J.B. Finley Wyant



J.B. FINLEY WYANT, M.D., of Kittanning, has been located in practice for a number of years and is one of the most successful and progressive physicians of Armstrong county. With a strong realization of the worth and dignity of his chosen calling, he has endeavored to live up to its highest ideals, and that he is considered a fit representative of this useful and privileged profession is well shown in the honors he has received from his fellow practitioners. Possessing those qualities of mind and heart generally associated with the true physician, he has been proud of his work, and has been a credit to the medical fraternity throughout his career. Born Aug. 7, 1862, in Washington township, Armstrong county, the Doctor is a son of Adam Wyant, a substantial farmer of that township, and belongs to the honest, hardy, Pennsylvania German pioneer stock which has contributed so much to the building of this and other States, with its strong religious tendencies, industry and thrift. The members of this family have been well represented in the various wars of this country waged in their time, especially in the Civil war.

Dr. Wyant is a great-grandson of Henry Wyant, who was born in Germany, came to the United States, and landing in Philadelphia later located in the Delaware German settlement, and then in Bedford county, Pa. He was a veteran of the Revolutionary war.

Martin Wyant, son of Henry, was born and raised in Bedford county, and married Christeena Booher, also a native of Bedford county, daughter of Bartholomew Booher. The Wyants and Boohers came from Germany together, the Boohers first locating in Berks county, and moving thence to Bedford county. To this union came fourteen children: Christian, Adam, Bartholomew, John, David, Frederick, Henry, Martin, Jacob, Susan, Julia Ann, Catharine, Christeena and Elizabeth. All of these grew to manhood and womanhood except Christian, who was killed by the kick of a colt when he was ten years old. The next death in the family was that of Martin, who was drowned at the Dickey Island. Three of the sons were in the Union army during the Civil war, Frederick, Henry and Jacob. Frederick enlisted in 1861 in Company C, 78th Pennsylvania Regiment, commanded by Colonel Sirwell, and was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps Oct. 1, 1863. Henry was a member of Company D, 103d Pennsylvania Regiment, enlisting in 1861, and died in Andersonville prison. Jacob, who also enlisted in 1861 in Company C, 78th Regiment, was killed at the battle of McLemores Cove, Ga. The remaining ten children lived to a good age near the three-score and ten mark and some of them well up in the fourscore years. Martin Wyant with his large family left Bedford county in the spring of 1832 and under great difficulties crossed the mountains and finally made a settlement in Washington township, Armstrong county, in the fall of the same year, where he engaged in farming and charcoal manufacturing. Here the family in time grew up and were married, and followed out the great command given in the beginning of time, "Multiply and replenish the earth." But it was left principally for Adam to fulfill the Biblical injunction, for he had the distinction of being the father of seventeen children, two of whom died in infancy, fifteen growing to maturity, marrying and following the same injunction given to the first Adam, as well as to Adam the second, for they "multiplied and were fruitful." The son Bartholomew had a son Jeremiah, who enlisted during the Civil war in Company D, 103d Pennsylvania Regiment, and was a prisoner at Andersonville for several months in 1864, from April 20th to Dec. 10th.

Adam Wyant, son of Martin, was born in Bedford county July 4, 1813, and came with his father into Washington township, Armstrong county, in 1832. In 1833 he married Rachel Yerty, who died in 1846, the mother of seven children, namely: (1) Christian Yerty, born Oct. 3, 1834, married Elizabeth Johns, and had these children: Mary married Curtis Philips and had two children, Hollis and Grace; Rose married Cash Kramer and had seven children, Charles, Dr. Homer, Alexander, Ruth, Willard, Isabelle and Elizabeth (the last named deceased); Dr. A.R.E. married Louise Hulbert and has had three children, Florence, Elizabeth and Christian (deceased); Adam Martin, an attorney, married Katherine Doty, and has had two children, Anna Moore and Christian Lucien (the latter deceased); Dr.W.W. married Rachel Sanders and has one child, Christian; Dr. Florence married William Matta and has one child, Elizabeth. (2) Martin, born Feb. 20, 1836, married Sarah Zerby and had seven children: John; Mary, who married John Daily and had seven children; Martha, who married William Boyd and had two children; Margaret, who married George Gray; Etta, who married William Morgan and has two children; Cora; and Martin, the last named deceased. (3)Andrew H., born Jan. 4, 1838, married Frances Harding and had three children, Harding, Maude and Pearl, both the daughters being deceased. (4) Archibald M., born Feb. 8, 1842, married Sarah Bowser, and had nine children: Ida, who married Phil. Schreckengostt and had three children, Herman, Cora and John; Rebecca; Christopher; William, who married Florence Connell and had one child, Mary; Harry S. who married Margaret Handyside, and has three children; Robert, who married Anna Potter and has three children, Sarah, and Florence and Olive, twins; John Finley and two others died in infancy. (5)George, born in 1843, died in infancy. (6)Rachel, born in 1844, died in infancy. (7)Elizabeth, now the only survivor of the children of Adam Wyant's first marriage, born May 4, 1845, married Harvey Frick, and had four children: Minnie, who died young; Pearle, who married John Sutton and had one child, Harvey; William; and Chattie, the last named deceased.

On March 25, 1847, Adam Wyant married (second) Sophia Bowser, daughter of Abraham and Mary Bowser, and they had ten children: (1)Mary, born march 2, 1848, married Albert Rea, and had two children: Tillie, who died young; and Albert, who married and has two children. (2)Delilah S. born Sept. 23, 1849, married George Boylstein, and both are deceased. They had seven children: Archibald, who married Elizabeth Serene and had one child. May; George L., who married Kate Hanes and has had six children. Jessie (married Thomas Taylor and has two children, George and Kathryn), James, Frederick, Daniel, and two that died in infancy; Elizabeth, who married J.B. Greer and has one child, Mary Louise; Kathryn; Sarah; Daysie; and Sophia, who died young. (3)Eli Fluke, born Aug. 9, 1851, married Parmelia Sindorf and had eight children: Alma, who married William Anderfer and has six children; James; Roy, who married and has one child; Bell, who married Will Butcher and has four children; Stella; May; and two who died in infancy. (4) Christena, born March 13, 1853, married Thomas Jack and has had six children: Laura married Harve Mechling and had two children, Hazel and Kerneal; Margaret married Herbert Summers and had five children, Homer, Edward, Ira, Howard and Thomas; Robert married Alice Stringer and has three children, Dorsey, Alice and Mary Louise; Rose; Milton married Dorothy Wolf; Laban married Marie Bish. (5)Benjamin Wyland, born Sept. 4, 1855, is a prominent resident of Washington township. He married Cynthia Dickey and had six children: Finnie, who died young; Mary, who married Horace Nichols and had one child, Kenneth; John F.; Samuel R.; Anna Sophia, and Benjamin F. (6)Emma Theresa, born Feb. 4, 1858, married Frank L. Wolfe and had five children: Daniel W., who married Pearle Lias and had four children, Vernon, Pauline, Theone and Sidney; A. Weldon, deceased; May, who married George McAuley; Clifton, and Milburn. (7)S. Katherine, born April 13, 1860, married Isaac F. Kramer and had two children, Margaret (deceased)and Frederick. (8) Jay B. Finley was born Aug. 7, 1862. (9)Martha Margaret, born Sept. 2, 1865, married Labana Wolfe and had eight children, all deceased but hazel and Kramer. Mr. Wolfe died and she married Thomas Kramer, being the only one of this large family who married a second time. (10) Susanetta, born June 3, 1869, married William Manross and had seven children: George, who is deceased; Luetta; Benjamin; William; Finley, deceased; Eli, deceased; and Ira, who married Marie Cochran and has one child, William.

Sophia (Bowser) Wyant, mother of these ten children, was born in Franklin township, Armstrong county, May 29, 1828, and is still a hale and hearty woman, living on the farm in Washington township, where this great family was born and brought up, and which place belongs to one of her sons. Her children gather at the old home each year to celebrate with her the anniversary of her birth. This has been their custom for years, and the occasion is always looked forward to with a great deal of pleasure by her children, grandchildren and neighbors.

Mrs. Wyant was a granddaughter of Valentine Bowser, born in Germany, who married Elizabeth Fluke. Her father, Abraham Bowser, born in 1803 in Bedford county, Pa., was killed April 10, 1853, by a falling tree. In 1822 he married Mary Stevens, a mighty power in the organization of the free school system, and daughter of Benjamin and Sarah (Milligan) Stevens, and they had fourteen children: (1) Benjamin S. Bowser, born Dec. 20, 1823, married Elizabeth Bowser in 1843 and had two children. She died in 1844, and he married Elizabeth Yerty, by whom he had five children, forty-one grandchildren and sixty-eight great-grandchildren. This wife died in 1855, and he married Katharine Yerty. They had eight children and nineteen grandchildren. (2) Elizabeth Bowser, born 1825, married Fred Bowser, and had eight children, twenty-one grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren. (3) Sophia Bowser, born May 29, 1828, married Adam Wyant, and had ten children, fifty-seven grandchildren, forty-four great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren. (4) Sarah Ann Bowser, born Oct. 17, 1829, married Jacob Booher, and had eleven children, and thirty grandchildren. (5)Dr. Mathias S. Bowser, born in 1831, married Elizabeth Booher, and had seven children, twenty grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. (6) Eli Bowser, born in 1833, died in 1844. (7) Delilah Bowser, born in 1835, married Abraham Frick and had six children, thirty-two grandchildren and sixty-three great-grandchildren. Mr. Frick died and she married John D. Wolfe and had four children, fifteen grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. (8)Nancy Bowser, born in 1837, died in 1845. (9)Rosana Bowser, born in 1839, married Archey Bowser, and had eight children and ten grandchildren. (10) Jennie Bowser, born in 1841, married Adam Grant and had five children and nineteen grandchildren. (11) Joshua C. Bowser, born in 1846, married Kiziah Bowser and had three children and thirteen grandchildren. He was a musician and served throughout the Civil war, being a member of Company D, 103d Pennsylvania Regiment. (12) John Bowser, born in 1848, died in infancy. (13) Mary Bowser, born in 1850, died in infancy. (14) James H. Bowser, born in 1852, married Amanda Bowser, and had seven children and twelve grandchildren.

This was a family of strong Baptists, and Mary (Stevens) Bowser was the pioneer Baptist in this part of the county. It is said that none of the children ever left the faith of their mother; few if any mothers have had such a following as she; and the end is not yet, for the records show a continual growth.

To return to the Wyants. Adam Wyant settled in Washington township, Armstrong county, where he was a farmer, and died May 28, 1882. He held the offices of tax collector and constable. At the first election held in that township, in February, 1859, the votes for the place of holding the election were as follows: Henry Helzel, 69; Adam Wyant, 52;William Groves,5. Some of Jacob Frick's heirs conveyed their interest in the residue of the real estate which their father and mother had left to Adam Wyant, and he conveyed part of it to Christian Yerty Wyant March 21, 1864. Part of the tract to which this belonged came into possession of the Reeds, who sold four acres to Adam Wyant for $80. The Brethren in Christ Church was organized in that part of what is now Washington township, about 1842, by Rev. George Shoemaker, and was sometimes called the "Shoemakerian" Church. The frame church edifice was erected in 1858, on that portion of the "Canton" tract conveyed by George Leasure to Abraham Leasure. For the purpose of conveying a moiety of the edifice and ground to the Church of God, Abraham Leasure conveyed the lot to Nicholas Leasure. Samuel Stouffer and Adam Wyant on Feb. 13, 1864, and they conveyed it the same day to Abraham Leasure and J.C. Plowman, who conveyed "one-half of a house of worship, and graveyard with all the appurtenances" and the eighty square perches on which they were situated to "John Hovis, chairman of the Standing Committee of the West Pennsylvania Eldership of the Church of God," March 26, 1866, for $302.67, after which the property was jointly owned by these two congregations.

Three of the sons of Adam Wyant served in the Civil war: Andrew H., who was in Company M, 59th Pennsylvania Regiment, 2d Calvary, was wounded in the right arm at Gettysburg; Martin enlisted Feb. 22, 1865, in Company K, 104th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, and served to the close of the war (he was shot through the thigh); Archibald M., who was in the cavalry, was wounded in the battle of the Wilderness, being injured when his mule was shot from under him.

J.B. Finley Wyant attended public school in Washington township and later continued his education in the Reid Institute in Clarion county, Pa. After completing his classical course he became assistant principal there for three years, during which time he read medicine with Dr. Frank Ross, of Clarion, with whom he had commenced reading previously, while a student. He then entered the Western Pennsylvania Medical College (later known as the Western University of Pennsylvania, now the University of Pittsburgh), graduating with the degree of M.D. on March 28, 1889. He began practice the same year at Templeton, Armstrong county, where he continued for ten years, in 1899 removing to Kittanning, where he has ever since remained. He commands a wide practice, and his standing with the other members of his profession in his community is sufficient testimony of the respect he has gained during his active and useful career. He is a prominent member of the Armstrong County Medical Society, which he has served as secretary continuously since 1901, and he was its president in 1896; the Doctor has just completed a history of the Society. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania Medical Society and the American Medical Association. Socially he is a member of the I.O.O.F. Lodge at Kittanning; Blue Lodge No. 244,F.& A.M., of Kittanning, and Royal Arch Masons; the Royal Arcanum, and the Heptasophs.

On Aug. 6, 1885, Dr. Wyant married Mary Louise Gilbert, the ceremony being performed by Dr. B.H. Thomas, Baptist clergyman, who was connected with Reid Institute for forty-five years. Mrs. Wyant was born May 11, 1864, daughter of Prof. C.A. and Sarah Frances (Evans) Gilbert, the former a well-known instructor at the Reid Institute. Dr. and Mrs. Wyant have had the following children: Sophia Irene, born Oct. 12, 1886, died Oct. 8, 1904; Sarah Alleine, twin of Sophia Irene, is married to Dr. Edward Ellis Evans, and resides in McKeesport, Pa. (they have one child, Finley Edward); Margaret C., born March 13, 1890, Corbin Wayland, born March 23, 1896, and Mary Louise, born July 20, 1902, are at home; one died in infancy.

The Doctor and his family are members of the Baptist Church and he has been prominent in its work, serving several years as member of the official board, s deacon, financial secretary and trustee.

Source: Page(s) PAGES 332-335,
Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914

Transcribed July 1998 by Patti Godesky 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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