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124 BIOGRAPHICAL AND PORTRAIT CYCLOPEDIA

elected a member of the first town council, in which position he served six years. He has been a member of the school board in Croyle township for the past four years, and still occupies a place in that body. Mr. Hartman is a man of good organizing power and executive ability.


JAMES H. GEER, assistant chief engineer of the Cambria Iron company, is a son of James and Phoebe Jane (Patch) Geer, and was born August 2, 1843, in Blairsville, Indiana county, Pennsylvania. James Geer, his grandfather, was one of the earlier settlers in the vicinity of Blairsville, whence he removed to Erie, this State, where he died. His father was born in Blairsville, Indiana county, and died on the old homestead in the same county.
    The life of James H. Geer has been one of practical activity. He attended the common and select schools of Johnstown, and when about fourteen years of age connected himself with the Cambria Iron company, that wonderful practical university from the work shops of which so many men have gained that mental discipline and mechanical skill that can but command success. He entered the pattern-making department, taking his first lessons in that course which has led up to his present responsible position. He remained in that department until 1862, when, yielding to his patriotic impulses, he enlisted in defense of the Flag. He entered the service in company A, of the One Hundred and Thirty-Third regiment, Pennsylvania volunteers, and served for a term of ten months. At the end of his military service he spent about seven years throughout the West, following, for a time, his trade, and, for a time, general mechanical pursuits. In 1870 he returned to Johnstown and entered the pattern-making

department of the Cambria Iron company, where he was kept one year, and was then placed in the drawing-room. In 1881 he was made master mechanic, a position he held until 1884, when his capabilities were rewarded by being promoted to the position he now holds.
    He married Anna, a daughter of Peter Fought, formerly of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and later of the State of Illinois. To this union have been born the following children: Albert M., Harry R., Erastus I. (in the employ of the Cambria Iron company), Frank D., and James, at school.
    James H. Geer is talented as a mechanic, thorough-going and progressive in whatever he undertakes, and possesses that genius of generalization so indispensable in the direction of a vast enterprise. He has been a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers since 1884.


JOEL A. GATES, superintendent and bookkeeper for J. M. Troxell, a lumber dealer in Cambria and Clearfield counties, is a son of Isaac and Mary (Troxell) Gates, and was born in White township, this county, September 30, 1848. His grandfather, J. Caleb Gates, was born in Wittenburg, Germany, whence he emigrated to America, and located in Berks county, Pennsylvania, and engaged in farming. Later he removed with his family to Cambria county, and located in White township, where he purchased a tract of wood land which is now owned by Joseph Vance, and became a pioneer farmer in White township, where he died.
    His marriage resulted in the birth of seven children: Margaret, who married Mayor John Zentmyer, of Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, who was the father of P. R. Zentmyer,


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Lynne Canterbury and Diann Olsen