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History of Greene County, Pennsylvania


REV. DR. JOHN McMILLAN was born at Fagg’s Manor, Chester County, Penn., November 11, 1752.  His parents, William and Margaret (Rea) McMillan, emigrated to America in 1742.  They were Scotch-Irish, and devout Presbyterians.  They had eighteen children.  Their three sons who attained maturity were Thomas, William, and John, the youngest, whose name heads this sketch.  It was his father’s wish that John should be a minister of the gospel.  He received a classical education at Princeton College, was first licensed to preach October 26, 1774, and was among the pioneer preachers of Washington and Greene counties.  He was a strong man, and engaged in physical as well as mental labor.  Early in life he formed the habit of writing and committing all his sermons.  He was always greatly interested in his work, and has given account of revival meetings in which he frequently labored through a whole night.  Soon after the Revolutionary war, about the year 1778, he removed with his family to Washington County, Penn., where he was the founder of Jefferson College, now known as Washington and Jefferson College, and was president of the institution at the time of his death.  He was married by the Rev. Mr. Carmichaels, August 6, 1777, to Miss Catharine, daughter of William Brown.  Seven children were born to them, viz: William, John, Samuel, Jane, Margaret, Mary and Catharine.  Jane, the oldest daughter, was twice married, her first husband being the Rev. Mr. Morehead.  She was afterwards united in marriage with Samuel Harper, a merchant and farmer, who was born and raised near Philadelphia.  He spent most of his business life in Greene County, Penn., and was one of its most prominent citizens.  He was an elder in the Presbyterian Church for many years, and served one term as sheriff of the county.  Samuel Harper was twice married and had ten children, the youngest of whom is H. Harper, now a prominent citizen of Carmichaels, Penn.  He was born in Cumberland Township, this county, September 29, 1819, was reared on the farm and attended school at Greene Academy, but devoted himself principally to farming, and met with great success.  In 1862 Mr. Harper married Rebecca M., daughter of William and Rebecca (Norris) Johnson.  Her parents were natives of Chester County, Penn., and of English descent.  They were members of the Society of Friends.  Mr. Harper is Republican in politics.  He and Mrs. Harper are prominent members of the M. E. Church.  Having retired from the more active duties of life, they now reside in Carmichaels, where they have a near, substantial residence.  Mr. Harper’s brother, John McMillan Harper, was born in 1812, in Greene County, where he grew to manhood.  He was educated at Greene Academy.  His vocation was that of farming, for which he seemed especially adapted, being a powerful man, six feet and two inches in height, always strong and robust and in the enjoyment of excellent health.  He was married in Jefferson Township, this county, to Miss Isabella Hughes, and they had one child, Margaret Jane, who is the wife of E. C. Stone, of Brownsville, Penn.  During the late war Mrs. Stone’s father, John Harper, raised a company of cavalry, of which he was soon elected Major, but by some means was defrauded out of his command.  While at home, buying horses for the regiment, at which time he succeeded in getting 600, another was installed Major in his place.  He then resigned and returned home, spending the remainder of his life on the farm, where he died in 1878, honored and respected by all who knew him.


Page 628-629


History of Greene County, Pennsylvania

Samuel P. Bates

Nelson, Rishforth & Co., Chicago. 1888


Transcribed by Annette Bame Peebles

The Greene County, Pennsylvania Biographies Project –

Date of Transcription: 9 July 2007

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