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Lackawanna County PA Biographies

COOPER, William, merchant, real estate and lumber dealer; born Scranton, Pa., March 2, 1843; English and Scotch-Irish descent; son of William and Margaret (Moat) Cooper; educated in Belfast, Ireland; returned to America in 1853; enlisted in the Twenty-fifth Tennessee Regiment May, 1861, and served until surrender of Lee, 1865; in early life he was a carpenter; married three times, first Mary Witt 1864, second Amanda Sparkman 1875, third Marcus Goddard 1888; member F. & A.M., I.O.O.F., K.P.; Democrat; bugler in civil war during the four years he served.

Source: Who's Who in Tennessee, Memphis: Paul & Douglass Co., Publishers, 1911; transcribed by Kim Mohler

John Handley was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1835, but emigrated at an early age to New Orleans. He graduated from Columbia Law School, New York city, and afterwards settled in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Here he practiced his profession. Foreseeing the growth of Scranton, he invested largely in real estate, and its appreciation in price made him wealthy. He organized the Merchants and Mechanics Bank, and the Scranton Savings Bank and Trust Company. He was elected judge of Common Pleas of Luzerne county in 1874, and at the organization of Lackawanna county, in 1878, became president judge of the Forty-fifth Judicial District of Pennsylvania, and held the office for ten years. He never held any other office.

Judge Handley was very charitable, assisting many young men to start in business, and educating many young men and women. He gave largely to the support of all public charities.

In character he was unostentatious, charging those whom he helped not to make it public. He was companionable and agreeable to close friends, but desired to keep his circle of friends small. A Democrat in politics, he refused to vote after the Electoral Commission decided Hayes elected.

Judge Handley was buried at Winchester, Virginia. His will provides for $250,000 for founding and maintaining a public library at Winchester, Virginia; $25,000 for Home of Good Shepherd, and $50,000 for St. Patrick's Orphan Asylum at Scranton, Pennsylvania. After a few personal bequests, he left the residue of his property to the city of Winchester for an industrial school. His estate was worth about $1,000.000.

Source: The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography Vol. III, No. 9 (Jan,1895)
Transcribed by: R. Ramos

Made an orphan by the death of his father when he was but nine years old, Columbus L. Stone, of Gunnison county, a prosperous and enterprising farmer and stock-grower whose life in the county has been a source of advantage to the people in the commercial influence and improvement it has helped to bring about, and in the example of productive industry and business energy it has given, early began to rely on himself for advancement in life, and to acquire the spirit of resoluteness and determination for which he is well known. He is a native of that great hive of varied and all-conquering industry, Pennsylvania, born at Waverly, Lackawanna county, in 1857. His parents were Hannibal and Clara (Parker) Stone, Pennsylvanians by birth and residents of that state until after the Civil war, when they moved to Illinois and were prosperously engaged in farming on the virgin prairie of that state until death struck down the father in 1866 at the age of thirty-one. The mother took up the burden of carrying on the business and rearing her five children, and steadily persevered in her heroic work until death ended her labors also, passing away in 1889, at the age of fifty-one. Columbus was the first born of their children, and it fell to his lot to aid his mother in providing for the family while he was yet very young, so that his opportunities for securing an education were very limited, except what were offered in the hard but effective school of experience and practical work. At the age of twenty-one he started in life for himself as a farmer in Illinois. A year later, in 1879, he came to Colorado and located at Seboya where he did as well as he could whatever his hands found to do, but was principally engaged in farm work during the next three years. AT the end of that time he took up one hundred and sixty acres of land on the Indian reservation, near which he had been employed, and there began ranching and raising stock. He was capable and industrious, attentive to his work and skillful in doing it, and had at his command a ready and resourceful business capacity. He throve in his venture from the beginning, notwithstanding there were many delays and disappointments, and he encountered frequent events and circumstances of a very discouraging nature. He persevered in spite of all adversities, improving his ranch with diligence and judgment, and rising by his qualities of elevated citizenship and breadth of view in the public esteem and becoming an influential factor in the general life of the community, serving as postmaster at Seboya and afterward as justice of the peace, and in many other ways contributing to the general weal. For eighteen years he lived and labored in that section, and steadily won his way in every line of activity in which he took a hand. He then desired a larger field for his enterprise and bought the ranch of four hundred acres which is now his home and four and one-half miles from Gunnison. Here he has continued his stock and farming business, and the place has been greatly increased in value by judicious improvements. He was married in 1887 to Miss Mary Andrews, a native of Iowa, the daughter of E.H. Andrews, and his family consists of five children who are living, Clifford, Earl, Lawrence, Ralph and Helen. A twin sister of Helen named Gladys died when she was four months old.
(Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado, Publ 1905. Transcribed by Kim Mohler)

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