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The Journal of Robert Patterson III




The Journal of Robert Patterson III

[His Memoirs]


Born in Belfast, Ireland - November 24, 1824

Arrived in New York , USA - June 20, 1849

Died in New Castle, Pennsylvania, USA - August 30, 1907




These are the  personal recollections of Robert Patterson III of New Castle, PA in 1902.  His  memoirs were hand written in a journal book 5 years before his death.  These were  transcribed and punctuated by his great grandson, William F. Murdoch, Jr. along with added pencil notes by our grandmother.  I have taken the liberty to add further punctuation, current spelling, paragraph indentations, and to rearrange segments of the narrative into chronological order for clarity and ease of reading.  Any added words are marked in brackets.  Unclear words are marked with #.  I have changed the words to "the" that were almost always written as "they,"  and several "they" were changed to "the" to conform to current usage. Great grandson James C. Murdoch also contributed to this second  transcription.  Although easier to read and understand, these changes substantially detract from the feeling of the original manuscript which is retained by William F. Murdoch, Jr. of Princeton, NJ.  His transcription is housed with the Western Pennsylvania Historical Society.                                        Sarah E. Schneider - Nov. 2001



Grandfather's History


In 1797 my grandfather was living about 1/2 mile out of Dungannon on the May Road.  His wife was of the name of Kerr.  He had previously come from the County Down.  He leased forever about 40 Irish acres of land.  There was three lime kilns abreast.  He also kept seven or eight looms weaving linen cloth, as it could be wove with much profit.  Then, when he would get about 300 or 400 pounds worth of cloth, he would send it to Dublin to be sold.  In one of my father's trips to Dublin,  between Dublin and Drogheda at night, he heard some footsteps behind him.  He thought he would step out more lively, but the steps still gained on him and came alongside, when a person taller than he, dressed in woman's clothes, passed him and he saw no more of him.  And that time the mail coach would be stopped and robbed, notwithstanding they had an armed guard and the driver was also armed.  The French Revolution was going on at this time and all Europe was in terror as the masses had taken control and the titled men had to leave to keep them from going to the guillotine, as it was kept agoing pretty lively.


My grandfather was of a liberal turn of mind, a strict member of the Presbyterian Church and was well respected in the community.  The place where he resided was on a high hill which could be seen from a great distance.  The Rebellion of [17]'98 was over and a great many of the Protestants afterwards were formed into yeomanry armed by the government, and under the guise of being loyal to the government, committed mean depredations on their Catholic neighbors.  They also formed a secret society called "Orangemen".  My father, being a young man, was solicited to join and he said he would have to get his father's consent.  He said "No," as the Orangemen at that time were "nothing but a set of blackguards,"  that means low mean fellows.  They called with him in daylight and took his gun away.  He was in town at the time when the magistrate told him he [the magistrate] had been visited and for to call and get his gun.  They put his name on a placard, called him "Popish Patterson of the Hill" and would "send him to hell or Connaught."  He was never molested afterwards.


[My Father and Mother]


We had three of a family [Grandfather had three children]:  my father Robert Patterson [II] the oldest, Samuel Patterson the second, Rachel Patterson the youngest. 


Samuel Patterson had learned the soap and candle business.  He did not attend to his business and got behind.  He had got his share out of the estate from his father but went behind.  He had his sister keeping house for him.  She got tired of him and married an Alexander Frizell who descended from an old Huguenot family who had been driven out of France.


Father, in the mean time, sold the lease forever of the farm for 800 pounds, as he had to give his sister 200 pounds as a dowry.  He also had to maintain his mother who was a very old woman.  The brother Samuel got the balance of the money from him to bolster him up, and still with his drinking, gambling and bad management it was all squandered.  He, Robert Patterson [II] now found himself without any means, [and] with his mother who was infirm and doting.  So, he came to Belfast with what information he had of the business and started to dip a few candles.  He had also another old woman to wait upon his mother, and the neighbors said they did not know who would fall into the fire first.  He rented a house on Talbot Street.  After a while his mother died and he bought a lot in Shankill Graveyard and buried her.


He hired some of Finley, the chandlers of Ann Street, his men to work after hours for which he paid them 6 pence a night.  He was working along this way for a while when he thought he had better have a wife.  So, he married a woman [Elizabeth Madden] that I think he fell in with at a hotel at Bernersbridge.  She was a stout hearty woman with dark hair and dark blue eyes.  She told him he could dispense with some of his men and save the sixpence, as a  good part of their time was spent in winding wick for to make dip candles, as the wick would come in hank form and had to be wound into balls so as to put it into shape for dip candles.  It then had to be cut in lengths afterwards, so she done the winding of the wick.  Father, he cut the wick into lengths according to the different kinds of candles from 6 sixes in the pound to 28 in the pound and a great many of them long and short.  Wick was all linen then.  Sometimes the chandler had to have it spun and bleached.  There was no cotton wick.  My father at this time was over 40 years of age and his head was as white as a streak of flax.  I do not know what was the cause of it.  Then he dipped the candles, weighed them off in pound bunches, and they were ready for sale.  With a little whale and sperm oil was all the light they had at that day, and so they worked along.







After awhile I came.  I turned out a fine hearty baby.  Got very fat.  There was a Captain Pepper who ran a bakery next door.  He was a retired captain of a ship.  He was a success in the baking business as he made the best bread which was equal to the Public Bakery; an institution that had been got up by some men of means in 1800 to give the poor bread at cost.  It is still running in 1902.  He had a couple girls of 4 and 5 years of age.  They would carry me around and sometimes they would fall and I with them, but would still keep at it.  A short time, when [ I was] still a baby, he moved to Robert Street and got a license to sell whiskey and put his wife to distribute the liquor.  He also made some candles.


When still a baby, I was taken with some disease of the kidneys and could not make water.  The reputed best doctor in Belfast gave me up to die when an old lady told Mother to get some genuine Holland gin, and get [it] for me.  It relieved me and I got well.




  Father, he had a large acquaintance in Dungannon, County Tyrone, Ireland, so he leased two stores on North Street, I think no. 52 and 54.  He needed the back premises to manufacture soap and candles.  The house next door was rented.  They started a private hotel in the upstairs.  It was a three story house and he had good call from his acquaintances who were all business men, Catholic and Protestant in religion.  All stopped with him, being liberal to all sects, but a seceder of the Presbyterian Church himself and a member of Dr. John Edgar's church.  He was the first to start the temperance movement in Ireland and a great advocate of it. 


He told me about his stopping at Grimshaw's [textile mill founded 1784] at the Whitehouse [a village 3 1/2 miles north east of Belfast] where he [Mr. Madden] ran some linen factories.  He [Madden] was his father-in-law.  He wandered down into the kitchen when he saw the cook turning a roast on the spit.  Somewhat the worse of liquor, she had been reading one of his tracts on temperance and swaying her body to and fro.  She sang "Here you go and there you go.  I # and there you go, too," as she let the tracts fall in the fire. 


There was a dispute at the time whether it should be total abstinence or moderate drinking.  The preachers at this time, some of them would take.  So, Dr. Cook, who was a professor of theology and also wrote a commentary on the Bible, undertook to preach a sermon on the adviser Timothy to take a little wine for the stomach's sake.  He had a very large house of was high and it was full to overflowing.  There was an old woman on the front seat just below the pulpit.  When he came down from the pulpit, she came and clapped him on the shoulder and says, "God bless your honor!  You'll still allow us a wee drop of the #cratur."[nectar]  Over 40 years afterwards I was over in Ireland in 1876.  I went to see how the  church had prospered.  Dr. Cook's church was still there and held services.  Also there were a bronze monument to his memory opposite the Belfast Institution.  Dr. Edgar's church was vacant and it was a using as a warehouse for grain for Danville's Distillery, only the width of street between the two churches.


[Young Years]


My father, having moved to North Street, he ran the soap and candle business largely and made some money.  Mother was a good business woman for those times and also a good manager of the hotel part of the house.  Among those who stopped was Henry Brown of Donaghmore, County Tyrone, Ireland.  I was a great favorite of his and he was the oldest brother.  He carried on a large general store, made soap and candles, starch, kept grocery and any goods, bought grains and done a general business. 


His [Henry Brown's] father was still alive when I was going back and forth in the summer time.  In the afternoon in the latter part of June, the old man asked me to go out with him to the field.  He was somewhat lame and carried a cane.  On our way, a young woman came along and wanted work in the hay field.  He said, "Come along."  We came to a small brook when she proffered her services to carry him across on her back.  Coming from the city of Belfast, it rather raised my visible faculty, so I commenced to laugh.  And the old man commenced to laugh, also the woman.  We were all laughing at the incident.  We went out to the meadow of about 20 acres.  Some were mowing, others were raking with hand rakes.  Others were cooking and some men stacking.  There were a great number of persons in the field and all seemed busy.  All that woman got for the evening work was 3 pence or 6 cents from about 3 to 9 o'clock and seemed to be well satisfied.


Henry Brown's older sister was married to Henry Oliver, a saddler to trade.  He served his time to the head saddler of the town, named John McClelland.  John was looked upon as being very neat in doing business and the farmers nicknamed him Johnny Neatcote.  He heard some of the farmers calling him by nickname and he told them, "Well, gentlemen, I would just as soon you would call me a rogue at once."


I was then about 10 years of age.   His [Henry Brown's] younger brother was about 14 years of age and as he was going to school, I would sometimes go with him and help him through with his accounts.  He being acquainted with Uncle King's gardener, and as raspberries were ripe, I wished some raspberries.  They were there in profusion.  His uncle ran a large sized brewery so there was a good deal to take my attention.  We boarded and lodged a great deal of those businessmen who came to Belfast to buy goods.  It took them 7 hours to arrive into Belfast and 7 hours to go back again as it was 40 Irish miles.  They generally had to stop overnight.  Father had a good deal of leftover business to do for them.  Father was a good buyer and gave general satisfaction.


His most prosperous time was when he moved to North Street about 1828.  He done a pretty fair business and had about 10 men employed.  Mother ran the store and hotel portion of the house with some hired help.  She was pretty good in the store and would make a pretty fair saleswoman.  Father would spend a great portion of his time in purchasing goods for the Dungannon merchants.  How he was paid I do not know.  He bought all the goods for his brother-in-law, Alexander Frizell, in as he did not care for travelling in the coach to town.


My father at this time had about 10 men employed in the soap and candle business and had little time to see about his boy.  I was sent at 3 years of age to an old lady to learn to read as previous to that, my mother had learned me my alphabet.  From there I was sent to a man teacher who was cruel.  He frightened me so that I could not learn, and [I] would work at it to 9 and 10 o'clock at night.  He would then strip me and whip me until he had my body black and blue.  When he denied it to my mother, [mother] stripped me and showed him where I had been whipped.  I was taken from him.


Shortly after, I had a breaking out of eczema, a skin disease, and it did not seem if I could get rid of it.  So at last it was concluded [by Mother] to send me to her brother in the County of Tyrone, Parish of Killyman, within 3 miles of Stewartstown.  I went from Belfast to Cookstown, Reynoldstown, Magherafelt, [Belfast to Randalstown, Magherafelt, Cookstown] then Stewartstown was the last town on the route.  It was a great district for Orangemen and the people generally had a fight upon market and fair days.  That was the main reason that Washington would not allow them to be held in this country as they created faction fights.




The eastern and middle counties in Ireland were settled principally by the Anglo- Saxon race.  They had been driven out of England by the powers that be and when England turned Protestant under the different dynasties, they, to antagonize England, still remained Catholic.  You can see the difference in them physically and mentally even in this country.  The real Celt or Irish are generally more squatty .


And I will give you a circumstance that happened in this Stewartstown.  There had been a small company of police who had been enlisted in [County] Tipperary and were stationed here.  The Orangemen were intending to give them a drubbing,  so upon one of those fair days, they started a fight with the police.  They had nothing but their baynots, so the sergeant and other officers called them to the market house where their guns were and there they would make a stand.  The sergeant of the police was shot by the Orangemen.  He was measured afterwards and it was found that he measured 3 feet across the shoulders.  Word had been sent to Charlemont Garrison, which was a fort, and a general officer was sent with a regiment of cavalry.  He ordered the police to surrender their guns and baynots and disband and go to Dungannon 6 or 7 miles distant.  The captain requested of the general officer to get leave to keep their guns so they would get to a rendezvous, but no, "You must give up your arms."  "Well, will you give us protection?"  No, they would not at that, and several of them were murdered on the road.








I was put upon a simple diet for several months;  principally potatoes and buttermilk with a little tea and potato cake and soda cake.  Between that and the fresh air of the country, I got around and never had any breaking out of the skin since.


My father was still working at the chandelling and he went into the sewed muslin business as a partner.  After being run some unto [until] at  last it broke up and took my father with it.  I was then about 12 years of age.


I will now go back about 5 years to 7 years of age.  I was clear of this skin disease and I was sent to another teacher.  A reaction had set in mentally and it seemed in the common branches [of] reading [and] elocution.  Although I was bashful, [in] writing and arithmetic I was second to none and from 11 to 12 years I read Latin.  I saw there was nothing for me now but work.  I wanted to go to Coates and Young's foundry and machine shop.  They would pay 6 shillings a week.  [I would] have to serve 7 years, and give 500 pounds bail that I would serve my time.  I went to Dr. John Edgar [our minister] to get his opinion and he proposed for me to go to the Belfast Institution and get a finished education.  That was out of the question as the money was done completely swamped.  He also said that he would rather earn 1 British shilling and be his own employer as to earn 4 shillings and work for another.  That I remembered often since and have very nearly lived up to it.


[Candles and Soap]


We then moved into a house on Grattan Street and started the soap and candles, but did not seem to do much good.  From there we moved into the old house on North Street, but was worse there, so then we moved in the spring of 1840 to Carrickfergus.  [County Antrim]  It was a seaport to take in English coal for home consumption and also a fishing village.  We started again; made candles and soap.  My father's soap, was #when he was working manually himself, was nearly always a fizzle.  He could dip pretty fair candles.  He would keep me from early in the morning to 12 o'clock at night in an open shed boiling soap and burning coal and to no effect unto [until] I got completely disgusted with the business.  He would bring his brother  [Samuel Patterson] from Belfast to work at the soap sometimes, but he was little better and totally unfit to work.  So, I, a small boy, had the work to do.  And he paid him some small wages and boarded him, which I had to work to pay, and his son had to support him afterwards (his son Francis).  Society had become so congested that a workman when he got out of a job, he had great difficulty to get another.  I wonder very much that there were not more suicides.


When about 15 years of age, I finished the dipping of the candles.  Two #former winters there were two men hired as my father had erysipelas in his legs that he could not stand on them to dip, so I would dip unto [until] they were two thirds done and leave him [them] to finish them.  But, the men were a failure in shaping them, so they were set to cutting the wick ,and I had to do the men's work.  #Latterly I had all to do.




My father, Mother and I left Carrickfergus, Ireland on the first day of May 1849.  Got to Liverpool [England].  Stopped with Alexander Frizell for 10 days.  We also called with Mrs. Ringland.  She was married but a short time and took us across [the river] to Birkenhead.  At that time it was young with some docks.  The beach was a great place for recreation.  The boys had asses for the ladies to ride along the beach as there was 25 feet of tide there.  We left there on the 10th day of May 1849 on the good ship De Witt Clinton, Captain Funk commander.  After being on three weeks, we got some fish from an Irish fishing boat.  With wind from the west the last twenty four hours, we sailed 180 miles and made 80 miles to leeward where the wind changed to the east.  It was then "Get on all sails, studding sails and royals."  We went along for a few hours when it was "Take in studding sails and royals."  We were booming along at the rate of not less than 13 miles pr. hour.  That was fine.  Wind increased.  Then it was "Take in and furl topgallant  sails."  Then it was "Take in sail, all hands", as fast as they could be stowed away.  When I got up the next morning, I was the only passenger on deck and [we] were running before the wind under a close reefed foresail about 10 miles pr. hour.  We went that way for about a week which put us pretty well across the Atlantic.  Then came a calm with the sea up and ship rolling, bulwarks under, for a short time.  Then a light breeze blew up.  In another week we were to anchor in New York Bay, June 20th 1849.




It was very warm.  I concluded we would not stop in New York, so we would go on to Philadelphia [PA].  With the heat and mental anxiety, I got sick on steamer going to Perth Amboy [NJ].  The captain of the steamer noticed me, gave me some wine which helped me.  We were landed at Perth Amboy and put on board of train for Burlington, [NJ on the] Delaware [River].  There were some German emigrants on the train  They gave me some Rhine wine which also helped me considerable.  Then down in boat to Philadelphia.  We got a teamster to take our goods for 75 cents to a boarding house and tavern.


I traveled around for three weeks to rent some rooms.  At last a brick house of two rooms in an alley in Southwark.  Work for one week in Kensington at four and one half dollars pr. week - could not walk to and from work.  Tried it on Wednesday.  Would make about nine miles of walking night and morning.  That would not do.  Came home on Saturday night with two dollars in big coppers for wages, the balance for board.  Stayed there ten weeks.  Saw George McCann;  [he] could do nothing for me.  Thought I was made of money, coming from Ireland.  Did not pay me $7 1/2 dollars his brother owed me [as] he was to pay.  His sister was all right and his brother was all right, but he was no good in paying debts.  We left on Bingham Line for Pittsburgh [PA].




Then arrived in Pittsburgh, rented a house of two rooms in alley off Penn [Ave.] after boarding a week or two.  Stayed there several months.  Worked for A. Wilson and Co. good portion of the winter.  Father kept harping about starting in business.  Got some old kettles from Mr. [Henry] Oliver, saddler [from Ireland], who had been in the business making soft soap.  They were worth but little.  Started to make soap in the 5th Ward.  A bad business.  Lost money in soap.  Made a little in candles.  Stayed there one year.  Moved to Penn Avenue at five and one half dollars pr. month.  Were there I think two years.  Made soap and candles.  Difficult to sell.  [We] were superseded everywhere.


The only person I was acquainted with was Falls, oldest son of Thomas Falls.  I wanted a little hay for the horse we bought at a public sale in Pittsburgh for $40 dollars.  He was five years old.  He was not trusty.  I would let him run at large in the 9th Ward, commonly called  Bayardstown.  I had no trouble with the horse.  It was all commons to the river and he got grass and gave no trouble.  When I was leaving [Pittsburgh], there was a shovel factory started which was the only factory east of the Bayardstown Bridge and Dr. Shoenberger's rolling mill to Lawrenceville, and there was nothing but sawmills to cut long lumber and a small village for the hands.  On Penn Avenue was a Pike where you had to pay tolls in going to Lawrenceville and the arsenal.  I took the horse with me to Falls' farm to carry some hay from the farm.  In going up Mercer St., the mud was deep (there was no sidewalk and mud 3 feet deep) and Squire Pearson came out and chided me for walking the horse on the street too close to where the sidewalk ought to be.  Then, when I shoved the horse a little further out in the street, he said he did not know but what he would sue me any way.  However, he did not carry out his threat.


[New Castle]


At last came to New Castle [PA] April 1852, a great freshet that spring there.   Seven miles of rafts tied along the Pittsburgh side of the Allegheny River to [until] the water would lower some.  The bridge companies supplied the rafts of men with rope which kept them from breaking away.  We started down the Ohio in a steamboat, having shipped our goods by Mr. Moore's boat to come by river and canal.  We had rented a house previous, of carpenters' on the canal.  My mother we shipped to Enon Valley, and thence by coach to New Castle to stop at Adam McKee's hotel.  We came by river and tow path.  Also had a horse along.  There was a large freshet in the Beaver River.  Boats could not run.  We came to one place where the water was three feet deep on the tow path.  I got a pole to keep on the tow path and felt my way.  Water on both sides of the tow path.  Father went around by the rocks.  Got safe to New Castle.  Met three suspicious looking characters on the tow path.  Father was riding the horse at the time.  They were inclined to stop me when he hollered back to come along.  So, I started and we got safe to New Castle.


I will now go back to the canal where we landed in one of carpenters' houses.  Mr. Wm. McMillen, the assessor, called the next day after we took possession and assessed Father and I, and the following day, Constable McKee called for the tax levied.  I thought it sharp practice.


Put our horse in stable and boarded there ten days when our goods arrived and we got them off the boat and place them in yard and cellar.  Rented a stable for our horse.  Got a small kettle set in the kitchen and made some candles.  Made boxes in the cellar to put them in.  Then father sold them in Brighton, Rochester and other places along the road.  Then took some to Pittsburgh and got rid of them there.  In July, when the roads dried up, I started for [with] my wagon to Bridgewater.  Hauled it to within five miles of New Castle, where I had to leave it along the Pittsburgh road.  Got into New Castle about 11 o'clock at night.  Horse tired.  Rested a day and started for wagon.  It was a wagon of about eleven hundred pounds.  I then, in about a month, I started with my father to Pittsburgh and [with] about 14 or 15 boxes of candles.  We started about 11 o'clock at night and at 4 in the morning we were 5 miles out.  We got to Slippery Rock that evening.  Stopped all night and started anew for Pittsburgh.  We got to Pittsburgh in due time.  Sold our candles.  Started at about 4 o'clock the next morning with horse and wagon for New Castle.  Got about 5 miles out when the horse gave out.  Unhitched, left the wagon on the road and got to New Castle at 11 o'clock at night.  Rested a day and left to pull the wagon in.  The horse was free and tired, himself, and rested so much on the road that he could not make time, so I hauled no more candles to Pittsburgh.  We shipped a few by canal and river to [until] fall, I making the boxes, filling them with candles, and the old man taking them to Pittsburgh.  He got acquainted with some of the merchants in travelling with them and when the demand came for candles in the month of October, we got some orders which I delivered.  And by Christmas there were 19 stores which sold candles and we had them all but the Old Iron Store.


Then we found that the canal [house] did not suit, and so we rented a place from Joseph McCleary for 3 years at 40 dollars pr. year.  Rents were generally not paid by the working classes at that time and for some time afterwards.  It was hard collecting rent.  I wanted to go to the mill and hunt a job, but my father said no.  So we stuck it out and carried on the soap and candle business.  Candles was our main stay.  There was nothing in manufacturing soap, only to get rid of dirty grease that would accumulate.  We were not able to make sales in New Castle, but sold some in Brighton, Rochester and Pittsburgh, as we still had our Pittsburgh acquaintances.  He [father], in going to Pittsburgh on the packet still with some candles, got acquainted with New Castle merchants and so they began to talk among themselves that it looked foolish to purchase candles in Pittsburgh when they could be bought here for 1/2 cent less and save carriage and pay for boxes, which would be 1 cent a pound at any rate.  So about Christmas we had all the stores but the old Iron Store as they traded for iron and nails. 


About July 1852 I wanted some flour, and I thought I could trade a box of candles for a barrel of flour.  So, I called with Robert Crawford, he was running Joseph Kissick's store, for a trade.  No, he could not do it.  They had also a grist mill.  So, I went across Washington Street to the opposite corner called the New York Store.  They gave me a barrel of flour and 1 dollar for a box of candles.  So, we could live to fall, anyway.  We had bought our head [provisions] previous.


[The Market]


We were now living in West New Castle and all meat was sold on the diamond by Fred Siefert White of Mahoningtown, George #Conzett, Reiter, William Atkinson and even Judge Stewart.  Started the business with #-------- for to run the business.  For him, there was a little money in it,  also Henry Young and several others.  Then around on the vacant ground, gardeners and farmers sold vegetables.  Then they built a market house.  Then done away with [it, and] used it as a common for a few years.  Then after the lapse of time, fixed [it] up as a pleasure ground and for a monument for the soldiers.  I recollect a case, when used as a market, the butchers and farmers would bring in their dogs.  They would get to fighting from 3 and 4 o'clock in the morning and would make quite a noise.  There were some bricks built next to the old stone corner, on the corner of Jefferson St. where Dr. Leasure lived.  So one morning, there was meat throwed around, and there were fewer dogs afterwards.  Then the market house was abandoned and shops were rented by the butchers.  So it continues today.


[Steel Business]


Pollard McCormick was running what was called The New Mill and, as there were a great deal of iron ore and limestone a shipping from here to Sharon and Mahoning Furnace, he thought he could do better by running a furnace.  So, he got an Englishman  of the name of Crowther to start a furnace.  It was built from cut stone and said to have cost 250 thousand dollars.  Native ore was used, some good, some very indifferent.  The Croton ore was the best and sold well away from here.  12 and 13 tons was the output of furnace in twenty four hours.  With pig metal at $12 and $13 dollars pr. ton, McCormick failed.  It killed the man, as he died soon afterwards.  King Pennock and Co. took it in hand from Pittsburgh.  They tried it for several years but could make no money.  Sold out to Reis Brown and Berger.  They ran it a long time.  When Brown of Pittsburgh's money ran out, they quit.  It then fell into young Brown's hands, a son of the former partners.  He sold it out for old iron and rented the iron furnace to other parties.  There was a change in the iron business.  Steel commenced to take the place of iron, and Lake Superior ore came in.  Bessemer process for making steel and large fortunes commenced to be made. 


[Tin Business]


There was a small iron furnace called the Red Jacket Furnace which made a great deal of money.  Then there were money gathering in Bank of Lawrence County when the stock holders thought they would launch into the steel business and made a success of it.  Made more money.  Launched into the tin business.  They say they have the largest tin mill in the world.  Was not run steady and I do not think is making money.  The steel works are doing well, but they are all merged into the steel corporation which I suppose run profits on the average of all the works.  Then if one goes, all goes and great will be the fall thereof.  Tin does not go off well at present, but steel plate sell well, especially for building purposes.  Also rails for railroads  and all, etceteras connected.  However, the demand at present is very great and all steel works seem to prosper.  Their tin plate will not last on a roof but one year and a half, so that drives roofers to other substitutes.  It is also superseded by other substitutes for wear.




[Mother Dies]


In 1854 Mother was stricken with paralyses of one side which destroyed her speech.  She was sick about 4 months and was buried on Easter Sunday.  Mr. McClymonds brought the Reverend Bradford to officiate at the funeral.  Samuel Dunn carried the funeral.  There were two graves bought in Greenwood Cemetery for which $10 dollars was paid.  Afterwards, another lot, 16 feet square, was bought and the bodies were lifted and buried there for which $40 dollars was paid.  The other was abandoned.  Mr. David Lankey was applied to allow on the lots abandoned, but there was never anything realized. 


[Bank Failure]


It was plain sailing for two years when Dickson and McClymonds, the bankers and brokers, failed in business on account of  Pollard McCormick of The New Mill.  He put up a stone furnace of cut stone which cost some $250,000 dollars when he had to fail.  Then Dickson and McClymonds got a  $60,000 dollars mortgage on the furnace.  They got a compromise with the bulk of their creditors.  A small dividend was paid some years afterwards and the cost of the mortgage some 20 years afterwards.  All the money we had was $175 dollars, which they had in the bank, as money was so indifferent that we were afraid to keep it overnight for fear the bank would be bursted in the morning.  We had 50 cents, when the bank failed, in our pockets.  The $175 was in the bank - and there to stay.  By getting a partial compromise with their creditors, all money due them they collected.  McClymonds drawed out on payment of $9,000 thousand dollars.  Dickson had the balance when he got two nephews to start the business in the old stand with a reputed capital of $30 thousand dollars.  They carried on the business a short time, when one of the parties took to drinking.  Then there was a dissolution of partnership.  When one carried on the banking business and the other rented the old mill.  The money soon went there, when the party took prussic acid and killed himself.  Mr. Dickson in the mean time died and McClymonds, being still in for the debts, he was harassed a good deal, as the executors failed to pay them from the Dickson estate.  One party prospered and is in the banking business today.  McClymonds died poor.  He was a very nice man.


I will now go back to the failure of Dickson and McClymonds.  I had fifty cents in my pocket when they failed and $175 dollars in the bank.  We got a small dividend some years afterwards and, just 20 years after they failed, I got $20 dollars from Lawyer Dana.


[ Candle Factory]


  The summer after the failure in 1855, we put up a house on the corner of the lot which could have been turned into a dwelling house, but which I used as a factory.  I tried old William Moore several times to insure it, but he always put me off and, as there were no other insurance agents in town, I failed to get it insured.  So, the following spring in March, it went up in smoke.  Lost $1000 dollars in building, $200 dollars the balance of $600 dollars in stock and utensils.  I put up a temporary building and in 3 weeks, I was making candles again.

[Father Dies]


I also bought an out lot (there had been nothing done with it unless to cut off timber) at the foot of the Youngstown Hill, about 9 acres, for $350 dollars in cash.  I was then cleaned out of money.  I then began to mope and not feel good below.  But previous to this, my mother was paralyzed on one side.  She lingered for 4 months when she died the following spring and was buried on Easter Sunday.  The following November 1855 my father died and was buried along side of her in the two lots which were bought previous and afterward raised and buried in the large lot where my wife and baby were buried in the same grave.  The old lots were abandoned, which of course were resold afterward, by David Lankey but [he] would not pay.


[Tanning Business]


I thought I would go into partnership with George Moore in the tanning business.  I was in but a short time when I found I had made a mistake.  Then was the question - how to get out, as there was a lot of leather not quite tanned to get some money out of.  So. I would have to wait, as tanning was a slow process.  So, I waited, got some leather finished and sold.  His brother paid off.  Then I quit and went in again myself.  It was when in partnership with Moore that I got married [for the] first time, as I was then alone in the world, cut off entirely from the old world and had but a few acquaintances in the new. 



In 1856 I was married to Mary Norris, a sister of Nathaniel Norris.  It was said she had some money, but Nathaniel was needy and it was said borrowed some $600 dollars from her to build the house he lives in at present.  It never was paid.  We lived in West New Castle.  I had bought and paid for the house and lot we lived in, $350 dollars to Joseph McCleary.  #She [Mary] had two boys; one ,the oldest called Robert and the second one, John.  There was a girl baby.  Afterwards Mother [Mary] died and baby afterward.  Leg swelled and got black;  could not be saved.


My aunt [Rachael Frizell] she died after my father during the War of the Rebellion [The Civil War].  She wrote to me about that time giving me advice.  I had sent her a likeness of my first wife and after she, my wife, died, I sent back for it.  She sent it back and paid the postage on it at Dungannon of about 6 shillings and 6 pence.  When it came here it was marked for close on four dollars.  The old man Emery was postmaster at the time when he advised me not to redeem it.  However, I redeemed it and have it today.


[Building Again]


I had sold my house previous for $75  to a trader.  I had been offered $125 by Mr. McClymonds, but would not sell to him, as he was not free from blemishes.  I then for several years hired  a horse from Mr. Wm. Atkinson at so much a trip.  But after settling up with Moore, I got a mare which had been bought from Mr. McFate for $125 dollars;  a four year old which I sold during the war some 8 years afterwards for $90 dollars.  She was a noble animal.  So that stopped the hiring.


I, in 1858, put up a stable on the front part of the nine acres, got some wood, which was chopped by Andrew Robinson, got the wood traded for brick to Paisleys, used it in 1860 and put up a house which is there at the foot of the Youngstown hill.  It was principally put up for soap and candles, and I had not a single jar with the workmen.  Cost about $2500 dollars. 


When the war was on, my wife died.  I was single for two years.  I had a girl for one year.  She done very well.  I also had Hugh McCombs running the wagon for me as it was becoming hard to sell candles, as oil was taking its place.  We traded for old butter and grease and we made great deal of soap which he traded and sold for a profit.  The girl of the name of Meeks left for an operation for cancer.  She lived just a year afterwards and left a sister of hers to keep house.  She [the sister] stopped to [until] she got into the family way, when she had to leave to have.  She had several  bows and amongst them was a dandy.  He called often it was said, but as her bedroom was in the front of the house, I never detected him.  I locked my bedroom door in the inside and, it was said, she acknowledged she had tried it, but found it locked [and] gave up.  I then was out of a housekeeper.  When my present wife [Mary Jane McBurney] came along with Mrs. Craig, she saw my housekeeper and thought she was prospering however she chanced, and then there was a change.


[The Farm]


I had sold the property where we resided to Gustavus McElvy for $5000 dollars;  $1000 cash and the balance on mortgage for $4000.  In May we also bought the farm for $7500, I  to get a half interest in the farm.  It was bought as a speculation.  D. B. Kurt, a lawyer, drew up the article between the Kernahans and I.  He, in the article, gave me but a third interest.  He also deducted $500 for taxes rent to #outhwaite, as he had to get an allowance of $500 to give up possession.  So the Kernahans got off by paying $3599 for their interest and I paid them $5400 a few months afterwards for my half interest besides taxes and even the recording of a lot of deeds which had never been recorded.  They would pay nothing but the $3500 dollars.  So, I also had to pay $90 dollars for 6 #cars for R. N. Cunningham for the #car.  In short, I got possession of the farm, which I ought to have got on the 1st of October 1864 to [only] the day after Christmas of the same year.  No allowance for anything.  They did not prosper, only in a pecuniary way.  He died shortly afterwards.


I went onto the farm $1800 in debt while I ought to have the farm paid for with what means I had, and have had $1000 dollars to run the farm.  So, after running the farm one year, I saw I would have to change from ordinary farming to something else or I never would have got out of debt.  So, [I] investigated the milk business.  So, I thought I would have to try it.  I borrowed from Robert McBurney $400 dollars to buy cows.  I had one cow and an old horse and improvised an old wagon to haul milk.  $100 of that money was a $100 dollar bill on the Oil City Bank which they [McBurney] got in Patterson's Bank on Saturday for a check, paid it to me on Sunday following.  And on Monday morning it was refused.  So, it I sold to Sheriff Cooper for $40 dollars 2 weeks afterwards or I could lose it altogether.  It seemed as if bad luck followed me from the time I went in with the Kernahan boys, as they were called, unto [until] some time after I got into the milk business.  It was nothing but losses and crosses unto [until] I very near gave up in despair.  It seemed as if every person I had dealing with robbed me.  My wife, Jane McBurney, stuck by me through thick and thin or I should have given up.  She was a good milker and general worker on the farm.


I started the milk business on January 16th, 1866, one year and 3 weeks after I got possession of the farm.  Cows were from $65 dollars to $75 dollars.  There was good sale for milk, but it was difficult to get money to buy cows fast enough.  Then the following May I hired John Moore to run the farm.  He did not know much about farming, so what he learned was at my expense.  We were annoyed a great deal by #croton cows.  I have known to put out 45 #croton cows three times in one day, which occupied the whole of his time, so that he done but little farming, although paid large wages with perquisites.  He prospered and saved some money.  We saw it would be better for him to go to the glass works and work for weekly wages, as I had helped him to buy a 10 acre piece of ground where he now resides in 1902.  


[Moore Family]


He gardened some.  When working in the glass works, his family grew up about him.  Then after working 5 years with me and 15 years in the glass works, he quit the glass works and went into the gardening altogether.  He had two girls which stood by him well in the gardening.  When two of his boys have good trades, married and left him altogether.  They are making money.  One, the oldest, is a blacksmith, has several children and is on 13 acres of ground within 2 miles of the center of town on the Harlandsburg Road, also on the opposite side of the road from the father's place.  The next boy, he has learned the glass business and is up in the northern part of Pennsylvania in a glass works which is run by gas for fuel.  He is married to a Miss Hunt, a farmer's daughter of Lawrence County.  He is but a short time married and has put up a house on a lot and I suppose has house and lot paid for.  The balance of family are at home with the father and mother.  One of those boys he kept at school, learned typewriting and shorthand and is now learning to be a machinist in the engineering works in town.  He is or will learn mechanical drawing and will likely become a master machinist. 


He [John Moore] bid on 66 acres of ground where the limestone had been quarried off last Saturday, November 8, 1902.  [He bid] $3300 dollars for it.  He did not get it, as one of the friends of the parties who owned it bought it at $3400 dollars.  If he had got it, he would have had 100 acres of land all laying and adjoining each other.  Now that 66 acres lays between his first and second purchase.  However, when he has got the money, he can get all the land he wants or needs, but it would be some distance from town.  He had considerable sickness in his family, and the two oldest died, a boy and girl, and had some big doctor bills to pay.  I think a good deal of their sickness was brought on by overeating, but they were hard working and Mrs. Moore done the planning and John Moore, he done the work.  He was a stout man, and could do it when working for himself.    And his family worked to his interest.  He complained that gardening did not pay, but the Mrs. saved the money all right.  But they worked for all they got.  The old lady and girls would be out in the barn floor with their canteen, washing their beets, parsnips, and loading up to go to market by daylight the next morning to [until] 10 and 11 o'clock at night.


[Samuel Patterson]


His [Alexander Frizell's] wife, Rachel Patterson, [my aunt] was a very handsome woman and also a very good kind woman and thought a great deal of father in contradistinction to his brother, Samuel.  She had kept house for him previous to his marriage and she got perfectly disgusted with his drinking and gambling ways so she married and was rid of him.  He married a Miss Hart of Bernersbridge [Ireland] and had a large family, who were raised in poverty and want.  Her [Miss Hart's] brothers were in business and those of them who remained in Belfast done pretty well.  Their brother, who served a time at Grimshaw's linen factory at the Whitehouse, his name was Frances Hart.


[Francis Hart]


He was a fast fellow when young and sparked a cousin of mine, a girl of 17 years of age.  There was a report that he would get some money with her.  He got 200 pounds when he married her but it did not last him long.  She was a very handsome woman so he stopped around unto [until] that was nearly done.  [note:]  Samuel Patterson married a Miss Hart.  Frances Hart, her brother, married a cousin of mine, Eliza Frizell, a very handsome woman.


  She [Eliza Frizell] never left her father's [Alexander Frizell's] house when he [her husband, Francis Hart] left for Baltimore, US.   He arrived without any means.  He was naturally a smart man so he went to a factory, got work as a common hand.  He could do anything from working as a common hand to running the business.  In a short time he got promoted unto [until] at last he became manager of the factory.  He was the first to manufacture cotton sailcloth for ship use, but the man who owned the factory was poor, and before he got fairly established he failed.  He was running as manager of another factory when the owner, who was of a religious turn of mind, would have prayers for the hands.  And being a little late in getting through with his prayers, he [Francis] told him he would either have to start earlier with his prayers or dispense with them altogether.  He eventually failed.  He had a damned old engine which he claimed was the cause of it. 


His wife  was in Dungannon for nearly two years (unto [until] she had a baby some size).   Her mother wished to retain her in Dungannon, but he [her husband] sent her threatening letters that he would commit suicide if she did not come out to Baltimore.  So, at last, a cabin passage was taken for her and a baby [who] was just talking at the time.  And when she and the baby got into a boat to be taken down to Garmoyle where the vessel was anchored, I commence to cry as I thought the baby was going to be drowned in the water.  She [the ship] was knocked around for six months after putting into the Western Isles for food and water.  They landed in Baltimore.  There were some people there from Dungannon in the machine and foundry business who she got acquainted with which made life tolerable.  He got ugly with his wife and I think abused her some, and she was a very mild woman.  He started for himself in an old mill which was run with water power for some time, when a big freshet came and swept it away.  He had several misfortunes of a similar nature.  He was a manager of a factory for a party which must have proved a success as they presented him with a gold watch as a present for faithful service. 


The next I heard of him [was] when my father and I were going through Woods Street, Pittsburgh when he saw Mr. Oliver, the father of the present Oliver's Iron Men.  He was working on Irish collars.  He asked us if we saw Francis Hart.  We told him no.  "Well, you can see him at the corner of Federal and Robinson Street, Allegheny" [north Pittsburgh].  And we went across there and Father notice him with his head down in a barrel getting out some sweet potatoes for a customer.  He took us in to see his wife when she looked broken down.  In conversation with Mother afterwards, she said she had 14 miscarriages and four boys alive, the oldest, Francis, being born in Ireland.  He had learned the machine business and made a good engineer.  He was put to arriving an engine on Aqua Creek [Virginia] a winter during the War of the Rebellion when he lost his sight, but it partially recovered afterwards, so that he could work some.  His marriage did not suit his father, but his mother was well enough pleased.


The old man [Francis] Hart said he had $1000 dollars when he left Baltimore and went out into Ohio to an acquaintance who was in business, so he swamped the greater part of his $1000 there.  So when he started in Allegheny, he was broke.  He was there a year, left a man to sell out his furniture and remit to him.  We were poor and he was actually afraid to trust us to carry on the sale.  However, I helped all I could in placing the goods before the auctioneer unto [until] they were sold.  He went back to Baltimore. 


His wife died some years afterwards comparatively a young woman.  When in Allegheny in 1849, his second oldest boy with him helped in the store, apparently about 12 or 13 years of age.  And the two younger ones were about 5 and 7 years.  They seemed to be smart lads and the mother done the best she could for them.  I would say she was a nice kind mother and would make a good wife if properly treated.  She made several visits to us over in Pittsburgh when she made the remark she would like to see Uncle better fixed, [but] of course we were in poverty.  Her mother [my aunt] in Dungannon, Ireland, sent 10 pounds to father and 30 pounds to Francis Hart.  Father delivered that 30 pounds to Hart when she made the remark "that  would be the last."  I do not know whether he ever thanked the old lady for it or not.  I think her daughter, Eliza, died before her.


The next I hear of the Harts I was building fence on the East Brook Road.  I heard of an old man, a Mr. Davidson and his #Caty, and his wife from Baltimore out on a visit to the Moffat farm.  So, he was passing along in his rig and I hailed him.  He and his wife knew them [the Harts] well.  She [Eliza], a maid at the time, nursed her first baby after she came over.  She [Mrs. Davidson] also praised Mrs. Hart very much.  She said she was a nice lady but delicate.  Had a great many miscarriages when she fell in with a doctor who got her to wear a bandage, which relieved her, and she had several children afterwards.  Mr. Davidson and his lady, he says he came from Donaghmore, Ireland.  They had no family.


[The Moffat's Farm]


The Moffats got into difficulty about their farm by starting a blast furnace at the farm.. The farm was sold by the sheriff and Mr. Davidson bought it.  Their mother and Mrs. Davidson were sisters, so, he bought it and willed it to his wife.  Then, she in turn, gave it to Moffat boys.  They are now, 1902, old men and done physically.  They want to sell.  They have been great workers in their day, but what money they have made has slipped through their hands.


[John Kerr]


My father's uncle, John Kerr, had emigrated to Philadelphia, started business on Market Street  and was there in 1776.  When the [Revolutionary] war started, he was called upon to fill up the rank, so he sent two substitutes.  He was outstanding in the art of  his store.  One of the officers who was personally acquainted with him said, "Why, I thought you were in the army."  He answered,  "I sent two substitutes."  "Well," he say, "we need you, too."  "Oh, very well."  And he shut up his store and went into the rank.*


In one of the reminisces of the war, he was chasing by the British troops so close that he had to throw away his knapsack.  And in it were a pair of new shoes, and he had not time to take them out, and his feet were bleeding at the time.  He stayed in the army until the war was over.  He still had some money and he had so much faith in the States that he bought up a lot of their continental money.  It became worthless and he was left poor.  He wrote of his condition to my grandfather, Robert Patterson [I], and he sent him money enough to come back to Ireland, and he ultimately died in  my grandfather's house.  He kept talking in the evenings and at other times about the grand future of this country, now that they had gained their independence, and among those who heard him were James Kerr, a nephew, and Nathaniel Holmes.


[James Kerr]


James Kerr, he thought he would try his luck in this [emigration to US] and in 1801 came west to Pittsburgh on the bank of the Allegheny [River].  He went to work in a brewery and after working there two years, he was joined by Nathaniel Holmes.  Mr. James Kerr states that where Allegheny now stands, he could see the bears coming around in the morning to get a drink.  They both left the brewery at the same time in 1807.  James Kerr went out twelve miles on the Old Washington Pike and bought a farm.  My father, Robert Patterson [II] went out to see him in 1854 and he found him keeping account at a coal bank on the farm.  He said that was his post and his grandson was doing the farming.  He said his son, a man of 40 years of age, was principal of the Allegheny schools.  I heard that James Kerr died during the War of the Rebellion.


[Nathaniel Holmes]


Nathaniel Holmes left [the brewery] at the same time in 1807 and went into the grocery business.  Changed from that into the drug business.  Made some money and saved it and then went into the banking business in 1822 on Market Street, Pittsburgh under the firm name of "Nathaniel Holmes and Son".  He died about 1846.  The son carried it on successfully.


Old Nathaniel Holmes had his residence on Penn Street and after he started business he could, with the valuables of the bank in a tin box, be seen carrying the box in his hand from the bank to his dwelling and from his dwelling to the bank.


They had a sister who died at 73 years a short time ago.  She was an old maid.  She made herself useful during life.  The boys took care of her financially and she died worth a million and a quarter, which she left to charitable purposes notwithstanding being very liberal during life.  She said her near relations did not need it.


Another brother carried on the wholesale grocer business in Cincinnati.  He, about 1851, lossed a cargo of sugar at the wharves by being stove in with the ice.  His brother, the banker in Pittsburgh, told him to go on as if nothing had happened.


Nathaniel Holmes died about 1846.  His son, the banker, died a few years ago over 70 years, and his grandsons are carrying on the business today, 1902.


Dan Wallace here told me of a circumstance that happened about 1845 between Ezekiel Lankey of New Castle and Nathaniel Holmes about a $3000 claim payable in Erie.  They disputed about the discount when Lankey made the remark that he could go to Erie, get the gold and make money in the operation.  When Mr. Holmes handed him the claim he went to Erie, got it cashed, came back and handed it to Mr. Holmes.  Dan Wallace said there was two remarkable things in the transaction:  that Mr. Holmes would trust Mr. Lankey with the claim, and that Mr. Lankey returned it all right.


[A Trip to Baltimore]


I and a neighbor, Mr. Barnes, thought we would take a tour in the South, so we went on the Baltimore and Ohio in 1873 to Baltimore, then took boat for Norfolk, Virginia.  We stopped at a hotel there for one dollar per day with the bar in the back part of the building.  There he saw a young man of seventeen or so the worse of liquor.  I think that prejudiced him against the place.  We went out a little around.  I saw with its water facilities, it could be made a perfect Venice. 


I went out to see a farm adjoining the city limits and was astonished to see the water facilities; channels not much wider than would take a schooner through, and so deep [a schooner] could discharge cargo alongside, with the ground green to water's edge and only a few feet elevation, so calm and clear from the ocean, the like I had never saw before.  350 acres [were] to be sold.  [The] Owner, a northern man, came down there, put out a few years previous $2500 dollars from a Rochester firm.  They came on for their pay.  He was a young man who ended his days with drink.  Property [was] to be sold.  It was thought $10,500 would buy it.  There was some butcher looking after it.  After the war the Negroes took possession and thought the property holders, which were the whites, would pay for everything.  Instituted street cars and other northern improvements which the community would not support.  So, when we were down, street cars were run into the barn for a more convenient season, as there was little money and no travel.  They had a dip well on the place.  Water was brackish.  On this place there was a fine one story brick dwelling house, also a corn house and some Negroes filling it with corn unhusked.  Clover took well.  Soil dark, but worked out to a great extent.  Some totally worn out until it would grow nothing without fertilizers. 


We went on to Suffolk about 20 miles distant.  The land there was of a light color but, like a great deal of coastland, was thin.  The flat land, like the Dismal Swamp, which was black and had not been worked, but had been set on fire by locomotive, was good and would no doubt raise 100 bushels of corn to acre.  They drained with open ditches about 6 feet wide and cross ditches 4 feet wide and about the same in depth, which kept off the surface water.  The sandy land was undulating around Suffolk. 


Plymouth across the water is a pretty fair town.  Water all deep.  In short, a fleet could come to anchor anywhere.  There is a vessel leaves New York for Norfolk each day at three o'clock in the afternoon and one comes in about the same.  They often pass in the New York Bay.  There were several barques and ships lying in the harbor when we where there.  On the steamer from Baltimore, I saw one of the officers on board who called a barque lying in the harbor a ship, so notwithstanding his coat of blue and gilt buttons, he did not know the difference.


 [A Trip to Ireland in 1876]


[On the way to Ireland, Robert Patterson and his wife stopped near Liverpool, England at the home of his cousin, Rachel Ringland and her husband, William Ringland.]   I and my wife called with her husband who was living in a semidetached villa in Southport, England.  We left the vessel on Sunday morning and took the train for Southport 20 miles south of Liverpool.  We found the house.  I handed in my name,  when he appeared in his morning wrapper.  He went out with me.  We walked out on the pier which was one mile long and built of iron.  His wife, Rachel, was visiting in Ireland.


I left on a channel boat at 10 o'clock on Monday night and landed the next day at Warrenpoint [County Down, Ireland].  We went on a longcar  to Kilkeel [County Down].  We had her {wife’s] brother, George McBurney, along, as he, through his drinking, had been a fizzle, as he had during his residence of seven years in the United States been sick nigh unto death at three different times.  So, the last time, wife and I concluded to take him back to Ireland.  He had been puddling [making iron] a part of the time.  One winter he ran the milk wagon for me but at a loss, then I had to take it again myself.  He went penniless back to Ireland.  He earned large wages puddling, but could not save.  That was in 1876.  He had landed in the United States in 1869. 


I had to pay 140 % for [money] exchange on Ireland.  The trip cost me $500 dollars.  We stopped but 15 or 16 days in Ireland and went steerage in the Cunard Line to save expenses.  We happened to have a nice lot of passengers and there was no landing at Ellis Island.  We got along very nicely.


[A Visit to the Harts in Ireland]


In 1873 he [Francis Hart, Sr.] told me to call with his brother, James, in Belfast.  In 1876 I done so.  Called at the counsel rooms and he was not there, so, I got his address of where he lived and called at his dwelling.  His sister was keeping house for him.  He was not within and I was not invited in, being a stranger.  My wife was waiting for me at the hotel.  I heard afterward he, James Hart, would liked to have a talk with me, so I went on with  my wife to the Morne shore [County Down] among her friends.  My father's friends' name was the Harts.  They seemed to hold me at a distance and I do not know any cause unless his sister being married to my father's brother [Samuel], and he a drunk and he kept his wife in poverty all her life and the family in beggary.  As neither I nor Father ever cost him a cent and I during my life, I never got a gift or money favor in my life from any person.  And that 10 pounds that Father got from his sister in Dungannon, unsolicited was.  [Francis] Hart got 30 pounds at the same time.  Mrs. Frizell  [my aunt] sent all to Father when he remitted the 30 pounds to Mr. Hart in Baltimore, we being in Pittsburgh at the time, all I ever knew him to get.   I wanted nothing but what I earned from either friend or foe and that was all I wanted, but the sequel will show I was not let alone.


So, now we are in Annalong [County Down], after stopping there a week, her father and mother being still alive.  I then started for Belfast, then for Carrickfergus [County Antrim] and found the address of a lady who I was acquainted with named Miss McCann, her maiden name.  She was now Widow Pennal, [widow of] a young man of whom I was acquainted with in Carrickfergus and afterwards in Pittsburgh.  He proved very useful to me when in Pittsburgh at a time.  I was then living on Penn Avenue and had an attack of what was supposed to be cholera morbus.  It was prevalent at the time.  He went and got me a dose of French brandy with some other ingredients which he gave me.  I got around again all right for which I was very thankful.  She came to the door and accosted me as "Mr. Patterson." I took a lunch with her and started for Cookstown [County Tyrone] on the railroad about 40 miles. 


 We struck Antrim, Reynoldstown [Randalstown], then Cookstown.  It is principally around a large square where markets were held.  I was looking around for some place to stop when I heard "Mr. Patterson" several times called from the opposite side.  I supposed I was a perfect stranger there.  I was a little astonished to find a young lady who had came across in the vessel with me.  I found I was in a hotel, asked if I could stay to morning as I found I could not make Dungannon that night.  It was then 8 o'clock.  The young woman's mother kept the hotel.  It was kept very nice.  I told them to get me up early, but they let me lay to eight A.M.  When I got up and got breakfast, there were no car for me unto near ten o'clock.  They would take nothing from me in payment of my bill, so I started for Dungannon.


I drove through a very nice section of country through Stewartstown.  It's a small but very old town and old buildings.  We landed at a hotel opposite the market in Dungannon.  I enquired of the hotel and a gentleman standing by of the name of Moon said, "Ain't You Mr. Patterson?"  I told him that was my name.  He had not seen me for over thirty years.  He looked toward the middle of the street and says, "There is Mr. John Frizell going up the street."  I darted across and stopped him.  I asked if he knew me.  He said no.  "Did you not know Robert Patterson?"  He answered, "Very well indeed."  "Well, I am a son of his."  "Well, we will move up to the house."  He treats me very hospitably.  His son-in-law, that is Mr. Ringland's, he being married to a daughter of Mrs. Ringland, also took me around. 


The next morning I bought a second class ticket for Armagh [County Armagh] to see Mrs. [Rachael] Ringland, as she and her son, Will, were over there on a visit.  It is 12 miles distant direct but had to go around by Portadown, so I got to Armagh.  Old Alexander Frizell, brother of the other John, was living there with his nephews of the name of Love.  They showed me around the two cathedrals which were very fine.  # who done this fine sculpture, and in the curved ceiling 75 feet high, who [done] this painting, an Italian.  Indeed they were very fine.  I saw Mrs. Ringland and eat dinner with her and her son [Will], a Mr. Love and Miss Love, also Alexander Frizell.  He was out of business and Love carried it on principally:  mahogany and Italian walnut and other rare woods.  John Frizell and Robert Love, his nephew in Dungannon, also had some men at work.  It went on like clockwork.  They looked upon the United States as some outlandish place where the people were not more than half civilized. 


Mr. Will Ringland was about 21 years of age and dying of consumption.  He died in about a year afterwards.  Mrs. Ringland's hair was white then.  A short time afterwards, her husband, Wm. Ringland, died of bronchitis at 63 years .  Her son Robert was not fit to carry on the business; so he failed.  He drank liquor.  The old lady was very bitter against him.


Widow Pennal and Mr. Moon were the only ones, none of my relations, [who] knew me and a great portion of [my] acquaintances were dead.  This was on my first visit to Ireland in 1876.


I called at Annalong when coming back.  Came through Newry, Rostrevor, Kilkeel, then Annalong.  I told my wife to get ready, as we were about to go back.  I bought a return ticket to New Castle.  I also got a ticket from New York to Pittsburgh for $7 dollars apiece.  I had bought  a return ticket to New Castle from Pittsburgh that I carried across the Atlantic and back.  I had asked the conductor how long the ticket would last.  "So long as there is a railroad here." 


She, my wife, saw her father and mother.  Her mother had been in bed for some time and remained so to [until] she died.  The old man, being 10 years younger, was likely to live some time, as he looked hearty and well.  He died in a few years afterwards.


[The Ringlands Visit U.S.]


I was then on my trip to Philadelphia to meet Mrs.[Rachael]  Ringland  and her son and daughter, George Ringland and Nellie Ringland.  I brought them out on the Pennsylvania RR to New Castle, then on back to the farm in Hickory Township.  That was on the beginning of August 1879 and she and her children left in May 1880 for Ireland on the Anchor Line for Londonderry.  She boarded and lodged for three months at our table.  And when Mother got tired waiting on her.  So, we supplied her with everything for housekeeping, we supplying her fuel, flour, in short everything raised on the farm.  She would take spirits sometimes.  When I offered her a fine ham, she would have to pay for it.  I then asked six cents a pound.  Oh, she could buy the best cuts in Liverpool for five cents.  I never contradicted her, and she no doubt looked upon the cent the same as a penny in Liverpool when it was nothing but a half.  She had a horse and a rig to go out and ride around when she wanted to. 


She wanted her boy, a lad of seventeen years, into a situation.  I introduced her and him to several parties, among others - Alexander Crawford, but she could not get suited.  Then I sent her up to Pittsburgh to Mr. Oliver, being that they were known to each other in Ireland.  First she met Mrs. Harry [Henry] Oliver of Allegheny and she [Mrs. Oliver] sent her coachman with her to the Baltimore and Ohio depot to a station a few miles out.  She [Rachel Ringland] made her wishes known to her, so she [Mrs. Oliver] had her man to hitch up a horse and she drove her around Pittsburgh showing her the sights.  Then she [Mrs. Oliver] told her [that] her son had works at Beaver Falls when all she would have to do would be hand her card to the manager;  and she, herself, could rent a house, keep genteel boarders, and she could get a nice living.  That did not suit Mrs. Ringland, so she made up her mind she would go back to Liverpool.  This was in November, so she started the following May for Ireland as there was nothing for her here, as she thought so.  But, if she had sold her stock in the Bank of Liverpool and invested it in paying real estate on the Front Street, and the boy to have taken such employment as he could have got, they would have been wealthy today, that is the children.  But, because she could not get up to her best ideas, she would go back.  Her husband had pampered her a good deal, and as he left her with 3000 pounds, also some other securities in stock on the Bank of Liverpool which could be cashed at any time at 200 %.  It paid 6 % interest, so, she thought she could live. 


[The Shirt Factory]


So, now we are back in New Castle with Robert [the oldest son] in the milk wagon.  He run it for 8 years, and I wanted a start made to get him at something whereby he could make a living.  He in that time saved $800 dollars, so I went out to look for something.  There was a laundry for sale, but we found we could not purchase it, as it was purchased by the present judge.  There was a fellow of the name of Goodwin.  He was from West Virginia and had been a salesman for a shirt factory, so he proposed to start a shirt factory.  I had some money.  In hunting around for a building, the only one which offered was the old building which had been brought from the Front Street and placed on a lot next to Mr. Mean's residence.  He built a cellar to place it on.  It was rented.  Adam McKey was running a feed store downstairs, and the upstairs could be got for a shirt factory.  So, Robert was to furnish $500 dollars to run the factory, and Goodwin to do the management and make the sales.


Goodwin was a great lady's man and very extravagant in his expenses.  Stopped at the Leslie House and sparked the proprietor's daughter.  She was young and was clean crazy about him.  Being under age, the parents shipped her to a convent in Washington, D.C.  So, Goodwin took the money of the concern and started off to Washington D.C.  Sent some orders for shirts.  They were made and sent, but never got any returns.  We had some goods on hand, which I thought to make up and sell.  But Goodwin was a regular rascal, and with a cutter at $13 dollars pr. week and a helper at $8 dollars pr. week, it was morally  impossible to go on and not lose money.   Wm. Gordon, who was postmaster at the time, said to wind up at all risk of loss, or the fellow would soon have the farm into the shirt factory.  He would be away for weeks and give no account of himself.  So, the shirt factory was wound up with a loss of about $400 to $500 dollars, no rent to pay nor anything for my services.  I then had the building on my hands.


[The Laundry]


The party who were asking to get the laundry found they had a white elephant on their hands.  So, they sold to a friend of theirs of the name of Miller and he bought to give his father a job.  He was a telegraph operator at $75 dollars pr. month.  There were 2 Irish girls who had learned the business at Titusville [PA] which then belonged to #Irace Brothers.  It got burned out, so those girls were thrown on the market.  Goodwin picked them up, so they went with the laundry.  Miller was paying over $300 dollars pr. year for his room on Mill Street to Mr. Knox, and as the rent of my room was $12 1/2 dollars pr. month, I proposed for him to move.  He could not get along with those two girls, Mag and Mary, so he discharged them and got other girls in their place.  The old man tried to work at the sorting of the cuff and collars which annoyed him so, that to have continued in the business would have upset him.  So, they soon wanted to sell.  Those two girls, being out of a job, went to Hardacre to buy the thing out.  So, he said he would, if he could get me as a partner.  So I, thinking I could get one boy into business for himself, so the place was bought, that is the utensils, for $1300 dollars.  I owned the building and gave my note to J. B. Hardacre for $650 dollars.  So it was bought, those two girls hired,  and the laundry continued.  Then it was found that the engine and boiler were far too small.  Then there was a trade made with a machinist for a new boiler and on old Cunningham engine, which consumed about four times the amount of steam which it ought to have done for the amount of power we got. 


So after running 11 months, I saw there was considerable crookedness with Hardacre, and stinginess.  I wanted the family washing done in the laundry.  "No, you have more clothes than I."  My son, Robert, worked there one winter, never received a cent for it.  He [Hardacre] charged him for washing his shirt after cleaning the flews of  [the] boilers.  Also my daughter, he wanted her every Saturday afternoon to sort the goods and she went.  And being there for seven months, he pretended he thought a great deal [of her], but she never was offered one cent for her services nor ever got one.  And then he would taunt me with buying beer for a treat.  I told him to take enough of money out of the bill and buy some.  No, he wanted me to go down into my pocket and purchase.  He also did not want to allow me $12.50 pr. month for rent of room.  It never was rented for less, so I would not come down.  So, when he found I would leave and go back to the country, he wanted to sell out.  So he got Bob [my oldest son] to pay one hundred dollars on the bargain.  Also the $25 dollars pr. month in dispute about the rent.  He got his note for that, too.  Now he was out, with Patterson and Son owners of the laundry.  About this time the Rhodes boys were asking to get into the laundry business.  So my son and I ran it 4 days when they came and offered us $1400 dollars for it, $700 cash and the balance on time.  I saw there was my chance to get clear of  Hardacre, so I closed the bargain, got the $700 dollars cash, paid off Hardacre, and then was through with him.


[Robert Ringland]


Then [the] Rhodes [boys] had it.  It increased with them from $45 dollars to $65 dollars pr. week.  They had Robert Ringland, who had been sent out here by his mother with the instructions to send him on out west.  He just had 6 pence in his pocket when he arrived here in February, weather cold and deep snow.  Robert gave him 1/2 dozen of shirts and a pair of new shoes.  John gave him a coat and so we got him fixed to stand the cold.  We had no situation for him, but as he had no money, he was perfectly sober.  I got him into the Rhodes laundry.  He was 4 days with us and he had the assurance to ask him, Robert, for wages for that.  He was still boarding with us and continued to the following June.  As he was not reliable, they did not raise his wages.  He would go off on a burst when he got a little money.  We never got anything from him for board.  I got him started to do his own cooking on a gas stove and gave him a lounge to lay on, no charge for rent.  I never saw a cent of his money.  He still continued to drink.  He would not work on the farm when out of work.  I sent him down where the boys were working.  He walked past them as if they were not there.  Went out to East Brook and then when he came back, he said he was tired, but he was ready for a good dinner.  He never offered himself for work.  When we were moving out in the spring to the farm, he helped to load the wagon.  That was all the work he ever done for me.  I think his mind was somewhat affected, and I pitied him more than anything else.  I recollect one Sunday he came up to the farm before dinner.  He came very near getting swamped in the snow, as he had to take to the fence, the road being full of snow.  When he came in, I saw his hands were numb, so my daughter, Annie, got up, #rubbed his hands for nearly half an hour before he could sit down and have some dinner with us. 


The manager of the engineering works called at the laundry office.  He being an Englishman, he asked if there was an Englishman working there.  "No," he [Rhodes] told him, "He was out on a burst."  He wanted a bookkeeper, but that was not the kind he wanted.  So, he [Robert Ringland] thought he would leave soon after and started to go down the river.  He happened to fall in with a man who took in the situation.  He says, "You get on a boat to take you to Pittsburgh and then make for McKeesport where there is a large tube mill, and the manager is greatly interested in the temperance movement.  You join it and perhaps he will give you work, such as you are capable for."  He done so.  The man wanted to put him off for a few days.  When he told him it was either work or starve, "Well, come around in the morning before 7 o'clock."  He gave him work.  He was installed as an accountant in the lodge.  When they sent him back and forth to Pittsburgh, it is supposed he was competent to do his business.  After the lapse of a few years he got a recess on time, got fixed up and came down on a visit.  We received him kindly, was glad to see that he had reformed, as there was nothing else for him to keep him from a pauper's grave.  He thought my eldest daughter would take up with him, but she had no use for him.  So, after stopping a few days, he went back.  When I heard of him going back to Liverpool, I saw him in Liverpool when over there in 1898.  He was working for his brother-in-law.  He was a good collector and strictly honest, and [I] suppose he made himself useful.


 [More about the Hart Family]


I made another trip in 1880 to Baltimore.  I stopped with Mr. Davidson and his lady.  He had a horse and buggy, and he took me around even 7 miles out to suburbs where I met some folks from Bangor [County Down, Ireland] and got acquainted.  They had been married into some of Uncle Samuel Patterson's family.   In the visit 1873, Mr. Barnes being along, we called to see young Frances Hart.  He was glad to see us.  He thought a great deal of his mother, who had been buried a long time, and never had enough to put a tombstone to her memory, but he said he would get it soon.  He said his father had married a Dutchwoman, one who could wait upon him, but he was not satisfied with the marriage however.  She left him as he failed to provide continuously.  His son said his father, being a high church man, he was tinged with Orangeism before he left Ireland.  He was a "Know Nothing"  here which required a foreigner to be 21 years in the country before he would be naturalized.  He also said that during the war, he was then boarding with him, he said he was a rank Rebel.  He was then running a coal office of his own at the present time in1880.  


He took me, that is Mr. Davidson, to where he [Mr. Hart Sr.] was working.  He said as we come handy to the office, "There he is," as he came along like a man of  20 years of age.  He went into the office.  He knew me from my experience of 1849 and also of 1873. Before I went in, he [Mr. Davidson] told me he knew Mr. Hart for a very long time, but Hart did not know him.  We went in.  I introduced Mr. Davidson to him.  He said he did not know him.  He was 80 years of age that day and was out collecting coal bills for the firm of which he was office boy.  He said he neither drank whiskey nor smoked tobacco.  He said it was curious that he could not succeed and I think so, too.  He had given up all business.  He was in the coal business during the turmoil of the war and he lost $5000 dollars, so it was a struggle ever afterwards.  At this time, Mr. Davidson was 76 years.  He, Mr. Hart, was as nimble on his feet as a man of twenty years, while the other man [Mr. Davidson] carried a cane and was a success in life.  He [Mr. Davidson] had to have a horse to carry him around, and he carried me around considerable.  While the other man was also a splendid bookkeeper and a beautiful writer and was well liked as a manager in a cotton factory.  His employers gave him a gold watch as a present.  Then when he [Mr. Hart] went to [work for] himself, his power (was water mill) got washed away.  Another time he got burned out, so he, Francis Hart, Sr., died at 93 a pauper.


[1898 Trip to Ireland]


I, being now in Liverpool, I will state what occurred there.  We went over from this side partially for my son William's health, he having had a fever the previous winter.  The girls, Rachel and Minnie, and wife also went along.  We landed in Londonderry, [Ireland] then from there by rail to Belfast, then railroad to Newcastle [County Down] and private car to Annalong.  We stopped at Annalong for about three weeks and were well treated by Thomas McBurney's folks;  wife of the name of Hamilton.  In short, all the neighbors treated us well.  And Mr. Gordon, he had made arrangements to entertain us and board us for what time we would be there.   We went from there to Belfast and stopped at Francis Patterson's widow, and son's and daughter's.  They would keep us for tea.  We had stopped all night at a Belfast hotel.  We also went, the 4:  #Willie, Minnie, Mother and I, to Carrickfergus.  Mr. Pennal's son-in-law kept us for dinner and got up a very fine dinner.  Her [Widow Pennel's] two grandchildren and son-in law's father was there. 


We were showed around the sights:  the old castle, [and] the old church built from time immemorial, but still had preaching as it was the parish church.  In the vaults beneath were buried the Chichester family for over 200 years.  It was in good repair, the chair which William the Third sat in, the armor of the Chichester family.  When they were fighting for the English Crown, he got a great deal of the County Antrim for pay.  He still retained a goodly portion.  Belfast was in the manor's land when the family got it.  It was looked upon as of little value and he gave a great deal of it away.




We then went to Liverpool from Belfast, cabin.  Stopped at George McBurney's lodgings.  He had a smart little girl there.  She showed us a little around and also to where George Ringland lived.  The girls, I think, stopped with him one night.  I and Mother stopped at George McBurney's.  We did not stop at William's as his lady, Nellie, was visiting in Ireland.  I told him to acquaint his wife of us being here.  He said he would do so, (this was Tuesday) as we were going to London for 5 days and would be back on Friday.  George told us of a Cook excursion, so that we could get there and back for 30 shillings apiece.  Went on that.  We stopped all night at a hotel, near to the warehouse where they were doing business.  She [Nellie] did not come back to entertain us.  And as there was no invitation to stop, we concluded to come back on steamer to Belfast, then Annalong, then to Derry the following Friday, and Saturday for New York.


Young Mr. George Ringland, he gave us a meal at a restaurant which cost him 13 or 14 shillings, but when we asked for a bed for the girls one night #by Friday, his wife said she could not do it, as she was going to Wales.  He was the only one of the Frizell friends who showed any hospitality.  I was determined that neither me or mine would ever trouble him again.  That was not the way they were received here when they stopped 9 months with us, and also when the son, Robert [Ringland], stopped the greater portion of the time from February when he arrived to the following June.  Sometime afterwards when he stopped, a week before he started, he came down all togged up to see Annie, but as there was no chance for him there, he left.  That, we thought nothing of.  In short, any acquaintance, if they only came from the same place where my wife came from, the latch string was always out for them, and [we] were glad to see them.  But any information which I could give them was not recognized.  So, American cousins was not thought of. 


We had a return ticket to New York by the Anchor Line.  There was too much red tape on the return ticket business.  Being that we came on The City of Rome, they charged us 5 pounds extra.  No better accommodations.  Broke down twice on the trip.  Arrived in New York the following Monday week.  In landing, the cabin and second cabin passengers had nothing but one small tug.  Several hours were spent in landing us.  We went off to Jersey [Jersey City, NJ].  Stopped there all night. Went over to New York after baggage.  Paid 12 dollars apiece to New Castle.  Then the following day we landed in New Castle.


Morgan's New Arithmetic


Ten Mills make one Trust

Ten Trusts make one Combine

Ten Combines make one Merger

Ten Mergers make one Magnate

One Magnate makes all the money.




Robert Patterson III and his family succeeded in the dairy and laundry businesses and he was able to purchase two brownstone buildings in what was known as  The Patterson Block on East Washington Street in New Castle.  Tenants included a shoe store, the Victor Theater, Sweets Business School, offices and apartments.  His daughter and granddaughter managed the property until the 1950's when it was sold.  The buildings were subsequently torn down.


Sarah Schneider, Springfield, VA                                                    Nov 2001

 (Great granddaughter)


*  U.S. Military records at The National Archives show a Corporal John Kerr from Philadelphia enlisted in the 3rd Regiment of the Pennsylvania Line in either 1776 or 1777.  This regiment encamped at Valley Forge during the bitter winter of 1777 - 1778 and engaged the British at Three Rivers in Canada, Brandywine and Germantown in PA and Monmouth, NJ.  The first three of these battles were lost by the Americans and the fourth was only a draw.  In all four engagements, the Americans were often forced to flee.  It is no wonder that Corporal Kerr lost his knapsack and his shoes.  A surviving pay document dated April 1, 1777 shows John Kerr was due back pay in the amount of 12 pounds, 7 shillings, and 6 pence.



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