ARCHIBALD B. DARRAGH. Robert Burns expressed the universal desire of every earnest man and woman, when, in his inimitable style, he penned the lines now quoted the world around:
Oh, wad some Power the giftie gie us,Had the Scottish bard written no other word, that verse would have immortalized his name. Ample proof of this is given in the insatiable craving of the world for biographical literature. The best and most satisfactory way to "see oursels as ithers see us," is in the study of the characteristics of humanity as exemplified in our fellow mortals. This favorite study is less wounding to our personal vanity than a rigid self-examination would probably be, and answers the same purpose. Therefore are we interested in the lives of those around us, especially in those who have made a signal success, and, overcoming every obstacle, stand to-day in honored places. John Darragh was born in Ireland, but emigrating to America at an early day became a prosperous farmer. Of his large family, Daniel was the second child in order of birth.
To see oursels as ithers see us.
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An foolish notion.
Daniel Darragh was born in 1767, in Ireland, and in 1774 came with his parents and brother, John, to America. They located in Nottingham township, Washington Co., Penn., on the old home farm yet occupied by their descendants, where Neal and Archibald, the younger brothers, were born. His sisters were Isabella, Margaret, Elizabeth, Jane and Mary. Daniel passed his youth on the home place, and in 1815 was married to Sarah Sheldon, a native of Brownsville, Fayette Co., Penn. Three children were born to their union: John C., moved to California in 1849, thence to Nevada, where he died; Mary, wife of Harris Thusbar, died in 1861, at Pontiac, Mich.; and Archibald B., born September 1, 1826. The father always followed farming, serving his township in almost every office. He took the census of Washington county twice, riding on horseback to perform that duty. He died in 1859, followed by Mrs. Darragh in 1865.
Archibald B. Darragh was born on the old place in Nottingham township, Washington Co., Penn., there securing his early education. In January, 1851, he selected as a life companion Miss Amy Gamble, who died in 1853. For his second wife he married Sarah A., daughter of Alexander Gault, a representative citizen of Nottingham township. They have had nine children, four of whom are yet living, viz.: Amy Jane, Daniel C., Alexander W. and Annie E. When the war opened in 1861, the father left his widowed mother, and his wife and children, to fight for the honor of the Stars and Stripes. He enlisted in the First Pennsylvania Cavalry as a private, taking part in the battle of the Wilderness, and the other engagements of the army of the Potomac. He returned home in 1864, having been promoted to the rank of orderly sergeant, and laying aside the sword once more resumed the peaceful life of a farmer, in which he has since been engaged. He owns 192 acres of well-cultivated land, including a large coal mine, which he sold to the Nottingham Coal Co. at $55 per acre. He has been county auditor for three years and served in different capacities. Mr. Darragh now has a deed in his possession which is over 106 years old.
Of the pioneers of this family in America, John moved to Pittsburgh, and was elected the second mayor of the young city; Archibald entered the United States army, and was commissioned captain; Isabella married Daniel Liggett, and lived to be eighty-six years old; Margaret married Dr. Baird, and lived to be eighty-seven years old, and Jane, who married Joseph Scott, and died in her eighty-sixth year. Of the Sheldon family of five sisters and four brothers, Mrs. Charlotte Graff is now living in the eighty-fourth year of her age.
Text taken from page 1011 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed March 1997 by Neil and Marilyn Morton of Oswego, IL as part of the Beers Project.
Published March 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
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