Biography of George N. Berlin
Clarion County, PA Biographies





BERLIN, GEORGE NEELY, was born near the present site of Valley post office, August 15, 1820, and lived with his parents until his marriage.

His father, George Berlin, was born near Greensburg, Westmoreland county, Pa., September 12, 1782. During his youth he learned the blacksmith trade. He married Elizabeth Neely, of Westmoreland county, in 1805. Their children are Jesse, now living in Clarion; Sarah, who married William Black; Mary Ann (Booth), Henry Nicholas, a hotel keeper in Rimersburg; Fanny (Hugus), George N., Margaret, Hezekiah, Solomon, Jeremiah, William M., and Paul; also a daughter dying in infancy. In 1810 he moved to the wilderness in Venango county, settling near where his son George now lives. Part of his time was spent in clearing and improving his land, and during wet and cold days he worked at his trade. Men would often plow or grub for him while he would sharpen their mattocks and do other smithing for them. During the War of 1812 most of his neighbors left their work and bore arms for their country. Mr. Berlin having lost the sight of his right eye was left at home, but made himself useful in harvesting his neighbors' crops, working day and night, and to increase his burdens mid disadvantages his wife was bitten by a rattlesnake while assisting in the harvest field.

During the grading of the turnpike which crossed their farm, Mrs. Berlin did the baking for the graders, receiving one dollar a barrel for converting twenty six barrels of flour into bread. Mr. Berlin kept hotel after the pike was finished for fifty three years. He died November 1, 1844, and his son Henry, then the main helper at home, died shortly afterwards. His wife and mother of his family died February 5, 1879, at the age of ninety three years.

George N. Berlin wedded Susan Cook, of Forest county, Pa., January 9, 1848, and moved to present site of Valley post office, where he has lived ever since; living at first in a log house ten by twelve feet. The farm at that time was all woods but three acres. Since then it has been nearly all cleared, and is at present under a good state of cultivavation. In 1849 he built the present brick building in which he has kept hotel nearly ever since. In 1856 he had the contract for carrying the mail from Warren to Franklin, using twelve horses and six men. Mr. Berlin has been engaged in the oil business ever since the first excitement about Oil Creek and Oil City. His first adventures did not prove profitable. He devoted most of his time to testing territory, but found no oil. In 1872 he had a test well drilled on his own farm at Valley. The well is yielding some oil yet. He was subsequently interested in the locality of Elk City, and was one of the first persons to open the Cogley field. He has profited by his early experience in the business, and of late years has operated quite extensively and with much success. He has some thirty producing wells at present.

Besides the farm containing two hundred acres on which he lives he has three other fine farms.

The Kossuth post office was moved to his place during Buchanan's administration, and Mr. Berlin was postmaster. He is at present postmaster at Valley, an office kept at his place. He sold farm machinery for twenty five years. He has raised a family of seven children - William H., an oil merchant living near Eik City; Harriet L. (Phipps), Lizzie J., who married J. H. Marten; John C., an oil merchant, also has a hardware store and the post office at Fern; Lettie S. Milton, their first child, and Jacob, their youngest, each died at the age of three years.

Mr. Berlin has always been active and industrious. He will be gratefully remembered by the many friends he has made during his active and successful business and social life.


From:
History of Clarion County, Pennsylvania
With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches
of some of its prominent pioneers.
EDITED BY: A. J. Davis
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
1887


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