Albert Gibson


ALBERT GIBSON, a veteran of the Civil war who has long been a resident of Bethel township, Armstrong county, made an honorable record during his army service and has made an equally creditable showing as a private citizen, He is a well-to-do farmer, and an esteemed member of the community where he resides.

Mr. Gibson was born May 1, 1840, in Pittsburgh, Pa., son of Simon D. Gibson, and is of English descent. His great-grandfather came to this country from England with his first wife, and settled near Meadville, Pa. The Indians attacked them, killing and scalping the wife, who was engaged in milking the cow at the time, and took him prisoner. Three times he was tied to the stake for torture, but something always prevented the savages from carrying out their intentions. The third time the fire had been started around him when he prayed to the Lord, promising to fast and pray one day every year, and read the Bible, if he were released. A thundershower coming up suddenly put out the fire, and the Indians deciding that the "great spirit" did not want him burned released him. Later they tested him to see if he would remain with them. The chief had lost a valuable horse and Gibson was given a day's rations and told to go find the animal. He knew he would be watched, so at evening he returned. The second day he was given two days' rations, and again returned. Then he got three days' rations, and walked to the river pretending to look for tracks of the lost horse, yet knowing that concealed in the underbrush stealthily following were the Indians. But when he had journeyed a considerable distance along the river bank he suddenly jumped in, and by diving and swimming under water eluded the Indians, and eventually reached the fort at Pittsburgh. He married again, and had children.

Israel Gibson, son of the above, was born in Crawford county, Pa., and came to Butler county, this State, in its pioneer days. There he married a Miss Gerty, and they had three sons, Hugh, Thomas and Simon D.

Simon D. Gibson, born in Butler county, went to Pittsburgh to learn the trade of blacksmith, which he always followed, gaining the reputation of being the best machine blacksmith in the country. He made the first bolt and irons for the first rolling mills at Kittanning (for Brown, Gates & Mosgrove), now the Kittanning Iron and Steel Works. He was a large, powerful man, weighing 214 pounds, with a breast measure of fifty-six inches. His wife, Susan (McClelland), never weighed over 110 pounds. She was born in Ireland, daughter of Robert McClelland, and died in December, 1893, having survived her husband many years. His death occurred in 1859, when he was fifty-four years old. They had a family of seven children, three sons and four daughters, three of whom survive at this writing: Margaret T., wife of Jacob Younkins, of North Buffalo township; Susan, who married Jefferson Jeffries, of New Kensington, Pa., and Albert S.

Albert S. Gibson was about eight years old when he came with his parents to Kittanning, where he attended school until 1854. Then his father bought a farm in North Buffalo township, where the boy remained for some time, helping with the work and also finding employment on keelboats on the river, hauling ore to Pittsburgh, and rafting on the Clarion river, and on Toby creek, until he entered the army.

On Sept. 11, 1861, Mr. Gibson enlisted at Kittanning in Company K, 78th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Col. William Sirwell, was sworn in at that place, and saw an unusual amount of active service in the three years and more of his service in the Union army. He was in the Atlanta campaign, and at the battle of New Hope Church was shot in the body, the bullet lodging against his spine, where it still remains. He was again wounded, at the battle of Stone River, in the ankle. He fought at LaVergne, Tenn., was at the battle of Chickamauga, and took part in numerous skirmishes, doing his duty faithfully on every occasion until he received his honorable discharge at Kittanning Nov. 4, 1864. True to every obligation as a soldier, he did his full share in preservation of the Union. After the war Mr. Gibson rafted and piloted on the streams before mentioned, never engaging in farming until he settled on his present property, a valuable place of 115 acres in Bethel township, which shows the intelligent care of a thrifty, up-to-date farmer. His successful methods have entitled him to rank among the progressive agriculturists of his section.

On April 19, 1892, Mr. Gibson was married to Sarah E. Brown, of Armstrong county, and they have two children, one son and one daughter: Edith Viola, born Nov. 11, 1893 and Robert C., who was born Jan. 20, 1896. Mrs. Gibson is a daughter of Thomas F. and Mary C. (Claypoole) Brown, of North Buffalo township.

Mr. Gibson was a charter member of North Buffalo Post, G.A.R., and is now a member of John Croll Post, of Kittanning. He also belongs to the P.O.S. of A., Washington Camp, No. 696.

Source: Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed January 2012 by Sara Stewart for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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