John S. Devenny


CAPT. JOHN S. DEVENNY, one of Steubenville's most distinguished and highly respected pioneer citizens, was born in Westmoreland county, Penn., April 24, 1810. He is the son of John and Martha (McLure) Devenny. The father was born in county Derry, Ireland, in 1767 and coming to America with an uncle in early manhood, was married in 1802 to Miss McLure, who was born in Westmoreland county about 1775. They had eight children, of whom John S. was the fifth born, and the only one living. His father died in 1863 and his mother several years previous. When he was five years old, in 1815, his parents removed to Steubenville, where they spent the remainder of their lives and where he has resided ever since. In his youth he became a machinist, and shortly before his eighteenth birthday he took up the vocation of a steamboat engineer and continued in that capacity until 1837. In that year he was promoted captain of a steamboat, and he served as such until the fall of 1864. From June 1861, until the fall of 1864 he was captain of a government steamer. In March, 1865 he was appointed by President Lincoln, supervising inspector of steam vessels for th Seventh United States district, which position he held about twelve years. Since 1877 he has led a quiet, retired life. Mr. Devenny was married in May 1836 to Jane Armstrong, who died June 24, 1840 leaving one son, William A. Devenny who died in May 1889, being at the time, a resident of New Orleans. On December 24, 1841, Mr. Devenny wsa married to Julia M. Wheelock, who was born at Southbridge, Mass. in 1818 and came to Steubenville with an uncle in 1838. She died July 10, 1883, leaving no children. Mr. Devenny is a member of the Methodist Protestant church, and of the Masonic lodge, having joined the latter, May 19, 1831. He is of the rank of Knight Templar. In politics he is a republican.

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