REV. JOHN T. BROWNLEE, D. D. , a popular clergyman of Hopewell township, is descended from a race of hardy Scotch men, and traces his ancestry to one Archibald Brownlee, who was born and reared in the Valley of Clyde, and there married to a Miss Hamilton, Who bore him children as follows: James, William, John, Archibald, Thomas, Jane (Mrs. John Allison) and Hugh (who was drowned when he family were crossing the ocean). Archibald Brownlee immigrated with his family to America about 1765, first locating in Lancaster county, Penn., where they remained some time, and in 1775 purchased a farm in Canton township, Washington county, which became their permanent home.
James, a brother of Archibald Brownlee, also settled in Washington county, where he resided until 1800, and since that time his descendants have all removed from the county.
Archibald Brownlee was first a member of the Scotch Presbyterian Church, afterward uniting with the Seceder Society. 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 be followed for several years in eastern Pennsylvania, they 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. The following children were born to their union: John, born October 15, 1777; Archibald, born February 28, 1779; James, born September 27, 1780; Hugh, born July 23, 1782; Elizabeth (Mrs. David Brownlee), born May 17, 1784; William, born January 13, 178B; Thomas, born December 1, 1787; Samuel born August 9, 1789; Joseph, born August 8, 1791; Jane (wife of Kenneth McCoy), born April 20, 1793; and David, born 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 at North Buffalo. In politics he was a Whig. He died in 1822, and was buried in the North Buffalo cemetery.
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 was married to 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 children were born as follows: Ann, James H. (living in Knoxville, Tenn.),.Rev. John T. and Jane (Mrs. Jane B. Meloy). Mrs. Brownlee died December 8, 1832, and Mr. Brownlee was afterward married in 1834, to Jane Auld, of Buffalo township, Washington county. Their family were David. A. (living in Independence), Joseph W. (residing in Cross Creek township), Sarah M. (Mrs. Samuel Donaldson), Esther (wife of 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 community. He was a member of the Mt. Hope U. P. Church, in which he served as an elder forty years. Politically he was formerly a Whig and an Abolitionist, afterward becoming a Republican, and ever 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.
Rev. John T. Brownlee was born April 24, 1821, in Independence township, this county, and received his earlier education at the subscription schools of the neighborhood. At the age of fifteen he entered Washington College, graduating in the year 1844, with the degree of B. A., and afterward receiving the degree of M. A. In 1845 he entered the theological seminary at Canonsburg, remaining four years, and then graduated. In 1849 he was licensed to preach, and after two years of missionary labor in the West and East was called to the Mt. Hope U. P. Church, where he has since remained. On May 3, 1853, he was united in marriage with Martha J., daughter of Benjamin B. Ashton, of Cambridge, N. Y., and their children are Mary E. (Mrs. W. C. McClellan), Sarah F., Jeanette L., Joseph (living in Omaha, Neb.), T. B. H., Jessie A., Charles A., Lydia J. (wife of Rev. William R. Wilson), Annie T. and John M. Politically, Mr. Brownlee was formerly a Whig, and since the organization of the party, has been a Republican.
Text taken from page 47 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
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