Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 23] a retired and highly honored citizen of New Castle, was born in the above town, August 29, 1814, and is a son of James and Martha (Johnson) Fulkerson, and a grandson of John and Mary (Alky) Fulkerson.

John Fulkerson was of German descent, and the earliest record has him a resident of Virginia, living near Rappahannock, Fredericks County, where our subject's father was born. In 1810, John Fulkerson and his wife came to the town of New Castle in search of a desirable farm on which to locate, traveling three hundred miles on horseback to reach this locality. Mr. Fulkerson was neither a slave-owner nor a believer in the iniquitous practice, and so his coming to this part of Pennsylvania was because he desired to settle in a new country, where slavery had no foot-hold. He secured a farm of 200 acres, adjoining New Castle, and returned to Virginia, and with horses and wagons brought his worldly effects and children, with the exception of two, who chose to remain in their old home. The farm had some few improvements, there being a small log-house or cabin, and a few acres had been cleared by the former occupant by burning, and were consequently very fertile. So it was with little difficulty he installed his household in the new home, and set about acquiring a competence and securing a livelihood; there he reared his family, and with the assistance of his sons cleared the land. Both he and his wife lived to exceed eighty years of age. He was an attendant of the Presbyterian Church, and helped to construct the first church building. There were eight children born to our subject's grandparents, as follows: Lewis; John; Roger; James; Eliza, the wife of Thomas Gilespie; William; Richard: and Margaret Ann, the wife of William Cox.

James, being one of the oldest of the children who came to Pennsylvania, was of valuable assistance to his father in clearing the farm, and in keeping the wild animals, that abounded thereabouts, from molesting their live stock. For his own farm he bought a tract of 200 acres, adjoining his father's property, which farm Robert J. and Lewis Fulkerson, our subject's brothers, owned later on, and set about in earnest to support himself and to accumulate property; he was a very hard worker, and made the work of clearing as easy as it was possible by burning what would be considered very valuable lumber nowadays, but which was considered in the way of the growing crops then. His brother went to the War of 1812, and James started with him, but met with a fall, which left him a cripple in his left arm the remainder of his life. He was a prominent man among the town's citizens, and active in matters of public interest, but never held an office. He died at the age of seventy- nine. In the battle of life he ever looked on the bright side, was of a cheery disposition and never downhearted; in his immediate surroundings he was a kind and loving husband and father. His wife, who was a daughter of John Johnson, died at the age of seventy-nine, having borne him eight children, namely: John C., the subject of this notice; Lewis, a farmer of New Castle; Margaret, deceased, formerly the wife of J. R. Squires; Eliza, now deceased, married William C. Hoffman; Robert J., whose sketch appears elsewhere; Jane, deceased, the wife of J. Houk; Matilda, the wife of William Coplin: and James, who resides in the State of Iowa.

John C. Fulkerson at eighteen years of age left the farm to learn the cabinet-maker's trade, served three years' apprenticeship, and worked two years as a journeyman. He then started in business for himself in New Castle, in a small shop on the property, where Mrs. Sankey now resides, on West Washington Street. He became a very skilled workman, and made a specialty of fine work in the line of house furniture; this work he followed until 1861, and many of the elegant pieces of cabinet-work, prized by the leading families of the town, were wrought by his hand. Machinery at length invaded the domain of his trade, and the resulting competition and low prices was too much for our subject, so he turned his attention to carpentry work, which he has followed for some twenty years. He was then appointed to take charge of the county and city bridges, and has been in active life until 1897, when he retired; he resides in a house he built in 1847, and besides owning one adjoining, which he built in 1836, he owns another tenement property in a different part of the town, besides a number of lots. Our subject was a stanch Whig, but is now a Republican.

March 24, 1836, he was joined in holy wedlock with Miss Elizabeth Gibson, daughter of William Gibson; she was born March 19, 1815, and died April 12, 1839, leaving one sonóJames G., born March 1, 1839, a dealer in coal of New Castle. On Nov. 26, 1839, Mr. Fulkerson united his fortunes with Miss Eliza Houk, daughter of John Houk. She was born May 11, 1814, in Shenango township, this county. They have eight children: Rosaline, born September 7, 1840, died May 3, 1844; John C., Jr., born July 4, 1842, died Dec. 25, 1872; America V., born May 3, 1844, died Aug. 14, 1845; Aumala C., born Nov. 24, 1848, married M. C. Rose of New Castle, and had three childrenóClara, Ralph, and Lenora; Lenora C., born June 20, 1849, married R. P. Pomeroy of Wilmington, and has had four childrenóMary C., John, and Diana and Lydia (twins); Sewell N., born Oct. 25, 1855, is a blacksmith of New Castle; Ceylon W., born Jan. 25,
1859, is a machinist of New Castle.

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

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