History of Erie County, Pennsylvania, 1884

John Bliss Biography

John H. Bliss, Erie City Iron Works, Erie, was born in Fort Howard, Wis., Oct. 4, 1823, son of John Bliss and Letitia M. Ellicott: his ancestry on both sides is English. His father entered as Lieutenant in the regular United States Army in the war of 1812, and reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel; he was engaged in some of the most severe battles of the war, and was wounded at Lundy's Lane; he died Dee. 22, 1854.

Our subject was the only son that grew to manhood; he received his education in Cincinnati, studied civil engineering, and was for two years one of the corps who surveyed the Erie extension of the Penn. Canal; he afterward studied law in Little Falls, N.Y. and Buffalo, N.Y., and also attended one term of lectures at Harvard University; he was admitted to the bar at Albany, N.Y. Jan. 15, 1847. In 1855, he came to Erie City, where he has since remained; he formed a partnership with George Selden in bending works, and continued for 3 years. Then commenced with him the manufacture of barrels for the oil regions. In 1864, they bought the Erie City Iron Works. At that time W.J.F. Liddell was a member of the firm. Mr. Liddell has since retired. George D. Selden, nephew of Geo. Selden, since became a member of the firm. They manufacture steam engines, boilers, circular saw mills, etc. The Erie City Iron Works are a monument of which the proprietors and the city may well be proud.

Mr. Bliss was married, Oct. 1, 1850, to Ellen, daughter of Dr. Christie, a Surgeon of the United States Navy. Mr. and Mrs. Bliss had four children, three now living - Anna, wife of Rev. S.D. McConnell, of the Episcopal Church at Philadelphia (have two children - Ellicott and Guthrie); Horace John (deceased), Louise, at home; George F., at home. Mr. and Mrs. Bliss are members of the Episcopal Church. The former's grandfather, Andrew Ellicott, laid out the city of Washington, D.C.; he also laid out Erie City. In politics, Mr. Bliss is a Democrat society.

Source: History of Erie County, Pennsylvania; City of Erie; Chicago; Warner, Beers & Co.; 1884

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