Armstrong County History

Armstrong County History

Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia of Indiana and Armstrong Counties, Pennsylvania.

Published by John M. Gresham & Co.

Managed by Samuel T. Wiley, Historian and Editor.

Nos. 1218 and 1220 N. Filbert Street, Philadelphia

1891

Biographies of Armstrong County.


KITTANNING.

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Historical and Descriptive.---Kittanning is one of the most important centres of trade and industry in the Allegheny Valley, as well as being one of the most attractive towns of western Pennsylvania.  Around its site and name cling romantic memories of Indian and Revolutionary times.

Kittanning is a word of Indian origin derived from Kithanne, signifying the main stream, and according to the Moravian missionary Heckewelder, Kittanning is corrupted from Kithannick, which comes from Kithanne.  Kittanning was the metropolis of the Allegheny Valley when it was under Indian rule.  When the French and Indian war broke out it became one of the principal points from which the French and Indians sent out war parties to harass the white settlers of the Cumberland and Juniata valleys.

Kittanning was a triple town of the Delawares, as their wigwams and cabins were divided into the upper, lower and middle villages.  In 1756, Armstrong burned it and its site lay waste until a fort was erected by the whites for the protection of the frontier.  In 1791, James Claypoole built a cabin at what is now the northwest corner of Arch and Water streets, but becoming afraid of Indians abandoned his clearing and went to Pittsburgh.  Robert Brown, Patrick Dougherty and Andrew Hunter were the first permanent settlers of Kittanning.  The town was laid out in 1803, by Judge George Ross, was incorporated in 1821.

In 1804, Samuel Massey located at Kittanning to practice law, and Joseph Miller, James McClurg and David Reynolds had opened stores, while David Crawford had a blacksmith shop, and Michael Mechling and David Reynolds were conducting taverns.  The post-office was established in 1807, with Joseph Miller as postmaster, and a glance at the list of taxables of the town for that year, which is given in the list of early settlers of Armstrong county will show the different kinds of business which were then carried on in the town.  In 1820 there were over fifty houses, and ten years later the place contained ninety dwellings and ten stores, and at the present time has a population of over 3,000 inhabitants.

The town of Kittanning was laid out and surveyed by Judge George Ross in 1803 and was divided into 248 in-lots and twenty-seven out-lots.  Kittanning was incorporated as a borough by Act of Assembly, April 2, 1821, and its original boundaries were extended May 4, 1844, March 20, 1849, April 2, 1850, and March 31, 1860.  The original streets were Water, Jefferson, McKean and Back (changed in 1868 to Grant), which were intersected by High, Vine, Arch, Market, Jacob, Mulberry and Walnut streets.

On August 27, 1826, a fire company was formed and a fire-engine was purchased which answered until 1854, when the burning of Pinney's carriage factory aroused the citizens to the necessity of securing a larger engine.  The new engine cost $2500, but was not adequate for the suppression of large fires, and in 1871 the borough contracted with the Kittanning Waterworks company to put twenty-three fire-plugs down in their water pipes in the borough for $2800.  This arrangement has enabled the citizens to cope successfully with fires ever since.

The Kittanning Temperance society was organized August 18, 1830, and existed until 1854. The Masonic Lodge, No. 244, was constituted March 12, 1850;  Odd Fellows' Lodge 340, March 31, 1849; and K . of P. Lodge, No. 296, May 10, 1871.  The independent military organizations have been the Armstrong Guards, Independent Blues, Washington Blues, Armstrong Rifles, German Yagers and Brady Alpines.

Hand-wrought nails were made by John Miller in 1812 and the first foundry was started in 1843.  In 1805 Abraham Parkinson built a hand-mill, which answered for grinding until water-power mills were erected.  Arnold's steam grist-mill was built in 1834.

The chain ferry established in 1834 was succeeded in 1856 by a wooden bridge, which was blown down on May 12th of the latter year.  A second wooden bridge was immediately built and lasted until 1874, when it was replaced by the present handsome iron bridge which spans the river and cost $60,000.  The first steamboat which arrived at Kittanning was the "Albion", commanded by Capt. Pursall.  It came on April 11, 1827 and on February 20, 1828, the Pittsburgh and Wheeling packet arrived.  On June 18, 1835, fifty delegates from seven counties of the Allegheny Valley met at Kittanning as an improvement convention, but failed in organizing a company to improve the Allegheny river.  The Allegheny Valley railroad was opened for business to Kittanning on January 29, 1856.  On October 10, 1871, a meeting was held to raise money for the sufferers of the great Chicago fire and nearly $1500 was secured and forwarded.  In March, 1837, and in March, 1875, terrific ice gorges occurred on the river and for a short time each of them threatened to sweep the town away.  The highest water flood was on March 17, 1865.

Between eleven and twelve o'clock Sunday night March 9,  1828, Kittanning experienced a lively earthquake shock which lasted about two minutes.

From 1806 to 1822 the Presbyterian congregation was supplied by Rev. Joseph Henderson and other minsters.  August 31, 1822, the Kittanning Presbyterian church was organized with twenty-one members.  The Lutheran church was organized in 1820 and the Methodist Episcopal church about the same time.  In 1824 St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal church was organized.  The United Presbyterian church was organized Sept., 1845; the Associate Reformed church, March 23, 1850; St. Mary's Catholic church about 1851-53; the First Christian church (Campbellite) 1853; and the Reformed (St. Luke's) church, August 30, 1869.

Adam Elliott in 1805 opened the first school ever taught in town.  The subscription schools were succeeded by the free schools and the borough to-day has a very fine school building and a well graded public school.  Its academies and colleges have been noticed in the educational history of the county.

The first court-house was built about 1809 on the southeast corner of Market and Jefferson streets and was a two-story brick structure which cost $7,859.19.  In 1852 its successor, a two-story brick building, was erected at the head of the easterly extension of Market street, and was destroyed by fire on the 10th of March, 1858.

"The third and present court-house was erected by Hulings & Dickey, on the site of the burned one, in 1858-60, at a cost of about thirty-two thousand dollars.  It is a substantial building, partly of brick and partly of stone, of the Corinthian order of Architecture.  Its sides front nearly west and east.  There is an elegant portico on  its west front, with stone columns, and capitals, and all parts of that order, the whole resting on an arcade of cut stone.  The dimensions of this edifice are 105 feet by 65 feet.  A beautiful cupola or dome, highly ornamented, crowns the centre, with a large bell therein suspended.  The first story, which is reached from the western side by a flight of stone steps of the same length as the portico, is divided into a cross hall, with a floor laid with English Variegated tile, grand-jury and witness rooms, the commissioner's, prothonotary's, register and recorder's, sheriff's and county treasurer's offices, three of which offices are substantially fire-proof.  The court-room is in the second story."

In 1805 a good two-story stone jail was erected on a lot near the Methodist Episcopal church.  In 1853 a new two-story stone jail was erected, to which was attached a two-story brick structure for the jailer's residence.

"The jail and sheriff's house are built together, the entire length being one hundred and fourteen feet by fifty feet in width.  The jail is two stories in height, contains twenty-four cells, each 8x14, thirteen feet in height, hall 18x68.  A cast-iron balustrade, three feet in width, projects from the second tier of cells and extends entirely around the hall.  The sheriff's house contains nine rooms, including dining-room and kitchen; the jail doors are four inches thick, made of oak with boiler-iron between, firmly bolted together; the windows are protected by one and one-half inches round iron.  The foundations --- seven feet in width --- are sunk to the solid rock, twenty-four feet below the surface.  The entire structure, including cornice, window-caps and tower, are of fine-cut stone from the Catfish quarry, in Clarion county.

"The sheriff's house is furnished with all the latest modern improvements --- bath-rooms on both floors, gas and hot and cold water throughout the building.  The cupola rises one hundred and eight feet from the ground.  James McCullough, Jr., of Kittanning, was the architect, and superintended the erection of the building.  It was erected in 1870-73, at a cost of $268,000.  From its cost and color it has been euphoniously dubbed the 'White Elephant.'"

The press of Kittanning is progressive and ever watchful of the interests of the county.   Its pioneer was The Western Eagle, established on September 20, 1810, by Capt. James Alexander.  The next paper was the Columbian and Advertiser, which was founded in 1819 by Frederick and George Rohrer, and was merged with the Kittanning Gazette, a sheet that was established in 1825 by Josiah Copley and John Croll.  The Gazette was successively known as the Democratic Press (1841) and Kittanning Free Press, and in 1864 became the present Union Free Press.  In 1830 Judge Buffington founded the Armstrong Advertiser and Anti-Masonic Free Press, which passed out of existence three years later.  The Armstrong Democrat was established  June 4, 1834, and is now the Armstrong Republican.  The Mentor was founded in 1862, and two years later became the present Democratic Sentinel.  The Centennial was started in 1874, while the Valley Times was transferred from Freeport to Kittanning, May 6, 1876.

Some of the citizens of Kittanning served in the war of 1812, while many soldiers of the late war went from the borough.  The Kittanning Insurance company was organized in 1853, the Kittanning Gas company was incorporated in 1858 and the Kittanning Water company was chartered in 1866.  The Kittanning Cemetery company was chartered February 18, 1853, and in 1858 purchased the ground of the present Kittanning cemetery, which contains over fifteen acres adjoining the borough, and is tastefully laid out into avenues and lots.

"The Kittanning mineral spring is situated at the base of the hill, near the court-house.  Issuing from the shales directly above the Buhrstone ore, the water contains such ingredients as would be liberated by chemical reaction, either from the Buhrstone stratum or from the ore masses contained in the shale.  Lime is its principal ingredient, both as bicarbonate and sulphate; and containing also some magnesia, the water is said to act in medicine as an alterative.  Its iron gives to it a mild tonic effect.  The physicians of the town highly indorse the spring, and by some of the residents, who speak from actual experience of its properties, it is rated no less high.  Prof. Genth, of the University of Pennsylvania, analyzed a sample of the water which had been sent to him for that purpose, by Mr. R. W. Smith, with the following results:  One gallon of 231 cubic inches:  "Sulphate of alumina, 1.52753; sulphate of ferrous oxide, 24.49271; sulphate of magnesia, 26.84937; sulphate of lime, 65.12190; sulphate of soda, 8.72585; sulphate of potash, 0.90762; phosphate of lime, 0.11036; bicarbonate of lime, 16.05445; bicarbonate of manganese, 0.24629; chloride of sodium, 0.64741; and silicic acid, 1.17201; total, 145.85550."

Kittanning is forty-four miles from Pittsburgh, and its chief industry is the iron trade.  The hills surrounding are full of coal and iron ore, and its blast furnaces use for power natural gas, which is supplied by strong wells.  The iron ore mines employ 700 men, while it requires 300 to run the furnaces.  The Wick China ware works employ a strong force of hands and ship their ware to different parts of the United States.  The town besides these industries has two planing-mills, two fire-clay works, two brick yards and two flouring-mills.  It is lighted with gas, has three banks, four hotels, an opera house and a fine union school building.


BIOGRAPHICAL.

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"GEN. ROBERT ORR.   The late Judge Robert Orr was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania (probably in Hannastown), upon March 5, 1786.  His father, whose name descended to the subject of our sketch, had been one of the defenders of the Pennsylvania frontier, had enjoyed some official distinction in Westmoreland county, and was one of the earliest pioneers of Armstrong county west of the Allegheny.  His mother's maiden-name was Fannie Culbertson.  Coming with his parents to what was then almost the verge of the inhabited portion of the country while still a minor, Robert Orr entered upon his manhood as a pioneer, and had considerable experience in that rugged condition of life for which the strong alone were fitted.  His boyhood had been passed in a region which afforded educational and other opportunities scarcely in advance of those he found in sparsely-settled Armstrong county.  The young man resided with his parents in Sugar Creek township for a few years, and in 1805, when the county was organized for judicial purposes, came to Kittanning to serve as deputy for his brother John, who was the first sheriff of the county.  Subsequently he studied and followed surveying,  and in still later years was appointed deputy district surveyor.

"Gen. Orr inherited from his father the strongest spirit of patriotism and a fondness for military pursuits.  When the war of 1812 broke out he was very naturally found among the defenders of our country, and rendered valuable services.  History states that the second brigade of the army rendezvoused at Pittsburgh on October 2, 1812, --- where the subject of this sketch was elected major, --- and left that place the same fall under command of Gen. Crooks to join the northwestern army under Gen. Harrison, on the Miami river, where Fort Meigs was afterward built.  At Upper Sandusky they were joined by a brigade of militia from Virginia.  From that place Maj. Orr, by the direction of the general, took charge of the artillery, munitions, stores, etc., and set off with about three hundred men to headquarters of Gen. Harrison.  While on the march he was met by an express from Harrison, bringing information of the defeat of Gen. Winchester on the River Raisin, and requesting him to bring on his force as rapidly as possible.  After consolidation with the balance of the army from Upper Sandusky, they proceeded to the rapids of the Miami (Maumee), where they remained until the six-months term of duty of the Pennsylvania and Virginia militia had expired.  Gen. Harrison then appealed for volunteers to remain fifteen days longer, until he should receive reinforcements from Kentucky.  Maj. Orr and about two hundred other Pennsylvanians did volunteer and remained until they were discharged, after the battle of Fort Meigs, upon April 19, 1813.

"It was not long after Gen. Orr's return from Fort Meigs that he received his first honor in civil life.  He was elected to the legislature in 1817.  He served two terms in that body and was then (1821) sent to the State senate to represent the large, but comparatively thinly-settled, district composed of the counties of Armstrong, Warren, Indiana, Jefferson, Cambria and Venango, the latter county including much of the territory now in Clarion.  After serving one term he was led to enter the contest for election to Congress, and doing so, defeated Gen. Abner Lacock.  He thus became the representative in the nineteenth and twentieth Congresses of the district composed of Armstrong, Butler, Beaver and Allegheny counties.  Int he legislature, in the State senate and in the Congress of the United States he served satisfactorily to his people and with unwavering integrity of purpose. 

"Later in life Gen. Orr was appointed by the governor associate judge of Armstrong county and served very acceptably to the people.  He retained his interest in military affairs and was active in the militia organizations of western Pennsylvania, thereby acquiring the rank and title of general.

"After all, it was not in official life that Gen. Orr was greatest or that he was most useful to his people.  He was one of those men who needed not the dignity of office to give him a name among his fellow-citizens, or to command their love or respect.  Debtor never had better creditor than Robert Orr.  When those to whom he sold were embarrassed and could not meet their obligations, he extended their time and gave them easier terms.  With many individuals this was done again and again, until at last they were able to pay.  Gen. Orr never dispossessed a man of property on which he was toiling to discharge his indebtedness.  Often the sons of men who contracted with him for lands completed the payment for them.  He was unostentatiously and judiciously charitable throughout his life.  He did much to advance the interests of the school and church, and for many years prior to his death was a member of the Presbyterian church.

"Gen. Orr's whole life was identified with Armstrong county.  For about three years (1848-52) he resided in Allegheny city, and for a short time, about 1845, he lived at Orrsville (mouth of Mahoning), but the greater number of his years were passed in Kittanning.  He was interested in and helped to advance almost every local public improvement inaugurated during his time.  Laboring zealously for the construction of the A. V. R. R., he lived to realize his hope in that direction and to see the wealth of his county practically increased by its mineral and agricultural resources being made more easily available to the use of the world.

"In politics Gen. Orr was a democrat.  He used his influence and contributed liberally of his means to assist the organization of the military, and the camp where the 78th and the 103d regiments rendezvoused was appropriately named in his honor.  His appearance upon the ground, when the soldiers were encamped there, was always the signal for an ovation, or at least hearty cheers, and all who knew him gathered round him to shake the hand of the old soldier of 1812.

"Upon May 22, 1876, this grand, good old man passed away at his residence in Kittanning, after a lingering but not severe illness, 'full of riches, full of honors and full of years.'

"Gen. Orr was married in 1836 to Martha, sister of the late Judge Robert C. Grier, of the United States supreme court, who died December 7, 1881.  Two children were the offspring of this propitious union--Grier C. Orr, Esq., and Fannie E. Orr.  The last-named, of most esteemed memory, died March 14, 1882, after a brief illness."


"HON. JOSEPH BUFFINGTON, for many years judge of the 'old tenth' district, and whose life was intimately connected with the history of Armstrong county, was born in the town of West Chester, county of Chester, on the 27th of November, 1803, and died at Kittanning on the 3d of February, 1872.  The ancestors of Judge Buffington were Quakers or Friends, who left England several years before William Penn, and in 1677, five years before the arrival of Penn, we find one them, Richard Buffington, among the list of "tydables" at Upland, which same Richard was the father of the first-born child of English descent in the Province of Pennsylvania.  From Hazard's 'Annals,' page 468, as well as from the Pennsylvania Gazette from June 28th to July 5th, 1739, we learn that, 'on the 30th of May past, the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Richard Buffington, Sr., to the number of 115, met together at his home in Chester county, as also his nine sons and daughters-in-law and twelve great-grandchildren-in-law.  The old man is from Great Marle, upon the Thames, in Buckinghamshire, in Old England, aged about 85, and is still hardy, active and of perfect memory.  His eldest son, now int he 60th year of his age, was the first-born son of English descent in this Province.'

"The second son, Thomas, was born about 1680, and died in December, 1739.  He was married to Ruth Cope, and, among other children, left a son, William, who was first married to Lena Ferree, as appears in Rupp's 'History of Lancaster county,' page 112, and afterwards to a second wife, Alice, whose maiden-name is unknown.  By this second wife there was born, in 1736, a son Jonathan, who died October 18, 1801.  This Jonathan Buffington was the grandfather of Judge Buffington.  He owned and operated a grist-mill, which is still standing at North Brook, near the site of the battle of the Brandywine.  At the time of that battle (September, 1777), his mill was taken possession of by the British troops, and the non-combatant Friend compelled to furnish food for the British.

"Jonathan Buffington was married to Ann (born 1739, died June 16, 1811), daughter of Edward and Ann Clayton.  Their third child, Ephraim Buffington, was born March 23, 1767, and died December 30, 1832.  Ephraim Buffington was married to Rebecca Francis March 4, 1790, at the Old Swedes church, Wilmington, Delaware.  He kept a hotel at West Chester, at a tavern stand known as the 'White Hall,' a venerable hostelry, and well known throughout that region for many years.  It was here that Judge Buffington was born and lived until his tenth year, when his father, in hope of bettering his fortunes in the then West, left Chester county, came over the mountains and settled at Pine creek, about five miles above Pittsburgh, on the Allegheny river.  When about eighteen years of age he entered the Western university at Pittsburgh, then under the charge of Dr. Bruce, at which place he also enjoyed the instructions of the venerable Dr. Joseph Stockton.  After finishing a liberal course of studies, he went to Butler, Pennsylvania, and for some time prior to studying law, edited a weekly newspaper called the Butler Repository, and, in company with Samuel A. Purviance, --afterward a well-known member of the Allegheny County bar and attorney-general of the Commonwealth--he engaged in keeping a small grocery-store.  Soon afterward he entered, as a student of law, the office of Gen. William Ayers, at that time one of the celebrated lawyers of western Pennsylvania, under whose careful training he laid a thorough foundation for his chosen life-work.  During his student-life he married Miss Catherine Mechling, a daughter of Hon. Jacob Mechling, of Butler county, a prominent politician of that region, and for many years a member of the House of Representatives and the Senate of Pennsylvania.  Mrs. Buffington survived her husband, dying September 11, 1873.  They left no children, their only child, Mary, having died in infancy.

"In July, 1826, he was admitted to practice in Butler county, and in the Supreme Court on September 10, 1828.  He remained at the Butler bar for about a year, but finding that the business was largely absorbed by older and more experienced practitioners, he determined to seek some new field of labor, and finally decided upon Armstrong county, to which he removed and settled at Kittanning, where he continued to reside until his death.  Shortly after his coming he purchased from his preceptor, General Ayres, the lots on Water street, which afterward became his home, and on which he built the old homestead.

"Though the first years of his professional life were full of hardship and narrow means, yet his industry, integrity and close application soon brought him to the front of the bar.  He was constantly in attendance upon the courts of Clarion, Jefferson, Armstrong and Indiana, and his services were often in demand in other counties.  He was connected with all the important land trials of these regions, and his knowledge of this intricate branch of hte law was thorough and exhaustive.

"Upon coming to manhood, Judge Buffington took a strong interest in politics.  At the inception of the anti-masonic party in 1831, or thereabouts, he became one of its members, and served as a delegate to the national convention of that body, which met at Baltimore in 1832, and nominated William Wirt for the presidency.  In 1840 he became a whig, taking an active part in the election of Gen. Harrison and serving as one of the presidential electors on the whig ticket.

"In the fall of 1843 he was elected a member of Congress as the whig candidate in the district composed of the counties of Armstrong, Butler, Clearfield and Indiana, his competitor being Dr. Lorain, of Clearfield county.  In 1844 he was again elected in the same district, his competitor being Judge McKennan, of Indiana county.  During his membership of the house he voted with the whigs on all important measures, among others voting against the admission of Texas on the ground of opposition to the extension of slave territory.

"His fellow-townsman and warm personal friend, Hon. W. F. Johnston, having been elected governor, he appointed Mr. Buffington in 1849 to the position of president-judge of the eighteenth judicial district, composed of Clarion, Elk, Jefferson and Venango counties.  This position he held until 1851, when he was defeated in the judicial election by Hon. John C. Knox, the district being largely democratic. 

"In 1852 he was nominated by the whig State convention for the judgeship of the supreme court.  In the general overthrow of the whig party, which resulted in the defeat of Gen. Scott for the presidency, Judge Buffington was defeated, his competitor being the late Chief Justice Woodward, of Luzerne county.

"The same year he was appointed by President Fillmore  chief-justice of Utah territory, then just organized, but declined to accept the proffered honor.

"In the year 1855, on the resignation of Hon. John Murray Burrill, judge of the Tenth District, he was appointed to that position by Gov. Pollock, with whom he had been a fellow-member of Congress.  In the fall of 1856 he was elected to fill the position to which he had been appointed, for a term of ten years.  In 1871 failing health admonished him that the judicial labors already too great for any one man to perform, were certainly too severe for one who had passed the meridian of life, and had borne the burden and heat of the day.  It was, indeed, hard for him to listen to the demands of a feeble frame; but, sustained by the consciousness of duty well done, and cheered by united voices from without, proclaiming his life mission to the public nobly performed, he left the busy scenes of labor and retired to private life after forty six years' connection with the bench and bar of the Commonwealth, to the thoroughness and industry of which the State reports of Pennsylvania bear silent, but eloquent testimony.  Surrounded by friends and every comfort of life, the following year passed quickly; but, as in the case of many an overworked professional man, the final summons came without warning.  On Saturday, February 3, 1872, he was in his usual health, and, rising from dinner, he went to an adjoining room, across which he commenced walking, as was his custom.  His wife, coming in a few moments later, found him lying peacefully upon the sofa in the sleep of death.  He was buried according to the services of the Episcopal church, of which he had been an attendant, officer and liberal supporter for many years.  He was buried in the cemetery at Kittanning, where his resting-place has been marked by a substantial granite monument, --- a fitting emblem of the completeness of his own life."


Major-General John Armstrong, the hero of Kittanning, was one of Washington's bravest and most successful generals.  He was born in the north of Ireland in 1725, and some time between 1745 and 1748 he became a settler in the Kittatinny Valley, west of the Susquehanna river, then the frontier of Pennsylvania and on the confines of civilization.  He was well educated, and followed his profession of surveyor in his new-world home.  In 1750 he and a Mr. Lyon laid out Carlisle, and four years later he was sent by Gov. Morris as a commissioner to Connecticut in regard to a land trouble between the Indians and Connecticut settlers in Wyoming Valley, Pa.  In 1755 Mr. Armstrong surveyed and opened a road from Carlisle to the "Three Forks" of the Youghiogheny river, over which supplies were to be carried to Braddock's army.  After Braddock's defeat he enlisted as a private in a frontier company, but in January, 1756, was elected captain, and on May 11th of the same year was commissioned lieutenant-colonel.  In the summer of 1756 he comanded the expedition against the Indian village of Kittanning, which has made his name famous for all time to come in American history, and which is given in detail in the historical sketch of the county.  In 1757 he served on the frontier, was commissioned colonel on May 27, 1758 and commanded the advanced division of the Pennsylvania troops in Forbes' expedition against Ft. Duquesne.  He was a tower of strength on the frontier during Pontiac's war, and on the 30th of September, 1763, led a very successful expedition against the Indian towns on the west branch of the Susquehanna.  He was the first brigadier-general commissioned (March 1, 1776) by the Continental Congress.  He served at Ft. Moultrie, in Charleston harbor, and on April 5, 1877[sic? 1777], was commissioned major-general by the Supreme Council of this State.  He commanded the Pennsylvania Militia at the battles of Brandywine and Germantown.  He was sent to Congress in 1778, and again in 1787.  His public career closed with his last term in Congress, and he spent the remainder of his life at Carlisle.

His son, Major-General John Armstrong, Jr., was born at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, November 25, 1758, and died at Red Hook, New York, April 1, 1843.  He served in the Revolutionary war, was the author of the celebrated "Newburg Letters," and was secretary of war in 1814, but was obliged to resign because he did not prevent the capture of Washington City by the British, in August of that year.  Another of his sons, Col. Henry B. Armstrong, fought gallantly in the war of 1812.

Gen. John Armstrong was a member of the Presbyterian church, and was largely instrumental in establishing the first church which was organized in Carlisle, in 1757.  On March 9, 1795, the spirit of the grand old hero left its tenement of clay, and passed into the great beyond.  His remains lie entombed in the old cemetery at Carlisle as yet without a suitable monument.


Harry A. Arnold.  One of the most active and best business men of Kittanning is Harry A. Arnold, a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity and a leading representative of the most reliable fire insurance companies of the United States and England.  He is a son of Harry J. and Mary (Mechling) Arnold, and was born on Jefferson street, at Kittanning, Armstrong county, Pennsylvania,  November 17, 1852.  Prominent among the early business men and influential citizens of Kittanning borough and Armstrong county was Major Andrew Arnold, the grandfather of the subject  of this sketch.  He established an extensive tannery at Manorville, had large landed interests in the county and ranked as one of the wealthy men of his day.  He was a man of talent and ability, as well as of business enterprise, and served with distinction as associate judge of Armstrong county for many years.  An old-line whig and an ardent supporter of Henry Clay, he naturally was drawn into politics and became an able leader of the Whig party in his Congressional district.  His wife was Isabella Parks, daughter of Robert Parks, an early settler and leading citizen.  Their family consisted of two sons and two daughters.  The eldest son was born at Kittanning and died there in 1862.  Harry J. Arnold succeeded his father in charge of the Manorville tannery and the management of several productive farms.  In addition to these lines of business he sought for a wider field of labor, and accordingly embarked in the mercantile business at Kittanning and became one of the owners and operators of Dudley furnace, four miles distant from Parker.  He inherited his father's financial ability and ranked high among the able and successful business men of the county.  A democrat in politics, he was elected treasurer of Armstrong county and served most acceptably until the end of his term.  He was a member of high degree in the Masonic fraternity; was very charitable, and was popularly known as the poor man's friend.  He married Mary Mechling, daughter of Philip Mechling, a large property holder of Kittanning.  She died and left two children, Harry A. and Belle.  For his second wife he married Mary Crum who bore him two daughters.  Elizabeth, the eldest, is the wife of T. W. Young, a large oil producer, and the younger daughter married C. N. Royce, superintendent of the Green Line Oil road.

Harry A. Arnold received his literary education in the public schools of Kittanning and Princeton college, and to thoroughly fit himself for a business career in life he attended and took the full commercial course of Duff's college, Pittsburgh, from which he was graduated in 1870.  His first employment was as a clerk for Campbell, McConnell & Son, with whom he remained for three years.  He then went to Parker, Pa., where he had an interest in several oil wells, and was a successful oil producer for six years.  AT the end of that time he came to Kittanning, where he was in the employ of J. A. Gault in the mercantile business for two years.  He then (spring of 1880) embarked in his present life and fire insurance business.  He is agent for the Equitable Life Insurance company, but makes a specialty of fire insurance and represents many of the old line and standard companies of both the old and the new world in this important branch of insurance which renders its patrons safe from loss by fire.  Mr. Arnold is a republican in politics, a member of the First Presbyterian church of Greensburg, Westmoreland county Pa., and is a Royal Arch Mason in Masonry.  He is secretary of his chapter, is well up in the work of the lodge and chapter and has frequently been deputized to give instructions in the beautiful, beneficent and moral teachings of Masonry in lodges and chapters of the order.  He is conducting his present business with skill, honesty and success, and large numbers of the prudent householders of the county are his patrons.

Harry A. Arnold on April 19, 1882, united in marriage with Ida B. Luker, daughter of Benjamin Luker, of Kittanning, and a former mercantile partner of J. A. Gault.  To their union has been born one child, a son named Benjamin Luker Arnold, born in 1888.


Frederick Aye.  Among the successful grocery firms of Kittanning is the firm of Fred. Aye & Co.  The senior member of the firm, Frederick Aye, is one of the successful young business men of his town.  He was born in the Third Ward of Allegheny city, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, January 7, 1848, and is a son of George and Barbara (Shaffer) Aye.  His parents were natives of the Kingdom of Bavaria, now a part of the great German empire, and were life-long members of the Evangelical Lutheran church, in whose faith they had been reared.  They came to the United States about 1830, and located in Allegheny city.  The father, George Aye, followed teaming for ten years and then came to Manor township where he followed farming until his death, in 1870, at sixty-two years of age.  The mother, Barbara Aye, who was a consistent Christian, died in March, 1890, when she had attained to her three-score and ten years.  Mr. and Mrs. Aye were the parents of eleven children.


W. C. Bailey, a member  of the present efficient and courteous board of commissioners of Armstrong county, and a substantial and influential farmer of Manor township, is a son of Jackson and Jane (Cunningham) Bailey, and was born on the old Bailey homestead, in Manor township, Armstrong county, Pennsylvania, October 22, 1849.  The Bailey family of Armstrong county traces its ancestry back to the Bailey family of Centre county, of which it is a branch.

Richard Bailey, the paternal grandfather of W. C. Bailey, was born and reared in Centre county.  Late in life he came to Armstrong county, where he purchased a tract of four hundred acres of land on the Allegheny river, three miles below Kittanning.  He spent the remainder of his days in clearing and improving his land.  He married a Miss Johnson of Centre county, and came with his father to this county when a young man.  He followed farming and stock-raising was one of the thrifty and substantial farmers of his community, and possessed many of those qualities of character which contribute to this success.  He was a republican in politics and a presbyterian in religious faith, and died after a life of activity and usefulness.  The record of his life is uneventful indeed so far as stirring incident or public position is concerned, but is still distinguished by the most substantial qualities of character, and exhibits a long and honest career of private industry pursued with moderation and crowned with success.  He was popular in his neighborhood for his many good qualities of head and heart.  He married Jane Cunningham, a daughter of William Cunningham, a well-to-do farmer.  Mr. and Mrs. Bailey were the parents of ten children, of whom nine are living.

W. C. Bailey was reared on his father's farm, where he was trained to habits of industry and economy.  He received his education in the common schools of his native township, and was successfully engaged in farming until 1885.  In that year hew as nominated for county commissioner by the republicans, and was elected by a very respectable majority.  At the end of his term of office, in 1887, his course of action in taking care of the county's financial interests had been so commendable to his own party, and so satisfactory to the public, that he received a re-nomination from the hands of the former and an increased majority over the previous election from the vote of the latter.  He is now serving on his second term with every manifestation of continued popularity with the public.

In 1881 he united in marriage with Mary Speer, daughter of Alexander Speer, a druggist of Sharpsburg, Allegheny county.  Their union has been blessed with one son and three daughters: Ida, Florence, Laura and Richard.

In politics Mr. Bailey has always been a republican.  In religious belief he is a presbyterian, and is a member and trustee of his church of that denomination, in Manor township.  He is a member of the Independent  Order of Odd Fellows, and the Junior Order of United American Mechanics.  Active industry has been and continues to be with W. C. Bailey the habit of his life.  His time is well occupied and equally well-ordered, and his work is done with due moderation, but also with every preparation for success.


Joseph & Orr Buffington.  Joseph Buffington, the senior member of the law firm of Buffington & Buffington, of the Kittanning Bar, is a son of Ephraim and Margaret C. (Orr) Buffington and was born at Kittanning, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, September 5, 1855.  The Buffington family is one of the old families of Pennsylvania which traces its ancestry into the early days of Pennsylvania's colonial history.  In 1677, Richard Buffington, who was a Quaker, and born at Great Marle, upon the Thames, in Buckinghamshire, England, about 1654, was resident at Upland, near the Delaware river.  He was the father of the first -born child of English descent in the province of Pennsylvania.  His second son, Thomas (born 1680, died 1739), was the father of Jonathan Buffington, who was born in 1736, married Ann Clayton, and died in 1801.  Their third child, Ephraim, was born in 1767 and died in 1832.  He married Rebecca Francis and kept the noted "White Hall Tavern" at West Chester.  About 1813 he left Chester county and came west, settling at Pine creek, on the Allegheny river about five miles from Pittsburgh.  One of his sons was Judge Joseph Buffington, and another was John Buffington (grandfather), who was born about 1799, and died March 31, 1832.  He married Hannah Allison.  His son, Ephraim Buffington (father) was born at Pine creek, near Pittsburgh, August 8, 1821.  He received his education in Allegheny college, at Meadville, Pa., and Jefferson college, at Cannonsburg, read law with his uncle, Judge Buffington, was admitted to the Armstrong county bar, and practiced his profession for several years.  He then retired from active practice in order to devote his time to land interests which demanded his attention, and gave his attention to the coal and oil business, in which he was interested.  During the late war he served as a provost-marshal, and afterwards was connected for several years with the internal revenue service in which he was deputy collector for Armstrong county.  He has always been a strong republican.  He is an attendant of the Protestant Episcopal church.  He married Margaret C. Orr, daughter of ex-Sheriff Chambers Orr, of South Bend, on the 21st of January, 1845.  They have six children, all of whom are living.

Joseph Buffington attended the Lambeth and other schools of Kittanning, and in the fall of 1871 entered Trinity college, from which institution of learning he was graduated July 1875.  He read law with Judge James B. Neale, of Kittanning, and Judge Logan, of Greensburg, was admitted to Armstrong county bar, September 5, 1878, and formed a law partnership with Judge Neale, which lasted until the latter took his seat upon the bench in 1879.  In 1881 he and his brother, Orr Buffington, formed their present law partnership under the firm-name of Buffington & Buffington.  This firm is recognized as one of the foremost in practice in Armstrong county.  On January 29th, 1885, Mr. Buffington married Mary Alice Simonton, a daughter of Rev. Dr. Simonton, of Emmittsburg, Maryland.  As a lawyer, he has established a reputation for ability and success.  His political connections have been with the republican party and he has taken an active part in  advocating the measures and men of that organization.

Orr Buffington, the junior member of the firm, and a promising young member of the Armstrong county bar, was born at Kittanning, April 29th, 1858.  He received his academic education in private schools of his native town, and entered Trinity college, from which he was graduated June, 1879.  He read law with his brother, Joseph Buffington, was admitted to the bar in 1881 and immediately entered into partnership with him in the practice of law, to which he devotes his time and close attention.  He married, in 1882, Charlotte M. Hyde, a daughter of S. T. Hyde, a prominent lawyer of the New York city bar.  They have three children:  Morgan, Margaret and Sydney.


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By Linda Blum-Barton