Eliezer D. Jenkins

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

Eliezer D. Jenkins. Both as a public official and as a businessman, E. D. Jenkins, of Scranton, has become favorably known to the people of the county. A strong adherent and staunch advocate of the principles of the Republican party, he was, in 1882, their candidate for the office of recorder of deeds, at which time the people, remembering his conscientious and careful work as deputy for Recorder Lathrope, and respecting his manly character and integrity, elected him to the position, he being one of the two candidates on the Republican ticket who were not defeated. In 1885 he was re-elected by a majority of eight hundred and thirty-seven, and again in 1888 by a fair majority, serving until January 1, 1892.

The Jenkins family originated in Wales. The grandfather of our subject, Hopkin Jenkins, was born in Neath, Glamorganshire, removed thence to Monmouthshire, and engaged in the manufacture of powder. Rev. William Jenkins, our subject's father, was born in Cendl, Monmouthshire, and became a minister in the Congregational Church. In 1869, three years after his son, E. D., had crossed the ocean, he came to America and at once accepted the pastorate of the Congregational Church at Jermyn, where he continued to preach the gospel until his death in 1884, at the age of eighty-four years and five months. His wife, Ann Miles, was born in Pontypool, Monmouthshire, and died in Jermyn in 1880, at the age of seventy-nine years. She was a daughter of Edmund and Gwenllian (Harris) Miles, the former a native of Wales and employed as overseer of forests.

The character of Rev. William Jenkins was conspicuous for its fearlessness and determination. A man of strong convictions, his purity of principle and firmness of moral courage exhibited themselves in decided opinions on the issues of the day and a readiness to express his views, irrespective of consequences. In Wales he did much toward the elevation of the working classes, where he was often a mediator between capital and labor, and in this capacity he acted more frequently and more successfully than any other man of his day.

In Pont-aber-pen-gam, Monmouthshire, the subject of this sketch was born May 13, 1848. He was educated in what is now called the Gellygaer Academy, and being a good student made rapid progress in his studies. When only fifteen he taught in the Pontymobile schools of Pontypool, and this occupation he followed for several years. In the spring of 1866 he came to this country and settled in what is now Jermyn, and has since resided in this county, with the exception of a short time in Youngstown, Ohio. Prior to his election as county recorder the mercantile business was his principal occupation. Six months after retiring from office he became connected with the Stevens Coal Company, operating in Pittston, and was immediately chosen a director, and took charge of the general store of Jenkins & Co., at the mines. Later he was made vice-president and is now general manager of the coal company and the store. Since 1892 a new shaft has been sunk and a breaker erected, with a capacity of about one thousand tons per day.

In Jermyn Mr. Jenkins married Miss Mary L., daughter of Preserved Taylor, who was born in Scranton, a member of a family that was numbered among the original owners of this city. She was born in Wyoming, Luzerne County, and received an excellent education there. In religious beliefs she is a Methodist, while Mr. Jenkins adheres to the faith of his forefathers and allies himself with Congregationalists. Their six children are Blanche, Grace, Annie, Bertha, Willard, Warren and Eliezer D., Jr. The family residence is at No. 1519 Capouse Avenue, where Mr. Jenkins built in 1866. Fraternally he is a Mason and an Odd Fellow.

During his service as recorder, Mr. Jenkins gained a reputation as a systematic, accurate and efficient public official. During office hours he was always to be found at his desk, attending personally to every duty. All records of deeds and mortgages were accurately written and indexed, thus preventing the possibility of an error in this very important department. He is an active man, of resolute character and undoubted integrity. Although of foreign birth, the years of his manhood have been passed in the United States, and as an intelligent citizen, familiar with her institutions and laws, he takes a hearty interest in her welfare and progress.

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