Franklin Ellis.

History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men online

. (page 81 of 193)
Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 81 of 193)
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eral extract from a late letter of Maj.-Gen. Alfred H.
Terry, in reply to one which had been written him
inquiring his estimate of the late Gen. Howell as a
military man. Gen. Terry's letter is dated at Fort
Snelling, Minn., March .3, 1882:

" At this distance of time I cannot speak of par-
ticular incidents of Gen. Howell's military career;
but my recollections of him as a man and an oflScer
are as clear and distinct as they were eighteen years
ago. I have never known a more courteous gentle-
man ; I never saw a more gallant and devoted officer.
The record of his service was without sijot or blemish.


" In the army corps in which he served he was
widely known and universally respected and admired.

" His untimely death was lamented by all his com-
rades as a loss wellnigh irrep.arable, not only to them-
selves, but to the country also."

Of Gen. Howell's personal attractions, his com-
manding carriage and graceful manners, and of the
excellencies of his character as a private citizen, they
of Uniontown and Fayette County who knew him
will preserve lively memory while they live, for he
was greatly admired and beloved by his friends, and
it is believed that he had no foes.

Co., Pu.
Tullv ai

T. Eedburn was born in Masontown, Fayette
5Iay !!•, 1822, and was the son of James
(1 Krlii'cca Harrison Redburn. He in early
life disnlayeil an unusual aptitude for business, and
during several years of his minority was connected
with Zalmon Ludington in the leather trade at
Addison, Pa. In 1848 he married Harriet Ann,
youngest daughter of Jlr. Ludington, and shortly
after removed to Washington, Pa., where he em-
barked in the boot and shoe trade. In 1850 he came
to Uniontown and reassociated himself with Zalmon
Ludington in the boot, shoe, and tanning business,
which he carried on successfully for a number of
years. In 18.58 he was chosen cashier and manager
of the Uniontown banking-house of John T. Hogg.
This soon after became the l)ankii]i;-l,nuse of Isaac
Skiles, Jr., Mr. Redburn continuin - it- i a>hier. In
1863 he Ijecame one of the ini-niiuirators i.f the First
National Bank of Uniontown, Pa. (which succeeded
I. Skiles, Jr.), which opened for business May 2,
1864. He was elected a director and cashier, to the
positions of which he was unanimously re-elected
year after year until his death , whicli uciurred at his
residence in Uniontown, Wednesday evening. May
23, 1877. He was also one of the originators of the
L^niontown and West Virginia Railroad Company,
and was its treasurer. He was also instrumental in
starting the Uniontown Woolen :\Iaii\ifaeturing
Company, one of the few manufiicturin;:- estalili>li-
nients Uniontown could boast of and now unluckily
destroyed by fire, and was treasurer of the company.
It was, however, as a bank officer that James T.
Redburn was most widely known. To the position
of cashier and director he brought tact and wisdom
second to none in the county. He possessed in an
eminent degree those sterling qualities of truth ard
justice, honor and temperance which drew to him liy
the most endearing ties of affection a large circle of
friends wherever he went and wherever he was known
tliroughout his entire life. Reserved, quiet, unosten-
tatious, he was dearly loved and thoroughly relied
upon by the numerous friends and customers that

sought his advice. A statement from his lips needed
no investigation to test its accuracy. Statements or
rumors that found credence through current gossip
he met with thorough but not efi'usive detestation,
, and those most intimately associated with him bear
, testimony to the silence with which he treated sub-
jects regarding which he had only the information of
rumor. He preferred to leave the impression that he
had no knowledge of a subject rather than give
credence to a statement he did not kno\y to be abso-
lutely true. In this as well as in many other par-
ticulars Mr. Redburn exerted an influence that was
j manly, noble, generous, and self-sacrificing, and that
1 bore most bountiful fruit through his many warm
I friendships throughout Fayette and adjoining coun-
ties. In his private and home life he was ever kind
and watchful of the wants of others. He let not
the cares or the worrinient of the day follow him
home to disturb the peace and quiet of his family.
Never of a very rugged constitution, he was from
boyhood subject to occasional periods of physical
depression from that dread disease, consumption,
which had carried away his four sisters and two
brothers; yet he had that tenacity and will power
which often held him td liis desk when his strength
would scarcely keep liini on his feet. He was an
earnest and cnn-i>tent member and trustee of the
Methodi-t Iv|.i>r,,|,.il Church in Uniontown, and in
life fVill.iur.l tlie Master with reverence and godly
fear.»sed of a naturally kind and sympathetic
heart, he was ever ready to assist the poor and desti-
tute or impart consolation to a sorrowing soul. His
funeral took place Friday evening, May 25, 1877,
, Rev. Dr. J. J. Moffltt and Rev. S. W. Davis, of the
I Methodist Episcopal Church, conducting the services.
i The pall-bearers were Eleazer Robin.son, Sebastian
Rush, Uriah Higinbotham, Jasper M. Thomp.son,
Charles S. Seaton, William McCleary, John Wilson,
and Allied Howell. Mr. Redburn having lost his
wife in 1 >eeeiiil.ei-, l>;i;ii, did not marry again. Of
his two children but one, Minnie L. Redburn, sur-
I vives him.


Adam C. Nutt, present cashier of the National Bank
of Fayette County, is the son of Joseph Nutt, a far-
mer,and Anna Piaiidolpli, hi- wife, and was born on the
8th of .lariuary, \s:\'.i. Although the 8th was " New
Orleans day" and the elder Nutt a strong Democrat,
he was also an ardent Methodist, and his Methodism
then getting the better of him, the boy was named
for the great commentator instead of Andrew Jack-
son. I'.oth the laiuilies Nutt and Randolph migrated
into Western I'enii-ylvaaia trom New Jersey, and
were of Quaker stock. Joseph Nutt, the father, died
in California in 1851, when Adam C. was twelve years
old. The boy was sent to the common schools, and
for one term attended the graded school taught by L.



F. Piirker, in Bridgeport, in the fall of 1855, walking
to and from school daily, a distance of three miles
each way. There he studied geometry and Latin.
After private studies conducted at home, he entered
the preparatory department of Allegheny College, in
Meadville, in 1856, and, supporting himself by teach-
ing during the winter months, graduated from the
college in 1861 with the highest honors of his class
as valedictorian. While connected with the college
lie paid much attention' to general literature, and re-
ceived the Woodruff prize for the best essay in the
Philo-Franklin Literary Society on the subject pro-
pounded for competition, " The Western Continent
as a field of laudable ambition."

In the war of the Rebellion he was connected with
a three months' company in 1861. From October,
1862, to July 29, 1863, he served as a private soldier
in the One Hundred and Twelfth Pennsylvania Vol-
unteers, and from the last-mentioned date to Oct. 31,
1865, he was captain of the Third United States Col-
ored Troops under Col. B. C. Tilghman. He partici-
pated in the siege of Fort Wagner and in operations
on Morris Island until Feb. 8, 1864. He went into
Florida under Gen. Truman Seymour in the Ohistee
campaign, being for a time in the brigade commanded
by Gen. Joseph E. Hawlcy. After the disaster at
Olustee he was engaged in the fortifications around
Jacksonville, Fla., until April, 1865, and subsequently
commanded the post at Lake City, Fla., until October
of that year. And here may be mentioned a matter
of national history with which he was connected
while at Lake City, and which may otherwise escape
record in connection with the history of Payne, who
attempted to kill Secretary Seward at the time of
the assassination of Present Lincoln. The govern-
ment wishing to fix the identity of Payne, Gen.
Foster sent Capt. Nutt on the delicate mission of
visiting the alleged family of Payne and securing
the evidence ; the result of his mission being the
determining of the fact that Payne's correct name
was Lewis Thornton Powell, and that he was the son
of a Baptist minister living about twelve mile^ from
Lake City. Capt. Nutt returned home in Dccumlier,
1865, and in April, 1866, removed to Uniontown,
where he has since resided. He read law with Hon.
Daniel Kaine, and was admitted to the bar in Decem-
ber, 1868, practiced a while, and became connected
in 1871, as teller, with the National Bank of Fayette
County, where he has meanwhile served, having been
cashier since Aug. 20, 1878. He was Republican can-
didate for prothouotary of Fayette County in 1881,
and was beaten by only one hundred and eighty-seven
votes by Col. Thomas B. Searight, the Democratic can-
didate, in a proverbially Democratic County, many
leading Democrats openly voting for Capt. Nutt in
honor of his talents and moral worth.

Capt. Nutt holds a high place among his neighbors
iis a man of integrity ; but, above all, he is esteemed
as a gentleman of large information and accurate

scholarship. He has contributed considerably to the
best literature of the day, and while enjoying enviable
repute as an incisive and effective off-hand and po-
litical stump-speaker, has occasionally delivered upon
history, education, and kindred subjects, public lec-
tures of a character, both as to their embodied
thoughts and rhetorical methods, which places him
in the front rank of thinkers and writers.

P.S. — Since the above went to Capt. Nutt
has resigned his post as cashier of the Fayette County
Bank, and has been appointed cashier of the State
treasury under Gen. Baily, the State treasurer. Har-
risburg will open to him a wider and more important
field than Uniontown, a field wliicli he cannot but
ably fill.


John Huston was the son of John Huston, Sr., for-
merly of Fayette County, luit who removed in the
latter part of the eighteenth ccnlury to Kentucky,
where the younger John was born, Jan. 2, 1793. At
the age of nineteen he came from his native State to
Fayette County on a visit to his uncle, Joseph Hu-
ston, residing in the neighborhood of Uniontown, and
concluded to settle down there, his uncle taking him
into business with himself as manager of a forge and
furnace, the uncle conducting at that time a compar-
atively large business. Mr. Huston remained with
his uncle a few years, until the death of the latter,
when he established himself in the like (iron) busi-
ness, which he carried on till the year 1840, when he
turned his attention principally to farming, then own-
ing several tracts of land. His farming was conducted
with a careful eye to all the essential requirements,
he being an excellent manager, yet so leisurely that
he was wont to call himself jocularly " a lazy farmer."
He continued this style of farming with profitable re-
sults, however, until his death on May 19, 1872.

He was a Democrat in politics, and was elected by
his party as representative to the General Assembly
of Pennsylvania for the large district, as then consti-
tut.-(l, in which he resided in 1835, and about 1844
was appointed by Governor Shunk an associate judge
of Fayette County for a term of five years, the duties
of which office he fulfilled. He took great interest in
the public schools and all general matters of public
improvement, and was a member of the Presbyterian
Church of Uniontown, which he joined about 1831.
He was director in a bank at Connellsville for a great
number of years, and in the National Bank of Fay-
ette County from its organization to the day of his
death. He was a large-hearted, generous man, and
liberally aided all who sought him and whom he
regarded worthy of assistance to the extent of his
ability, particularly energetic and honorable young
men starting out in life. Judge Huston died pos-
sessed of a large estate, which might have been much
larger but for his generous disposition of his money
from time to time in aid of others.



He married in 1826 Miss Susan Millhouse, who died
leaving one child, Mary Ann, who became, iu June,
1849, the wife of Rev. Dr. Elliot Swift, of Allegheny,
Pa., and died on the 25th of July, 1850. As his sec-
ond wife, who survives him, he married Mrs. Anna
IM. McCall, whose maiden name was King, a daughter
of Samuel King, a merchant of Uniontown, by whom
he had three daughters, all of whom died before him.

Greenbury Crosslaud, of Uniont

ranked markeilly :iiiinii

known as "srlf-lnaJr,

their charact ristics, ai
ments of fortune and re
son of Elijah and C'ai

ontown, must be
hy men generally
i<l individuate in
their own monu-
Mr. Crcissland, the
th Crossland, was

born at Connellsville, Juno 10, ISlIi, and moved with
liis parents to Uniontown in 1822, where he has ever
since resided, having occupied his present domicile
thirty-ibur years. At twelve years of age he went to
work at twelve and a half cents per day with George
W. Miller on a farm, where he remained a while.
His literary education was obtained from three or
four short terms of schooling under the tuition of
William Thompson and others long before the com-
mon schoiils of Pennsylvania were instituted; but
his father lieing a bntrlier and lior-e-deuler, young
Crosslanil got his iirinei|ial IraiiiiiiLi in the meat-shop
and by <lii'ving lioise, to the Eastern cities.

On the 1st <lay of January, 183.3, he married Sarah
Stearns, with whom he has lived ha|)pily for near
half a century. In April, ]<'.:',, he eoannJnced busi-
ness as a butcher on a eaiiital nl' iwiaitv-lliree dollai's,

ten of which

were, fun J 1

never receive

d a dollar

save throUiih

his labor o

the time of

lis early oj

ist, or in any
< transactions,
as a butcher it


his custom to take a wheelbarrow at one o'clock in
the morning, and wheel — his wife helping him by
pulling with a rope tied to the barrow — a side of beef
from the slaughter-house to the market-house, where
all meat was sold in those days. The first year he
made three hundred dollars, and bought a log house
and the lot on which it stood, the latter being the one
on which now stands the house occupied by T. J.

He c(jntinued butchering, gradually increasing in
jtrosjierity, until about 1S41, wdien he commenced
buying cattle to sell in the Eastern market, a business
he has followed mainly ever since. For about four-
teen years he was a partner in business with Charles
INIcLaughlin, late of Dunbar, but did not make the
business remunerative until he engaged in it alone,
about 1858, since which time his march has been
steadily onward in the line of fortune.

In 1S47 he bought of Charles Brown a farm of one
hundred and four acres, whereon he has since lived,
the first purchase of the real estate which now con-

stitutes him an extensive land proprietor, his do-
mains covering over seven hundred acres in the vicin-
ity of Uniontown, all valuable alike for agriculture
and containing vast stores of mineral wealth.

Mr. Crossland's excellent judgment of weights and
measures is a matter of popular notoriety, and it is
said that he can guess at any time within five pounds
of the weight of a fat steer, which probably accounts
for much of his success in the cattle business. His
strength of jnirpose and moral firmness are remark-
able, and he has never been led into the visionary
and impracticable. His knowledge of human nature
is good, he seldom erring in his judgments of men,
and, it is said, never making mistakes in his invest-
ments in property.

Mr. Crossland is in religion an ardent Methodist,
and it is due to him to add that his neighbors accord
to him the virtue of believing the faith he professes.
He and his wife joined the Methodist Church in
Uniontown Jan. 1, 1845, and have both continued to
this time active members thereof He has been for
twenty-five years a liberal contributor to the
su|iport of the ministry and the benevolent enter-
Ijrises of the church. Not only by his great liberality,
but through his high character as a man of probity,
is he a very pillar in the church. Desiring reliable
information in regard to the chief characteristics of
Mr. Crossland, the writer, a stranger to Mr. Cross-
land, sought one of Mr. Crossland's long-time ac-
quaintances, a man of high repute, and asked him
for an analysis of Mr. Crossland's character, as un-
derstood by liini and the public, and received, after
some delay, iiidieati've of deliberation, the following
written analysis: '".Moral characteristics, — faithful-
ness, honor, honesty, benev(dence, and regard for the
rights of others. Business characteristics, — good
judgment, caution, energy, perseverance, watchful-
ness, combined with great shrewdness and knowledge
of market values, lieliuious ehaiaeteristics,— enthu-
siasm, sineerily, siinplieity in iii:iiincrs and dress,
charity, and siiinle-niindedness." This being ac-
cepted, particularly since it is the statement of a gen-
tleman aliove sus[>ieioii on account of religious preju-
dice for, or fraternity with, Mr. Crossland, it is here
recorded as an evidence of the high honor which
simple straightforwardness, good sense, and energy
may win for a man, even though not a " prophet"
among his neighbors, in these days of irreverence and
carping criticism.

William Hunt is the son of Isaac Lansing Hunt
and Hannah Lincoln, both of a direct English line of
ancestry, and both natives of Fayette County. Isaac
L. was the son of Jacob Hunt, wdio came from Eliza-
bethtown, N. J., and settled in East Liberty, Dunbar
township, wdiere the former was born, June 25, 1791,
and died in October, 1S3G. Isaac is represented to



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have been a man of marked characteristics, strong
common sense, and, though not tall or large in stature,
a man of great physical strength and courage, and,
though of quiet temperament, admiringly known
among his compeers as " plucky Ike Hunt." How he
WHS esteemed by his contemporaries may be under-
stood by the fact that he was twice selected by large
majorities, county commissioner at the time when the
caucus system was not so much in vogue and so dom-
inant as now and every one stood upon his merits.

William was born in Dunbar township, AVhite
School District, Feb. 2, 1836, some eight months before
liis father's death, and is the youngest of eight chil-
dren. His mother, with the children, moved to
Uniontown, April, 1845, where she still (1882) resides
at the age of eighty-seven. William attended the
common school, and for a while Madison College,
leaving which he entered upon learning the .jewelers'
and watch-repairer's trade in 1850 as an apprentice of
Henry W.S.Rigden, of Uniontown, noted for his great
mechanical abilities, and under whom he continued
for four and a half years. From 1854 to 1858 he
sought and procured engagement in one of the best
jewelry establishments in the country, severally dis-
tinguished for excellence in the specialties of his
trade, completing a course of experimental education,
which has served, together with his fine natural
ability, to give him a more extensive and profitable
repute as a skilled mechanic in his art, and, in fact, in
general, than usually enjoyed by his fellow-trades-
men. Mr. Hunt has an inventive east of mind, and
readily masters whatever mechanical subtleties are
presented him for solution or difficulties to over-

Mr. Hunt returned to Uniontown in 1858, and
opened a shop for general repair-work pertaining to
his trade. His business has from the start " pushed"
him. In 1860 he commenced putting in stock, and
has gradually increased the amount of his purchases
and sales, year after year, until he now does the chief
work of the locality, and enjoys the largest trade in
his line in Fayette County.

Mr. Hunt early joined the order of Freemasons,
and is a member of the Independent Order of Odd-
Fellows, and has filled nearly all the honorary official
positions in the lodges of both orders with which he
has been connected. Mr. Hunt has always been
identified with the Democratic party, but he exercises
independence on occasion, voting for a good man of
any party, as his judgment may dictate. He has
served several terms in the Town Council, and been
efficient in carrying out policies at the time of their j
projection much objected to, but which after expe- '.
rience the people approved. He is decidedly a man
of progress.

As recorded above, the maiden name of Mr. Hunt's j
mother was Lincoln, and it should be noted here that !
it was a Lincoln of the same stock who received Lord I
Cornwallis' sword at Yorktown and delivered it to

Washington. Daniel Boone, the great Kentucky
hunter, was also of the same stock.

Though he has led a busy life, Mr. Hunt has found
time to secure, through the medium of books, a large
amount of practical, general information, and is fre-
quently consulted by his fellow-citizens upon impor-
tant matters outside of his profession. His charac-
ter for veracity and business integrity is probably not
surpassed by that of any other citizen of his town.


Among the immigrants of Fayette County, bring-
ing and infusing into its social and business life a
then somewhat novel element, that of the " Yankee"
or New England spirit, came about 1837 Eleazer Rob-
inson, an iron-founder. Mr. Robinson was born March
4, 1804, in Bethel, Windsor Co., Vt. His parents,
Eleazer Robinson and Experience Downer, were of
the old New England Puritan stock. In 1810 they re-
moved to Saratoga County, N. Y., where he enjoyed the
advantages of the common schools of the times and
made considerable progress in general studies. But
in 1824, his parents then removing to Broome County,
N. Y., young Robinson there availed himself of the
opportunities ofl^ered by the academy in his neighbor-
hood. There he devoted himself mainly to mathe-
matics, in which he achieved marked success, leaving
the academy well equipped as a civil engineer; and
though he did not eiilcr upon the profession of engi-
neering, his studies thcr.' nia.le have served him on
many an import.-iiit <Ki"i>i..u in the avocations of life,
esi)ecially in mechaniciil |iiir-iiit<. (>ii quitting the
academy he took up tlie Mndy ..I tlic law, under the
direction of a leading lnwyn- ,.{', a Mr.
Robinson, — not a relative, liouever,— aiid continued
his legal studies until iiitemipled by tlie death of his
flither (who left seven ehildren, (if wlioni Mr. Robin-
son was the eldest), which threw upon him the re-
sponsible care of the family, obliging him to quit the
law-office for the practical duties of the farmer, he
varying these during a course of years by more or less

Eventually he became largely interested in the
lumber business at Owego, N. Y. But there over-
borne by disaster, caused by a great freshet in the
Upper Branch of the Susquehanna, which in a few
hours swept away a fortune in lumber, he with the
buoyant energy which has distinguished his whole
life moved at once to Erie, Pa., and there engaged in
the drug business. At this business he continued
three years, within which time he made an acquaint-
anceship whieb irave directicin to the course of his life
since then with a Mr. Jonathan Hathaway, the pat-
entee of a superior cooking-stove, well remembered
by the older inhabitants of Fayette County, and se-
cured control of the manufacture of the "Hathaway
stoves," whereupon he moved to Pittsburgh and pro-
cured their casting there. After a while, meeting with


much loss through the destruction by fire of the foun-
dry wherein the stoves were cast, he went to Union-
town in 1837, and tliere established a foundry, and
eventually erected a branch foundry in Washington,
Pa., and opened agencies at Carlisle and elsewhere,
all of which were conducted very successfully for
some years. Finally Mr. Kobinson concentrated his
business at Uniontown, there prosecuting it actively
till 1867, when, having amassed a goodly fortune, he

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 81 of 193)