Benjamin Whitman.

Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the county also portraits and biographies of the governor's since 1790, and of numerous r online

. (page 100 of 192)
Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the county also portraits and biographies of the governor's since 1790, and of numerous r → online text (page 100 of 192)
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Returning to Erie, he entered the employ of Burton
Bros. & Co., wholesale and retail coal dealers. Several
years later he purchased this company's retail busi-
ness, and has ever since then and is still engaged in
that business, having latterly added thereto the hand-
ling of feed, fertilizers, etc. He was married Febru-
ary 13, 1873, to Mary A., daughter of the late Andrew
Cosper, farmer, of Mill Creek township, Erie county.
Mr. and Mrs. Burton have two children: Lois S. and
Sarah E.; he resides at 355 West Seventh street. Mr.
Burton is a member of the Masonic Fraternity, Knights
of Honor, A. O. U. W., National Union, Royal Ar-
canum and other orders.

Iron Works, Erie, Pa., born in Greenfield, Erie
county, Pa., February 13, 1867, is a son of the late
Andrew Burton, a biographical sketch of whom ap-
pears in this volume. Frank C. Burton was educated
in the public schools and Academy of Erie, and then
entered the employ of Burton & Siegel, coal dealers,
with which firm he was associated until 1879. In that
year he went to Oberlin, Ohio, where he spent five
months in the study of telegraphy, then going to Col-
orado to accept a position as telegrapher on the Den-
ver division of the Kansas Pacific R. R. In 1882 he
returned to Erie to accept a position with the Stearns
Manufacturing Company, with which he was identified
until 1890. He then became one of the incorporators
of the Burton Machine Company, of which he is now
secretary. In 1891 he became identified with the Bay
State Iron Works, Limited, acting as secretary of that
company until 1893, when he was elected its chairman.
He was married December 21, 1888, to Mary M.,




daughter of John D. Besley, formerly of Erie, now a
resident of Toledo, Ohio. Mr. Burton is a member of
the Royal Arcanum and National Union.

Johti Burto«a(deceased), was born October 15,
1809, in Winsted, Litchfield county. Conn. His father,
John Burton, was born in Old Stratford, Conn., and
came to Erie county in 1811, settling on the farm after-
ward owned and occupied by his son, John. While in
Connecticut, he was engaged in shoe-making and cat-
tle dealing. The breaking out of the war of 1812,
made .shipping almost impossible, and Mr. Burton lost
heavily on a herd of cattle. He was consequently a
poor man when he settled in the wilds of Mill Creek
township, Erie county. He was married to Phcebe
Wooster, of Connecticut. The result of this union
was Sallie, married to Spencer Shattuck; they lived in
Mill Creek township till death separated them; Silas,
married to Lucretia Miller; he died in Buffalo; David
was one of the first coal dealers in Erie; Polly married
Calvin Foot, and died in Mill Creek township. Mrs.
Phoebe Burton was a member of tlie Methodist Church,
and her two brothers, Daniel and James, were local
ministers in the Methodist Episcopal Church. On
her demise, Mr. Burton married Hannah Miller, born
in Tiirrington, Litchfield cnuntv, Conn., in 1774, and
died in 1850. To this union were liorn William, Ihn,
Phfebe, Matilda and Lewis. The former attended the
county schools, became able to teach, and with the
means thus obtained secured te.xt-books, and recited
his lessons to Rev. Robert Reid, of Erie. He sub-
sequently graduated from the Wesleyan University,
of Middletown, Conn., and soon after engaged m
Allegheny College, of Meadville, Pa., as teacher of
languages and mathematics, and in the meantime oc-
cupied the pulpit (if the Methodist Church. Later he
prepared himself for the Protestant Episcopal Church,
and took charge of St. John's Church, of Cleveland,
Ohio, and was afterward transferred to Tecumseh,
Mich., where he died in 1856. Lewis attended the
country schools, and, through means furnished princi-
pally by his father, graduated at Meadville, and then
preached in the Methodist Episcopal organization at
Allegheny City, after having had charge of a similar
church at New Castle, Pa. He finally joined the
Protestant E|iiscopal Church, and succeeded his
brother in St. John's Church, Cleveland. Here he
established two strong branches, known as "St.
Mark's" and "All Saints," and had charge of the
former; his son Lewis is pastor of the Protestant Epis-
copal Church of Richmond, Va.; Phcebe Burton mar-
ried J. B. Stevens, of Harbor Creek; they both died in
Illinois; Matilda (deceased) married J.Johnson; John
Burton and his consorts were active members of the
Methodist Church. He attended the country schools
as much as was convenient, aside from the duties
required of him by his parents. He was married in
1834 to Charlotte E., daughter of Thomas and Huldah
Barnes, natives of Columbia county. New York. This
union resulted in four children; J. Antoinette, wife of
R. H. Arbuckle; Phcebe J., wife of Jacob Warfel;
Lydia M., wife of Heman Sprague, of Toledo; Laura
E., deceased when seven years old. His wife dying
in 1870, Mr. Burton married, October 8, 1876, Mrs.
Margaret McNair, widow of William E. McNair, and
daughter of Jeremiah and Jane Montgomery Burford,
natives, the former of Fayette county, the latter of
Chester county, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Burton had six

children by her first marriage, two now living — Mar-
garet J. and James E. She is a Presbyterian, while
her second husband was an energetic Methodist, to
which organization he was attached fifty years. He
cast his first presidential vote for Andrew Jackson and
was always a Democrat. He served as school director,
road commissioner, and his full share of other small
offices, where pay is not considered. Mr. Burton was
the possessor of quite a little fortune, which he alone
mainly accumulated by dealings in real estate and
stock, together with farming. He died March 30, 1886.

J. E. BurtOM, farmer, Erie, was born in 1848 in
the city of Erie, son of Peter and Sarah (Parker)
Burton. Peter E. Burton, a native of this township,
was at one time deputy sheriff, and afterward, by elec-
tion, sheriff of Erie county, serving two terms. He
moved subsequently to the farm on the Buffalo road,
where he carried on a dairy in connection. His father,
David, a native of Connecticut, was a resident of Erie
city for several years. Peter E. Burton and wife were
parents of eight children, five now living — D. H. Bur-
ton (married to Mrs. Whitley, a widow), Isadore (wife
of B. B. Whitley; have five children — Jennie, Morrison,
Alice, Ray R. and Benjamin B.), Alice (wife of C. F
Diefenbach;.have three children — Bessie, Sarah and
Harry), Elizabeth (wife of C. D. Riblet; have two
children — Ruth and Burton), and our subject, who was
married, in 1880, to Ella, daughter of N. W. Russell.
To this union were born two children — Florence Edna
and Sarah Edith. Mr. Burton keeps cows, and sup-
plies a portion of Erie city with dairy produce. His
farm is located on the Buffalo road in Mill Creek town-
ship. He is a member of the K. of H.

J. B. Burtotl, farmer, postoffice, Erie, was born
in Columbia county, N. Y., in 1849. At the age of five
years he was adopted by John Burton, an old resident
of this township, and was given his name. He was
educated in the public schools and began early in life
farming and milling pursuits. His" foster parents,
John and Charlotte (Barnes) Burton resided during
their married life on the farm now owned and occupied
by R. H. Arbuckle. The former died in 1877. Their
children were: Antoinette, wife of R. H. Arbuckle;
Phoebe, wife of Jacob Warfel, of Erie, and Lydia M.,
wife of H. C. Sparinger, of Toledo, Ohio. October 31,

1872, J. B. married Sophrona, daughter of Isaac Wolf,
of Mill Creek township. She died May 1, 1891,
leaving one daughter, Edith L. Burton. J. B. Burton
began on his present farm of seventy acres in the fall
of 1883, and besides managing the same has carried on
quite an extensive milling business, having a saw-mill,
cider-mill and feed-mill combined. Mr. Burton has
been an important factor in many of the municipal
affairs of the township, served as assessor for three
years, and is counted among its most worthy and
progressive citizens. In politics he is a Democrat.

Beuiamin Grawt (deceased), was born April 24,
1822, in Wayne township, Erie county, son of Joseph
P. Grant, a farmer of that township; he received his
education at the Waterford academy, and taught
school several years to obtain means to enter upon the
study of law, which he commenced with Galbraith &
Graham in Erie, and having completed his course was
admitted to the Erie bar October 28, 1846. In 1849 he
formed a partnership with Judge Thompson, which



continued until a short time before thelatter's election
to the Supreme bench. In all his extended and suc-
cessful professional career in the several Federal and
State courts, Col. Grant's ability as a lawyer, skill as a
pleader and fidelity to his clients were conspicuous as
well as widely and most favorably known; he had also
a strong taste for military matters, and was long one of
the most efficient members of the Wayne Guards, and
upon the breaking out of the war of the rebellion he
was equally active in association with the late Col. Mc-
Lane m raising the Erie regiment, of which he was
lieutenant-colonel, and with which he served until it
was mustered out of service. On returning from camp,
among other literary efforts, he prepared the reports
known as "Grant's Cases," a standard work among
the legal fraternity of Pennsylvania. The Colonel
was for many years chairman of the Erie County Law
Library; was secretary of the Erie Gas Company;
nearly all his active life a vestryman of St. Paul's Church;
in politics, a Democrat. He built the block on West
Park, near Peach street, and with Mr. Metcalf twice
erected the block on French street known as Wayne
Hall; he died November 24, 1877, aged 55 years
7 months. His father was born February 18,
1793, married March 22, 1821, to Clarissa Loomis;
came to Erie city soon after the war of 1812, in which
he served as a commissioned officer, and died in 1868.
F. W. Grant, his son, has been a member of the Select
Council, is U. S. Commissioner and clerk of the U. S.
Court, and resides in Erie.

The Hotllday Family.— Samuel Hollidav, sr.,
seemingly the first white settler of Springfield town-
ship, was a native of Franklin county, Pennsylvania.
His father, James Holliday, was murdered by Indians
in the early settlement of Pennsylvania. Samuel came
to Erie county in 1796, and purchased 700 acres of
land in the borders of Lake Erie. He returned to
Franklin county that fall and married Janette Camp-
bell. He came the next spring with his wife, settled
in the wilderness and built the first cabin in Spring-
field. He made valuable improvements and built
mills, which were burned in 1836. They reared a fam-
ily of three sons and three daughters^ of whom were
Samuel Holliday, born September 27, 1805, who spent
his life in that township; he was married in 1840 to
Elizabeth Porter, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth
Porter, among the first settlers of Girard. Samuel
and Elizabeth Holliday had eight children, of whom
six survived. Of these were Robert P., civil engineer,
a resident of Erie county; Cant. Charles C. (lately de-
ceased), who was born April 30, 1843; Charles C, after
being educated at Edinboro and Conneaut, Ohio,
served in the late war under Col. William Blakely
and Gen. Sheridan; he afterward attended the Michi-
gan University at Ann Arbor; he married, October 27,
1881, Mary C. Blakely, of Allegheny county, Pennsyl-
vania, daughter of his old commander. He died in
1893, leaving three children. BenJHniin W., Wallace,
Francis J. and Ada are the surviving childrt'n of Sam-
uel and Elizabeth Holliday. William Holliday, son of
Samuel Holliday, sr., married Fanny C. Post, a native
of Connecticut. They had four children, among whom
were Major Samuel V. Holliday, who was born Octo-
ber 2, 1841, in Springfield, Erie county; Eliza J.,
widow of D. M. Richardson, late of New York State;
James C. and William P. Major Samuel V. Holliday
attended academies in Erie county from 1853 to 1858.

He entered the third class in the Pennsylvania State
Agricultural College in Center county, in 1859, and
graduated in 1861; he farmed until his appointment in
1863 or '64 as additional paymaster of the United
States army. In 1865 he was ordered to Ft. Monroe,
Virginia, and afterward to Norfolk and Richmond. In
the same year he was appointed lieutenant colonel of
volunteers by brevet, and December 1st was mustered
out of service. In 1866 Major Holliday was engaged
in farming and stock raising, which he continued until
1882. On November 10, 1864, he married Margaret S.
Gould, of Springfield, Pa. To this union were born:
William Morris, Anna G., Evan Lee and Fanny L.
Major Holliday was elected prothonotary of Erie
county in 1881, re-elected in 1884 and served six years.
He was appointed commissioner of customs of the
United States by President Harrison in 1889 and
served four years. He has served as P. E. C. of Cache
Commandery, No. 27, K. T., of Conneaut, Ohio, and is
a 32d degree Mason. He now resides in Miles Grove,
Erie county.

The Himrod Family. — The Himrod family is
identified with the settlement and development of
Erie county. Their active interests in public matters,
in Church and in state, in peace and in war, and in the
various lines of industry, have identified them with the
county's settlement, its public improvements and many
of its leading industries.

Aaron Himrod was the pioneer of the family in
Erie county, and the progenitor of most, if not all, of
this name. He was born in Badminster, Somerset
county, N. J., August 18, 1759, and married Miss Isabella
Kirke, April 14, 1789. He lived in Turbot township,
Northumberland county, Pa., from his boyhood until
his removal to Erie county, Pennsylvania. He was a
soldier of the Revolution, and was in the battles of
Trenton, Princeton and other engagements. He died
in Waterford township, Erie county. Pa., December 4,
1820, in his 62d year. Isabella Kirke was born in Pax-
ton township, Dauphin county. Pa., September 25,
1766, and was married to Mr. Aaron Himrod, April 14,
1789. She died in Waterford township, Erie county,
Pa., April 22, 1841, in her 75th year. Following are
the children of Aaron and Isabella Himrod: Moses
Himrod, born in Turbot township, Northumberland
county. Pa., January 19, 1790, married Miss Nancy Lat-
timore, January 15, 1816. They reared a family of^ eight
children. He was a captain in the war of 1813; was a
prominent farmer, and successively held nearly all the
town offices. His son, Aaron M., married in 1853, Miss
Mary J., daughter of David Cook, of Venango county,
Pennsylvania. They had seven children: M. L., mar-
ried but nine months to Miss Mary Mitchell, when he
died; Eva A.; Alfred C, died at the age of 21 years;
Lee, Frank H., Bell and Carl. Mr. Himrod owned
120 acres of well improved land, which was mostly
cleared by himself and on which was a sawmill. Mr.
and Mrs. Himrod were members of the Presbyterian
Church. He died in Waterford township, September
26, 1886, in his 79th year.

William Himrod was born in Turbot township,
Northumberland county. Pa., May 19, 1791, and mar-
ried Miss Aurelia H. Reed, a granddaughter of Col.
Seth Reed, the first settler of Erie, May 31, 1825.
Mrs. Himrod died in 1844. He afterwards married



Mrs. Phoebe (Vincent) Bradley, July 9, 1845. He died
in Erie, June 21, 1873, in his 83d year. He was promi-
nent in business and religious circles in Erie for a gen-
eration. He was sagacious and foresighted, and com-
prehended the needed changes that were impending
in the fabric of our political system, as well ,is the
possibilities of the future. To the Milutidii of tlicsc
problems he brought to bear his great n.itural |Hi\vcrs.
He was a remarkable man, positive, systematic and
energetic. He was a pioneer in the iron industry in
Erie. He was one of the firm of Johnson, Himrod &
Co., and later N'incent, Himrod & Co., established in
1841. Scores and perhaps hundreds of Erie men owed
to his energy the acquisition of a trade and of a home.
Their firm erected and operated the first blast furnace
in Erie about the year 1843, at the corner of Twelfth and
French streets. For the life of a generation he mam-
tained a school for the destitute and colored; for
nearly a score of years (including the period of the
fugitive slave law) at the peril of imprisonment, he
kept a depot for recovering and forwarding fugitive
slaves. His home for nearly half a century, with its
old-fashioned hospitality and genial welcome, was at
the corner of French and Second streets, where his
Sunday-school was established December 22, 1839, for
the colored and destitute. It is still maintained and
called "The Himrod Mission," under the active supervi-
sion of the inheritor of his name, prompted by the same
impulses which, for more than half a century, have
been conspicuously exercised for the elevation of
mankind. Andrew Himrod, born in Turbot township,
September 9, 1792, married Miss Sarah Crawford.
He died in Indiana, August 19, 1819, in his 27th year.
Mary Foster Himrod (deceased), born in Turbot town-
ship, August 13, 1794, was married to Amos T. Wood-
ward, Esq., Septemberl, 1817. Eleanor McGuire Him-
rod (deceased) was born in Turbot township, March
12, 1796, and married Mr. Samuel Phoenix March 20,
1822. John Himrod, born in Turbot township, July
17, 1797, married Rebecca Leech June 28, 1827. His
second marriage, to Nancy Boyd, was November 25,
1862. He died in Waterford township, March 20,
1880, in his 83d year. Catherine Himrod (deceased),
born in Waterford township, January 6, 1799, was mar-
ried to Samuel Gill. Sarah Himrod, born in Water-
ford township, July 2, 1800, was married to Mr. John
C. Smith, April 4, 1862. She died at Waterford, Erie
county. Pa., January 30, 1873, in her 73d year. Simon
Himrod was born in Waterford township, lanuarv 3,
1802, and married Jane Moore, February 13,1829. He
died in Waterford, May 13, 1874, in his 73d year.
Isabella Himrod was born in Waterford township,
March 17, 1804, and died at the place of her birth
March 27, 1880, in her 77th year. Hon. David Him-
rod, born in Waterford, May 26, 1806, was married to
Miss Abigail Patton, July 4, 1833. He was prominent
as a contractor of public works and improvements,
and a member of the firm of Vincent, Himrod & Co.,
which succeeded Himrod & Co., whose industrial
plant in Erie, established in 1841, did so much towards
reviving the drooping prospects of the city, which had
been sorely blighted by the financial disasters of
1836-7 and were so long dormant. The firm erected a
blast furnace, the first in Erie county, procuring the
ore from the vicinity. He was the inventor or first to
introduce a new system of smelting iron ore with
bituminous coal. He was elected a member of assem-
bly from Erie county in 1867, and served acceptably.

His striking resemblance to Gen. Simon Cameron was
remarkable. He died in Waterford, Pa., November

27, 1877, in his 72d vrar. M;Mtlia Himrod was born
in Waterford townslii|i, I in 1 oimtv, Pa., January 4,
1808. She was mame.l t,, Mr. lliomas Moore, De-
cember 2, 1834. She died in Waterford, Pa., February
25, 1861, in her 54th year. Aaron Melick Himrod was
born in Waterford, Pa., June 28, 1809. He died young.
The children of William and Aurelia (Reed) Himrod
were: Philena Hulbert Himrod (deceased), born in
Erie, Pa., April 17, 1826; George Himrod, born in Erie,
April 17, 1831, married Miss Martha M. V' incent, June

28, 1863, and is now living at Lockport, III.; Aaron
Himrod (deceased), born in Erie, April 17,1831; Samuel
Himrod, born in Erie, March 17, 1834, lives in Chicago,
111., and William Himrod, born in Erie, May 13, 1841, was
married in Erie, December 11, 1862, to Miss Julia A.,
eldest daughter of Hon. Besley and Rachael (Evans)
Arbuckle. He has been in the industrial and business
circles of Erie for the past four years, has been em-
ployed as city secretary and treasurer of the board of
water commissioners of the city of Erie. Pres-
ley Arbuckle Himrod was born in Chicago, 111.,
October 23, 1863. He is secretary of the Erie ceme-
tery, and in the firm of Hardwick & Himrod has taken
a position as one of Erie's active business men. Will-
iam DeWitt Himrod was born in Erie, October 31,
1865. He was married in Columbia, S. C, to Miss
Edwina Olivette Youmans, April 2, 1891. Harry Reed
Himrod (deceased); Ray Himrod, born in Erie, June
16, 1872; Allison Himrod, born in Erie, March 2, 1876;
Braiding Himrod, born in Erie, March 11, 1868, and
Helen Louise Himrod (deceased); Helen Tillinghast
Himrod, born in Columbia, S. C, July 11, 1894.

William Himrod, secretary and treasurer of the
commissioners of waterworks in the city of Erie, was
born in Erie, May 13, 1841. He is a son of the late
William and Aurelia H. (Reed) Himrod. The elder
William Himrod was born in Turbot township,
Northumberland county, Pa„ May 19, 1791. His
father, Aaron Himrod, located with his family in
Waterford township, Erie county, about 1799, and
there spent the remainder of his life as a farmer, and
died December 4, 1870. His wife, who was Isabella
Kirk, died April 22, 1841. William Himrod. sr., came
to Erie in 1810. He was a car[ienter and joiner up to
1840, when he was associated in the establishment of
the stove, agricultural implement and engine manu-
facturing works of Johnson, Himrod & Co., a business
which continued to be carried on successively and suc-
cessfully under the firm names, Vincent, Himrod &
Co., Vincent, Tibbals, Shirk & Co., and Tibbals, Shirk
& Whitehead, and which today has its outcome in the
extensive manufacturing plants, the Chicago and Erie
Stove Works and the Erie City Iron Works. William
Himrod, sr., made a name- that was above reproach,
and was a man of the strictest integrity. Progressive
in spirit, every good and worthy work found in him a
zealous friend and staunch supporter. He was one of
the city fire wardens in 1853; a member of the common
council in 1856-7; a director in the branch U. S. bank,
and one of the incorporators of the Erie cemetery. He
was a pronounced and active Abolitionist at a time
when that name was a term of general reproach.
Throughout a long term of years he rendered all the
assistance in his power to fugitive slaves, often shel-
tering and providing for numbers of them in his own


home until they could have safe convoy to Canada.
He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church,
and became one of its elders. Later he severed his
connection with that congregation to become a mem-
ber of the Park Presbyterian Church. His last act
before leaving the former church was to subscribe
$1,000 to its building fund. He was an elder of the
Park Church until his death. An enduring monument
to his memory is the Himrod Mission Sunday-school
(now located at the corner of French and Front streets),
which he organized December 22, 1839. At that time
the question of how to give Bible instruction to the
colored people was a harassing one to some of the
pastoj-s of Erie. They recognized their duty in that
direction, but race prejudice was too strong for them,
and the problem remained unsolved until William
Himrod, at his own expense, founded the mission
which now bears his name. He continued to be super-
intendent of this Sunday-school as long as he lived,
and upon his decease, June 21, 1873, he was succeeded
by his son, William, who has ever since had charge of
it. The wife of William Himrod, sr., Aurelia H. Reed,
was the daughter of George W. Reed, a son of Col.
Seth Reed, one of the first settlers of Erie county (see
memoirs of the Reed family contained in this volume).
William Himrod, jr., received his initial schooling at
Miss Coover's, then attended the East Ward school,
Erie Academy, and the academy in Waterford, then
the best educational institution in the county. Imme-
diately thereafter he became one of the engineering
corps of the Sunbury and Erie (now the Philadelphia
and Eriel R. R. In 18t>0 he went to Chicago, where
he was engaged in bookkeeping for five years. Re-
turning to Erie, he entered the employ of the Erie and
Pittsburg R. R., holdmg the position for some years
of clerk of the motive power department. In 1869 he
was associated in the establishment of a boot and shoe
manufacturing business, first under the firm name of
Arbuckle & Himrod, and subsequently the Keystone
Boot and Shoe Co., limited, of which Mr. Himrod was

Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the county also portraits and biographies of the governor's since 1790, and of numerous r → online text (page 100 of 192)