Olynsca C. Rairigh


OLYNSCA C. RAIRIGH, of Kittanning, is the only architect residing at that place, and has many substantial pieces of work to his credit in the borough and vicinity. He is a native of Plumville, Indiana Co., Pa., born May 11, 1872, son of William K. Rairigh, who is now a resident of Kittanning. His paternal grandfather was born in 1796 in Conococheague, Maryland, and lived to the age of eighty-three years, dying in 1879. His wife was born at Blue Knob, Bedford Co., Pa., in 1809, and lived to the age of seventy-eight, dying in 1887.

William K. Rairigh was born in the year 1848 in Cowanshannock, near the old Hoosic Mill, near the line of Indiana county, and married Mary M. Hoak, who was born in a humble home near Kittanning, not far from the present typewriter works, in 1853. When she was only a few months old her mother died of typhoid fever, when but twenty-five years old; her father, who was a veteran of the Civil war, died in 1898, at the age of sixty-nine years.

O. C. Rairigh received his early schooling at this native place and at St. Petersburg, Clarion county, later attending the public school at Kittanning (whither his parents had moved), from which he was graduated in 1881. He then learned the trade of carpenter, at which he worked in Pittsburgh and Kittanning, with a prominent contractor, meantime also taking a course in architecture at the Scranton Correspondence School. He has been settled at Kittanning since 1894, and has been busily engaged as a carpenter, contractor and architect throughout the period of his residence here. His first work in architecture was drawing the plans for St. Mary's parochial school building, in Kittanning, besides which he has made the plans for the First Baptist church at Ford City, and some fine country residences and good dwellings at Ford City, Templeton, Elderton, Kittanning and the surrounding towns. He has also been employed by the American Planing Mill Company, of Kittanning, doing all their architectural drawing and high class carpenter work for the last seven years. He has done work of special merit in hand carving and the building of furniture for several churches. He is a member of the local carpenter's union.

Mr. Rairigh has been interested in the progress of the borough since taking up his residence here, and he was one of the charter members of the Wickboro Cooperative Water Company , of which he is treasurer. Socially he is an Odd Fellow and member of the K.O.T.M., and he has been through the chairs in the local lodge of the former organization, Aerial No. 688. He was formerly a member of the encampment, I.O.O.F. Mr. Rairigh is a prominent member of the First Baptist Church of Kittanning, and is serving as treasurer of both the church and Sunday school. Politically he is a Washington party man.

In 1893 Mr. Rairigh married Lydia M. White, a native of the East End, Pittsburgh, whose parents were also born in that city, her mother in 1848; her father served in the Civil war and died in 1883, at the age of forty-one years, from the effects of a wound received while in the army. Coming to Kittanning, Mr. Rairigh first erected a home on Queen street. Selling that property, he built his present fine home at No. 620 Hawthorne avenue, Wickboro, which was one of the first residences to be put up on that street. Mr. and Mrs. Rairigh have had four children: Robert Lloyd, Carra Margaret, and two who died in infancy, one son and one daughter.

Source: Pages 543-544, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed September 2001 by Nancy Cain Knepper 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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