SAXTON FAMILY. The beautiful "Emerald Isle" has contributed largely to the population of Hanover township, and among those of her sons who sought a home in America, many years ago, was David Saxton.
He was born about 1775, in Ireland, and when a young man came to America, remaining some years in eastern Pennsylvania, and in 1796 came to Washington county, Penn., locating in what is now Hanover township, about two and one-half miles northeast of Florence, near the old site of Fort Dillo. Here he purchased and moved upon forty acres of land, and in 1800 was married to Elizabeth Moore, widow of Samuel Moore (with whom he got forty acres more), an early settler and very extensive landholder of that locality. The children of David and Elizabeth Saxton were as follows: Samuel, James (who resided for some time on the old farm in Hanover township, finally disposing of it to his brother Samuel, then moved to Missouri, locating near California), Harriet (wife of William Burns, and a resident of Hanover township), Nancy (Mrs. John Saxton, living in Cumberland county, Penn.) and Mary (married to Collins Kimmell, of Hanover township). Of this family Nancy is the only one yet living. The parents passed their lives on the pioneer farm, in a rude log cabin, which stood for several years afterward. He was a farmer, also carrying on a distillery, common practice among the early settlers. At that time wild animals were yet numerous in the country, and his son James once killed a deer not far from home. In politics the father was a Whig. He and his wife both died at an advanced age, and they were buried side by side in Frankfort cemetery. She was an exemplary Christian woman, and a member of the Frankfort Presbyterian Church.
Samuel Saxton, son of David and Elizabeth (Moore) Saxton, was born July 27, 1801, on the old farm, and, being the oldest son, a great deal of work fell to his share. He was thus deprived of even such meager educational facilities as were then afforded, having but little opportunity to attend school. When but eighteen years of age he and his father made an agreement by which he was to have the use of the home farm for ten years. He at once began to work at whatever would yield him an income, and, in addition to his farm interests, looked after the hauling of coal to certain sections where that article was scarce, realizing a considerable profit from this source. In the fruit season he carried the produce of vines and orchard to Ohio, Canton, New Philadelphia, and other places; then, on his return, bought oats and hauled them to Pittsburgh, where they were sold at a good price. He was an excellent judge of horses, which knowledge was instrumental in making some good purchases and excellent sales. He was equal to, if not the best reinsman in Hanover township at that time, and on several occasions accomplished feats with six-horse teams, pronounced impossible by other skilled drivers. He always possessed some good specimen of the equine variety, often keeping them for sale. By using economy, he continued to prosper, owning over 400 acres of land, paying $11 per acre for the first 100 acres, upon which he erected a substantial brick residence, where he resided during his natural life time. He was an Old-line Whig till 1864, then became a Democrat, supporting that party the rest of his life. When the law of Pennsylvania required the militia to muster, he was captain of a company. On October 15, 1833, he was married to Jane Dougherty, who was born August 3, 1801, a daughter of James Dougherty, a merchant of Washington, Penn., who was at one time elected recorder of Washington county, and whose children became illustrious citizens. To the union of Samuel and Jane Saxton children were born as follows: James D., Samuel S. and Margaret. The father died June 14, 1875, followed by his wife February 3, 1883, and they now lie side by side in the Florence cemetery. Both were members of the Presbyterian Church at Florence, this county.
SAMUEL S. SAXTON was born June 26, 1838, on the old farm in Hanover township, this county. He first attended the common schools, supplementing this training by a course at the Paris Academy and then at Florence. After leaving school he taught in Beaver, Allegheny and Washington counties; then became a traveling representative (as a collector) of Hosteter & Smith, of Pittsburgh, Penn., the extensive manufacturers of patent medicines, his territory being through Illinois. On September 30, 1875, he married Maggie J. Melvin, who was born August 17, 1846, daughter of John and Mary (Moore) Melvin. The children of this marriage are: Samuel Lawrence and Silas Warren, both of whom are improving their educational advantages. Mr. Saxton has always lived on the place of his birth, and has given his attention principally to buying and selling stock, also supervising the farm work; being apt in driving successful bargains, and dealing honestly and fairly in all business transactions, he has been crowned with honor arid financial success. He is a most interesting companion, a jovial and intelligent conversationalist.
In politics his sympathies are with the Democratic party, to which his support is usually given, but he always votes according to the ability of the candidates. Mrs. Saxton, a pleasant lady, is a member of Cross Roads Presbyterian Church. As a wife and mother she has no superior, always kind and generous to all with whom she comes in contact. Their beautiful home lacks no comfort, and is situated in a charming spot.
JAMES D. SAXTON was born January 21, 1835, in Hanover township, this county, on a farm adjoining his present home. He attended the country schools of his neighborhood, and passed his youth working on his father's farm. On August 22, 1861, he married Mary Applegate, a daughter of Isaac Applegate and Margaret Proudfit, the latter of whom was a daughter of James Proudfit, who was a justice of the peace thirty years, and a ruling elder in the Florence Presbyterian Church for nearly fifty years; he died over thirty-five years ago, at the age of ninety-six. James D. and Mary Saxton are the parents of the following children: George M. C., Florence P., Addie May, Samuel J. and Elmer Wylie, all yet living at home excepting George M. C., who is residing in Hanover township.
After his marriage Mr. Saxton resided with his parents for six years, then came to his present well-improved farm, where his grandfather had located nearly one hundred years ago. He followed general farming and stock raising until quite recently, and is now partially retired from active life, the sons performing the laborious part of the work under his direction. Mr. Saxton is one of the substantial Democrats of Hanover township, and has held several local offices.
Text taken from page 872 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 April 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
[ [Back to Beers Table of Contents] [Back to Beers Project Page]