JOHN HASTINGS (deceased) was born in Colerain township, Lancaster county, Dec. 4, 1804, a son of John and Mary (Mahoney) Hastings, of English and Irish ancestry, the Mahoneys belonging to the Scotch-Irish. Both families were represented in the war of the Revolution.
John Hastings, Sr., was the son of Peter and Rachel Hastings, who were born in England. John and Mary (Mahoney) Hastings were married in 1796, and settled on a place in the woods in Colerain township. This his axe converted into a farm, and there both he and his wife died. Their family consisted of the following members: (1) Stephen, born in 1799, married a Miss Potts, and settled in Lancaster township, where he and his wife died in 1832, leaving two daughters: Frances, the widow of Clement Dunlap, of Lancaster; Mary, late wife of Samuel Curtis, of Lancaster. (2) Rachel, born in Colerain township in 1800, married Hays Kuch, who settled in Little Britain, where she died in 1880. (3) Peter, born in 1802, died in 1812. (4) John is the subject of this biography. (5) Jeremiah, born in 1807, married a Miss Smith, of Chester county for his first wife, and settled on the Hastings homestead in Colerain township, where his wife died, leaving four children: Rachel, who married B. Whiteside, of Chester county; Marshall, a resident of Colerain township, Esther, who married W. H. Hogg, of Colerain township, and is dead; William S., of Drumore township. Mr. Hastings married for his second wife Hannah McVeigh, who bore him three children: Rebecca, of Philadelphia; Hannah, the wife of Nathaniel Ferguson, of Philadelphia; Jerry, of Philadelphia. (6) William Hastings, born in December, 1809, married Miss Fannie Miller, of Lebanon county, and settled in the Cumberland valley, where he died at Newville, leaving one son, William M., who also died, unmarried. (7) B. Frank, born in 1812, married Anna C. Baker, of Vicksburg, a native of England; a few years after his marriage he went to California, where he was among the first prospectors of that region in 1849; he remained in California, where he died in 1881, leaving a wife and two sons: B. F., of Idaho; and J. Uhler, of San Francisco. (8) Margaret, born in 1815, married John Cope, of Little Britain, and moved with him to Illinois, where they died, leaving a family. (9) Nancy M., born in 1818, married Thomas Haines, of Little Britain, settling for a time in Lancaster county, and then moving to Havre de Grace, where he died; his widow died at the residence of a daughter in Chester, leaving four children: John, of Maryland; Sidney, the wife of James Keener, of Wilmington, Del.; Joseph and Frank, both of Chester, the last being the wife of William Roop.
John Hastings was reared a farmer and educated in the public schools of Colerain township. As a young man he was associated in a tanning enterprise with John Whiteside, under the firm name of Whiteside & Hastings. In 1836, however, Mr. Hastings parted company with Mr. Whiteside and bought for himself the Dan Lefever farm and family property, which he cultivated in connection with his tannery, becoming a very successful man. He bought several farms adjoining his own, and gave his entire attention to farming during the later years of his life.
Mr. Hastings was married in June, 1833, to Rebecca, the daughter of Francis and Margaret (Whiteside) Russel, both of Lancaster county. Mrs. Hastings was born in Russellville, Chester county, March 31, 1812, but was reared to womanhood in Lancaster county. Francis Russel, the father of Mrs. Hastings, was born in Chester county, Pa., in 1783, and was the son of Alexander Russel, born in the same house in 1756, his father, Hugh Russel, being born in Ayrshire, Scotland, in I726. The latter escaped from the battlefield of Culloden to make his way to America, and became a resident of Chester county, where he died. Francis Russel served in the war of 1812, and in his neighborhood was known as Col. Russel. George B., his son, is a retired physician of Detroit, where he settled many years ago.
After his marriage John Hastings settled in East Drumore township, where he built the present stone house in 1841, and the large barn at the home of his daughter, Emma, was built in 1840. Mr. Hastings died at his home in August, 1892. Always taking an active interest in local affairs, he was an intelligent citizen, and was connected with the Presbyterian Church. From his boyhood to his death he was one of its active workers, and is remembered as a strong and manly character. His widow died in 1900, eighty-nine years of age. For over sixty years she was his constant companion, a devoted wife, a loving mother and a true Christian woman. They were the parents of seven children. (1) Mary, born in June, 1834, died unmarried in November, 1889. (2) George Russel, born in 1836, was educated in the Academy at Chestnut Level, in Lancaster county, married Jane P. Dickey, of Colerain township, in 1864, and now resides on his farm in Colerain township. (3) Howard F., born in 1839, went, in 1858, with his uncle, B. Frank Hastings, to California, where he married Miss Emma Cunningham; he now holds a position in the Government custom house at Los Angeles, Cal.; they have two sons, John R. and Howard F. (4) William S., born in February, 1841, married Miss Ella Harrar, of Christiana, and now resides at Atglen, Chester county, where he is engaged in the lumber and warehouse business; his son, John D., married Miss Helen Phillips, and resides at Atglen, where he is a partner with his father; they have one daughter, Roberta. (5) Margaret died in childhood. (6) Emma R., born in 1846, was educated in the local school and in the State Normal at Millersville; during the sickness of her father, as she was the only one left at home, she became manager of his extensive interests; and after his death she superintended the farm, while devoting herself to the care of her aged mother. Her management has been very successful In 1898 she remodeled the large barn built by her father, and has made many other changes and improvements. (7) L. Rutter Hastings, born in 1849, married Miss Sarah A. Ewing, and they now reside on their farm in East Drumore township. They have six children: Rebecca L., wife of Harry Hamill, of Chester county; Jessie I.; Louisa L.; Harry E.; Isabelle R.; and George R.
George, William and Howard Hastings are all members of the Masonic fraternity. John Hastings was a Democrat, and was often a delegate to the county conventions of his party. He was a school director many years. All the family were identified with the Presbyterian Church, of which he was a faithful and devoted member, as was his wife.