Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 530] a leading agriculturist of Neshannock township, Lawrence Co., Pa., was born Nov. 29, 1830, in Mt. Jackson, five miles east of New Castle, Pa.

His grandfather, John Shearer, who was born Sept. 14, 1772, was a native of Lancaster Co., Pa.; he married Jane Dawson, who was born May 19, 1771, and to them were born: David, born March 28, 1796; Robert, April 23, 1798; James, May 14, 1800; Margaret, Dec. 25, 1802; John, Feb. 14, 1805; Nancy, April 1, 1807; Jane, May 28, 1809; and one that died in infancy. They were Seceders in religious belief. John Shearer died Feb. 23, 1841, and his wife June 17, 1827. He learned the fuller's trade, and owned and operated a woollen mill in Quakertown, Pa. He also owned a farm in Poland, Ohio. In New Castle he built a hotel on the present site of the Leslie House about 1828, which was called the Spread Eagle. He ran this tavern until 1832, when he sold out to his son James, the father of our subject, and retired from active business. He was a splendid business man and was adapted to almost any line of work, and by his diligent efforts and excellent judgment, he accumulated a fortune for those times, and was much thought of as a man of capital. Politically, he was a Whig, but never cared to have it come about to have his popularity and influence reflect back to his political advancement.

James Shearer,, who was born in Washington Co., Pa., on the date above mentioned, ran the hotel, after it was given into his hands by his father, several years, and also engaged in mercantile pursuits to some considerable extent. Later on, he sold the hotel, and bought a farm in Shenango township, where he carried on farming the rest of the active years of his life. He was a stanch Democrat, and as he was a prominent and influential man, he was given the office of postmaster of Mt. Jackson under the administration of President Martin Van Buren. In 1828, be was joined in wedlock with Mary Clark, who was born in Cumberland Co., Pa., in 1801, a daughter of Uriah Clark, and gathered about him a family of five children: Jane, born Dec. 26, 1829, who married William Breckinridge, and has six children—Caroline, Mary, Ella, Anna, Margaret, and William; John C., the subject of this sketch; Catherine, born in December, 1836, who married James H. Cline, a resident of Slippery Rock township, and a major in the United States Army, the children numbering nine are named John, Frank, George, James, Jacob, Edward, Mary, Eva, and Nettie; Harriet, born Aug. 7, 1840, married James H. Stoner of Lawrence Co., Pa., and they have two children, Sadie and Charlie. The father of these children passed away March 14, 1873, and he was followed by his wife Nov. 8, 1883. They were United Presbyterians in their religious convictions.

John C. Shearer began his education in the public schools of New Castle, later became a pupil of the Mt. Jackson schools, then continued his education in the New Castle schools again, and concluded in the schools of Shenango, township. Our subject remained under the parental roof, and worked on his father's farm till the latter's death, when our subject at the age of forty-three years sold the paternal estate, and moved to Slippery Rock township, where he purchased the Rev. Robert McMillin's farm, where he lived for sixteen years. In 1890, he moved to New Castle, and three years later took up his residence in Neshannock township. His farm is a fine one, and in the prosecution of his vocation, which he has followed all of his life, he has met with far more than ordinary success.

In 1893, he was joined in matrimony with Mary J. Pomeroy, daughter of John Pomeroy of Neshannock township. They are attendants of the Presbyterian Church, of which Mrs. Shearer is a member, while our subject in his political views inclines strongly toward the Republican party.

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

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Updated: 14 Jul 2001