John E Wolfe


JOHN E. WOLFE, a well known farmer of Washington township, Armstrong county, who makes a specialty of fruit raising, belongs to a family of German descent which was founded here by two brothers, one of whom was his great-grandfather. They came from a county east of the mountains, possibly Bedford, and settled near Kittanning, in Armstrong county.

John Wolfe, the grandfather, was born Jan. 27, 1791, and died Jan. 29, 1856. Settling in Washington township, where he had secured about two hundred acres of wild land, he put up log buildings and there made a permanent home, remaining at that location until his death. He was one of the founders of the Lutheran Church at Limestone, in Washington township. He married Ann Margaret Sontel, who was born March 4, 1796, and died Oct. 17, 1885, and they had a large family, viz.; Michel, born Dec. 12, 1813, died June 20, 1883; Mathias is mentioned below; Eve, born Jan. 6, 1819, died in 1863, Christena, born July 5, 1821, died Nov. 17, 1907; Jacob, born April 17, 1824, died March 17, 1893; John, born Oct. 24, 1826, died April 1, 1901; Valentine, born March 17, 1829, died July 18, 1908; Diana was born Oct. 9, 1831; George King, born Oct. 21, 1836, died Aug. 30, 1907; Ann Margaret was born July 12, 1838.

Mathias Wolfe, son of John, was born Sept. 21, 1815, east of the mountains, and was very young when the family settled in Armstrong county. After living at various locations he bought a place in Washington township where his son John now lives, a tract of forty-five acres then only partly improved, with log buildings and other appointments of the most primitive order. There he spent the rest of his days. He met an accidental death May 22, 1865, at the comparatively early age of fifty, having been killed by a runaway term. Mr. Wolfe served several months in the Union army during the early part of the Civil war, having enlisted in the fall of 1861 in Company G, 103d Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, with which he served until the following March, being discharged on account of disability. He was a Republican in politics, in religion a Lutheran. On June 8, 1837, he married Elizabeth Earley, who was born Oct. 2, 1816, and died Oct. 2, 1900. Ten children were born to them: William, born May 20, 1838, died the same year ; Evaline, born May 19, 1840, died Feb. 14, 1912; Andrew, born Aug. 14, 1843; died in North Carolina in 1863 from exposure, while serving in the Union army in the 103d Pennsylvania Regiment; Mary Ann , born Aug. 16, 1845 is deceased, Nancy Rachel, born Jan. 29, 1848, is deceased; John E. is mentioned below; Jane, was born Aug., 7, 1852; Harriet, April 20, 1854; Margaret E., April 13, 1856; Catherine, born Dec. 9, 1861, died March 11, 1863.

John E. Wolfe was born April 11, 1850, in Madison township, Armstrong county, and was only a week old when the family removed to the farm in Washington township where he had ever since had his home. He remained at his home during his youth and early manhood, working with his father, and eventually became manager and owner of the property; upon which he has made many modern improvements. It is all in fine condition, and he has given particular attention to his orchard, for which the place is noted. Mr. Wolfe has held a number of local offices, having been treasurer, supervisor and school director of his township, where he is a most highly esteemed citizen. In politics he is associated with the Republican party. In church connection he is a Lutheran.

On Dec. 4, 1872, Mr. Wolfe married Eleanor E. Lemmon, who was born Feb. 17, 1854, in Armstrong county, Pa., daughter of Alexander and Sarah (Bonner) Lemmon. Seven children have been born to them: Charles A., born Dec. 10, 1873, married Oct. 28, 1902, Laura McGaughey, they have no children. Andrew M., born Sept. 6, 1875, married in November,1896, Eleanor C. Spencer, who died Nov. 8, 1900, the mother of two children, both deceased; in 1920 he married (second) Carrie Orr, and they have had five children. Harold (deceased), Earl, Charles, Paul and Maxim. Elizabeth A., born Sept. 25, 1877, married E. S. Spencer, of Los Angeles, Cal., and has two children, Fred and Josephine. James H., born Sept. 2, 1879, now living in Nebraska, married Mary Davis; they have no children. Arthur Chester, born March 15, 1882, now living in Kittanning, married Myrtle McGarvey, and they have one child, Ellen. Sarah Jane, born Sept. 8, 1888, is unmarried. John T. Sherman, born Jan. 16, 1891, died Oct. 16, 1901.

Source: Pages 899-900, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed November 1998 by Nanci Michalkiewicz for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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