JOHN A. FINLEY. The Finley family are numbered with the earliest pioneers of Washington county, and are of Scotch origin. John Finley was born in Scotland, whence he emigrated in an early day. Coming to America he first settled in Maryland, then moved to Pennsylvania, and took out a patent for 1,000 acres of land in Allegheny county. He was married in the State of Maryland to Margaret Rowland, who bore him the following children: William, John, Robert (a general in the militia), Jane (Mrs. Curry), Margaret (Mrs. Baldwin), Isabelle (Mrs. Cochran), Mary (Mrs. St. Clair), Susan (Mrs. Wilson), Levi, James and Sarah (Mrs. Neal), all of whom have passed away. The father of this family was a Democrat in politics, and in religion a member of the Presbyterian Church, of which Dr. Marshall was then pastor; both parents died on the farm in Allegheny county.
Levi Finley, son of John and Margaret Finley, was born in 1798, on the home place in Allegheny county, Penn., and his youth was passed amid the scenes of pioneer life. He attended the subscription schools, and after graduating at Jefferson College, returned to the old place, remaining there until 1830. On January 31, 1822, he was married to Rachel Neal, youngest daughter of James and Rachel Neal, born October 19, 1795, seven miles above Pittsburgh, in the Monongahela Valley. When her parents settled on the Monongahela river, the surrounding country was inhabited by roving Indians, and even at the time of her birth it was necessary for the white settlers to protect their homes and families from the torch and scalping knife of the Redman. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Levi Finley moved to Washington county, and commenced housekeeping in the same house in Finleyville in which she died, November 12, 1883, in the eighty-ninth year of her age. Hence, with the exception of a few years, her whole married and widowed life, extending over a period of sixty years, were passed in that same house. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church, where she was listened to the preaching of Dr. Woods, Dr. Rolston and other good old divines that have all gone to their long homes many years since. The following children were born to Levi and Rachel (Neal) Finley: Margaret, Melissa (wife of H. Baldwin Wallace), Susan M. (wife of Rev. W. W. Laverty), John A., F. M. and Rachel N. (deceased wife of John S. Collins). In 1832 Mr. and Mrs. Finley moved to Greene county, Penn., where they resided two years on a farm at Rice's Landing, and he conducted a still-house. They then came to Union township, Washington county, and bought the Huston and Fawcett farms, where they remained eight years, selling a large quantity of coal. They finally bought the farm of 500 acres in Union township, adjoining Finleyville, and settled in Finleyville, then called "Row Galley," but nicknamed "Rogues' Alley." The name was then changed to Finleyville, and for thirteen years Mr. Finley managed a hotel in the old stone house which is yet standing. He was a Whig and Republican in Politics, and was a member of the Mingo Presbyterian Church. He died June 21, 1861.
John A. Finley was born March 26, 1830, on the Huston Farm in Union township, Washington county, Penn. When a boy he came with his parents to Finleyville, where his youth was passed. In 1854 he was married to Miss Alice Campbell, who was born July 7, 1830, in Union township, this county, granddaughter of John Campbell, a native of Ireland, who emigrated from Ireland to America and located near Finleyville, Washington county, Penn.; he was married to Alice Huey, who bore him children as follows: Ed., Robert, George, John, Elizabeth, Mary, Eleanor, Sarah, Alice and Elizabeth, of whom none are now living. Robert Campbell, father of Mrs. Finley, was born, in 1790, on the Swagler farm in Washington county. He married Mary, daughter of John Hindman, and their children were Alice (1), John, Ed., William, Sarah, Mary J., Robert, and Alice (2) (Mrs. Finley). Of this family Alice (1) and John are deceased; Ed., was married to Miss E. Moore, and in 1860 was elected prothonotary of Allegheny county. He afterward moved to Fairfield, Iowa, where he owns 1,000 acres of land, and has been appointed United States marshal.
John A. and Alice (Campbell) Finley began wedded life on the farm in Union township, which they yet occupy. Four children have blessed their union, viz.: Mary (wife of William McChain; has four children: Ed., William, James and Mary), Levi Alvin (deceased June 15, 1890, in his twenty-ninth year); Alice (wife of R. C. McChain, of Union township; has three children: Louis, Bessie and Bernice), and Susan M. Mr. Finley is a member of the Republican party. The home farm contains 163 acres, from which he has sold a large amount of coal.
Text taken from page 907 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed September 1997 by Cathy Cadd of Redmond, WA as part of the Beers Project.
Published September 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
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