HENRY EARNEST was born April 11, 1817, in Cumberland county, Penn. His grandfather, John Earnest, emigrated from Germany (where he was born in 1734), in the latter part of the eighteenth century, and, after landing in America, located in Cumberland county, Penn. He then served two years in the Revolutionary war, suffering with the patriots of his adopted country, and many times traveling barefoot through the deep snow. He was married in Pennsylvania, and reared the following children: Samuel, Andrew, David, Henry, George, John, Polly and Daniel, all of whom are now deceased.
Andrew Earnest was born and reared in Cumberland county, Penn., where he married a native of the same county. They settled on a farm in that locality, and reared a family of children. Mrs. Earnest died in 1826.
Henry Earnest received a somewhat limited education in the usual log cabin schoolhouse with its single-paned window and primitive furnishings. His mother died when he was but nine years of age, and the family becoming separated, young Henry began to earn his own living at this tender age. He was first employed by a farmer, who gave him his board and 5 cents a day. In 1848 he left Cumberland county and went to Fortress Monroe, Va., where he remained three years. He entered the Mexican war as a private in Company E, First P. V. Battery, under Capt. Bradford, and participated in the following engagements: City of Mexico, Chapultepec, Vera Cruz and Pueblo. At one time he was in the heart of the famous silver mines, 162 miles beyond the city of Mexico. At the close of the conflict he returned to Fortress Monroe, where he received an honorable discharge. He then entered the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad, working on the line to Westmoreland county, Penn. In 1850 he was married to Mary Maloy, of Cumberland county, Penn., and to their union have been born three children: William (deceased), Mary (Mrs. Henry Birch) and Andrew J. (living with his father). In 1851 Mr. Earnest came to Washington county, Penn., and remained in the employ of the railroad company several years, finally purchasing with his earnings sixty acres of land in Buffalo township, Washington county, which is his present home. When he first came to Washington county he left one brother, John, and three sisters Sarah, Polly and Ann, of whom he has heard nothing in twenty years. During a severe cold Mr. Earnest was obliged to have the sight of one eye destroyed, as the cold had settled in the optic, and the doctors feared that both eyes would otherwise be affected. He is a farmer, and gives much attention to stock raising. Politically, he is a stanch Democrat, and in religion is a member of the Presbyterian Church of East Buffalo.
Text taken from page 1442 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed January 1997 by Neil and Marilyn Morton of Oswego, IL as part of the Beers Project.
Published January 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
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