Horace Edwin Hayden.

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

. (page 89 of 130)
Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 89 of 130)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

He was born in 1853, a son of the late Richard
and Margaret (Brooks) Allen, both natives of
England, whose demise occurred previous to the
emigration of their son John to the United States.

John Allen has faithfully served the Penn-
sylvania Coal Company for the long period of
thirty-four years, first beginning at Gypsy Grove
mine in 1870. The position of engineer, es-
pecially when connected wdth a mine shaft, is
one of great responsibility and trust, for on the
steadiness of nerve and thorough knowledge of
his business hang the lives of men and the prop-
erty of the company. Probably w^ith one excep-
tion, namely, fire-boss, there is no position re-
quiring greater care and more watchfulness than
that of engineer. For eleven years Mr. Allen has
laid hold of the throttle valve of No. 5 shaft of
the Pennsylvania Coal Company, and during this
time miners have descended and ascended with-
out loss of life or limb. This is a very credita-
ble record, and one which any man might well
be proud of. Mr. Allen is a member of the In-
dependent Order of Odd Fellows, No. 816. Po-
litically he is affiliated with the Republican party,
who?e principles he strongly advocates.



Mr. Allen was united in marriage in 1876
to Margaret Stevens, also a native of England,
and eight children were born to them, four of
whom are living at the present time (1904) :
John, William, Annie, and Thomas Allen. The
.family are highly respected in the community,
and enjoy the acquaintance of a wide circle of

JOHN HAILSTONE. John Hailstone, who
has filled with entire satisfaction since 1901 the
responsible position of fire-boss for the Pennsyl-
vania Coal Company, is one of the few men ca-
pable of fulfilling the duties pertaining thereto,
as, on his watchfulness and strict adherence to
the laws governing mines, depends the safety
of the miner. A neglect of duty on his part
means loss of life on the part of the miner. He
was born in Scotland, November 19, 1852, a son
■of John and Christina (Green) Hailstone, natives
of Scotland, to whom were born three children :
John, Thomas, deceased, and William G. John
Hailstone (father) was a miner, employed by
the Pennsylvania Coal Company. He removed
from Pittston, where he first located upon his
arrival in this country, to Moosic, in 1867, where
he lived until his demise, February, 1876, fol-
lowed by that of his widow in May, 1881.

John Hailstone attended the schools of his
native land until 1863, his eleventh year, when
he left the shores of his home country to find
an abiding place in the Western Hemisphere.
With his parents he located in Pittston, Penn-
sylvania, where after one year in the schools of
that town he entered the employ of the Penn-
sylvania Coal Company, and in 1867 removed to
Moosic. He, like many men who have achieved
■success and risen to any prominence, began life
at the lower round of the ladder. He was first
breaker boy : next, driver boy, then loader of
coal, and later, as years passed on and his physi-
cal strength developed, he became a practical
miner, which he successfully followed up to
1901, when he was promoted to his present po-
sition, fire boss. While not activelv engaged in
the arena of politics, he was the incumbent of
the treasurership of the borough of Moosic for
three years, having been elected on the Repub-
lican ticket. He is a member of St. John's Lodge,
No. 233, Free and Accepted Masons, of Pitts-
ton, and of Nay Aug Lodge, No. 784, Independ-
ent Order of Odd Fellows, of Moosic, of which
he is past noble grand, having passed through
all the chairs. Mr. Hailstone married, March
ID, 1876, Eva Bouse, daughter of Simon W. and
Rachel (Ferrel) Bouse. Four children were

born to them, as follows : John B., who married
Nellie Frederick, of Avoca ; Wilfred W., Chris-
tine E. and Hazel M. Hailstone.

the respected men of Moosic borough who by
energy and good management has surrounded
himself with the comforts of life. No better il-
lustration of good character can be had than
love of home and the ample provision made for
the loved ones there. While Mr. Fassold is not
in affluence, he is comfortably and pleasantly lo-
cated in the borough, where he is held in high
esteem by all with whom he comes in contact.
He was born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1852, a
son of George and Mary (Keam) Fassold, and
grandson of Adam Fassold, who emigrated to
this country from Germany in the year 1854 and
settled in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where his
death occurred the following year.

George Fassold (father) was a native of
Germany, in which country he was reared, edu-
cated and resided until 1854, in which year, ac-
companied by his wife, children and father, he
set sail for the new world in order to improve
their fortunes. He located in Minooka, Penn-
sylvania, and there spent the remainder of his
days. Thev reared a family of eleven children,
three of whom are living at the present time :
John, Christopher and George. Mr. Fassold be-
came a loyal and true citizen of his adopted coun-
try, and in every relation of life performed his
duties to the best of his ability.

Christopher H. Fassold was brought to this
country by his parents when only two years of
age. He attended the public schools of Minooka,
Pennsylvania, and by close application to his
studies laid the foundation for a deeper knowl-
edge of things in general. When his years and
strength would permit he entered the coal break-
er as a slate picker, this being the occupation
of most boys in the mining districts. He passed
through the various positions from breaker boy
to miner, serving in the latter capacity until
about twenty-five years of age. At this time,
1877, being endowed with the spirit of Colum-
bus, and hearing of the great western world,
to him unexplored, he resolved to see for him-
self what he had heard related by others. He
went to Montana and at once engaged in gold
and silver mining, was connected with various
mines in Montana and South Dakota, and for
nine years was employed in Butte City and ad-
jacent camps. For five vears he was in Bear
Paw and Little Rocky ranges, where he had
many interesting and thrilling experiences with

(frbc>^-i^U^ Qe^



the Indians, and unlike many others he escaped
unharmed and returnetl to his eastern home after
an absence of fourteen years. He then resumed
his former occupation of mining, in which he
is still engaged. In 1895 Mr. Fassold married
Clarissa Hobbs, daughter of William A., who
died in 1899, and Clarissa (Holden) Hobbs, who
now ( 1904) resides in Kingston, Ontario, Can-
ada, of which town they were natives. Five
children were the issue of this union, namely :
Mary A., born September 8, 1896 ; Anna, born
January 15, 1898; Lottie, born August 3, 1899;
William, born September 22, 1900, died Octo-
ber II, 1904; and Clarissa, born Aqgust 10,
1902. The death of their only son William has
been the one shadow that has darkened this oth-
erwise happy home, and this blow was the more
severe by the manner of his death.

THOMAS H. BRAY. If any man may be
said to have thoroughly mastered every detail
of his business that man is Thomas H. Bray,
of Scranton. ^Ir. Bray comes of English stock
and might almost be said to be a miner by hered-
itary right. John Bray was born in England,
and from his youth was a miner. In 1874 he
emigrated to the United States, and settled at
Freedonsville, Lehigh county, Pennsylvania,
where he engaged in ore mining. In 1884 he
moved to Hazleton, Luzerne county, in the same
state, and there worked at coal mining by con-
tract. He married Grace Dawe, also a native
of England, and they were the parents of eight
children, all but one of whom are now living:
William, Thomas H., mentioned at length here-
after; John, Harry, Albert. Charles, and Fred-
erick. Mr. Bray, the father of these seven sons,
was a worthv and upright man, and his wife a
woman admirable in every domestic relation.

Thomas H. Bray, son of John and Grace
(Dawe) Bray, was born in 1866, in England,
and was eight years old when brought by his
parents to the United States. He was etlucated
in the common schools of Hazleton and Scranton,
where he made the best use of his opportunities.
Like all boys in a mining district, his first ex-
perience in the production of coal was through
the breaker. He subseqiy^ntly went finto the
mines as driver, and later worked with his father,
becoming in the course of time thoroughly con-
versant with mining in all its branches. All this
time he was in the service of the Lackawanna
Iron & Steel Company, who, recognizing his
worth, took him out of the mines and gave him
a clerkship in their office. He was promoted
from the office to be outside foreman, a posi-

tion which he held with much credit to himself
and profit to the company for six years. For
a short time he held the same position with the
Pennsylvania Coal Company, and in February,
1903, was made superintendent of the Nay Aug
Coal Company, a position for which he has al-
ready demonstrated his peculiar fitness. His
devotion to business leaves him little time for
social recreation, and the only fraternal organ-
ization in which he holds membership is the
Knights of Malta. Mr. Bray married in 1888
Alay Airey, of Hazleton, and two children have
been born to them, one of whom is now deceased.
The other, who is named Helen, was born in

THOMAS CARSON. One of the oldest
miners now living in the Lackawanna valley is
Thomas Carson, of Scranton. Mr. Carson is the
grandson of Thomas Carson, who was a native
of Scotland, where he followed the calling of a
shepherd. John Carson, son of Thomas Carson,
was born in the highlands of Scotland, where
he spent his youth and early manhood as a shep-
herd. He then went to Wales, where he lived
in Breconshire and Glamorganshire. In 1864 he
emigrated to the United States and settled at
Hyde Park, where he was employed by the Del-
aware and Lackawanna Railroad Company. His
wife was Ann, daughter of Reese Powell, and
they were the parents of six children, four of
whom came to this country : Thomas, mentioned
at length hereafter ; Margaret, Reese and Cath-
erine, the two last named being deceased.

Thomas Carson, son of John and Ann (Pow-
ell) Carson, was born June 11, 1827, near Brecon.
Wales, and was two years of age when the fam-
ily moved to Neath, Glamorganshire, where he
received a limited education. At a very early
age he began to work in the mines, and on jMarch
22, 1848, embarked at Liverpool on the sailing-
vessel "Henry Clay," bound for New York.
After a voyage of twenty-eight days he reached
his destination, whence he proceeded to Tamaii-
qua, Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania, remaining
there two years. In 1849 ^^ moved to Wilkes-
Barre and in 1850 to Carbondale. He was em-
ployed by the Pennsylvania & Reading Railroad
Company. Some of the first shafts developed
in the Lackawanna valley were sunk by ]\Ir. Car-
son, among them being the Hampton shaft, which
he sunk in 1855. In 1857 he worked at the
Bellevue. In 1859 he was made mine foreman
of the Hampton colliery, a position which he
held thirtv-seven years. In 1855 he moved to
Hvde Park, Scranton, where he has since re-



sided. Financially he has been very successful
and is now the owner of seven houses. He is
a useful and respected citizen, and has served as
a member of the council of Scranton. He be-
longs to the Masonic fraternity, affiliating with
Hyde Park Lodge, Free and Accepted iMasons,
and is also enrolled among the Knights of Pyth-
ias and in the Independent Order of Odd Fel-
lows. His political principles are those advo-
cated and supported by the Republican party.
He is a member of the Welsh Congregational
Church, in which since i86i he has held tne of-
fice of treasurer. He has also served as super-
intendent of the Sunday school. Mr. Carson
married in 1849, Catherine Eynon, a native of
Caermarthenshire, Wales, and sister of Thomas
E}-non, in honor of whom Eynon street was
named. Mr. and Mrs. Carson were the parents
of eight children, five of whom grew to maturity :
Margaret, John, William, George and Albert.
Of these all but the two last-named are now de-
ceased. Albert is a merchant in Hyde Park.
Mrs. Carson, the excellent mother of these chil-
dren, died June 3, 1886, at the age of forty-
seven. Mr. Carson married, December 23, 1887,
Mrs. Jane Davis, of Carbondale. Of this mar-
riage there is no issue. In 1896 Mr. Carson re-
signed his position as mine foreman of the
Hampton colliery and retired from active labor,
followed by the good wishes of all who had ever
in any way been associated with him, in whom
his marked abilities and upright character had
inspired sincere respect and cordial regard. Mrs.
Carson was born in 1839, and is the daughter
of Daniel Sweeny, who came to Carbondale as
early as 1832, being one of the pioneer miners
of the place. He served for a number of years
as mine foreman, and was an experienced man
in the production of anthracite coal. His death
occurred in the Lackawanna valley, where he
left an honorable reputation.

W. J. BURKE. There is probably no more
popular man in the county than, W. J. Burke,
of Minooka. Mr. Burke is a son of John Burke,
a native of Ireland, who emigrated to the United
States in 185 1, and settled in Minooka, where
he passed the remainder of his life. His wife
was Annie Judge and they were the parents of
nine children, six of whom are now living,
among whom is a son, W. J., mentioned at length
hereafter. Mrs. Burke died in February, 1877,
and her husband did not long survive her, pass-
ing away in June, 1878.

W. J. Burke, son of John and Annie

(Judge) Burke, was born in 1858, in Minooka,
and on the termination of his school days began
to work in the mines, advancing step by step un-
til he reached the position of miner. From that
time he was constantly engaged in the produc-
tion of coal until eight years ago, when he re-
ceived the appointment of postmaster of Mi-
nooka. This office he has since held with credit
to himself and satisfaction to the government.
He is a member of the Ancient Order of Hiber-
nians, and for four years has held the office of
county secretary of this organization. While
not a politician, he is deeply interested in the
progress of the Republican party, to the prin-
ciples of which he strictly adheres. Mr. Burke
married Margaret, daughter of John and Win-
ifred (Handley) McDonnell, and the following
children have been born to them, all of whom
are now living: Annie, Thomas, John, William,
Edmond, Sarah, Margaret, and Genevieve. Both
as a private citizen and a public official Mr.
Burke possesses the full confidence and sincere
regard of his neighbors.

JOHN COSGROVE. In all Lackawanna
county there is no more trusty and reliable man
connected with the coal industry than John Cos-
grove, of Old Forge. Mr. Cosgrove's father,
also John Cqsgrove, was born in Ireland, and
in i860 emigrated to the United States and set-
tled in Archbald, Lackawanna county. In 1870
he moved to Old Forge. He was a miner and
was in the service of Jackson, Jermyn and oth-
ers. His wife was Bridget Ryan, also a native
of Ireland. They were married at Pittston,
Schuylkill county, and their children were :
Thomas. John, mentioned hereafter : Francis,
Delia, Michael and Margaret. Mr. Cosgrove,
the father, died in 1887. He was an honest, in-
dustrious man, and was respected by all who
knew him. His widow survived him but one
year, passing away in 1888.

John Cosgrove, son of John and Bridget
(Ryan) Cosgrove, was born in 1862, in Arch-
bald, Lackawanna county, and was eight years
of age when his parents moved to Old Forge.
There he received his education, and at an early
age entered the service of the Delaware, Lacka-
wanna & Western Company. After working for
several years as track-hand he became driver-
boss, a position which he held for eight years.
He has been employed in the same capacity by
the Jermyn Company for the last thirteen years,
his post of duty being at shaft No. 2. By his.
attention to the interests of the company and



his honorable and upright behavior to the men
under his control, he has won the highest esteem
of both employers and employed.

Mr. Cosgrove married, December 22, 1886,
Mary E. Hannon, and ten children have been
born to them : Edward, deceased ; Lillian, Isa-
bella, Thomas, Helen, deceased ; James, de-
ceased ; Lucille, John J., Helen (2), and Leo.
Mrs. Cosgrove is the daughter of James Han-
non, who was born in Ireland in 1824, and in
1850 emigrated to the United States. For four-
teen years he followed his trade, which was that
of a tanner, and for about seven years was in
the service of the Delaware, Lackawanna &
Western Companv. He subsequently moved to
Susquehanna county, where he bought a farm,
On which he lived until 1884, when he moved to
Old Forge. There he became breaker-boss, but
in i8g8 retired from active labor. Mr. Hannon
married in 1866, Catherine Murphy, also a na-
tive of Ireland, where she was born in 1836.
About 1850 she came to the LTnited States. ]\Ir.
and Mrs. Hannon were the parents of the fol-
lowing children : Mary E., who was born in
Scranton, and became the wife of John Cos-
grove. as mentioned above ; Thomas, James, and

LEMUEL S. OPLINGER, a farmer of
Newport township, was born in Plains, Luzerne
county, Pennsylvania, July 18, 1847, son of
Reuben and Ella (Warden) Oplinger, and
grandson of George Oplinger, who served in the
Mexican war, and would willingly have offered
his services in the war of the Rebellion, but ex-
treme old age prevented him from taking any
active part in that great conflict. Lemuel Op-
linger's father, Reuben Oplinger, was of German
descent, a native of Northampton county, Penn-
sylvania. He removed to Bath, Pennsylvania,
where he followed farming, attended bv much
success. He married Ella Warden, a native of
New York state ; eleven of their thirteen children
grew to maturity, and nine are living (1905):
Mary, Ezra, Henry, Lemuel S., Annie, Thomas,
Reuben, George W., and Frank.

Lemuel S. Oplinger, son of Reuben and Ella
(Warden) Oplinger, was reared and educated
in the common schools of his native place. Dur-
ing early life his attention was occupied chiefly
in agricultural pursuits, and he subsequently
settled down to a farmer's life, in which he has
been thoroughly successful. His present farm
consists of one hundred and sixty acres of land,
which he has operated for twenty-eight years. In
politics he is a stanch Democrat, is a member of

the Junior Order of United American Alechanics,
and served on the school board for a period of
time. In religious affairs he affiliates with the
Lutheran faith. January 12, 1873, Mr. Oplinger
was united in marriage to Catherine A. Belles,
daughter of William and Mary (Bridenger)
Belles, born in Newport township, September 13.
1854, a descendant of an old and worthy family
whose ancestors were early settlers in the W\-o-
ming valley. The following children were born
to Mr. and Mrs. Oplinger: i. Harvey, a brake-
man on the Pennsylvania Railroad, who met his
death by accident while in the discharge of his
duty in 1901 ; married Anna Titus, and to them
were born two children : Charles and Earl. 2.
Harry. 3. Charles, a graduate of Bloomsbury
State Normal, was married to Miss Edith
Gluyes, to whom one child was born, Edna. 4.
Walter, married Susan Titus, and two children
were born, Clyde and Erma. 5. Adam R., at
home. 6. Bella, who is the wife of Harry
Womelsdorf, one child, Lemuel Arl. 7. Ar-
thur, at home. 8. Lemuel, Jr., at home.

JAMES W. HOLCOMB. Among the en-
terprising and prosperous business men of West
Pittston may be mentioned the name of James
W. Holcomb, a native of Trucksville, Luzerne
county, Pennsylvania, born September 2, 183S,
a son of Albert W. and Sarah (Williamson)
Holcomb, also of Trucksville.

James W. Holcomb resided in his native town
until he attained his majority, in the meantime
attending the public schools thereof, and Wyo-
ming Seminary, Kingston, Pennsylvania. At the
age of twenty-one years he began the vocation of
teaching, and for two years continued along that
line. He then went West, but after a residence of
almost three years there returned East and en-
tered the mercantile business at Orange, Lu-
zerne county, Pennsylvania, conducting success-
fully a general store up to 1872. He then
changed his place of residence to West Pittston
and began marketing, which business he has con-
tinued up to date, and which has proven exceed-
ingly remunerative. Mr. Holcomb stands high
in the estimation of all with whom he is brought
in contact, either in business or social life, and is
regarded as one of the substantial citizens of the
town, willing to bear a full share in the promo-
tion of community interests. He served two
terms as tax collector, rendering capable and
efficient service. He is a Prohibitionst in politics,
and for many years has held membership in the
order of Free and Accepted Masons.

Mr. Holcomb married, December 6, 1862,



Marv Elizabeth Perrin, born April 25, 1842, eld-
est child of George and Charlotte (Ferguson)
Perrin. (A full account of the history of Mr.
Perrin and his ancestors appears in the preceduig
sketch of Calvin Perrin). Their children are:
I. Leland Perrin, born September 2, 1S63, chief
clerk in the recorder's office, Wilkes-Barre ; he
takes a great interest in politics. He married
Lillian Kunkle, and they are the parents of eight
children : They reside in West Pittston. 2
Charlotte, born March 6, 1865, married H. F.
Brandow, and had three children ; they reside in
West Pittston. 3. Charles, born May 10, 1871,
died April 21, 1872, buried in West Pittston
cemetery. 4. Alice, born July 28, 1875, married
Frank Rorapaugh. Issue, two children ; they re-
side in West Pittston. 5. George, born March
lo, 1878, died August 6, 1879, buried in West
Pittston cemetery. 6. Clyde B., born Novem-
ber 14, 1880, died November 12, 18S9, buried in
West Pittston cemetery.

LEWIS T. WILLIAMS. A worthy repre-
sentative of the Welsh element in Luzerne coun-
ty is Lewis Williams, of Old Forge, a son of Wil-
liam and Mary (Bevan) Williams, both of South
Wales. Of their fourteen children two emi-
grated to the United States: Margaret (Mrs.
Powell), and Lewis T., mentioned hereafter.
Mrs. Powell has since returned to her native

Lewis T. Williams was born in 1855, in South
Wales, where for fourteen years he worked as a
miner, becoming thoroughly familiar with every
branch of his calling. In 1879 he emigrated to
the United States and settled in Hyde Park,
Scranton, where he remained for eight years.
In 1887 he moved to Old Forge, of which he has
since been a continuous resident. Since his ar-
rival in this country Mr. Williams has been en-
gaged in mining and has served faithfully and
well the Sibley and Jermyn coal companies. He
is now in the service of the latter company. He
is a popular and respected citizen, possessing the
fullest confidence of his neighbors, by whom he
has been chosen a member of the county com-
mittee, and has also been elected to various minor
township offices.

Mr. Williams married in 1873, Annie Mor-
gan, also a native of Wales, and of the fifteen
children born to them the following are living:
William, ]Droprietor of the Williams Hotel in Old
Forge: Margaret A., wife of Charles Sears; Ben-
jamin, married Lizzie Herbert ; Lewis, Mary, and
John. The residence of Mr. Williams is one of

the most attractive and comfortable in Old Forge,
and is the centre of social intercourse for a large
circle of warm and sincere friends.

representatives of the old county families Wil-
liam F. Courtright, of Taylor, occupies a promi-
nent place. The Courtright family is of Dutch
origin and was resident in the Wyoming Valley
prior to the Revolutionary war, in which they
took an active part. Some members of the familv
lost their lives in the massacre, which in 1778
laid waste that beautiful spot. This fact is not
only recorded in the history of the Wyoming
Valley, but their names are inscribed upon the
monument dedicated to the victims of that dread-
ful slaughter. After the valley became more
populous the Courtrights settled in Plains. r\lil-

Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 89 of 130)