John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

Genealogical and personal history of western Pennsylvania; (Volume 3) online

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the autumn of 1873 attended lectures at the Hahnemann Medical College,
Chicago. After completing the regular course he began practice at Rantoul,
Illinois. In the autumn of 1876 he entered Hahnemann College, Philadel-
phia, graduating March 8, 1877. He then established himself at Meadville,
where, during the remainder of his life, a period of more than a third of a
century, he was continuously engaged in active practice. Profound and com-
prehensive knowledge, an unusual degree of skill and tireless devotion to
duty combined to insure his rapid advancement to a leading place among
the members of his profession not only in his home city but throughout the
western part of Pennsylvania. In 1883 he was appointed health officer of
Meadville, serving two terms with the greatest efficiency, his administration
of the office being fruitful in results beneficial to the city.

In all concerns relative to the city's welfare, Dr. Parsons' interest was
deep and sincere and wherever substantial aid would further public progress
it was freely given. Every movement which, in his judgment, tended toward
the betterment of Meadville received his hearty co-operation and support and
no good work done in the name of charity or religion appealed to him in vain.
He was instrumental in organizing the Crawford County Homoeopathic
Medical Society in which he held the office of secretary, and he also belonged
to the Homoeopathic Medical Society of Pennsylvania. He affiliated with
the Masonic bodies at Meadville and he and his family were members of the
Methodist Episcopal church.

Dr. Parsons married, October 14, 1874, at Irwin, Westmoreland county,
Pennsylvania, Amanda Boyd, whose ancestral record is appended to this
sketch, and they became the parents of the following children : Page Waters,
born July 19, 1875, at Rantoul, Illinois; Evangeline, born April 11, 1882, in
Meadville ; and Lenore, born May 27, 1885, in Meadville.

Page Waters Parsons graduated from the Meadville high school and
was in his sophomore year in Allegheny College when his health failed, and
he died October 28, 1896, only three months after attaining his majority.
He anticipated entering the medical profession and his endowments were
such as to encourage the brightest expectations of his parents and friends.
He was a young man of sterling qualities and endearing personal attributes
and was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Evangeline Parsons graduated from the high school, and in 1903 from
Allegheny College. During two years she was engaged in teaching — one
year at Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and another in Meadville. On June 25,
1908, she married the Rev. Joseph Emil Morrison, a graduate of Alle-
gheny College and Drew Theological Seminary, and since 1906 pastor of the


Methodist Episcopal church on Cahfoniia avenue, Pittsburgh. Mr. and
Mrs. Morrison are the parents of two children : Joseph Parsons, born Octo-
ber 22, 1910; and Marion, born February 12, 1912.

Lenore, youngest of the three children of Edgar C. and Amanda (Boyd)
Parsons, was educated in the schools of Meadville so far as her preliminary
studies were concerned, but on account of delicate health took the finishing
course at home under private instruction, bestowing special attention on
music and literature. The study of history has always held much attraction
for her and she takes particular interest in preserving for future generations,
the record of her father's services to medical science and sufifering humanity.
Miss Parsons now enjoys perfect health and is a favorite in the social circles
of Meadville. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Mrs. Parsons is a woman of winning personality, and her husband, a
man to whom the ties of family and friendship were sacred, ever found in
her a true helpmate. She is active in her church membership and enjoys
the love and esteem of a large circle of friends. The residence of Dr. Par-
sons, on Walnut street, one of the most modern and atractive in the city, is
now the home of his widow and daughter.

The death of Dr. Parsons, which occurred June i, 1911, was a distinct
loss to his profession and to the community at large, and is still mourned as
that of a learned, skillful, devoted and beloved physician and an honored,
public-spirited citizen.

(The Boyd Line.)

The l)0yd family of Western Pennsylvania is extremely numerous, and
should the different branches which are of old Presbyterian stock be traced
back into Ireland and Scotland they would be proved to have sprung from
a common ancestor. The progenitor of the American Boyds settled first
in Maryland, subsequently coming to Pennsylvania and residing in Dauphin
county and later in Northumberland county.

( I ) John Boyd, grandfather of Mrs. Amanda (Boyd) Parsons, was born
near Pittsburgh and followed the calling of a farmer. He married Rachel,
(laughter of the Reverend Samuel Waters, who was ordained by John Wes-
ley, founder of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. and Mrs. Boyd were
the parents of the following children: John; Eliza; Nancy; Charlotte;
William ; Jane ; Samuel ; Andrew ; Stephen ; and James Gray, mentioned be-
low. .

(in James Gray, son of John and Rachel (Waters) Boyd, was born
April 2, 1 82 1, in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, and spent his early
life in West Newton, in the same state. He learned and followed the trade
of a carpenter, but in later life was engaged in agricultural pursuits near
Madison. He eventually disposed of his farming interests and removed to
Knoxville, Iowa, where, for four years, he gave his attention to the f^ouring-
mill business. Returning to his native county he settled at Irwin Station
and there, in partnership with Cyrus Billhammer, conducted a hardware
business for twenty years, and upward, finally disposing of his interest and
migrating to Cleveland, Ohio, where he passed the remainder of his life.


He was a Republican and an active member of the Methodist Episcopal
church. Mr. Boyd married, April 12, 1844, Mary, daughter of Benjamin
and Magdalena (Baker) Keefer, and they became the parents of three
daughters: Catherine Jane, born June 21, 1845, married D. P. Highberger;
Amanda, mentioned below; and Elizabeth K., born April 21, 1856, married
H. F. Fulton and resides in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Boyd died March 10,
1895, in Cleveland, Ohio, and his widow passed away December 8, 1903, at
the advanced age of eighty-one. Both were regarded by all who knew them
with the sincere respect and affection inspired by their many virtues.

(Ill) Amanda, daughter of James Gray and Mary (Keefer) Boyd,
was born April 21, 1847, and became the wife of Dr. Edgar C. Parsons, as
mentioned above.

Luther De Long was born in the eastern part of the state

DE LONG of Pennsylvania, where he followed his calling as a carpenter

for many years. Later he removed to Ripley, New York,

where his death and that of his wife occurred. He married Anna Babcock.

William Orson De Long, son of Luther and Anna (Babcock) De
Long, was born in North East, Erie county, Pennsylvania, July 15. 1837.
Lie was educated in the public schools near his home and at Binghamton,
New York, and was then graduated from the Law Institute at Albany, New
York. He was admitted to the bar, and established himself in the practice
of his profession at Ripley and Westview, New York, where he remained
some years. He then removed to Titusville, Crawford county, Pennsyl-
vania, and while living there became connected with the Second National
Bank, a connection which remained uninterrupted for a period of fourteen
years. Mr. De Long then resigned his office and retired to private life
about two years prior to his death, May 10, 1901. He became affiliated
with the Masonic fraternity at Jamestown. Mr. De Long married, in 1851,
Helen S. Towne, a native of North East, Erie county, Pennsylvania, who
was taken in infancy to Elgin, Illinois, by her parents. They had children :
Edward ; Bessie, married Thomas Joseph Powers, a banker of Titusville,
September 11, 1906.

Bester Coleman Towne, paternal grandfather of Mrs. De Long, was a
director of the Bank of Erie, Pennsylvania. His family had been connected
with banking interests for a number of generations. He married Betsey
M. Martin. His descent from his Puritan ancestor is as follows : Joseph
and Hannah (Coleman) Towne; Ozias and Huldah (Brewster) Coleman;
Ichabod Brewster: William Brewster; Deacon William Brewster; Levi
Brewster: Elder William Brewster, who came over in the "Mayflower."

Morris C. Towne, son of Bester Coleman and Betsey M. (Martin)
Towne, was a banker. He was president of the National Bank of Elgin
and of a bank in Chicago. He was very successful in his enterprises, and
was active in business life until he was more than seventy years of age.
His fraternal affiliation was with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
He married (first) Hannah S. Oviatt. He married ("second) Maria Selk-


Timothy Babcock, grandfather of Airs. Anna (Babcock) De Long,
was of Rhode Island, and died December 3, 1795. He married Thankful
Reed, who died in Rliode Island, in April, 1795.

John Babcock, son of Timothy and Thankful (Reed) Babcock, was
born in 1766, and died in Sherburne, New York, March 27, 1821. He
married Mercy Whitford, who died March 23, 1843, a daughter of Christo-
pher and Sarah (Howard) Whitford, the former a Revolutionary soldier
from the state of Rhode Island, later of Sherburne, New York.

Anna (Babcock) De Long, daughter of John and Mercy (Whitford)
Babcock, was born in May, 1810, died August 19, 1880.

The name Richard or Richards, like most of the surnames
RICHARD derived from Christian names, is the common possession of

several different nationalities, and can be traced back to
the English, and from them to the Irish, to the Welsh, Dutch, French and

(I) James Richard was born in Ireland, emigrated to America, and
arrived at Meadville, Crawford county, Pennsylvania, in August, 1819. For
one or two years he was in the employ of Mr. Van Home, then, having
amassed a small capital by dint of thrift and industry, he purchased forty
acres of the Van Home tract and later another twenty-five acres. This land
he improved and cultivated until his death. He married Anna Hutchison.

(II) William Richard, son of James and Anna (Hutchison) Richard,
was born in Meadville, Crawford county, Pennsylvania, on the Richard home-
stead, and acquired his education in the district schools. He has been a
farmer all his life, and is now located near Sugarlake, Crawford county.
At one time he affiliated with the Baptist church. He married (first) Ellen,
born in Vernon township, Crawford county, a daughter of Isaac Warner.
Mr. Richard married (second) Louisa Henry. Children by first marriage:
Anna, Ella, James, Charles A., of further mention ; children by second mar-
riage : George, John, Frank, Harry, Estella and Lillian.

(III) Charles A. Richard, son of William and Ellen (Warner) Richard,
was born in Bloomfield township, Crawford county, Pennsylvania, June
4, 1870. His education was acquired in the public schools of Vernon town-
ship and Smith's Commercial College of Meadville, Pennsylvania, and he
then commenced an exhaustive study of the methods of gardening and fruit
culture. For many years after his marriage he cultivated the farm of his
grandfather, and in April, 1901, removed to the farm on which he is now
located, purchasing it in 1903. It consists of twelve acres, and he has set
out two hundred trees, and makes a specialty of gardening and fruit growing.
He is a member of the First Baptist Church of Meadville. Mr. Richard
married, April 5, 1899, Estella Doctor, bora in Cambridge township, and
they had children : Margaret Arline, Geraldine Emma and Dorothy Agnes.
Mrs. Estella (Doctor) Richard was a daughter of Jackson and Agnes
(Richard) Doctor, natives of Crawford county, and granddaughter of James
and Mary (Humes) Doctor, the latter born in Ireland, from which her


parents came when Alary was seven weeks old, and located in this section,
where they have become substantial farmers. James Doctor was probably
born in Germany, and it is believed he was one of the Hessian soldiers that
came to America during the Revolutionary War. Mr. and Mrs. Doctor had
children : Estella, mentioned above, and Emma.

Nathan Gill, a prosperous farmer of Vernon township, Crawford
GILL county, Pennsylvania, was born in Virginia, August 22, 1857. He

was still a young lad when he went to Ohio, and there settled in
Ross county. After working on several farms in that section, he engaged
in the raising of small fruits, having purchased a tract of forty-eight
acres. In 1909 he removed to a farm of one hundred and ten acres near
Union City, Erie county, Pennsylvania, where he remained until November
2, 1912, when he settled on the farm he occupies at the present time in
Vernon township, Crawford county, Pennsylvania. This consists of almost
one hundred and seventeen acres, and he cultivates it for general products.
He is a member of the First Baptist Church of Meadville. Mr. Gill married
Araminta, born in Ohio, a daughter of Chesley and Arabella (Brandon)
Pettiford, both born in Virginia, and removed to Ohio in childhood : and a
granddaughter of Jesse and Parthenia Brandon, who were farmers in Ross
county, Ohio. The marriage took place December 26, 1878. Children:
George R., married Myrtle Smith, no children ; Vossie R., married Eliza-
beth Haskell, no children ; Frederick B., married Irene GatlifT, no children ;
Edward L., married Myrtle Mathews, two children, Minnie L. and Edward
M. ; Arthur, deceased ; Elma N. ; Isabel ; Alice ; Minnie M.

Shaw is a very common English surname, used also as a termina-
SHAW tion. It means a small wood, from tlie Anglo-Saxon "Scua,"

a shade or place shadowed or sheltered by trees. Several par-
ishes and places bear the name, and from these doubtless the families of
Shaw took their surnames. We also find the name in combination, as Aber-
shaw, Bagshaw, Cockshaw, Henshaw, Bradshaw, Longshaw and Eldershaw.
The coat-of-arms of the Shaw family of Kilmarnock, Scotland, is: Azure
three covered cups two and one or ; on a chief argent a merchant ship under
sail proper, a canton gules charged with the mace of the city of London
surmounted by a sword in saltire, also proper pommel and hilt of the second.
Crest : A demi-savage aflfrontee, wreathed about the head and waist proper,
in the dexter hand a key or, the sinister resting on a club reversed also
proper. Supporters : Dexter a savage wreathed about the head and waist
with laurel, his exterior hand resting on a club all proper (emblematical of
fortitude), the sinister hand presenting an escroll, thereon inscribed "The
King's W^arrant of Precedence" sinister, an emblematical figure of the city
of London, the de.xter arm supporting the shield, the sinister extended to re-
ceive the escroll presented by the other supporter. Motto : I mean well.

(I) Robert Shaw, of Scotch-Irish descent, may have been born in
Scotland. He emigrated to America, and settled in Venango county, Penur


sylvania, at a very early date. There he took up land, and was eng

in its cultivation until his death. He married Isabella White, a native of


(II) James Shaw, son of Robert and Isabella (White) Shaw, was born
in Venango county, Pennsylvania, and was an active participant in the War
of 1812. He married Margaret Irwin, who was born in Crawford county,

(III) Robert (2) Shaw, son of James and Margaret (Irwin) Shaw,
was born in Venango county, Pennsylvania, November 28, 1804, and died
December 23, 1884. He was a tanner by trade, but abandoned this line of
industry in favor of farming and oil production. He was the owner of a fine
farm near Oil City, Venango county, and his death occurred at Saegers-
town, Crawford county, Pennsylvania. He married Frances Bartholomew,
born at Mill Hall, Clinton county, Pennsylvania, July 4, 1819, died July 19,
1887. She was a daughter of Windell and Sarah (McGill) Bartholomew,
a granddaughter of John Peter and Frances (Ebe) Bartholomew, and a
great-granddaughter of Casper Bartholomew. She was also a granddaughter
of James and Lena (Bums) McGill. The Burns were Scotch Highlanders,
and the McGills were Irish. Mr. and Mrs. Shaw had children: James W.,
who served during the Civil War and lost his right arm in one of the en-
gagements in which he participated; Robert L., of further mention; Adelia
Elvira, Sylvester I., Ann Jane, Emeline Eretta, Sarah Elizabeth, Frances
A., Marjorie, William Parker.

(IV) Robert L. Shaw, son of Robert (2) and Frances (Bartholomew)
Shaw, was born in Venango county, Pennsylvania, February 8, 1842. He
acquired his education in the public schools of his native county, and at
a suitable age was apprenticed to learn the trade of carpentering. This he
followed for some time and then engaged in oil production. In 1888 he
purchased a farm of one hundred and thirty acres in Vernon township, and
he has since been located there, his farm yielding satisfactory results under
his capable management. He is a member of the Presbyterian church. He
has always taken an active interest in the public welfare of the community,
and has served as supervisor of Vernon township with great executive
ability. Mr. Shaw married, December 25, 1866, Rebecca Jane Neely, born
near Baden, Beaver county, Pennsylvania, a daughter of George and Bar-
bara (McNorton) Neely, of Ireland, who were pioneer farmers of Baden.
Children : James A., of Vernon township, married Sarah Tritt and they have
two children, Robert W. and Alberta E ; Robert Edwin, died in infancy ;
Frank Elmer, died at the age of five years ; Charles L., of further mention.

(V) Charles L. Shaw, son of Robert L. and Rebecca Jane (Neely)
Shaw, was born at Franklin. Venango county, Pennsylvania, March 23,
1880. His education was commenced in the public schools, and completed
at Smith's Business College, in Meadville, and Reese's School of Engraving,
at Elmira, New York. He followed engraving in its various branches, in
different sections of the country, finally returning to his father's farm, where
he now has charge of a dairy business. Mr. Shaw married, in June, 1904,



WESTERN' l'E.\.\SVL\ AXIA 1313

Leda P.eardsley, of Elmira, i\'ew York, and they had children : Bessie May,
Robert L., Florence Eleanor and Leda Anna. The last mentioned died in
infancy. The family attends the Presbyterian chnrch.

Daniel Alter, the founder of this family in America, was of
ALTER Washington county, Pennsylvania. He married, and had chil-
dren: Joseph, Nancy, Jacob, of further mention ; Samuel, John,
David, Henry, Daniel, Jeremiah, Elias, Samson.

( II) Jacob Alter, son of Daniel Alter, was born in Washington county,
Pennsylvania, April 27, 1802, and died August 7, 1883. He was a black-
smith and farmer, owning a farm of one hundred and eighty acres. He
was a major of the militia, and filled many local public offices in Plum town-
ship. He lived to celebrate his golden wedding, on which occasion there were
ninety-six children, grandchildren and great-grandcliildren present. He
married Jane Bratton, born January 18, 1802, died October 28, 1880, and
they had children : George B., of further mention ; Eliza, married Thomas
King; Mary, married William Brown; Sarah Jane, married Crawford
Brown ; Lucinda, married George Rose ; Margaret Ann, married John
Weaver; Samuel, married Nancy Beal ; Susan, married M. K. Armstrong;
Jacob, married Jane Hamilton ; William D., married Alley Gray ; Rebecca,
married John Hughes. Jacob Alter was a Republican in political opinion,
and an active member of the Presbyterian church.

(III) George B. Alter, son of Jacob and Jane (Bratton) Alter, was
born in Plum township, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, Jane 22, 1822. He
was educated in the public schools of Plum township, in which his entire
life was spent. He was an influential farmer, owning two hundred and
thirty acres of land, which he commenced cultivating in young manhood. He
was a Republican in politics, and a most active member of the Presbyterian
church, in which he was an elder for many years, and sang in the choir for
a period of forty years. He married Eve Stotler, born in 1824. She was
a granddaughter of Jacob Stotler, who emigrated to this country from Ger-
many, and died in Franklin county, Pennsylvania. His widow came to
Penn township with her children : Emanuel, of further mention ; Henry ;

John; Jacob; Elizabeth, married — — Reamer; Martha, who married

Coon. Emanuel Stotler. son of Jacob Stotler, and father of Mrs. Alter,
was a farmer of Penn township, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania. He mar-
ried Elizabeth Bowman, and had children : Jacob ; Mary, married

Snively ; Elizabeth, married Stoner; Barbara, married - — — Bright;

Henry B. ; David; Ann, married Alter; Martha; Margaret, married

Coon ; Eve, married George B. Alter, as above stated ; Catherine, mar-
ried Coon. Mr. and Mrs. Alter had children : Emanuel, deceased,

married Susan Kuhn, and lived in Plum township ; Elizabeth J., married Dr.
James Mcjunkin ; three who died in infancy; Samuel Crawford, of further
mention ; Harry, died at the age of twenty-two years ; Ella, married W. W'.
Alter, lives in Kirkwood ; ^largaret, married Rev. John Kistler.

(IV) Samuel Crawford Alter, son of George B. and Eve (Stotler)



Alter, was bom in Plum township, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, June
12, 1857. He was educated in the public schools there, and like his father
and grandfather he followed the occupation of farming. He commenced in-
dependently with a farm of one hundred acres, making a specialty of grow-
ing grain, and of stock raising. He is considered one of tlie prosperous and
influential farmers of the section. Politically he is a Republican, and has
served as road inspector. For the past eight years he has been an elder
in the Presbyterian church, of which he has been a member many years.
He married Priscilla Jane, a daughter of Alexander and Mary Jane (Stew-
art) McMath ; granddaughter of James and Jane (Enwer) McMath ; and
granddaughter of Andrew and Priscilla (Beale) Stewart. Mrs. Alter had
sisters : Jennie, married S. I. Swank, now deceased ; Belle, married Samp-
son Alter ; Mary Margaret, married George G. Glass, of Pittsburgh. Mr.
and Mrs. Alter had children: Irene, married William ]\r. Hazellett; Grace,
married J. V. Booth, lives in Plum township; ]\Iinnia, married Robert Mc-
Machen, and has one child, Alargaret ; George; Evelyn.

The name of Cricks is recorded as among the early settlers of
CRICKS Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, and they have always proved
themselves valuable, industrious and patriotic citizens.

(I) Cricks, settled in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, at an early

date, but in later life removed to Washingtonville, Ohio, where his death
occurred. He was a farmer.

(II) Levi Cricks, a son of the preceding, was born in Allegheny county,
Pennsylvania, and there followed agricultural pursuits. He married Griselda
Holmes, also a native of Allegheny county. She was of Irish descent, her
parents having emigrated from Ireland in their youth and settled near Talley
Cavey, Allegheny county.

(III) Joseph H. Cricks, son of Levi and Griselda (Holmes) Cricks, was
born near Bakerstown, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, September 16, 1845,
and died April 25, 1914. He acquired a plain but substantial education in
the public schools of his district, and for a time followed the occupation of
farmer. In later life he became both a carpenter and a sheet heater. He
commenced the latter occupation as a puddler, and worked up to a higher
position. Subsequently he purchased a farm of forty acres near Talley
Cavey. then went to Pittsburgh, where he lived twenty-five years. While
living there he followed his occupation as a carpenter, then returned to sheet
heating at Scottdale. After another short residence in Pittsburgh he went
to Brackenridge, March 27, 1900, with the intention of working in the steel
mills, but went to Canal Dover instead, where he worked as a sheet heater
six years while his family remained in Brackenridge. He then returned,
and himself built a house, in which his widow is residing at the present time.
For a few months he was employed as a sheet heater in Beling^on, West Vir-
ginia, then entered the employ of the Penn Salt Works, of Natrona, Penn-
sylvania, where he met with a serious accident, December 3, igo8, and this

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanGenealogical and personal history of western Pennsylvania; (Volume 3) → online text (page 29 of 92)