Horace Edwin Hayden.

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

. (page 126 of 130)
Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 126 of 130)
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( Mrs. William L. Watson) ;"Mrs. James P. Mof-
fatt, of Pittston ; Jeanette, deceased ; Alartha,.
wife of James W. Johnson, of New Brunswick,
New Jersev ; John A., of Pittston ; Andrew A., of
Pittston ; CTharles, died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs.
Law were members of the Presbvterian Church.

H. E. H.

CHARLES HENRY COOL, a representa-
tive business man and an exemplary citizen of
Pittston, was born at Beaver I\Ieadow, Carbon
countv, Pennsylvania. January 4, 1839, a son of
William Hoppa and Jane (Lockhart) Cool.

William Hoppa Cool (father) was born in
Warren county. New Jersey, September i, 1808,
died January, 1900, one of ten children — five
sons — John, Abram, Jacob, Andrew and William
Hoppa, and five daughters born to John and Mar-
garet (Decker) Cool, both of whom were na-
tives of New Jersey, the latter being a member of
a familv noted for their great stature, her brothers
having been from si.x feet to six feet and five
inches tall. William Hoppa Cool was the grand-
son of William Cool, who lived and died in New
Jersey, and who was the father of nine children :
Christopher, and four pairs of twins, namely :
Paul and Peter, John and Andrew, Elizabeth and
Marv, and Isaac and Abram. William H. Cool'
came from New Jersey to Conyngham. Pennsyl-
vania, in 1816, and there resided for nine years;
from there he moved to Nescopeck, from there
to Salem, where he was married in 1836 to Jane
Lockhart : from there to Beaver Meadow, where
he resided until 1874, and where his children —
seven in number — were born : from there to West
Pittston, Luzerne county. He was engaged in
the mercantile business in Beaver Meadows for
almo.^t fortv years. In 1855 he purchased a
quarter interest in what was called the Gaylord'
Slope in Plymouth and was interested in the same
until his death. For more than twenty-five
years was engaged in manufacturing powder in
Carbon county, but gave this up before coming to
^Vest Pittston. While a resident in Carbon-
county he was associate judge for many years,
and was always known as "Judge."



6o6



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



Charles H. Cool acquired an excellent educa-
tion in the public schools of Beaver jMeailows. in
the ^V7oming Seminary, which he attended in
1857, and at Crittenden College, Philadelphia,
■from n'hich he was graduated with a business
course. He then entered the employ of Linder-
nian, Skeer & Company, at Stockton, general
mining stores, where he remained four years, then
resigning in order to engage in the manufactur-
ing of powder at Beaver Rleadows, becoming a
member of the firm of C. H. Cool & Brother,
which connection continued for a number of
years. Later he took up his residence in Ply-
mouth, and engaged in the mercantile business
with Robert Boston : in 1873 he came to Pitts-
ton and entered the employ of Benedict Hall &
Company as traveling salesman in the shoe line :
later was engaged in the milling and grain busi-
ness at Pittston for a number of years, now
retired. He is identified with the Wilkes-
Barre Lace Mills, the Gaylord Mines, at Ply-
mouth, and the People's Savings Bank, Pittston,
of which he is a director. He is also a director
of the Anthracite Christian Association, and of
the Young Men's Christian Association, Pitts-
ton ; and of the Children's Home Society of Penn-
sylvania, a state institution for the purpose of se-
curing homes for friendless children, their home
•office being at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. ]\Ir.
Cool is a member of the Presbyterian Church at
West Pittston. He is a Prohibitionist in politics,
and was elected on that ticket to the office of bur-
gess of the town of Plymouth. Mr. Cool is a
man of integrity and unimpeachable character,
firm in his opinions, and bv his daily walk and
conversation has won the esteem of all with whom
he is brought in contact, either in the home, the
office, or in social life.

Mr. Cool was married, October 7, 1868, to
Ruth Karr, who was born on the old homestead
at Almond, New York, May 30, 1847, was edu-
cated at Almond Academy and Alfred Univer-
sity, and has always been actively engaged in
christian work. She is a member of the Presby-
terian Church, and is a staunch advocate of the
cause of temperance, being a member of the Wo-
man's Christian Temperance Union since its or-
ganization, and for many years county president,
making her home headquarters for the organiza-
tion. Their children are as follows : William I.,
born May 20, 1870, died at the age of seven
years. Frank Warren, born October 27, 1.871,
was educated in the public schools of West Pitts-
ton ; the West Pittston high school, of which he
is a graduate ; the Wyoming Seminary, of which



he is a graduate ; and Cornell College, Ithaca,
New York, graduating from the mechanical en-
gineering department in 1896. His office is lo-
cated in Pittston. Robert Lockhart, born No-
vember 21, 1876, died at the age of one year.
Charles Leroy, born May 13, 1880, attended the
same schools as his brother Frank Warren, but
graduated at Cornell, regular course ; he is now
a traveling salesman for the Sterling Varnish
Company, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Willard
Cameron, born August 18, 1891, a student, re-
sides at home.

Joseph Karr, grandfather of Mrs. Charles H.
Cool, was of Scotch descent. The name was ori-
ginally spelled Kerr. He was married to Annie
Lockhart, youngest daughter of James Lockhart.
who came to this country from county Donegal,
Ireland, with his eleven motherless children, his
wife Margaret (White) Lockhart having died
previously. They were all of Scotch ancestry,
having emigrated to Ireland from Scotland, and
were all staunch Presbyterians. Isaiah Karr, the
eldest son of Joseph and Margaret (White)
Karr, and father of Mrs. Charles H. Cool, was
born on the old homestead in what was known
as Karr valley in Almond, Alleghany county,
New York, March 19, 1803. His wife's name
was Julia Ann Ellis, whose grandfather was
Abner Batchellor, a soldier in the Revolutionary
war. Her ancestors were Scotch and English:
One of them, Mary Maxwell, was stolen fron'i
Edinburg, Scotland, by a gypsy and brought to
this country on board a vessel. The captain, be-
ing attached to her, purchased her from the
gypsy and brought her to his home in Boston,
Massachusetts, where he gave her every advan-
tage with his own children. On the maternal
side some of her ancestors were by name New-
ton, relatives of Sir Isaac Newton. They were
all members of the Congregational Church, and
lived and died in Worcester, Massachusetts, ex-
cept her grandmother, Vashta Batchellor, who
became the wife of Jonas B. Ellis, and came tq
Almond, New York, after her marriage. At the
age of eighteen their daughter, Mrs. Cool's
mother, was married to Isaiah Karr and their
familv consisted of six children. The second
child, Saul .S. Karr, participated in the Civil war,
a member of the Eighty-sixth New York Regi-
ment, Third Corps, was taken prisoner and con-
fined in Andersonville, from which he escaped
after nearly a year, during which time he almost
lost his reason. He brought home with him an
artillery flag that was used by the rebels at An-
dersonville, and which he still has in his posses-



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



607



sion. Isaiah Karr and all his family were mem-
bers of the Presbyterian Church, and he took an
active part in the Sunday school, teaching a Bible
class until he was eighty years of age and always
in his place on Sunday. His fifth child, Ruth
Karr, aforementioaed, became the wife of Charles
H. Cool.

WILLL\]M CLIFTON STIFF, J\I. d!
This rising young ph^-sician and veteran of
the Spanish-American war, who is practicing
his profession with gratifying success in
Plymouth, is of Welsh ancestry on the pater-
nal side, and through his mother is of Scotch-
Irish descent. His parents, Charles Wesley
and Maria Beacham (Miller) Stiff, the for-
mer of wdiom was born January 7, 1854, are
natives of Pennsylvania. His grandfather, the
late Robert Stifif, who was a native of Blaen

Avon, Wales, married Elizabeth prior

to his emigration. Dr. Stiff's mother was born
in .\ugust. 1856, daughter of William and

(Beacham) ]\Iiller, the former of

wdiom is of Scotch and the latter of Irish de-
scent. They were the parents of twelve chil-
dren, eight of whom are living, namely : Sa-
rah, Robert, Levi, Swartz, Jane, Maria, who
married Charles W. Stiff ; Alice and James.
The others died in childhood. Charles W. and
Maria ^^'. Stiff, who are now residing in Wyo-
ming, have reared two sons, Robert James,
who was born in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania,
January 5, 1876, and William Clifton, ^I. D.,
the principal subject of this sketch.

William Clifton Stiff was born in Blooms-
burg, May 15, 1879. His preliminary studies,
fiegiin in the public schools of his native town,
were continued in those of Scranton, ^Vyo-
ming and West Pittston, and completed with
a commercial course at Wood's Business Col-
lege in AVilkes-Barre. He then entered the
employ of the Pittston Item as its general
agent, continuing in that capacity until it sus-
pended publication, when he became similar-
ly connected with the Keystone View Com-
pany of Meadville. In April, 1898, he enlisted
as a pri\-ate in the Ninth Regiment, Pennsyl-
vania A'olunteers (see history of Ninth Regi-
ment), Colonel Dougherty, for service in the
Spanish-American war, and was shortly aft-
•erward made corporal of his company. The
Ninth Regiment went into camp at Chicka-
mauga, whence it was subsequently ordered
to Lexington, Kentucky, but did not reach the
seat of military operations as the abrupt term-



ination of hostilities succeeding the capture of
Santiago caused its return to Pennsylvania,
and it was mustered out at Wilkes-Barre on
October 29, 1898. Upon leaving the army
^Ir. Stiff accepted a clerkship in the drug store
of H. T. Gregory in W3'oming, and in the fol-
lowing September went to Philadelphia, where
he was employed for about one year as a drug
clerk by Lewis Sobers at the corner of Nine-
teenth and Fitzwater streets. His professional
preparations were begun in the fall of 1900,
when he matriculated at the Maryland Col-
lege, Baltimore, and at the conclusion of the
freshman term he found an excellent oppor-
tunity for acquiring practical experience by
nursing smallpox patients during the epidemic
of that disease at Larksville, Pennsylvania.
The vacation season of the ensuing year was
devoted to relief work in the Wyoming ^•al-
ley, which was practically a continuation of
his studies, as it enabled him to obtain by close
observation much valuable information rela-
tive to his profession, and resuming his col-
lege work in the fall he took his medical de-
gree with the class of 1903. In June of that
year he successfully passed the required ex-
amination b}^ the Pennsylvania board of med-
ical examiners, and in July he inaugurated his
professional career in Plymouth, where he
found a satisfactory field in which to establish
a reputation, and he has already acquired a
large practice. In addition to the various pro-
fessional bodies with which he affiliates, in-
cluding the Kappa Psi, a (Greek-letter) col-
lege society, he is a member of the Masonic
Lodge in Wyoming, having been made a ]\Ia-
son in 1902. In politics he is a Republican.
(3n Januar}- 14, 1903, Dr. Stiff was mar-
ried to Caroline Gwilliam, of Plymouth, who
was born January 2. 1879, daughter of George
and Annie (Lewis) Gwilliam, both of whom
are of Welsh descent. George Gwilliam is a
son of John (born in 1801) and Elizabeth
(Evan) Gwilliam, whose children are: Han-
nah, died young; Mary Ann, Elizabeth, Car-
oline, Henry, George and Thomas. Annie
Lewis is a daughter of John and Elizabeth
(Bynon) Lewis, the latter born in April, 1830.
and died in Plymouth, May i, 1891. She was

a daughter of and Ann (Zachary)

Bynon, whose children are : Elizabeth, who
married John Lewis; Ann, who married John

Phillips, and , who married

Thomas. John Lewis died in Pottsville, Penn-
sylvania. Elizabeth, his wife, became the



638



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



mother of tliree children, namely: Annie, who
became the wife of George Gwilliam ; Eliza-
beth, who married William R. Evans, and
William Bynon Lewis, who married Jennie
Pritchard. The children of George and An-
nie (Lewis) Gwilliam are: Thomas Franklin,
John Henry, Elizabeth May, Caroline, George
Ellsworth, Samuel, died in infancy; Gertrude
and William. Thomas F. married Ellen Jane
Foster and has two children: Mildred and
Thurlo Foster Gwilliam. Elizabeth May married
Arthur J. Young and her children are: Marion,
Gail Arthur, Hamilton, Clyde, and another who
died in infancy. Caroline is now the wife of
Dr. Stiff. George Ellsworth Gwilliam mar-
ried, July 21, 1904, Gertrude Royce. Dr. and
Mrs. Stiff are members of the Christian
Church, and the doctor has served as assist-
ant superintendent of the Sunday School.

FRANK E. SHiFFER. Few names are
more inseparably identified with the history
and interests of Pittston than that of Shiffer,
Frank E. Shiffer being one of the present rep-
resentatives of the family in that city. He is
a grandson of Jacob Shiffer, who was born
November 17, 1785, came of Pennsylvania
German stock, and died June 20, 1872. His
wife, Mary (Blanchard) Shiffer, of Port
Blanchard, sister of John Blanchard, was born
April 9, 1789, died February 24, 1863. Their
children were John, born August 26, 181 1, died
July 14 1894; Nanc)- (Shift'er) Kennedy, born,
June 13. 1813, died February I, 1888; Elizabeth
( Shiffer) Hollenback, born January 30, 1815, died
October 14, 1849: Gilbert, born January 30, 1817,
died May 21, 1890: Andrew, born March i,
1819, resides in Daleville, Pennsylvania;
jMartha B. (Shiffer) Foote born February 10,
1821, died May 7, 1900; Sarah (Shiffer) Moore,
born November 13, 1822, died March 25, 1878;
Jeremiah B., born November 8, 1825, died April
8, 1899, mentioned hereinafter; Henry, born Au-
gust 2, 1828, died July 9, 1896.

Jeremiah B. Shiffer, fourth son of Jacolj
and Mary (Blanchard) Shiffer, was born No-
vember 8, 1825, in what is now Marcy town-
ship, in a house situated on the back road near
tl^e brick church, between Duryea and Moosic,
not far from the Lackawanna county line.
Owing to the straitened circumstances of his
parents he was obliged to go to work at an
early age. About 1847 he was employed as
a driver by Owen Hughes, afterward a well
known railroad contractor, who built the first
brick house on Brewery hill, Wilkes-Barre.



Mr. Hughes was then operating a coal mine
at Pittston Junction, and Mr. Shiffer drove
the mules that pulled the coal out of the mines.
In 1848 or 1849 the firm of Benedict & Alton
secured control of the mine, retaining Mr. Shif-
fer in his position, and soon promoting him
to be foreman of the mine. He was next ad-
vanced by the firm to the position of clerk in
their company store, of which he ultimately
became general manager. April 8, 1851, he
started for California in company with four
others from the same neighborhood. They
made the overland trip in the old-time "prairie
schooners." the journey occupying many days,,
and being throughout of a trying and thrill-
ing character. Mr. Shiffer remained in the
gold fields until January, 1855, when he re-
turned to Pittston, temporarily broken down
in health. In April, 1856. he formed a part-
nership with his brother-in-law, T. B. Lance,,
and entered into the general mercantile busi-
ness by buying out Isaac and M. L. Everett.
The firm conducted business until 1862, when
the ]3artnership was dissolved by Mr. Shiffer's-
witlidrawal. The Civil war was then at its
height, and for several years he served as
L^nited States deputy marshal in the Pittson
section, having been appointed by President
Lincoln. Soon after the close of the war he
entered into partnership with R. D. Lance, of
West Pittston, and the firm dealt extensively
in coal lands, and also operated mines. They
were extremely successful, and the partner-
ship was maintained during the remainder of
Mr. Shiffer's life. He was also the owner of
very valuable coal estates, and was part own-
er of the Keystone Hall block in Pittston. His
own residence, surrounded by spacious
grounds, where he lived for twenty years pre-
vious to his death, was one of the most beau-
tiful in the city. He was one of the chief pro-
moters and organizers of .the Water Street
Bridge Company, had the present building
erected and was a director and former treas-
urer of the company. He was a promoter of
manjf successful business ventures, not only
in Pittston, but throughout the country and
the Lfnited States ; was a director of the Peo-
ple's Bank, of Pittston, and was its president
at the time of his death. Lender the adminis-
tration of Presidents Hayes, Garfield and Ar-
thur he served two full terms as postmaster
of Pittston. In politics he was always an ar-
dent Republican, taking an active part in local
and general affairs.

Mr. Shiffer married, February 26. 1S56,.



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



609



Almedia B. Lance, daughter of Jacob and
Anzenith Lance, and sister of T. B. Lance,
the well known insurance agent of Pittston.
Their family consisted of three children :
Frank E., born November 29, 1857, mentioned
hereinafter ; Will A., born August 20, 1863,
was clerk in the People's Bank, of Pittston,
until July, 1899, and Gertrude A., born Jan-
uary 24, 1866, wife of Eugene Healey, of Scran-
ton. April 8, 1899, Mr. Shiffer, then in feeble
health, was accidentally knocked down and
run over by a wagon while crossing the princi-
pal street of Pittston, surviving the shock not
more than a quarter of an hour. The manner
of his death caused universal excitement, and
the regret for his loss was deep and wide-
spread, as it was felt by all that a man and a
citizen, in all respects invaluable had passed
away.

Frank E. Shiffer, son of Jeremiah B. and
Almedia B. (Lance) Shiffer, was born No-
vember 29, 1857, in Pittston. He was edu-
cated in the common schools of his native city
and at Wyoming Seminary, Kingston. In
1877 he became a clerk in the Pittston post-
office, wher^ he remained eight years, after
which he was four years associated with his
father. He then served as assistant postmas-
ter for a term of four years, and in 1895 be-
came a clerk in the insurance office of Thomas
B. Lance, remaining there until 1901. In that
year he formed a partnership with his broth-
er, Will A., under the firm name of Thomas
B. Lance & Company, insurance agencies and
oils (coal oil), and is still actively engaged in
the business. He is a Republican in politics,
and he and his family attend the Presbyterian
Church, of which his wife is a member.

Mr. Shiffer married, September 10, 1891,
Esther Brj-den, who was born October 20,
1866, daughter of James A. and Margaret
(Young) Bryden, the former named having
been born August 7, 1833, killed by an explo-
sion of gas, September 10, 1894, and the latter
born January 18. 1843. James A. Bryden was
for a number of years superintendent of the
Pennsylvania Coal Company ; he was a broth-
er of A. A. Bryden, president of the Miners'
Bank, of Pittston. Three children were born
to Mr. and Mrs. Shiffer: Charlie Lance, born
May 12. 1892; Robert B., born April 8, 1894;
and Frank E., Jr., born August 27, 1902.

H. E. H.

ROBERT GERE BENNETT, a repre-
sentative business man of West Pittston, pro-
2-39



prietor of the bindery established and con-
ducted for many years by his father, is a na-
tive of Gibson, Susquehanna county, Pennsyl-
vania, born May 10, 1862, son of Horace Dud-
ley and Eveline Huldah (Chandler) Bennett,
and grandson of Charles and Sarah (JNIaxon)
Bennett.

Charles Bennett (grandfather) was a na-
tive of Connecticut, and a representative on
the maternal side of a (Holland) Dutch de-
scent. His parents were very religious, being
devout Methodists, and they reared their chil-
dren, who were Luke, John, Charles, Loren,
Rachel and Julia, in the way they should go.
The father of Charles Bennett was a farmer
and he conducted his operations in Connecti-
cut, also in Gibson, Pennsylvania, where he
was among the early settlers. Charles Ben-
nett pursued the occupations of farmer and
shoemaker, achieving a certain degree of suc-
cess in both lines. He moved from Gibson
to South Gibson in 1864, and in 1881 to West
Pittston, where the remainder of his days were
spent. He was a class leader in the Methodist
Church at South Gibson, and a Republican in
politics. He married Sarah Maxon, who bore
him three children, namely : Eveline, de-
ceased, was the wife of Alexander Dunn and
the mother of Henry D. and Truman D. Dunn.
Horace Dudley, mentioned hereafter. Tru-
man D., deceased, whose wife, Sarah (Wells)
Bennett, bore him one child, Daisy, who mar-
ried Samuel Sloat, now deceased, and had
Bessie, Ethel, and two other children now de-
ceased.

Horace Dudley Bennett (father) was born-
May 14, 1831, in Gibson, Pennsylvania. He
was reared on a farm, and his early life was
spent in assisting with the duties thereof and
attending the public schools. Later he learned
the art of bookbinding under the supervision
of Rev. W. B. Thomas, a Methodist minister,
who came to this country from England.
Horace D. Bennett remained on the home-
stead farm up to 1864, when he moved to South
Gibson and entered mercantile business, con-
ducting a general store up to 1876, when he
engaged in bookbinding, which line of busi-
ness he followed successfully until 1885, when
he disposed of the business to his son, Robert
Gere, who is now conducting the same. Mr.
Bennett then engaged in the grocery busi-
ness, and the large measure of success which
has come to him in these various enterprises
is due directly to his capability and efficiency.
He served in the capacity of chief of police



6io



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



of'Wesi Pittston for one year, discharging his
duties to the satisfaction of all law-abiding
■citizens. He has always taken an active in-
terest in church work, and was appointed to
fill the office of recording steward of the Meth-
odist Episcopal Church at South Gibson, and
has filled a similar office, also treasurer in the
church at West Pittston for the past twelve
years. He is one of the representative resi-
dents of West Pittston. He was united in
marriage to Eveline Huldah Chandler, who
bore him five children : Maurice Eugene, re-
sides at Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania ; he mar-
ried Frona Schrader, and their children are :
Leon Payne and Sarah Bennett. Caroline
Adelia, resides in West Pittston. Robert
Gere, mentioned hereinafter. Vinza Lavelle, died
August 3, 1884, in West Pittston, and his
remains were interred in the cemetery there.
Mary Evelyn, resides in West Pittston.

Robert Gere Bennett was educated in the
public schools of South Gibson, whither his
parents removed when he was two and a half
years old, and later he pursued advanced stud-
ies in West Pittston high school and Blooms-
burg Normal school. In 1876 he began the
active duties of life by entering his father's
bindery, and he there became familiar with all
the details of the trade, becoming thoroughly
proficient in all branches, so that in 1885,
when he purchased the business from his
father, he was fully competent to manage the
same. He has borne a full share in the pro-
motion of community interests, and is the ar-
dent supporter of all institutions which will
benefit humanity in general. He has taken a
keen interest in political affairs, and has served
on the election board from 1883 up to the pres-
ent time (1905), judge of elections three years,
inspector fifteen years, borough treasurer for
the last three years, and also serving in that
capacity at the present time, and treasurer of
the West Pittston Poor District, this being the
fourth year. His political allegiance is given
to the Republican party. He is a member and
steward of the Methodist Episcopal Church of
West Pittston, also librarian of the Sunday
school connected therewith, and member of
church choir for twenty-two years. He be-
longs to Gohonta Lodge, No. 314, Pittston,
and Gohonta Encampment, No. 96, Independ-
ent Order of Odd Fellows ; and Pittston Cas-
tle, No. TJ, Knights of the Golden Eagle.

Mr. Bennett married, in Pittston, Penn-
sylvania, April 20, 1893, Ida INIay Snowdoh,
daughter of Cuthbert and Ann (Nicholson)



Snowdon, of Pittston, Pennsylvania, who came
thither from their home in England. Cuth-
bert Snowdon was a soldier in the Civil war,



Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 126 of 130)