ROBERT J. ELWOOD, one of the leading and most prosperous of Washington county's intelligent representative farmer citizens, is a son of an old pioneer of this part of the State, by name William Elwood, a native of Belmont county, Ohio, who came hither in 1818.
William Elwood was poor, both in this world's goods and in what an education might have given him, but he had received none. When he entered Washington county, all his belongings he carried in a bandanna handkerchief; but the hand that it was held in was rich in honesty and industry, destined ultimately to place its owner on the top rung of the ladder of success. He was a blacksmith by trade, at which he worked assiduously in Centreville, this county, and his indomitable perseverance, close attention to business, and judicious economy, he not only made money, but saved it. By and by he bought a house and lot, then sixty-six acres of land, then 122, then 211 acres near Fredericktown, and, finally, yet another tract of 128 acres, all in East Bethlehem township, and every foot of it earned by honest labor. (This tract is now owned and occupied by his son Robert J., the principal improvements being placed on it by the latter, including an elegant and commodious residence costing $2,000.) This son of toil, this nobleman of nature, surrounded by the blessings he had gathered about him, was called from the scene of his labors in 1871. In politics he was a Democrat, in religion a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. His wife, who had been reared in the Quaker faith, died in 1885.
William Elwood married a Miss Greer, who bore him seven children, all now deceased, as is also, their mother. After her death he married, for his second wife, Ruth Lilley, who was born in 1812, a daughter of Thomas Lilley, a native of Ireland, and the children of this union were Thomas W., a resident of Charleroi, this county; Robert J.; J. U., a machinist in McKeesport, Penn., and one that died in infancy.
Robert J. Elwood was born December 25, 1849, in East Bethlehem township, Washington Co., Penn., was educated in the common schools of his neighborhood, and reared to agricultural pursuits. On the death of his father he took charge of the homestead, and cared for his widowed mother until her death in 1885. Mr. Elwood was married May 3, 1873, to Maggie E., daughter of John and Mary (Reynolds) Deems, of West Pike Run township (now deceased), and the children of this union were, Alverdi R. (attending the Southwestern State Normal School at California, Penn.), and John William (who died in infancy). Mr. Elwood is a Democrat, and has held the office of school director six years, also judge of election for a time. Mrs. Elwood is a member of the Methodist Church.
Text taken from page 1410 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed January 1997 by Neil and Marilyn Morton of Oswego, IL as part of the Beers Project.
Published January 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
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