Benjamin S Hawk


BENJAMIN S. HAWK, contractor, has much good work to his credit in Armstrong county, principally at Ford City and Kittanning. He was born in Washington township, this county, Feb. 9, 1871, and is a descendant of one of the county's pioneers, his great-grandfather, George Hawk, having come to this region from Somerset county, Pa., before his marriage. He took part in the Indian troubles of the period. Settling four miles from Freeport, on Buffalo creek, he continued to reside there until his death at the age of eighty years. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church and a Democrat in political sentiment. His wife, whose maiden name was Colwell, was a resident of Freeport, of English descent, while he was of German extraction. They had a family of nine children, as follows: John, who was a shoemaker and resided on Buffalo creek, had two children, who are now deceased; Jacob, who was the father of five children, was keeper of the canal lock between Leechburg and Apollo until the canal was abandoned; David is mentioned below; Simon, who married Martha Iseman, resided three miles from Slate Lick (their children are Alfred, of Brookville, Ephraim, John, George, Mary and Priscilla); Betsy is the wife of Daniel Young and resides in Indiana county (no children); Susan is the wife of George Best, of Indiana county, and they have six children; Kate, Mrs. David Young resides in Indiana county, Pa. (her children are Joe and Melinda, wife of Jesse Weaver); Delilah died unmarried; Julia is unmarried.

David Hawk, son of George, lived in Washington township, Armstrong county, after his marriage settling on a tract of sixty-five acres--the finest pine timber land in the county. He died very suddenly at the age of fifty-five years of heart trouble while attending a shooting match in Indiana county on Christmas day, and was buried in the Cumberland cemetery. He was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mr. Hawk married Esther Johns, who was reared in Washington township, daughter of Martin and Mary (Crissman) Johns, natives of that township; her father owned five hundred acres of land there. She survived Mr. Hawk, and married for her second husband Martin John, by whom she had no children. Her death, which occurred when she was sixty-eight years old, was caused by a vicious cow, which horned her through the heart, while she was fixing the chain to the manger. By her marriage to Mr. Hawk she had a family of fourteen children, namely: Jacob, who resides at Curwensville, Pa., married Amanda Nicodemus, and they have had eight children; William, who resides on a 400-acre farm forty miles from Richmond, Va., on the James River, has a family of ten children, eight of whom were born in Armstrong county; John is mentioned below; Aaron is married and resides in Indiana county (he has six children); Elizabeth is the wife of Chambers King, an old soldier, and the oldest gunsmith in Armstrong county, and has one son and two daughters; Phoebe Jane, wife of Isaiah Davis, resides in Clearfield county (no children); Ann, wife of Clark Tigger, resides in Indiana county, and has five children; Emanuel, who resides at Plum Creek, Indiana Co., Pa., married Annie Mitchel, deceased, by whom he had one son, and after her death married (second) Frances Blue, by whom he had two sons (one served on the battleship "Texas" and cruised around the world); Kate, wife of Thomas Wolf, resides in Indiana county, and has three sons and two daughters; Simon, who resides in Medford, Oregon, where he has a timber tract of 160 acres, married Melinda McGregor, and has seven children; David, of Indiana county, who owns a planing mill, chopping mill and shingle mill, married Susie Spencer, who became the mother of three sons; Adam, who married Anna Lydic, resides at Punxsutawney, Pa., and is engaged as patternmaker (they have eight children); Della, wife of Jake Hainey, has eleven children; Susan died when a small child, as the result of eating poison weeds.

John Hawk, born Aug. 6, 1848, in Indiana county, was only nine years old when brought to Armstrong county, where he was reared and educated. After his marriage, which occurred in 1868, he moved to Indiana county again, but remained there only one year, returning to Armstrong county, where he had his home for the next two years. At the end of that time he moved to St. Petersburg, Clarion Co., Pa, where his son, Dr. M. C. Hawk, was born, and from there to Buena Vista, Butler county, where he remained a year. Coming back to Armstrong county, he settled in Washington township, where he remained for fifteen years. He now lives in North Buffalo township, this county, one mile from Kittanning. He has followed the carpenter's trade all his life, and has done well in that line. He is a prominent member of the First Baptist Church of Kittanning, of which he has been a deacon for seventeen years, is a member of Lodge No. 515, I. O. O. F., at Cowansville, Armstrong county, and politically gives his allegiance to the Washington party.

In 1868 Mr. Hawk married Ann Eliza Bowser, daughter of B. S. and Elizabeth (Yerty) Bowser, and they have become the parents of eighteen children, viz: The eldest two daughters died in infancy; Benjamin S. is mentioned below; M. C.., born in Washington township, attended Reidsburg high school and graduated in medicine from the West Penn Medical college, Pittsburgh, started to practice at Unity, Pa., as surgeon for Rogers, Farland & Hagerman, contractors, from there moved to Blue Island and then to Chicago, where he is located at No. 7857 South Halsted street (he married Therese Schmitt, after her death marrying Pearl Strayer, of Chicago; he has no children; he is a member of the Baptist Church); Jennie Rodeska, wife of Jerry Gumbert, resides in Verona, Pa., and has five children; Hattie May is the wife of Hays McDaniel, and they have two sons and two daughters (they reside at Applewold, Kittanning); William, a druggist, of No. 1601 Garfield Boulevard, Chicago, married Edith Vaughn, of Iowa (they have no children); Flossie is the wife of Harvey Waugaman, of Grove city, and they have seven children; John Herbert, who resides at Weston, W. Va., married Dolly Steinbeck, and they have one son and one daughter; Elizabeth Lucile, wife of Homer Ruff, resides at Lima, Ohio (they have no children); Rachel is the wife of Charles Simpson, of Verona, Pa., and has two children; Grace is the wife of Guy Albright, of Chicago, Ill., and has two children; Mervin Elmer, who is an osteopath, married Mabel Martin, and resides at Augusta, Maine (they have one child); Mildred Florence is the wife of Clifton Richards, of Manorville, Pa; Anna Lee is the wife of David H. Boggs, of Ford City, Pa.; Zeller died when seven months old; Garnet died when five months old; Hyatt Lafayette is at home.

Benjamin S. Hawk, son of John, received his education in Washington township. After his school days he went to Kittanning, where he learned the trade of carpenter, and has been successfully engaged in contracting and in that line for a number of years. He has helped to build the greater part of Ford City, among his many responsible contracts being two churches, and he acted as foreman for the contractor who built the Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches in Kittanning. His work has been confined to Armstrong county, and has been of such substantial quality as to establish him in the confidence of all who have had dealings with him. He has enough work to keep an average of ten men busy.

On Sept. 6, 1889, Mr. Hawk married Catherine Caroline Craig, daughter of Alex and Elizabeth (Metzgar) Craig, of Madison township, this county. They have had six children: Evelyn Marie, J. A. Craig, Benjamin Stevens, Jr., Richard Carl (deceased), Mortimer Sherman, and Betty Allison (deceased). The family reside one mile from Kittanning, in North Buffalo township. Mr. Hawk is a member of the First Baptist Church in Kittanning, and socially he belongs to the Woodmen of the World.

Source: Pages 453-454 Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J. H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed September 1998 by James R. Hindman for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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