Copyright
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Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 116 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Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 116 of 192)
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ufacturing Company as traveling salesman). Mrs.
Reifel died in 18titi, and Mr. Reifel was remarried in
1874 to Miss Sophia Fink, sister of Mr. Henry Fink,of
Erie. Mr. and Mrs. Reifel are members of the St.
Paul German Lutheran Church. He has been for
thirty years a member of the Sons of Herman, and for
twenty-nine years a member of the Erie Liedertafel
society, of which he is now president. Politically he
is a Republican.

John Robert Cootiey, of the Union Ice Com-
pany, Erie, Pa., born in Erie, October is, IS.M;, is a son
of the late John and Margaret Cooney, natn isol c .unity
Cork, Ireland, who came to the United .States and lo-
cated in Erie in 1855. John Cooney, sr., was an em-
ploye of the Erie Gas Company, and died November
18, 1867. His wife survives him and resides in Erie.
John R. Cooney attended the public schools of Erie.
At an early age he found employment as brakeman on
the L. S. & M. S. R. R., and later with the E. & P. R
R., being thus employed for four years. He next en-
gaged in teaming, and in 1880 founded an ice business,
which he conducted successfully alone for ten years,
then consolidating his business with that of the Erie
Ice Company. In the spring of 1893 this company
was consolidated with the People's Ice Company, the
aggregation being thereafter known as the Union Ice
Company. Mr. Cooney has been twice married: on
May 12, 1879, to Emma, daughter of John Crowley, of
East Mill Creek, Erie county. Pa. She died in Feb-
ruary, 1890, leaving three children, John, Edward and
Mamie. His second marriage was to Annie R., daughter
Stephen Murphy, a contractor of Erie. The family
reside at 437 West Fourth street, and are members of
St. Peter's Catholic congregation.



Samuel Myron Bralwerd, attorney, Erie, Pa.,
was born in Conneaut township, Erie county. Pa.,
November 13, 1842. He is a son of the late Samuel
and Olive L. (Nicholson) Brainerd, the former a native
of Herkimer, New York, and of English descent, the
latter a native of Vermont. The elder Mr. Brainerd was
a farmer. He died in January, 1863; his wife survived
him less than one month. Samuel M. Brainerd received
his early education in the common schools and academy
of Conneaut township, and completed it at the State
Normal School, Edinboro. He began the study of law
41



with the Hon. George P. Cutler, of Girard, Pa., and con-
tinued it under the preceptorship of the late William
Benson, of Erie. He was admitted to the bar in Novem-
ber, 1869, and entered upon the practice of his profession
at North East, where he remained until 1874, when he
removed to Erie to form a law partnership with his
former preceptor, William Benson, which, under the
firm name of Benson & Brainerd, continued to exist
until 1883, when Mr. Brainerd took his seat as a mem-
ber of the Forty-eighth Congress. Prior to his election
to the House of Representatives, Mr. Brainerd served
a three-year term as district attorney for Erie county.
On his return from Washington he resumed the prac-
tice of his profession, had for a time a partnership
association with Isador Sobel, and in 1893 formed his
present connection with George H. Higgins, the firm
being known as Brainerd & Higgins. Mr. Brainerd
is known as one of the ablest advocates of the Erie
bar, and enjoys a large practice. His election to Con-
gress was a flattering recognition of his ability, and
evidence of his personal popularity, for, although a
pronounced and uncompromising Republican, he
received a majority of 1,000 votes, while the Demo-
cratic candidate for Governor, Mr. Pattison, carried
Erie county by a majority of over 500. The wisdom
of his constituents in sending Mr. Brainerd to Con-
gress was quickly apparent. During the first session
he obtained an appropriation of §50,000 for Erie
harbor, and an additional appropriation of §100,000 for
the construction of the government building at Erie.
He restored the land lighthouse, and secured an
appropriation for the repurchase of the property on
which it stands. He introduced a bill for the Soldiers'
and Sailors' Home which was favorably reported by
the House committee on military affairs. He intro-
duced a bill to equalize compensation for letter car-
riers and offices of the first and second class; a bill
for the payment of unpaid bounties to veterans who
were promoted after the last enlistment, besides a
large number of private bills for securing soldiers
their pensions and back pay. He gave the interests
of disabled soldiers his personal attention, and many
cases were determined successfully which had been
long pending and for years abandoned as hopeless by
the persons interested. He obtained a further appro-
priation of §30,000 for the Erie harbor. Mr. Brainerd
was the unanimous choice of his party in Erie county for
renomination. He was married December 24, 1866, to
Lavina E., daughter of the late Philander B. Chapin,
a farmer and an old resident of Erie county. Mr. and
Mrs. Brainerd have three children, Samuel, Carlton
M.and Annie L.; reside at the corner of Tenth and
Chestnut streets, and attend the First Presbyterian
Church. Their son, Samuel, is a clerk in the Erie
postoffice, and is married to Rosa, daughter of Herbert
Stitt, a farmer and ex-prothonotary of Armstrong
county, Pennsylvania. They have one child, Samuel
Herbert Spencer.

Clark Olds, attorney, Erie, Pa., was born in Mill
Creek township, Erie county. Pa., July 14, 1850. He
is a son of Lewis W. Olds, a prominent citizen of Erie.
Clark Olds received his initial schooling in the public
schools of Erie, and prepared for college at the Erie
Academy under Albion W. Tourgee. In 1866 he en-
tered Michigan University, Ann Arbor, and was
graduated from that institution in 1870. During his
collegiate course he became connected with the



638



NELSON'S BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY



United States lake survey, and after his graduation was
made assistant engineer in that service, and continued
to be engaged therein until the fall of 1875, with the
exception of two years, 1872-3, during which he had
leave of absence and attended the university of
Leipsic, Saxony. While in the iiiiplos uf ihi- govern-
ment and at the Leipsic Unix c i>iu , In iiuisuedthe
study of law, subsequently continiiiiiL; it .11 I riC, under
the preceptorship of the late \\ illi.iin Hcnscm. He
was admitted to the bar Ajiril 'JC), lS7(i, ami shortly
thereafter was admitted to practice in the United
States courts. He makes a s|iecialty of admiralty
practice. Mr. Olds is a Reiiublican, and has been
actively identified with the work of his party in Erie
county. He was married December 13, 1876, to Livia
E., daughter of Chauncey Keator, capitalist, of Court-
land, N. Y. Mr. and Mrs. Olds have three children;
Romeyn K., Irving S. and Marguerite E., and reside
at 216 West Seventh street.

Isador Sobel, attorney at law, Erie, Pa., born
August 2S. ls,"i^, ill New York city, is a son of Semel
and Cecilia iKinni .Subel, natives of Germany, who
came to this cciuiitr\ in their ynuth, and were married
in the city of New \ 01 k, u lurr Mr. Snl„ I ^^,l^f,,|■ iiianv
years engaged in nirr. .miilr |.M^Mlll^. lie icminci'l
with his familv tn Prtrolrmn rnitcr, \ r 1 1.1 1 !■.;"( 1 idunly,
Pa., and there i-st,il.lislir,l a ,liv .j.in.K l.u^Jm■s.s, built
an opera liMii^r, ami ..tlnauisr / , mi ,-il,,ii,-,| tcj the wel-
fare of thr ,, „,M,Mii,it\ . Al^u \r,,is later Mr. Sobel
removed In^ lannU I,. N.« \,,rk, aii^ transferred his
dry goods l)iisiiiess to f.rie, Pa. Subsequently the
family took up its residence in Erie, and here Mr.
Sobel continued in the dry goods business for twelve
years. The family returned to New York in 1887,
and since then have made that city their place
of residence. Mr. Isador Sobel received his initial
schooling at grammar school No. 3, and completed
his education at the College of New York, New
York city. Until his 26th year he was engaged
in business with his father, and then began the study
of law under the preceptorship of Hon. S. M. Brain-
erd, of Erie. He was admitted to the bar in May,
1888, prai tiled f.ir two years, when he formed a part-
nershi]j with his Inrmer preceptor, under the firm
name



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 116 of 192)