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Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 110 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Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 110 of 192)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

diner, a daughter of William Gardiner, of Boston
Neck, in Narragansett. After the death of his parents,
Archibald McSparren, being in possession of the home-
stead at Dungiven, made sale of it, and emigrated to
this country in search of his brother James at Narra-
gansett. But the ship on which he embarked made
another port, and he settled near New Castle, on Del-
aware Bay, near the Pennsylvania line. This Archi-
bald had seven children, three daughters and four
sons, of whom the latter were: John, James, Archibald
and Joseph. The eldest son, John, became a mer-
chant at Philadelphia, and there died. James was a
husbandman, lived with his father, came in possession
of the homestead and died there. Archibald was in
the mercantile business at or near Baltimore. Joseph,
the youngest son, was born in this country, and was
quite young when his father and mother died, about
June, 1751. This son, Joseph, was the father of the
Archibald McSparren who settled in Erie county. As
near as can be known, Joseph moved to the interior of
Pennsylvania with his family, probably locating near
Lancaster, where a branch of the family now resides,
and on the death of his father, Archibald moved to
Erie county, arriving in 1802. Coming to Erie county
in the early manhood of his career, Mr. McSparren
took an active part in all public works and labored
with untiring energy in building up the city. Settling
on property on South Park Row, east of the postoffice,
he became the owner of the entire block. Here he
carried on a merchant tailoring business, and during
the war of 1812 Mr. McSparren made the uniforms
worn by Commodore Perry and the officers of his
fleet on Lake Erie. Mr. McSparren was one of the
organizers of the United Presbyterian Church, then
called the Associated Reformed Church. On April
12, 1813, he was ordained an elder of the church, and
continued in that position during the remaining years
of his life. Mr. McSparren was an extensive owner of
real estate, holding several valuable tracts in what is
now the Second ward; he also bought property, and
later erected the Erie City Mills, which are now at the
junction of State street and the Lake Shore road.
Successful in his dealings, Mr. McSparren was enabled
in middle life to retire from active business. He was
twice married: His first union was with Miss Margaret
McKay, of Waterford, which occurred March 14, 1805.
Nine children blessed this union, but one of whom is
living, Archibald, of Painesville, O. The other chil-
dren were: John, Clark, Mrs. Mary Dumars, Mrs.
Nancy Mellen, wife of Charles Mellen; Winlock, Rob-
ert, Mrs. Margaret Reynolds, wife of John Reynolds,
and Eliza. Mrs. McSparren departed this life in 1834.
The second marriage of Mr. McSparren occurred Sep-
tember 14, 1849, to Mrs. Henrietta (Moody) Glazier,
widow of Jacob Alexander Glazier. Two children were
the result of this union: Henrietta, wife of E. D. Lud-
wig; and Evaline, wife of D. F. Orr,of Baltimore, Md.
Mr. Archibald McSparren died January 26, 1857, at the
ripe age of 84 years, and in full possession of his fac-
ulties. His second wife, Mrs. Henrietta, died Septem-
ber 9, 1888, aged 75 years. Clark McSparren, second
son of Archibald by his first wife, was born in Erie,

July 2, 1810. He was educated in the public schools
of Erie and in the Waterford Academy, from which
institution he graduated in 1829. He first clerked in a
dry goods store, and in ,1833 was appointed cashier of
the Erie Bank, which position he retained during the
life of that institution. An extensive dealer in real es-
tate, he was more than ordinarily successful. On Sep-
tember 10, 1835, he married Mary Ann, daughter of
Chester and Sarah (Steel) Jones, of English ancestry,
and a native of Seymour, Conn. Her family moved to
Pennsylvania in 1816. Five of the nine children born
to this union are living: Albert J., Frank, William,
clerk of the BuffaloGeneral Electric Company; Charles
Archibald, Erie Malleable Iron Company; Mary
Emma, wife of Philip A. Locke. Mr. McSparren de-
parted this life April 18, 1875. Mrs. McSparren still
survives him, and is now living with her children, at
110 West Tenth street, Erie. Mrs. Henrietta Ludwig,
wife of Emanuel D. Ludwig, the only direct descen-
dant of Archibald McSparren now living at Erie, was
born November 12, 1850. Her union with Mr. Lud-
wig occurred September 15, 1872. Mr. Ludwig was
born March 14, 1848, in Berne, Switzerland. He is a
son of Prof. E. A. Ludwig, and a grandson of Rev.
Emanuel Ludwig, who was the first pastor of the
great cathedral at Berne, and whose wife was a niece
of Albert Von Haller, who was knighted by Joseph II.
of Austria, and who was a great philosopher and
scholar. The records show the Ludwigs to be one of
the old patrician families of Switzerland. Mr. E. D.
Ludwig came to America with his father in 1850.
Prof. Ludwig was until 1861 a member of the faculty
of Washington College at Lexington, Va., when he
came north and finally settled with his son in Erie,
where he died in the fall of 1880. Mr. E. D. Ludwig
received his education at Lexington and Fincastle, Va.
At the age of 16 he left school and started in life as a
book agent. He taught a district school one term, and
in 1867 entered the insurance business, and in a short
time became general agent for his company. From
1874 to 1880 Mr. Ludwig engaged in speculation and
manufacturing with more than average success, since
which time he has been connected with the Mutual
Reserve Association of New York, and is one of its
officers. He came to Erie as State superintendent of
the Equitable Life. His success in insurance is best
attested by the action of the board of directors of his
company, who passed a series of resolutions highly
complimenting his work. Mr. Ludwig has risen from
the bottom of the ladder to the front rank in field work
in the insurance business. Mr. and Mrs. Ludwig have
two children: Henrietta Daisy, born August 9, 1874,
and Albert Archibald Otto, born November 8, 1876.

Hugh Jones, one of Erie's prominent citizens,
died at his residence, 807 French street, March 25,
1891. He was born in Bodedern, Anglesea, North
Wales, February 15, 1812, and was a son of John
Hughes, a Methodist Episcopal clergyman. He was
a grandson of Hugh Jones, a great-grandson of John
Hughes, etc., the custom of the family being for the
eldest son to bear the same names as his father with
the order reversed. Mr. Jones had a step-father,
whose name was also John Hughes. Hugh Jones was
educated in his native country, where he also learned
the trade of a carpenter and joiner. On June 19, 1832,
he was married to Miss Eleanor Hughes, and came to
the United States on his wedding tour. He remained



some time in Utica and Buffalo, N. Y., and, in 1836,
came to Erie. For the first few years after coming to
America he devoted considerable attention to writing
poems and articles for Welsh journals; but after
reaching Erie he determined to give his whole time
and energy to the pursuit of his trade. He was for a
time employed by Gen. Reed as ship joiner, after
which, in company with John Pinckney, under the
firm name of Jones & Pinckney, he established a
contracting and building business where the Penn
building now stands. Later Mr. Jones became sole
proprietor of the concern; but later, when a mill was
built at Eleventh and Holland streets, he took in
seven partners, among them Mr. John Constable.
Later the partnership was reduced to himself and
Constable, when the concern was removed to Fifth
and Sassafras streets. This partnership was after-
wards dissolved, and Mr. Jones established a business
at Fourth and Peach streets, at which time he built a
residence just north of the First Baptist Church. He
then became a member of the firm of Liddell, Kepler
& Co., doing the wood-work for the concern until it
failed in 1867, by which he was a heavy loser. He
then started anew, locating where the First National
Bank now stands, and was very successful as a builder.
Later he purchased from Carter & Mallory their mill,
located at Holland and Eleventh streets, retaining Mr.
Mallory as partner and furnishing him the money
with which to buy an interest in the business, for
which less than five years later he paid Mr. Mallory
$20,000. This mill burned in 1875, after which Mr.
Jones continued building without a mill of his own,
and chiefly upon his own estates. During those
years he helped a great many poor people to homes
by allowing them to make payment upon the most
lenient terms. Many of the leading builders of Erie
date their start in business to their connection with
Mr. Jones. Mr. John Constable has already been
mentioned as a partner of Mr. Jones. The latter was
also one of Henry Shenk's first employers, when a
young man, he came to Erie to get a start in the
world; and the senior Mr. Bauschard and his sons
learned their trade with him, and were in his employ
for some time. Mr. Jones was doubtless the first
architect in Erie, always doing all his own work in
that line. When others came and pursued that pro-
fession exclusively, Mr. Jones was frequently consulted
on practical matters by them and those who employed
them. At the time of his death, Mr. Jones was one of
the largest real estate owners in Erie, and was one of
the best landlords. Mrs. Jones died March 1, 1889, at
the age of 72 years and 6 months. The family con-
sisted of five children, two of whom died in infancy.
The others were: Elizabeth, Mrs. Charles W. Griest,
of Erie; Ellen J., Mrs. George V. Slocum, of Erie, and
Hugh Jones, jr., who was for a time engaged in the
sale of sash, doors and blinds in Erie, and who died in
April, 1889. The last named married Miss Christiana
Moore, of Erie, by whom he had one child, Margaretta
Christina. An uncle of Mrs. Jones, when a young man,
went to India, where he married the governor's
daughter, at which his family, thinking that he had
married an aboriginal (which, of course, was not the
case), were very indignant, but by which he later
became the possessor of great wealth. During some
civil disturbance her uncle and aunt were killed,
leaving an only son, who chanced to be absent from
home at the time, the sole heir to their vast estates.

He died single, leaving an estate which is now worth
several million dollars, and which must eventually
revert to her heirs, among whom are the descendants
of Hugh Jones in Erie. There is also quite a large
estate of the family in Wales, part of which right-
fully belongs to the Erie branch. In early life Mr.
Jones was a member of the Protestant Episcopal
Church, in which faith his wife and he were baptized
and confirmed. He was originally a Whig, and later
a Republican, and served his adopted city as a mem-
ber of the city council. He was one of the first mem-
bers of the board of trade of Erie. By the will of
Hugh Jones, his daughter, Mrs. Ellen J. Slocum, was
made executrix of the large estate, from which the
other children were to receive certain specified in-

George Volney Slocum, agent of the Hugh Jones
estate, office 161 East Eleventh street, Erie, Pa., was
born in Buffalo, August 19, 1843, a son of Samuel N.
and Eliza L. (Sickles) Slocum, the former born in
Herkimer, Herkimer county, N. Y., in 1818, a son of
Samuel Slocum, a native of New Hampshire; the
latter born in Amsterdam, N. Y., in 1823, a daughter
of Judge William Sickles. Samuel N. Slocum was
for thirty-five years a steamship and railroad ticket
agent at Buffalo, where he died, October 7, 1893.
Mrs. Slocum still resides in Buffalo, aged 73 years. To
this couple were born five children; Adalaid L. (Mrs.
John W. Moharg, of Buffalo, N. Y.); George V.; Alice
A. (Mrs. William H. Graves, of Buffalo), deceased;
Mary J. (Mrs. Dr. C. C. Bingham, of Kansas City,
Mo.); and Sidney M., in the insurance business in
Buffalo. George V. Slocum received his education in
the public schools of Buffalo, and, when 16 years of
age, secured a position as helper to the clerk on the
Niagara river steamer "Arrow," where he remained
two years. He then occupied a position as newsboy
on the N. Y. C. R. R., in which capacity he worked
one year; he was then made brakeman, and worked
six months, when he left and found employment with
the L. S. & M. S. R. R., in the same capacity. Eight
months later he was promoted to the position of bag-
gage-master and extra conductor; after two years of
this service he secured a position as fireman on the
same road, and eleven months later was promoted to
the position of engineer, and for twenty-three years
he served the L. S. & M. S. R. R. as a locomotive
engineer. He then opened a grocery store in Erie, on
the southwest corner of Eleventh and Holland streets,
which he conducted two years, when he was made
agent for the estate of the late Hugh Jones, a position
he has since held. Mr. Slocum was married, Septem-
ber 16, 1868, to Miss Ellen Jane, daughter of the late
Hugh Jones, of Erie. This happy union has been
blessed with one child — Eleanor Josephine, who mar-
ried Mr. Charles H. Lamb, cashier of the Erie Fish
Association, by whom she has one child, Eleanor.
Mr. and Mrs. Slocum are members of the Episcopal
Church. He is a member of the F. & A. M., the K.
of H., and in politics is independent.

John W. Leech, secretary and treasurer of the
Keystone Electric Company, was born in Leechburg,
Armstrong county. Pa., October 8, 1852. He is a son
of Addison and Mary (Watson) Leech. John W.
Leech was educated in the public schools and
Academy of Leechburg, after which he came to



Erie and engaged as a bookkeeper at the Anchor
Line elevators, where his father was manager, and
where he remained for eleven years. He then en-
gaged for two years in the wholesale and retail flour
and grain business on North Park Row, after which
he took the management of a 5,000 acre wheat farm
owned by his father in North Dakota, spending the
winters in the East, only that portion of the year on
the farm when it required his attention. Having sold
a small portion of the immense farm and turned the
remainder of it over to the management of his
brothers, he became identified with the Keystone
Electric Company, as is detailed in the sketch of Mr.
C. J. Sturgeon, which appears in this work. Mr.
Leech was married May 6, 1878, to Miss Nellie,
daughter of Mr. N. J. Clark, of Erie. They have one
child, Marion. Mr. Leech and family are members of
St. Paul's Episcopal Church. In politics he affiliates
with the Republican party.

Ricardo St. Philip Lowry, deputy collector of
customs, Erie, Pa., was born in Philadelphia, Pa.,
February 26, 1864. He is a son of the late Commo-
dore Reigart B. and Elizabeth (Courtright) Lowry.
Commodore Lowry was born July 4, 1826, at La
Guayra, Venezuela, at which port his father was the
then American consul. He was appointed to the
United States navy when only 13 years of age, and
continued in the service until the day of his death,
November 25, 1880. Before the war he was in com-
mand of the U. S. S. Severn, and during the war was
first executive officer of the Brooklyn at New Orleans,
and later in.command of the gunboat Sciota. After
the war he was in command of the Sabine at New
London, and next of the receiving ship Ohio, in the
Boston navy yard. His next service was in command
of the Canandaigua. He was in command of the old
flag ship Constitution while that vessel was being pre-
pared for her voyage to France and exhibition at
Havre as part of the United States exhibit at the Paris
Exposition of 1875. At the time of his decease he
was on special duty at Brooklyn, N. Y. He was mar-
ried in 1868, at Erie, Pa., being at the time executive
officer of the United States steamer Michigan. His
wife (now Mrs. Eben Brewer) is the daughter of the
late Milton Courtright, one of the early settlers of
Erie county. R. St. P. Lowry was educated in the
public schools and high school of Erie, and then took
a course in civil engineering in the Shortledge Acad-
emy, Media, Pa. Following this he for sixteen months
had charge of an engineering corps on the West Shore
R. R. In 1883 he went to Norfolk, Va., where he
located and surveyed a railroad which was built by
his grandfather, the late Milton Courtright. Follow-
ing this he made the preliminary survey of a pro-
posed railroad from Fort Plain on the Shore to
Richfield Springs and Cooperstown, N. Y. Two years
thereafter he was in the employ of the Youghioghany
River Coal Company at Ashtabula, Ohio. In 1886-6
he was in the office of Hon. Thomas C. Piatt, presi-
dent of the United States Express Company. Return-
ing to Erie, Mr. Lowry was connected with the Morn-
ing Dispatch until 1890, when he embarked in the coal
business, being associated with Mr. Wirt McCreary.
He was appointed to his present position as deputy
under Collector of Customs Nelson Baldwin on Feb-
ruary 8, 1894. Mr. Lowry is a Democrat and has done
effective work for his party. He was a member of the

councils from the First ward in 1887, and was presid-
ing officer of that body during the year. In 1888-9 he
was secretary of the Democratic executive committee
of the city, and in 1890-91 was chairman of that organ-
ization. He was a member of the school board from
the Fourth ward from 1890 to 1893, and was secretary
of that body during 1892-3. During his secretaryship
he rendered efficient service by systematizing the
work, bringing the records together in one office, and
securing the appointment of a clerk for that body.
He is a member of the Royal Arcanum, and of the B.
P. O. E. He was married October 17, 1888, to Annie,
daughter of the late George V. Maus, former general
freight agent at Erie for the Pennsylvania R. R. Mr.
and Mrs. Lowry have two children, George M. and
Philip W., reside at 453 West Sixth street, and are
members of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

Perry G. Strauahan (deceased), late a farmer
and stock raiser in Union City, was a grandson of
John Stranahan, a native of Rhode Island, born in
1737, and died March 23, 1798. In September, 1763,
before the Revolution, he married Lucy Buck, and
settled in Canaan, Columbia county, N. Y. He was a
man of wealth. His son, Gibson J. Stranahan, was
born in Canaan, in 1786. He married Miss Dolly
Devendorf, of Herkimer county. New York, in 1807.
He was a resident of Herkimer county for many years,
and there followed the occupation of a farmer. In
1836, he, with his family, came West, and settled in
Concord township, Erie county. Pa. He entered a
large tract of land, and imported 450 fine wool sheep.
He became one of the largest stock-raisers of Erie
county. He died in 1869. His wife was born in Her-
kimer county. New York, and died in 1862 or 1863,
aged 73 years. She was a daughter of John Deven-
dorf, a native of Herkimer county, New York. He
was one of the wealthiest farmers in his county. The
parents of P. G. Stranahan had the following chil-
dren: Daniel V., a prominent physician, who died in
Warren, Pa., in 1874; Hon. John D., a farmer; James,
a farmer; Perry G.; Franklin B., a farmer; and Mar-
garet E., wife of William A. Mead, a surveyor and
farmer of Youngsville, Pa. Perry G. Stranahan was
born in Herkimer county. New York, on the 12th of
July, 1820. He devoted his early life to work on the
farm and in teaching school winters. In 1843 he was
married to Miss Louisa, only daughter of P. K. Web-
ber, of Columbus, Warren county, Pa., who was one
of the earliest pioneers of that place, and cut away
the pines where the village now stands. He and his
estimable wife, Annie, resided with Mr. Stranahan.
Mr. Stranahan studied law with Horace Hawes, of Erie,
who was afterward appointed U. S. consul to the So-
ciety Islands. On account of failing health, Mr.
Stranahan was compelled to abandon the law. He
then came to Le Boeuf, bought a farm on French
creek, built, and kept the Moravian Hotel for a num-
ber of years. In 1859, when the P. & E. and A. & G.
W. railways were being built, Mr. Stranahan saw the
opportunity for advancement, and purchased nearly
all of the old Miles estate, consisting of several hundred
acres of land, upon which a large part of the borough
of Union City is now built. He immediately laid it
out in village lots, established a real estate agency,
and in connection with farming and stock-raising
amassed considerable means, and became one of the
enterprising and solid men of Union City. He was



always foremost in any enterprise which promised its
advancement. He was liberal with his means, and as-
sisted the worthy in building up the industries of the
place. He lost large sums of money in the stave and
barrel works of Union City, and as one of the project-
ors of the Union and Titusville R. R., he lost thou-
sands of dollars. His name was a tower of financial
strength, but the great losses sustained in these calami-
ties almost overwhelmed him. In 1871, he, with
others, started the Casement Savings Bank, which did
a successful business until 1878, when it succumbed to
the general depression of business. A large credit
had been loaned the bank, and the obligations could
not be met. It may be said to the credit of Mr.
Stranahan that he turned over his individual property,
and the bank matters were honorably and satisfactorily
settled, and without a law suit. He was the only man
in the community that helped m the erection of the
A. & G. \V. Railway; and with this corporation he has
been largely and prominently identified. Mr. Strana-
han has held a number of offices. In his intercourse
he was pleasing, benevolent and cheerful, and reflected
the philanthropy which was an innate characteristic of
the man. He was happiest when doing good, and
always had the interest of the city and locality at
heart. He made friends without attempting so to do;
was bold and outspoken in his likes and dislikes, and
never had a malicious feeling toward an enemy. A
self-made man, he had earned the fruitage of his
years by his own industry and perseverance; his in-
tegrity was never impeached. He was blessed with
children, viz.: Sarah M., wife of L. S. Clough, a large
lumber dealer; Ellen, wife of E. G. Stranahan, of
Cleveland, Ohio; Maggie L., widow of A. F. Bole, a
promment lawyer of Corry, Pa.; Belle L., youngest
daughter, widow of C. C. Page (deceased), and Will-
iam P., bookkeeper, an adopted son, who lived with
them since he was a child. Mr. P. G. Stranahan died
November 15, 1892, after a long illness. His widow

The Hutchitisoii Family. — Hon. Myron Hutch-
inson, late of Girard, Erie county. Pa., when quite
young, came to reside on the site of Girard. He mar-
ried a daughter of Mr. Joseph Wells. The latter
owned all the land, and erected the first frame build-
ing within the present limits of Girard. He gave the
public square and facilitated the laying out of the vil-
lage. The stately brick mansion on the north side of
Main street, with the cluster of attractive homes near
by, with their beautiful grounds and walks, so long
ago as the early thirties, occupied by the McConnells,
Websters and Marshalls, and later by the Cutlers and
Woodruffs, gave a character to the place and caused
It to be noted far and wide as a most desirable place
of residence. Girard was then oue of the stopping
places on the great Ridge road, which, before the day
of railroads, was_the highway of commerce and of travel
between the East and the West. Hon. Myron Hutch-
inson was a noted man. He was postmaster of Gir-
ard, justice of the peace and associate judge of Brie
county for ten years. Their family consisted of Mon-
roe Hutchinson, who now occupies the family home-
stead in Girard; Eliza, widow of David Olin, late of
Girard; Lydia (widow of John Clemens, a merchant
manufacturer of Erie), who survive their sisters, and
Irene and Polly, deceased, and their brother, Capt.
David W., who died in Erie. In their home-like man-

sion. Judge and Mrs. Hutchinson, with their family of
four daughters and two sons, dispensed an abounding,
warm-hearted and old-fashioned hospitality. Judge
Hutchinson died in August, 1859, and Mrs. Hutchin-
son lived until March 4, 1879. His early education
was obtained at Girard, followed by a classical course
at KingsviUe Academy. He studied law at Girard
with Hon. George H. Cutler, and at the State and
National Law School at Poughkeepie, N. Y. Before
the war, he opened a law office in Erie, in company
with J. W. Bridgen, Esq., which he continued for some

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 110 of 192)