Horace Edwin Hayden.

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

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of the Delaware and Hudson Company His
rarely useful life was unduly shortened. In
1836 he suffered an accident from falling roof in
the mine, and in 1843 occurred that which perma-
nentlv disabled him, and hastened his death,
which occurred six years later, in 1848. He was
engaged in making a dangerous inspection of
the mine pumps, when a mass of slate roofing
fell, severely injuring his spine. He was a man
of noble character, liberally educated, a diligent
student of general literature as well as of that
relating to his profession, and was possessed of a
degree of literary ability which would have
furnished him creditable occupation had he de-
voted himself to that field. His wife, whom he
married in Scotland, was Marv Shennan, a



daughter of John Shennan, who came with his
family to Greenfield, Pennsylvania, where he
passed his life as a farmer until shortly before his
death, when he removed to Scranton. The
children of Archibald and Mary (Shennan) Law
were as follows, the three first named being born
in Scotland: i. John S., who was for several
years manager of the Dickson Manufacturing
Company ; later president of the Miners' Bank of
Wilkes-Barre, and at the time of his death presi-
dent of the Lackawanna Coal Company ; he lived
latterly in New York City, where he was engaged
in banking, and died in 1892, 2. Charles, of
whom further mention is to be made. 3. Mrs.
McMillan. 4. Margaret, now Mrs. Cosgrove,
of Pittston. The mother of these children out-
lived her husband many years, dying in 1876, at
the age of seventy-nine years.

Charles Law, son of Archibald and Mary
(Shennan) Law, was born in 1833, in Carbon-
dale, Pennsylvania, and was there educated in
the public schools. Early in life, at the age of
thirteen years, he entered upon an active career
as an indentured apprentice to the mercantile
business in an establishment conducted by Law
& Howell, the senior partner being his elder
brother. He was thus engaged for four years,
and in 1850 became clerk for Andrew Watt, un-
der whom he served until 1854, when he located
in Pittston and established a mercantile business
under the firm name of Charles Law & Company,
wdiich form was subsequently changed to that of
Law & Campbell, and with which he was identi-
fied as managing partner until 1878. The firm
transacted a very extensive business, its trade ex-
tending for a distance of seventy miles up the
river. After retiring from this business Mr.
Law became actively connected with the Hen-
drick Manufacturing Company of Carbondale,
as well as with other important local enterprises
about Pittston, including banks, bridges, etc. Mr.
Law is a member of the Presbyterian Church,
and is a staunch Republican in politics.

In 1854 Mr. Law married IMiss Ellen At-
water, a daughter of Charles Atwater, an early
merchant and postmaster of Providence, Penn-
sylvania. The Atwater family were among the
first settlers of Providence Plantation, and David
Atwater, the immigrant, was one of the first
planters at New Haven, Connecticut, and re-
ceived a farm in the first division of lands. He
died in 1692, and to him are traced all of the fam-
ily name in this country. His son David, died
1736, was father of John, of Wallingford, Con-
necticut, who had a son Moses, whose son. Dr.
David Atwater, was a "noted apothecary" at New



112



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



Haven, and chief of Washington's medical staff,
and was killed by British troops in the Danbury
raid, April 28, 1777. Dr. David Atwater had a
son Eldad, who married Lydia Heaton. Their
son Heaton lived in Wayne county, Pennsyl-
vania, and married Clarissa Bishop. Of that
marriage were born seven children, one of whom
was Charles T., grandfather of Archibald F.
Law. Charles T. Atwater was born in Connecti-
cut in 1813, and came to Hyde Park, Pennsyl-
vania, and thence to, Providence. He was a mer-
chant, in Providence and Dunmore, and for many
years was associated with the late W. W. Winton
in a mercantile business. He died October 22,
1853, aged thirty-eight years. He married
Elizabeth Snyder, and of this marriage were born
eight children, of whom four are living.

Charles and Ellen (Atwater) Law were the
parents of ten children :

1. Archibald F. Law, see forward.

2. William H., deceased ; he was paymaster
for the Babylon Coal Company, and lost his life
in the Duryea store fire in 1897.

3. John H., secretary of the Title Guarantee
and Trust Company of Scranton.

4. Mrs. Thomas H. Watkins ; her husband
is of the firm of Simpson & Watkins, well known
coal operators.

5. Mrs. George W. Cross ; her husband, now
deceased, was president of the Cross Engineering
Company at Carbondale.

6. Mrs. Herman Warner; her husband is a
merchant in Decorah, Iowa.

7. Charles, engaged in the oil business in
Pittston.

8. Robert M., treasurer of the Pennsylvania
Coal and Coke Company at Philadelphia.

9. Anna N., living at home.

10. James C, treasurer of the Illinois Tele-
phone and Telegraph Company at Chicago, a
corporation controlling the subways of that city.

Mr. and Mrs. Law celebrated their golden
wedding anniversary on November 25, 1904, and
the occasion was one of the notable social events
of the city. They were made the recipients of
various valuable and significant gifts, and a his-
tory of the family was read to the assembled
company. Among their descendants were mem-
tioned grandchildren to the number of twenty-
two.

Archibald F. Law, eldest child of Charles and
Ellen (.A.twater) Law, was bom in Pittston,
Pennsylvania, June 21, 1856. He was educated
in the public schools, and by private tutors in
preparation for a college course, but diverted
himself to an active career bv entering the em-



ploy of the Lehigh Valley Railroad at Coxton, in
the capacity of weighmaster, and subsequently
was similarly engaged at Pittston for a period of
six years. In 1879 'is became cashier for the
Canada Southern Railway at Buffalo, and con-
tinued in that occupation until in 1885. In the
latter year he became associated with Simpson &
Watkins, coal operators at Scrantoji, as cashier
and confidential man. He found the occupation
most congenial, became familiar with all depart-
ments of the business, and acquired an interest
therein. When the interests of the firm were
merged into the Temple Iron Company, in 1899,
Mr. Law was made secretary, later added to his
duties those of treasurer, and was subsequently
made vicc'-president and given entire charge of
the business, which responsible position he has
sine occupied to the present time. As general
manager he has under his control the furnaces at
Temple, with eight collieries in Lackawanna and
Luzerne counties — the Northwest, the Edgerton,
the Babylon, the Mount Lookout, the Forty Fort,
the Sterrick Creek, the Harry E., and the Lack-
awanna, having the direction of eight thousand
men. In addition to all these weighty responsi-
bilities he is actively comiected with various
other important interests — the Cross Engineer-
ing Company, manufacturers of mining machin-
ery, of which he is president ; the Wyoming
Electric Light and Power Company, of which he
is manager ; the Title Guarantee and Trust Com-
pany of Scranton : the Scranton Trust Company ;
the Lackawanna Mining Company: the Peckville
Natiojial Bank ; the Forty Fort Silk Company ;
the Lytle Store Company, of Minersville, Penn-
sylvania ; and the Mears Mining Company of
Joplin, Missouri. In caring for these multifar-
ious interests Mr. Law bears himself as can only
one who is self-contained, with intimate know-
ledge of all departments of each business, and
whose systemization brings all things to his
thought with that clearness which justifies instant
decision. His personal equanimity and geniality
are attested bv his popularity with the army of
workmen who are gathered about him. Between
him and them no labor dispute has ever arisen to
destroy those pleasant relations upon which sub-
stantial business is permanently based ; and, so
far as he and they are concerned, coal commis-
sions and boards of arbitration have been wholly
unnecessary.

Given to literary pursuits with an earnestness
almost amounting to a passion, Mr. Law finds his
principal recreation in his library, covering all
fields of literature, and containing many rarely
valuable editions, among them many almost' im-



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



"3



pKjssible of duplication. With all his diligent
reading, he has escaped that utter absorption
which leads so many book lovers to selfish self-
immersion, but has ever delighted ta share his
pleasures with others. In stich a spirit he was
primarily the founder of the A. F. Law Library
Association, which was given his name in recogn-
ition of his generosity and public-spirit. This
institution, at Jessup, was dedicated January 24,
1905, in the presence of more than one thousand
deeply appreciative and grateful people. To it
he contributed upwards of one thousand care-
fully selected volumes, and Jessup prides itself
upon having the possession of the finest public
library to be found in any village of its size in
the entire valley. He is identified with all the
principal social organizations — the Scranton
Club, the Green Ridge Club, the Country Club,
all of Scranton ; the Westmoreland Club, of
Wilkes-Barre, and various others. He is a Ma-
son of high rank, having attained the thirty-sec-
ond degree of the Scottish Rite. He served for
three years in an independent company of the
National Guard of Xew York, the Buffalo City
Guards. In politics he is a stalwart Republican.
He is a member of the Green Ridge Presbyterian
Church. His personal traits are such as well
become the real gentleman, drawing to him in
firm friendship all with whom he is associated.

Mr. Law married Miss Eva G. Brenton, a
daughter of Joel Brenton, of Pittston, and of
this marriage have been born three children, two
of whom are living : Frank E., a senior in Yale
University ; and Grace B., a graduate of Mrs.
Sommers' School in Washington, D. C.

HON. WILLIA.AI J. LEWIS, deceased, of
Scranton, for many years occupied a foremost
place among the men of large affairs in his city
and county. He was a prime mover in various
important financial and commercial enterprises
which redounded to the great advantge of the
community. In public affairs he exerted a wide
and beneficent influence, and his personal life
was an exemplification of all that is becoming to
the irreproachable citizen and the sincere christ-
ian.

He was of Welsh ancestry, a grandson of
David J. Lewis, who came from Wales and died
in Carbondale at the age of seventy-six years.
The parents of William J. Lewis were John D.
and Anna (Hopkins) Lewis, both natives of
Wales. The father was a practical miner, and
was of great assistance in the development of the
coal industry, which was then in its incipiency in
the Carbondale region. He was for some years

2 8



a trusted employe of the Delaware and Hudson
Canal Company, and in 1858 abandoned mining
and turned his attention to farming in Clifford
township, Suscjuehanna county. In 1866 he re-
tired from active pursuits and again took up his
residence in Carbondale. His wife died there in
March, 1876, at the age of seventy-six years, and
he came to Scranton, where he passed his last
}ears in the home of his son, William J. Lewis,
dying in May, 1880, aged seventy-three years,
lo hmi and his wife were born seven children:
David, who went to California in 1852 ; Lewis,
died in i860; Gwennie, died in 1856; John F.,
who is with the American Safety Lamp and Mine
Suppl\- Company in Scranton ; Thomas, who re-
sides in San Francisco, California, as does his
sister, Margaret E. Kenvin ; William J. Lewis.

William J. Lewis, youngest child in the fam-
ily last named, was born in Carbondale, August
27, 1843. He attended the local schools until he
was nine \ears old, when he began working in
the mines. This labor was distasteful to him,
and he took employment on a farm some distance
from home. Subsequently (in 1858) his father
purchased his farm in Clifford township, Susque-
hanna county, and young Lewis returned to the
family and assisted in farm work. He was so
engaged until the fall of 1862, when, the Civil
war being at its height, his patriotism moved
him to enlist in Company B., One Hundred and
Seventy-seventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volun-
teers, for a temi of nine months. His service was
principally in Virginia, in the vicinity of the Dis-
mal Swamp, made famo,us by Mrs. Harriet
Beecher Stowe's story of "Dred." His regiment
made a forced march to join the Army of the Po-
tomac when the battle of Gettysburg was impend-
ing. It did not reach the ground in time to take
part in that conflict, but aided in pursuing the
rebel army southward, being a portion of Genera!
Slocum's corps. Mr. Lewis was honorably dis-
charged with his regiment in September, 1863,.
having served with fidelity and courage.

After returning home, Mr. Lewis for some
time taught in the neighborhood schools, and with
much success. His early educational advantages
had been but meagre, but he had given much time
to private study, and had gained a broad general
knowledge which afforded him ample equipment
for school room work, in which he would doubt-
less have made an excellent record had he elected
it as his life occupation. As it was, labor was
scarce in the coal mines, and workmen were lib-
erally paid, with the advantage of steady em-
ployment as against short term school employ-
ment, and in 1864, with his brother John F.



114



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



Lewis, he engaged in mining in Jermyn. Two
years later (in 1866) he came to Scranton and
engaged in a general mercantile business in that
part of the city known as Providence. He soon
disposed of this, and opened a hardware establish-
ment in the same neighborhood, and for two
years was a member of the firm of Lewis &
Fish, after which he continued alone for five
years. This venture was unsuccessful, and,
without capital, he engaged himself as an insur-
ance agent and conveyancer, building up a large
business which he continued with much success
until 1886, and it was now that he entered upon
that larger career of usefulness which made his
name familiar throughout the entire region.

In 1875 Governor Hartranft had appointed
Mr. Lewis paymaster of the Ninth Regiment,
National Guard of Pennsylvania, a position which
involved large responsibiHties, without more than
nominal emolument, but was a testimonial to his
honor and ability. In 1879 the same executive
named him as one of the first auditors o,f Lack-
awanna county, but he declined the position. On
the separation of the county from Luzerne he was
elected associate judge, and with Judges Hand-
ley, Hand and Moffit held court for five years in
Washington Hall, in Lackawanna avenue. At
the end of this period the office was abolished
imder the provisions of the new constitution. In
the fall of 1885, after a warm contest, he was
nominated on the Republican ticket for sheriff,
and his popularity was significantly attested by
his election by a plurality of nearlv one thousand,
while his predecessor, Randolph Crippen, a Deirt-
ocrat, had been elected by a plurality of seven-
teen hundred, and his successor, Robinson, also a
• Democrat, was elected by a pluralitv of more than
two thousand. Mr. Lewis entered upon his
duties January i. 1886, and during his three
years term of service made a record for efficiency
and integrity second to that of none other similar



officer in the commonwealth. In 1889, after the
failure of the Scranton City Bank, Judge Lewis,
as the representative of the depositors, and Dr.
Throop, representing the stockholders, were ap-
pointed trustees of the property then known as
the "Jessup leases," and it was largely due to his
watchfulness and sagacity that the claims of the
depositors were speedily paid. Having thus
stronglv demonstrated his ability as a financier,
on October i, 1890, Mr. Lewis was oft'ered and
accepted the responsible positions of a director
and the general manager of the New York, Sus-
quehanna & Western Coal Company, which con-
trolled the output of eighteen breakers, and he
served in this tworfold capacity until the prop-



erties passed into the hands of the Erie Com-
pany. He was prominently identified with var-
ious other great enterprises of more than local
importance. In 1896 he was one of the incor-
porators of the Susquehanna Connecting Rail-
road Company, of which he was chosen president.
He was one of the leaders in the organization of
the North Scranton Bank, was its first president,
and served as such until his death. He was also
president of the Lackawanna Telephone Com-
pany of Scranton, a director in the Dime Deposit
and Discount Bank, and was connected with var-
ious other institutions and industries in and
about Scranton.

While Mr. Lewis was thus deeply engaged in
practically all the concerns that made up the ma-
terial importance of the city, he devoted himself
in large degree to those higher interests which
give to a community moral and intellectual
strength. A sincere christian, he was one of the
most earnest and active members of the Provi-
dence Presbyterian Church, which he served for
fifteen years as a member of the board of trus-
tees and chairman of that body, this period of
service including the time of the building of the
new church edifice. He was among the most
liberal contributors to the support of the church
and to its benevolences, and, in addition, he ma-
terially aided manv outside benevoJent causes, as
well as the distressed in the community. Among
the tributes to his memory at the time of his de-
cease, it was said of him that "he was a regular,
devout and reverent worshipper in God's house
on the Sabbath day, and until within the past
year or two he was seldom absent from the ap-
pointed place at morning and evening service.
He was a christian man of a rare type of excel-
lence. His fervent belief in God and Christ, and
his faith in prayer, were real things to him. He
practiced religion in his daily walk and conversa-
tion." His first vote was cast for Abraham Lin-
coln in 1864, and he remained a steadfast Re-
publican throughout his life, taking an active part
in support of its principles and policies, serving
at various times upon its county and state com-
mittees, and sitting as a delegate in its conven-
tions. He was not, however, desirous of official
preferment, and was in no sense an office seeker.
He was an active member of Griffin Post No. 139,
Grand Armv of the Republic, and his sympathy
and aid were ever freely extended to those im-
fortunates who had proved their fealty to their
country by army service. In Masonry he had at-
tained to the thirty-second degree, but in later
years had only retained affiliation with Hiram
Lodge, No. 261, of which he was a life member.



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



"5



He aided in the organization of the North End
board of trade, of which he was president for
-several years and until he decUned a re-election.
He was a man of fine social qualities, and culti-
vated tastes, and derived much pleasure from his
large and well selected library.

December 31, 1863, shortly after his return
from army service, and while engaged as a school
teacher. Judge Lewis married ]\liss Adeline
Wells, who was born in Susquehanna county, and
who died there April 14 of the next year. At
Scranton, in March, 1867, he married Miss Cas-
anda Bloss, daughter of William Bloss, a con-
tractor and builder, and a member of an old Penn-
sylvania family. She died May 30, 1877, leaving
two children: William J. Jr., and Effa, who be-
■came the wife of Arja Powell. William J. Jr.,
graduated from Wilson College, Chambersburg,
Pennsylvania, and for some years has been assist-
ant general inspector of the New York, Susque-
hanna & Western Coal Company. June 2, 1882,
Judge Lewis married Miss Mary Griffith, a na-
tive of Wales, who survives her husband. Three
children were born of this union, all boys, one of
■whom died at two years, one at the age of three,
and the surviving child is Walford C. Lewis.
Judge Lewis died January 25, 1902, after an ill-
ness of ten weeks. His removal was a distinct
loss to the community and bitter bereavement to
Lis family. The local press and the various bodies
in which he held membership paid touching
tribute to his great worth. It was said of him
that in no instance throughout his career did he
fail to win and hold the respect and esteem of
anyone with whom he had relations of any kind ;
that his wise counsel will be sadly missed in the
various enterprises in which he was engaged, and
that the memory of his services to the community
will keep him in remembrance for many years. At
his funeral the Rev. George E. Guild, D. D., de-
livered a glowing eulogium. The last rites were
performed by the Masonic fraternity, and the
Grand Army Post of which deceased was an hon-
ored member. The character of the lamented
dead was fittingly summed up in the following
resolutions adopted by the board of directors of
the bank of which he was so long the head :

"A manly man, a christian gentleman, the
president of ' this bank, is dead — William J.
Lewis, for many years a resident of North Scran-
ton. We all kncAv the life he led. To this com-
munity it was a benediction, and to all of his
neighbors an inspiration. Right minded, strong
and courageous in his convictions from a proper
sense of duty, he never wavered. Bright and
'cheerful in disposition, his presence on any oc-



casion was grateful, his unexpected or enforced
absence invariably deplored. Rare, indeed, was
his personality. The heart and the head each
seemed to play an equal part, the one compelling
respect and admiration by the exercise of its
powers ; the other inspiring love and devotion by
the exhibition of its virtues. As a neighbor he
was hospitable to all, and kind to the poor. A
man of afifairs, and exceptionally wide exper-
ience, in both private and public life, he was hon-
est and true to the best and highest ideals.

"From the organization of the North Scranton
Bank until the hour of his untimely death, he was
president of the institution. A member of our
board of directors, he was sagacious and con-
servative in consultation. The highest executive
officer of the bank, no detail of its business es-
caped his notice, nor did any matter appear too.
trifling to claim his attention. Not a little of the
bank's present highly satisfactory condition, not
a little of its promising future, is to be attributed
to his indefatigable and unselfish devotion to its
interests.

"And now, finally, it may be said oi him that
he was a man of many friends, and no enemies."

W. H. OLMSTEAD, M. D. No calling or
profession to which man turns his attention is so
fraught with interest and responsibility as that
of the physician. No student needs more thor-
ough or painstaking training than does the man
who takes up the science of materia medica. The
successful physician must be quick of percep-
tion, prompt in action, capable, tender and sym-
pathetic. Dr. W. H. Olmstead was born in
Dundaff, Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania,
August 22, 1862, a son of Dr. Johnson C. and
Dency (Woodward) Olmstead, and grandson of
Osborn and Violette Olmstead, natives of Con-
necticut, who migrated to W^ayne county, Penn-
sylvania, about the beginning of the nineteenth
century, where Osborn Olmstead divided his at-
tention between agricultural pursuits and the
operation of a tannery. Their family consisted
of thirteen children, nine of whom attained years
of maturity.

Dr. Johnson C. Olmstead (father) was born
in New York in 1819. He was a graduate of the
University of New York, and for the long period
of forty-six years was successfully engaged in
the practice of medicine, in Susquehanna county.
He was a prominent member of the Masonic
fraternity. In 1846 he married Dency Wood-
ward, daughter of Jonathan K. Woodward, and
the sister of Warren J. Woodward, judge of the
supreme court of Pennsylvania. Four children



ii6



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



were the issue of this union. Dr. W. H. Qhn-
stead being the only surviving member at the
present time (1905). Dr. Johnson C. Obnstead
died in 1887, aged sixty-eight years. He sur-
vived his wife many years, her death occurring
in 1864.

In the schools of his native village Dr. W.
H. Olmstead obtained the rudiments of his edu-



Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 24 of 130)