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Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 158 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Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 158 of 192)
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but never reached the front. He was in the service
seven months, when he sprained his ankle, was given
his discharge and sent home, crippled for life. Mr.
Yaple is a member of Rice Post, G. A. R., at Water-
ford. Mr. Yaple is one of the self-made men of Erie
county. He has always been a farmer, and when
quite a young man, left his father's hime to make his
own way in the world. This he has done, with consid-
erable success, and he now owns 160 acres of fine farm
land in Greene township, near West Greene, the
greater portion of which is under cultivation. He is a
strong Republican and a highly esteemed, genial cit-
izen. His ten estimable children (five boys and five
girls) are all residents of this county.

FraHcis Mariati Cook was born in Athens town-
ship, Crawford county, March 11, 1849. His father,
Samuel Cook, was born in Portland, Chautauqua
county, N. Y., and came to Pennsylvania in 1847. He
settled in Crawford county and came to Erie county in
1854. Samuel Cook was married May 5, 1844, to Lida
Stafford Stark, in Portland, N. Y., of an old English
family who were early settlers in the State. His first
wife died January 9, 1877, and was married October
13, 1878, to Miss Elizabeth Cook, at Alden, Erie county,
N. Y.; she survives her husband, who died August 25,
1895. The first marriage resulted in five children, of
whom Francis Marion was the third child. He was
married April 13, 1876, to Hattie E. Wagner, daughter
of Samuel Wagner, of Mill Creek township, a well-
known and an early settler in Erie county. Mrs.
Cook is the third child and the only daughter, and
comes of a family of early Pennsylvania Dutch set-
tlers. Mr. and Mrs. Cook have nine children, the
eldest, Ross E., then Lydia Anna and Hannah Eliza,
twin sisters; Joseph E., Roy E., Seth B., Eva, Carrie and
Agnes May. Mr. Cook is one of the progressive citi-
zens of Greene townshiji, and now has 380 acres of
farm and timber land. He has 125 acres under culti-

vation about his home, in the northwestern section of
the township, and the remaining portion of his prop-
erty is in valuable timber and pasture in the southern
part. Mr. Cook was reared in Erie county, and has
made his own way in the world. He started when a
young boy in Venango county, working in the oil coun-
try, but returned to Erie county and worked at farm-
ing, saving his earnings, with which he purchased the
fine farm lands surrounding his home. He also owns
a large sawmill near South Wales, in Greene township.
Mr. Cook never took an active part in politics and has
declined many township offices tendered him by the
Republican party, though he is now a school director
and is doing much to improve the district schools,
where his children are being educated.

John Wright was born October 2, 1870, in Greene
township, Erie county. His father, Samuel Wright,
was a native of Denmark. He was born May 3, 1822.
He was a sailor by trade and sailed upon the merchant
vessels of his native land until 1862, when he came to
America. After spending several years upon the At-
lantic coast, he came to Erie, making that city his
home, and sailing upon the lakes as second mate until
about 1872, when he purchased a farm of fifty acres in
Greene township at Knoyles Corners. This property was
then a heavy forest, which was cleared by Mr. Wright
himself, and is now rich farming land, and adjoins a
farm operated by his brother Charles. Shortly after
Mr. Wright came to Erie he was married to Annie
Eninbour, a native of Germany, who came to this
country but a few years previous. They had nine
children: Emma, now the wife of Charles Thornton,
living in Greene township; Clara, wife of F. S. Cook,
of Greene township; Mary, living in Erie; Ella and
Addie, at the homestead; three brothers are prosperous
farmers in North Dakota, and John is unmarried and
is living with his mother and sisters on the old farm.
He has added six acres to the property since the
death of his father, January 5, 1894. He is a prosper-
ous farmer, has always lived at home, and is adding
to the value of the beautiful country about the old
home every year.

Charles T. Hall was born in Waterford town-
ship, Erie county. Pa., June 26, 1847. His father,
Charles T. Hall, sr., was a native of Genessee county,
New York, of Scotch descent, and came to Erie
county in January, 1847. He was married the year
before to Rebecca Hill, daughter of Heman Hill, a
native of North Ireland. Mr. Hill accompanied his
daughter and her husband to Erie county, and a few
days after arriving at Waterford Mr. Hall started to
return overland to Buffalo to look after his household
goods which failed to arrive in time. This was the
last that was ever seen of him. His horse and wagon
were found, but it is supposed that he was waylaid
by highwaymen and his body disposed of, for he was
never seen again. A few months later Mrs. Hall
gave birth to a son, Charles T., jr. She and her child
lived with her father in Waterford until 1851, when
she was married a second time to William Smith, a
son of James Smith, of Harbor Creek. He died in
March, 1880, leaving his widow and four children, one
of whom is hving, Slonroe Smith, who resides in Har-
bor Creek township. Mr. Heman Hall, grandfather of
Charles T. Hall, died in 1872. Mr. Hall started in the
world, when he was 12 years old, to earn his own



living. He worked at farming in Erie county until he
was 17 years old, when he went to work for an uncle
at Akron, N. Y., and learned carpentry. He remained
there for five years, and returned to Erie county,
where he worked at his trade throughout the country
until he was married, September 7, 1871, to Melodia
A. Peck, daughter of Z. E. Peck, of Harbor Creek
township. Mr. Peck is a native of Connecticut, and
came to Erie county in 1835. Mr. and Mrs. Hall have
four children: Perry E., Zalmon C, Harry H. and
Estella M., all of whom are living. Mr. and Mrs.
Hall live on their farm of forty acres, on the northern
border of Greene township. Mr. Hall also owns
thirty-five acres in Harbcr Creek township that is
under cultivation. They are members of the Wales
Presbyterian Church, of Greene township, and of the
Christian Endeavor Society. Mrs. Hall is an active
worker in the Ladies' Missionary Society of the
church. Mr. Hall continues to ply his trade as a car-
penter, and also works his two farms. He is a mem-
ber of the State police and Farmers' Alliance.

Daniel W. Sliuler was born in Charleston, Mont-
gomery county, N. Y., April 5, 1839. His grandfather
was a na;tive of Germany, and came to this country
shortly after the Revolutionary war, and settled in
Montgomery county, where John U. S. Shuler, father
of Daniel W. Shuler, was married to Hannah, daugh-
ter of John Houghton, of Montgomery county. New
York, a family of old New England " Yankees." She
was eldest of seven children, four boys and three girls,
of whom Daniel W. was the youngest. He worked with
his father on the old farm until the age of 26. He was
married to Delavia, daughter of Isaac Thompson, a
former dry goods merchant of Cortland, N. Y. This
marriage occurred February 20, 1866. Mrs. Shuler's
early ancestors were natives of Ireland. Mr. Shuler
made his home in Cortland county, where he pur-
chased and worked a farm of 120 acres. He remained
there until 1876, when he sold his property and moved
to Corry, Erie county. Pa. Here Mr. Shuler engaged
in the lumber business; part of the time he was in the
employ of Harrison Bacon in his lumber mill. He re-
mained in Corry five years, and then moved to Erie
city, where he ran a dairy for several years. But this
vocation was unsuited to Mr. Shuler, and he sold out
and started a grocery at the corner of Seventeenth and
French streets, and later he moved his place of busi-
ness to the corner of Thirteenth and Holland streets,
where he remained until November, 1894, when he
again sold his business to engage in the same pursuit
in the settlement of Boscobel, in the northeast corner
of Greene township. On June 2, 1894, Mr. Shuler was
appointed postmaster of Boscobel, by President Cleve-
land, which office he fills, in connection with his gen-
eral store. Mr. and Mrs. Shuler have two children
living, Charles and William. They had four others,
but they died at an early age. Mr. Shuler's father
died in 1880. The old homestead, in Montgomery
county, is now occupied by a grandchild. Mrs. Shu-
ler's father died some two years ago. Mrs. Thompson
is still living in Cortland, N. Y. Mr. Shuler is a mem-
ber of the Order of Woodmen of the World.

Benjiaitilti Allen was born August 20, 1841, in
Greene "township, Erie county. Hi's father, Henry
Allen, a native of Vermont, of good old Yankee ances-
try, came to Erie county in 1838 from Ogdensburg,

N. Y., and settled on sixty-eight acres of land on the
Harbor Creek and Waterford road, east line of Greene
township, which land he cleared of the heavy timber
that then covered the greater portion of this county.
Soon after making a home for himself Mr. Allen was
married to Sallie Barney, then a resident of Platts-
burg, N. Y. She was a descendant of an old Yankee
family of Irish ancestry, and was a sister to the late
Squire John Barney, of Erie county. They had four
children, three of whom are now living: Nancy, the
eldest, is now the wife of G. C. Barney, of Greene
township; Horace B. is living in Minnesota, and Ben-
jamin, the fourth child and the subject of this sketch.
Mr. Allen died March 1, 1851, and Mrs. Allen lived
with her children on the old homestead until Febru-
ary, 1884, when she expired. Benjamin Allen re-
mained at home, living with his mother and brother,
and for three years with his brother-in-law, G. C. Bar-
ney, attending the district school in winter until he
was 17 years old, when he commenced life for himself.
He went to Belle Valley, where he worked for Capt.
N. W. Russell on his farm and also attended school
there in the winter of 1859-60. In the spring of '61 he
started to learn carpentry, but only remained at it a
month when the war broke out, and, imbued with a
true spirit of patriotism, he entered the army. He en-
listed in Co. C of Col. J. W. McLane's Erie Regiment,
April 21, 1861, in the three months' service and went
with the regiment to Pittsburg, and then to Hilton sta-
tion, where they remained until their enlistment ex-
pired and were returned home. Colonel McLane reor-
ganized his regiment, and on August 29, 1861, Mr. Allen
re-enlisted in Co. C and remained with the regiment
through the entire service. On September 16th of that
year the regiment left Erie for Washington and went
into camp on Hall's Hill. The regiment after consid-
erable delay was given its equipment and designated
the 83d Pa. Vols. They remained at that place
through the winter and then went to Alexandria, Va.
In March, 1862, the 83d was transported to Fortress
Monroe, and from there commenced what was known
as the campaign of the peninsula. The first fight oc-
curred at Hanover Court House, Va., May 27, 1862.
After several small brushes with the rebels the regi-
ment engaged in the seven days' battle, commencing
June 26 at Mechanicsville and ending at Harrison's
Landing. On June 27, the 83d distinguished itself at
Gaine's Mills, and there participated in the hottest
fight in which it was engaged during its service. It
was here that Colonel McLane and Major Lewis Nagle
were killed and the ranks of the 83d woefully thinned
while repulsing a charge by the Eleventh South Caro-
lina infantry. Mr. Allen here lost the forefinger of his
left hand and also received a rebel bullet in the left
shoulder, disabling him to such an extent that he was
obliged to retire from the field. He was so severely
wounded that he was sent to the hos]iital at the Naval
Academy at Annapolis, remaining there the remainder of
his service on detached duty. He returned to Erie and
reported to the provost marshal in that city on August
29, where he remained until October. He then went
to Petroleum Center, Pa., near Oil City, where he en-
gaged in business as a contract driller, in the oil coun-
try. In 1878 he moved to Bradford, Pa., and continued
business as a contractor and also at drive-pipe pulling
and dealer in second hand supplies until 1883, when
he sold out to Bovard & Sefang, and a year later re-
turned to his native county. He purchased the Jo-


seph Patterson farm in Greene township, consisting
of 100 acres of fine farm land, all of which is now
under cultivation. Mr. Allen was married December
24, 1866, to Mary McGinley, daughter of Henry Mc-
Ginley, formerly of Allegheny ccjunty, Pennsylvania,
at Petroleum Center. She is of a family (jf Scotch-
Irish ancestry. They have seven children, four girls
and three boys. The eldest is Lydia, now the wife of
John Craine. They are living in Union township, Erie
county. Emma, the second child, is the wife of J. W.
Preble in Erie city. Alia is the wife of Walter M.
Yaple, of Greene township; Ada, Willard Russell,
Henry Herbert and Lee are all living at home. Mr.
Allen is a justice of the peace in Greene township. He
was first elected in 1888, and is now serving his second
term in that office. Mr. Allen is not a member of the
G. A. R. While living in Petroleum Center and Brad-
ford he retained a membership in the Odd Fellows
and the A. O. U. W., but since leaving there he has al-
lowed himself to be dropped from the rolls of these
two societies.

Hon. William C. Culbertson, Girard, Pa., one
of the foremost riti/ens of Mrii- ri.iinty, was born in
Edinboro, l';i., N..\( imIht l'T, 1^-J."i, and is a son of
Andrew ("..liiini ms ,iiiil ,M.ii-'_',,ini lAlexander) Cul-
bertson. 11 ic r.iiiiilv miic.iln- \ li.i^ lieen traced to the
year 14U0, when they resideil near Kelso, Scotland,
whence they fled from the persecutions of Charles II
— between 1665 and 1685 — to the north of Ireland.
In 1712, John, son of William Culbertson, who had
participated in the siege of Londonderry, brought his
family to Philadelphia. John Culbertson (2d), born in
Ireland, and married in Philadelphia, had a son, An-
drew, who removed to Williamsport, Pa., in 1775,
bringing with him his family, one of whom was Will-
iam, the grandfather of Mr. William C. Culbertson,
and from whom Williamsport derived its name. In
1795 William Culbertson came to Erie county and pur-
chased a large tract of land of the Holland Land Com-
pany, in the vicinity of the present site of Edinboro,
part of which he afterwards disposed of to his brothers
and others. Two years later he brought his family to
their new home. Thus it will be seen that the Cul-
bertson family were among the sturdy pioneers who
took the initial steps in converting the unbroken wil-
derness of northwestern Pennsylvania into what is now
one of the most beautiful and productive sections in
the world. Andrew Columbus Culbertson was born
in Williamsport, Pa., June 29, 1795, and hence was but
2 years old when brought to that section of the State.
He (William) was one of the most prosperous and
progressive citizens of his time, and was largely in-
strumental in advancing the development of that por-
tion of Erie county in which he had lived. He fol-
lowed farming and milling, and died in 1843. The
family (Andrew's) consisted of eight children: Mar-
garet, widow of the late Rev. Edward C. Rogers, of
Edinboro; Mary, wife of Mr. Fred Thompson, of Ed-
inboro; William C, who is the subject of this sketch;
James A.,managerofAllegheny Springs, Warren county.
Pa.; Rebecca, widow of George Wood, of Erie, and now
residing in Sheffield, Pa.; John, who was engaged with
his brother-in-law, Mr. Wood, in the lumber business
in Sheffield, where he died December 2, 1896; Alex-
ander, who resides in California, and Charles W., who
is engaged in the lumber business in Augusta, Wis.
William C. Culbertson received his education in the

public schools of his native town, and completed it by
private study and reading. He remained with his fa-
ther until he was 21 years of age, and then engaged in
business for himself. He began lumbering on the
Allegheny river in Jefferson county, Pennsylvania, and
in Kentucky, his mill and sash, door and blind
factory being located in Covington, Ky., where he
resided and made his headquarters. This business is
still in operation. In 1863 he removed to Girard, Pa.,
where he has since resided. In 1866 Mr. Culbertson
went to Michigan and began the careful selection and
purchase of the best tracts of timber, which he con-
tinued until he had purchased over 62,000 acres in
Michigan and Wisconsin. In the winter of 1870-1 he
took up his business headquarters in Menominee,
Mich., where he has since been extensively engaged
in cutting and manufacturing lumber. The Girard
Lumber Company was organized in 1881, with William
C. Culbertson, president; John W. Wells, vice presi-
dent, and James A. CullDertson, secretary and treas-
urer. Charles B. Culbertson is now also a member of
the firm which constituted the company. The head-
quarters of this company is at Menominee, Mich.,
where they manufacture chiefly white pine lumber,
which is wholesaled along the line of the Great Lakes
and adjacent waters. The yards are equipped with
railroad tracks and a fine dock for the loading of boats.
The business gives employment to about 250 men.
Besides his interest in the Girard Lumber Company
Mr. Culbertson has a large lumber plant in Murphy,
N. C, where he owns a large amount of timber, con-
taining a heavy growth of poplar. He also owns a
large tract of timberland in Missouri. Although so
extensively engaged in lumbering, Mr. Culbertson has
also found time to give his attention to other lines of
industry. He owns and operates a farm of nearly
6,000 acres on the Red river in Minnesota, and in
partnership with Mr. Charles W. Wheeler, of LeBoeuf
township, Erie county, owns a another large farm in
the same State. He is also extensively engaged in
farming in Erie county. He owns the Culbertson
homestead at Edinboro, and since 1871 has owned
Allegheny Springs, Warren county, Pa. He is also
heavily interested in real estate in the city of Erie and
in other parts of the county. He is president of the
Citizens' National Bank of Corry and the Girard
Wrench Company, and is a heavy stockholder and a
director of the P., S. & L. E. R. R., accounts of which
may be found in this work. Indeed, Mr. Culbertson's
interests are so extensive and distributed as to be al-
most impossible of description or estimation, yet in all
these undertakings he has been universally successful.
Among the self-made men of northwestern Pennsyl-
vania who have achieved success by their own indi-
vidual efforts he stands high. In politics Mr. Culbert-
son has always been a staunch Republican and has ren-
dered much valuable service to the party of his choice.
In 1888 he was elected to Congress on the Republican
ti'cket, and served the interests of his district in such a
manner as to convince the whole people of the wisdom
of their choice, and to win their highest commendation.
With the best interests of the country and community
always at heart, Mr. Culbertson is ever ready to lend
his means and influence to the advancement of all
worthy enterprises of a public or charitable nature.
Since 1863 he has resided in a beautiful country home
on one of his farms, about a mile from Girard, but in
1894 he began the erection of his residence in Girard




borough, which is nearing completion as the work
goes to press. Mr. Culbertson married Margaret,
daughter of the late Dr. James A. Alexander, of War-
ren county, Pennsylvania. Dr. Alexander owned a
large tract of land in the vicinity of and including
Allegheny Springs, which passed into the possession
of Mr. Culbertson in 1871. To Mr. and Mrs. Culbert-
son were born eight children: Misses Cordelia A.
and Kate E., James A., who married Miss Xora Lloyd,
of Covington, Ky., by whom he has one child, Lloyd;
Belle, who married Mr. Frank May, private secretary
to Mr. Culbertson. They have four children: W.
Lloyd, Margaret, Charles and Archibald R.; William
M., in the milling business, Girard, married Florence
Nece, of Girard-^he has five children: Anabel, James,
William, Florence and Margaret; Miss Margaret,
Charles B., who married Charlotte Hutchinson, of
Menominee, Mich.; he has one child, Margaret; and
Archibald, who died June 17, 1883, at the age of 17
years, while a student in Franklin College. In Scot-
land, Ireland and America the Culbertson family have
always belonged to the old line of Scotch Presby-
terians, and have been active workers and generous
supporters of their church.

Alfred DeMio, president of the Otsego Fork Mills
Company, Girard, Pa., was born in Bennington, Vt.,
January 17, 1831, and is a son of Elon and MariUa
(Piper) Denio. The family is of French extraction,
and dates back into the early history of Vermont. Mr.
Elon Denio also was born in Bennington, in 1809. He
was educated in the public schools of his native town,
and after completing his education, served an ap-
prenticeship in the trade of a machinist. Before he
reached his majority he had engaged in business for
himself in the manufacture of spindles for cotton and
woolen mills, which he followed for several years with
a marked degree of success. In 1842, soon after he
had removed to Fly Creek, Otsego county, N. Y., he
conceived the idea of adding forks to his products, and
it was that idea, which, nourished and matured, was
half a century later to bring fame and fortune to the
name of Denio. The manufacture of forks in Amer-
ica had been attempted several times, but in the ma-
jority of cases without success. The first forks made
by Mr. Denio were forged wholly by hand, but they
contained the best material obtainable, and the fact
that the work from beginning to finish was done by
Mr. Denio was a guarantee of the superiority of the
workmanship. These products met with such a ready
sale as to encourage increased facilities, and soon the
introduction of a trip-hammer. Other improvements
in the methods of manufacture soon followed, and
greater facilities were added from time to time in or-
der to meet the constantly and rapidly increasing de-
mand for these already famous implements. For the
purpose of securing more water power and better
shipping facilities, the works were in 1865 removed
from Fly Creek to Baldwinsville, N. Y., at the same
time greatly increasing the capacity. It was here, in
1872, that the well-spent life of Mr. Denio was brought
to a close. He had given the best years of his life to
the upbuilding of an industry then very limited in
America, and he was successful. Mr. A. Denio re-
ceived his education in the public schools, and from
earliest boyhood was familiar with his father's shop.'
In maturer years he assisted his father, and being an
industrious and dutiful son, contributed his share to

the success of the business. Upon the death of his
father, being an only son, he succeeded to the proprie-
torship of the Otsego Fork Mills. Thoroughly con-
versant with not only the commercial and financial,
but also all the mechanical details of the business, the
institution has flourished under his management, until
now it IS one of the most prosperous and thoroughly
equipped in America. In 1876 the plant was moved
to its present location, where it has been enlarged
from time to time, until it now occupies nearly three
acres. The buildings are substantial stone, iron and
brick structures, and were designed and constructed
for their present use. Each distinct department of the
work has a shop of its own, but all are conveniently
connected. The machinery with which the plant is
equipped throughout is of the most modern and im-
proved, and is in itself a wonderful display of mechan-
ical ingenuity. The capacity is now over 150 dozen
per day, and about 100 men are employed. The pro-
ducts of the concern include all kinds of agricultural
hand implements, and coal, coke and mining forks, in
the manufacture of which only the finest steel is used,
the handles being of the best quality of second-growth
white ash. These products are disposed of to the job-
bing trade only. The territory over which this com-
pany operates includes the whole civilized world,
many thousands of its implements being exported an-
nually to Great Britain, Germany, France, Switzer-
land, Canada, Mexico and South America. One very
unique characteristic running all through the entire

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 158 of 192)