History of Lawrence County Pennsylvania, 1770 - 1877, by S.W. and P.A. Durant.
[p.174] Among the descendants of the early settlers in Lawrence county, no family holds a more conspicuous position, or can claim a greater number of representatives than the one named at the head of this biographical sketch. We begin this notice with
A native of county Down, Ireland, who, about the year 1788, married Sarah Mercer, a native of the same county, and immediately afterwards took, as his wedding trip, a journey across the Atlantic Ocean to America, landed at New Castle, in the State of Delaware, and, after a year passed in Lancaster county, Pa., finally settled in Cumberland county, same State.
In the year 1801, Mr. Wilson moved with his family to what is now Lawrence county, and located in the northwestern part of New Wilmington township, on the farm now owned and occupied by John D. Wilson, one of his grandsons. The journey was performed in genuine pioneer style—in a wagon—supposed to be the first one that ever crossed the Alleghenies. The team was driven by William Mercer, brother-in-law of old Adam Wilson. The emigrants had to cut their way through the wilderness from Pittsburgh to Wilmington, there being no roads yet opened. Here in their newly made home, both parents passed the remainder of their life.
Inimitably beautiful is the poet Gray's description of these humble yet worthy pioneers:
"Far from the mad'ning crowd's ignoble strife,
Their noble spirits never learned to stray;—
Along the cool, sequestered vale of life,
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
"Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys and destiny obscure;
Nor grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,
These short and simple annals of the poor."
Mr. Wilson possessed all the sterling virtues of the genuine pioneer. He was a strong, robust man, and weighed nearly two hundred pounds. He was noted for his energy and activity, and his promptness in the discharge of duty. He possessed a highly social nature, abounded in wit, and was the life of every circle in which he moved. He was one of the organization members of the Neshannock Presbyterian Church, and donated to the congregation the ground for the church edifice, as also that for the cemetery adjoining. It may be mentioned as a remarkable fact, that he was never ill up to a few minutes before his death, which was very sudden, and occurred on this wise: On the evening previous, he retired apparently in perfect health, but about nine or ten o'clock his wife noticed that he was breathing with difficulty. She spoke to him, at the same time placing her hand upon his check, but he made no reply. She instantly arose and struck a light, —but found him dead!
Thus, in November of 1834, passed suddenly away one of the earliest settlers of the territory that is now known as Lawrence county. Though sudden, and at the time unexpected, his exit from this life, he left behind him the comforting evidence that he was fully prepared for the change, and his memory is still green with his Christian benevolence and his godly example
"The memory of the just is blessed!"
Mrs. Wilson died in December, 1848, at the age of eighty-two. She was a woman of sterling Christian virtues, and a fit companion for such a husband.
Mr. Wilson's family consisted of six sons and four daughters, as follows:
THOMAS, born December 27, 1789.
WILLIAM, born September 25, 1791.
SARAH, born January 25, 1794.
JAMES, born March 25, 1796.
JOHN, born August 1, 1799.
JOSIAH, born December 26, 1801.
ADAM, born January 23, 1805.
JANE ANN, born March 27, 1807.
MARIA, born May 2,1809; and
MARTHA, born March 19, 1813.
Eldest son of Adam Wilson, was a native of Cumberland county, Pa., and was about twelve years old when the family located in Lawrence county.
On January 6, 1814, he married Miss Martha (Mattie) Scott, daughter of Patrick Scott, an early settler of Mercer county, Pa. His wife was Mattie Cotton, sister of William Cotton, Sr. (See Cotton Family History.)
Mr. Wilson's children by this marriage were:
WILLIAM S., born December 2, 1814.
MARTHA, born June 23, 1817; died at the age of eighteen.
JAMES, born July 19, 1819; died in Iowa City, August 9, 1845.
ELIPHAZ, born May 29, 1821.
JOSIAH, born March 17, 1823; and
HIRAM H., born May 3, 1825.
Also, another unnamed child, that died in infancy.
Mrs. Wilson died April 23, 1832. She was a faithful wife, a kind mother, and an exemplary Christian woman.
On July 10, 1833, Mr. Wilson married a second companion in the person of Miss Rachel Crawford, a daughter of Colonel Joseph Crawford, of Cumberland county, Pa. Miss Crawford was born in this county October 13, 1799, and came to Lawrence county in 1828.
The issue of this second marriage was two sons:
BENTON R., born July 29, 1834.
THOMAS C., born November 12, 1837; died March 13, 1844.
About the year 1813, Mr. Thomas Wilson purchased seventy-five acres of land adjoining the homestead of his father, and earned the money with which to make his first payment on the same by splitting rails. This work was done for "old James Love." For a short time Mr. Wilson lived in a log cabin already erected on his farm, and then put up a small frame house, to which he afterwards made additions as the necessities of his family required. He possessed the sterling virtues of his father, such as energy, promptness and perseverance, and was a man of great decision of character. He did service in the war of 1812, and assisted in getting the American vessels out of the harbor at Erie preparatory to the great naval engagement in which Commodore Perry gained his celebrated victory over the British. He was also a prominent member of the Neshannock Church and an active, zealous Christian. He died of heart disease, in the house that he built, on the 21st of May, 1860, at the age of seventy-one.
Among the positions of public trust filled by Mr. Wilson may be mentioned that of Representative in the Pennsylvania Legislature in 1842. Also in 1845, he was commissioned Associate Judge of Mercer county by Governor Shunk, and filled the position five years.
The circumstances attending Mr. Wilson's death were somewhat similar to those of his father, the demise of both being very sudden and unexpected. He had arisen early, and before any other member of the family, had brought a bucket of water from the spring, made a fire in the kitchen, and was passing into the sitting-room just as his son Benton was entering the same. Mr. Wilson placed his hand over his heart and remarked, "I feel so bad in here," and beginning to stagger was caught in the arms of his son and laid upon the lounge. He uttered but one more sentence, this was "It's all over with me now," and instantly expired.
As already noticed, Mr. Thomas Wilson built this house in 1817. It was a frame structure two stories high, and after the additions made to it, contained seven rooms. Here Mr. Wilson lived for nearly fifty years. This old building is still standing, and of late years has been occupied by his son, Benton R. Wilson, who in December, 1875, moved into his present residence. The paternal dwelling is now tenantless. It is only a weather-beaten shell, which during the flight of the years afforded a comfortable home to parents and children—to father, mother, brothers, sisters, and various sojourners—a shelter from the scorching heats of summer and the piercing blasts of winter. Old-timed in its construction, dilapidated and empty, it stands like a grim sentinel of the past, isolated and alone; and could it but speak, it would tell of scenes of thrilling and sacred interest that in the compass of the last half century have transpired beneath its venerable roof. Here eight children were born and six reared to manhood and womanhood. Here they were the recipients of a father's counsel and a mother's love. Here they were the happy subjects of wholesome, parental discipline which, perhaps, may at times seem to them severe, but which is now appreciated as the choicest blessing of their early days. A father's guidance and a mother's prayers! Who can estimate their value as an educative power! Especially who can fathom the depths of a mother's love or place too high an estimate upon the pious example and moulding influence of a noble, Christian woman!
"Who taught my infant lips to pray,
Watched o'er my interests night and day,
And led to Heaven the shining way?
For half a century there ascended from this old and now deserted dwelling the daily increase of family devotions. Here in days by gone the family circle were wont to gather, and around a common altar to blend their voices in praise and prayer. Here, too, the home affections glowed in their purest and holiest lustre! Though humble in its construction and modest in its inner furnishings this old habitation was a sacred spot, because it was home! It was the abode of the loved ones, and that made it home. Some one has beautifully said "Hearts, not places, make our homes."
"Home is where, with fond caressing,
Hearts their joys and sorrows share;
'Tis not home where they are missing;
Home is where the loved ones are!"
"Be our home a cot or palace,
Lowley hut or mansion fair,
There we drink from love's sweet chalice—
Home is where the loved ones are!"
But this old home is now deserted and all its sweet and holy associations forever ended! Death and removal have scattered its inmates. Here the father lived and died, and from the precincts of this sacred spot his remains were borne to their last resting-place, his first companion having preceded him by more than a quarter of a century. The sons and daughters, too, have all gone forth from the place of their birth and scene of their childhood—never more to return! Some of these are settled in homes of their own, and others have passed on to—
From whence no traveler returns."
SARAH WILSON, eldest daughter of Adam Wilson, married Thomas Falls, of New Castle, on December 25, 1818. (See Falls' family history.)
Youngest son of Judge Thomas Wilson, by his first wife, was reared upon the soil, and his principal employment from the age of twelve to that of twenty, was driving oxen for farm labor. His school privileges were consequently very meagre. On January 21, 1845, he married Miss Mary S. Cotton, daughter of William Cotton, Jr., of Pulaski township, this county. (See Cotton family history.) The offspring of this union were—
THOMAS C., born February 3, 1846.
WILLIAM G., born January 27, 1850.
JAMES L., born August 27, 1852.
CLARENCE H., born April 17, 1863.
MARY L., born August 11, 1865; and
LIZZIE R. F., born November 18, 1869.
THOMAS received his education at West Minster College, New Wilmington, and at Iron City Commercial College, Pittsburgh. He is now engaged in business in Parker City, Pa.
On April 21, 1875, he married Sarah A. Newton, of Titusville, Crawford county, Pa.
WILLIAM was educated at West Minster College, read medicine with Dr. A. C. Pettitt, of New Wilmington, attended lectures at the Cleveland Medical College, and graduated at the Cincinnati College of Medicine and Surgery in June, 1876. In July following he began the practice of medicine in Pulaski. Dr. Wilson is a gentleman of fine qualifications for his profession.
JAMES was educated at West Minster College, learned the painter's trade in Sharon, Mercer county, and after working at the same for about a year in Butler, repaired to Reynoldsville, Jefferson county, in March, 1874, where he died of dyspepsia, after a short illness, on August 6, same year. At noon on Thursday, the day of his death, his parents received a telegram announcing that he was dangerously ill, and immediately started to see him, but were intercepted at Pulaski depot by another telegram, informing them that he was dead, and that his body was on its way home. This unexpected news fell like a bolt from a clear sky upon the stricken family. Thus in the bloom of his early manhood was this promising boy called away. At the age of sixteen he had united with the Neshannock Presbyterian Church, [p. 176] and had maintained an exemplary Christian character, and left behind the assurance that "all was well." He possessed an unusually kind and affectionate nature, and his early death was a withering blight upon the hopes doting parents, and the anticipations of numerous friends.
"O, what is life? "Tis like a flower
That blossoms and is gone;
We love to see its colors glow
With all their beauty on.
Death comes, and, like a wintry day,
It cuts the lovely flower away!"
Mr. Hiram Wilson's occupation has been that of a farmer, with the exception that from 1864 to 1868 he was engaged in the manufacture of brick. Both he and his wife are valued members of the Neshannock Presbyterian Church.
Oldest son of Thomas Wilson by his second marriage, was born in the old homestead, already noticed, on July 29, 1834. He was reared a farmer, and enjoyed limited advantages for education.
On December 4, 1855, he was married to Miss Sarah J., daughter of James Marquis, of Mercer county, Pa. She is a granddaughter of Samuel Marquis, Sr., who was one of the earliest settlers of the same county. (See Marquis family history.) Mr. Wilson has had a family of six children:
ANNA M., born October 29, 1856. JAMES M., born March 23, 1858. RACHEL E., born February 4, 1860. CHARLES B., born October 19, 1862. SARAH E., born January 10, 1865; and JESSIE C., born September 12, 1867.
In December, 1875, Mr. Wilson left the old homestead, and moved into a large and palatial residence, which he had erected on a beautiful knowl, only a few rods from the old building. The contrast between the two structures is most striking and significant. The old one is a monument of the past century, the new one a model of convenience and beauty, and an excellent specimen of the architecture of this centennial age. With the exception of the doors and window-sash—which are of pine—the wood for this structure was all grown upon the homestead farm. The inside wood-work is of ash, black walnut and chestnut, handsomely finished in native colors. Notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Wilson's new residence is a palace by the side of the old one, yet when he left the former and entered the latter, it was with an indescribable feeling of sadness. It seemed "almost like going out of the world," so strong and tender are the ties that bind the heart to the sunny scenes of childhood.
"How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood,
When fond recollections presents them to view;
The orchard, the meadow, the deep-tangled wildwood,
And every fond scene that my infancy knew."
In 1872, Mr. Benton Wilson erected near the site of his present residence, a very neat and comfortable house for his mother, and is tenderly caring for her in her declining years. For nearly thirty years she has been a cripple, and unable to walk without the use of a cane, on account of an injury received by being thrown off a horse about the year 1848. She has been distinguisbed for great energy and whole-souled benevolence, and also for her economical and frugal habits.
When she married her husband, she assumed the responsible and delicate relations of a stepmother to a large family of children, but as such, she has most efficiently and kindly filled her place, and to-day her surviving children entertain for her feelings of the highest regard and the most tender affection. She united with the Presbyterian Church at the age of seventeen, and her life has been a beautiful exemplification of her Christian faith. She is now
"Only waiting by the river."
Mr. Benton Wilson is a man of conservative views, yet of great decision of character, and inherits the sterling virtues of his father. He holds his religious connection with the Neshannock Presbyterian Church, and is a deacon in the same.
Third son and fourth child of Adam Wilson, was born on the old homestead, March 25, 1797. His boyhood and early manhood were passed upon a farm. He then learned the milling business, and in company with his brothers Thomas and John, erected on Neshannock Creek, the first grist mill of any importance in this section of the country. While building this mill, James and his brother John kept bachelor's hall in a small shanty which, about the year 1822, they had put up on the north side, quite near the site of the present mill property. One noon they returned from their work to find their shanty in ashes. The mill was built about the year 1823.
On March 26, 1829, the three brothers received from their father a deed for the mill site and surroundings.
This mill proved a very important institution. Men came to it from distance of forty miles around to have their grinding done, and frequently would have to tarry over night waiting for work to be done for other customers ahead of them. The mill had a very extensive patronage, and was run day and night, and so great was the pressure upon it, that, to supply the imperative demand of families destitute of flour and meal, it was sometimes run on Sunday. The first mill-dam was constructed of round logs; the second of hewn timbers secured by stone abutments. Both dams were successively swept away by high floods, and in the second, which occurred early in the spring of 1832, a saw mill which stood on the north bank, having its foundation washed out, keeled over on its roof into the flood and was swept some distance down stream.
The dam was at once reconstructed, the men working like heroes in the water, during the months of March and April, the weather being very cold. While running this mill, Mr. Wilson was also engaged with his brothers in a woolen mill.
In 1844, the three brothers erected the present grist mill, and in the following year Mr. James Wilson retired from the milling business and repaired to his farm where he passed the remainder of his life.
Mr. Wilson's wife was his cousin, Martha Mercer, daughter of William Mercer, who was a brother-in-law to old Adam Wilson. Their children were Maria, Hiram, William, Adam I., Martha and Sarah.
Mr. Wilson died June 8, 1866, in his seventieth year. He possessed great physical strength and weighed upwards of two hundred pounds. He was a teamster during the war of 1812, and was engaged in hauling army supplies to Erie. While there upon one occasion, and being only eighteen years of age, he lifted from the ground an anchor of eight hundred pounds weight, a feat of strength which only one other man in the army could perform.
For about forty years he was connected with the Presbyterian denomination, first at Neshannock and then at Rich Hill, and also held the office of ruling elder, which position he honored till his death.
Mrs. Wilson died May 20, 1875, in the seventy-second year of her age. She was born in Mercer county, July 11, 1803. Her illness was heart disease, and her death was preceded by a severe attack of bleeding at the nose. She possessed a remarkably amiable disposition and a peculiar sweetness of temper, and was distinguished for her whole-souled benevolence, Christian charity and her ardent love of peace.
Third son and fourth child of James Wilson, was born on the homestead of his father April 25, 1836. On December 12, 1864, he married Elizabeth Carlon, daughter of Joseph Carlon, of Lawrence county, and has had three children:
GEORGIE, born October 5, 1866.
PARIS C., born May 9, 1869.
SARAH JANE, born October 4, 1871.
Mr. Wilson is a man of strong mind, clear judgment and very decided views, and, though a farmer by occupation, he possesses a much higher appreciation of literature than do many of the same vocation. Though the cultivation of the soil is the most important, steady, normal and quiet of all pursuits, yet there is something higher and nobler to be sought after than lands and stock, and dollars and cents. The whole realm of nature without us teaches us to look to the world within us. Mr. Wilson is much given to reading, and as a legitimate result possesses a large fund of general information, and keeps himself well posted on all the important topics of the age. Mrs. Wilson's father,
Was born in Westmoreland county, Pa., December 16, 1807. His school advantages were all comprised in two years' attendance in the log cabin school house of early times, with its greased paper windows and split log seats. When a boy he learned the blacksmith's trade in Mercer, and followed the same for about ten years. In 1813, when he was six years old, his mother, with her family, located in Lawrence county on a farm which her husband had purchased a year previous, said farm joining the one on which Mr. Carlon now resides. On May 5, 1831, he married Sarah Ramsey and has had seven children:
AMANDA, born March 4, 1832; married Benjamin McDowell March 26, 1857.
WILLIAM, born May 29, 1834; married Elizabeth Orr, October 20, 1856,
JAMES R., born August 26, 1836.
ELIZABETH, born December 13, 1839; married Adam Q. Wilson.
PARIS H., born September 19, 1842.
JOHN S., born May 20, 1845; married Elizabeth Graham, in February, 1865.
JOSEPH T., born September 27, 1847; married Susan Macom, March l7, 1872.
John S. Carlon did service for his country in the late war for the Union in the Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry.
Mr. Joseph Carlon, Jr., is a gentleman of modest manners, genial nature and accommodating spirit. Both he and his companion are connected with the Rich Hill Presbyterian Church, in which he has for many years been a ruling elder. Though deprived of the opportunities for acquiring an extended education, he has, nevertheless, always taken a deep and lively interest in the schools of his community, and for a number of years served as director. His father, Joseph Carlon, Sr., was born in Ireland, and was an early immigrant to this country. While crossing the ocean he lost a son by death. The family consisted of ten children. He died about the year 1812. The father of Mrs. Joseph Carlon, Jr., was James Ramsey, a native of Pennsylvania. He died in August, 1850, at the age of seventy or upwards. Her mother was brought to this country about the year 1798, at the age of fourteen, and was among the first white girls in this then new country.
Fourth son and fifth child of Adam Wilson, was born in Cumberland county, Pa., August 1, 1799. His boyhood and early manhood were passed in the old log cabin of his father.
On December 10, 1822, he married Miss Elizabeth Byers, of Mercer county, and daughter of William Byers, an old settler of said county and first sheriff of the same.
The family record was as follows:
SARAH ANN, born January 23, 1824; became wife of Dr. Thomas Donehoo; died July 5, 1849.
WILLIAM B., born January 27, 1826; died August 16, 1833.
ADALINE, J., born March 30, 1828; married Dr. Hiram Johnston, of Pulaski, August 10, 1848.
DELINDA, born June 10, 1830; died August 15, 1833.
JOHN C., born November 8, 1835.
ELIPHAZ B., born February 5, 1839.
When a boy, Mr. Wilson learned the milling business, which was his occupation for the greater part of his life. In company with his brothers, Thomas and James, he erected, about the year 1823, a grist mill on Big Neshannock Creek, about a quarter of a mile above the present mill of his son, E. B. Wilson; also, subsequently, a house on the site of E. B. Wilson's present residence. He likewise had an interest in a woolen mill that stood on the north side of the creek, a few rods above the present iron bridge. About the year 1852, Mr. Wilson built a paper mill on the creek, just back of the present site of J. C. Shaw's store.
As already mentioned, his father, Adam Wilson, and his brother, Thomas Wilson, died very suddenly. The same was the case with Mr. John Wilson. He had been to Ohio with a sled load of buckwheat, and upon his return was found dead on the sled before his own door! This was the 2d of February, 1865. As his body was still warm, his death must have occurred only a short time before his faithful team reached home. The cause of his death, like that of his brother Thomas, was an affection of the heart.
Mr. Wilson was noted for his remarkable energy and activity. He was endowed with natural abilities of a high order, and was one of the most efficient, driving businessmen of his day. He was a man of sterling integrity and honest dealing, and his word was as good as his bond. These qualities, combined with brilliant conversational powers and a highly mirthful nature, gave him a position among the most influential citizens of the community, and rendered his companionship most enjoyable.
Mrs. Wilson died May 3, 1868. She was brought up by her uncle, Rev. Samuel Tate, and trained in the doctrines of the Presbyterian church, of which she was for many years a worthy member. She was a woman of intelligence and culture, and of a very sweet temper, and was greatly endeared to her family.
Second son and fifth child of John Wilson, just noticed, was born in the house built by his father, Nov. 8, 1835. He learned the milling business of his father when a boy. On November 8, 1855, he married Mary A. Hezlep, of Lawrence county, and has had six children:
EDWIN C., born September 7, 1856;
MINNIE H., born February 11, 1858;
ELLA M., born February 23, 1860;
MONTROSE D., born December 4, 1868;
ANNA GERTRUDE, born February 16, 1873;
MABEL C., born April 11, 1876.
Mr. Wilson's chief occupation has been that of a miller. In the autumn of 1865, he purchased of Messrs. Stewart & Trout a steam flouring mill in Mercer, and, in the following year, converted it into a woollen mill, which, about eight years later, was consumed by fire, by which occurrence Mr. Wilson was a heavy loser. He then traded a piece of land for a hub and spoke factory in Mercer, stocked it with machinery, and run it for about nine months, when it, also, was burned. In this fire he lost about four thousand dollars. He then returned to Neshannock Falls, and has since been engaged in his brother, E. B. Wilson's mill. Mr. Wilson has been an industrious, hard-working man, and these losses have been not only very discouraging, but materially adverse to his financial interests. He is, however, a genuine representative of the Wilson pluck and enterprise, which nothing short of the continued dispensations of an unpropitious Providence can ever extinguish. He is a gentleman of retiring manners, open heart and substantial moral worth. Himself, wife and the three eldest of his family are members of the Presbyterian Church at Neshannock.
Mrs. Wilson's father,
Was born in County Down, Ireland, November 21, 1807, and at the age of nine, came with the family to America, and passed his life in Lawrence county. He was married at the age of twenty-five, on his twenty-sixth birthday—November 21, 1832—to Elizabeth McConahy, of New Castle, and had a family of ten children:
ELIZABETH M., born September 25, 1833; now widow Agnew Burns, and living in Missouri. She was married January 15, 1851.
MARY A., born January 8, 1836.
FRANCES A., born June 7, 1838; married W. H. Zimmerman, on January 9, 1862, and died March 26, 1868.
LEMIRA E., born March 17, 1840; died June 6, 1844.
ROBERT B., born September 13, 1842; died September 27, 1842.
REBECCA, born September 29, 1843; died October 8, 1843.
J. BRUCE, born November 1, 1844; married Ella Graham, on May 23, 1867, and lives in Lawrence county.
LEMIRA E., born December 6, 1847; now Mrs. Dr. J. F. Gibson, of Cleveland, Ohio. Married June 24, 1869.
CYNTHIA A., born June 13, 1851; now Mrs. E. L. Rose, of Mercer; married January 23, 1873.
LAURA V., born July 26, 1853; died September 4, 1853.
Mrs. Hezlep died August 4, 1853. She was a faithful wife and affectionate mother, and for many years a worthy member of the United Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Hezlep was married a second time, on November 6, 1856, to widow Margaret Kinner, of Clarksville, Mercer county. She was born February 16, 1829.
Mr. Hezlep died of heart disease, January 5, 1869. On the evening previous he was apparently in excellent health, and more than usually cheerful. About two o'clock the next morning his wife noticed a rattling in his throat. She spoke to him, but getting no answer, arose, called the family, and sent for a physician, but it was too late—he was dead!
Some years previous to this event, he had a narrow escape from death by being thrown from a horse and dragged by his foot in the saddle stirrup, by which accident three of his ribs were broken. This was while he was serving as constable. He held an honored membership in the United Presbyterian Church, and was a kind father and affectionate husband. He was one of the early merchants in New Castle, Pa.
Mr. Hezlep's father-in-law, Robert M. McConahy, was one of the early merchants of New Castle, and once owned some fifteen hundred acres of land in that vicinity. He also owned the first regular pleasure carriage the place.
Mr. Hezlep's father, and Mrs. Wilson's grandfather, was
Who was born in Ireland, June 15, 1775. On June 10, 1816, he and his family set sail for America, and landed at Philadelphia on the fifteenth of the following August. He subsequently located in what is now New Wilmington township, on the farm now occupied by George Cox, about two miles south of the borough of New Wilmington. His wife is believed to have been Ann McKee, and his family consisted of six sons and four daughters:
GEORGE, born February 24, 1806.
McKEE J., born November 21, 1807.
SARAH J., born October 22, 1809.
JAMES, W. R., born November 12, 1811.
MARGARET, born December 3, 1813.
JOHN McCLURE, born October 14, 1815.
ROBERT, born October 30, 1817; died in infancy.
MARY ANN, born August 17, 1819; died in her minority.
MARY ANN E., born October 25, 1821; and
BRUCE, born April 16, 1824.
Youngest son of John Wilson and Elizabeth Byers, married for his first wife, Miss Sarah P. Johnston, daughter of William Johnston and Hannah Harris, of Lawrence county, on the 24th of December, 1863. By this union he had one daughter,
MELLIE, born October 2, 1864.
Mrs. Wilson died October 14, 1864. She was a woman of unusually fine appearance, and possessed the noblest qualities of her sex. She lost her mother by death when she was six years old, and was brought up in the excellent family of Samuel R. Salisbury. She was remotely connected with the celebrated "Poe family," a member of which, in the early settlement of this country, killed the famous Indian warrior, "Big Foot."
On the eighth of December, 1868, Mr. Wilson took a second companion in the person of Miss Hannah M. McDowell, daughter of Alexander McDowell, of Lawrence county. The children by this marriage are:
LILLIE, born March 22, 1870.
BERTHA, born September 7, 1871.
ALEXANDER Mc., born February 23, 1873.
ELIZABETH, born July 11, 1875.
Mr. E. B. Wilson is the owner of what is known as Wilson's mill, on Neshannock Creek, and also of a beautiful residence just above the mill. A view of both properties will be found among the illustrations of the Lawrence county history. Also, a view of the residence of Mrs. E. B. Wilson, in Hickory township.
Mr. Wilson is a gentleman of genial manners and open heart, and of a highly social nature. He possesses fine business abilities, and is a substantial member of the community.
Mrs. Wilson is the only surviving child of her fathers family. She was educated at Beaver, Pa., and is a lady of culture and refinement. None who have ever been the guests of this hospitable family, will ever forget the unpretentious, yet genuinly courteous and polite attentions of which they were the welcome recipients.
THE McDOWELL FAMILY, to which Mrs. Wilson belongs, is one that has figured quite conspicuously in the history of this county. Her grandfather was
Who was born in Westmoreland county, Pa., January 23, 1799. His wife was Martha Findley, of the same county, to whom he was married August 29, 1822. He had four children:
SARAH ANN, born June 10 1823; now widow of James Banks, Jr.
JANE F., born December 10, 1824; now Mrs. Joseph Glass.
ALEXANDER, born May 9, 1827.
HANNAH, born March 23, 1829; now Mrs. Andrew Banks.
Though reared on a farm, he was also quite extensively engaged as contractor on some of the public works of the State, as turnpikes and canals. He was also a surveyor, and very superior in the profession, and performed a very large amount of work in this line of business. About the year 1824, he located in what is called Hickory township, Lawrence county, on the farm now owned by his granddaughter, Mrs. E. B. Wilson. Here Mr. McDowell, with his family, lived in his wagon until he had erected a cabin of round logs, which stood near the site of Mrs. Wilson's present residence. Mrs. McDowell assisted her husband in building this cabin. He subsequently built a two-story hewn log house a little above the site of the first one. This was about seven years after his arrival.
In this second log house Mrs. McDowell died, on November 1, 1846. She was a smart, heroic and whole-souled pioneer woman.
Mr. McDowell died May 20, 1874, in the seventy-fifth year of his age. He was an unusually stout, robust man, of a weight of more than two hundred pounds, over six feet in height, and a model of energy and perseverance. He possessed great kindness of heart and a very obliging and accommodating spirit. Liberality and benevolence, integrity and honesty were among the leading traits in his character. He donated to the congregation the ground upon which now stands the United Presbyterian Church, of Eastbrook, and also contributed largely towards the erection of a church edifice. He was, at an early day, Captain of a volunteer company in the State Militia.
Mr. McDowell was a strong democrat, though he never took an active part in political affairs. He voted at all the Presidential elections from 1824 to the time of his death, with the exception of that of 1872. At this time, Greeley and Grant being the candidates, he did not vote at all. His first son and third child was
Born in the second log house, just noticed, May 9, 1827. He was a farmer and stock dealer by occupation. He was a brisk and upright business man and a highly respected citizen, and like his father, a democrat.
On November 27, 1850, he married Miss Elizabeth, daughter of Michael Jordan, of Lawrence county, and had a family of three children:
MARTHA R., born ____; died in infancy.
HANNAH M., born December 8, 1852.
RACHEL, E., born ____; died in infancy.
Mr. McDowell died January 2, 1873, aged forty-five years, seven months and twenty-three days.
Mrs. McDowell is a lady of prepossessing appearance and great decision of character. She possesses great delicacy of feeling and a highly refined, æsthetic nature, all of which elements combined with a natural plainness of manners, constitute her a model woman.
Fifth son and sixth child of Adam Wilson, already noticed, was born December 26, 1801. His life was passed upon the homestead of his father. On October 30, 1830, he married Margaret Alexander, of Beaver county, Pa. His family consisted of seven children, as follows:
ADAM, born September 28, 1831.
MARIA, born June 22, 1833.
MATILDA J., born September, 1835; died September 18, 1837.
EMILINE, born in June, 1837; died August 22, 1838.
JOHN D., born July 26, 1839.
ADA Z., born April 1, 1842; and
CAROLINE, born April 5, 1845.
Mr. Wilson led a quiet, retired life upon the soil. He inherited many of the characteristics of his noble father, and was a very substantial member of the community. As a parent, he was especially kind and indulgent. He died April 2, 1865, in the sixty-fourth year of his age.
Mrs. Wilson died September 19, 1859. She was a woman of most amiable disposition, and was greatly loved by all who knew her. She was a daughter of William Alexander, Sr., of Beaver county, Pa. He had three Sons: JOHN, WILLIAM, JR., and SAMUEL. His son William married Jane Ann Wilson, second daughter of Adam Wilson.
Oldest child of Josiah Wilson, just noticed, was born on the old "Wilson Homestead," September 28, 1831.
On July 8, 1852, he was married to Miss Rebecca Phillips, daughter of Samuel Phillips, of Lawrence county, by which union he has had three children:
IRA, born July 18, 1853; died September 6, in the same year.
SADIE, born August 20, 1861; died on the sixteenth of the following October.
J. MEADE, born December 30, 1867.
Mr. Wilson's life has not been a specially eventful one, but has been passed in the quiet pursuit of agriculture, and his position in this department of industry may properly be styled that of an independent farmer. He partakes very largely of the energy and snap of the old Wilson stock, is very decided in his views, and speaks them boldly, though not obtrusively. Both he and his wife are staunch members of the Neshannock Presbyterian Church, in which body he has, for some fifteen years, held the office of Deacon.
Mrs. Wilson's father,
Was born in Lawrence county, January 6, 1805. In September, 1829, he married Susan Wilson, a daughter of Patrick Wilson, and had a family of five children:
ISAAC M., born September 12, 1830.
REBECCA, born August 14, 1832.
MARY, born June 2,1834.
ZERILDA E., born March 9, 1836; and
SARAH, born July 22, 1839.
Mr. Patrick Wilson was a native of Pennsylvania, and removed from Westmoreland county to Lawrence county about the year 1808. He was a revolutionary soldier and a man of unblemished character, and a Presbyterian. His wife was Rebecca Morehead, and his father Marmaduke Wilson, who came from Ireland.
Mr. Samuel Phillips died February 14, 1872, in his sixty-seventh year. He lived a quiet and useful life, honoring God in his daily walk and conversation, and was loved most by those who knew him best. Over thirty years' membership in the Presbyterian Church of Neshannock, twenty of them as an office holder, witnessed his belief in the truths of the Christian religion, and attested the confidence reposed in him by his fellow members. Quiet and unobtrusive in his life, he was, nevertheless, greatly missed in his death. His illness was so short and severe, and the distance that some of his children lived so great, that he died before all of them could reach his bed side. As the closing scene drew nigh, and his voice was husky in death, he quoted, with much effort, the triumphant declaration of the Apostle: "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand; I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." The "for me," was repeated with great emphasis, and at the close of the quotation, another was added to the great cloud of witnesses gone before.
Mr. Phillips was a brother of
Who has been a resident of Lawrence county for nearly three-quarters of a century. He was born in what is now Mahoning township, on the twenty- fifth of October, 1802. His father was Isaac Phillips, and his grandfather Samuel Phillips—the former a native of Pennsylvania: the latter, of New Jersey. In the early part of this century the advantages for education were necessarily exceedingly meagre. This country was a wilderness, and uninhabited save by wild beasts and Indians. The primitive forests were to be felled and settlements made; the resources of the hitherto uncultivated soil were to be developed by the industrious hand of the pioneer. It was hard work
"From early morn till dewy eve,"
and the sons and daughters of the early settlers had but very limited opportunities for learning. And so it was with the subject of this sketch. It was the day of log cabin school houses, with their greased paper windows and mud-and-stick chimneys. Oft times the bare ground served as a floor, the fire being built in the centre, and the smoke ascending through a hole in the roof.
After a residence of fifty-two years in Mahoning township, Mr. Phillips came to New Wilmington in the spring of 1854, and settled on the site of his present residence.
When a youth of seventeen, he united with the Presbyterian church, in which body he has for nearly forty years held the office of Ruling Elder.
In educational matters, also, he has always taken a deep and lively interest, and for a number of years filled the position of school director.
Mr. Phillips has been twice married, first in February, 1833, to Margaret Neal, by whom he had one daughter. Mrs. Phillips died in 1839. The present Mrs. Phillips was Ruth Wright, married in 1840. The issue of this union was five sons, the oldest deceased. Mr. Phillips is a staunch republican, and was represented in the late civil war by his son, Alexander M. Phillips, who was severely wounded in the face by a spent ball.
Mr. Phillips is a gentleman of very retiring manners, fine social qualities, and genial nature. He has led an active, industrious and upright life, and is an honored member of society, and a pillar in the Christian church.
The father of Samuel and William Phillips was ISAAC PHILLIPS, and their grandfather, SAMUEL PHILLIPS, who was a soldier in the revolutionary war.
A very strange occurrence, and a remarkably narrow escape from death happened to ISAAC PHILLIPS, oldest son of Samuel Phillips, August 25, 1853. He, with a hired man and little son, was hauling oats from the field to the barn, when a bolt of lightning descended, striking all three of them, leaving them insensible for quite a length of time. Mr. Phillips' arms were badly burned, his hat riddled and scorched, and one of his horses (a valuable animal) was killed. Upon being restored to consciousness, his sufferings were (for a time) most intense. This is, perhaps, one of the most remarkable instances of the kind on record, and cannot be viewed otherwise than a most signal interposition of Divine Providence.
ZERRLDA PHILLIPS, third daughter and fourth child of Samuel Phillips, just named, was married to
January 1, 1857, and the family consists of the following children:
MARY M., born September 28, 1857.
HARRY W., born May 30, 1859; died September 22, 1863.
LIBBIE, born May 18, 1861.
THOMAS N., born October 25, 1866.
SAMUEL W., born July 7, 1869; and
JOHN D., born August 1, 1874.
Mr. Armstrong is the second son and third child of Thomas Armstrong, a native of Westmoreland county, Pa.,and who had a family of seven children: WILLIAM K., ELIZABETH R., JOHN H., ROBERT K., JAMES, NANCY C. and THOMAS N. When a youth, Mr. John H. Armstrong learned the carpenter's trade in Pittsburgh, which he has since followed as contractor and builder. He served four years in the late war, in the lOOth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry ("Round Heads.") He subsequently located in New Wilmington. Upon the death of his father-in-law, Samuel Phillips, he took charge of the farm, where he remained for some four years. In politics, Mr. Armstrong is a republican. Both parents are connected with the New Castle Second Presbyterian Church.
Second son and fifth child of Josiah Wilson, already noticed, was born on the homestead, July 26, 1839. He is a farmer by occupation, and resides on the old farm of his father and grandfather. One-half of the second old log house is still standing. The first house and pioneer home of his grandfather, Thomas Wilson, was a log cabin, such as has already been described. It had doors in both sides, and the huge "back-logs" for the old-fashioned fire-place were hauled in by a horse, entering at one door and passing out at the other, leaving the log behind. This article of fuel was then rolled into its place by means of wooden hand spikes. The stump of a tree was left in the cabin and used for a table, while blocks of wood served the purpose of chairs. How would the extravagant fop or fashionable belle of this modern age feel to be introduced into a home like this? And yet amid such scenes as this our forefathers lived and were happy; yea, far better contented than are many of their descendants in their palatial mansions!
In August, 1862, Mr. Wilson enlisted in the seven months' service in Co. H, 134th Pa. V. I. He participated in the battle of Fredericksburg, Va., and was wounded in the same. He was subsequently confined in the hospital for a while, and not being fit for duty was honorably discharged and returned home.
In 1866, he erected his present residence on the site of his grandfather's cabin.
On December 20, 1867, he married Amelia Maitland, daughter of Alexander Maitland. This union has been blessed with the birth of three children:
ANNA M., born January 9, 1868.
JOSIE MAY, born September 6, 1870; and
NETTIE, born January 19, 1873.
Mr. Wilson is an industrious farmer, and much esteemed citizen. He and his wife hold their religious connection with the Neshannock Presbyterian Church.
Mrs. Wilson's father, ALEXANDER MAITLAND, was born in Chester county, Pa., July 29, 1809. His wife was Anna Kimmel, born in Youngstown, O., April 28, 1817. The family consisted of nine children:
AMELIA, born February 21, 1839.
HENRY, born February 1, 1841.
JOHN K., born June 23, 1844.
SUSAN E., born July 9, 1845.
CHARLES A., born September 18, 1847; died September 9, 1876.
FRANCIS M., born April 21, 1850.
WILLIAM W., born December 21, 1852.
PHILIP, born October 8, 1855; and
MATILDA, born March 16, 1860.
Mr. Maitland died in Neshannock, March 27, 1863, in the fifty-fourth year of his age. In February, 1858, he united with the Presbyterian Church, and lived a faithful, consistent Christian life, until peacefully and triumphantly removed "from his home below to his home in Heaven." On taking leave of his family he exhorted them earnestly to meet him in Heaven, and gave the clearest evidence that all was well with him. He was frequently heard to exclaim, "Jesus is precious! Jesus is precious!"
Mrs. Maitland died September 13, 1866, in the fiftieth year of her age. She possessed a remarkably sweet disposition, and, like her husband, was an exemplary Christian. For a quarter of a century they walked most happily together in the sacred, conjugal relation, and now they have met "beyond the river," where "there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage."
Mr. Maitland's father was JOHN MAITLAND, born in Chester county, Pa., and came with his family to Lawrence county in 1826, and located in what is now Neshannock township. His wife was Margaret Neeley, and they had five children, viz.: MARY, WILLIAM, ALEXANDER, MARGARET and JOHN.
JANE ANN WILSON, second daughter and eighth child of Adam Wilson, married William Alexander, Jr., whose sister Margaret married Josiah Wilson, the fifth son of Adam Wilson. The father of William Alexander, Jr., was William Alexander, Sr., of Beaver county. The marriage occurred February 8, 1827, and was blessed with a family of one son and six daughters:
EMILINE, born April 11, 1828.
JAMES, born April 5, 1829; died December 8, 1854.
SARAH JANE, born April 15, 1831 ; died May 25, 1833.
MARTHA W., born October 5, 1833; married George Martin.
SARAH JANE, born July 13, 1835; died June 6, 1854.
ANN MARIA, born July 24, 1837; and
MARGARET, born October 27, 1839; married James Donaldson, on March 4, 1857.
Mr. Alexander died December 10, 1840. He was a much esteemed citizen, and a valuable member of the Seceder (now United Presbyterian) Church.
Emiline Alexander married William Schooley, and had five children—two living: JAMES W., married, and LUELLA, who resides with her aunt, Mrs. Ann Maria Dinsmore.
On June 3, 1851, Mrs. Jane Ann Alexander married Matthew Dinsmore, a widower with seven children. Mr. Dinsmore died September 8, 1872, in the seventy-sixth year of his age. He was widely and favorably known throughout Lawrence county as an upright man and a consistent Christian. He was a kind husband and affectionate father. He died the peaceful and triumphant death of a true Christian. "Mark thou the perfect man and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace."
Married Henry Dinsmore, a stepson of her mother, on January 10, 1871, and has one son, EDWIN H., born March 3, 1874. Mrs. Dinsmore is a woman of good, sound, common sense, and contains all the elements of a genuine Christian lady. Her mother, Mrs. Matthew Dinsmore, has almost passed the appointed bound of human life, and the infirmities of age and the weight of sore afflictions are already preying heavily upon her. She has buried two husbands, six brothers, two sisters, her father and mother, and three of her children. With the exception of Mrs. Samuel R. Salisbury, she is the only surviving representative of the old Wilson pioneer family. She will not be with us long. The storms of seventy winters have beaten upon the tenement of clay, and it is tottering!
"Where is the strength that spurned decay,
The step that rose so light and gay—
The heart's blith tone?
The strength is gone, the step is slow,
And life grows weariness and woe—
As age creeps on!"
But though her "earthly hour is being dissolved," and nature is sinking with the toils of years, her soul is even now blooming in perpetual youth. She will soon be missed in her home circle; her frail form will soon be laid away in its last, long sleep, and another ransomed soul will be added to the saints in glory!
Maria Wilson, third daughter and ninth child of Adam Wilson, became the third wife of
This gentleman was born in Fayette county, Pa., April 21, 1803, and was a son by his father's fourth wife. He himself has been thrice married. First on December 2, 1824, to Margaret Kelley, daughter of James and Sarah Kelley. Upwards of twenty-six years of a happy wedded life rolled away, and Mrs. Salisbury was removed by death, on June 19, 1850. She was an exemplary Christian woman, and, with her husband, was a member of the Presbyterian Church at Red Oak, Brown county, O.
On March 9, 1851, Mr. Salisbury married Margaret Donaldson, daughter of E. and Mary Donaldson. But this union was dissolved by the death of Mrs. Salisbury, on September 4, 1854. By a peculiar coincidence, Mrs. Salisbury and her mother died on the same day, the latter at nine in the evening, and the former at three in the morning, and both of the same disease—consumption.
Mr. Salisbury's third marriage was to Maria Wilson (just noticed), and occured on August 23, 1855. She had previously been married twice. On May 23, 1833, to James Hopper. Her second marriage, on October 27, 1850, was to William Johnston. He was a son of Willam Johnston, an early settler of Pulaski. He died of cholera, July 18, 1854.
It is quite a remarkable fact that both Mr. and Mrs. Salisbury were married twice by the same clergyman, Rev. A. McCready—Mr. S. to his second and third wives, and Mrs. S. to her second and third husbands.
Mr. Salisbury's father, Samuel Salisbury, Sr., removed his family from Fayette county, Pa., to Brown county, Ohio, in 1805. Here both of the old folks passed the remainder of their lives. Both were shining lights in the Presbyterian church. He was for many years a ruling elder, as were also his two brothers, James and Thomas. He had six sons and five daughters, all of whom became heads of families, but only one daughter and two sons now survive, viz.: Mrs. Sarah Kelley, of Bloomsburg, Ohio; James Salisbury, of Butler county, Ohio; and Samuel R. Salisbury, of Lawrence county, Pa. Mr. Salisbury's father was William Salisbury. He had five sons and five daughters. So far as can be traced back, the Salisbury ancestors were of the Presbyterian persuasion. In the autumn of 1855, Mr. S. R. Salisbury left Ohio and located in Lawrence county, Pa. Both he and his wife are among the most substantial members of the community. Having no children of their own, they have taken several orphans to care for, and in this and other ways have exhibited a praiseworthy benevolence. They are valued members of the Neshannock Church.
With the exception of Mrs. Matthew Dinsmore, Mrs. Salisbury is the last surviving representative of the old Wilson stock. In a few years, at farthest, all the old land-marks will be removed. We shall soon miss Uncle Samuel and "Aunt Maria!"
The ancestors of this connection came from Ireland at a very early day. They were the parents of
and had seven children, viz: WILLIAM, Jr., HUGH, JOHN, SAMUEL, MOLLIE, MATTIE and RACHEL.
HUGH never married, but became very rich, and died aged.
JOHN married Peggy Stoglen. His children were Robin, Henry, Hugh, Samuel, William, Polly, and Pegy.
Polly married a Mr. Davis, of Meadville, Pa.
Henry became a physician, and married a gay, rich girl, and is now dead.
SAMUEL COTTON, brother of William Cotton, Sr., died young.
MOLLIE COTTON, his sister, married Isaac Vance, of Washington county, Pa. His children were Samuel, Isaac, Iby, Polly; Hannah, Mattie, and Peggy. The family live in Washington county.
MATTIE COTTON, sister of William Cotton, Sr., married Patrick Scott. Their children were Polly, Mattie, and Francis.
Polly Scott married George Thompson. Both were connected with Neshannock, congregation, and are now dead. They had a family of not less than eight children, all of whom became heads of families.
Mattie Scott married Thomas Wilson, one of the earliest settlers of New Wilmington township. (See Wilson family history.)
Francis Scott, only son of Patrick Scott and Mattie Cotton, married for his first wife, a Miss Johnson, and had several children. RACHEL COTTON, sister of William Cotton, Sr., never married.
Son of the American immigrants, was born in Washington county, Pa., July 16, 1762. His wife was Mary Scott, daughter of Josiah and Violet Scott, who emigrated from Scotland very early. Mary Scott was born in Scotland.
Very early in this century, Mr. Cotton became one of the first settlers of Pulaski township. He purchased some four or five hundred acres of land from the United States Government, spent his days upon the soil, and died in December, 1841, in the eightieth year of his age.
The children of William Cotton, Sr., were:
VIOLET, born August 16, 1787; married William Williamson. Both
deceased. Had a large family.
HENRY, born September 2, 1788; died October 3, 1803.
MARY, born June 19, 1790. She had a cancer on her breast when she was a young girl, and went through the painful and hazardous operation of having the entire breast cut off, and recovered! became the wife of John Morehead, and died upwards of eighty. She always looked on the dark side of life, borrowing trouble when it came in no other way. She was, however, a good, Christian woman.
JOSIAH, born May 26, 1792; died September 1, 1796.
JANE, born October 15, 1793.
WILLIAM, Jr., born December 13, 1795; married Betsy Black.
HUGH, born September 10, 1797; married Diadema Drake.
JOSIAH, Jr., born March 13, 1799.
ALEXANDER, born February 4, 1801; died October 22, 1840.
JOHN, born January 20, 1803.
RACHEL, born June 30, 1805.
JAMES, born May 6, 1807; died July 26, 18—.
SARAH, born December 27, 1809. She is now widow of Lucas Alexander. Josiah, Jr., married Catharine Harris, daughter of Barnabas C. Harris. Rachel was a school teacher for awhile, and married James Breden, of Mercer county, a widower with two sons. She had nine children. Both parents are now dead.
Mrs. William Cotton, Sr.,—whose maiden name was Mary Scott—was a woman of medium size, and of very fine appearance. She had black eyes, and hair of the same complexion. She brought up her children under the most strict, Puritanic rule. When the Sabbath morning came, there was profound silence in the household. Not a word was spoken, only of necessity. It was a sin to laugh or even smile! All that could go, went to church, the young folks walking, while the parents rode on horseback. The distance was eight or ten miles. The girls walked in their bare feet, carrying their cowhide shoes in their hands, and putting them on (the shoes) just before entering the church.
Mrs. Cotton's daughter, Polly (Mary), had a head of beautiful, black, and naturally curly hair, but her mother would not allow her to curl it (or allow it to curl!), but required her to comb it straight back, and as plain as possible. She (the mother) did not approve of such vanity as "flowing locks!"
What would this good woman say, could she but return to earth and take a seat in the velvet-cushioned pew of some of our present fashionable churches, and see the rich attire and costly jewelry that decks the persons of some of the devout worshipers of her sex!
Mr. Cotton was a tall man, with commanding appearance, and black, piercing eyes, and was a great reader.
Was born in Mercer county, Pa., December 13, 1795. His wife was Elizabeth Black, born in Washington county, Pa., November 5, 1797. They were married October 28, 1819. Their children were:
JOHN, born in 1820; died at the age of eight.
JAMES, born June 20, 1822.
MARY S., born January 9, 1826.
JOHN C., born August 31, 1828.
JEMIMA, born November 15, 1830.
PHEBE L., born January 6, 1832.
AUSTIN D., born May 26, 1835.
Also, ELIZABETH, MELISSA and WILLIAM, who all died in infancy.
Mr. William Cotton was one of the most industrious and active men of his time, and from a youth was a consistent member of the Presbyterian church. He died March 20, 1843.
Mrs. Cotton died April 7, 1864. She also was a woman of many Christian virtues, and a member of the Presbyterian church. She was very smart and industrious, and at the age of seventy-five, made her great-grandson, Thomas C. Wilson, a fine shirt in most excellent style, and also cut and made for her grandson, H. H. Wilson, a nicely fitting pair of pants. She was a remarkably, sprightly, mirthful woman for her age, and her society was much enjoyed by the young folks.
Son of William Cotton, Sr., was born in Mercer county, February 4, 1801. He married Susan Harris (a sister of his brother Josiah's wife), daughter of Barnabas C. Harris, an early settler of Trumbull county, Ohio, on April 27, 1826. Their children were:
SARAH SABINA, born February 17, 1827.
J. TUNIS, born January 29, 1830; served in the late civil war, and was with Sherman in his "march to the sea."
LORENA, born November 20, 1832; married William Marquis, December 14, 1858. (See Marquis family history.)
JOSIAH S., born February 25 (about 1837). Was telegraph operator in United States Government employ, in the late war, and was captured by John Morgan, but treated kindly. He married Mary Renster, of New Castle, and had three children, one living—Ralph, now with his mother, and step-father, William Bliss, in Denver, Col. Mr. Cotton died February 14, 1866.
S. SABINA COTTON, eldest daughter of Alexander Cotton, married Alexander W. Rogers, January 1, 1849. Had five sons:
BARNA B., born October 17, 1849.
HARRY B., born June 18, 1851; died of small pox, January 7, 1864.
J. SANDS, born February 23, 1853.
J. TUNIS, born March 7, 1855; died of typhoid fever, April 23, 1872; and
THADDEUS R., born November 7, 1856.
Mr. Rogers was lawyer by profession. He died March 24, 1859.
Mr. Alexander Cotton possessed a character remarkable for energy, and was an active member of the Neshannock Presbyterian Church. He subsequently became one of the organizing members of the Pulaski Presbyterian Church, and was the ruling elder in the same. His generous impulses and kindly nature commended him to the good will of all. He died October 22, 1840. He was found one morning, before breakfast, by his daughter Sabina, in an insensible condition, at a spring near the house. He was immediately carried in, but found to be dead. Cause of death, apoplexy.
Mrs. Cotton was unusually retiring in her manners—almost timid—and possessed a remarkably amiable, sweet disposition.
Second son of Wm. Cotton, Jr., married Sarah Robison June 10, 1845. Their children were:
JOSEPH L., born October 17, 1846 ; died August 15, 1851.
ELLEN M., born April 28, 1849.
JAMES W., born February 24, 1851; died August 27, 1851.
THOMAS M., born December 30, 1852.
ELIZA M., born August 1, 1855.
CLARA, born July 26, 1858.
SARAH E., born May 16, 1860,
ALICE M., born November 14, 1861.
HATTIE, born January 10, 1866; and;
JAMES S., born June 15, 1870.
THOMAS MILTON was educated at West Minster College and the State Normal School, Edinboro; was engaged in teaching for some three years, two of them in Waterford Academy, Erie county, the first year being assistant, and the second year principal. In the spring of 1876, he opened a tailoring and gents' furnishing establishment in Pulaski, He is a young gentleman of enterprise and promise.
SARAH EMMA died of scarlet fever April 6, 1876. She was mild and gentle in her manners and possessed an unusually sweet disposition, and was a favorite among all her acquaintances. She was an apt scholar, and pursued her studies with great energy and success. Her illness was not protracted. Only nine days from the time at which she was in perfect health her relatives and friends were called to look upon her lifeless remains! She [p. 182] possessed a very thoughtful nature, and was very attentive upon church and Sunday-school services, which she dearly loved. A short time before she was taken sick she expressed her desire to cast in her lot with the people of God by a public profession of religion. But she was unexpectedly cut down in the bloom of her youth, like a flower blasted by the early frosts of autumn! But a blessed consolation is afforded the family in the sentiment of the following sweet lines:
"Sister, thou wast mild and lovely, Gentle as the summer breeze; Pleasant as the air of evening When it floats among the trees.
"Dearest sister, thou hast left us, and thy loss we deeply feel; But 'tis God who hath bereft us— He can all our sorrows heal.
"Yet again we hope to meet thee When the day of life is fled— And in Heaven with joy to greet thee Where no farewell tear is shed!"
M. Cotton was born on the homestead of his father June 20, 1822, upon which farm he still resides. On March 30, 1874, his residence was consumed by fire, by which occurrence he lost heavily. He at once, however, began the erection of his present pleasant residence, which was completed the same year. On the third of the following September, he received a fall from his barn loft which inflicted serious injury upon his head and spinal column, from which injury he was a severe sufferer for two years. His health, however, is now improving. He is an industrious and worthy citizen, and for many years has been a member of the Neshannock Church, as has also his wife.
Mrs. James Cotton was daughter of James Robison, born in Lawrence county, December 9, 1799. His first wife was Eleanor Williams, born December 2, 1804. They were married September 10, 1823. Their children were:
MARY, born January 21, 1825.
ELIZABETH, born April 11, 1827; died 18th of same month.
SARAH, born May 24, 1828.
MIRIAM, born June 10, 1830; died March 14, 1834.
THOMAS, born March 6, 1834, died July 23, 1851.
Mrs. Robison died January 25, 1870. She was strict in her discipline, yet kind, and ably filled her place as wife and mother. She was a member of the United Presbyterian Church. On February 15, 1871, Mr. Robison married widow Marthy Jackson. She is a smart, active and excellent lady.
The father of James Robison was Henry Robison, a native of Ireland. His wife was Mary Kelly, of Ireland. Mr. Robison came to America at the age of eighteen. He entered, from the Government, some five hundred acres in Mahoning township.
John C. Cotton married Mary Davis on August 16, 1855. Four children: W. D., Eddie S., Bessie, and H. A. Cotton. Eddie and Bessie are deceased.
Austin D. Cotton married Alice M. Marshall on July 18, 1859. Children: Charley E., Lily M., Vernon E., Gertrude E., Edwin A., and John C. Cotton. Lily is deceased.
The ancestors of this family are of Scotch extraction. We begin this sketch with
But when or where he was born, is not known by any of his descendants in Lawrence county. By his first wife, Rachel Touchton, whom he married November 4, 1784, he had three sons:
ROBERT, born September 5, 1787.
ANDREW, born November 17, 1789; and
SAMUEL JR., born June 24, 1792.
His first wife died August 11, 1795. On January 16, 1798, he married, for a second wife, Sarah Little, by whom he had one son:
JAMES, born January 9, 1802. He lived on the old homestead of his father. His wife was Mary Hezlep, daughter of Samuel Hezlep, of Lawrence county, whose father, James Hezlep, came from Ireland.
In 1854, Mr. Marquis moved to Illinois, and, after passing some eleven years on a farm, in Kendall county, near Chicago, repaired to Aurora, where he died, in his sixty-seventh year, on February 3, 1869. For nearly forty years he had witnessed a good profession, having been, for upwards of thirty years, an active, efficient Elder in the Presbyterian Church, first in the, Unity Church, Presbytery of Beaver, Pa., and subsequently in the church at Oswego, Ill. Wise and judicious in counsel, possessed of a faith settled and strong, having a clear understanding of the great doctrines of grace, and being well versed in the polity of his church, and, above all, gifted in prayer, and displaying, in his whole life, a uniform and earnest piety, he was a worthy example to all who bear rule in the church of God. His was an intelligent faith. He loved the truth, and fed upon it. He lived in the enjoyment of a clear, calm and well grounded hope, and died in the peaceful assurance of a blessed acceptance and a glorious resurrection. We can say of him, "He is not dead; he is only beginning to live."
Mrs. Marquis died in May, 1871, in her sixty-sixth year. She was a strong-minded, energetic woman, a model of perseverance, and an exemplary Christian.
A daughter of these parents is now the excellent wife of Deacon Benton R. Wilson, of Lawrence county. (See Wilson family history.)
Second son of Samuel Marquis, Sr., by his first marriage, came with his father's family to Mercer county, about 1810. On November 9, 1813, he married Lydia Moorhead, of Westmoreland county, Pa., daughter of William Moorhead, and born April 28, 1792. The family record is:
RACHEL, born August 2, 1814.
WILLIAM, born November 17, 1815.
SAMUEL F., born September 2, 1817; died, unmarried, January 25, 1843.
JOHN, born May 2, 1819.
ELIZABETH, born December 27, 1822.
ROBERT, born October 7, 1825; died July 22, 1833.
SARAH, born July 22, 1827; died June 23, 1848.
JAMES, born May 2, 1829; died December 22, 1836.
ANDREW, JR., born December 22, 1831; married Sophronia Dickey, February 18, 1859 and died December 10, 1864, leaving three children.
DAVID C., born November 10, 1834; graduated at Jefferson College in 1857, and from Chicago Theological Seminary in 1863. Married Anna M. Kennedy, October 8, 1863. Residence, Baltimore, Md.
Rachel married B. T. Harris, of Trumbull county, O., July 13, 1835. Died in April, 1870.
Elizabeth married David B. Moore, of Lawrence county, Pa., March 22, 1842. Her family consisted of ten children, two deceased. Mr. Moore was born September 6, 1814. His father, William Moore, was a native of Lancaster county, Pa., but passed most of his life in Huntingdon county where he died, in 1821. For many years, Mr. and Mrs. David B. Moore have been connected with the Neshannock Presbyterian Church, in which he holds the office of Deacon. Mr. Moore's family form a substantial part of the community, and are favorably known for their hospitality and benevolence.
Mr. Andrew Marquis, Sr., was a man of strict integrity, and of great energy and thoroughness. He possessed great physical strength, and weighed upwards of two hundred pounds. His clear judgment and generous sympathies gave him great influence. Quite late in life, he united with the Neshannock Presbyterian Church, though, for years previous to this, he maintained regular family devotion. He died January 9, 1866. He was a carpenter.
Mrs. Marquis died June 1, 1872. She was firm, but kind in her family discipline, and full of energy and enterprise; a Presbyterian in sentiment and a conscientious, Christian woman throughout her life. For many years previous to her decease, she was severely afflicted with asthma.
First son and second child of Andrew Marquis, Sr., was born in Mercer county, November 17, 1815. He has been twice married: First to Eleanor Neal, daughter of Robert Neal, on August 20, 1839. By this marriage he had one daughter:
MARGARET E., born July 7, 1840.
Mrs. Marquis died January 23, 1858. She was a woman of deep-toned piety, and was highly esteemed by all who knew her.
Mr. Marquis married, for his second wife, Miss Lorena Cotton, daughter of Alexander Cotton, on December 14, 1858. Their children were:
ANDREW, born November 23, 1859.
ALEXANDER, born July 15, 1861.
DAVID, born June 6, 1864; died October 3, 1865.
WILLIAM and SAMUEL (twins), born March 2, 1866; and
JOSIAH C. born August 16, 1870.
Mr. Marquis has passed his life in the pursuit of agriculture. He possesses a clear head, an even judgment, and a very genial nature. Both he and his [p. 183] accomplished wife, are substantial citizens, and members of the Presbyterian Church of Pulaski.
Mrs. Marquis is a granddaughter of William Cotton, Sr., elsewhere noticed in these sketches. Her ancestors were characterized by sterling worth, and their noble qualities are still perpetuated in the persons of their descendants.
Was born on the old homestead, May 2, 1819. He has been three times married: First to Lucretia Tylee, daughter of Alfred Tylee, of Trumbull county, O., on January 19, 1841. Miss Tylee was born May 22, 1822. The children by this marriage were:
JAMES C., born January 27, 1842; died November 14, 1845.
SAMUEL, born October 21, 1844; died December 18, same year.
JOHN C., born December 22, 1846; and
JAMES W., born July 15, 1850; died November 20, 1857.
Mrs. Marquis died, of typhoid fever, April 27, 1855.
The second Mrs. Marquis was Rebecca D. Wilson, married March 5, 1857. The children were:
FRANK C., born September 3, 1858, and
ELIZABETH, born March 23, 1861 ; died August 6, 1863.
Mrs. Marquis was born October 6, 1824, and was daughter of Andrew Wilson, of Lawrence county. She died January 6, 1864.
For his third wife, Mr. Marquis married Maggie E. Gillam, of Mercer county, on March 7, 1865, by whom he had one son:
HARRY C., born November 29, 1867.
Mrs. Marquis died May 26, 1872, aged about thirty-three.
The companions of Mr. Marquis, who have thus been taken from him, were all excellent Christian women, and faithfully filled their responsible positions in the family circle, both as wife and mother.
With the exception of about ten years spent in Ohio, Mr. Marquis has resided in Lawrence county, Pa. He is a man of retiring manners and deliberate judgment. He is connected with the Pulaski Presbyterian Church, and has filled the office of ruling elder; likewise that of choir leader.
The pioneer member of this connection in Lawrence county, was one of the earliest settlers of New Castle, and the history of this family is inseparably blended with that of the development and growth of this thriving city.
In the year 1804, Mr. Henry Falls came from Center county, Pa., to what is now New Castle, and settled on a spot on Highland avenue, which place is now owned and occupied by his grandson, Joseph C. Falls. It was then a wild, uncultivated farm. At that time, New Castle consisted of two log houses, one known as the "Stewart House," located within a few feet of the late residence of his second son, Thomas Falls, (on the northeast corner of Mill and Falls street) and a small cabin which stood in a field about where now stand the machine shops of Quest, Shaw & Co.
Was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, about the year 1760, and immigrated to this country in company with his brother Joseph, about the year, 1779. His wife was Susan Kenedy, and his children were JOHN, THOMAS, SARAH and RACHEL (twins), HENRY and JOSEPH C. Henry died when about nineteen years old.
Mr. Falls was a genuine type of the sturdy pioneer, bold, decided and courageous. He possessed a vigorous constitution, was full of energy, and noted for his industry and perseverance. He died August 4, 1847, at the advanced age of eighty-seven. His wife survived him seven years, and died on the old homestead.
Oldest son of Henry Falls, was born in Center county, Pa., Dec. 15, 1790, and came with the family to New Castle in 1804. He served as a private in the war of 1812. On the 25th of May, 1815, he married Miss Margaret Dickson, daughter of William Dickson, of Franklin county, Pa. Mr. Dickinson [sic] was born in this county about the year 1739, and died on the farm on which he was born, November 11, 1812, at the age of seventy-three. It is quite a noticeable fact, that this farm has been held in the family for upwards of two hundred years.
Miss Dickson was born on this farm December 25, 1790, and came to what is now Lawrence county, in 1814. This marriage was blessed with a family of eleven children:
AN UNNAMED child, born March 21, 1816; died in infancy.
HENRY, born March 14, 1817; died November 26, 1873.
WILLIAM D., born July 22, 1818; died November 29, 1844.
JOHN, JR., born February 19, 1820.
SUSANNAH, born September 29, 1821 ; died June 2, 1839.
DAVID D., born October 25, 1823.
SAMUEL D., born April 25, 1825.
NANCY D., born April 25, 1827.
JOSEPH J., born March 5, 1829.
MARGARET R., born February 5, 1832; and
JAMES F., born August 30, 1834.
Mr. John Falls, Sr., was a farmer by occupation, and led a retired life upon the soil. He was a hard working, industrious man, and highly respected for his many manly virtues. He was a whig in politics, and in religious views, a Presbyterian. He died July 18, 1837. His widow still survives him, at the advanced age of eighty-six. Her mother was Agnes Dunlap, and was married to Mr. Dickson, on August 1, 1767.
Mrs. Falls is the only surviving member of her father's family, and is, herself, the mother of eleven children. She is in a most remarkable state of preservation for her many years. Her physical strength is much more than could reasonably be expected, her eyes beam and snap with something akin to the fire of youthful days, while her mental faculties retain much of their former vigor. Altogether, she is one of the smartest old ladies in Lawrence county. She has been, for nearly three-quarters of a century, connected with the First Presbyterian Church of New Castle. A long and laborious life has been spent in the service of her blessed Saviour; and, having been a faithful wife and an affectionate mother, now, in a green old age, she renews the sacred joys of her youth, and, in a most implicit and blessed trust, is patiently waiting the call of the Master to enter into "the rest that remaineth."
Seventh child of John Falls, was born in New Castle April 25, 1825. When a boy, he learned the carriage and wagon-makers, trade, and followed the same in different sections of the country for some twenty-five years, about twelve of which were spent in Oneco, Stephenson county, Ill.
On January 15, 1850, he married Miss Ann Elwood, of Oneco, whose father, John Elwood, was in early immigrant to New York from England. Two children were the fruits of this marriage:
AN UNNAMED DAUGHTER, who died on the day of her birth; and
JOHN E., born July 17 1853; died July 28, 1855.
Mrs. Falls was a lady of culture and refinement, and possessed an unusually amiable disposition. She died January 15, 1855.
The present Mrs. Falls was Miss Kate, daughter of Joseph Shumaker, of Oneco, Ill., but formerly of Mercer county, Pa., where Miss Shumaker was born, November 12, 1839. Her father married Mary Matthews, and had three sons and three daughters, all living, of whom Mrs. Falls is the second daughter and third child.
After a residence of some years in Mercer county, Mr. Shumaker moved to Oneco, Ill., where he passed the rest of his life.
Miss Shumaker's marriage to Mr. Falls took place on April 30, 1856. The children were:
JOSEPH D., born February 22, 1857; died May 13, 1858.
FLORA, born June 23, 1859.
WILLIAM H., born November 1, 1861.
MARGARET, born July 25, 1864.
MARY, born September 10, 1867; died September 20, 1871; and
LILLIE, born March 18, 1872.
Upon the day of his second marriage, Mr. Falls started from Oneco, Ill., to Kansas, taking with him a stock of goods, intending to engage in merchandise. But just at that time the troubles growing out of the slavery question culminated, putting a stop to all business, and producing a general chaos throughout the State, and in a few days after his arrival in Kansas, Mr. Falls shipped back his goods to Illinois, and as soon as practicable, returned with his wife, having run the gauntlet several times in getting out of the reach of the "border ruffians."
While stopping at the Free State Hotel, in Kansas City, Mo., he participated, with a number of other Free State men, in the defense and rescue of John Brown from being captured and hung by a band of these bushwhackers, and on his way East, he carried from Kansas City to St. Louis, the dispatches announcing Quantrell's bloody raid upon Lawrence, Kansas.
Some two years later, Mr. Falls moved to Homestead county, Minnesota, where he purchased a farm, and remained about ten years.
On February 13, 1864, he enlisted in Company C, 9th Minnesota Infantry, and was assigned a position in the commissary department, at St. Paul.
Having been seriously injured while in the service of the government, Mr. Falls was discharged in the following May and subsequently repaired to Washington, bearing with him the certificates of a board of ten surgeons, to the effect that his condition was most critical, and that, in their opinion, he could live but a very short time. In an interview with President Lincoln—that prince of philanthropists, who never turned a deaf ear to the story of a wounded soldier—Mr. Falls received a letter to Secretary Stanton, recommending the calling of a board of surgeons to assess the damages in the case. This Mr. Stanton refused to do, and ordered Mr. Falls' certificates and papers filed away in the office of the government, and it was with much difficulty that Mr. Falls secured the surrender of the same, although they were essential to him in the establishing of his claims. This was accomplished through the influence of General Halleck.
Some years passed away, and in the meantime, by skillful medical attention, Mr. Falls recovered from his injury to a considerable degree, though not wholly. He then applied for a pension, and after much delay and opposition arising from "red tape" influence, it was finally secured for him by means of a special act of Congress.
In the fall of 1871, Mr. Falls returned to New Castle (which he has since made his residence) for the purpose of claiming some fifty-three acres of land, now lying within the city limits, and belonging to the estate of his father, John Falls, deceased, said land being now held by Henry C. Falls, on the plea of limitation. [See New Castle East in 1872 Atlas.]
Mr. Samuel D. Falls is a gentleman of generous impulses and open heart, possesses fine social qualities, and is a man of his word.
Second son of Henry Falls, was born in Ligonier Valley, Centre county, Pa., October 29, 1793, and, at the age of about fourteen, was brought, with the family to what is now New Castle. He remained with his parents until after he became of age, and then went to Mercer and learned the tanning business with Mr. Jonathan Smith. After serving an apprenticeship of three years, he went to Pittsburgh and worked one summer at his trade. In the fall he returned to New Castle on foot, with seventy-six dollars in his pocket, the savings of his summer's work. With this he founded the tannery now owned by his son, Wilson Falls—making the vats himself. He then went on horseback to Mercer, and bought a small quantity of leather, which he carried to Hillsville, and placed in a store (no such institution being then in New Castle) to be traded for hides. These he tanned, and thus started a business which prospered in his hands. All the leather produced was sold and traded out in his own shop. His lamp-black and oil were purchased in Pittsburgh, to which town he made frequent visits on foot.
After carrying on business three years, part of that time keeping "bachelor's hall," he married, December 25, 1818, Miss Sarah Wilson, daughter of Adam Wilson, one of the earliest settlers of New Wilmington township, Lawrence county, and commenced keeping house in the Stewart house, where most of his children were born. He continued to carry on the tanning business until 1841, when he resigned it to his oldest son, Wilson Falls.
In 1831, he built the house in which he died, which was about the third brick house built in New Castle. He accumulated a considerable amount of real estate in the borough, and several farms near, all of which have increased in value in proportion to the growth of the county.
About the year 1853, some twelve years previous to his decease, he retired from all active business, and lived a quiet, unostentatious life, giving just a prudent attention to his affairs, but not attempting to accumulate. His health was remarkably good till within three days of his death, and he retained perfect possession of his mental faculties till the last.
When Mr. Falls came to this country, the nearest mill to New Castle was at Rochester, and salt and other articles were brought from the Ohio river on horseback, and in canoes. He lived to see a flourishing young city where he commenced in the woods; to hear the snort of the iron-horse and the click of the telegraph where erst the war-whoop of the Indian and the hideous howl of wild beasts resounded. And he performed his share to bring about the good result. He built twelve houses in New Castle, and always aided in the various public enterprises calculated to advance the town or county.
The characteristics of Mr. Falls were such as constituted him in every respect a model man. He was held in high esteem both as a citizen and a Christian gentleman.
Scrupulously honest in all his dealings, he was never exacting with others. Having known in early life, what it was to struggle against adverse circumstances, his kindliest sympathies went out toward the struggling and honest poor. As a Christian, he evinced his love of God by obeying his precepts—particularly that golden rule, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them."
As a patriot, he aided in everything calculated to sustain the government and bring the late war to a speedy and successful termination. Possessing a large amount of real-estate, the various bounty taxes drew heavily from his purse; but he was never heard to complain. In this, as in everything else, he cheerfully bore his full share of the public burden.
As his life had been pure, his death was tranquil. On Thursday, about noon, while attending to some business away from his house, he was so violently attacked with heart disease as to need assistance to reach his home. Friday he was much worse, and perfectly conscious that his end was near, bade farewell to many friends who visited him. Death appeared to have no terrors for his spirit. His hold upon the world had long since been loosed, and he was prepared to answer immediately the call of his master.
Says one who knew him for many years: "We have witnessed many death-bed scenes, but never one which came so near our idea of what the Christian would desire."
His entire family of eight children, all married and having families of their own, were round his bed, and there lay the aged patriarch, full years, his work accomplished, and calmly awaiting the call to "go up higher." He had been the leader of his tribe on earth, and now, having taught them how to live in this world, he was about to show them how a true Christian could leave it. In the quiet of a lovely Sabbath evening, October 8, 1865, calmly and trustingly, he fell asleep in Jesus.
"Asleep in Jesus!—blessed sleep,
From which none ever wakes to weep;
A calm and undisturbed repose,
Unbroken by the last of foes!"
Mrs. Falls died June 26, 1870, aged seventy-six years and one day. Her maiden name was Sarah Wilson, and she was the eldest daughter and third child of Adam Wilson, a pioneer of Lawrence county, and the progenitor of a large number of descendants, who are among the most substantial citizens of this county.
She was born near Newville, Cumberland county, Pa., January 25, 1794. Soon after her marriage she settled in New Castle, residing in a house which stood on her husband's farm within a few rods of the homestead in which she died, and was never afterwards twenty miles from her own door.
She was a member in good standing in the Presbyterian church for more than half a century, and to the last gave evidence that the religion in which she had lived was sufficient to sustain and comfort her in the solemn hour of death. Mrs. Falls raised a family of eight children, all of whom survive her. Indeed death never entered her household until October, 1865, when He came to call from her side the companion who had for nearly fifty years fought the battles of life with and for her, and those they loved. Like him she was called away suddenly at the last. The day before her death was the seventy-sixth anniversary of her birth, and though she had been ailing for some time, she felt better on that day than she had done for weeks, and entertained her family with a dinner in commemoration of the anniversary. About one o'clock in the night she became worse, and died about four o'clock the next afternoon. In her life she had struggled with the difficulties that beset the pioneers of this then western country and overcame them all. Her faith was founded on the Rock of Ages, and her death was as calm as the sinking of an infant to a peaceful slumber in its mother's arms. The estimation in which she was held by the community, who might be said to have grown up around her, was evidenced by the very large number that followed her mortal part to Greenwood cemetery.
Mr. Thomas Falls had a family of four sons and four daughters, viz.: WILSON, HENRY C., RACHEL, MARIA J., J. SMITH, SUSAN, SARAH and THOMAS H.
Wilson Falls was born December 23, 1819, and married Elvira Impey, on March 2, 1852; has two children—a son and a daughter; is a farmer by occupation and a republican in politics. He and his wife are members of the Second Presbyterian Church of New Castle.
Was born July 8, 1822. He was reared a farmer, and, with the exception of a brief period spent in the grocery business in Pittsburgh, has pursued agriculture as a vocation. On September 26, 1854 he was married to Miss Mary A., daughter of Davies Wallace, Esq., of Lancaster county, Pa. He has had two sons:
WALLACE H., born November 9, 1855; and
THOMAS, born October 9, 1858.
The latter died March 21, 1868, in the tenth year of his age. He was an unusually lovely boy, and bore a long and distressing illness with remarkable patience. When informed that he must soon die, he received the intelligence with perfect composure, and awaited the event as calmly as he would fall to sleep in his mother's arms. Of his own accord, and with remarkable deliberation and calmness, he bequeathed his little effects to his friends, and his money to the cause of his Saviour; and bidding all an affectionate farewell, gently yielded up his spirit to its God. "He shall gather the lambs in His bosom, and carry them in His arms."
"Alas! how changed that lovely flower,
Which bloomed and cheered my heart;
Fair, fleeting comfort of an hour,
How soon we're called to part!
"But faith o'erleaps the bounds of time,
Where, what we now deplore,
Shall rise in full, immortal prime,
And bloom to fade no more!"
Mr. Falls owns a finely improved and elegant farm of one hundred and forty acres, lying within the city limits of New Castle. He is a gentleman of plain manners, sterling good sense, and of kind and generous impulses. Mrs. Falls is a lady of refinement and substantial worth. Both are members of the First Presbyterian Church of New Castle, in which communion Mr. Falls holds the office of deacon.
To which Mrs. Henry C. Falls belongs, were among the earliest pioneers to the Conestoga Valley, Lancaster county, Pa. About the middle of the eighteenth century,
And his wife emigrated from Scotland, and settled in that part of this valley that lies in Lancaster county. He became one of the organization members of the Cedar Grove Presbyterian Church, of East Earle Township, Lancaster county, Pa., as early, probably, as 1775, and his name appears on a subscription paper, dated March 1, 1790, in which article he agrees to contribute ten pounds a year for the support of the pastor, Rev. Dr. Robert Smith. It was on his property, in the vicinity of what was called Blue Ball, that Mr. Smith first preached the Gospel to this congregation, from a platform erected under the forest trees.
Mr. Wallace had six sons and one daughter, viz.: JOHN, ISAAC, JAMES, THOMAS, WILLIAM, ROBERT, and ELIZABETH.
Oldest son of Robert Wallace, was born in Conestoga Valley, Lancaster county, Pa., June 23, 1769. Here from his boyhood he was engaged in agricultural and mercantile employments. Among the earliest associations of his childhood, was the preaching of the Gospel by the Rev. Robert Smith, D. D., at the run beside his father's house. This is the most distant period to which can be traced the history of the Cedar Grove Presbyterian Church, of East Earle township, Lancaster county, Pa.; and supposing that Mr. Wallace was at this time six years old, it would carry us back to the period of 1775, or one year before the colonies declared themselves independent.
When a youth of seventeen, in 1786, he assisted in hauling the stones for the erection of the first edifice for the Cedar Grove Church. Shortly afterwards, under the preaching of Dr. Smith, he embraced the Christian religion, and dedicated himself to the Lord by uniting with the church, in which he lived as a shining light for a period of nearly seventy years. His biography is, therefore, closely interwoven with every period of the early history of this branch of God's people. In 1822, he was elected to the office of ruling elder, which position he filled with honor for thirty-two years, and during this entire period he regularly and acceptably served in this sacred office until the infirmities of age prevented him from attending the sanctuary. With slow and gradual steps he trod the pathway to the grave. As month after month marked the flight of time, the approach of the "king of terrors," in the absence of any apparent disease, was noticed only by the sinking powers of nature. At length, on the ninth of December, 1854, when his earthly existence had numbered eighty-five years, five months and sixteen days, "the last enemy" approached, laid his relentless hand upon his heart, and "The weary wheels of life stood still."
During his long connection with the church, as a member and as a ruling elder, his life was uniformly consistent with his profession.
On the afternoon of the last Sabbath he spent on earth—he having been for some time unable to attend the sanctuary—the Holy Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was, at his own request, administered to him in his own room. It was a solemn meeting. His children, and others present, all felt that it was the last time that they would ever commune with him on earth. It was a bleak, winter's day, and the raging of the wind, the driving of the snow, and the dreariness that reigned around them, seemed fitfully to harmonize with the destroying hand of time upon the decaying, sinking frame before them! Nor were their forebodings imaginary. The aged patriarch soon fell asleep. He passed away respected and beloved, and in the large concourse of those assembled to see his venerable form lowered into the grave, not one maintained towards him any other feelings than those of profound esteem and sincere affection.
"Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. Yea, saith the Spirit, they rest from their labors, and their works follow them."
The wife of Mr. Wallace was Lydia Martha Smith, by whom he had six sons and three daughters: DAVIES, HARRIET, MARY ANN, WILLIAM, ROBERT, JOHN, GEORGE,EDWARD, and LYDIA M. Of these only three now survive.
Eldest son of John Wallace, was born in Lancaster county, Pa., February 24, 1798. He married Miss Mary A. Henderson, daughter of Rev. Ebenezer Henderson and Agnes Noble, on September 5, 1824, and was blessed with a family of six children:
HENDERSON A., born November 5, 1825.
JOHN S., born June 25, 1827.
WILLIAM J., born June 18, 1829.
MARY A., born March 27, 1830.
DAVIES, JR., born December 27, 1831; died in the following February; and
EDWARD D., born June 25, 1833.
Henderson married Lizzie Smoker, of Lancaster county.
John married Maggie Kinzer, of the same county.
William married Victoria Wilson, of the same county,
Mr. Davies Wallace passed the greater part of his life in East Earle township, in the county of his nativity, where, for upwards of fifty years, he was engaged in the mercantile trade. As a business man, he was a model of industry. Few men ever succeeded in obtaining that unbounded confidence which was reposed in him by his extensive circle of customers. Outside of the sphere of business, he was also widely known and highly esteemed. His hospitable home was the frequent resort of his numerous friends, and many who survived him never forgot the pleasant hours they spent around his fireside. Nor will his kindness and benevolence towards the needy be soon forgotten.
For five years previous to his decease, he was an officer in the Naval Department of the Custom House of the District of Philadelphia, where, in the faithful discharge of his duties, he contracted the disease which terminated his life. He died on Friday, July 13, 1866, in the sixty-ninth year of his age. He was a kind, obliging neighbor, a steadfast friend, and a sincere, humble and active Christian. For forty years, he was a prominent and influential member of the Cedar Grove Presbyterian Church. Perhaps no trait in his character stood forth in more prominent relief, than his disposition to labor for harmony among his brethren. The reward of the "Peace-makers" is now his portion, and the Saviour's righteousness his mantle of glory.
"Hear what the voice from Heaven proclaims
For all the pious dead;
Sweet is the savor of their names,
And soft their sleeping bed.
"They die in Jesus, and are blest;
How calm their slumbers are!
From suffering and from sin released,
And freed from ev'ry snare.
"Far from this world of toil and strife,
They're present with their Lord;
The labors of their mortal life
End in a large reward!"
The father of Mrs. Mary A. Henderson Wallace was the
Whose father, Rev. Matthew Henderson, was sent to this country by the Associate Synod of Edinburgh, Scotland, in company with Rev. John Mason; they being, respectively, the fourth and fifth ministers of the Associate Presbyterian Church, in order of time, who entered upon the work in America. Mr. Henderson's wife was Agnes Noble, daughter of James Noble, an Elder of the Associate Church of Octorara. Her grandfather, William Noble, was one of the founders of this church, which, with the neighboring congregation of Oxford, formed the original seat of Associate Presbyterianism in America.
The marriage occurred September 5, 1823. Of this union, two children survive: JAMES N. HENDERSON, of Baltimore county, Md., and Mrs. MARY A. (DAVIES) WALLACE, of Lancaster county, Pa.
Mr. Ebenezer Hudson [sic] was first settled in Pittsburgh, and upon one of his trips over the Allegheny Mountains, Mrs. Henderson carried an infant son (who survives her) upon a pillow before her on the horse, and frequently spoke of sitting, in those early times, out in the open air, in the absence of a church building, in mid winter, the ground covered with snow, during a protracted Sabbath service. A call having been given to Mr. Henderson as successor to Mr. Marshall, the first pastor of the First Associate (now First United Presbyterian) Church of Philadelphia, the Presbytery placed it in his hands, with the stipulation that, before entering on his pastoral work, he should visit the scattered flocks of their adherents in the South. This duty he fulfilled, and, on his return, was attacked by a violent fever, brought on by exposure, swimming rivers, etc., and died in Staunton , Va., in 1804.
Intelligence did not then fly with the speed of lightning; and, while the church in Philadelphia eagerly awaited the arrival of their Pastor elect, they received the news of his death.
Mrs. Henderson was afterwards married to Dr. Robert Agnew, a name also well known in the annals of American Presbyterianism—Rev. B. L. Agnew, Rev. John Holmes Agnew, Rev. John R. Agnew, Mr. Samuel Agnew, of the re-united Presbyterian Church, being nephews or near kinsmen of Dr. Agnew. He was a physician of large practice in Lancaster and Chester counties, and for many years an elder in the Octorara United Presbyterian Church. His son, Dr. D. Hayes Agnew, Professor of Surgery in the University of Pennsylvania, was the only child of this marriage.
The last years of Mrs. Agnew were spent in the enjoyment of good health. To the last her powers were unimpaired. Her mind had lost none of its vigor—she was still employed with her favorite books. These were the standard religious treatises of a former age, Boston's Fourfold State, Owen on Forgiveness and on the Spirit, Edwards' History of Redemption, Baxter's Saint's Rest, and Henry's Commentary. Of these and of the Bible she was never weary. Always serene, contented and cheerful, perfectly guileless and ingenuous in character, unusually clear and full in knowledge of divine truth, she daily walked with God, and ripened for glory.
Reverence for divine things was a marked feature in her character, and she could never allow a quotation from the Scriptures, for any light or trifling purpose, to go unrebuked.
She was most happily qualified for the positions she held as the partner of a pastor and of a physician. Though she lived long, she did not outlive her usefulness, but lived the object of general regard, and died to the regret of all who knew her.
She was a distinguished and excellent woman, a "mother in Israel"; a widow who was a "widow indeed," and who, like "Anna the prophetess—the daughter of Phanuel—lived to a great age," and to the last moment of her long life faithfully "served God night and day."
She died of paralysis, February 25, 1871 in the ninety-first year of her age, having been born January 30, 1781—Lancaster county, Pa., being her place of nativity.
To her son, Dr. Agnew, who was summoned to her bedside, she said, "I am glad to see you. You have come to see the broken frame of your old mother; but in my feebleness I have still great cause for thankfulness. God has kept my mind untouched," and, as if to assure him of the fact, commenced repeating to him one of her favorite chapters, (John xiv.) "Let not your heart be troubled," &c.; also the 71st and 91st Psalms. She constantly spoke of her decease with the utmost composure, and, as her end drew nigh, repeated the passage, "O death! where is thy sting? O grave! where is thy victory?"
She wished her dust to repose beside that of her husband and ancestors in the old burying-ground of Fagg's Manor—and there, on a lovely spring day, after appropriate services by her pastor, the Rev. Mr. Easton, at the house of her nephew, Rev. W. F. P. Noble, her remains were laid to rest near the place where she was born and twice married.
Old friends gathered in to see her, and so gently had time dealt with her, so little was she changed—not a furrow on her face—that one and another said, "This is indeed my old friend; nothing is wanting but the bloom upon the check." Ah! ye aged ones! soon ye shall bloom together in immortal youth. And we, too, who are younger, if faithful unto death, shall soon be gathered about our venerated friend in heaven.
Youngest son of Thomas Falls, was born February 18, 1839. He married Miss Rebecca E. Sankey, daughter of Major Ezekiel Sankey, of New Castle, on May 5, 1864, and has had two children:
EBEN, born August 11, 1865; and
SALLIE, born May 24, 1867.
Mr. Falls was reared on a farm, and has followed this business, in connection with stock dealing. He resides on the "old homestead" of his father, on the northeast corner of Mill and Falls streets, New Castle. It is one of the most eligible and delightful locations in the city. The "Old Homestead" (a view of which may be seen among the illustrations of the "Lawrence county history") stands a few feet east of the spot where stood the old "Stewart house," in which the father, Thomas, began housekeeping. Just a few steps north of his residence an unfailing spring pours forth its limpid waters in copious quantities. This spring, as also the "Old Homestead," was bequeathed to Mr. Falls by his father.
Aside from its pleasant location, and the invaluable supply of water, this old spot is invested with the most sacred associations and precious memories. From the precincts of this sacred place, the remains of both father and mother were borne to their last resting place. And by all that is holy and sacred in the human heart, the remembrance of their parents will never cease to be most tenderly cherished by their descendants. A father's guidance, and a mother's prayers! who can estimate their power as an educative power? Especially, who can fathom the depths of a mother's love, or place too high an estimate upon the pious example and moulding influence of a noble, Christian woman!
"Who taught my infant lips to pray,—
Watched o'er my interests night and day,—
And led to heaven the shining way?
THE FALLS FAMILY, together with their connections by marriage, comprise one of the most respectable and substantial portions of the community of New Castle. At present writing, all the members of Thomas Falls' family are still living, and have families of their own; and this history of their ancestry is compiled and preserved as a tribute of filial respect and affection on the part of their descendants.
Youngest son of Henry Falls, the old pioneer, was born in New Castle, August 6, 1810. He married Miss Hannah Drake, daughter of Abraham Drake, an early settler of Lawrence county, and had a family of four children: HENRY F., SUSANNAH, ANDREW R., and JOSEPH C., Jr.
Mr. Falls followed the occupation of farming, with the kindred employment of stock dealing. ln politics he was a democrat, though his sons are republicans. He was a man of wonderful muscular strength, and weighed upwards of three hundred pounds. He died June 20, 1871, in his sixty-first year. His wife died in 1852.
Mrs. Falls' father, Abraham Drake, was a grandson of Jacob Drake, who was a descendant, in a direct line, from the renowned Sir Francis Drake, of England.
Oldest son of Joseph C. Falls, just noticed, was born in New Castle, January 6, 1832. The greater part of his life has been spent in the rolling mill business, upon which he entered at the age of sixteen.
On January 26, 1854, he married Miss Lucetta Klingingsmith, a native of New Castle, and born March 15, 1840. The children by this marriage were:
HERY [sic] CLAY, born November 29, 1854.
KATIE and CLARA M. (twins), born August 22, 1857; Katie died July 23, 1862.
FRANCIS DRAKE, born November 23, 1860; died December 25, 1860.
ISHMAEL W., born October 8, 1863.
FREDERICK C., born July 1, 1867.
MILDRED A., born February 11, 1870; and
ARTHUR H., born April 30, 1875.
In 1856, he moved to Covington, Ky., which was his home for ten years. During the civil war, he took an active part in the service of his country, and was the first man to hoist the "stars and stripes" in Covington, in 1861, soon after the attack on Sumter. These colors had been presented to him by the Home Guard Committee, of Cincinnati. Having raised the American flag, he fired thirty-four rounds from a twelve pounder, for the "Union," [p. 187] under a threat of being shot by the rebels. These rounds were responded to by the "boys" on the Cincinnati shore. At the call for three months' men he went out as first sergeant of Company A, 41st Kentucky Mounted Infantry. This company participated in skirmishes with Kerby Smith, John Morgan, and others.
In 1864, Mr. Falls re-enlisted as private in Company B, 53d Regiment of Kentucky Mounted Infantry; was made captain of the company, and served as such with honor till the close of the war. Among the battles participated in, were those of Marion Heights, Va., Cumberland Gap, Bean Station, Tenn., Withville, Bristol, Abington, and the Great Salt Works, Va., and King's Ford, Tenn. He was in command of the forces at the surrender of Pete Evart, Colonel Giltner, Bazil Duke, and Or. Duke, noted guerrillas, with John Morgan, at Mount Sterling and Hazel Green, Ky., in 1864. He was brigaded with Burbrage, Stoneman, and Gilham, and was with Stoneman in his successful raid through Tennessee and Virginia.
During his residence in Covington, while not in active military service, Captain Falls was most assiduous in his attentions to the sick soldiers in the hospital, and paid out large sums of money from his own pocket for their relief and comfort. The personal kindness and attention received from both Mr. and Mrs. Falls, is most gratefully mentioned by Thompson Burton, Esq., now local editor of the New Castle Guardian.
Captain Falls is a gentleman of fine figure, commanding personal appearance, and of genuine military grit. In politics he is a republican.
Youngest son of Joseph C. Falls, Sr., was born in New Castle, July 29, 1840. A large portion of his early manhood was passed as a workman in the rolling-mill branch of the iron business. Subsequent to this, he was engaged in the mining districts of Idaho, Nevada and California.
Mr. Falls served seven months in the late civil war, and was a member of Company C, of General Freemont's bodyguard, in Missouri, He participated in that daring and desperate charge of Major Zagonyi, who, with only a hundred and fifty men, charged on the rebel forces of two thousand two hundred men, at Springfield, Mo., and captured the place, losing only seventeen killed and thirty-five wounded, while the rebels lost one hundred and eighty-five killed and a large number wounded. All three sons of Mr. Joseph C. Falls, Sr., took part in this war, and they were the only ones of this name from Lawrence county who entered the army. Andrew R. Falls served as private in Company B, 53d Regiment, Mounted Infantry, of Kentucky, the same company of which his brother, Henry F., was captain. On November 15, 1867, Mr. Joseph C. Falls, Jr., married Miss Laura Jane Kelty, daughter of John Kelty, of New Castle. His family consists of four children: Mary B., George A., Charles A., and Benjamin F.
For some time past, Mr. Falls has been quite extensively engaged in the dairy business. He resides on the "old homestead" of his grandfather, Henry Falls, and a few steps from the residence of the grandson is the spot where stood the cabin of this venerable pioneer—a spot to which there attaches an interest historic and sacred, from the fact that it was the home of one of the first settlers of New Castle, and where was erected one of the first (probably the third) rude habitations of the pioneers.
[Biographical Sketches Continued]
From the 1770 - 1877 History of Lawrence County by S. W. and P. A. DURANT.
Explanation and Caution | Abbreviations | Lawrence Co. Maps | 1877 Portraits
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Updated: 16 Feb 2001, 10:55