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History of Washington County, Pennsylvania
Author: Crumrine, Boyd
Philadelphia: L. H. Leverts & Co., 1882
JOHN McDOWELL was a native of Ireland, born a few miles from Belfast on the 23d of September, 1736.When a young man he emigrated to this country, and settled near Elizabethtown, N.J., where he married AGNES BRADFORD, daughter of JAMES BRADFORD, and sister of DAVID BRADFORD, whose history is so well known in connection with the Whiskey Insurrection of 1794.In company with the Scotts, Allisons, and other families, they emigrated west of the mountains in 1773, and settled on the waters of Chartiers Creek, in what is now Washington County.That he lived herein August, 1775, is shown from Rev. John McMillan's journal, in which he says, “The fourth Sabbath of August, 1775, preached at John McDowell's.”Other records show that in pursuance of a warrant he obtained possession of a tract of land, which in the survey was called “Mount Pleasant,” and contained 400 acres, situated two and half miles southwest of where Chartiers Church now stands.On this tract he built the log cabin in which Dr. McMillan preached his first sermon in the territory now Washington County.This log cabin served as his dwelling for some years, and was replaced by a two-story log house.He purchased numerous tracts of land besides that already mentioned.In October, 1776, he was commissioned (pg. 870) one of the justices of the peace of Yohogania County, and was one of the first elders of the Chartiers Church.Upon the erection of Washington County, in 1781, he was appointed one of the three commissioners of the county.In 1783 he was one of the Council of Censors of the State, appointed by the Supreme Executive Council.In 1798 he was elected a member of the House of representatives; re-elected in 1799, 1800, 1801.He was prominent in the organization of the Canonsburg Academy in 1791, and was one of its trustees from the first.He succeeded Judge James Edgar, April 27, 1803, and served in that capacity four years.On the 31st of May, 1802, he took the oath of office as associate judge of Washington County, having received the commission from Governor Thomas McKean the 8th of April previous.He died on the 12th of August, 1809, in the 73rd year of his age, leaving a widow, three daughters: MARY, RACHEL, REBECCA, SARAH, and AGNES, and two sons, JAMES and WILLIAM.
MARY, the eldest child, was born April 24, 1766, and married JOHN URIE, who then resided in the township of Strabane.They had 7 children : JOHN, THOMAS, AGNES, REBECCA, SARAH, WILLIAM, DAVID, and MARY.JOHN URIE and MARY, his wife, both died about 1802.JOHN, the eldest son, was born April 28, 1784.In 1822 he was elected county commissioner.In 1837 he was elected prothonotary, and served one term.He was president of the board of managers of the Washington and Pittsburgh Turnpike Company, and afterward sequestrator of the road many years.His children were NANCY, WILLIAM, and SAMUEL.MRS. GEORGIE COOK, of Canonsburg, is a daughter of William McDowell....