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Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 5 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Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 5 of 192)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


generally English, biit there is a large popula-
tion, mainly in the southeastern counties, who
; use what is known as " Pennsylvania Dutch,"
being a mixture of English and German, due
to the early emigration heretofore referred to.
Up to 1840 or thereabouts, this portion of the
population was strong enough to compel the
laws and ofiicial papers to be printed in the
German language. They also dominated the
politics of the State for a number of years.

Lakes. — The largest lake is Lake Erie,
which forms the northwestern border. The
next largest is Conneaut lake, in Crawford
county, which has become a popular summer
resort. There are a number of small lakes,
chiefl)' in the northern counties.

Liberty Bell.— The old Liberty Bell, per-
haps the most precious historical relic in
America, is carefully preserved in Independ-
ence Hall, Philadelphia.

Libraries, Art Galleries and Museums.
— The State contains a number of valuable
public libraries, art galleries and museums.
Chief among these are the ones in Philadel-
phia, Pittsburg and Allegheny, and the State
library at llarrisburg. The Carnegie library
buildings in Pittsburg and Allegheny are
among the costliest and finest for the purpose
in the world. The State completed a splendid
building at Harrisburg in 1894 for the storage
of its library, which comprises thousands of
valuable volumes.

Live Stock. — Below are the statistics of
live stock, as given in the United States cen-
sus reports :

WORKI.NG MILCH
HORSES. MULES. OXEN. COWS.

1870 460,339 ]S,009 30,048 706,437

1880 533,587 22,914 15,062 854,156

1890 618,660 29,563 17,364 927.524

OTHER SHEEP, IXCLVDIXG

CATTLE. .SWINE. SPRING LAMBS.

1870 608,066 867,548 1,794,301

1880 861,019 1.187,968 1.776,598

1890 761,800 1,278,029 1,612,107



NELSON'S BIOGltAPEICAL DICTIONARY



Live Stock Products.

fleeces pounds gals. of

shorn. ok wool. milk.

1870 6,551,722 *14,411,729

1880 l,17fi,598 8,470,273 f36,540,540

IS'JO 1.226,669 6,441,164 ^368,906,480

POUNDS OF POUNDS OF
BUTTER. CHEESE.

1870 60,834,644 1,145,209

1880 79,336,012 1,008,686

1890 76,809,041 439,060

*Milk sold.

I Milk sold or sent to butter or cheese factories.

i:All milk produced on farms.

Military System. — The Governor is the
head of the military system, and the next of-
iicer in command is the Adjutant General,
who is appointed by the former, and consti-
tutes one of his cabinet officers. The organi-
zation is purely voluntary, and is recognized
as one of the best in the Union. Almost every
town of an}' size has a military company, and
there are from two to a dozen or more in the
cities, according to their size. Every member
of an active military organization is sworn in
for three years, and is obliged to render duty
when called upon by his superior officers.
The military force consists of three brigades,
commanded by one major general and three
brigadier generals. The brigades are divided
into regiments and companies, and are known
as the National Guard of Pennsylvania. An
encampment, the cost of which is paid by the
State, is held annually at some convenient
point, for the purpose of drill and general
manoeuvres. Each companj- is critically ex-
amined by chosen officers once each year, and
the system is regarded as one of the best
peace protections of the State. Under the
Constitution, every citizen between eighteen
and forty-five years of age is liable to be call-
ed upon for defence of the State, but the
Legislature is authorized to exempt by law
those who have conscientious scruples against
bearing arms.

Manufactures. — The State is one of the
greatest manufacturing sections of the Union,
being only excelled by New York, which has
an advantage in its large cities. The most
important iron and steel works in America
are located in Pennsylvania, and the State is
hardly equalled in her carpet and silk factor-
ies. The census reports of the United .States
fin-nish the statistics below given :



EMPLOYES. WAGES. VALUE OF PRODUCTS.

1880 387,072 $134,055,904 S 744,818,445

1890 620,562 305,591,033 1,331,794,901

Motto.— The motto of the State is " Vir-
tue, Liberty and Independence" which forms
a part of the coat of arms, elsewhere shown.

Mineral Products. — The principal miner-
al products, in tons, are given as follows in
the U. S. census reports :

1880. 1890.

Iron ore 1,951,496 1,560,234

Coal 47,065,982 81,719,059

Total value of the mineral products of Penn-
sylvania in 1889, $150,876,619.

Mason and Dixon's Line. — This once
famous line, being the division between the
free and slave States of the Union, was the
boundary between Pennsj-lvania, Delaware,
Maryland and Virginia. It was run duringthe
years 17(33-7 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah
Dixon, of England, to settle disputes between
the colonies above-named as to their proper
boundaries, and has ever since been agreed to.

Northwestern Pennsylvania — The coun-
ties generally known as Northwestern Penn-
sylvania are as follows, with their population
and area :

Population. Area.

1890. So. Miles. Acres.

Cameron 7,238 ~ 381 243,840

Clarion 36,802 572 366,080

Crawford 65,324 1.005 643,200

Elk - 22,239 774 495,360

Erie 86,074 772 494,080

Forest 8,482 431 275,840

Jefferson 44,005 646 413,440

McKean 46,863 1 ,007 644,480

Mercer 55.744 666 426,240

Venang-o 46.640 658 421,120

Warren 37,585 914 584,960

Name. — The origin of the name Pennsyl-
vania, meaning " Penn's woods " or " forest,'"
has been given in the paragraph relating to
the founder of the State.

Natural Gas. — Is found in large quantities
in the western part of the State, and is exten-
sively used for cooking, heating and manufac-
turing purposes. [See Petroleum.]

Newspapers. — The newspapers of the
State are some 1200 in number, of which a
considerable proisortion are dailies. There is
a large variety of periodicals, trade issues and
religious publications. The dail}- newspapers
of Philadelphia and Pittsburg are not surpass-
ed in any part of the country, and, for the
price, have no superiors. Northwestern Penn-



AND HISTORICAL REFERENCE BOOK OF ERIE COUNTY.



sylvania has some of the best papers, consid-
ering their limited patronage, to be found in
any part of the world.

Oil.— (Natural)— [See Petroleum.]
Proprietary Government. — As before
stated, the colony was ruled by Governors sent
out from England, and named by the proprie-
tors, until the era of the Revolution. The
royal and proprietary government was over-
turned in 1776, since which date the people
have selected in the main their own public
officers. In changing the government, care was
taken not to disturb the personal and landed
rights of the citizens, and all laws remained
in force that were not inconsistent with the
independence of the State.

Population — State. — The population of
the State, under the several censuses taken since
the Revolution has been as follows. For com-
parison the census of the United States is
given at each period :

ITNITED
PENNSYLVANIA. STATES.

1790 434,373 3,929,214

1800 602,365 5,308,483

1810 810,091 7,239,881

1820 1,047,507 9,633,822

1830 1,348.233 12,866,020

1840 1,724,033 17,069,453

1850 2,311,786 23,191,876

1860 2,906,215 31,443,321

1870 3,521,951 38,558,371

1880 4,282,891 50,155,783

1890 5,258,014 62,622,250

The figures for the United States in 1890
are exclusive of Alaska and Indians, including
which and whom it is estimated that the popu-
lation in that year was 62,979,666.

Male and Female Population in Penn-
sylvania.

mai.k. female.

1870 1,758,499 1,763,452

1880 2,136,655 2,146,236

1890 2,666,331 2,591,683

White and Colored Population in
Pennsylvania.

white. colored.

1870 3,456,609 65,294

1880 4,197,016 85,535

1890 5,148,257 109,757

Native and Foreign Population.

native. foreign.

1880 3,609,953 587,063

1890 4,412,294 845,720

Persons of foreign parentage in 1890. 1,000,580.



Chinese, Japanese and Indians.

chinese. japanese. indians.

1870 13 1 34

1880 148 8 184

1890 1,146 32 983

Of the native-born population in 1890,
2,198,872 were males and 2,213,423 females;
of the foreign-born in the same year, 467,459
were males and 378,260 females. The colored
population in 1890 consisted of 56,477 males
and 53,280 females.

The foreign-born population, 845,720 in
all, came from the countries below named :
Canada 12,171, Mexico 114, Central America
57, South America 271, West Indies 1,047,
England 125,089, Scotland 32,081, Wales
38,301, Ireland 243,836, Great Britain (not
specified) 56, Germany 230,516, Austria
21,038, Holland 652, Belgium 3,149, Luxem-
burg 19, Switzerland 6,149, Norway 2,238,
Sweden 19,346, Denmark 2,010, Russia 17,315,
Hungary 24.901, Bohemia 2,031, Poland
25,191, France 9,033, Italy 24,662, Spain 216,
Portugal 131, Greece 81 ; balance from various
nations.

By Counties.

The population by counties was as given
below :





1890.


1880.




31,486
551,959
46,747
50,077
38,624
137,327
70,866
59,233
70,615
55,339
66,375
7,238
38,624
43,269

36',802
69,565
28.685
36,832
65,324

961977
74,683
22,239
86,074
80,006
8,482


32,455
355,869
47,641
39,605
34,929
122,597
52,740
58,541


Allegheny .


Armstrong


Bedford


Berks


Blair. . . ...






Butler


52,536
46,811






5,159


Carbon . ....


31,923




37 922




83,481
40,328


Clarion




43,408




26,278
32,409






68,607




45,977


Dauphin .


76,148


Delaware


56,101
12,800


Erie .


74,688




58,842


Forest


4,385



32



J^ELSON'S BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY





1890.


1880.




51,433
10,137
28,935
35,751
42,175
44,005
16,655

149,095
37,517
48,131
76.631

201,203
70,579
46,863
55,744
19,996
20,111

123,219
15,645
84,220
74,698
26,276
1,046,964
9,412
22,778

154,163
17,651
37,317
11,620
40,093
52,313
17,820
46,640
37,585
71,155
31,010

112,819
15,819
99,489


49,855


Fulton


10,149




28,273




33,974




40,527




27,935




18,227




89,269


Lancaster


139,447
33,312


Lebanon


38,476


T ehiiJ-h


65,969


T ii7ernp


133,065


T :


57.486


McKean


42,565




56,161


Mifflin .


19,577




20,175




96,494




15,468




70,312


Northumberland

Perry


53,123

27,522




847,170


Pike


9,663


Potter . .


13,797


Schuylkill


129,974


Snyder . .


17,797


Somerset


33,110




8,073


^iisniipVipnna


40,354
45,814


Tioga




16,905




43,670




27,981


Washington

Wayne


55,418
33,513


Westmoreland


78.036
15,598


YOTk .5


87,841






Totals


5,258,014


4,282,891



[See " Cities and Boroughs."]
Penn, 'William. — [See Founder.]
Presidents of the United States. — Penn-
sylvania has furnished three Presidents of the
United States, viz. : Thomas Mifflin and
Arthur St. Clair, previous to the adoption of
the National Constitution, and James Bu-
chanan since. The latter was elected in 1856,
and held office from March 4, 1857, to March
4, 1861. He was born in Franklin county in
1791, and died at Wheatland, Lanca.ster coun-
ty, where he made his home from early life,
in 1868. In addition to the above-named
gentlemen, the State has given birth to four
unsuccessful nominees for the Presidency, as
follows: George B. McClellan (Dem.), in
1864; James Black (Prohibition), in 1872;



VVinfield S. Hancock (Dem.), in 1880; and
Jaines G. Blaine (Rep.), in 1884.

Presidential Electors. — Under the census
of 1890 Pennsylvania is entitled to 32 Presi-
dential electors, being only 4 less than New
York, the largest State in the Union.

Political History. — Except that it favored
Harrison in 1840, and Taylor in 1848, the
vote of the State was uniformly in favor of
the Democratic Presidential nominees from
1796 to 1860, when it voted for Lincoln, and
since then has regularly given its support to
the Republican Presidential ticket. On local
questions it sometimes elects Democratic nomi-
nees for State office, and has twice since 1860
chosen a Democratic Governor, viz. : Robert
E. Pattison, in 1882 and 1890. [For a list of
the several State candidates, with their votes,
see the Political Record in the General His-
tory of Erie County.]

Public Receipts and Expenditures. —
The U. S. census report gives the following as
the public receipts and expenditures of the
State and its several sub-divisions in 1890:

EXPENDI-
RECEIPTS. TURKS.

State $ 7,831,037 S 5,212,128

Counties 5,794,558 6,474,703

Municipalities (over 4,000

population) 22,540,318 17,790,461

Schools, etc 13,.514,0O0 12,828,645

Additional (estimated).. 2,975.000

The receipts of the State alone for the year
ending May, 1895, were $12,873,786, and the expen-
ses $13,622,769. Notwithstanding this apparent
discrepancy, there was a balance in the treasury
at the close of the year of over $5,000,000, due to
an excess from former fiscal periods.

Prisoners. — The prisoners in the peniten-
tiaries and jails of the State were, in 1890, as fol-
lows : Whites, born of native parents, 2,009 ;
one or both parents foreign, 1,757; foreign-
born, 1,747; parentage unknown, 213; nativ-
ity unknown, 23. Other colors : negroes,
mostly native-born, 738; Chinese, 2.

Paupers. — The paupers in the several
almshouses were, in 1890, as follows : Whites,
born of native parents, 1,327; one or both
parents foreign, 320; foreign born, 2,539;
parentage unknown, 650; nativity unknown,
70. Other colors: negroes, 201; Chinese, 1.

Physical Features. — The State is crossed
from south to north, or rather northeast, by
two great mountain chains, the Alleghenies
and the Blue Ridge or Kittatinny range.



AND HISTORICAL REFERENCE BOOK OF ERIE COUJSlTY.



33



These, with their spurs and foot-hills, cover
fully one-third of its territory. The moun-
tains attain an elevation of 1,000 to :2,700feet ;
the highest point where they are crossed by
railroads being a little west of Altoona, on
the main line of the Pennsylvania road, and
at Kane, on the Philadelphia and Erie line.
Southeast of the Blue Ridge is the famous i
limestone, slate and sandstone region of the i
State, one of the most beautiful and fertile sec-
tions in existence. Enclosed by the moun-
tains are numerous valleys that are unsurpass-
ed for beauty and fertility. The bituminous
coal fields are, in general, on the western slope
of the Alleghenies, while the anthracite
mines aie limited to the eastern side, along
and between the Susquehanna, Schuylkill and
Lehigh rivers. The mountains and hills give
rise to numerous streams, which flow into the
great rivers of the State, and render it one of
the best watered sections of the earth. In the
western portion of the State the elevations do
not equal, those of the east and center in 1
height, and the country is much broken by i
moderate-sized hills and ridges, interspersed
with frequent valleys. Leaving out the steep
mountain chains in the central part of the
.State, nearly every foot of ground is suscept-
ible of cultivation. The State, as a whole,
considering its area, is perhaps the richest
section of the world in point of natural, agri-
cultural and mineral productions.

Perry's Victory. — [For a full account of
Perry's victory upon Lake Erie, September
10, 1813, and the incidents preceding and sub-
sequent to the same, see General History of
Erie County.]

Petroleum. — Although petroleum, or nat-
ural oil, is found in many parts of the world,
Pennsylvania still remains the great produc-
ing section. Natural oil and gas have been I
known from a very early period, but were
long regarded as curiosities rather than as arti- |
cles for the benefit of mankind. The earliest
French writers refer to them as existing in the
western part of Pennsylvania, along the Alle-
gheny river and some of its tributaries. The
oil was at one time gathered as a medicine,
and the gas was treated as a natural wonder.
For a long period nearh- all the developments
in this direction were along Oil creek, from
above Titusville to its mouth at Oil City, j
Col. E. L. Drake first conceived the idea of
securing the natural oil on a large scale as a



commercial commodity. He drilled a well
near Titusville, in 1859, and struck a flow of
oil which started others to follow his example.
A wild speculation ensued ; oil was found in
immense quantities, and hundreds of men
made and lost fortunes. Beginning at the
original center on Oil creek, oil has been ob-
tained for commercial purposes along the
western slopes of the Alleghenies in every
county through which they extend, and has
become one of the most valuable and widely
distributed products of the United States.
Natural gas is invariably found in connection
with the oil, and, at some points, prevails in
quantities that make it scarcely second in
value to the latter production. Erie, Warren,
Franklin, Titusville, Corry, Pittsburg, Alle-
gheny and a number of the cities and towns in
the western part of the State are largely heat-
ed and illuminated by natural gas.

Public Improvements. — Pennsylvania
was one of the first States in the L^nion to en-
ter upon a general system of public improve-
ments. Railroads being almost unknown un-
til half a centur}' ago, the enterprise of the
State was directed mainly to the building of
canals, which were the great highways of the
age. A scheme to connect Lake Erie with
the Delaware river was projected as long ago
as 1762. In 1824 the State started a gigantic
plan of internal improvements, which includ-
ed canals along the Delaware, the Susque-
hanna, the Juniata, the Conemaugh, the
Beaver and the Shenango, the object being to
connect every important part of the State
with Philadelphia and Pittsburg. The main
line between Pittsburg and Philadelphia, con-
sisting mainly of canal, but partly of a system
of railroads and portages, was completed in ,
1831. Unfortunately, about the time the canal
system was well under waj-, it was discovered
that railroads were boimd to supersede water
transportation ; and the State, after incurring
a huge debt in making its improvements, was
glad to dispose of them at a low price. The
main line, above spoken of, was sold in June,
1857, and the branches have been transferred
from time to time until the State is no longer
owner of anv canal or railroad property.
The proceeds of the sales and transfers have
been so managed that the debt incurred for
public improvements has been practically ex-
tinguished.

Public Buildings. — Aside from the capi-



NELSON'S BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIOAABY



tol buildings at Harrisburg, the main public
institutions owned or supported in whole or
in part by the State are as follows :

NORMAL SCHOOLS.

At West Chester, Millersvil'e, Kutztown,
Edinboro, East Stroudsburg, Mansfield, Ship-
pensburg, Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, Indiana,
California, Slippery Rock and Clarion. Some
of these are owned by private corporations,
but nearly all have been built with money
supplied by the State, and all are under its
supervision.

PENITENTIARIES.

Eastern at Philadelphia, and Western at
Allegheny. The latter is used as a place of
punishment for desperate and confirmed crim-
inals from Erie and the western and north-
western counties generally.

REFORMATORIES.

Industrial at Huntingdon and Reform
School at Morganza. Criminals who are
thought to be reclaimable are sent to both in-
stitutions from every part of the State.

INSANE ASYLUMS.

At Harrisburg, Dixmont, Norristown, Dan-
ville and Warren. The latter is the one where
the unfortunate from Erie county are mainly
cared for. The Pennsylvania Hospital for the
Insane at Philadelphia (better known as Kirk-
bride's) is conducted under private auspices.

ASYLUM FOR CHRONIC INSANE.

At Werners villa, Berks county.

soldiers' and sailors' home at ehie,
containing some 500 inmates who took part in
the war for the Union and are unable to sup-
port themselves.

STATE college,

in Centre county, specially established for the
training of young men in agricultural and in-
dustrial pursuits.



for injured persons in the anthracite coal
regions at Ashland and Hazleton ; for injured
persons in the bituminous and semi-bituminous
coal regions at Mercer, Phillipsburg, Con-
nellsville and Blossburg.



SOLDIERS ORPHAN SCHOOLS,

at Chester Springs, Harford and Uniontown.

soldiers' orphans' industrial school,
Scotland, Franklin county.

training school for feeble-minded chil-
dren,
at Elwyn, Delaware county.
FOR training in speech of deaf children,
at Philadelphia.

FOR THE care OF THE FEEBLE-MINDED,

at Polk, Venango county (in course of con-
struction).

state .\rsenal,

at Harrisburg.

fish hatcheries,

at Erie, Corry and Allentown.

Public Schools. — [See School System.]
Philadelphia. — The largest city in Penn-
sylvania, and its commercial metropolis, is
situated at the junction of the Delaware and
Schuylkill rivers. It had a population of over
a million in 1890, and is one of the great
cities of the world. The city ranks second of
the manufacturing places in America, and has
an extensive foreign and domestic commerce.
The Delaware river is navigable for the larg-
est vessels to Philadelphia, and the city has
become the most important ship-building point
on the western continent. Historically, Phila-
delphia is, perhaps, the most interesting place
in the United States. The city was laid out
by William Penn in 1682. It was in Phila-
delphia that the Declaration of Independence
was adopted, July 4th, 1776, and that
the Constitution of the United States was
framed in 1787. The city was the seat
of the United States Government for a num-
ber of years after the adoption of the Constitu-
tion. Though Washington was inaugurated
iirst President in New York, he lived and
performed his official duties during most of his
eight-years' term in Philadelphia. The city
contains an unusual number of handsome and
interesting buildings, chief of which are In-
dependence Hall, the U. S. Mint, the city
hall (grandest of all edifices for the purpose
in America), the Masonic and Odd Fellows
" Temples," and the Pennsylvania and Read-



1147161



AND HISTORICAL REFERENCE BOOK OF ERIE COUl^TY.



ing railroad stations. No other city in the
Union surpasses Philadelphia in the number
of its public libraries, art galleries and places
of entertainment. Fairmount Park, the great
pleasure ground of the city, has few rivals and
no superiors.

Pittsburg. — The second city in Pennsyl-
vania, is situated at the junction of the Alle-
gheny and Monongahela rivers, where they
form the Ohio. With its sister city of Alle-
gheny, and the suburbs belonging to both,
Pittsburg had a population of over 360,000 in
1890, making it the eighth in rank of the
great cities of the Union. A movement is in
progress to consolidate the entire population
directlv tributary to Pittsburg into one city,
which, it is to be hoped, will be successful.
As a manufacturing and shipping point, Pitts-
burg is hardly surpassed in any portion of the
world. It excels in the making of iron, steel
and glass ; but almost every other kind of
manufacture is to be found within its limits.
The city is surrounded by the richest coal dis-
trict in America, and more coal is shipped
down the Ohio and by the various railroads
than from any other point. While the busi-
ness and manufacturing portion is smoky and
uninviting, the suburban districts are remark-
able for their beautiful parks, streets and resi-
dences. Pittsburg was named after William
Pitt, the celebrated English statesman. His
torically it is famous as the site of the French
Fort Duquesne, and as the place where the
first national convention of the Republican
party was held, and Fremont nominated for
President, in 185(5.

Presidential Vote of Pennsylvania. —
[See Political Record in General History of
Erie County] — The Presidential vote of the
State since the adoption of the United States
Constitution has been as follows :

1788. — George Washington elected unani-
mously.

1792. — George Washington elected unani-
mously.

1796. — The State cast one electoral vote
for Adams, Federalist (who was elected), and
14 for Jefferson, Democratic-Republican.

1800. — Jefferson, Dem.-Rep. (who was
elected), received 8 of the electoral votes of
the State, and Adams, Federalist, 7.

1804.— Tlie State gave all of its electoral
votes for Jeft'erson. Dem.-Rep., who was
elected.



1808.— The vote of the State was for
James Madison, Dem.-Rep., who was elected.



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 5 of 192)