Probably no one family have been more prominently identified with the
settlement and material prosperity of Kiskiminetas township than the Jackson
family. The family is of Irish extraction, and we learn that James Jackson
came from Ireland with his parents when a lad about seven or eight years of
age. The family first settled in Westchester, Chester county, Pennsylvania,
but soon moved to Hannahstown, in Westmoreland county, and were among the
first settlers of that locality, of which they were residents when the embryo
village was destroyed by the Indians. From this place they soon removed to
what is now Kiskiminetas township, and were among the first, if not the first,
to make improvements north of the river. Here James Jackson attained manhood,
married, and died at the advanced age of eighty-four years. The death of his
wife, Jane, occurred at a ripe old age some ten years prior to her husband's.
They were blessed with five children, four boys and one girl, who attained
manhood and womanhood. Their eldest son, John, was born October 12, 1797, in
Kiskiminetas township, and it continued to be his home until his death, which
occurred January 8, 1853. Reared, as he was, in a pioneer's home, sharing the
toils and privations incident to a residence in the wilderness, he was
specially prepared to cope with nature in its wildest aspect of unleveled
forest and uncultivated fields, and well did he fulfill his arduous portion in
life and assist in laying the foundations for the manifold blessings we now
enjoy. Starting without assistance in life, the farm owned by his father
having passed from their possession, he first purchased seventy-five acres of
uncultivated land, now possessed by his sons, S.M. and J.Y. Jackson, and
boldly began the arduous task of carrying out for himself a home in the
wilderness under the many discouraging
surroundings of the pioneer, but being possessed of indomitable pluck and
energy, he became one of the most successful farmers of this section, and his
small farm of seventy-five acres was gradually increased until he became the
possessor, at one time, of between 600 and 800 acres. Mr. Jackson took an
active part in educational affairs and was for many years a member of the
district school board. Politically he affiliated with the Whig party, then in
a minority in the county. Although wedded to his chosen avocation, he took
deep interest in public affairs and was one of a company that built the first
bridge across the Kiskiminetas, at Apollo.
Mr. Jackson was very esteemed by his associates and was selected near and
far to act as arbitrator in disputes between neighbors, and he was always just
and equitable in the decisions. Although not a member of any church, he
attended the United Presbyterian church, of which he was a liberal supporter.
October 5, 1826, he married Elizabeth McCartney, of Scotch parentage, who
was born in Indiana, Pennsylvania, October 10, 1805, and died August 9, 1880.
She was a most estimable Christian lady, being a member of the United
Presbyterian church, and well fulfilled her mission in life both as a
companion for her husband and a mother to her children, to whom she was
devotedly attached, and her affection for them was warmly reciprocated.
They became the parents of ten children, viz: Nancy Jane (Coleman), Sarah T
(Martin), James Y., Samuel M., John T., William T., (deceased) Mary E.
(Owens), Martha M. (Cochran), Joseph B., and Winfield S. (deceased).