Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 477] is a citizen of Edenburg, Mahoning township, who has as wide a circle of friends and acquaintances as any man in his part of the county. This is due to two things: first, to his courteous and genial ways, and secondly, to his having for twelve years past occupied the post of agent for the Pittsburg & Lake Erie R. R. at their Edenburg station. Mr. Hess came into the world April 24, 1858, at a point in Red Stone township, Fayette Co., Pa. He received his early education in the public schools, finishing at Brownville Academy. At the age of nineteen, he went to Versailles, Ohio, where he learned telegraphy. But a short time was occupied in rendering him proficient in the art of cutting the electric current into intelligible dots and dashes. Railroad work was the field that seemed to offer the best inducements, and he occupied positions in turn at Avilla, Ind., Myersdale, Pa., and Lowellville, Ohio, in each of which places the young operator left scores of friends. While working at the key, Mr. Hess had learned all the intricate routine duties that fall to the lot of the railway operator, and was equally at home in flashing an order over the wire, filling out a perplexing ticket account at the end of the month, or in making notes for some anxious shipper. In 1885, Mr. Hess was offered the place of station agent and operator at Edenburg by the P. & L. E. R. R., which position he accepted, succeeding Mr. E. E. Gorley. This office he has held ever since to the satisfaction of the company and to the gratification and profit of the community at large.

Our subject is a son of Matthias and Hattie (Stevenson) Hess, and a grandson of Martin Hess. The grandfather, a native Pennsylvanian, was among the early settlers of Fayette Co., Pa.; he filled out a long and prosperous life in his chosen vocation, that of tilling the soil of his native land, and died full of years and honor at the age of ninety-three. He reared four sons, that were a credit to their bringing up; they were: John, Washington, Matthias, and Lewis. Matthias Hess, the father of our subject, was the son to whom fell the care of the parents in their later years. He inherited the home place on which he was born—a fine one by the way—and continued the work laid down by his father. During all of his life he was a valuable and honorable citizen. In politics, he belonged to the good old Democratic school, but above all party considerations was a patriot and an American. He held many places of trust in his day, and his influence was wide-reaching. He and his wife were consistent members of the Christian Church. Mr. Hess was united, early in life, to Hattie Stevenson, who was the beloved mother, teacher and guide to a large family of children, who were named: Martin, deceased; William; John; Enoch; Aaron; Fremont[sic]; George; Elizabeth; Rosalia, deceased; Jennie; Carrie; Lydia; Mary; and Isabella. Mr. Hess was removed from the scene of his activities in this world in 1894, when aged eighty-four, and his wife in the succeeding year, aged eighty-three.

The subject of this history married Miss Anna Ryan, daughter of Mr. Jonathan Ryan of West Brownville, and to them has been given one child, Gaches Elrick, who came to bless their home at Edenburg, June 26, 1890. Since coming to Edenburg, Mr. Hess has steadily won his way into the confidence and respect of the people. He has a keen appreciation of how important the interests which he has in charge are to the public, and conducts his office along the right lines. With all the duties of his position, which must be performed with as much regularity and punctuality as the stroke of a clock, Mr. Hess is able to look after many other interests. He is an active and ready member of the Democratic party, a member of the Knights of Pythias and other like societies, and in public affairs is ever willing with talents and time to labor for the general good. In religious matters, he is tolerant and liberal, having little patience with narrowness of creed or bigotry. To the traveling and shipping public, Mr. Hess is ever obliging and painstaking. The high esteem in which he is held not only by the corporation he represents, but by the public of the whole section which makes use of the Edenburg station, is the best evidence in the world that he is an instance of the right man in the right place.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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