John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and personal memoirs of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania (Volume v.1) online

. (page 90 of 92)
Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanHistoric homes and institutions and genealogical and personal memoirs of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania (Volume v.1) → online text (page 90 of 92)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


received the appointment of supervisor on the
division between Bethlehem and Philadelphia,
and the onerous duties of this position he ful-
filled faithfully and efficiently until he attained
the age of seventy-two years, when he retired
from an active business life. He is a man of high
principles and character, well esteemed by all who
have the honor of his acquaintance, and has al-
ways been accounted thoroughly trustworthy and
reliable in all the relations of life. Mr. Roberts
married Sarah Ann Hendricks.

William E. Roberts obtained his preliminary
education in the public schools adjacent to his
home, and this course of instruction was sup-
plemented by attendance at a private school in
the town of Bethleliem which was conducted by
Professor Schwartz, an eminent and noted in-
structor. After the completion of his studies he
located in Freemansburg, and at once entered
the employ of G. and A. Bachman, who at that
time conducted one of the largest general stores
on the Lehigh & Susquehanna Canal, having in
connection with his establishment a boat building
department which was fully equipped with canal
boat supplies. During his six years connection
with this business ]\Ir. Roberts served an excel-
lent apprenticeship in the management of a gen-
eral mercantile trade, and also as a boat manufac-
turer, but at the expiration of this period of time
ill health compelled him to relinquish his posi-
tion. He then accepted a position as school
teacher, and served in this capacity until he at-
tained his majority, at which time he purchased
the trade and good will of a grocery store which
was formerly conducted by J. W. King. He
achieved a large degree of success during the
three years he was proprietor of this store, and
after disposing of the business he purchased the
Steckle property, which had been originally in
the family of John Warg, who was the grand-
father of r^Irs. Roberts on the maternal side.



504



HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS.



During his many years of proprietorsliip Mr.
Roberts has added to and increased the depart-
ments of the store, all of which are equipped witli
a full line of articles which will meet the require-
ments of his numerous customers, and in conse-
quence his trade has steadily increased both in
volume and importance. Mr. Roberts has always
evinced a keen interest in township affairs, hav-
ing served for three years as president of the town
council, treasurer of the borough, and for ten
years was the president of the school board. His
political affiliations are with the Democratic
party, and being a firm believer in secret socie-
ties and the fraternal benefits to be gained by
alliance with them, he holds membership in the
following named societies : Huldah Lodge, No.
364, Knights of Pythias : Star Castle, No. 108,
Knights of the Golden Eagle ; Camp, No. 429,
Patriotic Order of Sons of America ; Teedyus-
cong Tribe, No. 117, Improved Order of Red
Men ; Freemansburg Camp, No. 6988, Modern
Woodmen of America ; and Amethyst Council,
No. 846, Royal Arcanum.

Mr. Roberts married Lizzie Howe, daughter
of George Howe, a representative citizen of Free-
mansburg, Pennsylvania. The following named
children were born of this union : Edith ; Rebe,
died in infancy ; Sadie ; Josie, died in infancy ;
William Evans, Jr., died in infancy ; Howard ;
and George Dewey. Mr. Roberts and his family
hold membership in the Lutheran church, and in
the community he is highly respected for his
many sterling qualities of character.

ALONZO P. BLAKSLEE, general manager
of the Switchback Railroad Company, who has
thus been connected with the transit interests of
the Lehigh Valley since 1898, a period of seven
years, was born in Mauch Chunk, March 13, 1847,
and continues his residence in his native citv.
The family is of Scotch antecedents, and their
connection with the Keystone State dates from
early in the eighteenth century.

Zopher Blakslee, grandfather of Alonzo P,
Blakslce, was a native of Vermont, but the greater
portion of his life was spent in Susquehanna
county, Pennsylvania. He was provided with



excellent educational advantages for that day, at-
tending some of the best schools in the neighbor-
hood. He chose agriculture as a means of liveli-
hood, and was identified with farming interests
in the state of Pennsylvania throughout his active
career. He married Abigail Taylor, who bore
him ten children, among whom was James I.
Blakslee.

James I. Blakslee, father of Alonzo P. Blaks-
lee, was born in Susquehanna county, Pennsyl-
vania, February 10, 1815, where his youth until
eighteen was spent upon the homestead farm
amid the varied employments of a farmer's son,
alternating with periods at the neighboring coun-
try school. About 1833 he removed to a Mauch
Chunk with his brother-in-law, Asa Packer, and
devoted the first two years to the occupation of a
boatman on the Lehigh Canal. The four years
following were spent as clerk in a country store,
after which (in 1839) he engaged in the mining
and shipping of coal in Schuylkill county. In
1844 he returned to Mauch Chunk and from that
date until the beginning of the construction of
the Lehigh \'alley Railroad in 1851 was engaged
in the preparation and shipping of coal from the
Nesquehoning mines, worked bv Messrs. Mapes,
Packer & Harlan, under contract with the Lehigh
Coal and Navigation Company. He also super-
intended the building of what is known as the
"Stone Row," and "Packer's Corner," a build-
ing occupied by Judge Packer previous to the
erection of the mansion where he subsequently
resided, and where his death occurred.

Mr. Blakslee assisted in the construction of
the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and was conductor
of the first coal train that ran over the road, sub-
sequently acting as conductor for eight years on
a passenger train on the same road. In the spring
of 1863 he was appointed superintendent of the
Mahanoy Division of the Lehigh Valley Railroad,
and in 1871 was elected president of the Montrose
Railroad, extending from Tunkhannock, Wyom-
ing county, to Montrose, Susquehanna county,
the construction of which he personally superin-
tended. In 1878 he was elected a director of the
Lehigh Valley Railroad, and for a number of
years was a member of the executive committee



GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL MEMOIRS.



505



of its board of directors. During the greater
part of his life he was identified with important
business enterprises, but these, however, did not
absorb his attention so completely as to make
him indifferent to the prosperity of the com-
munity in which he resided. As a trustee of Le-
high L'niversity he exerted a powerful influence
in favor of education. In 185 1 he was elected
to the responsible position of treasurer of Car-
bon county, the duties of which he performed
with credit to himself and with satisfaction to
his fellow citizens. He was a trustee of the es-
tate of the late Asa Packer, having been ap-
pointed to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death
of H. E. Packer. He was a member of St. Mark's
Protestant Episcopal church, was appointed a
vestryman in 1846, and was also a member of the
standing committee of the diocese. He was a
Democrat in politics. In April, 1838, Mr. Blaks-
lee married Caroline Ashley, now deceased,
daughter of Charles Ashley, of Grant county,
Wisconsin, and formerly of Susquehanna county,
Pennsylvania. Mr. Blakslee died in 1901. Their
children were Eugene H., Alonzo P., Asa P.,
Charles A. and one who died in childhood.

Alonzo P. Blakslee, when but six years of
age, entered the public schools of Mauch Chunk,
afterward became a pupil in the schools of Beth-
lehem, and subsequently was a student in the mili-
tary academy at Eagleswood, Xew Jersey. There
he remained until 1866, completing his education,
and then entered the service of the Lehigh and
Mahanoy Railroad (afterward consolidated with
the Lehigh Valley Railroad) with which he re-
mained until 1898 as superintendent of the coal
branch. He then resigned that position to become
general manager of the famous Switchback Rail-
road, and is now serving in that capacity. He
has thoroughly acquainted himself with the de-
tails of railroad operation, and has so controlled
the affairs of the company that he has made its
business profitable to those whom he represents
as well as to himself. His political allegiance is
^iven to the Democratic party, and while he is a
stanch advocate of its principles he has always
jefused to hold office. A Mason of high standing,



his life is in exemplary accord with the teachings
of the craft. He attends the Episcopal church.

In November, 1869, Mr. Blakslee was united
in marriage to Elizabeth C. Bond, a daughter of
Frederick Bond. Their children are : James I.,
who married Henrietta Bunting; Alexander M.,
and Anna K., both of whom are at home.

ASA PACKER BLAKSLEE, of Mauch
Chunk, and prominently connected with the pub-
lic, business and social interests of the city, is a
native of the place, born November 13, 1854, a
son of James I. and Caroline (Ashley) Blakslee,
a grandson of Zopher and Abigail (Taylor)
Blakslee, and a descendant of a Scotch ancestry.
A detailed account of the early members of the
family is found in the preceding sketch of Alonzo
P. Blakslee.

Asa P. Blakslee attended the public schools
of Mauch Chunk, and pursued a course of civil
engineering. After putting aside his text-books
he became a civil engineer in connection with the
corps employed by the Montrose Railroad Com-
pany. From 1873 i-intil 1898 he was connected
with the Montrose Railway Company, and served
successively as general freight and passenger
agent, general superintendent, and as secretary
and treasurer of the company. He afterward en-
tered the passenger service of the Lehigh Valley
Railroad Company, and ultimately was trans-
ferred to the freight department, preceding his
appointment to the position of general car agent.
He acted in the last named position until 1892,
when he entered the real estate department of the
corporation, with which he was connected until
1898. He then resigned and accepted the posi-
tion of general superintendent of the Switchback
Railroad Company, and is now serving in that
capacity. His business relations also identified
him with the Mauch Chunk Water Company
and the Mauch Chunk Gas Company, and he is a
director in both these corporations.

Mr. Blakslee is influential in political circles
as a supporter of the Democratic party. For
seven years he has been a councilman of Mauch
Chunk, and at the present time is president of



5o6



HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS.



the board. As an official he is practical, progres-
sive and public-spirited, and his efforts have re-
sulted in substantial benefit to the communit)' he
represents. Since 1879 he has been a member of
the Riarion Hose Company No. i, and has served
as chief engineer and president of the organiza-
tion. He belongs to Carbon Lodge, No. 242,
Free and Accepted Masons ; to Lilly Chapter, No.
181, Royal Arch Masons ; and to Packer Com-
mandery, No. 23, K. T. He also holds member-
ship with the Knights of Pythias, Royal Ar-
canum, and the Mohegan Chib. He is one of
the active workers in St. Mark's Episcopal
church, and has served as treasurer and vestry-
men for many years.

In 1880 Mr. Blakslee was married to Miss
Louise F. Sayre, a daughter of Francis R. Sayre,
a retired citizen of Mauch Chunk. Two chil-
dren were the issue of this marriage: Louisa F.,
who resides with her parents, and Harriet, de-
ceased.

ORRIN SERFASS, a prominent citizen and
, representative member of the legal profession in
Easton, Pennsylvania, was born in the city where
he now resides, September 9, 1862, a son of
Aaron and Maria Margaret Serfass, the former
being successfully engaged in mercantile pur-
suits in Easton for many years ; his parents were
of German ancestry.

His early education was in the common
schools of Easton ; he graduated from the Easton
high school in 1878, when he was awarded the
valuable honor of a free scholarship in Lafayette
College for attaining the highest scholarship
grade in his class. He entered Lafayette College
in September, 1878, pursued the classical course,
and graduated with honor in the class of 1882.
While at college he identified himself with the
Delta Tau Delta college fraternity : he is also a
member of the Honorary Society of Phi Beta
Kappa.

After his graduation at Lafayette, he at once
commenced the study of law at Easton, and in
connection with it took the course of study in the
law department of Columbia College, New York
city, in 1883 and 1884. He was admitted to the



bar of Northampton county, Pennsylvania, on
July 5, 1885, when he commenced the practice of
law at Easton, and is still engaged in it.

Although attentive to his professional duties,
Mr. Serfass is not unmindful of his obligations
as a citizen, and takes a keen interest in all ques-
tions that affect the welfare of the community in
which he resides. In 1889 he was chosen chair-
man of the Republican county committee, in
which capacity he served for six consecutive
years ; he has been a member of the Easton Board
of School Controllers ; was county solicitor for
Northampton county for a term of three years \
in 1 89 1 he was elected a delegate from North-
ampton county to the proposed constitutional con-
vention of Pennsylvania. In March, 1903, he was
appointed by President Roosevelt as postmaster
of Easton, which position he still occtipies.

In Januarv, 1903, Mr. Serfass organized the
Free Press Publishing Company, which pub-
lishes the Easton Free Press, a daily and semi-
weekly newspaper of large circulation and is the
leading Republican newspaper in Northampton
county.

Mr. Serfass was united in marriage at Easton,
in 1895, to Elizabeth Huntington Allis, daughter
of Elisha Allis, a prominent lawyer of Easton,
and Sarah B3'e (Packer) Allis, the latter named
being a daughter of William F. Packer, of Will-
iamsport, Pennsylvania, who was a Pennsylvania
journalist, state senator, and from 1858 to 1861
was governor of the state.

Mr. Serfass has four children : Elizabeth
Huntington, born June 10, 1896 ; William Allis,
born October 30, 1897 ; Marie IMargaret, born
August 26, 1899 ; and Sarah Packer, born July
2, 1902.

GEORGE SAMUEL MAUSER. The death
of George Samuel Mauser, of Bath, Northampton
county, Pennsylvania, removed from the com-
munity one of its strongest characters and most
worthv citizens. He was of German blood, and
though he developed in high degree that adapta-
bility that characterizes the American born of
foreign parents he retained the strong fibre of
his pioneer ancestry. His success as a business





;^5^'^^^*^*^-^- —



GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL MEMOIRS.



5or



man enabled him to spend the latter years of life
apart from the competitions and distractions of
the industrial world, and to turn his mind to mat-
ters of public welfare and the benevolences of
private life.

His father, George Adam Mauser, was born
in Wittenbnrg, Germany, July 19, 1798, a son of
John and Rosina (Kubler) ]\Iauser. In 1815,
George Adam Mauser came to America, the voy-
age lasting for three months, and upon his arrival
here he at once went to Pennsylvania, where he
cleared land in Northampton county, settled there
and spent the remainder of his life in Palmer
township. He was an energetic and upright
farmer and did well for his family, to whom he
was anxious to give the advantages of the new
world. He was a member of the Lutheran
church, belonging to the society at Forks town-
ship, and in politics he was a Republican. His
wife was Anna Maria Werner, and three children
were born to the couple, namely : Susan, the wife
of John Lawall ; Jacob B., of Treichler's ; and
George S., whose name appears at the head of
this article. George A. JMauser died in August,
1883, and his wife died in November, 1876.

George S. Mauser, youngest child and second
son of George A. and Anna ^laria (Werner)
Mauser, was born in Palmer township, North-
ampton county, August 26, 1839. He grew up
on his father's farm, attended the district school,
afterward learning the trade of locksmith. He
followed agricultural pursuits until twenty-eight
3-ears of age, when he went to Lehigh county and
engaged as a shipping clerk for John Schall &
Co., at Laury's Station. For four years he was
employed in that capacity in the gristmilling
business, after which he went to fronton, Penn-
sylvania, and became one of the partners and
principal manager of the Lehigh Grain, Coal and
Lumber Company, continuing his connection
with the enterprise for three years. He entered
into partnership with his brother, Jacob B.
Mauser, in the gristmilling business at Treich-
ler's but afterward disposed of his share to the
concern now known as the Mauser Milling Com-
pany. In 1875 ^^^- Mai'ser removed to Bath
and entered upon the main occupation of his life



as a dealer in grain, lumber and coal. For the
first few years of the fourteen which he spent in
this business, John iv. Schall was his partner, but
subsequently he became sole proprietor, and
through investments was connected with various
other industrial enterprises, among which was the
firm of Odenwelder, Mauser & Co., and the Bath
Knitting Works, with which he was connected
until May, 1894, when he sold out his interest.
He was identified with the Republican party, was
a member of the Lutheran church, and through
the exercise of good business qualities and steady
application to duty amassed a comfortable
fortune.

Mr. Mauser was married in 1863 to Sarah
Ackerman, who was born in Ackermanville,.
Northampton county, in 1840, a daughter of the
late Isaac Ackerman, who was a son of Adam
and Eve (Werner) Ackerman. Four children
were born to Mr. and Mrs. Mauser, one of whom
Anna A., is deceased. The surviving members of
the family are : Clara Maria, born July 22, 1864,
on the old ^Mauser homestead in Palmer town-
ship, was married December 12, 1883, to Allen
H. Cressman, who was born in Saucon, October
23, 1858, and succeeded to the lumber, grain and
coal business of his father-in-law in Bath. Frank
B.. born September 4, 1869, married Kate Kern-
ard, and they have one son, Guy Edmond I\Iauser.
Margaret E., born April 12, 1875, became the
wife of Lewis D. Kneidler, a professional vocal
musician of Philadelphia, who was born Decem-
ber 21, 1875. George S. Mauser, father of these
children, died at his home in Bath, June 19, 1902.

JOHN H. GRIFFITH, M. D., a general
medical practitioner of Phillipsburg, Warren
county, New Jersey, is graduate of Jefferson
Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, re-
ceiving the degree of Doctor of ^Medicine there-
from in 1870.

GEORGE ITTERLY, merchant and post-
master at Lafona, Northampton county, Penn-
sylvania, was born in Plainfield township in 1878.
He is of German stock, Americanized through
four o-enerations of residence in this countrv. The



5o8



HISTORIC HOMES AND INSTITUTIONS.



family has been known in Northampton county
ahnost from the beginning of settlement there,
and its representatives in this generation were
born to the advantages of a weh-known, up-
right and highly respected ancestry.

The great-grandfather of George Itterly was
the earliest of his forefathers in this country,
coming from Germany and settling in Plainfield
township, where he became a prosperous farmer
and the father of a numerous family. One of
his sons was William, grandfather of George
Itterly, born in Plainfield township. He was a
carpenter by trade, and was the owner of a small
farm which he cultivated in the intervals of his
other work. His five children, all born in Plain-
field township, were as follows : Josiah, Jacob,
Franklin, Mary A., and Sarah.

Josiah Itterly, father of George Itterly, was
bom in 1843. He was educated in the local
schools and turned to farming as an occupation,
in which he was highly successful. He is the
owner of a farm of one hundred acres of highly
cultivated land, and in his work as an agri-
culturist has found scope for a full measure of
intelligent effort. He is a man who holds the re-
spect of his neighbors, and both he and his wife
are members of the Lutheran Evangelical church,
in which body Mr. Itterly is a class leader and
treasurer of the church funds. In 1869 Josiah
Itterly married Emma Leibert, daughter of Jacob
Leibert, and ten children were born to them,
namely : Aaron, James, George, Irwin, Calvin,
Sarah, Elizabeth, deceased; Helen, Annie, and
Bertha Itterly. The Leibert family is an old one
in the township, John Leibert, maternal great-
grandfather of George Itterly, having been widely
known in his occupation of miller. His sons —
George Jacob, Jackson and James — were all en-
gaged in the milling business, although James,
now deceased, subsequently entered the ministry.

George Itterly, third child and third son of
Josiah and Emma (Leibert) Itterly, gained his
elementary education in the common schools of
the neighborhood, showing unusual aptitude as
a student. He continued his studies at the Nor-
ma! School at Stroudsburg, and was graduated
from that institution in igoo with an honorable



record. He was for a short time a teacher, but
in 1902 opened the store at Lafona which he now
conducts, and he has displayed an energy and a
promptitude in seizing opportunities that insures
him future success. He was appointed to the
position of postmaster of the town in the same
year. He is a member of the Patriotic Order
of Sons of America, and is active and prominent
in the work thereof.

Mr. Itterly was united in marriage to Sally
Young, who was born in Bethlehem township,
daughter of Robert and Ella Young, in 1899.
One child was the issue of this union, Esther,
born in February, 1900.

JOHN B. MORROW, proprietor of the Cet-
ronia Hotel, is a man whose character and per-
sonal attributes are such as to win the confidence
and friendship of all with whom he is brought in
contact, and from his successful career may be
gleaned many lessons worthy of emulation by the
young. He was born in Easton, Pennsylvania,
December 26, i860, a son of James B. and Cath-
arine (Balliet) Morrow, who were the parents of
two other sons, as follows : James, of Easton ;
and William, who died in infancy. James B.
Morrow (father) emigrated to this country from
the north of Ireland in young manhood, settled
in the Lehigh \'alley, and was a furnace man by
occupation. He enlisted in the service of his
adopted country in 1862, during the Civil war,
and fell in battle. His wife, Catharine (Balliet)
Morrow, is a daughter of Joseph Balliet, of Eas-
ton, Pennsylvania.

John B. Morrow was deprived by death of a
father's care when only two and a half years
of age, but was tenderly reared by his mother,
with whom he remained until he was thirty-three
years old. He enjoyed the educational advan-
tages afforded by the common schools of Easton,
and when eighteen years of age entered the cm-
ploy of the New Jersey Central Railroad, re-
maining nearly twelve years and serving in the
capacity of fireman, brakeman, and in other posi-
tions of trust and responsibility. In 1889 he ac-
cepted a position as brakeman with the Lehigh
Vallev Railroad, and at the expiration of one



GENEALOGICAL AND PERSONAL MEMOIRS.



509



year was promoted to that of conductor, the du-
ties of which he capably and efficiently filled for
three years, losing his position during the strike
of 1893. He then engaged in the hotel business
in Easton and for a period of six years was the
proprietor of the Spring Grove Hotel, a well
known hostelry. He then purchased the hotel at
Cetronia, which he is conducting at the present
time ( 1905), and under his excellent management
it has become one of the leading road houses in
South Whitehall township, noted for its home-
like atmosphere, for the attention paid to the
wishes and desires of regular patrons or trans-
ient guests, and for the perfection of its cuisine.

;\Ir. ]\Iorrow is an all-around athlete, ready
with the gloves, and is admitted to be one of the
crack shots of the county. His love and admira-
tion for a good horse and dog prompt him to be
in constant possession of some of the best speci-
mens to be found throughout the county. He is
a member of the Railroad Trainmen's Associa-
tion ; of Manatoba Lodge, No. 125, Improved
Order of Red ]\Ien, of Easton, in which he has
passed all chairs ; of Lodge No. 984, Junior Order
of United American Mechanics, of Easton, in
which he has passed all chairs; the Fraternal



Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanHistoric homes and institutions and genealogical and personal memoirs of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania (Volume v.1) → online text (page 90 of 92)