JOHN IRVIN, one of the prominent and most successful native-born agriculturists of East Finley township, was born August 4, 1835. He is the only living descendant of Francis Irvin, a native of Ireland, where he was born about the year 1780, and whence he emigrated to the United States a short time prior to the commencement of the present century. He landed at Philadelphia, where, after a brief sojourn he married a Miss Hayney, of that city, whose parents had come from the Emerald Isle. Francis Irvin then moved, with his young wife, westward to Washington county, this State, where, for a time, he made his residence near the village of Cross Creek; later came to East Finley township, settling near the headwaters of Wheeling creek, being one of the pioneers of that section. Here, with his own hands, he hewed for himself a home out of what was then a vast wilderness, and where are now fertile fields and fruitful valleys. To this honored pioneer couple were born the following named children: Andrew, Nancy, William, James, Margaret, Sarah and Franklin, all now deceased except Sarah, who is at present living in Adams county, Ill. In 1837 Francis Irvin moved from Washington county to Adams county, Ill., accompanied by his wife and all his children except two, Andrew (who afterward migrated to Licking county, Ohio) and James, the entire journey being made in wagons, and here the grandmother died in 1848, and the grandfather in 1849.
James Irvin, father of subject, was born about 1800 in Washington county, Penn., where he was married to Martha Harvey, daughter of James Harvey, of West Finley township, this county, and to their union were born children as follows: Elizabeth Ann, married to S. N. Farrabee, and died in 1855; John; Martha and James (both deceased in infancy). The father was called from earth March 21, 1856, the mother having passed away October 11, 1839. Mr. Irvin, in 1835, purchased the property which our subject now owns and resides on, in East Finley township, where he carried on general farming with considerable success; he was an extensive cattle dealer and drover, and frequently had driven cattle from Illinois (where he purchased them) to the Philadelphia (Penn.) market.
John Irvin, the subject proper of these lines, was born in East Finley township, passed his boyhood and youth on his father's farm, and, being the only son, his duties were of necessity by no means light, and but little time could be spared for school training. His mother died when he was four years old, and his father's sister, Margaret, took charge of the house. After the death of his father Mr. Irvin took an extensive trip through the States of Iowa and Illinois, at that time included in the "Far West," his journeyings occupying over a year's time. On his return to Washington county he again took up farming, and, in connection therewith, engaged extensively in the buying, raising and selling of live stock. On June 29, 1859, he was united in marriage with Elizabeth Ann Blayney, of West Finley township, who was born November 17, 1842, and this union has been blessed with the following children: James H., born June 29, 1860, at present managing his father's farm; William M., born May 15, 1862, died August 7, 1885; Martha Jane, born September 11, 1864, married Jesse Montgomery, of East Finley townshp; Mary M., born September 11, 1866, married to R. A. Marshall, also of East Finley township; Ada L., born December 19, 1869, living at home; Jonathan or "Johnnie," born December 15, 1872, died March 21, 1873; Cad B., born June 16, 1874, died August 27, 1882; Harvey, born February 4, 1877; Charles O., born April 28, 1880, and John, born January 25, 1883, all three living at home. Soon after his marriage Mr. Irvin took up his residence on the old home farm, where he has since resided, carrying on general agriculture, including stock raising and dealings in wool, but is now retired from active work, his farm being managed under his personal direction. Politically he is prominently identified with the Republican party; he and his wife are consistent members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Old Concord, in Morris township.
Text taken from page 265 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed June 1997 by Betty J. Stewart of Pittsburgh, PA as part of the Beers Project.
Published June 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
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