William S Mechling

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WILLIAM S. MECHLING (deceased), for many years a prominent business man of Dayton, Armstrong county, was born Nov. 2, 1837, in Butler county, Pa., and died at his home in Dayton, Feb. 8, 1893. He was a soldier of the Civil war.

Dewalt Mechling was born in Holland, and in 1728, with his wife Elizabeth, came to America and settled in the eastern part of Pennsylvania. They had one son, Jacob.

Jacob Mechling, son of Dewalt, served in the Revolutionary war and was with General Washington at Valley Forge. The name of his wife has not been preserved.

John Mechling, son of Jacob and grandfather of the late William S. Mechling, was born Sept. 30, 1768. He married Margaret Sams, born June 6, 1778, and they had the following children: Mary, born March 14, 1794; Carolina, Feb. 6, 1796; William, March 5, 1798; Elizabeth, May 30, 1800; John, March 27, 1802; Margaret, March 18, 1804; Joseph, May 28, 1806; Sarah, Feb. 21, 1809; Harriet, June 16, 1811; and Esther, Aug. 7. 1814.

William Mechling, son of John, was one of the early settlers in Butler county, Pa., where he followed farming. He married Catherine Kuhn, who died in Butler county in 1850, after which Mr. Mechling moved to Scioto county, Ohio, where his death occurred. To William and Catherine Mechling the following children were born: George W., who became a Presbyterian minister and for many years was pastor of the Glade Run Church at Dayton; Henry; Newton; Joseph and Sophia, twins, the latter of whom married Daniel Shaver; John; William S.; and Lycurgus, the last named having charge of a Presbyterian Church at Elderton, this county, and later stationed at Athens, Ohio (he now resides in Washington, D. C., where he preaches occasionally).

William S. Mechling attened the district schools and then learned coachmaking. Previous to the outbreak of the Civil war he was in business at West Sunbury, Butler Co., Pa. On Nov. 20, 1861, he enlisted for military service, entering Company E., 103d Pa. Vol. Inf., and serving until the war closed. He endured many of the hardships attending a soldier's life, but at all times preserved his courage and performed every duty. He participated in the battles of Yorktown, the Wilderness, Kinston, Little Washington and Plymouth, and at the last named place was taken prisoner on April 20, 1864. With his comrades who had been equally unfortunate he was loaded on a cattle car after a period of imprisonment at Florence, N. C., and they were landed at Andersonville, Ga., Mr. Mechling being kept in that terrible prison pen until Feb. 28, 1865, when he was released, having starved, thirsted and dragged out a miserable existence in that abominable place for several months. For three months and six days he was corporal of his company. His honorable discharge came April 10, 1865.

After the war Mr. Mechling returned to West Sunbury and resumed business there, continuing thus until 1869, when he came to Dayton, Pa., engaging here in carriage manufacturing and also in undertaking. He carried on business until death closed his activity. He was a well known and much respected man. He united with the Presbyterian Church in early manhood and later transferred his membership to West Sunbury, and when he came to Dayton one of his first cares was to has his membership credentials presented to the Glade Run Presbyterian Church. His remains lie in the cemetery belonging to this church, his resting place being marked by a beautiful and appropriate monument. During many years he was active in the organization and affairs of J. Edward Turk Post, G. A. R., and he belonged to the Odd Fellows and the Masons.

Mr. Mechling married Mary R. Stewart, a daughter of William and Eliza Jane (Gibson) Stewart. She survives and resides at Dayton, where she is interested in the Glade Run Presbyterian Church and in the W. C. T. U. Their family included seven children, all of whom survive with the exception of Sarah N. The others are: Laura, who married John K. Sacksman; William; Alice: Catherine J., who is a teacher in the Pittsburgh high school; Curtis C., who is a physician at Pittsburgh; and Mary E., who was a teacher in the high school at Canonsburg, Pa., now a high school teacher in Pittsburgh.

William Mechling, son of William S. Mechling, was born at West Sunbury, Butler Co., Pa., March 24, 1868. He attended the public schools and the Glade Run Academy and then learned the trade of carriagemaking and the business of undertaking, with his father. He was associated with his father and after the latter's death continued the business at Dayton, where he is numbered with the representative business men.

On Sept. 6, 1911, William Mechling married Blance Kirkpatrick, a daughter of David and Elizabeth (Schall) Kirkpatrick. He is identified with the Odd Fellows and belongs also to the Sons of Veterans. Some members of the family spell the family name Mechlin.

Andrew Stewart, father of Mrs. Mary R. (Stewart) Mechling, came from England, was a well educated man, and taught music. In Juniata county, Pa., he married Mary Russell, a native of Ireland, who lived along the Juniata river before her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Stewart were among the early settlers in Butler county, Pa., where their son, William, Mrs. Mechling's father, was born. William Stewart became a farmer in Cherry township, that county. He married Eliza Jane Gibson, and both were members of the United Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Stewart was also born in Butler county, of respected pioneer stock of that vicinity, her grandparents being Levi and Jane (Abercrombie) Gibson, who lived on the "Duchess farm" near Parkers Landing. Mrs. Gibson was of Scotch ancestry and Revolutionary stock. Among their children were Samuel, Hugh, Levi, Esther, Jane and Eliza. Levi, one of the younger sons of Levi and Jane (Abercrombie) Gibson, was a farmer by occupation, and lived and died in Butler county, reaching old age. He was the father of Mrs. Eliza Jane (Gibson) Stewart and grandfather of Mrs. Mary R. (Stewart) Mechling.

Source: Pages 973-974, 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 (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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