Sharron M Quigley


SHARRON M. QUIGLEY, one of the oldest residents of Armstrong county, has lived at his present home in Boggs township for sixty-seven years, having settled there in 1847. Few citizens have been more thoroughly indentified with with the life of their times than has Mr. Quigley. As farmer, businessman, public official, church worker, he has taken an interest in the affairs of his locality which has left a permanent impress upon its welfare. Though in his ninety-first year, Mr. Quigely has never used a cane and can read without the aid of glasses.

Mr. Quigley was born June 30, 1823, in East Franklin township, this county, son of John P. Quigley and grandson of James Quigley, a farmer of Cumberland county, Pa. John P. Quigley was born in Cumberland county, and coming to Armstrong county in 1810 located in East Franklin township, along the Allegheny river, opposite the present home of his son Sharron M. Quigley. He brought with him abundant means to establish himself in the then wild country, still infested with wild animals, and worked industriously to make the most of his land. But he died in his prime, when forty-nine years old. He was of English descent , and his wife Esther , who lived to the age of seventy-two was of German extraction. Their children were as follows: James S., who was formerly a merchant of Kittanning, Pa.; William C.; John A.; Robert; Sharron M.; David C.; Jonathan; Benjamin C., who crossed the plains to California in 1849 and died there; Mary M., Mrs Cochran, Rosanna, Mrs. Laird, and Hettie J., Mrs. Wylie.

Sharron M. Quigley, now the only surviving member of his family, was educated in the common schools of his home locality, attending under John P. Davis, whose fame as a speller and spelling teacher was widespread in that day. In 1847 he came to the place in Boggs township, overlooking the Allegheny river, which he has since occupied.The property consisted of fifty-eight acres, on which there was a one-story frame house 24 by 16 feet in dimensions, in which he kept bachelor's hall. While attending to his duties as superintendent of the Brown and Mosgrove furnaces he saw to the clearing of his land, which he subsequently cultivated throughout his active years. However, he did not by any means devote all his time to his farming interests. He had large coal and iron interests which proved very profitable, and he gave considerable attention to public affair. Original a Whig, he eventually became a member of the Democratic party, with which he has since been identified. He has been honored with many important positions, serving as auditor of Armstrong county for six years from 1852, was justice of the peace for five years, and auditor of his home township. He was also active in his early days in the establishing of churches and schools and placing their affairs on a sound basis, and has been a prominent worker in the Presbyterian Church, which he has served as elder.

In 1848 Mr. Quigley married Mary Mateer, daughter of Sharron and Jane (Reed) Mateer, old settlers of Armstrong county, and she died in 1882, the mother of six children: Jane, now a widow of D.F. Hull; Eliza, Mrs. James Heilman; Margaret, Mrs Andrew Starr; Mary, Mrs. A.C. Houston; John, of Columbiana, Ohio; and Sharron Blair, who died in infancy. In 1888 Mr. Quigley married (second) Mrs. Minerva (Walker) Lewis, widow of Rueban Lewis, by whom she had one child, Lola Jane, Mrs. Beatty, who died in 1883, leaving one child, Myrtie Jane. Mrs. Quigley's parents were James and Jane ("Jennie") (Bigham) Walker, the latter the daughter of Isabella (Potter) Bigham. Isabella Potter was captured by the Indians when ten years old. The womwn were visiting together at a neighbor's while the men were out working in the field. The Indians, coming upon them suddenly, killed three or four of the children at play. Little Isabella ran and hid in the brush. Entering the house, the Indians captured her mother and another woman. The latter begged them not to kill her infant, and the party started for the Indian camp. Isabella, seeing her mother leaving, came out of hiding and was taken along. The infant set up a crying which its mother was unable to stop, and the Indians, taking it from her, dashed it against a tree and carelessly threw the body across a branch, where it was found later. The captives were exchanged after a lapse of eighteen months, during which they led a life of drudgery among the Indians.

Mr. Quigley's family all received advantages and a good start in life, and all are valuable members of the community and creditable representatives of the name.

Source Pages 412-413 Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed September 1998 by Rodney G Rosborough for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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