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History of Cambria County, V.3

HISTORY OF CAMBRIA COUNTY. 237
was furnished by subscriptions collected by Mrs. Siter and Mrs. Butland. Mr. Siter was a life-long Republican. At the time of his death he was not identified with any church.
    Mr. Siter married, May 6, 1854, at Phoenixville, Elizabeth Widener, and the following children were born to them: Clara, wife of Thomas Kerlin; Annie, died in girlhood; Sarah J., died young; Elmer Ellsworth; Elizabeth, wife of James P. Thomas, of Johnstown; Jessie Mary; William Berlin; and Frank. The three last-named are deceased. Of these children, Elmer Ellsworth was born during the Civil war, and it was the wish of his mother that he should receive his father's name. Mr. Siter, however, wrote from the front, requesting them to wait until his return, with the result that the infant was named in honor of the young hero who so bravely, if rashly, sacrificed his life in the early days of the conflict.
    The death of Mr. Siter occurred June 8, 1890, and was mourned by all who knew him as that of a kind husband and father, a true friend, and a useful and worthy citizen.
    Mrs. Siter, who was born in Reading, Berks county, Pennsylvania, is a daughter of Adam and Sarah (Lotz) Widener. The latter was a daughter of John Lotz, who was a hatter by trade, and at the time of the war of 1812 a wealthy man, loaning money to the government. He also served in the army with the rank of colonel. His death occurred in Reading, Pennsylvania.

    JAMES PHILIP THOMAS, second child and son of John and Mary Reighart (Griffith) Thomas, general manager for A. J. Haws & Sons, manufacturers of fire brick, and also a member of the business firm of John Thomas & Sons, was born at Johnstown, May 10, 1863.
    He was educated in the public and high schools of that city and in Duff's Commercial College at Pittsburg. At an early age he entered his father's store, where he now is a member of the firm, although his personal attention is chiefly directed to the management of the extensive works of A. J. Haws & Sons, in which concern he holds a considerable interest. For about fifteen years Mr. Thomas was immediately connected with the department store previously mentioned, and at the end of that period he became a member of the firm of M. L. Williams & Co., manufacturers of brick. In 1899 he acquired an interest in the brick manufacturing works of A. J. Haws & Sons, one of the old established industries of Johnstown, and became its general manager. In 1901 the Williams & Co. firm merged with the greater enterprise and since that time have been operated together, making one of the largest concerns in this country engaged in the manufacture of silica and fire brick.
    Besides his mercantile and manufacturing interests Mr. Thomas is prominently identified with various banking institutions and other local enterprises, and occupies an enviable position in the business and social life of Johnstown and Cambria county. He is a director of the Johnstown Telephone Company and the Johnstown Trust Company, member of and director of the Johnstown Young Men's Christian Association, and a Mason of high standing. He holds membership in Cambria Lodge, No. 278, F. and A. M.; Portage Chapter, No. 195, R. A. M.; Cambria Council, No. 32, R. and S. M., and Oriental Commandery, No. 61, K. T. He is a member of the United Brethren church, and in politics is a Republican. His home on Somerset street in Johnstown is a seat of comfort and one of the most attractive residences in the city.
    Mr. Thomas married, October 27, 1886, Elizabeth Siter, daughter of


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