J. HOWARD PATTON, prominent in the business enterprises of Greensburg and Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, is a descendant of families, many members of whom have been important factors in the settlement and upbuilding of the commonwealth. He was born July 29, 1851, at Union Furnace, Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, and descends through the following lines of ancestry.
(I) John Murray, a native of Scotland, came to America late in life with his two sons, William and John, and their families.
(II) William Murray, a native of Scotland, born February 24, 1690, emigrated to America in 1732, accompanied by his father and brother John. They settled on the Swartara in the Province of Pennsylvania. He married Isabella Lindley, of Scotland, who bore him five sons : Samuel, William, James, John, and Thomas. William Murray (father) died on his farm, July 24, 1773.
(III) James Murray, born in Scotland, in 1729, accompanied his parents to America in 1732, He was the owner of a farm adjoining the borough of Dauphin, Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, for which he entered an application in the land office in 1768. He was chosen to represent Upper Paxtang township in 1775, in the committee of safety for Lancaster county, and attended the meetings of the committee in Lancaster on November 8, 9, and 10. At that time he was a captain of a company footmen, of the Fourth Battalion of Associators in the county of Lancaster. At a military convention representing the fifty-three battalions of Associators of Pennsylvania on July 4, 1776, he was present as a captain. With John Rogers and John Harris, on July 8, 1776, by appointment of the Provincial Conference, he superintended the election at Grabers Mill, for the sixth district of Lancaster county , to choose delegates to the convention that assembled on the fifteenth of the month, which framed the first constitution of the commonwealth. During the remainder of that and the following year he was almost in constant active military services with his company. His company, a roll of which appears in Dr. Egles notes and queries, first series, page 7, and in Pennsylvania archives, second series, volume XIII. page 310, went into the continental service in July, or early in August 1776. In a return of the troops quartered in and near Philadelphia, made August 27, of that year, it is reported sixty strong. It participated in the battles of Trenton and Princeton. He commanded one of the companies of the Tenth battalion, Lancaster county militia, and was with the expedition up the West Branch in 1779. The exposure to which Captain Murray was subjected during the revolutionary struggle brought on an attack of rheumatism, from which for many years prior to his death he was a constant sufferer. He married Rebecca McLean, a native of Scotland, who died August 7, 1795. His death occurred in his farm adjoining the borough of Dauphin, Dauphin county, February 15, 1804. The remains of both rest side by side in the old Dauphin cemetery. Their oldest daughter was :
(IV) Margaret Murray, born 1756, in Paxtang township, Lancaster county, (now Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, died April 27, 1826, at Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. She was married May 7, 1776, by the Rev. John Elder, to John Simpson, (see page 800, Vol. 8, Penn. Archives) born 1744, in Buckingham township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania. His parents, John and Mary Simpson went south and were residents of North Carolina in 1783, and Georgia in 1791. The son learned the trade of blacksmithing, and in 1763 settled on the Susquenhanna in what was the Upper Paxtang township, Lancaster ( now Dauphin) county. He was commissioned second lieutenant by Captain James Murray's Company, on August 15, 1775, in the Fourth Battalion of Associators of Lancaster county. Lieutenant-Colonel Cornelius Cox, o the battalion, ordered him to remain in the continental smith shop at Bristol on January 28, 1777. He served during the greater port of the Revolution, towards its close in command of a company of militia, and then returned to his farm. In the spring of 1793 he removed to Huntingdon, where he passed the remainder of his days. Their eldest daughter was :
(V) Rebecca Simpson, born April 8, 1777, in Paxtang township, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, died October 13, 1845, in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. She married, April 16, 1801, John Patton, born December 25, 1757, in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, died May 23, 1836, on his farm in Woodcock valley, Walker township, Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania. In his earlier years he resided in the town of Huntingdon, and the following is taken from the records there : He was the second sheriff of the county, being appointed by the Free Men of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, David Redick, vice-president, October 29, 1788 ; again, November 6, 1789, by Thomas Mifflin, president of council ; December 3, 1790, by Thomas Mifflin, president of council ; December 3, 1791, by Thomas Mifflin, governor ; December 3, 1794, by Thomas Mifflin, governor ; November 5, 1800, by Thomas McKean, governor ; October 27, 1806, by William Findley, governor ; November 3, 1812, by Simon Snyder, governor ; October 26, 1818, y William Findley, governor, for a term of not less than three years, and possibly in six years, covering a period of over thirty years as sheriff. He was an efficient public officer.
(VI) George W. Patton, son of John and Rebecca (Simpson) Patton, was born September 6, 1817, and died March 7, 1882, in Philadelphia. He was one of the lessees of Union Furnace and manager at Blair Furnace. He removed to Altoona in 1852, and in 1854 was chosen first chief burgess of the town, re-elected in 1855, and in 1861 was appointed postmaster, serving eight years, and in 1870 was elected associate judge of Blair county, subsequently re-moving to Philadelphia. He was twice married (first) June 10, 1845, to Mary Burket, who died March 28, 1856, and had issue : T. Blair Patton, general superintendent of the Pennsylvania industrial school, Huntingdon ; William A. Patton, assistant to the president of the Pennsylvania railroad, Philadelphia ; and J. Howard Patton, of Greensburg, Pa. Mr. Patton married (second) December 19, 1861, Emma J. Hawksworth, of Altoona, and had issue : Mary V. Patton, wife of Harold A. Freeman, St. David, Pa. ; and Margaret Murray Patton, who died December 18, 1889.
((VII) J. Howard Patton, born July 29, 1851, moved to Altoona with his parents in 1852. After receiving his education in the public schools, he entered the service of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company in 1870, spending ten years in the general superintendent's office. He moved to Claridge, Westmoreland county, in 1885, where he engaged in the mercantile business, and was interested in and opened up the Claridge Gas Coal Company's works of which he still has charges. He moved to Greensburg in 1889, where he organized and is president of the following companies : Atlantic Crushed Coke, Lucesco Coal, Huron Coal, Howard Gas Coal, Hempfield Foundry, Greensburg Storage and Transfer, and other coal interests in Westmoreland county. politically Mr. Patton affiliates with the Republicans. He is a Lutheran in his religious faith. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, being advanced to the degree of a K.T.
Mr. Patton has been twice married (first) April 13, 1880, to A. Lousia Cunningham, of Holdensburg, Pennsylvania, who bore him on child, Howard C. Patton, born February 15, 1881, who attended the Ohio Military Institute, at Cincinnati, and is now the superintendent of the Huron Coal Company and Howard Gas Coal Company, in which his father is actively interested. Mrs. Patton died November 24, 1882. For his second wife Mr. Patton married Jessie R. Geiger, youngest daughter of the late Judge Levi Geiger and his wife Rosalinda Geiger, of Urbana, Ohio. While Mr. Patton is busy man of affairs, he is not so absorbed in business as to forget the better things of life---the enjoyment of friendship and his family and fireside ties---and is ever ready to take part in any matter of general interest to the public and for the betterment of mankind.
Source Pages 26 thru 28 History of Westmoreland County, Volume II, Pennsylvania by John N. Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906
Transcribed May 21, 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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