Copyright
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Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 172 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Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 172 of 192)
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temperance. In addition to looking after his own busi-
ness interests throughout an unusually long and active
life, his service as administrator of estates and execu-
tor of wills, have, because of his recognized ability and
uncompromising integrity, been very frequently called
into requisition, he having acceptably managed about
thirty estates.



Orvitle Rolland Gillette and Captain James
Wheeler, of the Park Drug Store, North East, Pa., are
half brothers, whose mother was first married to Or-
ville Gillette, a native of New York, and of French
descent, and who was engaged in business as a farmer
and millwright at LeBoeuf, Erie county, Pa., where he
died in 1866. His widow married James Theodore
Wheeler, a lumberman of Corry, Pa., who subse-
quently engaged in business in Cleveland, Ohio, re-
turning thence, in 1892, to LeBceuf, where he died.
His wife met with an accident by which she lost her
life in 1875. Orville R. Gillette was born at LeBceuf,
February 8, 1863, completed his education at Water-
ford Academy in 1884, and then entered the employ
of Ross & Wilson, druggists of North East. A year
later he purchased Dr. M. A. Wilson's interest in the
drug business, the firm thereafter being known as E.
E. Ross & Co. In 1889 Mr. Gillette went to Patterson,
N. J., where he was engaged in the drug business un-
til 1892, when he returned to North East, and has since
been associated with the Park Drug Store. He was
married April 17, 1888, to Winifred Frances, daugh-
ter of Moses B. Parsons, of Ligonier, Pa. Mr. Gillette
holds diplomas from the State Boards of Pharmacy
of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is a member of the
Masonic fraternity, a member of the I. O. O. F., R. A.,
J. O. U. A. M., and Knights of St. John and Malta.
Captain James Wheeler was born in August, 1872,
graduated from the Waterford Academy in 1892, and
from the Erie Business College in 1893, since which
time he has been associated with the Park Drug Store,
North East. Mr. Wheeler is a member of the J. O.
U. A. M.

William Theodore Kopcke was born in the
province of Pommern, Prussia, January 13, 1863. He
is a son of Henry and Minnie (Luke) Kopcke, who
came to the United States with their children in 1869,
and located in North East, Pa., where they still reside.
William T. Kopcke was educated in the German Lu-
theran and public schools of North East, and at the
age of 15 entered the clothing store of James S.
Haynes, with wlmni he remained until the death of
the latter in IsS.'i. He then, in conjunction with his
half bnitln-r, H( liinith F. Smith, purchased the cloth-
ing stock and liusiness from the estate of his late em-
ployer, and the partnership thus formed conducted
the business under the firm name of Smith & Kopcke,
until 1887, when Mr. Kopcke purchased his partner's
interest. The demands of a rapidly increasing busi-
ness necessitated the erection in 1890 of the hand-
some edifice now occupied by Mr. Kopcke, at 11, 13
and 15 West Main street. Mr. Kopcke has served
three years as a member of the North East council.
He is a member 01 the Masonic fraternity, of the
Royal Arcanum and of the Knights of St. John and
Malta. Mr. Kopcke was married September 25, 1884
to Ella, daughter of Michael Conners, of North East,
Pa. Mr. and Mrs. Kopcke have two children, Harry
and Rudolph, and reside at 48 West Main street, in a
beautiful home built by Mr. Kopcke in 1893.

John Friedrich Oldach was born in the Province
of Pommern, Prussia, January 24, 1857. He is a son
of the late John and Sophia (Heiden) Oldach, who
came to the United States in May, 1864, and located
in North East township, where the elder Oldach en-
gaged in farming, until his decease, May 29, 1875. His





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AND HISTOBIOAL REFERENCE BOOK OP ERIE C0U2iTY.



837



widow suvives, and resides in the borough of North
East. John F. Oldach completed his education at the
German parochial school in North East, and then en-
tered the employ of A. F. Jones & Co., dry goods
merchants of North East, being associated with that
firm from March 2, 1872, to October, 1879, when he
was made a partner in the business, the firm being
known as Jones & Oldach, until February, 1890,
when Mr. Oldach purchased his partner's interest and
has since conducted the business alone. In 1894 Mr.
Oldach built the extensive block which he now occu-
pies as 9 and 11 South Lake street. In addition to
hisdry goods business, Mr. Oldach has vineyard inter-
ests in the township. He was for some years a member
of the North East board of health. He was married
September 2, 1880, to Johanna, daughter of the late
Rev. E. Leemhuis, for fourteen years pastor of the
German Evangelical Lutheran Church at North East,
and who died in 1892. Mr. and Mrs. Oldach have five
children, Gertrude, Herman, John, Hilda and Margu-
rita, reside at 18 Division street, and are members of
the German Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Nicholas T. Bogeaschutz, furniture dealer, was
born in Buffalo, N. V., June 6, 1862. He is a son of
John and Sophia (Strack) Bogenschutz, natives of
Germany. Miss Sophia Strack came to this country
with her parents, who located at Buffalo, where she
married John Bogenschutz, then a shoemaker of that
place. He was a soldier in the late war, serving in a
regiment of the N. Y. V. I., and now lives at the
Soldiers' Home at Bath, N. Y. His wife died in 1876.
Nicholas T. Bogenschutz completed his schooling at
the normal school, Fredonia, N. Y. He learned furni-
ture finishing with G. W. Blood, of Fredonia, and, in
1878, went to North East, where he learned cabinet
making with John S. Paden and others. In August,
1883, he established a furniture repair shop at North
East, and from that very modest beginning added
gradually to his business until, in 1893, he was able to
erect the commodious structure now occupied by him
as furniture dealer and manufacturer, at 13 and 16
South Lake street, the only establishment of its kind
at North East. He was married April 11, 1883, to
Clara, daughter of John Ehmka, of North East. Mr.
and Mrs. Bogenschutz have three children, Ruth,
Pearl and Rilla, reside on South Pearl street, and
attend the Methodist Church. Mr. Bogenschutz is a
member of the Royal Arcanum.

Charles Frederick Wilks was born in Meck-
lenburg-Schwerin, Prussia, October 19, 1852. His
parents, Charles and Sophia (Schultz) Wilks, came to
the United States in 1855, taking up their residence at
Silver Creek, Chautauqua county, N. Y., thence re-
moving a year later to North East, Pa. Mr. Charles
Wilks is a farmer. His wife died in June, 1892.
Charles F. Wilks was educated in the public and
parochial schools of North East; learned the trade of
carpenter, and, immediately thereafter, in 1886, estab-
lished a shoe store in the Duncan Block, removing
thence to his present location, 9 West Main street, in
December, 1890. He was married October 20, 1875, to
Elizabeth J., daughter of the late Helmuth Smith, a
native of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, where he died, and
whose widow remarried Henry Kopcke, who removed
with his family to the United States in 1869, and located
in North East. Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Wilks have



one child, Karl William, reside at the corner of Vine
and Poplar streets, and attend the Methodist Church.
Mr. Wilks is a member of the Ancient Order of
United Workmen, and the Knights of St. John and
Malta.

Frederick James Smedley was born in North
East October 6, 1856. He is a son of the late Fred-
erick B. and .Susan (Marsh) Smedley, natives of Litch-
field county, Connecticut, where they were married, and
whence they went to North East, Pa., in 1853. Fred-
erick B. -Smedley was a farmer and continued to re-
side in North East township throughout his life, living
latterly in the borough. He died in January, 1892.
Frederick J. Smedley completed his education at the
Lake Shore Seminary, North East, from which insti-
tution he was graduated in June, 1877. He was for five
years an employe of the late M. L. Selkregg, grocer
at North East, and was thereafter, and up to 1893, en-
gaged in the same business at the same place, having
for a short time, at the beginning of his business ca-
reer, a partnership association with James A.. McDon-
ald. He was appointed to his present position of
postmaster at North East by President Cleveland in
1896. He resides at 28 East Main street with his sis-
ter. Miss Emma Smedlev- Another sister, Kate, is
the wife of S. P. Whitehill, a farmer of North East
township.

Fred Oscar Davis was born in North East, Octo-
ber 13, 1868. He is a son of ( ). W. and Carrie A.
(Hopkins) Davis, the foniier a native of North East,
Pa., and the latter a native of New York State. Fred
O. Davis was educated in the public schools of North
East, and was first employed under his father, then
postmaster at North East. In 1883 he entered the
employ of the People's Savings Institution, North
East, as messenger, and was successivelv pronidtcd in
that bank, becoming it^; 1 .islnci- in In'.il', .1 ]in.sitinn
which he held until the -ll^| i.ii-imi ,.f ili.ii m^hiiuion
January 23, 1895, and ..I uhi. li lie i^ 11. i« ,L^M^nr,■.
He is engaged in the livery liusiucss .11 Nurth East,
and has also viney'hrd interests in North East town-
ship. He was married November 7, 1891, to Miss
Nellie L., daughter of G. W. Butt, a farmer of North
East township. Mr. and Mrs. Davis have one child,
Marie, reside on West Main street, and attend the
Presbyterian Church. Mr. Davis is a member of the
Masoiiic order and of the Royal Arcanum.

Charles Heary Durham was born in Harmony,
Chautauqua county, N. V., November 23, 1843. He is
a son of the late Daniel X. and Fidelia (Truesdell)
Durham, also natives of Harmony, and of Scotch-
English descent. Daniel A. Durham engaged through-
out his life in farming, and died December 7, 1893; his
wife. June 12. 1ST7. Chnrles H. Durham waseducated in
the public schodls ..f lii< ii.itivetown. In August, 1862,
he enlisted in Co. I ), 1 IJili \. V. V. I., was mustered in
September iL'th lolldwiiiL;. and served throughout the
war, receiving his discharge July 3, 1866. The H2th
was with the 18th army corps, of which it was a part;
also participated in the engagements at Cold Harbor,
Chapin's Farm and other battles. From 1866 to 1875
Mr. Durham was engaged in farming in Chautauqua
county. The latter vear he purchased a drug store
and grocery at Ashville, N. Y. Two years later he
sold out his store, and was thereafter engaged in hand-



NMLSOJS-'S BIOGRAPHICAL BICTIONART



ling butter and cheese until 1889, when he established
a general store in Findley's Lake, where he remained
until his removal to North East in 1893. He is at pres-
ent engaged in the fire and life insurance business,
having the agency for the following companies; Liv-
erpool, London and Globe; Hartford, of Hartford,
Conn.; Phoenix, of Brooklyn; Home, of New York;
Sun Insurance Office, Springfield; American Central,
Glen's Falls; Manchester, of Manchester, and Lan-
cashire, of Lancashire, England. He was married
April 19, 1866, to Miss Eleanor A., daughter of the late
Daniel King, a farmer of Chautauqua county, New
York. Mr. and Mrs. Durham reside at 36 South Lake
street. Mr. Durham is a member of the Masonic or-
der, the I. O. O. F., G. A. R., and A. O. U. W.

Ferdiaattd Reibs was born in Demein, province of
Pommern, Prussia, March 5, 1850. He is a son of
Henry and Sophia (Gorndt) Reibs. His father was a
cooper in the fatherland, where he died in 1862. His
widow married Charles Hillman, and now resides in
Fremont, Neb. Ferdinand Reibs, after receiving a
public school education and spending three years in
learning the grocery business in Gerrnany, came to the
United States in 1867. He spent three years in Ne-
braska, and, in the spring of 1871, located at North
East, where he was variously engaged until 1878,
when he entered the employ of J. E. Kendig, grocer,
with whom he remained a year and a half, then assum-
ing charge of a branch store established by Mr. Ken-
dig at No. 6 Wall street. North East. This business
Mr. Reibs purchased in 1882 and continues to conduct
it at the location named, in conjunction with a hard-
ware and stove department established in 1892 in the
adjoining building, No. 7 Wall street. Mr. Reibs has
served six years as amemberof council, North I-'.ast, Pa
He was married April 10, 1874, to Frcdi-rika, dauL^'hter of
John Wagner, farmer, of North I'.ast township. Mr. and
Mrs. Reibs have four children, Louisa, Jcjhn F., Henry
and Carl, reside at 42 Clinton avenue, and attend the
German Lutheran St. Paul's Church, of whose board
of trustees Mr. Reibs has been a member for fifteen
years.

William Delaney Wells was born in Greenfield
township, Erie county. Pa., April 27, 18.58. Ho is a
son of the late Haniri j. and Marilla ( Whitiu-v) W'rils,
natives of Eric . muiun. Xru \"nik,tli,- l",,rniiTnr Wrlsh
and the latter nl !■ n- lis|, ,l,.s, ,-nt. Daniel |. Wells re-
moved with his f.iniil\ in Is.JL' to GrucnlieUl tuwiiship,
where he enf;agcd in the business of wagon-making
until 1854, going thence to Wesleyville, where he re-
mained until 1863, when he removed to North East
township, to engage, during the latter years of his life,
in farming. He died May 6, 1888, having survived his
wife sixteen years. William D. Wells received his
education in the public schools of Erie county, learned
wagon-making and blacksmithing of his father, in
which busine.ss he afterwards engaged at North East
with his brother, Riley D. Wells, from 1873 to 1876,
and with his second brother, Francis E. Wells, from
1876 to 1893. In the latter year he formed his present
partnership association with Fred O. Davis, which, un-
der the firm name of Wells & Davis, is engaged in
the livery, wagon-making and general blacksmithing
busines.s. The firm also has farming and lumber in-
terests, and Mr. Wells has vineyard interests of his
own. He has served the borough as a member of the



council for three years. He was married June 17, 1874,
to Nellie A., daughter of the late John Miller, farmer,
of Chautauqua county. New York. Mr. and Mrs.
Wells have three children; John D., a student at
Buffalo L'niversity; Helen M. and Benjamin H., stu-
dents at the North East high school. The family re-
side at 34 Poplar street, and attend the Methodist
Church. Mr. Wells is a member of the Ancient Order
of LInited Workmen.

James L- Green was born in Brockport, Monroe
county, N. Y., September 13, 1836. He is a son of the
late Lewis and Mary (Tew) Green, the former a na-
tive of Oneida county. New York, and the latter of
New London county, Connecticut. Lewis Green
brought his family, in 1846, to North East, Pa., where
he followed the business of harness-making until his
death, November 14, 1857. His wife survived until
1870. James L. Green attended the Nort East Acad-
emy, took a commercial course at Bryant & Stratton's
Mercantile College at Buffalo, and thereafter for sev-
eral years was employed as clerk in various mercan-
tile establishments in North East. In 1861 he was
elected constable, which office he held conjointly with
the positions of assessor and tax collector for a num-
ber of years. From 1876 to 1895 he was township
clerk, and during that period was for fifteen years,
ending with 1895, a justice of the peace for North
East township. His business is now that of a notary
and conveyancer. Mr. Green served as a member of
the North East council in 1862-3^. He was one of the
original stockholders, and, for a number of years, a
member of the People's Savings Institution of Erie
county at North East. He was married April 17, 1861, to
Mary M., daughter of the late Seneca Downer, a promi-
nent farmer and pioneer resident of North East town-
ship. Mr. and Mrs. Green's only surviving child is
George A. Green, bookkeeper of the Wilcox Tanning
and Lumber Company, of Wilcox, Elk county, Pa.
Mr. and Mrs. Green reside on Grahamville street, and
attend the Methodist Flpiscopal Church. Mr. Green
is a member of the Masonic fraternity.

John Jay Loomis was born in North East, Erie
county. Pa., June 13, 1839. He is a son of the late
Rufus S. and Sarah (Tuttle) Loomis, natives of Penn-
sylvania, and of English descent. Rufus S. Loomis
was a carpenter in the borough of North East until
1863, when he purchased a farm adjoining the west
line of the borough and there resided until his
decease, in 1873. His widow is the oldest living
native of the borough of North East. She was born
April 28, 1812. Her parents, Amos and Sally Tuttle,
emigrated overland from Connecticut in 1795 and
located at North East. At the time of her birth Mrs.
Loomis' grandfather was a colonel in the war of 1812.
John J. Loomis was educated in the public schools of
North East, learned the carpenter's trade, and, at the
breaking out of the war, enlisted in the 83d P. V. I.
He was for eleven months at the front, serving through
the Peninsula campaign, and in August, 1862, was
returned to North East, where he was engaged until
the close of the war in filling out quotas. After the
war he was for a time engaged in brick manufacturing
at Erie, Pa., and since then has been in the roofing
business, following that occupation for two years each
at Chicago and Toledo, and at other points, with head-
quarters at North East. He is unmarried, and resides



AND EISTOBIOAL BEFEBENCE BOOK OF EBIE COUNTY.



839



with his mother and sister, Miss Ella M. Loomis, on
West Main street. A brother, Amos T. Loomis, is a
builder at Erie, Pa. John Jay Loomis is a member of
the Royal Arcanum.

Daniel R. Taylor (deceased), late of North East,
Pa., was born March 27, 1812, in Greenfield township,
Erie county, Pa., and died at North East on the 1st
day of December, 1885. He was a son of James and
Anna (Reed) Taylor, natives of Virginia, who came to
Erie county, settling in Greenfield township, in 1803.
In 1812 they removed to Chautauqua county. New
York, near the Pennsylvania line, where they died,
the former December 14, 1840, the latter March 27,
1836. Daniel R. Taylor received a common school
education, and from early youth until his arrival at
maturity assisted his father in farming. On March 13,
1834, he married Phosbe, daughter of John T. and
Lucinda (Otis) Meyers, natives of New York, who
died respectively January 22, 1829, and April 10, 1867.
Shortly after his marriage Daniel R. Taylor purchased
a farm in North East township, Pennsylvania, where
he continued to reside until his father's death, when
he purchased the interests of the remaining heirs in
the homestead farm, where he lived until his removal
to North East, Pa., in 1875. In his early life in North
East township Mr. Taylor filled a number of positions
of trust, the duties of all of which he fulfilled with
ability and fidelity; but in his later years of residence
in North East his failing health prevented his devot-
ing himself to the public service. He was a Christian
gentleman and, from 1836 a consistent member of ;he
Methodist Episcopal Church, contributing liberally to
several churches with which he was identified. His
widow, and two sons, William P. and Clarence D.
Taylor, survive, the former residing at the corner of
Clinton avenue and Robinson streets, and the two
latter at Buffalo, N. Y. William P. Taylor was for a
number cif vr.irs ,m (in|ilc.vr of the Lake Shore R. R.,
acting succrvsi\ I 1\ m ilir capacities of station agent
and teU-gra|ili ii|irr.U(ii, train dispatcher and superin-
tendent of the llulfalo ili\ ision. Succeeding the latter
position he was for a number of years general man-
ager of the Canada Southern R. R. Prior to his
severance with the latter road, Mr. Tavlor established
the PiifTalo StiMML^c and Caning Company, tn the in-
teri-sts til wliK h lie devoted his time exclusively fnim
188:; to |ss;i. Since which latter date his time has
been i,'ivin In the Clinton Iron Works, of Buffalo, a
partnership interest in which he purchased at that
time. He is still the proprietor of the Buffalo Storage
and Carting Company. He marrie



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 172 of 192)