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Old Timers 1916

(Glimpses of prominent Frackville citizens from the borough's early days)

WILLIAM M. DAMPMAN, foreman of the repair shops of the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company at Gordon, was born In Lebanon, Lebanon Co., Pa., son of James M. and Elizabeth (Irons) Dampman, both natives of Pennsylvania. The father is of. German descent.

James M. Dampman was born in Reading, March 27,1851, and moved thence to Lebanon at an early age. He has been connected with the Reading Railway Company from boyhood, first as messenger, then at other employments until he was made an engineer at Reading in 1875; he now holds that position at Mahanoy Plane, and resides in Frackville. Mr. Dampman married Elizabeth Irons, and they had four children: William M., mentioned below; Jennie, living at Lebanon; Mary, widow of George Kienzie, of Frackville; and Daniel, a resident of Frackville, in the employ of the Reading railroad. Mrs. Dampman died in 1884.

James Dampman, the grandfather of William M. Dampman, was a native of Chester county. He was connected with the Reading Railway from its earliest days and had the honor of running one of the first hard-coal burning engines on the road. He had eight children, five sons and three daughters, of whom four are living. Philip is, a resident of Point Pleasant, N.J. David took part in the Civil war, was afterwards employed by the Reading Railway Company, and is now deceased. Mrs. William Livingston resides in Philadelphia; Mrs. Harry Rippman in Norristown, Mrs. Harry Bailey, in Philadelphia.

William M. Dampman attended school in Philadelphia during the time his -parents resided there, completing his education in Frackville. After his school days he came to Mahanoy Plane, and on the 1st of December, 1889, became a messenger for the Reading Railway Company. He was rapidly advanced to caller, and from that to other positions, until in 1891 he was made stationary engineer at Mahanoy Plane. In July, 1894, he was apprenticed to the machinist trade in the shops, working thus until December, 1900, when he was transferred to his present position of foreman, of the shops at Gordon.

In 1898 Mr. Dampman was married to Harriet Cobley, of Mahanoy Plane, and they have had these children: James, Beatrice, Samuel, Douglas and Jennie. Mr. Dampman is a member of the Lutheran Church, and in politics a Republican. He, has been president of the school board of Gordon for four years, is secretary of the board of health and treasurer of Citizens' Fire Company, Ashland Lodge 294, F. & A. M., Patriotic Order Sons of America, and of the Royal Arcanum.

Samuel Cobley, father of Mrs. Dampman, was a fire-boss in the mines at Mahanoy Plane. He married Elizabeth Coles, and they had eight children: James, a resident of St.Louis, Mo.; Charles, living at Mahanoy Plane; Margaret, wife of James Garraway, of Frackville; George, a resident of Lansdale, Montgomery county; Mrs. Dampman; Elizabeth, unmarried; Samuel and Elmer, deceased.

[This article can be found in "1916 History of Schuylkill County" by J.H. Beers]

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