DAVID A. BROWNLEE is a representative of one of the most prominent pioneer families of Washington county, and traces his lineage back through the generations to a hardy, robust Scotch "lad and lassie."
Archibald Brownlee was born and reared in Scotland, and was there married to a Miss Hamilton, who bore him the following children: James, William, John, Archibald, Thomas, Jane (Mrs. John Allison), and Hugh (who died when the family were crossing the ocean). About the year 1765 he immigrated to America, first locating in Lancaster county, Penn., where he remained some time, and in 1775 purchased a farm in Canton township, Washington county, which became their permanent home. James Brownlee, a brother of Archibald, also settled in Washington county, where he resided until 1800; since which time the family have all removed from the county. Archibald was first a member of the Scotch Presbyterian Church, and afterward united with the Seceder Church. He followed agricultural pursuits all his life, and died in Canton township.
James Brownlee was born January 4, 1745, in Lanarkshire, Scotland, and after coming to America learned the trade of a millwright, which he followed several years in eastern Pennsylvania. He then settled on a farm in Canton township, Washington county, where the remainder of his life was passed. In early manhood he was united in marriage with Jane Leman, a member of a pioneer family of Washington county, who had emigrated from Ireland, and to this union came the following children, their names and dates of birth being given: John, October 15, 1777; Archibald, February 28, 1779; James, September 27, 1780; Hugh, July 23, 1782; Elizabeth (Mrs. Daniel Brownlee) May 17, 1784; William, January 13, 1786; Thomas, December 1, 1787; Samuel, August 9, 1789; Joseph, August 8, 1791; Jane (wife of Kenneth McCoy), April 20, 1793; and David, April 8, 1797. The home of Mr. Brownlee was situated two miles west of Washington borough. He was a member of and ruling elder in the Seceder Church of North Buffalo, and in politics he was a Whig. He died in 1822, and was buried beside his wife, who had preceded him to the grave.
Joseph Brownlee was born in Canton township, Washington Co., Penn., passed his early life on the home place, and was for some time engaged in hauling goods from Philadelphia. He married Esther, daughter of John Templeton, of Washington county, and in 1819 the young couple settled on a farm in Independence township, where their lives were passed and the following children born: Ann, James H. (living in Knoxville, Tenn.), John T. and Jane (Mrs. Robert Y. Meloy). Mrs. Brownlee died December 8, 1832, and Mr. Brownlee, May 15, 1834, married Jane Auld, of Washington county. Of this union were born: David A., Joseph W. (residing in Cross Creek township), Sarah M. (Mrs. Samuel Donaldson), Esther H. (Mrs. Samuel L. Moore, of Independence), and Martin B. (a minister of the U. P. Church in Iowa). Mr. Brownlee was an energetic man, exerting a marked influence on the lives of the surrounding people. He was a member of the Mt. Hope U. P. Church, in which he was an elder forty years. Politically he was formerly a Whig and an Abolitionist, afterward a Republican, and always took an active part in all questions of public interest. He died November 23, 1867, and was buried by the side of his wife in the cemetery at Mt. Hope.
David Auld, grandfather of subject, was born near Coleraine, in the North of Ireland, came to America at an early day, and settled in the southern part of Washington county. Toward the beginning of the present century he was married to his cousin, Mary Auld, by whom he had the following children: James, Jane (married to Joseph Brownlee), John, David and Mary, all now deceased. The mother of these children died March 11, 1819, and April 12, 1821, he was married to Sarah Jackson, who survived him. He was a Whig, a member of the Associate Church, and a farmer in Buffalo township.
David A. Brownlee, our subject, was born February 9, 1835, on the home farm, situated two and a half miles northeast of Independence, in Independence township. On October 15, 1868, he married Jane Ann Templeton, who was born January 13, 1838, daughter of Alexander Templeton. Alexander Templeton was reared in Cross Creek township. He married Margaret M. Gabby, (daughter of James Gabby), by whom he had the following children: John (who died at the age of: thirteen years from the kick of a horse), Dr. James G. (in Pittsburgh), Thomas B. (deceased, as a member of Company A, One Hundredth Pennsylvania Infantry, and died after the battle of the Wilderness), Jane Ann (Mrs. D. A. Brownlee), Hugh A. (deceased), Esther M. (Mrs. John Scott), Mary E., Alexander Brown (deceased). Mr. Templeton was a Democrat in politics, and in religion was a member of the U. P. Church. In 1855 he moved to New Wilmington, Penn., and died there in April, 1861; his wife died in April, 1874, and they are buried in the cemetery at New Wilmington. Mr. and Mrs. Brownlee have one child: William T., born July 3, 1869, now a well-educated and prepossessing young man. After his marriage our subject lived with his widowed mother until her death, which occurred April 7, 1883 (she was buried in Mt. Hope cemetery), since which time he has owned and managed the home place. Mr. Brownlee has been very successful in business, and has erected a large and commodious dwelling upon his farm. Politically he is a Republican, and has been elected to various township offices, in which his efficiency has been ably demonstrated. He and his wife are members of the Mt. Hope U. P. Church, in which he is an elder. They have recently taken a very nice little girl named Anna, born September 18, 1884, and intend to raise her as their own child.
Text taken from page 1236 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
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