Although Benjamin and Jane Lightner of Huntingdon county had a son Thomas Lightner abt 1843, it was NOT Thomas GROOM Lightner, who was a son of the parents listed below.
From Twentieth Century History of Clearfield County, Pennsylvania,
and Representative Citizens, by Roland D. Swoope, Jr.,
Chicago: Richmond-Arnold Publishing Company, 1911, pages 389 - 391.
JOHN L. LIGHTNER, who for more than twenty-three years has served as justice
of the peace at Coalport, Pa., has been prominently identified with the
progress and development of this section of Clearfield County during a long
period. Born in Clearfield County, Pa., August 26, 1850, Mr. Lightner is a son
of John and Annie (Groom) Lightner, and a grandson of John Lightner, a native
of Germany and a soldier in the patriot army during the Revolutionary War.
John Lightner, the father of John L. Lightner, was born near Carlisle, in
Cumberland County, Pa., in 1805, and when but thirteen years of age left home
to make his own way in the world, securing his first contract in the
construction of the old tidewater canal and assisting to build the Columbia
bridge which was burned during the Civil War. For some time he kept the Oulet
lock on the Pennsylvania Canal, but subsequently, in 1847, brought his family
by team and wagon to a farm near Blain City, and paid $1,000 in gold for a farm
of 150 acres, which he eventually cleared of the pine, hemlock and hardwood
timber. Here Mr. Lightner died May 28, 1890. He married Annie Groom, who was
born in Bucks County, Pa., and they became the parents of fourteen children, of
whom seven grew to maturity, as follows: William, engaged in the lumbering
business up to the time of his death in 1909, served during the Civil War as a
member of the 105th Pa. Vols., and has the distinction of being the only man in
Irvona when that town was laid out; Martha, born in Columbia, Lancaster County,
married John W. Davis; Thomas G., a resident of Blair City, formerly owned 700
acres of coal and timber land on the present site of the town of Coalport,
removed to Tyrone in 1867 and there conducted the Clearfield Hotel until his
return to Clearfield County about 1886, where he is now living retired; John
L., between whom and his elder brothers five children are deceased; Adda
married Thomas McQuillen of Tyrone; Alice is the wife of James McClure, of
Wilkinsburg, Allegheny County; and George, a farmer of Chest Township,
Clearfield County, married a daughter of Judge Hockenberry, formerly associate
judge of Clearfield County.
John L. Lightner attended the local schools and took a four years' course at
Tuscarora Academy, in Juniata County, a Presbyterian institution at what was
then known as Academia. He graduated in 1871, after a four-years course in
civil engineering, and immediately engaged in teaching, a profession which he
followed for twelve years in Clearfield County and one term in Cambria County.
About 1883 he identified himself with the firm of Shaw & Dotts, and while with
them laid out Blain City and sold the lots, after which, for a time, he was
associated with Harry Krotzer. Mr. Lightner was instrumental in securing the
brick plant for Irvona, which will employ a large number of people, and in many
ways has assisted in the building up of this part of Clearfield County. He has
devoted some time to the insurance business, purchased the Thompson interests
after Mr. Thompson's death, and since March, 1902, has been actively interested
in the land business, as a superintendent of the firm of Whitmer Land Company
and others, but he has not let his business activities keep him from what he
considers his duties as a citizen and he has always been found doing his full
share in this way. Mr. Lightner has ever been ready to give sound advice and
settle disagreements, and his reputation as a peacemaker led his fellow
citizens, in 1887, to elect him to the office of justice of the peace, in which
capacity he has acted to the present time.
In February, 1903, Mr. Lightner was married to Miss Zellah McCune, the
daughter of Easton McCune, of Irvona. In National and state matters the Judge
casts his vote with the Democratic party, but in local affairs lets his
judgment decide which is the candidate best fitted for the office.
NOTE: Son Thomas G. was named after his mother, his full name being Thomas GROOM Lightner (his mother's maiden name). He can be found with his wife, Martha Price Lighter, in the Tyrone, Blair county, Pa censuses.
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