George Merchan Fox

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GEORGE MERCHAN FOX (deceased) had the oldest undertaking business in Kittanning and was engaged in that line for over thirty years. He was a native of Leechburg, Armstrong County , born Oct 2, 1836 son of George and Alice (Hilderbrand)Fox. His grandfather John Fox , came from Germany and made his home in Pennsylvania, where he died in 1820. He was a blacksmith by trade.

George Fox was born born in 1800 in Armstrong county Pa, and was a boatman on the Pennsylvania canal , from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, and when the oil excitement came on he engaged in boating oil down the Allegheny river. After some years he left the oil region andd then spent a portion of his time in fishing in the Alleghany and Kiskiminetas river. He died in 1869 at clinton. In polictics he was first a whig , later a Democrat, in religion member of the Presbyterian church. His politics .His wife, Alice (Hilderbrand), was born in 1808 in the arsenal at Pittburgh, where the family had taken refuge in time of danger. Her father , Comey Hilderbrand, a native of England, frist located in Pittsburgh after his arrival in this country, being in the garrison for a while, and later settling at Freeport, Armstrong county, where he died in 1845. He spent much of his time on the Alleghany river and became very friendly with the Indians, learning to speak serveral of their languages andserving as interpreter for several of the tribes and was quite popular with them.

Mrs. Fox died June 14, 1888, in Warren county, Pa She and her husband had thirteen children, namely: George w.,William. May, Iiona, George M, John, Annie, Harriet, Angeline, Maggie, Susan, David, Alice one that died young.

George Merchan Fox was reared on the farm, and in the early boyhood attended the local common schools. He learn the trade of plastering , serving a two years apprenticeship. Going South , to Memphis , Tenn, He remained there , engaged in the ice business, until the civil war broke out , when when he returned to Pennsylvania and commenced boating oil on the Alleghany river , being thus engaged until 1866 . In the year 1868 he settled in Kattanning , of which borough he was a resident to the end of his life. In 1870 he embarked in the business of undertaking and embalming , having his business establishment and home in the tree story brick building on Arch Street where he was located until his removal to No 158-160 North McKean Street, the place where his widow still resides. There he continued the business until his death, which occurred Jan 1,1904. Mr Fox was successful, acquiring the ownership of several houses in the borough besides other property, and he was one of the respected citizens of Kittanning thoughout his long residence there. He was a Republican in politics, and served as membership in Ariel Lodge, no 688, I.O.O.F., AND Lodge No 493, E.A.U., and belonged to the Methodist Church.

When the news of the Johnstown flood (1889) came to Kittanning Mr. Fox and his neohew, Lloyd Green, went to the scene of the great disaster, and together gave five weeks of their time, without remuneration to help prepare the bodies for burial . Later Lloyd Green went to the Austin (Pa) flood,where he gave three weeks services preparing the dead free of charge.

On May 5, 1863 Mr Fox married Katherine Ann Lloyd, who was born March 2, 1838 at Ebensburg, Cambria Co Pa daughter of Ebenezer and Sarah (Stimeman) Lloyd and member of a highly respected family of that section. They had no children of there own, but reared the three children of Mr. Fox's sister Josephine (wife of Harry Green) namely: Ira Lloyd Green, who lives at Kittanning; Frank Green now of Morgantown, Va; and Leroy F. who is in the automobile business at Pittsburgh.

Ebenezer Lloyd, father of Mrs. Fox, was born at Ebensburg, CambriaCo, Pa , which place was so named in honor of the Lloyds who founded the town after the name Ebenezer borne by so many members of the family. The Lloyds came originally from Wales. They were very liberal in their support of movements for the improvement of the place, gave the church, cemetery and other benefits to the town, and did much for the advancement of the general welfare. Ebenezer Lloyd and a partner ran the stage line from Ebensburg to Indiana, Indiana Co; Pa through Kittanning to Bulter, Butler County. He eventually settle in Kittanning , where he founded the undertaking business which after his death was by his son in law George M. Fox. Mr Lloyd was one of the most esteemed citizens of this section in hisday. He was a Republican in his political views. He and his wife Sarah had a family of three children: Katherine A, Mrs. George M.Fox ; Absalom R., who resides in Kattanning ; and Josehine, who married Harry Green and after his death became the wife of George T. Patterson, their home being now at Alliance, Ohio.

Source: Pages 784-785, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed December 1998 by Bonnie Schultz for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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