Born: 11 May 1814
Born Where: Lyman, NH
Died: 20 Dec 1894
Died Where: Bradford, PA
Father: David Locke
b: 19 Oct 1788 Epsom, NH; d: 19 Mar 1863 Lyman, NH
Mother: Florinda Locke
b: 18 Jan 1791 Epsom, NH; d: 11 Jan 1880 Lyman, NH
Spouse: Sarah (Sally) Davis Cook
b: 24 Apr 1814 Epping, Rockingham, NH;
d: 01 Nov 1890 Bradford, PA
Marriage Date: 23 Feb 1837
Married Where: Deerfield, Rockingham County, NH
Children: Florinda Locke (1838-1854), Sarah E. Locke (1839-1923), Henry Harrison Locke (1840-1915), Martha Helen Locke (1842-1863), Jonathan Morrill Locke (1844-1914), Stephen Farnsworth Locke (1846-1928), Mary Keziah Locke (1848-1850), Mary Keziah Locke (1850-1927), Hannibal Orlando Locke (1856-1902)
Jonathan Locke, who had the first machine shop near the Drake Well was a native of Lyman, NH where he was born on 11 May 1814. As a young man he learned the trade of millwright while engaged in the practice of that industry in the cotton mill town of Lowell, MA. He there met his wife Miss Sarah Cook who was born on 24 Apr 1814.
In 1849 Jonathan Locke was induced to leave his New England home and locate in the then lumber country of Oil Creek, Western PA. Arriving in the village of Titusville he assumed residence at the upper saw mill a short distance below the junction of Pine Creek with Oil Creek and a mile and a half below the straggling little town (Cherrytree).
He was in the employ of Brewer Watson and Co. to repair and keep in running order the machinery of the two saw mills. The second mill standing nearly a mile below what was known as the upper mill. He moved his family into the house near the mill in which L. K. Edget lived in 1920.
In the old mill Jonathan Locke found a foot power lathe. It was so strongly made that iron could be turned into desired shapes. He could turn boxes and pins and cut threads in the box with dies and upon the pins with screw plate. Remaining at the mill a year or two he decided to return to his native home in NH. From there he went to the gold fields of CA. Four brothers Joseph, Elbridge, Lovering, and Silas had preceded him to the mining region of the precious metals. He met them there and remained a sufficient length of time to build a saw and grist mill on a stream that entered the Sacramento River. He finished the two mills in about a year and a half.
Then he returned to his NH home, and in a short time moved with his family back to the sawmills in Oil Creek Valley. He took up residence in the same old house near the mills below Titusville. This movement was accomplished about two years (1857) before Col. Drake completed his oil well near the upper saw mill. At the time Jonathan Locke was again in the employ of Brewer Watson and Co. He had a workshop in the mill but his blacksmith shop was located on the flats a few rods below the mill. (See picture of the sign marking the spot.)
A short time after the completion of the Drake well, Jonathan Locke built a machine shop later occupied by the Edget Power House in 1920. He bought a turning lathe in Olean, NY. This machine enabled him to make and finish drilling tools. While thus engaged Jonathan Locke bought an interest in the Bryan and McMullen Ironworks which were then newly established in Titusville. This interest was purchased from Dr. F. B. Brewer. Jonathan Locke owned it but a short time. Then he sold it to Mr. Bryan. This firm afterward became the Bryan & Dillingham Ironworks and is today (1920) the Titusville Ironworks.
Jonathan Locke continued to reside near the Drake Well during the development of the Oil Industry in that vicinity and down the valley of Oil Creek until after the discovery of the remunerative Oil Field of Pithole in 1865, 12 miles distant from Titusville. Then in 1868 came the Pleasantville and Shamburg oil excitement.
In 1868 Jonathan Locke and son came to Pleasantville and started a machine shop and blacksmith business (the Eagle Iron and Mill Works) on State Street, for the manufacture of oil well machinery, wagons, etc. He erected a large building and employed as many as 14 blacksmiths and helpers.1
In early July 1870 Jonathan went out to collect some receivables from clients and went missing for a year and a half. His wife put out ads in the paper for information on his where-abouts. He eventually turned up in Greenbay, WI in February of 1872. He said he arrived there with $63.30 in his pocket but remembered nothing about how he got there, or apparently who he was for a year and a half. Being a highly respected member of the Pleasantville/Titusville community, the incident was not attributed to any problems with his marriage or family. He had apparently been receiving some treatment from a physician prior to his dissappearance for what was termed an "abberation of the mind." Though he still complained about problems with his head, he apparently returned to work in his machine shop without another such event.
The Great Fire OF Pleasantville A fire broke out in Pleasantville at ten o'clock on the morning of the 23rd day of December, 1871. The origin of the fire was in the garret of the New York Hotel and was discovered by Mary Devlon. It consumed all the main portion of the block, which consisted of the New York Hotel, Genner's Hardware Store, the St. Nicholas Block, which extended about one hundred feet on lower main Street and the same on State Street. Many other businesses were destroyed. All the stores were full of goods and when the teamsters came along they were invited to load their wagons and haul goods away from the burning buildings. Some of them did and were never heard from afterward. Losses amounted to $150,000. Henry Harrison Locke was injured in a fall from the top of a building, but no human lives were lost.1
In 1876 the Lockes purchased a site on Shamburg Street and enlarged their trade by adding a flour mill, saw mill, planing mill and cider mill.1 He remained at Pleasantville until 1888 when he moved his shop to the Bradford field in McKean County, PA. There in 1894 at the age of 81 years Jonathan Locke passed from the scenes of his active life upon earth to rest in the tomb.
Jonathan Locke's family consisted of nine children including: Florinda, Sarah, Henry Harrison, Martha Helen, Jonathan Morrill, Stephen Farnsworth, Mary Keziah, and Hanibal Orlando. There was another child, also named Mary Keziah, who only lived a short time. Of these children four are now living [in 1920]: Henry Harrison Locke of Bradford, PA; Sarah Logan of Lexington, KY; Stephan Locke of Titusville; and Mary K. Truxal of Chattanooga, TN.
Elbridge Locke was a brother of Jonathan Locke. It was Elbridge who stood on the left of the Smith Boys when the picture of the Drake Well was taken by John A. Mather in 1866. Robert and David Locke were sons of Elbridge. These sons were the Lockes who owned the machine shop on South Franklin Street in Titusville.
Bulk of text adpated from: Oil City Derrick, 18 Aug 1920, pg.10
1 Joseph A. Caldwell's History of Venango County, published in 1879
1850 Census: Cherrytree, PA
1860 Census: Cherrytree, PA
1870 Census: Pleasantville, PA
1880 Census: Pleasantville, PA
1894 Death Record: Bradford, PA
(Picture courtesy of the Drake Well Museum)
Jonathan Locke shop location sign on the entrance road to the Drake Well Museum.
(Picture courtesy of D. Oberg)
Ad for Locke's adjuster invented by Jonathan Locke's son, Henry Harrison Locke, some kind of oil rig tool, use unknown. (from 25 Jul 1870 Titusville Herald)
Ad taken out by Sarah (Sally) Locke looking for Jonathan Locke after his dissappearance. (from 25 Jul 1870 Titusville Herald)
Jonathan & Sarah Locke's 50th Wedding Anniversary Invitation. (Courtesy of Evelyn Fulton Volkert - This invitation was addressed to Mina Mae Locke Calkins - Stephen Farnsworth Locke's daughter.)
Jonathan & Sarah Locke's grave marker. (Picture courtesy of Loretta Locke.)