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Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 125 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Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 125 of 192)
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He is also one of the founders of the Temple Mission
and Benevolent Association of America, to which he
was elected as a director, which meets quarterly at the
church of the German Temple congregation, Buffalo,
N. Y. It is also to be stated that he was appointed as
a branch agent of the American Express Company
money order department two years since. He is affil-
iated with the F. & A. M., the I. O. O. F. and K. of P.
In politics he is a liberal Republican.

Conrad Flickiager, hardware and house furnish-
ing goods, and senior member and chairman of the
Fiickinger Roofing and Cornice Company, store and
office 408 West Eighteenth street, works 424 and 426
West Nineteenth street, Erie, Pa., was born at Hert,
Rhinephaltz, Bavaria, February 20, 1845, a son of
George and Anna (Major) Fiickinger (deceased), both
natives of Germany. George Fiickinger (deceased),
was a brickmaker by trade. He came to the United
States in 1852, and, locating in Erie, followed brick-
making for more than twenty years. He died April
16, 1887, and his wife August 24, 1885. To them were
born six children: Conrad, Caroline (deceased), Eu-
gene, a shoemaker in Jamestown, N. Y.; Mary A., Mrs.
Wm. T. Reichert; and William B., of Downing &
Fiickinger, insurance, of Erie. Conrad Fiickinger
was 8 years old when the family came to America.
His schooling was in the public school of South Erie
and the old West ward school, and in 1861 went to
Waterford and engaged with G. A. Hein to learn the
tinner's trade, remaining with him three years. In
August, 1864, he enlisted in the United States navy
and was assigned to duty on the U. S. S. General Burn-
side, upper Tennessee fleet. He was discharged in
June, 1865, and returned to Erie, where he worked at
his trade till March, 1866, when he opened a shop of
his own near Twenty-sixth on Peach street, and two
years later built a store on Peach, between Twenty-
second and Twenty-third streets, where he was in busi-
ness till 1872. He then moved to his present location,
and has since done a large and lucrative business. In
1892 the Fiickinger Roofing and Cornice Company
was incorporated and has since prospered. Mr. Fiick-
inger was married September 24, 1867, to Miss Anna
Gertrude, daughter of John and Martha Schaefer, of
Erie. Eight children haveblessedthis union: Emma,
Mrs. A. J. Fox; Hattie, Elizabeth, Conrad B. and Clar-
ence, died in infancy; George C., Frederick G. and
Laura B. The family are members of St. John's Ger-
man Evangelical Lutheran Church. Mr. Fiickinger

is a member of the I. O. O. F., Erie Lodge, No. 871;
the A. O. U. Ml'., Erie Lodge, No. 44; the G. A. R., Post
67; the F. & A. M., Perry Lodge, No. 392; Knight
Templars, Mt. Olivet Commandery No. 30. In politics
he is a Republican.

J. G. Krug, the enterprising boot and shoe mer-
chant at 912 Parade street, Erie, Pa., was born in
Passaic, N. J., August 18, 1855. His parents, John G.
and Mary Louisa (Uhlein) Krug, were natives of Baden,
Germany. They emigrated to America in 1853 and
settled in New Jersey. They reared a family of seven
children, of whom J. G. is the eldest. The family
moved from New Jersey to Erie in 1864. J. G. Krug
engaged in the shoe business for himself October 3,
1878, and has since devoted his entire attention to that
line of trade. In 1883 he built the block which is now
occupied by his business. Hewasmarried September
21, 1880, to Miss Elenora Brinig, of Erie. They have
have three children, Elenora, Edward G. and Edna
L. Mr. Krug is a member of the C. M. B. A., and
politically is a Democrat. The family are members of
the Catholic Church.

Frank J. Detzel was born January 24, 1859, in
Erie county, the son of Matthias and Apoline Detzel,
who came originally from Bavaria, Germany, to Erie
in the year 1856. Mathias first engaged in farming in
Mill Creek township, and in 1865 engaged in the gro-
cery business on State street, between Eleventh and
Twelfth. In 1886 he built on Parade street the first
grocery in that part of Erie. While in the grocery
business he also engaged in contracting, and in 1873-4
received the contract for paving Sixth street from
French to Parade, and Parade street from Sixth to
Eighteenth with Medina stone; also laying the Parade
street sewer in 1869. The paving contract was the
largest ever let by the city of Erie. He is yet living
on Parade street, at No. 1306, where he is engaged in
the restaurant business. He had twelve children,
three of whom are now living: Frank J., Wm. Fi-
son, on the Erie police force, and Joseph B., assistant
postmaster. Frank J. received his education in the
Erie parochial and public schools, and succeeded his
father in the grocery business in 1881. He was mar-
ried June 30, 1881, to Ida R., daughter of Jacob and
Caroline Heidt, also of Bavaria, Germany. The result
of this union is five children; Bertie L., Edward M.,
Olevia, Louisa and Florence. The family are Catho-
lics, being members of St. Mary's Church. Frank J.
is a member of the C. M. B. A. and the East Erie
Turners. He is a radical reformer in politics, and while
he has always supported the Democratic ticket thinks it
has room for improvement. He served one term
as school director, was a delegate to the Democratic
State convention at Harrisburg, and was also on the
county and city committee. He has always been suc-
cessful in business at 1304 Parade street, where in 1892
he built a large and handsome three-story building of
brick at the northwest corner of Thirteenth and Pa-
rade, and fitted it up with all the latest improvements
and conveniences for conducting the grocery business,
put an elevator in from basement to top, uses the base-
ment, ground floor and third floor for store purposes,
and furnished the second floor for a home, which he
occupies with his family. Mr. Detzel possesses the
grit and energy native to the German element that
have so enriched our fair land, and deserves the pros-



perity and plenty that nature and fortune have en-
dowed him with. Erie owes to his family much of its
wonderful advancement.

Frederick E. Merteiis came to Erie county in
1868 from Germany, and is now one of Erie's success-
ful business men, in fact is proprietor of the nickel
plating and finishing factory at the corner of Parade
and Thirteenth streets, which employs twenty-five men,
furnishing the means of subsistence to that many fam-
ilies, and is one of the important industrial plants of
this great city. This factory was started in 1880 for
manufacturing and plating and finishing the products
of many other of Erie's manufactories. The principal
and most important article manufactured is a high and
low water indicator and alarm for steam boilers.

Charles William Nlclt was born July 28, 1860, at
McKean, Erie county, the son of C. Earnest R. Nick
and Mary (\'eit) Nick, who came from Estling, Ger-
many, to the United States in 1863 and 1840 respectively;
his father was a farmer by occupation and is at present
living in Summit township, this county, the father of
seven children, of whom Charles \V. is the eldest.
John H., a farmer; Clara; Emma, wife of S. G. Beck-
man; Minnie; Earnest G., a dairyman, and Bertha.
Charles W. was educated in the Erie public schools,
and having a fascination for the drug business, engaged
in it at a very early age in the year 1884. He started
in the drug trade for himself on Eighteenth and
Chestnut in 1886, he then moved to Twenty-fourth
and Peach, where he remained until May, 1896, when
he sold his business to a Mr. Dumars. He has since
erected a factory for the manufacture of several
proprietary preparations which he proposes to engage
in on quite an extensive scale, manufacturing a full
line of remedies from sarsaparilla, smartweed, lake-
weed and the numerous medicinal herbs that are
natives of this part of the State. The preparation of
which he will make a specialty is his Max-i-mus, a horse
and cattle powder. He is well-known throughout
the country, having sold his remedies from a wagon
the past four years. He married March 8, 1883, Mary
E. Pollock, daughter of Matthew G. and Margaret
(Dunn) Pollock, of Irish-French parentage. They
have three children, Carl Theodore, Walter Earnest
and Mary Gertrude. They are United Presbyterians
and Mr. Nick is a staunch Republican; he is a mem-
ber of the Masonic fraternity and also a member of
the Knights of Pythias. He was one of the incor-
porators of the Mutual Building and Loan Association
of Erie, of which he is a treasurer. The association is
piirely an Erie enterprise and has a capital of one
million dollars, and has met with phenomenal success
since the date of its organization.

Jacob Fritz, grocer, Erie, Pa., was born in
Heimersheim, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, September
9, 1841, and came to America when ten years of age
with his people, who settled here. He is a son of
George John Fritz, who was the father of four children :
Elizabeth, wife of Lawrence Koster, a merchant of
Erie; John and George (farmers of West Union, Iowa)
and Jacob, who, when 14 years old, began the trade of
cabinet-making, which he followed for four years;
then he began merchandising and has since been very
successful m the grocery business in Erie. Mr. Fritz
was united in marriage in 1865 with Elizabeth Althoff,

born in Eringshausen Kreis, Koblenz, Prussia. To
this union was born eleven children: Helen, Martha,
Kate, Elizabeth, George, Florence, Walter John,
Jacob, jr., Frank Fenner, Clarence E. and Carl E.
The family are members of the German Lutheran
Church. Mr. Fritz has always taken an active part in
developing the social and industrial life of Erie.

Michael Hespelein, 1026 Parade street, Erie, Pa.,
is a son of Valentine and Wilhelmina (Schaper) Hes-
pelein, both natives of Germany. Valentine Hes-
pelein came to America and located at St. Mary's,
Elk county. Pa., where he remained till 1868, when he
moved to Erie, Pa., where he died July 14, 1894, aged
76 years. Mrs. Hespelein still resides in Erie, aged
69 years. To them were born eight children: John
(deceased), Minnie (deceased), Frank (deceased),
Elizabeth (Mrs. John Schrifer, of Erie), Mary (Mrs.
John M. Schrifer, of Erie), Julius (a shoe merchant in
Baltimore), George (a mission father, at present, 1895,
at Saratoga Springs, N. Y.)and Michael, who received
a common-school education at St. Joseph's parochial
school. South Erie, and when 12 years of age secured
a position as cash boy in the store of I. A. Forman &
Bros., where he remained one year. He then went to
work for the Lovell Manufacturing Company, staying
three and one-half years, then he found employment
with Nick Ultsch, in his shoe store, remaining three
years. He then went to Baltimore, and was in his
brother's shoe store eight months. Returning to Erie,
he was employed in J. G. Krug'sshoe store, six months,
and then became manager for the Eichenlaub estate
of the shoe store at the corner of Tenth and Parade
streets. Two years later, with E. A. Fluegel, he
bought out this store, and at the end of three years
Mr. Hespelein bought out his partner and conducted
the business one year, then moved the stock to his
present location, where he has conducted the business
till 1895. Mr. Hespelein was married, June 27, 1894,
to Miss Catherine E., daughter of Francis Reilly, of
Erie. They have one son, Joseph G., born March 30,
1896. Mr. and Mrs. Hespelein are members of St.
Peter's Cathedral. He is a member of the C. M. B.
A., Fraternal Mystic Circle, and Alphonsis Society, of

Henry S. Bemls, grocer and dealer in boots and
shoes, Erie, Pa., was born in Venango township, Erie
county. Pa., in 1864. He is a son of Sumner and
Eleanor (tlenton) Bemis. His mother was of
German and Welsh descent, she was a native of
Wales. His father, born in New York State, has made
farming the business of his life, and still resides on
his farm in Venango township, this county. His wife
died there in November, 1884. Of their ten children,
five are now living in Erie county. Seth, a resident
of Greene township; Sumner, jr., resides in Venango
township: Elmer E., farmer, Venango; Henry S.,
merchant, in Erie; Gara, resides with his father on the
farm. Henry S. Bemis was reared in Venango town-
ship, Erie county, Pa., attended the common schools
and worked on the farm with his father until he
reached majority, and then followed farming as a
business in Venango township until 1891, when he
came to Erie and embarked in his present business.
In 1895 he bought land and built a store and residence
on Parade street, where he is now engaged in busi-
ness. He has met with more than average success in



business since he started out for himself. He was
united in marriage in 1889 to Miss Jennie M., daugh-
ter of Thomas and IVlary (Williams) Carr. Her par-
ents were of Irish-Welsh origin. They have four chil-
dren. They belong to the Presbyterian Church.
Politically he is a Republican.

Abraham John touch (deceased) was born in
Dublin, Ireland, May 20, 1832. He was a son of the
late Charles Lilley and Mary Maria (Moulton) Louch.
Charles L. Louch is a descendant of the original Nor-
man family of that name, who came to England with
William the Conqueror in 1057. It is supposed that the
original name was Louche, and that in the course of
its anglicizatiun it became first Lowche, and then
Louch. It is under these latter names that the arms
of the family now in use are registered in the Ancient
Heraldry Books of England, and are to be found in
Sussex, from which county the great-grandfather of
Abraham went to Ireland in 1700. Mary Maria (Moul-
ton) Louch was the daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel
Sir Abraham Moulton, of Moulton Hall, Norfolk, Eng-
land, an officer of dragoons in the English army. His
daughter was born in Lisbon, Portugal, during the
campaign under Sir John More. Abraham J. Louch
completed his education at King's College, Dublin,
from which institution he was graduated in 1846. Two
years thereafter he was in the em]jloy of Robert Mal-
lett & Sons, manufacturers of railroad sup]jlies, and
then went to sea, apprenticed to Fox & Crosby, ship
owners of Dublin. In July, lsr,(l, he found himself in
port at Erie, and thereafter until the breaking out of
the war was engaged in the lake service as master
and captain of various sailing craft. In 1861 he en-
listed in the service of the LInited States navy, and
continued therein until October, 1865, filling succes-
sively the ranks of first master's mate, ensign and
master. He was for a time in charge of the recruit-
ing service on the lakes for the navy, and in the spring
of 1864 joined the Gettysburg as executive officer. He
was transferred from the Gettysburg to the Mackinaw
and served as the executive officer until after the fall
of Petersburg, Va., when he was placed in command.
This vessel went out of commission in May, 1865, and
her commander returned to his home in Erie. He re-
ceived an honorable discharge with the thanks of the
naval department October 6, 1865. He then pur-
chased a small vessel and engaged in the importing
business. In 1866 he was appointed to the command
of the United States steamer Watchful, lighthouse
tender, a position which he resigned a year later to as-
sume the duties of inspector of customs at Erie, which
latter office he held nine months. He then went to
Buffalo, where he for one year engaged in a commer-
cial brokerage business. This proving distasteful to
him, he returned to sailing, and was in 1869-70 pilot of
the revenue cutter Perry. In 1871-2-3 he was master
of the United States steamer Search, in the lake sur-
vey service. He then returned to the merchant serv-
ice, and continued to be engaged therein until 1888,
when he established a sail and awning manufacturing
business in Erie, which he continued until his death,
March 30, 1895. Mr. Louch's political affiliations were
with the Republican, Greenback and Populist parties.
He was the Greenback candidate for coroner in 18вАФ.
He was on the People's ticket for the Assembly in
1892, and was the nominee of the same party for State
secretary of internal affairs in 1894, when he ran 1,000

votes ahead of his ticket. He was married February
6, 1853, to Mary, daughter of Peter and Mary Doyle,
of Dublin. She died in May, 1877, leaving five chil-
dren: Charles Moulton, a sailing master; William E.,
a lake engineer; Abraham J., sailor; Mary Ann, wife of
William Schaaf, a Pittsburg and Erie R. R. employe,
and Ella Marca Louch. The family are Romanists
and reside at 355 West Second street.

William Loesch, nurseryman, Erie, Pa., was born
in Erie, August 17, 1837, and is a son of the late Law-
rence and Margaret (Daub) Loesch, natives of Bavaria,
where they lived until after their marriage. They came
to the United States in 1836, locating in Erie, where
Lawrence Loesch was engaged in butchering until his
death in 1864. His wife died in 1863. William Loesch
was associated in business with his father until the
latter's death, and for a short time subsequent thereto
continued in the butchering business. In 1865 he ob-
tained an omnibus line in Erie, which business was in
1870 purchased by and became merged in the street
railway company. He then re-engaged in his old busi-
ness. In 1873 he built a large packing house at the
corner of Twenty-first and State streets, which was
blown down shortly after its completion, involving Mr.
Loesch in a heavy loss and leading him to sell out the
site of the packing house and its ruins to Hon. M. B.
Lowry. Mr. Loesch continued butchering until 1890,
when he embarked exclusively in the business of im-
porting German prune trees, in which he is still en-
gaged. He has since added a full line of nursery stock
and shrubs. He married, in 1857, Margaret, daughter
of the late Peter Simon, an old resident of Erie. They
have four children, Joseph, Edward, Ida and Mary.
Joseph is an Erie butcher, and married Emma Dranze;
they have two children, Harry and Annie. Edward is
also a butcher; he married Rose, daughter of George
McClellan, of East Mill Creek, Erie county; they have
two children, Frederick and Annie. Ida married Fred-
erick Miller, a plumber of Erie. They have three
children, William, John and Frederick. Mary married
H. A. Ross, of Corry, Pa., a conductor on the P. & E.
R. R.; they have one child, Charles. Mr. and Mrs.
William Loesch reside at the corner of Twenty-first
and Holland streets.

Morril Wilson Smart, cashier of the Erie Elec-
tric Motor Company, Erie, Pa., born in Croyden, N. H.,
September 6, 1830. He received a common school
education, occupied several clerical positions, was
clerk in the postoffice at Battle Creek, Mich., from
1845 till 1849, when, lured by the startling discoveries
of gold in California, he went to the Pacific coast,
where he remained for two years, whence he returned
considerably poorer, but very much wiser. In 1860 he
took up his residence in Greenville, Mercer county,
Pa., and was for a period of twenty-nine years there-
after employed as an American express messenger
and United States mail agent on the B. & P. R. R. In
1864 he removed his family to Erie, Pa., where they
have ever since resided. In 1890 Mr. Smart assumed
the duties of the position he now occupies, and has had
thirty-three years' experience in the United States

John and Ueorge Steimer, brothers, Erie, Pa.,
were born in Bavaria, the former in 1837, and the lat-
ter in 1839. John came to the United States when 15



years of age, and was followed by his brother, George,
eight years later. Both located, immediately upon
reaching this country, in Erie, where they have ever
since resided. John was a carpenter by trade, and
pursued the business of carpentry contracting until
May, 1894. George was a cooper, and followed that
vocation until 1874, when he opened a saloon at
Twelfth and State streets, removing subsequently to
Myrtle and Twelfth, then to Eighteenth, near Wayne,
and in May, 1894, became associated with his brother,
John, in the same business at Eighteeenthand Parade.
In April, 1895, John sold his interest to his son, Valen-
tine, and the restaurant is now conducted under the
joint proprietorship of George and Valentine
Steimer. John Steimer married Lena Nellis.
They have eighth children: Valentine, John,
Edward, Julius, Kate, Mary, Minnie and Elizabeth.
Valentine was born in Erie, February 15, 1863. He
was married to Marian, daughter of the late Sebastian
Kirschner, a carpenter and contractor of Erie, and has
one child, Eveline Marie. The family reside at 438
East Tenth street, and attend St. Mary's Church.
Edward Steimer, a molder by trade, married Kate
Gilfoyle, of Erie, and has one child, Edward; Kate
Steimer married William Eistert, a molder, and has
four children: Mary Steimer married Edward Blen-
ner, restaurant keeper, at Eleventh and Ash lane, and
has two children; George Steimer married Minnie
Simons, who died, leaving three children: George,
Frederick and Joseph, who reside with their father at
the corner of Eighteenth and Parade streets, and are
members of St. Mary's Church.

WllUatn Michael Zimmer, merchant, Erie, Pa.,
was born in Gebelarod, Hesse- Darmstadt, April 30,
1856. He is a son of the late Conrad and Elizabeth
(Erb) Zimmer, natives of the same place, who came to
this country in 1873, and located in Erie county. Pa.,
where they continued to reside throughout their lives,
for a time on a farm in West Mill Creek township, and
latterly in the city of Erie. Conrad Zimmer died in Jan-
uary, 1892, and his wife died in February, 1893. W. M.
Zimmer received his education in the schools of his
native place, for a time assisted his father in farming,
and was then for two years an employe in the Krupp
Gun factory. He accompanied his parents to the
United States, attended school for six months in Mill
Creek township, and, in April, 1874, came to Erie and
obtained a position as clerk in J. F. Decker's store on
West Eighteenth street, where he remained until
1880. On February 12, 1880, he established himself in
the grocery business at 542 West Eighteenth street.
Two years later he purchased the block at the south-
east corner of Eighteenth and Cherry streets, removed
his grocery to that location and added to it a dry goods
and boot and shoe department, and there continued
business for twelve years. Mr. Zimmer has served the
city government as a member of the common council
from the Sixth ward. He was married March 27, 1881,
to Anna, daughter of the late Daniel and Mary (Har-
ding) Houck, of McKean township, Erie county, Pa.
Mr. and Mrs. Zimmer have four children, Blanch,
William, Harry and Charles, reside at 1815 Cherry
street, and are members of the English Lutheran

Thomas Pickering, liveryman, Erie, Pa., was
born in East Islington, Yorkshire, England, June 27,

1845. He is a son of the late Harland and Elizabeth
(Day) Pickering, who came to this country and located
in Trafalgar township, Ontario, in 1848, where Harland
Pickering pursued farming throughout his life, and
died in 1874. His wife survived until 1883. Thomas
Pickering received a common school education, assisted
his father upon the farm until 1866, when he came to
Erie, soon thereafter removing to the oil regions, where
he was engaged in business for seven years. Return-
ing to Erie in 1873 he established a livery business on
Eighteenth street, between Peach and State, where he
remained twelve years, when he removed to his pres-
ent location, 145-147 West Eighteenth street, where he
built in 1885. Mr. Pickering is a Republican, was a
member of the select council from the Third ward,
a member of the school board from the same ward
and is now a member of the select council from the
Sixth ward. He is a member of the A. O. U. W. and
B. P. O. E. He was married January 12, 1874, to
Katherine, daughter of Antone Knoll, an old resident
and business man of Erie. Mr. and Mrs. Pickering
have one child, Hutze, a student at the Erie Business
University, and reside at 145 West Eighteenth street.

Leslie B. Moore (deceased), Erie, Pa., was born
in Erie, May 25, 1822. He is a son of the late John T.
and Sarah Anne (Russell) Moore. John T. Moore
came from Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, and
located at Waterford, Erie county. Pa., in 1798, and
settled in Erie in 1816. He served in the war of 1812,
and followed hotel keeping in Waterford and Erie.
Leslie B. Moore had a common school education, and
then learned the trade of stationary engineer, which

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 125 of 192)