George A Gourley


GEORGE A. GOURLEY, deceased, for many years a farmer and merchant of Rural Valley, was born near Saltsburg, Indiana Co., Pa., Feb. 4, 1821, son of John and Martha (Scott) Gourley.

Samuel Gourley, his grandfather, was born in Ireland, and came to Westmoreland county, Pa., at a very early date, there buying land which he improved until it became a valuable property, and there he died. He married Catherine Dickey, and they had several children, among them being John.

John Gourley was born near Hannastown, Westmoreland Co., Pa., and there grew to manhood. He was engaged as a teacher in his native county, was a fine penman, and also an accountant and skillful surveyor, so that his services were in demand in many ways. In 1843, he moved to Armstrong county, settling in Cowanshannock township, and there he died in 1846. In 1816, he married Martha Scott, and they had fourteen children, seven of whom grew to maturity: Lavina Belinda, who married Andrew Marshall, of Dayton; Juliet; George A.; John; Samuel; Alexander, and Benjamin. Benjamin was a soldier during the Civil war, serving in Company D, 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry and had been in the army four months when he died of quinsy in a hospital near Washington, D.C. Alexander was also a soldier in the same great struggle.

George A. Gourley was brought up on the homestead and had the advantage of his father´┐Żs instruction during his school days. In 1852, he went to Kittanning, where he found employment as a clerk until 1856, when he came to Rural Valley and established himself as a general merchant, continuing thus very successfully until 1879. Thereafter he devoted himself to farming and the handling of his real estate interests.

On Sept. 22, 1860, Mr. Gourley married Anna Earhart, a daughter of Jacob and Mary (Ruppert) Earhart, of Saltsburg, Pa. Mr and Mrs Gourley became the parents of the following children: Mary A. who married Dr. Thomas F. Stockdill; Olive B., who married Harper Ambrose; Laura B. who married George S. Hosick; and George A., Jr., who is deceased.

Politically, Mr. Gourley was a Republican, and he served Rural Valley as postmaster for several years. His religious affiliations were with the Methodist Episcopal Church, in the faith of which he died Jan. 30, 1894, in his seventy-third year. He had been a prosperous merchant, successful farmer and eminently good man, and is remembered with respect.

Source: Page 861, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed October 1998 by Pam Clark for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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