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Below is a family biography included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.   These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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JAMES SAMUEL POWER, justice of the peace, post office Turtle Creek, is a grandson of James Power, the first settler in O’Hara (then Indiana) township, Allegheny county. The exact date of this settlement is not known, but it is certain that it was previous to the Revolution. James Power was the only one of a group of settlers on Herr’s island, at the mouth of Pine creek, who escaped a massacre by the Indians. Wandering in the wilderness, he came upon a deserted Indian wigwam (on what is now known as Power’s hill), of which he took possession, and after serving in the revolutionary war returned to this site, and remained until his death, in 1847, at the age of ninety-eight years. He was a slim, wiry man, and at the age of ninety-six could ride spirited colts of the farm which his son or grandson were not overly anxious to mount. The deed of his land (from Joseph Mercier, who patented it in 1789) bears date May 27, 1796, and when he settled there at the close of the Revolution his nearest neighbor was at Bull Creek. James B., son of James Power, passed all his life on the farm, where he died in 1873, aged sixty-seven years. His wife, Margaret, was a daughter of Samuel Hulings, who kept the Eddy House, on the Allegheny river at Hulings’ Eddy. They reared eight children.

The eldest, James Samuel, was born Aug. 6, 1839, and received the ordinary training of a country boy. In August, 1861, he was enrolled in Co. B, 63d P. V. I., and joined the Army of the Potomac; took part in the battles of Yorktown, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, and on the sixth of the seven days’ fight, June 30, 1862, on the Peninsula, was shot through the left lung, and taken prisoner. After nineteen days in Libby prison he was exchanged and discharged. He lay in Bellevue hospital, New York, from July, 1862, to March, 1863, being paralyzed in the right side for many weeks (from effects of his wound), and still carries the ball which maimed him in the region of his right scapula. He held the rank of first lieutenant, and was shot while in command of his company. After leaving the hospital Mr. Power superintended the proving-ground on the Allegheny Valley railroad, for testing heavy ordnance made at Fort Pitt foundry, Pittsburgh, Pa., for a year, then entered the Veteran Reserve Corps; was stationed for some time at Gieseboro Point (near Washington, D. C.), and while there was called out in command of Co. K, 16th Regt. V. R. C, to oppose a rebel raid on Washington, in 1864; went to Harrisburg, thence to Fishing creek to quell a draft insurrection; thence to Chambersburg, to York, and again to Harrisburg. At the last place he was ordered by Secretary Stanton to arrest Laura Keene and her troupe, consisting of Harry Hawk and a Mr. Diott, on suspicion of complicity in President Lincoln’s assassination, which he did, and detained them at Harrisburg, Pa., for a week. In December, 1865, he was appointed assistant commissioner of the Sea islands, on the coast of South Carolina, with headquarters at Beaufort; remained two years, and returning north settled at Turtle Creek. For the last fifteen years he has held his present official position, although an avowed democrat in a strong republican district. He is a member of the H. B. Hayes Post, G. A. R., 199. In 1862 he married Eleanor Jane, daughter of Joseph and Jane (Dixon) Marshall, of Ireland. Mrs. Power was born in Pittsburgh, and is the mother of seven children, viz.: Jennie, wife of Ezekiel Gordon, residents of Lawrenceville; William C., born in Beaufort, S. C.; Lou, Joseph M., James E., Charles Wilber and Clarence; three children died in infancy.

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This family biography is one of 2,156 biographies included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.

View additional Allegheny County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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