MRS. MARGARET DUNBAR was born November 10, 1838, near Bulger, Smith township, Washington Co., Penn., a daughter of John S. Russell, who was a son of William Russell.
William Russell was born in the latter part of the last century, in Smith township, this county, and received a somewhat limited school training, as the educational opportunities of those days were comparatively meager and primitive. In 1798 he was married to Nancy Strain, whose parents were early settlers in Smith township, this county. In about 1800 Mr. and Mrs. Russell, with an infant son, removed to Portage county, Ohio, residing there until the close of the war of 1812, in which William served as a soldier. Being dissatisfied with the country, he returned, about 1815, to Smith township, locating near the line of Cross Creek township, where he continued to follow farming till his death. In politics he was a Democrat. His wife died several years prior to his demise, and left the following children: Abraham (deceased in this county at the age of eighty-five; was never married), Sarah (deceased wife of James Fulton, formerly of Cross Creek township, afterward of Hanover township, this county), John S., Samantha (cared for her father in his old age, and died unmarried) and James (deceased in Smith township).
John S. Russell was born February 14, 1806, on the home farm, in Portage county, Ohio, and was reared to agricultural pursuits. On February 12, 1833, he married Jane Simpson, who was born September 3, 1815, daughter of James and Ellen (Stewart) Simpson, early residents of the township. The children born to this union were as follows: Ellen (living in Burgettstown, Penn., unmarried), Cynthia (unmarried, also residing in Burgettstown), Margaret (widow of James Dunbar), Ophelia (Mrs. Hugh Wilson, of Hanover township, this county), William S., Agnes (an unmarried lady of Burgettstown, Penn.), James C. (an agriculturist of Smith township) and David A. (deceased farmer of Smith township). The mother of this family died July 23, 1851, and Mr. Russell afterward wedded Mary A. Vincent, who was born February 20, 1818, daughter of Joseph and Sarah (Rea) Vincent, of Mt. Pleasant township, this county. Two children were born to John S. and Mary A. (Vincent) Russell: John (deceased in youth) and Sarah (Mrs. D. W. Smith, of Smith township, this county). After his first marriage Mr. John S. Russell settled on a farm one mile west of Bulger, Smith township, where his life was passed successfully in agricultural pursuits. Year by year his possessions increased, until by dint of careful management, business sagacity and good financiering he became one of the most extensive wool growers and largest landholders of the township, at the time of his death owning nearly 600 acres of valuable and productive real estate. In politics he was a Democrat, and in religion a member of the Raccoon Presbyterian Church, which he served as an elder. He died September 15, 1879.
James Dunbar, who became the husband of Margaret Russell, was one of the most highly esteemed farmers of Smith township, and was a representative of an old and prominent family. His grandfather, James Dunbar, was born near Belfast, County Antrim, Ireland, and, being of an adventurous disposition, became a sailor in early life. He came to America and made a permanent settlement on Raccoon creek, Smith township, this county, where he was obliged to "grub out", a site for the first cabin which he erected; but his energy knew no discouragement, and success at length crowned his efforts. He was united in marriage with Mary McConnell, of Robinson township, this county, who bore him twelve children, namely: James, Jane, Thomas, Joseph, Robert, Martin, Elizabeth, John, Samuel, Mary, William, and an infant son (deceased). In the latter part of his life Mr. Dunbar lived for some time in Robinson township, this county. Although beginning life a poor sailor boy, he was possessed of the right spirit of perseverance, and at the time of his death was a wealthy man. He died in 1842, having been preceded by his wife many years. Thomas Dunbar (a son of James and Mary (McConnell) Dunbar) was born and reared on his father's farm in Robinson township, this county, and received a common-school education. He was married to Mary Scott, who bore him three children. After her death he married Mrs. Susanna (Scott) McBride, widow of John McBride. She bore him no children. He died at an advanced age; his widow is yet living in Bavington, this county.
James Dunbar, son of Thomas Dunbar, was born April 3, 1834, in Robinson township, this county, was reared to manhood on his father's farm, and obtained a common-school education. On December 18, 1862, he was united in marriage with Margaret Russell, and three children were born to them: John T. (deceased in infancy), Mary E., and Thomas E. (managing the home farm). After his marriage Mr. Dunbar purchased the farm, which he owned and cultivated at the time of his death. It is located about one mile and a half south of Bavington, in Smith township. He devoted some attention to stock raising. In politics he was a strong adherent to the principles embodied in the Democratic party. He was a member of the Raccoon Presbyterian Church, giving liberally to its maintenance. Mr. Dunbar passed away May 10, 1891, and since his death his widow has resided on the farm, which is managed by her son Thomas E.
Text taken from page 1099 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]