Wetmore Township
J.H. Beers, Chicago, 1890
from History of the Counties of McKean,
Elk, Cameron, and Potter, Pennsylvania

Wetmore Township & Borough of Kane Biographical Sketches

W. J. ARMSTRONG, M. D., Kane, was born at Clarington, Forest Co., Penn., December 12, 1853, and is a son of William and Margaret (Hepler) Armstrong, former a native of England. latter of Germany. The subject of these lines completed his literary studies at Allegheny College, Meadville, Penn., from which he graduated in 1881, with the degree of A. B., and in 1884 he received the degree of A. M. He began the study of medicine with Dr. C. C. Baker, and in the winter of 1881-82 attended the University of Philadelphia, and winter of 1882-83 the Bellevue Hospital Medical College, of New York City, graduating from the latter in 1883. He first located at Sligo, Clarion Co., Penn., and January 1, 1886, removed to Kane, where he has built up a good practice. The Doctor is a member of Kane Lodge, No. 566, F. & A. M. He was married, in 1882, to Hattie A. Bell, and they have three children: Madge, Minnie and Clare. In politics Dr. Armstrong is a Republican. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

F. W. BRAYTON, druggist, Kane, son of D. C. Brayton, was born in Albany, N. Y., in 1857. In 1859 his parents moved to Avon, Livingston Co. , N. Y., where he was reared. He graduated from the State Normal School at Geneseo, N. Y., in 1872, and then was employed as clerk in Avon, and was connected with the mercantile interests of the town until 1880, when he came to McKean county, and for a year was employed in the office of the Sugar Run Lumber Company, at Bradford. He was then book-keeper and clerk for Mr. Curts at Ludlow, six years, and in 1888 he removed to Kane, where he is now engaged in the drug business, and has built up a good trade. Mr. Brayton was married in 1881 to Ella J. Burleigh, and they have three children. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, lodge, chapter and commandery. He is a Republican in politics.

J. D. BROODER, manufacturer, Kane, was born in Carbon county, Penn.,. but when he was a child his parents moved to McKean county, where he was reared and educated. When fOUl-teen years old, he left home, and until 1866 was employed in saw-mills. In that year he entered the employ of a railroad company, and had charge of their shops at Kane until 1880, from which time until 1885, he was in the. employ of the Standard Pipe Line Company, having. charge of the pump station and the pipe line district. In 1885 he became associated with Joshua Davis and Elisha K. Kane, and incorporated the Kane Gas Light & Fuel Company, with which he is still identified, and which from the time of its incorporation has been a successful investment. Mr. Brooder was. married to May Galvin, and they have four children. He is a Democrat in politics, and is a member or the borough council.

GEORGE W. CAMPBELL was born at Kinzua, 'Warren Co., Penn., August 3, 1831, and is a son of John Campbell. who emigrated from Lycoming county, Penn., about the year 1800, he being one of the early pioneers of northwestern Pennsylvania. Owing to the fact that his father was an invalid,. George, at the age of seventeen years, assumed control of his father's business which he so managed that by the time he was twenty. one he had entirely paid his father's debts, which were considerable. A few years afterward he commenced business as a lumberman, becoming general jobber for the firm of Meade & Eddy. This he continued successfully for several years, at the end of which time he was engaged in the same business for Messrs. Charles & L. D. Wetmore. Having continued with these parties for some time, during which he had acquired quite a competency, he moved to Warren and engaged in the oil business, which proved disastrous. He then tried the mercantile business, but found this not his forte, and, gathering up his fast diminishing resources, entered into a partnership and once more betook himself to lumbering, this time in Clarion county, same State. But his partners were not practical lumbermen; difficulties arose, and Mr. Campbell retired from this venture with a capital stock of about $2,OOO indebtedness! He was advised by his, friends to avail himself of the provisions of the bankruptcy act, then in force, but not considering this an honorable method of liquidating debts, he refused. For two years from this time he worked as a day laborer, but finding that his, wages were not sufficient to support a large family, to say nothing of removing the debts, he consulted with his creditors, who advised him to again try lumbering, promising him assistance. Accordingly, with no capital but an honorable name, he, in 1880, built a saw-mill at Ludlow, McKean Co., Penn. This proved a success, and he liquidated his indebtedness, but fire in 1885 reduced the mill to ashes, entailing a loss of $7,000. Mr. Campbell had, how ever, erected another mill, which he operated until 1887, and also built one in 1886 at Mount Jewett, McKean county. In 1888 he and his sons, John and Edward, young men of rare energy and business tact, purchased the property of West & Britton, situated two and one-half miles north of Kane. This property has since been greatly improved, the mills now having a daily capacity of 60,000 feet of lumber. Mr. Campbell and his sons are owners of the Kinzua Creek & Kane Railroad, ten miles in length. Since 1880 Mr. Campbell's business has steadily prospered. In 1854 the subject of our sketch married Mary Nutt, of Busti, N. Y., who has proved a true helpmeet. They have six children. Mr. Campbell has been a stanch Republican ever since the formation of the party. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in the support of which they take an active part. In 1888 they purchased their present residence at Kane.

JAMES CAMPBELL, dealer in horses, etc., Kane, is a native of Ireland, where he was reared, and in June, 1867, he came to America and located in Elk county, Penn. In September, 1870, he moved to Kane, McKean county, where, until 1876, he was engaged in teaming and in the livery business. Since the latter year he has dealt extensively in horses. buying and selling, and also in wagons, harness, etc. He is one of the enterprising men of Kane, and is the owner of several handsome business blocks. Mr. Campbell married Hannah Evans, and they have five children. He is a member of Kane Lodge, No. 566, F. & A. M., and Warren Chapter, No.8, R. A. M. In politics he affiliates with the Republican party.

O. D. COLEMAN, Kane, son of Dr. Horace and Sarah Coleman, was born in Liberty township, McKean Co., Penn., in 1833. He remained with his parents until 1856, when he removed to Port Allegany, where he engaged in mercantile business. In 1864 he removed to Kane and opened a general store which he has since conducted, and he is now one of the successful merchants of the place. In 1874 Mr. Coleman was married to Miss Flora Bell, only daughter of N. D. and R. A. Bell, of New Hudson, Allegany Co., N. Y., and they have one daughter: Florence Pearl Coleman. Mr. and Mrs. Coleman were formerly Presbyterians, but united with the First Congregational Church at the time of its organization, about two years since. In politics Mr. Coleman is a Republican. He has taken an active interest in public affairs; bas served as commissioner and auditor of the county, also as a member of the borough council.

H. H. CORSON, proprietor of the Kane House, Kane. was born at Jersey Shore, Lycoming Co., Penn., in 1854, and remained in his native town until January, 1880, when he removed to Bradford, McKean county, then in February of the same year located at Kane and engaged in the hotel business. In 1886 he bought the Kane House, of which he is proprietor. having a good patronage, his capability and geniality as landlord being fully recognized by the traveling public. Mr. Corson is a man of sound business principles, and was one of the first councilmen in the borough. He is a Republican in politics. He was married in 1883 to Ellen Long, a niece of George Welker, and they have three children: Beulah, Raymond and Ruth.

JOSHUA DAVIS, banker, etc., Kane. was born in Cambria county, Penn., in 1843, his parents having emigrated from Wales a short time before. He was educated in the common schools of Ebensburg, and began his business life in 1867. That same year he married Miss Hannah Howells, of Ebensburg, after which they located at Kane, where he engaged in business as a dealer in general merchandise. Disposing of his mercantile interests in 1886, he embarked in the manufacture of brush blocks, and was also interested in the manufacture of clothespins, being one of the firm of Howells, Moffitt & Co. He is also interested in the chemical works, and is a member of the banking house of McDade, Davis & Co. He is a member of the Kane Gas Light & Heating Company, and is always ready to invest in any enterprise which promises to increase the prosperity of Kane. Mr. Davis was interested in lands which proved valuable at the first development of oil at this place, and since then he has invested largely, which investments have proved very remunerative. Mr. Davis was one of the first settlers of Kane, built the first house in the business end of the town, and has since erected many business and residence houses. He is a member of Kane Lodge, No. 566, F. & A. M., of Bradford Chapter, No. 260, R. A. M., and of the Scottish Rite, at Erie. He is also a Knight Templar, being a member of Knapp Commandery, No. 4O, of Ridgway, and, having served in the Union army, in the war of the Rebellion, is also a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He has three children: William H., Cora May and Annie Rachel. Of these, William H. is manager and part owner of the brush block factory; like his father he is a member of the Masonic fraternity. Mr. Joshua Davis' career only exemplifies what perseverance, industry and well-directed effort will accomplish; beginning life with but 25 cents cash capital, he is emphatically a self-made man, and is now one of the able and prominent citizens of McKean county.

LEMUEL DAVIS, dealer in furniture and carpets, Kane, is a son of William and Elizabeth Davis, and was born May 2, 1839, near Ebensburg, Cambria Co., Penn., where he secured a good school training. After completing his studies, he commenced teaching, but concluding that a commercial life was preferable, financially, he laid aside his ferule and grammar, and embarked in general merchandising, which he followed several years, carrying on, also, a lumber business in connection. In 1868 he opened out a livery, and in 1885 he removed to Kane, where he continued in the same line of business until 1889, in which year he sold out his interests and commenced in his present line. January 1, 1863, Mr. Davis married Jennie, daughter of John and Margaret (Smith) Evans, and they have five children: Irene, who taught school three sessions in Kane public schools, and is now a teacher in Kane; Dennie, William R., Mede and Mabel. Mr. Davis is a member of the Republican party, and in 1883 was appointed sergeant-at-arms in the senate of Pennsylvania, a position he held during the regular and extra sessions of that year. He was also elected justice of the peace twice in Cambria township, Cambria county.

CALVIN DeYOUNG, grocer, Kane, is a native of Pennsylvania, born in AIlentown in 1862. He lived in Philadelphia eight years, and then moved to Stroudsburg, same State, and from there, in 1888, to Kane, where he is engaged in the grocery business. Mr. DeYoung is one of the enterprising young men of the borough. He is a member of the Patriotic Order Sons of America and the Sons of Temperance. He casts his suffrage with the Prohibition party.

RICK DONOVAN, proprietor of the Hotel Lamont, Kane, was born in Elmira, N. Y., March 6, 1849, and was reared and educated in his native city, remaining there until he was twenty years of age. In 1869 he went to Irvington, Warren 00., Penn., and engaged in the hotel business, conducting the Junction House until 1886, when it was destroyed by fire. He then removed to Kane, and became proprietor of the Hotel Lamont, which, under his management. is one of the best-conducted hotels in the borough. Mr. Donovan married Anna Fitzgerald, daughter of M. Fitzgerald, one of the pioneers of . Warren county, and they have had three children, one of whom is living, Annie IV[. Mr. Donovan is a Democrat in his political views.

JOHN FLEMING, proprietor of the Fleming House, Kane, is a native of Ireland, whence he came to America in 1874. In 1877 he located at Kane, where he engaged in the boot and shoe business. In 1879 he bought a lot in the business part of the town, and in 1887 built a large brick hotel, which he opened as the Fleming House, and of which he is still the proprietor. Mr. Fleming is a genial, whole-souled man, and as a landlord is popular, his house being well patronized by the traveling public. He was married in 1883 to Julia Hoffman, and they have five children: Jane, Lillie, Mary, Josie and Ella. Mr. and Mrs. Fleming are members of the Catholic Church. In polities he is a Democrat.

C. V. GILLIS, Kane, was born in Ridgway, Penn., in 1841, a son of James L. Gillis, a former citizen of that town. Our subject was given good educational advantages, graduating from White Hall Academy, Harrisburg, in 1859. He then removed to Nebraska, remaining there until 1862, when he went south, and during the Civil war was captain's clerk on a war vessel. In 1864 he returned to Elk county. In 1868 he was elected treasurer of his county, serving two years, and the following term filled the office of deputy. He was subsequently engaged in mercantile business until 1876, when he removed to Kane and opened a drug store. which he carried on until 1888, when he sold his interest in that business. Mr. Gillis is a member of Kane Lodge, No. 566, F. & A. M.; Elk Chapter, No. 230, R. A. M.; Knapp Commandery, No. 40, K. T., and Caldwell Consistory, of Bloomsburg. He. is past master, past high priest, past thrice illustrious grand master, and past commander, not by dispensation, but by service. He takes an active interest in all local matters, casting his suffrage with the Democratic party. Mr. Gillis was married in 1864 to Anna Overholzer, of Harrisburg.

J. T. GRIFFITH, one of the representative, energetic, active and progressive young men of McKean county, was born in Ebensburg, Cambria Co.,Penn. , June 19, 1853, a son of Thomas and Mary E. Griffith. His early schooling was obtained in his native town, and he afterward attended Blairsville Academy, in Indiana county, Penn., completing his education at Columbia, Lancaster county, same State. Having now satiated himself at the "Pierian Spring," it remained for him, in order to thoroughly qualify himself for a commercial career, to secure a good business training, which he did, by attending for a time to his father's mercantile affairs. When twenty-four years of age, in 1877, Mr. Griffith moved to Kane, with which place he has since been prominently identified. In 1881 he commenced a general merchandise and lumber trade at Kane, where he now has three saw-mills running, with a daily aggregate capacity of 90,000 feet, and in 1884 his brother became associated with him in business, the firm name being J. T. & W. Griffith. Having recently become largely interested in the oil trade (already to the extent of some sixty wells), the brothers intend to devote their entire attention and energies to that and the lumber industries. On March 25, 1875, the subject of our sketch was married to Martha J., daughter of Thomas M. Jones, of Ebensburg, Penn., and they have three children: William, Mary and Annie. The parents are members of the Congregational Church. Mr. Griffith is a Royal Arch Mason, and is an active worker in the Republican party. In 1878 he was elected school director, and in 1888 he was honored by being elected a member of the State legislature, in which he serves his constituency with marked zeal and integrity.

WEBB GRIFFITH, manufacturer of and dealer in lumber, Kane, is a son of Thomas Griffith, and was born in Ebensburg, Cambria Co., Penn., in 1860. He remained with his parents untill1885, when he removed to Kane, and became associated with his brother, J. T. Griffith, in business, dealing extensively in lumber, and operating mills at Kane and Griffith's Station.

They employ a number of men, and handle from 3,000,000 to 5,000,000 feet of lumber annually. Mr. Griffith is a stockholder in the Citizens' Gas Company, and is largely interested in the production of petroleum, owning twelve producing wells. He is one of the prosperous young men of Kane, his success being the result of energy and business ability. He is a member of Kane Lodge, No. 566, F. & A, M.; in politics he is a Republican.

T. R. HOSKINS, miller, Kane, was born in Canada in 1856, a son of Joab Hoskins. He came to the United States in 1881, and located at Watertown, N. Y where he was engaged in farming until 1882, when he removed to Eldred, Penn., and carried on teaming in the oil country. From Eldred he went to Ceres, thence to Bolivar, and in 1886 located at Kane, where he was employed by an oil well supply firm until 1887. In the spring of 1887 he removed to Findlay, Ohio, and the following fall returned to Kane, where he became associated with C. E. Brown, and built the Kane mills. They manufacture an excellent grade of flour, and have a good trade in custom-milling. Their mill has one set of rolls, and has a capacity of turning out ten tons daily. Mr. Hoskins is a member of Lodge No. 412, I. O. O. F.

DAVID HOWELLS, manufacturer, Kane, was born in Ebensburg, Cambria Co., Penn., January 5. 1845. When he was a boy his father died, and when he was fifteen years old he started in life for himself, having also the care of his mother and sister. In February, 1865, he enlisted in Company H, Eighty- third P. V. I., and served until July 3, 1865, when he was mustered out. He returned home, and was engaged in the lumber trade until July, 1879, when he removed to Kane, and for seven years was employed as book-keeper for J. Davis. In 1887 he started a general store, and also established a clothespin factory, the firm name being Howells, Moffitt & Co. The capacity of the factory is 300 boxes of seven gross each per day, and they give employment to thirty men. J\1r. Howells is an enterprising man, and is at the head of one of the leading industries of Kane. He is a member of Kane Lodge, No. 566, F. & A. M.; Bradford Chapter, No. 260, R. A. M.; Knapp Commandery, No. 40, Ridgway and Bradford Council, also of Presque Isle Lodge of Perfection. Politically he is a Republican. He was married, December 20, 1866, to j}1iss Ann Humphrey.

MAJ. GEN. THOMAS L. KANE, the founder of Kane, was a Philadelphian, descended from some of the oldest pre-Revolutionary families of the northern colonies. His patronymic was derived from John Kane, who came from Ireland in 17 54, and married Sybil Kent, daughter of a Puritan minister of "Mayflower" ancestry. Elisha Kane, their son, married Alida Van Rensselaer, dauhter of Gen. Robert Van Rensselaer, and their son, John K. Kane, afterward Attorney General of Pennsylvania and subsequently judge of the United States District Court, married Jane D., daughter of Thomas Leiper, who commanded the Philadelphia First City Troop during the Revolution. Thomas Leiper's wife was of the old Philadelphia family of Gras. Their second son, Thomas Leiper Kane, was born February 27, 1822. He married April 21, 1853, his second cousin, Elizabeth Dennistoun Wood, whose father, William Wood, was by birth a Scotchman, of Covenanter blood, while her mother, Harriet A. Kane, was the daughter of John, the eldest son of John and Sybil Kane. William Wood still lives in New York, and until last year was one of the most active members of the Board of Education of that city. The latter years of his life have been devoted wholly to philanthropy, and public works for the development of that city. Thomas L. Kane, and to a less extent his brother, Elisha Kent Kane, the arctic explorer, differed from the rest of their family connection on the question of slavery. Educated to high-flown radical ideas of liberty by fighting behind the barricades in Paris, shoulder to shoulder with the men who in subsequent years suffered death as Communists in defense of their "Amour Sacre," their "liberte cherie," young Kane had hardly returned to his native land before he engaged in the anti-slavery struggle, and became a director of the "Underground Railway." His two means of earning a livelihood were sacrificed to his principles, resigning the United States commissionership because it would have compelled him to assist in the Fugitive Slave Law [See Wendell Phillip's speech on the case of Judge Loring. J, and resigning the Clerkship of the District Court to go on a special mission to avert the impending Mormon war. In 1856 he came to Elk county as agent of a Land Improvement Company, and as city director of the Sunbury &Erie Railroad. He was thus occupied at the commencement of the Rebellion, and he was the first man to offer his services to the governor of Pennsylvania for 31 its suppression. How he raised, in McKean, Elk and neighboring counties, the celebrated "Bucktails," and his battles, wounds and promotion have become a part of the history of the war more than of these counties. In 1864, crippled by many wounds, he returned to the mountains to revive his former projects for peopling the wilderness. The village of Kane was planned by him as a Prohibition Borough, but the act of incorporation was lost [sic] after its passage and before receiving the governor's signature. He endeavored to give effect to his views on this question by placing restrictions on all village lots, but a method of circumventing him was found by the liquor men, and from 1867 to 1878 he contented himself with personal efforts at license court. In 1878 a more effective restriction was found, and the subsequent growth of the town has been on land protected against liquor shops. The McKean, Elk, Forest and Clarion (commonly called the Big Level), the Kane, Wilcox, Ridgway and St. Mary's, the Kane & Campbell's Mill, and the Kane & Lafayette are State roads which remain as monuments to his local patriotism, legislative influence and enineering skill. The routes of the Philadelphia & Erie Railroad, the Pittsburgh & Western, the Ridgway & Clearfield and the New York, Lake Erie & Western Coal Railroads, through these counties, were designated by him, and he was the most influential man in promoting the construction of those railroads. At the time of his death he was president of the New York, Lake Erie & Western Coal Railroad, which had just completed its famous Kinzua viaduct. Politically G en. Kane was first a war Democrat, and subsequently a Stalwart or Grant Republican. In 1872, however, he joined the Greeley liberal revolt against corruption, after warning Gen. Grant of his intention in an interview which only cemented the strong personal friendship which subsisted between them until his death. In 1880 he represented his congressional district at the Chicago Republican Convention, and was prominent among the "306" or "Old Guard." The bronze medal commemorating the fact is cherished by his children. Woman suffrage and the Higher Education of women were essentials of his political doctrine, and his wife and daughter graduated from the Woman's Medical College of Philadelphia. His religious affiliations and tenets were strongly Presbyterian, and the First Presbyterian Church of Kane, a picturesque and costly building, was constructed for his sake by his aunt, Mrs. Ann Gray Thomas. Complying with his dying request, his body was interred in front of this church, where a simple granite slab covers the grave. Gen. Kane died in Philadelphia, December 26, 1883. His wife and children all survive. Harriet Amelia, Evan O'Neill and Thomas Leiper are physicians, and Elisha Kent is a civil engineer by profession. All are members of the Presbyterian Church, and of the Prohibition party. They reside at Kane, and endeavor to carry out their father's projects and principles.

J. F. KELLY, proprietor of livery, Kane, is a native of Pennsylvania, born in Buckingham township, Wayne county, in 1856, a son of John Kelly. He remained with his parents until 1872, when he entered the employ of the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company, and later was employed on the Hudson river. He afterward returned to his native town, and still later located at Warren, Penn., where he was engaged in the lumber trade. In 1888 he bought a residence in Kane, and in April, 1889, purchased the livery stable of L. Davis & Co., and now has the only first-class livery in the borough. He has a good stock of horses, carriages, buggies, etc., and is prepared to furnish any kind of outfit desired by traveling men, tourists, or pleasure seekers, at reasonable rates. Mr. Kelly was married, in 1878, in his native county to Ellen McDermott, who has borne him four children: Frederick, Louie Benediet, William and Edmund. The family residence is on Dawson Street in the borough of Kane.

Contributed by Sandy Payne