Samuel P. (Samuel Penniman) Bates.

History of Erie county, Pennsylvania online

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Rockdale, Penn., Dec. 16, 1819, married Martha L. Root Oct. 8, 1845, by whom he had the
following children : Wilber F. and La- Rue Du-Retz, our subject. The latter was born in
Crawford Co., Penn., Aug. 9. 1849, on the homestead farm, where he' spent his early life
and acquired a primary education in the schools of Cambridge. In Feb., 1864, La-Rue en-
listed in Co. E, 83d P. V. I., and served till the close of the war. He participated in the
battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania and Laurel Hill, where he was wounded May 8,
1864. He was discharged from Chestnut Hill Hospital, Philadelphia, in Oct., 1865. Mr.
Rockwell attended the Waterford Academy one term, then entered the Normal School at
Edinboro, and graduated in the class of 1870. During 1871-73, he was Principal of the
Ridgeway Public Schools; then entered the Medical Department of the University of
Penn., at Philadelphia, graduating in 1874. He began practicing at Cochranton, Penn.,
in 1874, and in 1875 located in Union City, where he has since been constantly engaged.
He married in 1875 Frank A., daughter of Wm. T. Lane, of East Sharon, Penn. Four
children, all living, were born to them— Alfred L., Florence 0., Mary E. and Paul. The
Doctor has been Superintendent of the M. E. Sunday school some years. He is an honored
member of the I. O. O. F. and G. A. R.



178 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES:

E. N. SACKET, attorney, Union City, is the only son of Horace N. and Harriet (Hall)
, Sacket, both natives of N. Y. and residents of St. James, Neb. Our subject received a
primary education at Whitestown Seminary, Oneida Co., N. Y., and entered Hamilton
College in 1863, from which he graduated in 1866. He read law under H. R. Terry, of
Union City, and after admission to the bar in 1875, began to practice his profession in thig
city. He has attained considerable ijrominence at the bar, and is well and favorably known,
Mr. Sacket was united in marriage in this county in 1868, with Jennie Brown, a native of
Onondaga Co., N. Y. He has a sister, Emma, residing with her parents. Mr. Sacket is s
member of the I. O. O. F.

WHiSON SHEPARD, farmer, P. O. Union City, was born in Center Co., Penn., m
1816, son of Jacob and Rebecca Shepard, natives of N. J. and N. Y. States respectively,
and both descended from the early pilgrims that settled near Eagle Valley, Center Co.,
Penn. Jacob came to this county in 1830, bringing his widowed mother and 3 unmarried
sisters, and settled in Union Township. His children now living are Wilson, Palmer, Mo-
Arthur, Lorenzo, Rhoda, Amy, Mary A. Jacob entered 160 acres of land, and lived to be
ninety-two years old. Our subject, who has always lived on the homestead, was married
in 1843 to Louisa J., daughter of Absalom and Mary Han-is, and a native of Erie County,
Seven children blessed this union, 4 now living— Mary A., wife of W. Johnson, of Craw-
ford Co.; Edgar, married to Mrs. La Varne; Royal D., married to Louise Johnson, of
Crawford Co.; and Addie L., residing at home. Mr. Shepard has cleared his farm, which
was wooded when he settled on it, and passed through the privations incident to a pio-
neer's life. Though advanced in years, he is strong and vigorous. The family are weU
and favorably known, and are respected members of the Baptist Church.

A. C. SHERWOOD, physician, Union City, is the eldest child of Frederick W. and
Evaline (Trow) Sherwood, the former a native of Erie Co., Penn,, and the latter of Chau-
tauqua Co., N. Y. Dr. Sherwood acquired his primary education at the district schools;
then entered the Edinboro Normal School, and soon after read medicine with Dr. H. R
Terry, of this city. Four years later, he entered the University of Penn., where he grad-
uated in the class of 1873. Forming a partnership with his preceptor, he began to practice
his profession in this city. This relationship dissolved two years later, and the Doctor haa
since been practicing alone. Prior to graduation, he was appointed Physician of the
County, which position he has continuously filled. He has been surgeon for the P. & EL
R. R. during his residence in this city, and is one of the most active and successfulphysi-
cians in the county. Dr. Sherwood was married at Meadville, Penn., in 1876, to Emina,
daughter of Andrew Jackson, of that county. Three children born to this union are all
living — Daisy M., Andrew J. and Belle E. The family are connected with the Pres-
byterian Church. The Doctor is an honored member of the I. O. O. F., K. of H. and
Royal Arcanum.

THOMAS B. SHREVE, produce dealer, is a grandson of Richard and Margaret (New-
bold) Shreve, the former born Sept. 33, 1760, at Burlington, N. J. ; had charge of the Wash-
ington Mills, Fayette Co. ; he, with family, in 1798, settled near the head of Oil Creek
Lake, this county. To them were born — William, Brazillar, Thomas, Nancy, Israel, Char-
lotte, Richard 3d, Caleb, Benjamin, Charles, Isaac. Sarah and Margaret. Mr. Shreve was
Captain of the militia, and served as Justice of the Peace. He died Sept. 13, 1832, age<S
sixty- two years; his widow on Oct. 9, 1853, aged eighty-six years. They were both de-
scended from the English nobility. Israel, the father of our subject, was born in 1794,
and married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Bloomfield, a Revolutionary soldier, and who
in 1798 was a pioneer companion of Richard Shreve. Israel reared a family of 8 chil-
dren, 7 now living, viz., Caleb, Cyrus, Thomas, Darius, Caroline, Elizabeth and Mar-
garet. Israel died in 1866, his wife aged eighty-three, in 1880. Our subject was born at
Bloomfield, Crawford Co., Penn., in 1831, remaining on the homestead until the death of
his father, when he came to Union City and engaged in mercantile trade. He subsequently
went into real estate business, in which he has been very successful. He married, in Craw-
ford Co., in 1857, Mary Richards, born in Mass., daughter of Squire Richards, aprominene
man of that county.. Mr. Shreve has filled various offices of trust, and is one of UnioE
City's solid business men.

JOSIAH SHREVE, farmer and stock-dealer, P. O. Union City, was born on the
homestead farm, in Union Township, Erie Co., Penn., Dec. 33, 1823, son of Richard an<fi
Margaret Shreve. He was married in Union City, Jan. 6, 1848, to Belle, daughter of
Thomas Carroll, of LeBoeuf Township, where she was born Oct. 18, 1824. This unioE
has been blessed with 3 children— Sidna A., wife of J. P. Wilkins; Almida E., wife of
0. B. Sherwood, and Geo. R., deceased. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Shreve set^
tied on their present farm, then a wilderness, which comprises 80 acres. For some years
he ran a dairy, but now deals principally in stock, making sheep a specialty. He is am
officer, and was the President for 3 years of the Central Agricultural Society; is a.
Director of the Farmers' Co-operative Trust Co. Mr. Shreve is descended from one of the
most extensive pioneer families of Erie Co. For the last 35 years, he has been Steward
in the M. E. Church.



UNION TOWNSHIP. 179

MILTON SHREVE, farmer, P. 0. Union City, was bom in Union Township, on tlie
liomestead farm, in 1831. He is the youngest living son of Richard Bhreve, who was born
in 1796, and married Margaret, daughter of Peter Kepler, whose wife is said to have
cooked the first meal in "Wattsburg. Richard, was a son of Richard and Margaret (New-
bold) Shreve. Richard 3d, and a brother in-law, Jacob Kepler, entered 400 "acres of an
unbroken wilderness, which land is now occupied, all but 100 acres, by his descendants,
who number among the best families of Union Township, Erie Co. Richard, the father
of our subject, reared 11 children, 5 sons and 5 daughters now living — Josiah, James,
John K., Solomon, Milton, Eliza, Emily, Matilda, Mary , J. and Melissa. Mr. Shreve
died in 1872, aged 76; his widow hved to attain 81 years. Our subject, Milton, married in
Corry, Penn., April, 1869, Christine Cross, a native of Chautauqua Co., N. Y. The chil-
dren born to this union are all living— Florence M., Ralph P. and Clyde M. The family
are members of the Baptist Church.

G. GARY SMITH, grocer. Union City, was born in Oneida Co., N. Y., in 1837; son of
Alpheus and Cynthia (Osborn) Smith, natives of Oneida and Herliimer Cos.. N. Y., re-
spectively, and who came to this county in 1847, settling on a farm in Union Township,
where Mr. Smith died in 1857. His widow still survives and is in her 73d year. They
were the parents of 3 sons and 1 daughter, all now living— Gerrett 6., Hawley G., Ellen
A., wife of G. Hoyt, of Ashtabula, Ohio, and G. G. Smith. Our subject was reared on
the farm; in 1864, was emplo3'ed as a salesman in this city. In this capacity, he served
8 years at Erie and Philadelphia. In 1876, he established himself in his present business
which he has conducted successfully. He carries a stock valued at $4,000, and has a
good trade. G. G. Smith married in 1857, in this county, Nancy A. Stewart, a native of
same; 4 children have been born to this union, 3 living — George A., Charles G. and
Lena E. Mr. Smith filled the office of Burgess of Union City 4 successive terms, a longer
period than any Mayor preceding him. He is now serving his first term as member of the
Council. He is a member of the Royal Arcanum and I. O. O. F., and one of the active mer-
chants of Union City.

GERRETT 6. SMITH, of Smith & Warden, produce dealers. Union City, was born
in Oneida Co., N. Y., in 1838, and is a son of Alpheus and Cynthia (Osborn) Smith, natives
of Oneida and Herkimer Cos. N. Y., respectively, and who settled in this county in 1846.
Our subject, reared on a farm, followed farming until 1865, when he embarked in mercan-
tile trade in this city. In 1879, the firm of Smith & Warden was formed, and the business
carried on in a warehouse on the Atlantic and P. & B. roads. Their present establish-
ment, 20x100 feet, is situated on Crooked street; 60 feet will shortly be added to its length.
The firm do a large trade in hay, straw, wool, butter and all kinds of produce. Mr. Smith
was married in this county in 1858, to Maria Sherwood, a native of this county. Our sub-
ject served one term as Burgess of this city, and is an active business man; is now Jury
Commissioner.

HAWLEY G. SMITH, grocer, Union City, is a son of Alpheus and Cynthia (Osborn)
Smith, natives of Oneida and Herkimer Cos., N. Y., respectively, and was born in the
former county in 1840. At the age of seven, he came with his parents to this county,
where he was reared on a farm. In 1863, Hawley entered the naval service, serving be-
fore the mast. He rose to the command of the merchant vessel "Highland Chief." He
followed the sea 8 years, visiting various foreign countries. In 1871, he returned to this
county, and opened a glass and crockery establishment in 1871, which he disposed of the
following year. He then was engaged as salesman for houses in Erie, N. Y. and Penn.
In 1881, he opened his present place of business. Mr. Smith was married in this county
in 1875 to Roxanna Green, of Chautauqua Co., N. Y. Our subject is a member of the M.
E. Church. He is a mason, having taken all the degrees in a Blue Lodge, Chapter, Coun-
cil and Commandery, an I. O. O. F., Encampment, subordinate, and a Knight of Honor,
and a Royal Templar, in all of which orders he is in good standing. He has been a mem-
ber of the Masonic fraternity for 13 years. .

J. W. SPRODL, attorney. Union City, was born in Summerhill Town.ihip, Crawford
Co., Penn., in 1349, son of John and Jane (Woods) Sproul, both of Scotch-Irish descent.
John Sproul entered land, and was a distinguished pioneer of Crawford Co., where he
resided till the close of life. His widow, now in her seiventieth year, resides on the home-
stead. Five of their children are living— Catherine, William, Mary, Jennie and J. W.
Our subject acquired his education in the State Normal School atEdinboro, Erie Co., and
his mercantile knowledge with Bryant & Stratton, Meadville. He then, for a year,
engaged in teaching school. He entered the Allegheny College at Meadville, Penn., m
1870 and the following year read law with H. L. Richmond & Son, of Meadville. Nov.,
1878, he was admitted to the bar, and the same year began practicing his profession in that
city. In 1874, he settled in Union City, Penn., where he has since been practicing. He
has twice been a delegate to the Republican State Convention, and is at present serving
as City Attorney. Mr. Sproul was united in marriage in 1874, in this county, with Ida,
daughter of Ezra Cooper, of this city. They are both members of the M. E. Church.

PERRY 6. 8TRANAHAN, farmer and stock-raiser. Union City, is a grandson of
John Stranahan, a native of Scituate, R. I., bom in 1737, and died March 33, li98, In



180 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES:

Sept., 1763, previous to the Eevolution, he married Lucy Buck and settled in Canaan,
Columbia Co., N. Y. He was a man of intelligence and wealth, and lived to see his
numerous family settled and prosperous. Gibson J. Stranahan, the father of our subject,

) was born in Canaan, Columbia Co., N. Y., in 1786. He man-ied Miss Dolly Devendorf, of
Herkimer Co., N. Y., in 1807. He was a resident of Herkimer Co. for many years, and
there followed the occupation of a farmer. In 1836, he, with his family, came West, and
settled in what is now Concord Township, Erie Co., Penn. He entered a large tract of
land, and imported 450 fine-wool sheep. He became one of the largest stock-raisers of
Erie Co. Ht- died in 1869. His wife was born in Herkimer Co., N. Y., and died at the
residence of our subject in 1863 or 1863, aged seventy-three years. She was a daughter
of John Devendorf, a native of Herkimer Co., N. Y., where he was born May 28, 1764,
and died March 4, 1813. He was one of the wealthiest farmers in his county. The parents
of our subject had the following children: Daniel V., a prominent physician, who died in
Warren, Penn., in 1874; Hon. John D., a farmer; James, a farmer; Perr}- G. ; Franklin B.,
a farmer; and Margaret E., wife of William A. Mead, a surveyor and farmer of Youngsville,
Penn. Perry Q. Stranahan, the subject of this sketch, whose portrait appears elsewhere in
this volume, was born in Herkimer Co., N. Y., on the 12th of July, 1820. He devoted his
early life to work on the farm and in teaching school, winters. In 1843, he was married to
Miss Louisa, only daughter of P. K. Webber, of Columbus, Warren Co., Penn., who was
one of the earliest pioneers of that place, and cut away the pines where the village now
stands. He and his estimable wife, Annie, reside with Mr. Stranahan, and have reached
the respective ages of eighty-one and seventy-nine years. Mr. Stranahan studied law with
Horace Hawes, of Erie, who was afterward appointed U. S. Consul to the Society Islands.
On account of failing health, Mr. Stranahan was compelled to abandon the law. He then
came to Le Boeuf, bought a farm on French Creek, built and kept the Moravian Hotel for a
number of years. In 1859, when the P. & E. and A. & G. W. Railways were being built, Mr.
Stranahan saw the opportunity for advancement and purchased nearly all of the old Miles
estate, consisting of several hundred acres of land, upon which a large part of the borough
of Union City is now built. He immediately laid it out in village lots, established a real
estate agency, and in connection with fanning and stock-raising amassed considerable
means, and became one of the enterprising and solid men of Union City. He was always
foremost in any enterprise which promised the advancement of Union City. He was
liberal with his means, and assisted the worthy in building up industries of the place. He
lost large sums of money in the stave and barrel works of Union City, and as one of the
projectors of the Union & Titusville Railroad he lost thousands of dollars. His name was
a tower of financial strength, but the great losses sustained in these calamities almost over-
whelmed him. In 1871, he, with others, started the Casement Savings Bank, which did a
successful business until 1778, when it succumbed to the general depression of business. A
large credit had been loaned the bank, and the obligations could not be met. It may be
said to the credit of Mr. Stranahan that he turned over his individual property, and the
bank matters were honorably and satisfactorily settled, and without a law suit. He was
the only man in the community that helped in the erection of the A. & G. W. Ry. ; and
with this corporation he has been largely and prominently identified. Mr. Stranahan has held
town and county ofl3ces, and is now in the autumn years of his life, and occupies his
time in farming and stock-raising, his attention being mostly directed to Percheron horse-
breeding, in which be has been very successful. In his intercourse he is pleasing, benevo-
lent and cheerful, and inflects the philanthropy which is an innate characteristic of the
man. He is happiest when doing good, and always has the interest of the city and local-
ity at heart. He makes friends without attempting so to do; is bold and outspoken in his
likes and dislikes, and never has a malicious feeling toward an enemy. A self-made man,
he has earned the fruitage of his years by his own industry and perseverance; his integi-ity
has never been impeached. He has been blessed with children, viz., Sarah M., wife of
L. S. Clough, a large lumber dealer; Ellen, wife of E. G. Stranahan, of Cleveland, Ohio;
Maggie L., wife of A. F. Bole, a prominent lawyer of Corry, Penn.; Belle L., youngest
daughter; and William P., book-keeper, an adopted son, though as dear to Mr. and Mrs.
Stranahan as their own children, as he has lived with them since he was a child, and has
thus unconsciously, by his uprightness, made himself as one of their own children

A. H. SUMMERTON, deceased, was bom Oct. 28, 1815, in N. Y., and married, Aug.
25, 1840, to Amanda M. French, of Warren, Penn., by whom he had 1 son, Thomas, who
died at the age of 3 years, and 1 daughter, Ellen, wife of Wm. Blanchard, of Union City
Penn., and mother of 4 children— Eva Belle, Gertrude, Charlie and Lottie, the first 2 of

, YJ^°^ are dead. They adopted James H., now a resident of Tex. Mrs. Summerton died
May 11, 1857. Mr. Summerton came from Ithaca, N. Y.; was one of the pioneer mer-
chants, and built the first store in Warren, Penn. In 1853, he came to Union City, bring-
ing a stock of goods, and opened in mercantile trade; also did a prosperous milling bus-
iness. Mr. Summerton purchased and laid out in lots the tract on the southern boundaries
of this city, called Brooklyn, now the most populous and wealthy portion of the Union
He was ever ready to assist public and private enterprises conducive to the public good-
gave largely toward advancing church and educational interests. He donated the lot on



UNION TOWNSHIP. 181

which the Catholic Church is built. Mr. Summerton married, for his second wife, Amanda
fiiSJl^l I'' °I m"^®! ^^^ Rhoda Brooks, pioneers of Chautauqua Co., who settled here
J^a}.^ A ^A * **P''y of 11 children, and died at a ripe old age. Mr. and Mrs. Summerton
adopted 1 daughter, Jennie B., who still resides with Mrs. Summerton in this city. By
ef actor™™^"^ ^ ^^'' ^'^' ^^^^' ^°'°° ^°^^ ^^ estimable citizen and a public ben-

■ -.^^ *-'• '^■^7^9^' fa.™er, P. O. Union City, was born in Cuba, Allegany Co., N. T.,
^ K 'iIqS Chauncy and Rachael Taylor, both natives of Mass. Chauncy died in
march, l«8d, aged eighty-two years. Our subject went from his native county to the oil
regions^nd sunk the first well at Rixford, McKean Co., Penn., also at Tarport and Saw-
yer, l-wo years later he disposed of his interest and purchased his present farm of 80
acres, where he has since made his home. Though comparatively a stranger, he has a
neat, well-kept farm, and shows an active enterprising spirit. He was married, in his
native county, m 1855, to Mary Dewey, who was born in Allegany Co., N. Y., and died
leaving 3 children, viz., Willis A., Henry B. and Fred A. Mr. Taylor then married Lena
Hibner, a native of Cuba, N. Y., Sept., 1873. He has filled various township offices, and
the family attend the III. E. Church.

TT -^ND'REW THOMPSON, farmer, P. O. Union City, is a grandson of Andrew and
Martha Thompson, who were among the pioneers of 1778 to Union Township. Andrew
purchased 300 acres of the Holland Land Co., which has remained a homestead to his de-
scendants. He engaged in milling, and died in 1823. John, the father of our subject, was
reared on the farm, and married Sarah Bracken, of Washington Co., Penn. The children
now living born to this union are William, Andrew and James. Andrew was born on the
homestead in 1813, and married, in 1833, Sarah Smith, who died in 1843, leaving 3 children
—Lovina, wife of Levi Proctor; James S.; and Jane S., wife of T.Watson. He then married
Sarah Berry, of this county, who died in 1857. Three children born to this union survive,
viz.: Louis B.; Emma A., wife of C. M. Terrell; and William B. Mr. Thompson's 3d
marriage was with Lydia Boyce, of Washington Co., N. Y., by whom he has had 3 chil-
dren— Lucretia, wife of Edward Wise, and Charles J. Mr. Thompson served as Assessor
and Collector many years, also as Justice of the Peace. He is a consistent member of the
Presbyterian Church — a member of the session. The family are among the old and es-
teemed pioneers.

JOHN W. THOMPSON, farmer, P. O. Drake's Mills, Crawford Co., was born in
Union Township Nov. 9, 1836, son of Joel and Mary (Mulvin) Thompson, and grandson of
Abel Thompson, who settled in Union Township in 1797, locating on the farm now owned
by Andrew Agnew, which he cleared and improved. He came from Fayette Co., Penn.,
though a native of N. J., of English descent. Mary Mulvin, wife of Joel, was a daughter
of Wm. Mulvin, an early settler of Le Bojuf Township, and a native of Ireland. Joel was
thrice married; his first wife was Margaret Smith, by whom he had 1 child, Nancy, now Mrs.
Daniel Bunting. His second wife was Mary Mulvin, by whom he had 8 children — Will-
iam, Margaret (deceased), Samuel, Jane J. (wife of David Coe), Caleb (deceased), John W.,
Lucilla (deceased, wife of Thomas J. Wilson) and Charles (died of diarrhoea contracted in
the army) ; and his third wife was Elizabeth Wilson, who now survives him. Joel died Aug.
31. 1868, at the age of eighty-four, and his wife Mary, mother of our subject, died Dec,
1868, at the age of sixty-six. The subject of this sketch was married, Dec. 85, 1855, to
Mary J., daughter of Job and Mary (Annis) Tobey, by whom he has had 8 children — Dud-
ley (deceased), Mary (wife of Orson P. Scott), Frederick, Abraham L., Gertrude N., Sam-
uel G., William (deceased) and Cassius. Mr. Thompson was raised on a farm, and has al-
ways followed that occupation. He located in Venango Township, Crawford Co., Penn.,
in 1871, where he has since resided. He was drafted during the war of the rebellion, and
went out in Co. F, 163d Penn. Regt., and after 8 months' service was honorably discharged
on account of disability. In politics, Mr, Thompson is a stanch Republican. Both he
and his wife are members of the Baptist Church.

J. S. THOMPSON, druggist. Union City, is a native of Union Township, born on the
homestead of his ancestors in 1838, son of Andrew and Sarah (Smith) Thompson. He
comes of a pioneer family; his great-grandfather, Andrew Thompson, was of Scotch-Irish
extraction, but the time he located in the colonies is not known. Our subject was reared
on a farm, remaining until twenty-four years of age, when he engaged as a salesman in
the hardware trade. In 1869, the firm of Thompson & Wilkins was formed in the drug
trade, continuing until 1871, when Mr. Thompson purchased Wilkins' interest, since which
he has conducted the business alone. This is the oldest drug house in the city, and has a
large, well-established trade, Mr. Thompson carries a complete stock of drugs, stationery,
toilet articles, etc. Our subject married. May, 1864, Josephine, daughter of John R..
Smith, of this county, and a member of a pioneer family of Wattsburg. Two children
have blessed this union, viz., Harley S. and J. Herbert. Mr. Thompson is a member of
the Presbyterian Church; also of the I. O. O. F. and K. of H. He is an active business
man, and has a well-established reputation.

THERESIA WAGER, proprietress of Union City Brewery, which establishment is
managed by John and Michael, sons of Protasius and our subject, all natives of Germany.



182 BIOGRAPHICAL SKiSTUtiCiS:

The family came to America in 1865, locating in Steuben Co., N. Y., and came to this
county soon after. Mr. Wager purchased a brewery in Corry, which he operated 2 years;



Online LibrarySamuel P. (Samuel Penniman) BatesHistory of Erie county, Pennsylvania → online text (page 173 of 187)