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Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 119 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Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 119 of 192)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Willard Greenfield, M. D., Erie, Pa., is a native
of Cayuga county, New York. He was born Novem-
ber 21, 1826, and is a son of Sherman and Nancy
(Siek) Greenfield, both natives of New York. They
reared a family of six children, of whom Willard is
fourth. Dr. Greenfield was educated in the common
schools of Erie county, and at Austinburg, Ohio. He
began the study of medicine under the perceptorship
of Dr. B. E. Phelps at Edinboro, Pa. After stiidying
with him two years, he took a course in the
medical department of the University of Michi-
gan, at Ann Arbor, then engaged in the prac-

of tlu' II.Mn...|.allii. D
tion. ol I'n.-, .■nlislin-
collea-ii.s ill Ih,' . Iia
large sliai-,- of th.' .n-.l
is a |ili\si, lan of v\\,r .■'il .l.'.-|.|\- ill.'
the sain.' tiiii.' is lili.aa
principl.'s ..f
demonstrated. He w
Anna 1., daughter of t
an old and' highly r.
New York, and who w
tification with the inter



tice of his profession in Crawford county, Penn-
sylvania, for two years. In 1865 he returned to
Edinboro, where he practiced until 1883, when he
went to Girard, Pa., where he practiced five years, and
then removed to McKean, Pa., and two years later he
located in Erie, where he has since been very exten-
sively engaged in the practice of his profession. The
winter of 1872-3 he spent at Bellevue Hospital Med-
ical College, New York. Dr. Greenfield was married
April 21, 18.52, to Miss Cornelia M. T., daughter of
David and Hannah Tyler, of Ann Arbor, Mich. They
have five children: Frank G., Willard T., Kittie (now
Mrs. Thomas McLaughlin, of Chicago); Minnie (now
Mrs. Wm. Hawkins, of Cleveland, Ohio), and Kate E.
(deceased.) Politically the doctor is a staunch Repub-
lican. He is a member of the Masonic order, the I. O.
O. F. and A. O. U. W.

Muuson C. Smith, M. D., was born in Townville,
Crawford county. Pa., December 28, 1864, son of Mil-
ton and Sarah (Steere) Smith, both Americans. Milton
Smith is a well-known clergyman of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, having preached in Fairview, this
county, thirty years ago, when that town was a bust-
ling prosperous village. He also has had the pastorate
of the Simpson M. E. Church of Erie. A conscientious,
earnest worker, he is respected and loved by all who
know him. Munson C. first graduated at the academy
at Mayville, N. Y., then went one year to Allegheny
College at Meadville. He then attended the College
of Physicians and Surgeons at Baltimore, Md., gradu-
ating in the year 1887. Since that time he practiced
his profession in Pittsburg for several years, and at
last decided to settle in Erie, where he has since con-
tinued to engage in the practice of medicine, with de-
cided success. He married July 6, 1898, Miss Carrie
Lehman, of Erie, and they had one child, a son, Mil-
ton (deceased.) The Doctor is a member of the Method-
ist Church, and in politics is independent, with per-
haps a leaning towards the Republican party. A
pleasant, genial gentleman, he has many warm friends,
who wish him a successful professional career.

Philip Diefenbach, jr., alderman. Sixth ward,
Erie, Pa., ofiice 1816 Peach street, was born in Erie,
November 21, 1840, a son of Philip and Catherine
(Herzer) Diefenbach, natives of Bavaria and Hessen-
Darmstadt, Germany, respectively. His grandfather,
Henry Diefenbach, was the father of six children,
viz.: William (deceased), Louis (deceased), Will-
iam (deceased), Charles (deceased), Philip (de-
ceased), and Catherine, wife of Philip Zaun, of
Erie. Philip Diefenbach, sr., received a com-
mon school education in his native country, and
learned the tailor's trade. He came to America in
18,33, and worked at his trade in New York city for
five years, and in 1838, with his brother, Charles (who
had landed in New York in 1834), he came to Erie,
where he followed his trade for eight years, when he
and his brother began the manufacture of oil cloths.
They also conducted a clothing store in the Reed
House block. In 1852 the two older brothers came to
Erie, and William was taken into the partnership in
both the oil cloth and clothing business. Louis be-
came a farmer in Erie county. They conducted the
oil cloth business until the breaking out of the late
war, and continued the clothing business till 1868. In
1863 Philip had embarked in the grocery business on

Peach street, near Sixteenth, and later he moved his
store to 1816 Peach street, where he continued in busi-
ness, latterly with his son, Philip, until 1873,
when he retired. Mr. Diefenbach was a member
of the St. John's German Evangelical Church,
and was leader of the choir for many years.
He was one of the founders of and active work-
ers in St. Paul's German Reformed Evan-
gelical Church, when it was organized, and maintained
his active relation with that church until his death.
He was the leader of its choir until 1852, when his
nephew. Prof. Carl Diefenbach, took charge. Mr.
Diefenbach was also a member of one of the first
military and string bands organized in Erie, of which
his brother, C. F., was the leader. The father of Philip
Diefenbach, sr., Henry Diefenbach, came to America
from Germany, after the death of his wife, and lived
with his sons until his decease. Of his family, Philip,
William and C. F. were in partnership in Erie for
years; Louis was a farmer in Erie county; Catherine
was the wife of the late Philip Zaun, and the mother
of Philip, farmer, Mill Creek; Catherine, wife of Thos.
Mohr, county commissioner; Margaret, deceased wife
of Thos. Mohr; Jacob, farmer. Mill Creek; Mary, wife
of Daniel Knobloch, Mill Creek; Elizabeth, widow of
Henry Knobloch (deceased); George, farmer. Mill
Creek; and Anna, at home. Philip Diefenbach, sr.,
died in March, 1887, his wife preceding him
in death ten days. To them were born nine children,
viz.: Margaret (deceased), Philip and John, twins
(both deceased), Philip, jr., Catherine, Mrs. Lawrence
Messenkopf, of Erie; Elizabeth, keeps house for her
brother, Philip; Charles, who was a master mechanic
of railroad shops in Port Huron, Mich., and is now
superintendent of a marine wrecking company; Will-
iam (deceased), and Margaret (deceased.) William
Diefenbach, Philip, sr.'s brother, was married to Eliza-
beth Herzer (sister of Philip, sr.'s wife), and they were
the parents of seven children, of whom Carl was the
first born. Carl was for a number of years teacher in
the German school in Erie, and was also a prominent
musician and leader of singing societies; he was one
of the first leaders of the German smging societies in
Erie, and was for many years director of the Erie
Liedertafel, and later of the Erie Maennerchor; he is
organist of St. John's German Lutheran Church.
Philip, jr., received his education in the public schools
of Erie, and when 13 years of age entered his father's
employ in the oil cloth factory, where he remained
until the close of the factory in 1861. He lived in
Ohio for eighteen months, when he went to Corry, Pa.,
and opened a grocery, which he conducted until 1871,
when he sold out, and returning to Erie entered the
grocery store previously conducted by his father, at
1816 Peach street; here he continued, until 1873, when
he was elected alderman for the Sixth ward, as a
People's candidate, and has since devoted himself to
the duties of that position. Mr. Diefenbach is a mem-
ber of St. Paul's German Evangelical Church, of
which his father was one of the founders. He is a
member of the Harugaris, and in politics is a Repub-
lican. He has built himself a cosy office adjoining the
old homestead, where he was reared and has lived
most of his life; his sister, Elizabeth, is his house-
keeper, and lives with Mr. Diefenbach.

Christian Swalley, alderman, 926 State street,
Erie, Pa., was born in Manheim township, Lancaster



county, Pa., August 9, 1827, son of Christian and
Catherine (Shank) Swalley, both natives of Pennsyl-
vania; the former, who died in 1880, was a farmer by
occupation, and the latter survived till 1892. Mr.
Swalley's great-grandfather came from Switzerland to
Pennsylvania in 1760, as did also his great-grandfather
on his mother's side. His father removed from Lan-
caster to Erie county in 1835. The family consisted
of nine children: Levi, a farmer; Christian, alderman;
Abraham, farmer; Samuel, shoemaker; Joseph W.,
merchant; Richard B., laborer; Edward S., merchant,
and Harriet (deceased). Christian Swalley was edu-
cated in the public schools, and followed the shoe-
maker's trade from 1847 till 1860 in Fairview borough;
in 1860 he became a merchant and was also postmaster
of Fairview borough, continuing till 1866, when he
went on the road as a traveling salesman. In company
with P. Minnig, he next engaged in the grocery busi-
ness from 1865 to 1873, when he became interested in
the wholesale coffee, tea and spice trade. In 1876 he
was elected alderman of the Third ward and at the
expiration of his term was re-elected, and is still serv-
ing in that capacity. Mr. Swalley was married Sep-
tember 26, 1850, to Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel and
Anna (Roland) Heiss, both natives of Lancaster
county, the former of English and the latter of Ger-
man extraction. Two children resulted from this
union: W. W. Swalley, educated in the public schools
and Erie Academy, an engineer on the Philadelphia and
Erie R. R., and who was united in marriage to Miss
Ella Grace; and Emma F., wife of E. L. Cushman,
proprietor of "The Corner" restaurant. The family
attend the Methodist Church. Mr. Swalley is a mem-
ber of the Masonic order, belonging to Chapter, Coun-
cil, Commandery, the Lodge of Perfection and the
Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Pittsburg, Pa.;
he is also a member of the Mystic Shrine, the A. O.
U. W. and the E. A. U. In politics he is a Repub-
lican; served as school director from 1856 till 1862;
was a constable in 1865; county coroner from 1885 till
1888; member of the city council from 1872 till 1875,
and alderman from 1876 to date.

F. S. Phelps, editor of the Erie Daily Times, Erie,
Pa., was born in Dalton, Mass., October 25, 1855, son
of E. N. and Eleanor (Van Bergen) Phelps, both
natives of Massachusetts, and of English and German
extraction respectively. E. N. Phelps was an architect
and master mechanic. He died in Massachusetts in
1870. The mother died in 1853. The family consisted
of eight children, of whom F. S. Phelps was the
seventh. He received a common school education in
Dalton, and while attending the high school, at the
age of sixteen, quit to go to Holyoke and learn a trade.
At the end of two years he went to Philadelphia to
clerk in a clothing store. After four years of this
employment he established the Record at Smyrna,
Delaware, which he edited for three years. In July,
1884, he came to Erie, and first found employment as
a reporter on the Herald, later becoming advertising
manager. He next took charge of the Graphic and
Observer, and in February, 1894, a consolidation of the
plant with the Times took place, Mr. Phelps becoming
editor the same year.

Martin Doll, one of Erie's old and respected
German citizens, was born in Neuengronau, province
of Hesse-Nassau, Prussia, May 27, 1812, a son of Cas-

per and Mary (Schtementel) Doll, both natives of
Hesse-Nassau. They reared a family of four sons:
John (deceased), Casper (deceased), Conrad, resides in
Erie, and Martin. Mrs. Doll departed this life June
29, 1814, aged 42 years. Casper Doll for his second
wife married Anna M. Zell, and to this union was born
one son, George, who is a farmer in Indiana. Casper
Doll came to America in 1837, accompanied by his
wife and three sons, George, Casper and Martin, and
located in Mill Creek township on a farm, where he
died February 22, 1866, aged 91 years, having survived
his wife ten years and nineteen days. Martin Doll
received a common school education in his native
country and learned the trade of a shoemaker. He
was 25 years of age when he landed in the United
States in 1837. He came to Erie and went to work for
his brother, Conrad, who had preceded the family to
America four years, and opened a shoe shop in Erie.
He worked for his brother till 1851, when he went into
partnership with him, continuing till 1854, when Con-
rad retired, on account of poor health, and Martin took
as a partner Fred. Diehl, and continued the business
on South Park Row until 1865, when he severed his
connection with Mr. Diehl, and moved to 1203 State
street, where he conducted a shop till 1882, when he
retired. He married, July 29, 1838, Miss Anna M.,
daughter of John Frichkorn,of Erie, a native of Hesse-
Nassau, Prussia. To this union were born four chil-
dren: Margaret, Mrs. John Schabacker, of Erie; John,
a druggist of Erie; Conrad, a blacksmith, Erie; and
Elizabeth, widow of Martin Schabacker. She keeps
house for her father, and is the mother of four chil-
dren: Ellen (deceased), Ida, Mariam and Elmer. Mrs.
Martin Doll departed this life March 11, 1888, aged 75
years. The family are members of the German Evan-
gelical Church, and in politics Mr. Doll is a Republi-
can. He resides at 1205 State street, where he owns
considerable property. He is a remarkably well-pre-
served man, and though past 83 years of age, he is as
active and hearty as a man of 50.

John Doll, 1612 Peach street, one of Erie's well-
known and successful druggists, was born in Erie,
May 30, 1842, a son of Martin Doll. He received a
common school education, and in February, 1867, ac-
cepted a position in a dry goods store and followed
clerking till September, 1866, when he became a part-
ner of H. L. Wilkins in the drug business, at 1512
Peach street, continuing to the death of Mr. Wilkins,
in 1881, since which time Mr. Doll has conducted the
business. He was married, September 4, 1866, to Miss
Margaret C. E., daughter of the late Dr. H. L. Wil-
kins, of Erie. They attend the First M. E. Church.
Mr. Doll is a 32d degree Mason. He was appointed
school director, serving one year, then elected to the
same office, serving three years. He is one of Erie's
sound and successful business men. Mr. Doll resides
at 262 West Tenth street, where he built a modern
home in the spring of 1895.

Horace C. Hall, D. D., pastor of the First Baptist
Church, corner of Fifth and Peach streets, Erie, Pa.,
was born in Cortland county, New York, March 24,
1858. He received his early education in the public
schools of his birthplace, later attended and graduated
at Reid Institute, Clarion county, Pennsylvania, then
he took a thorough course in theology at Bucknell
University at Lewisburg, Pa., from whence he gradu-



ated in 1882, and was ordained pastor of the Sharon
(Pa.) Baptist Church August 3d, ot the same year. In
1886 he founded the Protected Home Circle, a popular
fraternal insurance society, of which he has since been
supreme president. March 21, 1888, a Christian and
undenominational academical school, under Baptist
control, was incorporated as Hall Institute, at Sharon,
Pa., in honor of Dr. Hall. After nearly nine years in
pastoral charge at Sharon, Pa., Dr. Hall was called to
Pittsburg, from whence he came to I'.rir, anil inok
charge of the First Baptist Church July '■'^'.i'-', « lure
his efficient work speaks for itself. Aii-ii^i -'li, IS72,
Dr. Hall was united in marriage to Miss bora K. I'ust,
of Centerville, Crawford county, Pa. They have two
children, Viola E., aged 12 years, and Horace Leroy,
aged 10 years.

H. M. Totmau. of the firm of Totman & Jacob-
son, carriage manufacturers, corner of French and
Twelfth streets, Erie, Pa., was born at Thomaston,
Conn., February 18, 1853. He is a son of Asahel C.
and Martha (Adkins) Totman, the former a native
of New York, and the latter a native of Con-
necticut. The father was superintendent for sev-
eral years for the well-known Seth Thomas Clock
Company. H. M. Totman was the eldest in a family
of fourteen children. He was reared and educated in
East Bloomfield, Ontario county, N. Y., and when a
young man served an apprenticeship at carriage-trim-
ming, which he has since made his chief occupation.
In the spring of 1883 he engaged in the carriage man-
ufacturini,' husim-s? at Mcad'ville. Pa., ami fnrmrd a
partnership witli Mr. |ar,,l,,s,,ii. u In.h »a-, mi. . .s.^rnlK
conduitc.l until Man h. js'.i:;. u I1.11 In i.nin' In 1mi.',

business. Mr. lotman was married April 19, 1S7B,
to Miss Belle, daughter of John W. and Mary A.
(Parker) Thompson. To this union were born seven
children, Georgia, Norma, Juanita, Winnie, William,
James and Edward. Politically Mr. Totman is a Re-
publican. The family are members of the Presby-
terian Church, and he is a member of the P. H. C. and
K. O. T. M.

W. E. Hayes, senior member of the firm of W. E.
Hayes & Co., Erie, Pa., was born in Greene township,
Erie county, Pa., April 22, 1846. He is a son of Lester
and Mary (Graham) Hayes, the former a native of
Granby, Conn., of an old New England family of
Scotch descent. The latter was a native of Erie
county, Pennsylvania, and of Scotch-Irish descent.
Lester Hayes walked from Granby, Conn., in 1818, to
Erie county, when he was 18 years of age. He re-
mained a short time, when he returned to his native
town on foot. Two years later he came back to Erie
county, accompanied by his brother, Martin, a minis-
ter, who later went to Wisconsin, where he died.
Lester Hayes followed farming in Greene township,
where he settled on his return to Erie county, until the
the time of his death, which occurred June 19, 1869.
The mother died November 4, 1884. They were the
parents of eight children: Arminda J., married George
J. Russell, Erie, Pa.; Myron A. (deceased), Milton (de-
ceased), Calvin C. and Samuel C. (twins), the former a
retired farmer at Wesleyville, Pa., and the latter an
attorney-at-law, Chicago, III.; Eleanor (deceased),
Henry H. (deceased) and W. E., who was reared on
his father's farm in Greene township, where he received

a common school education, and followed farming un-
til he was 33 years of age, when he came to Erie and
entered into a partnership with J. E. Patterson, under
the firm name of Patterson & Hayes, house furnishers,
also galvanized cornice manufacturers. This firm con-
tinued from 1879 till 1886, when they dissolved part-
nership, Mr. Hayes taking the house furnishing de-
partment, and Mr. Patterson taking the galvanized
cornice works. Shortly after that Mr. D.'W. Nason
joined Mr. Hayes in the formation of the present firm.
They have constantly been increasing their business
until they have a complete house furnishing goods es-
tablishment, which is the only one in the city. Their
business occupies three large stores, including Nos.
917, 919 and 921 State street. Mr. Hayes was married
September 15, 1870, to Miss Mary Adele, daughter of
Capt. Thomas and Emily (Smith) Perrin. The father
was a captain on the lake for several years and now
resides with Mr. Hayes, and is 84 years old. Mr. and
Mrs. Hayes, have three children, Clemma B., a grad-
uate of the University of Michigan, class of '93; Arba
W., clerk in his father's store, and Gertrude A. Mr.
Hayes served as assessor in Greene township several
terms, and justice of the peace two terms. He has
been elected to the office of county auditor three
terms, and has always been a staunch Republican.
The family are members of the Central Presbyterian
Church, of which he is an elder.

Edwin S. Rockafellar, vice-president and gen-
eral manager of the Hollands Manufacturing Com-
pany, F.rir, I'a., was born in Mechanicsburg, Pa. April
•JS, I.x.m;, and is a son of John M. and Sarah (Hoffman)
Ko. k, ill liar, natives of Cumberland and Lancaster
ciiiniliis, Pennsylvania, and of early Holland ancestry.
His lather, a printer by trade, and later a real estate
agent, reared a family of eleven children, five of whom
are living, and of whom Edwin S. is the second. He
received his early education in the public schools of
his native city, and at the age of 13, found employ-
ment in a hardware store, where he remained five
years. He then took a course in Eastman's Commer-
cial College, after which he secured a position as book-
keeper in Pittsburg, remaining five years. In the
meantime he had become interested in the firm of
John B. Harker & Co., jobbers in hollow ware, and also
kept the books of that concern. In 1881 Mr. Harker
and he came to Erie and took full control of the hol-
low ware department of the Selden & Griswold Manu-
facturing Company. After one year Mr. Harker
withdrew and Mr. Rockafellar continued the business
alone. In 1887 he began the manufacture and sale of
natural gas burners, which were made by contract
with the Griswold Manufacturing Company. In 1890
the Hollands Manufacturing Company was incorpo-
rated, with Caleb Hollands, president; E. S. Rocka-
fellar, treasurer and general manager; H. L. Mc-
Whorter, secretary and treasurer, and R. B. Hough,
superintendent. The plant is located at 325 West
Twelfth street, and is 150 x 200 feet. Besides the
natural gas burners, they now manufacture vises and
plumbers' machines and tools. Mr. Rockafellar was
married, September 15, 1875, to Miss Mary A. Boileau,
of Harrisburg. Pa. They have one child, Lawrence
S. Mr. Rockafellar is a Republican in his political
views, and was elected a member of the Common
Council in 1890, serving until 1894, when he was
elected a member of the Select Council. In 1892 he



was chosen president of the Common Council, which
position he held for one year. He is a member of the
Masonic fraternity, the Elks and the A. O. U. W.

Robert B. HoHgh, Eric, Pa., siiiierintendent of

the M.inu'f,,, turiivj Coiii, v, born in

Brockvilh, ( hit.ino, ( ,,,,,,,1,1, M,i,, h 'A', l^.-.s, ;,nd is a
son of |..l,n ,111.1 IJl.ii iK.-.i^i II.,ulIi. natives of
Canada and iMi.ulaii.l, i-r.-,,,,.. livrlv. W lirn Robert
was lii years old the family removed to Erie, so the
greater part of his education was received in his
adopted city. He learned the trade of machinist at
the Erie City Imn Wurks. where he remained six
years. EnterinLi, llir iiii|.l.iv nl tin- Stearns Manu-
facturing Coni|Mii\, \\r n niaiiMil three and one-half
years, when hi- In,. inn , In. I hlk lnnist for the Gris-
wold Maniifartiiniiij I oiii|mii\. and four vears later
took till- |HiMti. I sii|irrinliii(l.iit. In ISHII lir as-
sisted in .auaiii 111- the 1 1. . I Ian. I- Manilla, tiiriiii; Cmn-
pany, nf wlmh hr i> tin- Minn.l lar^c^t sto. kli.ilil.T,
Mr. Hnii.^li «as inarnr.l, .\lav K, ISSS, n. Miss Kate lair. 1 li

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 119 of 192)