Please do not reply to me for this posting.I am not related to the DENNY family, I am just giving you some notes found in this book.
Centennial volume of the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, PA., 1784-1884.
Pittsburgh : Wm. G. Johnston Co., Printers, 1884:
In 1745 two brothers, WILLIAM and WALTER DENNY, of English parentage, came from Chester County, Pa., and located west of the Susquehanna, in what is now Cumberland County, Pa., near Carlisle.Subsequently WILLIAM DENNY married AGNES PARKER, became a prominent citizen, and was the first Coroner appointed west of Carlisle.Their first child, EBENEZER DENNY, was born March 11th, 1761.When only fifteen years old he was the trusted bearer of important dispatches to Fort Pitt and other places.For a time he commanded the quarter deck of a vessel bearing letters of marque and reprisal and bound for the West Indies.Subsequently he accepted a commission as ensign of the First Pennsylvania Regiment.He was present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, and was detailed to plant the first American flag on the British parapet.Then he served in the Carolinas and at a later period he was Adjutant to General (pg. 204) Harmar and Aid-de-Camp to General St. Clair.He was also one of the original members of the Society of the Cincinnati, founded in 1783.After the close of the Revolutionary War he came to Pittsburgh and was largely and successfully engaged in business.In 1794 he was appointed commander of the expedition to LeBoeuf, ostensibly to protect the Commissioners engaged in laying out the town of Presque Isle, now the city of Erie, but really to prevent the Six Nations from uniting with the Miami Indians against General Wayne.During the war of 1812 he faithfully met the extraordinary demands upon him to furnish supplies for the troops at Erie and elsewhere.He was a Commissioner of Allegheny County; its first Treasurer, in 1803, and again in 1808; and when Pittsburgh became a city, in 1816, he was its first Mayor.
July 1st, 1793, this MAJOR EBENEZER DENNY married NANCY WILKINS, daughter of CAPTAIN JOHN WILKINS, SR., and sister of Quartermaster GENERAL JOHN WILKINS, JR., and of the late HON. WM. WILKINS, who, in his lifetime, was a Judge, United States Senator, Minister to Russia and Secretary of War.His first child, HARMAR DENNY, was born in Pittsburgh, May 13th, 1794.He was named for the bosom friend and chivalric officer to whose staff the father had belonged.HARMAR DENNY pursued his preparatory studies in his native place, and graduated from Dickinson College, at Carlisle, in 1813.He was admitted to the Bar of this county November 13th, 1816, and was afterwards taken into partnership by his legal preceptor, Henry Baldwin, who at length became one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States.
MR. HARMAR DENNY soon became a public man widely and favorably known, and through his entire life he seemed to be more devoted to the general welfare of the people than to his personal comfort or private emolument.He faithfully represented his county in the State Legislature when the Pennsylvania Canal was a question of absorbing interest.He was a member of the National Congress for four successive terms, from 1829 to 1837, and throughout his eight years of service in that body he was the advocate of a protective tariff, as was evinced by his able speech of May, 1830, in reply to Mr. McDuffie, of South Carolina, and by his no less able speeches of June, 1832, and of February, 1833.He was a member of the Reform (pg. 205) Convention of 1837 and ‘38, which met in Harrisburg and Philadelphia, that prepared a new Constitution for this State.In that Convention he was a man of note, as is evident from his speeches and votes.In the Councils of this city and in other offices of trust, he was prominent and influential.He encouraged the construction of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and was the honored and efficient President of the Pittsburgh and Steubenville Railroad, upon whose bonds was the likeness of his own countenance.In every way he was the friend of Western Pennsylvania.He farmers derived no small benefits from the improved agricultural implements he introduced and from the blooded stock imported by him.He was fully identified with the cause of liberal education, was a Trustee of the Western University of Pennsylvania and a Director of the Western Theological Seminary.His library was large, well selected, and valuable; and in 1848 he was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society, organized in Philadelphia in 1743.
About the time MR. DENNY was admitted to the Bar, he made a confession of faith and was received into membership by the First Presbyterian Church of this city, to which Dr. Francis Herron then ministered so successfully.When the Young Men’s Western Auxiliary Bible Society was organized in 1817, the year after the American Bible Society had been founded in New York, MR. DENNY was chosen its President, and at the first anniversary, November 3d, 1818, he delivered an address which was greatly admired by those who heard it, and was afterwards published in pamphlet form, a copy of which is now in posssession of Rev. Joseph A. Murray, D. D., of Carlisle. Immediately after the delivery of this address, the venerable Rev. Joseph Patterson went to MR. DENNY’S young wife and said: “You may be justly proud of having such a man for your husband.”April 12th, 1829, he was ordained a ruling elder in this church, and most faithfully and acceptably did he discharge the duties of this high office, by the example of his own unblemished character and his active interest in all that pertained to the welfare of the church.As a member of the Session of this church, and of the higher ecclesiastic courts, he was modest and prudent, and his advice or opinion always carried great weight.When a member of Congress, he, with the Hon. Walter Lowrie and Hon. Theodore Frelinghuysen, formed the old (pg. 206) Congressional prayer meeting.He had been long and actively connected with the Western Foreign Missionary Society, founded and controlled by the Synod of Pittsburgh.And when, in 1837, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church organized its Board of Foreign Missions, he was made one of its first members.At the Baltimore Convention on the Observance of the Sabbath, November 27th, 1844, there were seventeen hundred delegates.John Quincy Adams presided and MR. DENNY was one of the three Secretaries.
On the 25th of November, 1817, MR. DENNY was married to ELIZABETH FEBIGER O’HARA, daughter of GENERAL JAMES and MARY CARSON O’HARA.GENERAL O’HARA was a man of large enterprise and great foresight.He had been a Commissary and Quartermaster General of the United States Army during the Indian hostilities subsequent to the Revolutionary War; had been extensively engaged in business operations of his own: and had, in partnership with Major Isaac Craig, established the first glass works in Pittsburgh.MRS. DENNY was the elder daughter, and survived every other member of her father’s family.She was a noble woman, an earnest and intelligent Christian, of great energy of character and of large hearted benevolence.After the death of her husband she lived nearly twenty-six years, dying January 18th, 1878, in the seventy-ninth year of her age.
MR. DENNY was tall, erect and dignified in appearance, but modest, courteous and kind.His character was symmetrical and well established.No one ever questioned his high sense of honor, his integrity, the purity of his life or the sincerity of his religious profession.His home was loved by himself and in it he practised a generous hospitality.His life was not a long one, but an active and useful one.After a lingering and painful illness, which he was enabled to endure with cheerful resignation, supported by the precious hopes of the Christian faith and soothed by the loving attentions of those near and dear to him, he peacefully entered into rest through death, January 29th, 1852, in the fifty-eighth year of his age.The Bar of Allegheny County, at a meeting presided over by the late Hon. Walter Forward, paid a high tribute to his worth and gave expression to the high estimation in which he was held.The corporations to which he had belonged, and the press of the (pg. 207) country, recognized his distinguished character and spoke of the deep sorrow so widely felt because of his departure.“The memory of the just is blessed.”