Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 595] is the bearer of a name that is well and favorably known throughout Lawrence Co., Pa. He is one of the tillers of the soil of Mahoning township, who has, by his own efforts, secured a place in the list of solid and prominent men of the western end of the Keystone State. The birthplace of our subject was in Armstrong Co., Pa., and he came into life Nov. 22, 1832. His parents were John and Eliza (Brown) McGraw.

The senior McGraw was a native Pennsylvanian, and in his younger days learned the stone-mason's trade. This craft stood him in good stead the most of his life, which was not a long one, for he died at forty years of age, at the Great Western Iron Works, Bradley's Bend, Pa. Typhoid fever was the immediate cause of his early demise. Six children, all of whom are living at this time, survived him; they were: Francis; John; Cynthia; Thomas; Lydia; and Silas. His widow wedded as her second husband Mr. John Johnson, and by him had two childrenóEmma and Sadie. The latter is now deceased.

John McGraw, our subject, when only eighteen years of age, entered the rolling mills at Wood's Run, Allegheny County, near Pittsburg, and spent two years learning the secrets of that vast industry which has made Pittsburg renowned over the whole world. Not finding this line of work quite to his taste he turned his attention to agriculture. In 1875 he bought part of the Thomas Williams farm in Mahoning township, an estate which he holds and on which he makes his residence at the present time. He erected a new house in 1876, and before many years had elapsed he had the series of improvements under way that have made him the owner of one of the best and most productive places in this fine farming section. The excellent orchards, which are now in their prime, were set out and carefully tended by him. He devoted his time to general farming, but his land is especially well adapted to grain and stock-raising, two lines in which he excels.

John McGraw was united in the holy bonds of wedlock to Miss Ella Cole, daughter of Ensor Cole, a well-to-do citizen of Eastern Pennsylvania. In the month of August, 1895, she was removed from the scenes of this life, when aged sixty-four years. She was the mother of eight children, who were born in the order given below, and were named: Samantha Jane; Frank M.; John C. F.; Duira A.; William E.; Thomas W.; Mary Ellen; and Silas E. Samantha Jane became the wife of William Holliday of Brown Co., Kansas, and has borne her husband these children: L. Gertrude; John M.; Willie; Cora; Eva; and two deceased. Frank married Mary Shaffer, and is a well-to-do farmer of North Beaver township; they have two childrenóClarence and Glennie. John C. F., who resides in Mahoningtown, married Lizzie Ripple and has four childrenóLee, Fred, Ella, and Ada. Duira is the wife of a merchant of Ellwood City, Pa., L. S. Randolph; they have two childrenóLloyd and Wilbur. William E. espoused Elizabeth Mitchell, and has two childrenóGay and Willie; he is a farmer of considerable means of Hilltown, Pa. Thomas married Lucy McGuire and resides at home. Mary Ellen lives at Wampum and is the wife of Clarence Webster, a miner; they have three childrenóGrace, Ethel and Edith. Edwin is a clerk in a store at Ellwood City, Pa.

John McGraw is a man of sterling worth, unquestioned integrity and steady reliability. He has always been a prominent member of the local organization of the Republican party, his convictions in matters of public interest being based on accurate information and correct conclusions. He is especially well posted on all that is transpiring at home or abroad, and is a fair and impartial judge of men and affairs. He has for six years served on the board of school directors, and is at present the supervisor of Mahoning township. As a man, a citizen, and a public officer he is everywhere esteemed, respected and trusted.

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

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