JAMES M. CHANEY, a prosperous and well-known farmer, is a native of Donegal township, Washington co., Penn., and a son of James Chaney, whose father Abraham was born in Maryland, and married in his native state. The last named came to Washington county in the latter part of the eighteenth century, and located in Donegal township, where his family was reared.
James Chaney was born on his father's farm in 1806, and passed his boyhood in the usual farm duties, receiving a very meager education. he began life at an early age, and had many hardships to contend with. he made rails for George Wilson, of West Alexander, receiving for his work 25 cents per hundred, which he was expected to spend at the sore of his employer. he could get a yard of muslin for 25 cents, or was obliged to make 300 rails to buy goods enough for one shirt. On March 25, 1831, Mr. Chaney was married to Susanna McMillan, who was born in 1805, daughter of John McMillan. They had the following family: Thornton, born December 20, 1831 (deceased August 1, 1880); Mary, born August 9, 1833; George W., born November 15, 1835 (living in West Alexander, Penn.); James M., born November 6, 1837; Sarah, born October 12, 1839 (deceased in 1879); John, born January 18, 1842 (deceased in youth); Barnet B., born March 1, 1844 (a farmer of Donegal township). for some time after his marriage Mr. Chaney resided on a farm about two miles south of West Alexander, Donegal township. he after ward moved to Coon Island, same township, where he resided several years, and in 1853 purchased and moved to a farm about two miles north of West Alexander, where he lived and worked on the farm until his death. Mr. Chaney's success in life was wholly due to his own efforts. In politics he was formerly a Whig, and afterward a Republican. he and his wife were members of the Presbyterian Church at West Alexander. He died in February, 1879, having been preceded by his wife in 1874.
James M. Chaney was born in Coon Island, this county, and passed his early years on the home farm, receiving a common-school education. On October 13, 1862, he enlisted in Company H, fourteenth Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry, and served till the close of the war. he took part in the engagements at White Sulphur Springs, Va., Beverly, W. Va., Droop Mountain, Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek, and numerous other minor conflicts. On June 5, 1865, he was honorably discharged, and coming home worked on his fathers farm. on February 6, 1868, he was united in marriage with Pamelia, daughter of Andrew and Pamelia (Gilfillan) Alexander, also of Donegal township, and seven children were born to them: Fannie (wife of John Gibson, a wholesale grocer Wheeling, W. Va.), Jennie (wife of Prof. John M. Oliver), Andrew M., James, Susanna, John H. and Maggie Grace, all living at home. After his marriage Mr. Chaney first located a quarter of a mile east of West Alexander. In 1874 he purchased the "Joseph Alexander" farm, situated about three and a half miles north of West Alexandria, in Donegal township. he is engaged in farming on this place, and deals largely in stock. Politically he is a Republican, and though he has been elected to numerous township offices, he is not a politician. Mr. Chaney is an enterprising and progressive farmer. In religious connection he and his wife are both members of the Presbyterian church.
Text taken from page 800 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
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