History of Greene County,
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.
History of Greene County,
Samuel P. Bates
Nelson, Rishforth & Co., Chicago.
Transcribed by Annette Bame Peebles
The Greene County, Pennsylvania
Biographies Project –
Date of Transcription: 9 July 2007
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