1874: A.N. Taylor Residence
Northwest Corner of Green and Fulton Streets

photo credit:  Carl & Mary Jane Defilippi Collection

A. N. Taylor:
Wealthy Smethport Merchant Falls to an Early Death from Roof!
A. N. Taylor (deceased) was a native of Madison county, N. Y., and was born June 11, 1822, of English descent, and died May 15, 1876, the result of a fall, on September 25, 1875.  Some time in the last century Robert and James Taylor came from England, and April 10, 1785, the first named married Sally Bailey, at Groton, Conn., but was lost at sea about six  months before his son, James, came into the world.  Sally Taylor then married John Bailey, May 31, 1796, and by him was the mother of several children; again becoming a widow, she next intermarried, June 5, 1810, with Daniel Goth.  Deacon James Taylor, son of Robert and Sally (Bailey) Taylor, was born at New London, Conn., December 28, 1788, and January 14, 1811, he married at Franklin, Delaware Co., N. Y., Lois Niles, who was born August 28, 1787, at Colchester, Conn., and they had a family of seven children, the subject of this sketch being the fifth child in order of birth.  June 13, 1824, the family moved to McKean County, and settled on a backwoods farm.  The father, James Taylor, was elected the second sheriff of McKean county.  A. N. Taylor very early gave evidence of the untiring and indomitable energy that was so prominent a characteristic of his life, and, having a taste for mercantile business, at about the age of nineteen he entered, as a clerk, the store of Hawkins, Ford & Taylor, his father being one of the partners in the firm.  Two years later he formed a partnership with his father, and commenced business in the old Astor House Hotel building.  A few years later he bought out his father's interest in the business, and built a store adjoining the Astor House, which he occupied until it was burned down in the fire of March 28, 1868.  He afterward moved his store to the Sartwell block.  When he first commenced business he had but $400 in the world.  Although it is impossible to give a correct estimate, it is believed by those best acquainted with his affairs, that he was worth at the time of his death not less than $300,000.  March 1, 1849, he became united in marriage with Ann E., daughter of William E. and Betsy A. (Bard) Fuller, and born December 28, 1828, at Unadilla Oswego Co., N. Y.  Five years after her birth her parents moved to Mexico, Oswego County, where her father carried on farming, and where he died May 4, 1854; her mother died at the age of twenty-six, December 28, 1831.  Mrs. Ann E. Taylor comes of "Mayflower" ancestry, her great-grandfather having been one of the Lutheran ministers who crossed the ocean on that historic vessel.  Her grandfather, Isaac Fuller, was a lieutenant under Washington, and was promoted on the field of Bunker Hill, where he was wounded; he was a native of New Hampshire, where he married a German lady, their children being William E., father of Mrs. Taylor, and Christopher, formerly a Presbyterian clergyman of Rochester, N. Y., now deceased.  By the marriage of William E. Fuller and Betsy A. Bard three children were born, viz.:  Ann E., Charlotte T. (now deceased, who married the late Hon. L. T. Moore, of Emporium, Penn., who in his lifetime had been made the recipient of various political honors) and M. C. (of Bedford, Iowa).  To the union of A. N. Taylor and Ann E. Fuller were born three children:   Ada M. (now Mrs. D. C. Young), Frank N. and Flora C. (now Mrs. J. J. Newman).  A. N. Taylor was a man of remarkable business capacity, and should be classed among the most successful men of our day and time.  His entire heart and mind was in his business during his earlier days.  He was keen and shrewd, quick to detect the weakness of an opponent, and improve an opportunity of favorable investment.  Many men have complained that he was a hard man to deal with, yet the assertion can be ventured, without fear of successful contradiction, that no man whom he believed to be dealing honestly and fairly by him was ever oppressed or wronged by his authority, and that no man in McKean County was found to be more sympathetic and tender hearted when approached in a proper manner.  He was a business man in every sense.  He expected men to live up to their obligations.  He took all manner of chances, and gave accommodation and time to men whom no other merchants would trust, in hundreds of cases.  The loss that McKean County, and the borough of Smethport especially, sustains in the death of A.N. Taylor can not at once be estimated.

When a town loses one of its ablest, most energetic, successful and wealthiest business men, the loss is not fully repaired in years.  At the time of his fatal fall he had in contemplation the use of a portion of his ample means for the building up and improvement of the borough, and had already taken energetic steps in that direction.  He left a widow and three children, one son and two daughters; and though well provided for as to the things of this world, nothing can fully compensate the loss of a kind and wisely indulgent father and husband.  Mr. Taylor, always a Republican in politics from the organization of the party, was once elected associate judge by an overwhelming majority.  During the days of the Civil War he had the fullest faith in the ultimate success of the Union arms, and he had lost since that time none of his love for the principles of his party or his zeal for their success.

taken from:  The History of the Counties of McKean, Elk, Cameron and Potter,  Pennsylvania  ©1890

1902:  Popular Sheriff Buys A.N. Taylor Residence

William B. Clarke, sheriff of McKean County,
was born in Westbrooke, Conn., in 1845, and when he was two years of age his father moved to New York City.  He was educated in the high schools of that city, from which he subsequently graduated.  When about eighteen years of age he entered the employ of Jacob Lorillard, the celebrated tobacconist, for whom he worked for four years.  The Lorillard establishment employed over 600 men at that time, and Mr. Clarke was the principal bookkeeper, having also entire charge of the internal revenue branch of the business.  There was a heavy tax on tobacco in those war times, and thousands of dollars of internal revenue tax was paid monthly by this one establishment.  Mr. Clarke had the confidence of his employer to such an extent that very few men possess before the age of twenty-one years, and he has in his possession a letter of recommendation from Jacob Lorrilard which he values very highly.  In 1866, at the instance of a brother-in-law, who owned a majority of the stock of the Home Petroleum Company, he visited Oil Creek, the valley of which was then booming as an oil territory.  This company owned the Blood farm, which was then a fine producing territory, and Mr. Clarke was induced to take the position of assistant superintendent, and was given considerable charge of the property.  He remained in the employ of the company nearly nine years, during five of which he lived at Titusville.  He came to McKean County in 1875, locating at Tarport, and for four years had charge of the oil properties of Col. A.I. Wilcox.  For a long time he was in the employ of his father-in-law, Fredrick Crocker, whose producing interests were very large, and during a portion of the time he superintended the extensive coal business of Sheriff Bannon.  In January, 1884, he was appointed the principal deputy sheriff under Sheriff Bannon, and in 1887 was elected to the office of sheriff, proving himself one of the most popular officials of the county.  He was married in 1876 to Edna Crocker, daughter of Fredrick Crocker, the well known oil producer,  and they have one son.  Mr. Clarke has taken the thirty-second degree in Freemasonry and is a member of the consistory at Bloomsburg; is also a member of the Knights of Pythias.

taken from:  The History of the Counties of McKean, Elk, Cameron and Potter, Pennsylvania ©1890


hike up Townhilleast to Potter Homehead east on Greenhead west on Green

Ralph Emerson Hockenberry, M.D.

    For years active in Smethport affairs, Dr. Ralph Emerson Hockenberry has built up a sizable medical practice here and has interested himself in many
organizations and their efforts and achievements.
    Dr. Hockenberry was born May 16, 1902, son of Charles E. and Dora Ann (Gruver) Hockenberry, both of Butler County.  His mother died in 1916.  The
father, long engaged in farming, makes his home in Butler County.
    Public schools there provided Ralph Emerson Hockenberry's early formal education, and afterward he studied at the West Sunbury Vocational School and
for a year at Grove City College, in Grove City.  For a year a pre-medical course at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was awarded the degree of Doctor of
Medicine in 1930.  There followed an interneship of one year's duration at St. Francis' Hospital, in Pittsburgh.  Then, in 1931, Dr. Hockenberry began a
general practice of medicine in Smethport.  He has carried on this work since that time, and has taken a lively part in the community affairs of Smethport and its environs.  In addition to having built up a good practice here, he serves on the staff of the Kane Community Hospital, and is a member of the McKean County Medical Society, the Pennsylvania State Medical Society and the American Medical Association.
    In politics Dr. Hockenberry is a Republican.  He served in his college days as a member of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, and was a first lieutenant in the United States Army Medical Reserve Corps after completing his active service.  Dr. Hockenberry was called into service in the army, February 1, 1941, for one year.  He was stationed at Camp Blanding, Florida, and as this is written is at Fort Benning, Georgia.  Promoted to captain, December 24, 1941, he has been with the 124th Infantry Regiment since being called to active duty.  In Smethport he belongs to the Rotary Club.  Fraternally he is affiliated with the Phi Rho Sigma medical fraternity and with the Free and Accepted Masons.  In the Masonic Order he belongs to McKean Lodge, No. 388, Coudersport Consistory, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, and Zem Zem Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.
    On December 25, 1931, Dr. Ralph Emerson Hockenberry married Irene Elizabeth Goeddel, of West Sunbury, Pennsylvania.
taken from The History of Northwestern Pennsylvania, ©1943