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Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 134 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Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 134 of 192)
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finally engaged permanently in ship building, and had
for many years charge of the construction of all of the
then noted " Reed Line " of steamers and sailing ves-
sels plying on the lakes. The Hintons, with whom he
intermarried, as above mentioned, were among the
very early settlers of Erie county, and were also na-
tives of Wales. He died in Erie, in 1846; his wife in

The John Richards family consisted of Thomas,
who, at his death, at Chicago, in 1849, was in command
of the steamer " Niagara," of the Reed Line ; Mary,
wife of Capt. D. P. Dobbins, who died at Buffalo in
1886 ; William, located in New York, with the firm of
Marsh & Willis, Pearl street, died in 1845 ; John Ste-
vens, born, as above stated, in 1821; Anne, wife of
Mr. John H. Vincent, now resident of New York city;
Hannah, who married Mr. John C. Beebe, resident at
the Beebe homestead, East Sixth street ; Helen, wife
of Mr. T. B. Wilcox, of Chicago, now a resident of
that city, and Eleanor, who died in 1895.

John Stevens Richards received his early schooling
in what was known as the " Yellow Meeting House,"
on Sassafras street, between Seventh and Eighth
streets, this city ; afterward attended the Erie Acad-
emy, during the years when that institution was pre-
sided over successively by A. E. Foster, Reid T. Stew-
art and James C. Reid ; was then for several years en-
gaged in the ship yard, with his father, but finally
engaged in sailing, and continued thereat for twenty-
threeyears, during which period, after various promo-

tions from subordinate p o'jitions, had command suc-
cessively of the steamers " Ohio," " Queen Citj,"
" Keystone State," "Western World," the latter plying
between Buffalo and Detroit, and lastly, the steam-
ship " Milwaukee," forming a connection with the De-
troit & Milwaukee Railway, between the city of Mil-
waukee and Grand Haven, Mich. On retiring from
command of the last named steamer, in the following
spring, being in 1863, became a member of the firm of
Henry Rawle & Co., shippers by lake of bituminous
coal, which firm was succeeded by that of Richards,
Pelton, Reed & Co., the latter firm being dissolved
upon the abandonment of the Erie Extension Canal.
In 1871 he became associated with the firm of John
Hearn & Co., with which firm and its successors, W.
L. Scott iS; Co. and the W. L. Scott Company, he has
ever since been identified.

Captam Richards for many years has been identi-
fied with the Hamot Hospital Association, being at
present president of its board of managers, a member
of the board of directors of the Second National Bank,
and a vestryman of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

He was married September 19th, 1853, to Adelaide,
daughter of the late David McAllaster, a pioneer resi-
dent of Erie, from Jefferson county. New York. Three
children born of this union survive: Harry, now a res-
ident of Minnesota, who married Sarah, daughter of
John Eliot, of Erie; Mary, wife of Mr. George R.
Metcalf, of Erie, and Adelaide, wife of Mr. W. W.
Michener, of Chicago.

The family homestead is at No. 220 West Ninth

Joseph Hagtnann, practical horse-shoer and pro-
prietor of the sale stable, 1225 and 1229 Peach street,
Erie, Pa., was born in Germany July 10, 1856, and came
to America with his parents in 1857. They located at
Gloversville, N. Y., and here Joseph received his early
education; he also attended the public school at Am-
sterdam and Hill's Corners, N. Y., and came to Erie
with his parents in 1872. He is the eldest of a family
of nine children: Joseph, Charles, Levi, Mary (Mrs.
Eugene Lyons, of Erie, Pa.); Matilda (Mrs. Allen, of
Erie, Pa.);Amelia (Mrs.Frank Slocum,of Erie);Louisa,
William (whose sketch appears in this work), and Anna
(Mrs. Charles Parker, of Erie). Joseph Hagmann,
when 21 years of age, went to work for Charles Schaffer,
to learn theblacksmith trade, and after thirteen months'
apprenticeship, took charge of his father's shop for
seven months. He then bought a half interest in a
shop, but sold out six months later and began work for
John Hull. Thirty days later Mr. Hagmann bought
him out and operated the shop on Twelfth, between
State and Peach streets, until 1884, when he moved to
his present location, having purchased the fall before.
Here he has built up a trade that has placed his estab-
lishment in the front rank, and Mr. Hagmann is re-
garded as one of the most practical and best posted
men in his business in Erie. He has had instructions
from Prof. William Russell, of Cincinnati, and has fine
specimensof hisowndissectmg, showing the horse's foot
and lower leg, and he takes pleasure in showing all his
customers how and why horse-shoeing should be done
by none but experienced men. Mr. Hagmann superin-
tends all the work done in his shop. He employs four
skilled workmen, and his shop is one of the most com-
plete in Erie. The forges are blown by electricity.
He has lately added a sale stable to his business, and



buys and sells all grades of horses. Mr. Hagmann
was married April 3U, 1S79, to Miss Amelia, daughter
of Jacob Thren, of Erie. To them have been born
two children: Carl and Emma J. The family attend
the German Lutheran Church. He is a member of the
I. O. O. F. and the Erie Maennerchor, and is treasurer
of the Sixth Ward Republican Club. His residence
is 2732 Peach street.

William C. Hull, practical horse-shoer, 1115 Peach
street, Erie, Pa., was born in Summit township, Erie
county, Pa., March 15, 1869, and is a son of John and
Harriet (Pogson) Hull, the former a native of Erie
county and the latter of Mansfield, England. William
was reared on the farm, educated in the public schools,
and when 16 years of age branched out for himself
and worked as a farm hand for about two and one-half
years. He then went to North East, and took charge
of a dairy and milk route for about two yearss. He
then went to Minneapolis and worked for the Minne-
apolis Harvester Works six months, and then cameback
to Erie and worked a short time for the Erie City Iron
Works. Returning to North East he worked eighteen
months for H. D. Selkregg in a hardware and grocery
store, at the end of which period he went back to Min-
neapolis and began his trade as horse-shoer; here he
worked for two and one-half years, and came back to Erie
and opened a shop at 18 West Eighteenth street, in
P'ebruary, 1886, and conducted same for two and one-
half years, then moving to his present location, where
he does a large and lucrative business. He employs
two men and superintends all work himself. Mr. Hull
was married July 14, 1886, to Miss Anna B., daughter
of Blaine Crawford, of North East. This lady de-
parted this life May 28, 1892, aged 33 years, and Mr.
Hull married. May 19, 1894, Miss Hattie, daughter of
Ellery Gould, of Erie. They have one son, born Feb-
ruary 23, 1895. The family attend the Chestnut Street
Presbyterian Church. He is a member of the I. O. O. F.,
Home Circle and the Jr. O. U. A. M. In politics he is
a Democrat. The family reside at 163 West Twentieth

Peter J. Crowley, livery, sale and boarding sta-
ble, 112 and 114 East Eleventh street, Erie, Pa., was
born in Harbor Creek township January 21, 1860, and
is a son of Thomas and Catherine (O'Brien) Crowley,
of Harbor Creek township. Peter received a good ed-
ucation, finishing at the State Normal School af Edin-
boro, and when 20 years of age, went to Bradford, Pa.,
and embarked in the oil business, which he followed
for three years, when he purchased a livery business
and conducted it with marked success till April, 1895,
when he disposed of this interest and came to Erie
and bought out the stable and business of John H.
Collins, where he proposes to conduct a business sec-
ond to none in the city. Mr. Crowley was mar-
ried February 22, 1886, to Miss Annie, daughter of
Thomas Sheehan, of Wellsville, N. Y., and to them
have been born two children: Loretta and Francis.
The family are members of the Catholic Church. Mr.
Crowley is a member of the K. O. T. M. and K.
of P. In politics he is independent. His residence
is 205 East Eleventh street. Thomas Crowley,
farmer, Harbor Creek township, was born in Ire-
land, and came to the United States in 1836, locating
where he now resides and has since followed farming.
He married Miss Catherine O'Brien, and to them have

been born seven children: Richard, an oil producer
in Boliver, N. Y.; Michael, a partner of Richard's; Mary,
at home; Dennis (deceased); Peter J. and James, at

John Wieczorek, grocer, 655 East Thirteenth
street, Erie, Pa., was born in Germany June 14, 1864,
and is a son of John and Frances (Dybalski)
Wieczorek, both natives of Germany and of Polish
origin. John received a common school education in
Germany, and, in 1881, came to the United States and
located in Erie, where he worked four months on a
farm. Later he secured a position in the Jarecki &
Hays Brass Works, where" he remained twelve years,
and resigned to engage in his present business, which
he opened to the public in February, 1892. He car-
ries a full line of staple groceries and canned goods,
salt and smoked meats. Mr. Wieczorek is thoroughly
Americanized and enjoys a large and lucrative trade.
He was married July 6, 1887, to Miss Antonetta Nag-
uszewska, and to them have been born one son, John,
born August 4, 1893. The family are members of the
Polish Catholic Church', and are among the most in-
telligent and respected Polish people in Erie.

William Pressley Meehau was born December
22, 1859, son of William and Catherine (Bickett)
Meehan, who were of Irish parentage. They settled
in Erie county in 1845, and engaged in the business
of carriage and wagon building. William Meehan
died in November, 1887. Mrs. William Meehan still
lives in Erie. David B. Meehan, ? son, is carrying on
a branch of his father's business on Twelfth street.
William P. Meehan was educated in the Erie public
schools and high school. He married Mabel Humph-
rey, daughter of Jonas A. Humphrey, M. D., a physi-
cian of long standing in Union City, and Jane (Abbey)
Humphrey. Three children followed this union:
Glenuis Humphrey, Ruth and Helene Gertrude. The
family are Presbyterians and Mr. William P. is a
member of the order of Forresters and National
Union. He is a Republican in politics and was a
member of the National Guards for five years. He
was with I. A. Forman for sixteen years and at the end
of that time decided to enter business for himself,
which he has run successfully for the past four years.
He has made a specialty of handling a high grade of
men's, women's and children's underwear and hosiery,
and so careful has he been to deal in goods of fine
quality the fact has become known, "If you get it from
Meehan it is good." Buying, as he does, direct from the
mills, and going direct to the consumer, he is able to
sell to the trade at about jobber's prices. He is the
selling agent for Ball Bros.' custom shirts. The Ball
brothers for forty years supplied the fine trade with
custom shirts. Mr. Meehan has a fine business, and
is one of Erie's progressive merchants.

Daniel J. Kramer, cigar manufacturer, residence
and factory No. 726 West Eighth street, Erie, Pa., was
born in St. Catherines, Canada, March 14, 1861, and is
a son of John and Mary (Maloney) Kramer, natives of
Germany and Ireland, respectively. John Kramer
was a carpenter and joiner by trade, who came from
his native country to Canada, where he continued fol-
lowing his trade in his new home. His death occurred
in 1879, at the age of 56 years. To this couple were
born eight children, five of whom are now living:



Margaret, Mrs. George Begy, of St. Catherines, Can-
ada; Daniel J., John, a painter in Erie; Frank, a paper
hanger in St. Catherines, and Esther, Mrs. Edward
Buscheon, of Brockville, Canada. Daniel J. Kramer
received a common school education, and when 12
years of age began the cigarniakini; trade in his native
town, where he worked for si\( n nclis. He then
worked in Toronto, Canada, six mniitlis, the n going to
Tilsonburg, Canada, two years; \\ ars.nv, Ind., si.\
months, and in December, l^SJ, he came to Erie and
went to work at his trade for George Bartles, remain-
ing in his employ seven years. In the fall of 1890 he,
with William Hemse as a partner, opened a factory at
636 West Sixth street, and at the end of six months
moved to 552 West Fifth street, where six numths later
Mr. Hemse retired from the business, and Mr. Kramer
continued in that location till May 1, 18'J5, when he
moved to his present place. He manufactures an av-
erage of 2U,000 cigars a month, and among his leading
brands are: " Marinola," the " Henry Clay," and
" Kramer's Home Comfort." He handles at retail a
full line of smokers' goods and employs an average of
four men. Mr. Kramer was married October 8, 1891,
to Miss Mary, daughter of Patrick and Ellen Leonard,
of Erie. One son has blessed this union, Frank, born
August 6, 1892, Mr. and Mrs. Kramer are members
of St. Andrew's Catholic Church. He is a member of
the C. M. B. A. and the K. O. T. M., and is an honor-
ary member of the Cigarmaker's Union. From 1888
to 1892 he was an active organizer for the Central
Labor L'nion, and has always taken great interest in
labor organizations. In politics he is independent.

Conrad Deck, cigar manufacturer. No. 305 French
street, Erie Fa., was born m WoUmesheim, Lanndau
Phalz, Boyern, Germany, February 6, 1837, and is a
son of John and Margaret (Welsh) Deck. He received
a commiin school education in his native place, and
learned the cigarmaker's trade with John Roggendorf
in Lanndau, Germany. After finishing his trade he
worked as a jomneynian for Joseph Miller, in Gold-
ramstein, for tliree years. He came to the United
States in 1861 and located in Erie, going to work for
George Bartles, where he remained for one year. He
then worked eighteen months for C. M. Conrad, when
he bought him out and conducted the factory on Fifth
street, between State and French streets, till 1866. He
then entered into partnership with M. W. Mehl and
operated a factory on French street, opposite the Reed
House. Eight months later he sold his interest to Mr.
Mehl and opened a factory of his own at 703 State
street, where he remained until 1870, when he moved
to Parade street, between Tenth and Eleventh. In
1877 he moved to 3130 French street. Three years
later he located on Park Row for four years, and in
1884 moved to his present location, where he has since
operated. He averages 50,000 cigars a month, and in
addition handles a full line of smoker's goods and
chewing tobacco, and among the leading brands from
his factory are: "La Flor de Victor Hugo," "Henry
Vane," " Little Dick's Havana Filler," " Seal Brand,"
" Bachelor of Arts " and " Henry Clay." Mr. Deck
was married June 16, 1863, to Miss Anna M., daughter
of Nicholas Hoffman, of Erie, and to them have been
born twelve children: Margaret, Mrs. Valentine Ren-
ner, of Erie; John, selling cigars on the road for his
father; Conrad, jr., acigarmaker in his father's factory;
Adam N., alsoin his father's employ; William P., in

the same factory; Annie H., Bernard M., in the cigar
factory; Kate, Samuel (deceased), .Amanda, Ida and
Edward. The family are members of St. Mary's Ger-
man Catholic Church. He is a member of the C. M.
B. A. and Herman Sons. In politics he is independent.

William Schneider, cigar manufacturer and re-
tail dealer in smoker's goods and chewing tobaccos,
910 Parade street, Erie, Pa., was born in Mackinaw,
Mich., February 13, 1854, and is a son of Adam and
Christian (Beck) Schneider, both natives of Germany.
Adam Schneider was a tanner by trade, and came to
the United States in 1848, locating in Erie, where he
secured a position as bartender. After a short stay in
Erie he went to Michigan, with others, to build and
operate a tannery. Here he remained till the fall of
1854, when he moved to Venango, Pa., aud operated a
small tannery until the breaking out of the late war,
when he enlisted and served his country well and
faithfully, and at the close of the great struggle
returned to Erie, where his family had located, "and
went to work for Hays & Co., tanners. After a short
time he was elected constable, and soon after made
one of Erie's first policemen, a position he held until
his death, after nineteen years' service. He was for
a time captain of the force, and at one time acted as
chief. He died January 26, 1878, aged 49 years.
William Schneider was about 7 years of age when he,
with his mother, came to Erie, and soon after was sent
out in the country to work for his board and go to
school. In this way he received his education. VVhen
16 years of age he entered the cigar factory of Conrad
Deck, of Erie, to learn the trade, and three years later
went to Lockport, N. Y., where he worked for three
years. He then came back to Erie, and, after a trial
at the business for himself, and a short time on the
road selling cigars, took charge for Stark & Dibble of
their factory, and managed'it from 1879-1882. He
next went in business with George Straub, and, three
months later, bought him out and continued the
factory where they" had located in the Academy of
Music building for about a year longer. Then he
moved his business to Eighth street, where he con-
tinued for two years and bought out G. M. Conrad,
corner Eighth and Parade streets, where he remained
for one year, and then built his present place in April,
1885, where he has since turned out hundreds of
thousands of choice cigars. He employs, on an
average, six skilled workmen, and sells an average of
40,000 cigars a month. His leading brands are "The
Amendment," " Buds," " Hamus," " Nation's Favor-
ite," " True Blue," "Hard Aport," "Grand Eagle,"
" High Light" and " Novelty." He also manufactures
a smoking tobacco, "Schneider's Natural Leaf," and
handles, at retail, a full line of smokers' goods and
chewing tobacco. Mr. Schneider was married, in
December, 1878, to Miss Mary, daughter of Charles
Brager, of Erie. To them have been born seven
children: Mena, Mary and William (twins), Christina,
Lilla, Florence and Henry. Mrs. Schneider is a mem-
ber of the German Catholic, and Mr. Schneider is a
member of the German Protestant Church. He is a
member of the Elks, I. O. O. F., Golden Eagle,
K. O. T. M., East Erie Turners, 9 H. D., German
Friendship, and Erie Masnnerchor. He was a charter
member of, and organizer for, the Cigarmakers' Union,
No. 107. In politics he is Independent. Mr. Schneider
is a stockholder in the Parade Street Market Company.



Frank Boittiski, mason, and proprietor of the
cigar, tobacco and confectionery store, 601 East Four-
teenth street, corner of Ash Lane, was born in Prus-
Poland September 8, 1861, and is a son of Antonis
He received a common school education in
his native country, and came to the United States when
20 years of age, in 1881, and located in Erie, when he
wenttoworkinthe car shops for nine months, when he
secured a place in Weschler's malt house, where he
worked for four years. He then engaged to learn the
plastering and brick-laying trade, and has successfully
followed that trade up to the present time. In 1890 he
bought a lot at the corner of Fourteenth street and Ash
Lane, and one yeai later built a large dwelling with
a store front. He rented the store-room till the fall of
1893, and in November of that year he opened a meat
market and operated it for nine months, when he sold
out and the room was vacant till February 15, 1895,
when he put in a small stock of candies, cigars and
tobaccos, and it is in the charge of his wife during his
working hours. Mr. Boiniski was married January 22,
1888, to Katherine Wiecrorek, and to them was born,
October 11, 1891, a son. The family are members of
the Polish Catholic Church, and he is a member of the
Polish National Alliance of the United States of
America, the Catholic society of Thaddeus Koscisztto.
In politics he is independent. By hard study at home
he has mastered the English language, and is one of
the successful Polish residents of Erie and a respected

William Bell, jr., one of Erie's best known and
highly honored citizens, died at his residence, 618
Sassafras street, July 9, 1890. He was born in West-
field, N. Y., April 5, 1828, and was a son of Col. Will-
iam and Nancy (Shipboy) Bell. His father was born
in Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, October 14,
1791, and removed to Westfield in 1802, where he fol-
lowed farming, grist-milling and merchandising until
shortly before his death, which occurred August 23,
1872. He took an active part in the war of 1812 and
reached the rank of colonel. He was an esteemed
and useful citizen, and for many years a ruling elder
of the Presbyterian Church at Ripley, N. Y. His
wife, to whom he was married July 16, 1819, died Jan-
uary 31, 1842. The family consisted of twelve chil-
dren: Miss Eleanor, who died at the age of 26 years;
Mary, Mrs. James Johnston, of Westfield, N. Y.;
John, who resides at Harbor Creek, Pa.; Clarissa, Mrs.
Gilbert T. Elliott, of Erie; Joseph, who is the subject
of this sketch; Miss Nancy, of Erie; Arthur, who was
drowned in his father's mill-pond at the age of 7 years;
Alexander, who resides in Harbor Creek; Arthur (de-
ceased); Miss Sarah, of Erie, and Eugenia, who died
in infancy. Captain Arthur Bell, the father of Col.
William Bell, was born in Pax' on, Dauphin county,
Pa., January 12, 1752. He took part in the Revolu-
tionary war and removed with his family to Western
New York in 1802. He located at a point on the
McMahon tract, three miles west of Chautauqua creek,
where the town of Westfield now stands. He was one
of the founders of the Cross Roads Presbyterian
Church, of which he was a member until his death,
August 6, 1834. Captain Bell married Miss Eleanor
Montgomery. Not only is it seen that the Bell family
were among the earliest settlers in Southeastern Penn-
sylvania, but that they were in a later generation promi-
nent among the sturdy pioneers who converted the

wilderness of Western New York into one of the most
productive and beautiful agricultural sections in the
world. William Bell., jr., received his education in the
public schools of his native town, and in early life
assisted his father in the various lines of business
which he pursued. Later he assumed charge of the
mercantile business, which he continued until 1857,
when he removed to Erie. His first location here was in
the store now occupied by Murphy Bros., North Park,
where he did a general dry goods business. He next
removed to the store-rooms now occupied by Henry
Beckman & Son, where he did a thriving business un-
til he sold out to Warner Bros. After that he gave his
time chiefly to the management of his real estate, and
supervised personally the erection of the iZeraM build-
ing. His residence on Sassafras street was erected in
1864 upon the site of the old " Yellow Meeting-House."
After retiring from active business Mr. Bell became
interested in the Marine National Bank, of which he
became a director and vice-president. Mr. Bell was a
man of many noble char;.cteristics, chief among which
was his love of home and an ever-ready sympathy for
the poor and unfortunate. He took a deep interest in
the Home of the Friendless and the Erie Charity So-
ciety. He was very much interested in the education
of the masses, and once made the city an offer of
building, at his own expense, an industrial training
school, if the city would furnish the teachers, but the
city was deprived of this valuable institution by those
who had the authority of accepting or refusing his
magnanimous offer. He was a Republican in politics,
but had an inborn distaste of political notoriety. Once,
however, in 1865-6 he accepted a position as a mem-
ber of the city council. Mr. Bell was married April
21, 1852, to Miss Caroline, daughter of Mr. Jeremiah
Mann, of Ripley, N. Y. Mr. Mann was for many
years engaged in merchandising and was an active
promoter of the early railroads in his vicinity. To
Mr. and Mrs. Bell were born five children, two of
whom died in infancy. Augusta, married Mr. Wilbur
F. Smallwood, resided in Sherman, N. Y., and died
in May, 1889; Caroline, married Mr. George T. Clark-
son, an oil manufacturer of Pittsburg. Mr. and Mrs.
Clarkson have one child, William Floyd. The young-
est surviving child of Mr. Bell is William Bell, of
Erie. Mrs. Bell died March 12, 1875, at the age of 47

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 134 of 192)