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Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 101 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Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 101 of 192)
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manager. Upon the failure of this company, he was
appointed by the United States government as in-
spector of dredging in Erie harbor. Upon the com-
pletion of this work he was made buyer of lumber for
the Erie Car Works, and was engaged in that capacity
until 1889. During the following two years he carried
on a pig iron, coal, coke, and general brokerage busi-
ness. In 1891 he was appointed to his present posi-
tion, secretary and treasurer of the commissioners of
waterworks in Erie. He was married December 11,
1862, to Julia A., daughter of the late Presley Arbuckle,
a native of Erie county, whose father, William G. Ar-
buckle, was among the earliest settlers of the county.
Five children born of this union survive: Presley A.
Himrod, treasurer of the Erie Manufacturing and
Supply Co.; W. DeWitt Himrod, engraver and printer,
who married Olivette, daughter of Gen. Leroy You-
niHPS of Colmnbia, S. C. (they have one child. Helen
TillniL;li,ist M.l; Rav Hinu'iid, an office employe of
tlir r, i,,ix\lx,,nia G.'is C(im|iany; J. Allis.m Himrod,
enu.iL;. .1 in with William DeWitt Himrod,
and Harwciiiil Braiding Himrod, a student at the Erie
high .school. The family reside at 922 Myrtle street,
and attend the Central Presbyterian Church, of which
Mr. and Mrs. William Himrod were among the orig-
inal members. Mr. Himrod was for a number of years
a member of the board of trustees of that congrega-
tion. He is a 33d degree Mason and of the York Rite;

is Past Master of Tyrian Lodge, No. 362; Senior Past
High Priest, Temple Chapter, No. 215; Senior Past
Thrice Illustrious Grand Master, Jerusalem Council,
No. 33; Past Eminent Commander of Mount Olivet
Commandery, No. 30. In the Scottish Rite he is
Senior Past Thrice Potentate Grand Master, Presque
Isle Lodge of Perfection. He was nine years District
Deputy Grand Master for Erie county. Mr. Himrod
was chosen May 5, 1874, to succeed his father as one
of the incorporators of the Erie cemetery, and on May
4, 1886, was elected one of its board of managers.

Charles Brandes, M. D., office and residence
124 and 126 East Eighth street, Erie, Pa., was born in
Hanover, Germany, March 29, 1818. He is the son of
Frederick and Hannah (Hotop) Brandes, both natives
of Hanover. They reared a family of twelve chil-
dren, eleven sons and one daughter, all of whom
reached the age of maturity. Dr. Brandes, who was
the seventh son, received his early education in the
schools of Hanover. At the age of 14 he was sent to
Brunswick, where he received a regular classical course
of schooling. At college Dr. Brandes was a diligent
student and was graduated in the regular classical
course, or rather in the literary and medical course at
Gottingen Lfniversity, Hanover, in 1843. He then en-
tered the government service, where he engaged in
the practice of medicine for eighteen months, which
fully fitted him for his profession. Frederick Brandes,
the father of Charles, was left an ample fortune by
his father, Anton Brandes, who settled in Hanover and
spent his later life there, and was a friend of the Duke of
Brunswick. In 1845 Dr. Brandes' ambition led him to
cross the ocean and seek success in the new world.
On reaching America he came to Pennsylvania, and
finally settled in Erie, where he has spent the most of
his life since in the practice of his profession. As a
jihysician and surgeon Dr. Brandes has won a high
reputation. Though having a very large practice that
so fully occupied his time, he has taken time to travel
extensively, and has visited almost all the civilized
countries in the world, and almost every State in the
Union. In 1849, during the gold excitement, he went
to California, where he engaged in washing gold for
two weeks only, though he remained in California for
eighteen months, the most of that time in the agreea-
ble companionshij) of Gen. John A. Suiter, meantime
practicing medicine. He returned to Erie in 1850
and renewed the practice of his profession. In 1854,
during the Crimean war, he visited Europe. The trip
was taken for his health, which was greatly benefited.
Before his return he made a last visit to his mother in
Hanover. In 1865 he returned to Erie, and has since
been actively and succes.sfully engaged in the practice
of his profession. He has succeeded in accumulatmg
a handsome fortune, and socially has won the esteem
of all with whom he comes in contact by uniform
courtesy and unassuming deportment. Dr. Brandes
was married in Erie in 1846 to Miss Catherine Shank,
daughter of Rudolph Shank. Mrs. Brandes was born
in Lancaster, Pa., and is of German origin; her pater-
nal and maternal ancestors were among those who
came to America with William Penn, and settled on
the old Penn manor in Bucks county. This union was
blessed with a daughter, Henrietta, who was carefully
educated and who was happily married to Theodore
N. Ely, who is now (1895) the general superintendent of
motive power of the Pennsylvania R. R., and was in



1895 sent to Europe to represent that company in the
International Railroad convention. As the iss\ip of the
union of Mr. and Mrs. Ely four chililrm witc horn:
Catherine, Gertrude, Carl and Henri. it, 1. Mrs. Ely
died in 1880. Her death was a trying for Dr.
and Mrs. Brandes, who idolized their daughter; but
the frequent presence of the grandchildren serve to
lighten the dreary void occasioned by the death of
their beloved daughter. Dr. and Mrs. Brandes are
members of the Lutheran Protestant Church. In poli-
tics the doctor is a Democrat. He has never accepted
any office, except in 1862, when he was appointed gov-
ernment examining surgeon. He is a member of the
Masonic fraternity.

The Judsoti Family. — The Judsons were among
the earlier settlers of Erie county, and Amos Judson
one of the first. They came from Woodbury, Litch-
field county, Conn. Their family history traces their
origin from William Judson, who emigrated from
Yorkshire, England, in 1636. He was the progenitor
of the family in America. Amos Judson came in 1796.
He remained at Greenfield Station two years. He
then came to Waterford and worked as a carpenter.
He afterwards opened a store and successfully con-
ducted business for fifty years. He never married.
Mr. Judson accumulated a large property and was
greatly respected. He was joined after establishing
himself by his brothers, Seth and Timothy, who came
from Connecticut with their families in 1823 or 1824.
Seth Judson died in 1856 and his wife in 1858. They
had one son. Dr. Wm. Judson, and four daughters:
Eunice, Sophia, Mrs. H. R. Vincent and Charlotte.
Dr. William Judson was born in Woodbury, Conn.,
September 7, 1807. He married February 2, 1839,
Clarissa, daughter of Thomas King (son of Robert
King, one of the first settlers of Erie county); Dr. and
Mrs. Judson had five children: Mary, wife of S. Gus-
tine Snowden, M. D., of Franklin, Pa.; Alice F., wife
of Charles Himrf)d, of Chicago; George D., late of
Co. E, 83d Reg., P. \'. 1., who lost his li'fe in the sec-
ond battle of Bull Run; Alfred died in infancy, and
Jessie R., wife of Robert Lamberton, of Franklin, Pa.
Dr. Judson served as burgess of Waterford, and was
trustee of Waterford academy many years. He died
March 24, 1895. Eunice Judson died unmarried in
the early sixties. Sophia, wife of Col. Irvin Camp,
contractor and civil engineer, has resided since 1842
in Erie. Col. and Mrs. Camp have one daughter, Mrs.
F. F. Marshall, who survives her brother, William
(who died young), and sister, Florence, whose death
soon after her marriage was so deeply deplored. Mrs.
H. Ralston Vincent was another daughter of Seth
Judson, who spent her life, after coming from Con-
necticut, in Waterford, and died some four years since,
about the time of her husband's death. She left two
daughters, who reside in Waterford. Charlotte Jud-
son, daughter of Seth Judson, died young. Timothy
Judson had four sons and one daughter. His son,
John P., died in 1849, leaving two sons: P. E. Judson,
long proprietor of Eagle Hotel and of the Stone Tav-
ern in Waterford. His daughter, Mary M., married
David Kinnaman. Peter P., a justice of the peace in
Waterford, of whose family is Effie R., wife of H. C.
Stafford, late of the 83d Reg., P. V. L, who was five
times wounded in the second battle of Bull Run. He
has since served as sheriff of Erie county, and as col-
lector of customs of the port of Erie, under President

Arthur. Amos M. Judson, born in Waterford, was ad-
mitted to the Erie bar, and afterward volunteered and
became first lieutenant and captain of Co. E, 83d
Reg., P. V. \. He is now clerk in the treasury de-
partment, Washington City. Another sister of Amos
Judson is Mrs. Mary A. (Parmlee), widow of Henry R.
Whittelsey, who died a year or two ago in Waterford.
Her mother was a sister of Amos Judson. Mr. and
Mrs. Whittelsey had eight children: Anna M. (Mrs.
Tracy) resides in Kansas; Capt. Edwaril L., an at-
torney-at-law, in Erie; Henrietta (Mrs. Hiram Rice,
of Waterford); Edith, Wilbur, Lincoln (son of Flor-
ence) Nebraska; and Alice. Henry R. Whittelsey
came from Litchfield county to Waterford, in 185(5.
He was a justice of the peace ten years, and filled a
number of local offices, and was mercantile appraiser
of the county.

William Judsoti (deceased), Waterford, Erie
county. Pa., was born in Woodbury, Conn., September
7, 1807, and was eldest son of liids.m, wlm came
to Erie county in 1823, and .lird m Is.Vi. Ins ui.lnw
surviving until 1858. Willi, 1111 jimUoii \\,is ni.iiried
FebruarV 12, 1839, to CLinss.i ' Kihl;, .L.uuhtrr „f
Thomas, and gran(l-il,iiiL;litiT (. I ( ,i|ii.iiii KnlMii Kiiit;,
who was born in Caili^k id I T In, ,iihI m ho w ,1^ |ir,Mii-
inently identified with iho cnK sotiloinont ol W ,ll.•r-
ford township, being 0110 ol tin lirst t(. Iiniis; his lani-
ily to Erie county. .Mr. King received from the gnv-
ernment 400 acres of land in Waterford township,
known as King's Flats (now in LeBoeuf township), in
consideration of his making favorable conditions with
the Indians. He was a Revolutionary soldier and an
officer. (See sketch of King family.) Mr. and Mrs.
Judson have had five children as follows: Mary, wife
of S. Gustave Snowden, M. D., Franklin, Pa.; Alice
F., wife of Charles Himrod, of Chicago; George D.,
who having enlisted in Company E, 83d Reg., P. V. I.,
after three weeks' service lost his life in the second
battle of Bull Run; Alfred, died in infancy, and Jessie
K., wife of Robert Lamberton, Esq., of Franklin, Pa.
Mr. Judson was treasurer of Waterford academy for
twenty years, and a trustee since 1847, and was bur-
gess of Waterford for several terms. William Judson
died March 26, 1895, and was buried in the cemetery
at Waterford.

Col. P. E. Judson, retired, of Waterford, Pa.,
was born April 28, 1807, in the town of Woodbury,
Litchfield county, Conn. In 1814 the family removed
to Tioga county, New York, and located on the banks
of the Susquehanna river, where they remained until
1823. Judson, when a little older, helping to clear the
land and assisting his father at carpentering. Col.
Judson, in his own language, thus details some of his
early experiences: On a new farm back of the river,
speckled mountain trout were plenty in Pipe Creek. I
did love to fish, and would go two miles up the
creek and fish down. There were wolves, catamounts
and wildcats in the woods, and as I had to look after
the cows and oxen, father had fixed a weapon of de-
fense for me. It was a two-edged-knife, about six or
eight inches long, two inches wide, with a sharp point
set in a socket, with a handle four feet long. He
directed me to always carry it out in the sugar camp
when boiling sap, and on my shoulder, which I did.
One afternoon when all alone, except for my plucky
little black dog, weighing about twenty-two pounds, I



saw a small deer run into a stream of water near by;
the stream was high, owing to the spring thaw; the
deer was trying to escape from a wildcat that was pur-
suing it; it got under the driftwood, being wounded
and lame. About this time my dog, " Nig," as I called
him, smelled the cat, and started after it; I called him
back, but he would not come, and as I was as faithful
to him as he was to me, started after him; the cat
wheeled for battle, struck at the dog, and I struck at
the cat, and split his heart in two; he made one or two
convulsive kicks. My father was quite proud of my
wildcat episode; went to the town of Wappasena
(now Nichols) and bought me a pair of cowhide shoes
and a jack-knife, and for a while I was the biggest
man on Pipe creek. In 1823, I went to Waterford,
Erie county. Pa., and worked for Amos Judson, chop-
ping and clearing land, on the Union road, in Water-
ford township. I also worked with Uncle Seth Judson.
I took a job of Amos Judson of cutting five acres of
heavy hemlock, pine, beech and maple, logging
length, ample two roll piles to the acre. The price
was to be five dollars per acre, two dollars in cash and
three dollars in store pay; and what four-foot wood I
cut he paid me thirty-seven and one-half cents per
cord, one shilling cash and two shillings store pay.
John A. Vincent helped me to cut the bass wood, six
feet long, split fine, for which we got $1.26 per cord,
one dollar cash and two shillings store pay. I next
went to Warren to attend bar in the Mansion House,
remaining one year. Three young men and myself
then built a flat-boat and drifted down the Allegheny
to Franklin, and from there I walked home, and took
a berth in the Waterford Hotel, H. G. Davis, proprietor.
Davis was absent two years, and after his return I
worked at various places at farm work, later assisting
in teaching a geography class, in which the only boy
was Clark McSparren, of Erie, the class being com-
posed of girls. I went to Erie and took the Steamboat
Hotel, corner of Second and French streets. It had
been kept by John Dickson, who went to Meadville,
leaving the business in such a shape that I was very
much perplexed by the debts, and had it not been for
Jonas Gunnison I would not have remained there
long. He helped me. Under the tall poplar trees
that once stood in front of R. S. Reed's residence,
seated on the slab seat, the venerable old man would
direct me how to proceed. Among my pleasant ac-
quaintances of that period were Commodore Morris,
Capt. James Morris, Lieut. Morris, Capt. M. Conner,
Capt. Knapp, Capt. Dobbins, Capt. Reed. I had to
go on a trip to Pittsburg while at the hotel on busi-
ness for Mr. Reed. I made the trip on horseback.
Returning to Tioga county. New York, and later de-
scended the Susquehanna on two rafts of boards and
shingles for Columbia, Pa. There I took the chances
of the river to Havre de Grace, the head of tidewater,
on Chesapeake Bay. I made six of these trips, down
one day and walking back the next day, forty-five
miles. It took six men to man a single raft. I re-
turned to Waterford, Pa., in company with an old man
of 50 years, who lived at State Line. I next took
charge of a boat-load of lumber for old John McKay,
and sold it in Pittsburg. Then I took down a boat-
load of bark, assisted by A. J. Bracken, who had run
to Pittsburg several times. At Pittsburg I could not
sell the bark, and as a pilot asked $2.50 per day, I
went to a book store and bought a "Loggerhead" of
the Ohio river. I finally landed it safely in Wheeling,

Va., made a good sale, returning to Waterford by boat,
on foot and in the stage. I took a berth in the Water-
ford Hotel as barkeeper, hostler, boot black, wood
chopper, etc., and worked at anything, until I fitted up
the old fort building as a hotel, and opened it the 8th
day of May, 1830, having very slender means to fit it
up. I still have two of the original twelve chairs that
I first bought for the hotel, the rest having burned up
in the fire of 1868. By this fire I lost §800 and broke
up my business. I next acted as deputy sheriff of the
county, and later bought the Eagle Hotel and made
several improvements in it. This I conducted for
twenty-two years, and three years ago rented it, owing
to defective eyesight. In the month of September,
1826, on my way to Tioga county. New York, I stopped
oft at Niagara Falls, went over to the Canadian side,
and saw the drill of British troops. Henry Clay, of
Kentucky, was there at the time, in company with his
brother-in-law. Gen. Stewart, and both dined at the
same table at the Cataract House at which I sat. Dur-
ing the war I supplied the barracks with 100 pounds of
meat per day, cut in half-pound pieces. I did all the
work myself, in supplying this meat. This does not
embrace all the details of Col. Judson's very busy and
active life, but gives an idea of the way people had to
work in the olden time.

The Justice Family.— Captain John Justice
came to Erie in 1813 as one of the party employed by
the Government to build and equip the armed vessels
which constituted part of Perry's fleet, on the 10th of
September, 1813, and won such renown. He was a
successful ship-builder and spent his life in Erie. Mr.
Justice married Anna, daughter of John Gray, Esq.,
one of the earliest citizens of Erie. They had three
sons and four daughters: John M., who married Ann
Eliza Vesey, of Philadelphia; John M. and Ann Eliza
Justice had four sons: Charles, John, William and
Harry. William E., who died in California, and
Joseph, who died in Erie about ten years since. Capt.
and Mrs. Justice's daughters were: Sarah Ann, who
married Mr. McCammon, and removed to Wisconsin,
where she died; her daughter, Mrs. Mc.Fayden,
resides in Erie; Rebecca Jane, who married William
M. Gallagher (deceased); Mr. and Mrs. Gallagher had
three children: George W. (deceased), and Cora,
who married John Knoll, and Annie L., who married
George Gensheimer, assistant secretary of the board
of commissioners of Erie; Mary Eliza, who married
William F. Rinderknecht, a native of Germany, an
energetic and successful business man, who accumu-
lated a handsome property. Juliette, who married
William P. Hayes, a leading real estate dealer of
Erie, who did a large business. Mr. and Mrs. Hayes
had four children, Frank, William, Boyd and Joseph,
all living. Mr. Hayes, who has been a successful
land agent for some years, has taken into partnership
his son, Boyd. Two of his sons, who have been
engaged in the banking business, have acquired
distinction as expert bank examiners and accountants
in the employ of the U. S. Treasury Department.

The Gallagher Family.— The Gallaghers were
among the early settlers of Erie. They resided at an
tarly date on East Second street, west of Parade, near
the site of the first settlement of Erie. Their father
died, leaving a widow, who lived to an advanced age,
and two sons, George W. and William M. George



W. was a cabinet-maker, but engaged in commercial
pursuits. He was captain of one or more steamers on
Lake Erie, but afterwards engaged in the forwarding
and commission business in Erie, where he died in
1842. He married Miss Angeline Clough, daughter
of Maj. Rufus Clough, a veteran of the war of 1812,
who survived him with one son, Thomas, a youth of
much promise. At an early age Thomas served as
clerk in his father's commission business. He died in
1844, aged 18 years. William M., the youngest
brother of George, learned with Thomas Mehaffey the
trade of a mason, but did not follow it. He entered
commercial business, engaged in navigation and was
captain of a freight vessel on the upper lakes. He
was afterwards in business for years at the public
docks in Erie, where he achieved much success. He
was also of the firm of Sawyer, Camp & Co. in their
railroad building in the West. Having disposed of
his dock business he was appointed by President
Taylor collector of customs, which position he tilled
with much acceptability. He was married in the
early forties to Miss Rebecca J., daughter of Capt.
John Justice (who in 1813 came with shipbuilders in
the employ of the United States to build in the harbor
of Erie a portion of Perry's famous fleet). Mr. and
Mrs. W. M. Gallagher had three children: George,
who died February 23, 1889, Cora and Anne, wife of
George C. Gensheimer, assistant secretary of the water
commissioners of Erie. Mrs. Gallagher, having sur-
vived her husband about twenty-three years, resided at
the family mansion. No. 822 Peach street.

William F. Rliiderktiecht, one of Erie's most
honored and respected citizens, died at his residence
on West Fifth street April 27, 1891. He was born in
Wurtemburg, Germany, January 8, 1818, and was a
son of Frederick B. Rinderknecht, who, with his
family, came to the United States in 1832. His father,
who was a weaver by trade, reared a family of four
children: Hetty (Mrs. Mehl), William F., Jacob and
Kitty. Mr. Rinderknecht's education, which included
Latin and Greek, was obtained in the high school of
his native town, he graduating at the age of 14 years.
Upon his arrival in this country he at once began to
look about for something to do, and soon found a sat-
isfactory position with Mr. Conrad Brown on a farm in
Mill Creek township, and later with Mr. Samuel
Brown, a son of the former, remaining with both two
years. He then came to Eagle Village (now South
Erie), where he clerked in a general store for Mr.
Jacob Hanson five years, and nearly five years in the
dry goods store of Brewster, Brown & Co. In 1841 he
was elected constable of Erie, the then arduous duties
of which position he faithfully discharged for two
years. In 1843 he engaged in the grocery business on
State street, between Fifth street and North Park Row,
and later removed to the corner of Fifth and State
streets, continuing in the business until 1866 with a
marked degree of success. In company with Mr.
John Eliot, he next founded a private banking concern,
which was continued for four years. Soon after this
Mr. Rinderknecht became president of the Erie Boot
and Shoe Company, which position he filled during
the life of that institution. He was also for some time
identified with the firm of William F. & J. J. Rinder-
knecht, and for some years previous and up to the
time of his death was president of the Erie County In-
surance Company. Mr. Rinderknecht was an excel-

lent example of what honesty and industry will do in
this great country. Coming here without even a
knowledge of our language, he became one of the
citizens of this prosperous city and was prominently
identified with its growth and development. Not only
did he succeed in accumulating a handsome fortune, hut
his business methods and character were such as to
command the respect and esteem of the community
in which he had passed the most of his useful life.
Mr. Rinderknecht was married March 27, 1845, to Miss
Mary Eliza Justice, daughter of the late Capt. John
Justice, of Erie. Her mother, whose maiden name
was Ann L. Gray, learned to make cartridges for the
soldiers of the war of 1812, and lived to again show
her womanly patriotism and love of liberty by knitting
socks for the soldiers in the war of the rebellion. The
Justice family consisted of three sons and five daugh-
ters, four of the latter still living. Capt. Justice, who
was a ship carpenter by trade, came to Erie for the
purpose of building the fleet of gunboats which Com-
modore Perry used so effectively as to make it one of
the chief factors in terminating the war of 1812, which
established forever not only our independence, but our
supremacy on the south shores of the Great Lakes.
Mr. and Mrs. Rinderknecht had born unto them two
sons, both of whom died in childhood. They were
members, and Mrs. Rinderknecht still is, a member of
the First Presbyterian Church, of which they were gen-
erous supporters. In politics Mr. Rinderknecht had
been a Republican since the organization of the party,
and served his city for several terms as a member of
the school board, and for four terms was a member of
the city

Mrs. An«a E. Pressly, widow of Rev. Joseph H.
Pressly, was born January 18, 1829, in Pittsburg, Pa.;
her maiden name was Anna E. Smith. She was mar-
ried May 24, 1847, to Joseph H. Pressly m Allegheny
City by his father. Dr. John T. Pressly, a professor in
the Theological Seminary in that city. Mr. Pressly
was born in Abbeyville District, South Carolina, and
came to Allegheny in 1832. The family are all mem-
bers of the United Presbyterian Church, of which the
father was pastor from the year 1845 until he died,

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 101 of 192)