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John A. Proper

JOHN A. PROPER, farmer and oil producer. Tionesta, a native of Plum township, Venango Co., Penn., born September 12, 1815, is a son of Daniel and Margaret (Archer) Proper, and is of Holland-Dutch and Highland-Scotch descent. His paternal grandfather, Samuel Proper, and maternal grandfather, John Archer, were pioneers of Plum and Cherry Tree townships, respectively, in Venango county. Daniel Proper was a farmer by occupation, and cleared and improved a farm in Plum township, on which he lived and died. Our subject was reared in his native town, and received a limited education in the common schools. Like many other pioneers' sons, he experienced various hardships, and at the age of twenty-one years left home and began life in Randolph, N. Y., as a laborer at $10 per month. He later engaged as a jobber of lumber, in Warren and Venango counties, and what is now Forest county, up to 1847. In that year he purchased 1,300 acres of timber land in what is now Forest county, erected two mills and manufactured about 15,000,000 feet of lumber. In 1855 he purchased two farms in Clarion county, where he resided until 1867, carrying on a lumber business at the same time. He then sold out and moved to Tionesta, where he has since been engaged in various branches of business, including that of hotel proprietor in the borough, four years, lumbering up to 1875, and since 1881 he has been a producer of oil at Balltown, carrying on farming also, near Tionesta. He owns two farms of 500 and 100 acres respectively, 200 acres of the former of which he had cleared himself. Mr. Proper was among the best pilots on the Allegheny and Ohio rivers for a period of thirty years, and underwent many hardships during that time. In the fall of 1847 he married Sarah, daughter of Jacob and Mary Grove, of Plum township, Venango Co., Penn., and they have seven children: RozilIa (Mrs. Daniel Walters), Jennetta (Mrs. Samuel Varner), Oliver W., Alice (Mrs. F. R. Lanson), J. Floyd, Eu Retta and Forest C. Mr. Proper is a prominent and representative citizen of Tionesta; has held many of its local offices, and is now serving his second term as associate judge of Forest county. Politically he is a Republican. Judge Proper has been one of the most rugged and enterprising pioneers of that section of country, of remarkable strength, courage and powers of endurance; a natural woodsman and noted hunter, having, in recent years, when nearly seventy years of age, hunted and killed as many as four deer in one day. His pleasant home is on the banks of the Allegheny river in Tionesta, where he is now living in his old age, hale and hearty, known and respected by his numerous friends as an honest man of undoubted integrity and worth.

Source: Page(s) 937-938, 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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