WILLIAM M. CARNS. The paternal grandfather of William M. Carns, of Laughlinstown, was George Carns, who passed his entire life in Mercer county, Pennsylvania, where he was engaged in the lumber business. His son George was born in Mercer county, and was associated in business with his father. He also engaged in farming and contracting and helped to build the reservoir at South Fork, which so greatly added to the disasters caused by the Johnstown flood. Later he moved to Westmoreland county, where he engaged in farming near Ligonier on what was known as the "Koon farm." During the Mexican war he was proprietor of a hotel at Laughlinstown known as the Horse Shoe Bend Hotel. Mr. Carns married Rachel, daughter of Frederick Mathews, one of the pioneers of the Ligonier valley, and their children were: Gottfried; Mary, wife of Frank Shaffer; Edward, lives in California; Frederick and Lizzie died in childhood; William M., mentioned hereafter; and Philip M.. The death of Mr. Carns occurred in 1849, and was the result of smallpox which he contracted from emigrants who were guests at his hotel.
William M. Carns, son of George and Rachel (Mathews) Carns, was born December 3, 1840, in Mercer county, and was six months old when taken to Westmoreland county by his parents. He was educated there in the common schools, and when a mere boy drove the stage from Shellsburg to Bedford and from Somerset to Johnstown. In 1862 he enlisted in Company K, Fifth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, and served until the close of the war. He was wounded three times and was imprisoned for ninety-one days in York river station house and in Libby. He was honorably discharged at Cumberland, Maryland, April 17, 1865. After his return home he went to Venango county, where he worked by contract for the Empire Oil Company and others, drilling no fewer than twenty-seven oil wells. In 1878 he returned to the Ligonier valley and went into the lumber business, in which he has been continuously engaged ever since. He is a member of G.A. R., Ligonier Post. He is a Republican in politics.
Source: Page(s) 177, History of Westmoreland County, Volume II, Pennsylvania by John N Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906.
Transcribed May 2007 by Nathan Zipfel for the Westmoreland County History Project
Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/westmoreland/)
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