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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Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 102 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Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 102 of 192)
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November 3, 1874. He received his first education at
the Western University of Pittsburg, afterward com-
pleting a course in Jefferson College at Canonsburg,
Pa. His father then insisted on a five years' course of
study in the seminary, where he taught, thus fitting
the son for the battle in the profession in which he was
later to achieve wonderful success as a propounder of
the gospel, and this success was no doubt partly due
to his early training; yet his benevolence and piety
greatly endeared him to those whom he met in life,
and added to his power to do good in his chosen field.
After leaving the seminary he traveled through the
Southern States, preaching at different stations until
1844, when he came as a candidate to the Erie Church,
the old pastor. Rev. Robert Reed, having died, and
after filling the pulpit a year was formally called to
the position which he held until death. The family
have been prominently identified with the progress
of Erie county during the past fifty years and a work
would not be complete without the foregoing sketch.

Orange Noble, founder of the Keystone National
Bank, Erie, was born April 27, 1817, at Whitehall, N.
Y., son of Salmon and Betsy (Delamater) Noble. The



588



NELSON'S BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY



father, who had been a farmer, was a native of Hart-
ford, Conn. His father, when the son was six years
of age, moved to Washington county, New York.
Mr. Noble was a native of New York. They were
parents of seven children. Orange remained on the
farm with his father till he was 23 years of age, and
was educated at the common schools and the academy
in Washington county, New York. January 1, 1840,
he married Minerva Reed, who bore him two children
—Theodore F. and George H. Early in 1853 Mr.
Noble moved to Crawford county, this State, where he
entered into partnership with his relative, G. B. Deia-
mater, in merchandising and farming, as well as oil
prospecting. By 1863 they had made their fortune.
In that year the "Noble well"— the noblest in the
world — yielded more than 2,000 barrels per day. In

1864 Mr. Noble became a resident of Erie city. In

1865 he purchased the Bay State Iron Works. At a
cost of $135,000, he erected the Noble block in this city
(now the Penn building I. In 1867 he and others erected
the first elevator at this harbor, and in 1869 he became
a large owner in the blast furnace. He was a stock-
holder in the Burdett Organ Factory, the Dime Sav-
ings Bank and the Second National Bank, sole propri-
etor of the Noble Sewing Machine Company, and con-
nected with many minor enterprises. He was founder
of the Keystone National Bank and president of
the same for twenty years. Mr. Noble was twice
elected to the mayoralty of Erie city, and once to a
seat in the general assembly. Business reverses have
lost to Mr. Noble most or all of his interests in Erie
city, but the fact remains that he was one of the first
men to develop the city and aid in its present prosper-
ity. When the names of some who are better known
for the time being are forgotten, Orange Noble will be
remembered as the man who gave the first strong im-
pulse to the new city, and led it into paths that have
made it what it is at present. For some years past
Mr. Noble has been engaged in agricultural pursuits
in Iowa, where he says he has more enjoyment than
he did in the days of his greatest wealth an,'ht('r of Hon.
Jacob Broom, of Wilmington, Dei., imc nl the signers of
the Constitution of the United States. Dr. I, yDu's an-
cestors came originally from the Xi.itli nl Irrhind and
England, and in connection witli ( l( iirial Armstrong,
who married the sister (if Ins ui.HHll.itlier, surveyed
and laid out the town of Carhslr. 1 )i. Lyon was early
left an orphan, and made his hnnu- with his uncle,
George A. Lyon, for whom he was named, a prominent
citizen and lawyer of Carlisle. He was educated at
Dickinson College, where he graduated in 1824, at the
age of 18. He then entered the theological seminary
at Princeton, and finishing his course of study, was
licensed to preach by tlie Presbytery of Carlisle,
on the 9th of A|)ril, 1828. During the summer
he crossed the .\lli l;Iiiii\ iimuntains on horseback
and spent the fnllnwin^ w mtii- between Fredonia,
N. Y., and Erie, I'.i. K' . i i\ mu ,i call from the Pres-
byterian Church in i.h h i.l.u c. Uw good and sufficient
reasons he decided to accept the call to Erie, and on
September 9, 1829, he was ordained by the Presbytery
of Erie, and installed pastor of the church there. In
this capacity he remained the balance of his life, a
period of over forty-one years, his death having oc-
curred March 24, 1871, at the age of 65. "He was
brought into the ministry just before the great spiritual
harvest time of 1830 to 1832, and entered in as a vigor-
ous, earnest and prayerful reaper, and came forth re-
joicing, bringing many sheaves with him. The church
was greatly edified, and other churches sprang from
its roots and grew from its richness." He was a wise
and zealous minister, and his undivided time and tal-
ents, as well as his own private means, were cheerfully
given to advance the purposes and institutions of the
gospel in the county and elsewhere. As a preacher,
he was distinguished for the grave, affectionate and
instructive nature of his sermons, for his logical force,
a clear perception of the truth, clearness in stating it,
and pungency in applying it. He was also distin-
guished for the tenderness and spirituality of his pray-
ers, as all who remember them will testify, and for
his ready sympathy for his parishioners and friends
when in sorrow and in trouble. His warm and practi-
cal charity was manifested repeatedly in both public
and private actions; his whole soul was in his work,
and he loved to preach the great central truths of the
gospel; at the same time he kept his heart close to the
throbbing pulses of humanity, and his interest in local
and national questions which involved the everlasting
principles of truth and equity was always keen and
strong. He died at Avon Springs, N. Y., whither he
had gone, hoping to recuperate his failing health.
On Tuesday, March 28, 1871, his funeral services,
which were very solemn and impressive, were held in
the church in which he had so long ministered, and his
body was consigned to the tomb in the Erie cemetery.
The funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. Rich-
ard Craighead, of Meadvilie, formerly of Carlisle, Pa.,
thciii>;h in the services many of his brother ministers
of various churches in the city participated. He
married Miss Mary Sterrett, of Carlisle, in 1829.
They had six children, of whom Catherine and Sam-
uel died in infancy. Margaret A. is the wife of John
W. Douglass, of Washington, who was commissioner
of the District of Columbia under President Harrison.
Alexander McD. was an attorney and paymaster in the



army during the war, and died in 1869. George A. is
pay inspector in the navy, and W. Wilberforce Lyon,
having served in the war, died in October, 1868. After
Mrs. Lyon's death, Dr. Lyon, in 1859, married Mrs.
Mary A. Burton, who resides in Erie.

The Curtze Family. — The name of Curtze in the
city of Erie, borne by a group of it prominent citizens,
dates back to 1840. In that year their father, Fred-
erick Curtze, Esq., came to Erie. He was born March
11, 1813, in the principality of Waldeck, Germany,
being the son of Rev. Ludwig Curtze, a Lutheran
clergyman. Frederick was liberally educated in Ger-
many, being proficient in Latin, English, Spanish and
French. He acquired the art of the silversmith also.
After spending some time in Europe, including a resi-
dence in Vienna, he came to New York in 1836, and
remained there two years; thence to Boston for one
year; then to Philadelphia. In those cities he worked
at his trade. He came to Erie in the spring of 1840,
where he engaged in making printing molds for oil-
cloth, and gave German lessons. The printing mold
business lasted five years. He then commenced the
manufacture of oilcloth on his own account. After
manufacturing for six years, he purchased a farm in
Fairview tnwnsliip, >



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 102 of 192)