Glenn Family


Glenn. The Glenns, who lived in the northeastern part of Armstrong county, in the vicinity of Dayton, were descendants of John Glenn, A native of Ireland, who came from the land of his birth when eighteen years old and settled in Chester county, Pa. He married Mary Borland, by whom he had two daughters, Ann and Mary, and four sons, Robert, John, James and Joseph.

Joseph Glenn was born Feb. 10, 1787, and married Mary Thompson, who was born the same day as himself. They had three children, Archibald, William Turner and Mary Ann. In 1818 Mr. Glenn moved to Indiana county, Pa., where he remained three years, after which he located near Mahoning creek, in Wayne township, Armstrong county, about two miles from Dayton. On this farm, to which he came when the region was almost a wilderness, he lived until his death, April 17, 1852, seeing the country cleared up and wonderfully developed. He was a strongly religious man, a member of the Methodist Church, and particularly zealous in Sunday school work, superintending at different times many schools at quite a distance from home, one of them being on Pine Creek, twelve miles away. His family were all of the same religious faith as himself. After his death his wife lived with her children until she died, Oct. 23, 1866. They were buried in the M.E. cemetery at Dayton. Of their three children, Archibald was the father of James Alexander and A.D. Glenn, both mentioned below; William Turner was married to Mary Jane Thompson in 1849, and died in the army at Alexandria, Va., in 1864 (his widow died in Phoenix,Pa., Jan 1, 1910); Mary Ann was married in 1856 to Isaac Hopkins, who died in December, 1882, and she now (April 1, 1914) lives with her son, Dr. Thomas C. Hopkins, a professor in the university at Syracuse, New York.

Archibald Glenn first settled at Rockport, Clarion Co., Pa., but subsequently lived at various places in Armstrong county, among them Milton, Eddyville, and Putneyville, where he resided until his death, May 21, 1888, when he was aged seventy-eight years, three months, five days. He was elected to the office of county commissioner in 1849, and served the people acceptably and efficiently for three years. This was the only public office of consequence he ever held except that of jury commissioner, to which he was elected in 1873, and from which he resigned before his the expiration of the term because his private business conflicted with its duties. He held various township offices and was justice of the peace for about fifteen years.

On Jan. 28, 1828 Mr. Glenn married Susanna Barnes Coursin, daughter of Abraham and Elizabeth Coursin, who lived near Curllesville, Pa. To this marriage were born six sons and one daughter, as follows: John Coursin, who died unmarried in Illinois in 1855; Abraham Rockey, who married Sarah E. McCurdy in 1853 and died in Smickburg, Indiana county, in April, 1910; Elijah C.T., who married Louisa Allen in 1858 and died in February, 1871 (his widow now lives in Dayton); James Alexander; Mary James, who was married in 1857 to John S. Oyler, and lived near Murrysville, Westmoreland county (she died in 1901); Archibald David and William Turner.


It is a remarkable fact that five of the sons, (all of them living) and Mr. Oyler, husband of the only daughter in this family, served on the Union side during the Civil war. The brothers all enlisted in 1861. Two uncles were also in the service. This is a record which so few families can equal that we give herewith the detailed account of their service which appeared in a local newspaper some time ago:

"Abraham R. Glenn enlisted Aug. 29, 1861, in Company B 78th Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry, which joined Negley's Brigade, and was ordered to Kentucky in October. Was seized with attack of bronchitis while accompanying his regiment on its march from Mumforrdsville, Ky., to Nashville, Tenn., and left Feb. 22d, 1862, with others at Bowling Green Kentucky, where a hospital was improvised for their accommodation; was detailed as nurse on 6th of April, in which capacity he served, being subsequently transferred to Nashville, Tenn., until September, when at his own request he was returned to his regiment. Feb. 2d, 1863, he was detailed from his regiment and served successively on the escorts of Generals Negley, Grant and Palmer; was discharged by reason of expiration of service, October 12th, 1864 at Kittanning, Pa. During his enlistment he served in the following engagements: Stone River, Hoover's Gap, Elk River, Bailey's Cross Roads, Chickamauga, Tunnel Hill, Buzzards Roost, Resaca, Kingston, New Hope Church, Big Shanty, Kenesaw Mountain and Chattahoochee."

"Elijah C.T. Glenn enlisted August 29th, 1861, in Company B, 78th Pennsylvania Infrantry, and was with his regiment in all its movements until the expiration of his term of service except the interval from April 8th to Aug. 19th, in 1864, during which he served on General Palmer's escort. He was attended with remarkable good health; was never an inmate of a hospital and off duty but a few days. He took part in the following battles, together with the usual skirmishing which atttend a regiment in active service; Lavergne, Stone River, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, and Missionary Ridge; was promoted to sergeant, in which rank he was discharged."

"James A. Glenn enlisted July 4th, 1861, in Company I, 62d Pennsylvania Infantry (Col. Samuel Black, commanding), and was with his regiment in the following engagements: Yorktown, Hanover C.H., Mechanicsville, Gaines's Mill, Harrison's Landing, Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Manassas Gap, Rappahannock Station, Mine Run and Wilderness, where he was dangerously wounded in the abdomen on May 5th, 1864. Was five days in government wagons, enduring with others almost incredible suffering before a more comfortable method of transportation could be procured. For a time his life was despaired of, but subsequently he partially recovered,owing no doubt, in part to the attention shown him among others by Miss Marsh, of Massachusetts, a volunteer nurse in Armory Square Hospital, Washington, D.C. He was not able to return home till more than a month after the expiration of his time, and has never fully recovered. Prior to being wounded he was never an inmate of a hospital and seldom off duty. He was discharged a corporal."

"Archibald D. Glenn enlisted as a sergeant, Aug. 29th, 1861, in Company B, 78th Pennsylvania Infantry (Col. William Sirwell commanding), and accompanied his regiment to Kentucky; discharged on account of disability, on Feb. 16th, 1863. Reenlisted in the 58th Regiment, State troops, in July of the same year; discharged when the troops were discharged."

"William T. Glenn enlisted when not quite sixteen years of age in Company F, 48th Pennsylvania Infantry, on August 1st, 1861. Was sent to Camp Hamilton, near Fortress Monroe, and in October to Hatteras Island, N.C., in the vicinity of which his company remained until July, 1862, when the 48th was ordered to join the Potomac Army, with which it was identified till after the sanguinary conflict at Fredericksburg under General Burnside, when it was ordered to Kentucky. On its way through Baltimore he was left in the hospital, having been suffering for some time with inflammatory rheumatism, resulting from the exposure in the Fredericksburg campaign, and for which he was discharged on the 8th of April, 1863. During the enlistment he participated in the following general engagements: Second Bull Run, Chantilly, South Mountain, Antietam and Fredericksburg, together with numerous others of less note. Through not fully recovered he could not resist the temptation to enlist in the State service, when Pennsylvania was invaded in July. was discharged when the troops were disbanded; again reenlisted for three years in Company M, 2d Pennsylvania Cavalry, in March, 1864; subsequently transferred to Company K, as a supernumerary, and promoted to corporal; followed his regiment through all its vicissitudes about Richmond, participating in numerous engagements, and recommended on account of meritorious conduct for commission as second lieutenant, but before it was issued Lee had surrendered, and his old complaint compelled him to enter the hospital again. At the consolidation of the 2d and 20th Pennsylvania Cavalry he was mustered out as supernumerary non-commissioned officer, but was not able to be removed home till several months afterwards, and he never fully recovered; while making several narrow and almost miraculous escapes was never seriously wounded."

"George L. Wheatcroft, business partner, enlisted in the absence of all the sons in August, 1863, in Company B, 78th Pennsylvania Infantry; was discharged August. 1864, by reasons of wounds received in service, and from which he never has and probably never will recover."

"John S. Oyler, only son-in-law, enlisted in August, 1864, in the 206th Pennsylvania Volunteers (Heavy Artillery), which was sent to garrison the defenses at Washington City. Discharged when the troops were disbanded in 1865."

"The situation of this family in the spring of 1862 strikingly exemplifies the manner in which families are scattered by the fortunes of war. Though not yet a year in service they were distributed thus: A.R., at Bowling Green, Kentucky; E.C.T., near Nashville, Tenn.; J.A., in eastern Virginia; A.D., in Louisville, Ky.; W.T., in Hatteras, N.C. Notwithstanding the number in service not one ever received a furlough to return home after the State except A.D., to await discharge, not having his descriptive list with him. All except W.T., in his last enlistment, enlisted without local bounty, or any other incentive aside from patriotic impulse; while few families can boast an equal service in rank and file, perhaps still fewer were favored with the preservation of the lives of all its members. The father was equally imbued with the spirit that animated his offspring, and had not his age, which was fifty-one at the commencement of the war, precluded it, he too would have enlisted. As it was, and with all sons in the army, he was only prevented from entering the State troops when Pennsylvania was invaded by the earnest dissuasions of his friends. At home he was a staunch friend to the Union, and ever ready, when opportunity offered, to aid those whose friends were absent battling for the right,"

William T. Glenn, on account of inflammatory rheumatism, was unable to return home until six months after the close of the war, subsequently enlisted in Company L, 2d U.S. Cavalry, spent several years in the Rocky Mountain region, and returned home much broken in health. He died at Eddyville in April, 1875.

James Alexander Glenn, son of Archibald, was born near Glade Run, about two miles north of Dayton, on Oct. 12, 1836. After the Civil war he followed lumbering in Armstrong and Jefferson counties, this State, during the greater part of his active life. In 1891 he removed to Dayton, this county, where he has since had his home. During the twenty or more years of his residence at that place he has proved a valuable citzen. He has been active in its official circles, having served as councilman, school director, tax collector, constable and assessor, and its various interests have received his encouragement and substantial support, he being a stockholder of the Dayton Normal Institute and of the Dayton Fair Association. Mr. Glenn's excellent war record entitled him to membership in the G.A.R., and he is a prominent worker in the J. Ed. Turk Post, of which he is a past commander. In politics he is a Republican.

In 1875 Mr. Glenn married Mary E. Brumbaugh, daughter of Frederick and Elizabeth (Sharer) Brumbaugh, formerly of Huntingdon county, Pa., later of Armstrong county. Their only daughter, Iva May, died aged sixteen years.

Mr. Glenn's son, Alfinas A. Glenn, was a well-known business man of Crookston, Minn., where he died at the age of fifty-two years. He was married, and left a wife and family of ten children, three sons and seven daughters.

Archibald David Glenn, son of Archibald, was born Jan. 30, 1842, while his parents were living at Camp Run, about three miles from Dayton. He attended public school at Milton, the Dayton Union Academy and the Iron City College. When between fifteen and sixteen years of age he commenced teaching, taking a place in Milton which the directors had left vacant. Subsequently he taught in Red Bank and Brady's Bend townships, this county, at West Mahoning in Indiana county, and in Robinson township, Allegheny county, where he was engaged four consective terms of seven months each. When he gave up teaching he was principal of the Woods Run school in Allegheny city. After his army service, which has been fully mentioned above, he traveled as the representative of Wilson, Hinkle & Co.(later Van Atwerp, Bragg & Co.) of Cincinnati, one of the largest schoolbook publishing firms in the United States. He remained with this house from April, 1868, to July 1, 1870, having his headquarters successively at Pittsburgh, Crestline (Ohio) and Meadville. After quitting the agency he was engaged with his father in the mercantile business at Eddyville. In 1872 he was elected over six competitors to the office of superintendent of public schools in Armstrong county, to which he was reelected with comparatively little opposition in 1875 and 1878, serving nine years--- the longest continuous term served by an incumbent since the establishment of the office. At his first reelection his salary was increased. Mr. Glenn's services were very valuable in the way of elevating the standard of public instruction, and were generally so recognized, a fact which was attested by the offer of a fourth election, which, however, he declined. He was editor of the Kittanning Union Free Press from June, 1879, to April, 1881, and ably conducted that well-known journal. He served as district deputy grand master of the I.O.O.F. of Armstrong county for two terms and was urged by several lodges to continue longer in that capacity. In 1882 he was nominated without opposition by the Republicans of Armstrong county for the Assembly and was elected by the majority of 180 votes, while his colleague on the ticket for the same office had a much smaller majority. Here he found the broad field of his usefulness that his intellectual and moral merits entitled him to. He served through the regular session in 1883, also the special session called to meet the day after the regular session adjourned, June 6, 1883. The special session is frequently called "the long parliament" as the house being Democratic and the Senate Republican a deadlock on apportionment, ensued which continued until the final adjournment, Dec. 6, 1883, so far as the apportionment of the State into Congressional, Senatorial and Legislative districts was concerned, a Judicial apportionment alone being made. In 1884 he was reelected representative by over a thousand majority, and served during the session of 1885, being chairman of the committee on Education. He introduced and had charge of a bill to provide for instruction in public schools of the State in the subjects of physiology and hygiene, with special reference to the effects of alcoholic drinks, stimulants and narcotics upon the human system. This bill was introduced at the instance of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of the State under the leadership of Mrs. Mary H. Hunt, of Boston, Mass., a gifted lady and talented orator, general superintendent of scientific temperance instruction in the United States. The bill was carried in the House against much oppostion and was subsequently passed in the Senate and signed by the governor, and remains on he statute books to-day substantially the same as when first passed.


In April, 1886, Mr. Glenn bought a half interest in the Union Free Press in Kittanning, and edited that paper until April, 1887, when, being appointed statistical clerk in the department of public instruction at Harrisburg, he sold his interest in the paper. In 1889 he was appointed financial clerk in the same department and continued in that position until July, 1906, during which time he made the calculations and drew the warrants for the distribution of about ninety million dollars ($90,000,000) of State appropriations to schools. In 1906 he was promoted to the position of deputy superintendant of public instruction, in which position he still serves at this writing, April 1,1914. He has his office at Harrisburg. Whatever Mr. Glenn has attained is due to his own exertions. Enjoying only limited advantages in his boyhood, he nevertheless obtained a thorough education, and has made his way in the world by close application and energetic manly endeavor. He is a member of Jonh F. Croll Post, G.A.R., Kittanning, Putneyville Lodge, No. 735, I.O.O.F., Kittanning Lodge, No. 244, A.Y.M., and Harrisburg Consistory, A.A.S.R.N.M.J.U.S.A.

Source Pages 408-412 Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed September 1998 by Rodney G Rosborough for the Armstrong County Beers Project.
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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