Horace Edwin Hayden.

Genealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) online

. (page 49 of 130)
Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 49 of 130)
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the marriage of ]\Ir. and Mrs. Greenburg-,
namely : Charles, .deceased : Alfred, deceased ;
John C. who is engaged in business with his
father ; Frederick, Mabel J., and Charlotte.

JOHN T. PORTER. The proniinence of
John T. Porter in the commercial and financial
concerns of the city of Scranton and the Lacka-
wanna \'alley is attested by his long official con-
nection with various of their most important cor-

e:w':-I) FVCHAS e h;-.ll mev/ \'0"Rk




porations, prominent among them being one of
his own founding, the John T. Porter Company,
wholesale grocers, the largest house of its class
in the entire northwestern portion of Pennsyl-
vania, and whose trade extends into the adjoin-
ing states of New York, New Jersey and Dela-
ware. A fact which further testifies to his abil-
ity, enterprise and public-spirit is his active iden-
tification with the Scranton board of trade al-
most from the dav of his arrival in the city, and
of which excellent organization he has been pres-
ident for two terms.

'Sir. Porter is a native of the state of Dela-
ware, born in Middletown, J\Iay 24, 1850. Here
was born Abel J. Porter, father of John T. Por-
ter. Abel Porter passed his life there, following
his twofold calling of farmer and miller. He
was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
He married Sarah Ann \'an Pelt, who was of
Dutch extraction, her father, Jessie Van Pelt,
being a native of Holland. To Abel and Sarah
Ann Porter were bom the following children:
Lydia, Anna Mary, who became the wife of
Thomas Price, of iMaryland ; and John T. Porter.

John T. Porter was educated in Smyrna
(Delaware) Seminary, and when he had attained
the age of nineteen years was well equipped for
making his beginning in an independent career.
After leaving school he at once went to New
York City, where for five years he was engaged
as a salesman in a foreign fruit importing house.
Here he served with such efficiency as to win
the confidence and esteem of his employers, while
the experience which he obtained was invaluable
to him personally, and afforded him a substantial
foundation for an early establishment in business
upon his own account. In 1875 he lo,cated per-
manently in Scranton, where he established a
wholesale grocery business at Nos. 26 and 28
Lackawanna avenue, a site which his house has
occupied uninterruptedly to the present time.
While catering to all immediate demands, he was
constantly developing his business into larger
channels, and added to his lines of goods large
quantities of his own direct importation from
foreign markets. Handling every description of
staple and fancy groceries, canned goods, produce
and fruits, he made his house a rival in a large
field of those of the more pretentious metropoli-
tan centres. He conducted this great enterprise
under his individual name until the year 1903,
when he effected its incorporation under the style
of the John T. Porter Company. This house
gives constant employment to more than thirty
•employes, many of whom are heads of families.

\Miile it would seem that the upbuilding and

management of so large an enterprise would fully
tax the capabilities of anv one person, Mr. Por-
ter's unbounded energy and activity have found
other avenues in the part he has taken in connec-
tion with numercus other large undertakings, all
of which are useful factors in the business of the
community. He was one of the original incor-
porators of the Traders' National Bank, served
long upon its directorate, and has been president
since 1895. This bank, organized in 1890, with
a capital of $250,000, now has a surplus of
$200,000, and is recognized as among the safest
and most prosperous financial institutions in the
country. It has afforded judicious and valuable
support to numerous commercial and industrial
enterprises of merit, and in all ways has contrib-
uted in large degree to the promotion of the ma-
terial interests of the community. Associated
with Mr. Porter in the officiary are the following
named gentlemen of acknowledged financial and
personal standing; J. J. Jermyn, vice-president;
F. W. Wollerton, cashier ; E. W. Dolph, assis-
tant cashier ; directors : H. H. Brady, jr., W. L.
Connell. Thomas H. Dale, T. J. Foster, Joseph
J. Jermyn, Cyrus D. Jones. Edward S. Jones,
John L. Kemmerer, Charles P. Matthews, John
T. Porter, Charles Schlager, James G. Shepherd,
W. W. Watson, C. S. Woolworth. Mr. Porter
is also a director of the Citizens' Bank of Oly-
phant, Pennsylvania, and of the Taylor Bank. He
is a stockholder and director in the Mississippi
Central Railroad, and holds similar relations
with the United States Lumber Company, which
has extensive lumbering and other interests in,
the state of ]\Iississippi which are being developed
into mammoth proportions. Mr. Porter has been
for twenty-five years a member of the board of
trustees of the Elm Park IMethodist Episcopal
Church, in which he holds membership. He is
an independent in politics. He is a highly re-
garded member of various leading social bodies :
the Scranton Country Club, the Southern Society
of New York, and the Sons of Delaware, in Phil-

He married Aliss Harriet Schlager, a daugh-
ter of the late J6hn Schlager. Of this marriage
have been born six children : Elizabeth, who be-
came the wife of R. E. Weeks, of the firm of
Eoote, Shear & Co., in which he is secretary
and treasurer ; Florence S. : Clara ; John Ken-
neth : Jr-mes Russell : and Eleanor.

AMBROSE MULLEY. 'Tn the sunset of
life, in the early morning of the dying year, Am-
brose Mulley passed away. Death came peace-
fully, and calmly as in sleep were his eyes closed



in the eternal rest that knows no waking among
men. It was a sublime passing from the earthly
existence into the eternal home. By his bedside,
as life ebbed away in the midnight hours, was the
wife of his youth and his age, the wife who had
journeyed with him through all the years of his
busy life. Solemn indeed was the close of life."

Such was the touching announcement in a
local journal of the death of Ambrose Mulley, on
Sunday, December 31, 1899, at the age of sev-
enty years, nine months and one day. For the
unusual period of fifty-four years his activities
had been unceasingly exerted in the community
among whom he died. In the ordinary affairs
of life he was the soul of honor, and his personal
life was modeled after the loftiest standards.
Without ambition for public preferment, he was
an ideal public spirited citizen, taking a deep in-
terest in all which would benefit the people in the
mass, and entertaining an exalted view of the
duties and dignities of American citizenship.

He was a native of England, born in Essex,
March 30, 1829, and was a mere child when his
parents came to the United States. The family
settled on a farm on the Hudson river, in New
York, and there the lad was reared, receiving his
education in the common schools. He remained
at home until he was nearly twenty years old,
when he went to California with the "forty-nin-
ers," making the voyage from New York via
Cape Horn in the ship "Sarah Sands," one of
the famous clippers of that day, and which fig-
ures largely in one of Rudyard Kipling's stories.
His stay in the land of gold was extended to
some years, but was not productive of the for-
tune looked for. Returning home, Mr. Mulley
came in 1854 to the vicinity of Scranton. where
for two years he worked industriously at car-
pentry. In 1856 he opened a small grocery store
near the public square in Providence. His en-
tire capital, the closely hoarded savings out of
small wages, and only accumulated through close
economy and stern self-denial, was the modest
sum of seven hundred dollars. In course of time
this humble little venture was developed into the
"Providence Triple Stores," once the only first-
class department store in the city, with twenty-
five thousand square feet of floor room, carry-
ing a stock of goods ranging in value from fifty
to seventy-five thousand' dollars, and giving
steady employment to nearly half a hundred
people. This splendid result was due to no fav-
oring smile of fortune. Its development was
best epitomized in the modest yet impressive
words of Mr. Mulley himself, who the verv vear
before his death addressed to the patrons of his

house a little catalogue volume in the preface of
which he said : "The house, like most of the pros-
perous enterprises of the land, has been charac-
terized by slow growth. It was a small begin-
ning without friends, prestige or credit, but more
valuable aids were self-reliance, tenacity of pur-
pose, untiring industry, a disposition to learn,
and the closest economy consistent with a due
regard for the property rights of others. To the
young I would say (and never was an ever-
needed lesson more strongly laid down. — Ed.)
that after sixty years of labor I am still learn-
ing to work, and working to learn."

A man so constituted as was Mr. Mulley
would have proven successful in any calling to
which he would devote himself. He would have
made an accomplished mechanic, as was evidenced
by his skill in carpentry in his early life. He
gave another exemplification when, in order to
illustrate mining operations in California, he
constructed a one-fourth size model of a sluicing
box, and a complete set of mining tools, patterned
after those in use in the gold mining camps in
1849. This is now in possession of one of Mr.
Mwlley's daughters, and is regarded by the fam-
ily as a priceless heirloom.

While devoting himself faithfully to his per-
sonal business, meeting the every requirement of
its development after plans of his own laying
down, Mr. Mulley took an active and intelligent
part in public afl^airs, and no one contributed in
larger degree to the industrial and commercial
advancement of the city. While Providence was
yet a borough he was a most efficient member of
the school board. He was ever a warm advocate
of education, his solicitude for the rising youth
growing out of his keen appreciation of his own
early disadvantages — disadvantages which, how-
ever, he compensated for by diligent personal
reading and habits of close observation. He sub-
sequently served upon the city council of Scran-
ton, and his earnestness of purpose, rugged in-
tegrity and firm grasp of public affairs were po-
tent factors in shaping the early legislation of
the city, and establishing a rule of law and or-
der. At times stormy scenes were witnessed in
the council. In these he bore himself with na-
tive dignity, standing imflinchingly for what he-
deemed honest and right and for the best inter-
ests of the community, yet in such manner that
those who opposed him, at times in even angry
mood, could not but recognize his unbending in-
tegrity and uprightness of character and pur-
pose. It is of particular interest to note, as evi-
dence of his local pride, that in 1881 he pub-
lished at his own expense a directory of the city



of Scranton — the first, and one after which all
subsequent publications have been modeled.

His personality was a thing of itself. In ap-
pearance he was unusually attractive, with an ad-
mirable physique, and a countenance which was
really handsome, and which lighted up most ad-
mirably in conversation. He was extremely
neat, even fastidious, in his personal habits,
every act and pose indicative of a refined and
aesthetic taste. He wore a long flowing board,
well kept, which with his figure and face gave
him the appearance of an ideal artist. In all he
was highly regardful of the rights and comfort
of others. Au illustration of this, full of mean-
ing, is found in the fact that, persistent smoker
as he was, he never smoked in his home, nor in
the presence of ladies, even his own family.

In 1854, at Sing Sing, New York, Mr. Mul-
ley married Miss Elizabeth Hoyt, who bore to
her husband nine children, eight of whom, with
their mother, survive the husband and father.
Thev were : jNIiss Isabel Alullev, loseph H. Mul-
ley, 'Mrs. L. T. Mattes, William A. Mulley, Mrs.
John McDonnell, Mrs. Richard Cowles, Mrs.
G. D. Hinds, and George M. Mulley. A son
Ralph died in infancy.

Although well advanced in his seventy-first
year, and after fifty-four years of incessant and
arduous labor, accompanied with great though
self-imposed responsibilities, up to the very
evening before his death he was in usual health
and spirits. Shortly after midnight he passed
peacefully away. His end could not have been
more fitting, more in consonance with his habit
of thought. It is of pathetic interest, and elo-
quent as an expression of his religious convic-
tions, that from its first appearance he was par-
ticularly fond of Tennyson's last great poem
"Crossing the Bar," (which might well ever ac-
companv Bryant's "Thanatopsis,") and he often
repeated from it the lines :

"Sunset and evening star.

And one clear call for me.
And may there be no moaning of the bar

When I put out to sea."

And So this excellent man set out on his last
voyage, to

"Meet ni}' pilot face to face.
When I have crossed the bar."

Funeral services were held in the Providence
Methodist Episcopal Church, of which the la-
mented deceased had been a loved and useful
member for many years. The high esteem in
which the dead man was regarded was evidenced
by the presence in the pulpit of four well known
clergymen — the Rev. William Edgar, pastor of

the church ; the Rev. George E. Guild, D. D., of
the Presbyterian church ; the Rev. R. S. Jones,.
D. D., of the Welsh Congregational church, and
the Rev. Judson N. Bailey. The church was-
fiUed to overflowing, and hundreds were unable
to gain admittance. Rev. Air. Edgar spoke feel-
ingly from the words of Paul : "He being dead-
yet speaketh," and closed with repeating a poem
of the Quaker poet Whittier, which was a favor-
ite of Mr. Mtflley's, and which he read to his
family on the Thursday preceding his death. The
character of Mr. Mulley was voiced in resolu-
tions adopted by the Sunday school of the church
with which he held connection, and which found
an approving echo throughout the entire com-
munity :

"In his death we feel the loss of a dear friend,.,
a safe and ready counsellor, a sympathetic and
kind benefactor, and a noble example of Chris-
tian manhood. Judged by the world at large he
was honest and industrious, punctual in every
engagement, truthful as to his word ; a philan-
thropist, benevolent and charitable. Fearless in-
voicing and maintaining his own convictions, he-
was great enough to forgive an enemy ; digni-
fied in bearing, he was withal a tender husband,,
a loving father, a sympathetic friend and a faith-
ful Christian. His manhood personified, in storm-
and trouble he was a stately and fearless oak ; in
summer and sunshine he was a sweet flower
emitting fragrance to those around; and were
every one for whom he did some loving act to-
bring but a single blossom, he would now sleep
beneath a wilderness of flowers."

CHARLES H. SHEDD, of Scranton, Penn-
sylvania, whose success in business affairs has
come to him through persistent and painstaking-
labor, reliable methods, honorable transactions
and a constant desire to supply his customers with
the very best quality of product, is a native of
Kankakee, Illinois, born July, 1864, the youngest
in a family of five children, born to Walter R.
and Sarah (Griffin) Shedd, natives, respectively,
of Eagle Bridge, near Saratoga, and Griffin Cor-
ners, Delaware county. New York.

The maternal great-great-grandfather of
Charles H. Shedd was William Griffin, of Con-
necticut, who served as a soldier in the Colonial
army, fighting in defense of freedom and inde-
pendence in the Revolutionary war. The pa-
ternal grandfather of Charles H. Shedd was
John Shedd, whose wife was Phoebe Center, and'
both were natives of Washington county. New
York. They were farmers and worthy people of
that county, respected and esteemed by all who-



had the honor of their acquaintance. Their fam-
ily consisted of the following named children :
Julia A., Gilford D., Walter R., Emeline M., Shel-
don A., and John J. The latter was a soldier in
the Civil war, was a member of an Illinois regi-
ment, brave and patriotic in the performance of
duty, and his death was occasioned by the priva-
tions endured during that terrible period, from
the effects of which he never recovered. The ma-
ternal grandfather of Charles H. Shedd was
William Griffin, a native of Delaware county.
New York, whose ancestors were residents of
Connecticut. His wife, Esther (Ackerly) Grif-
fin, was also a native of Delaware county. New

Walter R. Shedd, father of Charles H. Shedd.
at an early age accompanied the other members
of his father's family west to Illinois. There he
grew to manhood on a farm, and being familiar
with the duties thereof selected that line of work
for a means of livelihood. He followed that oc-
cupation for a number of years in Kankakee
county, Illinois, but in 1869 returned east and
for several years made his home in Clarks Green,
Lackawanna county, Pennsylvania, subsequently
removing to Scranton, same state, where he led a
retired life. His wife, Sarah (Griffin) Shedd.
bore him the following named children : Frank
E., Center J., deceased ; Ruth, wife of H. J. Hall ;
Ira, and Charles H.

Charles H. Shedd accompanied his parents
when they removed from the state of Illinois to
Lackawanna county, Pennsylvania, he being then
but five years of age. He was reared and edu-
cated at Clarks Green, from whence he removed
to Scranton in 1884, and four years later he estab-
lished a dairy business. He had only one wagon
at first, but as his patronage increased he also en-
larged his facilities for business, in due course
of time having three wagons. His office and
depot of supplies at No. 536 Spruce street is
fully equipped with every facility for the suc-
cessful conduct of a large wholesale and retail
trade, including the telephone, which he also has
at his residence at No. 616 South Keyser avenue.
In 1 90 1 he moved to his present farm of one
hundred and twenty-five acres, which was form-
erly known as the old Dale farm. He owns one
of the nest herd of grade Jerseys in the Lacka-
wanna Valley, consisting of thirty-two head, and
this herd yields two hundred and fifty quarts of
pure milk per day, \vhich is sold to his customer
directly from the cow, and commands the first
place in the market. Mr. Shedd, unlike other
■dairymen, uses only his own productions, which

consists of milk, butter, fresh eggs, cottage
cheese, bakery goods and the celebrated Scott
X'alky cream. ]\Ir. Shedd is a member of the
Green Ridge Presbyterian Church, and an adher-
ent of the Republican party. He also holds mem-
bership in the Order of Heptasophs, the Benevo-
lent and Protective Order of Elks, and Green
Ridge Lodge, No. 603, Independent Order of
Odd Fellows.

In Scranton, Pennsylvania, Mr. Shedd was
united in marriage to Jennie E. Storie, daughter
of Samuel Sto.rie, a farmer of Delaware county,
New York, where she was born. Their children
are : Donald, Margaret, and Louise Shedd.

most popular and at the same time respected
citizens of Old Forge is Frederick W. Naylor.
Mr. Naylor is the son of Frederick and Sarah
(Joy) Naylor, both natives of England. Their
family consisted of ten children, of whom the
following emigrated to the United States : Will-
iam H. : George: \\'alter; Frederick W., men-
tionel at length hereafter ; and Charlotte. The
last named, however, has now returned to her
native country.

Frederick W. Naylo.r. son of Frederick and
Sarah (Joy) Naylor. was born April 27, 1856, in
England, and \vas educated in his native country.
In 1884 he emigrated to the United States and
settled in Old Forge, where he has since re-
mained. His first four years in the place were
spent as a miner, and for eight years thereafter
he was engaged in husiness as a butcher, an oc-
cupation which 'he followed successfully. He
then became the proprietor of the Rockaway
Hotel, which is one of the finest buildings in Old
Forge, and this house he still conducts. It was
erected by Mr. Naylor in 1897. is commodiously
constructed, having all the modern appliances and
conveniences, and is admirably conducted, en-
joying a liberal patronage. A more popular host
than Mr. Naylor or one better fitted to discharge
the duties of his position it would be difficult to
find. He is a public-spirited citizen, and in that
character also is highly appreciated by his neigh-
bors. He has served for two years on the coun-
cil of Old Forge borough and has held the offices
of assessor of the fourth ward and registrar of
votes, being still the incumbent of the latter
office. He is a member of Sons of St. George,
the Improved Order of Red Men, the Mystic
Chain, the Knights of the Golden Eagle, and
Knights of Pythias. Mr. Naylor married, June
22, 1877, Sarah Jane Greene, also a native of




England, and of the seven children born to them
three are now living: Emma J., Ehrick W., and
another daughter who is the wife of J. R. John-
son, of Old Forge.

PHILLIP RIXSLAND, city assessor of
Scranton, and largely identified with real estate
interests as well as manufacturing and other cor-
porate enterprises, is a conspicuous example of a
noble character selfmade and an honorable and
useful career selfwrought. No man among the
younger generation of the residents of Scranton
has done more for the upbuilding of Scranton and
its general growth and development than j\lr.
Rinsland, who has proved a valuable acquisition
to the citizenship of this locality. He was born
at Calicoon, Sullivan county. New York, Jan-
uary 20, 1873. a son of John and Mctoria (Eng-
lish ) Rinsland, and a descendant of an honorable
German ancestry.

John Rinsland (father) was a native of Op-
penheim, Germany, from whence he came to the
United States, locating in the city of New York.
He was a tanner by trade and this business he
followed for a number of years in New York,
later at Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, where he
resided up to his death, 1883, which was the re-
sult of an accident, he having been run over bv
a train at Carbondale while in the employ of the
Delaware & Hudson Railroad. He was then fif-
ty-two vears of age. Politically he was a Repub-
lican, and fraternallv a member of the Independ-
ent Order of Odd Fellows. Mr. Rinsland mar-
ried Victoria English, born January 13, 1843,
who bore him the following children : Lewis,
Henry, Josephine, Phillip, and Christine Rins-

Victoria ( English ) Rinsland was a daughter
of John English, of German birth, who came to
New York, was a tobacco manufacturer at 62
Bleecker street. New York city, and finally dis-
posed of his business to the Lorillard Tobacco
Company. He then removed to Liberty, Sulli-
van county. New York, and there resided up to
the time of his demise, September 14, 1852. At
the time of his removal from the city of New
York there was a small balance to his account
in the Bleecker Street Bank which was over-
looked by him. This account was advertised reg-
ularly by the bank for fifty-two years in the efifort
to find the rightful heirs, but it was not until
1904 that the fact was discovered by the heirs,
the proper title proven, and the account settled.
John English married (first) Barbara Speizer,
October 16, 1833, and their children were : Mary,

born June 19, 1835: John, born September 9,
1837; Elizabeth, born July 30, 1840; Mctoria,
born January 13, 1843, aforementioned as the
wife of John Rinsland. Mrs. English died July 15,
1846. i\Ir. English had two chddren by his sec-
ond marriage : Josephine, born November 19,
1848, and Louis, born September 10, 185 1.

Phillip Rinsland pursued his studies in the
public schools of Scranton, and after his gradu-
ation therefrom learned the trade of barber in
the shop of John Wahl. After attaining profi-
ciency in this particular branch of trade, he es-
tablished a shop of his own and for several years
enjoyed the largest trade in the city, winning the
confidence of his customers and patrons by his
industry, energy and willingness to work and
please. He is now ( 1905 ) a member of the firm
of Rinsland & Jones, who are interested in the

Online LibraryHorace Edwin HaydenGenealogical and family history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania; (Volume 2) → online text (page 49 of 130)