John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

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tain got through, there was a profound
silence, which was not broken until a hand
was raised and a Confederate in a loud
voice shouted, "Officer ! Officer ! We do not
endorse assassination," and at the same time
up went the hands of thousands of rebel
comrades. Soon another with raised hand
cried out, "Officer! Officer! We have lost
our best friend ; Old Abe would forgive us,"
and still another exclaimed, "Officer! Offi-
cer! The North will now persecute us" To
this the Captain responded, "You my Con-
federate friend over there, do not for a
single moment entertain the thought that the
North will persecute you for the fiendish
act of the lunatic, crank or assassin, whose

wicked hand has struck down the sincere
and humane friend of the South, Abraham

At the close of the war. Captain DeLacy
returned to his home in Kingston, Pennsyl-
vania. In 1867 he was appointed deputy
United States marshal. He was elected to
the legislature in 1871, was re-elected the
following year, and on the expiration of his
terai was appointed deputy sheriff. In 1877
he was made chief of police of Scranton, a
position which he resigned in 1885 to ac-
cept the position of assistant postmaster
under Hon. D. W. Connolly. In 1892 he
was elected alderman from the Seventh
Ward, and has succeeded himself to the
present time. In each of these responsible
positions he has acquitted himself with
marked ability and strict fidelity, and is held
in as high honor for his civil services as for
those in the field.

Perhaps no living man has enjoyed
greater distinction among the veterans of
the Civil War. He has been first vice-pres-
ident of the Society of the Army of the Po-
tomac; president of the First Army Corps
Society; commander of the Medal of Honor
Legion, U. S. A. ; commander of the De-
partment of Pennsylvania, Grand Army of
the Republic ; for forty-seven years pres-
ident of the Association of the 143d Regi-
ment Pennsylvania Volunteers ; and has
been aide on the staff of several national
commanders of the Grand Army of the Re- '
public. An incident deserving of mention
is a visit paid to him a few years ago by his
intimate personal friend and former bri-
gade commander. General Joshua L. Cham-
berlain, who served four terms as Governor
of the State of Maine. On this occasion
the General requested that Captain DeLacy
should write an extended account of his
recollections of the engagement in front of
Petersburg (in which the General was
severely wounded), to be placed in the
Chamberlain family library. To this the
Captain acceded, and his account, repro-
duced in the "Scranton Times," is one of

Atlatttic Pubishma nEmiTximnf CoM


the most circumstantial and thrilling nar-
ratives of the war that has ever come under
the eye of the present writer.

Death has often visited the happy home
of Captain DeLacy. His faithful and be-
loved wife passed away April i6, 1899, and
the following children survive her : Sarah
Catharine, widow of Michael D. Roche,
Esq., who at the time of his death was a
prominent member of the Lackawanna bar ;
Mary Elizabeth, wife of James Hicks, of
New York; Anna C, wife of John Peel,
of Hot Springs, Arkansas, and William P.,
a graduate of the University of Pennsyl-
vania, and now a practicing physician in
Springfield, Illinois.

Treasured beyond e.xpression, are Captain
DeLacy's relations with his old comrades,
and the annual reunion of his regimental
association is perhaps his happiest ex-
perience, though saddened at each gathering
with the loss of some who had attended
each succeeding year. Each reunion has
some pleasant feature of its own. At that
of September 11, 1906, an eloquent address
was delivered by Frank C. Mosier, Esq., of
Pittston, Pennsylvania, and was of such
merit that it was published at length in the
Elizabeth (Xew Jersey) "Sunday Leader,"
of which General J. Madison Drake, his-
torian of the Army and Navy Medal of
Honor Legion of the United States (who
died Nov. 28, 1913), was editor, and whose
complimentary letter to Mr. Mosier gave the
speech a prominent place in volume iv. of
"Xew England Families," published by the
Lewis Historical Publishing Company of
New York. Perhaps, however, the most
notable reunion of the 143d Regiment was
that of July 2d, 3d, and 4th, 191 3 — the
fiftieth anniversary of the battle of Gettys-
burg. On that historic field, the survivors
of the regiment encamped upon the very
ground where in the long ago the combat
raged the fiercest, and upon this sacred spot
tbey fraternized with the fearless Virginians
and brave Tenne.sseeans who followed the
battle flags of Pickett, Armistead, Petti-

grew, Kemper and Garnett, through the
flame and smoke of roaring cannon to the
base of Cemetery Hill. On the morning of
July 2d, 1913, the survivors of the famous
regiment marched to the National Soldiers'
Monument in the Gettysburg National
Park, and there amid thousands of graves
of the known and unknown dead, each
decorated with the starry banner of the free
and the State flag of Penn.sylvania, patriot-
ism's silent tribute to the memory of heroic
comrades who fell at Gettysburg, answered
roll call. Frank C. Mosier, Esq., of Pitts-
ton, was orator on this historic occasion,
which was made memorable by the election
of Captain Patrick DeLacy for the forty-
eighth time president of the regimental as-
sociation, with headquarters at Scranton,
the great anthracite coal metropolis of
northeastern Pennsylvania.


Naval Officer, Lairyer, Legislator.

From North of Ireland ancestry comes
John B. Robinson, eminent lawyer, State
Senator, Congressman, and United States
Marshal, now a resident of Media, Penn-
sylvania. He is a grandson of General Wil-
liam Robinson, a member of the Pennsyl-
vania Legislature, the first mayor of Alle-
gheny City, after its corporation (now
Pittsburgh, North Side), first president of
the Exchange Bank of Pittsburgh, United
States Commissioner in 1842, a man thor-
oughly respected and honored. He is said
to have been the first white child born north
and west of the Ohio river, and died 1868.

William O'Hara Robinson, son of Gen-
eral William Robinson, was a leading law-
yer of Pittsburgh, and in 1844 was United
States district attorney for the Western Dis-
trict of Pennsylvania.

John Buchanan Robinson, son of William
O'Hara Robinson, was born in .-Allegheny
City, Pennsylvania, May 23, 1846. He at-
tended the private schools in Pittsburgh,
entered Western University, finishing at



Amherst College. In 1862 he attached him-
self to Captain Riddle's company of the
15th Pennsylvania Emergency Regiment,
and in 1864 enlisted in active service. But
the family already had two sons at the
front, one of whom, Captain William
O'Hara Robinson, of the 6ist Regiment
Pennsylvania Volunteers, was killed at the
battle of the Wilderness, May 6, 1864, and
through the influence of his grandfather,
John B. was released from service, much
against his wish, and given an appointment
as cadet of the United States Naval Acad-
emy, Annapolis, by Congressman Thomas
Williams, and sworn into service for eight
years. He was graduated four years later
in 1868, and was engaged in active sea duty
until 1875, when he resigned, having risen
to the rank of lieutenant. During his naval
experience he visited nearly every country.
He was three times in Europe, sailed around
the world in the flag ship "Colorado," flying
the pennant of Rear-Admiral John Rodgers.
He was in Japan at the time of the Amer-
ican expedition to Corea, in which Lieuten-
ant McKee and a number of sailors and
marines lost their lives in the attack on the
Corean forts. In that same year, 1871, in
company with Lieutenant Chipp (afterward
lost with the Jeannette Polar expedition)
Lieutenant Robinson was on the United
States steamer "Monocacy," commanded by
Captain McCrea, engaged on the hydro-
graphic survey of the Yang-tse river. In
the same year, as navigating officer of the
United States sloop-of-war "Idaho," com-
manded by Captain J. Crittenden Watson,
he went through the exciting experience of
a typhoon, which nearly sunk the "Idaho,"
although at anchor in Yokohoma harbor.
While in Japan, Lieutenant Robinson was
one of a company of United States naval
officers accorded an interview with the
hitherto rigidly exclusive Mikado of Japan,
the interview having been arranged by Sir
Henry Parkes, K. C. B., British minister to
Yeddo, in defiance of precedent. In Au-
gust, 1871, Lieutenant Robinson, with a

party of American officers, made the ascent
of Fuji-Yama, the famous sacred mountain
peak of Japan, and accurately measured its
height by instruments. Returning to the
United States he served in 1873 on the
Great Lakes on the steamer "Michigan,"
and in the fall of that year was ordered to
New York as watch officer on the "Juniata."
Later he sailed in the "Juniata" under sealed
orders which proved to be to proceed to
Santiago de Cuba and peremptorily demand
the surrender of American citizens seized
on the "Virginius" by the Spanish author-
ities. On January i, 1875, after eleven
years service, Lieutenant Robinson retired
from the naval service, his resignation hav-
ing been handed in the previous year.

He returned to Pennsylvania and began
the study of law under John G. Johnson in
Philadelphia. In 1876 he was admitted to
the Philadelphia bar, and in 1878 removed
to Delaware county, where he was admitted
to the bar of that county, and in the same
year was admitted to practice in the Su-
preme Courts of Pennsylvania. He ad-
vanced rapidly in his profession, and as
senior counsel for the defence in the case of
Samuel Johnson, a colored man, charged
with the murder of John Sharpless, he won
a State-wide fame. This is one of the cele-
brated cases in Pennsylvania reports, and
was heard on appeals through different
court, finally reaching the board of pardons.
Mr. Robinson fought this case with such
ability and pertinacity and argued it with
such eloquence, that he saved the life of his
client. Along with the practice of his pro-
fession Mr. Robinson has carried a burden
of official political responsibility. In 1884 he
was elected to the State Legislature from
Delaware county, was reelected two years
later, and prominently mentioned for
speaker. He was in the thick of the fray
in the House^ making many noted speeches,
particularly his anti-discrimination speech,
his speech against Governor Pattison's veto
of the indigent soldiers' burial bill, and his
speech in favor of an increase in the length



of school terms, and the Brooks high license
law, which resulted in passing the bills. In
1888 he was a candidate for renomination
to the House, but was defeated. In the fol-
lowing campaign he was on the stump for
his successful rival, and later was engaged
by the Republican National Committee as a
speaker in New York, Connecticut and New
Jersey. In 1889 he secured the nomination
for State Senator from the Ninth Senatorial
District, winning the honor on the first bai
lot over Jesse M. Baker and James Watts
Mercur. In this contest he was antagonized
by the liquor interests and by those control-
ling federal patronage. He led a success-
ful fight, and as the "People's Candidate"
completely changed the complexion of the
old-time Republican rule in the county, also
establishing himself as a leader in State
politics. He won over his Democratic com-
petitor, Hiram C. Hathaway, by 1559 ma-
jority, and served with great honor as Sena-
tor. While in the Senate in 1890 he was
nominated on the Republican ticket for Con-
gress in the Sixth District, comprising Ches-
ter and Delaware counties. His opponents
were Dr. J. L. Forward, of Chester, and
Captain Isaac Johnson, of Media. He was
renominated and elected twice afterwards,
serving in all six years — in the Fifty-second,
Fifty-third and Fifty- fourth congresses.
Mr. Robinson is one of the most trenchant
and vigorous political leader-writers in his
State, and both pen and voice have often
been used in aid of great reformatory meas-
ures. Staunchly Republican, he is not so
partisan as to smother independence, nor is
he in the slightest degree a demagogue. He
has opposed men and measures in his own
party and has always had the support of the
voters of his district to a large degree. As
a speaker he is logical and convincing, often
rising to the heights of true eloquence. He
has delivered many memorable addresses in
different cities, and one yet spoken of in
praise was delivered at the reunion of the
veterans of the 97th Pennsylvania Volun-
teers in November, 1889, at West Chester,

Pennsylvania. He has also gained success
as a writer. While in the naval service he
wrote a series of brilliant letters for the
"Commercial Gazette" of Pittsburgh, and
has since been a frequent and welcome con-
tributor to the leading New York and Phil-
adelphia journals. In 1881-82 he was chief
editorial writer for the "Delaware County
Gazette," of Chester, then owned by Au-
gust Donath. In the winter of 1880, Mr.
Robinson made his first essay on the lecture
platform, beginning a career of success that
brought him into prominence as a lecturer.

Mr. Robinson is a member of the Inde-
pendent Order of Odd Fellows ; the Amer-
ican Protestant Association; Knights of
Pythias ; Order of Chosen Friends ; Knights
of the Golden Eagle ; Improved Order of
Red Men ; Independent Order of Me-
chanics ; Bradbury Post, No. 149, Grand
Army of the Republic, of which he was
elected commander in 1884; and holds mem-
bership in various other societies. A man
of fine natural talents, developed in contact
in political and professional life with the
best association, blessed with a comprehen-
sive education greatly extended by foreign
travel, Mr. Robinson has used his gifts
wisely and well. He illustrates in his own
life the peculiar characteristics of the best
birthright of the best type of American citi-
zenship, the ability to succeed in political
and professional life without resource to
trickery. After a public and professional
life of nearly forty years, Mr. Robinson,
from the heights of success, can truly say
that every step of his way has been hon-
estly won, and that principle was never sacri-
ficed for sordid gain. Since 1900 he has
held the position of United States Marshal
in the Philadelphia District.

Lieutenant Robinson married, in St.
Louis, Missouri, October 29, 1874, Eliza-
beth Waddingham, daughter of Charles L.
Gilpin, then of St. Louis, Missouri, grand-
niece of Mayor Charles Gilpin, of Philadel-
phia, a lineal descendant of Joseph Gilpin,
of Dorchester, Oxfordshire, England, who



came to Pennsylvania in 1696, settling in
Birmingham township, Delaware, then a
part of Chester, county. Joseph Gilpin was
of the sixteenth generation from Richard
de Gueylpin, who had a grant in the reign
of King John (1206) of the estate of Kent-
mere, in the county of Westmoreland, Eng-
land. By the union of Mr. Robinson and
Miss Gilpin there were seven children born,
four of whom survive: Mrs. Elizabeth
Wyckoff, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ; Mrs.
Adele Gilpin Miller. Mrs. Helen Robin-
son Anderson and Miss Mildred Robinson,
the three last named of Media, Pennsyl-
vania. These children through their mother
trace through twenty-one recorded genera-
tions of Gilpins to the days of Magna
Charta. The family home of the Robinsons,
the "Gayley," is in Media, Pennsylvania.

Besides the before named offices held by
Mr. Robinson, he was appointed by Presi-
dent McKinley, May i, 1900, United States
Marshal for the Eastern District of Penn-
sylvania, was reappointed in 1905 by Presi-
dent Roosevelt, and again reappointed in
1912, by President Taft, and served until
December i, 19 13, when he was succeeded
by Frank S. Noonan, a Democrat, appointed
by President Wilson. During the time Mr.
Robinson was marshal he was elected a
national delegate to the Republican Conven-
tion in 1908, which nominated Mr. Taft for
President. Of other offices held by Mr.
Robinson was the presidency of the Repub-
lican League of Clubs of Pennsylvania, dur-
ing the years 1891, 1892 and 1893, succeed-
ing the first president of the league, Hon.
Edwin S. Stuart. He has been a candidate
for minor offices, among those for lieu-
tenant-governor of the State in 1894, being
defeated for the nomination, although elect-
ing ninety-seven delegates against the com-
bined opposition of all the prominent leaders
of the party in the commonwealth. He was
an unsuccessful applicant for the position
of Assistant Secretary of the Navy. In
1897 President McKinley appointed Theo-
dore Roosevelt through the influence of

Mrs. Bellamy Storer, one of the Longworth
family of Cincinnati, Ohio.

During Mr. Robinson's service in Con-
gress he was on the Columbian Exposition
Committee and the Naval Committee, and
twice was a member, by appointment of the
speaker, to the board of visitors to the
Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.
In 1896 in this position he was president of
the board, and delivered the annual address
at the commencement of the graduating
class. His public record. State and Na-
tional, covers a period of over forty years,
and he is yet, although a private citizen, one
of the most active and influential of the Re-
publican leaders of the county of Delaware,
and the State in which he resides.

KOONS, Tilghman Benjamin,

Prominent Railway Official.

The achievement of Tilghman Benjamin
Koons, vice-president of the Central Rail-
way Company of New Jersey, illustrates
what may be accomplished by the pluck and
perseverance of an ambitious person. With-
out any special preparation for such work,
or the influence of "pull" with officials or
otherwise, he has progressed from telegraph
operator and a wayside station agency, to
that of an important official of the company.
In early life he designed to fit himself for
teaching along certain lines and branches,
and with that end in view, shaped his
studies. Through a sort of chance he was
led into what has proven to be his life work ;
and that too for which he has shown a
natural aptitude.

His father, Daniel Koons, was a builder
and cabinet-maker, who during a number
of years of his active life was located at the
village of Kuntzford, later changed to
Treichlers in Northampton county, Pennsyl-
vania, from thence he moved to Walnut-
port, same county, where he resided during
the latter years of his hfe and died in March
191 3, aged eighty-seven years. He married
Sarah Shipe, daugliter of Jacob and Eliza-



beth (Bush) Shipe, from near Laubachs, in
Northampton county, now Northampton,
Pennsylvania, and had issue, among others,
two sons, namely : Tilghman Benjamin
Koons, of whom more hereafter; and Mil-
ton Alfred Koons, born in 1S53, at Treich-
lers, Pennsylvania. He is auditor of coa'
traffic for the Central Railroad of New Jer-
sey; resides at Walnutport, Pennsylvania;
married Laura Yundt, of Weissport, Penn-
sylvania, and has one son, Dana Koons.

Tilghman Benjamin Koons, son of Dan-
iel and Sarah (Shipe) Koons, was born
May 29, 1852, at Treichlers, a small village
in Northampton county, Pennsylvania,
about forty miles northwest of Easton. His
early education was such as was afforded
by the public schools of Pennsylvania ; he
then studied under Professor Atwater, of
Brown University, Rhode Island, and after-
ward took a special business course at East-
man's Business College, of Poughkeepsie,
New York. During his vacation from
school work he studied telegraphy, and en-
tered the employ of the Delaware, Lacka-
wanna & Western Railroad in the latter part
of 1869 as telegraph operator. In 1870 he
became a clerk in the General Freight
Agent's office of the Lehigh Valley Rail-
road, at Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, and
continued with that company until 1876,
when he resigned on account of impaired

After several years spent in recuperation,
he again took up railroad work in the latter
part of 1880, by which he became Soliciting
Freight Agent of the Central Railroad Com-
pany of New Jersey, with headquarters at
Elmira, New York, and covered territory
north and west of Elmira, to and including
Buffalo. In 1887 he was advanced to Gen-
eral Agent of the Central Railroad of New
Jersey ; then to Division Freight Agent, and
afterward to Division Freight and Pass-
enger Agent, with an office at Mauch
Chunk, Pennsylvania. In 1893 he was ad-
vanced to the position of General Freight
Agent of the Central Railroad of New Jer-
sey, with an office at 143 Liberty street,

New York City; and on December 23, 1902,
he was appointed Freight Traffic Manager,
which jxjsition he held until January i,
1913, when he was elected Vice-President
and Freight Traffic Manager of the Central
Railroad of New Jersey. He has been with
that company now for more than thirty-
three years of continuous service, and has
thus become generally known to the ship-
ping public as a genial and affable repre-
sentative of the Jersey Central.

On May 30th, 1876, he married Cornelia
Elizabeth Benjamin, daughter of David and
Cornelia (Smith) Benjamin, of an old New
England family, who moved some years
previous from Connecticut to Beavertown
(now Lincoln Park), Morris county. New
Jersey. She was born May 16, 1851, at the
village of now Lincoln Park, Morris county,
New Jersey, and is the mother of three
children, namely: i. Olive, born at Slating-
ton, Lehigh county, Pennsylvania ; married
Dr. Norman Hayes Probasco, of Plain-
field, New Jersey, and has one child, John
Tilghman Probasco. 2. Chauncey Ben-
jamin, born at Walnutport, Pennsylvania,
married a daughter of Ex-Judge William
Vreeland, of Orange, New Jersey. 3.
Lucius Tilghman, born at Slatington, Le-
high county, Pennsylvania, married Olive
Bogardus, of Plainfield, New Jersey.

The early ambition of Mr. Koons was to
devote his life to educational work, but his
necessities diverted him to railroad business,
for which he developed a natural aptitude;
hence he has continued with an unusual de-
gree of success. He is a member of the
Railroad Club of New York City, and of
the Pennsylvania Society of New York. In
politics he afTiliates with the Republican
party; and is a consistent member of the
Presbyterian church.

DESHLER, Oliver R.,

Large Copper Operator.

The field of business is limitless, its
prizes are many, and yet comparatively few
who enter the "world's broad field of bat-



tie" come off victors in the struggle for suc-
cess and prominence. This is usually due to
one or many of several causes — superficial
preparation, lack of close application, or an
unwise choice in selecting an avocation for
which one is unfitted. The reverse of all
these has entered into the prosperity and
prominence which Mr. Deshler has gained
as a representative of the industrial manu-
facturing interests of Bangor. He was
thoroughly trained for the pursuit which
he has always followed and in which he
embarked as a young man, and his native
talent and acquired ability seem to have
especially fitted him for this business, the
manufacture of high hall clock cases and
piano trusses.

Mr. Deshler is descended from one of the
old families of the Lehigh Valley. His
grandfather, David Deshler, was a man of
the highest respectability, who enjoyed the
full confidence of his fellow citizens. To
him and his wife Sophronia were born three
children: i. Tilghman. 2. Sarah, wife of
Solomon Kline, of Allentown, and they
have four children: Elmina, Charles,
Emma, and Amanda. 3. Reuben Deshler,
the father of our subject, who was born
in Cedarville, Pennsylvania, in 1842. He
became a blacksmith, and in addition to the
coiflduct of his shop he owned and culti-
vated a small farm. He was a good me-
chanic, but is now living retired. His wife
bore the maiden name of Henrietta Ritter,
and to them were born four children :
Charles D., Henry D., Emma D., and Oliver
R. The mother departed this life in 1877.

Oliver R. Deshler was born at Emaus,
Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, May 26,
1861, and was reared and educated in his
native town. In early life he learned the
cabinetmaker's trade in Easton, Pennsyl-
vania, to which city he removed in 1880,
there spending eight years. In 1888 he went
to Philadelphia, where he spent less than a
year. Returning then to Easton, he entered

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanEncyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) → online text (page 8 of 58)