Horace Edwin Hayden.

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

. (page 34 of 130)
Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 34 of 130)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Warner, was born in Huntington township, Lu-
zerne county, Pennsylvania, December 5, 1845.
After receiving an academical education he en-
tered the Pennsylvania College of Dental Sur-
gery, Philadelphia, and graduated D. D. S. with
"honors in the class of 1873. After leaving college
Dr. Warner located in Hazleton, Pennsylvania,
where he practiced his profession until the year
1875, when he removed to Wilkes-Barre, where
liis reputation became so well established that
patrons came to him from Bradford, Columbia,
Susquehanna, Wyoming and other counties of
Pennsylvania. He belonged to the Pennsylvania
Dental Association and the Susquehanna County
Dental Association, was a prominent member
and took an active part in the annual conven-
tions of both societies. He was married by the
Rev. Young C. Smith, D. D., November 7, 1883,
to Jennie Edith Stark, daughter of John Michael
and Sarah (Davidson) Stark, of Wyoming,
Pennsylvania. She was educated at Wyoming
Seminary, Kingston, Pennsylvania, and gradu-
ated therefrom in the class of 1877. She is a
member of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church,
Wilkes-Barre. Dr. James Nelson and Jennie
Edith (Stark) Warner had three sons: Sidney

S., a graduate of Harry Hillman Academy,
Wilkes-Barre, class of 1905, now a student in
the University of Pennsylvania ; Benjamin S.,
born November 21, 1889, died January 25, 1891 ;
and James Stark Warner, now a student in the
Harrv Hillman Academv, Wilkes-Barre. ( See
John M. Stark.)

Dr. James Nelson Warner was a good citi-
zen, a kind and affectionate husband and father,
and in society a favorite with all who had the
privilege of knowing him. He was a popular
member of the Westmoreland Club, upon whose
roll of membership there are -many of the prom-
inent business and professional men of the Wyo-
ming valley. For years he was a regular com-
municant of the St. Stephen's Episcopal Church,
Wilkes-Barre, and won the friendship, respect
and esteem of his pastor and congregation. In
the Masonic fraternity he was prominent, being
a member of Landmark Lodge, No. 442, F. and
A. M., Wilkes-Barre ; Shekinah Chapter, No.
182, R. A. M., Wilkes-Barre ; Dieu Le Veut
Commandery, No. 45, K. T., Wilkes-Barre, and
an illustrious noble of Irem Temple (Mystic
Shrine), A. A. O. N. M. S., Wilkes-Barre.

He was a member of the Republican party,
and its principles as enunciated by Lincoln and
eloquently expounded bv Blaine and other great
statesmen received his approval and loyal sup-
port. He never allowed politics to interfere with
the practice of the profession, to which he ap-
plied his time with energy and abilitv. In life's
battle he was an active participant. His knowl-
edge and surgical skill brought relief and com-
fort to thousands of his fellow-men. The time
that comes to all men to stand alone upon the
threshold of eternity at last came to him. On
Saturday, March 4, 1905, he was stricken with
pleuro-pneumonia, and for weeks bravely fought
death and stayed the Omnipotent decree just
long enough to receive the sincere congratula-
tions of friends wdio hoped he would remain with
them for a number of years to come. After he
had partially regained his health, under the ad-
vice of physicians, he went to New York, and
upon arriving there again became prostrated with
pneumonia. An illness of three weeks duration
followed, until April 28, 1905, when he peace-
fully passed away, and Wilkes-Barre, the home
of his adoption, mourned the loss of one of its
foremost professional men and prominent citizens.


lived a conspicuously useful life, and his lofty
character found witness in the high measure of
honor paid him by the first citizens of Scranton.



A biographer said of him : "Probably no man
with his limited means, as the world now esti-
mates wealth, ever did more for the good of
others, ever accomplished more with the means
and instrumentalities at his command, than did
this man. His life bore witness to the truth that
there are those who amass great wealth or who
win fame and power, yet are themselves the
poorer for it, and whose loss brings little or no
regret ; and there are those who, not making
wealth or fame or power their first object, so live
that the world is richer for their lives and poorer
in their loss — men and women, like this one, for
whom the 'Well Done' of the Master finds an
echo in every heart about them."

Mr. Robertson came of a distinguished Scot-
tish ancestry, the Robertsons of Struan, in the
Highlands of Perth, who were descended from
the ancient Celtic Earls of AthoU. The Clan
Robertson (or Dinnochie) were a powerful fam-
ily before Bruce was king, fought under the
patriot king in the war that secured the independ-
ence of Scotland, and were noted for their un-
flinching loyalty and devotion to the Stuart dy-
nasty. The name of Robertson was derived from
Robert, son of Duncan (de Atholia), who cap-
tured two of the murderers of James I, and for
that service received a royal charter erecting his
lands into a free barony, A. D., 145 1. His son
adopted the surname . of Robertson, which the
family has since retained. The coat-of-arms of
the family is preserved by both the northern and
southern branches of the family in America, and
the motto, "Virtutis gloria merces," applies well
to the life work of the subject of this sketch. In
the rebellion of 171 5 and 1745 the Clan Robertson
turned out seven hundred claymores under their
most noted chief, Alaster Robertson, who, famed
for his learning, chivalrous heroism and political
abilities, became the prototype of the Baron of
Bradwardin in Scott's "Waverly." The Clacli
na Bratach, or Stone of the Standard, famous
heirloom in the family, was found in the twelfth
centur}'. This talisman, or rather palladium of the
Clan, has been worn in battle by its chief for
more than si.x hundred years, and is yet in the
possession of the present Robertson of Struan.
The last lineal chief, Alexander Robertson, died
without issue in 1749, and the estates and title
went to Duncan Robertson, of Drumachune. For
political reasons he left the country and took
refuge in France. His son. Colonel Alexander
Robertson, obtained a restitution of the Struan
estates and died unmarried in 1822.

Patrick, voungest son of the above-named

Duncan Robertson, came to America, and died in
1775. One of his sons, Arthur, vvas killed under
Paul Jones in the engagement between the Bon
Homme Richard and the Serapis. Another son,
John, settled in New York, and became a man of
prominence. At the age of seventeen he became
a midshipman in the L'nited States navv during
the Revolutionary war, and after five years of
gallant service was captured in the ship-of-war
Confederacy, and was held prisoner on board the
Jersey prison-ship in the Wallabout for two
years. He attracted the favorable attention of
the British officers, and was enabled to greatly
alleviate the sufferings of his companions in mis-
fortune. After the war he became a ship-master,
sailing from New York, and subsequently was a
merchant there. He died December 28, 1836,
leaving a fortune to his children, and as recorded
in his obituary, "unstained by a single act that
they might blush for." He was twice married.
First to Maria Sperry, a native of Switzerland,
and second to Catherine Prentiss, of New Lon-
don, Connecticut.

The Rev. John Jacob Robertson, son of Pat-
rick and Alaria ( Sperry) Robertson, was born
March 6, 1797. He graduated from Columbia
College, New York, at the age of sixteen years,
and afterward made two voyages abroad for the
benefit of his health, and made the enduring
friendship of many of the leading men in
church and science. He was ordained in
the ministry in 1818, and was in charge of a par-
ish in Winchester, Virginia, until 1824, when he
was appointed professor of languages in the Uni-
versity of Vermont. He served in that capacity
for a year, during which time he drew together
each Sunday for divine worship, at a private
house, a few of the students and townspeople,
and thus laid the foundation of the present flour-
ishing parish of St. Paul's in Middlebury, \'er-
mont. Ill health demanding his removal to a
warmer climate, in 1826 he located in Baltimore,
Maryland, where he opened a school. In 1827
he was appointed by the Episcopal Missionary
and Education Society a missionary to Greece,
and in 1828 by the Church Missionary Societv of
the Unitetl States a "missionarv to the shores of
the Mediterreanean sea." In 1829 he made a tour
of exploration through Greece, and on his return
made a report to the societies, whereupon he and,
at his own request, the Rev. J. M. Hills, of Bal-
timore, were appointed to the direction of the
"Mission of the American Episcopal Church in
(Ireece." He was thus the first foreign mission-
ary of the Episcopal Church in America, though



he disliked the term ■'missionary," considering
himself simply as an envoy to the Eastern or
Greek Church. He had previously married
(June 10, 1821), Julia Ann Henshaw, and Air.
Robertson and his wife and Air. and Airs. Hills
sailed in 1830 for Athens, where they began their
work in August of the following year. Mr. and
Mrs. Robertson occupied the lower rooms of the
old Venetian Tower in the ancient city, then par-
tially ruined, but since restored. It was here that
John Atticus Robertson was born, December 25,
1831. Mrs. Robertson and Airs. Hills organize4
the girls' school in Athens, which has become
notably useful, and in the island of Syra in-
structed the Greek children in home duties as well
as ordinary studies.

Airs. Robertson also came of an ancient and
honored family. The Henshaws from whom the
American branch of the family is descended, came
from the English family of Heronshaw, or Hern-
shaw — Thomas Henshaw, of Cheshire. He was
a captain in the service of James I, who for "his
faithful and able service" granted him the arms
previously borne by the family, and added a crest.
Thomas Henshaw died in 1639, leaving a large
fortune. From him was descended Benjamin
Henshaw, died in 1781, who was a lieutenant in
the Connecticut line during the Revolution,
fought in the battle of Bennington, and whose
report of the capture of prisoners and munitions
of war is still e.xtant. He married (first) Eliza-
beth Lord, and (second) Huldah Sumner, of
Aliddletown, and had two children by his first
wife and si.x by his second. Daniel, son of Ben-
jamin Henshaw by his second marriage, was born
Alarch 26, 1762. He was a merchant in Aliddle-
town, but removed to Aliddlebury, Vermont. He
married Sarah Esther Prentiss, of New London,
Connecticut. Their third child, Julia Ann, became
the wife of the Rev. John Jacob Robertson. She
accompanied her husband on his foreign mission,
and through all the trials of a life of more than
usual vicissitude was his wise counsellor and lov-
ing assistant. Bishop Southgate wrote of "her
genial, courteous, open disposition, her practical
sagacity, her contentment with solid unshowy
usefulness, her kindness to all, her imsuspicious-
ness, her charity which could think of no one
with enmity," and adds that "she died as she
had lived, calmly, with patient faith and cloudless

From such excellent lineage and parentage

came John Atticus Robertson. During his first

twelve years he lived with his parents in -A.thens,

the Island of Syra, and Constantinople, taking


even at that early age a deep interest in the won-
ders of the past as well as present, and receiving
careful instruction from his parents. The family
returning to the United States in 1843, li^ was
shortly afterward sent to Dr. Ten Broeck's school
in Georgetown, D. C. At the age of nineteen he
entered Trinity College, at Hartford, Connecti-
cut, and graduated in 1854. During these years
he had taken great interest in engineering, spend-
ing some of his vacations in field work with his
cousin, AlcRee Swift, a noted civil engineer, and
a few months on the Hartford water works.
After his graduation he made engineering his
profession, and followed it for the ne.xt fourteen
years of his life. In 1854-55 he was engaged in
the survey of the Alabama and Florida Railroad,
and while in Florida his feet were severely pois-
oned, from which he suffered more or less for
some years. He was ne.xt employed by some cap-
italists, among them his cousin, William Good-
rich, of New Orleans, Louisiana, to make an ex-
ploration up Red river into Texas, in search of
petroleum fields, from which he derived an expe-
rience which was of after use. June i, 1855, he
engaged with the Missouri Pacific Railway Com-
pany, with which he continued until July, 1856.
November i, 1855, occurred the dreadful Gas-
conade disaster, in which a special train loaded
with many of the most prominent citizens of St.
Louis, making an excursion to Jefferson City,
the capital of Missouri, to celebrate the opening
of the road to that point, was precipitated into
the Gasconade river by the breaking down of the
bridge over the Gasconade river, resulting in the
death of forty people, and serious injuries to
about one hundred and thirty more. Mr. Robert-
son, who had been ill at the east, had journeyed
for St. Louis, against the advice of his physician,
but on account of a delay en route did not reach
the citv until the excursion train had left. But
for this delay he would have been on the ill-fated
train, and might have shared the fate of his chief
(Mr. Thomas O'Sullivan, the engineer of the
road), who was killed. His tmcle, the Rev. Tru-
man Alarcellus Post, pastor of the First Congre-
gational Church of St. Louis, escaped with his
life, but was much cut and bruised.

From July, 1856, to March, 1858, Air. Rob-
ertson was actively engaged, largely in the con-
struction of waterworks, and on the latter date
became assistant engineer of the Brooklyn (New
York) waterworks. In April, 1859, he became
assistant to Frederick Law Olmstead in the laying
out and direction of work on the great Central
Park, in New York City — a most congenial occu-



pation — and resided near the park. The work-
on the park being suspended on account of the
Civil war, in February, 1863, he was engaged on
the harbor defences of New York, mainly at
Castle William, on Governor's Island, and was
subsequently appointed by General Totten to the
position of government inspector of engineering.
In January, 1865. he was connected with the
Duck Creek Petroleum Company, and in the fall
of the same year with the Texas Coal Oil and
Petroleum Company. In May, 1866, he opened
an office as consulting engineer in New York, but
in February, 1867, accepted a position with the
Union Coal Company and surveyed and built the
road between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, now
■owned by the Delaware and Hudson Canal Com-
pany. On the completion of this work he was
appointed superintendent, and served in that posi-
tion until 187 1, when he resigned to take charge
of the Forest Hill cemetery at Scranton, complet-
ing the work of laying out which had been begun
"by J. Gardner Sanderson, and becoming superin-
tendent, a position in which he rendered efficient
service during the remainder of his life. About
the same time he made the survey for the Ridge
Turnpike, now known as the Boulevard, between
Green Ridge and Priceburg. He had also taken
up his residence in Green Ridge, and become in-
terested in a real estate business. In 1872 he was
associated with the Georgia Manufacturing and
Mining Company, and spent some time at Gaines-
ville, near Atlanta, an experience he always spoke
of with pleasure. In 1 881 he formed a real es-
tate and insurance partnership with Colonel Fred-
erick L. Hitchcock, which continued until the
time of his death. For years the firm of Robert-
son & Hitchcock were agents for the Barber As-
phalt Company, and were instrumental in having
the first asphalt pavements laid in the city.

Active and energetic as he was in all that
brain and hand found to do in his ordinary busi-
ness, there was another side of his life work in
which he was more deeply interested and to which
he gave unsparinglv of his time, his ability and
his means. This was his work for the church he
loved. During his residence in New York hv at-
tended the Church of the Redeemer (Protestant
Episcopal), in which he served as warden. On
first coming to Scranton he attended St. Luke's,
which was within the city proper, and he and
others conceived the idea that there was place for
a new parish at Green Ridge. June 12, 1868. a
service was held in the dining room of his resi-
dence. Rev. John Long officiating. Later the
same month a service was held in the station of

what is now the Delaware and Hudson Canal
Railway, of which Mr. Robertson was then super-
intendent. A third service was held in a passen-
ger car drawn up in front of the station, and in
tne afternoon a Sunday school was organized.
Later a new carriage house belonging to J. Gard-
ner Sanderson was utilized as a chapel. Novem-
ber 29, 1868, the parish of the Cluirch of the
Good Shepherd was organized, and in the fol-
lowing year, on August 26, the corner stone of a
chapel was laid. Services were first held therein
on June 5, 1870. In 1891 a stone church built by
the Presbyterians at Green Ridge was purchased,
and its renovation was made under the personal
direction of IMr. Robertson. He was a foremost
factor in all the work of parish development and
church improvement, serving as warden and
treasurer from the organization of the parish to
the time of his death, and was a standing delegate
to the diocesan convention of Central Pennsylva-
nia from the time it was formed. He also took
an active part in forwarding the general interests
of the communit}-, and was a member of the
Board of Trade and the Scranton Underwriters.
He cherished a loyal pride in his ancestry, and
made a close study of the history of his Clan, as
attested by the construction of the genealogical
tree, showing without a single break his descent
from Duncan, in the twelfth century, and justify-
ing the claim that he was the real Struan Robert-
son, and Chief of the Clan Dinnochie. He was
married, in St. Thomas Church, New York City,
on December 29, 1858, to Margaret Schenck, of
an old family of that state, whose ancestors came
from Holland and France early in the seventeenth

In the midst of his activities, Mr. Robertson
was stricken down with an attack of pneumonia
on December 23, 1896, from which he recovered
in some degree, and in March following was
taken to Florida, whence he returned two months
afterward, little if any benefitted by the trip. His
life was henceforth one of constant pain, though
his iron will enabled him to resume his business
and church duties. In October he became worse,
and late in the month suffered a severe hemorr-
hage. He again rallied, but on November 9 the
sad end came. He had passed the morning in
pleasant converse with his family, his principal
interest being in the special convention then being
held in South Bethlehem for the election of a
successor to his own beloved Bishop Rulison,
wno had passed away not long before. The same
niglit he was seized with another hemorrhage,
and passed into the infinite future. The sad news




Avas wired to the sacred gathering in South Beth-
Jehem, and upon its receipt all business was sus-
pended, and every one rose in reverential silence
while the prayers for the dead were said. Two
days later the church for which the lamented de-
ceased had so earnestly labored and which he so
•truly loved received him for the last time, and the
funeral office was most touchingly conducted by
■the rector, Rev. Frank S. Ballantine, and Rev.
Rogers Israel, of St. Luke's. The local press,
personal friends, and various organized bodies
paid fervent tribute to the dead, but all said of
him was exceedingly well epitomized in the reso-
lutions adopted by the rector and vestry of the
Church of the Good Shepherd, closing with the
following :

"In the activities of the life of the church he
was ever a leader and ever a safe one. Acquainted
to an unusual degree with the history of the
church, his opinions, both in conventions and in
the smaller circles at home, were always regarded
as being based not only upon good motives, but
•also upon sound learning and intelligence. Pub-
lic-spirited, careful to perform every civic duty,
rejoicing in the welfare of his neighbor, and sym-
pathizing in his misfortune, he filled the full
measure of good citizenship. Of the gentler qual-
ities that radiated from his Christian nature, few
who knew him are ignorant, and not the least of
these was charity. He loved children and they
loved him. \\'hen friends were merry, he was
merry ; and wdien grief darkened the threshold
Iiow manv have felt their load lightened through
his kindly SAinpathy and activity.

''In recording this inadequate appreciation of
■our departed friend, we thank God for the exam-
ple that his life has been to us, and pray Him that
■our lives niav be the better for it. If they shall
so prove, it will be a fitting memorial."

the respect which the world instinctively pays to
the successful man whose prominence is not less
the result of an irreproachable private life than
of accomplishment in the business world, presents
in his history several chapters well worthy of
thoughtful consideration. The Ripple family
came from Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, prior
to the Revolution, and located at Lazarus,
Luzerne county, Pennsylvania. The name was
originallv spelled Rupple. The original Ripple
served in the Revolution as shown in the Pennsyl-
vania archives, Peter Ripple, the grandfather,
engaged in lumbering along the Susquehanna
TJver, lost his life bv accident, or result of a strain,

while thus engaged. He was the father of four-
teen children, among whom were : Phoebe, John,
Lazarus, Abraham, Isaac, William, Peter, Eliza-
beth, Nancy and .Silas.

Silas Ripple, the father, was born in Hanover,
Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, and in 1857 came
to Scranton settling in that district known as
Hyde Park. As proprietor of the White Hotel,
which stood at the corner of Alain and Jackson
streets, he continued in business until his death,
which occurred December 4, 1861. His early
political support was given the Whig party and
on its dissolution he joined the ranks of the newdy
organized Republican party. He was married, in
early manhood, to Elizabeth Harris, a daughter
of Abraham Harris, a native of England, who
in his boyhood became a resident of the Lehigh
valley, where he afterward conducted a meat
market and also engaged in the hotel business.
His daughter Elizabeth, who was born in Alauch
Chunk, Pennsylvania, was a member of the Free
Methodist Church, lived a consistent Christian
life and died in Allentown, in October, 1894.
Silas and Elizabeth Ripple were the parents of
three children, but only two reached adult age,
the daughter being Airs. Alary AI. Doster, of

Ezra H. Ripple, the son, was born in Alauch
Chunk, Pennsylvania, February 14, 1842, and
when four years of age was taken by his parents
to Buck Alountain, wdiere he attended the com-
mon schools and continued his studies in Wyom-
ing Seminarv, completing his course in 1857. In
that year his parents removed to Scranton, and
after putting aside his text books he assisted his
father in the hotel until the latter's death, when
he turned his attention to the drug business,
wherein he continued until he enlisted for service
with the Union army as a private of the Thirteenth
Pennsylvania Infantry, having assisted in raising
Company H. This command did good service
in the Antietam campaign. In 1863 he joined
the Thirtieth Emergency Regiment, and in
Alarch, 1864, he became a member of Company
K, Fifty-second Pennsylvania Infantry, serving
on Alorris Island, in the Department of the South.
Being captured in a night assault on Fort John-
son, July 3, 1864, he was taken to Charleston, and
afterward incarcerated in the military prisons at
Andersonville, wdiere he remained for two and
a half months. He was then returned to Char-
leston and afterward sent to Florence, where he
remained until Alarch I, 1865, when he was
paroled after having suffered all the horrors of
southern prisons for eight months. At Florence

Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 34 of 130)