Horace Edwin Hayden.

Genealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) online

. (page 10 of 130)
Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 10 of 130)
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vived by his wife, who attained the age of seven-
ty-six years.

Jacob T. Nyhart was a boy of "eight years
when his father died, and being thus early thrown
tipon his own resources, his education was neces-
sarily limited, having been mostly acquired in the
school of experience, from which we never grad-
uate. The family took up their residence in
Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1851, and the follow-
ing year he was employed by his brother Samuel,
who was a miller by trade. He spent one year in
Luzerne, now Lackawanna county, and then
moved to Wyoming count}-, in and about Tunk-
hannock, where he remained for a number of
vears. He finally moved to Waverly, Pennsyl-
vania, where he engaged at his trade for two
vears. He then returned to Wyoming county, in
the neighborhood of Tunkhannock, where he
operated on shares a mill for two and half years,
after which he removed to La Grange where he
and his brother had previously operated a mill.
His next move was to. the mill owned by Mr. Mil-
ler at Tunkhannock, and after operating this for
one and one-half years he located in Factoryville,
where he operated a flouring mill for five and one-
half years. His next place of residence was
Providence, Lackawanna county, now a part of
Scranton), where he operated a mill for nineteen
vears, and at the expiration of this period of time
(in 189 1 ) he purchased his present mill in Peck -



44



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



'ville. This mill was built by Samuel Peck in
1839, and operated by him for a number of years.
Jt was finally rented to others, and passed through
a number of hands before it was purchased bv
-Mr. Nyhart.

The mill is operated bv a forty-horse power
■engfine with a sixty-horse boiler, and has a ca-
pacity of twenty-five tons per day. While Mr.
Nyhart is a dealer in all kinds of grain and feed,
including hay and straw, yet his mill is confined
to making feed. He understands the milling
business from start to finish, co.nducts his afifairs
in a practical and efficient manner, and well merits
'the success which has attended his well-directed
■efiforts. Although a loyal citizen and deeply in-
terested in the affairs of his country and state,
Mr. Nyhart is no politician, his life having been
too busy to allow him the time to^ take an active
part in politics. His principle in local affairs is
the best man for the office. During the earlv
years of his life he cast his vote for the candidates
of the Democratic party oji national issues, but of
late years his allegiance has been transferred to
the opposite party. He has long been a member
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which bodv
he holds the office of class leader and trustee. In
former years he was active in the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows and an official in his lodge,
and he has received the seventh degree in the
Masonic fraternitv.

In 1865, while a resident of Tunkhannock,
Pennsylvania, Mr. Nyhart was united in marriage
to Sarah A. Shook, of Wyoming county, and two
children were the issue of this union: i. Stan-
ley W., born in Wyoming county, April 11, 1866,
received his education in the public schools,
Wyoming Seminary and Eastman's Business Col-
lege in Poughkeepsie, New York, and has been in

■ the employ of his father ever since his graduation
from the latter named institution. He married
Blanche Brown, and they are the parents of fo.ur
children, namielly : Hilda, Mae, Dorothy, and
Jacob T. 2. Magdalene, an accomplished young
woman, resides with her parents.

THE JERMYN FAMILY. John Jermyn,
Sr., was born in England and was married (first)
to a Miss Dunthorne, also a native of that coun-

■ try. He emigrated to America with his two sons,
John and William, in 1847, ^"f' settled in Penn-
sylvania at Slocuni Hollow, now Scranton. His
second wife was Esther Barnes. The children of

. John Jermyn were : Miranda, Mary, William,
John and another daughter.

()i these children, Miranda married Jose]5li
; Smith and her children were: Marion, who be-



came the wife of Arthur Keston ; Annie, who
married Joseph Kirk ; Alice, who married
Thomas Hill ; Flo,rence, who became Mrs. Smith ;
Constance, who married Frederick Friend : and
Jermyn, who died in childhood. Mary, second
daughter of John Jermyn, Sr., became the wife
of Henry Beeson, but had no children.

William Jermyn, eldest son of John Jermyn,
married a daughter of Joseph Smith, and their
children were : William, who died in infancy ;
Alice, who married a Miss Blackman ; and Dun-
thorne.

John Jermyn, Jr., son of John Jermyn. Sr.,
was born at Rendliam, Suffolk county, England,
in October, 1825, and was married in 1851 to
Susan Knight, whose birth occurred in 1834, and
who was a daughter of Joseph Knight of Corn-
wall, England. The children of John and Susan
(Knight) Jermyn are: Joseph J., born July 31,
1852; William C, born in 1854, died in 1874;
Francis H., born in 1856, married Grace Griffin,
by whom he had a daughter Frances ; Myron A.,
died in infancy ; George B., born in 1862, married
Mary Anna Olds by whom he had a son, John,
and for his second wife chose Annie Adams, by
whom he has two daughters, Margaret and Ruth ;
Walter M., born in 1864, married Lena Keagh :
Edniond Beeso.n, born in 1866, married Mamie
Decker, bv whom he has three children, Edniond,
Jr., Elizabeth, and William ; Susan M., born in
1 87 1, is the wife of Robert A. Downey, by whom
she has one son, Robert, Jr. ; Rollo, who married
Kate Jay, and has a son Rollo.

J ohn Jermyn, the younger son of John Jermyn,
Sr., was reared and educated in London, Eng-
land, to which place his father removed from
Rendham, Suffolk county. He remained in Lon-
don until he was twenty-two years of age when he
emigrated to America with his father and brother
William. He settled in Scranton, Pennsylvania,
in 1847, and entered upon his business career in
this country by working for the firm oi Scranton
& Piatt, engaged in the coal and iron business.
He assisted in opening the Diamond coal mine,
Ihe first mine opened in Scranton, and was em-
ployed there as foreman. Later he started in
business for himself in partnership with Stephen
Clark in the Clark mine located in northern
Scranton. Shortly afterward, however, he sold
his interest in this mine and secured a mine at
Archbald, which he operated for two years and
then sold. He next removed to Jermyn, becom-
ing the founder of the town and giving to it his
name. There he remained for eighteen years,
when he disposed of his interest there and again
located at Scranton. At Priceburg he opened



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



4S



two more mines, which he operated for a few
years and then again sold o.ut. He afterward
opened the mine known as the JManville, and
one at Peckville, which he operated for a year,
when he sold. He also owned a mine at Rendham,
which was named for his birthplace in England.
He also became a prominent factor in other busi-
ness pursuits aside from the development of the
large coal resources of the state. He was at one
time the most extensive stockholder of the First
National Bank of Scranton.alsoof the Mechanics'
Savings Bank at Carbondale, and made judicious
investment in real estate in Scranton. In 1896
he built the palatial hotel which still bears his
name, and which is now owned bv the Jermyn
estate. He was largely instrumental in securing
the building of the New York, Susquehanna &
Western Railroad to Scranton, and for a few
years acted as its manager.

Few men have figured so prominently in the
business development and material upbuilding of
Scranton and this portion of the state as did John
Jermyn. His educational advantages in youth
were limited, and without pecuniary assistance or
the aid of influential friends or relatives he started
out in life determined to make the most of his op-
portunities and to win advancement if it could be
gained through strong purpose and honorable
effort. His self-reliance and natural powers
proved the basis of a success that was as com-
mendable as it was notable. Difficulties and ob-
stacles seemed not to deter him in his onward
march, but rather proved an impetus for renewed
effort. Realizing in his youth that the business
opportunities of the new world were superior to
those in the old country, he accordingly crossed
the Atlantic and without a moment's hesitation
sought employment, which he soon secured.
From that time forward his course was marked
by steadv and consecutive advancement, which
came in recognition of his close application and
fidelity tQ every interest entrusted to his care by
his employers. Only a comparatively brief pe-
riod had passed when he was enabled, as the re-
sult of his industrv and economy, to embark in
business on his own account and thehistory of his
operations in the coa! fields forms an important
chapter in the record of the material development
of this part of the state. He saw that profits
would accrue from the employment of the labors
of others, and prepared to enter the contracting
field. In speaking of this portion of his career a
contemporary biographer has said : "He sought
and secured the contract for opening the Diamond
coal mines at Scranton, and was the first man to
put a shovel into that important work. His con-



tract here having been pushed to a successful and
satisfactory close during the years 185 1 to 1854,
he soon after entered into^ a contract to open and
develop the coal of the New York & Pennsylvania
Coal Company situated in the notch of the moun-
tain above Providence, known as Rockwell's
mines. In this undertaking he was engaged
some four or five years and was highly success-
ful. The contract having been filled a;.d the work
accepted by the company in the year 1859, he en-
tered into a contract with Judson Clark, Esq., for
the sinking of a shaft and mining the
coal from the lands of the said Clark,
situated on the Abington turnpike and near
the mines of the New York & Pennsyl-
vania Coal Company. He was engaged for some
two years, when Judson Clark having died, he.
together with Messrs. Wells and Clark, of Car-
bondale, Pennsylvania, became the proprietors of
the mines under a lease with the estate, under the
firm name of Jermyn, Wells & Company. This .
lease continued for three years, when the mining
of the coal at this point was abandoned. Always
on the alert for an opening and with a wonderful-
ly penetrating mind, we find Mr. Jermyn always
looking in advance, and before he closed his en-
gagement at one point had another in waiting for
him. Thus before his lease expired with the
Judson Clark estate, he had effected another with
Judge Birdseye, of New York City, for the work-
ing of his mines at Archbald, Pennsylvania. These
mines had been badly managed for many >ears,
and their reputation was such that the proprietor
found it difficult to operate them successfully.
This Mr. Jermyn soon remedied, however, and he
had not been in possession of the mines more than
three years when the proprietor was enabled to
sell his mines and coal lands to the Boston and
Lackawanna Coal Company at a very large profit.
Mr. Jermyn, having closed his engagement
with the same success which seemed ever
to attend him with the same foresight which
had all through life characterized him, sought
out and before closing his business at Arch-
bald effected a contract for mining the coal
land of the Gibson estate, at what was
then known as Rushdale. Here, as at Arch-
bald, the reputation of the community and quality
of coal to be mined was such that mining opera-
tions had been abandoned entirely and the oper-
ators almost literally driven from the field, the .
mines having stood idle for several years. With
all these discouragements and contrary to the ad-
vice of his friends, who could see nothing but
failure and disaster in the undertaking, Mr.
Jermyn, after having examined the mines for -



-46



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



himself and satisfied his own mind that there was

; money in it, pushed steadily forward with his im-
provements, keeping his own counsel until he

. should be fully prepared to enter upon his mining
operations. Having put his machinery and build-
ings in thorough repair and added largely to his
facilities for nuning and preparing coal, in 1865,

■ Mr. Jermvn entered upon the most successful un-
dertaking' of his life, and laid the foundation for
a large share of property and wealth which after-
wards crowned his career, having effected two
new leases of coal to the amount of one million
tons each, besides filling successfully the original
contract of one million tans from the same estate,
and with the facilities for mining and delivering

'the entire two million tons of coal within the
next ten or fifteen years. When the borough of
Gibsonburg was incorporated in the year 1869, it
was thought fitting that it should bear the name
of the estate on which it was founded, hence the

■name of Gibsonburg. During the year 1873. the
growth and interests of the borough having from
its formation been so, entirely connected with the

Jermvn family, it was thought but just and the
spontaneous expression of the entire community
was given that the name of the borough be
changed to that of Jermyn.

John Jermyn died in 1902, leaving to his fam-
ilv a large estate that had been acquired through
a lifetime of activity well directed by sound busi-
ness judgment. His career is an indication of
the business advantages afforded by the new
world to the men who have the foresight to rec-
ognize and utilize them, and while he acquired
wealth, his efforts were also of a character to ben-
efit the entire locality in which he operated, and
his life work, therefore, became of signal useful-
ness to Scranton and the surrounding districts.

CAPTAIN W. A. MAY, a civil engineer of
high accomplishments, has long been prominently
identified with many of the most important com-
mercial and other interests of the city of Scran-
ton, and vicinity. In addition he has borne a large
share in the larger concerns of the community,
having served efficiently on the board of educa-
•Uon, and rendered service of signal value as
president of the board of trade during the most
important era in the history of that bodv.

He was born December 3, 1850, in Hollidays-
burg, Blair county, Pennsylvania, son of the Rev.
Lewis and Louisa (Haines) May. His father
was born in Offenberg, Germany, and was finely
educated in his native land. Lewis May came to
the United States a single man. in the year 1820,



at the age of twenty years, and settled in Balti-
more, Maryland, whence he removed to HoUi-
daysburg, and later to Lycoming county, where
he died. He was an Evangelical clergyman, and
held various charges in Pennsylvania. He mar-
ried Louisa Haines, of an old Philadelphia fam-
ily, whose parents resided upon a farm where
is now located the borough of Frankford.

W. A. May, one of the four sons of Rev.
Lewis and Louisa (Haines) May, attended the
public schools in the various places in which his
father's ministerial life was passed. His father
died when young May was fourteen years old,
and his mother passed away three years later,
and thenceforward his education was obtained
through his own effort. He prepared for college
at Dickinson Seminary, where he won the degree
of Bachelor of Arts. He now entered the employ
of the Hillside Coal & Iron Company, and this
may be taken as marking the beginning of a most
successful career. While a seminary student he
had made a special study of civil and mining en-
gineering, and, his capabilities becoming known,
it was his unusual distinction to be appointed
chief of the engineering department of the Hill-
side Company, before he had attained the age of
twenty-three years. He subsequently suspended
work in order to make more ample preparation
for his life work, and entered Lafayette College,
from which he was graduated in 1876 with the
degree of civil engineer, and later he received
that of Master of Arts from the same institution.
He then resumed his position as chief engineer
for the Hillside Coal & Iron Company, and two
years later added to his duties in that capacity
the more responsible place of chief engineer for
the North Western Mining & Exchange Com-
pany, in Elk county, Pennsylvania, and yet later
also had charge of the civil engineering for the
Meredith Run Coal Company and the Gaines
Coal and Coke Company, in Tioga county. He
efficiently discharged these multifarious duties
until 1883, when he accepted the position of su-
perintendent of the Hillside Coal & Iron Com-
pany, and served as such until 1901 when he
was made general manager of the Pennsylvania
Coal Company, the New York, Susquehanna &
Western Coal Company (of which he was su-
perintendent from 1898 to 1901), and is now
in charge of the combined interests, one of the
verv largest in the Scranton coal region, if,
indeed, it does not exceed in magnitude
any other. These three great corporations con-
trol thirty thousand acres of coal land, twenty-
four coal mines in operation, having an annual






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tUC-t E'l' CK*-. r ; K>-.1,'_ WtlM VOF,!'




THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



47



output of five million tons, and in addition liandle
■one and a half million tons purchased under con-
tract. To carry on these stupendous operations
Captain May has under his direction an army of
twelve to fourteen thousand men.

While such weighty responsibilties would
seemingly fully tax the energies and endurance of
any one man, Captain May is actively identified
with various other large interests, being secretary
and treasurer of the Walburn Land Company,
and secretary of the Schuylkill Anthracite Coal
Royalty Company. He has also borne a promi-
nent and most useful part in the general affairs
of the community, and particularly in connection
with the Scranton board of trade, where he dis-
played such masterly abilities that he was re-
tained in the presidency for five successive terms,
1893 to 1897, inclusive. It was in his -first presi-
denial term that the board was aroused from its
lethargy following the disastrous financial panic
of that year, when so many of Scranton's indus-
trial and commercial enterprises were languishing
and stood in need of stimulation, and under the
brilliant administration of Captain May stands
out as the most important epoch in the history
of the board. Under him the plans for the
splendid new board building were formulated and
put into execution, and the present stately edifice
stands as an impressive monument to his sagacity
and untiring energy. With Secretary Atherton
he made a house-to-house canvass for the pro-
curement of subscriptions to the building fund,
and this collection, amounting to about forty
thousand dollars, was the financial foundation of
this praiseworthy enterprise. Captain May was
vice-president of the Board of Trade Building
Company ; and he also served upon the leading
board committees, and was instrumental in secur-
ing for the city the location of various large in-
dustries. In addition to the Board of Trade
Building, Captain May was largely instrumental
in forwarding the erection of three other of the
most important edifices in the city, the Thir-
teenth Regiment Armory, the Young Men's
Christian Association, and the Elm Park IMeth-
odist Church buildings. He served most capa-
bly as a member of the select council of the city
from the Ninth ward, for two terms of two years
each, and also upon the board of school control.
He was for ten years a member of the Na-
tional Guard of Pennsylvania and is holder of a
marksmanship medal commemorating that per-
iod of service. He enlisted as a private in the
Thirteenth Regiment, in February, 1878. and was
mustered out in November, 1888, as captain of



Company D. He has always maintained a deep
loyalty to the old regiment, and has always given
liberal aid to every movement in its interest. He is
a member of the Elm Park ^lethodist Episcopal
Church, and of its board of trustees, and super-
intendent of its Sunday school. He has exerted
himself usefully in behalf of the Young Men's
Christian Association, and is trustee of that body.
In politics he is a Republican. He is a member
of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the
Scranton Engineers' Club, the Scranton Club, the
Country Club, and the Westmoreland Club of
Wilkes-Barre, and is connected with the Masonic
fraternity. Held in honor as one of the foremost
of Scranton's citizens in point of public spirit,
energy and enterprise, he is universally popular
for those excellent traits of personal character
which mark the ideal neighbor and friend.

Captain May married Miss Emma Louise,
daughter of B. L. Richards, of Williamsport,
Pennsylvania. Of this marriage has been born
a daughter, Maud Richards May.

WILLIA:\I H. TAYLOR was born in Pat-
erson. New Jersey, son of William H. and Cath-
erine G. (Deeths) Taylor. In the paternal line
he came of an English family of great antiquity.
Time has wrought many changes in the orthog-
raphy of the Taylor name, which, in its original
form of Taillerfer, was brought to England by
one of the Norman barons who came with Will-
iam the Conqueror. At the battle of Hastings,
as graphically depicted by Sir Edward Bulwer
Lytton in "The Last of the Saxon Kings," Tail-
lerfer, a warrior of gigantic height, led his fol-
lowers upon the foe, manv of whom he slew be-
fore he fell, transfixed by the spear of Leofivine,
the brother of the Saxon king. The right of the
Taylor family, to bear arms is officially attested
by the records of the Herald's College, where is
registered the elaborate blazonry with its signif-
icant crest — a dexter arm embossed in armor, the
hand in a gauntlet, grasping a javelin, with the
motto, "Conscquitor quodctiuquc petit" — "He
accomplishes what he undertakes.'' The Tailler-
fer family received from the Conqueror large
landed estates in Kent, England, which descend-
ed to Hanger Taylefer, 1256, from whom the
American family of Taylor claims to be de-
scended.

The Taylor famil}- first appeared in America
in 1692, a few years after the Dutch were sup-
planted bv the English. The family was related
by marriage to Sir George Carteret, proprietor
of East Jersey, under the English crown. Lady



48



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



Carteret purchased from the Indians, in trust
for Mathew Taylor and others, a tract of land
four miles in depth on both sides of the Raritan
river. Mathew died shortly afterward, and be-
queathed his holdings to his brother Edward,
then living in London. In 1692 Edward, "of
Briggs House, York county, England, residing
in London," came to the country, entered upon
possession of the property and became the pro-
genitor of the Taylor family in America. He
brought with him his wife, Catherine (family
name unknown), and five children. The old
Taylor homestead, built in 1729 by George, son
of the immigrant, still stands in the village of
Middletown, Monmouth county, New Jersey, and
as late as 1880 was occupied by a lineal descend-
ant of the first settler. It was then in good con-
dition, with the old pictured Dutch tiles in the
spacious fireplace.

Of the descendants of Edward were grand-
sons who were among the pioneer settlers in New
York, Ohio, and elsewhere in the west and south.
Most of them became useful and prosperous cit-
izens, many of them filled places of distinction,
and it is said that none, so far as known, was
ever convicted of a crime. The family was rep-
resented in the Revolutionary war by various
members, among whom was Major Richard Cox,
of the New Jersey line, whose mother was Mercy
Taylor, granddaughter of the immigrant settler.
Elisha Taylor was an officer in the war of 1812;
he was a pioneer in the cause of total abstinence
in a day when the thought was a heresy, spent ten
years of his life in advocating his temperance
principles, and for miany years devoted one-
fourth of his annual income for that purpose
and for the spread of the gospel. Of this fam-
ily were two eminent divines. Rev. Jeremy Tay-
lor and the late Bishop Frederick W. Taylor,
Protestant Episcopal bishop of Illinois. John
Taylor, of New York, was a member of Congress
uninterruptedly from 181 3 to 1833, and was
twice speaker of the house. On the admission
of Missouri to the Union he delivered the first
speech in congress in which was expressed in-
flexible opposition to the extension of slavery.
He was a man of excellent judgment, and was



Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 10 of 130)