Biographical and Historical Books
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES - EULALIA TOWNSHIP AND BOROUGH OF COUDERSPORT
J.W. ALLEN, land estate agent, Coudersport, is a son of Ezra and Lydia Allen, and was born in East Smithfield, Bradford Co., Penn., in 1838. Ezra Allen was a native of Halifax, Vt., and Lydia Allen, whose maiden name was Chamberlain, was born in Worcester, Mass. J.W. Allen attended the common schools until 1848, in which year his father died. Two years later he made his home with an elder brother, remaining until twenty years of age, when, having completed his education, he removed to Missouri, where he taught school two years. During the late war he was for a time a member of the home guard, a body organized to protect themselves against attack from the secession element, hut in 1861 he returned to his native place, and in 1864 he removed to Wellsboro, Tioga Co., Penn., where he became principal of Wellsboro Academy; he was also principal of the graded school for two terms. The same year, however, he removed to Coudersport, Potter Co., Penn., where he was for two years. principal of the graded school. In 1866 he was elected county superintendent of schools, a position he held until 1878, since when he has been engaged in farming and in looking after the interest of the Bingham Land Estate for the agent of the trustees. He is a past master of Eulalia Lodge, No. 342, F. & A.M., and is a member of the Sons of Temperance. He is a strong temperance man, but not a third- party man. Mr. Allen married, in 1866, Miss Mary, daughter of Benjamin Bowen, of Knoxville, Tioga Co., Penn., and they were the parents of three children: John, Ezra and Laura, all at home but Ezra, who is a stenographer and typewriter in Wisconsin, and designs soon to return and enter upon a collegiate course at Bucknell College, Penn. Mrs. Allen was president of the Woman's Temperance Union, and was a zealous worker in that cause. She was a member of the Baptist Church (which church Mr. Allen assisted in erecting, and has aided in its maintenance since, and of which he has been deacon since its organization). Mrs. Allen died of consumption September 28, 1889. Mr. Allen takes a deep interest in not only religious but also in educational matters.
C.H. ARMSTRONG, merchant, Coudersport, was born in Tioga county, N.Y., in 1832. His parents removed to Ulysses, Potter Co., Penn., when he was a child, and were among its early settlers. They purchased the first cook stove used in that township. His father was a shoemaker by trade, but partially cleared a farm in Ulysses, and in 1853 removed to Coudersport, where, in 1881, he died; his widow is now in her seventy- second year. Their children were C.H., Lydia R. (now Mrs. W.B. Gordnier), Chloe M. (now Mrs. O.H. Crosby), Ezra R. (deceased), Amelia J. (now Mrs. Capt. Theodore Hatfield, United States army, stationed at Kansas City, Mo.), Orlando E., Fred L. (deceased) and Parmelia (now Mrs. H.A. Scoville).
C.H. Armstrong began his business life as a farmer in Ulysses township, Potter county, but in 1861 came to Coudersport and engaged in the manufacture of shoes. In 1868 he bought a hardware store, which he conducted until 1877, when he purchased, on Second street, property destroyed by the fire of 1880, but which he at once replaced with a handsome brick building, containing two large stores, one 98 x 23, the other 85 x 23, and which is, without doubt, the most commodious, complete and best calculated building for a country store in the United States. On the second floor, in a capacious room, is a store-room for crockery and room for unpacking it, with elevator of modern construction; a store- room for groceries and fruits of all kinds, and a separate room for smoked meats. In the cellar, which is high and dry, well ventilated and light, is a buttery, and in a separate compartment is a vegetable cellar, where are also kept molasses, syrups, etc. In still another compartment are pork, fish, etc., and in a building in the rear, disconnected from the main store, is a store- room for flour and feed, and in an adjoining room a storehouse for salt. The main store upon one side has fine groceries, upon the other side boots and shoes, and the adjoining show room has crockery on one side and jewelry on the other. Mr. Armstrong has a fine opportunity to take advantage of the markets on account of his vast room for storing purposes. Both fronts of the second floor are used as offices. In 1884 Mr. Armstrong admitted as partner Mr. E.J. Stevens, the firm name now being C.H. Armstrong & Co. In 1854 Mr. Armstrong married Adeline M. Crowell. He is a Republican in politics, but is in no sense a politician, devoting his entire attention to his business.
ELWIN H. ASHCRAFT, M.D., Coudersport, son of Alfred D. Ashcraft, was born May 15, 1854, in Addison, Steuben Co., N.Y. He completed his classical education at the State normal school, at Mansfield, Tioga Co., Penn., and studied medicine with Dr. A.L. Bottum, of Westfield, Tioga county, after which he attended lectures at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Baltimore, Md., from which he graduated March 1, 1881. He first began the practice of medicine at Ellisburg, Potter Co., Penn., where he remained until February, 1882, when he removed to Coudersport, and two years later took a post- graduate course at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York City. He married Anna L., daughter of B.F. Jones, of Corning, N.Y., who also graduated from the State normal school at Mansfield, and was engaged in teaching in the graded school of Coudersport. To them have been born two children, Florence F. and Walter E. The Doctor is a member of Lodge No. 815, I.O.O.F., and the Rebekah and Encampment branches of the same order, having passed the chairs in the subordinate lodges and the Encampment; he is also a member of the Sons of Temperance, and of Camp No. 121, Sons of Veterans, of which he was presiding officer for three years; State officer for the same order three years; served one year as State surgeon, and is now serving his second year as mustering officer of the State. He is likewise a member of the board of examining surgeons for pensions. The Doctor's father, who was a native of Connecticut, removed with his parents to Norwich, Chenango Co., N.Y., where he married, and then removed to Addison, N.Y. His business was that of contractor and builder until 1860, when he purchased a farm in Tioga county, Penn., to which he removed. In 1864 he enlisted in Company K, One Hundred and Eighty- fifth New York State Volunteer Infantry, and was wounded in March, 1865, making him a cripple for life.
BENJAMIN BAKER (deceased) was a native of Rensselaer county, N.Y., horn December 3, 1794. He came to Potter county, Penn., in 1838, and settled in Ulysses township, where he lived until his death. He married Miss Mahala Croak, of Hoosick Falls, N.Y., and they had a family of nine children: George B, died, at Ulysses in 1887; Andrew, lives on the old homestead; Phoebe, died in 1864; Esther, the wife of L.G. Gridley; William, died in infancy; S.W., lives on his farm at Lymansville; Hiram, died in 1888; Russell, lives in Nebraska, and Mary, the widow of John Stanley, lives at Cambridge, N.Y.
S.W. BAKER, the fourth son of the family above named, was born at Williamstown, Mass., April 24, 1836, and was two years old when his parents moved to Potter county. He worked on the farm with his father until twenty- one years old, when he went to Port Jervis, N.Y., where he lived nine years. In 1866 he returned to Ulysses, and lived on the old homestead several years. In 1872 he worked at lumbering and in 1875 bought a farm near Lymansville, where he has since lived. Mr. Baker was married in October, 1862, to Bertha L. Covey, of Broome county, N.Y., and they have one son, named Benjamin S.
ISAAC BENSON, attorney at law, Coudersport, was born in Waterford, Erie Co., Penn., June 8, 1817. He became a student at the academy in his native town, and completed his studies at Warren, same State. Among the many classes of business which presented themselves for his consideration, none possessed the attractions of a profession, and being eminently qualified for the bar, both by literary acquirements and natural inclination, he entered, as a student, the office of Struthers, Johnson & Brown, prominent attorneys of Warren. He was admitted to the bar at that place in 1844, and first began the practice of law in the office of the firm just mentioned, where he remained for about one year. But the ambition of Mr. Benson was to find a wider field for his abilities, and June 11, 1845, he located at Coudersport, Potter Co., Penn., which presented itself to him as more suited to his progressive ideas. The immediate future of the place verified the accuracy of his judgment, and he soon acquired a proud position in the borough and vicinity. J.S. Mann, C.W. Ellis, L.F. Maynard and Wales Butterworth, all now deceased, were the first practitioners of Potter county, and were honorable and worthy competitors. Gradually, however, Mr. Benson found the number of his clients growing larger, his practice more remunerative, his popularity increasing, until in 1856 he was elected and served as member of the State legislature, and as State senator in 1859, both of which positions he filled with honor, winning the approval of his constituency. Early in the Civil war, his fidelity and ability being justly recognized, he received the appointment of paymaster, which he, however, declined, preferring to continue the practice of his chosen profession, the enjoyment of home life and his largely increased holdings, which required his constant care and supervision. Mr. Benson, in December, 1857, married Eugenie L., daughter of P.A. Stebbins, of Coudersport, and has one son, James B. Benson, who received a classical education, graduating from the University of Pennsylvania; he studied law with Wayne McVeigh, of Philadelphia, and was admitted to the bar in June, 1884. Hon. Isaac Benson still remains a member of the legal fraternity, enjoying the confidence and esteem of the citizens of Potter county, generally, and in the evening of his life finds himself crowned with honor, and in the enjoyment of the luxuries well- earned wealth affords.
S.F. BUTLER, merchant, Ladona, Penn., was born in Seneca county, N.Y., June 10, 1853. His father, Joseph Butler, was born in Schuylerville, N.Y., and is now deceased; his widow, Jane, a native of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., resides with the subject of this sketch. In 1858 his parents moved to Potter county, Penn., and located in Sweden township, where he lived with them until fifteen years of age, when he left home and began to work for himself, in Wellsville, N.Y., at the carpenter's trade, which he followed two and a half years, and then went on the Buffalo, New York & Philadelphia Railroad as brakeman, which he continued until 1873, when he returned to Sweden township, worked at the carpenter's trade two years, and then moved to Lymansville, where he followed his trade until 1880, when he was employed by a sewing machine company to travel, and continued with them until 1884. In 1884 he bought a saw- mill at Lymansville, and commenced the manufacture of lumber. June 6, 1887, he bought out the stock of merchandise of F.L. Williams, of Lymansville, and is now conducting a successful business in his line. Mr. Butler was married, July 1, 1875, to Miss Sarah Angood, of Harrison Valley, Potter Co., Penn., and they have two children, Maud E. and Daniel W. Our subject is a member of Coudersport Lodge, No. 815, I.O.O.F.
DAVID WILMOT BUTTERWORTH, proprietor of the Enterprise, Coudersport, was born in that borough in. 1852. He comes of good ancestral stock, and is the youngest child of Appleton and Mary (Wilmot) Butterworth, who died when he was very young. At the age of eight years, the orphan boy was taken by his uncle, the late Hon. David Wilmot, of Towanda, Bradford Co., Penn., with whom he lived some years. In 1862 he went to live with his sister, Mrs. Hugh Young, of Wellsboro, Tioga Co., Penn., and here, at the age of fourteen years, he entered the Democrat printing office, which was owned at that time by Charles Williams, brother of Hon. H.W. Williams. Mr. Butterworth has continued in the printing business ever since, and in 1874 returned to Coudersport, where he successfully published the Potter County Journal about nine years. In 1887 he purchased the Potter Enterprise, arid is now ably conducting the same. The Enterprise has steadily grown under his clever management, and is today the leading paper in the county. In 1875 Mr. Butterworth married Lizzie Hartrick, a native of Canada, by whom two children were born: Kent Wilmot and Tone Lydia. Mrs. Butterworth's parents were Irish.
LAFAYETTE CARTEE, son of John L. and Seclendia Cartee (Cartier), was born in December, 1823, in Tioga county, N.Y. In 1825 he was brought by his father's family to Coudersport, and here he lived until 1843. He was almost self- taught, having very limited opportunities of attending school, even after the opening of the academy in 1840. In 1844 he traveled west, and late in the same year became principal of the high school at Newport, Ky., a, position he filled for two years. In 1846 he entered St. John's College, Cincinnati, as professor of mathematics and civil engineering, but failing health compelled him to resign in 1848, and in November of the same year he took passage on. board a sailing vessel, bound for San Francisco, a sea- voyage being recommended by his physicians. Reaching San Francisco in June of the following year, he found himself much improved in health. In California he spent a few months, and then went to Oregon, locating in Oregon City, where he remained some years. He was a member of the first territorial legislature, was speaker of the house the second term, and during the following few years he was engaged in surveying and engineering. In the fall of 1855 he returned to Potter county, Penn., and was married during the ensuing winter to Miss Mary Bell, of Cores, McKean county, who died at Dallas, Ore., in December, 1862. Mr. Cartee was engineer in the construction of the first railroad in Oregon— a short line, but difficult of construction. He has been a resident of Boise City, Idaho, since 1863; was surveyor- general of the Territory for many years, and has devoted much time and means to the raising of fruit and beautifying his home. He has one son and three daughters, all born in Oregon, now living near him at Boise City, Idaho.
O.L. CHASE, druggist, Coudersport, son of Abram and Phebe (Holcomb) Chase, was born in Sweden township, Potter Co., Penn., in 1865. After completion of his education, he served an apprenticeship as drug clerk at Ulysses, and in 1886 became associated with Dr. C.S. French, in the drug trade at Coudersport, where they enjoy a very remunerative trade. His grandfather Chase built the first house in Sweden township, and died when his son, Abram, was about seventeen years old. Abram, father of O.L., was a native of the county, born in Sweden township in 1845, where he still resides. He has had three children: Mary, O.L., and a babe that died in infancy. O.L. Chase is a supporter of the Democratic party, but, like his partner, takes no active part in politics. He was married April 3, 1889, to Carrie Davenport.
NELSON CLARK, farmer, P.O. Coudersport, a son of Daniel and Speedy (Grow) Clark, was born at Mansfield, Windham Co., Conn., in 1808. His grandfather, Daniel Clark, was a soldier of the Revolution, and a native of Connecticut, where he married Miss Mehitable Slaight, and reared a family of six children: Daniel, Mehitable, James, Sarah, Enoch and Lora. There Daniel and his wife remained until their decease. Daniel, father of Nelson, was also a native of Connecticut, and married Speedy, daughter of Deacon Thomas Grow, of Hampton, same State. They located in Connecticut, where Mrs. Clark died. Nelson and Birna were their only children, the latter, however, dying at the age of eighteen years. Daniel afterward married Lucy Bennett, and removed to a farm in Eulalia township, Potter Co., Penn., June 10, 1816, which farm Nelson now owns. Upon their arrival the county was an almost unbroken wilderness, their nearest neighbor, in the direction of Olean, being distant twenty- two miles, and the nearest post- office seventy miles away. Mr. Nelson Clark still resides upon the old homestead, having survived all but two persons who were born here in or before 1816, of whom J.K. Burt, the first male white child born in the county, is one. Daniel Clark, in addition to being a farmer, was a practical surveyor, made many of the first surveys in the county, and was appointed by the surveyor- general to make the first map of the county, for which he received $150. His children, three in number, were all born in Connecticut.
Nelson Clark, the subject proper of this biography, was reared on the farm, and from the fact of its being a new county, without the benefit of the educational advantages now afforded, was unable to attend school in his youth. Living in the woods he became a successful hunter at an early age, catching his first wolf when he was twelve years old. He afterward returned to Connecticut, where he attended school, and worked during the summers. Again coming to Pennsylvania, accompanied by some of his relatives, he located on the old home farm in Eulalia township. He was married, October 15, 1829, to Mary A. Barrows, and to them have been born ten children, of whom four are living: Lora (now Mrs. George Metzger, of Emporium), Sarah, B.G., and Ella (now Mrs. J.W. Snyder). Mr. Clark has served as commissioner of Potter county, as county treasurer, and in various minor positions. He was a member of the old anti- slavery party, then of the Republican party, up to Grant's second candidacy, and has since been a Prohibitionist. He states that in the early days of Potter liquor was drank to an excess. No enterprise could be accomplished without the use of it, and nearly all the inhabitants drank more or less liquor, the habit keeping society at a low base, and causing the multitude to strive harder for a livelihood. Thirty years ago, by a special act of the legislature, a prohibition law was passed which did away with most of the drinking in the county, and the people then began to thrive and the county became more prosperous.
L.H. COBB, lumberman, Coudersport, son of Horace and Diana Cobb, was born at Spring Mills, Allegany county, N.Y., in 1849. He was educated at an academical institution, and at an early day began teaching at Woodhull, Steuben Co., N.Y. After teaching several terms, in. 1873 he finished his studies at Alfred University, in Allegany county, N.Y., read law with Messrs. Olmsted & Larrabee, was admitted to the bar in 1876, and practiced law in Coudersport from that time until 1886; in 1880 he was elected district attorney, and served three years. Close application to business, however, and the enforced confinement necessitated a change of occupation, and he made a purchase of five tracts of land, in all 2,800 acres, valued at $42,000, in about half of which he was associated with his brothers. He erected twenty- four buildings in and about the borough, built two saw- mills on his purchase and a shingle factory; he also has a store at Homer. In 1879 Mr. Cobb married Edith, daughter of William Dickinson, of Hornby, Steuben Co., N.Y. They have but one child living, having lost two children (twins) when about a year old. Mr. and Mrs. Cobb are active members of the Methodist Church, and very much interested in the cause of temperance and morality.
DAVID P. COLCORD, P.O. First Fork. Among the men most closely identified with the early educational interests of Potter county, none are more deserving of special mention than. David D. Colcord, who, in 1839, at the age of seventeen, came from Bath, Steuben Co., N.Y., to Coudersport to attend school and complete, so far as his limited means would allow, the education begun in the district schools of his native place. He attended the school then held in the commissioner's office, no school- house having then been built, and in 1840, the academy having been completed, he attended that institution for two years. He then began teaching, and for nearly thirty years was found in the schoolroom each winter, clearing and working during the summer seasons a farm that he took up in the almost unbroken forest south of Coudersport. In 1844 he married Sarah, youngest daughter of John Peet, one of the earliest settlers of the county. This brave and devoted woman, early inured to the hardships of pioneer life, was indeed a helpmeet, eking out, with a frugal hand, the meager living yielded by the scanty wages of the teacher, and the sterile soil of the farm. She died in 1877. Seven children were born to them, four of whom died in the diphtheria scourge of 1862; one, Alice, died in 1879, and two sons, Mahlon and Amos, are still living. In 1864 Mr. Colcord enlisted in the army, and served till the close of the war. In 1868 he moved to First Fork, Cameron county, where he still resides, active and energetic, though nearly seventy years old. Since 1870 he has devoted a part of his time to the practice of medicine, which he studied while a young man. As a teacher he was uniformly successful, being thoroughly in love with his work, keeping abreast of improvement by professional reading, and attending educational meetings all over the county, often at serious inconvenience and pecuniary loss to himself. No sacrifice was too great for him to make for his school, and the salary was but a small part of his compensation. Both as teacher and director, which latter office he has held for many years, Mr. Colcord has been a champion of the free-school system, and an earnest advocate of the education of the masses. Generous to a fault, thoroughly honest, ready to divide his last dollar with the needy, turning no one from his door hungry, the acquisition of wealth has never been his ambition; and though poverty may have prevented the realization of youthful hopes, and kept him in the valley when he would have been at the mountain top, yet the retrospect of a life devoted unselfishly to the good of others must have its compensation.
ORSON H. CROSBY, deputy prothonotary of Potter county, Coudersport, is a son of William Crosby, and was born in Coudersport, Potter Co., Penn., January 23, 1835. He was educated at Coudersport Academy, and when eighteen years of age commenced to learn the carpenter trade. This he pursued until the fall of 1878, when he was elected prothonotary of Potter county, in which office he has since been retained, three years as principal and seven years as deputy. He has also been a school director for eighteen years, is now president of the board of education, and has always been interested in educational matters, having been active in the fight to obtain, first, a graded school, and, next, a suitable building. He is a Democrat, and past master of Eulalia Lodge, No. 342, F. & A.M., of Coudersport. December 1, 1858, Mr. Crosby married Chloe M., daughter of A.S. Armstrong, and they have had two children, one of whom is deceased; the other is now Mrs. Kate Haughenbeng. Mr. and Mrs. Crosby are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
W.A. CROSBY, surveyor and prothonotary, Coudersport, was born in Coudersport, Potter Co., Penn., attended Coudersport Academy, and afterward studied surveying and civil engineering. His father, William Crosby, was born in Cortland, N.Y., in 1801, and married Lydia Hammond, who was born in Cazenovia, Madison Co., N.Y., in 1802. Both parents are now deceased. In 1872 he was elected county surveyor by both parties, and thus served for about ten years. In 1881 he was elected prothonotary of Potter county, and was re- elected in 1884. At this election, while Blame's majority was forty- three, Mr. Crosby's was 128 in the town, and in the county he ran ahead of the ticket by over 100, and was re- elected in 1887. He is a member of Eulalia Lodge, No. 342, F. & A.M. Mr. Crosby is one of the best known and most popular men in Potter county. As surveyor, he has traversed almost the whole of the county, and is the best posted in that section on local topography. Careful and conscientious in his profession, his surveys are regarded as the final solution of disputed boundaries, and his services are sometimes of almost inestimable value. As a county official he has made an excellent record, and has commanded the respect and esteem of all by the faithful performance of every detail of the office business of prothonotary. June 1, 1870, Mr. Crosby married Miss Susie Taggart, who bore him one child, Jennie, and died in 1874. In 1877 he married Eugenia Willard, and to this union have been born four children: Myrtle, Carl, Guy and Grace. He resides on Main street, and his pleasant residence is the home of a cultured family. Mrs. Crosby is a lady gifted with uncommon talent, and has produced many paintings which adorn the interior of their residence. Mr. Crosby is a gentleman of pleasing manner, and a conversation with him elicits much interesting and valuable information.
SAUL DEICHES, merchant, Coudersport, was born in Cracow, Austria, in 1855, and received his education at Vienna, the capital, at Handel's Hochschule, from which he graduated in 1876. He then went to London, England, where he remained four years; whence he emigrated to America, landing in Philadelphia in September, 1880. He first located in New York City, but in 1884 removed to Pike Mills (present name Galeton), Potter Co., Penn., where he engaged as dealer in clothing; two years later he established a branch store at Austin, the firm name then being S. Deiches & Bro. In the spring of 1888, an opportunity offering, he purchased a stock of goods in Coudersport, where ho has an elegant brick store; 60x24 feet, on Main street, opposite the court- house. To illustrate the business tact and enterprise of Mr. Deiches, it may be recapitulated: In January, 1889, he bought out Edward Forster, proprietor of an old, established dry goods store, which Mr. Deiches conducts under the name of "The Boston Dry Goods Store." This establishment, situated at the corner of East and Second streets, Coudersport, next door to the bank, has ever since enjoyed great popularity, and met with a successful and profitable trade. In the same month and year Mr. Deiches became sole proprietor of the store at Austin, his brother, E. Deiches, having withdrawn, and the firm name changed to S. Deiches & Co. It will thus be seen that Mr. Deiches is the proprietor of four stores in Potter county. He is a member of the Knights of Honor of Coudersport, and also a member of Eulalia Lodge, No. 342, F. & A.M. In 1881 Saul Deiches married Augusta Deiches, also a native of Austria.
HARRY C. DORNAN, attorney at law, Coudersport, son of Thomas Dornan, was born in Pottsville, Schuylkill Co., Penn., in 1848. There he received his early education, and for a couple of years pursued his studies with a private teacher, completing his classical education at the University of Pennsylvania. Close application to study impaired his health, and for a year and a half he sought to regain his health in travel, after which he studied law with Hon. James H. Campbell, of Philadelphia, and also in the law department of the university. He was admitted to the bar in Philadelphia in 1869, where he first began the practice of law. He afterward located in Schuylkill county, but removed to McKean county, thence to Coudersport, Potter county, where, after a time, he became associated with Hon. Isaac Benson, in the practice of law, and now has a large and remunerative practice. Mr. Dornan is an active Democrat, but not an office seeker. He married, on September 7, 1880, Miss Hattie, daughter of the late Ezra M. Huntley, of Herkimer county, N.Y.
J.E. FORSTER, merchant, Coudersport, was born in Austria, in 1850, and emigrated to America in 1865, eventually locating at Coudersport, Potter Co., Penn. He had previously been engaged in business, principally as a wagon- maker, at Philadelphia, Brookland (Potter county), Lawrenceville (Tioga county), and St. Mary's (Elk county). He worked at the same business for about five years in Coudersport, but in 1886, having by economy and industry accumulated considerable means, he entered mercantile life as grocer and dealer in boots and shoes, occupying a commodious brick store on Main street opposite the court- house, known as the "Forster Block," where he has a constantly increasing business. He is a member of Coudersport Lodge, No. 915, I.O.O.F.
C.S. FRENCH, M.D., Coudersport, son of Dr. Amos and Sabria French, was born at Coudersport, Potter Co., Penn., March 7, 1857. His parents located at that borough in 1838, and his father was among the first, if not the first, to practice medicine at that point. C.S. French completed his education at Alfred University, and at Parkesburg. He read medicine with his father, and attended his first course of lectures at Buffalo, graduating from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Baltimore, Md., in 1879. He first began the practice of medicine at Sterling, Penn., remaining there a year. Then he came to Coudersport May 18, 1880, the day of the big fire at that place; he remained for about three months, when he removed to Millport, where he lived nearly two years, and then returned to Coudersport, where he has since been engaged in practice. November 17, 1886, he became associated with O.L. Chase in the drug trade, the firm name being French & Chase. They have a large trade, their store being located on the corner of Second and Main streets, in the brick block opposite the court- house. Dr. French was married May 18, 1880, to Eva Warner, and they have three children: Fred Amos, Walter M. and Fannie S. He is a Democrat in his political affiliations.
MARK GILLON, merchant tailor, Coudersport, is a native of Ireland, born in County Mayo, in 1839. He was educated in England, and in November, 1857, came to America, locating in the following year at Coudersport, Penn. He had learned the tailor's trade in his native country, and since coming to America has followed that vocation, having now the leading establishment of the kind in Coudersport, located on Main street. He was married in 1856, to Mary McHale, and to them have been born eight children: Mary E., Kate, Nellie, Edward M., George T., Celia, Anna and Stephen H. In politics Mr. Gillon affiliates with the Republican party. He and his wife are members of the Catholic Church.
L.A. GLASE, proprietor of sash and door factory, P.O. Ladona, was born in Lehigh county, Penn., July 17, 1848, and is a son of Jonathan and Fanny Glase, both natives of Lehigh county, Penn. In 1849 his parents came to Potter county and settled in Sweden township, where he was reared and educated, and after leaving school he worked with his father at the carpenter's trade until twenty- four years of age. He then engaged in taking contracts and in building until 1885, when he built a sash and door factory at Lymansville (now Ladona), where he now has a good business, and is one of the enterprising business men of the place. Mr. Glase was married, June 27, 1876, to Miss Ada Wright, of Port Allegany, Penn., and they have two children: Lula and Don. He is a member of Coudersport Lodge No. 49, K.O.T.M. He has held various official positions in the township, and has been an efficient public officer.
NELSON H. GOODSELL, proprietor of planing- mill, Coudersport, is a son of Daniel W. and Dinah (Barker) Goodsell, and was born in Hornby, Steuben county, N.Y., in 1833, where he remained until 1854, when he came to Potter county and became a contractor and builder. He located at Coudersport in 1856, and erected the planing- mill now owned by him, during the Civil war, and remodeled it in. 1874, making it a water- power mill, and introducing the first cylinder- planer in Coudersport. Since 1880 he has devoted his time exclusively to the mill, where he does all kinds of work for house building. He, resides on Allegany avenue, where he has one of the pleasantest places in the borough. Mr. Goodsell married, October 11, 1856, Louisa M., daughter of Hon. Lyman Nelson. Mr. Goodsell is a member of Eulalia Lodge, No. 342, F. & A.M. and Coudersport Chapter, No. 263, R.A.M. He is a member of the Methodist Church. In politics he affiliates with the Republican party, and for ten years has been a member of the borough council.
W.B. GORDNIER, of Coudersport, was born in Covert, Seneca Co., N.Y., July 2, 1826, a son of Thomas Gordnier (in the original French "Gordinier," many of the family now spelling the name "Gardner"), who was French, his parents being among the first settlers of Kinderhook, N.Y. The subject of these lines was brought up on a farm, and obtained his education at the common schools. At the age of twenty he commenced peddling jewelry, which occupation he followed three years. He then took up the joiner's trade at Trumansburg, Tompkins Co., N.Y., with Sidney Grant, contractor and builder, and in 1851 he came to Coudersport, Potter Co., Penn., where he engaged with Eli Roes as foreman of the joiner's work on the courthouse being erected at that place, continuing with Mr. Rees five years. In 1864 Mr. Gordnier moved to Titusville, Crawford county, same State, where he embarked in oil prospecting on the Watson Flats, starting up the wells known as "Old Abe," "Continental," "U.S. Grant," etc., and in the fall or winter of same year he moved his family to Watson Flats. In 1865 he was among the first to build up Pit Hole City in Venango county, a place of ninety days' growth. Mr. Gordnier leased a lot of A.G. Morrey, 4 x 8 rods, paying $2,500 bonus, and agreeing to give one- half of all oil taken from the lot as royalty. At this time oil was worth $10 per barrel, and there was a well located nine rods distant from this 4 x 8 lot, which was flowing 600 barrels of oil per day. So Mr. Gordnier paid $3,000 to have a well drilled 640 feet, and tested, on his lot, but was disappointed, getting no oil. He had built and equipped a machine shop there for making drilling- tools, etc., all of which collapsed, as the city did, and everybody left there as quickly as they came. Mr. Gordnier's health having failed while he was in the oil business, he moved back to Coudersport, where, after a year's rest, he commenced business, starting a foundry and machine shop, a steam saw- mill, etc., giving employment to a number of men. He is of the opinion that Eulalia township has gas enough for light and heat to supply all of its citizens, and he has been instrumental in having a number of test wells drilled in the locality, which have confirmed and strengthened his opinion. On. October 29, 1854, Mr. Gordnier contracted marriage with Lydia R. Armstrong, of Coudersport, and they have had seven children: Flora, Mary (deceased), Charles (deceased), Frank, Harry, Lettie and John. Our subject is an active business man, outspoken and firm, without fear or favor. In religious matters he is non- committal. He is with the temperance people in the fight against intemperance, but thinks they are not fighting on the right line. He believes in free whisky, and pure, and would favor a law making it a penitentiary affair for any one to adulterate liquor, or sell to a drunkard. Mr. Gordnier is a Republican, but not an active politician.
GUSTAVE H. GRABE, furniture dealer, Coudersport, was born in New York City in December, 1851, and in 1854, he with his parents, removed to College Point, New York, where he remained until his parents came to Eulalia township, Potter Co., Penn., in 1868, where the father engaged in. farming and also worked at cabinet making. Herman Grabe, the father, was a native of Germany, and immigrated to this country about forty-five years ago; in 1849, in New York City, he was married to Catharine Grabe, also a native of Germany. He died in 1870, and his widow now lives with her children. Their children were Gustave H.; Louise, now Mrs. Conrad Chrastain, of Keating township, Potter county; Anna, now Mrs. John Peck, of St. Johnsville, Montgomery Co., N.Y.; Martha, now Mrs. Wencil Klasse, of Homer township, Potter county; and Theodore, now on the old homestead. Gustave H. started in business in 1881 as a dealer in furniture and as undertaker, in the same store he still occupies on Main street. Mr. Grabe for a time was at Duke Centre, McKean county, where he worked at his trade, that of carpenter and joiner, and soon after the fire at Coudersport, in 1880, returned and was engaged at his trade until he became established in his present business. He is a member of Eulalia. Lodge, No. 342, F. & A.M. He married Emilie Breunle in 1878, and they have three sons: Herman F., Carlton A. and Almond R. Mr. and Mrs. Grabe are members of the Lutheran Church.
M.L. GRIDLEY, merchant, Coudersport, a son of A.A. and Rhodentha (Hubbard) Gridley, was born in Tioga county, N.Y., in 1842. His parents removed to what is now Lewisville, Potter Co., Penn., in 1848, where they engaged in farming, and still live. At the time of their settlement there was but one house in sight, where now there is a borough. Their children were Thomas; Sarah, now Mrs. Seth Lewis, of Lewisville; Elizabeth, now Mrs. Burton Lewis, of the same place; Walter, deceased; Mary, now widow of Hon. D.C. Larrabee; M.L. and Henry. M.L. Gridley removed to Coudersport, having been appointed deputy sheriff. He, however, in 1863, enlisted in Company F, Twelfth Pennsylvania Cavalry. He was wounded in the head by a piece of shell, at Berrysville, in the Shenandoah Valley, and was mustered out of the service in June, 1865. Returning to Coudersport, he engaged in the clothing trade, but sold in 1871, and became proprietor of the Coudersport Hotel, which he sold, and then took possession of the Baker House. In 1882 he went into the flour, feed and coal business, corner of Main and First streets, where he is at present, being the only dealer in coal in the borough. Mr. Gridley married Orrel Nelson, of Eulalia, daughter of Lyman Nelson. Mr. Gridley is a member of Eulalia Lodge, Knights of Honor, and of the G.A.R. He is also foreman of the hose company of Coudersport.
J.F. GRIESEL, Coudersport, son of Franz and Rosie Griesel, was born in Germany in 1856. When he was a child his parents removed to America and located in Eulalia township, Potter Co., Penn., where his father engaged in farming, and was also associated with Ignatz Griesel in the harness trade, until his decease. His children were Anna, J.F., Adelaide (deceased), Frank, George and Rosie. Rosie Griesel, mother of J.F., for her second husband married Ignatz Griesel, who continued the business in Coudersport, and became one of its respected business men. J.F. Griesel made his home with his parents, and, November 13, 1883, purchased the entire business which he has since conducted, enjoying a very large and remunerative trade. September 28, 1882, he married Matilda R. Cammerer, and they have four children: Frank, Alfred, Georgie and Emma. Mr. Griesel is a member of the Knights of the MaccaRees. He and his wife are members of the Lutheran Church. In politics he affiliates with the Democratic party.
JOHN R. GROVES, surveyor, Coudersport, was born in the city of Philadelphia in 1833, of Scotch- Irish parentage. His parents removed from there to Delaware county, and. in. 1841 to Jefferson county, Penn. Mr. Groves received his early education in the common schools, and later attended Alfred University, in Allegany county, N.Y., eventually graduating from Allegheny College, at Meadville, Penn., in 1868. From 1868 to 1885 he was engaged in teaching, in Virginia, Iowa, Pennsylvania and at Alfred University, N.Y., for ten years being principal of the graded school of Coudersport. In 1885 he retired from teaching, devoting his time to surveying; in 1886 he was elected to the office of justice of the peace, which he accepted at the earnest solicitation of the citizens generally. He is a Republican;, a member of the G.A.R. Post, No. 204, having enlisted in September, 1864, in Company A, Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry, and was appointed clerk of his company. He is an elder in the Presbyterian Church, his wife being a member of the Seventh Day Baptist Church. He married in December, 1873, Miss Charlotte E. Dowse, a graduate of Alfred University. A family of seven children blesses this union.
F.B. HACKETT, attorney at law, Coudersport, was born in Tompkins county, N.Y., July 22, 1838, and received his education at Alfred Centre, N.Y. In 1858 he came to Coudersport, where he commenced the study of law with Judge A.G. Olmsted, and was admitted to the bar in 1860; he then went to Emporium, where he was elected district attorney in 1863. Here he remained until 1868, when he moved to the western country, where he practiced his profession; also engaged in mining. In 1882 he returned to Pennsylvania, and located at Ulysses, Potter county, and in 1883 he married Mrs. N.T. Jackson, a daughter of Willis and Sally (Grover) Young, of Ulysses, who were among the early settlers of Potter county. April 1, 1889, Mr. Hackett established an office in Coudersport, where he is now practicing his profession.
EDWIN HASKELL, editor and publisher of the Potter County Journal, Coudersport, like thousands of others whose parents were pioneers of the wilderness, knows but little of the genealogy of his family, being unable to trace his ancestry back farther than his grandparents. Even of them he knows very little, further than that his grandfather on his father's side was a citizen of New Bedford, Mass., of English descent; that he was a soldier under Gen. Winfield Scott, and was killed October 13, 1812, at the battle of Queenstown, Canada. His grandmother was a Miss Crapo, a lady of French descent, and at the time of her husband's death she had three sons: John, Peter (the father of the subject of this sketch) and Parmenio. After the war she married a man by the name of Hill, who moved with his wife and stepsons to the township of Lisle, in Broome county, N.Y. Mrs. Hill soon after died, also her son John. A few years afterward Parmenio returned to New Bedford, and for many years followed a seafaring life. Peter, on November 5, 1825, being then eighteen years of age, married Myra Olney, a daughter of Zalotis Olney, of Richford, Tioga Co., N.Y. She was a few months younger than her husband. The Olneys, who were of English descent, came from Nova Scotia and located in. Richford at an early date of its settlement, and here reared a large family of sons and daughters. In. their old age they followed their daughter Sally, the wife of Hosea Cashing, to Brookland, Ulysses township, Potter Co., Penn., the latter being one of the first settlers of that township. With their daughter the old people resided, sharing with her family the various vicissitudes of pioneer life until their death at a ripe old age. In 1833 Peter and Myra Haskell moved from Richford, Tioga Co., N.Y., to Potter county, Penn., and settled two miles from Brookland, in Ulysses township. Their family consisted of three children: Cordelia, Edwin and Asa, Edwin being about four years of age at that time. The journey of 120 miles was made with an ox-team, and consumed a week's time. They went to work with a will, to hew out a home in the forest, but, though a good start had been made in clearing up a farm, in 1836 the family was moved back to Richford, N.Y. Though so young, much that transpired in those few years in the wilderness is indelibly stamped upon the memory of Edwin. In those days the stern realities of life were early brought home to the children of the pioneers. The condition, of things was not much better in Richford. The township was comparatively new and backward in development. The people were poor; the price for labor was low, and the cost of store goods was high. To provide ordinary comforts for a large growing family, it was necessary that each one should contribute something in proportion to his age and strength. Edwin, being the oldest boy and the eldest but one in a family of eleven children, had, from the time he was ten years old, not only to provide for himself, but to contribute one- half of his earnings, from working out upon a farm, to help provide for younger brothers and sisters. The wages he received were from $4 to $12 per month, and board. Under such circumstances, the chances of obtaining even the poor education afforded by the common schools were very small— a month or two in the winter, and often under the instruction of teachers receiving a salary of 75 cents or, $1.50 per week, whose qualifications were, in many instances, on a par with the wages they received. Fortunately, however, he had acquired an early taste for reading, and thus obtained a very creditable fund of general information, which iii part compensated for lack of instruction at school. Coming to visit his uncle at Brookland in the fall of 1848, he learned that an apprentice could obtain a situation in the office of the Potter County Journal, a paper that had been recently started at the county seat, as an organ of the Free Soil party in Potter county. He made application for the place, and was accepted as an apprentice for two years. Being a rather old "devil," he made very good progress in learning to set type; but this, with chopping wood for office, sweeping floor, washing rollers, distributing pi, etc., was not all he strove to accomplish in his first year of apprenticeship. To remedy in part the deficiency of his education, he entered upon a course of self- instruction in arithmetic, grammar, rhetoric and English composition. At the end of the year he had mastered these subjects quite as thoroughly as have most students on graduating from an academy. At the close of the year the paper upon which he had been working suspended publication for a season, and brought his apprenticeship to an end. Being out of employment for the time being, he embraced the opportunity to attend school for two terms at Coudersport Academy. After this he engaged for a season to carry chain for his former employer, who was a surveyor, and to take lessons in practical surveying, but in a few months he found out there was a great deal of the chain carrying and very little of the lessons. Learning that his mother was dangerously sick, he resolved to return to Richford. The next year was passed in working at haying, teaching a term of school, and setting type in an office at Owego. Returning to Coudersport in the fall of 1851, he took charge of the publication of the Potter County Journal, being associated with Hon. J.S. Mann as one of the editors. On May 5, 1852, he married Laura A. Canon, an acquaintance with whom had been formed during his attendance at school at Coudersport Academy, and they went to housekeeping in. Coudersport. The county was new, and the prospects of providing for a family from the receipts of a newspaper office were not very promising, although reasonable success, under the circumstances, had been achieved. In the fall of 1854, he retired from the Journal and went to Waterford, Erie Co., Penn., where he worked as a compositor for nearly a year in the office of the Waterford Dispatch. Then he moved to Allegany, Cattaraugus Co., N.Y., and, in partnership with his brother Asa, engaged in the manufacture of window- sash for three years.
The two brothers having purchased a tract of wild land at Colesburg, Potter county, in 1859, they moved thither, and went to work in clearing up a farm. Asa soon sold out his share in the property, and went back to, Allegany, N.Y. Edwin resided on the farm until April, 1875, when he rented and moved upon the S.M. Mills farm in the same neighborhood, and engaged in the dairy business for the next six years, working his own farm at the same time. During his residence at Colesburg, though engaged in the most laborious work— the clearing up of a wild farm— he managed to keep fairly abreast of the times in general information, and to take an active interest in the education of his two daughters, Edith and Bell, who were born soon after he came to Colesburg. Though prospering but moderately in the acquisition of wealth, Mr. Haskell was extremely fortunate in gaining the respect and confidence of his neighbors, and of the people of Allegheny township. In township affairs he always took an active part, serving many years as director and secretary on the school board, township clerk, justice of the peace, township auditor, etc. In the summer of 1880 he received the nomination on the Republican ticket for county treasurer, and in the fall was elected by a large majority. In 1882 he moved to Coudersport, to attend to the duties of his office. January 1, 1883, he purchased a one- half interest in the Potter County Journal, and at once assumed control of the paper as publisher and editor. For the last six years he has devoted his whole time to the paper. In politics, from earliest youth, he has depended upon his own judgment in forming his opinions. His father, brothers, and all his relatives were Jacksonian Democrats, as they termed it, but he early entertained anti- slavery opinions, and his first ballot was cast with the Free Soil party, in opposition to the extension of slavery into new territory. In. religious belief he extends to all the utmost freedom of opinion, believing it to be a matter solely between each individual and his Creator, with which no one has a right to interfere, and that honest belief and profession are always entitled to the utmost respect.
From the foregoing it will be seen that Edwin Haskell's life has been one of constant, earnest work, the relaxation in which has been chiefly in studying and reading in those hours which most men devote to absolute rest or social pleasures. He is not an educated man in the common acceptance of the term, nor is his knowledge that of the specialist, yet the fund of information he has acquired is large and varied in its nature, embracing something upon nearly every topic that has claimed the attention of political, scientific and literary men during the past century. He is not a "self- made man," but an indigenous product of the country which requires every man to work out his own destiny to the best of his ability, under the circumstances in which he is placed, in the end accounting to God, only, for the result.
KNAPP R. HODSKIN, clothier, Coudersport, son of Albert A. and Sauna. Cohnson) Hodskin, was born at Lisle, Broome Co., N.Y., January 27, 1851. His parents, who were natives of New York, removed to Potter county, Penn., locating at Coudersport, where the father was associated with C.S. Jones as dealers in general merchandise, in. which business Mr. Hodskin still remains. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Albert A. Hodskin are as follows: Knapp R., Fannie (now Mrs. James L. Knox), Julius D. (now the main spoke in the wheel of the "regulator," being engaged as clerk in. his father's store, also doing business for himself outside), and Kittie J. (now Mrs. James B. Benson). Of these, Knapp R., at the early age of fifteen years, became an employe of A.J. Crandall, of Binghampton, N.Y., as hotel clerk. He then entered the stores of Harry Lyon and Aaron Sloss, both dealers in clothing and gents' furnishing goods. He then worked for Abel Bennett & Co., traveling for that house six months in the year, and remaining in the retail store the rest of the time; afterward became traveling salesman for the house of Marks & Clark, wholesale grocery and provision dealers. He later erected a building at Bolivar, and embarked in the clothing and gents' furnishing business for himself, but came to Coudersport in 1882, where he first occupied the store now used by William Shear, and during that year removed to the store he now occupies on Second street, in the A.B. Crowel block, opposite the court- house. In two or three years Mr. Hodskin discontinued business, and became an employe of E.L. Dickinson, of Corning, jobbers and wholesale dealers in. confectionery. November 9, 1887, he severed his connection with that house, and April 1, 1888, resumed business in his old store at Coudersport, as dealer in clothing and gents' furnishing goods. November 9, 1882, Mr. Hodskin married Martha L. Goodsell. At present he is secretary of Coudersport Lodge, No. 815, I.O.O.F. Politically he affiliates with the Republican party.
W.K. JONES, banker, Coudersport, is a son of Archibald F. and Mary R. Jones, and was born June 22, 1849, in Coudersport, Potter Co., Penn., where he was educated, with the exception of two years, one of which was passed at Collegeville. Immediately following his school days, Mr. Jones became a practical surveyor, a profession he pursued for several years; and afterward became associated with his father (who was then a dealer in general merchandise) in Coudersport, where they transacted business on an extensive scale under the firm name of A.F. Jones & Son. As early as 1873 they found a demand upon them to become the private bankers for many people, and to afford, to a considerable extent, banking facilities to all, which ultimately resulted in the sale of their mercantile interests, and the organization of the banking house known as the Bank of Coudersport. On the death of Mr. A.F. Jones, March 8, 1879, the entire business fell into the hands of his son, W.K., which the latter still continues, and which has expanded with the growth of the county, till now it is an institution of great magnitude and unqualified popularity, and the executive and financial abilities of Mr. Jones have won for him the confidence of the community generally. He is largely interested in all local enterprises, being a director in the Citizens' Water Company and of the Coudersport & Port Allegany Railroad, also holds large realties, and is executor of the Boss estate. Beyond doubt he is one of Potter county's ablest men; is unassuming, genial, liberal in his charities, and of an unimpeachable character. He is a past officer in both the Masonic organizations of Coudersport, and member of the Commandery at Bradford, and petitioner for the creation of the Coudersport Commandery. In February, 1890, he was appointed D.D.G.H.P. for the counties of Potter, McKean, Cameron and Elk. Mr. Jones well deserves the honor thus conferred upon him. He is a member of the Republican party, was a delegate to the Chicago convention in 1888, which nominated Harrison, and has frequently been a delegate to Harrisburg. He is chief engineer of the Coudersport fire department, and fire marshal of the borough, of which he has also served two terms as burgess. Mr. Jones married, in 1887, Miss Fannie Holman, and they are the parents of two sons.
DAVID E. KENDIG, tinsmith and plumber, Coudersport, is a son of Jacob and Jane (McDowell) Kendig, and was born in Orrstown, Franklin Co., Penn., in 1853. His parents had a family or sixteen children, of whom nine are living: Harry B., Joseph R., Mary E., Samuel W., Mrs. Sadie J. Kramer, Josie C., David E., Maggie R. and Elmer. One son, William, was killed at the battle of Antietam. Another son, Abram, was captured by the rebels, escaped, and his death resulted from exposure. Joseph R., Harry B. and Samuel W. were also soldiers in the Civil war, and were all wounded in battle. David E. Kendig made his home with his parents until his apprenticeship to the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, with whom he served from 1873 to 1877 as tinner. He then. removed to Colorado, where he remained for a year and a half; then returned and resumed his trade at Renovo with the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, remaining with them three years. In 1884 he came to Coudersport, where he was engaged with Olmsted & Sons as tinsmith and plumber, four years, and in 1888 began business for himself. His marriage to Miss Emma Strawbridge took place in 1879. Mr. Kendig is president of the Coudersport Hose Company, and he has served one term as member of the council of that borough.
MRS. MARY T. KENT, Coudersport, daughter of Joseph and Polly (Andrus) Gates, was born in Franklin, Delaware Co., N.Y., in 1812. She was educated in her native town and at Delhi, the county seat. Her parents removed to the city of Albany, where her mother died, her father then coming to William sport, Penn., where he also died. Mary T., in 1831, married Rev. Bloomer Kent, a Presbyterian clergyman, who was pastor of a church at Delhi, but was taken sick and died in Franklin in. 1839. Mrs. Kent's family being afflicted with consumption, and as she was in a decline, her physician advised her removal to some place abounding in hemlock timber, hence her coming to Coudersport in 1842. Mary A., an only daughter, accompanied her, and resides with her still. Mrs. Kent taught school, kept boarders, and managed in every way to provide for the future, and now in her declining years has secured a competency. Potter county at the time of her arrival was a wilderness, and she has lived to witness its great growth and development.
HENRY H. KIES, county superintendent of schools, Coudersport, was born in Pitcher, Chenango Co., N.Y., in 1860, and with his parents, Enos J. and Sarah M., who were natives of New England, removed to Allegheny township, Potter Co., Penn., in 1866, where his father engaged in farming. Mr. Kies received his education at the common schools of the county, with the exception of a few terms at select schools. He began life by teaching in winters, finding employment on the farm during the summers, for a period of years, after which he attended Mansfield Normal School, from which he graduated in 1881. He then resumed his former vocation, and taught in graded and select schools until elected school superintendent of Potter county in the spring of 1887, a position he is eminently qualified to fill, both by study and natural inclination; He now has his residence in Coudersport. He is a Prohibitionist, and a member of the Sons of Temperance. He is a gentleman of sterling worth, is genial and affable, one whom it is a pleasure to meet. July 15, 1883, Mr. Kies married Miss Carrie E., daughter of J.C. and Abigail S. Bishop, natives of Vermont. Carrie E. Bishop was a teacher of wide experience, having graduated from the Lock Haven Normal School.
F.W. KNOX, Coudersport, was born in Deerfield township, Tioga Co., Penn., March 8, 1824, his father, James Knox, being the first white boy born in that county, on March 17, 1800. The grandfather of F.W. Knox, soon after the close of the Revolution, was appointed, by the State of Connecticut, a commissioner to take possession of and hold disputed territory between the Delaware and the lakes, including a twenty- mile strip along the northern portion of the State. These commissioners were stationed twenty miles apart. The grandfather had been a soldier in the war of the Revolution, and his army experience eminently qualified him for this position. Block- houses were built, and trenches dug by the several commissioners. James Knox, the father, and
F.W. Knox, the son, were both born in the Deerfield block- house, twenty- four years apart. F.W. Knox received his rudimentary education in select schools at Knoxville, a village in Deerfield township, the academy at Wellsboro, and later attended Alfred University, at Alfred Centre, N.Y., most of the time for five years, graduating in 1848. After leaving the university, he was engaged in teaching; at the same time was a student at law under the instruction of Judge John C. Knox, then of Wellsboro, Tioga, Co., Penn., one of the able and prominent attorneys of the State. During the two years following his leaving the university, most of the time was devoted to teaching; a part of which time he was principal of the academy at Coudersport, and the high school at Whitesville, N.Y. In 1849 John C. Knox was appointed judge of the Jefferson, Armstrong and Clarion judicial district; shortly after, became attorney- general and supreme justice of the State, and so continued until near his death.
F.W. KNOX, the subject of these lines, entered the law office of the well- known Hon. James Lowrey. Under the instruction of these able jurists, the subject about which we write was found well qualified, and in September, 1850, was admitted to the bar of Tioga county. In February, 1851, Mr. Knox located at Coudersport, there opened a law office, and very soon had clients, and from that date until 1884 continued in active practice, not only in this county, but also had a very large collection business in McKean and Cameron counties as well. For thirty- two years, practically, all the legal business of this county, and much in adjoining counties, was done in four law offices here, and each office was full of legal work, and continued unbroken until the death of Hon. John S. Mann. Many, very many, important, intricate and interesting cases were tried, and land titles were settled in our courts. During all the years Mr. Knox not only continued in active practice in courts, but gave much time to the care and management of large landed estates placed in his charge by Philadelphians, and to his credit be it said not one acre was lost by neglect in not paying taxes or by occupancy. Any and everything that in his judgment would benefit his village or county found in him a willing assistant. In 1871 he assisted W.W. Thompson in establishing the Potter Enterprise, and gave it his aid and support for some years. In 1869 he became connected with the enterprise of building a railroad from Buffalo to Emporium, now known as The Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad. The subject of this brief sketch became the president of the Pennsylvania portion, but when the two portions were merged, B.C. Rumsey became president, and F.W. Knox became the Pennsylvania attorney of the road, and held the position for many years. He was also largely instrumental in organizing and building the Coudersport & Port Allegany Railroad, of which he is president, and has been since its organization; and to him Coudersport, and, in fact, the central portion of the county, is indebted for its facilities as regards railroad transportation and communication. The Vanderbilts and Gen. George J. Magee, in the winter of 1881, had procured a controlling interest in the Pine Creek Railway. The principal office had been held here. In March Gen. Magee and party came here to attend the annual election. The railroad had been partly graded west of Coudersport. It was well known that if the Vanderbilt and Magee party carried the election, the Pine Creek line was to be diverted to the lines of the above- named parties, and Potter county was to be given the "go- by." At this important crisis an interview was held, at which were Gen. Magee, H. Sherwood, Judge A.G. Olmsted and the subject of this sketch. The result was that the Vanderbilt and Magee party carried the election, and the two Coudersport gentlemen owned practically the partly graded line from Coudersport to Port Allegany, the grading alone costing $120,000. The railroad was completed in the summer of 1882, and has been a very profitable property, managed as it is with economy. Last June the road was changed from narrow to standard gauge. To do this, a mortgage of $75,000 was placed on the road and its franchise, and will earn the interest on mortgage and fair dividend on stock. Mr. Knox also materially assisted in the organization of the Citizens' Water Company, of this village, whereby the citizens have pure spring water in their homes, and the town is well protected from fire by ample pressure, and insurance rates have been reduced one and one- half per cent. His son, J.L. Knox, is secretary of the company, and, in connection with the president, manages the affairs of the company. Mr. Knox is still the owner of large tracts of valuable timbered land, and was formerly engaged in lumbering with profitable results. His oldest son, Oscar D. Knox, after being admitted to the bar here in 1870, took up his residence in southwest Missouri, and engaged in the practice of his profession. About 1881 he became the trial lawyer of the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad, and during the years following was very much of the time in the courts, embracing a large district of the southwest. While engaged in court during the winter of 1884— 85, he broke down, brain fever set in, and he died March 11, 1885. His remains were brought to Pennsylvania, and placed in the family vault. His children are now here, cared for by their grandfather. His death was due to overwork. He was greatly respected in his far distant home; was a delegate to the Chicago convention in 1884 that nominated Cleveland for the presidency, and had the reputation, in connection with Mr. John O. Day of carrying the entire delegation to Cleveland. James L. Knox, second son of F.W. Knox, is an attorney at Coudersport. A daughter is engaged in the mercantile business, and has a large trade. Katie, a bright school- girl of eleven years, and Frankie D., an active, bright boy of nine years, constitute the children. James Knox, father of F.W. Knox, died in 1882; the mother a few years prior.
The business life of Mr. F.W. Knox has been one of great activity and constant toil. Having a fine rugged constitution and rare good judgment, he was well equipped to manage successfully a large business. In Church matters, while not a member, he assists the Presbyterian Church liberally, and is regarded as "good help."
JAMES L. KNOX, district attorney, Coudersport, is one of the wide- awake young attorneys of the county, having since his admission to the bar, some fifteen years ago, proven himself in many ways well worthy of the popularity he enjoys among the legal fraternity and the public at large. He is a son of F.W. Knox, and was born in Coudersport, Potter Co., Penn., at the public schools of which place he received his early education, completing same at Freeland University (now Ursinus College), at Collegeville, Montgomery Co., Penn., from which he graduated. In June, 1869, he returned to Coudersport, and then removed to Kansas. After a sojourn of two years, he came once more to his old home, where he studied law in his father's office. In 1874 he was admitted to the bar, and has since been engaged in the practice of his chosen profession in Coudersport. He was elected district attorney in 1877, has occupied various official positions in the borough and has been a member of its council; he is secretary of the Citizens' Water Company, and a director of the Coudersport & Port Allegany Railroad. Mr. Knox married Fannie, daughter of A.A. Hodskin, formerly of Lisle, Broome Co., N.Y., and to this union has been born one child, Rathbone A. Mr. Knox is a member of Eulalia Lodge, No. 342, F. & A.M., Coudersport Chapter, No. 263, and Trinity Commandery, No. 58.
DON CARLOS LARRABEE (deceased). On the brilliant roll of preeminently self- made men of our times who have achieved a large measure of success, stands, among the most prominent, the name of this able jurist and cultured gentleman, whose lustrous light has been so suddenly forever extinguished. The deceased was born March 5, 1830, at Almond, N.Y., the eldest son of Willett and Rosanna Larrabee, the former of whom was one of the pioneers of Almond, as well as one of its prominent attorneys. When the subject of this biographical memoir was quite young, the family moved to Whitesville, N.Y., where the boy was mainly reared, and where he received the greater part of his school training. When fifteen years of age he came to Ulysses, and here entered the store, of his uncle (the late Collins Smith), with whom he remained in the capacity of clerk about four years; then, for a time, was employed in the store of W.T. Jones & Bro., in Coudersport. Returning to Ulysses, he was here engaged as a clerk in the store of Ambrose Corey, but shortly after took up a farm west of Lewisville (still known as the Larrabee farm), and for three or four years worked on the same, boarding in the meantime with his uncle. Soon after attaining his majority, young Larrabee obtained employment as a brakeman upon the Erie Railroad, and was quickly promoted to conductor, a position he so successfully filled until the fall of 1857, that he was then advanced to the still more responsible post of train dispatcher, at Dunkirk, N.Y. Leaving the railroad service, however, he returned to his old home in Ulysses, Where, in 1859, he associated himself in mercantile business with Burton Lewis, under the firm name of Larrabee & Lewis, carrying on business in the store now owned and occupied by D.J. Chappel & Son. Soon after this he was elected justice of the peace, which office he held until October, 1862, when he was elected sheriff of Potter county. In 1858 his firm became Larrabee, Lewis & Co., by the addition of another partner, and the following season they built the Ulysses Academy. When partly completed it was blown down, but Mr. Larrabee remarked to his co-partners: "We'll rebuild it." It was rebuilt, and has ever since stood as a monument of his interest in the cause of education. Upon the completion of his term of office as sheriff, Mr. Larrabee entered the office of Hon. A.G. Olmsted as a student of law, and in June, 1866, was admitted to the bar, becoming a partner with Mr. Olmsted, with whom he- remained until January 1, 1883, at which time the latter was made judge. He then formed a co- partnership with his nephew, W.I. Lewis, an arrangement which the death of Mr. Larrabee terminated. In 1876 he was elected a member of the Pennsylvania legislature, served one term, but declined re- election. Mr. Larrabee left his home on Tuesday evening, March 12, 1889, for Harrisburg, Penn., where he had some business. On his return trip, on the morning of the 14th, while on the cars, and when about three miles below Renovo, he was suddenly stricken with apoplexy, dying almost instantly and without a struggle. So beloved was he, and such was his popularity, that the special train which brought the remains to Coudersport was loaded with people who had come from all along the route to pay their respects to their deceased neighbor, counselor and friend. The funeral, which was conducted by the Trinity Commandery, K.T., of Bradford, Penn., took place on Sunday, March 17, the public services being held in the court- house.
The following extracts from the memorial, presented by the members of the bar, are expressions in enduring form of the estimation in which they hold his character, their regard for his manhood, and their veneration for his memory:
"His professional character was above reproach. While possessed to a reasonable extent of the frailties of human nature, yet he never so far forgot himself, or the respect due to the court, as to allow anger to so far control his acts as to cause language ever to fall from his lips unbecoming to a court-room, a place where the rights of properly, personal liberty and sometimes human life, were passed upon. Self- control was one of the marked characteristics of his professional life. To the younger members of the bar he was never patronizing, but always kind, courteous and considerate. In his professional relations with other members of the bar, his word was his bond. He tried his causes upon their merits, rather than upon technicalities and legal quibbles; he sought only the just and legal rights of his clients, and was never willing to be a partner in any way to unjust, extortion or oppressive demands. Earnest and zealous in the fight, he was always liberal and manly in compromise or settlement. His mind was clever, logical and vigorous. He readily grasped and analyzed the facts in a case, and was equally clear in his application of law; ingenious in cross- examination, he had an unusual faculty of impressing a jury with the justice of his case and his confidence in the truth of his cause. His whole life, as a lawyer, has been an undying example to the younger members of the bar; and to his courteous dignity and influence is due, perhaps, more than to any other one cause, the almost universal and kindly professional spirit and mutual confidence at present existing among the members of the bar of Potter county, a credit to itself as well as to him through whose influence this result has to a great extent been brought about. As a citizen, his loss falls heavily, not only upon the borough of Coudersport and those within the immediate influence of his daily life, but upon the whole county as well. The activity and usefulness of his life was not confined, within the walks of his profession; he was actively engaged with every enterprise looking to the advancement of the public generally. To him was largely due the increased educational interests of Coudersport, and at the time of his death he was earnestly pushing a railroad enterprise, the success of which would greatly promote the welfare and growth of the whole county. In the midst of the period of this greatest usefulness in his life work he felt the cold hand of the Angel of Death, paused to rest, and left the wheels of time to move on without him, leaving the record of a life that all would do well to imitate, and which entitles him to a respectful and honored position in the records and history of this court, in the hearts of its members, as well as in the memory of the people of Potter county at large.
"Potter county, ss. Certified from the records, this 21st day of May, A.D. 1889. Signed, Wm. A. Crosby, prothonotary."
In social life Mr. Larrabee was a good citizen, a kind neighbor, a faithful friend; upright in all his dealings, charitable to the poor, and to the unfortunate ever considerate. He was a charter member of Eulalia Lodge, No. 342, F. & A.M.; a charter member of Coudersport Chapter, No. 263, R.A.M., and a member of Trinity Commandery, No. 58, K.T., of Bradford, Penn. He was identified with the Republican party as one of its most active members, having been chairman of the county committee and delegate from time to time. On February 2, 1858, Mr. Larrabee was married to Mary J., daughter of A.A. Gridley, of Lewisville, Potter county, and their children are Carrie M. (now Mrs. S.A. Phillips, of Coudersport) and Leon E. These the husband and father has left with a grief too poignant and too sacred to be commented upon, but with a heritage of his pure life and noble deeds, and a blessed hope of a happy reunion in the home above.
FRED C. LEONARD, attorney at law, Coudersport, was born in Elmer, Potter Co., Penn., February 16, 1856, and at nine years of age removed to Allegany county, N.Y. He graduated in the elementary course at Mansfield in 1874, but, however, studied another year, and taught two years at Mansfield. He was also a student of Williston Seminary at East Hampton, Mass., a preparatory school, for two years, graduating in 1879. He then entered Yale College, and from there graduated in the class of 1883. In the fall of that year he entered the office of Elliott & Watrous, of Wellsboro, as a law student, and was admitted to the bar in the fall of 1885. He then studied a year at Elmira, and was admitted to the bar of the State of New York in Jannary, 1887. He first began the practice of his chosen profession at Coudersport, where he became a member of the firm of Cobb & Leonard, having an office at Austin also. In 1884 he married Estella G. Cook, of Wellsboro, and they have two children. He is an active Republican.
LAVINIA M. LEWIS, daughter of James and Abigail Hurlburt, was born at Lisle, Broome Co., N.Y., in 1806, and in 1828 married O.A. Lewis, son of Jesse Lewis, of Lisle, N.Y. In 1831 they removed to Ulysses, Potter Co., Penn., whither but five families had preceded them. Mr. Lewis purchased a farm in what is now the center of Lewisville, which he cleared, set out an orchard, built a saw- mill and engaged in sawing lumber, principally pine and cherry. He was the first justice of the peace there, and after the organization of the county became its first treasurer; was afterward auditor, and in 1841 was elected sheriff; was also appointed associate judge, serving two terms. Refusing a commission at the beginning of the Civil war, Mr. Lewis enlisted as a. private in Company G, Fifty- third Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and at the retreat from the Chickahominy he was taken sick, dying at Harrison's Landing in August, 1862. He was a highly respected gentleman, who won the esteem of all. Lewisville, his former home, was named in his honor. He was active as a temperance organizer, liberal in his charities, social, and a good counselor. His house was always open, and was the retreat of all in distress. He was the general agent through whom people transacted much business in that locality, and his usefulness will probably never be replaced. To Mr. and Mrs. Lewis were born three children: Elvina, now Mrs. Dennis Hall, of Keating; Erastus P., who took his father's place on the farm, was deputy sheriff for twelve years, and register and recorder six years, dying May 13, 1888; the youngest is William Henry H. Mrs. Lewis removed to Coudersport in 1871, when she erected her late residence. She was liberal in her views of the tenets of all churches, but preferred and was a member of the Universalist. Ulysses had never given a license to this denomination, and at one time she found cause to circulate a remonstrance, obtaining to it the signature of every person in that township over twelve years of age, with but one exception, get ting in all 120 signatures. Mrs. Lewis departed this life February 17, 1889, sincerely mourned by her family and numerous friends. Her remains were interred beside those of her son, Erastus D., in the family burying ground at Lewisville, and beyond all doubt her last resting place will be kept green and sacredly guarded by her surviving children.
W.I. LEWIS, attorney at law, Coudersport, is a son of Burton Lewis, and was born at Ulysses, Potter Co., Penn., in 1852. He received his early education at Lewisville Academy, and also attended school at Coudersport for several terms. In 1872 he entered Alfred University, from which he graduated in 1876, as bachelor of philosophy. He began the study of law while attending the university, and from July, 1876, to March, 1878, studied law with Olmsted & Larrabee, of Coudersport, and was admitted to the bar in March, 1878. During his course of study he compiled and published the local laws of Potter county, from its organization up to 1877. He began the practice of law at Duke Centre, McKean county, and was associated for about a year with J.C. Johnson, of Emporium, a prominent attorney of Cameron county. In 1882, when Hon. A.G. Olmsted was elected judge of the district, Mr. Lewis removed to Coudersport, becoming one of the firm of Larrabee & Lewis, where he has acquired an enviable reputation as an able lawyer. Burton Lewis, father of W.I., one of the successful men of the county, was the owner of Farmers Mills, hotel property, etc. and, wishing to impress upon the mind of his son the importance and nobility of labor, he retained him in all these industries from 1863 to 1868. Our subject then worked a year as shingle sawyer for E. Hackett, in Lewisville, after which he commenced his education. Thus, by close application, perseverance and unswerving integrity, he has worked his way up until he has become a member of a firm which numbers among its clients many of the largest business interests in the county— among which are railroad companies, and other corporations, tanneries, and the larger landed estates in the county— and enjoys a remunerative and constantly increasing practice. Mr. Lewis is a charter member of Coudersport Chapter, No. 263, R.A.M., being a past high priest therein, and is at present W.M. of Eulalia Lodge, No. 342, F. & A.M. He was also an early member of Trinity Commandery, No. 58, K.T., of Bradford. He is a member of the Republican party, and was chairman of the county committee during 1884 and 1888; but though he takes a lively interest in his party, he does not aspire to political preferment. In 1879 he married Miss Lucretia Bath bone, of Corning, N.Y., and is the father of one child, Robert R. Since the death of his partner, Mr. Larrabee, Mr. Lewis has continued the business under the same firm name, and is maintaining the business of the firm, and retaining the extensive clientage of the office.
A.G. LYMAN, lumberman, P.O. Coudersport, son of Lewis W. and Hannah (Lewis) Lyman, was born in Sweden township, Potter Co., Penn., in 1844. Lewis W., father of A.G., was a son of Isaac and Patience (Mann) Lyman, and was born at Lymansville, Penn., in 1818. Isaac, grandfather of A.G., was a native of New Hampshire, was married at Mansfield, Tioga Co., Penn., removed to Potter county, and located at Lymansville in the fall of 1809. He built a log- house, and from him the place derived its name, at that time there being but one house within twenty- eight miles. He returned to his former home, and March 10, 1810, brought his family. William Ayers was the first settler in Potter county, locating here in 1808, John Keating giving him 200 acres of land to induce him to remain. Isaac Lyman was the father of nineteen children: Jonathan, Lydia, Charlotte, Eunice, John, Burrell, Laura, Parthinna, Henry, Harry, Isaac, Jr., Otis, Charles, Eulalia (the first white girl born in Potter county), Milo, Edwin, Lewis W., and two that died in infancy, all now deceased but Edwin and Lewis W. Isaac Lyman, Sr., built the first saw- mill in the county, in 1810, and the first grist- mill, in 1811, and in the same year the first blacksmith shop. Lewis W. Lyman married Hannah, daughter of Jesse Lewis, February 11, 1839, and they are the parents of four children: T.B., A.G., Arthur and W.L. He is a member of Eulalia Lodge, No. 342, F. & A.M. He was elected county commissioner in 1845, and served one term of three years; was also elected treasurer of the county in 1862, serving a term of two years. A.G. Lyman is one of the large land- holders of Potter county, and one of its heaviest lumbermen. When a young man he located in Sweden township, where he has since lived, and has been heavily engaged in the lumber trade. He married Adelaide A. Jackson, and to them have been born two children: Alice M. and L. Winifred. Mr. and Mrs. Lyman are members of the Methodist Church. He is a member of Eulalia Lodge, No. 342, F. & A.M. He supports the Republican party, but is not a politician, devoting his time and energies to his large business interests.
B.A. McCLURE, Coudersport, general superintendent of the Coudersport & Port Allegany Railroad, was born at Elizabeth, Allegheny Co., Penn., August 14, 1850. When he was a child his parents removed to Buffalo, N.Y., where he received his education, and in March, 1867, he became an employe of the Cincinnati, Sandusky & Cleveland Railroad Company, and in the second year of his service with this company he became superintendent of its telegraph office. He was trainmaster on the Lehigh & Susquehanna Railroad for two and one- quarter years, after which he became trainmaster on the Pittsburgh, Baltimore & Washington Railroad, in which capacity he served for two years, and afterward was assistant superintendent of the McKean & Buffalo Railroad for a period of eight years; since then he has been general superintendent of the Coudersport & Port Allegany Railroad. Affable, courteous and accommodating to the patrons of the road, he makes for it many friends, and under his able management it is in a flourishing condition, its construction and shipping departments being perfect. Mr. McClure has been married twice, and has two children: Gertrude and Fanne. He is a member of Coudersport Chapter, R.A.M., No. 263, and of St. John's Commandery, K.T., at Olean, N.Y.
OWEN G. METZGER, lumber dealer, Coudersport, son of William H. and Pomilla C. (Coolidge) Metzger, was born in Hebron township, Potter Co., Penn., in 1853. His father was a native of Lewisburg, Penn., and located at Pike Mills, Potter county, about 1830. He built the old Goodman mills, and later the Metzger mills, being also engaged in the lumber business. About 1857 he was elected county commissioner, and was one of the prominent men of Potter county. His death occurred in July, 1881, after a lingering illness of seventeen years, and his widow died the following year. They had four children: Francis, Margaret (now Mrs. Theodore Cobb, of Spring Mills, Allegany Co., N.Y.), William and Owen G. The last named made his home with his parents until 1874, when he married Phebe R., daughter of D.D. McGee, of Bradford, Penn. After his marriage he located at Coudersport, where he has since lived. He embarked in the lumber trade, which he continued alone until 1881, when he became associated with James White in the same business, under the firm name of White & Metzger, their yards being located at Galeton, Potter county. Mr. and Mrs. Metzger have four children: Stanley, Elsie, Frank and Alice. In politics Mr. Metzger affiliates with the Democratic party.
A.R. MOORE, one of the enterprising citizens of Coudersport, is a son of Ross Aruna and Mary E. (Gleason) Moore, and was born in Belfast, Allegany Co., N.Y., in 1858. His father was a native of Richford, Tioga Co., N.Y., and was married there December 31, 1837. He was a stone- cutter by trade, and established marble works, but removed to Alma, Allegany county, thence to Collins, thence to Belfast (all in the same State), where he remained until 1867, when he came to Ulysses township, Potter Co., Penn., where he purchased a farm and remained until his death, November 6, 1883; his wife died October 22, 1881. They united with the Methodist Episcopal Church at Belfast, in 1842, of which they were always faithful and consistent members. He was a Knight Templar, and in politics a member of the Republican party. Much might be said of his social and family relations, but it is sufficient to say that he was a devoted husband, a kind and affectionate parent, and a desirable acquisition to the community in which he resided. Their children are Laura J., now Mrs. Charles C. Perry, of Saginaw, Mich.; Wm. W., who married Mrs. Amelia Rodgers, now of Westfield, Tioga Co., Penn.; Mary E., now Mrs. Chester E. Lyman, of Cleveland, Ohio; Nancy J., now Mrs. Theodore Carpenter, of Ulysses; James W., who married Nellie Scott, now of Raymond; Chauncey Z., who married Kate E. Acker, also of Raymond, and Alonzo B., who remained with his parents until their decease. In November, 1883, the subject of these lines embarked in mercantile business at Raymond Corners, Potter Co., Penn., but in 1885 returned to the old homestead and worked the farm. During that year, however, he removed to Coudersport, where he became proprietor of a stage line between Coudersport and Harrison Valley, and removing to the latter place in April, 1886, he became the popular landlord of the Harrison Valley House. December 1, 1888, Mr. Moore leased the Commercial House at Coudersport, its principal hotel, which at this writing he is conducting. In 1885 he married Miss Mary L., daughter of Frank B. Langdon. Mr. Moore is a member of Eulalia Lodge, No. 342, F. & A.M. In politics he is a Republican, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
DANIEL NEEFE, son of Edward and Anna M. (Benauer) Neefe, was born in Allegheny township, Potter Co., Penn., in 1844. He remained at home until 1864, and began his business life as a carpenter and joiner, a trade he followed about two years, when he went into the carriage- building trade for himself, at Brookland, where he remained until 1872, in which year he removed to Coudersport. Here he was in the same business until 1873, when he sold his establishment, but has since worked at his trade as usual. He married Caroline Blackman, and has two children: Bertha and Anna. Mr. Neefe is a member of the Baptist Church, and his wife of the Methodist Church. He is a member of the Sons of Temperance, and of the Knights of the MaccaRees. In politics he is a Democrat. Edward Neefe, father of Daniel, was born and educated in Sachsen- Altenburg, Germany, and came to America in 1834. He located in Allegheny township, Potter Co., Penn., where he purchased and cleared a farm. He married Anna M. Benauer, in 1842, and their children were Daniel, Frank E., William, Adolph, Julius (deceased) and Frederick. Frank E. Neefe was born in Allegheny township, Potter Co., Penn., in 1846, remained at home till 1866, learned the carriage maker's trade at Brookland, Penn., and soon after went into business for himself at Coudersport, Penn., the firm name being F.E. Neefe & Co. In 1879 he married Mrs. Mira Seible, and their children are Carrie and Leon. He is a member of the Knights of the MaccaRees, and in politics is a Democrat.
ALMERON NELSON, Coudersport, is a son of Cephas and Eunice Nelson, and was born in the town of Putnam, Washington Co., N.Y., January 15, 1817. His grandfather, John Nelson, was one of four brothers— Paul, Moses, John and Daniel completing the number— all of whom married and reared families. John was born in Massachusetts about 1750. He removed to Washington county, N.Y., town of Hebron, where he married Mollie Hare, a lady of Scotch descent, and they had a family of fourteen children: Ezekiel, John, Moses, Joel, Cephas, Silas, Lyman, Isaac, David, Betsy, Polly, Sallie, Annice and Eleanor. Cephas, the fifth son of John Nelson, was born in the town of Hebron, Washington county, near the Vermont line, and there married the daughter of Hon. Isaac Lyman, whose residence was at Pollett, where he built a saw- mill over 100 years ago, and who was a major of the Revolution, a member of the State legislature, and afterward a resident of Lake George and of Charleston, Tioga Co., Penn. Having made the acquaintance of extensive land holders, who in him perceived good executive ability, his services were engaged as their agent, necessitating his removal to Lymansville, Potter Co., Penn., which, later, was named in his honor. There he remained as their agent until his decease. Cephas and his family removed to Lake George, and eventually to Potter county, locating in 1820 on the farm now owned by Almeron Nelson, at Lymansville. Here Cephas and his family underwent the privations and experiences incident to pioneer life. The family comprised six children: Horatio, Henry, Charlotte, Lyman, James and Almeron. The eldest three are deceased, as are also the parents. Almeron the fifth son of Cephas, after serving an apprenticeship at hard work, married Henrietta M. McClelland in 1841, and to them were born three children, of whom but one lives, Eunice M. (now Mrs. Daniel Park, of Tioga Co., N.Y.). Almeron lost his wife in 1866, and in the following year he married Elizabeth A. Taggart, and has by this marriage two children: Henrietta M. and Almeron T. Mr. Nelson was elected county commissioner in 1849, and jury commissioner in 1859, and served three terms— nine years. He was the nominee of the Democratic party for State senator, and also for judge, but was defeated. He is a member of the Methodist Church, and of Eulalia Lodge, No. 342, F. & A.M.
LYMAN NELSON, retired, Coudersport, is a son of Cephas and Eunice Nelson, and was born at Hebron, Washington Co., N.Y., in 1812. His early life was passed in securing a common- school education, and in hard work. February 15, 1832, he married Anner M., daughter of Dennis Hall, of Coudersport. They located in Eulalia township, engaged in farming, and raised a family of nine children— four boys and five girls: Lydia R. (now wife of Rev. Joseph Latham, of Franklinville, Cattaraugus Co., N.Y.), Louisa M. (now Mrs. Nelson H. Goodsell, of Coudersport), Carthagena (now Mrs. F.A. Gleason, of Franklinville), Almeron E. (of Hinsdale, N.Y.), H.T. (of Coudersport), Orrell (now Mrs. M.L. Gridley, of Coudersport), Ralph L. (of Genesee, Potter county), Oliva A. (now wife of John J. Park, of Barton, Tioga Co., N.Y.), and Alva T. (of Hinsdale, N.Y.). Mr. Nelson was elected associate judge in 1870, has been justice of the peace for fifteen years, and has been in the higher and lower courts for a period of twenty years. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Church. He is a supporter of the Republican party.
F.B. NELSON, proprietor of meat market, drover, etc., Coudersport, is a son of Henry and Speedy (Clark) Nelson, and was born in Allegheny township, Potter Co., Penn., March 14, 1837. His father's family consisted of eight children: Samantha (now Mrs. Albert Presho, of Colesburg), Daniel (of Jefferson county, Penn.), Amelia (now Mrs. James Booth), F.B., Sabrina (the late Mrs. Uriah Butler, of Cincinnati, Ohio), F.A. (of Colesburg), Oscar (of Lewisville), and Charles H. (of Coudersport). F.B. Nelson remained at home until twenty- two years of age, and was engaged in assisting his parents in various ways. He married, July 24, 1863, Delphine Thompson, a daughter of Samuel Thompson, and granddaughter of Miles and Elizabeth Thompson. Her grandfather located in Harrison township in 1827, and was the second sheriff of the county, subsequently serving another term. He was a farmer, and eventually removed to Kettle Creek, where he died; his widow returned to Ulysses, and there died. Samuel Thompson married Permelia Hackett in 1845, and located on the farm he now owns in Eulalia township, upon which he has erected fine farm buildings. Mrs. Nelson is their only surviving child. After the marriage of F.B. Nelson he removed to Emporium, where he engaged in the lumber trade, remaining nine years. He then became a merchant at Raymond's Corners, and later a farmer, after which he settled in Coudersport and engaged in the butcher business; associated with his son he has a market at Odin. He is also a general buyer, speculator, drover, etc. His children were Arthur .F., Mittie Bell (who died when one year of age), Mart J. and Bessie A. Of these Arthur F. married Cora, daughter of Washington Wyckoff, of Sinnemahoning, and has one child, Mina Bell.
C.H. NELSON, meat market, Coudersport, is a son of Henry and Speedy (Clark) Nelson, and was born at Colesburg, Potter Co., Penn., May 11, 1856. After attending the common schools and Coudersport Academy, he taught for six terms, and then graduated at the State Normal School, at Lock Haven, in the class of 1881. He was in the employ of C.H. Armstrong for a time, and then accepted a position in an engineer corps, remaining three years, when he became, in February, 1884, a butcher, with a market on Main street, where he furnishes food for the epicures of the county seat. He married June 5, 1884, Mary, daughter of John Evans, of Painted Post, Steuben Co., N.Y. He is a Democrat in politics, a member of the I.O.O.F., also of the Equitable Aid Union, and his wife is a member of the Episcopal Church.
RODNEY L. NICHOLS, surveyor and conveyancer, and dealer in real estate, Coudersport, is a son of Col. Samuel and Sarah (Dutton) Nichols, the former of whom was a soldier of the war of 1812, being present at the burning of Buffalo, and who was commissioned a colonel of the New York State Militia by Govs. Dewitt Clinton and Daniel D. Tompkins. In 1808 he located at Arcade, N.Y., where he built a log- house, the nearest neighbors at the time being fifteen miles distant; and the following year he revisited his native place, Francestown, Hillsborough Co., N.H. Here he married Sarah Dutton, then returned to Arcade the same year, where he began clearing up his farm. He died at Arcade in 1856, his wife having preceded him in 1848. John Nichols, grandfather of Rodney L., was one of a large family, and was born at Londonderry, Ireland, whence he was brought in his infancy to this country by his parents, who settled in New Hampshire. He followed his father, Col. Samuel Nichols, to Arcade, N.Y., where he died, aged ninety- eight years, leaving a large family of children and several grandchildren. The children of Col. Samuel and Sarah (Dutton) Nichols were as follows: Eurilia (now of Arcade, aged seventy- seven years), John (deceased), Bradford (now of Jessup, Iowa), Mianda (who died at Maquoketa, Iowa), Rodney L., Roxana (who died at the age of twenty- two years) and Alcina (the late Mrs. Skeele).
RODNEY L. NICHOLS is emphatically a self- made man. He was born at Arcade, N.Y., October 29, 1818, and there spent the early portion of his life. He taught school, commencing at the age of sixteen years, and when twenty- two went to Kentucky and Tennessee, where he became a teacher in slave- holding families; afterward he was principal of an academy in Fulton county, Ill., for three years. In 1848 he returned to Arcade, and in 1850 located at Millport, Potter Co., Penn., being connected with the Oswayo Lumber Association. In the fall of 1851, in company with Joseph Mann, he bought out their land, and was in business as merchant, manufacturer of pine lumber, dealer in real estate and land surveyor at Millport from 1850 till 1877, in which latter year he moved to Coudersport, where he now resides, engaged in the business named at the commencement of this sketch, though he still owns a farm and other real estate at Millport. Mr. Nichols has been twice married, first on October 9, 1850, to Mary E., second daughter of Andrew Shedd, Esq., of Sardinia, Erie Co., N.Y. She died in 1871 without issue, and on May 1, 1873, Mr. Nichols married his present wife, Jennie Wentworth, of Portage, Wyoming Co., N.Y., by whom he has one daughter, Nora Eola, born September 9, 1876. Mr. Nichols is a member of the I.O.O.F., and has passed all the chairs in the Encampment; he is also a member of Olean Lodge, F. & A.M. He is a Presbyterian of the Scotch- Irish pronounced type, which faith largely predominates in the family. In politics he is a stanch Republican. He voted for William Henry Harrison for the presidency of the United States, became allied to the anti- slavery party, and voted for John C. Fremont for the same great office, and afterward joined the Republican party, to which he has given his earnest support from the day of its formation until the present time. He did good and earnest work for the elevation of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency; was also an ardent supporter of the martyr's war policy, and rendered personal service in raising men and money for the carrying out of the same. The present head of the administration, "Ben" Harrison, also received his vote. Mr. Nichols is still a thorough Republican, and believes in a liberal pension policy in aid of worthy soldiers and their families. While a resident of Millport, Mr. Nichols was school director, postmaster and justice of the peace almost constantly for twenty- six years, and county commissioner three years. He took a leading part in the construction of the Coudersport Water Works, and is a stockholder in the Coudersport & Port Allegany Railroad. He owns real estate at Arcade, N.Y., also extensive tracts of land in the northern part of Potter county and in Iowa. Though a gentleman of wealth, he never alludes to the fact, and has nothing of sham or show in his conversation or manners. Mr. Nichols resides in a pleasant home in Coudersport, and has a business office near the house. His life has been marked by continual struggles and by indomitable perseverance. The results which have come to him are not due to favorable influence or the aid of friends; on the contrary, they have been the outgrowth of his own innate course and temperate habits of life.
A.G. OLMSTED, Coudersport, the president judge of the Forty- eighth Judicial District, was born September 3, .1827, at Masonville, Delaware Co.; N.Y., and is a son of Daniel and Lucy A. (Scofield) Olmsted, both natives of Delaware county, N.Y. At the age of nine years he moved with his parents to Ulysses, Potter Co., Penn., where he lived until he was twenty years of age. During this time he was employed upon his father's farm, attending the district school during the winter, and this, with the exception of a short experience at the Coudersport Academy, was the extent of his school advantages. He must have made good use of these meager opportunities, however, for in conversation he is found to be well informed upon any topic. His rhetoric is almost faultless, his vocabulary exceptionally large, and his choice of words most happy; which acquirements, together with his impressive and pleasant manner of address, make him a most successful advocate and interesting speaker. Mr. Olmsted commenced the study of law with Hon. John S. Mann, and was admitted to the bar January 12, 1850, Hon. Isaac Benson, Canton B. Curtis and Jas. Lowery comprising his examining committee. In those days Messrs. Curtis, Lowery, S.P. Johnston and others used to travel what was called the "circuit," generally on horseback, through Warren, McKean, Potter, Tioga, Bradford and other counties. Before he was eligible to the office, at the general election of 1850 Mr. Olmsted was elected district attorney of the county, and served his term with credit. The office could not have been very lucrative, however, for (the Judge himself being the authority for the statement) he only received ninety dollars from his profession for the first three years after his admission to the bar. He very soon, however, became the leading lawyer of his county, his practice widening out into McKean and Cameron, and into even more remote counties, so that, when he left his office for the bench, he enjoyed a pleasant and extensive practice. In his own county he was identified with nearly every important case on the calendar, which alone must have afforded a nice income. In 1862 he was elected assemblyman, representing Tioga and Potter counties, then an assembly district having two members. In this capacity he served three successive terms, in the last of which he was chosen speaker of the house. On account of ill health, however, he was compelled to abandon public life, and was an invalid for a year or more. In 1868 he was elected to the State senate, in which he took a very active part, and during his term was the author of many of our most carefully drawn acts— the "Attachment Act" of 1869 being an instance of his skillful legislation. Upon retiring from the senate, he was appointed president judge of the district, comprising Montgomery and Bucks counties, to fill a vacancy caused by the death of the resident judge. He was there offered an election, if he would move into the district, but this he declined, and returned to his practice. In 1874 he was the Republican nominee for lieutenant- governor, but, that being an "off year," he was defeated. From this time forward the Judge insisted that he was out of politics— "shelved," as he styled it. In 1882, however, his popularity asserted itself, and he was elected additional law judge for the Fourth Judicial District, but this district having been divided, he is now president judge of the Forty- eighth District, comprising McKean and Potter counties. Judge Olmsted has been very fortunate in his rulings, and during the comparatively short time he has sat upon the bench, in this county he has kept attorneys and litigants busy, holding unprecedented sessions of courts in order to dispose of the business which was four or five years behind. In court he is a very patient listener, quick to act and rule, and most persistent in urging business. Being possessed of natural executive ability, his courts are very decorous and orderly. He has a system of routine which is strictly adhered to, and the wheels of justice under his direction run very smoothly. In his younger days, it is said, the Judge was very diffident, and in spite of his most active public life this character has remained with him to such an extent that he appears, to those who know him but little, of a cold and repelling disposition, though this is a mistaken idea. He does not generally seek acquaintance, but when called upon at his chambers or at his house he is found most entertaining and courteous. On account of his economy in early life, the Judge has acquired a habit of business which some would call closeness, but there is none of that element in his nature. In his own town (Coudersport) he is at the head of every public movement; his time, money, and business ability being always given toward improvements for the public good. For several years the Judge had been trying to secure the building of a railroad to Coudersport, but at last, becoming convinced that there was no other method, he headed the enterprise himself, organized a company and constructed the Coudersport & Port Allegany Railroad, which has proved a good investment, and a great boon to both borough and county. He also organized the Citizens' Water Company, of which he is president, and was also instrumental in the erection of the Soldiers' Monument, an honor to the builders and an ornament to the borough. In all his business enterprises, which have been quite extensive, Judge Olmsted has been singularly fortunate. His business interests are extensive enough now to occupy any ordinary man's mind, but he has never allowed them to interfere with his professional duties, nor are they ever likely to weaken aught of his energies as a judge. He has just passed his sixty- second year, but having always been temperate in his habits, he is a well- preserved man. The Judge married, May 8, 1860, Miss Ellen, daughter of David and M.A. Ross, natives of New Hampshire, sister of Hon. Sobieski Ross, at that time a member of congress from this district, and they have two children: Ellen and Robert.
H.J. OLMSTED, hardware merchant, Coudersport, was born in Masonville, Delaware Co., N.Y., November 22, 1825, and with his parents removed to Ulysses, Potter Co., Penn., in 1836, where they engaged in farming. He remained there with his parents until 1846, and in March, 1848, he removed to Coudersport, where he attended school, and afterward taught in Coudersport Academy for a year, and in the district school for a couple of terms. He was elected prothonotary of Potter county in 1851, and served one term, but was defeated at the next election. He then secured a position as clerk at Harrisburg, in the office of the secretary of the commonwealth, and in May, 1857, received the appointment of prothonotary for Potter county, and was elected at the ensuing election, which necessitated the resignation of his position at Harrisburg. He then served for a period of eighteen years as prothonotary, and as deputy for three years. In 1878 he engaged in hardware trade, but in 1880 suffered from the fire which devastated the business portion of Coudersport; with the characteristic enterprise of a business man, however, he rebuilt, and now has a fine brick store on Main street, where he has associated with him his two sons, H.C. and A.S., the firm name being H.J. Olmsted & Sons; they also have a branch store at Emporium, of which H.C. has charge, A.S. remaining at Coudersport. Mr. Olmsted having lost an arm in a threshing machine during the fall of 1847, fills the position of book- keeper. He is interested in the Coudersport Water Company; is an active Republican in politics, and has the respect and confidence of the entire community. He married, in 1846, E.T., daughter of Lucas Gushing, of Ulysses, and to them were born ten children: M.E. Olmsted, a prominent attorney of Harrisburg, Penn., being attorney for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, and the Standard Oil Company; C. Ardella, now wife of Rev. C.B. Sparrow; Clara, who died when eighteen years of age; H. Clinton, of Emporium; A.S. and Sumner P., of Coudersport; Mary W., now Mrs. Frank L. Andrews; George C. and Daniel L., clerks in the Coudersport store; and Will E., at home, who is, unfortunately, an invalid. Mr. Olmsted is a member of the Methodist Church, his wife being a member of the Baptist Church.
C.L. PECK, attorney at law, Coudersport, was born in Farmington, Tioga Co., Penn. , in 1845, and was educated in the common schools and at Union Academy, near Knoxville, Penn. His father, William Peck, was born in Manlius, N.Y., and married Harriet Paul, a native of Masonville, same State. After completing his studies, C.L. Peck taught school until 1870, when he became a law student with R.T. Wood, of Elkland, and later with Elliott & Bosard, of Wellsboro. He was admitted to the bar in June, 1872, and first practiced at Knoxville, Penn., for a period of five years, when, a desirable opening presenting itself, he removed to Coudersport, where he was associated with the Hon. Isaac Benson in the practice of law until 1883, when this partnership was dissolved and Mr. Peck became associated with Mr. H.A. Scoville1 the firm name being Peck & Scoville. In 1886 Mr. Scoville was elected district attorney, and Mr. Peck has since been alone in business. Mr. Peck conceived the idea of the construction of the Coudersport, Hornellsville & Lackawanna Railroad, running from Coudersport to Hornellsville and connecting with the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, and he, with Hon. D.C. Larrabee, has been instrumental in securing a sufficient amount of stock to complete the organization of a company, and active in trying to make the project a success. He procured the organization of a telephone company to operate a line from Coudersport to Harrison Valley, of which he was entrusted with charge of construction, and became its first president. Mr. Peck has for eight years been attorney for the Joel Parkhurst estate, of Elkland, Penn., makes large loans on real estate security in Potter county, and enjoys a remunerative and constantly growing practice. He takes a lively interest in local educational matters, and was a member of the building committee in the construction of what is said to be one of the most perfect school buildings in the State, he having drawn the floor plans for it. It has perfect ventilation, fire escape, and is heated by the Ruttan system, He has also been school director for eight years. He is a member of Eulalia Lodge, No. 342, F. & A.M., and procured the organization of the Knights of Honor lodge. He is an active Democrat, but has never sought political preferment, yet he procured the establishment of a postal service between Harrison Valley and Lawrenceville, Tioga county. Mr. Peck is proud of the fact that he was reared on a farm, where he remained until twenty- three years of age, and which he still owns, taking a lively interest in agricultural pursuits and ‘stock-raising. He married, in 1875, Ida Stoddard, of Wellsboro, Penn., and they have two children: Lee and May Peck.
N.J. PECK, county treasurer, Coudersport, was born in Gananoque, Canada, in 1856. His parents are J.B. and Louisa Peck, the former a Methodist minister, who was stationed for the first thirteen years of our subject's life in Canada, and was then called back to the United States, his present residence being in Bath, N.Y. N.J. Peck remained in Canada with his parents until thirteen years of age, as stated, when he removed to Woodhull, Steuben Co., N.Y., and there attended an academical institution until twenty years of age, when he graduated. He then taught for several years, afterward becoming a merchant, and eventually studied law with L.H. Cobb, of Coudersport, Penn. He was admitted to the bar in March, 1885, and is now one of the ambitious and promising young attorneys of Coudersport, and the future to him is auspicious and full of encouragement. He is a member of Coudersport Lodge, No. 815, I.O.O.F., and of Forest Encampment, No. 283. He is a member of the Republican party, was chairman of the county committee in 1887, and at present is county treasurer. Mr. Peck married, April 14, 1878, Grace, daughter of Joel L. Raymond, of Potter county, and they have two children: Louisa and Raymond. November 5, 1889, Mr. Peck was elected on the Republican ticket, by a flattering majority, to the office of county treasurer.
L.S. QUIMBY, proprietor of the Commercial House, Coudersport, was born in the town of Caroline, Tompkins Co., N.Y., in 1821. His father, Joseph Quimby, a native of Eastern New York, married Margaret Craton, who was born on shipboard, her parents being then on the voyage from Germany. Joseph Quimby died when L.S. was a child, and the latter began life for himself when about eighteen years of age. He was one of seven children, viz.: James E.; Maria, now Mrs. L. Perry, of Tioga county, N.Y.; Eliza A., deceased wife of Furman Quick, of Iowa; John M.; William C.; Rachel, deceased wife of Daniel Mead, of Tompkins county, N.Y., and L.S. L.S. Quimby removed to Steuben county, N.Y., and worked in Addison and Woodhull, where he was engaged in various occupations, and for a period of six years was a commercial traveler. In 1843 he married Susan Northrup, and they became the parents of six children: Alice A., now Mrs. Eli Glossby, of Homer township, Potter county; Alda, now Mrs. Wm. Crosby, also of Homer township; Wilbur M.; Truman N.; A.J., of Coudersport; and J.A., of Eulalia township, Potter county. In 1866 L.S. Quimby, with his family, removed to the township of Homer, Potter Co., Penn., where he purchased a farm, and, being a carpenter, devoted his time to his trade, the boys being entrusted with the management of the farm. He lost his wife in 1867, and in 1869 he married Mrs. Sally M. Northup, of Oxford, Chenango Co., N.Y., and to them have been born two children: Homer N. and Minnie M. In 1884 he sold his farm and removed to Coudersport, where he purchased the Commercial House, now one of the noted hostelries of northern Pennsylvania, and although he found it in a dilapidated state and with but little custom, he built a large addition, rearranged and refurnished the house throughout, and, by affability and courtesy to all, has secured the immense trade the house now enjoys. In 1862 he enlisted in Company G, One Hundred and Forty- first New York Volunteers, and served until the close of the war. Disease, the result of exposure during that period, has weakened his constitution, and he has never recovered from its effects. He is an honored member of the G.A.R., and is now serving his third term as senior vice- commander. He is also a member of Eulalia Lodge, No. 342, F. & A.M. In religion he belongs to The Age to Come Adventists. He is a Republican, but takes no prominent part in politics.
O.J. REES, county surveyor, Coudersport, son of Eli and Harriet A. (Jackson) Rees, was born at Ayer's Hill, Summit township, Potter Co., Penn., in 1839. His grandfather, Eli Rees, was a native of Chester county, Penn., but removed to Potter county in 1828, and located on Sinnemahoning creek, Sylvania township. He came as agent for Samuel Webb to look after his land interests here, and, as an inducement to come, was given a deed of 400 acres of land and two village lots in Sylvania. Here he remained as agent for Mr. Webb throughout his life. Eli Rees, father of O.J., was a native of Chester county, Penn., and came here with his parents. When eighteen years of age (in 1837) he married, and in 1838 located at Coudersport, where he engaged in business as contractor and builder, erecting the court- house, churches, and most of the old buildings of the borough; for some time he was engaged in bridge building, having constructed many of the large bridges spanning the Susquehanna river. He was elected treasurer of the county in 1856. He was accidentally and fatally shot November 17, 1859, and thus terminated his career when in the prime of life, and when it was full of promise for the future. His widow is now in her sixty- seventh year, and living with her youngest son. O.J. Rees read law with F.W. Knox, beginning at the age of nineteen, but as the law required a three- years course, he gave the study up before the time was completed, as he felt it his duty to volunteer his services in response to his country's call for soldiers. He enlisted, in 1861, in Company H, Forty- sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers, and was discharged in 1864. He then lived in several of the Western States until he returned to Coudersport, in 1871. Here he followed the business of contractor and builder until 1877, when he lost an arm in a molding machine, which necessitated a change of occupation, and in the winter of the same year he began surveying. He was appointed county surveyor in 1884, was elected in 1885, and still holds that office. In 1866 Mr. Rees married, at Lafayette, Ind., Martha M., daughter of Joseph Hitchcock, and they have three children: Leonora, Eva and William Burton. Mr. Rees is a member of the G.A.R., Knights of Honor, Sons of Temperance, and Eulalia Lodge, No. 342, F. & A.M. He is a Democrat, is active in politics, has served as register and recorder for a period of five years, and has also been justice of the peace.
CHARLES REISSMANN, dealer in furniture, Coudersport, was born in Sachsen- Altenburg, Germany, in 1824. He came to America in 1854, and settled in New York City, but removed thence to Stedman, Chautauqua Co., N.Y., and from there to Coudersport. Being a carpenter and joiner, he worked here for a time at his trade, and then went into the furniture and undertaking business, which he continued until the fire of 1880, in which he met with a very heavy loss. He rebuilt in 1883, and has since continued business on Second street, in his commodious quarters, where his enterprise is meeting with the success it merits. Mr. Reissmann married Miss Catharine Schmitt, a lady of German birth, and they have three children: Julius, Anna (now Mrs. Shellenberger) and Kate (now Mrs. Stone). Mr. Reissmann is a member of the Knights of Honor. In politics he affiliates with the Republican party, and has been a member of the council. He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church.
BENJAMIN RENNELLS, Coudersport, is a son of Ezra and Lydia (Clark) Rennells, and was born in Bradford county, Penn., in 1822. He remained with his parents until fourteen years of age, during which time the family removed to near Coudersport, Potter Co., Penn., where Benjamin, our subject, attended school. In 1836 he became an employe of Isaac Strait, at that time proprietor of a hotel, with whom he remained until 1843. He then learned the blacksmith's trade, which he followed until within a few years. He has been continually a resident of Coudersport since the date of his coming, with the exception of a brief period he passed at Port Allegany, where he was employed in the lumber business. When he came here the present site of the borough was an almost unbroken wilderness, the land low, in fact a swamp; in excavating for the cellar of his present residence, he was compelled to dig to a depth of thirteen feet before reaching a good gravel foundation. While digging here he found a solid white- ash log, pine knots, hemlock buds, leaves, and what, under a microscope, proved to he sawdust; upon examination of the logs found, with a powerful glass, it became evident that it was occasioned by the work o f beavers, and gave unmistakable evidences of its having been, in past ages, a beaver dam. Of those who are now residents of the borough that were here in 1831, but two are now living— Mrs. Ross and Titus Losey. Mr. Rennells is a member of Eulalia Lodge, No. 342, F. & A.M. He is an active Republican, and has been honored by being elected burgess of the borough, member of the council, school director, and to various other positions of honor and trust. In 1847 he married Maria, daughter of John Nelson, of Sweden township, Potter Co., Penn., and they have one son, W.C. Rennells, who married Ella, daughter of Isaac Strait; they also had one daughter, Martha, now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Rennells, in the evening of their life, are enjoying the fruits of earlier labor, and are living in Coudersport.
ALBERT L. RENNELLS, register and recorder of Potter county, Coudersport, was born in Homer, Potter Co., Penn., in 1844. He attended the common schools of that locality until 1862, when he enlisted in Company K, One Hundred and Forty- ninth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, remaining in the army for three years. At the battle of Spottsylvania he received a wound, which necessitated the amputation of a leg. After recovering, he returned to Coudersport, where he was engaged in various ways until in the fall of 1887, when he was elected register and recorder of Potter county. He is a member of Coudersport Post, No. 104, G.A.R. He is an ardent Republican, and is thoroughly imbued with the principles of the party. He is a gentleman of good abilities, eminently qualified to fill the position he holds with credit to himself and acceptability to the people of the county. Mr. Rennells married, in 1867, Miss Elmina, daughter of Charles Parish, of Ulysses, Potter county, and they have two children (twin girls): Mary Belle and Kate M.
CAPTAIN DAVID ROSS (deceased), a native of Grafton county, N.H., was born in 1795, and died in 1872. He was of Scotch descent on his father's side, and Puritan on his mother's. His father was a soldier in the war of the Revolution. David Ross, the subject of these lines, came to Pennsylvania in 1820, and was more or less engaged in the lumbering business in Ceres, McKean county. In 1827 he moved to Coudersport, Potter county, where for several years he was surveyor and local agent for the sale of the Bingham lands, there being no general agent for the same in the county. He was also engaged in viewing and surveying the roads that became necessary in the county, for many years; also in clearing and improving village lots, in building, etc. In July, 11827, he married Mary Ann, daughter of John and Seclendia (House) Knight, and born January 21, 1810, near Syracuse, N.Y. John Knight was a native of Ireland, of Irish- English parentage, and about the close of the eighteenth century came to America with his father's family and an uncle, they being implicated in the Irish rebellion of 1798. They settled in Philadelphia, and started iron works there, which still bear their name, or did up to a few years ago. John Knight was educated in the Moravian school at Bethlehem, near Philadelphia, and in 1807 came to Onondaga county, N.Y., where, in 1808, he married Seclendia House. He was in the war of 1812, and was discharged from the army early in 1815, dying in June, same year, from sickness contracted by privations while in the army. Seclendia House was of Puritan parentage, a daughter of Jonathan and Mary (Smith) House, and born in Bennington county, Vt., in 1788. Her father was a volunteer in the Revolutionary war, and was with Gen. Stark at the battle of Bennington in August, 1777. His ancestors fought in the King Philip wars. The ancestors of Mary Smith House came to this country early in the seventeenth century, and shared in the privations of the early colonists at Plymouth, Mass. Jonathan House and family removed, in 1797, to Onondaga county, N.Y., at that time a new country with few houses and no churches. Mary Ann Knight came in May, 1825, to Coudersport, Potter county, with her mother and stepfather C.L. Cartee), her mother having married John L. Cartee, in 1819 (four years after the death of Mr. Knight). Mary Ann Knight taught school at Lymansville, and in July, 1827, as already related, was married to David Boss. The children born to this union were Sobieski, Mary, Pulaski and Ellen.
Sobieski Ross, eldest of these children, was born May 16, 1828, and when five years of age commenced attending the common schools. In 1840 he entered the academy opened that year at Coudersport, which he attended several years. At the age of sixteen he commenced surveying, and in the fall of 1845 we find him in the Bingham land office, his time being occupied for the next year or two in that office, in teaching school, and in buying land. In 1850 Mr. Ross was the nominee of the Whig party for the legislature, but was defeated. In 1852 he was appointed associate judge by Gov. Johnson, and about the same time took charge of the Barber and Fox lands, and some others, which he continued to hold until his death. In 1853 or 1854 he made a large purchase still known as the Fox and Ross lands, and other purchases known as the Ross lands. From this time on, for many years, he was engaged in the duties of his land office, and in clearing, building and making improvements generally, which operations gave employment to many laboring men. When the Coudersport & Port Allegany Railroad Company was organized, early in the "seventies," he became president of the company, a position he filled up to the time of his death. He was elected to the XLIIId Congress, and re-elected to the XLIVth; in 1877 he received the nomination to the XLVth Congress, but declined on account of business responsibilities and impaired health. He died October 24, 1877. In October, 1846, Sobieski Ross married Mary Spangler, who was born in February, 1828. By this marriage there were born three sons and one daughter: John Sobieski, Mary, Henry Dent and George Fox. The mother of these children dying November 22, 1862, Mr. Ross married, in 1864, Isabella havens (who survives him), who bore him one child, Thomas Havens Ross, now a practicing physician in Buffalo, N.Y. John Sobieski Ross, eldest son of Sobieski Ross, was born January 7, 1848, and died December 14, 1882. He was truly a Coudersport man. Thoroughly business like and upright, he contributed largely to the progress of his native town, and his death, while still young, brought genuine sorrow in the community. He was credited with being the most scholarly man in the village. Mary Ross, said to be the only graduate of Vassar College from this county, married Alfred Stanton, of Virginia, and now resides in Belmont, Va.; George Fox Ross, born June 19, 1859, died September 27, 1887, leaving a widow and two children, residents of Coudersport.
Mary Ross, daughter of David and Mary A. Ross, was born in August, 1830, and was married in September, 1848, to Capt. Archibald F. Jones, late merchant of Coudersport, who died March 8, 1879. To this union, one child, William Knight Jones, was born.
Pulaski Ross, second son of David and Mary A. Ross, was born in ‘December, 1833, and died in February, 1841.
Ellen Ross, second daughter of David and Mary A. Ross, was born in November, 1836, and in 1860 was married to A.G. Olmsted, at present judge of this judicial district. They have two children— one daughter, Nellie, and one son, Robert.
JOHN S. ROSS (deceased), son of Sobieski Ross, was born at Coudersport, Potter Co., Penn., January 7, 1848. He completed his education at Andalusia College, Bucks Co., Penn. Being of a studious and literary nature he spent much time in the study of geology, in which he took great pleasure, and as helps he collected a large cabinet of geological specimens, also a library on that subject. In 1872 he married Miss Lydia S., daughter of W.J. Colegrove, of Smethport, McKean. Co., Penn. After his father's decease Mr. Ross devoted his time and energies to the proper management of the large interests which that event entailed upon him. Our subject was active in politics, but was not an office- seeker. He died December 14, 1882, at Jersey Shore, Lycoming Co., Penn.
GEORGE F. ROSS (deceased), son of Sobieski Ross, was born June 19, 1859, at Coudersport, Penn. He received his early education here, and attended the academy at Washington, Penn. After leaving school he was engaged in a bank, and in a custom and flouring mill. . He married, July 3, 1878, Miss Frank Brown, daughter of William Brown, of Mansfield, Tioga Co., Penn. Mr. Ross died September 27, 1887. He was a young man of extended acquaintance, and his prospects for future prosperity were full of promise.
JOHN SCHAFER, baker and confectioner, Coudersport, is a native of Germany, born in 1850. He was reared in his native country, and in 1869 came to America. He first located in New York City, where he lived until 1875, when he moved to New Jersey, and thence, in 1881, to Coudersport, Penn. He learned the baker's trade in his native country, and on coming to Coudersport embarked in business on Main street, where he has built up a good trade, being now one of the leading business men of the place. He was married in New Jersey, in 1878, to Maggie Stucker, and they have two children: Caroline and Georgie. In politics Mr. Schafer is a Democrat, but is in no sense a politician. He is a member of the order of Knights of the Maccabees. In religious faith he is a Protestant, but is a member of no denomination.
JASPER M. SPAFFORD, surveyor, Coudersport, was born June 16, 1834, on the farm he now owns at Lymansville, Potter Co., Penn., and is a son of Lorenzo D. and Almira (Taggart) Spafford. They were among the earliest pioneers of Potter county, in fact the second family to become residents thereof, having settled in the county in the year 1810. Lorenzo D. Spafford's first home was in a log cabin, located near the site occupied by the store at Lymansville, near which place he cleared a farm, and became a practical agriculturist. He is now the father of four children: Cordelia, the late Mrs. G.B. Williams, of Columbus City, Iowa; Orlo J., of William sport, Penn.; Jasper M., and Augusta, now Mrs. John Rodgers, of Emporium. Jasper M. Spafford received such educational advantages as were afforded in this then a new country, and was brought up on the farm. In 1863 he married Miss Ellen Bird, and located on the old homestead, where he has since resided. For twenty years he followed surveying, and for ten or fifteen years carried on a general store, being also largely interested in the hardwood trade and in timber lands, besides various other business interests. He was elected treasurer of the county in 1872, and has held many official positions. Mr. Spafford is a supporter of the Republican party, and he and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church.
CONSIDER STEARNS, associate judge, Coudersport, son of Rufus and Polly (Wilcox) Stearns, was born in Allegany county, N.Y., in 1822. In 1841 he removed to Hebron, Potter Co., Penn., and engaged in farming. At that time this portion of the county was a wilderness, but he cleared a farm of 130 acres, and later one of 150 acres; then purchased one in Eulalia, of which he cleared about 100 acres. He remained on this last purchase until 1886, when he bought a lot in Coudersport, upon which he built his present residence, and. to which he removed when elected associate judge. He is a member of the Republican party, and has held various official positions in his former home, both of honor and trust. Mr. Stearns married, in 1848, Sarah, daughter of George Stillman, of Hebron, and to them were born two children: Roscoe (who married Sarah Weimer, and resides in Coudersport), and Lydia, now Mrs. Dr. Tassell, of Eulalia. Mr. and Mr. Stearns are members of the Baptist Church.
E.N. STEBBINS, merchant, Coudersport, is a native of Hammondsport, N.Y., born in 1835. He received a common- school education, and in 1855 went to Green Bay, Wis., where he engaged in mercantile business, but after a time returned east, and in 1857 located at Coudersport, Potter Co., Penn., becoming here a dealer in general merchandise. At the beginning of the Civil war he was appointed paymaster and military storekeeper in the ordnance department, U.S.A., and stationed at Washington arsenal. Soon after the close of the struggle (in October, 1865) he resigned, and located at Bridgeport, Conn., where he engaged in the manufacture of hardware, having a store in New York City. In 1875, under the administration of President Grant, he was appointed a member of the Board of Indian Commissioners, upon which he served three years, when he resigned and returned to Coudersport, where he has since been one of its prominent merchants, and is one of its representative men. He has cast his fortune with the Democratic party, and after one of the hottest fights ever made for a post- office in Pennsylvania, received the appointment of postmaster in 1887. While a resident of Bridgeport he married Miss Mary T. Clapp, and they are the parents of nine children, five of whom, with, their parents, are members of the Episcopal Church of Coudersport, which Mr. Stebbins was largely instrumental in building.
P.A. STEBBINS & BRO., general merchants, Coudersport. This well- known house has been in trade for many years, and its members are known far and wide as enterprising and reliable dealers. Their annual sales are very heavy, and their operations in general merchandise cover every line except hardware and drugs. Their store is a double one, with a large store- room in the rear. The front is of plate- glass, and the interior of the store is conveniently arranged for the careful inspection of goods. The three leading departments are dry goods, groceries and boots and shoes. In dry goods the firm handle every texture, from the finest fabrics to substantial goods for common wear. Elegant novelties and ladies' fine dress goods are displayed in connection with the sober colors of coarse textures, suitable for hard service. In boots and shoes the firm carry lines of ladies' and gentlemen's wear of the leading makes, and can give satisfaction to parties in search of a fancy shoe or a heavy boot; all styles and sizes are kept. In groceries, extra select lots of teas and coffees are carried; in fact, their whole stock of family groceries has been selected with great care, and can be depended upon in actual use. The firm are also known as exporters of ginseng, and their transactions in this article foot up to many thousands of dollars. Their establishment is a model one, and their trade is exceptionally large. Both members of the firm are good business men.
P.A. Stebbins, Jr., was prothonotary of the county for a term, and is the present superintendent of the fire department of the borough. C.A. Stebbins is a member of Eulalia Lodge, No. 342, and of Coudersport Chapter.
Z.J. THOMPSON, grocer, Coudersport, is a native of Plymouth, Chenango Co., N.Y., born January 3, 1820, and was there reared and educated. His grandfather, Jacob Thompson, was of German descent, and was one of the pioneers of Chenango county, but removed to the Western States, where he died. Henry Thompson, son of Jacob, and father of Z.J., was born in Smyrna, Chenango Co., N.Y., and was married to Jane Henry. He was a farmer by occupation, and later in life followed shoemaking at Sherburne Four Corners, in his native county— the first pair of shoes he made being for his son Z.J. He and his wife died at Sherburne Four Corners. The subject of this sketch married, October 3, 1848, Julia A. Shuart, born June 7, 1820, daughter of Col. William and Hannah (Wortendyke) Shuart, natives of Bergen county, N.J., and of Holland and French descent, respectively. In 1849 Z. J. Thompson moved to Mansfield, Tioga Co., Penn., where he took up ‘the trade of wheelwright. He afterward went to Wellsboro, and in 1855 came to Coudersport, Potter Co., Penn., where he engaged in business as a wagonmaker, which he continued until the disastrous conflagration of 1880, when he lost everything he had excepting his residence. He, however, erected a new place of business on Second street, where he is now located in the grocery trade. He has been honored by being placed in many positions of trust and honor, and is at present justice of the peace. He has but one child living— W.W.; a daughter, Ella J., born March 7, 1853, at Wellsboro, Tioga Co., Penn., died January 13, 1874.
W.W. THOMPSON, printer, Coudersport, son of Z.J. Thompson, was born at Mansfield, Tioga, Co., Penn. He was educated at Coudersport, and in 1865 commenced an apprenticeship to the printing trade. In 1867 he purchased the Potter County Journal (having become associated in business with Mrs. V.C. Dyke), the oldest paper in the county. In 1871 he disposed of his interest to Mrs. Dyke, spent three years in Kansas, and in 1874, upon the organization of a stock company, he became the principal stock-holder, editor and publisher of the Enterprise, of Coudersport, Penn. He, however, was one of the sufferers by the fire of 1880, and lost heavily, but at once erected the building the Enterprise now occupies, and started anew. This profession he continued until 1886, when he sold out the business. In 1882 Mr. Thompson married Miss Eva, daughter of C.L. and V.C. Dyke (the latter of whom was his former partner), and they have one child, two years of age. Mr. Thompson is a member of Eulalia Lodge, No. 342, F. & A.M., and Coudersport Chapter, No. 263, R.A.M., and of Bradford Commandery, No. 58, K.T. In politics he is an ardent Democrat.
M.S. THOMPSON, druggist, etc., Coudersport, was born in North Norwich, Chenango Co., N.Y., in 1842, where he received his education, enjoying such advantages as the common schools afforded. The parents of Mr. Thompson were Henry and Jane (Henry) Thompson. His paternal grandfather was of German descent, and his paternal grandmother of Scotch extraction. Grandfather Henry was of Irish blood, and it is thought that the name was originally McHenry. Mr. Henry's wife was a genuine Yankee, but the nationality of her ancestors in unknown. M.S. Thompson came to Coudersport, Potter Co., Penn., in 1859, and worked at the wheelwright's trade for about three years, when he entered the employ of P.A. Stebbins & Son, with whom he remained until the fall of 1866, at which time he became associated with Dr., O.T. Ellison, in the drug trade, Mr. Thompson beginning business on a cash capital of $100. The firm name was Ellison & Thompson, which in 1868 was changed to Thompson & Mann, and in 1879 to M.S. Thompson & Co. Their place of business is on the corner of Main and Third streets, the mammoth double store at once attracting attention. It is 80 x 26 feet, with a rear apartment measuring 34 x 26. The building is owned by M.S. Thompson & Co., and is a handsome structure built of brick, the second floor being divided into offices. There are but few drug stores along the main line of the Erie Railroad that will compare with this. In its construction both exterior and interior, very fine work has been done. The stock is an immense one, and comprises drugs, books, stationery, wall paper, fancy goods, paints, oils, curtains, watches, jewelry, silverware, smokers' supplies and many other lines, and Mr. Thompson also has the exclusive agency for the Sherwin Williams and the H.W. Johns paints. Physicians' prescriptions are compounded with the utmost care. Toliet articles of every variety are here found. Fancy cutlery, lamps and lamp fixtures are displayed, and school supplies are also kept. Mr. Thompson was postmaster at Coudersport from 1869 to 1887 and this post- office is one of considerable importance, owing to the fact of the town being the county seat. In the long period of Mr. Thompson's service, he made marked improvements in the standing of the office, and placed it on a firm footing of prosperity. The interior arrangements are admirably planned. The store is a noted center of trade, and people throughout Potter county find it profitable to do business with Thompson & Co., owing to the high standard of the stock and the low figures at which goods are sold. In addition to his valuable realty, Mr. Thompson has an interest in the Coudersport & Port Allegany Railroad. He is a member of the Republican party, and is at present the very able burgess of the borough of Coudersport. He is a public- spirited man, and takes a lively interest in all local matters, having contributed toward the erection of the Soldiers' Monument, churches, etc. Mr. Thompson was married September 30, 1868, to Miss Cora E., daughter of John S. Mann. He has two adopted daughters: Marcia C., seventeen years of age, and Marion I., eleven years old.
AMOS VELEY, proprietor of a livery stable at Coudersport, was born in Lycoming county, near Haneyville, Clinton Co., Penn., in 1849. His parents, Minard and Abby Veley, were natives of New Jersey, but lived and died in Lycoming county, near the village of Jersey Shore. Their children were Barney, Jeanette, Minard, Emily, Hagerman, Amos, George, Jane (deceased) and a babe (also deceased). When twenty years of age Amos started in life for himself and removed to Coudersport in 1870, where he engaged in the stage and livery business, his first line being from Kettle Creek to Coudersport. He continued that line of business, and now has several mail contracts over as many routes, in addition to which he does a general livery business. In 1871 he married Ella S., daughter of William and Amanda A. (Woodcock) Benson, of Lymansville, Potter Co., Penn., and they have two children, Edgar H., and Harry M. Mrs. Veley's father, W.H. Benson, was born at Southport., Chemung Co., N.Y., January 17, 1814, and her mother at Hebron, Washington Co., N.Y., April 26, 1821. They were married in Eulalia township, Potter Co., Penn., in October, 1837. Almond Woodcock, grandfather of Mrs. Veley, was one of the first settlers of Lymansville, where he lived and died. Her parents also located at Lymansville, and they are also deceased. Their children were Harvey H., William W., Dallas, Ella S., Mortimer and Wesley.
S.C. WHITE, attorney at law, Coudersport, son of James and Mary A. (Boyd) White, was born at Richburg, Allegany Co., N.Y., January 1, 1859. His parents were natives of Ireland, and emigrated to America in 1848, locating in Steuben county, N.Y., removing thence to Richburg, and thence to Potter county, Penn. They located in Sharon township in 1866, and engaged in lumbering, from there moved to Coudersport, their present residence. Their family consisted of four children: S.C., Jennie, Amy and Homer R., the last named a resident of Chicago. S.C. White attended school at Sharon Centre, and graduated at the Central State Normal School, at Lock Haven, Penn., in July, 1882, Jennie, his sister graduating in the same class, and Amy a year later. He read law with District Attorney L.H. Cobb, of Coudersport, was admitted to the bar March 2, 1885, and at once located at Coudersport, where he has since been in the active practice of his profession, and is now one of the rising young lawyers of the borough.
W.G. WILBER, commissioner of Potter county, is a son of Randall Clark Wilber, and was born in Alfred Centre, Allegany Co., N.Y., in. 1851. In 1855 his father died, leaving four children, and in 1868 his mother removed to Potter county, Penn. Here W.G. Wilber engaged in lumbering and farming until 1887, when he was elected commissioner of Potter county, having previously been jury commissioner. He is a member of Eulalia Lodge, No. 342, F. & A.M. He is a Republican, and received the appointment of postmaster at Wilber under President Arthur's administration, a position he held for a period of five years. Mr. Wilber married, in 1872, Miss L.A., daughter of John Brooks, and they have five children.
Source: Page(s) 1142-1179 History of Counties of McKean, Elk and Forest,
Pennsylvania. Chicago, J.H. Beers & Co., 1890.
Transcribed February 2006 by Carol Eddleman Published 2006 by PA-Roots
- Written by Nathan Zipfel
- Created: 21 October 2008
- Last Updated: 25 February 2014