Horace Edwin Hayden.

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

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minds and have them exemplify in their lives a
love for the good, the true, the noble and the
beautiful. In this she admirably succeeded, and
her life shall be to all coming generations a bless-
ing and a benediction. Her remains were taken
back to her home in Huntington, from which she
had been absent during the winter, and to which
she had been taken a bride forty-six 3'ears be-
fore. The funeral services were conducted by her
pastor, Rev. H. F. Cares, assisted by Dr. R. H.
Gilbert, of Berwick, a former pastor and in-
timate friend of the family, who delivered a beau-
tiful sermon upon the doctrines of the resurrec-
tion. On the green hillside at Southdala, in
Huntington Valley, she was laid to rest besides
her husband, who preceded her seven years.

MARY L. TRESCOTT, eldest daughter and
third child of Barton Miller and Permelia Bow-
man (Rhone) Trescott, was born in Huntington
township. Luzerne countv, Pennsylvania. She at-
tended the common schools in the neighborhood
of her home, and this knowledge was supple-
mented by attendance at the New Columbus Aca-
demy at New Columbus, Pennsylvania, after
which she served in the capacity of a teacher for
a time. She then became a student of the East-
man Business College at Poughkeepsie, New
York, graduating therefrom in 1893. The fol-
lowing two years she read law in the office of
Hon. Henry W. Palmer, ex-attorney general and
member of congress, also one of the leading law-
yers of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and was ad-
mitted to the bar of Luzerne county, October 14,
1893, being the first lady upon whom that dis-
tinction was conferred. At the present time
(1906) she is practicing in the office of her pre-
ceptor. She is engaged in an active general prac-
tice of the law in all its branches, being employed
frequently in cases of imusual consequence, re-
quiring a thorough knowledge of the law, and
careful and ingenius application of its prin-
ciples, but making, however, the orphans' court
and corporation law a specialty, this often re-
quiring her services in the adjoining counties to
Luzerne. Upon the basis of a liberal education
Miss Trescott has builded a general knowledge
of men and afifairs invaluable in the legal ]5rofes-
sion, is a safe counselor and zealous advocate, and
no lawyer defends the rights of their clients with
more vigor and earnestness than she. From her
ambitious nature and general capability Miss
Trescott has attained a position in her profes-



sion that few women and not a great number of
men have been able to achieve and so readily re-
tain. She was admitted to the supreme court of
Pennsylvania in 1899, and on April 16, 1906,
was admitted to the supreme court of the United
States at Washington, on motion of Solicitor
General Samuel Hoyt.

RUSH TRESCOTT, third son and sixth
child of Barton Miller and Permelia Bowman
(Rhone) Trescott, was born in Huntington town-
ship, Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, October 5,
1868. He received his education in the public
schools, at the Huntington Mills Academy, and
Dickinson College at Carlisle, from which insti-
tution he was graduated in the class of 1895.
Subsequently he attended the Dickinson School
of Law, and after passing a successful competitive
examination was admitted to the bar at Carlisle,
June 6, 1895, and to the Luzerne county bar at
Wilkes-Barre, June 17, 1895. He at once opened
an office in Wilkes-Barre and began a general
practice of law, which has extended to adjoining
counties and all state and federal courts, and
since then has secured a large and increasing
clientage. He has handled a number of very im-
portant cases, many of which will be handed
down in the history of Luzerne county. He comes
of good stock, as already shown, has fine natural
abilities, industry and persistence, an excellent
education and thorough and comprehensive
knowledge of the law, and out of these condi-
tions and qualities has reared a professional rep-
utation second to none. Mr. Trescott is a Demo-
crat in political opinion, and has been active in
the afifairs of his party. He was appointed first
assistant district attorney of his county in 1898,
under T. R. Martin, and held the office three
years — 1898-99-1900. He was chairman of the
county Democratic committee in 1897.

Mr. Trescott married, June 7, 1899, at
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Elizabeth May Wil-
bur, of Wilkes-Barre. born November 29, 1866,
daughter of Henry and Mary (Fell) Wilbur. Mr.
and Mrs. Trescott have one child, Wilbur Tres-
cott, bom June 23, 1904, Wilkes-Barre, Penn-
sylvania.

NICHOLAS RAPSON, a representative bus-
iness man of Wyonfing, was born November 9,
1843, in Tavisstock, Devonshire, England, fifteen
miles from historic Plymouth, a son of Thomas
and Alice (Osborne) Rapson, grandson of
Thomas Rapson, and a descendant of an English
ancestry.




ffns^iy C.BJ{<i.ll.NY



J\J\c^ X Xldc^C^



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



297



Thomas Rapson (grandfather) served in the
British navy for many years, and after an event-
ful hfe on the sea spent his remaining years
quietlv at Tavisstock, England, where he died,
aged about eighty-two years, and was buried in
the Public cemetery on the Dolvin road, near
Tavisstock, as was also his wife Ann, who died
aged about eighty years. They were religiously
inclined, and for many vears were faithful and
•consistent members of the Episcopal church.

Thomas Rapson (father) was born in Tavis-
stock, Devonshire, England, 1817, this district
being the birthplace of his ancestors for several
generations. He was one of thirteen children,
among them being William, died aged about one
hundred years ; Ann, died aged about one hun-
dred years ; John, died aged about seventy years ;
Sara, died aged about sixty years. Thomas Rap-
son was educated in the public schools, was a nat-
ural genius, and became one of the prominent men
•of Tavisstock. He became superintendent of
streets for the city (equivalent to city engineer),
having entire charge of all improvements, new
work, repairs, opening of streets, etc., a position
he held up to the time of his death. He was an
Episcopalian, quiet but progressive, and furth-
ered all the interests of the community in which
he lived. He married Alice Osborne, a native of
Calstock, Cornwall county, England, the Osborne
family being an old one in the eastern part of
Cornwall county, England, and they were the
parents of seven children, namely: i. JMary Ann,
married (first) Manuel Perkins, deceased, and
(second) Richard IMatthews : resides in Ply-
•mouth, England. 2. William, resided in Grass
Valley, California, mined .eold, was hurt in acci-
dent and died from the effects thereof : married
Alice Andrews, who after his death became the
wife of a ^Ir. Rogers, t,. Thomas, married ]Mary
\\'illiams, resides in Blakely, Pennsylvania, en-
gaged in the mining of coal. 4. Nicholas, men-
tioned hereafter. 5. John, married Louisa Weeks,
resides in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, is a stone
mason. 6. Jane, deceased wife of John Gourd, a
resident of Plymouth. England, an architect and
builder. 7. A son who died in infancy.

Nicholas Rapson, who was named after an,
uncle who. died from wounds received in scaling
a wall in Pekin, China, in 1840, during the Chin-
ese war, remained till sixteen vears of age at
Tavisstock, England, his birthplace. He was
educated in the public schools, and at the early
age of eight years became engaged in the man-
ufacture of hemp rope, continuing- thus for two
years. He then became identified with copper



mining, which was extensively carried on near
Tavisstock, and served three years in preparing
copper ore for market. At thirteen years of
age he entered the mines as miner's helper, serv-
ing five years in that capacity ; then entered the
lead and silver mines near Exmouth, Devonshire,
as miner, and during the following three years
worked as miner in the tin mines in the parish of
Wendron, Cornwall county, England. He then
went to the Balladonegan Bay (Ireland) copper
mines, where he was employed for three months,
and after spending two months at home went as
miner to the Chontales gold and silver mines in
Nicaraugua, Central America, remaining two
years, one year as foreman of their reduction
plant. He then took a trip to England and later
emigrated to the United States, landing in New
York city, September 7, 1869. Two days later,
September 9, he arrived in Pittston, Pennsylva-
nia, where he engaged in the mining of coal for
one year. He then removed to Ashley and entered
the service of the Lehigh & Wilkes-Barre Coal
Company, remaining in various capacities for ten
vears, at the expiration of which time he was
made general inside foreman at Wanamie for
same company, having charge of their No. 18
slope and also starting up the No. 19 slope, and
remained thus employed for a period of ten years.
In 1890 he entered the service of John Jermyn,
coal operator, as inside superintendent at Price-
burg. Pennsylvania, but his health failed and six
months later he went to California in order to
recuperate, remaining three months. In August,
1891, he came to Wyoming, Pennsylvania, en-
gaged with Simpson & Watkins, coal operators,
and sank the Mt. Lookout shaft for them which
he opened up in August. 1893. This shaft goes
down through one hundrecl and three feet of
quicksand and is remarkable in many ways. His
work was entirely satisfactory to the manage-
ment, and one year from the opening the output
for the month of August was between twenty-
three and twenty-four thousand tons. Mr. Rap-
son then engaged in his present business of rock
contracting, driving shafts, tunnels, slopes, etc.,
and during his contract work has driven many
miles of shafts, and now (April, 1906), with the
assistance of his sons has live contracts under
way, employing about sixty men, with a pay roll
averaging over four thousand dollars per month.
His business operations cover all the surround-
ing territory within a radius of ten miles. Since
engaging in this business ^Ir. Raoson has re-
ceived many flattering offers from different com-
panies, but prefers to continue in business for



298



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



himself, in which he is very successful. His con- in the family plot in Ashlev cemetery, Ashley.



tracts average from two to six at all times.

Mr. Rapson is a stockholder in the Ft. Worth
Telephone Company, Ft. Worth, Texas ; First
National Co-operative Society of Chicago., Illi-
nois ; Douglas & Lacey Company of New York ;
Kewannee (Illinois) Telephone Company; Syl-
vania Mining Company of Nevada ; Mt. be Oro
Mining Company of Colorado.; Hayti Railroad
Company of Hayti, West Indies. He is a Re-
publican in politics, has been councilman of the
borough, and is now president of the school board,
serving for the second term in that capacity. He
is a member of the First Methodist Episcopal
Church of Wyoming, Pennsylvania, in which he
is also local preacher, treasurer of the board of
trustees, and assistant superintendent of the Sun-
day school. He has been a member of the
church for the long period of forty-eight )'ears,
since fourteen years of age. Although he has
now attained the age of sixty-two years, Mr.
Rapson is a very busy man and is a fair example
of the strenuous life. He is a master Mason,
holding membership in Blue Lodge, No. 446,
Wyoming, and Ro}al Arcanum. Pittston. He was
formerly a member of the Foresters and the In-
dependent Order of Odd Fellows, of Ashley,
Pennsylvania.

Mr. Rapson married, in Bovey Tracey, Dev-
onshire, England, 1863, Elizabeth Ann Rodda,
daughter of John and Sarah (Rapson) Rodda, of
Tavisstock, England, and had ten children,
namely : i. John Thomas, died at the age of eigut
years. 2. William was killed in a railroad cross-
ing accident at Warrior Run, Luzerne county,
Pennsylvania, in February, 1882. Nicholas Rap-
son was also injured in the same accident, was
unconscious for some time, and laid up for six-
months. 3. Richard died at the age of two years.
4. Richard (2), born Wyoming, Pennsylvania, a
machinist, engaged in the rock contracting busi-
ness with his father; married Emelie J. Harsch,
daughter of Claude Harsch (see sketch of Claude
Harsch elsewhere in this work), and had two
sons : Claude Nicholas and Charles. The fam-
ily reside in Wyoming. 5. Nicholas, Jr., a black-
smith, resides in Wyoming. 6. Albert Edward, a
druggist, married Fannie Pettebone, daughter of
Joshua Pettebone, and had one son, Albert Payne.
They reside in Forty Fort, Pennsylvania. 7.
Charles Frederick, a machinist, resides in Wyo-
ming, Pennsylvania. 8. Anna Maud, died at the
age of about five years. 9. William (2), died at
the age of two years. 10. A son who died in in-
fancy. All of the deceased children are buried



Pennsylvania. All of the sons are engaged in the
rock contracting business with their father.

John Rodda, father of Mrs. Nicholas Rapson.
was a miner in the copper and tin mines in Eng-
land. He and his wife, Sarah (Rapson) Rodda,
died in England. They had children: i. Eliza-
beth Ann, wife of Nicholas Rapson. 2. Emma,
married Bessie Hall, daughter of William Hall,
land. 3. Carrie, deceased. 4. Jane, married Thomas
Stevens, of Helston, and had two children : Carrie
and Edward. They now reside in Ashley, Penn-
sylvania. 5. Harry, a miner in Nelsonville, Ohio,
married Bessie Hall, daughter of William Hall,
and had five children : Emma, Carrie, Harry,
Thomas and Clyde. 6. Thomas, a moulder and
prospector for Elsworth Bros., Denver. Colorado,
for many years, but now engaged in the freight
department of a railroad in Denver, Colorado.

GEORGE HOUGHTON HUGHES, an ac-
tive and potent factor in the varied interests of the
borough of Luzerne, is a representative of a fam-
ily who. was among the pioneer settlers of the
Wyoming Valley, of Welsh origin, and who also
gained considerable fame during the period of
the Revolutionary war.

His grandparents were James and Hannah
(S wetland) Hughes, the former having been a
native of Pennsylvania, and the latter of Connec-
ticut origin. James Hughes was a millwright
and ran the first mill in Luzerne county, Penn-
s\'lvania, where he spent his life. (See Swet-
land.)

The parents of George H. Hughes were-
James and Elizabeth ' Wharram Houghton
Hughes, the former having been born in Shamo-
kin, Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, No-
vember 19, 1816. and the latter in North Burton
Fleming, England, February 7, 1816, a daughter
of John and Rebecca (Major) Wharram. Her
uncle, Major Wharram was Lord of the Manor
and heir to vast estates in North Burton ( now
called Burton Fleming), England. "The Cap-
tain," as James Hughes was familiarly called,
was educated in the school of Luzerne county,
and in 1836 began trafficking on the canal, run-
ning a line of boats from Pittston to Baltimore,
Philadelphia and New Yo.rk. After the canal ex-
tension was completed he took his boats through
the state of New York, from Pittston to Waverly-
and Elmira, and thence to Buffalo by the Erie
canal. He continued this ocupation up to 1865,
a period of almost thirty years, after which he
engaged in farming and looking after his exten-




JAMES HUGHES



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



299



sive land interests in the valley, but in 1882 re-
tired from active pursuits. He was one of the
first and one of the most extensive truck and
dairy farmers in the county, keeping twenty
horses and about sixty head of cattle on his
farm. He was a communicant of the Presby-
terian church, and a staunch Republican in pol-
itics.

Captain Hughes married, April 2, 1848, Mrs.
Elizabeth Wharram Houghton, daughter of John
and Rebecca (Major) Wharram, and widow of
George Houghton, by whom she had four chil-
dren, namely: William, of Luzerne; Josephine,
widow of A. Smith, of Luzerne ; Cyrus, of Har-
veys Lake : and Sarah, married Westley East-
wood, of Phoenix, Arizona. Four children were
also born of her marriage to Captain Hughes:
Ellen, deceased ; Maria, deceased, who was the
wife of Wilson J. Bishop, of Luzerne, Pennsyl-
vania ; George Houghton, of whom later ; and
Caroline, born October 30, 1854, educated in the
public schools of Luzerne and Wyoming Sem-
inary, graduating from the latter institution in
1876. She returned to her home in Luzerne and
there remained until her marriage, October 26,
1898, to William C. Sponsler, born April 24,
1858, son of Jacob and Susan (Seybert) Spons-
ler, of Berwick, where they reside on a beautiful
farm. William C. Sponsler and wife reside in
West Berwick, Pennsylvania. The two children
of ]\Iaria Hughes and Wilson Bishop are : Bessie
and Elma Caroline, who have been cared for since
their mother's death by iNlrs. Sponsler and now
reside with her in West Berwick. Bessie was
born November 16, 1880, and Elma Caroline,
January 2, 1885.

George Houghton Hughes was born in the
borough of Luzerne, Luzerne county, Pennsyl-
vania, September 25, 1852. He pursued his
studies in the common schools adjacent to his
home until 1872, the following year was a student
at Wyoming Seminary, Kingston, Pennsylvania,
and during the year 1874-75 attended the Millers-
ville Normal school, where he completed his edu-
cation. In the meantime he assisted with the
work on his father's farm, later conducted a mar-
ket for the sale of green groceries at Scranton,
and subsequently handled the first car load of
beef shipped into the city of Scranton. His half-
brother, Cyrus H. Houghton, went west and
shipped the first car of cattle and dressed beef
into Scranton, and to these two young men is
due the credit of establishing this enterprise in
that city. In February, 1877, he entered Wyo-



ming Seminary and there pursued a commercial
course under Professor L. L. Sprague. He then
went to Florida, locating at Tallahassa, Nassau
county, where he engaged in trucking, raising to-
bacco and green stuff and shipping the same
north for sale. He returned home on July 8, .
1878, that being the year of the Centennial an-
niversary of the Wyoming massacre, went to
trucking, using hot beds for the purpose, and
for some years conducted the largest truck and
dairy farm in the valley at that time, running
regidarly three truck and two milk wagons, and
at that time he received an order of a vessel load
from England. In 1883 he turned his attentian
to the raising of tobacco and the manufacturing
of cigars at Wilkes-Barre, which line of work he
continued for two years. He then returned to-.
Florida and engaged in the raising and manu-
facturing of a fine grade of tobacco and cigars, .
which product he shipped to Hall, Ruckel & Co.,
of New York, druggists. His plant was de-
stroyed by fire, but he rebuilt it and continued
this industry until 1888, when he returned to
Luzerne, Pennsylvania. He then went to Schuyl-
kill county and engaged in general teaming for
the Natalie Coal Company ; they later failed in
business, and he returned to Luzerne and en-
gaged in the lumber business, purchasing land
and making props and ties for the mines. In
1897 he went to Longpond, ^Monroe county, pur-
chased four hundred acres of land, one hundred
and thirty-five of which is under a state of cul-
tivation. He is a Republican in politics. He was
elected street commissioner in 1891, served two-
years and was re-elected for a second term. Dur-
ing his four years service as street commissioner
he was instrumental in the grading of the first
streets in Dorranceton and Kingston, and he
also served a similar period, two terms of two
years each, as a member of the common council.
He was appointed executor of the estate of
his father, the late James Hughes, in August,
1896.

Mr. Hughes married, ]March 9, 1891, Hattie-
May Fritz, daughter of Thomas and Emma
(Granger) Fritz, who was the mother of three
children by a former marriage, namely: W'illiam
J. Thomas, born April 14, 1880 : Bertha May,
born July 29, 1882; and David or Day Thomas,
born April 2, 1887. The children of George H.
and Hattie May (Fritz) Hughes are: J. Earle,.
born June 6, 1892: George Herbert, born Octo-
ber 16, 1898; and Caroline A., born October 18.,
1902.



300



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



WILLL\M GWYNNE WEAVER, M. D.,
of Wilkes-Barre, was born March ii, 1850, in
Rush township, Northumberland county, Penn-
sylvania, son of Jesse and Elizabeth (Bassett)
Weaver, oi same locality, grandson of Henry and
Elizabeth (Campbell) Weaver, of same locality,
and great-grandson of Michael and Margaret
Weaver.

Michael Weaver (great-grandfather), the
first ancestor of this line in America, came from
Germany about 1769 and first went to tlie city
of Philadelphia, later to Berks county, and finally
settled in Northumberland county where his son
Henry was born, he being one of thirteen chil-
dren. Michael Weaver was a captain in the
Revolutionary army, being in the service seven
and a half years, two. years with Second Com-
pany, Fourth Battalion, Northumberland county,
Pennsyvania, Associators, October 8, 1776, and
five and a half years with Pennsylvania Rangers,
1778-1783, in both of which he ranked as cap-
tain. (See Pennsylvania Archives, second series,
vol. xiv, page 327 ; also vol. xiii, page 236, third
series, 23, 256,341. He was one of the success-
ful men of his time, and in addition to serving
his adopted country accumulated considerable
wealth as shown by a copy of his will, dated 1817,
and now in the possession of Dr. Weaver.
Michael Weaver was probably an adherent of
the tenets of the German Reformed church, but
the later representatives of the family adhered
to the doctrines of the Methodist Episcopal
church.

Henry Weaver (grandfather), seventh son of
Michael and Margaret Weaver, born about 1790,
in Rush township, followed farming in the county
where he was born. He was one of the substan-
tial men of his time, and one of the leading mem-
bers in the church. He married Elizabeth
Campbell, and had among other children, Jesse,
the father of Dr. Weaver, Henry Weaver, after
a useful and well-spent life, died in i860, aged
seventy years.

Jesse Weaver (father), son of Henrv and
Elizabeth (Campbell) Weaver, was born in Rush
township, Northumberland county, Pennsylvania,
January 11, 181 1. He was reared in the vicinity
of his birthplace, educated in the schools of the
neighborhood, and followed farming throughout
the active years of his career. He was a man of
more than ordinary education and ability, a
Democrat in politics, and active in church mat-
ters, he being a prominent member of the Meth-
odist church. His wife Elizabeth was also a
member of the IMethodist church and an active



worker therein, although her father was a prom-
inent member of the Presbyterian church. Jesse
Weaver married (first) Sarah A. Kline, born
October 15, 1818, died November 7, 1842, leav-
ing two children, both now dead, as follows :
Charles W., a physician, who practiced his pro-
fession in Shamokin, Pennsylvania ; and Ann
Eliza Weaver, who married Samuel Reecer. Mr.
Weaver married (second) Elizabeth Bassett,
daughter of Luther Bassett, born in Hunterdon
county, New Jersey, June 16, 1814. Her father
brought the family to Rush township, Northum-
berland county, Pennsylvania, when Elizabeth
was but one year of age, so that she spent nearly
her whole life in this state. The Bassett family,
seven brothers, came originally from England,
and several of them participated in the Revolu-
tionary struggle. There were born to Jesse and
Elizabeth (Bassett) Weaver the following chil-
dren, all now living: Marietta, George B., Luther
B., William G., whose name heads this sketch ;
John P., and Ruth A. Weaver. Jesse Weaver
died June 11, 1854. aged forty-three years, and
his wife Elizabeth survived him until December
25, 1900, dying at the age of eighty-six years and
six months.

William Gwynne Weaver, fourth child of
Jesse and Elizabeth (Bassett) Weaver, spent his
early days in his native township, and was edu-
cated in the public schools there. His father hav-
ing died when he was but four years of age, leav-
ing a family of six young children, his mother
was not able to afford the children an education
beyond what was ofifered by the public schools
of the district. He accordingly attended the pub-
lic schools in the winter and worked on the farm
in the summer until he was seventeen years of
age, when he taught a term of four months in a
country school in Montour county, and then en-
tered the Elysburg Academy. The following
winter he taught a four months term of school in
Northumberland county, afterward continuing liis



Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 62 of 130)