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Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 79 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Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 79 of 192)
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Presque Isle Lodge, No. 151, Brotherhood
of Boiler Makers and Iron Ship Builders, 1894.

Tailors' Union, No. 64, Gabel block. May,

Typographical Union, No. 77, Gabel block,

Patriotic Order Sons of America.
Washington Camp, No. 476, Dewitt's
block, November 16, 1889.

Protected Home Circle.

Erie Circle, No. 88, Wallace block, Au-
gust, 1889.

South Erie Circle, No. 94, 1305 State
street, October 30, 1889.

Good Cheer Circle, No. 187, Wallace
block, February 1, 1894.

Pacific Circle, No. 139, G. A. R. Hall,
April 9, 1894.

East Erie Circle, No. 174, Eighteenth
street and East avenue, October 15, 1894.

Political Societies.

Lincoln Club (Republican), Penn build-
ing, August 5, 1889.

Democratic Society of Erie, Wayne block,
February 21, 1894.

Erie Reform Club, 716 State street, De-
cember 9, 1894.

Railroad Societies.

Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, 724
State street, 1883.

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, W.
L. Scott Division, No. 298, 1220 State street,
October 18, 1885.

Switchmen's Mutual Aid Association, E.
Gallup Lodge, No. Ill, 724 State street. May
17, 1890.

Locomotive Firemen, Lake City Lodge,
No. 462, 724 State street, July 18, 1891.

Switchmen's LTnion of North America,
Gem City Lodge, No. 30, 1220 State street,
February 27, 1895.

Royal Arcanum.

Keystone Council, No. 108, Wittich's Hall,
June 19, 1878.

Royal Templars of Temperance.

Erie Council, No. 16, Metcalf Hall, Octo-
ber 31, 1878.

Regular Army a)id JVavy Union.

Henry F. Picking Garrison, No. 8, 1890.

Religious Societies {other than herein).

(See Chapter VIII, Erie City; also Gen-
eral History of Erie County.)

Sons of St. George.
George Stephenson Lodge, No. 68, 728
State street, November 12, 1881.

Daughters of St. George, 728 State street,
January, 1890.


Erie Turnverein, 1868.

South Erie Turnverein, Peach and Twen-
ty-eighth streets, August 11, 1878.

East Erie Turnverein, Ninth and Parade
streets, January 12, 1880.

Benevolent Section South Erie Turnver-
ein, January 1, 1881.

Union T^eteran Legion.
Erie Camp, No. 13, second floor \^'avIle
block, May 21, 1887.

Ladies of the LTnion Veteran Legion, No.
6, Auxiliarj' to Camp 13, same place, June 27,

Woodmen of the World.

Charter Oak Camp, No. 17, Keystone
Bank building, August 2, 1892.

Evergreen Camp, No. 28, 716 State street,
December 7, 1894.

[For church societies not included above,
see Chapter VIII, Erie City.]


Brokers' Offices, Insurance Companies — Street Car Lines — Building
Associations — Gas and Electric Light Companies, Etc.

ERIE'S first banking institution was
"The Erie Bank," incorporated by
act of the Legislature in the winter
of 1828. It began business in Janu-
ary, 1829, on a capital of $50,000,
though privileged to increase its capital stock
to $200,000. Its first officers were : R. S.
Reed, President ; P. S. V. Hamot, Cashier;
J. A. Tracy, C. M. Reed, Samuel Brown,
William Fleming, Thomas Moorhead, jr., E.
D. Gunnison and D. Gillispie, Directors. The
bank suspended in May, 1848, but only a slight
loss was sustained by the holders of its issue,
as the notes were subsequently redeemed at a
small discount. Gen. C. M. Reed holding him-
self personally responsible for their redemp-

The United States Bank of Philadelphia
established a branch at Erie in 1836, with
Thomas H. Sill as President; Peter Benson
as Cashier; and Josiah Kellogg, C. M. Reed,
William Kelley,' G. A. Eliot, Samuel Hays,
William Fleming, J. G. Williams and H. J.
Huidekoper as Directors. The fine building
on State street, long occupied as the custom
house and postoffice, was erected by this bank,
as well as the building adjoining it on the
south for the cashier's residence, now owned
by Mrs. Woodruff. With the failure of the
parent institution, the Erie branch also went
down, and W. C. Curry was appointed to set-
tle up its affairs. In 1849, the bank building,
which cost $70,000, was sold to the United
States Government for $29,000, while the
cashier's residence subsequently sold for
$4,000, less than one-half of its original cost.
The bank building was used as a postoffice
from 1853 to 1867, and as a custom house from
the time of its purchase by the Government
until the removal of the latter to the new'Fed-
eral building.

The third banking institution was The

Erie Citv Bank, incorporated in 1853, with a
capital stock of $200,000. It lasted only four
years, suspending business in 1857. Its first
officers were : Smith Jackson, President ; J.
P. Sherwin, Cashier ; "S. E. Neiler, Teller;
Brua Cameron, Book-keeper ; C. M. Tibbals,
W. A. Brown, D. S. Clark, C. Seigel, John
Brawley, James Webster, J. H. Fullerton, Ira
Sherwin, J. D. Clark, Charles Brandes and J.
C. Beebe, Directors. The Brua Cameron
above named was the eldest son of Gen. Simon
Cameron and a brother of the present Senator
Cameron. He remained in Erie but a few

The Bank of Commerce succeeded the Erie
City Bank in April, 1858, but soon succumbed,
closing its doors in December, 1860. Its first
officers were as follows : Benjamin Grant,
President ; C. B. Wright, Vice President ; G.
J. Ball, Cashier; A. W. Guild, Teller; W. F.
Rindernecht, James Hoskinson, B. F. Sloan,
Charles Metcalf, A. W. Blaine, G. F. King
and J. W. Douglass, Directors. Mr. Wright
removed to Philadelphia, where he became a
millionaire several times over. He is still
living in that city.

From the period of the suspension of the
Bank of Commerce until 1863 there was no
bank of issue in Erie, the banking and broker-
age business being wholly transacted by pri-
vate firms, of which the following were in
operation in 1861 : W. C. Curry, capital
$100,000; M. Sanford & Co., capital $50,000;
Vincent, Bailey & Co., capital $25,000; Clark
& Metcalf, capital $12,000; Neiler & Warren,
capital $5,000 ; total banking capital, $192,000.

The business of Neiler & Warren was
started by W. C. Warren in 1854. Mr. Neiler
entered the firm some time previous to the
war, and withdrew from it January 1st, 1866,
going to Minneapolis, where he organized a
prominent national bank. Mr. Warren was



obliged to suspend business late in 1869 or
early in 1870.

The firm of Clark & Metcalf was originally
Clark & Goodwin, consisting of J. D. Clark
and John S. Goodwin. It was organized in
1868. Mr. Goodwin retired and was succeeded
by Charles Metcalf. The business was wound
up by the voluntary action of the firm.

The other private banks referred to merged
their capital in the First, Second and Marine
National Banks.


The German Savings Institution of Erie
was organized February 8, 1867, with a capi-
tal of $200,000. John Gensheimer was Presi-
dent; Mathew Schlaudecker, Treasurer ; and
Frederick Schneider, Secretary. These officers
continued to hold their several positions until
October, 1875, when Lloyd G. Reed became
President, and John Eliot Manager and
Treasurer. The building now occupied by the
Western Union Telegraph Company, at the
northwest corner of State and Eighth streets,
was erected by the bank. The bank closed its
doors on the 18th of August, 1885, and was
placed in the hands of a receiver.

The Humboldt Safe Deposit and Trust
Company began business July 4, 1869, with a
capital of .i!100,000. Its 'first President was
Uras Schlurafi", and its first Secretary and
Treasurer, Charles Metcalf. The bank erected
and occupied the building at the southwest
corner of State and Ninth streets, now owned
by Otto Germer. In May, 1872, the capital
was increased to |200,000', and the bank went
into new hands. It suspended operations on
February 2, 1885, while under the manage-
ment of Gustave Jarecki as President and J.
J. Sturgeon as Secretary and Treasurer. The
depositors received only a portion of their

The Erie County Savings Bank was organ-
ized in the autumn of 1871, with a capital of
$150,000: President, N. J. Clark; Vice-
president, J. L. Stewart ; Cashier, M. H.
Burgess. Dr. Stewart afterward became
president, and Adam Brabender Vice-Presi-
dent. The next President of the bank was
William W. Reed, succeeded in 1879 by
Adam Brabender. In the latter year R. Pettit
became Vice-President and in 1882 took the
place of F. G. Schlaudecker as Cashier. The
bank succumbed on May 19, 1884, and its

affairs were placed in the hands of a receiver.
Mr. Brabender, the President at the time of
the failure, was sentenced to the penitentiary,
and Mr. Pettit, the Cashier, found it conve-
nient to settle in Canada. The location of the
bank was at the northwest corner of Peach
and Fourteenth streets.

The firm of John Eliot & Co., private
bankers, was established in 1866, having its
office on Peach street, just south of the Union
depot. Its members were John Eliot, Wm.
F. Rindernecht, Wm. A. Brown, A. H. Gray
and M. C. Mayer. The firm wound up in
1875, merging its business with that of the Ger-
man Savings Bank.


First National Bank . — The First National
Bank of Erie was organized in February,

1863, with a capital of .$150,000, being the
twelfth institution of the kind that was char-
tered under the national banking law. The
first officers were : President, Judah C.
Spencer ; Cashier, Myron Sanford. In Feb-
ruary, 1888, the bank was reorganized with
the following officers : President, J. C. Spen-
cer ; Cashier, J. L. Sternberg; Directors,
William Spencer, C. M. Reed, Matthew
Griswold, William E. Marvin, Thomas C.
Wood, J. L. Sternberg. J. C. Spencer died
in 1885, and was succeeded by his son, Will-
iam Spencer, as President. The bank long
occupied a room on the first floor of the Reed
House, at the intersection of North Park Row
with French street. Its present location is on
State street, east side, between .Seventh and
Eighth, in a building erected by the bank in
1886. The statement of the bank, on July
11, 1895, showed its resources to be $1,351,-
370.20. It had a surplus fund of .$170,000
and held deposits to the amount of nearlv

Keystone National Bank. — The Keystone
National Bank was organized in the fall of

1864, with a paid-up capital of $250,000.
Orange Noble was its first President, and
John J. Town its first Cashier. The bank
erected the building at the northeast corner of
State and Eighth streets in 1866, into which it
moved immediately upon its completion. Mr.
Town, the original Cashier, moved to Des
Moines, la., in 1871, and was succeeded by
his brother, J. I. Town. The charter of the
bank expired in 1884, when it was reorgan-



ized for another term of twenty years. The
bank has a present capital of $150,000, and its
resources on July 11, 1895, were $838,365.16.
Mr. Town resigned as Cashier, and F. V.
Kepler was chosen in his stead on the 14th of
January, 1893, at which time F. M. Lamb
was also named as Assistant Cashier.

Second National Bank. — December 12,
1864, the Second National Bank of Erie was
organized with a capital of $800,000 : Will-
iam L. Scott, President ; Joseph McCarter,
Vice-President; W. C. Curry, Cashier. Mr.
Curry lost his life in the terrible railroad dis-
aster at New Hamburg, on the Hudson river,
February 6, 1871, and was succeeded by C. F.
Allis. Joseph McCarter became President of
the bank in 1882. Both of the officers last
named continue in their positions. The bank
located in its present quarters, at the south-
west corner of State and Eighth streets, in
1868. The July, 1895, statement of the bank
showed resources of $1,934,644.72. Its sur-
plus fund was $250,000, and it held over $1,-
300,000 of deposits.

Marine National Bank. — The Marine Na-
tional Bank, with a capital of $150,000, was
organized March 9, 1865, its first President
being B. B. Vincent, and its first Cashier F.
P. Bailey. Its location from the beginning
has been at the northwest corner of State
street and North Park Row, in the Exchange
building. James C. Marshall became Presi-
dent in January, 1867, and Charles E. Gunni-
son Assistant Cashier. The former died on the
5th of May, 1886, and was succeeded by his
son, F.F. Marshall. Mr. Bailey died Decem-
ber 17, 1888, and his place was taken by Mr.
Gunnison. On July 11, 1895, the bank, which
was re-chartered in 1885, held resources to the
amount of $1,479,087. Its surplus fund was
$185,000, and it had deposits exceeding

Dime Savings Bank. — The Erie Dime
Savings and Loan Company was chartered
April 16, 1866, under a special State law. It
was organized June 8, 1867, with Selden
Marvin as President, and John H. Bliss as
Secretary. These officers resigned April 25,
1868, and the following gentlemen were
chosen : L. L. Lamb, President; George W.
Colton, Secretary and Treasurer ; Selden Mar-
vin, Attorney. The bank did business in the
basement of the Keystone Bank building until
January, 1876, when it moved into its own

block, at the southwest corner of South Park
Row and State street. On the retirement of
Mr. Lamb as President, he was succeeded,
December 8, 1878, by William A. Galbraith,
who has held the position and overseen the
business of the bank ever since. Mr. Colton
was followed as Secretary and Treasurer by
Geo. E. Barger, and he, in turn, by F. F.
Curtze, the present incumbent, April 1, 1888.
F. F. Schutte became Teller at the same time
that Mr. Curtze was elected Cashier. The
bank has a paid up capital of $150,000, and a
surplus fund of $50,000. Its charter was re-
newed April 20, 1886, for a period of twenty
years. The statement issued bj' the bank
May 15, 1895, showed its resources to be
$724,186.85, with a deposit account of over
half a million dollars. The "old Dime" is
justly regarded as one of the soundest savings
banks in the country. It has gone through
two general panics and several serious local
convulsions without a blemish on its record.

Ball £■ Colt. — This firm of private bankers
was organized in July, 1867, and has been in
continuous operation since. The ofiice of the
firm is in the Dewitt block, at State and Sev-
enth streets, and the members are P. H. Ball
and Geo. P. Colt. The firm have a capital of
$50,000, and the average deposits are from
$60,000 to $75,000.

It has been well said that " nothing shows
more clearly the rapid progress in the wealth
and enterprise of Erie than the present amount
of capital invested in banking. At the begin-
ning of 1863 there was not a single incorpo-
rated bank in the city, the whole of the bank-
ing business being done by a few private firms
on a combined capital of less than $200,000.
The capital and deposits of the banks of 1895
run into the millions, and each year shows a
large increase in their business."


The Erie County Mutual Fire Insurance
Company was incorporated March 26, 1839,
the following persons being stockholders :
John A. Tracy, William Kelley, Peter Pierce,
Julius W. Hitchcock, James Williams,
Smith Jackson, Samuel Low, Conrad Brown,
B. B. Vincent, Bester Town, Jabez Wright,
David G. Webber and Stephen Skinner. It
has ever since conducted a successful business,
confining its operations in the main to lines
of insurance on which there is a moderate


risk. It is doubtless the oldest home corpora-
tion doing business in Erie county, which
speaks well for its stability. The ofHce of the
company is at 26 North Park Row. L. W.
Olds is President, Walter Scott, Secretary, and
Henry Beckman, Treasurer. The Executive
Committee consists of L. W. Olds, F. F. Mar-
shall, John Gensheimer and Martin Warfel.

The Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Com-
pany, of Harbor Creek, was chartered May 6,
1857, John Dodge, G. W. Wagner, John W.
McLane, J. Y. Moorhead and G. A. Elliot
being the active parties. The law required
the company to get $100,000 of insurance be-
fore issuing any policies, which was complied
with in August, 1858, when the first policy
was issued. The business grew rapidly, being
wholly confined to farm property. A year or
so ago the company decided to extend its field
and now accepts moderate risks on town build-
ings. Its principal office is at 708 State street.
The officers are : President, James A. Moor-
head ; Vice-President, J. H. Phillips; Treas-
urer, W. E. Hayes; Secretary, S. H. Willis;
Adjuster, Geo. A. Evans; Executive Com-
mittee, S. E. Kincaide, S. S. Robinson, George

The city has had two other fire insurance
companies, viz. : The German and Alps.
The former was organized in 1867, and lasted
until 1874, when it failed. Its office was on
the second floor of the German Bank building,
and the two institutions were practically owned
by the same parties. The Alps Insurance
Company began business in 1868. It had
placed considerable insurance on property in
Chicago, and when the great fire almost swept
that city out of existence, the Alps incurred
heavy losses. These it paid, but the big fire
in Boston and later severe losses in Chicago
were too much for its resources. The mana-
gers concluded to wind up its business, and
did so with credit to themselves and general
satisfaction to their policy holders.


The Erie Gas Company was chartered
March 5, 1852, with a capital stock of $60,-
000. Ground was bought on Seventh street,
between Myrtle and Chestnut, upon which
the works were erected. The tank or gas re-
ceiver had a capacity of 30,000 cubic feet ;
three and one-half miles of pipe were laid, and
all necessary buildings erected. The works

were completed by the 22d of August, 1853,
and on that date the city of Erie first enjoyed
gaslight. The patronage at that time com-
prised thirty-two consumers, but by the close
of the year the number had increased to 150.
The company at present has an authorized capi-
tal of $800,000, and owns more than thirty-five
miles of gas mains. In the autumn of 1883 a
new gas tank was erected with a holder ca-
pacity of 100,000 cubic feet, which was, in
1887, increased by the erection of another
holder, to 800,000 cubic feet, on Front, be-
tween Sassafras and Peach streets. During
the spring of 1887 the former location on
Seventh street was abandoned and the works
removed to the bay front.

The new telescope holder is covered with
brick, with a conical roof. The massive
structure, standing on a bluff, presents a
sightly appearance from the public dock. In
1886 an addition of a water gas plant was
made to the coal gas works, giving the. whole
works a manufacturing capacity of about 750,-
000 cubic feet of gas daily.

The Secretary and Treasurer for many years
was Miles W. Caughey, upon whose death,
in the fall of 1883, Walter Scott became his
successor. The latter was followed as Secre-
tary in January, 1893, by Paul Mueller, the
present incumbent. The other officers in 1895
were : President, C. M. Reed ; Treasurer,
George R. Metcalf; Superintendent, W. H.
Hill. The office of the company, for many
years in the Wetmore block, is now on West
Seventh street, between State and Peach.


During the period between 1860 and 1890
numerous wells were put down in the city and
vicinity — first for oil, and, later, when the
production of the latter article in paying quan-
tities was given up, for natural gas. With
scarcely an exception, every well that has been
bored has yielded considerable gas, and quite
a number of residences and some of the fac-
tories have at times been wholly or partially
supplied with it. The gas wells, as a rule,
have been short-lived, but several that began
yielding years ago are still emitting in reduced
quantities. The best well ever struck in or
near Erie is the one at the Head, which still
affords a liberal supply of gas, and the one
which caused the most disappointment was
the test well sunk in 1888-89. This latter, to



which our citizens contributed nearly $15,000,
for the purpose of ascertaining what could be
found in the rock strata beneath Erie, was
bored upon the Reed lots, near Fifth street
and Mill creek. It reached a depth of 4,585
feet, without meeting anj' sign of gas in pay-
ing quantities, according to the statements of
those who had the financial part of the enter-
prise in charge.

The Pennsylvania Gas Company, which
now supplies the city with fuel gas, was
started by F. P. Hays and his associates as a
local company at Warren, and first extended
from there to Jamestown, N. Y. About the
time the company reached the latter place,
they were joined by the Standard combina-
tion, and, with fresh capital, it was soon de-
cided to run their lines to Erie. Upon asking
for permission to lay down their pipes in the
city, they were met with a sharp competition
on the part of a rival company headed by
Charles W. Mackey. The Pennsylvania
Company, however, prevailed upon Councils
to grant them the exclusive franchise, and
were busy in laying down their pipes in the
season of 1886-7. Since then they have piped
a large number of the principal streets, and
are supplying more than one-half of the stores,
offices and residences. The main gas field is
in the vicinity of and beyond Ludlow, War-
ren coimty, and the gas reaches Erie through
an eight-inch main via Corry. The company
are at great expense to keep up the supply,
having laid out $100,000 for this purpose
alone in a single year. They have already
exhausted half a dozen fields, and are con-
stantly exploring for profitable new territory.
When the gas was first introduced into Erie,
the charge was estimated to the consumer,
but it was not long until they changed to the
system of meter measurement. The uniform
price, up to October 1, 1895, was twenty-five
cents per thousand feet, with a discount of
ten per cent, if paid within ten days. This
was changed on the above date to twenty-
seven cents, a discount of ten per cent, being
allowed for prompt payment. W. A. Walker
has been the manager at Erie from the be-


This is the name of a company for the
furnishing of light, with the use of either
natural or artificial gas, by means of a special

burner patented by a German, whose name it
bears. The company has its headquarters in
Philadelphia, with branches in numerous cities
of America and Europe. The Erie branch,
which is really an outgrowth of the Pennsyl-
vania Gas Company, is the lessee of the Wels-
bach patents for the city. It buys its gas from
the latter company, but is not otherwise iden-
tified with it. The officers are : President,
John C. Brady; Secretary, John S. Rilling;
Treasurer, George P. Colt; 'Manager, W. A.


The Edison Electric Light and Power Com-
pany was organized soon after the electric
light was proved a success and incorporated
in 1887, with an authorized capital of $60,000.
Charles H. Strong, William Spencer and
Henry A. Clark were the active men in the
enterprise from the start, and the former has
always been President of the company. The
first building was erected on the east side of
Peach street, between Tenth and Eleventh,
and the dynamos were set in motion on the
7th of November, 1887. The company soon
outgrew its original quarters, and, on the 1st
of August, 1891, changed to the corner of
Twelfth and French streets, where it has an
extensive plant. In connection with the
Brush high-tension system, the company fur-
nishes Swan incandescent lights to the public
for office, store and residence lighting. Im-
provements have gone on steadily, as new in-
ventions or the necessity of the case demand-
ed. Thomas O'Dea has been manager of the
company since February, 1891 . The company,
in July, 1895, supplied 276 street lights to the
city, of 2,000 candle-power each, at seventeen
cents per light each night.

The Merchants' and Manufacturers' Elec-
tric Light, Heat and Power Company was
chartered June 22, 1893, and turned on the
lights for the first time October 1, 1894. 1 be
incorporators were E. D. Carter, Louis Streu-
ber, E. C. Siegel, John S. Rilling and J. B.
Arbuckle. Mr. Carter is President, Mr. Rill-
ing, Secretary, and Mr. Siegel, Treasurer.
The power-house of the company is at the
foot of French street. The company, on
August 1, 1895, were supplying 104 arc and
about 1.200 incandescent lights. It uses the
Western Electric system and, with shrewd in-



corporators, promises to become an important

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 79 of 192)