Location: Center County PA

Biography of Mark H. Williams

Mark H. Williams, now living retired at Barnes and enjoying the accumulations of many well spent years, is a veteran of the Civil war and had been a resident of Barnes and of the State of Kansas since 1885. He is a native Pennsyivanian, and the family was introduced to that state from Scotland by his grandfather, Evan Williams, who was born in Scotland in 1771. He was a millwright by trade, and followed that occupation for many years in Pennsylvania. He died in Center County, of that state, in 1854. It was in Center County, Pennsylvania, that Mark H. Williams was born July 29, 1842. His father, John Williams, was born in Chester County, Penngylvania, in 1811, took up the same vocation as his father, and worked at that trade in Pennsylvania. His death occurred in Center County in 1876. He was a democrat and a member of the Lutheran Church. He married Catherine Watson, who was born in Clariou County, Pennsylvania, in 1813 and died in Center County in 1846. They had four children: Even Thomas, a blacksmith by trade who died in Center County, Pennsylvania, in 1873; Mark H.; Hannah Jane, who died in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, in 1897, and her husband, S. P. Davison, also deceased, was a lumberman; John Irving is a carpenter and contractor but is now postmaster of Lamont, Center County, Pennsylvanis....

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Biography of John A. Wagner

JOHN A. WAGNER. Deceased- In the person of the esteemed gentleman whose name is at the head of this article we have one of the first of Union county’s settlers and a man who bore the brunt of assisting to open upthis section for the settlement of man and in developing the same, while he was ever enterprising and progressive, both in his private business operations as well as in the interests of the welfare of the county at large, and it is eminently fitting that a memorial be accorded to him in these abiding chronicles of our county, where he labored so faithfully and for so many years, ever manifesting that integrity, sagacity and uprightness which were characteristic of his whole life. John A. Wagner was born in Center county, Pennsylvania, on May 8, 1837, being the son of James Wagner, a master collier in the coal mines of that vicinity. When he had reached the age of nineteen he started from home and took up the battles of life for himself, going first to Iowa, where he was occupied on the farm for a time. Next he started to Pike’s Peak in 1859, but as the train disbanded he fell in with another train and came to southern Oregon by ox teams, being in the employ of a man who was importing fine stock to this country,and...

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Biographical Sketch of A. W. Kreamer

A. W. Kreamer, lumber merchant, was born in Center County, Pa., December 6, 1844. He attended school at Marklseville Normal Institute. Also attended the Union Seminary in Union County, Pa. He united with the Evangelical Church, and has been a minister of that denomination from 1867 until the present time. He came to Jewell City, Kan., in February 1879, when he had charge of the church at that place, until 1880. He then engaged in the lumber business. Was married in Montoursvilie, Lycoming Co., Pa., August 10, 1869, to Miss L. A. Strevey, and has two children – William E., born August 31, 1871 and Roland A., born November 4,...

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Biography of John H. Smythe

John H. Smythe. The life of John Henry Smythe, who for many years had served as city clerk of Eureka, had been one that exemplifies the true spirit and practice of service. He had always been a worker. He had performed faithfully those duties that have come to him in a long career, whether as a soldier on the battlefield, as an employe of business concerns, or as a public official. While he had attained none of the conspicuous places in business or public life, there is much that is honorable, instructive and praiseworthy in what he had done, and he deserves all the fine esteem paid him by his many loyal friends in Greenwood County, where he had lived for about thirty-seven years. Mr. Smythe was born at Nittany Hall in Center County, Pennsylvania, July 4, 1836, and had already passed the age of fourscore. His grandfather was a very prominent man of Pennsylvania. His name was William Smythe and he was born in County Down, Ireland, in 1770. When seventeen years of age he came to America, arriving in the same year that the Constitution of the United States was formulated and before the union of the colonies had become really effective. He located in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, and subsequently removed to Center County. He attained a place of influence in the latter county, and was a...

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Biography of Gideon R. Wolfe

Gideon R. Wolfe has one of the longest records of public service of any county officer in Kansas. For practically a quarter of a century he had been county surveyor of Ellsworth County. Mr. Wolfe is a man of thorough technical training and experience and is a pioneer in Western Kansas. He was born in Center County, Pennsylvania, April 29, 1829, and undoubtedly he is also entitled to distinction as one of the oldest men still active in public service. He was eighty-eight years of age at his last birthday. He comes of English stock, the Wolfes having located in Pennsylvania in colonial times. His father, George Wolfe, was born in Center County, Pennsylvania, in 1789, the year that George Washington was inaugurated President of the United States. His death occurred in Center County in 1857. He spent all his life there as a hard working and plain and substantial farmer. In politics he was identified with the whig party. He was a very active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His wife, Elizabeth, was born in Center County and died there in 1872. They had three children: William, who died in Center County, where he had been manager in stores; Gideon R.; and Charles, who died at Philadelphia soon after his enlistment for service in the Civil war. Gideon R. Wolfe grew up and received such advantages as...

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Biography of John S. Stover

John S. Stover. During an unusually busy life many important interests have claimed the attention of John S. Stover, one of Lincoln’s representative and substantial citizens, these including financial, agricultural, mercantile and political, and few men are better known in Lincoln County or more generally trusted and esteemed. He comes of old Pennsylvania stock and in that state the name of Stover is yet well and honorably represented. John S. Stover was born at Boalsburg, Center County, Pennsylvania, September 29, 1870. His parents were David and Elvina (Sechler) Stover. David Stover was born in Center County, Pennsylvania, in 1838, and was a son of Jacob Stover, who spent his life in that locality and died at Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, in advanced age. David Stover grew to manhood on his father’s farm and contentedly followed the peaceful pursuits of agriculture until the outbreak of the Civil war. In 1861 he enlisted and served all through the war as a member of the One Hundred and Forty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, the greater part of his service being with the Army of the Potomac, and he participated in such battles as Gettysburg, Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg, and in the engagement at Poe River received a gunshot wound in the arm. He was a brave soldier and did his full duty. After the war closed he returned to his home near Boalsburg and resumed...

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Biography of Hon. James Kerr Kelly

HON. JAMES KERR KELLY. – Among the men of distinction in our state, none have held a position of eminence for a longer time than Senator Kelly. It requires stamina to stand for thirty years upon “the hard and wintry peaks of fame.” We are the more assured of eminent qualities of the Colonel when we consider that he came to this coast and started upon bed-rock. Family ties, name, favoritism, may elevate men of no ability to high positions in older communities; but in the Oregon of an early day artificial conditions did not exist. A man came near being born again, or returning to his naked abilities, when he came to the Pacific coast. Of the men of power in our state, – Baker, Nesmith, Woods, Williams, Logan, Mallory, Lane, Applegate, – none have shown more mental grip and wear than Colonel Kelly. But the simple tale of his life carries with it its own commentary. Merit and service may go without veneer. He was born on a farm in Center county, Pennsylvania, in 1819. His was an old American family, although his great-grandfather came from the north of Ireland about 1720. His grandfather served in the Revolutionary war. Young James began his school-days at Milton, and thence went to Princeton College, graduating in 1839. He immediately began the study of law with Judge John Reed of...

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Biography of George W. Staver

George W. Staver, president and founder of one of the largest mercantile corporations on the Pacific Coast was born in Brush Valley, Center county, Pennsylvania, November 18, 1836. He is of German and Scotch-Irish ancestry and was reared upon a farm. Soon after his birth his parents moved to Sugar Valley, Clinton county, Pennsylvania, and remained on the same farm until 1854, when they came ‘to Illinois, but a year later settled near Monroe, Green county, Wisconsin. Here his father, Frederick Staver, still resides, at the advanced age of eighty-one years. Our subject received from his father a most thorough knowledge of farming in all its branches, long before the era of the present improved farming implements. His education was such as was received at that day in Pennsylvania, Illinois and Wisconsin by the average farmer’s boy. Attendance at the district school in winter with three months at the Academy at Warren, Illinois, in 1861, completed his educational advantages; previous to going to the latter institution, however, he taught school for two terms in Green county. He early became interested in and an expert operator of agricultural machinery. He purchased one of the first threshing machines used in Green county, and during the fall and winter followed threshing. He became very proficient in this line of work and before he had reached his majority did quite an extensive business....

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Biography of James K. Kelly

For many years James K. Kelly has been a prominent man in the legal and political history of Oregon, and has left upon the annals of this section of the Union the impress of his personality. In positions of honor and trust he has maintained an exalted standard of excellence and according to the dictates of his conscience and judgment his influence has been cast for the agencies he believed to be conducive to the true interests of the people. A fitting record of the part he has borne in many important events during his long residence in Oregon, very properly belongs to any history pertaining to this portion of the State. He was born in Center County, Pennsylvania, in 1819. Until he attained the age of sixteen years his life was spent upon a farm. He was prepared for a collegiate course at Milton and Lewisburg Academies, and became so far advanced in classical and mathematical learning that in 1837 he entered the junior class at Princeton College, New Jersey, from which institution he graduated in 1839. In the fall of 1839 he went to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and commenced the study of law in the law department of Dickinson College, then under the professorship of John Reed, L. L. D. He graduated in the fall of 1841 and shortly thereafter began the practice of his profession at Lewistown,...

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