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Genealogical and personal history of Fayette county, Pennsylvania (Volume 2) online

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Lyons, (second) Colonel Wilson Vance. 4.
Mary, of previous mention, married John Gil-
more, whom she survives, a resident of Un-
iowntown. She is a member of the Epis-
copal church, and a lady highly esteemed for
her many womanly virtues.



The name Bliss is not of frequent
BLISS occurrence in English history. It
is supposed the family was of
Norman origin and that the name was origi-
nally Blois gradually modified to Bloys,
Blyze, Blysse, Blisse and in this country to
Bliss. Sir John Burke's "Dictionary of
Peerages" (page 74) states that the ancient
house of Blois was founded in England at
the coming of the Conqueror and that the
founder was called Blois after the city of that
name in France. Several English works on
heraldry describe the coat-of-arms of one
branch of the family thus: "Blisse or Blyse
— Argent one a bend cottised, azure, three
garbs or. Crest: A garb or guillinis. "A
Display of Heraldry" (1724), p. 127, says: "He
beareth. Sable a bend Vaire, between two
fleur de lis or, by name of Bloys. This coat

was granted or confirmed to Bloys

of Ipswich in the county of Suffolk by Sir
William Segar." This is identical (except in
color) with that now claimed and used by the
American famil}'.

The American history of the family begins
with Thomas Bliss, of Belstone parish, in the
county of Devon, England. Very little is
known of him except that he was a wealthy
land owner, that he belonged to the class
called Puritans, on account of the purity and
simplicity of their forms of worship, that he
was persecuted by the civil and religious
authorities under the direction of Archbishop
Laud and that he was maltreated, impover-
ished, imprisoned and finally ruined in health
and purse. He is believed to have been born
in the decade, 1550-60, and that he died about
the time his sons Jonathan and Thomas emi-
grated to America, 1635-40.

(II) Thomas (2), son of Thomas (i) Bliss,
was JDorn in Belstone parish, Devonshire,
England, about 1580-85. He married in Eng-
land, 161 2-1 5, Margaret to whom

were born six children before coming to
America. He endured the persecutions
meted to his father and brother George and



FAYETTE COUNTY



469



finally was compelled to leave England. He
sailed from Plymouth in 1635 with his
younger brother George and their families
and in due season arrived in Boston. He
settled at Braintree, Massachusetts, later at
Hartford, Connecticut, where he died in 1640.
His widow Margaret (thought to have been
Margaret Lawrence) was a woman of great
force of character and after his death man-
aged the affairs of the family with great pru-
dence and judgment. She sold the Hartford
property in 1643 and moved to Springfield,
Massachusetts, thirty miles or more up the
Connecticut river, a journey of seventy-five
days through the forest. She purchased a
large tract of land there, part of which is now
Main street, Springfield, Massachusetts. She
lived to see all her children grown up, mar-
ried and settled in homes of their own except
Hannah, who died aged twenty-three years.
She died in Springfield, August 28, 1684,
after a residence in America of nearly fifty
years, forty of which she was a widow. Chil-
dren: Ann, Mary, Thomas, Nathaniel,
Samuel, of whom further; Sarah Elizabeth,
Hannah and John.

(HI) Samuel, son of Thomas (2) Bliss, was
born in England in 1624, died March 23,
1720, aged ninety-six years. He married,
November 10, 1664-65, Mary Leonard, born
September 14, 1647, died 1724, daughter of
John and Sarah (Heath) Leonard. Children:
Hannah, born December 20, 1666; Thomas,
of whom further; oMary, born August 4, 1670;
Jonathan, January 5, 1672; Martha, June i,
1674; Sarah, September 10, 1677; Experi-
ence, April I, 1679; Mercy, July 18, 1680;
Ebenezer, July 29, 1683; Margaret, Septem-
ber II, 1684; Esther, April 2, 1688.

(IV) Thomas (3), son of Samuel and Mary
(Leonard) Bliss, was born in 1668, died No-
vember 10, 1733. He was born, lived and
died in Springfield, Massachusetts. He mar-
ried Helen Caldwell. Children: Hannah,
born August 12, 1699; Samuel, March 5,
1701; Martha, January, 1703; Thomas, April
20, 1704; Icabod, December 19, 1705; Rachel,
September 8, 1707; Abel, February 18, 1708-
09; May, October 21, 1710; Timothy, March
2, 1713: Daniel, of whom further; Aaron,
1717; Edward, June 24, 1719; Elizabeth, No-
vember, 1722.

(V) Rev. Daniel Bliss, son of Thomas (3)
and Hannah (Caldwell) Bliss, was born in



Springfield, JMassachusetts, June 21, 171 5,
died in Concord, Massachusetts, May 11,
1764. He was graduated at Yale College in
1732, ordained to the ministry, March 7, 1739,
and was pastor of the Congregational church
of Concord from 1738 to 1764. He was a
personal friend of the great Whitefield and
Hke him was bold, zealous, impassioned and
enthusiastic in his preaching. He was one of
the most distinguished of the clergy, who in
his day were denominated "New lights" by
their opponents, and was several times before
a council on account of difficulties in doc-
trinal points. His last and most powerful
sermon was delivered, March 11, 1764, in
the presence of Rev. Whitefield, and so im-
pressed him that he remarked "If I had
studied my whole life I could not have pro-
duced such a sermon." A few days later
Rev. Bliss sickened and died.

He married, July 22, 1738, Phoebe Walker,
of Stratford, Connecticut, born 1713, died in
Concord, July 2, 1797. Children: i. Daniel,
born March 18, 1740. 2. Phoebe, October
21, 1741 ; married Rev. William Emerson,
pastor of the church of Christ, successor of
her father as pastor of the Concord church.
3. John, July 11, 1743. 4. Thomas Theodore,
of whom further. 5. Hannah, March 22,
1747. 6. John, died in infancy. 7. Samuel,
born November 19, 1750. 8. Martha, No-
vember 5, 1752. 9. Joseph, July 23, 1757.

Shattuck's "History of Concord" =-ys:
"Mr. Ebenezer Hartshorn made INIr. Bliss
coffin — five hundred broad headed coffin nails
and five hundred small white tacks were put
on the cover and gloves and jewelry were
given (to the bearers) at the funeral."

(VI) Captain Thomas Theodore Bliss, son
of Rev. Daniel and Phoebe (Walker) Bliss,
was born at Concord, Massachusetts, May
21, 1745. He learned the trade of ship-
wrights, which he followed in his earlier
vears. He held two commissions as captain
in the American army during the revolution-
arv war. One from the congress of Massa-
chusetts bay. the other from the continental
congress. The latter was signed by John
Hancock and gave him command of a com-
pany of artillery. He was a brave but un-
fortunate officer. On the first campaign into
Canada he was taken prisoner by the English
at Three Rivers, with all his company, and
was held a prisoner during the war. He



470



PENNSYLVANIA



married a Miss Bartlett in Concord and died
in Cambridge, Massachusetts, September i,
1802. The Boston records show the mar-
riage there, June 25, 1789, of a Thomas The-
odore BHss to Huldah Delano. This is be-
lieved to have been a second marriage of
Captain Thomas Theodore Bliss. Children:
I. Theodore, of whom further. 2. Thomas,
born February 3, 1767, died 1839; he moved
to Charlestown, New Hampshire, Auburn,
New York, and in 1836 to Allegan, Michigan,
being shipwrecked on his way at Thunder
Bay, Lake Huron; married Priscilla Howe,
ot Boston. 3. Eliza, married a Mr. GofF, of
Maine. 4. Phoebe, married, January i, 1797,
Captain William Cunningham, of Boston. 5.
Ann (or Hannah), married a Mr. Mcintosh
from Maine.

(VII) Captain Theodore Bliss, son of Cap-
tain Thomas Theodore Bliss, was born March
17, 1766, died March 17, 1831. He served
tnree years as a private with Massachusetts
troops during the revolution and was present
at the surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga.
He was for many years captain of a vessel
engaged in the merchant service, sailing
from the port of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
He married, July 18, 1793, Sarah Jones, of
Bristol, who died in New York in the autumn
ot 1834. Children: i. Theodore Edward,
born at Bristol, April 26, 1794, died in New
York city, January 16, 1851; married. May
19, 1823, Elizabeth Whitney, of Derby, Con-
necticut; no issue. 2. Sarah, died young. 3.
Sarah Ann, born Jnuary 7, 1802, died Sep-
tember 10, 1872; married, April 26, 1827,
Thomas Dean, of Boston; three daughters in
1881 were living at No. 35 West Thirty-ninth
street. New York city. 4. Robert Lewis, of
whom further. 5. Rosa Elizabeth, born 1806,
died September 3, 1832; married in New
York, December 30, 1825, Samuel Butcher,
of Sheffield, England. 6. Samuel Potter, born
1808, last heard from at Evansville, Indiana,
in 1836.

(VIII) Dr. Robert Lewis Bliss, son of Cap-
tain Theodore and Sarah (Jones) Bliss, was
born in Bristol, England, October 5, 1803,
died in Florence, Alabama, April 4, 1872. He
prepared for the profession of medicine and
practiced at Florence, Alabama. He married
in Florence, March 19, 1835, Susan Collins,
born October 8, 1807, daughter of Dr. John
P. and Eliza Collins, of Cookstown, Ireland.



Children: i. Theodore, born December 29,
1835. 2. Rev. John Collins, born May 20,
1837; graduate of Western Theological Semi-
nary at Allegheny, Pennsylvania, in 1862;
pastor of the Independent Presbyterian
church at Carlisle, Pennsylvania; in 1867 ac-
cepted a call to the pastorate of the Inde-
pendent Presbyterian church of Plainfield,
New Jersey; in 1857 he instituted the Jaynes
Hall Union prayer meetings in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, that were the means of great
good; he married. May 5, 1864, Mary N.
Pechin, of Philadelphia; children: CoUins
Pechin and Edmund. 3. Sarah, born Jan-
uary I, 1839, died July 2^, 1873, unmarried.
4. Arabella Pillar, born August 13, 1840, died
February 7, 1843. 5- Robert Lewis, born
June 4, 1843 ; married, at Farmersville, Ten-
nessee, Dora M. Watkins ; children : Theo-
dore Dean, May Watkins, Susan Collins,
Fanny Watkins. 6. Thomas Pillar, born
August 13, 1845, died April 4, 1863, unmar-
ried. 7. Arthur Weir, of whom further.

(IX) Arthur Weir, son of Dr. Robert
Lewis and Susan (Collins) Bliss, was born
at Florence, Alabama, June i, 1847, died in
Atlantic City, New Jersey, August 25, 1903.
He was a very bright, intelligent boy and pre-
pared for college at home. At age of six-
teen years he entered Princeton University
beginning with last half year of the sophomore
class. He was graduated with the class two
and a half years later, having completed the
prescribed classical course. After gradua-
tion he returned south, taught at Bolivar,
Tennessee, one year, then came to Union-
town, Pennsylvania, where he engaged with
the Dunbar Furnace Company as book-
keeper at their Dunbar plant. While occu-
pying this position he became of legal age
and cast his first vote. He remained with
the Dunbar Furnace Company several years,
gradually rising to more responsible posi-
tions. Later he resigned and formed a part-
nership with George C. Marshall and the two
young men began the manufacture of fire
brick, with plant at Dunbar. They pros-
pered wonderfully, again and again enlarging
iheir plant, the development of the coke in-
dustry creating a great demand for their pro-
duct. After many successful years in busi-
ness as fire brick manufacturers, they began
the manufacture of coke; they found this
business profitable and became one of the



FAYETTE COUNTY



471



most extensive coke producing firms in Fay-
ette county. They owned large plants at
Percy, Oliphant and at many other points in
the county, all producing merchantable coke.
Mr. Bliss continued actively in business until
his death in 1903. He resided in Uniontown
at the old Judge Gilmore mansion, the child-
hood home of his wife, and one of the fine
resident locations of Uniontown. He was a
most capable and energetic man of business,
farseeing and wise in management of his
large interests. He was a Democrat in poli-
tics, and a member of the Episcopal church.
He married, January 6, 1881, Lida G. Gil-
more, born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania (see
Gilmore). Children: Adele and Florence.



Robert McLaughlin was
McLaughlin bom in the state of New
Jersey, resided in Fay-
ette county, Pennsylvania, and there founded
a family. After settling in Franklin town-
ship, Fayette county, he engaged in farming,
but spent his last days in Ohio. He was a
Democrat, and a member of the Presbyterian
church. He married Ann Barricklow, born
in New Jersey in 1800, and had issue, includ-
ing a son, Robert (2), of whom further.

(H) Robert (2), son of Robert (i) Mc-
Laughlin, was born in Fayette county, Penn-
sylvania, in 1824, died in 1900. He attended
the public schools, and afterwards learned
the stone mason's trade, an occupation he
followed many years. He was a Democrat
in politics, and a member of the Methodist
church; his wife was of the Presbyterian
faith. He married Susan Gilleland, born in
Fayette countv about 1828, died in 1882,
aged fifty-four years, daughter of William and
Mary Gilleland, both of whom died in Fay-
ette county. Children, i. Mary Ann, born
1848, died 1876. 2. Isabell, born 1849. 3-
Rebecca, 1852. 4. Mariah, born 1854, died
1857- 5- John, born 1856. 6. Elizabeth,
1859. 7. Lindley B., 1861, now of West Vir-
ginia. 8. Robert E., of whom further. 9.
Charles, born 1865, died 1867. 10. James,
born 1868, died 1889. 11. William, born 1869.
12. Emma, born 1871, died 1889.

(HI) Robert E., eighth child an'd third son
of Robert (2) and Susan (Gilleland) Mc-
Laughlin, was born in Franklin township,
Fayette county, Pennsylvania, March 30,
1863. He was reared on the home farm, at-



tended the public schools and completed his
education at Mt. Union (Ohio) College.
After leaving college he entered the employ
of James Cochran & Sons Company, con-
tinuing with them fourteen years as yard
foreman. He is a Democrat in politics, and
was elected justice of the peace of Dunbar
township in 1901 and still holds that position.
In 1905 he was elected chief burgess of the
newly created borough of Vanderbilt and
wisely guided its afifairs during his term of
office. He is a member of the following
fraternal orders: Independent Order of Odd
Fellows, Junior Order of American Mechan-
ics, Knights of the Mystic Chain, Modern
Woodmen of America, Loyal Order of
Moose, Knights of Pythias.

He married, in 1883, Frances Boyer, born
in Vanderbilt, Pennsylvania, September 26,
1869, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth (Sin-
clair) Boyer, both born in Fayette county,
and both deceased. She is a granddaughter
of George Boyer, a former farmer and tax
collector of Dunbar township. Children of
Robert E. McLaughlin: Orville Pearl, born
1884; Grover Cleveland, 1885; Bessie Emma,
1887, formerly a teacher in the Vanderbilt
schools, now teaching in Franklin township;
Elizabeth Idessa, born 1890; Eva Louisa,
1892; Mary Nevada, 1895; Helen Rhea, 1900;
Henry Etta, 1902; Frances Roberta, 1908.



This branch of the Dunn family
DUNN in Connellsville descends from

Thomas Dunn, born about 1745.
in County Down, Ireland, and his wife, Mary
Caldwell, born in Scotland. He came to
western Pennsylvania in 1772, and took a
patent from the government for four hun-
dred and sixty-four acres of land in Fayette
county, now in Franklin township. He was
a soldier of the revolution and one of the
great army of Fayette county hardy pioneers.
After settling on his land he did not wa't
to erect a dwelling, but made the family home
in a stable for a year after their arrival in
order to get in a crop. The following year
he put up his log cabin, and also a wagon
shop as he was a wheelwright by trade, con-
tinuing in business until his death in 1800.
Four years before his death he erected the
stone house which his grandson Thomas (2)
occupied. He died aged fifty-five years. His
wife, Mary (Caldwell) Dunn, born January



472



PENNSYLVANIA



20, 1746, survived him until 1824. Seven of
his twelve children were sons, and all but two
of them moved to the state of Ohio early in
life. These two, John and Samuel, worked
the old farm together for several years; then
Samuel took the western fever and, selling
his interest to John, also went to Ohio.

(II) John, son of Thomas (i) Dunn, was
born in Franklin township, Fayette county,
Pennsylvania, on the old homestead farm,
where he died October 21, 1861. He was a
farmer and a soldier of the war of 1812. He
continued on the old farm after all his bro-
thers had moved to Ohio, and ended his days
in his native township. He married (lirst) in
181 5, Mary Smith, who died June 5, 1835; she
left children: Sarah; Elizabeth; Alary Jane;
Nancy; Thomas (2), of whom further; Re-
becca; Robert, moved to Kansas; Harriet.
He married (second) Mary Oldham, who
died in 1843, and he married (third) Cath-
arine Scott, who survives him.

(III) Thomas (2), son of John Dunn, was
born in the old homestead in Franklin town-
ship, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, April 7,
1824, died 1882. He was a farmer of Fay-
ette county all his life. He was a member
of the United Presbyterian church; in early
life a Whig, later a Republican and a Prohi-
bitionist. He married, February 4, 1844,
Eleanor Scott, born near Masontown, Fay-
ette county, in 1822, died 1894, daughter of
Thomas and Catharine (Foster) Scott, who
both lived and died in Fayette county. Chil-
dren: Marion Crawford, killed at the battle
of Murfreesboro during the civil war;
Eleanor; Elspay; Mary; Major; and Robert.
The last survivor now resides at Atlantic
City. Children of Thomas (2) Dunn: John
Alexander, born 1845, "ow deceased; Agnes
R., born 1846, died igii: Thomas Scott, of
whom further; Mary Catherine, born 1849;
Samue! Watson, born 1855, deceased; Wil-
liam Caldwell, born 1857; Ann Elizabeth;
Harriet Isabel, killed in a runaway, 1879:
I'iobert C, born 1861 ; Major Elsworth, 1862;
William C; Harry Grant, 1866.

(IV) Thomas Scott, son of Thomas (2) and
Eleanor (Scott) Dunn, was born on the old
homestead farm in Franklin township, Fay-
ette county, June 7, 1848, being the third
generation born there after the settlement
by his great grandfather, Thomas (i) Dunn.
He was educated in the public schools, and



chose farming as his occupation in early life,
but soon became employed in saw milling
and lumbering, a business he has carried on
for over forty years. He also has large coal
and real estate interests. In 1909 he moved
from Franklin township, taking up his resi-
dence at 314 South Eighth street, Connells-
ville, Pennsylvania. He was a Republican in
earlier life, but since 1877 has been a third
party Prohibitionist and a leader in the party.
He has been the candidate of the Prohibi-
lioii party for every important office in the
county. This is purely a matter of principle
with him, as an election is not even among
the possibilities. He is an elder of the United
Presbyterian church, of which his father and
grandfather also were elders. He has always
been interested in Sunday school work, hav-
ing served as superintendent for many years.
He married, in 1869, Jane A. Murphy, of
Fayette county, born September 27, 1848,
daughter of Robinson and Margaret (Frazer)
Murphy, early settlers of the county. Chil-
dren of Thomas Scott Dunn: i. Clarence
Edgar, born 1869, died in infancy. 2. Olive
Beil, born 1871 ; married in 1897, Dr. J. O.
Arnold, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 3.
Thomas Bryson, born 1875, now cultivatii'c: a
farm in Franklin; married 1898, Ethel Arri-
son. 4. William Robinson, born 1877, re-
sides on homestead farm. 5. James H., born
iS8i; married Annie E. McBurney, Decem-
ber. 1906. 6. Harriet, born 1884; married
William B. Downs, of Connellsville, May,
1906.



The Stoner familv is one of

STONER the old families 'of Bedford

county, Pennsylvania, the

earliest ancestor, name unknown, coming

from Switzerland.

(H) Christian Stoner, son of the emigrant,
was a farmer of Bedford county until 1799,
when he moved to Westmoreland county,
settling in East Huntington township, where
he secured title to three hundred acres of
good land, and followed farming until his
death in 1814. Prior to his demise he di-
vided his farm among four of his sons, John,
Abraham, ^acob and Daniel. His wife, Bar-
bara Shank, came from Bedford county with
him and died in Westmoreland. Children:
John, a farmer of Westmoreland county, and
a Mennonite, married Magdalena Fox, Abra-



FAYETTE COUNTY



473



ham; Christian (2), of whom further; Jacob;
Daniel; Henry; David; Barbara, married
John Wertz; EHzabeth, married Christian
Sherrick; Anna, married John Rudabuck.

(III) Christian (2), son of Christian (i) and
Barbara (Shank) Stoner, was born in Bedford
county, October 10, 1793. When six years
old his parents moved to Westmoreland
county, settling in East Huntington township
near Scottdale, at what is known as "Stoners
Settlement." Here he grew to manhood and
resided until his marriage, when he moved to
Dunbar township, settling in 1817 on the old
StaufTer farm, which he obtained through his
wife, Annie, daughter of Christian and Agnes
(Overhault) Staufifer. Annie Stauffer was
born February 5, 1798, died October 9, 1865.
They were both Presbyterians. Children of
Christian (2) Stoner: i. Abraham, married
Margaret Mackey; settled in Illinois, going
thence to Missouri; served four years in the
confederate army; died at Eureka Springs,
Arkansas. 2. Christian S., married Mary
Shellenbarger, and moved to Illinois, where
he died; two of his sons, Caleb R. and Martin
S., served in the union army. 3. Mary, mar-
ried Abraham Galley, and resided in Franklin
township, Fayette county. 4. Sarah, mar-
ried Henry N. Friede, and lived in Bullskin
township, Fayette county, where her husband
died. 5. Agnes, twin of Sarah, married John
Dudley Collins, and lived in Dunbar town-
ship. 6. John W., married Margaret Og~
leive, and moved to Kansas about 1875; he
served in the civil war in the Sixth Regiment,
Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery; both de-
ceased, leaving a large family of grown chil-
dren. 7. Rebecca, married Joseph Ogleive
of Dunbar township, a merchant of Vander-
bilt. 8. Elizabeth, married Joseph New-
comer, and moved to Kansas, where he was
killed by a train. 9. Levi, of whom further.
10. Isaac F., married (first) August 11, 1859,
Rachel Ball, who died January 25, 1882; he
married (second) March 9, 1884, Mrs. Leah
(Sipe) Eicher, widow of Andrew Eicher, a
union soldier killed in front of Petersburg,
and daughter of Peter and Rebecca Sipe. 11.
Annie, born October 4, 1839; married John
W. Hair, and lived in Franklin township,
Fayette county. 12. Cyrus, born October 6,
1842, (lied unmarried in Dunlnr township,
aged thirty-three years.

(IV) Levi, ninth child of Christian (2) and



Annie (Staufifer) Stoner, was born in East
Dunbar township, Fayette county, Pennsyl-
vania, about 1836, died in Sistersville, West
Virginia, in 1904. He followed farming in
early life, then became a teamster. He served
two terms as constable, and spent the last
fourteen years of his life in Sistersville. He
served three years of the civil war in the
One Hundred and Forty-second Regiment,
Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and was
wounded at the battle of Gettysburg. He
was a Republican in politics, and a member of
the Methodist Episcopal church. He mar-
ried Catherine Shaw, born in Fayette county,
Pennsylvania, November 5, 1840, who sur-
vives him, a resident of Sistersville, a member
of the Baptist church. She is a daughter of
Nathan Shaw, an early resident of Connells-
ville and a riverman for many years. Chil-
dren: William; Cyrus AI., of whom further;
Charles Bell, deceased; Catherine; Nathan;
Lulu; an infant, twin of Lulu; Frederick;
Joseph, deceased.

(V) Cyrus Millard, second son of Levi and
Catherine (Shaw) Stoner, was born in Fay-
ette county, Pennsylvania, March 25, 1861.
He attended the public school of Connells-
ville until he was a lad of twelve years of age.
For a time he was connected with the Na-
tional Locomotive Works, but left there and
went to the oil fields in Butler county; re-
turning he entered the employ of the Hazel-
wood Oil Company as an apprentice to the
machinist's trade. He has been with Boyts,
Porter & Company since 1882, now thirty
years. He has been promoted several times,
and is now (1912) superintendent of the Con-
nellsville plant, a position he most capably
fills. He is a Republican in politics, and
attends the Lutheran church.

He married, August 23, 1883, Emma Daw-
son, born in Connellsville, July 25, 1864,
daughter of Robert and Nancy Dawson.
They were early Fayette county settlers of



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