Horace Edwin Hayden.

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

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hearing nothing but the incessant chip, chip,
ehipping of the particles of coal, peculiar in mine
"squeezing." Returning, they noticed as they
passed the fallen bridge that the whitewashed
wall built across the "cross-cut" under the air-
way had turned black since the fall. Lavin was
in advance, while Nicol, with the other men, were
near together, undreaming of danger. One of
the men raised his lamp, and an explosion oc-
curred. It was for a moment only, but it left
them with lights extinguished, themselves burned
and bleeding, their woolen clothes smouldering, a
mile and a quarter away from the foot of the
shaft, where alone they could hope for reaching
the surface. Mr. Nicol instantly realized that no
aid could come to them, for their plight was not
discoverable. Regardless of his own physical
anguish, he felt that the men were under his
charge, and he must rescue them. He plucked
the flaming clothing from off his companions
until he had burned the skin entirely from his
own hands, and, when he could no longer endure
the agony of grasping the scorching garments,
he tore them awav with his teeth, until his mouth



and face were raw and bleeding. Then he led
the long walk of more than a mile through the
dense darkness, guiding himself by sliding his
foot along the rail. He urged them forward with
his entreaties and prayers, and time and again
they bade him leave them there to die. and make
his own escape, but he would not. Still he kept
them slowly groping on, and when one of the
poor fellows sank down, utterly exhausted, Nicol
dragged him by the coat collar all the remainder
of the way, his head rubbing against the rib until
the scorched flesh was rubbed from the bone.
The foot of the shaft was finally reached, and the
men drawn up.

It is pitiful to think that after such heroic
effort the savior of these men should meet with
so sad a fate. He gave the last full measure of
devotion in all unconscious heroism, when, after
he and his companions had been drawn out into
heaven's sweet sunshine, he thought not of him-
self until all his men had been cared for and taken
to their homes. Thither he then went also, but
he would not take to his bed until three days
later, when exhausted nature asserted herself
and collapse came. All that surgical skill and
tender loving care could do was done. The ex-
ternal wounds apparently healed well, and a
new growth of skin came upon his face and
hands. While he seemed to be improving phvsi-
cally, he failed mentally. The shock and strain
had been too great, and his mind wandered. It
became evident that the burns in his ears had in-
duced inflammation of the brain. And so he
lingered until September 14, but three weeks
after the dread disaster, when he passed away,
the fourth victim, three of his men having died
before him.

September 17th occurred the funeral of this
noble hero. A drenching rain fell at the time, as
though nature herself were grieved. All the
Delaware & Hudson collieries and many others
throughout the Lackawanna and Wyoming val-
leys suspended for the day, and nearlv all the
colliery officers in the neighborhood came to tes-
tify to their admiration and affection for the dead
man. The pallbearers were eight of the oldest
mine foremen in the Delaware & Hudson Com-
pany's employ. The services were conducted by
the Rev. J. H. Amies, of All Souls' LTniversalist
Church, of Scranton. assisted bv the Rev. N. F.
Stahl, of the Green Ridge Avenue Presbyterian
Church. Mr. Amies delivered a deeply alYecting
discourse and during its delivery there were few
in the great concourse who could hear it but were
visiblv affected. An eve witness said : "Strong



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



83



•men, whose avocations were such as to make
4hem famihar with scenes o^ death and suffer-
ing, were not ashamed to be seen wiping tears
from their eyes under the stress of tlie deep emo-
tion they felt in consigning to the tomb all that
remained of Andrew B. Nicol. In the truest
sense of the word, 'He was a j\lan.' "

"His was a brave.noble, manly character. In-
tensely earnest in his life s work, he was com-
pletely absorbed in it. He was known from one
•end of the valley to the other and universally
liked and respected. He leaves a gap in the af-
fairs of the company that it will be very difficult
to close. He was a devoted, loving husband, a
tender afifectionate father, a dutiful, obedient
•son a warm-hearted brother. He leaves a widow
and three small children a daughter and two sons,
' .to mourn his loss. The deadly foe against which
he had all his life battled was victorious at last ;
but in mining annals of the Lackawanna Yalley
the heroism and high personal courage of An-
■•drew B. Nicol will not soon be forgotten."

Mr. Nicol married Miss Alice H. Brown,
daughter of Orville Brown, of New York state.
Of this marriage were born three children, all of
whom received excellent education and now oc-
cupy useful stations in life. Agnes is an instruc-
■,tor in the electrical department of the Scranton
International Correspondence School. George

B. is in the emplov of the Delaware and Hudson
Coal Company as foreman in the Marvine col-
liery. Roy A. is engaged in the office of the pay-
master of the same corporation. All the children
reside with their mother in the old family home.

HON. FRANK J. GROVER. The true
worth of any man cannot be fully expressed until
his personal influence and example have ceased
their fruitage, but the indirect influence of a man's
personality and the good name which he leaves
as an inheritance to those who succeed him lives
on into the realm of the coming ages. Indeed a
great man never dies, but lives in the hearts of
those who, through the medium of history and
biography, read and study his deeds of valor and
munificence. So it is with Hon. Frank J. Groven
whose death on Januarv 16, 1899, was mourned
by a wide circle of friends who appreciated him at
his true value.

He was born in Northampton county, Penn-
sylvania, June 20, 1845. a son of Jacob and Mary

C. (Fenner) Grover, natives, respectively, of Le-
high and Monroe counties, Pennsylvania, who
were the parents of two children, Frank J. having
been the only one who attained years of maturity.
Jacob Grover (father) died in 1882, and his



widow passed away some years later. Frank J.
Grover received a practical education in the dis-
trict school, and when but a youth of seventeen
years, filled with a patriotic ambition to serve his
country in her hour of need, he enlisted in her
defense in July, 1862, becoming a member of
Company D, One Hundred and Fifty-third Regi-
ment, Pennsylvania Infantry. With his regiment
he was assigned to the Eleventh Corps and parti-
cipated in the battles of Dumries, Chancellors-
ville and Gettysburg. At Chancellorsville the
regiment was on the extreme right where Stone-
wall Jackson attacked, taking many prisoners.
On the first day at Gettysburg it occupied the
same position, the extreme right, and lost two
hundred and eleven men out of five hundred and
forty-five. When General Lee retreated, Mr.
Grover and seventy-five others were on the skirm-
ish line and advanced, being the first to search the
houses. He entered a house and found a rebel
sharpshooter whom he took prisoner and marched
to headquarters on the square. For meritorious
conduct in this engagement he was promoted to
be sergeant. His grandfather served in the War
of 1812, and his great-grandfather in the Revolu-
tion.

At the close of the war ^Nlr. Grover received
an honorable discharge, and after returning to his
home entered the Allentown Seminary, and later
graduated from Eastman's Business College at
Poughkeepsie, New York. On the completion of
his studies, he became timekeeper and paymaster
for his father, who was a railroad builder and
contractor. When his father purchased a farm
and retired from railroading, Frank J. took up
the business of contracting and lumbering. In
1 88 1 he came to Lackawanna county, settling at
Mcosic, and there he established a large lumber
business, from which he derived a goodly income.
He was chosen to represent his district in the
legislature of 1895-96, and during his term ren-
dered efficient service on the military, iron and
coal, legislative and apportionment committees.
While serving in the army Mr. Grover cast his
first vote for Abraham Lincoln, and ever after ad-
vocated the principles of the Republican party.

Mr. Grover was a member of Grand Army
Post, No. 450. He held the position of com-
mander, and represented his post in the depart-
ment encampment every year from its organiza-
tion until his death. For almost thirty years he
was a member of Porter Lodge, No. 284, Free
and Accepted Masons, and in 1877 vvas elected
worshipful master of the lodge. He was also
chosen as representative to the grand lodge. He
was a member of Allen Commandery, No. 20,



84



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



Knights Templar ; Keystone Consistory, of
Scranton ; and Irem Temple, Nobles of the
Mystic Shrine, of Wilkes-Barre. He was a
worthy member of the Patriotic Order of Sons
of America, and of the Society of the Army of
the Potomac.

On September lo, 1867, Mr. Grover was
united in marriage to Jennie E. Worden, daugh-
ter of Harvey L. and Ann E. (Manning) Wor-
den. of Poughkeepsie, New York. One child,
Herbert F., was the issue of this union, and his
death on May 30, 1880, when almost ten years of
age, was the only drawback to their happiness.
Harvey L. and Ann E. (Manning) Worden, na-
tives of Ulster county, New York, were the par-
ents of ten children — three sons and seven daugh-
ters. Two sons and one daughter ( Mrs. Grover)
survive. All of the deceased daughters left fam-
ilies. One of the sons, Levi E. Worden, repre-
sented his district two terms in the legislature of
New York state, and is now (1904) serving his
third term as superintendent of the poor at
Rensselaer City, New York. Another son, George
S. Woirden, was a carpenter and farmer, but is
now living retired in Rensselaer City, New York.

THOMAS B. JACKSON. Genealogical re-
search and contemporary biography have a dis-
tinct and unequivocal value, and we of this
twentieth century democratic type cannot afford
to hold in light esteem the bearing up of an es-
cutcheon upon whose fair face appears no sign of
blot, and he should be the more honored who
honors a noble name and the memory of noble
deeds. The lineage of the subject of this sketch
is of a distinguished and interesting order on both
the paternal and maternal sides, and no apology
need be made in reverting to this in connection
with the individual record of the subject himself^
who is one of the honored citizens of Scranton,
whose thirtieth ward he represents as alderman,
while he had long been a member of the city coun-
cil before being chosen incumbent of his present
office.

The annals of the old Keystone State estab-
lish the fact that the Jackson family was among
the earliest to be founded within its confines, and
it is interesting to record that the property which
was deeded to the original ancestors by William
Penn is still in the possession of their descend-
ants. The historic battle of the Brandywine, dur-
ing the War of the Revolution, was waged on land
owned by a great-uncle of our subject. The
Jackson family traces its lineage back to the fine
old Scotch extraction, and many representatives
of the name have attained distinction in connection



with the civic, industrial, professional and public
affairs of America, the well known Confederate
general "Stonewall" Jackson, having been a scion
of the same branch to which Thomas B. belongs.
In the maternal line the genealogy of Mr. Jack-
son is also of notable order, as his mother is a
direct descendant from one of the families of the
nobility in England, her grandfather having
been a member of the house of lords, while her
family, that of Brinton, was likewise founded int
Pennsylvania in the colonial era of our national
history.

Mr. Jackson was born in Kennett Square,.
Chester county, Pennsylvania, March 10, 1846,
and is a son of Caleb and Letitia (Brinton) Jack-
son, who continued residents of that county until
their death, the father having been a cabinet-
maker and undertaker, and having been a citizen
of prominence and influence in his community.
He was a Republican in his political proclivities.

Thomas B. Jackson secured his preliminary
education in the common schools of his native
town and later continued his studies in the schools
of Maryland, also West Nottingham Academy,,
while he has ever been a wide and appreciative
reader Oif the best literature and is a man of
broad, general information. In early life he
learned the cabinetmaker's trade under the direc-
tion of his honored father, and he followed the
same successfully for several years. In the office
of the Republican, in Wilmington, Delaware, he
also learned the printer's trade, which he made
his vocation for a period of four years, during
which he was foreman in the office mentioned. In
1884 he came to Scranton, where he turned his
attention to contracting and building, an enter-
prise for which his training as a cabinetmaker
had well fitted him, and for eleven years he car-
ried on a prosperous business, retiring from the
same at the expiration of that time. He proved
himself a practical business man and one of much
executive power, and thus his success came as a
natural result. He is the owner of real estate in
his home city and has other capitalistic invest-
ments. Mr. Jackson has been called upon to
serve in positions of civic trust and responsibility,
not becraise of his political partisanship but by
reason of his unmistakable eligibility and on ac-
count of the respect and confidence reposed in
him by his fellow citizens. For two years he rep-
resented the thirtieth ward of Scranton in the-
city council, and for two and one-half years was
superintendent of the bureau of building inspec-
tors, while in October, 1904, he was chosen to his
present office as alderman from his ward. He
takes a deep interest in all that touches the weU






^C/t'yh^yr-^



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



85



fare and progress of his city, and is indefatigable
in his efforts to promote a wise and effective ad-
ministration of the mnnicipal government. In
politics he gives a stanch allegiance to the Repub-
lican party, and both he and his wife are mem-
bers of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr.
Jackson has attained to a high degree in Scot-
tish Rite Masonry, being affiliated with Scranton
Consistory, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, at

Scranton. He is also affiliated with

Lodge, Xo. 597, Ancient Free and Accepted
]\Iasons ; and with Irem Temple, Ancient Arabic
Order of the Xobles of the Mystic Shrine, at
Wilkes-Barre. Aside from these affiliations we
find him a member of the Junior Order of United
American Mechanics, the Patriotic Order Sons
of America, the Sons of Temperance, the Lide-
pendent Order of Good Templars, the Modern
Woodmen of America, the Royal Arcanum and
the Independent Order of Odd FellOiWs. He
enjoys marked popularity in business, fraternal
and social circles, and is one of Scranton's loyal
and representative citizens. In 1880 Mr. Jack-
son was united in marriage to Mary E. Squires,
who is of French ancestry, being a daughter of
Ira and Emaline Squires. The three children of
this union are: Lillian M.. Elwood (deceased),
and Myrtle E.

AIADISOX F. LARKIN, controller of the
International Textbook Company, having in
charge the accounting and auditing of that cor-
poration, with its world-famous Internationa!
Correspondence Schools, is widely recognized
for his financial and directorial abilities, and in-
telligent enthusiasm in guarding the great in-
terests committed to him. His versatility and
bread usefulness have been displayed in varied
fields of effort, and he has borne an active part
in promoting various important enterprises
throughout the country, and particularly in the
far west.

The Larkin family is of English origin, its
seat being at Lark River, Suffolk county, Eng-
land, and its antiquity is attested by the family
coat of arms which dates back to 1198. It is
not definitely known at what time the first im-
migration to this country took place. Hugh
Larkin, his great-grandfather, was born Octo-
ber 12, 1745, whose wife Sarah was born April
25. 1751- Their son, Moses Larkin, was born
January 29, 1793, i" Virginia, and in 1812 emi-
grated from Botetourt county in that state to
Ohio, and finallv located in Clermont county,
where he married Marv Fasfin.



Joseph Franklin Larkin, son of Moses, and
father of Madison F. Larkin, was one of the most
prominent men of Cincinnati in his day, and was
a familiar friend of many of the great men of his
times. He was born January 12, 182 1, at Felic-
ity, Clermont county, Ohio. During his boy-
hood he numbered among his playmates Llysse's
Simpson Grant, the afterward great general and
president of the United States. Until he was
fifteen years old, he attended a common school,
displaying a fondness for mathematics in pref-
erence to all other branches of study. His time
out of school was given to arduous farm labors,
and he thus early gave exhibition of his strength
of character, by leaving the harvest field on ac-
count of liquor being served to the men with their
luncheon. He clerked in a store at Neville for a
short time, and afterward learned varnishing in
the same village where for the first time he han-
dled wages of his own earning — twenty silver
half-dollars, which appeared to him as bovind-
less wealth. His first 'venture from home was
on a boat down the Ohio river as far as Louis-
ville, his time being employed in varnishing fur-
niture and otherwise preparing it for the market.
He w-as then apprenticed as a clerk to Robertson
and Shields, merchants at Batavia, Ohio, for a
term of three years, for which he was to receive
board and washing and fifty dollars a year. His
employers, however, suspended before his time
was half completed, and he was thrown upon his
own resources. He had saved one-half his earn-
ings, with which he bought a note — his first en-
deavor in banking. He worked in various coun-
try stores until he was eighteen years old, when
(in 1839) ^ friend of his father. Rev. Maxwell
P. Gaddis, who knew something of the young
man's ability, wrote him that he could secure for
him a situation in Wood & Sharp's wholesale
drygoO'ds house in Cincinnati. In response,
young Larkin rode to that city on horseback, ac-
cepted the situation, and returned to arrange for
his removal, but found the family home burned
to the ground. On his retttrn to Cincinnati he
entered upon his duties with five dollars as his
entire fortune. While in the Wood & Sharp
store an incident occurred, but for which he
might have lost his opportunity and never found
the field in which he achieved his great success.
This was a question as to superiority in penman-
ship between himself and another employee, and
young Larkin's ability moved him to seek em-
ployment in the bank of B. W. Hewson and
Company, in which he became an assistant and
afterward teller. He became a member of Mr.



86



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



Hewson's family, enjoying his confidence and es-
teem and continued with him until 1842, when the
bank suspended. Mr. Hewson desired that the
bank should be turned over to Mr. Larkin, such
was his confidence in his ability, but this was not
consummated. He was ofifered various positions
in distant banks, but was disinclined to leave
Cincinnati and declined. In 1842 he took a clerk-
ship in the auction and commission house of Hop-
per, Wood and Company. In 1844 he became a
partner of John M. Wood, in the firm of Wood
and Larkin, wholesale drygoods, and in 1848 sold
his interest to his partner. He then purchased
the store of Hines, Strobridge and Company, but
the consummation of the sale failed, and he
bought his partner's interest and consolidated the
two stores. This, however, proved too heavy a
burden and Mr. Larkin made an assignment, pay-
ing to his creditors forty per cent of their claims.
In this connection it is proper to state that twen-
ty-three years afterward Mr. Larkin assembled
his old creditors and made full payment of the
balance with six per cent interest from, the date
of his assignment — an exhibition of his high
sense of honor and desire to render to every man
his due. For four years from 1849 he was a
clerk for Thomas Sharp and Company and for
one year afterward was connected as a member
of the firm of Morris S. Hopper and Company,
receiving one-third of the profits for his services.
He then went on a collecting tour through In-
diana for the firm. This was in the days of free
bank currency and the unstable paper issues
passed in that state at a discount of from five to
forty per cent. Aware of the fact that in Ohio
the same money passed at much higher rates Mr.
Larkin conceived the idea of speculation and he
decided to engage in business upon his own ac-
count. Taking desk room in the banking house
of James F. Meline and Company, Cincinnati,
he began the buying and selling of free bank
notes in Ohio and Indiana and negotiating loans
on securities for contractors on the Ohio and
Mississippi Railroad. This led him into a gen-
eral brokerage business. In 1857 he removed to
the house of the Savings Bank of Cincinnati,
where he entered- upon a regular banking busi-
ness, and effecting large transactions in the re-
demption of the currency of that bank in gold,
charging it only the premium of the gold so em-
ployed, and the bank charging him but a nominal
rent for office room. As time went on all who
had dealings with him came to repose confidence
in his business capacity, integrity, promptitude
and reliability as a financial agent, and his field
of operations largely widened before him. Ha



subsequently formed a partnership with George-
and Thomas Fox under the firm name of Larkin,
Fox and Brother, to continue for three years. As
head of the firm Mr. Larkin gave his exclusive-
attention to the direction of the business, and.
built up a most prosperous business. In 1866 the
firm expired by limitation, and that of Joseph
F. Larkin and Company had its origin, with a
capital of $150,000 and in which were included'
some of the leading capitalists of the city. Mr.
Larkin added much to his prestige as the head
of this institution, and after the dissolution of
the firm by limitation he (in 1871) formed the
firm of Larkin, Wright and Company, with a
capital of $300,000, which transacted an im-
mense business from the outset. In course of
time Mr. Larkin bought the interest of Mr.
Wright, and the business was continued until
1881. Through all the period of contraction of
currency, depression in all values, resumption of
specie payments, "and consequent wreck of many-
banks, firms and individuals, Mr. Larkin safely
conducted the immense business of the house. In
1881 the Metropolitan National Bank of Cin-
cinnati was formed out of the business of J. F.
Larkin & Company, with Mr. Larkin as presi-
dent, a position which he held until 1883, when-
he resigned and addressed himself to the organi-
zation of the Cincinnati National Bank, of which
he became president. He was also one of the
organizers of the Union Central Life Insurance
Company.

The secret of the commanding success of this,
eminently useful man is found in his personal
character. Of a deeply religious nature, he be-
came a member of the Methodist Episcopal
church at the early age of fourteen years, and be-
came a leading member of St. Paul's Church,
Cincinnati. One of his cardinal rules was the set-
ting aside of one-tenth of his profits for church
and charitable purposes. He was particularly
friendly to the Cincinnati Wesleyan College,
especially after financial embarrassments came
upon that institution, and was lavishly generous
in his contributions to Wesley Chapel, in which
he was a worshipper for forty years. The Love-
land Camp-Meeting Association was also the ob-
ject of his generous solicitude, and he furnished'
the money with which to start the now famous
Methodist Book Concern, also aided the Na-
tional Association for the Promotion of Holiness
of Philadelphia. He was one of the organizers
of the Freedmen's Aid Society, and largely ad-
vanced its beneficent work. He was peculiarly^
abstemious from his very boyhood, and never in-
dulged in any form of narcotics or spirituous.



Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 18 of 130)