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Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 136 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Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 136 of 192)
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years in a grocery store in Titusville, Pa., after which
he followed bookkeeping for five years in Erie. In
1878 he, in company with his brother, William H.,
purchased of Constable & Ramsey their mill at the
northwest corner of Fifth and Sassafras streets. This
partnership lasted two years, after which he conducted
the business alone three years, and then admitted his
brother, Charles A., to the partnership. The mill
burned in November, 1888, and was rebuilt immedi-
ately, and was again in operation in the spring of
1889. The products of the mill include all kinds of
manufactured lumber and building supplies, not only

for their own building, but for the trade. There is also
carried a large stock of builders' hardware. Among
the fine buildings which they have erected may be
mentioned the residences of Davenport Galbraith,
George D. Selden, J. P. Metcalf, E. Camphausen, Dr.
J. C. M. Drake, J. B. Crouch, OttoGermer, jr., Thomas
Hemphill, etc. Mr. Constable was married in lune,
1878, to Miss Alice E. Roberts, of Erie, wh.. died in
1883. He was remarried, July 2, 1890, to Miss Mary K.
Evans, daughter of John Evans, formerly of Girard,
Pa., but now of Benton Harbor, Mich. In politics Mr.
Constable has always been a Republican, and has ren-
dered much valuable service to the party of his choice.

John Constable, one of Erie's oldest and most
highly respected citizens, was born in a suburb of Lon-
don, England, January 11, 1811, and is a son of Robert
and Harriet (Perkins) Constable. He was educated
and learned his trade in his native country, and came
to the United States in 1833, locating in Buffalo, N.
Y., where he remained four years. He then went to
Florida, where he was employed in an arsenal lor
nearly a yeai, after which he returned to Buffalo. In
1839 he started for Pittsburg, where his brother, Na-
thaniel, afterwards national quartermaster in the late
war, was engaged in the manufacture of safes. He
left Buffalo on the steamer " Robert Fulton," but when
he reached Erie, he found that his trunks had been
put off at Dunkirk, N. Y. While waiting for his trunks
he sought and found employment in Erie, where he
has since remained. Thus, by mistake, as it were,
Erie gained one of her best citizens. His first employer
was Col. Seth Reed, and his first work was upon the
Reed House. After some time employed as journey-
man, he engaged in business for himself in contract-
ing and building. Among his first buildings were the
stores now occupied by P. Minning & Sons and the
residence of Joseph M. Sterrett, at Fifth and Holland
streets. In company with Hugh Jones, he built what
was then known as the East and West Ward school
houses, at that time the only school buildings in the
town, and other buildings. He was also for a time in
partnership with Samuel Cummings. In later years
we find such monuments to his work as the Park Pres-
byterian Church, Dime Bank Building and Scott
Block. He built a mill on the present site of the one
now owned and operated by his sons, on the old canal,
and was the first to use the power of its water. Mr.
Constable was married in 1829 to Miss Elizabeth Pet-
titt, by whom he had five children: John, who was born
in England, and who died from disease contracted in
the late war; George, who was in the circus business
for a number of years, and was drowned by the burst-
ing of a boiler on the Ohio river, near Cairo, 111., in
1874; Thomas, who is employed on the lakes; Harriet,
who married George McGowan and died in Titusville,
Pa., and Washington, who is a glazier in Erie. Mrs.
Constable dying in 1835, Mr. Constable was remarried
in 1838 to Mrs. Eliza (Gulp) Reinhardt, who had one
son, William, and by whom he had four children: Ed-
ward W. and Charles A., whose sketches appear in
this work; Louisa, Mrs. H. C. Sanderson, of Scranton,
Pa., and Herbert, who is engaged in the furniture busi-
ness in Boston. Three of Mn Constable's sons were
in the late war: Thomas, one year in the navy and the
83d P. V. I.; Washington, in the 145th P. V. I., was for
a time in Libby Prison, and John, already mentioned;
William Reinhardt was also in the 83d P. V. I. Mr.


// ayi^^^ ^/W^^^^ih^r^



and Mrs. Constable have for many years been mem-
bers of the Baptist Church, and he is the oldest mem-
ber of the I. O. O. F. and Encampment in Erie. In
politics he is a Republican, and was for many years a
member of the city councils.

Charles A. Constable, junior member of the
firm of Constable Bros., manufacturers, contractors
and builders, Erie, Pa., was born in Erie November
29, 1856, and is a son of John Constable, whose sketch
appears in this volume. He was educated in the pub-
lic schools of Erie, and learned his trade with his
father, after which he spent five years working at his
trade in the oil regions of Pennsylvania. He then re-
turned to Erie and entered the employ of his father,
and later of Constable Bros., who succeeded his father
in business. Upon the death of Mr. William H. Con-
stable, in 1878, Mr. Charles H. Constable took charge
of his estate and continued the management of it for
three years, when he became a member of the firm,
which has since been composed of Edward W. and
Charles A. Constable. The plant is located at the
northwest corner of Fifth and Sassafras streets, and
occupies an area 165 feet square. The business of the
concern includes all kinds of building from foundation
to finish, and gives employment to about 175 men.
The products of the mill are all kinds of finished and
manufactured lumber for building purposes. In the
southeast corner of the plant is the store, which carries
a complete stock of builders' hardware and furnish-
ings. The institution as a whole is one of the most
complete and thoroughly equipped in Northwestern
Pennsylvania. Mr. Constable was married May 30,
1885, to Miss Clara I., daughter of Mr. Edmund Wil-
son, of Edinboro, Pa. This union has been blessed
with one child, Addie. They reside at 419 Sassafras
street. In politics Mr. Constable is a Republican,
and served the city as a member of the common coun-
cil for the terms from 1881 to 1883.

Edward Mehl, superintendent of the docks and
the lake and rail shipping of the W. L. Scott Com-
pany, Erie, was born in Erie, September 1, 1855, and
is a son of Anthony and Maria Anna (Raeder) Mehl,
natives of Bavaria, Germany, who came to Erie about
1845 and here learned the carpenter trade, which he
followed the greater part of his life. Thi> immediate
family consisted of two sons, Pliili]i J., wli" was super-
intendent of the erection of the main lnulding of the
Mid-Winter Fair in San Francisto in is;i,"i, and is now
superintendent of construction of a large public build-
ing now being constructed in Sutro park in that city;
and Edward. The latter named gentleman received
his early education in the public schools of his native
city, and was graduated from St. Vincent's College,
Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, m 1877. Soon
after completing his education he secured a position
as clerk to Paymaster A. D. Bache, United States
steamer " Michigan," where he remained one year.
In 1880 he entered the employ of the W. L. Scott
Company as shipping clerk at the soft-coal dock. The
officers of this company have always been quick to
recognize and appreciate merit, and Mr. Mehl was
rapidly promoted until he was made superintendent of
the soft coal shipping, and, upon the death of Mr.
John R. Saltsman, superintendent of the hard coal
shipping, December l4, 1894, he was promoted to his
present position. Mr. Mehl is a charter member of

the Erie Club, and is also a member of the Kahkwa
Club. He is a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church,
of which he is a generous sujijiorter. He affiliates
with the Democrat party, hut has never been a seeker
of public office or political preferment.

William A. Walker, chief engineer of the Mer-
chants' and Manufacturers' Electric Light Works,
Erie, Pa., was born in Gowanda, N. Y., June 17, 1866,
and is a son of Josiah W. and Anna ^I. (Chapman)
Walker, natives respectively of New York and New
Hampshire, and of English ancestry. His father, who
was a molder by trade and died in 1880, at the age of
47 years, reared a family of eight children, three of
whom are living: Anna, Mrs. Samuel W. Shearer, of
Erie; William A., and George W., the last foreman of
the printing office of the H. F. Watson Paper Com-
pany. Mr. Walker was educated in the public schools
of Warren, Pa., and also of Erie, and after leaving
school entered the machine shop of the Brooks Loco-
motive Works, of Dunkirk, to learn the machinist's
trade. After completing his apprenticeship he began
firing on the Rochester division of the Bufifalo,
Rochester and Pittsburg R. R.; he also fired on the
N. Y. C. & St. L. R. R. and the Pittsburg, Youngstown
and Ashtabula R. R., in all about five years. In 1891
he accepted a position with the H. F. Watson Paper
Company as stationary engineer, and was made fore-
man of the gas works of that concern soon after the
establishment of that feature. He continued in that
position until he accepted his present one, October 1,
1894. Mr. Walker was married, October 22, 1889, to
Miss Lila M., daughter of Mr. Daniel Weidler, of
Erie. Mr. and Mrs. Walker attend the Presbyterian
Church. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias
and the Independent Order of Foresters, and is a
Republican in politics.

Charles H. Kletnm, constable for the Fourth
ward, Erie, Pa., born in Bremen, Germany, Jartuary
24, 1853, is a son of John B. and Anna (Fouch) Klemm.
His father was a member of the police force of Bremen
for twenty-eight years, and for a portion of that time
a sergeant of police. The family consisted of thirteen
children, nine of whom are living, six in America and
three in Erie. Mr. Klemm was educated in his native
country and also attended night school to sonic extent
after reaching the country of his ado|iti'in. Winn Init
13 years of age he came to America unai('|..inicd
by any of his relatives and located in lialtiiiiinc, Md.,
where his brother, Charles H., had eniigratetl. He re-
mained in Baltimore three and a half years, during
which time he learned the cigarmaking trade, which
he then followed successively in Brooklyn, N. Y., six
months; Union City, Pa., fifteen months; Corry, one
year; Milwaukee, Wis., one year; Chicago, one year,
and Cleveland, Ohio, six months, whence he came to
Erie March 18, 1873, and worked at his trade nine
years. In 1882 he was elected to his present position,
and at the expiration of each term since has been re-
elected. He was also collector of city taxes in 1889
and 1890. Mr. Klemm was married August 18, 1873,
to Miss Mary Straub, of Erie. The issue of this mar-
riage was ten children: Jacob, Charles V., Anthony,
Edward, Adeline, Eva, Walter, Clara (deceased), Roy
Valentine, Dora and Benjamin. Mr. Klemm is a mem-
ber of the I. O. O. F, and the Herman's Sons. In pol-
itics he is a staunch Democrat,



James C. Williams, superintendent of the ma-
chinery construction department of the Jarecki Manu-
facturing Company, was born in Brantford, Canada,
April 29, 1843, and is a son of John and Rachel (Parry)
Williams, natives of Wales. He was educated in the
public schools of his native town, and at the age of 12
years began to learn the machinist's trade, which he
followed in various places till 1881, when he accepted
his present position. He resides at 324 East Sixth
street. Mr. Williams was married August 19, 1870, to
Miss Anna Elizabeth Schriber, of iMeadville, Pa.
They have four children: Carrie, Mrs. Frank Stough-
ton, of Erie; Charles F., Ernest and Walter. Mr. Will-
iams is a Scottish Rite Mason, and is also a member
of the Elks, the G. A. R., the Erie Merchants' Club
and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
In politics he is a Democrat, and has served his city as
a member of the common council one term and the
select council two years.

Rudolph Courader, superintendent of the brass-
finishing department of the Jarecki Manufacturing
Company, Erie, Pa., was born in Erie, November 13,
1858, and is a son of Marcus and Loretta (Bartelles)
Conrader, natives of Germany, who emigrated to Erie,
in 1848. His father, who was a painter by trade, died
in 1892; his mother is still living. The family con-
sisted of five children: William, superintendent for
Henry Shenk, Pittsburg, Pa.; Herman, for many years
a barber in Erie, but now residing in Jacksonville,
Fla., on account of poor health; Charles A., of the
firm of Jenkins & Conrader, Erie; Rudolph, and Laura,
clerk in the dry goods store of Trask, Prescott &
Richardson, Erie. Mr. Conrader was educated in the
public schools of Erie, and, in May, 1872, entered the
employ of the Jarecki Manufacturing Company, to
learn the brass-finishing trade, where he has since con-
tinued, excepting 1882-83, when he worked in brass
shops in various places in the East. He has held his
present responsible position since May, 1887. There
are from 115 to 120 men employed in his department,
and nearly as many machines. Many of the machines
used are of his invention, and nearly all of them bear
the touches of his mechanical genius. Among the
many machines which he has invented and patented
may be mentioned a metal ball machine, a grinding
machine, a billiard-ball machine, and many others,
nearly all of which he has sold to the Jarecki Com-
pany. Mr. Conrader was married June 11, 1885, to
Miss Sophia Smith, of Erie. They had three children:
Edwin R., who died in 1892, aged 6 years; Anna L.,
and Alfred E. Mr. and Mrs. Conrader attend the
Universalist Church. He is a member of the I. O. O.
F., the Maccabees and the American Society of Me-
chanical Engineers. In politics he is a Republican.

Charles A. Conrader, of the firm of Jenkins &
Conrader, contractors and builders, Erie, Pa., was
born in Erie, Pa., July 24, 1852, and is a son .of Marcus
and Loretta (Bartelles) Conrader. He was educated
in the public schools of Erie, and at the age of 19 years
engaged with Mr. John Miller to learn the carpenter's
trade. He remained with Mr. Miller five years, two
years with Mr. White, and three years with John J.
Hogan. In 1876 he was appointed stroke-oarsman of
the Erie life-saving station, to succeed Clark Jones,
where he served four years, with much credit to him-
self and satisfaction to the general public. He was

then employed for two and a half years upon the in-
terior woodwork of St. Peter's Cathedral, doing nearly
all the carpenter work on the ceiling, which will long
bear evidence of his superior workmanship. He was
also employed for several months upon the fine wood-
work of the Villa Maria. He then entered the employ
of Henry Shenk, as foreman, and as such built the St.
Michael's and Simpson Churches. In 1894 he entered
into partnership with Mr. William A. Jenkins, and
they have since done an extensive general building
business. During the season of 1894 they built the
addition to the gas works, the German Baptist Church,
the Siegel Block, the McCarter Block, the Bacon
House, the Merchants' and Manufacturers' Electric
Light Works, the new porch of Hon. C. M. Reed's
residence, and numerous other buildings. Mr. Con-
rader was married in October, 1873, to Catherine,
daughter of Mr. Barney Daugherty, of Erie, who was
killed in 1864 while tearing down the old Market
House. This union has been blessed with seven chil-
dren: Charles, George, Susan, who died at the age of
6 years, Rudolph; John, August and Ray, In politics
Mr. Conrader has always been in sympathy with the
principles of the Republican party.

William McWhorter was born in Cincinnatus,
Cortland county, N. Y., August 10, 1831, is the son of
Zuriel and Polly (Fairchild) McWhorter, and is of
Scotch and English ancestry. His grandfather came
to Cortland, Cortland county, in 1780, and was a prac-
ticing physician there for over forty years, and was
prominently connected with several business interests
of the place. His youngest son, Zuriel, was educated
to succeed his father in the medical profession, but it
afterwards proving distasteful to him, he gave it up
and engaged in fruit farming. In 1825 he married
Polly Fairchild, and reared a family of seven children,
of whom William was the second, and the only one re-
siding in Erie. He was educated in the public schools
of his native town, and at the age of 16 years engaged
with Captain Benjamin Burdett, of Buffalo, in the
piano making trade, with whom he remained four
years. It was during this time, in 1851, that he made
his first trip to Erie to look after some business for
his employer. In 1852 David Benson, of Cincinnatus,
N. Y., a friend of Mr. McWhorter, purchased the
business of Capt. Burdett, and Mr. McWhorter took a
contract of him to manufacture the actions, which he
did for four years. He then began selling pianos in
Buffalo on his own account, which he followed for
three years. From 1865 to 1861 he traveled very ex-
tensively through the South in the same line of busi-
ness, and was in Frankfort, Ky., when Fort Sumter
was fired upon. In 1857 Mr. McWhorter purchased a
fruit farm in LaSalle, N. Y., upon which he lived for
many years previous to coming to Erie, and upon
which he raised large quantities of all fruits grown in
that climate. He removed to Erie in 1885, and sold
the farm in 1891. But during all these years he com-
bined the management of his farm with the piano
business. In 1882-5 he traveled throughout Eastern
Pennsylvania and Western New York in the interest
of Denton & Cottier, extensive piano dealers of Buf-
falo, N.Y. Mr. McWhorter was married September 7,
1864, to Miss Helen, daughter of Joseph B. Moorhead,
of Moorheadville, Erie county. The issue of this mar-
riage has been seven children: Joseph B. Moorhead,
in Gallion, 111.; Mary, who died at the age of 19 years;


Harry L., bookkeeper for the Griswold Manufacturing
Company and secretary of the Hollands Manufactur-
ing Company; Frank, who died at the age of 2 years;
Bessie, Eleanor and Robert. Mr. and Mrs. McWhor-
ter are members of the Park Presbyterian Church.

Frank E. Wade, secretary of the board of poor
directors of Erie county, was born in Union township,
this county, October 11, 1853, and is a son of William
R. and Angeline (Northrope) Wade. His father was
a native of Bradford county, Pennsylvania, but re-
moved to Chautauqua county. New York, with his
father, Charles Wade, when a small boy. About 1845
he went to Union township, Erie county. Pa., where he
engaged in the lumber business, afterwards building a
mill and marketing his lumber in Erie. He also owned
and manaL'cd a Inri^p farm, and was one of the most
prosiH n.iis ( iti/riis 1,1" that township. He was a staunch
Repulilh 111 ,i:hI .\ |nrsistent worker in the interests of
his pans, lie 111 111 nearly all the township offices, and
from Itiy.-) to lt

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 136 of 192)