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NESMITH, Benjamin - Borough of Warren (pages 681-683 *)
Benjamin Nesmith, the subject of this sketch, derives his name from a prominent family of Nesmiths that removed from Scotland to Ireland in 1690. In 1718 James Nesmith emigrated from Ireland to Londonderry, N. H. There he settled and reared a family of four sons and a daughter, viz: Arthur, James, John, Thomas, and Mary. Benjamin Nesmith, of whom we are writing, is four generations in direct descent from the original settler in America, and three generations from the son Arthur. Benjamin Nesmith, the grandfather of the subject of our notice, removed as far west as Buffalo, where in the course of nature he died. Two of his sons, James and John, emigrated from Buffalo to Mayville, N. Y., thence to Jamestown, and in 1825 to Warren, Pa., by canoe, as early as 1804. John Nesmith married Hannah, daughter of John Shirley, of New Hampshire. Shirley was also a pioneer in Warren, had served in the war of the Revolution, and died hereabout the year 1826. John Nesmith died at Warren about 1829, and was followed by his widow in one year. They had a family of nine children, all but three of whom are yet living.
Of this family, Benjamin Nesmith, the sixth, was born in Mayville, N. Y., on the 22d of January, 1820, and accompanied his parents to Warren in a canoe, in 1825. At that day there were only five or six houses in Warren, and they occupied a log structure on the bank of the Allegheny River. Here he received such limited education as was provided for all the young people of the time. Being very young when his father died, he was bound out without his own knowledge, by the township of Conewango, to Colonel John Berry, for whom he worked four or five years. As soon, however, as he found that he was looked upon as a ward of the town, his independent spirit revolted, and he took "French-leave" of his town-constituted master. He worked out by the month until 1843, when he learned the trade of harness making, and continued to work at that business himself until 1848, and even until 1860 he retained an interest in the business which he had established. In 1848 he opened a store in Warren, and at the same time embarked in the lumber trade. His interest in the store he disposed of in 1871, but he has not yet relinquished his connection with the manufacture and sale of lumber. From small beginnings he has increased operations, until he now manufactures about about [sic] 30,000 boards every day. He has been pre-eminently a busy man all his life, and inherited from his father a strong frame and great powers of endurance. He has been a builder, also, and has erected all the school-houses in Warren but one. He managed the construction of the magnificent Methodist house of worship, and encouraged the work of constructing it, not only with his unremitting personal efforts, but with much of his money and time. Most of the brick buildings in the business part of Warren were built by him, and he still owns three of them. His timbered lands, situated in Warren, Forest, and Kane counties, number some three thousand acres. He is at the same time an extensive operator in oil. He holds a number of honorable positions in the business world, among them being that of vice-president of the Warren Savings Bank, which he has held ever since he himself erected the building. His interest in educational matters is shown in the fact that he was school commissioner for twenty-one consecutive years until his resignation four or five years ago. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a trustee in its society. The secret of his success lies in the disposition which he has always owned that he would never leave for another to do what he himself could do. He is, as he always has been—a hard-working man. Until within four or five years, when he has listened to the admonition of wasting years, he ran rafts down the river. He has never sought nor held political office, though he keeps informed upon all topics of national or State importance. He was formerly a Democrat, but since the organization of the Prohibition party has joined its ranks.
He has been twice married. He was first united in marriage with Louisa, daughter of John Dickinson, of New Hampshire. She died on the 4th of October, 1848, leaving two children, Alonzo and Ozro, still living and in business in Warren. In March, 1851, Mr. Nesmith married Arrilla Norton, his present wife. They have one child, Lurinda.
NEWMAN, William Davis - Pine Grove twp (page lxxii, Brief Personals *)
William Davis Newman was born April 18, 1821, in Niagara county, N. Y. During infancy he was adopted by a family and taken to Ellery, N. Y.; thence to Frew Run, and in 1856 to Pine Grove. He married Matilda Stoddard, and by her had five children—Josephine, Nettie, James M., Ellen, and Jennie. Mr. Newman is strictly a self-made man, and in reasonably comfortable circumstances. His farm is well located in the north part of the town. He is a Republican from choice, but not a member of any church society.
NEYHART, Adnah - Tidioute, Deerfield twp (page lxxiii, Brief Personals *)
Adnah Neyhart was born in Lansing, Tompkins county, N. Y., December 20, 1836, and was married in 1868 to Maria J. Grandin, of Tidioute. They have had two children born to them—Emma Grandin and Adnah, jr.. Mr. Neyhart settled in Warren county in 1865, and died in San Diego, Cal., in February, 1875. Mrs. Neyhart was a daughter of Samuel and Sarah Ann (Henry) Grandin, who were married in Pennsylvania in 1832. Sarah Ann was born in October, 1807, and her husband Samuel was born in Sussex county, N. J., in October, 1800. They were married in 1832, and settled in Pennsylvania in June, 1822. [Warren Co coordinator's note: one of these dates is obviously incorrect, but this is the actual text.] They had a family of six children born to them, four of whom are now living—John L., William J., Elijah B., and Maria J.. Stephen G., the oldest son, was drowned July 24, 1851, at the age of sixteen years, and Emma A. died August 17, 1867, at the age of eighteen years. Samuel Grandin settled in Tidioute in 1840, coming here from Venango county, and ernbarked in an extensive lumber and mercantile business. He was also one of the pioneers in the oil business, in all its various forms, and of which he made a great success.
|Photograph contributed by Penelope Repko|
NICHOLS, Charles W. - Spring Creek twp (page lxxiii, Brief Personals *)
C. W. Nichols was born in Spring Creek in 1849. He is a manufacturer of lumber and shingles, and a farmer, owns several hundred acres of timber land, and has done very much to advance the business interests of the town. He was married in 1876 to Mary A. Catlin. They have had four children born to them—Helen, Irene, Rue, and Bessie. His father, Calvin Nichols, was born in Genesee county, N. Y., in 1822, and married Irene Sanford, who was born in Batavia, Genesee county, N. Y., in 1827. They had a family of six children born to them—C. W., Mary, Flora, Orley, Etta, and Dewey. C. W.'s paternal grandfather, Samuel Nichols, was born in New Hampshire in 1794, and served in the War of 1812. He married S. Townsind, and to them were born nine children, five of whom are now living—Nancy, Calvin, Ira, Ratio, and Clarissa.
NOBBS, William C. - Lander p. o., Farmington twp (page lxxiii, Brief Personals *)
William C. Nobbs is a farmer, carpenter and joiner, and was born at the Isle of Wight, England, December 16, 1835. He was a son of William and Mary (Lakeman) Nobbs, who immigrated to Canada in 1842, and settled in Pine Grove, this county, in the same year. William Nobbs, sr., was a basket-maker by trade, which he followed for many years. He located in Farmington in 1861, where he resided until his death, in 1884. His children were—Mary, Phillips, Ann, Marsh, William C, Stephen, and Jennette. William C. Nobbs is a carpenter and joiner by trade, a business which he followed for many years. In 1886 he purchased the James Cooper farm in Farmington and engaged in farming where he now resides. He was married July 4, 1861, to Betsey Marsh, a daughter of Aralzeman and Rachel (Grawbarger) Marsh, of Elk township. They have had a family of four children born to them—Irene, Myrtle, Emma, and Everett.
* Source: History Of Warren County Pennsylvania with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers, edited by J.S. Schenck, assisted by W.S. Rann; Syracuse, N.Y.; D Mason & Co., Publishers; 1887.
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