PA Civil War > Biography > Cain

John Herron Cain

COLONEL JOHN HERRON CAIN, producer and refiner of lubricating oils, was born at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, November 18, 1838, son of Henry P. Cain, a native of Trenton, New Jersey, who came to Pittsburgh in 1832, where he spent the balance of his days. He was engaged in the boot and shoe business and occupied a room on the corner of Fifth avenue and Market street for half a century.

Our subject was reared and educated in Pittsburgh, and subsequently was employed as teller in the old Pittsburgh Trust Company, now the First National Bank. In 1858 Colonel Cain went to St Louis, Missouri, where he occupied a similar position, and in the spring of 1860 removed to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In March, 1861, seeing that a war between the states was imminent, he returned to Pittsburgh, where he soon afterward enlisted in Company K, Twelfth Pennsylvania Volunteers , for the three months service.

At the expiration of his term he came home and recruited Company C, One Hundred and Fifty-Fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers , of which he was elected captain.

He served in all the battles and campaigns of that regiment up to his resignation in September, 1864. After the battle of Antietam he was promoted to the rank of major, and subsequent to the battle of Fredericksburg to that of lieutenant colonel of his regiment. While holding the latter rank he commanded his regiment at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, and on the 3rd of July, 1863, was promoted to the colonelcy, and served in that capacity until his resignation some months afterward.

In April, 1865, he came to Franklin to accept the tellership of the First National Bank, which position he filled eighteen months, and then went into the oil business. He followed producing solely until 1885, when he established the Keystone refinery, and operated it in conjunction with the producing business until January 1, 1890, when he consolidated with the Franklin Oil Works.

Colonel Cain was married in Franklin, January 13, 1876, to Miss Jennie H., only daughter of William Elliott, deceased, one of the well- known citizens of the county. In politics he is a Republican, a member of the G.A.R., also of the Masonic order and the A.O.U.W., and is connected with the First Presbyterian church of Franklin.

Source: History of Venango County, Pennsylvania: its past and present, including its aboriginal history, the French and British occupation of the country, its early settlement and subsequent growth, a description of its historic and interesting localities, its rich oil deposits and their development, sketches of its cities, boroughs, townships, and villages, neighborhood and family history, portraits and biographies of pioneers and representative citizens, statistics, etc.; Chicago, Ill.: Brown, Runk & Co., 1890.