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The McGills
The Descendants of Patrick, the Pioneer, Cont’d.—William Perry McGill: His Useful Career and Melancholy End


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. 30, 1799.
Died Sept. 12, 1870.

William Perry McGill was about five feet, nine inches tall—a 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 country—his outhouses, cribs, pens, coops and sheds rested on solid stone foundations and were arranged for utility and convenience as well as for appearance in the perspective.

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 living soul.

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 by all.

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. 29, 1828.

McGill, Anna Maria

Born : Nov. 15, 1829. Died: Dec. I, 1829.

McGill, Margaret Helen

Born : Nov. 18, 1830. Died: Nov. 27, 1876.

McGill, Nancy Anna (Floyd) Born: Oct. 7, 1832.

Married: George W. Floyd, of Blooming Val

ley, Pa., June 20, 1858.

Floyd was born June 15, 1836.

Died at Saegerstown, Pa., May 2, 1901.

Mr, and Mrs. Floyd had seven children, viz.:

Arthur F. FloydBorn : May 7, 1859.

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 Bays, Ohio.

Louella A. FloydBorn : July 21, 1860.

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 resurrection.

Sheldon G. FloydBorn : Jan. 23, 1 866.

Married : To May E. Haven, at Toledo, Ohio, July 15, 1902.

Residence : Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

Julia Alberta Floyd (Mook)

Born: Aug. 3, 1870.

Married: To Wallace Mook, June 7, 1893.

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 names.

Rose E. Floyd (Mook)

Born: April 8, 1872.

Married: Allison Mook, Oct. 16, 1901.

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, Saegerstown, Pa.

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 daughter.

Born: Nov. 23, 1867.

Married: (Name of husband not known.)

Lives at Bayonne, N. J. McGill, Anna Tina

Born : Sept. 16, 1869. (Same as above.)

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.

McGill, Rose

Born : Oct. 17, 1878

Married: To Richard Pearson. Lives near Coudersport, Pa.

McGill, William

Born : Dec. 26, 1880.

Married. Lives at Manhattan Borough, New York City.

McGill, Edward

Born: Nov. 6, 1884.

Married and lives at Erie, Pa.

McGill, Raymond

Born : Oct. 2, 1889. Address not known.


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 mentioned.

McGill, John Patrick

Born : May 4, 1 836.

Died: June 25, 1862, near Richmond, Va.

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 the republic.

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 swamps.

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 three children):

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 respectively.

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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