Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 571] a substantial and successful farmer of Hickory township, Lawrence Co., Pa., was born in County Derry, Ireland, Sept. 17, 1812, in the Parish of Baltaugh, and received his education in the parish schools of his native place; after obtaining a common school education, he learned the shoemaker's trade, which he followed until 1832, when at twenty years of age he came to America, landing in New York City, June 6, 1832, having set sail in April of the previous spring. He remained in New York City ten years working at shoemaking, and then in 1842 moved to Pittsburg, Pa., and made that city his home until 1844, when he came to his present place of residence in Hickory township, which was then a part of Mercer County. At the first, to provide himself a home, he bought twenty acres of unimproved land at $10 per acre, to which he added from time to time as his finances allowed him, until he is now the owner of 100 acres of the best land to be found in the county; much of the land was purchased in its virgin state, and Mr. McConaghy has been put to much pains and no little labor to evolve the present well-ordered farm, which shows in every particular the taste, good judgment and the enterprise of its owner. He is progressive in his ideas, is always well-acquainted with the most recent and best methods that have been introduced into the realm of agriculture and he is never slow in the adoption of a really serviceable article or method. Our subject has been a valued member of society, and he is held in the highest esteem by his contemporaries.

William McConaghy, our subject's grandfather, was a farmer and followed that occupation throughout a long and useful career till the failing health, which is incident to old age, forced him to retire from active service in the field. He married Mary Moore, and to them were born three children: John, the father of Alexander; Alexander, who married Elizabeth Smith, and died in Ireland; and Mary, who married Hugh Kearney, and also died in Ireland. They were Unitarians and Covenanters in their religious attachments.

John McConaghy, in addition to farming, to which the most of his years was given, was also an adept in the preparation of the flax for the manufacture of Irish linens, and found profitable employment in the manufactories of linens for many years. He married a daughter of William Stunkard, and their union was blessed with the birth of five children: Conley; Alexander, the subject of this memoir; William; John; and Sarah (Paterson). All of the children came to America, and made homes for themselves. Our subject's father died in 1820, owing to an accident in a flax-mill, aged thirty-nine years. The family were regular and devout attendants of the Unitarian Church.

In 1839, the marriage ceremony was performed which united Alexander McConaghy and Jane Murphy, also a native of County Derry, Ireland. Mrs. McConaghy was born Jan. 23, 1817. Their union has happily resulted in the following children: John, who married Margaret Carr, and lives in Hickory township, surrounded by the following children—Alexander, Nannie, Jennie, Lewis, William, Florence, Roy, Norman, and Nellie; Conley, who married Josephine Young of East Brook, Hickory township, this county, and has the children named below—Charley, Effie, Lester, Jennie, Joseph, Ernest and Alfred; William, who married Martha Young, who has borne him children as follows—Frank, Mabel, Ethel and Oscar; Mary; James; and Lizzie. The family are members of the United Presbyterian Church of Hickory township. In matters political, Mr. McConaghy is liberal and independent in his actions, voting for whatever candidates seem best suited to fill satisfactorily the offices for which they are nominated.

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

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Updated: 17 Jul 2001