Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


Jesse Cornelius

[p. 467] constable and collector of the Sixth Ward of New Castle, Pa., was born in Neville township, Allegheny Co., Pa., Feb. 26, 1836, and is a son of Maxwell and Mary Ann (Anderson) Cornelius, and grandson of Maxwell Cornelius, who came from the eastern part of the State, supposedly Lancaster County, and settled in Allegheny County, near the city of Pittsburg, where he followed the pursuits of agriculture. Of the family of children, that he gathered about his fireside, the following grew up to maturity: Josiah; John; Dizart; Absalom; James; Betsey; Polly; and Maxwell.

Our subject's father made his start in life as a gardener, cultivating his small farm on Nine Mile Island at first, and later gardening at McKee's Rocks. In 1845 he bought a farm at Mt. Jackson, this county, and cleared and improved it with so liberal and knowing a hand, that it easily took rank with the best in the county, with a set of farm buildings that for convenience and ampleness of room was perhaps without a rival. His last years were spent in Poland, Ohio, where he bought a small piece of land and house, and engaged in fruit and berry raising the remainder of his years, also paying considerable attention to the education of his children. He was taken to a better world at the age of seventy-six; his wife, eighty-eight years of age, is living at Poland, Ohio. Their children were: Margaret, deceased; Eliza, the wife of William Lemon; Jesse S., our subject; James, of Minier, Ill.; William of Youngstown, Ohio; Maxwell, deceased, who was a Presbyterian minister of Washington, D. C., pastor of the East End Presbyterian Church; Margaret (2nd), whose first husband was Alfred Swisher, her present husband is Henry Austin of Poland, Ohio; Jane, whose first husband was S. Glenn, deceased, and her second, B. Whistler; Mary Ann, the wife of D. Thompson; Martha, the wife of S. Fox; and Samuel, a Presbyterian minister of Oil city. Our subject's father was a Republican, politically, and a member of the Presbyterian Church.

Jesse S. Cornelius finished his education at Westfield, and when he was eighteen years old followed gardening for two years as a means for securing a livelihood. Then for several years he boated coal down the Ohio River and beyond on the Father of Waters, making five trips to New Orleans, besides several shorter trips. In 1859 he came to Lawrence County, and on May 1st of that year married Miss Elizabeth Jane Martin, daughter of Samuel Martin, and granddaughter of Hugh Martin, who was a school teacher, surveyor, and farmer. Hugh Martin was a very well-educated man of his day, and many successful men were among his pupils in the old log school house. His wife Susan (nee) Bennage, and he both lived to be upwards of eighty years of age, and were the parents of the following children: Thomas, Samuel, Hugh, Seth, John, George, David, and Catherine. The last three are single and make their home together on the old homestead. Samuel Martin was born in Huntingdon Co., Pa., in 1811, and settled in Lawrence County, where he bought a 125-acre farm, and followed agriculture all his days, also doing a little carpentering, dying at the age of seventy-three. Their children were: Elizabeth; Jane; Hugh, deceased; Seth, deceased; John, deceased; James, deceased; Mary, deceased; Clark, a resident of Miller Co., Missouri; Albert R., a resident of Beaver Falls; Emma, the wife of William Welker of Mahoning Co., Ohio; Perry S. of New Castle; Samuel, deceased; and Wesley, who lives in Lawrence County. The following are our subject's children: Mary Lizzie, who married John Atkinson of New Castle; Emma J., who married Robert Atkinson, a farmer of this county, and has four childrenóPearl, Jesse C., Elizabeth J., and Maud M.; Maud, the wife of John Marks, a railroader of Lawrence County; Maxwell, who married Eva Groves of New Castle, and has two childrenóJessie C., and Earl Maxwell; Sadie W., who married George Dufford of New Castle, and has three childrenóJessie C., John, deceased, and Ruth May; Samuel H., who married Lizzie Hamley of Youngstown, Ohio, and has one son, Harold Martin; and Daisy O., who lives at home, and teaches music.

In 1888, Mr. Cornelius was elected constable and tax collector, and has been continued in office ever since, and has also served as supervisor two years. He enlisted in 1862, August of that year, in Co. D, 14th Reg. Pa. Vol. Cav., and in the following spring at Harper's Ferry, Va., he was thrown from his horse, and his left side sprained very badly, which accident left him in very poor health, and he has never been able to do very hard manual labor, or much of it at a time. He has a nice home at No. 15 Etna Street, and other property in other parts of the city. He has won the highest esteem of his fellow-citizens for the strict integrity of his life, and for the conscientious manner in which he has discharged the duties of the various offices which they have chosen him to fill. He is a member of the K. of P. Lodge, and has filled all of its chairs; he is also a member of the G. A. R. Post, and of the United Workmen, Protected Home Circle, and junior Order of American Mechanics. His wife is a member of the W. C. T. U., and of the Royal Templars. As a representative and well-known citizen of Lawrence County, the publishers of this biograpical work take pleasure in presenting Mr. Cornelius' portrait on a preceding page.

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

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