Archive for the ‘History of Georgetown PA’ Category

Capt Frederick Way, Jr

Saturday, January 6th, 2018

Over the holidays, I was gifted a woodcut print of Capt Fred Way by an artist friend of my family.  The artist is Sue Neff, a resident of Sewickley, PA.  I was gifted an Artist Proof printed in 1990.  Sue said she would rerun the image and try to lighten the facial features with a lighter paint.  I wonder whether the Ohio River Museum would want an image of Capt Way by an artist from his hometown.

Woodcut print of Capt Fred Way by Sue Neff dated 1990

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capt Way in Georgetown 1940 (Anna L and John F Nash Collection)

 

Capt Way with Fred Hughes visited George WE Poe, Parthenia Parr Calhoon, and Lillian May (Poe) Wagner in 1940.  Capt Way wrote several articles for the S&D Reflector about the steamboat families of Georgetown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The gift also reminded me of a museum donation given the Wellsville River Museum by Capt Albert C Gilmore of Georgetown.  Capt Gilmore donated several photos and the horns of the str Cruiser.  Two photos featured the str Betsy Ann owned by Capt Way.

Ohio River Museum Donation ca 1965

 

 

Copyright © 2018  Francis W Nash  All Rights Reserved
No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.

The RR Lesson of 1881

Monday, January 1st, 2018

Have we forgotten it?  Has it taught us nothing?  Life goes on.

 

Due to benign government regulation supported by businessmen and Presidents, the hubris of the railroad magnates then continued unabated.  There are parallels to the giant corporations of today.  Wealth inequity.  Social injustice.  The timeline for this post begins in 1876 ending in 1881.  To set the scene – think PA.  The Centennial Exhibition celebrating the prosperity of our first century and the perfection of our institutions was held from May till Nov in Fairmont Park along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.  Ten million people and thirty-seven countries visited.  Gen Custer rode to his death at the Little Big Horn on 25 Jun 1876 covering the centennial with a pall of blackness.  In Nov, Rutherford B Hayes, Republican from Ohio, won the most disputed Presidential election to date.  Precisely, Hayes won the Electoral College vote 185-184 while losing the popular vote by 3%.  My connection to steamboats. – the str Katie Stockdale was built expressly for the Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Packet Line, the most luxurious packet line ever to run the Ohio River catering to the rich Pittsburgh crowd.  The nation was divided.  The working class had learned first- hand that Capitalism benefited their bosses, trading their lives for profits.  Unemployment rose.  Wages dropped.

 

A remarkable series of eight railroad strikes, which began during the Centennial Exposition and culminated on 16 Jul 1877 in the strike on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at Martinsburg, WV. This work action spread into the greatest labor disturbance on record.  Another view described it as an American reign of terror.

 

The RR strike at Martinsburg was instantly felt at Chicago and Baltimore in the stoppage of shipments. In a few hours the Baltimore and Ohio, the chief commercial artery of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, was shut down. The strike spread to the Pennsylvania, the Erie, and the New York Central railroads, and then to the Great Western lines. The feeling of the railroad employees all over the country was expressed by the address of those of the Pennsylvania Railroad to its stockholders. The stockholders were reminded that “many of the railroad’s men did not average wages of more than seventy-five cents a day;” that “the influence of the road had been used to destroy the business of its best customers, packet lines and oil producers, for the purpose of building up individual interests.” [1]  Those personal interests were contrary to worker essential needs.

 

In 1877, freight traffic had almost disappeared from the Pennsylvania Railroad because of how it had been managed.   The PA stockholder address also refers pointedly to the abuses of freight lines, rolling-stock companies, and other railroad inventions for switching business profits into private pockets.

 

Other workers followed the example of the railroad employees. At Zanesville, Ohio, fifty manufacturing sites stopped work.  Baltimore ceased to export petroleum.  The rolling mills, foundries, and refineries of Cleveland were closed.  Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati had the same experience.  The grain and cattle ceased to move to market, and the large centers of population began to calculate the chances of famine.  New York’s supply of Western cattle and grain was cut off. Meat prices skyrocketed, while Cleveland telegraphed that hogs, sheep, beef and poultry billed for New York were dying on the sidetracks there. Merchants could not sell, manufacturers could not work, banks could not lend. The country went to the verge of panic.

 

President Garrett, of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, wrote that his “great national highway could be restored to public use only by the interposition of the United States army.” President Scott, of the Pennsylvania Railroad, telegraphed the authorities at Washington, “I fear that unless the general government will assume the responsibility of order throughout the land, the anarchy which is now present will become more terrible than has ever been known in the history of the world.” The governors of ten States — West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Kentucky — issued dispersing proclamations which did not disperse. The governors of four of them — West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Illinois — appealed to the national government for help against domestic insurrection, which the State could not suppress. The state troops were almost useless, as in nearly all cases they sided with the strikers.  President Hayes issued two national proclamations to the insurgents.  All the national troops that could be spared from the Indian frontier and the South were ordered back. Armed guards were placed at all the public buildings of Washington, and ironclads were ordered up for the protection of the national capital. Cabinet meetings were continuous. General Winfield S Hancock was sent to Baltimore to take command, General Sherman was called back from the West, and General Schofield was ordered from West Point into active service.

 

Barricades, in French style, were thrown up by the workers of Baltimore.  New York and Philadelphia were heavily garrisoned. In Philadelphia every avenue of approach to the Pennsylvania Railroad was patrolled, and the city was under a guard of six thousand armed men with eight batteries of artillery. There were violent encounters between troops and voters, with loss of life, at Martinsburg, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Reading, Buffalo, Scranton, and San Francisco.

 

Jump to Pittsburgh – the site of the worst violence.  Production of iron and steel had dropped as much as 45%.  With the strike, there was horror of revolution.  The town left at the mercy of the workers.  Railroad cars, depots, hotels, stores, elevators, private houses, were gutted and burned.  The situation was described by a leading newspaper as one of “civil war with the accompanying horrors of murder, conflagration, rapine, and pillage.” These were days of greater bloodshed, more actual suffering, and wider alarm than experienced at any time during the civil war, except when Lee invaded Pennsylvania.  Thomas Scott, president of the Penn RR suggested that the railroad strikers should be given “a rifle diet and see how they liked that kind of bread.”  Business class versus working class.  State militia, ordered by Gov John Hartranft, bayoneted and fired on rock throwing strikers.  Twenty strikers were killed and 29 wounded.  Rather than subduing the strikers, the militia infuriated them.  The rock battered  state militia was forced to take refuge in a railroad roundhouse while the strikers set fires to 39 buildings, 104 locomotives, and untold rail stock.  To escape the militia shot their way out of the roundhouse killing 20 more people on their way out of Pittsburgh.  In Pittsburgh, local law enforcement sheriffs, deputies, and police refused to fire on the strikers.  After a month of bloodshed, President Hayes sent Federal troops to end the railroad strike.  Elsewhere in PA, state militia shot 16 in Reading, 14 in Shamokin, 20-50 in Scranton.

 

These RR and manufacturing strikes, paralyzing twelve States, halted the operation of twenty thousand miles of railroad and threw one million men out of work.  The RR barons of 1881 strained our PA institutions to their limits: the surrender of the Supreme Court of PA at the bidding of Penn RR, the veto by the Standard Oil Co of the enactment of a law by the PA legislature to allow everyone equal access rights on the RRs. (Think net neutrality for a current comparison.)  These attacks by the robber barons on our institutions illustrated some of the methods by which the rich were making the poor poorer. These attacks were one of the things that happened to kill the confidence of citizens in the laws and administration of justice.  The physical violence with which RR had taken their rights of way (Think Mariner East II Pipeline in central PA) caused social disorder we hoped never to see.  The RR history of violence has shown where we failed – between man and man, employer and employee, the public and corporation, the state and citizen – to maintain equities of “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

 

 

References.



[1]  HD Lloyd, Story of a Great Monopoly, Atlantic Monthly, Mar 1881.

 

 

Copyright © 2018  Francis W Nash  All Rights Reserved
No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.

str Buckeye State

Sunday, December 31st, 2017

 

Meigs County Times Article about the Buckeye State.

A news clip from the Meigs County Times dated 7 Jul 1857 reads like an obituary.  The str Buckeye State “is being torn apart in Cincinnati.  Her machinery is to be put into a new boat.”  The article indicates that the str Buckeye State made 156 trips between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.  [1]

 

One memorable trip on 1 May 1850 was a special “speed trial”.  Departing Cincinnati, the str Buckeye State arrived in Pittsburgh 43 hours later.  No steamboat to this day has equaled that time.  [2]  To celebrate the fast run, a carved wooden fullsize buck was positioned on the top of the pilot house.

 

The crew for this famous run included Standish Peppard of Georgetown, PA. [3]  After the fast run, Capt Peppard partnered with George W Ebert on many ventures including several trips to Ft Benton in the Montana Territory in the late 1860’s.  Standish Peppard died in 1874 and is buried alongside his wife, Elizabeth Poe, in the Georgetown Cemetery.

 

Marker for Standish Peppard and Elizabeth Poe (Fran Nash Collection)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References.


[1]  Steamboats, Meigs County Times, 7 Jul 1857, p2, col 15.

[2]  Capt Frederick Way, Jr, Way’s Packet Directory,1848-1994, Son and Daughters of Ppioneer Rivermen, 1983, p63.

[3]  Ibid, p83.

 

Copyright © 2017  Francis W Nash  All Rights Reserved
No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.

Another Georgetown Civil War Story

Friday, August 18th, 2017

History books inform us that the Civil War started in April 1861 in Charleston, SC with the bombardment of Ft Sumter in Charleston Bay.  This event provoked the war between the states, but the shots fired there were not the first act of war.  

The Pittsburgh Gazette, which had strongly supported Lincoln’s candidacy, had long given up on James Buchanan, the only native-born Pennsylvanian to be elected president.  When the president called for a national day of fasting and prayer, Russell Errett, the editor of the Gazette, wrote on 18 Dec 1860 that the country’s “great sin against Heaven [had been] in electing James Buchanan to the Presidency.”

Talk of secession had advanced beyond words.  In Dec 1860, South Carolina was the first state to secede from the union.  Others followed.  Rumors of war were rife in local newspapers.  A southern sympathizer, Sec of War John B Floyd under Pres Buchanan and former governor of VA,  sent an order to the Allegheny Arsenal in Pittsburgh to ship 124 canons to New Orleans and Galveston.  The steamers Silver Wave and Marengo were contracted by the US Army to transport the artillery south.  Col John Symington, the commander of the Allegheny Arsenal, attempted to obey the order from Washington on Christmas Eve.  When citizens of Pittsburgh learned of this action ─ from a whistleblower at the arsenal no doubt ─ the citizens protested, knowing that the guns would be used to fortify the south.  Angry Pittsburgh crowds halted the movement of the canons and their military escorts to the Monongahela wharf.  Thirty-eight guns had been loaded on the str Silver Wave before the crowds blocked the streets to the wharf.  To avoid violence the order for shipment was countermanded.  Further, Pittsburgh citizens threatened to blow the Silver Wave out of the water if it attempted to go down the Ohio River with the thirty-eight guns aboard.  The str Silver Wave never left the wharf. [1]

Southern politicians in Congress were outraged that ordinary Pittsburgh citizens threatened to interfere with military orders for the distribution of federal artillery and munitions south of the Mason-Dixson Line.  

The explosion caused by the protest of the honorable citizens of Pittsburgh was the first genuine act of war between the North and South.  Their activism reminds us of the need to resist – to do what is right. 

 Much later in 1863, the str Silver Wave was the first noncombat steamboat to successfully pass the Vicksburg batteries.  That feat was a big deal!  Vicksburg was deemed impassable – the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River.  The Union convoy of three gunboats and the str Silver Wave and three other packets was riddled with holes carrying supplies to Gen Grant’s army below the city.  Many historians consider the fall of Vicksburg the tipping point of the Civil War.   In that campaign, Pittsburgh and Georgetown men played a significant role.  

The Silver Wave was a packet owned and operated by Capt John Smith McMillin.  Born on 23 Jul 1817 in Georgetown, PA, Capt John S McMillin began his river career keel-boating in the 1830’s and was the master and owner of several steamers.  He moved to Grandview Ave on Mt Washington in Pittsburgh in 1853.  In my heart, Capt John Smith McMillin will always be a Georgetown man.  His parents are buried in Georgetown Cemetery.  

 

 

References.


[1]  , Standard History of Pittsburg Pennsylvania, (HR Cornell and Co, Chicago, 1893), p 548-549. 

 

 

Copyright © 2017 Francis W Nash

All Rights Reserved

No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.


Website Anniversary

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

I find I will have spent eight years with the Poes – far longer than I thought possible. Time spent researching in libraries and historical societies and in The National Archives and Library of Congress.  And cemeteries.  I cannot escape the steamboats; there are lots of stories to discover.  I keep thinking there will be one defining captain or pilot, or one greatest steamboat.  I keep plugging along toward an unknown destination.  On and on.

 

 

Copyright 2017 © Francis W Nash
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No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.

 

Andrew Poe v Bigfoot

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

A newspaper article published on 13 Jun 1974 in the Central News written by Marie McClure includes another version of the desperate fight between Andrew Poe and Bigfoot.  This account provides background information such as who possessed the tomahawk that struck Andrew’s left wrist.  Again, details of the hand-to-hand combat differ from version to version.

 

Andrew Poe Combat 1781 (Anna L and John F Nash Collection)

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 © Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved

No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.

 

Capt Poe’s 50th Wedding Anniversary

Monday, January 30th, 2017

 

Capt Jacob Poe’s 50th wedding Anniversary (Collection of Ann L and John F Nash)

 

A fun bit of Georgetown, PA history.  Capt Jacob Poe and his wife, Mary Ann Ebert, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on 27 Dec 1888.  Capt Jake was presented a gold headed cane by the citizens of Georgetown.  Capt Thomas S Calhoon made the presentation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2017 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved

No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.

Praises of Pittsburgh

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

One can get a bit carried away singing the praises of Pittsburgh.  Or can one?

Several years ago, the question, “Where was the Civil War won? was posed on a history site.  The usual answers were submitted with much documentary support.  I thought about the question for a few days then settled on my answer – Pittsburgh, PA.  The administrator of the blog wrote that it was the “damnedest” thing he had ever read, but he would seriously think about it.

This is right and it is wrong.

Another wrong-footed praise of Pittsburgh follows.

History books inform us that the Civil War started in April 1861 in Charleston, SC with the bombardment of Ft Sumter in Charleston Bay.  This event provoked the war between the states, but the shots fired there were not the first.

Earlier in Dec 1860, SC was the first state to secede from the union.  Others followed.  Sec of War, John B Floyd, a southern sympathizer, sent an order to the Allegheny Arsenal in Pittsburgh to ship 124 canons to New Orleans.   The steamers Silver Wave and Marengo were contracted to transport the canons south.  When citizens of Pittsburgh learned of this action, they protested knowing that the guns would be used to fortify the south.  The commander of the arsenal, John Symington, attempted to obey the order from Washington.  On Christmas Eve, angry crowds halted the movement of the canons and their military escorts to the Monongahela wharf.  Thirty-eight guns were loaded on the Silver Wave before the crowds blocked the movement and the order was countermanded.  Pittsburgh citizens threatened to blow the Silver Wave out of the water if it attempted to go down the Ohio River with the thirty-eight guns.

Southern politicians were outraged that Pittsburgh citizens threatened to interfere with military orders for the distribution of federal artillery and munitions.

In 1862, the Silver Wave was one of six packets contracted to transport the first Pittsburgh enlisted troops to Louisville, Ky.   In 1863, the Silver Wave was the first noncombat steamer to successfully pass the Vicksburg batteries.  That was a very big deal.  An astounding resume for any steamboat captain.

The Silver Wave was a packet owned and operated by Capt John Smith McMillin.  Born in Georgetown, PA in 1817,  Capt John S McMillin moved to Grandview Ave on Mt Washington in Pittsburgh in 1853.  In my heart, Capt John Smith McMillin will always be a Georgetown man.

It can also be argued that the Pittsburgh citizens protest was the first act of war between the North and South.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2017 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved

No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.

Capstan Patent

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Capt John Smith McMillin was born on 23 Jul 1817 in Georgetown, PA.  During the Civil War, he achieved considerable fame for fearlessly running the batteries at Vicksburg as the owner and master of the steamer Silver Wave.  He was also an inventor. In that role, he was awarded a US Patent for the invention of the steam-powered capstan.[1]  The capstan patent was a Letters Patent No 63,917, granted on 16 Apr 1867 to John S McMillin for “an improvement in applying steam-power to the capstans of steamboats and other craft”. [2]

 

The steam-powered capstan patent was contested in court in at least two cases.  One suit, McMillan[3] v Rees[4] (17 OG, 1222), was filed against John S McMillin to “restrain the infringement” of the patent.  The circuit court opinions issued in both cases were not in favor of Capt McMillin.   The capstan patent was declared void “for want of any patentable invention”.  The basic arrangement of “shafts and cog-wheels” of the capstan was unchanged.  In the case against McMillin, the argument was that the modification to steam power did not warrant the issue of a patent because there was no “ingenuity of merit”, only the “ordinary judgement and skill of a trained mechanic”.   Capstans and steam engines were old technology, well known elements used in many places including grist mills and steamboats.      

 

Capt McMillin appealed the decisions.  On 17 Nov 1884, the Supreme Court of the US decided:

 

Upon the ground stated, we think the letters patent upon which the suit is based are void.  The decree of the circuit court by which the patent was sustained must therefore be reversed and the cause remanded with direction to dismiss the bill, and it is so ordered.  [5]

 

The history of the patent process was long and curious.  The first application for the patent was filed by Capt McMillin on 23 Jul 1855.  This application was rejected.   On 7 Feb 1856, the application was amended.  This amended application was also rejected.  Eleven years later, the application awarded the patent included the drawings and specifications of the first application unchanged.  The steam-powered capstan had been in wide use for more than a decade without any new state of the art developments or improvements.   That was the defense relied on to defeat the patent in court.              

 

More research is required to determine whether John S McMillin was demanding royalties from other steamboat owners and lines. 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes and References.



[1]   A capstan was a spool device mounted on the steamboat deck used for winding up heavy rope.  With booms and block-and-tackle, a capstan was used to move heavy loads on and off the boat.  It was also used when “sparring” the boat over sandbars.   Before the steam-power improvement, the cylinder was turned by muscle power.    

[2]   Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents and of the US Courts in Patent Cases for the Year 1884, Washington Government Printing Office, 1884, p472.

[3]  McMillin was misspelled, or at least spelled differently.  In the two lower court challenges, the name is spelled with an “in” on one docket and “”an” on the other.  Adding to the confusion, the name McMillen is found on markers in Georgetown Cemetery.   Changing the spelling of a family name was not uncommon at that time in our history.  Such changes occurred between generations rather than within a family.  That makes this case unusual.  

[4]   Rees is a famous steamboat family from Pittsburgh.   Thomas M, James H, or William, or the Rees firm could have filed the complaint.

[5]   Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents and of the US Courts in Patent Cases for the Year 1884, Washington Government Printing Office, 1884, p475.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2017 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved

No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capt John Smith McMilllin

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Over the weekend, David McMillin introduced me to his triple great grandfather David Bruce McMillin who was born in Georgetown on 28 Jan 1810.   The McMillins owned Lots 52 and 53 on the town square.  Lot 7 on the river next to Capt Andrew Parr was listed to Steel McMillin.  A daughter, Sarah McMillin, married George Nash who owned property and a sawmill along Smith or Nash Run. 

 

The email exchange that peaked my interest was the statement that John Smith McMillin was a steamboat captain who owned the str Silver Wave.  I had read about the str Silver Wave, but had no idea of its connection to Georgetown.  Capt John S McMillin also invented the steam  capstan.  He was awarded a patent, but litigation regarding that patent was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court against Capt McMillin.

 

 

The str Silver Wave was the first non-gunboat to pass the batteries at Vicksburg.  So Georgetown had two captains with their steamers loaded with troops and supplies at Vicksburg.  The str Horizon owned by Captains John N McNurdy and Thomas S Calhoon, collided with the str Moderator on its second pass by the batteries.  The str Horizon owned was a complete loss with many lives lost.

In the coming days, I will be adding a bio of Capt John S McMillin, researching the capstan patent, and amending the pages to include him and his steamers histories.  Till then a bio of Capt McMillin follows.  It was  included in the history of A history of the Grace Church Parish transcribed or contributed by Joan Skinnell Benincasa. 

 

 

 

 

 

CAPT. JOHN SMITH MCMILLIN.

     John Smith McMillin, son of William and Catherine Smith McMillin, Scotch-Irish Covenanters, who settled in Beaver County at the close of the last century, was born July 23, 1817, in Georgetown, Beaver County, Pa., where he spent his youth and received a common school education. He was the fourth child of a family of thirteen children. When fifteen years old he engaged in keel-boating on the Ohio River; he next became a pilot on a steamboat, and soon, by quickness and attention to business, he became a captain and was master and owner of several fine boats, and ran regularly to Memphis, New Orleans and all points on the Lower Mississippi River. During the Civil War he won for himself high reputation for bravery by fearlessly running the blockade at Vicksburg in his boat, the Silver Wave, and carrying supplies to the army below the city.


     He invented and put into successful use the well-known steam capstan, now a necessary part of the equipment of every river steamboat.


     In April, 1853, he moved to Pittsburgh and built a home on Grandview avenue, corner of Bigham street, Mount Washington, where he continued to reside until his death.


     He was married twice. His first wife was Phebe Ann Fry, daughter of Dr. Thomas Fry, of Rhode Island, who moved with his family to Georgetown. They were married in Georgetown in December, 1846, and Mrs. McMillin died in Pittsburgh July 8, 1866, leaving no children. His second wife, Mary Bindley, eldest daughter of John C. and Elmina Bindley, of Pittsburgh, he married August 7, 1867. She and three children, one daughter and two sons, survive him. He was baptized by Dr. Killikelly, in Grace Church, July 10, 1866, at the funeral of his first wife, beside the remains, and was confirmed by Bishop Kerfoot in St. Peter’s Church, Pittsburgh, April 14, 1867. He was a vestryman of Grace Church nearly thirty years ; was several times senior warden ; six years treasurer of the church, and was frequently deputy of the same church to the Annual Convention of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. He was a liberal contributor to the expense of putting a basement schoolroom under the church in 1865, and also to the fund for finishing and furnishing the church in 1869. He was a contributor to the support of the church from the time he moved to Mount Washington and a communicant of the same for twenty-six years. He died March 11, 1893, in the seventy-sixth year of his age.


     The circumstances of his death were peculiar. On Saturday morning, March 11, 1893, he started as usual for his place of business in the city, the Bindley Hardware Company. Near his gate he met Miss Elizabeth Kenah, and they walked on together, the Captain being, as he often was, in a joking, playful mood. They were proceeding along Grandview avenue going toward the Monongahela Incline Plane, and had just crossed Stanwix street, when he threw his left hand up to his head with an exclamation of sudden pain, tottered, and laid hold of the fence at the side of the street, sank down to the ground and in a few moments (before a physician could reach him) was dead.


     The funeral service was held at his late residence on Tuesday, March 14, 1893, at 2 P. M., in the presence of a large gathering of his relations and friends, and he was buried the same afternoon in Allegheny Cemetery.


     He was a well-known man, of strong character, noted for his simplicity, honesty and sincerity.

 

The Rev. R. J. Coster, in an address at his funeral, said:


     “God’s providences sometimes touch our hearts with peculiar force and stir our feelings to their lowest depths. Their suddenness and their pathetic surroundings point to God’s immediate presence and tell us that they are the work of His Hand. We cannot read the secret counsels of the Almighty; but this we know, His ways are wise and merciful. He doeth all things well. His infinite wisdom precludes mistakes. In faith, therefore, we bow to His Blessed Will, believing that His ordering is best. In times of sudden bereavement, like this, the promises of God’s Holy Word come to give us resignation and comfort. The Church of Christ, the mother of all the believing, comes to us with her sacred ministrations; her lessons and her prayers speak to us in Christ’s name and bid us fear not, faint not.


     “These thoughts harmonize well with the occasion that brings us together here today. Our friend and fellow-servant of God, to whom His Master granted more than his three-score years and ten, has been suddenly taken from our midst. So unexpected was the summons that we can hardly yet realize that we shall no more meet him in his home; no more meet him in the church.  We have been so long accustomed to see his tall form and his striking features, so long accustomed to see his kindly smile and to hear cordial welcome, that we shall sadly miss him many days. We had learned to look upon him almost as a permanent part of this community. For forty years he had occupied this home and identified himself with the interests of this section of the city. Most or all of those years he has been closely connected with Grace Church. For nearly thirty years he was one of its vestrymen; he was several times senior warden, for many years treasurer, and frequently he represented his parish in the Diocesan Convention All these years he and his family have been members of Grace Church, and often have they come to its aid in times of need. Some of you have known our departed friend longer than I have, but for nearly twenty-five years I have enjoyed his friendship and confidence.


     His home was always open to me, and here I always met a kindly greeting and a
The Rev. R. J. Coster, in an address at his funeral, said:


     “God’s providences sometimes touch our hearts with peculiar force and stir our feelings to their lowest depths. Their suddenness and their pathetic surroundings point to God’s immediate presence and tell us that they are the work of His Hand. We cannot read the secret counsels of the Almighty; but this we know, His ways are wise and merciful. He doeth all things well. His infinite wisdom precludes mistakes. In faith, therefore, we bow to His Blessed Will, believing that His ordering is best. In times of sudden bereavement, like this, the promises of God’s Holy Word come to give us resignation and comfort. The Church of Christ, the mother of all the believing, comes to us with her sacred ministrations; her lessons and her prayers speak to us in Christ’s name and bid us fear not, faint not.


     “These thoughts harmonize well with the occasion that brings us together here today. Our friend and fellow-servant of God, to whom His Master granted more than his three-score years and ten, has been suddenly taken from our midst. So unexpected was the summons that we can hardly yet realize that we shall no more meet him in his home; no more meet him in the church.  We have been so long accustomed to see his tall form and his striking features, so long accustomed to see his kindly smile and to hear cordial welcome, that we shall sadly miss him many days. We had learned to look upon him almost as a permanent part of this community. For forty years he had occupied this home and identified himself with the interests of this section of the city. Most or all of those years he has been closely connected with Grace Church. For nearly thirty years he was one of its vestrymen; he was several times senior warden, for many years treasurer, and frequently he represented his parish in the Diocesan Convention All these years he and his family have been members of Grace Church, and often have they come to its aid in times of need. Some of you have known our departed friend longer than I have, but for nearly twenty-five years I have enjoyed his friendship and confidence.


     His home was always open to me, and here I always met a kindly greeting and a
cordial welcome. I constantly met him on terms of closest intimacy, and this intimacy only increased my confidence and respect for the man. As one learned to know him well, and to understand his ways and modes of expression, one could not fail to appreciate the sterling traits of his character, his simplicity, his honesty, his sincerity. Like every man of strong character, he had his peculiarities, and these peculiarities caused him sometimes to be misunderstood by those who imperfectly knew him. But to his intimate friends these peculiarities only intensified his personality and made him the man that they love to honor and remember. His sudden departure while still busy with his ordinary duties, the tragic termination of his active life, will tend to prolong his memory and to deepen the keenness of our sense of loss. But let us not sorrow for him as men without hope. He was a believer in Christ. He was a communicant of the Church. He died in the faith; and although he was reserved in the expression of his religious convictions, as most men of a like character are, yet he accepted the great truths of the Gospel and died trusting in his Lord. We can, therefore, lay him to rest believing that God will deal mercifully with him for Christ’s sake and give him the rest and peace that shall be the portion of his faithful people.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burials.

 

 

July 10. 1866:
PHEBE ANN McMILLIN, aged 50 years, wife of Capt. John S. McMillin, of Grandview avenue and Bigham street. Service at the church, conducted by Dr. Killikelly, the rector, assisted by the Rev. Dr. Page and the Rev. Mr. Snively, of the city. Buried in Allegheny Cemetery. “A devout communicant of Grace Church, a most excellent Christian woman and a valuable member of the church and of society.”

 

March 14, 1893:
JOHN SMITH McMILLIN, aged 76 years. Service at the late residence of the deceased, Grandview avenue and Bigham street, and interment in Allegheny Cemetery, the Rev. R. J. Coster, his pastor and friend for twenty-five years, officiating. A strong character, noted for his simplicity and integrity. (See obituary.)

 

 

 

 

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