A History of Uniontown: The County Seat of Fayette County, Pennsylvania
Author: Hadden, James, 1845-1923, Uniontown, PA
JAMES HADDEN – author of Washington's & Braddock's Expeditions
Akron, Ohio: Printed by the New Werner Co., 1913
Pg. 778 COLONEL ALEXANDER McCLEAN
Previous to the partial disperson of the Highland clans in the rebellion of 1715, a portion of the clan McCLEAN sought a home in Ireland.The father of ALEXANDER was born there and emigrated to America at an early age and settled on Marsh Creek in York, now Adams County, near the eastern slope of South mountain.The Marsh Creek burying ground contains numerous McCleans lying side by side.
COLONEL ALEXANDER McCLEAN was born in York County, Pennsylvania, Nov. 20, 1746, and was the seventh son of nine children of WILLIAM McCLEAN and ELIZABETH RULE, who were married Feb. 10, 1732.He was of a family of surveyors and received his instructions in the field, as he accompanied his elder brothers, ARCHIBALD, MOSES and SAMUEL, who were engaged in running in the New Castle circle, or boundary between this commonwealth and the state of Delaware, in the year 1761, prior to the arrival of Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, celebrated mathematicians and surveyor of London, who were employed to determine the line between Pennsylvania and Maryland.
On January 7, 1765, the famous Mason and Dixon line or the southern boundary of Pennsylvania, was begun , and COLONEL McCLEAN was employed to accompany them as far as they ran the line, which terminated at the third crossing of Dunkard Creek, near the crossing of the great Catawba Indian trail or (pg. 779) war path, where Mason and Dixon ceased their labors Dec. 26, 1767.Here the line remained unfinished for 15 years, owing greatly to the Revolutionary war, and the dispute between Virginia and Pennsylvania, as both claimed the territory.Later COLONEL McCLEAN was commissioned to continue the line...(pg. 781) While employed on the Mason and Dixon line COLONEL McCLEAN was bitten by a venomous serpent and was taken to a frontier cabin at the glades of Coxe's creek, near Stoystown, for treatment where he formed the acquaintance of MISS SARAH HOLMES.This acquaintance soon ripened into friendship and she became his bride Oct. 26, 1775, and at which place their (pg. 782) first child was born Sept. 7, 1776, and here they made their home for about 3 years.
Moving west of the mountains he purchased the farm that had been warranted to James Stewart June 14, 1769, about one mile east of Uniontown, and now owned by the Stewart Iron company, where the Beeson coke works are now located.Here he made his home until he moved into town, about 1783...(pg. 783) In 1782 COLONEL McCLEAN was elected also a member of the assembly from Westmoreland county, in order to secure the erection of a new county from this part of Westmoreland, which object was accomplished Sept. 26, 1783.He was re-elected to the assembly Oct. 3, 1783...
COLONEL McCLEAN'S wife, SARAH HOLMES, was born at the Glades of Coxe's creek, near Stoystown, now in Somerset County, April 14, 1750.She was an excellent horse woman and loved to ride to the hounds.
She died first of a family of 12 children, March 26, 1832, within but a few days of her 82nd birthday.
Their family consisted of: ANN, born Sept. 7, 1776, married to JOHN WARD, and settled at Steubenville, Ohio, where they became quite prominent; JOSEPH, born Nov. 17, 1777, married to NANCY SALTERS; ELIZABETH, born March 27, 1779, married to THOMAS HADDEN, ESQ., the first resident attorney of Fayette County bar; WILLIAM, born Oct. 14, 1780, married to (first), MARY BURKER, (second), NANCY McLAUGHLIN and (third), LIBBIE FINLEY; ALEXANDER, born Sept. 17, 1782, never married, served in the war of 1812; EPHRAIM, born July 23, 1784, married to TAMZON SLACK, kept tavern on the summit of Laurel Hill; STEPHEN, born Sept. 23, 1786, married to NANCY McCLEAN and lived at Lemont; JOHN, (pg. 788) born Feb. 28, 1788, married to MARY WILSON; RICHARD, born May 17, 1790, never married; MOSES, born March 12, 1793, married to (first), JANE McCLEAN, (second), NANCY SULLIVAN.
COLONEL McCLEAN died Jan. 7, 1834, aged 88 years, 1 month and 17 days.
The following is the inscription on the tombstone erected over the grave of COLONEL McCLEAN in the old Presbyterian burying ground east of the court house:
COL. ALEXANDER McCLEAN
Born Nov. 20, 1746, died Dec. 7, 1834,
In the 88th year of his age.
“He was a soldier in the revolution.Was a representative from Westmoreland County in the Legislature of Pennsylvania at the time Fayette County was established.And was register and recorder of this county from its organization in 1783 until his death.In his departure he exemplified the virtues of his life, for he lived a patriot and died a Christian.
The discrepancy in the date of the death of COLONEL McCLEAN as noticed above can be accounted for from the fact that the date on the tombstone was doubtless recorded some years after his death while that of the minutes of the court was recorded at the time.