ARCHIE W. McCLISTER, junior member of the firm of McClister, Wray & Co., grocers, who make a specialty of supplying the hotel trade of Kittanning, is a son of Frank McClister and a grandson of John McClister.

             The grandfather was a native of Ireland, where he grew up and married Bessie Leech.  Coming to America on their honeymoon, in 1854, they landed at New York and came thence to Pittsburgh, Pa., where cholera was then raging, hundreds of people dying daily.  Mrs. McClister was taken ill with typhoid fever and was in the hospital for three months.  Then they moved to Washington county, Pa., where one son and three daughters were born to them, Frank, Margaret, Mary and Rebecca.  After a five years� residence there they moved to Armstrong county, and three daughters were born to them after their removal hither, Elizabeth, Matilda and Edith.  They settled on the Indiana pike, in Kittanning township, where John McClister acquired a tract of 250 acres, which the family cleared and upon which he still resides, now eighty-five years old.  His wife, who died at the age of seventy-six years, was buried in the Rupp cemetery.  Mr. McClister is a strong Republican, and in religious association is a member of the United Presbyterian Church.  Of his family, Frank is mentioned below.  Margaret died and is buried in the Heilman cemetery.  Mary married Marshall Fiscus, who was a merchant at Dayton, and they had two children, Ward and Bessie, the latter dying at the age of six years (she is buried in the Rupp cemetery); Ward is in California (his wife, Mary, died Nov. 7, 1893, and is buried in the Rupp cemetery).  Rebecca died when two years old and is buried in the Heilman cemetery.  Elizabeth married Park Everhart in September, 1893, and five children were born to them, Gladys, Sarah, James, William and Frances, the last named buried at the Rupp cemetery; this family is now living in Applewold, Armstrong county.  Matilda was married in 1899 to Guss Fiscus, a farmer, who lives in Kittanning township� she died in 1905 and is buried in the Rupp cemetery; there were born to them three children, Loyde, Laurette, and a child that died in infancy and is buried in the Rupp cemetery.  Edith married Foolmer Adams and lives in Valley township; there were born to them two children, Elizabeth and Mary.

             Frank McClister, father of Archie W. McClister, was born in Washington county, Pa.  From the time his school days were over he engaged in farming, and after his marriage he settled in Kittanning township, on the tract of 250 acres before mentioned, where he continued to reside for ten years more.  Then he left the old homestead and moved to the Peter Heilman farm of 250 acres, the place of his father-in-law, which he now owns, having perhaps one of the finest country homes in Kittanning township.  In addition to general farming he does a large dairy business, having twenty-six cows, most of which are thoroughbred Holstein.  In fact, he was one of the first in his neighborhood to introduce thoroughbred cattle.  He has also shown himself to be a progressive man in other respects, having been one of the patrons and promoters of the Kittanning Telephone Company, in which he and his son own a large number of shares, and he owned the first automobile in Kittanning township. He has been active in local public affairs, having served twelve years as school director and a number of times as judge of election.  Politically he is a Republican, and his religious connection has always been with the Lutheran Church.

             Mr. McClister married Eliza Heilman, daughter of Peter and Elizabeth (Remayle) Heilman, both of whom were reared in Armstrong county.  Peter Heilman was born in this county and died in Kittanning township when near the age of sixty years, and was buried in the Heilman cemetery. He was a prominent man in his day and was serving as county commissioner at the time of the erection of the present courthouse.  In religion he was a stanch Lutheran.  He was twice married, first to Susanna Helfrich, by whom he had three children, one of whom, Albert, died in Andersonville prison while a soldier of the Civil war.  To his second marriage, to Elizabeth Remayle, daughter of Anthony Remaley (sic) , were born ten children, nine sons and one daughter.  A lengthy history of this family appears elsewhere in this work.

             Mr. And Mrs. Frank McClister had three children:  Cora died at the age of twenty-one years when just about to graduate in music from the Grove City College, and was buried in the Rupp cemetery in Kittanning township; Edward H. attended the Grove City College two years and is now a medical student at Philadelphia; Archie W. is mentioned below.

             Archie W. McClister was born July 28, 1885, in Kittanning township, and received his early education in the public schools, later attending the Kittanning Academy, class of 1905, and two years at Duff�s business college, in Pittsburgh.  After helping with the work on the home farm for a time he became an automobile salesman for the Studebaker car, being thus engaged for two years, and then for eight months he was with the Kittanning Auto Traffic Company.  Following this he became a member of the firm of McClister, Wray & Co., who succeeded S. R. Hews & Co.  McClister, Wray & Co. employ four men and occupy a store 30 by 80 feet in dimensions at Nos.124-126 McKean street.  The business has grown so amazingly under their management that where S. R. Hews & Co. did a business of twenty-two thousand dollars annually, they do a business of thirty-five thousand dollars.  They carry a large line of fancy and staple groceries, making a specialty of supplying the hotel trade of Kittanning.  Thoroughly up-to-date in all their methods, they were the first grocers to deliver with auto truck.  Mr. McClister also has other interests, being a stockholder in the Kittanning Telephone Company, as before noted, and he was a charter member of the Kittanning Motor & Traffic Company, in which he is still a stockholder.  Socially he is a member of the Knights of Malta and the Protected Home Circle, and is a Republican on political questions.

             On August 28, 1913, Mr. McClister married Laura Wingard, who was born in Jefferson county, Pa., daughter of Henry Wingard.  Mr. And Mrs. McClister are members of the First Presbyterian Church in Kittanning.

Source: Page 873-875, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J. H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed May 2002 by James R. Hindman for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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