ANDREW J. PEESE is a representative of one of the oldest families of Washington county. His great-grandfather, Nicholas Peese, emigrated from Germany with an uncle when but twelve years of age. He afterward married, and located in Caniguagig, east of the mountains. Three children were there born to them: Mary, Andrew and George. In 1769 he made an exploring trip on foot to western Pennsylvania, and took possession of 400 acres of land in North Strabane township, Washington county. He then returned to his family, and placing their household goods on one horse, with the youngest child perched on top of the load, the rest of the family journeyed on foot. They finally arrived at their new home, and a small log hut was erected in which they passed the winter near the present home of John M. Berry. Only two other settlers were then in the township, and in their pioneer home the four younger children were born: Nicholas, Catherine, Betsey and Susan. Of these children Nicholas died in youth. Mr. Peese was six feet and one inch in height, well formed, and possessed great powers of physical endurance. He died at the age of one hundred and five years, his wife at the age of ninety years.
George Peese, the second son of Nicholas, was four years of age when the family settled in Washington county, and was the hero of the horseback ride above mentioned. He grew to manhood, and was married to Lydia, daughter of John Vaughn, a native of New Jersey. The children born to this union were Polly, Andrew, Rebecca, Zacharias, John, Nicholas, George, Joseph, James, Eliza, Polly, Lydia, and two daughters who died in infancy. Polly was burned to death in childhood; Joseph died at the age of thirty years, and James died when twenty-five years old. The other children married, settled in Washington county, and all are now deceased excepting Zacharias, John and George. Mr. Peese died March 1, 1849, and was followed by his wife in 1865.
Zacharias Peese was born in the house which is now the home of John M. Berry. He lived at home until twenty years of age, receiving a limited education, and assisted his father in transporting the farm produce to Pittsburgh, making the journey by wagons through miles of unbroken forest. When Zacharias was twenty one years of age his father traded farms with his uncle, Andrew Peese, and received in the bargain a saw and grist mill, of which Zacharias took charge and operated fourteen years. On December 27, 1820, Mr. Peese was united in marriage with Hannah, daughter of Andrew and Polly Peese, and to this union came the following children: William, born October 13, 1821; Joseph, born August 21, 1823; Andrew J., born July 4, 1824; Mary (Mrs. Jacob Anthony), born May 1, 1827; Lydia, (Mrs. Zacharias Peese), born July 24, 1830; Elizabeth, born June 5, 1833 (died March 11, 1841); George, born April 27, 1835 (died May 3, 1835); Hannah Jane, born May 20, 1839 (died May 16, 1841), and Phoebe, born April 7, 1841 (died October 30, 1841). Mrs. Peese died October 4, 1846, and on January 13, 1848, Mr. Peese was married to Jane Jackson, a native of Lancaster county, Penn., and a connection of Andrew Jackson. About 1825 Mr. Peese bought and prepared to move upon a farm in Ohio, but yielding to the request of his father, sold it, and settled on the place in North Strabane township where his son William is now living. He then bought the farm now owned by our subject. Mr. Peese has always been a Democrat, and has filled several township offices. He joined the Presbyterian church at the age of eighteen years, and was an elder and member of the Pigeon Creek Church for many years.
Andrew J. Peese was born and reared in North Strabane township, on the home farm where he is now living, and received his education in an old-time log schoolhouse. On September 27, 1852, he was married to Julia A. Dickson, who was born September 15, 1822, in Peters township, Allegheny Co., Penn. Her parents were both natives of Pennsylvania, the father born in 1802, in Washington county, and the mother in 1805, in Lancaster county. They were married in this county, and seven children were born to them,, all of whom married and had children. They were as follows: Julia A. (now living); Isaac (now living in Iowa; has been twice married and has had five children, three of whom are now living; he is a member of the Presbyterian Church; his wife is an active worker in the W.C.T.U.); John (married and has two children; his wife is now deceased, and he is now living in his native county, near Library); Henry (married and living in the State of California, where he is engaged in the mining business; he enlisted in the Union army, in an infantry regiment, during the Civil war, and being wounded in the battle of Spottsylvania, was discharged; he married Miss Mary French, now living, and is connected with several prominent families in the Monongahela region); Elizabeth (widow of nelson Phillips; she had eight children: William, Sarah, Nancy, Estelle, Charles, Maggie, Bell and Jasper, of whom Sarah is now dead); Sarah (was twice married, first time to James Brown, by which union there were three children: George, Lizzie and John, the last named being deceased; her second husband is Isaac Lindley, by whom she has had six children, all yet living except one); Rebecca (married some time in the "fifties" to Jesse Canady, of Lancaster county, Penn., and one daughter was born to them, Ulalia, married and yet living; Mr. Canady served a period in the Senate of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Rebecca Canady is deceased). The father died some time during "the seventies," a member of Baptist Church. Mrs. Dickson, who was a member of the Christian Church, died in 1877.
To the union of Andrew J. and Julia A. (Dickson) Peese three children have been born, namely: Mason Z., born April 20, 1858; Ida E., born April 6, 1860, and John D., born May 3, 1863. Of these children, Ida E. was, on January 2, 1881, married to John Rasel, a farmer of Amwell township, Washington county, and to their union two sons have been born: Ray and Harry (Mr. Rasel is actively engaged in the work and success of district-school education). In 1890 John D. was united in marriage with Agnes Dunn, who has borne him two children: Nellie M. and Julia Agnes. Mr. Andrew J. Peese owns and resides on the old homestead. In politics he was a Democrat for many years, but of late has been identified with the Prohibition party. He and his wife are members of the Christian church.
Text taken from page 677 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed May 1997 by Kathy Petty of Evansville, IN as part of the Beers Project.
Published May 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
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