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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Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 138 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Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 138 of 192)
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tively a young woman. His son, Randolph, A. B.
Heard's father, was a soldier in the war of 1812, under
Capt. Blystone. He received from the government
160 acres for services rendered in that war. He mar-
ried Mary Hamilton, November 13, 1817. She was a
native of Philadelphia. They were the parents of ten
children: James H. (deceased), Latvia, married Gid-
eon Hart, of Crawford county (deceased), George (de-
ceased), Jane (deceased), Mathew (deceased), Marion
J. (deceased), Louisa (deceased), Mary (deceased)
William H. (deceased), and A. B., the only surviving
member of the family. Randolph Heard died No-
vember 9, 1862, his wife departed this life May 16,
1873, and their remains lie side by side in the old Car-
mal cemetery, at Moshertown, Crawford county, Pa.
A. B. Heard was reared in Crawford county, and spent
his early days on a farm. He received a common
school education. Since his boyhood days he always
showed an intuitive knowledge of horses, and early in
life engaged in the buying and selling and speculating
in horses. He removed to Erie in 1878, and engaged
in the livery business, which he followed four years, at
the same time deeping up his business in the traffic of
horses. He has taken some of the finest blooded
horses in the country to the large cities, and sold them
for handsome prices. He has sold a great many fine
horses in the city of New York, and has made that city
the chief market for his sales. During late years he
has been interested in oil production in Forest and
Elk counties, Pennsylvania, where he has met with
good success. Mr. Heard was married July 3, 1871, to
Miss Jane A., daughter of R. R. Snow, of Cambridge,
Pa. They have one child, Jennie May. He is a prom-
inent Republican, having been candidate of that party
for sheriff of Crawford county, in 1877. He was de-
feated and accepted the situation gracefully. He is a
member of the K. of H.

B. P. Diffeabaugh, engineer for the Edison Elec-
tric Company, was born in Erie, March 24, 1850, and
is a son of Benjamin and Lavina (Pickett) Diffenbaugh.
Benjamin Diffenbaugh, sr., was a native of Lancaster,
Pa., and was born in 1796. He came to Erie county
in 1836, and followed blacksmithing. He had one of
the first shops in Erie. He served on the U. S. S.
" Michigan," seven years. He died at Hicksville,
Ohio, in 1882. He served as private in Co. C, 145th
Reg., P. V. I., during the rebellion, until the battle of
Fredericksburg, when he received a wound that dis-
abled him, when he was discharged. He was twice
married, first to a Miss Wagner, who died, leaving five
children. He afterward married Lavina Pickett, by
whom he had four children, of whom Benjamin is the
second. His mother died in 1877. Benjamin was
reared and educated mostly in North East, and when
11 years of age, went to live with an uncle in Canada,
and remained there about three years, when he re-
turned to North East, where he remained until he was
20, when he went to the oil country. From there he
went to Ohio, and lived in Bloomville ten years, and
was engaged in the manufacturing of boat oars. In
1884 he came to Erie, where he has since been em-
ployed as engineer for the Edison Light Company.



7i6



NELSOJrS BIOORAPHICAL DIOTIONABT



He was married September 2, 1878, to Miss Effie
Sankey, of Bloomville, Ohio. They have three chil-
dren: Forrest, born March 10, 1881; Lavina, born
January 12, 1883, and Gail, born June 17, 1885. Mr.
Diffenbaugh is a worthy citizen, and politically is a
Democrat.

Charles DaHgherty, locomotive engineer on the
E. & F. R. R., Erie, Pa., a native of Summit, Cambria
county, Pa., was born March 22, 1849. He is a son of
Cornelius and Mary Magdalene (Nagle) Daugherty.
In the family there were eight children: James (de-
ceased), Susanna (deceased), Sarah (deceased), Venet-
rice, resides in West Virginia; Mary (deceased),
Johanna, now Mrs. Patrick Finely, of Ashtabula,
Ohio; Agnes and Charles. The father was born and
reared in Summit, Cambria county. Pa., till the age of
10, when his brother-in-law, with whom he was living,
moved to Pittsburg and took Charles with him. He
received most of his education in Pittsburg, and when
yet a boy entered the employ of a navigation com-
pany as messenger boy in that city. He engaged in
firing on the P., Ft. W. cSi C. R. R. March 18, 1864,
when he was 15 years old, and September 14, 1868,
when 19 years of age, was promoted to the position of
engineer. In February, 1880, he resigned his position
on this road to take a passenger run on the E. & P.
R. R. between Erie and Pittsburg, where he is still
employed. Mr. Daugherty has had more adventures
than the average railroader. He performed a remark-
able feat while running on the Pittsburg, Ft. Wayne
and Chicago R. R., which is thus related; While ap-
proachiing a bridge at Clinton with his train, running
about the speed of fifteen miles, he saw a small child
on the track in the middle of the bridge. He used all
efforts to stop his train, but as he neared the child, he
saw that he could not stop in time to save its life, so
he left the cab, hastened out on the running board
to the pilot of the engine and jumped on the bridge
ahead of the engine, which was still under pretty good
speed, ran ahead, grabbed the child and made his way
across the bridge just ahead of the engine, and thus
saved the life of the child, although greatly endanger-
ing his own. Mr. Daugherty has been seriously in-
jured twice in his experience of railroading. At Ens-
worth, while looking back at his train out of the cab
window, he was struck on the back of the head by an
inclining telegraph pole and was knocked insensible
from his engine; he was in a head-end collision at
Middlesex, where the engineer and fireman of the
other engine were killed and Mr. Daugherty saved
himself by jumping just as the engine struck and was
hit by some flying missile on the forehead, which in-
flicted a very ugly wound and disabled him from duty
for over six months. He was married May 14, 1868,
to Miss Myra, daughter of Russell and Nancy (Mc-
Candles) Hurd, of Allegheny City. To this union have
been born eight children: William P. (deceased),
Estella (deceased), Edmund, Norburt, Ida and Eva,
twins (deceased). Flora and Joseph. Mr. Daugherty
is a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engi-
neers, the C. M. B. A., and politically is a Democrat.
The family are members of the Catholic Church.

E. J. Oliver, engineer of the E. & P. R. R., Erie,
Pa., is a native of Erie county. He was born in Fair-
view township, June 16, 1855, and is a son of J. M. and
Sarah Oliver, the former a native of Lancaster, Pa.,



and the latter of Lockport, N. Y. The father was a
miller by occupation. He settled in Erie county in
1850, and kept hotel in Erie a short time. In the fam-
ily there were three children: J. W., miller, Des
Moines, la.; E. J. and Ida. The father died in 1890,
and the mother now resides in Erie with E. J. Mr.
Oliver received his education in the public schools of
Erie county, and when a young man, engaged as hard-
ware clerk in Erie, where he spent four years. He
then entered the employ of the L. S. & M. S. R. R.,
on the Buffalo division.' This was in 1877, and he re-
mained there four years. He then entered the employ
of the Erie Car Company as engineer. His old desire
for railroading returned in a short time, and he secured
a position as fireman on the E. & P. R. R., and August
13, 1888, was promoted to the position of locomotive
engineer, which he still holds, to the full satisfaction
of his employers. He possesses the qualities requisite
for a good engineer. Mr. Oliver was married, Sep-
tember 13, 1881, to Miss Lizzie, daughter of Capt. John
Fisher (deceased), who was one of Erie's best known
and highly resjiected citizens. Mr. and Mrs. Oliver
have two children: Jessie (deceased, 1886) and Joseph.
He is a member of the B. of L. E., the E. A. U., and
the Pennsylvania Relief. Politically he is a staunch
Republican.

Charles Fitztnaurice, locomotive engineer on
the E. & P. R. R., Erie, Pa., was born at Sharpsville,
Mercer county, Pa., May 9, 1863. He is a son of Thomas
and Anne (Shannahan) Fitzmaurice, both natives of
Ireland. The father came to America and remained
in New York a short time, when he went to Sharps-
ville, Pa., where he followed contracting and building
to the time of his death, which occurred in 1873. They
reared a family of ten children: Margaret (deceased),
James, master mechanic for the Union Stock Yards,
Chicago, 111.; Thomas, conductor, Erie, Pa.; John
Fitzmaurice, engineer on the N. Y., C. & St. L. R. R.;
Ella, married Matthew Donahue, conductor on the E.
& P. R. R., Sharpsville, Pa. Charles; William, engi-
neer on the E. & P. R. R., Sharpsville, Pa. Charles was
reared in his native town, where he received a public
school education, and, at the age of 15, entered the
employ of the E. & P. R. R. Company as engine
wiper, at Sharpsville. He worked there two years, '
when he was given a position as fireman, although but
17 years of age. In 1888 he was made an engineer,
which position he has since faithfully and efficiently
held. He has been remarkably successful since he
assumed control of the throttle. He has been in one
wreck, and that was when running. This was a head
collision, near Rochester, Pa. In this, both engines
and twenty-seven cars were completely demolished,
and Mr. Fitzmaurice escaped with very slight injuries,
by jumping. He was married, June 7, 1893, to Miss
Mary Flaherty, of Jamestown, Pa. They have one
child, William Edward. Mr. Fitzmaurice is a popu-
lar railroad man, and is considered one of the most
competent and careful engineers on the road. He is
a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engi-
neers. Politically he is a Democrat.

Thomas Jefferson Downing, passenger con-
ductor on the Erie and Pittsburg R. R., Erie, Pa., is a
Pennsylvanian by birth. He was born at Sharpsville,
Mercer county, June 17, 1855. He is a son of Thomas
and Phosbe (Cary) Downing, the former a native of




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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 138 of 192)