Horace Edwin Hayden.

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

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wife attend the Methodist Episcopal Church.

i\Ir. Houck married, December 25, 1890, Mary
C. Mackpeek, and the following children have
been born to, them : Verna C, Harry E., Hazel H.,
Orval W., Grace A., Walter E., who is deceased ;
Carl D. Mrs. Houck is a daughter of Horatio
Alackpeek, born in New Jersey, of Scotch de-
scent, and a stonemason by trade. More than
forty-five years ago he came from New Jersey and
settled in the Lackawanna valley. He married
Mary E. Coss, of German descent, and their chil-
dren were : Henry, who is'deceased : Charles W.,
who is also deceased ; Jerry B. ; Malinda G., who
is deceased ; Loretta B. ; Mary C, who was born
September 29, 1873, in Scranton, and became the
wife of Emmett Houck, as mentioned above ;
Minnie M. : and Elizabeth. Mr. and Mrs. Alack-
peek, the parents of these children, are now resi-
dents of Peckville, Pennsylvania.

HON. LEMUEL AMERMAN, deceased, of
Scranton, an accomplished lawyer, and an ideal
citizen, who filled various important stations both
in the line of his profession and in political life,
and who bore an active and conspicuously useful
part in promoting the highest interests of the
community, was a native Pennsylvanian, and a
descendant of one of the oldest and most hon-
ored Dutch families of the early colonial period.

The founder of the American family in
America was his great-great-great-grandfather,
Derick Amerman, who came from the vicinity
of Amsterdam, Holland, to New York, before the
country passed under English rule. In 1695
and for some years thereafter he owned and
operated a ferry between the city of New York
and Hoboken, New Jersey. His son Albert was
reared in New Jersey, and was a farmer. Albert
was an intense patriot, and at the outbreak of the
Revolutionary war abandoned his farm, turning
over to the continental authorities his horses and
cattle for army use, and also enlisting as a sol-
dier, ]:)articipating in numerous engagements, in-
cluding the famous battle of Monmouth, where
he lost his knee-cap from a wound. In 1800 he
removed to Pennsylvania, settling in Northum-
berland county, where he lived until his death in
1 82 1. His son Henrv, who was a small lad when




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THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



131



his father came to the state, married Susanna
Cook, a native of Montgomery county, Penn-
sylvania.

Jesse C. Amerman, son of Henry and Sus-
anna (Cook) Amerman, was a farmer and mer-
chant in Cooper township, Alontour county. He
was a man of sterHng character and excellent
business ability. He represented his county in
the state legislature in 1873-74. December 2,

1845, hs married Caroline Strohm, daughter of
Abraham Strohm, whose ancestors came from
Germanv and settled in Pennsylvania about 1765,
She died April ig, 1869.

Lemuel Amerman, son of Jesse C. and Caro-
line (Strohm) Amerman, was born October 29,

1846, near Danville, IMontour county, and was
reared upon the paternal farm. He inherited a
fine physique, and was trained to habits of in-
dustry and thrift. In his youth he was in turn a
laborer and driver on the Pennsylvania canal and
clerk in a store. During these years he was pos-
sessed of an ambition to enter upon a more active
career, and to prepare himself therefor I e bent
every energy to the acquisition of a liberal edu-
cation. Having laid a substantial foundation in
"the public school, he prepared for college at

Danville Academy, after which he taught
school for two years in order to earn the means
for further instruction. In 1866, at the age of
twenty years, he entered Bucknell University
at Louisburg, Pennsylvania, from which he
was graduated with honor in the class of 1870.
The scope of his attainments is discerned in
the fact that he was at once called to the pro-
fessorship of ancient languages and English
literature in the State Normal school at Mans-
field, Pennsylvania, and that he filled the place
with acknowledged abilit}- for a period of three
■years. It is to be here noted that he dt%'eloped
such an aptitude for educational work as to
altord ample assurance that he would have
risen to its higher walks had he devoted him-
self solely to it. He had other purposes, how-
ever.

After leaving the college lecture room Mr.
Amerman engaged in the study of law in the
office of the late Lewis C. Cassidy, ex-attorney
general of Pennsylvania, and Pierce Archer,
Jr., of Philadelphia, where he had for fellow-
students Hon. Robert E. Pattison. who became
governor of the commonwealth : Hon. James
Gay Gordon, who became judge of the court of
common pleas of Philadelphia ; and Hon. ^^'ill-
iam F. Harrity. He was admitted to the bar
December 24, 1875. Ii^ the following year he
located in Scranton, and entered upon a prac-



tice which became very extensive in all the
courts of the district, and included some of the
most important litigation connected with coal
mine ownership and operation, and with large
industrial and manufacturing interests, fields
in which he was peculiarly well equipped and
resourceful. A keenly analytical and scholarly
mind, coupled with a remarkable intuitive
knowledge of human nature, and the many
other qualities wdiich combine to make the suc-
cessful lawyer, soon brought him to the front
rank of the legal practitioners of Pennsylvania.
He was recognized as a thorough student, an
indefatigable worker, and unusually quick of
application. Once he evolved an opinion, it
was as good as law : once he prepared a case,
he was ready to successfully defend it against
any opposition, with incontrovertible knowd-
edge of the applying law, and, withal, ingenu-
ously and with entire avoidance of aught not
justified by the most stringent standards of
personal and professional honor.

Mr. Amerman was early called into public
life. In 1878, two years after he had taken up
his residence in Scranton, he was elected
county solicitor of Lackawanna county for a
term of two years, and on his retirement from
the position he was (in 1881) elected to the
house of representatives of the state. During
his two year term he formulated various im-
portant laws relating to anthracite coal min-
ing, and was primarily instrumental in eflfect-
ing their passage. In 1886 Governor Pattison
appointed him reporter of the decisions of the
supreme court of Pennsylvania, and he entered
upon his duties with intelligence and enthus-
iasm which found their fruit in some most
salutary innovations. Departing from the cus-
tom then in vogue of delaying reports until
a year and more after the decisions were
handed down from the bench, he made im-
mediate issuance, to the great advantage of
judges and lawyers alike, who gave cordial
expression to their satisfaction with the new
order wdiich he had established. The encom-
iums from the bench were peculiarly appre-
ciative. Said Chief Justice Mercur, "Your
promptness is very commendable" ; Justice
Gordon, "Your work as a reporter is well done,
and the dispatch with which you have pub-
lished the reports is worthy of all commenda-
tion" ; Justice Paxson, "Your promptness has
not been excelled or equalled, and is entirely
novel" ; Justice Trunkey, "Your promptness
must be pleasing and advantageous to the pro-
fession, and vou have shown that the author-



13^



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



ized reports of cases may be placed in the hands
of the profession within less than three months
after the decision'"; Justice Green, "I appre-
ciate highly the promptness with which the
reports are printed under your supervision,
and also the thoroughness with which the cases
are prepared and arranged. You are certainly
deserving of great credit for your work in these
respects."

Mr. Amerman was elected controller of the
city of Scranton in 1887, and during his two
years term of office he inaugurated and suc-
cessfully carried out many salutary reforms in
the auditing of the public accounts and the dis-
tribution of the municipal funds. He was
elected to a seat in the fifty-second congress,
and in that body proved himself a most useful
member, and took an active part in the enact-
ment of legislative measures of unusual im-
portance, among them being the act requiring
railroads to equip their cars with automatic
couplers and air-brakes.

A Democrat in politics, Mr. Amerman was
a recognized power in the district, and his fine
gifts as a public speaker were frequently dis-
played in support of the principles and policies
of his party. He was a Baptist in religion, and
for seven years was superintendent of the Penn
Avenue Baptist Church Sunday school. His
personal qualities were such as mark the ideal
citizen and christian gentleman. Possessed of
ample means, he used them generously in the
promotion of various important enterprises
which contributed to the development of his
home city and made its name celebrated as an
industrial and commercial center. He was a
prime factor in projecting, building and operat-
ing water-works and trolley lines. He was
president of the Lackawanna Valley Traction
Company and the Blossburg Water Company ;
and vice-president of the Spring Brook Water
Supply Company, the Scranton and Pittston
Traction Company, the Brookside Coal Com-
pany, and the Mansfield Water Company. He
had for an associate in various business enter-
prises ex-Lieutenant Governor L. A. W^atres.
The confidence reposed in him was evidenced
by his choice as an executor of the immense
estate of the late Judge Handley, and which
trust passed to his wife after his death. He
was an earnest supporter of and liberal con-
tributor to many charitable and humanitarian
institutions, while his personal benefactions were
ever bestowed upon those individuals whose con-
dition appealed to his deeply sympathetic nature.

Mr. Amerman married, September 24, 1879,



Miss Susan W^allaze, a daughter of Laurens.
Wallaze, and a member oi an old Virginia
family. Her death occurred only four months,
after her marriage. Mr. Amerman subse-
quently married Miss Mary C. Van Nort,,
daughter of Charles F. Van Nort, a native of
Abington township, and then a resident of
Scranton. She died February 7, 1886, leaving
two children, Ralph and Alary. Her sister,
Ella May Van Nort, became the wife of Mr.
Amerman on July 2, 1890.

Mr. Amerman died suddenly, presumably
from heart failure, October 7, 1897, at Bloss-
burg, Tioga county, whither he had gone on
a business engagement the day before. The
remains were at once conveyed to Scranton
by special car. Probably there never was a
similar instance in the city where a death an-
nouncement occasioned such a general shock
and such deep unfeigned regret. A meeting
of the Lackawanna Bar Association (of which
the deceased was a leading member) was
called, and fervent tributes were paid to his
memory by Judge Edwards, ex-Judge W. H.
Jessup, e.x-Lieutenant Governor Watres, and
others. Suitable resolutions were adopted, and
the association attended the funeral in a body.
Among other grieving mourners were the of-
ficers of the Penn Avenue Baptist Church and
Sunday school, and the children of the Nay
Aug Falls Mission, of whose welfare the de-
ceased was deeply solicitous. The funeral
discourse was delivered by the Rev. Dr. Dixon,
pastor of the Penn Avenue Church, who re-
ferred in touching terms to the christian life
of his beloved parishioner and friend. In the
course of his remarks he alluded to the fact
that the last business which Mr. Amerman had
transacted in the city prior to his death was
the completion of the details of the plans which
he had formulated for the enlargement of the
mission of which he was the superintendent.
This last labor of love which engaged the at-
tention of Mr. Amerman was brought to a suc-
cessful consummation by his widow, and is his
most impressive memorial. Mr. Amerman be-
came superintendent of the Nay Aug Falls
Mission at its formation, May 27, 1897. He
pressed the Penn Avenue Church to provide a
mission chapel for it, and with such success,
that he was enabled to close a contract for a
building site on October 6, the day previous to his
death. Mrs. Amerman at once took up the un-
completed work of her husband. One week
after his deatli ( (October 14) she was made
cor-»rustee with William McClave in the




■ DBY'.-HA.S.B.HALT. WCw VoniC



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THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



133



purchase of the site, and on October 18
ground was broken, Isaac Post and Mrs.
Amerman removing the first earth. The
corner stone was iaid October 26, and Novem-
ber 3, the Penn Avenue Church, by unanimous
vote, named the mission "The Amerman Mem-
orial Tabernacle of the Penn Avenue Baptist
Church." At the dedicatory services addresses
were delivered by Deacon Fillmore, in behalf
of the church ; J. W. Browning, superintendent
of the mission ; ex-Lieutenant Governor Wat-
res, speaking for the business associates of the
deceased ; and Judge Edwards speaking for the
bar. The pastor, the Rev. Joseph K. Dixon,
D. D., delivered an in memoriam address,
gathering up the life lessons of the deceased,
and speaking of that for which the building
stands. And the church records contain this
minute: 'Tn love for the beloved dead; with
a large hearted munificence and a tender gen-
erosity : with a high purpose to glorify God and
help men — Mrs. Ella May Amerman, the
widow of our beloved brother, discharged every
obligation, and the Tabernacle was dedicated
free of debt."

The character of the lamented deceased
was most touchingly summed up by his pastor,
the Rev. Dr. Dixon :

"■ To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk
humbly with thy God," is heaven's require-
ment. This he did. In his home he ever mani-
fested a tender and self-denying affection.
Those who were so fortunate as to come within
its walls found a summer atmosphere. In his
public life he was industrious, faithful, success-
ful, reaping well-earned laurels. He was
sought after as the steward of great trusts —
imiversally esteemed, holding always to his
clear perceptions of right and duty. Men of
brains and men of genius sought his compan-
ionship as birds seek the hospitality of sum-
mer. He loved his church. He loved the chil-
dren. Sunday school work was a passion with
him, and his noble nature, his cordial and lov-
ing presence, his instructive and inspiring ex-
positions, brought the children to his side as
the flower brings the bee. He was the pastor's
unfailing friend and helper. We shall miss
you, brother: but vou have triumphed: we still
linger in the shadows.

" 'Something has gone from nature since he died.
And summer is not summer, ncr can be.

"God bless the dear wife and children — God
bless the aged father, and help the church to be
"wise and pure and faithful."



CHARLES ALEXANDER BURR was
born in Gilbertsville, Otsego county. New
York, February 22, 1846. He was the son of a
long line of sturdy stock, and of pre-revolu-
tionary ancestry. His father, Alva, was the
son of an Ebenezer Burr, who many years ago
lived in Saugatuck, Connecticut, the earlier
encestors of whom it is believed were of the
same line as that of .Aaron Burr, the once bril-
liant lawyer, whose rare talents and extraordi-
nary attainments secured for him a position
of eminence among the distinguished men of
his generation.

The mother of Mr. Burr was Esther Hurl-
butt, a woman of admirable personality, who
was of a line of highly respected forefathers.
Her father was Daniel Hurlbutt, Jr., who was
born in Wilton, Connecticut, 1740; was twice
married ; first, to Naomi Stuart, who died in
1764, and then to Esther Patrick, a daughter of
one Captain John Patrick, who as a soldier of
the Revolution achieved distinction. His
father, Daniel Hurlbutt, was the son of a
Thomas Hurlbutt, distinguished from others of
the same name as "Thomas 4th," and who hav-
ing married a Belden, lived at Wilton, Con-
necticut, after the year 1710, in the neighbor-
hood of what has since been known as the "Old
Hurlburtt Homestead." Going backward then
comes his father, "Thomas 3rd," his grand-
father "Thomas, Jr.," and his great-grand-
fatHer, Thomas. This last was the emigrant
ancestor of Mr. Burr's mother. He came to
the colonies in 1635, ^^d from all accounts must
have been a man of strong character. He was
prominent among the Indian fighters of the
day, and was associated with Lion Gardiner,
of much renown as such, and who erected the
fort at Saybrook. While there, in an engage-
ment with the savages, in 1637, he was serious-
Iv wounded. He subsequently established
himself in business at Wethersfield, where he
seems to have grown prosperous. A man of
good standing in the community, public-
spirited, and of some education, he was clerk
of the "Train Band" in 1640, and a deputy to
the general court in 1644. He appears also to
have been the owner of a considerable landed
estate, having received various tracts in the
several divisions of the town in 1647 : and for
his services in the Indian wars, was later, in
1671. voted a grant of one hundred and twenty
acres.

Charles A. Burr, the subject of th-'s sketch,
was left fatherless in infancv. Reared, how-



134



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



ever, in the place of his hirth, with painstaking
attention to his moral and mental growth, he
acquired a liberal education, fitting himself to
become a student of medicine, for which pro-
fession he had a decided liking. This desio-n.
however, he was compelled to abandon ; and a
mere youth, at about the age of sixteen, he
turned to mercantile pursuits. Finding his
way to Scranton, he there obtained a position
of minor importance in the general store of the
Lackawanna Iron & Coal Company. In this em-
plovment, bv efficiency and fidelity, he soon won
promotion, and while still in years a mere boy was
placed in absolute charge of the company's store
at Shickshinny. There he remained for three
years, confining himself strictly and industriously
to the development of the business under his care.
But here ill-health came to him, and He was com-
pelled to resign that he might find other employ-
ment, in which he coulil obtain physical exercise
in the open air. For a time he managed the coal
station at Mt. Hope, where he remained for
awhile, acquiring a knowledge of and experience
in the coal business which was in after years of
much benefit and of great advantage to him.
With his work finished at Mt. Hope, he returned
to Scranton, and soon formed business relations
with the late Mr. William T. Smith, then laying
the foundation of the large fortune which he sub-
sequently acquired by his successful coal opera-
tions. With that gentleman he conducted the
stores of the Mt. Pleasant Coal Company, in
which he had a substantial interest, acting as the
general manager thereof until the mines passed
into other hands and the stores were closed. Here
he obtained the nucleus of an independent for-
tune, with which he was enabled to engage in the
coal business on his own account. He, with Mr.
D. J. Whiteford and some others, then organized
the Bull's Head Coal Company, and for several
years profitably operated that company's plant in
Scranton. He was the active spirit of this enter-
prise, and the president of the corporation until
the day of his death. In addition to his coal bus-
iness he was a banker, a director of the North
Scranton Bank, an institution which owed much
of its exceptional success to his business know-
ledge, sound sense, and discriminating judgment.
He invested also largely in other promising enter-
prises, some in this state and others in the south,
in coal and timber lands ; and in so doing neces-
sarily formed intimate business relations with
prominent and substantial citizens, whose respect,
confidence and good-will he compelled by the
rectitude of his conduct, his high moral standards,
and his knowledge of men and affairs.



On October lo, 1876, Mr. Burr married Miss-
Emma J. Roberts, a daughter of Dan S. and
Elmira (Lamereoux) Roberts. The mother, as
her name would indicate, was of French descent.
Her ancestors were among the early settlers of
Pennsylvania, and several of them are numbered
with the victims of the Wyoming massacre.

On June 23, 1904, Mr. Burr died suddenly, in
the very midst of a useful and prosperous career,
at his beautiful suburban home in the city of
Scranton, leaving behind him, well fixed in the
memorv of all who knew him, the record of a gen-
tleman and a Christian. At the time of his death
he was a member of the First Presbyterian Church
of Scranton.

With a pleasing personality Mr. Burr's con-
duct was always dignified and courtly. Unas-
suming in manner, he was free from obtrusive
self-assertion, and in his intercourse with his
friends and familiars was delightful in conversa-
tion : fond of anecdote, and possessing, with a
rare store of information, a gentle humor that al-
ways bore testimony to his kindliness of disposi-
tion, he was in his social life a most interesting
and attractive companion. Bv such manners and
qualities — by such a life, he made for himself an
honorable career, and, dying, left no stain nor
tarnish upon the imperishable monument which
he himself, while living, erected to the memory of
a just man.

PROFESSOR WILLIAM A. KELLY, of
Archbald, Pennsylvania, is one of the young and
popular educators of Lackawanna county. He
is serving in the capacity of superintendent of the
Archbald schools, which comprise six buildings,
with a force o.f twenty-one teachers and one-
thousand pupils, besides the high school, which
has thirty-one pupils enrolled and is taught by
]Miss Mary Mullen, principal.

He was born at Treverton, Pennsylvania,
August 27, 1867, a son of John G. and Julia
(Gaughan) Kelly, both of whom were natives of
Ireland, and emigrated to this country when young
and unmarried. John G. Kelly (father) is de-
ceased, but his wife is living, a resident of Par-
sons, Pennsylvania. Their familv consisted of
ten children, three of whom are living, namely :
Mrs. B. E. Ward, William A., mentioned at
length hereinafter ; and Dr. J. J. Kellv, who was
born in Northumberland, Pennsylvania, in 1858,
is a graduate of the Universitv of Pennsylvania,
and is now the leading physician of Archbald.
In 1893 Dr. Kelly married Annie Co.wley, and
their children are: John F., Mary, Anna, Julia,.
Robert, and Evelyn Kelly.



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



I3S



Professor Kelly attended the public schools of
his native town, Wyoming Seminary, at Kings-
ton, Pennsylvania, from which institution he was
graduated in 1885, and the JMansfield State Nor-
mal School, from which he was graduated in 1888
after completing the regular course. At the age
of twenty -two years he began the work which he
had chosen for his active career, the profession of
teaching, and up to the year 1901 served as prin-
cipal of the various leading schools of Luzerne
and Lackawanna counties. In that year he was
chosen superintendent of the above mentioned
schools, which position he has filled to the entire
satisfaction of patrons, teachers and pupils. Along
with the other accomplishments acquired and in-
herited by Professor Kelly is that of singing.
His reputation as a baritone is widely known not
only in his own, but in other states. He sang at
the World's Fair, Chicago, Illinois ; in the city of
Baltimore, ^Maryland ; and as a member of the
Scranton Oratorio Society he took a conspicuous
and prominent part. He is leader of the choir of
the Church of St. Thomas the Divine, of Arch-
bald, Pennsylvania. In the present year (1904)
he received a distinction above his fellow profes-
sors in being the winner of a prize to the World's
Fair atr St. Louis, the same having been won by
contest. He is a member of the Roman Catholic
Church, a member of the Knights of Columbus,
and he upholds the principles of Democracy. In
1901 Professor Kelly was united in marriage to
Jennie O'Boyle.

HUGH M. HANNAH, who choosing the law
as a profession has also extended his activities to
various enterprises that have contributed to the
upbuilding of the citv as well as to his individual
success, was born in Harford, Susquehanna
county, Pennsylvania, September 13, 1842. The
family is of Scotch-Irish lineage. The grand-
father, Walter Hannah, born in Scotland, removed
thence to Ireland, settling upon a farm near
Ballymoney, in county Antrim. He had a brother,
Daniel Hannah, who was a member oi the Eng-
lish army and for many years was stationed at
Gibraltar.

Archibald Hannah, son of Walter Hannah,



Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 28 of 130)