John Steel Lightcap

JOHN STEEL LIGHTCAP, of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, was born October 2, 1870, in Unity township, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania. His mother dying in his infancy, he was reared and educated by the family of Andrew and Eliza Steel McChesney. His great-grandfather Lightcap was of German descent: every other line of his ancestry was Scotch-Irish. His father was Samuel Gilson Lightcap, a leading farmer and stock raiser, also justice of the peace, late of Unity township, and his mother was Sarah McChesnev. His grandfather, on his father's side, was William Lightcap, a son of Samuel Lightcap and Rachel Craighead, while his grandmother. on his father's side, was Susanna McClaren, a daughter of MatthewMcClaren (who came from Ireland when he was seven years old), and Pounds, of the Derry township family of that name. On his mother's side, his grandfather was William McChesney, who was a son of William McChesney (who came from county Tyrone, Ireland, about i786 and settled on what was known as the William Penn McChesney farm in Unity township, between New Alexandria and Latrobe, Pennsylvania). and Buchanan. His grandmother, on his mother's side, was Elizabeth McWhirter, a daughter of William McWhirter and Margaret McChesney.

John S. Lightcap was educated in the public schools of Unity township, graduated from the high school of Greensburg in 1889; entered Washington and Jefferson College in the fall of 1889, was graduated from the classical department of that institution in 1893: taught school several terms; was principal of the Ligonier borough schools the winters of 1894-95-96; read law with Judge John B. Steel: was admitted to the Westmoreland county bar June 26, 1897. He married, November 8, 1899, Mary Zahniser, a daughter of R. M. J. Zahniser and Elizabeth Hirst Zahnister, of Greensburg, formerly of Mercer county, Pennsylvania. Of this union, one child, John Steel Lightcap. Jr., was born December i6, 1900. In the spring of 1902 Mr. Lightcap entered into partnership with Eugene Warden, of Mount Pleasant, a member of one of the old and distinguished families of this county, under the firm name of "Lightcap and Warden." This firm has at once sprung into full practice in a bar composed of a number of the leading lawyers of Pennsylvania, and to-day enjoys a large and lucrative practice among the boroughs, corporations, banks, individuals and firms of not only this but adjoining counties. Although practicing in Greensburg, Mr. Lightcap has for some years resided in Latrobe, where he is a member of the Presbyterian church, and interested in a number of business enterprises.  

Source: Page(s) 304-305, History of Westmoreland County, Volume II, Pennsylvania by John N Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906.
Transcribed August 2008 by Nathan Zipfel for the Westmoreland County History Project
Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (

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