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

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industry in the early days. It was commenced
by the westward bound emigrants and traders,
who coming across the Alleghenies and over
the state road, striking the river at Connells-
ville, found it a cheaper and easier means of
transporting their household goods and mer-
chandise. In the succeeding years it was pros-
ecuted as a regular business bv enternrisinf
business men of the town, the Richeys, Millers
and Whites building flat boats that carried the
pig iron stacked along the banks of the Youghi-
ogheny and floating it down to Pittsburgh and
other river points. He continued in active busi-
ness until compelled to desist by old age.

He married a INIiss Sherbondy and had sons :
John, David, Hunter, Andrew F.. colonel of a
militia regiment raised to resist invasion dur-
ing the civil war. He early settled in West
Virginia and at the opening of the civil war
purchased the Fairmont Vi>\£;iniaii. a most pro-
nounced southern paper, changed its name to
the Fainnont National and edited it as the first
and only Republican paper in this country. He
was a member of the first convention called to
divide the state of Virginia, and was so useful
and influential that at his death. November 21,
1867, it was said in the Ulieelino; Intcllii:;cnccr:
"No man in West \^irginia will be more widely
missed or made greater sacrifice for the cause
which he espoused." He married Laverna P.
Barnus and left issue.

(II) David, second son of James Richey,
was born in 1809 in Connellsville, Pennsyl-
vania. He was a mine worker and lived in Al-
legheny, Westmoreland and Fayette counties.
He was a Democrat and a Baptist. He mar-
ried Sophia Eicher, born in Westmoreland
county, Pennsylvania, daughter of John Eicher,
a farmer of that county. Children of David
Pichey: Hiram; lohn J., of whom further;
Mary, married James Latimer, of Fayette
county; Margaret Jane, married James Echard,
of Connellsville; Joseph, of near Connellsville;
Francis Marion, a carpenter of near Pennsville,
Fayette county ; James and Maria, both died in
infancy.

(III) John J., second son of David and So-
phia (Eicher) Richey, was born in Connells-




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1233379

FAYETTE COUNTY



329



ville, Pennsylvania, March 4, 1839. He was
educated in the pubHc school, and in early life
lived principally on a farm. He continued
farming as an occupation, working for others
until 1887, when he bought a farm of one hun-
dred and twenty-eight acres in Bullskin town-
ship, upon which he has since successfully con-
ducted a line of general farming. In politics
he is a Democrat and active in township af-
fairs, having served as road supervisor for
seven years and as school director. He enlist-
ed, in 1862, in Company F, i68th Regiment,
Pennsylvania Infantry, for nine months, at the
expiration of which time he was honorably dis-
charged.

He married (first) jMelvina Hutchinson,
born in Fayette county, daughter of William
Hutchinson, an old settler of the county. He
married (second) a widow, Mrs. Christina
(Rist) Sharp, died in 1900, daughter of Peter
and Sarah (Galley) Rist. Children of first
wife: I. Melvina, resides in Pittsburgh, un-
married. 2. David, a farmer of Fayette coun-
ty, married Catherine Cable. 3. Joseph, a pipe
fitter of Pittsburgh, married Carrie Dethorn.
4. Annie, married Robert Harbuck and lives in
Pittsburgh. 5. Lindley, married Iva Sanders
and lives in Fayette county. 6. Sophia Alice,
married Guy Bogardus, a Baltimore and Ohio
engineer, resides in Pittsburgh. 7. Margaret,
died in infancy. Children of second wife : 8.
Charles, married Myrtle Jouthers and lives in
Connellsville, where he is a motorman on the
street railway. 9. Frank, ^ farmer, married
Winifred Bell, deceased. 10. Ewing Porter, a
street car conductor, married Lottie Cooper and
lives in Connellsville. 11. Cora, resides at
home.



The Cunninghams of
CUNNINGHAM Fayette county descend

from James Cunning-'
ham, born in Ireland. Through intermarriage
they are connected with some of the oldest
families of the county, notably the Craft fam-
ily, early settlers at Brownsville. The Cun-
ninghams were an old and prominent family in
Ireland, holding position under both church
and state appointment.

(I) James Cunningham, great-grandfather
of the present generation, lived and died in Ire-
land. He was a landholder, married and reared
a large family, including a son William", the
founder of this branch in Fayette county.



(II) William, son of James Cunningham,
was born in Ireland, where he was educated
and grew to manhood. When a young man he
came to the United States, finally settling in
Luzerne township, where he operated a dis-
tillery and a general store with profit. He mar-
ried Mary Gallagher and had issue: i. James,
of whom further. 2. Ann, married James
Work. 3. John, married Mary Muir ; children :
William, Jane, Robert ; Eliza, died unmarried ;
Elizabeth ; all deceased except Jane.

(III) James, son of William and Mary
(Gallagher) Cunningham, was born in Lu-
zerne township, Fayette county, Pennsylvania,
July 25, 1812, died April 3, 1888. He was
educated in the public school, and on arriving
at suitable age was apprenticed to learn the
blacksmith's trade. He became a skilled work-
er in iron and steel, following his trade until
1850, when he purchased a good farm in the
township, spending his after years engaged in
its culture. While his early school advantages
were limited, he so improved himself by later
study and reading that he became an unusually
well informed man. His jienmanship was re-
markably fine, while in mechanical skill he was
unsurpassed by any smith in the county. He
was a Democrat in politics, active and influen-
tial in party councils. He was elected and
served as county commissioner, also as county
auditor ; he held several township offices ; was
for many years a member of the school board,
serving as president of the board, and for ten
years was justice of the peace. He was ever
afterward known locally as "Squire" Cunning-
ham and was the dread of the evildoers.

He married Rosanna M. ]\Iuir, born March
25, 1811, died September 8, 1885. Children:
I. Mary Jane, born November 3, 1836; mar-
ried, 1859, Isaiah Newton Craft, born at the
Craft homestead, April 21, 1837, died Decem-
ber 8, 1910, son of Daniel Craft. He attended
the old Bunker Hill school, and while still a
young man purchased a farm near Lock No. 5,
which he cultivated until his father's death,
when he returned home and managed the home
farm for the remainder of his life. Besides the
general farming and stock raising operations
which he conducted on the home place, his only
other business venture was in 1874, when he
opened a mercantile store in partnership with
Alfred Cunningham at Belle Vernon. From
1866 he was a member of the Cumberland
Presbyterian Church and was active in man-



330



PENNSYLVANIA



aging finances during the building of the Hope-
well church. For over twent}' years he was
an elder in the church and for the same length
of time was superintendent of the Sunday
school. In politics he was a Democrat and at
various times held the offices of school director,
tax collector, inspector and judge of elections.
He was an excellent type of citizen, unfalter-
ingly performing his civil duties and giving the
best of his time and efforts to his church and
Sunday school work. His influence through-
out the township was enormous and always en-
rolled on the side of the weak and defenceless
ni the cause of right. Children of Isaiah New-
ton and Mary Jane (Cunningham) Craft:
Ewing Oscar, died 1910; Harry, died aged
three years. 2. John, born September 27, 1838,
died 1910. 3. Martha A., of whom further.
4. Sarah Ann, born August 21, 1843, died Au-
gust 27, 1900. 5. Alfred, born August i, 1845,
died February 11, 1905. 6. Ann Eliza, born
]\ larch 14. 1850, lives on the old Cunningham
homestead.

(IV) Martha A., third child and second
daughter of James and Rosanna M. (Muir)
Cunningham, was born in Luzerne township,
Fayette county, Pennsylvania, April 16, 1841.
For many years she was teacher in the local
schools, but for the past fifteen years has been
directing the management of her estate, on
which she and her widowed sister reside.



The Ralstons of Connellsville
RALSTON are of Scotch ancestry and

parentage. The first of this
branch to come to the United States was Hugh
Ralston, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1822,
died 1906. He was educated and grew to man-
hood in Scotland, came to the LTnited States
in 1849, and settled in New York City. He
entered the employ of the New York Central
railroad, and for almost half a century was sec-
tion foreman on that road. He married Mar-
garet Fitzsimmons, born in County Caven, Ire-
land, 1824, died 1907, daughter of Patrick
Fitzsimmons, who came to the United States
about 1843, settling in the Province of Quebec,
Canada, purchasing a farm on which he lived
until his death. He married in Ireland and had
issue. IMargaret was about eighteen years of
age when her parents went to Canada, but did
not accompany them, remaining in New York
City with friends, and there married Hugh Ral-
ston. He was a Presbyterian ; she a Catholic.



Children: Hugh (2), now living at Bristol,
Quebec, Canada : Henry, died aged two years ;
Mary Jane, married J. M. McLean, and lives
in Toronto, Canada ; Rachel, married John Roy,
a farmer and merchant of Bristol, Canada.

(II) John White, third son of Hugh and
Margaret (Fitzsimmons) Ralston, was born at
Hudson, Columbia county. New York, October
6, 1854. He was educated in the public schools,
and while yet a boy began business life as clerk ■
in a general store in Hudson. He remained I
there in New York state until 1880, when he 1
came to Fayette county and entered the em-
ploy of the H. C. Frick Coke Company as pay
roll clerk at Broadford, soon after becoming
bookkeeper. He remained there about five
years, then was promoted chief clerk at Trot-
ter, Pennsylvania, remaining there about eight
vears. He was then transferred to Blount
Pleasant and made chief clerk of the South-
western Connellsville Coke Company, a subsid-
iarv company, remaining there eight vears. In
1901 he was in the employ of Stuart Coal Min-
ing Company, situated at Landstreet, Somer-
set county, Pennsylvania, who enlarged and
reorganized as the Somerset Coal Company, of
which Mv. Ralston was made chief clerk and
confidential bookkeeper, with residence at Som-
erset, Pennsylvania. In IQ04 J. F. IMcCor-
mick, secretary and treasurer of the Connells-
ville Machine & Car Company, died, and the
position was ofifered Mr. Ralston, who accepted
under the advice of his father-in-law, James
McGrath, president of the comroany. He took
up his residence in Connellsville the same year
and continued secretary and treasurer of the
car company until 1905, when he was appoint-
ed secretary and treasurer of the Fayette Brew-
ing Company, of which he was a stockholder.
He is now the active secretary and treasurer of
both companies. The brewing company's plant
is located at LTniontown, the car company's at
Connellsville. Both are prosperous concerns
and aflford ample scope for Mr. Ralston's abili-
ties as an executive officer, which, it mav truth-
fullv be said, are of a high order. He is a
Republican in politics, and with his familv is
a member of the Church of the Immaculate
Conception of Connellsville (Roman Catholic).
He also belongs to the Knights of Columbus,
the Catholic Mutual Benevolent Association
and the Holy Name Society.

He married, October ir, 1883, Frances
Ophelia McGrath, born in Connellsville,



FAYETTE COUNTY



331



daughter of James and Jane (Clark) McGrath.
James McGrath was born in Ireland in 1836
and in 1849 came to the United States, locating
in Bufifalo, New York, where he iearned the
trade of machinist in the shops of the Buffalo
Steam Engine Company. He next entered the
employ of the Pennsylvania railroad, and in
1859 came to Connellsville to take charge as
foreman of the Smith shops of the Pittsburgh
& Connellsville railroad. In September, 1865,
he formed a partnership with Bernard Wins-
low, and under the firm name of McGrath &
Winslow leased land on Water street, erected
shops, and began the manufacture of railroad
frogs and switches, also tools for oil wells.
This concern has passed through many changes
of name and ownership, but Mr. McGrath has
always retained principal ownership. In 1870
the business was incorporated as the Connells-
ville Machine & Car Company, with Mr. Mc-
Grath president, which position he yet holds
He is a member of the Church of the Immacu-
late Conception and a Democrat in politics. He
married, January 11, 1859, Jane Clark, born
in Ireland, daughter of Thomas and Margaret
Clark. Their children: i. Mary Margaret,
married A. B. McHugh, whom she survives, a
resident of Connellsville. 2. Fannie Ophelia,
of previous mention. 3. Eleanor Ann, married
J. T. Rush, superintendent of Hostettler Coke
Company at Whitney, Pennsylvania. 4. Ame-
lia, married Thomas Madigan, whom she sur-
vives, a resident of Connellsville. 5. Kate,
married Charles W. Pattersoa, of Connellsville.
6. Charles C, superintendent of Connellsville
Machine & Car Company ; married Anna
Ouinn. 7. John T.

Children of John White and Frances Ophelia
(McGrath) Ralston: Margaret, Eleanor,
James Hugh, John Rudolph, born 1890;
Charles Clark, 1892; Paul Henry, 1896; May
Frances, September 25, 1902.



This is a purely English fam-
HOOPER ily, the children of Thomas J.

Hooper, of Connellsville, being
the first American-born generation of this
branch. The family trace an English ancestry
back many generations, the men of the family
holding positions in the mechanical world far
above the average.

(I) Thomas Hooper, born in England, was
a man of education and superior mechanical in-
telligence. He was a mine foreman in Eng-



land until 1881, when he came to the United
States, locating in Fayette county, Pennsyl-
vania, where he was a valued employee of the
H. C. Frick Coal & Coke Company. He met
his death through injury at the Leith mine, Oc-
tober 5, 1895. Both Mr. Hooper and his wife
were members of the Established Church of
England (Episcopal). He married, in Eng-
land, Maria Richards, who died March, 1907.
Children: i. William R. 2. Thomas J., of
whom further. 3. Sidney J. 4. Anna M., mar-
ried Harry White, now of San Antonio, Texas.
5. Beatrice E., married John H. May, of
Youngwood, Pennsylvania. 6. Edith, married
Charles Harford, of Uniontown, Pennsylvania.
7. Leah, deceased, married F. H. Detwiler.

(II) Thomas J., second son of Thomas and
Maria (Richards) Hooper, was born in Lon-
don, England, February' 12. 1866. He was
educated in the Zetland public school of York-
shire and chose a mercantile life. At the age
of eighteen years he came to the United States
(1884), following his parents, who came in
i88r. He finally located in Oskaloosa, Iowa,
where for two years he was engaged in the
shoe business. He later came to Uniontown,
Pennsylvania, where he was engaged in the
same business about five years as a salesman.
He then located in Connellsville, Pennsylvania,
entering the employ of Johnston & Norris of
that city as a salesman. He continued with
that firm about ten years, when opportunity
offering he purchased the interest of Lloyd
Johnston and became junior member of the
firm of Norris & Hooper. This firm continued
in successful business until September, 1910,
when it was dissolved, Mr. Norris retiring and
W. R. Long purchasing his interest, becoming
junior member of Hooper & Long. The store
does a strictly retail business and is a well
known, thoroughly established concern, rank-
ing high in public favor. Mr. Hooper is a Re-
publican in politics and has served his city as
councilman and as school director. He is a
member of the Presbyterian church, and is the
present (1912) worshipful master of King Sol-
omon's Lodge, No. 346, Free and .A.ccepted
Masons. He is a companion of the Connells-
ville Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, and a
Knights Templar of Uniontown Commandery.
In the Scottish Rite he has attained the thirty-
second degree, belonging to Uniontown Lodge
of Perfection and Pittsburgh Consistory.

He married, January 14, 1889, Rachel E.



332



PENNSYLVANIA



Cropp, born in Dunbar township, Fayette coun-
ty, Pennsylvania, daughter of Joseph and
Sarah Cropp, of Dunbar township. Children :
I. Albert J., born October 31, 1890; educated
in public schools and business college ; now en-
gaged with his father in the shoe business. 2.
Clarence T., born July 15, 1892; a medical stu-
dent at the Jefferson Medical School, Philadel-
phia. 3. Bertha ]\I., born October 19, 1895. 4.
Robert, born July 8, 1900. 5. Sarah, born Feb-
ruary 10, 1903. 6. Ella Belle, born August 28,
1905, died March 31, 1909.



This name, spelled by the emi-
RHODES grant both Roads and Roades,
is found also as Rhodes and
Rhoades. The founder of the Rhoads family
of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania was John,
who signed his will Roades. He was born in
county Darby, England, about 1639. The fam-
ily in that county is an ancient one and is said
by Burke to have descended from Gerard de
Rodes, of Horn Castle, county Lincoln, in the
time of Henry H. The settlement of Penn-
sylvania created wide interest among the
Friends in Darby, and as a result many
emigrated to the land of Penn. Among
these was John (2) Roades, son of John
( I ) Roades. Two years later Adam, an-
other son, oame to Pennsylvania. The com-
ing of these boys influenced the father to
dispose of his English estate and join them.
He came about 1696 and purchased land on
High (now Market street), Philadelphia,
where he is first found officially in i6g8. In
1700 he sold his Philadelphia property and
moved to Darby, where he bought a farm, and
died in 1701. His will, signed "John Roades,"
made October 20, 1701, proved October 22 of
the following month, mentions sons Jacob,
John, Adam, Joseph, and daughters Mary and
Elizabeth. Joseph, the youngest son, received
his Chester county farm. The name is spelled
in the body of the will "Roads." No wife is
named, she no doubt having preceded him to
the grave. Her name was Elizabeth. Their
nine children, all born in England, are in order
of birth: Adam, Mary, John (2), Elizabeth,
Jacob, Abraham, Sarah, Hannah and Joseph.
The four sons all married and founded fam-
ilies whose descendants are found in many
counties of Pennsylvania.

(I) The family in Councils ville was founded



there by Henry Rhodes, of Germantown, Penn-
sylvania, a descendant of John Roades, the
founder. The coming to Fayette county of
Henry Rhodes was in 1800, when his daughter
Mary married Joseph Smith, who came to in-
vestigate a land purchase made by his father,
John Smith, of Germantown. The history of
this purchase is interesting : Colonel Hayes, a
revolutionary officer, owned, at Barren Run,
near Smithtown in Rostraver township, West-
moreland county, Pennsyhania, a tract of
about twenty-two hundred acres. There he built
a log house, the first in the locality. Later he
sold his holdings to one Shields, who in turn
sold the tract to one Backhouse. The latter
died before payment was made and Shields,
being in need of money, advertised it for sale
at Greensburg, the county seat; there being no
bidders, he obtained authority from the court
to ofifer it for sale in Philadelphia, where it
was sold in 1798 to John Smith. In 1800
John Smith sent his son Joseph out to investi-
gate his purchase. The latter, before starting
on this long trip, married ]\Iary Rhodes and to-
gether they came to Western Pennsylvania and
founded the family later so numerous in and
around Smithtown. This brings the narrative
to the coming of Henry Rhodes, then a resident
of Germantown. He accompanied his daugh-
ter and son-in-law on their western journey in
1800, no doubt taking his own family along, or
bringing them soon after. He lived in the old
log house built by Colonel Hayes and later
bought a farm, on part of which Smithtown
now stands. He had nine children : John, Mi-
chael, Peter, Henry, all of whom founded fam-
ilies, and five daughters, who married : Joseph
Smith, Peter Sowash, Jacob Fullmer, Solomon
Hough and Michael Warner. Henry Rhodes.
Jr., bought land along the river known as the
"Heltervan tract," part of which he sold to his
brother John.

(in John, son of Henry Rhodes, purchased
a part of the "Heltervan tract" from his broth-
er Henry, married, and there reared a family
consisting of Betsey, Samuel, Abraham, Henry
John and Joseph.

(III) Joseph, son of John Rhodes, a farmer
of Westmoreland county, became a wealthy
and leading man in his community. He mar-
ried and left issue, including Joseph.

(IV) Joseph (2), son of Joseph (i) Rhodes,
(this name is also spelled in Westmoreland
county, Rhoades) was born at Smithtown (now



FAYETTE COUNTY



333



in South Huntington township, Westmoreland
county). He was a farmer and distiller; jus-
tice of the peace and a member of the Univer-
salist church. He served three year§ in the civil
war in Company B, 77th Regiment, Pennsyl-
vania X'olunteer Infantry, receiving honorable
discharge at Nashville, Tennessee, June 22,
1865. He married Susanna Rowe, now de-
ceased. They had nine children, one being
Henry.

(V) Henry (2), son of Joseph (2) Rhodes,
was born June 9, 1866. He was educated in
the public schools, and began business life as
manager of the store operated by the Youghio-
gheny River Coal Company. He later formed
a partnership with Irwin Smith, and until 1900
tliev operated a general store at Blythedale.
In that year they sold out to the Pittsburgh
Coal Company, and ]\Ir. Rhodes settled in Con-
nellsville with his family. He purchased the
general store of I. C. Smutz and continued in
business until 1910. He then engaged in real
estate and insurance, until April, 1912, when
he embarked in the grocery business. He is
an active Democrat and was school director of
X'ew Haven borough before consolidation. He
is prominent in the Masonic order, being a past
master and holding the thirty-second degree
of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite ; in re-
ligious faith a Alethodist. He married IMollie,
daughter of John Branthoover, for m,any years
foreman, later superintendent of a coal com-
pany in Indiana county, Pennsylvania. His
first wife died young, leaving a daughter INIol-
lie, aforementioned, born in Indiana county,
December 28, 1867, who is still living and. like
her husband, a devoted Methodist. Children
of Henry and Mollie Rhodes : Roy Otis, of
whom further ; Freda, Joseph, Gertrude, Mar-
guerite.

(VI) Roy Otis, eldest son of Henry (2)
Rhodes, was born at Smithtown, Pennsylvania,
April 20, 1887. He was educated in the public
school of Blythedale, and began business life
as a clerk in his father's store, continuing until
he was nineteen years of age. He then spent
two years at Valparaiso University (Indiana),
after which he returned to the store. He ac-
quired a knowledge of stenography and for six
months held a position at Dunbar as stenog-
rapher. On i\Iay 5. 191 1, he opened a gentle-
men's furnishing store at No. 809 West Main
.street, Connellsville, where he is still located in
successful business. He is a Democrat and in



November, 191 1, was the candidate of his party
for city auditor, failing of election by but two
votes. He is a member of the Methodist Epis-
copal church, and one of the popular rising
young business men of Connellsville.



The Thompsons of Union-
THOMPSON town, Pennsylvania, herein
recorded, have an ancestry
traced to many lands, paternally of Scotch-
Irish blood, and maternally of German and
Holland Dutch, the Markles coming from Al-
sace and Amsterdam. In this country the
Alarkles settled in Berks county, Pennsylvania,,
the Thompsons coming in from the South, re-
siding for a time in Westmoreland county,
Pennsylvania, then going to the "dark and
bloody" battle grounds of Kentucky.

The founder of the family in Westmoreland
county, Pennsylvania, William Thompson,
great-grandfather of Josiah V. Thompson,
came to Mount Pleasant from the Cumberland
Valley of Pennsylvania, from the Big Spring
Presbyterian Church congregation near Cham-
bersburg, Pennsylvania. He served through-
out the revolutionary war from beginning to
end, serving in the battles of the Brandywine
and Germantown in 1776, and those of Tren-
ton and Princeton in 1777, and also at York-
town, where Cornwallis surrendered. He mar-



Online LibraryJohn Woolf JordanGenealogical and personal history of Fayette county, Pennsylvania (Volume 2) → online text (page 5 of 57)