Horace Edwin Hayden.

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

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son, Dewald Aleck, bore arms in the War of
1S12. Benjamin Meek, a son of Dewald, was an
old resident of Meckville.



374



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



Charles A. Meek, son of Benjamin Meek,
was born in ]\Ieckville, Berks county, Pennsylva-
nia, and was for many years a resident of Schuyl-
killhaven, where he conducted three stores and
was extensively engaged in the lumber business.
He was interested in the prcdi ction of coal and
also operated a box factory, which the estate
still runs. He married Priscilla Hartman, and
they were the parents of the following children :
Jennie, who is the wife of M. F. Nagle, of Sha-
mokin ; Harriet, who is married to Addison Hes-
ser, of Schuylkillhaven ; Catherine, who became
the wife of C. T. Derr, of Pottsville ; Pierson A.,
mentioned at length hereinafter ; Harry, de-
ceased ; Milton ]\I. ; and Charles Calvin. The
death of Mr. Aleck occurred in 1901. His
widow still survives and- resides on the old
homestead.

Dr. Pierson A. Meek, son of Charles A. and
Priscilla (Hartman) JNIeck, was born October
23, 1859, at Schuylkillhaven, and attended the
public schools of his native town. In 1874 he
graduated from the high school, and the same
year entered the Palatinate Preparatory College
at JMyerstown, from which he graduated in 1876.
He then went to the Franklin Marshall College
at Lancaster, where he remained two years, and
then for one year assisted his father in the lat-
ter's various and extensive enterprises. In 1881
he matriculated at Jefferson Medical College,
Philadelphia, from which institution he received
in 1884 the degree of Doctor of Medicine. The
same year he settled at Nanticoke, where for
twenty-one years he has practiced his profession
continuously, with the exception of six months
spent in Buffalo, New York, during which time
he was also in practice. The office of president
of the board of health has been acceptably filled
by him. He is a member of the Modern Wood-
men of America, the Order of Eagles, and the
college fraternity, Chi Phi. Politicallv he is a
Republican.

Dr. Meek married in 1882, j\lary Brennan, of
Tremont, and eight children have been born to
them, five of whom are living: Marie Lucretia,
Charles Francis, Nina Beatrice, Vieta Loretta,
and Felix Austin. •

EVAX J. WILLIA?\IS, a business man of
Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, is a son of Evan F.
Williams, who was born in Wales, and in 1869
emigrated to the United States, settling in Tay-
lor, Lackawanna county. His wife was Eliza-
beth Jones, and they were the parents of six chil-
dren of whom two sons and one daughter are



now living. The death of Air. Evan F. Williams
occurred in Nanticoke, 1879, ^"f^' his widow
passed away in 1884.

Evan J. Williams, son of Evan T. and Eliza-
beth (Jones) Williams-, was born June 26, 1851,
in Aberystwith, Cardinshire, Wales, and re-
ceived his education in the public schools of his
native town. Later he learned the tailor's trade,
and at the age of eighteen emigrated with the
'other members of his father's family to the
, United States. He lived for eleven years at Tay-
lor, working in the mines and also following his
trade, and in 1880 moved to Nanticoke, where he
'worked in the mines for three years and then
followed his trade until 1886, when he estab-
lished himself as a merchant tailor. His business
from a small beginning has grown to its present
proportions which are such as to entitle him to
the prominent position which he holds among
the business men of the borough. He is a direc-
tor of the Nanticoke National Bank, director in
the Susquehanna Lumber Company, and is in-
terested in various enterprises in the borough.
His neighbors have given many proofs of the
confidence which they repose in him, among
them that of choosing him a member of the town
council. He is a member of Nanticoke Lodge,
No. 541, F. and A. M., Bloomsburg Consistory,
of Bloomsburg, A'alley Chapter, of Plymouth,
Dieu Le A'eut Commanderv, No. 45, also Irem
Temple, A. A. O. N. M. 'S., of Wilkes-Barre,
Pennsylvania. His political affiliations are with
the Republicans. He is an active worker in thd
Welsh Baptist Church.

Mr. Williams married, April 22, 1878. Re-
becca, daughter of William S. and Sarah Evans,
natives of Wales and residents of Nanticoke.
The family of Mr. and Mrs. Williams consists
of seven children : Sarah, who is the wife of
Jenken Evans, and they have two children. Re-
becca and Evan. William G., who married Eliz-
abeth A. Ford, and they have two children, Ce-
celia and William. Evan J., Jr., who is princi-
pal of the Main Street school, Nanticoke. Rich-
ard. Bessie. Percy. Oscar.

ALFRED WILLIAM AIAY, of Nanticoke,
is a son of William May, who was born in En,g-
land, and was a contractor whose business was
to sink shafts in mining districts. He made two
visits to the L^nited States, but it was not until
the occasion of his third trip in 1859 that he de-
cided to adopt this country as his home. His
wife was Mary Bazley, also a native of England,
and thev were the parents of seven children, all



THE WYOAIING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



375



of whom grew to maturity. About 1876 j\lr.
May took up his abode in Nanticoke, where he
resided until his death, which occurred July 30,
1904, aged sixty-three years, and was quickly
followed by that of his widow, who passed away
November 27, 1904, aged sixty-five years.

Alfred William ^lay, son of William and
JNIary (Bazley) ]\Iay, was born September 25,
1864, in Bloomsburg. Columbia county, Pennsyl-
vania, and was about four years old when the fam-
ily moved to Westfall, Nova Scotia, whither his
father and uncle, William Paul Fay, v^'ere obliged
to go by reason of their business as contractors.
There for eight years Alfred attended the public
schools, and in 1876 when the family settled in
Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, he was employed for
some time in and about the mines. When about
twenty years of age he turned his attention to
the carpenter's trade, which he has followed suc-
cessfully to the present time. In 1891 he added
to it the business of a contractor, a venture which
has produced the most gratifying and profitable
results. He supplies the best material and the
finest workmanship, and has erected a number of
substantial buildings which are ornaments to the
borough and will be monuments to his memory.
He is a member of Nanticoke Lodge, Knights of
Malta, and in politics is a Republican, but in local
afifairs acts independently of party consideration.
Mr. May is a member of St. George Protestant
Episcopal Church, is one of the active workers
and most liberal supporters of the same, and for
eight years served in the capacity of superintend-
ent of the Sunday school connected therewith.
Mr. May married, November 25, 1890, Anna
Belle, daughter of William and Jane Allen, of
Nanticoke, and six children have been born to
them ; William, Bessie Belle, Alfred Leonard,
Oliver Linden, Alildred Jeannette, and Joseph
Allen.

JOHN HAMILTON, a contractor and
builder, whose residence in Nanticoke extends
over a period of nearlv thirty years, during
twenty of which he has conducted his present
business, is a representative of that class of for-
eign-born men, who upon their arrival in a new
country become at once loyal and faithful to the
interests of the same. His parents were James
and Bessie (Drieppes) Hamilton, natives of
Scotland, who emigrated to this countrv about
1874: their family consisted of five children,
three of whom are living, namely : James, John
and ^^'illiam. James Hamilton (father) died in



1900, having survived his wife several years, her
demise occurring in 1885.

John Hamilton was born in Londonderry
county, Ireland, in 1852. He attended the schools
of hisi native town, and after completing his
studies served an apprenticeship at the trade of
brick-layer. In 1869, having previously decided
to make for himself a new home amid different
surroundings, he emigrated to the United States,
settling at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where he
remained until 1874, in which year he removed
to Nanticoke. The first seven years of his resi-
dence in that borough he was employed as brick-
layer by the Susquehanna Coal Company, after
which he engaged in business on his own account
as a contractor and builder. He supplies all
materials used in his work, being fully competent
to do the same as he thoroughly understands the
building business from beginning to end. ^lany
of the substantial buildings, both public and pri-
vate, in his own and adjacent towns stand as
evidence of his skill and workmanship, and the
success which he has achieved has been won by
long experience, a thorough knowledge of his
business, and his honesty and integrity in deal-
ing with his patrons. He is one of the most
active and liberal members of the Protestant
Episcopal Church of Nanticoke. He is a mem-
ber of the Order of Heptosophs, Nanticoke
Lodge.

In 1872 Mr. Hamilton was united in marriage
to ;\Iiss Sarah ^leiwerter, who died in 1880.
Their children are : James, a resident of Phila-
delphia ; William, a resident of Wilkes-Barre ;
John, a resident of Philadelphia ; and Thomas,
a resident of Nanticoke. In 1884 Mr. Hamilton
married jNIiss Sarah Eynon, daughter of John
and ]\Iary (James) Eynon, of Nanticoke, and
their children are : Ernest. Arthur, Robert A.,
IMiriam and Lida Hamilton.

SAMUEL LEWIS HOLLEY, M. D. The
oldest practicing physician in the borough of
Nanticoke is Samuel Lewis Holley. Dr. Hol-
lev is a sort of Christian Holley, who was born
in Germany, and was a wheelwright by trade. In
1850 he emigrated to the United States and set-
tled in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, where
he became a farmer and engaged in the lumber
business. After remaining there a number of
years he moved to the vicinity of Parkersburg,
West Mrginia. His wife was Catherine Fish,
also a native of Germany, and of the children
born to them seven grew to maturity, six of



Z7^



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



whom are living: Henry; Mary, who is the wife
of Michael Dare : Lizzie, who is married to
Charles Holmaden ; Katie, who became the wife
of Henry Fish ; John : Samuel Lewis, mentioned
at length hereinafter ; and Adam, who died at
the age of twenty years. The mother of these
children died in 1901. at the advanced age of
eighty-five. Her husband was still more re-
markable for longevity, being now (1905) nine-
ty-five years of age.

Samuel Lewis Holley, son of Christian and
Catherine (Fish) Holley, was born August 15,
1848, in Germany, and was two years old when
brought by his parents to the United States. He
received his primary education in the district
schools of Allegheny county, and later attended
Wilkensburg Academy and the Cooper Institute.
New York. On the conclusion of his school
days he took a position as timekeeper at Ashley
with the Central Railroad of New Jersey, re-
maining in the service of the company about four
years. He then turned his attention to the sci-
ence of medicine, and after two years' study with
Dr. Diefenderfer, at Ashley, he entered the Laii-
versity of Michigan in 1876, completing his
course at the Miami Medical College. Cincinnati,
Ohio, from which he graduated in 1878, with
the degree of Doctor of Medicine. The same
year he settled in Nanticoke, where he has since
remained. He was for six years surgeon of the
Ninth Regiment, Pennsylvania National Guard.
He has served as a member of the town council,
of Nanticoke. and in the sphere of politics is
identified with the Republicans. He is a member
of the Presbyterian Church, in which for a num-
ber of years he has held the office of elder. Dr.
Holley married, in 1880, Theresa, daughter of
the late Jonathan and Sarah (Peterson) Jones,
natives of Wales and New York state respective-
ly, and residents for many years of Wilkes-Barre.
Dr. and Mrs. Holley were the parents of one
chdd. Brayton P., who died in 1885, at the age
of four years.

XAVIER WERNET, who is now leading r»
retired life at his home in Nanticoke. surrounded
with peace and plenty, and realizing to the full
that there is no reward so satisfactory as the
consciousness of a life well spent, is a native of
Germany, of which fact he is justly proud, born
January 24, 1831. a son of the late Andrew and
Catherine Wernet, who were also natives of
Germany. Xavicr Wernet and his brother
Thomas were the only members of the family to
leave the native soil for a home in the new world.



The common schools of his fatherland afford-
ed .Xavier Wernet the means of obtaining a prac-
tical education, and by close application to his
studies he became well informed on a number of
subjects. In 1851 he emigrated to this country,
landing in New York City, April 9. and on Au-
gust 2}^ of the same year took up his residence
in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania. He first went to
work in the coal mines, at Pittston, Penns\lva-
nia, and later to White Haven, where he worked
in the woods from June till August, when he
came to Nanticoke and worked as an Outside
man for the Nottingham mine where he remained
until it closed down, and later served an appren-
ticeship at the trade of shoemaker. In 1854 he
opened a shop for the making and repairing of
boots and shoes, and for twelve years conducted
the same. Then he engaged in the grocerj' busi-
ness, but at the expiration of two years he dis-
posed of this and purchased a hotel in Berwick.
Columbia county, Pennsylvania, which he con-
ducted two years. In 1870 he returned to Nanti-
coke and built the large hotel on Main street,
known as the "Wernet House," which he still
owns. This he opened in December, 1870, and
managed successfully eighteen years, during
which time it gained the reputation of being one
of the best conducted hostelries in that section of
the county. He then leased the hotel, and is now
spending his declining years in ease and afflu-
ence. He is universally honored and respected
iii the community where more than half a cen-
tury of his life has been passed.

Mr. Wernet has been a member of the com-
mon council of Nanticoke. and also a member of
the school board, of which body he was treasurer
for one year. He is a Democrat in politics. He
is a charter member of Nanticoke Lodge, No.
541, Free and Accepted Masons, and has filled
the office of treasurer of the same since its or-
ganization, August 10, 1875. He is also a mem-
ber of Chapter No. 182, of Wilkes-Barre*; Mt.
Horeb Council, R. and S. M. ; of Dieu Le \'eut
Commandery, No. 45, Wilkes-Barre ; a member
of Irem Temple. Wilkes-Barre ; a member of
Scottish Rite Consistory, at Bloomsburg ; a mem-
ber of Berwick Lodge, No. 246. Independent
Order of Odd Fellows, and also of the Encamp-
ment, of which he was treasurer for several
years.

On March 2, 1861, Mr. Wernet was united in
marriage to Miss Anna E. Garringer, daughter
of Charles and Elizabeth (Lneder) Garringer,
natives of Hanover township. Luzerne county,
Pennsylvania. In 1898 Mr. Wernet sustained a



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



377



severe loss bv the death of his wife, who had
been a true help-mate through the various vicis-
situdes of life and whose memory is still fondly
cherished by him. ]\Ir. Wernet has an adopted
daughter, Ella Wernet, who married George W.
Sutliff, and they had one son, Xavier Wernet
Sutliff, born July 27. 1889. Mrs. Sutliff makes
her home with Mr. Wernet.

WILLL\iM KELLEY, proprietor of the
Homestead Dairy, and one of the energetic busi-
ness men of the borough of Nanticoke, where hfi
has gained a reputation for honesty, industry and
])erseverance, is a man of great force of charac-
ter and the success he has achieved in his particu-
lar line of business is due entirely to his well
directed efforts. He was born in Scotland, Sep-
tember 5, 1847, one of seven children, five of
whom attained years of maturity — Helen, James,
Lucy. William and John — born to James and
Helen (Monteith) Kelley, natives of Scotland,
whose deaths occurred, respectively, 1875 and
1854. William and his two sisters were the only
members of this family who came to the L^nited
States. Helen became the wife of John JMorris
and now resides in South Wales ; and Lucy be-
came the wife of Christopher Small and now
resides in Jersey City, New Jersey.

William Kelley was reared and educated in
Scotland, and in 1872 emigrated to this country,
accompanied by his family, locating at Smith-
town, Long Island, where they resided until
1888. He then removed to Danville, Montour
county, Pennsylvania, and engaged in the dairy
business which he continued until 1896, when
he disposed of his business at that place and re-
moved to Nanticoke. Here he established his
present business, from which he derives a good-
ly income. In the present age the dairy business
has become an important factor in business cir-
cles. Formerly the production of milk and butter
was delegated to the common or average farmer,
but of late years, however, it has been discovered
that the production of good, pure milk required
as much care as any other good article of home
or foreign production. The Homestead Dairy,
of which Mr. Kelley is proprietor* produces daily
two hundred and twenty-five cjuarts of milk from
the best grade of Jersey cows. This milk is
aerated, bottled and delivered fresh to his numer-
ous customers. His dairy is equipped with the
modern and useful appliances used in the busi-
ness, and his farm contains one hundred and
twenty-five acres of land which he leases from
the Susquehanna Coal Company. Mr. Kelley is



serving his second term in the borough council.
He is a Republican in politics. He is a member
of the Fraternal (jrder of Eagles, of Nanticoke,
and of Montgomery Council, No. 962, Royal
Arcanum.

In 1870 Mr. Kelley was married to Miss
Margaret Bechan, who was born in the Orkney
Islands, which was also the birth place of her
parents — James and Elizabeth (Ritch) Bechan —
and where they also spent their entire lives, their
deaths occurring, respectively, in 1899 ^"d 1887.
They were the parents of seven children, Mrs.
William Kelley and one sister, who emigrated in
1899, were the only members who came to this
country. Seven children were the issue of the
marriage of Mr. and Mrs. William Kelley ;
James, who died at the age of twenty-six years ;
William, who married and resides in Lewistown,
Pennsylvania ; Jean, wife of Robert Somerville,
of Philadelphia ; Walter ; Margaret, a teacher in
the public schools of Nanticoke ; Frank, an elec-
trician ; and Anna. The family are members of
the Presbyterian Church, of which Mr. Kelley
was a trustee.

CHARLES N. BREYMEIER. One of those
thrifty and thorough-going business men whose
presence in any comnnmity imparts a healthful
impetus to its commerce and manufactures is
Charles N. Breymeier, of Duryea. Mr. Breymeier
is a son of Charles W. Breymeier, who was born
in Germany, and in 1845 emigrated to the United
States. He settled in Luzerne county, where he
passed the remainder of his life as a farmer, de-
voti)ig his attention chiefly to the raising of vege-
tables. His wife was Mary Jones, and they were
the parents of nine children, of whom the fol-
lowing are living: Charles N., mentioned at
length hereinafter ; Lewis P. : Kate, who is the
wife of S. P. Rummage, of Wilkes-Barre ; Jacob ;
Edward ; and Lena, who is the wife of J. W.
Eastwood, of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Mrs.
Breymeier, the mother of these children, passed
away in 1881, and the death of her husband oc-
curred in 1887.

Charles N. Breymeier, son of Charles W. and
Mary (Jones) Breymeier, was born in 1856, in
Luzerne county, and with the exception of a
brief residence in Scranton his life has thus far
been passed in the vicinity o'f his birthplace. His
boyhood was spent in assisting his father on the
farm, at an early age he began to work in the
mines. Later he accepted a position as clerk in
a store in Scranton, where he remained eighteen
months. He then returned to Durvea and estab-



6/^



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



lished himself in the general merchandise busi-
ness. He has now for twelve years carried on a
flourishing trade, hisstore being one of the best,
and his reputation for honest and upright dealing
of the highest. As a citizen he is extremely pop-
ular and has filled various political offices in his
borough, among them that of school director. He
was for six years a member of the National
Guard, and is now serving as auditor of the
borough. He belongs to Washington Lodge, No.
174, Patriotic Order Sons of America, of Moo-
sic; Slocum Council, No. 271, Junior Order
United American A'lechanics, of Pittston ; and
Valley Lodge, No. 499, Free and Accepted ]\Ia-
sons, also of Pittston. Politically, he is a stanch
Republican. IMr. Breymeier married. May, 1889.
Elva, daughter of Woodburv and Sarah Wilbur,
of Susquehanna county, and they have one child,
Inez A. Breymeier.

WILLIAM HENRY CAMPBELL. Dur-
ing his residence in Olj'phant, Lackawanna
county, Pennsylvania, William H. Campbell has
become well known as one of the reliable busi-
ness men of the place, and has made a large num-
ber of friends among his fellow-citizens. He
was born in Honesdale, Wayne county, Penn-
sylvania, June 7, 1864, a son of John and Mary
(Malaney) Campbell. The Campbell family are
of Scotch-Irish extraction, and have been active
and prominent factors in religious and social cir-
cles. They are members of the Roman Catholic
Church.

John Campbell (father), a native of Ireland,
is now a resident of Honesdale, Pennsylvania,
where for many years he has been identified with
its best interests, its business enterprises and its
political affairs. His wife, Mary (Malaney)
Campbell, also a native of Ireland, now deceased,
bore him nine children, four of whom are living
at the present time (1906): Patrick, Michael,
Kate and William Henry.

The common schools of Honesdale', Pennsyl-
vania, afforded William H. Campbell an excel-
lent opportunity for acquiring a practical Eng-
lish education. In 1881, at the age of seven-
teen years, he went to Scranton, same state,
where he served an apprenticeship at the car-
riage and general blacksmith trade. After work-
ing there for a period of time he located in Car-
bondale, later removing to Archbald, where he
purchased a piece of property and settled down
to a permanent business, but was forced to move
from there owing to the fact that the New York,
Ontario & Western Railroad laid its tracks



through his property. In 1 89 1 he established
himself in the busy town of Olyphant, Lacka-
wanna county, opened a large and commodious
shop and manufactures all kinds of road ve-
hicles drawn by horse power. He makes a spe-
cialty of repair work and is a practical horse-
shoer, and in order to turn out the work satis-
factorily to the demands of, his numerous pa-
trons employs several expert mechanics. ]\Ir.
Campbell belongs to the Order of Heptasophs.
Mr. Campbell married, February 24, 1885,
Ellen ]\IcAndrew, daughter of Edward and
Mary McAndrew, of Archbald, Pennsylvania,
and to this union there were born nine children,
seven of whom are living : Harold, Lorretta,
Regenie, Joseph, William, Ag-netius and Alary
Campbell. The family are well respected in the
neighborhood in which they reside and enjoy
the acquaintance of a wide circle of friends.

D. E. JONES, M. B. A leading name in the
musical circles of Scranton is that of Professor
D. E. Jones, of Taylor. Professor Jones is the
son of D. E. and Tabitba (Smith) Jones, both
natives of South Wales, whose family consisted
of the following children : Ann, Jennie, Hannah,
Aliriam, Bessie and D. E., mentioned hereafter.
Four of these children are residents of Taylor.

D. E. Jones, son of D. E. and Tabitha
(Smith) Jones, was born November 25, 1867, ^^
Cwmdare, near Aberdare, South Wales, and was
for eight years successively pupil, teacher and as-
sistant master at St. Fagan"s National school,
Trecynon, Aberdare. He was the pupil of Rich-
ard Howells, F. R. C. O., of Aberdare, in piano
and organ, and of Tom Price, of Merthyr, in
theory. Before leaving Wales he graduated at
the Tonic Sol-fa College. In 1887 his father died
while on a visit to this country, in consequence of
which Professor Jones emigrated thither and in
1888 took up his abode in Taylor. He took a
business course in a Scranton business college,
and continued his higher musical studies under
T. J. Davies, M. B., now of Pittsburg, Pennsyl-
vania, Dr. Mason, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylva-
nia, Professor Haydn Evans, and J. A. Pen-
nington in orga^ and piano. Trinity University,



Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 78 of 130)