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Samuel D. Irwin

SAMUEL D. IRWIN, attorney, Tionesta, was born in Franklin, Penn., March 12, 1835, where his father, Richard Irwin, was a celebrated surveyor. His paternal grandfather, Samuel Irwin, was one of the pioneers of Venango county, and his maternal grandfather, Rev. Hezekiah May, one of the pioneers of Tionesta. Samuel D. Irwin had opportunities for obtaining such an education as the schools and academy of Franklin afforded, which were then looked upon as great educational concerns. Again he studied surveying under his father, and at the age of eighteen years was a practical surveyor. ·From 1855 to 1857 he attended Jefferson College, Canonsburg, Penn. In 1858 he moved to Iowa, and was appointed principal of the high school at Farmington, but in the fall of that year moved to Paola, Kas., and secured the contract for the survey of lands belonging to the Peorias, Weas, Miamis and Piankeshaws, as well as the lands of the settlers in Miami county. During this period he studied law under William R. Wagstaff, and was admitted to the bar in March, 1862. In 1860 new troubles fell upon the border counties, and Miami county became the center of commotion. Capt. Snyder, Charles Shofield and others resided at Osawatomie, while Jamieson, Montgomery and Lane were often there with their jayhawkers to protect the settlers. Mr. Irwin then belonged to the home guards, organized for the purpose of defending the place against Quantrill and others, but they sometimes entered Missouri. Mr. Irwin was under Gen. J. H. Lane, in his pursuit of Quantrill, in August, 1863, and subsequently served with the militia until the close of August, when he joined Company I, of the Twelfth Kansas Infantry, and proceeded with that command to Fort Smith, Ark., where he was assigned a place at the headquarters of the Frontier Division of the Seventh Army Corps. He participated in the Red River Expedition, in 1864-65, principally with the engineers and scouts, and was honorably discharged at Little Rock, Ark., July 15, 1865. Returning to Pennsylvania he was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in February, 1867; then went into the oil business at Pit Hole City, but success did not crown this venture, and in 1868 he settled at Tionesta. That year he made the first map of Forest county, which was adopted as the official map, revised editions being issued in 1881 and 1883. His law business now had from him some attention, and after having filled the office of county surveyor, he next became district attorney. Notwithstanding the duties which these positions involved, he found time for literary work, and in 1868 gave to the press his first chapters of the pioneer history of Forest county. In 1876 he completed these most valuable contributions to local history; but, even before complete, the sketches won attention, for, on August 18, 1873, he was honored with a membership in the State Historical Society. His marriage with Miss Mary Thomas, daughter of the State senator, Col. P. D. Thomas, took place March 13, 1871. Mr. Irwin' s knowledge of Forest county lands and roads is most complete, and with this comes the kindred knowledge of mineralogy and geology, studies to which he has devoted some time and practical thought. A reference to the general history of the county and of the borough will point out very fully the important parts played by this modern settler of Tionesta.

Source: Page(s) 934-935, Chapter 15 Biographical Sketches - Tionesta Township and Borough of Tionesta
Hickory and Harmony Townships
History of Counties of McKean, Elk and Forest, Pennsylvania.
Chicago, J.H. Beers & Co., 1890.
Transcribed November 2005 by Nathan Zipfel for the Forest County Genealogy Project
Published 2005 by the Forest County Pennsylvania Genealogy Project

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