Samuel P. (Samuel Penniman) Bates.

History of Erie county, Pennsylvania online

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GIRARI) TOWNSHIP. 53



GIRARD TOWNSHIP.

Po„^J^^^w^-'^SS^'^^.'-'^"'*^°« °^ ^^« Peace, P. 0. Platea, was born in Cheshire
ooi^ty, JN H. m 1808, and is a son of Amasa and Hannah (Payne) Aldrich, both natives
of Massachusetts. They were the parents of fifteen children, our subject the only one
surviving. Amasa was a soldier of the Revolutionary war, and died when Williaii was
hve years old. The latter married, in 1835, Mary Preston, who, dying, left two children,
^•1^ °tS^ deceased. The youngest, Mary, was the wife of Jefferson Rouse, and left one
child, Mary, who married Edwin Wright, by whom she had twins. Mr. Aldrich's second
marriage was with Elizabeth Sawdy, who died without issue. He then was united to
barah Hatton, of Chautauqua, N. Y. Mr. Aldrich came to Erie County in 1833, making
the ]ourney via the Schenectady & Albany Railroad, the first railroad line in the United
btates. Ue engaged in farming, subsequently erecting a tannery, which he carried on
successfully many years, but closed on account of other business and his desire to retire
from active pursuits. He was commissioned as Justice of the Peace in 1881 for five years.
Ue was previously engaged m manufacturing boots and shoes at Lockport, and has always
felt an interest in building and improving the place. He is now living in his fine residence
in tiie borough of Lockport, and as a citizen and pioneer is highly esteemed.

DR. EDWIN R. ALLEN, Girard, a descendant of the distinguished Ethen Allen, of
liconderoga fame, was born in Girard Township, Erie Co., Penn., September 1, 1825, and
IS a son of Ira and Phebe (Comstock) Allen, who came to this county in 1818, and entei-ed
100 acres of land at Cross Station, where they passed their lives. They reared a family of
seven children, five living— Emily, Nancy, Roana, Almira and Edwin R. The latter re-
mained on the homestead until seventeen years of age, when he engaged on a vessel, and
followed a seafaring life several years. He began the study of dentistry in 1856, the fol-
lowing year going to Cass County, Mich., where he practiced his profession four years.
He then engaged m farming four years in Girard, subsequently resumed his profession in
same, and has now an established business, and is the oldest practitioner in Girard. Dr.
Allen's marriage occurred in 1853 in this township, with Helen M. Anderson, a native of
Girard. Two children blessed this union— Clarence Emir, a teacher at Salt Lake City,
married to Corrinne Tuckerman, of Austinburg. Ohio, and Cyrus A., dentist at Buffalo.
Dr. Allen is among the oldest born settlers. Pie is universally respected, and is an hon-
ored officer of Slasons.

A. S. ANDERSON, retired farmer, P. 0. Girard, was born in Chautauqua County, N.
T., November 17. 1821, and is a grandson of George Anderson, a native of Massachusetts,
who settled in this county in 1831, coming from Ann Arbor, Mich. He engaged in lum-
bering, and built a saw mill in Girard Township, which he ran a few years, then sold out
and moved to Matthew Anderson's, where he died at the age of ninety-eight years. He
was a pioneer of Chenango County, N. Y., taking up 400 acres of land there. His wife
was Elizabeth Steward, by whom he had fourteen children. The father of our subject,
Matthew, was born in Chenango County in 1799. He, with his brother Allen, came to this
county, articled 100 acres of land, and returned to the East. This land was subsequently
lost. He was a carpenter by trade, working at the same for years, and accumulated con-
siderable property. His widow, still surviving, wasEmily Maynard, born in Colerain, Mass.,
in 1796. They were the parents of four children, all now surviving, viz. : A. S. ; Amos W.,
a resident of McHenry County, III, the father of Edwin V. and May, wife of Mr. Hungi-
ford; William M., of Grass Valley, Cal., also has two children — Clarence R., residing on
the homestead with grandmother, and Emma, widow of S. E. Brindle; and Helen, wife of
Dr. E. R. Allen. Our subject was brought up on the homestead farm in this township, of
which he is the oldest re.sident. He married, April 8, 1847, Adaline A., daughter of Elijah
Drury, of a pioneer family, and a native of this county. Of the three children born to
this union two are now living — Leslie M.. married to Ida Bunnell, and Carl M., married to
Mattie Drury. After marriage, Mr. Anderson settled on his present place, retiring from
the active pursuits of life in 1876. He has lived to see all his children comfortably settled.

HENRY BALL, .Justice of the Peace,' Girard, is the only living son of Henry and
Betsey (Halsted) Ball, and was born in 1810, in Galway, N. Y. His father, after emigrat-
ing to this country from England, settled in Saratoga County, N. Y., where he was sales-
man some years, engaged in farming, and at one time served as Constable. He and his
wife died within a year of each other, leaving Henry and Laura, a widow, and mother of
Martha, wife of Theodore Allen, residing on the old homestead. Our subject located in
Girard Township, and began, in connection with farming, in the commission and forward-
ing business. In 1846, he was elected Justice of the Peace, serving five years. He was



54 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES:

re-elected in 1857, and has since filled this office. He has also served as School Director
eighteen years, Secretary and Treasurer of the Council many years, and as Treasurer of
the School Board, and Secretary of the Cemetery Company, in all capacities with satis-
faction to his constituents and credit to himself. He was married to Martha Chesebro,
a native of Saratoga County, N. Y. Three children blessed this union, one surviving,
Jennie, widow of Fenton Daggett, by whom she has one child. Fenta.

W. C. BATCHELER, farmer, P. O. Girard, was born in Ashtabula County, Ohio, in
1833. son of Elijah and .Johanna (Taft) Batcheler, natives of New Hampshire and New
York respectively. Amos Batcheler, the grandfather, of English descent, was born in
New Hampshire, and served in the Revolutionary war. In 1811, he entered a large tract
of land in what is now Kingsville. Ashtabula Co.', Ohio, built a log cabin assisted by the
pioneers from three townships, raised a large family and passed his life. In 1856, Elijah
moved from Ashtabula to Erie County, settling in Albion Township, where he died in
1863. He was the parent of fiye children, all living, viz., Angelina, widow of E. Denio ;
Lu(!inda, wife of H. P. Sullivan; W. C; Amos, a resident of Farg-o, Dak., and George.
Our subject was thoroughly educated in A.shtabula and Erie Counties, read medicine, and
foUowetl Ills profession until his health failed, when he moved to Conneaut Township,
Erie County, in October, 1861. In 1863, he joined the Union army as Hospital Steward, in
which capacity he served until August, 1863. For a few years, he followed mercantile
trade, but his poor health compelled him to abandon this, and for the past few years he
ha.i been farming. He moved to Girard in 1873, and in 1881 occupied his present farm,
consisting of seventy-five acres. He has held various township offices, and is connected
witli the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Batcheler was united in marriage, in this
county, in 1859, with Annie E., daughter of Henry Skinner, of Erie County ; three chil-
dren l)letsed this union, two living— Henry E. and Mary A.

ASA BATTLES, fruit culturist, Girard, was born in 1837 in this township, and is a
son of Asa and Elizabeth Battles, both natives of Vermont. The first record we find of
this name in America is from Savage's Genealogical Dictionary. Thomas Battles, a Puri-
tan emigrant, settled in Dedham, Mass.. in 1643, married Mary Fisher, and raised a fam-
ily of children, dying in 1706. It is said one of his .sons settled in Bridgewater, Mass.,
from whom descended John Battles, the great-grandfather of our subject, who married a
Curtis November 16, 1749, and had several children, the oldest named Jolm, the grand-
father of our subject, who married Lydia Spear, his first wife, and had five children, the
fifth being Asa, 8r., the father of the present Asa ; also, b.y his second wife, five children.
Asa Battles, Sr., was born 1786, and married Elizabeth Brown. November 33, 1814, the
daughter of Abraham Brown, who was well known as a writer of sacred poetry ; many of
his hymns are now retained in the populaj' collections of the day. Thej' had the following
children, all living; Rosina. born June 37, 1813, married L. I. Baldwin; George W., born
June 15, 1816, married a Miss Bartlett; Alsina, born July 33, 1820 ; Lucina, born January 16,
1834; Asa, horn September 21, 1837, married a Miss Hinds; Rush S., born April 34, 1838,
married a Webster. He was a soldier in the war of 1813. In 1814, he settled in Western
New York, but in 1825 he removed to Girard, Penn., residing until he died May 10, 1848,
aged sixty-two years. His widow survived him till October 10, 1868, aged eighty-one
years. Asa Battles (our subject), at the early age of twenty years, engaged in mercantile
busiiiess, conducting one of tlie largest stores in the place. At twenty-one, he was
appointed Po-stmaster, holding the ofiice four years, when he engaged in mail contracting,
on quite a large scale, with the Post Office Department, having, at the commencement of
the war of the rebellion, contracts in all the Middle and Western and several of the
Southern States. Owin§ to the unsettling of values, the war about destroyed this busi-
ness. He then turned his attention to the mercantile trade, opening a wholesale store in
Milwaukee, Wis., and, soon after, another in Chicago ; was also proprietor of a large
hotel in Chicago previous to the great fire, after which he had one in St. Louis a few years.
Although exempt from military duty, he hired a substitute, and kept him in the service
during the war. When Pennsylvania was unable to fill her quota m the army without
resorting to a draft, he accepted a commission from the Governor to proceed to the Gulf
States and obtain colored recruits, in which he was quite successful. He was also largely
engaged in the oil business, owning many producing Avells, and a large refinery on' Oil
Creek. He was married, December 27, 1849, to Sarah M., daughter of Perley Hinds, one
of the early pioneers of this county. Six children have been born to them, five of whom
are now living : Clarence Perley, born October 16, 1853, graduated at Rush Medical Col-
lege, Chicago, and is now a practicing physician ; Raymond Willis, born July 31 1856
graduated at Rush Medical College. Chicago, and is practicins medicine at Ripley N Y '■
wiis married to Teresa, daughter of Hon. L. W. Thickstun, and have one son, Donald R •'
Wilton Lamar, born September 31. 1860, graduated at the University of Pennsylvania
and IS now practicing dental surgery ; Leland Asa, born June 8, 1867 ; Cora Gertrude'
born January 18, 1871. Asa Battles has now retired from all his business operations and
devotes himself entirely to horticultural pursuits, having, it is said, the finest and 'most
extensive fruit plantation in the State of Pennsylvania.



GIRARD TOWNSHIP. 55

,„^ ^i!?:,i?£^™^^®' ^'^^^f\- ^ii'^ard, is a native of Girard, born April, 1833, son of Asa
^nnfnr 1 Vt J^n^'^ff ?^"^'',■ ^^l ^S^"^" \?^^'^^ °f Stoughton Mass., the latter of
2, If^ f ^ -1 ^HP ?e«led lived and died on 350 acres of lanj in tliis township. They
n\Tn ^I^^V'^^cP''"^''!,''',''" surviving-Rosina, wife of L. I. Baldwin, Conneaut,
Ohio ; Geor^^e W., of Santa Barbara County, Cal. ; Alsina, Lucina, Asa and Rush S Our
subject acqmred a primary education in the schools of Girard, where he began to read law
with S. E. Woodrutt. In 1853, he entered the National Law School of Poughkeepsie, N
Y., graduating m the class of 1854. and was admitted, the same year, to the bar of Erie
Sn'i^/' V ?f ® associated with his former preceptor in the practice of law in this
village, lears later they dissolved, and he devoted his time to farming until 1859, when
1 07« 1 X?^ ^'■=ii?'^^'^' "°'i"'' ^^^ fi™ name of Battles & Webster. The latter retired in
lB7b,_ and Mr. Battles has since conducted the business alone. He has also an interest in
and is becretarv and Treasurer of the Wrench Factory. Mr. Battles was married, in 1861,
to Chavlotte M., daughter of James Webster, of Girard. Of their three children, one
C. Elizabeth, survives. The family reside on the old homestead, and are highly esteemed

HENRY BECKER, merchant tailor, Girard, was born in Bavaria. Germany, in 1830
emigrating to the United States in 1851, and coming to Girard the following year, where
he opened'a clothing store, which he has since successfully carried on. He is the oldest
merchant tailor in the city, and also carries a full line of clothing, hats, caps, notions, etc
He married m this county in 1854, Katrina B., daughter of Christian Breckle, a native of
Wittenberg, Germany, who settled in Mill Creek Township in 1843. To this union eleven
children have been born, viz.: Henry, Charles (deceased at New Washington, Ohio); Kat-
rina, wife of R. Warner; Edward in San Francisco, Cal.; Annie; Helen, in San Francisco
Cal. ; Christian, a barber in Girard; Martha, Gustav, Ida and Caroline. Mr. Becker for
nine years has been a member of the City Council, and holds a Lieutenant's and Captain's
commission m the militia, m which he served nine years. He purchased the Lutheran
Church named in his honor the Becker Church, and has been its President fifteen years.

DA V ID P. BLAIR, farmer, P. O. Girard, was born on the homestead in this township
in 1818, and is a son of James and Mary (Wallace) Blair, who located their home in the
thickly wooded heights of Elk Creek Township, in 1803. They came from Fayette County,
floating their household effects to Meadville, from whence they were brought on horseback.
They paid §50 for 400 acres of land, and, after paying taxes on it seven years, abandoned
It. Mr. Blair subsequently made a purchase which includes property now occupied by our
subject, where he and his wife passed the remainder of their lives. They were the parents
of six children, four of whom are now living— James, Joseph, David P. and Samuel. Mr.
Blair died in March, 1855; his widow survived until June 9, 1873, dying in her ninety-
fourth year. David P. was married March 5, 1874, to Caroline, daughter of Robert and
Sa.bina Wallace, a native of Washington County, Penn. One son, Robert W., born to
this union, is now living. The famil3r erected a fine residence near the old home, a portion
of which is the old log cabin, which is still standing. The original homestead consisted
of 100 acres, but David P. Blair has made subsequent purchases of 300 acres. The family
are widely and favorably known. Their home is situated on a belt of land that stretches
out 150 feet above the bend of Elk Creek, and affords one of the finest views in that section.
JAMES R. BLAIR, farmer, P. O. Girard, was born on the homestead in this township.
May 7, 1838, and is a son of John W. and Candace (Strong) Blair, the former a native of
Erie County, born February 15, 1807, and the latter born May 7, 1809, in Vermont. John
W. was a son of James Blair, who settled in this township in 1803, and died in 1879. His
widow still survives. The subject of this sketch has a farm of eighty acres and has always
followed farming. He is one of our oldest pioneers and is highly respected.

R. C. BROMLEY, retired farmer, P. O. Girard, was born in 1817 in Rutland County,
Vt., son of Smith and Phebe M. (Wescott) Bromley, natives of Vermont, and who
came to this county in 1837, settling in Springfield 'Township. Our subject, their only
child, came with them. His father bought a farm of fifty-four acres, on which he lived
until the death of his wife in 1847. Some two years afterward, the father returned to Ver-
mont, where he died, leaving our subject the farm. R. C. Bromley was married in 1843,
to Cina A. Cross, youngest child of Oliver Cross, a pioneer of this county, from Vermont.
To this union were born three daughters — Mary Jane, married to Samuel R. Carroll, had
three children — John B., Lidal., and Ella R., died June 3, 1873; Laura A., married to
Norman L. Pratt, has one daughter — Adah Pearl, now residing in Omaha, Neb.; and Flora
D., married to J. Harley Silverthorn, has three children — Lora P., Leo G. and Roa C,
now living on our subject's farm in this township. In 1853, Mr. Bromley moved to Craw-
ford County, Penn,, where he resided twelve years. Here he was an acting Justice of the
Peace one term, besides holding other township offices. In 1865, he bought a farm in
Oirard Township, this county, to which he at once moved. Here he was elected to the
office of Justice of the Peace one term (five years, as fixed by the law of Pennsylvania).
Our subject being compelled, owing to severe attacks of rheumatism, to retire from active
labor in 1883, purchased a house and lot near Girard depot, where he now resides.



56 BIOGEAPHICAL SKETCHES:

A M CLARK, gi-ocer, Girard, was born in Torrington, Conn., in 1837, anrl is a son of
Converse' and Almira (Burr) Clark, natives of Connecticut, tlie^ former born February 29,
1800- the latter April 33, 1803. They came to this county m 1837, and settled on a farm
in Greene Township, Erie County. In 1849, Mr. Clark, Sr., removed to Springfield, where
he spent the remainder of his life, dying December 39, 1853. He was at one time an active
militiaman in Connecticut, and served as an officer in his native State and after coming
"West His widow is residing with a daughter in Earlville, 111., in the eighty-second year
of her age. She is the mother of six children, viz. : George Bussell. Chester B.. Jane Lu-
cina Flora Almira J., Almon M. and Mills C. The latter served as Captain of I. F. v.,
was wounded at Champion Hills, but served to the close of the war. Our subject followed
farming until 1866, when he entered into a copartnership with George P. Rea, groceries and
dry goods. He sold his interest to Mr. Rea four years later, establishing himself in the
grocery business, which he has since followed, occupying his present premises in the fall
of 1871, where he carries a large stock of groceries, crockery, etc., doing a constantly in-
creasing and successful trade. He married at Springfield, Penn., November 33, 1859, Ma-
tilda H. Ferguson, born March 35, 1839, daughter of ]3ance Ferguson. She died January
18, 1883. They have an adopted daughter, Bertha A. Mr. Clark is one of tlie active men
and esteemed citizensfof the township, in w^hich he has held various offices of trust.

WILLIS COFFMAN, farmer, P. O. Platea. was born on the homestead farm in Girard
Township in 1859. and is a son of Conrad and Barbara (Eaton) CofEman, who were among
the pioneers of 1803, and erected a cabin in the wilderness of Elk Creek, where they lived
to the close of theirlives. Theyreared a family of nine children, four of whom are living —
Willis, Ellen, Dorcas and Rush. The children have the homestead farm, consisting of .sixty
acres.

D. Pl. CROOKS, farmer, P. O. Girard, was born in Groveland, N. Y., in 1814, and is the
youngest child of David and J. (Buskirk) Crooks, the former a native of Northumber-
land County, Penn., and the latterof New Jersey. Theysettled on the farm now occupied
by our subject in 1829, which then consisted of 133 acres. They reared a family of seven
children, all growing to manhood and womanhood, but now all deceased except two —
Hannah and D. R. David Crooks died at the age of eighty-eight, and his wife when eighty-
two years of age. Hannah Crooks maiTied Samuel Buckby. and resides in Southwestern
Missouri. They have a family of eight children, viz., Thomas, David, Edwin; Jane,
Catherine, Margaret (who resides on the homestead with our subject), Fannie and Emily.
Mr. Crooks has always lived on the homestead farm, enjoying his parents' society till the
last. He leads a quiet, monotonous life, and is highlyesteemed by Ids neighbors as an old
settler and citizen.

W. C. CULBERTSON, lumber merchant, Girard, is a native of Edinboro, Erie Co.,
Penn., born November 37, 1835. His father, Andrew C, born in Westmoreland County,
Penn.. June 20, 1T95. When two years of age, he came with his father William, who took
up a large tract of land, and was one of the early settlers of Edinboro, where he died.
Andrew married, in 1820, Margaret Alexander, born in Washington County, N. Y., October
31, 1797, and reared a family of eight children all now living — Margaret J., Mary C,
WilliamX:., James A., Rebecca, John. Alexander and Charles W. In 1§46. W. C. Culbert-
son engaged in lumbering on the Alleehenv River and in Kentucky, subsequently con-
tinuing the same in Jefferson County. He at present has branches established at several
points in the South and West. The oldest branch, in Covington, Ky., in which his eldest
son — James A. — is interested, is known as J. A. Culbertson & Co. The Girard Lumber
Company has mills at Menominee, Mich.; a lumber yard in Chicago is under the name of
W. C. Culbertson & Son. He is connected with the Penn Mill at Albion, the business
conducted under the firm name of Penn Lumber Co. He owns extensive timber
lands in Northern Michigan and in tlie yellow pine timber districts of Missouri, a
wheat farm in the Red River Valley. Minn., smaller farms in Kentucky, Allegheny
Springs, Warren Co., Penn.; Edinboro, Erie Co., Penn., and the home estate near Girard..
He is proprietor of tlie Girard Flouring Mills, and President of the Girard Wrencli
Factory, in which he has an interest. He was married in Warren (bounty, Penn., to
Margaret Alexander, by whom he has bad eight children— seven now living. Mr. Culbert-
son is a modest, unassuming gentleman, loved bv all who know him.

GEORGE H. CUTLER, attorney, Girard. Tlie Cutler family are of English origin.
New England stock, and noted for their longevity. Thomas Cutler, our subject's grand-
father, born in ^Massachusetts in 1736, a soldier in the French war, died in 1835. 6eorge
H. Cutler was born in Guilford, Vt., in 1809, and is a son of Nahum and Martha (Robbius)
Cutler, both deceased, natives of Windliam County, Vt.. and Hartford, Conn., respectively.
George H. received a common school education, having a private tutor for the higher
branches. He read law with Hon. Judge Ross, of Cortland, N. Y. In 1835, he located in
Girard, Erie County; two vears later entered the office of Judge Galbraith, of Erie, being
admitted to the bar in 1840. He is the oldest practitioner in Erie County. Mr. Cutler was
the Democratic candidate for Congress in 1853. In 1873, he was elected to the State
benate, and was elected Speaker m May, 1874. and President pro tern. inJanuarv. 1875.
He was the last Speaker under the old and first President pro tern, under the new'consti-



GIRARD TOWNSHIP. 57

tution, presiding in the absence of the Lieutenant Governor. Mr. Cutler married, in
Cajruga County, N. Y., in 1830, Louisa Stewart, a native of Cambridge, N. Y. Six chil-
dren (two deceased) blessed this union — Marcus N. ; George A., who is a prominent mem-
ber of the bar at Leland, Mich.; Mary, wife of Irvin P. Hinds, of Hin'^dale, 111., and
Louisa. The law firm of Cutler & Hinds, which came into existence in 1861, still con-
tinues.

AUSTIN DAGGETT, farmer, P. O. Girard, was born in Greenfield'Township, Erie Co.,
Penn., May, 1805, and is the eldest son living of Sebree and Annis (Peet) Daggett, the
former born in Coventry, Conn., in 1775, the latter a native of Vermont. The father of
Sebree, John Daggett, in the cold winter of 1799, came to this county, following an Indian
trail through the woods. On December 34, 1803, going from Brie to Colt's Station, while
crossing a stream on a log, he fell into the w^ater and had his feet so terribly frozen that
when he reached his destination he made a saw out of a case knife, and cut the frozen
parts away, sawing the very bones. No doctors in those days. He was a Revolutionary
soldier, was married five times, and reared seven children, fruits of his first union. He
made a small payment on 300 acres of land in Greenfield, on which his son Sebree Dag-
gett and family, coming from Vermont, settled in 1799. They cleared about twenty acres
of this tract, and in 1814 entered the land now occupied by Hiram Daggett, which con-
sisted of 135 acres, 100 of which were cleared by Sebree and our subject. John departed
this life in 1837, when eighty-four years old. Sebree reared a family of six sons and four
daughters. The surviving are Laura (widow of Lewis Wildman), Austin, Darius, Reuben,
Elner (widow of J. B. Williams). Hiram, John D. Austin married, in Conneaut, Ohio, ,



Online LibrarySamuel P. (Samuel Penniman) BatesHistory of Erie county, Pennsylvania → online text (page 144 of 187)