William McBryar, M.D.

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The subject of this sketch was born of a generous strain of sturdy Scotch-Irish blood, both of his parents being descended from those races, though both natives of Pennsylvania. His father was born July 18, 1784, in Westmoreland county, and his mother, Elizabeth Dickey, near Carlisle, Franklin county. They were married June 28, 1811. In their old age, in 1868, they removed to this county. The offspring of their auspicious union were eight children, four sons and four daughters, of whom five are living -- Nancy L. (widow of Charles McLaughlin), resides in Westmoreland county, and Samuel, William, Mary and Sarah P. McQuilkin), in Apollo. Those deceased are Margaret, Watson and David D.

William, the subject of this sketch, was born November 26, 1822. He remained at home upon his father's farm until 1842, and obtained the rudiments of an education in such schools as the neighborhood possessed. He was, however, determined to obtain a greater store of knowledge, and with that end in view, upon May 1, 1844, entered the Richmond Classical Institute, of Jefferson county, Ohio, where he remained until he graduated in September, 1847. On the 1st of the following November he commenced reading medicine under Dr. John Dixon, of Allegheny City (now of Pittsburgh), with whom he remained until October, 1848, and rejoined in the summer of 1849.

During the winter of 1848-9 he taught school, an employment in which, by the way, he had gained some valuable experience in 1842 and 1843. Upon October 18, 1849, he left the office of Dr. Dixon to attend the medical department of the university, city of New York, from which he returned home in February, 1850. In July of the same year he engaged in the practice of medicine at New Salem, Westmoreland county, in partnership with Dr. John McNeal, with whom he remained associated until April 1, 1852. He then went to Congruity Church, Westmoreland county, where, however, he sojourned but two or three months, going in June to Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, and forming a partnership with Dr. Allison, of that place. The death of this physician took place August 3, 1852, and in September Dr. McBryar went to New York, where he completed his medical education in the spring of the ensuing year, graduating under the allopathic system. On April 19, 1853, he located in Apollo, where he has ever since been engaged in an active and lucrative practice, enjoying the respect both as man and physician of the people of the town and surrounding country.

Extensive and onerous as his professional duties have been his energy had not been wholly confined to them, and he has found time to assist in the advancement of several enterprises, as well as to give attention to important educational and other interests, such as it is the duty of the good citizen to foster. He was one of the principal promoters of the Apollo Savings Band, which was organized May 27, 1871, and has ever since been one of its directors, being elected successively each year. In 1878 he was elected a director of the academy at Kittanning, and president of the academy board the same year. In 1874 he was very favorably considered as a candidate for the assembly by the republicans. In October 1880, he was one of the organizers of the DuBois Savings Bank, of Clearfield county, this state, was chosen president of the institution, and has held that office ever since by repeated re-election.

He was prominently identified with the construction of the new iron bridge at Apollo, purchasing the old abutments of several owners for the sum of $5,000, and receiving $4,000 from the county commissioners of Westmoreland and Armstrong, and $1,000 from citizens of Apollo. The doctor is president of the Westmoreland and Armstrong County Mutual Fire Insurance Company, which has its offices at Apollo, and is medical examiner for the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, of Philadelphia. He owns about 300 acres of valuable land.

Dr. McBryar was united in married October 4, 1855, with Miss Sarah Jane Callen, daughter of Matthew and Jane (Paul) Callen. Her mother's parents were 'Squire Samuel and Jane (Porterfield) Paul; the father was born in Ireland, and the mother in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, both being of Scotch-Irish descent. To Mrs. Dr. McBryar's parents were born six children, besides herself, she being the oldest. Their names are: Eliza M., Harriet C., Emeline S., Samuel P., Anna Maria (deceased) and Johanna (deceased).

To Dr. McBryar and wife were born five children -- Lizzie J. (deceased), James C. (deceased), Ada M., William Lyle and Hattie Dickey.

Source: Page(s) 604-605, 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 (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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