicklin M. E. Church with which the 
family has been so long associated. Mr. 
Nicklin has never married. 

WILLIAM FANQHER WHITMAN, of 
Chapmanville (or Plum), has been one of the 
most successful country merchants of Venan- 
go county, doing business at an historic old 
trading point popular as such for over a cen- 
tury. Being on the main road from Frank- 
lin to Erie, over which supplies were hauled 
for use in the construction and outfitting of 
Perry's fleet on Lake Erie, it was well known 
as far back as the war of 1812. 

Mr. Whitman was bom Jan. 21, 1855, in 
Mercer county. Pa., son of Jacob and Jane 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



621 



(Fancher) Whitman. Being only a boy at 
the time of his father's death, which occurred 
near Utica, Venango county, he wa's thereafter 
reared by his maternal grandfather, Capt. 
William Fancher, who had come to this region 
from New York State when the canal was 
built, to take charge of the lock at Utica. As 
the canal was abandoned soon afterward he 
had to seek other occupation, and he turned 
to his trade, shoemaking, which he continued 
to follow throughout his active years at Utica, 
dying there at the advanced age of ninety- 
three. William F. Whitman was allowed ex- 
cellent educational advantages, . being sent to 
the academy, and when eighteen years old he 
b^^an to teach, following the profession for 
four years and meantime taking a course in 
a business college at York, Pa. In 1879 he 
began the mercantile business, which has been 
his chief interest ever since, starting as clerk 
in the store of Crane & Company, at Utica, 
where he gained the preliminary experience 
necessary to success in an independent ven- 
ture. In 1 881, in company with George Win- 
chester, he bought the business at Chapman- 
ville, in Plum township, which he still carries 
on. They purchased it from Ira Crowther, 
who erected the present building in 1879 to 
replace the former one destroyed by fire. 
Though the young men had to borrow a thou- 
sand dollars when they took the store over, 
they were so successful from the beginning 
that within five years Mr. Whitman was in 
position to buy his partner's share, becoming 
sole owner in the year 1886, and within a few 
years after that he was also able to buy out 
the only rival concern in the town, operated 
by S. S. Gould. Since 1902 Mr. Whitman has 
had his son Harry as partner, under the firm 
name of W. F. Whitman & Son. The busi- 
ness has been conducted alon^ up-to-date lines, 
with the idea of accommodating patrons fore- 
most in its policy. The large general stock 
carried is much more complete and carefully 
selected than the average country store aflFords, 
including a good line of hardware and agri- 
cultural implements, but the generous patron- 
age of the local population has enabled the 
firm to invest in better goods and more of 
them. They have endeavored to give all cus- 
tomers prompt service and painstaking atten- 
tion, a fact which has been recognized and 
appreciated thoroughly, counting as much for 
their success as the dependable merchandise 
for which they have long been noted. The 
popularity of this establishment has, in fact, 
a very substantial basis. For a number of 
years there was a postoffice at Chapmanville, 



known as Plum, but the service has for some 
time been rural free delivery from Dia- 
mond. 

Mr. Whitman is equally well known by 
reason of his public services, which have ex- 
tended over a number of years. After serv- 
ing as clerk in the lower house of the State 
legislature during the sessions of 1903, 1905 
and 1906 he was elected to represent his dis- 
trict in that body in 1906, servmg in 1907. In 
1908 he was defeated by the close margin of 
one vote, the contest being sharp on account 
of the Prohibition issue, then uppermost. 
Though he was the regular Republican nom- 
inee Mr. Whitman was known to hold de- 
cided views on this subject, being opposed 
to the general sale of spirituous liquors and 
favorable to local option, and public opinion 
was with hirti to such an extent that in 1910 
he was easily elected, as also two years later. 
In each session that he served he had the 
honor of a place upon the Appropriations 
committee. 

In 1879 Mr, Whitman married Anna Gil- 
more, daughter of Mrs. Jane Gilmore of 
Utica, and they have had the following fam- 
ily : Harry, who has been associated with his 
father from boyhood and has been a partner 
in the business since twenty-two years old; 
Alice, wife of Ray Smith, of Youngstown, 
Ohio; Nellie, wife of H. F. Brown, of 
Youngstown, chief timekeeper in a steel plant; 
Charles, who was employed in his father's 
store until twenty-three years old and then 
established himself in the grocery business at 
Youngstown, Ohio; and Florence, living at 
home. The family are associated with the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Whitman 
is an Odd Fellow, affiliating with the lodge 
at Bradleytown, and he was one of the first 
officers of Plum Tent, No. 52, K. O. T. M., 
of Chapmanville. 

WAYNE C. HASTINGS, a prominent 
farmer of Canal township, is well known all 
over Venango county as an official and in 
political circles. He bears a name which has 
been honored in this section for a hundred 
years for substantial worth and good citizen- 
ship, and in his own life has exemplified the 
qualities associated with it during this long 
period, in business as well as public activities. 
He was born Aug. 24, 1873, on his farm two 
miles north of Utica, son of William Wilson 
Hastings and grandson of John Hastings, the 
latter a native of Lancaster county, this 
State. 

John Hastings, the grandfather, was bom 



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VEXANGO COUNTY, PEXXSYLVANIA 



April 7, 1797, and was a year old when 
brought from Lancaster to Venango county 
by his maternal 'grandmother, Mrs. Sutley, 
who came here with two sons. One of them, 
Henry Sutley, secured four hundred acres 
direct from the State (the patent for which 
was issued to John Hastings) and settled 
there in 1799, improving part of it. It was 
situated on Warden run. Each of the Sut- 
ley brothers obtained one hundred acres of 
this tract, but their shares were sold, one 
dying on his part of the land and the other 
settling in Oakland township, this county. 
When John Hastings grew up he received his 
grandmother's share of two hundred acres, in 
two tracts, one now occupied by O. C. Sig- 
worth and the other by his grandson Wayne 
C. Hastings. For twelve years John Hastings 
lived near Franklin, where he owned what 
was then known as the Cochran flats, now 
the Pennsylvania Railroad yards, returning 
thence to the farm, where all his life was 
spent with this exception. The land which 
he owned near Franklin proved to be a val- 
uable oil field, the man he sold it to becom- 
ing rich thereby. The farm was steadily im- 
proved under his care. One of his earliest 
enterprises was the building of a dam on War- 
den run, where he erected a gristmill, and 
though he leased the mill for others to op- 
erate he continued to own it until it was dis- 
continued, a few years before his death. The 
mill stood on the tract now owned by Mr. 
Sigworth, and John Hastings had his home 
near the mill site. He was an enterprising 
man, quite successful as a trader, owned land 
in New York, and was considered a wealthy 
man for his day. 

On Jan. 4, 1821, Mr. Hastings married 
Hannah Smith, daughter of Isaac Smith, of 
Bully Hill, in Sandy Creek township. Ye- 
nango county, and she preceded him to the 
grave, passing away April 14, 1868, while 
his death occurred Sept. i,- 1872. He was a 
Whig and Republican in turn, and interested 
in the politics of his time. His family con- 
sisted of eleven children: Mary; Hannah; 
Harriet, Mrs. James McCracken, who lived on 
part of the farm; Adeline, Mrs. Thomas 
Wood, who lived on a nearby farm ; Barbara, 
who died when a young girl ; Sarah Ann, who 
married Frank Beatty, both dying in Venan- 
go county; Sarepta Ann, wife of John Andre, 
who survives her and lives in Canal town- 
ship; Ruth E., deceased in childhood; Wil- 
liam Wilson; Smith, who removed to Ten- 
nessee and died when seventy-six years old 



(he obtained the old mill site property) ; and 
George W., who died when a child. 

William Wilson Hastings, father of Wayne 
C. Hastings, was born in Canal township, 
March 30, 1827, at the home near the Hast- 
ings mill, where he lived with his parents 
until his marriage. He had such education 
as the local schools afforded, and the ordinary 
experience in farm and lumber work ac- 
quired by the young men of his time, before 
his marriage finding employment at a saw- 
mill in Warren county, which he operated 
both before and after his marriage, also build- 
ing flatboats there. During the springtime he 
rafted, as far down as Pittsburgh and even 
to Cincinnati. He bought one hundred acres 
of his father, giving him five hundred dol- 
lars and five years' work for it, most of the 
labor being put in prior to his marriage, and 
he earned the money in the occupations above 
noted, besides spending the summers at home 
in his father's employ. His land was all in 
timber when he purchased it, and he cleared 
seventy-five acres and put it under cultiva- 
tion, building on it and otherwise improving 
it throughout his active years. He sawed the 
lumber for his first house, rafted it to Frank- 
lin, and hauled it out to the property, and 
he also built the present house himself, in 
1880. Mr. Hastings was a man of energetic 
mental as well as physical habit, and his par- 
ticipation in local affairs was welcomed, the 
excellent record which he made in the offices 
of school director, road supervisor and jury 
commissioner accounting for the confidence 
of his fellow citizens in his integrity and abil- 
ity. For many years he was an elder in the 
Presbyterian Church at Utica, where he and 
his wife belonged. 

Mr. Hastings was married, Sept. 21, 1852, 
to Mary Jane McQuaid, who was bom Jan. 31, 
1832, daughter of John McQuaid, mention of 
whose family will be found in the sketch of 
William H. McQuaid, elsewhere in this work. 
Mrs. Hastings died in October, 191 5, surviving 
her husband, who passed away Nov. 29, 191 1. 
Their family consisted Of eight sons and four 
daughters, namely: John F. was a farmer 
near Cooperstown, where he died when 
twenty-five years old; Cyrus S., now of 
Youngstown, Ohio, is a contractor and build- 
er; I^ura L. was the wife of Rev. C. R. 
Thompson, a minister, now at Brookville, 
. Pa., and she is deceased, her daughter Grace 
living with W^ayne C. Hastings; Allie H., now 
deceased, was the wife of John W. Phillips, 
former county commissioner, who died in 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



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Franklin ; Jesse McQuaid went to Tennessee, 
where he married and remained until his 
death (his son Earl C. also lives with Wayne 
C. Hastings) ; Mary Emma died when eight- 
een years old ; Elwood I., of Roosevelt, Ariz., 
is engaged in the oil business; Jennie E., 
Mrs. J. T. Wolf, lives at Albuquerque, N. 
Mex., where her husband is engaged in the 
oil business ; William H. lives with his brother 
Wayne C. ; Wayne C. is next in the family ; 
Frank T. is in the oil business at Great Falls, 
Mont.; Quincy D., an attorney at law, of 
Franklin, is mentioned elsewhere in this work. 

Wayne C. Hastings has spent his life on 
the farm. He was educated in the local 
schools and worked with his father until the 
latter's retirement, since when he has had 
charge of the property, which is in up-to-date 
condition under his management, devoted to 
general farming. He has rebuilt the house, 
and in 191 7 built a new bam, owning some 
valuable Durham and Hereford cattle, as well 
as fine Berkshire hogs. He has never bred 
any stock, but takes a pride in owning supe- 
rior animals and cares for them intelligently. 

In 1906 Mr. Hastings was honored with 
election to the office of county auditor, and 
served a term of three years commencing Jan. 
I. 1907, during an important period in the 
history of the county. For the last six years 
he has been a member of the Canal town- 
ship school board, in which association his 
services have been highly creditable. His 
principal activity aside from business has been 
in political work, as a stanch member of the 
Republican party, whose cause he has pro- 
moted ably. 

On June i, 1898, Mr. Hastings married 
Clara Bankson, of Cornplanter township, near 
Rouseville. daughter of Peter and Emma 
Bankson; her father was formerly engaged 
in the production of oil, now living retired 
at Oil City. Mr. and Mrs. Hastings have 
three children: Merrill B., who graduated 
from the high school at Utica, attended Edin- 
boro Normal School, and is now teaching in 
Canal township; Wayne C, Jr., aged three 
years : and Emma Rose. 

GEORGE A. BLAIR is a leading merchant 
at Clintonville, \>nango county, and also has 
valuable oil interests in this section, having 
been successfully engaged in oil production 
for over tw^enty years. In his close connec- 
tion with the business development and public 
aflFairs of the borough, and in a general way 
with all matters of importance which demand 
the attention of its public-spirited citizens, he 



has been one of its most useful residents, do- 
ing his full share to keep it up to the standard 
of other progressive communities in the coun- 
ty. As a sqn of the late John H. Blair he 
belongs to one of the old families of this sec- 
tion, whose name is associated with substan- 
tial worth and honorable character. 

John H. Blair was bom in Ireland in May, 
1823, and was a child of five years when his 
parents, Robert and Nancy (Eakin) Blair, 
left the old country in 1828, coming by way 
of Canada and settling in western Pennsyl- 
vania. Their first location was in Scrubgrass 
township, Venango county, whence they re- 
moved the following year to a place in But- 
ler county near the borough of Emlenton, this 
county. Mrs. Blair died when yet a young 
woman, and Mr. Blair met an accidental death 
when sixty years old, being fatally injured by 
a horse. Their son John H. Blair grew up 
in Butler county, receiving a limited educa- 
tion in the primitive schools then available. 
When old enough to begin life on his own ac- 
count he was engaged as a contractor at the 
Buchanan and Jefferson furnaces in Qarion 
county for a time, but being ambitious to es- 
tablish a home of his own he bought a tract 
of land in October, 1848, 120 acres in Vic- 
tory township, Venango county. He did not 
move there until 185 1, a couple of years after 
his marriage, and he spent the remainder of 
his active life in the development and im- 
provement of this property, which he cleared, 
making his permanent home there. After de- 
voting a number of years entirely to agricul- 
ture he opened a store on the farm in 1876, 
and thereafter profitably combined merchan- 
dising with farming, managing his affairs 
thriftily. He mingled in local public affairs, 
being a well known member of the Demo- 
cratic party, held various township offices, and 
took a helpful part in the activities of the 
Hebron congregation of the Evangelical As- 
sociation, with which he was associated dur- 
ing the last twenty-five years of his life, and 
with which his family was also connected. On 
Jan. 2, 1849, ^^' Blair was married in Butler 
county to Emily Griffin, daughter of William 
Griffin, of Irwin township, Venango county, 
and of the ten children born to them seven 
survive, namely: Marion, a farmer of Clin- 
ton township, who died in February, 1914; 
George A.; James A., of Polk, this county, 
an oil producer and refiner; Elmer E., who 
is engaged in business as a grocer at Orange- 
ville, Ohio ; Ann, Mrs. M. McMillan, of Polk ; 
Ed., a merchant of Grove City, Pa.; Byron, 
who now has his father's home place; and 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



Sarah, who is a widow and resides in Cali- 
fornia. The father died at the age of seventy- 
five years, and is buried in a cemetery on his 
farm ; the mother died on the , farm when 
seventy-six years old. 

George A. Blair was bom Dec. 24, 1855, in 
Victory township, on the parental homestead 
now occupied by his brother Byron, and re- 
mained with his parents up to the age of 
twenty years. His education was acquired in 
the local public schools, and he had thorough 
practical training in farm work, but business 
operations of other kinds had greater attrac- 
tion for him, and he has done well enough to 
justify his choice. Much of his time for the 
last twenty years has been given to the pro- 
duction of oil, and he is now interested in the 
B. & O. Oil Company and the Slippery Rock 
Oil Company, having controlling shares in 
both concerns, which he organized and di- 
rected skillfully, superintending the develop- 
ment work and production. Their operations 
are in the Pone Hill field, and they now have 
thirty-five wells of average yield. In April, 
1908, Mr. Blair established himself in busi- 
ness at Clintonville, handling hardware, im- 
plements and vehicles, and he has built up a 
particularly large trade in oil well supplies, his 
familiarity with the business making him an 
excellent judge of the demands in that line 
and the goods best suited to satisfy them. The 
business is now conducted by the firm of 
G. A. Blair & Sons, and in addition to the 
original lines they are engaged as automobile 
dealers, keeping fully abreast of modem trade 
requirements. On Oct. 7, 1916, Clintonville 
was visited by a destructive fire which entailed 
a loss of fifty thousand dollars among the 
business houses of the borough, and the Blair 
store was burned out a c(Mnplete loss, the 
building, which Mr. Blair had erected, being 
totally wrecked. He has bought his present 
location, having lost no time in reestablishing 
himself. Mr. Blair is a Democrat in political 
conviction, but in matters aflFecting his home 
community he is inclined to respect good men 
and measures impartially, and he proved his 
unselfish public spirit during the two terms 
which he served as member of the borough 
council. 

When twenty-two years old Mr. Blair mar- 
ried Mary Ann Sutton, daughter of Reuben 
and Mary (Smith) Sutton, who are men- 
tioned elsewhere in this work. Five children 
have been bom to them : Homer R. was prac- 
ticing law at Franklin at the time of his death, 
Feb. 7, 1916; Harry died in infancy; Denton 
H. married Ada Porter and they have two 



children, Frederick and Jean; John S. mar- 
ried Mabel Buchanan, and has three children, 
Cecil, Russell and Helen ; Hazel Vema assists 
in the store, keeping the books and looking 
after other details. Both the sons are inter- 
ested in business with their father, Denton 
H. Blair being general manager of the store, 
and John S. Blair taking charge of the farm. 
The family are associated with the M. E. 
Church. 

MAJ. JOHN BRECKEXRIDGE MAIT- 
LAND, late of Oil City, filled a place in the 
life of his community unique in many respects. 
His occupation during the larger part of his 
career represented an important feature of 
the development of the great industry of this 
region, and at the same time a phase of modem 
economy characteristic of the magnitude of the 
undertakings attempted by "big business" and 
their efficient operation. With a breadth of 
intellect and sympathetic understanding for 
beyond the average, he viewed life from many 
angles, and at each point found new interests 
and obligations to enrich his own experiences 
and widen his usefulness, which seems to have 
been the steady object of his busy role. His 
activities flowed in so many channels, gather- 
ing in force and volume throughout the course 
of his days, that it is impossible to estimate 
their value or determine the extent of his in- 
fluence. But it is certain that he gave, and 
gave abundantly, of the best that was in him, 
wherever his life touched another's. He could 
see good in all causes which stimulated the 
desire to help or serve, and added the weight 
of his own aid and encouragement at every 
opportunity. Faithful to business and strict 
in the performance of its obligations, the enter- 
prises for which he found time in his leisure 
hours would have been impossible except to 
one of thorough poise and marvelous executive 
powers. In personality he had the qualities 
which make a man beloved in all the relations 
of life, and the affectionate regard which he 
held for all mankind was returned to him in 
generous measure. An outline of his work 
and social interests indicates the conscientious 
concern for his fellow men which he main- 
tained throughout life. 

Major Maitland belonged to a family 
founded in Venango county in the days of its 
early settlement. Andrew Maitland, the first 
of the name here, was the second settler to 
make a permanent home in Rockland town- 
ship. He was originally from Monroe county, 
X. Y.. and lived in Butler county. Pa., up to 
the time of his removal to Venango county in 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



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1810. His first location was on a farm near 
the village of Freedom, later owned by John 
Hetzler, and he afterward bought a tract near 
the center of the township, twelve miles south- 
east of Franklin, where he spent the remainder 
of his life. He was the original settler on that 
land, and in its improvement benefited the 
whole neighborhood, also giving his community 
notable service in public affairs. He was an 
active member of the Cumberland Presbyterian 
Church, and is buried in the cemetery of the 
Rockland M. E. Church. He died at the age 
of seventy-seven years. By his first wife, 
Margaret (Cameron), he had children: John, 
Andrew, Alexander (who lived in Rockland 
township), Nancy (Mrs. John Graham), Ann 
(Mrs. John O'Neil), Margaret (Mrs. Silas 
Brown), Sarah (Mrs. John Webster) and 
Mary (who married James Redick). Alex- 
ander was the last survivor of this family. 
The father married for his second wife Mrs. 
William Elliott. 

Andrew Maitland, Jr., was twelve years old 
when his father bought the place near what 
is now Barr's Corners. He was born in Ve- 
nango county, and was reared here, dying 
May 12, 1883, at the age of seventy-one years. 
In 1837 he married Jane Elliott, daughter of 
William Elliott, of Callensburg, Clarion Co., 
Pa. Her mother became the second wife of 
Andrew Maitland, Sr. Jane (Elliott) Mait- 
land died Jan. 26, 1871, aged sixty-two years, 
the mother of six children: John B., men- 
tioned below; Sarah J., who married Stephen 
Burgwin, of Clarion county, where she died 
June 16, 1908; William A., mentioned else- 
where in this work; Sylvester, who died in 
childhood ; Caroline C, who married William 
Moore and resides at Seneca, Cranberry town- 
ship, this county : and Ellen, who is the wife of 
James Hahn, of Seneca. 

John B. Maitland was born in Rockland 
July 23, 1838, and was reared at the home- 
stead, which property later came into his pos- 
session. He "had better than average educa- 
tional advantages for that period, attending 
the public schools and several terms at the 
Jane's Academy in Clintonville before taking 
regular employment, as a youth of sixteen, 
in the general store of Charles Shippen at 
Stapley Furnace, in Richland township. He 
continued with Mr. Shippen until he enlisted 
for service in the Civil war, remaining in the 
armv until after peace was declared. On Oct. 
9. 1 86 1, he became a private in Company L, 
4th Pennsylvania Cavalry, and rose from the 
ranks to major in that organization, the record 
of his promotions reading as follows: Com- 

40 



missioned second lieutenant, April 2, 1862; 
first lieutenant, Aug. 17, 1862; captain, July 
23, 1864; major, March 13, 1865. He took 
part in practically all of the actions of his com- 
mand, and as may be judged served with dis- 
tinction ; for some time he was adjutant on 
the staff of General Gregg. 

Returning home at the close of the war, 
Major Maitland entered into a business part- 
nership with his former employer, the firm 
carrying on a successful general merchandise 
trade for several years, after which the Major 
was engaged in the manufacture of lumber at 
Mill Creek for a time. With the discovery of 
petroleum in the Oil Creek valley he was at- 
tracted to Oil City, beginning his connection 
with the pipe line business about 1873, ^s as- 
sistant to Capt. H. M. Hughes, general super- 
intendent for Bradley & Company, owners of 
the Antwerp pipe line. The laying and use of 
pipe lines for oil transportation across the 
country was then a comparatively new feature 
of the oil industry, and, as it proved, one of 
the decisive factors in the large success of 
the business. Major Maitland, with his ideas 
and ability, helped to lay the foundations for 
the success of the pipe line, and played an im- 
portant part in the evolution of its use, the 
splendidly organized system which unfolded 
gradually from the simple beginning being to a 
large extent the product of his alert mind and 
gift for practical application. In his first posi- 
tion he had charge of the construction of the 
Antwerp and Oil City line, from Clarion to 
Oil City, meantime making his headquarters 
at Clarion and St. Petersburg. Later, in 1877, 
when the Clarion and Butler divisions were 
consolidated under A. C. Beeson, he took 
charge of the work of constructing a pipe 
line from Bear Creek to Kane. His company 
had meanwhile been merged into the United 
Pipe Line Company, later into the National 
Transit Company, and when the latter divided 
its enormous business into separate depart- 
ments, with specific powers, in 1880, he was 
made manager of the iron tankage department, 
holding this position to the close of his life. 
Thoueh the expansions of the business and the 
complications introduced by modem scientific 
methods made his work increasingly difficult 
and responsible throughout this period, Major 
Maitland alwavs kept ahead of its demands, 
showing a facility for progress which stamped 
him as a leader in thought and action. To his 
duties of manager of the tankage department 
were added those of manager of the right of 
way department about three years before his 
death, upon the retirement' of J. C. McDowell. 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



and he carried the responsibilities of both until 
incapacitated by illness several months before 
his death. As head of his special department 
from the time of its inception Major Maitland 
constructed practically all the tankage — for the 
storage of the surplus production in the fields 
— of the National Transit Company built dur- 
ing his lifetime, his office having control of 
work in nearly every oil field in the United 
States where the company had interests. The 
construction as well as location of tanks was 
under his charge, and most of the company's 
tank construction in the Olean, Colegrove and 
Tiona districts, in the Bradford and Allegany 
fields, as well as in Washington county, was 
built by him, besides that in their Ohio, In- 
diana and West Virginia fields, and though 
the number of tanks which he put up eventually 
ran into the thousands he retained all the de- 
tails regarding their capacity, location, date of 
construction, etc., being able to recall the num- 
ber, size and position of any tank readily. If 
a tank had been moved from one point to an- 
other he knew its history, and some idea of 
what this means may be gained from the 
information that over twelve hundred tanks 
were erected in the Bradford and Allegany 
fields alone between 1878 and 1884, and most 
of them later taken down and transferred to 
Ohio and Indiana. He could also tell accu- 
rately the day and date upon which fire de- 
stroyed any of the tanks, and all the particulars 
of the event. He never seemed daunted by 
the magnitude of any task, and he was al- 
ways willing to do the lion's share of the work 
himself, never asking an employe to do any 
more than, or as much as, he undertook. He 
was never absent from business until during 
the illness which terminated in his death. 
Though strict in his conception of duty, so 
far as his personal obligations were concerned, 
and expecting employes to be dependable and 
timely in their labors, he was noted for the 
kindliness of his relations with them. His 
work necessarily brought him into contact 
with men in all parts of the oil country, and the 
unusual popularity which he enjoyed was a 
tribute to his likeable personality as much as 
a recognition of capability. 

Along with business responsibilities of un- 
usual importance and extent Major Maitland 
maintained social, church and civic associa- 
tions so numerous and varied as to excite 
wonder by their mere enumeration. Nearest 
to his heart were his church interests. Early 
in 1867 he joined the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, and from that time was one of its 
most faithful members. Soon after his admis- 



sion to the church he was licensed as an ex- 
horter, and later became a regularly ordained 
minister of his denomination. In his home city 
he was identified with Grace Memorial M. E. 
Church and Sunday school, holding; the most 
important offices in both, at the time of his 
death filling the positions of church trustee and 
Sunday school superintendent. For many 
years the congregation had its house of wor- 
ship on East Third street, and when the sub- 
ject of a new edifice came up it was with his 
cooperation that the present site at the comer 
of West First street and Central avenue was 
secured by the purchase of the Greenfield 
property. As chairman of the building com- 
mittee, and one of the generous financial con- 
tributors toward the building, he spared neither 
time nor means until he saw the church com- 
pleted and the congregation in enjoyment of 
it, and the church stands ''to-day one of the 
monuments that will be indissolubly con- 
nected with his memory." He was a regular 
attendant at Conference, and in every locality 
where business or other duties called him he 
was active in establishing churches and Sun- 
day schools. 

All projects for the encouragement and fur-* 
therance of those things that foster the higher 
aims of life had his warm sympathy and sub- 
stantial aid. The Y. M. C. A. of the city 
found in him one of its most faithful friends 
and laborers, and he served as president until 
ill health made it necessary for him to resign, 
the organization showing excellent progress in 
constructive work under his administration. 
He was active in the management of the Oil 
City Hospital, having been one of the members 
of its first board of directors, and his fellow 
directors availed themselves of his judgment 
in the matter of building materials and experi- 
ence in construction, choosing him as chair- 
man of the committee which had charge of the 
erection of this magnificent institution. Though 
he was a welcome and influential figure at pub- 
lic gatherings the Major cared nothing for the 
honors of temporal powers attaching to public 
office, but he valued the opportunities for serv- 
ice which such position presented, and it was 
with that idea that he accepted membership 
on the Oil City school board for a number of 
years, serving on various important committees 
— at the time of his death on the teachers* 
committee. All local philanthropic or char- 
itable undertakings could count upon him for 
practical aid, both in the way of service and 
financial contributions. In his long connection 
with the Oil City Relief Association he gave 
aid and comfort to many of the poor of the 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



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city, either as a member of the board or per- 
sonally, but his lack of ostentation makes any 
estimate of the extent of his benevolences im- 
possible, for it was not his habit to make much 
of his activities of that nature. The associa- 
tion was founded largely through his efforts 
during the great fire and flood in 1892, and 
proved so efficient a means of distributing 
needed relief that it was continued. Major 
Maitland had been filling the office of vice 
president for several years before his decease, 
and \\e did his full share of the work of in- 
vestigating cases of need and distributing the 
funds placed at the disposition of the organ- 
ization. 

Fraternally Major Maitland maintained ac- 
tive membership in Petrolia Lodge, F. & A. 
M.; Latonia Lodge No. 1018, L O. O. F.; the 
National Union; Rutherford B. Hayes Post 
Xo. 167, G. A. R., and the Northwestern Asso- 
ciation of the Pennsylvania Department of the 
G. A. R. His particular interest was centered 
in G. A. R. work, which he enjoyed above 
all other relaxations.. He was true to the prin- 
ciples of the organization in their most liberal 
application to his relations with his former 
comrades. Again and again he was elected 
commander of his post, serving as such until 
his death, and the sentiment of his fellow mem- 
bers toward him is clearly illustrated by the 
tact that for several years prior to his decease 
he was continued in the office without opposi- 
tion. He was also a junior vice commander 
of the National G. A. R. when he died, and 
president of the executive committee of the 
Northwestern Association, which he had previ- 
ously served as commander. He always took 
a prominent part in its reunions as well as 
those of his old regiment, for though eminently 
progressive in everything he had the tenderest 
feelings for old associations and no wish to 
sever them. 

The news of Major Maitland's death at his 
home in Oil City, June 17, 1903, after several 
months of illness and suffering, brought sor- 
row to every circle in the community. The 
multitude of his friends included all classes, 
and all were well represented at the large 
gathering which attended his funeral. The 
ser\'ices, held at Grace Memorial Church, were 
conducted by the pastor and a former pastor, 
assisted by prominent members of his own de- 
nomination and ministers from other local 
churches, all eager to do reverence to a man 
whose earnestness and untiring zeal had been 
an incentive for their own labors through many 
a year. An Oil City newspaper observed : *Tt 
is seldom in the history of any community that 



such complete reverence to the memory of a 
private citizen is shown.*' The National Tran- 
sit Company's offices closed at noon in recog- 
nition of a general desire among officers and 
employes for opportunity to pay their respects. 
Other business in the city was practically sus- 
pended during the funeral. Each organization 
to which the Major belonged attended in a 
body, and over one hundred of his G. A. R. 
comrades took part in the interment services 
in Grove Hill cemetery, a delegation from 
Mays Post of Franklin having joined the local 
post. A squad from Company D, i6th Regi- 
ment, N. G. P., fired a salute over the grave. 
The Major had frequently officiated as chap- 
lain on such occasions. 

On Oct. 3, 1861, six days before his enlist- 
ment in the Union army. Major Maitland was 
married, at Emlenton, this county, to Hen- 
rietta C. Pryer, of Rockland, this county, who 
survives him with their family of four chil- 
dren. She was bom April 20, 1838, in Rock- 
land township, and received an excellent edth 
cation, begun in the public schools and con- 
tinued at private schools until at the age of 
eighteen years she took up teaching. Mrs. 
Maitland followed this vocation until after 
the Civil war, in Richland, Rockland and Cran- 
berry townships, this county. Of her chil- 
dren, all residents of Oil City, Jessie is the wife 
of W. E. Askey ; her two children are Dr. John 
Maitland Askey and Edith M. Edgar Gregg 
Maitland married Matilda M. Berry and has 
two children, Eleanor B. and John Brecken- 
ridge. Arthur Shippen Maitland married Jane 
Cribbs. Henrietta Katherine lives with her 
mother. 

LeROY GEORGE MILLER, of Franklin, 
son of Gen. Charles Miller, was bom at 
Franklin Sept. 27, 1880. The record of his 
immediate and earliest ancestors will be found 
elsewhere in this work. 

Mr. Miller spent his boyhood in attendance 
at the public schools of his native city, gradu- 
ating from high school in 1901, and pursued 
his higher studies in the law department of 
Yale University. He did not complete the 
course, however, and returning to Franklin 
entered business life in the employ of the Gen- 
eral Manifold Company. His achievements 
justify the conclusion that he possesses in 
large measure some of the qualifications which 
have made the name a powerful factor in the 
material advancement of this part of the 
country, and influential in a practically un- 
limited sphere. Though his connection with 
the General Manifold Company was of com- 



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VEXANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



paratively short duration, Mr. Miller made a 
brilliant record in its service, becoming a suc- 
cessful traveling salesman. Having been of- 
fered an opportunity to take a position with 
the Galena-Signal Oil Company, his father's 
great enterprise, he made the change, to his 
own and the company's advantage, for he liter- 
ally created the department of which he was 
the head, that branch of the business dealing 
with electric railways. Mr. Miller beean his 
association with the Galena-Signal Oil Com- 
pany in a minor capacity, and earned promo- 
tion as he went, but from the first he showed 
himself so well qualified for responsibilities 
that when the work of supplying lubricants for 
electric railways was undertaken he was in- 
trusted with the organization of the depart- 
ment and made manager. The mere state- 
ment that over seventy per cent of the lubrica- 
tion on electric railways in the United States 
comes from the Galena-Signal Company shows 
how vigorously the business has been prose- 
cuted. To accomplish this has required much 
more than clever salesmanship and good man- 
agement. It has meant constant research and 
laboratory work, the compiling and assimilat- 
ing of almost endless statistics, familiarizing 
of patrons with the superiority of the Galena- 
Signal products and their proper use, keeping 
abreast or ahead of the demands of this par- 
ticular branch of the business, and attention 
to numerous other points vital to success. The 
building up of this department was Mr. Miller's 
chief business interest. On account of sick- 
ness, he retired from the Galena in 191 5. 

Mr. Miller has given both time and thought 
to securing good government in his city, has 
served as member of the council, and in 1910 
was a candidate for the mayoralty nomination, 
losing by a very small margin. On political 
issues he is a Republican. Like his father 
he has been active in the Baptist Church, 
which he served two years as clerk, also taking 
part in the work of the Sunday school, of 
which he has been second assistant superin- 
tendent. His numerous social connections in- 
clude membership in the Nursery Club of 
Franklin, the Venango Club of Oil City, the 
B. P. O. Elks, Royal Arcanum and Odd Fel- 
lows, in which he has been particularly active, 
having been lieutenant colonel on the staflFs 
of Gens. M. A. Raney and A. R. Stocker, suc- 
cessive commanders in chief of the Patriarchs 
Militant. 

Mr. Miller has a handsome home in Frank- 
lin, a residence in English style, with beauti- 
ful terraces and lawns, one of the most attrac- 



tive places in the city. On Sept. 21, 1916, he 
married Viola Blair, daughter of Robert H. 
and Martha Maud (Shorts) Blair. 

Robert H. Blair was bom and reared in But- 
ler county, Pa. For a number of years he was 
engaged in farming in Mercer county, in the 
year 1900 removing to Franklin, in which city 
he has since resided. To his marriage with 
Martha Maud Shorts have been bom seven 
children, namely: William A.; Edna, who is 
deceased ; Cassie E., wife of Edward Campion, 
who is assistant superintendent of a large steel 
plant at Montreal, Canada; Mabel Maud, wife 
of William Blaney, of Montreal, Canada; 
Leora L., wife of H. Gaston Brown, of Pitts- 
burgh, Pa.; James Robert; and Viola, Mrs. 
LeRoy G. Miller. 

The Shorts family, to which Mrs. Miller be- 
longs in the matemal line, was honorably rep- 
resented among the early settlers of Venango 
county. Richard Shorts, the first of the fam- 
ily to come to this country, was a native of 
England, and settled in Trumbull county, Ohio, 
at the time of his death residing near Kins- 
man, that county. He married Jane Johnson, 
and their children were : Robert died in Craw- 
ford county. Pa.; Aaron died in Ohio; Col. 
William located in Venango county. Pa. ; John- 
son died in Crawford county. Pa. ; Jacob died 
in \^enango county April 28, 1869, in his six- 
ty-ninth year. The last named married Je- 
mima Hughes (daughter of James Hughes), 
who died in 1870, in her sixty-eighth year, and 
they had children: John, Caroline, James, 
Nancy, Mary Jane, Sarah E., Robert, Jacob, 
William A. and Thomas W. 

Col. William Shorts was bom July 8, 1805, 
in Butler county. Pa., and came to Venango 
county in 1825. For two years he was en- 
gaged in the lumber business. After his mar- 
riage he removed. to Ohio^ but did not remain 
there long, retuming to Venango county and 
settling in \'ictory township, where he secured 
the tract of two hundred acres long known as 
the old Shorts farm. Besides farming be 
built boats, in one season constmcting twelve, 
each one hundred feet long and costing one 
hundred and twenty-five dollars, loading them 
with pig iron and floating them to Pittsburgh. 
He was colonel of the 2d Regiment, Pennsyl- 
vania Militia, for seven years, and when the 
Civil war broke out raised Company K of the 
4th Pennsylvania Cavalry, entering the serv- 
ice as its captain. He was in command of the 
3d Battalion at Antietam, and served two and 
a half years altogether, being honorably dis- 
charged on account of disability. After the 



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war he removed with all of his family but 
Robert to Humiewell, Mo., living there for a 
number of years, but they all eventually re- 
turned to Venango county and again took up 
their residence on the farm. In 1826 Colonel 
Shorts married Martha Jane Witherup, who 
was bom May 10, 1803, in Venango county, 
daughter of John and Mary (Brockington) 
Witherup, the former a native of England, 
whence the latter's parents also came to this 
country, settling in Philadelphia. John 
Witherup located in Scrubgrass, Venango Co., 
Pa., where he engaged in the lumber business, 
and he was a prominent man in his day in this 
section, being the first sheriff of the county. 
To Colonel Shorts and his wife were bom 
eight children: Robert Crispen, John D., Wil- 
liam W. (deceased), Henrietta (Mrs. McKis- 
sick), Elizabeth, Mary, Abraham W. (of 
Franklin, deceased), and Ann H. (Mrs. Bal- 
liett, deceased). Colonel Shorts died Dec. 13, 
1885, in Jacksonville, Fla., at the age of eighty 
years. 

Robert Crispen Shorts, son of Col. William 
Shorts, was bom Sept. 7, 1826, in Trumbull 
county, Ohio, and came to Venango county 
with his parents in 1830. His education was 
restricted to such advantages as the schools of 
the locality then afforded, and he was reared 
to farming, which he followed all his life. 
In 1853 he married Catherine Bunnell, who 
was bom in 1834, and of the six children born 
to them the eldest, Elwilda Viola, died when 
one year old ; William Lawrence, a farmer of 
Victory township, this county, married Eliza- 
beth Galloway and had three children, Robert 
Leo, Conselow and Kathleen; Florence Flo- 
retta, deceased, was the wife of Leo Heasley, 
of Franklin, Pa. ; Martha Maud married Rob- 
ert H. Blair; Buena Vista Kate married Wil- 
liam Beaver, of Switzerland (they made their 
home in Franklin), and (second) Franklin 
Davis, and is now living in Florida (she has 
one daughter, Eva Dale) ; Mary Ellen died 
unmarried. Mr. and Mrs. Shorts were mem- 
bers of the Church of God. Politically, he 
became a Republican when the party was or- 
ganized, and he was always deeply interested 
in public questions. 

Mrs. Robert C. Shorts was a daughter of 
Alfred Bunnell, whose father came to this 
country from England, living in Maine for a 
number of years and later settling in Venango 
county. Pa. Alfred Bunnell married Rachel 
Cannon, whose father came from Ireland and 
made a settlement on Sandy creek when this 
region was an unbroken wilderness. He spent 
the rest of his life improving his land here. 



WILLIAM MOYAR was bom in Cambria 
county, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 8, 1854, son of 
John Reed Moyar and grandson of John 
Moyar, Sr. The father and grandfather were 
both of Bedford county. Pa., being part of the 
numerous family of Moyars (spelled also 
Myers, Mayer and Moyer) that emigrated 
to Pennsylvania from Germany, having left 
there on account of religious persecution. 
Going with a colony of emigrants to England, 
and thence to New York on a land grant from 
Queen Anne, after several years spent there 
they migrated to northern Pennsylvania, hav- 
ing lost their New York land through a de- 
fect in the title. From then on we find the 
Moyar families scattered over every State of 
the Union, but always, so far as the writer 
has been able to learn, through meeting them 
in different States, giving Pennsylvania as the 
home of origin. 

John R. Moyar, father of William Moyar, 
left Bedford county, moving to Cambria 
coimty, where he resided for some years. His 
children, William and Elizabeth, were born 
at the latter place. The family moved to Buf- 
falo Furnace, Armstrong county, and in 1859 
to near Mosgrove, north of Kittaning, Pa. At 
the latter place Samuel N. was born on June 
26, i860. In the spring of 1862 they moved 
to Worthington, where the three children at- 
tended the public schools up to October, 1868, 
when the family removed to Kane City, Ve- 
nango Co., Pa. (afterward and at present 
called Kaneville). There another daughter, 
Martha, was born. 

By making the most of his environment, and 
after a few years' employment in his native 
home and McKean county, Pa.,. William 
Moyar was able to engage in the oil business 
for himself in April, 1878, in the Venango 
county oil fields, residing at Kane City. In 
1881 he formed a partnership with S. P. Siple, 
which was successful and continued for twen- 
ty-two years. Mr. Moyar has been in the oil 
producing business ever since, associating him- 
self with many operators, his interests ex- 
tending over Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and 
Oklahoma. He still retains his interests in 
Oklahoma, being actively engaged with the 
Jane Oil Company as secretary, and with the 
Midland Oil & Drilling Company as president, 
helping to organize both companies, the latter 
being confined to himself and employes, and 
proving to be a good paying proposition. He 
also holds stock in several other Oklahoma 
companies ; was also active as manager, secre- 
tary and treasurer of the Producers Torpedo 
Company from 1888 to 1890. Mr. Moyar left 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



Kane City and moved to Oil City in 1900. In 
1908 he moved to Oklahoma, remaining in 
that State up to 191 2, and settled in Franklin, 
Pa., on his return from the West, still residing 
there. 

In 1894 he added oil and gas well contract- 
ing to his activities in an individual way, but 
wanting to go West for a broader field, and 
wishing to reward the men who had helped 
make hs operations a success, formed two 
partnerships, one known as the Oil City Drill- 
ing Company atid the other as the Rouseville 
Drilling Company, both with offices in Oil 
City, Pa. Without the least expense to his 
employes he entered a working contract with 
them whereby they automatically came into 
their interests. So successful were the com- 
panies that they not only paid the sums set- 
tled on in the agreements, but have branched 
out and now own many strings of tools, work- 
ing over five counties. They have also good 
holdings in oil and gas wells and lands. They 
assisted in the world's war by having seven 
employes from each company in overseas serv- 
ice, and also with material support, subscrib- 
ing liberally to Liberty Bond issues, Red Cross, 
and other measures, to do their bit. 

William and S. N. Moyar as young men 
ventured into the oil business as Moyar 
Brothers, and have continued to the present 
time with marked and profitable success. They 
with Mr. F. L. Fry and the late John W. 
Waitz organized the Rouseville Supply Com- 
pany, still doing business at Rouseville, Pa. 
Mr. Moyar holds stock and managing posi- 
tions in several local companies, engaging to 
some extent in the timber and lumber busi- 
ness, besides finding time to devote to farm- 
ing, more for recreation than profit. 

By his wife, Detta (Longwell), daughter 
of R. E. Longwell and granddaughter of 
Josiah Longwell, old and respected residents 
of Venango county, Mr. Moyar has three sons : 
Charles Clinton, graduate of Jefferson Medical 
College, Philadelphia, Pa., is practicing in the 
Diamond Bank building, Pittsburgh, Pa.; 
William Franklin graduated from the Uni- 
versity of Michigan with the Bachelor of 
Laws degree, and is practicing in the Levi 
building, Oil City, Pa., though much of his 
time is devoted to oil interests, individually, 
and as secretary and treasurer of the Oil City 
Drilling Company; John Harold graduated 
from the Edinboro Normal School and studied 
medicine at Jefferson Medical College, but 
not caring for the profession, entered and 
finished a business course, engaging and fol- 
lowing along the lines of his father in the oil 



producing and contracting business in the 
fields of Venango and adjoining counties. By 
Mr. Moyar's second marriage, to Laura Smith, 
daughter of Wilson Smith, of Rouseville, Pa., 
formerly a resident of Erie cotmty, Pa., a 
daughter, Louise, and son, Robert, were bom, 
both living at home at the present time. 

Mr. Moyar has had social activities as well, 
being connected with the I. O. O. F. at Demp- 
seytown, Pa., the B. P. O. Elks, of Oil City, 
and many bodies of Masons — blue lodge at 
Rouseville, Pa., chapter and commandery at 
Oil City, Pa., Zem Zem Shrine at Erie, Pa., 
and the thirty-second degree at McAllister, 
Okla. ; Washington Qub, Franklin, Pa.; and 
many other social, gun and hunting clubs. One 
connection he prizes highly as coming from a 
host of friends among the Grand Army men, 
and as a surprise gratuitously bestowed from 
the Rutherford B. Hayes Post, No. 167, G. 
A. R., Oil City, Pa., is his honorary member- 
ship therein. His zeal for the old soldiers was 
only equaled by his ardor and patriotism, al- 
ways advocating any measure for their benefit, 
voting for soldiers against civilians, and join- 
ing them on public occasions. 

Mr. Moyar makes annual pilgrimages to the 
big game woods of Canada with a crowd of 
friends, always with good results and many 
pleasant days of strenuous sports. 

In politics he is an Independent or Pro- 
gressive. Starting life a Democrat, but being 
a protectionist and favoring higher pensions 
for soldiers, he joined with the Republicans 
to break, for better government, from the 
regulars to join the Independents, and lastly 
with the Bull Moose, or Progressive Repub- 
lican party. His aid and opinions were from 
the start of the world war in 1914 with the 
entente powers, favoring preparedness and 
universal training, and the breaking of rela- 
tions with Germany on sinking of the "Lusi- 
tania." He favored fighting Germany to com- 
plete and unconditional surrender. 

Still harnessed to his labors and not tiring 
in his activities, Mr. Moyar expects many 
years of usefulness before going behind the 
"cloud.'' 

GEORGE YARDLEY. The Yardley fam- 
ily in the United States are descendants of 
Samuel Thomas Yardley, who came to this 
country from England in 1704. The name 
was formerly spelled Yeardley. Samuel 
Thomas Yardley was a descendant of William 
Yardley, L. M.. a signer of Magna Charta 
given by King John to England in 1215. Sir 
George Yeardley, Colonial governor of Vir- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



631 



ginia between the years 1619 and 1626, by 
appointment of King James I, under whose 
administration the colony greatly prospered, 
was a member of this family. 

Thomas Yardley was born at the old family 
home in Yardley, Bucks Co., Pa., was a 
member of the Society of Friends, and a man 
of thorough education in literature and civil 
engineering. Katherine (Hampton) Yard- 
ley, his wife, was a sister of Robert S. Hamp- 
ton, of Titusville, and of the late Wade Hamp- 
ton, of New York, formerly of Oil City. 

George Yardley, the subject of this sketch, 
is one of a family of eight children of Thomas 
Yardley. He was bom in Lock Haven, Clin- 
ton Co., Pa., on Jan. 14, 1873. He was 
educated in the public and private schools, and 
took a one year's course in the School of Com- 
merce, Accounts and Finance of New York 
University, New York City. For a number 
of years he resided in New York, being em- 
ployed in the offices of the Pennsylvania Coal 
Company, Erie Railroad Company and Union 
Pacific Railroad Company. He served six 
years in the New York Naval Militia; was 
secretary of his division and acting battalion 
quartermaster; enlisted in the United States 
navy at the outbreak of the Spanish-American 
war, serving on board the L^nited States aux- 
iliary cruiser "Yankee," which was under fire 
on several occasions, notably at Santiago de 
Cuba, Guantanamo Bay and Cienfuegos, and 
at the latter place was victorious in an en- 
counter with the Spanish armored war vessel 
"EHego Velazquez." 

On Dec. 10, 1907, Mr. Yardley married 
Helen Crocker Carey, of Chicago. He moved 
to Oil City from New York Gty in 1908 to 
become secretary and assistant to Vice Presi- 
dent (later President) J. B. Crawford of the 
United Natural Gas Company; has been in 
charge of gasoline sales of The Mars Com- 
pany, a subsidiary of the United Natural Gas 
Company, since Mr. Crawford's retirement in 
1916. Hfs residence is at Reno, \'enango 
Co.. Pennsylvania. 

Mr. Yardley is a communicant and vestry- 
man of Christ Episcopal Church; superintend- 
ent of the Sunday school; a four minute 
speaker for the Committee on Public Informa- 
tion, Washington, D. C, and Liberty Loan 
Committee; secretar>' of the Oil City Branch 
of The National Security League: chairman 
of the Department of Naval Service, Venango 
County Committee of Public Safety; member 
of the Venango Club and Wanango Country 
Club. 



JOHN L. NESBIT, attorney at law, has 
carried on practice at Franklin throughout his 
professional career, a period of eighteen years, 
during which he has made a place for himself 
at the bar of Venango county that speaks 
highly for both his legal attainments and per- 
sonal worth. His law work occupies practic- 
ally all his business hours, but though it has 
been increasing steadily in volume he handles 
it capably, an^ there is every prospect that his 
name will be one of those to gain permanent 
honor in the city and county for definite 
achievement in his chosen calling. The late 
Thomas Nesbit, his father, was also a man of 
substantial position and positive character, 
exercising a wide influence for good in this 
section through the medium of the various en- 
terprises with which he was connected, and 
in whose direction his intelligence and fore- 
sight were amply demonstrated. 

John Nesbit, the grandfather of John L. 
Nesbit, was a native of Maryland, and married 
Anna Matthews, who was born in Ireland. 
They removed to Venango county, Pa., from 
Ohio in 1842, settling in French Creek town- 
ship and living on a farm until Mr. Nesbit 's 
retirement, after which they resided in Utica. 
He died there in 1871, his widow in 1875. 
They were members of the Presbyterian 
Church. 

Thomas Nesbit, son of John and Anna 
(Matthews) Nesbit, was born April 19, 1835, 
in Trumbull county, Ohio, and was a small boy 
when the family settled in Pennsylvania. He 
was well educated for the times, and when sev- 
enteen years old began teaching, being occupied 
with that profession and clerking, as well as 
work on the home farm, until after he reached 
his majority. In 1857 he went into the mer- 
cantile business at Utica, retaining his interest 
in the store until 1885, though he was not 
actively connected with it from 187.S, having 
acquired other interests which took up his 
attention. He was a part owner of the Utica 
flour mills for many years, was engaged in 
fanning, and from 1880 until his death was 
associated with banking, having become a 
stockholder in the Exchange Bank of Franklin 
that year. In the middle eighties he was 
elected vice president of the bank, of which 
he became cashier in 1893, serving as such un- 
til 190S. Mr. Nesbit was a substantial, self- 
made man esteemed by all who knew him for 
his many admirable qualities and upright life. 
He died Sept. 27, 1910, and is buried in the 
Mill Creek cemetery in French Creek town- 
ship. In religion he was a Presbyterian, in 
politics a Democrat. 



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Mr. Nesbit married Clara Leasher, who 
died in 1876, leaving two children, John L. 
and Clara. To his second marriage, with Effie 
Gallagher, was born one daughter, Ethel. 

John L. Nesbit was bom July 13, 1874, at 
Utica, Pa., arid there passed his boyhood". His 
early education was obtained in the public 
schools of Utica, and subsequently he attended 
Allegheny College, at Meadville, Pa., and 
Westminster College, at New Wilmington, 
Pa., graduating from the latter institution in 
1895. Then he followed with a law course at 
the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 
where he was a member of the class of 1898, 
and upon its completion he returtied to Ve- 
nango county and read law with the late Judge 
Heydrick, being admitted to the bar in April, 
1899. For several years thereafter he was 
associated in practice with Carl I. Heydrick, 
under the firm style of Heydrick and Nesbit, 
this connection lasting until 1907, when Mr. 
Heydrick died. Mr. Nesbit has since practiced 
alone. His law office is in the Exchange Bank 
building. Mr. Nesbit is a stockholder in the 
Exchange Bank, and has been one of the 
directors of that institution since 1912. Aside 
from business one of his principal interests is 
politics, in which he has affiliated with the 
Democratic party, and the value of his services 
has been recognized to such an extent that he 
has been chosen for county chairman. He is also 
well known socially, belonging to the Franklin 
Club, the lodge of Elks at Franklin and the 
Masonic fraternity, as a member of Myrtle 
Lodge, No. 316, F. & A. M. ; Venango Chap- 
ter, No. 211, R. A. M. ; Keystone Council, No. 
142, R. & S. M.; Franklin Commandery, No. 
44, K. T. ; Coudersport Consistory, thirty- 
second degree; and Zem Zem Temple, A. A. 
O. N. M. S., at Erie. 

Mr. Nesbit married Mrs. Amanda (\'in- 
cent) Farrell, daughter of A. E. and Martha 
Vincent. 

DAVID L. TRAX, late of Oil City, was a 
man whose strength of character has left its 
impression upon all the interests with which 
he was associated in the course of a fruitful 
life — and they were many. In business he 
was accorded a leading place almost from his 
arrival in Venango county, in the early sixties, 
and many substantial evidences of his title to 
such position still exist in the community 
where he made his home. His influence upon 
its civic and moral betterment was always 
used to good advantage, in strict accordance 
with the best ideals of citizenship ; and his sons 
have followed in his footsteps, their solid 



worth and admirable personal standards in- 
dicating the same traits which brought this 
name respect in their father's day. For prob- 
ity, for diligence in the pursuit of laudable 
ambitions, disinterested conceptions of good 
government and general excellence, David L. 
Trax and his sons have been granted honor- 
able standing among their fellow men. 

The first of the Trax family in this country 
was Louis Trax, father of David L. Trax. He 
came to America from Straissburg, Alsace- 
Lorraine, in which province he was born in 
1794, being a youth of nineteen upon his ar- 
rival here, in 18 14. Settling in Allegheny 
county, Pa., where Wilkinsburg now stands, 
he was employed upon the farm of Judge 
Wilkins and remained in that locality until his 
death, in 1883. His wife, whose maiden name 
was Elizabeth Gass, was bom in Basel, Swit- 
zerland, and came to this country in her early 
childhood, with her parents settling in Alle- 
gheny county, where she met and was married 
to Louis Trax, whom she survived two years, 
passing away in her eighty-fifth year. To this 
couple fifteen children were born, of whom 
four survive, viz.: Amelia Hultz (widow), 
who was the wife of Edward H. Hultz ; Hen- 
rietta Phillips (widow), who was the wife of 
Joseph Phillips; Sally Sheets, wife of Edvvard 
Sheets; and Frederick Z. Trax, who is con- 
nected with the Kramer Wagon Company as 
treasurer. The following of said family are 
now deceased : John ; Jacob ; William ; Eliza, 
who was the wife of George Emerich ; Sarah, 
who died young ; Louise, who was the wife of 
Henry Peollot; Lewis; Daniel B., and David 
L., who is hereinafter mentioned. 

David L. Trax was bom Feb. 24, 1836, in 
Allegheny county, a short distance from the 
city of Pittsburgh, and was reared on a farm 
in that county. In early life he learned the 
trade of blacksmith, at Pittsburgh, and it 
proved to be the foundation of his life work. 
Before leaving Pittsburgh he had several 
years' experience as a journeyman and was in 
business for himself a short time, until at- 
tracted to this region by the activities in the 
oil fields. When the Civil war broke out he 
and a number of companions formed a vol- 
unteer company of infantry under the com- 
mand of Capt. William Espey, and after 
several months of drilling on the old Com- 
mons in Allegheny county offered their serv- 
ices to Governor Curtin. Owing to the large 
number of previous enlistments, they were 
notified that there were not sufficient funds 
for the equipment of the company at that time, 
whereupon most of the boys returned to their 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



633 



homes discouraged by their experience. Mr. 
Trax, however, came into the oil country, mak- 
ing the trip up the Allegheny in the old river 
steamer "Allegheny Belle," landing at what 
is now Oil City and proceeding up Oil creek 
on foot, in search of employment. He soon 
found plenty of work at the wells as an oil 
well driller and general blacksmith, being first 
engaged with James Graves, blacksmith, whose 
shop was located near the comer of what is 
now Duncomb and Elm streets, and while with 
him had his first oil well experience, when 
called upon to devise some sort of implement 
that would release a string of tools which had 
"stuck" in^an oil well then drilling upon what 
is now the site of the Y. M. C. A. building. 
The appliance he made worked successfully 
the first time it was tried, and later, after he 
had acquired a blacksmith shop of his own, 
he made the first pair of solid steel jars used 
in the oil country. He worked for John and 
Francis Halyday, sons of James Halyday (a 
pioneer in this part of the county), who had 
purchased the Lew Gordon blacksmith shop, 
located near the present site of the City build- 
ing in Oil City, and on June i, 1862, bought 
them out. It was in a very modest way that 
he commenced for himself, doing horseshoe- 
ing and general blacksmithing, but the busi- 
ness was thriving, and he was commanding a 
lucrative patronage, when he lost heavily by 
the disastrous flood of March 17, 1865, which 
covered the entire "flats" in Oil City. Only a 
year later his buildings and property were 
totally destroyed in the great fire which swept 
over the same "flats," on May 25, 1866, so 
that he had to begin all over again. In spite 
of these two catastrophes he rebuilt, in 1868, 
the new shop being much better arranged and 
equipped, with modem appliances and ma- 
chinery of all kinds necessary to accommodate 
the local trade, including a steam hammer and 
other up-to-date devices. With his new fa- 
cilities he was able to undertake the manufac- 
ture of oil well tools and supplies, in which 
line he built up a very large patronage, giving 
employment to from twenty-five to thirty 
blacksmiths. He gave up this line of manu- 
facture in the spring of 1876 and turned to 
the making of carriages and heavy wagons, 
for which there was then a great demand in 
the oil country, and continued in this business 
and the manufacture of machinery during the 
rest of his life. The trade continued to ex- 
pand, and in 1879 Mr. Trax entered into part- 
nership with W. J. Kramer under the name of 
Trax & Kramer, forming a close business as- 
sociation with Mr. Kramer which lasted until 



the close of his life. He moved his establish- 
ment across Seneca street opposite the place 
of business of Mr. Kramer, who conducted a 
wagon shop on Elm street, and they began 
to build wagons, one supplying the iron work, 
while the other constructed the wooden part. 
After they joined forces they followed the 
business on a larger scale, the establishment 
so increasing in size and importance that it 
was incorporated under the name of "Kramer 
Wagon Company," and is now one of the 
largest industries of that kind in this part of 
the country, sending its products to all parts 
of the United States, Mexico and South 
America, wherever oil has been found. The 
estate of Mr. Trax is still interested in the 
establishment. A full share of the credit for 
the success of the business must be given to 
him, and he also acquired other important in- 
terests in the course of time, principally in the 
local oil fields as a producer, in which capacity 
he made extensive investments; he was as- 
sociated with the Roess Brothers (Louis and 
Christian) in successful oil operations in the 
McKean county fields in 1878-79. He was 
always interested in agriculture, was a director 
of the Citizens' Banking Company for several 
years, was one of the organizers of the first 
building and loan association in Oil City, and 
with Mr. Kramer erected a number of sub- 
stantial buildings in the city, among them the 
hall of Oil City Lodge, I. O.- O. P., on South 
Seneca street, and the three-story building on 
Elm street where the Kramer Wagon Com- 
pany did business before the construction of 
the present plant, in West End borough. 

Mr. Trax was not only an able business 
man, but also a broadminded citizen, with 
definite ideas of his responsibilities toward 
the community, though he had no special 
aspirations for the honors of office. How- 
ever, he served a term in the council, during 
the administration of Mayor I. M. Sowers. 
He was an enthusiastic member of the Pro- 
hibition party, and a generous and sympathe- 
tic supporter of the local Y. M. C. A., and it 
was largely through his efforts that its first 
permanent home was purchased. He was 
especially interested in the welfare of Trinity 
M. E. Church, which he served faithfully in 
the offices of trustee, class leader and stew- 
ard, being one of its oldest and most prom- 
inent members. He discharged all his church 
duties with the utmost fidelity, acting as presi- 
dent of the board of trustees from Sept. 30, 
1873, until his death, a period of almost forty 
years, and being the last survivor of those 
who were trustees at the dedication of the 



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present church building, in 1876; his name is 
one of those cast on the large bell. His death 
occurred July 30, 1913, at his home in Oil 
City, and he is buried there, in Grove Hill 
cemetery. His widow continues to reside at 
their old home, No. 1147 West First street, 
in that section of Oil City known as West End 
borough. 

On May 22, 1862, Mr. Trax was married at 
Oil City to Sarah Elizabeth Hogue, daughter 
of Ebenezer S. Hogue, and they had the fol- 
lowing children : Harry Brady ; Maxwell P., 
who died when three months old ; Judson D. ; 
Frederick H., now an oil producer of War- 
ren, Pa.; David L., Jr., who died when 
twenty-six years old, August 25, 1905; and 
Elizabeth, who died when three months old. 

Mrs. Sarah Elizabeth (Hogue) Trax was 
bom in 1845 '" Cranberry township, Venango 
county, and has lived in this immediate vicin- 
ity all her life, her youth being spent on the 
farms now forming the business districts of 
Oil City. Her father, Ebenezer S. Hogue, a 
native of Lawrence county, Pa., came to Ven- 
ango county in 1844, taking up a large tract 
of land in what is now the village of Pinoak, 
Cranberry township, part of which he cleared 
during his residence thereon. Selling out, he 
removed in 1865 to Wisconsin, where he 
farmed during the rest of his active years, 
remaining there until his death, at the age of 
mnety-one. He married Julia Anna Kline- 
felter, also from Lawrence county, Pa., who 
died in Wisconsin when sixty-five years old, 
and they became the parents of eight children : 
John, who died in the Civil war; Leah Jane, 
Mrs. James Bannon; Sarah E., Mrs. D. L. 
Trax : Hiram, deceased ; Nancy. Mrs. Newton 
\'an Wart ; Mary, Mrs. Millard Johnson ; and 
two who died young. 

Harry Brady Trax w^s bom at Oil City 
May 18, 1865, and grew up there, acquiring a 
public school education in the Oil City schools. 
He learned blacksmithing. and was employed 
with his father for a number of years, gaining 
a familiarity with machinery that has been 
invaluable to him in his own enterprises, par- 
ticularly since he became engaged in the pro- 
duction of oil, which he began in 1890. His 
first operations in this line were in Cranberry 
township, near Oil City, on land belonging to 
his father, and after three years in that loca- 
tion he removed to his present place in the 
same township, in the vicinity of Victory, 
where he owns seventy-five acres, formerly 
one of his father's holdings, and which he 
farms to some extent, most of his lands being 
well adapted for agriculture. By judicious 



management he is getting very good returns 
for the labor and capital he has expended 
upon the development of his property. He 
has been a very useful member of the com- 
nmnity, exerting his influence wherever it will 
have the best effect on local affairs. For the 
last five years he has been a member of the 
to^vnship school board. The Methodist 
Episcopal Church has long counted him among 
its most valued Sunday school and congre- 
gational workers, and fratemally he affiliates 
with the K. O. T. M., holding membership in 
Lodge No. 783 at Cranberry. 

Mr. Trax married Ida Bell White, daughter 
of Irwin White, of Clarion county, Pa., and 
children as follows have been bom to them : 
Sarah Elizabeth, wife of Ernest Bowman, 
of Grand Rapids, Mich.; Alice R., wife of 
Dr. 'W. D. Aughenbaugh, a physician of Pitts- 
burgh, Pa. ; Edith Viola, wife of W. T. Rapp, 
of Oklahoma; David L., with the American 
Expeditionary Forces in France; Dorothy 
Bell; Paul Oscar; Thomas A.; Mary Louise; 
Ruth Elaine; Frances, who died when two 
and a half years old; and a son that died in 
infancy. 

Judson D. Trax, second son of the late 
David L. Trax, was bom Dec. 24, i8j59, at Oil 
City, and obtained his early education in its 
public schools, graduating from the high 
school in 1887. In 1888 he became a student 
at Cornell University, from which he was 
graduated in 1892, the same year entering the 
offices of Ash and Speer, with whom he read 
law until his admission to the bar in Janu- 
ary, 1895, i" \'enango county. Within a 
short time, in May. 1895, he joined forces 
with William M. Parker in the practice of 
law, and the firm of Trax and Parker has con- 
tinued to the present one of the strongest legal 
combinations in the county, both partners be- 
ing men of undisputed ability and attain- 
ments in their profession. They were first 
located in the Oil City Savings Bank building, 
now the Oil City National Bank building, 
where they remained until removing to their 
present location in IQ16, having purchased 
what was formerly the "Exchange Hotel" 
property before their removal and remodeled 
it thoroughly for their own office purposes. 
As attorneys, Trax and Parker have a clien- 
tele whose personnel and important connec- 
tions are sufficient to vouch for the high stand- 
ing necessary in their legal representatives, 
and they command a large share of the most 
particular law business done in this part of 
the State. Mr. Trax is also president of the 
Kramer Wagon Company of Oil City. He 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



635 



has high social connections, including mem- 
bership in the Ivy Club, the Venango Club 
and the Boat Club, as well as the Phi Delta 
Phi (l^al) and Phi Sigma Kappa fraternities 
of Cornell University. 

Mr. Trax married Musa Merritt, daughter 
of E. A. and Salina Merritt, and they have 
two children, Judson E. and Virginia. 

Fred H. Trax, the youngest member of 
the family, was bom Aug. 22, 1872, and now 
resides in Warren, Pa., where he is engaged in 
the production of oil. In 1898 he was mar- 
ried to Belle Stewart, of Oil City, Pa., and 
they have four children: Louis, Elizabeth, 
Frederick and John. 

GEORGE A. READY, Sr., is carrying on 
the quarry business established about fifty 
years ago by his father, the late David Ready, 
at Oil City, the stone for many of the most 
substantial structures in the city and vicinity 
having come from their plant. 

The Ready family is of Irish origin, David 
Ready, grandfather of George A. Ready, Sr., 
having lived in County Clare, Ireland, where 
he followed carpet weaving throughout his 
active years. After his son David was settled 
at Oil City he sent for his father and mother, 
and they joined him there. He built twin 
houses in East Third street, in the Sixth ward, 
one for his own parents and the other for his 
wife's parents. David Ready, the elder, lived 
to the age of eighty-nine years. He and his 
wife were Presbyterians in religious belief. 
They had the following family: Elizabeth, 
Johnson, Charles and David, the daughter, a 
resident of Oil City and now (1918) eighty- 
nine years old, being the only survivor at this 
writing; she married John McClure. 

David Ready, son of David, above, was born 
in County Clare, Ireland, Oct. i, 1839, and 
came to America when a boy of eleven with 
his sister, several years older. They made the 
voyage to New York by sailing vessel, and 
proceeded directly to Canada, going first to 
Ontario, and from the original location to 
Rockwood, near by (Mr. Ready named the 
place on the Pennsylvania road in Venango 
county, where he had his quarry, Rockwood, it 
being later changed to Rockmere). David 
Ready was in Canada until after marriage, 
farming, and not long afterward removed to 
Michigan, where he was also engaged in agri- 
cultural work. Coming to Oil City, Pa., dur- 
ing the oil excitement, in 1865, he made a per- 
manent settlement here, building both houses 
which he occupied, the second being the 
present home of his son George, at No. 151 



West Third street. He operated the Oil City 
quarries below the Oil City Hospital, and for 
a number of years had his son George asso- 
ciated with him in this business, which has be- 
come an important local industry. Mr. Ready 
took a public-spirited interest in municipal 
aflFairs, representing both the Fourth and Sixth 
wards in the council, of which he was a mem- 
ber twelve years. He was affiliated with I..a- 
tonia Lodge, No. 1018, I. O. O. F., Oil City, 
and held membership in Trinity M. E. Church. 
His death occurred March 26, 1913, after an 
active, useful life, and he is buried in Grove 
Hill cemetery. 

Mr. Ready married Elizabeth Lewis, who 
was bom Aug. i, 1844, in the Province of On- 
tario, Canada, directly across from Buffalo, 
N. Y. Four children were born to this union, 
namely: Leida, wife of Capt, Robert K. 
Wright, of Philadelphia, Pa.; William J., a 
resident of Philadelphia; George A., of Oil 
City; and Martha, wife of William H. Burn- 
ham, of York, Pa. Captain Wright was a sea 
captain and on the ship **Abraham Lincoln'* 
when she went down, losing all his worldly 
goods in that disaster. He was representative 
from the United States to China and Japan 
during Cleveland's administration, and in 
recognition of his acceptable services was pre- 
sented by those governments with a robe val- 
ued at three thousand dollars. Mrs. Wright 
is now engaged in work at the cantonment at 
Portland, Oregon. 

John Lewis, father of Mrs. Elizabeth 
(Lewis) Ready, was superintendent of docks 
on the Welland canal in Canada for some 
years. He was born in Londonderry, in the 
North of Ireland, and lived to the age of sixty- 
five years, he and his wife Jane (Moffet) 
spending their last days at Oil City, where as 
previously related Mr. Ready built a home for 
them. They belonged to the Presbyterian 
Church. They had the following children: 
Martha, widow of Charles Ready, now living 
at Saginaw, Mich. ; William, a resident of 
Chicago, 111. ; John ; and Elizabeth. Mrs. David 
Ready. 

George A. Ready, Sr., was born Feb. 8, 
1865, at St. Clair, Mich., and was brought to 
Oil City in June. 1865, growing up here. He 
had the advantages of the excellent public 
schools, attending high school, and when old 
enough began to assist his father in the stone 
business at the Oil City quarries below the 
present site of the Oil City Hospital, also hav- 
ing: another quarry above Rockmere from 
which similar material was taken. The out- 
put consists principally of foundation stones 



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636 



VEXANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



for bridge work and ordinary building, stone 
having been furnished for the Suspension 
bridge and Petroleum bridge-piers, the foun- 
dation of the Lamberton National Bank and 
"Collins House" (now the "Arlington 
Hotel"), the stone work in the National Tran- 
sit Company's buildings — foundation of both 
and stone trimmings for new building on 
Seneca street, the foundations for the First 
National Bank and the McCoUum block (built 
by John McCollum), the retaining wall along- 
side the Valley depot, on the South Side, all 
from the Oil City quarries. Mr. Ready also 
did all the stone work on the Western New 
York & Pennsylvania railroad (now the Penn- 
sylvania road), and furnished the large quan- 
tities of stone needed for the grade crossing 
work of that road in Buffalo, N. Y. He has 
filled many other large contracts besides those 
mentioned. Mr. Ready was associated with 
his father until the latter's death, after which 
he took over the entire management of the 
business, continuing its expansion until the 
volume has now reached large proportions. 

Mr. Ready married Ida J. Felmlee, and they 
are the parents of two children: Clara Louise, 
born July i6, 1892, and George A., Jr., born 
July 6, 1896, both living at home. They were 
educated in the schools of Oil City, attending 
high school, and the son is now engaged as 
'chief clerk to the supervisor of the Pennsyl- 
vania Railroad Company at Oil City. Mr. 
and Mrs. Ready are" members of Grace M. E. 
Church, while their son and daughter attend 
the Episcopal Church. Fraternally Mr. Ready 
is well known in the membership of Lodge No. 
344, B. P. O. Elks, and the Modern Wocxlmen, 
both at Oil City. He is a Republican on poli- 
tical issues. 

David Felmlee, father of Mrs. George A. 
Ready, was born in 1834 near Reading, Pa., 
and has long been a farmer in Cranberry 
township, owning a fine property there. He 
married Fiett Bortz, who was bom in that 
township in or near Oil City, and died in June. 
^9^7* aged sixty-seven years. Mr. Felmlee 
has been a prominent man in his locality, hav- 
ing served his township ten years as school 
director and twenty years as supervisor. Poli- 
tically he has supported the Republican partv. 
He is a member of the Evangelical Church. 
Five children were born to his marriage with 
Fiett Bortz, namely: Mabel is the wife of 
Harry Dolby, of Oil City; Ida Jane, born in 
Cranberry township, is the wife of George A. 
Ready: Frank, of Seneca, Venango county, 
married Emma Morehead ; John and his wife 



Ola live at Ten Mile Bottom, Venango county ; 
Edward, of Tulsa, Okla., married Iva Pattig. 

JOHN H. LAVEkY, late of Franklin, was 
a man of high character and substantial 
worth, one of the leaders in his line of business 
in this section, and greatly esteemed among 
both personal and business associates. For 
more than a quarter of a century he carried on 
a mill and dealt in flour and feed and similar 
commodities, and his establishment is now 
operated by his sons, who give promise of ad- 
hering to the principles which brought their 
father prosperity and the goodwill of his fel- 
low citizens. The plant was originally known 
as the Franklin City Mill, the business title at 
present being J. H. La very 's Sons. 

Mr. Lavery was bom near Albion, N. Y., 
aind his early years were spent in rural sur- 
roundings. His education and training were 
of the most practical sort, and though he gave 
up farming when twenty- four yfears old and 
never resumed it the experience was good for 
him, developing habits of industry and self- 
reliance which would have been useful in any 
circumstances. Having decided to change his 
occupation, he went to Titusville, Pa., where 
he was engaged in teaming for a time, and was 
also interested in oil wells at that location. In 
the year 1889 he came to Franklin, Venango 
Co., Pa., where he became associated with 
Pearson & Weston, grain and feed merchants. 
After a year's connection with the firm he 
purchased the interest of Mr. Weston, from 
which time the business was conducted under 
the name of Pearson & Lavery until 1908. 
They prospered and erected the fine mill on 
North Thirteenth street, in the Third ward of 
Franklin, where the manufacture of flour has 
since been carried on. In 1908 Mr. Lavery 
bought Mr. Pearson's interest, and for a time 
conducted the business alone under the firm 
style of J. H. Lavery, which was retained 
until his death, Aug. 12, 1916. In addition 
to manufacturing flour and feed he dealt in 
those articles and also in hay, straw, salt and 
seeds, having a large trade built up by his 
own exertions. He had his office at Thir- 
teenth and Otter streets, also maintained by 
his sons, who have endeavored to keep the 
stock and business up to the high standards 
which he established. Mr. Lavery developed 
into a competent business man, and was highly 
regarded by all who had dealings with him. 
He was progressive and farsighted, taking a 
keen interest in the general welfare as well 
as in his immediate concerns, and living up 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



637 



to all the demands of good citizenship. At the 
time of his death he was barely past his prime, 
and his taking away was w^idely and sincerely 
mourned. In religion he was a Roman Cath- 
olic. 

Mr. Lavery married Carrie J. Josklin, who 
still makes her home at Franklin. Of the six 
children bom to them, Martha J. is the wife of 
Thomas McNamara ; Alice is married to John 
Myers ; George E. is now one of the owners 
of his father's mill; Mary Ethyle is the wife 
of Daniel O'Neill ; F. Lee and Anna complete 
the family, the last named living at home. 

F. Lee Lavery was born in 1891 at Frank- 
lin, Pa., and was reared in that city, acquiring 
his education in the public schools. When old 
enough he began to assist his father in the 
business, with which he became thoroughly fa- 
miliar and to which he has devoted all his 
time, he and his brother becoming owners of 
the mill and trade after their father died. They 
are energetic workers and well qualified by 
temperament and training to handle their large 
patronage, which is showing a healthy increase 
in both branches. Personally they are steady 
and capable, possessing qualities that go to 
make up the best citizenship. 

Mr. Lavery married Kathryn Eckert, and 
they have had one child. Mary Madeline. 

SAMUEL REED WESTON, of Irwin 
township, owns and operates the old farm 
where his father settled over sixty years ago, 
and which by the industry of father and son, 
in turn, has been transformed from a wild 
tract to a state of profitable fertility, being one 
of the most desirable properties in this section 
of Venango county. Mr. Weston has in- 
creased his substance by thrift and capable 
management, qualities which have also com- 
mended him to his fellow citizens as well fitted 
for the public service, and he has filled a num- 
ber of the township offices to their thorough 
satisfaction. Mr. Weston was only in his 
eighth year when he accompanied his parents 
to this county, the family moving from Law- 
rence county, where they had made their home 
for several years. 

George and Anna M. (Hall) Weston, 
parents of Samuel Reed Weston, spent their 
early lives in Huntingdon county, Pa., Mrs. 
Weston having been reared in the town of 
Huntingdon. Late in 1846 they moved across 
the mountains to Lawrence county, settling at 
Neshannock Falls, near New Castle, where 
they remained until their removal to Venango 
county in 1854. Coming to Irwin township 
George Weston secured part of the farm now 



occupied by his son S. Reed Weston, paying 
about four hundred dollars for fifty acres 
whose only improvements were a log house and 
stable. Fifteen acres had been cleared at one 
time, but had been allowed to revert to a 
wild state, so that the Westons had to do 
practically all the work involved in reclaiming 
the tract. But this did not discourage Mn 
Weston, who was a great worker. As a young 
man he had been employed around furnaces, 
cutting cordwood, etc., and he was accustomed 
to industry. His well directed eflforts had 
their reward in time, for he not only put his 
original holding under cultivation, but added 
another fifty acres to it, retaining most of this 
land until his .death, at which time the farm 
covered its present area, eighty-nine acres. 
He brought the property into excellent condi- 
tion in every respect, and kept it up with solici- 
tous forethought, providing well for the future 
and laying his plans intelligently, to be carried 
out systematically. He died in the early 
eighties, at the age of seventy-two years, and 
his wife survived to the age of eighty-seven, 
making her home with her son Reed until her 
decease. Of the thirteen children born to them 
eleven are still living (1917), viz.: David M. 
served three years during the Civil war as a 
member of the ist Pennsylvania Artillery un- 
der Captain Cooper, of New Castle, and was 
on the farm with his father until his death, 
at the age of thirty-three years, having never 
been robust after his military service; Lena 
married Samuel Sopher, and died at the age 
of sixty-eight years: Martha is living at Oil 
City, the widow of John W. Dunlap, who was 
a Civil war veteran ; Samuel Reed is mentioned 
below : William is a farmer in Cranberry town- 
ship, this county; Jane married Calvin Mont- 
gomery, of Ohio City, Ohio; Margaret is the 
wife of John McCormick, now of Bakerville, 
Okla. (he served in the Civil war from Ve- 
nango county) ; Belle is the wife of Richard 
Adams; Mary is the wife of John Adams, of 
Irwin toavnship; Julia is married to Ayres 
Hoffman, of Butler county; Marjorie is the 
wife of Edward Cocaine, of Butler county; 
Adeline, Mrs. Walter Adams, lives in Irwin 
township; George is in the employ of the 
Galena-Signal Oil Company at Franklin. 

Samuel Reed Weston was born Oct. 19, 
1846, in Huntingdon county, Pa., and was 
four weeks old when the family moved to 
Lawrence county. He received his early edu- 
cation there, but was reared mainly in Irwin 
township, Venango county, at his present 
home, which is 'a mile from the present tow^n 
of Mechanicsville (post office Wesley), on the 



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VEXANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



Mill road. Though only a youth when the 
Civil war broke out he was in the Union army 
for eighteen months, as a member of Com- 
pany K, 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry, attached 
to the Army of the Potomac, and in spite of 
the fact that he saw much field service, taking 
part in every action in which his command 
was engaged, was never wounded or captured. 
He was present at Lee's surrender, and was 
not discharged until July i, 1865, the regiment 
having been kept on duty at Lynchburg until 
that date. His first fight was the battle of 
the Wilderness. After his army experience 
he returned home, but soon went out to Mis- 
souri, where he spent three years. He also 
worked in the oil regions a year before his 
marriage, at which time he bought a farm on 
the Yard ridge, making his home at thai 
place for the next eight years. But he had 
never lost his liking for the paternal home- 
stead, and he returned there after disposing of 
the property just mentioned, buying out the 
other heirs gradually, as his work prospered, 
until he was sole owner. He has been improv- 
ing his equipment and the property methodic- 
ally, having a fine set of buildings now, the 
house erected in 1897, ^^^ barn eight years 
ago. Mr. Weston follows general farming and 
keeps good stock. In fact, there is evidence 
of high standards all about the place, whose 
orderly appearance and productive acres do 
him great credit. 

Though a Republican in political principle 
Mr. Weston votes independently, being broad 
enough to maintain a non-partisan stand where 
good measures are involved, especially with 
relation to local affairs. His fellow citizens 
have given substantial testimony as to their 
opinion of his ability and integrity, having 
elected him to such township offices as con- 
stable, tax collector, assessor etc., in all of 
which he has given a good account of himself. 
He is a member of the M. E. Church at Me- 
chanicsville. 

On Jan. 4, 1872, Mr. Weston married Mary 
Yard, who was then twenty years old. They 
have had the following children: Adella E. 
is now the wife of I. B. Markey, a carpenter, 
of Youngstown, Ohio; Charles H. graduated 
from Grove City Academy and later attended 
Grove City College, taught for a time in Ve- 
nango county, serv^ed through the Spanish- 
American war, was a corporal of Company 
F, i6th Pennsylvania Regiment, and joined 
in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps at 
Camp Benjamin Harrison. Indianapolis, Ind., 
during the world war; Mary was a music 
teacher before her marriage to James Mc- 



Cully, of Philadelphia, a real estate man; 
Frank G. is at present engaged in operating the 
home farm with his father; Margaret, who 
died at the age of twenty-three years, was a 
talented musician; Carrie B. is the wife of 
William Cochran, a druggist, of Harrisville, 
Butler Co., Pa. ; Norman C. trained with Com- 
pany F, i6th Pennsylvania Regiment, at Camp 
Hancock, Atlanta, Ga. (he served with the 
regiment on the Mexican border) ; Bbnche is 
the wife of Julius Woods, of Irwin town- 
ship; Ethel was graduated from the State 
Normal School at Slippery Rock in 1916 and 
is now teaching at Allison Park, Allegheny 
county, near Pittsburgh. 

Mrs. Weston is a member of the Yard 
family, and a descendant of an early settler 
in Irwin township. Her great-grandfather, 
John Yard, came to this country from England 
with a brother, and settled on land here now 
owned by Mrs. Weston's brother, C. B. Yard, 
passing the remainder of his life on that place. 
He died in old age. His sons were Solomon, 
Stephen, Benson, Chauncey and Benjamin R., 
Solomon dying in Venango county, Stephen in 
Butler county. Benjamin R. Yard, Mrs. Wes- 
ton's grandfather, lived and died in Irwin 
township, reaching the advanced age of eighty- 
nine years. He is buried in the Pleasant View 
cemetery, and belonged to the Pleasant View 
M. E. Church. By trade he was a cabinet- 
maker, but he spent his later life on a farm. 
By his marriage to Catherine Hovis he had 
four sons: John; Elijah, a merchant and 
farmer in Irwin township, who lived to be 
over eighty years old; Nicholas, a carpenter 
and farmer in Irwin township, who also 
reached old age ; and Israel, now advanced in 
years, living near Barkeyville, same township. 

John Yard, son of Benjamin R. Yard, was 
born in 1825 in Irwin township, where he was 
reared. After his marriage he spent seven 
years near Qintonville, in 1868 purchasing 
the farm where his son C. B. Yard now lives, 
and remaining there until his death, in May, 
191 5, at the age of eighty-nine years. He built 
the house on that place in 1878, and the barn 
twenty-five years ago, and both are in excel- 
lent condition at this writing, the entire prop- 
erty being well kept up by the present owner 
as it was by his father. Mr. Yard was an in- 
telligent man, of high principles, a lifelong 
member of the Pleasant View M. E. Church, 
and in his later years a Prohibitionist in poli- 
tical association, though he had originally been 
a Republican. He was a subscriber to the 
"Christian Advocate" for over sixty years. 
His wife died in October, 1913, aged eighty- 



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639 



eight years. Of their family the following 
reached maturity: Mary, Mrs. S. R. Weston; 
Ellen, Mrs. Ames Gilmore, of Mechanicsville ; 
Wilbur M., of Casper, Wyo. ; and C. B. Yard. 

GEORGE B. BERINGER, of Sandy Creek 
township, is interested in oil production in 
the famous Bullion field on the old Beringer 
farm in Clinton township, which was the cen- 
ter of the great excitement of about 1877 ^^ 
that region, and which has always been con- 
sidered one of the most desirable oil tracts in 
this territory. It was there that the town of 
Beringer City, named after the family, was 
established when the boom was at its height. 
This property has been in the possession of the 
Beringer family for many years, having been 
first owned by George Beringer, grandfather 
of George B. Beringer, who came hither from 
east of the mountains. 

George Beringer was bom Feb. i, 1809, J" 
Bedford county. Pa., son of John and Jane 
(Leim) Beringer. His mother died when he 
was young, and his father remarried, so 
George, not liking his stepmother, started out 
on his own account when but eleven or twelve 
years old. He remained near the old home 
until grown, however, and came to Venango 
county in 1836, a few years after his marriage. 
Here he was first employed at the old Van 
Buren furnace, in 1840 settling on a tract in 
Qinton township adjoining the land which be- 
came his permanent home, and turning his at- 
tention to farming. In 1850 he purchased 
again, becoming the owner of the valuable 
property which has since remained in the 
Beringer family, about a mile southeast of the 
present Bullion store. One of its most at- 
tractive features then was the fact that four 
acres were cleared, and Mr. Beringer set him- 
self to work to continue its improvement, in 
which he was very successful. His old build- 
ings are all gone now, but he had the thrift 
to provide the best equipment and conveniences 
obtainable in his day, and was one of the well- 
to-do farmers in his locality long before the 
discovery of oil enriched him. His home place 
had nearly three hundred acres, and he gave 
each of his children a farm. About 1877 ^^1 
was found in such immense stores that the 
farm became the center of the Bullion field 
excitement. A big well on the Gealy farm, 
three quarters of a mile distant, was sunk, and 
land in the vicinity was immediately in de- 
mand. The Phillips Brothers took a lease on 
his farm soon afteiHvard, and between Febni- 
ary and July of 1877 almost two hundred 
houses were built there, at Beringer City, 



stores were opened, and for a couple of years 
the place had- an era of wonderful prosperity; 
When the oil business settled down on a steady 
basis the town declined, but there is still a 
small settlement there, and oil production has 
been going on ever since. One well there, 
"old 22," yielded seven hundred barrels daily 
for a time. About thirty fine wells were sunk 
during George Beringer's lifetime. He reached 
the age of eighty-seven years, and was one 
of the most respected citizens of his township, 
where he was the first to hold the office of 
road commissioner. 

In December, 183 1, Mr. Beringer married 
Margaret Davis, and they became the parents 
of twelve children, only one, Manilla, of near 
Hadley, Pa., surviving; George Washington, 
William, John, David (of Crawford county) 
and Jesse are all deceased ; Elizabeth J., mar- 
ried James Shiner; Sarah married David 

Hovis; Martha married Jacob P . 

George Beringer, the father, was a member 
of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and 
a Republican in political conviction. 

George Washington Beringer, son of George 
and Margaret (Davis) Beringer, was born 
March 23, 1837, and was reared in Clinton 
township, having such educational advantages 
as the common schools of the day afforded. 
His early life was occupied with the duties 
of the farm, but he was soon engaged in the 
principal industry of the territory, drilling on 
Oil creek and in i860 entering upon the con- 
struction of derricks for local producers. 
Later he commenced producing on his own 
account, settling at Bullion and contracting to 
drill for Phillips Brothers on the old Beringer 
farm during the great excitement already re- 
ferred to. He and his brother David bought 
that land from their father, and later pur- 
chased the various oil leases there, and some 
years afterward George W. Beringer acquired 
his brother's interests, becoming sole owner of 
both the land and the leases. He cultivated 
the farm and kept extending the oil produc- 
tion there as well as in other fields where he 
was interested, and when he died, in 1898, his 
estate was one of the most valuable in the 
township. 

On Sept. 18, 1862, Mr. Beringer married, 
in Cranberry township, Nancy J. Shiner, 
daughter of Andrew Shiner, of Sandy Creek 
township, and her death occurred about a year 
before his. Children as follows were bom to 
this marriage: Andrew Chester, bom Nov. 
17, 1863, is deceased ; Margaret J., bom March 
21, 1865, married William J. V. Baumgardner, 
and lives at Zelienople, Butler Co., Pa. ; Art- 



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VEXAXGO COUNTY, PEXXSYLVANIA 



lessa, born Feb. 26, 1867, married Francis A. 
Davis, formerly of Qinton township, now an 
oil producer at Tulsa, Okla. ; George B. is 
mentioned below ; Lucetta died in childhood ; 
John F., bom Dec. 12, 1872, is an oil driller 
in Oklahoma; Amelda May, born Dec. i, 1874, 
is the wife of S. M. Beighlea, of Polk, Ve- 
nango county; James W., born Oct. 4, 1879, 
is a driller in Oklahoma ; Grace S., born Dec. 
24, 1882, married R. D. Shelley, who survives 
her, living on the old farm ; Grover Cleveland, 
born Aug. 17, 1884, was engaged as a smelter 
in Mexico imtil driven out by the border 
troubles ; two children died in infancy. 

Since the death of George Washington Ber- 
inger the farm and its oil leases have been 
operated by the estate, now held by seven 
heirs. His son George B. Beringer is one of 
the executors. Drilling has been going on 
steadily, two or three wells being sunk each 
year, and at present about thirty wells are pro- 
ducing, with a high average yield. 

George B. Beringer was bom Nov. 21, 1868, 
at Salina, Venango county, where his father 
was then engaged in drilling. He had excel- 
lent educational advantages, and equally good 
opportunities for business training, having 
been brought up in the midst of important 
agricultural and oil activities, with whose de- 
tails he has been familiar since boyhood. He 
continued to work for his father on the farm, 
and was engaged as pumper at the oil lease, 
and remained at the old home for about a 
year after his father's death, then buying his 
present home property, a tract of fifty acres 
w<hich was part of his father's estate and 
originally included in the old White farm, 
which has been divided into several tracts. It 
is situated three miles south of Franklin, on 
the Pittsburgh pike, and has been maintained 
in model condition under his ownership. He 
is well occupied with the care of this place 
and his responsibilities in connection with the 
Beringer estate, in the discharge of which he 
has shown himself a capable business man. 
Mr. Beringer is a public-spirited citizen, but 
he has no taste for public affairs and no am- 
bitions for office. On political matters he is 
a Democrat, like his father, and supports the 
ticket faithfully, but gives little time to such 
things, keeping busy in the management of his 
private interests. By way of recreation he en- 
joys such hunting as the locality affords. 

On Jan. 17. 1889, ^I"*. Beringer was married 
to Meona Gilmore, then twenty-one years old, 
daughter of Alexander and Nancy (Shontz) 
Gilmore. She was reared at the old Gilmore 
mill in Irwin township, which her father for- 



merly owned; he was drowned near his mill. 
Four children have been bom to Mr. and Mrs. 
Beringer: Beulah Vista graduated from the 
musical department of Allegheny College. 
Meadville, Pa., and was a teacher of music 
before her marriage to Harry Rice, of Union- 
town, a painter by occupation; D. F. died in 
childhood; Georgia and Ruth are students in 
the high school at Franklin. 

JAMES B. BERRY (deceased) was estab- 
lished in Oil City for nearly forty years prior 
to his death, which occurred May 15, igcfe, at 
the home on Petroleum street which his widow 
continues to occupy. He was one of the best 
known residents of the city and acquired a 
wide acquaintance throughout the oil country 
in the course of his long continued association 
with a variety of interests there, his activities 
culminating in the extensive business in which 
his sons have succeeded him as the James B. 
Berry's Sons Company, oil producers and 
dealers. The interests of this firm, which has 
wide and iijfluential connections with many of 
the large manufacturers and refiners of the 
country, are the outgrowth and development 
of the business which he founded, and though 
the sons are entitled to great credit for its 
expansion according to present-day standards, 
the importance of his early labors may not be 
minimized. 

Mr. Berry was born Xov. 5, 1841, at Re- 
becca Furnace, near Roaring Spring, Blair 
County, Pa., son of Michael and Susan 
(Blake) Berry, both also natives of that 
county, where the father died in 1863. His 
father was a public official and particularly 
well known for his skill in the . settlement of 
estates and similar business, the Schemberger 
estate and fiunaces, one of the most valuaWe 
properties in that section, having been intrusted 
to him. His mother came to Oil City in 1872, 
four of her children having settled here, 
namely: James B.; W. H. H., now retired; 
Clara, wife of A. B. Bair, of Oil City; and 
John M., cashier of the First National Bank 
of Oil City. 

James B. Berry had average educational op- 
portunities in his youth and during his early 
manhood was engaged as bookkeeper at vari- 
ous furnaces and in railroad offices, having 
been in the employ of the Pennsylvania Rail- 
road Company at Petersburg and for a time 
manager of the Aetna Furnace near Altoona 
before his removal to Oil City in 1869. His 
first position here was as bookkeeper for Mc- 
Elroy & Boulton, wholesale and retail dealers 
in coal, and as their accountant he gained a 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



641 



thorough familiarity with the business, of 
which he eventually became the owner, con- 
ducting it successfully until 1884. It held an 
important place in local circles at the time, 
operatmg mines as well as handling coal, but 
when natural gas was introduced as fuel in 
Oil City Mr. Berry disposed of his interests 
in the coal trade to James Bigler and turned 
to other lines. For a few years he was in the 
employ of the Union Refining Company, whose 
l^nt was located at the mouth of Complanter 
rim, remaining with them until he embarked 
in the oil business on his own account. The 
Astral Refining Company, Limited, originally 
formed about 1881, was reorganized in April, 
1884, 2i"d again in December, 1888, as the 
Astral Oil Refining Company, of which Mr. 
Berry became secretary. The works, at the 
Astral station on the Allegheny Valley road a 
few miles south of Franklin, then had a daily 
capacity of two hundred barrels of refined 
oil, and attained large proportions under his 
management, much of the remainder of his 
life being given to the direction of the refin- 
ing business. At the time of his death he was 
carrying on an extensive general wholesale 
business in the sale of oil, gasoline and other 
refined products, besides looking after valu- 
able interests which he had accumulated as an 
oil producer. His sons have continued his ac- 
tivities as already noted. 

Mr. Berr}^- was a man of jovial disposition, 
kind-hearted and genial, and with all his busi- 
ness cares found time to form many agrefeable 
friendships and to serve his fellow citizens 
with public-spirited devotion, making a splen- 
did record in the city council, where he had 
the honor of being elected president in both 
branches. At the time of his death he was 
one of the oldest members of the Second 
Presbyterian Church, and he had served the 
congregation for many years as one of the 
board of trustees, where his business experi- 
ence and sound judgment were of the utmost 
value in placing the material affairs of the 
church upon a substantial basis. Fraternally 
he belonged to the A. O. U. W., Knights of 
Honor and Royal Arcanum, so that his taking 
away was felt in many circles in the city, 
mourned as the departure of a high-minded, 
unselfish friend to every good cause. 

In 1875 ^^^' Berry married Abbie M. Du- 
fur, daughter of the late John R. and Sarah 
(Gibbs) Dufur, and three children were born 
to them: Florence A. was married Jan. 25, 
1919, to Howard H. Lowrie, of Oil City, who 
was bom in that city, son of Robert and Mary 
J. Lowrie. was educated in the public schools, 

41 



and has entered the ♦ranks of the live young 
men there, being now well known in business ; 
he is familiar with the local but far-reaching 
conditions of the oil industry, being at pres- 
ent connected with the Southern Group of 
Pipe Lines ; Mrs. Lowrie is prominently iden- 
tified with the Red Cross and D. A. R., as 
well as with other societies with patriotic ob- 
jects. James D. married Helen Robinson, 
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. S. T. Robinson, 
of Parker, Pa., Dec. 6, 191 1, and has one son, 
James Dufur, Jr. Charles D. married Helen 
Splane, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. W. 
Splane, of Oil City, Pa., June 15, 1914, and 
she died Nov. 15, 1918, the mother of two 
children, Charles Dufur, Jr., born Dec. 29, 
1915, and Elizabeth Abbie, born Jan. 29, 1917. 
She left the impress of a beautiful spirit upon 
the community, and her native city mourns its 
loss. 

The James B. Berry's Sons Company con- 
sists of James D. Berry and Charles D. Berry, 
who took up the father's business at his death 
and have since continued and enlarged it to a 
surprising extent. The interests they are 
handling so successfully concern materials con- 
stantly demanded by the public. The offices 
of the company are in the Chambers building 
in Oil City. Both these young men were born 
in Oil City, James D. Sept. 17, 1878, Charles 
D. June 15, 1882. Both were educated in the 
public schools here. While James entered the 
business and studied its important and valu- 
able interests, Charles went to Washington 
and Jefferson College, from which institution 
he was graduated with honor. They are thus 
an ideal firm, uniting scientific and practical 
experience, and have proved most efficient in 
every respect to carry on the business which 
has grown with the years. 

F. D. WILLIAMS, vice president and gen- 
eral manager of the National Transit Company 
at Oil City, began his career as a telegrapher, 
in which capacity he had comprehensive 
familiarity with the business of pipe lines 
before assuming executive duties therewith. 
Born Oct. 19. 1855, at Sandusky, Ohio, he 
was reared and educated there. In July, 1876, 
he became telegraph operator for the Union 
Pipe Line Company at Foxburg, Pa., where he 
was in the office of the division superintendent 
for one year. The company was soon taken 
over by the Empire Pipe Line Company, and 
in 1877, when the general consolidation of pipe 
line interests took place, it became part of the 
United Pipe Lines system of Oil City. In 
his services as a telegraph operator Mr. 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



Williams was located at various points, in 1879 
entering the office of the company at Bradford, 
Pa., as a clerk. There he remained until 1887, 
in which year he was placed in the Oil City 
office as auditor for the National Transit, 
Buckeye, Eureka, Southwest Pennsylvania Pipe 
Lines and Macksburg Pipe Line Company. 
His knowledge of the business extended to its 
practical operations as well, and early in 1896 
he was made assistant superintendent of pipe 
line work at Sistersville, W. Va., in October 
of the same year becoming division superin- 
tendent at Warren, where he was retained 
until 1901. 

The Standard Oil Company, having acquired 
extensive oil fields in Japan, needed a capable 
man to take charge of the installation of a pipe 
line system, from the scene of production to 
the refineries on the coast, and Mr. Williams 
was selected for the responsibility, a position 
requiring the exercise of mature judgment and 
perseverance, with frequent occasion for de- 
cisive action. The work throughout called 
for clear-headed supervision, facility in adapt- 
ing the means to the circumstances, and the 
exertion of every faculty in its prompt dis- 
patch, and the manner in which he accom- 
plished it drew favorable comment from all 
concerned. Upon his return to this country 
he was for one year division superintendent at 
Butler, being sent thence to California in the 
capacity of accountant for some months, after 
which he resumed his duties at Butler until 
transferred to Oil City in a similar capacity. 
It was in the fall of 1903 that he became 
division superintendent at Oil City, with about 
one hundred employes and nine hundred miles 
of pipe line under his direction, and he was 
soon afterward advanced to assistant general 
superintendent, eventually assuming the gen- 
eral superintendency. At the dissolution of 
the Standard Oil Company in 191 1 he was as- 
signed as general manager of the National 
Transit Company and has continued as such to 
the present time, in 1915 being also elected 
vice president. The National Transit lines 
extend from Nedskey, near Pittsburgh, one 
hundred and forty miles to the New York 
State line, and from Coalgrove, Pa., for two 
hundred and forty-three miles southeast to 
Millway, Pa., whence a seventy-mile branch 
connecting with lines of another company 
reaches Bayonne, N. J., and one of thirty-three 
miles projects to the Maryland State line con- 
necting with another part of its own system, 
thirty-three miles taking it to Baltimore ; there 
is also a line sixty-nine miles in length to Point 
Breeze, Philadelphia. About three hundred 



men are employed, operating under four divi- 
sion superintendents. 

Mr. Williams has been equally prominent in 
another important auxiliary of the pipe line 
business. When the pipe lines first began using 
pumping machinery, over forty years ago, two 
repair shops of modest size were established, 
at Petrolia and Tarport, Pa., respectively. 
About 1880 both were moved to Oil City, 
forming the nucleus of what is now the plant 
of the National Transit Pump & Machine 
Company, and from this small beginning has 
grown a great manufacturing institution. 
Originally only repair work was done, but in 
time the manufacture of pumps and pumping 
machinery was undertaken, all the product 
being for the use of the Standard Oil Com- 
pany and its subsidiaries exclusively until its 
dissolution in 191 1. All the experience of all 
the subsidiaries of the company in regard to 
pipe line operation and refining went to en- 
hance the output, and neither time nor ex- 
pense was ever spared in attaining the best 
possible results in machinery construction, a 
policy of economy which more than paid for 
itself in efficient equipment. Not a dollar's 
worth of machinery was ever sold to any plant 
but a Standard Oil subsidiary until the com- 
pany was dissolved in 191 1, but the product 
has since been in the general market and 
sought by the most up-to-date oil and gas con- 
cerns in the country. The plant at Oil City 
now covers about ten acres, with almost three 
hundred and fifty thousand square feet of 
floor space, and over eleven hundred employes 
constitute the working force. Mr. Williams is 
vice president and general manager of this 
company, and also president of the Maryland 
Pipe Line Company. His interests have been 
practically centered in business, but the pro- 
gressive tendencies which have advanced him 
in that field are in evidence in all his associa- 
tions. 

In 1879 Mr. Williams was married, at Fox- 
burg, Pa., to Clara R. Allen, and they have one 
daughter, Jessie A., a graduate of Allegheny 
College and Drexel Institute and a competent 
teacher of domestic science, which profession 
she has followed in Buflfalo and Chicago. She 
is at present at home in Oil City, and active 
in Red Cross work, being secretary of the 
local chapter. 

CHARLES W. HOVIS, of aintonville, 
has come into close contact with his fellow 
citizens in the business and official connec- 
tions of an active career. At present he is 
serving as justice of the peace and assistant 



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postmaster, besides conducting his store, and 
he is busy as ever with the varied interests 
which he handles; keeping up a reputation 
for mental alertness and physical energy es- 
tablished long ago. Mr. Hovis was bom June 
12, 1845, ^^^^ Qintonville, son of David and 
Marjory J. (Canan) Hovis, and bears a name 
that has been prominent in Clinton township 
for over a century, the Hovis families having 
been among the first settlers there. Their pos- 
terity have ranked with the best citizens of 
this region. 

John Theodore Hofius (as the name was 
originally spelled), a native of Prussia and 
a minister of the Reformed Church, was the 
first of this line to come to America. Upon 
his arrival in Pennsylvania he settled in Bed- 
ford county, removing thence to Washington 
county and later to Mercer county, where in 
1800 he located near the borough of Sharps- 
ville, in Hickory township. He died there 
eight years later, at an advanced age. Some 
of the family in that county still write the 
name Hofius. In Washington county Rev. 
Mr. Hofius married Nancy Baker, who sur- 
vived him, dying in 1820 in Clinton township, 
Venango county, at the home of her son John. 
She was buried in the old graveyard on the 
Hoffman farm. Five children were born to 
this marriage, namely: George, who settled 
about 1800 in Hickory township, Mercer 
county; William, who settled in what is now 
West Virginia, near Wheeling; Ernest, men- 
tioned below, who located in Irwin township, 
Venango county, and had a number of de- 
scendants; Barbara, who married Henry 
Koonce, of Clarksville, Mercer county; and 
John, mentioned below. 

John Hovis, son of John Theodqre and 
Nancy (Baker) Hofius, and grandfather of 
Charles W. Hovis, was born in Washington 
county. Pa., and married Susanna Cog^in, of 
Bedford county. In 1799 he and his brother 
Ernest came from Westmoreland county and 
settled in Clinton township, Venango county, 
John Hovis building a log cabin on what is 
now the farm of T. C. Hovis and Ernest 
building a house near this farm, but later mov- 
ing to Irwin township, where he resided until 
his death, leaving many descendants. He was 
a stonemason, and eighty-three years ago 
helped to build the McKee stone house, re- 
ceiving as pay the sum o^ eighty-five cents per 
day. 

When John Hovis first came to Clinton 
township he brought all the goods he had on 
horseback, his wife riding the horse which 
carried the goods and he walking and carry- 



ing a gun, it being necessary in those days 
to have a gun. At that time they had one 
son, William, who with his father enlisted 
in the United States army in the war of 1812, 
the father being of record as serving in Cap- 
tain McManigal's Company, the 5th, of the 
i32d Regiment. They were stationed at Erie, 
and both came home after the war. John 
Hovis had a tract of four hundred acres in 
what is now Clinton township, Venango 
county, the part where he lived being lat^r 
occupied by his son David. His land was di- 
vided among his sons. He was one of the 
early constables of the township and well 
known in his day. John Hovis raised a fam- 
ily of seven sons and four daughters, namely : 
(i) William raised a family of seven chil- 
dren. (2) John, the second son, was justice 
of the peace for several years. He had a 
family of four, one son and three daughters : 
Eli, who died in 1917 in his ninety-fourth 
year; Mary Ann, who married Samuel B. 
Monjar and died aged ninety years; Milly, 
who married Patrick Sankey and died aged 
eighty years; and Susan, who married John 
Walters and died recently at the age of 
eighty-nine years. (3) Jacob, the next son, 
had a family of eight children, four of whom 
are living to-day: Clark, of near Clinton- 
ville; Albert, who is a Methodist minister 
stationed at Sheridan, N. Y.; Samuel, who 
still hves on the old farm; and Emily Eakin, 
of Butler county. Pa. (4) The fourth son of 
John Hovis was George, who raised a family 
of four children, none of whom are living. 
(S) Ernest, the fifth son, raised a family of 
seven children, the only survivor being John 
T. Hovis, of near Wesley. (6) Of Nicholas, 
the sixth son, we have no record. (7) David, 
the seventh son, is mentioned below. (8) 
Susan, daughter of John Hovis, married 
Philip Baker, and moved to the State of In- 
diana. Of this family we have no record. 
(9) Catherine, another daughter, married 
Benjamin R. Yard and raised a family of six 
children, one of whom is still living, Israel, 
of near Barkeyville. (10) Another daughter, 
Elizabeth, married William Campbell. (11) 
Sarah, the youngest daughter, married R. J. 
Canan, formerly treasurer of Venango 
county and later postmaster at Franklin, 
They raised a family of eight children, five 
of whom are living: Ed, of Lost Creek, W. 
Va. ; Robert C, of Franklin ; Frank, of But- 
ler; Ruth Reeves, of Franklin; and Lottie 
Kelly, of CHntonville. Mrs. Sarah Canan, 
the mother of these children, died in 1916 in 
her ninety-third year, the last survivor of the 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



children of John Hovis, whose living de- 
scendants now number nearly four hundred. 
Mrs. Susanna (Cogan) Hovis died in 1840. 

John Hovis was class leader in the Metho- 
dist Church for many years, and after his 
death was succeeded by his son Jacob, who 
was class leader for about fifty years and 
was succeeded by his son John T, Hovis in 
that capacity, the latter also servings many 
years. Most of the early Hovis family were 
Methodists, and their descendants generally 
have adhered to the same denomination, 
though John Hovis, son of William Hovis, 
was a preacher of the Church of God. When 
Grandfather John Hovis built his first log 
dwelling he had a prayer meeting instead of 
the house warming party which it was cus- 
tomary to give in those days when a family 
first moved into a new house. 

David Hovis, seventh son of John and 
Susanna (Cogan) Hovis, was bom in Qin- 
ton township March 18, 18 13, and always re- 
sided at his birthplace, becoming one of the 
prosperous and representative citizens of that 
neighborhood. He came into possession of 
187 acres of his father's farm, and improved 
it greatly both by intelligent cultivation and 
the erection of substantial buildings, the bam 
which he put up forty-one years ago still 
standing and in good condition. His house 
was replaced by the present residence eight- 
een years ago. The oil development was also 
started in his day, ten producing wells hav- 
ing been sunk during his lifetime. He was 
a man of energetic nature and interested in 
all that concerned his fellow men, participat- 
ing in local activities of all kinds. At one 
time he was captain of a militia company. 
All his life he was an ardent Democrat and 
kept well informed on public questions. For 
about sixty years he held membership in the 
M. E. Church and helped in all the depart- 
ments of its work, serving as steward and 
tmstee. 

In 1838 Mr. Hovis married Marjory J. 
Canan, daughter of James Canan, of Clinton 
township, and they were the parents of eleven 
children of whom two sons died in infancy 
and Laura at the age of six, the others being 
as follows: Charles W., John N. (deceased), 
William J. fan oil producer), Thomas C. (an 
oil producer), Lester A. (agent for the Tide- 
water Oil Company), Maria L. (who died 
at the age of seventy-two years), Mary G. 
(wife of John M. Baird, of Grove City) and 
Susan E. (wife of Charles H. Osborne, 
of Clinton ville). All the surviving sons re- 
side in Qintonville. L. A. Hovis has the dis- 



tinction of being the seventh son of a seventh 
son. The father died Feb. 17, 1894, the 
mother in July of the same year, and they are 
buried in the M. E. cemetery, where his 
mother is also interred. 

Charles W. Hovis was reared in the vicin- 
ity of Qintonville and educated in the locaJ 
schools, also attending the academy under the 
first principal, McLean Cross, and his imme- 
diate successors. When eighteen years old 
he began teaching, and followed the profes- 
sion several years, meantime taking a cwn- 
mercial course at DuflF's business coU^^e, 
Pittsburgh, from which he graduated in 1865. 
At the age of twenty-two he became a cleric 
in the county recorder's office in Franklin, 
being with James Shaw for a time; and he 
later clerked three years in the Franklin post 
office, under R. J. Canan. After that expe- 
rience he located near Parker's Landing and 
was engaged in the grocery business for a 
year, moving thence to Fairview, Pa., where 
he was employed as an oil pumper and fol- 
lowed the carpenter's trade. In 1877 he came 
to Clintonville and took a position as book- 
keeper with Hollister Brothers, during that 
period being honored with election to the of- 
fice of justice of the peace, and as such main- 
taining an office at Bullion for some time. 
He next went to Pittsburgh, passing four 
years in that city and vicinity, where he was 
engaged in the Westinghouse works, return- 
ing to Qintonville in 1895 and entering the 
contracting business, which he followed sev- 
eral years, principally as a rig builder. In 
1906 he received the appointment of post- 
master at Clintonville, holding the office dur- 
ing the next eight years, and he is now act- 
ing as assistant to the present incumbent. Miss 
Margaret L. McKee, looking after the office 
besides attending to his store. In 191 5 he 
was again elected justice of the peace. 

There are few local interests which have 
not felt the beneficial eflfects of Mr. Hovis's 
cooperation. He is a member and trustee of 
the M. E. Church, and was formerly quite 
active in the Prohibition party, but of late 
has united with the Republicans. County pol- 
itics have always held an important place 
among his concerns, and his familiar touch 
with all the aflFairs of the town and town- 
ship has made him very valuable as local 
correspondent of the Franklin Herald. He 
is affiliated with the Knights of the Golden 
Eagle at Pittsburgh. 

On Feb. 3. 1870, while engaged as a clerk 
in the Franklin post office, Mr. Hovis mar- 
ried Martha Frantz, of Butler countv. Pa., 



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who died in 1887. They had three children, 
all daughters: Lillian, the elder, married 
J. W. Hovis and died in 1897, leaving one 
daughter; Elda, Mrs. R. W. Locke, lives in 
Clintonville ; and Rose married F. H. Greer 
and resides in Franklin. There are eleven 
grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, 
Mrs. Greer having seven children, four sons 
and three daughters, two of whom are mar- 
ried: Hazel, the eldest, is married to R. E. 
Davis, of Oil City, and has three children, 
two sons an^ one daughter; Clare, the sec- 
ond daughter, married Burton Byers, of 
Franklin, and has a daughter one year old. 

WILLL\M A. NICHOLSON, M. D., son 
of Thomas and Mary Jane (Carver) Nichol- 
son, was bom March 17, 1850, at Pleasant 
Grove, Belmont Co., Ohio, and was reared in 
the adjoining county, Harrison, where he ac- 
quired his earlier education in the public 
schools of Harrisville. He completed his medi- 
cal studies in the University of Michigan, with 
the degree of M. D., March 29, 1871. On 
Jime 4, 1873, he removed to this county. Re- 
suming hb studies in October, 1875, at New 
York, he graduated from Bellevue Hospital 
Medical College March i, 1876, and interned 
in Mount Sinai Hospital as senior assistant on 
the house staff for one year. On May 6, 1886, 
he located permanently at Franklin. During 
the spring sessions of the Philadelphia Poly- 
clinic and College for Graduates, in 1886, 1890 
and 1895, he reviewed his studies in general 
medicine at that institution. He is a member 
of the Venango County, Pennsylvania State, 
and American Medical Societies. Dr. Nichol- 
son contributed the medical chapter for the 
history section of this work. 

On July 28, 1880, Dr. Nicholson was mar- 
ried to Jane, daug^hter of Richard arid Jane 
(Hare) Kennerdell. Her parents, of English 
and Irish birth, respectively, after a sojourn 
at Philadelphia removed, in the year 1852, to 
the valley two miles above the mouth of Big 
Scrubgrass, on lands purchased from David 
Phipps, where they established the Kennerdell 
Mills, consisting of a woolen factory, grist- 
mill, lumber-miff, general store and post office, 
and church and school. The several deceased 
members of the immediate familjr now rest in 
the Franklin cemetery ; of the living, Mrs. W. 
J. Welsh and Mrs. W. A. Nicholson are now 
residents of Franklin, Pa. Of the lineal and 
collateral representatives, Richard and Eliza- 
beth reside at Franklin, Edward and family at 
Qcveland, Ohio, and Mrs. G. W. Ketcham at 
Newark, New Jersey. 



THOMAS NESBIT (deceased) was a 
prominent resident of the borough of Utica, 
Venango county, for more than half a cen- 
tury, and in his business associations well 
known throughout this section, having for 
a number of years held the position of cashier 
in the Exchange Bank of Franklin, with 
which he was connected in one capacity or 
another for about twenty-five years. Mr. 
Nesbit was a man of determined nature and 
uncommon ability, and though he began life 
modestly he worked his way to an influential 
position among the important figures in local 
business circles it\ his time, as a financier ac- 
quiring a reputation for being able to handle 
his responsibilities to the best advantage, with- 
out going to extremes of either imprudence 
or unnecessary caution. His record through- 
out his career is one of honorable effort cou- 
pled with industrious application of his best 
talents to whatever he undertook. 

Mr. Nesbit was bom April 19, 1835, at 
Hubbard, Trumbull Co., Ohio, where the fam- 
ily remained for several years after his birth. 
His father, John Nesbit, was a native of 
Maryland, and married Anna Matthews, who 
was bom in Ireland, member of a Scotch-Irish 
family. They came to Venango county from 
Ohio in 1842, settling on Mill creek, in French 
Creek township, two miles southwest of Utica, 
where he farmed until his retirement, mov- 
ing then to the borough of Utica. He had 
also taught school after his arrival in this 
country. Mr. Nesbit died at Utica in 1871, 
his widow remaining there until her death, in 
1875. They were Presbyterians to the end of 
their lives. Of their three children, Thomas 
died first, and his sisters, Mrs. Frank Dunn 
and Mrs. Frank Crane, both also residents of 
Utica, are now also deceased. 

Thomas Nesbit was reared in French Creek 
township, and received an unusually good edu- 
cation for the time, beginning to teach school 
when seventeen years old. Until after he had 
attained his majority he continued to follow 
that profession, besides clerking and work- 
ing at intervals on the home farm, in the year 
1857 engaging in merchandising at Utica on 
his own account. The business was success- 
ful and grew to profitable proportions, and he 
retained his connection with it until 1885,. 
though he had not been active in the store 
from 1875 until he disposed of his interest. 
For several years before severing his associa- 
tion with his first enterprise he had been in- 
terested in the Utica flouring mills, which with 
his agricultural operations occupied the prin- 
cipal part of his attention for a number of 



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years. In 1880 he became a stockholder in 
the Exchange Bank of FrankHn, of which he 
was elected vice president in the middle 
eighties, serving in that capacity until he be- 
came cashier, in 1893, and holding the of- 
fice until he resigned it in 1905, because of 
failing health; however, he remained active 
in the management of the bank as one of lis 
board of directors until his death, and the 
family still retain his interest therein. Mr. 
Nesbit represented the Gas Company in his 
home town, and was a leader in local affairs 
always, giving liberally of his time and en- 
deavors to conserve the best interests of the 
public. All enterprises affecting the general 
welfare commanded his attention and his sup- 
port if worthy. For nine years or more he 
was a member of the school board, which he 
was serving as treasurer at the time of his 
death, and the schools were materially bene- 
fited by his progressive and intelligent activ- 
ity in their behalf. On political questions he 
was a Democrat, supporting the party faith- 
fully in national issues. Like his parents he 
was a Presbyterian in religious association 
and active in all branches of the church work, 
serving the congregation as elder and work- 
ing zealously in the Sunday school, where he 
taught a Bible class almost to the close of his 
life. All the church enterprises received his 
generous help. Mr. Nesbit was practically 
an invalid for about five years before his 
death, which was caused by heart failure, at 
his old home in Utica, Sept. 27, 1910. He is 
interred in Millcreek cemetery. 

By his first marriage, to Clara Leasher, Mr. 
Nesbit had two children, John L. and Clara, 
both residents of Franklin, the former now 
attorney for the Exchange Bank. He is men- 
tioned elsewhere in this work. Miss Clara 
Nesbit was for years bookkeeper in the Ex- 
change Bank with her father, and since his 
death has devoted herself to the affairs of 
the e3tate. Their mother died in 1876, and 
Mr. Nesbit subsequently married Effie B. Gal- 
lagher, who survives him with their only child, 
Ethel N.. now the wife of Dr. W. W. Shaf- 
fer, of Meadville, and mother of one son, 
Robert Nesbit Shaffer. Mrs. Nesbit continues 
to occupy the old place which has been known 
as the Nesbit home ever since John Nesbit 
moved to the borough from his farm. She 
IS one of the most esteemed residents of the 
community, a useful worker in the Presby- 
terian Church and Sunday school and active 
in other good works. Mrs. Nesbit was one 
of the original members of the Mothers' Pen- 
sion Board in Venango county, which has 



seven members, who meet once a month. Her 
work is in the western part of the coimty. 

HAYS. The Hays family, whose members 
have taken a prominent part in the development 
of Oakland township from the early settlement 
of that section, and now also represented in 
business circles in Oil City and elsewhere in 
Venango county, is of that rugged Scotch-Irish 
stock which formed so important an element 
in the colonization of Pennsylvania. Hugh 
Hays, its first ancestor of whom we have 
record, driven from Scotland in 1688 during 
the persecution of the Covenanters, was among 
those who sought refuge in the North of Ire- 
land, settling at Fannet, in County Donegal. 
He had four sons, Hugh, Robert, John and 
William, of whom Hugh's son Hugh came to 
America with his widowed mother at the in- 
stance of a relative. Captain Fowler, who at 
one time commanded the old fort at Franklin — 
probably about 1765. This Hugh Hays was 
the ancestor of Brigadier General Hays, who 
commanded the Pennsylvania troops at Gettys- 
burg and was killed at the battle of the Wilder- 
ness. It was about 1795 that Hugh's uncles, 
John and Robert, arrived at Greensburg, West- 
moreland Co., Pa., and within the next ten 
years, about 1803-04, they removed to Venango 
county, where they settled permanently. Com- 
ing to Franklin, they secured a tract of one 
thousand acres in Oakland township, trading 
soldier warrants for this land, and the part on 
which they made a home lay six miles west of 
the mouth of Oil creek and eight miles north 
of Franklin. Here the Hays family has been 
established ever since. At the time of their 
arrival the nearest neighbor, two miles distant, 
was Peter Dempsey, for whom Dempseytown 
was named. Robert Hays removed from here, 
finally settling at Louisville, Ky., one of his 
grandsons having been the late Will S. Hays, 
long connected with the Louisville Courier- 
Journal. The latter's son is a practicing physi- 
cian in Louisville at this writing. 

All of the children of John Hays were born 
to his first marriage, with Mary McNutt. His 
second marriage, which took place when he 
was past seventy, was to Martha Ramsey, and 
he lived to be over ninety; he is buried in the 
old cemetery at Franklin. His family con- 
sisted of three sons, Hugh, Greer and Robert. 
Hugh removing to Illinois when a young man 
and dying there. Greer and Robert each came 
into possession of half of the original thousand- 
acre tract. 

Greer Hays, son of John and Mary 
(McNutt) Hays, spent his life on the Hays 



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property, following agriculture all his days, and 
is buried at the old Seceder Church in that 
locality which he helped to establish and main- 
tain. His wife was Jennie McKnight, and 
their children were: William, John, Melissa, 
Ella, David, Mary Jane and Margaret. Of 
these, William, grandfather of Frank R. and 
Ora L. Hays, of Oil City, is mentioned below ; 
John removed to Brown county, Ohio, and his 
son Dr. Thomas Hays is now a member of the 
faculty of a Cincinnati Medical College; Me- 
lissa is the widow of Albert Crowther, and 
now makes her home with her son Professor 
Crowther, of Grove City (Pa.) College; Ella 
married James Foster, a farmer of Oakland 
township; Mary Jane married Moses Ward, 
who died at Dempseytown in 1874, and her 
four children are residents of Oil City, Dr. 
James Melvin Hays, R. Willis Hays (con- 
nected with the United Natural Gas Company), 
Minnie and Bertha, the last named a teacher 
in the high school. 

Robert Hays, brother of Greer Hays, mar- 
ried Mary McKnight (sister of Jennie, above), 
and continued to make his home on his part 
of the old farm, dying there in 1877, ^tt the 
age of seventy-seven years. He was a lumber- 
man and pilot on the Allegheny, Ohio and 
Mississippi rivers. He had two sons : William 
M. N. Hays, a civil engineer by profession and 
for many years a broker on the Oil City Oil 
Exchange, is still living in Oil City; David A. 
Hays, an attorney in Franklin for thirty years, 
was also prominent in the Democratic party, 
serving as county chairman, and died in Frank- 
lin. Neither of the brothers married. 

William Hays, eldest son of Greer Hays, 
lived and died on a farm in Oakland township, 
part of the original Hays holdings, three miles 
from Oil City. He was one of the early 
teachers in Vei^ngo county. He and his wife, 
whose maiden name was Beatty, reached ad- 
vanced age. Their daughter, Miss Ann Hays, 
is housekeeper for her youngest brother, S. C. 
Hays, principal of the Reno schools: another 
daughter is the wife of Ira Beatty, of Sharon. 
Pennsylvania. 

Hu€:h M. Hays, eldest son of William Hays, 
inherited a part of his father's farm and was 
engaged in general agriculture, making dair>'- 
in^ an important feature of his operations. He 
died there at the age of fifty-eight years, and 
his widow, Eleanor (Riddle), is still residing 
on the farm, which is now carried on by her son 
Harry. She, too, is a member of an early 
nioneer family of the county, her ^grandfather 
having been an early settler in Clinton town- 
ship, the Riddle homestead place being a mile 



east of the present borough of Clintonville. 
The Riddles are fully mentioned elsewhere in 
this work. Seven children were bom to Mr. 
and Mrs. Hugh M. Hays, pamely : Mertie, de- 
ceased, was the wife of William Hay, of Oil 
City ; Oscar, a graduate of Grove City College, 
is now a successful civil engineer, in the em- 
ploy of the City of New York, where he has 
charge of the construction of the new water- 
works system ; Ora L. and Frank R. are men- 
tioned below ; Harry lives at home, engaged in 
the operation of the farm; Clayton is estab- 
lished as an oculist in Chicago, Illinois ; Vincent 
enlisted as a student from Allegheny College 
in the medical corps of the United States Army, 
and is now serving in France or Belgiuni. 

Ora L. Hays was born July 4, 1880, on the 
paternal farm in Oakland township, and was 
educated in the public schools of that neighbor- 
hood and at Slippery Rock State Normal 
School. Since 1898 he has been at Oil City. 
He was engaged in the drafting department of 
the National Transit Company from that year 
until 1902, when he and his brother Frank 
started a plant on Main street for the retailing 
of milk and other dair>^ products, removing 
the next year to the location at the head of 
Center street where the business is now con- 
ducted. It was operated by Hays Brothers 
until a few years ago, when Frank R. Hays 
withdrew to give more attention to the bakery 
which he has since been running so success- 
fully, Ora L. Hays now being sole proprietor 
of the milk business. He has never engaged 
in the production of milk, handling the output 
of a number of producers from a wide local 
territory, and his trade has extended so that he 
now keeps three delivery wagons busy con- 
stantly. He and his brother still have large oil 
interests in common.- being among the partners 
of Jerome T. VanDresser, in the Clintonville 
oil fields in Venango county, one of the largest 
operators in the region. The Hays brothers 
have the controlling interest in an extensive 
lease at Clintonville, upon which about seventy 
wells are now in operation, with a much higher 
average of production than is usual in that 
territory. Twenty of these, sunk by them- 
selves, have yielded very satisfactorily, proving 
their good judgment in the selection of terri- 
tory. They also have holdings in the Breeds- 
town territory which are paying well, and have 
made profitable investments in Butler county 
coal properties which have amply justified 
faith in tbeir worth. The brothers are properly 
classed with the most enterprising young busi- 
ness men of Oil City, having made good in 
every undertaking upon which they have en- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



tered. They have progressed steadily by dint 
of commend^le diligence and thrift, and hon- 
orable business practices have won them the 
most creditable standing with their associates 
and patrons, the latter including a large per- 
centage of the residents of Oil City, who have 
had excellent opportunity to judge of their 
standards in the high class of goods and serv- 
ice rendered. 

In 1909 Ora L. Hays married Harriet M. 
Loots, daughter of W. H. Loots, of Oil City, 
former proprietor of the 'Tetroleum Hotel," 
now living retired. Mrs. Hays was reared and 
educated in Oil City. Mr. Hays is well known 
fraternally, being an Odd Fellow and a thirty- 
second-degree Mason. He belongs to the com- 
mandery at Oil City. His home is at No. 931 
West First street. 

Frank R. Hays was bom June 8, 1884, on 
the old family homestead a few miles west of. 
Oil City, in Oakland township, and spent his 
early life there, acquiring a good education in 
the local schools. In 1902 he left the farm 
and joined his brother Ora in Oil City, starting 
the milk products business which the latter still 
conducts, and which they operated for several 
years under the name of Hays Brothers. In 
1Q13 he purchased the Brundage bakery in Oil 
City, an old established place which has since 
been carried on by the Hays Baking Company, 
one of the partners being C. H. Turner, an 
expert baker, under whose direction personally 
a full line of first-class bakery goods is pro- 
duced. During: the five years of Mr. Hays' 
association with the business the trade has en- 
larged notably, including an extensive whole- 
sale patronag^e as well as select retail custom. 
Fifteen employes are regularly engaged. The 
management of the practical end of the* baking 
being in Mr. Turner's hands, Mr. Hays has 
.eriven a laree share of his attention to the oil in- 
terests which he and his brother have acquired, 
as previously noted. The brothers have well 
sustained the reputation of the Hays family 
for capacity and alertness in the care of their 
business concerns, in which they have been de- 
servedly prosperous. They are alive to the 
importance of details, attentive to everv phase 
of their various operations, and reliable in all 
their dealing^s with others, having the confi- 
dence of all who have occasion to do business? 
with them. In July, 1018, Frank R. Hays left 
for France, having offered his services as a 
Y. M. C. A. worker for the war. 

In 19 1 3 Frank R. Hays married Mildred 
Kams, daughter of S. D. Kams, a prominent 
business man of Franklin, this countv, men- 
tioned elsewhere. Like his brother Mr. Hays 



is an Odd Fellow and a thirty-second-degree 
Mason, having gone through both the York and 
Scottish Rites. His favorite outdoor recrea- 
tion is hunting, which he has indulged on vari- 
ous trips to the Maine woods and Canadian 
forests. 

HON. ABEL L. CONFER, of Oil City, 
has been one of the foremost citizens of 
V^enango county during the greater part of his 
residence here, which dates from 1870. In 
business circles and the administration of pub- 
lic affairs he has contributed his full share to 
the advancement of both city and county, and 
he holds a solid place among its most valued 
men on the record of his achievements. 

Mr. Confer was bom Dec. 10, 1844, on a 
farm near Akron, N. Y., son of John and 
Mary Caroline (Green) Confer. His father 
was bom at Lycoming, Lycoming .Co., Pa., 
where he liV^ed up to the age of thirteen years. 
For some time he was engaged in farmmg at 
Akron, N. Y., moving to Saginaw, Mich., 
when his son Abel was eight years old, and 
there establishing himself on a farm of eighty 
acres where he remained until his death, at 
the age of ninety-two. He is buried at New 
I^throp, Mich., with his wife, who passed 
away when eighty-six years old. She was a 
native of Plymouth, Mass., and a descendant 
of General Greene, the Revolutionary hero, 
being a daughter of Abel and Axie (Booth) 
Green ; her father was a farmer in Massachu- 
setts and New York State. Mr. and Mrs. 
John Confer had the following children: 
Nelson, Abel L., Erastus, John, Francis, Nor- 
man and Axie, the last named dying when 
seven years old and being buried at Akron, 
N. Y. The mother was a Baptist in religious 
connection. The father supported the Repub- 
lican party. He was of Dutch parentage. 

Abel L. Confer was eight years old when 
the family removed to the farm at Saginaw, 
Mich., then a newly settled part of the country, 
and remained there until after he reached the 
age of eleven. Though only a boy when the 
Civil war was being fought, he hired out as a 
teamster in the Northern army, being sent 
from New York by boat to Virginia, and en- 
countering a terrible storm en route. . Arriv- 
ing at Aqua Creek, Va., he was sent thence to 
the front, at Fredericksburg, remaining there 
a few months before his return to New York. 
Later he went to Akron, Ohio, where he en- 
tered the employ of the Atlantic & Great 
Western Railroad Company in the telegraph 
department, on the construction of a line to 
Dayton, Ohio. When that work was finished 



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he was sent to Meadville, Pa., as telegraph 
repairman, being so engaged for some time; 
and was subsequently appointed extra agent 
and operator on the line (Second Division), 
continuing a few years in that capacity. In 
1870 he was appointed agent of that road at 
Reno, Venango Co., Pa., and served as such 
until 1886. Meantime he had branched out 
into the refining business with W. H. Stevens, 
with whom he was interested in the Arctic Oil 
Works at Reno, and several months after he 
joined this enterprise he was given the choice 
of discontinuing his connection with it or giv- 
ing up his railroad position. He wisely de- 
cided to remain in the refining business, which 
has been his main interest since. With S. Y. 
Ramage and Fred Fisher, both of Oil City, 
he started the Mutual Oil Company (at 
Reno), after a year or two stUing out his in- 
terest therein to Mr. Ramage. Then he started 
to build the Empire Oil Works at Reno, ever 
since known as one of the principal refineries 
in this section, and which under his capable 
direction and mianagement has been a steady 
success from its inception. The business of 
refining, lubricating and illuminating oils has 
been expanded to such an extent that the 
original plant has had to be enlarged several 
times to meet new demands, the establishment 
now having capacity for handling from one 
hundred and twenty thousand to one hundred 
and fifty thousand barrels of crude oil yearly. 
A braiKrh of the business is maintained at 
Montreal, Canada, and the product is marketed 
not only all over the United States, but over 
a considerable portion of Canada and in for- 
eign countries. A trade of good proportions 
had been built up m Hamburg, Germany, at 
the time the war broke out, vrfiich of course 
has been discontinued, but the Paris (France) 
business is still kept up. Mr. Confer has kept 
personal control of the management of the 
Empire Works ever since they were founded, 
and their uninterrupted success is due entirely 
to his close supervision over all the details of 
manufacture and marketing, which he has 
studied assiduously. 

Mr. Confer has the faculty of keeping many 
interests going without neglecting any of them, 
as his participation in numerous activities out- 
side of business attests. While he had his 
home at Reno he served ten years on the 
sdhool board of Sugar Creek township, he 
and his colleague, Henry James, finding the 
schools there in primitive condition when they 
assumed office, disorganized, and without sys- 
tem. They set about to correct these defects 
in the most practical manner, succeeded in 



reorganizing them on an up-to-date basis and 
installed the first-class system now in opera- 
tion there, a fact highly appreciated by the 
citizens of the township. Mr. Confer was also 
postmaster at Reno for a nimiber of years. 
In 1892 he removed thence to Oil City, where 
he has been just as actively identified with the 
administration of public affairs, having served 
several years as councilman from the Fourth 
ward and from 1905 to 1908 as mayor. On 
political questions he is a Democrat. He is in 
hearty sympathy with all the interests of his 
fellow men, being a member of the National 
Security League, of the Oil City Chamber of 
Commerce, National Petroleum Association 
(to which he has belonged nearly fifteen 
years), Venango Club, Wanango Country Club 
(of which he is vice president) and Masonic 
fraternity, in which latter connection he holds 
membership in Petrolia Lodge, No. 363, F. & 
A. M., of Oil City; Oil City Chapter, R. A. 
M.; Talbot Commandery, No. 43, K. T., of 
Oil City, past commander, 1902-03; Pennsyl- 
vania Consistory, thirty-second degree, of 
Pittsburgh; and Zem Zem Temple, A. A. O. 
N. M. S., of Erie, Pa. He and his family are 
members of Trinity M. E. Church. 

On Nov. 15, 1870, Mr. Confer married 
Mary J. Boslough, of Meadville, Pa., daughter 
of John and Mary Boslough, and three chil- 
dren have been bom to this union ; Marguerite 
died in infancy; Mabel is the wife of E. W. 
Chase and has two children, Mary C. and 
Sarah W.; Gertrude A. is the wife of John 
Fox Means, of Oil City. Both of Mr. Conf er's 
sons-in-law are associated with him in the 
operation of the Empire Oil Works and Penn- 
sylvania Cooperage Company, the latter also a 
Reno concern of importance. 

FREDERICK ELMER HARSH is con- 
sidered one of the most enterprising spirits in 
Rouscville, his confidence in prevailing and 
future conditions there, as shown in his own 
operations, having been fully justified by their 
outcome, which has also benefited the borough 
appreciably. Mr. Harsh believes in making 
use of local opportunities, and in developing 
them to the utmost has proved to be thoroughly 
alive to their possibilities, with the courage to 
break away from old ideas to venture into un- 
tried fields. He has been well rewarded, both 
in the material sense and in the standing which 
his success has brought. 

Mr. Harsh was bom at Rouseville March 
28, 1870, and has spent all his life there. His 
education was acquired in the public schools, 
and he was little more than a boy when he 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



became connected with the business of oil pro- 
duction, which he has always continued, his 
operations at present being conducted on what 
was formerly the old John McClintock farm 
near Rouseville, now the property of the Rouse- 
ville Real Estate Company, Limited, and leased 
from that company. Here he has forty-five 
producing wells, yielding profitably, and his 
success as an oil producer is the outcome of 
long and varied experience, practically applied. 
Meantime he has also gone into other business 
activities with such gratifying results that it is 
safe to assume that he follows fundamental 
principles in his various activities. Owning 
about one acre in what is now the heart of 
Rouseville, he subdivided it for residence pur- 
poses. In facilitating his real estate transac- 
tions he formed the Rouseville Real Estate 
Company, Limited, of which he is secretary and 
treasurer, being associated with Isaac Ander- 
son, who is chairman of the company. He is 
also secretary and manager of the Stone Hill 
Water Company, which supplies water to the 
borough of Rouseville, D. J. Cavanaugh being 
president of this concern and S. N. Moyar 
treasurer. Mr. Harsh is well and favorably 
known, not only in his business connections but 
also personally, holding membership in Fra- 
ternal Lodge, No. 483, F. & A. M., of Rouse- 
ville, Venango Lodge of Perfection (fourteenth 
degree), Coudersport Consistory (thirty-second 
degree), and the Order of the Eastern Star, 
being a past patron of the last named. His 
wife is a past worthy matron. 

Mr. Harsh married Lulu Livingston, who is 
a graduate of Fredonia Institute, in Mercer 
county. Pa., and they have two daughters, 
Lucile R. and Dola A., both high school 
students at this writing. 

JAMES WINFIELD DORWORTH, M. 
D., has followed the medical profession in Oil 
City since 191 1, and has been notably success- 
ful, especially in the field of surgery. As 
student and practitioner Dr. Dorworth has 
made his own way, and is thoroughly entitled 
to the high reputation and influential position 
which he now enjoys. Born in Oil City March 
6, 1876, he is a son of the late James L. Dor- 
worth and grandson of Jonathan Dorworth, 
who came to this section in 1834 from Emaus, 
Lehigh Co., Pa., and settled in Richland town- 
ship, on north Richey run, near his wife's par- 
ents. Philip and Magdalena Knauss, the two 
families likely emigrating together. Mr. and 
Mrs. Knauss passed the rest of their lives in 
that township, where his death occurred in 
i86g, when he was aged eighty- three years. 



Their sons, one of whom was Samuel, reared 
families, but none of the name are now resid- 
ing in the county. They are one of the oldest 
families in Pennsylvania, Sebastian Knauss, the 
emigrant ancestor in this country, having been 
one of a colony which came from the Rhine 
Palatinate under the auspices of the Penns, 
about 1723. The old Moravian Church at their 
early home in Pennsylvania was built on his 
property, and still stands in a good state of 
preservation, a tablet marking the site of his 
Did home. 

Jonathan Dorworth cleared out a farm on 
Richey run and passed many of his active years 
in its cultivation, leaving it in 1866 to settle 
in Oil City, where he was subsequently engaged 
as a building contractor until his death, in 1877, 
at the age of seventy-three years. His only son 
to reach maturity was James L. Dorworth, who 
lost his life in the historic disaster of 1892 at 
Oil City, when but forty-five years old. He 
was a talented professional man, an educator 
and lawyer who had done noteworthy work in 
\'enango county, and his untimely death was 
regarded as a great loss to the community. He 
had prepared for teaching at the Edinboro 
(Pa.) Normal School, and taught at various 
points in Venango county, including Oil City, 
l)efore entering upon the practice of law, which 
he followed from 1884. His wife, Alice Gray 
(Thompson), of Clarion county. Pa., survives. 
There were three sons in their family of seven 
children. Hugh C, Charles F. and James Win- 
field. Charles F. Dorworth is an engineer, now 
in the West. 

Dr. Dorworth obtained his preliminary edu- 
cation in the Oil City public schools, and his 
father dying when he was a youth of sixteen 
he had to undertake his own support at that 
aere, besides helping his mother and two sisters. 
He beg^n with the modest salary of five dollars 
a week, as a bookkeeper for the National Tran- 
sit Company, and kept up his literary studies 
as opportunitv aflForded, eventually entering 
upon the study of medicine. After years of 
close devotion and self-denial he found it pos- 
sible to take a regular course in medicine, which 
he pursued at Pulte Medical College, Columbus. 
Ohio, now the medical department of the Ohio 
State University, of which institution five 
physicians now in practice at Oil City are 
graduates. He was graduated therefrom in 
IQTT, and while carrving on his studies there 
not only supported himself but also assisted 
his sister, who was attending Allesfhenv Col- 
leere. at MeadviHe, Pa., and who has been a 
teacher in Oil Citv for two years. Dr. Dor- 
worth opened an office at Oil City immediately 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



651 



after his graduation, and has been occupied 
with general practice ever since, giving a large 
share of his attention to surgical cases, which 
he has handled with marked success. He is an 
esteemed member of the Oil City Medical 
Society. 

Dr. Dorworth has been a devotee of athletics 
and outdoor recreations all his life, and takes 
much pleasure in his occasional outings on 
nearby streams or in the woods. While in 
college he maintained high standing for his 
track |>erformances, and won medals in long 
distance running. He is not married, making 
his home with his mother. Dr. Dorworth is 
associated with the Second Presbyterian 
Church. 

WILSON R. BARR (deceased), a resident 
of Oil City from 1871, was not only one of its 
successful men of business, but also rendered 
his fellow citizens distinctive service in civic 
affairs and the field of philanthropy, showing 
a liberal spirit and broad sympathy with the 
interests of the community. He held decided 
views on the responsibilities of citizenship, 
and never disregarded them in ordering his 
own concerns. 

Mr. Barr was of English parentage, born 
Oct. II, 1839, ^" Erie county, Pa., son of Wil- 
liam and Susan (Wasson) Barr, who settled 
at Erie when they came from England. Their 
family consisted of seven children : Elizabeth ; 
Washington, bom June 11, 1824; James, born 
Oct. II, 1827; Washington (2), bom April 
4. 1830; Lafayette, bom March 4, 1833; Wil- 
son R. ; and John, born Oct. i, 1842. 

Wilson R. Barr was very young when his 
father died, after which he moved with his 
brothers Washington, Lafayette and John to 
Girard, Pa., and later to Conneautville, Craw- 
ford Co., Pa., where he lived many years prior 
to his removal to Oil City. His early educa- 
tion was acquired in public schools at that 
place and Meadville, in the same county, and 
he took higher studies in the academy at Jef- 
ferson, Ohio. At the time of the gold excite- 
ment in Colorado he went West, but met with 
no success there and returned to Conneaut- 
ville. In 18(71 he came to Oil City, here in 
1873 founding the insurance business which he 
continued until his death, and now carried on 
by his son under the old name of W. R. Barr 
& Co. As resident agent for leading com- 
panies he built up a large patronage, and in 
connection with that, line handled real estate, 
many important local transactions passing 
through his hands. In 1880 he formed a part- 
nership with Dr. J. N. Bolard, a well known 



oil man, with whom he was engaged in the 
production of oil for about twenty-five years, 
with results which brought him considerable 
reputation, and he was a director of the Oil 
City Trust Company, becoming prominent in 
business circles. Mr. Barr served several 
terms in the city council, in whose delibera- 
tions he took an influential part. When the Oil 
City Hospital was organized in 1892 he be- 
came director, later succeeding J. R. Campbell 
as treasurer and serving as such until his 
death, which occurred July 12, 1912, at Van- 
couver, B. C, while he was on his way home 
from a pleasure trip to the Pacific coast. He 
is buried in Grove Hill cemeter>'. Mr. Barr 
affiliated with Petrolia Lodge, No. 363, F. & 
A. M. Following is a copy of the resolutions 
passed by the Oil City Hospital board at the 
time of his decease: 

Whereas, By the death of Wilson R. Barr on the 
12th day of July, 1912, the Oil City Hospital lost a 
zealous and devoted director, officer, and firm friend, 
his term of service beginning with the organization 
of the institution in 1^2 and only ceasing with his 
death, and 

Whereas, The Board of Directors desire to ex- 
press their appreciation of his work and service for 
the hospital; 

Resolved, That his earnest manner, his constant 
attendance at meetings of the board and of the cor- 
poration, his watchful care of its financial business, 
were invaluable and always regulated only by the 
demands of the hospital. 

That the Board of Directors appreciate highly his 
record and shall always hold his memory in high 
esteem. That we extend to his family our regret at 
his death and express our sympathy with them in 
their bereavement. 

That a copy of these resolutions be made and 
given to his family, and that they be recorded in 
the minutes of the meetings of the Board of Di- 
rectors. 

S. Y. Ramage, 
H. H. Rand, 
George N. Reed, 
R. D. McLouTH, 
Committee. 

On June 30, 1874, Mr. Barr was married 
to Jennie C. Harding, daughter of Dr.' Joseph 
Mayhew Harding, and they had one son, 
Joseph Wilson. 

Joseph Wilson Barr was born July i, 
1875, in Oil City, where he was reared, ob- 
taining his preparatory education in the pub- 
lic schools there. Graduating from the high 
school in 1892, he took a course at Amherst 
College, was graduated * from that institution 
in 1899 ^vith the degree of B. A., and after- 
ward studying law under Trax and Parker, 
attorneys, of Oil City, was admitted to the bar 
of Venango county. In 1900-01 he entered 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



the insurance business with his father, the 
firm later becoming W. R. Barr & Co., of 
which he is now senior member, having ad- 
mitted H. R. Klahr, of Oil .City, to partner- 
ship some time prior to his father's death. 
They serve an extensive clientele. As one of 
the firm of Eaton & Barr Mr. Barr is also 
successfully engaged in the production of oil 
with George W. Eaton. He is a director and 
treasurer of the Chamber of Commerce of Oil 
City ; succeeded his father as treasurer of the 
Oil City Hospital, and is still connected with 
the institution as vice president and chairman 
of the House committee; and holds member- 
ship in the Venango Club, Wanango Country 
Club, Oil City Boat Club, Masonic fraternity 
and Elks (Oil City Lodge, No. 343). He is a 
past master of Petrolia Lodge, No. 363, F. & 
A. M., of Oil City ; member of Oil City Chap- 
ter, R. A. M. ; Talbot Commandery, No. 44, 
Knights Templar ; Venango Lodge of Perfec- 
tion, fourteenth degree, Scottish Rite Masons ; 
and Syria Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of 
Pittsbui^h. While at Amherst Mr. Barr was 
a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fra- 
ternity, and he is a member of the Delta 
Kappa Epsilon Qub of New York. Though 
a Republican, Mr. Barr has been an ardent 
supporter of the administration in the present 
crisis, and has exerted himself strenuously in 
behalf of patriotic activities as a director of 
the National Security League of Oil City, and 
committeeman of the National Security 
League ; vice chairman of the Home Defense 
League; chairman of the committee on Mili- 
tary Aid of the Oil City Chapter, Red Cross; 
county director of the Boys' Working Re- 
serve, U. S. A., Department of Civilian Serv- 
ice and Labor of the Public Safety Commit- 
tee; and one of the "four-minute" speakers 
who^e services are at the command of the 
patriotic working forces. 

Mr. Barr married Florence L. Byles, daug^h- 
ter of Julius Byles, attorney, of Titusville, 
Pa. They have two children: Joseph Wil- 
son. Jr., bom Jan. 15, 1914, and Mary Vir- 
ginia, bom April 19, 191 5. Mr. Barr sup- 
ports the Episcopal Church, which he and his 
wnfe attend. 

CHARLES ADAM WAITZ. of Rouseville. 
superintendent of the oil properties of the J. 
W. Waitz Estate on the old Steele farm, is a 
brother of the late J. -W. Waitz and was asso- 
ciated with him for many vears, assuming his 
present responsibilities in February, 1902, and 
continuing in them after his brother's decease. 
Mr. Waitz was bom in October, 1864, at Al- 



bany, N. Y., and came to Rouseville in 1870 
with his parents, John and Louisa (Millitz) 
Waitz. 

John Waitz, the father, was bom about 1818 
in Saxony, Germany, where he grew up, com- 
ing to America in young manhood. In New 
York he met and married Louisa Millitz, who 
as a young girl left Hamburg, Germany, with 
a company, of persecuted Baptists from Mcck- 
lenburg-Schwerin, and landed at New York 
after a six weeks' voyage in a sailing vessel. 
The colonists were held over in New York for 
a number of weeks, and Mr. and Mrs. Waitz 
were married there meanwhile by Herr Von 
Putkamer, a minister in the Baptist company, 
which eventually went to Wisconsin, where a 
settlement was made. After their marriage 
Mr. and Mrs. Waitz went to Albany, N. Y., 
where they remained for a time, Mr. Waitz 
finding employment as a tank mechanic, and in 
1867 they removed thence to the Pennsylvania 
oil coimtry, locating at Oil City, where he en- 
gaged in the manufacture of oil tanks and 
barrels. Later they lived a short time in Erie, 
Pa., returning to Oil City in 1870, in the palmy 
days of the oil business, and settling at Rouse- 
ville, where he died in August, 1882, at the age 
of sixty- four years. His wife, Louisa (Mil- 
litz), born in October, 1835, died in January, 
1901, and both are buried in Grove Hill ceme- 
tery. They were Baptists in religious faith, 
and Mr. Waitz was a Republican in political 
opinion. Five children were bora to their mar- 
riage, namely : John William ; Louisa, wife of 
Austin Shanefelder, of Oil City, and mother 
of two children, Clarence and Austin (she is 
a member of the Episcopal Church) ; Charles 
Adam; Mary E., wife of Otto R. Mundt, of 
Oil City; and Daniel, who died on the Steele 
farm when thirty-one years old. 

Charles Adam Waitz was reared &t Rouse- 
ville, receiving his education in the local 
schools. He has always been employed in the 
oil industry, beginning that work in boyhood, 
and after he had acquired some experience de- 
cided to make a venture on his own account, 
buying a lease at Kennerdell which he operated 
successfully for some time. Later he sold it 
and purchased a lease at Pithole, in Allegheny 
township, which he has held ever since, having 
a profitable production there which he manages 
in connection with the oil holdings of his 
brother's estate on the old "Johnny Steele" 
farm at Rouseville, where he has been superin- 
tendent since Febmary, 1902. This is a very 
large production, and the business there, thanks 
to his control, went on without interruption 
after the death of J. W. Waitz. His success 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



653 



in its operation, as well as in the conduct of 
his individual holdings, has made him a place 
among the best known oil men in this section. 
He has been granted twelve United States pat- 
ents pertaining to oil wells. He has an exten- 
sive acquaintance in the local fraternal bodies, 
holding membership in Fraternal Lodge, F. & 
A. M., of Rouseville; the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows, and the B. P. O. Elks at Oil 
Gty. 

Mr. Waitz was married to Minnie Wratten, 
dai^ter of George Wratten, a prominent resi- 
dent of Complanter township, in the vicinity 
of Rouseville, and they are the parents of three 
children: Howard C., Mabel and Warren W. 
Mrs. Waitz and the children are members of 
the Episcopal Church at Oil City. 

THOMAS J. WRIGHT, of Oil City, known 
in his own community and all over the couirty 
for his substantial qualities, has led a busy and 
fruitful life, and while gaining a favorable po- 
sition for himself has done his share toward 
performing a similar service in the interest of 
the general welfare. Mr. Wright has prospered 
in business by well directed attention to his ma- 
terial affairs, but he has been neither unmind- 
ful nor neglectful of the other desirable things 
in life, and his creditable standing in all its re- 
lations is well merited. His home has been in 
Oil City since 1865, in which year his parents 
settled there after a number of years' residence 
at Lockport, N. Y. John Harrison Wright, his 
father, was a native of the County of Aber- 
deen, Scotland, and came to America some time 
before the Civil war, settling at Mud Creek, 
N. Y., in the vicinity of Lockport. He took 
contracts for railroad work, following this 
business successfully for many years. Remov- 
ing to Oil City in 1865, the remainder of his 
life was spent here, his death occurring at Oil 
City when he was ninety-two years old. He is 
buried there. His family consisted of six chil- 
dren, viz. : John, who served in the Civil war 
in Company A, i6ist Regiment, Pennsylvania 
Cavalry, and died while in the service, in 1863 ; 
William H., who seryed in the same command 
as his brother, from 1863 until the close of the 
war, now a resident of Oil City ; Sarah, wife of 
David James, of Oil City; Mary, wife of 
Myron Lytle, of Oil City; Joseph E., also of 
Oil City ; and Thomas J. 

Thomas J. Wright was bom in 1862 at Lock- 
port, N. Y., and was reared and educated in 
Oil City. His early occupation was in the line 
of painting and house decorating, in which he 
was engaged for many years, doing business on 
his own account and having a well stocked 



store on Seneca street, where the Pennsylvania 
freight house now stands. He handled large 
quantities of wallpaper and paints, selling con- 
siderable merchandise of that character besides 
what he used in his contracts. In 1900 Mr. 
Wright sold out all his interest in this business, 
turning all his time and energies to the produc- 
tion of oil, which has since occupied him thor- 
oughly and profitably. His individual holdings 
are all in Venango county and entirely under 
' his personal control, but be has valuable inter- 
ests in a number of operations in other oil 
fields. In the course of his business activities, 
which have included investments in real estate 
and mercantile enterprises, he has made many 
personal friendships which he prizes highly. 
He has always been active in church work. 

Mr. Wright's home is at No. 810 West First 
street, Oil City. He married May Williams, 
who was bom on the famous oil property 
known as the Rynd Farm in Venango county, 
daughter of Myron W. WilHams, a native of 
Port Byron, N. Y., who settled there upon his 
removal to this region. Mrs. Wright died 
May 15, 19 1 7, survived by her husband and one 
child, Donald T. 

Donald T. Wright was born in Oil City 
Jan. 6, 1894, and acquired his preliminary edu- 
cation in the public schools there, later becom- 
ing a student in Allegheny College, at Mead- 
ville, Pa. For some time he was a newspaper 
man at Oil City, but he is at present engaged 
with that branch of the Council of National 
Defense having charge of the Inland Water 
Courses, having made a special study of river 
improvements throughout his mature years. 
He served four years as president of the Alle- 
gheny River Improvement Association, and is 
now vice president of that organization, in 
whose interest he has worked whole-heartedly, 
believing that the attainment of its objects will 
be an important feature of the future good of 
this region. Mr. Wright lives with his father 
in Oil City, where he is well known in his 
various associations. He is a member of Pet- 
rolia Lodge, No. 363, F. & A. M., and like his 
parents holds membership in the M. E. 
Church, in whose work they have all taken an 
active part. 

GEORGE WASHINGTON DILLE, M. 
D., Cooperstown, was his father's professional 
successor in this section of Venango county, 
where as medical practitioners they have been 
serving the people of the community in turn 
since 1856— a period of over sixty years. 
Standing high in the confidence of their patrons 
and equally well in the other associations of 



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VEXANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



life, the Dilles have a record of skill as physi- 
cians and usefulness in every relation in which 
the family may well take pride. They came 
here from Ohio, and the father, Dr. James 
Madison Dille, was a son of General Dille, a 
veteran of the war of 1812. The General was 
killed by a train, in Ohio. 

James Madison Dille was bom in 1822 in 
Lake county, Ohio, and was reared and edu- 
cated in his native State, graduating from the 
Starling Medical College in 1845. He came 
to Venango county, Pa., in 1850, settling at 
Cooperstown, in Jackson township, and not 
only made a reputation as a first-class general 
practitioner but was also a leader in all the 
other activities of the profession. His thor- 
oughly progressive spirit never abated, even 
in old age, for he had more time then to keep 
up with the advances made in his calling and 
enjoyed doing so. He was a charter member 
of the Venango County Medical Society and 
served that organization officially ; was the first 
pension examining surgeon in the county and 
held that position until the board was organ- 
ized; and he led the typical active life of. the 
old-time country doctor, taking long rides on 
horseback to reach many of his patients and 
never refusing them any attention because of 
the personal discomfort to himself. Event- 
ually he retired because of advancing age, and 
he died July 17, 1881;. Dr. Dille married Han- 
nah Axtell, daughter of Dr. Samuel Axtell, of 
Mercer county, Pa., who survived him exactly 
twenty-two years, passing away July 17, 1907, 
when past eighty years old. Dr. and Mrs. 
Dille were associated with the Presbyterian 
Church. Their family consisted of five sons 
and four daughters : George Washington ; 
Samuel L., who was a merchant at Omaha, 
Nebr., during his active years, now living re- 
tired in that city ; Ann Eliza, widow of Thomas 
S. Minium, of Cooperstown, an undertaker, 
who died two years ago ; Abijah L., who lives 
in Omaha, Nebr. ; Alice, who marriecj Samuel 
Glenn, of Erie, and died at home ; James Madi- 
son, who is engaged in telegraph work in 
Omaha ; Ella, who died when a young' girl : 
Leona P., who married William Rounds, of 
Crawford county ; and Thomas Jeflferson, who 
followed teaching and died in young manhood. 

George Washington Dille was bSrn Jan. i, 
184Q, at Mentor, I^ke Co.. Ohio, and has lived 
at Cooperstown from childhood. His literary 
education was acquired in the local schools and 
at Allegheny College, and after taking: a year's 
course in pharmacy at Ann Arbor, Mich., he 
became associated with his father, with whom 
he was engaged for five years. He then at- 



tended the University of Pennsylvania, at 
Philadelphia, where he studied until obliged to 
return home because of his father's illness, to 
take care of the practice, but he was not satis- 
fied without a diploma, so he entered the 
Western Reserve University at Cleveland, 
Ohio, from which he was graduated in 1872. 
He has been highly successful in practice, hold- 
ing an honorable place among his fellow prac- 
titioners, having been very prominent in the 
County Medical Society, of which he was vice 
president in 1878; president in 1881, and censor 
in 1882. He has also been an active member 
of the Pennsylvania State Medical Society and 
the American Medical Association. His public 
services have been notable, partly professional, 
as his nine years of service in the capacity of 
surgeon with the National Guard, to which he 
belonged for sixteen years; he has done duty 
in strikes and on other occasions. For twenty- 
one years in succession he has been a member 
of the Cooperstown borough school board, 
being secretary of that body for eighteen years 
and public-spirited in the performance of his 
duties. 

On Oct. 18, 1905, Dr. Dille married Cora J, 
Maitland, daughter of William A. and Anna 
N. (Echelberger) Maitland, the former now a 
resident of Franklin. Mrs. Dille taught for 
sixteen years before her marriage, in Clarion 
and Venango counties. They have no family. 
Dr. and Mrs. Dille reside in Cooperstown. 

STEPHEN VANDERLINE SEATON, 
for twenty-five years prior to his death head 
of the firm of S. V. Seaton & Sons, leading 
general merchants of Oil City, had before his 
removal to that place been a well known busi- 
ness man in and about Franklin, Venango 
county, in which vicinity he resided for almost 
forty-five years. 

Mr. Seaton was a native of Butler county. 
Pa., born March 18, 1839, near Murrinsvtlle, 
son of John and Jane Seaton, who moved to 
Franklin when he was four years old. Of 
their children one son and two daughters 
outlived Stephen V., namely: Walker, of 
Franklin ; Mrs. Sarah A. Brashear, of Harris- 
burg, Pa., and Mrs. Abbie Fowler, of Tulsa, 
Okla. Stephen V. Seaton was reared and 
educated at Franklin, and as a youth learned 
the trade of wagonmaker, which he followed 
at that place for some time, being only a young 
man, however, when he entered the oil in- 
dustry as a producer. He continued in the 
latter line most of the time until he came in 
1888 to Oil City, where he ever afterward had 
his home and business interests. His oil wells 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



655 



were below Franklin, at what was known as 
the Cochran Flats. His sons William H. and 
Charles W. Seaton having started a small gen- 
eral store at Oil City, under the name of W. 
H. & C. W. Seaton, he joined them and the^ 
firm style was changed to S. V. Seaton & Sons. 
Evidently Mr. Seaton had not exhausted his 
business resources in the oil fields, for the 
growth of the trade at Oil City brought the 
Seaton store into first place within a few years. 
In fact it was spoken of in 1896 as the largest 
general store in the city, and at that time was 
being conducted by Mr. Seaton and his son 
Charles as S. V. Seaton & Son, with the flatter- 
ing comment that '*this firm is sometimes styled 
the Wanamaker of Oil City." The establish- 
ment was known for its complete stock and 
competent service, as well as reasonable prices, 
a combination of good points which recom- 
mended it highly to the buying public in and 
around Oil City. Harry B. Seaton, a younger 
son of S. V. Seaton, is now sole proprietor. 
A general line of groceries and dry goods is 
kept in stock, as has long been the custom, 
and the business has commodious quarters, 
there being one room thirty by one hundred 
and seventy feet in dimensions, with another 
twenty by sixty. 

Wherever he lived Stephen V. Seaton was 
known as a good citizen. At Oil City he served 
two terms as councilman from the Fifth ward, 
and he was long a leading member of Grace 
M. E. Church, which he served a number of 
years as trustee and treasurer, and as a mem- 
ber of the official board at the time of his 
death. Politically he was a Republican. 

On Feb. 29, i860, Mr. Seaton married Lizzie 
A. Hultz, of Hubbard, Ohio, who died Jan. 
22, 1895, survived by three children: Charles 
W., of Oil City, who married Emma L. 
Hughes and has one child, Wesley Hughes; 
Alice, who became Mrs. Edwards, and died 
June 15, 1917; and Harry B., twin of Alice. 
The eldest, William H., who died in November, 
1 891, married Alice L. Cummings. The 
mother is buried in the Franklin cemetery. On 
Aug. I, 1900, Mr. Seaton married (second) 
Rose Frost, a native of Oil City, daughter of 
David Frost, and she survives him with their 
only child, Gerald Stephen, now a student in 
high school. Mr. Seaton died April 5, 1916, 
at his home in Oil City, No. 515 East Second 
street, after several weeks' illness, and was 
buried in the Franklin cemetery. 

Harry B. Se.\ton was bom Dec. i, 1881, 
at Franklin, Venango Co., Pa., and was a child 
when the family settled at Oil City, where he 
acquired his education in the public schools. 



finishing at the high school. His business 
training was gained in association with his 
father and brother in the Seaton store at Oil 
City, to which all of his active career has been 
devoted. The establishment has been main- 
tained up to a high standard in his hands, a 
substantial witness to his progressive disposi- 
tion and energetic management. Like his 
father he keeps in touch with the general life 
of the community in activities outside of busi- 
ness, having served as a Republican on the 
election board; holding membership in Latonia 
Lodge, No. 1018, I. O. O. F.; and in Grace 
M. E. Church, where he was head usher for 
several years. For nine years he was a private 
in Company D, of the old i6th Pennsylvania 
Regiment, National Guard, and served during 
the coal strike at "Mount Carmel. 

Mr. Seaton married Ruth A. Henne, and 
they have one child. Jack, who was born in 
Oil City July 20, 1916. 

John A. Henne, father of Mrs. Seaton, is 
a resident of Oil City, and engaged in the 
production of oil in Ohio. He married Hettie 
Rosenberry, by whom he has four children, 
Charles A., Lester, Ruth A. (Mrs. Seaton) 
and Ora. They attend Grace M. E. Church, 
and Mr. Henne is a Republican on political 
questions. 

CHARLES F. WURSTER, late of Oil City, 
was a successful oil producer during the 
greater part of his residence here and also 
associated with other important business in- 
terests, holding a substantial position among 
his contemporaries. His widow still has her 
home in Oil City, where they came to reside 
in the year 1872. Mr. and Mrs. Wurster were 
born in Wurtemberg, Germany, and there he 
spent his early life, receiving the thorough 
practical training usually given to the youth 
in that country. In August, 1868, he came to 
the United States, to investigate for himself 
the promises America held for ambitious 
workers, and locating in BuflFalo, N. Y., was 
engaged in brewery work there for the next 
three years. Then he returned to his native 
land for a short stay, coming back to this 
country in a few months with his bride and 
establishing himself in 1872 at Oil City, Pa., 
where he ever afterward made his home. Here 
he was first occupied at his old calling, conduct- 
ing a brewery for about six years, but he did 
not like the business and as soon as possible 
gave it up and turned to the greater attractions 
of oil producing, in which he became heavily 
interested, continuing in that line during the 
remainder of his life. His talent for business 



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and good management brought him ample re- 
wards, and he was well known in this section 
of the State, where all of his operations were 
carried on. He was a member of the Oil 
City Oil Exchange and a stockholder in the 
Oil City Trust Company, serving as a mem- 
ber of its board of directors until ill health 
made it n^essary for him to relinquish some 
of his responsibilities ; was one of the original 
stockholders in thq Tube works and in the 
organ and desk factory, and one of the early 
producers in the Bradford oil fields. His 
death occurred March i, 1901. Mr. Wurster 
was a well known member of the Masonic fra- 
ternity in this locality, affiliating with Petrolia 
Lodge, No- 363, F. & A. M. ^ Oil City Chapter, 
No. 236, R. A. M. ; and Talbot Commandery, 
No. 43, K. T., of Oil City. In religious associa- 
tion he was a member of the Good Hope 
Lutheran Church. 

Mr. Wurster married Christine Knoell, who 
was a daughter of John Knoell, and reared in 
the same neighborhood as himself, being one 
of his schoolmates. She was twenty years 
old when she accompanied him to America. 
Mr. and Mrs. Wurster became the parents 
of seven children, five of whom survive, 
namely: Charles H., who is a resident of Oil 
City, and engaged in business as an oil pro- 
ducer; Nana, wife of Harry Leeper, and liv- 
ing in Ohio: Emma, wife of R. K. Andrus, 
of Columbus, Ohio; Amelia Pauline, who 
lives with her mother ; and Ida Marie, wife of 
Herbert W. White, of Oil City. Mrs. Wurs- 
ter is one of the most highly esteemed resi- 
dents of the city, she and her husband shar- 
ing the respect and goodwill of a large circle 
of friends here. 

AMOS P. DALE (deceased) was a pioneer 
resident of Oil City and from the time of his 
settlement there a man whose public spirit and 
genuine interest in the welfare of the place 
were apparent to all who had relations With 
him. As merchant, financier, and in other busi- 
ness connections he was one of the most ener- 
getic figures in the material activities of the 
community, of which he was an able promoter. 
But he was no less zealous or capable in the 
establishment of good government and social 
order, the encouragement of the higher objects 
of life in others and their exemplification in 
his own career, which was balanced by a variety 
of interests well chosen to round out a useful 
existence. His part in the life of the com- 
munity had a definite value in its advancement. 

Mr. Dale was bom March 3, 1839, ^" Clarion 
county, Pa., and this branch of the family has 



been in Venango county since the fifties. His 
grandfather lived and died in eastern Pennsyl- 
vania, and we have record of three of his chil- 
dren, David, Philip and Daniel. Of these, 
David Dale, bom Sept. 11, 1810, in Westmore- 
land county, Pa., was an early settler in Clarion 
county, where he farmed and lumbered. In 
1857 he removed to Venango county, making 
his home in what is now Rockland township, 
where he passed the remainder of his life. He 
was one of the first to seek for oil in that 
region, drilling by the spring pole method then 
in general use, and his enterprise and thrift 
brought him prosperity, though he only lived to 
middle age. On Oct. 23, 1832, Mr. Dale mar- 
ried Catherine Henlen, who was bom Feb. 27^ 
1 81 2, and survived him, his death occurring 
April 8, 1862, hers on Oct. 18, 1881. They 
had a large family, namely: Margaret Ann, 
bom Sept. 5, 1833, married Henry Washington 
Shaffer, mention of whom is made elsewhere 
in this work; Joseph King, bom Jan. 22, 1835, 
was a farmer and oil driller, married Susan 
Shafer, and died in September, 1916, in Frank- 
lin ; Luenda, born Jan. 20, 1837, married C. C. 
Shaner, and is now living in the State of Mon- 
tana; Amos P. is next in the family; Hiram 
Miles, bom June 3, 1841, is mentioned else- 
where in this work; Christian C, born Aug. 
14, 1843, >s living at Phimer, Venango Co., 
Pa.; Xancy P., bom May 17, 1846, was the 
wife of John Bartlett, and died May i, 1908; 
Magdalena A., born Nov. 4, 1847, died June 
5, 1852: David Isaiah, bom March 18, 1849, 
now a resident of Toledo, Ohio, was formerly 
in business at Franklin with George Maloney 
under the firm name of Maloney & Co. ; Levi 
H.. born Oct. i, 1850, died in 191 5 at Reno, 
\'enango county ; Rev. Wesley W., born March 
10, 1853, for niany years a Methodist minis- 
ter, retired in 191 7 and is now living in Cran- 
berry township, this county; Malinda Clara, 
born Dec. 9, 1855, is the wife of W. L Reed, 
a hardware merchant of Franklin. 

Amos P. Dale was reared and educated in 
his native county, and was a young man when 
he settled at Oil City in the fall of 1864, at 
which time the town was only a small settle- 
ment, containing a few houses. For a short 
time after his arrival he was engaged in team- 
ing, but business prospects looked good and 
he had confidence enough in himseH and the 
outlook to enter the general merchandise trade 
on his own account, meeting with such suc- 
cess that it was his principal interest for many 
vears. He built up a large patronage, his store 
being one of the important trading centers of 
the city and surrounding territory, and as he 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYL\'ANIA 



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systematized the requirements of that business 
he gave more and more attention to other in- 
terests, having found a number of desirable 
opportunities for investments in local enter- 
prise and property. He was one of the early 
operators in oil, producing quite extensively at 
one time, and opened up the Gypsy and Red 
\'alley districts in this section, subsequently 
acquiring other valuable leases, and retaining 
his interests in oil lands until his death. Mr. 
Dale was keenly alive to the importance of 
sound financial institutions and their relation 
to the local business situation, and held a solid 
place among the able financiers of the city, for 
a time in his capacity as president of the Oil 
City National Bank, and after his resignation 
from that position as a director of the Oil City 
Trust Company. His real estate holdings were 
extensive and valuable. 

Mr. Dale was never too engrossed with the 
cares of business to spare time for those things 
which interested all of his fellow citizens, and 
shared the responsibilities of the local govern- 
ment and other activities, serving as a member 
of the council. His unofficial influence in 
municipal matters was equally potent, and used 
with good effect. He died March 12, 1908, at 
his home on the south side of Oil City, the 
fine residence at No. 119 East First street 
which he built in 1895 ^"^ which his widow 
still occupies. At the time of his death he was 
serving as a trustee of Grace M. E. Church. 

In 1862 Mr. Dale married Elizabeth Hetzler, 
and they became the parents of seven children, 
namely: (i) Maurice J. Dale continued his 
father's mercantile busmess for a time, but 
sold out in 1917 and is now giving all his atten- 
tion to the production of oil. He makes his 
home in Oil City. By his first marriage, to 
Carrie Miller, he had two children, Clarence 
(deceased) and Eva M. (now the wife of Capt. 
A. D. Cameron, of the Signal Corps and with 
the American army in France) ; to his present 
union, with Catherine Moynahan, has been 
bom one son, Robert. (2) Henry L. Dale, of 
Oil City, engaged in business as an oil producer, 
married Alice White and has one daughter, 
Mabel E., wife of William Creed. (3) Carrie 
M. is the widow of Jay Chapman. (4) David 
O. Dale, of Oil City, married Mildred Arrow- 
smith and has one child, Charles O. (5) James 
V. Dale, of Oil City, is also engaged in the 
production of oil; he is unmarried. (6) 
Charles O. Dale, who holds a position with the 
Magnolia Oil Company in Texas, married 
Lerona Rickard and has one daughter, Rennie 
Elizabeth. (7) Lloyd A. Dale and his wife, 
Mabel (Fitzpatrick), are both deceased. 

42 



JAMES BUCHANAN PEEBLES, one of 
the prominent citizens of Cherrytree township, 
a well-to-do land owner and oil operator, and 
standing high in the good opinion of all be- 
cause of his capable public services, is a mem- 
ber ojE one of the old and esteemed families 
of that locality, whose founder, James Peebles, 
came there some eighty years ago. 

James Peebles was bom in May, 1800, in 
County Tyrone, Ireland, where his father was 
a very extensive farmer, owning an entire 
township. He was educated at Baregh, his 
native town, and grew up on a farm, remain- 
ing at his early home until twenty-five years 
old, when he married Margaret Orr, whose 
father was a second cousin of President 
Buchanan. She was born Feb. 22, 1807. The 
young couple left Ireland shortly after their 
marriage, crossing the Atlantic and locating 
at St. John, New Brunswick, where he was 
employed at shipbuilding for two years. In 
1827 they removed to Philadelphia, Pa., 
whence after a short stay they made another 
change, to Juniata county. Pa., settling in 
what is now part of Mifflin county, where Mr. 
Peebles purchased one hundred acres of land. 
This was their home for several years, until 
their removal to Venango county in 1837. 
The family located on a tract of two hun- 
dred acres in Plum township, which was pur- 
chased from Samuel Dale, of Franklin, and 
Mr. Peebles proved well adapted to meet the 
agricultural conditions of this district, pros- 
pering so well that he continued to buy lands 
adjoining until he owned one thousand acres. 
When he retired from farming, in 1869, he 
moved into the town of Wallaceville, near by, 
where he owned the greater part of the valu- 
able property, and there he died July 25, 1881. 
His widow passed away Aug. 30, 1886. They 
celebrated their golden wedding in 1875. Of 
the ten children born to them, five sons and 
five daughters, all the sons became farmers 
and settled on their father's land, (i) Rob- 
ert, bom Feb. 23, 1826, in New Brunswick, 
settled on a farm in Cherrytree township 
known as the Heydrick tract in the fall of 
1850! In 1849 ^c married Mary Breed, 
daughter of John Breed, of Breedtown, and 
she died in' 1870, the mother of ten children, 
John B., Margaret (Mrs. David E. Landas), 
James O., Jennie (Mrs. Archibald Mack), 
Robert R., William Stewart, Benjamin W., 
Franklin E., Albert and George. In 1874 he 
married (second) Mrs. Caroline (Thomas) 
Ketner, daughter of John Thomas, of Mif- 
flin county. (2) Stewart C. is mentioned be- 
low. (3) Anna Belle married Jesse Alcorn, 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



of Cherrytree township. (4) William O. died 
in February, i88g. He married three times, 
his wives being Mary A. Van Dresser, Tabi- 
tha Ritchey and Mattie Pastorius, respec- 
tively, and had six children : Two by the first 
union — Ella (Mrs. Jacob Young, of Roches- 
ter, N. Y.) and James Nelson; and four by 
the second — Mrs. Edwin M. Thomas, John 
S., Gaylord O, and Clayton J. (5) Cath- 
erine married John Pastorius, of Crawford 
county. (6) James L., born March 9, 1837, 
on the farm where he always lived, owning 
160 acres of his father's old property, was 
married May 31, 1870, to Mary E. Greene, 
who was born Oct. 19, 1843, daughter of 
Thomas Greene, of Plum township. They 
had four children, Thomas V., Wert L., Sylvia 
M. and Nellie M. He was an Odd Fellow, 
belonging to Dempseytown Lodge. (7) John 
M., born April 15, 1840, is mentioned else- 
where, in the sketch of his son Jesse A. 
Peebles. (8) Ellen married William R. Mc- 
intosh, of Jackson township. (9) Mary mar- 
ried Dr. Charles Van Sickle. (10) Martha 
O. married R. O. Carson, of Forest county. 
The father and all the sons were Democrats 
politically. He was a Presbyterian in religious 
oelief. 

Stewart C. Peebles was born March i, 1828, 
in Juniata county, Pa., and lived in Plum 
township, Venango county, from the time 
the family settled there in 1837. His edu- 
cational opportunities in the new home were 
naturally limited, but he was a man of ex- 
ceptional enterprise and ability, and became 
one of the most successful residents of the 
township in his day. Though engaged in va- 
rious lines of business at different times, as 
a real estate dealer in Titusville, and to some 
extent in the production of oil, the bulk of 
his accumulations was acquired by his opera- 
tions in agriculture and stock. His energy 
was untiring, and his judgment in regard to 
stock conceded by all to be authoritative, while 
his word in all transactions was unquestioned. 
After several years of trading, buying and 
selling property at Titusville, as well as build- 
ing, there was a change in conditions which 
left him with considerable property on his 
hands which he had to carry for several years 
before he could realize on it. His oil ven- 
tures were not notably profitable, but his ex- 
tensive farming interests, about the largest 
in the vicinity, always paid well, and he ac- 
quired over three hundred acres of land. The 
year of his marriage, 1854, he settled at the 
farm where his son, James B. Peebles, is 
now living, in Cherrytree township, six miles 



south of Titusville, then a tract of 160 acres. 
In 1868 he removed to an adjoining place of 
200 acres, where the work of clearmg and 
improving was prosecuted vigorously, this be- 
ing the property now owned by Port W. Ful- 
mer, and at present including a small part 
of the 160-acre tract. All the buildings there- 
on were rebuilt by Stewart C. Peebles forty 
years ago. He was a popular official for a 
number of years, filling many of the town- 
ship offices creditably, and he was an es- 
teemed worker in the church, which he at- 
tended with his family. 

In 1854 Mr. Peebles married Margaret D. 
Alcorn, and six children were bom to them: 
Margaret Jane married H. B. Miles, of Cher- 
r3^ree township, and had five children, Charles 
S., Harry T., Moble D., Maude E. and Mil- 
lie O. ; James Buchanan is mentioned below; 
Andrew T., Mary E., Martha O. (Mrs. H. D. 
Carter, of Sugar Creek township, this county) 
and Robert L. complete the family. Stewart 
C. Peebles died Aug. 13, 1898, his wife April 
8, 1908. 

James Buchanan Peebles was born at the 
site of his present home in Cherrytree town- 
ship March 9, 1857, a few days after the in- 
auguration of President Buchanan. His early 
life was spent there and on the adjoining farm 
to which his parents removed in 1868, his 
education being obtained in the public schools 
of the neighborhood. From youth he assisted 
with the agricultural work, to which he was 
thoroughly trained by his competent father. 
Now he owns the larger part of his father's 
160-acre tract, and has also purchased part 
of the George Strawbridge farm adjoining, 
having about 175 acres in his home place, be- 
sides a 140-acre farm a half mile distant. 
Though not as extensively engaged in farm- 
ing as his father was, he has continued agri- 
cultural operations systematically, and he 
feeds considerable cattle from his crops, 
keeping a large number and selling dairy prod- 
ucts all the year round. He has supplied one 
customer in Titusville for the last sixteen 
years. He built a good-sized bank bam in 
1882 and another in 1898, and erected the 
present residence in 1905, these and other 
valuable improvements making the property 
very desirable. He has been active in Grange 
work, belonging to the organization at 
Gresham, being a member in Pomona Grange. 

About 1 88 1, in company with his father 
and brothers, he sank three wells, but the 
price of oil was too low to make the venture 
profitable. In 1908 he was a member of the 
Rouseville Oil Company, who sank twenty 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



659 



wells, twelve of them on Mr. Peebles's farm, 
others on the C A. Bradley farm. In the 
course of four or five years, in company with 
F. A. Bidaux, they bought the interests of 
the others in the company, and they sold the 
Bradley lease in 191 3, continuing the devel- 
opments on the Peebles farm, where there is 
a very satisfactory production. Mr. Bidaux 
has charge of the practical work of drilling 
and pumping. Mr. Peebles has always co- 
operated heartily in all the plans for exploita- 
tion of the territory, taking stock in over 
thirty wells, and while they have had no re- 
markable production they have been reason- 
ably profitable. 

Though never aspiring to political power 
Mr. Peebles has taken his share of public re- 
sponsibilities, and has made a good record 
as a township official, having served his fel- 
low citizens as treasurer, road commissioner 
for several years, and fifteen years as a mem- 
ber of the school board. He has done par- 
ticularly effective work in the improvement 
of local roads, a service greatly appreciated 
in the community and thoroughly indicative 
of his loyalty to the best interests of the peo- 
ple in every capacity. 

On Oct. 6, 1881, Mr. Peebles married Ida 
E. Young, who was born Nov. i, 1857, 
daughter of David and Margaret (Kerr) 
Young, farming people of Cherrytree town- 
ship, near Titusville. Mr. Young was also 
a cabinetmaker by trade. Mrs. Peebles died 
Jan. 21, 1892, the mother of four children: 
Warren Lee, who has a fine farm in the vicin- 
ity; David Qeveland, who was killed by an 
automobile at Santa Maria, Cal, Sept. 21, 
1918 ; Jennie L., in Franklin ; and Wilbur Orr, 
who is on the farm with his father. On June 
12, 1893, Mr. Peebles married (second) Jen- 
nie Duffield, daughter of William Duffield, of 
Oiapmanville, Plum township, and three chil- 
dren were bom to this union : Charley Bryan, 
now in the United States aviation service; 
Ida Edith, of Franklin; and James Arthur, 
who died Dec. 17, 1910, when ten years old. 
The mother died Dec. 7, 1901, but Mr. 
Peebles kept his children with him until 
grown. 

GEORGE POWER, a number of whose 
descendants are found among the present popu- 
lation of Franklin, was the first permanent 
white settler at that place, and his interesting 
history shows him to have been of the hardy, 
adventurous type who had the initiative and 
courage to cope successfully with the difficul- 
ties of pioneer life. Born April 10, 1762, in 



Maryland, he was of old Colonial stock, his 
earliest known ancestor in America, Walter 
Power, being of record in Middlesex county, 
Mass., in 1654, as a boy fourteen years of 
age. 

The family name of Power, often found in 
the forms Poore and Poure, is from the old 
Norman name le Poer, and dates back to the 
Conquest, one of the Conqueror's officers at 
the battle of Hastings bearing that name, 
found in the Roll of Battle Abbey. The 
name has ever since held an honorable place in 
the history of England. Richard Poer, high 
sheriflF of Gloucestershire, 1187, is mentioned 
in the Herald's College thus: **He was killed 
while defending the Lord's day." In the 
'^Doomsday of St. Paul's," published by the 
Camden bociety of London, the names of 
Walter and William Poer (Power) appear a 
number of times among those possessed of 
landed rights in 1222. Farmer's "Genealogy 
of New England" refers to a John Power, of 
Charlestown, who had a son Peter, bom in 
1643. About that time Nicholas Power ap- 
peared in Massachusetts, but made a per- 
manent home in Rhode Island. For several 
generations there was just one son in that line, 
and the last dying without issue the name be- 
came extinct. 

Walter Power, mentioned above, was mar- 
ried on "Ye eleventh day of ye first month, 
1660, to Trial, born Feb. 10, 1641, daughter 
of Deacon Ralph and Thankes Sheppard, at 
Maiden, Mass." There is no exact record as 
to where he came from, but it is believed that 
he was from Essex, England. After his mar- 
riage he settled near Concord (then called 
Concord Village), Mass., near Littleton, and 
he died Feb. 22, 1708. His children were: 
William, born 1661, married Mary Bank, and 
died March 16, 1710. Mary, born 1663, mar- 
ried Jan. I, 1683, Lieut. Joseph Wheeler. 
Isaac, born 1665, married April 14, 1701, Mrs. 
Mary (Poulter) Winship, daughter of John 
Poulter. Thomas, born 1667, married twice, 
his first wife being named Elizabeth, his 
second Mary Harwood. Daniel was next in 
line to George Power. Increase, born July 16, 
1671, married Hepzibah Sawyer. Walter (2), 
bom July 28, 1674, married Dec. 16, 1696, 
Rebecca Barrett, daughter of Joseph and Mar- 
tha (Gould) Barrett. Jacob, bom Dec. 15, 
1679, married Sarah Meriam and (second) 
Edith Adams. Sarah, born Feb. 8, 1683, mar- 
ried Moses Barron. 

Daniel Power, son of Walter, spent all his 
life at his birthplace. On April 8, 1702, he 
married Elizabeth Whitcomb, daughter of 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



Jonathan Whitcomb, and to them were bom 
five children: Daniel, born April 21, 1703, 
died 1789 (his wife's name was Mary) ; Jona- 
than, bom 1704, married Hannah Sawyer; 
Oliver, born 1705; Peter, bom 1707, who mar- 
ried Anna Keyes, and died Aug. 27, 1757; and 
Hannah, bom Feb. 22, 1709, wife of Barnabas 
Davis. There were four children born to 
his second marriage, with Martha Bates : Wil- 
liam; Sepheron, born 1714; Timothy, bom 
1716; and Jerahmed, born Feb. 18, 1718, who 
married Eunice Bennett. 

William Power, eldest child of Daniel 
Power by his second marriage, was bom April 
12, 1 712, He moved to Woodstock, Conn., 
and subsequently to northem Maryland. He 
was survived by his wife, Margaret, who sub- 
sequently married a Mr. Cresap. She was 
bom in 1729, and died Sept. 4, 1804. Of their 
children, James was the first white settler in 
O'Hara township, Allegheny County, Pa., 
where he was located before the Revolution; 
George is mentioned below; Benjamin was 
next in the family ; William was killed by the 
Indians June 5, 1794; Thomas came next; 
Esley, Sarah and Mary complete the family. 

George Power first came to Franklin in 
1787, in the United States Commissary ser- 
vice under Capt. Jonathan Hart, with the sol- 
diers who erected Fort Franklin. After 
several months here, similar duties took him 
to Fort Washington (now Cincinnati), Ohio, 
and to Vincennes, Ind., a French town on the 
Wabash. In 1790 he returned thence to 
Franklin, making the entire journey on horse- 
back. He brought with him a small stock of 
goods, enabling him to carry on trade with the 
Indians, who paid him in skins and furs, for 
which he could always find a market at Pitts- 
burgh. John Frazier had traded with the In- 
dians at this point until driven out by the 
French, and Mr. Power succeeded to his busi- 
ness, adapting himself readily to the require- 
ments of dealing with the red men. He leamed 
to speak the Seneca language with ease, and 
became well acquainted with Indian customs, 
gaining a knowledge of the savage character 
which was very valuable to him in the pe- 
culiar transactions often necessary. His old 
account books with the Indians' names trans- 
lated into English, show that he gave them 
credit, and he seldom found them delinquent 
in their obligations. He was on particularly 
grood terms with the old chief Cornplanter. 
He was shrewd, but Indians are shrewd, too. 
On one occasion he purchased from a hunting 
party a very fine silver gray fox skin, which he 
threw up into the loft of his store. A few 



hours later another fine skin of the same kind 
was brought in, and disposed of in the same 
manner. However, his suspicions became ex- 
cited, and on investigating he found that the 
party had had only one skin, which had been 
quietly removed through a gable window in 
the loft (overlooking French creek) after 
the first sale and brought to him again. Mr. 
Power's long association with backwoodsmen 
also made him familiar with their wants, and 
he catered very successfully to all the de- 
mands of the local trade. He built a log house 
a short distance below Fort Franklin, and his 
store stood on the bank of French creek, be- 
tween what is now Thirteenth and West Park 
streets, a little above the upper bridge. 

On Dec. 30, 1799, Mr. Power married Mar- 
gret Bowman, who was born Jan. 26, 1780, 
daughter of James and Catherine (McCor- 
mick) Bowman, who brought their family to 
Venango county from Northumberland county, 
Pa., in 1793, and settled in Sugarcreek town- 
ship. Mr. Bowman was born about 1755, his 
wife about 1757, and they were married Dec. 
14, 1775, near Lock Haven, Clinton Co., Pa. 
She died in 1809, he on Dec. 2, 1826. Their 
son Andrew became a prominent citizen of 
Franklin. Shortly after his marriage, in 1802, 
Mr. Power erected, near the site of his orig- 
inal log house, a substantial stone residence 
which stood, at what is now the corner of Ot- 
ter and Elbow streets, on the site of the Judge 
Tmnkey house, until 1872. It was the first 
dwelling of any pretensions built in Franklin, 
and for many years held its own as the grand 
house of the town, being always pointed out 
to visitors. It was a hotel as well as his family 
residence, and a generous hospitality was dis- 
pensed there for several decades. Mr. and 
Mrs. Power had nine children, born as fol- 
lows: Thomas Bowman, Jan. i, 1801 ; Cath- 
erine, Sept. 10, 1803 (married George Brig- 
ham) ; Mar>% Nov. 21, 1805 (married Fred- 
rick Crary) ; Margret, Jan. 6, 1808 (married 
Rowletter Power) : Elizabeth, Aug. 15, 1810 
(married Benjamin Plumer) ; George R., 
March 15, 1813 (died Dec. 15, 1843, unmar- 
ried) : Tames M., July 20. 1815 (married Caro- 
line Kinnear) : Benjamin L., Sept. 4, 1818 
(unmarried) : Sarah, May 23, 1821 (married 
Samuel Plumer). The parents were brought 
up in the Episcopal faith, but eventually joined 
the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Power was 
active in politics, and he was chosen to impor- 
tant public positions, having been elected coro- 
ner in 1814 and county treasurer in the year 
1825. His death occurred April 2. 1845, ^^^^ 
the close of his eighty-third year. 



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THOMAS MATTHEW BLACKWELL, 
of Oil City, has maintained connection with 
the oil business for many years, and has as 
wide an acquaintance and as many friends as 
any man associated with any branch of that 
industry. He was bom in Cleveland, Ohio, 
Dec. 2'], 1849, of English parents, his father 
a native of Malmesbury and his mother of 
Dover. He was educated in the Brownell 
street and high schools of his native city, and 
later filled the position of cashier with Wil- 
liam Bingham & Co., hardware merchants 
there. His advent into the oil business was 
made in 1877, when he came to Oil City, and 
from then until now he has been connected in 
a confidential capacity with the Joseph Seep 
Purchasing Agency and the company that fol- 
lowed the dissolution of the Standard Oil 
Company. 

On Sept. 2, 1880, Mr. Blackwell was mar- 
ried, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Elizabeth Kimball, 
who died in Oil City, Oct. 14, 191 7, leaving 
two children, Mrs. H. A. Kramer and Mrs. 
S. E. Tucker, both of Oil City. 

JOHN EVANS RITCHEY, of Franklin, 
contractor, has been a builder in the broadest 
sense of the word. Throughout his residence 
there he has been one of the distinct forces 
aiding in its material improvement, not only 
through the medium of his chosen calling but 
also as a citizen putting his business experi- 
ence to good use for the benefit of the city. 
There are many fine examples here of the 
substantial and skilled workmanship for which 
he has justly become noted in this section. 
The evidences of his various activities under- 
taken in the interest of the general welfare 
are even more numerous, and show a thor- 
ough comprehension of the needs of the city 
as well as public spirit of the most commenda- 
ble kind. 

Mr. Ritchey is of Irish descent, his grand- 
father, John Ritchey, having been a native of 
Ireland, whence he emigrated to America, set- 
tling at Toronto, Canada. He became one of 
the leading contractors and builders of that 
city, among his most notable works being St. 
James' Cathedral there. His death occurred at 
Toronto. 

Albert F. kitchey. son of John Ritchey, 
passed all his early life in Canada, later re- 
moving to Pennsylvania and settling at Brad- 
ford, where he made his home for a number 
of years. He now resides in Buffalo, N. Y. 
Though he learned the carpenter's trade he 
did not follow it long. 



John Evans Ritchey, son of Albert F. 
Ritchey, was bom April 24, 1875, at Oil City, 
Venango Co., Pa., and grew up at Bradford, 
where he received a good education, attending 
the high school. He learned the trade of brick- 
layer, and after following it for a few years 
as a journeyman came to Franklin, where he 
became associated with Samuel Burgard and 
began to take contracts for brick work. They 
have been doing business together ever since 
under the firm name of Eitchey & Burgard, 
and have made their way to the front in their 
line, the construction of many of the most im- 
portant buildings having been intrusted to 
them. Their contracts include the Franklin 
Trust Company's building, the addition to the 
high school, the new jail, the I. O. O. F. tem- 
ple, the Evenifig News office, several garages, 
and a number of fine residences. For the last 
eight years Mr. Ritchey has also been engaged 
in the production of oil, having leases in both 
Venango and Qarion counties. 

Mr. Ritchey's business operations have 
qualified him thoroughly for effective public 
service, and much of it has been in the field 
of his specialty, though by no means confined 
to that line. He has filled several public offices 
with distinct ability as well as fidelity to their 
responsibilities, taking his duties seriously 
and performing them with disinterested zeal. 
He was elected to the city council for a three- 
year term, and at its close was elected a mem- 
ber of the school board, upon which body he 
served two years. He was then re-elected to 
the council, for a term of four years, and 
throughout his service as councilman he used 
his vote and influence in behalf of the best in- 
terests of his fellow citizens. For some time 
he was superintendent of streets and public 
property, and he is now acting as superintend- 
ent of parks and public property. It was 
through his exertions that Franklin obtained 
the new water supply, the standard being now 
high and the quality wholesome. 

In spite of his many business and public in- 
terests, Mr. Ritchey finds time for social recre- 
ation, being a member in good standing of the 
Odd Fellows, F. O. E., Loyal Order of Moose 
and Woodmen of the World, and his religious 
connection is with the Baptist Church. He 
served his country during: the Spanish- Ameri- 
can war, being one of the first members of Com- 
pany F, i6th Pennsylvania Volunteers, and saw 
service in Porto Rico. His military experience 
covered eight months. 

Mr. Ritchey married Jessie M. Smith, 
daughter of W. F. Smith, of Smith's Comers, 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



Rockland township, Venango county. They 
have no children. Her father, a farmer of 
Rockland township, and a well known man 
there, having served as tax collector, died in 
January, 191 5. Her mother, whose maiden 
name was Erena Mays, was a daughter of 
George Mays, of Mays' Mills, Venango Co., 
Pa. She now resides with her daughter, Mrs. 
Ritchey. 

JOHN L. SHAFFER is serving his second 
term as member of the. board of county com- 
missioners of Venango county, and as the pres- 
ident of that body holds an important relation 
to the administration of the local government. 
In the exercise of his official functions he has 
wielded an influence so beneficial that there 
is no doubt in the minds of either his asso- 
ciates in office or his fellow citizens as to his 
disinterestedness or unmixed public spirit. As- 
suming this position after a number of years' 
experience in minor capacities, he brought defi- 
nite ideas of the service he could render to the 
performance of his duties, which he has taken 
seriously, much to the satisfaction of the resi- 
dents of the county, who showed their ap- 
proval of his first term by flattering support 
for a second. It has been his chief desire not 
to fall below the high estimate which the 
voters of the county have placed upon his 
capacity and intentions. He has led an active 
life, and is one of the best known men in the 
county. 

Mr. ShaflFer was born May 30, 1847, in Cam- 
bria county, Pa., a son of Emanuel ShaflFer. 
The father was a general contractor and 
builder in Johnstown, Cambria county, remov- 
ing thence to Oil City, Venango county, where 
he followed the same business. He died there 
in 1872, and both he and his wife, whose 
maiden name was Susan Snyder, are buried in 
the Grove cemetery. John L. ShaflFer attended 
the schools of Johnstown, acquiring a very 
g:ood fundamental education. Under his father 
he learned the carpenter's trade, and was thor- 
oughly drilled in the details of contracting in 
his employ, after his father's death taking over 
the business, which he followed for about 
thirty-five years. With his father he buih the 
first bridgje up Oil creek, at the McClintock 
fann, rafting the timber for its construction 
down the stream. It was operated as a toll 
bridge. For five years Mr. ShaflFer was en- 
gag^ed in the oil business in McKean county 
with Lewis Emery, Jr. He has been active in 
the government of Oil City, where he served 
nine years as assessor and has also been coun- 
cilman. On his record in these positions he 



was first elected to the office of county com- 
missioner in 1912, and re-elected in 1916 with 
one of the largest votes ever given a candi- 
date in Venango county. His political alle- 
giance has always been given to the Repub- 
lican party. His most recent honor is his ap- 
pointment, from Washington, *D. C, as mem- 
ber of the exemption committee of Venango 
county, in Jime, 191 7. He is considered a 
true representative of the people, who feel 
that he is doing his duty by them as a county 
officer. His home is at Oil City. 

During the Civil war, while the family was 
living at Johnstown, Mr. ShaflFer ran away 
from home to enlist, and served as an emer- 
gency man for three months, doing guard duty. 
He had two elder brothers in the service, both 
now deceased and buried in Grove cemetery. 
Oil City: Henry, who served in the regular 
army six years, for three years in the Civil 
war ; and Albert, who served in the Civil war. 

Mr. ShaflFer married Ella Hall, a daughter 
of the late Edward Hall, of Oil City, and ten 
children have been bom to them, of whom four 
are living: Clarence, who is now engaged as 
manager of the Stranburg business house at 
Franklin, Pa.; Frederick, at present in Kan- 
sas, where he is a superintendent of oil lines ; 
and James and Raymond, both of whom are 
employed as salesmen with their brother Clar- 
ence. Mr. ShaflFer is an old-time Odd Fellow, 
having joined the fraternity in 1869. 

WILLIAM R. DAUGHERTY, general 
auditor of what is known as the Southern 
group of pipe lines, and well known in Oil 
City and Venango county in other connections 
as well, is a son of John M. Daugherty, of 
Oil City, and grandson of John H. Daugherty. 

The Daughertys have been settled in Penn- 
sylvania for several generations, the grand- 
father having been born Oct. 24, 1818, in 
Center county, this State. When a young man 
he removed to Blair county, Pa., where as in 
Center county he was engaged principally at 
farm labor, sometimes, however, doing car- 
penter work. He died at Altoona, that county, 
Oct. 27, 1872, and is buried there with his wife, 
Anna (Hoover). She was bom Aug. 23, 1818, 
and died Feb. 16, 1906. Mr. Daugherty was 
originally a Whig, later a Republican, in 
politics, and during the war was a stanch 
Union supporter, enlisting from Altoona in 
the spring of 1862 in the 12th Pennsylvania 
Cavalry, and serving three years. His regi- 
ment was attached to the Army of the Poto- 
mac, served under Gen. Phil. Sheridan, and 
took part in a number of important engage- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



663 



ments, including the battle of Manasses. Mr. 
and Mrs. Daugherty had the following family . 
Robert, who is deceased; Aaron; John M., 
mentioned below; Mary C., deceased; Zacha- 
riah; Emma J., wife of John Claybaugh; 
Sarah J., deceased; Franklin, deceased; John 
H., who married Rose Lovett; and Charles, 
deceased. 

John M. Daugherty was born in Blair 
county July 7, 1843, on a farm in Sinking 
valley, at what is now the city of Altoona. 
He grew up there, obtaining his education in 
the township public schools, and passing his 
youth in farming pursuits. On leaving home, 
m 1866, he learned the trade of boilermaker in 
the Pennsylvania shops at Altoona, and con- 
tinued to follow it in the same employ after his 
removal to Renevo, Clinton county, where he 
remained until December, 1870. His next 
location was at Titusville, his wife joining him 
there in February, 1871, and he was with 
Brown & Dillingham, manufacturers of oil 
well supplies, in the capacity of boilermaker 
until October, 1871. His home has since been 
in Oil City, where he began work with the Oil 
Creek & Allegheny River Railroad Company, 
later the Western New York & Pennsylvania 
and eventually the Pennsylvania, becoming 
foreman of the boiler shop and serving as such 
until his retirement in August, 1913. Mr. 
Daugherty has been a stanch Republican and 
interested in pK)litics and the public affairs of 
his community, representing the First ward in 
the council eight vears. He has been a promi- 
nent member of Hayes Post, No. 167. G. A. R., 
having served in the Civil war as a member ot 
Company D, 125th Pennsylvania Infantry, at- 
tached to the 1 2th Army Corps and Army of 
the Potomac and in service under Col. Jacob 
C. Higgins, Brig. Gen. Thomas Kane and 
Generals Mansfield and Slocum. He was 
mustered in at Harrisburg, Aug. 13, 1862, and 
mustered out May 18. 1863. Mr. Daugherty's 
field service included action in the battles of 
Antietam and Chancellorsville. He is presi- 
dent of the Grove Hill Cemetery Company, 
and a leading member of the Baptist Church, 
which he formerly sened as trustee, at present 
holding the office of deacon. 

Mr. Daugherty married Louise Seers, who 
was bom Aug. 24. 184s, and was an adopted 
daughter of the late William Seers. Three 
children were bom to this union: Virginia 
M., who was bom at Renovo Oct. 22, 1868, 
IS the wife of Claude R. Smith, of BuflFalo, 
N. Y., and has one child. Jay E. ; William R. is 
mentioned below; Archie R.. bom Sept. 19, 



1 881, a machinist at Butler, Pa., married Mabel 
Allen. 

William Seers was a farmer in Tioga county, 
N. Y., and also owned a farm in Hampton 
Center, Ohio, where he died Nov. 22, 1891, 
aged seventy-one years. He is buried in Grove 
Hill cemetery. Oil City. His wife. Amy 
(Thurston), died May 8, 1900, aged seventy- 
six years. She was a daughter of Hubbard 
and Phoebe (Dodd) Thurston, her father a 
Methodist minister and member of a well 
known New Hampshire family. He is buried 
at South Bend, Indiana. Mr. Seers was a 
veteran of the Civil war, having enlisted in 
the Union service at Altoona, Pa., on Aug. 8, 
1862. lit and his wife had no children of their 
own. 

William R. Daugherty was bom at Oil City 
Nov. 28, 1878, and received an excellent edu- 
cation in the public schools, attending high 
school. His first position was in the superin- 
tendent's dfice of the Western New York & 
Pennsylvania Railroad Company at Oil City, 
where he remained three or four years, chang- 
ing then to the engineering department and 
serving four or five years in the office of the 
division engineer. For three or four months 
he was with the city engineer, in 1909 taking 
a position in the drafting office of the land 
department. Standard Oil Company, where he 
worked for L. L. Graham. In 1900 he had 
taken service under Robert S. Hampton, gen- 
eral auditor for the Standard Oil organization, 
with whom he was associated until the dissolu- 
tion of the Standard Oil Company in Decem- 
ber. 191 1, since when Mr. Daugherty has been 
general auditor of the Southern pipe lines. 
This group includes the Cumberland Pipe Line 
Company, Inc., operating in Kentucky; the 
Eureka Pipe Line Company of West Virginia ; 
the Southwestern Pennsylvania pipe lines ; and 
the Southern Pipe Line Company. He is well 
fitted by nature and training for the large 
responsibilities involved, as his successful per- 
formance of his duties attests. 

Mr. Daugherty has followed in his father's 
footsteps in the admirable public service which 
he has rendered to his fellow citizens. He 
was a member of the Rouseville council for 
three years, and served a couple of terms as 
clerk in councils. Politically he is a Republican 
in principle. He is a prominent Mason, a past 
master of Fratemal Lodge, F. & A. M., of 
Rouseville, and member of Oil City Chapter. 
R. A. M. : is a past exalted mler of Oil City 
Lodge, No. 344, B. P. O. Elks; and a past 
regent of Contest Council. No. 124, Royal 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



Arcanum, of Oil City. Socially he holds mem- 
bership in the Venango and Wanango Clubs, 
also in the National Security League, and is a 
member of the Pennsylvania Reserve Militia. 
His religious association is with the First 
Baptist Church, of which he has been a trustee 
for three years. 

Mr. Daugherty was united in marriage with 
Lillian K. Anderson, daughter of Isaac and 
Carolina (Johnson) Anderson, of Rouseville, 
and they are the parents of two children: 
Eugene A., bom Sept. 17, 1899, received a high 
school education in Oil City and is now holding 
a position under George A. Welker in the engi- 
neering corps of the United Natural Gas Com- 
pany of Oil City ; J. Robert, bom July 2, 1904, 
is a student at the Junior high school. 

EDWARD S. McALEVY, of Oil City, has 
successfully established himself in the practice 
of law since his admission to the Venango 
county bar in 1906, in that and his other activ- 
ities allying himself with the most progressive 
interests in the city. In his character and 
achievements up to date he gives promise of 
taking a creditable place in the county and of 
proving himself a worthy descendant of a fam- 
ily settled here over eighty years ago, and 
ever since identified with its development and 
history. He is a great-grandson of George 
McAlevy, who founded this branch of the 
family here in 1838, commg from Huntingdon 
county, Pa., where the early generations were 
actively associated with the affairs of their day, 
the name being perpetuated there in McAlevy^ 
Fort, which commemorates the site of the old 
fort held by Gen. William McAlevy to afford 
the settlers protection from the Indians. It 
was one of a line of border forts and was 
erected by General McAlevy, who was sent 
thither by Washington, with whom he had 
served as colonel at the Brandywine. The 
rjpht of the army at Valley Forge was reor- 
ganized from three divisions, each having a 
colonel, and given but two such officers. Col- 
onel McAlevy being made a brigadier general 
and put in charge of the construction of this 
fort and in guarding the border against Indi- 
ans. His son, Capt. William McAlevy, served 
many vears in the State leg^islature, and his 
sons George and Miles in the thirties settled 
in Tackson township, Venang^o county. 

George McAlevy, son of Gen. William, was 
bom in 1799 in Huntingdon countv. Pa., where 
he grew to manhood. In youth he learned 
carpentry and the millwright's trade, which 
was his vocation for a number of years, and he 
continued to follow it after coming to Venango 



county in 1838, when he purchased land in 
Plum township, and also farmed the rest of his 
days. He helped to erect the mill at the Oil 
Creek furnaces, near the site of the Union 
Station at Oil City. He had married Martha 
Miller, of Huntingdon county, and they 
brought a family of seven children with them, 
three others being bom after their settlement 
here : Samuel A., Ruth E., Sarah J., William 
H., Miles G., Mary M., Catharine M., George 
H., Joseph C. and Anna E. Of these, George 
H., bom in March, 1838, was married in 1865 
to Mary J. Jennings. He was the last sur- 
vivor of the family, dying Feb. 23, 1919. The 
father of this family died Sept. 9, 1855, the 
mother in 1874. 

Samuel A. McAlevy, eldest of the family 
of George and Martha (Miller) McAlevy, was 
bom in Huntingdon county. Pa., June 16, 1821, 
and accompanied his parents to Venango coun- 
ty. The fifty-acre farm in Plum township was 
all in the woods at the time of their arrival, 
and as the eldest son he had many of the cares 
of the property, his father being engaged prin- 
cipally at carpentry and joining, which were 
then much more profitable. He also learned 
the trade, and followed it until twenty-seven 
years old, in the spring of 1848 beginning farm- 
ing on his own account, in Jackson township. 
He was so occupied until the fall of 1859, when 
he was elected sheriff of the county and moved 
to Franklin, residing there for about eight 
years. As sheriflF his duties were onerous and 
at times dangerous owing to the exciting life 
in the new oil towns. He had some previous 
experience in public life, having filled the offi- 
ces of justice of the peace and county auditor, 
and after the expiration of his term as sheriff 
be l)ecame deputy provost marshal, Capt. D. 
\'. Derrickson, then United States marshal for 
the district, with office at Meadville, choosing 
him as his deputy in Venango county. As 
such Mr. McAlevy made the first draft for 
the Civil war here, his friends making much 
rai)ital of the fact that he himself was one of 
those drafted, as were two brothers and a 
brother-in-law. His superior officer, however, 
arransred to retain his services, his ability so pe- 
culiarly fitting him for his duties that he was 
more useful home than at the front. After the 
war he onerated in oil for a time, and on his 
removal from Franklin in the spring of 1868 
h^ made his home a few miles away at Salem 
City (Seneca), in Cranberry township, and 
enrr-^fred w th** mercantile business, continuing 
the same until his appointment, in the fall of 
1873, as steward and superintendent at the 
County Infirmary, in Sugarcreek township, 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



665 



upon the purchase of the farm. He was the 
unanimous choice of the commissioners, and 
his incumbency of this position covered three 
years and three months. At the termination of 
his services there in 1876 he came to Oil City, 
where he did business in partnership with his 
son Achilles McAlevy, securing the grounds 
and buildings which now constitute the plant of 
the Oil City mills, and converting the same into 
a flouring mill, which he conducted for nine 
years until its sale to H. H. Fair in 1885. 
About this time A. W. Cox, county commis- 
sioner, died and Judge Taylor appointed Mr. 
McAlevy to fill out the unexpired term, a peri- 
od of one and a half years. He then became a 
justice of the peace in the Sixth ward of Oil 
City, where he had also served in the council, 
as a member of that body being instrumental 
in having Second street extended to make a 
good highway to the east, which meant much 
in the building up of the eastern part of the 
south side. Mr. McAlevy was a Knight Tem- 
plar Mason, and a member of the M. E. Church 
from 1876 until his death in 1903, serving 
twenty-seven years on its official board. 

Mr. McAlevy married Adesta A. Williams, 
of Plum township, bom in November, 1826, 
and who died in 1852 when her son Achilles 
was an infant. In February, 1854, Mr. Mc- 
Alevy married (second) Isabella Duffield. of 
Canal township, who died in 1885. The chil- 
dren of the first union were as follows : George 
P., a telegrapher and railroad man, left Ve- 
nanfjo county in 1868 and died about 1902 at 
Little Rock, Ark.; he rose to the position of 
assistant superintendent on the Iron Mountain 
road, with which he was associated when it was 
merged into the Gould system. Martha mar- 
ried J. T. Johnson, of Akron, Ohio, superin- 
tendent of the Qcveland branch of the Balti- 
more & Ohio road at that point. Achilles is 
mentioned below. There was one child by 
the second marriage, John A., now of Shreve- 
port. I^. He was an expert bookkeeper, and 
is now engaged in publishing maps of the oil 
repion<5 

Achilles McAlevv, father of Edward S. Mc- 
Alevy. was born Jan. 31, 1852, in Jacksoo 
township, and is now living at Salem City 
(Seneca) in Cranberry township, three miles 
south of Oil Citv. He beean work as a clerk 
at Franklin in his father's employ, continu- 
ing: thus for two and a half years, and was his 
successor in the mercantile business at Seneca, 
where h^^ was located for four vears. Remov- 
ine to Oil Citv. he was with H. H. Fair for 
a period of thirteen years in his store, from 



1 87 1 to April I, 1884, when he entered the 
mill, where he had assisted considerably in the 
meantime, getting a valuable knowledge of the 
business. He operated it for Mr. Fair, in 
whose employ he remained for twenty-six years 
altogether, leaving the mill in 1898, when he 
engaged in merchandising on his own account. 
He carried this business on successfully for 
seventeen years, in the location at No. 709 
East Second street, where he became well and 
favorably known, giving it up because of fail- 
ing health. He has since lived retired. 

Mr. McAlevy married Ophelia Fritz, and 
had three children : Grace A., Edward S. and 
George F. 

Edward S. McAlevy was born at Oil City 
in 1882, and acquired his literary education in 
the public schools there, graduating from the 
high school with the class of 1900. He pur- 
sued his legal studies in the offices of Trax ^ 
Parker, at Oil City, under whose guidance he 
had valuable experience of the routine of legal 
business as well as competent instruction in 
the principles and practice of law, and entered 
upon independent practice at once after gain- 
ing admission to the bar. His offices are in the 
I--amberton Bank building. Mr. McAlvey 
has come oflF creditably in the test of compe- 
tition with the best lawyers of this part of the 
.State, standing well with the members of his 
profession, as also with an appreciative clien- 
tele. He is a member of the Lawyers Club and 
Acacia Club of Oil City, and a Masoa in fra- 
ternal affil'ation, belonging- to Petrolia Lodge, 
Xo. 363, F. & A. M., Oil City Chapter, No. 
236, R. A. M., Talbot Commandery, No. 43, 
K. T., and Venango Lodge of Perfec- 
tion. By his marriage to Katherine Reed, 
daughter of L. R. Reed, Mr. McAlevy has 
one daughter, Katherine Elizabeth. 

TIMOTHY M. FOLEY, of Franklin, has 
won distinction among the citizens of that place 
honored for their devotion to its welfare. He 
has been one of the most influential workers 
for its development and improvement as a 
municipality, many of its most attractive fea- 
tures having been brought about as the result 
of his activity, which has been invariably in the 
interests of the public good. In various respon- 
sibilities he has been directly associated with 
the establishment of good government and de- 
sirable conditions of other kinds in the city, 
and as a private citizen he never idles in his 
duty toward his fellow men. Personally he has 
led an industrious, successful life, making a 
reputation for reliability entirely consistent 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



with his fidelity in public service. He is now 
retired from active business cares, and in the 
enjoyment of well earned leisure. 

Mr. Foley is a native of Ireland, but has 
spent practically all his life in this country. 
Bom April 30, 1848, he was but two years 
old when he came to America with his parents, 
the family settling at Dunkirk, N. Y., where he 
grew up. His school attendance was rather 
brief, and he was very young when he began 
to learn the machinist's trade in the Erie shops 
at Dunkirk, where ex-chief Brooks was then 
master mechanic. Mr. Foley spent four years 
at the Erie shops, and then for three years was 
employed in Chicago, 111., at his trade, before 
coming to Pennsylvania. In this State he first 
worked at Titus ville, where he followed his 
trade for one year. Then he went to Plumer, 
\'enango county, entering the Boston Iron 
Works. One year later this plant was trans- 
ferred to Franklin, Pa., in 1871, and Mr. Foley 
came to this city, where he has made his home 
ever since. He became general foreman of 
this plant, his skill and faithful services being 
recognized and appreciated by his employers, 
with whom he remained until 1880. That year 
he became associated with Henry James on the 
oil lease system, continuing with him for three 
years, after which he spent two years with 
George Maloney as general foreman. The 
business was then carried on by the firm of 
Maloney & McElheny, having what is now the 
plant of the Producers Supply Company. In 
February, 1884, Mr. Foley entered the employ 
of the Galena-Signal Oil Company, in whose 
service he rose to a position of high responsi- 
bility, becoming chief engineer and master me- 
chanic of their large plant, and remaining with 
them until his retirement, March i, 1916. He 
has been a leading spirit of progress in Frank- 
lin, always doing his part toward uplift work 
in the city. He served as a member of the 
council for twelve years, and was especially 
active in introducing the paid fire department. 
Mr. Foley's personal experience in this line 
has made him a competent judge of such 
matters. He always took an enthusiastic in- 
terest in the volunteer fire department, belong- 
ing to Franklin Fire Company, No. i, of which 
he was three times elected president. He has 
been twice honored by his fellow citizens with 
the nomination for the mayoralty. His resi- 
dence is in the Third ward, at No. 236 Grant 
street. 

Mr. Foley has a very wide acquaintanceship 
amongr Odd Fellows in the State. He has been 
a member of Venango Lodge, No. 255, for the 
last forty-three years, is a past officer of this 



lodge, and served six terms as representative 
to the grand lodge of the State; for two terms 
he was district deputy grand master. 

Mr. Foley married Eleanora Brown, who 
was bom in Cherry Tree township, Venango 
county, a daughter of William Brown, and 
died at Franklin June 16, 19 16. The following 
children were bom of this union : Jennie L., 
now the wife of F. L. Ludwick, who is cashier 
of the People's National Bank at East Brady, 
Pa. ; Anna M., deceased in 1882, who was the 
wife of William Eichenauer; Eleanora P., en- 
gaged as bookkeeper for the James Bleakley 
Estate at Franklin, Pa. ; Chester A., who is a 
member of the firm of the Franklin Garage 
Company, of Franklin (his partner is William 
Moore) ; Edna R., a stenographer at the 
Galena-Signal Oil Company's offices in Frank- 
lin, Pa. ; Teddy D., employed with his brother 
Chester; and Florence M., a student at the 
local high school. 

DANIEL B. HETZLER. of Freedom, has 
been one of the most prominent residents of 
Rockland township, Venango county, like his 
father a leading spirit in local activities of all 
kinds. Politically he has been one of the fore- 
most supporters of the Prohibition party in 
this section, and he is serving his third term 
as justice of the peace, in that office as in all 
his other responsibilities making a record for 
efficient dispatch of his duties as well as con- 
scientious attention to their details. 

Mr. Hetzler was bom in Rockland township 
Dec. II, 1845, son of John Hetzler, in his day 
well known all over Venango county as a 
surveyor and business man, likewise in offi- 
cial circles. John Hetzler was bom May 12, 
1 8 18, in Monroe county, N. Y., son of John 
and Elizabeth (Troutner) Hetzler, and in the 
paternal line was of German extraction, his 
grandfather settling in Genesee county, N. Y. 
(the county adjoining Monroe). The father 
was a native of Genesee county, N. Y. He 
was a soldier in the war of 18 12, and wit- 
> nessed the buming of Buffalo, taking part in 
the battle of Black Rock, where he was cap- 
tured by the British, being imprisoned in 
Montreal for three months before his ex- 
change, which took place at Lake Champlain. 
He walked home from that place. It was in 
1 8 18 that he first came to Venango county, 
where he purchased one hundred acres of 
land to which he returned the next year with 
his family, bringing all the household effects 
in a wagon. At that time the only improve- 
ments on the tract were a one-story log house 
and a bam, and he had to work hard to get 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



667 



it under cultivation. He acquired consider- 
able land, which he gave to his grandsons. 
In 1843 ^^ erected on his home place a large 
double brick residence, which is still in use, 
and his son John put up a frame dwelling 
there later. John Hetzler (Sr.) was one of 
the most enterprising men who settled in this 
region. He brought the first threshing ma- 
chine used in this vicinity, a sweep horsepower 
outfit with "chaff piler" — simply a cylinder 
which threw straw, chaff and grain into one 
heap behind, the separating being done after- 
ward by laborers, with rakes, forks and a fan- 
ning mill. He made use of a separator as 
soon as one had been devised. He and his 
sons were well known as threshers through- 
out this section. 

The family went back to Monroe county 
in 1832, to care for Mr. Hetzler's aged par- 
ents, remaining until 1837. John Hetzler 
(Sr.) lived to the age of ninety-three years. 
He was twice married, first to Elizabeth 
Troutner, and his second wife, who also died 
before him, was an Ashbaugh. He met her 
at St. Petersburg, Clarion county, twelve miles 
distant from his Venango county home, where 
he attended the German Reformed Church, 
for he never learned English. His family 
consisted of four children: Elizabeth, who 
died when a young woman, married Daniel 
Bly, and her father gave them a farm in 
Richland township, this county; Frederick 
died young, of consumption ; Daniel, who died 
in middle life, is survived by one son, Charles, 
who is a resident of Springdale, Pa. ; John 
completed the family. 

John Hetzler, father of Daniel B. Hetzler, 
was but an infant when the family settled in 
Venango county, where he was reared and 
educated. He returned to New York with 
his parents in 1832, and with the exception 
of the five years spent there passed his days 
in this county, dying in 1903. While in New 
York he studied §urveying, and followed that 
profession in this section for a number of 
years, making a map of .the Red Valley oil 
district which he copyrighted. During his 
early manhood he was employed at the local 
furnaces, and in 1847 settled down to farm- 
ing on the tract which his father originally 
took up, living in part of the double brick 
house previously mentioned. This property 
came into his possession, and lying in the well 
known Red Valley oil district, was profitably 
developed, large returns being realized on the 
production there from 1885 to 1905. The 
first well in the immediate locality was struck 
in July, 1885, and his farm was leased at 



once, bringing him a fine income, great enough 
to enable him to lend considerable sums of 
money, for which there was a constant de- 
mand among those engaged in exploiting oil 
leases. Some prospered and some failed, and 
several times lands were abandoned to him, 
as the borrowers had no other means of sat- 
isfying their obligations. One of the proper- 
ties which he acquired thus w.as a fine farm in 
Butler county still owned by his son Daniel, 
and his holdings included four tracts besides 
his home place in Rockland township. One 
twenty-five-acre piece belonging to him proved 
to be one of the best paying oil properties in 
the Red Valley district. Mr. Hetzler was not 
only a large landowner, but was also at one 
time the largest stockholder in the First Na- 
tional Bank at Emlenton. He was ambitious 
and energetic to the close of his long life, con- 
tinuing to live on the farm and busying him- 
self with its duties. In his younger days he 
had learned carpentry and blacksmithing, and 
he was always well provided with the tools 
of both callings, which afforded him agreeable 
occupation for his later years. 

Mr. Hetzler was always a man of public 
spirit and interested in the common welfare 
and matters affecting the community. During 
his twenties he was commissioned captain of 
a Pennsylvania militia company by Gov. 
David R. Porter, holding the commission until 
the old militia organizations of the State were 
abandoned. When the Civil war broke out he 
was over the age for enlistment, but he did 
his part in other ways. He had a team and 
spring wagon, the only vehicle of the kind 
in the neighborhood, and he gave considerable 
time hauling soldiers to distant railroad sta- 
tions, transferring altogether about seventy- 
five men — those from Captain Duncan's com- 
pany, to Pittsburgh; from Captain Clapp's 
company, to Kittanning; from Captain Ho- 
sey's company, to Callensburg, Clarion coun- 
ty ; and from Captain Ridgeway's company to 
Franklin and other places. He t)ften paid his 
own expenses on these trips. It is rather re- 
markable that all but ten of these seventy-five 
men returned from the service. 

Mr. Hetzler was called upon for official 
service in his township in various capacities, 
having been elected constable, assessor, col- 
lector and school director, for years secretary 
of the school board. He was deputy sheriff 
of \'enango county for three terms, under 
Sheriffs P. R. Gray and his immediate suc- 
cessors, Henry Herpst and C. S. Marks; was 
appointed and served two terms as mercantile 
appraiser (the first to hold that office in Ve- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



nango county) and as tipstaff of the court, 
under Judges Campbell and Trunkey; and 
was the first Republican elected to the office 
of county auditor, assuming the duties of that 
position in January, 1856, and filling it for the 
full term of three years. He did not remove 
to Franklin during his official term. 

In 1843 Mr. Hetzler married Maria Smith, 
who was bom Sept. 16, 1825, daughter of 
Daniel Smith, an early settler of Rockland 
township, he and his brother David being 
the first blacksmiths there. Mrs. Hetzler 
spent her last years with her daughter in 
Oil City, passing away Feb. 14, 1914. She 
was the mother of three children: Elizabeth, 
wife of Amos P. Dale, of Oil City ; Daniel B., 
mentioned below; and Henry, who died in 
middle life on the old farm in Rockland town- 
ship. The last named married Jennie Lovell, 
who is also deceased, their sons Bert A. and 
John L. Hetzler now having the old home- 
stead. 

Daniel B. Hetzler was two years old when 
his parents removed to the tract where they 
made their permanent home, a property adjoin- 
ing his present farm. His education was ac- 
quired in the public schools of the locality, 
and his early training was along the line of 
agricultural work and oil operations, as well 
as surveying, Mr. Hetzler gaining through his 
various activities on his own account and as 
his father's assistant an insight into local real 
estate conditions which has proved very val- 
uable. As a young man he was employed for 
four years as tool dresser, rig builder and 
ganger, mainly in Clarion county. When he 
married he began housekeeping at his present 
place, then comprising forty-six acres given 
him by his father and known as the Ramsdell 
tract. He has been extensively interested in 
oil production, having for ten years taken 
leases and operated in the Butler county field 
as* well as in the Red Valley territory, and 
he has improved his home property notably, 
having erecfed a fine home there in 1879 
and kept up the property attractively. He 
is still engaged in oil production and farm- 
ing. Though his father divided his landed es- 
tate during his lifetime in accordance with his 
special wishes, he had considerable other 
property to be settled after his death, and 
upon Daniel B. Hetzler devolved the duties 
of executor and administrator, which he filled 
conscientiously and ably. 

Mr. Hetzler has been foremost in advocat- 
ing the business-like and efficient administra- 
tion of public affairs, and active in politics 
as an earnest member of the Prohibition 



party, having served as delegate to the Pitts- 
burgh convention in 1916. He was three 
times elected justice of the peace, for which 
office he is well fitted by disposition as well 
as his familiarity with local conditions. In 
the year 1892 he was mercantile appraiser of 
Venango County. Fraternally he is an Odd 
Fellow, having joined the order at Emlenton 
(eight miles from his home) in 1872 and sub- 
sequently transferred to the lod^e at Rock- 
land, which is but a mile from his residence. 
On March 2, 1870, Mr. Hetzler married 
Rosa Smith, who was born at Clintonville, 
Venango Co., Pa., while* her father, Rev. F. 
W. Smith, was pastor of the M. E. church 
there. He is now deceased. Mrs. Hetzler 
died April 5, 1918. No children were born 
to Mr. and Mrs. Hetzler, but they reared a 
daughter, Lottie Robinson, from childhood. 
She is now the wife of Stanley Bell, of Cran- 
berry township, Venango county. 

A. S. KARNS, of Franklin, as member of 
the S. T. Kams* Sons Company is carrying 
on an old-established business of that city 
which has reached notable proportions under 
his management. It is now operated as a 
general transfer and storage business, with the 
largest patronage controlled by any concern 
of the kind in this part of Pennsylvania, all 
developed from a modest beginning made in 
1864. The members of the Karns family have 
throughout that period shown enterprise in 
keeping their facilities up to the demands of 
the times, and have accordingly profited by the 
growth of the city. They have long been 
known in this region for their substantial 
qualities, the family having been settled here 
for a century or more. Mrs. Anna Karns, 
widow of Henry Karns, came to Venango 
county in the early days with a family of nine 
sons and one daughter, making her home in 
Richland township. 

Jacob Karns, one of the nine sons of Henry 
and Anna Karns, removed to Cranberry town- 
ship, this county, after his marriage, and pur- 
chased a tract of five hundred acres upon which 
he farmed throughout his active days, dying 
there in 1885, in his eighty-seventh year. He 
was a Democrat, and one of the early con- 
stables in Venango county. His religious con- 
nection was with the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. By his first wife, Nancy (Thomp- 
son), daughter of Frank Thompson, of Clarion 
county, Pa., he had eight children, six sorts 
and two daughters. After her death, which 
occurred in 1849, he married Mrs. MolHe 
Bickel. 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



M9 



Samuel T. Karns, the third son of Jacob 
Kams, was bom in 183 1 on the old home- 
stead in Cranberry township. He spent his 
youth and early manhood there, but he was 
ambitious to be independent, and in 1864 he 
removed to Franklin, hoping to find oppor- 
tunities more plentiful than on the farm. Upon 
settling in the city fie commenced teaming, be- 
ginning a business which continued to be his 
principal occupation to the end of his days, 
and in which his sons, Augustine S. and Samuel 
D., joined him later. Forming the firm of S. 
T. Kams & Co., in 1884, they also carried on 
the wholesale notion business in Franklin, do- 
ing well in both lines. In 1853 Mr. Karns 
married Sarah Frawley, daughter of Michael 
Frawley, and they became the parents of ten 
children, eight of whom reached maturity: 
Augustine S. ; Mary, who married John Mc- 
Nulty; Samuel D., bora Aug. 22, 1861, who 
is now engaged in conducting a chicken farm 
in Cranberry township (in 1889 ^^ married 
Maggie A. Clyde) ; Edward J. ; Charles W., 
deceased ; Alice B., wife of William Evans, liv- 
ing in Oklahoma ; Emma J., wife of Richard 
McMullen, of Oil City, Pa. ; and Margaret D., 
unmarried. The father died in 1903. The 
mother, bom in 1835. died June 23, 1914. 
They are buried in the Franklin cemetery. 

A. S. Kams was born Aug. 2y, 1857, ^^ 
Cranberry township, and being but a child 
when the family removed to Franklin had 
the advantages of the excellent public schools 
there. When he began work it was in the 
employ of J. and R. H. Woodbum, merchants, 
with whom he continued for twelve years, from 
1872, acquiring valuable experience. In 1884, 
with his father and brother Samuel, he formed 
the firm of G. S. Kams & Co., handling no- 
tions wholesale, and was so engaged for the 
next six years. From that time he has de- 
voted practically all of his attention to the 
freight transfer and storage business, which 
had been growing steadily, and which he con- 
tinued after his father's death. In 1907 it was 
incorporated as the S. T. Karns' Sons Com- 
pany. The company has erected a brick storage 
warehouse eighty by two hundred feet in di- 
mensions, arranged and equipped in modern 
style, and has facilities for handling and storing 
vast quantities of goods of all kinds. Some 
idea of the volume of business done may be 
gained from the fact that twenty-five teams 
are in daily operation, besides two large auto 
trucks. Though never in public life, Mr. 
Kams is keenly alive to the duties of good 
citizenship and is identified with the best local 
interests. He is well known socially as a mem- 



ber of the Franklin and Wanango Clubs and 
the local lodge of Elks, as well as the Knights 
of Honor. Politically he is a Democrat, in re- 
ligion a Baptist, belonging to the First Church 
of Franklin. 

In 1 88 1 Mr. Karns married Florence Kribbs, 
of Edenburg, Pa., who died May 10, 1909, the 
mother of five children : Benton, Lillian, Edith, 
Ruth and Frederick, the last named now a 
member of Company C, 15th Engineer Corps, 
of the National Army, in service in France. 
For his second wife Mr, Kams married Lil- 
lian Collins. There are no children by this 
union. Mr. and Mrs. Karns have an attractive 
home at Miller Park, Franklin. 

PORTER PHIPPS, now a resident of 
Pittsburgh, Pa., is a member of the Phipps 
family which has been prominently associ- 
ated with the development of Venango coun- 
ty from the pioneer period and for many 
years was Himself a leading agriculturist and 
oil operator in Clinton township. He is now 
engaged as a dealer in oil and gas properties, 
with office in the Fitzsimmons building. No. 
331 Fourth avenue, Pittsburgh. 

A full account of Mr. Phipps' lineage from 
Joseph Phipps, the first ancestor of this branch 
of the family in America, will be found else- 
where in this work, his line being through 
Joseph (2), Nathan, Samuel, John and Rob- 
ert Phipps. 

Robert Phipps. father of Porter Phipps, 
was born Feb. 6, 1809, on the old Phipps 
homestead, and died in 1862. He married 
Nov. 23, 1833. Ann Canan, of Lawrenceburg, 
Pa., who survived him until Jan. 2, 1872, and 
they became the parents of eleven children, 
namely: William C. who settled in Clinton 
township, Venango county, where he died June 
6, 1892; James, who died on the homestead; 
Porter; John W., who removed to Colorado, 
and died April 16, 1916, at Prescott, Ariz.; 
Simeon W., who died July 31, 191 7, at Wil- 
kinsburg. Pa. ; Rev.. Dr. Robert *J., a success- 
ful minister of the Presbyterian church, now 
at El Reno, Okla. ; Mary ; Maria, Mrs. Wil- 
liam Tiflfany, who died May 31, 1910, at 
Akron, Ohio; and Mary, Grace and Sarah, 
all three deceased in infancy. 

Porter Phipps was bom Nov. 30, 1842, in 
Clinton township, and grew up on the home- 
stead farm, attending the local township 
schools and later the Clintonville Academy. 
During his early manhood he taught for a 
time. In 1862 he enlisted in Company E. 
1 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry, and served until 
the end of the war, seeing considerable field 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



duty, as may be judged from the fact that he 
took part in forty engagements. His military 
obligations fulfilled, he returned to his old 
home and became interested in farming and 
stock raising, acquiring a farm of 260 acres 
in Clinton township, as well as productive land 
elsewhere, becommg a stockholder in the 
Bradford Orange Company, owning extensive 
orange groves in Florida. Since 1878 he has 
been identified with the oil industry, having 
commenced the production of oil that year. 
In 1900 he removed to Knoxville, Pittsburgh, 
and is now engaged as a dealer in oil and 
gas properties, also having development work 
done in West Virginia, besides doing con- 
siderable prospecting work in what very soon 
will be the greatest petroleum State in the 
Union, Texas. 

Mr. Phipps was one of the most enterpris- 
ing citizens of Clinton township throughout 
his residence there, having served a five-year 
term as justice of the peace, to which office 
he was elected in 1876, and shown his public 
spirit particularly in furthering the educa- 
tional facilities of his neighborhood. He was 
associated with various other local interests, 
holding membership in Alexander Welton 
Post, G. A. R., which he served as commander, 
and belonging to the Presbyterian Church, 
which he represented as delegate to the Pres- 
byterian General Assembly held at Cincin- 
nati, Ohio, in 1885. Since his removal to 
Pittsburgh he has kept up these various in- 
terests with unabated zeal, and is quite hale 
and hearty in his seventy-seventh year. He 
has been a layman in the Presbyterian Church 
for forty-nine years and a continuous scholar 
and teacher in the Sunday school for fifty- 
three years, and is still actively engaged in 
all church and Sunday school work. At pres- 
ent he takes great interest in having our Na- 
tional Government divorced from the liquor 
traffic. He wrote the plank that was adopted 
in the Republican State convention of 1887. 
He was a member of the Republican State 
convention in 1888 and was a member of the 
convention and on the committee of platform 
which reaffirmed the plank of 1887, which 
was, "Resolved that the Commonwealth of 
Pennsylvania shall amend its Constitution, 
forever forbidding the manufacture, sale and 
importation of intoxicating liquors as a bev- 
erage." One of Mr. Phipps' desires has been 
that the Lord would so spare his life so that 
he would see our government, national, state, 
county and local, entirely divorced from a 
business that has produced from seventy-five 
to ninety per cent of all crime. Mr. Phipps 



has had the honor of being commander of 
the largest G. A. R. post in Pittsburgh, Gen. 
Alex. Hays Post, No. 3. At present he is 
chaplain, patriotic instructor, council of ad- 
ministration, member of the Allegheny Com- 
pany G. A. R. Association, and an aide de 
camp on the Na>tional G. A. R. staff. 

On Jan. 26, 1869, Mr. Phipps married 
Sarah J. Baird, daughter of James Baird, of 
Clinton township, and they celebrated their 
Golden Wedding on the 26th of January, 1919. 
They have three sons and three daughters and 
eighteen grandchildren. The eldest son, Ly- 
man Stewart Phipps, was married August 24, 
1897, to Vera McKoon, of Rochester, N. Y., 
and at present lives at Buffalo, N. Y. Robert 
Baird Phipps was married to Vinie Vander- 
lin, of Boyers, Pa., in February, 1900, and 
resides at Grove City, Pa. John H. Phipps 
was married Jan. 12, 1909, to Emma Bott, of 
Pittsburgh, and is now successfully engaged 
in the oil business in Palestine, 111. The oldest 
daughter. Miss Mary A. Phipps, resides in 
Knoxville. The second daughter, Eva M., 
was married to Harry J. Lewis, a lawyer of 
Pittsburgh, Pa., June 28, 1910, and Grace A., 
the youngest of the family was married Jan. 
8, 1908, to J. Fred Boyce, manager of the 
M. E. Cunningham Company of Pittsburgh, 
Pennsylvania. 

JAMES C. DICK has been the moving 
spirit in the concern now known as the Dick 
Sand Company from its very inception, guid- 
ing it from the experimental stage through 
which ever}' new enterprise must pass to the 
certain success which entitles it to a place 
among the notably distinctive industries of 
Venango county. The supplying of sand for 
special uses being a new line of business fol- 
lowed as a separate industry, Mr. Dick had 
no precedents in the field to go by, either in 
the establishment of the venture or the essen- 
tials of its operation, so that it took initiative 
as well as courage to handle the preliminary 
arrangements. But with experience he has 
solved most of his early problems satisfac- 
torily, and the details of the business are now 
well in hand, with all operations in good 
running order and on a most efficient basis. 
The office of the company is at Franklin, the 
grounds and works at Polk, in French Creek 
township, and Mr. Dick makes his home in the 
borough of Utica, which is also in that town- 
ship. 

Mr. Dick was born in 1871 at Clinton, 
Mass., where he obtained his early education, 
being twelve years old when he moved to 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



671 



Pittsburgh with his father, who was engaged 
in business as a merchant at Pittsburgh. The 
youth learned lithography, and followed it 
during young manhood. Coming to Venango 
county on a fishing trip, he met Letha Loretta 
Shirley, of Utica, where he settled at the time 
of their marriage, in 1893. Meantime he had 
become a commercial salesman with a grocery 
house, selling over n?)rthwestem Pennsylvania 
for ten years, and it was during this period 
that his brother, D. W. Dick (now a purchas- 
ing agent for the Ohio Valley Mills, of 
Youngstown, Ohio), called his attention to the 
demand for a special kind of sand used in 
the making of steel castings. The idea offered 
business possibilities which he could not 
ignore, and he set himself the task of finding 
the right kind of deposits, a work calling for 
scientific investigation, based on thorough 
knowledge of the requirements. The first 
bank which Mr. Dick opened was at Carlton, 
Crawford Co., Pa., and he continued prospect- 
ing for two years longer before he found the 
one best grade, on the company's present 
property at Polk. Of twenty-two different 
varieties of sand rock occurring in Pennsyl- 
vania, New York and Ohio but one is per- 
fect for steel molding purposes, and not often 
foimd, and there are only about fifteen com- 
panies all over the country that produce it. 
Considerable capital and patient research were 
necessary to locate the required deposit in 
such quantities as to justify the large in- 
vestment involved in the purchase and in- 
stallation of proper equipment for preparing 
and shipping the product, and the rock was 
thoroughly tested before the land was pur- 
chased, a tract of two hundred acres with a 
fifty-acre supply of sand rock, which is 
crushed at the plant ready for use, a full 
equifwnent of especially designed machinery 
having been put in. It was probably fortunate 
rather than otherwise that Mr. Dick had to 
originate methods of production and handling, 
without being hampered by tradition, if we 
may judge by the facility with which operations 
at the plant are conducted. All the details of 
development have been in his hands. The 
same officers have been at the head of the 
company since it was incorporated fifteen years 
ago, with a capital of fifty thousand dollars, 
Harry Lamberton being president and Chess 
Lamberton secretary and treasurer, while Mr. 
Dick is vice president and general manager. 
The stock is all locally owned. From ten to 
fifteen carloads are shipped daily to the Pitts- 
burgh and BuflFalo markets, constant employ- 
ment being afforded to from thirty to thirty- 



five men, with a good showing of yearly in- 
crease in the volume of business, due to enter- 
prising selling methods as well as the growth 
of demand from old patrons. This sand is a 
stable commodity, having been used in casting 
all the United States armor plate produced 
during the last fifteen years. The rock is 
blasted out in immense quantities by means of 
dynamite, as much as eighty-five hundred 
pounds of explosive being used for a single 
"shot," one discharge setting off a line of holes 
which require three weeks to drill and fill and 
throwing out rock that provides shoveling for 
sixty days. All this is crushed down to the 
fineness of sand ready for use in the steel 
plants. A gravity railroad two thousand, three 
hundred feet long has been laid for moving 
the product in the yards, the loaded cars haul- 
ing the empties from the sand pit to the crush- 
ing plant. Mr. Dick has been kept busy at the 
works since they were started, and they may 
justly be called the product of his mental and 
physical labors. His principal business inter- 
ests aside from this are in developments in the 
Ohio oil fields, where he has made some in- 
vestments. His chief recreation is his yearly 
trip to Canada, where he enjoys catching 
muskellonge and other game fish. Though de- 
voted to business he has been a valtted member 
of the community personally, his substantial 
character and sterling qualities commending 
him to the respect of all its citizens. 

Mr. and Mrs. Dick have occupied their pres- 
ent home in Utica for twenty-five years. They 
have two daughters : Sarah, a graduate of the 
Edinboro State Normal School and now teach- 
ing in the Union building at Franklin; and 
Gertrude, a student in the Utica high school. 
The family are associated with the Presby- 
terian Church. 

WILLIAM HARVEY BONNER, farmer 
of Irwin township, is entitled to honorable 
mention among the intelligent and substantial 
citizens of his section. He is a descendant of 
a family long known in that part of Venango 
county for its energetic business habits and 
general usefulness, as the part its members 
played in the early history and material 
progress of this region testifies. His grand- 
father, Thomas Bonner, was the leader in the 
establishment of the old Victory Furnace on 
Victory run, in this enterprise being asso- 
ciated with his sons Joseph, William, Andrew 
and Archibald Davidson Bonner, as well as 
others. The furnace was continued from 
about 1842 until 1851. 

Archibald Davidson Bonner was born Feb. 



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3, 1814, in Venango county, where he spent all 
his life. About 1849 he obtained the farm 
where his son William Harvey Bonner now 
lives, a tract of one hundred acres in Irwin 
township lying one mile east of the Pittsburgh 
road, and fourteen miles south of Franklin. 
But little of the land was cleared when it 
came into his possession, and it was greatly 
improved under his ownership, both agricul- 
turally and with good buildings. The bam 
was built in 1866, the house in 1869, and he 
kept the property in excellent condition. He 
took a keen interest in local affairs, especially 
in the welfare of the Pleasant View M. E. 
Church, whose house of worship was a mile 
and a half from his home. He held member- 
ship in that congregation from 1846, and was 
ever ready to give active assistance in its 
work. Mr. Bonner died July 4, 1881, ini his 
carriage, while returning from a picnic. He 
was married in 1844 to Susanna Hovis, 
daughter of William Hovis, eldest son of John 
Hovis, and at that time nineteen years old. 
She survived him over a quarter of a cen- 
tury, passing away Oct. 3, 1908, when 
eighty-two years old. The Hovis family is 
fully mentioned elsewhere in this work. 
Seven children were bom to Mr. and Mrs. 
Bonner: William Harvey; James Alvin; Cla- 
rinda, Mrs. Richard Henderson, living near 
the old home in Irwin township; Mary Jane, 
Mrs. Isaac R. Galloway, of Mechanicsville, 
this county (mentioned elsewhere) ; Julia, 
Mrs. Cyms Matthews, of Irwin township; 
Catherine, Mrs. John Kinder, of Irwin town- 
ship; and Sadie, who died unmarried when 
twenty-two years old. James Alvin Bonner, 
now a resident of Butler, Pa., has been en- 
gaged with the Phillips Brothers as an oil 
driller for forty-three years, being now super- 
intendent of their drilling operations, often 
with as many as twenty-two strings of tools 
going at once. He began his oil work in the 
[bullion field. 

William Harvey Bonner was bom April 22, 
1846. in the old brick house at Bullion now 
occupied by Homer L. De Woody, built by the 
Bonners over one hundred years ago. He was 
reared at his present home and educated in the 
neighboring schools, meantime also getting a 
highly practical training under his father's 
guidance. He has continued to work on the 
farm all his life, devoting all his energies to 
agriculture as a general farmer, in which line 
he has been notably successful. Though he 
himself has never given any time to work in 
the oil fields, a numljer of years ago he bought 
a fifty-acre tract adjoining his home property 



in partnership with his brother-in-law, Isaac 
R. Galloway, and it has been profitably op- 
erated under lease to the present time, the 
owners drawing substantial royalties from 
the oil production there. Mr. Bonner has 
never attempted to locate oil on the home 
farm. Though he has not aspired to official 
honors or publicity of anv kind he has led an 
active life, has visited some interesting sec- 
tions of the country, and enjoys . outdoor 
recreations whenever his work leaves him 
time for them. Like his father he has been a 
prominent member of the Pleasant View M. 
E. Church, which he is serving as,tmstee. AH 
his life he has been a Prohibitionist in political 
principle. 

When twenty-nine years old Mr. Bonner 
married Jane Foster, sister of Hiram Clinton 
Foster, whose family history appears else- 
where in this work. She died two and a half 
years later, leaving one child, Carrie, now a 
professional nurse holding a position in the 
Venango County Home. On June 11, 1885, 
Mr. Bonner married (second) Mary Beighle, 
whose parents, Joseph and Lydia (Shaner) 
Beighle, lived near the old Gilmore mill, where 
Mrs. Bonner was bom. Mr. Beighle, who 
was born in January, 181 2, died at that place 
April 22, 1889; Mrs. Beighle, bom in Septem- 
ber. 1823, died there Feb. 22, 1900. They had 
a family of five children, namely: Obadiah, 
who died Jan. 21. 1913, his wife, Clara (Har- 
per), formerly of Butler county, now living at 
Grove City; Mary, Mrs. William Harvey 
Bonner; Susie and Lizzie, who died in younjg 
womanhood ; and Elias, who is in the oil busi- 
ness in California. 

Two children have been born to Mr. and 
Mrs., Bonner: Guy, who works with his father, 
married Alice Henderson and has one son, 
William Lester; Ethel is a graduate of the 
State Normal School at Slippery Rock, Pa., 
and has taught eight terms in V'enango county, 
being engaged at present in Irwin township. 

RAYMOND. That section of Venango 
county embracing Frenchcreek township, in- 
cluding the thriving borough of Utica and the 
town of Raymilton, had its most potent impulse 
in the early days of development in the enter- 
prise of the late Aaron Weeks Raymond. His 
remarkable career, spanning almost ninety 
years, covered practically the entire period of 
transition from primitive to modem conditions 
in this region, and throughout its course he 
was one of the most vigorous advocates of 
progress in his locality, leading many of the 
most important advances made there. A man 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



67a 



of vision and action, he foresaw the possi- 
bilities Ijring in the wonderful natural re- 
sources awaiting exploitation in this section, 
and had the energy and courage to undertake 
much of the work himself, reaping an ample 
reward in his personal prosperity and an hon- 
orable position among hb fellow men. The 
history of his active years would need little 
amplification to form a complete industrial 
record of Utica and Raymilton and the sur- 
rounding territory during the first half of the 
nineteenth century and longer, and when he 
removed to Franklin he took an equally im- 
portant part in business activities there. 

Mr. Raymond was of old Colonial stock long 
settled in Connecticut, where his grandfather, 
Simeon Raymond, lived and died. The latter 
was bom in 171 1 at **01d Well," Norwalk, 
Fairfield Co., Conn., and held a commission 
under the Crown as captain until the breaking 
out of the Revolution, when, his sympathies 
being with the "rebels," he resigned his com- 
mand. His union with the Colonists so in- 
censed the Tories that they burned all his 
property. He and his wife Hannah had ten 
children. 

Aaron Raymond, son of Simeon and Hannah 
Raymond, was bom Aug. 9, 1759, at Norwalk, 
and was but a youth when he entered the 
Colonial service, enlisting Jan. i, 1777, in the 
3d Connecticut Regiment. He served six 
years, five months and eight days, as shown 
by his discharge, dated June 8, 1783, and bear- 
ing the signature of George Washington, which 
is now one of the cherished possessions of the 
Ra3rmond sisters, of Franklin, Pa. His prop- 
erty was destroyed with his father's by 
Amold's expedition in 1779. It is said that a 
large pier glass which the father buried, an 
heirloom brought by the family from England, 
was the only thing saved of the household 
effects. Aaron Raymond was a sailor by call- 
ing, acting as captain of a vessel engaged in 
the whale fisheries, and after the war ran a 
packet for some time. He also owned land 
and farmed, but when his health failed and he 
could no longer follow the sea he removed to 
New York State, settling first at Clinton, 
Oneida county, and later at Troy, where he 
died Nov. 30, 1810. On Oct. i-j, 1784. he 
married Hannah R. Weeks, of Huntington, 
L. I., who was born on Long Island Feb. 17, 
1765, and died at Troy in 1830. They were 
the parents of ten children : Olive, Mrs. Greg- 
ory; Mary, Mrs. Underbill; Elizabeth. Mrs. 
Craw; Oranee: Lavina, Mrs. Russell; Han- 
nah, Mrs. Underbill: Phoebe, Mrs. Lord; 
43 



Aaron Weeks; Matilda, Mrs. Russell; and 
Julia Ann. 

Aaron Weeks Raymond was born Jan. 21, 
1801, at Norwalk, Conn., and spent his early 
years in New York State. In 1806 he saw 
Fulton's first boat, the **Clemiont," as it was 
under construction in the North river. His 
father dying when he was but nine years old, 
he went to live with his eldest sister then 
residing at Clinton, N. Y., attending school 
there. Three years later he went to work for 
the husband of another sister, Capt. Abraham 
Underbill, as cabin boy, and thus started the 
vocation of his earlier manhood, rising from 
this humble position on a steamboat to captain 
after serving in every intermediate capacity. 
He commanded three different boats, acting as 
agent and part of the time as captain of the 
"Chief Justice Marshall," the pioneer steam- 
boat on the line from Troy to New York, and 
as captain of the "Star." During the winter 
seasons he usually engaged in clerking. In 
1819 he made a trip to Erie county, Pa., where 
he spent one year with his brother-in-law 
David Russell, engaged in farming, but in 1822 
he returned to Troy on foot, and resumed his 
former occupation. In 1828 he was interested 
in a grocery at Troy as a member of the firm 
of Raymond & Underbill. It was in 1830 that- 
he came to Venango county, where he pur- 
chased a large tract of land in 1844, acquiring 
possession of a tract of about six hundred 
acres which includes what is now the ^te of 
Raymilton, and practically all of which is still 
held in the family. He settled in May, 1830, 
at the present site of the borough of Utica, 
which he laid out that year. Putting up a 
building he opened a store and foundry', and 
within a few years had given a strong impetus 
to the growth of the town, which he named 
Utica in honor of Utica, N. Y. He had a 
hand in most of the important business of his 
day. He took a contract on the French creek 
canal, whxh he completed faithfully, and 
afterward built three locks on the Erie canal, 
near Hartstown. The Utica post office was 
established through his efforts, and in 1844 he 
built a large grist and saw mill there, which he 
operated successfullv. In 1844 he purchased 
the land south of his original location in the 
vicinity of what is now Raymilton, which he 
also founded and named, and where he put up 
a blast furnace, mills and other buildings, also 
establishing a large store. He operated the 
furnace for eight years, it being closed down 
in 1857, and in his various activities often had 
a hundred men working for him. Removing 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



to Franklin in 1858, he soon purchased a hotel 
which he conducted as the "Rural House" for 
a few years (it was a temperance house), and 
he was one of the first in this field to engage 
in the production of oil, drilling the second 
well sunk after Drake's, in the fall of 1859. 
He was president of the Mammoth Oil Com- 
pany, which had been organized at Franklin 
for that purpose, and they struck oil in March, 
getting a fairly good flow. He continued to be 
actively interested in oil development during 
the rest of his business career, having valuable 
holdings on Oil creek. Sugar creek, the Alle- 
gheny river, Sandy creek and elsewhere. Some 
of his most profitable oil investments were at 
Raymilton, Reno and Franklin, in Venango 
county. Mr. Raymond never relinquished his 
active connection with business until three 
years before his death, when he was well along 
in the eighties. When the oil industry was at 
its height he was president of two oil com- 
panies. His production at Raymilton paid well. 
Mr. Raymond could always be counted upon to 
support any good cause and to cooperate with 
his fellow citizens in projects looking to the 
general welfare. From 1842 he held mem- 
bership in the Presbyterian Church, and he was 
for many years one of the elders of the church 
of that denomination in Franklin. His death 
occurred Jan. 24, 1890, just at the beginning 
of his ninetieth year. 

On Sept. 29, 1824, Mr. Raymond was mar- 
ried, at Sand Lake, N. Y., to Ann Eliza 
Whitaker, who was born in 1802 at Troy, N. 
Y.. daughter of Capt. Ephraim and Hannah 
Whitaker, the former a Revolutionary soldier. 
Mrs. Raymond passed away at Franklin in 
1887, and is buried with her husband in the 
Franklin cemetery. Of the thirteen children 
born to them ten reached maturity, namely : 
Matilda, born Sept. 9, 1825, married Matthew 
Whann and (second) Jackson Robison, of 
Curwensville, and now, in her ninety-second 
year, is a resident of Franklin, busily engaged 
in knitting socks for the American boys in the 
service : William W., deceased, was a resident 
of Raymilton; George W.. born Aug. 4, 1828, 
at Troy, N. Y., was a prominent citizen of Ray- 
milton, and died April 5, 1909 (he married 
Mary Adams, and they had one child, Flor- 
ence, who died in childhood) ; Charles H., 
bom Feb. 3, 1832, at Utica, Pa., was a leading 
resident of Raymilton, where he became post- 
master upon the establishment of the office, in 
1868, and died Aue:. 7» 1908 (he married Jennie 
S. Ives, Aue. 16, 1871, and they had two 
daughters, Elizabeth and Dora) ,' Hannah M. 
married Philetus W. Raymond, and is now a 



resident of Franklin (she is eighty-two years 
of age) ; Mary J., who never married, also 
resides at Franklin ; Harriet A. married John 
L. Nutchell, of Franklin, and died in 1916; 
Sarah, widow of William J. Lamberton, of 
Denver, Colo., resides at Franklin; Aaron 
Whitaker is mentioned below ; Ann Elizabeth, 
who is unmarried, lives with her sisters Mary 
J., Mrs. Robison and Mrs. Lamberton at 
Franklin. 

Aaron Whitaker Raymond was born at 
Raymilton July 17, 1842, and died Jan. i, 
1894, at that place. He is buried in the 
Franklin cemetery. For many years he was 
active in business as a merchant and oil pro- 
ducer, in association with his brothers George 
W. and Charles H. Raymond, their operations 
being among the most important conducted in 
and around Raymilton, whose prosperity has 
always been governed to a large extent by the 
Raymonds. On Oct. 18, 1877, Mr. Raymond 
married Elizabeth Simcox, daughter of Shed 
Simcox, and she survives him, now making 
her home at Grove City, Pa., where both her 
daughters have their homes. To Mr. and Mrs. 
Raymond were born three children: Laura, 
wife of Ralston Montgomery; Eliza, wife of 
William S. McKay; and Shed Simcox. 

Shed Simcox Raymond, now a prosperous 
young business man of Franklin, Pa., was 
bom at Raymilton March 25, 1886. He had 
all the educational advantages afforded by the 
public schools, and later attended Grove City 
College, after which for a time he, was super- 
intendent of the Montgomery Broom Manu- 
facturing Company at Grove City, where he 
remained for five years. For the two years 
followine he was located at Albion, Pa., where 
he established himself in the business of dry 
cleaning and pressing, which he has followed 
successfully to the present time. From Albion 
he removed to Franklin, which has afforded a 
much larger field for his enterprise, and Avhere 
he has a modernly equipped plant at Eighth 
and Liberty streets. As his patronage widened 
he founded a branch at Oil City, where he also 
does a largre business, maintaining auto trucks 
at both places for collecting and delivering. 
He gives steadv employment to ten hands. In 
a large part of his territory Mr. Raymond has 
had the double task of familiarizing the people 
with the scope of his business and its ad- 
vantages besides demonstrating the superior 
work which his establishment is prepared to 
turn out. but the trade has been put upon a 
solid basis and is increasing steadily. He gives 
practically all his attention to the business, 
having few outside interests, though he main- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



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tains active membership in the Masonic fra- 
ternity, affiliating with Grove City Lodge, No. 
603, F. & A. M., and Venango Lodge of Per- 
fection at Oil City ; he also belongs to Franklin 
Lodge, No. no, B. P. O. Elks. 

Mr. Raymond is married to Edith De Armit, 
daughter of T. B. De Armit, a resident of 
Pittsburgh, where he was for many years gen- 
eral superintendent of the New York and 
Cleveland Coal Company. Mr. and Mrs. Ray- 
mond have no children. 

RODERICK MACKENZIE, of Oil City, 
now filling his second term as city controller, 
has a long established reputation as an account- 
ant, the varied experience in financial opera- 
tions which he acquired previous to assuming 
his present public office fitting him thoroughly 
for its duties. That he measured up fully to 
the expectations of his fellow citizens was 
shown substantially in the strong support 
which he received at the primaries when a 
candidate for renomination — the largest vote 
cast in the city for any city or county candi- 
date. Mr. Mackenzie is a native of Scotland, 
coming from the island of Lewis. Ross-shire, 
where his grandparents, Murdock and Janet 
(Ferrier) Mackenzie, lived and died. They 
are buried there. Their children were as fol- 
lows: Alexander, who became an architect; 
Colin, a merchant in Charleston, S. C. ; George, 
agent for the French General Transatlantic 
Company at New York; Roderick George; 
Catherine; Isabella, and Mary. The family 
were Presbyterians. 

Roderick George Mackenzie, father of 
Roderick Mackenzie, was bom Nov. 10, 1820, 
at Stomoway, Ross-shire, on Lewis island, 
Scotland, and was reared and educated there. 
He came to this country and did business here 
for a number of years, becoming a naturalized 
citizen. Mr. Mackenzie was engaged as a 
ship commissioner before coming to America. 
He made the voyage to New York by sailing 
vessel and spent some time in that city, later 
going to Savannah, Ga., where he was a ship 
commission broker for a number of years. 
Having had an attack of yellow fever, he re- 
turned to Scotland to recuperate, and never 
came back to this country, dying at his native 
place, where he is buried, Feb. 22, 1883. He 
was a member of the Free Church of Scotland. 
In 1853 Mr. Mackenzie married Jane Mack- 
enzie, who was bom Jan. 24, 1827, at Stomo- 
way, Scotland, daufifhter of Roderick Macken- 
zie, also a native of Lewis island and engaged 
in the shippine business and as town clerk of 
Stomoway. His wife's maiden name was Mac- 



donald, and their children were Isabel, May, 
Jane (Mrs. Roderick George Mackenzie) and 
Duncan R. The father was fifty-eight years 
old at the time of his death, and both parents 
were Presbyterians. 

Mrs. Jane (Mackenzie) Mackenzie never 
came to America, dying in Scotland April 4, 
1897, ^^^ mother of the following children: 
Annie Jane, deceased, was the wife of John 
F. Macfarlane of Canada; Roderick is men- 
tioned below ; Dr. Murdo, of Stomoway, Scot- 
land, married Agnes Drake; Duncan R. is 
mentioned below; Cecilia Pithie is the wife of 
Capt. M. D. Macfarlane, of Ilford, Coimty of 
Essex, near London, England; George Fran- 
cis, cashier of the Old National Bank of 
Grand Rapids, Mich., married Emily Green- 
field; George Washington and Janet Ferrier 
died in infancy. 

Roderick Mackenzie was bom at Stomo- 
way Sept. 27, 1856, in the same room where 
his mother was bom. He grew up there, ob- 
taining his education in the local schools and 
his early business training with his father, 
working in the latter's shipping office the 
summer before he left home. He was sixteen 
years old when he came to America, in the 
summer of 1873, in company with the family 
of his uncle, Duncan R. Mackenzie, making 
the voyage on the steamship "Egypt," of the 
National Steamship Company. Landing at 
New York, he lived in Brooklyn for the next 
five years, during which time he was employed 
in New York in the grain commission busi- 
ness, and at the end of that time made a visit 
home, also attending the Paris exposition then 
in progress. Upon his retum to this country, 
in the fall of 1878, he spent a few months in 
Bloomfield, N. J., in March, 1879, going to 
Scotland again and remaining until October. 
When he came back he took a position in 
Pittsburgh, Pa., as chief clerk with the Edgar 
Thomson Steel Company, with which he was 
associated in that capacity until June 10, 1881, 
when he became private secretary to Capt. J. J. 
Vandergrift, president of the United Pipe 
Lines Company, in Pittsburgh. He was so en- 
gaged until May, 1885, when he was sent to 
Chicago by Vandergrift & Rhodes in the inter- 
est of the Pennsylvania Tube Company, as 
auditor, his duties keeping him there until Feb- 
ruary, 1886. His next responsibilities were as 
auditor for the Westmoreland- & Cambria Nat- 
ural Gas Company in Pittsburgh, with which 
concern he remained until 1896. when the busi- 
ness was closed out owing to the exhaustion of 
the natural gas anjl he formed a Philadelphia 
connection which he retained until October, 



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1897. For two years after his return to Pitts- 
burgh he was with the Consolidated Traction 
Company as assistant to the superintendent of 
oveAead and maintenance of way, and subse- 
quently was with the Crucible Steel Company 
of that city, assisting in the consolidation of 
the different companies as auditor. In 190 1 
he took a trip West and up the Great Lakes, 
visited the Buffalo Exposition, and eventually 
arrived in Oil City, where he opened the books 
for the new organization of the Citizens' 
Traction Company, spending a year in that 
work. Then he went into business on his own 
account under the name of The Audit Com- 
pany, , maintaininjg dfices in the Chambers 
building in Oil City, and continuing thus until 
he became associated with the Derrick Pub- 
lishing Company as accountant. He severed 
that connection to take his present office, to 
which he was first elected in 191 2, and subse- 
quently chosen to succeed himself. He is a 
Republican in political sentiment, but the large 
vote which put him into office was by no means 
confined to his own party, being a gratifying 
affirmation of the high opinion prevailing as 
to his personal character as well as business 
qualifications. 

By his first marriage Mr. Mackenzie had 
two children: Roderick George died when 
twenty-six years old; Walter J., paying teller 
in the New Netherland Bank. New York City, 
married Marie Brandt. To his present union, 
with Mary Browne, a native of McClintock- 
ville, Venango Co., Pa., daughter of A. S. and 
Mary Browne, have been born three children : 
Cecilia P., Miriam R. and George A., all of 
whom have attended school in Oil City. Mr. 
Mackenzie and his family are members of the 
Episcopal Church. Their home is at No. 11 
Hoffman avenue. 

Duncan R. MAckENziE has acquired a 
name for solid worth among financial authori- 
ties in Oil Citv, where he is well known as 
treasurer of the National Transit Company 
and the National Transit Pump & Machine 
Company and assistant treasurer of the 
Maryland Pipe Line Co., responsibilities suffi- 
cient in themselves to suggest his substantial 
position. He was bom Sept. 30, i860, at Stor- 
naway, Ross-shire, Scotland, where he was 
brought up, and was just past his majority 
when he arrived in America, in March, 1882. 
He made the voyage in the *'Anchoria," of the 
Anchor Line, from Glasgow to New York, 
where he spent a few weeks visiting relatives 
before proceeding to Pittsburgh, joining his 
brother Roderick, who had been in the United 
States several years. On April 28, 1882, he 



entered the employ of the United Pipe Lines 
at Bradford, Pa., as clerk, and remained in 
that city for the seven and a half years fol- 
lowing, until the United Pipe Lines was 
merged into the National Transit Company as 
the United Pipe Lines Division, and he was 
sent to new duties at Oil City, Pa-, Sept. 30, 
1889^ He has advanced steadily throughout 
his association with the company, being now 
a director and one of its trusted officials. He 
was assistant treasurer of the National Tran- 
sit Company and of the National Transit 
Pump & Machine Company until Oct. i, 191 8, 
becoming treasurer on that date. From the 
time of his removal to Oil City he has 
taken a deep interest in the general iM*og- 
ress of the community, and he has been 
particularly useful in promoting public edu- 
cational facilities, having served seven or 
eight years as a school director and had 
the honor of being chosen president of the 
board for several years. His political alle- 
giance has been given to the Prohibition Party, 
whose platform best expresses his views. He 
is a leading member and worker of the First 
Presbyterian Church, elected an elder in No- 
vember, 1890, and ordained in January, 1891, 
since when he has served without interrup- 
tion. For a number of years he has taught the 
Mackenzie Bible class, so named in his honor. 
Mr. Mackenzie married Eleanor Woolsey 
Mackenzie, who was bom at Bergen Point, 
N. J., daughter of Duncan R. and Julia (Ibbot- 
son) Mackenzie, and their five children are: 
(i) Julia Jean was graduated from the Oil 
City high school and from Allegheny College, 
Meadville, Pa., and is now a teacher in the 
Oil City high school. (2) Annie Laurie, a 
graduate of the Oil City high school, is now 
the wife of Lyle L. McElheny, of Mercer, Pa. 
(3) Archibald Edward graduated from the 
Oil City high school and took the medical 
course in Toronto University, leaving early 
in the war to enlist with the Second Canadian 
Contingent, with which he saw a number of 
months of exciting service as a gunner in the 
field artillery located on the firing line in north- 
em France. Then, together with a number of 
fellow medical students, he was withdrawn 
from the field artillery and sent back to To- 
ronto to finish his studies at the University. 
After leaving the University he received the 
rank of lieutenant and was soon sent to Eng- 
land, where he has served as medical officer 
with a number of military units, latteriy being 
appointed chief medical officer of the Third 
Canadian Reserve Battalion, with the rank 
of captain. He is located "somewhere in Eng- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



677 



land." He married Mary McWilKam, and their 
home is in Toronto, Canada. (4) Helen Pithie 
is a graduate of the Oil City high school and 
.\llegheny College, Meadville, Pa., and a 
teacher in the Junior high school of the city. 
(5) Duncan Roderick died in infancy. The 
family home is at No. 102 Bissell avenue. 

RIDDLE. The name Riddle has exemplified 
substantial worth and high standards in Ven- 
ango county for many years, and in view of the 
records of its present-day representatives it is 
safe to conclude that the reputation is well de- 
served. Of the branch of the family here 
under consideration, John A. Riddle is one of 
the foremost citizens of Irwin township, a 
leader in agricultural interest^ and public af- 
fairs, and his sons give promise of being equally 
successful and useful to their generation. 

Matthew Riddle, the founder of the family 
in this section, was a native of Roxburghshire, 
Scotland, and a veteran wof the Revolutionary 
war, in which he served as a member of Gen- 
eral Washington's staff. He came to Venango 
county as chain bearer for Thomas McKee, was 
first in Qinton township in 1795, and the fol- 
lowing year removed his family from West- 
moreland county. He acquired ownership of 
twelve hundred acres of land, in three tracts, 
part of it l)ring in Scrubgrass township. At 
his death it was divided among his four chil- 
dren. With Robert Calvert he established what 
has since been known as the Calvert-Riddle 
cemetery, each giving half of the land set aside 
for that purpose, in 1796. That year a rela- 
tive of Mr. Riddle died while on a visit to 
him, so the burial place was provided, and 
many of the family are interred there. Mat- 
thew Riddle died Nov. 26, 1820, aged seventy- 
seven years, and is buried in the Calvert-Riddle 
cemetery. His wife, Katie (Phipps), died in 
1817. Their two daughters lived to advanced 
age. Elizabeth dying unmarried Nov. 26, 18 — , 
aged sixty-five years. Annie, Mrs. James Pol- 
lock, lived on part of her father's land; 
Robert, who was with Commodore Perry in 
the engagement on Lake Erie, died Sept. 18, 
1856, aged sixty-eight years, six months; John 
was the grandfather of John A. Riddle. 

John Riddle, born in Westmoreland comity, 
came into possession of half of the four hun- 
dred acres comprised in the home farm, his 
part being the east end (the old home going to 
Robert Riddle, where the brick house stands 
at present). He died when his eldest child, 
Matthew, was but twelve or thirteen years old. 
He married Esther Crawford, and their chil- 
ren were: Matthew, mentioned elsewhere in 
the sketch of his son, John K. Riddle ; Robert, 



who died in his prime, unmarried ; John Wash- 
ington, who became the owner of his father's 
farm, his son William M. Riddle now owning 
it (his son Charles Milton Riddle is mentioned 
elsewhere) ; William C, father of John A. 
Riddle; Elizabeth, Mrs. Samuel Moore, who 
lived in Scrul^ass township, this county, 
reaching an advanced age; and Mary, Mrs. 
George Cross, who lived below Harrisville, 
Butler Co., Pa., and died when a young 
woman. 

William C. Riddle, father of John A. Riddle, 
was bom in 1822 in Clinton township, Venango 
county. When a young man he located in Ir- 
win township, this county, purchasing 100 acres 
of land, all of which tract was then in the 
woods. He succeeded in clearing it, and spent 
the rest of his life upon the farm he made, cul- 
tivating it and putting up all the buildings 
there. The farm is now owned by Charles 
Kams. Mr. Riddle also took an active part in 
public affairs in his township, serving as school 
director and constable. He was a member of 
the State militia, and durii^ the Civil war 
served for a few months in Pennsylvania. He 
was a member of the Amity Presbyterian 
Church and one of the zealous workers in that 
congregation. Mr. Riddle died upon his farm 
Dec. 3, 1887, aged sixty-five years, one month, 
twenty-nine days, and is buried at Amity 
Church. He was survived by his wife, Mary 
(Davidson), who was bom in 1820, daughter 
of Archibald Davidson, whose wife's maiden 
name was McDowell. Mrs. Riddle died July 
I, 1892, aged seventy-one years, ten months, 
fourteen days, and is also buried, at Amity 
Church. Mr. and Mrs. Riddle had children: 
George, who is now deceased; Allister D.; 
John A.; Joseph C, recently deceased (see 
below) ; Damy, widow of Peter Moyer, resid- 
ing in FrankHn, Pa.; Melvina, deceased; E. 
Leybum, who resides at Rocky Grove; and 
Grant, deceased. 

John A. Riddle was bom May 2, 1852, in 
Irwin township, and had such educational ad- 
vantages as the local public schools afforded. 
Reared upon his father's farm, he was trained 
from early boyhood in the work of cultivating 
the soil and improving farm property, and by 
the time he reached his majority was ready to 
begin on his own account. His first purchase 
was the Joseph Henderson farm, where his 
operations prospered so encouragingly that he 
was able to buy the R. C. Eakin farm adjoin- 
ing, bringing the area of his property up to 
150 acres, all good farming land. He has been 
bettering conditions steadily, and besides doing 
geneml farming has becpme interested in stock 



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raising, making a specialty of feeding cattle 
for the market. Mr. Riddle has been "diligent 
in business," and he has been no less mindful 
of the improvement of matters concerning the 
general good, showing breadth of mind and an 
unselfish spirit in his connection with such ac- 
tivities. He has held the township offices of 
school director and auditor, and for the last 
ten years has been health officer of Irwin and 
Clinton townships. Politically he believes in 
the doctrines of the Republican party. As a 
member of the Presbyterian Church he has 
also taken a helpful part in the religious life of 
the locality, acting as collector for the last 
thirty years. 

Mr. Riddle married Mary M. Sterrett, 
daughter of the late Robert M. and Mary Ann 
(Karnes) Sterrett^ and nine children have been 
bom to them : Berdell, who is deceased ; Alton, 
deceased; Herbert S., living at Nicklin, Pa.; 
Frank L., of Franklin, Pa. ; Harry C, a farmer 
of Irwin township; Lloyd E., a partner of his 
brother Frank, in Franklin; Effie, wife of 
Norman Mayes ; Ralph, deceased ; and Charles 
A., who lives at home. 

Herbert S. Riddle, eldest surviving son of 
John A. Riddle, was born on the home farm in 
Irwin township Aug. 21, 1877, and remained 
there until he came of age. He had conscien- 
tious home training and excellent schooling, 
begun in the country schools near home and 
continued at the Barkeyville Academy under 
Professors Eakin. Myers and Manchester. He 
taught one term of school in Irwin township. 
At the age of twenty-one years he turned to 
merchandising, in which line he was engaged 
for ten years at Franklin. He was the first to 
occupy the brick building at the end of the 
French creek bridge. In the fall of 1909 Mr. 
Riddle became one of a company which se- 
cured an oil lease on a tract of about eighty 
acres in French Creek township, some three 
miles west of Franklin, the operations being 
delegated to others until about seven years ago, 
when Mr. Riddle came to work at the holding 
as pumper. At that time there were fifteen 
producing wells there. Soon afterward he 
bought out his partners, and besides acquiring 
sole ownership of the original tract added one 
of thirty-three acres, the McCarty farm. At 
present he has fifteen wells in operation, with 
the average production of the valuable heavy 
oil for which this region has become famous. 
The wells are conveniently situated only a mile 
and a half from the New Foco Refinery on 
French creek. For the last seven years Mr. 
Riddle has given most of his time to the pro- 
duction of oil, but he also does some gardening 



and poultry raising, in which he has been very 
successful, his early experience in this line 
having been of the most practical order. 

Aside from his business Mr. Riddle has been 
particularly active in Sunday school work. 
He is a steward of the Nicklin M. E. Church 
and for the last five years has filled the position 
of superintendent in the Sunday school; is 
president of the Seventh District Venango 
County Sunday School Association, with ten 
active Sunday schools under his supervision 
and two district conventions, and is on the 
executive board of the Sunday School Council 
of the county. His political support is given 
to the Prohibition party, and he has served as 
a member of the election board in French 
Creek township ever since he settled there. 
He joined the I. O. O. F. when he reached his 
majority. 

On May 24, 1899, Mr. Riddle married 
Estella Wilson, of Centertown, Mercer Co., 
Pa., but a few miles, from his old home. She 
was educated in the country schools. Her 
parents, John B. and Mary Jane (McConnell) 
Wilson, lived on the old McConnell farm, 
where he died May 24, 1916, Mrs. Wilson still 
remaining there. Three children have been 
bom to Mr. and Mrs. Riddle: Robert Boyd, 
born in December, 1900, who was educated in 
the local schools and now assists his father on 
the farm; Ralph Wilson, bom March 3, 1916; 
and Mary Louise, bom March 3, 1918, the 
first granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. John A. 
Riddle. 

Frank Loyten Riddle, another son of 
John A. Riddle, went to Franklin when a boy 
and has had a prosperous career there. Bom 
in Irwin township Aug. i, 1880, he attended 
the township schools and assisted his father 
upon the farm until ready to take up work of 
his own choice. When fifteen years old he 
came to Franklin, and after three years' em- 
ployment at the confectioner's business en- 
gaged in that line on his own account, also 
starting a restaurant. In 191 1 he opened the 
Orpheum hotel and restaurant at No. 1273 
Liberty street, to which practically all of his 
time is now given, owning it in partnership 
with his brother and cousin, under the firm 
name of Riddle Brothers. The company was 
Riddle Brothers & Elliott for a time. It is the 
leading establishment of the kind in the city, 
commanding a large and constantly growing 
patronage, a substantial recognition of the ex- 
cellent food and service to be found there with- 
out fail. The hotel has twelve rooms. There 
is no doubt that the personal popularity of the 
various members of the firm has contributed 



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largely to their success, but on the other hand 
it is only just to say that it has been gained 
through their painstaking efforts and sincere 
desire to give their patrons the best possible 
service. 

Mr. Riddle has always taken an active in- 
terest in sports, particularly in baseball, in 
which he has been one of the leading spirits 
locally. He is now serving as a director of the 
well known Franklin Base Ball Team. Fra- 
ternally he is well known as a member of the 
I. O. O. F. and W. O. W. He is married to 
Grace Curran, daughter of William J. Curran, 
of Oil City, this county. 

Harry C. Riddle, another son of John A. 
Riddle, is a well known farmer of Irwin 
township and also associated in the timber 
business with B. F. McMurdy, of Barkeyville, 
in a large tract near Qintonville. He was 
married July i8, 191 3, to Marie George, of 
Mercer county, Pa., in Wichita Falls, Texas, 
and they have one son, James Carl. 

Lloyd Elton Riddle, member of the firm 
of Riddle Brothers, Franklin, was bom upon 
his father's farm in Irwin township July 26, 
1885. He there attended the district schools 
up to the age of fourteen years, when he came 
to Franklin and found employment at restau- 
rant work. Some time later he and his cousin 
Harry Earl Riddle opened a restaurant on 
Liberty street, on the present site of the Or- 
pheum Theatre. After conducting it for a 
time they purchased a restaurant from Mr. 
Elliott, on Thirteenth street, which they also 
continued, eventually opening the fine estab- 
lishment in which they are now interested with 
Frank L. Riddle, at No. 1273 Liberty street, 
under the firm name of Riddle Brothers. 
Their management and upbuilding of this 
restaurant and hotel have been highly credit- 
able, and either personally or in their business 
relations they are considered worthy to be 
ranked with the substantial young men of the 
city. 

Mr. Riddle married Alice Clark, daughter 
of Winfield Clark, and she died in 1908, leav- 
ing one son, Elton Clark, who now attends 
public school at Franklin. For his second 
wife Mr. Riddle married Bessie Kunkle, 
daughter of Theodore Kunkle, of Rocky 
Grove. They have no children. Mr. Riddle 
is an Odd Fellow in fraternal affiliation, and a 
Presbyterian in religious connection. 

Charles A. Riddle, youngest son of J. A. 
Riddle, is now a partner with his father on 
the home farm, in the cattle business and gen- 
eral farming. On Sept. 4, 1918, he was mar- 
ried to Edna M. Cokaine, of Barkeyville. 



Joseph C. Riddle, another of the sons of 
William C. Riddle, above, was born in Irwin 
township, Venange county. He followed 
shoemaking practically all his life, having 
learned the trade in his youth, and he became 
so well known for skilled workmanship that 
for many years he was occupied with custom 
work almost altogether. Not long since he 
made a sojourn in Colorado for the benefit 
of his health. He died in November, 1918, 
at Franklin, Pa., and is buried in Franklin 
cemetery. He married Margaret Steen, and 
Ethel is the eldest of their six children; Lena 
married Allen Jollyette ; Myrtle is the wife of 
George Berg; Sarah married James McKee; 
Mary and H. Earl complete the family. 

H. Earl Riddle was bom Feb. 11, 1885, 
in Irwin township, this county, and was edu- 
cated at Franklin, attending public school. He 
was little more than a youth when he and his 
cousin Lloyd E. Riddle opened a restaurant 
on Liberty street, Franklin, where the Or- 
pheum Theatre is now located, and all his 
business career has been devoted to the same 
line. The operations of the firm of Riddle 
Brothers, under which style Mr. Riddle is now 
associated with his two cousins, are given in 
detail above. He has done his full share in 
the promotion and expansion of their trade, 
having business and personal qualifications 
which make his services very valuable to the 
general well-being of its aflfairs. Fraternally 
he is a member of the L O. O. F. 

Mr. Riddle married Ruth Bair, daughter of 
William Bair, and they have one daughter, 
Mary Jane. 

CYRUS RIGGS COULTER (deceased) 
was a lifelong resident of Qinton township, 
where his industrial worth and high standards 
of citizenship bore out the traditions of a naitie 
long associated with the best influences for 
progress in this section. He was of the second 
generation of his family in possession of the 
old Coulter farm, lying four miles northeast 
of Clintonville and the same distance southeast 
of Kennerdell, on the line of Scrubgrass town- 
ship, in which latter township it was included 
at the time that his grandfather, Patrick Coul- 
ter, settled here, in 1804 or 1805. 

Patrick Coulter was a native of County 
Derry, Ireland, and for a number of years 
prior to his removal to Venango county resided 
in Huntingdon county, Pa., whence he came to 
this section. He was married three times, his 
first wife being Nancy Finley, by whom he had 
seven children, two sons, John and William, 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



and five daughters, Margaret, Elizabeth, Mary, 
Nancy and Sybella. 

Dr. John Coulter, son of Patrick and Nancy 
(Finley) Coulter, was bom June 15, 1797, in 
Huntingdon county, and studied medicine with 
Epaphroditus Cossitt, of Mercer, Pa. He was 
one of the first practicing physicians in Ven- 
ango county, he and Dr. John D. Wood being 
the earliest physicians in the Scrubgrass 
region. Dr. Coulter was one of the leading 
pioneer farmers in what is now Clinton town- 
ship, living on his farm there until his death. 
His professional duties took him all over the 
southwestern part of the county and into the 
adjoining portions of Butler and Mercer 
counties. It is said that he "never kept any 
accounts, and consequently the full remunera- 
tion for his services depended very much upon 
the memory and honesty of the patient." 
Dr. Coulter was twice married, his first wife 
being Achsah Riggs, by whom he nad a family 
of six daughters, viz.: Caroline Cossitt be- 
came the wife of Joseph Alexander Allen 
(grandfather of C. C. Allen, mentioned else- 
where in this work), and died near Wesley, 
Venango county; Eliza, Mrs. William Moyn, 
died in Texas; Josephine married Dr. Ira 
Feather, an army surgeon, who was located 
at Port Royal, S. C, after the Civil war, her 
death occurring there; Ann married James 
Davidson and died near Wesley, this county; 
Achsah married James B. Witiierup, now of 
Cincinnati, Ohio (they are mentioned else- 
where in this work) ; Amelia married William 
Eakin, and died at the old home but two months 
later. For his second wife Dr. Coulter married, 
Dec. 5, 1842, Elizabeth Baird, who was bom 
in Clinton township March 24, 1809, and who 
survived him over half a century, passing away 
Sept. 8, 1901. His death occurred June 13, 
1849. There were three children born to this 
union, one son and two daughters: Mary 
Adeline, widow of Thomas J. Eakin, now liv- 
ing in Denver, Colo. ; Martha, who has never 
married, and has always resided at the old 
home place ; and Cyrus Riggs, with whom the 
mother resided until her death. 

Cyrus Riggs Couher was bom Aug. 26, 1843, 
on the farm where he spent practically all his 
life, was reared there, and acquired his educa- 
tion in the local schools. On Sept. 9, 1862, he 
enlisted in Company E, i6th Pennsylvania 
Cavalry, attached to the 2d Brigade, 2d Divi- 
sion, C. C. Army Corps, and remained in the 
service until after the close of the war, re- 
ceiving his discharge in June, 1865, at Lynch- 
burg, Va. In February, 1863, he was detailed 
as provost guard at the 2d Cavalry head- 



quarters, being so engaged for a period of 
seven months, and in the winter of 1864-65 he 
was detailed as orderly to carry dispatches for 
the 2d Brigade, 2d Division, C. Cavalry, and 
also as provost guard, performing these duties 
until his discharge. He took part in the battles 
of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Culpeper 
Court House, Sulphur Springs, Bristoe Sta- 
tion, Mine Run, Stony Creek, Hatcher's Run, 
Dinwiddie Court House, Five Forks, Amelia 
Sprites, Saylor's Creek, Farmville and Ap- 
pomatox, witnessing Lee's surrender at the 
latter place. Mr. Coulter always enjoyed 
meeting his old comrades in arms, and at- 
tended regimental reunions as often as pos- 
sible, besides keeping up his membership in 
the G. A. R. He first joined Alexander Wel- 
ton Post, and when it dissolved took his 
membership to Mays Post, in Franklin. 

Upon his return from the army Mr. Coulter 
was engaged in the cultivation of the old 
homestead, which comprises 150 acres, and he 
improved it steadily. He built the substantial 
residence which stands thereon now, on the 
site of the old house which was there when Dr. 
Coulter came into possession of the property, 
and engaged very successfully in general 
farming, the land being well suited for ordi- 
nary farm purposes. 'Die place has been kept 
in attractive neatness, and since Mr. Coulter's 
death has been operated by his only son, John 
L. Couher. Mr. Coulter was a stanch Repub- 
lican and always ready to support his political 
principles, and he took an active part in local 
affairs, usually holding some township office, 
which he filled with the conscientiousness that 
he gave to all of his undertakings. He was 
thoroughly trustworthy, and his intelligent, un- 
selfish service was properly appreciated by 
his fellow citizens, who held him in unqualified 
esteem. He attended the Presb)rterian Church 
and was in S3rmpathy with all enterprises 
which had for their object the conservation of 
the general good, being very capable of uphold- 
ing his views when necessary. His death .oc- 
curred Nov. 20, 1916, after two years of fail- 
ing health, and he was buried in the Calvert- 
Riddle cemetery. 

On Jan. 28, 1890, Mr. Coulter married 
Margaret Elizabeth Creasy, of Columbia 
county. Pa., who survives him with their only 
child, John Lewis, born June 3, 1892. 

REV. MARTIN AIGNER, D. D., was or- 
dained a deacon on June 11, 1884. >" St. James' 
Protestant Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, Pa., 
and he became at once the assistant minister of 
St. Luke's Church, Philadelphia, Pa. He was 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



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advanced to the priesthood on May i6, 1886. 
In 1890 he became rector of Trinity Church, 
Mount Holly, N. J. While rector of this New 
Jersey parish he was secretary of the Convo- 
cation of Buriington, and he organized the 
Church of St. Martin*s-in-the-Fields in the 
rural community at Lumberton, N. J., and the 
Church of the Holy Trinity on the seashore at 
Ocean City, N. J. In 1900 he became rector 
of St. John's Church, Franklin, Pa., and has 
now been rector of this parish over seventeen 
years. During this period he has acted as an 
examining chaplain, as a member of the com- 
mittee on Cajnons, and as a member of the 
Diocesan Missionary Board. Since 1907 he 
has been a deputy to the General Convention. 
In 1908 he was a delegate from the Diocese of 
Pittsburgh to the Pan-Anglican Congress in 
London. In 1903 he received the degree of 
Bachelor of Divinity in course from his theo- 
logical alma mater, the Divinity School in Phil- 
adelphia. In 191 5 he received the degree of 
Doctor of Divinity, causa honoris, from St. 
John's Collie, at its one hundred and twenty- 
third commencement. Since the organization 
of the Diocese of Erie Dr. Aigner has been a 
member of the Standing committee, and he is 
now its president. 

W. P. WOLFORD may well be classed with 
the leading citizens of Scrubgrass township, 
where his success as an agriculturist has had 
an appreciable effect upon the progress of 
farming operations throughout his locality. 
He is no less esteemed as a desirable social 
factor in the community, both on account of 
• his upright personal life and his hearty coop- 
eration in all movements tending to advance 
the general welfare in any well chosen direc- 
tion. 

Mr. Wolford was bom Dec. 29, 1865, ^^ 
Butler county. Pa., son of Peter and Mar- 
garet (Crawford) Wolford, of that county, 
who moved to Scrul^^ss township, Venango 
county, in the spring of 1868, renting the 
James Anderson farm. This noted property, 
one of several fine tracts belonging to the An- 
derson family, Peter Wolford operated for 
twenty years, on his retirement therefrom lo- 
cating upon a small farm of his own in the 
same neighborhood where the rest of his 
days were passed. He died in July, 1910, at 
the advanced age of eighty-six years, his wife 
surviving until April, 1918, and reaching the 
age of eighty-eight. They were the parents 
of* five children, namely: Mary L., now the 
wife of G. F. Stubble, of Clarion county. Pa. ; 
Eva, who died unmarried, in middle age ; Hi- 



ram C, of Greenville, Mercer Co., Pa., a 
building contractor; Alfred P., a mechanic; 
and W. P. 

W. P. Wolford was reared in Venango 
county and received his early education in the 
public schools, afterward preparing for teach- 
ing in the high school at Clintonville. He fol- 
lowed the profession for some years, but 
farming has been his principal calling in life, 
and wisely chosen to judge by his success. In 
1898 he purchased the tract in Scrubgrass 
township where he has since lived, the James 
Donnelly farm of sixty-six acres six miles 
northwest of Emlenton borough, and has since 
made other valuable purchases in the locality, 
his holdings now amounting to 158 acres of the 
best land there. Mr. Wolford has given his 
attention to general farming, with such good 
results that he is considered one of the fore- 
most farmers in southen^ Venango county. 
He is an intelligent, systematic worker, get- 
ting maximum returns for the time and labor 
which he expends in his" various operations, 
and his property is keprt in the splendid order 
which experience has proved to be most 
economical in the long run. 

When twenty-three years old Mr. Wolford 
married Gertrude Lockard, daughter of Syl- 
vester Murphy and Mary Jane (Eakin) Lock- 
ard. her father dying when she was but a 
child. Mrs. Lockard has found a pleasant 
home with Mr. and Mrs. Wolford. They 
have one child, J. R. Nixon Wolford, a stu- 
dent at this writing. Mr. Wolford has long 
been an ardent advocate of the principles of 
the Prohibition party, and holds advanced 
views on many other matters of general in- 
terest. He and his wife are associated with 
the Rankin Methodist Episcopal Church, three 
quarters of a mile from their home. 

The following account of Samuel Eakin, 
great-grandfather of Mrs. Wolford, is taken 
principally from a sketch of him written by 
his granddaughter, Mrs. Mary Jane (Eakin) 
Lockard, in November, 1909. 

The Eakin family came from Scotland to 
the North of Ireland about 1733. There were 
three brothers of them, Samuel, James and 
William, and the Samuel Eakin of whom this 
sketch treats was a grandson of one of them, 
so his descendants are Scotch on the Eakin 
side and Irish on the Riley side (his wife's), 
a pedigree to be proud of, as the Scotch-Irish , 
are a sturdy race of people. 

Samuel Eakin was bom in County Deny, 
Ireland, in 1769. His parents' names are not 
known. He was one of a family of five chil- 
dren that we know oiF, three brothers and two 



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VEXANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



sisters, one brother, David, marrying Mary 
McKay and remaining in Ireland, although 
three of his sons emigrated to America and 
made their home for a time with their uncle 
Samuel, who always had his door open to re- 
ceive any and all who needed a lift. One 
sister married a man by the name of Hunter, 
and she also remained in Ireland; William 
Hunter, one of her sons, came to America 
about 1850, bringin^^ with him his two sons, 
one of whom remamed in Philadelphia, and 
the other, William, bought a farm near Farm- 
ington, Butler Co., Pa., where the family still 
reside. William Eakin came to America 
about the same time as his brother Samuel, 
and also settled in this region, dying in 1807; 
he owned the farm now owned by John G. 
Eakin, one of his grandsons ; William married 
Phebe Perry, and they had three children, 
Polly (married John Calvert), David (mar- 
ried Elizabeth Crawford) and Samuel (mar- 
ried Susan Gordon). Samuel Eakin's young- 
est sister, Margaret, also came to America, 
married Adam Curry, and settled on a farm 
near Farmington, Butler Co., Pa. She died 
about 1854. One of her daughters married 
Joseph Wilson. 

In 1794 Samuel Eakin was united in mar- 
riage with Mary Riley (her parents' names 
not known), and the fruit of this union was 
eight children. While living in Ireland Sam- 
uel Eakin owned a small farm and also a linen 
factory, where "Irish linen" was made. He 
employed twenty girls to do the spinning for 
him. He crossed Londonderry Bridge every 
morning when he went to his factory to work. 
He loved his native country, but hated (that 
IS the word he used) tyrants and oppression, 
and hoped some day that the land of his 
birth would, like his adopted land, be freed 
from the grasp of the tyrant. It was this love 
of freedom and liberty that caused him to 
take the voyage across the stormy Atlantic 
in 1797 with his wife and little daughter 
Mary. It took them fifteen weeks. After 
they had been sailing thirteen weeks they first 
saw land, but a storm arose and they had to 
put back toward midocean to keep the vessel 
from being dashed to pieces on the rocks. 
It took two weeks longer to get the vessel 
landed. They arrived at Philadelphia in the 
spring of 1798, but went immediately to 
Juniata county, Pa., where they remained one 
year. Mr. Eakin invested his linen cloth and 
yarn that he brought with him, but lost it all, 
as he had dealt with a rascal. Being honest and 
true himself, he took everyone else to be the 
same, and so was imposed on many times, but 



in spite of losses he was able to give each of 
his sons a good farm and team when they 
married. He was deeply interested in the 
public welfare, always in the lead for ad- 
vancement, and had the courage to dare to do 
what he thought was best for the good of the 
public, in church or state. In politics he was 
a stanch Democrat. He filled a number of 
township offices, and although he never held a 
high public position could have done so if he 
had wanted to — ^but he would rather help 
some other fellow get there. 

When Samuel Elakin moved from Juniata 
to Venango county in the spring of 1799, he 
came to the home of John Phipps, who had 
arrived from Westmoreland county two years 
previously. He purchased 160 acres from him 
for one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, 
in what is now Clinton (then Scrubgrass) 
township, and immediately set about to clear 
up the farm and make a home for himself 
and family. When he came the woods 
abounded in wild animals, such as wolves, 
bears, deer, wildcats and panthers, also wild 
turkeys. It was in the winter of 1840 that 
the last bears were seen on the farm, two 
coming into the field and carrying two sheep 
down into the pine woods, where they ate 
them. The bones and some of the wool could 
be seen a good many years afterward. 

Samuel Eakin brought no furniture to this 
countrj' except a chest made of black walnut, 
which is in good condition yet, and a large 
iron kettle to bake bread in. The latter is in 
the possession of one of his granddaughters, 
Mrs. Mary Jane (Eakin) Lockard, and the 
lock and key he had for his door in Ireland is 
treasured by his grandson, David W Eakin, 
of New Castle, Pa. In an account of the early 
settlers in Scrubgrass township we find Sam- 
uel Eakin mentioned as having settled where 
James Vogus was living in the latter eighties, 
and early records of surveys in what is now 
Clinton township show that he had 385 acres 
surveyed to him May 11, 1803, **by virtue of 
improvement and settlement," the land being 
described as adjoining Aaron Austin, Wasson 
& McKee. John Phipps and Patrick Jack. 

One thing that is remarkable about the Eak- 
ins is, that wherever one of the name is found 
he will always be found associated with the 
Presbyterian Church. They are all Presbyte- 
rians, in whatever part of the world they may 
be, and there are several ministers and eld- 
ers among the grandsons of Samuel Eakin, 
also a great many school teachers. He was a 
Presbyterian in Ireland, but after coming to 
this country he and his family went with the 



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Seceders when the Presbyterians commenced 
using Watts' Psalms and Hymns. He super- 
intended the burning of the brick for the first 
church that was built where the present brick 
church of the old East Unity United Presby- 
terian congregation now stands, one mile from 
Elakins Corners, in Butler county, and gave 
almost all of his time one summer to assist 
in whatever way he could until it was com- 
pleted. His remains and those of all his fam- 
ily except two, James and Margaret, lie under 
the shadow of the church to await the resur- 
rection morn. Samuel Eakin while in Ire- 
land was a member of the Society of Orange- 
men, and was also a member of the Masonic 
fraternity, but was never identified with either 
organization in this country. He was a true 
husband and father. His wife, when she lay 
dying, in 1821, asked him to promise her not 
to bring a stepmother over her children, for 
she had a stepmother who had abused her and 
she did not want her children to be treated as 
she had been. He promised, and was true, 
living alone thirty years, until his death in 
September, 1851. Of their eight children, 
Mary became the wife of Robert Moore; Wil- 
liam, who was bom on the ocean in 1797, lived 
near Bullion, this county; the other six were 
born in Venango county, viz. : James, who 
spent his life mainly in Victory township, but 
died in Kansas; Jane, who married James 
Scott and died in middle life; Samuel, who 
lived and died at Eakins Comers, passing 
away in 1888 when eighty-two years old, the 
last survivor of the family; Elizabeth, who 
died when twenty-three years old; David, the 
youngest son, who came into possession of the 
old homestead after his father's death, and 
died Oct. 11, 1851, aged forty-one years; and 
Margaret, Mrs. Moore, who died when com- 
paratively a young woman. All of this fam- 
ily were residents of Venango county, and 
all lived beyond middle age but Elizabeth and 
Margaret. The descendants of Samuel and 
Mary (Riley) Eakin are now numerous and 
scattered far and wide over the country of 
their adoption, and wherever found the char- 
acteristics of these worthy ancestors are 
stamped upon them. When the above was 
written in 1909 three of the great-great-grand- 
daughters were teaching in Scmbgrass town- 
ship, and one in Clinton township, and there 
are several music teachers in the family. One 
of the granddaughters, Margaret Eakin, has a 
music book which Mary (Riley) Eakin 
brought across the water. Since the country 
entered into the great war, a number of loyal 
great- and great-great-grandsons of the emi- 



grant ancestors have gone over tj France or 
have been preparing in training camps. Carl 
Lockard, a grandson of Mrs. Mary Jane 
(Eakin) Lockard, sailed during 19 18. 

David Eakin, youngest son of Samuel and 
Mary (Riley) Eakin, married Rebecca Stalker, 
of Butler county, daughter of Thomas Stalker, 
and after his death she became the wife of 
David Phipps, of Clinton township, by whom 
she had one daughter, Henrietta (Mrs. 
Thero), who went to live in Colorado. Mrs. 
Phipps died in Febmary, 1878, aged sixty- 
eight years. David Eakin's family consisted 
of nine children: Rachel, wife of S. D. 
Porter; Samuel; Thomas, who died young; 
Thomas J. ; Mary Jane, now the widow of S. 
Murphy Lockard; Martha L., widow of 
William Witherup, of Kennerdell; Elizabeth, 
who married John Fabian; Sarah Ann, Mrs. 
John Myers; and David V., born in Clinton 
township the day his father died, who married 
H. E. Cross in 1876 and lives in Idaho. 

S. P. ANDERSON, representative and 
manager of the State Workmen's Insurance 
Fund for the Seventh district of Pennsylvania, 
with office at Franklin, Venango county, is a 
resident of Rocky Grove, having removed 
there from his former home in Clinton town- 
ship in the fall of 191 7. 

Mr. Anderson belongs to pioneer stock of 
Venango county, being a descendant of John 
Anderson, who married Margaret Cook, and 
came from the Tuscarora valley in eastern 
Pennsylvania, settling in Butler county in 
1801. Their son James Anderson, great- 
grandfather of S. P. Anderson, was bom in 
January. 1761, and resided in Lack township, 
Mifflin (now Juniata) Co., Pa., whence he re- 
moved to Slippery Rock township, Butler 
county, in 1801. In 1804 he became a pioneer 
settler in Scrubgrass township, Venango 
county, on May 22d of that year purchasing a 
farm of 212 acres near Six Points, this county, 
where he died Jan. 19, 1842, being buried at 
Craw fords Corners, in Scrubgrass township. 
It is recorded that in March, 1814, he bought 
from David Irvine four hundred acres of land 
for twenty-one hundred dollars, three hundred 
dollars to be paid in cash: another part with 
two hundred gallons of whiskey at seventy-five 
cents a gallon ; and the remainder in payments 
at regular intervals as stipulated. This land 
included a fine natural mill site on Little Scrub- 
grass creek, where the first flourmill in the 
township had been built by a Mr. Campbell, 
and Mr. Anderson continued its operation and 
later rebuilt it, adding also carding and saw 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



mill equipment. He was a very active business 
man of his day. The mill site was later owned 
by his grandson William C. Anderson, who 
had his mill a short distance below the old 
site, and erected a portable sawmill on the 
creek a little above the flourmiU. The site was 
admirably adapted for miUing without the con- 
struction of a dam, the race leading off above 
a lec^e of rocks that rises abruptly in the creek 
bottom. James Anderson married Janet 
Bailey, and their children were: Sarah, 
Thomas, Margaret (Mrs. Gibson), James, 
Nancy (Mrs. Perry), Samuel McCullough, 
John (who served in the war of 1812) and 
Elizabeth. 

James Anderson, son of James and Janet 
(Bailey) Anderson, was bom Nov. 29, 1797, 
in Mifflin county. Pa., and settled in Scrub- 
grass township, where he purchased a farm 
and followed agricultural pursuits success- 
fully. On May 25, 1820, he married Elizabeth 
Pollock, daughter of Charles Pollock, who 
settled in Westmoreland county, Pa., when he 
came from Ireland, removing thence about 
1800 to Venango township, Butler county, 
where he was killed about 1806 by the fall of a 
tree, at a wood chopping on the farm of 
Robert Leason. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson be- 
came the parents of six children : Jane, wife 
of J. P. Riddle; Elizabeth, deceased; Mary; 
Sarah, deceased, wife of Shadrach Simcox; 
Lucinda, who married D. C. McKee; and 
James, mentioned below. The father of this 
family died Nov. 21, 1872, at the close of his 
seventy-fifth year, in Scrubg^ass township, and 
is buried in the Calvert-Riddle cemetery about 
a mile and a half east of Qintonville. The 
mother also passed away at the age of seventy- 
five years. 

James Anderson, son of James and Eliza- 
beth (Pollock) Anderson, was bom June 30, 
1825, ^n the old homestead in Scrubgrass 
township where he settled. He was educated 
in the local schools and reared to farming, 
which vocation he continued to follow success- 
fully throughout his active years, acquiring 
some of the finest farm property in the town- 
ship. He was also largely interested in breed- 
ing and dealing in stock. He was one of the 
most enterprising citizens of his community, 
always took a live interest in school matters in 
his township, and was once Democratic candi- 
date for the legislature. Mr. Anderson died 
in his eighty-first year. On Dec. 8, 1852, he 
married Uretta Phipps, daughter of Samuel 
Phipps, and six children were born to this 
marriage : John S. P. ; Edwin, of Oil City, 
Pa.; Samuel P.; James L., who died young; 



Shadrach A., now a resident of Tulsa, Okla. ; 
and Charles, who died young. 

Samuel C. Anderson, son of James and 
Uretta Anderson, was bom in Scrubgrass 
township Oct. 14, i860, and received his edu- 
cation in the public schools, the Scrubgrass 
and Clintonville academies (both of which rc- 
quirjsd him to walk three miles morning and 
evening, with the addition of the usual farm 
chores for exercise), and the Edinboro State 
Normal School. He was a successful school 
teacher for five years, and in 1883 entered the 
law office of Hancock and Qenn, of Franklin, 
as a law student. Being admitted to the bar 
in 1885, he practiced law in the courts of Ven- 
ango county for two years, when his health 
began to fail and he was told by his physician 
that he had consumption and had only about 
one year to live. He relates his last conversa- 
tion with his physician, who was learned in 
medicine and in the use of plain lai^^uage: 
**You have less than a year. You are six feet 
high, weigh 143 pounds, have one lung and 
some will power, which are not sufficient as- 
sets to carry you through. Get ready to die." 
The reply was, "Doctor, you are crazy. That 
will power is worth more than your advice." 
Mr. Anderson kept the condition of his health 
a secret, but immediately closed his office and 
went to Pittsburgh, where he became an expert 
real estate salesman, his duties as such keep- 
ing him out of doors. After two years he went 
to New York and enteted the enqrfoy of a 
large firm of electrical engineers, learned over- 
head construction work, and was sent to 
Europe, where he remained several years, 
being located in Scotland, England, and Por- 
tugal, erecting electric trolley lines. In 1903 
he returned to Venango county, weighing 213 
pounds and a picture of health. He located 
in Clintonville, was elected justice of the 
peace, receiving sixty-four out of a total of 
sixty-five votes, and became a leader of men. 
He soon acquired a county- and State-wide 
reputation as a Bible class leader. He led in 
the organization of more than two hundred 
adult Bible classes, forty-seven of which were 
located in Qinton and Irwin townships, 
known as the Eighth District, and which were 
the means of more than one thousand conver- 
sions. Rev. William Mitchell, now pastor of 
Plymouth Church in Buffalo, while lecturing 
in Franklin in 1914 said, "Sam Anderson, by 
his will power and leadership, has brought 
more men into the church than all the 
preachers in the county." Mr. Anderson is 
now president of the Venango County Sab- 
bath Sc^iool Association and on important 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



685 



State committees. In October, 1917, he was 
appointed by Governor Brumlxiugh as 
manager of the branch office of the State 

\ WorlanevL's Insurance Fund, located at Frank- 
lin, which position, he still holds. 

I On Feb. 28, 19 12, he married Harriet E. 

Riddle, daurfiter of C. M. Riddle, of Clinton- 
\'ilfc, and tney now reside at Rocky Grove. 
He is an enthusiastic booster for a bigger and 
better Franklin, a member of the Rocky Grove 

I Qub and the Franklin Board of Trade. Mr. 
Anderson is intensely American, and has spent 
mtich of his time during the past year in the 
various phases of war work. He was a suc- 
cessful four-minute speaker and was instru- 
mental in bringing the Sunday schools and 
churches into very active participation in war 
work. He has always been a stanch Republi- 
can and has a large following and thousands 
of friends. 

I ELIAS MYERS (deceased) sptot most of 

I his life' on the farm in Irwin township where 
his widow still makes her home. It was his 
i father's homestead, and during the half cen- 
[ tury of their ownership was developed into 
one of the most desirable properties in the 
township, at the present time being valuable as 
oil land and also under profitable cultivation. 
Mr. Myers was a man of strong and admirable 
character. He showed energy and business 
ability in the management of his material in- 
terests, manifested an intelligent concern in the 
questions of the day, and did his part in pro- 
moting the welfare of the locality, being promi- 
nent in both the public and social activities of 
his neighborhood. Personally he was liked as 
well as respected. 

Mr. M3rers was born in Butler county. Pa., 
and received most of his education there, being 
a boy twelve or thirteen years of age when he 
moved to Irwin township with his parents, 
George and Mary (Shaner) Myers. They 
settled on land formerly owned by Thomas 
Martin and there spent the remainder of their 
lives. Mr. Myers becoming one of the prosper- 
ous fanners of this section. All the principal 
buildings now standing on the tract were 
erected by him, and he continued the improve- 
ment of the place throughout his life. He died 
there at the age of seventy-two years, his wife 
at the age of seventy, and they are buried at 
the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in this 
township. 

EHas Myers was reared on the home farm in 
Irwin township, which lies three miles west of 
Clnitonville and is eighteen miles south of 
Franklin, the seat of Venango county. He was 



thoroughly accustomed to farm duties, having 
helped his father from boyhood, and at the 
time of his marriage settled on the home place, 
which later passed into his possession. The 
business of general agriculture went on so 
profitably that he was able to buy more land 
adjoining, adding to his original holdings until 
he own^ one hundred and fifty acres in one 
body — the present area of the farm. He con- 
tinued to engage in general agriculture until 
his death, which occurred in 1904, when he 
was sixty years old. His religious connection 
was with the Pleasant View M. E. Church, in 
which he was a prominent worker, serving as 
a member of the official board. 

In 1869 Mr. Myers married Julia Casiday,* 
the young daughter of a neighboring farmer in 
Irwin township, James Casiday. Her mother, 
whose maiden name was Rebecca Kinch, came 
over the mountains from Cumberland county. 
Pa., to this region with her first husband, John 
Smith, who died in Irwin township, after 
which she became the wife of James Casiday, 
also from Cumberland county. They were 
farming people at Mechanicsville during their 
active years, spending their closing days at 
Barkeyville, where they died, both at the age 
of eighty-five years. Mrs. Myers attended 
school at Barkeyville. She is the mother of five 
children, namely: Will graduated from the 
high school at Barkeyville and later attended 
Grove City College, meanwhile, at the age of 
eighteen years, commencing teaching in Irwin 
township, which he continued while pursuing 
his higher studies. He was subsequently prin- 
cipal at Edinboro, Pa., and for the last eight 
years has been a teacher of mathematics at 
Washington. D. C. : he married Mary Pritts, 
daughter of Rev. W. S. Pritts, formerly of 
Barkeyville. where her maternal grandfather. 
Rev. J. M. Domer, was also a minister, dying 
there. Mary married Thomas McFadden and 
lives on part of the Myers farm, where Mr. 
McFadden is engaged in the production of oil : 
he is also a contractor in the oil fields. Susie 
graduated from high school and is now the 
wife of Ralph McKee, a dairyman, of Clinton- 
ville, this county. Pearl is the wife of Rex 
Hoffman, a farmer and oil producer near Clin- 
tonville. Verna received her education at 
Grove City College, graduating from that in- 
stitution, and taught school until her marriage 
to John Henderson, of Franklin, engaged in 
the insurance business. 

Mrs. Myers has continued to reside on the 
farm since her husband's death, its manage- 
ment bein^ now in the hands of her son-in-law. 
Mr. McFadden. who looks after the agricul- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



tural work as well as the production of oil, now 
being obtained in paying quantities. She is 
a member of the Pleasant View M. E. Church 
and one of the valued workers in the congre- 
gation, being highly thought of in that body as 
well as by her friends in all the other associa- 
tions of life. 

REV. WILLIAM E. McBRlDE, pastor of 
the United Presbyterian Church at Oil City, 
has been a sincere worker in the furtherance of 
all good movements there, exemplifying in his 
activities a broad conception of the possibilities 
open to him in the performance of his duties as 
he sees them. He has had this charge for 
Almost a quarter of a century, during which 
period his responsibilities have increased 
greatly, with an indication of the widening in- 
fluence of the church highly gratifying to con- 
gregation and pastor. 

Mr. McBride was bom Nov. 25, 1868, at 
Grove City, Mercer Co., Pa., son of Robert S, 
McBride and grandson of William McBride, 
who settled a large tract in that county in the 
early twenties of the last century. The 
McBride settlement was a prosperous com- 
munity two miles east of Grove City, and some 
twenty families are still residing there. 
William McBride's son William, w^ho was a 
boy of twelve years when the family settled 
there, lived and died on the home far, passitig 
away about 1880. The property then passed 
to Robert S. McBride, father of Rev. WilHam 
E. McBride, who was born there and spent the 
entire sixty-five years of his life on the place. 
He carried on farming and lumbering. 

William E. McBride passed his early years 
on the farm, and from boyhood was thoroughly 
conversant with the hard work demanded in 
its conduct and the operation of the sawmill. 
He had the best educational facilities that the 
locality offered, later attending Grove City 
College and Westminster College, at New 
Wilmington, Pa., from which latter institution 
he was graduated in 1890 with the degree of 
A. B. When sixteen years old, however, he 
had begun to teach, and he followed that pro- 
fession while pursuing his higher studies, sup- 
porting himself and paying for his tuition in 
advanced lines. Having decided to enter the 
ministry of the United Presbyterian Church, 
he took the prescribed course at the Pittsburgh 
Theological Seminary, and while a student 
there availed himself of every opportunity to 
become familiar with the practical work of his 
chosen calling, taking charge of a city mission 
and conducting a large Sunday school, with 
from four hundred to five hundred attendants. 



His first regular charge was that at Oil City, 
where he was ordained in September, 1894, and 
where his energies have since been centered. 
The congregation has grown steadily during 
his long pastorate, and the present handsome 
church has been erected in that period. When 
the necessity for a new building became press- 
ing he worked tirelessly to help secure it, and 
though it was no sinecure to undertake the 
erection of the present modern structure, which 
with its furnishings cost thirty-five thousand 
dollars, he has witnessed its successful accom- 
plishment and done his full share in bringing 
it about. The former house of worship occu- 
pied what is now the site of the parsonage, the 
new church having a very desirable comer at 
a central location in the city. The village of 
Plumer was one of the early oil boom towns 
which formerly supported a church of its own, 
but of late years the organization has been 
maintained as a mission, attended by Mr. 
McBride in connection with his Oil City work. 
As a pastor he is wholly devoted to the needs 
of his congregation or any of the townspeople 
whom he can serve, keeping in close touch with 
their interests and using his influence judi- 
ciously in behalf of all worthy objects. He is a 
forceful, earnest, logical speaker, who makes 
an honest endeavor to deliver his message with 
the direct personal appeal which brings spirit- 
ual satisfaction, and his broad-mindedness en- 
ables him to get the viewpoints of his hearers 
in all their variety and to give them the sym- 
pathy of understanding. He comprehends the 
complicated public questions which arise 
among a mixed population in times like the 
present, and has great hopes for the future of 
America as the ground where amalgamation 
will have its best chance, with the belief that 
out of the struggle will come a juster and 
truer ideal of civilization, leading to universal 
brotherhood. The wider work of his denom- 
ination has also received its share of his at- 
tention, and as a member of the governing 
board of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary 
he is alive to all the general movements affect- 
ing itt as well as the progress of Christianity 
as a whole. In Oil City he has given his sup- 
port to Y. M. C. A. work, athletics, and other 
interests especially intended to benefit the 
young people, whose welfare is close to his 
heart. 

Mr. McBride was married, in Pittsburgh, 
June 5, 1894, to Maude Hemple, of that city, 
a graduate of a city high school there and later 
engaged in the office of her father, who was 
manager of the United States Glass Company 
at Pittsburgh. Mr. and Mrs. McBride have 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



687 



one daughter, Elizabeth Marie, a ninth-grade 
pupil in the Oil City High School. 

HIRAM BOUGHNER, owner of a valu- 
able farm in Canal township, the place settled 
by his parents over eighty years ago, is one of 
the substantial residents of that township, well 
known as a progressive farmer and formerly 
also extensively engaged in sheep dealing. Mr. 
Boughner was born on his present property 
March 24, 1842, in an old log house which 
stood near the residence he now occupies, and 
which he helped to build. He is a son of the 
late William Boughner, Esq., one of the most 
respected men of his day in this section. 

William Boughner was bom in 1802 east 
of the mountains, in Union county, Pa., where 
he grew to manhood and learned the carpen- 
ter's trade, following that vocation until his 
removal to Venango county in 1834, to find 
a home and independence. In 1831 he mar- 
ried Jesty Iddings, of Union county, and they 
had three children when they settled in Ve- 
nango county, John T., Aaron and Isabella. 
John Boughner, brother of William, came 
hither at the same time, his son William oc- 
cupying his old homestead in Canal township 
to this day. William Boughner and his family 
also located in that township, on a farm be- 
longing to John Coxson, which he leased for 
the next three years, then purchasing the land 
where his son Hiram now lives, a tract of sev- 
enty-five acres which he began improving at 
once. He was an industrious farmer, getting 
most of his land under cultivation, and found 
his mechanical experience very useful in the 
erection and repair of buildings, etc., keeping 
the property in good shape. He built the 
present home about 1856, but his old barn 
was torn down and replaced with a modern 
structure about fifteen years ago. William 
Boughner also had a grocery and office, having 
served twenty-five years as justice of the 
peace, to which position he was first elected 
in 1845; he was a Democrat and very active 
in the aflfairs of the party in his township, 
and when the Know-Nothing party came into 
power there vtemporarily he was thrown out 
of office for three years, at the end of that time 
being reelected, and serving until he resigned 
in 1873. ^^' Boughner was a member of the 
Sugar Creek Memorial Presbyterian Church, 
and when the old Sugar Creek congregation 
removed to Cooperstown he visited Presbytery 
and secured the old church at the Sugar Creek 
site, helping to organize a new congregation. 
As before, he was one of its leading sup- 



porters, one of the first elders, and foremost 
in all the work of the church. 

Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. 
William Boughner after their settlement in 
Venango county, and we have the following 
record of the family: John Thomas was ac- 
cidentally killed at an oil derrick at Bolivar, 
N. Y., when past sixty years of age ; his wife, 
Angeline (Hasson), is also deceased. Lewis 
married Harriet Hayes and died in Canal 
township when eighty-two years old, his wife 
still living there. Sarah married William 
Bean, and both are deceased. Nancy married 
Wilson Mead, and both are deceased. Jane 
married John Yarnall, who survives her. 
Hiram was next in the family. Jesty was 
the youngest. The mother died July 16, 1844, 
at which time seven of the children were liv- 
ing, and in 1853 Mr. Boughner married (sec- 
ond) Mary Ann Hill, by whom he had five 
children, two sons and three daughters, all 
living but one son, viz. : Ellen married Joseph 
Broder, of Painesville, Ohio; Melie, who is 
unmarried, keeps house for her brother 
Hiram; Margaret is Mrs. Thomas Beightoil; 
Robert C. completes the family. In their 
old age Mr. and Mrs. Boughner made their 
home with their son Hiram on the home place, 
his death occurring March 4, 1882, and hers 
in 1002. 

Hiram Boughner was reared on the farm 
and attended school in the neighborhood. His 
practical training was obtained at home, and 
was comprehensive and thorough, as the ex- 
cellent condition of his property attests, his 
time at present being devoted entirely to its 
operation. He has added to its original area 
by purchase, now having over one hundred 
acres, all under profitable cultivation. For 
several years he handled large transactions as 
a sheep dealer, buying all over northwestern 
Pennsylvania and even in Ohio, purchasing as 
many as eight hundred head in two weeks' 
time, and bunching them at his farm until it 
was convenient to ship them. He sent them 
to the New York market, turning them over 
to a driver. Meantime he also continued the 
management of his farm, where he has al- 
ways made his home. He has never married. 
Politically he is a Democrat, but he has not 
been active in public affairs of any kind. 

CHARLES F. HAMILTON. Sr., engineer 
and contractor, of Franklin, has had a definite 
part in the upbuilding of that city during the 
last twenty years. As city engineer he had the 
planning of some of the most important pub- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



lie improvements made here in recent years, 
and since he engaged in business on his own 
account has been awarded a number of public 
contracts, which he has executed in a highly 
creditable manner. His reputation for re- 
liability rests upon a foundation of good work 
and high-class service, exenq)lifying the most 
approved standards of his profession and busi- 
ness, and he has adhered to his ideals as 
scrupulously in carrying out his public con- 
tracts as he does in those where his obliga- 
tions are of a personal nature. A large share 
of the most exacting construction work done 
in this locality has fallen to his lot. 

Mr. Hamilton is a native of Fredonia, N. 
Y., bom in 1874. He was thoroughly edu- 
cated, after some years' attendance at public 
school entering Cheltenham Military Academy 
at Ogontz, Pa., at which he studied until he 
went to Cornell University, at Ithaca, N. Y., 
in 1893. Graduating from that institution in 
1897, he came to Franklin, Pa., the same year, 
to take a position as engineer with Gen. 
Charles Miller, continuing with him for the 
next four years. He next assumed the duties 
of city engineer at Franklin, to which office 
he was appointed, and was so engaged for 
three years. His next work was also in the 
public service, for the State Roads Depart- 
ment, in charge of the work in this district, 
which occupiwi him from 1904 until 1908. 
Since then he has done general contracting on 
his own account, and his business has now 
reached such proportions that he employs from 
one hundred and twenty-five to two hundred 
men. He has laid fifty thousand square yards 
of brick street paving in Franklin; constructed 
the well known Monkey sewer; the Sugar 
Creek paved road, for a distance of eight 
miles ; and other extensive works. Mr. Ham- 
ilton has shown commendable public spirit in 
all his undertakings, endeavoring to give to 
all his work a real and permanent value to 
the vicinity of its location, and thus directly 
and indirectly exercising a beneficial influ- 
ence on neighboring improvements. His busi- 
ness office is in the Franklin Trust Company 
building. He has identified himself with local 
affairs in a helpful capacity, and in 191 5 was 
honored with election as a member of the 
Franklin school board. Socially he is a mem- 
ber of the Franklin and Venango Clubs, and 
well known. 

Mr. Hamilton married Bessie W. White, 
daughter of George H. and Bessie Ann 
(Wood) White, the former of whom was 
well known as a merchant iti Franklin, where 
he was engaged in the shoe business : he also 



built several business blocks. Two children 
have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton, 
Charles F. Jr., and Helen E. 

SAMUEL QUEEN BROWN (deceased) 
was one of the men whose large vision and in- 
tellect directed the trend of the oil industry 
from its earliest days of promise, and, what 
is most remarkable, his influence was sustained 
unabated throughout the half century of his 
association with it. Preeminent among his 
achievements may probably be cited his labors 
in the development of the Tide Water Oil in- 
terests, through which he attained nation-wide 
prominence, though the sum of his accomplish- 
ments included other things of equal impor- 
tance. But Mr. Brown was not a mere busi- 
ness man. It was his disposition to bend all 
his energies to the success of any enterprise 
into which he entered, but he had objects in 
life beyond worldly prosperity, and, in fact, 
was as zealous in their pursuit as in his ma- 
terial aflFairs. His kindly and unselfish atti- 
tude toward his fellow men was manifested in 
all their relations, whether by wise counsel or 
comfort to a personal friend who sought it, by 
generous help* wherever he saw the need, or 
participation in the larger movements of 
fundamental value to the general welfare. The 
breadth and strength of his mind were evi- 
dent in everything that he did, and his fore- 
sight was so keen that he could proceed con- 
fidently without any doubt as to the outcome 
of his ventures. 

Mr. Brown was one of the most distin- 
guished members of a family conspicuous for 
worth in X'enango county for more than three- 
quarters of a centur>', and it was here that his 
life work began. Xo history of the county 
could be complete without the record of the 
Brown family, whose activities in all the 
phases of its development have constituted an 
important contribution to the general prog- 
ress. In personal character and standing: they 
have been counted among the sterling citizens 
of the county, nor have they been second to 
any in material achievement. John Brown, 
father of Samuel Q. Brown, was as esteemed 
and influential in his generation as his sons 
became in their day. Bom in Ireland in 1789. 
he was of Scotch origin, his Covenanter an- 
cestors leaving Scotland during the persecu- 
tions under King James II. Coming to 
America about 181 7, he lived in New York 
City until 1833. ^"^ in 1827 was engaged in 
business there. Before leaving Ireland he had 
anticipated the satisfaction of being a land- 
owner, and it was this that drew him to Penn- 



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sylvania. He was one of a little colony of 
settlers who came to this section at the same 
time, he and a number of others having com- 
missioned an agent to go out and secure loca- 
tions for them in northwestern Pennsylvania. 
But the agent, instead of choosing sites for 
his clients in one neighborhood, as they de- 
sired, had procured widely separated tracts, 
and that selected for Mr. Brown was in the 
wilderness several miles north of Titusville. 
He had come out alone early in 1833, making 
the journey by way of Harrisburg, and leaving 
Mrs. Brown to follow with the family and 
household goods, as well as the stock of mer- 
chandise with which to start a store, by the 
more leisurely way of the Erie canal, so that 
he could have time to prepare a home. He was 
so disappointed in his land that he proceeded 
on to Pleasant ville, an attractive small village 
in Venango county, and secured a location 
there. When the family joined him the out- 
look was so discouraging that they decided to 
return to New York as soon as possible, and 
part of the household goods were not un- 
packed. But the stock of merchandise had to 
be disposed of before the return journey could 
be undertaken, and as it had to be sold on 
credit owing to the conditions then prevailing 
a stay of some months was necessary. By the 
end of that period they had become so at- 
tached to the place and to their new neighbors 
that they had no desire to leave. Mr. Brown 
was thus the first merchant at Pleasantville. 
His first residence here was a log house on 
State street, at the crossing of the run, and 
his store was at the same location. As a busi- 
ness man he was remarkably successful, ap- 
plying himself closely to the maintenance of 
his trade, his little store and stock forming 
the nucleus of the large business later done by 
his sons under the name of Brown Brothers, 
carried on as such until 1872. John Brown 
obtained considerable new land in and around 
Pleasantv^ille, and in his lifetime much of it 
was converted into valuable farming tracts. 
Meanwhile he enlarged his store as the increas- 
ing needs of his patronage demanded, and 
added to his stock, which became quite com- 
prehensive, including dry goods, groceries, 
drugs, farm implements, and other goods car- 
ried by country merchants. He erected the 
first brick store in the village, and it was the 
only business house left standing after the 
great fire of 1871. Mr. Brown was a leading 
spirit in local affairs, and served as burgess of 
Pleasantville in 1857, though he did as much 
for the town in his capacity as a private citizen. 

He died there July 31, 1861, at the age of 
44 



seventy-two years. He always attributed much 
of his success in life to his wife, Mary Ann 
(Queen), whom he married in New York 
about 1820. She was born in 1795 in the 
North of Ireland, came to America in in- 
fancy, was a model wife and mother, truly 
noble and good, and lived to the ripe old age 
of eighty years, dying Oct. 16, 1875, at Pleas- 
antville. Her mother, who passed her last 
days with Mr. and Mrs, Brown, died at the 
age of eighty-one years. 

Both Mr. and Mrs. Brown were Covenant- 
ers, and she always retained a loyal affection 
for the church of her youth, although she 
united with the Presbyterian denomination 
when it absorbed the Covenanter Church at 
Pleasantville. Mr. Brown was always one of 
the foremost workers in that church, which 
he virtually founded and in whose interest 
he labored zealously. There were kindred 
spirits of the same origin and faith among 
those who accompanied him to this region, 
James Geary, Andrew McCandless and Daniel 
Wilson securing homes at Pleasantville at 
about the same time, and all became important 
citizens and members of the Covenanter 
Church. Mr. Brown secured contributions 
for the construction of a house of worship, 
which these early members sustained during 
their lives. As already indicated, it has since 
become the United Presbyterian Church at 
Pleasantville. Mr. Brown was a practical 
Christian, not only generous to his church but 
also in helping those in need, though he was 
very modest regarding his charities, consider- 
ing such opportunities more of a privilege 
than an obligation. He had strong family 
ties, took great interest in the education and 
progress of his children, and was much grati- 
fied at being able to leave a good property to 
them. His family consisted of four sons and 
one daughter: John F., William B., Samuel 
Queen, Alexander \V. and Elizabeth, who be- 
came the wife of Dr. John Wilson and whose 
son is Samuel Q. Wilson, of Pleasantville, 
mentioned elsewhere in this work. The four 
sons were associated in business as Brown 
Brothers, a famous firm in its day, whose repu- 
tation as merchants was of the highest char- 
acter, and whose operations in the realm of oil 
production made the name a household word. 
Two of the sons, John F. and William, con- 
tinued to reside with the mother at the old 
home, neither marrying. Their personal busi- 
ness life was given to the management of the 
store. John F. Brown, born July 9, 1824, in 
New York City, was a man of quiet, unob- 
trusive disposition, ever keen in observing the 



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needs of others, many being the acts of 
gracious assistance to those in want of which 
no one else knew at the time but the recipient. 
He was fond of nature and had great con- 
sideration for birds and other animals, caring 
for them solicitously. He died Dec/^, 1909. 
William Brown, born April 14, 1829, died May 
7, 1896. He was much similar in personality 
to his elder brother, with a pleasant greeting 
for all, and an excellent type of the earnest 
Christian gentleman. Alexander W. Brown, 
the youngest of the brothers* is now the only 
survivor, and continues to reside at Pleasant- 
ville. He is mentioned elsewhere in this work. 
Samuel Queen Brown, third son of John 
and Mary Ann (Queen) Brown, was born at 
Pleasantville, Venango county, Sept. 19. 1835, 
and grew up at his birthplace. He was never 
robust physically, but from an early age dis- 
played the vigorous mentality which character- 
ized him throughout life, being prepared to 
enter Allegheny College, at Meadville, when 
but thirteen years old. He completed the fresh- 
man year of the course with honors, but his 
health failing he was unable to continue his 
studies to graduation, being an invalid for 
several years. But the experience did not 
dampen his ambition, and as soon as strong 
enough he went to Pittsburgh and took a 
course in Duff's Commercial College, upon his 
return to Pleasantville devoting himself to 
assisting his father in the store, which by that 
time was an important trading center. He was 
so engaged at the time of the first oil excite- 
ment precipitated by the bringing in of the 
Drake well, and with typical clear-sightedness 
read a large meaning into the discovery. In 
fact he was soon in the oil "game," he and a 
neighbor. John L. Mitchell, entering into part- 
nership for more efficient operations. Their 
first important venture was made on the Bu- 
chanan Farms at the mouth of Cherry run, 
at what has ever since been known as Rouse- 
ville. One night young Brown went racing 
across the Pithole valley on his best horse, 
down Cherry run to Oil creek, and secured 
leases on the John and Archibald Buchanan 
farms, which might have been a difficult matter, 
as Mr. Buchanan had no special desire to lease. 
But when he learned that the Browns (Alex- 
ander W. Brown was also interested in this 
enterprise) were sons of John Brown he con- 
sented. The firm at once joined forces with 
Hon. Henry R. Rouse, of Enterprise (who 
with W. H. Abbott and others at Titusville 
constituted the firm which sank the second 
producing oil well in this territory), as Rouse, 
Mitchell & Brown, and kicked down a **spring 



pole'' well, the third on Oil creek, which yielded 
ten barrels a day from the first sand, but was 
later drilled to the third sand and gave three 
hundred barrels a day for a long period. Five 
or six wells — among them a flowing well — 
were soon in operation, and it was in an ex- 
plosion and resulting fire here at the Merrick 
well, on the evening of the day that it was 
brought in, that the untimely and tragic death 
of young Mr. Rouse occurred, with the loss of 
seventeen other lives, in April, 1861. This 
threw most of the responsibility of manage- 
ment upon Mr. Brown, but he proved equal to 
the steadily increasing burden and laid solid 
the foundations for the extensive operations 
which brought him fame and fortune. He con- 
tinued in active association with the produc- 
tion until his firm and sub-lessees had drilled 
about a hundred wells, when he organized the 
business on a large scale, uniting the holdings 
on both farms in the Buchanan Farms Oil 
Company, capitalized at four million dollars, 
realizing a million dollars from his own inter- 
est. It was at this time that he established a 
broker's office in Philadelphia, and the year 
afterward, 1868, he opened another in New 
York City, for a long time spending alternate 
days at these offices by making the journey 
between the two cities at night. For a num- 
ber of years he resided in Philadelphia, dis- 
continuing his office in that city in 1889, ^ind 
during the last twenty years of his life he made 
his home in New York City. 

From the time that he opened his metropoli- 
tan offices Mr. Brown dealt extensively in oil 
stocks, doing a large brokerage business in oil 
and oil lands, leases, etc., and promoting vari- 
ous oil companies, and along with that he car- 
ried other large interests, his associations 
widening constantly. He was always closely 
associated with his home county both by busi- 
ness and personal ties. He obtained a charter 
for the Farmers' railroad, along Oil creek 
from Oil City to Shaffer, in the face of strong 
opposition, and being able at first to secure 
permission for a horse railroad only exerted 
himself for several years until he was success- 
ful in having it changed to steam power, when 
he disposed of the charter to Bishop, Bissell 
and others, who built the Oil Creek railroad. 
In 1862 he obtained a charter for a pipe line 
from the Tarr Farm to Oil City, being one of 
the first to see the advantages of that method 
of transporting oil, and a short line was laid 
in 1863, but owing to the impossibility of 
getting suitable pipe leakage at the joints was 
so excessive that the first attempts were very 
discouraging, and the pond freshet system had 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



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to be depended upon for a couple of years 
longer, though obviously wasteful and ex- 
pensive. It was a beginning, however, and the 
demand for proper pipe was soon supplied; 
Meantime, with two of his brothers, Mr. 
Brown opened a store at what is now Oil City, 
then the region about the Cornplanter post 
office, which was continued together with their 
Pleasantville store, the latter being subse- 
quently operated as a wholesale and retail 
branch of the large New York City mercantile 
house in which he held partnership from 1866. 
In 1867 he went to Nevada, by way of Panama 
and San Francisco, and on the return trip, 
made in March, contracted such a severe cold 
as to bring on hemorrhages of the lungs. His 
recovery was slow, but greatly facilitated by a 
sojourn in the South during the following 
winter, and he took up his work again with 
all his old vigor. With the discovery of oil 
near Pleasantville he took an active part in 
the development of the territory, in which sev- 
eral hundred acres of his own lands were lo- 
cated, helped to establish the first bank at 
Pleasantville in company with David H. 
Mitchell, as member of the firm of Mitchell & 
Brown, and when it was superseded by the 
Pleasantville Banking Company, organized in 
December, 1872, became president of the new 
institution. He retained that position for 
thirty years, until the bank went out of exist- 
ence. Mitchell & Brown were also active in 
various phases of oil production. In 1872, 
after the agitation against the South Improve- 
ment Company, Mr. Brown was elected a trus- 
tee of the Petroleum Producers* Agency, and 
later became a member of the business com- 
mittee of that organization. In 1877 he was 
one of the active operators in the Enterprise 
district, and about the same time assisted in 
organizing the Seaboard Pipe Line. He was 
a leader in the formation of the Tide Water 
Pipe Line Company, Limited, which was 
organized Nov. 23, 1878, and soon afterward 
began the construction of its line, which was 
a success from the start. In 1881 Mr. Brown 
moved to Philadelphia to take charge of the 
financial management of the Chester Oil Com- 
pany, a Tide- Water refinery which was being 
built at Chester, Pa., and the next year the 
line was extended to Bayonne, N. J., the head- 
quarters being established in New York City. 
Mr. Brown became one of the managers of 
The Tide Water Pipe Company, Limited, in 
1886 and was associated with it in such ca- 
pacity ever afterward, being chief executive 
from 1893 ^o 1908. When the Tide Water 
Oil Company was organized in 1888 he was 



elected president of that also, and held the 
office until May, 1908, from which time until 
his death he was chairman of the board of 
directors. He was also a diredtor of the 
Associated Producers' Company from 1894 
until October, 1908, and its president from 
1903 to 1908, and was a dominating factor 
in the success of all these companies, being 
well qualified for the executive responsibilities 
vested in him. Mr. Brown represented the 
petroleum interests on the Second Geological 
Survey Commission of the State of Pennsyl- 
vania. In 1 87 1 he received the honorary de- 
gree of A. M. from Princeton University, and 
in the course of his useful life had many other 
marks of esteem in recognition of the great 
part he played in advancing the industrial in- 
terests of the country. But nothing was more ' 
to his credit than the sincere regard which all 
his associates and employes had for him. It 
^was an expression of well merited respect, 
gained in years of consistent justness and fair- 
ness in his dealings with them. His courtesy 
was unvarying, his consideration for others 
habitual, and the charm of his personality was 
felt by all alike. Mr. Brown died Oct. 5, 1909, 
at New York City, in his seventy-fifth year. 
From early manhood he was associated with 
the Presbyterian Church, serving as elder 
while he held membership at Pleasantville, and 
later transferring his allegiance to the Central 
Presbyterian Church in New York City. He 
not only gave generous support to his own de- 
nomination, but to others as well, and to all 
enterprises whidi he considered worthy in 
their aims. In political doctrine he was a 
Republican, and he held membership in the 
Union League at New York City and various 
other clubs. 

On July II, 1865, Mr. Brown was married 
to Nancy E. Lamb, his brother Alexander W. 
marrying her cousin at the same ceremony. 
Mrs. Brown was bom Sept. 28, 1842, daughter 
of John and Mary (Smith) Lamb, her father 
a farmer and merchant in Allegheny township, 
this county, and she and her husband had 
known each other from childhood. She sur- 
vived him with four children, living with them 
in New York City until her death, which oc- 
curred June 2% IQ16. The family home there 
was at No. 160 West Fifty-ninth street, and 
they also maintained a summer residence at 
East Hampton, Long Island. 

Dickson Queen Brown, son of Samuel 
Queen Brown, was bom at Pleasantville April 
2, 1873, and was reared there, acquiring his 
preparatory education in the local schools. He 
was graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



and Princeton University, B. A., 1895, and sub- 
sequently took a course in the Massachusetts 
Institute of Technology at Boston, receiving 
the degree of bachelor of science from that in- 
stitution in 1898. For a year following he 
worked in the refinery of the Tide Water Oil 
Company at Bayonne, N. J., spent some 
months in the oil producing fields with the As- 
sociated Producers' Company, and studied a 
year in the Oil Research Laboratory of the 
Royal Technical School, Charlottenburg, Ber- 
lin, (krmany, in order to prepare himself 
thoroughly for his chosen calling, the field of 
industry in which his father had won such 
distinction. He filled various important posi- 
tions in the Tide Water Companies, his youth- 
ful training and familiarity with the oil busi- 
ness proving of great practical value in these 
associations, and combining technical knowl- 
edge with executive ability is remarkably well 
fitted for almost any of the responsibilities of 
operation or direction. His present business 
connections are with the Tide Water Oil Com- 
pany, of which he is second vice president; 
the Associated Producers* ComjSany, of which 
he is president; the Tidal Oil Company (for- 
merly the Okla Oil Company), of which he is 
president; the Tide Water Pipe Line Com- 
pany, Limited, of which he is secretary; the 
Tide Water Company of Massachusetts, of 
which he is vice president ; the Magnetic Iron 
Ore Company ; and other concerns. His offices 
are at No. 11 Broadway, New York City. 
Socially he is a member of the Tiger Inn Qub 
(Princeton), Sigma Chi fraternity, University 
Club, Automobile Club of America, Princeton 
Club, Apawamis Club, Engineers' Club, Ameri- 
can Society of Mechanical Engineers, and 
others, principally scientific and outdoor organ- 
izations. He maintains a public-spirited inter- 
est in public affairs and keeps in familiar touch 
with them, though he has no taste for official 
honors. He is unmarried. 

J. WIRT BYERS is one of the most popular 
residents of Jackson township, having made a 
constantly widening circle of friends during a 
long career of business activity there. From 
young manhood his interests have been among 
the most important in the township, and he has 
handled them capably, and he has always been 
fair and liberal in all his transactions, winning 
the confidence as well as esteem of all his asso- 
ciates. His genial, sociable nature has per- 
vaded his relations with others in all the ac- 
tivities of life, and is reflected in his standing 
among his fellow men. 

The Byers have been identified with Ven- 



ango county for nearly three quarters of a 
century, and have been established in this part 
of the State since 1807. So far as known the 
family is of old Virginia stock, and the first of 
the name to settle here, James Byers, grand- 
father of J. Wirt Byers, had been a member of 
George Washington's staff during the Revolu- 
tionary war. In 1807 he removed to Mercer 
county, Pa., and later made a permanent settle- 
ment near Pulaski, Lawrence Co., Pa., where 
he died. His wife, Elizabeth, who reached the 
age of eighty-three years, spent her last years 
with her son James in Venango county, where 
she is buried, in the cemetery of Mount Pleas- 
ant Church. None of their daughters had 
any posterity. One son, Samuel, lived on a 
farm adjoining that of his brother James in 
French Creek township, Venango county, be- 
tween the boroughs of Polk and Utica, three 
miles from the former and five from the latter, 
both brothers settling here in 1845. 

James Byers, Jr., father of J. Wirt Byers, 
was bom in Virginia June 11, 1800, and on 
Dec. 22, 1825, married Elizabeth Piper, a na- 
tive of Lawrence county, Pa., bom in 1807. 
Her father, John Piper, was bom in Germany, 
and came to the United States in 1780, making 
his home in Lawrence county, where he died 
when nearly one hundred years old, when his 
grandson J. Wirt Byers was a boy of about 
eight years ; he was eighty-four at the time of 
his second marriage. From 1845 ^^ ^864 Mr. 
and Mrs. James Byers lived on a farm in 
French Creek township, Venango county, 
working and prospering, and in the latter year 
removed thence to Mercer county, where he 
continued farming some years longer, event- 
ually settling at Sandy Lake. Mercer county, 
where both died, he in his ninety-first year, she 
in her ninety-third year. He had the substan- 
tial qualities essential to success in material af- 
fairs, and also took part in matters of general 
interest, being a worker in the Democratic 
party for many years. While in Lawrence 
county he was a captain of militia, and he 
never lost his interest in military activities. 
For sixty-seven years he held membership, in 
the Presbyterian Church, and assisted with all 
its enterprises. Of the fourteen children born 
to James and Elizabeth (Piper) Byers nine 
reached maturity, and we have the following 
record of the family: (i) Mahala Nicely is 
now living at the old home, the widow of John 
Foster, a hotel man, who died in Franklin. (2) 
John Piper, who died in 1910 in his eighty-first 
year, was in the mercantile business in Ven- 
ango county from 1851 to about 1907. He 
began clerking for William S. Devore in 



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Franklin at the age of twenty-one years, was 
sent to Dempseytown to take charge of the 
store of the late Judge Robert Lamberton, and 
later came to Cooperstown in the same ca- 
pacity. After a few years he bought the store, 
which he continued to carry on in the Lamber- 
ton building. Some years afterward he sold 
out to L. T. Lamberton and put up a store 
building of his own at Cooperstown, where he 
gained the reputation of being the best country 
merchant in Venango county. He retired in 
his old age. (3) Zelia died in her twenty-first 
year. (4) Catherine Rosetta, now in her 
eighty-fifth year, is the widow of James 
McCutcheon (a relative of the celebrated car- 
toonist of Chicago) and lives at Galva, 111. 
(S) Almira is the widow of R. T. Findly, of 
Mercer, Pa. (6) William Ramsey was a mer- 
chant at Fairview, Mercer county, and later 
well known as a race horse owner at Mead- 
ville, where he died at the age of sixty-nine 
years. (7) J. Wirt. (8) Belle is next in the 
family. (9) Frances Exalona is the widow of 
R. T. Hilands and living at Fredonia, Mercer 
county. (10) Mary Imelda, twin of Frances, 
died when fifteen years old. 

J. Wirt Byers was born Aug. 22, 1842, at 
Pulaski, Lawrence Co., Pa., and was reared in 
French Creek township, Venango county. He 
had good educational advantages for the times, 
attending convenient schools and academies, 
including the academy at Cooperstown then 
presided over by Professor Carathers. When 
a youth of eighteen he entered his brother's 
store at Cooperstown, clerking with him for 
the next eight years, at the end of that time be- 
coming a member of the firm of Byers, Steven- 
son & Co. (the "company" representing 
William S. Devore), who bought the store and 
conducted it for four or five years, eventually 
selling back to the original owner. But the 
firm did not go out of business, taking a store 
at Sandy Lake, and all being young and am- 
bitious they were very successful. \Ir. Byers 
gave all his attention to its interests until the 
death of his father-in-law, when he sold out 
and returned to Cooperstown, soon buying an 
interest in his brother Piper's store, then 
operated by Byers, Muse & Co. He was asso- 
ciated therewith for some years, until the farm 
demanded all of his attention, when he dis- 
posed of his share to his brother and withdrew 
from mercantile life after a twenty years' ex- 

girience in that line. In 1867 he had married 
Uen Booth, daughter of Henry and Mary 
Ann (Berlin) Booth, the former a leading 
business man of this section for many years. 
Mr. Booth came from England at the age of 



eighteen, and entered a woolen mill near 
Williamsport, Pa., owned by a Mr. Rich. In 
1836 Mr. Rich joined Joseph Hillier and Henry 
Booth, under the name of Rich, Booth & Hil- 
lier, in the development of a waterpower at 
Cooperstown, Venango/ county, on Lake creek, 
building a woolen mill which did a highly suc- 
cessful business in the manufacture of yam, 
cloth, blankets, flannel, etc. A gristmill was 
added to the plant in 1845, ^md the original 
partnership continued through a prosperous 
existence of thirty years, when Mr. Rich sold 
his interest to the others. Booth & Hillier 
carrying on the business until the former's 
demise, in 1872. His share was then taken by 
the Hilliers, father and son, who retained the 
works until about 1880. The buildings were 
subsequently taken down, aad nothing now re- 
mains but the foundations. Mr. ]^oth had 
invested in farm lands in this section, acquir- 
ing about five hundred acres, in two tracts, 
and when he died it was necessary for his son- 
in-law, Mr. Byers, to assume charge of these 
properties, whose care has occupied him ever 
since. Mr. Booth built the house on his farm 
in 1866, burning the brick there. Though he 
always refused official honors he was a leading 
Republican of his vicinity for years. He was 
twice married, his first wife, an English girl, 
leaving two children, one of whom, W. J. 
Booth, is now a resident of Titusville, Pa. 
His second marriage was to Mary Ann Berlin, 
of Clarion county. Pa., who survived until 
J911, reaching her ninety-sixth year. The 
three children of this union were : Ellen, Mrs. 
J. Wirt Byers ; Miss Elizabeth, who was long 
an invalid before her death, at the age of sixty- 
six years; and George, who died when ten 
years old. 

Mrs. Byers passed away in 1903, at the age 
of sixty years. Of her three children. May is 
the wife of Charles McCalmont Brown, of 
New York City, and has one child, Frances 
Juvenilia ("Jules'') ; Mr. Brown is New York 
City representative of the Winton Company, 
automobile manufacturers, being a member of 
the firm of Winton, Henderson & Brown, and 
his brother is one of the owners of the Win- 
ton Company. Henry Booth died at the age 
of twenty-five years. Frances is the wife of 
John Francis Watlington, of Reidsville, N. 
C, and has three children, John F., Jr., Ellen 
Booth, and Frances Byers; Mr. Watlington is 
cashier of the Bank of Reidsville, and the 
family reside on their plantation three miles 
out of town, which is largely devoted to tobac- 
co raising. 



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HENRY BOOTH BYERS, son of J. Wirt 
and Ellen (Booth) Byers, became a profes- 
sional musician, and though he died at the age 
of twenty-five years he had attained such rec- 
ognition that it is believed he might have taken 
his place among the most famous vocalists of 
the country. He was born March 4. 1871, at 
Cooperstown, grew up there, and after receiv- 
ing such literary education as the local schools 
offered attended high school at Meadville, i*d., 
where he was graduated. He followed with 
a course in AU^heny College, Meadville, from 
which institution he was graduated at the age 
of twenty years, afterward reading law in the 
office of George W. Plummer, in Chicago, 111. 
Mr. Byers had inherited his mother's musical 
ability and tastes, and in Chicago found many 
desirable opportunities for supplementing his 
early training, before he had been there long 
devoting himself entirely to voice culture and 
the development of his fine baritone, which 
soon brought him an enviable reputation. As 
a student Mr. Byers had the patience and pains- 
taking habits of the true artist, with the result 
that he improved his technique and built up his 
voice to wonderful strength and tone, becom- 
ing one of the most popular concert sinc^ers in 
Chicago and all that section of the country. 
He was engaged Saturdays as soloist in a 
Jewish Synagogue in that city, and Sundays as 
soloist in Christ Episcopal Church, and his 
other assignments were also of the highest 
character. The "Chicago Musical Times" re- 
" ferred to him as one of the best soloists in the 
city in oratorio, and made flattering comment 
upon his expression and control of hi? voice, 
which had unusual range. His interpretation 
in some of his favorite roles gave evidence of 
feeling and good taste, as well as a capacity for 
endeavor, promising unlimited success tor his 
future, which was cut short by his uniimely 
death, Nov. 11, 1896, after an operation for 
appendicitis. 

Mr. Byers never lost his affection for the 
environment of his early years, and he prob- 
ably attained a wider reputation than any other 
resident of Cooperstown. He always enjoyed 
visiting his old home, and his associates took 
the greatest pride in his achievements and 
prospects. 

WILLIAM THOMAS YOUNG, of Oil 
City, has been associated with the United 
Natural Gas Company in responsible capaci- 
ties for several years, being at present assist- 
ant ereneral superintendent. He has advanced 
on his own merits, and is favorably known 



in business circles and also to a wide person- 
al acquaintanceship. 

Mr. Young was bom March 20, 1877, at 
Emlenton, Venango Co., Pa., son of James 
Steele Young, a prominent resident of that 
vicinity. His grandfather, William Young, 
came from the North of Ireland and settled 
in Westmoreland county. Pa., but as he died 
when his son James was quite young the fam- 
ily do not know much of his history except that 
he and his wife Sallie had a large family, two 
children having been born in Ireland before 
their emigration to this country. They were 
farming people, Presbyterians in religion, and 
are buried at the Concord Chul^ch in Wayne 
township, Armstrong Co., Pennsylvania. 

James Steele Young, father of William 
Thomas Young, was bom in Westmoreland 
county, Pa., July 14, 1843, ^md was very young 
when the family removed to Armstrong coun- 
ty, this State, and located on a farm in the 
vicinity of Belknap. As a youth he went to 
Pittsburgh to learn the trade of blacksmith, 
which he followed after coming to this region 
during the height of the oil excitement, find- 
ing plenty of employment at toolmaking and 
similar work among the operators at Pithole, 
Miller Farm, and other points. In September, 
1864, he removed to Franklin, where he had a 
shop of his own for several years, later open- 
ing a shop at Foster, Venango county, where 
he was. largely engaged in toolmaking. In 
August. 1867, he located near by, at what is 
now known as Kennerdell (then Scrubgrass), 
and continued work at his trade there until he 
gave it up to look after his oil interests, sell- 
ing out about December, 1873. ^^ has since 
lived in the southeastern part of Scrubgrass 
township, near Emlenton. Having bought a 
lease on the Russell farm from Dick Redfield, 
in 1873. he engaged in the production of oil, 
living on that property a number of years, and 
later bought the adjoining Calvert farm out- 
right, having owned the oil production on that 
place for some years. Besides looking after 
the oil operations on both these places up to 
the present time, he has also carried on gen- 
eral farming and stock raising, developing his 
property agriculturally and establishing an up- 
to-date rural home with fine farm equipment 
and desirable surroundings. His home and 
barn are electric lighted, and all the other ap- 
pointments about the place are in keeping with 
the best modem ideas. In addition to the 
Russell and Calvert places Mr. Young owns 
the H. B. Middleton tract adjoining, having 
about 200 acres in all. He has served his 



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695 



township as school director, supervisor, etc., 
and in business enterprise and good citizenship 
ranks with the most substantial citizens of the 
township. Politically he gives his support to 
the Democratic party. He is one of the oldest 
Scottish Rite Masons in this State, originally 
affiliated with the Consistory at Bloomsburg, 
but now holding membership in Pennsylvania 
Consistory, Valley of Pittsburgh. He also be- 
longs to Allegheny Valley Lodge, No. 552, 
F. and A. M., of which he was a charter mem- 
ber and second master of same; to Chapter 
No. 211, R. A. M. ; and to Franklin Com- 
mandery, No. 44, K. T. 

On June 2, 1868, Mr. Young was married to 
Arminta A. Sergeant, who was bom in Sep- 
tember, 1849, daughter of Thomas and Sarah 
Sergeant, and children as follows have been 
bom to them: Carrie L., wife of B. F. Jami- 
son, of Emlenton, Pa. ; Joseph S., now of Vin- 
cennes, Ind., who married Gertmde Agnew; 
Sallie E., wife of Joseph P. Riddle, of near 
Emlenton r William Thomas; J. Halden, of 
Illinois, who married Blanche Crawford ; and 
Nellie C, a trained nurse, who lives at home. 
The parents are members of the Presbyterian 
Church at Emlenton. 

William Thomas Young was educated prim- 
arily at the Emlenton schools, later taking a 
course in mathematics and mechanics at Grove 
City College, and continuing his higher studies 
as opportunity allowed. He taught school in 
Scmbgrass township for a time, but eventu- 
ally entered the machine shop of the H. K. 
Porter locomotive works as an apprentice and 
for seven years followed the trade of machin- 
ist, at different places, including the plant of 
the Bullock Electric Company at Cincinnati, 
Ohio, and the Westinghouse Electric Company 
at Pittsburgh. As he familiarized himself 
more and more with the practical part of the 
woric he became interested in its technical study 
and took a course in Duquesne College, Pitts- 
burgh. Coming to Oil City March 20, 1901, 
he was engaged as draftsman during the con- 
stmction of the Imperial Oil Works of the Oil 
Well Supply Company, and remained with 
that concern seven years in all, during six 
years of which period he had charge of the 
drawing room. The next year he was with 
the National Transit Company as draftsman, 
and he has since been in the service of the 
United Natural Gas Company, with whom he 
started as erecting engineer of gas compres- 
sing stations, gradually advancing to his pres- 
ent responsibilities. Mr. Young belongs to 
the National Security League and to the 
Masonic fraternity, holding membership in 



Allegheny Valley Lodge, No. 552, F. and A. 
M., of Emlenton; Chapter No. 211, R. A. M., 
of Franklin; Talbot Commandery, No. 43, 
K. T., of Oil City; Venango Lodge of Per- 
fection, fourteenth degree, of Oil City; and 
Holly Chapter, O. E. S., of Oil City. Poli- 
tically he believes in the principles of the 
Democratic party, but he is independent about 
supporting men or measures, choosing those 
which appeal to him most. 

On June 24, 1903, Mr. Young married Jes- 
sie May Poller, and they have three children: 
Marion W., born Nov. 21, 1904; Mildred A., 
born Feb. 12, 1906; and Janet Steele, born 
Oct. 15, 1914. The family attend the Epis- 
copal Church. 

Mrs. Young was born in Buffalo, N. Y.. 
where her education was commenced, her later 
attendance having been at Oil City, where she 
finished at the high school. She is a pianist 
of marked ability, a member of the Schubert 
Club and the Tuesday Musicale ; a member of 
Holly Chapter, O. E. S. ; and a well known 
member of the Episcopal Church, where she 
was a Sunday school teacher for some years. 

Peter Paul Poller, Mrs. Young's father, 
was born in Germany and came to this 
countrv when a youth, locating first at Dun- 
kirk, N. Y. He worked as a machinist in 
the railroad shops at that place, was later a 
foreman at Buffalo for many years, and after 
his removal to Oil City was master mechanic 
in the Pennsylvania railroad shops until his 
retirement. He and his wife Mildred (Lam- 
kin) Poller, a native of England, now live in 
Buffalo. Of their three children, Charles S. 
is now deceased; Jessie May is the wife of 
William Thomas Young, of Oil City ; Ethel is 
the wife of George D. Lowr)-, of Buffalo, N. 
Y. The father is a member of Erie Lodge, 
Free and Accepted Masons, at Buffalo. He 
was active in the Episcopal Church up to the 
time of his removal to Oil City, serving as war- 
den. 

SAMUEL GATES FOSTER, M. D., has 
rounded out a quarter century of successful 
practice in Franklin, and is one of the most 
popular members of the medical fraternity 
in this part of the State. But his usefulness 
and reputation have by no means been limited 
to professional activities, though his work as 
a physician alone has been broad and actuated 
by high ideals of service and responsibility. 
Every enterprise pertaining to the welfare of 
his fellow men has had his practical coopera- 
tion. The moral and material betterment of 
the locality, city, county and State govern- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



ment, social conditions, and all their incidental 
interests, have profited greatly through his 

Eublic-spirited solicitude for advancement, 
rike busy people generally, he always seems 
to be able to find time to be helpful. Na- 
turally, his attitude of mind has reacted very 
favorably on a character of unusual strength, 
enlarging his vision, quickening his percep- 
tions, and urging him on continually to greater 
eflFort. His life work is a record of fine en- 
dowments, well developed and judiciously 
utilized. 

Doctor Foster came to Franklin from New 
York, where he was born, at Belmont, Alle- 
gany county, son of Dr. D. H. Foster. He 
received an excellent literary education and 
took his medical courses at the University of 
Michigan, Eclectic Medical College, New 
York, Hahnemann Medical College, Phil- 
adelphia, and New York Post Graduate 
School. For a year following he practiced 
with his father in New York State, gaining 
valuable experience in the routine work oi 
the general practitioner. In 1892 he came to 
Franklin, Pa., where he has since been es- 
tablished, busily engaged in practice except for 
the periods occupied with post-graduate study, 
having taken several such courses in Philadel- 
phia and New York City. In addition to 
caring for his private practice he has acted 
as surgeon for ' the Pennsylvania and Erie 
Railroad Companies, and he belongs to both 
the Erie and the Pennsylvania Railroad Asso- 
ciations. He is also prominent in the mem- 
bership of the Venango County Medical 
Society, and is a member of the Pennsylvania 
State Medical Society and the American 
Medical Association. 

For a number of years Dr. Foster has 
taken a leading part in the administration of 
local affairs. He has served three terms in 
the city council, and in 1902 had the high honor 
of being elected mayor of Franklin. He has 
since been chosen to represent the. district in 
the State legislature, having been elected in 
1908. Dr. Foster has ever taken a keen 
interest in the National Guard, and in 1899 
was appointed commissary of the 2d Brigade, 
N. G. P., serving until the brigade was mus- 
tered out. In 1902 he was appointed aide-de- 
camp to the major general of the Pennsylvania 
National Guard, and has always attended 
Dunctiliously to his duties in this connection. 
For four years he was judge advocate, ap- 
pointed June I, 1909. Socially he belongs to 
the Franklin Qub and to the B. P. O. Elks. 

Dr. Foster married Sadie E. Ritts, whose 
reputation as a vocalist is State-wide. 



RALPH CLAPP PLUMER is one of the 
substantial residents of Franklin, where he 
holds a position vi^ith the General Manifold & 
Printing Company besides looking after his in- 
terests in oil and gas. His business life has 
been devoted to various occupations. Mr. 
Plumer possesses many of the qualities dis- 
tinctive of the family to which he belongs, and 
several of whose members have been leading 
citizens of Venango county, where the name 
has been esteemed throughout a long and 
honorable connection with the material and 
social development of this section. He is a 
son of Samuel F. Plumer, at one time post- 
master at Franklin, and a nephew of Arnold 
Plumer, Congressman, State treasurer and 
otherwise influential in public affairs in his 
day. 

The Plumers are of English extraction, and 
the name also appears as Plume and Plum- 
mer. The arms of the family are : Per chevron 
fleury counter fleury gules and argent three 
martlets. Crest: A demilion gules; in his 
paw a garb or. Motto: Con Sulto et 
audacitor, 

Francis Plumer or Plummer was probably 
from Berkshire, England, though some author- 
ities say Wales, coming to America in the 
year 1633 ^^ith a company from Newbury, in 
Berkshire. He took the freeman's oath in Bos- 
ton May 14, 1634. In 1635, when the company 
came up Little river to found the town of 
Quascaquenquen (Newberry), he was the sec- 
ond to land, Nicholas Noyes being first. He 
was one of the original trustees of the town, 
where he acquired an excellent farm, and the 
meeting house, also used as the school and 
town house, stood on his land. His farm con- 
tinued to be owned and cultivated by his de- 
scendants for more than two hundred years, 
his posterity including a number of distin- 
guished men. He was a linen weaver, and be- 
sides following his trade kept an inn. His first 
wife, Ruth, died July 17 or Aug. 18, 1647. 
His second marriage was to Mrs. Ann Palmer, 
who died Oct. 18, 1665 ; and his third mar- 
riage was to Mrs. Beatrice Cantleberry, of Sa- 
lem, on Nov. 27-28, 1666. We have record of 
his children as follows : Samuel, bom in 1619, 
died 1702, married about 1646 Mary Bifield; 
Joseph was next in the line we are tracing; 
Hannah, bom 1632, married May 3, 1653, Sam- 
uel Moores: Mary, born 1634, also married. 
The father died Jan. 17, 1672-73. Among his 
descendants was George Plummer, said to have 
been the first white child bom west of the 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



697 



Allegheny mountains, and who was the first 
Congressman elected from that section. 

Joseph Plumer, son of Francis, was bom in 
England in 1630 and accompanied his parents 
to this country. He lived upon the south side 
of Parker, in the town of Newbury, and was 
made a freeman in 1670. His death occurred 
Dec. II, 1683. On Dec. 23, 1652, he married. 
Sarah Cheney, daughter of John Cheney, of 
Rowley, Mass., and they had the following 
children: Joseph, bom Sept. 11, 1654, married 
Jan. 20, 1685, Hannah Swett; Benjamin, bom 
Oct. 23, 1656, married Jan. 15, 1678, Mary 
Wood; Sarah, born May 13, 1660, died May 
26, 1676: Francis, bom April 23, 1662, died 
Dec. 5, 1663; Francis (2), bom Feb. 25, 1664, 
married May 10, 1700, Mary Ellithrop; Na- 
thaniel, born Jan. 31, 1666, was next in the 
family ; Jonathan is mentioned below ; Abigail, 
bom July 15 or 26, 1674, died Dec. 11, 1683. 

Jonathan Plumer, son of Joseph, was bom 
May 13, 1668, and died Sept. 27, 1726. On 
June 10, 1696, he married Sarah Pearson, 
daughter of John Pearson, of Rowley, and their 
children were : John, mentioned below ; Daniel, 
born Jan. 7, 1699, who married Jan. 3. 1734, 
Abigail Wheeler; Mary, bom Dec. 6, 1701, who 
married Jan. 26, 1725, Nathan Wheeler; Jona- 
than, born May or Aug. 14, 1705, who married 
in 1732 Mary Johnson ; Josiah, bom ^larch 25, 
1708 : and Sarah, bom June 28, 17 10, who mar- 
ried Nov. 9, 1732, Daniel Pierce. 

John Plumer, son of Jonathan, born March 
25, 1697, married Jan. 30, 1722, Rebecca 
Wheeler, and had children: John, bom Dec. 
15. 1722. who married March 4, 1750, Abigail 
Dale: Jonathan, mentioned below; Rebecca, 
bom Nov. 14, 1728, who married Dec. 7. 1749, 
Sylvanus Plumer; and Sarah, born May 5, 
1737, who married Nov. 28, 1764, Nicholas 
Currier. 

Jonathan Plumer, son of John and Rebecca 
f Wheeler), was born April 13, 1724, in New- 
bury, Mass., where he grew up. About 1749- 
50. after the death of his first wife, he re- 
moved to Pennsylvania with his three sons, and 
his strong character was soon evidenced in 
the prominence he attained among his new 
associates. He did military duty during the 
French and Indian war. acting^ as commissary 
in Braddock's expedition against Fort Du- 
Ouesne in 175 s;. The English bfeing defeated, 
he and his wife sought refuge at Fort Cum- 
berland In T7c8 he served as quartermaster 
under General Forbes, and was with him when 
the English forces took possession of Fort 
DuOuesne and changed the name to Pitts- 
burgh. Shortly after this Col. George Croghan 



obtained a grant of fifteen hundred acres of 
land on the south side of the Allegheny river, 
extending from Two Mile mn to the Nar- 
rows, and Jonathan Plumer, becoming interest- 
ed in this tract, settled on it in the summer 
of 1761, building a cabin **by the permission 
of Col. Henry Bouquet." He made numerous 
important improvements on the property, and 
subsequently sold his interests to Colonel 
Croghan. On June 6, 1744, Jonathan Plumer 
married Mehitable Herriman, who died in 
Newbury in 1749-50, and in 1754 he married 
(second) Anna Farrell, of Oldtown, Md. The 
three children of the first union were : Nathan- 
iel, mentioned below; Paul, born in 1746, who 
married Hannah Woodbridge; and Jonathan, 
bom in 1748, who married Hannah Brown. 
There were four children by the second mar- 
riage: William, bom 1755; John, bom 1759; 
George, bom Dec. 5, 1762, who married Mar- 
garet Lowry and (second) Martha Dean; 
and Nancy, wife of Robert Hays. 

Nathaniel Pltuner, son of Jonathan, was 
born in 1745 ^^ Newbury, Mass., went with 
his father to Pennsylvania in childhood, and 
settled in the westem part of the State, pur- 
chasing four hundred acres of land on the 
south side of the Monongahela river, embrac- 
ing part of the site of Mount Washington, 
which became one of the wards of the city of 
Pittsburgh. He located there in 1789. Among 
his children was a son Samuel. 

Samuel Plumer, son of Nathaniel, spent 
most of his life in Allegheny county. Pa. He 
was born Oct. 6, 1772, and in 1800 moved to 
Jackson township, Venango county, but he re- 
turned to Allegheny ten years later and re- 
mained there until his death, Oct. 31, 1820. On 
Feb. 4, 1796, he married Patty Adams, who 
was bom Aug. 15, 1770, in Rowley, Mass., 
daughter of Capt. Benj. and Mary (Harriman) 
Adams, and died Oct. 2, 1847, at Franklin, Pa., 
whither she removed with her family after Mr. 
Plumer's death. Their children were as fol- 
lows: Walker, born Nov. 24, 1796, died in 
1859; Mary Harriman, bom Jan. 20, 1799, 
married Jan. 13, 1818, John McCalmont, and 
died Sept. 3, 1848, in Franklin; Arnold, bom 
June 5, 1801, died April 28, 1869, after a re- 
markable career : Benjamin Adams, born Sept. 
24, 1803, died March 22, 1856, in Franklin, 
after honorable public service as postmaster 
of that city, county treasurer and associate 
judge r Samuel F. is mentioned below; Patty 
Adams, bom March 19, i8og, died May 28, 
1859, i" Akron, Ohio, was married Feb. 21, 
183Q, to Rev. Cyrus W. Clarke, of Allegheny 
College, Meadville, Pa. : Hannah W., born May 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



21, 1811, was married Sept. i, 1831, to Rev. 
John Robinson, and died Dec. 16, 1886, at 
Staten Island, New York. 

Samuel F. Plumer was born July 16, 1806, 
in Jackson township, Venango county, and 
died Dec. 2, 1861, very suddenly, at Kittanning, 
Pa., while returning from a trip to Pittsburgh. 
He is buried in the Franklin cemetery. He w as 
a prominent resident of Franklin for a number 
of years, following the mercantile business 
here and serving as postmaster. Later he went 
to Clarion county and became interested in the 
operation of furnaces, owning the Jefferson, 
Clinton, Buchanan and Sarah Furnaces, which 
he worked successfully, continuing in this bus- 
iness for many years. He was a man of great 
business capacity, handling all his undertakings 
well. On July 23, 1840, he was married to 
Sarah Power, daughter of George Power, 
of Franklin, whose biography will be found 
elsewhere in this work. Six children were born 
of this union: John R. is deceased; Benja- 
min A., deceased, married Myra Adams, who 
is now living in Oil City ; Mary C, deceased, 
was the wife of Harland Durand, and died at 
Los Angeles, Cal. : Myra A. is the wife of J. 
B. Moorhead, of Franklin, Pa.; Catherine, 
wife of Judge John McCalmont Miller, died 
at Los Angeles, Cal., in March, 1917; Ralph 
Clapp is mentioned below. The mother of this 
family lived to the age of seventy-four years. 

Ralph Clapp Plumer was born Feb. 7, 1849, 
at the old Jefferson Furnace in Clarion county, 
Pa., and received his early education in the 
public schools. Later he attended the Edin- 
boro (Pa.) Normal School and the institu- 
tion now known as State College, as well as 
private schools, being given excellent advan- 
tages. In his early manhood he engaged in 
the production of oil in Venango county, giv- 
ing up that business after some years to enter 
other lines. He is now holding a position with 
the General Manifold & Printing Company in 
Franklin, where he makes his home. 

On Sept. 3, 1876, Mr. Plumer married Mar- 
garet Dieringer, and they are the parents of ten 
children, namely : Samuel R. ; Joseph D. ; Pat- 
ty, who was united in marriage on Oct. 
23, 1917, with P. M. Frampton, formerly 
of Transfer, Mercer Co.. Pa., now a wholesale 
and retail lumber dealer of Pittsburgh, where 
they reside; Estella. wife of Walter L. Busch, 
of Buffalo, N. Y.; Myra M., wife of Robert 
Lamberton, of Franklin ; Charles P. : Anna M.. 
wife of Leroy Lasalle Reib: Catherine M., 
living at home; Donald McCalmont: and 
Frederick Arnold. Mr. and Mrs. Plumer 
are members of the Methodist Episcopal 



Church. They have been conspicuously use- 
ful in local welfare work and the social bet- 
terment of the community. 

Mrs. Plumer is a daughter of Joseph and 
Margaret (Gardner) Dieringer and a native 
of New Castle, Pa., whence she came to Frank- 
lin in 1866. Mr. and Mrs. Dieringer had the 
following children : John C, who died at New- 
Castle, Pa. ; Mary Jane, wife of Senator Ben- 
jamin Gaman, both dying at Plymouth, Mass. ; 
Joseph, deceased; Margaret, Mrs. Ralph C. 
Plumer ; William R., deceased ; and Charles P., 
who lives on Liberty street, in Franklin, Pa., 
and has been successful, being well known. 

EDWARD RAY INMAN. of Franklin, 
has in his capacity of patent attorney and con- 
sulting engineer found a congenial field for 
his labors in Venango county, where he has 
been established since 1899. Though a native 
of the State of Wisconsin, Mr. Inman is of 
old American and Pennsylvania stock, the 
original settler of the family in this country 
having been Edward Inman, who came to 
Delaware about 1636 and engaged in the smelt- 
ing of iron, being largely instrumental in the 
development of that industry in his day. 

Elijah Inman, great-great-grandfather of 
Edward Ray Inman. emigrated with a colony 
from Connecticut to the Wyoming valley in 
Pennsylvania, taking with him to his new 
location seven sons, three of whom were killed 
in the notorious Wyoming massacre, their 
names being engraved on a monument erected 
to commemorate the event, on the spot where 
the massacre occurred, called the Forty Fort 
Monument. One brother escaped from the 
massacre, and one was in the Continental army. 
The youngest, Edward, was detailed to con- 
duct the women and children through the 
wilderness from Wilkes-Barre, on the Susque- 
hanna, to Easton, on the Delaware river, en- 
during privation, suffering and toil on the 
journey. He afterward became a colonel and 
served in that capacity in the war of 181 2. 
This Col. Edward Inman was the great-grand- 
father of Edward Ray Inman. He and his 
wife both died in the Wyoming valley in Oc- 
tober, 1846, within one week of each other. 
The Colonel was eighty-four and his wife 
eighty-two years old, and they had lived to- 
gether sixty-two years and raised a family of 
seven children, of whom John E. was the last 
survivor. 

John E. Inman, grandfather of Edward Ray 
Inman, was born in the Wyoming valley, in 
Planover township, Luzerne Co., Pa., May 23, 
1799. He removed thence to Milledgeville, 
Carroll Co., 111., in April, 1857. the only time 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



699 



that he changed his place of residence during 
the course of his long life. Mr. Inman died 
suddenly, at his home in Wysox township, on 
Monday, Jan. 31, 1876, after a long career of 
usefulness and industry, which was rewarded 
with a very bountiful share of life's blessings. 
He and his wife, Mary (Hannis), who sur- 
vived him about one month, had journeyed to- 
gether through life upward of fifty-six years, 
and they reared eight children, five sons and 
three daughters, namely: Edward, Elijah, 
George, Levi, Whitney, Harriet, Annice and 
Mary. Harriet and Mary survived their 
father; Annice, wife of Dr. H. M. Frease, 
died a few years before him, leaving one 
daughter, Mary A. Frease. Three of the sons, 
Edward, Elijah and Levi, and one daughter, 
Mrs. Harriet Fisher, were residing in Rock 
county. Wis., at the time of the father's death ; 
George was then living in Crawford county, 
Iowa; Whitney and Mrs. L. F. Eastabrooks 
in Wysox township, Carroll Co., Illinois. 

Col. Edward Inman. son of John E. and 
Mary (Hannis) Inman, was born Dec. 3, 1822, 
in Luzerne county, Pa., and died Jan. 15, 1892, 
at his home in Bradford township, Rock Co., 
Wis. His early life was passed in his native 
county. For a short time (about 1850) he 
served in the capacity of conductor on the rail- 
road between Albany and Schenectady, N. 
Y., and during this experience he met with 
an accident in which he sustained a broken 
leg, which incapacitated him for military serv- 
ice. However, he was versed in the manual 
of arms and in infantry tactics, and was active 
as a drillmaster in the State militia, and in 
consequence of the service rendered in this 
respect received the title and rank of colonel 
upon the governor's staff of Pennsylvania. 
His removal from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin 
occurred in 1857, and at the breaking out of 
the Civil war, he was active in training re- 
cruits for military service. He was well read 
in several branches of law and his advice was 
much sought on business and legal subjects 
by neighbors and friends. He held the office 
of justice of the peace almost continuously 
during his residence in Wisconsin, and was 
ever ready to assist soldiers and war widows in 
all business matters, especially those relating 
to pensions, and his services in such cases 
were always rendered free of charge. He was 
an earnest student of political subjects, and 
an interested reader of "Harper's Weekly" 
until it turned against General Grant ; from 
that time on this publication was not allowed 
to appear upon his reading table. He was a 
successful farmer in Wisconsin, and was the 



owner of 560 acres of valuable agricultural 
land. The Qinton (Wis.) Herald of Jan. 
19, 1892, spoke thus at the time of his decease : 
"It is with sorrow that we have occasion to 
speak this week of the de^th of Col. E. In- 
man, who, since 1857, has been a highly re- 
spected and prosperous resident of the town 
of Bradford. For years he was a member of 
the county board and has held numerous posi- 
tions of honor and trust." 

On March 8, 1852, Colonel Inman was mar- 
ried to Margaret J. Muchler, of Wilkes-Barre, 
Pa., who survived him with eight children, 
seven of whom are still living, as is also Mrs. 
Inman, who makes her home at Janesvill^, 
Wisconsin. 

Edward Ray Inman was born July 25, 1864, 
in Bradford township. Rock Co., Wis., and 
there attended the district schools up to the age 
of fifteen years, after which he was a student 
at Milton College, Milton, Wis., two years. 
He taught school one year, and read law two 
years in the office of Erwin and Benedict, 
patent attorneys, in Milwaukee, Wis. He has 
practiced before the United States Patent 
Office since 1890, his United States Registry 
number being 197. In August, 1887, Mr. In- 
man was appointed clerk and official steno- 
grapher of the Municipal court for Rock 
county, continuing in that position for the next 
five years, during which time he resided at 
Janesville, where he made his home until June, 
1897. Upon resigning as clerk of the court 
he entered the manufacturing business, which 
he carried on for three years, when he en- 
tered into the practice of patent soliciting to- 
gether with experimental work on internal 
combustion motors. Removing to Indianap- 
olis, Ind., in June, 1897, he resided there two 
years, while with the Indianapolis Engine 
Company as chief designer, and during the 
two years following was at Oil City, Pa., from 
April I, 1899, to March i, 1901, in the service 
of the Oil City Boiler Works, engaged upon 
experimental work with oil engines. He has 
since lived at Franklin, where he was with 
the Chicago Pneumatic Tool Company four 
years in the capacity of draftsman, spending 
a large portion of that time in designing jigs, 
tools and fixtures. In June, 1906, Mr. Inman 
opened an office for the practice of patent 
soliciting and as consulting engineer, in which 
work he has continued to the present. He has 
given practically all of his attention to this 
work, in which he has been successful. While 
a resident of Janesville Mr. Inman served two 
years as member of the city council, but he has 
not been active in the administration of pub- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



lie affairs in Venango county. In his political 
views he is a Republican. 

On Dec. 22, 1892, Mr. Inman was married, 
at Oswego, N. Y., to Laura Austin Sheldon, 
a native of that. place, daughter of Edward 
Austin Sheldon and Frances Bradford (Stiles) 
Sheldon, and they have four children, Edward 
Ray. Margaret Laura, Dorothy and Frances 
Stiles. The son is a student at Allegheny Col- 
lege, Meadville, Pa., the daughters attending 
school in Franklin. Mr. Inman belongs to The 
First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, 
Mass., and to First Church of Christ, Scien- 
tist, Franklin, Pa., which he has served three 
years as second reader. His wife and family 
belong to the same church, Mrs. Inman being 
the present first reader. 

Dr. Edward Austin Sheldon, father of 
Mrs. Laura Austin (Sheldon) Inman, gave 
himself to educational work for over half a 
century, and has the distinction of being the 
first educator of the State of New York hon- 
ored with a public monument in recognition of 
"his achievements, the memorial unveiled in 
the Capitol building at Albany Jan. 11, 1900, 
and accepted in behalf of the State by jthe gov- 
ernor, Theodore Roosevelt. The upbuilding 
and development of the State Normal School 
at Oswego will undoubtedly be held up as his 
most notable accomplishment, the concrete em- 
bodiment of the ideas which inspired him 
throughout his life work. But he planned 
broadly, and the wide influence which he ex- 
erted places him among the great leaders of 
modern advancement in teaching methods, 
whose labors paved the way for effective work 
in his chosen profession. 

Dr. Sheldon was born Oct. 4, 1823, at Perry 
Center, Wyoming Co., N. Y., and died Aug. 
26, 1897, in Oswego, N. Y., the scene of his 
labors during practically all of his active 
years. A record of devotion to ideals such as 
his life presents is rare. He came of Puritan 
stock, and was carefully reared amid congenial 
surroundings, evidently conducive to the cul- 
tivation of conscientious and lofty standards. 
He made several ventures before he found the 
real responsibilities for which his talents and 
natural inclinations best fitted him. Coming 
to Oswego in early manhood, he had a dis- 
couraging experience in unprofitable business 
undertakings, and he tried both the law and 
the ministry while attempting to ''find himself" 
and his real place in life. Then he became in- 
terested in educational work and his course 
was determined. How he came to a realiza- 
tion of the necessity for his special work 
shows that he held the fundamentals of the 



true purpose of instruction of the young from 
the beginning. To quote from an article on 
his work which appeared in the Circular of 
Information No. 8 (1891), issued by the 
Bureau of Education under the title "Rise and 
Growth of the Normal School Idea in the 
United States" (prepared by Prof. J. P. 
Gordy) : "He had not given much attention to 
psychology, and had little acquaintance with 
educational theories. But the whole bent of 
his mind, and all the circumstances of his early 
life, led him to insist that an education should 
be real, that it should be so related to the work 
of life as to be practical in the best sense of 
the word. With that deep love of htunanity 
which has been the motive of all great teachers, 
he improved the opportunity offered by some 
months of leisure in 1848 to look into the 
condition of the poor in Oswego. The ignor- 
ance and misery which he found among them 
amazed him. Day after day he was to be found 
in the poorest and most wretched parts of the 
city, becoming acquainted with the wants and 
miseries of the poor. Full of pity for them he 
induced some of his friends^to help organize 
an 'Orphan and Free School Association,' 
whose object was to found a home for the 
orphans and to enable the poorer children of 
Oswego to go to school. Through the in- 
fluence of the association a room was rented 
for a school, and to his own surprise and re- 
gret he found everyone looking to him to take 
charge of it. And so it happened that in the 
winter of 1848 and 1849 ^^ ^^^^ charge of his 
first school — one hundred and twenty *wild 
Irish boys and girls of all ages from five to 
twenty-one/ 'utterly rude and untrained.' " 
(His first salary as a teacher was but three 
hundred dollars a year.) "It was inevitable 
that such a school and such pupils would make 
a lasting impression upon such a man. To 
him, evidently, education was not a mere ex- 
ternal thing, giving a certain smoothness and 
polish to the surface and leaving the interior 
unchanged. What his 'wild Irish boys and 
girls' needed, what all men needed, he felt, 
was an education that prepares for the stem 
work of life, an education that animates, ener- 
gizes and transforms the entire man. He felt 
that there was a terrible wrong in loading the 
memories of boys and girls with words, and 
calling it preparation for life. The feeling 
grew upon him that it would be better to bring 
the minds of his pupils into more direct con- 
tact with nature and reality; in a word, that 
the educational engine should be reversed, 
and instead of going from words to ideas, the 
eflFort should be first to develop ideas in the 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



701 



minds of children, and then encourage them to 
express them in words of their own/* 

In 1853 Mr. Sheldon was elected superin- 
tendent of the public schools of Oswego, which 
had in the spring of that year, through his in- 
fluence, been organized and consolidated under 
a board of education. Under his direction the 
close classification now common was soon 
adopted, that is, the system of giving each 
teacher but one class of children, of approxi- 
mately the same age and same stage of 
advancement, with similar daily programs 
for all grades. Record of the standing of 
the pupils was kept as now. Mr. Sheldon 
had the satisfaction of seeing the system 
in admirable working order, but it did 
not fill his ideas of what teaching should ac- 
complish. It did not have life enough to do 
what he wanted to do for the young people in 
his care. There was little literature on the 
subject available to him, but he tried work 
along lines suggested in the few works which 
came into his hands which offered help on 
the subject of "object lessons," which from 
the first appealed to him as of prime import- 
ance in awakening young minds to do their 
own thinking. He made one attempt with the 
geography then in use, having an edition pub- 
lished without any text, containing only the 
maps and pictures. But the teachers had diffi- 
culty in getting along without their accus- 
tomed helps, and no method had as yet been 
devised for training them to work in this 
manner, so the result was somewhat discour- 
aging. Meeting another New York State 
superintendent whose ideas were in accord with 
his own, these two earnest workers resolved 
to make a beginning toward providing the 
facilities which they considered necessary to 
assist the teachers to do what seemed the 
proper kind of work, Mr. Sheldon agreeing 
to prepare a set of reading charts, while his 
friend was to prepare a set of color charts. 
Visiting the educational department of Canada 
at Toronto shortly afterward, Mr. Sheldon was 
delighted to find more helps of the kind he 
sought than he had known to be in existence, 
including apparatus and charts, pictures for 
aid in teaching nearly every subject, books 
discussing educational methods and principles, 
and manuals for the guidance of teachers. He 
returned to Oswego highly encouraged and 
enthusiastic, and determined to apply his new 
found knowledge without delay to the schools 
under his supervision. He began with a de- 
tailed plan of work for the primary schools 
based on the Pestalozzian principles (this plan 
is embodied in the seventh annual report of 



the board of education of Oswego), whose ob- 
ject was stated to be "not so much to impart 
information as to educate the senses, arouse, 
quicken and develop the perceptive and con- 
ceptive faculties, lead the children to observe, 
awaken a spirit of inquiry." 

The difficulties attending the adoption of the 
new plan led to what jvill probably be consid- 
ered the most important phase of Mr. Shel- 
don's work, the training of teachers. The 
teachers at first "stoutly resisted" his endeavor 
to put the new scheme into operation, although 
he explained that it was intended to ease their 
work and enable them to carry it on more 
rationally and efficiently — objects which they 
admitted that it accomplished after a fair trial. 
But great patience and courage were required 
during the experimental stage. The first year 
after the introduction of the new course of 
study Mr. Sheldon gave all his time and energy 
to the introduction of the new methods into 
the first year or lowest grade of the primary 
school. He met the teachers of this grade 
every Saturday, and during the following 
week he went through the schools of this 
grade, encouraging and aiding them in carry- 
ing out the instructions given the preceding 
Saturday. The second year he pursued the 
same plan with the next higher grade. By this 
time the work began to attract attention out- 
side Oswego, and the teachers thus trained 
were offered salaries in advance of those 
which the Oswego board felt disposed to give. 
'Mr. Sheldon realized that he was trying to fill 
a tub whose bottom was full of holes. He 
found that he was training teachers for the 
schools of other cities, and that if the wants 
of his own schools were to be supplied some 
method must be devised for filling all vacan- 
cies with trained teachers. With this object 
in view he proposed to his board to establish 
a department connected with the public school 
system for the training of teachers, to which 
they readily assented. 

Thus through his efforts and influence the 
famous Normal School of Oswego was found- 
ed, competent teachers were secured from the 
successful "Home and Colonial Training In- 
stitution" of London, England, to lay the foun- 
dation of the work according to the most ap- 
proved methods, and Dr. Sheldon was placed 
at the head of the school in 1862, serving as 
its principal until his death. The fact that 
the Osweg^o school became a model for insti- 
tutions of this character, and that its graduates 
were sought all over the country by com- 
munities who recognized the value of their 
training, shows how thoroughly alive he al- 



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702 



VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



ways remained to the requirements of the 
day, maintaining his leadership by the sheer 
force of his value to the cause of education 
and broadening with every new responsibility. 
There was seemingly no limit to his capacity, 
for though well beyond seventy at the time 
of his death he was still in the midst of his 
accustomed activities with no apparent abate- 
ment of his powers. 

According to an act passed the 7th of April, 
1866, the Oswego City Training School be- 
came a State Normal and Training School, 
provided certain conditions were complied 
with, and this having been done the build- 
ings, grounds and appliances of the school 
were accepted by the State March 27, 1867. 
Its methods and results and standards had 
even then become famous, and Dr. Sheldon 
saw to it that it never lost anything of the 
reputation so well won. Its influence on in- 
stitutions of similar character throughout the 
country was all through the period of his 
principalship his influence, and a number of 
the best normal schools in the country have 
been patterned on its model. Its graduates 
have carried the gospel of sincerity among in- 
structors into every school in whidi they have 
been found. Dr. Sheldon wrote and published 
two books on the subject nearest his heart, 
the "Manual of Elementary Training" and 
"Lessons on Objects." He was as conspicu- 
ous for his own broad scholarship as for his 
thorough grasp of sound educational principles 
and correct methods of teaching, and his judg- 
ment on educational propositions and systems. 
He was considered the most distinguished rep- 
resentative in this country of the doctrines of 
Pestalozzi and Froebel. 

Dr. Charles R. Skinner, former State super- 
intendent of public instruction in New York 
and at one time president of the National Edu- 
cational Association of the United States, de- 
livered a notable address before that body 
July 7, 1898, during the convention at Wash- 
ington, D. C. the year after Dr. Sheldon's 
death, which was published in 1899 under the 
title "Life and Character of Edward Austin 
Sheldon." It was an appreciative review of 
his work, of his high personal traits and their 
consecration to the cause to which he devoted 
himself, and of the rich harvests which suc- 
ceeded the early trials of disappointment and 
discouragement, all so bravely faced. The 
reader is enabled to judge of the extent of Dr. 
Sheldon's work in Mr. Skinner's chronicle of 
"how he became interested in the free school 
movement, which he was compelled to aban- 
don; how he organized the schools of Syracuse 



and gave them an impetus they still feel ; how 
he was called back to Oswego by the free 
school party; how he laid his plans for ad- 
vanced instruction in the principles and 
methods of teaching; how, in spite of fierce 
opposition and ridicule, he steadfastly inter- 
ested State and country in object teaching, and 
established it forever as a mighty force in 
education; how, believing in patriotic citizen- 
ship, he offered his services to his country to 
preserve the Union which he loved; how his 
plans developed into a school for the training 
of primary teachers; how the legislature came 
to his aid in 1862, through the sympathy of 
the State superintendent; how, in 1867, the 
Oswego Normal School was accepted as a 
part of the great normal school system of the 
State; how for thirty years he worked *like 
a Hercules,' as Carlyle says, as its principal : 
how he resisted tempting offers to honorable 
fields elsewhere, preferring to finish his work 
here; how he was called into other States to 
assist in organizing method schools upon his 
plan; how men and women were attracted 
from every county and State and country to 
come within the charmed circle of his influ- 
ence, and how they became instruments in ex- 
tending that influence and in organizing simi- 
lar schools in other States and countries ; how, 
inspired by his growing success, institutions 
were founded to uplift the colored people of 
the South; how echoes of his influence came 
from the republics of South America, the 
Sandwich islands, and from far-away Japan; 
how his methods received the indorsement of 
the National Educational Association — a grand 
achievement, indeed ; how he wrote the books 
which have helped others and extended his 
power for good; how at the great Columbian 
exposition he was an honored figure in edu- 
cational deliberations, and received a medal 
of honor for his beloved institution *for excel- 
lence of equipment, method and wise useful- 
ness' : and how, finally, discouragement gave 
place to hope, and defeat was crowned with 
glorious victory. Surely the *end crowned the 
work,' and patient, self-sacrificing service had 
its reward The light of his life pene- 
trated the atmosphere of many a life which 
touched his own. and this light will shine on 
for years and ages, and be transmitted to bless 
generations which he will never see. We who 
are left should rejoice that our friend did not 

outlive his work His last days were 

occupied with plans and hopes for further 
usefulness to the institution with which he had 

long been identified The fifty years which 

lay behind him were an inspiration rather than 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



703 



a memory. His face was always toward the 
rising sun. His ideas will not perish. They 

have taken too deep root With the lapse 

of time his fame as an educator will grow 
greater, and his name will stand among the 
masters of learning who have given the best 
service of their Hves to the uplifting of human- 
ity through education." 

In i8^ Dr. Sheldon received the A. M. 
degree from Hamilton College, N. Y., from 
v^rhich college he had not been able to gradu- 
ate on account oT ill health. The Ph. D. de- 
gree was confirmed in 1875 by the Regents 
of the University of New York. 

The wife of Dr. Sheldon was Frances Brad- 
ford Stiles, born at Windsor, Conn., April 9, 
1826, whose death occurred in Oswego in 
March, 1896. Her ancestry traces back direct- 
ly to the "Mayflower" pilgrims ; she was also 
a direct descendant of Ezra Stiles, founder of 
Y^ale College. 

VALENTINE SMITH SUTTON has a 
beautiful farm property in Irwin township, 
Venango county, on the Pittsburgh pike thir- 
teen miles southwest of Franklin, the county 
seat. It includes the old homestead of his 
father, Reuben Sutton, by whom it was pur- 
chased about seventy-five years ago, and no 
better index of the business-like character of 
father and son could be desired than the stand- 
ards in evidence all about the estate. Mr. Sut- 
ton's chief occupation is agriculture, with stock 
raising as the leading line, but he has also 
utilized the other resources of his land, which 
is very rich in available wealth of various 
kinds. It has been in good hands for .produc- 
tive purposes, for no property deteriorates in 
the possession of the Suttons. From the time 
of their arrival in V^enango county the mem- 
bers of this family have been reckoned among 
its most desirable citizens, contributing their 
full share to its material advancement, to the 
establishment of social and educational insti- 
tutions and to the administration of the local 
government. None of them has aspired to 
powerful public position, but all have been 
helpful members of the communities in which 
they have spent their lives. 

Mr. Sutton was born in Irwin township Jan. 
7, 1850, son of Reuben and Mary (Smith) 
Sutton and grandson of Reuben and Ann 
(Armstrong) Sutton. The grandparents came 
from Harford county, Md., where the Arm- 
strongs were slaveholders in the old days. 
They removed to Pennsylvania when their son 
Reuben was a boy of eight years, and made a 
settlement in the southern part of Venango 



county, in Irwin township, one mile west of 
the present home of Valentine S. Sutton. Reu- 
ben Sutton (Sr.) made a good farm there be- 
fore he died, though he only lived to reach 
middle age. His wife outlived him many 
years, passing away at the age of eighty-five. 
They were the parents of two sons and two 
daughters : Solomon, a farmer and later an oil . 
operator, died in this county when past eighty 
years of age ; he married Alma A. Knowlton, 
and they had nine children, of whom only one 
now hves in Venango county, Mrs. David R. 
Eakin, of Bullion. Reuben is mentioned be- 
low. Elizabeth married a man named Reuben 
Sutton (no relative) and died in Irwin town- 
ship at the age of seventy-five years. The 
other daughter married William Bigler and re- 
moved to Meigs county, Ohio, where she died 
at an advanced age. 

Reuben Sutton (Jr.) was bom in Maryland 
and spent his early years there. Coming to this 
region when it was unsettled, he was deprived 
of many of the advantages to be had in older 
communities, but his natural ability made up 
for any defects of youthful opportunity and he 
became one of the most successful men of his 
generation. His self-reliance and courage were 
no doubt strengthened by the practical train- 
ing which he received and the necessity for as- 
suming responsibility when still very young. 
He was but twenty-two years old when he 
bought the property now included in the farm 
of his son Valentine S. Sutton, about 1842, and 
there he lived and worked for almost forty 
years, making many valuable improvements on 
his tract, which comprised three hundred and 
fifty acres. In 1867 he built the brick residence 
which is still standing there. During the latter 
seventies he removed to Clinton township, this 
county, locating near the Foster schoolnouse, 
and there made heavy investments in oil lands, 
acquiring the ownership of twenty-five hundred 
acres of such holdings and turning his atten- 
tion largely to the production of oil. In this 
as in his other ventures he was very prosper- 
ous, earning his good fortune by diligent at- 
tention to all his interests, which became very 
extensive. His landed property in Irwin and. 
Clinton townships alone reached a total of 
about three thousand acres, and he also owned 
farms in various other sections of the coun- 
try, yielding him an income which enabled 
him to engage in remunerative financial oper- 
ations. By uprightness in all his business 
transactions he gained and held the confidence 
of all who had dealings with him, exemplify- 
ing his fine Christian character in every rela- 
tion of life, and particularly in his generosity 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



to those who needed it. He served his fellow 
citizens in a number of minor public offices, 
being well fitted to handle such matters effi- 
ciently. In politics he was originally a Demo- 
crat, later becoming a Republican. 

When twenty-five years old Mr. Sutton 
married Mary Smith, daughter of Valentine 
Smith. She was a native of York county. 
Pa., three years his junior, and died at the age 
of sixty, at Bullion, this county. There Mr. 
Sutton's death also occurred, in January, 1892, 
when he was aged seventy-two years, six 
months, twenty-two days. Mr. and Mrs. Sut- 
ton w6re among the influential members of the 
Pleasant View M. E. Church, which was lo- 
cated near their farm, and he is buried in the 
Pleasant View cemetery. Of their six chil- 
dren, Jerome, who was a farmer in Irwin 
township, died at the age of sixty years. Sarah 
married Sylvester Welton, a farmer of Vic- 
tory township, this county. Elmira Jane (Jen- 
nie) is the widow of Shadrach Simcox, of 
Franklin. Mary Ann is the wife of George 
A. Blair, of Clintonville. John Homer is a 
farmer at Grove City, Pa. Valentine Smith 
completes the family. 

Valentine Smith Sutton was reared at his 
present home, living with his parents up to 
the age of twenty-five years. Meantime he 
obtained a good education in the local public 
schools and learned the details of agriculture, 
for which he found ample opportunity on the 
farm, his father having an extensive area 
under cultivation. When he married and 
started out for himself he located on a farm 
three quarters of a mile distant, but in 1897 
he returned to the homestead, buying it from 
his brother Jerome. He has been going for- 
ward with the work of improvement ever 
since, and modem conditions prevail in every 
part of the property, which is conceded to be 
the most attractive farm between Franklin 
and Slippery Rock. In 1899 he erected a large 
bam, and he has extended the limits of the 
farm considerably, having now five hundred 
acres. He raises general crops, and pays par- 
ticular attention to stock farming, keeping 
high-grade cattle of all kinds, including a fine 
flock of sheep now numbering three hundred. 
Mr. Sutton has adopted up-to-date scientific 
methods in all his work, thus facilitating oper- 
ations and increasing production. Both gas 
and oil in paying quantities have been found 
upon his land, and he himself operates five 
gas wells which provide most of the supply 
needed at the State Institution at Polk. Six 
producing oil wells bring in a substantial in- 
come, but he has left their operation to others. 



under lease. Mr. Sutton is a vigorous factor 
in the success of any enterprise which enlists 
his interest, and he has been zealous in public 
matters whenever he felt he covild help, his 
services in a number of the local offices hav- 
ing been keenly appreciated by his fellow cit- 
izens. He is a Republican in political doctrine. 
Like his father, he has done as much for his 
locality, indirectly, by influencing the trend 
of progress, as he has for his own benefit. 

On Sept. 22, 1875, Mr. Sutton married Ma- 
linda Foster, who died Sept. 26, 1915. Three 
children were bom to this union, namely : Wil- 
da Gertrude, Mrs. F. C. Hoflfman, is now op- 
erating one of her father's farms ; John Loren- 
za, the only son, is an invalid; Blanche, Mrs. 
S. E. Gibb, is engaged in teaching and in the 
operation of oil land at Mechanics ville. Mrs. 
Gibb became a music teacher some years ago 
and is still very active in local musical matters, 
especially in connection with the Pleasant 
View M. E. Church. On Dec. 13, 1916, Mr. 
Sutton married (second) Gertrude Allen, 
daughter of J. P. and Mary (Cochran) Allen. 
She was educated at Grove City College, and 
taught school in Venango county for four 
years. Mr. and Mrs. Sutton are members of 
the Pleasant View M. E. Church. 

HEXRY H. RAND was one of the most 
truly honored residents of Oil City. It is con- 
ceded that there have been comparatively few 
of its citizens who gave themselves so whole- 
heartedly through life to doing for others, and 
the dominant place m civic„ church and social 
circles which he filled for many years drew its 
power entirely from his desire to be worth 
something to his fellow men. It was an am- 
bition which he was ready to achieve at any 
sacrifice, though it is unlikely that he ever re- 
garded the time and eflFort he spent as such. 
Although still in the midst of his activities 
when called from this life, Oct. 15, 1916. he 
was in his seventy-seventh year and the oldest 
merchant in active business in the city. 

Mr. Rand was bom Jan. 17, 1840, near 
Salem, Mass., and his surviving brother and 
sisters still reside in that State: Herbert L. 
Rand, at Worcester; Mrs. Lucy Orcutt, at 
Orange : and Mrs. Edmond Bridges, at War- 
ren. His early life was spent on a farm, and 
meantime he received a good education in the 
local public schools. For three years during 
his young manhood he filled the position of 
supervisor in the hospital for the insane at 
Northampton, Mass., entering upon his duties 
there when seventeen years old, and remaining 
until failing health made it necessary for him 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



705 



to change his occupation. It was then that he 
came to Oil City, in i860, attracted like most 
of the arrivals of that time by the oil excite- 
ment, and for the first five years of his resi- 
dence here he was employed in the new in- 
dustry, working in the department of trans- 
portation. In 1865 he entered into a partner- 
ship with the late D. R. Merritt and opened 
a grocery store on Spring street, not far from 
the present location of the business, this asso- 
ciation lasting until 1880, after which Mr. 
Rand carried on the establishment alone, it 
being his principal business interest to the 
close of his life. During the fifty-one years 
of his active connection with it, all of his con- 
temporaries of 1865 retired or passed away, 
so that when he died he was the senior mer- 
chant doing business in Oil City. He built 
up a large trade in the grocery and crockery 
lines, and sustained an unblemished reputa- 
tion for integrity and fairness in all his trans- 
actions, richly deserving the substantial re- 
wards of a prosperous business career. The 
store is now continued by his estate. 

But Mr. Rand had many claims to the notice 
of his fellow citizens other than worldly pros- 
perity. It was his use of his time and means 
that won him their loving esteem, his method 
of manifesting his sympathy and love for his 
feltows. Foremost among his activities outside 
of business was his church work. After sev- 
eral years of pleasant association with t!)e 
First Presbyterian Church of his city he joined 
the congregation in 1875, and from 1877 he 
was a member of its board of trustees, of 
which body he became the president in 1900, 
holding that office to the end of his life. For 
twenty-six years prior to his death he was also 
superintendent of the Sunday school, through- 
out that period maintaining the deepest inter- 
est and enthusiasm in its work, and one of 
his most enjoyable experiences was the occa- 
sion when, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of 
the beginning of his services as superintendent 
and on his seventy-fifth birthday, he was pre- 
sented with a desk with an inlaid tablet appro- 
priately inscribed, the gift of the Sunday 
school pupils; the church congregation sent 
him seventy-five roses. All the church enter- 
prises felt the impulse of Mr. Rand's encour- 
agement and substantial help, and he was 
equally zealous in promoting the work of other 
organizations which he considered necessary 
or important to the good of the city. He 
was active in the Oil City Y. M. C. A., and 
served as a member of the building committee 
during the erection of the present structure, 
as well as on the board of directors. He be- 
45 



came vice president of the board of the Oil 
City Hospital when that institution was 
founded, in 1892, and filled that office during 
the remainder of his life. For many years 
he was at the head of the Oil City Relief Asso- 
ciation, and during the suffering which fol- 
lowed the fire and flood in 1892 he gave almost 
all of his time for months to the furtherance 
of its work, which was a vital factor in re- 
storing normal conditions in the city. His 
efforts to house the homeless and relieve those 
suffering in any way from the disaster were 
heroic, and thoroughly appreciated by those 
who cooperated with him. He was generous 
to the needy under all circumstances. Though 
not an aspirant for political office Mr. Rand 
was keenly interested in public issues of all 
kinds, and particularly those of his own com- 
munity, and he accepted the position on the 
board of school controllers from a sense of 
duty, discharging its responsibilities for ten 
years with the utmost fidelity to his trust. 
Politically he was a Republican. 

Mr. Rand was ill for only a few days before 
his death, which occurred at the family home 
on Spring street. It is not often that one 
man's demise brings forth evidences of a sense 
of grief so widespread. He had literally hun- 
dreds of friends, scattered all over this section 
of the State, by whom he was valued for his 
general worth as well as in their personal re- 
lations. A beautiful tribute from one of them 
that appeared at the time of his death in the 
Oil City Blizzard is quoted here as worthy of a 
permanent place in the record of an exem- 
plar>' life: 

An atmosphere of common sorrow and the deep 
sense of a personal and public loss exists in our 
community today. Henry H. Rand is dead. It is 
difficult for us to realize the full import of these 
words; it is still more difficult to bring ourselves to 
the acceptance of their full truth. In his passing Oil 
City has not only lost one of its foremost and most 
honored of citizens, but humanity has lost a friend. 
Perhaps in no instance could the good word "friend," 
with all that it implies, be used more fittingly than 
in referring to the one to whom our city today is 
pacing a common tribute of respect and grief, and to 
the many who knew him as the man and brother and 
kindly adviser, will come at this time the pleasing 
recollection that he was, indeed, their friend, and this 
ever to remain as one of their most cherished 
memories. Could one have a better or nobler 
heritage than this ? The soul of honor in all dealings, 
business, social or otherwise, charitable to an unqual- 
ified degree and always with tolerance for others* 
shortcomings ; of a happy and optimistic nature and 
ever ready with the kindly act or word when needed 
by the one in trouble, such was his life and in it he 
found his full measure of content. It is personally 
recalled that not long since in conversation with the 
deceased he referred to an old saying of his boyhood 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



days, to the effect that whenever a door was closed, 
somewhere, another was always opened. The door 
has closed on the earthly life of our "good friend, 
Mr. Rand," but surely, somewhere, another has 
widely opened. 

Nothing could have shown more clearly the 
feeling of his fellow citizens than the rev- 
erence with which they observed the hour of 
his funeral services. In order to give the many 
who had been associated with him an oppor- 
tunity to pay their last respects the remains 
lay in state in the church before the services. 
During the hour of the services in the church, 
from three to four o'clock, most of the stores 
on both sides of the river were closed. The 
commitment services in Grove Hill cemetery 
were in charge of his Masonic brethren of Pe- 
trolia Lodge No. 363, F. & A. M. 

On Nov. 30, 1870, Mr. Rand married Ella 
A. Davis, daughter of Isaac Davis, a pioneer 
oil man of Oil City, who came here about i860 
and became one of the early producers in this 
region, where he spent the rest of his life. He 
was born at Groton, N. Y., and died at Oil 
City in 1909. His wife, whose maiden name 
was Harriet C. Garrison, had passed away in 
1905. They had two children, W. G. (now a 
resident of Boston, Mass.) and Ella A. (widow 
0} Henry H. Rand). 

Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Rand, Herbert W. and Augusta A., the daugh- 
ter living with her mother in Oil City. The 
son, born at Oil City, received his early educa- 
tion there and took his higher course at Alle- 
gheny College, Meadville, Pa., afterward doing 
post-graduate work at Harvard University, 
where he is now a member of the faculty, in 
the department of biology. He married Claire 
Hammond, and they have two children, Henry 
Forbes and Dorothy Garrison. 

WILLARD HOWE, of Oil City, has been 
unquestionably one of the most representative 
types of the modern business man in that com- 
munity. The thoroughness and efficiency of 
the principles upon which he acts need no more 
convincing voucher than the results which have 
earned him a place among the most capable 
real estate operators in this section of Penn- 
sylvania. Though it is only a few years since 
he turned his energies exclusively into this 
channel, his concentrated efforts and studious 
attention to its details have been abundantly 
rewarded, not only in a material sense but also 
in that prestige which indicates how fully he 
has won confidence in the honesty of his mo- 
tives as well as in his ability. As member of 
the widely reputed firm of Johnston Hall and 



\ViIlard Howe he has been a live factor in 
property transfers which within recent years 
have marked a live era in the improvement of 
various business and residence sections in Oil 
City, and with the extension of their interests 
has been associated with a number of import- 
ant deals in other localities in this part of the 
State. In his present service with the govern- 
ment he has been adding to his experience and 
reputation as manager of the Operating Divi- 
sion of the United States Housing Corpora- 
tion, with office at Washington, D. C. 

Mr. Howe has spent all his mature life at 
Oil City. Born at Meadville, Pa., he passed 
his boyhood at his birthplace and Salamanca, 
N. Y., coming to Oil City, Pa., in the year 
1892. He sold and delivered papers for a 
short time before entering the employ of the 
National Transit Company as an office boy, 
and he had a successful career in that asso- 
ciation, covering over twenty years, during 
which time he advanced through different de- 
partments, holding a position with the adver- 
tising force at the time of his resignation, 
Oct. I, 1914. He then joined Johnston Hall, 
of Titusville, who had ten years of experience 
in the real estate business, the firm starting 
operations under its present style in a modest 
office on the sixth floor of the Chambers build- 
ing in Oil City. Within five months business 
had increased to such an extent that they felt 
justified in leasing a suite of rooms on the 
fourth floor of the same building, and before 
another year had passed, in December, 191 5, 
they removed to their present quarters at No. 
205 Sycamore street, finding a ground-floor 
location most desirable. Though so recently 
established, they have handled all the big local 
transactions made in the last three years, the 
property bought and sold through this agency 
including city business and residence locations^ 
suburban real estate and farm lands, oil leases, 
in fact all kinds of realty. Of late, they have 
also added an insurance department, writing 
all lines of insurance. 

Johnston Hall and Willard Howe have been 
one of the most successful real estate firms in 
business in this region. Though not an old- 
established house, they entered the field with 
considerable experieitce, Mr. Hall in the real 
estate line and Mr. Howe as an advertising 
man thoroughly familiar with the territor>% 
its wealth and possibilities. The methods 
which he found profitable in that capacity have 
been equally valuable in the real estate field — 
in fact it is generally conceded that his present 
prosperity had its beginning in his previous 
success. Messrs. Hall and Howe made a new 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



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departure in the liberal policy which they 
adopted, breaking away from conservative 
methods in advertising, with generous dealings 
with patrons; they have been well repaid 
for their courage and their faith in the public, 
who have responded with unprecedented pat- 
ronage. In fact, the record of their transac- 
tions is a reliable indication of Oil City's prog- 
ress in the way of material advancement dur- 
ing the last few years, though their transfers 
now include holdings all over the county and 
State, with a record of large sales at Pitts- 
bui^h. Pa., Buffalo, N. Y., Erie, and sur- 
rounding cities. As showing the influence of 
their activities on local business, the value of 
the residence sites and improvements passing 
through their hands has ranged into thousands 
of dollars: rfasson Heights and Linden ave- 
nue have been developed by them, their lot 
sales in that district amounting to fifteen 
thousand dollars in one day's sales in 
August, 1917: and the establishment of a 
branch of Leedom Brothers (wholesale grocers 
of Butler, Pa.) in Oil City was accomplished 
through their negotiations, the firm buying the 
Caldwell and Angove properties on Elm 
street and erecting a hundred-thousand-dollar 
three-story brick building for a sales depart- 
ment, a storage and warehouse building on the 
same site to follow soon. It was a distinct 
tribute to their ability that they received a 
commission to conduct a sale of lots in Grove 
City in September, 191 7, for two weeks, in the 
125-acre subdivision known as Lincoln Ter- 
race, to promote the building up of the sec- 
tion. 

Mr. Hall resides at Titusville, though 
found daily at the office in Oil City, and Mr. 
Howe continues to make his home at the latter 
place. Their business accommodations are 
quite typical of the thoroughness and careful 
attention to detail which characterize all their 
activities. They are arranged and equipped 
with reference to the special needs of the 
business and also with courteous regard for 
the comfort and convenience of patrons, and 
kept up with a degree of orderliness which 
speaks well for the general management of 
affairs. The business has been handled by the 
senior partner, Mr. Hall, in the absence of 
Mr. Howe, who went to Washington, D. C, 
in September. 1918, to serve the government 
during the remainder of the war in the United 
States Housing Corporation, a division of the 
L'nited States Department of Labor, Bureau 
of Industrial Housing and Transportation, 
having control of living accommodations in the 
large munition centers where army and navy 



munitions were made, or where government 
workers in any considerable number have been 
assembled. 

When, upon its entry into the World war, 
the government found that the furtherance 
of its military program depended largely on 
the ability to secure and hold adequate labor, 
it was soon discovered that the dissatisfaction 
and shifting of workers, with the resulting ex- 
pense and delay, was due to improper housing 
conditions at many points. Even where there 
were available quarters, rent profiteering stood 
in the way until the government undertook 
to solve the problem officially and scientifically, 
as it has attempted to attack every difficulty in 
this emergency. A thorough canvass was made 
in every community where there were war 
workers in sufficient numbers to make this 
necessary, and the best possible use made of 
all quarters to be had, unoccupied houses being 
requisitioned at reasonable rates where such 
were found, placements made in private 
homes, local transportation facilities improved 
by government aid where this means would 
serve, and labor distributed in accordance with 
the accommodations to be had. Building, es- 
pecially because of the time required, was not 
resorted to except where there was no other 
way out of the situation, and whenever feas- 
ible local capital was encouraged to invest in 
such projects with assurance of immediate 
occupation. However, building was found to 
be imperative in many cases. Moreover, prof- 
iting by the experience of England, the gov- 
ernment at once assumed that it was neces- 
sary to provide more than mere living 
quarters, but also such business and sanitary 
supervision of these accommodations as makes 
them desirable. Hence it sought the services 
of men practically acquainted with the super- 
vision of property. Their duties, beyond the 
supplying of house room for employes, have 
been to see the communities so established well 
managed and conducted, to conserve the health 
and well-being of workers and enable them to 
give their best efforts to the country's busi- 
ness. The results have been apparent in in- 
creased production, in maintaining high morale 
among the home workers, and at the same 
time in caring for the property to insure a 
reasonable return on the investment and avoid 
undue depreciation. 

Mr. Howe was at once assigned to Bethle- 
hem, Pa., as town manager, the Bethlehem 
Steel Company employing some thirty-five 
thousand men at that place in the making of 
various war materials, and the ability which 
he displayed in the handling of large property 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



interests called special attention to his eligi- 
bility for larger responsibilities of that nature. 
Accordingly, on Jan. 15, 1919, he was recalled 
to Washington and made manager of the 
Operating Division of the United States Hous- 
ing Coiporation, which has the entire manage- 
ment of some sixty million dollars' worth of 
property in various parts of the country, in- 
cluding hotels, dormitories, restaurants and 
some seven thousand houses built on the most 
modern principles of construction. At differ- 
ent points the Corporation has built up com- 
plete towns, including apartment houses, five-, 
six- or seven-room brick, frame or stucco 
single dwellings, and the town managers look 
after the repairs and general maintenance of 
buildings, collect rents, are held responsible 
for sanitation, general cleanliness, fire and 
police protection, administer puUic affairs 
when necessary, and do everything possible 
for the welfare of the inhabitants, including 
the oversight of recreation activities. They 
must see that the physical conditions govern- 
ing the upkeep and management of the prop- 
erties are satisfactory besides exerting their 
influence on the social side of community ac- 
tivities, encouraging local organizations for 
specific benefits and seeing that tenants get the 
benefits of all such conmiunity service. These 
activities in many places are so extensive as to 
include such advantages as visiting nurses, in- 
fant welfare stations, individual and commun- 
ity gardens, good housekeeping and com- 
munity buying clubs, recreation and educa- 
tional work — ^3ie providing of lecture courses 
and night schools, establishment of debating 
clubs, parent-teachers associations, etc. It is 
apparent that the problem is a broad one, and 
that much is contingent upon the personality 
of the management. Mr. Howe was splen- 
didly fitted by both business and social experi- 
ence for this work, into which he entered with 
enthusiasm which has not lessened or abated 
in any degree — in fact, he has been able to 
increase his own efficiency and that of his 
department by availing himself constantly of 
knowledge gained in each new enterprise. 

The Corporation is now operating the larg- 
est housing projects in the United States. The 
quarters which it has built are of the most 
modem construction, and the work done will 
prove a lasting benefit to the American f)eople, 
being a practical demonstration of the proper 
housing conditions that should prevail. The 
circumstances and need of every class and 
grade of workers have had to be studied and 
met, not only in building but in the matter 
of furniture and equipment, of which depart- 



ment Mr. Howe is also manager. His work in 
this branch includes the purchase and installa- 
tion of the equipment required at the various 
projects, the assembling of a corps of special- 
ists with expert knowledge in this field, the 
standardizing of furnishings as far as possible, 
and other details too numerous to recount here. 
A corps of traveling supervisors reports to the 
management after periodical visits to the vari- 
ous sites where work is in progress, and the 
data thus secured form the basis for improve- 
ments in future operations. When it is con- 
sidered that ** furniture and equipment" include 
furnishings for cafeterias, restaurants, dormi- 
tories, etc., some idea of the variety of infor- 
mation needed to make intelligent and suitable 
purchases may be formed, and of the responsi- 
bility which rests with the management. 

The Corporation has purchased property at 
Aberdeen, Md. ; the Alabama Nitrate Towns 
( Florence, Sheffield and Tuscombia) ; Alton, 
111.; Alliance, Ohio; Bath, Maine; Bethlehem, 
Pa.; Bridgeport, Conn.; Buffalo (Depew), N. 
Y. ; Butler, Pa.; Canton, Ohio; Charleston, 
S. C. ; Charleston, W. Va. ; Chester, Pa. ; Cin- 
cinnati (Broadwell, Nitrate No. 3), Ohio; 
Cleveland (Wickliffe), Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; 
Elizabeth, N. J.; Erie, Pa.; Grand Rapids, 
Mich.; Hamilton, Ohio; Ilion, N. Y. ; India- 
napolis (Stenotype Co.), Ind. ; Indian Head; 
Indiana Steel Towns (Hammond) ; Kenil- 
worth, N. J. ; Lowell, Mass. ; Mare Island, 
Cal. ; Milton, Pa. ; Muskegon, Mich. ; New 
Brunswick, N. J.; New Castle, Del.; New 
London (including Groton), Conn.; New Or- 
leans, La. ; Newport, R. I. ; Newport News. 
Va. ; New York (Lake I>enmark, N. J., and 
lona Island); Neville Island, Pa.; Niagara 
Falls, N. Y. : Niles, Ohio ; Norfolk, Va. (Para- 
dise Creek, Glenwood Park and Villa 
Heights) ; Penniman, Va. ; Pensacola, Fla. ; 
Perth Amboy (Reservations) ; Philadelphia 
Navy Yard; Philadelphia District (Eddystone, 
Ridley Park and Water Supply) ; Port Penn, 
Del.; Portsmouth, N. H. ; Portsmouth, Ohio; 
Puget Sound (Bremerton), Wash.; Quincy 
(Fore River), Mass.; Rock Island District 
(Davenport, Rock Island. Moline and East 
Moline) : San Francisco, Cal. ; Seattle, Wash. ; 
Seven Pines, Va. : Sharon, Pa. ; South Amboy, 
N. J.; South Bend (Studebaker Co.\ Ind.; 
Stamford, Conn. ; Staten Island, N. Y. ; Tul'y- 
town. Pa. ; Warren, Ohio ; Washington Navy- 
Yard Apartments (temporary houses), Wash- 
ington Dormitories (Station Site, 21st and B 
streets), Washington Steel & Ordnance, 
Washington Bureau of Standards and Wash- 
ington Clerks ; Waterbury, Conn. ; Watertown, 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



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N. Y.; Watervliet, N. Y.; Woodbury, New 
Jersey. 

Some of the properties under Mr. Howe are 
the hotels for Women Government V/orkers 
located in Washington, D. C, which house 
and feed two thousand women. Originally 
known as Washington Hotels for War 
Workers, they consist of a group of twelve 
hotel buildings, intended for the housing of 
women war workers who found it difficult to 
secure livable quarters in the city, with ad- 
ministration buildings, dining rooms, kitchens, 
executive offices and sleeping quarters for the 
executive staff, cloak rooms, writing rooms, 
parlors, recreation hall, emergency hospital, 
power plant, refrigerating warehouse and em- 
ployes' dormitories. The liberal management 
which has characterized the operation of these 
hotels is worthy of note. Except for a few 
double rooms in each building all of the two 
thousand rooms are identical m size and com- 
fortable furnishings, and for the moderate 
charge of forty-five dollars a month per per- 
son the guests have room and fifteen meals 
a week (two on weekdays and three on Sun- 
days). Each room is provided with hot and 
cold running water, electric light, clothes dosct 
and cedar chest. There is a laundry which 
does work for the guests at moderate rates, 
and they also have laundry and kitchen privfl- 
^;es for light work; the emergency hospital 
supplies proper medical attention for any who 
need it, without charge ; the recreation hall is 
fully equipped for entertainments and danc- 
ing, which are provided under the auspices of 
properly accredited women's clubs and so- 
cieties; there is a complete telephone system 
which makes it possible to locate a guest with- 
out delay; the buildings have complete police 
and fire protection day and night; and the 
house managers are selected for their 
ability to look after the upkeep of the building 
from a cleanly and sanitary standpoint as well 
as after the general welfare of the residents. 
Altogether, these hotels offer a clean, pleasant 
home, with wholesome surroundings, for the 
women and girls who left their homes in all 
parts of the country to come to Washington 
to aid the government. The work yet re- 
maining will continue for some time, and the 
government intends to conduct tlie hotels un- 
til they are no longer needed. Mr. Howe has 
been intensely interested in every phase of his 
duties in this service. 

In Oil City Mr. Howe has come to be re- 
garded as one of the dependable, public- 
spirited citizens to be relied upon for co- 
operation in all that conserves its best in- 



terests. In business, besides attending strictly 
to all the demands of his main line, he has 
been enterprising about encouraging other un- 
dertakings, showing the first moving pictures 
exhibited at Monarch Park and in other ways 
indicating his faith in the ability of the com- 
munity to sui^)ort worthy projects. All ac- 
tivities in the way of "boosting" the city have 
counted him among their leaders. He has 
always taken a prominent part in arranging 
the Mardi Gras and Hallowe'en celebrations, 
has directed different conventions held in this 
section, was one of the organizers of the 
Chamber of Commerce, and has been equally 
zealous in movements "not for profit," hav- 
ing done his full share in local Y. M. C. A. 
and Red Cross woric, and as a member of the 
Episcopal Church. He was one of the "four- 
minute" men of Oil City. Fraternally Mr. 
Howe is a member of Oil City Lodge of Elks 
and a thirty-second-degree Mason, affili- 
ating with Petrolia Lodge, No. 363, F. & A. 
M., Talbot Commandery, No. 43, K. T., Oil 
City Chapter, No. 236, R. A. M., Venango 
Lodge of Perfection, Pittsburgh Consistory, 
and Zem Zem Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of 
Erie, Pennsylvania. 

MORROW FAMILY. The surname Mor- 
row is of Irish origin, having been anglicized 
from Murcha — Irish Muirchu — yjiich was the 
name of the fiftieth Christian king of Leinster, 
who invaded the Isle of Man in 1070, and who 
died in Dublin, Dec. 8, 1090. This progenitor 
of the family was evidently a warrior on the 
sea. as the name indicates, being a. compound 
of Muir — sea, and cha, or chu — a warrior. 

The ancient kings of Leinster had fortresses, 
or royal residences, at Diunrigh, near the 
river Barrow, between Cartow and Leighton ; 
at Naas, in Kildare; and in aftertimes at the 
city of Ferns in Wexford, which was their 
capital; also at Old Ross in Wexford; and 
at Ball)mioon in Carlow. 

The MacMoroughs were inaugurated as 
kings of Leinster at a place called Cuoc-an- 
Brogha, attended by O'Nolan, who was the 
king's marshal and chief of Forth in Carlow ; 
by O'Doran, chief Brehon of Leinster; and ' 
by MacKeogh, his chief bard; and the Mac- 
Moroughs maintained their independence, and 
held their title of the "Kings of Leinster," 
with large possessions in Wexford and 'Car- 
low, down to the reign of Queen Elizabeth. 
In modern times the O'Cavanaghs became the 
representatives of the MacMoroughs, kings of 
Leinster. 

But the Morrows, although of royal line- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



age, have, in later centuries, been firm ad- 
vocates of democracy, and have represented 
that class of whom it has been well said that 
no better immigration ever reached the shores 
of our Republic. By their enthronement of 
God and His word above all human authority ; 
by their integrity of character built up by 
faith in the Lord Jesus, by their aggressiveness 
and courage to fight for truth and righteous- 
ness, as revealed by His Spirit, they have 
filled their place as worthy units of a democ- 
racy. The particular branch we here record 
have been Presbyterians of long standing, and 
it was but natural that when, in 1811, two of 
its members, John and his wife, Margaret 
(Gillespie) Morrow, of Moira, County Down, 
Ireland, reached Pennsylvania, they should 
seek a home in Indiana county, and later in 
eastern Armstrong county, where they found 
a veritable Presbyterian stronghold. This 
couple had been united in marriage some eight 
or nine years before leaving their native land, 
by their pastor. Rev. Isaac Allen, and when 
they reached America were the parents of 
four children. To this number six later were 
added, making in all a family of ten, as fol- 
lows: Andrew, bom 1804, married Mary 
Cochran and (second) Isabel Rankin; James, 
bom 1805, married Mary Meanor; William, 
born 1807, died 1873, married Martha Hutch- 
inson and ^second) Sarah Gillespie; Martha, 
bom 1809, married John Marshall, of Dayton, 
Pa.; David, bora 1812, married Margaret 
Lytle; Elizabeth, born 1815, married Abel 
Stewart, of Indiana, Pa.; John, born 1817, 
married Mary Gibson ; Margaret, born 1819, 
married Thomas Kelso Ormand, of Dayton, 
Pa.: Nancy Cochran, born 1821, married 
Samuel Lytle; Wilson, born 1824, married 
Margaret Stuchell. 

Like many of the Ulster people, John Mor- 
row was a linen weaver, and. in his pioneer 
home in western Pennsylvania, through the 
fmit of his loom, purchased a homestead in 
the rapidly growing community. Being honest 
and thrifty, he enabled his ten children to re- 
ceive the best education possible that the priv- 
ate schools of those days aflforded, so that, 
when each son reached his majority, he was 
ready to take his place as a useful citizen, and 
each daughter w^as able to instruct others in 
private schools. Later each member of this 
family represented a home where a new fam- 
ily altar was erected, and from each of which, 
where there were heirs, have gone forth an 
honored citizenship composed of farmers, 
teachers, physicians and ministers of the gos- 
pel. 



William Morrow, whose descendants have 
been located in Forest and Venango counties 
since 1881, was the third son. He became 
a prosperous farmer in Cowanshannock town- 
ship, Armstrong county, and was counted 
among that township's most worthy citizens. 
At that time that section was the Utopia for 
an ideal republic, being a rich farming com- 
munity, where each farm home had a repre- 
sentative in college, and where churches were 
well filled with devout worshipers on the 
Lord's day. And William did his "bit" in 
advancing education by assisting in establish- 
ing Westminster College, (New Wilmington, 
Pa..) and by giving substantial aid to worthy 
young men and women in receiving a collegi- 
ate education. At the time of his death, in 
1873, ^^ was a stockholder and tmstee in the 
Soldiers' Orphans' School at Dayton, Pa., and 
an elder in the Concord United Presbyterian 
Church. On Sept. 8, 1835, William Morrow 
was united in marriage to Martha Hutchinson, 
a daughter of James and Martha (Findley) 
Hutchinson, members of ancient and honor- 
able families in Europe and America, whose 
ancestors sealed their covenant for "Christ 
and the Church" with their blood in Scotland 
some three centuries ago, and whose descend- 
ants in some branch, in each generation since, 
have held positions of responsibility in church 
and State. Prior to their coming to Penn- 
sylvania, in the earlier part of the eighteenth 
century, all the grandparents of Martha 
Hutchinson had resided in County Antrim, 
Ireland, where, for almost a century before, 
their families had taken a part in the events 
of historical interest of that place. During the 
American Revolution, both grandfathers, John 
Hutchinson and James Findley, served as 
rangers on the frontier in Westmoreland 
county. At the time of the Whiskey Insur- 
rection James Findley was associate judge of 
Westmoreland county, while his brother, Hon. 
William Findlejr, a member of Congress from 
the same district, served as peacemaker be- 
tween the Insurrectionists and the government. 
Perhaps no name in western Pennsylvania, at 
that time, according to the archives of this 
State, carried with it more weight than did 
that of William Findley, who was a member 
of the Constitutional convention that ratified 
the Constitution of the United States, and 
who was also a representative in either Con- 
gress or the United States Senate for more 
than twenty years. A grandson of his. Rev. 
Richard Carothers, was well known to early 
residents of Venango county as an elder of 
the Erie Conference (Methodist Episcopal), 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



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and one who gave valiant service as a seeker 
**after the lost sheep of the house of Israel." 
Another well known descendant is Rev. J. C. 
Rhae Ewing, D. D., president of the Forman 
College, Lahore, India, and a recent moderator 
of the Presbyterian General Assembly. Wil- 
liam Morrow's first wife died July 23, 1867. 
On Sept. 8, 1872, he was married to Sarah 
Gillespie, daughter of Charles and Nancy 
(Graham) Gillespie, of County Down, Ireland, 
who survived him more than thirty years. 

To William Morrow and his wife, Martha 
(Hutchinson), were bom two sons: John Wil- 
son, June 2, 1837 ; and James Hutchinson, Jan. 
19, 1839. These sons received their preliminary 
education at the public school situated on the 
bank of the beautiful Cowanshannock, near 
their home. Later they attended the McElroy 
preparatory school at Rural Valley, after 
which they completed the academic course at 
the Dayton (Pa.) Union Academy. In 1858 
James H. Morrow entered Westminster Col- 
lege as a student, but at the outbreak of the 
Civil war he enlisted in the 2d Pennsylvania 
Cavalry, and served throughout the war, hav- 
ing reenlisted in 1864, becoming second lieu- 
tenant. At the close of the war he resumed 
his studies at Westminster, and received his 
A. B. degree in 1868. The following autumn 
he entered the Western Theological Seminary, 
where he graduated in 1871. After his or- 
dination he served in the Presbyteries of the 
Middle West under the Board of Home Mis- 
sions of the United Presbyterian Church, his 
last charge being at Dexter, Iowa, where he 
died Nov. 10, 1889. In May, 1875, he was 
married to Mary Jane Love, of Rochester, 
N. Y., daughter of Andrew and Mary ( Wylie) 
Love, natives of the Province of Ulster, Ire- 
land, and both early residents of the cit)' of 
Rochester. Mrs. Morrow died in February, 
1914. Mr. and Mrs. Morrow reared one 
daughter, Emma Love Morrow, who is an 
alumna of the Livingstone Park Seminary, of 
Rochester, and of the Boston Cooking School. 
For some time after graduating Miss Morrow 
was a teacher in Aliss Farmer's School at 
Boston, after which she became a teacher in 
the Girls' Industrial School at Rochester, 
where she has since taught with the exception 
of one year, which was passed in study and 
travel. 

On account of ill health, John Wilson 
Morrow, the elder son of William Morrow, 
was unable to taken an A. B. degree, so after 
a thorough preparation he became a teacher, 
w^hich profession he followed for thirteen 
years, the last year of that period in the Vicks- 



burg (Miss.) Freedman's College, as principal 
of that school. After preparatory studies un- 
der J. M. Pettigrew, M. D., of Rural Valley, 
he attended Jefferson Medical College, Phil- 
adelphia, where he graduated March 13, 1873. 
Dr. Morrow commenced the practice of medi- 
cine at Atwood, Pa., and continued there till 
1 88 1, when he removed to Tionesta. While a 
resident of Atwood he took an active part in 
everything that was for the betterment of 
the community. He was the means of a high 
school for academical instruction being or- 
ganized in the village, and was president of the 
board. Upon the Doctor's removal to Tion- 
esta, he became identified with all the various 
activities of that place, educational, religious 
and social, in all of which he maintained a 
keen interest till his death, Aug. 5, 1905. At 
various times he was given positions of honor 
and trust in the county, especially in connec- 
tion with his work as a physician. He assisted 
in organizing Capt. George Stowe Post, No. 
137, G. A. R., and was its adjutant for more 
than twenty years, having served as corporal 
of Company M, 5th Pennsylvania Heavy Ar- 
tillery, during the last year of the Civil war; 
was a member of the board of medical exam- 
iners for Forest county, and was especially 
helpful to tlie veterans of the Civil war in ob- 
taining pensions ; for many years was a mem- 
ber of the Venango County Medical Society ; 
was a member of the Medical Society of Penn- 
sylvania, and a member of the Medical Society 
of America; was also an elder in the United 
Presbyterian Church. 

On Feb. 3, 1863, Dr. Morrow was married 
to Rebecca Malinda MacFarland, of Rural 
Valley, Pa., who was born June 26, 1842, and 
died Nov. 14, 1885. She was a daughter of 
John and Nancy (Harrison) MacFarland, 
granddaughter of William MacFarland (a 
veteran of the War of 1812) and his wife 
Nancy (Stewart), and of James and Rebecca 
Stephens (Stevens) Harrison; great-grand- 
daughter of Sergt. Giles Stephens, of the 
Revolutionary war, and his wife, Nancy (Tip- 
ton) (residents of Huntingdon county and 
former residents of Maryland), whose son 
John Stephens settled on the Big Sandy, in 
Venango county, as early as 1798, and erected 
the first gristmill in this vicinity. John 
Stephens was married to Elizabeth Lowrie, a 
sister of *'Mayor" Lowrie of Pittsburgh, and 
of Hon. Walter Lowrie, who served twelve 
years as secretar}^ of the United States Senate, 
and who resigned his position in the Senate 
to accept the position of secretar}^ of the 
Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions. 



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To John Wilson Morrow, M. D., and his 
wife Rebecca M. (MacFarland) were born 
the following children: Martha Hutchinson, 
Dec. 14, 1864; Nancy Clarissa, Dec. 23, 1866; 
William Gillespie, Dec. 20, 1868; Florencef 

Jane, April 15, 1871 (died April 29, 1874) ; 
ohn MacFarland, Feb. 16, 1874 (died March 
I, 1876) ; Matilda Catharine, Jan. 4, 1876 (died 
May 15, 1899) ; James Duff, March 21, 1878; 
Sarah Malissa, April 5, 1880; Rosanna May, 
May I, 1885 (died April 23, 1886). The Doc- 
tor's first wife died Nov. 14, 1885, ^"^ ^" 
Sept. 8, 1887, he was again married, to Martha 
Jane Uncapher, daughter of Andrew and Mary 
(Wilson) Uncapher, of Indiana county, whose 
paternal ancestors in Pennsylvania and Vir- 
ginia antedate the American Revolution, and 
who was a descendant of James Millen (Mil- 
ler) and his wife Anna SherWey, by reason of 
whose services she became a member of the 
Tidioute Chapter, D. A. R. Mrs. Morrow 
died Oct. 20, 1913. A niece of Mrs. Morrow's, 
Mrs. Carrie (Walter^ Stuchell, wife of Austin 
Stuchell, of Turtle (Jreek, died in September, 
1893, leaving an infant daughter, Carrie 
Evlyn (bom Sept. loth of same month), who 
became a member of the Morrow family when 
ihret weeks old, and who was reared and edu- 
cated by them. Carrie Evlyn is now the 
wife of Eh-. Louis Laverne Bourquin, of 
'Louisville, Kentucky. . 

Dr. Morrow's children who lived to adult 
age were all graduates of the Tionesta high 
school with the exception of the eldest, Martha, 
who was educated at the Indiana State Nor- 
mal School and the Dexter Normal College, 
and who is at present a teadier in the Oil 
City schools, and a member of the Daughters 
of the American Revolution. Nancy C. was 
educated at Westminster College, the Indiana 
State Normal, and the Seattle Pacific College^ 
being a graduate of the two latter; is an Oil 
City teacher and a member of the D. A. R. ; 
was for six years corresponding secretary of 
the Clarion Presbyterial Foreign Missionary 
Society; editor of 'Tresbyterial Mission Tid- 
ings"; writer for various publications; mem- 
bM" of W. C. T. U. ; and, with her sister 
Martha, is a member of the Pennsylvania 
Educational Society and the National Educa- 
tional Society. Sarah, the youngest, took a 
course of instruction in the Mechanics' In- 
stitute, Rochester, N. Y., and is also a mem- 
,ber of the D. A. R. 

James Duff Morrow married in September, 
191 2, Mary Bogart, daughter of Isaac and 
Caroline (Hoover) Bogart, of McKeesport, 
Pa., who had been a teacher in that city for 



eleven years, and where their residence has 
since been. Their children are : Martha Caro- 
line, bom September, 1913, and Mary EUen, 
bom in January, 191 5. 

William Gillespie Morrow, Dr. Morrow's 
elder son, matriculated at the Baltimcwe Medi- 
cal College in 1895 ; located at West Hickory, 
Pa., is physician for the Itimber firm of 
Wheeler & Deusenbury, and of the West 
Hickory Tanning Company. He is an elder 
in the Endeavor Presbyterian Church. On 
Dec. 24, 1895, he married Gertrude McElhoes 
( \^aledictorian, Clarion State Normal Schorf, 
1891), daughter of Jchn Kinter and Margaret 
(Thompson) McElhoes, who was a descend- 
ant of John Kinter and Isaiah Van Horn, 
patriots of the American Revolution, and of 
Mary Todd Findley, sister of Gen. Levi Todd 
(Revolutionary war), who was a grandfather 
of Mrs. Mary (Todd) Lincoln. To William 
Gillespie Morrow and his wife Gertrude were 
bom: Margaret, June 16, 1899; J^^n Kinter 
McElhoes, Jan. 26, 1902; Dorothy Rebecca, 
March 23, 1905 (who died Aug. 23, 1906). 
Mrs. Morrow died March 24, 1907. Her 
younger sister. Miss Martha Belle McElhoes, 
served as a Red Cross nurse in France with 
the Canadian forces for two years. On Sept 
8, 191 2, Dr. Morrow was married to Florence 
Mae Fuellhart (Allegheny Coll^), daughter 
of Charies and Mary (Vogt) Fuellhart, of 
Tidioute, Pa., and granddaughter of John and 
Christina Philipina (Fridenberger) Fuellhart, 
the latter a woman of noble birth. John Fuell- 
hart was a university graduate and the en- 
gineer who laid out Central Park, New York 
City, under General Viele, and the right of 
way agent for all railroads in northwestern 
Pennsylvania, whose work consisted in the 
purchase of land for the railroad companies, 
and in the survey of the same. To Eh*. Mor- 
row and his wife Florence Mae were bom: 
Mary Rebecca, June 18, 1913; and William 
Gillespie, Jr., Sept. 29, 1915. 

DANIEL EDWIN BYLES (deceased,) was 
unquestionably one of the most liberal philan- 
thropists that Oil City has ever known. His 
sympathy and means were at the command of 
every beneficent undertaking, and the many in- 
stitutions which prospered through his interest 
and cooperation are the best memorial to a Kf e 
whose motto was service to his fellow men. 
It would be impossible to estimate the extent 
of his personal benevolences, or of the in- 
fluence of his activities of a more or less public 
nature which have found a permanent place in 
the social order of the city. But a review of 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



713 



his labors presents an idea of his character 
and aims in life which accounts for the high 
estimation in which he was held, and the feel- 
ing in the community that his death was a loss 
to all of its members no less than to his imme- 
diate household. The financial generosity of 
Mr. Byles's gifts was made possible by his 
success in the material affairs of life, and it 
was the substantial expression of a liberality 
of heart and mind not met with so frequently 
as to be commonplace. He worked hard for 
his prosperity, and he enjoyed it chiefly be- 
cause of the opportunities it gave him to majce 
the lives of others more worth living. 

Mr. Byles was a grandson of Capt. Ebenezer 
Byles, who arrived in Venango county in 1825 
and settled the Clark farm in Allegheny town- 
ship. He came from Hartford, Conn., where 
he had been sheriff, and acquired his military 
title by service in the war of 1812. On March 
21, 1805, Ebenezer Byles married Miss Betsy 
Marcy, and they had these children: Mary- 
ette ; William Dwight, father of Daniel Edwin 
Byles; Matthew M., bom in Allegheny town- 
ship, who read medicine with Dr. Gillett and 
was the first medical practitioner at Utica, this 
county, beginning practice in 1837 and continu- 
ing until his death in 1847; Sarah; Cornelius, 
who also became a physician, practicing at Fre- 
donia, Mercer county ; Elizabeth Ann ; Edwin, 
who located at Pleasantville for a short time 
and later removed to Michigan, where he died 
leaving a large estate ; Julia ; and Guilford. 

William Dwight Byles, father of Daniel 
Edwin Byles, was a farmer in Allegheny town- 
ship, in the vicinity of Pleasantville. On Oct. 
6, 1836, he married Nancy Smith, who died 
in the fall of 1890. Three of their family 
still survive: Wilson, of Chicago, 111.; Miss 
Julia, who lived at Oil City with her brother 
Daniel : and Mrs. Frank Comfort, of Bradford, 
Pennsylvania. 

Daniel Edwin Byles. the youngest of ten 
children, was bom May 15, 1853, on his 
father's farm, where he grew up, acquiring 
the best education the coimtry schools of the 
vicinity afforded. Later he took a course at 
the Eastman business college, Poughkeepsie, 
N. Y., and on his return home found a position 
in the office of the late Willis Benedict, at 
Enterprise, Pa., remaining there a short time. 
It was in 1882 that he entered the line which 
proved to be his life work, his first connection 
with the refining business being in the capacity 
of bookkeeper in the Independent Refinery at 
Oil City. Within a short time he had been 
promoted to the position of salesman at the 
New York office of the company, where ht 



was retained until 1884, in which year he was 
recalled to the home office for more important 
duties. William Teege and Louis Walz having 
retired from the corporation, it was reorgan- 
ized and Mr. Byles was assigned to the post of 
secretary, Peter Theobold becoming president 
and A. D. Deming treasurer. Upon the death 
of Mr. Deming Mr. Byles took over his re- 
sponsibilities as treasurer, in addition to his 
previous cares, holding both positions for fif- 
teen years before his death. The prosperous 
condition of the company's affairs suffices to 
vouch for his business qualities. As he ac- 
quired capital Mr. Byles also formed other 
important connections, principally in his home 
city, having been a trustee of the Pure Oil 
Company from 1896, a director of the Oil City 
National Bank, and stockholder in several 
other financial institutions there. He was mar- 
ried April 16, 1890, to Miss Minnie Freeland, 
daughter of John and Eliza (Gorman) Free- 
land, formerly of Rochester, N. Y., and she 
survives him, residing at the family homestead 
on Second street, Oil City. 

Mr. Byles found his relaxation from busi- 
ness in the promotion of social enterprises of 
various kinds. His large heart and tender 
nature would not allow him to neglect the poor 
of his community, and his contributions for 
their relief were large and frequent and used 
in the most practical manner. Some of this 
work he did personally, but more often he gave 
comfort and sustenance to individuals or fam- 
ilies whose need was brought to his attention 
by those who came in contact with such cases. 
Charitable organizations also could count upon 
his help, and the benevolent enterprises under- 
taken by his church and fraternal associates 
were always well supported from his means. 
But he regarded the influence of wholesome 
recreation as of equal importance with the 
physical well-being of men, and it was his de- 
light to provide desirable social opportunities 
for his city, more especially for the younger 
element. His efforts in this behalf were the 
means of securing a distinct advance in that 
respect in Oil City, and one that has been of 
permanent benefit. He was foremost in Y. M. 
C. A. work here, serving as president of the 
local organization, and it was due largely to 
his activity that the fine building it now occu- 
pies was made possible. Mr. Byles was one 
of the pillars of Trinity M. E. Church, which 
he longserved as trustee, and for several years, 
until his death, he was superintendent o^ the 
senior department of the Sunday school. He 
was a trustee of Allegheny College, of Mead- 
ville, and one of the active members of the 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



board. Though he had so many other interests 
he always kept in touch with his Masonic 
brethren, affiliating with Petrolia Lodge No. 
363, F. & A. M.; Oil City Chapter No. 236, 
R. A. M. ; Talbot Commandery No. 43, K. T., 
of which he was a past eminent commander ; 
the l^odge of Perfection ; Pittsburgh Consis- 
tory; and the Mystic Shrine. 

Mr. Byles died July 21, 191 3, the day follow- 
ing injuries received in an automobile accident. 
The following resolutions of respect were 
adopted at a meeting of the committee ap- 
pointed by the executive committee of the 
Chamber of Commerce : 

Whereas, by the mysterious workings of an all- 
wise Providence, this Chamber of Commerce is 
called upon for the first time since its recent organ- 
ization to record the death of a valued and active 
member, Daniel E. Byles, be it 

Resolved, That the loss to this association, city and 
community is one that we all greatly lament. That 
his life was one of ability, activity and achievement 
in many things that pertain to the advancement and 
uplift of any people is evidenced by the various 
channels through which he chose to influence others. 

Resolved, That for the young men of this city par- 
ticularly his life has been a worthy example. In his 
industry, frugality in earlier life, character and help- 
fulness to his brother man, he was one of the leaders 
of this community, and his many acts, as well as 
words, for the moral and material advancement of 
our youth will not soon be forgotten. His charity 
for the faults of others, his benevolences, known only 
to a few, his well known liberality toward the cause 
of whatever tended to make our city a business 
center, an educational community and a desirable 
place of residence, are evidences of his good citizen- 
ship. A manly man, who loved his fellow men, in 
turn he was loved by his friends, admired by his 
associates, and respected by all who knew him. 

Resolved, That as an active worker and adviser in 
this association the loss of his advice, suggestions 
and activity will be greatly felt by all its members. 

Resolved, That these resolutions be made a part of 
the records of this Chamber of Commerce, and a 
copy thereof be sent to his family. 

We take the following from the tribute of 
Rev. A. C. Ellis, Mr. Byles's friend and pas- 
tor: *T have never known a man who grew 
more steadily and more beautifully in all good 

things than Daniel E. Byles Business 

men know that he was conservative enough, 
and progressive enough, to bring success to any 
enterprise in which he joined with them. And 
they knew another thing. In all their business 
dealings with this man; in all their close rela- 
tions with him ; in all the keen competitions 
and the temptations that come to men, there 
never was a time when he was not true, and 
square and open and honest as the day. The 
man does not live who does not know that this 
is true. 



'There was never a night when it was too 
late or he was too tired to read a passage from 

the Book He stood in the sacred desk, 

a layman, a business man, to say that what 
a man gets out of religion depends on what he 
puts into it. That was a splendid way of 
putting it, and he was getting out rich returns 
because he was holding nothing back. I know 
what his plans were. He would travel around 
the world ; he would step aside from business 
and give himself to the study that was denied 
him in his early manhood and his busy life : 
he would use his money to help young men and 
women ; and he would have the leisure to plan 
and work for the church — these were the am- 
bitions and the plans of the man whose passing^ 
away we mourn, and the shadow of whose loss 
will rest upon us in the days to come, 

"There is one other thing that shines with a 
lustre that can never grow dim. This ideal 
Christian layman has gone from us in the very 
zenith of his power and influence and useful- 
ness. Dare I say. that is a thing to be coveted ? 
When you seem most indispensable in busi- 
ness ; when there is no one to take your place 
in the church ; when the service you are ren- 
dering the community is most valuable — ^to go 
away then, in the very prime and glor>' of life, 
to fall at your post on the front line of duty, 
and in the very act of rendering your highest 
possible service, that is what this man did, and 
in spite of our deep sorrow and our tears, 
there is something comforting and something 
glorious about it all. 

**He being dead yet speaketh. Ever}' man 
that touched elbows with him in the toil and 
conflict will do better work because of his 
example. And what a splendid model for 
young men! Clean in lip, and clean in life; 
glad every day that he lived; simple in his 
faith as a child ; true in his friendships ; un- 
afl^ected by prosperity, one of God's noble 
men. We mourn his loss ; we feel the inspira- 
tion of the noble life he has lived; we will 
follow the gleam as he did. and some day we 
will know and understand." 

VINCENT P. BUNCE has been associated 
with the administration of public affairs in 
Franklin for a number of years, continuously 
since the city form of government was adopted 
as alderman of the Third ward. The prompt 
and competent manner in which his duties are 
dispatched indicates an intelligent comprehen- 
sion of their importance and desire to render 
good service to the people whom he repre- 
sents, and who have shown their apprecia- 
tion of his spirit by retaining him in office 



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VEXANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



715 



from year to year. In various capacities, he 
has given most of his time to official responsi- 
bilities for the last twenty years. 

Mr. Bunce was born Jime 2, 185 1, in Pike 
county. 111., and is of English descent in the 
paternal line, his grandfather, Robert Bunce, 
having been a native of England. After fol- 
lowing the sea for some years he came to 
America to live, locating in Maryland, and he 
taught school in both that State and Virginia. 
His death occurred in Maryland. 

Edward P. Bunce, son of Robert Bunce, was 
bom in Maryland, and in his youth had ordi- 
nary educational advantages, also learning the 
trade of shoemaker. As he was the oldest of 
the family, he looked after his mother, broth- 
ers and sisters after his father's death, and 
though he had to work steadily at the bench to 
gain a living he also continued his studies dili- 
gently, eventually becoming a well informed 
man. As soon as he could get a school he be- 
gan teaching in Maryland, and later went out 
to Illinois, following his profession in Mor- 
gan county, where his remuneration was what- 
ever the children's parents wished to give. He 
also taught in Pike and Brown counties, in that 
State, and while in the latter worked It his 
trade evenings and Saturdays. His next 
change was to Atlanta, Logan Co., 111., where 
he was principal of schools for a time, return- 
ing thence to Brown county to teach the Mount 
Pleasant school. In those days textbooks and 
other necessary helps to learning were neither 
so plentiful nor so easily obtainable as now, 
and in addition to teaching he purchased all 
the books, made maps, and did much work 
which educators of the present day are spared. 
In his later years he was bookkeeper for sev- 
eral small business houses in Illinois, doing 
this work evenings, Saturdays and during va- 
cations. He was a very able man in many 
ways, with a gift for teaching which he devel- 
oped by strict devotion to study and educa- 
tional principles. He was especially proficient 
and in fact was an authority in English gram- 
mar, and was often consulted by college pro- 
fessors as to difficult points on which they 
differed. His opinions were never rejected. 

Mr. Bunce married Lydia A. Hosford, who 
like himself was a born educator, having 
taught school before she was sixteen years old, 
near Sharon, in Mercer county, Pa. She was 
bom in Ohio, near Warren, daughter of John 
L. Hosford, who was a colonel in the Ohio 
State militia, and was of Scotch ancestry early 
established in this country, the Hosfords hav- 
ing been landed at Plymouth Rock, Mass.. in 
1633, ^"d settled at Canaan, Conn. Eight chil- 



dren were bom to Mr. and Mrs. Edward P. 
Bunce: Vincent P., Francois J. G. (who died 
at the age of ten years), Robert L., and a 
son that died in infancy, Roberta M., Jessie F. 
and Florence E. 

Vincent P. Bunce received his early educa- 
tion under parental instruction, and later at- 
tended what is now the Illinois State Univer- 
sity, at Champaign, 111., during his last term 
there also engaging in teaching in the prepara- 
tory department. He followed the profession 
of teacher for nine terms in Brown and Pike 
counties. III, his last school being one that 
his mother had taught before her marriage, 
and while residing in Versailles, Brown county 
(his old home town), he was appointed by 
the town board to look after the legal busi- 
ness of his town and was known as the town 
counsel. In 1878 Mr. Bunce came to Pennsyl- 
vania, and after a short residence at Grove 
City, Mercer county, moved to Franklin in 
187Q, engaging in the cigar and tobacco busi- 
ness in partnership with W. W. Baker, under 
the name of the Standard Cigar Company. 
Shortly after locating in Franklin he was 
elected city auditor for the Third ward. The 
business association mentioned lasted until 
1883, when Mr. Bunce took a position as trav- 
eling man for a wholesale grocery house of 
New York City. Subsequently he became 
manager of a store at Oil City, was ganger for 
six months for the Miller Pipe Line Com- 
pany at Oil City, and then returned in March, 
1889, to Versailles, Brown Co., 111., when he 
was again appointed town counsel and was em- 
ployed by The Singer Sewing Machine Com- 
pany about five years. In 1894 he returned 
East, taking employment in a cement works at 
Warners, N. Y.. for a short time, but within 
the year he was back at Franklin. In 1900 he 
was elected constable, and in 1901 constable 
and heahh officer. In 1902 he was elected 
justice of the peace, and has served in that 
capacity without interruption since, his title 
being alderman of the Third ward since the 
adoption of the present form of government. 
Mr. Bunce keeps well informed on the topics 
of the day, taking an intelligent interest in the 
larger questions of the times as well as in the 
problems affecting his immediate community. 
In political sentiment he is a Republican. Mr. 
Bunce is well known in fraternal circles, being 
a past grand of the I. O. O. F. and a past 
chancellor of the Knights of Pythias, and he 
has served the latter also as representative to 
the grand lodge. 

On October 27, 1872, Mr. Bunce was mar- 
ried to Sarah Cox, bv whom he had three 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



children: Orville H., who is deceased; Julia 
A., deceased; and Louis E., who is living in 
Illinois. The mother died in 1880, and on 
Aug. 18, 1883, Mr. Bunce married (second) 
Kate A. Galbraith, of Franklin, Pa., to which 
union have been born seven children: Alfred 
G., deceased; Vincent P., Jr.; Annie L., wife 
of C. W. Pine, of Oil City, Pa. ; Frank M., of 
Franklin, a merchant in the Third ward ; John 
L. ; Catharine L. ; and Henrietta M. Two of 
Mr. Bunce's sons have been serving in the 
great world war, Vincent P. and John L. 
now in Vichy, France, belonging to the M. D. 
N. A. of the American Expeditionary Forces 
and attached to the Base Hospital of EHvision 
No. 76. 

FRANCIS McDANIEL, late of Sugar 
Creek township, was a prosperous farmer and 
business man of that part of Venango county, 
identified with public affairs and other local 
interests, and in every respect one of the most 
esteemed citizens of his day. His widow con- 
tinues to reside at their old home, having a 
tract of eighty-four acres originally included 
in the farm of her father, John McKenzie, 
three hundred acres of valuable land lying in 
the Sugar Creek valley eight miles northwest 
of Franklin. 

Mr. McDaniel was bom in 1832 in Craw- 
ford county. Pa., son of Francis and Mary 
(Thompson) McDaniel. He grew up on a 
farm, and became familiar with agricultural 
work in boyhood, meanwhile acquiring a com- 
mon school education such as the home local- 
ity afforded. In 1854 he engaged in lumber- 
ing, and later became interested in the manu- 
facture of sash and blinds, in connection with 
which he also operated a flouring mill. In 
1865 he moved to Ohio, where he was occu- 
pied with such interests at Jefferson, Ashta- 
bula county, and also embarked in merchandis- 
ing at Dorset, that county. Having married a 
daughter of John McKenzie, of Sugar Creek 
township, Venango Co., Pa., he moved to the 
township in 1882 and bought the McKenzie 
mill (built in 1846), conducting same along 
with his farming operations, and becoming one 
of the thrifty, substantial residents of the lo- 
cality. He had advanced ideas on public ques- 
tions and took a keen interest in local matters, 
being particularly zealous in securing good 
educational advantages for his own district, 
where his cooperation and activity were much 
appreciated. He gave efficient service as a 
member of the school board and collector of 
school taxes. When Mr. McDaniel settled in 
the neighborhood there was only one way to 



get in and out, to come from the Sugar creek 
bridge below to McKenzie's Comers and go 
down to mill, then from the Jackson township 
bridge above to McKenzie's Comers and down 
to mill, the bridges about two miles a^art. He 
applied for a road and secured it after a hard 
fight, this road being built about twenty-five 
years before the present brick road. In polit- 
ical issues he supported the Democratic party. 
His death occurred on Christmas morning, 
Dec. 25, 1907, when he was seventy-five years 
old. 

Mr. McDaniel's first wife, Mary (Everitt), 
died in 1874, and is buried at Jefferson, Ohio. 
In 1876 he married (second) Elizabeth A. 
McKenzie, daughter of John McKenzie, and 
she continues to live at their old home, as pre- 
viously mentioned, all but six and a half years 
of her life having been spent on the McKenzie 
place. Mr. and Mrs. McDaniel were mem- 
bers of the Sugar Creek Presbyterian Church, 
and she still maintains active association with 
that body, keeping up her interest in all local 
affairs. Mr. McDaniel had three children, all 
born to his first marriage, namely: Samuel 
Arden is a resident of Ashtabula, Ohio; Mar- 
garet is the wife of Frank Ruggles, of Jeffer- 
son, Ashtabula Co., Ohio; Frank P. makes 
his home at Boise, Idaho. 

JOHN McKENZIE was in his time one of 
the most enterprising men in Sugar Creek 
township, and it has been said that he "doubt- 
less built more houses, bams, mills, and other 
buildings, and shot more wild turkeys and 
deer, than any other man in Venango county." 
The remark gives some indication of the rest- 
less energy which characterized his whole ca- 
reer, and which brought hiip worldly pros- 
perity and influential position long before the 
close of his remarkably lengthy life. He was 
a son of Angus McKenzie, one of the eariiest 
settlers in the northwestern part of the town- 
ship. 

Angus McKenzie was bom in 1736 in In- 
verness, Scotland, and remained in that coun- 
try until after his marriage. Landing with 
his family at Baltimore, Md., he proceeded 
thence to Pittsburgh, Pa., where he arrived 
in 1796, and where he remained for about 
four years. He had bought three lots near 
where the market house was afterward lo- 
cated, the site of his property being then 
known as the Black Bear, later occupied by 
the "Black Bear" hotel. Having acquired 
lands in Venango county from one Oliver 
Ormsby, of Pittsburgh, trading his lots* for 
two hundred acres (lying along Sugar creek 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



717 



about twenty miles northwest of Franklin), 
a yoke of oxen, a mare and a wagon, he se- 
cured the services of the county surveyor, 
Samuel Dale, whom he found near the French 
Fort, and after four or five days' travel they 
located the land in what was then known as 
the "Indian Coimtry." Part of it is included 
in the place now occupied by Mrs, McDaniel, 
granddaughter of Angus McKenzie, and it 
formed part of a level body of land known 
as The Prairie. During the first year of his 
residence there Mr. McKenzie had the timber 
cut from two acres by Andrew Piper, he and 
Mr. Piper logging it together, but he burned 
it over himself, dragged it with an improvised 
harrow made of the fork of a tree with pins 
driven into it, and sowed it to wheat, getting 
forty bushels to the acre. It was an encour- 
aging start, and he prospered in the cultiva- 
tion of his land and the CMperation of the mill 
built there, becoming a substantial resident of 
the locality. He also owned land at Faunce- 
town, Crawford coimty. He was made a cit- 
izen of the United States at Franklin in 1814. 
He held membership in the nearest Presby- 
terian Church, which was situated on the old 
Beatty farm, later owned by William List. He 
lived to the wonderful age of 1 10 years, dying 
Aug. 22, 1846, his wife Christian dying Feb. 
27, 1851, at the age of ninety-three years. Of 
their four children, three sons and one daugh- 
ter, Alexander, who was two years old when 
his parents arrived at Baltimore, married Isa- 
bella Wilson and settled in Jackson township, 
this cotmty; John was next in the family; 
WilKam was engaged in the lumber business 
on the Allegheny river; Elizabeth, Mrs. 
Frazier, lived at Franklin. 

John McKenzie was born in Pittsburgh in 
1799 2^d ^^s quite young when the family 
settled in Sugar Creek township. Showing a 
fondness for books, he was allowed very good 
educational privileges for the time, and his 
early preference in the matter of occupation 
was for working in wood. His father sought 
to make practical use of the inclination by set- 
ting him and his brother Alexander to cut and 
haul logs from the lower farm to the mill on 
the home place, but the work was distasteful 
to him, and he decided to leave home and seek 
emplo3mient in the upper timber country, in 
onfcr to earn enough to build a barn without 
the labor of hauling the logs. When he re- 
turned in the spring he had enough lumber for 
the purpose and nfty dollars in money. In 
1827 he went to learn carpentry and mill- 
wrighting with Hosea Southwick, of New 
York, and with the practical knowledge he 



had previously acquired advanced rapidly in 
those trades, for which he had much aptitude, 
as his subsequent activities showed. He con- 
tinued to follow those lines for thirty years, 
and meanwhile also engaged in farming and 
milling, employing a number of men. In 1830 
he bought a farm above Cooperstown, this 
county, where he built a house and bam and 
cleared about forty acres, afterward putting 
up a house and bam in Cooperstown. Then 
he bought 130 acres fottr and a half miles 
above that place, whereon he remained two 
years, during which time he erected a grist and 
saw mill and cleared thirty acres of the prop- 
erty. In 1842 he removed thence to the large 
farm in Sugar Creek township where the rest 
of his life was spent, a tract of three hundred 
acres which his father had purchased and 
given to him, and about half of which was 
prairie land. Mr. McKenzie traveled over 
fourteen different States and had a varied and 
interesting life. He served as a justice of the 
peace, and kept in touch with different inter- 
ests to the end of his days, dying in 1886 at 
an advanced age, and is buried with his wife 
in Sugar Creek Memorial cemetery. She died 
in 1880. 

On Dec. 29, 1828, Mr. McKenzie married 
Eliza Gibbons, and they became the parents of 
ten children, of whom we have the following 
record: William was killed at Petersburg, 
while serving as a Union soldier, in 1865, at 
the close of the Civil war, by a Rebel sharp- 
shooter up a tree, after having passed all 
through the war without being wounded in 
battle; Christiana, Mrs. List, died March 17, 
1872; Mary Ann lived in South Dakota with 
her brother John until her last illness, dying 
in 1898 in a sanitarium at Hot Springs, that 
State, and is buried at Whitewood, S. Dak. ; 
Catherine married David Homan and lived 
above Cooperstown, and both are now de- 
ceased (she was survived by only one son, 
John Homan, whose widow and three children 
are now in Franklin) ; Sarah married Hiram 
Shaw and lived for some time near the old 
homestead, but both she and her husband died 
at Cooperstown, he at the age of eighty years, 
she when seventy-seven (their daughter, Delia, 
is Mrs. Clinton Mead, of Canal township) : 
Elizabeth A. is the widow of Francis McDaniel 
and lives on part of the old McKenzie farm in 
Sugar Creek township; Malinda, widow of 
Francis Hyde, is with her son-in-law and 
daughter, Mr. and Mrs. J. S. McDaniel, farm- 
ing and keeping house for her brother John 
in South Dakota ; Alexander lived on part of 
the old farm, and died in 1905 (his son Ed- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



ward is at Spearfish, S. Dak.) ; Robert settled 
in Idaho many years ago; John left Pennsyl- 
vania for Iowa when a young man, and now, 
at the age of eighty-five years, is living prac- 
tically retired on his ranch at St. Onge, S. 
Dak., after an exciting and adventurous ca- 
reer. As scout, Indian fighter, cattle grower 
and protector of the ranchmen's interests John 
McKenzie became widely known in his section 
of the west, helping to administer order and 
justice in the only way possible in the early 
days and experiencing many narrow escapes. 
He has never married. 

MILES P. BROWN, of Franklin, has been 
associated with the same business interests 
there almost from boyhood, having served his 
apprenticeship to the machinist's trade with 
his present partner, Mr. R. E. Jones. They 
constitute the firm of R. E. Jones & Co., pro- 
prietors of the Venango Steam Boiler Works 
at the corner of Hillside avenue and Chestnut 
street, which industry has held an important 
relation to local business, catering especially 
to the demands of the refineries. Being the 
only plant of the kind in the city it is usually 
operating to the limit of its capacity. The 
volume of business is, however, not due to 
lack of rivalry in the field, but to the capability 
which this firm has always shown in the han- 
dling of its contracts, the output consisting 
chiefly of portable and stationary boilers and 
tanks, and including a great variety of sheet 
plate metal construction. The establishment 
meets a decided need in the local industrial 
situation, so far as manufacturing is con- 
cerned, and also because of the number of 
slcilled mechanics for whom it furnishes em- 
ployment, contributing to the material pros- 
perity of the city in both respects. 

Mr. Brown is a native of Scrubgrass town- 
ship, Venango county, born in August, 1874, 
son of the late Robert M. Brown, who was 
also bom in this county and was a farmer in 
Sandy Creek township. Ehiring his earlier 
years Robert M. Brown was engaged in the 
oil fields, and later farmed in Scrubgrass 
township for a time before settling at his re- 
cent location. He married Sarah L. Shonts, 
daughter of Amos Shonts, who was a pio- 
neer agriculturist in Sandy Creek township, 
and they had the following children : Addie L., 
who is deceased ; W. O. ; John, deceased ; R. 
H.: Miles P.; D. B.; A. G.; C. C; A. Peari, 
and J. W. 

Miles P. Brown obtained his education in 
the Franklin public schools and then turned 
to mechanical work, learning boiler and tank 



making with Mr. Jones at Franklin. He has 
been in this line for twenty-five years, all spent 
in the same connection, for soon after com- 
pleting his trade he was advanced to foreman 
and in 191 1 became associated with Mr. Jones 
as partner. He is general manager of the 
works, to which he devotes all his time. The 
Venango Steam Boiler Works is an old-estab- 
lished plant of Franklin, and in its early days 
was conducted by Meehan & Jones, this part- 
nership lasting for about five years. During 
that period it was known as the Venango 
Boiler Works. After Mr. Meehan withdrew 
Mr. Jones carried the business on alone for 
several years, until the present firm was 
formed. The senior partner is also a com- 
petent and experienced mechanic, and like Mr. 
Brown strives conscientiously to prove worthy 
of the enviable reputation and popularity 
which their work has won. Twenty skilled 
mechanics are given regular employment in 
these works, and the proprietors have direct 
oversight of all the output, both being capable 
of doing any part of the construction them- 
selves. Their specialty is iron and steel boil- 
ers and tanks, including storage tanks and 
everything else in that line, and they have all 
the work in the immediate vicinity, besides 
orders from all other parts of the country, 
their product having a reputation for sub- 
stantial construction and durability gained in 
many years of satisfactory service to patrons. 

Mr. Brown married Mary E. Jones, daugh- 
ter of William M. and Priscilla (Lowers) 
Jones, and they are the parents of four chil- 
dren, namely: Helen L., Ira S., Ruth N. and 
Marjorie M. 

CHARLES B. SIMMONS is a business 
man of long and honorable standing at Oil 
City, where he is now engaged in handling 
produce of all kinds in the capacity of com- 
mission broker. He is a son of the late Mar- 
tin S. Simmons, for many years a well known 
druggist of the city, and grandson of Severe- 
nus Simmons, who upon coming to this coun- 
try settled among the Dutch farmers in 
Schoharie county, N. Y., where he passed the 
remainder of his life. He was a German by 
birth and before coming to the United States 
married Catherine Gasper, their voyage across 
the Atlantic being made from Bremen. By 
occupation he was a farmer and wool carder, 
owning a large farm in Schoharie county upon 
which he resided until his accidental death, 
when past eighty years of age, caused by a pair 
of colts nmning away. He and his wife are 
buried at Engellville, Schoharie county. Of 



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\'ENANGO COUNTY, PExXNSYLVANIA 



719 



their two children, Martin S. is mentioned be- 
low; Johanna married George A. Dockstader. 
The grandparents were members of the Dutch 
Reformed Church, and the grandfather was a 
Republican in political opinion. 

Martin S. Simmons was bom Aug. 19, 1825, 
at Engellville, Schoharie Co., N. Y., on his 
father's farm, where he was reared, obtaining 
his education in the local district schools. His 
first employment aside from farm work was 
wool carding and dressing cloth for his father, 
to whom he became particularly helpful in 
this branch of his business, when twenty-three 
years old assuming charge of the woolen mill, 
which he conducted for the next three years. 
He then opened a general store at Whitney 
Point, Broome Co., N. Y., carrying it on 
twelve or thirteen years, until his removal in 
the sixties to Pithole City, Venango Co., Pa., 
where he built several houses for rent. In 
1867 he left that place to locate at Petroleum 
Center, this county, where he entered the drug 
business, operating a store there until he set- 
tled permanently at Oil City in 1872. Mr. 
Simmons was a leading druggist of Oil City 
until he sold the business to his son Charles in 
1895, and he retained his residence in Oil City 
until his death in February, 1907, when he 
was eighty-two years old. He is buried in 
Grove Hill cemetery. While in New York 
Mr. Simmons took an active part in public 
affairs, serving many years as postmaster at 
Whitney Point and also as clerk of his town- 
ship. He joined the Odd Fellows in New 
York State, became a member of the Union 
League during the Civil war, affiliated with the 
Masonic lodge at Titusville. and at Oil City 
was a prominent worker in Trinity M. E. 
Church, which he served as trustee. Politi- 
cally he was a Republican. In 1850 Mr. Sim- 
mons married Almira Ball, who died in Sep- 
tember, 1865, at Pithole, Pa., and is buried at 
Whitney Point, N. Y. She was the mother of 
two children, Charles B. and Minnie, the 
daughter dying young. Mr, Simmons is sur- 
vival by his second wife, Permelia A. (Carr), 
now living in Oil City at the age of seventy- 
nine years, and by whom he had one son, 
Clyde C, who is engaged as reporter for the 
Oil City Derrick; he married Blanch Showal- 
ter, and has one daughter, Elizabeth. 

Charles B. Simmons was bom May 6, 1853, 
on a farm in Schoharie county, N. Y., and was 
a year old when his father moved to Whit- 
ney Point, where the family lived until com- 
ing to Pithole. Pa., in April, 1865. Meantime 
he had received an excellent education, attend- 
ing the academy at Marathon, Cortland Co., 



N. Y., and after his mother's death he went 
back to Schoharie county for a year, clerked in 
the general mercantile store of his father at 
Whitney Point two years, and rejoined his 
father at Petroleum center. He was in the 
grocery business with his father at Petroleum 
Center two years, and in the drug business 
at the same place after they disposed of their 
grocery, removing with his father to Oil City 
and continuing in the drug line with him until 
his retirement in 1895. ^^ that time Charles 
B. Simmons acquired sole ownership and 
carried on the establishment alone until 1898, 
at the location now occupied by the Lammers 
store, directly opposite the "Arlington." In 
1898 Mr. Simmons sold the store to his fa- 
ther and brother Clyde and went West, fol- 
lowing placer mining in northeastern Wash- 
ington and British Columbia for a year and a 
half, and returning to Oil City in 1900. Dur- 
ing the next four years he was interested in 
a general real estate and brokerage business, 
having since 1904 devoted himself to selling 
goods for the Baltimore house of William 
Heyser. From time to time he has had other 
activities. In his early manhood, when ex- 
citement and prosperity were running high 
over the oil discoveries along Bullion run, he 
ran a branch store of the Oil City business at 
Davis City. In 1890, in partnership with his 
father, he bought 320 acres from the Granite 
Oil Company (of which concern the Havemey- 
ers, of sugar fame, were at the head), and did 
considerable oil development work on that 
property, drilling twenty-six wells there. He 
has sold all but ten acres of this tract. 

Mr. Simmons has been particularly active 
and interested in fraternal work, belonging to 
the Knights of the Maccabees, Royal Arcanum, 
Knights and Ladies of Honor (which he has 
served as deputy). United Order of the Golden 
Cross, Protected Home Circle and National 
Union, the last named of Chicago, 111. He has 
been especially prominent in the Maccabees, 
having organized the first tent in Pennsyl- 
vania, served a couple of years as State com- 
mander and several terms as supreme officer 
of the Order, whose headquarters are at Port 
Huron, Mich. Among the tents which he has 
organized are those at Oil City, Franklin, Em- 
lenton, Salina and Salem in Venango county. 
He is not active in politics but a Republican 
in principle, and his religious association is 
with Trinity M. E. Church. 

To Mr. Simmons's marriage with Emma D. 
King have been bom the following children: 
Dr. Clayton B., now established at Milan, 
Sullivan Co., Mo., married Grace Irwin and 



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720 



VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



has one child, Robert M.; Bernard M. died 
when about four years old; Charles King, 
chief of right of way for four of the Southern 
Pipe Lines, married Blanche M. Donahue; 
Bertrand H. is in the oil business at Orcutt, 
Cal. ; Mary K. is the wife of Howard Sim- 
mons, chemist and director of the Penn Amer- 
ican Refining Company, and lives on Cowell 
avenue. Oil City. 

UriaUi King, father of Mrs. Charles B. Sim- 
mons, was a well known business man of his 
section of New York State, being a general 
storekeeper at Sidney Plains, Delaware county, 
owner of a string of csinalboats carrying 
produce from Bingnamton to New York City 
and operating a factory at Preble, where he 
manufactured staves and sold barrds. He 
;narried Mary E. Johnson, and they reared a 
family of four children: Sarah Jane, wife of 
LeRoy C. Chittenden, both now deceased; 
Hiram King, deceased, who married Sarah 
Root and lived at Whitney Point, N. Y. ; Al- 
bert L., of Oil City, Pa., who married Mary 
Martin; and Emma D., Mrs. Charles B. Sim- 
mons, of Oil City. The parents are buried at 
Greene, Chenango Co., N. Y. They were 
members of the Episcopal Church, and Mr. 
King was a Democrat in political faith. 

THOMAS GRAY PHINNY, of Oil City, 
has been occupied during the greater part of 
his business life in the various branches of 
the oil business, with a record which indicates 
that he deserves to be classed with its pro- 
gressive representatives. The several import- 
ant associations which he maintains at this 
writing are all in that line. 

Mr. Phinny has lived in Venango county 
from childhood, his parents, Thomas Howell 
and Frances "(Johnson) Phinny, having settled 
here in the middle sixties. Mr. Phinny traces 
his ancestry back to Revolutionary stock, the 
first of the family in this country, Eleazer 
Phinny, having been a sergeant in the 4th 
Regiment of Connecticut from Aug. 12, 1776, 
until 1778. He was a native of Ireland. 

Col. Gpuld Phinny, son of Eleazer Phinny, 
is buried with his wife Jane (Price) in the 
Phinny vault at Elizabeth, N. J. He was 
engaged as a banker at Dundaff , Susquehanna 
Co., Pa., and two of his sons, Thomas P. and 
Gen. Elisha Phinny, followed the real estate 
and coal business in Scranton, Pennsylvania. 

Thomas P. Phinny, son of Col. Gould Phin- 
ny, was bom at Elizabeth, N. J., was grad- 
uated from Princeton College in his native 
State, and by profession was a lawyer, besides 
being a successful business man and farmer. 



When a young man he settled at Dtmdaff, 
Susquehanna Co., Pa., where he died at the 
age of seventy-four years and is buried with 
his wife Elizabeth (Howell). She was a 
daughter of E. B. Howell, a soldier of the 
war of 1812-15, stationed at Sackett's Harbor 
and chaplain of the Masonic lodge of his 
regiment. Mr. Phinny was a Democrat and 
a member of the Episcopal Church. In his 
professional capacity he was quite prom- 
inent in the public service, having been 
appointed to different positions by the courts 
of Susquehanna county. Four chikiren were 
bom to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas P. Phinny, 
namely : Thomas Howell ; Owen P. ; Elizabeth 
Gray, wife of Rev. S. D. Day, an Epbcopal 
clergyman; and Jennie. 

Thomas Howell Phinny, son of Thomas P. 
Phinny, was bom and reared at DundafF, 
Susquehanna Co., Pa., being twenty-five years 
old when he came to Oil City in 1867. He 
had previously lived at Reno, Venango county, 
for a couple of years. After thirty years of 
active business life at Oil Qty, in the grocery 
trade and the production of oil, he retired and 
returned to DundafiF, where he passed the re- 
mainder of his days, living to be seventy-three 
years old. Like his father he was a Democrat 
and an Episcopalian. Mr. Phinny married 
Frances Johnson, also a native of DundafT, 
Pa., daughter of Sylvester Johnson,* and chil- 
dren as follows were born to this union : Eliz- 
abeth, who is the wife of William E. Barrett, 
of Evanston, 111.; Thomas Gray; Edith, wife 
of Harry A. Angell, of Indianapolis, Ind. ; 
and Anna, Mrs. Herbert Lay. The mother 
died when sixty-eight years old, and both 
parents are buried at Dundaff. 

Thomas Gray Phinny was bom at Dundaff, 
April 24, i860, and was five years old when 
the family located at Reno, Venango Co., Pa., 
whence they removed to Oil City in 1867. 
Here he acquired his early education in the 
public schools, supplementing this elementary 
training with a course at St. Mark's Academy, 
an Episcopal military school at Rochester, 
N. Y., from which institution he was grad- 
uated in the year of 1878. His first position 
was as clerk at the Oil City Oil Exchange, 
where he continued for two years, during the 
next three years working in Chicago, 111., as 
bookkeeper for Best, Russell & Co., whole- 
sale tobacco dealers. Upon his return to 
Oil City he was engaged in the grocery trade 
for two years, as a retail merchant, his first 
location being at the present site of the Citi- 
zens Banking Company's building. Later he 
was in what was then known as the McColIum 



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APT02, L'^\ T AM) 

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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



721 



block, now Smith Sons, and meantime he had 
also become interested in oil production in 
the vicinity of Oil City. During the next 
ten years he was engaged with Johnson & 
Johnson, manufacturing chemists, at New 
Brunswick, N. J., as general manager, during 
that period organizing the Brunswick Refrig- 
erating Company, manufacturers of ice and 
refrigerating machinery, of New Brunswick, 
and serving three years as its president and 
general manager. Selling out his interests 
there he returned to Oil City once more, and 
he has since devoted his energies to different 
phases of the oil business, including, besides 
production, the manufacture and shipping of 
gasoline. He was a pioneer in the production 
of what is known as casing head gasoline, his 
connection with this branch of the oil business 
dating back practically to the discovery of the 
process of obtaining this product. He recog- 
nized its possibilities and gave considerable 
attention to the subject, effecting some im- 
provements . on the method first employed 
which were incorporated in the first plant 
which he installed, at Hill City, Venango 
county. A company was organized in 1910 
under the name of the Casing Head Gas Com- 
pany, with Thomas Gray Phinny, president; 
W. B. James, treasurer; H. S. Phinny, secre- 
tary. They have since continued in the manu- 
facture of gasoline from natural gas by the 
compression and absorption system, having 
four plants in operation at present, two near 
Titusville and one in the upper edge of Forest 
county, near Fagundus, besides the original 
installation at Hill City, which was one of the 
first in the United States. Thomas G. Phinny 
is now vice president and general manager of 
this company, vice president of the Hopewell 
Oil & Gas Company, and interested with two 
of his sons in the manufacture of Quaker 
State Mineral Oil under the style of Phinny 
Brothers Company, organized in 1914. This 
product is recommended as a lubricant by so 
high an authority as the Franklin Auto Com- 
pany, of Syracuse, N. Y., and is handled by 
distributors in every city and town of any 
size in the country, as well as by Canadian 
and European agencies. Mr. Phinny is also 
engaged in the production of oil in Venango, 
Crawford and Forest counties, and he has 
throughout his career sustained his high rep- 
utation as a refrigerating engineer, having the 
honor of membership in the Engineers' Club 
of Philadelphia. His local associations are 
with the Wanango'Club and Oil City Boat 
Qub as well as the Masonic fraternity, as a 
member of Petrolia Lodge, No. 363, F. & A. M., 



46 



and Venango Lodge of Perfection, fourteenth 
degree, Scottish Rite Masons. Mr. Phinny is 
now a member of the Second Presbyterian 
Church of Oil City. He is a Democrat in 
political principle, and has always been in- 
terested in public affairs, serving as a city 
councilman during his residence in New 
Brunswick. Though he has preferred to use 
his influence as a private citizen at Oil City, 
he has never been indifferent toward the gen- 
eral welfare, and can be counted upon for ef- 
fective aid in all good movements. 

In 1885 Mr. Phinny married Clara H. 
Bishop, daughter of Fid and Sarah E. (Hope- 
well) Bishop, and they have three sons: 
Thomas Frank, bom in August, 1886, now 
principally engaged as salesman, married 
Karen Keihl and has two children, Thomas 
H. and George H. Horace Bolton, who was 
educated at Rutgers Preparatory School and 
the Pennsylvania State College, is now en- 
gaged with the American International Ship- 
building Corporation at Hog Island, Phila- 
delphia. Hopewell Schuyler is mentioned 
below. 

Hopewell Schuyler Phinny was bom 
March 19, 1890, at New Brunswick, N. J., 
where he obtained his preliminary education 
,in public school. After completing the course 
at Rutgers Preparatory School, New Bruns- 
wick, in 1908, he spent three years in south- 
ern Idaho, engaged in irrigation work for 
W. S. Kuhn & Co., in the capacity of clerk. 
At the end of that period he came to Oil City, 

Sining his father find brother in the Casing 
ead Gas Company and later in the forma- 
tion of Phinny Brothers Company. He is 
still associated with both in important official 
capacities, and is interested with his father in 
the production of oil in Forest county. Mr. 
Phinny is one of the most active men of the 
younger set in oil circles, and has already 
given evidence of his fitness for responsibil- 
ities and ability to look after his interests 
properly. 

By his marriage to Gladys E. McClintock, 
daughter of C. T. and Marion O. (Boughton) 
McClintock, Mr. Phinny has one child, Marion 
Boughton, born in September, 191 5. He is a 
Democrat and an Episcopalian, a member of 
the Oil City Boat Club, National Security 
League and Red Cross, and ready to support 
the best interests of his community by every 
means at his command. 

Fid Bishop, father of Mrs, Qara H. 
(Bishop) Phinny, was one of the most promi- 
nent and popular residents of South Oil City, 
active in business and an honored city official. 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



He was bom Dec. 25, 1840, at Centerville, 
Crawford Co., Pa., son of Zejphaniah and Car- 
oline (Pangmon) Bishop, of Whitehall, 
Washington Co., N. Y., and as a youth was 
employed as a clerk with McFarland Broth- 
ers, merchants, of Meadville, Pa. Thence he 
came to Oil City in January, 1861, as manager 
of a grocery house for the firm, being so en- 
gaged until April, 1864, when he took over 
the business on his own account, buying the 
stock and good-will and continuing the trade 
until his building and most of his goods were 
destroyed in the big fire of May 28, 1866. 
After that he ventured into oil production, 
but with slight success, and in March, 1865, 
he became postmaster of Oil City under ap- 
pointment of President Lincoln, though the 
commission was not issued until the latter part 
of April, being among the first signed by 
President Johnson. He resigned after hold- 
ing the office a year and a half, the salary be- 
ing inadequate to meet the necessary expenses 
of the office. Before banking houses were es- 
tablished here he represented the firm of Cul- 
ver & Company, who bought and sold ex- 
change, Mr. Bishop acting as cashier and 
bookkeeper. When Oil City was organized 
as a borough he became a member of the first 
council and first borough treasurer, the total 
receipts from taxes being about eight hundred 
dollars at that time. During the winter of 
1868 he was messenger in the lower house of 
the State legislature. In July, 1877, he was 
again appointed postmaster, and reapp>ointed 
without opposition in 1881, holding the office 
until February, 1886, with a high record for 
efficiency and the honorable administraticn of 
its aflFairs. The post office inspector at Pitts- 
burgh wrote a letter expressing his regret upon 
Mr. Bishop's retirement. He was always a 
consistent and faithful Republican, but his 
public services were impartially performed, 
without any ambition but that to serve all of 
his fellow citizens equally well. His public 
spirit was evident in every enterprise which 
had his cooperation. To him in a great de- 
gree the city was indebted for the beautiful 
suspension bridge which spans the Allegheny 
river. He was the originator of the Oil City 
steam laundry, one of the most successful 
businesses of the kind ever set on foot there. 
On March 12, 1863, Mr. Bishop was mar- 
ried to Sarah E. Hopewell, the ceremony, at 
which Rev. S. J. M. Eaton, of Franklin, offi- 
ciated, being the first performed after the 
borough of Oil City was organized. Their 
only child, Clara H., became the wife of 
Thomas Gray Phinny, of Oil City. 



McClelland Rogers, of Coopers- 

town, deserves a place among .the most pro- 
gressive agriculturists of this section, the choice 
farm where he now resides being the second in 
the locality which he has improved. His at- 
tractive home is one of the most desirable 
rural residences in Venango county, made so 
through his own eflForts, which have been very 
effectively exerted in all of his activities. 

Mr. Rogers came to Venango county from 
Beaver county. Pa., where he was born Jan. 
20, 1865, son of Jacob and Rebecca (Mc- 
Cracken) Rogers, who were early settlers 
there. He was reared and educated in the lo- 
cality of his birth, and was a youth of eighteen 
years when he came to Rouseville and took 
employment in the oil refinery. Though he 
started in the humblest position at the works 
he rose to the most responsible, that of still 
man, serving four years in that capacity after 
he had been engineer at the wax house for 
ten years. He was engaged at the refinery 
twenty years in all, and in the meantime, five 
years before he gave up that work, had bought 
a farm, where he took up his residence, giving 
all his attention to its development for eight 
years, during which time the property doubled 
in value through judicious management. Be- 
sides enriching the soil and placing the farm 
in order, he sunk several oil wells in addition 
to those already put down, and had the place 
in excellent condition when he disposed of it 
and bought his present home, in 191 1. Here 
he has eflPected a wonderful transformation 
during a comparatively brief period. There 
are ninety-two acres of level, fertile bottom 
land, lying between the lake and Sugar creek, 
well located but run down when it came into 
his possession. His thoroughly modem sys- 
tem has changed it in every detail. Clover 
would not grow, and Mr. Rogers started using 
lime at each seeding, with the most gratifying 
results, the hay crop alone having trebled in 
volume, with corresponding increases in all 
lines. He has bought good grade cattle, keeps 
a nice flock of sheep, and by varying his opera- 
tions sufficiently finds occupation for all the 
year, with a material increase in the income 
from his land. The house on this place, one 
of the finest in the vicinity, was built about 
seventeen years ago by Mr. Sweeney, a former 
owner, who had the material hauled from 
Meadville in order to get just what he con- 
sidered best for its construction. The land is 
within the borough limits of Cooperstown, and 
Was at one time known as the Gates farm. 
Mr. Rogers has succeeded in bringing it up to 
a high state of cultivation, and now has his 



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^ VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



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work there so well systematized that he is 
looking for another piece of land to extend 
his operations. He stands well with his fellow 
citizens for his public spirit and services, hav- 
ing cooperated with them in all good move- 
ments and done his full share in keeping com- 
munity affairs up to standard. He is a mem- 
ber of the council, a Republican in party mat- 
ters, and active in the social and religious life 
of the borough, he and his family all taking 
part in the church and Sunday school work of 
the Methodist Episcopal denomination here; 
Mr. Rogers is church treasurer. He affiliates 
with the I. O. O. F. lodge at Cooperstown, 
and IS the present noble grand of that organi- 
zation. 

At the age of twenty-five years Mr. Rogers 
was married, at Youngsville, Warren Co., Pa., 
to Ella Brown, who was then nineteen years 
old. Eight children have been bom to them: 
Edward, who is now in the United States army 
and stationed at Fort Snelling, Minn. ; Alice, 
a ^aduate of the Qarion State Normal School, 
who is teaching her third term in Jackson 
township and lives at home; Clarence, a stu- 
dent in the Cooperstown high school, class of 
1918; Homer, who is a first year student in 
the Cooperstown high school; Francis; Eva; 
Virginia, and Vera. 

In the maternal line Mr. Rogers is a grand- 
son of Edward McCracken, a veteran of the 
Civil war, in which he served four years on 
the Union side. Two of his sons, Edward E. 
and Benjamin McCracken, are residents of 
Oil City and engaged in the oil business. 

THOMAS S. ELLIOTT, of Franklin, 
bears a name which has been respected in 
Venango county and associated with the mak- 
ing of history there through an extended 
period, and he has commanded equal respect 
by his own worthy career, one of active serv- 
ive in several lines of usefulness. In fact, he 
may be called a representative member of his 
family. His grandfather was one of the most 
competent officials of his day here. His fa- 
ther worked in the interest of good municipal 
government, and he himself has been an 
earnest laborer in behalf of clean politics. 

Robert Elliott, the great-grandfather of 
Thomas S. Elliott, came to this section from 
the eastern part of Pennsylvania, presumably 
the vicinity of Carlisle, Cumberland county. 
After living in and around Franklin for sev- 
eral years, he settled at the mouth of Hem- 
lock creek, in President township, built the 
first mill in that part of Venango county, and 
also carried on farming, his principal occu- 



pation through life. He was a leading resident 
of that section for many years. The remainder 
of his life was spent there, and he and his wife, 
with several other members of their family, 
are buried in a small inclosed graveyard in 
the village of President. Robert Elliott mar- 
ried Rebecca Fleming, who like himself was 
of Scotch-Irish parentage, and of the chil- 
dren born to them seven grew to maturity: 
David, William, Robert, Sanderson, George, 
Martha (Mrs. John Lamb) and Mary (Mrs. 
Hamilton). 

William Elliott, the second son of Robert 
Elliott, was bom Jan. 25, 1803, o" what be- 
came subsequently known as the James Rus- 
sell farm in the present limits of President 
township. His opportunities were of course 
limited, but he had an active mind and much 
practical sense, and he was always regarded 
among his associates as a man of remarkable 
intelligence. When a young man he went into 
business at Franklin as a merchant, and was 
so occupied until he became interested in the 
Franklin foundry in 1849, as one of the firm 
of Elliott & Epley. Meantime he also acquired 
prominence as a county official. When only 
twenty-six years old, in 1829, he was elected 
county commissioner, which office he held for 
one term. For two years, 1844 and 1845, he 
served as county treasurer; and in 1854 he 
was elected prothonotary, taking the oath of 
office Dec. 4th of that year. He died at Frank- 
lin July 20, 1857, before the completion of his 
term. Politically he was a Democrat, and an 
influential party worker practically from the 
time he attained his majority. In all his re- 
sponsibilities, whether those of his own busi- 
ness ventures or the larger interests aflFecting 
the whole community, he was uniformly care- 
ful, judicious and honorable. He was not a 
member of church, but shortly before his 
death he acted as superintendent of the Pres- 
byterian Sunday school, and he always sup- 
e^rted and encouraged religious enterprises, 
is parents were members of the Seceder 
Presb)rterian Chufch. 

In 1835 William Elliott was married to 
Mary Kinnear, the eldest daughter of Col. 
James Kinnear, the latter a native of Scotland 
and an early and prominent resident of Frank- 
lin. Colonel Kinnear 's wife was of Dutch 
parentage. Of the seven children bom to Mr. 
and Mrs. Elliott, six grew up, namely: Jane 
H., who married Col. J. H. Cain; James K., 
father of Thomas S. Elliott ; Robert Fleming ; 
William D. ; Thomas H., and Edward C. The 
four sons last named were for some time as- 
sociated in business as members of the firm 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



of Elliott Brothers, dealers in hardware, coal 
and oil well supplies. All continued to reside 
in Franklin except Edward C, who went to 
Li^e, Belgium, in the interest of the Anglo- 
American Oxide Company. 

James K. Elliott, second son of William 
Elliott, was bom Sept. 13, 1841, and died Oct. 
3, 1910, at Franklin, after a well spent life. 
He learned the trade of plumber and tinner, 
which he followed for over twenty-five years 
at Franklin, where he was also active in public 
matters. During the Civil war he served four 
years in the Union army, as a member of Com- 
pany I, i42d Pennsylvania regiment, and was 
wounded once, in the left forearm. For sev- 
eral terms he was a member of the city council 
of Franklin, in that capacity showing excel- 
lent judgment and a conscientious regard for 
the wishes of those he represented. On po- 
litical questions he was a Democrat. Fra- 
ternally he was one of the foremost Odd Fel- 
lows of his city, always taking an active part 
in all branches of the order. He gave much 
consideration to the betterment of the Orphans' 
Home at Meadville, where he was always a 
welcome visitor. His religious connection was 
with the Presbyterian Church. 

For his first wife James K. Elliott married 
Maria Louise Leschander, who was bom Jan. 
18, 1843, at Lutring, France, and died Feb. 
8, 1882, at the age of thirty-nine years, the 
mother of seven children, six sons and one 
daughter, six of whom survived her. Fred- 
rick L. died Jan. 7, 1896, when past twenty- 
eight years old ; George Washington died Feb. 
Q, 1893, when almost twenty- four years old; 
Florence Jane died Aug. 19, 1898, when almost 
twenty-eight ; William H. survives ; James K., 
Jr., died Sept. 8, 1875, when fourteen months 
old, at St. Petersburg, Clarion Co., Pa. ; 
Thomas St. Clair and John B. survive. The 
latter is at present city treasurer of Franklin. 
Nearly five years after the mother's death the 
father remarried, his second union being with 
Anna D. Gates, from near Cooperstown, Ven- 
ango county. They had no children. 

Thomas S. Elliott was bom Sept. 10, 1876, 
at St. Petersburg, Clarion county, but he was 
reared at Franklin, where he had excellent 
public school advantages. When ready to take 
up the serious duties of life he worked with 
his father, under whom he gained a thorough 
knowledge of the tinning business, becoming 
an expert workman. In 1906 he engaged in 
business on his own account, and he has added 
slating to the original line, having a large trade 
as a general contractor and in repair work. 
His business location is on Howard street. 



Mr. Elliott has established himself among the 
substantial men of the community in more ways 
than one. He has prospered in business 
through his own exertions, and has not been 
lax in his endeavors to promote the general 
welfare, either directly or indirectly. Like his 
father and grandfather he has been a valued 
member of the Democratic party, and he has 
served many times on the election board and 
for the last ten years as register of his district, 
his familiarity with the work making his co- 
operation very desirable. In the November 
election, 191 7, he was chosen a member of the 
city council. He is a Presbyterian in religious 
association, an Odd Fellow in fraternal affilia- 
tion, and in touch with local aflFairs on many 
points. During the Spanish-American war he 
enlisted in Company F, i6th Pennsylvania 
Regiment, and saw service in Porto Rico. 

Thomas S. Elliott married Margaret Jane 
Peddicord, and they have been blessed with 
three children: James G., born Nov. i, 1902: 
Mildred E., who died when eleven months old ; 
and Hazel E., bom March 24, 1905. 

MARION VALENTINE SMITH (de- 
ceased) had one of the finest farm properties 
in Irwin township, a section of Venango coun- 
ty noted for its fertility and advantageous 
situation, and there his widow and sons con- 
tinue to reside, keeping up the work to which 
he devoted practically all of his best years. 
The fine condition of the fields, substantial and 
commodious buildings, well considered ar- 
rangement and general appearance of thrift 
in details make the estate notable even in this 
choice neighborhood, and give particular evi- 
dence of the energetic and progressive policy 
which has been followed consistently for some 
thirty-five years in the development of the 
farm. 

Mr. Smith belonged to a family which has 
been established in this region for more than 
three quarters of a century, Valentine Smith, 
his grandfather, having settled with his family 
in the lower end of Venango county about 
1840. He was a native of Germany, and had 
lived in York county, this State, for a number 
of years prior to his removal here. Between 
1845 and 1850 he settled on the farm in Irwin 
township where his grandson Millard F. Smith 
now resides, which was then in the woods and 
which he developed from its primitive state, 
that being his home place. Some of the old 
trees are still standing. He gave this place to 
his son William, who sold it to a Mr. Ho vis, 
and after being out of the family for fifteen 
or twenty years it was bought back by Samuel 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



725 



Smith, another son of Valentine, upon his 
death going to the present owner. Valentine 
Smith died in Venango county in the latter 
sixties, when past eighty years of age, at the 
home of his son Samuel, with whom he had 
spent his declining years. His wife preceded 
him to the grave. 

Samuel Smith, son of Valentine, was the 
father of Marion Valentine Smith. He was 
bom in 1820 in York county, Pa., where he 
grew to manhood, accompanying his father to 
Venango county in 1840. Farming was his 
principal occupation throughout life, and in 
connection he carried on butchering for ten 
years, selling meat to the railroad builders ; he 
slaughtered an average of a head of stock a 
day, and marketed it chiefly at Scrubgrass. 
His early married life was passed on a place 
adjoining his father's home property, and the 
house which he occupied still remains there, 
but the bam was burned some time ago. This 
farm is now owned by William Allen. In time 
he acquired the ownership of the old home 
pjace, which his father had given to his brother 
William, who built the bam which still stands 
thereon. Samuel Smith was very successful, 
being able to give a farm to each of his sons. 
He was one of the most active men of his 
time in that section, filling nearly all the town- 
ship offices, and serving two or three terms as 
a justice of the peace. He was also a promi- 
nent member of the Church of God. with which 
his father was identified from the beginning, 
having been one of the founders. 

In 1853 Samuel Smith married Eliza 
McMullen, who survived him many years, his 
death occurring Aug. 19, 1880, when he was 
fifty-nine years old. She lived to the age of 
seventy-seven years. He is buried in Mount 
Irwin cemetery. Six sons and three daughters 
were born to this marriage, namely : John W. 
is farming in Sandy Lake township, Mercer 
Co., Pa.; Marion Valentine is mentioned be- 
low; Millard P., bom May 15, 1856, in Irwin 
township, on the farm adjoining his present 
home, a prosperous agriculturist and stock 
raiser and prominent township official, married 
Nettie Matthews and has had three children, 
Ella M. (living at home), Frank and Park, the 
last named dying in infancy; David died in 
boyhood ; Sarah is the wife of E. L. Riddle, of 
Rocky Grove; Clayton is a farmer in Irwin 
township ; Sherman R. is mentioned elsewhere 
in this work; Marv is the wife of D. W. 
Walters, of Wesley, this county ; Alice, twin of 
Mary, is the wife of R. M. McDowell, of Lis- 
bon, in Scmbgrass township, this county. 

Marion Valentine Smith was born in Irwin 



township Feb. 27, 1854, grew up on the farm, 
and received his education in the local schools. 
At the time of his marriage, in the spring of 
1883, he settled on the farm in Irwin township 
where his family are still established, his 
father giving him 115 acres to which he added 
later, the property now having an area of 175 
acres. There were no buildings on the land, so 
he erected the residence which was ever after- 
ward his home, and thereafter devoted his 
energies to general farming. He also raised 
considerable tmck, taking vegetables to the 
Franklin market once a week, and in fact made 
the most of all the resources of his property, 
which he cultivated very profitably. He was 
very public-spirited as a citizen, serving as 
school director and road supervisor, and took 
an active interest in all other local affairs, 
participating in the work of the Amity Presby- 
terian Church, which is but half a mile from 
the farm. His political support was given to 
the Republican party. He continued to take 
care of his various interests until his death, 
which occurred Feb. 8, 1914, near the close of 
his sixtieth year ; he is buried in Mount Irwin 
cemetery, at Amity Church. 

On March 22, 1883, Mr. Smith was married 
to Elizabeth Catherine Beighlea, then twenty- 
three years old, daughter of William and Eliza- 
beth (Shaner) Beighlea, formerly of Lancaster 
township, Butler Co., Pa. Mr. and Mrs. Beigh- 
lea had two children when they removed to 
Venango county, settling in the Yard school 
district in Irwin township. Of the seven chil- 
dren born to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Ralph died 
in childhood ; Lillie is the wife of L. C. Adams, 
of Irwin township; William Lloyd is an oil 
producer of Irwin township (he married Alice 
Eakin) ; Harry Merl is engaged as an oil 
pumper (he married Winnie Eakin) ; Fred re- 
ceived his education in the grammar and high 
schools, and is now assisting in the c^eration 
of the home farm; Raymond also lives at 
home ; Helen is attending high school. 

Mrs. Smith and her sons have carried on the 
farm with the care and skill which has been 
characteristic of the management of this prop- 
erty, following general farming and keeping 
some good stock. They have recently built a 
silo, which is but one of many modem features 
about the place. A running water system has 
been installed in the house and buildings, sup- 
plied from a well drilled to a depth of ninety- 
five feet, and there are numerous other con- 
veniences which facilitate the farm operations 
and save labor, besides adding to the comfort 
of the home and the value of the property. 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



SAMUEL N. MOYAR, of Rouseville, has 
long held a place among the enterprising busi- 
ness men in that part of Venango county. He 
belongs to a family of old Pennsylvania stock, 
the name being found most frequently spelled 
Moyer, sometimes Mayer. John Moyar, his 
grandfather, passed most of his life in Bed- 
tord county. Pa., spending his latter years with 
his daughter and son-in-law in Armstrong 
county, this State, and dying there. His wife's 
maiden name was Ruth Reed, and their chil- 
dren were: Martin, Martha (Mrs. Reed) and 
John R. 

John R. Moyar, father of Samuel N. Moyar, 
was reared in Bedford county, whence he re- 
moved to Cambria county and eventually to 
Venango county, locating at Kaneville, in Corn- 
planter township, where his death occurred. 
His children were: William, Elizabeth Jane, 
Samuel N. and Martha. 

Samuel N. Moyar was born June 26, i860, 
in Armstrong county, and was a mere child 
when the family settled in Cornplanter town- 
ship, where he was reared. After attending 
the local public schools he became a student in 
a commercial college at Titusville, from which 
he was graduated, subsequently spending a 
year in Warren county during the oil excite- 
ment at Cherry Grove and later entering the 
drilling business, which he iollowed for three 
years at President and for two years at Pe- 
troleum Center. He then located at Rouse- 
ville, where he was originally occupied in the 
coal and lumber business and teaming, in time 
becoming interested in the oil well supply busi- 
ness, which he carries on at present under the 
name of the Rouseville Supply Company. He 
established this concern in company with his 
brother William, J. W. Waitz and F. L. Fry, 
but has since purchased their several shares, 
being now the sole owner, having a well 
equipped plant at Rouseville for the manufac- 
ture of oil and water tanks and other com- 
modities. Meantime Mr. Moyar has also ac- 
quired interests as an oil producer, as owner 
or part owner of several leases, being asso- 
ciated with his brother William in one situated 
in Cranberry and Sugar Creek townships, also 
having land at Rouseville. He has other wells 
on his fine farm of 189 acres in Oakland town- 
ship, which he also cultivates profitably. The 
success of his projects may be attributed en- 
tirely to his diligence and good management, 
in which he has shown notable executive ability 
and careful judgment. Though conservative 
and prudent in his operations he is courageous 
about venturing into new fields, and has reaped 



the rewards due him. Mr. Moyar has not nar- 
rowed his activities to business, taking part 
in the social life of his community and in mat- 
ters of importance to its general welfare. He 
is a member of the Rouseville school board and 
has served as president of that body. Fra- 
ternally he is a Mason, a member and past 
master of Fraternal Lodge, No. 483, F. & A. 
M., Rouseville; a member of Oil City Chapter, 
No. 236, R. A. M.; of Talbot Commandery, 
No. 43, K. T. ; charter member of Venango 
Lodge of Perfection — ^all of Oil City ; member 
of Pittsburgh Consistory; and Syria Temple, 
A. A. O. N. M. S., of Pittsburgh. 

By his marriage to Mary R. Smith, daughter 
of Wilson Smith, Mr. Moyar has the following 
family: Eugene Smith, who attended Culver 
Military Academy, at Culver, Ind., for three 
years, and is now in the United States service 
as aviator in the navy, at present with the 
American forces in Ireland ; Mary Evangeline, 
a student ; Samuel Wilson, formerly a student 
at Culver Military Academy, now enlisted in 
the Naval Reserves, United States service; 
Garnet Jane; Sarah Helen; Mabel Catherine, 
and William Hunter. 

BRODHEAD. Among the ancient and 
honorable famiUes of New York and Pennsyl- 
vania is that of Brodhead. The progenitor of 
this family is said to have come from Ger- 
many to England and to have settled at Roys- 
ton, in Yorkshire, in the reign of Henry VHL 
On Feb. 28, 1610, King James I granted the 
manor of Burton, or Monk Britton, in the 
West Riding of Yorkshire, to John Brodhead 
and George Wood, the principal freeholders 
of that place. 

(I) Daniel Brohead, a grand-nephew of the 
above grantee, was the first of this family 
to reach America. About 1660 he was married 
to Anne Tye (died 1714), a daughter of 
Francis and Lettos (Salmon) Tye. Four 
years later, as a captain of grenadiers under 
Charles H, he came to America with Colonel 
Nichols from Yorkshire, and was present at 
the surrender of New Netherlands to the 
British crown. He had brought his household 
with him, intending to settle in the province 
after its conquest, and, being a zealous royal- 
ist, he was stationed at Esopus, Ulster county. 
New York, upon the surrender of the colony, 
where he remained till his death, July 14, 
1667. To him and his wife Anne were bom 
the following children: 

(H) (i) Daniel, bom in 1661 in Yorkshire, 
England, died in 1690, unmarried; (2) 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



727 



Charles, bom 1663, married Nov. 14, 1693, 
Marie Tenbrook, at Kingston; (3) Richard, 
bom 1666, married Miss Janvier. 

The county of Ulster having been settled 
By Hollanders and Huguenots, the Brodhead 
family from the first became so inten\'Oven 
with these and identified with them in feelings 
and interests as to give to the world a people 
distinguished by the most valuable traits of 
character. Of the third generation in America 
we have but the names of two members: 

(HI) Daniel Brohead, son of Richard, mar- 
ried Hester Wyngart, and removed to Dans- 
ville, on Brodhead's creek, Monroe Co., Pa., in 
1736. To them were born: 

(IV) (i) Daniel, bom 1736, who married 
Elizabeth Depui, and was a general in the 
American Revolution; (2) Garrett, officer in 
the Revolution, and grandfather of Hon. 
Richard Brodhead, formerly United States 
senator; (3) Charles; (4) Luke; and (5) Ann 
Gaston. Through this Pennsylvania branch 
came the Brodheads of Kittanning and those 
of Oil City — formerly. 

(III) Wessel Brodhead, son of Charles, 
bom Jan. 26, 1703, died Aug. 7, 1774. He 
married Jan. 25, 1734, Catharine Dubois, bom 
Oct. 3, 1774, died Feb. 18, 1802. They lived 
at New Paltz, N. Y. Children: 

(IV) (i) Charles W., born at Marble- 
town, N. Y., Dec. 12, 1742, died Sept. 21, 
1799. He married Sarah Hardenburg, Oct. 
17, 1766; was a captain in the Colonial army 
during the Revolution and commander of a 
company of grenadiers which he raised, mainly 
at his own expense, and was present, under 
General Gates, at Burgoyne's surrender at 
Saratoga. Children : 

(V) (i) Wessel, bom about 1767. married 
Antye Hardenburg, and died in May, 
1841 ; he was judge of Ulster county, N. 
Y. (2) Marite, married Rev. Theodorick 
Romeyn, D. D., founder of Union College, 
and they were the parents of Rev. John Brod- 
head Romeyn, a distinguished Presbyterian 
clergyman of the last century. (3) Abram H. 
married Anna Van Horn. (4) Charles mar- 
ried Antye Schoonmaker. (5) Daniel married 
Mary Shaw. (6) Jacob, bom May 14, 1782. 

(V) Jacob Brodhead, born May 14, 1782, 
died June 5, 1855. In 1804 he married Eliza 
Bleecker, daughter of John N. Bleecker, of 
Albany. She died in May, 1841, and he 
married (second) in 1844, Mrs. Fanny Spen- 
cer, of Brooklyn. He was pastor of the Col- 
legiate Reformed Dutch Church, New York, 
and of the First Reformed Dutch Church, 
Philadelphia; a chaplain in the War of 1812; 



trustee of Queen's (now Rutgers) College. 
Children \ 

(VI) (i) Daughter married George Mer- 
win Atwater, of Springfield, Mass.; (2) John 
Romeyn, Esq., born 1814, died May 6, 1873; 
married Eugenia Bloodgood, great-grand- 
daughter of Colonel \^an Schaick, of the 
American Revolution. John Romeyn Brod- 
head was a noted historian of New York, the 
first American .whose official capacity it was 
to go abroad to secure historical and genealog- 
ical records. 

To the Hon. Wessel Brohead and his wife, 
Antye (Hardenburg) were bom: 

(VI) (i) John Hardenburg married Eliza- 
beth Schoonmaker. Children: 

(VII) (i) John Lounsbur>% deceased; (2) 
Wessel, born July 4, 1832, died Sept. 4, 1909, 
who married Margaret Mayes, of Franklin; 
(3) Ann Tye, who married Jesse Steen, of 
New Paltz, N. Y. ; (4) Charity Katharine, 
who married a Garrison; and (5) Jacob 
James. 

Through this latter family came the Frank- 
lin line of Brodheads. Wessel, second son of 
John Hardenburg Brodhead, attracted to the 
oil regions of western Pennsylvania in the 
sixties, found Franklin life congenial and lo- 
cated there, engaging in the buying and selling 
of leases. After a time he resumed work at 
his trade, cabinetmaking, doing the fine wood- 
work in many of the old buildings of Franklin, 
such as building stairways, window frames, 
etc. His skill as a mechanic gained him a 
fine reputation, and he became identified with 
much of the earlier history of the city. Al- 
though he had retired from business some 
years before his death, which occurred Sept. 
4. 1909, yet he always retained an interest 
in every phase of activity. On Aug. 14, 1867, 
he was united in marriage, at Meadville, Pa., 
to Margaret Mayes, by the Rev. James Mar- 
vin. Through this marriage there was added 
to the Brodhead family another line equally 
distinguished in the annals of American his- 
tory, which included the Moore, Meade and 
Curtis families. Jacob Mayes (born 1807, died 
1861), the father of Mrs. Margaret Brodhead. 
belonged to a family of patriots as far back as 
the Revolutionary war, and was a well known 
resident of Franklin in his day, having been 
in business there for about thirty years as a 
tailor and clothing merchant. His clothing 
store was the first in the city, and as there 
was no place nearer than Pittsburgh where he 
could purchase stock, he made the trip to and 
from that city several times on foot. In 1838 
he married Sarah Moore (born 18 13, died 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



1901), daughter of William and Margaret 
(Meade) Moore. Mr. and Mrs. Mayes were 
prominent members of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church of Franklin, and their home was 
always headquarters for visiting ministers of 
that denomination. During the **oil excite- 
ment'' this comfortable home, on the corner 
of what is now Thirteenth and Liberty streets, 
also became the headquarters for a number 
of prominent oil men, among whom were John 
D. Rockefeller and his brother William. 
Their homestead contained a very fine well 
which supplied the people of Franklin with 
water. Mrs. Mayes, so lovingly remembered 
by her acquaintances as "grandma," was the 
capable type of woman developed by pioneer 
surroundings. In her youth she was a won- 
derful rifle shot and could drive a nail with 
a rifle bullet. Her father, William Moore 
(born at Lancaster, June 23, 1772, died at 
Franklin, Dec. 24, 1837), was the first pro- 
thonotary of \'enango, as well as that of Craw- 
ford county, and his well kept records are a 
treasure to the county. His father was Dr. 
Robert Moore, a well known physician of 
Lancaster at the time of the American Revolu- 
tion and later, under whom William read 
medicine before he removed to Meade's set- 
tlement (now Meadville) ; and during the 
Indian troubles he acted as assistant surgeon 
to the force protecting that point. It was there 
he married, May 21, 1799, Margaret (born 
June 19, 1781, died June 19, 1829), eldest 
daughter of Gen. David Meade and his first 
wife, Aenes Wilson, daughter 6f John and 
Janet Wilson, of Northumberland county. 
General Meade was bom at Hudson, N. Y., 
Jan. 17, 1752, and died at Meadville, Pa., the 
city named in his honor, which he founded, 
Aug. 23. 1816. He was the son of Darius 
Meade (born March 28, 1728) and his wife 
Ruth Curtis (bom 1734; and the first white 
person to die a natural death at Meadville — 
1794), both natives of Stamford, Conn., was 
a member of the Pennsylvania militia during 
the American Revolution, serving as captain 
in Col. Archibald Leach's Company of West- 
moreland county; was major-general of the 
i6th Division during the War of 1812, in 
which division two of his sons-in-law, William 
Moore and Patrick Farrelly (afterward a 
member of the United States Senate) were 
majors. General Meade is described as a 
man of uncommon bodily strength, standing 
six feet, three inches, and large in proportion : 
in deportment sedate and grave, but aflFable, 
easy of access, and without ostentation. His 
vigorous mind was ever actively engaged upon 



public or private business. By his first wife, 
Agnes Wilson, who died in 1795, he was the 
father of nine children. In 1796 he was mar- 
ried to Jennette Finney, the first school teacher 
in Meadville, who was a daughter of Robert 
Finney, Esq., and by whom he became the 
father of seven more children, making in all 
sixteen. His mansion is said to have been 
noted for hospitality, and in his later years 
the morning and evening sacrifice arose from 
his family altar. He died on the 23d of Aug- 
ust, 1816. During the Indian raid of 1791-92 
Darius Meade, father of David Meade, was 
killed, while plowing a field, by a Seneca chief 
named Conewyando. Darius Meade also 
served in the Revolutionary war, as a member 
of the Pennsylvania militia of Northumber- 
land county. He was the sixth in generation 
from William Meade, who, with his wife, 
Ruth Hardy Meade (died 1657) came from 
England in 1640 and settled at Stamford, 
Conn., and from whom have come an honored 
people. 

Wessel Brodhead (VII) and his wife Mar- 
garet (Mayes) were the parents of the follow- 
ing children: Mayes Hardenburg, bom Feb. 
18, 1869; John Pearson, bom July 13, 1871 ; 
Thomas Wilson, born April 8, 1^3, a wdl- 
known merchant, formerly of Polk, Pa., who 
married Minnie Krepp ; Elizabeth Meade, bom 
Jan. 18, 1875, at homer Watson Decker, bom 
Sept. 21, 1876; Wessel Meade, bom June 7, 
1879, graduate of Franklin high school, 1897, 
a fine specimen of manhood, over six feet in 
height, member of Company F, i6th Pennsyl- 
vania Regiment, during Spanish-American 
war, who died in the service at Chickamauga, 
July 25, 1898; and Richard Romayne. bom 
Oct. 23, 1881, who died in October, 1918. 

In the life and personality of John Pear- 
son Brodhead, A. B., we find a reproduction 
of many excellent traits of the honored an- 
cestry of this family. The above description 
of his matemal ancestor — General Meade — ^is 
almost typical of him in appearance. As a 
minister of the gospel, and as superintendent 
of the Free Methodist missions of South 
Africa for a period of seventeen years, his 
life work has even surpassed that of his kins- 
folk in the Brodhead family. As a public 
speaker he has few equals and is at present 
secretary of the Intemational League of Mis- 
sions, with headquarters at Chicago. On Oct. 
29, 1 89 1, he was united in marriage to Anna 
Chloe San ford, by Bishop Wilson T. Hogue. 
His wife, who is a woman of fine accomplish- 
ments, was a teacher of art in Greenville 
College (Illinois) prior to her going as a mis- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



729 



sionary to Africa. Her parents, who were 
David Hoyt and Harriet Newell Dodd (Dod) 
Sanford, were both members of worthy lines 
of ancestors dating back over two hundred and 
seventy-five years of American history. Her 
father was, for a number of years, an elder 
in the Park Avenue Presbyterian Church of 
Erie, while her mother, who was a sister of 
Levi Dodd (an early resident of Franklin), 
and an aunt of S. C. T. Dodd, a former attor- 
ney of the Standard Oil Trust, in company 
with her daughter. Miss Harriet Sanford, of 
Franklin, spent seven years with Rev. Mr. and 
Mrs. Brodhead at Fair View, South Africa. 
The Rev. Thaddeus Dod, who was joint 
founder with the Rev. John McMillan, D. D., 
of what is now Washington and Jefferson 
College, was a grand-uncle of Mrs. Sanford. 

Watson Decker Brodhead attended the 
public schools of Franklin in his youth, and 
afterward learned the trade of machinist, 
which he followed for ten years. He then 
took up his present business, the bottling of 
the fine spring water which is on his own 
property, at the brow of the hill on Fourth 
street. The spring is deep, and the Brodhead 
Famous Spring Water, as the product is now 
k-nown, is of high quality, and has a normal 
temperature of forty-five degrees, being very 
desirable for table use. Mr. Brodhead has 
built up a large trade, and has an auto truck 
for local deliveries, also shipping considerable 
quantities. He gives all his time to this busi- 
ness. 

Mr. Brodhead married Harriet Schuler 
(Schuyler), daughter of Daniel and Margaret 
(Jones) Schuyler, the latter a daughter of 
Stephen and Margaret (McCool) Jones, of 
Irwin township, this county. Daniel Schuyler, 
who belonged to the well known New York 
family of that name, was a native of West- 
moreland county. Pa., served in the Civil war, 
and later settled in Irwin township, Venango 
county, where he followed farming. He con- 
tinued to reside there till his death. Mr. and 
Mrs. Brodhead have no children. He has ad- 
hered to the faith of his maternal ancestry 
for three generations, being a member of the 
Free Methodist Church. 

GEORGE A. RUMSEY, of Clintonville, 
Pa., president of the People's National Bank, 
has been its executive head since its organiza- 
tion in 1908. He has also found time for the 
management of his oil property, which re- 
ceives the major share of his time. Mr. Rum- 
sey, a native of . Crawford county, Pa., has 
spent practically all his life in Venango county. 



OLIVER CASS SIGWORTH, though he 
has made his home in Franklin since his re- 
cent retirement, is best known as a citizen of 
Canal township. He has more than a local 
reputation. He has been a farmer, one of the 
best in his locality, where he settled forty 
years ago, but apparently never found strenu- 
ous agricultural work conducive to "brain 
fag," for he has been a lifelong student with 
a gift for literary expression, having been 
known from youth through his articles to the 
local papers, many of which have attained 
wider circulation. His ability as a writer has 
also enabled him to put forth his advanced 
ideas on farming most effectively and to give 
substantial aid to projects of interest to farm- 
ers generally. 

Mr. Sigworth was born Nov. 27, 1849, ^^ 
Fryburg, Clarion Co., Pa., son of John H. 
Sigworth and grandson of John Sigworth, 
of Wurtemberg, Germany, who was one of 
the first four settlers at Fryburg, where he 
located in 1817. The next year he took his 
wheat across the mountains to mill, all the 
ordinary facilities being lacking in the neigh- 
borhood at that time. The nearest store was 
at Pittsburgh. John Sigworth remained there 
until his death, in old age, and of the nine 
children which he reared only one now sur- 
vives, his son A. L. Sigworth, of Scotch Hill, 
Qarion county, now (1918) past ninety- four, 
with mental faculties unimpaired. 

John H. Sigworth was bom east of the 
mountains, but passed most of his life in 
Clarion county, living at Fryburg from 181 7 
until his death, at the age of fifty-six. He 
married Frances Neely, daughter of Capt. 
Henry Neely, who was a captain of militia 
and led his company to Erie during the War 
of 1812, serving at Fort Niagara. All of his 
family of nine children were reared in Clarion 
county, and six survive at this writing. Six 
of them were teachers. 

Oliver Cass Sigworth was a youth of seven- 
teen at the time of his father's death, which 
left the care of a 150-acre farm on his 
shoulders, and he helped his mother until the 
younger children were grown. A sister now 
owns the old home farm. He had enjoyed 
the best common school advantages which the 
neighborhood afforded, but little attendance at 
select schools, though by making the most of 
his opportunities he quaHfied himself for teach- 
ing, and was so engaged for four terms in 
Clarion county. There he remained until his 
removal to Venango county in 1878, when he 
came into possession of his present farm on 
Warden run (a branch of Sugar creek), a 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



tract of one hundred acres in Canal township, 
seven miles north of Franklin. It was the 
site of the old Hastings mill, which had been 
abandoned ten years previously, and the prop- 
erty was greatly run down, the cleared ground 
grown over with brush and still *'infested" 
with numerous stones, which he has cleared 
out with a great deal of labor. Mr. Sigworth 
has also cleared several more acres, and he has 
been improving the place systematically and 
steadily, all the present buildings being of his 
construction. He has raised large quantities 
of garden truck, making a specialty of mar- 
ket gardening and dairying, keeping from eight 
to ten Jersey cows and making butter for 
regular customers, and also selling buttermilk. 
For a number of years Mr. Sigworth has put 
up a popular brand of horseradish which is 
found in all the stores in Franklin, preparing 
some five thousand bottles each winter of 
"The Old Jigger's Horse Radish," as it is 
called. 

Under his nom de plume of "The Old Jigger 
from up the Creek* Mr. Sigworth and his 
writings have become well known to all the 
residents of Venango county, he having started 
his contributions to the local press when but 
eighteen years old. He has had the gratifica- 
tion of seeing them extensively copied, some 
of them by the Toledo Blade with compli- 
mentary comment on their similarity to the 
wartime articles of the famous Petroleum V. 
Nasby (David Ross Locke), former proprie- 
tor and editor of the Blade, now owned by his 
(son. An article by Mr. Sigworth on the 
. farmer's condition twenty ^ears ago was con- 
sidered worthy of quotation in the English 
Parliament. He is a prominent member of the 
Grange at Canal, Venango county, and a popu- 
lar contributor to various farm papers, his 
recent article on the high cost of living at- 
tracting particular attention. The Venango 
County Fruit Growers* -Association was or- 
ganized principally through his efforts, and 
he has accomplished other good things by his 
influence and substantial encouragement. Hav- 
ing always been a student, and interested in 
current events, he has kept up with the times 
in thought and action, devoting all his spare 
time to reading, and being an early riser he 
has done much of his reading in the morning 
hours before commencing his farm duties. He 
has frequently obtained books from the Frank- 
lin library, of which he has been an apprecia- 
tive patron. Mr. Sigworth took an active part 
in the work of the old-time Lyceums, partici- 
pating in debates, preparing papers, etc., and 
he was the originator of the "Pumpkin Rige 



Debatin' Club," many of whose members at- 
tained considerable reputation. 

Mr. Sigworth has been called upon for pub- 
lic service in the administration of township 
affairs, filling a number of offices, and he 
has also been a valued campaign worker and 
public speaker, having spoken in almost ever>' 
schoolhouse in Venango county, as well as at 
public meetings in other counties in this part 
of the State. He did notable work for Con- 
gressman Sibley when he was the Congres- 
sional nominee. Though reared a Lutheran 
Mr. Sigworth has long been a member of the 
Wesley Chapel M. E. Church in his home 
neighborhood, and he belongs to the I. O. O. 
F. lodge at Deckers Run. Sociable and broadly 
sympathetic, he has taken part in most of the 
activities of his fellow citizens in Canal town- 
ship, but he has never taken any time for out- 
door sports, his recreation being found most- 
ly in mental pursuits. His neighbors and other 
friends honored him with a large surprise 
party on his sixty-eighth birthday. 

At the age of twenty-three years Mr. Sig- 
worth married Agnes Zeller, of Clarion county, 
then twenty years of age, whose grandfather, 
John Zeller, settled in that county in 1820. 
Mrs. Sigworth died after thirty-five years of 
married life. She was the mother of four 
children, namely: Harry B., of Franklin, a 
foreman in a rollin^^ mill ; John H., an attor- 
ney, now in Seattle, Wash. ; Nellie Mabel, wife 
of William J. Wilson, of Buffalo, N. Y. ; and 
Zenia Agnes, wife of Frank Miller and mother 
of four children, Margaret Ann, James Oliver, 
Frank, Jr., and Billy Jay. Mr. and Mrs. 
Miller and their family resided on the farm 
with her father until their recent removal into 
the city of Franklin. Mr. Sigworth is a lover 
of children, and has reared two grandchildren. 
In fact, in forty-five years he has never lived 
in a house in which there were no children less 
than five years old. Though he has retired and 
moved to Franklin his interest in the country' 
has not lessened and he puts in most of his 
time choring around on the farm. , To use his 
own words, he loves "to see things grow, com- 
mune with the horses and cows, and see the 
hoprs eat. and, like lots of humans, try to get 
all four feet in the trough." 

Mr. Sig\\'orth*s present outlook on his own 
future and that of the world in general is 
typical: **It is said in youth we live in the 
future, in old age in the past. I often dream 
of ye gud olden days, but would not return to 
them. This is the golden age of the world. 
The next twenty-five years will as truly wit- 
ness the birth of a new world as the years 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



731 



following the time when the 'stars sang to- 
gether/ and the shepherds of the Judean hills 
followed His star to Bethlehem, and Christ 
walked and taught in Galilee, witnessed the 
birth of a new world. Oh, to live and have a 
part in it will be heaven. I had thought when 
I got old, wife and I could sit under our own 
'vine and fig tree' with a cat and collie dog 
sunning themselves at our feet; an old sow 
lying in the sun suckling a bunch of little 
porkers — oh, the contented curl of the tail, the 
happy tug at the fount of life of those little 
fellows; cows wading in the brook; a mare 
and foal stamping flies; with grandchildren 
crawling over her and petting the colt; and 
son or grandson driving the reaper. I could 
have it all. But alas, my dear old wife has 
gone on the long, long trail, and is waiting in 
the shade on the banks of the river Styx for 
the landing of my boat. 

"I have written a great deal of wise and 
otherwise stuff, have stood for the right as 
God showed me the right, and if anything I 
have written has for a moment caused an 
overburdened heart to forget its cares and 
heartaches and smile I feel amply repaid for 
all my endeavors. 

'Trouble, yes I've had my share and double; 
But say, ain't it fine today?" 

We quote below one of Mr. Sigworth's con- 
tributions to the local press, written in 1909 
for a Franklin paper then publishing a series 
of biographical articles concerning well known 
citizens of the county: 

"The editor has kindly allowed me to write 
my own biography. Of this I am glad, as 
it will not cause any of my friends to twist 
their consciences, and for once I dare tell the 
truth. 

"About the dawning of the last cen- 
tury a young Dutchman emigrrated from Ger- 
many and, with six fellow Dutchmen, settled 
at Fryburg, Clarion county. They were 
twenty miles from a neighbor, store or post 
office. I suppose he was as Dutch and dumb 
as the average Dutchman of that day. His 
progeny have improved somewhat. We mostly 
speak English now. In bourse of time — oh. 
yes, he was married to Rosanna Henlen, a 
Dutch lass. A son was born to them, whom 
they called Yohonnas Seigwart. This son mar- 
ried Frances Neely, a Yankee of Revolutionary 
stock ; she had an uncle, Paul Neely. killed at 
Bennington. In stock breeding it is an estab- 
lished fact that in crossing two diametrically 



opposite families of the same genus the off- 
spring inherit all the vices and none of the 
virtues of either parent, and I guess it holds 
good in the human species, or at least a good 
many of my neighbors will subscribe to it. 
They built a log house and settled on a farm 
at Fryburg seventy-five years ago. The house, 
modernized, is still occupied and has never 
stood a day empty. Frances Sigworth occu- 
pied it for seventy years, dying at ninety-four 
years of age. To them was bom a son. Being 
the seventh child he was undoubtedly looked 
upon, as in most cases is the fact, as an in- 
cumbrance, but, being God-fearing, they did 
not strangle the intruder, which a good many 
think was a mistake. In due time he was 
sprinkled by a good old Lutheran preacher 
and given the cognomen of Oliver Cass Sig- 
worth. 

"His mother (mothers are partial) says he 
was a sweet baby and a good boy. The neigh- 
bors say he was a holy terror. I know he got 
a good many whalings at school and occupied 
the dunce stool, wearing a paper cap, most of 
the time. He played hookey, stole apples and 
watermelons, had the whooping cough, the 
itch, and was as lousy as the rest of the kids 
of his day and generation, went to Sunday 
school and church and after church went to 
Sandy swimming, sneaked at the dried ber- 
ries (golly, but dried Juneberries were good!), 
ate the cookies and blamed it on the cat, sol- 
diered when he was sent to hoe com, was 
always counted a good hand at the table, and 
was never taken seriously. His motto seemed 
to be *Let the old world wag as it will, Til 
be gay and happy still.' He drove his 
mother's rig and drove like a Jehu, and the 
young ladies were all anxious to accept a pro- 
posal for a buggy ride, but to any other pro- 
posal they turned an icy shoulder. About 
thirty years ago he got mixed up with the anti- 
horse thief company of Linesville and thought 
best to move to Canal township. At eighteen 
years of age he began writing for the local 
papers and has kept it up ever since. He has 
written the biggest snake stories, done more 
nature- faking and published more lies about 
the people of Canal township than any other 
man that ever lived. 

"Now, dang you, laugh. Ain't it the truth ? 
Oh, didn't I tell you his age? W^ell, you'd 
hardly expect a widower who wears a wig and 
colors his beard to tell the truth along that 
line. 

"Yours, frum up the crick, 

"The Old Ttgger." 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



The following appeared in the Toledo Blade, 
in the Blade Book, by Blade Writers, and we 
quote the editor's comments as well : 

**This week, a Man-Being contributes the 
third chapter to the Blade Book, and, by so 
doing, varies our pages, so far as we have 
gone, with wit and humor. 'A little nonsense, 
now and then, is relished by the best of men,* 
and women, too, for that matter, though 
women are not given credit for having much 
sense of humor. I know they have, because 
there are several thus blessed who are friends 
of mine. A sense of humor removes the 
tragedy from many a doleful occasion. 

*' 'Laughter is the poor man's plaster.* It is 
better for aches and pains, no matter what 
their kind, breed, color or language, than any 
sticking plaster ever made, and so we are much 
obliged to The Old Jigger From Up The 
Krick whose laughter plaster follows: 



'*Dear Blade — Fur sumtime I hev thot uv 
riten to yu, but wuz not sure if yu kared to 
here from me. When I wuz a kid, I red The 
Blade, when Petroleum V. Nasby rote fur it, 
but I got married later, and hed uther things 
to du. Now I hev red it for several yeres and 
when it cumes, I sit in mi big chere an put mi 
fete or^ the cook stove an I am purty kosy 
while I rede the paper. 

**We live up French Krick (which is in \'e- 
nango County, Pennsylvany) a cuple uv miles 
from where it mixes with the Allegheny river 
on Punkin Rige. G. Washington went up the 
krick tu tell the French an Indians not tu cum 
down it or tha wud git a lickin. I wusent ac- 
quainted with George, but I no the oldest na- 
tives uv the Rige hez the pole he kild a pole- 
cat with, when he past the Korners. 

"The hils are purty steep an hi an the sity 
people kum out an talk a lot about the butiful 
sites an ruds. Guess if tha hed tu work over 
them hills an ruds, tha wudent go krazy about 
them, but up the krick f uther, the valy is 
awful wide and mity fine farms an lots of 
Jersey kows are kept an we git gud prices fur 
milk an buter, an we mostly belong to Granges 
an think if kongres wud take the tarif oflf 
uv mete and flour an wool an clothes, an not 
oflF uv things the farmer raises, it wud be beter 
for the poor man, but then, the Republicans 
wuz awful to fite and lie to the farmer, an Vm 
mity much afraid the other crowd is biger 
liars than the aforesaid, leastwise, that's their 
record. 

"We hev a debatin klub at the Rige where 
we mete tu give the boys an gurls a chanst tu 
bo each other home an the women a chanst 



tu sho thare nu hats. We hev sum purty smart 
peple belongin tu the klub. There's Mrs. Sam 
Oats, she wuz a sity girl when she married 
Sam. Sam hed a gud farm an a lot of Jersey 
kows an sum uv the ole mades on the Rige 
sed she jes married him fur the farm an kows. 
Guess tha wuz jelus, but she makes a mity 
gud farmer's wife. Sum sity gurls du, but all 
kuntry gurls make gud wives any place. 

"Then Sol Kornstaks. Sol's awful kon- 
trary, most as kontrary as the old man in Bar- 
riers Burned Away. He always fought with 
hisself an Hesekiar. He kepes the postoffis 
an a store at the Korners. We debate every- 
thing that kums up before the peple. Next 
week we debate the harem skirt, then I will 
tell about it. 

"I gues Ide orter tel hu I am, an how old I 
am, but you must never ast an ole made, a 
widder or widderer thare ages. I try to kepe 
yung by readin gud buks an papers, by heavin 
boys an gurls cum to visit at our house, an 
then yu all no there ain't en)rthing will make 
an old kros, krankty person fergit his kranks 
an akes like gran kidds, an I've got 2 uv them 
hu help me plow. Tha ride the bosses an so 
foth. 

"I don't know how hi I am. I can't see tu 
the top uv mi hed, but when I fele up thar, it 
feles purty smooth, but I'm not gra heded. 
Sum men ain't at 60. 

*T do considerable ritin fur the papers, in 
fact, I guess ef it wusent fur mi peces, a gud 
meny peple wudent take the papers, at least 
tha tel me when the paper cums, the furst 
thing tha luk fur is to see if there is eny pece 
in it writ by 

'The Old Jigger From Up The Krick." 



** Along with ttiis letter came a card to me. 
The face of it reads: *For Sheriff, O. C. Sig- 
worth, 'The Old Jigger," Canal Township.' 
On the back is written : *My Dear Mrs. Ayres 
— If the day of woman's suffrage had dawned 
which will clarify the political sky from all 
things evil, I would solicit your vote.' 

"It is my private opinion that this citizen 

would have my vote if I were a voter 

You Old Jigger From Up The Krick, come 
down the pike with your harem skirt screed, 
before harem skirts are a past fancy. W^e 
want to preserve your debate on this subject 
in the Blade Book, to hand down to posterity. 
— Elizabeth." 

SAMUEL S. M9NTGOMERY owns a 
valuable farm in Irwin township which is one 
of the oldest improved properties in that part 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



733 



of Venango county, his family having come to 
this section eighty years ago. It lies two miles 
west of Mechanicsville, and is the old home 
place of his father, Matthew Davidson Mont- 
gomery, for many years one of the substantial 
agriculturists of the vicinity, under whose 
management its fertility was greatly increased. 

Robert Montgomery, grandfather of Samuel 
S. Montgomery, was a native of Ireland, the 
family being of old Protestant stock there who 
had to fight for their religion in the days of 
persecution. He was a nephew of Richard M. 
Montgomery, of Revolutionary fame, whose 
brothers were killed in religious warfare. 
Robert Montgomery lived in the land of his 
birth until after his marriage. His wife, Re- 
becca, was also bom in that country. In the 
summer or fall of 1813 the young couple came 
to America, and for over twenty years made 
their home in Cumberland county, Pa., moving 
thence to the western part of the State in 1837 
and settling on a tract of land situated partly 
in Venango and partly in Mercer county, with 
the residence in Irwin township, Venango 
county. Their dwelling stood about a quarter 
of a mile from the present home of their 
grandson, Samuel S. Montgomery. Robert 
Montgomery died Feb. 6, 1854, surviving his 
wife, who passed away Nov. 4, 1840. 

Matthew Davidson Montgomery, son of 
Robert and Rebecca Montgomery, was bom 
Feb. 27, 1 814, in Cumberland county, Pa., 
where he grew to manhood. He was married 
there March 19, 1835, to Nancy Anderson, who 
died in May, 1836, and his second union, on 
Jan. 30, 1837, was to Elizabeth Hanes, who 
came from the Ohio border. They soon settled 
on the land his father acquired in Venango 
county, and he inherited that place when his 
father died, living there up to the time of his 
third marriage. His wife Elizabeth died Aug. 
T4t 1856, and on Dec. 10, 1857, he marri^ 
Mrs. Mary Ann (StefTy) Griffin, a widow, 
then living with her three children on the tract 
in Irwin township now occupied by Samuel S. 
Montgomery. Mr. Montgomery bought this 
place and made his home there ever afterward, 
dying there March 3, 1899. He was a thrifty, 
prosperous farmer, owning 180 acres of land 
in his two farms, to whose cultivation he de- 
voted most of his energies. When the oil ex- 
citement broke out in this section he had an 
interest on Oil creek and worked in that field 
for a time. Part of the house on the Griffin 
farm dates back seventy-five years, and he 
built a substantial addition thereto in 1870. 
He was enterprising and progressive, and be- 
sides looking after his own affairs capably took 



a hand in the local government and other 
matters of general interest. Originally a 
Whig in politics, he later became a Democrat, 
and worked faithfully for his party. He was 
elected to some of the minor township offices. 
He was one of the stockholders in the Mount 
Irwin cemetery (where he is buried), his son 
Samuel succeeding him in that connection. 
His religious connection was with the M. E. 
Church at Pleasant View. 

Mrs. Mary Ann Montgomery was bom May 
29, 1821, and died Dec. 4, 1897. % her first 
marriage she had seven children, four of whom 
died about the same time as her husband, the 
others being : Catherine married George Ash- 
ten and removed to the West, both dying there ; 
Steffy lives at Uniontown, near Franklin; 
Sarah married David Karnes and lives in 
Mercer county. Mr. Montgomery had no 
children by his first wife. There were nine by 
the second marriage, and three by the third, 
viz. : Nancy Jane, born in 1838, married Fred 
Martin, and died in Texas ; Hanes and James 
Hanes died in childhood; William B., bom 
Aug. 31, 1843, is mentioned in a paragraph be- 
low ; x\rchibald, now retired, is living on New 
street, in Franklin; Hyman Stiles, bom in 
1847, I'ves in Butler county, Pa. ; Robert 
Samuel, bom in 1850, is also a resident of 
Butler count}^; Matthew, born in 1853, ^s a 
resident of Oregon ; Margaret Elizabeth is the 
wife of Stephen Shaner, of Oil City. Pa.; by 
the third marriage — Samuel Steflfy is men- 
tioned below ; John Addison has a sketch else- 
where in this work; George Brinton McClel- 
lan, bom in 1864, is a resident of Grove City, 
Pa., and engaged in the Bessemer Engine 
Works. 

Samuel Steffy Montgomery was born July 
24, 1859, in the house where he now resides. 
He has spent all his life on this farm, received 
his education in the public schools of the lo- 
cality, and was thoroughly trained to modem 
farming, in which business he has been very 
successful. His home property comprises 
eighty acres, situated sixteen miles southwest 
of Franklin, and adjoining the farm of his 
cousin, U. G. Sterrett. It not only includes 
the old Griffin tract, but also part of his uncle 
Robert Montgomery's land. This uncle and 
his six sons all enlisted for service in the Civil 
war at the same time, after the wife and 
mother died, joining the army at New Castle, 
Pa. All the sons were killed at the battle 
of Culpeper Court House, and the father sub- 
sequently lived in Irwin township. Mr. Mont- 
gomery has carried on general fajming, but 
makes a specialty of fine stock and dairy prod- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



ucts, thoroughbred horses, Jersey cows and 
Chester White swine. He has often exhibited 
heavy horses at the local fairs, his animals at- 
tracting favorable notice wherever shown. 
Mrs. Montgomery makes butter for special 
customers, and aU the products of the farm 
command a ready sale. 

On Dec. 21, 1882, Mr. Montgomery was 
married to Lizzie Montgomery, then twenty- 
four years of age, who though of the same 
name comes of a different family. Her par- 
ents, W. C. and Rebecca (Albin) Mont- 
gomery, lived in Wolf Creek township, Mer- 
cer county, four miles from his home. Eight 
children have been born of this marriage, 
namely: Arizona is now the wife of Elmer 
Yard, of Irwin township; Lloyd is farming in 
W^orth township, Mercer county; Sadie Belle 
died in childhood ; Francis is in Pine township, 
Mercer county, employed in the Bessemer 
Works; Dora is the wife of Norman Pettit, 
who is employed in the Steel Works and lives 
near Franklin; Mary is the wife of Charles 
Gilmore, a farmer of Marion township, Butler 
county; Hattie is attending high school at 
Wesley and lives at home ; Harold is also at- 
tending school, and has not missed a day in 
six years. Mr. Montgomery and his family 
have been active in the work of the M. E. 
Church at Mechanicsville, of which he is a 
prominent member, having held the office of 
steward for twenty years. He is a Prohibi- 
tionist in political connection. 

William B. Montgomery, elder brother of 
Samuel S. Montgomery, was born Aug. 31, 
1843, 2i"d d'^ ^t the age of sixty-six years in 
the island of Sumatra, after a highly successful 
career in the development of oil properties. 
His early experience in that line was gained in 
the Bradford (Pa.) oil fields, and after profit- 
able ventures in Venango county, Pa., West 
Virginia and Robinson, 111., he went to Suma- 
tra in 1890 as an oil expert, associated with 
the Holland Ehitch Company. He was there 
six years before he returned home for a visit, 
his services being so highly valued that his re- 
muneration was increased from time to time 
to hold him. Having returned to the United 
States on a vacation trip, he was here at the 
time of his mother's death in 1897, and went 
back to Sumatra shortly afterward, expecting 
to remain there indefinitely. But he had about 
concluded to reestablish his residence in his 
own country when he died. His family were 
mostly all here, and those who survive are now 
living at Robinson, III., where there is a pro- 
lific oil field. Mr. Montgomery had done some 
notable work in making the great stores of 



oil on the island of Sumatra available to com- 
merce. He built a railroad from the oil fields 
to the coast, installed a refinery, and brought 
the production up to its greatest volume. 
Until the railroad was constructed large quan- 
tities of the oil produced had been wasted. 
He was given a free hand in the management 
of all the operations, and not only made the 
most of the enterprise so far as business was 
concerned, but improved the surroundings and 
living conditions of the workers, making thou- 
sands of friends among the natives through his 
benevolent interest in their welfare. A town 
sprang up around the refinery, and through his 
efforts was made very attractive. Oranges 
and other fruits were planted, and many other 
details of comfort and order considered which 
contributed to the physical and moral well- 
being of the community and added to his repu- 
tation as a solicitous superintendent. 

FRANK M. McClelland, m. d., 

medical practitioner of thirty years' standing 
at Utica, Venango county, is one of the ablest 
representatives of his calling in this part of 
Pennsylvania, and his success in that alone 
would be enough to bring honor to himself and 
the community which he chose as the field of 
his life work. But with his professional ac- 
quirements he has combined other practical at- 
tainments which have brought him merited 
recognition in different lines also, as well as the 
substantial rewards of executive ability well 
directed. His practice has become so extensive 
that it is sufficient to absorb practically all his 
time and attention, but by good management 
he contrives to give needful supervision to his 
business interests, and incidentally has dis- 
charged the duties of several important public 
offices with marked efficiency. 

Dr. McClelland was bom Dec. i, 1859, in 
Mill Creek township, Mercer Co.. Pa., son of 
William B. McClelland and grandson of John 
McClelland, and is of Scotch descent, in the 
paternal line. John McClelland was bom in 
t8oo in Westmoreland county, Pa., where he 
was reared. When a young man he removed 
to Mercer county, where he followed lumber- 
ing until his early death, at the age of twenty- 
nine years, being drowned while engaged in 
rafting logs in the Allegheny river near Kittan- 
ning. By his marriage to Margaret Barr, of 
Mercer county, he had three children: John 
married Jane Craw, and after her death re- 
married and moved to a farm in Ohio, where 
he and his second wife died; Elizabeth mar- 
ried Peter Weddle, and both are deceased; 
William B. was the father of Dr. McClelland. 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



735 



All this family were United Presbyterians in 
religious belief. The mother married for her 
second husband Amos Robbins, by whom she 
had four children : Samuel, who was drowned 
in the Allegheny river (he was married three 
times) ; James, who is married and living in 
Clarion county ; Sarah, who married John Gil- 
uiore, both being now deceased ; and Bine, wife 
of Amos Green, a farmer in Ohio. Mrs. Rob- 
bins died in Mercer county about 1879. 

William B. McQelland was born in 1829 in 
Westmoreland county, Pa., and was reared in 
Mercer county. He received a common school 
education and learned the trade of carpenter, 
which he followed until he was forty years old, 
at that time settling on the farm in Mill Creek 
township, Mercer county, where he spent the 
remainder of his life, dying there in 1905. He 
made a substantial success as an agriculturist, 
and became prominent in the management of 
public affairs in his section, serving as school 
director, assessor and road supervisor of his 
township, and taking an influential part in 
county matters. Politically he was identified 
with the Democratic party. He was an elder 
in the United Presbyterian Church, to which 
his wife and family also belonged, and he held 
a high place in the regard of his fellow men 
because of his estimable life and character. 
He married Sarah Craw, a native of New 
York, who survived him a few years, passing 
away Oct. 3, 1909, at Sioux City, Iowa. Of 
the eight children bom to them Maurice and 
John died young, those who attained maturity 
being: Margaret married Charles H. Adams, 
and they made their home in Mercer, Pa., 
where he died in 191 7 ; they had three children, 
all now married, Ralph C. (a graduate of Jef- 
ferson Medical College and now a practicing 
physician in Minnesota), Harriet and Sarah. 
Frank M. is next in the family. Amos E. 
married Mary Fetterolf, but left no children; 
he was an oil well operator at his home place, 
Butler, Pa., and was killed by a fall from a 
derrick, when fifty-three years old. Bess I. 
married Harvey Whitely, an attorney, now of 
Duluth, Minn., and has five children. Harriet 
A. married Rev. S. W. McFadden, D. D., and 
has four' children ; he was formerly established 
at Spokane, Wash., and is now pastor of the 
First Presbyterian Church at Springfield, 111. 
Cora married Rev. Ledru Howie, at present 
pastor of a Presbyterian Church in Sioux 
Cit}', Iowa, and they have one child, William 
McClelland. 

Mrs. Sarah (Craw) McQelland was of 
English ancestry, the early members of her 
family in this country being traced to Vermont, 



from which State her father moved to New 
York and thence to Pennsylvania about 1844, 
settling at Utica, Venango county, where for 
some time he was in the employ of A. W. 
Raymond, the oldest business man at that 
place. He also carried on farming for some 
years, dying about 1858. Mr. Craw married 
Mary Raymond, and they had four daughters : 
Sarah, Mrs. McClelland ; Amelia, wife of John 
McCracken (both deceased) ; Jane, wife of 
John McClelland (both deceased); and 
Frances, wife of John Heasley, a farmer, who 
survives her, living in Crawford county, Penn- 
sylvania. 

Frank M. McClelland was reared on his 
father's farm in Mercer county, and helped 
with the agricultural work at home until he 
was twenty-five years old. His education was 
begun in the local public schools, and later he 
attended the high school at Utica and McEl- 
wain Institute in Mercer county, as well as the 
Edinboro State Normal School, preparing' for 
teaching, which profession he followed for 
seven years from 1878, in the public schools of 
Mercer county. During this period he had 
commenced reading medicine with Dr. D. S. 
Brown, of Utica, and in 1885 he matriculated 
in the medical department of Western Reserve 
University, Ohio, graduating therefrom in the 
spring of 1887, with the class prize in materia 
medica and therapeutics. He immediately lo- 
cated at Utica, where he has practiced ever 
since, his circle of patients being scattered over 
a wide area in Venango and the adjoining 
parts of Mercer county. Dr. McClelland is 
popular personally as well as professionally, 
his various interests bringing him into touch 
with a large percentage of the local population. 
He has performed a much needed service in his 
activities as a member of the board of health, 
to which he has belonged ever since its organ- 
ization, and his worth has been recognized by 
the profession, his standing among his fellow 
practitioners being of the highest. For over 
twenty years he has held the office of school 
director, his progressive ideas and hearty co- 
operation in all beneficial measures having had 
a decidedly good effect on the improvement of 
public educational facilities in his locality. On 
political questions he supports the Republican 
party. Dr. McClelland has acquired some im- 
portant business interests in the Butler county 
oil fields as well as in local farm properties, 
owning a couple of farms which he operates 
successfully with hired help, making a specialty 
of dairying. 

On July 4, 1888, Dr. McClelland married 
Flora McQuiston, of Mercer county, a native 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYU'ANIA 



of Crawford county, Pa., born in September, 
1865, daughter of Andrew and Eveline 
(McMichael) McQuiston, the latter now liv- 
ing at Utica, aged seventy-eight years. Mr. 
McQuiston died in Mercer county when sixty- 
five years old. They had two children, 
Flora and Nellie, the latter marrying John 
McCracken, Jr., a farmer of Mercer county; 
Mrs. McCracken died leaving no children. 
Dr. and Mrs. McClelland have one child, Willis 
Barr, born Feb. i, 1906. They are members of 
the . United Presbyterian Church, in whose 
work he takes an active part, holding the of- 
fice of elder. 

LOUIS ROESS (deceased), of Oil City, 
was one of the pioneer oil operators in the 
Pennsylvania fields, and his career in the busi- 
ness was remarkable for its uniform success, 
due partly to the fact that he was interested in 
some of the most prolific wells of his day, here 
and elsewhere, but more especially to his native 
good sense and faculty of applying himself 
unreservedly to whatever he had in hand. Mr. 
Roess was an example of the sturdy type of 
men who are willing to forge ahead by their 
own efforts, asking nothing except the oppor- 
tunity to work and expecting nothing but the 
rewards of their own industry. He came to 
this country because it offered greater hope to 
the ambitious than his own land, and realized 
much more than his early expectations, be- 
coming one of the most substantial, and re- 
spected citizens of his generation in Oil City 
and \^enango county. 

Mr. Roess was a native of Hanover, Ger- 
many, bom Feb. 8, 1837, son of Martin Roess, 
who died in that country in 185 1. He received 
all his schooling in Germany, sind also the 
thorough vocational training typical of that 
country, learning the trades of locksmith and 
butcher, the latter his principal occupation in 
early manhood. Coming to America in 1857, 
with his mother and a younger brother and sis- 
ter, he lived in Pittsburgh, Pa., for a few years 
after his arrival in the United States, following 
the butcher business. It was in i860 that he 
came to the region of Oil City, locating on the 
old Story farm and for a few years continuing 
to work at his trade. But he had been drawn 
to the locality by the oil fields, and he began 
investing in oil lands almost immediately, 
within a few years acquiring interests of suffi- 
cient extent and value to occupy all his time, 
and continuing the production of oil during 
the rest of his life. He was associated with 
his brother Christian Roess and Conrad Sim- 
mons under the name of Roess Brothers & 



Company, Louis Roess being the head of the 
firm, which transacted a large business in the 
buying and selling of oil, besides owning and 
operating some of the richest wells in the oil 
districts of Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio. 
He was a prominent member of the old Oil 
Exchange at Oil City. Mr. Roess made his 
home at Oil City from 1870, a few years later 
building the substantial residence at the corner 
of Central avenue and First street which his 
widow still occupies — her home for forty-four 
years. Mr. Roess died Feb. 21, 1897, and is 
buried in Oak Grove cemetery at Oil City. 

On Nov. 25. 1862. Mr. Roess married Rachel 
Aggers, daughter of William Aggers, of Pitts- 
burgh, and ten children were born to them, 
eight living to maturity, namely: George W., 
a machinist, died in 191 5; Henry C. is a civil 
engineer in the service of the National Transit 
Company at Oil City; Charles W., who also 
became a machinist, died March 19, 1917; 
Louis J. is an attorney at law, following his 
profession in Oil City : Martin M. J. is engaged 
in the lumber business in Florida; Ida 
Elizabeth is the wife of Rev. William Brecht, 
a Lutheran minister : Lillian lives at home : 
Loretta died when twelve years old. In re- 
ligjious association the family are Lutherans. 
Mrs. Roess is one of the most highly respected 
residents of Oil City, where like her husband 
she has made numerous friends in the course 
of a long and agreeable association with the 
townspeople. She has witnessed many changes 
in the city, both in its material development 
and social conditions. 

HENRY GRIBBEN McKNIGHT. late of 
Oil City, who died Dec. 3, 1918, was one of 
the founders of the Oil City Blissard and for 
thirty-four years associated with the publica- 
tion of that paper, in which capacity and by 
his valued services in public office he wielded 
a potent influence in shaping the progress of 
the city. In both relations he always endeav- 
ored to represent the real interests of the com- 
munity faithfully. At the time of his death 
he was serving as commission councilman, to 
which position he was elected Nov. 7, .1917, 
on the forty-sixth anniversary of his arrival 
in Oil City, on the non-partisan ticket, and he 
had the honor of receiving the highest num- 
ber of votes given to any non-partisan candi- 
date at that election. 

Mr. McKnight was bom May 14, 1849, ^^ 
Hayesville, Ashland Co., Ohio, son of James 
McKnight and grandson of James McKnight. 
the latter a native of Baltimore, Md., whence 
he migrated to Pennsylvania, dying at Greens- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



737 



burg, Westmoreland county, where he and his 
wife are buried. For years he was a riverman 
and one of the first to run steamboats on the 
Ohio. In religion he was a Methodist. His 
two children were James and Elizabeth, the 
latter dying young. 

James McKnight, father of Henry Gribben 
McKnight, was bom at Greensburg, West- 
moreland Co., Pa. His mother died when he 
was seven years old, and a short time after- 
ward he left for Ohio with relatives, with 
whom he made his permanent home. At the 
age of twenty-one he established marble works 
at Hayesville, Ohio, subsequently at Mansfield, 
that State, with branches at Hayesville, Ash- 
land and Upper Sandusky, and was in this 
business until his death, which occurred Feb. 
26, 1877, at Mansfield, Ohio, when he was 
fifty-eight years old. Mr. McKnight was an 
Odd Fellow, and an active member of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. He married 
Mary Elizabeth Gribben, who was born in 
1822 on a farm near Hayesville, Ohio, and 
died in 1870 at Mansfield, where they are 
buried. Of their four children, Annseville is 
the widow of David C. Maish, of Mansfield, 
Oh'o; Henry Gribben is mentioned below; 
William Vinson, who married Kate Berger, 
died in 1892 at Norwalk. Ohio; Mary Eliza- 
beth died when seven years old. 

Henry and Elizabeth (Green) Gribben, par- 
ents of Mrs. Mary Elizabeth (Gribben) Mc- 
Knight. were natives of Baltimore. Md., short- 
ly after their marriage moving to Ohio, where 
he was engaged in farming near Hayesville 
until he went out to California in 1850 with 
two sons, intending to return after the sons 
were settled. But he died and was buried 
there, and of the two sons who accompanied 
him, Nathaniel remained in California until 
his own death, and William settled later in 
southern Illinois (he married Phoebe Logan). 
The other children of Henry and Elizabeth 
Gribben were: Thomas, who married Violet 
A. Bell (he died from wounds received in the 
Civil war and was buried at Rowsburgf, Ohio) : 
Jane, who died unmarried; Mary Elizabeth. 
Mrs. McKnight : and Sarah, who died young. 
The mother is interred in a graveyard between 
Hayesville and Teromeville, Ohio. She and 
the father were Methodists of the old school. 

Henry Gribben McKnight was seven years 
old when his parents located in Mansfield, 
Ohio, and he received his early education 
there, later attending Vermillion Institute at 
Hayesville, Ohio. He served over three years 
as an apprentice to the printing: trade in the 
establishment of the Mansfield Herald, a semi- 



weekly paper, and subsequently worked as a 
compositor on the Cincinnati Enquirer for two 
years, also working a year on the Commercial, 
a morning paper of Pittsburgh, Pa., before 
coming to Oil City in 1871. His first associa- 
tion here was with the Oil City Derrick, as 
compositor,^ afterward foreman of the news 
room, and he was engaged on that paper until, 
in company with F. W. Bowen and B. F. 
Gates, he established the Oil City Bliszard, the 
first issue appearing May 22, 1802. Originally 
Mr. McKnight had charge of the mechanical 
department. After a few months Mr. Gates 
ret'red, the other two partners continuing the 
paper, which was a success from the start, oc- 
cupying a unique position in the newspaper 
circles of this part of Pennsylvania and pop- 
ular both as a news sheet and advertising 
medium. They were associated until the death 
of Mr. Bowen, April 19, 191 5, when Mr. Mc- 
Knight assumed full charge of the paper until 
he disposed of his interest, in January, 1916, 
to Messrs. Charles F. Halderman and Dr. H. 
A. Downes ; Mr. Bowen*s widow also sold her 
interest. 

Under the old government of Oil City Mr. 
McKnight represented the First ward on the 
school board for five years, having been nomi- 
nated by the Republicans, indorsed by the 
Democrats and elected without opposition — a 
reliable index of the feeling of his fellow 
c'tizens toward him. As councilman under the 
present system, he was superintendent of 
streets and public improvements, for which 
duties his judgment had been well developed 
by the close knowledge of city affairs gained 
in his long experience in newspaper work. He 
maintained active affiliation with the Knights 
of the Maccabees in Oil City, was a member 
of the Oil City Lodge of Elks, and had held 
membership in the Knights of Honor and 
Typographical Union in earlier days. He was 
•reared in the faith of the Methodist Church, 
with which the McKnight family has long 
been associated. 

On Dec. 30, 1875, Mr. McKnight was mar- 
ried, at Tionesta. Pa., to Julia Ann Campbell, 
who was born March 8, 1858, on a farm in 
Butler county, Pa., and they had four children, 
namely: (i) George Campbell, born Dec. 18. 
1876, died Jan. 13, 1877. (2) William Vinson, 
bom Sept. 18. 1878. is a mechanical draftsman.' 
(3) Samuel Clark, born Tan. 23, 1882, is man- 
ag^er of the East Ohio Gas Company at Bar- 
berton, Ohio. His first wife, Mazie (Dukes), 
of Findlay, Ohio, born in 1883, met her death 
July 2.^, 191 2, in a fireworks explosion at Belle 
Isle (Detroit), Mich., leaving two children, 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



John Dukes (born Oct. 5, 1906) and Marien 
Elizabeth (born Aug. 22, 1908). For his sec- 
ond wife he married Blanche Humphrey, of 
Barberton, Ohio, bom Oct. 3. 1890. (4) Kitty 
Frances, born Feb. 21, 1888, is the wife of 
Frederick H. Jack, a tailor, of Oil City, and 
has three children, bom as follows : Henrietta 
McKnight, May 14, 1912; Frederick Temple- 
ton, Aug. 29, 1914; and James Tyler, March 
18, 1917. 

Mrs. Henry G. McKnight is an active mem- 
ber of Trinity M. E. Church at Oil City, and 
vice president of the Home Missionary Society 
of that congregation. She was one of the 
founders of the Venango County Children's 
Home and has been a member of the Society 
for thirty years, being first vice president at 
this writmg. Her daughter, Mrs. Jack, is also 
a member of the Society and one of ,its active 
workers. The Home, which is located in Oil 
City, was started under very discouraging cir- 
cumstances, but the members of the Society 
felt that the need for it was so great as to 
demand their utmost efforts, and they worked 
perseveringly and untiringly until its erection 
was possible.' It is a monument to the devotion 
of a band of loyal, unselfish workers to their 
cause. 

James Campbell, Mrs. McKnight's grand- 
father, was a native of Butler county. Pa., of 
Scotch-Irish Presbyterian stock, and a life- 
long farmer. He and his wife, ^largaret 
(Hoover), had the following children: Sam- 
uel J. ; Susan, who married William S. Jack, 
of Oil City, both now deceased ; Angeline, wife 
of Samuel Mahood; Archibald, of Leaven- 
worth, Kans. ; Washington, who married Eliza 
Graham: Rosie, wife of Thomas Coulter: 
James, of Bradford, Pa., who married Rebecca 
Gibson; and Elizabeth, wife of John Morrow. 
The parents were Presbyterians, and are buried 
in the Concord cemetery in Butler county. 

Samuel J. Campbell, father of Mrs. Henry. 
G. McKnigfht, was bom March 20, 1824, on a 
farm in Concord township, Butler Co., Pa., 
and died Jan. 29, 1906, at Tionesta, Forest 
county. He left the farm about 1861, after 
selling out, and coming to Franklin, \>nango 
county, bought several teams, employing a 
number of men in the hauling of oil in the 
days before the pipe lines were laid. He was 
so engagred until after his wife died, when he 
removed to Pithole, then a great oil town, and 
there continued the same line of business for 
three years, when traffic was brisk and pros- 
perity ran so high that the post office at that 
point attained second class rating. But the 
excitement soon died out, and after his re- 



moval to Tionesta Mr. Campbell followed the 
trade of stonemason until ten years before his 
death, when illness made his retirement neces- 
sary. He was a Republican, and a member 
of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Campbell 
married Anna Wallace Russell, who was bam 
Oct. 8, 1828, and died July 10, 1865, her re- 
mains being interred in the Concord cemetery 
in Butler county. She was the mother of five 
children, one son dying in infancy; Margaret 
Adelia, bom Nov. 19, 1853, married Oliver 
Pisor, and both are deceased ; Nancy Jane died 
when about two and a half years old; Julia 
Ann is the widow of Henry G. McKnight ; 
Mary Ada, who also married Oliver Pisor, is 
deceased. For his second wife Mr. Campbell 
married Ellen Rowels, bom Feb. 2, 1842, dieci 
Jan. 2, 1914, who is buried with him at Tio- 
nesta. They had children: Augusta, wife 
of Henry Giering; Maude, who is married to 
Ed. H. Kirchartz ; and Claude, deceased, who 
was a twin of Maude. 

James Russell, Mrs. McKnight's maternal 
grandfather, was bom Feb. 2, 1773, ^i"^ died 
Dec. 28, 1841. He was of Irish Presbyterian 
stock, and came to this country from Ireland, 
settling in Concord township, Butler county, 
where he carried on farming. He and his third 
wife, Nancy (Cunningham), bom June 21, 
1789, are buried in the Concord cemetery. They 
were Presbyterians in religious doctrine. Their 
children were born as follows: Mary M., Jan. 
.S, 1812; Eliza C, March i, 1813 (married 
Dr. Lyon, of Sunbury, Pa.) ; Isabella, March 
8, 1815; Samuel, Oct. 2, 1816 (married Julia 
Ann McCallan) ; Nancy Dill, April 19, 1819 
(Mrs. Ellis); Jane, July 12, 1820; Juliette, 
July 12, 1822 (married James Campbell) ; 
Ellis, May 22^ 1824: Anna Wallace, Oct. 8, 
1*^28: John E., May 20, 1830: Emmaline, Feb. 
24, 1833 (married Thomas Burtenshaw). 

CHARLES F. ROTH, who died Oct. 6. 
1918, was an oil operator in the Shamburg 
field in Oilcreek township, with the rather un- 
usual record of having been in the business 
from the age of fifteen years continuously and 
the reputation of being an expert driller. As a 
contractor and producer he had a wide experi- 
ence in the oil industry, in the Pennsylvania 
and Oklahoma fields, and though he met with 
some losses his success was such as to leave 
him no cause for regret in his choice of his life 
work. 

Mr. Roth was bom in 1853 at BuflFalo, N. 
Y., where his parents, John G. and Wilhelmina 
A. (Mast) Roth, settled upon coming from 
their native Germany in 1833. The father. 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



739 



who was a school teacher and musician, died 
in 1873, the mother preceding him to the grave 
in 1866. They were members of the Lutheran 
Church. Of the twelve children bom to them 
eleven grew to maturity : Mary, who married 
John Schriner and (second) a Mr. Brown; 
Catherine, who married John Hanny, of Buf- 
falo; Caroline, wife of William Danna; 
Victoria, wife of Lawrence Steadhelm; 
William H., long well known in Venango 
county as a hotelkeeper and oil operator ; John 
G.; Esther, wife of Jacob Lenhart; Amelia, 
deceased; Louisa, wife of Perry Thayer; 
Charles F. ; and Henry. 

His brother William having come to Venan- 
go county in 1863, Charles F. Roth followed 
him within a few years. The brother had 
for a year operated a meat market and restau- 
rant at the Tarr Farm, on Oil creek below 
Petroleum Center, and also supplied meat to 
patrons between that place and Rouseville. 
there being in 1864 a hotel, three groceries, half 
a dozen boarding houses and four hundred 
people on that famous farm, where the old 
Phillips well and the Woodford well, both won- 
derful producers, were located, their rich 
yields drawing hundreds to the vicinity. Here 
it was that Qiarles F. Roth acquired his first 
knowledge of the oil business. He worked for 
his brother until 1868, when he found em- 
ployment as a pumper, his frequent visits to 
Pithole and other famous local oil centers hav- 
ing aroused a desire to go into the work him- 
self. In 1869, in company with Frank Wright 
and Henry Reinwalt, he secured an interest 
on the Blood farm, which adjoined the Tarr 
Farm territory, and spent five years in opera- 
tions there, the partners opening a number of 
paying wells. Meanwhile Mr. Roth also did 
some drilling on Sugar run, above Franklin, 
and kept his eyes open for new opportunities. 
When the Butler county field opened up in 
1873 he \vent to Greece City, was later at Mil- 
lerstown, that county, and Parkers Land- 
ing, working for the United Pipe Lines in 
charge of pipe laying to Butler, the shipping 
point, and spending five years in that county, 
principally at Greece City and Millerstown, 
where manv fine wells were discovered. His 
next move' was to McKean county. Pa., as 
foreman for Cooper Brothers in charge of 
drilling and other operations, and with the 
outbreak of the oil excitement following the 
discoveries at Bolivar and Richburg, Allegany 
Co., N. Y., he changed to the new territory, 
where he followed contracting and drilling for 
a vear. When operations were begun at Cherry 



Grove, Warren Co., Pa., he went into that field 
as a contractor and driller, remaining three or 
four years, and he was also one of the early 
arrivals at Glade Run, three miles west of War- 
ren, beginning to drill there on his own ac- 
count in company with C. K. Book, with whom 
he had a half interest in the production, which 
proved very good, his association with Mr. 
Book covering five years, during which time 
Mr. Roth had charge of operations. At the 
same time he was carrying on drilling opera- 
tions in the Gusher field near the Forest county 
line, and after selling his interest at Glade Run 
he came in 1889 to the tract in Oil Creek town- 
ship, Venango county, where he was operating 
at the time of his death, taking charge of Mr. 
Pickett, the owner at that time. The location 
is six miles southeast of Titusville, at what is 
known as Black Oil Hill or East Shamburg. 
Mr. Roth drilled several more wells for Mr. 
Pickett and his successors, the Oil Well Supply 
Company, from whom he bought the property 
two years after coming to it, and he continued 
developing the field steadily after it passed into 
his ownership, having during that time in- 
creased the number of wells from twenty-two 
to thirty-five. The area is seventy-two acres, 
and there is ample room for several more loca- 
tions. His home was on this tract, and he ac- 
quired two other producing properties in the 
Shamburg field, one of forty-five acres which 
had eight wells when he bought it, with eight- 
een at the present writing. Though the yield 
has not been heavy it has been steady, and Mr. 
Roth had comparatively few losses through 
striking dry holes. Though his interests were 
centered at his home place for so many years 
he had by no means devoted all his energies 
to its exploitation. He owned a string of drill- 
ing tools for forty years, and during the last 
fifteen years of his life did considerable drilling 
in Warren county, generally taking a share in 
the wells brought in. For a time he had a 
seven-eighths interest in one especially valu- 
able property in the Tidioute field, and retained 
a share therein until his death. He was one of 
the stockholders in the Triumph gasoline plant, 
a casing head gas plant for saving the gas which 
comes from the wells with the oil. The gas 
goes through pumps, producing what is known 
as casing head gas, and though frequently 
wasted is sufficient to pay the expenses oif oper- 
ation when saved by proper appliances. For 
seven years Mr. Roth spent part of each year 
in Oklahoma, near Bartlesville, having an in- 
terest there which he eventually sold to ad- 
vantage. Being a professional driller he al- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



ways looked after the drilling operations on 
his own leases personally and had the satisfac- 
tion of knowing they received proper attention, 
his all-around familiarity with oil operations 
proving extremely valuable. Though he had 
ups and downs he never had the misfortune 
to put his last cent into a dry hole, and he had 
generous returns from the property where he 
nad been established for almost thirty years at 
the time of his death, within five miles of his 
first oil interest. The old Shamburg field has 
been producing for half a century, and some 
of the wells now flowing there date back to the 
original excitement. Aside from some inciden- 
tal lumbering operations in Warren county 
Mr. Roth devoted all his time to oil woric, and 
though a good citizen did not take any part in 
public affairs. His chief recreation was in out- 
door sports, hunting, trout fishing, baseball, 
etc., his yearly vacations being spent in the 
open, and one of his prized trophies was the 
head of a fine buck which he shot in Warren 
county. 

In 1882 Mr. Roth was married, in Warren 
county, to Mary J. Bimber, of Tidioute, daugh- 
ter 0/ George Bimber, well known as a lum- 
berman, farmer and Civil war veteran, who 
spent his last days with his daughter Mrs. 
Roth, dying seven years ago. Seven children 
were bom to this marriage, namely : Gertrude 
is the wife of Frank L. Reed, of Pleasantville ; 
Charles Albert is a contractor and driller in 
the Oklahoma oil fields (he is unmarried) ; 
Williani F. lives at home and is engaged in 
looking after his mother's leases ; Cora gradu- 
ated from the Pleasantville high school and 
from Hiram College in 1914, and for three 
years taught first grade in the Junior high 
school at Oil City, until her marriage to Prof. 
Roy Baum, of Oil City; Ernest E., who was 
engaged with his father on the home place, en- 
listed in the United States army in 191 7, while 
a student in Hiram College, Ohio, was gradu- 
ated after going to Camp Perry, Ohio, and was 
assigned to duty building cantonments, having 
helped to construct those at Camp Sherman, 
Chillicothe. Ohio, and Camp Sheridan, Mont- 
gromery, Ala., was in the Officers* Training 
Corps at Camp Lee, and is now serving as a 
second lieutenant in France; Clifford Merle 
died when eighteen years old. being accidentally 
shot while hunting ;'Frederick died young. The 
family are identified with the Shamburg 
Christian Church near their home. Mr. Roth 
made many desirable improvements about his 
residence to make it comfortable and attractive, 
keeping^ his prot>erty in excellent condition. 
He is buried in Pleasantville cemetery. 



ROBERT BOARDMAN, treasurer of the 
Robert Boardman Company, of Oil City, has 
spent all but a few years of his business life 
in association with that concern, which was 
founded by his father, the late Robert Board- 
man, who became one of the substantial men 
of the city through the success of his oil pro- 
duction and manufacturing interests. 

Robert Boardman, the father, led an indus- 
trious life, well rewarded by the high stand- 
ing which he attained among his fellow citi- 
zens as well as the worldly prosperity which 
attended his efforts. Bom July 28, 1842, in 
Lancashire, England, he was reared and edu- 
cated there and thoroughly trained in black- 
smithing, his excellence as a mechanic proving 
the chief factor in his success. He sailed for 
America from Liverpool, and arrived at Oil 
City, Pa., in the spring of 1865, after the flood, 
landing here at ten o'clock in the evening and 
paying his last nickel to cross the Allegheny 
river to reach the south side. He did not know 
anyone here, but he soon found employment 
pumping wells along the river, and his skill 
as a blacksmith insured him steady work, his 
reputation as one of the best tradesmen in 
that line being established before he had been 
here long. His experience was broadened by 
service with different employers, including 
David Trax, Cummings Brothers. Mount & 
Kugler and the B. N. Y. & P. Railroad Com- 
pany in this section. For a time he worked at 
Little Washington, Pa., and later had charge of 
Bovard & Seyfang's blacksmith shop at Brad- 
ford. Pa., also holding a position with the Oil 
Well Supply Company at Oil City. During the 
oil excitement in Clarion county he established 
a small shop of his own there, at Kossuth, car- 
rying it on for a year ; and at one time he had 
a horse-shoeing shop in \'enango county, about 
the mouth of Cornplanter run. He varied his 
activities with oil production, having owned 
wells on the Qapp Farm ; the old Horner wells, 
one of which was at one time the largest in 
the Oil Creek territory; and at one time had 
a half interest in wells on the Rynd farm, in 
the neighborhood of Rouseville. Mr. Board- 
man also did some drilling at Kaneville, Ve- 
nango county. When he started business at 
Oil City he had his blacksmith shop in a corner 
of Joseph Reid's foundry, on Elm street. Mr. 
Reid's plant was visited by fire, and Mr. Board- 
man moved to the Third ward, buying two lots 
at the present location of the Robert Board- 
man Companv. He sold one to Abraham Lo- 
ean. who built a woodworking shop thereon, 
Mr. Boardman putting up a frame blacksmith 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



741 



shop. Both places were burned out, and Mr. 
Boardman rebuilt of brick, erecting the struc- 
ture still in use and now equipped as a thor- 
oughly up-to-date machine and blacksmith 
shop. He took his two sons into partnership 
as the business grew, and Walter Lowery was 
made foreman of the machine shop, retaining 
that position until his death. With a compre- 
hensive knowledge of the oil business, and 
mechanical ability of a high order, Mr. Board- 
man was well fitted for the successful opera- 
tion of the machine shop, keeping abreast of 
the requirements occasioned by advances in 
methods, and able to give his patrons expert 
service. He had his full share of the local cus- 
tom, and continued in business until his death, 
which occurred June 15, 1909, after an active 
career. Socially he was prpminent in the Odd 
Fellows fraternity, belonging to both lodge and 
encampment, and was a past grand of Petro- 
lia Lodge, Xo. 589, L O. O. F. His religious 
connection was with the Episcopal Church. He 
had no desire to take any direct part in the 
administration of public affairs, but he was 
a Republican in principle and supported the 
party on issues of general importance. 

In England Mr. Boardman married Alice 
Whittle, who died in November, 1885, ^S^^ 
forty-nine years, and is buried in Grove Hill 
cemetery, where his remains also rest. Six 
children were born to this marriage : Emma, 
bom in England Jan. i, 1864, is married to 
Phineas Kendrick, of McKeesport, Pa.; Wil- 
liam, born Jan. 15, 1866, married Eliza A. T. 
Sampsell, of Oil City, and is mentioned else- 
where: Margaret A., bom June 19, 1868, is 
the wife of David L. Lee, of Oil City, men- 
tioned elsewhere in this work ; Robert is men- 
tioned below ; Mary and John died young. 

Robert Boardman was born Sept. 6, 1872, 
at Oil City, and was educated in the public 
schools there. He served an apprenticeship 
to the machinist's trade in his father's shop, 
where he remained ten years, later spending 
three years in the West, two as an employe 
of the Baker Iron Works, Los Angeles, Cal.. 
and one year in the shop of the Forrest Oil 
Company at Neodesha, Kans. On his return 
Elast he was with the Oil Well Supply Com- 
pany at Pittsburgh for two years, at the end 
of that time coming back to Oil City and enter- 
ing into partnership with his father, with whom 
he was associated until the latter's death. 
When the company was incorporated, subse- 
quently, he .became treasurer, succeeding Mr. 
Lee, who was the first to hold that office in 
the new organiztition, and is now president 
and general manager. His long familiarity 



with the details of the business, supplemented 
by general experience in other associations, 
qualifies him thoroughly for his duties, upon 
which the prosperity of the concern depends 
to a great extent. Personally he is endowed 
with the strong sense of responsibility toward 
all with whom he has dealings that was so 
characteristic of his father, being regarded as 
one of the most reliable business men in the 
city. 

Mr. Boardman married Laura Emma Snov/, 
daughter of William and Anna (Crawford) 
Snow, of Oil City, who had had two children 
by a former marriage : ( i ) Louis, bom Jan. 
II, 1894, now engaged as a car inspector witli 
the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, married 
Rose Grist, and they have one child, Robert 
Lee. (2) Mary Anna, born May 25, 1895, is 
now the wife of Carroll Raughman, a firem.m 
on the Pennsylvania railroad, and mother of 
one child, Louis Edwin. One child has been 
bom to Mr. and Mrs. Boardman, Beatrice Eliz- 
abeth, bom April 23, 1917. Mrs. Boardman 
attends Grace M. E. Church, to which Mr. 
Boardman gives his support. Politically he is 
a Republican. Their home is at No. 302 High- 
land avenue. 

Mrs. Boardman was born March 22, 1874. 
on a farm at Oleopolis, Venango Co., Pa., and 
was educated in the country schools. Her 
grandfather, John Snow, lived and died at 
Plumer, Venango county, where he is buried. 
He died at the age of about forty years, but 
his wife, Julia (Smeltzer), lived to be past 
eighty, and is interred at Portland, Ohio. Their 
children were: Mary, Mrs. William Bartels; 
William, father of Mrs. Boardman; Margaret; 
Richard; Elizabeth, Mrs. William Sheffeler; 
John; and Josephine. 

William Snow, father of Mrs. Boardman, 
was a native of Kittanning, Armstrong Co., 
Pa., where he was reared and educated. When 
a young man he left Kittanning and located in 
Oil City, Venango county, where he married 
Anna Crawford, like himself a native of Arm- 
strong county, who survives him, being now 
(1918) seventy-nine years of age. He died 
when sixty-eight years old, at Seneca, Venango 
county, and is buried at Salina, this county. 
In his earlier years he was a trackman on the 
railroad, following railroad work for about 
fifteen years, after which he was successfully 
engaged in farming, at various locations. At 
Oil City he served as constable, and he was 
identified with the Republican party in politics. 
Though not connected with any church, he was 
a devout Christian in his religious convictions, 
and greatly respected for his high principles. 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Snow, namely : Robert, deceased ; Mary Eliz- 
abeth, widow of Fred Stevenson; Richard, of 
Seneca, Venango county; Laura Emma, Mrs. 
Boardman; Harvey William, who married 
Olive Willings ; Alice E., wife of William Mer- 
cilliott; John, who married Eva Willings; 
Blanche, deceased; and Fred, who married 
Frances Stover. 

Robert Crawford, father of Mrs. Snow, 
died at the age of seventy-three years at Kane 
City (now Kaneville), in Cherry Tree town- 
ship, Venango Co., Pa., and is buried at Petro- 
leum Center. He was a farmer by occupation. 
His wife, Catherine (Linnaberry), also lived 
to be over seventy, and is buried at Petroleum 
Center, this county. They were the parents 
of the following family: Anna, Mrs. William 
Snow; Robert, who married Erie Hogg; Wil- 
liam, who married Margaret Hogg; Elizabeth, 
wife of Jesse Graham; John, who married 
Rose Corbett; Curtis, who married Mary 
Hogg; Jennie, wife of William Graham; 
Laura, Mrs. Jacob Tarr; Newton, who mar- 
ried Mary Baney; and Kansas, wife of Fildey 
Rawford. 

JOHN WADE OSENIDER, Sr., present 
coroner of Venango county, has been one of 
the process! ve business men of Oil City, the 
city owmg its reputation as an up-to-date com- 
munity to men of his stamp, Mr. Osenider 
has attained a foremost position in his line 
in Venango county, solely through his own ef- 
forts, and he has returned the appreciation of 
his patrons in good measure by irreproachable 
service in his dealings with them both of busi- 
ness and official nature. 

Mr. Osenider belongs to an old Pennsylva- 
nia family. His great-grandfather was a na- 
tive of Susquehanna county, this State, and 
lived to be one hundred and ten years of age. 
When ninety-seven years old he swam a horse 
across the Susquehanna river to attend a 
friend's funeral. 

Samuel Osenider, grandfather of John 
Wade Osenider, Sr., moved from Westmore- 
land county, Pa., to Clarion county, settling 
between Strattonville, that county, and the 
borough of Corsica, which lies in Jefferson 
county at the Clarion county line. He farmed 
there until his death, which was caused by 
typhoid fever when he was thirty-five years 
old. He is buried at Corsica, and his wife, 
Mary (Vasbinder), was buried at Oil City. 
She was a native of Westmoreland county. 
They were Methodists in religious belief. Mr. 
and Mrs. Osenider had three children: Han- 



nah, who married George Steffy, both now de- 
ceased; Joseph Samuel; and Martha, wife of 
Henry ^IcKim, both deceased. 

Joseph Samuel Osenider, son of Samuel and 
Mary (Vasbinder) Osenider, was born Nov. 
25, 183 1, in Clarion county, near Corsica, re- 
ceived a limited education in the township 
schools, and until 1865 was engaged in log- 
ging, rafting and the lumber business gener- 
ally, being a pilot on the Clarion river. He 
then did business for three years at Brook- 
ville, JeflFerson county, having bought the 
"Schribner House," on Main street, where he 
kept hotel, but his wife dying he gave it up 
and in 1870 moved to Oil City, Venango 
county. Here he did a prosperous business as 
a contractor and teamster until his retirement 
in 191 2, owning several teams and command- 
ing a good share of the local trade in his 
line. Mr. Osenider was an Odd Fellow for 
fifty years, having joined the fraternity when 
he attained his majority, was the first member 
of Mingo Lodge at Corsica and later affiliated 
with Latonia' Lodge at Oil City. He held 
membership in Grace M. E. Church at Oil 
City, and was a Republican in his political 
views. His death occurred Nov. 19, 1917, and 
he was buried at Oil City, Pennsylvania. 

Mr. Osenider first married Alary Flick, who 
was born May 2. 1831, in Westmoreland 
county, Pa., daughter of Frank and Margaret 
Flick, who moved to Clarion county and were 
farming people there the rest of their lives, 
both dying before their daughter Mrs. Osen- 
ider, who passed away Jan. 25, 1869. She was 
the mother of five children: John Wade; 
George, of Oil City, assistant yardmaster in 
the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad Com- 
pany, who married Catherine Dilmore ; Clara, 
widow of Thomas J. Errington and living in 
Detroit, Mich.; Elizabeth, wife of Harry 
Campbell, a railroad conductor; and Frances, 
who is married to Elmer Campbell, of Oil 
City, a contractor and painter. By his second 
marriage, to Carrie Johns, Mr. Osenider had 
one child, Harry, who assisted his father in 
business. Mrs. Carrie (Johns) Osenider was 
born in Brookville, Pa., daughter of Jacob 
Johns, and died at the age of thirty-five years. 
She is buried in Grove Hill cemeterv, Oil 
City. 

John Wade Osenider was bom July 10. 
1863, in Brookville, Jefferson Co., Pa., and 
was reared and educated in Oil City, accom- 
panying his father hither after his mother's 
death. He had to begin work early, so that 
he is practically self-educated and self -trained, 
acquiring the thorough mastery of his present 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



743 



business in closest application to its require- 
ments. He did various kinds of work as a 
boy, eventually learning the blacksmith's trade 
in the employ of the Oil Well Supply Com- 
pany, where he served an apprenticeship of 
three years. His skill in that calling enabled 
him to get employment in the oil fields as tool 
dresser and in other mechanical capacities, and 
he was so engaged until 1894, when he took a 
position with Bitting, Clark & McCracken, 
undertakers in Oil City, remaining in that em- 
ploy for the next ten years. Meantime a num- 
ber of changes had taken place in the owner- 
ship, the firm being successively Bitting, Mc- 
Cracken & Black, B. F. McCracken, and B. F. 
McCracken & Cook. By this time ^Ir. Osen- 
ider felt competent to go into the business on 
his own account, and he was established at No. 
12 Seneca street for two years, at the end of 
which period he formed a partnership with 
D. F. Fritz and David Coffman under the 
style of Osenider, Fritz & Coffman. They 
were associated for two years, and he and Mr. 
Fritz subsequently bought Mr. CoflFman's in- 
terest, taking the name of Osenider & Fritz 
imtil Mr. Osenider purchased his partner's 
share in 1912. They were located in the Mc- 
Collum building on East First street until thir- 
teen years ago, when they rented the place in 
the Masonic building where the business has 
since been conducted, Nos. 19-21 East First 
street, taking the seventeen-year lease of 
George B. Adams & Company, and thus ac- 
quiring the entire first floor of the building, 
aflFording commodious quarters for their furni- 
ture and undertaking establishmenf. Mr. Os- 
enider has been sole owner since he took over 
Mr. Fritz's interest in 191 2, and he continued 
the business along the old lines until March, 
19 1 7, when he dropped the furniture depart- 
ment, having since g^ven his exclusive atten- 
tion to the undertaking branch. He does busi- 
ness under the name of John W. Osenider. 

Though he has been in his present line com- 
paratively few years on his own account, Mr. 
Osenider has made surprising headway, at 
present being one of the leading undertakers 
in this part of Pennsylvania. In order to fit 
himself better for the practical duties of his 
profession he took a course at the United 
States Embalming School, Pittsburgh, from 
which he was graduated, and he has main- 
tained the highest standards in every detail of 
service arranged for his patrons, no city of 
metropolitan pretensions aflFording anything 
better. He carries a full line of caskets and 
all other funeral supplies, havingf a well ap- 
pointed display parlor, has provided a public 



funeral chapel, and has fitted up a morgue. 
He was the first undertaker at Oil City to 
install automobile service, his equipment now 
including two automobile hearses, four limou- 
sines, an automobile ambulance and two pri- 
vate cars, as well as a horse-drawn hearse and 
ambulance. In 1910 he put the first automo- 
bile ambulance in Oil City into service, mak- 
ing his first call on Aug. 5th of that year. 
Two of Mr. Osenider's sons assist him in busi- 
ness, the trade being too large for him to han- 
dle. In November, 1917, he was elected coro- 
ner, to serve four years beginning Jan. ist, 
and there is no reason to doubt that he will 
give thorough satisfaction in that incumbency. 

Socially Mr. Osenider has many connections 
in Oil City, holding membership fn Latonia 
Lodge, No. 1018, I. O. O. F., of which he 
has been treasurer for the last ten years; 
Lodge No. 344, B. P. O. Elks; the Modern 
Woodmen; Protected Home Circle, No. 24; 
Loyal Order of Moose; Oil City Gun Qub, 
and the National Security League. His reli- 
gious association is with Grace M. E. Church. 
Like his father he is a stanch Republican in 
politics. 

Mr. Osenider married Ellen Blanche Hol- 
land, who was born Dec. 11, 1863, at Duncans- 
ville, Blair Co., Pa., daughter of Capt. Thomas 
Holland, and of the children born to them 
three are deceased, one having died in infancy ; 
Louis met an accidental death when sixteen 
years old ; Ralph D., aged fourteen years, was 
fatally shot while out hunting. There are 
three surviving sons : ( i ) Joseph F. Osenider, 
born in 1890, formerly a railroad trainman, is 
now in the United States Aviation Corps, 
Section H, Line 332, stationed at St. Paul, 
Minn. (2) J. Wade Osenider, Jr., born 
March 29, 1892, was educated in the lower 
and high schools at Oil City, and Riverview 
Academy, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., a boys' mili- 
tary preparatory school, subsequently took a 
course at the New York Medical School in 
demi-surgery, and has full charge of the em- 
balming and ambulance work. He has also 
had efficient training in post mortem work in 
the Hudson River Hospital, being unusually 
well qualified for his profession. For nine 
years he was a member of the i6th Regiment, 
Pennsylvania National Guard, and since 
America entered the war has served a year in 
the army with the 112th Infantr>% from which 
he was honorably discharged. He is a member 
of Oil City Lodge, No. 344, B. P. O. Elks 
(now serving as esquire) ; Latonia Lodge, No. 
1018. I. O. O. F.. of Oil City; Lodge No. 78, 
Loyal Order of Moose ; and of the Episcopal 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



Church. J. Wade Osenider married Annie 
Belle Timmons, of Turbeville, S. C. Miss 
Timmons was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. 
Ellmer E. Timmons and member of an old 
Southern family, Mr. Timmons being cashier 
of the Turbeville National Bank. Mrs. Oseni- 
der is a graduate of the University Medical 
College, Augusta, Ga. (3) Philip D. Osenider, 
born Nov. 6, 1894, was educated in the public 
schools and had his business training in the 
undertaking business, serving as his brother's 
assistant at present. He was a member of the 
i6th Infantry Band and served seven months 
on the Mexican border during the recent dis- 
turbances, and recently waived honorable dis- 
charge. He is a member of Latonia Lodge, 
I. O. O. F. 

Capt. Thomas Holland, father of Mrs. John 
Wade Osenider, Sr., was a native of Blair 
county. Pa., born near Duncansville, and died 
at the age of eighty-eight years after an active 
career. He saw service in two wars, enlist- 
ing during the Mexican war at Altoona, Pa., 
and being a private in the army for eighteen 
months during that struggle. In the Civil war 
he was captam of the Scott Rifles, a volun- 
teer company, and served three years, taking 
part in many battles and overland marches. 
He and his brother George were well educated, 
the latter serving fifteen years as principal of 
the Duncansville schools, and Captain Holland 
also taught there for several terms during his 
young manhood. But he was a stationary en- 
gineer most of his life, serving in that capacity 
in the Cambria Iron Works at Duncansville, 
on the coal slope, for years; later he ran an 
engine for the same company at Hollidays- 
burg, Blair county; came to Columbia Farm, 
in Venango county, and ran engines at pump- 
ing stations for twelve years; and on his re- 
turn to Hollidaysburg was so occupied until 
his retirement. Captain Holland was a Dem- 
ocrat in politics and a Catholic in religion, be- 
longing to St. Stephen's Church at Duncans- 
ville, and he is buried with both his wives in 
St. Catherine's cemetery at that place. His 
first wife, Mary Ellen (Gilday), was the 
daughter of Patrick Gilday, who came from 
Scotland, and died at the ajge of thirty-five 
years, the mother of nine children : John, de- 
ceased, who married Anna Fitzgerald ; David, 
whose wife's name is Mary; Frank, of Con- 
nellsville. Pa., a plumber; Ellen Blanche, Mrs. 
Osenider; William, also married; Martha, 
widow of George Moyer, a veteran of the 
Civil war, in which he served two years and 
nine months, and subsequently an engineer on 
the Pennsylvania railroad; Mollie, widow of 



Isaac Watt, an engineer on the Pennsylvania 
railroad; Elizabeth, wife of Benjamin Carle; 
and Hester, deceased, who was the wife of 
Duncan AIcDougall. 

CHRISTIAN ROESS, late of Oil City, is 
well remembered among Venango county oil 
operators as one of the local producers whose 
steady success was a stabilizing factor of the 
industry in this region. He and his elder 
brother, Louis Roess, were associated in busi- 
ness from the time of their arrival here until 
the latter's death, and as members of the pros- 
perous firms of Roess Brothers and Roess 
Brothers & Company contributed notably to 
the reputation and value of the Venango 
county oil fields. In time his interests were 
extended to other profitable territories, but 
he always retained his local holdings and 
managed them wisely. Mr. Roess was a man 
of well balanced character, which he evi- 
denced in his business activities as in all other 
relations of life, aiming to prosper by well 
directed eflPorts and steady application in care- 
fully chosen lines, and wasting neither time 
nor substance on the uncertainties of rash 
ventures. He was well rewarded in all of his 
undertakings, from the material standpoint, 
and personally held the sincere esteem of all 
who knew him. 

Mr. Roess was bom Feb. 1, 1844, in Han- 
over, Germany, in which country his father, 
Martin Roess, died in 1851. The widowed 
mother brought her little family to America in 
the year 1857, Louis, Christian and Elizabeth, 
the latter subsequently marrying Samuel 
Scott. They lived for a time in Allegheny, 
Pa., Christian Roess learning the trade of 
butcher there, and his brother followed the 
same line of work, in which they continued 
for two years after their removal to the Story 
farm above Oil City, in i860, at which time 
they drove cattle hither from Butler county, 
butchering and selling them at their destina- 
tion. Soon after their arrival here they be- 
came interested in oil properties, under the 
firm name of Roess Brothers, investing in 
wells, and extending their holdings steadily 
until they became substantial figures in the oil 
industry in this section. They had a landing 
near the old "Moran House" in the Third 
ward of Oil City, shippin^f their oil by boats 
down the Allegheny to Pittsburgh, and were 
members of the Oil City Oil Exchange from 
1868. They were also associated with promi- 
nent oil men in producing properties, among 
the more prosperous firms being Roess 
Brothers & Company, controlling some of the 



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745 



most productive oil properties in Pennsyl- 
vania, New York and Ohio in the course of a 
long and prosperous career in the business. 
Christian Roess had charge of the field work 
for the firm, and occupied himself principally 
throughout life with business cares and do- 
mestic responsibilities. He was one of the 
organizers of Good Hope Lutheran Church in 
Oil City, and with his brother Louis among 
the most substantial advocates of the first 
church building. Likewise with Mrs. Louis 
Roess he was one of the most generous sup- 
porters of the beautiful brown stone church 
and a member of its building committee, also 
serving as treasurer of the congregation, hav- 
ing succeeded his brother Louis after the latter 
had held that position for years, and like him 
continuing to fill the office until his death, 
which occurred Oct. 12, 1907. 

Mr. Roess married Sophia Julianne Kraut- 
hause, who was bom June 10, 1844, daughter 
of Nicholas and Julianne Krauthause, and 
died April 29, 1912. Mr. and Mrs. Roess had 
a large family, viz.: Elizabeth married 
Adolph Schorman, of Bradford, Pa. ; Gustav 
Frederick, the eldest son, is married to 
Margaret Deets; Emma married William 
Eichner, of Pasadena, Cal., and is deceased; 
Theodore J., now a resident of Cridersville, 
Ohio, married Delia Mowery; Christian M., 
an oil producer, of Oil City, married Flora 
Shellito Baird; Edward F., of Oil City, also 
engaged as an oil producer, and in the meat 
and provision business as well, married Emma 
Reimann; William L., who is in the grocery 
business in Oil City, married Sarah Kohler; 
Louise lives in Buflfalo, N. Y. ; Clara married 
Louis P. Reimann, a building contractor, of 
Buffalo, N. Y. ; Sophia D. is associated with 
the, Phipps Institute at Philadelphia, Pa.; 
.^bert F., of Oil City, an oil producer, mar- 
ried Jessie Laughlin ; Alma is the wife of Rev. 
Claudius Freseman, of Akron, Ohio; Frede- 
rick L. C, now a resident of Sierra Madre, 
Cal., married Virginia Laughlin. 

JOHN* RICHARD STEELE, of Oil City, 
has had a well-rounded and active life, varied 
and broadened by the business and official re- 
sponsibilitieis, social and domestic interests, 
which he has combined very happily in his busy 
career. He has ranked with the substantial 
business men of the city since he settled there 
over forty years ago, has served city and coun- 
ty in important public positions, and kept in 
sympathetic touch with his fellow citizens in 
all the other relations of life, filling a place of 
definite worth in the community. 



The Steele family came to this country from 
the North of Ireland, whence a large propor- 
tion of Pennsylvania's sturdy pioneer stock 
was drawn. Richard Steele, the grandfather 
of John Richard Steele, lived at Vineland, N. 
J., before his removal to this State, where he 
first settled in Dauphin county, later in Law- 
rence county, the remainder of his life being 
spent in farming in North Beaver township. 
He and his wife Elizabeth (Davis), who was 
of Welsh extraction, both lived to be about 
seventj^ years of age, and they are buried at 
Hillsville, Lawrence Co., Pa. They were Bap- 
tists in religious faith, and he was a Whig in 
political doctrine. Their children were: 
Stephen Davis, Drfvid, Elizabeth, Eleanor, and 
Mrs. Sarah Christie. 

Stephen Davis Steele, son of Richard and 
Elizabeth (Davis) Steele, was born near 
Mount Jackson, in North Beaver township, 
Lawrence Co., Pa., and died on his farm there 
in August, 1853, when but twenty-seven years 
old, he and four or five other members of the 
family being victims of cholera. He is buried 
at Hillsville. He had bought a tract of eighty 
acres and started life ambitiously, not only 
cultivating his land but also engaging in the 
manufacture of boots there, giving employment 
to a number of men. Like his father he was a 
Whig and a Baptist. He married Susanna 
Watson, who was born July i, 1828, in Law- 
rence county, Pa., near Poland, Mahoning Co., 
Ohio, her father's property lying on the line 
between Lawrence county. Pa., and Mahoning 
county, Ohio, about half in each county. Two 
children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Steele, 
John Richard and William Henderson, the lat- 
ter marrying Emma Goucher. He moved West 
to Atchison, Kans., and became a manufacturer 
there. The mother remarried, her second hus- 
band being a Mr. Gates, with whom she re- 
moved to Morenci, Mich., at which place her 
death occurred Feb. 7, 1918. She is buried at 
Morenci. 

Nicholas Watson, father of Mrs. Susanna 
(Watson) Steele, was a native of Scotland, 
and on coming to America settled near Poland, 
Ohio, later removing to Hancock county, Ohio. 
He was a school teacher in his younger days, 
following that profession for a number of years 
after his emigration to this country, besides 
farming very successfully. He acquired three 
hundred acres near Findlay, Hancock county, 
cleared a valuable farm, operated a general 
store, and served for years as postmaster at 
Rawson, which town was built on part of his 
land. Black walnut was very plentiful there- 
abouts, and was used entirely in the construc- 



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\'ENANGO COUNTY, PExXNSYLVANIA 



tion of his house, store, barn and fences. He 
lived to the age of eighty years, his wife Han- 
nah (Creighton) attaining the age of ninety- 
four. She was a daughter of Maj. William 
Creighton, a veteran of the war of 1812, and 
his wife Martha (Lynnington), whose father, 
Dr. Lynnington, was a surgeon in the Ameri- 
can army during the Revolutionary war, serv- 
ing at Yorktown during the operations there. 
Mr. and Mrs. Watson were the parents of the 
following children: William Creighton, Sus- 
anna (Mrs. Stephen D. Steele), Eliza, Mary, 
Martha, Sophia, Lucretia, Amanda, John Mc- 
Connell (who went to Salem, Oregon) and 
James. The parents are buried at Rawson, 
Hancock Co., Ohio. Originally a Covenanter, 
Nicholas Watson joined the United Presby- 
terian Church, and he was led hy his convic- 
tions from his early adherence to the Whig 
party to join the abolitionists. 

John Richard Steele was born Nov. 29, 1848, 
on a farm in Lawrence county, Pa., near New 
Castle, and grew up there, obtaining his early 
education in the village of Mount Jackson. 
He was occupied in assisting with the farm 
work until his enlistment during the Civil war, 
before the completion of his fifteenth year, at 
New Castle, whence he was taken to Louis- 
ville. Ky., being held in camp for some time 
before his assignment to Company H, 77th 
Pennsylvania Infantry, under Colonel Stam- 
baugh and Brigadier General Negley. The 
regiment formed part of the 4th Army Corps, 
attached to the Army of the Cumberland under 
Gen. George H. Thomas, and he saw service 
all through the campaign from Chattanooga to 
Atlanta, ending at Nashville under General 
Thomas. His command then followed Hood, 
the troops embarking at Nashville and going 
down the Cumberland to Cairo, 111., thence on 
to New Orleans and Texas, some landing at 
Galveston. Mr. Steele's division disembarked 
at Indianola, delivering forty-five thousand 
stands of arms and munitions to the Mexicans 
for use in their operations against Maxi- 
milian. Returning by boat to Cincinnati, he 
journeyed by train from that point to Phila- 
delphia, where he was stationed at Camp Cad- 
walader until mustered out, Sept. 23, 1865. 

Going back to New Castle, Pa.. Mr. Steele 
not long afterward secured a position as clerk 
in a hardware store at Youngstown, Ohio, 
where he remained for three years, meanwhile 
learning the trade of tinner and galvanized cor- 
nice worker. His early ambition was to pre- 
pare for the medical profession, but he made 
no mistake in continuing business life. After 
leaving Youngstown he followed his trade at 



Akron and Cincinnati, Ohio, Louisville, Ky., 
St. Louis, Mo.. Omaha, Nebr., Chicago, 111., 
Cleveland and Toledo, Ohio, spending several 
years in Cleveland. Then he spent three years 
at New Castle conducting a hardware business 
in partnership with his brother and a Mr. Mc- 
Caskey, under the firm name of Steele, McCas- 
key & Company, and meeting misfortune in the 
panic of 1873 ^^e brother went West, and Mr. 
Steele sold out his interest there in 1876. The 
next year he came to Oil City, arriving April 
5, 1877, and immediately opened a hardware, 
tin and stove business on State street, having 
one of the first establishments of the kind on 
the south side of Oil City, and continuing his 
association therewith for almost fifteen years. 
He had various partners during this period, 
the firm being first Steele & Hoskins, later 
Steele, Hoskins & Chambers and finally John 
R. Steele & Company, one of his clerks, a 
Mr. Hazlett, holding membership in the firm 
during the latter years of its existence. Sell- 
ing out his interest in this business Jan. i, 
1892, Mr. Steele became a traveling salesman 
for the Lockwood-Taylor Hardware Company 
of Cleveland, Ohio, and he has been in prac- 
tically the same association ever since, except 
for the years he withdrew to fill the office of 
treasurer of Venango county, to which he was 
elected in 1902. serving in 1903-05. He re- 
sumed his relations with the Lockwood-Taylor 
Company in 1907, and has continued with them 
through the various changes in ownership. la 
19 10 the company consolidated with the 
Luetkemeyer Company, and they recently 
bought out Lockwood & Henry, the business 
being now carried on by the Luetkemeyer Com- 
pany. Mr. Steele's territory is in northwestern 
Pennsylvania, and he has been highly success- 
ful. Besides attending to his duties as travel- 
ing salesman he has sustained some independent 
business connections, having been engaged in 
oil production since 1906, with sixteen wells at 
present in operation: and he is an extensive 
owner of local real estate, which he has 
handled very skillfully. 

Mr. Steele has long taken a leading part in 
the administration of city affairs. He has 
served four terms in the common council and 
two terms in the select council, and at different 
times as president of both branches, showing 
well developed gifts for leadership in the di- 
rection of public matters, and a degree of in- 
tegrity in discharging the trusts reposed in his 
care that has made him very popular with his 
fellow citizens. He is a Republican on political 
questions. As a Civil war veteran he was in- 
strumental in organizing G. A. R. Post No. 



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\^ENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



747 



435, of South Oil City, in which he held office 
from the beginning, being elected commander 
in 1888. He was also a charter member of Oil 
City Lodge, No. 344, B. P. O. Elks, and of 
Latonia Lodge, I. O. O. F., of Oil City; is 
affiliated with Petrolia Lodge, No. 363, F. & 
A. M. ; and has been active in the A. O. U. W. 
(select knight) and K. O. T. M. He and his 
wife hold membership in the Second Presby- 
terian Church, and she is a member of the local 
chapter of the Red Cross. 

On Aug. 20, 1877. M''- Steele married, at 
New Castle, Pa., Edith Percy Douthett, who 
was bom April 7, 1856, and they have had three 
children: Regina A., bom June 15, 1878, was 
educated at Oil City, graduating from the high 
school; she is married to George Harding 
Lewis, of Norfolk, Va., electrical engineer and 
^aduate of Cornell University, and they have 
four children, Henry Steele, George Harding, 
Jr., Edith Douthett and Suzanne. Richard 
Kenneth, bom July 5, 1881, died Aug. 20, 
1882. Helen Mar, bom June 10, 1884, at- 
tended Oil City high school and the Earp 
Academy ; she lives at home. The family resi- 
dence is at No. 520 West Third street, in the 
Fourth ward. 

Mrs. Steele is a native of New Castle, Pa., 
and received her education there and at Oak- 
dale Seminary, in Allegheny county, this State. 
In both paternal and maternal lines her ances- 
tors have been prominent in New Castle, the 
Douthetts and Crawfords having long been 
ranked with the most intelligent and influential 
residents of that place. Her great-grandfather, 
William Douthett, a native of Scotland and a 
Covenanter in religious faith, was of French 
Huguenot stock, the original form of the name 
having been de Thou. One member of the fam- 
ily was ambassador to the Spanish court, and 
was put to death for his religious tendencies. 
Members of the family emigrated from France 
to Wales and later to Scotland, whence William 
Douthett came to America after his marriage, 
living for a time in Pittsburgh, Pa. Having 
accumulated five hundred dollars, and ac- 
quired a horse, wagon and saddle, he moved to 
Mercer county. Pa., near the headwaters of the 
Shenango river, and bought a tract of six hun- 
dred acres where he farmed during the re- 
mainder of his life. He and his wife Isabel 
(Qyde) are buried in the U. P. Church yard 
at Jamestown, that county. They had chil- 
dren: Solomon; William, a United Presby- 
terian minister, who married Hannah Adams : 
Mrs. Isabel Adams : and Jonathan. 

Solomon Douthett. son of William and Isa- 
bel (Qyde) Douthett, was born in this country, 



and inherited his father's farm in Mercer 
county, where he spent his life, dying at the 
age of seventy-seven years. His wife, Rachel 
(Dickey), passed away when sixty years old, 
and they are buried at Jamestown, where they 
were members of the U. P. Church. Mr. 
Douthett was a Whig originally, but his strong 
sympathies drew him to the support of the 
abolitionists. His children were as follows: 
William, who was a minister of the U. P. 
Church ; Samuel, also a minister of that de- 
nomination ; James, who went to California by 
way of the Isthmus of Panama during the gold 
excitement and later went to Louisiana ; Jona- 
than; Isabel,^ Elizabeth; Joseph; Rachel, who 
died when five years old ; Priscilla ; Robert, and 
Andrew Thompson. 

Joseph Douthett, son of Solomon, was born 
Feb. 18, 1819, at Jamestown, Mercer Co., Pa., 
and began his education in the academy there 
taught by a Protestant Irishman of unusual 
qualifications for the times, a graduate of Ehib- 
lin University. Later he attended Allegheny 
College at Meadville, and pursued higher 
studies in Pittsburgh, reading medicine under 
Dr. Sheen. He had been at New Castle, and 
upon his return there conducted a private 
school for a long time, later carrying on a book 
store for five years : and was cashier of a New 
Castle bank for ten years, until the breaking 
oiiit of the Civil war. His health giving out he 
lived on a farm for nine years, and he then 
went back to Pittsburgh, where he had previ- 
ously lived while engaged in coal operations 
along the Monongahela river, until he lost 
everything by the sinking of his barges. After 
five years in the dry goods business at Pitts- 
burgh he found his health failing again and he 
went to Dakota to recuperate, returning to the 
vicinity of New Castle when he had recovered 
and living on a small homestead tract there 
until his retirement. His home was subse- 
quently in that city until his death, which oc- 
curred there in January, 1907, near the close 
of his eighty-eighth year. He was prominent 
in public aflfairs in his prime, serving as county 
commissioner and justice of the peace while in 
Lawrence county, and he was a Whig and abo- 
litionist in his political convictions. His w^fe, 
Myrtilla A. (Crawford), bom in April, 1825, 
died in December, 1857, aged thirty-two years, 
and is buried with him at New Castle. They 
were the parents of the following children: 
Joseph H., who settled at Lima. Ohio, married 
Margerie Chambers : Elizabeth A. married 
Hugh Graham, of Bloominsrton. 111.; Dora 
Rlanch. deceased, was the wife of Dr. James 
K. Pollock, of New Castle, Pa.; Reginald 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



Heber, deceased, married Alina Douthett; 
Edith Percy is the wife of John R. Steele; 
Mary Myrtilla is the widow of Henry B. Jack- 
son, of Joliet, Illinois. 

David Crawford, Mrs. Steele's maternal 
grandfather, belonged to the Scottish clan of 
Crawfords, the branch of the family in 
America having been founded by five brothers 
who came to this country from England dur- 
ing the Protector's rule. They settled near 
Jamestown, Va., and they and their posterity 
were Episcopalians in religion. David Craw- 
ford, bom in April, 1798, came to Pennsyl- 
vania from Virginia. His great-uncle, Colonel 
Crawford, was a surveyor and well acquainted 
with Washington, who taught him his profes- 
sion when he was eighteen years old, the boy 
assisting the General at that time to survey the 
Lord Fairfax farm in Virginia. Colonel Craw- 
ford was later complimented by Washington 
for his great bravery, and he was a gallant 
warrior until his tragic end, having been burned 
at the stake by the Indians. David Crawford 
served as a drummer boy in the war of 181 2. 
In 181 5 he went to Painesville, Ohio, remain- 
ing there until he reached his majority, when 
he became an apprentice to the printer's trade 
at Mercer, Mercer Co., Pa. Leaving that coun- 
ty in 1829 he settled in what is now Lawrence 
county, buying a farm at New Castle, and in 
fact acquiring a large quantity of land at the 
present site of that city, dealing extensively in 
real estate up to the time of his retirement. 
He took an influential part in the formation of 
Lawrence county ; donated the ground for the 
courthouse and jail ; edited the first newspaper 
there, the New Castle Register ; and continued 
to publish a paper for a number of years, 
eventually selling out his interests in that line 
to E. S. Durbin. He died in August, 1873, at 
the age of seventy-five years, and is buried with 
his wife at New Castle. Politically he was a 
Whig, and in religious association he departed 
from the church of his ancestors, becoming a 
Methodist. Mr. Crawford married Rebecca 
Hosack, a native of Adams county. Pa., born 
Oct. 21, 1801, who survived him a few years, 
passing away in October, 1876. Her father. 
Col. Thomas Hosack, commanded a regiment 
of land forces that went to assist Commodore 
Perry at I^ke Erie. Six children were born 
to Mr. and Mrs. Crawford ; Myrtilla A.. Mrs. 
Joseph Douthett ; LaFayette : Evelyn ; Walter ; 
Arabella S., and Florence R. 

THOMAS McGUIRE, of Pleasantville, at 
present chiefly occupied with his duties as 
postmaster at that place, has given his fellow 



citizens valuable service in other official ca- 
pacities, but during a long residence in this 
vicinity has been best known in his associa- 
tion with the development of local oil lands. 
He followed the oil business for fifty years, 
and by intelligent management of his inter- 
ests therein kept a high average of success, 
retiring with an ample competence after grad- 
ually disposing of his holdings, of whidi he 
sold the last about a year ago. His connec- 
tion with the industry began in boyhood. 

Mr. McGuire was born April i. 1852, in 
County Fermanagh, Ireland, and in 1864 21c- 
companied his mother and sisters from that 
country to the United States. They remained 
a few months in Brooklyn, N. Y., during which 
time the mother died, the others proceeding 
thence to western Pennsylvania, an older 
brother, John, having been located at Oil City 
for about a year. Thomas McGuire joined 
him, coming by the railroad, which then ended 
about three quarters of a mile out of the city. 
His brother, who was a stonecutter, followed 
his trade at Oil City, Titusville and Franklin, 
helping to construct the Venango county jail 
which was recently razed, and fmally located 
at Rynd Farm, where he died when about 
forty years old, of stonecutter's consumption. 
Thomas McGuire earned his first money at Oil 
City by rolling empt^ barrels from steamboats 
onto the wharf, gettmg three cents apiece, and 
sold papers on the boats about to leave on the 
night trip down to Pittsburgh. In 1865 he 
did his first work in the oil fields, working at 
the wells under William H. Duncan, general 
superintendent of the Filder Oil Company, 
which operated all along Oil creek, having 
some wells even in Oil .City itself. He soon 
learned enough to be given employment as 
pumper, and was with the company in that 
capacity for six or seven years at Oil City. 
In 1 87 1 he came to the Shamburg oil field to 
take charge of a farm and wells for Mr. Salis- 
bury, the property lying on West Pithole creek, 
three miles south of Pleasantville and nearly 
the same distance north of Pithole. It was 
a wooded tract, and he occupied a cabin in the 
midst of the forest, giving his first attention to 
the wells in operation there and between times 
beginning to clear the timber from the land. In 
time he became the owner of the place, which 
comprised 106 acres, and here his interests 
were centered for some thirty years, during 
which time he retained possession of the whole 
tract and purchased several leases located 
thereon. Thus as his financial condition bet- 
tered he gradually resumed control of the oil 
himself as the leases expired, in this way 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



749 



acquiring seven wells, which formed the nu- 
cleus of the very profitable operations which 
eiigaged him to the close of his active years. 
He kept putting down others until he had 
about two dozen with satisfactory production. 
Under the crude methods originally followed, 
with little attention to details, the first owners 
of the wells had not made them specially 
profitable, but Mr. McGuire inaugurated a 
policy which more than paid for itself in econ- 
omy of operation and increased production, 
converting them into highly remunerative 
properties. He exercised vigilant care over 
all things and invested all his returns in the 
leases as they came back into his ownership, 
the volume of business carried on at his wells 
makine him one of the important producers in 
the neighborhood. For several years he was 
in partnership with W. J. Stevens, of Titus- 
ville, in operations in other fields, including the 
Lima and Harrison county territories in Ohio, 
where they did important development work, 
Mr. McGuire generally giving his personal at- 
tention to these enterprises, from which large 
returns were realized. However, he always 
put his greatest faith in the local territory, with 
no expectation of striking a marvelous pro- 
duction but full assurance that almost every 
well could be counted upon for a reasonable 
return on the investment. Though prices at 
times went down to a discouragingly low fig- 
ure, his long-continued production on the farm 
was large enough to offset such misfortunes 
md tide him over until they went up to nor- 
mal. He sold the io6-acre tract some thirteen 
years ago, after operations there which were 
a notable contribution to oil exploitation in 
the vicinity, and has since disposed of all his 
other oil interests, having decided to spend the 
rest of his days in less strenuous responsibili- 
ties. Four years ago he was made postmaster 
at Pleasantville, which though not a railroad 
town (except for the trolley service) is an im- 
portant office, being the center of three rural 
free delivery routes as well as a star route 
to Enterprise. Mr. McGuire has long been a 
popular local official, especially as a member of 
the school board, and in every capacity has 
given public-spirited service which entitles 
him to the respect and confidence of his neigh- 
bors and others in the community. He is a 
Democrat on political issues, and well known 
fraternally as an Odd Fellow and a Mason. 

Mr. McGuire lived alone in his cabin on the 
farm for about four years, in 1875 marrying 
Catherine Flannagan, of Wellsville, N. Y., and 
they have reared four children, namely: 
Thomas Walter, now a superintendent of oil 



operations at Sperry, Okla.; May, wife of E. 
G. Baldwin, a railroad contractor, of Union 
City,. Pa.; Aileen, wife of P. A. McCuUough, 
accountant with the United States Steel Cor- 
poration at Pittsburgh; and Arthur W., a 
druggist in Pittsburgh. 

Mr. McGuire has many lively recollections 
of the old oil days in this region, and of his 
own early expenences when he went to live 
at the farm. Though there was little human 
companionship at first the native inhabitants 
were not to be ignored, particularly the rattle- 
snakes, of which he killed large numbers with- 
out apparently diminishing the number for 
several years. 

GEORGE L. PARDEE, D. D. S., ranks 
high among the professional men at Franklin, 
where he has been engaged in the practice of 
dentistry for over fifteen years. He estab- 
lished himself in that city shortly after grad- 
uating from college, and with steadily increas- 
ing skill has dra^vn a growing circle of patrons 
until now he commands a large share of the 
patronage in Franklin and the neighboring 
territory. Receiving early recognition for his 
conscientious work and alert attention to the 
constant advances made in his chosen calling, 
he has always endeavored to prove himself 
worthy of the confidence of his patients, and 
by faithfully studying the demands of his daily 
duties has profited liberally from his own 
experiences, as well as those of others. In- 
deed, he has kept abreast of the modem de- 
velopments in dentistry as much through his 
personal progress as through following that 
made by his fellow practitioners. 

Dr. Pardee is a native of Delaware, born in 
1878, at Lebanon, in Kent county, son of Capt. 
Stephen T. Pardee. He began his education 
in the schools of his home county, later attend- 
ing public school at Wilmington, Del. He took 
his professional course at the Pennsylvania 
College of Dental Surgery, at Philadelphia, Pa., 
graduating with the class of 1902, and in the 
year of 1904 located at Franklin to start inde- 
pendent practice. Here he has remained ever 
since, attending to the duties of a large patron- 
age and winning high reputation as one of the 
creditable representatives of his profession in 
this part of Pennsylvania. His office is in the 
Exchange Bank Building. While at college 
Dr. Pardee was a member of the C. N. Pierce 
Dental Society, connected with the school. At 
Franklin he affiliates with the local lodges of 
B. P. O. Elks and Royal Arcanum and holds 
membership in the Franklin Club, enjoying 
high standing in all these societies. He is an 



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Episcopalian in religious connection, belonging 
to St. John's Church. Dr. Pardee has main- 
tained a helpful interest in many things affect- 
ing the general good of the place of his adop- 
tion, where he has always been regarded as 
a most desirable citizen, valued for his personal 
worth as well as his professional usefulness. 

On Jan. i8, 1904, Dr. Pardee was united 
in marriage to Elenora Lewis, of Philadelphia, 
Pa. They have no children-. 

ALEXANDER GRAHAM has been a life- 
long resident of Sandy Creek township, and 
has lived at his present home for fifty-four 
years, having settled there at the time of his 
marriage. He is a typical member of a family 
noted for vigor and longevity and highly re- 
spected for high personal character. The Gra- 
hams have been established in this part of 
Venango county for more than a century, and 
have done their full share in furthering its 
material improvement and upholding high 
standards of citizenship and social intercourse. 

Robert Graham, the founder of the family 
here, moved from Center County, Pa., in 1802, 
settling at the mouth of Sandy creek and put- 
ting up a log cabin on the spot where his son 
Robert later resided. He selected the location 
because of the good water on the land, and like 
the other early settlers had to set about build- 
ing a cabin immediately and clearing ground 
for the first crops. Fortunately he was a man 
of strong physique and great energy, for they 
had many hardships and privations the first 
few years. He brought his family and all the 
household goods with him, all their belongings 
consisting of one sled load, but he also had a 
team of horses, and was in fact better off than 
many of the pioneers. For several years after 
settling here the Grahams had to go to West- 
moreland or Pittsburgh for all the salt and 
iron they used, bringing it on horseback or on 
foot, as most convenient. 

Robert Graham, son of Robert above, was 
born Dec. 25, 1797, in Center county, Pa., and 
accompanied his parents to Venango county 
in 1802. For a time he lived in Victory town- 
ship, at the mouth of Sandy creek, but before 
1830 he removed to the farm where the Gra- 
ham graveyard is located, making the first 
improvements on that property, where he con- 
tinued to reside until his death, at the age of 
eighty-three years. He is buried there. He 
was one of the founders of the East Grove 
M. E. Church, and took an active part in its 
work. Politically he became a Republican. 
On Dec. 22, 1819, he married Margaret Gor- 
don, who was bom Sept. 29, 1802, a daughter 



of Samuel Gordon, whose farm adjoined the 
Graham property and who lived to an ad- 
vanced age. Airs. Graham passed away when 
eighty-one years old, and is buried with her 
husband. They reared a large family, viz.: 
Eliza married John Smith, and after residing 
in Mercer county for some time they moved 
to Osage county, Kans., where she died at the 
age of seventy-five years; Samuel G. was a 
resident of Sandy Creek township and died at 
the age of seventy-four years; John died in 
Sandy Creek township when seventy years old ; 
Jane died in infancy; Robert, born Sept. 2, 
1828, married Catherine Foster Sept. 4, 1856, 
and they had five sons and four daughters 
(he lived in Sandy Creek township, and died 
aged eighty-two years) : Hiram lived and died 
in Sandy Creek township, reaching the age of 
seventy years ; William J. enlisted in Company 
K, 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry, for service in 
the Civil war, and died of starvation in Ander- 
sonville prison; James died in Sandy Creek 
township; Alexander is mentioned below; 
Jesse died in childhood; Florinda, who died 
eight years ago, was the wife of Washington 
B. Houser, who is mentioned elsewhere ; Madi- 
son M. lives in Sandy Creek township; Na- 
thaniel D. S. completes the family. 

Alexander Graham was bom Nov. 22, 1837, 
half a mile from his present home in Sandy 
Creek township. He had such educational 
advantages as the local schools afforded, but 
his training was principally practical, prepar- 
ing him well for his life work. When he mar- 
ried he settled on the farm which he has since 
operated, a tract on Bully Hill four miles 
south of Franklin, lying back off the main 
road. Only one field was cleared when he 
moved to the place, so that he may be credited 
with its transformation to a modem farm 
property, with substantial buildings and under 
good cultivation. Mr. Graham was well built 
and active in his early life, well fitted to make 
his way in the world, and in spite of many 
years of hard work he is still well preserved, 
though nearing the close of his eightieth year. 
His property lies in the oil belt, and the oil 
rights are operated under lease by C. T. Mc- 
Dowell, a neighbor, who has eleven producing 
wells there. They still have an average yield, 
which was much larger originally, bringing 
Mr. Graham a substantial income in royalties. 

Mr. Graham married Maria Keister, who 
was born July 19, 1840, in Richland township, 
this county, daughter of George and Anna 
(Oba) Keister, and was eleven years old when 
her parents settled near the old Graham home- 
stead in Sandy Creek township. Four chil- 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



751 



dren have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Graham, 
namely : Manuel H. is engaged in dairying in 
Sandy Creek; Ella Jane is the wife of C. F. 
Leighty, a carpenter, of Franklin; William 
is farming near Cooperstown, this county; 
Rachel is married to Lewis Doerr and lives 
on a farm adjoining her father s. Mr. Graham 
has been a good citizen, faithful to all his 
obligations, but he has never mingled to any 
extent in public affairs. His religious asso- 
ciation is with the East Grove M. E. Church. 
• 

THOMAS STEWART, Jr., is prominent 
in business circles throughout this part of 
Pennsylvania as an extensive operator in oil 
and timber, a large employer of labor, and a 
competent judge of local land values, which 
modem activities have kept on the increase 
throughout his career. His work has been one 
of the factors of land development in this 
r^ion, his essentially progressive nature mani- 
festing itself in all his undertakings and 
meth(Kis to such an extent that they Have 
marked some advance in every locality to 
which his interests have called him. Mr. 
Stewart is a son of Thomas Stewart, Sr., of 
Sandy Creek township, this county, and a 
grandson of Robert and Anna (Bell) Stewart, 
Scotch-Irish people from the North of Ireland 
who decided to come to this country in 1853. 
Three of their children, William, James and 
Matilda, were in the United States, established 
in Philadelphia, Pa., and they sailed with the 
other two, Margaret and Thomas, from Lon- 
donderry for that city, but the mother died 
while they were crossing the ocean, and was 
buried at sea, at the Newfoundland Bank. 
The voyage took six weeks and three days. 
Robert Stewart was no longer a young man, 
so he decided to remain in Philadelphia, where 
he spent the rest of his life; he is buried in 
Mount Moriah cemetery. 

Thomas Stewart, son of Robert, was born 
March 10, 1840, in County Londonderry, Ire- 
land, had common school privileges in his 
youth, and after coming to America, in 1853, 
worked in woolen mills in Philadelphia until 
he was twenty-five years old. Attracted by the 
stories of oil discoveries in western Pennsyl- 
vania he came to Venango county in 1865, 
making his way directly to the Big Sandy wells 
along the Allegheny river at the mouth of Big 
Sandy creek. He found employment as a tool 
dresser, and for about ten years continued to 
ivork around the oil fields, not only at his first 
location but also at Walnut Bend, above Oil 
City, building rigs and helping with drilling as 
well as dressing tools. In 1875 he bought the 



farm where he has since made his home, then 
known as the old Alfred Bunnell place, a run- 
down tract in Sandy Creek township lying five 
miles southwest of Franklin, along the Big 
Sandy. There are 190 acres in the property, 
of which Mr. Stewart has about sixty acres 
under cultivation, following general farming 
very successfully. When he came to the place 
he had little to invest, but he practiced thrift 
and extended his operations as opportunity 
offered, and he has gone ahead steadily, ac- 
quiring a comfortable competence through his 
own exertions. All the buildings on the farm, 
including his comfortable dwelling, have been 
erected by him. He has attended strictly to 
his private affairs, having no desire for public 
offices or honors. On political questions he 
has always believed in the principles of the 
Republican party as originally laid down, 
though he does not feel that the party has held 
to them. He is regarded as one of the substan- 
tial residents of his township, and respected by 
all who know him. 

Mr. Stewart was married in Venango 
county, in 1867, to Elizabeth Heckart, who 
was born July 3, 1840, in Butler county. Pa., 
coming to Venango county when thirteen years 
old with her father, Philip Heckart, a farmer, 
who settled in Sandy Creek township, in that 
part set off in 1876 as Victory township. Mrs. 
Stewart died Sept. 13, 1916, after almost fifty 
years of married life, and is buried in the 
Franklin cemetery. The following children 
were bom to this marriage : Anna Belle is the 
widow of D. W. Emerick and lives on a farm 
adjoining the old homestead with her eight 
children, Arthur, Jesse, Rachel, Christina, 
Lana, Matilda, Samuel and Ted. Julia Alice 
lives at home and is engaged in dressmaking. 
William J. and his wife, Clara (MoflFett), are 
located at Glassport, near Pittsburgh; he is a 
carpenter by vocation. Matilda is the wife of 
George Johnston, who is engaged at the Eclipse 
Oil Works, Franklin, and resides at Bleakley 
Hill; Mr. and Mrs. Johnston have three 
children, James, Clarence and Ruth. Frank, 
engaged as a teamster in Franklin, resides with 
his wife, Maud (Linn), and children, George 
and Eleanor, at Bleakley Hill. Thomas is 
mentioned below. Samuel I., a carpenter, lives 
at the old home with his wife Zoe (De Vore) 
and their son, Herbert. 

Thomas Stewart. Jr., was bom Dec. 8, 1877, 
on his father's farm in Sandy Creek township, 
and was brought up there, acquiring his edu- 
cation in the local public schools. At present 
he is a resident of Rocky Grove, having lived 
there or in the city of Franklin for the last 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



twelve years. When sixteen years old Mr. 
Stewart began to work in the oil fields as a tool 
dresser, and from that work turned to drilling, 
which he followed for eighteen years, during 
which time he built up a large business as a 
contractor. He operated three drilling outfits 
or "strings" of tools for sinking wells, and still 
takes care of this end of the work in his own 
operations, having sunk fourteen wells in 191 7, 
for himself and the Moore Oil Company, with 
which he is connected as a partner. Four men 
are employed steadily in the drilling of a well, 
working in two shifts so that the boring can 
go on night and day, and the drilling of a 
thousand- foot well ordinarily occupies two 
weeks. Mr. Stewart is now engaged in the 
production of oil as a member of the Moore 
Oil Company, in which his associates are Mr. 
Van Dresser, the Riddle Brothers (Lou and 
Courtney) and W. J. James, who have some 
twenty wells in operation, with a good yield, 
in the Clinton field. Individually he has been 
operating at Knox, in Clarion county, for 
three or four years, having seven wells there ; 
though it is an old field drilling is still going 
on there, the wells producing in paying quan- 
tities. 

In addition to his oil interests Mr. Stewart 
is very largely engaged in lumbering, usually 
buying timber tracts which he cuts over and 
then sells. He manufactures the timber 
largely for railroad use, ties, etc., and he fre- 
quently has two or three mills running at the 
same time in his various operations, which 
have taken him all over Venango, Butler, Arm- 
strong and Clarion counties. Altogether he 
employs about forty men. Mr. Stewart is now 
giving all his attention to oil and lumber, his 
activities in these two industries keeping him 
constantly busy. He is a business man almost 
to the exclusion of other things, though he has 
a good citizen's interest in the general welfare 
and is always ready to support measures to 
secure it. 

On July I. 1902, Mr. Stewart was married 
m Canton, Ohio, to Hattie Harding, of Uh- 
richsville. that State. Their family consists 
of four children: Julia Dale, Alton N., Rhea 
L., and Errol H. 

ALEXANDER CULBERTSON ( de- 
ceased), one of the conspicuously successful 
men of his generation in Venango county, rep- 
resented both the old and the new order of 
progress in this part of Pennsylvania. His life 
span, extending over eighty years, began in the 
pioneer period when the county and its institu- 
tions were still in the incipient stages of de- 



velopment, and when agricultural improvement 
alone seemed to offer the highest possibilities 
for industrial advancement. Yet he lived to 
see that ambition realized and surpassed with 
the discovery of other resources far richer in 
the economy of modern business, and himself 
had a part in the evolution of both. The Cul- 
bertsons are one of the oldest families in Ve- 
nango county, and from the time of their set- 
tlement here have been among its most in- 
fluential citizens, vigorous jn the prosecution 
of their own affairs and always ready to help 
in whatever concerned the general well-being. 
Members of the family have held responsible 
official positions, and in every relation those 
of the name have proved their title to rank as 
good citizens. 

Francis Culbertson, father of the late Alex- 
ander Culbertson, was bom near Chadds Ford, 
on Brandywine creek, Chester Co., Pa., in 
1767. A man named Hamilton McClintock 
married his sister, and with them he came to 
Venango county in 1795. He first settled on 
a farm near Rouse ville, on the tract afterward 
known as the Buchanan farm, and which dur- 
ing the Oil Creek oil excitement was sold for 
five hundred thousand dollars. He remained 
there until 1808. At that time he moved to 
a tract of land situate on the Allegheny river, 
just below Eagle Rock. The town of Eagle 
Rock took its name from a large rock on the 
opposite side of the river which was a favorite 
resting place for a large number of bald eagles. 
Hamilton McClintock settled in 1795 on the 
farm on which McClintockville is now located. 
It was in Oil creek, on this land, where the 
Seneca oil seepage or spring was found. 
Nearly all people think the oil seepage was 
found on a small island in the creek. This is 
a mistake. It oozed up through the water 
from a spot near the center of the stream. It 
was at this place that the Seneca Indians had 
their annual corn feast and powwow, and 
wound up the occasion by setting fire to the 
oil as it floated on the surface of the water. 
Hamilton McClintock 2d caught the oil from 
the spring by placing blankets on the surface 
of the water. He squeezed the oil from the 
blankets, bottled and sold it. by peddling it 
through* the country. Mary Steeples, wife of 
Francis Culbertson. was born at York in York 
county. Pa., in 1786. When she was eight 
vears old her parents moved to Jersey Shore. 
Pa., from which place she came to \^enango 
county with one of her married sisters. Mrs. 
Archer by name. Her mother was widowed 
and married a Mr. Stephanson for her sec- 
ond husband. One of Mrs. Culbertson's 



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sisters married a man named Chappell and 
lived near Franklin, Pa., for a number of 
years; the family then moved to Pittsburgh, 
Pa., where Mrs. Chappell died. Mrs. Archer, 
with whom Mrs. Culbertson came to Venango 
county, was married twice, her second hus- 
band's name being Maginness. Francis Cul- 
bertson and Mary Steeples were married in 
1805. They were the parents of nine children, 
seven sons and two daughters, all of whom 
reached manhood and womanhood : James, the 
eldest son, was born in 1806 and/died in 1S40; 
Patrick, the second son, was born in' 1807 and 
died in 1850; Robert, third son, was bom in 
1812 and died in 1852 ; Samuel, fourth son, was 
bom in 1815 and died in 1866; John, fifth son, 
was bom in i8i8and died in 1846; Alexander, 
sixth son, was born in 1823 and died in 1906 ; 
Hamilton, seventh son, born in 1825, died in 
1886; Jane, eldest daughter, bom in 1808, mar- 
ried James Brannon, and died in 1899 J Betsy, 
youngest daughter, born in 182 1, married 
Joseph Anderson, and died in 1907. Mary, 
wife of Francis Culbertson, died Sept. 7, 1843 1 
Francis Culbertson died Aug. 9, 1853. Both 
are buried at Plumer, Pennsylvania. 

Alexander Culbertson was born in 1823 near 
Eagle Rock, in President township, this county, 
where he grew up. Though the educational 
advantages aflForded in the locality were limited 
in his youth he must have availed himself fully 
of every chance to study, for he taught school 
in the county during the period of his early 
manhood. Farming was the principal business 
of his early years, but he became interested in 
oil production soon after the discovery of this 
new source of wealth, one of the earliest wells 
being drilled upon his farm, and he had the 
foresight and breadth of mind necessary to 
anticipate the possibilities awaiting the de- 
velopment of this new industry. His initial 
successes were sufficient to change the course 
of his life, and he was one of the pioneer op- 
erators who turned all their resources to the 
advancement of the oil business and estab- 
lished it upon a solid basis, freeing it from 
the embarrassments and drawbacks of specu- 
lators and unscmpulous dealers which made it 
so uncertain for some years that reliable men 
hesitated about investing. In 1876 he removed 
to Oil Citv, where he was a prominent member 
of the Oil Exchange, and he continued to be 
an influential figure in oil operations through- 
out his active years, reaping substantial and 
well deserved rewards in the business. Mr. 
Culbertson was a man of fine intellectual gifts 
and training, always a great reader, and pos- 
sessed a memory which enabled him to enrich 



48 



his mind with valuable practical information 
as well as the treasures of Uterature. In 1848 
he was elected auditor of the ciDunty, serving 
as such for a term of three years from Jan- 
uary, 1849, 2i"d ^" ^^ o"^ of office he served 
the community as a public-spirited citizen 
should, setting a commendable example by his 
exemplary conduct in all the relations of life. 

Mr. Culbertson married Ellen Smith, daugh- 
ter of Dennis and Rebecca (Arters) Smith, 
the former a well known furnace manager of 
this section, where Mrs. Culbertson has spent 
most of her life. She was bom in 1838 at 
Youngsville, in Warren county, Pa., and sur- 
vives Mr. Culbertson, who passed away in 
1906, and was buried in Grove Hill Cemetery, 
at Oil City. He was a Presbyterian in re- 
ligious belief. Mrs. Culbertson continues to 
occupy the old home at No. 210 Petroleum 
street, and she is one of the oldest residents 
of Oil City and held in the highest esteem by 
her many friends there. Of the two children 
born to Mr. and Mrs. Culbertson, Francis and 
Edith, the latter is the wife of Samuel Justus, 
of Oil City. 

Francis Culbertson, only son of Alexander 
and Ellen (Smith) Culbertson, was born Dec. 
21, 1857, on the old Culbertson farm at Eagle 
Rock, in President township, and grew to 
manhood there. His early education was ac- 
quired in the schools of his native county, after 
which he took a course at Harvard University, 
Cambridge, Mass. Mining in the Southwest, 
in the gold, silver and copper fields of Arizona, 
Nevada and New Mexico, has engaged his 
principal energies throughout his business 
career, his large holdings of mining property 
requiring practically all his attention. He has 
never married. 

MELVIN PHIPPS, a prominent citizen of 
Clinton township, has in his varied business 
activities, his official services, and his social 
and domestic associations, displayed the typical 
qualities which have made the name he bears 
famous for character and worth as far back as 
the records show. The line to which he be- 
longs is descended from Joseph Phipps, a na- 
tive of Reading, England, who came to 
America with William Penn in 1682, but the 
family was represented in this country prior to 
that, its most notable member in Colonial days 
being Sir William Phipps, the first royal 
governor of Massachusetts. For the early 
history of the family in this country the reader 
is referred to the biography of Hon. Marshall 
Lee Phipps, elsewhere in this work. Melvin 
Phipps traces his line from Joseph Phipps 



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 



through Joseph Phipps (2), Nathan Phipps, 
Samuel Phipps, John Phipps and Joseph 
Phipps. Of these, John Phipps, his grand- 
father, was one of the earliest settlers in Ven- 
ango county, Pa., owning a large tract of land 
in Scrubgrass (now Clinton) township,