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Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 163 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Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 163 of 192)
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Mr. Sewell now resides. They have one child, George,
who lives at home. Mr. Sewell has been a member of
several social and secret societies, but at present is
not associated with any. He is one of the progressive
citizens of Erie county, and is a gentleman who is
worthy of many friends.

J. J. Gittitig, farmer, postoffice Wesley vi He, was
born August 18, 1837. He is a son of John and
Susannah (Kuhl) Gitting. John Gitting (father of
our subject) was born in Berks county, Pennsylvania,
in 1810, and was a son of John and Elizabeth (Myers)
Gitting, who reared a family of twelve children:
Catherine, married A. Wenn, Luzerne county, Penn-
sylvania; Henry (deceased); Mary, married J. Andrews,
Luzerne county, Pennsylvania; Elizabeth (deceased),
married Mr. Boliard; Henry; Anna, wife of G.
Avery, resides at Waterford, Pa.; Polly, Mrs. D. Kuhl,
Fairview township, this county; Peggy, Hillsdale,
Mich.; Powell, married Polly, daughter of Thomas
Miller, Mill Creek, Erie county, Pa.; Timothy, who
was living in Michigan at the breaking out of the war,
enlisted and died in the army; Sarah, married H.
Mooney, Girard, Pa., and John (father of our subject),
who was married in 1833 to Susanna, daughter of
Yost and Elizabeth (Orth) Kuhl. J. J. is the youngest
in a family of three children: Caroline, married J.
Neff, and resides in Harbor Creek township; Emeline,
now Mrs. A. Clark, and lohn, jr., also lives in Harbor
Creek township. The father died May 21, 1895, and
the mother died April 21, 1879. J. J. Gitting was mar-
ried in 1867 to Miss Jennie Roland. They have no
children. Mr. Gitting lives on the old homestead,
which is three and a half miles from Harbor Creek.

Edward SchultZ, farmer, Harbor Creek township,
postoffice Boscobel, was born in Erie November 29,
1846. He is a son of Christian and Sophia (Jacabach)
SchultZ, both natives of Germany, where they were
married. In 1846 they emigrated to America and set-
tled in Erie county. After residing in Erie about six
months they moved to Harbor Creek township, where
the father worked in Cass's woolen factory, he being a
cloth-maker by trade. In 1849 he bought his present
farm. His wife died July 20, 1881. They were the
parents of six children: Edward; Lewis (deceased);
Henrietta (deceased); Charles (deceased); Mary (de-
ceased), and Ella, married Leander Bartlett. During
the war Christian Schultz served in the 168th P. V. I.
He now is living a retired life with his son Edward.
Edward Schultz has made farming his chief occupa-
tion. Of late years he has made fruit raising a
specialty. He now resides on the old Hershel fa'rm,
which is situated on the town line road between Har-
bor Creek and Greene. He purchased it September
2, 1867, and he and his father have together about 180
acres. He was married June 8, 1875, to Miss Amanda
Davidson, of Plumb township, Venango county. They
have one child, Mary. Mr. Schultz is a member o'f
the State Police and Farmers' Alliance. He was a
Republican until the organization of the People's
party, and since then has been an enthusiastic mem-
ber of that party.

G. E. Peck, farmer, postoffice Boscobel, Harbor
Creek township. Pa., was born November 22, 1847, on
the farm where he now resides. He is a son of Zali-
mon E. and Mary (Bellows) Peck, the former a native
of Connecticut and of old New England stock; the
latter was also a native of Connecticut and a descend-
ant of Revolutionary stock. Her grandfather served
as an officer in that war. Z. E. Peck was a son of
Edmund and Adria (Whitlock) Peck, natives of Con-
necticut. The family came to Erie county in 1832.
They reared a family of five children, viz.: Orrin
(deceased) resided at Deep River, Lake county, Ind.,
where he died in 1887; Z. E., father of G. E.; Charles
S., Burbank, Los Angeles county, Cal.; A. T. (de-
ceased), resided in California; Eliza and Louisa
(twins). Eliza married Joseph Peck (deceased) and
resided in Burbank, Cal. Louisa married Ezra Throop,
Union City. Edmund Peck settled on sixty acres of
land, a part of our subject's farm. He was a farmer,
also worked at shoe-making. He died while on a visit
in Indiana, and his wife died in Harbor Creek town-
ship. His son, Zolomon E., lived on the same
place and also followed farming. He was an old-
time schoolmaster and taught over forty terms. In
the spring of 1861 he responded to President Lincoln's
call for troops and enlisted in the three months'
service. He went out with Col. McLane's regiment.
After the expiration of his service in that regiment he
re-enlisted for three years in Co. A, 111th P. V. I. In
that company he acted a long time in the capacity of
commissary sergeant. At the end of about two years
he was discharged on account of ill-health. After
remaining at home about one year his health became
much improved and he enlisted in Co. I, 7th U. S. I.,
to serve five years, which term was afterward shortened
by an act of Congress to three. Few soldiers had a bet-
ter war record than Z. E. Peck. He was at the battles
of Antietam, South Mountain, Second Bull Run,
Cedar Mountain and Harper's Ferry, and numerous
other engjigements. At Antietam he was taken pris-
oner, but was soon after released. He was 66 years
of age when he first enlisted, an age at which few men
enter service as privates. It is related that when the
sergeant asked Mr. Peck his age his reply was, "My
fighting age is 45." Zolomon E. and Mary (Bellows)
Peck reared a family of six children: Zolomon
(deceased); Melodea (deceased); Mary (deceased);
Emeline (deceased); G. E., and Melodia A., now Mrs.
C. T. Hall, of Greene township. G. E. was reared
and educated in Harbor Creek township and has
made farming his chief occupation, although he spent
a few years in the oil regions of Pennsylvania. He
has an excellent farm of about 150 acres. Mr. Peck
was married February 6, 1872, to Miss S. A., daughter
of George and Amanda (Bellows) Shattuck, of Venango
township. Mr. and Mrs. Peck are the parents of four
children: Zailie (deceased); Leslie G., graduate of the
Edinboro State Normal School, class of 1895; Luella
and Elmina. Mr. Peck has served as school director
three terms and is a strong adherent to and a logical
advocate of the principles of the People's party. Mr.
Peck and his three children are excellent musicians.
The youngest, a girl of thirteen, is a violinist of remark-
able skill.

Charles Monroe Wheeler, agriculturist of Le-
Boeuf township, Erie county, was born in New
Ipswich, N, H., January 29, 1826, He is a son of





the late Stephen and Hannah (Stratton) Wheeler, both
of whom were natives of New Hampshire and of
Scotch descent. Stephen Wheeler was a man of in-
fluence in his community, sought frequently for official
preferment, serving as selectman, delegate to the Con-
stitutional convention and a member for a number of
terms of the Legislature of New Hampshire. He died
in 1860; his wife survived him about ten years. Charles
M. Wheeler was educated in the public schools and
academy of his native town, continued to reside in
New Ipswich, and was engaged in farming until 1852,
when he removed to LeBoeuf township, Erie county.
Pa., where he has ever since resided. In addition to
his farming interests in this county, Mr. Wheeler is
the proprietor of a sawmill and cheese factory, has
large lumber interests in Forest county, Pennsylvania,
and very extensive farming interests in Minnesota.
Mr. Wheeler has held several township offices and
was a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature in 1891
and 1893. He was married December 6, 1854, to
Sarah J., daughter of the late Eben Clark, of West
Townsend, Mass. Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler have five
surviving children, Edward E., Walter S., Orton H.,
Fred C. and Dr. Arthur C. Wheeler. Edward E.
Wheeler resides in LeBoeuf, and is the manager and
a member of the Baker-Wheeler Company, lumber
manufacturers and dealers of Forest county. He mar-
ried Imogene, daughter of T. S. Davis, of LeBceuf, and
has four children, Grace, Mabel, Margaretta and Ed-
ward Everett. Orton H. Wheeler resides in Pueblo,
Colo., where he is engaged in the shoe business, and is
a member of the board of aldermen. Fred C. Wheeler
is connected with his father in the Minnesota farming
lands, married Mrs. Fanny Forrester, of Waterford,
Erie county, and has one child, Mary. Dr. Arthur C.
Wheeler is practicing medicine in Erie.

William K. Awdrews, M. D., vvfas born in Adams-
ville, Crawford county. Pa., in 1867. He is a son of
H. B. and Mary (McMichael) Andrews, both natives of
Crawford county, Pennsylvania. William was edu-
cated at Alleghany College and the University of New
York, graduating from the medical department of the
latter institution in 1889. He began the practice of
medicine in Jamestown, Pa., the same year, removing
to Mill Village in 1891, where, in connection with his
practice he has conducted a drug store. April 1, 1892,
he purchased the Mill Village Herald of J. S. Ross, be-
coming Its sole proprietor. The Doctor is a member
of the United States pension board, Corry, Pa. He is
also interested in the LeBceuf roller mills, of Mill
Village, Pa.

0. W. Sturgis, merchant, was born in Crawford
county, Pennsylvania, January22, 1860. Hewastheson
of Horace and Mary Elizabeth (Gray) Sturgis, life-long
residents of Crawford county. Mr. Sturgis sold his mer-
cantile business in 1894, and engaged in the cutter and
harness trade. In 1892 he was married to Delia M.
Reynolds, daughter of F. W. and Betsey Ann (Parker)
Reynolds, of Mill Village. They have one child,
Francis. Mr. Sturgis is a member of the I. O. O. F.
He served one term as burgess of Mill Village, and
has been school director one term.

H. W. Pollock, general hardware merchant. Mill
Village, Pa., was born in LeBoeuf township in 18T0, and
is the son of J. S. and Mary (Hamilton) Pollock, The lat-

ter isadaughterof Hugh Hamilton, of Waterford. Mr.
Pollock began in the hardware business in the spring of
1892, and became the sole owner of the business now
managed by him in the spring of 1893. In 1892 he
was married to Minnie McClellan, of McClallen Cor-
ners, Washington township.

Frank A. Porter, railroad agent. Mill \'illage.
Pa., was born in LeBceuf township^ and at the age of
15 years went to the Pennsylvania oil fields, where he
became interested in oil drilling until 1880, when
his left leg was injured in the Bradford fields, and am-
putation became necessary. In 1886 he began as an
operator at the Mill Village railroad station, and, in
1890, was promoted to railroad agent for the New York,
Lake Erie and Western R. R. Mr. Porter is the son
ot Lucuis and Mariam (Clark) Porter, of LeBreuf
township. Lucuis Porter, an old resident of that lo-
cality, died in 1892. Frank A. Porter was married in
1887 to Lillis, daughter of J. L. Waterhouse, of Mill
Village. Their children are two sons, Harry and
Wellington. Mr. Porter is prominently identified with
the I. O. O. F., being an active member.

W. J. Gourley, dealer in meats, and proprietor of
meat market. Mill Village, Pa., waa born in LeBoeuf
township, in 1852, and is the son of Samuel and Sarah
(Patten) Gourley. At the age of 22 years he entered
the employ of the New York, Lake Erie and Western
R. R., as brakeman, and was soon after promoted to
conductor, in which position he continued until 1894,
when he engaged in the meat business as above
stated. In 1874 he married Emma J. Wilson, daugh-
ter of Dr. George Wilson, of Mill Village, Pa. The
following children have been born to them: William
Arthur, Gertrude and Kittle. Mr. Gourley is a member
of the O. R. C.

Frank L. Ferguson, farmer, Mill Village, Pa.,
was born in 1859, in Crawford county, and is a son of
John W. and Louise (May) Ferguson, natives of Penn-
sylvania. Frank was educated in the public schools,
and with the exception of ten years spent in the Brad-
ford oil fields, he has followed the occupation of farm-
ing. He purchased the farm now occupied by him in
1887. In 1886 he married Miss Elsie Gregory, daugh-
ter of Richard Gregory, a resident of Erie county.
Mr. Ferguson has held several township offices. He
is a member of the I. O. O. F.

George P. Draper, farmer, LeBoeuf, was born in
LeBoeuf township, Erie county. Pa., in 1863. He is a
son of Albert J. Draper, a resident of the same town-
ship, and who was born in New York State in 1838,
and came to Erie county when quite young, purchas-
ing a farm at a place, known as Wheeler Town. In
1875 he purchased and moved onto the farm, where he
now resides. Besides George, his children are: Sarah
J., wife of Lewis Carroll; Laura Frances, wife of L. J.
Middleton. George was married in 1889, to Nel-
lie, daughter of Trumon Merrill, of LeBoeuf town-
ship; one child, Laura May, was born to them in 1892.
Mr. Draper has resided on his present farm since

W. R. McCoy, farmer, LeBoeuf, LeBreuf town-
ship, Erie county. Pa., was born in Crawford county,
Pennsylvania, in 1855, where he spent his boyhood


days. He is a son of J. B. McCoy, a native of Craw-
ford county, Pennsylvania. Mr. McCoy has, since
1876, been a resident of Erie county, and for the past
few years manager of the large farm he now occupies.
In 1883 he was married to Estella, daughter of George
Cooper, of Fairview, Erie county, Pa. Mr. McCoy is
a member of the following organizations: I. O. O. F.,
P. H. C, and U. S. Insurance Company.

Jacob Weis was one of the many kindred lineage
who came from Lancaster county to the wilderness,
which the purchase of the Triangle by Pennsylvania
had opened for settlement to her enterprising citizens.
Jacob Weis came in 1796 or 1797 and settled west of
Erie, where he spent his life, and where his son John
died. Jacob Weis and his wife, Elizabeth (Ebersole)
Weis, had a family of five children: Mrs. John
Hershey, Mrs. Jacob Waidley, Mrs. Amos Hinkle,
John and Jacob. All of them settled in Erie county.
Mrs. Hershey alone survives. Of these, John Weis
was born January 7, 1819. After reaching manhood
his thrift, energy and industry soon increased his slen-
der patrimony to such an extent that he desired a
larger field. He purchased the Moses Barnet farm,
which had been located and occupied by his grand-
father, Jacob Ebersole, in Fairview township. It w?s
a beautiful location in that unrivalled valley, which
had long been in possession of the Barnet family.
There, about thirty-five years ago, he made his home.
His management was so judicious, his thrift so unin-
terrupted and his investments so fortunate, that he
became one of the wealthy men of Erie county.
Aside from his good farming, he took delight in own-
ing and fattening fine cattle. To this he adhered for
years. His conspicuous presence at county fairs is
well remembered, where his exhibits were in keeping
with this special feature of his farming. He secured
a large property in Erie city and county. His was a
life of honest industry. In appearance, habits and
business, Mr. Weis was a type of the " Pennsylvania
German," to which race our commonwealth is so
largely indebted for its prosperity. Punctuality in
every engagement, honorable dealings with all, and a
regard for the feelings of others, made his name a
synonym for reliability. His cordial manner and im-
posing appearance were in keeping with his personal
characteristics and comfortable surroundings. His love
of flowers and their utilization and cultivation in beau-
tifying his home merit emphasis. He was a devoted
son and kind brother. Mr. Weis was never married.
Like others of his generation who had felt the absence
of early advantages, he sought to give to those who
should come after him the advantages never enjoyed
by himself. In keeping with his advanced views and
in harmony withTiis Heaven-inspired wish that his large
possessions might to this end be made available, he
designed and perfected a scheme of benevolence,
which will give to his name a princely celebrity in the
annals of Erie county, and cause his memory to be
long and tenderly cherished, in providing for a mag-
nificent free public library. It should do more, in
setting an example of noble charity and judicious giv-
ing, to be followed, long after the hand that gave it
shall have crumbled into dust. The amount thus be-
queathed is estimated at from S50,000 to ¬І100,000.
During almost a century of existence as a county, no
Erie citizen has made a similar bequest. In this re-
spect it stands alone. The provisions of this grand

and thoughtful device can be found minutely set forth
in the chapter relating to Mill Creek township. The
same attention to details, so characteristic of Mr.
Weis through life, are found in this document, so
planned as to insure that the institution may live
through all time. Its location is already most happily
settled. The location is in West Mill Creek on the soath-
west corner of the Thomas and Valley roads, directly
opposite school No. 9, on land donated by Mr. Amos
Hinkle, a brother-in-law of Mr. Weis, being a part of
the old Weis homestead, and within a stone's throw of
John Weis' birthplace. The building was completed
early in 1896. About two years before his death, Mr.
Weis returned to West Mill Creek, to the old home,
where the evening of his life was spent. L'p to the
last decade his health had been good. Then he be-
came subject to rheumatism, the intensity of which in-
creased with his years. For several years his visits to
Erie had been less frequent. After a confinement at
home for several months, he died on the old place,
where about ninety-eight years since his father settled.
There he closed his long, unblemished and respected

Richard H. Arbuckle, farmer,^ postoffice Erie,
was born in Erie city October 14, 1835, and is a son of
William G. and Catherine (Bowers) Arbuckle, both
still living. The family consisted of six children, viz.:
Richard H., George W., Mary, wife of J. W. Hum-
phrey, of Jamestown, N. Y.; Louisa C, wife of John
K. Hallock; Frank Pierce, receiver for the general
land office, Denver, Colo., and John Arbuckle (de-
ceased). In 1859 Mr. Arbuckle married Miss J. An-
tonette, daughter of John and Charlotte E. (Barnes)
Burton. The former died in 1886, and the latter in
1870. Their children were: J. Antonette, Mrs. R. H.
Arbuckle; Phoebe J., wife of Jacob Warfel; Lydia N.,
wife of H. C. Sprague, of Toledo, O., and Laura, who
died in 1853. Children of Richard Arbuckle: Huldah
Jeanette, wife of John C. Wolf; John Burton, Kate
Eliza, who died in 1868 at the age of 2 years; Miss
Charlotte Barnes, William Irwin and Richard C. Ar-
buckle. John B. Arbuckle married Lillian Kelsey.
Two children have been born to this union, viz : Phoebe
Antonette, born September 11, 1890, and Donald Cecil,
born December 7, 1893. William Irwin married Le-
nora Clemens. They had one child, Clemens Irwin,
who died at the age of 7 months. Mr. and Mrs. John
C. Wolf have one child, Richard Burton, born Octo-
ber 11, 1890. Richard Arbuckle and his descendants
represent an important branch of the Arbuckle fam-
ily. He was educated in the public schools and Erie
Academy, and soon after learned the printer's trade.
He was an apprentice on the Erie Observer for four
years, and was afterwards and for several years clerk
in the Erie postoffice. He served as county commis-
sioner, under the first minority representation act, for
three years, 1876-8, and was collector of customs at
the port of Erie for four years, frem 1885-9. In the
fulfillment of the duties of each office of trust, Mr. Ar-
buckle showed great ability and gave entire satisfac-
tion to the public. Latterly he has devoted his atten-
tion to farming pursuits in East Mill Creek, and his
superior judgment and keen foresight is demonstrated
in the cultivation of his farm, its fine buildings and
modern methods pursued. He is energetic, public-
spirited, and always takes a decided position on all
affairs of public interest. Without solicitation on his



part, Mr. Arbuckle was appointed collector of cus-
toms and disbursing agent in Erie, in December,
188.5, and was commissioned, January 29, 188fi. Being
the only officer in Erie under the jurisdiction of the
United States Treasury Department, he was required
to give heavy bonds, and was custodian of all the pub-
lic property belonging to the Treasury Department.

Tobias Fickiuger, farmer. West Mill Creek town-
ship, postoffice Erie, was born June 14, 1811, in Lan-
caster county, Pennsylvania, son of Frederick, a miller
by trade, and Elizabeth (Long) Fickinger, natives of
Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. They came to this
county in 1831, settling in McKean township and re-
mained there until 1844, when they moved to Ashta-
bula county, Ohio, and there ended their days. They
were parents of eight children: Samuel, in Erie
county; Jacob, in Ohio; William; Maria, wife of J. L.
Skinner, of Illinois; Letitia, wife of George Stinehiser,
in Indiana, and Tobias, who was twice married, on the
first occasion to Sarah, daughter of John and Susan
Butt, of Mill Creek township; by this union were born
four children: Sarah A., wife of J. T. Brown; J. B.,
who was a member of the 145th P. V. I. during the late
war and died at Harper's Ferry, \'a.; Sophia (deceased),
and Rev. Charles F., married to MariUa, daughter of
J. Evans; they have two children, Frank and Grace.
On the death of his wife Mr. Fickinger married, Oc-
tober 3, 1872, Mrs. Catherine (Butt) Farver, who was
born March 15, 1813, and married John Farver in 1837.
by this union were born five children, viz.: Daniel, in
California; John, in Mill Creek township, married to
Lydia Busick, had five children, Henry, Kate (de-
ceased), Oney, John, Stella; Susan F., now Mrs. G.
Stone, have six children; Sarah, wife of C. Ott, have
two children; Mary, wife of T. McKee, haveone child;
Edward, who has been road commissioner and school
director for many years. He and his family are mem-
bers of the Lutheran Church.

M. H. Silverthom, superintendent Erie County
Alms House, was born and reared in Fairview town-
ship, June 19, 1827, and is of Scotch- Welsh descent.
Four brothers first came to Erie county at an early
day: Abraham, Isaac, Thomas and James. Abraham
soon after removed to Conneaut, Ohio; Isaac died at
Girard; Thomas went West, and James removed to
Canada. The latter was grandfather of Mr. M. H. Sil-
verthom, who is the son of John and Caroline (Davis)
Silverthorn. The former died in 1855, at the age of 55
years. M. H. is the second in a family of eight chil-
dren: Esther Ann, M. H., Harriett, Elvira, Norton J.,
Emiline, Levi and Cyntha. Mr. M. H. Silverthorn in
1850 was married to Mary Ann, daughter of David
Russell, a prominent citizen of Fairview. Of their
issue are five children, as follows: Russell (deceased),
John, Florence, wife of W. C. Luther; James, now mar-
ried to Miss Bertha, daughter of R. B. Brooks (they
have one child, Russell); Frank M., lithographer in
Erie, and Carl, a teacher. Mr. Silverthorn has long
been a prominent farmer in Fairview township and a
citizen of worth and value. In 1867 he was elected
justice of the peace and served as county commissioner
two terms, from 1869 to 1875, being the first commis-
sioner who succeeded himself in Erie county. In this
he figured conspicuously, in that he began a prosecu-
tion against the officials of the county, which resulted
in better methods. On account of his action during his

first term he was the choice of both parties at his sec-
ond election. This estimable gentleman was twice
elected to the Legislature by a large Republican ma-
jority, first in 1880 and again in 1882. It was during
his first term that his name was immortalized as the
great political reformer of Erie county. The stupend-
ous Pittsburg riot bill was being agitated and lobbyists
were pulling wires, and if successful it meant the pay-
ment of several millions of dollars by the .State. The
member from Erie was the chief factor in its defeat,
which made this vast saving to the taxpayers. He was
returned to the Legislature the next term with an over-
whelming majority. And thus has his public life been
characterized as a grand success. In 1891 he was ap-
pointed superintendent of the Erie County Alms-
house, which position he now holds.

John V. Mangold, proprietor of the Mangold
House, West Mill Creek, postoffice Erie, son of Frank
and Margaret (Rupp) Mangold, Erie, Pa., is the third
child of a family of eight children, as follows: Thomas,
Frank, Joseph, John V., Mary, wife of Dennis Hawley ;

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 163 of 192)