John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

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most cultured and esteemed families of
Pennsylvania, contributing to the citizenship
of the State pub'ic-spirited men in every
rank and department — lawyers, justices of
the peace, instructors, physicians, merchants,
farmers, school directors, postmasters,
and trustees and officers in an endless vari-
ety of commercial and industrial enterprises.
For many years the name has represented
the highest standard of public service, and
its representatives have taken conspicuous
positions in all political, business and re-
ligious affairs in North and South Lebanon
townships. There are a great many mem-
bers of this family in Lebanon, all of whom
are more or less close relationships, and all
descendants from the original immigrant,
John Peter Light, the first of the name of
whom we have any authentic record. He
came over from the Palatinate in Germany
in 1719, and located in vi'hat is now Le-
banon county, then Lancaster, where stands

the old Light Fort on the old Union Canal,
just east of Eleventh street, in the city of
Lebanon. This was during the reign of the
English Queen Anne. John Peter Light
purchased a large tract of land embracing
in its boundaries most of the site of what is
now the city of Lebanon, and erected the
usual log house, a structure which was
later replaced by a substantial stone one.
He married, in 1723, Maria Kreider. He
was the father of four sons — Henry, Jacob,
Martin, and John Jr. John Jr. married, in
1750, Anna Landis, and they had six sons
and three daughters. Abraham, sixth son
of John Jr., was born in 1770, and married
Barbara Landis in 1790. Their son, Abra-
ham (2d), married, in 1816, Salma Riegel,
and their fourth child, Solomon, was father
of Ivanora Light, who became the wife of
Dr. Morris W. Brunner. The various
branches passed through the vicissitudes to
which the early settlers were subjected,
privation, hard work, and Vi'ars with the In-
dians, but emerged triumphant through all,
and have become the aristocracy and landed
gentry of this section.

KIRK, David,

Pioneer in Oil Industry.

The oil hierarchy was founded in Pitts-
burgh. Pittsburgh men it was who devel-
oped the first oil fields, made the first oil
markets and inaugurated the system of
transporting the invaluable fluid. Prom-
inent among the pioneers of this mighty
industry was the late David Kirk, President
of the Pure Oil Company and an authority
in regard to everything pertaining to the
production and operation of one of the
greatest of Pittsburgh's natural resources.
For nearly half a century Mr. Kirk was
conspicuously identified not only with the
industrial interests but with the political
and social life of his home city and also with
her philanthropic institutions.

David Kirk was born February 15, 183 1,
in Lesmohagow, Lanarkshire, Scotland,


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and was a son of Arthur and Marian the Producers' Association. As president

(Smith) Kirk, both of whom were natives
of that country and scions of staunch old
Presbyterian stock. In 1839 they emigrated
to the United States, hving for some time
in Butler county, Pennsylvania, and later
removing to Allegheny. About 1861 David
Kirk engaged in the grocery business in
partnership with Joseph Allen, under the
firm name of Kirk & Allen, their store be-
ing situated in what is now South Diamond
street, North Side.

Enterprise was always one of Mr. Kirk's
most marked characteristics and he was
among the first to take advantage of the dis-
covery of oil. Immediately after that event
he removed to Collins township, now the
Eighteenth ward, and there built and
operated one of the pioneer oil refineries.
Later he migrated to Bradford, Pennsyl-
vania, where he organized the McCalmont
Oil Company, an enterprise which proved
signally successful, mainly in consequence
of the influence of Mr. Kirk's vigorous,
compelling nature which made prosperity in
anything he undertook a "foregone conclu-
sion." Subsequently Mr. Kirk sold his in-
terest to the other stockholders and for
some years lived in retirement in Pittsburgh,
having large investments in property in the
East End.

As a business man, this oil magnate was
in many respects a model, combining as he
did indomitable perseverance and ability to
read the future with unusual capacity for
judging the motives and merits of men.
This insight enabled him to put the right
man in the right place and thus to fill the
various departments of his business with
assistants who seldom failed to meet his ex-
pectations. To his associates and subordi-
nates he endeared himself not only as a
strong and capable official, true to every
trust, but as a man of unvarying justice
and unfailing benevolence. He was prom-
inent among those independent oil operator.*
who contended for relief from railroad dis-
crimination, becoming an active member of

of the Pure Oil Com.pany he was one of
the chief witnesses examined in 1888 by
the House Committee on Manufactures in
its investigation of trusts.

In all concerns relative to the city's wel-
fare, Mr. Kirk's interest was deep and sin-
cere, and never did he refuse aid and in-
fluence to any project which he deemed cal-
culated to further that end. An indepen-
dent Republican, he took an active part in
municipal affairs, for several terms repre-
senting his ward in the councils and serv-
ing for many years as school director. On
two occasions he was the candidate of his
party for congress. Ever ready to respond
to any deserving call made upon him, his
charity was of the kind that shuns pub-

Of strong mental endowments and busi-
ness capacity of a high order, Mr. Kirk was
a man of commanding personality. His
dominant characteristic was his unflinching
integrity — the cornerstone of his success.
Earnest in all his aims and of invincible de-
termination, his business associates at times
failed to understand his far-sighted pro-
jects, but one and all never denied him
credit for purity of purpose and personal
honor. So broad were his sympathies that
he might truly be called a man universal.
Large as was his mind his heart was larger.
His countenance was a faithful index to
his character, reflecting as it did his nobility
of soul. Appreciation of the good traits
of others was a prominent feature of his
character, and he was an ardent and loyal
friend. Dignified, courteous and genial,
he was a true and kindly gentleman and a
brave and upright man.

Mr. Kirk married (first) May 22. 1856,
Ellen Baldwin, of Allegheny, Pennsylvania.
Children of Mr. and Mrs. Kirk: Walter
M., of Twin Falls. Idaho: Mary B., wife
of Tames L. Davidson, of Los Angeles, Cali-
fornia : Mrs. Ella Bovaird, Pittsburgh;
Elizabeth, widow of William J. Post. Pitts-
burgh ; David, of Kane. Pennsylvania;



Clara N., wife of Dr. Frank S. Post, of
Portland, Oregon; Albert E., Pittsburgh.
Mrs. Kirk died December 30, 1885, and
Mr. Kirk married (second) June 27, 1890,
Ella, daughter of Merrick and Ruth (Dyer)
Boyce, of Bangor, Maine. Mrs. Kirk is
widely known as one of the pioneers in
social centre work in the United States and
is a charter member of the Social Centre
Association of America. She was the first
woman city superintendent of schools in
the United States, holding this position at
Bradford, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Kirk has
accomplished notable results in the Green-
wich School in New York City, and her
text book on enunciation and articulation
has recently been adopted by the New York
School Board.

The closing years of his life were for the
greater part spent by Mr. Kirk at his beau-
tiful home in the East End, surrounded by
the books and pictures he loved, many of
them mementoes of his extended travels.
He was devoted to the ties of family and
friendship, regarding them as sacred obli-
gations. One of his chief pleasures was the
exercise of hospitality. All who were ever
privileged to be his guests could testify that
he was an incomparable host, possessed of
unfailing tact and graphic powers of con-
versation which were always controlled by
great kindness of heart. He was a lover of
literature and a man of thorough and varied
information. Young men in whom he dis-
cerned unusual qualities of mind of heart
awakened his special interest and many of
them were indebted to him for aid in their
first start in life.

On December 22, 1906, Mr, Kirk passed
away, leaving the memory of a life sing-
ularly complete, full of goodness and
crowned with achievement. Irreproachable
alike in his public and private relations, he
fulfilled to the letter every trust committed
to him and was generous in his feelings and
conduct toward all.

David Kirk was a true Scotsman. By

the force of his ancestral traits he aided
in the upbuilding of one of the stupendous
industries which have given to the metro-
polis of Pennsylvania her world-wide re-
nown, thus proving his right to the title of
Scottish-American — Pittsburgh's ideal cit-

MILLER, James A.,

Bnsinesa Man, Public Official.

James A. Miller, a prominent business
man of New Tripoli, Lehigh county, Penn-
sylvania, was born May 3, 1863, on the
family homestead in Lynn township, Lehigh
county, Pennsylvania. His immigrant an-
cestor was Andrew Miller, his great-grand-
father, who was a native of Switzerland, an
early settler in Lehigh county, and who
married and reared a family.

John Miller, son of Andrew Miller, was
born on the family homestead, and was
educated in the neighborhood schools. He
was a farmer by occupation. He married
Marie Rex, also of Lehigh county.

Reuben Miller, son of John Miller, was
bom in the family homestead, November
27, 1824. He was educated in the common
schools, and was a farmer by occupation,
acquiring an ample competence as a re-
ward of his industry. His later years were
spent in pleasant retirement in New Tripoli,
where he died. May 17, 1904. He married
Sarah A. Mantz, daughter of David Mantz.
Children: i. James A., of whom further.
2. Alvena M., married Reuben H. Fisher,
and had four children. 3. George D., mar-
ried Josephine Oldt, by whom three chil-
dren. 4. Mary J., married James D. Sny-
der. 5. William A., married Savilla
Krause ; by whom one child. 5. Catherine
E., deceased.

James A. Miller, son of Reuben Miller,
passed his youth on the homestead farm,
assisting in its cultivation during the spring
and summer months. He acquired an ex-
cellent education, beginning in the public



schools and thence passing to several select
schools, and to such good purpose that he
taught for some years, and gained such rep-
utation as a capable instructor as to give
promise of rapid advancement in the in-
structional field had he adopted it for his
life work. He was, however, inclined to
a business career, and entered the employ
of his father-in-law, Jonas German, whose
store and hotel business he successfully
managed for a period of nineteen years,
ending with July 5, 1900, when Mr. Ger-
man died. Mr. Miller then purchased the
hotel property and general store, both of
which he has successfully conducted to
the present time. He is a leading factor in
business affairs, and since 1903 has been a
director of the Merchant's National Bank
of Allentown, a flourishing institution, to
which he affords excellent advisory service.
In 1885 he was elected justice of the peace,
in which position he has been continued by
reelection to 1914. He is an earnest advo-
cate of Democratic principles, and is re-
garded as a most capable local leader in his
party. He was elected to the Senate of
Pennsylvania to represent Lehigh county in
1910. He has ably served in this capacity a
term of four years, and is now a candidate
for reelection. He is a member of various
fraternal bodies — the Masons, Odd Fellows,
Knights of the Golden Eagle, and the Junior
Order of United American Mechanics. He
is also a member of the Pennsylvania Ger-
man Society. He and his family attend the
German Reformed church.

Mr. Miller married, in 1881, Louisa G.
German, daughter of Jonas German, a resi-
dent farmer and business man of Lynn
township. Of this marriage was born one
child — Ralph E., January 26, 1882, a grad-
uate of Ursinus College, class of 1905, who
is married to Alma J. Clamer, daughter of
Francis J. and Julia Clamer, of Collegeville,
Pennsylvania. Two children were born to
this union — Margaret Louise, July 5, 1908,
and Robert Clamer, December 17, 1909.

HORN, Harry Yohe, M. D.,

Physician, Surgeon, Public Official.

Dr. Harry Y. Horn, whose name is widely
known in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania,
as an eminent and successful medical prac-
titioner in the borough of Coplay, Lehigh
county, also the proprietor of a drug store
in successful operation, is a descendant of a
family of German extraction, long seated
in this country, noted for its patriotism
and fidelity to duty, and for many other ex-
cellent characteristics which have been
transmitted in large degree to its descend-
ants, prominent among whom in the present
generation is Dr. Horn.

The first ancestor of the line here under
consideration was Abram Horn, a resident
of Pennsylvania, who served as captain dur-
ing the Revolutionary War, and' as colonel
of the First Pennsylvania Regiment during
the War of 181 2. Among his children was
Abram Jr., who served as postmaster of
Easton, Pennsylvania, during President
Jackson's administration, also State Sur-
veyor for the Eastern District of Pennsyl-
vania. He married Susan Hay. Among
their children was Melchoir, born in Easton,
in 1783, and married Isabel Trail, and
among their children was Melchoir Hay,
born in Easton, April 9, 1822, died Febru-
ary 28, i8go. He served as colonel of the
Twenty-eighth Regiment of Pennsylvania
Volunteers in the Civil War, filled many
public positions of trust and responsibility,
and was cashier of the Catasauqua National
Bank. He married, October 12, 1845, Ma-
tilda L. Heller, born March i, 1823, daugh-
ter of Jacob Heller, and a descendant of
Christopher Heller, who embarked with his
son, Johan Simon Heller, at Rotterdam, on
the ship "Winter Galley." and arrived at
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 5,
1736. Melchoir and Matilda L. (Heller)
Horn were the parents of the following
children: Susan Butz, born September 15,
1846, married, April 21, 1874, Martin L.



Dreisbach; William H., born December 2, years; as burgess of Coplay, his tenure of

1847; Edward Trail, born June 10, 1850,
married, June 15, 1880, Harriet Chisholm;
Frank Melchoir, born October 16, 1852,
married, January 18, 1882, Elizabeth F.
Williams; Harry Yohe, of whom further;
Isabella Trail, born February 4, 1861, died
February 5, 1882; Charles Robert, born
October 16, 1863, married, June 23, 1886,
Blanche Thomas.

Dr. Harry Y. Horn was born in Cata-
sauqua, Pennsylvania, January 18, 1859.
He attended the schools in the vicinity of
his home, pursued a literary course in Le-
high University, and then matriculated in
Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia,
from which he was graduated with the de-
gree of Doctor of Medicine in the class of
1879. He at once engaged in active prac-
tice at Laury's Station, but after a resi-
dence of one year there removed to Cop-
lay, his present residence. His skill and
ability, combined with his comprehensive
knowledge of his chosen line of work and
the interest he displayed in each and every
case entrusted to his care, soon won for
him the confidence of the people in his
community, and he was rewarded by a lib-
eral patronage which has increased in vol-
ume and importance up to the present time.
He is also acting as surgeon for the Lehigh
Valley Railroad Company, consulting sur-
geon for Allentown Hospital, surgeon for
the Atlas Portland Cement Company, sur-
geon for the Coplay Cement Manufacturing
Company. In addition to these varied duties
he opened a drug store in Coplay in 1900,
which is fully equipped with everything
needful for the preparing of prescriptions,
which are carefully looked after by com-
petent persons, and also carries a large stock
of commodities peculiar to that line of trade.
His prominence as a physician and his high
character as a man led to his appointment
as president of the Coplay National Bank,
in which capacity he is serving at the pres-
ent time (1913) ; to membership on the
school board, where he served for sixteen

this office being noted for efficiency and
capability; and as a member of the com-
mon council. These facts are conclusive
evidence that he has ever taken a keen
interest in the development and progress of
his adopted city, his influence for good
being felt in many channels.

Dr. Horn married (first) in 1881, Annie,
daughter of Peter Heller, of Allentown,
who bore him six children : Matilda H.,
Isabel T., George P., Robert T., Annie H.,
Harry Y. Mrs. Horn died in 1887, and Dr.
Horn married (second) Florence, daughter
of Charles Heller, of Allentown, who bore
him three children : Fannie H., Charles W.,
and Louise F.

PITCAIRN, Alexander,

Man of Affairs, School Official.

There is no finer type of citizen than the
man of sterling business talent and high
moral worth whose activities are all devoted
to the advancement of the best interests of
his community. Such a man was the late
Alexander Pitcairn, for many years a mem-
ber of the well known firm of Smith &
Pitcairn, and officially connected with a
number of industrial and financial institu-
tions. For more than half a century Mr.
Pitcairn was a resident of Pittsburgh, and
aided largely in the promotion of all that
made for her progress and well-being.

Alexander Pitcairn was born August 29,
183 1, in Lowell, Massachusetts, and was the
eldest son of Robert and Jean (Edwards)
Pitcairn whose other children were : Ed-
ward ; and Artemas, deceased, a sketch and
portrait of whom appear elsewhere in this
work. John Pitcairn, of Philadelphia,
chairman of the board of directors of the
Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, is a
cousin. Alexander Pitcairn was educated
in the common schools of his native city,
but in his early manhood felt a desire for
larger opportunities than those afforded by
his circumstances and environment. At the

JV ^^^ueauMt, tf^f,jvy




age of nineteen Mr. Pitcairn came to Pitts-
burgh and entered a tailoring establishment
on Sixth street, where he spent some time
in making himself master of every detail
of the business. He then formed a partner-
ship with William Smith, under the firm
name of Smith & Pitcairn, and for twenty
years conducted a flourishing business. His
remarkable sagacity, clear judgment, un-
wearied energy and unimpeachable integ-
rity rapidly advanced him to a prominent
place in the mercantile circles of the city
and built up for him an enduring and en-
viable reputation. At the end of a score of
years of business activity Mr. Pitcairn
bought out the Excelsior Transfer Com-
pany, afterward the E.xcelsior Express and
Standard Cab Company. He was a direc-
tor and stockholder in the National Trust
Company, and a director in the Columbian
Oil Company. He was also at one time one
of the directors of the Third National Bank.
Unswerving in his devotion to the best
interests of his city, Mr. Pitcairn was ac-
tively identified with every movement
which, in his judgment, tended to further
those ends. A Republican in politics, he
was never an office-seeker, but invariably
gave loyal support to all measures which
he deemed calculated to conserve the inter-
ests of good government. From December
lo, 1872, until February 14, 1888, Mr. Pit-
cairn served continuously on the Pittsburgh
School Board, and was one of the oldest
members in point of service. He was at
one time chairman of the High School Com-
mittee and later president of the Board of
Education. A man of broad vision, aggres-
siveness and foresight, Mr. Pitcairn did a
great work for the city in an educational
way. Serving for years on the Liberty
Sub-district School Board, and foreseeing
the great growth of that section of Pitts-
burgh, he was influential in the board's buy-
ing almost an entire block of land on Ells-
worth avenue and erecting thereon the Lib-
erty School building. Bitterly criticised for

his activity in this, time soon showed the
wisdom of his action, as this building
quickly proved too small and before it was
paid for another had to be erected.

Ever ready to respond to any deserving
call made upon him, such was Mr. Pitcairn's
abhorrence of publicity that the full num-
ber of his benefactions will in all probabil-
ity ever remain unknown. His public spirit
was especially manifest in the pioneer work
which he did in the interests of the city's
fire department, serving as one of the first
fire commissioners. He was quick to notice
signs of unusual qualities of mind or heart
in anyone, and social distinctions were
ignored by him, industry and brains being
the patents to the only aristocracy which he
recognized. He attended the New Jeru-
salem (Swedenborgian) Church.

The personality of Mr. Pitcairn was that
of a man of strong mental endowments,
business capacity of a high order, generous
impulses and a chivalrous sense of honor.
It was said of him, "He was a man who
kept his word absolutely." Himself a true
friend, he possessed the gift of inspiring
loyal friendship in others. A man of cul-
tured tastes, he was a wide reader and an
interesting conversationalist. He was active
in the formation of the Junta Club, a liter-
ary organization composed of a small num-
ber of men, which met at the homes of its
members to discuss the questions of the
day, thus keeping in touch with current
events. His dominant characteristics were
imprinted on his countenance, and his man-
ner and bearing were invariably dignified,
courteous and genial.

Mr. Pitcairn married, April 13, 1854,
Janet, daughter of John and Agnes (Mc-
Ewen) Pitcairn, whose other children were:
Robert, of Pittsburgh, deceased ; John, of
Philadelphia, mentioned above ; Hugh, a
physician, deceased ; and Mrs. M. P.
Starkey, deceased, of Philadelphia. The
father of these children was a noted me-
chanical expert of Johnstone, near Paisley,



Scotland. He and his wife, soon after their
marriage emigrated to the United States,
but later leturned to their native land, re-
maining some years. In 1846, however,
they came again to this country, settling in

Mr. and Mrs. Pitcairn were the parents
of the following children : Edward, treas-
urer of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Com-
pany; Agnes; Helen, wife of S. S. Lind-
say, of Pittsburgh ; and David A., of the
Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. Mrs. Pit-
cairn, a woman of fine fibre and delicate
culture, full of grace and self-possession,
and withal breathing the charm of domes-
ticity, was in all respects fitted to be the
helpmate of a man like her husband, the
ruling motive of whose life was love for
his home and family, and who delighted to
entertain his friends. For a few years they
resided on the North Side, removing, in
1865, to the East End, where they had a
most charming home. Mrs. Pitcairn con-
tinues in her widowhood the charitable
work in which she and her husband were
so long united.

On August 13, 1904, this honorable and
kindly man closed his career of notable use-
fulness and well-earned success. By his
death Pittsburgh lost one of her most in-
fluential citizens and one who had ever
sought for her welfare and prosperity. Un-
ostentatious in all he did, but of unwavering
loyalty to principle, he fulfilled to the letter
every trust committed to him and was gen-
erous in his feelings and conduct toward all.
As an intimate friend expressed it : "He
was a clean, just, honest, fair and manly
man every way you took him."

Some lives there are, so effective and yet
so quiet, that not until their assistance and
support are withdrawn does the community
realize how implicit has been its reliance
upon them and how well-nigh impossible it
will be to fill the vacancy caused by their
removal. Such a life was that of Alexander

KOCH, Harry I.,

Insurance Undern^riter.

One of the best known of the younger
generation of AUentown business men is
Harry I. Koch, foremost among the city's
representatives of real estate and insurance
interests. Since the age of twelve years
Mr. Koch has been a resident of AUentown,

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanEncyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) → online text (page 25 of 58)