John Addison Biles

(1858 - 1929)



Last Change: 7 April 2017




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Prior generations in America are speculative.

John Biles - Gen 5

Henry Biles - Gen 6

Alexander Patterson Biles - Gen 7

Jacob Place Biles - Gen 8

Mary (Bunnell) Biles - Gen 8 


Biles, John Addison scan0100


Biles generation 9


1.  John’s parents: Jacob Place and Mary (Bunnell) Biles


2.  John’s birth: 16 February 1858 at home on the family farm near Homets Ferry, Wyalusing Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.


John’s death: 13 September 1929 at home near Homets Ferry, Wyalusing Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania; interred Biles Cemetery (original Biles homestead property, donated for the Cemetery).


3.  John’s formal education:




School Name, Location, Diploma/Degree



Wyalusing Township Public schools



Factoryville Academy, Factoryville, Pennsylvania (NW of Scranton, PA)



Keystone Academy, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.



Susquehanna Collegiate Institute, Towanda, Bradford County, Pennsylvania; majored in higher mathematics and surveying.


4. John’s marriage:


a.  To whom: Sarah Ellen Kerrick (photos)


(1.  Sarah’s parents: Wilson and Eliza (Emery) Kerrick of Asylum Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.


(2.  Sarah’s birth: 20 June 1858 at home on Kerrick Hill, Asylum Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.


Sarah’s death: 18 February 1932 at home on the family farm at Homets Ferry, Wyalusing Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania; interred Biles Cemetery on the hill above Homets Ferry.


(3.  Sarah’s formal education:




School Name, Location, Diploma/Degree











(4.  Sarah’s employment history:




Employer, location, job title



Taught in the District School at Homets Ferry, Bradford County, Pennsylvania. 





(5.  Sarah’s addresses before marriage:















(6.  Other biographical notes on Sarah:


(a. About one year before Sarah died, she experienced a stroke which caused her to be wheelchair bound and unable to speak.  She was cared for by her son, Frank until her death.


b.  Marriage date & location: 21 October 1884 at the Kerrick residence on Kerrick Hill (also seen: Laceyville, PA), across the Susquehanna River from Homets Ferry at 7 P.M. with Reverend G. M. Chamberlain officiating.


c.  Children:


(1)  Elmore Howard Biles: Born 15 June 1885.


(2)  Frank VanLoon Biles: Born 1 August 1887.


(3)  Clarence Emery Biles: Born 9 December 1889.


(4)  Wilson Alexander Biles: Born 16 November 1892.


(5)  Ruth Elizabeth Biles: Born 9 November 1896.


(6)  John Robert Biles: Born 19 July 1900.


5.  John’s employment history:


Was a civil engineer, surveyor, farmer, teacher, and historian.  Ran for Bradford County Surveyor in 1892.


6.  John’s addresses:







Resided with his parents on the Jacob Place Biles homestead near Homets Ferry.



Factoryville, Pennsylvania (Factoryville Academy)



Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (Keystone Academy)



3rd Street in Towanda, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.



Jacob Place Biles homestead farm near Homets Ferry.


7.  John’s organizational affiliations:




Organization, offices held



Baptist Church of Camptown, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.



Patrons of Industry



Republican Party.


8.  Other biographical notes on John:


a. John loved to tell stories to his grandchildren about the Indians of the area and of family adventures as they moved to the Bradford County area.


b. A great story teller.  As a historian, he knew many of the local families and used to incorporate them into his stories.  His granddaughter, Margaret (Biles) Bryant remembered being “spell bound” by his stories while sitting on his knee.


c. Margaret also remembered being amazed when her grandfather Biles would reach into the sugar bowl, take a spoonful and put it directly into his mouth. “And he got away with it!”  Marian Biles similarly recollected: “Grandpa often took a spoon of sugar fro the sugar bowl (quite often!!!).  Mother told me firmly that I must never do that – at home or away!!! – unless I had need of some with my meal!!!, and don’t question what Grandpa does!!!”


d. Per Marian Biles: “After marriage Grandpa may have resided in “the old sheep house” (before it became a sheep house).  A number of young couples stayed there.  A long time ago an old German cabinet maker had lived there.  He made a cherry dresser, which some of the Strunk family now have.  He also mad another just like it for Mary Bunnell Biles, which we have of pine.  Grandpa went to school at Factoryville, I don’t know when or how long.  He was going to school at Towanda when Dad was born in 1989.  They lived on 3rd Street (up the hill from the main route though town.  Jacob P. Biles died in March 1890, and then they moved back to the farm.  Uncle Elmore said that he was born at Kerrick Hill (I suppose for Sarah to be with her mother.)”


e. Marian Biles on disposition of John’s genealogical records: “I really didn’t begin to get “all” his material.  I think Grandma or (more likely) her cousin, Jennie Arnout, who cared for Grandma when she was older for a time, allowed the stamps to be sold for most of the old letters.  I did not get them back because I didn’t know what became of them until a few years ago.  Also, Uncle Bob took things (I got most of them).   Uncle Elmore took things and Aunt Ruth cleaned the house.  I suspect the letters that were returned to her (without stamps), judging from an old letter I found and something Raymond said, were in four grocery bags.  All I got were in the trunk, which was all that were mentioned to me.  I went to get them, but many were gone.  All the ones [letters] I have had stamps on them yet.  Jennie Arnout took some about Irvine family, and a notebook fixed for my mother.  I got the letters (or at least some letters) from her, but she wouldn’t part with the book - so much for that.  I did see the book.  It was well put together, but I didn’t have time to copy or even read all of it.”


f. John A. Biles was a Justice of the Peace in Bradford County, Pennsylvania from at least 1920 to 1924.


g. John A. Biles initiated the 1st Biles Reunion in 1900, a tradition that continued, with few exceptions, thereafter.



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