History of Luzerne County, Pa.,
by H.C. Bradsby, 1893
PETER A. O'BOYLE, attorney at law, Pittston and Wilkes-Barre, and assistant district attorney of Luzerne county, was born in County Mayo, Ireland, October 10, 1861, a son of Patrick and Bridget (Haggerty) O'Boyle, who came to America in 1864, settling in Pittston, where the father for some years was employed as a miner. Their children were nine in number, of whom six survive: James, Peter A., Bridget (Mrs. Michael Barrett), Anne, Edward and Joseph. Our subject was reared in Pittston, and educated in the public schools. He studied law with Alex. Farnham, of Wilkes-Barre; was admitted to the bar of Luzerne county in 1885, where he has since been in the active practice of his profession; was admitted to practice in the supreme court of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, in 1891, and January 1, 1892, was appointed assistant district attorney of Luzerne county for a term of three years. Mr. O'Boyle married, October 11, 1888, Rosalie T., daughter of Dennis and Maria A. (Burke) Walsh, of New York, formerly of Dublin, Ireland, and he has one daughter, Rosalie G. Our subject is a member of the Catholic Church, and in politics is a Democrat.
C.H. O'BRIEN, engineer, Pittston, was born in that town April 9, 1867, a son of Thomas J. and Margaret O'Brien. He received an education in the public schools of Luzerne county, and when about fifteen years of age began working around the breaker, oiling machinery; he afterward worked in various other capacities. At the age of nineteen he began running the hoisting engines at the sinking of the Seneca Shaft for the Newton Coal Mining Company, and when that was completed continued in charge of the hoisting engines at that place, where he is at present employed. He is a member of the Father Mathew Society; and his political views are decidedly Democratic. Mr. O'Brien is a young man, highly respected by all who know him, and is a complete master of the levers.
MICHAEL O'BRIEN, miner, Port Blanchard, was born January 15, 1842, in County Mayo, Ireland, and is a son of Thomas and Bridget (Malia) O'Brien, natives of the same place, who reared a family of eight children, of whom our subject is the sixth in order of birth. He was educated in the old-fashioned private schools of Ireland, and came to this country in 1861, settling in Pittston, this county; he worked as a laborer in the mines, until the year 1865, since which time he has been employed as a miner by the Pennsylvania Coal Company. Mr. O'Brien was united in marriage, April 12, 1865, with Mary, daughter of James and Mary (Fitzpatrick) Walsh, natives of County Mayo, Ireland. The issue of this union was nine children, five of whom are living, viz.: Mary J., born January 24, 1867, married to James Flynn, a miner of Port Blanchard; Michael and Patrick (twins), born April 12, 1873; Elizabeth, born March 11, 1877; and Joseph, born July 11, 1879. Our subject is a member of the Catholic Church; a member of Division No. 10 A.O.H., and the Emerald Beneficial Association; politically he is a Democrat, and was auditor of the township from 1886 to 1889.
THOMAS O'BRIEN, miner, Port Blanchard, was born in County Mayo, Ireland, May 25, 1838, and is a son of Thomas and Bridget (Malia) O'Brien, natives of the same place, who reared a family of eight children, of whom our subject is the fifth in order of birth. He was educated in the Irish national schools, and came to the United States in the year 1856, taking up his residence in Pittston. He received employment as a laborer in the mines, which occupation he followed until early in the year 1865, since which time he has worked as a miner in the mines of the Pennsylvania Coal Company. Mr. O'Brien was joined in wedlock July 20, 1861, with Margaret, daughter of Thomas and Annie (Jennings) Moon, natives of County Mayo, Ireland. The issue of this union has been nine children, all of whom are living, as follows: Patrick, born June 16, 1862; Mary, born May 31, 1864, married October 26, 1887, to Michael M. Moylan, a merchant, in Port Griffith; Bridget, born March 15, 1866; Thomas, born February 21, 1868; Michael, born April 13, 1870; James, born March 31, 1872; Margaret, born June 29, 1874; Luke, born May 18, 1876, and Agnes, born March 13, 1878.Our subject is a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians; he is a Democrat in politics, and in religion is a member of the Catholic Church. He built and owns the house wherein he now resides.
THOMAS J. O'BRIEN, mine foreman, Pittston, was born in Ireland in 1844, a son of Anthony and Ann (Manley) O'Brien, natives of Ireland. The family came to America when Thomas was a year old, settling at Carbondale, where they resided about two years, and then moved to Pittston, where our subject was reared and educated. Mr. O'Brien began his career around the mines as fireman at about the age of twelve, and shortly afterward was running a pump at the same place. After two years he became hoisting engineer, and soon went to Scranton, working in the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western shops a short time, firing a locomotive for that company. He remained there until April, 1865, when he went to sea as a boy on board the "Dirk Kill," a merchantman, plying between New York and Monte Video, and three months later found employment on the "Morning Light," of Gibraltar. November 2, 1865, he reached New York, whence he immediately came to Pittston, and engaged in working around the mines, and has since been employed in various capacities by different companies, but the chief part of the time has been foreman for the Newton Coal Mining Company. In 1866 Mr. O'Brien married Miss Margaret Gerrerty, of Pittston, and by her has had six children, viz.: Charles H., Mary, Alice, Margaret, George F. and Addie. Mr. O'Brien has held the offices of assistant assessor and school director, and during the session of 1878-79 of the Pennsylvania Legislature, was paster and folder for that body. In politics he is a Democratic.
CORNELIUS O'DONNELL, merchant, Sugar Notch, was born in County Donegal, Ireland, in October, 1826, and is a son of Timothy and Giles (Dever) O'Donnell, who died in Wilkes-Barre. The father, who was a farmer, reared a family of eleven children, six of whom are living, and all are in America, viz.: Ellen (Mrs. Charles Conyngham, in Wilkes-Barre), Cornelius, Peter (a retired miner, in Wilkes-Barre), Mary (was twice married, first to John Hearn who was killed in the mines, and afterward to William Grant, a miner in Wilkes-Barre), Francis (who is in the employ of the city of Wilkes-Barre), and Ann (Mrs. Hugh McManmon, of Freeland, Pa.).
Cornelius O'Donnell, subject of our sketch, came to America in 1849, and for two months was employed on a farm on Long Island; he then went to Summit Hill and worked about the mines for one year, afterward at Buck Mountain two years; then traveled through the South two years, selling small merchandise and notions, after which he returned to Buck Mountain, remaining one year; then removed to Rockport, Pa., and worked about the mines four years. In 1861 he came to Wilkes-Barre, and was engaged in mining four years; then at Nanticoke one year and nine months; thence in 1867 removed to Sugar Notch, where he followed mining until 1870, when he was injured in the mines by a fall of coal, so that he could no longer follow that occupation; but after recovering he was appointed breaker-boss, which postion he held twelve years. In 1882 he embarked in a general mercantile business, which he has since followed with great success. In August, 1883, he visited his native country, remaining forty-five days. Mr. O'Donnell erected his residence in 1876, and the store in 1883, besides which he has built several other houses which he owns as well as other real estate. He has been highly successful in all his undertakings, and has accumulated a comfortable competence for himself and family. Mr. O'Donnell was married in January, 1848, to Miss Bridget Gallagher, daughter of Patrick and Margaret (McBararty) Gallagher, and they had six children: Mary, who died on the ocean during the passage to America; Cornelius, a merchant in Seattle, Wash.; John and Patrick, engaged in the saloon business in Sugar Notch; Ann, who died at the age of nine months; and Peter, a student in the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. O'Donnell are devoted members of the Catholic Church, and he is a member of the Father Mathew Society. In his political views he is a Democrat; has held the office of supervisor in Sugar Notch borough, and has rendered the party much valuable aid by the respect and influence which he has in the community in which he lives.
JOSEPH J. O'DONNELL, proprietor of the "Mangan Hotel," Plains, was born in Honey Brook, Pa., July 10, 1860, and is a son of Manus and Margaret (Gaughen) O'Donnell, natives of County Mayo, Ireland. The father, who was a miner, reared a family of six children, of whom J.J. is the third. The subject of this sketch began work in the mines at the age of twelve years, and at twenty-three learned the shoemaker's trade, which he followed four years, and in 1889 engaged in his present business. Mr. O'Donnell was married, September 27, 1883, to Miss Mary, daughter of Martin and Bridget (Kinney) Mangan, natives of County Mayo, Ireland; they have had five children, as follows: Margaret, born July 4, 1884, died September 2, 1888; Martin, born November 2, 1885; Joseph, born March 18, 1887; Charles, born January 2, 1889; and Mary, born April 27, 1890. Mr. O'Donnell and family are members of the Catholic Church; he is a member of the A.O.H., and the Nationalists, and in politics is a liberal Democrat.
JAMES J. O'FLAHERTY, shoemaker, Sugar Notch, was born in Ireland, December 3, 1858, and is a son of Rodger and Mary (Joice) O'Flaherty, who reared a family of sixteen children - thirteen sons and three daughters - James J. being the second eldest. Our subject attended the national schools in his native country until he was seventeen years old, when he commenced to learn shoemaking. After finishing his trade he started from home and worked in Dublin, Belfast and Limerick, respectively, stopping in each place but a short time, however. In 1879 Mr. O'Flaherty came to America, and secured employment in Philadelphia, where he remained until 1881, in which year he came to Sugar Notch and opened a shoe store which he operated until 1885, when he gave that up, and recommenced his trade, at present employing a number of men, and doing a thriving business. Our subject was married March 11, 1877, to Margaret, daughter of James and Mary (Fahey) Riley, both natives of Ireland, and this union was blessed with five children, as follows: Bridget, Mary, Margaret, Gertrude and James, all of whom are living. Mr. O'Flaherty is a member of the A.O.H., and the E.B.A. and the F.M.T.A.B. In politics he is a Republican, and has held several important offices.
REV. JOHN P. O'MALLY, pastor of St. Ignatius Church, Kingston, was born in Quena, near Louisburg, County Mayo, Ireland, June 24, 1833, and is a son of Augustus and Honora (Cussack) O'Mally, natives of Ireland. There were six children in the family, viz.: William, a contractor, residing at Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; John P., our subject; Augustine, a resident of San Francisco, Cal.; Mary (now deceased), who was married to Richard F. Welsh, of Wilkes-Baare, Pa.; Ellen, who married a Mr. Hussie (the latter now deceased); and Bridget, who has charge of the pastoral house. The subject of this sketch was educated at Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland, and at the age of seventeen came to America where he entered the Jesuit College of St. Francis Xavier, New York City, in which he remained four years, going from there to Emmitsburg, Md., where he studied three years. He then entered the Theological and Philosophical Seminary at Philadelphia, and after two years of ardent labor he mastered the four years' course, and was ordained by The Most Rev. F. A. Wood, November 7, 1865. His first mission was that of assistant at St. James' Church, W. Philadelphia, where he remained from December 15, 1865, to June 15, 1868, when he was appointed to the pastorate of the Athens (Bradford county) Missions. Here he remained two years, June, 1868, to October, 1870, going from there to Hawley, Wayne Co., Pa., where he had charge of Pike county and one-third of Wayne. While in this locality he erected the following churches, all in Pennsylvania: St. Mary's, Ledgedale; St. Joseph's, White Mills; St. Patrick's, Milford; St. Mary's, Lackawaxen, and St. Philomena, at Hawley, which was remodeled under his supervision. He resided at Hawley and vicinity from 1870 until 1891, when he was appointed to the charge of St. Ignatius Church (unfinished, which when completed will compare favorably with any church edifice in the State) at Kingston, where he now resides. Of his merits as a pastor, one, to be convinced of their excellency, has only to behold the fields of his labor. As a scholar, he is profound, and his opinions and views are made doubly impressive by the zeal and clearness with which they are presented. As a man, he is regarded with the highest esteem, not only by his own congregation, but by all classes who are brought in contact with him in either a social or business way.
HON. DANIEL L. O'NEILL, a prominent member of the Luzerne county bar, was born at Port Deposit, Md., December 10, 1835. He is a son of Daniel and Bridget (Hopkins) O'Neill, who were natives of Counties Wicklow and Longford, Ireland, respectively. In early life he removed with his parents to Overton, Bradford Co., Pa., and was educated in public and select schools. His father was a contractor bridge-builder, and in later life a farmer; but our subject tiring of the monotony of farm life, at the age of seventeen began his career as a teacher, and taught eight years, achieving success in that profession. During a part of this time he studied law, finishing his studies with the late Hon. H.B. Wright, of Wilkes-Barre, and was admitted to the Luzerne County bar, April 4, 1864. Mr. O'Neill from the beginning took a front rank among the active workers of his chosen profession, and still devotes his whole time to his constantly increasing practice. In politics, he has always been a pronounced Democrat, and his political friends have on several occasions elected him to fill important positions. He represented Luzerne county in the Legislature of 1868-69; has served two terms as member of the Wilkes-Barre city council, one term as member of the board of the Central Poor District, and five terms as a member of the Wilkes-Barre school board, in all of which postions he acquitted himself with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents. Mr. O'Neill married, May 16, 1864, Annie, daughter of Patrick and Elizabeth (Edwards) McDonald, of Muhlenburg, Pa., and has eight children living, viz.: Annie C., a graduate of Saint Cecilia's Academy, Scranton, and the Mansfield State Norman School (she is an accomplished musician, and a successful teacher in the city public schools); William A., a member of the choir at Saint Mary's Church, and a student in his father's office (he is also notary public); Daniel L. Jr., also a graduate of the Mansfield State Normal School, is principal of the Hillard Grove School, Wilkes-Barre; John F., a student in his father's office; and Philip Ambrose, Alberta, Francis C. and Leon A., still at school. Mr. O'Neill and family are devoted members of the Catholic Church, toward which he is a
E.A. OBERRENDER, Drifton, was born in the small hamlet of Drum's, Butler township, June 29, 1856, eldest son in the family of J.S. Oberrender. The son was educated in the common schools of the vicinity, took a course at the Wyoming Seminary, and is a graduate of the Wyoming Commerical College at Kingston, Pa. At the age of seventeen he engaged in clerking, and after one year's experience was given employment by his present employers, Coxe Bros & Co., of Drifton, commencing as assistant bookkeeper, after twelve months being promoted to the postion of private secretary to Hon. Eckley B. Coxe, the head of the great house. In his present position he has charge of Mr. Coxe's private affairs; the superintendence of the store department, and charge of the taxable property and real estate of the firm of Coxe Bros. & Co., and of the estate of the late Tench Coxe, of which Hon. E.B. Coxe is administrator and general agent. He was a director of the Hazelton National Bank, of Hazleton, Pa., from the date of its organization in January, 1890, until July, 1892, when he resigned. E.A. Oberrender was joined in wedlock December 8, 1880 with Fannie S.Jenkins, of Drum's. They have children as follows: Winfield S., Stanley S. and Harold S. Politically our subject is a Democrat.
JOHN PAUL OBERRENDER, butcher, Ashley, was born in Ebersdorf, Germany, July 27, 1836, and is a son of John Nicholas and Anna M. (Fulrath) Oberrender, the former, who was a maker of leather breeches and gloves, having been born in 1806. They reared a family of eight children (five of whom were born in Germany), viz.: John S., ex-sheriff of Luzerne county; Margaret, married to Stephen Housenecht, carpenter and contractor, Sugar Loaf township; Nicholas, a tailor in Bloomsburg, Pa.; Paul; Edward, residing in Hazleton, this county; Effa Doretta, married to Simon Moyer, blacksmith, Mahanoy City, Pa.; Christiana, married to William Boettner, employed in the bridge works at Pottstown, Pa.; and Wilhelmina, married to Henry Shiner, carpenter and contractor, Philadelphia. The family (except three children) came from Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha, Germany, in 1840, and settled in Conyngham Valley, Sugar Loaf township, where the father died in 1877. The mother, who was also born in 1806, now lives with her daughter, Margaret. When twelve years of age our subject engaged with Joseph Fisher, of Hazleton, to learn the trade which has been the chief occupation of his life. He remained there two years, and then engaged in business for himself - twelve years at White Haven and ten years at Mahanoy City. At the latter place he also carried on a grocery and lumber trade. In 1879 he removed to Ashley, where he has since done a thriving business. He built his present store and residence attached in 1882. Mr. Oberrender was married, March 11, 1860, to Miss Mary E. Willard, daughter of Lafford and Abigail Willard, of Newtown, Bucks Co., Pa., and the issue of this union was six children, viz.: Charles, a conductor on the Boston & Albany Railroad; Frank, a clerk in Barber & Zigler's coal office, New York; Harry W., editor and proprietor of the Ashley Bulletin; Abi, who died at the age of eighteen years; Anna M., who keeps house for her father, and David W., engaged with his father in the butchering business. Our subject and wife were members of the German Lutheran and Episcopal Churches, respectively, and in his political views he is a Republican.
WILLIAM OGIN, farmer, P.O. Slocum, was born in Slocum township January 12, 1838, and was there reared and educated. He is a son of John and Mary (Sims) Ogin, the former born in Philadelphia, the latter being of Irish descent. The grandfather removed to this county in its early settlement, was a farmer by occupation, and owned about one hundred acres of land. He lived a life of usefulness, and died at a good old age. His family consisted of four children, and his son John fell heir to his father's estate by buying off the other heirs. He was a practical man in his way and day, for not only was he engaged in agricultural pursuits, but was also engaged in boating on the canal. He lived to middle life, and his family numbered twelve children, nine of whom are living, William being the seventh in the family. Our subject as continuously followed agricultural pursuits, and has always been a resident of Slocum township. In 1859 he married Miss Emily Kester, who was born in Slocum township August 7, 1843, a daughter of Jacob and Lucy Kester, and by this union were born eleven children, all of whom are living: Henry A., John, Jacob P., Leonard W., Willis F., Ralph R., Martha J., Mary C., Carrie E., Ada M. and Della. Mr. Ogin has been living on his present farm since 1870, and now owns seventy-three acres of land. He is a worthy farmer, and an honest and upright man. Politically he is a Democrat, and has been honored with several township offices.
WILLIAM OHL, outside foreman at the Alden Mines, P.O. Alden Station, was born in Schuylkill county, December 23, 1845. He is the eldest in a family of five sons born to Daniel and Mary (Dubenspeck) Ohl, natives of Pennsylvania. He was reared and educated in his native county, and in early life learned the carpenter's trade and followed it until 1870, when he engaged in constructing breakers. This he followed until 1882, when he accepted his present position at the Alden Mines. At this mine they employ about 650 men, inside and out. The mines are about 585 feet deep, and the daily output is 1,200 tons. Mr. Ohl has a large stock farm in West Penn township, Schuylkill county, where he is interested in breeding some very fine stock, both horses and cattle. He was married June 23, 1867, to Miss Emma, daughter of Moses Hauser. They have five children: William F., Amma J., Mary A., Amanda and Sarah. This gentleman is a member of the P.O.S. of A. His family attend the German Reformed Church, and in politics he is a Republican.
WILLIAM H. OLDFIELD, justice of the peace, Nanticoke, was born June 16, 1848, in Bristol, England, a son of Henry and Sarah (Smart) Oldfield, the former of whom still resides at Bristol, where the latter died March 4, 1891. Our subject was educated in England, and when quite young commenced working in the mines at Bristol and vicinity, at which he continued until 1865, when he emigrated to America. After landing on the shore of Columbia he remained in Philadelphia for a short time; then moved farther west, and was engaged in mining in Ohio and Indiana until 1871, in which year he returned to England, where he mined a short time, and then received an appointment on the Manchester police force, in which he served for a time, when he was called to Wakefield to serve in the same capacity. At the latter place he resided until 1878, when he resigned and entered the employ of the Ashtonvale Coal Company, with whom he remained about two years, when he again came to America, locating at Nanticoke. He was first engaged In mining for five years; then commenced in the hotel business, which he followed a short time, when he was appointed chief of police at Nanticoke, a position he held until February, 1890, when he was elected a justice of the peace, his term expiring in 1895. Mr. Oldfield is one of Nanticoke's most highly respected citizens, and an active participant in all political reforms in that locality, as a firm adherent of the principles of Republicanism.
BRIGADIER-GENERAL PAUL AMBROSE (4) OLIVER (Paul A. (3) Thomas (2) Reuben (1)), (U.S.A. 1861-65), of Oliver's Mills, Luzerne county, Pa., is a son of Capt. Paul Ambrose (3) Oliver, who was born in Philadelphia, April 28, 1796; died at Fort Hamilton, L.I., June, 1848. Capt. Oliver was trained on shipboard by his father, Capt. Thomas (2) Oliver, of the big "Nancy and Kate," who was lost at sea in the great storm off the coast of Spain, December 14, 1812. His son Paul (3), then but sixteen years of age, brought his vessel safely into port. He was for many years successively in command of his own ships: the "Tiber," "Superior," "Trenton" and "Louisiana," vessels as notable in his day as the Cunard steamships of to-day. He served in the battle of Lake Erie in the war of 1812, taking several officers prisoners in an expedition in which he commanded a boat. He was commissioned sailing master in the U.S. navy, April 15, 1814. He was married, July 28, 1819, by Rt. Rev. William White, D.D., to Mary, daughter of Matthew Van Dusen, ship builder of Kensington, Philadelphia, who in 1795 purchased the famour "Fairman Mansion" in which William Penn lived until the Letitia House was built, and near which stood the "Treaty Tree," under which Penn made his treaty with the Indians, May, 1662. A scion of this tree Gen. Oliver transplanted in 1892, from Fort Hamilton to Oliver's Mills, where it now stands. Capt. Thomas Oliver, father of Capt. Paul A. Oliver, was born in Delaware, May 23, 1770; married, 1791, Sarah Ambrose, of Virginia. One of his sons, Thomas, of Mauch Chunk, Pa., was the father of Col. William S. Oliver - U.S.A. 1861-65 - specially mentioned by Gen. U.S. Grant in his Memoirs, and of Lieut. Howard Oliver, and Richard Paul Oliver - U.S.A. 1861-65. His daughter, Elizabeth, married Dr. Samuel Bryce Flower, surgeon C.S.A. 1861-65. Capt. Thomas Oliver was the son of Reuben Oliver, of Delaware - 1730-74 - and his wife, Hester Gallaudet, daughter of Dr. Pierre Elisee and Jane Gallaudet of Mauze, France, both families of distinguished in Hugnenot history. A sketch of these families was published in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, 1888. Gen. Paul A. Oliver was born July 18, 1831, on board the ship "Louisiana," in the English channel, latitude 49 19 N. longitude under the United States flag. This vessel was built by his grandfather, Matthew Van Dusen, owned and commanded by his father, Capt. Paul A. Oliver. Gen. Oliver was educated in Altona, Germany, came to New York and engaged in the shipping business, later in the cotton trade with his brother George W., in New York and New Orleans. He lived at Fort Hamilton, N.Y., and when in 1856 the yellow fever broke out there, he organized the Fort Hamilton Relief Society, of which he was made president. By means of this Society the sick were cared for, and the disease confined to that locality and prevented from spreading to the city of Brooklyn. Gen. Oliver enlisted, February, 27, 1862, in the Twelfth New York Volunteers as second lieutenant, Company E; made first lieutenant May 17, 1862, and captain April 13, 1864, ranking from January 1, 1864. He commanded his company at Gaines'Mills, June 27, 1862, and Fredericksburg December 13, 1862. In 1864 he received the commission of major, lieutenant-colonel and colonel of the Fifth New York Volunteers, but declined. He was appointed and served as aide to Maj-Gen. Butterfield, Fifth Corps, army of the Potomac, December, 1862, to June, 1863; on the personal staff of Gen. George G. Meade, commanding army of the Potomac, June, 1863, to September, 1863; staff of Gen. Joe Hooker, Eleventh and Twelfth Corps, army of the Cumberland, October, 1863, to March, 1864, received the medal of honor from Congress for distinguished services at Resaca, May 15, 1862. He was made chief of staff, Gen. Butterfield commanding the Third Division Twentieth Corps, army of the Cumberland, May to June, 1864, and was in the battle of Lookout Mountain, and the campaigns to Atlanta. Transferred subsequently, at his own request, to the army of the Potomac, he was assigned to duty at headquarters Fifth Corps, the Twelfth New York Regiment, having been consolidated with the Fifth New York volunteers July, 1864; was acting provost-marshal Fifth Corps of staff of Gen. Warren until December, 1864. Assigned to duty with Gen. M.R. Patrick, headquarters armies of the U.S., by order of Gen. U.S. Grant, January 4, 1865, made brevet brigadier-general March 8, 1865. Detailed April 11, 1865, to assist in paroling the army of Northern Virginia, C.S. of A., at Appomattox, with Gen. George H. Sharpe, assistant provost-marshal, who took the original paroles to the War Department at Washington, and the duplicate paroles of that army were delivered in person at Gen. Lee's headquarters by Gen. Oliver to Col. Taylor, Gen. Lee's adjutant-general. Gen. Oliver left the service, being honorably discharged May, 1865. He was in the siege of Yorktown and the battles of Hanover C.H., Gaines' Mills, Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wauhatchie, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Ringgold, Resaca, Cassville, Dallas, New Hope Church, Pine Knob, Kulp House, Marietta, Six Mile House, Weldon Railroad, Poplar Grove Church, Boynton Plank Road and Hatcher's Run. Gen. Oliver received honorable mention in Butterfield's official report of the Seven Days battles June-July, 1862; in official report of Capt. Huson, Twelfth New York Volunteers of Second Bull Run; in Hooker's official report of the Chattanooga campaign (official record U.S. Armies, volume XIII, page 321; volume XVI, page 477; volume LV, page 325, etc.). After the war Gen. Oliver entered for a short time into the coal business with his brother-in-law, the late Mr. Samuel Bonnell, Jr. In 1869 he came to Wilkes-Barre and established a small powder-mill, which caught fire, whereby his men were killed and he himself badly burned. He then organized the Luzerne Powder Company, erected works which were burned, and rebuilt. These blew up shortly afterward, destroying the works and killing two men. He then bought out the old company, and established himself at Laurel Run (now Oliver's Mills), where he has since been engaged in the manufacture of powder. He uses machinery of his own invention, consisting principally of devices by which powder can be made in small quantities at any time and in any place, thus doing away with the danger of violent explosion, and reducing the risk to a minimum. Gen. Oliver is a member of the American Institute of Mining Engineers; the Loyal Legion; the Society of the Army of the Potomac; the Hugnenot Society; the Society of the War of 1812, and the Netherland Society of Philadelphia. He is a communicant of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and has erected at his place, Oliver's Mills, a unique and beautiful log chapel for the use of his men, in which continued services have been held each Sunday for thirteen years.
THOMAS OLIVER, commercial traveler, Wilkes-Barre, was born in Cardiganshire, South Wales, August 12, 1844, a son of Lewis and Margaret (Peters) Oliver. He was reared on a farm in South Wales, educated in the public schools, and began life as an apprentice in a general store. After three years' service there, he entered a dry-goods house in England as clerk, and remained until 1872, when he came to America. He lived in Philadelphia, Pa., six months, and in Scranton four years, and from there moved to New York, where he was for six years employed in the leading dry goods houses of that city. In 1883 he came to Wilkes-Barre, where for five years he was in the employ of a prominent dry-goods house, and since 1888 he has been traveling salesman for a leading grocery house of that city. January 25, 1877, Mr. Oliver married Miss Charlotte, daughter of David and Hannah (George) Richards, of Wilkes-Barre, and has three children living: Gertrude, Edith and Alice. He is a member of the Welsh Presbyterian Church, and of the Ivorites. In politics he is a Republican.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN OPLINGER, carpenter in the Laurel Run Mine, Miners Mills, was born in Plains township, March 1, 1828, and is a son of George and Lavina (Rhodes) Oplinger, natives of Easton, Pa., and of German origin. The father was a soldier in the war of 1812, soon after which he came to Plains township; he was also in the Mexican and Civil wars. The family consisted of twelve children, nine by his first marriage and three by his second; the survivors are: Margaret (Mrs. Reuben Mock), Benjamin Franklin, George, James, Winthrop and Fannie (Mrs. George Wicks). Our subject was educated in the common schools, and at the age of nine years began working about the mines, which vocation he has since followed, having worked at his trade for the last twenty-four years; in 1848 he built his present residence, where he has since lived. Mr. Oplinger was married September 1, 1847, to Miss Mary, daughter of Henry Hay, of Plains, where he was an early settler. This union was blessed with fourteen children, six of whom are living, viz,: Sarah (Mrs. Stephen Sink), Media (Mrs. Benjamin Vanderburg), Martha (Mrs. Frank Stocker), Bowman, Nettie (Mrs. Albert Siley) and Margaret (Mrs. Amos Kitchen). Mrs. Oplinger died December 25, 1872, and he was married the second time, on December 16, 1874, to Miss Sarah, daughter of Jacob and Mary (Hootmaker) Myer, natives of Easton, Pa., and of German lineage. To this union have been born nine children, five of whom are living, viz.: Stephen, Henry, Nellie, Stella and Mary. Mr. Oplinger is a member of the I.O.R.M.; he is a Democrat in his political views, and has been a member of the borough council for six years.
LEMUEL SCOTT OPLINGER, farmer, Newport township, P.O. Glen Lyon, is a native of Plains, Luzerne Co., Pa., born July 18, 1847. His parents were Reuben and Ellen (Warden) Oplinger, natives of Bath, Northampton Co., Pa., and New York, respectively. Reuben was a successful farmer in Bath; he was of German descent, while his wife was an American. He had a family of thirteen children - ten sons and three daughters - nine of whom are living, viz.: Mary, Ezra, Henry, Lemuel S., Anna, Reuben, Thomas, George and Franklin. The subject of our sketch was educated in the public schools of Plains, and came to Newton township on the 16th of October, fourteen years ago; for six years he lumbered in Glen Lyon, and has since been farming. He was married, January 12, 1873, to Catherine Ann Belles, the daughter of William and Mary (Bridinger) Belles, both natives of Newport township. To Mr. and Mrs. Oplinger were born eight children - seven sons and one daughter - the names in order being: William, Harry, Charles, Walter, Adam, Bell, Arthur and Lemuel Scott, Jr. Mr. Oplinger belongs to the Presbyterian Church, and politically he is a Democrat. He also belongs to the Junior Order of American Mechanics, and the Knights of Honor, and is a school director in Newport township at the present time.
WINTHROP OPLINGER, Plains, was born in Plains, March 17, 1842, son of George and Betsy (Frow) Oplinger, natives of Pennsylvania, of German origin. The father, who was a cooper by trade, reared a family of eleven children, of whom Winthrop is the eighth. Our subject enlisted at Wilkes-Barre, November 27, 1861, in Company I, Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, and re-enlisted in January, 1864, in the same company; he was with his regiment in all the important battles in which it took part, and in most of the skirmishes, and was mustered out at City Point, January 24, 1866. After returning from the army, he worked at the carpenter's trade for six months, and for the next twenty years followed mining. In 1886-88 he was supervisor of Plains township, and has since followed the carpenter's trade. Mr. Oplinger was married, November 14, 1864, to Miss Mary, daughter of Abram and Ellen (Courtright) St. Clair, natives of Pennsylvania, of New England origin; they have had ten children, viz.: Lizzie (deceased), Nora, Charles, Winthrop, Willard, Fredrick, Edgar (deceased), Alfred, Roy (deceased) and Olive. He is a member of the A.O.K. of M.C., G.A.R., P.O.S. of A., and the I.O.R.M.,; politically he is a Republican.
BENJAMIN F. ORNDORFF, engineer for the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company, No. 3 Shaft, Plymouth, was born March 3, 1854, in Dauphin county, Pa., and is the fourth in a family of eight chidren born to John and Emeline (Nolen) Orndorff, natives of Pennsylvania. Our subject was educated in the public schools of Dauphin county, and at the age of fourteen years began firing for the Lykens Valley Coal Company, continuing with them in this capacity for eight years, at the end of which time he was promoted to the position of engineer, and worked as such for two years under the same company. He followed this occupation in Dauphin county until 1883, when he came to Plymouth, where he worked as a miner one year, fired for two years, and was then given charge of the hoisting engines at No. 3 Shaft, where he has since handled the levers. Mr. Orndorff was united in marriage in 1876, with Miss Lizzie, daughter of John J. and Barbara (Stener) Kramer, the former a native of Germany, the latter of Pennsylvania. Two children have blessed this union: Gertrude and Howard. Mr. Orndorff votes independently; he is a member of the P.O.S. of A. The family attend the Methodist Episcopal Church.
GEORGE M. ORR, farmer, P.O. Dallas, was born in Dallas, June 13, 1856, and is a son of A.S. and Priscilla (Warden) Orr, both of whom were born in Luzerne county. A.S. Orr is a prominent man in Wilkes-Barre, and a leader in the Republican party. During President Arthur's administration he was postmaster at Wilkes-Barre. During the war of the Rebellion he was connected with the Fifty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers in the capacity of sutler. He is a stirring business man, and has done much to build up Wilkes-Barre. He is now superintendent of the Wilkes-Barre & Ashley Street Railroad Company, an office he has held for twenty years. He is a son of Joseph (II) Orr, a son of Joseph (I), who emigrated to this country in the latter part of the last century, coming from the North of Ireland. He located in the State of New Jersey, subsequently removing to Wilkes-Barre, and in 1809 he purchased of Gen. Ross over 250 acres in Wilkes-Barre township, comprising the Gen. Sturdevant and Alexander McLean farms. A.S. Orr is the father of seven children, six of whom are living; two of them, N.M. and George M., have been admitted to the bar; W.G. is studying medicine; A.J. is not yet in business. George M., the subject proper of this sketch is the third member of the family. He was educated in the Dallas and Wilkes-Barre schools and at Wyoming Seminary. In his early life he was in the insurance business, which he followed with marked success; he was deputy postmaster for three years in the Wilkes-Barre postoffice. He began the study of law in the University of Michigan, and was admitted to the Luzerne county bar in June, 1887. He studied and practiced law for four years in McKean county, Pa., and has now retired to his father's farm on account of poor health. He married Miss Helen, daughter of Joseph and Mary (Laird) Easterline, and by her had six children, three of whom are living, viz.: Helen, Prudence and Ralph. The Orrs are stanch Republicans.
HON. EDWIN SYLVANUS OSBORNE, attorney at law, Wilkes-Barre, was born in Bethany, Wayne Co., Pa., August 7, 1839, a son of Sylvanus and Lucy (Messenger) Osborne. His paternal grandparents were Cooper and Hannah (Oakley) Osborne, the former of whom was a son of Thomas, who was a son of Jacob, who was a son of Samuel, who was a son of John Osborne, the first ancestor in America, who came from England, and settled in East Windsor, Conn., prior to 1645, and who married Ann Oldage. Thomas Osborne, the great-grandfather of subject, was a soldier in the war of the Revolution, and was killed at the battle of Monmouth, N.J. The wife of Cooper Osborne was the daughter of Ephraim Oakley, and granddaughter of Sylvanus Oakley, who died possessed of large estates in New York City and New Jersey. Cooper Osborne was a native of Litchfield county, Conn., and his wife, of Scotch Plains, N.J. They were married in 1798, and settled in what is now Dyberry township, Wayne Co., Pa., where Sylvanus, the father of our subject, was born in September, 1812. In 1836 Sylvanus Obsorne was married to Lucy, daughter of Cyrus Messenger, of Bridgewater, Susquehanna Co., Pa. Our subject was graduated from the University of Northern Pennsylvania, and from the National Law School at Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1860. He read law with the Hon. Charles Denison, of Wilkes-Barre, and was admitted to the Luzerne county bar, February 26, 1861. In April, 1861, he enlisted in Company C. Eighth Regiment P.V. Subsequently, he was authorized by Governor Curtin to recruit a company, and was mustered in as captain, to rank from August 22, 1862. He served on the staff of Gen. Wadsworth until February, 1863, when, at his own request, he was returned to his regiment, and served with it until August, 1863, at which time he was again detailed for staff duty, and appointed assistant inspector-general. He remained with the First Corps until its consolidation with the Fifth Corps, and remained with this command until the close of the war. He participated in all the battles of the army of the Potomac, after he joined it. He was commissioned major of his regiment, and was three times brevetted for meritorious conduct, and soon after the surrender of Lee was appointed a judge advocate, with the rank of major, in the regular army. He was also sent by the War Department to Macon, Andersonville and other points in the South, to investigate and report upon the treatment given Union soldiers, while held as prisoners of war by the South, which investigation led to the arrest and trial of Capt. Wertz, of Andersonville. The charges prepared by the United States were drawn by him, and he prepared the case for trial. After performing this duty he offered his resignation, which was accepted by the Secretary of War, and he returned to Wilkes-Barre, where he resumed the practice of law, in which he has since continued. In 1870 he was appointed, by Governor Geary, major-general of the National Guard, Third Division of Pennsylvania, covering the northeastern portion of the State, which position he held ten years. He was in command of the force that quieted the strikes of 1871, '74 and '75. Gen. Osborne was the originator of the system of the National Guards of Pennsylvania, and it was by his efforts that the Legislature, in 1873, repealed the militia tax. He also served as commander of the Department of Pennsylvania, of the Grand Army of the Republic in 1883. In 1884 Gen. Osborne was a candidate for Congressman-at-large in the State of Pennsylvania, on the Republican ticket, and was elected by a majority, in the State, of 75,227. In 1886 he was again a candidate for Congressman in the Twelfth Congressional District (Luzerne county), and was elected by a plurality of 1,499 votes. Gen. Osborne was married October 12, 1865, to Ruth A., daughter of William and Mary A. (Smith) Ball, of Carbondale, Pa., and a descendant of Edward Ball, who came from England to Branford, Conn., in 1640.
ALBERT S. OTTO, clerk, Hazleton, was born July 4, 1862, son of William B. and Lovina (Reabuck) Otto, natives of Schuylkill county. Albert S. is the only son in a family of eight children, and was reared and educated in Schuylkill county. At the close of his school days he learned the shoemaker's trade, working with his father, who has always followed that occupation. Albert worked at this vocation in his native town until 1881, when he came to Hazleton and followed that trade for three years. He afterward embarked in the meat business here, but at the end of a year he went to Orwigsburg, Pa., where he was employed in a shoe factory. In 1886 he came to Hazleton, and has since been employed by Eugene Wolsey. He belongs to the I.O.O.F.; politically, he votes the Democratic ticket. He attends the English Lutheran Church.Back to Bios Index
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