20th Century History of New Castle and
Lawrence County Pennsylvania and Representative Citizens


John S. McCaslin[p. 798] formerly one of Shenango Township's most respected and useful citizens, was born in Scott Township, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, February 19, 1839, and died October 22, 1902. His parents were Samuel and Elizabeth (Slater) McCaslin.

The grandparents of Mr. McCaslin were Robert and Rachel McCaslin, and they came from Bedford County Pennsylvania, early in the twenties, and settled subsequently in what is now Lawrence County. They were pioneers in this wild region, and the family records tell of many hardships they endured. They had the following children: Samuel, Joseph, Robert, William, Mrs. Sarah Eckles, Mrs. Rachel Cunningham, Mrs. Margaret Stunkard, Mrs. Elizabeth Gibson and Mrs. Jane Brady, and one who died in childhood.

Samuel McCaslin, father of the late John S. McCaslin, was born in 1808, and died in 1847, aged thirty-nine years. His whole life was devoted to agricultural pursuits. He married Elizabeth Slater, who was a daughter of Archibald Slater, who was born in Ireland. The latter came to America in early manhood, and subsequently married Margaret Scott, and their daughter, Elizabeth, was born on what was called the Donation, near Pittsburg, Pa. To Samuel McCaslin and wife were born the following children: Margaret, who married Joseph Baker, residing in Hickory Township, Lawrence County; Robert, Archibald and Rachel, all of whom are deceased; Mary, who is the widow of James Dinsmore, resides in Hickory Township; John S., late of Shenango Township; William T., and Jane, deceased, who was the wife of William Stunkard.

The late John S. McCaslin was the sixth member of the above family, all of whom survived into maturity and became respected members of the community. His educational opportunities were meager, but he was a man of good mind, and became well informed in all essential things and possessed the natural qualities which made him of more than the average importance in his neighborhood. For a few years he engaged in a teaming business, but his real occupation through life was farming, one which he thoroughly understood. In the fall of 1870 he moved to New Castle, but prior to that he had resided on a farm about one mile above Eastbrook. In 1895 he settled on his wife's old homestead in Shenango Township. Originally this farm contained 113 acres, and seventy acres still remain, Mrs. McCaslin's brother, Zebina Allen having purchased fifty acres. The whole farm is at present cultivated on shares. On this farm the closing years of Mr. McCaslin's life were passed. He was a man of quiet, home-loving tastes, and while he lent his influence in support of law and order, he never took any very active part in public affairs. He was a Republican in his political views.

John M. AllenMr. McCaslin was united in marriage with Eliza J. Allen, who is a daughter of John M. and Esther (Miller) Allen, who was born January 10, 1836. John M. Allen was a son of Jacob and Eleanor (Munson) Allen and a grandson of George Allen. The Allens came to western Pennsylvania from New Jersey. Jacob Allen was a soldier in the War of 1812. John M. Allen was born in Wayne Township, Lawrence County, September 12, 1812, and died March 12, 1897. He was a farmer all his life, and was a man of importance, substance and considerable local prominence. He worked on the old canal in his youth, and started to housekeeping on a farm located about half way between Wurtemburg and Chewton, his father's old farm. On October 22, 1848, he bought the farm on which Mrs. McCaslin still resides. It was wild land at the time, and he had to clear a place before he could build his house. He retained his faculties into old age and just before his death served in the office of jury commissioner. He married a daughter of Moses and Jane (Gaston) Miller, and they had these children: Eliza J.; Ellen, deceased, married (first) Lorenzo Wilson, and (second) John S. Shattuck; Clarissa, deceased, married Benjamin Cunningham; Zebina T., resides at Denver, Colo.; Mary W., deceased, married G. L. Reno, of Shenango Township; Edward H., lives at Kansas City, Kan,; Esther, deceased, was the wife of Joseph Hennon; and Laura, who married Leslie Aikens, of Wayne Township. John M. Allen was an elder in the Christian Church.

Mr. and Mrs. McCaslin had four children, three of whom survive, namely: Clarice Ella, who resides with her mother; Esther, who married Charles E. Rhodes, has one daughter, Nell Jeannette, who is the wife of Allison Marks, of Homestead, Pa.; and Myra E., who married William E. Lawrence, of Beaver, Pa., has two children, George V. and Esther. The late Mr. McCaslin was a member of the Presbyterian Church, but Mrs. McCaslin was reared in the Christian Church. She is a well known and highly esteemed lady, and is noted for her cheerful disposition and optimistic view of life.

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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