James S. Claypool


JAMES S. CLAYPOOL, closely associated with much of the building in Kittanning and all over Armstrong county, and a man of wide business connections, was born Jan. 6, 1858, near Worthington, Pa., in West Franklin township, this county, son of Abraham and Mary Ann (Miller) Claypool.

George Claypool, the grandfather, was one of the early settlers of Armstrong county, developing a fine farm in this section.

Abraham Claypool was also a farmer. He and his wife became the parents of nine children: Mary E., wife of Samuel Bonner; John; Hattie J., wife of Harvey Claypool; George; Caroline, wife of William Forester; William H.; James S.; Sadie, who died unmarried, and one who died in infancy. The parents were consistent members of the Presbyterian Church.

James S. Claypool attended school in the old Bradford schoolhouse, and from childhood assisted his father. After the death of the latter he farmed the homestead, and paid off his father's debts. Until he was about twenty-eight years old he followed farming, and then became a huckster, buying and selling various kinds of articles. Within a short time he was able to buy a small tract. He operated it and also a small mine on his farm, for three years. Following this Mr. Claypool went to Kittanning to work as a carpenter at $1.50 per day, and progressed so rapidly that he was soon made foreman. During the evenings he also worked drawing plans for buildings, and soon became proficient as a draftsman. In 1884 he began buying and selling lumber, and continued to operate along this line for a year, until he was able to establish himself in a general lumber business at Kittanning. He is now selling lumber both wholesale and retail. By the time he had built up a large business, he found that he had over-exerted himself and was obliged to take a period of rest. While at Punxsutawney, Pa., recovering his strength, he discovered a fine tract of land, which his keen appreciation of values showed him was a desirable holding, so he bought it, and soon had two sawmills in full running order, giving employment to sixty men and twenty-five teams. When he had it all in good running order he returned to Kittanning, built a planing mill, opened a lumber yard, and established himself as a general contractor and builder as well as lumber dealer. From that time on he has been one of the leading men in his several lines. He has had to fight combinations, but has always been equal to emergencies, and has come out successfully from all undertakings. He served one term as member of the council of Kittanning, and is a member and director of the Board of Trade. He is a self-made man in every respect, and his success shows what a man can accomplish if he is willing to exert himself. A deeply religious man he has had faith in his Creator and the Bible, and has always been a consistent member of the Baptist Church, to which his wife also belongs. He has been a member of its official board since its organization in Kittanning.

On Dec. 4, 1883, Mr. Claypool was married to Margaret J. Toy, daughter of James Toy. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Claypool: Finley S., deceased; Homer H., who was married Aug. 7, 1912, to Wilda D. Rowland, daughter of Rev. M. L. Rowland, of Plumville, Indiana county; and James G., deceased.

Source: Pages 441, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed September 2001 by Vaughn Davis for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

Armstrong County Genealogy Project Notice:
These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format, for any presentation, without prior written permission.

Return to the Beers Project


Return to the Armstrong County Genealogy Project

(c) Armstrong County Genealogy Project


Return to the Armstrong County Genealogy Project

(c) Armstrong County Genealogy Project