The Honeywells were a prominent family in Warren county (New Jersey) history more than a century ago, but present researches do not give satisfactory information as to their American ancestor, whence he came, or who were the members of his family.

Among the earliest of the Honeywells of whom there is a known record was John Honeywell, who by thrift accumulated a comfortable fortune and made good use of it for the benefit of his descendants and townspeople. In his will was a provision for the erection and maintenance out of his estate of a school house on a part of his farm lands for the education of the poor children of that vicinity, and that has been added to and is now known as the Honeywell Academy, at Mt. Hermon New Jersey. In 1900 a centennial celebration was held at this school house, and the ceremony was attended by William J. Honeywell, of Dallas, then seventy-eight years of age. As a youth the noted divine T. DeWitt Talmage was a pupil attending the same school.

The pioneers of the Honeywell family in the Wyoming valley in Pennsylvania were William and Richard Honeywell, brothers, who left their former homes in Warren county, New Jersey, in 1808, and with their families journeyed overland by slow travel into the mountainous regions of Luzerne county. They comprised quite a colony, twenty in all, William Honeywell, his wife and eight children and Richard Honeywell, his wife and eight children They made their way into the alien sparsely settled territory of Dallas from Pittston, cutting the road through the forests for much of the distance of several miles, which work alone occupied their entire time for three or four days. William Honeywell's five hundred acres included the lands where now are the Dallas fair grounds, while Richard's five hundred acres included the site of the A. S. Orr Sanitarium, which was destroyed by fire in June, 1905. In later years each of these pioneers gave to his children sufficient land for a good farm, and by their efforts in many ways contributed to the growth and prosperity of the township during its early history. William Honeywell built first a log cabin, and later a frame house, the latter being the first structure of its kind in the township In 1816 the first school house in Dallas was built by William and John Honeywell, Philip Shaver and William Hunt. William Honeywell was a man of sterling qualities, honest, industrious, and patriotic in the extreme. He was also a thoroughly religious and conscientious man, and in those days, when church buildings were scarce, his house was the central place for worship for that country. His heart was in sympathy with the work of the Gospel; his hand was always ready to help and his hospitable home was ever open to the preacher of the Gospel.

These pioneer Honeywells were in many other ways identified with early events of Dallas history, and in all later years their descendants in each succeeding generation have been in some prominent way connected with the best elements of the township's history. William Honeywell's children were Grace, who died unmarried; ;. Thomas, Abraham S., Jacob, Joseph, Hannah, who married Andrew Puterbaugh; Catherine,. who married Christopher Shaver; and Betsey, who married Eleazer Swetland. Richard Honeywell's children were William, Charles, Samuel, Isaac, Nathaniel, Richard, Jr., Esther, who married Edward McCarty; and Catherine, who married Elijah Ayers.

Abraham S. Honeywell, the second son and third child of William Honeywell, the pioneer was born in 1792 in Warren county, New Jersey. The greater part of his life was spent in Dallas, where he was a thrifty farmer; but about twenty years before his death he removed to Wyoming: borough, where he passed the remainder of his days in comfortable retirement. He was a man of influence in his day; he held the office of constable of Dallas for twenty years, and held several other offices of trust in the town. In those days of no railroads he was in the habit of hauling goods from Easton to Wilkes-Barre, drawing shingles from the wood country, south, and bringing back supplies. The first cast iron plow used or seen in Dallas was owned by him. He died in Wyoming at the advanced age of ninety-five years. He married, 1820, Lydia Hawk, and they had two children William J., born June 3, I824, and Samuel, born May 27, 1828 The marriage of Abraham S. Honeywell and Lydia Hawk was one of the earliest in Dallas.

William J. Honeywell, "Squire Honeywell," son of the late Abraham S. and Lydia (Hawk) Honeywell, was born June 3, 1824, in Dallas. He was one of the first white children born in that locality. In his youth he was a pupil in the log school house built by his grandfather and others in Dallas, and he was brought up to farm work. When he reached his majority he took charge of his father's home farm and conducted it for several years, thus relieving his parent of much hard work in his declining years. Later on he was the owner of a seventy-five acre farm where the Fair Grounds are located, but even before that time he was the proprietor of a farm of the same size. He made the first wagon brake that was used on any wagon. In 1902 he sold his lands and took up his abode in Dallas borough, where he now resides, being the owner of a house and lot. He is a man of influence, both socially and religious. For fifteen years he served as justice of the peace, hence the title by which he is familiarly addressedó"Squire Honeywell". He still holds that position, although having attained the age of eighty-two years. He was assessor of the town in 1844 and served for three terms. There are only two now living that were assessed at that time --- Robert Wilson and William J. Honeywell. He also served three terms as notary public, and for six years was an officer of Dallas borough at one time serving as burgess, he being the first one there. When young he taught school for a time, and later on in life was a member of the board of high school directors. At the time of the erection of the Methodist Episcopal meeting-house he was president of the building committee. Squire Honeywell married, May 29, 1847, Sarah Perry, of Wilkes-Barre, daughter of James and Mary Perry who bore him four children: Hiram M., of Parsons, Luzerne county, he married Martha, daughter of Joseph Shotwell. Mary, wife of Josiah Milton Rood, of Dallas. Lydia A., died in infancy. Clinton De Witt, of whom further mention is made.

Clinton DeWitt Honeywell was born in Dallas, February 9, 1853. His young life was spent on his father's farm and in attending the public schools. Later on he had charge of the home farm, but after his marriage he engaged in the butcher business, which was his chief occupation sixteen years, until his health compelled him to turn to some other pursuit. He then engaged in the sale of agricultural implements and machinery in partnership with A. D. Hay. This business was continued several years, when Mr. Hay was elected county commissioner, and Mr. Honeywell was made mercantile appraiser. Later on he was deputy sheriff under James G. Harvey, serving in that capacity three years. About this time Mrs. C. De Witt Honeywell's father died, soon after which Mr. Honeywell succeeded to the ownership of the Ferguson farm, where he resided some years, and in 1904 sold it and now resides with his father. He is a member of George M. Dallas Lodge, No. 531, F. and A. M., and is also a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Mr. Honeywell married, February 12, I873, Mary Ferguson, daughter of John Ferguson, a descendant of one of the old families of Dallas. John Ferguson was born on the farm where he died at the age of seventy-three years. His father was Alexander Ferguson. John Ferguson's wife was Amy Ferguson, daughter of Richard Ferguson a farmer of Centermoreland township, Wyoming county. Mr. and Mrs. Honeywell have three children: Eugene Honeywell, of Kingston; Carrie Honeywell, wife of Dr. Samuel Ruffner of Wilkes-Barre: and Liang Honeywell, of Dallas

Samuel Honeywell, youngest child of Abraham S. and Lydia (Hawk) Honeywell, was born on the family homestead in New Jersey, April 12, 1828. He received his education in the public schools, and on the death of his parents inherited one-half of the homestead farm, which he cultivated from the year 1847 until 1866. In the latter year he removed to Carverton, Luzerne county, Pennsylvania where he had purchased a large farm in the previous year, and which he occupied until 1875, bringing it into a high state of cultivation. After leaving the farm he took up his residence in the borough of Wyoming, where he built a comfortable and attractive home and in 1904 removed to Dallas, to the home of his daughter Mrs. B. W. Brickel. A man of excellent business qualifications  and unquestionable integrity he has held the regard and confidence of his fellows, and has been called to various positions of honor and trust, in all of  which he has acquitted himself with conspicuous ability. He served for some years as a school director and judge of election, and in 1892 was made tax collector for the borough of Wyoming by the county court of Luzerne county He and his family are exemplary members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mr. Honeywell is an unflinching Republican in politics. He married, December 27, 1849, having just come of age that year, Miss Margaret Frantz, daughter of Jacob A. and Mary A. (Weiss) Frantz, both natives of Pennsylvania descended from early German immigrants Of this marriage were born ten children six of whom are now living: Mary E., wife of B. W. Brickel, an undertaker of Dallas ( formerly of Bethlehem) Pennsylvania; Ira T., of Luzerne borough, Pennsylvania; Lincoln D., on the old homestead at Carverton, Pennsylvania; Nelson C., of the borough of Luzerne ; Clinton G., of Luzerne; and Archie E., who is in the United States mail carrier service, and resides at Oak Lane, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


 Return to History Contents

 Return to Home Page