John Woolf Jordan.

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

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Junction. After some time in their employ
he came to Connellsville, Pennsylvania,
where he managed the Philo Norton farm,
located east of Connellsville, where he re-
mained for some years, afterward removing
to Uniontown, Pennsylvania, entering the
commissioner's office as clerk. In 1874 he
came to Connellsville again, entering into the
public life of the place. Being an intensely
public-spirited man and always interested in
the betterment of whatever place was his
home he immediately became prominently
identified with the political life of Connells-
ville. He served as borough treasurer for a
period of nearly twelve years, and was also
secretary of the board of education for thir-
teen consecutive years. As a member of the
board of education he bore a material part
in the origination of the first graduating class
of the Connellsville public schools, which at
that time had no high school, and helped to
lay the foundation for the building of the
present efficient public schools of Connells-

During the civil war he was active in the
recruiting of troops and delivering them to
the nearest railroad station for transportation
to military headquarters. Owing to an acci-
dent occurnng in early youth which crippled
his left arm and also his eye, he was prevented
from entering the service. He; was a Demo-
crat in politics and always an active worker
for the interests of the party. He was a mem-
ber of the Christian church (Disciples of
Christ), being the treasurer for a number of
years. Mr. jSjorton died February 24, 1896.

In June, 1871, Mr. Norton married Dorcas
French, of Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Henry
Clay, named after his uncle, who was a vet-
eran of the Mexican war, the only child, was
born at Uniontown, Pennsylvania, July 6,
1872, where he lived until he was two years
of age, when his parents moved to Connells-
ville, Pennsylvania, where he was educated
and grew to manhood. Immediately after his
graduation from the public schools he entered
che First National Bank of Connellsville as
clerk, and after serving in that position for
some years was advanced to teller, and in 1908
was made assistant cashier. In 1909 he served
as a member of the board of education, resign-
ing when he was appointed to fill the unex-



pired term of tax collector. He is a member
of the Christian church and of the Grand Fra-
ternity. On June 20, 1906, he married Mabel,
daughter of Kell and Elizabeth (Curry) Long,
of the West Side, Connellsville, Pennsylvania.

The Pioyds of Connellsville, Penn-
BOYU sylvimia, descended from William
Bt)yd, of Scotch forbears who
came from Wmchester, Virginia, in 1784,
making the journey on packhorses with sev-
eral slaves, and six negro children were reg-
istered as being born of these slaves between
tne years 1795 and 1809, viz.: Andrew, Millie,
Ben, Pussie, Samuel and Alexander.

(i) William Boyd selected land on Mount's
creek, Bullskin township, that was surveyed
to him as Springhill, in June. 1786. He did
not bring liis family on his first coming, but
after making location started for Virginia to
brmg them to the new home-in Fayette coun-
ty. He was taken ill, however, and having no
way of getting word to his wife, was greatly
worried. In the meantime she, having be-
come uneasy at his long absence, mounted
with her two children and started westward;
very fortunately they met upon the road, and
all returned to Fayette county. He was a man
of considerable education, and from 1792
served for many years as justice of the peace.
His farm of three hundred and fifty acres was
well selected and fertile, and there he died
and was buried in 1812. He married and had
sons: I. Thomas, of whoni) further. 2. John,
died at Connellsville, in 1857. 3. Robert, one
time associate judge of Fayette county and
grandfather of Albert Darlington Boyd, the
celebrated lawyer of Uniontown. 4. James,
died in Tyrone township. 5. William, moved
to Ohio. 6. Jeremiah, became a physician, and
after living in Louisiana for several years
moved to Washington. The only daughter of
William Boyd married (first) Joseph Barnett,
of Connellsville, (second) Stewart H. White-

(II) Thomas, eldest son of William Boyd,
was born in the Shenandoah valley of Vir-
ginia, near Winchester, died in Fayette coun-
ty, Pennsylvania, 1856. He inherited the
Bullskin township homestead, and there also
conducted a distillery. He was a very popu-
lar man in his community, and was considered
a wealthy man. Both Thomas and wife were
Unitarians in religious faith. He married

Nancy Rice, of P"ayette county. Children: i.
Eliza, never married. 2. William, of whom
elsewhere. 3. John, moved to Illinois, where
he died. 4. Rice, the last survivor. 5. Thomas,
never married. 6. Randolph. 7. Ann, mar-
ried George Blocker, who died in 1849; chil-
dren: Clark and Eliza. 8. Richard, of whom

{Ill) Richard, youngest child of Thomas
and Nancy (Rice) Boyd, was born Septem-
ber 8, 1829, in Bullskin township, Fayette
county, Pennsylvania, died March 2y, 1899.
He was a farmer, and owned a fertile field of
three hundred and- fifty acres, part of it the
old Springhill farm of his grandfather William
and father Thomas Boyd. He was a Republi-
can in politics, but never sought public office,
and was a member of the Christian church.
He married Maria Strickler, who survives
him, a resident of Scottdale, Pennsylvania.
She is the daughter of Stewart Strickler, a
pioneer coke burner and large land owner at
Jimtown, Fayette county. Later he moved
to Tennessee with three of his daughters. He
married Mary Newcomer. One of their sons
was a soldier in the civil war. and while in
Tennessee saw so much that pleased him that
after the war he settled there and persuaded
ills father to also become a resident of Ten-

Stewart Strickler, only son of Jacob Strick-
ler, a farmer of Fayette county, was born at
New Salem, near Uniontown, February 17,
1812, and received a common school educa-
tion. When he w-as sixteen years old his
mother died, and his father breaking up house-
keeping, Stewart and his eight sisters, all
younger than himself, were scattered among
their relatives. In the spring of 1830 Stewart
hired out to John Smiley, a farmer, at six
dollars per month, and stayed with him till
Christmas, after which he began peddling
chickens and eggs, which he carried down
along the Youghiogheny river in a very sim-
ply constructed boat made by himself of
boards, giving away the boat when he had sold
his merchandise, and walking back, making
such a trip every few weeks during the year

1 83 1. Early in 1832 he began working about
for different persons at making rails and
washing sand, which was taken to Pittsburgh
to the glass makers. In the latter part of

1832, Jacob Strickler got his children together
again, Stewart, with the rest, joining him on



the old place known as the Jimtown farm,
where Stewart remained till 1835, when he
married Mary Xewcomer, of Tyrone town-
ship, and bought a piece of land.from his fa-
ther at Jimtown, built thereon a house and
barn, and conunenced farming-. In 1837 the
great financial panic came and found Stewart
badly in debt for his farm. He said "times
were then so hard that I had to pay fifty
cents in 'shin-plasters' to see a quarter in sil-
ver. " He struggled on till 1840, when times
began to improve, but farming being poor
business, he found it necessary to exercise his
ingenuity and began to conjure up ways to
enable him to pull through and get out of
debt. At an early day there had been an iron
furnace at the mouth of Jacob's creek known
as Turnbull Furnace, but then long aban-
doned and in ruin. Near it was a huge pile of
cinders v^ontaming a great amount of iron un-
extracted from the ore. Mr. Strickler con-
ceived the notion of taking the cmders to iron
works in Pittsburgh, bought it for fiftV; cents
a ton, built a large flatboat on which he car-
ried the cinders to the city, and there sold it
for four dollars and a half a ton, and after-
ward sold his boat, making something on it.
This enterprise stimulated him to greater ef-
fort, and early in 1842 he bought ten acres
of coal land on the Youghiogheny river at
the point now called Sterling Coal Works,
built six ovens and began making coke, which
he shipped by f^atboats to Cincinnati, Ohio.
He carried on this business successfully for
several years. At the same time there were
others engaged in the business, but they were
not successful and became discouraged and
gave it up. About 1855 Mr. Strickler bought
eighty acres 01 coal land, known as the John
Taylor farm, and began improving it with the
intent to carry on the coal business as before,
but on a larger scale. In 1857 the Pittsburgh
& Connellsville railroad was completed, and
Mr. Strickler put into operation on his farm
eighty coke ovens. At this time he built a
sidetrack from his works to the main line of
the railroad for the purpose of shipping coke
and coal to the Graff Bennett Company of
Pittsburgh, keeping their furnace going from
i860 to 1864 with two thousand bushels per
day. He then sold a third interest in his busi-
ness to the above named firm for $35,000, a
few months afterward selling the balance to
Shoenberger & Company for $45,000. Some-

where between 1835 and 1840, Mr. Strickler
bought all of his father's old farm, paving $30
per acre. In the spring of 1864 he sold it to
J. K. Ewing for $200 per acre, the latter
afterward selling it for over $400 an acre. In
1867 he removed with a portion of his family
to middle Tennessee, near the Cumberland

Children of Stewart Strickler: Caroline,
married Alexander Hill, and died in 1879;
Maria, married Richard Boyd (of previous
mention); Lyman and I>empsey, both lived
upon the John Smiley farm upon which their
father worked in 1830: Martha, married Bow-
man Herbert; Harriet, married David Ram-
sey, of Tennessee; Kate, married Dr. James
Thompson, of Tennessee; Dessie F., married
Joseph G. Wilkinson, then of Tennessee, now
of Texas ; other children : Emily Hardy,
George and Norman, died young. Mr.
Strickler died aged over seventy years, and
notwithstanding his serious labors in life and
many dangers encountered, from some of
which he barely escaped with his life, he kept
his health and full possession of intellectual
vigor until the last. He was respected by his
wide circle of acquaintances as a man of
strict integrity and of nobility of heart. Not
only could he look back upon a life well
spent, triumphant over early and great diffi-
culties, but he was also entitled to enjoy the
reflection that through his excellent judgment,
advice and influence not a few persons in the
region where he spent his most active years
also were successful, enjoying many of them,
the blessings of wealth.

Children of Richard and Maria (Strickler)
Boyd: i. Charles S., of Dawson, Pennsyl-
vania. 2. Edgar L., of whom further. 3.
Marv Lou, married Robert McCoy, and died
in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 4. Herbert,
superintendent of Adelaide plant of H. C.
Frick Coke Company. 5. Benton, now resid-
ing in Uniontovvn. 6. George, deceased.

(IV) Edgar L., second son of Richard and
Maria (Strickler) Boyd, was born in Bullskin
township. Favette county. Pennsylvania. Oc-
tob?r 8, 1863.' He was educated in the public
schools and at Mount Pleasant Academy. He
became a farmer, and after working the home
farm two years bought a farm of eighty acres
in Connellsville township, where he yet re-
sides. For many years he followed dairy
farming, but now is"conducting regular farm-



mg operations. He is a Republican, but very
independent in political action. He has served
in several township offices, and is a member of
the Methodist Episcopal church, his wife also
being a communicant. He married, March
lo, 1886, Molly E. Chalfant, born May i, 1861,
near Johnstown, Pennsylvania, daughter of
Dr. William B. and Ellen (Fowler) Chalfant.

The Chalfants are of English descent, early
settlers in Pennsylvania, said to have arrived
with William Penn. WilHam B., a grandson
of Chads Chalfant, is said to have been the
tirgt Freemason to cross the mountains and
settle in Fayette county. He settled at
Brownsville, and was a charter member of the
first Masonic lodge established there. He
married Margaret McManimee. Children:
Abner, Mordecai, Basil, James, Robert, Wal-
ter (of whom further), and Elizabeth. Chads
Chalfnnt was a wheelwright by trade and a
circuit riding Methodist preacher. He also
conducted a farm. Walter Chalfant was born
m Brownsville, Pennsylvania, May 8, 1794.
He became a farmer and owned the home-
stead farm. He mnrried a Quakeress, Mary
Brown, and had issue: Eliza, Chads (2);
Samuel B., a physician: James, a farmer, died
1891 ; Fletcher, a soldier of the civil war;
Henry, a physician; Margaret, married Frank
Wright, of (jreene county; Charles B., a phys-
ician, died 1862; William B., of whom fur-
ther; Dimcan, a veteran of the civil war, died
in Nebraska; Ann, married Jackson Mulhol-
land. This was a long lived family, their
average at death being sixty-seven years.

Dr. William B. Chalfant, son of Walter
Chalfant, died December 19, 1909. He mar-
ried, June 28, i860, Ellen Fowler, who died
March 23, 1896. Children: Molly E. (of
previous mention) ; Anna Belle, now living in
Scottdale, Pennsylvania: Ora, died in infancy;
Dr. John Fowler, died aged twenty-seven
years, leaving children Edna and Beulah;
Carl R., died in infancy: Ethel, married
Homer Herbert, of Seattle, Washington, now
deceased; Vivian, resides in Seattle, with her
sister Ethel. Ellen Fowler, wife of Dr. W^il-
liam B. Chalfant, was a daughter of John and
a granddaughter of George Fowler, a revolu-
tionary soldier, and a farmer of Bradford
county, Pennsylvania. He married Sarah
Woods. John Fowler came from Bedford to
Ligonier, Westmoreland county, Pennsyl-
vania, where he followed his trade of shoe-

maker. He married Elizabeth Mickey,

daughter of and Margaret (Spee'r)

Mickey, both born in Ireland. John and
Elizabeth Fowler both died on their farm,
which he bought after giving up his trade of
shoemaker. Their children: Margaret, died
in infancy; George, a shoemaker, died in Kan-
sas; James, a farmer, died in Crabtree, Penn-
sylvania; Sarah, married Samuel Payne; Mar-
garet, married Dr. Morrison, and died in
Kansas; Ellen (of previous mention), wife of
Dr. William B. Chalfant; Alexander, a black-
smith, died in Kansas; M'ary, married J. R.
Wadsworth and lives in Michigan ; John, died

Children of Edgar L. and Molly E. (Qial-
fant) Boyd: i. Earl Richard, born Decem-
ber 22, 1886, died March 18, 1894. 2. Carroll,
born March 19, 1889; married Jennie Youth-
ers, March 10, 1912. 3. Ellen, born Novem-
ber 6, 1891. 4. PauHne, May 31, 1894. 5.
Anna Mary, August 20, 1899.

(Ill) William Boyd, eldest son of
BOYD Thomas Boyd (q. v.), and Nancy

(Rice) Boyd, and grandson of
William Boyd, the first settler, was born at
the old Boyd homestead. Spring Hill, in Bull-
skin township, Fayette county, Pennsylvania,
about the year 1800. He became a wealthy
farmer and lumberman, owning several farms
and a saw mill. He ran the latter partly as a
custom mill, sawing lumber for the neighbor-
hood and doing a large business. He mar-
ried (first) Kell, (second) Lydia Ober.

Children of first wife: James L., of whom
further; Robert, a farmer of Fayette county,
deceased ; Catherine, died unmarried. Chil-
dren of second wife: Frank, deceased;
Hiram, now living near Erie, Ohio; Eliza-
beth, married Frank Robbins.

(IV) James L., eldest son of William Boyd
and his first wife, was born in Bullskin town-
ship, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, died June
26, 1900. He was educated in the public
school and grew to m-^nhood at the home
farm. He was engaged a great part of his
time on the public works in the county, also
owning and cultivating a small farm. Dur-
ing his latter life he operated this as a truck
and vegetable farm. He was a Republican in
politics, and a member of the Baptist church.
He married (first) Eliza Myers, born in West-
moreland county, Pennsylvania, died Novem-


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