Wellsboro Republican Advocate Job Print 1887
P 1 is a photograph of JOHN MAGEE
P 2 is:
The ceremonies and Addresses at the unveiling of the MONUMENT to the memory of
Hon. John Magee on the First Day of December 1886 at Wellsboro, Pa.
Wellsboro Republican Advocate
Job Print. 1887
P 3 INTRODUCTORY
The project of building a monument to the memory of John Magee originated with the employees of the Fall Brook Coal Company, the county of Tioga, Pa. The plan proposed by them was to limit subscriptions toward its erection to employees of the enterprises founded by him, to use the Conglomerate which bounds upon the lands of the Coal Company and to erect the monument on the public square in Wellsboro.
The fact that such an enterprise was under consideration by the employees came to the knowledge of the friends of John Magee still living in Wellsboro, and they at once asked that they might be permitted to contribute towards the expense and aid in any other practical way to make the project successful. After considerable consultation, though not without evident reluctance, the employees consented to the arrangement and united with the friends and acquaintances of Mr. Magee in an arrangement looking to the erection of a suitable memorial.
A meeting for the purpose of organization was held on June 17, 1886 at Wellsboro and the following officers were elected:
Hon. H. W. Williams, President; Walter Sherman, Secretary; David Cameron, Corresponding Secretary; Alexander Pollock, Treasurer; J. Harrison, F. K. Right, F. W. Bailey, J. L. Robinson, JH. J. Robinson, H. J. Eaton, John Smith, R. Lounsbury, Henry Sherwood, Z. W. Baker, T. B. Field, L. Harrison, John Wilson, Thomas Brown and Anton Hardt
Committee on Design - Anton Hardt.
Corning - C. C. B. Walker, Austin Lathrop, C. G. Dennison, S. T. Hayt, G. R. Brown, H. A. Horning,
J. H. Long, A. Olcott and Frank Kingsbury
Antrim - William Powell, James Pollock, Joseph Lodge, J. Ketcham and John Forrest.
Tioga - R. P. H, McAllister, J. J. Davis, F. E. Smith and F. H. Adams
Lawrenceville - J. M. Bosard, S. McAvoy, J. R. Sharp and Dr. Darling.
Fall Brook - S. Horton, F. H. Wells, L. C. Shephard, Robert Russell and J. McCann
Morris Run - W. S. Nearing, T. B. Anderson, W. O’Donnell, Frank Church, W. Gilmore and P Driscoll.
Watkins - John Lang, Daniel Beach, A. Stothoff and G. Bartlett
Elkland - C. L. Pattison, O. Pattison, C. H. Benedict, Jerome Bottom and J. W. White
Subscriptions were immediately invited from the miners, mechanics and other employees of the Fall Brook Coal Company and from those whose relations to Mr. Magee were those of personal friendship. In the county of Tioga, Pa, where the mining operations of the Company are carried on, the list of subscribers numbered 880 persons; in Corning, N. Y., where the principal offices and shops are located, and in its vicinity, there were 89 names of subscribers. It is but just to the citizens of Corning and its surroundings to say here that in view of the fact that the monument was to be erected not only in another town, but in another state, the subscriptions from them were large in number and liberal in amount
The general committee soon found itself able to enlarge upon the original plan or the monument and accordingly authorized the Committee on Design to substitute granite in place of the conglomerate and to provide for surmounting the granite with a bronze bust of Mr. Magee.
Mr. Anton Hardt accordingly contracted with Messer. Johnson and VanDuesen of Wellsboro, for the foundation and the granite work, and with Samuel Conkey of New York, a sculptor of acknowledged skill and reputation, for the bronze work. This work was to consist of a bust for the top and four descriptive tablets for the sides of the granite shaft.
The work was satisfactorily done by both contractors and the fist day of December 1886, was fixed upon for the unveiling of the monument. The exercises were under the direction of the following officers;
President Hon. Henry W. Williams
Vice Presidents Antrim -- Wm. Howell, James Pollock, E. G. Drake, J. E. Fish
Elmira -- Thomas Farrer
Fall Brook -- S. Heron, F. H. Wells
Lawrenceville-J. M. Bosard, L. Darling, Jr.
Morris Run - W. S. Nearing, T. B. Anderson
Nelson -- J. Bottom, Em F. Cass
Stokesdale -- E G. Schieffelin
Tioga -- F. E. Smith, R. P. H. McAllister, John J. Davis, C. F. Farr
Wellsboro -- Mrs. S. X Billings, Hon. H. Sherwood, J. L. Robinson
Chaplains Rev. Geo. D. Meigs, Rev. A. C. Shaw, Rev. M E. Lynott
EXERCISES AT MONUMENT Commencing at one P. M.
March 12th Regiment Band
Prayer Rev. Geo. D. Meigs
Star Spangled Banner Morris Run Band
Presentation to the County of Tioga Hon. H. W. Williams
Address of Acceptance Hon. M. F. Elliott
Unveiling of Monument Morris Run and 12th Regiment Bands playing
"Hail to the Chief"
Music Antrim Band
Closing Benediction Rev. A. C. Shaw
The act of unveiling the monument was performed by Miss Lucy, the little daughter of General George J. Magee, the only surviving son of John Magee. The cords by which the canvas was secured were placed in her hands and, by a slight pull, the fastenings were broken. As the falling cover revealed the well-known features of the founder of the Fall Brook Coal Company, tremendous cheers filled the air and two of the bands in attendance joined in "Hail to the Chief." As the crowd dispersed, many an old man brushed the tears from his eyes and many a younger one felt his blood quickened and his courage reinforced. Taken all together it was a remarkable occasion and will long be remembered by those who had the pleasure to participate in its exercises.
DESCRIPTION OF MONUMENT
The photographic view of the monument, which is contained in this volume, though a fair representation of the work of art, does not show all the details; therefore it was though best to give a short description of it. The pedestal, of dark Quincy granite, is five and one-half feet square at the base and nine feet and eight inches high. The bust is four feet high, making the total height of thirteen feet and eight inches. The bronze bust, cast in one piece, and the four bronze tablets surrounding the die, were executed by the Henry Bonnard Bronze Company of New York City, from the models of Mr. Samuel Conkey, who also furnished the working drawings for the pedestal. The front tablet shows this inscription:
In Honor of
The Tribute of his Friends
On the tablet are inscribed the following sentences suggested by Hon. H.W. Williams
"The story of a useful and honored life may be told in these words:
His energy and diligence compelled success.
His ability and integrity won public confidence
His kindness and liberality drew to him the affectionate regard of the rich and the poor.
Permitte divis caeters,"
The tablet on the right hand side is a representation of the mouth of Drift No. 2 at the Antrim Coal Mines with this inscription
"Founder of the Fall Brook Coal Company."
The left hand tablet shows a locomotive and train of cars with the Tioga Coke Works as background and this inscription:
"Projector of the Corning, Cowanesque and Antrim Railway."
Under the center of the base was walled in a sealed-in tin box containing the names of all subscribers to the monument fund engrossed on parchment; a copy of the minutes of all meeting of the Magee Memorial Association; a copy of the Memorial of John Magee by Rev. F. S. Howe; copies of newspapers of the day; and a few coins. The committee on design is greatly indebted to Hon. H. W. Williams for the many valuable suggestions.
Following Page 12 is a full-page photograph of the statue among tree.
(This is set "in the green" in Wellsboro. The "Green" park is bordered
by Main St, Charles St., Pearl St. and Central Ave.)
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF JOHN MAGEE
John Magee was born near Easton, Pennsylvania, September 3, 1794. His parents were Henry Magee and Sarah Mulhollon Magee, natives of County Antrim, Ireland. He was the second in age of the family of five children - children Rebecca, John, Hugh, Thomas J., and Mary. His early life was spent with this father’s family on the frontier; first in western New York and next in eastern Michigan near the site of the present city of Detroit. In the month of May 1812, he, with his father and brother Hugh, enlisted at Detroit, in the rifle company of Company A de Quindra. This company went immediately into active service, had several skirmishes with the Indians, and took part in the battle of Brownstown on the 8th of August of that year. His Company, belonging to the command of General Hull, was surrendered, with his army, to the British forces, under General Brock, on the 16th day of the same month.
P14 through 21
He remained a prisoner, on parole, until January 1813 when he was sent, with the captured troops, to St. Catherines, C.W. and thence across the country to Fort George. In the following month of March, obtaining his release, he joined Major Cyrenius Chapin’s command of mounted rangers. In the meantime, Forts Erie and George had been taken by the American Forces under General Dearborn, and the British army, in their retreat, had scattered their supplies over the country. Major Chapin’s command was engaged in gathering up these supplies and in making other foraging expeditions in the region lying between Lakes Erie and Ontario. He was again taken prisoner at the battle of Beaver Dams near St. Catherines in June of 1813. Finding his confinement excessively irksome, he determined to escape; and though dissuaded by his commanding officer from making the attempt, he obtained possession of his horse and set out at full speed across the lines town Fort George, under a shower of bullets from the ground. On the way, a small boy begged so earnestly to be permitted to ride behind him and take his chances for escape, that he allowed him to do so but the poor kid was killed by the fire of sentinels; his own clothes riddled by the balls; his own horse was wounded and fell under him, though not until he had reached General Dearborn’s pickets; and gaining the fort with but slight injury, he reported to the office in command the disaster at Beaver Dams. That officer did not fail to avail himself of the courage and address which this young soldier had exhibited. He was immediately appointed as a messenger, to carry dispatches for the government between Fort Niagara and Washington, and to points along the frontier. This duty, attended as it was by many hardship and perils, he discharged with a degree of skill and endurance rarely equaled. On one occasion, when dispatches of great importance were forwarded by him to the Department of War at Washington, he continued in the saddle for forty-eight hours, procuring fresh horses from time to time, until he reached Northumberland, Pa; when, becoming completely exhausted, he obtained a reliable person to proceed to Washington with the papers, and to obtain the requisite answers which, as soon as they reached him, he conveyed to General Wilkinson, then in command. On arriving at headquarters, the General refused to believe that the dispatches could possible have reached Washington and answers returned in the short time that had elapsed, until he had received and read the answers to his communications. Then, eyeing John with astonishment, he mentally expressed his admiration and, proceeding to his military chest, he presented to him five hundred dollars in gold. This money was generously given, every dollar of it, to poor widows with needy children, whose husbands had been killed by the Indians. Leaving the service of the government in the spring of 1816, he made the journey from Buffalo to Bath, Steuben County on foot, the road for a good distance being only a path designated by marked trees. His first employment was cutting cordwood for Captain William Bull at twenty-five cents per cord. It had been a result of removal of his farther’s family, the want of schools, and other privations met in the newly settled state of the country that he had entered upon the work of life almost destitute of school education. This deficiency he deeply felt, and applied himself very earnestly to supply by reading and study. During the years 1816-17 he engaged in farming with his brother-in-law, Adam Haverling., part of the time at a compensation of eight dollars per month.
In the spring of 1818 he was elected to the office of constable and collector of the town of Bath and in 1819 he was appointed to the office of deputy under George McClure, sheriff of Steuben County, the duties of which he continued to discharge until 1820. In the year of 1820 he was appointed marshal for the County of Steuben to take the census. On the 6th of January 1820, he was married to Sarah McBurney, daughter of Hon. Thomas McBurney. She died May 15, 1828, leaving no children. The arduous duties of marshal he performed generally on foot, traversing a territory, which extended to Ontario County on the north, to Livingston County on the west, and to Tompkins County on the east, embracing a territory more than double the present limits of Steuben County. Upon the completion of his report he received the public thanks of the authorities for the remarkable faithfulness and accuracy of his returns, accompanied by the present of a handsome set of silverware.
In the year 1821, the office of high-sheriff becoming vacant by the death of Henry Schriver, he was appointed in his place. In 1823, when a change in the constitution of the state took place, the office of high sheriff, which had previously been conferred by a council of appointment, became elective, and he was then chosen by the people to the office and served until the year 1826. In the year 1826, Mr. Magee was brought forward by his fellow citizens as a candidate for Congress. He was elected by a very large majority and was again a successful candidate for the same office. During both these terms in Congress he took a prominent position. General Jackson, who at that time occupied the Presidential chair, regarded him as a man of extraordinary sagacity and soundness of judgment, and made him his confidential friend and advisor. He often consulted him upon important questions and offered him a seat in his cabinet, which Mr. Magee, however, declined.
Mr. Magee was married to Arbella Steuart on February 22, 1831. She was the mother of ten children, four of whom survived her and her husband, namely, Duncan S., George J., John and Hebe P. Magee. Only one is now living, General George J Magee of Watkins, N. Y. In 1831 the Steuben County Bank at Bath, N. Y. was established. Mr. Magee was chosen its first president, which position he held until his death, a period of thirty-seven years.
During the twenty years, from 1831 to 1851, prior to the time he became more directly interested in enterprises in Tioga County, Pa, he was actively engaged in connection with the banking business at his home in Bath, and in many public enterprises of the day in that section of the country. He was emphatically a public-spirited citizen. Not content with doing the merely perfunctory work of a bank officer and loaning of funds of the corporation with which he was connected and in which he was largely interested, he believed that its capital should be used in aid of worthy individual enterprises and in the development of the industries of the country, and he acted upon that belief and so directed its use. At the same time he engaged individually in may enterprises beneficial to the locality and the whole country, among them the opening of the Post Roads and a more speedy transportation of mails.
As early as the year 1835 the building of a large part of the New York and Erie Railroad to Lake Erie was proposed and, as stated in the address printed in this volume, he was instrumental in the building of a large part of that road and also of the Cohocton Valley railroad from Corning to Buffalo. Of the latter road, he was President and chief executive officer. Immediately following these twenty years of great activity in the enterprises here mentioned and in many others of less public note, he became interested, in the year 1851, in the line of railroad then known as the Corning and Blossburg Railroad. His son, Duncan S. Magee, engaged with him about that time in the business of manufacturing lumber in Tioga County Pa. and also in mining coal from the old mines at Blossburg and in shipping the same to Corning for market upon the canal. The prospect of an increasing market for coal led to exploration for more coal in the mountains and to the purchase of the coal lands at Fall Brook and to the organization of the Fall Brook Coal Company in 1859, all of which was brought about by Mr. Magee through the very efficient aid and cooperation of his son, Duncan S. Magee, who was the first superintendent and executive officer of the Company, The railroad interest and the coal enterprise were mutually dependent upon each other. The railroad needed the coal tonnage to support it and it was necessary that there should be reliable routes for transportation of the coal to market. Hence, these two interests were developed and fostered as essential ports of a single enterprise. Thus Mr. Magee’s railroad interest and coal enterprise were, from the first, operated in harmony; the Fall Brook Coal Company being the operator of the railroad under a formal contract of lease. This unification of interests, established and carried on by Mr. Magee in his life time has been continued to the present time in accordance with the terms of his will, in which he provided for the joint management of his railroad and coal properties and, as expressed in that document, "to the end that the business and interests of both the said corporation shall be practically consolidated and managed with reference to the mutual interest and benefit of each, as they now are under my general management and direction." His purpose was to combine those two interest, that each should unitedly expand and grow so as to realize the prophetic conception, which he sometimes modestly expressed of their future growth and of the capabilities of development through the means which he had inaugurated, of the resources of Tioga County.
P 22 through 25
In order to show somewhat the extent of that development and growth afterwards attained of those enterprises, which had their origin in that County, the following figures are given:
The Fall Brook Coal Company has mined at Fall Brook and Antrim up to and including the month of June 1887, 6,753,822 tons of coal. The whole number of men now (June 1887) employed in mining coal and in the work and business connected therewith and at the two mines is 1029.
The population of Fall Brook and Antrim is 2950, occupying 502 tenements. The houses and buildings are all built and owned by the Company. There are two main mines and seven churches, all occupied as places of worship. Free schools are maintained at the expense of the Company, at which 690 scholars were in attendance at the last term, which is a fair average attendance at the schools, and the instruction is fully up to the standard of schools of the state as to grade and thoroughness, considering the ages of pupils in attendance. To the above should be added fully one half more in number in employees and inhabitants at the Morris Run mines, on account of the interest in those mines held by the Fall Brook Coal Company. In the railroad department of the company there are employed at this time (June 1887)
Train men and workmen in shops 646
Men employed on tracks and in offices,
Including telegraph operators 778
Estimating this number of men employed in the railroad department as representing a population of, say, four thousand persons, and adding the mining population above mentioned, we have a total of about 8500 persons whose support is earned through employment furnished directly by and through the Fall Brook Coal Company.
The number of miles of railroad operated and used by the Company is as follows:
Main Line, Williamsport to Lyons, 205 miles,
and the Cowanesque, Fall Brook and Penn Yan Branches, 45 miles;
total, 250 miles
These statements are made to show some of the results of the work done by the subject of this sketch. Truly his works live after mine. The history of the Fall Brook Coal Company is his history, as to the later portion of his life, and when it shall have accomplished its work, men shall say it was John Magee who conceived and planned it all, though other hands carried it on toward completion after he was gone.
In 1867 Mr. Magee removed from Bath to Watkins, N.Y. He was an earnest and faithful attendant upon the Presbyterian Church, of which he was a member, and provided for the erection of the large Presbyterian Church edifice in Watkins, at the cost of $50,000. In 1867 he was chosen a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of the State of New York and his last public services were rendered as a member of that body.
Mr. Magee died at Watkins, N.Y. April 5, 1868, and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery. His children and grandchildren now living are as follows:
George J. Magee of Watkins, whose children are Anna S. Magee, John Magee,
Arabella S. Magee, Emma M. Magee, Lucy S. Magee and George J. Magee, Jr.
Also grandchildren of John Magee - Arabella S. Edward and Mrs. Helen M
Edwards, children of his son Duncan S. Magee, who resides in New York City;
and Duncan S. Ellsworth and John M. Ellsworth, children of his daughter,
Hebe, who reside in Penn Yan, N.Y.
ADDRESS AT THE UNVEILING
ADDRESS OF PRESENTATION BY HON. H. W. WILLIAMS
On BEHALF of the SUBSCRIBERS to the FUND.
The path, which leads to national prosperity, is not hard to trace. It begins in struggle - a struggle for the right to be - in which the soldier is the conspicuous figure. Armies are to be gathered, battles are to be fought and victory won at the outset before anything like progress possible. Then comes the work of organizing the newly founded State, in which the lawgiver is the conspicuous figure. A form of government is to be established, its powers defined and the rights of the citizens secured. This can only be done by well considered laws and the provision of suitable machinery for their administration.
When the labor of founding and organizing the State is accomplished, next comes the work of industrial development, in which the enterprising citizen is at least one of the conspicuous figures. Productive industries are to be built up; natural resources are to be made available; means of transportation and communication are to be provided, and commerce, with all its appliances, set in operation.
The world began early to build monuments to the memory of its great soldiers. It was long afterwards that men began to honor in like manner their great lawgivers. It is only in modern times that suitable recognition is accorded to the world’s great workers. The men whose trade extends to other lands and whose sails whiten other seas; the men who open our mountain sides and take, thence, for the supply of the world’s wants, the iron and coal stored therein and who, in the prosecution of their enterprises, employ hundreds or thousands of men, are beginning to be regarded as the heroes of peace - the great moving forces of the business world. Such men, while often securing substantial benefits for themselves, are of great service to the country in which they live. They give steady employment to multitudes of people; they build towns and factories; they open lines of transportation; they stimulate every branch of industry by becoming, themselves, great consumers as well as great producers. Such a man was John Magee. He began life with no other fortune than his native endowments of health and hand and head, and he grew to be one of the great employers, one of the most prominent and successful businessmen of the Middle States. He was honored and trusted by the public; he was honored and beloved by his associates and employees. His mining and railroad enterprises were largely conducted in this county of Tioga, and they contributed visibly to its growth and prosperity., It was fitting, then, that the employees of the Fall Brook Coal Company, which he founded, and of the system of railroads which he projected, when they decided to build a monument to his memory, should also decide to locate it at the seat of Justice of the county in which so large a proportion of his active operations were conducted. It is now completed. It is the tribute of his friends who survive him. It expresses in an appropriate and enduring manner, their appreciation of the great qualities that made him the most conspicuous businessman of the region, and it also expresses their personal regard for the man, the employer and the friend. On their behalf I now offer their completed work to the county of Tioga for acceptance and preservation. This monument speaks for the dead, but it speaks to the living. It will tell for ages to come of the character and life work of John Magee, but it will also tell, through the story of his life, of the grand possibilities which our great institutions open before the humblest child of the Republic
ADDRESS of ACCEPTANCE by HON. M. F. ELLIOTT,
On BEHALF of the COUNTY
It is my pleasing and simple task to receive, in the name of the people of Tioga County, this beautiful and substantial monument of John Magee. I desire to express the feeling of the citizens of the county for the memorial thus committed to their charge and their appreciation of hi whose memory it perpetuates. John Magee started in life without money, but with energy, integrity and character that constitute wealth far above the common lot of man. For a series of years he was a conspicuous character in this region of the country, and the people of Tioga County thoroughly appreciated his work in opening mines, building railroads, and projecting others. These works, which have been continued and carried through by the worthy son of a worthy sire, have greatly benefited this county and placed us in communication with the markets of the world. There is no spot more appropriate for this monument than the one chosen upon the public grounds of the county he did so much to benefit., There it will stand throughout the coming generations, and from it, the youth of Tioga County may learn, from the example of John Magee, lessons of thrift, of energy, of integrity, that shall inspire them to honorable and honored service to their fellow men. On behalf of the Commissioners and the people of Tioga County I receive this monument, which is dedicated to the perpetuation of the memory of John Magee.
JOHN MAGEE and TIOGA COUNTY
By Hon. Daniel Beach
Mr. President and Citizens of Tioga County:--
He whose memory you this day perpetuate was a native of your Commonwealth. Removed in boyhood to the far west, returning in early manhood to the neighboring county of Steuben, he spent the greatest portion of his life in your vicinity and was identified with the principal business enterprises of the bordering counties of New York and Pennsylvania, especially in your county of Tioga. Thus while he was a New Yorker as his chosen domicile, he was not only a Pennsylvanian by nativity, but connected with you by the associations of a long and useful life. It has seemed to you fitting, and it is certainly most appropriate therefore, that you en of Pennsylvania and especially as citizens of Tioga county should place here in you beautiful town which he admired and whose citizens he respected and esteemed, this enduring tribute to his memory, in recognition of his services to you and to those who shall succeed you in the goodly heritage of hills and valleys. It is not my purpose, and time will not permit me to recount the many interesting events in the life of John Magee. A brief reference to the events of his earlier life leading up to his business connections and enterprises in Tioga county is all that seems appropriate for me to say relating to his history on this occasion. John Magee, whose parents were Henry and Sara Mulhollon Magee, emigrants from County Antrim, Ireland, was born in the year 1794 in the neighborhood of Easton, a region then almost pathless except by the trail of the savage, the tread of the soldiers of the Revolution and the forest paths of the few patient, plodding Moravians who had settled on the fertile lands of Northampton. His father moved with his family westward, first to Groveland, Livingston County, New York in 1805, where the Mother died, and in 1801 the whole family, consisting of the father and five children, immigrated to the frontiers of the Northwest, in the State of Michigan. Four years afterwards, in 1812, Henry Magee and his two elder sons, John and Hugh enlisted as volunteers in their defense of their country in the war with Great Britain. The services of John Magee as a soldier were characterized by great courage and daring, as those of you who knew him can well understand. As one of a company of Mounted Rangers and as a bearer of dispatches between the forts on the frontier and to Washington he performed many facts of daring and endurance, for which he received high commendation by the commanding officer.
Leaving the service of his country at the close of the war, he came to Bath, Steuben County, New York, in the year 1816. There he began his political and financial career at the age of twenty-two, with no previous training and no "learning" except such as he "picked up" in frontier life and in the army. But such meager advantages as he dad, h improved to the utmost, and by patient application, reading and study, acquired and attained a practical business education most fruitful in results, and a facility and force of expression in the use of language, especially in business correspondence and in the framing and drawing of business contracts that few men can command. Many of you present here today can bear testimony to that fact. Although deprived of the advantages of schools, man a man highly expert in scholastic knowledge was less educated than he. Intercourse with men and experience in the affairs of life filled out the measure and supplied the place of the technical education, which circumstances had denied to him. During the two years following his twenty-second year, he worked with his hands at farm labor, "earning" his own living in that state of life to which he had been called, gradually but surely gaining the confidence of his fellowmen - confidence that plant of slow growth which was to bear such rich fruit in the future. He and his neighbors were real and true "Knights of Labor," but we do not learn that they contended for a reduction of the hours of labor. Practically, like most of the farmers of those days and the early pioneers of the forest, they frequently worked on the "eight hour system" but it was e-i-g-h-t h-o-u-r-s i-n f-o-r-n-o-o-n a-n-d e-i-g-h-t h-o-u-r-s i-n- t-h-e a-f-t-e-r-n-o-o-n. Nor do we learn that they attempted to exalt "labor" or add to its dignity by harangues, speeches or resolutions. To such a degree did John Magee secure the confidence of his neighbors in the town and country that he was successively appointed and elected Constable and Collector, Deputy Sheriff, Marshall and then Sheriff of Steuben County, which later he held for five years, from 1821 to 1823 by appointment of the Governor of the State and from 1823 to 1825 by the election of the people.
We come not to a period of his history when the sphere of his labors, influence and usefulness was enlarged and extended to the whole country. In the year 1826 he was a candidate for a seat in Congress, then a most distinguished honor, and to which he was elected by a decisive vote; and so acceptably did he discharge his duties as a national legislator, and so faithfully did he serve his constituents of the Twenty-eighth Congressional District of his state, that he was re-elected in 1828 by a flattering vote. It was in this capacity that he became useful to all this section of the country, by his earnest and successful advocacy of internal improvements, especially in the laying out and improvement of Post Roads. In an address made by him just sixty years ago, he said: "The subject of internal improvements is not less important than any other which has been mentioned. The construction of roads and canals is of such great and manifest importance and advantage to society that their encouragement has always been a leading feature of the police of the most enlightened countries. The benefits resulting from them to agriculture and commerce in times of peace, by the reduction of the expenses of transportation and by the ease and freedom of intercourse and the advantages of direct and speedy communication between all points of the nation in time of was, evidence of the use of such policy. The difficulties experienced by the government during the late was (of 1812) have called its attention to the necessity of construction a great national road from Washington to Buffalo." In the same address he urges the importance of the improvement of the Susquehanna and Chemung Rivers by the construction of slack water navigation. It is a significant fact that within the same year steps were taken for the establishing of slack water navigation in the Tioga River, a tributary of the Chemung, showing that in his conception and labors he was fully abreast of the times in the plans for public improvements and in the facilities for travel and transportation.
In all this wild region of half a century ago, no man was more influential or did more than John Magee in building the roads of those early days, and in following this up with establishing upon them Stage Coach lines for the transportation of mails and passengers. All these were in the face of obstacles scarcely conceived of at the present day. The effect of these improvements and enterprises upon your county must have been very material and beneficial; furnishing as they did, to it, the best known means of travel and mail communication. And not only this, but as the Indian trail pointed out and was succeeded by the improved highway of the white-man, so the mail coach routs thus laid out occupied and used were the beginning, the pioneer efforts in transportation and indicated the routes for the railroads that have succeeded them in these later days.
Thus is was that half a century ago, the genius, zeal and public spirit of John Magee first made their impression upon your country. But the era of the ponderous stage coach for "through" lines and "trunk" lines of travel, grand and imposing as they were in those times, was soon to be succeeded by the age of railroads; and when the Erie railroad was proposed, John Magee again "came to the front," and in the year 1840 and for several years thereafter he was engaged in building of large portions of that road. Following this he was active in the projection and building of the Buffalo and Cohocton Valley Railroad from Buffalo to Corning, devoting almost all his time to those enterprises during no less than fifteen years of his life. And to this the rebuilding of the Blossburg and Corning road, to be noticed later on, and his interest in other lines of railroad, and it will be seen that he was throughout nearly his whole life a r-o-a-d b-u-i-l-d-e-r, and operator of roads; first, of stage roads and the running of stage coach lines, reaching from Northern new York to Baltimore, and next, of railroad lines reaching easterly and westerly from Buffalo to this section of the country. I have fancied that the recollection of his long horseback rides from the Northern Lakes to Washington bearing dispatches to the seat of the Government, suggested to him the idea of a great government road, which as a Member of Congress, he recommended, and the mail coach lines in which he later became interested, over, possibly, the same route he had traversed as a boy on horseback years before. And I have fancied that possibly the journey on foot, which he made in 1816, with gun and knapsack, through the wild woods of Western New York, with only the marks upon the trees for his guide, from Niagara to Bath, to find the hospitable roof of an elder sister, suggested to him in later life the building of a better road on the line he had traversed, and that the building of the railroad from Buffalo to and through his adopted home was an outgrowth of that conception. But the building of highways of travel and transportation was not his only avocation. Though less directly related to your county, his business as a banker had ore or less to do with the prosperity of the people living within the circle of many miles, including your territory. From the time when he left active political life as a Member of Congress in 1831, till his death, he was a leading and enterprising banker at Bath, in connection with the well-known Steuben County Bank, most of the time as its President and during that whole period as its leading manager.
A banker, not in the narrow sense and character of the unfaithful steward, burring and hoarding the talent confided to him, or of levying tribute and usurious exactions upon the unfortunate, but in the larger sense and better character of a custodian of sacred trusts and the lenient creditor of worthy debtors in need of a legitimate aid in their proper, lawful and beneficial enterprises. Many a man has said had it not been for the aid given him by John Magee, he "must have failed financially," and I have frequently heard the remark from venerable men, his contemporaries, "he was the first man that aided me by a loan and set me on me on my feet in my business." The principal products of your country as well as Steuben County, for export, were timber and lumber, and in many cases they and to be taken to market and the avails received to pay expense of stocking, manufacturing and running the rafts to market. John Magee and his Steuben County Bank were always ready in such cases to make the necessary loans to trustworthy men. But the field in which John Magee was most intimately identified with Tioga County was the development of your coal mines and the building of railroads to reach them. Considerable more than fifty years ago it was well known that your county was very rich in coal and mineral deposits, but there were no adequate means of transporting them to market, even if there had been sufficient market for them. Railroads were, in that day, a novelty, and it was scarcely discerned by your people that this rough region, in which these deposits were contained, could be made accessible by any means except by was of the water channels which nature afforded and which connected your county more intimately with the State of New York than with the territory of your own commonwealth. The Susquehanna, by way of its tributaries the Chemung and the Tioga Rivers, penetrated to the very heart of the county and seemed to furnished the easiest and cheapest means of transportation from the mines, and from your forests, to market. To make water communication available, a company was incorporated by the State of Pennsylvania in the year 1826, with power to make slack water navigation in the Tioga River from the state line at Lawrenceville to the coal beds near Blossburg, or to construct a canal between those points, as should be deemed most advisable. This company was known as the Tioga Navigation Company. In the year 1828 a like company was incorporated by the State of New York, by the name of the Tioga Coal Iron Mining and Manufacturing Company, having for its declared objects the digging and vending of coal, manufacturing of iron in all its various branches, mining and working ores, and manufacturing glass and other articles. This company was also authorized to construct slack waster navigation from the Pennsylvania state line down the Tioga River, or to construct a canal between the same points as it should elect. This was the day of canals, or the "canal era" so called, in which so many canals were projected and constructed in New York and Pennsylvania
Upon examination, however, it was found that the construction of slack water navigation in the Tioga was not practicable, or at least too expensive to warrant the outlay of the amount of money required. Subsequently, by acts of the Legislature of the respective states, the companies were authorized to construct railways along the Tioga River between the pointes named. But the roads were not built till after many years of financial tribulation, and then were laid with only the old-fashioned strap rails. The companies mentioned passed through various vicissitudes and changes of name. The Tioga Navigation Company, the Pennsylvania Corporation, because the Tioga Railroad Company, and the Tioga Coal, Iron, Mining and Manufacturing Company, the Mew York Corporation became, first, the Corning and Blossburg Company, and afterward the Blossburg and Corning Railroad Company. The old companies and the parties engaged in operating their roads, engaged with varying success in the business of transporting the products of the mines to market, but the market was limited to a small quantity of coal and the business was far from remunerative.
But in time the opportune moment came to develop the mines of Tioga County, and when it came John Magee was ready with the capital, with the will and determination to prosecute the work. How ably his son Duncan S. Magee, seconded the efforts of his father in this work you all know. The commemoration of the father and the history of his enterprises today, would be incomplete without due mention and record of the zeal, the ability and the work of his son Duncan S. Magee, whom I know was to love and honor.
Men may say that the times and opportunities favored their work in Tioga County; nevertheless, to foresee and improve opportunities for success is no less a mark and evidence of genius and an ability than the work of achieving it and detracts not at all from the credit of accomplishing great results. The opportune moments for the development of the natural resources of your county did not come as by chance, nor as a commercial growth, nor by merely natural causes. John Magee and his son Duncan, found, "worked up", and secured the market fort Tioga County coal. They personally sought the opportunity, and superintended experiments in its use in the manufacture of salt and in propelling locomotives. John Magee was emphatically a pioneer in the larger development of the resources of your county. A few others preceded him and many others have followed him in this, but history will accord to him the credit of the greater work, the placing of your products in the markets of New York and England.
It should be observed here that the first railroad was constructed in Tioga County in the year 1840. John Magee was at the same time and for several years thereafter, actively engaged in the extension of the Erie Railroad westerly from Binghamton; and that both roads had been completed to Corning; he was foremost in the construction of the Cohocton Valley Railroad from Corning to Buffalo, at about the same time he became the owner of the railroad running from Corning to Lawrenceville, rebuilt it, took up the trap rail and re-laid it with new and modern superstructure. The concurrence of these events, their importance and their situation and relation to each other, show that in his contemplation they were part of a system of improvements, all important, and destined to bear close relations to each other. Not far from this period o time a plan was proposed in which he took a leading part, no doubt with the same object in view, for the building of a railroad up the beautiful valley of the Cowanesque and thence westward to Ocean. A part only of this scheme has been carried out, as you know, in the building of thirty-two miles of railroad in that valley.
For the building of the railroad to Wellsboro I need not remind you that you are indebted to the foresight of John Magee. It was conceived, planned and provided for by him and left to be accomplished under the lead and direction of his son, now with us today on this occasion. What other plans in conceptions of railroad extension John Magee may have had, or what he might have done in the direction had he remained with us in full vigor to this day, we know not; but it is fair to assume that they have all been more than realized, through the efforts of his son, George J. Magee, in the extension of rail communication from New York (Central N.Y.) southerly through your county to central Pennsylvania and beyond to the Allegheny Mountains. In all this, directly and indirectly resulting from the efforts of the man whose memory you honor today, it is not by any means claimed that he was in all these enterprise actuated by philanthropic motives merely. Human history does not abound in instances of the devotion of man to the worldly and material interests of his fellows. Great results of this kind are usually attained through the double motive of gain, and the ambition to succeed in what has been undertaken and projected. Fairness requires me to say that these were probably the principle motives which lead to the accomplishment of the results, which have been mentioned.
To those who knew John Magee well, it is necessary to say that to him the work of construction w-e-l-l d-o-n-e, whether of the bridge, a railroad, or a piece of machinery, or a structure of any kind, gave him more satisfaction had greater charms for him than the mere acquisition of money in business operations. It can mot truly be said that he was not an avaricious man. He sought and praised money for the use he could make of it, for the accomplishing of such project as I have mentioned. The successful completion and operation of which were dearer to him than the profit they might yield, except as measuring their success. He was impatient, therefore, of prodigally and the expenditure of money other than the most useful and practical objects. A business pursuit which p-r-o-d-u-c-e-d n-o-t-h-i-n-g beneficial to the world had not respect or encouragement from him. In harmony with this, therefore, he sought to leave to his descendents not merely a fortune r-e-a-d-y-m-a-d-e but, as he expressed it, "something to do;" some worthy, useful, and active enterprises on hand that needed unremitting labor and attention to carry them out successfully. But the work of John Magee’s life was not limited to the field of railroading, coal mining, banking, and other related objects. He was active throughout his whole life in all the great interest of his time - religious, educational, political and economic. Active in the promotion of Christianity, rendering needed financial aid in proportion to his means in foreign missionary fields and at home, he left a substantial monument of his memory in the erection of a noble church edifice, and by his will left legacies for the spread of the gospel. His mother’s Christian teachings to him in childhood, which, with deep feeling, he recounted in old age, thus bore rich fruit in the life of her orphaned son. In educational interests he was early interested. In the address of sixty years ago, already referred to he said: "The general diffusion of the benefits of education among the people is a measure of vital importance. Intelligence is the rock upon which our Constitution and Government is founded; sustained and supported by the moral sense of the community, they can only be perpetuated by the general dissemination of information among our citizens. It is therefore the duty of the government to establish free seminaries in every part of the country. Equally accessible to all classes - the poor- that their benefits may be enjoyed by all. The resources of our nation can not be applied to any purpose more beneficial." To us this day who see on hand free schools of every grade, it seems strange that there was ever needed such pleas as this for their establishment. But we must not forget that it was by such pleading as this and the efforts of such men in State and Nation, that the blessing of popular education are not enjoyed. Not only in word, but, in deeds did he bear testimony to his zeal in this direction. I need not remind you that a most worthy institution of learning received timely aid from him at a critical time its history. Although John Magee left public official life on his retirement from Congress in the year 1831, he maintained his interest in public affairs in both State and Nation. And finally the year of his death, was a prominent and influential of the convention to revise the Constitution of his State. The part he took in that convention showed the same broad, statesman like views which marked his course in Congress, when a young man, and he closed his life in the service of the state, as he commenced his public lie in the service of the Nation-an honest, incorruptible mane as he had through life been the unpretending, useful and respectful citizen. It has my purpose simply to set before you some of the leading events of this strong man, which related principally to your county but it has been necessary to digress from that line and refer to other events of his life. I have intended no eulogy in the common acceptation of that term. A simple narrative is his best eulogy. Nor do I attempt a description of his personality. That is shown best by his deeds. But I cannot refrain from quoting from the estimate of him of a few men now passed away who were his contemporaries. Of him, Horatio Seymour said: "To me he was an attractive man. He was a strong man upon whose points were I to feel my own weakness, and it always gave me pleasure to talk with him. Beyond anyone whom I have known, he was quick in his perceptions character, keen in seeing through the facts of matters, which he had to deal and prompt in his action. While he was firm and resolute in his purposes, firm in demanding his rights and making others do their duties, he had what is rare with his cast of character, great charity for the weakness of other and a kindly generosity in helping those who made mistakes or fell into trouble for want of wisdom or skill. I never knew another man whose sharp questionings, stern probings, and close scrutinizes, ended in such liberal and generous conclusion. My acquaintance with men has been large, I have seen and known ore or less of the leading men of out country during the last thirty years. Not one of them made a more marked or deeper impression on me than John Magee. I freely sought his council with regard to public and private affairs, and his judgment never failed to be right." Samuel J. Tilden, on hearing of the death of John Magee wrote as follows: "I could not but feel the shock, as another link is broken out of the chain which unites the circle; who, in the Roman phrase, ‘think together concerning your country’, especially a link so important and valued, and so associated in our minds with the great days of the republic, and so remarkable for natural greatness of character." The eminent lawyer John K. Porter, said: "He was one of those sterling and able men whose names were accustomed to associate with the stability and prosperity of the State and whose weight of character far transcends the dignity of mere official position." A colleague of his in the Constitutional Convention wrote: "During the past summer I was placed in the situation to make thoroughly his acquaintance. Seated by his side every day and spending more or less of my time in social intercourse with him, I found him a man of great warmth and kindness of hear. Always courteous and gentlemanly and always cheerful, not withstanding his infirmities." Contemporarily with him within the circle comprising central northern Pennsylvania and southern western New York, engages in similar vocations, what a group of strong men! - John Arnot, John Magee, Constant Cook, Charles Cook Jervis Langdon, Ezra Cornell. And we may add Asa Packer, as to his enterprise extending into the same region. A Senate of wisdom and finance in the affairs of men, all now passed away. But each has received. Or shall receive, the honor due his memory. Those who succeeded them will do well to imitate them on the good way they have done. The strong character of John Magee was thoroughness. Attentive to all details, close and exacting in all work, and accurate in all he said and did, he became a master of every situation in which he was placed - a mastermind - a master hand. Furnishing the means and opportunity to thousands to gain a lively hood, he was a benefactor to man. A leader in the development of wealth by legitimate labor, he was an industrial primate. Deprived, as we have seen, of the advantages of an early education in schools, he overcame the obstacles of this privation and filled out the measure of the full development of his manhood by his actual work in life. His preparatory school was the forest, the army, the farm, and, within his county discharging faithfully the duties of office; his college, the halls of Congress, where his prizes were earned and acknowledged; his university the bank, the railroad office, and the world of business; his degrees, the memorials, which loving and faithful and grateful hearts as today erect to his memory. The commemoration in memorial bronze on the lives and deed of eminent men is a custom as old as imitative art. Thus have legends been perpetuated and histories written. The thousands of statues of ancient Greece, were histories in art, no less, and possible evermore, when the written pages of Herodotus were histories in books: for while only the few read the tales of Grecian history, the many passing in her streets, gazing on the features in bronze of heroes, scholars, and statesmen, thus celebrated, recalled the legends and partook of the inspiration of their story. So, in times to come when few perhaps may read the story of him whom you this day honor, thousands passing this way, and many treading these paths from day to day and year to year, and looking upon the features of the strong man as delineated in this beautiful specimen of memorial art shall recall the story of his life, and the lasting works which he hand has wrought for and yours, in your favored county of Tioga.
P56 ADDRESS OF JUDGE BRADLEY
Mr. President: - This demonstration and large assemblage are some indication of the public esteem in life, for him who is the subject of this memorial service. I shall not add much to what has been already, with much propriety, said but this occasion refreshes memory and brightens recollection of the events of past years. It enlivens the admiration of a man whose energy and enterprise contributed largely to the beneficial results and prosperity, which are seen and appreciated in a portion of southern New York and northern Pennsylvania. And the apparent durability in material and structure, of the appropriate monument which is this day here unveiled, represents well, yet feebly, the endurance in memory which the achievements of his life entitled his fame. I need not say to you, who knew him and his character, that John Magee was no ordinary man. That, which would ordinarily have been struggle and embarrassment to boys and young men in the times and under the circumstances of his early life, was no obstruction to his energy and his success. What he had to do was well done. When cutting wood for two shillings a cord, and working on a farm for eight dollars a month, the business in hand his interested attention. And his duties as constable had no less his care and faithful and through performance than had those, which he later assumed as High Sheriff of the County of Steuben. Although denied in youth the opportunity for the education of schools, he early became a leading man of the community in which he lived, and had the public confidence in matters of State, as well as of business. And his election to Congress was repeated, the second term of which commenced with the first term of Andrew Jackson as President of the United States. He served his four years as Representative in Congress with much credit, and brought to the performance of public duty married intelligence and well guided judgment, which had the respect of his associates in legislation; and during his second term the complimentary appreciati0n of the Federal Executive. In the public service, and in his varied business transactions, his life was one of activity, in which he effectively applied his strong and vigorous mental power and his great physical energy. The accomplishment of that which won the admiration of the command under which he served in the war of 1812, in the hazardous undertaking - requiring the utmost endurance - of carrying on horseback dispatches between the northwestern frontier of the State of New York and Washington City evinced in some degree the force of character, which gave to whatever he undertook a successful consummation. He saw the requirement of the future advancement of commercial and other business interests, and the want of the means of communication and transportation. And in that he was foremost in projecting and operation mail routes and stage lines in his part of the state, and later he was prominent and active and practically engaged in the projection and completion of railroads. Much is due to his foresight, influence and energy for the early movement which supplied the New York and Erie Railroad to the wants of western New York for the means of expeditions, travel, communication, and the transportation of its products to market, which contributed largely to the rapid increase of population, products of industry, and wealth in that part of the State. And he gave a leading and effective influence and practical application of his energy and means, to the projection and construction of the line of railroad from Erie through the valley of the Cohocton to Buffalo. He was a practical man. His knowledge of men and affairs generally was very considerable. He did not confine his attention to any single department of industry. His business was diversified. His capacity for correct thought, system and practical organization, gave efficiency to all enterprises that came under his management. At quite an early day, when leading production of Steuben and the adjacent county west of it was pine lumber, which went on the rivers to the southern markets, the organization of the Steuben County Bank contributed much to the requirement and needed supply of the means to manufacture the lumber and put it into market. It was largely by the influence and judgment of Mr. Magee that the bank was organized. He was its first President, and gave to it successful and productive management for many years; during which time it was one of the leading county banks of the State of New York, and from it much benefit resulted to the public. The strength of Mr. Magee as a businessman was not in his capacity and energy alone, but also in his character of manhood and integrity in all his business intercourse, relation, transactions, and dealings with others, and in the confidence, which those qualities inspired. He did not take the opportunities to speculate out of necessities or misfortunes of men, but rather in their emergencies and embarrassment, his method was to give them leniency, sympathy, and substantial support, and this lift them up into happy relief. This brief reference to his business qualities renders it easy to understand, that he was the man who might be expected to foresee what time has developed, that a dilapidated railroad of a bankrupt company which might be made to conserve an important purpose, in a financial productive enterprise, of taking and transporting coal from its beds - furnished b the State of Pennsylvania - to the markets beyond its borders. The result was foreseen by him; his formed and executed. The Blossburg and Corning Railroad was raised from the feeble and useless condition to that of a first-class line, in strength of structure and for practical use, and it was well equipped with vigorous engines and other suitable rolling stock. The forest of your county was entered, the bounteous coal mines were found and opened, and their products taken over this road and finally distributed and sold in the markets, within and beyond New York. Villages have grown up to supply the wants of this industry, and many thousands have been supplied with employment, directly and indirectly as its result.
The life of John Magee did not enable him to carry forward to full completion the system of railroads and the increase in mining and transportation which his judgment had devised; but his successor inherited his purpose, and faithfully executed it, and has successfully accomplished and added to the projected enterprise. This work is very considerable in your county and the prosperity of its results here are very apparent. This act of commemoration comes from respect to the memory of John Magee and from a desire to honor it. While the place of his nativity was the State of Pennsylvania, the home of his business life was in the State of New York. The honor of this tribute of respect and of the substantial means of perpetuating his memory, so gracefully presented and accepted here today, is with the people of Tioga County. And while it is a very gracious act on their part, it has its rewards, amongst which are the thanks of the communities of the adjoining state, who are represented here by those who have the honor of uniting with you in this memorial dedication. And in common and alike, his memory is cherished by both commonwealths. There are many here who know him well, and had with him relations, business and social, many who were in his service. Those who knew him best knew that his nature was kind, sympathetic and generous, and that his friendship was strong, vigorous, and enduring. Time is fast reducing the number of his contemporaries, and soon none will remain to speak of him from personal intercourse; but this elegant monument will long continue to mark the period of his life and to transmit to coming generations the esteem for him while living, and the respects for his memory after death, of those who lived in his time in his time and survived him. Although his business lie was a great financial success, his efforts were not wholly confined to that. He had an active appreciation of duty to society, and did much to advance its welfare, and to improve its condition. That which furnished the means of education, and of intellectual, moral, and religious encouragement, improvements and culture, had his influence and generous support. With his death ended a life of much usefulness.
Pittsburgh, Pa. May 30, 1886
Hon. Henry Sherwood
Dear Sir:- I see by a Williamsport paper that since I left home last week, a movement has been started to build a monument by popular subscription, to the memory of John Magee. Assuming that you have something to do with the project, I write now to ask you to put my name down for --. John Magee had a mind fitted by nature for great enterprises. He was a man of untiring energy and unbending will in carrying out his purposes. He was clear headed, far seeing, liberal and public spirited, and our country owes to men of his class nearly all of its prosperity and greatness. He and I differed together in politics, but after a long talk with him once, I knew was as sincere and patriotic in his views of public policy as any man could be. He belongs to the Scotch-Irish race and one of the characteristics of that race is known to be stubborn tenacity in holding opinions honestly formed, and courage to defend them at all hazards. I can personally testify to John Magee’s courage, unselfishness and benevolence. I happened to be at the Dickinson house Corning, N. Y. on the day of the memorable flood in March 1865 that swept away so much property, endangered so many lives, and cut the railroads around the town for many miles. John Magee, then an old man, was there also, and though his railroad was washed away for many miles, he unselfishly set aside his own interest and devoted al his energies that day with all the men he could command in rescuing with boats and rafts, at the risk of his life, the poor and wretched people whose houses and shanties were submerged, nor was he satisfied until everybody was well housed, dry clad, and otherwise made comfortable. YES; let Tioga County build a monument to the memory of John Magee, for in honoring such a man, she does honor to herself.
Yours Truly Hugh Young
P66 Elkland, Pa., June 22,1886 Walter Sherwood, Esq.,
Dear Sir:- I am glad to aid in the movement to erect in Wellsboro a monument to the memory of Hon. John Magee. I knew him well. He was a most remarkable man, combining so many good qualities - courageous, honorable, straightforward in business, genial and kind hearted. I have always testified in admiration of him, for he was my ideal of a man. He was a large hearted gentleman, and his sons were like him. I enclose my check for -----, to further the project. If it should be decided to expend more money than stated, or there shall be a lack of funds, let me know and I will add to my contribution.
Yours, very truly, Chas. L. Pattison
P67 Executive Mansion
Albany, N. Y. November 24, 1886
Hon. Henry W. Williams, Chairman committee of Arrangements, Wellsboro, PA
Dear Sir: I am in receipt of your letter of the 23d instant, inviting me to be present at the unveiling of a monument to the late Hon. John Magee, at Wellsboro on December 1st, next/
I regret to say that official engagements at the Capital will prevent my attendance upon that occasion. Permit me to commend the worthy purpose, which the employees of the Fall Brook Coal Company and others have in view in the erection of such a memorial. He was an honest man, a patriotic citizen, a kind employer of men and an enterprising and public-spirited businessman.
Thanking you for your kind initiation, I am,
Very respectfully yours, David B. Hill
P67 Wellsboro, Pa; November 29,1886
Hon. Henry W. Williams, President Magee Monument Association
Dear Sir:- I beg to acknowledge the receipt of an invitation to be present at the unveiling ceremonies of the Magee Monument at Wellsboro, December 1ar. Prior engagements of an extraordinary character, and from which it is impossible for me to recede, necessarily prevent me from being present and taking part in the interesting exercises in the capacity of chaplain. I regret very much my inability to assist at the dedication of a monument to commemorate the admirable private virtues and splendid public spirit of John Magee. In raising this shaft to honor the name of John Magee, Wellsboro honor herself, and Tioga County, by this tribute to the memory of the man who gave such an impetus to the development of her resources, shows that she honors the memory to those who make a county great, second only to those who died to preserve it.
Thanking the gentlemen of the association for the honor extended and wishing you a successful day for your praiseworthy enterprise,
I remain sir, sincerely yours, M. E. Lynott
P68 DuBois, Pa, November 30, 1886
Reception Committee Unveiling Magee Monument, Wellsboro, Pa.
I am forced by business duties to deny myself the privilege of accepting your invitation to be present at the unveiling of the Magee Monument on the 1st prox. To me this is no formal regret but is heartfelt and sincere. I knew John Magee for many years. I had business relations both public and private with him and a truer, franker, more generous man I never found. I shall ever bear in remembrance his sagacious foresight in developing the industrial interests of Tioga County, in fostering every worthy enterprise within her borders, and especially shall I remember the generous gift of over $3300 to the State Normal School at Mansfield, and that too, without solicitation or suggestion from any of its officers, and after he had saved it from the hands of the sheriff by his timely assistance of a loan.(*) Tioga County owes much to John Magee and this monument is but fitting recognition of his services.
Sincerely yours, S. B. Elliott
(*) The incident referr3d to above by Mr. Elliott is thus recorded in the History of Tioga County, page 310 by Andrew Sherwood: "the legislature in April 1864, apportioned $5000 for the State Normal School of Mansfield which was mainly used in liquidation debts. Previous to this, however, a long of $6500 had been secured of Hon. John Magee. Looking back it seems that this loan came just in time to save the school. Mr. Magee saw the necessity and sympathized. He asked no personal guarantees as others had done. All Honor to Hon Magee! A portion of the appropriation of 1863 was paid Mr. Magee, and there was something paid him from out of the appropriation of 1864, so that left $3000 due. This had run up to $3332.50 when on the 1st day of January 1867, he sent a receipt in full as a New Year’s present.
||First Added to the Site on 22DEC 2002
By Joyce M. Tice
You are the visitor since the counter was installed on 22 DEC 2002
Dear Ms. Tice -
I came upon your wonderful history of the dedication of the John Magee
monument in Wellsboro. Thank you for your research. It has filled in many
questions for me. John Magee was my great-great-grandfather. Daniel Beach,
my great-grandfather. I have recently been in touch with Richard Stoving,
President of the Tioga
Central Railroad, regarding his history of the rail lines beginning with the Fall Brook. He led me to your site. I truly appreciate your doing what the Magee family never did, in compiling a history of family for future generations.
Daniel Magee Beach
No, the picture postcard does not show the Magee Monument, it is rather the Civil War monument in Wellsboro. The Magee monument is a bust on a pedestal, as described in the information provided on your site. It is still standing, and, if you wish, I can provide you with a current picture of it. I am currently writing a history of that portion of the Fall Brook Railway that ran between Lawrenceville and Antrim, and I reviewed your site with interest.