John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

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had issue. He moved to Reading about
1813, and carried on a large mercantile
business there.

John Green, son of William Green (2nd),
was born in Manheim township, Schuylkill
county, in 1800, and came to Reading with
his father. He became a leading merchant ;
was for years leader of the Democratic
party for Berks county, and held the offices
of register of wills and recorder of deeds.
He married Catharine Bright, and left six
sons and two daughters. David Green, a
son, for thirty years was judge of the courts
of Schuylkill county. George W. Green, a
son, left for the Civil War with the first
defenders, and died as a captain in the
regular army in 1866, with three Con-
gressional brevets — to captain and major
for bravery in the field, and to lieutenant-
colonel for general bravery. Erastus Green
was United States marshal at St. Louis,
and all three were educated at Yale. Na-
thaniel Green, a son, graduated at Annap-
olis, and died as a lieutenant-commander in
the L'nited States Navy, having served in
the entire Civil War.

Albert G. Green, eldest son of John
Green, was born in Reading, December 6,
1828. He graduated at Yale with the class
of '49, and was a leading lawyer for over



half a century at the Berks county bar, to
which he was admitted November ii, 1851.
He was a gentleman in the best sense of the
word, and true to the strictest code of pro-
fessional honor. In 1898 he was active in
organizing the Historical Society of Berks
County, and was elected its president, which
position he held at the time of his death.
In 1856 he married Rebecca, daughter of
William P. Dickinson, and left three sons —
Henry D., Herbert R., and George W. ; ana
four daughters — Ella E., Elizabeth D.,
Anna B., and Julia R.

Henry D. Green, eldest son of Albert G.
Green, was born at Reading, May 3, 1857.
He graduated in 1872 at the Reading High
School, and at Yale with the class of '■]■],
with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. No-
vember 10, 1879, he was admitted to the
Berks county bar; in 1880 to the Superior
Court of Pennsylvania; and in 1900 to the
United States Supreme Court. In 1882 he
began his public career as legislator, repre-
senting the city of Reading in the sessions
of 1883 and 1885. He became State Sena-
tor in 1888, and held that position for eight
years, being reelected in 1892 with a major-
ity of 8,454. He served as captain of Com-
pany G, Ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers, in
the war with Spain, until mustered out at
the expiration of the service. In 1899 he
was elected to Congress from the Berks-
Lehigh District, and reelected in 1901, serv-
ing during the sessions of the Fifty-sixth
and Fifty-seventh Congresses. His record
of service rendered his party in the Legis-
lature and Congress is shown by the posi-
tions he held. He was three times chosen
candidate for president pro tern of the Sen-
ate ; chairman of the Inauguration Com-
mittee at Governor Patterson's last inaugu-
ration ; member representing Pennsylvania
in the Democratic Congressional Commit-
tee; delegate to the National Convention at
Kansas City; and repeatedly delegate and
officer at State, county and municipal con-
ventions ; president of the Americus Club ;

city chairman, and county district repre-

The tangible benefits accruing to Berks
county are in daily evidence, and Mr. Green
is credited with much that Berks county en-
joys from the building up and location of
public institutions within its borders. He
was the leading factor in securing in 1883
an appropriation of $30,000 from the State
for the erection of the Reading Hospital,
and frequent appropriations adding to its
buildings, equipment and maintenance; also
appropriations through which the Homoeo-
pathic Hospital reached its high position.
The Hospital for the Chronic Insane at
Wernersville was located there mainly
through his efforts. The Orphans' Court of
Berks County, which was the only county
under 150,000 population which was given
by the Legislature an Orphans' Court, is due
to his aggressive work. Tlie Keystone Nor-
mal School at Kutztown, through appropria-
tions obtained, was enlarged, added to, and
made one of the best educational institutions
in the State. He led the successful fight
which gave to that institution an equal divi-
sion of the maintenance funds appropriated
by the State. He successfully conducted
the fight by which cities of the third class
obtained their extensive charter rights.
While in Congress he secured the appro-
priation which built the .Allentown post-

After the war with Spain he was active
in organizing the United Spanish War Vet-
erans' organization, was the first depart-
ment commander of Pennsylvania, and is
president of the Spanish War Veterans'
Home Association at Reading. After the
expiration of his Congressional term in
1903, with his brother Herbert, he formed
the Reading Telegram Publishing Company,
purchased the evening daily "Reading Tele-
gram," and carried on that newspaper for
ten years. During this time he was presi-
dent of the company, and its member in the
Associated Press Association. These two



brothers added the "Reading Times," and
started the publication of that newspaper as
a morning daily in connection with "The
Telegram."' The entire newspaper situa-
tion in Reading was changed through the
aggressive work they did upon these news-
papers. From 1903 to 1913 Reading news-
papers changed from being the poorest
newspapers in the State to their present
position among its best dailies.

Mr. Green was one of the organizers and
president of the Reading Real Estate Ex-
change, to which position after his election
to Congress he was succeeded by his brother,
Herbert R., who is the present manager of
that corporation. This corporation has
added largely to the number of Reading
homes, and promoted real estate operations
of benefit to the city.

Mr. Green is a member of the University
and Pen and Pencil clubs of Philadelphia;
the Wyomissing, University and Press clubs
of Reading, and is president of the Penn-
sylvania Federation of Social Organiza-
tions. During his whole life he has re-
mained an active member of the Berks
county bar, and is now an active practi-
tioner. He was never married.

PLUMER, Lewis M.,

Iiawyer, Man of Affairs.

Pittsburgh's supremacy among the steel
cities of the world is based primarily upon
her superior brain-power, not upon her
muscle or her coal, and the great reservoir
of that brain-power has always been found
in the strength of her bench and bar. Promi-
nent among the counsellors whose learning
and ability now so ably maintain the prestige
of the legal profession in the Iron City is
Lewis Mytinger Plumer, officially and in-
fluentially identified with a number of lead-
ing industrial concerns and financial institu-
tions. Mr. Plumer is a representative of
an ancient family of New England a branch
of which was transplanted about the middle
of the eighteenth century to the province of

William Penn. The name which for nearly
three hundred years has been interwoven
with the history of Massachusetts, has also
for generations been incorporated with the
annals of Pennsylvania. The family of
Plumer is of English origin, and of ancient
renown, dating from the period of the
Barons' War. Many of the name were
early in England and also in Scotland and
it has been observed that their American
descendants show marked Scotch character-
istics. Arms: Per chevron fleury, counter-
fleury, gules and argent three martlets,
countercharged. Crest : A demi-lion, gules,
his paw holding a garb, or. Motto : Com-
siUto et audactcr.

Francis Plumer, founder of the American
branch of the family, was born probably in
Berkshire, England, although some author-
ities have said that he was a native of Wales.
He arrived in New England with a com-
pany from Newbury, Berkshire, and took
the freeman's oath in Boston, May 14, 1634,
having reached the colony the year before.
His occupation was that of a linen weaver.
In 1635 he was one of those who founded a
settlement at Quascacuenquen, changing the
name to Newbury, in memory of the town
on the other side of the sea. Francis Plumer
,.was one of the original trustees of the place,
and there acquired a large farm which was
owned and cultivated by his descendants
for more than two hundred years. He mar-
ried (first) in England, Ruth , and

they were the parents of two sons and two
daughters, the second son, Joseph, being
mentioned below. Ruth Plumer died July
17 or August 18, 1647, and Francis Plumer
married (second) March 21 or 31, 1648,
the Widow Ann Palmer, who died October
18, 1665. He married (third) November
27 or 29, 1666, the Widow Beatrice Cantle-
berry, of Salem, Massachusetts. Francis
Plumer died January 17, 1673. His de-
scendants are to be found in nearly every
State in the Union and even in Canada.
Many of them have been people of promi-
nence, and no fewer than five have been



members of Congress. They were among
the early settlers of Pennsylvania, and the
family in that State has always been note-
worthy for the possession of the attributes
and characteristics of the New England
stock to which it belongs. The Pennsyl-
vania branch has given to the country some
of the most distinguished bearers of the
name of Plumer, and especially several rep-
resentatives in Congress.

(II) Joseph, son of Francis and Ruth
Plumer, was born in 1630, in England, and
lived upon the south side of the Parker
river, in the town of Newbury. In 1670
he was a freeman. He married, December
23, 1652, Sarah, daughter of John Cheney,
of Rowley, Massachusetts, and of the eight
children born to them, Jonathan is men-
tioned below. Joseph Plumer died Decem-
ber II, 1683.

(III) Jonathan, son of Joseph and Sarah
(Cheney) Plumer, was born May 13, 1668,
and remained a resident of Newbury. He
married, June 10, 1696, Sarah, daughter of
John Pearson, of Rowley, and they had six
children, of whom John is mentioned below.
The death of Jonathan Plumer occurred
September 27, 1726.

(IV) John, son of Jonathan and Sarah
(Pearson) Plumer, was born March 25,
1697, in Newbury, and married, January
30, 1722, Rebecca Wheeler. Of their four
children, Jonathan is mentioned below.

(V) Jonathan, son of John and Rebecca
(Wheeler) Plumer, was born April 13,
1724, in Newbury, and remained a resident
of his native place until after the death of
his first wife when his affliction impelled
him to seek relief in a change of scene. Ac-
cordingly, he removed, with his children, to
Pennsylvania, settling there and becoming a
man of prominence and standing. In 1755
he acted as a commissary in Braddock's ex-
pedition against Fort Duquesne, afterward
settling in or near Oldtown, Maryland, and
in 1758 serving in the army under General
Forbes. He was present with that com-
mander's force when the English took pos-

se.ssion of Fort Duquesne, changing its name
to Pittsburgh. Shortly after this. Colonel
George Croghan obtained a grant from the
Indians of fifteen hundred acres on the
southeast side of the Allegheny river, ex-
tending from Two Mile Run to the Nar-
rows. Jonathan Plumer, becoming inter-
ested in this tract, removed there in 1761,
building a cabin "by permission of Colonel
Henry Bouquet," and improving the pro])-
erty in various ways. He afterward sold
his land to Colonel Croghan. Jonathan
Plumer married (first) June 6, 1744, Me-
hitable Herriman, and of the three sons
born to them Nathaniel is mentioned below.
Mehitable (Herriman) Plumer died in New-
bury, in 1749 or 1750, and in 1754 Jonathan
Plumer married (second) .Anna Farrell, be-
coming by this union the father of four

(\T) Nathaniel, son of Jonathan and
Mehitable (Herriman) Plumer, was born
in 1745, in Newbury, and married in Penn-
sylvania, his son Samuel being mentioned
below. In 1789 Nathaniel Plumer settled
on four hundred acres of land of which he
had become by purchase the owner, the tract
comprising part of the site of Mount Wash-
ington, afterward one of the wards of Pitts-
burgh, on the south side of the Mononga-
hela river.

(VII) Samuel, son of Nathaniel Plumer,
was born October 6, 1772, and in 1800 set-
tled in Jackson township, Venango county,
Pennsylvania, but in 1810 returned to Alle-
gheny county, where he passed the remain-
der of his life. He married, February 4,
1796, Patty, daughter of Captain Benjamin
and Mary (Harriman) Adams, of Wash-
ington county. Pennsylvania. Captain
.\dams belonged to one of the oldest fam-
ilies of Massachusetts, served as a soldier
during the Revolutionary War, and was a
member of the Legislature of his native
State. In 1790 he removed to Pennsyl-
vania. Samuel Plumer and his wife were
the parents of seven children, of whom
Arnold is mentioned below. The death of



Samuel Plumer occurred October 31, 1820.
His widow removed with her family to
Franklin, Venango county, where she died
October 2, 1847.

(VIII) Arnold, son of Samuel and Patty
(Adams) Plumer, was born June 5, 1801,
in Jackson township, Venango county, Penn-
sylvania, one of the first children of Cau-
casian parentage ushered into life in that
vicinity, and destined to become its most
distinguished citizen. The fact that his
mother was a remarkable woman is best
conveyed in the statement that her son is
said to have received from her his best in-
struction. Early in life he evinced an active
interest in politics, allying himself with the
Democratic party, and becoming a leader
of the organization in his native county.
Four months after reaching his twenty-
second year he was elected sheriff of Ve-
nango county, acquitting himself so credit-
ably in that capacity that on January 30,
1830, he was appointed by Governor Wolf
prothonotary and clerk of the courts, regis-
ter and recorder, which combination of
offices he held for the next six years. In
1836 Mr. Plumer was elected a member of
the Twenty-fifth United States Congress,
representing the district composed of Craw-
ford, Erie, Warren and Venango counties.
On May 20, 1839, he was named by Presi-
dent Van Buren as United States Marshal
for the Western District of Pennsylvania,
filling that office until May 6, 1841. In
October, 1840, he was elected to the Twen-
ty-seventh Congress, and on December 14,

1847, was again appointed United States
Marshal for the same district. On April 3,

1848, he resigned in order to accept the
State Treasurership. At the expiration of
his term he retired from public life, though
never ceasing to take a keen interest in
politics. The record of his services forms
part of the annals of his State and Nation.
In 1855 Mr. Plumer, as a warm personal
friend of James Buchanan, was entreated,
by other friends of that statesman, to ac-
cept the nomination for Canal Commis-

sioner, in order to harmonize the Demo-
cratic party after its defeat the preceding
year. It was then a political maxim that
"as Pennsylvania goes, so goes the Union,"
and, as Mr. Plumer was regarded as the
strongest possible nominee, his candidacy
was desirable to establish Democratic su-
premacy previous to Mr. Buchanan's nomi-
nation for the presidency the following
year. Accordingly, he made a personal can-
vass, winning an election in the Buchanan
interest. He was offered the place of Post-
master-General in President Buchanan's
Cabinet, but declined on account of ill

During his twenty years of private life
Mr. Plumer accumulated, by his remarkable
foresight and business acumen, the largest
fortune ever before acquired by any one
resident of Venango county. He was one
of those who regard wealth as a trust, and
actively aided a number of institutions by
his influence and means, while his private
charities were both numerous and compre-
hensive. In all movements which meditated
the moral improvement and social culture
of the community he was deeply interested.
The qualities which made Mr. Plumer a
leader among men were his intuition, his
courage, his self-reliance and, above all
his fidelity to his word. When he had said
he would do a thing, he did it. Loyal to
obligation, firm in principle, rock-bound in
his convictions, he possessed the implicit
confidence of the public. Of tall stature
and majestic appearance, dignified in bear-
ing, and possessing to a striking extent the
courtesy of the old school, his presence in
any assembly attracted general attention.
As a public speaker he practiced none of the
arts of oratory, talking simply, earnestly
and directly to the point, but in language so
forcible and aggressive and, above all, con-
vincing, that his services on the platform
were in great demand.

Mr. Plumer married, February 6, 1827,
Margaret, daughter of George McClelland,
of Franklin, Pennsylvania, and they were


%J &



the parents of six children, among whom
was Samuel, mentioned below. Devoted in
his family relations, Mr. Plumer ever found
his home a refuge from the strenuous duties
and engrossing cares of public hfe and one
of his chief pleasures was the exercise of
hospitality. On April 28, 1869, this man, so
nobly planned and so true to every trust,
passed away at his home in Franklin. His
death removed from the community a true
patriot and a model citizen and all classes
of society united in sincere mourning.

(IX) Samuel, son of Arnold and Mar-
garet (McClelland) Plumer, was born April
2, 1830, in Franklin, Pennsylvania, and re-
ceived his rudimentary education in the
schools of his native town, afterward taking
a two years' course in the academy at
Jamestown, New York, and then entering
Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania,
where he studied two years more. He read
Taw under the guidance of Judge Alexander
McCalmont, and on July 7, 1852, was ad-
mitted to the bar. He immediately began
practice, forming a partnership with Edwin
C. Wilson and maintaining the connection
during the ensuing three years. In the
autumn of 1855, Mr. Plumer removed to
Minnesota, where he practiced his profes-
sion until the spring of 1857, when he was
appointed by President Buchanan as Regis-
ter of the Land Office for Southern Minne-
sota. In this capacity he served most credit-
ably until the beginning of the Lincoln ad-
ministration, returning then to Franklin,
where he associated himself in the practice
of law with James K. Kerr. His thorough
equipment, profound and comprehensive
learning and great innate ability, caused
Mr. Plumer to be recognized as an acknowl-
edged leader of the local bar, and he was
soon surrounded by an extended and impor-
tant clientele.

Until the death of his father, Mr. Plumer
continued active in his profession, but being
then elected president of the First National
Bank of Franklin, he thenceforth devoted
his attention to the affairs of that institu-

tion, taking an influential part in the pro-
motion of its interests. His talents as a
financier were of a high order and his exec-
utive force was of the greatest service in the
development of the important enterprise of
which he was the head. .As a true citizen,
Mr. Plumer ever accorded to every move-
ment tending to promote the general welfare
his ready support and hearty cooperation.
Always steadfastly arihering to the princi-
ples of the Democratic party, he was a vigi-
lant and attentive observer of men and
measures, and possessed to a remarkable
degree the ability to read "the signs of the
times." No good work done in the name
of charity or religion appealed to him in
vain. In combination with strong mental
endowments, Mr. Plumer possessed gener-
ous impulses and a chivalrous sense of
honor. He was a man whom it was a de-
light to know. His very presence conveyed
the impression of those sterling qualities of
manhood which were so strikingly mani-
fested throughout his career and a genial
nature which recognized and appreciated
the good in others surrounded him with de-
voted friends. His countenance and bear-
ing showed him to be what he was — a true
and kindly gentleman and an upright, cour-
ageous man.

Mr. Plumer married ( Mary My-
tinger, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and
they were the parents of two sons: Lewis
Mytinger, mentioned below ; and Arnold
Gilmore, deceased. Mrs. Plumer died Au-
gust 21, 1878, and Mr. Plumer married
(second) in November. 1879, Eleanor Ros-
ier, of Philadelphia.

Mr. Plumer was a man of strong domestic
tastes and affections, passing his happiest
hours in the home circle, and all who were
ever privileged to be his guests could testify
that he was an incomparable host. The
death of Mr. Plumer, which occurred Octo-
ber 8, 1902, deprived the community of a
man of e.xceptional ability, great courage
and unswerving loyalty. Respected by all.
he was loved by many, and those who were


admitted to his intimacy felt that in losing
him they had lost a part of themselves and
that life could never again be as complete
as it had been. The resolutions adopted by
the Venango County Bar Association were
strongly expressive of the high esteem in
which he was held, the following extracts
being especially significant :

Samuel Plumer, the seventh in descent from
two New England families who landed upon the
shores of Massachusetts early in the seventeenth
century, the fifth in descent from the first of his
race to settle in Pennsylvania, and the third from
the pioneer of his name in Venango county, was
an American in the truest and broadest sense.
He inherited the personal quaHties and principles
which have made America great, and cultivated
that veneration for the Constitution of his coun-
try and for the laws made in pursuance thereof
without the general prevalence of which Amer-
ican citizenship will be but a name and American
greatness cannot endure.

(X) Lewis Mytinger Plumer, son of
Samuel and Mary (Mytinger) Plumer, was
born August 31, 1853, in Franklin, Venango
county, Pennsylvania, and received his edu-
cation at Trinity College, Hartford, Con-
necticut, graduating with the degree of
Bachelor of Arts and later receiving that
of Master of Arts. Having an inherited
taste for the law, he took up the study of
that profession, and in September, 1876,
was admitted to the bar. Entering at once,
in Pittsburgh, upon a career of active prac-
tice, Mr. Plumer has ever since been con-
tinuously .engaged in the duties of his pro-
fession. He is one of the most prominent
attorneys in Pittsburgh, and has established
an enviable reputation as a lawyer of broad
legal knowledge, administrative ability,
acquaintance with the afifairs of the day and,
above all, the courage of his convictions.

Not content with a legal business which
would satisfy the ambition of most men,
Mr. Plumer is actively associated with a
variety of interests. As director and attor-
ney of the Pittsburgh Bank for Savings, he
has for many years been identified with

banking, and in 1906 he was elected vice-
president of that institution, an office which
he still retains. In all things pertaining to
the welfare and advancement of Pittsburgh,
Mr. Plumer has ever taken a public-spirited
interest. Politically he is a Republican, and,
while he has never consented to hold office,
has rendered loyal and influential support
to all measures which, in his judgment,
tended to promote good government and
further the cause of municipal reform. He
belongs to the Duquesne, Country, Univer-
sity and Union clubs, and to the Pittsburgh
Athletic Association, and is a member of
the Protestant Episcopal church.

The character and career of Mr. Plumer
furnish striking evidence of a noble ances-
try. Of strongly marked characteristics,
great vigor of intellect and unusual breadth
of view, he is thoroughly a man of affairs.
Gentle and courteous, yet firm, courage-
ous and honest, he possesses peculiar apti-
tude for matters requiring executive and
diplomatic talent. Of fine appearance, his
patrician features accentuated by snowy
hair and moustache, his keen but kindly
eyes flashing at the beholder through glasses,
the predominant impression conveyed by his
personality is that of dignity and force.
Genial and companionable, he is endowed
with the capacity for feeling and inspiring
ardent and enduring friendship.

Mr. Plumer married (first) Clara M.,
daughter of Alexander and Elizabeth
(Stewart) Bradley, of Pittsburgh, and they

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanEncyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) → online text (page 48 of 58)