MUNICIPAL HISTORY. — The following is believed to be a full and correct
list of those who have served as burgess, town councilmen, and clerks for the
borough, from its incorporation in 1832 to 1886 inclusive.
1832.— John Andrews, burgess; Thos. Struthers, clerk; council, Joseph
Hackney, Lansing Wetmore, Zachariah Eddy, James Stewart, and Albinus
Stebbins. 1.) (webmaster note: see footnote directly below)
1.) June 2, 1832, at a special election, Robt. Miles was elected to fill the vacancy
occasioned by the
death of Joseph Hackney.
1833.— Joshua Turner, burgess; Thos. Struthers, clerk; Robert Arthur,
Rufus Olney, Eben Jackson, Thomas Turner, and Scott W. Sayles.
1834. — William Pier, burgess; Thos. Struthers, clerk; Francis Hook,
W. W. Hodges, Oilman Merrill, J. C. Gordon, and Warren L. Adams.
1835.— G. Merrill, burgess; C. B. Curtis, clerk; Henry Sargent,
Hall, John Edgar, Joshua Turner, and David Jackson.
1836. — G. Merrill, burgess; C. B. Curtis, clerk; Hiram Oilman,
Eldred, Geo. L. Chapel, W. W. Hodges, and J. D. Summerton.
1837. — G. Merrill, burgess; C. B. Curtis, clerk; Geo. L. Chapel,
Summerton, Hiram Oilman, W. W. Hodges, and N. B. Eldred.
1838.— Hiram Oilman, burgess ; C. B.Curtis, clerk; Abraham Hazeltine,
Thos. Clemons, A. H. Ludlow, Joseph Carver, and John King.
1839. — Zachariah Eddy, burgess; C. B. Curtis, clerk; Lansing Wetmore,
Abijah Morrison, Stephen Carver, Thos. Clemons, and A. H. Ludlow.
1840. — Robt. Falconer, burgess; C. B. Curtis, clerk; Abijah Morrison,
Lansing Wetmore, Richard S. Orr, Stephen Carver, and Zachariah Eddy.
1841.— J. D. Summerton, burgess; C. B. Curtis, clerk; John Edgar,
John H. King, Robert McKinney, S. G. Stevens, and H. L. Towle.
1842.— Joseph Carver, burgess; C. B. Curtis, clerk; J. Y. James,
King, Richard Alden, Zachariah Eddy, and A. H. Ludlow.
1843.— John Edgar, burgess; C. B. Curtis, clerk; Henry L. Church,
William Bell, S. G. Stevens, Silas Lacy, and Charles W. Rathbun.
1844.— S. L. Axtell, burgess; C. B. Curtis, clerk; Aaron S. Parmlee,
Lewis Arnett, S. J. Page, James H. Eddy, and A. H. Summerton.
1845. — Aaron S. Parmlee, burgess; C. B. Curtis, clerk; Wm. S. Parmlee,
Jerome B. Carver, S. G. Stevens, Geo. Lobdel, and J. H. Eddy.
1846.— Rasselas Brown, burgess; C. Masten, jr., clerk; H. T, Baker,
King, Richard S. Orr, John H. Hull, and D. V. Stranahan.
1847.— Carlton B. Curtis, burgess; J. D. James, clerk; Zachariah Eddy,
Stephen Carver, Calvin C. Lovell, Thos. Clemons, and J. D. Summerton.
1848.— W. W. Hodges, burgess; L. T. Parmlee, clerk; P. R. Bennett,
W. Scofield, Benj. Nesmith, W. S. Parmlee, and Stephen Carver.
1849. — Richard S. Orr, burgess; L. T. Parmlee, clerk; D. V. Stranahan,
John A. Hall, C. W. Rathbun, Rufus P. King, and Philip Bucher.
1850. — G. A. Irvine, burgess; John F. McPherson, clerk; Thos. Clemons,
P. R. Bennett, Geo, L. Chapel, John Edgar, and Wm. Mead.
1851. — R. P. King, burgess; John N. Miles, clerk; John H. Hull,
Parks, J. D. James, Benj. Nesmith, and Starling Waters.
1852. — G. Merrill, burgess; J. A. Morrison, clerk; Boon Mead,
James, Richard S. Orr, S. J. Page, and Milo Parks.
1853. — Milton W. Hull, burgess; I. S. Alden, clerk; S. J. Page,
S. Orr, Boon Mead, Milo Parks, and Andrew Hertzel.
1854. — Orris Hall, burgess; F. A. Randall, clerk; H. L. Church,
H. Hull, Stephen Carver, Rufus P. King, and Wm. S. Parmlee.
1855.— Oilman Merrill, burgess; Theodore C. Spencer, clerk; L. D. Wetmore,
Thomas Clemons, J. B. Carver, A. Hertzel, and Peter Somers. Appointed
under amended charter — Rufus P. King, John H. Hull, J. Y. James,
and Chester Park.
1856.— G. Merrill, burgess; Theodore C. Spencer, clerk; Rufus P. King,
John H. Hull, L. D. Wetmore, Peter Somers, Andrew Hertzel, M. W. Hull,
A. J. Davis, W. F. Kingsbury, and Thos. Clemons.
1857.— J. D. James, burgess; S. N. Dickinson, clerk; S. D. Hall, John M.
George Offerlee, M. W. Hull, A. J. Davis, W. F. Kingsbury, Rufus P.
John H. Hull, and L. D. Wetmore.
1858.— J. D. James, burgess; D. J. Hodges, clerk; A. J. Davis,
Hull, John M. Olney, J. B. Carver, George Offerlee, C. W. H. Verback,
Hall, W. F. Kingsbury, A. Brock.
1859.— Thos. Clemons, burgess; G. Merrill, clerk; C. W. H. Verback,
A. Brock, George Offerlee, John M. Olney, S. Burgess, J. B. Carver,
John Sill, E. T. F. Valentine, S. D. Hall.
1860.— G. N. Parmlee, burgess; H. Allen, clerk; E. T. F. Valentine,
Brock, C. W. H. Verback, Starling Waters, Christian Keller, John Sill,
Smith, S. Burgess, and Andrew Hertzel.
1861.— J. B. Carver, burgess; J. A. Neill, clerk; L. Arnett, J. H. Hull,
Smith, John Sill, A. J. Davis, Andrew Hertzel, Christian Keller,
and E. T F. Valentine.
1862.— G. N. Parmlee, burgess; S. T. Allen, clerk; L. Arnett, A. Hertzel,
George Offerlee, Christian Keller, John F. Davis, John Honhart,
A. J. Davis, J. H. Hull, O. H. Hunter. C. Smith resigned.
1863.— S. J. Page, burgess; Thos. Clemons, clerk; L. Arnett, A. Hertzel,
J. H. Hull, J. F. Davis, George Offerlee, O. H. Hunter, Rufus P. King,
Hull, and A. J, Davis.
1864.— L. Arnett, burgess; Chas. Dinsmoor, clerk; G. N. Parmlee,
McKain, Thos. Clemons, John F. Davis, O. H. Hunter, A. Hertzel,
R. P. King,
George Offerlee, and M. W. Hull.
1865.— L. Arnett, burgess; Chas. Dinsmoor, clerk; R. P. King,
Bartlett, J. H. Hull, Thos. Clemons, A. B. McKain, P. Bucher,
A. Hertzel, G.
N. Parmlee, and M. W. Hull.
1866.— L. Arnett, burgess; Rufus P. King, clerk; J. H. Hull, R. K. Russell,
A. P. Wetmore, R. D. Bartlett, Philip Bucher, G. N. Parmlee,
Brown, Thos. Clemons, and Chas. Dinsmoor.
1867.— J. S. Page, burgess; Rufus P. King, clerk; Philip Bucher,
Hull, B. F. Morris, M. Schaffer, S. Keller, jr., C. Dinsmoor, R. K. Russell,
D. Bartlett, and A. P. Wetmore.
1868.— A. Hertzel, burgess; Rufus P. King, clerk; R. K. Russell,
Bucher, C. Dinsmoor, F. A. Randall, S. Keller, jr., B. F. Morris, J. H. Hull,
A. P. Wetmore, and M. Schaffer.
1869.— S. J. Page, burgess; Rufus P. King, clerk; J. H. Hull, S. Keller,
B. F. Morris, C. Dinsmoor, John M. Olney, M. Schaffer, L. W. Arnett (died),
F. A. Randall, and Philip Bucher.
1870.— E. T. F. Valentine, burgess; Rufus P. King, clerk; J. H. Hull,
John M. Olney, Philip Bucher, George Offerlee, C. Dinsmoor, F. A. Randall,
J. H. Eddy, Seneca Burgess, and S. H. Davis.
1871. — E. T. F. Valentine, burgess; Rufus P. King, clerk; J. H. Hull,
John M. Olney, J. H. Eddy, Geo. Offerlee, S. Burgess, S. H. Davis,
Mitchell, C. Dinsmoor, F. A. Randall.
1872. — Charles Dinsmoor, burgess; Rufus P. King, clerk; J. H. Mitchell,
S. Burgess, J. H. Hull, F. A. Randall, James Nesmith, C. W. Stone,
Clark, jr., S. H. Davis, and J. H. Eddy.
1873. — John Sill, burgess; Rufus P. King, clerk; Seneca Burgess,
Ryan, H. A. Jamieson, C. W. Stone, James Clark, jr., James Nesmith,
Randall, John M. Davidson (removed), J. H. Hull (died Aug., 1873).
C. James and Geo. Ott elected to fill vacancies.
1874. — John Sill, burgess; Rufus P. King, clerk; James Clark, jr.,
Hertzel, C. W. Stone, M. B. Dunham, George Ott, Wm. Ryan, S. Burgess,
G. H. Ames, and James Nesmith.
1875. — E. B. Eldred, burgess; Rufus P. King, clerk; James Clark, jr.,
A. Hertzel, M. B. Dunham, George Ott, Wm. Ryan, W. C. Rowland,
Ames, E. G. Wood, and S. Burgess.
1876. —W. H. Pickett, burgess; Rufus P. King, clerk; James Clark, jr.,
A. Hertzel, M. Spaulding, W. C. Rowland, M. B. Dunham, P. J. Falconer,
H. Ames, E. G. Wood, and Geo. L. Friday.
1877. — C. H. Noyes, burgess; Rufus P. King, clerk; James Clark, jr.,
J. Davis, M. Spaulding, Geo. L. Friday, E. G. Wood, Peter Greenlund,
Rowland, Wm. L. Lewis, and P. J. Falconer.
1878.— M. Miles, burgess; Rufus P. King, clerk; James Clark, jr.,
Hertzel, A. J. Davis, S. Burgess, Peter Greenlund, M. Spaulding,
J. H. Palmer, G. L. Friday, and P. J. Falconer.
1879. — S. T. Allen, burgess; Geo. O. Cornelius, clerk; A. J. Davis,
D. S. McNett, S. Burgess, T. J. Clemons, A. W. Morck, F. Barnhart,
W. H. Heck,
A. Hertzel, Peter Greenlund.
1880. — S. T. Allen, burgess; Geo. O. Cornelius, clerk; D. S. McNett,
A. Hertzel, A. W. Morck, Robert Dennison, C. A. Waters, W. H. Heck,
Clemons, S. Burgess, and F. Barnhart.
1881. — S. T. Allen, burgess; Geo. O. Cornelius, clerk; D. S. McNett,
W. Morck, C. A. Waters, W. H. Heck, A. Conarro, Robert Dennison,
H. Leonhart, A. J. Hazeltine, F. Barnhart.
1882. — H. A. Jamieson, burgess; Rufus P. King, clerk; A. J. Hazeltine,
Robert Dennison, G. H. Leonhart, L. T. Borchers, A. Conarro, C. A. Waters,
J. A. Bell, A. W. Morck, J. H. Eddy.
1883. — Geo. P. Orr, burgess; Rufus P. King, clerk; S. H. Davis,
Leonhart, J. C. Siechrist, J. A. Bell, S. M. Cogswell, A. J. Hazeltine,
Borchers, A. Conarro, J. H. Eddy.
1884. — Geo. P. Orr, burgess; Rufus P. King, clerk; S. H. Davis,
Bell, S. M. Cogswell, F. M. Knapp, J. H. Eddy, Joseph Walkerman,
Borchers, J. C. Siechrist, August Morck, jr.
1885— C. C. Thompson, burgess; F. A. Cogswell, clerk; S. H. Davis,
S. M. Cogswell, J. C. Siechrist, August Morck, jr., F. M. Knapp,
Walkerman, Robert MacKay, Wm. Schnur, A. A. Davis.
1886. — A. W. Morck, burgess; F. A. Cogswell, clerk; F. M. Knapp,
Joseph Walkerman, August Morck, jr., Robert MacKay, William Schnur,
A. Davis, Christian Smith, J. W. Crawford, P. J. Bayer.
Since the incorporation of the borough, by the provisions of various acts of
the General Assembly, passed from time to time, the corporate limits have been
widely extended, and the authority of the town council largely increased.
The public grounds on the southeast and southwest corners of Market and
High streets, as shown upon the original plot of the town, likewise valuable
strips of land along the Allegheny and Conewango not included in the original
survey, as well as lands bordering upon Water street east of Market, have
been, under such authorization, transferred by the borough to individuals.
By scanning the minutes of proceedings of early councils, a few matters of
interest, perhaps, to present residents have been ascertained. Thus, at a meeting
held June 16, 1832, $80 were appropriated to grade and turnpike portions
of Fifth, Liberty, and High streets; but a few weeks later the resolution was
rescinded. At the same meeting — June 16, 1832 — ten dollars were voted
to improve the road leading from Water street down to the eddy near A. Tanner's
storehouse on the bank of the Allegheny river, by cutting a ditch on the
upper side, "and prevent the water from running over and across the same,
and by filling up the holes already washed next the wall in the lower side
thereof." Fifteen dollars were also appropriated to be applied in reducing the
grade of hills near John Andrews's office and the house of Lansing Wetmore.
On the 4th of August, 1832, council met and "took into consideration the
remonstrance of sundry citizens against the improvement of High street —
15 on the files, and the same being under consideration, adopted the
resolution, viz.: Resolved, That the said Remonstrance is couched in
and indecorous [terms] and that therefore the same be discharged
On the 8th of June, 1833, council by an unanimous vote directed that the
mills of Hawley & Parker — carding-machine works — fronting on the borough,
be assessed. On the 6th of July following it was " Resolved that the Equestrian
Company of Mills & Harrison shall receive a license to exhibit and perform
for two evenings within the Borough of Warren, upon paying to the
Six Dollars. License to issue in like manner as licenses are issued in
pursuance of the Ordinance framed 28th May, 1832, any thing in said ordinance
of 28th May, 1832, to the contrary notwithstanding." The members of
council (1833), after making settlements May 3, 1834, for the year preceding,
unanimously resolved that they would make no charge against the
borough for services rendered "as councillors."
On the 3d of April, 1843, council " Resolved that the Borough of Warren
hereby appropriate Two Hundred Dollars for the purpose of Building a
Bridge over the Conewango Creek, at the old location, at the foot of Second
street, provided a sufficient amount can be raised to build said Bridge at the
foot of said street, said amount to be paid to the Contractor as the work progresses."
On the 28th of March, 1844, it was enacted "that from and after
the first day of May next, it shall not be lawful for any hog or swine of any
age to run at large within the limits of the Borough of Warren." To that time
it is to be presumed, free and unrestrained, they had rooted and wallowed to
their hearts' content.
|Warren City Hall and Fire Department
|Photo from Illustrated Album of Picturesque Warren, PA;1900
Fire Department.—For many years Warren, in its ability and state of preparation
to fight fire, was in about the same condition as other country towns at
an early day — i. e., it had a small hand engine and a few feet of hose, the whole,
usually, being out of repair when a fire occurred. We have ascertained that
the borough possessed an engine of the class described in 1848; but there was
no organized company to man it. This engine, with apparatus, etc., cost
During the year 1853 "Vulcan Fire Company No. 1" was organized,
David Law was mentioned as foreman, and Rufus P. King,
Richard S. Orr,
M. W. Hull, L. Rogers, Julius B. Hall, G. W. King, C. A.
M. D. Waters as among the original members. The German
organized "Rescue Fire Company No. 1" in August, 1859, and an engine
house was projected during the same year. This company was incorporated
by an order of court March 6, 1861, and they continued to render
efficient service until 1869, when, becoming dissatisfied because the citizens
seemed disinclined to render assistance either at fires or at any other time, they
disbanded. The sum of $258, remaining in their treasury, was donated to the
German Lutheran Church to aid in the purchase of a bell. Then followed
the organization of " Allegheny Fire Company No. 1," and the "Conewango
Hose Company," about the 1st of January, 1870.
The steam fire engine "R. P. King" was received at Warren in December,
and the severe trial tests imposed proved to be eminently satisfactory.
To the department has since been added the serviceable yet elegant apparatus
manned by "Niagara Hose, No. 1," "Watson Hose, No. 2," "Struthers's Independent
Hose, No. 1," and "Exchange Hook and Ladder, No. 1." The members
department are handsomely uniformed. Commodious quarters for
storage of apparatus, etc., are afforded by the borough building, known as
the Town Hall.
It is a fact worthy of remark, perhaps, that of all the conflagrations which
have heretofore raged in the business part of the town, the flames almost without
exception have spent their force upon old buildings, those that could best
be spared; and in their places have arisen spacious brick structures, with
Warren Academy, and Public Schools. —The famous old academy building,
so often referred to in the local annals of Warren, was built during the years
1834-36. It was of brick, and stood upon the southeast corner of High and
Market streets — beautiful, spacious grounds, since divided into three large lots,
sold to individuals, and now occupied by private residences. The history of
the institution briefly told is as follows:
By an act of the General Assembly, approved April 11, 1799, the governor
was authorized to direct the surveyor-general "to make actual survey of the
reserved tract of land adjoining the town of Warren, which has not been laid
out in town or out lots," etc., and providing, further, "that five hundred acres
of the same be laid off for the use of such schools and academies as may hereafter
be established by law in said town. "Under this act Alexander McDowell,
of Franklin, then deputy surveyor-general, surveyed and marked the
boundaries of the academy lands (lying west of the town and bounded on one
side by the river), in the summer of 1799. By a legislative enactment, passed
in 1822, Joseph Hackney, Lothrop S. Parmlee, and Abner Hazeltine were
named as trustees, who, with their successors in office, to be elected, were to
assume control of the lands and the academy when built. In 1829 an act was
passed authorizing the trustees to lease "said 500 acres" (541 acres by correct
measurement) for a period not to exceed ninety years. Thereupon, during the
following two or three years, the tract was leased in lots of one hundred acres
each for ninety years, at an annual rental of not much over $100 for the whole.
By an act of the State Legislature, passed February 15, 1832, the sum of $2,000
was appropriated to erect an academy building at Warren. This was followed
by another act, approved April 8, 1833, which authorized the trustees to erect
the building on grounds reserved at the laying out of the town for public buildings,
and directed that the sum of $2,000 already appropriated be used in the
construction. This sum was increased to a considerable extent by individual
subscriptions before the structure was completed.
Hon. Rasselas Brown, the first principal of the academy, commenced teaching
in the court-house in February, 1836, the academy not yet being ready for
occupancy, and continued there until June of the same year, when a transfer
was made to the academy, and its doors were opened for the admission of pupils
for the first time. Judge Brown, then a very young man, continued to
preside over the academy until 1838, when he retired to engage in the practice
of law, and was succeeded by W. A. McLean. The latter's successors were
John Dixon, Cyrus Brown, L. A. Rogers, Charles B. Curtis and a number of
others. Meanwhile the new Union School building of the borough having been
completed and provided with a corps of very competent teachers, the now old
academy fell into disfavor. Free tuition in a fresh, new building, as compared
with $3.00 per term for the higher branches, and $2.50 per term for common
studies in a somewhat dilapidated structure, left it almost without patronage;
hence its doors were finally closed about the year 1857. It was condemned by
the grand jury in 1864. An act of Assembly, passed March 22, 1865, authorized
the burgess and town council to sell and convey to the highest bidder at
public sale the lands on which the academy stood, the proceeds of sale to go
into the borough treasury. Accordingly the square was divided into three lots
and sold separately August 17, 1865, the sum realized being $5,785. The
building was purchased by Hon. William D. Brown for $300.
Of the early history of the common, district, or public schools of Warren
but little can be said in the entire absence of data, either traditional or authentic.
We have in another place made mention of the fact that the father of the late
Hon. Reuben E. Fenton, of New York, taught a school in Warren, in the winter
of 1805-06. Thereafter no other reference or intimation regarding the
or school-houses of the town is made until 1820, when the county commissioners
agreed to assist the school committee to "finish building the schoolhouse,"
to the end that courts might be held in the same until a court-house
could be built. This little school-house stood on the site of the first and of the
present court-house. It is probable that when the first court-house was commenced,
in 1826, the school-house was removed to some resting-place not far
away, and its use continued for educational purposes, until the building of the
academy. The latter then became the school-house of the town, for those
who were able to pay for the instruction of their children.
The old part of the present Union School building was built in 1854-56.
Stephen Carver was the contractor for the stone and brick work, and
Kappel for the wood work. The first teachers to preside within its walls were
Charles Twining, of Lancaster, Pa., principal; assisted by Miss M. C. Shattuck,
of Groton, Mass., Miss S. E. A. Stebbins, of Clinton, N. Y., Miss Kate
of Sugar Grove, Pa., and Miss S. O. Randall, of Warren, Pa. Hon. S.
stood at the head and front in the movement which led to the
of the building and the securing of the first very excellent corps of
The first building cost $7,500, and was completed in December,
The new structure, which adjoins the one above described, was built
in 1871 at a cost of $23,000. Together they afford room and educational
facilities for a large number of bright-faced pupils. Prof. A. B. Miller, a veteran
instructor, has been in charge some twelve or fifteen years. His assistants
during the present year are Miss Kate C. Darling, Miss Arline Arnett,
Miss Carrie W. Coats, Miss Nannie C. Locke, Miss Libbie M. King,
O. King, Miss Jennie Thomas, Miss Ellen Glenn, Miss Berta Thomas,
Mary O'Hern, Miss Mary Kopf, Mrs. Blanche Hawkins. At the West End
school, also under the supervision of Mr. Miller, the assistant teachers are
Bessie Richards, Miss Mary Conrath, and Miss Laura Snyder.
BANKS.— The Lumbermen's Bank of Warren, the first banking institution
established in Warren county, was incorporated by an act of the State Legislature
approved February 28, 1834. Robert Falconer, Josiah Hall, Robert
Guy C. Irvine, Archibald Tanner, and Robert Miles, all of Warren
were named as commissioners to execute the many provisions of the
act. With Robert Falconer as president, and Fitch Shepard cashier, the bank
began business during the same year (1834), with a paid-up capital stock of
$100,000, divided into shares of $50 each. Subsequently the directors were
authorized by a legislative act to increase the capital stock to $200,000. Its
notes were widely circulated, and it transacted a large (and as it was supposed
very successful) business until 1838, when the financial panic, which swept the
whole country at that time, caused its sudden collapse and failure. Much of
Mr. Falconer's private fortune went to swell the aggregate of losses; besides
being unjustly censured because of the failure, his proud, honorable, and
sensitive nature met with such a shock that it gradually destroyed his mind
and hastened his death.
The Warren County Bank was chartered by an act of the State Legislature
passed during the winter of 1852-53. The officers then mentioned were
James, president; Orrin Hook, Rufus P. King, Thomas Clemons,
John N. Miles,
Myron Waters, and Lewis Arnett, directors. Soon afterwards an
of $5 on each share of the capital stock of $100,000 was paid in. During
following winter another legislative act was passed providing that the institution
should be a bank of issue as well as deposit. All preparations having been completed,
the bank opened its doors for the transaction of business during
the last days of
November, 1854, with J. Y. James, of Warren, officiating
and Herman Leonard, of the city of New York, as cashier. Said
editor of the Mail under date of November 24, 1854: "To-day (Friday)
our bank is in the flood tide of operation.... Certainly there never
more need of a Bank here, or a more favorable time for one to commence
operations, and we hope it may have a long career of usefulness and prosperity."
In 1855 a building for the accommodation of the bank was erected.
Under date of July 30, 1859, we find the following mention of this bank in the
columns of the Mail: "At the last term of court the Warren County Bank
was changed to the North Western Bank, and under that name it re-opened
last Monday. The bills of the old bank are redeemed when presented. "From
this statement it appears that business under the old title had been suspended
for a time. In March, 1860, the officers of the bank were Rasselas Brown,
president; John F. Davis, Rasselas Brown, F. Hook, J. Y. James,
Kinnear, Lewis Arnett, Rufus P. King, Carlton B. Curtis,
Joseph Hall, George V. N. Yates, Hosea Harmon, and
Lewis F. Watson directors. In December of the same year it was published as a
fact that all the banks in Western Pennsylvania had suspended, with
exception of the old Bank of Pittsburgh and the North Western Bank of Warren.
The further existence of the latter, however, was destined to be but brief
in duration; for during the latter part of May, 1862, the North Western Bank
closed its doors. A day or two later they were reopened and an effort was
made to redeem home circulation, but after two days this plan was abandoned.
The affairs of the bank were always fairly and honorably conducted in Warren.
The trouble originated in New York city, where its finances were really controlled,
and where they put into circulation more of the bank's issue than
taken care of at home.
Private Bankers.— In 1855 Augustus N. Lowry, of Jamestown, N. Y.,
established a private banking office in Warren. In December of the same
year Chapin Hall, of Warren, also opened a similar establishment in Johnson's
building, under the title of "C. Hall's Bank." After the failure of the North
Western Bank Messrs. Beecher & Coleman opened a banking house in their
hardware store opposite the Carver House, and continued it until the organization
of the First National Bank, when their banking business, which had proved
very satisfactory to the people, was transferred to the new institution.
The First National Bank of Warren was organized at a meeting of stockholders
held at the Carver House on Saturday, August 6, 1864. At this
the following named gentlemen were elected to serve as directors:
Chapin Hall, Thomas Struthers, Carlton B. Curtis, William D. Brown,
F. Watson, Rasselas Brown, James H. Eddy, S. J. Page, and M. F. Abel.
Subsequently, during the same day, this board of directors elected Chapin Hall
president, and M. Beecher, jr., cashier. The capital stock of the association
was fixed at $100,000, in shares of $100 each. During the two months which
immediately followed the date of organization, Messrs. Hall and Beecher were
actively engaged in collecting subscriptions to the capital stock, investing the
funds thus obtained in United States bonds, and attending to the many and
varied details preparatory to opening for business. This event took place on
Monday, October 10, 1864, in the middle room of Johnson's Exchange block,
Second street, George W. Tew, of Jamestown, N. Y., officiating as teller.
The net profits for the first year amounted to $27,022.08, and the total business
aggregated $17,655,749.62, being much larger than any year since, owing
the enormous sale of government bonds on which were allowed a large premium,
and the immense purchase and sale of exchange during the great oil
excitement of 1864-65. Until 1872 the annual sale of drafts averaged over
$1,500,000, and the paper discounted per annum amounted to $1,000,000.
In April, 1871, the lot upon which stood the old building of hewn timbers,
known as early as 1815 as Dunn's Tavern, was purchased from John F. Davis
and S. Burgess. The old structure (then the oldest building in the borough)
was speedily removed, the work of erecting a new bank building commenced,
and in October, 1872, the handsome edifice now owned by the association was
completed at a cost, including grounds, of $16,000.
Of the officers who have been connected with this bank, Mr. Beecher has
served as cashier from the very beginning of its existence down to the present
time. Chapin Hall, its first president, continued in office until January 2, 1866,
when, having sold his stock, he resigned, and was succeeded by L. D. Wetmore,
esq. The latter continued until July 22, 1871, when he resigned, deeming
himself ineligible by reason of holding the office of president judge of this
judicial district. Boon Mead was then elected to fill the vacancy and continued
as president until his death, which occurred August 19, 1880. His
James H. Eddy, was elected September 6, 1880, and held the position
until July 4, 1885, when he resigned. Thereupon Hon. L. D. Wetmore was
again elected president and has continued to discharge the duties of that
office to the present writing. Other officers of the bank (1886) are as follows:
George H. Ames, vice president; M. Beecher, cashier; F. K. Russell,
teller; L. D. Wetmore, J. H. Eddy, R. Brown, G. H. Ames, M. Beecher,
T. Scofield, and Mrs. Medora I. Mead, directors.
The Warren Savings Bank was chartered by an act of the State Legislature
early in 1870. Those named as corporators were Lewis F. Watson,
Brown, O. C. Allen, W. F. Dalrymple, Patrick Falconer, David Beatty,
Trushel, J. J. Taylor, B. Nesmith, S. J. Page, O. H. Hunter, J. R. Clark,
Waters, W. W. Wilbur, Richard E. Brown, A. D. Wood, J. H. Nichols,
Hoffman, W. H. Shortt, John A. Jackson, and James Kinnear. On the
of March, 1870, an organization was effected by the election of Lewis F. Watson,
O. H. Hunter, B. Nesmith, P. Falconer, O. C. Allen, P. J. Trushel, and
W. H. Shortt, to serve as directors. Subsequently Lewis F. Watson was
chosen president of the association, and he has continued to discharge the
of that office to the present time. Business was commenced in the
Watson & Davis block in April following, George E. Barger officiating as cashier.
latter served until February, 1872, when he resigned and was succeeded by
J. Hazeltine, the present efficient incumbent of the office. The bank building
now occupied was completed in 1876, at a cost of $10,500.
The officers serving in 1886 are as follows : Lewis F. Watson, president;
Benjamin Nesmith, vice-president; A. J. Hazeltine, cashier; George B. Ensworth,
teller; Lewis F. Watson, Benjamin Nesmith, James Clark, M. B. Dunham,
O. H. Hunter, A. J. Hazeltine, and L. R. Freeman, directors.
The Citizens' Saving Bank was organized March 8, 1870. Among its
stockholders were S. P. Johnson, L. L. Lowry, Boon Mead, Orris Hall,
Neill, E. B. Eldred, J. H. Mitchell, R. Brown, L. B. Hoffman, J. R. Clark,
K. Russell, David McKelvy, G. H. Ames, L. D. Wetmore, F. A. Randall,
and William D. Brown. Of the stockholders named Messrs. Johnson, Lowry,
Hall, Neill, Clark, McKelvy, and Eldred were chosen directors. L. L. Lowry
was elected president and H. R. Crowell cashier. This association was not
chartered. Its place of business was one door west of the Carver House;
capital $25,000; stockholders individually liable. About the first of May,
a reorganization took place and the title of the institution was changed
to the Citizens' National Bank. Its business is transacted in the corner of the
building known as the Carver House.
Manufacturing Interests. — Although Warren has never been noted as a
manufacturing center of unusual importance — indeed, in this respect hardly up
to the average of towns peopled chiefly, as this was, by New Englanders,
Yorkers, and their descendants — yet it has always had its quota of artisans
skilled in their respective crafts. Among its first residents were blacksmiths,
shoemakers, tailors, carpenters, stone-masons, millwrights (those who could
build, repair, and operate water-power grist-mills, saw-mills, etc.), wheelwrights,
or those who made and repaired spinning-wheels, cabinet-makers, etc.
In 1829 the only mills within the limits of the town proper were two sawmills
and a grist-mill. One of these saw-mills had been built and operated by
James Stewart for ten years or more prior to the date mentioned. The other
saw-mill and the grist-mill were more recent acquisitions, having been built
about the year 1828. Then followed a small tannery, and in 1833 the woolcarding
and fulling-mills of Hawley & Parker were noted as in operation.
In the summer of 1851 the old structure known as Stewart's Mills was
remodeled by W. F. Kingsbury, for use as a foundry and machine shop. His
facilities as well as his manufactured products at first were limited, the latter
being mainly mill-irons, plow-points, and repairing. His iron was brought up
the river on flat-boats, and the coal used was hauled from Dunkirk. Subsequently
he began the manufacture of stoves. Still later Henry W. Brown became
associated with him in the business, under the firm name of Kingsbury & Brown.
In the fall of 1856 this firm completed a foundry, etc., at the lower
of the town, at a cost of $6,000. Not long after the completion of this
building Mr. Kingsbury retired, when Mr. Brown formed a partnership with
his brothers John and Thomas, and the business was continued under the title
of Brown Bros. During the year 1864 John and Thomas Brown retired from
the firm, when another brother, Joseph, became associated with Henry W.,
thus still keeping intact the firm name of Brown Bros. In 1865 the firm employed
sixty men, and their manufactures consisted of steam engines, circular
saw-mill and shingle-mill machinery, stoves, plows, castings to order, oil pipe
and oil tools.
During the fall of 1868 the successors of Brown Bros. — Brown, Arnett &
Co., or, in other words, Henry W. Brown, L. W. Arnett, and Thomas Struthers
— completed the quite extensive brick buildings known at that time as the
"Allegheny Iron Works." The facilities were greatly increased thereby, and
a still larger number of men were furnished employment. A few minor changes
occurred during the next seven years, and in 1875 the works passed to the
control of the firm since and now owning them — Struthers, Wells & Co.
The "Struthers Iron Works," under this management, have gained a wide
reputation for the excellence of their products, and their machinery for oil wells,
saw-mills, and tanneries reaches all sections of the United States, and also finds
its way into Cuba, Europe, Mexico, and South America. Their specialty,
however, is oil and gas-well machinery, and the large share of orders assigned
to this department has frequently forced the management to run overtime.
They build engines with cylinders from five by ten to thirty by thirty-six
inches, ranging in horse-power from six to three hundred and fifty, and make
boilers of any size required. The works are one square in extent, and the
principal buildings, which are constructed of brick, range from one to three
stories in height. They are conveniently located for the reception and shipment
of freight — near the junction of the Philadelphia & Erie, Buffalo, New
York & Philadelphia, and the Dunkirk, Allegheny Valley & Pittsburgh Railroads —
and natural gas is utilized as fuel. Individually speaking, Thomas
J. C. Wells, A. H. McKelvy, and J. P. Jefferson are the men who
control these works.
In September, 1856, the sash and door manufactory of B. P. Bell & Co., on
the "Island," was destroyed by fire. It had just been completed, and the losses
sustained amounted to about $10,000.
In July, 1864, the editor of the Mail, in an article on home matters, said:
"The grist-mill and old saw-mill, owned for several years by Arnett & Orr,
between the town and island", have been torn away. A new grist-mill is being
erected on the site of the old one, and a new saw-mill and factory will be erected
where the old saw-mill was built so long ago as 1828. Arnett then (in 1828)
came to Warren from Alsace, France, and worked on the mill-dam as a day
laborer. . . . Now he superintends the erection of two mills and a factory
on the same ground as principal proprietor, besides running one end of the
Warren County Court." The new mills, and the sash, door and blind manufactory
were completed in the summer of 1865, at a cost of $25,000. James Clark,
of Warren, superintended the building of the saw-mill and "factory." A
few weeks after their completion — in September, 1865 — these mills were sold
by Arnett & Orr (Mrs. Jane Orr) to Boon Mead & McDaniels, for about $50,000.
The saw-mills, etc., are now owned and extensively operated by the Mr. Clark
above mentioned, who for many years has been known as one of Warren's
most active and respected citizens.
The grist-mill, after some changes in ownership, passed to the control of
George Ensworth, and while owned by him was burned in the conflagration
which some four or five years ago again destroyed the "Exchange Row" on
the south side of Water street. Upon its site was erected in 1882 the structure
now known as the Warren Flouring Mills, by a company composed of George
Ensworth (its present manager), S. P. Johnson, Andrew Hertzel, and M. Waters.
The main building is of brick, 46 by 72 feet in dimensions, and four stories
and basement in height, to which is added another structure, also of brick
and the same height, covering grounds 32 by 32 feet in extent. The latest
designed roller process for the production of the finest grades of flour, two run
of stones for custom and feed work, etc., are among the equipments of this
establishment. The machinery is propelled both by water and steam, an eighty
horse-power Buckeye engine and a boiler of one hundred horse power being
ready for instant use when the water supply fails. There are facilities for storing
twenty thousand bushels of grain, and one hundred and fifty barrels of
merchantable flour, branded as "Conewango," "Snow Flake," and "Patent,"
can be manufactured per day.
On the island, in the near vicinity of Clark's saw-mill, are located the buildings
devoted to the manufacture of the world-famous remedy known as "Piso's
Consumption Cure." About the year 1863 Mr. E. T. Hazeltine (then associated
in business with Hon. S. P. Johnson, under the firm name of Hazeltine &
Co., druggists, etc.), having learned of some remarkable cures being effected
by this remedy, secured the formula and determined to manufacture the medicine
for the general public. He began by preparing a few dozen bottles, and
offering the same for sale at his drug store. The demand, when once its virtues
became known, increased rapidly. An adjoining room was rented; then a
room on the third floor of the Johnson block. In 1870 the business had
grown so large that more room was necessary; hence a factory on the island
was established, and the facilities increased to one thousand bottles per hour.
Since 1872 Mr. Hazeltine has devoted his entire attention to the manufacture
and sale of Piso's Cure. Like all other proprietary medicines that have been
made successful, its sale has been extended to every part of the United States
and Canada by active agents and a constant and judicious use of the newspaper
columns throughout the country. In 1880 a branch office and laboratory
was established at Chelmsford, England, thirty miles from London. Mr. Hazeltine
personally superintends every department of the business, and has
invented machinery now capable of filling two thousand bottles per hour.
He employs altogether about fifty people. He likewise distributes annually
millions of almanacs which are printed in his establishment. During the past
year an extensive brick building has been erected, the business demanding a
still further enlargement in capacity, etc.; and doubtless the production will be
greatly increased in the near future.
The very complete and extensive sash, door, and blind manufactory of
D. Wetmore & Co. is situated in the lower part of the town, on and near High,
Beech and Chestnut streets. The capacity is sufficient for the manufacture of
150 doors, 150 windows, 40 pairs of blinds, besides large quantities of siding
and flooring, daily. Their mills, office, dry-kilns and lumber yards cover more
than four acres of ground, the main building alone, which is fitted with the
very best of modern machinery, being 192 by 65 feet in dimensions. The
interior of this building is so arranged that no unnecessary handling of material
is required; the rough lumber is passed in at one end of the mill, it goes from
one machine to another, and finally comes out at the other end a finished and
exact piece of workmanship. During the past year these mills consumed over
2,000,000 feet of lumber. Large shipments of manufactured products are
annually made to Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, etc., and intermediate
points, besides supplying a considerable home demand. From fifty to sixty
men are usually employed.
Besides H. A. Jamieson's pail and tub factory, James P. Johnson's furniture
manufactory, Philip Leonhart's brewery, the gas works, etc., there are
other and varied minor manufacturing establishments in the borough, about
the same as are found elsewhere, which the future chronicler of local events
can unearth by turning to the directory and newspaper files of the present
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