John Woolf Jordan.

Genealogical and personal history of Fayette county, Pennsylvania (Volume 2) online

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the medical department of Western Univer-
sity of Pennsylvania (now University of Pitts-
burgh), whence he was graduated M. D., class
of IQ07. After graduation he was interne at
the South Side Hospital, Pittsburgh, then was
appointed superintendent of Uniontown Hos-
pital, resigning in March, 1908, and locating
m New Salem, where he is now firmly estab-
lished in the practice of his profession. He is
a Republican m politics and is a school direc-
tor of New Salein, elected in 1910. He is a
member of Fayette County Medical and Penn-
sylvania State Medical" societies; Laurel
Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; Modern
Woodmen; Knights of Maccabees, and with
his wife belongs to the Presbyterian church.
Dr. I")avidson is a veteran of the Spanish-
American war; enlisted in 1898 in the Elev-
enth Regiment, United States Armv, and
served in Porto Rico for two and p half years.
From 1903 he served in the National Guard
of Pennsylvania on hospital service.

He married, December 23, 1905, Lucretia
G. Gallatin, born near Dawson, Pennsylvania,
January 7, 1884. daughter of John Gallatin,
of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, and his wife,
Jane (Gault) Gallatin, of Dawson. Other chil-
dren of Mr. and Mrs. Gallatin: Bruce; Lois,
married Charles Snyder; Imogene, married
Charles B. Rhodes; Hnllie, married John K.

Child of Dr. and Mrs. Davidson: Albert
Gallatin, born December 24, 1910. This
child bears the name of an illustrious ma-

ternal ancestor, Albert Gallatin, the famous
statesman and eiirly citizen of Fayette county.

Albert Gallatin was born in Geneva, Swit-
zerland, came to the American colonies in
1780, purchased property in Springhill town-
ship, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, which he
called "Friendship Hill," and resided there
from 1786 to 1827, when he removed to New
York City, dying at Astoria, Long Island, Au-
gust 12, 1849. He was the father of the glass
industry in Fayette county, but it was as a
public man that he is best known. He was a
member of the Pennsylvania legislature, elect-
ed to the United States senate, but unseated
on account of foreign birth. He was elected
to congress in 1794-96-98 and 1800, resign-
ing in 1801 to become secretary of the treas-
ury under Presidents Jefferson and Madison;
was commissioner in 1814 with Adams and
Bayard to make and sign the treaty of peace
with Great Britain; minister to France from
1815 to 1824, refused a seat in the United
States senate and a nomination for vice-pres-
ident; minister to England one year, then
withdrew from public life. He married (first)
in 1789, Sophia AUegre, of Richmond, Vir-
ginia, (second) in 1793, Hannah, daughter of
Commodore James Nicholson, United States
navy. In 1825 he entertained the Marquis
de Lafayette at "Friendship Hill," an occasion
that yet lives in the traditions of the neigh-
borhood. He died in the eighty-ninth year of
his nge, leaving issue.

(IV) Charles Luther, son of Amos Wood
and Huldah (Vernon) Davidson, was born at
the home farm in Redstone township, Fay-
ette county, Pennsylvania, near Brownsville,
March 20, 1883. He was educated in the pub-
lic school and spent his early years in Red-
stone township, later attending high school
at Bridgeport, Pennsylvania. He began busi-
ness life as an insurance agent, and is now
a law student, also an officer of the Fayette
county court. He is a Republican in politics,
and with his wife belongs to the Baptist

He married, January 5, 1905, Leora E.
Armstrong, born in Franklin township, near
Perryopolis, Fayette county, July 6, 1880,
daughter of James R. Armstrong, born in
Jefferson township, Greene county, Pennsyl-
vania, a farmer, now living near Perryopolis;
married Mary E. Craft, born in Jefferson
township, Greene county, died at the age of



sixty-five years; their cliilclren: i. George L.,
married Erniiiia Bute, and lives in Connells-
ville, Pennsylvania. 2. Mary F., married
Martin E. lownsend, of Perry township. 3.
Harriet, married C. L. V. Bute, 'and lives in
Uniontown; child: Gladys P. 4. Leora E.
(of previous mention). The only child of
Charles L. and Leora E. Davidson, Charles
L. (2), died in infancy.

This branch of the David-
DAVIDSON son family is of compara-
tively recent settlement in
Fayette county. The founder of the family,
Thomas Davidson, came from England in
1884. He is a grandson of William and Ellen
(Bracket) Davidson, lifelong residents of
county Durham, England, although William
was born in White, Haven, Cumberland. He
was a glassworker engaged in bottle making,
later a fisherman, following the sea until
quite old. He had a brother, George David-
son, who came to the United States. The five
sons of William and Ellen Davidson all
lived and died in Sunderland, England ; Esabel,
Thomas, William (2). John, Henry (of further
nientionl, George and James Edward.

(H) Henry, son of William and Ellen
(Bracket) Davidson, was born at Sunderland
county, Durham, England, March 21. 1837.
He began at an early age following the sea
as a fisherman, continuing in that occupation
all his early life. He died in 1879. He mar-
ried Mary Downey, born in South Shields,
England, in 1836, died in' 1902, daughter of
William and Ellen Downey, born in Sunder-
land. Four of their ten children are living in
England: James, Hannah, Eleanor and
Thomas: anotlicr, Tamah, resides near Aber-
deen, Scotland, while Jane, Mary, Sarah, Isa-
bel and Eliza are deceased. Children of Hen-
ry and Mary Davidson: i. Henry, born 1857,
died 1864. 2. Isabel, married James Snaith,
and resides in Scottdale, Pennsylvania. 3.
Thomas W., of whom further. 4. George,
lives in Scottdale, Pennsylvania, a water
tender. 5. John Henry, living in Sunderland,
Engl 'nd. 6. James Edward, living in Sunder-
land, En eland. Two died in infancy.

(Ill) Thomas W., second son of Henry
and Mary (Downey) Davidson, was born at
Sunderland countv, Durham, England,
March 24, 1861. He was educated in Wes-
leyan public school, and in early life began

working in the mines at Shotton, near Sun-
derland. In 1884, after his marriage, he came
to the United States alone. The following
year his wife joined him at Rock Springs,
Wyoming, where he first worked at coal min-
ing, later was employed in silver and copper
mining, remaining in Wyoming about two
years. His wife died at Denver, Colorado.
He then worked in New Mexico and Wash-
ington mines for two years, finally, in 1889,
returning east to Tarr Station, Westmore-
land county, Pennsylvania, where he was coal
mining for three years, rising by promotion
to the position of "fire boss." He then en-
cered the employ of the W. J. Rainey Coal
and Coke Company as fire boss at their Paul
mine; then for six months was mine foreman
at the Mutual mine ; later held the same posi-
tion at the Paul mine at Vanderbilt. He next
was in the employ of the Cochran Company
at Juniata, continuing until September i,
1905, when he was appointed mine foreman
at Moyer, a position he now most capably

Mr. Davidson fitted himself for the posi-
tion of mine foreman through a course of
study with the International Correspondence
School, a technical knowledge that combined
with his practical mining experiences thor-
oughly equips him for so important a posi-
tion. He has a farm of nearly one hundred
acres located in Virginia, which he rents, and
has accumulated other property. He is a
member of the Methodist Episcopal church
of Connellsville, of which his wife is also a
member. He holds advanced progressive po-
litical views, classing as a Social Democrat.

He married, in 1881, in England, Dorothy
Stoker, who died in Denver, Colorado.
He married (second) July 23, 1892, Fre-
donia Flescher, born in West X'ircinia.
Children of first marriage: i. Henrietta,
married John Hipson, and lives in South
Shields, England. 2. Fred, a chauffeur, mar-
ried Rose Herbert and resides at Pittsburgh,
Pennsvlvania. Children of second marriage.
3. Curtis, born April 6, 1893, died aged five
years. 4. Pearl, born December 25, 1894. 5.
Beatrice, December 13, 1897, died December
25, 1897. 6. Lily, born April 16, 1900, died
February, 1904. 7. Adrian, born RIarch 2,
1903. 8." Paul, December 15, 1905. 9. Louis,
August 12, 1909. 10. Eleanor Frances, April
17, 1912.



The family home is on East End avenue,
Connellsville, Pennsylvania, where Mr. Da-
vidson erected a residence in 191 i.

This family migrated to Con-
NORTON nellsville as early, probably,
as the year 1799 — certainly
prior to 1812 — when Lester Leroy Norton,
his brother, Daniel S. Norton, and their
mother, together with an uncle, came here
from Newtown, Connecticut, and began the
manufacture of cotton, erecting and operating
a four-story stone cotton mill on Baldwin's,
or Connell run. This location was the prop-
erty of Abram Baldwin, another of the an-
cestors of the present family, who was a na-
tive of New England, and came to Connells-
ville in or about 1806; he was a prominent man
in church, politics and business; manufac-
tured the first carding machines ever made
in this section of the country. His shop was
on Baldwin's run, immediately south of the
old burial ground, and his millpond was a
famous fishing and skating place for the boys
of Connellsville. Li 1816 Daniel S. Norton
left the rest of his family and removed to

Lester L. Norton remained in Connells-
ville, becoming a prominent manufacturer
and the leading man in the town, adjusting
matters of importance to the community and
arbitrating the affairs of his friends and
neighbors. Several years after the erection
of the first mill Mr. Norton erected and oper-
ated a little further down the stream a fac-
tory for the carding, spinning and fulling of
wool only, the motive power being water.

With keen business foresight he soon per-
ceived that the making of iron was destined
to become one of the leading industries of
Western Pennsylvania, so he converted his
mill into a foundry, having a cupola large
enough to melt three tons of iron ore a day.
The blast was produced by connecting the
crank from the water wheel to an overhead
beam, which in turn worked a piston in an
air-tight box or bellows. This system, which
Mr. Norton worked out for himself, is identi-
cally the same as that employed on a vastly
more extensive scale by the million dollar
blowing engines of the Homestead furnaces.
Mr. Norton also became one of the original
coke producers of this place, making, in fact,
the first coke ever taken out of Connellsville.

He engaged a Mr. Nichols, from Durham,
England, where coke for gas had been made
in beehive ovens and pits in the ground, to
come over and take charge of the foundry.
An oven twelve feet square was designed by
Mr. Nichols and built by John Taylor, a
mason; and here at Norton's foundry, in the
year 1833, the first coke ever made in the
Connellsville region was produced, and, in
fact, the first successful coke in America.
Others soon began to buy from Mr. Norton,
who had associated his son Philo with him
in the business, and a flourishing industry
was established; ricks were made in the
ground to produce the coke, which was
shipped in boats down the Youghiogheny
river. This business has later passed into the
ownership of the Davidson interest, having
gained for its founder eminence as a citizen
and manufacturer.

Mr. Norton was one of the best educated
men of his time. Born at Newtown, Con-
necticut, in 1791 or 1797, his education was
completed at Washington and Jefferson Col-
lege, where he became an excellent scholar
in Latin and Greek. At the age of seventy-
five years his faculties were so well preserved
that he was still able to read from the Bible
in the original Greek. He was one of the
pillars of the Christian church at Connells-
ville, which he assisted Alexander Campbell
in founding, and his house was considered
Mr. Campbell's headquarters in that vicinity.
The old house, which was built in 1829, is
still occupied by Mr. Norton's descendants.
A leading man in every walk in life, upright,
progressive and intellectual, he lived to a ripe
old age, dying at the age of eighty years.
His wife was a Miss Harriet Gibbs, born in
Washington county, Pennsylvania, in the
year 1798, and dying February i, 1869, at the
age of seventy years and seven months; she
was the daughter of Thomas and Harriet
(Baldwin) Gibbs, Harriet (Baldwin) Gibbs
having been the daughter of Abram and
Sarah Baldwin. This is the Abram Baldwin
referred to previously as the owner of Bald-
win's run, upon which place Mr. Philo Nor-
ton, father of Lester L. Norton, erected the
first carding machine west of the Alleghany
mountains, being associated with Mr. B.ildwin.
He was a New Englander. coming to Con-
uelisville in about the year 1806, and acquiring
prominence in the community as a churchman,



politician and business man; he died October

7, 1832, in his seventy-third )ear. His wife
Sarah died September 24, 1836, in her seventy-
fith year. Cliildrcn of Mr. and Mrs. Lester Le-
roy Norton: i. Philo, born in Connellsville,
Pennsylvania, March 26, 1823 (see further
mention). 2. Abraham B., died April 16,
1854, aged nineteen years three months. 3.
Lester L. Jr., died June 6, 1855, aged seven-
teen years seven months. 4. Harriet G., died
October i, 1855, aged fifteen years five
months. 5. Margaret C, died October 28,
1850, aged twenty-five years eight months. 6.
Dorcas C, died March 20, 1850, aged one
year two months. 7. David C, died January

8, 1834, aged one year eight months. 8. D.
Baldwin, died July 2."], 1822, aged one year.

9, Anna B., died January 7, 1834, aged two
years nine months. 10. Olivia, died Decem-
ber 2g, 1833, aged two months. 11. Le Roi,
born March 25. 1827. died October 31, 1892.

(H) Philo Norton, son of Lester Leroy
and Harriet (Gibbs) Norton, was born in
Connellsville, March 26, 1823. His father, not
being content with the methods of teaching
which prevailed in the place at that time, con-
ducted his education personally and made of
the son as fine a scholar as the father himself
had been. Philo became well versed in math-
ematics, science and foreign languages, and
was especially skilled in the classics, being
able even when at the advanced age of eighty
years to translate Horace and Virgil with
ease. Upon attaining his majority he turned
his attention to surveying, and became a civil
engineer. • As in his earlier studies, he had
made a specialty of the geology of his native
country, he became convinced of the great
value of the coal and iron deposits of West-
ern Pennsylvania, and interested himself in
coal, steel and mining industries in connec-
tion with Daniel Davidson, J. i\L Faber and
James Maskimans, at Connellsville. Later he
sold out his interests here and removed to
Brownsville, in Fayette county, Pennsyl-
vania, also opening a coal mine at Bridge-
port. His thorough knowledge of geology
stood him in good stead, assuring him of the
vast fields of coal deposit then unknown to
the general public, whose use of this com-
modity was then very much less extensive
than it is at present. With keen, business in-
tuition he secured an option on all the coal
lands of the Monongahela valley, now worth

billions of dollars, and proposed to float a
company for their development; in his pros-
pectus he prophesied the subsequent wealth
of this coal region, stating how iron ore could
be brought here cheaply "and smelted. All of
this has since proved true. He was associated
in his business enterprises wdth a number of
other persons, one of whom, Jay Cook, failed
in his dealings and brought disaster upon all
of the others, causing them to lose all of
their possessions. This has indeed often been
the misfortune of the pioneer developers of
any great product, who clear the field and do
the hard work, meeting with many setbacks,
only that their successors reap the harvest.
The hard luck and disappointment, however,
seemed to break Mr. Norton's spirit; he re-
moved to North Carolina, where he remained
until his death. He was far from being in-
active here, however; recognized by all of the
principal geological societies as being one of
the highest authorities in mineralogv, he
busied himself in making a collection for the
New Orleans E.xposition of all the different
minerals of the state of North Carolina, mak-
ing a personal tour of the country for that
purpose; he was highly successful in this,
showing that North Carolina possessed a
greater variety of mineral products than any
other state in the LTnion, and received un-
stinted praise for his excellent work. He was
urged to make a similar collection for the
Boston Museum, but owing to his advanced
age was compelled to decline. Throughout
his entire life he manifested a strong interest
in education and public matters, serving as a
director on the school board and being iii his
political convictions a member of the Demo-
cratic party. He lived to the age of eighty-
six years, dying in the year 1908. His wife
was a Miss Martha Herbert, who was born
in Connellsville, then called New Haven, on
June 2, 1824. She was the daughter of Jo-
seph and Barbara (Shallenberger) Herbert,
and the granddaughter of John Herbert, all
of whom came to Connellsville in the year
1799, being some of the earliest settlers; they
were of English descent, coming' from Eliza-
bethtown, New Jersey. Joseph Herbert was
a shoemaker by trade, becoming postmaster
of Connellsville, in which capacity he served
for over thirty years. His dwelling house
stood on the present site of the First Na-
tional Bank Building. Mr. and Mrs. Philo



Norton had eight children, six sons and two
daughters, as follows: i. Maria, deceased.
2. Margaret Cooke. 3. Carlos Alonzo, who is
treasurer and secretary of the Hazelwood Oil
Company at Pittsburgh; he is a man of emi-
nent learning. 4. Joseph Herbert, of Nor-
folk, Virginia. 5. Abram Baldwin. 6. Clar-
ence L., of Mars, Pennsylvania. 7. James
McIIvaine, who died in 1865, aged eighteen
months. 8. Eugene Trump, of whom further.
(Ill) Eugene Trump Norton, son of Philo
and Martha (Herbert)) Norton, was born in
Bridgeport, Fayette county, Pennsylvania,
October 10, 1866, being the youngest child of
the family. At the age of seven years he re-
moved with his parents to Connellsville,
where he attended the high school, from which
he was graduated in the year 1882; this was
the first graduating class of the institution,
and Eugene Norton was the only boy in the
class. Two weeks later he began his business
career as a messenger boy in the First Na-
tional Bank of Connellsville and has worked
his way up through the various positions of
teller, assistant cashier and cashier, until his
unsolicited election by the directors as vice-
president. This post he now occupies, tak-
ing an active interest in the management of
the bank. He is a man of many interests,
and is a very prominent person in the com-
munity, being an ofhcer or member of seven-
teen diliferent companies; among these are
the Riverside Metal Refining Company, of
which he is president and director; the
Guiler-Kendall Sand Company, of which he
is vice-president and director; the Sligo Iron
and Steel Company and the Meyersdale Coal
Company, of which he is treasurer and di-
rector; the Fayette Securities Company, of
which he is secretary and treasurer, and the
Connellsville Construction Company, the
Connellsville News Publishing Company, the
Provident Coke and Mining Company and
the Wells Creek Supply Company, of which
he is a director. Besides these he is president
of the First National Bank of Vanderbilt,
vice-president and director of Connellsville
Chamber of Commerce, trustee of Bethany
College of West Virginia, first secretary of
the Connellsville Clearing House Associa-
tion, director of Connellsville Y. M. C. A.,
and trustee of the Christian church, of which
he is a member, as all of his family have been.
He was also made, unsolicited, a director of

the Connellsville Masonic Association, which
is very powerful here. He is a thirty-second
degree Mason, member of King Solomon
Lodge at Connellsville, the Lodge of Perfec-
tion at Uniontown and the Pennsylvania
Consistory at Pittsburgh. In his political
convictions he is a Democrat, and has served
on the city school board, of which he was at
one time president.

His residence is on the family estate on
Mount Pleasant road, just outside the limits
of the city of Connellsville, where he has a
most delightful home, enjoying the respect
and esteem of the entire community; his
career has been a credit to the family name
of which he is justly proud, for he is a most
courteous, business-like and distinguished
man. Mr. Norton has been twice married.
June 8, 1893, he married Miss Clara Hayes
Barge, daughter of John and Rachel Barge;
she was born on the i6th of October, 1866,
near Newcastle, Pennsylvania, and died Jan-
uary 14, 1895, having one child that died at
birth. Mr. Norton's second marriage was to
Mrs. Elizabeth (Barge) Porter, a sister of his
first wife, who was born February 6, 1864,
also at Newcastle. By this marriage he has
two children: John Barge Norton, born De-
cember 22, 1904, and Virginia Norton, born
August 23, 1906.

fill) Abram Baldwin Norton,
NORTON son of Philo Norton (q. v.),

and Martha (Herbert) Norton,
was born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, Feb-
ruary 14, 1858. He grew to maturity in Con-
nellsville and became a jeweler and optician,
learning the business under Mr. Yates, of
that place. He afterward removed to Al-
toona, Pennsylvania, and from there to Min-
neapoHs, Minnesota, where he was employed
for a while, but returned to Altoona, where
he conducted a store. In the year 1907 he
finally removed to Ellwood City, Pennsyl-
vania, where he is now an optician and jew-
eler. He is a member of the Methodist Epis-
copal church, and is a Democrat in his poli-
tics. Mr. Norton was married at the age of
twent}-six years to Laura Matilda Ake, born
in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, April 20,
1859, died May 2y, 1906, at Cumberland,
Maryland. Mr. and Mrs. Norton had five
children: Abram Baldwin Jr., of whom
further; Charles Wood, deceased; Harold



Orlando, of Pittsburgh; Kenneth White, of
Chicago; Martha Herbert Norton, living in
Ellwood City, Pennsylvania.

(IV) Abram Baldwin Norton Jr., son of
Abram Baldwin and Laura Matilda (Ake)
Norton, was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota,
March 7, 1885. He attended the public
schools of Altoona, Pennsylvania, and Cum-
berland, Maryland, taking a subsequent com-
mercial course in Cumberland. After this he
entered business, becoming a mail clerk on
the Pennsylvania railroad at their general of-
fices in Altoona. He then entered the em-
ploy of the Westinghouse Electric Company
of East Pittsburgh, remaining for six years
in their construction department. On Febru-
ary 15, 1908, he came to Connellsville and
assumed the management of the Riverside
Metal Refining Company, of which his uncle,
Eugene T. Norton, is president, and John
Gans is secretary and treasurer. This com-
pany was organized in 1904 and handles
solder, babbitt metals and white metal alloys;
it employs about a dozen men and a number
of others on the road. Mr. Norton is an en-
terprising young man and full of energy and
progressiveness; he is well known in the com-
munity, not only as a capable business man,
but as a staunch member of the Republican
party, and as a member in good standing of
the First Presbyterian Church of Connells-
ville. On June i, 1910, he was married to
Jennie Mary Reynolds, born in Oil City,
Pennsylvania, February 28, 1885, daughter
of Ernest Leutellis Reynolds and Mary Eliza-
beth Reed, both natives of Clarion county,
Pennsylvania, where Mr. Reynolds was born
in 1855 and his wife the year afterward. Mr.
and Mrs. Norton have one child, Abram
Baldwin Norton, the third of the name, born
August 2, 191 1.

Lester Philo Norton was born
NORTON in Mount Vernon, Knox

county, Ohio, April 27, 1828.
His father was Philo L. Norton and his
mother was Jane C. Norton, both of whom
died when he was quite young. The earlier
years of his life were spent in and around
Mount Vernon in the employ of his uncle,
Daniel S. Norton, who was an extensive real
estate owner and who also operated a flour
and feed mill and an oil mill. He was also the
Mount Vernon agent of the Baltimore &

Ohio Railroad Company when the line was
first built from Newark, Ohio, to Chicago

Online LibraryJohn Woolf JordanGenealogical and personal history of Fayette county, Pennsylvania (Volume 2) → online text (page 56 of 57)