John Wesley Gephart (May 25, 1853 – February 14, 1905) was a Bellefonte, Pennsylvania lawyer and industrialist. Educated in Bellefonte and at Princeton University, Gephart's diligence and intelligence were already marked when he was admitted to the bar at the end of 1876 and joined the Bellefonte law practice of James A. Beaver in 1877. He took a prominent part in the civic and moral life of the town, and enjoyed a reputation as a skillful lawyer and charismatic orator. In 1891, he became president of the newly organized Valentine Iron Company, and thereafter became increasingly devoted to furthering industry and commerce in his home town. He laid aside his legal practice in 1893, after becoming the superintendent of the new Central Railroad of Pennsylvania, to become a full-time industria

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  • John Wesley Gephart (May 25, 1853 – February 14, 1905) was a Bellefonte, Pennsylvania lawyer and industrialist. Educated in Bellefonte and at Princeton University, Gephart's diligence and intelligence were already marked when he was admitted to the bar at the end of 1876 and joined the Bellefonte law practice of James A. Beaver in 1877. He took a prominent part in the civic and moral life of the town, and enjoyed a reputation as a skillful lawyer and charismatic orator. In 1891, he became president of the newly organized Valentine Iron Company, and thereafter became increasingly devoted to furthering industry and commerce in his home town. He laid aside his legal practice in 1893, after becoming the superintendent of the new Central Railroad of Pennsylvania, to become a full-time industrialist. His energies were primarily directed towards the promotion of the iron industry in Bellefonte, and the development of railroads to serve it, although he was also an active participant in Bellefonte's civic life, especially the YMCA. He more than once clashed with the Pennsylvania Railroad, which had previously enjoyed a monopoly on rail service to Bellefonte. Gephart proved highly successful in attracting outside capital to Bellefonte-area enterprises. At the peak of his fortunes, he supervised the town's two major blast furnaces, the Central Railroad of Pennsylvania, many of the iron ore banks in the Nittany Valley, and additional mines and quarries that fed the furnaces. However, competition with steel mills proved insurmountable for these businesses, and most were either dismantled or moribund within a decade after his death in 1905. (en)
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  • John Wesley Gephart (May 25, 1853 – February 14, 1905) was a Bellefonte, Pennsylvania lawyer and industrialist. Educated in Bellefonte and at Princeton University, Gephart's diligence and intelligence were already marked when he was admitted to the bar at the end of 1876 and joined the Bellefonte law practice of James A. Beaver in 1877. He took a prominent part in the civic and moral life of the town, and enjoyed a reputation as a skillful lawyer and charismatic orator. In 1891, he became president of the newly organized Valentine Iron Company, and thereafter became increasingly devoted to furthering industry and commerce in his home town. He laid aside his legal practice in 1893, after becoming the superintendent of the new Central Railroad of Pennsylvania, to become a full-time industria (en)
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  • J. Wesley Gephart (en)
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