William L Patterson


WILLIAM L. PATTERSON, justice of the peace in Gilpin township, Armstrong county, Pa., and field manager for the Gilpin and Acme Gas Companies in that district, is a very well known citizen of his section and belongs to an old Pennsylvania family. He was born in South Buffalo township, Armstrong county, Feb. 24, 1868, a son of John A. Patterson and a grandson of James Patterson.

James Patterson lived and died on his farm, which was situated along the Freeport and Kittanning road, two miles out of Freeport. He became one of the venerable residents of that section, living to the age of eighty years. He married Ann Polly Murphy, and both are buried at Freeport, Pa. They were the parents of the following children: Samuel, who lived in Butler county, had two sons, James and Joseph; James, who settled in Nebraska had William (deceased), Homer, Molly, Galen, Thomas and Jessie; Betsy (Elizabeth) who married James Reddick, had two children, Patterson and Samuel; Lindsey W. (deceased) had three children, James H. (deceased), Elizabeth and Ella (he was a mason); Thomas, who died in July, 1909, never married; John A. was the father of William L. Patterson.

John A. Patterson was born in Armstrong county in 1823. He was a blacksmith by trade and also operated oil wells in Clarion county, Pa., and in Virginia, drilling many wells. He was interested in manufacturing salt along the Allegheny river, shipping it by boat to Pittsburgh. In 1849 he was one of that great army that endured danger and hardship in order to reach the reputed gold fields of California, and was successful in prospecting and mining. After traveling in different parts of the United States he returned to Armstrong county and bought a farm at State Lick, Pa., which he subsequently sold. He then purchased the old Israel Hill farm in Gilpin township, along the Kittanning road, which property was later bought by Jeremiah Klingensmith, who divided it and sold it to different parties. John A. Patterson was naturally a man of fine intellect and well read, and his travels and association with men served to make him one of the best informed persons in his community. He was a Republican in politics. He was a charter member of the United Presbyterian Church at Leechburg, Pa., and was on the building committee when the present church edifice was erected. His death occurred April 25, 1885.

John A. Patterson married Elizabeth Hill, daughter of Israel and Catherine (Shaffer) Hill. She died April 19, 1903, and was buried in the Freeport cemetery, as was also her husband. They had the following children: Kate died unmarried in 1895; James, of Long Beach, Cal., married Laura Forker of Knox, Pa.; Frank, who married Sadie M. Lafferty and left two children, Bessie and Mary, died when thirty-two years old; Agnes married Joseph Bowers, of Pittsburgh, and is the mother of three children, J. Lindsey, Charles Lewis and John; Thomas was accidentally killed when aged six years, six months, five days; William L. is mentioned later; Maggie E. married James Fryer, of Leechburg, Pa., and they have five children, Rebecca, Helen, Henry, Lindsey and Rhoda; Rebecca A. married Walter Klug, of Leechburg, Pa., and they have three children, Olive, William and Kathryn; Robert A. died when aged twenty-four years.

William L. Patterson attended the public schools of Gilpin township and the Leechburg Academy for one term, when he was under the instruction of Professor Duff. From then on until he was twenty-seven years of age he devoted the main part of his time and attention to farming and since has been variously but ever busily and usefully employed. For some three years he worked in the oil fields as a tool dresser, for one year was foreman of a pipe line, for one year worked in the Leechburg mill, and then was appointed mail carrier, the second appointment on Route No. 1 out of Leechburg, being thus engaged six and a half months. Then for eleven years he was engaged in drilling water wells, operating three machines in this work, and for three years was foreman for J. W. Crosby in the natural gas business. Subsequently he accepted his present position as manager in the Gilpin and Acme Gas Companies' fields here and looks carefully after the interests of these concerns.

On Oct. 9, 1894, Mr. Patterson was married (first) to Elgie A. Cook, who died March 7, 1904. His second marriage took place on Sept. 5, 1905, to Iva M. Myers. They have no children. For thirteen years Mr. Patterson lived at Georgetown, in Gilpin township, coming from there to his present location near the Forks Church in 1909, and erecting his present comfortable residence on the Kittanning road in 1911. In politics Mr. Patterson is a Republican, and at different times has served his party officially, belonging to the working force on several committees. In May, 1910, he was elected a justice of the peace for a term of five years. He is a member of the United Presbyterian Church.

Source Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed January 2012 by Sara Stewart 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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