John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

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alist — a delightful host, as all who were
ever privileged to enjoy his hospitality
could abundantly testify. A lover of litera-
ture and a patron of art, his beautiful resi-
dence in Pittsburgh was adorned with many-
works of celebrated painters of the Old
World and the New, his collection being
considered one of the finest in the United
States. Mrs. Byers survived her husband a
number of years, passing away in August,
191 2. Throughout her widowhood Mrs.
Byers had continued the benevolent and
charitable work in which she and her hus-
band were so long united. The surviving
descendants of Mr. Byers are recognized
leaders in the business and social circles of
Pittsburgh, in both upholding with ability
and brilliancy the family traditions of dis-
tinction in public and private life.

The news of the death of Mr. Byers.

which occurred September 19, 1900, in New
York City, was received in Pittsburgh with
demonstrations of sorrow by all classes of
the community. It was felt that our city
had lost one whose life, in all its relations,
constituted one rounded whole — two perfect
parts of a symmetrical sphere. Sincere and
true in his friendships, honorable and gen-
erous in business, he stood for more than
two score years as one of the men consti-
tuting the bulwark of the strength and de-
velopment of the Iron City.

GREEN, Francis Harvey, A. M., Litt. D.,

Educator, Iiectnrer, Litterateur.

Doctor Francis flarvey Green, who occu-
pies the chair of English in the West Ches-
ter State Normal School, is a native of
Pennsylvania, born at Booth's Corner, Del-
aware county, May 19, 1861. His paternal
grandfather, Abraham Green, came from
England, and settled in Delaware county.
Sharpless Green, son of Abraham Green,
was born in 1820, on the family homestead.
He died in 1887. He was a successful mer-
chant, a Methodist in religion, and a Re-
publican in politics. His wife was Mary, a
daughter of James Booth, and they became
the parents of seven children : Nelson C. ;
Charles ; Lydia, who became the wife of
Curtis C. Planby ; Phebe ; Mattie, who be-
came the wife of George L. Stranbridge,
of West Chester; Francis H., and a son
who died in infancy.

Francis H. Green, of tlie family named,
passed from the public school to the West
Chester State Normal School, from which
he was graduated in 1S82, the year of his
attaining his majority, and he subsequently
took English courses at Amherst and Har-
vard. For two years he taught in the pub-
lic schools of Chester county, and then ac-
cepted the chair of English in Juniata Col-
lege. Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania. In
1882 he relinquished his position to take a
similar chair in the West Chester State
Normal School.



An accomplished educator in the depart-
ment of which he is the head, Doctor Green
is widely known in educational circles as a
gifted litterateur, whose broad knowledge
has been acquired not only through sys-
tematic study but through extensive travel
in Europe and intimate acquaintance with
such eminent men of letters as Oliver Wen-
dell Holmes, James Russell Lowell and
John Greenleaf Whittier. For many years
he has been known as a lecturer of marked
ability on educational, economic and social
topics, before teacher's institutes, literary
clubs, and reform societies. In the past
year he delivered more than two hundred
lectures in various parts of the country, in-
cluding his addresses before a Chautauqua
Summer School. He is regarded as one of
the foremost exponents of social reform in
Pennsylvania, and is an earnest laborer in
the cause of temperance, the founder of
the Knights of Temperance in Chester
county. A graceful and forceful writer, he
has long been a welcome contributor to the
pages of leading magazines and newspapers
upon the various topics which engage his
attention, and to which he devotes the cul-
ture of a scholar and the deep interest of the
real humanitarian.

GROSS, Edward Z.,

Pharmacist, Financier, Public Official.

Gross is a name that has been awarded
distinction and honor in the State of Penn-
sylvania since the Third Line of Pennsyl-
vania troops in the Colonial army was
graced by the presence of a bold and cour-
ageous commander in the person of Cap-
tain John Gross. He was promoted to that
position through the lieutenancy, always as
a soldier in the Third Line. Through his
marriage with Rachel Sahler, a son Abra-
ham was bom, who married Maria Wiest-
ling, and lived in Middle Paxtang township,
Dauphin county, Pennsylvania. Abraham
and Maria ( VViestling) Gross were the par-
ents of Daniel W'iestling Gross, father of

Edward Z. Gross, the present representative
of his line, with whom this chronicle deals.
Daniel Wiestling Gross, father of Ed-
ward Z. Gross, was born in Middle Pax-
tang township, Dauphin county, Pennsyl-
vania, March ii, 1810, and was educated in
the schools of Harrisburg and the Harris-
burg Academy. His general study com-
pleted, in 1826 he came under the preceptor-
ship of an uncle, Norman Calendar, in
preparation for work as a pharmacist, and
in 1830 forming a partnership with this
relative and establishing a pharmacy in
Harrisburg. Mr. Gross later purchased his
uncle's interest in their venture, and con-
tinued in the practice of his profession until
a short time before his death, which oc-
curred in i8g6, at which time he was one
of the oldest men actively engaged in busi-
ness in the city. Public affairs constantly
claimed his wise and earnest cooperation,
the list of his attachments being a long one.
The first borough council of Harrisburg
chose him as its president, an office he held
from i860 to 1862; for many years he held
membership on the school board ; for a long
period was trustee of the State Lunatic
Asylum at Harrisburg, a part of that time
treasurer of the institution ; president of
the board of trustees of the Theological
Seminary of the Reformed Church ; vice-
president of the board of trustees of Frank-
lin and Marshall College; for many years
president of the board of education and
publication of the Reformed Church of the
United States; and one of the members of
the first board of managers of the Harris-
burg Hospital. The above record shows his
sympathy with educational endeavor, but
the mere enumeration of the institutions
with which he was officially connected gives
but little idea of the time and energy he
devoted to the interests of the schools, col-
leges, and seminaries that he served with
steadfast fidelity. He was an elder in the
Salem Refomied Church, the pivotal point
upon which many of its departments moved,
being at the time of his death its oldest



member, many of the years of liis connec-
tion therewith having been superintendent
of the Sunday school, even holding that
office in the infant department, and was a
member of the celebrated "Peace Commis-
sion" of the Reformed Church. Eighty-six
years to a day from the date of his birth,
his spirit entered its heavenly home, assured
for it by a life of upright, God-loving serv-
ice. Mr. Gross married, in 1841, Elizabeth,
eldest daughter of George and Catherine
(Zeigler) Kunkel, who died in 1882. They
were the parents of: George A., deceased;
John K., a railroad freight agent at York,
Pennsylvania ; Joshua W., employed in the
recorder's office in Harrisburg; Daniel W.,
died in infancy ; Edward Z., of whom fur-
ther; Henry S., superintendent of the Mer-
chant and Billet Steel Mills of the Pennsyl-
vania Steel Company at Steelton, Pennsyl-
vania ; and Robert and Alary Elizabeth, who
died in infancy.

Edward Z. Gross, son of Daniel W. and
Elizabeth (Kunkel) Gross, was born in
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, November 6,
185 1, and obtained his early education in
the private schools of his native city, later
attending the academies taught by Messrs.
Gause and Seller. When he was sixteen
years of age he discontinued his academic
courses and entered the drug store owned
and conducted by his father, and four years
later matriculated at the Philadelphia Col-
lege of Pharmacy, whence he obtained his
degree in the spring of 1873. Returning to
his father's employ, he took his brother's
place in partnership with his father, an
association enduring until January i, 1894,
when Mr. Gross assumed entire charge of
the business, having since successfully and
profitably conducted the same. Besides
owning this pharmacy, which is one of the
leading establishments of its kind in the
city, he is a member of the board of direc-
tors of the Manchester Shale Brick Com-
pany, holding the same position in the
Union Trust Company of Harrisburg, and
is vice-president of the State Capital Sav-

ings and Loan Association, also being treas-
urer of the Holmes Seed Company, of
Harrisburg. His public service began as a
member of the Harrisburg school board, on
which he displayed the ambitious enterprise
that had marked his father's relations with
such work in past years, and in 1896 was
the successful candidate of the Republican
party for recorder of Dauphin county, tak-
ing office on January i, 1897, for a term of
three years. In 1899 he was reelected for
a like period, his second term expiring Janu-
ary I, 1902. During his incumbency of the
recorder's position his name was advanced
as the Republican candidate for mayor of
Harrisburg, and in the election of Novem-
ber, 1904, the confidence of the citizens of
the city in his worth, merit, and depend-
ability, was shown by the returns, and he
was duly installed in the seat of the chief
executive on April 3, 1905. His term was
one in which progressive tendencies in all
branches of city life were allowed to expand
and to display their real value, and, sur-
rounding himself with advisors chosen for
their sterling qualifications for office, he
gave to Harrisburg an administration lofty
in conception, able in execution, beneficial
in result. That he was accompanied to
office by the high sense of personal honor
that has characterized the family for genera-
tions is known to all, and the sum of integ-
rity, energy, and ability was a mayor striv-
ing singly for the ideal of government and
the greatest measure of good.

At the present time Mr. Gross is a trus-
tee of the Harrisburg Academy, and for a
number of years was one of the managers
of the City Hospital, for the greater part of
the time serving as secretary of the board,
also being a member of the advisory board
of the Children's Industrial Home. Fra-
ternally he is a member of Robert Bums
Lodge, No. 464, Free and Accepted Ma-
sons, of which he is past master ; Persever-
ance Chapter, Royal Arch Masons ; Pil-
grim Commandery, Knights Templar, of
which he was eminent commander, and



other Scottish Rite bodies, including the
thirty-second degree; Harrisburg Council,
No. 7, Royal and Select Masters, of which
he was thrice illustrious grand master ; and
Zembo Temple, Nobles of the Mystic
Shrine. Other than his Masonic affiliations,
he belongs to Dauphin Lodge, No. i6o. In-
dependent Order of Odd Fellows; Star of
America Commandery, No. 113, Knights of
Malta; Knights of Pythias; Phoenix Lodge,
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
His club is the Country, his church the Pine
Street Presbyterian, where he is a member
of the session, having served as leader of
the choir and as superintendent of the
infant department of the Sunday school.

Mr. Gross married, at Harrisburg, Penn-
sylvania, May 18, 1876, Nancy J., daughter
of J. Vance and Hannah (Dull) Criswell.
They are the parents of: i. Hannah G.,
married John, son of William Campbell, of
Pittsburgh, her husband an employee of the
Central Iron and Steel Company of Harris-
burg; they are the parents of one daughter,
Nancy Gross, and two sons — John Camp-
bell Jr. and Edward Gross Campbell. 2.
Henry McC, born May 21, 1885; educated
in Harrisburg Academy and Yale College,
graduating from the latter institution in the
class of 1906. is a civil engineer in employ
of Harrisburg's Board of Public Works.


Laivyer, La\7 Examiner.

The Bar of Pittsburgh had its beginning
before the American Revolution, and has
been distinguished from its inception. To-
day it stands high in all the accomplishments
that make for the best in jurisprudence,
practice and culture. During the last quar-
ter of a century it has numbered among its
acknowledged leaders Thomas Patterson,
who is a representative of a family which
has been for more than a century and a
half, resident in Pennsylvania, and mem-
bers of which, in the successive generations.

have been associated with the leading inter-
ests of the Commonwealth.

John Patterson, the first ancestor of rec-
ord, is known to have lived, during the lat-
ter part of the seventeenth century, in the
North of Ireland. Robert, his son, was
born about 1685, and among his earliest
recollections was that of the siege of Lon-
donderry. He had two sons — Joseph and

Joseph, son of Robert Patterson, was
bom March 20, 1752, and about 1773 emi-
grated to the American colonies, settling in
Saratoga county. New York. Later he re-
moved to Germantown, Pennsylvania,
where he became a teacher in the schools.
Pie was present at the first reading of the
Declaration of Independence, at the door of
the State House, and thereupon dismissed,
his school and enlisted as a private in the
Continental army, serving in 1776-77.
Afterward he migrated to York county,
where he continued his work as a teacher,
and also engaged in farming. In 1785,
under the guidance of Rev. Joseph Smith,
he began to study for the ministry, and
August 12, 1788, was licensed to preach.
On November 10, 1789, he was ordained
and installed pastor of the Raccoon and
Montour Run churches. In 1816 ill health
forced him to resign and he removed to
Pittsburgh, where he continued to preach,
also distributing Bibles and tracts. When
General Lafayette, after an absence of forty
years, visited the United States, he recog-
nized Mr. Patterson, who was five years
older than himself, as one of his companions
in arms during the war for independence.
Mr. Patterson married (first) in Ireland,
Jane Moak, a native of that country, and
(second) Rebecca Leach, who was born in
Pittsburgh. On February 4, 1832, he closed
his long, useful and eventful life, having
served bis adopted country as educator,
soldier and minister of the gospel.

Robert, son of Joseph and Jane (Moak)
Patterson, was born April i, 1773, in Sara-





toga county, New York, and in 1790 entered
Canonsburg Academy, reciting his first les-
sons under the shade of large trees, the
buildings being not yet ready for occupancy.
In 1794 he entered the junior class of the
University of Pennsylvania, where his
Uncle Robert was professor of mathematics,
and in 1796 he began the study of theology.
In 1801, after touring about four years, he
was licensed to preach, and during the next
six years ministered to two churches in the
vicinity of Erie, Pennsylvania. In 1807 he
moved to Pittsburgh and took charge of the
Pittsburgh Academy, an institution which
later developed into the Western Univer-
sity of Pennsylvania, now the University
of Pittsburgh. From 1810 to 1836 he was
in business as a bookseller, publisher and
manufacturer of paper. From 1807 to 1833
he supplied the pulpit of the Presbyterian
church at Highland, seven miles north of
Pittsburgh. It is worthy of note that the
"Manuscript Found," supposed to have fur-
nished the basis of the Book of Mormon,
was left at Mr. Patterson's printing house.
Mr. Patterson married Jane, daughter of
Colonel John Canon, founder of Canons-
burg, the place being named in his honor. In
1840 Mr. Patterson retired to the country,
where he passed the remainder of his life.
His death occurred September 5, 1854, and
two years later his widow also passed away.
Robert, son of Robert and Jane (Canon)
Patterson, was born August 17, 1821, in
Pittsburgh, and studied law under the pre-
ceptorship of Hon. Thomas H. Baird. At
the end of three years he was admitted' in
October, 1843, to the Allegheny county bar,
and for three years more practiced his pro-
fession as the associate of Judge Baird. In
1840 he had graduated from Jefferson Col-
lege, where he later filled the chair of
mathematics. He was also professor in
several colleges, including Oakland College,
Mississippi, and Centre College, Kentucky.
In 1863 he became joint owner and editor
of the "Presbyterian Banner." At one
period in his life, Mr. Patterson rendered

military service in Kentucky, but during
the Civil War his application for enlistment
was rejected by reason of the fact that he
was under weight and near-sighted. In poli-
tics he was a Republican, and in religious
belief a Presbyterian, thus maintaining the
family tradition.

Mr. Patterson married, August 27, 1851,
Eliza, daughter of Judge Thomas H. Baird
and Nancy (McCuIlough) Baird, and the
following children were born to them :
Thomas, mentioned below ; Jane, and Eliz-
abeth. Mr. Patterson died November 30,
1889. He was a man of more than ordinary
ability and of unblemished purity of char-

Thomas, son of Robert and Eliza (Baird)
Patterson, was born November 14, 1856,
and received his preparatory education
in public schools, afterward entering the
Western University of Pennsylvania, now
the University of Pittsburgh. After his
course at the university he taught for one
year at Sewickley Academy, and in 1879-
80 studied at Columbia Law School. On
December 30, 1880, he was admitted to
the Allegheny county bar, and has since
been continuously engaged in practice in
Pittsburgh, Possessing, as he does, the
judicial mind, Mr. Patterson has long since
abundantly proved his peculiar fitness for
his chosen profession. He had that blend-
ing of broad legal knowledge, administra-
tive ability and acquaintance with affairs of
the day that is required of the successful
lawyer, and he has, moreover, strong convic-
tions and the courage to contend for them.
His position at the bar is a most enviable one.

As a citizen with exalted ideals of good
government and civic virtue Mr. Patter-
son stands in the front rank. He affiliates
with the Republicans, but is too broad-
minded for partisanship. As a vigilant and
attentive observer of men and measures,
holding sound opinions and taking liberal
\'iews, he is consulted in regard to matters
of municipal importance. Ever ready to
respond to any deserving call made upon



him, he is widely but unostentatiously char-
itable. He is a trustee of the University of
Pittsburgh. He belongs to the Pennsylvania
Society of the Cincinnati, and is a member
of the Leetsdale Presbyterian Church.

In 1906 the Supreme Court of Pennsyl-
vania appointed Mr. Patterson a member of
the State Board of Law Examiners, a board
composed of five members selected by the
Supreme Court from the leading lawyers of
the State, to pass upon the eligibility of
applicants for admission to practice in that
court. Mr. Patterson is still a member of
this board. Mr. Patterson was chosen and
served for one year (1906-1907) as presi-
dent of the Pennsylvania State Bar Asso-
ciation. He was also for a time president
of the Alleghany County Bar Association.
The personality of Mr. Patterson is that of
a man of great force and influence, devoted
to duty, and fearless in regard to responsi-
bility. His countenance bears witness to
this combination of qualities, and his digni-
fied and courteous bearing is that of one
accustomed to leadership. He is withal a
man of broad, human sympathy and a great
capacity for friendship.

Mr. Patterson married, June 2, 1892,
Harriet W., daughter of D. Leet and Mary
(Williams) Wilson. Mr. Wilson was for
many years president of the Fort Pitt Na-
tional Bank and is now vice-president and
director of the Central District Telephone
Company. He is a descendant of Daniel
Leet, a pioneer of Western Pennsylvania.
Mrs. Wilson is descended from Dr. Francis
Herron, a leading preacher of Old Pitts-
burgh, and pastor of the First Presbyterian
Church. Mr. and Mrs. Patterson are the
parents of one son: Robert Leet, born Au-
gust 16, 1893.

The family tradition of professional emi-
nence and public-spirited citizenship has
been ably maintained by Thomas Patterson,
but while he has, in both spheres, achieved
a measure of distinction, he is still in the
prime of life and his past indicates that the
future holds much in store for him.

N ORRIS, Col. A. Wilson,

Soldier, Laxryer, Public Official.

The progressive faculty possessed by
some men stands as one of their dominating
characteristics, and gives them a distinct ad-
vantage in attaining prestige in any line to
which they turn their efforts. In the case
of Colonel A. Wilson Norris, late of Phila-
delphia, Pennsylvania, it is a matter of
some difficulty to decide whether he excelled
as a soldier, as a statesman or as a lawyer.

Colonel A. Wilson Norris was born in
Lewistown, Miffiin county, Pennsylvania,
April II, 1 841, and died May 21, 1888, in
Philadelphia, while auditor-general of the
State of Pennsylvania. He commenced his
education in the schools of his native town
and those of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, and
followed this preparatory education by a
course of study at Georgetown College. His
studies were interrupted by the outbreak of
the Civil War. He began his military
career in 1861, and was discharged in July,
1865. November 20, 1861, he was appointed
first lieutenant of Company D, 117th Regi-
ment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, was
promoted to the rank of captain, March
19, 1864, and served until the close of the
war. He was in a number of important
engagements and spent twenty months in
Southern prisons. His later mihtary record
is as colonel and aide-de-camp on the staff
of the commander-in-chief, to which he was
appointed, July 20, 1877, and discharged,
July 12, 1878.

After his return at the close of the Civil
War, he took up his studies in the Law
School of the University of Pennsylvania,
and was graduated from this institution in
the class of 1867. He read law under the
preceptorship of Judge Thompson, of Phil-
adelphia, and commenced the practice of his
profession in that city. Well versed in
legal lore, and thoroughly systematic in his
preparation of the cases entrusted to him.
Colonel Norris rapidly gained a large prac-
tice, and followed it until 1872, at which


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time he was appointed private secretary to
Governor Ilartranft, of Pennsylvania. In
1876 he was appointed Supreme Court Re-
porter, and in 1877, Judge Advocate Gen-
eral of the State of Pennsylvania. In 1881
the people recognized his qualifications for
high ofijce by electing him to represent the
Sixth Senatorial District in the State Sen-
ate. In 1 88 1, President Arthur appointed
him Pension Agent at Philadelphia, and he
was elected Auditor-General of the State of
Pennsylvania, in 1886. He was a member
of Post No. 19, Grand Army of the Re-
public, of Philadelphia, and was made de-
partment commander of the Grand Army
of the Republic of Pennsylvania.

Colonel Norris married, in Louisville,
Kentucky, Mirtie, a daughter of William and
Elida (Norris) Miller, of Mifflin county,
Pennsylvania, and an old Quaker family of
Chestertown. Colonel Norris had won
more than merely local renown as an orator.
His delivery was quiet, yet forcible ; his
language, rich and choice, yet never above
the heads of his audience ; and his vocabu-
lary was one of unusual scope. He had the
faculty of seeing the salient features of a
case almost at a glance, and then placing
them to the utmost advantage. He never
took an unfair advantage of an opponent,
and was ever ready to listen to the reason-
ing of another, although he always reserved
the right of forming his own opinions. His
kindly nature endeared him to friend and
opponent alike.

WIERMAN, Thomas T.,

Civil Engineer.

It is men like Thomas T. Wierman, of
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, who are intelli-
gent factors in ensuring and developing the
success of all large cities and the country in
general. They promote public progress in
advancing individual prosperity, and they
are devoted to any business interests with
which thev become connected.

Thomas Thornburg W'icrman was an
only son of Isaac and Susanna (Comly)
Wierman, and was born in Butler township,

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanEncyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) → online text (page 12 of 58)