John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 7) online

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system he controlled. He was a true

PA-Vol VII-23 2

"captain of industry," one of the world's
workers, one of the world's winners.

Mr. Voorhees married, September i,
1871, Sarah Vail Gould, who died August
J 5, 1872. He married (second) February
4, 1874, Mary E. Chittenden, of Syracuse,
New York. He left eight children, in-
cluding five sons, who most worthily bear
the Voorhees name. Three daughters:
Margaret Sinclair, married Charles R.
Wood; Phoeboe Schermerhorn, married
W. Hewyard Drayton, 3d ; Helen Chit-
tenden, married F. De St. Phelle, all
residing in Philadelphia. The sons are:
Harlow Chittenden, with Madeira, Hill
& Company, of Philadelphia ; Henry
Belin, general superintendent of the Cin-
cinnati, Hamilton & Dayton railroad ;
Gerald E., with the Bethlehem Steel
Company, of Detroit ; Theodore Coert,
with the Pennsylvania Steel Company ;
Herman Moncrieflf, with the Philadelphia
& Reading railroad.

KIRK, Edward C,

Dental Practitioner and Instructor.

Edward Cameron Kirk was born in
Sterling, Illinois, on December 9, 1856,
the son of Brigadier-General Edward N.
Kirk. At an early age he was brought to
Philadelphia, where he received a thor-
ough preliminary education. When only
eighteen years of age he was a teacher,
filling the office of assistant first to Pro-
fessor Frazer and then to Professor Sadt-
ler, both of the Chemical Department of
Towne Scientific School of the Univer-
sity of Pennsylvania. As a teacher in
this department he displayed the same
thoroughness and persistence which are
characteristic of Dr. Kirk and his work.

In 1876 his entrance into dentistry was
begun in the Medical Department of the
University of Pennsylvania, so that he
might lay the foundation for the special
dental structure. The following year he



matriculated in the Pennsylvania College
of Dental Surgery, from which institution
he was graduated with the degree of Doc-
tor of Dental Surgery in 1878. From this
year also dates his connection with that
department of the university of which he
has been the executive officer, and Pro-
fessor of Clinical Surgery since 1896.
Shortly after the reorganization of the
school in 1882, Dr. Kirk was appointed to
the lectureship in Operative Dentistry
and later to the instructorship in Clinical

His ability as a writer is fully evinced
in the large number of contributions on
practically every subject within the
range of dentistry which he has turned
out. In 1891 he succeeded Dr. James W.
White as editor of the "Dental Cosmos,"
which publication has been advanced to
a much higher plane since. Besides con-
tributing the chapter on "Metallurgy,"
and "Hygienic Relations of Artificial
Dentures" in the "American System of
Dentistry," and the article on "Dentistry"
in the "Encyclopaedia Brittanica" and in
the "Encyclopaedia Americana," he has
edited the "American Text-book of Oper-
ative Dentistry," to which he has con-
tributed many good articles.

Dean Kirk has been a prominent factor
in dental societies from the beginning of
his professional career. Due to his un-
tiring efforts, he succeeded in getting the
Dental Act of Pennsylvania passed in
1897. This statute at once placed den-
tistry upon a higher plane, giving it that
prestige which it now holds. The services
which he has rendered to dentistry are
manifold. He has liberally enriched its
literature, and this, as well as his profes-
sional altruism, has been publicly and
officially recognized upon at least two
different occasions. In 1903 the North-
western University conferred upon him
the degree of Doctor of Science, and re-
cently the Societe d'Odontologie of Paris

awarded him its yearly gold medal as a
testimonial of high esteem and thorough
appreciation of his interesting and in-
structive scientific investigations. Dr.
Kirk has been president of the Pennsyl-
vania State Dental Society, president of
the Academy of Stomatology, and is a
member of the National Dental Associ-
ation, American Academy of Dental
Science, and an honorary member of sev-
eral other prominent dental societies,
American and foreign.

His appointments and affiliations are as fol-
lows : Professor of Dental Pathology, Thera-
peutics and Materia Medica in the University of
Pennsylvania; Dean of the Dental School of the
University of Pennsylvania ; Editor of the "Den-
tal Cosmos ;" D. D. S., Pennsylvania College of
Dental Surgery 1878; Sc. D., Northwestern
University, 1903 ; Member of : National Dental
Association, U. S. A. ; Pennsylvania State Den-
tal Association; Pennsylvania Association of
Dental Surgeons ; Academy of Stomatology of
Philadelphia; Odontographic Society of West
Philadelphia ; Dental Alumni Society of the Uni-
versity of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia Dental
Club; Delta Sigma Delta Fraternity; Honorary
Member of the Ohio County Medical Society of
West Virginia, and the First District Dental
Society of the State of New York; Associate
Member of the American Academy of Dental
Science of Boston; Honorary Member of: Amer-
ican Academy of Dental Surgery; Societe Pro-
fessional d r Ecole Dentaire, et d 1' Asso-
ciation Generale des Dentaires de France;
Societe Dententologie de Paris: Central Verein
Deutscher Zahnarzte; Societe Tandlakare Salls-
kapet; British Dental Association; Sociedad
Odontologicade de Chile; Sociedad Med-
ico-Dental de Barraquilla, Columbia, S. A.;
Verein Osterreichischer Zahnarzte: Corre-
sponding Member of the Vereines Osterreich-
scher Zahnarzte ; Member of the Royal Society
of Medicine of Great Britain ; Member of the
First Class by Inheritance of the Loyal Legion of
the United States of America (Pennsylvania
Commandery) ; Member of the Society of the
Sigma Xi ; Member of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science; Member of The
University Club of Philadelphia; Markham Club
of Philadelphia; Lenape Club of Philadelphia;
Chemists' Club of New York; Authors' Club of
London ; Argunot Club of University of Pennsyl-




HALSEY, Gaius Leonard,

liavryeT, Jurist.

The American Halseys are of English
origin and have been settled in America
about two hundred and fifty years. The
family in England is of considerable anti-
quity. It has been conjectured that the
"Alsis of the Domesday Book" are the
originals of the family. But it was sev-
eral centuries after the Conqueror's time
that the first indisputably genuine mem-
ber of the family is known to have existed
in England. This was John Hals, a man
of considerable wealth and repute who
lived in the reign of Edward III. (1327-
1377)- John Hals was one of the English
judges of the Common Pleas. His son
was Robert, who added an "e" to his
name, making it Halse.

The first Halsey to arrive in this coun-
try from England, and the progenitor of
Gaius Leonard Halsey, was Thomas Hal-
sey who settled at Lynn, Massachusetts,
as early as 1637, and who came from
Hertfordshire, which at present contains
probably the best known representatives
of the family in England. Gaius Leonard
Halsey belongs to the ninth generation in
descent from Thomas Halsey, the line
being: (i) Thomas; (2) Thomas; (3)
Jeremiah; (4) Jeremiah; (5) Matthew;
(6) Matthew; (7) Gaius; (8) Richard
Church; (9) Gaius Leonard.

To Dr. Gaius Halsey, of the seventh
generation of American Halseys, and the
grandfather of our subject, four children
were born : Richard Church (born Bain-
bridge, New York, 1817), Gaius Leonard
(bom 1819), Nelson Gaylord, and Lavan-
tia. Richard Church had two children :
Gaius Leonard and Lavantia Harriet.
The maiden name of the mother of
Gaius Leonard Halsey was Anna Sprowl,
a member of the Society of Friends, and
a native of Kennett, Chester county,

Pennsylvania. She spent the greater part
of her life in White Haven, Luzerne
county, Pennsylvania, where she died in
1896. Richard Church Halsey studied
medicine with his father, and in addition
graduated at a medical college in the
City of New York. In the Civil War he
served as a surgeon on the Union side.
His first location was at White Haven,
but after a year's residence there he re-
moved to Nesquehoning, Carbon county,
Pennsylvania, where the subject of this
sketch was born. After a residence of
four or five years at Nesquehoning, he
removed again to White Haven. Dr.
Halsey lived and practiced medicine in
White Haven up to the time of his death
in February, 1904, at the advanced age of
eighty-six years.

Gaius Leonard Halsey was born July
12, 1845, at Nesquehoning, Carbon county,
Pennsylvania, but the family soon went
to White Haven, Luzerne county, Penn-
sylvania, and has been closely associated
with that town ever since. He was edu-
cated at the Wilkes-Barre Academy, the
Clinton (New York) Liberal Institute,
and at Tufts College, Medford, Massa-
chusetts, from which he graduated in
1867. He chose Tufts as his college be-
cause Professor Dearborn, who had been
his instructor and personal friend at the
Clinton Liberal Institute, had been called
to a professorship at Tufts. During a
portion of the year 1866, prior to gradu-
ation from Tufts, he taught school at
Canton, Massachusetts, and after gradu-
ation one year in White Haven, Penn-

In 1868 he went to Washington, D. C,
and during the winter of 1868 and 1869
was a newspaper reporter on the "Wash-
ington Post," which position he left to
become a stenographer for Senator Oliver
P. Morton and General John A. Logan.
In 1870 he was a stenographer for the



Legislative Record at Harrisburg, Penn-
sylvania. In 1870 and 1871 he was assist-
ant sergeant-at-arms in the House of
Representatives of Pennsylvania, and in
1871 and 1872 was a transcribing clerk in
the House of Representatives.

During these stenographic years, he
had been reading law at Wilkes-Barre,
Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, with Ly-
man Hakes, and Charles E. Rice, ex-
President Judge of the Superior Court
of Pennsylvania, and was admitted to the
bar of Luzerne county, September 9, 1872.
During his life as a lawyer he practiced
in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and was
one of the leaders of the bar. He served
many mining companies and corporations,
and was attorney for the Lehigh Valley
Railroad and for the Lehigh Coal & Navi-
gation Company up to the time he retired
from active practice.

During the period of his practice of the
law he was a member of the Luzerne
Law and Library Association, and one of
a committee of three known as the board
of censors, and was also, for many years,
chairman of the board of examiners for
admission to the several courts of the
County of Luzerne.

In 1898 the death of the Hon. Lyman
H. Bennett, Judge of the Court of Com-
mon Pleas of Luzerne County, created a
vacancy in that court. To fill this honor-
able position Gaius Leonard Halsey, the
subject of this sketch, was chosen by
Governor Daniel Hastings. A contempo-
rary newspaper of that date says : "Mr.
Halsey's appointment to the important
and honorable position is a choice than
which no better could have been made
from the Luzerne bar, which the newly
made Judge has graced and honored for
a quarter of a century. The selection is
a wise one in as much as Judge Halsey is
eminently fitted for the judiciary, pos-
sessing in a high degree the qualities

that will make an impartial, upright and
learned judge. In the profession of the
law he took a prominent position while
yet young at the bar, and his splendid
powers as a counsellor and advocate soon
brought him to the very forepart of his
profession. Personflly Judge Halsey is
genial and good natured, his nature lib-
eral, sincere and open. In every way his
appointment will prove thoroughly satis-
factory to the legal profession and to the

In the fall of 1898 Judge Halsey was
nominated by both the Republican and
Democratic parties for the office of Judge
of the Court of Common Pleas and was
unanimously elected by the citizens of
Luzerne county at the general election
following for a period of ten years. As
a judge he served with distinction and his
rulings were seldom reversed by the Su-
perior and Supreme Courts, the higher
tribunals of the State of Pennsylvania.

On January 13, 191 1, Judge Halsey was
stricken with a disease that baffled the
medical profession. The best doctors and
eminent specialists having been called in
consultation, and after a lingering illness
covering a period of six weeks, he finally
succumbed to the ravages of the disease
on the i6th day of February, 191 1, at his
home in the city of Wilkes-Barre, Penn-
sylvania. That Judge Halsey was highly
respected by the people of Luzerne coun-
ty, the community in which he resided,
is particularly shown by articles that
appeared in the prominent newspapers on
the date of his death.

"Times-Leader:" — Judge Halsey is dead. This
was the sad news that cast a gloom over the
community to-day. Although it was known that
the Ex-Judge was ill, few realized his dangerous
condition, and the announcement of his death
came as a shock to all. Gaius L. Halsey was a
citizen whose loss will be most keenly felt. The
people of Luzerne county, whose friend he al-
ways was, will sorely miss him. As a judge of



Luzerne county he was just, fair and impartial.
His career on the bench was one of great service
to the people of Luzerne county.

In the death of Gaius L. Halsey a true man
passes away, one whose place among us will be
most difficult to fill.

In saddened times like these, it is a consolation
to know that the life that ebbed away was an
exemplary one, and that whatever place Gaius
L. Halsey occupied, he did his duty fearlessly and
honestly, as between man and man.

"Wilkes-Barre Record :" — The death of Ex-
Judge Halsey comes as a great surprise. Men-
tion of his illness had appeared in the newspapers,
but few people realized that his condition was so
desperate. His demise removes one of the most
prominent members of the Luzerne County Bar,
and one who, as Judge, devoted himself honestly,
ably and conscientiously to the performance of
his duty. He was particularly noted for his in-
dustry. He applied himself diligently to every
task, and persisted until it was accomplished. He
passes away high in the esteem of his fellowmen
and affectionately regarded by his fellow prac-

"The Evening News :" — In the death of Judge
Halsey, Luzerne county has lost a citizen of the
loftiest type and the bar a member whose cultiva-
tion of the highest ideals in the practice of his
profession won him the respect and admiration
of his associates. He was a man of rugged
honesty, a lawyer of long and honorable service,
and his death is a distinct loss to the community.

"Elmira Telegram :" — As a jurist, he was ever
eminently fair and impartial, and notwithstanding
that he had always been known as a corporation
lawyer, previous to his ascension to the bench,
no railroad king nor coal baron ever received
more than was coming to him from him. He
stood in defense of right against wrong first, last
and all the time. While he entertained the most
profound respect for the legal profession and its
members, he never permitted any of them to in-
fluence him in any way in the discharge of his
duties. He did what he thought was right, irre-
spective of criticism and public opinion. And he
was generally always right.

Among his associates on the bench and
at the bar in the County of Luzerne, his
death was the occasion of gfreat sorrow.
At the meeting of the Bar Association


the day following his death, "one of the
sincerest and most impressive tributes
that has ever been paid to a member of
the bench or bar of Luzerne county was
the combined expression of nearly a score
of attorneys and three of the judges in
voicing their sentiments of sorrow on his

Hon. George S. Ferris, president judge
of the county, was chosen to preside at
the meeting, and when he took charge as
president, in part said :

Accustomed as we have grown to be of recent
years to the inroads of death, it will, nevertheless,
be hard for us to think of the bench and bar of
this county without the commanding figure of
Judge Halsey. He was admitted as an attorney
of our courts in the same year as I was, and thus
belonged to the same group of lawyers — the men
of the seventies.

As a judge, his high personal character, his in-
herent, natural love of justice, his abhorrence of
shams and of everything that smacked of dis-
honesty, his unbending devotion to duty, free-
dom from bias and capacity for hard work, in-
vited, and when necessary compelled the respect
of all with whom he had to do.

As a citizen, as lawyer, as judge, Gaius L. Hal-
sel was one whose place in this community will
be difficult indeed to fill, and one whose name
should be written with the names of those to
whose character and life work fathers direct
the attention of their sons.

Judge Henry A. Fuller spoke in part
as follows :

In the catalog of Judge Halsey's judicial
qualifications I would lay particular emphasis
upon the general virtue of punctiliousness, the
most excellent virtue which a judge can possibly
possess, because it embraces almost every habit
needed for useful service on the bench ; the habit
of punctuality, which keeps every engagement at
the precise time and place appointed; the habit
of promptness, which transacts all business with
despatch ; the habit of firmness, which insists
upon compliance with every rule ; the habit of
impartiality, which accords like treatment to every
individual ; the habit of exactness, which hazards
no performance without full knowledge of the
situation, and, best of all, the habit of square deal-


ing, which

defines action in respect to every

Judge Benjamin R. Jones spoke in part
as follows :

Judge Halsey's life was a beaten path, from
his home to his ofiice and back again. To him
the whole world was a stillness, with no pleasures
but the simple enjoyment of his home. He lived
a simple life, in all the term implies, and in the
midst of his family, his cup of happiness was full
to overflowing.

I would sum up his whole life in the three
great precepts of Justinian: First, he was honest;
second, he hurt nobody ; and third, he rendered
to everyone his due.

Hon. S. J. Strauss, who was associated
with Judge Halsey for many years, spoke
in part as follows:

Before all things he loved his work. He loved
it so well that he never neglected it. When a
thing was to be done he was on the qui vive to
have it done as quickly as was consistent with
the purpose to do it well. He strove daily,
seldom taking a vacation so that what had been
entrusted to him might be accompHshed and that
his clients' interests might be advanced not only
by complete performance, but chiefly by prompt
performance. He recognized with a deep sense
of responsibility the evils of the law's delay even
as a practitioner, and at all times he was deter-
mined so far as he could control the matter that
the delays should be removed from the path along
which he and his client had to walk in order to
realize the protection of rights under the law.
Those who knew him as a judge remember his
unflinching purpose to force cases to conclusion,
his impatience with excuse for delay and continu-

Attorney John McGahren spoke in part
as follows :

A true portrait of Judge Halse/s character
showed that he was prudent in the management
of his affairs, firm in his moral principles and
rigidly conformed to them in his own practice.
As a judge he was painstaking, industrious,
prompt in the discharge of his duties, and al-
though he may at times have erred in his rulings,
as even the ablest judges may do, no one could ques-


tion the purity of his motives or the honesty of
his convictions. Many of the notable fruits of his
labors are to be found in the reported opinions
rendered by him in the cases which he tried as a
judge, and may be safely relied upon as pre-
cedents both by the bench and bar of our State.
They afi^ord abundant proof that he honorably
discharged that duty which every man owes to
his profession. No one who studies these de-
cisions and opinions will hesitate to believe that
he was actuated by a desire to accomplish those
results which learning and talents cannot fail to

Attorney E. A. Lynch spoke in part as
follows :

Judge Halsey was a good lawyer in every sense
of the word. He was a good judge. As a judge
he was dignified, impartial and conscientious and
above all, in my mind what made him a good
judge, he was merciful. A more considerate,
kind, and tenderhearted man I never knew. I
saw these essential characteristics exemplified on
many occasions, but especially so while discharg-
ing his judicial functions on the bench.

Hon. John T. Lenahan delivered a
eulogy in part as follows :

We who knew Judge Halsey as a man, a
lawyer, and a jurist, alone can appreciate his
loftiness of character and true nobility of man-
hood. For ten years and more he presided in
these courts, administering justice in its best sense
with a rigid impartiality that extorted from all
classes a quantum of praise rarely accorded tribu-
nals summoned to the adjustment of human dis-
putes. In his public life, he typified the most
cherished ideals of what a judge should be. The
line of conduct he marked out for himself when
first assuming the judicial robes was never de-
parted from in his long career of more than ten
years on the bench. Called to his position by the
unanimous voice of all political parties of Lu-
zerne county, he never failed to fully justify the
prediction vouched for by his most enthusiastic
admirers. Unyielding always to the behests of
private friendships or the solicitations of selfish
interestedness, he fixed the standard of his judi-
cial action by an undivided and conscientious de-
votion to the unsullied integrity of the law of
the land. He has now passed into the legal his-
tory of the county of which we are all so proud,
taking equal rank with those illustrious names


which have so long illumined the jurisprudence
of our Commonwealth.

Attorney Alexander Farnham, Presi-
dent of the Bar Association of Luzerne
County, spoke in part as follows :

At the bar Judge Halsey was unobtrusive in the
fullest sense of the word. I do not mean by this
that he was backward or diffident in manner. On
the contrary he had an independence of spirit
and a self-reliance which shone out as conspicu-
ous traits of his character, but he was never the
one to obtrude his thoughts and ideas upon the
attention of others. When asked he was always
ready to express them in plain, terse and direct
language which left no doubt of his meaning.
His industry, his fidelity and his zeal in the prac-
tice of his profession soon attracted to him a
large and profitable cHentage, and his profes-
sional career was prosperous and successful.

Attorney William S. McLean,
spoke in part as follows :


Judge Halsey was an industrious upright
lawyer and when he was promoted to the bench
he was an industrious upright judge. He always
kept abreast of his work. He was not satisfied
until all the work lying upon his desk was dis-
posed of and it was carefully disposed of. His
percentage of affirmed cases in the Appellate
Courts will compare favorably with the percent-
age of any of the judges of the lower courts of
the Commonwealth. He was not only industri-
ous and upright but he brought to his judicial
work a fine intellect and a wholesome sense of

Eulogies were also delivered by At-
torneys James L. Lenahan, Thomas H.
Atherton, P. L. Drum, Paul J. Sherwood
and W. L. Butler.

A committee of the bar composed of
Hon. Frank W. Wheaton, Hon. Henry
W. Palmer, George R. Bedford, Esq.,
Hon. John T. Lenahan, John McGahren,
Esq., John Q. Creveling, Esq., and Thom-
as F. Farrell, Esq., were appointed as a
committee on resolutions, and reported
at the meeting in part as follows:


It is as a judge that Honorable G. L. Halsey
won the highest and most enduring distinction,
and will best be remembered by his admirers—
by the bar and the great constituency whom he so
ably and faithfully served in that exalted office.
No man ever wore the ermine with more solemn
and religious sense of the sacred trust and re-
sponsibility reposed in him than did Judge Hal-

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanEncyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 7) → online text (page 53 of 55)