Dan Powell of Blaina, Wales
and Scranton, Pennsylvania

Portrait and Biographical Record of
Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania
Chapman Publishing Co., New York, 1897.

In this biography of Dan Powell we learn of two families from Blaina (a community just south of Brynmawr) that emigrated to the Scranton/Hyde Park area of Pennsylvania, the Powells, and the family of Dan's paternal grandfather, Reese Williams.

Dan Powell (pages 1055-56)

It is said that biography yields to no other subject in point of interest and profit, and it is especially interesting to note the progress that has been made along various lines of business by those of foreign birth who have sought homes in America, the readiness with which they adapt themselves to the different methods and customs of America, recognize the advantages offered and utilize the new opportunities which the New World affords. Mr. Powell, who has for thirty years been identified with the interests of Dunmore, has made his own way in the world from an early age, and today is numbered among the most successful businessmen of the place.

He was born January 10, 1853, in Blaina, South Wales, a son of John and Elizabeth (Williams) Powell, also natives of the same county. His paternal grandfather, Anthony Powell, a farmer by occupation, was born in Carmarthenshire, Wales, and died in early life. John Powell was also born in Carmarthenshire, and by the death of his father was thrown upon his own resources when quite small. He became a practical miner of Monmouthshire, Wales, and twice came to America before locating permanently here, first before the birth of our subject, and again in 1863. In 1865 he came with the intention of soon sending for his family, and secured employment with the Roaring Brook Coal Company, but inside of nine months met with an accident, a roof falling upon him, this disabling him for work for about thirteen weeks. In July, 1867, however, he was joined by his family. He continued to work for different mining companies until finally he retired from active life, and died in Dunmore in April 1895 at the age of eighty-two years. For one term he creditably served as street commissioner of that place. His wife was reared in Blaina, Wales, and died in Dunmore, January 15, 1883. Her father, Reese Williams, a native of South Wales, was supply agent for the Blaina Iron Works for many years. He survived his wife seven years and joined his children in America, dying in Hyde Park, at the age of eighty-two. To the parents of our subject were born eleven children, of whom four sons and two daughters came to the United States: Reese, who died in Dunmore: John, a resident of that place; Anthony, who had gone back to Wales, where he was killed in a mine in October, 1895; Dan; Mrs. Maria Jones, of Jermyn, Pa.; and Mrs. Eliza Weber, of Dunmore. Mrs. Ann Harris still makes her home in south Wales.

Until twelve years of age, Dan Powell attended the schools of his native land, and for the following two years clerked in the grocery store of William Michael. With the family he then left Liverpool on the steamer "Malta," which reached the harbor of New York July 30, 1867, after a voyage of fourteen days. For two years he pursued his studied in the schools of this country, after which he was employed for three months in the planning shops of the Pennsylvania Coal Company, and later served for three years as clerk in the general store of Bryden & Co. In 1872 he accepted a similar position with Johnson Baxter & Co., general merchants in Dunmore, the firm later being changed to Allen, Baxter & Co. After spending some time as clerk he was made a member of the company, which for three years successfully engaged in business under the style of Allen & Powell. On selling out he purchased the establishment of McMillen & Co., which he carried on alone for three years, but in 1883 disposed of the business and became general manager of the general merchandise store of O. S. Johnson on Blakely Street, where he has since remained.

December 24, 1874, in Newton, N. J., Mr. Powell wedded Miss Sarah E. Space, a native of that place, and a daughter of Jackson Space, a farmer who belonged to an old New Jersey family. Five children blessed this union: Grace E., Elsie C., Annie B., Bessie M. and Helen L. Mr. Powell is a charter member of King Solomon Lodge, F. & A. M., and has been a member of Dunmore Lodge No. 816, I. O. O. F., since 1874. He has twice represented the latter order in the grand lodge, was a member of the building committee during the time of the erection of their building, and has served as trustee for many years. An ardent Republican, he has served as a delegate to the county conventions of his party, and in the spring of 1897, without his solicitation was unanimously nominated for the office of burgess of Dunmore. He accepted the nomination, believing that if elected he could further advance the interests of his adopted borough, as he is one of the most public-spirited and progressive citizens of the place. Since 1870 he has been a consistent and faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Dunmore, of which he has been trustee for many years, and is now president of the board. For twelve years he has most effectively served as superintendent of the Sunday-school, which under his control has grown to be one of the largest in Lackawanna County, numbering over four hundred members. He was chairman of the building committee and president of the board of trustees when the house of worship was erected, and to him great credit is due for its satisfactory completion. Upright and honorable in all the relations of life, he commands the confidence and respect of all with whom he come in contact.

Return to the Brynmawr-Scranton connection page
Return to the Prominent Welshmen of Scranton page
Read more about the history of Hyde Park
Return to the Brynmawr, Wales History - Genealogy website

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