Horace Edwin Hayden.

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

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Holland. Gerrit Frederick came to America
with his three sons and three daughters about
1650, settling in New Amsterdam (now the city
of New York), under the governorship of sturdy
Peter Stuyvesant, holding authority of the States-
General of Holland. It is presumable that this
Lansing, a man of years and family, took a full
share with his fellows in their protest against the
arbitrary rule of "Peter the Headstrong," as the
governor was termed. Lansing had been four-
teen years in this country when it passed under
English rule (in 1664) under Governor Nicolls,
and he died fifteen years later (about October 3,
1679), at Rensselaerwick, New York. How well
preserved were the national and family traits
among the Lansings is apparent from the fact
that, since the first pulpit of the First Dutch Re-
formed Church in Albany was set up, brought
from Holland, there has not been a time when
there was not a Lansing in the consistory of this
historic church, the one which Theodore Roose-
velt attended while he was governor of New
York. While the Dutch kept with scrupulous
care all records of births, baptisms, marriages
and deaths, thev attached little importance to
other data, and little is known of the part taken
by them in governmental and military affairs.
That they contributed largely to the successful
issue of the Revolutionary war is evident from
the large numbers (upwards of forty thousand)
they contributed to the patriot army.

The line of descent from the immigrant an-
cestor to James A. Lansing is thus traced : Hen-
drick G. Lansing (2), second son of Gerrit Fred-
erick (i), was the father of three children, and
the eldest son among these, Jacob Lansing (3),
was the first in this line born on American soil.
Jacob Lansing married Helena, daughter of
Frans Janse and Alida Pruyn, September 27,
1701, and they became the parents of ten chil-



dren. The eldest son in this family, Hendrick
(4), was born December i, 1703; he married,
February 2^, 1735, Annetye, daughter of Isaac
and ]\Iayke (\'an Nes) Onderkirk, of Kinder-
hook, and later of Half ]Moon. To them were
born four children ; the mother dying, Hendrick
Lansing married Metty, daughter of Abraham
Onderkirk. Jacob H., (5), third child of Hen-
drick and Annetye (Onderkirk) Lansing, was
born April 4, 1742, and died in Watervliet (now
Cohoes), February 7, 1826. The house in which
he lived and reared his family is yet standing.
He married in 1763, Maria, daughter of Johannes
and Helena (Fonda) Onderkirk, and to them
were born five children. The youngest child and
only son of this family was William (6), born
JMav 12, 1774, in Cohoes, and died January 23,
1853, in Mayfield, New York. He married
Alida Fonda, who survived him some years, dying
in 1858. Eight children were born to them, of
whom the eldest was Jacob W. (7), born in Co-
hoes. September 7, 1795, died November 5. 1848.
His wife, who was Helena Wynkoop, died before
him, in 1843, having borne to her husband eleven
children, and of these was William J. Lansing
(8), who was the second son.

The last named William J. Lansing was born
in Coho.es, New York, August 12, 1818, and died
in Champion, New York, January 29, 1864. By
occupation he was a carriage manufacturer. He
was a man of quiet disposition, and of sterling
integrity. He was throughout his life an ex-
emplary member of the church of his forefathers,
the Dutch Reformed. Originally a Whig in poli-
etics, his antipathy to slavery made him an un-
compromising aboJitionist. He was an original
Republican, connecting himself with that party
at its formation, voting for its first presidential
candidate, John C. Fremont, and casting his last
ballot for Abraham Lincoln. He married Miss
• Almira Smith Cornwall, May i, 1842, and to them
were born nine children, among whom was James
Albert Lansing.

In the maternal line ]\Ir. Lansing's American
ancestry antedates the paternal line, and its rec-
ord is replete with patriotic deeds. Almira Smith
(Ccrnwall) Lansing was descended from Will-
iam Cornwall, a native of England, who emi-
grated to America early in the seventeenth cen-
tury. William Cornwall and his wife, Joan
(maiden name unknown) joined the church in
Roxbury, Massachusetts, in 1633. I" Mav of
the same year William Cornwall was one of the
seventv-seven soldiers f f ortv-eight of whom were
from Hartford and vicinity) who nearly extermi-

nated the Pequot Indians in their fort at ^Mystic,
Connecticut. Shortly after 1637 ( probably in
1638) he settled in Hartford, his name standing,
third in the list of inhabitants, and in February,
1639, is found on the records as sergeant-at-
arms. In 1650 or 1651 he removed to ^liddle-
town, fifteen miles below Hartford, where he
owned a large tract of land, about twelve hundred
acres. He was a representative from Middle-
town in the colonial legislature in 1654, 1664,
and 1665, and in 1664 was also constable. He
died in Middletown, February 21, 1678. His
son John was a sergeant in the militia at Mid-
dletown, Connecticut. Benjamin, son of John,
born in 1688. died in 1754, was one of fourteen
volunteers who went from ]\[iddletown in 1707
in the e.xpedition against Canada ; it is recorded
that he left an estate appraised at nine thousand
pounds. His son Cornelius, born in 1722, was
a lieutenant in the militia, and served in the-
French and Indian war, and participated in the-
siege of Quebec, under General Wolfe, in 1659.
Ashbel, son of Cornelius, was born in !Middle-
town in 1754. He was a private in the Revolu-
tion in 1775, fought in the battle of Bunker Hill,
served with Arnold in the expedition against
Montreal, and was captain in the War of 1812,.
marching with his company from Middletown,
Connecticut, to Sackets Harbor, New York.
Ashbel, son of Captain Ashbel Cornwall, was
born in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1784, and'
died in 1868, and was the father of Almira Smith
Cornwall, who was born in Broadalbin, New
York, and became the wife of William J.
Lansing, and the mother of James A. Lansing.

James Albert, son of William J. and Almira-
Smith (Cornwall) Lansing, was born in ;\Ionta-
gue, Lewis county. New York, October 17, 185 1.
He had the advantage of excellent schools until
his thirteenth year, at which early age he entered'
upon a self-supporting career, and from this time
on his educational opportunities were limited to-
a few months in the school room at irregular in-
tervals. For two years he worked upon a farm,
and then apprenticed himself to a tinsmith, under
whom he so thoroughly mastered his trade that
shortly after completing his apprenticeship his-
employer proffered him an equal partnership in
the business. He elected, however, to travel in
the sale of stoves, a pursuit which he followed
with a large degree of success. The experience
was also of paramount importance in directing
him into a line of business in which he was
destined to achieve both fortune and distinction,
albeit it diverted him from what had been a prev-



ious ambition, a legal career, for which he had a
predilection, and for which he had made some
preparation through private reading.

In February, 1882, Air. Lansing located in
Scranton, where he associated with himself Mr.
A. C. Fuller, and the two purchased a controlling
interest in the Scranton Stove Works. This
establishment had been founded as early as 1866
b}^ the Scranton Stove Manufacturing Company,
comprising several of the most enterprising citi-
zens, the late Colonel J. A. Price, Hon. J. J.
Albright, J. Curtis Piatt, H. S. Price, J. A.
Linen, and Hon. William Connell. After the
■death of Colonel Price, Mr. Lansing succeeded
to the presidency of' the company, and has held
this position to, the present time. During this
period a new plant has been built with a capacity
■of three times the output of the old foundry. The
establishment was first located on West Lack-
awanna avenue, and in 1892 was removed to its
present site, whereon were erected new factories
which, with more recent additions, have made the
•Scranton Stove Works the most extensive ex-
•clusive stove manufactory in the east, and one of
the largest in the world. The grounds are nine
acres in area, three and one-half acres being under
roof, and four hundred operatives are engaged
in the manufacture of the celebrated Dockash
stoves and ranges, which reach every part of the
L^nited States, and nearly every foreign market
open to American commerce.

While giving his first attention to this mam-
moth business, which would seemingly tax the
energies of any one man, Mr. Lansing extends
his activities to various other enterprises which
are important factors in the industrial and com-
mercial life of his city. He was an original di-
rector of the Scranton Bolt and Nut Company ;
and is now a director in the Groat Knitting Mill,
the Foote & Fuller Company : and the Roberts
Supply Company, of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
He is also a director in the Scranton Savings
Bank. He has also borne an active and intelli-
gent part in public affairs. For six years he
served as a member of the select council, and he
has been a member of the sinking fund coanmis-
sion from the time Scranton became a city of the
second class,' and in these relations labored most
efficiently in the advancement of municipal inter-
ests. The estimation in which he is held as a
representative of all that relates to the founda-
tions of Scranton's importance is evidenced by
his prominence in the board of trade, he having
served as president of that body, and identified
with its manufacturers" committee for the long
period of eighteen years. He has ever been rec-

ognized as one of the most progressive members
ot the board, and he was one of its principal fig-
ures in inaugurating and effecting the enlarge-
ment of its powers which has enabled it to ac-
complish its most important results in behalf of
municipal improvements and the encouragement
of new industries and their concomitants. In
one conspicuous instance Air. Lansing and the
board of trade accomplished a work which was
of nation-wide importance and advantage, and
for the successful consummation of which they
received many warm commendations from all
parts of the country. Mr. Lansing was the ori-
ginator of the movement which resulted in the
passage by congress of an act providing for the
establishment of national banks of issue with a
capital of $25,000 in towns of not less than three
thousand population. This measure was formu-
lated by j\lr. Lansing, and was approved and
urged by the Scranton board of trade, and was
passed by congress in the form in which it eman-
ated from the board. As a result, since the
enactment of this law more national than private
banks have been organized, a significant attesta-
tion of the value of the measure in the populari-
zation of the national banking system and the ex-
tension of its benefits to the smaller towns
throughout the entire country and to the people
at large. The credit for this widely beneficent
legislation is primarily due to, Air. Lansing, who
may well take pride in his effort and in the large
recognition which has been accorded him there-

Air. Lansing is a Presbyterian in religion, an
elder in his church, and superintendent of its
Sunday school. He is a cheerful and liberal sup-
porter of various benevolent and charitable in-
stitutions, and was one of the founders of the
Rescue Alission, which he long served in the cap-
acity of trustee. His philanthropy has ever been
tempered with that wise judgment which seeks
such means of relieving the necessitous as will
tend to the elevation rather than the degradation
of the beneficiary, and he has aided many to hon-
orable establishment in life. In politics he is an
ardent Republican, and a forceful advocate of the
principles and policies of his party, particularly
along those lines in which he is broadly informed,
finance, commerce, and manufacturing. He is a
member of various business and social organiza-
tions of the best class, the Alanufacturers" Club
of Philadelphia ; the Scranton Club, the Country
Club, of Scranton ; the New England Society of
Scranton ; the Pennsylvania Society, Sons of the
Revolution, of Philadelphia : and the Holland
Society of New York. It is highly commendable



in him that the three last named stand first of
all social organizations in his estimation, de-
voted as they are to the preservation of ancestral
records, and holding aloft noble examples of true
manhood and ideal citizenship. Himself the
representative of illustrious forbears who have
been identified with every stage of the nation's
growth, from its first peopling to the present day,
he affords, in his own excellent ideals and in-
stincts, an excellent illustration of the really
typical American who seeks to raise the stand-
ards of citizenship and to elevate the individual
and the community to a higher and nobler plane.
i\Ir. Lansing married. May 8, 1877, Miss
]\Iary Frances Waters, of Copenhagen, New
York. She is a daughter of Lyman Twining
and Sarah Jane (Shepherd) Waters, both de-
scendants of old New England families, and
prominently identified with the Revolutionary
epoch. To Mr. and Mrs. Lansing has been born
one child, Ruth, February 14, 1892.

FRANCIS R. COYNE. No name is more
thoroughly identified with the educational inter-
ests of Lackawanna county than that of Francis
R. Coyne, supervising principal of Old Forge
borough schools. Professor Coyne comes of ex-
cellent Irish ancestry. His great grandfather,
Francis Coyne, was one of those who in 1798
went with the French contingent to assist Napo-
leon against England. He lost his life in the

Francis Coyne, grandson of this brave sol-
dier, was born in county Sligo, Ireland, and all
his life followed the trade of a mason. After liv-
ing for some years in England, he emigrated in
1870 to the United States and settled in Penn-
sylvania, making his home in Old Forge. His
wife was Catherine Richards, a native of county
Mayo, Ireland, and the following children were
born to them : Catherine ; Anna ; Mary ; Francis
R., mentioned at length hereinafter ; James ;
John ; and Patrick. The three daughters are
now deceased. Mrs. Coyne, the excellent mother
of these children, died in 1887, at Old Forge,
and her husband passed away at the same place
in 1896. He was a worthy and intelligent man
whose sterling qualities and uprightness of life
have been inherited by his children, who are all
god citizens of the United States.

Francis R. Coyne, son of Francis and Cath-
erine (Richards) Coyne, was born January 5,
1861, in the county of Durham, England, and
was nine vears of age when brought by his pa-
rents to the LTnited States. He received his pre-

paratory education in the public and parochial
schools of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, finish-
ing his studies under private tutors. In 1 88 1 he
was appointed to teach at Old Forge, and has,
since iDcen continuously engaged in educational,
work. For the last fifteen years he has held his.
present position of supervising principal of Old
Forge borough schools, having under his charge
and supervision twenty-three schools. The high,
school building was erected in 1896 and has seven
hundred and fifty pupils. The force of teachers,
numbers fourteen and is composed of some of the
ablest educators in the county. The twenty-
three years of Professor Coyne's career as a_
teacher have been years of great progress, pro-
gress which is the result in no small measure of
his indefatigable labors. When he began to teach,
there were one hundred and eighty-two pupils in
the schools of Old Forge borough, and now, with
less territory, the total number of pupils is one
thousand six hundred. Professor Coyne is an
enthusiast in his profession, and in order to fit
himself to teach certain branches more thor-
oughly took up the studies of chemistry and law.
In the former he passed a creditable examination
before the state board, and in 1900 established a
drug store in Old Forge. In law he was privi-
leged to enjoy the instruction of Judge Connelly,
of Scranton, and in 1893 passed an examination,
but never applied for admission to the bar. Pro-
fessor Coyne is a public-spirited citizen, and it
was chiefly owing to his exertions that in 1894 a_
postoffice was established in what is locally
called Barbertown, the name of the postoffice be-
ing Coyne. He has filled the offices of tax col-
lector and justice of the peace, and in 1891 was
elected by the votes of his fellow-citizens to rep-
resent his district in the state legislature, serving
one term. During this period he was one of the
supporters of the compulsory education law, and
it was through his influence that the educational
qualification clause for the holding of the office
of mine inspector was inserted in the ventilation
law. While a member of the legislative body he
was one of the thirteen who were elected to mem-
bership in the American Academy of Political
and Social Science. In politics he is a Democrat,
and in religion a Roman Catholic. Professor
Coyne married in 1897, Frances, daughter of
Michael and Delia Joyce, and they are the parents
of three children : Richard, Frances and
Charles. Professor Coyne's library is one of the
largest and best-selected in the Lackawanna



-xational interests of a community rest, as a whole,
chiefly with the common and high schools. Upon
the standard maintained in these institutions de-
pends largely the future mental and moral pros-
perity oi the commonwealth. Lackawanna
county is peculiarly fortunate in the character
and ability of her educational instructors, and to
-none of these can she look with a more assured
sense of reliance than to Professor F. H. Greene,
supervising principal of South Abington high
school. Professor Greene is descended on both
sides from Pennsylvania stock, and is thus in
-more than one sense thoroughly identified with
the state which is the scene of his labors.

Arnold Greene, a native oi Susquehanna
county, Pennsylvania, married Lydia Tinkham,
-who was born in Waverly borough, Lackawanna
county, and their children were : Dora, who be-
came the wife of S. E. Finn; Lester C.; Nettie,
who married F. N. Snyder, and was before her
marriage engaged in teaching; F. H., mentioned
at length hereinafter ; and two others who are
■ deceased.

F. H. Greene, son of Arnold ' and Lydia
(Tinkham) Greene, was born April 9, 1863, in
'Clifford, Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, and
-received his preparatory education in the com-
-mon schools of his native town. He then en-
tered Mansfield State Normal school, from
which institution he graduated with honor in
1891, receiving the degree of B. E. He after-
ward took a post-graduate course at Bloomsburg
State Normal school, supplementing this by a
-partial course at Bushnell College. He has the
legal qualifications for teaching any township
high school in the state. Professor Greene's ca-
reer as a teacher began in 1883, when he taught
his home school at Clifford. In 1884 and 1885
he taught in Jackson, Susquehanna county,
Pennsylvania, and in the last-named year as well
as in 1886 was engaged in teaching at Upsonville,
in the same county. In this county he remained
for the five years following, teaching fir?st at
Royal and then at Uniondale. In the autumn of
1 89 1 he moved to Lackawanna county, where he
was engaged in teaching in the following places ;
from 1 89 1 to 1894 in South Abington ; in 1894
and 1895 at Dalton ; and from 1896 to 1901 again
in South .\bington. During this period he re-
turned for one year to Uniondale, Susquehanna
county. In 1901 he engaged in mercantile busi-
ness, but abandoned it in 1902, when he returned
to his home at Clark's Green, where he now re-
.-sides. The same year he taught at Lanesboro,
Susquehanna county, and in 1904 accepted his

present position of supervising principal of the
South Abington high school. Professor Greene
is eminently fitted for his office, not only in point
of education, but by the possession of that union
of force of character, tact, and personal magnet-
ism which is necessary to constitute the success-
ful educator. In his work he has the invaluable
assistance of an admirably equipped and most
efficient corps of teachers, and the school is now
producing the best results which it has ever ac-
complished. Professor Greene is a member of
Waverly Lodge, No. 301, F. and A. M., Electric
Star Lodge, No. 490, I. O. O. F., the Eastern
Star, and W. S. Rogers Encampment, No. 221.
He also belongs to Mary Griffin Rebekah, No.
84. Professor Greene married in 1899, Lulu B.
Plough, of New York, and one child was born
to them who is now deceased. The home of Pro-
fessor and Mrs. Greene is one of the educational
and social centres of the township, and is a point
of attraction for a large circle of warm and de-
voted friends.

ARCHIBALD F. LAW. It seldom occurs
that remarkable capability for the conduct of
large industrial affairs is found in the same indi-
vidual, associated with highly cultivated literary
tastes and such habits of life as permit of their
enjoyment. A marked exception to the general
rule is found in the person of Mr. Law, whose
business activities extend to numerous of the
most important and exacting industrial interests
of the Lackawanna Valley, yet who finds abund-
ant time for those mental pursuits which find their
epitomization in the words of one of the deepest
thinkers of old : "My mind to me a kingdom is."
Coming from an e.xcellent Scotch ancestry, his
character affords evidence of the stock whence
he came, and there is even witness to it in his
physiognomy, showing, as it does, great strength
of character, reserve energy, and, withal, kindli-
ness of disposition. He was fortunate in his
forbears, both in the land of their origin and in
that of their adoption ; there and here thev were
men of intelligence and conscience, and through
several generations their avocations were such •
as by laws of heredity led him into his own, and
in which he has conquered the largest measure
of success.

The Law family is of great antiquity in Scot-
land, and its members have adorned high places
both at home and abroad, on the bench, in the
professions, in military and civil life. That
branch from which is descended Mr. Law held
the estates oi Penbroke prior to 1684, but dur-
ing the troublous times preceding the union of



the English and Scottish crowns these were
confiscated. While the far greater part of the
Scottish people were content to live the lives
of small farmers and shepherds, the Laws in-
clined to more active pursuits. John Law, fourth
removed ancestor of i\lr. Law, took up the call-
ing of a mining engineer, and as such served
throughout his life in the lead mines at Wan-
lockhead, in Scotland. His son Charles followed
in his footsteps, and at the same place.

Archibald Law, son of Charles and Ann
( Falconder) Law, was born in Wanlockhead,
Scotland, in 1799, and was reared to mining en-
gineering. In 1830, when thirty-one years old,
he came to the Lfnited States, at once locating in
the vicinity of Pottsville, Pennsylvania; and soon
removed to that place, and subsequently to Car-
bondale. At his coming he took employment
with the Delaware and Hudson Coal Company in
the capacity of mining engineer, and his extended
knowledge contributed in very large, perhaps
principal degree, to the development of the prop-
erties and extension of the business of that cor-
poration, a notable instance being the introduction
by him (at Carbondale, in 183 1, the year follow-
ing his coming) of the present method of under-
ground mining in place of that then in vogue —
the working of coal from the surface, by stripping
or quarrying. This momentous innovation was
commemo,rated by a massive monument erected
to mark the spot and honor the man, on the oc-
casion of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding
of the city of Carbondale. ]Mr. Law, before
coming to the country, had made a close studv of
the proprieties of anthracite and the methods for
its working, and he was recognized as a first
authority upon these subjects from the start.
Owing to his expert knowledge he was first made
inspector of coal, to determine its qualities in
combustion, and was also chief mining engineer

Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 23 of 130)