THE NULL FAMILY. Colonel Millard Fillmore Null, the present capable prothonotary of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, was born April 5, 1854, at the old McKeans Stand (now Ruffsdale) in East Huntingdon township, Westmoreland, county. He is the son of Henry Harrison and Ellen (Dom) Null.
Captain Phillip Null, great-grandfather of Colonel M. C. Null, the American ancestor, was born at Wrightsville, York county, Pennsylvania, about 1755. His parents were Huguenots, from the French-German district, known as Alsace-Loraine and were French people. Phillip settled in Reading, Pennsylvania bout 1731. In 1780 he went as a captain of the revolutionary war in the militia to North Carolina, and was at the battle of Camden, August, 1780, where General Gates was defeated by Cornwallis. He was also under the command of General Francis Marion, for whom he named his youngest son. He settled at Lincolnton, North Carolina, and married Margaret Beauchamp ("Bushong") about 1781. She was of Rockingham county, Virginia. Their eldest son, Henry Null, the grandfather of Millard F. Null, was born April 24, 1783, in North Carolina, the eldest of six children. The family resided several years at the home of their grandfather, Pierre Beauchamp, in Virginia. They crossed the Alleghany mountains in 1799, locating in Westmoreland, county, Pennsylvania, on land upon which now stands St. Joseph's Academy at Greensburg. After a few years the family, except three children, removed to Putnam county, Virginia, locating on several hundred acres of land taken on as officer's script. His son Henry and two married daughters remained in Westmoreland county. Captain Phillip Null died at Point Pleasant, Virginia in 1834 of cholera, while en route to visit his son Henry at Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
Henry Null, grandfather of Colonel Millard F. Hull, and one the three who remained in Westmoreland county, located at "McKeans Old Stand" in East Huntingdon township. He married Elizabeth Pool, of Reading, Pennsylvania, May 20, 1804. They had seven sons and two daughters, all reared at McKeans Old Stand (Ruffsdale), each child having a farm given him by his father. Henry Null began life's activities as a farmer. He became promoter of many large business enterprises and was a large contractor, construction portions of the old Pennsylvania canal in Indiana county. He, with his sons, built several miles of the National Pike road, and also helped construct the Washington and Bedford Pike of which he became a charter member and for many years a directory of the middle division. He procured the charter for the Cross Pike, connecting the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Pike with the Washington an Bedford pike of which he built some portions. He was also the man who procured the charter for the Slack-Water navigation along the Youghiogheny river. He finally locate at Ruffsdale, the called "McKeans Old Stand" and established a postoffice there. He owned some on thousand five hundred acres of land, as the fruits of his unceasing energy and toil, coupled with his business sagacity. He never sought publicity, but was made the candidate for the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1882, and sent as a delegate to the Harrisburg Convention which nominated General William Henry Harrison for president in 1836. His manhood was such that even those who differed greatly from him were ever ready to admit his fairmindedness and generosity. In religion he was a pronounced Presbyterian, as was his good wife, both of whom were lifelong Christian examples of true devotion. He died October 9, 1845, after a brief illness. He left a wife, six sons and two daughters, all of whom emulated the good name and character of their father.
Henry Harrison Null, father of Colonel Millard F. Hull, the fourth son Henry Null was born February 16, 1815, at "McKeans Old Stand" (Ruffsdale) in East Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania. At the death of his father he became the owner of the old Null homestead. He married, July 1, 1845, Ellen Dom, daughter of Phillip an Margaret (Gerhardt) Dom, of Wellersburg, Pennsylvania. She was the great-granddaughter of Sir John Jacob Hentz and wife, Eleanor Krauch, of Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany ; she was a lady of great prepossession, cultured and beloved by all within the range of her wide acquaintance, and her kindly ways and charming graces were fully retained throughout her entire life which closed December 27, 1904. Their children were : Marietta, married (first) Andrew Yont, now deceased, and (second), John J. Houseman ; Minerva, widow of Joseph W. Hough, who at the time of his death was treasurer of Fayette county, Pa. ; Josephine, (Mrs. John Dempsey Boyd, of Uniontown) ; Millard Fillmore, of whom later ; Jessie Beuton, (Mrs. Samuel Alwine, Jr.) ; Sumner Fremont ; Edwina married (first) Dr. Smith Fuller, Jr., now deceased ; (second), James Clark Work, of Uniontown, Pa. ; Eleanor Nevada ; Henry Harrison, Jr., married Elsie G. Roth, of Allentown, Pa.
At the date of Henry Harrison Null's death in May , 1905, he had twenty-five grandchildren twenty-three of whom were living, including the following. By his daughter, Mrs. Housman, Harry Null Yont; by Mrs. Hough, Henry Harrison Null Gerhardt Hough ; by Mrs. Boyd, Henry Harrison Hull Boyd, now superintendent of the H. C. Frick Coke Company plants in Fayette county, Pennsylvania ; Burgess Beauchamnp Boyd, with the same company at Alverton and Tarr ; Logan Dempsey Boyd ; Josephine Null Boyd. When a youth, Henry Harrison Hull made his first trip as a wagoner over the Alleghany mountains in 1834. He followed this from time to time as late as 1861. From 1845 to 1872 he was an extensive farmer. During the last named year he removed to Greensburg, having been postmaster at Ruffsdale for twelve years. He also served as internal revenue collector. He was a leading factor in the building of the Wellersburg an West Newton Turn pike road, and was for a quarter of a century president of the Robbstown and Mount Pleasant Pike Road Company. He opened the well known Hull Hotel at Greensburg, and operated it until he died, May 16, 1905, after many months of patient suffering. He had lived over ninety years and noted with great interest the wonderful events of the past century. Politically it may be said that this venerable man early became a leader and not from selfish motives but from true principle. He cast his first vote for General Harrison in 1836, and had voted for every Whig and Republican presidential candidate including Theodore Roosevelt in the Autumn of 1904. The subjoined is an extract take from a local paper the day after his death : "In 1872 the family moved to Greensburg. Here he was known as possessing a liberal and patriotic spirit. In his business relations he was scrupulously honest. He had a large acquaintance throughout the entire county, and by all with whom he came in contact he was held in highest esteem. He was a voracious reader and one of the best informed men on public events in Greensburg. His views wee liberal and he was outspoken in his sentiments. He was opposed to capital punishment and an advocate of women's rights and suffrage, of liberty of conscience, and of all principles of freedom, secular and religious. Strongly characterized with a humanity loving spirit, he was greatly interested in reforms for society at large. He was a wholesouled man, ever ready to assist those who appealed to him. Until within a few months of his death Mr. Null possessed a remarkable memory of events of the early part of the century. He was a recognized authority on public happenings. Since 1856 he had kept a diary, recording each day's happenings with an accuracy which commanded on many occasions reference by historians. These diaries contain a great wealth of interesting data."
Millard Fillmore Null obtained his education in the public schools of Westmoreland county, and by a course in Milton Academy. He went from the school room to serve as an assistant for the engineering corps that laid out the Southwestern Pennsylvania railway. He also taught school in his native county for seven terms. He again took up surveying and mine engineering for a number of years, part of the period in Fayette county, Pennsylvania. Later he became associated with the H. C. Frick Coke Company at its central works as timekeeper, paymaster and superintendent, serving in all fourteen years. Politically, he inherited Republicanism from his father. In 1883 his party induced him to become a candidate for surveyor, but notwithstanding he ran over five hundred ahead of his ticket, his party was not victorious. From that date he has taken a more active part in politics, and in 1900 was elected as prothonotary of Westmoreland county and re-elected in 1903. At the time when the Central High school of East Huntingdon township was established, he was a director and had much to do towards its establishment and the sequel has proved his wisdom. He has been connected with the Presbyterian church since 1885, first at his old home and since 1901 as a member of the First Presbyterian church of Greensburg. He is an honored member of Masonic fraternity, belonging to K. C. of K. T. Lodge, No. 18 at Greensburg. Of Mr. Null's domestic relations it may be stated that he married, March 29, 1877, at Bells Mills, South Huntingdon township, Charlotte Bell, daughter of the late ex-Sheriff William Bell an wife Frances (Bennett) Bell. Mr. Bell was born January 16, 1816 at Bells Mills, the son of Walter and Polly (Finley) Bell. Walter Bell was born Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, in 1769 and removed to Westmoreland county in 1787, locating at Bells Mills, for whom they were named. He died August 12, 1868. He married Polly Finley, daughter of Andrew and Jane Finley, of Port Royal and came from North Carolina, originally. The Finleys were of Scotch extraction.
William Bell, Mrs. Null's father, was of Scotch blood. He died on the old homestead, at Bells Mills, December 24, 1888. The family were of the Presbyterian faith. He served as sheriff of this county from 1862 to 1865. He was most generous and noted for his hospitality and was acquainted far and near. His wife was the daughter of David and Sarah Bennett, born 1826, near Port Royal. David Bennett was the son of John Bennett, who emigrated from France. His wife was Sarah Hough, of German ancestry. Their children were : 1. Charles McCully, educated at the High School and Seminary at Greensburg, graduating in the classical course in 1899. He studied for a lawyer and registered, but is now in the accounting department of the Keystone Coal and Coke Company. 2. Walter Bennett, attended the public schools of Greensburg and Leech's Business College of the same place, taking stenography and typewriting. When sixteen years of age he served as page two terms for Senator Robbins, in Washington D. C. For the past six years he has been associated with the American Sheet Steel an Tin Plate Company, located at Scottdale, Pa. 3. Eleanor attended the common schools of Westmoreland county and Darlington Seminary at West Chester, Pa. 4. Genevieve. 5. Millard Fillmore. 6. Galia Minota. 7. Henry Harrison.
Colonel M. F. Null, as he is always called, is an unassuming man, who may justly be proud of his ancestry, and his highest aim in life is to be able to properly educate his family, that they may bear well their part as good citizens and members of society, as have the generations before them, bearing the name of Null.
Source Pages 19 thru 22 History of Westmoreland County, Volume II, Pennsylvania by John N. Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906
Transcribed May 5, 1999 by Marilynn Wienke 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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