John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography (Volume 5) online

. (page 1 of 56)
Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanEncyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography (Volume 5) → online text (page 1 of 56)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

ImtJprattg of jptttaburgti




3 1735 060 395 492


Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2009 with funding from

Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation

Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania




Librarian Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia ; Author of "Colonial Families

of Philadelphia;" "Revolutionary History of Bethlehem,"

and various other works.











<-'^ ,^^





SUTTON, Richard Bishop,

Man of Affairs, Model Citizen.

Not always do we find the distinctions
of birth and breeding combined with the
essential characteristics of the successful
business man, but in the personality and
career of the late Richard Bishop Sutton
this comparatively rare union of qualities
was strikingly exemplified. Mr. Sutton,
who was for many years connected with
the Adams Express Company in Pitts-
burgh and figured conspicuously in the
business circles of the city, was a repre-
sentative of a family of ancient origin and
financial and social prominence. The Sut-
tons have been, from a remote period,
seated in many parts of England and have
formed matrimonial alliances with a num-
ber of the old English families. The Sut-
ton escutcheon is: Arms — Gules, on a
mount in base vert a tower or, thereon a
stork argent in chief two anchors erect of
the third. Crest — A mount vert, thereon
a stork proper charged on the breast with
a cross patee gules, the dexter claw sup-
porting a rose of the last surmounted of
another argent. Motto — "Live to live."

George Sutton, the first of the family
to emigrate to the United States, was
born in England, and more than a cen-
tury since settled in Pittsburgh, becom-
ing a man of prominence in the early de-
velopment of the city. His naturally fine
abilities had been cultivated and matured
by the advantages of a liberal education
and he was possessed of wealth which
rendered it unnecessary for him to en-
gage in business. In 1810 he was instru-
mental to a great degree in founding the
Bank of Pittsburgh, and in 1812 and 1819
served as one of its directors, and his
name stands in the history of the city as

that of one of the men of that period who
are entitled to special honor, not only for
zeal, fidelity and ability in the manage-
ment of the bank, but for the important
public benefits which were the direct re-
sult of their thought and enterprise. In
politics Mr. Sutton was a Whig, and as
a vigilant observer of men and events his
fellow citizens attached much importance
to his views on questions of local conse-
quence and national moment. He mar-
ried Esther Dunseath, and their chil-
dren were : Harriet, married Samuel Ed-
gar; Alfred, mentioned below; William,
George, and David ; all the sons are de-
ceased. David was a prominent business
man of Pittsburgh. Two grandchildren
of Mrs. Edgar. George Edgar and Miss
Kate Edgar, are now living at Ben Avon,
Pennsylvania. The residence of George
Sutton was on Water street, which then
formed part of a beautiful and aristocratic
neighborhood. The death of this gifted
man and sterling citizen was mourned by
the entire community. He was a true and
perfect gentleman and a man of a most
genial and benevolent disposition.

Alfred, son of George and Esther (Dun-
seath) Sutton, was born in 1804. and re-
ceived a liberal education. Like his father,
he never engaged in business but de-
voted much of his time to looking after
his various interests. Like his father,
also, he was active in all that made for
the advancement of Pittsburgh, consent-
ing to serve in different public offices,
among them that of prothonotary of the
court, a position which he held at the
time of his death. He was the owner of
much real estate in and near Pittsburgh,
and at one time was editor of the "Pitts-
burgh Times." Widely known as a suc-



cessful man of aiifairs, he possessed an
ease and simplicity of manner which did
not at once suggest the strength and
tenacity of purpose with which all who
knew him were familiar. Mr. Sutton mar-
ried Ann Bishop whose family record is
appended to this sketch and the follow-
ing children were born to them: Harriet,
married Louis Bloor, and has a daughter,
Mrs. Theodosia Bingham, of Conneaut,
Ohio; Theodosia, died young; Anna
Maria, married Samuel Garrison, of Pitts-
burgh, now deceased, and died in 191 1,
leaving, among other children, Samuel,
president of the Expanded Metal Fire
Proofing Company, of Pittsburgh ; and
Richard Bishop, mentioned below. At
the comparatively early age of forty-one
Mr. Sutton passed away, in 1845, his
death depriving Pittsburgh of one of her
most influential and public-spirited citi-
zens, one whose acts of charity were
many and who never refused the aid and
support of his influence and means to any
movement which, in his judgment, medi-
tated the relief and uplifting of sufifering

Richard Bishop Sutton, son of Alfred
and Ann (Bishop) Sutton, was born May
27, 1830, in Pittsburgh, and was educated
in private schools and under private
tutors. He early entered the arena of
business, departing in this one respect
from the traditions of his family, and
Pittsburgh had reason to congratulate
herself that he did so, for his executive
ability and his capacity for judging the
motives and merits of men rendered him
a power and a power for good in the
world of affairs. For many years he was
connected with the Adams Express Com-

As a citizen, Mr. Sutton stood in the
front rank, always the exponent and ad-
vocate of exalted ideals of good govern-
ment and civic virtue. Politically he was
a Republican, but steadily refused to be-

come a candidate for ofifice. A number of
the benevolent and philanthropic institu-
tions of the city received the assistance
and encouragement of his wealth and his
personal cooperation, and no one in dis-
tress appealed to him in vain, but the
number of this class of his benefactions
was known only to the recipients. He
affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, and
was a member of the Thirty-ninth Street
Presbyterian Church.

With vigorous intellectual endowments
and business capacity of a high order, Mr.
Sutton combined generous impulses and
a sense of honor which recalled the age
of chivalry. It was literally true of him
that "his word was as good as his bond."
His tall stature, florid complexion and
blue eyes proclaimed his Saxon origin
and his whole countenance bore the im-
print of his dominant characteristics, re-
flecting, moreover, the sunny and cheer-
ful disposition which made him the de-
light of his home circle and surrounded
him with devoted friends. He was, in-
deed, a man nobly planned, ardent and
loyal in his attachments, and in his whole
character and career exemplifying the
motto of his ancient race — "Live to live."

Mr. Sutton married, November 4, 1859,
Amanda, born October 5, 1836, daugh-
ter of Joseph and Mary (Covert) Wilgus,
the former a farmer of Brannonsville,
Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Sutton were
the parents of two daughters: Harriet
Bloor, who died in childhood ; and Anna,
who became the wife of the late Louis D.
Leech, of Pittsburgh. Mrs. Leech still
resides in her native city, occupying a
prominent position in its social world and
taking an active part in its philanthropic
work. Possessing many social graces,
she is also a woman of character and cul-
ture, finding much enjoyment in travel
both in this country and abroad. Mrs.
Sutton was an ideal helpmate for her hus-
band, being one of those rare women who






combine with perfect womanliness and
domesticity an unerring judgment and a
breadth of view seldom found even
among the cultured of her sex. Mr. Sut-
ton was essentially a home-lover, never
so happy as at his own fireside surround-
ed by the members of his household. His
wife survived him many years, passing
away December 14, 1908. Throughout
her long and beautiful widowhood she
continued to engage in the works of char-
ity in which she and her husband had
been so long united.

In the prime of life and before advanc-
ing years had in the slightest degree
diminished his remarkable powers, Mr.
Sutton closed his honorable and benefi-
cent career, breathing his last on January
29, 1886. All classes of his fellow citizens
united in mourning the loss of one who
had long presented to the community an
example of every public and private vir-
tue, who was loved by many and re-
spected by all.

It is a distinct gain to any community
to be able to number among her citizens
men of noble traditions, a high order of
talent, aggressive public spirit and un-
blemished personal character. A man of
this type was Richard Bishop Sutton and
Pittsburgh holds his memory in gratitude
and honor.

(The Bishop Line).

Richard Bishop, father of Mrs. Ann
(Bishop) Sutton, was born in England,
and in 1810 came to the United States,
making the voyage on a sailing vessel and
spending three months on the ocean. His
brother, Thomas Bishop, came to this
country, settling in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Richard Bishop was a man of wealth and
culture, owning a large estate, "Mount
Albion," near Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania.
His land joined "Picnic," the estate of
the late William Croghan, Jr., father of
Mrs. Mary Schenley, now deceased.
Mount Albion School is named after the

estate of Mr. Bishop. He married Sarah
Turner and the following children were
born to them : Ann, mentioned below ;
Sarah ; Mary ; Susan ; John ; William ;
Elizabeth ; and Hannah.

Ann, daughter of Richard and Sarah
(Turner) Bishop, became the wife of Al-
fred Sutton, as stated above.

ROWAND, Archibald Hamilton, Jr..

Famous Civil War Scout, Lawryer.

Now and then we meet with a name
which flashes before us a momentary
glimpse of a strong personality and a
brilliant historical episode, and seems to
lift us, for a brief instant, out of the
routine of every-day life to a pure atmos-
phere and a heroic plane. One of these
names to conjure with is that of the late
Archibald Hamilton Rowand, Jr., for
many years an honored member of the
Pittsburgh bar, and in his youth one of
the thirty famous scouts who personally
served under Major-General Philip H.
Sheridan during the great crisis of the
Civil War.

(I) Alexander Rowand, founder of the
American branch of the family, came
from the neighborhood of Paisley. Lan-
arkshire, Scotland, and settled in the
province of Pennsylvania, making his
home in Philadelphia.

(II) John, son of Alexander Rowand,
belonged to the New Jersey militia, and
was on the list of those proscribed as
destined to be "the first objects to feed
the vengeance of the British nation if
they did not promptly lay down their
arms and depart to their several homes."
John Rowand married Sarah Matlack.
whose father, John Matlack, came over in
the "Griffith," and landed at Salem, New
Jersey, in 1675. Both the Rowands and
Matlacks belonged to the Society of
Friends, but this did not prevent certain
members of both families from taking
part in the struggle for independence and



the War of 1812, and an outline of the
career of Colonel Timothy Matlack is ap-
pended to this biography.

(III) John (2), son of John (i) and
Sarah (Matlack) Rowand, married Fran-
ces Linville.

(IV) Thomas, son of John (2) and
Frances (Linville) Rowand, married Eliz-
abeth Sharp.

(V) Archibald Hamilton, son of Thomas
and Elizabeth (Sharp) Rowand, was born
January 18, 1820, in Camden, New Jer-
sey, and was destined by his parents for
the United States navy, but notice of his
appointment having been, as he felt, un-
necessarily delayed, he begged to be ap-
prenticed to the firm of Gaskill & Cooper,
printers and bookbinders, of Philadelphia.
His parents very reluctantly consented,
and the notice of his appointment to the
navy, which had to be declined, was re-
ceived a few weeks too late. On the com-
pletion of his apprenticeship Mr. Rowand
founded a bookbindery in Philadelphia,
which in 1847 was destroyed by fire. In
June of that year he migrated to Green-
ville, South Carolina, where a very favor-
able opening presented itself, but the
political atmosphere proved extremely
uncongenial. Having had several seri-
ous encounters with some of the South-
ern hotheads, one of which culminated
in a challenge, Mr. Rowand provided him-
self with a pair of duelling pistols and,
ere the day appointed for the meeting,
had become so expert that the challenge
was recalled, he and his adversary becom-
ing in after years the warmest of friends.
The pistols are now among the valued
heirlooms of the family. In January,
1854, Mr. Rowand returned to Philadel-
phia, but soon decided to remove to Pitts-
burgh, having learned that a master
binder was badly needed in that city.
His reputation spread rapidly and orders
for fine work came from all parts of the
South and even from San Francisco.

While in Greenville Mr. Rowand organ-
ized Mountain City Lodge, Independent
Order of Odd Fellows, later becoming
noble grand, and was one of the organ-
izers of the Masonic lodge of which he
subsequently became master. Mr. Row-
and married Catherine Parkhill, daughter
of George Washington Greer, of Philadel-
phia, and their son, Archibald Hamilton,
is mentioned below. The death of Mr.
Rowand occurred November 20, 1891, in
Allegheny, Pennsylvania. He was an
able, brave and high-minded man, in
whose character we discern the same
traits v^'hich developed so magnificently
in the career of his distinguished son.

(\M) Archibald Hamilton (2), son of
Archibald Hamilton (i) and Catherine
Parkhill (Greer) Rowand, was born
March 6, 1845, i" Philadelphia, and re-
ceived his earliest education in private
schools of Greenville, South Carolina, and
Philadelphia, some of those which he at-
tended in his native city being conducted
under the auspices of the Society of
Friends. Later he studied at the Fourth
ward public schools, and at a private
academy in Allegheny presided over by
Professor William Wakeman.

The business career of Mr. Rowand be-
gan in 1859, in the auditor's office of the
Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Rail-
road Company, and was of short dura-
tion. When Fort Sumter was fired upon,
the youth had but just passed his six-
teenth birthday, but on July 17, 1862, in
Wheeling, West Virginia, he enlisted in
Company K, First Regiment West Vir-
ginia Cavalry, recruited and commanded
by his uncle, Thomas Weston Rowand.
He first offered himself for enlistment at
Pittsburgh, but, being under the required
age, his application was refused. His
company was made General INIilroy's
bodyguard, and in September, 1862, on
Cheat Mountain, Virginia, a call was sent
out for five volunteers for special hazard-



ous duty. Among those who responded
was Private Rowand, his motive being,
as he stated years afterward, a strong
desire to find out in what that kind of
duty consisted. Boyish as this may ap-
pear, he soon gave remarkable evidence
of soldierly qualities, making for himself
a record almost unrivalled in scouting
annals. These five volunteers were the
first scouts to don the Confederate uni-
form, and were known as the "Jessie"
scouts, for the reason that at Milroy's
headquarters they met Clayton, an old
"Jessie" scout who had been with Fre-
mont in the west, and took a great inter-
est in the boy scouts, giving them in-
structions which on more than one occa-
sion saved Rowand's life. He was the
only scout in the Union army who served
at headquarters under eight major-gen-
erals — Milroy, Averill, Hunter, Custer,
Kelly, Hancock, Meade and Sheridan.
The first time Rowand was detailed on
scout duty his two companions were shot
and killed; on his next trip his comrade
and his own horse were killed when they
were eighteen miles inside the Confed-
erate lines, but Rowand managed to
dodge the enemy's bullets and get back

In addition to his valuable services as
a scout, Rowand was present at many
battles, including Winchester, under Mil-
roy, and Gettysburg under Meade. He
was in the Shenandoah Valley under
Hunter and Averill, and again at Win-
chester, under Sheridan, also serving
with that great general at Dinwiddle
Court House, Five Forks, Sailor's Creek,
Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek, Waynesburg
and Appomattox.

Among the many other notable inci-
dents of Rowand's career is that of his
giving his horse to General Milroy at the
battle of Winchester, riding the general's
wounded horse ofif the field, finding his
orderly in the woods, getting Milroy's

celebrated white horse, making a dash
across the battlefield under fire, and again
exchanging horses with his commander.
On July 22, 1863, Rowand was on duty
with twelve men at General Custer's
headquarters, at Upperville, Virginia, and
at nine o'clock at night was sent for by
the adjutant-general, who ordered him to
quickly establish a line of messengers
from headquarters to Asbury's corps, a
distance of twelve miles, and then another
from headquarters to General Pleasan-
ton's headquarters at Uniontown, some
seven miles from Upperville, making an
entire distance of nineteen miles. Row-
and had never but once been in this
region (in the fight at Piedmont Station),
there were a number of cross roads and
the night was very dark, but early the
next morning he reported at headquarters
that the line of couriers was complete.
On June 12, 1864. while on the Lynch-
burg raid, four of the scouts were ordered
to go through Breckinridge's line and
bring General Duffie back from a raid he
had been ordered on with his brigade of
cavalry ; they were not informed that
General Hunter's scouts had tried to get
through Breckinridge's lines and failed.
Two of the scouts were Rowand and
Townsend, and, rather carelessly, they
went into a house in which they saw a
light, to get something to eat. This was
about ten o'clock at night, and the other
two men were left on guard. Rowand
and Townsend came out to find that their
companions had disappeared, and to find
themselves facing the muzzles of a dozen
guns under the command of Captain E.
Lee Hofifman, of Hampton's Legion. As
the guns were not over ten feet from
them, they were obliged to throw up their
hands. Rowand asked them if they were
Yanks, and on their replying, "No," said,
"All right, then I'll surrender." Rowand
and his companion, dressed in Confed-
erate uniforms, were taken into the house,



and convinced Captain Hoffman that they
were couriers from General McCausland
with verbal dispatches to General Breck-
inridge. The result was that Captain
Hoffman intrusted them with a dispatch
to deliver to General Breckinridge at
Rock Fish Gap. This dispatch Rowand
and his companion delivered the next
morning to General Az'erill.

On the 7th of August, 1864, General
Sheridan came into the Valley, and on
the 14th day of the same month, hearing
of Rowand and his experience as a scout,
he sent for him. From that time until
the surrender at Appomattox, Rowand
remained with him, participating in every
battle in which the "Hero of Winchester"

While with Sheridan, Rowand was
ordered to trace the notorious partisan
leader, Major Harry Gilmore, and, if pos-
sible, effect his capture. After several
days' hard work he found Gilmore stop-
ping at a large country house near Moor-
field, West Virginia. This he reported
to Sheridan, who sent with him about fif-
teen scouts under Colonel Young. They
were dressed in Confederate uniforms,
and were followed by three hundred Fed-
eral cavalry at a distance of several miles,
to be of assistance in case the true char-
acter of the scouts were discovered.
About daybreak they arrived near Gil-
more's command, and Rowand, going for-
ward alone, captured the vidette without
the firing of a shot. The scouts then en-
tered the house, took Gilmore out of bed
and conveyed him to General Sheridan's

Of all Rowand's exploits the most nota-
ble was his carrying, in company with
James A. Campbell, important dispatches
from Sheridan to Grant, covering the dis-
tance between Columbia, West Virginia,
and City Point, in the winter of 1864-65.
Sheridan had been ordered to pass around
to the west of Richmond and effect a

junction with Sherman in North Caro-
lina, but owing to heavy rains and swol-
len streams had been delayed until the
Confederates had had time to throw a
strong force in the way of his advance.
It was necessary to inform Grant of the
state of affairs, and Rowand and Camp-
bell undertook to perform the perilous
journey. Dressed as Confederates, they
entered the enemy's lines and passed
within eight miles of Richmond, having
held a conversation with Lee's chief of
scouts, and gone on their way undetected.
They had been in the saddle continuously
for forty-eight hours, and were within
two miles of the Chickahominy river
when some Confederate scouts recog-
nized them. By hard riding they reached
the river ahead of their pursuers and
Rowand plunged in, seizing a skiff which
was floating in the stream. Abandoning
their horses, they reached the other side
of the river just as the Confederates came
up, and, after running ten miles, arrived
at the Union lines. But here a new diffi-
culty confronted them. The lieutenant
in charge of the pickets refused to believe
that they were Sheridan's scouts, but they
prevailed upon him to conduct them to
the colonel, who immediately forwarded
them to General Grant's headquarters.
. They arrived there on Sunday evening,
March 12, 1865, ready to sink to the
ground from exhaustion, but after receiv-
ing some whiskey they gathered strength
enough to tell their story. While sitting
at Grant's desk waiting for him to come,
they both fell asleep for the first time in
over two days. General Grant awakened
Rowand by patting him on the shoulder
and, having read the dispatch, ordered
that every attention should be paid them.
On April 3, 1865, while inside the Con-
federate lines, Rowand noticed a Con-
federate officer coming through the
woods, and directed the attention of
Major Young, chief of scouts, to the ap-



proach of this officer and his men. Major
Young went to the next house to get Ser-
geant McCabe and the others, and Row-
and rode into the woods and met the Con-
federates. Noticing that one was a major-
general, he saluted him and asked his
name. The reply was, "I am Barringer,
of the North Carolina Brigade." In a
short time Major Young returned with
McCabe and the boys, and Rowand intro-
duced Young as Captain Grandstafif, of
the Seventeenth Virginia Cavalry. After
a few minutes" further talk the "scout
signal" was given. Sergeant McCabe
caught the bridle rein of Barringer's
horse, and Rowand and his men took the
general and staff officer and two orderlies
into camp that night. The next day, back
once more in the enemy's lines, he took
Colonel Chief, who was next in command
and who, having heard of Barringer's
capture, was on his way to take his place
at the head of the brigade. A few days
later came the surrender at Appomattox,
but Sheridan still retained Rowand in the
government service, taking him south
with him, and keeping him in the "'Army
of Observation" on the Rio Grande until
the French were driven out of Mexico.
On August 17, 1865, in New Orleans, this
bravest of all the brave scouts was mus-
tered out at his own urgent request.

These months of service in the Far
South were the cause of the great regret
of Rowand's life, so often and so feelingly
expressed — that he had missed the "Grand
Review," that supreme climax of a sol-
dier's life, but duty and his idolized com-
mander had called him to the Rio Grande.
Not many years later came the crowning
honor of his brilliant career. On the per-
sonal recommendation of General Sheri-
dan he received a Congressional Medal
of Honor "for gallant and meritorious
service as a scout in the Army of the
Shenandoah." He also received a medal
from the state of West Virginia.

On his return from the front, Mr. Row-
and resumed his position in the auditor's

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanEncyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography (Volume 5) → online text (page 1 of 56)