Friday, September 18, 2015

The Alta Heiser Collection Index Vol. 3, January 1, 1944 & December 18, 1947. Intelligent and beautiful. In the writings of the Reverend Philip Fithian, he tells a most interesting story of Peggy Piper, ten year old child of Captain William Piper, whose cabin was on Warrior run, where he and others were building a church. When the Reverend Mr. Fithian came to preach to them, the captain proudly told him: “There is not one in the society but my little wain can tell you what is “effectual calling”. The minister found the child to be remarkably intelligent as well as beautiful. As the church was not finished, the preaching was from an open wagon, the people sitting on the ground among the bushes on the facing hillside. Shortly after this, Indians burned the church and homes around about, but the Pipers escaped. When the captain’s “little wain” was seventeen, she married William, son of William and Mary Smith. He laid out Mercersburg on the land he had inherited, naming it for General Mercer, a friend of the family who had been very kind to him. Peggy Smith had one child before William Smith died. She then married James Irwin, who was the great uncle of President William Henry Harrison. Peggy Irwin’s namesake granddaughter, Margaret McClellan, told that the “little wain” was a bright and handsome woman who attained the fruition of her “effectual calling” at the age of 88. The church at Mercersburg was organized by steadfast Scotch-Irish in 1738. After Braddock’s defeat, John McCullough and Mr. and Mrs. Richard Baird, as well as James Smith, all members of this church were taken captives by the Indians, who broke up the church and trading post. The people returned to their desolated homes, and reorganized their church, among whose members besides Smiths, McClellans and Irwins were Maxwells, Campbells, Flemings and Templetons. Peggy Piper Smith Irwin, of whom so much has been written, was a first cousin of our James Smith and an aunt of James Findlay, who was Mr. William Smith’s business partner in early Cincinnati, Ohio. His brother, William Findlay, was state treasurer and governor of Pennsylvania as well as United States senator. James Findlay made a name for himself in the State of Ohio. In 1797 he married Jane Irwin, a sister of his brother William’s wife.

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Peggy Piper Smith married  James Irwin (1)Peggy Piper Smith married  James Irwin (2)Peggy Piper Smith married  James Irwin (3)

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