Horace Edwin Hayden.

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

. (page 40 of 130)
Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 40 of 130)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


vania. His early life was spent on his father's
farm, where in addition to the agricultural labors
a dairy business was carried on. In 1898 he con-
ceived the idea of learning the florist's business,
including landscape gardening. In order to do ■
this he spent some time at College Point, Long
Island, New York, and then went to Dorrance-
ton, where he entered the service of B. F. Dor -



rtgo



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



.ranee, in the nursery business. There he re-
mained until 1901, when lie went to Scranton and
purchased seven lots on which he erected suit-

.able buildings and established himself in business.

. He has sixteen thousand square feet under glass.
His years of training and experience in the prop-

. agation and cultivation of flowers and plants
have made him thoroughly conversant with his
business, and he has an extensive patronage. He

. makes a specialty of carnations, roses and Easter

lilies. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias.

Mr. Schultheis married, December 31, 1^03,

'Carrie, daughter of Herman and Lora (Hart)
Wagner. The former is a native of Germany,

. and the latter of New Jersey. For a number of
years they have resided in Scranton. Their chil-
dren are : George, Henry, Carrie, mentioned

. above as the wife of Anton Schultheis ; Lora,
Emma and jMinnie.

EDWARD SPENCER, deceased, who lived
a life of great activity and usefulness, was one of
the most widely known residents of the Lack-
awanna A'alley, and was held in universal honor
for his nobility of character and genial person-

rality.

He was one of the comparatively few among
the active men of his day who was "native and to
the manner born," his birth having occurred at
Providence, now a part of Scranton. His chris-
tian name has been borne in the family through
all the successive generations from the founder

■ of the family, Edward Spencer, who came from
England and settled in Connecticut in colonial
days. From him descended Edward, who was
born in Connecticut, November 4, 171 1; he re-
moved to. Pennsylvania, settling in Shawnee, Lu-
zerne county, where he followed farming ; he
died in 1800. His son Edward was born in Con-
necticut, May 7, 1753, and was an early settler
in the Wyoming Valley. During the early In-
dian troubles he took refuge at Sunbury. After

"General Sullivan's army had driven the Indians
out of the valley, he returned to find his home
burned, and for six weeks he and a sister lived
in the hollow of a fallen buttonwood tree. He

was a valiant soldier in the Revolutionary war.
He died in Providence, Pennsylvania, December
29, 1829. He married Mary Finch.

Edward Spencer, son of Edward and Mary
(Finch) Spencer, was born October 3, 1805. His
life was one of arduous toil from the beginning.
He remained at home until he was fourteen years
of age, when he went to live with Joseph Hutch-
ings, a cooper nearby, with whom he remained
for one winter, attending school, and paying his



board with his labor in the cooper shop mornings
and nights. At the age of eighteen he tock em-
ployment hauling coal from Carbondale to Hones-
dale, and was so engaged for two years. For two
years thereafter he traveled through the country
with a horse and wagon, peddling goods which
he purchased from a brother in Providence. For
several months in 1823 he drove a team between
Providence and Newburgh, New York, taking
wheat from the valley to the Hudson river. _ and
bringing back goods for his brother Eliphas. On
coming of age, in 1824, he took a clerkship at a
place known as Brown's on the Delaware & Hud-
son Canal. In the following year he built a
store building at Lockport, New York, and es-
tablished a mdrcantile business. Returning to
Providence in 1827, he opened a general store
which he conducted for several years. He also
purchased his father's farm, saw mill and grist
mill, and cared for all these interests until 1842,
when he disposed of his properties and removed
to Dunmore, there settling on a farm which he
bought from Stoddard Judd. He soon afterward
opened the Roaring Brook mine, which he oper-
ated until 1863, then leasing it to others. In
1864 he purchased the John Brisbin residence,
No. 126 Wyoming avenue, which was his home
during the remainder of his life.

During these years Mr. Spencer had accum-
ulated considerable property, and in all ways was
comfortably circumstanced. He had made fre-
quent visits to Texas, where he was largely inter-
ested, with his son Calvin and others of his fam-
ily, in ■ a twelve thousand acre tract of
land near Caney, in the southwestern part
of the state, fifteen miles inland from the
Gulf of Mexico. Thither Mr. Spencer, ac-
companied by his wife, went in Feb-
ruary, 1883. He had now reached the advanced
age of seventy-eight years, yet, notwithstanding
his long life of arduous eflfort, enjoyed remark-
ably robust health, frequently walking ten or
fifteen miles in a day, and his appearance giving
every promise of many more years. Soon after
reaching his destination, however, he was seized
with an attack of malarial fever. He rallied, and
his speedy recovery was hoped for, when he suf-
fered a severe relapse, and death came to him
suddenly, on August nth. The remains of the
deceased were interred at the place of his death,
and in the following winter were removed to
Scranton.

Mr. Spencer was twice married. His first
wife, to whom he was united November 10, 1825,
was Miss Elizabeth De Ved, daughter of An-
drew De Ved, of Mammakting. Sullivan county,




/1&-,B.KA.LL.N"E:W YORK




^e=^*.ji^^^^



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



191



New York. She was born October 30, 1807, and
died December 8, 1846, having borne to her hus-
band eight children, among whom were the fol-
lowing: Calvin A., deceased, resided at Caney,
Texas ; Edward B.,of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
A. D. and JNIehitabel, of Diinmore, Pennsylva-
nia. His second wife, who survived him, was
Aliss Susan Hinds, a daughter of George Hinds,
of Dunmore, and of this marriage were born four
children, all of whom are living: Ambrose L.,
of Scranton, Pennsylvania ; Charles W. ; Mrs.
Curtis Crane, of Brookline, Massachusetts, and
Frank M., of Scranton, a coal operator.

Of splendid physique, Mr. Spencer was a man
of strong character, a fine representative of that
class of men through whose industry, endurance,
perseverance and hopefulness the Lackawanna
region was developed from its primeval wilder-
ness and loneliness into a scene of remarkable
industrial activity which has commanded the at-
tention and admiration of the world. Such men
are to be classed among the world's benefactors,
for their effort has resulted in making homes for
thousands, and adding millions in property to the
commonwealth. In all the relations of life Mr.
Spencer was a most exemplary character, a man
of the strictest integrity, warmhearted and com-
passionate, who contributed liberally of his means
to the suffering and distressed, and who dis-
pensed his benefactions with modesty and self-
effacement.

JOHN B. SMITH. The late John B. Smith
was known throughout the state of Pennsylvania
as one of its most enterprising and successful
coal operators, and one of the foremost authori-
ties in the country upon all pertaining to anthra-
cite coal mining. He was a potent factor in the
development of the upper anthracite fields, and
to his effort was largely due the transformation
of a rugged wilderness into a vast hive of indus-
try, and of inconsequential villages into cities of
commanding industrial and financial importance.
His career affords a shining example of what
may be accomplished through untiring industry
and intelligent effort, and his name will be held
in lasting honor for his nobility of personal char-
acter, and his broad benevolence and all-compre-
hending philanthropy.

He was a native of the state of New York,
born in Wirtsboro, Sullivan county, June 7, 1815.
His father, Charles Smith, was born in Wind-
ham, Connecticut. He was a man of ability and
character. In his young manhood he bore an
honorable part with the American army in the



war with Great Britain in 1812. As a contractor
he aided in the construction of the Delaware and
Hudson canal, and he was identified for many
years thereafter with the interests of that corpo-
ration. In the prime of life he removed to Car-
bondale, where he died.

John B. Smith began his education in the
common schools in the neighborhood of his birth-
place, and further pursued his studies in the
school in Carbondale. When fifteen years of age
he entered the service of the Delaware and Hud-
son Company, and a year later took employment
in its machine shops, where he remained until he
had completed an apprenticeship of five years,
ending with his coming of age, and becoming a
proficient mechanic. He remained with the com-
pany for several years, and in 1848 became me-
chanical draftsman and superintendent of ma-
chinery for the Pennsylvania Coal Company. He
occupied this position until 1850, when he was
made general superintendent of the Pennsylva-
nia Coal Company in Pennsylvania, and served in
that capacity uninterruptedly until his death. In
November, 1882, he was elected to the presidency
of the Erie & Wyoming Valley Railroad Com-
pany, and in this position he also served to the end
of. his life. A notable incident of his connection
with railroad affairs was his designing a three-
cylinder locomotive engine, which he covered by
patent, the first of the kind, and which have since
been in extensive and successful use upon the
railroad for which they were first designed, the
Erie & Wyoming \'alley.

The foregoing simple narrative would testify
to the fact that Mr. Smith was in many respects
a remarkable man. Through no accident of for-
tune or favoritism was due his elevation from the
humble position of a shop mechanic to the hon-
ored and responsible headship of two great cor-
porations, with their immense properties and
their thousands of servants. Energetic, clear-
headed, of quick perception and discerning judg-
ment, he unstintingly devoted his splendid tal-
ents to his weighty tasks, and. in all probability,
his ambition led him to unconsciously overtax his
powers and shorten his life thereby. An invalua-
ble servant of the companies with which he was
connected, he commanded the constant and un-
failing confidence of their officers and directo-
rates, while at the same time his genuine human-
ity was manifested in the solicitude which he
ever manifested toward those who were in any
manner associated with him, to the humblest la-
borer. To all these, and to their families (and
he was personally known to all in Dunmore) he



192



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



was a counsellor and friend. He was drawn to
deserving young men with a peculiar sympathy,
and in countless instances he aided them materi-
ally in making an honorable and promising be-
ginning in life, and many such who now occupy
positions of importance and enjoy homes of their
own, owe to him in large degree the foundation
upon which they builded their character and
fortune.

In 1850, the year in which he came to the
superintendency of the Pennsylvania Coal Com-
pany, Mr. Smith removed with his family to Dun-
more, and from that day until the end of his life
he was known as its foremost citizen. He allied
himself with every community interest, and ren-
dered aid with his influence, counsel and means
to every object which could contribute to its ad-
vancement, whether in material, moral or social
lines. He aided in the organization of the Pres-
byterian church, and was ever numbered among
its most exemplary members and most liberal sup-
porters, advancing its interests and usefulness
through every channel of effort. He also aided
in organizing the Dunmore Cemetery Associa-
tion, and was a member of its first board of trus-
tees, and served in that capacity throughout the
remainder of his life. He was also an honored
member of the fraternities of Free Masons and
Odd Fellows, affiliated with the local lodges of
both these orders.

Mr. Smith died January 16, 1895. Although
well advanced in his seventy-ninth year, his mag-
nificent physique and strong mental powers ena-
bled him to devote himself to his many and large
activities up to almost the very moment of his
decease. His death produced an intense feeling
of sorrow among all classes of the community,
to all of whom he was personally dear for his de-
lightful personal traits, his warm sympathies and
his ever ready and unstinted benefactions. Busi-
ness in the village was suspended during the
hours of the funeral, and the services were at-
tended by practically the entire populace. The
officiating clergyman paid touching tribute to his
worth of character, and especially as a christian
gentleman ; righteousness was his guiding star,
and, like the sunshine of heaven, his life was
bright and pure. The directors of the Dunmore
Cemetery Association adopted resolutions of
more than usual import upon such occasions, ex-
pressing their sorrow in the loss of a friend and
benefactor whose wisdom and sagacity, strong
will, distinguished individuality and untiring en-
ergy of character, marked integrity, keen sense of
uprightness, and unstinted benevolence, made him



a power for good among all classes of the com-
munity, in all their relations, material, industrial,
social and religious. The personal character of
Air. Smith was dwelt upon with peculiar force
by the local press. A leading newspaper said
that, although conservative and assiduous in bus-
iness afifairs, he grew many-sided, and to his last
days was in cordial touch with the best and truest
sentiments and agencies of the day. His con-
stant industry left him little time ( even if he had
disposition), for the shams and conventionalities
of life. Selfmade, he invariably estimated others
at their intrinsic, not their extrinsic, value. This
habit grew upon him with his years, awakening
deeper afYection and reverence on the part of
those immediately about him, and who knew him ;
but impressing the stranger with an idea of blunt-
ness or brusqueness. Such were, however, false
to the character of this truly ideal christian gen-
tleman, beneath whose old-time ruggedness of
exterior lay warmest sympathies, and a disposi-
tion the kindest, the most charitable, and the
most generous.

CHRISTIAN JANES. Throughout the
length and breadth of Lackawanna county no
better or worthier type of the German-American
citizen can be found than Christian Janes, one of
the best-known residents of Scranton. He is de-
scended from mining ancestry, his grandfather
having been a seeker for ore in the mines of the
Fatherland.

Faulding Janes was born in Germany and
there passed his entire life as a miner. His wife,
Katherine Janes, bore him seven children, among
whom was a son Christian, mentioned hereafter.
Of this family only two emigrated to the United
States.

Christian Janes, son of Faulding and Kather-
ine Janes, was born in Germany, where from boy-
hood he worked in the mines, as his father and
grandfather had done before him. In 1854 he
came to the United States and settled in Schuyl-
kill county, Pennsylvania, where he remained
until 1858, when he migrated to the Lackawanna
\'alley. In that region, where he has ever since
made his home, he engaged for thirty-three years
in contract mining. While following the tradi-
tions of his family by working as a miner, Mr.
Janes at the same time turned his attention to
other lines of endeavor. He became the pro-
prietor and owner of a general store in the si.xth
ward of the borough of Taylor, where for over
thirty years he has conducted a flourishing busi-
ness. For the same length of time he has been



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



193



the proprietor of the onl)- hotel in the sixth ward,
and has attracted an extensive patronage by rea-
son of his admirable system and courteous de-
meanor as a host. He has prospered financially
and is to-day a man of wealth and influence, a
popular and useful citizen. His connections in
the sphere of politics are with the Independents.
He is a member of the Lutheran Church.

Air. Janes married in 185 1, Katherine Lauer,
also a native of Germany, and before they left the
Fatherland one son was born to them, Christian,
who is now a miner. After coming to the United
States thev became the parents of another son,
William, who is also a miner. ]\Irs. Janes, the
mother of these sons, died in 1861, and in 1862
I\Ir. Janes married Mrs. Katherine Sipple. By
this marriage he is the father of the following
children: John, George, Dorothy and Maggie,
who is the wife of J. Jennings. iMrs. Janes is the
mother of three sons by her former marriage.

CONRAD SCHROEDER. The strong, true
men of a people are always public benefactors.
Their usefulness in the immediate and specific
labors they perform can be defined in metes and
bounds, but the good they do through the forces
they put in motion and through the inspiration of
their presence and example is immeasurable by
any finite gauge or standard of value. The late
Conrad Schroeder was such a man, and so deep-
ly did he leave his impress upon the industrial,
civic and business life of the city of Scranton,
where he long maintained his home, that no word
of eulogy is demanded for him so far as regards
those who knew him and his works. It is impera-
tive, however, that a memorial tribute to the man
be entered in a publication of this province that
the record of his life may be perpetuated.

Conrad Schroeder, who was summoned into
eternal rest August 6, 1903, was for many years
the leading contractor and builder of the Lacka-
wanna \'alley, and there remain as perpetual
monuments to his memory, as well as to his abil-
ity and fidelity, many of the finest buildings in
Scranton and other parts of this section of the
state. Among the more noteworthy buildings
erected by him in Scranton may be mentioned
the court house. Hotel Jermyn, the high school,
public library and the Elm Park Alethodist Epis-
copal Church. He was distinctively a man of
aflfairs, conducting operations of wide scope and
importance and afifording employment to a large
number of men, his average corps of assistants
numbering as many as four hundred. His hu-
manitarian spirit was shown in no one particu-

2—13



larly more pronounced relief than in his giving
employment to his men at times when such action
implied financial loss to himself. He was a man
of broad sympathies and marked intellectual ac-
tivity, and his forceful individuality permeated
every undertaking or enterprise with which he
identified himself, be they public or private. He
was president of the South Side Bank at the time
of his demise, and was also a member of the
directorate of the Builders' Exchange, the Lack-
awanna Trust Company and the Lackawanna
Hospital, while he had numerous other interests
of capitalistic order and was one of Scranton's
most progressive and honored business men and
public-spirited citizens, ever standing ready to
lend his aid and influence in support of measures
for the general good of the community and the
advancement of the city in which he took a deep
pride.

In politics Air. Schroeder gave an uncompro-
mising allegiance to the Republican party, and
though he took an active interest in its cause he
was never a seeker of public office of any de-
scription. His religious faith was that of the
Catholic Church, under whose teachings he was
reared. He was an appreciative member of the
time-honored fraternity of Free Masons, being,
identified with the lodge, chapter and command-
ery in Scranton and also with the local temple of
the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the-
Mystic Shrine.

Conrad Schroeder was born in Guntersblum,.
Germany, Alay 25, 1846, and in the excellent
schools of the fatherland he secured his educa-
tional discipline, which was of most effective or-
der. He was a son of Conrad and Charlotte
Schroeder, who passed their entire lives in Ger-
many, having been folk of sterling character. Of
their children three sons came to America, Frank,
Adam and Conrad, Jr., the last named being the
subject of this memoir. In his native land our
subject served a thorough and exacting appren-
ticeship at the trade of stone mason, and to the fact
that he thus became a skilled workman may be
attributed the marked success which he gained in
the world of industrial endeavor, for his ability
in the line reserved as the foundation on which he
based his efforts upon coming to America, while
in the immediate connection his entire business
career was directed. In 1865, when nineteen
years of age, Mr. Schroeder severed the home ties
and emigrated to America, believing that here
was to be found better opportunity for gaining in-
dependence through individual effort, while then,
as ever, he was animated by the most pronounced'



194



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



lionesty of purpose and by a determination to
make the best of his opportunities and personal
powers. He made his way to Hawley, Wayne
county, Pennsylvania, where he remained a short
time, after which he removed to Murphysboro,
Jackson county, Illinois, where he was employed
at his trade for a few months. In 1866 he re-
turned to Pennsylvania and took up his abode in
Scranton, where he ever afterward made his
home and where he rose to prominence in the
business and social life, as has already been
shown in this context. He was employed at his
trade until 1870, when he initiated his independ-
ent career as a contractor, and his success was
thereafter certain and substantial. He continued,
to be actively engaged in business until his death,
and the entire community felt the loss of one of
its stanchest and truest citizens, while to his fam-
ily and business associates the sense of bereave-
ment was such as only can come when they are
deprived of one whose life was of signal purity,
unselfish devotion and appreciative sympathy. He
left to his family the heritage of an unspotted rep-
utation, and his name merits a high place on the
roll of the honored and useful citizens of Lacka-
wanna county.

May 4, 1869, Mr. Schroeder married Caroline
Seidler, who was born and reared in Hawley,
Wayne county, this state, being a daughter of
Frederick and Margaret (Schafer) Seidler, both
of whom were born in Germany, whence they
came to America in 1844, locating in Hawley,
where they passed the remainder of their lives.
Of their twelve children five are living and are
residents of the Lackawanna Valley, namely :
Louisa, Barbara, Mary, Caroline and Jacob. Mr.
and Mrs. Schroeder became the parents of seven
children, concerning whom we enter brief data
in concluding this sketch, all being residents of
Scranton or vicinity, while ^Irs. Schroeder abides
in the beautiful home provided by her honored
husband at 15 16 Sanderson avenue. Francis, the
eldest of the children, married Elizabeth Hiller
and they have two children, Conrad and Caro-
line; Mary G. is the wife of Percival J. Morris;
Cecilia S. is the wife of Frank Hummler and
thev have two children, Herbert and Constance ;
Eugene A. married Elsie McWilliams, and they
have one child, Jeanne ; Charlotte C, Aladaline
L. and Dorothy T.

JOSEPH H. STEELE, of Scranton, was for
more than a third of a century one of the fore-
most business men of that city, actively identified
with various important enterprises of magnitude.



which were large factors in its development and
prosperity. He died when he had but reached the
zenith of his powers, and when the immediate
future seemed to hold out to him exceptionally
bright prospects for even larger successes than
he had already achieved. His life had been so
useful, his conduct so exemplary, his companion-
ship so elevating and enjoyable, that those who
knew him best through their intimate association
with him in business and social relationship,
united in the expression that the city of Scranton
had lost one of her best and noblest citizens, and
the community one of its most loved and honored
members.

Mr. Steell was born in the village of St.
Clair, Schuykill county, Pennsylvania, December
2,1846. He was there reared and educated, and
entered upon his active career. All this was, how-
ever, but preparation, and his real record may
be dated from 1878, when, at the age of thirty-
one years, he located in Scranton, which was
destined to be thenceforward his home and the
scene of his earnest endeavor. At his coming he



Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 40 of 130)