[p. 529] a representative citizen of Mahoning Township, residing on his excellent farm of 150 acres, which is situated near Edenburg, is a native of this section of Lawrence County, where he was born October 10, 1842. His parents were Thomas and Agnes (Mitchell) Bruce.
Mr. Bruce comes of Scotch parentage and ancestry and bears a name made honorable by his remote forefathers. His grandfather left Scotland when his father was small and established the family home in the north of England. When Thomas Bruce reached manhood he emigrated to America, accompanied by his youngest brother and oldest sister, reaching the United States in 1820. He was a stone-mason by trade and he followed this in various parts of the country for eight years before he finally settled permanently on the farm which his son John M. now owns. Forest covered all this region at that time and Thomas Bruce's log cabin was one of the first ever built in Mahoning Township. With his brother Robert he contracted for and built two locks on the old Erie Canal, south of and near New Castle, but after he acquired his land he gave his attention almost entirely to clearing and cultivating it. He died in September, 1866. He was a man well fitted for the troubles, hardships and terrors which attended pioneer life, possessing a sturdy frame and robust health, together with the sterling traits of character which belong to Scotchmen the world over. He was firm in his political attachments, at first a Whig and later a Republican, and was equally consistent in his support of the Presbyterian Church. Of his four children, John M. is the only survivor.
John M. Bruce was reared to man's estate on the farm he now owns and occupies and here he has carried on general farming through the whole of his mature life. Mr. Bruce has kept up with the times in his farming methods and is numbered with the substantial agriculturists of this section. In October, 1894, he was married to Mrs. Mahala (Hill) Bruce, who was born near Hillsville, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, and is a daughter of John and Maria (Zediker) Hill. John Hill was born in Mahoning Township, where he still resides, being now in his eighty-sixth year, surviving his wife, who died in December, 1906. The children of John Hill and wife were: Mahala; Jennie, who is the wife of David E. Myers, residing in Hillsville, and Elizabeth, who is the wife of John Mackey, also of Hillsville, a village that was named in honor of the Hill family. The Hills settled in Mahoning Township among the very earliest people and the grandmother of Mrs. Bruce was a typical pioneer woman, surviving all the hardships and deprivations which were difficult for even men to overcome, and outlived many of her descendants. She was within a few weeks of being 100 years old when she died. By her first marriage with C. C. Bruce, Mrs. Bruce has one daughter, May F., who is a graduate of the New Castle High School. In politics, Mr. Bruce is a Republican. He is a member and liberal supporter of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Edenburg.
20th Century History of New Castle and Lawrence County Pennsylvania and Representative Citizens Hon. Aaron L. Hazen Richmond-Arnold Publishing Company, Chicago, Ill., 1908
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