Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 291] a farmer of Mahoning township, Lawrence Co., Pa., who is held in high esteem wherever he is known, and who is a fair example of the kind of men who have built up this part of the Keystone State, was brought into this world Jan. 1, 1829. He was born on the farm now known as the Ripple Place, and was a son of Jacob and Martha (McComb) Book, and a grandson of Michael and Elizabeth (Stillwagon) Book.

The grandfather came from Washington Co., Pa., into North Beaver township, this county, and was one of the very first of that hardy band of settlers who cast their lot in the new country. He took up 400 acres of land, sallied into the timber with ready axe, and soon a log-cabin marked the home acre. Year succeeding year, marked an increase in the acreage cleared and put under cultivation, so that when he completed his life's span, he died possessed of a fine property, the reward of a life of toil and hardship. Michael Book died at the age of seventy-two, and his good wife, who had accompanied him through trials and tribulations to prosperity, attained the age of sixty-four. Seven children were reared by this worthy couple to noble manhood and womanhood; they were: Peggy, Eliza, John, Sally, Mary, Susie, and Jacob. Both Michael Book and his wife were devout Christian people, and were members of the United Presbyterian Church.

Jacob Book, the father of the subject of this article, was born on the paternal farm. He early learned the arts of the woodsman and the pioneer, becoming when still a youth his father's right band helper. He inherited 209 acres of the home place, and built a log-cabin on the site of the residence of Alva Book. He at one time and another owned and cleared other tracts of land, but finally retired from active pursuits, residing until the close of his life at the age of seventy-six at Lowellville, Ohio. His wife, who had been a Miss Martha McComb, reached her sixty-sixth year, before she was called from this world to receive the rewards for a life well and nobly spent. Jacob Book's children were: George, the subject of this personal history; Elizabeth, who became the wife of Mr. Steel; William, now deceased; Ferdinand, who now lives on a farm adjoining George Book's property; Agnes, who married Mr. Downey; and Sarah and Lydia, both of whom died in infancy.

George Book became the owner of ninety acres of the old farm. On this he built a small house, which in 1853 he enlarged to suit his increasing needs; the resulting structure was again remodeled in 1872 into his present commodious residence. The barns were rebuilt about 1861. As time went on, the subject of our article prospered, so that he was enabled to buy an eighty-acre farm from his brother, and also the sixty-acre Roberts farm. When the discovery was made that a part of Mr. Book's land was underlaid by a fine bed of limestone of a quality much in demand for fluxing iron ore, Mr. Book leased certain sections to Grist & Graham, quarrymen. These gentlemen connected the quarries with the main line of railroad by a spur track, and are now doing a very successful business, a considerable profit coming to our subject. Mr. Book has set out a great many fruit trees, and is the proud owner of some fine bearing orchards on his estate. He has brought the land into a high state of cultivation, and through good and careful management has prospered greatly. In addition to the place described above, he has a fine stock and grain farm on the Youngstown road, to which he devotes a large amount of time and attention.

Mr. Book was married to Miss Susan Book, the daughter of Jacob and Mary (Armitage) Book, and a very distant relative. The Jacob Book, here referred to, though having the same name as the father of our subject, was born in Washington Co., Pa., in 1797, and was a son of John Book, who was born in Philadelphia, but early settled in Washington Co., Pa. In 1804, he came to Lawrence Co., and settled on a farm, now called the Cunningham Place, and here he lived until his death at the age of eighty. His wife died at the age of, eighty-four. Their children were: Jacob, John, Isaac, Annie, Peggie, Susan, Nancy, and George, deceased. Jacob Book inherited a portion of his father's estate, amounting to thirty-nine acres, and increased it, as the years went by, by subsequent additions until he was the owner of 180 acres. In 1838, he built a frame house, and opened a country store. He also purchased the necessary apparatus, and distilled a very good article of whisky, which he sold in Cleveland for 15 cents per gallon; this was about the only method available to the early grain-raisers for turning their surplus wheat, corn and rye into ready cash. Jacob Book died in 1874 at a good old age, and his wife, who was born in 1803, survived him three years. The children that blessed their union were: John C.; Abram; Susan, the wife of our subject; Isaac; Mary; Wilder; Jehiel; Lyman B.; and Betsey.

Three children were born to our subject and his wife, who were as follows: Wilder McComb, who married Ora Martin, and now superintends his father's farms; Dala, now deceased, who was the wife of L. Roher; and Ora, the wife of Charles Wright.

George Book has always been a man of sound judgment and good understanding, and has exerted a marked influence in his section. He has become a prosperous citizen as a natural result of his thrift and industry. Along social and political lines he is very energetic, and is a man whose ideas and opinions are sought for, as having real weight. He was originally a Whig, but on the formation of the Republican party, he cast his vote and influence with the supporters of Abraham Lincoln. On religious subjects, Mr. Book has always been liberal and broad-minded. He is now filling out his allotted time in the way a man of his abilities and characteristics should.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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