Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 200] is a contractor of Ellwood City, who is chiefly interested in heavy masonry work. He was born in Philadelphia, Oct. 7, 1852, and comes of good Irish stock, his father, James Menice, having been born in County Cavin, Ireland. The elder Menice came to America when a young man, and, settling near the city of Philadelphia, worked in the mills until his untimely decease at the age of forty. The whole duty of caring and providing for the five fatherless children thus fell on the widow, who proved unequal to the heavy task, and followed her husband on his pilgrimage to an unknown country, passing away when James J., our subject, was a babe of six weeks. The four older children were John, Thomas, Harry, and Cassie.

Our subject being left an orphan at such a tender age was reared and educated in St. John's Catholic School of Philadelphia, Pa. Starting out for himself, one of his first business enterprises was taking the contract to build the roadbed and abutments of the East Broadtop and Bloody Run R. R. in Huntingdon Co., Pa. Then for some time he was engaged in operating sandstone quarries in Beaver County at Wallace's Run. In 1890, Mr. Menice came to Ellwood City as the foreman of the Pittsburg Co., his duties pertaining to the laying out and grading of the streets and walks, putting in water pipes, and providing the necessary facilities for the drainage of the city and for the disposal of the sewage. At the present time, Mr. Menice has charge of almost all of that line of work for the company, and in addition has many other interests. His residence at No. 534 Fifth Street, was built in 1891. Mr. Menice operated the Ellwood City Stone Quarry for three years, and during that period he laid the foundations and furnished the material for almost all of the Pittsburg Co.'s houses, the tin plate manufactory, two glass factories, and a foundry. The finest piece of work that he has executed and which has given him a wide reputation is the abutment of the South Street bridge in Warren, Ohio, which was completed in 1895.

Mr. Menice was bound by marriage ties to Ellen Shields of Ellwood City, and to them eight children have been born: James, Catherine, Ellen, Harry, John P., Mary Ellwood, now demised, who was the first child born in Ellwood City, Powell F., and William J. Our subject holds to Democratic principles in political affairs, and was a member of the first city council of Ellwood City, serving as chairman of the committee on streets and sidewalks. He carries his conscience into politics as well as into his daily transactions, and his energy, probity and shrewdness have won him the respect and esteem of all his fellow-citizens. Being a man of enterprise he has always evinced a fitting interest in the welfare of the place of his present residence. He has held various responsible positions in the Catholic Church, where he is highly thought of as a true son, and he is a member of the A. O. H. B.

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

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