Glenn Family

John Glenn, the progenitor of the Glenn family in Armstrong county and the great-grandfather of A. D. Glenn, came from Ireland when eighteen years of age, and settled in Center county, Pennsylvania. He married Mary Borland by whom he had two daughters, Ann and Mary, and four sons, Robert, John, James and Joseph. The latter, of whose family we shall here give a brief history, was born February 10, 1787, and was married, date unknown, to Mary Thompson, who was born the same day as himself.

The fruits of this union were three children, Archy, William Turner and Mary Ann. In 1818 he moved to Indiana county where he remained for three years, after which he located near Mahoning creek in Wayne township, Armstrong county, about two miles from Dayton. On this farm to which he came while the region was almost a wilderness, he lived until his death in April, 1852, seeing the country cleared up, the game destroyed and villages spring up all around him. He was a strongly religious man, a member of the Methodist church, and particularly zealous in Sunday-school work, superintending at different times many schools at quite a distance from home, one of them being on Pine creek, twelve miles away. His family were all of the same religious faith as himself. After his death his wife lived with her children until her own demise in 1866.

Of the three children, Archy, the father of A. D. Glenn, was married January 28, 1828, to Miss Susannah B., daughter of Abraham and Elizabeth Coursin, who lived near Curlsville, Clarion county. William Turner was married to his cousin, Mary Jane Thompson, in 1849, and died in the army in eastern Virginia in 1864. His widow and family still reside in Milton, this county. Mary Ann was married in 1856 to Isaac Hopkins, who died in December, 1862. She and her family now live at West Decatur, Clearfield county, Pennsylvania.

Archy Glenn first settled at Rockport in Clarion county, but subsequently lived at various places in Armstrong county, among them Milton, Eddyville and Putneyville, where he now resides. He was elected to the office of county commissioner in 1849, and served efficiently and acceptably to the people for three years. This is the only public office of consequence he ever held except that of jury commissioner to which he was elected in 187 , and from which he resigned before the expiration of the term because his private business conflicted with its duties. He has held various township offices and has been justice of the peace for about fifteen years.

While Mr. and Mrs. Glenn were living at Camp Run about three miles from Dayton, their son A. D. was born, January 30, 1842. He attended the public school at Milton, the Dayton Union Academy and the Iron City College. He engaged in teaching when between fifteen and sixteen years of age, taking a place in Milton which the directors had left vacant. Subsequently he taught in Red Bank and Brady's Bend townships in this county, West Mahoning in Indiana county and Robinson township in Allegheny county. In the latter he taught four consecutive terms of seven months each. When he ceased teaching he was principal of the Woods Run school in Allegheny City. In 1861 he and all of his brothers living, namely, Abraham R., Elijah, C. T., James A. and William T., went into the Union army. The first two named and our subject went into Co. B, 78th regt, Pa. Vol. Inf; James A. into Co. I, 62d regt., and William T. into the 48th regt. By the spring of 1862, the vicissitudes of war had so separated the family that no two of them were within a hundred miles of each other. On account of continued sickness, A. D. Glenn was discharged from duty, February 16, 1863. William T. was also discharged the same spring for the same cause, but re-enlisted in the spring of 1864 in Co. M, 2d Pa. Cav., and on account of inflammatory rheumatism was unable to get home until six months after the close of the war.. Subsequently, he enlisted in Co. L, 2d U. S. Cav., and spent several years in the Rocky Mountain region. He returned much broken down, and died at Eddyville in April, 1875. The other brothers passed through three years' service, James A. being badly wounded in the battle of the Wilderness. A brother-in-law and two uncles were also in the service.

Returning to Mr. A. D. Glenn's civil life we find that when he ceased teaching he traveled as the representative of Wilson, Hinkle & Co. (now Van Antwerp, Bragg & Co.), of Cincinnati, one of the largest schoolbook publishing houses in the United States. He remained with this house from April, 1868, to July 1, 1870, having his headquarters successively at Pittsburgh, Crestline (Ohio), Cleveland and Meadville. After quitting the agency he was engaged with his father in the mercantile business at Eddyville. In 1872 he was elected over six competitors to the office of county superintendent of public schools, to which he was re-elected with comparatively little opposition in 1875 and in 1878, serving nine years -- the longest continuous term served by any incumbent since the establishment of the office. At his first re-election the salary was increased from $1,000 to $1,200 per annum. Mr. Glenn's services were very valuable in the way of elevating the standard of public instruction, and were generally so recognized, a fact which was attested by the offer of a fourth election, which, however, he declined. He was editor of the Kittanning Union Free Press from June, 1879, to April, 1881, and ably conducted that well known journal. He served as D.D.G.M. of the I.O.O.F, in Armstrong county for two terms and was urged by several lodges to longer continue in that capacity. He was nominated without opposition by the republicans of Armstrong county for the assembly in 1882, and was elected to the legislature by a majority of 180 votes, while his colleague on the ticket for the same office had a much smaller majority. The career of Mr. Glenn which has carried him to the halls of legislation now, when he has but scarcely reached the prime of his manhood, will doubtless be fruitful of greater successes in the future. At least the beginning augurs well for his filling a broad field of usefulness and attaining the eminence that his intellectual and moral merits entitle him to. Whatever he has thus far attained is traceable to his good character and to his own exertions. Enjoying only limited advantages in his boyhood he obtained, however, a thorough education, and has made his way in the world by close application and energetic, manly endeavor.

The family of Archy and Susannah (Coursin) Glenn consisted of six sons and one daughter, A. D. being next to the youngest. Their names in order of birth are as follows: John Coursin, Abraham R., Elijah C. T., James Alexander, Mary Jane, Archy D. and William Turner. John C. died unmarried in Illinois in 1855. Abraham R. married Sarah E. McCurdy in 1853, and now lives in Smicksburg, Indiana county. Elijah married Louisa Allen in 1858. He died in February, 1871, and his widow and family now live in Dayton. James A. was married to Mary Broombaugh in 1875, and now lives in Eddyville. Mary J. was married in 1857 to John S. Oyler, and now lives near Murrysville, Westmoreland county.

Source: Page(s) 602-603, History of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania by Robert Walker Smith, Esq. Chicago: Waterman, Watkins & Co., 1883.
July 2000 by James R. Hindman for the Armstrong County Smith Project.
Contributed by James R. Hindman for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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