Paul A McCracken


PAUL A. McCRACKEN, propietor of the Leechburgh Lumber Company, has demonstrated his business ability in the management of that concern, with which he has been identified throughout his business career. He was born Dec. 8, 1873, at Leechburg, son of James F. McCracken, and comes of a family which long ago became settled in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania.

John McCracken, his great-grandfather, was born in Scotland. He lived in Ireland for some time before his emigration to America, in about 1802. He and his family were thirteen weeks making the voyage, and after landing in New York City did not remain there long, proceeding to western Pennsylvania. They settled near the Congruity Presbyterian Church, in Westmoreland county, where Mr. McCracken had a farm, and there he passed the remainder of his life, dying April 6, 1826. His wife, Catherine, survived him several years. They were the parents of twelve children, two sons and ten daughters, some born in Scotland, some in Ireland and the youngest members of the family in America. Several of the older children never left the old world. Those that came across the ocean with the parents were Mary, Elizabeth and John; Margaret was born here, as also James, the grandfather of Paul A. McCracken.

James McCracken, son of John and Catherine McCracken, was born March 10, 1809, in Westmoreland county, where he lived for some time, later settling at Leechburg, Armstrong county, where he passed the remainder of his life. He died in March, 1874, at Leechburg, and is buried in the Evergreen cemetery there. He was a carpenter by calling, and in the pursuit of his trade built many barns in Westmoreland county. He also followed farming. Mr. McCracken married Anna Mears, daughter of James and Mary (Steele) Mears, and to them were born the following children: John, who died young; James, who died young; Rev. John C., a Presbyterian minister, now residing at Vandergrift, Pa. (He was educated at Washington and Jefferson College and at the Western Theological Seminary, where he was graduated in 1878, and is still in the active ministry); James F.; Samuel; and Catherine, wife of William Welsh, a business man of Vandergrift, Pennsylvania.

James F. McCracken, son of James and Anna (Mears) McCracken, was born Aug. 6, 1848, at Leechburg, where he passed all his life, dying May 10, 1895, when still in his prime. For several years he followed the carpenter's trade, and then engaged in the lumber business, which he followed the rest of his life. He was a large man physically. Mr. McCracken was a Republican in politics but not active in his party, but he took a deep interest in the Presbyterian Church, of which he was a zealous member, serving as treasurer and trustee. Mr. McCracken married Emma Frances Garver, who was born Sept. 10, 1851, and survives him, making her home at Leechburg. They had two children, Paul A. and Mary H., the latter unmarried.

Paul A. McCracken received his early education in public school at Leechburg, later attending high school at Pittsburgh and Duff's commercial college in that city, from which latter institution he was graduated in 1891. He then became bookkeeper for the Leechburg Lumber Company, of which his father was a one-third owner, and after the death of his father he assumed his interest in the yard. In 1897 he bought out the other members of the firm, and is now the sole owner of the company, which has prospered greatly under his management. He does all kinds of mill work, and has established a trade which places him among the most substantial business men of the borough. He is also a director of the Farmers' National Bank at Leechburg.

Mr. McCracken is well known in local Masonic circles, belonging to Leechburg Lodge, No. 577, F. & A. M., of which he is a past master; to Orient Chapter, R. A. M., at Kittanning; to Tancred Commandery, No. 48, of Pittsburgh, and to Pittsburgh Consistory, thirty-second degree, and Syria Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., Pittsburgh. In politics he is a Republican and active in the local work of the party, having served as judge of elections, and he has served his borough as councilman. He is also interested in church work as a member of the Presbyterian Church, which he has served officially as trustee and treasurer.

On May 10, 1898, Mr. McCracken married Mary E. Morgan, daughter of John and Sarah (Jones) Morgan, and they have one son, James W., who is now in school.

William Garver, Mr. McCracken's maternal grandfather, married Isabella Wooderson, and they had the following children: Minerva, Elizabeth, Harriet, Oscar, Emma Frances (Mrs. McCracken), Mary and Willa.

Source: Pages 976-977, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed November 1998 by Joyce Sherry for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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