John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) online

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after that Matthew Brooke (2nd) and Mat-
thew Brooke (3rd) purchased one of these
tracts and one of the forges and moved
from Limerick to Birdsboro, residing in a
mansion which had been erected by him-
self, and which was situated near where
the present rolling mills stand. It was
torn down in 1875 to make room for addi-
tions to the rolling mills. A year or so
later he, with his brother Thomas and his
brother-in-law, Daniel Buckley, of Phila-
delphia, purchased from the Bird family,
Hopewell Furnace and an estate of 10,000
acres extending from Hopewell to Birds-
boro, a distance of five miles, which had
been built about 1760 by Mark Bird, and
ranks among the first furnaces of the coun-
try. Cannon and shell were made here for
the Revolutionary War. Matthew Brooke
was a man of prominence in his day, giving
both time and counsel to local affairs and
the State. When quite young, he joined the
Continental army, but was soon after taken
prisoner and placed on board a prison ship,
where he was held for some time, finally
being released through an exchange of pris-
oners, but as the war was then drawing to
a close, he never saw any active service.
He represented Philadelphia county in the
Provincial Conference of Pennsylvania,
held at Carpenter's Hall in 1776, and was
one of the committee on removing the pub-
lic stores from Philadelphia when that city
was threatened by the British troops. He
also served on many local committees that
those stirring times demanded. In the
Pennsylvania Archives, vol. iii., there is a
record of his sending as a present to the
Honorable Council of Safety of Philadel-
phia, in the year 1776, two cannon, one a
twelve and the other an eighteen pounder,
the cannon having been made at the Hope-
well Furnace. Mr. Brooke married, in 1S05,
Elizabeth, a daughter of Captain John Louis
Barde, a retired English army officer. Of
their five children: Two daughters died
young, leaving no offspring ; Elizabeth, mar-
ried Hon. Heister Clymer; George, of fur-

^^^ C<^^^-^-3r^


ther mention; Edward, a sketch of whom
also appears in this work. At the death of
Matthew Brooke his sons inherited the prop-
erties, but both being very young, the works
were leased and so run for a number of
years, until the sons were old enough to
take over the management of the business.

Captain John Louis Barde, who was born
in Switzerland, was educated in the Royal
Military Academy at Woolwich, England,
entered the English army, and came to
America with the expedition to operate
against the Spaniards in Florida. A short
time before Matthew Brooke and his son
Matthew made their first purchase, Captain
Barde leased the iron works, of the Birds,
together with certain land which embraced
the old Bird manor house, a very large and
handsome house standing in the midst of a
great park with a sweeping lawn down to
the banks of the Schuylkill river. It was in
all likelihood one of the finest estates that
could be found in Pennsylvania at that date.
The old house is still standing, but the
grounds have all given way to the march of
progress, and it is now in the midst of the
thriving borough of Birdsboro. In 1796
Captain Barde purchased the properties he
had under lease, but a few years later sold
them to his son-in-law, who had by that
time purchased all the other lands of the
Birds, and had thereby, prior to 1800, be-
come the owner of all the extensive Bird
properties and works. Later, the Hopewell
property was divided, Thomas and Daniel
Buckley still retaining the furnace and two-
thirds of the lands, and Matthew Brooke
taking the other third and retiring from the
firm. Captain Barde married Ann Billop,
a daughter of Major Robert Farmar, the
English governor of West Florida, who
came North, sold his commission, and be-
came a citizen of the United States.

(V) George, younger of the two sons of
Matthew and Elizabeth (Barde) Brooke,
was born at Birdsboro. Berks county, Penn-
sylvania, July 26, 1818, passed his long life
at that place, and died January 15, 1912,

lacking but seven years of being a cente-
narian. He was educated in the schools of
Reading, Lititz and West Chester, Pennsyl-
vania, and Burlington, New Jersey, finish-
ing his studies at a private school in Phila-
delphia. He ranked well in English, Latin
and French, but was especially proficient in
mechanics, drawing and mineralogy. Upon
his return to Birdsboro at the close of his
school years he entered the iron manufac-
turing business and in time mastered every
detail. On April i, 1837, he and his brother
Edward succeeded their father in business,
the output of which at that time amounted
to only two hundred tons annually. Under
the firm name of E. & G. Brooke, the
brothers developed a much larger business,
and continued together until the death of
Edward Brooke, December 25, 1878. They
built a large flour mill in 1844, finished it in
1845, enlarged it in 1882, and supplied with
modern machinery a third mill, now occupy-
ing the sites. In 1840 they added a charcoal
furnace in order to use their wood in the
manufacture of pig iron instead of operat-
ing the forges. In 1848 and 1849 ^ rolling
mill and nail factory were added. In 1852
Anthracite Furnace No. i was built, and in
1870 and 1873 two more furnaces were
added, and the capacity of the plant in-
creased from time to time, until the annual
output exceeds 100,000 tons of pig iron,
250.000 kegs of nails, besides much bar and
skelp iron. In the latter '80s a steel plant
was erected at Blast Furnace No. 2 to con-
vert the molten iron into steel to be used
in the manufacture of nails. In connection
with their furnaces, the brothers acquired a
one-half interest in the French Creek, War-
wick and Jones mines, whence the greater
part of their ore is taken, the Wilmington
and Northern railroad connecting the fur-
naces and mines. In 1864 the Brookes, in
association with others, opened the William
Penn Colliery, near Shenandoah, Schuylkill
county, later becoming the sole owners of
these yet vahiable mines. In 1887 these
mines were sold to interests representing



the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. After
the death of Edward Brooke the different
properties were organized into two com-
panies, the E. & G. Brooke Iron Company
and the E. & G. Brooke Land Company,
none of the property changing hands, how-
ever, and George Brooke becoming presi-
dent of both companies.

George Brooke, outside of the above
mentioned affairs, identified himself with
numerous other Berks county interests, and
was also active in public and municipal
affairs. He and his brother were among
the originators of the First National Bank
of Reading, of which George Brooke was
president for many years and until his
death; he was one of the founders of the
Pennsylvania Trust Company of Reading,
of which he was also president ; was a direc-
tor of the Wilmington and Northern Rail-
way Company and the Schuylkill Naviga-
tion Company; treasurer of the Keystone
Coal Company of West Virginia; president
of the Birdsboro Steel Foundry and Ma-
chine Company; the latter moved from
Pottsville to Birdsboro in 1885, having for-
merly been known as the Diamond Drill
and Machine Company. From a small con-
cern it has grown to immense size and is
one of the largest machine shops in East-
ern Pennsylvania, comprising shops, iron
and steel foundries. George Brooke was
also the father of the Birdsboro water sup-
ply system, which consists of large reser-
voirs built in the hills south of the town,
filled with purest water from mountain
streams and borough to the borough through
two large mains. This department of his
business was for its better conduct sepa-
rated from the E. & G. Brooke Iron Com-
pany and transferred to a separate com-
pany, the Birdsboro Water Company.

In 1837 the Brookes opened a store in the
old Bird mansion, soon afterward moving
to a regular store building at the Canal
Lock. In 1875 they erected a fine store
building, which was burned when nearing
completion. It was at once rebuilt, and not

only is a spacious store, but contains the
large auditorium, Brooke Hall, which occu-
pies the third story. George Brooke was
also one of the founders of the Birdsboro
National Bank, served as its president for
a time, and was then succeeded by his son
Edward. He served repeatedly in the bor-
ough council, and for several years was
president of this body. He served also on
the school board, as director of the library,
and was influential in the Episcopal church,
serving as vestryman, and being a pillar of
strength to every legitimate enterprise, re-
ligious, philanthropic or charitable. He was
fond of travel, visited every State in the
Union, and toured Europe. Fond of out-
door life, he was proficient in all kinds of
sports in his early life, and always encour-
aged them. When past his ninetieth year
he was virtually overseer of his vast busi-
ness interests, found time to assist in the
advising of other operations, and main-
tained complete control of the details inci-
dent to the management of his large private

This wonderful nonogenarian was a
courteous, affable, gentleman, a type of the
best American citizenship, active and useful
in every enterprise with which he was con-
nected, and serving his fellowmen while
also promoting his own interest. He was
held in almost reverence in Birdsboro, and
regarded with filial affection by the people
among whom his entire life was spent. Al-
though he had a winter home in Philadel-
phia, where he occasionally passed a few
months, his beautiful mansion overlooking
Birdsboro was seldom unoccupied. He vir-
tually lived in three generations, outlived
the friends of his boyhood, saw many of
the second generation fade and die, and a
third take their places and come to years of
maturity. His was a wonderful life, filled
with varying experiences, but one well spent
and brought to full fruition. The vast in-
terests he created were well founded, and
exist to-day, many of them under the im-
mediate direction of his two capable sons.


George Brooke married, in 1862, Mary
Baldwin Irwin, daughter of John H. Irwin,
and granddaughter of Captain Stephen
Baldwin, a shipowner and merchant of Phil-
adelphia. John H. Irwin was a maternal
grandson of Frederick Augustus Muhlen-
berg, first speaker of the House of Repre-
sentatives. Two sons were born to George
and Mary B. (Irwin) Brooke — Edward
and George.

BROOKE, Edward,

Manufacturer, Financier.

Edward Brooke, son of George and Mary
Baldwin (Irwin) Brooke, was born at
Philadelphia, June 4, 1863. He was edu-
cated at the well-known Brown School, now
called the Delancey. and was also a mem-
ber of the class of 1886 of the University
of Pennsylvania. Subsequently Mr. Brooke
became identified with his father in the iron
and steel business and other interests. He
inherited to a marked degree, business abil-
ity and working ca])acity, and is now the
capable president of the E. & G. Brooke
Iron Company, at Birdsboro; the First Na-
tional Bank, of Birdsboro; the E. & G.
Brooke Land Company, of Birdsboro; the
Pennsylvania Trust Company of Reading.
He is a director in a number of important
industries, including the Birdsboro Steel
Foundry and Machine Company. Birds-
boro ; the Birdsboro Water Company ; Wil-
mington and Northern Railway Company.

Mr. Brooke married, October 12, 1887,
A. Louise Clingan. a daughter of Dr.
Charles M. and Maria T. (Brooke) Clin-
gan, natives of Philadelphia. Children: i.
George, third of the name, born at Birds-
boro, July 7, 1S88; was graduated from the
Delancc}' School in 1908, and from the Uni-
versity of Pennsylvania in 1912. 2. Ed-
ward Jr., born January 10, 1890; was grad-
uated from the Delancey School. 3. Charles,
born January 24, 1892; was graduated from
the Delancey School in 191 1. 4. Mary B.
I., born October 16, 1897; still a student at

the school of Miss Irwin, in Philadelpiiia.
The family still maintains a residence at
Birdsboro, and at Philadelphia, and are
members of the Episcopal church. Mr.
Brooke is a member of the following named
clubs : The Philadelphia Club, Philadelphia
Country Club, and the Philadelphia Four-
in-Hand Club. He is very fond of out-
door sports, has figured prominently in
coaching circles, and maintains a well etjuip-
ped stable of horses and carriages, as well
as his up-to-date garage. As is character-
istic of his family, Mr. Brooke is the em-
bodiment of culture and refinement, and
enjoys the confidence, respect and honor of
his workmen, associates, townsmen and a
large circle of friends. Me also exhibits a
fine artistic temperament and, like his father,
has well developed and practical ideas of
architectural beauty and proportion, as ex-
emplified in the new addition to his house
at Birdsboro, which he planned and super-
vised personally, working out the details
with an economy of space and exhibition of
practical skill that would do credit to the
experienced builder.

Charles M. Clingan. M. D., father of Mrs.
Edward Brooke, was born in Chester coun-
ty, Pennsylvania, March 18, 1820. His
father, William Clingan, was the owner of
Laurel Iron Works, Chester county, Penn-
sylvania, where he died before reaching his
thirtieth year. His grandfather, William
Clingan, was a native of Ireland, ami came
to this country in order to establish a mer-
cantile business which, combined with agri-
cultural pursuits, he carried on in the south-
ern portion of Chester county. He, with
Robert Morris. Daniel Roberdcan, I. Bay-
ard Smith and Joseph Reed, represented
Pennsylvania in the framing of the Articles
of Confederation and Perpetual Union be-
tween the States, which were ratified at
Philadelphia on July 22. 1778. His grand-
mother was a granddaughter of Colonel
Thomas Bull, of Revolutionary fame. After
the completion of a preparatory course. Dr.
Clingan began the study of medicine, being


graduated from the Jefferson Medical Col-
lege, in Philadelphia, in 1840. He followed
his profession in Chester county four years,
but finding an active business life more to
his taste, abandoned medical practice in
order to embark in the manufacture of iron
at Rock Furnace, Lancaster county, Penn-
sylvania. He was married, March 14, 1843,
by Rev. Levi Bull, rector of St. Mary's
Church, Warwick, Pennsylvania, to Maria
T., daughter of Clement Brooke, of Hope-
well Furnace. Of their eight children but
one is now living. Of the other children,
Charles B. died October 4, 1903, A. Hunter
died March 10, 1905, and Anne Louise, now
the wife of Edward Brooke. After his
marriage Dr. Clingan assumed charge of the
Hopewell Furnace, which was the property
of his father-in-law. He also, until his
death, devoted much time to the manage-
ment of the Hopewell estate, comprising
5,000 acres of land situated in the southern
portion of Berks county and the northern
portion of Chester county. In 1859 he re-
moved to Philadelphia and became engaged
in the mercantile and banking business. He
was a prominent member of the Commercial
Exchange, and president of the Keystone
National Bank. On March 27, 1875, Dr.
Clingan was stricken with a sudden and
fatal illness. His widow, Maria T. Brooke,
died May 17, 1904.

BROOKE, George, Jr.,

Manufacturer, Financier.

George Brooke Jr., younger son of George
and MzTy Baldwin (Irwin) Brooke, has
from boyhood been familiar and from early
manhood connected with the important
Brooke iron and steel interests, located at
and around Birdsboro, Berks county, Penn-
sylvania. His great-grandfather, Matthew
Brooke, was the pioneer in this family to
engage in iron manufacture there, his busi-
ness being developed by his grandsons, Ed-
ward and George, as told elsewhere, and still
further developed and expanded by George

Brooke, the first, and when he died, in his
ninety-third year, he was succeeded by his
son, George, the second of the name, at
which time the business had so increased
in magnitude, that it had been divided into
two corporations — the E. & G. Brooke Iron
Company, and the E. & G. Brooke Land
Company, owning steel plants, mines, ma-
chine shops, machine building mills, fac-
tories, holding large interests in banks, etc.
To this business George Brooke Jr. came, a
young college graduate, beginning in the
mills, passing through the office department,
and rising to the presidency of some of the
adjunct companies prior to the death of his
father, whom he succeeded. There is that
in the Brooke blood which makes for com-
petency, and the career of the George
Brooke of this sketch is but another exempli-
fication of the fact.

George Brooke was born in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, obtaining his education in
private schools and preparing therein for
college. He entered the University of
Pennsylvania, and after a thorough course
was graduated with the degree of Bachelor
of Philosophy. From the University he
accepted a position with the E. & G. Brooke
Iron Company at Birdsboro, first working
in the rolling mills and mastering the de-
tails of the business from that angle. He
then passed to the offices, and was in time
elected secretary of the company, and later
a director. Prior to the death of his honored
father, his sons had taken much of the
burden from the latter's shoulders, George
Brooke, the second, being president of the
Birdsboro Electric Company, director of the
Pennsylvania Trust Company, director of
the Farmers' National Bank (both of Read-
ing, Pennsylvania), director and acting vice-
president of the First National Bank of
Reading, vice-president of the First Na-
tional Bank of Birdsboro (his brother Ed-
ward being president), secretary of the E.
& G. Brooke Iron Company. After the
death of his father, he and his brother suc-
ceeded him in many of his official positions,

^cM^ LI'lJZ^



George Brooke becoming president of tlie
First National Bank of Reading.

Mr. Brooke is a thoroughly capable man
of affairs, and administers the trusts re-
posed in him wisely. He manifests the same
lively regard for the welfare of Birdsboro
and her interests that has ever distinguished
his family, has for fifteen years served as
a member of the borough council, makes
that town his permanent home, although
maintaining a fine town residence in Phila-
delphia. He is a Republican in political
opinion, and has served on the staff of Gov-
ernor Stewart, with the rank of lieutenant-
colonel. He is an extensive traveler, has
toured Europe several times, and has visited
all parts of his native country. He is a
member of the Sons of the Revolution, the
Society of Colonial Wars, and the Episcopal
church. Fond of all outdoor sports, he be-
longs to the Wyonessing Club of Reading;
Berkshire Country Club ; and in Philadel-
phia, to the Philadelphia Club, the Ritten-
house Racquet Club and the Philadelphia
Country Club.

URE, Walter,

Physician and Surgeon.

.\mong the prominent physicians of the
"Iron City" is Dr. Walter Ure. Dr. Ure,
who is a native of Scotland, his ancestors
being people of sterling character and high
repute in Scottish annals, has been a resi-
dent of Pittsburgh for many years.

Dr. Ure's paternal grandfather, Walter
Ure, of Belfron, Scotland, was a farmer
of prominence in his day and a member of
the Presbyterian church. He had four sons :
James, Robert, Alexander and John. Alex-
ander became a leading lawyer in Glasgow,
where he married and reared two children.
His daughter Isabella became wife of John
Elder, a prominent marine engineer, mem-
ber of the great ship building firm of Ran-
dolph & Elder, on the river Clyde. During
his life John Elder amassed great wealth,
ail of which was given to charity, his wife

carrying on his philanthropic work after
his death.

Robert Ure, son of Walter Ure, was born
in Scotland and lived there until past mid-
dle age. In 1838, accompanied by his wife
and children, he emigrated to America, locat-
ing in Columbus, Ohio. A short time after-
ward he removed to Springfield, Ohio, and
thence in 1841 to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
where he remained until his death in 1849,
at the age of seventy-three years. His wife,
whose maiden name was Jane Mickleham,
died in 1855. Both were deeply religious
and members of the Associated Presbyterian
church, bringing up their family of six sons
and two daughters in the same faith. Among
their children were: James, of Denver,
Colorado ; William, of Omaha, Xebraska ;
Walter (see forward) : Rev. David M., de-

Dr. Walter Ure, son of Robert and Jane
(Mickleham) Ure, was born September 5,
1832, in Stirlingshire, Scotland He was a
lad of six years when he crossed the At-
lantic with his parents. He subsequently
obtained his early education in the public
schools of Ohio and Iowa, also receiving
instruction from an older sister. In the fall
of 1855 he entered Miami University, from
which he was graduated in 1859. Coming
then to Allegheny City (now the N'orth-
side, Pittsburgh), he studied theology and
medicine until the breaking out of the Civil
War, when he was made assistant surgeon
of United States Volunteers, a special rank
to which he was appointed by President
Lincoln, his appointment being confirmed
by the Senate. After serving in the army
he completed his medical studies at the
School of Physicians and Surgeons in \ew
York City. Since that time Dr. Ure has
been actively and successfully engaged in
the practice of his profession in Pittsburgh,
where he has gained a wide reputation for
skill and built up an extensive patronage.
In politics he is an ardent Republican, and
while he has never allowed himself to ac-
cept office, his opinions are often asked in



matters political. He has never sought nor
looked after popularity, but anyone who has
met him in social life can bear testimony
to the charm and affability of the man, and
anyone who has ever sat at his hospitable
board would pronounce him the incompara-
ble host. A man of much force of character
and strong individuality, his pleasant, social
manner has won him a host of warm friends.

Dr. Ure married, March 15, 1887, Miss
Margaret Grove, daughter of Frederick and
Mary (Ray) Grove. Children of Dr. and
Mrs. Ure : Mary Ray ; Frances ; David M.,
deceased ; Catherine Hukill, deceased ; Wal-
ter, deceased ; Elwood, deceased. The fam-
ily are very popular in social and religious
circles of the city, Mrs. Ure and Miss Mary
Ray Ure being members of the Tourists'
Literary and Musical Club of Pittsburgh
and of the Tuesday Musical Club of Pitts-
burgh. The family are members of the
Fourth United Presbyterian Church.

A man of domestic tastes, Dr. Ure has
been looked upon as one of the sterling citi-
zens of Pittsburgh, who in every relation
of life has stood as an upright, honorable
man, advocating progressive interests, with
a ready recognition of one's duties and ob-
ligations to their fellows. His life has been
crowned with merited success, its record
being well worth preserving, and in it the
coming generation will find much for in-
struction and improvement.

GREEN, Henry D.,

Laviryer, Congressman, Jonrnalist.

The record of this branch of the Green
family in Berks county is one of continuous
public service and' usefulness from the ar-
rival of the Quaker ancestor, William
Green, from Ireland, in 1760, to his great-
great-grandson, Henry D. Green, of Read-
ing — lawyer, representative. State Sen^-tor,
Congressman, soldier, publisher, and man
of affairs.

William Green, the American founder of
the family, a member of the Society of

Friends, came from county Cork, Ireland,
in 1760, at the age of eighteen years, set-
tling in Maxatawney township, Berks
county, Pennsylvania, there conducting' a
large mercantile business. In 1779 he
located in Reading, and was its burgess in
1788 and its assessor in 1792, a merchant
in 1808, and died in 1828. He married
twice, and raised a large family, members of
which in each generation have attained a
high position in public and business life.

William Green (2nd), son of William
Green, the founder, was born in Maiden-
creek township, Berks county, in 1777, and
located at Orwigsburg, then Berks (now
Schuylkill) county. He was the first sheriff
of that county, and assumed office in 181 1.
In 1799 he married Elizabeth Shomo, and

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanEncyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) → online text (page 47 of 58)