Simon Truby


SIMON TRUBY, father of Mrs. James brown Neale, was a prominent citizen of Armstrong county inhis day. He was born in Kittanning, Aug. 17, 1826, an was of Holland Dutch descent, his ancestors who founded the family in this country first settling in Bucks county, Pa. Col. Christopher Truby, great-grandfather of Simon Truby, came from Bucks county to Westmoreland county, settling at Greensburg. Colonel Truby gave to the commissioners of Westmoreland County the site for the courthouse and by the same conveyance agreed to put aside a number of acres of land to be divided into lots for the purpose of foundling the county seat. These lots he agreed to sell at a few shillings each and they now mark the present site of Greensburg. He also built a blockhouse at his own expense to protect the women and children in that vicinity from the Indians during the war. It is related that his eldest daughter, afterward Mrs. Simon Hovey, was taken captive by the Indians and carried to Clarion county, where she was followed by Colonel Tribe and Andy Jack and rescued.

Michael Truby, son of Colonel Truby, served as drummer boy under his father in the Revolutionary war. John Truby, son of Michael, was the father of Simon Truby. He was born in 1876 in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, and early settled in Armstrong County, where he became quite prominent. He was one of the first sheriffs of the county. John Truby died in 1877 at the age of ninety-one years. His wife, Lavinia, also of Greensburg, died when thirty-eight years old. They had a large family.

Simon Truby read law with James Douglas. While thus engaged he was elected prothonotary of Armstrong county, serving for two successive terms. At the expiration of his second term he engaged in the oil business with Robert L. Brown and others at Parker's Landing, Armstrong county, and this continued to be his principal interest to the end of his days. These men were pioneers in the oil business at that point and were very successful. At the time of his death, which occurred April 28, 1894, Mr. Truby was living at the old homestead in Kittanning. He was a member of the Episcopal Church, of which he was senior warden for a number of years prior to his death. Fraternally he was a Mason from early manhood. His wife, Anna (Mosgrove), was born in Kittanning Oct. 28, 1831, and died Oct. 11, 1893. She was a lifelong member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church of Kittanning, with which six generations of her family have been associated. Her parents, John and Mary (Gillespie) Mosgrove, came to Kittanning in 1801. They had four children, Margaret, James, Phebe and Anna Mosgrove.

Simon and Anna (Mosgrove) Truby had the following children: Joseph Mosgrove, who died at trinity College in his junior year; Anna, wife of Hon. James B. Neale; Mary Lavinia, wife of Alexander Graff; Juanita, wife of George W. Reese, all of Kittanning and Rebecca Mosgrove, who first became the wife of Woodward R. Petterson, and after his death, in 1906, married Dr. Francis H. Bermingham, of Brooklyn, N.Y., where she now resides.

Other descendants of Simon Truby are Anna Mosgrove, daughter of Alexander Graff, intermarried with Alan S. Evans, Pittsburgh, PA.; Charles Henry Graff, student at Andover; Isabel, daughter of Rebecca and Woodward R. Patterson, intermarried Wylie W. Carhartt, son of Hamilton Carhartt, of Detroit, Mich., and Simon T. Patterson, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Source: Pages 369, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed September 2001 by Linda M. Stitt for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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