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Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 109 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Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 109 of 192)
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Hazel, Mason and Lucy, reside at 338 West Tenth
street, and attend divine service at the Tabernacle
(Church of Christ). Mr. Forman is a member of the
Masonic fraternity.

The Hiltoti Family. — Archibald C. Hilton,
a native of Albany, N. Y., came to Erie about the year
1830. He was a saddler, and engaged in that business
for some time. Mr. Hilton married Miss Abbey Cook,
daughter of Eliakim and Lucy (Hurlbert) Cook, who
had come from Connecticut to Erie county in 1800,
and settled in Waterford township. Mr. Cook died in
Waterford in 1810, and Mrs. Cook in Erie about 1844.
Mr. Hilton was an active, energetic and public-spir-
ited citizen. He was appointed deputy sheriff and
keeper of the jail of Erie county, and was also deputy
collector of the port of Erie under President Tyler's
administration from 1841-45. He died while his fam-
ily were still young. Mr. and Mrs. Hilton had five
children: William E., a machinist for many years, and
connected with the waterworks of Erie; Capt. John C,
who served in the 145th Reg., P. V. I., where he rose
to the rank of captain. He lost a leg, at the battle of
Gettyshufg, and was promoted to be major and hon-
orably discharged. He was twice elected register and
recorder of Erie county (in 1878 and 1881), serving six
years. He served as postmaster of Erie under the
Harrison administration until 1894. Captain Hilton
married Miss E. M. Barr, daughter of Hon. M. R.
Barr, collector of the port of Erie, and had four chil-
dren: Abbie (deceased), Ruth, Sarah and Louise.
Sarah, wife of P. D. Faulkner, of Erie; Mary Electa
(deceased), and Abbie P., wife of Edmund W. Reed,
a postmaster of Erie, his appointment being the last
made by President Garfield before his assassination.
Mr. Hilton died at the age of 54 years. Mrs. Hilton
survived her husband for about forty years, and died
February 4, 1894, at the age of 93 years. She was at
the time the oldest member of the First Presbyterian
Church. The full possession of her faculties and her
great intelligence and serenity of mind made her very
attractive through the closing years of life.

William Hardwiclt, president of the Erie Engine
Works and of the Union Iron Works, Erie, Pa., was
born in England, December 1, 1847. He is a son of
John and Ann Hardwick. His parents came to the
United States in 1862, and located in Erie, where Mr.
Hardwick received his education in the public schools.
At the age of 11 years he apprenticed himself to learn
the trade of machinist with the Erie City Iron Works.
He was for nine years foreman of the shops of the
Bay State Iron Works, and for a time had entire
charge of the works. In 1879 he entered into partner-
ship with Mr. Frank F. Cleveland, forming the firm of
Cleveland & Hardwick, and engaged in the manu-
facture of engines and boilers. The plant was then
located at Twelfth and State streets, but the rapid
growth of business soon made greater facilities im-
perative, and in 1885 the spacious and substantial
buildings at the corner of Twelfth and Cherry streets
was erected. The main building is 330 x 160 feet, be-
sides auxiliary buildings. The products include all
kinds of upright, horizontal, portable and stationary
engines and boilers, and the capacity is over 500 en-
gines and boilers a year. The company was incor-
porated under its present title, June 2, 1893, with a
capital stock of §100,000, and with Mr. William Hard-




wick president and general manager, and Mr. Frank
F. Cleveland, secretary and treasurer. Mr. Cleveland
died November 20, 1893, and was succeeded by his
cousin, Mr. Fred L. Cleveland. The Union Iron
Works was established in 1890 by the Erie Engine
Works and the Skinner Engine Company, and was
designed to furnish a boiler department for these two
concerns. The plant, located at Thirteenth and Rasp-
berry streets, occupies in all six acres, and has a ca-
pacity of over 100 boilers per month. This concern
manufactures all kinds of steel boilers, tanks and
plate work. When incorporated the officers of the
company were: Frank P. Cleveland, president; Frank
Connell, treasurer; and H. R. Barnhurst, secretary and
general manager. Mr. Barnhurst was succeeded in
1895 by John W. Hardwick. Upon the death of Mr.
Cleveland, Mr. Hardwick became president. Thor-
oughly conversant with all the details of his business,
Mr. Hardwick discharges the arduous double duty of
acting as the head of these two large concerns with an
ease and dispatch that at once characterize him as be-
longing to the front rank of those who have made
Erie famous as a great manufacturing center. Mr.
Hardwick was married October 13, 186ti,to Miss Mary
A., daughter of John H. Carter, of West Mill Creek,
Pa. The issue of this marriage was two children:
John W., president of the Erie Manufacturing and
Supply Company, and superintendent of the Union
Iron Works, and Miss Luanna May Hardwick. Mr.
and Mrs. Hardwick are members of the First Method-
ist E piscopal Church of Erie, to which he has ren-
dered good service as steward and trustee. He is a
Republican in politics, and has served his city as a
member of the select and common council, the school
board, and is now president of the board of water

Henry Shenk, contractor and builder, was born in
West Mill Creek township, Erie county, July 31, 1836.
He is a son of John and Nancy (Miller) Shenk, the for-
mer a native of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, from
whence the family removed by wagon to Erie county
when John was but 9 years old. Henry Shenk has
two full brothers and one sister, also three half broth-
ers. His early education was such as could be ob-
tained at that time in the public schools of his native
town. In the spring of 1853 he decided to become a
carpenter, and found work as such at several places in
the vicinity of his home. In the fall of the same year he
came to Erie and entered the employ of Mr. John Hill,
remaining several months, working on what is known
as the Paragon and Austin Building, on North Park
Row. In the spring of 1854, he went to Girard, Pa.,
working there and in the country near by for over two
years, being employed by different parties. In the
fail of 1857, he returned to build a house for his father
at the old homestead, which was finished in the early
spring of 1859. On the completion of this house,
which still remains on the farm, he came to Erie
again, working for awhile for Mersrs. Crook and Lytle,
but in the summer of the same year he went to work
for Messrs. Jones and White, with whom he remamed
most of the time for about three years. He then en-
tered the service of Mr. John Hill again, staying
nearly two years. In the spring of 1863, he com-
menced business with Mr. I. P. Kinsey, under the firm
name of Kinsey & Shenk, which continued for several
years. The first work done by the new firm was a

house, built for Mr. Henry Jarecki, on Ninth street,
near State, and which is still standing. After a few
years the firm of Kinsey & Shenk entered into a part-
nership with Mr. Peter Brubaker in the planing-mill
business, at the corner of Eleventh and French sfreets,
but this partnership did not last long. Mr. Kinsey
sold his interest to Mr. L. F. White, and the firm
name became L. F. White & Co.; but this was of
short duration, owing to dissatisfaction among the
partners, which finally found its way into the courts,
and before any settlement was reached the mill took
fire and was burned to the ground. Mr. Shenk, by
agreement of the partners, then took charge of the
company's affairs, and turned all that was left into
money, and paid the debts as far as he could. Parties
having claims against him gave him plenty of time
and he finally paid them all in full. After the plan-
ing-mill was destroyed, Mr. Shenk continued the con-
tracting and building business in Erie as best he
could, without capitaC until 1878, when he concluded
to go outside of Erie for business. In the spring of
that year he took the contract to build the Bradford,
Pa., Oil Exchange, which paid fairly well. In the
spring of 1879, he contracted to build the Titusville
Oil Exchange. In the summer of 1879, he took the
contract to build the Cambria county, Pennsylvania,
court house, which was finished the next year in good
shape and with fair profit. The same year he took a
contract to build a portion of the Huntingdon Indus-
trial Reformatory, and afterwards a contract to com-
plete the same, covering a period of about six vears and
at a cost of about S900,000, from which Mr. Shenk se-
cured a very handsome margin. In 1882, he com-
menced doing business in Pittsburg, Pa., his first con-
tract being the Y. M. C. A. building, which was finished
on time and excellent satisfaction given. Since then
he has continued business there, and has opened an
office, with the best of results, having built some of the
finest public structures, business blocks, private build-
ings and residences in the city in the last few years.
He built Christ M. E. Church, a' magnificent piece of
architecture, costing nearly §300,000; the famous Car-
negie Library Building, which alone would establish
the fame of any builder, and has added much to Mr.
Shenk's already well-established reputation. This
building, which was dedicated November 5, 1895, cost
over §700,000. Besides the large structures in Pitts-
burg, Mr. Shenk has erected many of the finest build-
ings in Erie, including the Central High School Build-
ing, Downing Block, Government building, Park
Opera House, Hamot Hospital, etc. Mr. Shenk is
rated as one of the leading builders in the State, and
is invited to bid on many of the largest and most im-
portant contracts in various parts of the country. His
large business has enabled him to accumulate a mod-
erate fortune within the past fifteen years, and he now
lives at ease in one of the finest residences in Erie,
which he built in 1892. About five years ago his
health failed, and since then his business has been car-
ried on by his sons, Charles E. and Wilbur Shenk.

The King Family.— As one of the pioneer fami-
lies of which several members have been conspicuous
and identified with the settlement and development of
Erie county and city, the following deserve mention:

Capt. Robert King (deceased), grandfather of
Alfred King (deceased), was one of the early pioneers,



and the first actual settler of Erie county, Pennsyl-
vania. He came here in July, 1794, by way of the
west branch of the Susquehanna and over the moun-
tains, nearly on the route of the Philadelphia and Erie
R. R. to the Tionesta river, near Sheffield, in Warren
county. The following is taken from Whitman's History
of Le Boeuf Township, Erie county. Pa. " First land
was selected in Le Boeuf, in 1794, by Capt. Robert
King, who took up 400 acres at the present Ford
bridge." "Captain King retiring to his home in Ly-
coming county, he brought his family along in the
spring of 1795." * * * "Capt. Robert King, the
pioneer of the township, had been an officer in the
Revolutionary war, and rendered the State important
service in securing treaties with the Indians; as a re-
ward for which the Legislature of Pennsylvania voted
him 400 acres of land, west of the Allegheny river.
It was to take advantage of this bounty that he first
visited the township. In company with his hired man he
crossed the mountains from Lycoming county, through
an almost impenetrable forest, to the present site of
Sheffield, Warren county, Pa., where he built a canoe in
whichthey descended the Tionesta and Allegheny to
where Franklin now stands. From there they poled the
canoe up French creek eighty miles to the site of the cap-
tain's future home. On returning to Lycoming county
they took a different route eastward from the Alle-
gheny, and when they came back with Captain King's
family of five sons and six daughters, it was by way of
Pittsburg." He and his family arrived at their new
home May 15, 1795, and here the grand old patriot
and soldier remained until the day of his death, which
occurred about 1826. The captain was a brave and
accomplished soldier and officer, and served his coun-
try with honor andcredit throughout the Revolutionary
war. "When Lafayette returned to visit this county,
and was at Waterford, the captain, who had a personal
actjuaintance with him during the struggles and hard-
ships of the Revolutionary war, called to pay his re-
spects to the eminent and patriotic Frenchman. Gen-
eral Lafayette saw him when several rods away, and
speaking out, said: 'There comes Captain King,' and
advanced eagerly to meet the veteran." Captain
King had eleven children. Of these Thomas was
most noted. He married Sarah Wilson, a lady of rare
intelligence and intellectual vigor. They resided for
many years in Waterford township and borough. There
Mr. King built the "Stone Tavern," fronting on the
park (afterwards kept for many years by Mr. Judson).
About the year 1836 Mr. King removed with his family
to Erie, where he died in 1848. His widow survived
many years. They had three sons and five daughters:
Wilson, Josiah, Alfred, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Blaikie, Mrs.
William Judson, Mrs. R. W. Clark and Frances (de-
ceased). Josiah went to Pittsburg, where he became
prominent as a manufacturer and publisher of the Ga-
zette; Wilson, civil engineer and contractor, was identi-
fied with many public works. He was prothonotary
of Erie county two terms, and a member of the con-
tracting firms of Sanger, Camp &: Co. in the West,
and of King, Brown & Co. in the construction of the
Philadelphia and Erie R. R. He died in Erie.

Alfred King (deceased),the youngest son of Thomas
and Sarah (Wilson) King, and grandson of Capt. Robert
King, was born in Waterford. He was educated at
the academies of Waterford and Erie, graduating
from the latter. He then taught for a few years, in

the meantime reading law with a view of adopting
that profession. Subsequently he was appointed dep-
uty prothonotary and clerk of the courts of the county,
and remained as such for six years; he was elected
treasurer of the county, and filled that office for two
years; after this was elected mayor and served two
terms. During the last term he was elected prothon-
otary and clerk of the courts, filling this place three
years. During his public life he engaged extensively
in manufacturing here, and also dealt largely in grain
(particularly in barley), and was instrumental in giving
Erie prommence as a grain depot. His connection
with these industries extended over thirty-five years.
He was also interested in real estate, both in Erie and
in the West, evidences of which can be seen in the
place known as Kingtown, which he planted and built
up. He married in Livingston county, New York, in
1845, Mary Kenedy, a lady of fine literary attainments,
a sister of the Hon. Archabald Kenedy, of that county.
They have three sons— Kenedy, Josiah Holdship, first
lieutenant in the 8th U. S. Cav.; and A. H., commission
merchant of Erie. The family are members of the
L^nited Presbyterian Church. Alfred King died in

Hewry Jarecki, one of Erie's most prominent
business men and founder of the Jarecki Manufactur-
ing Company, was born in Posen, Prussia, January 10,
1826, and is a son of Charles W. and William (Wilch-
incka) Jarecki. His father, who was an engraver and
goldsmith, came to Erie in 1852, where he engaged in
the jewelry business with his son, August, and contin-
ued until his death, which occurred in 1878, at the age of
72 years. The family consisted of ten children: August,
who came to Erie in 1847, since which time he has been
engaged in the jewelry business here; Henry, who is the
subject of this sketch; Caroline, who married Casper
Cantor, of Erie, and died in 1890; Frederick, whose
sketch appears in this work; Louise, who married Paul
Weber, of New York city; Captain Gustave, who was
formerly engaged in banking in Erie, was appointed
consul to Altona, Germany, by President Grant, later
resigned, and is now residing in Pittsburg; Emma, who
married August Drodsiewski (deceased), of Erie;
Charles and Herman, whose sketches appear in this
work, and Theodore, who was bookkeeper for the Jar-
ecki Manufacturing Company, and died in 1890. Mr.
Henry Jarecki received his education in his native
country^ and it was there also, under the well regu-
lated apprenticeship laws that he learned the trade of
brass founder, serving an apprenticeship of seven
years. In 1849 he came to the United States and lo-
cated in Erie. Here he immediately established a brass
works on State street, between Eighth and Ninth
streets. This was a small affair, with tread power, and
capable of melting about fifteen pounds of brass at a
time, and yet from that small beginning has grown the
gigantic institution which is now giving employment
to hundreds of men and brings many hundred thou-
sands of dollars to Erie annually. During the earlier
days of the concern its success depended almost en-
tirely upon the persistent energy and shrewd business
methods of Mr. Henry Jarecki; upon the organization
of the company in 18'72 he became president. In later
years the active management passed to Mr. Charles
Jarecki, and Mr. Henry Jarecki retired from active
participation in the affairs of the company, and in 1882
Mr. Charles Jarecki succeeded him as president.



Since that time, as well as before, Mr. Jarecki has been
an extensive traveler; accompanied by Mrs. Jarecki,
he visited Europe and many of the interesting points
in America. For the past several years he and his
family passed the winters in California, having taken
up their residence in Riverside m 1886. He has since
sold his beautiful residence there, however, and now
resides in Coronado, which is situated on the opposite
shore of Santiago Bay from the city of Santiago. Mr.
Jarecki is still one of the heaviest stockholders of the
Jarecki Manufacturing Company, and also owns a ten-
acre orange grove and considerable other real estate in
Riverside, Cal. Mr. Jarecki was married March 6,
1851, to Miss Elizabeth, daughter of John and Mary
(Becker) Gingrich, a sister of Mr. Henry Gingrich,
of Erie. This union was blessed with four children:
Albert H., and Oscar H., who hold respectively the
position of secretary and treasurer of the Jarecki Man-
ufacturing Company; Mary J., who married William
Nelson Mann (Mr. Mann died in California in August,
1890, where his widow now resides), and Miss Martha
N. Jarecki. Mr. and Mrs. Jarecki were among the
founders of the First English Evangelical Lutheran
Church of Erie, now known as the Lutheran Church,
of which they are still members, and of which they
have always been generous supporters. In politics
Mr. Jarecki has always been a staunch Republican and
has rendered the party of his choice much valuable
service, but he has never been an applicant for public
office or political distinction. He has always had the
best interests of the community at heart, and has stood
ready to encourage any enterprise that would promote
the growth and development of the city. There are
few if any who have contributed as much to the prog-
ress of Erie as Mr. Jarecki. The institution which he
founded and fostered is upon a sound financial basis,
gives employment to a greater number of men than
any other single concern in the city, and enjoys the
enviable reputation of never having had the least dis-
cord with its employes during nearly half a century of
successful operation. It will thus be seen that in the
matter of being a benefit to the city, the Jarecki Man-
ufacturing Company stands at the head of the many
prosperous institutions of its kind, without which Erie
would be but a struggling village on the southern
shore of Lake Erie.

Oscar Jarecki, treasurer of the Jarecki Manufac-
turing Company, Erie, Pa., was born in Erie March
18, 1864. He is a son of Henry Jarecki, one of the
brothers Jarecki, whose energy and enterprise have
contributed so materially to the manufacturing and
mercantile interests and the general prosperity of this
community, the details of which are contained else-
where in this volume. Oscar Jarecki completed his
schooling at the Erie academy, and then entered the
Jarecki Manufacturing Company, in which he has been
successfully promoted, and of which he is now treas-
urer. He married a daughter of the late D. G. Ormsby,
resides at 230 West Ninth street, and attends St.
Paul's Episcopal Church.

Frederick Jarecki, superintendent of the brass
foundry of the Jarecki Manufacturing Company, was
born in Posen Germany, July 23, 1831, and is a son of
Charles W. Jarecki, whose sketch is contained in this
work. He received his education and learned his
trade in his native country, and came to the United

States in 1856. He first located in Erie, where his
brother, Henry, had established a brass works, and
with whom he remained about six months. He then
went to New York city, where he followed his trade
for twelve years. In 1869 he returned to Erie, and in
company with other parties, established a brass works,
which he continued until 1889, when he accepted his
present position. Since he has had charge of this de-
partment he has made several very useful improve-
ments in the machinery and appliances, notably the
fire-boxes and the magnetic separator. Mr. Jarecki
has perfected a great many inventions, and has had no
less than thirty patents issued. Of these perhaps the
best known is the Jarecki street gas and water service
box, of which there have been over a million sold
in the United States and Canada. The Jarecki pump
lubricator, which is undoubtedly the best in use, is of
his invention, as are also the Jarecki street washer,
hydrant and natural gas burner. Mr. Jarecki was
married November 14, 1863, to Miss Willhelmina,
daughter of Mr. Francis Englehart, of Erie. The
issue of this marriage was five children, four of whom
are living: Ella, Francis Frederick, John William and '
Jennie. Mr. Jarecki is a 32d degree Mason, and is
also a member of the I. O. O. F., K. of H., Herman's
Sons, Harugari, Liedertafel and Maennerchor. In
politics Mr. Jarecki has always been a Republican,
and, though not a seeker of public office, has done
much in the support of his party.

Alexander H. Jarecki, superintendent of the
iron foundry department of the Jarecki Manufactur-
ing Company, Erie, Pa., was born in Erie, April 19,
1866, and is a son of Charles Jarecki. He was edu-
cated in the public schools of his native city, and then
took a three years' special course in the Technical and
Mechanical Engineering Institute of Boston. In 1889
he secured his present position, which he has since
occupied. Mr. Jarecki was married January 10, 1891,
to Miss Lucy S., daughter of Mr. James McBrier, of
Erie. This union has been blessed with one child.
Carl A. Mr. Jarecki is a member of the National
Mechanical Engineering Society, and in politics is a

The McSparreti Family.— The first of the Mc-
Sparrens to settle in Erie county was Archibald, a son
ot Joseph McSparren, who died at or in the vicinity
of Philadelphia some years before the Revolutionary
war. The earliest history obtainable of this family
places it back in Scotland shortly before the year 1700,
when the principal branch moved from Kintore, in
Scotland, to Dungiven, county Derry, in Ireland,
prior to the persecution of the Protestants by King
James. Rev. Archibald McSparren, a clergyman
in the Presbyterian Church, in the year 1700, ac-
companied by' a nephew, Archibald McSparren, settled
in Dungiven. This nephew seems to have been the
direct ancestor of the family in Erie county. His
eldest son, Archibald, lived for many years on the old
homestead with his parents. His younger brother,
James, received a classical education at Glasgow, then
studied for the ministry in the university (Academia)
of Glasgow. In the year 1720 he was ordained a min-
ister in the Episcopal Church of England, and early
the next year was sent by the Society for the Propaga-
tion of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, of London, a mis-
sionary to Narragansett, Rhode Island, where he was



delegated to take possession of the church property
and to enlarge the work of the church in this country.
In this capacity, he was one of the founders of Trinity
Church, at Newport, R. I. An extract from the church
records at Narragansett, states that May 22, 1722, Rev.
James McSparren was married to Miss Hannah Gar-

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 109 of 192)