Horace Edwin Hayden.

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

. (page 94 of 130)
Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 94 of 130)
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Plymouth, February 6, 189S; Mary, born in Nan-
ticoke, January 24, 1900 ; Joseph, born in Nanti-
coke, February 18, 1902, died March 23, 1902 ;
Esther, born in Nanticoke, December 31, 1902,
and Eleanor, born in Nanticoke, June 16, 1905.

ROBERT WEST, superintendent of the
Ashley knitting mills, was born in Needham,
Massachusetts, September 14, 1875, son of
Thomas and Maria (Allen) West.

He spent his early days in Philadelphia,
where he went with his parents from Needham,
Massachusetts, and received his education in the
public schools of the former city. The knowl-
edge thus gained was supplemented by careful
study at home in the evenings, and by a course
of one and a half years in the Wilkes-Barre Busi-
ness College, which he entered at the age of
twenty-two. When fourteen years old he began
work in Thurman's hosiery mill, in Philadelphia,
where he remained one year. He then entered
his father's mill in Philadelphia, where he worked
four years on fancy knit goods which his father
at that time was manufacturing. During these
early days he worked on all classes of knit goods,
and therefore is fully competent to handle any-
thing in this line. He then entered the employ
of J. B. Allen, of Philadelphia, wiiere he contin-
ued for about two years. His next venture was
with the firm of Crossenham & Patten, of Phila-
delphia, where he remained about two years, fol-
lowing the same business, and then entered the
employ of John S. Palmer, of Philadelphia, where
he continued one year.

He then became assistant foreman at Ply-
mouth, Pennsylvania, for his brother, Thomas
West, in his mill, which position he satisfactorily
filled for about five years. Then, always alive to
the improvements which were constantly being
made in the various classes of knitting machines
used in the different mills, Mr. West determined
to perfect himself in the manufacture, assem-
bling, testing and operation of the different types,
and obtained a position with the Excelsior Knit-
ting Machine Company, of South Bethlehem,
where he continued for two and a half years. He
proved his worth and the firm, fully appreciating
it, sent him on the road as their expert, in which



capacity he served until he severed his connec-
tion with the company. He then became general
foreman for the firm of Morgan & Minzie,
hosiery manufacturers, Wilkes-Barre, which po-
sition he held for four years. At the expiration
of this period of time he went to Lowell, Alassa-
chusetts, for the Lowell Hosiery Mill Company,
where he remained a short time. In September,
1900, he assumed charge of The Ashley Knitting
j\Iills, Ashley, Pennsylvania, of which Ambrose
West, his brother, is proprietor, where he has
continued up to the present time (1905) in the
capacity of superintendent.

This mill was started in 1900 by Ambrose
West, of Plymouth, Pennsylvania, and employed
at that time about forty hands. Under the care-
ful and competent supervision of Robert West
the business has steadily increased in volume and
importance, and now gives employment to one
hundred and fifty hands, who turn out daily five
hundred dozen of the finest of fancy knit hosiery,
all the output being disposed of in the city of
Philadelphia. Mr. Thompson, an uncle of Rob-
ert West, was the first man to make a knitting
machine which would knit a round hose, all
former machines knitting a flat web which had to
be sewed, leaving a seam the full length of the
hose. He perfected this machine in Leicester-
shire, England, a place noted for its knitting and
hosiery mills. Ambrose West, another uncle of
Robert A. West, was asphyxiated at his home in
Philadelphia, about the year 1898, aged seventy-
six years, and his daughter, Jane West, was
asphyxiated at the same time. In religion Mr.
West is a Methodist, and in politics a Republican.
He is a member of the American Mechanics, and
of the F. and A. M., of Ashley. He was formerly
a member of the Brotherhood of Union.

Mr. West married, April, 1902, Mary Jones,
one of six children born to Richard F. and
Martha (Edwards) Jones, of Wilkes-Barre,
Pennsylvania, and they are the parents of one
son, Robert Allen, Jr., born July 5, 1903. Mr.
West is pleasant and affable, and his courteous
and gentlemanly deportment and the many ex-
cellences of his character have gained him the
confidence and best wishes of all with whom busi-
ness or social relations have brought him in
contact.

REV. WILLIAM A. NORDT. As pastor of
the German Presbyterian Church of Scranton,
Rev. William A. Nordt is exercising his sacred
functions with much of power and forcefulness
and with all of consecration, so that the spiritual
and temporal affairs of this old and prominent



THE WYO:\nXG AXD LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



453



religious organization are signally prosperous
under his ministrations, while his standing in the
community is such as to render imperative a con-
sideration of his career in a publication of the
province assigned to the one at hand.

The church of which Rev. William A. Xordt
is pastor dates its inception back to the year 1855,
when the little congregation assembled for reg-
ular worship in the old Odd Fellows' hall. In
1857 the first church edifice was erected, while
the membership roll of the church contained
about fifty names. The first pastoral incumbent
was Rev. Air. Lusher, who came to Scranton
from Wilkes-Barre every two weeks to supply
the charge here. The first regular pastor was
Rev. H. Veith, who was succeeded by Rev. 'Sir.
Rosenthal, who was in turn followed b}' Rev.
Mr. \\'eiswaser. The next pastoral incumbent
was Rev. Mr. Long, who was the immediate pre-
decessor of the present pastor. During the pas-
torate of Mr. Veith the first church building was
erected, and this was utilized until it proved in-
adequate to meet the demands of the congrega-
tion, and the present fine church edifice was built.

Rev. William A. Nordt assumed charge of
the church November 26, 1895. W'hen he ac-
cepted this pastorate he found the society encum-
bered with an indebtedness of eleven thousand
three hundred dollars, and it is indicative of his
energy, devotion and executive ability when we
state that this burden of debt was entirely re-
moved through his efforts and the earnest co-
operation of his people within the succeeding five
years. Alindful of parish needs in the way of
material accommodations, he effected the pur-
chase of a house and lot at a cost of forty-five
hundred dollars, and here erected a beautiful
parish house, representing an expenditure of
twenty-two thousand dollars. He also brought
about the remodeling and refurnishing of the
church building at an additional expenditure of
six thousand dollars. All these improvements
representing a total expenditure of thirty-two
thousand five hundred dollars, were made within
a period of four years, and the significance of the
work is unmistakable, indicating not ohlv the
temporal prosperitv of the societv but also stand-
ing as voucher for the devoted zeal of pastor and
flock. At the time of Mr. Nordt's installation as
pastor the membership of the church was three
hundred, and the roll at the present time shows
a membership of four hundred and fifty, while
the Sunday school has more than floubletl during
his pastorate. There is no trait of human nature
which so endears a man to others as his interest
in their welfare. Throughout his pastorate of



more than three decades Air. Xordt has main-
tained the deepest concern in the welfare of his
parishioners. He has rejoiced in their successes
and sympathized with them in their sorrows,
while with all earnestness and devotion he has
led them onward to the higher and better life,
using the forces of both precept and example.
He is a man of large heart, sterling character,
pure life, high ideals, while he has the mental
culture and developed intellect which make him
a power in both his clerical and pastoral relations.
He is alert in his mental functions, and is a force-
ful, cogent and earnest speaker, his every utter-
ance having the clear ring of sincerity and con-
viction, while his diction is graceful and select.
His congregations are large and appreciative and
find material for mental and spiritual uplifting in
his intensely practical and yet ideal sermons.
Mr. Xordt is held in the highest of regard in the
community in which he has lived and labored for
so manv years, and is one of the prominent mem-
bers of the clergy of his church in Pennsylvania.
William A. Nordt was born in Bieber, Geln-
hausen, province of Hessen, Germany, Febru-
ary 27, 1850, and is a son of Andrew and Eliza-
beth (Stanbach) Nordt, both of whom passed
their entire lives in the fatherland, having been
persons of simple and noble lives and marked in-
telligence. Four of their nine children came to
the United States in company with Rev. William
A. Xordt, namely : John C., Elizabeth, Marga-
ret and Christine, the last named being now de-
ceased. William A. Xordt passed his boyhood
and early youth in his native land, in whose ex-
cellent schools he secured his early educational
discipline. In Xovember, 1867, in company with
his brothers and sisters mentioned above, he ar-
rived in America and took up his abode in New-
ark, Xew Jersev, where he set himself to work
to continue his educational training in order that
he might fit himself for the ministry of the Ger-
man Presbyterian Church. After completing his
classical studies he entered the German Theolog-
•ical Seminary in Xewark, where he completed his
divinity course, and July 15, 1874, was duly or-
dained by the Xewark Presbytery. On the same
day he was installed pastor of the Second Pres-
byterian Church of Xewark, and he retained this
pastorate for the long period of twenty-two years,
and his efforts were blessed with goodly results,
while he held the affectionate regard of his peo-
ple, among whom he labored until he accepted his
present incumbency. His record is notable in
that he has held but two charges during his min-
istry of thirty-two years. He is a member of the
board of directors of the theological seminary in



454



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



which he was gratluated, served for a time as
moderator of the Newark ( New Jersey) Pres-
bytery, and has been delegate to the general as-
sembly of the church on two occasions, while he
was also a member of the standing committee on
home missions.

Mr. Nordt married, October, 1872, Louise T.
Smith, and they had ten children : Lydia B..
Martha E., Louise M., William C, Charles, de-
ceased ; Paul W., Bertha, Freda, Charles H. and
Ruth H.

TYLMAN CARPENTER ROBINSON, of
Carbondale, Lackawanna county, Pennsylvania,
presents in a long and active career a splendid
illustration of the success which may be achieved
in life, in spite of the harshest frowns of fortune,
through unremitting industry, unfaltering deter-
mination and lofty integrity. He came of a
sturdy stock, marked with the virtues of the
typical pioneer.

Joseph Robinson, father of Tylman C. Robin-
son, was born on Long Island, February 12, 1813.
His parents were poor and had difficulty in mak-
ing a livelihood for themselves and their family.
At the age of thirteen Joseph set out in the world
and, with a small bundle containing his entire
possessions, made his way on foot, partly through
the virgin forest, to what is now Greenfield town-
ship, Lackawanna (then Luzerne) county, Penn-
sylvania. He bargained for a tract of land for
which he was to pay in installments, aggregating
one hundred and ten dollars, without a cent to
make an advance payment. He set to work at
whatever he could find to do, and made his pay-
ments promptl}'. Meantime he busied himself
in clearing away the timber from the spot where-
on he was to erect his log house, and to which
he was to bring his bride, and in which his chil-
dren were to be born. Prosperity crowned his
efiforts and he came to be well provided with this
world's goods, and was highlv esteemed by all
in the community. He was a devoted Baptist
and a deacon in his church for more than a third
of a century. He was repeatedly called upon
to fill the most important local offices. He lived
on the old farm during the remainder of his life,
his death occurring April 17, 1898, and was
buried in Carpenter cemetery, Greenfield town-
ship, by the side of his wife.

He married, November 14, 1833, Electa Car-
penter, born in Hartford, Pennsylvania, August
27, 1809, daughter of Cyril Carpenter. Electa
. (Carpenter) Robinson was a woman of lovely
disposition, of strong character, and indomitable
courage. She was an intrepid horsewoman, and



it is related of her that on manv occasions be-
fore her father built his mill she journeved
through the woods a distance of forty-five miles
to Wilkes-Barre, the nearest milling place, with
a bag of corn on her saddle, which she brought
back in the form of meal. Often she was fol-
lowed by a pack of ravenous wolves, and at night
she would carry a torch to frighten them away.
She was a Baptist in religion, as were her father
and husband. She died August 30, 1883, and her
remains rest in the old Carpenter burying
ground, on the site of the log hquse in which
she was born and reared. Her father, Cyril Car-
penter, was a pioneer settler in Lackawanna
county, where he became honored as a man of
ability and high character. He was born Sep-
tember 14, 1766, died October 19, 1854. He was
a natural mechanic and was a carpenter as well
as a farmer. He built and operated the first
saw and grist mills in that section of the county.
He had a family of four sons and three daugh-
ters, only the names of the sons being here giv-
en : I. Tylman, born June 15, 179B, was a farm-
er and mill owner, ancl died at the advanced age
of eighty-two years. 2. Tyler, born October 2,
1802, reared on the farm, was a foreman on the
Delaware and Hudson gravity road, between
Carbondale and Honesdale, at its inauguration.
3. Cyril, born February 12, 1806, became a car-
penter and removed to Ottawa, Illinois, where
he died at the age of eighty-three years ; his fam-
ily still live there. 4. Daniel, a farmer, also
had a natural genius for mechanics. He passed
his life in Greenfield, where he died at the age
of seventy-three years. The children of Joseph
and Electa (Carpenter) Robinson were: i.
i\Iary A., born October 28, 1835 ; married, Jan-
uary I, 185 1, William Rankin, a farmer, and
they reside on a portion of the homestead farm,
Joseph Robinson, her father, living with them.
2. Lucinda, born Jjovember 14, 1838; married
June 23, 1855, M. R. Mallory ; died October 15.
1864, having buried two children and leaving
one. 3. Joseph Tyler, born May 13, 1841 ; is
a teamster and jobbing contractor in Scranton,
Pennsylvania. 4. Tylman C, see forward. 5.
Julia, born June 19, 1846; married, January i,
1872, I. B. Scull. 6. Daniel Cyril, born Septem-
ber 16. 1848. 7. Charles M.,' born March 18,
1 85 1. The two last named died in 1864, within
nine days of each other, from black fever, which
was then epidemic in the country, in the vicinity
of Sickler's pond.

Tylman Carpenter Robinson, fourth child and
second son of Joseph and Electa (Carpenter)
Robinson, was born on the Robinson homestead.



THE \\'Y03>IIXG AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



455



Greenfield township, Pennsylvania. September /,
1843. Hs w^s reared on the paternal farm, and
had but few school advantages. He was, how-
ever, of an inquiring and discerning mind, and
found ample compensation for the lack of educa-
tional advantages in private reading and close
observation. He came to be known as a man
of wide information and excellent judgment.
At the age of seventeen he began to learn the
carpenter's trade, under the tuition of his uncle,
Daniel Carpenter, and he became so proficient
that, after aiding in the building of two barns,
lie planned and built a third without assistance,
and in an entirely creditable manner. He mar-
ried at the age of nineteen years and continued
the work as carpenter for about one year, then
bought a farm and turned his attention to its
cultivation. Later he entered into a contract to
furnish lumber in large quantities to the Dela-
ware and Hudson Railroad, and was thus occu-
pied for about two years. He then began a con-
tracting business in Carbondale and built up a
large lumber and milling trade. At this time
he met with reverses which would have crushed
one of a less determined character. He had ac-
cumulated considerable property and was regard-
ed as wealthy when the financial depression of
1873 set in. and owing to depreciation of values,
together with inability to make collections or to
convert property into money, his financial ruin
was unavoidable. His property was forced to
sale at a great sacrifice, and he even surrendered
to his creditors that which was exempted by
law, including his household furniture. So ad-
mirable was his conduct at this crisis, so lofty
his ideas of honor, that he \vas not permitted
to make the last of these sacrifices. At the last,
with all his property gone, he was yet in debt
to the amount of three thousand dollars. His
friends came to his assistance in his efforts to
re-establish himself, chief among them being
Judge D. K. Alorss, a man of large means as
well as one of his most closely attached personal
friends. With such aid, and by means of the
closest attention to business, and the most un-
sparing economy, Mr. Robinson was finally en-
abled to restore his shattered fortunes and to
build upon the ruins of his disaster an impor-
tant lumber and contracting business, which he
has successfully prosecuted up to the present
time. Nor has he alone been benefitted bv his
business enterprise. The community has gained
vastly by the employment he has given to a large
force of workmen, and the great additions which
his labors have made to the beautv and wealth
of the citv. He has erected more than three hun-



dred and fifty buildings — public, business and
residential — among them being the new Meth-
odist Church, the new Episcopal Church, Odd
Fellows' Hall, St. Rose Convent, and the new
Delaware and Hudson Railroad passenger sta-
tion. He has liberally aided every laudable en-
terprise, among them being the silk mill in Car-
bondale, the paving of Belmont street and
numerous others. His name is one of the most
familiar in the community, and is commemorated
in Robinson avenue, upon which are situated his
business property and his residence, and which
was named in his honor. In closing this chap-
ter of the history of Mr. Robincnn it Jc pleasant
to record that in the days of his restored pros-
perity he found opportunity to repay the kind-
ness of his old friend and helper. Judge Alorss,
by watching over him and caring for his inter-
ests during the long illness which preceded the
death of that estimable man. Mr. Robinson set-
tled up the estate of the deceased, and to such
excellent advantage that on Christmas. 1894,
Mrs. Morss made her grateful acknowledgments,
and forwarded to him a check for five hundred
dollars as a further token of her appreciation.
Mr. Robinson leased his planing mill in 1901,
and a year later leased the old "Fowler" grist
mill, in Carbondale. which he still operates.

He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, and gives his most earnest efiforts and
most liberally of his means to its support and
the maintenance of its various charities. For
thirty years he has been associated with the In-
dependent Order of Odd Fellows. In politics
he is an Independent, ever seeking the greatest
good to the community at large. This disposi-
tion has led him to identify himself with the Pro-
hibition movement, in which he has been a most
active worker. On one occasion he was made
the Prohibition candidate for mayor, and lacked
only a few votes of an election, so few that he
hight have been elected had he made any effort
in his own behalf. On another occasion, after
much solicitation, he consented to the use of his
name as a candidate for common councilman,
and was elected by a large majority. He has
a strict sense of public duty in political afifairs,
holding that ofifice should neither be sought nor
declined. He never urged a person to cast a
vote in his favor, and. when nomination was
urged upon him so strongly that he could not
refuse, contented himself by saying that if elect-
ed he would discharge the duties of the position
to the best of his ability in the interests of the
citv and the people.

-Mr. Robinson married. June 29, 1862, Lois



456



THE WYOMING AND LACKAWANNA VALLEYS.



Britton, born August i6, 1843, died in Carbon-
dale. Pennsylvania, August 23, 1905 ; buried in
Waplewood cemetery, Carbondale. A sketch of
her family will be found hereinafter. Children
were: i. Mary L., born in Greenfield, Luzerne
county, Pennsylvania, May 13, 1865. Married,
in Carbondale, September 12, 1888, Charles F.
Baker, of Jermyn, Pennsylvania, Rev. A. B.
Richardson officiating. ]\'lr. Baker was born
in England, May i, 1863, and is a member of
the firm of C. D. Winters & Company. Their
children are : Ida M., born May 30, 1889 ; Ray-
mond C, -August 29, 1895; Stanley, June 3,
1898, died September 2, 1898. All were born
in Jermyn. 2. Minnie, born February 22, 1870,
in Greenfield, Luzerne county, Pennsylvania.
Married, October 15, 1890, William Rowe Moon,
Rev. William Hiller officiating. Mr. Moon was
born in Lambertville, New Jersey, May 25, 1867,
and is in the mercantile business in Belmont
street, Carbondale, Pennsylvania. Children are :
Tylman R., born March 3, 1892; Rowena, Jan-
uary 18, 1900; Dwight Charles, February 12,
1901 : Lois, May 26, 1904. These children were
all born in Carbondale, Pennsylvania. 3. Lil-
lian, born December 17, 1873, in Carbondale,
Pennsylvania. Married, September 8, 1897,
Reed Birdsall Fowler, of the same city, Rev. G.
A. Place officiating. Mr. Fowler was born in
Lanesboro, Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania,
April 16, 1873. Children are : G. Wyland, born
August 7, 1898; Evangeline D. Ette, October 26,
1903. Both born in Carbondale, Pennsylvania.

John Lippincott Britton, father of Mrs. Tyl-
man Carpenter Robinson, was born in Dover,
New Jersey, November 20, 1809. After his mar-
riage he settled in Abington township, Luzerne
(now Lackawanna) county, Pennsylvania, where
they lived for two years. In the fall of 1832,
with two small children, they took an overland
route with an ox team and lumber wagon to
Springfield, Ohio. Thev were six weeks in mak-
ing this trip and supported themselves by farm-
ing for two years. At the end of this time they
returned to Pennsylvania, locating in Green-
wood, Falls township, Wyoming county, about
four miles northeast of Buttermilk Falls, on a
farm of one hundred and twenty acres, of which
but one was cleared. Here they built a log house
in which they lived for fifteen years, when they
built a frame house, into which they moved with
their ten children.

He married November 9, 1829, Asenath
Ross, in Falls, Wyoming county, Pennsylvania,
Lemuel Stone, Esquire, performing the mar-
riage ceremonv. Asenath (Ross) Britton was



born in Pittston township, Luzerne county, Penn-
sylvania, June 14, 1809: died j\lay 22, 1898; they
were buried in Greenwood cemetery, one-half
mile west of Sheltsville. At the time of her death
she had seven great-great-grandchildren. The
children of John L. and Asenath (Ross) Britton
were: i. Harriet S., born October 28, 1830,
Abington township, Luzerne (now Lackawanna)
county ; married Jacob W. Sickler ; died, Decem-
ber 7, 1903, at Sickler's Pond, Greenfield, Penn-
sylvania. 2. Mary, born August 29, 1832,
Green Woods Falls township, Wyoming county,
Pennsylvania; married, May, 1852, T. B.
Rhodes ; died, December 26, 1852, in Millport,
Chemung county, New York. 3. Jane, born
August 24, 1834, Green Woods Falls township,
Wyoming county, Pennsylvania ; married George
Walters; died in April, 1888. 4. Charles, born
September 27, 1836, Falls township, Wyoming
county, Pennsylvania ; died at the age of three
years by falling into a kettle of not sap. 5. Mar-
tha, born December 5, 1838, Falls township,
Wyoming county, Pennsylvania ; married, March
II, i860, Merrit Coon. 6. Emily, born June
25, 1841, Falls township, Wyoming county,
Pennsylvania ; married, August, 1862, Philip
Riveni3urgh. 7. Lois, married Tylman C. Rob-
inson, as previously stated. 8. Chloe, born Sep-
tember 29, 1845, F^lls township, Wyoming
county, Pennsylvania; married (first), Novem-
ber 13, 1864, William H. Clum, who died Jan-



Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 94 of 130)