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Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 142 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Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 142 of 192)
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Mrs. Will Lawrence (deceased), and Martin, clerk,
Erie. J. B. Weindorf was reared in Erie and educated
in the public schools. At about the age of 14 he com-
menced life as a stationary engineer in Cook's shingle
factory, Erie, then worked a short time in the Erie
stove factory, in the same capacity, when he entered



the employ of James Cook as engineer in his planing-
mill. In 1869 he entered the employ of the E. & P.
Company as engine wiper. At the end of about six
months he went on the road as fireman. In 1872 he
was promoted to the post of engineer, which position
he has since held. He ran freight until 1888, when he
was promoted to the passenger engineer service from
Erie to Pittsburg, making the run of 150 miles one
way every day. According to the average of 150 miles
per day during the time that he has been running in
the passenger service, not counting extra runs, he has
covered over 341,600 miles, or a distance of nearly
fourteen times around the earth. During his entire ex-
perience at railroading he has never had an accident
of any account, and is considered one of the most
careful, yet fearless, engineers on the road. Mr.
Weindorf has been twice married, first to Miss Eliza
Sheridan, of Erie, in 1878. She departed this life in
1882, leaving two children: Mary B. and Bessie Gene-
vieve. After remaining a widower over nine years,
Mr. Weindorf was married to Miss Anna Sheridan, also
of Erie. He is a member of the B. of L. E., P. V. R.
and C. M. B. A.

John M. Kalvelage, formerly a restaurant pro-
prietor, Erie, Pa., was born in Erie, December 17, 1858,
and is a son of John H. Kalvelage, whose personal
history is contained in this volume. John H. Kalvelage
settled, September, 1857, in Erie, where his son was
reared and educated. He remained with his father,
who was a brewer in Erie, until 1884, when he engaged
in the hardware business about two years; he then en-
gaged in the bakery and confectionery business at 714
State street, which he continued about two and a half
years. In 1889 he bought the restaurant at 366 West
Eighth street, where he remained until 1895, when
failing health C(ini]ielli'(l him to ()uit business. Mr.
Kalvelage was m;irried July !(>, ISTlt, to Miss Rosalia,
daughter of Michael and Anna (Klein) Oberkirch, na-
tives of Prussia. I'u this union were born six children:
George J., Robert J., Bertha K., Felix P., Edith and
Arthur A. The family are members of the Catholic
Church, and Mr. Kalvelage is a member of the Elks
and of the C. M. B. A. He was grand marshal of the
Grand Council of the C. M. B. A. for two years, be-
ginning in 1887, and has also been district deputy of
the Grand Council. Mr. Kalvelage is a prominent
Democrat and has served in the city council of Erie
one year.

Charles Franklin, commission merchant and
wholesale dealer in produce, 1802 State street, Erie,
Pa., was born in Washington, D. C, June 6, 1865. He
is a son of Julus and Anna (Hudson) Franklin, the
former a native of Germany and the latter of Phila-
delphia, Pa. Julus Franklin came to America when
26 years of age, and he was a well-known literary man,
as well as a translator and teacher of languages, be-
ing the master of seven languages. He spent his life
in literary work in Philadelphia, excepting a term that
he held a position in the United States treasury in
Washington, D. C. He revised the Bible, and in 1876
wrote a Centennial History of the United States, which
was published by the Jones Publishing Company of
Philadelphia, and was the author of several other lit-
erary wt>rks. He died in 1884 in Philadelphia, Pa., and
his wife now resides at Atlantic City. They were the
parents of thirteen children, six of whom are living.

Charles was reared and educated in Philadelphia, and
followed professional base ball playing until he was 21.
He then went to New York and enlisted in the United
-States navy on the U. S. S. " Richmond," which imme-
diately went on a cruise to South America. They
sailed around Cape Verde to Uruguay. This was dur-
ing the Brazilian revolution, and the " Richmond " was
ordered from Uruguay to Rio Janeiro, Brazil, to pro-
tect American interests there. They were anchored tn
the harbor of Rio Janeiro when Dom Pedro abdicated
the throne, and Mr. Franklin had the honor of assist-
ing to fire the first salute in honor of the new repub-
lic. They then returned north and he was transferred
to shore duty at Philadelphia. From there he was or-
dered to Erie to the U. S. S. " Michigan." In April,
1890, he was discharged at his own request. He then
entered the employ of F. R. Simmons, and in 1892 en-
gaged in the commission business for himself. He
controls a large and growing trade and is a thorough
and competent business man. Mr. Franklin was mar-
ried June 13, 1890, to Miss Mary Elizabeth Grine, of
Erie. He is a member of the L'nited Workman, and
is a Republican.

George E. Getchell, chief engineer at the Colby
Piano Factory, Erie, Pa., was born at Groveland, Mass.,
June 6, 1856. He is a son of O. L. and Martha W.
Getchell, both natives of Maine. His great-grand-
father Getchell, was a native of Scotland. The father
now resides in Erie. The mother died when George
E. was 7 years old. The family, which consisted of
the father and four children, came from the East to
Dunkirk about 1856. They resided there about six
years. His father, O. L. Getchell, enlisted in the Union
army in August, 1862, and served until the close of the
war, when the family removed to Titusville, and came
to Erie, in November, 1866. When a boy George
worked at various occupations, but stationary engi-
neering has been the chief pursuit of his life. He fol-
lowed that occupation through the oil district of Penn-
sylvania, and had charge of the machinery of the Erie
Boot and Shoe Company for five years. In October, 1888,
he entered the employ of the Colby Piano Company,
where he has since been engaged. M r. Getchel 1 was mar-
ried November 11, 1884, to Miss Kate Roth, of Erie, Pa.
They have one child, Cassie M. He is a member of
the I. O. O. F., the Association of Engineers, P. O. S.
of A. and Protected Home Circle.

John F. SuttoB, chief engineer for Fred. Koeh-
ler & Co., Erie, Pa., was born in York county, Penn-
sylvania, February 2, 1844. He is a son of Macague
and Mary (Daily) Sutton, both natives of Pennsyl-
vania. The father died in 1869, and the mother when
John was a child. When he was 3 years old his father
moved to Baltimore, Md., where he was reared and
educated. When 16 years of age he began an appren-
ticeship at the machinist trade. Before he had served
his time, the war broke out, and as Baltimore was im-
mediately the scene of great military display, and al-
though 17 years of age, his patriotism was his dictator,
and he resolved to join the warring legions of his
country. He accordingly joined the 1st Pa. Rifles
at Baltimore, while on their way to the front, and
served with them as a citizen in the first battle of Bull
Run. He regularly entered the service, April 25,
1862, in Co. C, 1st Pa. Cav., for three years, at Catletts
Station, Virginia, and moved to Falmouth, Va. He


was assigned to a cavalry brigade on the last of May,
and moved into the Shenandoah \'alley, reaching Fort
Royal, June 1, and |i:irUri|iatrcl in'tli'- i ,mi|i,iit;n
against Jackson. He n-.u h-^l M,iiiii.i^>,i-. |iiih-J-"', jihI
the 26th was assigned to tin- :i(| Coiiiv, Ai niNnl \'ir-
ginia, and participated in tin- Dpcratidiis, uiidi r INipe.
He then encam|)ed at Munson's Hill, and later par-
ticipated in the I'ri-cUricksburg campaign, and en-
camped at Belle Plain Landing. He then participated
in the Chancellorsville campaign, serving in the 2d
Div. Cav. Corps, 2d Brig. And in the Gettysburg
campaign, 1st Brig., 2d Div. He served in Sheridan's
Cav. Corps in the Wilderness campaign, and par-
ticipated in all the operations of the cavalry of the
army of the Potomac until tin- surrender of Lee. On
September 9, 1864, he was transferred to Co. D. He
was injured by being thniwn fmni his hurse in a cav-
alry charge at Upperville, \'a. June Is. ISi'i:',, was rap-
tured by Mosby's men, near Warrenton, \ a., ,ind aft( r
eight days' journeying tnwanls Andii^an illc prisim,
escaped from the guards at night wliilr tiny were
asleep, and returned to his command, after an absence
of sixteen days. On his way back he was re-captured by
the Confederates, but that was a time when his life was
more sacred than the truth, and he deceived his cap-
tors by the story that he was a deserter, whereupon
they commended his manly attitude and permitted
him to go on his dangerous journey. Before letting
him go, however, they christened him a faithful de-
serter, by putting the muzzle of a loaded revolver in
his mouth, to impress him with his weakness in the
hands of the Confederacy. At Gettysburg he was
dispatch carrier for the staff of General Meade, and
had two horses shot from under him in that battle, and
lost the hearing of one ear by the concussion of a can-
non. At Salem, December '24, 1863, he captured two
Confederate officers. At Cold Harbor he received a
gunshot wound in the left leg; at Hatches' Run he
led the charge into the rebel works, and alone, cap-
tured three rebel officers, for which act he received a
special furlough from Gen. Meade. The last nine
months of his service he was detailed with eleven
others as advance guard of the brigade. During his
service he had four horses shot from under him. He
participated in over fifty actions, and was honorably
mustered out April 25, 1865, in front of Petersburg.
At the close of the war he started for Salt Lake City,
with a prairie train, but stopped at Fort Riley, and re-
turned to Jefferson, Mo., where he entered the employ
of the Missouri and Pacific R. R. Company, as fire-
man, and remained one year. He then spent over a
year in Missouri hunting, and returned to Baltimore,
and remained a short time, when he came to Penn-
sylvania and fired on the P. & E. R. R. From there
he went to Chillicothe, Ohio, as fireman on the Cin-
cinnati and Marietta R. R., for a short time, when he
was promoted to engineer. He then returned to the
P. and E., and accepted a position as fireman. In 1881
he entered the employ of H. F. Watson & Co., of
Erie, as chief engineer, and remained six years. He
then entered the employ of the Erie Rubber Com-
pany as chief engineer, where he remained three
years. In 1890, he accepted his present position,
where he has charge of the entire propelling ma-
chinery, with several assistants. Mr. Sutton was mar-
ried in 1875, to Miss Mary Hassett, of Warren,
Pa. They have had eight children, one of whom is
living, John Henry, born January 24, 1887. Mr. Sut-

ton is a member of the I. O. O. F., the Stationary
Engineers, K. O. T. .M., Knights of the Golden Eagle,
the Union Veteran Legion, tfie Improved Order of Red
Men and the L^nited Workmen. Politically he has
always been a Republican.

George W. Tompkins (deceased), late of Erie,
Pa., was a natixe (if Delhi, Delaware county, N. Y.,
born September US, 1834, a son of Jacob and Mary
(Hull) Tompkins, the former a native of Long Island
and the latter of Litchfield counu , ( ..nm-i ticut. The
Tompkins family moved to Wi>l( \ \ \\\r wliin George
W. was about one year old, wlicn- ilic nuither died
November 3, 1865, aged 72 years, and the father
May 24, 1871, aged 81 years. They were the parents
of six children: Elnathan Hull, horn February 18,
1S20, died June 1, 1876; known as the " King of Lake
Captains," and was a seafaring man all his life;
Wiilia.n, l.orn February 5, 182'2, died September l!l,
IsiCi, w.LS also a sailor; Anna, born August 13, 1S24,
nnw Mrs. .Morton, Wesleyville; Catherine Augusta,
born September 2, 1828, died January 2, 1847; George
W.; Marv Redfield, born October 11, 1838, and James
R., born February 21, 1831, died June 2, 18*3. George
W. Tompkins was reared and educated at Wesley-
ville, Pa., and at the age of 15 commenced work on
Lake Erie, where he was employed in various capaci-
ties for sixteen years, two years of which were spent
on the U. S. S. " Michigan. " In the autumn of 1865
he entered the employ of the P. & E. R. R. at Corry.
He served as a faithful employe of that company
until the time of his death, which occurred November
27, 1894. He was one of the most successful and
experienced conductors on the road, and had worked
for the company nearly as long as any man in a like
employment on the Western division of the P. & E.
R. R. He was married January 16, 1867, to Miss Anna
J., daughter of Jeremiah and Jane (Yaple) Akerly, nf
Greene township, Erie county. Pa. Mr. and Nlrs.
Tompkins were parents of five rhildrrn: William,
a well-known carpenter and buiMrr ,.! I'm-, who was
reared and educated in Erie and > (imiin n. ,-,1 the car-
penter's trade when 17 years old .iml li.i^ successfully
followed it since; Herbert George, carpenter; Nellie
v.; Marion Louisa and Merrick W. The family
reside on East Eighteenth street and are members of
the Episcopal Church.

Nickolas Leuschen, owner and proprietor of the
Mystic Steam Renovating Works, Erie, Pa., was born
in Buffalo, N. Y., May 19, 1847. He is a son of
Mathias and Katherina (Uhlmann) Leuschen, the
former a native of Prussia and the latter of Wurtem-
berg, Germany, who came to America July 6, 1845.
The father was a Prussian soldier. He emigrated to
America in 1843 and settled in Buffalo, where he was
married February 23, 1846, and June 9, 1849, came to
Erie, where he died August 5, 1869. His wife now
resides in Erie. They were the parents of ten chil-
dren, viz.: Nickolas, our subject; Peter, Erie, Pa.;
Elizabeth, now Mrs. Loth Mader, Erie; Mary Magda-
lena, Mrs. Frank Wuenschel, Erie; George (deceased);
Mary (deceased); John (deceased); Margaret (de-
ceased); Frank, Erie; Henry, marine engineer, Buffalo,
N. Y. Mr. Leuschen was reared and educated in
Erie, and when a boy followed various occupations
and finally learned the potter's trade with Webb &
Kellogg, Erie. Pa. He enlisted July 29, 1864, in the



United States navy, and served in the \\'est Gulf
Squadrun, under Admiral Thatcher, until the close of
the war. He was then sent to the Pacific coast to
serve on the U. S. S. " Lancaster, " which was then at
Panama. During his service on board this vessel he
went to the Sandwich Islands, and from there to San
Francisco. On May 28, 1866 he was transferred to the
U. S. S. " Saranac, " which was under command of
Gustavus H. Scott, a cousin of William L. Scott.
This vessel was ordered north in the interest of the
American whalers, and was compelled to put in at
Puget Sound on account of a leak, as a result of a
three days' storm. While here their orders were
countermanded, the old "Shenandoah, " the terror of
the American seamen, which they were after, having
been captured in the meantime. After making a
cruise of the Sound they proceeded to San Francisco,
and from there were ordered to the Mexican coast to
re-capture the Keokuk, which had been taken as a
contraband of war. After capturing their prize they
returned to San Francisco and again cruised along the
coast from San Francisco to Panama, after which
they again returned to San Francisco, where he was
discharged July 28, 1867, lind given transportation to
Erie. While Mr. Leuschen was in the service he took
a complete course in navigation, under the private
instructton of an officer who had taken a particular
fancy to him. When he returned to Erie he resumed
work at the potter's trade, which he followed a short
time, when he commenced work at the carpenter's
trade, which he followed until 1871, and then he went
to Foxburg and clerked in a hotel for nearly a year.
Returning to Erie, he entered the employ of Diefen-
dorf & Gross, in the upholstery business, and, in 1876,
engaged in his present business. In 1883, in company
with his brother, Peter, he started the first steam
renovating works in Erie. He is not only the oldest
established in his line in Erie, but the leader. He
was married April 28, 1873, to Miss Rosina E. Richter,
of Erie, a native of Strasburg, Germany. She died
March 13, 1885, leaving no children. Mr. Leuschen
was married again March 9, 1892, to Miss Katie E.
Richter. They have twochildren, viz.: Peter Alphonso
and Marie Lorena. Mr. Leuschen is a member of the
St. Benedictus Society; Robert W. Scott Post, G. A.
R., of which he was commander three years; the
Elks; the Msennerchor Society; an active member of
the Erie Yacht Club, and has always been a very
active Democrat and hard worker for the party. He
was one of the organizers of the Democratic Society
of Erie. In 1894 he was a candidate for the Legisla-
ture on the Democratic ticket.

J. M. McNerney. chief engineer for the H. F.
Watson Paper Company, Erie, Pa., was born in Dun-
kirk, N. Y., May 18, 1864. He is a son of Michael and
Nora (Maloney) McNerney, natives of Ireland, and
now residents of Dunkirk.* J. M. is the eldest of a
family of ten children. He was reared in Dunkirk,
where he received a common school education. When
he was 13 years of age he engaged as a teamster,
which he followed about five years, when he entered
the employ of the Brooks Locomotive Works at Dun-
kirk. He worked there two years in the forging
department. He then came to Erie and secured a
position with the Watson Paper Company as fireman,
and shortly afterward was made one of the assistant
engineers. In 1889 he was appointed chief engineer

of the entire establishment. Mr. McNerney has six
assistant engineers and twenty firemen under his
charge. The machinery which he has charge of
aggregates over three thousand horse power. He
was married in February, 1883, to Miss Mary E.
Marcus, of Dunkirk. They have two children, Her-
bert and Edward. Mr. McNerney is a member of
the National Association of Engineers and of the
K. O. T. M.

George Byro« Meeker, retail dealer in fresh
and salt meats, 502 Walnut street, Erie, Pa., born in
McKean township, Erie county. Pa., January 24, 18.56,
is a son of Gideon Meeker, a farmer of Sterrettania,
who was born in McKean township, a son of John O.
Meeker, who was born in New Jersey May 14, 1785,
and was married October 26, 1813, to Jerusha Wilcox,
born in Massachusetts July 30, 1797. They were the
parents of eleven children, viz.: William C, Sarah
A., Gideon, Lois S., Lucinda, Charles A., John, Isaac
N. (deceased), Clarinda J., Mary R. and Louise E.
Of this family Charles A. and Isaac N. were soldiers
in the war of the rebellion; the former was a private in
the 83d Reg., P. V. I., wounded and died in hospital
October 4, 1862; the latter was in an Ohio regiment,
but his last year was in the marine service on the Ala-
bama river. John Oliver Meeker was a soldier in the
war of 1812-14, and was stationed at Erie under Capt.
Foster; he was one of McKean township's earliest
pioneer settlers, and died March 30, 1864. His wife
died January 10, 1830. Gideon Meeker married, April
15, 1852, Fanny Rhodes, born March 10, 1830, daugh-
ter of Jacob and Annie (Rhorer) Rhodes, natives of
this state. Nine children were born to this union, viz.:
Mary L., Mrs. R. S. Dunn, of North East; Emma A.,
Mrs. G. T. Blatz, of McKean township; George B.,
John O. (deceased), Gideon E., a carpenter for the L.
S. & M. S. R. R., resides in Erie; William P., proprie-
tor of a drug store, McKean, Erie county; Martha J.,
Clarence A." sells pianos and organs on the road and
resides in Oil City, and Glenn E. Mr. Meeker owns
and operates an excellent farm of 130 acres one mile
from Sterrettania. Himself and wife are members of
the Methodist Church, and in politics he is a Repub-
lican. George B. Meeker received a common school
education and worked on the home farm until 21 years
of age. He then followed butchering two years, after
which he bought a farm in McKean township and con-
tinued farming till 1893, when he sold his farm and
moved to Erie and engaged in the meat business at
410 West Eighth street, for a few months, and in June
of that year moved his business to his present loca-
tion, where he has since conducted a large and lucra-
tive business, enjoying the patronage of the best peo-
ple of that section of the city. He makes a specialty
of Swift's dressed meats and gives the business his
personal attention. He was married January 8, 1879, to
Miss Belle, daughter of Charles Osborn, of Summit
township, and to them have been born two children,
Fannie M. and Pearl A. The family are members of
the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Meeker was for
three years a school director, during his residence in
McKean township. He is an ardent supporter of the
Republican party. Mr. Meeker built his comfortable
home at 414 Walnut street in 1894.

Frank A. Blum, dealer in fresh and salt meats,
1621 Peach street, Erie, Pa., was born in Baden, Ger-

Charles Burdett Chidester, physician and sur-
geon, Erie, Pa., born in Parl^nian, Ohio, October 17,
1808, was educated at Hiram Colleije: at the Medical
Department of the University of Michigan, and at tlie
College of Physicians and Surgeons, Baltimore, Md.,
from which last he was graduated March 4, 1881.
He practiced medicine in Ohio until 1890. On the
13th of November, 1884, he married Minnie, second
daughter of Waterman S. and Caroline B. Hodges,
of Middlefield, Ohio. They had two children: Rose
Ann, born July 15, 1886, died August 8, 1886, and
Frank Charles, born May 5, 1888, died May 16, 1888.
Mrs. Chidester died May 12, 1888. Her memory will
always be dear to a large circle of friends, by whom
she was loved and admired for her vivacity and re-
finement of manner, and a remarkable sweetness of
disposition. Her ancestors were pioneers in Middle-
field, from North Bradford, Conn. He was marrieci
February 19, 1889, to Mrs. Ella J. Durban {/it;' \'ance),
of Collingwood, Ohio; born July 16, 1850, at Fairview,
Erie county. Pa., and he removed to Erie in 1890,
where he now has an extended and lucrative practice.
He IS a member of the Ohio State Medical Association
and one of the founders of the Geauga County Medical
Society, serving as its president two terms.

Thev have two daughters — Minnie Ada, born De-
cember' 25, 1889, at Burton, Ohio, and Mabel Olivia,
born May 11, 1891, at Erie, Pa.

Mrs. Chidester's great-grandfather was Patrick
\'ance, who settled in Erie county, in 1797. His son,
Thomas \'ance, lived on a farm near Fairview, a part
of which is still in possession of Mrs. Chidester. He
had three children: Thomas Vance, jr., who after-
ward lived on the farm; Jane, who married Franklin
Willis, of Fan-view, April 14, 1842; and Margaret,
who died unmarried. Thomas \'ance, jr., born July
1(5, 1821, married Elizabeth Olivia Weidler, February
17, 1848, died December 7, 1887. She was born August
21, 1829, and died February 18, 1855. They are buried
at Fairview, Erie county,' Pa. Her maternal grand-
father, Daniel Weidler, a pioneer in Erie county, was
born in Lancaster, Pa., February 12, 1805, and mar-
ried September 15, 1827, Catherine Frissler, in Lancas-
ter. He died September 3, 1874; she died May 19,
1855. They are fiuried in Fairview. Their children
were Elizabeth Olivia (born August 21, 1829, died
February 18, 1855), Michael George, Samuel, Daniel,
Samuel S., Anna Amelia, Catherine Atlanta, John A.
and Mary A.

Dr. Chidester is the son of Julius and Eliza Har-
riet (Mastick) Chidester, whose other children were
Mary Eliza, born at Cantield, Ohio, June 28, 1854, mar-
ried Andrew L. Caryl, of Marysville, Ohio, and William

A., born at Parkman, Ohio, January 5, 1861, died at
Claridon, Ohio. Nov,-inher8, 1875.
I Julius ChHlcsirr, liorn in Cantield, Mahoning coun-
ty, Februai V L'l, IS'Ji;, was the son of Erastus and Ly-
dia (Sackelt) Cliiilr^trr, besides whom three brothers
and two sisters reached mature age. He married at
Burton, September 24, 1850, Eliza Harriet Mastick, of
Claridon, Ohio, and went to housekeeping at Canfield;
they lived here two years, and in Geauga county twenty-
three years engaged in stock business — then took a flock
of 500 sheep to^Mercercounty, Illinois. After arrival
there wolves were very savage, many times attacking
the sheep in droves, and were with diifii iillv beaten
off with dogs and guns. Here he :i!sii c n-i-. a in ship-
ping stock to Chicago. At this tiiin 1p r. Hd

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 142 of 192)