Horace Edwin Hayden.

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

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culture and refined tastes.

Mr. Woolworth married, June 2, 1886, Miss
Anna E. Ryals, who was born in Utica, New
York, a daughter of Isaac G. and Mary A. (Da-
vies) Ryals ; her father, a native of England, re-
sides in Utica, and her mother, who was born
in New York, is deceased. Three children have
been born to Mr. and Mrs. Woolworth : Ethel
Mae, Fred Everett and Richard Wesley. The
family occupv a beautiful residence in Scranton,
and enjoy the friendship of a large circle of its
best people.

MELVIN I. CORBETT, deceased, was rec-
ognized as one in whose personality were happi-
ly combined business abilities of a high order,
habits of industry, a strict adherence to the loft-
iest ideals of integrity, and a geniality which en-
deared him to all about him. His versatility of
talent won for him a unique distinction, in that,
while he never adopted the law as his exclusive
profession, his business brought him so constant-
ly into contact with the members of the bar, in
the court room as well as outside, that he was-
admitted to the Lackawanna Bar Association. In
that body none took a deeper or more constant
interest, or contributed in larger degree to its
welfare and to fraternity of feeling among its
members. He took an active and intelligent in-
terest in the organization, development and main-
tenance of the Law and Library Association, and
contributed greatly to the success of the social
meetings of the body.

Mr. Corbett was born in Corbettsvillc, near
Conkling, New York, December i, 1848. The
prominence of the Corbett familv is indicated in
the fact that from it the village derived its name.
Mr. Corbett's parents were Ira and Juliet E.
(Bowes) Corbett: the father is deceased and




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THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



219.-



the mother is yet hving, making her residence
on the family homestead at Corbettsville. Their
children, other than jNIelvin L Corbett, were :
Marshall, a broker of New York City; William,
a merchant in West Virginia, and four married
sisters — Ellen, Anna, Mary and Addie.

Mr. Corbett received a liberal education in
the Wyoming Seminary at Kingston, Pennsyl-
vania. In 1868 he located in Scranton, which
was destined to witness the development of his
powers and become the scene of his useful ac-
tivities. He entered the employ of the Delaware
and Western Railway Company in the capacity
of confidential clerk for W. H. Storrs, general
manager of the coal department, and conducted
himself with such industry and fidelity that he
was repeatedly advanced to larger and more re-
sponsible duties. Meantime his studious dispo-
sition had led him to the study not only of these
subjects which were immediately connected with
his avocation, but also to that of the law, and
after passing a creditable examination he was
admitted to the bar of Lackawamia county.
Shortly afterward he was made attorney for the
coal department with which he had been so long
connected in clerical and other capacities, and at
once demonstrated his fitness for the important
place to which he was called. Nor were the
duties thus devolved upon him such as a tyro
might perform. They were of the most arduous
nature, requiring incessant care, entire accuracy,
and a thorough knowledge of real estate and cor-
poration law, involving the preparation and exe-
cution of all the deeds, leases and other legal in-
struments connected with the coal lands of the
great Lackawnna Railway Company's coal sys-
tem, their custodianship, and a voluminous cor-
respondence in connection with all transactions in
his department. His close attention to all these
details won for him the continued esteem and con-
fidence of the company ; at the same time these
business relations brought him into constant as-
sociation with the most prominent men of af-
fairs in Lackawanna and adjoining counties, and
with whom his relations were always intimate and
agreeable. His excellent personal qualities made
him a treasured companion in all the social cir-
cles with which he was identified. He was a
member of the Masonic fraternity, and also of the
First Presbyterian Church, as is his wife.

Mr. Corbett married Miss Catherine T. Chit-
tenden, daughter of Dr. W. A. Chittenden, of
Scranton, who survives her honored husband, and
with her one child, a son twelve years of age.

Mr. Corbett died August 9, 1898. For some



months previous he had been in ill health, but
remained at his post until less than two months
before his demise. Failing of improvement, iii
July he went to the sea-shore, hoping for benefit,
but returned yet farther debilitated, and he con-
tinued to decline until he was obliged to take to
his bed about a week before came the said end.
His death came as a surprise and a shock to the-
many friends who were not immediately at his
side, and who, knowing of his illness, were not_
prepared to believe that it was of a fatal char-
acter. The funeral took place from the family
residence on Washington avenue, and interment
was made in Dunmore cemetery. The services
were attended by a large representative gathering:
of deeply affected friends, including the members
of the Lackawanna Bar Association, and the
greater number of the officials of the company
which the lamented deceased had served with
such conspicuous ability and integrity for so'
many years. The officiating clergyman was the-
Rev. James McLeod, D. D., who pronounced a
touching eulogy upon the character of the de-
ceased, and gave voice to the deep sympathy for
the bereaved family which was experienced by
the entire community. At a meeting of the Lack-
awanna Bar Association, called for the purpose-
of giving expression to the sentiments of that
body, feeling remarks were made by Judge Arch-
bald and Mr. Torrey. Resolutions expressive of
the same sentiments were adopted, these rehears-
ing sincere regret at the untimely demise of a
friend and brother who, by his genial spirit, fidel-
ity and industry, had made himself beloved and
respected by all who knew him, who had well!
lived his life, passing away with the peacefulness
and resignation of the Christian who approaches
his grave without fear or doubt, and leaving to
his family the priceless legacy of an honored and
untarnished name.

JOHN SILKMAN. One of the best-known'
men in Luzerne county is John Silkman, who for
sixty-two years has been a continuous resident of
Scranton. Mr. Silkman belongs to. a family
which was founded in this country by John Silk-
man, a native of Germany, who emigrated to the
LTnited States in 1776 and took an active part on
the side of the colonists in the Revolutionary
war. He settled in Westchester county. New
York, and his son, also John Silkman, married
Hannah Hobby. Their children were : Jacob,
mentioned at length hereinafter : John, Daniel,
Joseph and Hannah.

Jacob Silkman, son of John and Hannab



220



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



■(Hobby) oilkman, was born in New York state,
and in 1839 moved to what is now known as the
"Notch." There he piircliased one hundred and
forty-six acres of land for which he paid seven
hundred and fifty dollars. In 1849 he sold it for
eight thousand five hundred dollars, and then
moved to Providence and took up his abode on
Main avenue. He married Elizabeth Sutherland,
-a native of the lake country in New York state,
■and the following children were born to them :
Myron, David, mentioned at length hereinafter ;
Aaron, Sarah A., Daniel, Elmira and Joseph. Of
these Elmira is the sole survivor. These chil-
dren were all born in New York state, the sons
following the carpenter's trade.

David Silkman, son of Jacob and Elizabeth
(Sutherland) Silkman, was born in 1816. Like
the rest of his father's sons he was a carpenter
and a good mecha'nic. He married Laura Hoyt,
a native of Westchester county, and they were
the parents of four children : John, mentioned at
length hereinafter ; James, Elizabeth, and Mead.
Mr. Silkman, the father of the family, died in
1891, and his wife expired in 1847. Both were
•good and worthy members of society.

John Silkman, son of David and Laura
(Hoyt) Silkman, was born December 5, 1829, in
^^estchester county. New York and in 1842 ac-
companied his grandfather, Jacob Silkman, to
the Lackawanna Valley, the other members of
his father's family remaining in New York state.
There were then but four houses in Providence,
five in Hyde Park and six in Slocum Hollow
(Scranton). Mr. Silkman learned the carpenter's
trade under the instruction of his uncle, Aaron
Silkman, serving six years, and is now a pros-
perous mechanic, capable of doing all kinds of
work pertaining to his trade. In the course of
time he became a contractor and builder, his work
extending all through the Lackawanna Valley.
He is one of the most efficient and careful men
in his line of business and his services are in
great demand. He enjoys the distinction of hav-
ing erected in 1849 the first house ever built on
Market street. He is a member of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, in which at one time he held
the office of steward.

l\lr. Silkman married in 1849, Sarah Shaver,
of Wyoming, and they were the parents of one
son; Joseph, born in 1851, a carpenter by trade;
he married Sarah Bloom, and their children are:
George, and Anna, wife of Daniel Keeler, a
bookkeeper, and they are the parents of one child,
Francis. Mrs. Sarah (Shaver) Silkman died in
June, 1900, deeply lamented net only by her im-



mediate family, but by a large circle of relatives
and friends to whom she was endeared by her
many virtues.

FREDERICK W. BERGE. In the city of
Scranton few men aire better known or more cor-
dially liked than Frederick W. Berge, a son of
William and Catherine ( Schick) Berge, both na-
tives of Germany, who had children : John, de-
ceased ; Christopher, deceased ; Frederick W.,
mentioned hereafte'r ; Odelia, deceased ; and Mar-
garet. Of these, John, Odelia and Frederick W.
came to. the L'uited States, Frederick W., being
the only one of the emigrants now living. Mr.
and Mrs. Berge, the parents, died in their native
land.

Frederick W. Berge, son of William and
Catherine (Schick) Berge, was born March 19,
1838, in Germany, where he received his educa-
tion and learned the shoemaker's trade. He set
sail from his native country to seek his fortune
in the New World, June 12, 1855, and settled first
in Carbon county, Pennsylvania, and the fol-
lowing year moved to Scranton, where he has
resided ever since. For about twenty years he
worked at his trade, and for fifteen years was the
successful proprietor of the Kizer Valley Hotel.
In 1884 he moved to his present residence in
Frink street, where he owns four lots and sev-
eral bluildings. Mr. Berge belongs to the num-
ber of those foreign-born citizens who have
taken up arms for the preservation of the Union.
In 1861 he enlisted in Company C, Fifteenth Reg-
iment, Pennsylvania \'oIunteer Infantry, for
ninety days. At the close of his term of service
he was honorably discharged, and re-enlisted as a
musician in Company M, Fourth Regiment,
Pennsylvania A'olunteer Cavalry, for three years.
After serving his time and receiving an honorable
discharge he re-enlisted in the same companv and
regiment, serving as musician to the close of the
war, when he was once more honorably dis-
charged. During his military career he ever re-
joiced to call his regiment into action and was
always eager in the performance of duty except
when compelled by stress of orders to sound a
retreat. As a citizen he has proved himself no
less public-spirited than as a soldier, and his
neighbors have not failed to testify to their ap-
preciation of the fact. For six years he was poor
director, and for eight years county assessor, in
which office he is now serving his second term.
For the last seven years he has. acceptabl}- filled
the position of tax collector. He is a member
of Griffin Post, Grand Army of the Republic of




rxAo^.b A^^Lu.Mc - " ■I'-.-nK




THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



22 f



Scranton, and in politics is independent.

Mr. Berge married, October 6, 1865, Cathe-
rine Langen, a native of Ireland, and of their
eight children the following are now living:
Frederick, William H., a practicing physician
of Avoca ; John : Agnes, wife of a Mr. Andrews ;
Josephine, and Anastasia. The deceased children
are: George Joseph, died at the age of about two
years ; Mary A., died at the age of about six
years and ten months.

CHARLES SCHLAGER, a leading figure in
the business circles of the city of Scranton, has
long been recognized as among the foremost in
promoting its development, through real estate
and building operations, and has been also ac-
tively identified with various industrial and finan-
cial interests. While not a native of Scranton,
nearly his whole life has been spent there, and
it has been the scene of his active career.

His father, John Schlager, was a native of
Germany, born in Wiltstedt, near Strasburg,
May 25, 1812, and came to America about 1840,
while yet a single man. After a brief residence
in the Catskills region and at Rondout, New
York, he moved to Honesdale, Pennsylvania, at
the time of the construction of the Pennsylvania
Coal Company's railroad line. In 1854 he moved
to Scranton and engaged in the grocery business
on Pennsylvania avenue, between Linden and
Mulberry streets, being one of the first to locate
in that section of the city. He later removed to
a farm at Harford, Susquehanna countv, Penn-
sylvania, where he remained for four or five
years, and then returned to Scranton and en-
gaged in the grocery business, which he con-
ducted for many years. He was one of the most
zealous members of the German Methodist Epis-
copal Church, and assisted in moving the "little
red church" owned by the English Methodists
from the present site of Clark and Snover's to-
bacco factory to the corner of Adams avenue and
Mulberrv street. At that time this section was
farm land. Mr. Schlager was a ver\- earnest
and active member of the church, and served as
trustee to the time of his death. He contributed
liberally to the support of the church, and his
home was ever open to both resident and visit-
ing clergymen. He died in March, 1892, much
lamented. His wife. i\lary Ferber, was a daugh-
ter of Jacob Ferber, and was also a zealous
church worker, of happy disposition and char-
itable. John and Mary ( Ferber) Schlager were
the parents of eleven children, of whom five are
living; Charles, Sophia C, Alfred, Elizabeth S.
and Harriet S. Schlager.



Charles Schlager, eldest child of John and
Mary ( Ferber) Schlager. born in Wayne county,
Pennsylvania, March i, 1849, was five years of
age when his parents came to Scranton. There
he acquired his education in the public schools,,
and at an early age set out upon a life of self-
support, beginning as a newsboy for Mr. Nor-
ton. He later entered the employ of his uncle,
Charles Schlager, who conducted a large bakery
and cracker manufactory, as a salesman, and
during the three years of his employment there
frequently acted as general manager of the large
plant. He subsequentlv spent a short time on
his father's farm in Susquehanna county, but
was induced by his uncle to return to Scranton
and accept a position as general distributor of
the products of his large manufacturing estab-
lishment in Scranton and the Dunmore and Hyde
Park districts. This position he filled for two
years, and in 1870 became a clerk and general
manager of a retail grocery store on Penn ave-
nue. Six months later he induced his father to
purchase the store, in whose interest he con-
ducted it until 1874, when the two became part-
ners. Later the son purchased the interest of
his father and conducted the business until 1880.
In the latter year he engaged in the wholesale
produce and commission business on Lackawanna
avenue, Scranton, and three years later took a
brother and two brothers-in-law into partnership.
Becoming interested in the development of real
estate he relinquished his commission business,
and turned his entire attention to real estate and.
building operations, erecting a considerable num-
ber of handsome residential and business edifices,
including the Dime Bank building. He soon be-
came the prime leader in the development of
Scranton real estate, and organized the Traders'
Real Estate Company (of which he is the prin-
cipal owner), and which has greatly improved
the real estate of outlying districts. Air. Schlager
is likewise interested in a number of other busi-
ness enterprises ; he is president of the Clear
Springs Coal Company, of Pittston, Pennsylva-
nia, one of the large coal operators of that re-
gion ; is interested in the United States Lumber
Company, which owns and controls immense
timber and other valuable interests in Missis-
sippi ; and is president of the Dr. D. B. Hand
Condensed Milk Company, another large busi-
ness concern. He is a director of the Traders'
National Bank of Scranton, of the Citizens" Bank
of Oliphant, and of the National Bank of Peck-
ville. He was one of the active promoters of
the Alleghenv Company, which purchased one-
hundred thousand acres of timber land in North



-222



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



'Carolina, and he recently negotiated the sale of
its property for the sum of $300,000, in which

-a number of Scranton's citizens were interested.
I\Ir. Schlager is a stockholder in the Chicago
Tunnel Company, the Automatic Telephone Com-
pany of Chicago, the Piney Creek Coal and Coke
Company of \\'est Mrginia, and the Knicker-
bocker Coal Company; is president of and a
large stockholder in the Escanaba Water Com-
pany, of Escanaba, Michigan, and has a number

•of other valuable business and financial interests.
\Miile he is thus largely concerned with distant
properties, his principal interest centers in the
city of Scranton, where he is known as a leader
in all important movements looking to the larger

;:growth and prosperity of the city. He married
Tillie S. Patterson, daughter of P. P. Patterson,
of Waymart, Wa}-ne county, Pennsylvania, and
they are the parents of three daughters: Ma-
belle, wife of Charles Ezra Scott, who is en-

. gaged in the steam heating business at Scranton ;
Louisa and Jeannette Patterson Schlager, who
reside at home on Clay avenue, in one of the
handsomest residences in Scranton. Mrs. Schla-
ger died June 2, 1905.

WILLL\M T. DAVIS is a fine type of that
Welsh character which has contributed in such

"large degree to the development of the natural
resources of Pennsylvania and to the extension
of its splendid industrial enterprises. While
thus acting as a prime factor in the accomplish-
ment of great results which have largely advan-
taged the entire community, he has also accum-
ulated large personal interests as the reward of

Tiis own intelligent and industrious effort, pre-
serving throughout his entire career a spotless

•character. Mr. Davis comes of an old Welsh
family distinguished for active and clean life
and unusual longevity. His paternal grand-
father, David Davis, who was a resident of

'Slontrusint, Wales, lived to the age of seventy-
nine years, and was the father of a son Thomas,
who is still living in Troyerfial, Wales, at the
age of ninety-three years, and two other sons,
including the father of William T. Davis, are
also living, aged more than four score years.

William T. Davis was bom in 1849, '"
Wales, where he received a good practical edu-
cation, and was early habituated to a life of per-
severing industry. In 1868, when nineteen vears
of age, he emigrated alone to the LTnited States,
locating in Thomaston, Ohio, near the city of
Akron, where he took employment as a common

"laborer in a bituminous coal mine. In the fol-



lowing year he removed to Scranton, Pennsyl-
vania, where the hard coal fields afforded him
employment which was more congenial, on ac-
count of the mining operations being conducted
more after the fashion to which he had been ac-
customed in his native land. In 1871 he for-
soo.k this work to take the place of driver of a
delivery wagon, and this led him (in 1877) to
engage in a general mercantile business as a
member of the firm of Carson & Davis, his part-
ner being his brother-in-law, George B. Carson,
the business having been founded by Mr. Carson
in 1870, on Washburn street. Later the firm
erected a double store building, the enlargement
having become necessary by reason o.f a con-
stantly expanding business, which has been con-
tinued to the present time.

Mr. Davis also soon became actively identi-
fied with various other commercial and indus-
trial interests. He became a member of the Car-
son Coal Company, which in 1893 built a wash-
ery at Audenried, Schuylkill county, Pennsyl-
vania. After having worked this out, the part-
ners, under the name of the Bowen Coal Com-
pany, built a washery at Winooski. which they
operated for five years and until its further
working had become unprofitable. During this
time Mr. Davis became interested in coal lands
in Schuylkill county, which are yet among his
holdings. He at the same time engaged exten-
sively in real estate operations in Luzerne and
Lackawanna counties, and in both has erected a
large number of buildings for business and resi-
dential purposes. He is officially connected with
the West Side Bank of Scranton and the Schuyl-
kill County Coal Royalty Company, in both of
which he is president and director ; and the
Thuron Coal Land Company, of which he is a
director and treasurer. He is recognized as a
most capable man of business ; energetic and en-
terprising, yet farseeing and judicious; his judg-
ment is particularly relied upon with reference
to real estate values ; and he is without a su-
perior in his knowledge of mineral lands. His
personal qualities are such as have drawn to
him a host of friends who hold him in high re-
gard for his ability, integrity and congenialty. In
his early life in Scranton he was a member of
the local Zouave company, connected with the
National Guard of Pennsylvania. In politics
he is a Republican.

Mr. Davis married Margaret Carson, a
daughter of Thomas Carson, a sketch of whom
appears in this work. Of this marriage were
born two children : Catherine, married Alexan-




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THE W^YOIMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



223



der G. Bender, a merchant of Scranton, and their
children are : IMargaret, Helen and Harriet ; and
Jane, married Edward R. Hughes, who is a
teacher of mathematics in the Scranton high
school, and they are the parents of one child,
William T. Hughes.

DO.AHNICK J. I\IORAX is among the pop-
ular men of Scranton. He is a son of Michael J.
Moran, who, was born in Ireland, and was an
early and worthy settler in the Lackawanna Val-
ley. He was a miner by occupation. His wife
was Bridget RIcDonough, also a native of Ire-
land, and of the eleven children born to them five
are now living: Dominick J., mentioned here-
after ; Robert, Alice, wife of John Joseph ; Delia,
wife of Robert J. Byron ; and Nora. Mr. Moran,
the father, died in 1889, and his widow is still
living.

Dominick J. JNIoran, son of Michael J. and
Bridget (McDonough) ]\Ioran, was born April
28, 1877, in Scranton, and received his edu-
tion in the schools of his native city. At the early
age of seven he began to work in the mines, and
for nine years filled various positions connected
with the production of coal. During the fol-
lowing nine years he was engaged in the rectify-
ing of spirituous liquors, and in 1901 entered the
hotel business. He is now the proprietor of the
French Roof Hotel which he owns in partnership
with J. M. Haley, and also of the Central Hotel
in Luzerne street. His unquestioned success as
a host is due in part to his administrative ability
and in part to his genial manners and obliging
disposition. He is a member of the C. M. B. A.
and Y. M. I. C. fraternal societies.

Mr. Moran married, No.vember i, 1900, Cath-
erine Healey. Their home is the central point
of attraction for a large circle of warm and de-
voted friends and is the abode of the most genial
hospitality, the traits of character which render
Mr. Moran so popular with the public being only
the reflection o.f quahties by which his domestic
hfe is pervaded and animated.

LOUIS CONRAD. One of Scranton's pro-
gressive and public-spirited citizens is Louis
Conrad. He is a son of Andrew Conrad, who
was born in 1829 in Germany, came to the United
States and settled in Potts ville, where for many



Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 46 of 130)