People of Fall Brook Organization
JOHN ARNOT (1793-1873)
John Arnot was born in Scotland, and emigrated to America with his family in 1801, first settling near Albany. Around 1817, he moved to Elmira, NY, where he married the daughter of Stephen Tuttle, a wealthy merchant in Elmira. He built the first brick store there in 1830. In 1834, he brought the first steam engine to Elmira, for use in a foundry and machine shop he had recently established. In addition, he became a director of the Chemung Canal Bank.
In 1848, along with his lifelong friends John Magee, Constant Cook, I. S. Stranahan, and Charles Cook, he undertook the construction of the Erie railroad from Binghamton to Corning. In 1849 he was largely interested in the construction of the Elmira and Jefferson Railroad, later operated by the Northern Central, and in 1854 he was instrumental in the building of the Junction Canal. It was said that there was no public enterprise during a period of fifty-four years calculated to benefit the business interests of Elmira and the country at large that did not receive his aid and support. In 1858 he was a democratic candidate for Congress.
In 1862, he became interested in coal mines, and the Arnot mines, near Blossburg were named after him. Along with Constant Cook and others, he incorporated under the title of Blossburg Coal Co. At the time of the incorporation of this company, and their purchase of several thousand acres of timbered and coal lands in Pennsylvania, the Fall Brook Coal Company and the Morris Run Coal Company were in successful operation. He was also one of the projectors of a railroad from Elmira to Watkins.
Needing a post-office, and a permanent name for the town where the mines were located, which had been known as Draketown, it became Arnot, in honor of John Arnot. (1)
FRED S. BRAGG
Fred Bragg commenced running an engine for the Fall Brook Coal Company, April 12, 1862. Since that time (a period of over thirteen years), he has had charge of a locomotive, drawing the entire product of the Fall Brook mines to Blossburg and Somerville, amounting to over two million tons, besides drawing for the past six years the mail train from Somerville to Fall Brook. In sunshine and storm, frost and snow, night or day, he has been ever on duty, meeting with no serious accidents, or causing but little damage to the rolling stock of the company. His success as a locomotive driver has no equal, we believe, in the history of railroading. His work has been chiefly on what might justly be termed inclines, for a great portion of the road is on a grade of 100 feet and more to the mile. For eleven years Mr. James Baty has been the conductor on his train, and jointly with Mr. Bragg, shares the honor of their success. (Fall Brook, Tioga County Pennsylvania - John L. Sexton, Jr. 1874)
HUMPHRIES BREWER (1817-1867)
Humphries Brewer was born in England in 1817. Studying in London and at the University of Berlin, he became a quarry master and tunnel builder. [Ed. Note: Incomplete research indicates that he was "prominently identified with several notable engineering enterprises. Submitting plans for the great bridge across the Danube River, which unites the two cities of Buda and Pesth, in Hungary, the feasibility of construction of which was much doubted by engineers, he was awarded the prize and built the bridge, which is a marvel of skill. He is also the author of the Thames tunnel at London. (2) " Additionally there is some controversy over his work and research among the pyramids in Egypt, it being said that he discovered a forgery in the Giza Pyramid: "... a master mason named Humphries Brewer, who was engaged by Vyse to help use gunpowder to blast his way inside the pyramid, was an eyewitness to the forgery and, having objected to the deed, was expelled from the site and forced to leave Egypt altogether!" (3) ]
After an early life of travel and higher education, he emigrated to America around 1848. His knowledge of geology led him to the area of Blossburg, and he began to make early examinations of the coal deposits in the area. He spent the summers of 1857 and 1858 with Duncan S. Magee, examining the land where Fall Brook eventually was built. The location of the first drift, the plan of the railroad from Blossburg to Fall Brook, the construction of the schutes, platforms and other fixtures were the fruits of his energy and skill. Fall Brook, with its immense interest has all grown up under his nurture and care - not an improvement made except under his direction. In less than ten years it has changed from a barren and rugged wilderness to a place of immense business and great productive wealth,. Hundreds of men are constantly employed there. It has opened one of the best markets in this country, has disbursed thousands of dollars monthly among the people. Mr. Brewer united with his other qualities, that of an accomplished engineer. In the intricate business of the mining and railroad interests, this was a most valuable qualification. (Excerpted primarily from Tioga County Agitator (Wellsboro, PA), January 8, 1868)
The line from Blossburg to Fall Brook was built in 1859, by John Magee and Humphries Brewer, who became afterwards superintendent of the Fall Brook mines and first president of the Wellsboro & Lawrenceville Railroad.
In 1867, a survey for a line from Lawrenceville to Antrim was made by Anton Hardt under the direction of Humphries Brewer. The construction of this railroad was commenced In May, 1870, and finished in the fall of 1872. Mr. Brewer died in December, 1867, before the line was completed. He is buried in the cemetery at Fall Brook.
1/16/1868 - The Wellsboro papers contain an obituary notice of the late Humphries Brewer, Superintendent of the Fall Brook mines. He was a native of England, and was in the fifty-first year of his age at his death. He came to this country twenty years ago, having been previously engaged as a civil engineer in constructing a bridge over the Danube ... by his judgement, Hon. John Magee was guided in the purchase of land in which the Fall Brook mines lie, and all that has been done to develop the extensive coal beds there, has been under his direction. Mr. Magee once informed us that in every instance, explorations for coal had more than justified the statements of Mr. Brewer. His sagacity and judgement directed the enormously expansive operations, which have made the Fall Brook mines one of the best paying coal properties in the country. (Corning Journal)
He could comprehend a whole with every minute and integral part; could analyse and construct. The mind that could conceive and carry into successful operation such a complicated and difficult work as the Fall Brook Coal Company, of which he was manager, chief engineer and superintendent, was of no mean capacity. Had his mind been directed to military science among generals, he would havbe been Generalissimo. (Fall Brook, Tioga County Pennsylvania - John L. Sexton, Jr., 1874)
ROBERT H. CANFIELD (1851 - 1945)
Robert H. Canfield was born in Geneva, NY and educated at schools in Bath. His first employment was with has father in 1869, in locating and building the railroad between Dansville and Mt. Morris, NY, then known as the Erie and Genesee Valley. From 1870-71 he was on the construction of the Sodus Point & Southern Railroad, later the Northern Central, from Stanley to Sodus Point, NY; 1873-4 Division Engineer, N. Y. C. & H. R.R. on the construction of two additional tracks from Syracuse to Lock Haven, NY.
From 1875-77, he worked on surveying, locating and constructing the Syracuse, Geneva & Corning railroad. In 1882 he became Principal Assistant Engineer of the Pine Creek Railway. And in 1884, he was involved in the survey and construction of the Branch from Dresden to Penn Yan, NY. In June, 1886, he was appointed chief engineer of the Fall Brook Railway with the title of Assistant Superintendent, which position he held until the Fall Brook's lease to the New York Central. He later became engineer in charge of building construction at the Corning Glass Works.(5)
CONSTANT COOK (1797-1874)
John "Constant" Cook was born in 1797 in Warren, NY. Constant Cook became interested in numerous mail and passenger stage routes in New York state along with John Magee. He was appointed a judge in 1840 in Steuben County.
In 1848, along with with John Magee, Charles Cook and John Arnot, he contracted to build the Erie Railway from Binghamton to Hornellsville, NY. Later, he and John Magee designed and built the Buffalo, New York and Corning Road, from Corning to Buffalo. In 1866, he incorporated the Blossburg Coal Company, near Blossburg, PA, and contracted to build a four-mile railroad from Blossburg to their coal lands on Johnson Creek. There sprung up a town, named "Arnot" in honor of Hon. John Arnot, with dwellings, shops,stores, offices and facilities for shipping coal. In 1867, the Blossburg Coal Company purchased the Tioga railroad, which ran from Blossburg to Lawrenceville, and from Blossburg to Morris Run.
In 1865, Constant Cook and Henry Sherwood entered into a contract with the Board of Supervisors to supply sufficient enlistments of men for United States service, for the credit of Steuben County. Cook and Sherwood then went to South Carolina and Georgia and filled the quota by enrolling former slaves, at very small expense. They then returned to Steuben County and presented a claim of $184,000, for bounties and hand money for enlisting these men. The claim was paid. (6)
SAMUEL STUART ELLSWORTH
On December, 12, 1866, Samuel Stuart Ellsworth was married to Hebe Parker, daughter of Hon. John Magee of Watkins, NY. From 1868 to 1880 he was on the board of managers of the Fall Brook Coal Company. In 1869 he was elected president of the Sodus Point and Southern Railroad Company, which post was filled in 1871 by John Magee (Jr.). In 1872 he was made president of the Wilkes-Barre and Seneca Lake Coal Company. He was one of the acting trustees of the John Magee estate.
COMMODORE GEORGE FOOTE (1824-1890)
"In the death of "Commodore Foote" Watkins loses one of its marked, and we may almost say, original characters, whose fidelity and attachment to his employers and their interests knew no bounds - one who will be greatly missed and not soon forgotten." (Watkins Democrat)
Mr. Foote was born on August 15, 1824, in Candor, Tioga
Co. N. Y. He lived in Elmira for many years, coming to Watkins in 1873 as the advertising, passenger and freight soliciting agent for the Seneca Lake Steam Navigation Co. In 1877, after the opening of the S.
G. & C. Railway between Corning and Geneva, and at the urging of General Magee, he took a similar position, also becoming connected with other portions of the Fall Brook Coal Company's railway system.
Being naturally sagacious, loquacious and persistent, he organized tours of mines, excursions to Watkins Glen, and all manner of travel involving the railroad for the next 12 years. A colorful figure,
well-known and liked, he was regarded as a valuable man by the company, and often travelled with, and shared fishing trips with General Magee. He was shrewd, reticent and secretive, when circumstances required
theses traits of character; and activity, when necessary, was reinforced by assurance, boldness and audacity.
He died of apoplexy at his residence in Watkins, August 17, 1890 at the age of 66 years.
4-17-73 - Geo. Foote, of this village, is to again become connected with the Seneca Lake Steam Navigation Co. as an advertising and business agent. He is well qualified for the position, and will do up its duties to admiration. (Watkins Express)
4-10-75 - Commodore Foote, the genial and gentlemanly agent of the Seneca Lake line of steamers was in town on Friday (Havana Journal)
12-22-77 - Commodore Foote, for several years in the employ of the Seneca Lakes Steam Navigation Company, has accepted a position as General Advertising and Soliciting Agent of the new Corning & Geneva Railroad. He will fit the bill. (Havana Journal)
12-27-77 - Commodore Foote, of Watkins, favored us with a call last week. He now represents the interests of the new and favorable route to New York - the Syracuse, Geneva & Corning Railway - and the Wagner Palace and Sleeping coaches attached to all express trains over the new Route. (Corning Journal)
7-25-78 - The Elmira Advertiser says: The Syracuse, Geneva & Corning Railway is developing a remarkable excursion business, and Commodore Foote (formerly of the Steam Navigation Company), its advertising agent, has a party on his hands as a general average about three days in the week, and proposes to keep it up in this way till ice again begins to form in the Glen. (Watkins Express)
7-25-78 - There is a great cry all throughout his section of the State for "Ho for Antrim !" and Com. Foote, Advertising and soliciting Agent of the S.G.& C. Railway Company, is to blame for it. He is busier than a tar a bee in swarming time. (Watkins Express)
8-15-78 - The largest excursion of the season visited this village on Thursday last. They came from Wellsboro over the S. G. & C. R. R., under the auspices of the Wellsboro Fire Department and chaperoned by the gallant Commodore Foote, general advertising agent of the road. (Watkins Express)
8-22-78 - Commodore Foote of this village, to use the expression of an excursionist "surpassed himself" in his efforts to make all comfortable, and the trip pleasant and agreeable; his efforts and attentions knew no limit. (Watkins Express)
9-5-78 - The farmer's excursion to Antrim, on Saturday last, over the S. G. & C. and C. C. & A. Railways, was the monster excursion event of the season . The train when completed, consisted of twenty-three cars and two powerful engines. It had to be divided into two sections and contained from fifteen to seventeen hundred people, all picked up from a farming country, between Dundee and Corning, a distance of only about thirty miles ... Commodore Foote was in his glory, and did about the handiest day's works of his life, in caring for the comfort and happiness of the great party. His attentions were gratefully appreciated by all, and compliments were bestowed upon him thickly as autumn leaves. (Watkins Express)
7-8-79 - Commodore Foote, the general advertising agent of the Syracuse, Geneva and Corning railroad, is in the city today making arrangements for a grand excursion of business men and their wives to Watkins Glen and vicinity. The Commodore is one of the champion advertising agents in the business, and anything he touches proves successful. (Syracuse Daily Journal)
7-23-79 - Commodore Foote sends us a copy of the "Excursion and Summer Guide Book" just issued by the Syracuse, Geneva and Corning railroad company. It is a neat pamphlet of 72 pages, and gives abundant information regarding the many points of interest along the line of the road. (Geneva Courier)
2-9-81 - Commodore Foote, traveling agent of the Syracuse Geneva & Corning R. R., says there have been less blockades, fewer accidents and better time made on that highway than on any other in the State this winter. This is undoubtedly because the company employ none but competent men of whom there are none more efficient than the Commodore. (Watkins Democrat)
7-28-81 - Commodore Geo. Foote, the never tiring and everywhere popular traveling agent for the S. G. & C. Railroad, dropped in upon us a few days ago - as full as ever of projects for advancing the interests of the route he represents and of arranging conveniences for the traveling public. The S. G. & C. people would hardly know how to keep house without the Commodore. (Lyons Republican)
8-6-81 - Commodore Geo. Foote is a thorough organizer. He has the S. G. & C. railroad literally covered with excursionists, says the Geneva Advertiser. (Havana Journal)
8-10-81 ... The excursion will go by way of the Syracuse, Geneva and Corning Railroad; fare for the round trip only $1.25. The train leaves Lyons at 9 a.m., returning in the evening - giving ten hours at the Glen ... There will be an open air concert at the pavilion, commencing at 7:30 p.m., and undoubtedly those who wish to dance will be accommodated. Com. Foote, the ubiquitous and always affable traveling agent of the S. G. & C., will accompany the excursion and take personal charge of the company patronizing it. An excursion over the S. G. & C. without Com. Foote to steady it, would be no excursion at all. (Lyons Republican)
9-7-82 - Two heavily laden excursion trains, from the Cowanesque Valley, containing in all not less than 1000 people, came over the S. G. & C. road, on the great Barnum show day - Saturday, Sept. 2d - and helped swell the big crowd. Commodore Foote helped to work up the excursion, and it was a great success. (Watkins Express)
5-19-83 - Com. George Foote, Advertising agent of the S. G. & C. railroad, was in town Monday morning with new time cards, advertising cards, hammer and tacks, and was busily engaged in posting cards in all of the prominent places about town. The Commodore is persistent in his efforts to direct the attention of the public to the advantages of the road which he represents - the popular Syracuse, Geneva & Corning. (Havana Journal)
6-13-83 - There will be grand opening excursion over the S. G. & C. and Jersey Shore, Pine Creek and Buffalo Railroads some time this month the exact time not having been determined upon. The route will be be from Geneva to Williamsport over the new road just completed by the Fall Brook Coal Company ... We are indebted to the suave and gentlemanly Commodore Foote, advertising agent for the company for the above items in advance of its general publication. (Watkins Democrat)
9-1-83 - It is whispered that Commodore Foote, of the S. G. & C. R. R., was relieved of $400, during circus day, though the matter has been hushed up as much as possible. (Havana Journal)
10-4-83 - We were recently shown a letter received by Commodore George Foote, Excursion Agent of the Fall Brook Railways, from J. F. Moorehead, Manager of the Repasz Band of Williamsport, in which the recent excursion from that city and points along the Pine Creek Railway to Watkins Glen is spoken of in the highest terms of commendation, and due credit is given to Mr. Foote, through whose efforts the excursion was organized, and to whose management may be ascribed the fact that it was a most enjoyable occasion for all concerned. (Watkins Express)
1-10-85 - Commodore Foote, the wide-awake advertising agent of the Magee system of railroads, requests us to announce that passenger trains on the S. G. & C. railroad make close connection with trains on the old Central at Geneva and also at Lyons with trains on the main line of the Central upon each of which the fare has reduced to a cent a mile.
7-31-85 - Commodore Foote of the Syracuse, Geneva and Corning Railroad was in town Wednesday and while here he informed us that the new road between Dresden and Penn Yan would be opened for business on Monday next. A new timetable on the former railroad will go into effect that day, so arranged as to make direct connections with trains on the new road and with boats on Lake Keuka. (Geneva Gazette)
3-29-88 - Commodore Foote, of Watkins, boomed into the city yesterday afternoon and wrote his name in a big, round hand on the Porter house register. The Commodore, who is the peregrinating representative of the Fall Brook Railway system, is growing more frisky, elastic and funny every day. He represents his road as doing a good business, and the signs point to a heavy spring trade. When the Commodore followed a seafaring life on Seneca Lake, he knew everything about a ship from a marlinspike to the mizzenmast, and could spin a yarn that would make the eyes of a land lubber start from their sockets. He's just thirty nine[sic] and in his prime. Hurra! (Williamsport Gazette and Register)
7-25-89 - The Celebration of Emancipation by the colored people of Western New York at Corning, on August 1st, promises to be an auspicious event . Excursion tickets are to be sold all along the line of the Fall Brook Railways on that day, good for return on the 2nd. Commodore Foote is busily engaged at present in advertising the fact. (Watkins Express)
11-14-89 - Com. Foote left Watkins Tuesday for a trip over the S. G. & C. Railway in the interests of its freight traffic and other matters. (Watkins Express)
8-21-90 - George Foote, long and familiarly known in Watkins as Commodore Foote," died of apoplexy, at his residence in the village, early on Sunday morning last. No figure has been more familiar on the streets of Watkins for many years than that of the deceased. For a long time after locating at this place he was connected with the affairs of the Seneca Lake navigation companies, and his untiring efforts to further their interests won for him the sobriquet of "Commodore," by which he was generally addressed in later life by his numerous friends. Since the establishment of the S. G. & C. Railway he has been connected with the Fall Brook line as advertising agent, and the many successful excursions over the route have been largely due to his endeavours. (Watkins Express)
3-11-93 - Mrs. Geo. Foote, widow of the late Commodore Foote of Watkins, died on Thursday, March 2nd, '93, at the home of her daughter Ms. Harry Emmet in Batavia, N.Y. and has been laid to rest in our beautiful Glenwood. (Havana Journal)
Manager of the Fall Brook Hotel in Fall Brook, PA. at its opening in 1865.
A. H. GORTON (1828 - 1886)
Alonzo H. Gorton was a millwright by trade, and his first work for the Corning and Blossburg railroad was the framing of five-ton coal cars. He did this work so well that it attracted the attention of the president of the railroad, Hon. John Magee, and he was soon appointed foreman of the repair shops at Corning, and later on Superintendent of the Corning & Blossburg R. R., which then comprised only 23 miles (16 miles from Corning to Lawrencevllle and 7 from Blossburg to Fall Brook.) By traffic contracts the Fall Brook Coal Co. also ran their trains over the Tioga railroad from Blossburg to Lawrencevllle, over the Erie from Corning to Horseheads and over the Northern Central from Horseheads to Watklns.
The difficulties of early railroading were many: the track was poorly constructed, very few sidings existed along the line and most of the lumber, ties, etc., had to be loaded on the main track. Mr. Gorton was an efficient superintendent, and enjoyed the confidence of his employer and the good will of his employees. As the Fall Brook system gradually expanded, Mr. Gorton's capacity to rule such a system become more evident. Though he had the disadvantage of starting business on new track which took years to settle, and working with new men, who were not familiar with handling coal traffic, he handed to his successor a perfect track to run on and a lot of men who had been educated for the business.
Mr. Gorton was responsible for the design of the inspection locomotive "John," a common sight on the Fall Brook routes, and a personal car of President George J. Magee. It was built at the company's shops in Watkins and was assisted by O. C. Patchel, master mechanic. Mr. Gorton may be proud of his success in engine "John." He has been identified with the railways of the Fall Brook coal company almost since their inception and has demonstrated his fitness for the position in everything which he was called to perform.
Mr. Gorton died April 26, 1886. and at his funeral many of the company's employees expressed their heartfelt sorrow for the loss of a man who was to them not only a kind overseer but a true helping friend. (4)
1/16/73 - Alonzo H. Gorton, of this village, is Superintendent of the Railroads of the Company, and it will be seen, has a greater responsibility than any Superintendent on the Erie. (Corning Democrat)
4/30/86 - Mr. Gorton was an experienced railroad man and he enjoyed fully the confidence of his chief, Gen. George J. Magee; and further, by formulating and impartially enforcing a system of laws and rules on the railroads under his charge he received the respect and confidence of the hundreds of employees of the various lines and branches of the Fall Brook Coal Company. (Geneva Gazette)
John Graham, born in 1807, was the first Chief Engineer of Motive Power of the Corning & Blossburg railroad. He was locomotive engineer of the first train from Blossburg to Corning on November 5, 18 He died September 15, 1841, aged thirty-four years.
ANTON HARDT (1839 - )
Was a Mining Engineer at Fall Brook and Antrim, and Chief engineer of the Wellsboro & Lawrenceville Railroad, and the Syracuse, Geneva & Corning road.
Anton Hardt, general superintendent for the Fall Brook Coal Company, was born in Vienna, Austria, March 27th 1839, and graduated from the I.R. Polytechnic Institute in that city and the I.R. School of Mines in Leoben, Styria. He was appointed by the Austrian government assistant teacher at the school in 1860, where he remained two years, when he resigned to fill the more practical position of mining engineer at the coal mines of Prevali, Carintia. In 1863, he was offered and accepted the position of mining engineer and superintendent at the extensive coal mines of Sagor, Carniola. This he resigned in 1865 and emigrated to the United States. He landed in New York September 29th 1865, and soon found employment on the Philadelphia and Erie Railroad at Williamsport, under John A. Wilson, chief engineer. December 2nd 1866, he married Miss Alvina Koch, of Williamsport. He remained in the employ of the Philadelphia and Erie Railroad Company until September 1867, when H. Brewer, manager for the Fall Brook Coal Company, engaged him to take charge of the survey for the Wellsboro and Lawrenceville Railroad. After Mr. Brewer's death Mr. Hardt succeeded him as mining engineer at Fall Brook, and was chief engineer of the Wellsboro and Lawrenceville Railroad. The construction of the railroad he superintended from 1870 to 1873, at the same time doing all the engineering work at Fall Brook and Antrim, especially planning and laying out schutes and tram roads, making the necessary surveys in the mines, etc. January 1st 1873, he was appointed superintendent of the mines at Fall Brook and Antrim. In the fall of 1875, he was elected chief engineer of the Syracuse, Geneva and Corning railroad, which was completed under his supervision in November 1877. He became chief engineer of all the railroads owned and operated by the Fall Brook Coal Company and general superintendent of their mines; also a director of the Morris Run Coal Mining Company. He resigned April 10, 1890. He has published numerous articles on geology and civil and mining engineering in German journals, in the Scientific American, Railroad Gazette and other papers. He is the author of "The History of the Railroads of Tioga County, Pa" - 1909. (History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania - Munsell -N.Y. - 1883)
7/21/81 - The Wellsboro (Pa.) Gazette says that A. Hardt, Esq., of that boro, Mining Superintendent and Civil Engineer for the Fall Brook Coal Co., has purchased for his own use and convenience a railway tricycle, which, as its name implies, is a three-wheeled contrivance calculated to run on the railroad track, and is propelled by both hands and feet at the rate of twenty-five miles an hour. (Watkins Express)
JEFFERSON HARRISON (1838-1903)
Attorney Jefferson Harrison was Henry Sherwood's partner and gave his advice to the Fall Brook Coal Co. in all important transactions. He was considered to be one of the best lawyers in Tioga county, and his advice was frequently sought by the attorneys of other railroad companies. He assisted Mr. Sherwood at all the lawsuits which were tried in connection with the management of the Fall Brook Railway Co., and was advising trustee of the John Magee estate up to the time of his death.
In 1882, Mr. Harrison was elected a director and member of the executive committee of the Jersey Shore, Pine Creek & Buffalo R. R. Co. and was involved during the building of the road. He held this position as director until after the death of Mr. Sherwood, when he was elected president of the Pine Creek Railroad. He died Dec. 27, 1903. (4)
J. P. Haskin was President of the Morris Run Coal Company, founded in 1864.
Locomotive #16, a 2-6-0 built in Schenectady in 1885 was named after him.
He died January 30, 1873 at Syracuse, NY.
2/6/73 - We have from Syracuse papers the particulars of the death by suicide of James. P. Haskins, President of the Morris Run Coal Company, and formerly well-known in this village ... He was born in Pompey in 1816, constructed in 1843 the first regular salt mill in Syracuse, and had identified himself with the growth of the city in all respects. (Watkins Express)
JAMES HERON ( - 1872)
James Heron was a Scotchman; he came to this country in 18452; was first employed by Hiram W. Bostwick, of Corning, in the capacity of bookkeeper; was employed by the coal companies at Blossburg from 1854-1857, and then went into the employ of the Fall Brook Coal Company as clerk, afterwards as mercantile agent and cashier. He became manager on December 26, 1867, folllowing the death of Humphries Brewer. He died September 21st, 1872 . He was buried in Fall Brook cemetary, after a large funeral. (Fall Brook, Tioga County Pennsylvania - John L. Sexton, Jr. 1874)
H. A. HORNUNG (
H. A. Hornung was Traffic Manager of the Fall Brook Railroad.
MANLEY T. INSCHO (1847-1906)
Manley T. Inscho, the Corning agent of the Erie, was born in Tioga County, Pa., January 12, 1847. In 1862 he became a clerk in Wood & Demarest's sutler store at barracks No. 3, Elmira. June 28, 1864, he entered the employ of the Erie at Corning as a janitor of the depot. He was subsequently transferred to the freight depot. He was faithful in his humble sphere, and was rewarded for it in 1872 by appointment as day ticket clerk at Corning. He held that position until 1883, when he resigned to accept joint agency of the Erie and Lehigh passenger lines at Elmira. In January, 1885, he was transferred to Waverly in the same capacity, and also made ticket agent for the Erie. In March, 1884, he was appointed agent of the Erie Express at Corning. When the Erie Express was purchased by Wells, Fargo & Co., he remained as agent. December 18, 1891, he was appointed Erie station agent at Corning.
His was unmarried. He died at his home in Corning on May 24, 1906
12/25/90 - Manley T. Inscho, formerly agent of Wells, Fargo & Co., at Corning, has been appointed Erie station agent at that place. (Watkins Express)
E. F. KERSHNER
Traffic Manager, Fall Brook Railway (1898)
DANIEL WILLARD KNIGHT ( - 1901)
5/29/01 - Daniel Willard Knight, of Rochester, died recently .. he was about 60 years of age. In the sixties, he was a conductor for the Fall Brook Coal Company, running between Corning and Fall Brook, Pa., and afterwards was cashier and then manager of the Company's office at Fall Brook. He leaves a widow, and one son, James. The widow is the daughter of James H. Gulick, of Blossburg, Pa., deceased, who was one of the three charter members of the Fall Brook Coal Company, the other two being John Magee and his son, Duncan S. Magee. (Corning Journal)
HARRY KRIGER (1845-1914)
Emil A. ("Harry") Kriger, aged 70 years, for nearly 50 years a resident of Corning, died January 9, 1914. He was in railroad service from early youth, began as a train-boy, and in 1877 became a passenger conductor on the Fall Brook line, retiring in 1888 to engage in trade. (Corning Journal)
He was the conductor on the first passenger train between Geneva and Corning, on December 10, 1877.
2-27-85 - Harry Kriger, one of the most popular conductors on the Syracuse, Geneva and Corning railroad is organizing a party to go to New Orleans and visit the Exposition. The party will go in a Worcester palace car which contains 18 berths, a dining, bath room, parlor, smoking room and in fact all the conveniences to be found in a first-class hotel. The meals will of course be cooked and served on the car. The fare for the round trip including everything is $125. The party will be gone fifteen days. One of the advantages to be secured in joining this party is that no outside person will be allowed in the car, and every one will be able to enjoy as much comfort as if in his own parlor.(Geneva Gazette)
11-10-77 - About 11 o'clock this morning large crowd gathered at the Fall Brook Railroad depot to welcome the first passenger train over the new Corning and Geneva railroad ... The train consisted of baggage and passenger car, Wagner sleeper "Ilion," and Wagner drawing room car "Duchess." The engine was the "Beaver," No. 18, J. Chapman, engineer and VanWormer fireman. Harry Krieger, one of the most popular of the Erie conductors, is conductor of the new run ... (Geneva Courier)
JOHN LANG (1826 -
John Lang was for years prominently connected with railroading. His signature appears at the bottom of generations of Fall Brook Coal Co. railroad passes.
In 1846, he became a bookkeeper for the Blossburg Coal Company where he remained for nine years. Upon the organization of the Fall Brook Coal Company, Mr. Lang was made its treasurer, and moved to Watkins with his family.
Mr. Lang's rise to more influential positions was rapid and deserved, until at his death he was first vice-president of Fall Brook Coal Company, first vide-president of the Fall Brook railway company, president of the Chest Creek Land and Improvement Company of Cambria and Clearfield counties in Pennsylvania; and he was a Trustee of the estate of the elder John Magee. Mr. Lang has been the chief counselor, the helmsman so to-speak of the Magee properties, and his far-seeing sagacity has been cheerfully recognized by the interests he so long and faithfully served. (8)
GEORGE LATHAM (1847- )
Youngest child of Rev. William W. and Sarah (Latham) Crum, born in Beaver Dam, New York. Following school in Watkins, he became a workman in the Fall Brook Company shipyard in Watkins, engaged in making coal barges for carrying coal down Seneca Lake and Erie canal.
GEN. AUSTIN LATHROP (1839-1921)
Gen . Lathrop was best known to history as being Superintendent of New York State prisons. He was born in Tioga County, PA, in 1839. and moved to Corning, NY in 1859. He was a member of the Steuben County Board of Supervisors, and was appointed Superintendent of Prisons by then-Governor Hill. Under his control were all prisons in New York State, including the Willard Asylum for the "Chronic" Insane, in Ovid, NY, of which Gen. George Magee was a Trustee. He died in 1921.
As one of the principals in the firm of Walker & Lathrop (C. C. B. Walker, being the other,) he entered into numerous agreements with the Magee family interests. What began as a lumber and hardware business (1862-1887), depending on the railroad for transportation of goods, shortly became General Contractors. (then) Col. Lathrop received a contract for the building of the timber foundations and masonry for the bridge over the Chemung River at Corning, and for the construction of bridges and trestles on several sections of the Syracuse, Geneva & Corning. On December 10, 1877, Gen. Lathrop was on board the first train on the S. G. & C., of which he was a director. In 1878, Walker & Lathrop undertook the contract to rebuild the car shops of the Fall Brook Coal Company at Corning, and in 1880, his firm built a 2-story brick depot for the same company. In 1881, Walker & Lathrop built a new roundhouse at Corning. Shortly thereafter, his form contracted to build the first twenty miles of the Pine Creek Railway. One of the original stations on the Wellsboro and Lawrenceville RR was named Lathrop in his honor.
Gen. Lathrop was a close friend, and frequent traveling companion, of Gen. George J. Magee, and often appeared in newspaper stories of trips to Europe, or rail "inspection" tours aboard Gen. Magee's private cars. He socialized among the the railroad magnates of the era, including the Vanderbilts.
In 1883, a new Schenectady 2-8-0 locomotive, #34, was named "Lathrop" in his honor. In February, 1885, a coal train drawn by the "Lathrop" on the Fall Brook Railroad ran into the rear of a freight train near Tioga, PA. One car loaded with 10 tons of powder took fire and a large explosion resulted. The car which contained the powder was next to the caboose. The explosion was heard at Elmira, 25 miles distant. In 1890, a new Schenectady 2-8-0 locomotive, #63, was named "Lathrop."
J. D. LAWTON
Freight Agent, Fall Brook Railway, 1898
LEWIS B. MANNING (1838 - 1903)
12-16-03 - Lewis B. Manning, a long time locomotive engineer, died at 7:30 P.M. on Saturday at his home ... aged 65 years. His health had been failing for some time, but he kept at work until last Monday, running his engine as far as Lyons, where on account of illness he was compelled to leave it and to return home on a passenger train the next day.
He entered the employ of the Fall Brook Railway Company upward of thirty years ago, worked for the company until it was absorbed by the New York Central R. R. Company, and continued with the latter Company. As locomotive engineer he was accounted very skillful and safe. For a series of years he was engineer of Gen. Geo. J. Magee's private engine and car, the "John," and had the entire confidence of the officers of the Fall Brook Railroad. (Corning Journal)
L. P. MILLER
Secretary of the Syracuse, Gdeneva and Corning Railway Co., Director of the Magee Collieries
W. S. NEARING
The Morris Run Coal Company was chartered in 1864, with company offices located at Blossburg. W. S. Nearing, initially employed as a civil and mining engineer, was made superintendent within the year. He remained in the post for 34 years. The mines under his control were considered among the best run and ventilated in the State of New York. He was known for his control of all aspects of the mines, from introducing new, more efficient - and safer - machinery, to dealing with all manner of personnel issues.
In 1877, the company name was changed to the Morris Run Coal Mining Company, Mr. Nearing remained superintendent. Employee disputes were brought to him, and he settled them with the same dispatch and efficiency that he settled issues in the operation of his mines. In 1894, 709 men were employed there, 522 of them miners. It was said that by 1904, 15 million tons of coal had been removed from Morris Run mines.
His complete control and "benevolent dictatorship" gave many benefits to the miners. He installed many safety devices in the mines, and established a hospital for the miners. On the whole he was a real leader for both the owners and the people. Concerned for the welfare of his men, he caused every possible safety device to be installed in the mines, and worked consistently toward improving the system of production. He knew his men and he knew his work. That he respected education was evidenced by his interest in establishing schools and providing teachers. Under his tutelage many first class miners became first class superintendents and officials for his and other companies
He believed in more efficient communication to run the mines and, in 1879, was one of the incorporators of the Tioga and Morris Run Telegraph Company. The line ran from Tioga Junction to Morris Run and Fall Brook, and was primarily for the use of the Morris Run and Fall Brook Coal Companies.
Coal mining was a hazardous occupation. Mr. Nearing introduced all kinds of new equipment to help increase production, as well as increase the safety of his miners. The Harrison Mining Machine was one of those innovations:
(Letter from W. S. Nearing, Morris Run Coal Co., to Harrison Mining Machine, Chicago, Illinois, November 1881) "We continue to use the Harrison Coal Cutters, and with the
greatest satisfaction. The machine is of great value in headings which are
to be driven into new territory, as well as in chambers.
After using these machines during several years, it is a pleasure to say, they
are very desirable, useful and economical; in fact, we regard them as in-
3/8/76 - The Fall Brook Coal company has recently put on a new engine, said to be the best on the road. It is named the "W.S. Nearing" (#17) as a compliment to the efficient superintendent of the Morris Run mines. (Williamsport Gazette Bulletin)
ENGINEER JESSE NEWELL
In this story, reprinted from the Corning Journal, we get a glimpse of the high esteem that the locomotive engineer held in the Fall Brook system.
He has been in the employ of the Company, as an engineer more years than any other person. He is not only the oldest in the length of service, but he stands at the head of all as a competent and vigilant engineer. No one feels sensitive to have Mr. Newell mentioned as the highest in rank on the roads of this Company which has so large a number of locomotive engineers. It is conceded that he has earned the honor.
A great responsibility rests upon the Locomotive Engineer of a passenger train. There is constant peril; as a wheel or axle may break even on a level track, from the mysterious and undiscoverable change by which the iron or steel becomes crystallized in consequences of protracted use, or the heavy shocks of starting and stopping and incessant strain.
An engineer must be ever on the alert, especially when, as in this case there is a single track, and numerous freight trains, regular and irregular; there is a pressing necessity to guard against the possible mistakes of orders, the neglect of duty, by others, and the liability to accidents to his own train.
Thus it is eminently proper to commend Mr. Newell, who has been exceedingly careful, whose vigilance, good judgement and knowledge have made him a high reputation in his occupation. The vast amount of property and the invaluable lives that are daily under his care make his vocation one of extreme responsibility and he has won the unlimited confidence of the railroad officials, and of all who take passage upon a train under his control. He knows that unavoidable accidents may occur and that his calling is one of daily danger, and yet no one would suspect this from his looks or words when on duty, as he is as composed as though walking the streets of Corning.
Jesse Newell was Secretary of Division 244 of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Corning, NY.
From the Corning Journal, January 12, 1885
THOMAS J. PRESHO (1828-1897)
At the time of his death, Thomas J. Presho was station agent at Presho, in the town of Lindley, NY. He came to Erwin Center in 1855, where he opened a general merchandise store and was a large lumber dealer. He had side tracks and a switch installed there for storage and loading of train cars. When a station was established there, he became station agent and was the first telegraph operator. He also served as postmaster for many years. In 1887, the name of the post-office at Erwin Centre was changed to Presho, in his honor. He represented Lindley twice as supervisor in the county legislature, and also served as town clerk. He was highly esteemed.
HON. HORATIO SEYMOUR (1810-1886)
Hon. Horatio Seymour was the Governor of New York from 1853 to 1854 and from 1863 to 1864. He was the Democratic Party nominee for president of the United States in the presidential election of 1868, but lost the election to Republican and former Union General of the Army Ulysses S. Grant.
Around 1856, the government awarded a grant to make possible steamboat navigation between Green Bay, Wisconsin, and the Mississippi. The grant was awarded a company known as the Fox & Wisconsin Improvement Co. whose principals were Horatio Seymour, Erastus Corning, John Magee, Samuel Marsh, William Butler (all of New York), and B. J. Stevens. The contract awarded them 700,000 acres of land contingent on the completion of the project. Upon completion in 1866, a new company was formed, known as the Green Bay & Mississippi Improvement Co., and the land was transferred to the new organization and subsequently divided among the incorporators. In the transfer this immediate locality became the property of John Magee and Samuel Marsh
Hon. Horatio Seymour was a close friend of John Magee and was from 1868 until 1881 one of the Trustees of John Magee's Estate.
HORATIO SEYMOUR, JR. (1844-1907)
Horatio Seymour, Jr. was a nephew of Hon. Horatio Seymour. He enjoyed a long career in engineering, beginning as City Surveyor of Utica, NY. He surveyed the route of the Canastota and Cazenovia Railroad, in New York State. In 1871, he became Assistant Engineer of the Seneca Falls and Sodus Bay Railroad, and afterwards was Assistant Engineer of the Wellsboro and Lawrenceville Railroad, and Chief Engineer of the Cowanesque Valley Railroad. In 1873 he made a survey of the Antrim mines for the Fall Brook Coal Co., and in 1874 a topographic survey of the lands of the Buffalo Coal Co. in PA. On December 1, 1874, he was appointed Assistant Engineer on the New York State Canals. He was New York State Engineer and Surveyor from 1878 to 1881, elected on the Democratic ticket in 1877 and 1879. From 1882 on, he took charge of the lands of the Michigan Land and Iron Company in Michigan
LEVI H. SHATTUCK (1816-1888)
Initially the Superintendent of the Tioga Railroad, Levi Shattuck was appointed the Blossburg and Corning's passenger superintendent. As Superintendent of the Tioga Railroad, he was considered one of the best railroad managers In the state. He worked his way up from fireman to engineer, conductor and station agent, and was familiar with every detail of railroad management. He had the respect of his men and had perfect control over them. Unlike another superintendent who relied on a system of espionage to uphold his position, Mr. Shattuck despised tale-bearers, and would not listen to them. He could see for himself what was going on and took pains to watch the operation of his railroad closely. Many a time he would board a caboose at a water tank when the men thought he was at the other end of the line. He always conversed freely with his employes about the work and would allow them to make suggestions for the betterment of the service.
He was later president of the Arnot & Pine Creek Railroad. This was a virtual extension of the Tioga railroad. In addition to the other duties devolved upon him, he was generally involved in the construction and supervision for several years. (9)
Mr. Shattuck, like Mr. Gorton, had to overcome the many difficulties of early railroading: imperfect track and rolling stock, scarcity of sidings and often scarcity of funds for improvements. This greatly embarrassed him at times, but he untiringly pushed ahead and kept in touch with all improvements in the operation of railroads. Up to about 1880 all trains run into this county were mixed trains, made up of freight and passenger cars. Mr. Shattuck was first to inaugurate regular passenger trains between Elmlra and Hoytville. believing that the public would appreciate the innovation and so increase the patronage. Mr. Gorton soon followed suit. To Mr. Shattuck belongs the credit of first introducing air brakes on his passenger trains, making it safer for the traffic and easier for the trainmen. He was the first railroad man to introduce soft coal as fuel in locomotives to produce steam, constructing the first enlarged firebox with improved grates to burn the soft coal being taken from the mines of the county. Prior to this, wood was exclusively burned on the engines to produce steam. The change from wood to coal gave an enlarged market for the product of the local mines. It is believed that Mr. Shattuck first introduced steam heat on his passenger trains. (4)
HON. HENRY SHERWOOD (1813-1896)
Henry Sherwood was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He served in the Texas Army under Sam Houston in 1836 and 1837. He moved to Tioga County, Pennsylvania, and settled in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, in 1840. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1847 and practiced his profession in Wellsboro.
Mr. Sherwood was untiring in his efforts to secure the construction of the railroad from Wellsboro, to Lawrenceville, the Corning, Cowanesque and Antrim section of the Fall Brook, and served as president of the company from its organization until the completion of the road in 1872.
Mr. Sherwood was counselor and confidential advisor to the Fall Brook Coal Co. Their purchases of the Fall Brook and Antrim coal lands were negotiated and completed in his law office and the right of way for the Wellsboro & Lawrenceville R. R. as well as all the subsequent lawsuits in relation to that right of way and to land damages were managed by him and his partner, Jefferson Harrison. In 1868, following the death of Humphries Brewer, he became the president of the Wellsboro & Lawrenceville.
He strongly advocated the building of the Jersey Shore and Pine Creek railroads now a part of the Fall Brook system, was a director of the company until the road was finished and president of the same from it's organization up to the time of his death. He was also a director in the Fall Brook Railroad Company.
He was elected a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania in 1870.
Mr. Sherwood also took an active part in the acquisition of the rights of way for the Jersey Shore, Pine Creek and Buffalo railroad, and in 1882 was elected its president. (4)
D. H. STOLL
Agent for Fall Brook Railway in Penn Yan, NY
H. W. WILLIAMS
Judge Williams took a great Interest in the railroads projected and built in Tioga county. He gave liberally to the right-of-way fund which the citizens of Wellsboro raised for the Wellsboro & Lawrencevllle R. R., He hurried the building of this railroad by employing W. S. Nearlng, of Morris Run, to survey a line from Arnot to Wellsboro in 1869. In 1882 he was offered a directorship on the board of the Jersey Shore Pine Creek & Buffalo Railroad, but declined it, as he thought it would interfere with his duties as Presiding Judge of Tioga county. He delivered eloquent addresses at the opening of the Wellsboro &. Lawrencevllle R. R. in 1872, and at the opening of the Elmlra & State Line R. R., in 1876. He also took great Interest in the construction of the Pine Creek Railroad.
In 1886 a few friends of the late John Magee proposed to erect a monument in his honor on the public square of Wellsboro. Judge Williams was elected president of this monumental association June 17, 1886, and principally owing to his untiring energy, it was possible to unveil the monument on Dec. 1, 1886. The words spoken by Judge Williams at the unveiling were considered by every one who listened to them as one of the finest orations ever heard In Wellsboro. (4)
Compiled from many sources:
1 - Excerpted from A History of Tioga County, PA - Munsell, New York, 1883
2 - From History of Monona County Iowa - National Publishing Co., 1890
3 - Excerpted from Earth's Forbidden Secrets - Searching for the Past by Maxwell Igan
4 - Quoted or excerpted from The History of the Railroads of Tioga County, by Anton Hardt, 1909 - Tioga County Historical Society
Also "Historical Highlights of Morris Run, Pennsylvania" - Wellsboro Gazette, July 3, 1932
5 - "Fall Brook Railway," by Winfield W. Robinson, Railway & Locomotive Historical Society - Issue #45, pp 46-57
6 - "Corning and Vicinity - 1789-1920" by Uri Mulford - self-published - Corning, NY 1922.
7 - An Outline History of Tioga and Bradford Counties in Pennsylvania, Chemung ...
John L. Sexton - Gazette Company, Elmira, NY
8 - Watkins Express - 8/25/1896
9 - Letters of Uncle Jonas Lawrence Upon a Partial Early History of Southern, Central, Western New York, and Northern and Northwestern Pennsylvania. London: Forgotten Books. (Original work published 1886)