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Deceased Resident Members of the Bar
(S - U)
George Eves Sands
George Eves Sands was born February 28, 1883, at Mordansville, Pennsylvania, a small hamlet outside of Millville, Columbia County, Pennsylvania. His father, James P. Sands, operated a woolen mill there, and was also postmaster.
When George was only eight years old, his father died. His widowed mother and her four children then moved into Millville, across the street from her father, Joseph K. Eves. George had two brothers and one sister. His sister, Mary, taught in the elementary grades of the public school in Millville, and died about 1942. One brother, Justin, died in or about 1938. The other brother was Dr. James Sands, a psychiatrist, who served as superintendent of Byberry Hospital, a mental institution in the Philadelphia area. Dr. Sands, younger than George, died about 1963.
George Sands was a “Birth-right Quaker”, which simply means that both his mother and father were Quakers, and he was a life-long member of the Millville Friends Meeting. Throughout his life, and in spite of advancing years, George attended Quaker Meeting there at least once monthly up to the time of his last illness.
Attending the public schools of Millville, George completed his early education by attending the George School, a well known Quaker institution located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Thereafter, in1902, he attended the University of Michigan Law School, graduating from there in 1905.
Under the influence of William Ellis Haines, a member of the Lycoming County Bar who doubtless knew our subject through their common interests as Quakers, George E. Sands came to Williamsport and entered the office of Haines and Peaselee (William Ellis Haines and Clarence Loomis Peaselee) where he served his clerkship. He was admitted to practice before the Courts of Lycoming County by the Honorable William W. Hart, P.J., on motion of Charles J. Reilly, Esquire, then secretary of the board of examiners of the Lycoming County Bar Association.
Mr. Sands continued with Haines and Peaselee only briefly, as about 1910 he removed to his own office, remaining a sole practitioner the rest of his life.
On November 15, 1912, George Eves Sands married the former Jean Cheyney, who survived him. They had no children.
In earlier years Mr. Sands was an ardent fisherman, often traveling with friends to Canada to engage in this sport. He also was for many years an avid reader, but unfortunately suffered from a deterioration of the retina during his last years, which curtailed this activity. He died at the age of 84 years on August 9, 1967.
Robert Joseph Sarno
Robert Joseph Sarno was born in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, on February 14, 1941, the son of Joseph P. Sarno and Jeannette Sheihamer Sarno.
Mr. Sarno attended the public schools of Jersey Shore and graduated from the Jersey Shore High School in 1959. He graduated from Lycoming College in 1963.
On June 6, 1966 he graduated from the T. C. Williams School of Law of the University of Richmond, Virginia.
Mr. Sarno served his clerkship with the firm of Furst, McCormick, Muir, Lynn and Reeder and was admitted to the practice of law in 1967. Immediately upon his admission to practice, he became associated with the firm with whom he had served his clerkship. Mr. Sarno had served that law firm as its office boy and as a clerk during his years at Lycoming College and during summer vacations while in law school. In 1971, Mr. Sarno became a partner and the partnership continued under the firm name of McCormick, Lynn, Reeder, Nichols, and Sarno. He practiced with that firm and its successor firms for the balance of his lifetime.
During the latter years of Mr. Sarno’s practice, he developed an expertise in the field of defense litigation and many of the cases with which he was involved were of major proportion. He concentrated on medical malpractice and product liability cases and became a leader in that field.
Mr. Sarno was a former member of the Williamsport Redevelopment Authority and served as a public defender in Lycoming County. For several years and at the time of his death, Mr. Sarno was the solicitor for the Boroughs of Jersey Shore and Salladasburg.
Mr. Sarno was an ardent sportsman and conservationist. He was a member of the Wheel Club, the Ross Club, the Antler’s Club, Gray’s Run Club, the Jersey Shore Elks Club and the Wheel Inn Club. He was a Mason, being a member of Lodge 106 F. & A.M. and the Williamsport Shrine Club.
Robert J. Sarno married the former Sylvia Starr in September of 1964. They were the parents of four children: Robert Getty Sarno, Rebecca Ann Sarno, Barbara Lynn Sarno and Jonathan Andrew Sarno, all of whom survived Mr. Sarno. Robert Joseph Sarno died on December 16, 1982 at the age of 41.
Charles W Scates
Charles Woodman Scates was born in Milton, New Hampshire, September 22, 1817. He was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy, and entered Harvard College in 1833, but did not graduate until five years later, as he was obliged to teach in order to earn money to finish his course at college. Mr. Joseph Priestley, of Northumberland, wrote to the president of Harvard to send them a teacher to prepare their sons for college, and he, knowing Mr. Scates’ pecuniary circumstances, afforded him the opportunity, of which he gladly availed himself. He remained there more than a year, and then returned to Cambridge to finish his course, and was graduated in 1838, in the same class with James Russell Lowell. It was no doubt through his association with the Priestley family that he came to Williamsport to practice law.
During the days of the Underground Railroad, Mr. Scates appears to have been instrumental in aiding the escaped slaves to continue northward on their way to freedom in Canada. On one occasion, in 1864, a party, consisting of a man and wife, and half-grown lad, arrived in Williamsport consigned to Thomas Updegraff. They were hidden in his barn, which stood at the corner of State and East Jefferson Streets. The woman of the party, on the second evening after her arrival, set out singly to explore, just as the evening packet boat brought her old master and over seer, who stopped at the Exchange Hotel, corner of Market Street and the canal. As luck would have it, the master spied his missing slave and set off in hot pursuit. She ran up Jefferson Street, passing Abraham Updegraff who stood in his doorway on Market Street. He recognized her at once, having seen her the night before, and saw her enter Woodward’s barn. A consultation was quickly held by the abolitionists, and in the evening they got her husband to go to her hiding place and by signs which she understood she quickly found she was among friends. A warm supper was provided at the home of C. W. Scates, nearby, and a conductor was engaged to take the party to the Roderick house on Nigger Hollow Road (now known by the more dignified name of Freedom Road), with written instructions to conduct them that same night to Trout Run through Blooming Grove. Mr. Scates undoubtedly had a part in many other similar escapes. While probably not a Quaker, he was educated and nurtured in New England where the abolitionist movement was by no means confined to Quakers. Another nearby “station” on the Underground Railroad was back of Pennsdale near the Old Webster place. Strangely enough, there too was a hollow, deep and rather inaccessible, which also bore the name of Nigger Hollow and for the same reason.
Shortly after completing his education he had obtained a position to teach in South Carolina, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1844. About this time he had an excellent offer to remain there and practice law, but he refused it because he had been so impressed with the injustice and cruelty of slavery, that from being rather indifferent on the subject when he first went there to live, he had become a strong anti-slavery man, and so remained until slavery was abolished, and hence he resolved not to live in a slave State. Chance, or his friends in Northumberland, drew his attention to Williamsport, where he settled and spent the remainder of his life engaged in the legal profession. In 1861 H. C. Parons became associated with him, and the partner ship continued for several years. Mr. Scates died March 17, 1873.
William E. Schnee
William E. Schnee was born in Brady Township, April 19, 1873, the son of Levi and Mary Elizabeth (Stout) Schnee. He moved to Montgomery when he was sixteen years of age where he became one of its leading citizens. He was the first principal of the high school there; solicitor for that borough from 1902-46; and a member of the school board for thirteen years.
Mr. Schnee was first elected justice of the peace as a write-in candidate in 1907. He succeeded S. M. Rhone who had died shortly before the election.
After attending the Montgomery schools, he was graduated from the old Muncy Normal in 1896, and subsequently taught school in Penn Township, Clinton Township and the Montgomery High School. He attended Dickinson Law School in 1900-1902 and completed his preparation for the bar in the office of Frank P. Cummings, who was solicitor for the City of Williamsport for many years. Mr. Schnee was admitted to the Lycoming County bar in December 1902, on motion of Judge Harvey W. Whitehead, who later became Judge of the county for 20 years. Mr. Schnee maintained his office in Montgomery.
In 1945 he and Don L. Larrabee, Williamsport attorney, be came associated in the practice of law. On his 80th birthday in 1953, the Lycoming Law Association honored him with a testimonial dinner.
Mr. Schnee was a man who enjoyed several hobbies. One of these was local history, on which he was accounted an authority. He was a member of the Muncy Historical Society and the Lycoming Historical Society. Another hobby was the raising of dahlias and gladioli. This hobby began when he attended the Panama Exposition at San Francisco in 1915. While there he secured bulbs from a California grower. He developed his garden until he was growing 125 different varieties. Then about 1939 he started to collect old goblets and salts. More than 170 rare ones were displayed in several cases in his home. To these collections, he added collections of stamps and coins. These collections were considered to be among the most valuable in private hands in the East.
Mr. Schnee was a member of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church of Montgomery. He was also one of the oldest members of the Masonic fraternity in Lycoming County. He was Worshipful Master of Muncy Lodge No. 299, F. & A.M. in 1902. He was honored there in 1956 when the lodge celebrated its 100 anniversary. He was also a member of Baldwin II Commandery, K.T., the Williamsport Consistory, and Irem Temple Shrine at Wilkes-Barre.
On August 24, 1904, Mr. Schnee married Miss Edna Kilmer, of Montgomery, Pa., born June 4, 1876, daughter of Levi G. and Mary Elizabeth (Mosteller) Kilmer. Mr. Schnee died at his home in Montgomery, March 9, 1958, leaving to survive him his wife, and a niece, Mrs. Alvertta Dewalt, who resided with them for years.
Carl Adelbert Schug
Carl A. Schug was born in Wolf Township, Lycoming County, Pa., March 15, 1891, the son of Frank P. and Clara L. (Thomas) Schug. He attended the public schools of Hughesville, Eastman Business College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and the Dickinson School of Law, Carlisle, Pa. After leaving business school, he had again taught school in order to earn money to attend law school. He read law in the office of Haines and Peaslee, in Williamsport, and was admitted to the Lycoming County bar on March 1, 1913. He then practiced law with offices in Hughesville and Williamsport until he entered the service in 1917. On August 29th, he was admitted to the Officers Training Camp at Fort Niagara, N. Y., and on November 27, 1917, was commissioned 1st Lieut., Inf., then in the National Army and assigned to the 307th inf., 77th Division, A.E.F. He served with his outfit in France for eleven months. From April 1918 to March 1919, he was Liaison Officer and Adjutant of the 2nd Battalion of his regiment. He took part in the Oise-Aisne, Neuviller and Vesle River offensives, in the last of which he was in command of the battalion as all of his superior officers were killed, he himself was wounded for the second time, and taken to a Paris hospital where he was recovering at the time of the armistice. Members of his regiment included Colonel Theodore Roosevelt and Major Jay of New York. He received several citations for his services, and there can be no doubt that these wounds were a contributing factor in his untimely death.
After his discharge from the army, he resumed the practice of law, at 120 West Fourth Street, in the rooms formerly occupied by Hon. Archibald M. Hoagland. In 1920 he was elected district attorney, then the youngest district attorney to have ever served in this county.
He was one of the organizers of Garrett Cochran Post, No. 1, American Legion, and largely due to his efforts that Williamsport received Charter No. 1. He was married July 29, 1919, to Miss Alice S. Johnson, daughter of Judge Albert W. Johnson, Judge of the U. S. District Court. They were the parents of two daughters, Janet J., and Nancy.
Carl was extremely fond both of history and the classics, which I can remember discussing with him, frequently during lunch. He was especially fond of the men whose lives Plutarch had written, and enjoyed comparing them and sometimes differing with Plutarch in his conclusions.
Though his last years were attended with continual suffering, as the result of his war wounds, he was always cheerful and no one suspected his extreme fatigue. He died November 12, 1933.
Lewis George Shapiro
Lewis C. Shapiro was born April 21, 1907, the son of Nathan and Adell Shapiro. He attended the public schools of Williamsport, and thereafter graduated from Williamsport Dickinson Seminary, forerunner to Lycoming College. In 1926 he enrolled in Dickinson Law School, graduating in 1929 as a classmate of the Honorable Charles Scott Williams, later a President Judge of Lycoming County Courts.
Mr. Shapiro was admitted to practice in Lycoming County on October 10, 1933. Then for a time he practiced as an associate of Clarence L. Peaselee, Esquire, in Williamsport National Bank Building, where many lawyers of that time had offices. After Mr. Peaselee’s retirement, Mr. Shapiro continued as a sole practitioner, enjoying a large, diversified practice, specializing particularly in divorce and family law, also in criminal cases. He was always admired, both for his ability and for his complete honesty and courtesy to the court and to opposing counsel. To all his clients and his professional colleagues, the word of “Louie”, as he was known, was his bond. He was president of Lycoming Law Association in 1948.
Politically, Mr. Shapiro was a Republican. He served for many years as a director of the Young Men’s Republican Club, and competed for his party’s nomination for district attorney in 1935, losing the nomination to Charles Scott Williams. Though he was a member of various other organizations, fraternal or otherwise, his first love was always the Young Men’s Republican Club.
He was a member of the Congregation of Ohev Sholom Synagogue.
At the time of his death, Lewis Shapiro was survived by two sisters and two brothers. One sister, Sarah, was a registered pharmacist and for many years operated her own pharmacy. His brother, Lester, was manager of a successful family retail furniture business on Arch Street in Newberry.
Lewis Shapiro died September 22, 1960, after an illness of several years.
Sidney Arthur Simon
Sidney A. Simon was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 26, 1913, the son of Hyman and Mary Simon, nee Solomon. He was the eldest of three brothers, the other two being Julius and Samuel Simon, who survived him and resided in Williamsport.
The Simon family came to Williamsport in 1914, and moved to Jersey Shore shortly thereafter. Sidney graduated from Jersey Shore High School in 1930, from Bucknell University in 1936, and from Dickinson School of Law in 1940.
He was admitted to practice in the Lycoming County courts on December 3, 1940, and later also practiced before all appellate courts of Pennsylvania. He was a member of Lycoming Law Association, and the Pennsylvania and the American Bar Associations.
In 1941 Sidney entered the U. S. Army and served in its criminal investigation division, in both the European Theatre and Japan. He became a major, and spent time in Hiroshima after hostilities. He was separated from service in April, 1946, and then resumed his law practice.
Sidney A. Simon married the former Freda Kramer, of Williams port, in 1940. They had four children, two sons and two daughters. At the time of his death Sidney’s son, Roger, practiced law in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and his other son, Alan, practiced law in Boca Raton, Florida. His daughter, Gail, also an attorney, worked for a brokerage firm in Philadelphia. Daughter Jacqueline was a student at American University, Washington, D.C.
In 1970, Sidney Simon became president of Lycoming Law Association, having served on its executive committee for several years. He was also an assistant attorney general with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for more than twenty years. He was an active Democrat, who ran for district attorney of Lycoming County on that ticket in 1951.
He was a past president of Ohev Sholom Congregation in Williamsport, also of B’nai B’rith.
In 1980, he retired from the practice of law and, with his wife Freda, moved to Delray Beach, Florida, where he resided until his death, April 29, 1983. During the last years, he was a member of Temple Anashei Shalom, belonged to the Delray Democratic Club and was president of his Condominium Association.
William Henry Smallock
Mr. Smallock was born April 8, 1882. He attended the Philadelphia public schools, was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1909, and admitted to the Philadelphia bar in 1910. He practiced there until he came to Williamsport in 1932 and formed a law partnership with Charles W. Mink, who was then a member of the Lycoming County bar.
Mr. Smallock died August 5, 1943, leaving a widow, Millie, and a sister, Mrs. Bertha Slatko, of Miami, Florida. He was a member of Beth Ha Sholem Congregation, and at his funeral Rabbi Kemerling officiated.
Arthur A. Smith
Arthur A. Smith, son of Dr. and Mrs. George Smith, was horn at Liberty, Tioga County, Pa., April 28, 1876. He attended the public schools of Liberty and the Muncy Normal. He then taught school for several years, including one year as Principal of the Liberty High School. He entered Bucknell University, and was graduated with honors in 1898, with a B. S. degree. He studied law in the office of Hicks & Spencer, and completed his studies with Spencer. He was admitted to the Lycoming County bar, October 26, 1901. He was appointed Referee In Bankruptcy for the Middle District of Pennsylvania which position he held until his death. He died April 19, 1927. His wife Alta Shea Smith, survived him.
Evan M. Smith
Evan M. Smith was admitted to the Lycoming County bar to No. 242, June Term 1894. He is listed in the Williamsport City Directories as a lawyer from 1895-98, and then disappears. There is no Orphans Court file.
Ira Franklin Smith
Ira Franklin Smith was born in Fairfield Township, Lycoming County, Pa., February 16, 1869, the son of James Andrew Jackson and Christian (Drick) Smith. He attended the public schools and the former Muncy Normal, and was graduated from Lafayette College, in 1891, where he was an outstanding athlete. He then entered the law office of the Hon. William W. Hart, later President Judge.
Mr. Smith was admitted to the bar, April 5, 1894, and enjoyed an active practice until his death, July 24, 1952, a period of 58 years. He served four years as District Attorney, elected as a Democrat in 1907, the first district attorney to be elected for a four year term.
On June 30, 1917, he married Grace Shaw, of Williamsport, who survived him, as well as a son, Ira F. Smith, Jr., and a grand son, Ira Franklin Smith III.
He was a life long Democrat, and delegate to the 1st and 4th Democratic conventions which nominated Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He was a member of all the Masonic bodies, and a Past Master and Trustee of Lodge No. 106. He was President of the Lycoming Law Association in 1925, and a long time member of the Examining and Law Library Committees. He was a gentleman of the old school and at all times courteous and friendly to the younger members of the bar.
Silas Macey Smith
Silas M. Smith is listed as a lawyer from 1881-1898. He was admitted to the bar to No. 37, October Term, 1879. He died November 4, 1899, leaving a widow, Anna M. Smith, and a son, Evan M. Smith. Meginness states that he was born in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, January 3, 1845; was educated in the public schools and by private instruction; studied law at Michigan University and was admitted to the bar in May, 1879.
William H. Spencer
William H. Spencer was born January 9, 1863, at Minersville, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. His father died when William was a boy of 12, and he went to work early to help his mother support the family. He worked in the anthracite coal mines at Lansford, where he ran the gig, drove the mules, ran the pump, fired and ran the mine locomotive, studying at night. He attended the Chester Springs Soldiers Orphans School for one year, but then returned to work in the mines. At times he at tended the public schools and was graduated from the Minersville State Normal in 1881. He taught school at the Lansford Grammar School for four years, and in 1885 was principal of the Second Ward School in Mauch Chunk. He entered the law office of Frederick Bartolette, a well known lawyer of that day in Mauch Chunk. Then he went west to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1889, to practice law, having been admitted to the Missouri bar on April 10th. He next began to practice in Trinidad, Colorado, where he finally settled (November 22, 1890) after having practiced in Pueblo, Colorado. In 1893 his health broke down due to the many hardships he had endured from youth, and he was advised to return to Williamsport.
He was nominated on the Republican ticket for district attorney in 1901, and was elected to serve for three years from January 1, 1902. In 1904 he was re-elected to succeed himself. He later ran for Judge against Judge Whitehead, but lost after a hard-fought battle. He never again ran for any public office. He was a member of the Methodist church and the Masonic bodies.
He enjoyed a large and highly successful practice, and was known as an excellent trial lawyer. He died at his home, 415 Lincoln Avenue, Williamsport, Pa., after a short illness, on February 14, 1920. He was attended by his son, Dr. R. Douglas Spencer, of Hazleton. He was survived by his wife, his son, his mother, Mrs. F. A. Spencer and a sister, Mrs. R. Kolb, both of Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Frederick H. Spotts
Frederick H. Spotts was admitted to the Lycoming County bar, September 23, 1920. He was approved by the State Board of Law Examiners upon recommendation of the Northampton County Board of Law Examiners.
Harris Alvin Spotts
Harris A. Spotts was born June 27, 1876, the son of William and Emma (Taliman) Spotts, at Balls Mills, Hepburn Township, Lycoming County, Pa. He attended the public schools and the Lycoming County Normal. He then spent one year at Dickinson Seminary, and two years at Lafayette College and was graduated from Bucknell University. He became a law student in the office of S. T. McCormick, and was admitted to the bar of this county, September 19, 1912. He had been principal of the Muncy public schools and the Lycoming County Normal School, from 1903 to 1910. He also served as principal of Ralston and Montoursville public schools, having begun to teach school at the age of 15.
He was Borough Solicitor of South Williamsport, January 1, 1916. Ill health in February of that year compelled his complete retirement from active work and terminated a career of great promise. He is chiefly remembered for this reason as a splendid teacher rather than as a lawyer. He was known at the Normal School as the “Tactful Teacher.” He died October 21, 1917, and left a widow, Jane Albright, and two daughters.
Clarence Edward Sprout
Clarence E. Sprout was born in Muncy, Pennsylvania, March 16, 1861, the son of Samuel F. and Mary (Sutton) Sprout, who were natives of Susquehanna County, and later residents of Muncy, where his father was a manufacturer. Clarence was raised in his native town, receiving the usual public school education. He then entered Bucknell University from which he was graduated in 1883, and later received his LL. B. degree from University of Pennsylvania. He studied law with Crawford & Dallas, a well known firm in Philadelphia, and was admitted to the bar there in June 1885.
He began the practice of law in Williamsport in 1886, and at one time practiced with John F. Cupp. Politically he was a Democrat although he never aspired to public office.
The Sprout family of Lycoming County are descendants of two brothers, who came from Scotland, about the time of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, and settled in Massachusetts. Several of their descendants served in the French and Indian, and the Revolutionary, wars, among whom was Lt. Col Ebenezer Sprout, of Revolutionary fame, his Massachusetts regiment having been chosen to quell the mutiny of the New Jersey Line, at Pompton, in January 1781, which had closely followed the mutiny of the Pennsylvania Line.
Nathaniel Sprout was a soldier in the French and Indian war, and was the father of eight sons and three daughters. Four of his sons, James, Robert, Samuel and Ebenezer were soldiers in the Revolutionary war.
Ebenezer Sprout was born in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, September 23, 1787. He married Miriam Burrows, a native of Tolland County, Connecticut, and a sister of Amos Burrows, of Picture Rocks. They removed to Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, endured the hardships of pioneer life, and reared eight sons and three daughters. In 1862 they removed to Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, where Mr. Sprout died, January 10, 1871, aged eighty-four years, and Mrs. Sprout died on her birthday, July 4, 1878, aged eighty-seven years. They were members of the Baptist Church. The father and four sons were each six feet in height, and averaged in weight more than two hundred pounds. They were farmers, inventors and manufacturers. Many of their inventions were patented and manufactured by them locally in Muncy, Hughesville and Picture Rocks.
Samuel E. Sprout, a son of Ebenezer Sprout, was born in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, June 20, 1826, and married Catherine Hinds, of the same county, and to them were born four children: Clarence E., Willis S., Miriam, and Anna. Samuel and Lewis B. Sprout, his brother, engaged in the manufacture of the Sprout hay fork, hay elevator, and later the Williams Fruit Evaporator, which sold quite extensively, and later Samuel manufactured flooring, doors, sash and blinds.
Other members of the succeeding firms were John Waldron, son-in-law of Lewis B. Sprout, and Charles H., a son of Lewis B. Sprout, who formed the firm of Waldron & Sprout. After a destructive fire, they rebuilt their plant and engaged in the manufacture of their celebrated French Buhr Mill, their new Buck wheat Flouring Mill, and Wheat Flour Bolts, on which they had secured several patents. This firm is now known as Sprout-Waldron & Company, and is still in control of descendants of the same families.
Clarence E. Sprout married Anna, daughter of Daniel and Catherine L. (Updegraff) Clapp, of Muncy. Mrs. Clapp’s father was the youngest son of Derrick Updegraff (originally spelled Dirck Op den Graeff), who was one of the four signers of the Germantown Declaration of 1688 — the first public declaration ever made on this continent against the holding of slaves. His wife predeceased him and he died Dec. 23, 1931.
William Melvirne Stephens
William M. Stephens was born at Lenoxville, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, March 6, 1856, son of William and Jemina (Hallstead) Stephens, natives of Susquehanna County. His father was an architect and contractor and removed to Scranton, Pennsylvania, when our subject was ten years old, and where the father soon afterwards died. A noble mother’s teaching became his guide in life, together with a sincere belief. He lived on a small farm near Lenoxville, until his sixteenth year, when with his mother he removed to Nordmont, Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, and soon after began to teach school, which he continued for three terms. He devoted his evenings, often until midnight, as well as his spare moments throughout the day while teaching or working on the farm, to pursuance of his studies, until through the material assistance of Professor Charles H. Verrill, he was enabled to attend the Mansfield State Normal School, from which institution he was graduated with the class of 1876.
He at once engaged in a general commission business in Canada and Australia for the following three years, and by hard work and perseverance was successful. After visiting the East Indies, Arabia, Egypt and Europe, and completing a trip around the world, he entered the library and law departments of the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, from which institution he was graduated in 1882. He had the rare privilege (as did Mayor Herbert T. Ames) of pursuing his legal studies under the instruction of Thomas M. Cooley, and was admitted to the bar of Washtenaw County, Michigan, and soon after to the Supreme Court of that state, and to the United States District Court in Detroit.
During the time prior to 1885, Mr. Stephens traveled, engaged in lecturing, and as a newspaper correspondent, visiting during the winter months all the West Indies, from the Bermudas to Trinidad, and from the Bahamas to St. Thomas, as well as several of the South American countries, including the great divide between the Amazon and Orinoco valleys. During the summer months, he visited many of the states of the Union, Canada and the Maritime Provinces.
Mr. Stephens came to Williamsport in the summer of 1885, and the following autumn was admitted to our bar. He is listed in the City Directories as a lawyer from 1886 to 1905. According to his son, William H. Stephens, of Havertown, Pa., the family moved to Philadelphia about 1909. There he engaged in the practice of law, and was president and owner of the Business Service Corporation, one of the largest employment bureaus at that time in the country, which his son, John later managed until 1956 when he sold m the business.
Mr. Stephens was twice married, first, in 1880, to May Evelyn Rood, of Knoxville, Pennsylvania, who died the following winter at the University. In 1889, he married Susan M.. Dayton, daughter of John E. Dayton, of Williamsport. There were four children of this marriage: John, married and living at Norwood, Pa.; William H., married and living at Havertown, Pa.; Mary, married to Frank Stisser and living at Valley Forge, Pa., and Esther, married and living in Wichita, Kansas.
Mr. Stephens was an elder in the Second Presbyterian church, a director in the Y. M. C. A., and represented large real estate interests in Williamsport and Sullivan County. He was a republican but took little interest in political matters aside from presidential years when he made an occasional stump speech. He believed in honesty, industry and perseverance, and his motto was: “Luck is a fool but pluck is a hero.”
Mr. Stephens died in Philadelphia, September 8, 1929 and is buried at Nordmont, about ten miles from Eagles Mere. His widow died April 2, 1944, and is buried in Williamsport on the J. E. Dayton lot.
Joseph R. Straub
Mr. Straub was born in Williamsport, June 28, 1876, the son of John and Frances (Coleman) Straub. He was educated at St. Boniface parochial school, Williamsport Commercial College and Williamsport Dickinson Seminary, graduating from the latter institution in 1889. He then read law with Charles J. Reilly, and was admitted to the bar, October 26, 1901. He was a member of the Common Council from the Eighth ward. He married Katherine Elizabeth Shaffer, who predeceased him.
Mr. Straub was a member and past exalted ruler, B. P. 0. E., the Turn Verein and Gesang Harmonia Society. He had a fine bass voice, and at our bar picnics was frequently called upon to sing Old Black Joe in German. Joe also loved to play poker, and he, Ira F. Smith, Otto G. Kaupp and Fred Katzmaier were generally to be found between meals at our picnics deeply engrossed in their game.
Mr. Straub was a one time candidate for district attorney on the Democratic ticket. He presented chimes to St. Boniface church. He died May 24, 1943, survived by his brother, Father Frances Straub, and two sisters.
Jonathan F. Strieby
Jonathan F. Strieby was born in Loyalsock Township, Ly coming County, December 3, 1849, the son of Joseph Strieby, a native of Northampton County, and grandson of Jacob Strieby, a native of Philadelphia County, and a farmer and cooper.
In 1807, Jacob Strieby married Sarah Keyser, and they had the following children, all born in Northampton County: Jonas, who married Sarah Stout; Jesse, who married Juliann Foilmer; Joseph, who married Margaret Folimer; Anna Catherine, who married Adam Folimer; William, who married Margaret Metzger; and Sarah Ann, who married Christian Raish.
Joseph Strieby was born November 25, 1817, and died April 23, 1881. He married Margaret Follmer, March 19, 1844. She died January 24, 1883. They reared a family of six children, and were members of the Montoursville Lutheran Church. Our subject was born on the homestead farm and attended select schools in Montoursville and Williamsport. He completed his education at Dickinson Seminary, Gettysburg College and Bucknell University, graduating from the latter institution in 1875.
Mr. Strieby read law in the office of the Hon. J. J. Metzger, and was admitted to the bar, in May 1878. In 1882 he was a candidate for the office of district attorney but was defeated. From 1879-82 he was chairman of the Democratic County Committee. In 1890 he formed a partnership with William E. Sprague, lumber dealers and manufacturers, and in 1888, Strieby, Sprague and Company carried on an extensive lumber business.
In 1878, Mr. Strieby married Willie, daughter of William Bastian, of Butler, Pennsylvania, and they had three children: Ilai, Guy B., and Wilford J. The family were members of the First Presbyterian church of Williamsport. Mr. Strieby died May 20, 1910.
Nathan William Stuart
Nathan W. Stuart was born on November 1, 1915, in Williamsport, PA, the only child of Charles B. Stuart and Mae E. Shaw Stuart. He graduated from Williamsport High School in 1933, from Williamsport Junior College (now Lycoming College) in 1936, and from Dickinson College, Carlisle, in 1938, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. He graduated from Dickinson School of Law in 1941 with a Juris Doctor degree.
He entered the United States Army in February, 1942, as a private. He served in North Africa and Italy during World War II, and was honorably discharged in February, 1946, with the rank of Captain. While in the Armed Forces; Nate Stuart married the former Jean Otto, on September 7, 1942.
Nathan W. Stuart served his law clerkship with Thomas Wood, Sr. He was admitted to the practice of law in 1942, was a member of the Lycoming County Law Association, and the Pennsylvania and American Bar Associations. He served as President of the Lycoming Law Association in 1957. Nate Stuart was admitted to practice before all of the Appellate Courts of Pennsylvania, as well as the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Following his return from the service in 1946, Mr. Stuart practiced in offices at 41 W Third Street, until approximately 1953, when he and Thomas Wood became associates in the Susquehanna Trust Building. Bertram S. Murphy joined them in 1955. They continued at that same location until 1962, when they purchased 161 W. Third Street, across from the Lycoming County jail, at which time the Law Firm of Wood, Stuart & Murphy was formed.
In 1964, when Thomas Wood went on the bench, Stuart and Murphy were joined by Henry C. Hager and Clinton W. Smith, and on August 6, 1966, the firm of Stuart, Murphy, Hager & Smith was formed. Nate Stuart practiced with that firm and successor firms at that location, until January of 1981. In January, 1981, he associated with Robert C. Wise, practicing at 17 W. Fourth Street, until April 1, 1984, when he and Mr. Wise moved to 25 West Third Street, where Nathan W. Stuart was actively engaged in the practice of law until his death.
Of particular note was Nate’s able and arduous representation of the Williamsport School District for more than 25 years, many of which were difficult and stressful years for the District. He served as Solicitor for the Williamsport Area Community College, from the time of its creation in 1964, through 1984. He served as Solicitor for the BLaST Intermediate 17 from the time of its inception. Nate Stuart was an acknowledged expert in the field of school law.
In addition to maintaining a busy law practice, he participated as a volunteer and leader of some of this area’s most important social agencies, and for this service he gained much well-deserved recognition. Mr. Stuart served on the board of directors of Hope Enterprises for 28 years, and was Chairman of the Board in 1989 and 1990. He received the Hope Enterprises Meritorious Service Award in 1979. In the entire history of Hope Enterprises, only 7 persons have been so honored. He served as President of the Lycoming United Way in 1961, and as its Campaign Chairman in 1963. He was the recipient of the United Fund Award in 1959. In 1969, he helped to create “Neighbors of Lycoming County, Inc.”
The Greater Williamsport Jaycees named Mr. Stuart as their “Young Man of the Year in 1949, and he received the prestigious Grit Award for Meritorious Community Service in 1962. He served as President of the local branch of the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind, as well as President of Family & Children Services of Lycoming County. He served as member emeritus of the Board of Directors of Lycoming College. He served on the College Board of Trustees for more than 30 years, was named Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees in 1978, and as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the College.
A man of deep religious conviction and faith, Mr. Stuart was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church, where he served as a licensed Lay Leader, and Chalice Bearer. He served on the church Vestry for many years, and attended 8 General Conventions of the National Episcopal Church as a Lay Deputy, between 1964 and 1985. He served for 20 years as Chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania.
A lifelong Republican, Nate Stuart was active in Lycoming County politics, and served as Parliamentarian to the Lycoming County Republican Committee for a great number of years.
Long active in Masonic organizations, he was a member of the John F. Laedlein Lodge 707, F&AM, and served as Lodge Master in 1972. In 1976, he received his honorary 33rd degree, the highest honor in Free Masonry. He was a Past Commander-in-Chief of the Williamsport Consistory and was serving as Chairman of its Board of Trustees at the time of his death.
Nate Stuart was a member of all the York Rite Bodies and served as Most Wise Master of the Chapter of Rose Croix in 1976. He was a member of the Williamsport Shrine Club, Howard Club, Irem Temple, Wilkes-Barre, PA, Lycoming Chapter, National Sojourners, and of the Captain John Brady Camp, Heroes of ‘76.
Nate Stuart died on March 21, 1993.
Ralph Weymouth Thorne, Jr.
Ralph Weymouth Thorne, Jr. was born on November 23, 1935, the youngest son of Ralph Weymouth Thorne, Sr. and Joan (Stearns) Frymire and was a lifelong resident of Williamsport, save for the time he was pursuing his education and for a short period thereafter.
Ralph Thorne married Holly Lyon Thorne on July 1, 1967 with whom he celebrated fifty years of marriage and who survived him. Together they had six children.
Mr. Thorne graduated from Williamsport High School in 1954, Pennsylvania State University in 1958 and Ohio Northern University School of Law in 1983. Following law school, he worked for a year as an attorney for First National Bank of Uniontown in Uniontown, Pennsylvania.
He was admitted to the Bar of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on June 4, 1984 and the Lycoming County Bar as well as to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court in 1984.
Mr. Thorne began his law career in Lycoming County as an associate with Marshall and Drier in Jersey Shore in 1984 then soon opened his own office in Williamsport. He maintained a general practice of law in Williamsport from 1984 until his retirement at age 70 in 2006. His work consisted of an active Bankruptcy practice and he was a Conflict Attorney for Lycoming County for a number of years.
He was a member of the Big Bear Fish and Game Club for many years. He enjoyed his fifty years of trips to Long Beach Island. He had a great love of history, especially of the Civil War and was a voracious reader.
Mr. Thorne was proud to have worked at Darling Valve, a Williamsport based fire hydrant company which was founded by his father’s family, and where he worked until 1969 when the company was sold.
Mr. Thorne will be remembered for his dry sense of humor, quick wit and his ability to bring a smile to those around him.
Mr. Thorne died peacefully at his home on White Pine Drive, Loyalsock Township, Montoursville, Pennsylvania on Thursday, November 30, 2017.
Matthew Edward Toner
Matthew Edward Toner, better known to friends as “Eddie”, was born December 26, 1885 at Milton, Pennsylvania. His parents were James P. Toner, a native Irishman, and Amanda Elizabeth Bower Toner, who came of pioneer Pennsylvania-German stock. Her grandfather was the third white man to settle at Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.
At the time of Eddie’s birth, the Toners lived in Williamsport, but were on a Christmas visit at Milton. He possessed the wit of the Irish, the determination of the Pennsylvania Dutch, and a wonderful Irish tenor voice.
He graduated from Syracuse Law School in 1912, and was admitted to the Indiana Bar. Later he served a clerkship in the Jersey Shore office of Peter Dock Bricker, Esquire.
In 1919 he applied for admission to the Lycoming County Bar and passed an examination by a committee consisting of C. Edmund Gilmore, Oliver J. Decker, Harry C. Fithian, Sr., Charles J. Reilly and William K. Bastian. On June 9, 1919, on motion of Reilly, he was admitted.
Mr. Toner was a very active Rotarian. He founded the Jersey Shore Rotary Club in 1926, and in 1932 was elected district governor of the 51st District. When he opened his Williamsport law office in 1937, he became a member of Williamsport Rotary Club.
He was extremely interested in local history. He was a founder of the Tiadaghton Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, and was active in the Lycoming Historical Society. He was extremely well known for his lecture on the legal aspects of the Trial of Christ.
In his practice, particularly in the conduct of jury trials, the best word to describe Ed Toner would be “colorful”. Every district attorney of Lycoming County from 1919 until 1956 when Mr. Toner retired due to ill health, had good reason to remember “Fightin’ Ed”. If a window of Court Room Number 1 was open, any pedestrian in Market Square could easily have heard his closing address to the jury.
Mr. Toner was president of Lycoming Law Association in 1964. He was twice married. His first wife, Frances Young Toner, deceased, bore him one child, Martha Toner Hollick. He had five grandchildren: B. Michael Hollick, Edward Hollick, Dorian Hollick, Julia Hollick and Frances Hollick Conner, and four great- grandchildren.
By his second wife, Eva Riddell Toner, who survived him, two step-children survived: Mrs. Geraldine Fillman and Elmer Stabler. Three step-grandchildren also survived. He died May 14, 1967, at the age of 81, after a long illness.
Ronald C. Travis
Ronald C. Travis was born on June 11, 1944 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and was the son of John and Isabelle Anderson Travis. He and his brother, John, were raised by their mother, with the family spending Ron’s childhood years in Salamanca, New York and Olean, New York. As a young boy, he worked as a pin setter at a bowling alley. Beginning at age twelve, he began working in a traveling carnival, a summer job he continued to hold through his years in college and law school. The Travis family moved to Williamsport in 1960.
Mr. Travis graduated from Williamsport High School in 1962, from Lycoming College in 1967, and from the Dickinson School of Law in 1970. Following law school, he served as a law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the Honorable John C. Bell, Jr., in Philadelphia.
Returning to Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 1971, Mr. Travis began the private practice of law as an associate with the firm of Candor, Youngman, Gibson & Gault. After a few years, he became a partner in that firm where he remained until he and a fellow partner, Jack Humphrey, left and joined the firm of Stuart, Murphy, Smith, Mussina, Harris & Rieders in 1982. Following various personnel changes, the firm name was changed to Rieders, Travis, Mussina, Humphrey & Harris. Over the years, various names were added or subtracted from the firm letterhead, but it was always known as the Rieders, Travis law firm. Mr. Travis remained a partner in the Rieders, Travis firm from 1982 until his death.
Ron Travis was a trial lawyer, and throughout his 46 years in private practice, he handled a wide variety of civil and criminal cases. His civil caseload included insurance defense work while with the Candor, Youngman office, and thereafter with the Rieders, Travis firm included motor vehicle accident cases, products liability, medical malpractice, Federal Tort Claims Act cases, prisoner civil rights cases, and others. Additionally, he maintained a large caseload of criminal cases, both as a privately retained attorney and court appointed counsel. His civil and criminal trial practice took him to state and federal courts throughout Pennsylvania and beyond. He was admitted to, and handled appeals in, the Pennsylvania appellate courts, as well as the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third and Fourth Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court. While he pursued cases in the common pleas courts of Lycoming County and numerous other counties, he was best known as a civil and criminal practitioner in the federal courts. In the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, he had been appointed or retained as counsel in over 150 federal cases.
Beginning in the mid-1990s, with the reinstatement of the federal death penalty in 1996, and the growing trend of prosecutors to pursue the death penalty in first degree murder cases, Mr. Travis developed an acute interest in representing defendants charged with first degree murder and facing the possibility of a death sentence. He was a committed and outspoken opponent of the death penalty. He developed a national reputation for his work in capital murder cases.
Mr. Travis had a long history of service to the courts, fellow lawyers, and the organized bar. A member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and Lycoming Law Association, he served as President of LLA in 1999. He made continuing legal education presentations multipla legal organizations. He was a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers’ Association. He was active in the Lycoming County Inns of Court. From 1972 until his death, he was a Criminal Justice Act Panel attorney and on the Membership Committee from 1997.
The Law was not the only field in which Ron Travis excelled. Appropriately nicknamed "Lefty" for his left-handed prowess, he was known throughout Lycoming County and beyond as an outstanding athlete. He made the Williamsport High School basketball team and started his senior year, and that 1961-62 squad won 21 games and the district championship. During his four years at Lycoming College, "Lefty" started every basketball game for Coach Dutch Burch, and when he graduated in 1967, he was the leading rebounder in the history of the school and was second in total points scored. He earned first team All Middle Atlantic Conference accolades his last three years, was named MAC Northern Division Player of the Year as a Junior, and in 2013 was named to the MAC Century Team. He was a member of the inaugural Lycoming College Athletics Hall of Fame Class in 1986. He continued playing basketball throughout his law school days and thereafter, and was the captain of numerous semi-pro teams which competed in leagues and tournaments throughout Pennsylvania and the surrounding states.
After a knee injury Mr. Travis took up tennis as part of his rehabilitation, and he excelled in that sport. He played in local, regional, and national tennis tournaments until he had a hip replacement in 2005, and thereafter played locally where he was well-known as a fierce competitor with a wicked serve.
In recognition of his excellence as a basketball and tennis player, Mr. Travis was inducted in the West Branch Valley Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.
Ronald Travis died unexpectedly at his home in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on December 24, 2017. He was the husband of Pamela Lyon Travis with whom he shared 48 years of marriage. In addition to his wife, he was survived by a daughter.
Henry G. Trozell
Henry G. Troxell was the dean of the Lycoming County bar at the time of his death, having been admitted nearly seventy years before. He was born November 6, 1853, a native of Williamsport. A son of David H. and Lavina (Weiss) Troxell, both of whom were born in Chillisquaque Township, Northumberland County. His father was a butcher in the city market for many years. Henry attended the public schools and the Williamsport Dickinson Seminary. He worked on the Nicholson pavement, and then entered the shingle mill of L. C. Kenyon, and was later employed by Pennell and Zimmer in the planing mill for one season. He also learned the bricklaying trade, at which he was employed for some time. He then studied law in the office of Charles Bartles, Jr., beginning in 1874, and was admitted to our bar, June 2, 1877. He was engaged in active practice until a few years be fore his death. His ninety-fourth birthday occurred November 6, 1946, and he died at his home, 413 Lycoming Street, on December 31, 1946.
Mr. Troxell was a member of the old Common Council from 1889-1900. He was President and Chairman of the Joint Highway Committee of Council for six years. He was one of the organizers of the first union newspaper, The Evening News, in 1894, together with John W. Greevy, a former apprentice at the Sun, William T. C. Greevy, the foreman, Luke Greevy and Richard Peard. Their printing press was an old fiat-bed press and was located at 319 Pine Street. This newspaper was later absorbed by the Williamsport Sun, now Sun Gazette. (This is according to the bar resolutions, although not mentioned by either Meginness, Lloyd nor Collins).
Mr. Troxell was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1901, 1903, 1905, 1906 and 1907 sessions.
According to Meginness, Mr. Troxell married Lena Williams, of New York State, in 1880, and they had one son, Harry LeRue. (Lloyd gives her first name as Lulu.) Mr. Troxell must have been married a second time as the bar resolutions gives the widow’s name as Rose Snyder Troxell, who with the son survived, as well as a brother, H. Packer Troxell, and two grandchildren.
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