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Warren County, Pennsylvania, Genealogy


Early History of the Borough of Warren

Home > History > Early History of the Borough of Warren (Page 2)

Decade of 1830 | Decade of 1840 | Decade of 1850 | Decade of 1860 | Great Flood of 1865 | Decade of 1870 | Library Building 1884


Edited by J.S. Schenck, assisted by W.S. Rann; Syracuse, N.Y.; D Mason & Co., Publishers; 1887

In 1830 the merchants doing business in Warren were Archibald Tanner,
Lothrop S. Parmlee, Robert Falconer, Orris Hall, Samuel D. Hall, Daniel
, and N. A. Lowry, dealers in general merchandise; 0. Stanton & Co.,
grocers, and Milton Ford, grocer and druggist. The physicians during the
same year were Abraham Hazeltine and Thomas Huston.

By a legislative enactment approved April 3, 1832, the town was erected
into a borough. The first borough election was held at the court-house
May 7, 1832, when the following officers were chosen: John Andrews, burgess;
Joseph Hackney, Lansing Wetmore, Zachariah Eddy, James Stewart, and
Albinus Stebbins, town council. On the 12th of May following the burgess
and council appointed Thomas Struthers clerk, and John King street commissioner,
and June 2, of the same year, Dr. Abraham Hazeltine was appointed
borough treasurer. At the time of its incorporation the town contained three
hundred and fifty-eight inhabitants. The first separate assessment roll of those
residing or owning taxable property within the borough limits — the original
in lots comprising three hundred acres—was completed in 1833, and from
this list it is ascertained that the names of the taxable inhabitants at that time
were as follows :

Andrews, John, county commissioners' clerk, etc.
Arthur, James, lumberman.
Arthur, Robert, lumberman.
Adams, Warren L., cabinet maker.
Adams, Joseph, mechanic.
Booker, Philip, shoemaker.
Brown, Alfred, single man.
Bostwick, Henry, owner of shoe shop and tannery.
Blackley, John, single man.
Bell, William, mechanic.
Brown, Henry.
Brownell, Silas.
Chase, Daniel, merchant.
Coe. Ariel.
Clemons, Thomas, proprietor of printing office.
Curtis, Asa.
Curtis, Miner, shoemaker.
Crippen, Daniel.
Ditmars, John, single man.
Deitz, Adam, gunsmith.
Davis, John F., tailor.
Eddy, Zachariah.
Eddy, Isaac S., single man.
Eddy, William.
Edgar, John, mechanic.
Ferguson, Morgan, mechanic.
Farrington, Jesse, shoemaker.
Ford, Milton, grocer.
Falconer, Robert, merchant.
Graham, Samuel.
Gray, Simon.
Gregory, Porter.
Gregory, Asa.
Gordon, Joseph C., tavern keeper.
Graham, James W., single man.
Gordon, Lewis, single man.
Geer, Benjamin.
Geer, Caleb.
Hunter, John.
Hodges, Walter W.
Hall, Joseph.
Hawley, Alpheus, prop'r carding mills.
Hall, Samuel D., merchant.
Hackney, Joseph W., tavern keeper.
Hodge, William.
Hall, Josiah, attorney at law.
Hackney, John.
Hackney, Joseph C.
Hawk, Peter.
Hazeltine, Abraham, physician.
Hackney, Margaret, widow.
Houghwout, Daniel, carpenter.
Hook, Orrin.
Hook, Francis.
Hall, Orris, merchant.
Hook, Moses.
Jackson, David.
Jackson, Ebenezer.
Jackson, Thomas W.
Kidder, Truman.
King, John.
King, J. Hamilton.
Kidder, Nelson.
Luther, Jacob, shoemaker.
Lilly, Henry.
Lane, Asahel, single man.
McDowell, William P., merchant.
Masten, Cornelius.
Morrison, Abijah.
Morrison, William, single man.
Mead, Darius.
Mead, William.
Merrill, Oilman, attorney at law.
Magee, Dudley.
Miles, Robert.
Newman, Hiram S., profession.
Nugent, James, mechanic.
Olney, Rufus, potter.
Osmer, John P., mechanic.
Olney, William A.
Portman, John.
Pier, William, justice of the peace.
Parmlee, Lothrop S., merchant.
Parker, Timothy F., physician.
Pierce, Thompson, single man.
Ray, Nesbit.
Reese, Martin.
Russell, Robert.
Reed, Samuel, single man.
Stewart, James.
Struthers, Thomas, attorney at law.
Sayles, Scott W.
Sands, Alanson.
Smith, William.
Stebbins, Albinus, mechanic.
Snyder, Simon, single man.
Scott, Asa, blacksmith.
Summerton, J. D., grocer; came here from Cayuga county, N. Y., in 1832.
Stone, Ellery, shoemaker.
Stanton, Daniel, single man.
Snyder, George, mechanic.
Sargent, Henry, physician. 1. (webmaster note: see below for this footnote)
Skinner, Archibald, single man.
Stevenson, Simeon G., tin smith.
Stevenson, Reuben, mechanic.
Steadman, James.
Smith, Abel.
Turner, Thomas, tavern keeper.
Turner, Joshua, burgess.
Taylor, Justus, mechanic.
Tanner, Cyrus, single man.
Tanner, Archibald, merchant.
Temple, Stephen, single man.
Wetmore, Lansing, attorney at law.

1. Dr. Henry Sargent was born at New Chester, N. H., in 1790; was a graduate of Dartmouth
Medical College; became a resident of Warren in 1833, and died here suddenly in August, 1851. His
only child, a daughter, became the wife of Hon. C. B. Curtis. Dr. Sargent was highly respected as a
citizen, and his great skill as a physician was widely known.

The year 1834 was made memorable in the history of the borough by the
building of the academy and the organization of the Lumbermen's Bank, detailed
accounts of which will be found in succeeding pages.

In 1835 the town must have been almost as badly overrun with snarling,
snapping hydrophobia breeders as it is at present; hence many of its best
citizens attached their signatures to a paper of which the following is a copy:

"We whose names are undersigned do hereby agree to indemnify and keep
free from all damages that may or shall legally accrue, to any person or persons,
who shall kill any dog or dogs that shall be found running at large in the
streets of the borough of Warren, the property of any citizen or other person
residing in said borough for the space of three months from the date hereof,
or any dog or dogs found as aforesaid without any owner or person along
with them, claiming the ownership of them, for the space of time above mentioned.
WARREN, February 2, 1835."

This agreement was signed by William Bell, W. E. Griffith, William Sands,
T. H. Fenton, Samuel D. Hall, James O. Parmlee, William P. Clark, John A.
, Harrison French, J. M. Olney, Milton Ford, Robert Falconer, Archibald
, Archibald Skinner, Robert Miles, William P. McDowell, Darius Mead,
Thomas Morton, Joseph W. Hackney, Josiah Hall, James Vanhorn, William
, Oilman Merrill, Thomas Struthers, Samuel P. Johnson, George W.
, Francis Everett, Thomas Clemons, Morgan Ferguson, Warren L.
, David Jackson, Z. H. Eddy, William Smith, R. McKinney, W. G.
, James Steadman, and Carlton B. Curtis.

Of those whose names appear in the above paragraph, only two now reside
in the borough; but what is still more remarkable than the fact that there
should be but two survivors after the lapse of fifty-two years, is the coincidence
that these men were then associated together as members of a law firm,
and that their names were affixed to the agreement side by side. We refer to
Hon. Thomas Struthers and Hon. Samuel P. Johnson.

The Lumbermen's Bank failed in 1838, and, as we are informed by a relic
of the past — a copy of the Warren Bulletin published in the early part of
that year—Timothy F. Parker, Robert Miles, Cornelius Masten, jr., Archibald
, and Benjamin Bartholomew were the commissioners appointed to
investigate its affairs. This paper also announced the arrival of the steamboat
New Castle from Pittsburgh, and the presence of a corps of engineers in the
employ of the Sunbury and Erie Railroad Company. During the following
year (1839) the first bridge across the Allegheny was built.

The decade which followed was not marked by any extraordinary events
nor an unusual degree of prosperity. The town kept along in the even tenor
of its way, slowly increasing in population as a result of being the commercial
center of a lumbering region. In the destruction of the pine forests in this part
of the county a few of its citizens acquired considerable wealth, but the many
—those who did the work, the chopping, sawing, hauling and rafting—barely
earned enough to provide shelter and food for their families. A few minor
manufacturing industries were established, while about an equal number from
time to time suspended, by reason of the migratory habits of their operators.
Many changes were likewise noted among mercantile firms, lawyers and
doctors, as they came and went in the endeavor to better their financial conditions.
There were a considerable number of men, however—such as Archibald
, N. B. Eldred, C. B. Curtis, Thomas Struthers, Walter W.
, Oilman Merrill, Orris Hall, Lansing Wetmore, Samuel P. Johnson,
Henry Sargent, Abraham Hazeltine, Timothy F. Parker, J. D. Summerton,
Hiram Oilman, Benjamin Bartholomew, Rasselas Brown, J. Y. James,
Thomas Clemons, Andrew H. Ludlow, Joseph Carver, Stephen Carver,
Robert Falconer, Richard S. Orr, Charles W. Rathbun, Lewis Arnett,
Jerome B. Carver, Cornelius Masten, jr., D. V. Stranahan, John H. Hull, G. A. Irvine,
G. W. Scofield, and "a number of others — who, having become permanently established
here prior to the close of the decade referred to, were active in the prosecution
of their respective professions and occupations, and gave character and
stability to the whole community.

Until the year 1848 the only brick structures in the town were the courthouse
and the academy, while up the river a short distance a few Indian wigwams
with tenants were yet to be seen. During the year mentioned, however,
an innovation upon the old order of things began, by the erection of the
Carver House, upon the corner previously occupied by the old Warren House,
or, in other words, the tavern built by Ebenezer Jackson in 1819. The new
hotel was opened for business in March, 1849, with John H. Hull (the former
landlord of the old Warren House) installed as proprietor. In referring to the
erection of the new building, the editor of the Mail, under date of August 1,
1848, said: "Our village — or rather our borough — presents many indications
of improvement. Among them we notice a fine block going up on the corner
of Front and Hickory streets; the basement of chiseled stone and the body of
brick. It is to be used for a hotel and store, and bids fair to be what might
be expected from the energy and enterprise of its proprietors — Messrs.
Carver & Hall. It will greatly improve that part of Front street [an absurd
expression, still in vogue, the calling of Water street, Front street], and contribute
in making Warren as distinguished for the elegance and convenience of its
buildings as it is for the beauty and romance of its scenery."

In the same number of the Mail the editor also said: "The early settlers of
this country who still remain among us, can probably discover some improvement
in the facilities for traveling at the present day. Formerly it required
about four days to come from Pittsburgh to this place, though some have come
in less time. The roads were bad, carriages could not be procured. Forests,
hills, valleys, rocks, brush, and mud greeted the weary footman. Accommodations
were scarce. Darkness often overtook him on Pennsylvania's hills,
while thoughts of home and loved ones there, were all that cheered him on his
lonely way. Now, by the new line of stages, recently established by Richard
S. Orr
and others, the traveller can go from Pittsburgh to Buffalo in less than
three days. Stages leave this place for Buffalo every evening (Sundays excepted),
arriving at Buffalo the next evening in time to take the Eastern cars.
Also for Pittsburgh every morning at seven o'clock, going through in forty eight
hours. Good teams, good carriages, and low fares make this a good

This is a pen picture of the wonderful traveling facilities afforded the citizens
of Warren, and other points on the route between Pittsburgh and Buffalo,
less than forty years ago. Yet, if the people of to-day had no better way than
is here described — the delights of being jolted, thrown forward, backward, to
the right or left, without intimation or warning, for twenty-four hours at a
time, and still the journey not half over — there can be no doubt that they
would consider themselves in even a worse condition than were the first settlers
who uncomplainingly made their journeys afoot.

In the fall of 1848 an old building, which stood on the point at the junction
of Water and Third streets, was torn down, and it was then first proposed to
make the place a "public common."

On Tuesday, March 6, 1849, between three and four o'clock a. m., the
Exchange Building — in which were the stores of Taylor & Arnett; S. L. Axtell,
and Baker & Hunter; S. G. Stevens, tin-shop and store; Summerton's tinshop;
the Standard printing office, S. J. Goodrich proprietor; the shoe-shop of
E. N. Rogers, occupied by N. Ford; the tailor shop of county treasurer
H. L. Church, and Benjamin Nesmith's harness shop — was discovered to
be on fire, and two hours later was entirely destroyed. Loss from $50,000 to

In May of the same year a resident, enraptured by his or her surroundings,
indulged in a bit of poetic gush as follows:

"Sweet village of a sweeter vale,
Where flows the Allegheny bright,
Thy beauteous scenes can never fail
To fill this bosom with delight.

"Let others talk of Southern climes,
Where flowers blossom all the year;
Let poets pour their flood of rhymes,
Where brighter lands to them appear;

"But I will sing of thee, my home,
For thou hast joys enough for me;
Nor will I breathe a wish to roam,
While thus inspired with love for thee.

"Yon river, on whose bosom sweet
I've often watched, with childish glee,
The sunbeams dance with merry feet,
Is Nature's loveliest child to me.

"Then can I breathe a wish to roam,
While thus inspired with love for thee?
No, thou art still my chosen home,
Sweet village, and must ever be."

In the summer following, the three-story brick block on the northeast corner
of Water and Hickory streets, was commenced by Archibald Tanner. It
was the second brick structure erected in the town for individual purposes, and
to make room for it the old Jackson tavern, built by Daniel Jackson in 1805,
was moved back.

At this time, too, Warren had other residents possessed of literary ability,
as witness the following:


"The subscriber believing that the world will not come to an end in '49,
but that '49 will end the last day of December next, and that Gen. Taylor
cannot ruin the Nation (alone) and that Tom Benton and Calhoun will not be
president until after they are elected; that a National Bank or 'Independent
Treasury' is very convenient in every family (under proper restrictions) properly
managed, and having of late embraced the 'one idea' principle that every man
must look out for himself, he has concluded to continue the


and spare no effort to please all who may favor him with their custom. You
will find him 'armed and equipped' as St. Crispin directs, in his shop over the
Ledger office on Second street. Therefore, in the language of the poet,

"All you who dote on a good fitting boot,
Whose pockets are filled with the Rhino,
Pass ye not by, like an ignorant coot,
He'll fit you most finely that I know.

"Warren, July 24, 1849. N. FORD."

Among the merchants doing business in the town in 1849-50 were
Watson & Davis, Summerton & Taylor, Hull & King, Baker & Hunter,
Parmlee & Oilman, S. C. Brasington, and John A. Hall, postmaster,
dealers in general merchandise; William & T. S. Messner, grocers;
Charles W. Rathbun, liquors and groceries; D. M. Williams, grocer, and
Hazeltine & Co. (G. W. Hazeltine and S. P. Johnson) dealers in drugs, books,
stationery, etc., at Variety Hall.

In 1850 Watson, Davis & Co.'s block at the junction of Second and Water
streets was built, being the third brick structure of the borough. In excavating
for the foundation walls the bones of a human body were found, supposed
to have been the remains of a French hunter or explorer, or of an employee of
the Holland Land Company.

In the spring of that year the maple trees, now densely shading the little
park at the point separating Water and Third streets, were placed in position.
Of the traveling "shows," which during that period regularly visited Warren
in their rounds, the tent exhibitions of Quick & Co., Levi J. North, Barnum,
and Dan Rice, and the hall entertainments of the Baker Family, the Burt Family,
etc., seemed to be the most popular.

In the summer of 1851 a form of diarrhoea [sic] became epidemic in the town
and carried off many of its residents, particularly young adults and children.
The Johnson block, on the southeast corner of Second and Liberty streets,
was built in 1854, and was then considered to be the most imposing and best
building in the county.

The year 1859 closed with railroad communication established between
Warren and Erie, and great was the rejoicing thereat [sic]. The lower railroad
bridge was completed in September of the following year, and, resting on rather
low abutments or piers, terminated steamboat navigation to points above.

The United States census of 1860 revealed the following facts concerning
the borough and its inhabitants: Total number of inhabitants, 1,742; total
number of the same, foreign born, 417; total number of deaths during the year, 22;
total number of persons whose estates exceed $30,000, 9; total number of
persons whose estates equal or exceed $20,000, 19; total number of persons
whose estates equal or exceed $10,000, 29; total number of dwelling houses, 308.

In July of that year the chief topic of thought and conversation for a short
time was in relation to a bold burglary committed in their midst. The office
of Hon. Thomas Struthers had been broken into and a safe containing $3,000
in gold and many valuable papers carried off by thieves who left no traces
behind them. After two or three days, however, the safe was found on James
H. Eddy
's farm in Glade. It had been broken open and the coin taken away,
but the papers were found nearly intact. Suspicion was soon directed upon
three Irishmen living near by, who upon being arrested were found to be the
guilty parties, and a portion of the money was recovered.

During the fall of 1860 the marshaling of the ante-bellum militia companies
of the district under Brigadier-General R. Brown and staff (the latter composed
of George V. N. Yates, judge advocate; Nelson S. Woodford, quartermaster;
Leroy L. Lowry, paymaster; Harrison Allen, aid, and Samuel W. Brown,
surgeon), the parades of the wide-awake marching companies, the great political
campaign then in progress, and last, but not least, the oil excitement—all
conspired to make matters exceedingly lively in and around the borough.

In the fall of 1864 wood was worth $7 per cord, and coal $12 per ton.
For a small inland town literally surrounded by thousands of acres of timber
land all in sight, this seems to have been an exorbitant price for common fire
wood, even though it was at a time of inflated prices.

In March, 1865, occurred the great flood remembered so vividly by many,
and still to be seen — as pictured by the photographer. The roily, rushing
waters rose to their greatest height on the 18th, when the Irvine bottom
opposite the town was one vast lake. The "Island" was covered to the depth
of several feet, and all the buildings, lumber, cooperage, etc., near the banks of
the Conewango and Allegheny were swept away. Hook's old saw-mill, which
for nearly fifty years had been a familiar land-mark on the Allegheny some
five miles above Warren, was lifted from its ancient site and transferred to
Morrison's flat, below the town.

Among the dealers in various kinds of merchandise at this time (1865)
were O. H. Hunter, Beecher & Coleman, E. T. Hazeltine & Co., George L.
& Co., P. J. Trushel & Co., George Ball, Arnett & Galligan, Pierce &
, William Messner, John Honhart, Schnur & Ruhlman, J. M. Turner,
F. A. Randall, S. Burgess, J. B. Brown, D. D. Babcock, Otto Huber, Kelly
, Christian Retterer, Jacob Lesser, C. L. Hassel & Co., George Reig,
L. D. Crandall, S. G. Stevens, L. W. Arnett, Adolph Saltsman, brewer, Smith
& Messner
, Abijah Morrison, A. Kirberger, and Rowan & Converse.

The years 1867-68 witnessed marked improvements throughout the borough.
Many new buildings, both for dwelling and business purposes, were
erected, a number of them of a size and ornate style of architecture to this
time here unseen. The handsome residences of Hon. R. Brown, Judge William
D. Brown
, Boon Mead, and Colonel L. F. Watson were among the number
then built.

War prices still prevailed, which, in comparison with present rates, were
almost frightful. Thus, flour was worth from $12 to $16 per barrel; butter
60 cents per pound; potatoes $1.00 per bushel; lard 22 cents per pound;
pork 18 cents per pound, and sugar 15 to 20 cents per pound. All other
commodities bought and sold — dry goods, hardware, etc., were equally as
high in price, while the laborer and mechanic received but little more pay for
his daily toil than he does to-day.

About the 1st of November, 1869, the buildings on Water street, occupied
by Bennett, Carrie Denison, A. Ruhlman, S. M. Cogswell, P. Bysecker,
Mrs. A. Ruhlman, Taylor & Messner, M. Carpenter & Co., O. H. Hunter,
F. Fettee, J. F. Wells & Co., and Allen & Reeves, were destroyed by fire. In
February, 1870, another conflagration raged, at the corner of Liberty and Water
streets. A newspaper writer of that day said: "There were a few men who worked
faithfully to subdue the flames and save property, and a very large audience
collected to see them do it."

By the census enumeration of 1870 it was ascertained that the borough
contained two thousand and one inhabitants. The wire foot-bridge across the
Conewango was built during the same year, and a stock company organized
to build a suspension bridge across the Allegheny, which structure was
finished in 1871.

During the year 1872 a number of notable events occurred—Decoration
Day was formally observed for the first time. The new union school building,
which was completed a few months before at a cost of $23,000, was badly
damaged by the fire which destroyed the old Germania Hotel. The old
pioneer, Zachariah Eddy, died at the age of ninety-four years. A street railway
extending from the Philadelphia and Erie Railroad station, via Water street
to Glade, was built. Two one-horse, or "bob-tail," cars were brought into
use, but it appears that there were then two cars too many. The enterprise
proved to be a complete failure, and after about two years the rails were taken
up, and all the material shipped to some locality more populous or appreciative.
During 1872, also, the Irvine family, of Irvineton, proposed to donate to the
borough, for a public park, thirty acres of land, lying on the left bank of the
Allegheny, about one mile below the town; but as the proposal was accompanied
by conditions requiring the immediate expenditure of a large sum of
money, it was considered that for a town having no gas or water supply, nor
fire apparatus worthy of mention, the luxury would prove to be too expensive,
quite out of character; hence the proposition was respectfully declined. Gifts
bestowed under conditions are not always acceptable.

The building termed the Town Hall, on the southeast corner of Third and
Hickory streets, was built in 1877-78, at a cost of about $9,000.

In 1884 the substantially-built structure now occupied by the Warren
Library Association was completed. For a number of years there had been a
chartered public library in the town, but it had neither home nor income. Its
destitution excited the sympathy of the Hon. Thomas Struthers, and aroused
his beneficence. He therefore proposed to the citizens that if they would furnish
the grounds he would build and donate to the association a structure of
which all might feel proud. The site, a rather costly one, corner of Liberty
and Third streets, was purchased with money contributed by L. D. Wetmore,
H. A. Jamieson, William D. Brown, S. P. Johnson, F. Henry, Rasselas Brown,
Willard White, C. W. Stone, M. B. Dunham, A. J. Hazeltine, O. W. Beatty,
L. F. Watson, David Beatty, M. Waters, Benjamin Nesmith, A. Hertzel, H. L.
, Robert Dennison, S. T. Allen, O. C. Allen, S. W. Waters,
Christian Smith, E. T. Hazeltine, Beecher & Copeland, J. H. Eddy, F. H.
, Thomas H. De Silver, W. H. Pickett, C. H. Noyes, E. B. Frew,
J. K. Palmer, Charles P. Henry, E. Cowan, O. H. Hunter & Son, Sol Cohn,
J. E. Berkstresser, G. I. Mead, J. W. Jenkins, J. A. Weible, G. G. Mead,
F. Barnhart, Albert Kirberger, Alice W. Jefferson, W. A. Rankin, Henry Knupp,
James C. Wells, Hazeltine & Baker, George H. Ames, A. J. Davis, Medora I.
, H. E. Brown, M. V. Van Etten, P. H. Towle, Manville Bros., L. G.
, Henry Cobham, W. W. Wilbur, William Schnur, Rufus P. King,
M. Shaeffer, S. T. Daggett, George L. Friday, John Kropp, Thomas Keelor,
S. P. Schemerhorn, Fred Morck, M. Mead, S. H. Davis, S. V. Davis, George H.
, J. W. Stearns, Jane Orr, P. Greenlund, S. Keller, A. B. Miller,
Rick Donovan, and A. H. McKelvy.

Not including the site, the building cost about $90,000. Besides affording
spacious and elegant rooms for the books of the association and visitors, it also
contains one of the handsomest and best appointed halls for the use of opera
and theatrical troupes to be found in Western Pennsylvania. The post-office
officials, and the publishers of the Ledger, likewise find commodious quarters
within its walls.

A glance at the assessment roll of the borough for the year 1885 discloses
the following pertinent facts: Value of lots and buildings, $1,514,759; number
of horses and mules, 221; number of cows, 37; number of resident taxables, 1,167.
The resident taxables for the year 1886 are 1,134 in number, thus showing
a decrease of 33 in twelve months. This can be accounted for, however,
from the fact that for ten years or more Warren has been the rendezvous
of large numbers of oil men. As residents they are an uncertain quantity—
birds of passage, coming and going constantly. Hence many former short-term
Warrenites can now be found in Washington county, Pa., and the Ohio oil fields.

Though the town is built upon lands the surface of which is but a few feet
above the bed of the Allegheny, it is credited with an elevation of eleven hundred
and ninety-eight feet above tide water, and six hundred and thirty-three
feet above Lake Erie. Its population numbered considerably less than three
thousand in 1880. The present inhabitants are estimated to be full five thousand
in number, or more than the entire county contained in 1830. The last
decade has witnessed the introduction of illuminating gas; water, of the finest
quality, from Morrison's Run; the formation of an efficient fire department;
the inauguration of a system of drainage and sewage, and the utilization of
natural gas as a fuel.

In the "Warren County Directory," published at the Ledger office in 1886,
Judge S. P. Johnson closed a brief article relating to the borough, as follows:
"Warren has always kept up even with, and sometimes a little ahead of, the
enterprise and progress of the surrounding world of the same age. She had a
bell in her court-house, a chartered bank, a public hall, an academy, and a
street railroad before Franklin, twenty years her senior in judicial organization,
enjoyed these luxuries. . . . For the last twenty-five years it has furnished
the bench with more judges, and the legislative halls, both State and National,
with more representatives than any other town of its size in the State. For
some years it was the head of steamboat navigation, until bridges obstructed
the river's channel. It has now within its limited territory eight churches, well
supported, four hotels, four restaurants, and of saloons five too many. It abounds
in dry goods, grocery, drug, hardware, shoe, millinery, clothing and fancy goods
stores, mostly permanent and successful business houses. In mechanical
and manufacturing establishments Warren is well supplied — of which
the iron works of Struthers, Wells & Co., the Wetmore door and sash factory,
and the Jamieson pail and tub factory are the largest. Besides these there are
four planing-mills, two furniture factories, and other shops and factories in almost
every branch of productive industry, including Piso's cure for consumption, and
the Warren flouring mills.

"Outside local history has given Warren the reputation, for some years past,
of being a wealthy town, having large capital in proportion to its population.
As an evidence of that it has had, and now has, three banks — the First National,
the Citizens' National, and the Warren Savings Banks—owned entirely by her
own citizens. For the fact, if it be so, it is indebted to no factious aid or
circumstance; it is the result of intelligent and persevering industry and attention
to business for a lifetime, for which, notwithstanding the slurs of the
ephemeral parasites that have floated into it upon the tide of oil developments,
they are entitled to much credit. All the so-called wealthy men of the
town commenced life poor, and have acquired what they have, not by
gambling in an oil exchange or bucket-shop, but in the prosecution of honest and
legitimate business. These men came, or were here, before there were any
brick buildings in Warren, and by their enterprise have made it what it is —
the most permanently prosperous and beautiful little city in the western portion
of the State."

Continue on to page 3 | Return to page 1 of the Early History of the Borough of Warren

Pages 337-348


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