History of Lawrence County Pennsylvania, 1770 - 1877, by S.W. and P.A. Durant.
[p. 187] The Justice family was originally from Germany, from which country John, the grandfather of Joseph Justice, came to America at some period prior to the American Revolution, and settled, probably, in Franklin county, Pennsylvania.
JACOB JUSTICE was one of six brothers, sons of John Justice. He was born in Franklin county, in 1757. He lived in that county until 1797, when he removed west, with the intention of settling in what is now Lawrence county; but on account of Indian troubles he stopped in Washington county for about two years, and in 1799 carried out his original design, and settled in what is now North Beaver township, Lawrence county, where he resided until his death, in April, 1829, aged seventy-two years. He was a soldier of the Revolutionery army, and settled on land which he drew for his services.
JOSEPH JUSTICE, son of Jacob, was born in Franklin county, near Shippensburg, December 20, 1794, and was one of seven children—six sons and one daughter. Mr. Justice lived with his father till his nineteenth year, when he came to New Castle in May, 1813, and was apprenticed to Isaac Jones, the first hatter who worked at the trade in the place. Mr. Jones had a little log shop on the northwest corner of North and Shenango streets, which were then prominent thoroughfares of the embryo town. He remained with Mr. Jones until he became of age, when he went to Beavertown, where he worked the following Winter as a journeyman for Messrs. Powers & McClain. In April, 1816, he left the western part of the state, and traveled towards the east; working in various places at his trade, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Huntingdon, Columbia, etc. He also worked for a short time in Pittsburg. In 1817 he commenced business for himself, in company with Gabriel McGregor, at Hookstown, in the southern part of Beaver county, and continued for about two years, when he sold out and came to New Castle in June, 1819, and open a shop on Beaver street adjoining his present residence. In October, 1819, he was united in marriage with Miss Maria Reynolds, daughter of James Reynolds, one of the early settlers of New Cassle. Mr. Justice carried on the hatting business in New Castle until April, 1834, when he rented his property, and removed to Centerville, Butler county, where he continued his business for about five years. During the last three years he held the office of justice of the peace. In 1839 he returned to New Castle, re-opened a shop, and carried on the business until 1851, when he gave up the manufacturing branch, but continued to deal in hats, caps and furs until about 1868, when he retired from active business pursuits. Mr. Justice was elected to the office of Burgess of the borough of New Castle, in the Spring of 1827, being the third after its organization. In 1849, upon the organization of Lawrence county, he was elected its first Treasurer. He was also elected Treasurer of the borough, and a member of the council at various periods, and has repeatedly been solicited to accept offices of responsibility and honor by his fellow-citizens, which he has as often modestly but firmly declined. He has been married three times. His first wife died in January, 1833. He married Mrs. Mary Fleming, a widow, in December, 1833. She died in May, 1835; and for his third wife he married Miss Harriet Barker, in November, 1836, who died in July, 1863, since which time he has remained single, his two daughters, keeping house for him. By his first wife he had seven children, three of whom are still living. His second wife had no children. The third bore him three, all of whom are living. He united with the Methodist Episcopal church in 1839, and has continued a prominent member up to the present time, holding various positions in the church, among them that of steward, whose duties he thoroughly discharged for a period of sixteen years.
Mr. Justice is now the oldest citizen of New Castle, and has long been known as a man of unsullied honor, a most valuable citizen, and consistent Christian gentleman. He has seen the home of his adoption grow up from an unimportant hamlet to a large and thriving city. His experience covers the lives of almost three generations, and his life has been emphatically sans puer et sans reproche.
The Du Shane family was originally from France. John Du Shane, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, settled in the State of Delaware, at or near Dover, sometime previous to the Revolution, and accumulated a handsome property. He died at Dover about 1776. Jesse Du Shane, his only son, father of Joseph T., was born a few weeks subsequent to his father's death. He had two sister.
After the old gentleman's death his widow married again, and the heirs never realized anything from the estate. Jesse Du Shane remained in Delaware until he attained his majority, in the meantime learning his trade (that of wagon, carriage and furniture maker). He married in Delaware Miss Lydia Zane Townsend, a daughter of Joseph Townsend, Sr., one of the earliest settlers in New Castle. The Townsends were originally from England, and belonged to the Quaker stock.
Jesse Du Shane removed with his family to a location near Beavertown, in Beaver county, arriving there in December, 1802. Here he remained until February, 1803, when he removed to New Castle, where he lived until his death, January 25, 1866, at the great age of ninety-five years and one month. During his residence in New Castle he filled several offices of honor and trust in the service of his fellow-citizens. He was in early life a Presbyterian, but in his later years united with the Methodists.
Joseph T. Du Shane, his son, was one of a family of eight children—two sons and six daughters, and was born November 12th, 1798, at Wilmington, in Delaware, at the foot of "Quaker Hill. "He came west with his father, and from the time he was twelve years of age "earned his own livelihood." At the age of nineteen he was apprenticed to John F. Townsend, of Youngstown, Ohio, to learn the trade of a hatter. He remained with Mr. Townsend [p. 188] until he was twenty-two years of age. At the age of twenty-three he was married to Miss Sarah Jane Smith, of Youngstown, April 5, 1821. He soon after returned to New Castle, and purchased the old homestead of his father, and remained for about two years working at his trade, when he went back to Youngstown and staid two years, at the expiration of which time he again returned to New Castle, where he opened a shop, and also "kept tavern" for about a year, but finding the two occupations unprofitable in connection with each other, he gave up the hotel business and opened a shop at the old homestead on the Pittsburgh road, and carried it on until 1832 when he gave up the business.
In 1833 he and his father purchased the Miller farm, now owned by John F. Reynolds, consisting at that time of about one hundred and six acres, paying about twelve dollars an acre for it. About 1836 they sold the property for twenty-five dollars per acre to Stephen Phillips, of Phillipsburg, Beaver county. In 1837 he purchased the McWilliams grist and saw mills on Big run, and owned them for about three years. Joseph then purchased five acres from the Irish farm, and built a new house, in which he lived until 1852, when the dwelling and all its contents was destroyed by fire.
About a year subsequently he sold the place, and purchased of his father, at three different times, about twelve acres of land lying on the southwest side of the Pittsburgh road, then in Shenango township. He soon after engaged in the manufacture of bricks, and erected the brick dwelling where he now resides on Pittsburgh street. In 1833 he was appointed by the governor a justice of the peace for Shenango township, which office he held until 1840. In the latter year he declined a nomination for the same office, which had become elective, but in 1845 the people compelled him to accept it, and he was re-elected in 1850, and held the position until 1855, when he declined further service.
Mr. Du Shane has been twice married. His first wife died in March, 1865. She was the mother of eight children, four of whom are now living. In December, 1865, he married Mrs. Sarah Tidball, widow of John C. Tidball, Esq. He has one child by this second wife, a fine little boy.
Mr. Du Shane has been a member of the Christian or "Disciples'" church since 1850, and has been honored with several offices in connection therewith. He has always been an active, energetic and industrious man, and, notwithstanding many drawbacks, has accumulated a handsome competency, which he is enjoying in his declining years. He is still quite vigorous, and has apparently lost none of the bon hommie of earlier years. He never spoils a story for relation's sake, or "crooks the pliant hinges of the knee that thrift may follow fawning." He is a veteran of the old regime.
Nothing is more fitting than that those who have led in the service of their country, either in political or in military life, should be held in grateful remembrance by those who have been associated with them in such service or benefitted by their labors. Hence this tribute of regard to one of nature's noblemen.
Colonel Edward O'Brien was born in Pittsburgh, October 10, 1823. He is the eldest son of Thomas O'Brien, a native of Ireland, who came with his father's family to America when quite young. He was a contractor for several years on some of the public works of Pennsylvania. His wife was Elizabeth Conway, a native of Delaware, by whom he had three children: EDWARD, MARY and THOMAS, the first two being twins. In 1822, Mr. Thomas O'Brien located in Pittsburgh, where he passed the remainder of his life, dying at the age of about thirty-five. About two years later his widow came with her family to New Castle, where she subsequently became the wife of Charles Kelly.
At the age of fifteen, the subject of this sketch entered upon an apprenticeship to the moulders' trade with Bollman & Garrison, of Pittsburgh, and this has been his principal employment.
In June, 1846, he enlisted in a Pittsburgh company called the "Irish Greens," for the Mexican war, and was present at the siege of Vera Cruz. the battle of Cerro Gordo, the engagement at the Pass of La Hoya, the storming of Chapultepec, and the storming of Garita de Belen, in which last battle he was wounded in the left eye. At the close of the war, he was commissioned Second Lieutenant of his company by Governor William F. Johnston.
On April 20, 1861, be married Miss Theresa B. O'Donnell, of New Castle, and on the following day went out as Captain of Co. F, 12th Pa. V. I., in the three months' service, and was stationed near Baltimore, guarding the N. C. railroad. This regiment was mustered-out in the following August.
In July, 1862, Captain O'Brien recruited Co. D, of the 134th Pa. V. I. for the nine months' service. This regiment was raised in answer to a call from Governor Curtin, and Companies A, B, D and H were from Lawrence County; C, F, G and K from Butler, and E and I from Beaver. They rendezvoused at Camp Curtin, near Harrisburg, where they were mustered-in, and armed and equipped for duty. Upon the advance of the rebels towards Washington in the second Bull Run campaign, this regiment, though not yet fully organized, was ordered to the Capital and sent to Arlington Heights, where its organization was completed, Captain O'Brien being chosen Lieutenant-Colonel, his commission bearing date of August 20th, 1862. Matthew S. Quay, of Beaver county, was made Colonel.
This regiment was here brigaded with the 91st, 126th, and 129th Pennsylvania Regiments, the brigade being commanded by General E. B. Tyler. The night after the battle of Antietam the attention of the enemy was attracted by a light in the tent of Colonel O'Brien, which he just struck for the purpose of reading a military order. They turned a gun upon the illumined tent and fired, the shell plowing up the ground within a few feet of the tent and covering it with dirt. The light was of course immediately extinguished. This proved to be the last shot fired by the rebels at that place. It may be added that the Colonel's wife was in the tent at the time. On the 22d of November the regiment went into camp near Fredericksburg. On the 8th of December Lieutenant-Colonel O'Brien was promoted to Colonel, in place of Colonel Quay who had resigned on account of ill health. The battle of Fredericksburg opened on the 13th, and "in the last grand struggle of the day, the 134th had the post of honor in the brigade, the right of the first line." Speaking of the conduct of Colonel O'Brien on this occasion, General Humphreys, who commanded the division, said: "Under my own eye he rode in front of his regiment, and literally led it in the last charge on the stone wall, at Fredericksburg, just before dark on December 13. * * * He is in every way reliable, a good soldier and gallant leader, always attentive to duty, careful and considerate of those under his command, prompt in execution."
In this same battle, Thomas O'Brien, a brother of Colonel O'Brien, was killed. He was connected with Co. D, 134th Regiment.
Among other narrow escapes of the colonel in this engagement, may be mentioned the fact that while he was standing up in the stirrups, watching the action of the battle, a minnie ball passed between his legs, tearing away a portion of the saddle and cutting his pants.
On May 1st, 1863, began the battle of Chancellorsville, which lasted three days. The last day witnessed the severest struggle. Says General Tyler, in his official report: "The 134th, Colonel O'Brien, was second in line, and no set of men could have behaved better. The officers, one and all, following the example of their colonel, who was constantly on the alert, were very active, and not a man shirked duty." In this battle, Colonel O'Brien was very much exposed, his hat and clothes being riddled by bullets, and his horse shot under him. He was mustered out of service with his regiment at Harrisburg, May 26, 1863.
Soon after this, Colonel O'Brien caused a descriptive list of his regiment to be made out and sent to the War Department, this being the only report of the kind ever made up to that time by a volunteer colonel, although such a report was required from colonels in the regular army. For this volunteer contribution, Colonel O'Brien was highly complimented by General Townsend, Assistant Secretary of War.
Upon the arrival of the regiment in Pittsburgh, it was honored with a most cordial and fitting reception by the citizens, Judge Shannon delivering the address of welcome, of which the following are extracts:
"Colonel O'Brien, Officers, and men of the Gallant Regiment before me: On behalf of the constituted authorities of the cities of Pittsburgh and Allegheny, in behalf, sir, of the loyal people of Allegheny county, we meet you here to-day and bid you a hearty welcome on your return to your homes in the counties of Lawrence, Beaver and Butler. One of the most exultant occasions of my life is to be constituted the humble organ to bid you sir, and your gallant and chivalrous men, in behalf of the emblems that float over us, a hearty greeting to this city. I know, soldiers, that you are worn out; that you are tired; that you desire to return to the bosom of your families and your homes. I know of all the gallant deeds which you have performed under the flag of the nation. I know how well that at Fredericksburg the first, and at Fredericksburg the second time, how gallantly you bore the flag of the nation in the face of an arrogant foe.
"Soldiers, your colonel, a Pittsburgher by birth—your gallant and noble colonel, stands here to-day, on the portico of the Monongahela House, your [p. 189] representative. He, gentlemen, in whom you have confided, who has done deeds of daring, will have them recorded on a bright page of the history of Pennsylvania.
"Sir, a Pittsburgher by birth, yet you are the son of an Irishman. I say, sir, there are feelings most glorious in your humble history and your noble career. There are three things which will make the heart thrill and its pulsation quicken through the veins of the men of this old commonwealth. In 1846, sir, when our flag was assaulted by a foreign government—when a foreign foe outraged this flag—you, then a young Pittsburgh boy, volunteered into the ranks, put a musket on your shoulder, and never ceased under this flag until you found the capital of Mexico was ours.
"There are things, soldiers, "which make men great, irrespective of birth. There are things like honor—like an unswerving fealty to the government of our fathers. So, when the second time a worse power—a people whom we had in the past called brethren—a people whom he had supported and sustained, trampled on the rights and principles left to us by our fathers, and dared at Sumter to fire on the flag of the country, the colonel of this regiment from the gallant county of Lawrenee, was one of the foremost to raise a company under the call for 75,000 men, and march to the defence of the capital of the nation. [Applause.]
"Sir, to you and your gallant soldiers, but to you especially, as a Pittsburgher, I will say, you come back here to-day with a triple chaplet upon your brow. Now, after having performed courageous deeds, you come back, enjoying the confidence of your men. For this, the people of Allegheny county welcome you back to your native home."
Upon this occasion, Colonel O'Brien was presented by Judge Shannon on behalf of his regiment, with a fine horse, saddle and bridle. The colonel returned thanks for the present, and after dinner was over spoke as follows:
Comrades of the 134th:—For the last nine months we have been drawn together by more than ordinary ties; by our regimental organization; by our sharing alike the long and weary march, the rough bivouac, and the midnight camp-fire. [Applause.] You have all nobly done your duty ; you have stood by your country's flag alike in our bright, sunny hours of victory, and in our dark, wintry hours of defeat, without a murmur.
* * * * * * *"When you reach home, do not disband; [great applause] draw together the fragments; RALLY ON THE CENTRE, and form a grand reserve, I may say; AND, EVEN AT HOME, SEE THAT THE POWER OF THE GOVERNMENT IS ASSERTED, and it will teach traitors hereafter to think long before they act; for the true soldier hates more the white-livered wretch of the North, who, by his serpent speech would aid rebellion, than he does the brave enemy who meets him openly on the battle-field. [Tremendous applause, renewed again and again, during which the gallant colonel was obliged to stop for several minutes, the ladies in the galleries joining in the demonstration, and waving their handkerchiefs.]
"My boys, you have all learned ere this that military law is severe; but I can safely say that no regiment returns to our own loved Pennsylvania with a fairer record than your own for good order and obedience to the laws, strict though they be. And now, on your parting, if I may have been too severe with any of you, I know the brave are always tender-hearted, and I know I need have no hesitation in asking you to be generous and forgive, for I can assure you I often assumed a severity though I felt it not. And now, wishing every man in your honored ranks a hearty welcome from the loved ones at home, I will bid you all a kind good-bye."
In New Castle, also, the colonel and what was left of the four Lawrence county companies, received a most cordial greeting—Judge McGuffin delivering the address of welcome. Colonel O'Brien was loudly called for, and responded as follows:
"Fellow-Citizens: Around me you see what I have left of those whose iron frames have stood the waste of long marches, of disease and blood. Yes, here they are once more at home, among their friends and relatives, who, ten months ago, sent them forth with 'God speed!' to brave the many perils of a soldier's life. You no doubt look in vain along our ranks for many whom you know started out with us in that dark hour of our country's peril. They answer not to roll-call now, but their comrades here too well remember the stalwart, generous men that fell bleeding by their sides; men that had borne hardships, braved dangers; offering up everything they loved to save their country. They fell battling for a holy cause, but they have not died in vain, for we will yet succeed. Months before this war broke out I told men now within hearing of my voice, that this would be a terrible war, for I well knew the spirits of the men we would meet on the battle-fields: for, years ago, when but a boy—ere the down had darkened on my lip—I had stood in the same ranks with them amid the roar of hostile cannon, under the burning skies of Mexico. I had seen them fight, and I well knew when they drew the sword they would use it to the bitter end; but of that ultimate end I have never had a doubt—the rebellion will be put down. True, large armies may yet he needed, and bloody battles fought; but for every patriot we have lost, their dooms will be the more sure, and the more terrible.
"As their leader, it would ill become me to boast of my men; their record as a regiment is a part of the nation's history, and it will suffice to say to you that at the close of one of the bloodiest battles of the war, they were complimented for their bravery on the very battle-field, within half-musket shot of the enemy's lines, by one of the bravest officers in the army—one who had seen and led brave men before—I mean General Tyler; and General Hooker, aye! the 'fighting Joe Hooker,' said they made the most splendid charges he had ever seen. They are now here. As their colonel, I never had, and, as citizens of Lawrence county, you never will have cause to blush at the past campaign of the 134th Regiment.
"And now, my brave boys, I have a few words to you ere parting: for it has come to that at last. We will separate to our homes to-day, not likely to all ever meet again. Our connection for the past ten months has been a close one: so close, fellow citizens, that from the day I left New Castle, some ten months ago, to the present time, I have never slept one single night three hundred yards from any regiment. We have been together through sunshine and through storms, in sickness and in health, on the plague-stricken fields of Antietam, where sickness swallowed whom the sword had spared; we were together at the close of that bloody day on the heights of Fredericksburg, where we kept our picket on the outer verge of the field on which you fought so well. Oh, who among you will ever forget that dreadful night, that cold, chilly night where we lay with the cold wintry winds howling over us; where we could scarce tell the living from the dead, not knowing what the morning would bring forth? On plain and height and wilderness, (you, boys, will understand me), we have stood side by side; but we must part—and I will not detain you now, for I see many anxious to meet sons and brothers, of whom they may well be proud. I will only ask one favor: in thinking over the past, you must recollect only the bright side; and in thinking of your colonel, you must forget the short, harsh word of command and only remember his virtues, if he had any. And now, feeling conscious myself that to the best of my ability I have tried, at least, to do my whole duty to my country and the brave men entrusted to my care, I will, for the present, bid you all a kind farewell."
On February 2d, 1866, Colonel O'Brien had the misfortune to lose his left eye by an explosion in the foundry of R. W. Cunningham.
The young wife of Col. O'Brien, a delicate but heroic woman, went out with the regiment, and remained with her husband during the entire term of service, except a short and compulsory absence at the time of a battle—enduring the hardships and privations of camp with a heroism truly surprising.
NOTE.--This biography, as also the portrait of Col. O-Brien, finds a place in the Lawrence County History, as a "tribute of regard" to him from his friends, many of whom were his "boys" in the service.
R. B. McComb was born in Mercer county, Pa. At the age of seventeen he went to learn a trade with S. W. Mitchell, a cabinetmaker in New Castle. He continued with Mitchell little more than a year (till 1839), when he left, and in the Fall of 1839, went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he bound himself as an apprentice to learn the trade he had commenced with Mitchell.
He continued to work in Cincinnati until the Winter of 1842-43, when he returned to New Castle and rented from John Wilson, Sr., the old log-house on the northwest corner of "the Diamond." In 1844 he commenced building the house recently occupied by D. Winternitz, on Washington street, and in that building he followed his trade until 1851, when he began the study of law with D. B. Kurtz, Esq. During the time he was studying law, he did the inside work of the offices at the court-house, making the tables, desks and shelving. In March, 1853, he was admitted to practice in the several courts of Lawrence county.
During the same year he was elected to the lower branch of the Legislature. His term in the Legislature commenced with the session of 1854. [p. 190] From the first he took an active part in the business of the House, and soon distinguished himself as an earnest advocate for the sale of the public works and adoption of the Maine liquor law. During this session the difficulty at Erie, known as the Erie Railroad War, commenced, and Mr. McComb took ground at once against Erie, and in favor of an unbroken railroad line through the State, which position he adhered to until the whole system of a break of gauge was destroyed.
In 1855 he was re-elected to the Legislature, and at the organization of the House was made chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means. The session of 1855 was unusually exciting. The Whigs and "Know-Nothings" had succeeded in electing Governor Pollock, and had a majority in both branches of the Legislature. The Maine liquor law, the Erie Railroad difficulties, the sale of the public works, and the election of a United States Senator were the leading questions. Mr. McComb having been elected as a Whig, refused to support Simon Cameron, who, up to that Winter, had been a Democrat, and only came into the party through the "Know-Nothing" organization and influence. In the caucus to nominate a candidate for Senator, however, Cameron took the lead, when Mr. McComb and twenty-eight others withdrew and published a protest drawn up by Mr. McComb, which caused the defeat of Cameron.
His position as chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means caused him to examine into the revenue system of the State, and the inequality of our mode of taxation. He then first conceived the idea of abolishing the tax upon real-estate for State purposes, and proposed to make up the deficiency in the revenue by a tax upon gross receipts, reasoning that real-estate had to bear the burthen of local taxation, which was enough upon that kind of property. The tax on real-estate was ultimately abolished. During this session he wrote the Sunday liquor law.
He was again elected to the Legislature of 1856. At the beginning of the session he received the unanimous vote of his party for Speaker. The Democrats having a majority, he was not successful. This session ended the Erie troubles by restoring to the Erie and Northeast Railroad Company its road upon the condition that it would contribute towards the building of the Erie and Pittsburg Railroad four hundred thousand dollars. The struggle upon this measure was said to be the severest parliamentary contest seen in the House since the "buckshot war."
After his term of service in the Legislature expired, Mr. McComb was employed by the county to contest the right of enforcing the payment of the bonds which had been issued to the Northwestern Railroad Company. A number of suits had been commenced involving the liability of the county, in all of which he appeared and defended the county. It was many years before these cases were disposed of.
In 1862 Mr. McComb was appointed by Governor Curtin on a commission to review the revenue laws of the State. He drew up the report submitted to the Legislature the Winter following. This report contained the first provision to tax the gross receipts of railroad companies, and led to the abolition of the three-mill tax on real-estate. During the year 1862 he served as colonel of the 14th Regiment of Pennsylvania volunteer Militia. In 1863 he was at the head-of the 55th Regiment of Pennsylvania volunteer militia.
He began his political career as an enthusiastic supporter of Henry Clay, and continued a Whig as long as that party had an existence. Since then he has been a Republican, and after the war took decided ground against the contraction of the currency, and the substitution of the national bank issues in place of the United States greenback currency. He holds that our prosperity depends upon protection of American industry, and a purely national currency adequate to the productive power of the people.
Oscar L. Jackson was born in what is now Lawrence county, Pa., September 2, 1840. His ancestors were Scotch-Irish, and very early settlers in the State.
His great-grandfather, Samuel Jackson, settled in 1797 on a farm a short distance south of the city of New Castle, which has ever since remained in the possession of the family—his father, S. S. Jackson, now owning and occupying it. He is a brother of Dr. D. P. Jackson, of New Castle, and Hon. E. W. Jackson, of Mercer. They have an unmarried sister, Mary, the youngest of the family. His great-grandmother Jackson's maiden name was Janet Stewart. She was a sister of John Carlyle Stewart, who laid out the town of New Castle, and built the old forge on the Neshannock where the first bar-iron was made in this part of the State.
Janet Stewart was a daughter of Major John Stewart, who settled near Philadelphia at an early day, and served in the American army during the Revolutionary war.
His grandfather, James Jackson, was a soldier in the American army in the war of 1812.
His mother's maiden name was Nancy Mitchell, a native of Indiana county, and a descendant of a Scotch-Irish emigrant who settled on the banks of the Susquehanna river, her father having been born there.
Col. Jackson was teaching school at Logan, Ohio, the Winter before the late war, and at the breaking out of the war in 1861 he recruited a company in that vicinity, and entered the Union army as captain in the 63d Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served continuously to the close of the war—a term of four years—from August 1861 to July 1865.
His first active service was in Missouri, under Gen. Pope, including the actions at New Madrid and the operations that resulted in the capture of Island No. 10.
Afterwards his regiment joined Halleck's army at Pittsburgh Landing, and took part in all the operations of the siege of Corinth, being a part of the troops engaged in the action at Farmington, and the assault on the 28th of May, 1862.
Was in Gen. Grant's movements in September, which resulted in the battle of Iuka Springs, Miss., his regiment being in Stanley's division, which had the principal part of the fighting to do in that engagement. In the battle at Corinth, Miss., October 3, and 4, 1862, his regiment, under Gen. Rosencrans' command, gained very distinguished credit, and is prominently mentioned in Greeley's history.
On the second day of this battle he was very seriously injured by a gunshot wound in the right cheek. In the official report he is named as being severely, and, it is feared, mortally wounded, and his conduct is meritoriously mentioned for having held the company, which he then commanded, in good order until two-thirds of his men were either killed or wounded, he being among the very last of his regiment to be disabled.
After recovering from his wound he rejoined his regiment, and in 1863 was with the division which escorted Straight's cavalry through the enemy's lines when starting on his famous raid, and afterwards engaged the enemy sufficiently to draw attention from the movement.
He subsequently took part in the various operations in the Summer of 1863, of Gen. Dodge's command in Northern Alabama and Mississippi, and along the Mississippi river from Memphis to Vicksburg, during the siege of the latter city. His regiment during this time belonged to the sixteenth army corps, and had a full share in all the movements of that corps.
After the fall of Vicksburg he was with that part of the army which marched with Gen. Sherman overland from the Mississippi river east to the relief of Chattanooga and Knoxville, his division being detached and sent to the right to secure the railroad at Elk river.
In the campaign of 1864, from Chattanooga to Atlanta, his regiment was in the seventeenth army corps, army of the Tennessee, under command of Gen. McPherson. He was constantly with his regiment, and engaged in the battles of Snake Creek Gap, Resacca, Dallas, Kennesaw Mountain, siege of Altoona, and the many smaller engagements connected with this campaign. He was with that part of the army which made the movement in rear of Altoona, fought the battle at Jonesboro, drove the enemy off the Macon railroad, and thus secured the fall of Altoona. This campaign from Mission Ridge to Altoona was an almost continuous battle. After crossing the Chattahoochee river his regiment for nine consecutive days had men killed and wounded by the enemy's musketry. After the fall of Altoona, when the enemy under Gen. Hood moved in rear of the Union army, he took part in the operations to drive him off the railroad, and was at that time in command of his regiment, as he had been on frequent occasions before.
Was with Sherman on the march to the sea at the capture of Savannah, and on the campaign through the Carolinas. Commanded his regiment in the operations preceding and at the surrender of Johnston's army, and at the grand review at Washington, and then conducted it to Louisville, Ky., where it remained until ordered mustered-out in July, 1865, by reason of the close of the war—a regiment which, by four years' active service in the field, had made a most magnificent record.
Col. Jackson had been, during the war, successively promoted to be major and lieutenant-colonel of his regiment. The colonel of the regiment having lost a leg in the battle of 22d July, 1864, before Atlanta, had never been able to rejoin it, leaving Col. Jackson for a long time previous to the muster-out of the regiment its permanent commander in fact, although no vacancy in the colonelcy to which he could be commissioned.
He was, however, on recommendation of his brigade, division and corps commanders, commissioned by the president, Colonel of United States Volunteers, by brevet, "for gallant and meritorious services."
After the close of the war he returned to New Castle and resumed the study of law in the office of S. W. Dana, Esq., having been a student before the war in the office of Hon. J. P. Blair, now president judge of the Indiana district. He was admitted to practice in 1866, and opened an office in New Castle. In 1868 he was elected district attorney and served the term of three years. He has never been a candidate for any other office, and has confined himself closely and studiously to the practice of his profession. In 1876 he was appointed by the governor of Pennsylvania a member of a commission of lawyers, authorized by the Legislature, for the purpose of revising the laws for the government of the different cities of the Commonwealth, and is at present engaged in that responsible duty.
Dr. J. H. M. Peebles was born in Shippensburg, Cumberland valley, in the year 1825, of Scoteh-Irish parentage. His grandfather, Colonel Robert Peebles, served during the Revolutionary war. Being on the staff of Washington he was, during the whole of the struggle, in close companionship with the Father of his Country. For his services, Congress voted him some eight or ten" donation tracts" in Western Pennsylvania, one of which, in Mercer county, remains still in the family. He was buried with military honors in 1815, in the old burying-ground at Middle Springs, near Shippensburg. The doctor was early left an orphan; his mother, a sister of the late Dr. Francis Herron, D. D., of Pittsburgh, died there when he was about four years of age. His father died the year following while on a visit to the West.
The doctor was then committed to the care of his aunt—Mrs. Arabella Wilson, of Shippensburg, in whose family he lived until his fifteenth year, when he was placed in an academy at Sewickley, on the Ohio, some twelve miles below Pittsburgh. Remaining there under the tuition of Messrs. Nevin & Champe, some three years, he entered Jefferson College, Cannonburgh, which conferred on him the degree of A. M. in 1849, in connection with the late John McGuffin, Esq., of this place.
After leaving college in 1844, he commenced the study of medicine with Dr. McDowell of Pittsburgh, but finding the country town more congenial than the city he removed to his early home—Shippensburg—where he continued his studies under Alexander Stewart, a physician of well-known ability in Middle Pennsylvania.
The doctor matriculated at the Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, from which he graduated in 1850, in the Spring of which year he located in New Castle, and began his career as a practitioner of medicine, and where he continued to reside until 1860, when he left for a more extensive field of practice in Cleveland, Ohio. But the late war breaking out, and some of his former brother practitioners joining the army, he was petitioned by many of his old friends to return, which he did, after an absence of some nine months, and has continued in very active practice until within the last few years, when excessive labor has undermined his constitution and necessitated his absence during the Summer months from active practice. To his son, Dr. H. P. Peebles, he has given much of his laborious practice, and is now trying to adopt the advice he has often given his patients "Festina Lenta."
The gentleman whose name we have placed at the head of this biographical sketch was born in Wilmington, Del., on the 28th of July, 1815. His education was principally obtained at the academy in Carlisle, Pa. About the year 1831 he came to what is now Lawrence county. He studied law under the instruction of Messrs. Pearson and Stewart of Mercer, in which place he was also admitted to the bar. He soon afterwards began practice in New Castle, where, for more than a quarter of a century, he has occupied a front rank in his profession.
For a period of eleven years he served the citizens of Lawrence county as President Judge; the first year under the appointment of Governor Curtin, and the remaining ten through the election by the people. His ministrations in this office were marked with great deliberation, and his decisions were rendered with a degree of care, caution and impartiality that won for him the greatest confidence and respect.
The Judge has always been quite an active politician, formerly an old-time Whig and subsequently a Republican. He represented Lawrence county in the Philadelphia convention that nominated Colonel Fremont for the Presidency, and was subsequently a delegate to the Chicago convention, for the nomination of Abraham Lincoln for his first term as President.
In connection with Major E. Sankey, Judge McGuffin was largely instrumental in the erection of Lawrence county from the counties of Mercer and Beaver. This was a measure of very great value to the people of New Castle and vicinity.
Mr. McGuffin married Miss Lizzie L. Woodward, of Taunton, Mass. His family consists of six children.
The Judge is one of New Castle's oldest, most substantial and highly-respected citizens. With fine natural abilities, he combines great caution, energy, sterling integrity and a most genial, social nature.
This gentleman is the present pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church of New Castle. He was born in Saratoga county, New York, March 15, 1842. He is the second child in a family of six sons, four of whom survive. His father, Calvin P. Calkins, is a very extensively known fruit-grower of Saratoga county, whose choice fruits have taken the premium in the county and State fairs, wherever exhibited.
The boyhood of the subject of this sketch was passed chiefly in the apple and pear orchard of his father's fruit farm, this employment, like that of the flora-culture, being admirably conclusive to a development of the higher and æsthetic elements in human nature. He prepared for college at Charlton Academy, in his native countie, under the tuition of the Rev. James N. Crocker, and graduated with honor in a class of sixty-eight, from Princeton College, N. J., in June, 1865. This was followed by a theological course under that eminent divine, Dr. Charles Hodge, in Princeton Theological Seminary, at which Mr. Calkins graduated in April, 1868.
On the 9th of June following, he was united in marrige to Miss Anna M., daughter of John M. Cavert, of Charlton, N. Y.
On August 20 of the same year, Mr. Calkins was ordained and installed pastor of the Salsbury Presbyterian Church, of Bucks county, Pa., and served as such nearly five years. In July, 1873, he became pastor of his present charge in New Castle.
Mr. Calkins is a polished scholar, a pleasing speaker, and an earnest and efficient pastor.
This gentleman is the present pastor of St. Mary's Church, New Castle. He is a son of Colonel John B. Hayes, a leading contractor of Pittsburgh, and was born in that city August 19, 1842. He began his education with the profession of medicine in view, but this proving uncongenial to his taste, he turned his attention to theology. He spent some fourteen years in St. Michael's Seminary at Greenwood, near his native city, and on December 22, 1867, was ordained priest in St. Vincent's Abbey, Westmoreland county, Pa., by the Right Rev. M. Domenec, then, Bishop of Pittsburgh. He was immediately stationed for a short period at St. Paul's Cathedral in the last named city, and subsequently was appointed pastor of St. Michael's Church, Elizabeth, Allegheny county, where he remained some four years.
In March, 1871, he was transferred to his present parish in New Castle. At this time the fine edifice of St. Mary's Church was in an unfinished condition, the congregation few in number, and quite indifferent to the interests of the denomination. Through the earnest efforts of Father Hayes, the building was completed, and dedicated on the 23d of the following September.
On April 1, 1871, Fither Hayes opened a school with only forty pupils, Jefferson Hall being rented for that purpose. In May also of the same year, the present pastoral residence was purchased.
In 1871, likewise under his supervision, the St. Mary's Silver Cornet Band was organized, with a membership of forty-three, and was at that time the largest band in the State, and is now acknowledged to be the finest band in Western Pennsylvania.
"Sodalities" of young ladies were also organized for the purpose of more effectively uniting the members of the congregation in the work. These [p. 192] "Sodalities" have a fine library, and also a reading-room, which is supplied with standard periodicals.
In 1875 a fine school-edifice was erected, and instruction was begun January, 1876, and the average attendance has since been about three hundred pupils.
To the earliest efforts, energy and perserence [sic] of their pastor, the society is indebted for its present degree of prosperity. Father Hayes is one of the most thoroughly-educated men in Western Pennsylvania, and has been for some time past a prominent contributor to the leading Catholic periodicals of the day. He, moreover, combines all the elements of a polished gentleman. He has been a member of the New Castle Board of Health, and during the prevalence of the smallpox here in the Winter of 1873-4, was very efficient and faithful in rendering service, medical and otherwise, to citizens, without regard to sect, and it was largely owing to his efforts that the plague was checked and finally disappeared.
This gentleman was born in New Castle, March 1, 1818. He is the son of John C. Tidball and Sarah Squier. His father was born June 2, 1795, and was a son of David Tidball, Sr., who was born in Lancaster county, Pa., June 1, 1770. After a residence of a number of years in Allegheny county he became one of the earliest settlers of what is now North Beaver township, Lawrence county. He was a quiet, unassuming, conscientious and upright citizen, and was an influential member of the Presbyterian church.
John C. Tidball and Sarah Squier were married August 22, 1816. Miss Squier was a daughter of James Squier, of New Castle.
The educational advantages of the subject of this sketch were such as could be derived from the common schools of his boyhood. There were no English grammars in the school of that early day, and young Tidball was never inflicted with the study of meaningless rules and arbitrary definitions. He learned the use of his mother tongue, as thousand of eminent, self-made men have learned it, by contact with men and things, assisted by a diligent perusal of such valuable books as his circumstances permitted him to secure. When a young man he learned the tailoring trade, and followed the same for several years.
At the youthful age of twenty-one he was appointed postmaster of New Castle, under the administration of Martin Van Buren. He took charge in January of 1840, but was succeeded in the following August by another incumbent.
In the Winter of 1842 he was again appointed to the same by President Tyler, and held the position about nine months. Subsequently he took a trip to California for the benefit of his health, and returned in about a year materially improved.
In March, 1853, he was once more made postmaster, under the administration of President Peirce, and filled the place for upwards of three years.
In the Spring of 1860 he was elected justice of the peace, and for a period of five years discharged the duties of the position with ability and impartiality.
In August, 1867, he was, for the fourth time, appointed postmaster of New Castle, and has served in this capacity to the present date, making a period of nearly ten years.
It will thus be seen that Mr. Tidball has been a genuine "Nasby," and, notwithstanding the perverseness of Deacon Pogram and Squire Gavit, he has for quite a considerable period kept the "corners" in a tolerable state of prosperity and "pro-gresshun."
For fifteen years, in all, he served the citizens of New Castle as postmaster, and all the difficult duties of this position he has discharged with a promptness, fidelity and polite accommodation, that have made him a host of friends. He has a vein of pleasantry and good humor about him, which, combined with fine social qualities and gentlemanly bearing, renders him very popular.
Up to 1864 he was a Democrat in politics, but since then he has been a strong adherent to the Republican ranks. During the late civil struggle he was a staunch supporter of the administration in its work of subduing the rebellion and maintaining an undivided Union.
Mr. Tidball was married to Miss Martha M., daughter of Charles Dickson, of New Castle. This union has been blessed with a family of five sons and three daughters, of whom the eldest son, Charles, and oldest daughter, Mary, are deceased.
This gentleman was born in what is now Lawrence county, Pa., January 30, 1838. He is the oldest in a family of ten children, all living. His father, Jacob McCracken, came to this country from Ireland, in 1819, and settled on Slippery Rock creek, this county. His maternal grandfather, Colonel Robert Wallace, was a native of Washington county, Pa., and one of the pioneer residents of the territory now included in Scott township, Lawrence county, having taken up by settlement 400 acres on Slippery Rock creek in the year 1795. His grandmother, Elizabeth (Reeder) Wallace came with her parents from Warwickshire, England, in 1804, and is yet a resident of the county, at the age of ninety-four.
The subject of this sketch passed the first twenty years of his life at farm labor. He then entered Westminster college, and there graduated in the Summer of 1861, teaching school during the Winter months to secure the funds to meet his expenses of education.
In May, 1861, he enlisted in the service of his country in the late civil war, in Company G, 10th Pa. Reserves, and was in the service three years. He participated in all the battles of the army of the Potomac from December 20, 1861, to June 7, 1864. He entered the service as a private, and was successively promoted to sergeant, adjutant of his regiment, and to lieutenant-colonel of the 191st Pa. V. Infantry. On May 30, 1864 he was seriously wounded in the left limb at Bethesda Church, near Richmond, and on this account was mustered out of service on June 11, same year.
On October 19, 1865, he was united in marriage with Miss Mary E. McCreary, daughter of John McCreary, who in 1802 became a settler in what is now Hickory township, Lawrence county. On May 4,1866, Colonel McCracken was elected to the position of superintendent of schools in this county, and was thus engaged for three years.
In the Autumn of 1869 he was chosen on the Republican ticket a member of the Assembly of the Pennsvlvania Legislature, and served for one year, the two succeeding years having been passed on his farm. On March 26, 1872, he assumed the editorial charge of the Lawrence Guardian, which position he now occupies.
In the following Autumn he was again sent to the Assembly for the term of 1873. Since the Colonel became editor of the Guardian, the interests of the paper have been materially advanced. The office has been furnished with a steam press and other appliances for turning out work of a superior quality. Colonel McCracken is a gentleman of affable manners and a much respected citizen. His portrait will be found upon another page of this volume.
The subject of this sketch is the leading business man of Wampum. He is next to the youngest in a family of seven children of John Kay, and was born in Lancashire, England, September 1, 1817. His father being a mill-wright, he was brought up in cotton and woolen mills, and picked up his education by his own efforts. His father was inclined to the Quaker religion and his mother to the Calvanistic belief, and they taught their children the observance of the principles of the strictest morality.
The father died in 1836, and in l840 the mother came with her family to America. For three years Mr. Edward Kay carried on a woolen factory in Cleveland. But this burned down and he lost all he had.
On May 20, 1843, he married Jane Lawrie, a native of Scotland, who came to this country with her father's family in 1842.
Some seven or eight years spent in the Cuyahoga works near Cleveland, and a couple of years as engineer on the lakes, and a period as machinist in Youngstown, Ohio, brought him to Wampum, where in July 1867, he purchased an interest in the Wampum furnace. The place then had only about twenty habitations. He purchased five acres of land in the vicinity for pasture use, but it was soon taken up by settlers for residence lots.
In March, 1876, the first borough election was held (the borough having been erected a short time before), and Mr. Kay was elected chief burgess. He has been very efficient in advancing the educational and religious interests of the place. For a number of years he was a member of the board of education, in which he took a leading part. He was also largely instrumental in the erection of the first church in Wampum (the M. E. Church) and contributed nearly three-fourths of the funds for its building.
In 1871 he and his sons erected the Wampum grist-mill, Alexander Lawrie being the mill-wright.
In the points already noticed, and in many other ways Mr. Kay has effected more than any other one man in the building up of the town. He is a gentleman of accommodating spirit, generous views, and full of enterprise. In politics, a Republican.
This gentleman is the present Mayor of New Castle. He was born in Washington county Pa., January 31, 1822. His father, William Richardson, was born in Huntingdon county, Pa., in 1792, and was a carpenter by trade. His wife was a Mary Fairman, daughter of William Fairman and sister of Robert Fairman, an old and retired business man of Pittsburgh. Mr. Richardson died in 1874; his wife in 1833.
The subject of this sketch passed the first twenty years of his life on a farm. He then learned the millwright and pattern-makers trade, which has been his chief occupation. He came to New Castle in 1847. From 1852 to 1859 he was a partner with Quest & Shaw in the foundry business. In 1861-2 he was engaged in the erection of the Ardesco oil works, in Pittsburgh. He subsequently built the Luciffic oil refinery in Franklin, Pa., under the firm of J. R. Richardson & Co., and still later erected the New Castle oil works. He has also been prominently engaged in other similar industries in this and neighboring States.
In September, 1848, occurred Mr. Richardson's marriage to Miss Emeline Fairman, daughter of James Fairman, of Pittsburgh, now of New Castle. Miss Fairman's grandfather, Thomas Fairman, settled in Pittsburgh in 1790, and was for many years a leading contractor of that city. He had seven sons and a daughter, of whom James Fairman was the second son.
In February, 1876, Mr. Richardson was elected Mayor of New Castle, which position he is now filling with marked ability. In politics he is a Democrat, though the city is overwhelmingly Republican. This fact is of itself sufficient evidence of the confidence and respect cherished for him by the community. He stands upon the moral side of all moral questions, and is a genial, accommodating gentleman.
It may be added that Mayor Richardson was, during the late war, a staunch war man, and though he was not drafted, yet (being very much engaged in business) he voluntarily sent a man to the war for two years, and paid him eight hundred dollars for the same.
The subject of this sketch was born in Chichester, Sussexshire, England, March 2, 1822. In 1830 his father, James Durban, immigrated with his family to America, and settled in Zanesville, Ohio. Here, in 1835, young Durban began an apprenticeship to the printer's trade. He received four dollars a month, and boarded himself. After learning the business he repaired to Marietta, and for four years was employed as journeyman, during which period he performed some service in the editorial line. In 1843 he went to Franklin, Venango county, Pa., and engaged upon the Democratic Arch. Here, on November 20, 1845, he married Miss Amelia T., daughter of Levi Dodd, now one of the oldest citizens of that place. Six sons and a daughter have been the blessings of this union, of whom two sons are decease. One died in infancy, and the other, John D. Durban, was drowned while bathing in the Neshannock creek, on the 8th of June, 1874. He was a promising young man of the age of twenty-four.
In 1848 Mr. Durban started the publication of the Franklin Advocate and Journal, which paper is now known as the Venango Citizen. This paper he edited and published for nearly eight years, for the first two of which he performed nearly all the work in the office, including the editing, composition, and job-printnig. He worked as high as eighteen hours a day, and had but one assistant, and he an apprentice.
In the Spring of 1857 he came to New Castle, and purchased what was then called the American Freeman (published by William F. Clark), changed the name of the paper to the New Castle Courant, and has since conducted the same. The Courant is the oldest journal in Lawrence county, and is one of the largest county papers in the State.
Editor Durban is an able, popular writer and a thorough gentleman. Connected with the Courant office are his three sons—Edward and Charles Durban. The oldest, Levi D. Durban, participated in the late war, in Company K, 100th Pa. Vet. Volunteers, and was severely wounded in the left limb, at Spottsvlvania Court House, on May 12, 1864, by which injury he was seriously disabled for life.
The local department of the Courant is presided over by Thompson Burton, a spicy, witty, paragraphist, experienced in every department of either weekly or daily journalism. He is very largely indebted to his mother, who was a graduate of Cazenovia Seminary, N. Y., and a lady of superior literary attainments. He was born in Schoharie county, N. Y., April 13, 1845, and at the age of nineteen began his editorial career as reporter on the Constitutional Union, of Washington city, and has since been engaged as editor upon a large number of newspapers.
In August, 1861, he enlisted as a private in the 100th Pa. Volunteers (Roundbeads), and became the eighth color-bearer at South Mountain, Maryland, seven color-bearers having been previously shot down.
Mrs. Thompson Burton, nee Miss Jennie D. Frisbee, of New Castle, although not yet twenty-six years of age, has already gained a favorite place in our American author's "Valhalla." She has contributed and had published since 1870 thirteen serial romances, several of which have been re-published in book-form. Her sketches and essays, published in our leading literary journals, number by the hundreds.
The above named young gentlemen are the proprietors and editors of the Lawrence Paragraph, the only Democratic journal in Lawrence county. Their early history is that of two youths endeavoring to make something of themselves amid the manifold discouragements and disadvantages that gather around childhood and poverty. Few young men of their age have had more "ups" and "downs," or have passed through a greater variety of vicissitudes than they. Neither of them were born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but both have had a like experience in the grand school of toil and self-reliance.
Mr. Penn, the senior editor, was born in Cadiz, Ohio, March 20, 1845. Though he started to a common school at the age of six, yet, owing largely to inefficient teachers, he did not learn to read with any degree of respectability till he was ten. Feeble health also, from an early age, has seriously interfered both with his education and with his industrial pursuits. While in his teens, he was variously employed as store clerk, mail carrier, and as engineer in a steam mill. He was then engaged, more or less, for several years, in teaching in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana, having by his own application qualified himself for that position. In the Summer of 1872 he came to New Castle and was employed first as "local" on the Gazette, and, subsequently in the same capacity on the Guardian, until the latter part of May, 1876, when, in company with Mr. Stone, he purchased the Paragraph. On December 26, 1868, he married Miss Catherine A. Schiller, daughter of Israel Schiller, an early immigrant to this country from Germany.
Mr. Stone was born in North Stanbridge, Canada, January 9, 1848, and when about one year old, was brought with his father's family to Geauga county, Ohio. He was reared on a farm, having only the advantages of the common school. For a number of years he was variously engaged as hotel clerk, school teacher, singing master, restaurant attendant, panorama agent, etc.
In April, 1874, he commenced learning the printer's trade in Youngstown, Ohio, and in March, 1875, came to New Castle, where he continued to work at his trade. In the latter part of May, 1876, he became a partner in the purchase of the Paragraph.
On January 10, 1877, Mr. Stone was married to Miss Catherine Strawhecker, of New Castle.
Messrs. Penn & Stone are young men of industrious habits and honorable dealing, which, combined with gentlemanly bearing, entitle them to the respect and confidence of the community, as also to a liberal patronage in their department of industry. The Paragraph is a well conducted quarto journal, the labor of editing and a large part of the composition work being performed by its proprietors.
Captain John Young was born in county Down, Ireland, October 1, 1825. His parents removed to this country in 1831, and soon after settled in Meadville, where they remained till 1840, (his mother dying in this time,) when they removed to Pittsburgh, where the youth and early manhood of Captain Young were passed, and where he endeared himself as a young man to a [p. 194] large circle of friends, who have always been proud of his friendship. In 1852 he came to New Castle.
In November (Thanksgiving day), 1857, he married Miss Hannah Rigby, daughter of the late Thomas Rigby, just noticed.
Captain Young went into the service of his country, March 15, 1862, as Captain of Co. D., 109th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. In the capacity of soldier, as in every other, he was faithful and true, and endeared himself to the officers and privates alike by his gallant and gentlemanly bearing. He was engaged in the following battles and distinguished himself by his gallant conduct: Harper's Ferry, Cedar Mountain, Leesburg, Winchester and Chancellorsville.
After his return from the army he entered into partnership with John Pattison in the merchant tailoring business, and continued in it up to the commencement of his last illness—typhoid fever, of which he died, on December 18, 1876, at the age of fifty one.
He was one of New Castle's best and most-respected citizens, and his loss was most deeply felt. Modest, unassuming (even to diffidence), he made but little noise in the world, yet his every-day life and conduct were such that all recognized his worth, and he was frequently called to positions of honor and trust, all of which he adorned. As a member of Councils he was faithful and prompt in the discharge of every duty, and affable and polite to all who had business to transact with that body. At the time of his death he was Chief of the Fire Department, and his promptness and efficiency were such as to call forth encomiums from all, and many tributes from those with whom he was more immediately connected.
As a business man he enjoyed the respect and esteem of all who knew him—prompt and honorable in everything, and generous to a fault. While imposing upon no one, he was just the kind of man to be swindled by impostors who might work into his confidence. Free from anything approaching dishonesty himself, he was slow to suspect it in others. As a citizen he promptly and cheerfully discharged all the duties that devolved upon him, and shirked none of the responsibilities. He was a kind and affectionate husband and parent—in short, everything that goes to make up one who will be long missed, and whose place is difficult to fill, was found in Captain Young.
Just in the prime of an honorable and useful manhood, and when he could least he spared, he was taken away.
He left a wife and two children, who mourn the loss of an affectionate husband and father.
Captain Young was an honored member of the Masonic fraternity.
*From "Martial Deeds."
Daniel Leasure, Colonel of the 100th (Roundhead) regiment, and Brevet Brigadier General, was born in Westmoreland county, on the 18th of March, 1819. His great-grandfather, Abraham Leasure, emigrated to Pennsylvania from the borders of Switzerland, near France, whither the ancestors of the family had fled after the massacre of St. Bartholomew, they being Huguenots of Navarre. He studied medicine, and graduated at Jefferson Medical College. He was married in September, 1842, to Isabel W., eldest daughter of Samuel Hamilton, for several years a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature. He had served in the militia, and, at the opening of the rebellion, raised a company, and was made Adjutant, and also Acting Assistant Adjutant General of the brigade upon the staff General Negley. At the close of the three-months' term, he was authorized to raise a veteran regiment. Lawrence county, where he had taken up his residence, had been largely settled by the descendants of those who had followed Cromwell in the struggles of the English people for liberty, and from among them he drew recruits, appropriately designating it the "Roundhead" regiment. Colonel Leasure was first sent to the department of the South, where his command formed part of the brigade of General Isaac I. Stevens. In the attack upon Tower Fort, near Secessionville, on the morning of the 16th of June, 1862, Colonel Leasure led the brigade, and won the commendation of General Stevens.
In the battle of Second Bull Run, Colonel Leasure, while leading the brigade, had his horse shot from under him, and himself received a severe wound. He recovered in time to take part in the battle of Fredericksburg, and soon after went with two divisions of the 9th corps, to which he was then attached, to Kentucky, and thence to Vicksburg, where, and at Jackson, he participated in three triumphant achievements, which opened the Mississippi, and really broke the backbone of the rebellion.
From Vicksburg he proceeded with his troops to East Tennessee, and was active in the operations of the Union arms [sic] in that region, and in the siege of Knoxville. At the battle of the Wilderness, on the 6th of May where he commanded a brigade, he led in a charge which hurled the rebels from works which they had captured from Union troops, and re-established the broken and disorganized line, receiving the thanks of General Hancock on the field.
At Spottsylvania Court House, Colonel Leasure was wounded. At the conclusion of his term, on the 30th of August, 1864, he was mustered out of service. He was breveted Brigadier General in April, 1865. Upon his return to civil life, he resumed the practice of his profession, first at New Castle, and subsequently at Allegheny.
This veteran was the oldest member of the 100th Regiment Pa. Vols. He was born in Huntingdon county, Pa., in the year 1800. He held the responsible office of sheriff in his native county. Subsequently he removed to Lawrence county, Pa., and was long engaged in mercantile pursuits in New Castle, but had retired from business some time prior to the war. At the breaking out of the rebellion, although sixty-one years of age, he was one of the first to volunteer in the three months' service, and served through the same with credit to himself and the county of which he was a representative.
When the 100th Regiment was organized, this patriotic old veteran re-enlisted in that command (in the ranks of Company K), and followed its fortunes through all the marches and battles in which it participated, until his demise in 1863. His physical system having been greatly reduced by the long and weary marches during the extreme heat of July and August, he contracted a fever in Mississippi, and was sent to the hospital at Camp Park, Kentucky, where, after a short illness, he died, August 18, 1863. He was the oldest soldier in the Roundhead regiment, and his patriotism was of the purest, noblest type! He voluntarily took up the vocation of the soldier from love of his country, and gave his life from devotion to the Union.
The Rev. J. Calvin Smith is a descendant of the persecuted Covenanters of Scotland. David Farrie, who suffered martyrdom, and his son of the same name, who was baptised at a "field conventicle," were in the direct line of his forefathers. His ancestors removed from Ireland to America while it was a colony of Great Britain, and settled in South Carolina. They were true patriots, and actively served their country in the wars of the Revolution and 1812. His parents, Thomas and Jane Smith, on their marriage, loathing the slavery of the South, removed to Bloomington, Indiana, where they became farmers and keepers of a station on the "Underground railroad."
The Rev. J. Calvin Smith was born October 29, 1831; graduated at Indiana University in 1851. He was ordained as pastor of the Reformed Presbyterian congregation, composed of various societies in Lawrence and Butler counties, in the year 1863. From these congregations others have been formed. The original Congregation, of which he is still the pastor, is now composed of two parts, at Rose Point and Portersville. He is known as an advocate of freedom, temperance, and national and moral reform.
Was born August 11, 1837. Her father, Hiram McCartney, was an able lawyer of Bellefontaine, O., who distinguished himself as a bold advocate of the slave, in a day when it was not popular and at times not safe to be an Abolitionist. His only daughter was left an orphan in childhood. She became a member of the family of her uncle, Hon. Richard Canby, who served in the Legislature of Ohio, and the Congress of the United States. She was educated at Northwood, Ohio, under the tuition of the wife of the Rev. R. W. Sloane, whom she loved as a mother. She was married August 13, 1855.
Was born in county Tyrone, Ireland, September 12, 1770, and in 1774 was brought to this country by his father, Robert Walker, who was an early settler of Washington county, Pa. With very meagre facilities for education, Mr. James Walker became, by dint of personal effort, a very accurate [p. 195] scholar and a school teacher. He was twice married, first in 1794, to Agnes McFadden, by whom he had four children, all dying in infancy but one, Robert Walker, who became a member of the Louisiana Legislature. He died in 1843.
Mr. James Walker's second marriage was to Miss Mary Anderson, daughter of John Anderson, a Scotch-Irish emigrant from Ireland, in the year 1788, and about 1800, he settled in Lawrence county, Pa. Three sons and four daughters resulted from this union. Mr. Walker located in Lawrence county about the year 1797. He served in the war of 1812, and assisted Commodore Perry in getting the American fleet off the sand bars at Erie. He had previously acted in 1792 as sentinel on the Ohio river, when the Indians were threatening the settlers.
He was several times elected to various county offices, among them that of Auditor, to which he was chosen four times, and filled the position with great satisfaction to all. He was a man of superior talent, yet modest and unassuming. From 1800 to 1844, he was a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church, and then became a leader in the Free Presbyterian Church, which was the first one of the kind organized in the United States. He was an abolitionist from 1833, and was one of the first movers in the Temperance cause, and took an active leading part in all the moral reforms of his day. He was a most liberal-minded man in all matters of religious opinion, and was fully pledged to the investigation of truth in all things and earnestly impressed these principles upon his family.
His only surviving son, was born on his present farm—the old home-stead— November 22, 1819. Faculties for education very moderate, but by his own application and reading he has acquired an unusually large fund of information, on general topics and especially in the departments of history, science and theology. He has passed his life in farming. Some time since he erected a duo-deccagon two-story brick residence, a model of convenience and beauty. His location is one of the most beautiful in Lawrence county.
October 26,1848, he married Miss Anna Jane, daughter of David Bailey, of Coitsville, Ohio, and has six children. Mr. Baily was a strong, early abolitionist, and frequently acted as station keeper on the underground railroad of those perilous days.
In politics Mr. Walker is a Republican, and in religious views, an independent thinker.
This gentleman is the founder of Lockville, a new station on the Northern Central and Franklin railroad. In April, 1868, he came from Mercer county, Pa., to Lawrence county, purchased some hundred acres of land in the vicinity of the first named place, and about four years later laid out a town, to which he gave the name of Lockville. He has since sold off a number of lots, comprising about one-third of the original plot.
Upon his arrival here, in 1868, he bought the grist-mill of Samuel Bowen, and has since been running the same. Aside from a number of town-lots, he owns a beautiful residence-property, a lithographic view of which will be found among the illustrations of this history.
The town of Lockville is snugly nestled under the bluffs of Neshannock creek, the large portion lying in the western edge of New Wilmington, and the other portion in the eastern edge of Washington township. The surrounding scenery is rural and very picturesque.
The railroad was brought here in the Fall of 1873, since which time the place has been steadily growing, and a number of new buildings are in process of erection. Several public roads centre here, affording an easy access to the place from all the surrounding country. Being directly on the railroad, it enjoys advantages superior to those of many other boroughs of larger size, and the place bids fair to become a pleasant locality for residence.
In 1872 Mr. Lock remodeled his mill, and furnished it with the necessary appliances for first-class work, and now enjoys the reputation for turning out the finest flour in the county. Indeed, flour made at this mill is in demand not only in Lawrence and Mercer counties, but also in the State of Ohio, whither large quantities are yearly shipped. This mill does also a large amount of custom work.
Mr. Lock was born near New Castle, in May, 1825, learned the milling business when a young man, and has since followed the same. He is an energetic and industrious man, a Republican in principles, a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and a much respected citizen.
The members of this connection, in Lawrence county, are descendants of two or three heads, who were among the earliest pioneers.
Was one of the first settlers of what is now Wayne township. He was a native of Maryland, born about the year 1779. After spending a few years in Westmoreland county, he came to this county, and, in connection with his brother, William Aiken (an early settler), erected one of the first grist-mills on Slippery Rock creek, in Wayne township. His wife was Mary Henry, a daughter of William Henry, also an early settler of same township. Miss Henry had three brothers who became judges of the court of quarter sessions.
Mr. Aiken's family consisted of six sons and five daughters, two of each now deceased. His marriage occurred about the year 1810.
In addition to the pursuit of agriculture, he also carried on the trade of a carpenter. In connection with his brother-in-law, Thomas Henry, he erected the first hewn-log house in Wayne. The structure is still standing, and is on the farm of the late Andrew Wilson, in the eastern part of the township, and the old landmark has stood there for nearly three-quarters of a century. Mr. Aiken also held for a number of years the office of justice of the peace. He participated in the war of 1812, and spent some time at Erie guarding the British shipping that had been captured by Perry in his naval engagement, and was on board of the identical vessel in which the Commodore himself had fought. The major was a true specimen of the sturdy pioneer, bold, courageous and industrious. Both he and his wife were connected with what was then called the Union, now the United Presbyterian church.
He died in the Spring of 1849, at the age of about seventy. Mrs. Aiken died some five or six years afterwards.
Is the fourth son and eighth child of Major Aiken, and was born in Lawrence county, October 12, 1826. His occupation has been that of a farmer. When a young man he was engaged for a time in teaching school. In the Autumn of 1855, he married Miss Mary Jane, the daughter of David Frew, of Slippery Rock township, and has had a family of three sons and five daughters.
Upon the day on which he was twenty-one he cast his first vote on the old Whig ticket. When the Republican party was organized, he identified himself with the same, and has always been a firm adherent to its principles, as promulgated by the immortal Lincoln. For the past fifteen years he has served the people of his community as justice of the peace, having been twice reelected to the position. His administrations were marked with a fairness and impartiality not always found in public magistrates, and the satisfaction given by his service is attested by the unusually protracted period which he has been continued in the office. He resigned this position to accept a seat as associate judge of Lawrence county, to which office he was elected in the Fall of 1876. He brings to his new office a large experience as a citizen, a clear head and sterling integrity. He belongs to the most solid and highly respected portion of the community. His religious connections is with that large and influential body, the United Presbyterian church.
This gentleman is the present county school superintendent of Lawrence county. His grandfather, William Aiken, was a native of Ireland, and came to this country at a very early day, passed some time first in Maryland, and then in Westmoreland county, Pa., and finally settled on Slippery Rock creek, in what is now Lawrence county, and erected one of the first grist mills on this stream, in Wayne township, where the subject of this sketch was born, January 12, 1834. Professor Aiken's parents were David Aiken and Martha Vance.
Mr. Aiken graduated from Westminster College, in June, 1861, and entered the educational field of New Castle, and was soon made principal of the East New Castle public school, which place he filled till June, 1869, when he was elected to his present position of county superintendent. He has been twice re-elected, and is now serving his third term in this capacity. His re-elections to this responsible position are a sufficient guaranty of his eminent qualifications for the same. He is a faithful worker, prudent and cautious, and is accomplishing great good for the educational interests of the county.
On April 6, 1865, Professor Aiken was married to Miss Margaret M. Loughridge, daughter of John Loughridge, an early settler and a prominent business man of Youngstown, Ohio. Her brother, William Loughridge, was for some years representative in Congress from Oscaloosa, Iowa. Mrs. [p. 196] Aiken was educated at Oxford Western Female Seminary, from which she graduated in 1859. Previous to her marriage she was for some years a prominent teacher in the New Castle public schools.
Professor Aiken and wife are connected with the United Presbyterian church, in which body he has been for a number of years a ruling elder. He has two children, a son and a daughter.
A portrait of the Professor will be found on another page of this volume.
Hugh McKee was born in county Down, Ireland, in April, 1773. He emigrated to the United States in 1788, when fifteen years of age, and settled in what is now Plain Grove township, Lawrence county; being one of the first settlers. When he arrived in this region the country was a wilderness, and, as can readily be imagined, the man who proposed to follow farming as an occupation had many serious obstacles to contend with—a forest to subdue, stumpy fields to clear up, and in many instances, a stony soil to master before he could begin to realize anything from his labors; but Mr. McKee was enthusiastic in his calling, and, by dint of unflagging industry, made the "wilderness to blossom as the rose," and lived to see a prosperous community, with all the appliances of an advanced civilization, around him. He followed his early profession—that of a farmer—through all the busy years of his life, and accumulated a competency of this world's goods. Mr. McKee married Mary Bell, September 15, 1801. He died in the year 1853, at the ripe age of eighty years, respected by all who knew him.
This gentleman is the only son of James Raney, of Mahoningtown, who has been one of the most active, energetic business men of Lawrence county, and is also one of her most highly esteemed citizens.
He is a miller by trade, and his life has been spent chiefly in this business. He has built no less than five grist-mills, one in Steubenville, Ohio, and four in Lawrence county (one at Edenburg, one about a mile above that place, and two at Mahoningtown.) He has also been connected with other industrial interests, among which may be mentioned the Steubenville Iron Company, and the old bank of New Castle (the first one in the town) of which he was one of the original stockholders and directors. This bank finally passed out of existence, and its place is now filled by the National Bank of Lawrence county.
The old gentleman has been one of the most industrious and hard-working men in the county, and for energy, business tact and shrewdness, has few equals.
His wife was Sarah Park, of Lawrence county, by whom he had one son and two daughters. Of the latter, one is Mrs. John E. Sheal, of Steubenville; the other married William Gordon, of Lawrence county, and died January 22, 1871, leaving one son. James Raney died in May, 1873.
Mr. L. Raney was born in this county, March 11, 1837. He was reared in the milling business, under his father's tuition, with but very few of the educational privileges enjoyed by the youth of the present day. From early childhood he was inured to hard labor, and inheriting his father's energy and pluck, made a full hand in business at the early age of fifteen. A short time afterwards he assumed the full charge of his father's mill at Mahoningtown, and before he reached his majority had purchased the property, and was conducting the business for himself.
When Mr. Raney came to New Castle he purchased the grist-mill of Joseph Kissick, and has since conducted the same, having, shortly after his settlement here, sold the mill at Mahoningtown.
In 1872 he became one of the partners in the erection of the Ætna furnaces, and for a considerable period had an eighth interest in the business. He subsequently became a partner in the formation of the Crowther's Iron Company, and is still a member of the firm.
He was also one of the original stockholders in the New Castle Hall and Market Company. He is likewise a stockholder in the New Castle Park Association, and in the New Castle and Franklin railroad, and for some two years past he has been the president of the Steubenville Furnace and Iron Company.
For a considerable period, also, Mr. Raney rendered efficient service to the citizens of New Castle as a member of the city council.
Other interests might be mentioned with which Mr. Raney has been intimately identified, but from those already named, it plainly appears that he has been actively interested in many of the leading industries of the county, and justly ranks among the most wide-awake and stirring business men of the community.
He is a gentleman of remarkable jovial, mirthful nature, possesses fine social qualities, an invincible will and sterling integrity of character. In politics, he confesses to a decidedly Hayes(y) complexion!
On October 31, 1872, Mr. Raney married Miss Hannah, daughter of George Mahon, of Steubenville, Ohio, and has two children, a son and a daughter.
The father of this gentleman was a native of Ireland, and came to America shortly after the close of the Revolutionary war. After a number of years spent in Huntingdon county, Pa., he removed to Crawford county, Pa., where the subject of this notice was born the 13th of August, 1820.
In 1824 the family moved into Venango county, at that time an almost uninhabited wilderness. He reached his majority with the advantages of only one year's schooling, all told.
In April, 1855, he married Miss Margaret L. Lamb, a daughter of Samuel Lamb, then of Venango, but now of New Wilmington, Lawrence county.
Mr. Alcorn came to New Wilmington in September, 1864, which has since been his residence.
In politics he is an uncompromising Republican. Upon the breaking out of the late civil war he offered himself three times as a volunteer in the service of his country, but owing to a disability he was not accepted. Being thus prevented from rendering any service in the ranks, he contributed liberally for the needs of the brave boys in the field.
Mr. Alcorn has led a retired life upon the soil, nearly half a century of which was passed in genuine pioneer style, with all its attendant privations and hardships. In these, however, are often found valuable compensations, as they tend to the development and growth of those sterling qualities of industry, perseverance and economy, for which many pioneers were so distinguished. Such was the case with the subject of this biography. He has been a very hard-worker, very careful and saving, and, assisted by his industrious and frugal wife, has accumulated a handsome competence. But, like thousands of other pioneer settlers, who were compelled to labor incessantly for their daily bread, he was deprived of any education other than that which could be gathered from an association in the wild scenes of a new and comparatively unsettled territory.
But book education is of little value compared with that practical discipline that is obtained from a daily contact with men and things as they exist in the world around us, and the practice of those manly virtues which command respect, alike among the rich and the poor, the learned and the ignorant.
Steady, industrious and frugal in his habits, Mr. Alcorn is also a man of strict integrity, whose "promise is as good as his bond." He is also a very, staunch temperance advocate—indeed a decided prohibitionist.
A lithographic view of his fine residence in New Wilmington will be found in the illustrative department of the Lawrence County History.
This gentleman was born in Pittsburgh, February 21, 1828. His initiation into business pursuits was in the capacity of a newsboy, which is the very last instrumentality for developing the native energies and talent. In this employment he early exhibited those peculiar abilities which have become so prominently illustrated in his subsequent business career. He learned the trade of the tobacconist with George Weyman of his native city, and, in 1847, while still serving as an apprentice, opened a tobacco store for himself on a capital of fifty cents, and in a short time had three journeymen employed under him making cigars in his little store. This little incident is worthy of more than a passing notice.
From this capital of fifty cents—an amount that thousands of men and boys spend for tobacco or drink in a single day—from this little insignificant amount, as his starting capital, Mr. Allen's business has grown to many thousand dollars. True, this was thirty years ago, but there are too many young men (boys) who at the present day would hardly feel that they could do much on a start of fifty dollars. There are scores of young men in New Castle to-day, who, though they are worth nothing, yet, had they but saved only the amounts they have foolishly spent for the last five years, might now have had a bank account of one thousand dollars in clean cash!
[p. 197] In July, 1849, Mr. Allen came to New Castle and went into business with a capital of three hundred dollars. At this time he was the only regular tobacconist in the place, as he is now the only exclusive dealer in the article in the city. He was the second man who ever attempted to run the "news" business here, and he carried on the same till 1874, at which time he took his son, R. M. Allen, Jr., into partnership and opened two stores, side by side on Main street. Both are spacious business houses, being one hundred and ten feet in length. One is devoted exclusively to the sale of tobacco, the other is a wall-paper, book and news-room. Mr. Allen has also been the New Castle express agent since 1855.
He is also the principle owner of the market house, and the opera house. He likewise owns a fine fruit and garden-farm about a mile and a half from the city, which he keeps in a commendable state of cultivation and beauty. His garden is furnished with excellent facilities for watering, and in the vegetable department a hydrant may be seen at the distance of every eighty feet. It may also be mentioned that his city residence was the first one that was furnished with a regular water-supply hydrant in New Castle.
Mr. Allen has made his business his specialty, and has held no office with the exception of a term in the city council. During this time the first paving was put down in New Castle. He is one of the most energetic, enterprising, and substantial business men of the place, honest and genial- hearted.
In politics a clever Republican, and last, but not least, a temperance man. He has lately identified himself with the great temperance reformation army, which is marching on to glorious victory. When, therefore, his old friends call upon him, they will please "take a cigar!" On December 31, 1851, Mr. Allen married Miss Amanda Keefer, daughter of John Keefer, of New Castle, and has three sons, all in business in New Castle.
This gentleman was born in Burgundy, France, on the 25th of June, 1787. He was the fourth son of William Eichbaum, a gentleman well and favorably identified with the earlier history of the glass-manufacturing business of Pittsburgh and vicinity. In 1797, when but ten years of age, the subject of this sketch accompanied his parents to Pittsburgh, from the banks of the Schuylkill, nearly opposite the present site of Fairmount Water-works, Philadelphia, where his father had settled in 1793. He received his education at the school kept by one Nicholas Kerr; and at the age of fourteen was apprenticed to Zadoc Cramer, and after serving a term of seven years emerged forth a practical bookbinder. Such was his proficiency in the business, that at the close of his apprentiship he was admitted into the firm as a partner, and its style from thence became Cramer, Speer & Eichbaum. It was then the principal bookbinding establishment in Pittsburgh, and had connected with it a printing office and book store. This partnership continued until 1816, when it was dissolved by the withdrawal of Mr. Eichbaum, who then associated himself with Mr. Samuel R. Johnston in the business of bookselling, printing and bookbinding, and thus became the founders of the well-known house of William G. Johnston & Co., which for a score of years past has done business on Wood street, this latter firm being composed of the sons of those who, in 1816, became associated in business. A year prior to the formation of the original partnership, Mr. Eichbaum had married Miss Rebecca Johnston, a sister of his partner. We may mention that this union was an extremely happy one. For fifty-one years the couple lived happily together, and celebrated a quiet and joyous golden wedding about eighteen months preceding the death of the venerable husband and father. His widow still remains, and at the age of eighty-four retains all of her superior faculties, and enjoys the most retentive memory of any post-octogenarian of either sex with whom we have ever become acquainted. Her intelligence and intellectual abilities, combined with her extraordinary recollection, conspire to make her a regular walking encyclopædia of historic information. We gratefully acknowledge ourselves indebted to her for very valuable assistance in the compilation of this work, and earnestly trust that she may yet live many happy years, surrounded by the ripened associations of more than three-fourths of a century.
But to return to Mr. Eichbaum. The most important public service that he was engaged in was in the creation of the Monongahela Slackwater, now controlled by the Monongahela Navigation Company. His untiring zeal and eminent foresight did more than anything else in bringing this vast project to a successful issue. To him and his venerable coadjutors, Messrs. Thomas and John P. Bakewell, Morgan Robertson, and Alfred Curling, is mainly due the success of the most important enterprise for the general commercial and business prosperity of Pittsburgh ever contemplated or completed. He was, in recogition of his valuable services in the premises, honored with the position of the first president of the company after its permanent organization. Mr. Eichbaum enjoyed the confidence and esteem of the public to a marked degree. From 1822 to 1833, he held the position of postmaster; and it was during the occupancy of this office that his generous and accommodating disposition won for him that enduring esteem which he continued to enjoy through life, and which is even now oftentimes gratefully attested by several of the venerable recipients of his kind attention. He was elected and retained in the City Councils in each branch as long as eligible, and then transferred by the votes of the people alternately for twenty-two consecutive years. In 1858, he was elected City Treasurer, and held the office until his decease in 1866. This office he hold as a token of affectionate regard of the citizen voters in his declining years. Perhaps no fitter tribute to his worth can be adduced than the following paragraph from a friend, published in one of the local papers prior to the municipal election in 1858:
"In Mr. Eichbaum we present a fine old gentleman, who wears that name as he does the crown of silver hairs that honor his head, as a part of him, as something necessary and natural to him. If it was the last act we ever had to perform we should feel that we had done a duty as pleasing as it would be right in depositing our ballot for Mr. Eichbaum, a man who has seen this city grow up from nothing, whose name and family and all is identified with its growth and its good name. We do hope to see him have a tremendous majority, and to see our friends everywhere rallying nobly to his support. He is a man that deserves the place he is running for."
In politics Mr. Eichbaum was a republican. In religion he was liberal, but inclined to the Presbyterian faith. He died December 30, 1866, in the eightieth year of his age. His memory will ever remain green in the hearts of a numerous circle of friends, and of the public generally, by his exemplary character, and by the many noble traits of his disposition.
The subject of this sketch was born near Winchester, Va., about the year 1798, and came with his parents to New Castle in 1806.
At that time New Castle consisted of only a few houses of the most primitive form, and where now is a thickly built-up portion of the city, Mr. Rigby hunted the deer and other game, which existed in great abundance. The red man ruled the country, and Indians in their bark canoes were frequently seen gliding along the smooth waters of the Shenango.
The only route to Pittsburgh, from which place many of the supplies of the early settlers were brought, was a bridle path, and the only transportation was on pack saddles, Mr. Rigby had an excellent memory, and took great delight in relating his reminiscences of those by-gone days. In 1825 he married Elmira Squire of New Castle, and raised a large family of children.
He was a jeweler by trade, and by slow and steady gains—the result of honesty and industry—acquired a competency.
He enjoyed the esteem and confidence of all who knew him, as a good citizen and upright man, and possessing a heart that never allowed a human being to suffer if in his power to give relief. He was especially noted for his skill and kindness in seasons of sickness, particularly among the poor. Mr. Rigby's death was very sudden, and occurred on the morning of Tuesday, March 11, 1873. He had risen early—as was his habit—complaining slightly, but no more than usual, of pain in one of his arms, in which he had been for some time suffering with partial paralysis, took his usual walk, attended to some chores, and had sat down by the stove in a back room of his shop, and was engaged in conversation with his friend, Mr. James Wallace. He took the tongs to put a piece of coal upon the fire, when the tongs fell from his hand, and he straightened up in his chair and almost instantly expired.
Mr. Rigby was for years previous to this event impressed that his death would be sudden, and had frequently expressed his desire and expectation to die without lingering upon a bed of sickness. Conforming to this view he kept his business matters closely settled up. Ripe in years and ready for the call, peacefully and calmly he passed away, and exchanged mortality for immortality.
Mrs. Rigby followed her husband in about two months, and died on the 15th of the following May. On retiring the evening previous, she seemed [p. 198] as well as usual. About ten o'clock her grandson, Fred. Rigby, who was residing with her, came in and spoke to his grandmother to let her know that it was he. Receiving no answer, he entered her room, and finding her breathing strangely, went for her daughter, Mrs. Hall, who lived next door, and then for a physician. By the time Mrs. Hall arrived, her mother appeared to have rallied, and asked: "Where is Fred?" Mrs. Hall replied, "He has gone for a doctor for you; you are not well." To which Mrs. Rigby replied, "You need send for no doctor for me, I am as well as ever I was." Soon after the arrival of the physican she became unconscious, and died about five the following morning, in her sixty-ninth year.
The father of Mr. Thomas Rigby was
His family comprised seven sons and two daughters, of whom there survives only one son, Seth Rigby, Jr., and Mrs. Hannah (Thomas) Baker, both of Lawrence county. Mr. Eli Rigby, eldest son of Seth Rigby, was born in Virginia about the year 1797, and died in New Castle in 1876, in his eightieth year. Like his father he was a wagon-maker by trade, and though he acquired it without a regular apprentisbip, he was one of the most thorough workmen that ever plied the trade in New Castle, many of his wagons lasting twenty-five years. He carried on the business for about forty years. He was scrupulously honest in his dealings, and was greatly respected in the community. He possessed a remarkably retentive and ready memory, and was long regarded as a living, incarnate history of all the important transactions of the community. His death resulted from a fall by which he was severely injured.
This pioneer was born in Holland, about the year 1760, and was brought with the family of his father, John, to America when he was two years old. They settled near Falling Waters in the "Dominion of Old Virginia." He was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, participating in the battles of Saratoga and of Eutaw Springs. In the latter engagement, when the color-bearer was shot down, young Van Orsdel, then only nineteen, boldly sprang forward, seized the ensign, and gallantly bore it through the fight; and, as a reward for which, he received three hundred acres of land in Crawford county, Pa. This he sold, receiving his pay in Continental money, but owing to the depreciation of said currency, he lost all his property. He once bought a cow worth ten dollars, but paid for her one thousand dollars in Continental script. So much for its depreciation!
His wife was Prudence Bell, a Maryland lady of Scotch extraction. At this time she was sixteen, and he forty-five! He had five sons and four daughters, of whom three survive, two sons and one daughter, all in Lawrence county, viz: Mrs. Thomas McClymens, R. B. Van Orsdel, and
This gentleman is an old and much respected citizen of Lawrence county. He was born near Gettysburg, May 9, 1812. His wife was Margaret Randolph, of Beaver county. He has had twelve children, six deceased. He had two sons in the Union army in the late war, J. R. Van Orsdel, who served under General McClellan in the army of the Potomac, and William G. Van Orsdel, who gallantly yielded up his young life for the sacred cause of American liberty. When the rebellion opened with its gigantic power, young Van Orsdel was only nineteen years of age, and therefore too young to be compelled to enter the service. But from the very opening of the struggle he was desirous to have a part in the defense of his country from the onslaught of her foes. He felt, as he often expressed himself, that it was the duty of every one to go, who could be spared from his family.
He volunteered and went with the Pennsylvania militia to Chambersburg. He then entered the service under General Sherman, and died after a brief illness, near Atlanta, Ga., on June 23, 1864, a little upwards of twenty years of age. He was a brave, heroic boy, and never flinched in the hour of danger, but was always on hand, ready for duty, whether that was life or death, it was all the same to him. Thus was this noble boy cut down in the bloom of his early manhood. Sad indeed was the parting scene when he took leave of "the loved ones at home," and bade them "good-bye"—as it proved—for the last time on earth! But sadder yet, and more crushing the blow, was the announcement of his untimely death! But the stricken parents, though they deeply mourn the loss of their boy, have the blessed consolation that they gave him for the glorious cause of Liberty and that he died for his country and his God.
Among the business men of New Wilmington, the above-named gentleman is entitled to a front rank. He was born in Mercer county, Pa., and, having spent the early part of his life upon a farm, came to New Wilmington in May, 1875, purchased the fine three-story brick block on East Diamond, fitted up the same for a store and residence, and in the following Autumn opened his store, handsomely stocked, with every variety of general merchandise, and has since conducted an energetic and successful business. Mr. Lininger is a solid and reliable man, and a much-respected citizen. A lithographic view of his fine establishment will be found among the illustrations of this volume.
The subject of this sketch has for a quarter of a century, been a leading physician of New Castle. His parents were direct descendants of the Pilgrims who first settled in New England. He was born in Plainville, Hampshire county Mass., November 30, 1807. He was educated in the schools of his native town, and spent several years in teaching, in which department he met with most gratifying success. Preferring, however, the profession of medicine to that of any other vocation, he entered upon its study in 1831, and graduated at the Berkshire Medical College in 1834. In this year he was married to Miss C. N. Porter, daughter of Dr. David Porter, a prominent practitioner of Worthington, Mass.
Shortly after his marriage he located in Windham, Portage county, Ohio, where he was engaged in the practice of his profession till 1840. He then removed to Warren, Trumbull county, Ohio, where he remained for a period of five years, and then returned to Windham. About this time his attention was directed to the subject of homeopathy. Giving it the most serious consideration, and testing the efficacy of its remedies for a space of two years with highly gratifying results, he became thoroughly convinced that its theory and practice were established on a truly scientific basis, that it overshadowed the old system and proved it to be irrational and radically wrong. Acting upon these conscientious convictions, he wholly abandoned the practice of allopathy, and gave his undivided time and attention to the practice of homeopathy, and to the promulgation of its principles. After his espousal of the homeopathic faith, he remained about three years longer in Windham, sustaining a fair patronage and converting many. In 1850 he came to New Castle, where he has since labored assiduously, and with an eminent degree of success; and it is with feelings of special pride and satisfaction that he recounts the last thirty years of his life, which have been spent in the practice of the only philosophical system of medicine.
The doctor is a member of the Pennsylvania State Medical Society. He has had a family of two sons and as many daughters, of whom one of each is deceased.
The eldest son, CHESTER L. WHITE, was educated in the New Castle city schools, and at Iberia College, Ohio. He enlisted in the "war for the union" in April, 1861, in the three months' service, and subsequently in the Second Ohio Cavalry, in which he was made lieutenant; and after a service of nearly three years, resigned on account of ill health. He married Miss Agnes G. Black, daughter of Andrew Black, of Sewickley, and is now the secretary of the Missouri and Pacific Railroad Company, and resides in St. Louis.
Doctor White is a gentleman of very evenly-balanced disposition, conservative, cautious, prudent, retiring in manners, and of most genial nature. His opinions, however, when once formed, are firmly maintained, yet with the greatest regard for the feelings of those who may differ from him. These qualities have secured for him universal respect and esteem. Both himself and his estimable wife are valued members of the First Presbyterian Church of New Castle, in which communion he has for a number of years most acceptably filled the office of ruling elder.
Is a son of Moses Drake, who, about the year 1814, became a settler of Pulaski township, Lawrence county. He came from Westmoreland county. He died January 14, 1851, at the age of eighty-two. For nearly half a century he was a leading member of what is now the United Presbyterian Church.
His father, Samuel Drake, was a soldier in the American Revolution, and eighty-eight years old at his death.
[p. 199] The subject of this notice is of Scotch-German extraction, and was born in Mercer county, December 10, 1822. In March, 1843, he located on his present farm in Wilmington township, and a view of his residence may be found among the illustrations of this volume. This place was for a number of years, the headquarters of the Washington Mutual Fire Insurance Company, of Lawrence county, Pa., and Mr. Drake was the secretary of the same until it was moved to New Castle.
Mr. Drake has been twice married, first to Miss Elizabeth, daughter of James and Sarah Irwin, of Mercer county, by whom he had three daughters, the marriage occurring January 16, 1851. Mrs. Drake died February 9, 1858. His present wife was Miss Amanda, daughter of Robert and Anna McClain, of Mercer county, married April 28, 1859. This union has been blessed with four sons and two daughters.
For upwards of thirty years Mr. Drake has been prominently connected with the Presbyterian church.
In the Fall of 1855 he was elected auditor of Lawrence county, and filled the position with ability and credit.
Mr. Drake has spent his life in farming and stock-raising, has been very industrious and frugal, and has accumulated a comfortable competency, though he began with nothing. He possesses a sound judgment, is very decided in his opinions, and enjoys the confidence and esteem of the community.
Whose history is here briefly indicated, are descendants of JOHN DAVIDSON, of Ireland, whose widow came with her family to America in 1793, and, after a short stay in Lancaster and Allegheny counties, Pa., finally settled in what is now Big Beaver township, Lawrence county, on the farm now owned and occupied by her grandson, Robert James Davidson. Her youngest son was
Who was born in Ireland May 8, 1782, and was about five years old when his father died. On October 13, 1813, he married Jane Whan, by whom he had a family of four sons and seven daughters. On December 5, 1810, he purchased some two hundred and eight acres of land lying about one mile south of Wampum, a part of which is now owned by his eldest son, John Davidson Esq. The old gentleman also served in the war of 1812. He was an unusually industrious, hard-working man, remarkably regular in his habits, and was a very substantial and highly respected member of the community. He died in October, 1866, his wife having preceded him in 1862. His oldest son,
Was born on the farm on which he now resides, August 14, 1814. He was reared upon the soil, with such educational privileges as fell to the lot of pioneer families.
On March 28, 1838, he married Mary Beatty, daughter of Jonathan Beatty, an early settler of Beaver county, Pa.
Mr. Davidson's family consisted of four sons and three daughters, of whom one daughter and two sons died in infancy. Although his educational advantages were exceedingly meagre, Mr. Davidson made a diligent improvement of his spare time, and by reading and study fitted himself for a teacher, and taught the first school in his district that was organized under the common-school law of Pennsylvania. He has ever taken a deep and active interest in education, and, in the capacity of school director, and in other ways, has rendered valuable service in this department of public improvement. He has also filled other important offices in his township.
In 1842 he was made major of a volunteer battalion in Beaver county, and, after serving seven years, was replaced in the same position, and served five years more. His first commission was issued by Governor David R. Porter, and the second in 1849, by Governor Wm. F. Johnston.
In March, 1850, Mr. Davidson was elected justice of the peace for five years, and was four times re-elected, thus making a period of twenty-five years that he has filled this position. This record has never been equalled in Lawrence county, and is seldom reached anywhere.
His ministrations were characterised by great conservatism, caution and prudence, and his decisions were rendered with the strictest rigor and equity, and in a most impartial manner. It has ever been his aim to effect, if possible, a peaceful compromise between parties proposing litigation, and so succesful were his efforts, that many a law-suit was spoiled for interested attorneys, so that the remark became current among them that "if all the justices were like Mr. Davidson, they would have to take down their shingles." A higher compliment could not be paid to a public officer.
Squire Davidson is a staunch Republican, and was a member of the New Castle convention in 1855 that inaugurated this party-movement for Lawrence county.
In religious views he is a Presbyterian, and for upwards of a quarter of a century has been connected with the Newport church.
Was born on the homestead of his father, Andrew, March 22, 1822. Like all the children of the early settlers, he was reared in the wilderness, with very poor chances of education.
On October 26, 1858, he married Naney N. Leslie, daughter of John Leslie, an early settler of North Beaver township. Two sons and one daughter were the result of this union. Mr. Davidson belongs to a family that has been prominently active in educational interests, and he has served the people of his community for several years in the responsible office of school director, and during his long residence in the township has reached a position of high esteem for his solid character as a citizen and a Christian gentleman. Like others of the family, he is a Republican in politics, and both he and his wife have for many years been prominently connected with the United Presbyterian Church. He is an industrious and enterprising farmer. In 1871 he erected his present substantial and beautiful brick residence, a view of which will be found among the illustrations of this history.
Was born on the homestead of his father, Andrew, August 6, 1833. With only the advantages of a common-school of that early day, he fitted himself by private study for a teacher, and was engaged in teaching for some ten years. He possessed great love for the profession, and was very successful, and most of his time was employed in his own home-district. He now resides on the farm settled by his grandmother Davidson.
In politics he is a Republican, though he values principle above party. He has been for a number of years a member of the board of school-directors of his district, and has served both as secretary and president.
On June 3, 1868, he married Miss Mary A. Pettitt, daughter of Nathaniel Pettitt. She obtained her education by her own efforts, graduated from the Northwestern Normal School at Edinboro', in 1866. She also taught for some time with great success. She belongs to a family noted for their interest in education, five of its members having become teachers.
Mr. Davidson is a gentleman of retiring manners, of sound judgment, and of sterling integrity. For many years he has been connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and for fifteen years or more he has been superintendent of the Sunday-school.
This old pioneer was born in Crawford county, Pa., in November, 1805. When he was about four years of age, his father, Robert Neal, moved with his family into what is now Lawrence county, where both parents passed the remainder of their lives.
At that time this now finely-cultivated country was a sparsely-settled wilderness, and amid those primitive scenes the subject of this sketch was reared.
His boyhood and early manhood were spent in clearing the land and opening the way for public roads, and in making other improvements that follow in the wake of civilization. It was the day of pioneer toils and hardships.
"What heroism! what perils then!
How true of heart and strong of hand,
How ernest, resolute, these pioneer men!"
Mr. Neal's first wife was Jane McClanahan, of Crawford county, by whom he had four sons, two of whom (Thomas M. and Robert) did service for their country in the late civil war.
The present Mrs. Neal was Margaret Lindsey, of Lawrence county, and by this marriage Mr. Neal has had a daughter.
For many years he has been connected with the United Presbyterian church, and a ruling elder in the same. His life has been a very quiet and retired one, passed in the pursuit of agriculture, yet filled with deeds of goodness and crowned with a consistent Christian example.
He has already passed the allotted bound of human probation, and, worn out with labor, yet strong in the Christian's faith, is patiently waiting the summons of the Master to remove to another and a better land.
This enterprising gentleman is a native of Venango county, Pa. At the age of about fifteen he left the farm and enlisted in the United States navy. Up to this time he had not had so much as three months' schooling, and perhaps no youth ever went out from under the parental roof so profoundly ignorant both of books and of the world, with
"It's ways that are dark and tricks that are vain."
On this account the strict regulations of the navy fell like an iron-rule on his young yet daring spirit. He had been taught by his parents the observance of the Christian Sabbath, and when, as one of the first duties enjoined upon him, he was ordered to assist upon this day in getting his vessel off of a rock upon which she had stranded, he walked boldly up to the chief officer and informed him that he had been reared in a Christian family and in the Sunday school, and most emphatically declared that he "would not work on the Lord's day!"
An indescribable smile of mingled surprise, sympathy and pity played over the face of the officer, and, sending for the regulations, he quietly read them to the youthful new-comer, who, concluding that obedience was the better part of wisdom, gracefully yielded and went to work.
The severe discipline, however, of this branch of the War Department proved a most excellent school for young Hatch. His honest, sprightly, daring spirit rendered him a favorite among both officers and men, and after having filled for nearly a year a position in the Paymaster's department, he returned home and learned the blacksmith's trade as a means of procuring an education, the great importance of which he had now learned to appreciate.
After two years attendance upon Westminster College, he took a course in the Iron City Commercial College, Pittsburgh. This was followed by one in the Northwestern State Normal School, at Edinboro. Here his health failed, and for the two following years he successfully engaged in the lumber and oil business.
On March 28, 1871, he married Miss Mary, daughter of Samuel Lamb, of New Wilmington. Miss Lamb was one of a family of twelve children, and was deprived of the privileges of education enjoyed by many. She, however, by her own exertions, fitted herself for a teacher, and for eight years occupied a prominent position in the profession in Venango county.
After his marriage, Mr. Hatch spent four years more in Westminster College, read law with D. B. and E. T. Kurtz, of New Castle, and was admitted to practice in September, 1875.
While a law-student here, he was taken up as the prohibition candidate for mayor of New Castle, and came within eleven votes of being elected.
In April, 1876, he returned to New Wilmington, purchased the farm of his father-in-law, built a house for his father, and is now kindly caring for the aged heads of both families. It is worthy of notice, as an event of comparatively rare occurrence, that Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Lamb, in the Spring of 1876, celebrated their golden wedding. Mr. and Mrs. Lucien Hatch will, if they live, reach the same event in July, 1878.
The family of Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Hatch consists of themselves and two children, and they hold their religious connection with the United Presbyterian denomination.
[End of Biographical Sketches.]
From the 1770 - 1877 History of Lawrence County by S. W. and P. A. DURANT.
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Updated: 16 Feb 2001, 10:49