Ellis Paxson Oberholtzer.

Philadelphia; a history of the city and its people, a record of 225 years (Volume 4) online

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the hospital at that place.


Dr. H. Ralston Swing pursued his education through successive grades in the
common and high schools of Coatcsville and afterward entered the University
of Pennsylvania to prepare for a professional career and was graduated in 1892
with the D. D. S. degree. He at once began the practice of dentistry in Coatcs-
ville but after a brief period removetl to Philadelphia, where he continues until
his death. He had a well equipped office and was thoroughly conversant with
the modern methods of practice, utilizing such means as science endorses in the
preservation and care of the teeth. His work was of such high standard that he
was accorded a liberal patronage and won substantial success in his profession.

On the 15th of September, 1898, Dr. Swing was married to Miss Sara R.
Cross, a native of England, who came to the United States with her parents when
six years of age, the family home being established in Philadelphia. Unto Dr.
and Mrs. Swing was born one son, Herbert Ralston, now eight years of age.
Dr. Swing was a member of the Houston Club and of two of the leading dental
clubs of the city. He was an independent voter but never remiss in the duties
of citizenship. His religious faith was that of the Presbyterian church and he
contributed generously to charity. He held to high ideals in manhood, in citizen-
ship and in his professional relations and his death, which occurred April 19,
1907, was the occasion of deep regret to his associates of the dental fraternity
and to the many friends whom he made in other relations of life.


F. W. Grugan was born in Philadelphia in December, 1840, and his life record
covered the intervening years until the 9th of August, 1890. His parents were
Florance C. and Sarah (Cross) Grugan, the former of American birth, the lat-
ter a native of Juniata county, Pennsylvania. For years the father was asso-
ciated with the Levy Dry Goods Company and later with the house of Cooper
& Conrad.

Mr. Grugan was married in Philadelphia in 1866 to Miss Clara C. Justice,
the wedding ceremony being performed in accordance with the rites of the So-
ciety of Friends at the home of her grandfather, George M. Justice, who was
a prominent Friend and an active and leading figure in public afTairs in an early
day. He was instrumental in establishing the girls' high school and the boys'
high school and in other ways put forth earnest and effective effort in behalf of
the system of public education. His wife, Esther Sing Bunting was a descendant
of Philip Sing, an early and much respected citizen. Mrs. Grugan's father was
Alfred R. Justice, of the firm of A. B. Justice & Company and a very active
business man. He died in 1867. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Mary
Fletcher, was a daughter of George Fletcher, of Massachusetts. Unto Mr. and
Mrs. Grugan were born four children: Frank Fletcher, of Philadelphia; Melanie,
now Mrs. W. Mathews Foot ; F. Justice, a mining expert ; and Albert Thornton,
of El Paso, Texas.

Mr. Grugan was devoted to the welfare of his family and counted no personal
effort or sacrifice on his part too great if it would promote their welfare and hap-


piness. He held membership with General Meade Post, G. A. R., and thus main-
tained pleasant relations with his old army comrades. He was as loyal to his
country in days of peace as in days of war and, in fact, was regarded as a val-
ued citizen, who believed in maintaining a high standard of civic virtue and per-
formed all of his public duties with the same sense of conscientious obligation
that he discharged his private duties. While a successful merchant and public-
spirited citizen, he was with all a gentleman in the best sense of that term. His
innate tact and courtesy were manifest in deference for the opinions of others,
in charitable views and in unfeigned cordiality.


William Shaw Stewart, deceased, who was one of America's eminent physi-
cians, was born at Stewart Station near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, November 13,
1838, a son of John and Margaret (Shaw) Stewart, and a grandson of Captain
John Stewart. He was graduated at Washington and Jefferson College of Penn-
sylvania in i860 and from the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia in 1863.
He immediately enlisted as assistant surgeon in the United States army in the
Civil war and held many responsible positions in the medical service in the
army. He was offered a commission as full surgeon to remain with the gov-
ernment after the close of hostilities but preferred to enter upon private practice
and opened an office in Philadelphia. From that time forward his career was
marked by steady progress and constantly broadening opportunities which he
carefully embraced for the benefit of the profession and his fellowmen. He
was one of the founders and for ten years was dean and professor of obstetrics
and clinical gynecology in the Medico-Chirurgical College of Philadelphia, of
which he was later made professor emeritus. He became one of the founders
and was the first vice president of the American Academy of Medicine, was a
director of the Charity Hospital of Philadelphia, a member of the Philadelphia
County Medical Society, the Obstetric Society, the State Medical and American
Medical Associations and was twice a delegate to the World's Medical Congress.
He was regarded as one of the country's representative physicians whose ability
made him a peer of those men whose work has conferred honor upon the medi-
cal fraternity. Not only did his knowledge reach out beyond the bounds which
mark the labors of the great majority, but in other ways he gained distinction.
He was a contributor to medical journals, especially on the subjects of obstetrics
and gynecology, and was the inventor of several valuable surgical instruments.

On the 14th of November, 1872, Dr. Stewart married Miss Delia Allman of
Philadelphia, a daughter of Thomas Allman, a merchant and banker. They be-
came the parents of six children, a son who died in infancy and five daughters :
Mary Mabel Norris; Ethel Harrison, the wife of George Winfred Barr; Delia
Allman, the wife of H. Bertram Lewis; Margretta Shaw, the wife of Charles H.
Dietrich, and Dorothy Newkirk.

Dr. Stewart, aside from his activity in his profession, made effective efforts
in behalf of public progress along other lines. He was a director of the public


schools for nine years, was a member of the Loyal Legion and Meade Post
No. I, G. A. R., and gave his political allegiance to the republican party, which
was the defense of the Union throughout the dark days of the Civil war. His
religious faith was that of the Presbyterian church, and in all of his labors he
was prompted by a broad humanitarian purpose. His death occurred November
25, 1903-


The Rev. Anthony M. Milukas is the rector of St. George's church, which was
organized in 1902 by the Rev. Kaulakis, who was the first rector. He bought
land upon which was only an old school building. The tract was one hundred
and thirty-six by two hundred and twenty-five feet at the corner of Salmon and
Venango streets. He then built a brick church, which was dedicated October
26, 1907, by Bishop Prendergast. This is a Lithuanian congregation. From
1902 until 1905 it was a mission under Father Kaulakis and later other pastors
served the parish. Rev. Dumczus took charge in 1906 and remained until suc-
ceeded by Father Anthony M. Milukas, January 22, 1909, he being promoted
from St. George's parish in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. There are now two
hundred and fifty families and sixteen hundred communicants. The property
is worth about thirty thousand dollars and the church is in good condition.

Father Milukas was born in Lithuania, Russia, June 13, 1871, and pursued
his education in a gymnasium at Mariampol, Russia. He afterward attended
Seinai Seminary for three years and while there was a correspondent for Lith-
uanian papers printed in Germany and the United States, which were smuggled
into the country, for the Russian government had issued an edict against any-
thing being published by the Lithuanians in their own language, and for over
forty years nothing had been printed in their tongue in Russia. When the gov-
ernment discovered that these papers were being smuggled into the country
Father Milukas came to the United States in 1892 and for a year and a half
was editor of a Lithuanian newspaper at Plymouth, Pennsylvania. He then at-
tended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary at Overbrook for three years and was
ordained by Archbishop Ryan in the Cathedral. He celebrated his first mass
in St. George's church in Shenandoah, was assistant rector there for a time and
later was sent to Brooklyn, New York, and was rector of St. Mary Queen of
Angels on the Williamsburg bridge plaza, where they purchased a hall and re-
modeled it into a church with a seating capacity of seven hundred. They also
established a rectory. Although there for only a year Father Milukas had ac-
cumulated property to the value of sixty thousand dollars and had visited every
Lithuanian Catholic in New York city and Brooklyn at least three times and
many of them more, awakening their interest in the church and its work. He
then returned to Shenandoah as assistant rector of the parish of St. George, con-
tinuing in charge for three years, after which he went to Freiburg, Switzerland,
to study there for a year, and then returned to St. George's church in Shenan-
doah. In 1907 he was appointed to organize Gilberton and Girardville into two


parishes. When at the former place he leased a church and at Girardville he
bought an armory and remodeled it into a church. He remained in charge of
the work for fifteen months and put both parishes in good shape, establishing
the church of St. Vincent at Girardville and of St. Louis at Gilberton. He was
afterward rector at St. George's church at Shenandoah for eight months, on the
expiration of which period he was transferred to his present parish, where he
has done good work. Throughout the entire time he has had charge of a weekly
paper published by the Lithuanian Catholic priests and also published for him-
self a quarterly Dirva, there being about one hundred and sixty pages in each
edition. The weekly was known as the Zvaigzde or Star. He is now the owner
and editor of this paper, which he publishes in Philadelphia, but on taking charge
of the work at Girardville and Gilberton he had to give up his quarterly.

For two years Father Milukas has been supreme leader of the Lithuanian
Roman Catholic Alliance and for four years has been president of the conven-
tion of the same. He is the author of three volumes, the first entitled History,
General and Ancient, the second Albumas Lietuiviskas in three volumes, and the
History of Confession. He has also translated many of Archbishop Ireland's
speeches and of Professor Zahm of Notre Dame. He has altogether edited and
published fifty books and has lately in Philadelphia edited and published an il-
lustrated edition of Lives of Saints for Every Day. He is also a lecturer on
religious subjects and also against socialism. He has lectured extensively in the
various cities of the United States and shows himself master of the subjects
which he handles. In 1909 he was one of the organizers of Lithuanian National
Temperance Alliance, of which he is now an honorary life member.


Knowles Croskey, of Philadelphia, president of the American Engineering
& Construction Company, largely interested in mining in the west and in hydro-
electric power development in Mexico, is almost equally well known because of
his scientific researches and investigation and through his activity in political
circles. His birthplace was the old historical Croskey residence at No. 1912 South
Rittenhouse Square, his natal day being April 3, 1853. In the acquirement of
his education he attended successively the Rittenhouse Academy, Ury House
School at Fox Chase, Pennsylvania, Friends Central high school at Fifteenth and
Race streets, Philadelphia, and the Eastburn Academy of this city, concluding
with a special engineering course at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute of Blacks-
burg, Virginia.

He next entered the Richmond Machine Works of Richmond, Virginia, as an
apprentice, serving for seven years, during which period he thoroughly mastered
the machine business in its practical and scientific phases, obtaining also a full
knowledge of the art of pattern-making. The terms of apprenticeship were then
far different from those of today. His salary for the entire time was only three
dollars per week, and he boarded with his employer, George B. Sloat, to whom
he paid seven dollars per week for his accommodation. Upon the completion of


IB, ^^^^- v..


his apprenticeship he purchased an interest in the lirni which, under the name of
Sloat, Croskey & Company, engaged in the manufacture of various kinds of
machinery. He was actively associated with the business until the fall of 1879,
when he returned to Philadelphia, but owning to his wide knowledge of this
business his interests were again soon taken up along that line. He also became
connected with financial enterprises among which were extensive real-estate ne-

Upon the death of his father-in-law, William Smith, of Phoenixville, Penn-
sylvania, Mr. Croskey removed to that place and assumed the responsibility which
was thrust upon him of conducting the well established business of his relative
known as the William Smith Balmoral Latch Needle Works. During his resi-
dence in Phoenixville he won many friends. His genial -qualities, attractive per-
sonality and strict attention to business established a feeling of utmost confidence
in all with whom he had even the slightest dealings. The recognition of his worth
led to his selection for public office, the first position to which he was called
being that of councilman of the Fifth ward on the republican ticket. Since its
organization as a separate body the fifth ward has always been strongly demo-
cratic, and for a pronounced republican to be elected by such a constituency
plainly illustrates his standing in the community. While a member of the council
he was made chairman of the street committee, a member of the electric light,
water and finance committee and superintendent of the police department. The
active interest which he took in the political afifairs of Chester county led to his
selection as a member of the republican county committee, in which position he
served his party with as much zeal and fidelity as he had protected and promoted
the interests of his ward while a councilman.

In 1895 Mr. Croskey returned to Philadelphia and was thereafter engaged
in mining engineering throughout the west until toward the close of the year
1896. In 1897 he organized the American Engineering & Construction Company,
of which he became president. This company is largely interested in mining in
the west and in hydro-electric power development in Mexico.

While a resident of Richmond, Virginia, on the 20th of December, 1877, Mr.
Croskey was married to Miss Leilah Sloat, a daughter of his former employer.
She died August 9, 1883, leaving a little daughter, Ida, who was born on the 9th
of that month and passed away on the 31st of August. On the 14th of April,
1886, Mr. Croskey was again married, his second union being with Miss Kate
Charlotte Smith, a daughter of William and Sarah (Hutchings) Smith, orig-
inally of Leicester, England, who in 1859 settled in Germantown and later in
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. By this marriage there are two children : Ralph
Smith, born November 3, 1890; and Helen Smith, born August 17, 1894.

For several years Mr. Croskey was a volunteer in the Pennsylvania weather
service and at this time enjoys the distinction of having the finest equipped pri-
vate observatory in the state. His deep interest in scientific matters has long been
manifest, and owing to his prominence in scientific circles and his activities, espe-
cially in weather observations, he was elected secretary of the Pennsylvania
Meteorological Society, which was organized in 1892 for the advancement of
the interests of the state weather service.


In 1873 Mr. Croskey enlisted in the First Regiment Virginia Volunteers, with
which he served about thirteen years, but is now on the retired list. At the
outbreak of the Spanish- American war in 1898, he enlisted in the Twentieth
Pennsylvania Infantry, being commissioned first lieutenant of his company, and
remained in the service until mustered out in August, 1900. In 1902 he was
appointed on the governor's staff of Nevada as colonel and served about a year
and a half. Socially he is a member of the Sons of St. George and the Sons of
the Revolution. While he has made steady progress in business, his commercial
and industrial interests have been but one phase of his career. He is a broad-
minded man to whom the relations of life signify more than individual interests.
He has ever been mindful of the duties of citizenship, to which end he has faith-
fully served in the public offices to which he has been called. He is still deeply
interested in various lines of scientific investigation and finds his companionship
among men of wide learning in scientfic fields.


George Delhorbe Porter, through successive stages of business development
has reached his present position of responsibility as vice president of the First
Mortgage Guarantee Trust Company of Philadelphia. The trend of migration
in America has been westward, but occasionally there are men of western birth
who have invaded the conservative circles of the east and by enterprise and
ability have gained recognition among those who have long been regarded as
foremost factors in controlling the business, professional and financial interests
of this section of the country. To this class belongs George Delhorbe Porter,
who was born upon a farm near Vinton, Iowa, September 8, 1875.

His parents were George S. and Marie (Delhorbe) Porter, the former a
descendant of a family that was established in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania,
in the eighteenth century, the great-grandfather of George D. Porter having
served as a lieutenant in the Revolutionary war. His father was a soldier of
the Civil war with the One Hundred and Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania Volun-
teers. He afterward engaged in business in the west as a merchant and was
superintendent of a large ranch at the time of the birth of G. D. Porter who,
reaching the usual school age began his education in the public schools of Iowa.
Later he continued his studies in Georgia, to which state his parents removed
with their family, and then entered the banking business in Georgia, being con-
nected therewith until 1894.

In the latter year Mr. Porter came to Philadelphia and accepted a clerical
position in the law office of J. Sergeant Price, now deceased, and J. Willis Mar-
tin, now judge of common pleas court No. 5. He was afterward associated with
Mr. Price's son, Eli Kirk Price, until April, 1910, when he became vice president
of the First Mortgage Guarantee. Trust Company. To his duties as second
executive officer of this important financial enterprise he gives his undivided at-
tention and has won for himself in business circles the reputation of possessing
sound judgment, keen insight and remarkable sagacity.


Mr. Porter has also been prominent in the public life of Philadelphia. He
served for five years in the councils, being the first independent elected after the
reform upheaval in 1905. He became one of the organizers of the city party
and served as its secretary for three years and also as secretary of the first city
party convention. He may be classed politically as an independent republican,
for although he is an advocate of the issues for which the republican party
stands, he does not believe in the blind following of any leadership, but seeks
the united effort of public-spirited citizens toward the betterment of municipal
affairs. His influence in this direction has been of no restricted order and his
efforts have been resultant factors in promoting many reform movements that
have been achieved.

On the 2ist of October, 1897, Mr. Porter was united in marriage to Miss
Margaret Mayhew, a daughter of John S. and Harriet (Corson) Mayhew. They
have one child, Rodman D. Porter, now nine years of age. The parents are
members of the Westside Presbyterian church of Germantown, in which Mr.
Porter is serving as an elder, while in the various departments of church work
they take active and helpful interest. He is manager of the Bedford Street
mission for the uplift of the people living in the slums and is secretary of the
Preston Retreat Lying-in Charity at Twentieth and Hamilton streets.

Mr. Porter belongs to University Lodge No. 610, F. & A. M., and to the
Sons of Veterans. He was one of the organizers of the City Club and holds
membership also with the Philadelphia Cricket Club; the Young Republican
Club of Germantown, of which he is vice president ; the Grub Club ; the Ger-
mantown Club; the Old Township Club and the Sons of the American Revolu-
tion. He is a member of the Site and Relic Society of Germantown ; vice presi-
dent of the Germantown and Chestnut Hill Improvement Association ; a mem-
ber of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and of the Lincoln Association of
Union Veterans Sons. He is now scout commissioner of Philadelphia for the
Boy Scouts of America, an organization for the betterment of boys, physically,
mentally and morally. He is also serving on the executive committee and na-
tional council of that organization. He has always been active in civic affairs
and a leader in independent movements and has ever kept abreast with the best
thinking men of the age in consideration of political, sociological and economic
problems which are to the statesman and the man of affairs of grave and vital


Dr. Jay Clarence Knipe, an ophthalmologist of Philadelphia, to whom the
profession as well as the general public accords a position of prominence, was
born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, January 12, 1869. His father, Dr. Jacob
Oliver Knipe, born in New Hanover, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, has
engaged in the practice of medicine throughout the entire period of his man-
hood and is now living in Norristown at the age of seventy-three years. He was
a son of Jacob Knipe, also a physician, and two of his brothers were practition-


ers of medicine. Dr. Jacob Oliver Knipe was married in early manhood to
Miss Clara Poley, a native of Green Lane, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania.
Both the Poley and Knipe families were early residents of Montgomery county.
The ancestry in the paternal line is traced back to Johannes Knipe, who was
born in Rotterdam, Holland, in 1710 and came to this country in 1748. He
purchased a farm of one hundred and fifty acres in Upper Gwynedd township,
Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, where he lived until his death in 1792. He
was married in 1749 to Mary Anna Barbara Hofmann. Their son David Knipe,
who was born in 1761 and died in 1806, wedded Mary Raker. They were the
parents of Jacob Knipe, our subject's grandfather, who was born in 1804 and
died in 1883. He became a practitioner of medicine and married Rachel Evans,
who was a descendant of John Evans, who was born in Radnorshire, Wales, in
1680, and came to this country before William Penn came to America. He
owned much land in London Britain, Chester county, Pennsylvania, near the
Maryland state line.

Jacob Oliver Knipe, our subject's father, after acquiring his early education
in the public schools of Montgomery county, attended Freeland's Academy in
Collegeville and also the Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsyl-
vania, where the degree of Bachelor of Arts was conferred upon him in i860.
His medical studies were pursued in Jefiferson Medical College, from which he
was graduated in the class of 1862. In November of that year he formed a
partnership with Dr. Francis B. Poley, in Norristown, Pennsylvania, but two
years later the business relation was discontinued and Dr. Knipe began practice
alone. For many years he was a member of the American Medical Association,
the Montgomery County Medical Society and the Pennsylvania State Medical

Online LibraryEllis Paxson OberholtzerPhiladelphia; a history of the city and its people, a record of 225 years (Volume 4) → online text (page 16 of 62)