Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Back to Merchants & Businessmen

Augustus C. Laning was born in Oswego, New York, September 30, 1808 and died in Wilkes-Barre May 29, 1875. He was the son of John Laning and Mary Ann Hollenback Deshong, daughter of Colonel Mathias Hollenback.

Laning moved from Oswego to Wilkes-Barre in 1822. He made his home with his uncle, George M. Hollenback, and obtained a clerkship in the mercantile establishment of his grandfather, Colonel Mathias Holllenback. For a time, too, he worked in his uncle's store.

In 1830, after he had become of age, he set up in business for himself, in Kingston, but removed back once more to Wilkes-Barre within a short time, for a period, doing business on the east side of the square.

In 1833-34 he erected a stone building for an iron foundry, on the west side of the square, on the site where later stood the Laning Building. Here he carried on a business with good success until the building was destroyed by fire, in 1850; then he built again, a foundry and machine shop on the west side of the canal, north of Market street, and there engaged in iron manufacturing.

About 1853 Samuel R. Marshall of Philadelphia, acquired an interest in the business, and the partners made it the foremost of its kind in Northeastern Pennsylvania. In 1869 they sold it. From then until his death eight years later Mr. Laning devoted his time to private interests, notably real estate.

He was active during his career in all phases of civic life, served in various offices, and was a benefactor to Wilkes-Barre on more than one occasion.