Horace Edwin Hayden.

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

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Lewis, born January 4, 1785; died George-
town, South Carolina. January 29. 1829.

Mercy, born November 27, 1789. died New-
ville. New York. July 20, 1879; married Heze-
kiah Lewis.

Isaiah Wilcox, son of Rev. Isaiah Wilcox and
wife Sarah Lewis, though less than fourteen
at the beginning of the Revolutio.n. served short




periods during the war ; enlisted as minuteman
about February 10, 1778, in Captain Walter
White's company of Colonel Joseph Noyes' regi-
ment, at Westerly, and was frequently called
into service between that time and the close of
the war. After his marriage he removed to
New London, thence to Norwich, thence to Pres-
ton, in Connecticut, and finally to the town of
Danube, Herkimer county, New York. He was
a deacon of the Baptist Church, and a man highly
esteemed by his townsmen. He died in Danube,
July 13, 1844. He married, January 22, 1788.
Polly Pendleton, born, Stonington, Connecticut,
November 14, 1766, died, Danube, New York,
November 18, 1847, daughter of William and
Judith Pendleton. They had children : Polly,
born Preston, Connecticut, January 4, 1789;
married, November 22, 1806, Isaac Brown.
Among their grandchildren are Hon. W. W.
Brown, LL. D., of Bradford, Pennsylvania ; Ma-
jor Isaac Brownell Brown, secretary of internal
affairs, of Pennsylvania ; and the late Jefferson L.
Brown, banker, of Wilcox, Pennsylvania. Isaiah,
born Preston, November 31, 1790. William
Pendleton, born Danube, New York, ]\Iay 30,
1794, was speaker of the senate of Pennsylvania
in 1845. His son, Alonzo Isaiah, of Elk and
McKean counties, was also a man of much prom-
inence. Asa, born Danube, March 9, 1797, was
a member of the New York legislature. His son,
Isaiah Alonzo, went to California in 1849 ^"d
became a large fruit grower in San Jose. He
did much in the improvement of small fruits and
extending their market in the east. Lydia, born
Danube, October 10, 1799, died September 6,
1865 : married Henry Weightman. Nancy, born
Danube, January' 31, 1802, died August 25,
1842 ; married Enoch Mount. Nathan Pendle-
ton, born Danube, May 3, 1804.

Nathan Pendleton Wilcox, youngest child of
Isaiah Wilcox and wife Polly Pendleton, removed
from Danube to Nunda, New York, where he
was an architect and building contractor. He
died April 4, 1833, aged twenty-nine years. He
married, October 9, 1828, Laurancie, daughter
of William Richardson and wife Sarah Nor-
ton, of Madison county. New York ; and thev had
children : Thomas Jefferson, born April 29,
1830, died July 30, 1830. Nathan Pendleton,
born May 16. 1832, at Nunda, New York.

Nathan Pendleton Wilcox was educated at
Nunda Academy, and in Rochester, New York,
and began his business career as a merchant in
Olean. New York. In 1862 he removed to
Nicholson, Pennsylvania, where he was in the
hardware trade many years, and also was a lead-


ing and influential man in the community. Prob-
ably no man m the county outside of profession
and official circles was more generally known,
and certainly none was more universally respect-
ed. From Its organization in 1865 to the time
of his death, a period of more than thirty-five
years, was an elder of the Presbyterian Church.
In 1869 he was a delegate to the general assembly
in New York City that effected the union of the
old and new school Presbyterians, and he was
again a delegate to the general assembly at Sar-
atoga, New York, in 1879. He was past master
of Nicholson Lodge, No. 438, Free and Accepted
]\Iasons, and a member of Temple Commandery
of Tunkhannock. In more recent years Mr.
\\ ilcox gave his attention ta land surveying and
conveyancing. He died April 25, 1904. He
married, Coventry, New York, October 6, 1856^
Celestine Birge, daughter of John Birge and
wife Nancy Little, of Coventry. Their children :
William Alonzo, born Olean, New York, July
25. 1857. Clara Birge, bo.rn Olean, March 28,
1859; unmarried. Henry Pendleton, born Olean,
December 28, i860. Anna Janet, born Nichol-
son, Pennsylvania, July 25, 1862 ; unmarried.

William Alonzo Wilcox, son and eldest child
of Nathan Pendleton Wilcox and wife Celestine
Birge, was educated in the public schools of
Nicholson, Keystone Academy at Factoryville,,
and entered the legal profession. Since 1880 he
has been a member of the Lackawanna county
bar, in active practice in the city of Scranton.
He was one of the corporators of the Lackawanna
Law and Library Association ; of the Pennsyl-
vania Bar Association, and a member of the
American Bar Association ; was ruling elder of
the Presbyterian Church at Wyoming. Since
May, 1901, has been title officer of The Title
Guaranty & Trust Company of Scranton, Penn-
sylvania, and is now also trust officer of The
Scranton Trust Company ; is a director of the
Farmers' National Bank of Montrose, Pennsyl-
vania ; member and past master of Nicholson
Lodge, No. 438, Free and Accepted Masons ;
past high priest of Factoryville Chapter, No. 205,
Royal Arch Masons ; member of the Scranton
Club: corresponding member of the Wyoming
Historical and Geological Society; vice president
of the Wyoming Commemorative Association,
and member of the New England Society of
Northeastern Pennsylvania. He was a member of
the national guard of Pennsylvania from 1880 to
1889, and resigned as first lieutenant.

]Mr. Wilcox married, Wyoming, Pennsyl-
vania, April 22, 1885, Katherine Maria Jenkins;
(educated at the Wyoming Presbyterian Insti-



tute), daughter of Steuben and Catherine
(Breese) Jenkins. ^Ir. Jenkins served in the
Pennsylvania legislature, 1857-58, and 1882-83.
He was a scholar, a careful student of local his-
tory and genealogy, and a lawyer of reputation.
He was grandson of Colonel John Jenkins, an of-
ficer of the Revolutionary army, and great-grand-
son of Judge John Jenkins, first Connecticut
judge of Westmoreland county in Pennsylvania.
William Alonzo Wilcox and Katherine Wil-
cox had children : William Jenkins, born Wy-
oming, Pennsylvania, March 17, 1886. Emily,
born Wyoming, Pennsylvania, January 7, 1889.
Helen, born Scranton, Pennsylvania, March 4,
1892. Stephen (twin) born Scranton, Pennsyl-
vania, January 31, 1898, died January 7, 1899.
Henry (twin), born Scranton, Pennsylvania,
January 31, 1898, died April 23, if

BENJAMIN G. MORGAN, deceased, was
a fine type of Welsh character, and reflected
throughout his life the striking characteristics
of that remarkably vigorous and morally consti-
tuted race from which he came. His entire
career was an exemplification of the best con-
duct of the entirely consecrated Christian. He
held to the loftiest standards of personal be-
havior, and which he inculcated both by example
and precept. He a;bominated ardent spirits, and
by every efifort in his power sought to lessen
the injuries growing out of the liquor trafific ;
and his ideas as to health and personal cleanli-
ness made him almost as earnest an antagonist
of tobacco, in whatever form. In brief, his was
an ideal life.

He was born in Merthyr Tydvil, Wales, Feb-
ruary 25, 1839, and he acquired a practical edu-
cation in his native land. He was a grown-up
man of twenty-five years when he emigrated to
the United States, settling in Minersville, Lack-
awanna county, Pennsylvania. He soon after-
ward removed to Scranton, and shortly after his
coming went to Ohio, where he attended a com-
mercial college, preparatory to entering upon a
business career. In 1868 he located in West
Scranton, where he engaged in a drug business
in partnership with Col. T. D. Lewis. This as-
sociation was subsequently terminated, and Mr.
Morgan remained in business alone during the
remainder of his active career, about eight years
prior to his death. He made his the principal
establishment of its kind in that part of the city,
and brought to its conduct the same strict con-
scientiousiness which marked his personal be-
havior. His antipathy to liquor and tobacco

have been already mentioned. So deep were his
convictions with reference to these evils, as he
deemed them, that, druggist as he was, he would
never permit himself to deal in them, thereby
depriving himself of a large and highly profita-
ble item of trade. While engaged in business
he erected for it a handsome building which was
one of the ornaments of the town. In later years
he conducted an insurance business, and served
as notary public and steamship agent.

Mr. Morgan was a consistent Christian from
his childhood. In 1888 he connected himself
with the First Baptist Church of Scranton, and
thenceforward gave to it his best effort, serving
as a deacon and in other capacities, and as a
Bible teacher in the Sunday school, where his
remarkable familiarity with the sacred volume
made him a most interesting and impressive ex-
ponent of its most unfamiliar passages. His
kindly and liberal charities were not only dis-
pensed through the church and benevolent or-
ganizations to which he was attached, but out
of his own hand, simply and with entire want
of ostentation. His views as to the liquor traf-
fic, of which he was an unceasing and implacable
foe, drew him to the Prohibition party, yet he
bore himself so simply and consistently that his
motives were ever unquestioned, and he made
no personal enemies. He was for manv years
a member of the executive committee of the Pro-
hibition party in Lackawanna county, and was
numbered "as one of the faithful few who have
continued active, where so many have deserted
or have grown indifferent and inactive." In all
pertaining to this cause, in which he was so deep-
ly interested, his judgment was ever sound, and
he never faltered in his allegiance. He was a
firm friend of education, and served efficiently
as a director of the Keystone Academy, and a
trustee of the Pennsylvania Oral School. He
was a highly esteemed member of various benev-
olent societies — Square and Compass Lodge, No.
339, Free and Accepted Masons ; Lackawanna
Council. No. 112, Royal Arcanum, and others.

In 1870 Air. Morgan married Miss Emily
Wade, of Montrose, and to them were born a
son, who became associated with his father in the
real estate and insurance business, and a daugh-
ter, Miss Anna Morgan. A sister, Mrs. David
Williams, resides in Hudson, New York.

Mr. Morgan died on April 14, 1905. His
death was due to a liver complaint which proved
incurable, and his last illness of four weeks' dur-
ation gave only assurance of the dreaded result.
The public press pronounced the loss to the city



as inestimable,, as that of one of its most con-
spicuous and honored citizens. Though unob-
trusive, he filled a large place in all of the varied
relations of his life, and, said a biographer, "how
large a place we could not realize until he was
removed ; but now we miss him, and are aston-
ished at our emptiness and loneliness without
him." The funeral was attended by a large con-
course drawn from all walks of life, conducted
by his pastor, the Rev. J. S. Wrightnour, and
the services were most touching. The charac-
ter of the lamented deceased was summed up
by the Rev. W. G. Watkins, who said that it
would be impossible to think of Mr. Morgan
separate from Christianity, the Christian life in
him was so luminous as to be unmistakably rec-
ognized by all, and only from this viewpoint
can be fully appreciated the beauty of his char-
acter, the lovealDleness of his disposition and the
genuineness of his religion — the complete sym-
metry of his life. His home life was ideal. He
was the most considerate of husbands, the most
tender of fathers. His family was bound to-
gether in the bonds of a pure and sacred love.
Said the reverend writer in conclusion : The
immortal bard's tribute to another is the measure
• of our brother's sterling character :

"His life was gentle, arid the elements

So mixed in him that nature might stand up

And say to all the world, 'This was a man.

Further, what Pope and Burns regarded as
"the noblest work of God," namely, "an honest
man," also fittingly characterizes him. But in-
finitely more to be coveted than the tenderest
human tribute is God's own encomium pro-
nounced upon one of his servants of old, and
which suffers nothing in its application to the
dead man : "A man after mine own heart.''

SILAS J. MINTON. In all probability there
is not in Lackawanna county a better example
of what may be accomplished by perseverance,
pluck and integrity than is furnished by the ca-
reer of Silas J. Minton, of Scranton. By the
possession and exercise of these traits of char-
acter Mr. Minton has risen from one of the
lower rounds of the ladder to a place in ^yhich
he is recognized as one of the leading men in his
line of business.

John Minton was born in New Jersey, where
he passed the greater portion of his life, moving
in 1877 to the Lackawanna Valley. He married
"in 1862 Victoria, born in 1842, in Scranton,

daughter &,f Thomas and Ann Nicholas, both na-
tives of England. They were married in their
native country, whence they emigrated to the
United States after the birth of four children.
Mr. Nicholas was one of the pioneer miners in the
Wyoming Valley and one of the first in Slocum
Hollow. His children, born in England and
America, were ten in number, nine of whom were
the following: Harriet, Mary, Elizabeth, John,
Henry, Jane, Susan, Victoria, who became the
wife of John Alinton as mentioned above ; and
William. Of these John, Jane, Susan and Vic-
toria are still living. Mr. Nicholas, the father
of this large family, died in 1853, at the age of
fifty-five years, and his wife survived him many
years, passing away in 1891. Mr. and Mrs.
Clinton were the parents of three sons : John C,
Silas J., mentioned at length hereinafter; and
John H. Of these Silas J. is the only one now
living. In 1892, after the death of John i\Iinton,
in Newark, New Jersey, his widow married
Thomas M. Oakley, who died February 28, 1904.
Mrs. Oakley died July 13, 1905.

Silas J.' Minton, son of John and Victoria
(Nicholas) Minton, was born October 8, 1864,
in Essex county, New Jersey, and received his
education partly in his native county and partly
in the Lackawanna Valley, whither he was taken
by his parents when thirteen years of age. Like
many if not all boys in the anthracite region, his
first occupation was that of picking slate. Sub-
sequently he worked for a time in the Spencer
rolling mills, and then became one of the first
drivers of Fenner & Chappel Ready Pay stores.
His natural aptitude for mechanical pursuits
caused him to learn the carpenter's trade, which
he mastered without such instruction as appren-
tices generally receive. In 1892 he opened a
shop, and in 1899 engaged in business as a con-
tractor, since which time he has succeeded be-
vond his most sanguine expectations. He is the
owner of one of the most desirable residences to
be found in the section of the city in which he
makes his home. As a citizen he possesses the
cordial liking and full esteem of his neighbors.
He is a member of the I. O. O. F., and in politics
affiliates with the Republicans. He is a mem-
ber of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

]\Ir. Minton married in 1890 Lillian G.,
daughter of Joseph and Elida Reynolds, and two
children have been born to them : Victor and

WILLIAM H. DAVIS, one of the leading
florists of Scranton, also one of its most enter-
prising and progressive citizens, was born in



Bloomsburg, Columbia county, Pennsylvania,
January 27, 1871, a son of Joseph and Emma
(Kearnes) Davis, grandson of James Davis, a
soldier in the Mexican war, a farmer in early
life, and afterward an employee in the iron
works at Danville, and great-grandson of one
of the heroes of the Revolutionary war, who was
a resident of Columbia county. Joseph Davis
(father) was a native of Bloomsburg, and was
there engaged as a machinist and contract miner.
During the Civil war he twice enlisted in the
Union army and served as a member of the cav-
alry. His death occurred in 1879. his wife hav-
ing passed away prior to his decease. Their
familv consisted of five children, namely : James
T., William H., John W., Hannah Cathrine, and
Harriet J.

Being orphaned at the age of eight years,
William H. Davis was early thrown upon his
own resources. He attended the common schools,
where he fitted himself for a life of future use-
fulness. His early days were spent in agricul-
tural pursuits, and in 1886 he was apprenticed
to J. L. Dillon, a leading florist of Bloomsburg.
Here he became familiar with every department
and acquired a thorough knowledge of the entire
work. In 1892 he removed to Scranton and two
years later formed a partnership with John W.
Beagle, purchasing a florist's business, which he
has since enlarged in every department, and in
which success has followed his every effort. His
office is situated at No. 427 Spruce street, where
in a beautiful and artistic manner is displayed the
product of his extensive hot-houses which are lo-
cated on Washburn street and Fillmore avenue,
near the Washburn street cemetery. He has
thirty thousand square feet of glass, the largest
greenhouses in the city of Scranton, under which
he raises the most choice flowers and plants of all
variety suited to this climate. His business in
cut flowers is quite extensive, while his trade in
potted plants has grown to phenomenal propor-
tions. He occupies seven houses which average
one hundred and fifty feet in length and twenty-
eight feet in width each. Two are for roses, two
for chrysanthemums and seed plants, one for
carnations, one io,r ferns, palms, smilax and as-
paragus, and one for geraniums. He makes a
specialty of roses. In addition to his large city
trade he conducts an extensive cemetery busi-
ness. He occupies in connection with his green-
houses three acres.

Mr. Davis is thoroughly conversant with his
business, a business which brings us so close to the
great Creator, for in these beautiful plants and

flowers we see the power and workmanship of_
his hands and in their cultivation we think and.
read his thoughts after him. In addition to the
cultivation of flowers, he carries a line of shrubs
and trees and does considerable business as a.
nurseryman ; in decorative w^ork his services are
also in demand. Mr. Davis is a staunch adherent
of the principles of Republicanism. He holds,
membership in the Royal Arcanum, Knights of
Malta, and Knights of the Golden Eagle. Mr.
Davis is unmarried.

numbered among the foremost men of large af-
fairs of the Lackawanna valley. Recognized as
a lawyer of commanding ability, he is also ac-
tively identified with many of the leading indus-
trial, commercial and financial enterprises of that
region, and has rendered efficient service to -the-
public in various important stations.

Mr. Watson comes of a distinguished Scotch,
ancestry and is of Pennsylvania parentage and
birth. The family name is perpetuated in that
of John Watson University of Edinburgh, one
of the most famous institutions of learning m
Great Britain, and which was founded by one
of his ancestors, John Watson. Walter Watson,,
great-grandfather of Willoughby W. Watson,,
was a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, graduated
in medicine and surgery from the famous uni-
versity of that city, and practiced his profession
there his life through, excepting during the Rev-
olutionarv period, when he served as surgeon in
the British armv. One of his lineal descendants
is to-day the most eminent medical practitioner
in Edinburgh.

Walter Watson (second) was even more dis-
tinguished- than was his father, above named.
He was born in New York City, while his par-
ents were temporarily sojourning in this country.
He was educated in Scotland, completing his
studies in the University of Edinburg, where
he was a student for seven years, and from
which he was graduated with the degrees of
Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Medicine. He
was an excellent classical scholar and an accom-
plished linguist, speaking seven diflferent lan-
guages with fluency. Soon after his graduation
he came to the United States, settling in Cold
Spring, New York, where he practiced his pro-
fession with nnich success. He came to his
death by accident at the age of seventy-five years,
by his bed taking fire.

Walter Watson, son of Dr. Walter Watson
(second), was born in Cold Spring, Putnam

S he Leii^-is ruOUsKV.^ Lc

t' 'f



•county, New York. He removed to New JMil-
ford, Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, where
he improved a farm upon which he hved for
more than fifty years. He was active in com-
munity affairs, particularly such as related to
education, and was called to various township
offices. Like his father, his death was occasioned
by an accident. He married Candace Hammond,
a native of Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania.
Her father. Col. Asa Hammond, was of an old
New England family ; he was a farmer and mer-
chant, an enterprising and successful man, and
derived his military title from service in the
militia. He died at the age of ninety-six years.
Willoughby W. Watson, in point of birth
second of the eight children of Dr. Walter and
Candace (Hammond) Watson, was born Octo-
ber 6, 1842, in New ;\Iilford, Susquehanna
county, Pennsylvania, and was reared to habits
of industry and upon the paternal farm. He be-
gan his school studies in his native village, and
after his fifteenth year attended the Normal
School at Montrose, Pennsylvania, and the Sus-
quehanna Seminary at Binghamton. New York,
supporting himself and defraying his tuition by
teaching school during the winters. At the age
■of nineteen he entered the Millersville (Penn-
sylvania) State Normal School, where he com-
pleted the full course. He had already rendered
efficient service as a teacher, and he was now
so thoroughly equipped that his abilities found
recognition in his election as superintendent of
schools of Susquehanna county in June, 1866,
at the age of twenty-four years. While capably
discharging the duties of this position he also
read law under the preceptorship of Judge Bent-
ley and Senator Fitch, of Montrose. He was
admitted to the bar in 1868, resigned the school
superintendency and at once entered upon the
practice of his profession. In 1870 he became
a member of the law firm of Fitch & Watson, an
association which was terminated in 1874. That
year marked the turning point in Mr. Watson's
career, and introduced him to a field of new op-
portunities, in which he was destined to acquit
himself with conspicuous usefulness and credit.
Made the Republican candidate for the legisla-
ture from the Forty-second district (counties of
Susquehanna and Wayne), he was elected by a
large majority, carrying Wayne county by a
plurality of twenty-one votes in face of an op-
posing party plurality of eight hundred. Serving
in the legislative sessions of 1875-76, in bodi
he was a member of the judiciary and other im-
portant committees. In his second year he in-

troduced seven bills, all of which have been pre-
served upon the statute books to the present time,
one of these providing for the foreclosure of
mortgages on railroads partly in Pennsylvania
and partly in other states. Among other of his
bills was one for re-establishing the New York
and Pennsylvania boundary line; one for regu-
lating attorneys" fees on judgments under one
hundred dollars, and another for making certain
offices incompatible. He was again the choice
of Susquehanna county to succeed himself, but
in the joint convention of the two counties the
nomination went to Wayne county. In 1878 he
was the choice of his county (Susquehanna) for
congress, but the nomination went to Colonel
Overton. While in Susquehanna county Mr.
Watson served upon the Republican central com-
mittee and was a recognized leader in the county
and district, and was for some time editor of
the Independent Republican. In 1879 he formed
a law partnership with A. H. McCollum, of
Montrose, which continued until May i, 1883,
when 'Sir. Watson removed to Scranton.

Since locating in Scranton, Mr. Watson has
been recognized as one of the most industrious
and successful practitioners at the bar of that city
and district. An indefatigable student, he keeps
fullv abreast with the most recent elaborations
of the law, particularly with reference to indus-

Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 44 of 130)