William Nesbitt

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WILLIAM NESBITT, of Ford City, Armstrong county, who has lived retired for the last ten years, owns a valuable farm in Manor township and was engaged in the machine business as well as farming before his retirement. He has been an energetic worker, and became successful through his own efforts, his industrious and honorable life commanding the esteem of all who have known him. Mr. Nesbitt was born June 21, 1831, in County Antrim, Ireland, eight miles from Belfast, son of David and Elizabeth (Montgomery) Nesbitt, of the same place. The father was a thatcher by occupation. He came to America in 1850, settling in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he and his wife passed the remainder of their lives, his death occurring when he was fifty-four years old, hers at the age of forty-eight. He did various kinds of work after coming to this country, and for some time was employed in the roundhouse of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. He and his wife were members of the Presbyterian Church. They had a family of ten children, of whom but two now survive, William and his sister Elizabeth, who lives in Pittsburgh.

William Nesbitt went to the common schools in Ireland, after he commenced work attending night school, and he also went to night school in Pittsburgh after coming to this country. He started alone for America at the age of seventeen years, making the voyage on an old sailing vessel, the "Henry Shelton," which crossed the ocean in six weeks and three days, landing at New York City. He proceeded thence to an uncle in Pittsburgh, James Montgomery, and there learned the machinist's trade, serving an apprenticeship of three years. For twenty years in all he worked at the trade, during ten years of this period in the employ of McIntosh, Hemphill & Co., in Pittsburgh. In 1869 he bought a farm in Manor township, Armstrong Co., Pa., a tract of seventy-eight acres upon which he continued to make his home for the next thirty years, since which time he has resided principally at Ford City. When the borough was founded he worked at his trade there for six years, from 1884 to 1900, in the employ of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, for three years of this time acting as foreman of the night turn. In 1902 he started a machine shop and foundry of his own in New Kensington, Pa., under the firm name of the Nesbitt Foundry & Machine Company, carrying it on for four years, until he sold out. Since 1906 he has lived retired. He was an enterprising man in his active years, and did well on his farm, the value of which has increased until it is now worth $200 an acre. Mr. Nesbitt is well known in this part of the county, and has always been regarded as a valuable citizen.

In November, 1855, Mr. Nesbitt was married in Pittsburgh to Margaret Darragh, of Scotland, daughter of John Darragh, Of Ireland, a machinist, who came to American and settled in Pittsburgh, where he died. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Nesbitt: Sarah Ella married David Simpson, a farmer of East Palestine, Ohio; James David, of Steubenville, Ohio, a machinist by trade, now engaged in the manufacture of ice, married Jessie Spencer; Margaret married John H. Kuhns, a glass worker, of Toledo, Ohio; Anna Mary married Michael Mongavin, of Ford City, a molder by trade; Elizabeth married David Halbach, of Manorville, Pa., a molder by trade; William Spratt died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Nesbitt are members of the United Presbyterian Church. He is a republican in political sentiment.

Source: Pages(s) 705, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed October 1998 by Neil G. Anderson 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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