WILLIAM KNOX, a progressive and successful farmer and business man of Buffalo township, is a son of John Knox, an early settler in the county, whose father, Thomas Knox, was born in County Antrim, Ireland, and came in 1811 to Washington county, with his wife, and died there at the age of eighty-five years.
John Knox was born in 1777, in County Antrim Ireland, whence, in 1811 he emigrated to the shores of Columbia, landing at New York. After about two years, moving from place to place and prospecting, he settled in Washington county, Penn., in 1813 where he purchased 110 acres of land at $10 per acre, having ten years in which to pay the amount.
This tract was then nearly all wildwood, but, night and day the ringing blows of the woodsman's merciless ax might be heard felling the giant monarchs of the forest, clearing the way for the van of civilization's mighty army. Thus by toil, energy, judicious economy and good management, in course of time the stern and uninviting haunts of the Redman, and the savage wolves, were made to "blossom as the rose," and smile with radiant meadows ripe with corn. To day for beauty and fertility, this farm is second to none in Washington county. Mr. Knox, before leaving the "Green Isle of Erin," had married Margaret McKay, a lady of Scottish birth, and in the round-log cabin on their American homestead were born to them the following children: Jennie (wife of Dr. Milliken), residing in Texas; Nancy (deceased wife of Alexander Gabby); Thomas, now a resident of Kansas; Robert (deceased); Jane (deceased wife of Jacob Alter); Elizabeth (deceased wife of John Danley); William (subject); John, residing in Claysville, Washington county, and Margaret (Mrs. George Smith). in Buffalo township. The mother was gathered in by the " Grim Reaper" in 1837, when she was forty-seven years old, and the father in the spring of 1866. They were faithful, God-fearing members of the United Presbyterian Church, and in politics Mr. Knox was an uncompromising Democrat, his first vote in the land of his adoption being cast for Andrew Jackson.
William Knox was born April 29, 1827, in Buffalo township, this county, and here he was reared to practical farm life, which was relieved by occasional attendance at the schools of the locality, which education he supplemented with a considerable amount of reading and home study. In October, 1856, he was married to Wilhelmina Meloy, a native of Lewistown, Penn., and their union has been blessed with the following named children: Margaret Jane (now the wife of Thomas Caldwell, of Washington county), John (living at home), William (dead), Minnie (now the wife of William Ellwood), in Franklin township, Robert Welch (a student at Washington and Jefferson College), Mary Jeanette, Annie Elizabeth and Thomas Edward, all at home. On October 13, 1876, the mother departed this life in her thirty-sixth year. After his marriage Mr. Knox took charge of his father's estate, which he successfully conducted for several years, his home being a log house which is still standing. There he lived until 1875, in which year he erected his present handsome and commodious residence, and moved into it. In fact, he has put up all the new buildings on the property, and made many other substantial improvements. As a result of thrift, enterprise and good management, Mr. Knox is now the owner of six farms, aggregating 800 acres of prime land, in which have been sunk as many as forty oil wells. In addition to general farming he is an extensive stockman and grower of fine wool. He and the family are members of the United Presbyterian Church, and in his political views Mr. Knox is a supporter of Protection at Presidential elections, but at other times he casts his vote for the candidate he deems best fitted for the office, regardless of party interests.
Text taken from page 449 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed March 1997 by Judy and Lee Schaeffer of Pittsburgh, PA 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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