Samuel J McElwain


SAMUEL J. McELWAIN, a farmer of Cowanshannock township, Armstrong Co.,

Pa., was born on his present farm Dec. 11, 1867, son of John Rankin and Martha Jane (McElwain) McElwain.

John McElwain, his grandfather, was born in County Donegal, Ireland, and came to the United States in 1832, settling in Armstrong county, Pa., where he bought 300 acres of land which he cleared and improved. There he make his home until death claimed him, at the advanced age of ninety-three years. He married a Miss Rankin, and they had the following children who grew to Maturity: Andrew; Belle, who married William Cook; Margaret, who married Samuel McCorkle; and John R.

John Rankin McElwain was born in Ireland. He succeeded to the homestead, where he spent the greater part of his life, dying upon that property when seventy-seven years ofd. His first marriage was to a Miss White, and they had two children, Margaret and John, both of whom are deceased, His second wife was a daughter of James and Esther (Otterman) McElwain, natives of County Donegal, Ireland, and Germany, respectively. Mrs. McElwain was born after her parents had come to Armstrong county. There were three children by the second marriage of John R. McElwain: Joseph E., who is deceased; Samuel J.; and Jennie, who is the wife of William A. Walker.

Samuel J. McElwain was reared to maturity on the homestead where he has always lived, and his educational training was secured in the district schools. He has made farming his life work and his success proves that he was wise in so doing. His property is a valuable one, and he takes pride in keeping it in excellent condition.

On Nov. 22, 1898, Samuel J. McElwain married Tillie Beck, a daughter of Simon and Margaret (Kline) Beck, of Wayne township. Mr. McElwain is a member of Kittanning Lodge, No. 244, F. & A. M., and the B. P. O. Elks at the same borough. Politically, he is a Republican, but his tastes have not led him into public life.

Source: Page 751, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed October 1998 by Doris Rizza for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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