|History of the Lackawanna Valley|
NOTE: Although this is from the 1903
edition, changes in each
edition were made to the Appendix. All references to time, such as
years ago," are based on the date of the 1869 edition.
History of Scranton
In the Slocum furnace of 1800, nothing but charcoal was used for smelting purposes. Experiments, attended with failure and sometimes derision, were made in Pennsylvania between 1837-9, toward the substitution of anthracite coal as a melting menstruum in the manufacture of iron, for the more expensive and perishable charcoal. The Iron Works upon the Lehigh inaugurated the change; the Danville artisans were the next to enlarge the province of stone coal. This long-delayed triumph of coal, wonderful in the grandeur of its results everywhere, governed the design of the new furnace at Harrison. It was contemplated from the first to use the ball ore found adjacent to one of the of the veins of coal running through the whole coal region; a brief trial proved it too expensive to mine. Upon the southeastern slope of the Moosic, about three miles from Harrison, a large body of iron ore was discovered in the spring of 1841, which with the intervening acres of land was purchased, and the railroad stretched from the mine to the furnace.
The erection of miner’s houses, the increased cost of the iron-works awaiting blast, the unforeseen yet unavoidable outlay for lands and railroad unprovided for in the original estimate, exhausted the capital, and left from the outset an embarrassing debt. Under such auspices, little calculated to encourage the enterprise, came Col. George W. Scranton into Scranton, as a resident, in the fall of 1841. A man of ardent faith, affable and persuasive address, full of honor and probity, whom no difficulties could discourage, no honors cause him to forget the good of the poor man, he was eminently fitted to aid Mr. Henry in the superintendence and experimental inauguration of the iron-works.
The first effort to start the furnace, owing to various causes incident to a new, wet, defective stack, appalled the projectors with failure. Wood, charcoal, and even salt and brimstone, employed as auxiliaries to intensify the heat, brought no fulfillment of hopes or prospect of victory. A second effort led to the same result. The furnace was altered. The hot-air ovens were multiplied and enlarged, the machinery changed, and the practical knowledge and services of Mr. John F. Davis secured. On the 18th of January, 1842, the furnace was blown in, amid mutual applause and congratulation. About two and a quarter tons of pig-iron per day was made the first month.
The early trials and failures at the furnace, occupying three months of constant struggle, awakened an interest among the better class of people of the valley and elsewhere, honorable alike to their intelligence and humanity. Many, willing to check any and every advancement toward general prosperity, boldly pronounced "the thing a Jersey humbug!" as they prayed and predicted it would be. Even such skepticism, when the molten stream of iron issued from the furnace into bars, exciting astonishment and pride, vanished into silence; the people acquiesced in the good feeling of the proprietors, whose recompense thus far had been only hope deferred.
In the spring of 1843, additional fire-ovens, with other improvements, were added to augment its capacity, which thus far had yielded iron superior in quality, but deficient in quantity. Iron, when manufactured, found no market to any extent short of the distant sea-board, reached only by two roundabout routes, viz.: the Delaware and Hudson Canal, and the North Branch and the Tide Water Canal, to Havre-de-Grace. In either case, the iron must be transported upon heavy wagons from Harrison, fifteen miles to Carbondale, then the terminus of the railroad leading to Honesdale, or to Port Barnum on the Susquehanna.
The first year’s product was shipped by the latter route to New York and Boston, at a time when great commercial embarrassment pervaded the country, and threatened the annihilation of manufacturing interests in every section. Since the commencement of the forge, September 20, 1840, iron had fallen in value over forty per cent. Its demand and price continued to decline. More than this, Lackawanna Valley iron had neither name nor character in either of these places to carry itself into public estimation. Thus when men whose fortunes were pledged to foster and sustain a great development, greeted in advance by restrictions especially baleful and adverse to their success. Meanwhile financial obstacles in Harrison increased. The credit system was popular in the valley. It attenuated its dubious length as an equalizing medium among the inhabitants unwilling to accord it to the company.
The darkest period in the history of the partnership was seen in 1842-3. In a remunerating sense, the iron speculation had proved a failure, ad left the treasury worse than empty. Without character, money, or credit its affairs began to look hopeless. Their notes given to individuals in lieu of money, were daily offered to farmers at forty per cent. Discount in the uncurrent tender of Pennsylvania currency. Every petty claim of indebtedness was urged and pressed before the justices of the township with an earnestness really annoying.
It was at this time that the existence of the company was preserved and prolonged by a timely loan made them by Joseph H. and E. C. Scranton [Killed by the cars, Dec. 29, 1866, at Norwalk, Ct.] then of Augusta, Georgia.
The persons once expecting but a negative advantage themselves, expressed regret at their expected arrest and destruction; others looked calmly and coldly on the severe, unabated energy with which the Scantons, forgetting every other consideration, fought for their bare integrity and financial preservation. The failure at this especial time would have been of double signification and injury, while the young, giant valley, far up among the hills, would have resumed the natural simplicity of its former character.
As the company faltered under the pressure of distrust, and danger menacing it from every side, Col. Scranton never exhibited the elastic and buoyant disposition ever characterizing the man, with such admirable advantage as now. He proposed to enhance the value of their iron 25 per cent., by converting it into nails and bars, by the aid of a Rolling Mill and Nail Factory, to be built on the brook below Nay-aug Falls. To accomplish this great project, Selden T. Scranton was sent to New York to negotiate for funds, if possible. This he successfully did. He thus obtained $20,000. The Rolling Mill and Nail Factory begun in 1843, was completed in 1844. The erection of these works with New York capital has indirectly led to an investment in coal lands in the Lackawanna basin, from the same quarter, of some one hundred and fifty millions.
The plan of the village of Harrison, laid out on a diminutive scale in 1841, by Captain Stott, a superior draughtsman of Carbondale, gave such brisk signs of life that the neighboring villages of Hyde Park, Providence, and Dunmore, feared that its continued growth might, at some future period, equal or possibly surpass their own!
It yet had no post-office. Hyde Park and Providence a mile or two away, afforded the nearest mail facilities. Dr. Throop, then residing in the latter village, a warm, influential friend of Scrantons and the improvements they were striving to inaugurate, attempted to get one established at this point. The Department at Washington, influenced by the know fact that a post-office had been suspended here a few years previous for the want of support, naturally gave the matter an unfavorable consideration.
Nor had the village a single minister, lawyer, or physician, within its boundaries. Dr. Gideon Underwood, now of Pittston, began professional life in Harrison in 1845; he abandoned the place after a few months, for the reason that it was "too small to support a doctor." The late Dr. Robinson was his only competitor in the township of Providence, where now no less than fifty physicians manage to keep soul and body together, and yet the entire practice failed to sustain a gentleman every way worthy of trust. Dr. Pier opened an office in the village in 1848; Dr. John B. Sherrerd in 1849. Drs. Throop and Sherrerd started the first drug-store in the town, which, after the death of Dr. Sherrerd, the next year passed into the hands of L. S. & E. C. Fuller, two gentlemen who have, through a long series of years, obtained a comparative competency by their diligence and attention to business.
In the spring of 1844, Selden T. Scranton, who, like all the Scrantons already mentioned, originally came from East Guilford, now Madison, New Haven County, Conn., removed from Oxford Furnace, New Jersey, settled in Harrison, exchanging positions with his brother George. He was one of the men who shared in the acquisition of the Roaring Brook lands, four years previous to this, and who, by no idle stroke of fortune, succeeded in connecting his name with its remotest future. Gaining some knowledge of the mineral resources of the valley of the Lackawanna from his father-in-law, William Henry, he readily joined in the hazard of their successful development; and, by the happy exercise of a talent adapted admirably to win friendship or insure success, he contributed to sow the seeds, of which the fruits were to appear in less than a lifetime. Selden was uniform in his advocacy of all pertaining to the welfare of the valley, and yet so honorable and consistent were his efforts in this direction, that it can be said of him, as of few men, he never made an enemy or lost a friend. The celebrated Oxford Furnace is now managed and principally owned by him.
Under a new direction of mechanical industry, instituted at the Lackawanna Iron Works by its founders, the final struggle, which was life or death in a commercial sense to the inhabitants of the township of Providence, began to give way for actual remuneration. The T rail was first manufactured in the United States in 1845. Railroads, everywhere shod with the thin, flat rail, called for the T rail, the first of which was made in Harrison for the New York and Erie Railroad in 1847. This pioneer road through southern New York was then in operation no farther than Goshen. English iron, costing the Erie Company $80 per ton, had thus far been laid.
The presence of every variety of material cheaply attained, led the Scrantons to believe that as good, if not superior, T rail could be furnished by them, especially upon the Delaware and Susquehanna divisions, at a lower figure than the English iron masters across the water had hitherto afforded.
Joseph H. Scranton, a man whose active mind for nearly a quarter of a century has been employed in guiding the iron enterprise which this company have developed, purchased the interests of Mr. Grant in 1846. Mr. Platt, who subsequently became a partner, filled the position vacated by Mr. Grant, and through the successive changes of firms, the expansion and enlargement of business, he has held the same satisfactory and creditable relation to the place he has filled so long.
The year of 1846 was auspicious in the history of Harrison. Col. Scranton returned, and aided by Joseph and Selden, negotiated a contract with the Erie Railroad Company for 12,000 tons of iron-rail, to weigh 58 pounds to a yard; to be made and delivered at the mouth of the Lackawaxen, in Pike County, during the years of 1847-8. This arrangement was mutually advantageous to both parties. It was of vital significance to that great road, now stretching its fibers from the lake to the sea. At the opening of the northern division of the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad, Mr. Loder, then President of the Erie Company, stated in a public speech that nothing but the fulfillment of this contract averted bankruptcy to the road, by enabling them within the specified time to open it to Binghamton. To the Scranton Company it evoked life-long results. The men whose common interests and joint sacrifices and struggles had bound them together in the unity of brotherhood, felt the invigorating and fervid influence of this great sale of iron, which gave the valley a prospect and prominence it never had enjoyed before.
Mills and machinery of a corresponding character, with the wherewithal to erect them, were thus necessitated by compliance of the contract.
Several gentlemen, wealthy and warm friends of the Erie road, promptly came forward, and on the simple obligations of the Scrantons alone, with no security, but faith in their integrity, loaned them $100,000 to construct the requisite iron-works. Extraordinary activity was now displayed in Harrison, in every department of business, the active management of which passed into the hands of Joseph H. Scranton, who came here to reside in 1847.
Up until now the means of transportation to market of the now largely increased annual product of iron, remained as difficult as at the commencement, with the exception of the extension of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company’s railroad from Carbondale to Archbald, which reduced the hauling by teams to nine miles; the iron ore was carted three miles and a half from the mines; the limestone and extra pig-iron needed by the mill, purchased at Danville, drawn from the canal at Pittston, and the railroad iron, now the principal product of the works, was drawn to Archbald upon heavy wagons, requiring the use of over four hundred horses and mules. Even this large force, gathered from the farmers of Blakeley, Providence, and Lackawanna, sometimes at the expense of agricultural interests, was able to move the first rail iron only with provoking tardiness.
Two large blast-furnaces were now in the course of construction, as well as a railroad to the ore mines on the mountain. This road was so graded that the empty cars could be drawn to the mines by mules, and when loaded with ore, returned to the furnace by gravity power alone, over five miles and a half of this circuitous road.
On the south side of Roaring Brook, some three hundred houses had been built for the workmen; upon the other, now the business part of Scranton, but a single dwelling, aside from the few owned and occupied by the company, stood. This had been erected by Dr. Throop for his brother. With the constant influx of new-comers, the doctor, who was recognized pre-eminently throughout the country as the doctor, removed from Providence to Harrison in 1847. On the old mill road leading from Slocum Hollow to Razorville, amidst the tranquil woodlands, he built his modest cottage. He lived here many years, with his family, with no house in sight of his own, surrounded by the low murmuring pines, where, after the professional drives of the day, he enjoyed the cheerful fireside and smoked his pipe in quiet, with no sound to disturb him, save the grave bo-loonk-blonk of the denizens of the adjacent swamp, tuning up their minstrelsy at each successive nightfall. The cottage, remodified and absorbed into business quarters, is yet seen in sound condition, near the Presbyterian Church.
The Lackawanna Iron Company, organized under the general partnership law, consisted of George W. Scranton, Selden T. Scranton, Joseph H. Scranton, and J. C. Platt as the general partners, and several New York gentlemen as special ones. Edward C. Lynde and Edward P. Kingsbury, two gentlemen eminently qualified for any station, fill the respective positions of secretary and assistant treasurer.
To carry through the programme of manufacturing and delivering to the New York and Erie Railroad Company, this quality of iron, with the limited capital at command, required extraordinary exertion and energy. Extra work, additional machinery, and various expensive materials, augmented the necessity of more money and labor. Large iron contrivances which were essential to the works were drawn, by the jaded horse or stubborn mule, sixty or seventy miles over the rough, hilly roads for which upper Pennsylvanian was formerly distinguished. Teams consisting of eight mules were used for this service with such vexatious experience, that willing and reliable drivers were rarely found or retained. When such were apparently secured, the company found it necessary to contract with the keepers of the small taverns along the road from Stroudsburg to the Hollow, to furnish meals for their drivers and feed for their teams, and forward bills each month to the office for payment. It was especially provided that no liquor should, under any condition or circumstance, be furnished the drivers. Yet bills properly attested for "sixteen glasses of leming ayde (lemonade), at sixpence a glass, and one pint of whisky," came from places where a lemon had never been heard of before or since.
The business of the company, so comprehensive in its character, so beneficial in its influence, made many a valley fireside exult with hopes and smiles. To witness a town spring from a pasture lot with such rapidity into a maze of foundries, furnaces, manufacturing works, and dwellings full of bright expectations, caused astonishment and pride among the inhabitants, unused to such rapid advancement. The rise in real estate along the Lackawanna Valley, as well as Wyoming, since the organization of this company, was at least one hundred per cent., while the relations of the Scrantons with the public were harmonious, and characterized throughout by general good feeling. It is true, there were then as there are yet, and ever will be, a class of croakers who gathered in bar-room groups and gravely predicted that "the Scrantons must fail."
On the western side of the Lackawanna a line of four-horse stages ran up from Wilkes Barre to Carbondale, connecting at each place with a similar line via Easton to Philadelphia, and furnished the only mode of conveyance to or from the Lackawanna, and brought New York daily papers to Providence and Hyde Park in the forenoon of the third day after their publication.
The mills were completed; as they molded the hills into iron fiber awaiting no longer a market, the Lackawanna Iron Works stepped into the front ranks and established their character beyond cavil or peradventure. The first fifteen hundred tons of railroad iron was delivered at the mouth of the Lackawaxen. Here it was taken by canal to Port Jervis, and laid on the road between that place and Otisville. After that portion of the Erie road was opened to the public, the company, delayed by injunctions urged on by the cupidity of Philadelphians and the New York Central interests, in crossing the river into Pennsylvania at the Glass House rocks, finding their utter inability to open the road to Binghamton by the time specified without the delivery of the balance of the iron at different points along the route by the Scranton Company, arranged such terms of delivery, in pursuance of which the Scranton Company carted by teams some seven thousand tons of rail, which they delivered at Narrowsburgh, Cochecton, Equinunk, Stockport, Summit, and Lanesboro, an average distance of about fifty miles, thus enabling the company to lay the track almost simultaneously at all points along the Delaware division as fast as the grading was ready, and open the road for one hundred and thirty miles four days ahead of the appointed time. The difficulty of carting so large an amount of iron within so brief a period, can be inferred only by those familiar with the ruggedness of the mountain roads intervening.
A post-office, named Scrantonia, was established in Harrison in 1848, and John W. Moore appointed postmaster. The name of Harrison was dropped for that of Scrantonia. The same year the old names of Capoose and Slocum Hollow were disowned and forgotten by newcomers; the accidental and transient ones, Lackawanna Iron Works, Harrison, Scrantonia, were folded up and laid away forever for the briefer name of Scranton.
The rapid expansion and concentration of business at this point, as well as the absence of all necessary communications with the sea-board and the lakes, rendered an outlet east or west most apparent and desirable. The project of connecting the valley by railroad with the New York and Erie road, in a northerly direction, was frequently discussed by the general partners; in fact, it was the sanguine expectations of a line of public improvement being extended both north and south at no distant day, that went far toward deciding the original proprietors in locating here.
With a view of bringing the subject of railroad facilities, and connections with the valley generally, before the minds of capitalists in a manner both advantageous and effective, Col. George W. Scranton was detailed from the active engagement of the affairs of the Iron Company in the summer of 1848.
Valuable coal lands had been secured as a reliable basis of such an enterprise; large delegations of New York and New England gentlemen were persuaded from time to time to visit the valley and examine the vast mineral resources apparent along its border, and witness the dark croppings of coal, the fertile farms and luxurious intervale, the abundant water-power for mills or manufacturing purposes, the splendid sites and the fine timber; all of which, the moment a railroad outlet appeared, would be trebled in value. By many, the valley was considered too wild and remote, or too difficult of access, even for an exploring tour. Such never left the parental roof, and it was left for bolder hearts and stouter arms to plant and reap the harvest. An extra stage-coach, with its five miles an hour speed, now and then brought into the valley delegation after delegation from the East, which were hailed with friendly solicitude by the inhabitants. Often and always was the inquiry heard of that firm friend of the public interest, Sam Tripp, "When the Yorkers were coming?" All eyes, for a time, were directed toward the local movements of the Yorkers, and the hope of every honest citizen then as well as now was, that long life and prosperity would be the fortune of all who came.
Until 1847 no car had rolled nor had a single rail reached the remote Lackawanna, with the exception of those upon the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company’s railroad from Carbondale to Honesdale. This road was a gravity one, worked by stationary steam-engines and horse-power, over the Moosic Mountain, and was built in 1826-8.
Drinker’s route for a railroad from Pittston to Delaware Water Gap, surveyed in 1824, to develop which Scranton was originally planned, and ultimately reversed in relation and purpose, had yet no living functions given its indefinite existence. The line was run with a view of inclined planes operated by water, and perhaps a canal over the more level portion of the way.
Wurts Brothers, Meredith, and Drinker blazed the trees along the forest for their gravity roads through many a lonely nook shaded by woods; but the honor of conceiving and completing a locomotive road from Great Bend to the Delaware River, belongs to the late Col. George W. Scranton – the firm, fast friend of every industrial interest of the valley. Mountainous as were the general features of the intermediate country, formidable as appeared the idea of grading ranges offering stubborn resistance to such invasions of the engineer, he advanced and urged forward his scheme until he was able to see and share its substantial achievements and advantages. Under the immediate direction of Col. Scranton, a preliminary survey was made of the proposed route, which was found to be quite as feasible as his own personal observations had led him to expect, and, as the idle charter of Leggett’s Gap Railroad would answer every practical purpose, after slight modifications, it was purchased.
The public mind, understanding only the rough topography of the country, without a single village of a thousand inhabitants, was instructed into the benefits to flow from the construction of this rail highway to the upper border of the State. The subscription books were opened at Kresler’s hotel, in Scranton, in 1847, by the commissioners, and the whole capital stock promptly subscribed, and ten per cent. paid in. While these flattering movements argued well for the common welfare of the valley, and country adjacent, men of means were so shy of the enterprise, that it was the work of two long years of ceaseless labor amidst every possible discouragement, before any real capital could be calculated upon. The road was commenced in 1850, and pushed forward in the same spirit of earnest enthusiasm with which it was conceived. To overcome the objection that it would not pay as an investment, and reach and make a more northern market (for the first loads of coal taken hence, were given away in order to introduce the black stuff into general use), the Ithaca and Owego Railroad, one of the oldest roads in the country, was purchased by the Iron Company in 1849. This, like all railroads in the United States at this time, was laid with the flat or strap rail – a rail possessing neither strength nor safety, as one end of the sometimes becoming bent would dart up with lightning-like rapidity into the passing train, marking its progress with appalling slaughter.
A new company being now organized, called the Cayuga and Susquehanna Railroad Company, for the purpose of building this road, Colonel Scranton was chosen President, who at once repaired the Ithaca and discharged the duties of the position with acknowledged prudence and success.
To carry out the original plan contemplated by the colonel, of connecting the iron-works with New York City by a locomotive road, a survey was made eastward in 1851-2, and the next year the present line, running parallel and sometimes embracing the Drinker route, adopted.
Thus far Scranton had but a single hotel. Mr. Kresler, popular as a landlord, could not in his abridged quarters meet the demands of the throng turning into the village. A large brick hotel, such as only courageous men could have planned in such a place, was erected in 1852, by the Iron Company, to which was applied the strange misnomer of Wyoming House. Mr. J. C. Burgess became the purchaser, and is the present owner. The next public house emerging from the forest, from which it derived its name – Forest House – Was fitted up and kept by Joseph Godfrey, Esq. The St. Charles, Kock’s, and the Lackawanna Valley House, appropriate in name, and a dozen other less familiar to the wayfarer, have anticipated the demand of the moving world until, to-day, Scranton can boast of the beauty, comfort, and healthfulness of its hotels, rarely equaled, and surpassed nowhere within the State.
The Iron Company reorganized in 1853, under a special charter, with a capital of $800,000, and Selden T. Scranton, now of Oxford Furnace, N. J., elected President, and Joseph H. Scranton, the present Manager and President, Superintendent.
After the Lackawanna and Western Railroad was consolidated with the Delaware and Cobb’s Gap charter, under the name of the "Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad Company," work was commenced vigorously on the southern division of this road. On the 21st of January, 1856, the first locomotive and train of cars passed over the Delaware.
Rapid as has been the sympathetic growth of half a dozen villages from Pittston to Carbondale, theirs has been a snail’s pace compared to the sturdier growth of Scranton. In July, 1840 five small brown tenements composed the town of Slocum Hollow, where now the young city of Scranton, perpetuating the name of its founders as long as the Lackawanna shall flow by the dwellings of civilized man, enumerates a population, constantly increasing, of five-and-forty thousand.
The stranger who visits Scranton may not find as much wildness and sublimity around it as when, from the Pocono Range, his eye first catches a glimpse of the truly bold outlines of the Delaware Water Gap, he will, nevertheless, as he walks along the walls of Roaring Brook, and gazes on the massive piles of furnace stacks, pouring out, day after day, ponds of rude or finished iron, from the ponderous bar to the delicate bolt, and sees the smooth, yet resistless motion of the largest stationary engine on the American Continent, feel proud and pleased with the sights of industry and thrift everywhere around him.
To get and appreciate a bird’s-eye view of the town and valley, let the tourist ascend the high bluff near the Baptist Church in Hyde Park, overlooking the city, where the charming panorama that unrolls itself from him, will compensate in the highest degree for the trouble of the visit. He will then look down into a region interesting for its scenery, its strata of coal, its beds of iron ore, and its Indian history. The first impression is one favorable toward this portion of the valley, as there appears on every side evidence of animation and thrift.
Yonder the noisy water (Roaring Brook) takes a white leap from one of the loveliest and loneliest nooks carved from the mountain, before it splashes on the busy wheel of the manufacturer, and after being used three or four times in the passage through the city, mingles with the waters of the Lackawanna below. The huge, round, slate-roofed locomotive depot, filled with engines, at first strikes the eye, and reminds him of the Roman Coliseum; while the landscape, sprinkled with brown-colored depots, car-shops, and Vulcan-shops on every side; the chaste, imposing churches, the long white line of public and private architecture contrasting finely with the deep green of the surrounding trees, tastily left for shade; the trains of coal cars, serpentine and dark, emerging from the "Diamond Mines;" or skimming along the iron veins, down a grade of seventy feet to the mile, from the productive coal works at the "Notch," some two miles distant, on their passage to New York; the locomotive of the Lehigh and Susquehanna, the Lackawanna and Bloomsburg, of the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western, of the Delaware and Hudson Railroads, rushing into Scranton like some fleet devils, carrying on their back the whole moving world whether they will or not; the villages of Hyde Park, Providence, Dunmore, and Green Ridge, arrayed in thrifty garb, far up and down the valley; the Lee-har-hanna, with its modest throat and richer shade drawn like a belt of silver along the picture; the neat farm-houses, here and there nestling in some lovely meadow, or half hid among the blossoms of orchards, with the background of the unshorn mountain, swelling upward from Wyoming or the Lackawanna region, all make up a sight as beautiful as the Jewish ruler of old once witnesses from old Mount Nebo. Nor is this all. As he looks into the bosom of "Capouse Meadow," his eye wanders over coal lands which, fifteen years before the completion of a railroad outlet north from the valley, could have been purchased for fifteen dollars per acre, and which now are worth $800 and $1,000; and building-lots, which then no respectable man was willing to accept as a gratuity, now readily bring from one to five thousand dollars each.
In 1826, the Drinker Railroad wrought consternation among the pines of this secluded glen; in 1836 the same measure, combined with the North Branch Canal and new county schemes, again awakened hopes partially fulfilled. In 1846, sales of iron made by the Scranton Company, enabled them to defy threatened bankruptcy; in 1856, the first locomotive engine rolled from Scranton, just formed into a borough, to the Delaware River; in 1866, incorporated into a city; and in 1876, all the townships in northern and central Luzerne will probably take their places in the new county of Lackawanna, with the county seat at Scranton. In 1866, Scranton, Hyde Park, and Providence, were fashioned by the legislature of Pennsylvania into a city composed of twelve wards, with all the municipal rights and regulations necessary for its existence. E. S. M. Hill, Esq., was elected mayor.
The newspaper interests in Scranton, now so prominent a feature, had no place or foothold until fifteen years ago.
During the year 1845, a newspaper called the County Mirror was started in Providence (now the 1st and 2d Wards, Scranton), by the late Franklin B. Woodward. Harrison at this time had made so humble pretensions that but a single advertisement from the village found its way into this lively paper. In 1852, the Lackawanna Herald, a paper of more partisan bitterness than real ability, was issued in Scranton by Charles E. Lathrop. Three years later the Spirit of the Valley was published by Thomas J. Alleger and J. B. Adams for one year, when the two were consolidated under the name of the Herald of the Union, purchased and edited by the late Ezra B. Chase, – a gentleman of superior literary attainments. Declining health induced him soon after to sell out to Dr. A. Davis and J. B. Adams. In the spring of 1859, Dr. Davis purchased the interest of Mr. Adams, transferring it to Dr. Silas M. Wheeler, and the paper was managed by these medical gentlemen with a degree of originality and spiciness rarely seen in a country newspaper. Dr. Davis at that time moved into Scranton, building the first house erected on Franklin Avenue, and now occupied by Dr. G. W. Masser. This paper finally subsided into the Scranton Register, owned and edited by Mayor E. S. M. Hill, until the summer of 1868.
Theodore Smith established the Scranton Republican in 1856, conducting it in a highly creditable manner for two years, when F. A. McCartney became the proprietor. After being owned by Thos. J. Alleger, and conducted fairly and honorably, it passed into the hands of F. A. Crandall, then again into those of F. A. Crandall & Co., the present energetic and spirited owners. The Scranton Journal came forth from the hands of Messrs. Benedicts in 1867, and from the acknowledged industry and qualifications of these gentlemen, the new paper can hardly fail to thrive.
The Scranton Wochenblatt, a German paper, was started, with a large circulation, January 1865, by E. A. Ludwig. It is now edited and published by F. Wagner, and presents a neat appearance. The Democrat – a bold, original, ultra-democratic paper – edited by J. B. Adams, has already secured the favorable consideration and good opinion of the people of the country.
The above named are and were all weekly publications.
One or two dailies and tri-weeklies have been born and buried within that period; some of them, especially the Morning Herald, a daily published in 1866 by J. B. Adams, evidenced considerable merit. None of them however, exhibited the substantial prosperity shown by the Scranton Daily Register, edited by E. S. M. Hill, Esq., and managed in its local department by J. B. Adams with a bluntness and severity of thought, which, however creditable it might have been to his abilities as a writer, offended the erring rather than corrected the errors of the day. Messrs. Carl and Burtch, purchased the paper in 1868, converted it into an evening issue, and by its telegraphic features and the vigor of its young editors, without abating any of its democratic tendencies, it has already gained a place in the public heart.
In spite of the failures in every inland town and city in Pennsylvania to sustain a daily paper, with full telegraphic news, Messrs. Scranton and Crandall essayed forth the Scranton Daily Republican in November, 1867, as an experimental measure.
Its prosperity and success, at first jeopardized by a disastrous fire, is now fully assured in public opinion, and all conceded to these gentlemen the credit of first offering to the people a daily country paper, with telegraphic news simultaneously enjoyed by the New York Associated Press. Its local department, managed by Mr. Chase, and its general editorials, somewhat ultra and positive in their character, bear evidence of vigorous thought.
Scranton abounds in industrial enterprises, which its remarkable growth have prompted and fostered.
Finch & Co.’s Scranton Foundery and Machine Works, situated on the Hyde Park side of the Lackawanna, was established, in 1856, by Mr. A. P. Finch. This establishment, representing high engineering attainment, is largely engaged in the manufacture of portable and stationary engines, mining machinery, circular saw-mills, turbine water-wheels, iron fronts, &c., &c.
Maclaren’s Brass Foundery, deriving its name from its founder and owner, John Maclaren, is located in Scranton, near the depot of the Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad. Its establishment in 1866, to supply the demands of a wide section hitherto seeking New York or Philadelphia for the infinite variety of brass work needed in the interest of commerce, gave proof of sound judgment and a correct appreciation of the increasing wants of the Valley of the Lackawanna. This is one of the most extensive brass foundries in the State, and while its success adds to the wealth and vigor of Scranton, the public are not indifferent to its general welfare.
The Capouse Works of Pulaski Carter, of Providence known far and wide by the superior character of the edge tools issuing from them, as well as by the self-made man instituting on the low bank of the Lackawanna this pioneer mechanical enterprise; The Sash and Blind Manufactory of Messrs. Hand & Costen, of Providence; the Providence Stove Manufactory of Henry O. Silkman; the Scranton Stove and Manufacturing Company, of Scranton, and the various individual and associated operations and improvements within the city limits, establishes the reputation of Scranton as a manufacturing rather than a mining city.
The following is a list of physicians who have, at one time or another, lived and practiced their profession within the area now embraced by the chartered limits of Scranton City: [For a scan of this page, number 267, with complete details, click here.]
|Joseph Davis||Orlo Hamlin|
|Silas B. Robinson||Daniel Seavers|
|Hiram Blois||Joseph Osgood|
|Benjamin H. Throop||William H. Pier|
|Gideon Underwood||Nehemiah Hanford|
|Horace Hollister||William E. Rogers|
|Henry Roberts||Julian N. Wilson|
|John B. Sherrerd||George W. Masser|
|Bennet A. Bouton||Johnathan Leverett|
|John P. Kluge||George B. Seamons|
|Augustus Davis||Lucius French|
|George B. Boyd||William E. Allen|
|Ralph A. Squires||S. Burton Sturdevant|
|Asa H. Brudage||Albert M. Capwell|
|F. Bodeman||William Frothingham|
|John W. Gibbs||Isaac Cohen|
|N. F. Marsh||Charles Marr|
|Erastus W. Wells||William Green|
|E. B. Evens||W. H. Heath|
|Thomas Stewart||J. M. Fox|
|Horace Ladd||F. Wagner|
|Wm. Gelhaar||P. H. Moody|
|Willoughby W. Gibbs||Peter Winters|
|S. P. Reed||John /W. Robathan|
|N. Y. Leet||A. W. Burns|
|Harper B. Lackey||J. B. Benton|
|C. H. Fisher||L. F. Everhart|
|N. B. Roberts||-- McGinlie|
|William Barnes||William Haggerty|
|A. P. Gardner||-- Reynolds|
|A. P. Hunt||C. A. Stevens|
|A. E. Burr||J. S. Walter|
|Drs. Clark & Ricardo||Sidney A. Campbell|
Lawyers who have for a longer or shorter period lived and practiced law within the city limits of Scranton: [For a scan of this page, number 268, with complete details, click here.]
|Lewis Jones, Jr.||Charles H. Silkman|
|Peter Byrne||J. Marion Alexander|
|Elliot S. M. Hill||David R. Randall|
|Daniel Rankins||Washington G. Ward|
|Samuel Sherrerd||Edward Merrifield|
|George Sanderson||Ezra B. Chase|
|Edward N. Willard||George D. Haugawout|
|Wm. H. Pratt||David C. Harrington|
|Alfred Hand||Frederick L. Hitchcock|
|John Handley||Aretus H. Winton|
|Corydon H. Wells||Frederic Fuller|
|W. Gibson Jones||Charels Du Pont Breck|
|Aaron A. Chase||Zebulon M. Ward|
|James Mahon||M. J. Byrne|
|Francis D. Collins||Francis E. Loomis|
|Daniel Hannah||Jeremiah D. Regan|
|Lewis M. Bunell||J.M.C. Ranch|
|Isaac J. Post||Charles G. Van Fleet|
|F. E. Gunstur||Wm. Stanton|
History of Providence from Hollister
History of Scranton Excerpts from Craft, Wilcox, and Wooldridge
Return to Index History
Return to the Lackawanna County PAGenWeb Home Page