REV. GEORGE WILSON CHALFANT, D. D., who has retired from the pastorate, is descended from a Quaker family which
emigrated from Chalfant, St. Giles, England, with William Penn and settled in Philadelphia. He was born in Fayette
county, Pennsylvania, March 29, 1836. He graduated from Jefferson College, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, in the year
1856. He took up the study of law for a short time, but resigned this in favor of theology, completing his course
at the Western Theological Seminary. He was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Saltsburg in 1960, and his
first pastorate was at Mechanicsburg, Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, of which he took charge in April, 1861.
One and a half years later he was appointed chaplain of the One Hundred and Thirtieth Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment,
in which he served until after the battle of Fredericksburg. In 1863 he accepted a call to Bridgeport and Martins
Ferry, Ohio, where he remained until called to Pittsburg [sic] in the spring of 1881, in order to organize the
Park Avenue Presbyterian church, and continued in charge as pastor for twenty years, retiring in 1901. In 1898
he and his wife visited Japan and China, spending several months with their children in the latter country. The
following year he was elected moderator of the Synod, Pennsylvania. The honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity was
conferred upon him by Lafayette College. In addition to the Park Avenue church he has been largely interested in
organizitig ten churches in the Pittsburg Presbytery and one in the city of Mexico, besides special work for two
winters in St. Louis. He has also secured the education of some twenty young men, most of whom have entered the
He married Sarah E. Moore, daughter of William Moore, of Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, and their children are as follows:
1. Rev. William Parker Chalfant, graduated at Lafayette College, 1881, and Western Theological Seminary. For over
twenty years he has been a missionary of the Presbyterian church in Shantung province, North China.
2. Rev. Frank Herring Chalfant, D. D., graduated at Lafayette College, 1881, engaged in legal work for a few years
and is now a missionary of the Presbyterian church in Wei Hsien, North China. He is the author of a volume on the
History of the Chinese Language, published by the Carnegie Institute.
3. George Newton Chalfant, Lafayette College, 1884, engaged as a civil and mining engineer for three years. He
was admitted to the Allegheny county bar in 1889 and is now practicing law in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
4. Rev. Charles Latta Chalfant, graduate of Lafayette College, is a Presbyterian minister, pastor of the Madison
Avenue Presbyterian church, of Cleveland, Ohio, of the Presbyterian church of Ashtabula, Ohio, and now pastor of
Grace Presbyterian church, St. Louis, Missouri.
5. Mary B., wife of Rev. U. S. Greves, pastor of the Forty-third Street Presbyterian church, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
6. Edward Chambers Chalfant, graduate of Lafayette College and Pittsburg Law School, was admitted to the Allegheny
county bar in 1898. He is now practicing law in Pittsburg and is prominently identified with mafty public interests
there. He married Frances O'Hara Barr.
A Century and a half of
Pittsburg and her people.
By: John Newton Boucher
The Lewis Publishing Company
Allegheny County Pennsylvania Biographies
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