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HER PEOPLE, PAST AND PRESENT
A HISTORY OF THE COUNTY
A Genealogical and Biographical Record of Representative Families
IN TWO VOLUMES
In presenting “Armstrong County and Her People” to the public the publishers desire to express their appreciation of the cordial welcome given to those whose task it was to gather the matter contained in these volumes. The foundation was thoroughly laid by the late Robert W. Smith, who labored for years to gather the data for his posthumous history of the county, published in 1883. Mr. Smith failed to see his work in print, but the thoroughness of his work and the accuracy of his statements have gained him a fame that will last as long as the existence of the county. We have added to the older data a large mass of important statistical matter relating to the period succeeding 1876, and condensed into a systematic plan all of the important occurrences and developments within the bounds of the county up to 1913.
Local history affords the best method of preserving national history, and this is part of the story of American development; but personal biographies are of much greater assistance in linking the past with the present. The names of Armstrong's pioneers are indissolubly linked with those of their present descendants; the work would be incomplete if reference to the citizens of the county now living were omitted. Many are the natives of this county who are more than locally famous. Few other divisions of this Commonwealth can show so varied a list of those whose works have made them prominent above their fellow citizens.
He who expects to find the work entirely free from errors or defects has little knowledge of the difficulties attending the preparation of a work of this kind, and should indulgently bear in mind that "it is much easier to be critical than to be correct." It is, therefore, trusted that the history will be received by the public in that generous spirit which is satisfied with honest and conscientious effort.
In the gathering of this mass of data it was with pleasure that we accepted the aid of many persons whose friendly offices facilitated the work of compilation. Much of the actual work of collecting the material was done by George Parke, by and with the advisory assistance and direction of H. H. Wray, of the Leechburg Advance. The medical chapter was prepared by J. B. F. Wyant, M. D., of Kittanning. Rev. T. J. Frederick, of Spring Church, wrote the chapter on the fruit industry. Especial acknowledgment is made to the county commissioners, W. H. Jack, Israel Shafer and William Heckman; the register, Harry B. Henderson, and prothonotary, I. T. Campbell, for the readiness they showed in looking up records; to Judge John H. Painter, for access to his extensive library; to Father A. A. Lambing, LL. D., for revision of the early history; and to the following persons for many courtesies and assistance given: R. B. McKee, of the Freeport Journal; John T. Simpson, editor of the Daily Leader, at Kittanning; Frank M. Fries, editor of the Times, at Kittanning; M. B. Oswald, of the Kittanning Free Press; Harry E. Himes, of the Kittanning Tribune; W. C. Marshall, of the Dayton News; T. J. Baldrige, of the Apollo News-Record; Orr Buffington, of Kittanning; James Denny Daugherty, of Kittanning; T. T. Meredith, of Widnoon; S. S. Blyholder, of the State Grange; and Mrs. Paul McKenrick, secretary of the Armstrong County Sabbath School Association.
The work, which is one of generous amplitude, is placed in the hands of the public with the belief that it will be found a valuable addition to the library, as well as an invaluable contribution to the historical and genealogical literature of Pennsylvania.