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Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 126 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Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 126 of 192)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

avocation he pursued until 1872, when he retired from
business. He was married December 25, 1847, to a
daughter of the late Thomas Stewart. He came to
Erie in 1819, removed to Pittsburg in 1820, and re-
turned to Erie in 1832, where he continued to reside
throughout his life, being engaged in business as a
contractor. He was a valuable citizen, contributing
freely of time and money toward every public, educa-
tional and Christian enterprise. He held numerous
positions of trust, among them those of burgess, di-
rector of the poor and assessor. He was one of the
founders and a liberal supporter ot the First Baptist
Church. Mr. Moore died in 1877. Mr. and Mrs. L.
B. Moore had four children, three of whom survive.
John B. (deceased) was a civil engineer. The surviv-
ing children are: Edson T. Moore, of the firm of
Moore, Winschel & Co., carpet dealers and drapers;
Anna L., wife of L. E. Foot, of the Lake Shore road,
of Erie (they have two children, Clara H. and Frank
A.); and Stewart L. Moore, general ticket agent of the
Northern Pacific R. R., with headquarters in St. Paul,
Minn. Edson T. Moore married Georgia, daughter of
Capt. Davis, of Erie. They have two chil-
dren, Edna and Lillian. Stewart L. Moore married
Miss May Norwood, of Quincy, 111. They have one
child, Lillian. Mr. and Mrs. Leslie B. Moore and Mr.
and Mrs. L. E. Foote reside at 248 West Eighth street.

Samuel Helss, grocer, Erie, Pa., was born in
Fairview township, Erie county, Pa., November 10,
1843. He is a son of the late Samuel and Anna (Ro-
land) Heiss. Samuel Heiss enlisted September 2,
1861, at Mishawaka, Ind., in Co. I, 9th Ind. V. I., as a
private and served with that command until January
18, 1863, when he was discharged to re-enlist in the



marine service, being assigned to the United States
steamer Diana. His battle list includes: Greenbriar
River, Buffalo Mountain, V'a., Shiloh, siege of Corinth,
Duck River, siege of Vicksburg, Austin, Miss.,Tenees
Bayou, Richmond, La., Sunnyside Landing, Coalman
Cross Roads, Port Gibson, Grand Gulf, Red River ex-
pedition and Lake Village, La. He was in the hos-
pital at Corinth, Hamburg and Evansville about three
months in 1862 with lung trouble and general disability,
and May, 1863, was paralyzed by the discharge of can-
non, but recovered speedily. He was discharged at
Vicksburg, January 18, 1865. Three brothers, Elan W.,
Daniel B. and David G. Heiss, also served in the War
of the Rebellion, the two former in the 48th Ind. V. L,
and the latter in the 9th Ind. V. L Elan Heiss died at
Corinth, Miss., July 7, 1862. David G. Heiss died
shortly after the war closed. The maternal great-
grandfather of the Heiss brothers was a soldier m the
patriot army during the War of the Revolution. Sam-
uel Heiss is one of the proprietors of a prosperous
grocery business at the corner of Eighteenth and Pop-
lar streets. He has served as a census enumerator for
the Tenth Pennsylvania district, and is now serving
his fourth term as a member of the Erie school board
and was for two years presiding officer of that body.
He is a member of Strong Vincent Post, No. 67, G. A.
R. He was married May 6, 1876, to Minnie Bach, who
was born in Germany March 8, 1851. Mr. and Mrs.
Heiss and children, Minnie, Leona and Ruby, reside at
1710 Poplar street.

Henry Clay Aubrey, commercial traveler, Erie,
Pa., was born in McKean township, Erie county. Pa.,
September 1, 1842. He is the youngest child of the
late James and Nancy (Harrison) Aubrey, the former
a native of Vermont and of English-French descent,
the latter a native of New York and of English-Irish
Irish descent. John F. Aubrey the grandfather of the
immediate subject of these memoirs, was surgeon of
the Queen's Legion of Field and Hospital, and volun-
teered a surgeon to the United States in the war of
1812, a service which cost him his rank and fortune.
His son James, born in 1800, was a farmer and stock
dealer until his death (May 6, 1856), in McKean town-
ship, where his father had located his family in 1812.
He was a good citizen and filled numerous positions of
trust. Henry C. Aubrey was educated in the public
schools of McKean township and at Waterford Acad-
emy. He enlisted April 17, 1861, in Co. A, Erie Zou-
aves, Capt. T. M. Austin. August 9, 1862, he re-en-
listed in the 145th P. Y. I., which regiment served in
the 1st div., 2d army corps. He was at Antietam,
Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Mine
Run and the battles of the Wilderness. At the battle
of Gettysburg he was shot through the right thigh, and
was in consequence furloughed for six weeks. At the
battle of Cold Harbor, June 3, 1864, his right arm was
shot off, and he was discharged from the service Sep-
tember 13, 1864. Returning to Erie county, he attended
the Edinboro Normal School, and thereafter taught
school at intervals and in various places until 1869,
when he started into business as a commercial traveler,
selling goods through the oil regions of Pennsylvania.
The following year he went to Lincoln county, Nevada,
where he established a real estate and general collec-
tion agency, which he conducted until 1872, when he
returned to Pennsylvania and found employment on
the Advocate in Pittsburg. After a short period of

service on that journal he re-engaged in business as a
commercial traveler, handling goods for numerous es-
tablishments, in which business he is still engaged.
He is a Republican and was his party's candidate
for clerk of the courts, and for member of the As-
sembly. While a resident of Waterford he was
seven years (1876 to 1882) a justice of the peace.
He was married September 24, 1874, to Phoebe J.,
daughter of the late William Barnett, a farmer of
Waterford township. She died March 24, 1886, leav-
ing four children, Vere P., William H., Anna C. and
Florence E. Aubrey. He was married a second time
to Carrie E., daughter of the late Mr. Carlin, a farmer
of Conneaut, Ohio. Two children have been born of
this marriage, Ruth M. and Glenni C. Aubrey. The
family reside at 1813 Holland street and attend the
First Presbyterian Church.

William Graham (deceased), one of the earliest
settlers of Erie county, was born in Bellefonte, Centre
county. Pa., November 21, 1795, coming to Erie county
with his parents in 1803. They located about six miles
south of Erie, in what was then Crawford county (now
Summit township, Erie county). He lived with his
parents until 1818, when he purchased the farm he
ever after lived on from George W. Reed. Mr. Gra-
ham endured all the hardships incident to clearing and
cultivating a new country. He came all the way from
Centre county on horseback, through dense and bound-
less forests, broken here and there by narrow paths,
only to be followed by the blazed trees along them.
He was the oldest of a family of seven children, all
of whom are now deceased. Mr. Graham was a soldier
in the war of 1812, serving with credit, although but 17
years of age when war was declared. He was a man
of sterling honesty and uprightness. For twenty
years he acted as a justice of the peace, conducting
the affairs of his district in so successful a manner that
it was rarely heard of in court. He died August 24,
1882, aged 86 years. He left two children, Jackson J.
Graham and Maggie E., wife of the late Clark Ewing.
Jackson J. Graham was married in 1864 to Lavina E.,
daughter of the late James Robinson, of Mill Creek
township, Erie county. She died February 20, 1890,
leaving one daughter, Emma E. Graham.

Clark EwlMg, Erie, Pa., who married Maggie E.,
daughter of William and Elizabeth Graham, was born
in Erie. He was a student at Columbia Law College,
New York, studied law under the preceptorship of
Judge Wm. A. Galbraith, was admitted to the bar De-
cember 24, 1863, and in the same month went to Titus-
ville. Pa., where he formed a law partnership with
F. B. Guthrie. He was married February 16, 1866,
and died October 10, 1869, leaving two children, Will-
iam G. and Echo E. Ewing. Mr. Ewing was zeal-
ously devoted to his profession and enjoyed a lucrative
practice. He was likewise an active and stirring pol-
itician, and exerted much personal influence in the
Democratic party. He was a public-spirited citizen,
an open-handed friend, pos.sessing the warmest of
hearts and the most generous of dispositions. His
professional career was characterized by such integ-
rity, ability and energy as gave promise of distinction
and eminence, and won for him the confidence of his
fellow-citizens. His widow resides at No. 137 East
Eighth street, Erie Pa. Her son, William G. Ewing,
was married Septemper 8, 1892, to Jennie, daughter of



Alexander Maxwell, an old resident of Erie. Mrs.
Clark Ewing's daughter was married April 14, 1891, to
Thomas W. Walker, of the Erie Paper Company.

Nicholas Lochner (deceased), Erie, Pa., was born
in Mirsbach, Bavaria, September 2, 1824, and died at
Erie, Pa., September 26, 1889. He was a son of Peter
Lochner, a native of Bavaria, as were their ancestors
as far back as the genealogy of the family is traceable.
Nicholas Lochner was a farmer in the fatherland, and
when, as a young man (1852) he came to this country,
he pursued the same calling for one year in Cat-
taraugus county, New York. He then came to Erie,
and found employment with Joseph Seelinger, grocer,
with whom he remained for three years. Following
this, he was with A. Steimer, grocer, for one year. He
was next engaged, for three years, in selling oil-cloths
for Edward Camphausen and George Rilling. In
1859 he had charge of a feed store for John Eliot, and
while thus engaged ran a restaurant of his own on
Turnpike street. In 1860 he was foreman of a coal
gang for Scott & Hearn, and also conducted a res-
taurant at the foot of State street. In 1861 he started
a flour and feed store at 1214 State street, with A.
Meyer, under the firm name of Meyer & Co. This
partnership was dissolved in 1868, Mr. Meyer pur-
chasing the interest of his partner, who then embarked
in the fish business with Jacob Heidt and John A. Sut-
ter. In 1870 Mr. Lochner established himself in the
grocery business, at the corner of Twenty-eighth and
Parade streets, removing one year later to the store
which he built at Twenty-sixth and Parade, where the
business has ever since been carried on. He was an
active Democrat, and served as alderman from 1872
to 1877, and as a county committeeman for several
years. He was married twice; in 1861 to Caroline,
daughter of Michael Kuhn, an old resident of Erie.
She died in 1871, leaving five children, Amand,
Josephine, Mary, Charles and Caroline. His second
marriage, January, 1872, was to Mrs. Milleck, of Erie,
by whom he had no children. She survives, and re-
sides at Twenty-sixth and Parade. Amand Lochner,
the eldest son, was born October 2, 1862, educated at
the public and parochial schools of Erie; entered his
father's store when 14 years of age; became his part-
ner at 21, and succeeded to the business at his decease.
He was married, September 6, 1887, to Lena, daughter
of Frank Mangold, an old resident and business man
of Erie. Mr. and Mrs. Amand Lochner have three
children, Caroline, Charles and Julia, and reside at 414
East Twenty-sixth street. They are members of St.
John's Church. Mary Lochner is the widow of the
late John Lochner, of Pittsburg, Pa. Charles Loch-
ner is engaged in the gentlemen's furnishing goods
business at Twenty-sixth and Parade streets. He
married Mary, daughter of P. McEnery, a farmer of
Greene township, Erie county. Josephine and Caro-
line Lochner are unmarried.

David F. Diefenderfer. lake yard master of the
P. R. R., Erie, Pa., was born September 6, 1844, in Le-
high county, Pennsylvania, and is a son of the late
Solomon and Nancy (Ahner) Diefenderfer, natives of
Pennsylvania, the former of Swiss descent, the latter
of Hollandese extraction. They removed to Mercer
county during the childhood of David, where they
continued to reside throughout their lives. Solomon I
Diefenderfer was born September 9, 1801. He died I

March 25, 1884. His wife was born July 18, 1801, and
died October 11, 1880. David F. Diefenderfer re-
ceived such education as was afforded by the public
schools of his native township. The year subsequent
to his arrival at maturity was spent in assisting in the
work upon his father's farm. In 1855 he came to
Erie, and found employment in the freight service on
the old Erie and Pittsburg R. R., then owned and con-
trolled by the late William L. Scott. He continued in
the employment of that road until it became a part of
the Pennsylvania system. He has ever since been in
the employ of that system, having been successively
promoted until 1885, when he was appointed to his
present position, that of yard master at the lake yards
of the Pennsylvania lines at Erie. Mr. Diefenderfer
was married in August, 1873, to Elizabeth Rosebaugh.
She died February, 1879, leaving one son, Frank H.
Diefenderfer, now an employe of the Pennsylvania
lines at Erie. David F. Diefenderfer was again mar-
ried to Frances J., daughter of the late Festus Gid-
dings, own cousin of the late distinguished Abolition-
ist, Senator Joshua R. Giddings, of Ohio. Mr. and
Mrs. Diefenderfer reside at 415 Chestnut street, and
are members of the Central Presbyterian Church, of
whose board of trustees he was a member for eight
years. Mr. Diefenderfer is a member of the A. O. U.
W. and K. of H.

Frederick Witischel, merchant, Erie, Pa., was
born in Erie, July 17, 1847. He is a son of the late
John Michael and Mary Conn (Hammer) Winschel.
The former was born in 1814 and the latter in 1813, in
Neupfotz, Rheinish Bavaria, where they were married
and whence they came to the United States in 1841,
locating at Erie, where they continued to reside
throughout their lives. John M. Winschel was for
many years the leading stone mason and contractor
for masonry in the city of Erie, and laid the founda-
tions of many of its most important structures. He
was run over and killed at the Union Depot crossing
by a Lake Shore engine, July 11, 1893; his wife died
in 1877. Frederick Winschel was educated in the
parochial and public schools of Erie, learned the shoe-
making trade, and followed that vocation from 1862 to
1882. From 1875 to 1880 he was the proprietor of a
custom boot and shoe shop. After his return to Erie
he became identified with the business department of
the Observer, with which he remained two and a half
years. For six months thereafter he was engaged in
the insurance business with Frank Schlaudecker. In
June, 1885, he was appointed superintendent of letter
carriers at Erie, a position which he occupied through-
out the entire term of Postmaster Shannon, and for
six months under Postmaster Hilton. In January,
1890, he was associated with E. F. Moore in establish-
ing a carpet and drapery business, with which he is
still connected, and which is carried on in the Kessler
Block, 1118 State street, under the firm name of Moore,
Winschel & Co. He was married March 31, 1867, to
Rose, daughter of John Altermatt, a pioneer citizen of
Erie, where he still resides, and is (1895) in his 93d
year. Mr. and Mrs. Winschel have two children. Miss
Rose Elizabeth, a teacher in the public schools of
Erie, and Josephine Mary Winschel. The family re-
side at 150 West Thirteenth street, and are mem-
bers of St. Peter's Cathedral. Mr. Winschel is a mem
ber of the Knights of Honor and Woodmen of the



Jonas Bowers, contractor, Erie, Pa., was born in
Erie, Pa., May 8, 1830. He is a son of the late John
and Ann (Quakenbosch) Bowers, the former a native
of New York, and of English descent, the latter a
native of Holland, whose parents came to the United
States, locating in Erie. John Bowers settled in Erie
in 1804, where he was married and was for many years
engaged in business as a carpenter and joiner. He
died in 1851; his wife died in 1860. Jonas Bowers
received a common school education, learned the
carpenter's trade and worked with his father until
1864, when he formed a partnership with the late
Capt. James Dunlap, with whom he was engaged in
the business of pier-building until 1879, since which
time he has been engaged in the same business alone.
Mr. Bowers built the public docks of Erie, and was
engaged upon other improvements in that city, and
has done much work for the government in pier-
building and pile-driving. He was married January
5, 1854, to Helen Susan, daughter of the late Capt.
James Dunlap. Four children have been born of this
union: Mary, wife of James Culver, an oil dealer of
Erie, to whom three children have been born, Fred-
erick, Florence and Clara; George Bowers, an employe
of Trask, Prescott & Richardson, who married Cora,
daughter of Dr. D. P. Robbins, of Erie, and who have
two children, Ruth and Evert; Harriet, wife of Fred-
erick Sullivan, an employe of Foreman Bros., dry-
goods merchants of Erie, and who have one child,
Seward; and Frank Bowers, unmarried, an employe of
Trask, Prescott & Richardson. Mr. and Mrs. Bowers
and son Frank reside at 152 West Second street. Mr.
Jonas> Bowers is an active member of the A. O. U. W.
The family attend the First Baptist Church of Erie.

Robert T. Walker, superintendent of street work,
Erie Water Works, Erie, Pa., was born in Pittsburg,
Pa., August 10, 1845. He is a son of the late Robert
and Rachel (Firman) Walker, the former a native of
England and the latter of Ireland. The Firmans came
to the United States in 1828, and settled in what was
then known as " Jerusalem," now the Fourth ward of
the city of Erie. Thomas Firman, the head of the
family, was engaged in contracting, and latterly was a
farmer. The elder Robert Walker came to the United
States when a young man, and in 1840 located in Erie,
where he married, and was for a time engaged in the
meat business in the old market house in West Park.
He was for a time interested in the construction of the
old Erie and Waterford plank road. During the lat-
ter years of his life he was a railroad contractor, and
was identified with the construction of a number of
railroads in the southeastern part of Ohio, Illinois and
Missouri. He died in 1856. The son, Robert, re-
ceived his education in the public schools, and in 1869
he commenced to learn the trade of a blacksmith with
James M. Zuck and brother, on the corner of Six-
teenth and Peach streets, where Zuck's blacksmith shop
now stands, and followed it principally up to 1886, ex-
cepting two years (1862-3) spent in the oil regions.
Returning to Erie, he purchased the interest of James
M. Zuck, and from 1870 to 1874 he was proprietor of
the Erie City Hotel and livery stable, at Eighteenth
and Peach streets. In 1874 he sold a half interest in
the livery business to Thomas Pickering, and the firm
was known as Walker & Pickering. Later he sold his
entire interest to Mr. Pickering and became interested
in the Union Carriage Works. This business he sold in

1876 to Mr. Merrill, of Titusville, Pa., after which he
was a member of a number of firms engaged in black-
smithing in Erie. In 1886, he was appointed superin-
tendent of streets for the city of Erie, and in 1890 was
made superintendent of construction of the P., S. &
L. E. R. R. from Lockport to its connection with the
Nickel Plate. In 1891 he was appointed to his present
position, as superintendent of street work for the Erie
Water Works. Mr. Walker served one term as a
member of the common council from the Sixth ward.
He is a member of a number of beneficiary orders and
the Erie Majnnerchor. He was married August 8,
1868, to Anna B., daughter of Anton Knoll, an old resi-
dent and well-known veteran musician of Erie. Mr.
and Mrs. Walker have one daughter, Margaret E., an
accomplished musician on the violin and piano. They
reside at No. 132 West Twentieth street.

Henry Clinton Stafford, Erie, Pa., was born in
Waterford, Erie county. Pa., January 29, 1842. He is
a son of the late Henry Clinton and Elizabeth (Le-
land) Stafford, the former a native of New York, and
of English descent, the latter a native of New Jersey
and of English-Dutch extraction. The Stafford family
located in Erie county about 1822, and the Lelands
several years later. Henry C. Stafford, sr., was born
in 1814, was married in Waterford, and pursued farm-
ing and worked at his trade (that of mason and brick-
layer) in Waterford township throughout his life. He
held numerous township offices, and was one of the
founders of the First Methodist Church of Waterford,
built the church structure, and was one of its officers
for many years up to the time of his death. He was
an honored and useful citizen and a Christian gentle-
man. He died in February, 1880, and his wife in
September, 1889. Henry C. Stafford, jr., completed
his education at the Waterford Academy, learned his
father's trade, worked at it and upon his father's farm
until 20 years of age, when, in response to his country's
call for volunteers to suppress the rebellion, he
enlisted June, 1862, in Co. E, 83d P. V. I., and was
immediately sent to the front with the Army of the
Potomac. At the second battle of Bull Run, August
30, 1862, private Stafford was most terribly wounded,
receiving two gunshot wounds in the left leg, one
through the left lung, one through the left shoulder,
one through the left arm and one through the neck,
besides which he received a number of minor wounds
from small fragments of an exploded shell. He was
left on the field of battle for dead, and was so re-
ported. He remained there prostrate, unattended and
unconscious, for two days and nights. His first clear
recollection was that of ascertaining his whereabouts
the following December, when he was very slowly
gaining a feeble hold upon life in Mercy Hospital at
VVashington, D. C. He received his discharge Janu-
uary 29, 1863. and returned home. He was given a
position at Waterford in the office of Provost Marshal
Hugh Campbell, ex-colonel of the 83d P. V. I., who
had also been seriously wounded at Bull Run. At
the close of the war, in consequence of the abolishment
of this office, Mr. Stafford found employment as mana-
ger of the general store of Campbell & Fotheringham,
at Waterford. Two years later both these gentlemen
went West, and Mr. Stafford returned to his farm,
where he remained until 1873. During this period he
held the office of constable, tax-collector and denuty
sheriff under General Thomas Walker. In 187a he



was appointed deputy under Sheriff Hyner, and in
that year removed to Erie to assume the duties of that
office. In 1876 he was re-appointed deputy under
Sheriff Stuerznick, and in 1879 was the RepubHcan
nominee for the office of sheriff, to which he was
elected by the very large majority of 3,000. He
served the full term, giving the county efficient
service. On July 17, 1883, he was appointed by
President Arthur collector of customs for the port of
Erie, which appointment was confirmed by the United
States Senate December 26th following. Shortly after
President Cleveland's inauguration Mr. Stafford re-
signed the collectorship, his resignation to take effect
from the qualifying of his successor, but he was not
released from the duties of that office until January 1,
1886. For two and a half years thereafter he was
employed in the business department of the Erie Dis-
patch. He was then appomted as tax-collector, to
which position he has been successively appointed
each year since, and is now an incumbent. He was
married January 5, 1865, to Effa R., daughter of Peter
P. Judson, one of the pioneer residents of VVaterford
township, and for many years connected with all of
the leading industries of that community. He and his
wife still survive and reside in Waterford, where they
have spent a happy married life together of sixty-
seven years. Mr. and Mrs. Stafford have four surviv-
ing children: Phcebe E. (wife of Charles A. Ashen,
bookkeeper and telegrapher at the Pittsburg docks,
Erie), Peter P. Stafford (a clerk in Dr. B. A. Smith's
pharmacy, Erie) and William C. and James G. Stafford.
Mr. and Mrs. Ashen reside at 922 Chestnut street.
Mr. and Mrs. Stafford and sons reside at 112 East
Eighteenth street, and attend the First Methodist
Church. Mr. Stafford is a member of Strong Vincent
Post, G. A. R., the Union Veteran Legion and the Erie

Christopher Byroa Aaron, Erie, Pa., was born
near Williamsport, Pa., February 18, 1850. He is a

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 126 of 192)