SAMUEL S. ROTHWELL, one of the oldest residents of California, this county, was born February 21, 1815, in East Bethlehem township, Washington Co., Penn., and is descended from an English family who came to America at an early day. Peter Rothwell, his grandfather, was born, reared and educated in Delaware, and was there married to Hannah Gregg, who bore him the following children: Isaac G. born near Wilmington, Del., November 27, 1780; Jared, who married Sarah Jackman, of East Pike Run, Washington Co., Penn.; and Samuel. Peter Rothwell, who was a farmer in Delaware, came to Washington county about the year 1800, locating in Webster, where he remained some years, later removing to Columbiana, Ohio; after some years spent there he finally went to Adams county, Ohio and settled on Brush creek, where he and his wife died of cholera.
Isaac G. Rothwell was reared in the State of Delaware and Washington county, Penn., receiving a fair common-school education. While yet a boy he commenced an apprenticeship at the building trade with Daniel Johnson, at old Beasontown, now Uniontown, remaining with him until he had completed his apprenticeship. He then took up his residence in Centreville, building the first house there in 1820; he also erected the first tavern in the place. Here he followed his trade some ten years, and then removed to East Pike Run, where he purchased a farm, built a residence thereon and remained three years. His home was in Greenfield, Washington Co., Penn.; his wife died October 27, 1844, in Greenfield, Washington Co., Penn., and he then removed to Adams county, Ohio, whence, after a sojourn of about three years, he returned to his old home in Delaware, and there died, August 22, 1846, and was buried in the cemetery connected with the Presbyterian Church, in which the grandfather of Judge McKennan preached for over forty years. In 1813 he had married Mary, daughter of Benjamin Kenney, a native of Maryland, where he was married September 17, 1789, to Elizabeth Blair, who bore him the following named children: Margaret, Mary, John, James, Wesley, Rebecca and William. Mr. Kenney was in politics a Whig and Abolitionist, in religion a member of the M. E. Church, having been among the first to attend the Taylor church. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Isaac G. Rothwell were Samuel S.; Elizabeth, wife of Lemuel Beazell; Hannah, Mrs. George Hornbake; Sidney, Mrs. James Chapman; John, who served in the war of the Rebellion; Jared; and Margaret, wife of John R. Powell; all dead but Samuel S. The mother of this family died October 27, 1844. Isaac G. Rothwell was first a Whig, and afterward an outspoken Abolitionist; in his church preference he was a Methodist.
Samuel S. Rothwell attended the common schools, and so apt a scholar was he that he soon found himself capable of teaching school, a vocation he followed for many years. He learned the trades of cabinet maker and builder, and followed both in California for a period of about forty years, many of the first houses in the place having been erected by him. On December 22, 1835, he was married to Elizabeth, daughter of Adam Ashcroft, a native of England, who when about twenty-two years of age came to the United States, locating near Webster, in this county. By trade he was a machinist, and he made the cotton-carding-machine used in Brownsville; after moving from place to place, in and around Washington county, Mr. Ashcroft proceeded to Ohio, and resided near the town of Crestline, until the death of his wife, when he returned to Washington, and for about ten years made his home with Mr. Rothwell (his son-in-law), after which he revisited Ohio, and there died at the age of ninety-six years, and was buried. Mr. Ashcroft was a well-educated and enterprising man, politically he was a Whig originally, and then on the formation of the party became a Republican; in religion he was a prominent member of the M. E. Church, in which he was local preacher. After his marriage, Samuel S. Rothwell made his home at what is now known as Coal Centre, in this county, until 1849, in which year he moved to the borough of California, where he now lives. His children are J. W. (a photographer, in Washington, Penn.), Mary E., Sidney, Sarah C., Andrew L. (who was a teacher in Coal Centre, but is now in West Brownsville), Isaac N. (an artist, in San Antonio, Tex.), Charles Sumner and F. J. LeMoyne, the last two named being deceased. Mr. Rothwell was originally a Whig, and afterward an Abolitionist; in 1854 he was a delegate to the first Republican convention held in Pittsburgh. He is a member of the M. E. Church, and in 1840 was licensed as a local preacher, in which capacity he still serves with encouraging success.
Text taken from page 903 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/.
[ [Back to Beers Table of Contents] [Back to Beers Project Page]