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Early History of the Borough of Warren

Home > History > Early History of the Borough of Warren (Page 4)

Merchants | Physicians | Hotels and Taverns | Secret Associations


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

MERCHANTS.— In preceding pages the names of nearly all who have been
prominently identified with the mercantile interests of the town, from its first
settlement until years quite recent, have been mentioned. As a rule the merchants
of Warren, no matter in what department of trade they have been
engaged, have proved to be men of conscience, conservative, fair, and honorable
in their dealings. In the dry goods trade but three failures (one of them
by a non-resident) have occurred in forty years, and a number of well-known
citizens laid the foundation of large fortunes while so engaged; among them
Lewis F. Watson, for twenty-one years a member of the firms of Watson
& Davis, Watson & Rogers, Watson, Davis & Co., retiring in 1860; Benjamin
, of the firms of Arnett & Nesmith and Crandall & Nesmith for
sixteen years, retiring in 1870; D. M. Gross, of the firm of D. M. Gross &
Bro. for eleven years, retiring in 1884; M. Waters, as Hunter & Waters for
four years, and O. H. Hunter, a member of the firms of Baker & Hunter,
Hunter & Waters, Hunter & Mathews, O. H. Hunter, and O. H. Hunter &
Son for forty-one years, and still in trade. The names of many others might
be added, but those mentioned sufficiently illustrate the class of men who
have heretofore represented the dry goods trade in Warren, in a manner quite
satisfactory to themselves and their customers.

Mr. O. H. Hunter, the widely-known dry goods merchant above referred
to, has had a longer continuous business experience than any other merchant
in Northwestern Pennsylvania, and possibly in the State. More than forty one
years ago, when but a boy, he commenced business here. He has continued
with varying success until the present, and now stands at the head of
an extensive dry goods establishment, employing a large number of salesmen
and women, the annual sales of which would be creditable to houses in any of
our cities. He has seen Warren grow from a small hamlet to a populous
town, containing among its residents a larger proportion of wealthy men than
any other place of its size in Pennsylvania.

Among the other leading merchants now engaged in business in the borough
are David Shear, a popular and heavy dealer in dry goods, etc., who
with his brother succeeded an old firm in 1882; George L. Friday, C. P.
, George P. Orr & Co., Messner & Kopf, and J. J. Taylor & Co.,
grocers; Johnson & Siegfried, A. W. Morck, and Richard B. Stewart, druggists;
Christian Smith, C. P. Northrop, and Offerlee & Son, boot and shoe
dealers; Beecher & Copeland, and H. A. Jamieson & Co., dealers in hardware
and oil-well supplies ; Morck Bros., and Wyman & Davis, jewelers, etc.; George
, for many years an extensive dealer in clothing, custom work, etc.; Jacob
, J. K. Ronne, C. and J. F. Retterer, merchant tailors, and A. A. Davis
& Co., books, stationery, etc.

PHYSICIANS.—Abraham Hazeltine and Thomas Huston were the first physicians
to reside and practice here of whom we have authentic data. Both
were here as early as 1828. The latter remained but two or three years. Dr.
, however, continued for a decade or more. He as well as Abner
, esq., the first lawyer to locate in Warren, were representatives of
the family of that name, which for three-quarters of a century has been so
prominently identified with the history of Warren, Pa., and Jamestown, N. Y.,
all being descendants of a Vermont family of sterling worth, which traces its
origin back to the Pilgrim fathers and beyond.

Then came Dr. Parker from Vermont, about 1832, closely followed by
Dr.Henry Sargent, a native of New Hampshire, in 1833. Next in order came
Dr. D. V. Stranahan, a native of Columbia, Herkimer county, N. Y. He began
the study of medicine with Dr. Sargent in 1833, graduated at the Fairfield
Medical Institute in 1835, commenced to practice his profession in Warren in
1840, and died here May 19, 1873. Dr. G. A. Irvine died in Warren in February,
1867. It was then stated that he had resided in the county thirty years
and in the borough twenty-five years. He was a skillful physician, an accomplished
gentleman, the possessor of decided abilities, and enjoyed the respect
and esteem of all who knew him. (1)

(1) When this paragraph was written we unintentionally omitted mention of Dr. H. S. Newman, who
it is believed settled in Warren prior to either Hazeltine or Huston. His wife died and was buried
here in July, 1827, and he was still numbered among the resident taxables in 1833.

Dr. S. A. Robinson, it appears, who came to Warren in the fall of 1858,
was its first homoeopathic practitioner. Dr. B. G. Keyes, of the same mode of
practice, came in the autumn of 1859. Since that time many changes have
occurred; but the trails of those who have come and gone are considered too
intricate to be followed.

A County Medical Association was organized at Warren May 31, 1871, and
a constitution, by-laws, medical code of ethics, and fee-bill adopted. The officers
then elected were D. V. Stranahan, president; William V. Hazeltine and
A. C. Blodget, vice-presidents; H. L. Bartholomew, recording and corresponding
secretary; C. H. Smith, treasurer; J. L. Burroughs, H. C. Daveny, and
R. C. Sloan, censors.

The physicians now in practice in the borough are William V. Hazeltine,
W. M. Baker, H. L. Bartholomew, D. V. Stranahan, Richard B. Stewart, J. M.
(homoeopathic), W. S. Pierce, E. D. Preston (homoeopathic), F. C.
, and F. W. Whitcomb.

HOTELS, TAVERNS, ETC.—Daniel Jackson, sr., was the first to receive a license
to keep an inn in the town of Warren, and when this privilege was granted
him, in 1806, he was the only licensed " mine host" in the eastern half of the
county. In the western half at the same time Giles White was the only one
lawfully entitled to dispense liquors and entertain the public as a tavern-keeper.
Jackson had no opposition in town until about 1815, when Henry Dunn opened
a tavern on the site of the First National Bank, in a house built of hewn timbers.
In 1819 the third hostelry was opened by Ebenezer Jackson (son of
Daniel), in a frame house which stood on the Carver House corner.

Some five or six years later Archibald Tanner, having gained a firm footing
here and amassed some surplus capital, erected a row of buildings — small
frame houses mainly — extending from Daniel Jackson's tavern to the site of a
structure now occupied by F. R. Scott's book-store and G. W. Cogswell's meat
market. On the grounds last described Tanner built a frame house intended
for the entertainment of the public. It was the famous old " Mansion House,"
and it was first opened for business about 1826, by William Pierpont. His
successor a year or so later was Joseph Hackney. After various changes in its
management, this stand finally passed to the control of Richard S. Orr. It
was a low, rambling, story-and-a-half structure, with no pretensions to elegance ;
but "Dick" Orr, in southern parlance, made a "heap of money" in it, and it
is said dispensed more "hard licker" within its walls than the combined output
of all his predecessors and contemporaries in the business, from 1806 down to
the time of his retirement. Old Guy Irvine, and other coarse-grained and belligerent
lumbermen and raftsmen, frequently "made things howl" around the
Mansion House; but the able and good-natured proprietor was equal to the
emergency, and would soon bring order out of chaos. But few landlords on
earth, probably, have ever been bothered with a customer more unreasonable,
noisy, bulldozing and murderously inclined than were those of Warren with
old Guy Irvine when he was loaded with "Old Monongahela." By his own
exertions and the driving of those in his employ he amassed considerable
wealth in the lumber business, and his money gave him some standing in the
community. Occasionally he was given to generous, commendable acts.
Nevertheless he was naturally coarse and brutal, and withal seemed proud of
the reputation he had gained—the power to intimidate and terrorize the timid
and peacefully inclined when within reach of his arm. He has long since
passed beyond the line dividing the known from the unknown; but his reputation,
traits of character, etc., still linger on this side.

The Mansion House was closed as a tavern about 1856, when its lower
rooms were utilized as stores, shops, etc. It was finally destroyed in the conflagration
which swept that part of the street in March, 1869. Surmounting
its low, broad roof was a quaint-looking bell-tower in which swung a bell. This
bell was transferred to the "Tanner House" — the Falconer stone building
nearly opposite the court-house — in 1859, when Editor Cowan indulged in
some facetious reminiscences concerning it, as follows : "Who has not heard of
the old Mansion House bell of Warren? For many long years it was the regulator
of the town. The sleepy heads couldn't get up in the morning till the
bell rung, and sometimes not then. The cook couldn't set the dinner on until
she heard its familiar clang. The boys couldn't quit work for meals until the
bell turned on its old wooden wheel and told them the glad hour had come.
If the clock ran down in the cold night it couldn't be got right until the bell
rung. Then it was all right again, for didn't everybody go by the bell, and
didn't the bell go by Bennett, and didn't Bennett go by the sun ? Yea, verily,
and let him dispute the tell-tale rattle of the old bell who dare! A watch
wasn't good for anything if it didn't agree with the bell. A clock was forthwith
dismantled if it varied a hair from that standard. If we had a jollification,
felt merry and all got drunk, forthwith the old bell echoed our joy in merry
peals from hill to hill. If the shrill, startling cry of fire went up from any part
of town, forthwith the old Mansion House bell re-echoed the cry in tones that
roused us like a signal gun."

The building known as the Carver House was commenced in 1848, and
was first opened for the entertainment of the public in March, 1849. It has
ever since enjoyed the distinction of being termed the leading hotel of the
town. John H. Hull, its first proprietor and manager, continued in charge
until January 1, 1857, when he leased it or gave way to N. Eddy & Son. In
February, 1859, Mr. Hull again assumed control, and remained until December,
1864, when M. W. Hull and J. B. Hall made their bows to the public as
proprietors. An addition, sixty-five by forty feet, three stories in height, with
an entrance on Hickory street, was commenced by Mr. Hull, its owner, in the
summer of 1865. In April, 1867, J. B. Hall, having purchased the interest of
his partner, M. W. Hull, became sole proprietor. Williams & Scott assumed
control in September, 1871, and in September, 1873, Myron Waters became
the owner of the property by the payment of $20,000. Of the changes in
ownership to this time we have no knowledge; hence, where the term proprietor
is used, as above, it refers to those who presided over its management,
either as lessees or owners. Mr. Waters improved and enlarged the building
to a great extent, and while owned by him it was leased and managed by different
parties until about 1882, when Mrs. C. W. King, its present proprietress,
became the owner by purchase. Under her control, assisted by her son the
ever gentlemanly George W., and B. H. Johnson, the active, watchful manager,
the Carver House has gained an enviable reputation far and near.
Its furnishings are first class, and kept scrupulously clean and in order. Its
table dhote is always well spread with tempting viands, game, fruits and vegetables
in season, and last but not least, its employees are quiet, polite, and
prompt in the performance of their duties.

The Exchange Hotel, under the management of George H. Leonhart, a
life-long and highly respected citizen of the county, and the Warren House,
H. Buss, proprietor, are the only hotels, other than the Carver House, in the
business part of the town. The buildings occupied are of brick, comparatively
new, well appointed throughout, and both are extensively patronized.

SECRET ASSOCIATIONS.—North Star Lodge No. 241, F. and A. M., was
chartered December 3, 1849. Its first principal officers were Joseph Y. James,
W. M.; Henry Sergent, S. W.; Oilman Merrill, J. W. Those now officiating
in these positions are James Cable, W. M.; Nelson Moore, S. W.; and Albert
W. Ryan
, J. W. The lodge has a present membership of about one hundred
and fifty.

Occidental H. R. A., Chapter No. 235, was instituted August 17, 1871, with
the following officers: Henry S. Getz, M. E. H. P.; D. M. Williams, king;
George Hazeltine, scribe; John H. Hull, treasurer; Stephen Carver, secretary.
The present officers are Nelson Moore, M. E. H. P.; Willis M. Baker, K.;
Albert W. Ryan, scribe; Andrew Hertzel, treasurer; Robert W. Teese, secretary.
Its members are about one hundred in number.

Warren Commandery No. 63, K. T., was organized May 27, 1885. The
first officers were Caleb C. Thompson, E. C; Clarence E. Corbett, generalissimo;
John M. Clapp, captain-general; O. W. Beatty, treasurer; George L. Friday,
recorder. Those now serving are Clarence E. Corbett, E. C.; Nelson Moore,
G.; George L. Friday, C. G.; O. W. Beatty, treasurer; William A. Talbott,
recorder. The knights are about seventy in number.

Warren Lodge No. 339, I. O. O. F., was organized in a hall which then
included part of the third story of the Carver House, February 27, 1849. The
first officers were John A. Hall, N. G.; J. Warren Fletcher, V. G.; A. J. Davis,
secretary, and Stephen Carver, treasurer. The lodge started with a membership
(including charter members and those initiated during the first meeting) of
about twenty-five. Their hall was dedicated June 26, 1851. In 1852-53 there
were nearly two hundred members in good standing. Thereafter for some
years many seem to have become lukewarm in Odd Fellowship and gradually
dropped out. Of late, however, the membership has increased, and now numbers
about one hundred and forty. To the old steadfast members of this lodge
is due the credit of establishing the Oakland Cemetery, and hastening the
building of the suspension bridge. The present officers are A. M. Rogers, N.
G.; Frank Werey, V. G.; A. S. Dalrymple, secretary; P. E. Sonne, assistant
secretary; George H. Ames, treasurer; R. P. King, C. C. Thompson, and
J. P. Johnson, trustees.

Kossuth Encampment No. 98 was instituted in 1850. Its present officers
are F. K. Johnson, C. P.; J. P. Johnson, H. P.; S. E. Walker, S. M.; Frank
, J. W.; Dwight Cowan, scribe; George H. Ames, treasurer; R. P. King,
W. C. Allan, and C. C. Thompson, trustees.

Warren Lodge No. 481, K. of P., was instituted April 21, 1882, by Thomas
Cr. Sample
, D. D. G. C. The officers first installed were John C. Fuelhart,
P. C; Harrison Allen, C. C; George H. Leonhart, V. C; Christian Arnold,
P.; V. Meek, M. at A.; C. A. Richardson, K. of R. & S.; Peter Greenlund, M.
of F.; E. F. Hodges, M. of E.; George Bradenbaugh, I. G.; A. Carroll, O. G.;
G. C. James, C. P. Northrop, and John Graham, trustees. J. C. Fuelhart, who
died in November, 1885, was the first representative to the grand lodge. The
present officers are Richard B. Stewart, P. C; S. J. Martin, C. C; A. J. Heibel,
P.; John H. Sandstrom, M. at A.; E. J. Phillips, I. G.; Jacob Hartman, O. G.;
Peter Greenlund, M. of E.; J. R. Bairstow, M. of F.; W. Corwin, K. of R. & S.;
George Ball, John H. Sandstrom, and A. Mull, trustees. L. T. Bishop was
the last representative at the grand lodge and was then elected grand inner
guard. On the 10th of August, 1886, Uniform Rank No. 24, K. of P., was
instituted in Warren Lodge, of which L. T. Bishop is the chief officer. It has
thirty-two members.

Eben N. Ford Post No. 336, Dept. of Pa., G. A. R., was organized with
twenty-seven charter members June 24, 1883. The first officers were G. W.
, commander; D. W. C. James, S. V. C; John Rowland, J. V. C;
George W. Cogswell, surgeon; Fred Baltzinger, Q. M.; C. A. Waters, O. of
D.; W. H. Taylor, adjt; S. M. Cogswell, Q. M. S.; C. A. Still, sergt-maj.;
Theodore Bach, chaplain; James A. Mair, O. of G.

The members now in good standing are one hundred and sixty-three in
number. They have pleasant rooms, where regular meetings are held every
Thursday evening. The members of this post are noted for their thorough
and very appropriate manner of annually observing Decoration Day, also for
their promptness in extending a helping hand to needy comrades and their
families. Charity, however, is one of the cardinal principles upon which
the grand association is built. None respect a soldier's reputation or revere
his memory as do soldiers, and none are so prompt to respond to an appeal for
aid from an unfortunate comrade as they, no matter whether the giver or
recipient belongs to the Grand Army or not. The ties, thoughts, and impulses
born in bivouac, on the march, or on the field of battle are beyond the ken, the
comprehension of simple mortals whose cheeks have never been fanned by an
enemy's gun or its missiles.

The present officers of the post are S. H. Davis, commander; Ameriah
, S. V. C; John Rowland, J. V. C; Dr. H. L. Bartholomew, surgeon;
W. J. Alexander, chaplain; W. H. Taylor, adjutant; J, J. Leonhart, quartermaster;
John Townley, O. of D.; R. H. Smith, O. of G.; C. A. Waters, sergtmaj.;
John Knupp, Q. M.-sergt.

Laban Lodge No. 52, K. of H., named in honor of Laban Hazeltine, the
originator of the lodge, was organized March 4, 1875. The officers then installed
were Laban Hazeltine, dictator; J. H. Bowman, V. D.; Monroe Hall,
ass't D.; W. P. Lightner, reporter; P. J. Bayer, financial reporter; J. C. Wells,
treasurer; Henry P. Hunter, sentinel; A. Merrill, guide. This lodge has paid
out, to the present writing, the sum of $12,000, for the benefit of widows and
orphans of deceased members. The present members are about sixty in number,
of whom the following are serving as officers: C. T. Boberg, D.; J. J. Arnold,
V. D.; W. S. Leffard, R.; J. Danforth, F. R.; F. K. Russell, treasurer;
Dr. W. M. Baker, examining physician.

Besides the associations above named there are several others in Warren
of varied titles and aims, not of much importance, however, to the general

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