Horace Edwin Hayden.

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

. (page 130 of 130)
Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 130 of 130)
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Pennsylvania, but who moved to Plymouth,
Pennsylvania, in 1865. where i\Ir. Major fol-
lowed coal mining. He was born in Reading,
Pennsylvania, April 8, 1813, a son of Benjamin
^Major, of Reading, once sheriff. i\Ir. and Airs.
jNIajor were the parents of the following chil-
dren: Sarah, born January 4, 1841, became the
wife of William Rehrig, now deceased, and
their children were: Agnes and Missouri. She
married for her second husband Owen Jones.
Alary, born January 25, 1845, became the wife
of George Tanner, issue : Mellon, William, Har-
riet, Ellen, Elizabeth, Sarah, George, Amanda,
Fanny, ^Missouri, and one who died in infancy.
Harriet Elizabeth born August 4, 1849, above
mentioned as the wife of Robert E. Stiff. Mellon
David, born June 30, 1854, married Mary Fine,
issue : Harriet and Mary. Alice, born Alay,
1857, became the wife of Thomas Reed, issue:
Albert, deceased ; Mellon, George, deceased ;
Orion, and William. Amanda, born April 8,
1861, became the wife of John Pickett, issue,
David AI. Harriet (Knapp) Alajor, born De-
cember 20, 1822, was a daughter of Peter and
Joanna (Keiser) Knapp, of New Jersey. The
Knapp line is descended from Pennsylvania
stock, and the Keiser line from an old Holland
line of ancestry. The father of Joanna Keiser
was a soldier in the revolutionary war, and Peter
Knapp was a private in the war of 1812, and
three of his sons participated in the civil war.
The children of Peter and Joanna Knapp were
as follows : Harriet, above mentioned as the
wife of David Major. Alark died in infancy.
Henry. Ann, who became the wife of Stephen
O. Rider. Nathan, who married Katherine Shu-
man, issue : Ulysses Grant, Alargaret and
Nathan. Mary, deceased, was the wife of Abra-
ham Shuman and mother of six children. Nel-
son, who married Barbara Lewis, issue : Rinaldo,
Elmer, Annie, Sarah, Lizzie. Nelson, John, Sam-
uel, [Missouri, deceased; and Peter, deceased.
David, who died young. Peter, who married
Amanda Knecht, issue : Clark, deceased ; Sarah,
Lillie, and Earl.


"Robert E. Stiff — our comrade — died of pa-
ralysis January 14, 1896, aged fifty-six ■ years.

eleven months and six days. He was born in
Chester county, Pennsylvania, February 3, 1840,
and when six months old returned to England
with his parents. His mother died there and his
uncle adopting him, he returned with him at the
age of six vears to the United States. He lived
with Vastiiie Boone below Bloomsburg for seven
vears, then at Mt. Pleasant with James Boone.
Afterwards he made his home below Catawissa
with his sister, Airs. David Evans. He was
working in the Danville Rolling Mills when the
civil war broke out, and enlisted in the Eighth
Cavalry, and then re-enlisted in Company F,
Twelfth Regiment, Volunteer Cavalry, as a pri-
vate. He was at the battle of Bristow Station,
August 22, 1862, Manassas, South Mountain and
Andetam, 1862: in 1863 at the battles and skir-
mishes at Strasburg, Jane Lieu, Winchester. AIc-
Connelsburg. Pennsylvania, and Tomahawk : m
1863 at Alaryland Line two hundred cavalry were
captured, six hundred and forty-eight prisoners,
five hundred horses and nniles. three brass twelve
pounders, and one hundred and twenty-five wag-
ons without the loss of a man. In 1864 he partic-
ipated in the battles of Bolivar, Frederick City,
Alonocacv Bridge, Winchester and Charlestown.
He was the last man to cross the Potomac in July,
1864, when driven back, the shells from Ft. Dun-
can having cut the pontoon bridge loose from
Harper's Ferry.

The longest ride he had on one feed was from
Harper's Ferry to Cedar Creek, just before the
battle of Cedar Creek. Just before the battle of
Gettysburg the whole regiment was captured ex-
cept two hundred troopers with General Alelroy,
who cut their way out of Point of Rocks to
Chambersburg. They went right into Gettys-
burg at the time of the battle. In the battle
against the advancing lines of the Confederates
our comrade had a horse shot under him as he
was crossing the stone wall that separated the
opposing forces. He fell under his horse. A
shell from the Confederate battery struck the
wall, the debris blinded his eyes and wounded
him, leaving him badly ruptured, bleeding and

"When he came to consciousness he found
himself in the Hagerstown Hospital with the
Hagerstown physician ministering to him and
sonie kind friend volunteering as nurse. Thus
bv a kind providence and the ministry of human
hands and love he lived to return home and tell
the storv of his perils and conflicts. He was dis-
charged July 20, 1865. and when he returned



home he joined the i\Ietho(hst Episcopal church
of Plymouth, having in his youth joined the
Methodist Episcopal church in Light street, Phil-
adelphia. Sober, honest, upright and industri-
ous, he died as he had lived. He said before his
death, 'The Lord was always with me. He raised
me up friends when in my youth my mother was
taken from me. He preserved me in the battles
and skirmishes of the late war and kept me to this
dav.' We can say of him as of our great National
Hero : 'Life's race well run. Life's work well
•done — now comes rest.' " H. E. H.

ROBERT ROBINSON, deceased, was one
■of the most conspicuously useful and honored of
the voung business men of Scranton. Not thirty
years old when he passed away, he had already
taken a foremost place in commercial and finan-
cial circles, had rendered honorable service in
municipal affairs, and in the many fraternal and
social organizations with which he was affiliated
was held in peculiar affection for his many ex-
cellencies of personal character. Such was his
character and position that the future held out for
liim most auspicious assurances, and the all too
early closing of his career, unexpected as it was,
came upon the community with a deep sense of
irreparable loss.

Mr. Robinson was a native of the city of
Scranton, born December i8, 1869, son of Philip
and Mina (Schimpff) Robinson. His ancestry
and parentage are referred to in the sketch of
his brother, Edmund J. Robinson, also deceased,
to be found on another page. He was educated
in the city schools, but his ambition and industry
as a reader and observer furnished him a men-
tal equipment for superior to that afforded by
mere scholastic training. He entered upon an
active career at an unusually earlv age, when
only fourteen years old taking employment as a
clerk in the insurance office of C. G. Boland. He
was afterward a bookkeeper in the Merchants'
and Mechanics' Bank for a period of three years,
and left that institution to take an active part in
the management of the large brewing business of
T\I. Robinson & Company. Known as one of the
most progressive and capable business men of the
city, his qualities quickly found recognition bv
the community at large, and his calling to official
life at a remarably early age affords abundant
evidence of his abilities, his worth, and the con-
fidence reposed in him bv the people of the city
In which he was horn and reared. He had barelv
attained his majority when ke was elected to

the common council, and during his two years
term rendered efficient service as a member of
various of its most important committees. A
warm advocate of municipal improvements, he
aided so ably in promoting the interests of the
community that on the expiration of his term he
was re-elected in 1893 for another two years
term. At the expiration of the first year, how-
ever, he resigned in order to accept nomination
for a seat in the board of select councilmen, to
which he was elected by a flattering vote. Again
in 1896 he was re-elected to succeed himself, and
he was yet occupying that position when death
called him away. The youngest member of the
select council, and one who had been continu-
ally in the public service from the day he was
qualified by age to enter thereupon, he was rec-
ognized as one of the most progressive, energetic
and able public servants, and among the first of
the public-spirited men of the city. A man of
great originality and firmness of character, he
made a deep impression upon all with whom he
was brought in contact, whether in a business,
official or social capacity. Unobtrusive, and rather
cjuiet of manner, he was deliberate in arriving at
conclusions, but when his opinion was once
formed it was so well founded in intelligence and
conscientiousness that he was stalwart in its
maintenance. Active, industrious, capable and
honest, in his official as well as in his personal
business relations, he shirked no duty and per-
formed the most arduous duties with cheerful
alacrity. So firm fixed was he in inherent hon-
esty and practical faithfulness to duty that no
colleague ever thought of questioning the mo-
tives which actuated him, and his approval or
disapproval of a measure or course of action was
sufficient to draw tci his side, on many occasions,
those who were halting or uncertain. There were
instances where he was obliged to differ from
those about him, and these, if not convinced of
the feasibility of that which he favored, in no
case attributed to him other motives than those
founiled in honor. A Democrat in politics, he
maintained the principles of his party with con-
fidence and dignity, yet never disparaging or
questioning the honesty of those whom he felt it
his duty to oppose.

Mr. Robinson was actively identified with
various commercial and financial institutions in
Scranton. He was also a prominent member of
the leading local fraternal and social organiza-
tions — Schiller T^odge, No. 34^, Free and Ac-
cepted IMasons; Nay Aug Tribe, Improved

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Order of Red Meii; Camp No. 430, Patriotic
Order Sons of America : Electric City Coun-
cil, Royal Arcanum ; the Scranton Athletic Club,
of which he was treasurer; the Scranton Saeng-
erbund ; Crystal Hose Company ; and the Fif-
teen Friends' Club.

Mr. Robinson passed away on the eve of
Christmas Day. 1898. His illness was so brief
that to all except nearest friends the announce-
ment of his untimely death was the first intima-
tion that he was not occupied with his accus-
tomed business and official duties as was his
wont. The funeral took place from the family
home, and was attended by hundreds of the
friends of the deceased, including representative
men of every v/alk in the life of the city. It
was said by many that the attendance was the
largest in the knowledge of the community upon
such an occasion. The floral tributes were most
profuse, and of exquisite beauty, from all the
Irodics with which the deceased had been con-
nected, as well as from individual friends. The
services were conducted by the Rev. W. A.
Nordt, pastor of the Hickory Street Presbyter-
ian Church, assisted by the Rev. James Hughes,
and the hymns were touchingly sung by a sex-
tette from the Scranton Saengerbund. The re-
mains were followed to the Pittston Avenue
Cemetery by a large procession, including" every
city official and member of councils and board
of control, and the various societies to which the
deceased had been attached in life. The last
rites at the grave were performed after the im-
pressive and time-honored ritual of the Masonic

The tributes to the worth of the departed
were many and fervent. Said one of the local
newspapers : "\MiiIe he was a member of a just-
ly prominent familv which for many decades has
been identified with the best aspirations of the
city, yet he possessed in himself attributes which
were sterling in quality and interesting in anal-
ysis. Appreciation mourns, and all who respect
unaffected modesty and instilled integrity will
Hnger as a tribute of esteem to him who sleeps
under the sod. The select council lield a special
session, at which were adopted resolutions pre-
sented by Hon. John E. Roche, testifying to the
pleasant and intimate relations which deceased
held to that body, to his usefulnesss as an official
and his worth as a man. Similar expressions
were voiced bv the various fraternal and social
bodies with which the deceased had been con-

Mr. Robinson left to mourn his loss, one
child ; his deeply bereaved mother ; two brothers,
Philip and Otto ; and a sister, Magdelina.

JAMES CONNELL was born in April,
1822, at Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. His
father was a native of Aberdeenshire, Scotland,
who left home very early in life and shipped
aboard an English vessel as cabin boy, visiting
many foreign ports during his cruises, and final-
ly coming to Nova Scotia, where he sought em-
ployment on a farm. He belonged to a good
old Scotch fam.ily. One of his uncles was a
Presbyterian minister, and from what was known
of his people they were possessed of singular
force of character and intelligence. Ex-Con-
gressman William Connell was the second son
in the family of three, of which James was the
eldest. Their mother, Susan Melvin, was of
Irish descent, with an admixture of French, and
both parents were devoutly religious in a com-
inunity where religion was a most important fac-
tor, for in this land of Acadia, even the In-
dians at the time of Mr. Connell's boyhood, were
devoted Catholics who held meetings in their
birch-bark tents pitched on the shores of Bras
D'Or Lake. Air. Connell's parents were Protest-
ants. There were no public schools in Sydney,
and the only means of education afforded the
children was established bv the English mining
company and sustained by assessment of the min-
ers. There was no railroad, and the postage on
a letter cost a dollar. The people lived a life
of simplicity and toil, literally in the "Forest

James Connell worked with his father in the
mines for a number of years, when mining was
conducted in the most primitive fashion. The
pumping and hoisting of coal were carried on
bv means of one-horse power, and the man who
afterward became congressman used to drive
the horse which furnished the power for the
mine, while his elder brother worked below the
surface in digging the coal from the earth.
James became dissatisfied, and, hearing of the
possibilities to be attained in the Pennsylvania
coal fields, came to the Schuylkill region about
1840, later persuading his parents to remove the
family thither. They started on their voyage in
a little sailing vessel and were eighteen days
reaching New York City. From there they went
to Perth Amboy, New Jersey, on another sail-
ing vessel, and then took a railroad, the rails of
which were made of wood, later boarding a



Reading train in which the seats were planks
running alongside the car. They took up their
residence in Pottsville, the father and his two
sons going to work in the mines. This was be-
fore the days of coal breakers, when the huge
lumps were broken by hand on a cast-iron plate
punctured with square holes through which the
]3ieces were hammered. All the labor about the
mine was of the very hardest type, and in its
many departments James Connell served ap-

He married Jessie English in December,
1846, in the little mining town of Llewellyn,
Pennsylvania. His wife was the daughter of
Thomas English, of Sydney, Cape Breton. Her
mother was May Frazier, who belonged to a
distinguished Scottish family closely related to
the Stuarts, and who was an heiress of wealth
in, those times. Misfortune, however, pursued
the sailing vessel in which her fortune was sent
to the new country, and it was lost with all
on board.

James Connell and his family came to Scran-
ton in the early sixties, and even at that time
had begun to lay the foundations of the great
wealth which the three brothers amassed in the
coal business. They lived at Minooka, now on
the outskirts of Scranton, some years subsequent
removing to the handsome home on Clay avenue
now occupied by Hon. W. L. Connell. Mr. and
Mrs. James Connell had ten children, five of

v,diom lived to attain maturity. They were :
James Alexander, now the foremost physician of
this region; Edgar, born in 1858, died in 189 — ;
Harry A., whose jewelry establishment is the
oldest house of the kind in Scranton ; William
Lawrence, ex-mayor of Scranton, president of
the Board of Conciliation for the settlement of
the difference between anthracite operators and
miners ; and Miss Jessie Grant Connell, the only
daughter, who is identified closely with the re-
ligious and charitable work of the city.

James Connell, who continued to be prom-
inently connected with the coal business in which
he and his brothers were engaged, died Alarch
28, 1878, deeply mourned and regretted by all
who knew him. Of a most amiable and lovable
disposition, Mr. Connell was idolized! by his
family, in which he was a favorite companion of
his children. His wife, who is deceased, was a
woman of remarkable personality, strong and
fine and true; one who enjoyed the respect of
.the community and the singularly strong devo-
tion of her children, who looked upon their gra-
cious mother with her dignity, reserve and
strength of character, much as they would have
regarded a saint. Her children, who occupy a
prominent place in the community, reflect credit
on their name and race. They have set a beau-
tiful memorial window in Elm Park Church in
grateful remembrance of their parents.


8 -

Bookbinding I

; Grantville. PA '

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