Biography of John Durrant Larkin
Erie County, NY Biographies


Larkin, John Durrant, Bufflao, was born September 29, 1845, in Buffalo, his parents being Levi Henry Larkin and Mary Ann Durrant. Levi H. Larkin was born in England about 1816, came to America in 1832, and died in Buffalo in June, 1852. He first entered the employ of George Jones (now George Jones's Sons), manufacturers of iron work, and later founded the old Clinton Iron Works, opposite the present Buffalo Library building, which he conducted until his death. He was a member of the old Volunteer Fire Department, and in politics was a Whig. His wife survives him and lives at North Evans. He left seven children, of whom two, John D., and William G., are living. John D. Larkin was educated in public school No. 15 of Buffalo, and when twelve became a clerk in the wholesale millinery store of W. H. Woodward. Four years later he became a clerk for Justus Weller, soap manufacturer, who in 1870 sold his plant in Buffalo and moved to Chicago. Mr. Larkin going with him. There Mr. Weller established a soap mannfactory, and in 1871 Mr. Larkin was admitted to partnership under the firm name of J. Weller & Co. In 1875 Mr. Larkin withdrew and returned to Buffalo and engaged in the manufacture of soap on Chicago street. In 1876 he purchased a site on Seneca street and erected a factory, which has been enlarged from time to time until now it occupies a large plant on Seneca, Carroll and Heacock streets. Elbert G. Hubbard became his partner in 1878, under the firm name of J. D. Larkin & Co., and in February, 1892, the Larkin Soap Manufacturing Company was incorporated with a capital of $500,000, Mr. Larkin being the president and Mr. Hubbard the secretary and treasurer. In 1893 Mr. Larkin became treasurer as well as president and D. D. Martin succeeded Mr. Hubbard as secretary. The firm employs about 400 hands, and manufactures all kinds of laundry and toilet soaps, toilet articles, boraxine and chemically pure glycerine, being one of the leading and largest establishments of the kind in Buffalo. Mr. Larkin is a Republican, but has devoted his time and energies exclusively to business, in which he has been eminently successful. May 10, 1874, he was married in Hudson, Ill., to Frances H., daughter of Dr. Silas Hubbard, formerly of Buffalo. They have five children: Charles Hubbard, a student at Lafayette College, Easton, Pa., class of 1899; Frances E.; John D., jr., also a student at Lafayette College; and Harry H. and Ruth Read.

Our County and it's people
a descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Trumen C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898


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