James Kerr


JAMES KERR, late of Bethel township, Armstrong County, was a resident of that township for over half a century, living on the farm where three of his children still reside. Mr. Kerr was a native of Scotland, born Jan. 9, 1822. His grandparents were John and Agnes (Dorman) Kerr, of Kirkcolm, Wigtownsire, who died in 1802 and 1812 respectively.

Stair Kerr, father of James Kerr, was born and reared in Scotland, and lived at Kirkcolm, where he was engaged as superintendent of farms and in the manufacture of cheese. In his native land he married Jennet Wither, who was born and reared there also, and they came to the United States in 1838. Settling on a farm at Worthington, Armstrong Co., Pa., they lived and died there, Mr. Kerr passing away in November, 1865 aged ninety three years, his wife Dec. 31, 18-, at the age of eighty-six. They were Covenanter Presbyterians. Their family consisted of fourteen children, none now living, though they were noted for longevity. The sons, Nevin and William, twins, lived to be over ninety, Nevin dying May 2, 1912, aged ninety-five years, and William Dec. 13, 1911, aged ninety-four. The former married Catherine McClatchey and had a family; the latter never married.

James Kerr passed his early life in Scotland, coming to America in his seventeenth year and settling in Armstrong county, where he became a prosperous farmer and passed the remainder of his life. He died June 23, 1897, at the age of seventy-five years, a prominent member of the Presbyterian Church , in which he was a faithful worker, serving continuously as elder from the time he was first elected to that office, in 1855, until his death.

On Feb. 12, 1851, Mr. Kerr was united in marriage with Margaret Walker, who was born Nov. 7, 1825, in Armstrong county, daughter of Robert , and Mary (Walker) Walker, cousins. Mr. James Kerr died May 26, 1891. Seven children were born to this union, of whom Mary and Hugh are diseased, Mary dying at the age of sixteen years, and Hugh when seven weeks old. The five who survive the parents are: Robert W. married Ida H. Hoffman, of Eddyville, and lives in Burrell township (they have nine children, R. Clifton, Reuben A., Grace E., William Gregg, John B., Ruth, Earl, Martha, and Mildred); James W. married Maggie Young, of Kellersburg, Armstrong county, and had two sons Hugh and Dwight, the latter dying when five years old; John S. married Maggie B. Lawther, of Whitesburg, Armstrong county, who died in 1909, the mother of Velma J., Pauline, Blanch E., James L., and Jessie (who died when four years old); Misses Elizabeth and Jennet W. live with their brother John, on the old home farm in Bethel township. All the family are members of the Crooked Creek Presbyterian Church, and Miss Elizabeth is particularly interested in the work of the Sunday school, being superintendent of the "cradle roll."

John S. Kerr and his sisters conduct the farm very successfully, keeping the property up to the high standard it long ago attained under the management of this thrifty family.

Source: Pages 891-892, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed November 1998 by Nanci Michalkiewicz 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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