John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) online

. (page 55 of 58)
Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanEncyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) → online text (page 55 of 58)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

scendant in the eighth generation from John
Brock who preceded William Penn in Penn-
sylvania, coming from the county of Ches-
ter, England. John Brock was one of the
most prominent men of his day, filled vari-
ous public offices, and was a member of the
Society of Friends. His descendants con-
fined themselves to agricultural life until
the fifth generation, when the family entered
upon broader fields.

John Brock, great-great-grandson of the
immigrant, born in Bucks county, Pennsyl-
vania, January 24, 1792, on arriving at man-
hood, engaged in a mercantile business in
Doylestown, the county seat, remaining
until 1818, when he removed to Philadel-
phia and founded the firm of John Brock
Sons & Company, one of the largest whole-
sale grocery houses in the city, was one of
the earliest purchasers of coal lands in
Schuylkill county, and one of the promoters
of the North Pennsylvania railroad. He
was a lieutenant of State troops during the
War of 1812-14. His sons, George E., Wil-
liam Penn and Charles, were associated with
him in business. Another son, Richard
Stockton Brock, was a member of the bank-
ing firm of W. H. Newbold's Sons & Com-

John Penn Brock, third son of John
Brock, was a lawyer. During the Mexican
War he served as a second lieutenant in the
Eleventh Regiment United States Infantry.
He married Julia Watts, who came from a
family having a distinguished Revolution-
ary War record. His son,

Horace Brock was born in Philadelphia,
April 15, 1854, and was educated at the
school of Dr. Faires, and in other high class
private institutions. In association with his
brother, Arthur Brock, he engaged in the

iron business at the Lebanon furnaces, and
became interested in other financial and busi-
ness enterprises, among which was the First
National Bank of Lebanon, where he re-
sided for some years. His home is now in
Philadelphia. He married Deborah Norris,
daughter of Hon. George Dawson and Deb-
orah (Brown) Coleman, of Lebanon.

John Penn Brock, only son of Horace and
Deborah Norris (Coleman) Brock, was
born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, September
23, 1879. He was educated at Yale Univer-
sity, from which he was graduated with the
class of 1900, the year in which he attained
his majority. He early became connected
with the iron and steel industry. He is
highly regarded throughout the country
among iron and steel operators, and is vice-
president of the American Iron and Steel
Manufacturing Company.

Mr. Brock married Pauline Biddle, of
Philadelphia, and they have three children
— Anna Biddle Brock, born August 21,
1906; Horace Brock Jr., September 12,
1908 ; Deborah Norris Brock, November 30,

HAWLEY, Jesse G.,

Accomplislied Journalist.

No eulogy of Jesse G. Hawley can too
forcibly proclaim his merits, though none is
needed in the city of Reading, his monu-
ment being the newspaper he founded, and
his eulogy every issue of the "Daily Eagle,"
published since January 28, 1868. To his
fellow townsmen and his brethren of the
newspaper world he was well known and
held in high esteem. To the people of his
State, this review of his career will be of
interest, as the establishment of "The Eagle"
marked an era, and its founder was a splen-
did example of the power a good man can
exert through his life and influence.

Jesse G. Hawley was born at Pughtown,
Chester county, Pennsylvania, August 8,
1839, and died in Reading, April 19, 1903.
He was a son of Jesse and Esther Trimble




(Meredith) Hawley, his ancestors being
early settlers of Eastern Pennsylvania. He
began his education under the instruction of
his maternal uncle, James M. Meredith, a
teacher in the South Coventry public
schools. He continued his studies at Green-
wood Dell Boarding School, in West Brad-
ford township, Jonathan Cause being the
principal. Later he attended Millersville
State Normal School, then entered the Na-
tional Law School at Poughkeepsie, New
York, having determined upon the law as
his profession. His studies there were inter-
rupted, and for a time he taught school, a
vocation that has often been used by suc-
cessful men. He taught in Amity township
for a time, but continued his legal studies.
In 1859 he made his appearance in Reading
as a law student in the office of Major Sam-
uel L. Young. Completing his legal prepara-
tion, he was admitted to the Berks county
bar in September, i860, and practiced his
profession in Reading four years, taking
rank as a strong and forcible advocate, and
winning notable victories in jury trials.

But the law was not his true profession,
he realizing that journalism offered a more
congenial career. He formed a partnership
with William S. Ritter (now deceased) on
April I, 1864, and purchased of Charles
Kessler the "Readinger Adler," the oldest
German newspaper in the United States,
and the organ of the Democracy of Berks
county. For four years this paper was con-
tinued on the old hues, when Mr. Hawley
determined upon entering a wider field of
journalism. On January 28, 1868, the part-
ners launched the "Reading Daily Eagle," a
paper marking the transition period in
Berks county between the day of the Ger-
man newspaper and its successor, the Eng-
lish daily. "The Eagle" was started as a
four-page, six-column daily paper, the part-
ners also purchasing the old "Gazette and
Democrat," founded about 1840, and
changed its name and published it as the
"Weekly Eagle."

At this period Mr. Hawley was thirty
years of age and possessed a fine physique,
a brilliant mind, and the unerring journal-
istic instinct of fathoming the needs of the
public and the ability to satisfy that need.
He was an able writer, had original ideas,
and put them into practice. They were
new, but they proved the foundation on
which success was built. Life, energy and
enthusiasm he infused into the work, and
''The Eagle" soon attracted public attention.
Mr. Hawley believed in fair play — that
there were two sides to every question, and
that both sides were entitled to a hearing,
hence he opened his columns to both sides
on all questions of public interest. He did
not deduce or strive for leadership, but be-
lieved in printing facts, and trusting to the
intelligence of his readers to draw conclu-
sions. He was perhaps the first American
newspaper publisher to establish a complete
system of rural correspondence, realizing
the prime importance of local news. "The
Eagle" continued Democratic until 1875,
when party allegiance was abandoned and
a policy of strict independence established.
In February, 1877, Mr. Hawley became sole
proprietor, establishing the "Sunday Eagle"
and imbuing the papers as never before with
his own virile personality. The independ-
ence of "The Eagle" arose from the editor's
belief that an independent paper could per-
form a higher public service than a partisan
one, and to this course he steadfastly ad-
hered. Except on important occasions he
abandoned the editorial column, allowing
the intelligence of his readers to decide mat-
ters, when given a true statement of facts
upon which to base a conclusion. Yet there
was no shrinking from responsibility on his
part, for when the situation called for an
expression of opinion from "The Eagle" he
responded vigorously and without fear or
favor. This policy was approved by the
public and resulted in a large patronage, and
this policy is strictly maintained by the pres-
ent management in dealing with their more



than twenty-one thousand daily subscribers,
to whom they issue an eight-column paper
of from twelve to twenty-four pages.

As the head of a great newspaper, Mr.
Hawley wielded a power that he never used
to advance his own interests, remaining an
independent editor, neither asking nor re-
ceiving favors from either party, nor using
his influence to strike at organizations or
individuals. Ever enterprising and pro-
gressive in his own ideas, he used his news-
paper to build up and advance the interests
of his community, and privately was a con-
tributor to every worthy object, although
often his name was not made public as a
donor. He valued the public school as the
foundation of the true greatness of the
State, and did all in his power to advance
the cause of education. For years he offered
prizes to the boys of the Reading High
School for the best literary essay, and to
the pupils in country schools prizes for
meritorious work. For years he served on
the board of control connected with the pub-
He school system of Reading, and labored
in season and out for the good of the
schools. His life was a splendid one, and
left an impress on his day and generation
that will not pass away. Mr. Hawley's suc-
cess was largely due to the power of a strik-
ing personality which was reflected in the
originality of many "Eagle" features.

Mr. Hawley married, December 15, 1863,
Kate E., daughter of Louis Ritter. She sur-
vived her husband and became president of
the Eagle Corporation, in which capacity
she served until her death, June i, 1906.
Two daughters reside in Reading — Edith,
wife of William Seyfert; and Helen, wife
of Edwin A. Quier. Mr. Seyfert is presi-
dent of the Eagle Corporation, and Mr.
Quier, vice-president.

KELLY, Melville Clyde,

Journalist, Congressman.

In the changes that were made in the
Congressional seating when the Sixty-Third

Congress of the United States convened,
there appeared among the representatives
from the State of Pennsylvania one who
there began his experience in national poli-
tics, although as a member of the Assembly
of his State he had proven rigid fealty to
his party and had rendered valuable service
in Allegheny county, Melville Clyde Kelly.
Since 1901 Mr. Kelly has been a conspicu-
ous figure in journalism, a position he re-
tains to the present time as president of
the Daily News Herald Company, and man-
aging editor of the newspaper bearing that

Melville Clyde Kelly is a son of William
Brandon and Mary (Clark) Kelly, his father
a native of West Virginia, his mother born
in Ohio. William Brandon and Mary
(Clark) Kelly were the parents of: Clark
William, business manager of the "News
Herald"; Harry H., a student; Maude, mar-
ried Rev. J. G. C. Webster, of New York;
and Melville Clyde, of whom further.

Melville Clyde Kelly was born in Bloom-
field, Muskingum county, Ohio, August 4,
1883, and after attending the public schools
took a course of study in Muskingum Col-
lege, teaching school when his studies were
completed. He then engaged in mercantile
lines until 1901, when he began his associa-
tion with journalism in Braddock, Pennsyl-
vania, finally becoming city editor of the
"Braddock Daily News." In 1904 he estab-
lished the "Braddock Weekly Leader," the
following year purchased the "Daily News"
and. consolidated tl^ two as the Braddock
Daily News Publishing Company, of which
he became president and managing editor.
In 1907 the "Braddock Evening Herald"
was added to the property of the company,
the periodical published being known as the
"Daily News Herald," a paper that enjoys
a successful and prosperous continuance,
induced by a wide circulation. Under the
competent direction of Mr. Kelly the sphere
of influence of this journal has been ex-
tended and its stronghold fortified until at
the present time there are few papers in the




State for which public opinion has such
great deference, and so carefully has this
great power been wielded, so watchful the
care exercised in the preparation of the
issues of the paper, that its reputation as a
sheet for universal reading is unexcelled.
The political sympathy of the "News
Herald" is Progressive, and the issues of
campaigns and elections have been discussed
in its pages with a boldness and truthfulness
that, through the frankness and fearless-
ness displayed, Mr. Kelly has gained
strength as a political leader. In November,
1910, he was the successful candidate for
the State Legislature, and two years later
victory came to him in the contest for the
Congressional election. As a member of
the powerful rules committee of the House,
he has taken part in the debate on every
important measure before the Sixty-Third

Mr. Kelly's fraternal affiliations are with
Valetta Commandery, Knights of Malta ;
Edgar Thompson Council, Royal Arcanum;
Braddock Field Lodge, Independent Order
of Odd Fellows ; Husband Lodge, Knights
of Pythias ; and Clan Robertson, Order of
Scottish Clans. He serves the First United
Presbyterian Church, of which he has been
a member since residing in Braddock, as


Latpyer, Financier, Soldier.

When the present site of Butler, Pennsyl-
vania, was virgin soil, the ancestors of John
C. Graham came from the East (Dauphin
county) and purchased a tract of three hun-
dred acres ; this was in 1795. Recognizing
the fitness of this tract, Robert Graham
donated one hundred of his three hundred
acres for a town site, and lived to see a
flourishing village thereon. The prominent
part he took in the early development of
Butler was equalled by the useful activity of
his son, John B. Graham, and his grandson,
Walter L. Graham. The latter was one of

Butler's foremost citizens until his death,
November 4, 1900. Besides his great inter-
est and work for Butler, he was one of the
founders of the Republican party, and it
was one of his proudest memories that he
sat in the convention of i860 that nominated
Abraham Lincoln for the Presidency. He
aided the government in the prosecution of
the war, with his influence and wealth, to
the full extent of his ability, which was not
inconsiderable. He was a leading lawyer
of the county and no man stood higher in
professional, public or private life. His
widow, Margaret Zimmerman, survives

John C, son of Walter L. and Margaret
(Zimmerman) Graham, was born in Butler,
Pennsylvania, October 8, 1868, the fourth
of his family line to help build a city worthy
of the foresight of Robert Graham, the
founder. He was educated in the public
schools, graduating with the high school
class of 1887 as salutatorian. At the age of
eleven, he began to be a wage-earner, sell-
ing newspapers, continuing all through his
school life until graduation, and earning
about $3,000, his father having met with
severe financial reverses. Notwithstanding
this handicap he was graduated with high
honors. After graduating he kept books,
was a reporter for Pittsburgh daily papers,
and at the age of twenty years had suffi-
cient capital accumulated to begin trading
in real estate. His ambition was to succeed
his father in his law business, and this
ambition never slept or slumbered, although
deprived of any assistance in obtaining a
college education. He was successful in his
real estate ventures, and in the fall of 1890
entered Lafayette College, remaining one
year. He then began the study of law
under his father's instruction, and in 1894
was admitted to the Butler county bar. He
at once began practice with his father, con-
tinuing until the death of the latter. Since
then he has continued in practice alone,
having been admitted to the State and Fed-
eral courts of the district. His private enter-

105 1


prise in the improvement of Butler has been
along the line of the erection of homes of
modern tasteful design in Butler, and de-
veloping acreage in the suburban section.
His public work has been in connection with
the Butler Board of Trade, which he served
as secretary for the seven years of Butler's
greatest development, 1889 to 1906, when
the population jumped from ten to twenty-
five thousand.

The Board of Trade was largely instru-
mental in the phenomenal prosperity of
those years, and as secretary Mr. Graham
bore a conspicuous part. Aside from his
legal and real estate interests, he is con-
nected with many financial and commercial
enterprises as a large stockholder and attor-
ney. He has also been actively interested in
oil production and in all his undertakings
has been uniformly successful. He is inter-
ested in the Butler Savings and Trust Com-
pany; the Butler County National Bank;
the Lyndora National Bank; the First Na-
tional Bank of Bruin (Butler county) of
which he is also attorney; the Allegheny
Valley Foundry and Machine Company at
Glassmere (Allegheny county) of which he
is director, also attorney; and the Clay
Products and Mineral Company of Free-
port, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Graham has for many years been
connected with the National Guard of Penn-
sylvania. He enlisted first in 1888 in Com-
pany E. Fifteenth Regiment and served
with his regiment at the great Homestead
strike of 1892, ranking as corporal. He
again enlisted in 1898, during the Spanish-
American War, in Company G, Twenty-
first Regiment (which he was active in or-
ganizing) and was elected second lieutenant.
The company did not see actual warfare,
although the regiment tendered their serv-
ices to the government. He was mustered
out after two years' service in June, 1900.
In 1910 he was appointed adjutant of the
Sixteenth Regiment, which position he held
until his resignation in September, 1912.
He was always fond of athletics, and from

1892 to 1896 was a member of the famous
First Ward Running Team (which lowered
the world's record from 250 yards run).
He competed in many State contests, the
Cotton States International Exposition at
Atlanta and incidentally won $6,500 in cash
prizes. He has just retired from the office
of district deputy grand commander of the
Knights of Malta; he is a member of Blue
Lodge, chapter and commandery of the
Masonic order, also an Odd Fellow and a
member of the Sons of Veterans. For
several years he was active in the Young
Men's Christian Association as a director
and a worker. For one hundred and ten
years, and for four generations, the Gra-
hams have been pillars of strength in the
First Presbyterian church, and John C.
Graham has worthily followed the example
set by his sires. He is a trustee of that
church and for many years has been a
teacher in the Sunday-school. In political
faith he is a Republican and active in the
party, but has never yielded to the induce-
ments of his friends, that he accept public
office. His club is the Butler Country. Mr.
Graham's chief recreation is travel, and
such time as he can secure from his business
is spent in journeying to the historic, roman-
tic, or scenic wonders of America and Eu-
rope. He has visited all such places in
the United States, Canada and Mexico, and
in 191 1 toured the British Isles and the
Continent of Europe. He does not neglect
the social side of life and is devoted to home
and family.

This brief outline shows the wonderful
activity of a man who has been the architect
of his own fortunes, and of one who in the
place of his birth has risen to a high place
in the esteem of his townsmen. No phase
of life in his city is without interest to him,
no good cause is presented but receives his
support ; no enterprise that will benefit But-
ler but has his endorsement and no call for
benevolent action passes unheeded.

Mr. Graham married (first) December 6,
1894, (the same year he was admitted to





the bar) Lovey Ayres, daughter of Captain
H. A. Ayres and Elizabeth (Kerr) Ayres,
and a granddaughter of General William A.
Ayres, a pioneer attorney of Butler. She
died August i6, 1907. Children : Elizabeth,
deceased ; Walter, deceased ; John C. Jr.
and Margaret L. survive. Mr. Graham
married (second) July 3, 1913, Elizabeth
Wilson, second daughter of Hon. Theophi-
lus Wilson (deceased), former President
Judge of Clarion county, and sister of
Judges Harry R. Wilson and Theodore
Wilson. Mr. and Mrs. Graham were mar-
ried in Clarion and left for a wedding tour
of Europe. They reside in Butler, Penn-

BARNETT, Col. James Elder,

Lawyer, Soldier, State Official.

The Barnett family is allied with the
Scotch house of Livingston, and in the six-
teenth century a branch was transplanted
from Scotland to county Derry, Ireland.
The Barnetts were prominently associated
with the political life of Belfast and Dub-
lin and with their educational and benevo-
lent institutions. One of them held the
office of mayor of Dublin, and another
served in defense of Londonderry. This
family were the founders of the Presby-
terian church in Ireland, and at the present
day the branch resident in that country is
conspicuously associated with affairs.

John Barnett, founder of the American
branch of the family, was born in 1678, near
Londonderry, and about 1700 emigrated to
Pennsylvania, settling in Hanover township,
Lancaster county, where he was one of the
pioneers. He died in September, 1734.
Another John Barnett, his grandson, and
great-grandfather of James Elder Barnett,
was an officer in the Continental army,
served with distinction in the Canadian
campaign, and accompanied Washington in
the Trenton expedition.

Rev. John Morrison Barnett, D. D.,
grandson of the Revolutionary hero, mar-

ried Martha Robinson Elder, whose ances-
tors belonged to the Stewart and Cameron
clans, many of them being interred at Pais-
ley Abbey. Ellerslie, a town of Scotland,
was named in honor of the Elder family.
The American branch was founded about
1700, when members of the family settled
at Paxtang, Dauphin county, Pennsylvania,
where Rev. John Elder built the Paxtang
church, which is still standing. July 11,
1763, he received from the governor of the
province a commission as colonel, with com-
mand over all blockhouses and stockades
from Easton to the Susquehanna river.
Prior to this he commanded the "Paxtang
Boys." Thomas Elder, another member of
the family, was attorney-general of Penn-
sylvania and held a commission as lieu-
tenant-colonel in the militia of the Keystone

James Elder, son of John Morrison and
Martha Robinson (Elder) Barnett, was
born August i, 1856, at Elder's Ridge,
Indiana county, Pennsylvania. He received
his preparatory education in public and pri-
vate schools, attended the Elder's Ridge
Academy, and in 1882 graduated from
Washington and Jefferson College. He then
entered the Law School of Columbia Uni-
versity, being admitted to the bar of Wash-
ington county in 1890, and in 1899 to that
of Allegheny county.

Early in his career, Colonel Barnett en-
rolled himself as a member of the Repub-
lican party, and has always taken a lively
interest in politics. In 1893 he was chosen
in behalf of Washington county to meet
representatives from Beaver county in order
to consult in regard to the adjustment of
the respective claims of those counties to
priority in the ensuing Republican nomi-
nation of a candidate for the State Senator-
ship from the Senatorial District composed
of those counties. He served as deputy
prothonotary of Washington county under
John W. Seaman, and for some years as
clerk to the county commissioners. He was
appointed, July i, 1895, by Governor Frank



Reeder, as Deputy Secretary of the Com-
monwealth, an office which he held until
October 19, 1897, when he resigned and re-
turned to his practice. August 24, 1899,
he was nominated for the office of State
Treasurer, and the following November
was elected by a majority of 110,000.
He served the full term of two years, and
retired with a record alike creditable to
himself and satisfactory to his constituents.
He once more resumed practice, becoming
a member of the firm of Scandrett & Bar-

In 1884 Colonel Barnett enlisted in Com-
pany Hj Tenth Regiment National Guard
of Pennsylvania, as a private, and passed
through the various grades of service, being
elected first lieutenant in 1887, captain in
1890, major in 1893, lieutenant-colonel in

1897. In 1898 he volunteered with his regi-
ment, the famous "Fighting Tenth," for the
Spanish-American War. Realizing that the
Philippines were to be the centre of the most
decisive interest and action, he obtained per-
mission from Colonel Hawkins to apply
for an assignment to that point, and through
the assistance of Senators Quay and Pen-
rose, Deputy Attorney John P. Elkins, State
Treasurer P. J. Haywood, Harry C. Fry,
of Beaver county, and Second Assistant
Postmaster-General of the United States
W. S. Shallenberger, the Tenth Regiment
was ordered to San Francisco to embark

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanEncyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) → online text (page 55 of 58)