Raphael Stearns Smullen


RAPHAEL STEARNS SMULLIN, fire insurance agent, of Putneyville, was born in Mahoning township, Armstrong county, March 1, 1847, son of Absalom and Mary Ellen (Putney) Smullin.

William Smullin, the first settler in America of this branch of the family, was a native of the North of Ireland, and became a pioneer of what is now Mahoning township, where he owned a farm of 400 acres. Here he worked and improved his land until it became a fine homestead, and it is now owned by Craig Snyder. His wife was Catherine McNutt, and their children were: Absalom, Margaret (married James T. Putney), Jane, Catherine, Monroe, Charlotte, William and Fletcher.

Absalom Smullin, son of William, was reared on the old homestead and soon after attaining his majority purchased forty acres of land from his father, and forty-five acres from W. R. Hamilton, which he cleared and farmed until he reached the age of about forty. Then he embarked in the mercantile business at Putneyville, as a member of the firm of G. S. Putney & Co., with which he was connected for nearly a quarter of a century, when he retired from active business life.

Mr. Smullin married Mary Ellen Putney, daughter of David Putney (a native of Connecticut, and the founder of Putneyville, where he settled in I833) and his wife Lavina Stevenson. Mrs. Smullin and three of their children died of typhoid fever in 1885, and Mr. Smullin broke up housekeeping soon after and went to Marionville, forest Co., PA., where he worked as clerk in the store of his son-in-law for a short time. Then he removed to Tennessee, where he died at the age of eighty-four years. Children as follows were born to Mr. and Mrs. Smullin: Adolphus M.; S. Florella; Annetta, deceased wife of William W. Wann; Emory B., deceased; Kitty Belle, who married Charles Leech; Mary Olive, deceased; Lillie May, who married Burley Ladell; William Putney; Novella, deceased, and Raphael S.

Raphael S. Smullin was brought up in Mahoning township, this county, and received his higher education in Dayton Academy and Allegheny College. He commenced his business career in the oil field of Venango county, Pa., and in the Parker oil district, where he spent three years, and he spent the next few years '-,engaged in the fire insurance business at Putneyville. This he followed until 1880, when he removed to Council Bluffs, Iowa, and engaged in the same business for three years. He was then appointed captain of the police there and held that position for four years. At this time he went to Lincoln, Neb., where he remained fifteen years, six of which were spent in the insurance business, and the remaining nine years he engaged in the grocery business. His health failing, he sold out his grocery and came East, locating at Ravenna, Ohio, where he had charge of a gang of men in the handle department of the sadiron works one year. His wife's death occurred there and in 1903 he returned to Putneyville, where he has since been the representative of the Hartford Fire Insurance Company.

In I877 Mr. Smullin married Jennie A. Warren, daughter of Benajah Warren, of Georgeville, Indiana Co., Pa. They had one son, Claude C., a painter of Joliet, Ill. Mr. Smullin is a member of the Woodman of the World, Camp No. 625, of Lincoln, Neb. In politics he is a stanch Republican.

Source: Pages 757 - 758, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed February 1999 by Doris Rizza 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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