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Charles Almanzo Babcock.

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of close application to his work and has gained
the respect of all his associates by his consist-
ent honesty and fidelity to his obligations. For
some years he has been in the marble and gran-
ite trade, making a specialty of monuments,
and some of the finest examples of that class
of work in the locality are from the establish-
ment in which he is mterested.

Mr. Riddle belongs to an old family of Ve-
nango county and was born Oct. 15, i860, in
Irwin township, on a farm adjoining that now
occupied by his brother, John A. Riddle.
Matthew Riddle, the founder of the family in
this section and great-grandfather of E. Ley-
bum Riddle, is fully mentioned in the Riddle
family account elsewhere in this work, as is
also John Riddle, the grandfather.

William C. Riddle, father of E. Leyburn
Riddle, was born in 1822 in Clinton township,
X'enango county. When a young man he lo-
cated in Irwin township, this county, purchas-
ing 100 acres of land, all of which tract was
then in the woods. He succeeded in clearing
it, and spent the rest of his life upon the farm
he made, cultivating it and putting up all the
buildings there. The farm is now owned by
Charles Kams. Mr. Riddle also took an
active part in public affairs in his township,
serving as school director and constable. He
was a member of the State militia, and during
the Civil war served for a few months in Penn-
sylvania. He was a member of the Amity
Presbyterian Church and one of the zealous
workers in that congregation. Mr. Riddle died
upon his farm Dec. 3, 1887, ^E^^ sixty-five
years, one month, twenty-nine days, and is
buried at Amity Church. He was survived by
his wife, Mary' (Davidson), who was born
in 1820, daughter of Archibald Davidson
(whose wife was a McDowell), and died July
I, 1892, aged seventy-one years, ten months,



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



fourteen days. She, too, is buried at Amity
Church. They had children: George, who is
now deceased ; Allister D., deceased ; John A.„
mentioned elsewhere in this work ; Joseph, who
died Nov. 23, 1918; Damy, widow of Peter
Moyer, residing in Franklin, Pa. ; Melvina, de-
ceased ; E. Leyburn ; and Grant, deceased.

E. Leyburn Riddle spent his boyhood on the
home farm, remaining there up to the time
of his marriage. For a number of years after-
ward he farmed in the vicinity on his own
account, selling his property about twenty years
ago, after which he had a store and huckster
business, also teaming, until about seven years
ago. He then bought a half interest in his
present business at Rocky Grove, his partner
being J. W. Kerr, who had established the trade
thirty years before, and with whom he is still
associated. Mr. Kerr has charge of the me-
chanical end, Mr. Riddle handling the outside
work and selling. Their patrons are scattered
over a wide territory, and the firm is prepared
to supply marble and cjanite work of all kinds,
making a specialty of monuments, for which
they have become noted. They command by
far the largest part of the local trade in that
line, and most of the finest stones in the Amity
and Calvert-Riddle cemeteries have been cut
and placed by them, good specimens of their
work being found in all the burial places in
this vicinity. Mr. Riddle and his partner have
endeavored conscientiously to give their pa-
trons the benefit of the best modern products
in their field, their judicious taste and first-
class workmanship being evident in every piece
which comes from their establishment. He
now gives all his time to this business, which
has had a healthy growth in volume and im-
portance for a number of years. He has been
interested in public questions but has not cared
for office, though he has served his fellow
citizens in Sugar Creek township in connec-
tion with the improvement of roads. He is
a Republican in political sentiment. During
his early years he attended the Amity Pres-
byterian Church, and he is now associated with
that denomination at Rocky Grove.

At the age of twenty-two years Mr. Riddle
married Sarah E. Smith, who was about the
same age. She was reared on the old home
place in Irwin township, being a daughter of
Samuel Smith, and sister of Millard F. and
Sherman R. Smith, mention of whom will be
found elsewhere in this work. Mr. and Mrs.
Riddle have no children, but two of his
brother's daughters, now young ladies, reside
with them.



THOMAS W. THOMPSON is a respected
citizen of Franklin and one of the oldest em-
ployes there of the concern now operated as
the Galena-Signal Oil Company, holding the
position of foreman in the cooper department
Mr. Thompson first came to Franklin to live
when a boy ten years old, and he is a native
of Philadelphia, Pa., bom Jan. 6, 1857, His
father, William Thompson, enlisted for mili-
tary service from Philadelphia during the Civil
war, and not long after its close removed with
his family to Franklin, Venango county, re-
maining here until his death. He was engaged
in the ice business and in trucking, and being
a man of steady, industrious habits made a
good living and was favorably known to those
with whom he had dealings.

Thomas W. Thompson attended public
school in Franklin for some time after the
family settled in the city, and then served an
apprenticeship to the trade of cooper, which
he learned thoroughly. His knowledge of the
business was improved by several years of
experience as a journe3anan, part of the time
at Philadelphia, whence he returned to Frank-
lin, the opportunities for profitable employ-
ment here proving as desirable as he had found
at other points. Thirty-two years agt> he
entered the employ of the company which since
1900 has been known as the Galena-Signal Oil
Company, and made so good a record as a
mechanic, and for reliable personal character,
that he was promoted in 1899 to head of the
coopering department, succeeding George
Crew. He has filled the position ever since,
having proved himself fully competent to meet
the constantly increasing responsibilities en-
tailed by the steady growth of the business, and
by his fidelity to duty and fairness in his re-
lations with the men under his charge has won
the friendly esteem of both superiors and fel-
low employes. In his private life he has been
guided by equally honorable principles, en-
joying the high regard of his acquaintances.
Socially he affiliates with the Fraternal Order
of Eagles and the Woodmen of the World.
Mr. Thompson was formerly associated with
the administration of city affairs, having served
fourteen years as councilman.

Mr. Thompson married Anna Adams,
daughter of William Adams, of Polk, Venango
Co., Pa., and they have reared the following
children: Charles C, Edith, Sadie, Edward,
Anna, Mamie, Alice, Lillian and Abraham.
The last named is now on military service in
France, having gone abroad as one of General
Pershing's army.



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



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LEVI PLUMER WILLIAMS, a resident
of Eakins Corners, Scrubgrass township, is a
descendant of one of the earliest settlers of
that region, his great-grandfather, Benjamin
Williams, having been one of the first to make
a location along the river above the mouth of
Scrubgrass creek. He came from Northum-
berland county, Pa., in 1803, bringing with him
a large family, and resided here until his death,
Dec. 5, 1823, on his seventieth birthday. His
wife Thamer died Dec. 18, 1825, aged seventy-
eight years, four months, seventeen days.

Levi Williams, son of Benjamin, was born
in Northumberland county Oct. 16, 1781, and
died in 1867. O" April 11, 181 1, he married
Polly Phipps, who was born June 12, 1794,
daughter of John Phipps, and their sons were
John, Samuel, David, Simeon, Eli E. and
Thomas K. Simeon, bom March 17, 1828, died
Aug. 20, 1909, on the old farm. . He and his
brother Eli owned and operated the home farm
in partnership. Simeon Williams married Feb.
28, 1856, Nancy Anderson, of Butler county,
but had no children. Levi Williams was a
young man when he accompanied his father
from Northumberland county, and on June
12, 1 81 2, he established his home on the farm
near Lisbon, Scrubgrass township, which his
sons Simeon and Eli subsequently owned, the
birthplace of his grandson Levi P. Williams,
who continues to reside there. During the
war of 1812 Levi Williams was one of the
soldiers of Captain Witherup's company who
went to Lake Erie to help at the time of the
threatened invasion.

Eli E. Williams, father of Levi Plumer Wil-
liams, was bom April 14, 1830, at the farm in
Scrubgrass township where he passed his life,
and spent all his youth in the stone house
which his father erected in 1836 to replace the
original log dwelling, and which his brother
Simeon subsequently occupied. These two
brothers had all their interests in common,
working together for over fifty years without
keeping books and without disagreements of
any kind, and as Simeon's wife died three
years before him, leaving no family, he eventu-
ally turned over his share of the property to
Eli.

Eli E. WilHams married Jane Jolly, who
was bom Sept. 20, 1834, and survived him,
his death occurring May 17, 1905, hers Oct.
6, 191 5. They became the parents of eleven
children, of whom four sons and four daugh-
ters reached maturity, namely: Zillah is the
wife of Thomas Agnew, of Edinboro, Pa.;
Edna is the widow of William Rankin, of
Rocky Grove, Venango county; Leola is the



widow of S. E. Clay, of Rocky Grove; Ma-
zerna died unmarried Aug. 31, 1901, aged
twenty-three years; Levi Plumer, bom Nov.
27, 1866, has been in charge of the home farm
since 1901, formerly in partnership with his
brother Oren but now alone, married Elizabeth
Eakin, and has seven children, Frances (wife
of H. Storer, of Pittsburgh), Myrtle, Pauline
(like her two elder sisters a graduate of Slip-
pery Rock Normal School, now teaching near
Pittsburgh, as is also Myrtle), Mazema,
Harold, Margaret and Bemice; Oren T., a
machinist by trade, spent nine years in Florida,
and is now residing at Rocky Grove; Harry,
born Feb. 2, 1872, was drowned in the Ohio,
at Sistersville, W. Va., June 20, 1894; Otto,
bom Nov. 16, 1875, remained at home to care
for the farm, which he operated until his
death, Nov. 15, 1901.

WALTER L. FOUST has established an
excellent business in Oil City as proprietor
of an up-to-date garage and dealer in auto-
mobiles and accessories, and has also acquired
some paying oil interests, being one of the
enterprising young men of the community
and favorably known among all his associates.
Mr. Foust was born Nov. 5, 1882, at St.
Petersburg, Clarion Co., Pa., son of Benjamin
Foust, a native of the same place, who was an
oil man all his life. He died when his son
Walter was a child, and is buried in the St.
Petersburg cemetery. His widow, whose
maiden name was Sarah Kemery, was also
bom at St. Petersburg, daughter of Geoi^ge
Kemery, a farmer of Clarion County, and still
survives, being now (1918) about sixty-seven
years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Benjsfmin Foust
had two children, Maurice Leroy and Walter
L., the former now a resident of Florida.

Walter L. Foust received a public school
education, and during his youth learned the
butcher business with C. A. Vasey at St.
Petersburg, serving four years at the trade.
Coming to Oil City he took employment as
crane mnner in the National Transit shops,
and while there learned the machinist's trade,
which he continued to follow with that com-
pany for eleven years. His next experience
was with C. H. Weaver, by whom he was en-
gaged for one year as automobile mechanic,
since when he has been in business on his own
account. He has always been at the same
location on the Plumer road. Though his
original shop was a small building, with stor-
age room for only four cars, by 1916 business
prospects were so good that he erected a new
garage, with a frontage of ninety feet on



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVx\NIA



Plumer road, built of cement blocks and two
stories in height, with ample room for forty
cars, and admirably equipped for all the re-
quirements of the business. It is up-to-date
in every detail. Mr. Foust carries a complete
stock of accessories, and he has the local
agency for the Standard and Nash cars. He
has a regular patronage among local automo-
bile owners, takes care of all the cars of the
United Natural Gas Company, and drives for
Mr. Cross, president of the company. In ad-
dition to this business he has operated two oil
properties successfully, one adjoining his gar-
age property, with two producing wells, and
two wells on another holding. He has com-
bined his various activities very skillfully,
showing good judgment in their management.

Mr. Foust is a member in good standing of
Petrolia Lodge, No. 363, F. & A. M., and of
Petrolia Lodge, I. O. O. F. Like his father,
he is a Republican in his political convictions.
He married Julia Douglas, a native of Cran-
berry township, this county, and they are the
parents of three children : Rose Wilmina, born
July 14, 1904, now attending public school;
and Ruth Elizabeth and Raymond Walter,
twins, bom June 15, 1914. The family attend
Trinity M. E. Church.

Daniel Douglas, father of Mrs. Foust, is a
farmer in Forest County, Pa. By his mar-
riage to Christiana Rose the following chil-
dren were bom: Rose, Vincent, Edward (who
died of influenza in December, 1918), Julia
(wife of Walter L. Poust, of Oil City), Ethel,
Bessie, John (who died of influenza in Decem-
ber, 1918), Joseph and Luella.

JOHN * MARTIN, engaged in general
farming in Irwin township, is one of the sub-
stantial citizens of his locality, where the
family has been known and esteemed for sev-
eral generations. Ever since David Martin
settled in Venango county in 1799 the Mar-
tins have been identified with the advancement
of this section, ranking with its industrious,
prosperous residents, thrifty in the conduct of
their own affairs and ready to help in matters
of general concern, cither in the public service
or as private citizens.

David Martin located on a tract of four
hundred acres in Irwin township, and here
spent the rest of his long life, he and his wife
each living to the age of seventy-eight years;
We have record of two of his sons, James and
Thomas, of whom the elder, James, served in
the war of 1812.

Thomas Martin, son of David, was born on
the ocean while his parents were on the voyage



from Ireland to this country, and passed his
life in Venango county. Pa., reaching an ad-
vanced age. He was a well-to-do farmer,
owning the property now in the possession of
his grandson, Sylvester Martin. He was ac-
tively associated with the township govern-
ment, holding the offices of constable and col-
lector, and exerted considerable influence in
his neighborhood. In 1824 he married Eliza-
beth Bleakley, daughter of Joseph and Mary
(Boyle) Bleakley, her maternal ancestors be-
ing among the early settlers of Butler county.
Eleven children were bom to this marriage,
six sons and five daughters, most of whom
lived past middle age.

Joseph E. Martin, son of Thomas, was bom
April 17, 1832, on a farm adjoining the place
now occupied by his son John Martin, and
died May 7, 1917, in his eighty-sixth year.
He spent his life in farming, living mainly on
the lOO-acre tract now the. property of his son
John, which he cleared and improved, build-
ing the present barn there, and also the house,
which he erected in 1880. The last fifteen
years of his life were passed on another farm,
where his death occurred and where his widow
still makes her home. He took no part in
public affairs outside of his home township,
but supported the Republican party faithfully,
and he was a Union man during the Civil war,
serving as a member of Company I, 6th Penn-
sylvania Heavy Artillery, the last year of the
conflict. He enlisted Sept. 3, 1864, and was
honorably discharged June 13, 1865. His re-
ligious association was with the Church of
God at Barkeyville.

On Nov. 25, 1852, Mr. Martin married
Catherine Phipps, who was bom Dec. 9, 1833,
daughter of John Phipps, and a ^cousin of
Cyrus D. Phipps, mentioned elsewhere in this
work. Of the twelve children bom to this
union eleven are yet living, viz.: Mary Ann,
Mrs. Albert Surrena; Barbara, Mrs. John
Beach; James, who lives in Benton county,
Mo. ; John ; Richard, of Grove City, Pa. ; Jack-
son, a resident of Benton county. Mo. ;
Thomas, unmarried, living near the old home ;
Elizabeth, Mrs. E. B. Emery, of Canton, Ohio ;
Willie, who died in infancy; Mina (twin of
Willie), Mrs. Thomas McConnetl, of Grove
City; David, who is practicing medicine in
Boston, Mass.; and Maud, Mrs, Frank
Shawgo, of Grove City.

John Martin, son of Joseph and Catherine
(Phipps) Martitt. was bom Aug. 25, ^859, on
the farm in Irwin township where he now
makes his home, and grew up there, acquiring
his education in the public schools. of the lo-



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cality. Naturally he has been familiar with
agricultural work from boyhood, and during
his young manhood he also engaged in me-
chanical work, being employed at rig building
in the Bradford oil field for two years. At
the time of his marriage, which took place in
1883, he settled on a farm at Barkeyville three
miles from his father's homestead, remaining
there until about 1902, when he traded it for
the home place and returned to his early home,
his parents changing their residence at the
same time. Here as in his former location he
has followed general farming very success-
fully, devoting all his attention to his own
affairs, which are prospering very satisfac-
torily. The farm lies two miles south of Me-
chanics ville (Wesley post office) and with two
generations of intelligent care has become a
very valuable property. Like his father, Mr.
Martin is a Republican in politics and sup-
ports the Church of God.

On Sept. I, 1883, Mr. Martin was united in
marriage with Elizabeth Coast, who was then
eighteen years old, daughter of Carlile and
Gertrude (Hoffman) Coast, of Nectarine,
Irwin township. They have had a large
family, namely : Lillie Catherine, now the wife
of Jack Phipps, of Butler county ; Sylvia, who
died when eighteen years old ; Gertrude, Mrs.
Carl Surrena, of Irwin township; Grace, Mrs.
Leo Adams, of Irwin township; Lonia May,
Mrs. Elmer McFadden, of Barkeyville ; Hazel,
Mrs. William Durham, of Pittsburgh; Wilda,
Mrs. Foster Hoffman, of Irwin township;
Myrtle, living at home ; Pearl, Carlile, Wilbur,
and Frank, all at home.

ORY L. REW, of Franklin, has been en-
gaged in the offices of the Galena-Signal Oil
Company ever since he came to reside in that
city. He has lived in Venango county for
almost forty years and during that time has
made many friends here in his various busi-
ness and social relations, which have repre-
sented enjoyable activities as well as responsi-
bilities and useful service among his fellow
men in several capacities.

Mr. Rew is a native of New York State,
bom Jan. 26, 1840, at Friendship, Allegany
county, son of Orris Rew and grandson of
Joseph Rew. The grandfather spent most of
his fife in New York, was a hotetkeeper by
occupation, and died at the town of Friend-
ship. Orris Rew was born in Canada and
reared in New York, and during his active
years followed farming in Allegany county,
eventually selling his property and moving out
to Iowa, where he died at the home of one of



his sons when eighty-three years old. The
following children were born to his marriage
with Eunice Corbin : Warren L., Melville W.,
Madison, Ory L., Newton C. and Milton D.
(twins), Carlton H. and Walter L.

Ory L. Rew remained at his birthplace up
to the age of eighteen years, and received an
excellent education. In the fall of 1859 ^^
went west to Illinois, where he taught school,
and being there when the Civil war broke out
enlisted in Company B, 33d Illinois Volunteer
Infantry. Later, when promoted, he was
transferred to Company G of that regiment
as first lieutenant, with which rank he served
until the close of the war. He saw plenty of
active service, principally in the South and
West, being stationed on the Cash river in
Arkansas and on duty in the Vicksburg cam-
paign, after which he was transferred to the
Department of the Gulf and sent to New
Orleans. He also served in Texas, Louisiana
and Alabama, having sufficient variety in his
army life to make it very interesting, and he
has many delightful reminiscences of those
days along with the recollection of their serious
experiences.

When the war ended Mr. Rew returned to
Illinois and resumed teaching, following that
profession in the winter seasons and carpenter
work in the summer time for a few years.
In 1868 he went to Iowa, where he was en-
gaged in farming until 1875, in which year he
went back to his native town in New York
State, and for a time was in the foundry busi-
ness there. In 1878 he came to Venango
county. Pa., locating on Bully Hill, but after
three years' residence there returned onc^
more to New York and during the next year
followed the milling business. When he came
back to Venango county in 1882 he took the
responsible position of superintendent on the
Miller & Sibley farm on Bully Hill, and had
charge of that property for the next twenty
years. In 1902 he took up his residence in
Franklin, where he has since made his home
at No. 513 Elk street, and the same year he
entered the employ of the Galena-Signal Oil
Company in an office position. He and his
familv are prominent workers in the Metho-
' dist Church, which he serves as steward, and
he is also an officer in Maj. W. B. Mays Post,
No. 220, G. A. R.

Mr. Rew's first wife, whose maiden name
was Inez M. Babcock, was a daughter of
Simon Babcock, of Friendship, Allegany Co.,
N. Y. She died in December, 1878, the mother
of three children, namely: Etta E., who lives
at home ; Cecilia A., who died in infancy ; and



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VENANGO COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



Ida L., the wife, of Hon. J. C. Sibley, of
Franklin. Three children were also bom to
his second marriage, with Mina A. Brown,
viz.: Galena A., who lives at home; Ora L.,
who studied music in New York City and is
now engaged in teaching vocal and instru-
mental music; and Mary E., at home. Mrs.
Rew is a daughter of Joseph G. and Mary
(Pierce) Bi*own, of New York State.

BARTON A. MYERS, of Rouseville, Ve-
nango county, a young man of large experi-
ence in the production of oil, now engaged
as superintendent with the Morck Oil Com-
pany, has led a busy life characterized by self-
rejiance and enterprise throughout. Born at
Rouseville Feb. 4, 1885, he is the only son of
the late C. A. Myers, who settled in that
borough in 1872.

C. A. Myers was bom Nov. 29, 1838, at
Tylersburg, Clarion Co., Pa., seventh son of
Conrad and Susan Myers, and died July 4,
1892, at Rouseville. He served throughout
the Civil war as a member of Conlpany A,
103d Pennsylvania Volunteers, and was cap-
tured, being confined in Andersonville prison
for ten months. Coming in 1872 to Rouse-
ville, he started in the grocery business, in
which he had a prosperous career until his
retirement in 1887, on account of failing
health. He also had a store at Garfield, Mc-
Kean Co., Pa., during the oil excitement in
1 88 1 and 1882, and had interests in the oil
business on different occasions, meeting with
indifferent success in that line. Mr. Myers
married Mary Ezetta Armstrong, who was
bom Aug. 27, 1856, in Hay field township,
Crawford Co., Pa., eldest child of Alfred B.
and Abigail Armstrong, her parents settling
at Rouseville in the early seventies. Besides
the son, Barton A., four daughters were bom
to this marriage, namely: Letitia A., now the
wife of George S. Wheatley, of Coatesville,
Pa. : Mary E.. wife of Dr. R. D. Rumbaugh,
of Eldorado, Kans. ; Florence F., Mrs. C. H.
Compton, of Rouseville, Pa. : and Miss Susan
V. Myers, of Rouseville. The mother is still
living there also.

Barton A. Myers was reared at Rouseville
and attended school there until sixteen years
old, but meantime he began to eam his own
living, when but nine years old having the
agency in his home town for the Oil City
Derrick and Oil City Blizzard, Later he
worked around on oil 4eases, and at refineries
and barrel works, doing whatever offered the
best financial returns, until, during the summer
of 1903, while engaged on an oil lease for J.



E. Robinson at McClintockville, this county,



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