John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 7) online

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He has visited nearly every state in the
Union, the islands of the Carribean sea,
England, and the countries of Conti-
nental Europe, France, Belgium, Holland,
Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Five
states, Pennsylvania, New York , New
Jersey, North Carolina, and Minnesota,
have had his name among their owners
of real estate and many places have
known him as a resident. His principal
business for many years was the manu-
facture and sale of lumber and in this he
was very successful. Now at the age of
eighty-six years he has a wealth of ex-



2384




WILLIAM X. TENNINGS



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



perience in many lands, accumulated
under varied conditions, to draw upon for
the entertainment of his many friends,
and a retrospective view accorded to few
men.

He is a son of Paul Bishop Jennings,
born at Holt, Wiltshire, England, in July,
1795, who, like his son, was a man who
won fortune through his own tireless
efiforts. He earned the money that
brought him to this country ; worked his
way to near Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania,
and there began lumbering operations as
a hired hand. He became foreman of a
gang of men putting logs into the Le-
high ; then a small contractor in the same
line ; moved to Luzerne county, bought a
farm, grist and saw mill ; worked the
timber on his purchase into lumber;
finally owning a large cleared farm and
general store at what is now North Me-
hoopany, Wyoming county, Pennsylva-
nia. He was a valued citizen of the town
in which he lived and public-spirited to
a marked degree. Originally a Democrat
he voted for Abraham Lincoln and hence-
forth acted with the Republican party.
Both he and his wife were members of
the Methodist Episcopal church. His
wife, Elizabeth (Tuttle) Jennings, born
in 1796, died in 1893, was the daughter of
Joseph and Mary (Lee) Tuttle, her father
a farmer and business man. They were
married in 1826 and were the parents of
seven children, three of whom died in
early life. Two sons, Joseph T. and Wil-
liam N., and daughters, Caroline and
Mary Ann, all living to become the heads
of families. Paul Bishop Jennings died in
December, 1864.

William N. Jennings, the second son of
Paul Bishop Jennings, was born at Tut-
tletown, Kingston, Pennsylvania (now
Fortyfort), March 3, 1829. He was edu-
cated in a public school and Wyoming
Seminary, remaining his father's assistant
until attaining his majority. He then de-



termined to see something of the world
he had studied about in school, the gold
fever then raging in the east determining
him to go to California. That wonderful
journey previously outlined ended in 1851
and brought him back to Pennsylvania,
strong in his love for his native state. In
185 1 he joined with his elder brother.
Joseph T. Jennings, in the purchase of
two thousand acres of timber lands at
what is now Jenningsville, and in August,
1852, under the firm name of Jennings
Brothers built a saw mill and for several
years was engaged in converting his
timber into manufactured lumber, market-
ing his product at lower Susquehanna
river towns, rafting it down the river.
To avoid this expense he came to West
Pittston to market his lumber and there
resided eight years. In the fall of 1865
he moved to Wilkes-Barre, there continu-
ing the same business, having for about
three years Samuel H. Sturdevant as a
partner. In the spring of 1871 he sus-
tained a heavy loss by a cloud burst,
which caused a flood that carried away
several dams. He spent three years at
Mehoopany repairing damages, returned
to Wilkes-Barre in the fall of 1873 and
there continued the sale of lumber with
John Welles, as partner, until the spring
of 1877. He spent a year at Tunkhan-
nock, going in the spring of 1878 to Brad-
ford, McKean county, Pennsylvania, the
centre of the great oil boom. He was liv-
ing there when Bradford was incorpo-
rated a city, and there for three years was
engaged in the manufacture and sale of
lumber. He returned to Wilkes-Barre in
1882, purchased a residence on West
Union street which he has occupied until
the present, save when on his many tours
of travel, or at his summer home at
Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania. His home is
an ideal one in location, elegance and re
finement, and was presided over by a
gracious hostess, the devoted wife and



2385



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



mother; host and hostess in former years
particularly, there dispensing a charming
hospitality to their host of friends by
whom they were loved and respected.

William N. Jennings married, Septem-
ber 13, 1853, Sarah A. Hicks, born June 16,
1830, died January i, 1911, daughter of
Daniel and Eleanor (Sutphin) Hicks, who
died when she was quite young. Mr. and
Mrs. Jennings celebrated their golden
wedding in 1903 and each recurring year
until the death of Mrs. Jennings brought
them the felicitations of their many
friends. Children and grandchildren have
made that home merry and yet gather
there, but the three sons, Cortez Hicks,
Bishop Worth, William L., and the
adopted daughter, have all married and
founded homes of their own, at distant
points. Cortez Hicks Jennings is a suc-
cessful lumberman and national bank
president at Grantsville, Maryland.
Bishop Worth Jennings is president of
the Hendricks National Bank at Hen-
dricks, West Virginia, a successful lum-
berman at Jenningston, Tucker county,
that state, a town built and owned exclu-
sively by himself and brother; he was a
member of the State Legislature two
terms, refusing renomination. William L.
Jennings is engaged in business with his
brother in Jenningston. Eleanor Hicks,
the adopted daughter, married Dr. N. A.
Rinebolt and resides at Athens, Pennsyl-
vania.



WELLES, Theodore Ladd,

Mining Engineer.

In both paternal and maternal lines the
branch of the Welles family of which
Theodore L. Welles, of Wilkes-Barre, is
representative, traces to the Puritan, Lieu-
tenant John Hollister. Thomas Welles,
the American ancestor, was a lineal de-
scendant of the Essex branch of the



Welles family in England, a family of
"high rank in Normandy and England
with royal intermarriages for several
centuries." Thomas Welles came to New
England in 1636, and became a man high
in public position in Connecticut, holding
every important position in the colony,
was several times acting governor, deputy-
governor, and governor, and at the time
of his death, January 14, 1660, was deputy-
governor and regarded as one of the
wealthiest men in the colony. The line
of descent is through Samuel Welles,
fourth son of Governor Thomas Welles ;
his son. Captain Samuel Welles ; his son,
Thomas Welles ; his son, John Welles ;
his son, George W^elles, the pioneer of the
family in northern Pennsylvania, 1798;
his son, Charles Fisher Welles, a promi-
nent man of his day; his son. Rev. Dr.
Henry Hunter Welles, a minister of the
Presbyterian church, father of Theodore
L. Welles, of Wilkes-Barre.

George Welles married Prudence Tal-
cott, a descendant of Lieutenant John
Hollister, whose daughter, Elizabeth,
married Samuel Welles, the two lines
revmiting in the marriage of George
Welles and Prudence Talcott. The Tal-
cotts, Holyokes, and Pynchons were re-
lated by marriage, these families all being
among the earliest settlers of the Con-
necticut Valley. George Welles, the Penn-
sylvania ancestor, came in 1798, died in
Athens, Pennsylvania, June 20, 1813. a
man of influence, of strong and upright
character. His second son, Charles Fisher
Welles, born in Glastonbury. Connecticut,
November 5, 1789, died at Wyalusing,
Pennsylvania, September 23, 1866. He
married Ellen Jones Hollenback. daugh-
ter of Matthias and Sarah (Burritt) Hol-
lenback. Charles F.Welles was prothono-
tary, clerk of courts, register and recorder
of Bradford county when it was first or-
ganized, was active in politics, and part



2386



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



owner of the "Bradford Gazette." In his
later years he devoted himself to farming
and the management of his private estate.

Rev. Henry Hunter Welles, D. D., third
son of Charles Fisher Welles, was born at
VVyalusing, Pennsylvania, September 15,
1824, died at Fortyfort, Pennsylvania,
September 24, 1902. He was a graduate
of Princeton College, class of 1844,
studied theology at Princeton Theological
Seminary, and was ordained a minister of
the gospel by the Presbytery of Susque-
hanna, August 29, 1850. He was installed
pastor of the Kingston Church, June 12,
185 1, and for twenty years he was its
spiritual head, the first and only pastorate
he ever held. From 1871 he was active in
ministerial work in various fields, where-
ever duty called him, and during his
active life of more than fifty years was
never idle. Only three members of the
large Presbytery of which he was so long
a member exceeded him in length of serv-
ice. He was the first stated clerk of the
Presbytery of Lackawanna, founded the
Sunday school from which sprang a pros-
perous church, and was ever engaged in
the Master's work. He was president of
the Alumni Association of the Princeton
Theological Seminary, a member of the
Wyoming Historical and Geological So-
ciety, and during his years, seventy-eight,
was the manly gentleman and Christian,
greatly beloved and highly honored. The
degree of Doctor of Divinity was be-
stowed upon him by Lafayette College in
1899. He married, October 12, 1849,
Ellen Susanna, daughter of General
Samuel G. Ladd, of Farmington, Maine.
Children: Henry Hunter (2), a lawyer;
Theodore Ladd, of further mention, and
Charlotte Rose.

Theodore Ladd Welles, second son of
Rev. Dr. Henry Hunter and Ellen Su-
sanna (Ladd) Welles, was born at Forty-
fort, Pennsylvania, November 2, 1862. He
obtained his preparatory education in the



public schools, the Hill School, at Potts-
town, and Wilkes-Barre Academy. He
entered Princeton University, but with-
drew to matriculate at Lafayette College,
whence he was graduated mining engi-
neer, class of '84. After graduation he
entered the engineering office of Major
Irving A. Stearns, continuing until Octo-
ber I, 1885, then accepting an engineering
position with the Lackawanna Coal and
Iron Company. In July, 1886, he re-
signed to become engineer with the Clear-
field Bituminous Coal Company, remain-
ing in Clearfield until 1890, then returned
to Wilkes-Barre as mining engineer for
the Hollenback Coal Company, remain-
ing in that employ tor nine years, during
four of which he was also superintendent
of the Kidder Coal Company. In 1899 he
became superintendent of the New Mexico
Fuel Company, with headquarters at
Capitan, New Mexico, but after one year
he returned to Clearfield as manager of
the O'Shanter Coal Company, in 1901 be-
coming superintendent of the United Ba-
rium Company, of Niagara Falls, New
York. During his stay at Clearfield Mr.
Welles, in addition to his duties as man-
ager of the O'Shanter mine, conducted
a general engineering business and was
engineer of the borough of Clearfield in
1901-02. On July 4, 1904, he began his
partnership with H. S. Smith to engage
in engineering operations, again locating
in Wilkes-Barre, with offices in the Coal
Exchange Building. Smith & Welles are
well-known and highly rated as civil and
mining engineers, transact a large busi-
ness, and have performed a great deal of
work highly creditable to their profes-
sional ability. Mr. Welles is a member of
the American Institute of Mining Engi-
neers, the Engineering Society of Penn-
sylvania, the National Geographical So-
ciety, the Wyoming Historical and Geo-
logical Society, Landmark Lodge, No.
442, Free and Accepted Masons, and the
387



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



Westmoreland Club, of Wilkes-Barre,
Pennsylvania.

He married, October 29, 1890, Katharine
A., daughter of John F. and Rebecca
(Reed) Weaver ; their children are : Theo-
dore Ladd, Jr., born April 15, 1892, is a
graduate of Cornell University, class of
1913, degree of Civil Engineer, and is
now in the engineering department. State
Board of Health, Harrisburg, Pennsylva-
nia ; Ellen R.. born December 19, 1894;
John W., born August 30, 1896; and Carol
E., born December 29, 1898.



LOEB, August B.,

Financier, Philanthropist.

By far the greater part of the years of
Mr. Loeb's valuable life was spent in
Philadelphia, where he was known as the
honorable upright banker, the open hand-
ed philanthropist, the hospitable host and
genial companion. For about a quarter
of a century he was a member of the offi-
cial board of the Tradesmen's National
Bank, and as president of that institution
was well and favorably known to the
world of finance. For thirty-five years
treasurer and director of the Jewish Hos-
pital, he gave to that philanthropy valu-
able, unselfish service ; how valuable and
how unselfish may best be realized by a
knowledge of the fact that it was largely
through his efforts that several large ad-
ditions to the group of buildings compris-
ing the hospital were made possible. One
of these buildings, the Mathilde Adler
Loeb Dispensary, stands as a memorial
to his wife, who died in 1875.

August B. Loeb, son of Benjamin and
Babette Loeb, was born at Rhein Hassen,
Germany, June 16, 1841, and died at his
summer home, Ventnor, below Atlantic
City, New Jersey, August 23, 191 5. He
became a resident of Philadelphia at an
early age, there obtaining a good educa-
tion in the public schools. He became'



associated in business with his brother,-^
Edward and Aloses, and for several years
prior to 1888 was engaged with them in
the manufacture of cream of tartar in
Jersey City, and in the wholesale leather
business in Philadelphia, with offices on
Arch street. He retired from active busi-
ness about 1890. He was for many years
the intimate friend of George H. Earle,
Jr., the banker, and on his advice and
suggestion Mr. Loeb in April, 1893, be-
came a director of the Finance Company
of Pennsylvania. In 1895 he became a
director, and shortly thereafter vice-presi-
dent of the Tradesmen's National Bank
of Philadelphia, his life from that time
forward being intimately connected with
that and other financial institutions of his
city.

It was the Tradesmen's National Bank,
however, with which he was most closely
connected, his service on the board of di-
rectors extending over a period of twenty
years, and as president from January,
1910, until his death. Other financial and
business corporations that availed them-
selves of his well demonstrated man-
agerial ability, and with which he served
as director were the Market Street Na-
tional Bank, the Finance Company of
Pennsylvania, the Real Estate Trust
Company, and the South Chester Tube
Company. He was a wise and capable
banker, thoroughly understanding the
laws governing finance, and closely fol-
lowing those laws in all his banking oper-
ations.

In 1906 he succeeded John M. Mack on
the directorate of the Philadelphia Rapid
Transit Company, serving as a member
of that board until the fall of 1910, when
he resigned six months after the retire-
ment of his friend, George H. Earle, Jr.,
as municipal representative on the board.

Mr. Loeb's official connection with the
Jewish Hospital began in 1878 as chair-
man of the executive committee of the



2388



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



board of directors. In 1880 he was elect-
ed treasurer, and in that office and as
director he served most faithfully, hi^
efforts in behalf of the institution termi-
nating only with his death. He was able
to accomplish a great deal for the benefit
of the hospital, that perhaps being the
public cause that lay nearest his heart,
although he was interested in many other
philanthropies. He was a Republican in
politics; his club, the Mercantile.

Mr. Loeb married, in Philadelphia, Au-
gust 2, 1868, Mathilde Adler, who died
July 7, 1875. The following children sur-
vive: Mrs. S. Selig, Mrs. Albert Wolf,
Oscar D. Loeb, and Howard A. Loeb.



LOEB, Howard A.,

Man of Affair*.

On August 27, 191 5, Howard A. Loeb
was elected president of the Tradesmen's
Nation"! Bank, of Philadelphia, that office
havmg been left vacant by the death of
his father, August B. Loeb. Although
one of Philadelphia's youngest bank
presidents, Mr. Loeb is eminently quali-
fied to fill this position, as he had been a
member of the board of directors for sev-
eral years, and served as vice-president
for eight years previous to his election
to the presidency.

Howard A. Loeb was born in Philadel-
phia, July 25, 1873, son of August B. and
Mathilde (Adler) Loeb. He was educated
at the Friends' Central School until he
entered the University of Pennsylvania.
There, after a five years' course in me-
chanical and electrical engineering, he
was graduated with the class of 1893, re-
ceiving the degree of Bachelor of Science
in 1893 and that of Mechanical Engineer
in 1894. Soon after graduation he was
made a member of the firm of Francis
Bros. & Jellett, consulting and construct-
ing engineers, with whom he remained
until 1907, at which time he took up the



duties of vice-president of the Trade.'^-
men's National Bank, and assisted hi-
father in the management of that institu-
tion, continuing as such until his election
to the presidency, August 27, 1915.

Mr. Loeb has other important business
connections. He is a director and mem-
ber of the executive committee of the Se-
curities Corporation General, chairman of
the executive committee of the Kentuck;.
Traction and Terminal Company, of Lex-
ington, Kentucky, and of the Pennsyl-
vania Lighting Company, of Shamokin,
and is also a director in a number of in-
dustrial corporations.

Mr. Loeb married, in Philadelphin ,
March 16, 1897, Hortense Fleisher.



STEGMAIER, George J.,

Prominent Business Man.

Prominently identified with the busi-
ness and public life of Wilkes-Barre,
Pennsylvania, during his entire mature
life George J. Stegmaier left behind him
the record of a most useful busy life. His
business activity was shown in the many
enterprises with which he was officially
connected, and his public service in the
important offices he held through the
votes of his fellow citizens ; while his
social humane nature is best testified to
by his connection with many social or-
ganizations, the fire department, Mercy
Hospital, and the fact that no call upon
his synipathy was ever made in vain. He
was one of the world's workers, and to
the Stegmaiers, father and sons, Wilkes-
Barre is indebted for much of her indus-
trial prosperity.

George J. was a son of Charles Steg-
maier, who was born in Gmund, Wiirt-
temberg, Germany. October 7, 1821, died
in Los Angeles, California, August 11,
1906. At the age of fifteen years Charles
Stegmaier was apprenticed to a brewer,
became an expert, and until 1849 followed



23S9



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



his calling in his native land. In the
latter year he came to the United States,
where he found employment with the
brewing firm of Engle & Wolf, of Phila-
delphia, Pennsylvania. He remained in
Philadelphia until 1851, then engaged
with John Reichard, who sent him to
Wilkes-Barre, where he superintended the
brewing of the first German lager made in
the Wyoming Valley. Later he was in the
employ of George Lauer in Pottsville,
Pennsylvania, but in 1857 he returned to
Wilkes-Barre, where he began business
for himself in a small brewing plant on
Hazel street. He was successful, and
later formed a partnership with George C.
Baer, under the firm nam,e Baer & Steg-
maier. The panic of 1873 brought about
the financial downfall of the firm, but
soon afterward Mr. Stegmaier resumed
business with his son. Christian J., as
partner, under the firm name of Steg-
maier & Son. The former prosperity of
the firm was soon regained, and the busi-
ness so largely increased that in 1895 the
Stegmaier Brewing Company was incor-
porated with Charles Stegmaier as its
first president, an office he held until his
death. He was most progressive in his
methods, and was not only a successful
business man, but kindly hearted, charita-
ble, and public-spirited. He loved the
Fatherland, but he fully imbibed the spirit
and principles of his adopted land, and
was an American to the core. He had
many business interests of importance,
and at his death was a director of the
First National Bank, of Wilkes-Barre.
He married, February 4, 1852, at St.
Mary's parsonage, Wilkes-Barre, Rever-
end E. A. Shaughnessey officiating, Kath-
leen Baer, who bore him five children :
Charles J., Christian E., George J., Fred
J. and Louise. Two of the sons survive,
Charles J. and Christian E., both resi-
dents of Wilkes-Barre. The daughter.



Louise, married Philip Forve, of Los An-
geles, California.

George J., son of Charles and Kathleen
(Baer) Stegmaier, was born in Wilkes-
Barre, Pennsylvania, April 4, 1858, died
in Karlsbad, Austria, May 20, 1910. He
was educated in St. Nicholas' Parochial
School, Wilkes-Barre, and at Wyoming
Seminary, Kingston, completing his stud-
ies a graduate of the latter institution.
He began his active business life as an
apprentice in the Ashley shops of the
New Jersey Central Railroad, and con-
tinued in the shops of the Pennsylvania
railroad at Altoona, but later abandoned
mechanical work to become associated
with his father, beginning as bookkeeper.
Later he became a partner in the firm of
C. Stegmaier & Son, and after the incor-
poration of the Stegmaier Brewing Com-
pany became secretary, a position he held
at the time of his death. He was closely
associated with his brothers in the many
enterprises that have made the Stegmaier
name noted and held in high esteem for
liberality, public spirit, and many manly
qualities. For a time he was half owner
of the Wilkes-Barre "News ;" was a direc-
tor of the First National Bank ; director
of the Susquehanna Brewing Company,
president of the Stegmaier Realty Com-
pany, director of the Fenwick Lumber
Company, and a large stockholder in the
Wales Adding Machine Company. With
his brothers and Abram Nesbitt he suc-
cessfully resisted the efforts to absorb the
last company, and retained it as an inde-
pendent plant for Wilkes-Barre. From
early manhood Mr. Stegmaier took a deep
interest in political affairs, became one of
the local leaders of the Democratic party,
and during the years 1888-89 represented
his district in the Pennsylvania House of
Assembly, serving on important commit-
tees. He also served his city as treasurer,
and was one of the strong, influential men
of his party.



2390




.^C^^;^.,^^



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



For sixteen years he was an active
member of the fire department, and for
two years its efficient chief. He was one
of the principal founders of the Wilkes-
Barre Baseball Club, was a prominent
figure in the Luzerne County Fair Asso-
ciation, and for many years was president
of the Wilkes-Barre Driving Club. Fra-
ternally, he was connected with the Be-
nevolent and Protective Order of Elks,
and the Eagles, and was a member of the
Press Club and the Concordia Society, of
Wilkes-Barre. He was in poor health for
some time, and in the spring of 1910, with
his wife and children went to Karlsbad,
Austria, in the hope of benefit, and there
died. He was a member of St. Nicholas
Roman Catholic Church, a liberal and de-
voted friend of that organization.

The following resolutions were adopted
by the directors of the First National
Bank, of Wilkes-Barre, and are a true ex-
pression of the high regard in which Mr.
Stegmaier was held :



Whereas, It has pleased the Almighty God to
have removed from our midst the Honorable
George J. Stegmaier, a member of our board of
directors; it therefore becomes our sad duty to
note his death upon our minutes as a tribute to
his memory.

George J. Stegraair, who died at Karlsbad,
Austria, May 20, 1910, was among the foremost
of our townsmen. No man was more strongly
wedded to the welfare of our city; to him Wilkes-
Barre was the queen of cities and her people the
choicest of citizens. Every deserving effort to
enlarge the industries of his native city met with
his heartiest support. He had a lovable disposi-
tion, he was a great friend of the poor, he was a
loyal husband and fond father, he was a good
citizen and an honest man. He died in the prime
of his life and in the midst of his usefulness. No
man ever died in our city with more friends and
less enemies, except, perhaps, his lamented father.
Therefore be it

Resolved — First, That as members of this board
we keenly appreciate the loss we have sustained