Horace Edwin Hayden.

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

. (page 102 of 130)
Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 102 of 130)
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on which he spent the remainder of his days,
passing away at an advanced age. His wife,
whose maiden name was Margaret Seibert, bore
him eight chihlren, all of whom were born in
Berks county, Pennsylvania. Their names were
as follows : Jacob, Daniel, John, David, Joseph,

Reuben, Catherine, and . wife of a Mr.


Daniel Hill, father of Daniel Hill, and second
in order of birth of the children born to Fred-
erick and Margaret (Seibert) Hill, was born in
Kutztown, Pennsylvania, 1791. He resided there
until twenty-four years of age, when he accom-
panied his parents to Salem township. He and
Jacob were the only sons of the family that re-
mained on the homestead, the others making for
themselves homes in different states, and conse-
quently the father's estate was divided equally
between them. Mr. Hill was a tailor by trade.
He served in the capacity of tax collector of
Salem township, his incumbency of office being
for a long period of years. He was a member of
the Lutheran church, and his political allegiance
was given to the Democratic party. Mr. Hill mar-
ried Catherine Kistner, of Salem township, born
in -April, 1800. Their children were : Desiah,
deceased: Sarah, deceased; Elizabeth, deceased;
Charles, deceased ; Catharine, deceased ; Stephen,
Daniel, and Jacob, deceased. Daniel Hill
(father) died December 28, 1870, survived by
his wife, who passed away June, 187 1.

Daniel Hill, whose name appears at the head
of this sketch, was born on the farm where his
grandfather, Frederick Hill, first settled in Sal-
em township, Luzerne county, March 18, 1830.
In 1840, when ten years of age, his parents
moved on the farm which is now in his possess-
ion : two years later the house in which he now
resides was built bv his father, and in 1844 the
barn was built. While he was reared on a farm.


49 r

he followed boating in early life and was as-
sociated with his brother, Stephen Hill, in the
construction of boats at Beach Haven. The
farm on which he has resided for sixty-five years
consists of one hundred and seven acres, the
greater part of which is under a high state of
cultivation, and the neat and thrifty appearance
of everything pertaining thereto is evidence of
the owner's skill and ability along these lines.
Like his father and grandfather. Sir. Hill is a
firm believer in and an ardent supporter of
Democratic principles, and he has always upheld
that party by his vote and influence. He is a
member of the Lutheran church.

In 1 86 1 Mr. Hill married Mary E. Martz,
born in Brier Creek township, 1840, a daughter
of John and Lydia Martz, the former a native
of Bucks county, and the latter of Columbia
county, they being the parents of six children,
four of whom attained years of maturity, name-
ly: Lyman, deceased; Rebecca, Mary E., wife
of Daniel Hill, and Isaac Martz. The following
named children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Hill :
Eranklin E., John M., Catherine D., Charles W.,
H. F., and Carrie G., deceased.

CHARLES J. KEOGH. Few men in Lack-
awanna county are better known or enjoy greater
popularity than Charles J. Keogh, of Old Forge
borough. He is at the same time a patriotic
Irishman and a loyal American citizen, alike
true to his ancestral birthplace and his chosen

John L. Keogh was born in 1831, in Ireland,
and in 1864 emigrated to the United States, set-
tling in Old Forge, where he became a perma-
nent resident. He was one of the influential
men of the borough in the days when it was a
township, being chosen by his fellow-citizens
auditor, school director, supervisor and justice
of the peace. The last-named office he filled for
about seventeen years. For several years he was
proprietor of a hotel. He married, in Ireland,
Elesia Fallon, a native of that country, and of
the eight children born to them three are living:
Charles J., mentioned hereinafter ; a daughter
who is the wife of H. Snyder and the mother of
five children ; and Ross, who is a tracklayer in
the mines, married Mary Ann Murray. Mrs.
Keogh, the mother of these children, died in
1884, and the father of the family is still living
at the age of seventy-three.

Charles J. Keogh, son of John L. and Elesia
(Fallon) Keogh, was born in 1864, in Ireland,
and the same year was brought by his parents to
the United States. He obtained his education

in the common schools of Old Forge, and at an
early age became engaged in the production of
coal, in which branch of industry he filled various
positions. In 1887 he became the proprietor of
a hotel, and in 1896 erected the Hotel Keogh,
of which he has since been the popular host.
The building is one of the most noticeable on
]\Iain avenue, is equipped with all the latest mod-
em improvements and is conducted in the best
manner and on strictly legal principles. Mr.
Keogh possesses the full confidence of his fel-
low-citizens, and is now serving as a member of
the school board. He is a member of the Ancient
Order of Hibernians and the ]\Iichael Larkin

Mr. Keogh married in 1892, Delia, daugh-
ter of Michael and Delia Joyce, of Old Forge.
Five children have been born to them : Jennie,
Charles, Lawrence, Michael and Marie.

FLEMING F. HUNTER. One of the most
industrious and stirring men of Old Forge bor-
ough is Fleming F. Hunter, a son of John and
Margaret (Boomer) Hunter, natives of Nova
Scotia, where the former was a prosperous
farmer. Of their ten children Fleming F. was
the only one who emigrated to the United States.

Fleming F. Hunter was born in 1834, in
Nova Scotia, and in 1879 emigrated to the
United States. He settled first in New Jersey,
and in 1883 went to Sibley, where he entered the
service of the Sibley Company as fireman. This
position he held for fourteen years, and in i8g8
turned his attention to the ice business. He
carries on an extensive and growing trade, handl-
ing during the season over twelve hundred tons
of ice. This ice is of the best and purest, coming
from the Pocono Mountain, and is the purest
spring-water ice on the market. Mr. Hunter
is the owner of seven teams which the demands
of his business oblige him to keep in constant
use. Since he became a resident of Sibley he
built five houses, a number of which he has sold.

Mr. Hunter married Sophia Hughes, born in
1847. in Wales, but was then a resident of Nova
Scotia, and nine children were born to them, all
but one of whom are now living: John W.,
married a Miss Williams ; Margaret M., Gordon
N., James G., married Edith Rogers ; Herbert
J., Elliott, Robert, and Ira. Mr. Hunter is a
man in whom his neighbors place implicit con-

JOHN B. FISK. One of those worthy and
respected citizens of Lackawanna county whose
names now belong to the past was John B. Fisk,



whose entire life, witli the exception of its earh-
est years, was identified with the history of Ab-
ington township.

John Fisk, one of the sons of Nathan Fisk,
was born in 1786, in Rhode Island, and in 1830
migrated to Pennsylvania, settling in Abington
township, where he bought a large tract of land.
His wife was Polly Franklin, and among their
children was a son, John B., mentioned herein-
after. Mr. Fisk resided continuously in Abing-
ton township until his death, which occurred
in 1862. His memory and that of his excellent
wife are cherished by their descendants and by
their surviving friends.

John B.-Fisk, son of John and Polly (Frank-
lin) Fisk, was born July, 1826, in Rhode Island,
and was but four years of age when brought
by his parents to Abington township. Here he
attended school and at the same time assisted his
father in the labors of the farm. So thoroughly
skilled did he become in every department of
agriculture and so strong was his attachment to
the abode of his ancestors, that in later life he
took entire charge of his father's farming in-
terests and passed his whole life on the home-
stead. i\Ir. Fisk married, July 4, 1850, Cornelia
M., daughter of Calvin and Melia (Tiflfany)
Corse, and four daughters were born to them :
Celestia E. and Celestine A. (twins) ; Jose-
phine, married Levi P. Rice, and is now de-
ceased: and Artless V., who on February 22,
1881, became the wife of Delvin D. Franklin.
Six children were born to them, three of whom
are living: Walter B., salesman in Scranton ;
and Pearl J. and Paul L. (twins). Mr. Frank-
lin, the father, died in 1892.

Mr. Fisk, whose life was in all respects a
blessing to his family, liis friends and the com-
munity at large, passed away in 1861, at the
early age of thirty-five years. His widow then
moved to Dalton, where she purchased the home
in which she resided until her death, which oc-
curred in 1900. Her life was an example of the
domestic virtues. The home is now presided
over by Miss Celestia E. Fisk, and is shared by
her widowed sister, Mrs. Franklin.

HENRY J. SEELY, youngest son of Jacob
and Leah (Keen) Seely, was born in Salem
township. Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, April
1847, in the house in which he now resides,
Avhich was built by his maternal grandfather,
Frederick Keen, in 1837, on ground which was
formerly the property of Nathan Beach, one of
the early settlers of the township, and which

has descended from grandfather to mother, and
from mother to son.

He was reared and educated in his native
township, attended the common schools thereof,
and upon laying aside his school books chose
for himself the career of a farmer as being most
fitting for a man who loves freedom and inde-
pendence. For a number of years he conducted
general farming, his property consisting of one
hundred and twenty-five acres of choice farm
land, but of late years he has turned his attention
principally to dairying, in which he has been
most successful. His large herd of Jersey cows
are not easily surpassed and rarely equalled, and
the produce thereof, being of a superior quality,
finds a ready sale and commands a high figure.
Mr. Seely has always manifested a keen interest
in local affairs, especially along educational
lines, and has held various township offices,
among them being auditor, in which capacity he
is now serving (1905), and for nine consecutive
years he was a member of the school board. He
is a member of the Knights of Malta, and the
Grange, and his political allegiance is given to
the Republican party.

In 1868 Mr. Seely married Mary Seibert,
born in Salem township, 1847, daughter of Reu-
ben and Lydia Seibert, and a descendant of an
old and honored family who were among the
early settlers of Salem township. Their children
are as follows : Reuben, married for his first
wife Anna Clark, who bore him one child, and
for his second wife Mary Pritchard, who bore
him four children. Edwin. Anna H., wife of
George Henry. Fred H., married Fannie Seely.
Harry O. Ella E. Arthur J., married Edith
Henry. Ada M. Frances M., and Laura M.
Mr. Seely and his family are members of the
Lutheran church. A detailed history of the an-
cestors of Mr. Seely will be found in the sketch
of Hon. Philip H. Seely, which appears else-
where in this work.

JOHN W. THORNTON. The coal indus-
try of the Lackawanna Valley has no more ener-
getic and trustworthy representative than John
W. Thornton, of Old Forge. He is the son of
Hall Thornton, who was born in England, and
spent fourteen years in Germany as a mining en-
gineer, having been sent to that country by Eng-
lish capitalists who required his services there.
In 1868 he emigrated to the United States,
where he has had varied experiences as an expert
miner. As a contractor he sunk many shafts,
among them the Roaring Brook shaft, and held



the position of fire boss with the Roaring Brook
Company. At one time he visited British Co-
lumbia, but shortened his stay there on account
of the uncongenial climate. Since his arrival in
this country he has been a resident of Dunmore,
where he still makes his home., despite the fact
that he is now constructing a tunnel at Alanunka
Chunk, New Jersey, for the Delaware, Lacka-
wanna & Western Railway Company. He mar-
ried Barbara Allison, also a native of England,
and their children are : Mary E., John W., men-
tioned hereinafter; Joseph F., Septia M., and
Allison H.

John W. Thornton, son of Hall and Barbara
(Allison) Thornton, was born in 1868, in Ger-
many, and the same year was brought by his par-
ents to the United States. He received his edu-
cation in the common schools of Dunmore, and
his first employment was in a brickyard, where
he gave proof of his willingness to work. His
introduction to the mines was at Troop. He was
at one time in the service of the Fuller Coal
Company as a pumper, but was finally given an
engine. Subsequently he operated an engine for
Mr. Stutler. During five years he was in charge
of pump engines, and now holds the position of
engineer at the William Connell collierv, where
he has served in this capacity for fifteen years.
He also looks after the supplies and has charge of
the fan that supplies fresh air to the mines and
of the compressed air used for drill and pump
work. In 1889 he moved to Old Forge, and in
1896 a well-constructed and comfortable dwell-
ing which he erected for himself and which he
has since made his home testified to his financial
prosperity. He is a member of the Old Forge
school board and has served as its treasurer. The
Knights of Pythias and the Foresters of America
are the fraternal organizations in which he holds

j\Ir. Thornton married, September, 1871, Isa-
bella, daughter of William and Ann Rumford,
natives of England, where their daughter was
born in 1874. Mr. and Mrs. Thornton are the
parents of three children : William H., Allison
H., and Zellma L.

EMORY STONE. In the ranks of those
venerable residents of Lackawanna county who
can look back upon more than half a century of
industrious devotion to their chosen callings and
of faithful service as public-spirited citizens
Emory Stone, of Clark's Green, occupies a fore-
most place. Mr. Stone is descended from New
England ancestors, from whom he has inherited

many of the traits of character which have made
him what he is.

James Stone was born in Rhode Island, and
about 1815 moved to Pennsylvania, making his
home in the Lackawanna Valley. His wife was
Polona Green, also a native of Rhode Island, and
the following children were born to them: Aler-
rit, Lemuel, Robert, Alfred, Emory, mentioned
hereafter ; and Nancy. After the death of his
wife, the mother of these children, Mr. Stone
married Catherine Ackerly, by whom he became
the father of the following children : William H.,
Benirey, Samuel, Eliza A., Melissa, and Milo.
Of these twelve children Emory and Milo are the
sole survivors.

Emory Stone, son of James and Polona
(Green) Stone, was born February 17, 1823, in
North Abington township, and when about
twenty years of age left home and went to Wayne
county, Pennsylvania, where he worked on a
farm for two summers and for twenty-five years
was employed in railroad building. For some
time he had an interest in a tannery. In the
spring of 1863 he sold his propertv in Wayne
county and bought the farm in Lackawanna
county, which has since been his home. He is
the owner of one hundred acres of the finest
farming land in the township, on which he has
erected all the necessary buildings and on which
for many years he carried on a dairy and stock
business. His herd of Jersey cows cannot be
surpassed. The business is now conducted by
two of his sons, Charles and Oscar. For sixty
years Mr. Stone's interest and participation in
public affairs has been unflagging. His first bal-
lot was cast in 1844, when he voted the Whig
ticket. On the birth of the Republican party he
identified himself with it and for many years
labored in its ranks. When Governor St. John
was nominated for president on the Prohibition
ticket Mr. Stone's attention was called to that
movement, and he at once identified himself with
the party pledged to the prohibition of the sale
of into.xicants and warmly advocated its princi-
ples. He has since returned to the ranks of the
Republicans. He and his family are members of
the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he
holds the office of steward.

Mr. Stone married, August 11, 1847, Cather-
ine S. Jusup, and ten children have been born
to them, eight of whom are living : Frank, who
is married and has two children; Gertrude M.,
Eva. wife of Dr. G. Fike and has six children ;
.A.rthur, lives in Scranton, is married and has
two children ; Charles ; Oscar ; Henry, who is in



business in Scranton ; Bertie, resides at home,
is married, and has one child.

Mrs. Stone is the granddaughter of Sylvanus
Jusup, who was a native of New York and one
of the pioneers of Carbondale, where he held the
position of paymaster for the Delaware & Hud-
sen Company. He was a member of the Presby-
terian Church, in which he held the office of dea-
con. His wife was Margaret Stansbury, and
thev were the parents of nine children, one of
whom, a son named Oscar, was the father of
Mrs. Stone. He was a carpenter by trade and
was in the service of the Delaware & Hudson
Company. His children were : Mary A., Sam-
uel, Helen, Julia, Arthur, Hiram, and Catherine
S., who became the wife of Emory Stone, as
mentioned above.

CHARLES D. BELLES. Few of the men
in Lackawanna county now engaged in the pro-
duction of coal are more thoroughly conversant
with their business than is Charles D. Belles, of
Old Forge. Mr. Belles comes of old Pennsylva-
nia stock. His paternal great-grandfather was a
resident of Union township, as was his grand-
father, Anthony Belles. The latter was a farmer
and the owner of two hundred and twenty-five
acres of land. He married Susan Benscoter, a
member of the old families of the county, and
their children were : William, Isaac, Jacob, Shad-
rach A., mentioned hereinafter ; Lucy, Susan A.,
and another who died in early youth.

Shadrach A. Belles, son of Anthony and
Susan (Benscoter) Belles, was born in Union
township, and early in life was engaged in teach-
ing. He subsequently became a successful
fanner, owning about seventy-five acres of good
land. He was active as a citizen and held several
offices, among them those of assessor and school
director. He married Hulda B. Benscoter, also
a native of Union township, and their children
were: Alice (Mrs. Miller). Anna S. (Mrs. Hart-
man), Charles D., mentioned hereinafter; Dora
(Mrs. Arnold), Estella E., Lillian V., a teacher
of some prominence; Edward V., also a well-
known teacher ; and Lucy, deceased. The par-
ents of these children now reside at Shickshinny.

Charles D. Belles, son of Shadrack A. and
Hulda B. (Benscoter) Belles, was born Decem-
ber 24, 1867, in Union township, where he re-
ceived his primary education in the public
schools. Subsequently he took a course in the
International Correspondence School of Scran-
ton. and by reading and observation has become
a thoroughly well-informed man. In early life

he engaged in farming and afterward worked at
the carpenter's trade. Later he entered the serv-
ice of the Lehigh Valley Company, with whom
he remained until 1902. He cannot then be said
to have left them, inasmuch as in that year he
became outside foreman of what was known as
the Lawrence colliery, formerly the William
Connell property, and now operated by the Le-
high Valley Company. They operate one slope,
two tiinnels and a shaft one hundred and ninety-
eight feet deep. Mr. Belles nas entire control of
all the company's property above ground, and
has one hundred and sixty men under his direc-
tion. His administration of the duties of his
office is in the highest degree satisfactory both
to the company and to the men. He has pros-
pered financially and is the owner of a farm of
sixty acres situated in Hornbuck township, Lu-
zerne county. The Improved Order of Red Men
claims him as a worthy member.

Mr. Belles married in 1886, Sophia B., daugh-
ter of Isaac and Margaret Hartman, of Muhlen-
burg, Pennsylvania, and three children have
been born to them : Daisy, a graduate of the
Duryea high school ; Margaret R., deceased, and
Frederick W

Lackawanna county, as is well known, abounds
in enterprisin.g young men, and of this class no
worthier representative can be found than Mau-
rice L. Thomas, of Old Forge. Mr. Thomas
is a typical Welshman, possessing no small share
of the native ability and force of character which
have made his countrymen a power in the Key-
stone state.

David Thomas was born in South Wales and
followed the calling of a miner. In 1882 he emi-
grated to the United States and settled in Win
Run, near Sugar Notch, Luzerne county, Penn-
sylvania. There he was for many years engaged
in contract mining, being particularly experi-
enced in rock work in both shafts and tunnels.
His wife was Maria Maurice, also a native of
South Wales, and eleven children were born to
them, five of whom are living: David, John,
Richard, Thomas, and Maurice L., mentioned
hereafter. Mrs. Thomas, the faithful wife and
mother, passed away in 1901, and her husband,
despite his many years of labor, survives at the
age of eighty.

Maurice L. Thomas, son of David and Maria
( Maurice) Thomas, was born September 27,
1874, in South Wales, and was eight years of age
when brought by his parents to the United States.
In 1890 he entered the service of the Lehigh Val-



lev Railway Company as trainman, a position
which he retained until 1898. In 189.9 ^^ became
conductor for the Wyoming X'alley Traction
Company and in igo2 turned his attention
to the hotel business, in which he has
ever since been engaged. His first venture
was at Duryea, where he remained one
year, moving at the end of that time to Old
Forge, where for another 3-ear he conducted
the Mitchell Hotel. His business career was
interrupted by the Spanish-American war. He
was then a member of the National Guard,
but volunteered for service at the seat of war.
He was transferred to Company D, Ninth Regi-
ment, \^olunteer Infantry, for a term of three
years. He served in this command till the close
of the war, when he was honorably discharged.
In 1904 he became the proprietor of the Babylon
Hotel, which he purchased from John Surber,
its former owner. This is the oldest hotel be-
tween Pittston and Taylor and has been the prin-
cipal stopping-place on that road for over one
hundred years. The present building is spacious
and commodious, and the establishment is well
regulated and extremely popular. Mr. Thomas
is a good citizen, and while living at Win Run
served on the police force. He was at one time
a resident of Wilkes-Barre, during which period
he was a member of the police force of that city,
his post of duty being Music Hall. Subsequently
he became "property man" for the same place, a
position which he held for some time. He is a
member of the Knights of the Golden Eagle, Cas-
tle Xo. 195, and holds the rank of past chief.

FRANK BERGER. Among the foreign-
born citizens of Lackawanna county there is none
more loyal and patriotic than Frank Berger, of
Old Forge. While faithful to his duties as an
adopted American, Mr. Berger has not ceased
to be a true son of his native land across the sea.

Frank Berger, a native of Austria, emigrated
to the United States in 1871, and settled at Price-
burg, Pennsylvania. After remaining there some
time he moved to Old Forge, which is now his
home. He married before leaving his native land
Justina Rudish, and they had children : John,
Amelia, Justina, Fanny, Rudolph, Elvira, and
Frank, mentioned hereafter. Mr. Berger, the
father, is a miner and a truly worthy man.

Frank Berger, son of Frank and Justina
(Rudish) Berger, was born in 1872, in Bohemia,
Austria, and in 1889 emigrated to the United
States. On his arrival in the Lackawanna Val-
ley he became a miner, and for ten years was en-
gaged in the production of coal. During this

time he purchased an attractive home, a fact
which testifies to his financial prosperit}'. In
1901 he engaged in business as a meat-dealer, and
has developed an extensive and profitable
trade. Mr. Berger is extremely popular as a citi-
zen, and in 1904 was elected justice of the peace.
He is a member of the M_vstic Chain and the
Golden Eagle. Mr. Berger married in 1900,
Elvira Reese, a native of Austria, and they have
one child, Freeda M., born September 27, 1904.

Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 102 of 130)