Biography of Rodney L. Nichols
Potter County, PA Biographies

RODNEY L. NICHOLS is emphatically a self made man. He was born at Arcade, N. Y., October 29, 1818, and there spent the early portion of his life. He taught school, commencing at the age of sixteen years, and when twenty two went to Kentucky and Tennessee, where he became a teacher in slave holding families; afterward he was principal of an academy in Fulton county, Ill., for three years. In 1848 he returned to Arcade, and in 1850 located at Miliport, Potter Co. , Penn., being connected with the Oswayo Lumber Association. In the fall of 1851, in company with Joseph Mann, he bought out their land, and was in business as merchant, manufacturer of pine lumber, dealer in real estate and land surveyor at Millport from 1850 till 1877, in which latter year he moved to Coudersport, where he now resides, engaged in the business named at the commencement of this sketch, though he still owns a farm and other real estate at Miliport. Mr. Nichols has been twice married, first on October 9, 1850, to Mary E., second daughter of Andrew Shedd, Esq., of Sardinia, Erie Co., N. Y. She died in 1871 without issue, and on May 1, 1873, Mr. Nichols married his present wife, Jennie Wentworth, of Portage, Wyoming Co., N. Y., by whom he has one daughter. Nora Eola, born September 9, 1876. Mr Nichols is a member of the I. O. O. F., and has passed all the chairs in the Encampment; he is also a member of Olean Lodge. F. & A. M. He is a Presbyterian of the Scotch-Irish pronounced type, which faith largely predominates in the family. In politics he is a stanch Republican. He voted for William Henry Harrison for the presidency of the United States, became allied to the anti slavery party, and voted for John C. Fremont for the same great office, and afterward joined the Republican party, to which he has given his earnest support from the day of its formation until the present time. He did good and earnest work for the elevation of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency; was also an ardent supporter of the martyr's war policy, and rendered personal service in raising men and money for the carrying out of the same. The present head of the administration, "Ben" Harrison, also received his vote. Mr. Nichols is still a thorough Republican, and believes in a liberal pension policy in aid of worthy soldiers and their families. While a resident of Miliport, Mr. Nichols was school director, postmaster and justice of the peace almost constantly for twenty six years, and county commissioner three years. He took a leading part in the construction of the Coudersport Water Works, and is a stockholder in the Coudersport & Port Allegany Railroad. He owns real estate at Arcade, N. Y., also extensive tracts of land in the northern part of Potter county and in Iowa. Though a gentleman of wealth, he never alludes to the fact, and has nothing of sham or show in his conversation or manners. Mr. Nichols resides in a pleasant home in Coudersport, and has a business office near the house. His life has been marked by continual struggles and by indomitable perseverance. The results which have come to him are not due to favorable influence or the aid of friends; on the contrary, they have been the outgrowth of his own innate course and temperate habits of life.

Another Rodney L. Nichols in Potter County.

From:
History of the Counties of
McKean, Elk, Cameron and Potter, Pennsylvania
J. H. Beers & Co. Publishers
Chicago, Ill. 1890


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