John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

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

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son, who died in infancy ; Minnie, died at the age of two years ; Guy Burton,
died at the age of five years ; Elizabeth, also died at the age of five years.

(III) Dr. Edgar C. Quinby, son of Amos Clark (2) and Elizabeth
Anna (Mclntyre) Quinby, was born at Springboro, Crawford county, Penn-
sylvania, October 31, 1856, and died January 22, 1913. He attended the
public schools of his native town, and upon the completion of this portion
of his education, taught school for a period of several years. He then
matriculated at the Medical College, in Cleveland, Ohio, worked his way
through this institution, and was graduated with high honors, in the class
of 1881, the degree of Doctor of Medicine being conferred upon him. Im-
mediately after his graduation he established himself in Titusville, Penn-
sylvania, in which town he continued in successful practice until his death.


His practice was a general one, but he was especially noted for his surgical
skill, and was a member of the medical staff of the Titusville Hospital. He
lived in a beautiful house at No. 134 West Main street, the residence in
which his widow is still living. In political matters he held Democratic
opinions, but he never allowed himself to be bound by partisan ties, but
cast his vote for the candidate whom he considered best fitted for the office
to be filled. He was reared in the faith of the Christian church, but as
there was no church of that denomination in Titusville, he joined the Pres-
byterian church in that town. During the last year of his life he became
a convert to the Roman Catholic faith, and joined the St. Titus Roman
Catholic Church, remaining an adherent of this until the day of his death.

Dr. Quinby married, June 21, 1898, Mary Lillian Seep, born in Green-
dale, Fayette county, Kentucky. She was educated at St. Joseph's Academy
in Titusville, then completed her education at the Visitation Academy, at
Georgetown, near Washington, District of Columbia, and is a very talented
and distinguished woman. Children of Dr. and Mrs. Quinby: Marian
Eleanor, born May 2, 1901 ; Joseph Edgar, born September 24, 1904, died
in October of the same year; Catherine Elizabeth, born November 21, 1908.

Joseph Seep, father of Mrs. Mary Lillian (Seep) Quinby, was born
in Voerden, Hanover, Germany, May 7, 1838, and attended the common
schools there until the age of eleven years. At that time his parents emi-
grated with their family to America, made their home in Richmond, Indiana,
where his father died of Asiatic cholera in less than half a year. Mrs.
Seep then removed with her five children to Cincinnati, where young Joseph
completed his education and learned the trade of manufacturing cigars.
Upon attaining his majority he went to Lexington, Kentucky, where he was
in the grain and hemp business as an employee of Jabez A. Bostwick. At
the close of the Civil War Mr. Seep returned to Cincinnati, where he was
in the cotton commission and forwarding business. Mr. Seep removed to
Titusville, Pennsylvania, in 1869, and there associated himself with his
old friend, Mr. Bostwick, of New York, and they engaged in the oil pro-
duction business, the firm name being Bostwick & Tilford. When this firm'
became connected with the Standard Oil Company, in 1871, Mr. Seep
entered the employ of that corporation, and became the buyer of all the
crude oil handled by the concern. Mr. Seep still retains this position and
has more than thirty buying offices in the various oil producing states. He
has handled more oil, and disbursed more money for the product, than any
one man, living or dead. His annual disbursements amount to almost one
hundred millions of dollars. He is interested in several banks throughout
the South and West, and holds official position in numerous corporations.
Among these may be mentioned : President of the Oil City Trust Com-
pany ; charter member and a director in the Seaboard National Bank in
New Y'ork; one of the organizers and president of the Central Kentucky
and Natural Gas Company, which furnished natural gas to Lexington, Ken-
tucky, Winchester and Mount Sterling. He has a large financial interest
in the United Hardware and Supply Company, and the Specialty Manufac-


turing Company, both of Titusville, and the Modern Tool Company of
Erie. In 1891 he acquired a large interest in the Mine and Smelter Supply
Company of Denver, Colorado, and he became sole owner in 1894. It is
the largest mining machinery and mining supply concern in the world, being
capitalized at one million two hundred thousand dollars, and has branch
houses in Salt Lake, Utah; El Paso, Texas; the City of Mexico and New-
York. He purchased a tract of land near Hydetown, Pennsylvania, in
1899, on it laid out St. Catherine's Cemetery, and presented it to the con-
gregation of St. Titus Church, after having spent about fifty thousand dol-
lars in improvements. At its entrance there is a fine statue of St. Cath-
erine, which he had erected there, at a cost of eight thousand dollars, in
honor of his wife. Some years ago Mr. Seep had a fine residence erected
for his own use, and this is considered one of the handsomest in Western
Pennsylvania. He is a stockholder in the Second National and the Com-
mercial banks of Titusville, and is a director in the last mentioned institu-
tion. He has the welfare of the city deeply at heart, and some years ago
subscribed ten thousand dollars to the Industrial Fund Association.

Mr. Seep married, in January, 1866, Kate, youngest daughter of
Francis X. Hillenmeyer, one of the prominent citizens of Fayette county,
Kentucky. They had children: Mary Lillian, who married Dr. Quinby,
as above mentioned; Eugene E., Arthur F., Albert H., William J., May C,
George R., Alice E., Herbert B., Alma E., Catherine, died at the age of two

The Rankin family is an old one in this country, coming to

RANKIN it originally from Ireland, the land which has produced so

many heroes of romance and of real life. They are to be

found now in all states of the Union, and are highly esteemed in the various


(I) Archibald Rankin was born in Mifflin township, Allegheny county,
Pennsylvania, his parents having been among the earliest settlers in that
section. He was extensively engaged in farming in Mifflin township on

land which had been patended by William Penn to Van Swearingen,

and from him to the Rankin ancestors. He married Brewster. Both

were members of the Presbyterian church, and strict observers of their re-

(II) William Rankin, son of Archibald and (Brewster) Rankin,

was born in Mifflin township, Allegheny county. Pennsylvania, February
17, 1836, and died May 31, 1904. Until he was forty-eight years of age
he lived on the Rankin homestead in Mifflin township, then removed to
McKeesport, where he lived retired the remainder of his life. He was a
staunch supporter of Democratic principles, and served as school controller
for several terms. He and his wife were members of the Mifflin United
Presbyterian Church. He married Afary Ann McClure, born in Mifflin
township, December 25, 1837. died May 6, 1896. They had children: t.
Howard, deceased ; was a mill worker in McKeesport. 2. William A., was a


teamster in lvI,cKeesport, and died unmarried. 3. Rebecca, died at the
age of four years. 4. Frank, a teamster in McKeesport, died at the age
of twenty-five years. 5. Fannie, died at the age of two and a half years.
6. Mary, married S. P. Meyers, a dentist, living in Pittsburgh. 7. Charles
Austin, of further mention.

Judge Francis McClure, grandfather of Mrs. Mary Ann (McClure)
Rankin, was born in county Down, Ireland, in 1742, and died in 1845, at
the advanced age of one hundred and three years. He received an ex-
cellent education, and emigrated to America about 1770, settling in Lan-
caster county, Pennsylvania. He then removed to Wheeling, Virginia,
where he served as postmaster several years, and about the year 1788 came
to Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, where he took up about five hundred
acres of land in "Buttermilk Hollow," in Mifflin township. There he built
a stone house which was in use many years but is now gone. He became
associate judge in Allegheny county, and was a man of great influence
in his day. He was possessed of a considerable fortune, kept fox hounds,
hunters, etc., and his house was beautifully furnished with mahogany fur-
niture. Like all of his family he was a strict observer of the United
Presbyterian faith, and he was a very determined adherent of the. prin-
ciples of the Whig party. He had a brother. Dr. Richard McClure, who
was a prominent physician in Belfast, Ireland, where his death occurred.
Judge McClure married Margaret McClure, not a member of his branch
of the McClure family, who was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania,
October 10, 1762, and they had children: i. Ann, who died unmarried at
an advanced age. 2. Francis, of further mention. 3. Andrew, was a farmer
in Mifilin township.

Francis (2) McClure, son of Judge Francis (i) and Margaret (Mc-
Clure) McClure, was born on the McClure homestead in Mifflin township,
and lived all his life on it, his death occurring in 1874 at the age of eighty
years. He was a prominent farmer in his day, a member of the Presby-
terian church, and a Republican in politics. He married Rebecca Criswell,
born in county Mayo, Ireland, who came to this country at the age of
thirteen years, with her parents. They had children: i. Ann, died at the
age of five years. 2. Catherine, married Robert Day, lived in New Wilming-
ton, Pennsylvania, both deceased. 3. Richard, born February 15, 1823,
died in March, 1912; was a retired farmer; married Anna M. Read. 4.
Margaret, married Francis McClure, who was a farmer in Versailles town-
ship, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania. 5. Sarah, now living in McKees-
port; married David Rhodes, a riverman, who was drowned. 6. Mary
Ann, who married Mr. Rankin, as above mentioned. 7. Fannie, married
George Fulmer, a contractor and builder, living in Pittsburgh. 8. Francis,
died in infancy.

(Ill) Dr. Charles Austin Rankin, son of William and Mary Ann (Mc-
Clure) Rankin, was born in Mifflin township, Allegheny county, Pennsyl-
vania, November 25. 1873. For a period of five years he attended the public
school near his home, then, the family having removed to McKeesport in


1883, he attended the schools there and was graduated from the hig-h school
in 1892. Having matriculated at the West Penn Medical College in Pitts-
burgh, he pursued his studies there and was graduated from this institu-
tion in the class of 1896, the degree of Doctor of Medicine being conferred
upon him. He at once opened offices in McKeesport for the practice of his
profession, and has continued uninterruptedly up to the present time. He
has now been a member of the medical staff of the McKeesport Hospital
for nine years, and a member of the surgical staff of the same institution for
two years. He is a member of the McKeesport Academy of Medicine, the
Allegheny County Medical Society and the Pennsylvania State Medical
Association. He and his wife are members of the First Methodist Church
of McKeesport, and he is an Independent in his political views. His fra-
ternal connections are as follows : Aliquippa Lodge, No. 375, Free and Ac-
cepted Masons; Duquesne Chapter, No. 193, Royal Arch Masons; McKees-
port Commandery, No. 86, Knights Templar; Pittsburgh Consistory, Scot-
tish Rite; Syria Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic
Shrine; Eastern Star, of which his wife is also a member; Foresters of
America ; Improved Order of Maccabees. In 1894 Dr. Rankin built a
beautiful house at No. 1016 Walnut street, in which he is still residing.
He married, April 12, 1899, Belle Allen, born at Coal Valley, Pennsylvania,
a daughter of David and Helen Allen, the former, who was a pit boss in
the coal mines, now deceased. They have had children : Mary McClure,
born December 12, 1902; Margaret Allen, born April 15, 1906, on Easter

James Shaughnessy, a native of county Mayo, Ire-
SHAUGHNESSY land, emigrated to America about 1869, at which

time he had attained young manhood. For a time
he was in the employ of others until he had acquired a thorough knowledge
of the methods of transacting business in this country, and he then estab-
lished himself in business independently. For a long time he was the pro-
prietor, and personally conducted, a large grocery store on Washington
street, near Union Station, but now lives in retirement from business re-
sponsibilities on Squirrel Hill. He still gives his support to the Demo-
cratic party, in whose interests he was an active worker in former years,
and he is a devout member of the Roman Catholic church, to whose support
he is a generous contributor. He married Elizabeth Shaughnessy, also born
in county Mayo, Ireland, who came to America at about the same time
that he did, and they were married in Pittsburgh. They have had eight
children : Annie, Mary, Elizabeth, John R., of further mention ; Eleanor,
James, Catherine, and an infant, which died.

(II) John R. Shaughnessy, son of James and Elizabeth (Shaugh-
nessy) Shaughnessy, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 17,
1884. His early education was acquired in public and private schools, this
including the study of the French and Italian languages, and he then com-
menced reading law. For a time he was in the office of J. Scott Ferguson,


deceased, of Pittsburgh; then head stenographer with Reed, Smith, Shaw
& Beal, one of the largest law firms in Pennsylvania. He filled a position
as court stenographer very successfully, and in 1913 opened an evening
school for the study of stenography on Diamond Square, Meadville, which
he continues at the present writing (1915). He has had practical ex-
perience as a general reporter, having reported numerous technical, educa-
tional and religious conventions ; is a member of the Meadville Chamber
of Commerce ; of the Pennsylvania State Reporters' Association ; of the
National Reporters' Association ; of the Benevolent and Protective Order
of Elks; the Knights of Columbus; the Taylor Hose Company, a local or-
ganization ; and is secretary of the Palmer-McCormick Creasy League, of
Crawford county. He is actively engaged in furthering the interests of the
Progressive Democratic party, and is a consistent member of the Roman
Catholic church.

Mr. Shaughnessy married, July 19, 1910, Beatrice, one of the twelve
children of James Burns, a well-known oil operator, of Washington, Penn-
sylvania. They have children : Robert Burns and Mary.

George Washington \\'asson is a member of a family part
WASSON Irish and part Scotch, representative of the best elements of

both peoples, which have brought to the cosmopolitan citi-
zenship of this country a leaven of hardy enterprise and virtue. His father
was James Wasson, a native of Ireland, who met and married in Scotland,
Isabel Walker Wishert, a native of that country, and after the marriage,
brought his bride across the Atlantic to the United States. The young
couple went directly to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and there made their
home, in the year 1859. He soon found employment in the steel mills and
became what is technically known as a "puddler." He was killed, however,
in an accident in the year 1879 while working in the Oliver Mill. He was
survived by his wife, whose death occurred in July, 1903. To them were
born six children, as follows : Grace, born in Scotland ; George Washing-
ton, deceased ; James, deceased ; Mary, deceased ; Peter, deceased ; and Mar-
garet, deceased.

George Washington Wasson, second child of James and Isabel Walker
(Wishert) Wasson, was born December 3, i860, in the city of Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania. There he passed his childhood and was educated in the
public schools of the city, and later in Iron City College. Upon completing
his studies he found employment in the Oliver Steel Mill, the same in which
his father lost his life. Here his work was of a high order and he was
rapidly promoted to the position of "roller boss." Mr. Wasson was a mem-
ber of the Republican party and keenly alive to all questions of politics,
whether of local or general interest. He also took an active part in the
social life of the community and was a member of a number of orders and
fraternal organizations. He was a member of Bellevue Lodge, No. 530,
Free and Accepted Masons, the Bellevue Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, the
Allegheny Commandery, No. 35, Knights Templar and the Pittsburgh Con-


sistory. He also belonged to Lodge No. 366, Allegheny, Knights of Pythias,
the Royal Arcanum, and the Knights of the Maccabees. Mr. Wasson re-
moved from Pittsburgh in 1902 and made his home in Bellevue thereafter
until the time of his death in 1906, September 28.

Mr. Wasson was married, March 30, 1882, to Mary Ann Bupp, a native
of Allegheny, Pennsylvania, where she was born March 17, 1863. Mrs.
Wasson was a daughter of Jacob and C. Elizabeth (Huey) Bupp. Mr.
Bupp was a native of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, where he was born
in 1824, and where he married Miss Huey, who had been born in France
in the year 1828. Together they came to Pittsburgh in the early days and
settled, Mr. Bupp plying his trade of rope maker, and making, it is said, no
less than one hundred and one hangman's ropes. He was a member of the
Democratic party, and of the Improved Order of Red Men. He and Mrs.
Bupp were members of the German Lutheran church. They were the
parents of nine children : William, John, Emma, Elizabeth, Catherine,
Mary Ann, John, Charles and Alice. To ]\Ir. and Mrs. Wasson were born
seven children, a short account of whom follows: i. Caroline (Wasson)
Taylor, born February 12, 1883, in Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania, and educated
in the local public schools and Iron City College; she is now the wife of
Mr. Samuel Guy Taylor ; they are the parents of one child, a son, Howard
Wasson Taylor, born January 18, 1909. 2. James W^asson, born September
29, 1884, and died in infancy. 3. Mary Ann (Wasson) Eraser, born August
12, 1885, and educated in the public schools of Pittsburgh, the Bellevue
High School and Call's College ; she married Mr. Alexander Dickson Fraser.
4. George Jacob Wasson, born January 19, 18S8, in Pittsburgh; he was
educated in the Allegheny public schools, the Bellevue High School and
Pitts Academy ; Mr. Wasson now holds a clerical position ; he is a member
of the Superior Lodge, No. 366, Allegheny, Kiiights of Pythias, of the
Knights of the Maccabees ; he and Mrs. \^'asson are members of the First
Presbyterian Church of Bellevue, Pennsylvania ; he was married, August 8,
1912, to Isabel Allison Humphrey, of Bellevue. 5. Emma Irene, bom April
7, 1890, in Pittsburgh, and educated in the grammar school and High
School of Bellevue, and in Call's College. 6. Alice C, born September zi,
1892, in Pittsburgh, and educated in the Bellevue grammar schools and
High School. 7. Essie Myrtle, born October 27, 1894, in Pittsburgh and
educated in the grammar schools of Bellevue, the Bellevue High School
and Call's College. Mr. and Mrs. George \\'ashington Wasson were mem-
bers of the Presbyterian church and in this persuasion reared their children.

Frank H. Symes is a member of an English family represen-

SYMES tative of the sturdy stock which in the early days of American

colonization formed the large preponderance of the colonial

population, and which, to this day, forms the base upon which the whole

superstructure of our cosmopolitan nationality is built up.

His father was John Symes, who was born in England and passed the
whole of the early part of his life in that country. He was married in


England, in 1853, and the following year brought his little family across the
ocean to the United States, and settled in Glenosborne, Allegheny county,
Pennsylvania. Here he engaged in gardening, finding at the same tftne em-
ployment as night watchman on a railroad. He was drowned in the Ohio
river, January 27, 1862, when but forty-seven years of age, and left a wife
and family. His wife, Hannah (Hardeman) Symes, a native of England,
born in the year 1818, died in Pennsylvania, March 5, 1889, at the age of
seventy-one years. She was the daughter of Samuel and Hannah Harde-
man, who passed the whole of their lives in England and died there in
1864 and 1875, respectively. To Mr. and Mrs. Symes were born in all
thirteen children, seven of whom attained maturity. These were: i. Wil-
liam, born December 6, 1843, i" England, died in Allegheny county, Penn-
sylvania, September 24, 1888. 2. Anna, born September 21, 1845, in Eng-
land, died in 1907. 3. Sarah, born August 3, 1852, in England, and is now
Mrs. W. D. Lee, of Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. 4. Mary Elizabeth, born
January 10, 1856, in Glenosborne, Pennsylvania, and is now Mrs. Phillip
Seibert, her husband being a son of John Seibert, a sketch of whom appears
elsewhere in this work. 5. Eliza, born October 25, 1857, and is now Mrs.
Charles Myer, of Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. 6. Frank H., of whom further.
7. Joseph, born December 24, i860, died in 1902; married Ida Cooper, whO'
died in January, 1905.

Frank H. Symes, the sixth son of John and Hannah (Hardeman)
Symes, was born June 7, 1859, at Glenosborne, Allegheny county, Penn-
sylvania, on the old family homestead, which is in his possession at the
present time. Here he was reared, receiving his education in the local public
schools. In the year 1876, after completing his studies, he secured a posi-
tion with the Pennsylvania Railroad and has remained in the employ of that
concern ever since. His first employment was as brakeman, and now for
over twenty years, or from 1893, he has held the position of baggagemaster.
Mr. Symes is a IJepublican, and is keenly interested in the conduct of local
affairs and in politics generally. His parents were Episcopalians, but Mr.
Symes and his wife are members of tlie Presbyterian church.

Mr. Symes married, August 5, 1888, Clara May Heckert, a native of
Oil City, Venango county, Pennsylvania, born August 3, 1862. Mrs. Symes
is a daughter of Jonathan and Nancy (McCauley) Heckert. Mr. Heckert
was a native of Eastern Pennsylvania, and his wife of Allegheny county.
In the latter place they resided after their marriage for a considerable
period. They lived for a time at Oil City, and it was during this stay that
Mrs. Symes was born. The family returned to Allegheny county event-
ually, and here both of her parents died in the year 1898, the father in May
and the mother in October. Mr. and Mrs. Heckert were the parents of
nine children, as follows: i. George, deceased. 2. Elizabeth, died in 1912.
3. William, now a resident of Allegheny, Pennsylvania. 4. Margaret, now
the widow of Robert McKinney, of Allegheny, Pennsylvania. 5. Matilda,
deceased. 6. Rhoda C, now Mrs. Ames Luster, of Glenosborne, Penn-
sylvania. 7. Clara May, above mentioned. 8. Eva, now Mrs. John Means.


9. Frank E., a resident of Los Angeles, California, where he is engaged
in farming. To Mr. and Mrs. Symes have been born five children, as
follows: I. Harry Russell, born May 5, 1890, now a professional baseball
player. 2. Eva May, born in 1892, now Mrs. Albert Miller, of Uniontown,
Pennsylvania. 3. Frank, born October 31, 1894, and now a high school
student. 4. James, born July 8, 1896, also a student in the high school. 5.
Edward, born December 22, 1904.

The name of Williams is very ancient and probably ex-
WILLIAMS tends throughout the civilized world. Most of the orig-
inal members of the family were doubtless of Welsh
extraction. They form a large part of the principality of Wales in Eng-
land, somewhat like the O's in Ireland and the Mac's in Scotland. Burke's
Peerage says of Sir Robert Williams, the ninth baronet of the house of
A\'illiams of Penrhyn, that "His family is lineally descended from Mar-
chudel of Cynn, Lord of Abergelen in Denbighshire, of one of the fifteen
tribes of North Wales, who lived in the time of Roderic Mann (Roderic
the Great), King of the Britons, about the year 849. From him was de-
scended the royal House of Tudor. The lineage of Marchudel is traced
from Brutus, the first king of the Britons." The family is a very notable
one, more than forty families of the name having settled in New England
prior to 1700, and from there spread to other parts of the country. How-
ever, all the Williams in this country at the present time do not descend

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanGenealogical and personal history of western Pennsylvania; (Volume 3) → online text (page 75 of 92)