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Hon. William Waugh





HON. WILLIAM WAUGH was born in New Bedford, Lawrence Co., Penn., May 4, 1818. His father, James Waugh, was born in Cumberland County, Penn., July 5, 1788, and his grandfather, James, was a captain in the Revolutionary War, and died on his farm near New Wilmington, Penn., about 1815, whither the family had removed early in the present century. The father of our subject, when a boy, crossed the Mountains to Crawford County, Penn., with Alexander Power, a pioneer surveyor of that county, whence he subsequently returned to Cumberland County. Soon after reaching manhood James, Jr., opened a small store in a log cabin near New Bedford, Penn., into which town he subsequently removed. About 1824 he formed a partnership with his brother, Alexander Power Waugh, under the firm name of J. & A. P. Waugh, and started a store in Greenville. They carried on merchandising in that town about twenty years, and during this period operated its leading mercantile establishment. Their business house stood west of the Shenango, on Main Street. Alexander P., born July 4, 1791, located in Greenville in 1824, and was the first postmaster of the village. After giving up merchandising he led a retired life, and died in the Presbyterian faith March 7, 1869. He was a quiet, unassuming man, and well known and respected by the early settlers of Mercer County. They sold their store to Gen. James. Power and John Waugh, a son of James, who, as Power & Waugh, removed it to the east side of the Shenango, and were leading merchants of Greenville. They were also large canal contractors, and in connection with Charles M. Reed, of Erie, Penn. , built the first blast furnace in Greenville, which they operated a few years at a large financial loss. John Waugh was also one of the prominent stock dealers of Mercer County, and one of its well­known citizens. James Waugh and family resided in New Bedford till the spring of 1829, when he joined his brother at Greenville. Politically he was a Whig, and in 1828 was elected from Mercer County to the Legislature, and served one term. He was married at New Bedford to Miss Jane Thompson, born in July, 1788, who bore him four children: Margaret, Elizabeth, John and William, all of whom are dead except the last mentioned. During the War of 1812 he served at Erie, in Capt. Gilliland’s company. The family were Presbyterians, and his wife died in that faith July 19, 1861, her husband surviving her until July 18, 1874. James Waugh was a self-educated man, of strong argumentative ability, and a wide knowledge of men and affairs. William came to Greenville with his parents in the spring of 1829, attended school in the Jamestown Academy, and in 1838 graduated at the Western University, Pittsburgh. He then read law with. Pearson & Stewart, of Mercer, and was admitted to the bar December 28, 1842. He soon gave up the law profession, however, and engaged in other business. In 1850 he was appointed associate judge, and served until new judges were elected by popular vote, when he was not a candidate. In 1857 he was elected, on the Republican ticket, prothonotary of Mercer County, and re-elected to the same office, in which capacity he served six years. Judge Waugh was a leading spirit in the organization of the First National Bank of Greenville, in 1864, and was its first cashier. He filled that position until the death of the president, the late Samuel P. Johnston, in the fall of 1875, when he was chosen president of the bank, and served in that capacity up to January, 1888. Judge Waugh was married February 6, 1846, to Miss Annie D. Lasher, of Philadelphia, Penn. , of which union three sons have been born: James A., of Greenville; William F. , professor in the Medical Chirurgical College of Philadelphia, and John H. , a stock grower of Dakota. From 1845 until 1848 Judge Waugh was editor and proprietor of the Mercer County Whig, at Mercer, and in the latter year was the nominee of the Whig party of Mercer County for the Legislature, but, because of his opposition to the division of the county, the Whigs in the southern part split off and defeated him. 

History of Mercer County, PA, 1888, pages 833-834



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