Location: New York County NY

Biography of Leon Harrison

To say that Leon Harrison of St. Louis is a rabbi indicates to many merely the actual work of the church as a preacher and teacher, but his interpretation of the term is much broader. It means service to mankind in every possible way in which it can be rendered, and those who know Leon Harrison bear testimony to the fact that he seems to have lost no opportunity to do good to his fellowmen. Born in Liverpool, England, August 13, 1866, he is a son of Gustave and Louisa (Nelson) Harrison. Brought to America in his youthful days he was graduated from the New York City College, to which he won entrance at the head of nine hundred and twenty candidates, ranking above every other student in the city, in 1880. In 1882 he matriculated in Columbia University and was graduated with the Bachelor of Arts degree and first honors of his class in 1886. He determined to devote his life to the work of the ministry and was graduated from the Emanuel Theological Seminary of New York as a rabbi. He took postgraduate work in philosophy in Columbia University through a period of three years and in 1886 was ordained in Brooklyn, New York, by Rabbis Kohler and Gottheil. His first service for his church in St. Louis began in 1891, when he was called as rabbi...

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Slave Narrative of Luke Towns

Interviewer: Rachel A. Austin Person Interviewed: Luke Towns Location: Jacksonville, Florida Age: 100+(?) A Centenarian Luke Towns, a centenarian, now residing at 1335 West Eighth Street, Jacksonville, Florida, was the ninth child born to Maria and Like Towns, slaves, December 34, 1835, in a village in Tolberton County, Georgia. Mr. Town’s parents were owned by Governor Towns, whose name was taken by all the children born on the plantation; he states that he was placed on the public blocks for sale, and was purchased by a Mr. Mormon. At the marriage of Mr. Mormon’s daughter, Sarah, according to custom, he was given to this daughter as a wedding present, and thus became the slave and took the name of the Gulleys and lived with them until he became a young man at Smithville, Georgia, in Lee County. His chief work was that of carrying water, wood and working around the house when a youngster; often, he states he would hide in the woods to keep from working. Because his mother was a child-bearing woman, she did not know the hard labors of slavery, but had a small patch of cotton and a garden near the house to care for. “All of the others worked hard,” said he “but had kind masters who fed them well.” When asked if his mother were a christian, he replied “why yes: indeed she...

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Biography of James Dodwell

James Dodwell. The career of James Dodwell, pioneer harnessmaker of Butler County and a well known resident of the county seat, El Dorado, is one considerably apart from the ordinary and of unusual interest. In its unfolding it had invaded various fields of endeavor and the occupations of war and peace, and through it Mr. Dodwell had worked out an admirable destiny and had established his right to be numbered among the self-made men who have attained success in spite of the most discouraging circumstances. James Dodwell was born in the City of New York, in 1845, and, having been left an orphan when an infant, was reared in the home of the Children’s Aid Society. In the fall of 1856 he was sent to Kalamazoo, Michigan, and placed in the home of Mrs. Caroline Hawley, where his lot was that too often experienced by orphaned children. Few, if any, kindnesses came his way, hardly any advantages, and no education, for he was not allowed to attend school with the other children. In fact he only attended school for three months in his entire life. Mr. Dodwell almost welcomed the outbreak of the Civil war, when he was about sixteen years of age, for it renewed his aspirations and awakened new hopes and gave him a chance to break away from his sordid surroundings. Enlisting in the army was...

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Biography of Joseph O. Ward M. D.

Joseph O. Ward, M. D., is a physician and surgeon of Horton whose work and attainments have brought him increasing repntstion for skill and ability. Doctor Ward is a native of Kansas, was a successful teacher before he took up his preparation for a medical career, and had been in practice now for almost twenty years. His father, M. Ward, who is still living at the venerable age of eighty-four, had had a most mteresting career and one that had brought him in close contast with pioneer conditions of the Middle West. Born in Ireland in 1833, he came to this country at the age of fourteen. He made the passage across this ocean as a stowaway, and was put off the boat at New York City with only twenty-five cents in his pocket. That was seventy years ago. Time had brought many changes and his had been a record of steadily growing prosperity. He now lives at Larkin, Kansas, and is owner of a body of 900 acres of farming land in that vicinity. From New York City he journeyed westward to Chicago and still later to St. Joseph, Missouri, and in 1862 became a pioneer at Larkin, Kansas. His main business in Kansas had been farming and stock raising. During the Civil war his Irish ardor prompted him to enlist, but he was rejected as too light for regular military...

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Biography of George Rushton

George Rushton. The George Rushton Baking Company, Incorporated, at Rosedale, is the largest concern of its kind in the State of Kansas. Every day its ovens turn out 20,000 loaves of high class bread, sold and consumed principally in the two Kansas cities, while the weekly capacity of the pie plant is 75,000 pies. It is the only pie baking plant on a large scale in the two cities. Baking had been a trade in the Rushton family for so many generations back that no record had been kept of the originator of the business. The president and founder of this business is a master baker in all that phrass implies. His father was a baker before him, and when only eight years of age began learning the business in his father’s shop back in England. George Rushton, Sr., was born at Wolverhampton, England, May 18, 1861, the oldest of the thirteen children of George Frederick and Martha Ann Rushton. As member of such a large household and the responsibilities of life being early put upon his shoulders, George Rushton had no opportunities to attend school. He never had a teacher except himself and experience. He learned his A B C’s by hard work, and only by much application and diligence did he acquire the fundamentals of a literary knowledge sufficient for business purposes. At the age of eight...

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Biography of William F. Kettenbach

William F. Kettenbach now deceased, was one of Lewiston’s most enterprising and successful businessmen, and for many years was president of the Lewiston National Bank. He left the impress of his individuality upon the commercial life and prosperity of the city, and his history forms an important chapter in the annals of the growth and development of this section of the state. He was born in New York City, May 15, 1849, just two days after the arrival of his parents, Henry and Elizabeth Kettenbach, from Germany. They were natives of that land. The father was descended from one of the noble families of Germany, and held the office of colonel of cavalry at Wurtzburg. On coming to America he took his family to Indianapolis, Indiana, and there the subject of this review was educated. When sixteen years of age he left school and proceeded to the frontier, where he was in the government service, acting as a scout with Kit Carson and Buffalo Bill. After the civil war he for some years acted as guide to emigrant trains across the plains, and then returned to Indianapolis, where he was engaged in the wholesale and retail grocery business for three years. He then devoted his energies to conducting a hardware store, and in the meantime invested largely in real estate, but in the financial panic of 1877 all his...

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Biography of John Wagener

John Wagener is one of the owners of the Trook and Jennings mine and five-stamp mill, one mile southeast of Silver City. He is also proprietor of several stock ranches and since pioneer days has been active in the development of the business resources of this state. A native of Germany, he came to America hoping to better his financial condition, and whatever success he has achieved is due entirely to his own labors. Mr. Wagener was born June 30, 1833 and in his native land acquired his education. When a young man of nineteen years he bade adieu to home and friends and in 1852 sailed for America, coming to this country in limited circumstances and without any knowledge of the language, manners or customs of the people. It is astonishing how rapidly our foreign-born citizens adapt themselves to new surroundings and be-come an integral part in our public life. Mr. Wagener took up his residence in New York City and began learning the wagon maker’s trade, at which he worked for a number of years. He then left the Atlantic for the Pacific coast, and in 1858 visited Idaho, when it was still a part of Washington Territory. He crossed the plains to Vancouver’s, thence came to Florence in 1862, and after engaging in placer-mining at the latter place for a year, went to Idaho City in...

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Biography of Clarence W. Brooks

A little thoughtful consideration of the career of Clarence W. Brooks, proprietor of the Brooks House, Idaho Falls, brings one to the conclusion that he has in most of his business operations been impelled by the spirit of the pioneer. He has sought out new plans and new conditions likely to favor his projects, and after he has made them available and profitable, he has sought out still others, and after those others. The wisdom of his selection has been proven by the success which has crowned his efforts. Not only is he one of the boldest, most venturesome and most successful hotel men in the west, but he is one of the best all-round hotel men “to the manner born” and experienced in the best houses in the country, with a comprehensive grasp on the hotel business, as such, and an intimate knowledge of all the details of good hotel-keeping. Clarence W. Brooks was born in Royalton, Vermont, June 22, 1848. His ancestors came from England and settled early in New Hampshire. His paternal grandfather was a Revolutionary soldier, and lived for some years after American independence, for which he had fought, was an established fact. Austin Brooks, his son and the father of Clarence W. Brooks, was born in Vermont, and there married Miss Susan Smith, and they lived and were farmers at Royalton for fifty years,...

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Biography of William Lauer

Since the establishment of Payette William Lauer has been identified with its development and upbuilding, and his labors have been most effective in promoting its welfare. He is the pioneer hardware merchant of the town, and still continues in that line of business, his well directed efforts bringing him success. He is among the worthy citizens that the Fatherland has furnished to the New World, his birth having occurred in Germany on the nth of November 1833. In his youth he crossed the Atlantic to New York with his father, Isaac Lauer, who made his home in the eastern metropolis until called to his final rest. His death occurred in his eightieth year. William Lauer had attended the public schools, of his native land, and was fifteen years of age when he came to America. He learned the tinner’s trade in New York City, and there remained for seven years, when he resolved to leave the Atlantic coast and seek a home on the Pacific coast. In 1854 he sailed from New York to San Francisco, and engaged in merchandising in Siskiyou County, California, where he remained until 1861, when he came to Idaho, attracted by the Oro Fino excitement. He engaged in clerking and also in placer mining, but his efforts in the latter direction did not prove successful. For his services as a salesman, however, he received...

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Biography of Hon. Augustine M. Sinnott

The gentleman whose name appears above was born on Staten Island, New York, July 17, 1858, the eldest son of Philip Sinnott. deceased, and Katharine E., nee Breen, both of whom were born in historic Wexford, Ireland, and emigrated from their native home to the Empire state of America, New York, when very young, where the father followed the trade of carpenter and builder. Young Augustine attended the public schools of his home district, where he achieved particular distinction as a scholar, and subsequently graduated at the New York high school and pursued a course of study in the College of the City of New York. His portrait and biography appeared in Frank Leslie’s Boys’ and Girls’ Weekly, in his fifteenth year, as the distinguished scholar of the Staten Island public schools, after a prize contest. The island, now known as Richmond borough, Greater New York, at that time had a population of forty thousand. After teaching in district schools in Illinois for two years he came to Colorado, in 1881, and entered the service of the South Park Railway, where he held a clerkship, and later was in the train service, until the summer of 1883, when he returned to his native island, in New York bay, and in the ensuing September led Miss Ella O’Brien, a native daughter of Staten Island, to the hymeneal altar. Deciding to...

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Biography of Samuel E. Bibby, M. D.

In the subject of this review we have one who has attained distinction in the line of his profession, who has been an earnest and discriminating student and who holds a position of due relative precedence among the medical practitioners of northern Idaho. He is the leading physician and surgeon of Grangeville and has a very large and lucrative practice. A native of New York City, he was born May 24, 1847, is of Scotch descent and is a representative of a family of physicians. His grandfather, Samuel Bibby, and his father, George Bibby, were both eminent medical practitioners of the American metropolis. The latter married Miss Ann Lavery, a lady of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and they became the parents of eight children. They are faithful members of the Presbyterian Church, and Dr. George Bibby has been a lifelong Republican in his political affiliations. He is now seventy-eight years of age, and his wife has reached the Psalmist’s span of three score years and ten. Samuel Edward Bibby, their third child, acquired his literary education in the schools of his native city. He is a graduate of the University of New York and of the Columbia University of Washington, and his education was further perfected by a course in the Edinburg University of Scotland. Thus afforded the highest educational advantages to be secured by the practitioners of medicine, he entered...

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Biography of James J. Rogers

The life of James J. Rogers has not been one of unvarying monotony, circumscribed by the habits, thoughts and customs of some narrow community, but contains many interesting incidents that come with travel and extensive intercourse with the world. Born on the Atlantic coast, he has visited foreign lands, has viewed many of the interesting scenes of our own country, and is now located in the beautiful city of Boise, which nestles in one of the loveliest valleys of the Pacific slope. There he is successfully engaged in the practice of law, and in the political affairs of the state he is no unimportant factor. A native of Maryland, he was born in the city of Baltimore, on the 24th of July 1862, and is of Irish lineage. His parents, Joseph P. and Elizabeth (Donahue) Rogers, were both natives of Belfast, Ireland, and in 1858 crossed the Atlantic to Baltimore, where the father devoted his energies to bookkeeping. In politics he was a Democrat, and in religious belief both he and his wife were Catholics. His death occurred on the 14th of April 1895, when he had reached the age of sixty-two years, and his wife passed away on the 22d of February 1878, at the age of thirty-nine years. They were the parents of nine children, seven of whom are residents of either Illinois or Iowa. During his...

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Biography of C. A. S. Prosser, M. D.

For six years a distinguished member of the medical profession of Boise, honored and respected in every class of society. Dr. C. A. S. Prosser is numbered among the leading citizens of his community. In the great competitive struggle of life, when each must enter the field and fight his way to the front, or else be overtaken by disaster of circumstance or place, there is ever particular interest attaching to the life of one who has turned the tide of success and has shown his ability to cope with others in their rush for the coveted goal. This Dr. Prosser has done and his high standing in his profession is an unmistakable indication of his ability. A native of Ontario, Canada, he was born in Lunenburg, on the 29th of January 1864. For three generations the family has resided in Canada, but the ancestry can be traced back to England. The great-grandfather of our subject located in New England, but during the war of the Revolution, owing to his loyalty to the king, he removed to Canada, accompanied by his family, which included Jesse Prosser, the Doctor’s grandfather. The latter fought on the side of Great Britain in the war of 1812, and his son, Henry Calvin Prosser, participated in the war of 1837, in Canada, fighting at Prescott, at what was called the Windmill battle. He married...

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Biography of Charles W. Shaff, M. D.

Holding marked prestige as a member of the medical profession of Idaho is Dr. Charles W. Shaff, of Lewiston, now the honored president of the State Medical Association. In the learned professions advancement depends upon the man, his talents, his skill and his ambition. The physician’s power is especially his own; not by purchase, by gift or by influence can he gain it. He must commence at the very beginning, learn the very rudiments of medicine and surgery, continually add to this knowledge by close study and earnest application, and gain reputation by merit. If he would gain the highest prominence it must come as the result of superior skill, knowledge and ability, which qualifications are possessed in an eminent degree by Dr. Shaff. He is known throughout the state as one of the most eminent members of the profession in Idaho, and his opinions are widely received as authority. The life history of such a man is always of profit as well as interest. The Doctor has spent his entire life on the Pacific coast, his birth having occurred in Eldorado County, California, July 6, 1855. During the colonial history of New York his ancestors, natives of Germany, located in the Empire state, and representatives of the family loyally served their country in the Revolutionary war and in the war of 1812. The Doctor’s father, Joseph Shaff, was...

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Biography of Michael T. Hoffman, Rev.

Rev. Michael T. Hoffman is pastor of the Church of the Holy Cross at Emmett. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1908 and practically his entire service had been given in Kansas. He is a devoted and zealous churchman and had done much in a constructive way for the upbuilding of Catholic influence in Kansas. Father Hoffman was born in Alsace-Lorraine, Germany, June 4, 1885, but had lived in the United States since he was five years of age. His father, John Hoffman, was a native of the same border country but then under the Dominion of France, born in 1836. He grew up and married a native of the same province, Elizabeth Emmerich, who was born in 1844. John Hoffman had eight years of active military experience in Europe, and was discharged from the army just before the Franco-Prussian war. In 1890 he brought his family to New York City and was engaged in the wholesale tea and coffec business in that city until his death in 1909. As an American citizen he was a democrat in politics. Both he and his wife were faithful members of the Catholic Church. His wife died in New York in 1908. Father Hoffman was the youngest of a large family of twelve children. The oldest, also Michael by name, died at the age of six years. John is a florist...

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