McGills The Descendants of Patrick, the Pioneer,
Contd.William Perry McGill: His Useful Career and Melancholy End
McGILL, WILLIAM PERRY
Born: At the McGill Settlement, French
Creek Country, Dec. 18, 1796.
Married: To Juliana Cochran, Dec.27, 1827. Died: Oct. 29, 1847.
Juliana was born Dec.
Died Sept. 12,1870.
William Perry McGill was
about five feet, nine inches talla broad-shouldered, full chested, strong
man; was well informed, self-reliant and capable, and was exceedingly
systematic in the management of all his business affairs. In the erection of
his buildings and putting his place under cultivation he was satisfied with
nothing but the best that could be obtained, and his industry and
persistency were such that he always had the best to show. His fences were
the highest and most substantially built of any in the countryhis
outhouses, cribs, pens, coops and sheds rested on solid stone foundations
and were arranged for utility and convenience as well as for appearance in
He would tolerate no
make-shifts, or slovenly, bungling work about his premises. The remotest
fence corner on the place was clean and free from brush and briers and was
growing the tame grasses of the fields. His live stock were of the best
varieties and were always sleek and in fine condition.
For several years preceding
his death (1847) his farm was easily the model farm of the French Creek
valley, and notwithstanding his expensive improvements he was not in debt.
It was a part of his system to pay down for what he bought, maintaining that
no man needed anything until he could pay for it.
He took an active interest in
public utilities, and made himself heard in relation to the same ; his
manner was not persuasive, but imperative. He had no toleration whatever for
a hypocrite or trickster, and bores shunned him.
Of course he was not popular
with some folks, his austerity holding at bay unprincipled adventurers and
men of loose morality, and people of this class slandered him and spoke
disrespectfully of his ways behind his back.
But the time came when public
opinion veered in his direction. Men saw the honesty and integrity of his
purposes, and that while he exacted what was due him, he never wronged a
He contributed liberally and
judiciously to church, school and the public highways, especially to the
school, in which he took a great interest, and his well-kept premises became
an object lesson in the midst of the slovenly methods of the new settlement,
and men who had spoken slightingly of his ways, came around to point out his
improvements to strangers, and took pride in so doing, and he justly came to
be looked upon as one of the foremost men of the community.
He was ambitious and
self-confident, and what ever he undertook had to be done. He owned a
vicious, intractable young horse, and he determined to reduce the animal to
submission under the saddle. He was not a good rider, but was a fearless
one, so he mounted the colt and came riding down the avenue, leading from
the barn. The horse became frantic, probably under the spur, and reared and
pitched terribly. The rider was unseated and thrown directly upon his head
on the hard, frozen ground, and his skull was fractured. He was not killed
instantly, but lived in a demented condition for some time and then died of
the exhaustion of mania caused by pressure on the brain.
Juliana, wife of William P.
McGill, came to the place a young lady of education and refinement, well
schooled in all the gentle accomplishments of her sex. She was very proud of
her big husband and greatly admired his intellectual force and strong mental
caliber, however crude they were. Her pleasing personality and gentle ways
won the hearts of her new made relatives, and she was held in great esteem
She came from a distinguished
people, prominent in affairs. The Johnstons of Kentucky and Tennessee,
notable men in the annals of war and statesmanship, were relatives of hers,
and she was in frequent communication with these as well as other branches
of the family. She was also connected with the Culbertsons and Colters of
Pennsylvania, and her standing in social life was among the best.
When her husband's reason was
dethroned, and the strong arm upon which she leaned for protection became a
menace to her and her children, the ordeal was terrible. All other cares
became of secondary importance, and she took her place by the side of her
smitten husband and her gentle hand soothed his delirium as none other
could. Sleepless vigils were hers, and during the hours of the night when
the husband lay quiet on his couch, she would be found crouched down by the
fireplace with a tallow dip by her side that the light might not be
obtrusive, with open eyes, watching, watching, watching. The pathos of the
scene cannot be written.
After the death of her
husband, Juliana gathered up the shredded strands of her eventful life, and
as might be expected from one of her blood and breeding, became the strong,
self-reliant matron, and her home again became a place of cheerful resort
for the oncoming generations. A brief sketch of the posterity of William P,
and Juliana McGill, as far as can be ascertained from the family records,
may be found below :
McGill, Jane Johnston
Born: Oct. 5, 1828. Died : Nov.
McGill, Anna Maria
Born : Nov. 15, 1829. Died: Dec.
McGill, Margaret Helen
Born : Nov. 18, 1830. Died: Nov.
McGill, Nancy Anna (Floyd) Born:
Oct. 7, 1832.
Married: George W. Floyd, of
ley, Pa., June 20, 1858.
Floyd was born June 15, 1836.
Died at Saegerstown, Pa., May 2,
Mr, and Mrs. Floyd had seven
Arthur F. FloydBorn : May 7,
Married : To Addie M. Latshaw,
Dec. 5, 1881.
They had one son-Frank
Latshaw Floyd-who was born April 28, 1883. Frank was a bright boy, took one
term in the United States Army for educational purposes and is now operating
in the Indiana oil fields. Arthur and Addie separated and Arthur married a
second time, Feb. 15, 1894, to Ida F. Chronister. Their residence is at
Louella A. FloydBorn : July 21,
Married : Wallace Mook, April 4,
1899. Died: Nov. 5, 1901 - no issue.
Charles S. Floyd, M. D.
Born: Jan. 28, 1864.
Died: Nov. 22, 1896.
Dr. Floyd possessed in a
marked degree his mother's genius for research and learning, and he was an
earnest diligent student. He studied with Dr. H. E. Smith, of Saegerstown
Pa., an eminently successful local practitioner, and after a course of
reading entered Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia, Pa., where he
took his degree of M. D., developing rare talents in the line of surgery.
After a short period of
practice with his old preceptor he selected Austin, in Potter County, Pa.,
as the field of his future operations. At Austin were located the great
Goodyear Lumber Mills, where accidents were of daily occurrence, and he was
there afforded ample opportunities in his favorite line of practice, and he
performed some wonderful operations, which gave him great prestige in the
line of his profession.
It was while thus surging to
the front that he met with an accident that caused a clot on his brain and
he died. It is seldom that one so young, so universally commands the respect
of his fellowmen.
The profession deplored his
loss, civic societies honored his memory, and the Knight Templars of
Coudersport came in a body hundreds of miles down the mountains to lay him
away in the Saegerstown cemetery. His old associates felt that a light had
gone out that was not to be relighted again except by the miracle of
Sheldon G. FloydBorn : Jan. 23,
Married : To May E. Haven, at
Toledo, Ohio, July 15, 1902.
Residence : Bartlesville,
Julia Alberta Floyd (Mook)
Born: Aug. 3, 1870.
Married: To Wallace Mook, June
Mr. and Mrs. Mook have a fine
residence on Main street, and Mr. M. is engaged in the mercantile business
with the firm of Mook Bros. There are four young fellows (boys) interested
in the subsistence department of the Mook household. I have not got their
Rose E. Floyd (Mook)
Born: April 8, 1872.
Married: Allison Mook, Oct. 16,
Died: Jan. 7, 1907.
Before her marriage Rose was
for several years principal of the Grammar Department of the Saegerstown
High School. She was a lady of fine literary attainments and most attractive
personality. She left two children, a little boy, Morris Allison, born Jan.
22, 1904, and one daughter, Margaret Elizabeth, born Dec. 5, 1906.
A. Raymond Floyd
Born: July 15, 1877.
Mr. Floyd is unmarried and lives
at Sharon, Pa.
Nancy Anna McGill, now Floyd,
was from a child, brilliant. Her faculty of absorbing knowledge was
phenomenal, and as a little student in school she easily led the rugged way,
looking back with twinkling eyes at her laggard competitors, among whom was
the writer of this sketch. As soon as she was tall enough (and she was never
very tall), she mustered in the ranks of Crawford county's teachers, and her
career as such was one continued success.
The Blooming Valley district
secured her services and retained them as long as she could be induced to
take charge of a school, and even after she was married, again and again
prevailed on her to continue in the capacity of instructor of their youth.
She was a writer of clear,
cogent expression, and as a poet gave utterance to some very beautiful
thoughts, but she was not ambitious for a literary career, and found her
place among the quiet cares of the domestic household. She became the mother
and efficient manager of the large family we have noted, and while her
children have gone out their several ways, grandchildren swarm around her,
receiving her most affectionate caresses.
"Nan" deserves this little
tribute, for among all the productions of the Clan McGill she is one of the
brightest and the best.
Her address is Euclid avenue,
McGill, William Johnston
Born: July 20, 1834.
Married : To Charlotte Ross, Nov. 23, 1866.
Died: Jan. 27, 1902.
In the absence of any
authentic records I have made the following compilation of the children of
William Johnston McGill and Charlotte (Ross) McGill, from such data as could
be procured. It is quite probable that in some respects it is erroneous.
Mrs. Charlotte McGill died at
the Denny Road, between Ninth and Tenth streets, Bayonne, N. J., July 18,
1891, and was buried at New York Bay cemetery, as per official records.
McGill, Margaret Gertrude-Eldest
Born: Nov. 23, 1867.
Married: (Name of husband not
Lives at Bayonne, N. J. McGill,
Born : Sept. 16, 1869. (Same as
McGill, Emma Jane
Born: Sept. 5, 1871.
(Same as above.)
McGill, Charles and Julia
Charles born Jan. 20, 1874.
Julia born April 16, 1876. Deceased.
Born : Oct. 17, 1878
Married: To Richard Pearson.
Lives near Coudersport, Pa.
Born : Dec. 26, 1880.
Married. Lives at Manhattan
Borough, New York City.
Born: Nov. 6, 1884.
Married and lives at Erie, Pa.
Born : Oct. 2, 1889. Address not
William Johnston McGill was a
Union Soldier in the War of the Rebellion. He enlisted May 11, 1861, at
Meadville, Pa., in Company F, Ninth Regiment, Pennsylvania Reserves, Captain
Samuel B. Dick, and was honorably discharged May 11, 1864.
He was severely wounded at
the battle of Drainsville, Pa., Dec. 20, 1861. The missile that struck him
was a large, round ball, shot from a smoothbore musket, and it penetrated
the deep muscles of the left side of the abdomen. The wound healed in time
and he returned to the command and served out his term of enlistment, but he
never recovered from the peculiar effects of that injury.
Dr. Floyd, after a most
thorough examination, reported that the bullet had penetrated a sufficient
depth to injure the walls of abdomen, causing an adhesion of the peritoneum
that interfered with the peristaltic action of the bowels, causing
intestinal troubles of a serious character.
Dr. Noah N. Sanborn, of
Bayonne, N. J., his attending physician, certified that the cause of his
death was consumption of the bowels. After discharge Mr. W. J. went to the
Oil Creek country, where he married. When the Standard Oil company located
their great plant at Bayonne, N. J., he went along as a boss trimmer, taking
his family with him.
His old comrades and
associates in the army have only good words to say when his name is
McGill, John Patrick
Born : May 4, 1 836.
Died: June 25, 1862, near
In John P. McGill again came
to the surface that humorous vein that for generations had characterized the
clan. He was a printer, and the old-time printing office was the college of
the brightest wits of the day, and that he was a past master in fun and
frolic, jest and joviality, sarcasm and screaming mirth was never disputed.
He was a writer of epigrams,
a perpetrator of jokes, and an all-round disturber of melancholy. A history
of his hilarious deeds and doings would make the most interesting and
mirth-provoking chapter that was ever read.
And withal he was a patriot,
a lover of the land of his birth, and held in supreme contempt the
pretensions of the man owning and mulatto breeding old vagrants of the
South, who, assuming to be great, thought to disrupt the country and destroy
And so it came that when
there was a call for troops he went out with McLane's Erie Regiment of three
months' men, and on the reorganization for the three years' service, he
enrolled at Meadville, Pa., Aug. 15, 1861, in Company B (Capt. John F.
Morris), 83d Regiment, Penn. Inf. Vol., and was promptly made First Sergeant
of his company. In this capacity he served with marked efficiency, and
during the long period from August, 1861, to March, 1862, in which the
authorities were engaged in making invalids of strong men, and filling the
hospitals, his services were invaluable in keeping up the spirits and
promoting the healthful enjoyment of his men. When the facts of real war
came in evidence he proved equal to every emergency without abating in the
least his full quota of fun.
On the 24th day of June word
came to me that the Sergeant was sick and had been taken to the field
hospital. I hastened to see him; he was sane, but it was evident that he was
smitten with that virulent type of malarial fever bred in the Chickahominy
On the 25th preparations were
on for a great battle. Everything was in motion; trains and ambulances were
being hurried to and fro. I went to the hospital: it was being dismantled
and taken down, and my friend was dead.
The Company B boys gathered
around me like lost children. They all loved their big, humorous sergeant,
and they wanted to send his body home ; they could not bear the thought of
burying his remains in the stinking soil of the Chickahominy swamps, but
they had no money and the cost of embalming, casket and express charges
would be considerable. The money was raised ; an ambulance and driver
procured, an armed sergeant and guard detailed to act as escort.
Meanwhile his brother,
William Johnston, of the Pennsylvania Reserves, arrived, also armed and
equipped. The Reserves, far to our right, were already skirmishing with the
approaching foe, but Colonel Dick gave Johnston a pass and himself carried
it to the several headquarters, and procured the necessary endorsements, and
when he handed him the document and allowed him to see to his brother's
burial, he told him to go armed and equipped as he would never again see
anything he left behind.
The body was placed in the
ambulance; the escort and solitary armed mourner took seats inside, and the
equipage was rushed to the Heintzelman embalming establishment at White
House Landing. The establishment was a private enterprise, without any
official status, but sanctioned and protected by army officers. They
received the body, took pay for the process, but did not perform the
operation ; instead, the remains were placed in a casket, hermetically
sealed, and hurried on board an express boat that was about leaving the
Pamunkey, and it was the last one that sailed before the place was abandoned
to the enemy.
The casket was received at
home, and all that remained of John Patrick McGill was consigned to mother
earth where repose the bones of his ancestors. The funeral is said to have
been very large, and the Woodcock Company of State Uniformed Militia
interred him with military honors.
McGill, Elizabeth Lucinda (Osburn)
Born : Dec. 11, 1 838.
Married: To Edward F. Osburn.
(Date of marriage not given).
Died: Aug. 13, 1894. (They had
Helen A. Osburn
She is married to Morton J.
Damon, and their home is at Oregon.
Thomas Johnston Osburn
He is supposed to be with his
father who remarried and lives at Portland, Oregon.
John M. Osburn
Died at the age of seven years,
in Hayfield, pa., and with his mother is buried in Saegerstown cemetery.
McGill, Arthur Faulkner
Born: January 3, 1841.
Died: April 22, 1857.
William P. and Juliana had
twins-a son and daughter, born May 19, 1843, and died May 20 and 21
It will be observed that the
descendants of William P. McGill have gone out to the Atlantic and Pacific
coasts, thus spanning the continent.
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