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Lawrence County, PA Biographies




Samuel John Douglass

SAMUEL JOHN DOUGLASS, a veteran of the Civil War and a well known resident of Big Beaver Township, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, is living in retirement, after many years of activity, on his farm about three-fourths of a mile southwest of Wampum. He was born in that township, December 4, 1840, and is a son of James and Elizabeth (McCoy) Douglass, and a grandson of James Douglass.

The paternal grandfather of Samuel J. Douglass was of German descent and came to Slippery Rock Township, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, from some point in the East. He was the father of the following children: James, John, Washington, Samuel, and Mary, the later being the wife of John Carpenter. All of this family are now deceased. The father of Samuel J. Douglass was born in Lawrence County and at an early age learned shoemaking, a trade he followed most of his days. Although he maintained a shop, he traveled extensively through the country, going from house to house, and at times he would remain long enough to make shoes for an entire family. He was married to Elizabeth McCoy, who was born on the old home farm in Lawrence County, and was a daughter of James McCoy, who came from Ireland and purchased a farm in this county. He was a very prosperous man and made three or four voyages between Ireland and this country. Mrs. Douglass died in 1863, at the age of sixty-two years, and was survived by her husband, who died in 1886, at the age of seventy years. They had the following children: Samuel John and Mary Ann, wife of Samuel Ault, of Sharpsville.

Samuel J. Douglass was reared in his native township, and attended the old "Hatchet Track" log school, after his father had moved to Newport. His winter months were spent in working at shoemaking, and during the summer he worked among the farmers. February 19, 1864, he enlisted in Company C, One Hundred and First Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, under Second Lieutenant J. C. Cubbison, and was discharged June 25, 1865. His regiment was captured at Plymouth, N. C., but fortunately for him he was absent from its ranks at the time, being sick in a hospital. He continued in the service until the close of the war, then returned to his home in Lawrence County. He engaged on railroad work, being in the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad for a period of twelve years, and at the same time he owned his farm of twenty-five acres. He retired from business activity in 1886 and has his farm rented.

August 31, 1865, Mr. Douglass was joined in marriage with Margaret Black, who was born near New Castle, Pa., December 22, 1842, and is a daughter of Andrew and Mary (Johnston) Black. Her father was born in Ireland in 1796 and her mother in 1801. They were married in their native land, and shortly after the birth of their first child they emigrated for America. They settled in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, when the canal was being built, and he assisted in its construction. He died at the age of sixty years, and she at the age of eighty-six. They were parents of ten children, the oldest of whom died in Ireland. The others are: David, Robert, William, Mary, Eliza, Margaret, Thomas. Jane, Washington. Mr. Douglass and his wife have a son Howard, born March 12, 1867. The latter married Sadie Black and has four children: Nellie, Gladys, Charles, and Clyde. Fraternally Mr. Douglass is a member of Wampum Post, G. A. R. He is a Republican in politics. Both he and his family are Presbyterian.


Submitted by Jeanne Douglas Singo


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