Erie County, Pennsylvania

History of Erie County, Pennsylvania 1884

by Samuel P. Bates, 

Submitted by Gaylene Kerr Banister


 

Part III Chapter III
Municipal Government

On the 29th of March, 1805, the General Assembly passed an act erecting the first section of Erie into a borough, and all electors who had resided in the town six months prior to each election were requested to meet annually, on the first Monday in May, for the purpose of electing borough officers. Borough and Town Council was a body corporate with power to hold lands not exceeding in value $3,000 per annum, and a penalty was attached for refusing or neglecting to serve as Burgess or a member of the Council. The same act provided for the reservation of certain lots granted for churches and burial grounds. On the 5th of May, 1806, the first election was held under this act, and resulted as follows: John C. Wallace, Burgess; Judah Colt, Rufus S. Reed, George Buehler, Robert Hays, George Schantz, Town Council; Robert Irwin, High Constable. At the first meeting of the Council, the following officers were chosen: James E. Herron, Town Clerk; Thomas Forster, William Wallace and James Baird, Street Commissioners; William Bell, Treasurer.

From that time until the incorporation of Erie, the following gentlemen filled the office of Burgess: 1807, Thomas Wilson; 1808-09, George Buehler; 1810-11, John C. Wallace; 1812, Samuel Hays; 1813, Judah Colt; 1814-15, George Moore; 1816-17, Thomas H. Sill; 1818-19, George Moore; 1820-21, Judah Colt; 1822-24, John Morris; 1825-27, John C. Wallace; 1828, Tabor Beebe; 1829, Thomas H. Sill; 1830, William Johns; 1831, George A. Eliot; 1832, Thomas Forster, elected, but Tabor Beebe acted instead; 1833, Thomas H. Sill; 1834-35, Joseph M. Sterrett; 1836-37, J. B. Laughead; 1838, James L. White; 1839, William Kelley; 1830, Myron Goodwin; 1841, Rufus S. Reed; 1842, Thomas Stewart, 1843-44, Thomas H. Sill; 1845, Charles W. Kelso; 1846-47, William Kelley; 1848, Charles W. Kelso; 1849, A. W. Brewester; 1850, B. B. Vincent.

The following is a list of the city officials of Erie, from its incorporation April 14, 1851, up to the present, the Mayor acting as President of the Select Council the first nine years of its history:

1851 -- Thomas G. Colt, Mayor; Select Council, Jonas Gunnison, Clark; C. McSparren, William M. Gallagher, F. Schneider, John Zimmerly, S. M. Carpenter, A. W. Brewster. Common Council, James D. Dunlap, President; William P. Trimball, Clerk; Wilson King, James Skinner, Thomas Dillon, Samuel W. Keefer, Daniel G. Landen, Adam Acheson, L. Momyer, O. D. Spafford, A. A. Craig, Prescott Metcalf, Josiah Kellogg.

1852 -- Murray Whallon, Mayor; Select Council, W. H. Sherman, Clerk; F. Schneider, D. G. Landen, P. Sennett, John Zimmerly, J. B. Smyth, a. P. Durlin. Common Council, William S. Lane, President; William Thornton, Clerk; S. W. Keefer, W. B. Hays, J. H. Riblet, G. J. Morton, J. W. Duggan, C. Siegel, F. Mutterer, D. D. Walker, J. B. Gunnison, H. P. Mehaffey, J. Graham.

1853 -- Alfred King, Mayor; Select Council, W. H. Sherman, Clerk; A. P. Durlin, J. B. Smyth, D. B. Landen, P. Sennett, Joseph M. Sterrett, William G. Arbuckle. Common Council, John A. Tracy, President, William Thornton, Clerk; C. B. Wright, J. M. Justice, E. A. Bennett, J. W. Duggan, A. Wild, E. J. Ames, M. R. Barr, A. Acheson, John Hearn, M. Henry, W. C. Braley.

1854 -- Alfred King, Mayor; Select Council, W. H. Sherman, Clerk; Joseph M. Sterrett, J. B. Smyth, William G. Arbuckle, A. P. Durlin, James D. Dunlap, P. Sennett. Common Council, Mathew R. Barr, President; William Thornton, Clerk; A. Acheson, W. C. Braley, M. Henry, W. F. Rindernecht, S. Smith, E. J. Ames, E. A. Bennett, John S. Carter, J. W. Duggan, Adam Wild, Mathew Taylor.

1855 -- Wilson Laird, Mayor; Select Council, Thomas Moorehead, Clerk; James D. Dunlap, W. G. Arbuckle, J. M. Sterrett, A. P. Durlin, F. Schneider, William Hoskinson. Common Council, Matthew R. Barr, President; William Thornton, Clerk; A. Acheson, Robert T. Sterrett, Moses Koch, S. Smith, M. Henry, John S. Carter, Adam Wild, David Kennedy, John W. Hays, C. Graham, John Goalding.

1856 -- Wilson Laird, Mayor; Select Council, Thomas Moorehead, Clerk; W. G. Arbuckle, John S. Carter, James D. Dunlap, William Hoskinson, J. M. Sterrett, F. Schneider. Common Council, S. Smith, President; William Thornton, Clerk; Jacob Kneip, William Himrod, Adam Wild, John Goalding, David Kennedy, John W. Hays, M. Henry, Moses Koch, R. T. Sterrett, A. Acheson, M. R. Barr.

1857 -- James Hoskinson, Mayor; Select Council, Thomas Moorehead, Clerk; James D. Dunlap, Mr. R. Barr, F. Schneider, J. M. Sterrett, John S. Carter, W. G. Arbuckle. Common Council, Adam Acheson, President; William Thornton, Clerk; William Himrod, David Kennedy, James Sill, W. C. Warren, J. W. Hays, J. Kneip, C. Doll, James Cotter, M. Henry, John Sweeney, James Skinner.

1858 -- Wilson Laird, Mayor; Select Council, J. F. Downing, Clerk; J. M. Sterrett, John S. Carter, Sherburn Smith, C. Sevin, M. Henry, James D. Dunlap. Common Council, Adam Acheson, President; William Thornton, Clerk; Samuel Cummins, James Dunlap, John Ferrier, J. J. Fuessler, Jonas Gunnison, William B. Hays, Mathias Hartleb, E. N. Nason, John Sweeney, L. Strong, T. H. Stewart.

1859 -- Sherburn Smith, Mayor; Select Council, J. F. Downing, Clerk; Jonas Gunnison, F. Schneider, John W. Hays, Mathias Mayer, David Shirk, John H. Riblet, M. Henry, J. M. Sterrett. Common Council, Adam Acheson, President; William Thornton, Clerk; William B. Hays, James Dunlap, T. H. Stewart, H. Pelton, M. Schlaudecker, J. V. Boyer, H. B. Haverstick, J. M. Zuck, James Skinner, John Hearn, John Ferrier.

1860 -- Sherburn Smith, Mayor; Select Council, David Shirk, President, J. F. Downing, Clerk; F. Schneider, John H. Riblet, Mathias Mayer, Charles M. Tibbals, David McAllister, Wilson King, W. G. Arbuckle. Common Council, Adam Acheson, President; William Thornton, Clerk; James Skinner, John Hearn, J. V. Boyer, J. M. Zuck, L. Strong, P. Metcalf, J. Ferrier, J. Blenner, H. B. Haverstick, W. E. Bell, H. Pelton.

1861 -- Sherburn Smith, Mayor; Select Council, Jonas Gunnison, President; J. F. Downing, Clerk; David McAllister, John H. Riblet, George W. Starr, M. Mayer, William A. Brown, James Dunlap, Wilson King. Common Council, James Skinner, President; William Thornton, Clerk; J. Blenner, H. B. Haverstick, L. Strong, H. Pelton, John Graham, W. B. Hays, James O'Hanlon, W. C. Warren, M. Hartleb, John Hearn, George W. Colton.

1862 -- Prescott Metcalf, Mayor; Select Council, Jonas Gunnison, President; J. F. Downing, Clerk; George W. Starr, William A. Brown, James Dunlap, Wilson King, M. Mayer, John Ferrier, J. H. Riblet. Common Council, James Skinner, President; James G. Payne, Clerk; H. Pelton, James O'Hanlon, W. B. Hays, W. C. Warren, John Hearn, J. S. M. Young, P. A. Becker, Jacob Bootz, H. B. Haverstick, M. Hartleb, M. Henry.

1863 -- Prescott Metcalf, Mayor; Select Council, William A. Brown, President; J. F. Downing, Clerk; James Dunlap, John Ferrier, M. Mayer, J. H. Riblet, George W. Starr, James Skinner, Charles M. Tibbals. Common Council, Mathew R. Barr, President; George P. Griffith, Clerk; M. Hartleb, H. B. Haverstick, M. Henry, Jacob Bootz, J. R. Thompson, John W. Shannon, John Carse, C. Siegel, J. M. Kuhn, J. J. Rindernecht, John Clemens.

1864 -- Prescott Metcalf, Mayor; Select Council, James Skinner, President; J. F. Downing, Clerk; John Ferrier, J. H. Riblet, Charles M. Tibbals, George W. Starr, Thomas B. Vincent, H. B. Haverstick, John Moore. Common Council, Mathew R. Barr, President; T. J. Wells, Clerk; John Clemens, J. M. Kuhn, J. J. Rindernecht, C. Siegel, John W. Shannon, F. Englehart, R. J. Pelton, J. F. Walther, M. Hartleb, M. Henry, William S. Brown.

1865 -- F. F. Farrar, Mayor; Select Council, James Skinner, President; R. W. Russell, Clerk; John Moore, H. B. Haverstick, George W. Starr, Thomas B. Vincent, Charles M. Tibbals, John M. Kuhn, N. Murphy. Common Council, M. W. Caughey, President; George P. Griffith, Clerk; E. P. Bennett, J. S. Jordan, F. Gingenbach, J. Reichtscheit, P. B. Honecker, William Bell, Jr., W. A Crawford, M. Hartleb, J. F. Walther, M. Henry, R. J. Pelton.

1866 -- William L. Scott, Mayor. Select Council, George W. Starr, President; A. J. Foster, Clerk; H. B. Haverstick, John M. Kuhn, John Moore, N. Murphy, Thomas B. Vincent, Joseph McCarter, Charles H. Loverien. Common Council, J. C. Spencer, President; George P. Griffith, Clerk; William Bell, Jr., E. P. Bennett, W. A. Crawford, F. Gingenbach, P. B. Honecker, J. Reichtscheit, D. G. Ormsby, F. Schlaudecker, A. W. Van Tassell, F. P. Liebel, M. Henry.

1867 -- Orange Noble, Mayor; Select Council, John M. Kuhn, President; A. J. Foster, Clerk; Joseph McCarter, N. Murphy, Charles H. Loverien, P. Crouch, P. A. Becker, M. Hartleb, S. E. Bacon. Common Council, M. Henry, President; P. B. Honecker, Clerk; F. P. Liebel, D. G. Ormsby, J. C. Spencer, F. Schlaudecker, A. W. Van Tassell, G. F. Brevillier, John Shenfield, Joseph Eichenlaub, P. B. Honecker, Andrew Burton, John O. Baker.

1868 -- Orange Noble, Mayor; Select Council, Phineas Crouch, President; John C. Hilton, Clerk; S. E. Bacon, P. A. Becker, M. Hartleb, Charles H. Loverien, George M. Smith, Conrad Shenfield, A. W. Van Tassell. Common Council, F. Schlaudecker, President; P. B. Honecker, Clerk; G. F. Brevilier, John O. Baker, John Shenfield, Joseph Eichenlaub, P. B. Honecker, Robert Kennedy, Joseph Blenner, J. W. Swalley, John Hearn, John Dunlap, J. M. Bryant.

1869 -- Orange Noble, Mayor; Select Council, Phineas Crouch, President; Daniel Sullivan, Clerk; S. E. Bacon, P. A. Becker, M. Hartleb, A. W. Van Tassell, Jonas Gunnison, Joseph Eichenlaub, W. F. Rindernecht. Common Council, F. Schlaudecker, President; William Donald, Clerk; J. M. Bryant, Robert Kennedy, J. W. Swalley, John Hearn, Myron E. Dunlap, John O. Baker, Michael Hogan, H. J. Conrath, W. S Brown, Joseph Blenner, H. A. Conrad.

1870 -- Orange Noble, Mayor; Select Council, Phineas Crouch, President; Daniel Sullivan, Clerk; Jonas Gunnison, P. A. Becker, Joseph Eichenlaub, Jr., M. Hartleb, Joseph McCarter, Samuel E. Bacon, William F. Rindernecht, George Seiter, Joseph Seelinger, E. Camphausen, William Henry. Common Council, F. Schlaudecker, President; William Donald, Clerk; J. M. Bryant, Robert Kennedy, J. W. Swalley, John Hearn, Myron E. Dunlap, John O. Baker, Michael Hogan, H. J. Conrath, W. S. Brown, Joseph Blenner, Orville Johnson, J. Cronenberger, John Strahl, H. Kalvelage, F. Franz, J. F. Decker, George Stritzinger.

1871 -- William L. Scott, Mayor; Select Council, E. Camphausen, President; Thomas Hanlon, Clerk; John Boyle, John Carse, P. A. Becker, Joseph Eichenlaub, Jr., Jacob Bootz, M. Hartleb, William G. Arbuckle, William F. Rindernecht, George Seiter, Joseph Seelinger, E. Camphausen, William Henry. Common Council, Myron E. Dunlap, President; William Donald, Clerk; C. M. Conrad, Charles D. Sweeney, Myron E. Dunlap, H. J. Conrath, Ulrich Schlaudecker, John Metzner, George Loyer, W. R. Gray, William S. Brown, C. W. Lytle, John O. Baker, M. W. Hogan, Henry Kalvelage, George Stritzinger, William Loesch, Michael Liebel, Michael Kress, Fred Franz.

1872 -- Charles M. Reed, Mayor; Select Council, P. A. Becker, President; Thomas Hanlon, Clerk; John Boyle, John Carse, P. A. Becker, William H. Deming, John R. Cochran, M. Hartleb, William G. Arbuckle, William F. Rindernecht, George Seiter, W. W. Thomas, William Henry, John Berst. Common Council, W. R. Gray, President; William Donald, Clerk; C. M. Conrad, Charles D. Sweeney, Charles F. Dunbar, Ulrich Schlaudecker, John Sutter, John Metzner, W. R. Gray, George Loyer, Charles C. Shirk, A. P. Burton, Addison Leech, C. W. Lytle, William Loesch, Henry Kalvelage, Jacob Warfel, Fred Franz, A. Thayer, M. Liebel.

1873 -- Charles M. Reed, Mayor; Select Council, P. A Becker, President; Thomas Hanlon, Clerk; John Boyle, John Carse, P. A. Becker, William H. Deming, John R. Cochran, M. Hartleb, Thomas H. Carroll, William G. Arbuckle, W. W. Thomas, A. B. Gunnison, John Berst, William Henry. Common Council, Michael Liebel, President; William Donald, Clerk; Christian Kessler, John Walsh, C. F. Dunbar, John Metzner, Ulrich Schlaudecker, John Sutter, C. C. Shirk, C. Swalley, George Loyer, A. P. Burton, Addison Leech, Thomas Brown, J. Warfel, H. L. Gloth, Henry Kalvelage, A. Thayer, Fred Franz, Michael Liebel.

1874 -- Henry Rawle, Mayor; Select Council, William Henry, President; Thomas Hanlon, Clerk; John Boyle, William P. Atkinson, William H. Sandusky, William H. Deming, David T. Jones, John R. Cochran, Thomas H. Carroll, William Christie, W. W. Thomas, A. B. Gunnison, John Berst, William Henry. Common Council, Michael Liebel, President; William Donald, Clerk; Christian Kessler, B. F. McCarty, John Walsh, John Sutter, J. A. Moser, Ulrich Schlaudecker, C. Swalley, George Loyer, Adam Brabender, Thomas Brown, Charles Justice, Frederick Schutte, M. Froelich, H. G. Gloth, W. D. Feidler, A. Thayer, C. J. Brown, Michael Liebel.

1875 -- Henry Rawle, Mayor; Select Council, David T. Jones, President; Thomas Hanlon, Clerk; John Boyle, William P. Atkinson, William Lerch, William H. Sandusky, George Loyer, D. T. Jones, G. T. Churchill, William Christie, John Youngs, A. B. Gunnison, Michael Liebel, Jacob Bootz. Common Council, John Sutter, President; William Donald, Clerk; P. T. Donnelly, Ed McCall, B. F. McCarty, F. Bauschard, Jr., J. A. Moser, John Sutter, F. P. Dippo, J. M. Zuck, Adam Brabender, John Constable, Sr., Charles Justice, Fred Schutte, Martin Froelich, W. D. Feidler, William Loesch, Valentine Schultz, C. J. Brown, A. Thayer.

1876 -- John W. Hammond, Mayor; Select council, Michael Liebel, President; Thomas Hanlon, Clerk; Christian Kessler, William P. Atkinson, William H. Sandusky, William Lerch, George Loyer, D. T. Jones, William Christie, George T. Churchill, John Youngs, William T. Smith, M. Liebel, A. Thayer. Common Council, John Sutter, President; William Donald, Clerk; L. L. Lamb, John A. Beebe, William Stanton, John Sutter, James McCarty, Henry Ackerman, J. M. Zuck, Joseph A. Sterrett, H. J. Howe, John Constable, Sr., Henry Mayo, T. F. Noble, Martin Froelich, William Loesch, Chris Klang, C. J. Brown, Valentine Schultz, Henry Shenk.

1877 -- Selden Marvin, Mayor; Select Council, Alvanus Thayer, President; Thomas Hanlon, Clerk; Christian Kessler, Thomas Flynn, John Sutter, Henry Ackerman, D. T. Jones, J. M. Zuck, J. J. Hogan, George T. Churchill, William T. Smith, John Youngs, A. Thayer, Henry Shenk. Common Council, John A. Beebe, President; William Donald, Clerk; John A. Beebe, William Stanton, John A. Reynolds, William Nick, Sr., James McCarty, Peter Knipper, W. W. Pierce, H. J. Howe, J. B. Gunnison, John Constable, Str., C. Kolb, E. Donnelly, Adam Obringer, Chris Klang, William Loesch, J. F. Decker, F. R. Simmons, Valentine Schulz.

1878 -- David T. Jones, Mayor; Select Council, Henry Shenk, President; Thomas Hanlon, Clerk; Thomas Flynn, George W. Starr, John Sutter, Henry Ackerman, J. M. Zuck, Joseph Johnson, Jr., J. J. Hogan, William T. Smith, John Youngs, F. R. Simmons, Henry Shenk. Common Council, W. W. Pierce, President; William Donald, Clerk; John A. Beebe, J. F. Siegel, William Stanton, William Nick, Sr., F. A. Clemens, Irvin H. Howard, Jr., J. B. Gunnison, W. W. Pierce. E. McK. Whitley, C. Kolb, William Hardwick, Frederick Salow, Dean Hawk, John Eberly, Adam Obringer, A. H. Faulkner, Chris Kerner, J. F. Decker.

1879 -- David T. Jones, Mayor; Select Council, George W. Starr, President; Thomas Hanlon, Clerk; George W. Starr, William H. Sandusky, J. F. Downing, Joseph Johnston, Jr., William T. Smith, F. R. Simmons. Common Council, B. F. McCarty, President; William Donald, Clerk; B. F. McCarty, John H. Carey, James Hunter, Charles Kelley, P. C. Heydrick, J. J. Sepple, Charles Roesch, L. W. Daly, D. R. Beck, E. McK. Whitley, J. R. Sherwood, J. C. Weaver, William Hardwick, Henry G. Warren, Thomas Paskett, William Baas, John Eberly, Dean Hawk, John Zurn, Frederick E. Gloth, Frederick Franz, William O'Lone, Jacob Stritzinger.

1880 -- David T. Jones, Mayor; Select Council, William H. Sandusky, President; Thomas Hanlon, Clerk; Christian Kessler, William H. Sandusky; J. F. Downing, William Hardwick, William T. Smith, C. J. Brown. Common Council, D. R. Beck, President; William Donald, Clerk; John H. Carey, Jacob Geib, James Hunter, Jacob Ostheimer, C. G. Clark, P. C. Heydrick, Dominic Mayer, David Walmsley, D. R. Beck, L. Koster, J. R. Sherwood, J. C. Weaver, William Baas, Charles M. Briggs, Robert Dill, Edward Donnelly, John Eberly, William Loesch, J. R. Saltsman, John T. Burns, Frederick Franz, Reinhard Liebel, Joseph Sloan.

1881 -- Joseph McCarter, Mayor; Select Council, William T. Smith, President; Thomas Hanlon, Clerk; Christian Kessler, George Schlaudecker, J. R. Sherwood, William Hardwick, William T. Smith, C. J. Brown. Common Council, Thomas Paskett, President; William Donald, Clerk; William A. Besley, Timothy Mahoney, Charles Schuart, William Stanton, C. G. Clark, J. C. Fagan, J. Fegemaker, John Shehan, Conrad Diehl, J. P. Metcalf, Adam Minnig, W. Zuck, Robert Dill, D. P. Ensign, Thomas Pasket, Walter Scott, Charles H. Barth, V. D. Eichenlaub, C. P. Haskins, R. Liebel, A. S. Lovett, J. M. Skinner, Xavier Wolf.

1882 -- Joseph McCarter, Mayor; Select Council, William T. Smith, President; Thomas Hanlon, Clerk; Frank Gunnison, George Schlaudecker, J. R. Sherwood, Thomas Paskett, William T. Smith, R. Liebel. Common Council, Walter Scott, President; William Donald, Clerk; Frank W. Grant, James Hunter, John Mulcahey, William Stanton, M. Bellentine, S. Kirschner, Jacob Sandusky, P. J. Schotten, Conrad Diehl, J. P. Metcalf, A. Minnig, J. W. Zuck, Frederick Diehl, H. F. Kerber, E. L. Pelton, Walter Scott, H. W. Dewitt, Peter Peterson, John Zurn, M. Baumeister, A. S. Lovett, R. T. Walker, Xavier Wolf.

1883 -- Philip A. Becker, Mayor; Select Council, J. R. Sherwood, President; Thomas Hanlon, Clerk; Frank Gunnison, E. C. Siegel, J. R. Sherwood, Walter Scott, W. T. Smith, R. Liebel. Common Council, H. W. Dewitt, President; William Donald, Clerk; Frank W. Grant, Timothy Mahoney, John Mulcahey, John A. Reynolds, C. S. Marks, John J. McKinley, P. J. Schotten, William J. Watkins, Conrad Diehl, Frank V. Kepler, J. P. Metcalf, J. W. Zuck, R. E. Clemens, Frederick Diehl, William Roward, J. D. Tuohy, H. W. Dewitt, Jacob Kaltenbach, Rudolph Phister, William Stricker, Nick Blass, Chris F. Conrad, Jacob Schultz, Jacob Stritzinger.

City Treasurers-- 1851, R. Huston; 1852-58, G. A. Bennett; 1859-61, John Law; 1862-66, H. Pelton; 1867-75, L. Dobbins; 1876-79, M. Hartleb; 1880-83, John Boyle.

City Controllers-- 1867-82, Pressley Arbuckle; 1883, Eugene Metz.

City Solicitors-- 1851-59, Elisha Babbitt; 1860, C. W. Kelso; 1861-65, John P. Vincent; 1866, D. B. J. Sterrett; 1867-70, Elisha Babbitt; 1871, James Sill; 1872, G. A. Allen; 1873-75, G. W. Lathy & Son; 1876, Camphausen & Lamb; 1877-83, Theodore A. Lamb.

City Engineers-- 1851-59, Samuel Low; 1860, R. F. Gaggin; 1861-63, Samuel Low; 1864, John H. Miller; 1865, Wilson King; 1866-70, G. W. F. Sherwin; 1871-74, A. A. Gray; 1875-77, Irvin Camp; 1878-81, W. W. Brigden; 1882, George L. Moody; 1883, Irvin Camp.

High Constables-- 1851-52, Amos C. Landen; 1853-58, Joseph Deamer; 1859-60, Thomas Dillon; 1861, Joseph Deamer. The office was then abolished and the duties thereof devolved upon the Sergeant-at-Arms.

Sergeants-at-Arms-- 1862-65, W. L. Lapsley; 1866, Thomas Wilkins; 1867-68, John Wilkins; 1869-82, G. D. Tinkcom; 1883, John Eberle.

Chiefs of Police-- 1855, S. L. Foster; 1856-58, Willard Braley; 1859, R. M. Butterfield; 1860-62, H. L. Brown; 1863-69, Thomas Crowley; 1870, W. H. Harris; 1871, Walter H. Smith; 1872-76, Joseph Blenner; 1877-83, Thomas Crowley.

Chiefs of Fire Department-- 1851, S. T. Nelson; 1852, A. P. Durlin; 1853, G. A. Bennett; 1854, James Kennedy; 1855, J. B. Gunnison; 1856, Thomas Magill; 1857-58, G. A. Bennett; 1859-61, William Murray; 1862-64, G. A. Bennett; 1865-66, J. S. Stafford; 1867, Fred Gingenbach; 1868, William Murray; 1869-70, G. A. Bennett; 1871-76, James L. Irwin; 1877-83, J. A. Moser.

Harbor Masters-- 1851, Andrew Scott; 1852, George Miles; 1853, Daniel Dobbins; 1854, George Miles; 1855, E. J. Ames; 1856, Joseph Deamer; 1857, Michael Henry; 1858-62, James Dunlap; first part of 1863, John Carse, and latter part Michael Henry; 1864-70, James Dunlap; 1871, Harrison Foster; 1872-77, James Dunlap; 1878, M. W. Hogan; 1879, James Atkinson; 1880-83, James Dunlap.

Clerks of Meat and Vegetable Market-- 1851-52, Amos C. Landen; 1853, Joseph Deamer; 1854, George Miles; 1855, E. J. Ames; 1856-58, Joseph Deamer; 1859, John Loyer; 1860-61, Thomas Dillon; 1862-65, William L. Lapsley; 1866-68, John Wilkins; 1869-80, G. D. Tinkcom; 1881, Adam Hersch; 1882-83, V. D. Eichenlaub.

Health Officer-- Dr. E. W. Germer has filled this position from 1872 up to the present time.

Superintendents of Streets and Sidewalks
-- 1879-80, Matthias Detzel; 1881-82, John Warren; 1883, James Leask.

Water Works
The first water works in Erie were a small affair consisting merely of a line of wooden pipes, or "pump logs," laid to convey the water into town by gravitation, and distribute it to several small public reservoirs provided for fire purposes and to a very small number of private patrons, the water being obtained from a large spring on the Reed farm or "Berst place," just south of the Buffalo road and west of Parade street. These works, constructed in 1841, though insignificant in comparison with those of to-day, were useful in their time, but were discontinued upon the construction of the present ones. By the legislative act, approved March 16, 1865, John W. Shannon with certain other citizens of Erie were incorporated under the title of the "Erie Water and Gas Company," and soon afterward organized for business. The authorized capital was $100,000, but the company was privileged to increase its capital to any amount necessary to build and maintain water and gas works at Erie.

On the 16th of July, 1866, the City Councils appointed a committee to procure the services of a competent engineer "to examine and report to the Councils plans for both sewerage and water." H. P. M. Birkinbine, of Philadelphia, Penn., was secured, and made a report February 23, 1867, which put the cost of erecting water works at $350,000, the water to be taken from the bay of Presque Isle.

On the 11th of March, 1867, the Councils directed the Mayor to make a contract with the "Erie Water and Gas Company," to supply the city with water for twenty years, beginning July 1, 1868, or as soon thereafter as the works could be completed, but obliging said company to finish the same within two years from the date of contract. The city agreed to pay an annual rent of $9,000 for fifty fire plugs, but said Water and Gas Company was not to commence the erection of the works for one year from the date of contract, while the city reserved the right of erecting its own water works provided it began their construction within the year, said contract to be void in such case. It also reserved the right of purchasing any works that might be erected by this company, at any time within five years from date of contract. Nothing came of this arrangement, as the city subsequently concluded to erect its own water works.

Much opposition was aroused against the proposed improvement, and the assertion freely made that besides the works being too expensive the water from the bay was unfit for domestic uses, because the bay was the natural reservoir for the filth and sewerage of the city. Many advocated bringing the water from Lake Pleasant, or from the springs and head-waters of the streams south of Erie. The majority, however, were in favor of erecting the works on the bay, and an act was procured and approved April 4, 1867, providing for the appointment of three "Water Commissioners" to control the erection, maintenance and management of water works in Erie, the city to furnish money for said Commissioners to carry out the proposed improvement. Under this act, William L. Scott, Henry Rawle and William W. Reed were appointed by the court, and organized June 14, 1867. Mr. Birkinbine was selected by the court, and organized June 14, 1867. Mr. Birkinbine was selected as the engineer to plan and superintend the construction of the works. After examining the plans used in several cities, the Commissioners adopted in July that in operation in Detroit, Mich. but in September it was discarded in favor of the present plan devised and recommended by Mr. Birkinbine.

The location of the stand-pipe at the foot of Chestnut street was agreed upon in November, 1867, and a contract was made for the engines the same month, with the West Engine Company, of Norristown, Penn. In December, 1867, the contract for the stand-pipe was given to the Erie City Iron Works; early in 1868, John M. Kuhn was awarded the erection of the buildings and stand pipe tower, while at the same time Capt. James Dunlap was given the crib-work. The work began April 7, 1868, and progressed steadily and rapidly. In May, 1868, William L. Scott was succeeded as Water Commissioner by John C. Selden. At the close of 1868, one engine began pumping, and by the end of 1869 the works were completed, consisting of an engine house, a boiler house, stand pipe tower, smoke stack, crib-work, and machinery, at a total cost of about $675,000.

The engine house is a solid brick structure, with stone foundation, 30x35 feet square and sixty-five feet in height, surmounted by an octagonal turret fourteen feet high. The boiler house is 50x60 feet square and twelve feet high; smoke-stack fourteen feet square at the bottom and 100 feet in height, with a draft of twenty-five feet. The stand-pipe tower, built to inclose the stand-pipe, is octagonal in shape. Forty-five feet above its foundation, throughout which distance the tower is brick, a belt of stone five feet high is placed; thence upward it is a circular brick tower. Its total height is 217 feet, and its total elevation 237 feet above the surface of the bay, while an additional sixteen feet has been added to the stand-pipe since its erection, making it 253 feet above the water level -- the highest stand-pipe in the world. A spiral stairway in the interior ascends to the top of the tower, which is suitably decked and inclosed by an iron railing. The visitor may here obtain the finest view imaginable of the city, harbor and lake.

The works are operated by two "Cornish Bull" engines of the finest make, driven by eight double-flue boilers. The pumping capacity of these works is about 5,000,000 gallons daily, but at present one engine is usually found sufficient for pumping purposes, the Commissioners wisely saving the other to guard against accidents which might cut off the water supply. The most marked feature of the Erie Water Works are their completeness, solidity, and durability, combined with cheapness of construction and efficiency, which is unquestionably due to the genius of the accomplished engineer who planned and supervised the building of them, as well as to the Water Commissioners in charge at the time, more especially William W. Reed, whose whole time and attention was devoted to the enterprise from the beginning of the works until their completion.

The reservoir located on Twenty-sixth street, between Chestnut and Cherry, has a capacity of 33,000,000 gallons. In the fall of 1872, the Water Commissioners purchased seven acres of land at that point, where they constructed the reservoir, the bottom of which is 210 feet above the surface of the bay, while the water is kept at an average depth of twenty-five feet. At the present time the city has forty-three miles of water mains, and 213 fire hydrants, which affords a first-class water supply for all purposes. The water is taken from between two piers, at about midway between the surface and the bottom of the bay, in a depth of twelve feet; and December 31, 1882, there were 4,687 patrons on the books of the department.

Since the works were finished, many improvements have been made, one of the most important being the putting in of new boilers in 1880, their removal further south in the building and the construction of a switch railroad track running through the center of the building between the engine room and the boilers, whereby car loads of coal are brought right to the furnace doors, and all laborious handling and hauling done away with. Up to 1883, no special effort was made to improve the grounds around the water works, but the Commissioners in office this year began the work of improvement, and have progressed so far as to complete the road down the hill, also grade and sod the bank to a point half way between Chestnut and Myrtle streets, the limit of their jurisdiction, and sod the lower portion of the grounds. Trees have been planted all over the grounds, under control of the department, while the whole has been laid out under a general plan, in contemplation of a drive way being built along the bay front of the city.

The Water Commissioners since the establishment of the works have been as follows: William L. Scott, 1867-68; Henry Rawle, 1867-72; William W. Reed, 1867-79; John C. Selden, 1868-72; Mathew R. Barr, 1872-77; John Gensheimer, 1872-78; J. M. Bryant, 1878-81; M. Liebel, 1877-83; G. W. F. Sherwin, 1879-85; Benjamin Whitman, 1881-84.

The following exhibit shows the amount of coal consumed, cost of coal, water pumped, etc., from the construction of the works to the close of 1882:

YEARS  
Tons Coal
Consumed
  Cost of Coal  
Gallons of Water
Pumped
 
Gallons Raised
to the Reservoir
by one pound
of Coal
1868  
59.1
 
$   309.61
 
-----
-----
   
1869  
544.4
 
4,818.48
 
-----
-----
 
1870  
1,064.5
 
5,159.10
 
246,648,960
 
-----
 
1871  
1,422.7
 
7,117.00
 
279,368,495
 
168.45
 
1872  
1,308.5
 
6,528.50
 
395,076,000
 
150.96
 
1873  
1,672.5
 
8,412.65
 
384,062,415
 
114.81
 
1874  
1,759.0
 
7,709.54
 
444,817,395
 
126.44
 
1875  
1,836.4
 
8,657.61
 
531,005,475
 
145.57
 
1876  
1,856.0
 
8,925.22
 
670,726,650
 
180.68
 
1877  
2,456.6
 
8,509.33
 
660,981,810
 
135.74
 
1878  
2,463.3
 
7,945.37
 
682,392,315
 
136.49
 
1879  
2,628.1
 
7,428.92
 
807,800,400
 
153.68
 
1880  
3,076.1
 
6,978.41
 
775,805,250
 
126.01
 
1881  
3,430.3
 
6,517.58
 
975,640,934
 
142.20
 
1882  
2,968.2
 
5,355.93
 
829,759,260
 
139.77
 

 

This exhibit shows the amount of water rents collected each year since the commencement of the works to the close of 1882:

  Amount Received
From January 1, 1869, to December 31, 1869  
$4,264.47
From January 1, 1870, to December 31, 1870  
9,237.30
From January 1, 1871, to December 31, 1871  
18,138.08
From January 1, 1872, to December 31, 1872  
21,652.68
From January 1, 1873, to December 31, 1873  
25,560.40
From January 1, 1874, to December 31, 1874  
27,938.90
From January 1, 1875, to December 31, 1875  
29,639.38
From January 1, 1876, to December 31, 1876  
31,048.76
From January 1, 1877, to December 31, 1877  
32,276.57
From January 1, 1878, to December 31, 1878  
29,636.01
From January 1, 1879, to December 31, 1879  
33,343.20
From January 1, 1880, to December 31, 1880  
37,385.00
From January 1, 1881, to December 31, 1881  
40,385.87
From January 1, 1882, to December 31, 1882  
43,818.73
 
-----------------
Total water rents received
 
$384,380.35

Fire Department
The Active Fire Company, organized February 22, 1826, was the first effort made in Erie toward protecting the property of the town against the fiery element. The roll of membership included nearly all the grown male residents of the borough, with R. S. Reed, President and Chief Engineer; Daniel Dobbins, Second Engineer; E. D. Gunnison, Secretary; John Riddell, treasurer. The company was first furnished with buckets, but subsequently the town purchased a small fire engine, which did service for some years. Other companies of later date were as follows: Red Jacket Fire Company No. 1, organized in 1837; Perry and Eagle Fire Companies, formed in 1839; Mechanics No. 3, formed in 1844; Vulcan, formed in 1848; Phoenix Hook and Ladder Company, formed in 1852; Parade Street Company, formed in 1861. The city has had a fire organization with general officers since 1851, but for the first ten years was not very effective.

The present fire protection of Erie consists of the following apparatus: Steamer "Keystone," on Parade street, between Eleventh and Twelfth, which has been in use for about twenty years, but has now no company; Steamer No. 1, "D. T. Jones," First Ward Engine House on Fifth street, between State and French, was purchased in March, 1878, from the Silsby Manufacturing Company of Seneca Falls, N. Y.; Steamer No. 3, "William L. Scott," Third Ward, Peach street between Thirteenth and Fourteenth, is also a Silsby engine, and was purchased in June, 1882, each of these engines costing nearly $4,000. There is a hose company located in each of the six wards, and the Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, at the Peach Street Engine House, where there is a beautiful Hayes truck which cost $3,000. The department has about 5,500 feet of hose, and employs forty-eight men and thirteen horses; has fifteen miles of telegraph wire in use, and thirty fire alarm stations. There is one hose cart which has been in use about four years, and five new hose carriages that arrived at Erie in September, 1883, and which cost $525 each. Six brick engine houses are used by the department, the largest being the one on Peach street, the headquarters of the chief.

The Erie Fire Department is governed by the following officers: Chief Engineer, J. Adam Moser; First Assistant, William Schade; Second Assistant, A. H. Conkey. The Board of Engineers is composed of the chief and his assistants, the foreman of each hose company and hook and ladder company, also the engineers of the steam fire engines. It meets at the headquarters of the fire department, Third Ward Engine House, on the first Sunday of each month. The furnishings are all first class, and the efficiency of the department is recognized as second to none in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

Markets
Wednesday and Saturday mornings are the regular vegetable and meat market days in Erie. The farmers and hucksters line the east side of State street from Twelfth to North Park Row, their wagons filled with all kinds of market produce. Here they stand from 4 o'clock in the morning until 2 o'clock in the afternoon, the sidewalk crowded with buyers going from wagon to wagon, selecting and dickering for what they want. During market hours, the sidewalk is scarcely passable, so crowded is it with sellers and purchasers. The market clerk goes the rounds collecting a small fee from each stand, which is paid for the privilege of being allowed to sell their produce inside the city limits, while a penalty is imposed for an evasion of the law.

The hay market is on Twelfth between State and Peach streets, and the wood market immediately east between State and French streets. There is also a clerk of these markets, and a fee is charged each wagon for standing room. The city possesses no market houses at the present time, but the vegetable and meat market has become so objectionable to the State street merchants that the day is not far distant when some other market-place away from the business center will have to be selected by the city authorities.

Police
This department is well organized and under the charge of an efficient head. It consists of seventeen officers and the chief, Thomas Crowley, the whole force being equipped in suitable uniforms. The police headquarters is a two-story frame building on the northeast corner of Seventh and Peach streets, which is centrally located and kept in the neatest order. The city is patrolled day and night, and so vigilant is the force that few breaches of the peace escape detection; and its efficiency is a wholesome check on evil-doers, as well as a vigorous antidote for crime.

Financial Exhibit
Statement of receipts and disbursements of the City Treasurer for the fiscal year ending December 31, 1882:

 

1882, January 1, John Boyle, Treasurer, balance last settlement  
$ 27,005.08
Collection of taxes for 1882  
176,446.79
Collection county licenses  
4,136.16
Collection judgments  
9,415.77
License, fines, etc. -- Dog tax, $295.52; butchers, $378; teams, $539; peddlers, $298.50; building permits, $15; auction, $25; Opera House, $75; firewoods, $11; shows, $23.50; city markets -- Eichenlaub, $900; Hersh & Doll, $247.50; hay and wood markets -- M. Nicholes, $383.34; D. Weeks, $112.50; circus, $100  
3,403.86
Penalty tax, 1882, $539.82; State tax, $2,151.20; temporary loans, $20,000  
22,691.02
Property assessed for paving Ninth street, $16,816.05; assessed Twelfth street, $1,368.35  
18,184.41
Property assessed for sewers, Twelfth street, $436; State street, $515.54; Poplar street, $553.22; Tenth street, $777.35; Ninth street, $833.56; Sassafras street, $892.68; Parade and Wallace Streets, $81.90  
4,090.95
Taxes of 1879-80-81  
19,170.53
Miscellaneous, $1,744; tax liens, $44  
1,788.56
       
 
------------------
       
 
$286,333.13
             
Credit
Warrants redeemed and canceled  
$164,162.00
 
Interest paid on indorsed warrants  
765.07
 
Interest paid on bonds  
81,872.00
 
Interest paid on State tax  
2,771.16
 
Rebate for early payment tax  
3,619.57
 
Refunded for overpaid tax  
57.43
 
253,247.42
       
 
------------------

Balance cash in treasury

     
 
$  33,085.71
       
 
Treasurer's Statement of Water Commissioners' Account
1882, January 1, John Boyle, Treasurer, last statement  
$    2,080.62
John Boyle, Treasurer, received during the year  
44,492.53
       
 
------------------
       
 
$  46,578.15
Credit -- Paid orders of Water Commissioners  
44,112.69
            ------------------

Balance in treasury

 
2,460.46
             
Assets and Liabilities of the City, January 1, 1883
Liabilities -- Bond account  
$1,221,100.00
 
Less sinking fund  
55,000.00
 
       
------------------
 
1,166,100.00
Warrants in circulation      
 
1,717.17
Accrued and accruing interest      
 
30,000.00
       
 
------------------
       
 
$1,197,817.17
Assets -- Uncollected tax  
$41,651.24
 
 
Less estimates for executor and fees  
4,000.00
 
$37,651.24
 
Judgment account  
15,995.89
 
 
Estate, doubtful  
3,500.00
 
12,495.89
 
Cash in treasury  
 
33,085.71
 
83,232.84
   
 
 
------------------

City debt

 
 
 
$1,114,584.33

 

The following is a statement of the taxes levied for municipal purposes in the city of Erie for 1883, together with the alterations made therein:

WARDS
 
Valuation
 
Farm land
valuation
 
Gross tax at
16 1/2 mills
 
Gas tax
 
Water lot
tax
 
Farm land
abatement
 
Paved street
abatement
 
Net tax
First
 
$ 2,164,980
 
$ 98,380
 
$ 35,182.33
 
$  917.24
 
$114
 
$  798.33
 
$  893.89
 
$ 34,520.61
Second
 
2,592,183
 
83,260
 
42,123.93
 
1,288.00
 
-----
 
676.44
 
1,547.09
 
41,185.55
Third
 
3,518,936
 
146,990
 
57,185.34
 
1,676.08
 
-----
 
1,194.29
 
1,593.38
 
56,068.32
Fourth
 
2,798,220
 
39,235
 
45,471.08
 
1,080.04
 
$108
 
318.76
 
539.85
 
45,800.14
Fifth
 
963,024
 
335,606
 
15,648.61
 
388.55
 
-----
 
2,726.51
 
144.63
 
13,166.60
Sixth
 
1,061,954
 
167,855
 
17,256.70
 
1,010.28
 
-----
 
1,363.80
 
110.47
 
16,796.22
 
--------------------
 
----------------
 
--------------------
 
----------------
 
---------------
 
-----------------
 
--------------------
 
--------------------
Totals
 
$13,099,297
 
$871,326
 
$212,867.99
 
$6,360.19
 
$222
 
$7,079.13
 
$4,829.31
 
$207,537.44

 

The changes made in duplicates as per statement thereof, make the net amount of the duplicates to be charged to the receiver of taxes as follows: First Ward, $34,422.35; Second Ward, $41,174.19; Third Ward, $56,098.39; Fourth Ward, $45,800.14; Fifth Ward, $13,158.70; Sixth Ward, $16,796.22. Total, $207,449.99.



Bibliography: Samuel P. Bates, History of Erie County, Pennsylvania, (Warner, Beers & Co.: Chicago, 1884), Part III, Chapter III, pp. 535-550.

 


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