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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Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 165 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Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 165 of 192)
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He is a member of St. Mary's Church, Erie.

Jacob Kocher, sr., farmer. Mill Creek township,
is a native of Germany, and was born in 1838, son of
Benedict and Anna (Murry) Kocher, who spent their
lives in Germany. The former died at the age of 79
years and the latter at 83. Nine children were born
to this union, as follows: Benedict, who died in Ger-
many; Anna (deceased), wife of Rudolph Bithermund;
Magdalena (deceased), wife of Abraham Bithermund;
Nicholas; John, a resident of Pittsburg, Pa.; Mary,
Jacob and Rosanna, wife of Fred Southley. Jacob
Kocher was married September 27, 1864, to Caroline,
daughter of John Bothmer, a native of Germany. She
died August 7, 1890, at the age of 56 years. They had
eight children: Adolph, Anna, now the wife of Will-
iam Fagan; Fred, Jacob, Margaret, now the wife of
Fred Fagan; Emma, Edith and Charles. Mr. Kocher
owned a grist mill near where he now resides and had
full charge of the same for twenty-six years. This he
sold to Wesley Newton in 1892 and has since devoted
his interests to farming. He has a model farm of fifty
acres, which he has had the satisfaction of developing
from its primitive condition to its present state of cul-
tivation. Mr. Kocher has had a successful career



financially since his first undertaking in this country,
which dates September 20, 1864, when he entered the
employ of Thomas Love, near where he now resides.

Williatti Bolkey, miller. West Mill Creek, Erie
county. Pa., was born March 12, 1839, son of Henry
and Hannah (Minning) Bolkey (deceased), natives of
Germany, who came to America and settled in Erie
county, near West Mill Creek, in 1840. William
Bolkey is the eldest of a family of four children; Will-
iam, John, Henry (deceased). Sears (deceased). De-
cember 11, 1861, Mr. Bolkey was married to Mrs. Mary
Zinimer, widow of Jacob Zimmer, and daughter of
Phillip Royer, of Mill Creek township. Her mother's
maiden name was Elizabeth Cede. Tweuty-one years
of their life was spent in LeBosuf township and their
last days in Mill Creek township. The children of
William Bolkey are: Lydia, the wife of Grant Thomp-
son, Mill Creek; J. D., of Mill Creek; Leonard, Erie,
and L. H., at home. Mr. Bolkey has been in the mill-
ing business since 1870 and in his present location since
1875, where he operates a lumber, shingle, feed and
jelly mill. He hasestalilished himself in the confidence
of a generous public. Mr. Boley is a member of the
Knights of Honor, A. O. U. W., E. A. U. and the State
Police.

W. S. Corbett, general merchant, Erie, Pa., is a
native of Canada. He is a son of John and Margaret
(Ball) Corbett, and was born in Kingston, Ontario.
They resided in Frontanac county, Ontario, for many
years, and reared a family of four children, as follows:
W. S., William, Mrs. J. C. Hardy, Emma and John,
residents of Ontario. In June, 1890, Mr. W.- S. Cor-
bett married Miss Louis, daughter of Eustice (deceased)
and Caroline Dietly, of Erie. Two children have
been born to this union: Caroline, Louise and Will-
iam Joseph. Mrs. Dietly survives and resides in
the city of Erie. They had a family of three chil-
dren: Louise, wife of W. S. Corbett; Joseph L.
and Philip W. Dietly, of Erie. Mr. Corbett went to
Rochester, N. Y., at the age of 16 years; soon after he
was employed as clerk for Sibley, Lindsley & Carr,
dry goods merchants in Seneca Falls, N. Y. He came
to Erie and opened the Boston Store of Mack & Spit-
tle, and later accepted a position as floor-walker and
next as general manager for Trask, Prescott & Rich-
ardson, Erie. This was in 1889. He returned to On-
tario that year and took charge of his brother's busi-
ness until the spring of 1891, when he again came to
Erie and bought the property he now occupies and
engaged in the mercantile trade, which he has since
carried on successfully, enjoying the confidence of the
public. Mr. Corbett is a man of fidelity and enterprise.

He«ry Heidecker, farmer, Erie, Pa., was born m
Belle Valley, Erie county, January 16, 1861, son ot
Jacob and Barbara (Streit) Heidecker, for many years
a resident of Erie county. Jacob Heidecker died Sep-
tember 23, 1891, at the age of 65 years. He served as
a soldier in the German army. His widow still sur-
vives and resides in Greene township. The former was
born in Germany in 1825, and coming to Erie county
lived for many years in Greene township. They reared
a family of five children, as follows: Elizabeth, wife of
Conrad Sommers, Erie; Jacob E., resident of Greene
township; William H., Greene township, and Barbara
Heidecker, Erie. In 1883 Henry married Mary Ann,



JVUZSOWJS BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONABT



daughter of Nicholas Deitsch, of Mill Creek. To this
union have been born three children, as follows: Mary
A., William H. and Henry L. Heidecker. Mr. Hei-
decker from 1884 to 1894 was in the employ of D. D.
Tracy on his farm on the Lake road, and has been
manager of the farm now occupied by him and owned
by J. C. Zuck since 1894. Mr. Heidecker is a man of
integrity and an energetic and progressive farmer.

George Stough, of West Mill Creek, one of Erie
county's oldest and most prominent farmers, was born
in Erie county, on the farm which he now owns, July
81, 1814. He is a son of John and Polly (Eagley)
Stough. The former was born in Berks county, Penn-
sylvania, came to Erie county in 1805, and settled in
Mill Creek township, locating upon the present farm,
which he owned and occupied, and in a log cabin he
reared a large family. Mrs. Stough was a descendant
of the well-known Eagley family, whose history is so
interwoven with the growth and development of Erie
county. John Stough departed this life March 14,
1858, surviving his wife, who died April 10, 1853. She
was a sister of Daniel Eagley, the last survivor now
living in Springfield township of this noted family.
The children of Mr. John Stough were as follows:
George, Barbara, widow of John Wolf; Peter, of Mc-
Kean township; Mary, deceased wife of Samuel Flick-
inger; Susan, deceased wife of John W. Rubner; John
and Katherine (twins), both deceased, the latter at the
age of 22 years, and a resident of Mill Creek town-
ship; Rebecca (died in infancy), William, a resident
of Girard; Margaret, deceased wife of John Minnig;
Sophia (deceased in her 16th year), Lydia, now living
on the homestead farm, where she was housekeeper
for her father until his death; Nancy (deceased). John
Stough, when he first came to Erie county, was ac-
companied by his father, Nicholas Stough, and they
jointly built the log house, which was occupied for
nearly three generations, when it gave way to a mod-
ern structure. John Stough's brother, George, was a
veteran of the war of 1812. George Stough, jr., was
reared amid primative surroundings, and as a pioneer
has seen Mill Creek emerge from a dense forest into
one of the garden spots of the county, aiding to hew
the timber of the wooded section, and bring the lo-
cality into its present state of cultivation and pros-
perity. Mr. Stough received his education in the pub-
lic schools of the township, and has always resided
where he is now enjoying the evening of a well-spent
life, a citizen, honored, respected and beloved by all
with whom he has associated. He is one of the few
older residents now remaining in his native township,
and relates with accuracy events of the early days.
He was never married, and remained under the pa-
rental roof until the death of his father, when became
in possession of the homestead, and by diligence and
enterprise is now the possessor of a fine farm with de-
sirable modern surroundings. He built a comfortable
home in 1877. In politics Mr. Stough was a Whig, and
later a Republican. It is the good fortune of but few
men to live to so ripe an age; fewer still in the vicissi-
tudes of life are able to hold throughout a long life
the old homestead with its endearing memories, and
spend the closing years of a well-spent life amid their
childhood scenes and surroundings.

Albert F. Harding, one of the young and pro-
gressive farmers of Mill Creek township, Erie county,



Pa., son of George Frederick and Anna M. (Young)
Harding, the former a native of Germany, was born
March 19, 1860. George F. Harding, father of Albert,
came to Erie county forty years ago, and followed his
vocation, that of blacksmithing and farming. He
died April 17, 1875, at the age of 51 years. His widow
still survives, and is living in McKean township. She
is a native of Northampton county, Pennsylvania, and
for several years resided in Crawford county. The
children of this union are: Gertrude, wife of William
Hemme, of Erie county, Pennsylvania; Albert F.,
George P., of Erie; John, Elizabeth, wife of Harry
Flaugh; Anna, wife of William Nye, McKean town-
ship, and Ida Harding, of McKean. Albert F. was
married to Miss Maggie Pearsol, who died in 1890. In
1892 he was married to Minnie Depka, who came from
Germany in 1891. Two children have been born to
this union: Anna Mabel and George Frederick. Mr.
Harding spent his life in Erie county, where he was
reared and educated in the common schools, and at
present resides in Mill Creek township. In politics
he is a Republican. Mr. and Mrs. Harding are mem-
bers of the Lutheran Church.

August Henry Schaper, contractor and builder,
Erie, Pa., was born in Hanover, Germany, December
1, 1849. It was during this year that his father, George
Schaper, died, and soon after his mother emigrated to
America, bringing two sons, A. H. and Ferdinand, of
Ontario. Her maiden name was Caroline Schaper,
and she now resides in West Mill Creek township.
February 28, 1870, Mr. Schaper was married to Mary,
daughter of George and Susana (Barton) Schneider.
Mr. and Mrs. Schneider both died in Mill Creek town-
ship. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Schaper are:
Charles H., Susana, who died at the age of 21 years;
George Frederick, Christian Edward, Anna M., Ida,
Emma, Thomas H., Bertha, Mary, Gustave P.,
Luretta, who died January 20, 1895, at the age of 3
years and 10 months, and Alveretta. Mr. Schaper
enlisted in the L'nited States navy in May, 1864, and
served until the close of the Rebellion. He was with
the U. S. S. " General Thomas," upper Tennessee
fleet, which was composed of four boats: " The Grant,"
"Sherman," "Thomas" and " Burnside," the last
being the flagship. The principal action in which Mr.
Schaper took part was Hood's defeat, while there
were other notable skirmishes; one in which fifteen
shells were fired through the boat, at Decatur, Ala.,
October 26-29, 1864. Mr. Schaper began his present
trade in 1871, and soon after formed a partnership
with George Buhl in the milling business, and, in 1881,
erected Schaper's Mills. This firm existed until 1892,
when Mr. Buhl's interest was purchased by Mr.
Schaper, who is an extensive contractor and builder
of churches, houses, barns, bridges, etc., including the
large addition to St. John's German Evangelical
Lutheran and Reformed Church in 1895-6, and is the
possessor of a fine property, including 100 acres of
choice land, upon which are thirty acres of vineyard.
Mr. A. H. Schaper is truly a self-made man; beginning
without a dollar he has made his way in the world. He
is an enterprising and respected citizen. In politics
he is a Republican.

George Buhl, planing-mills, Kearsarge, Erie
county. Pa., son of Godfred and Rachael (Fainer)
Buhl, natives of Germany, was born in Summit town-




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I.



AND HISTORIGAL REFERENCE BOOK OF ERIE COUNTY.



813



ship, Erie county, March 12, 1844. Godfred Buhl
came to Erie county in the spring of 1842, and located
upon a farm in Summit township, where he S]ient the
latter years of an active life, and died in August, 1857,
at the age of 57 years. George Buhl was the fifth of
a familvof seven' children, as follows: Barbara, wife
of Philip Honecker; Mary, wife of Michael Laver;
Elizabeth, wife of Anthony Serr (deceased); George,
Christian, and Polly (deceased), formerly the wife of
Frank Brown. George was married in 1873 to Miss
Caroline Breckle. Two children have been born to
this union: Edward, who died in infancy, and Georgie
Buhl. Mr. Buhl began to learn his trade in 1866, and
in the year 1874 formed a co-partnership with A. H.
Schaper, contractor and builder, and conducted a large
and successful milling business. In 1881 this fir'ni
built the saw and planing-mill in the south central
part of West .Mill Creek township, which has since
been operated, mostly under the personal supervision
of Mr. Buhl, whose sviiicricir workmanship has given
the br-.t lit



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 165 of 192)