Biography of Robert Y. Elder
Indiana County, PA Biographies

ROBERT Y. ELDER. One of the old, highly respected and influential families of southern Indiana county is the Elder family. Fifth in lineal descent from its founder, Robert Elder, of Dauphin county, is Robert Y. Elder, of Elderís ridge. He is a son of Robert and Nancy (Douglass) Elder, and was born on the farm on which he now resides in Young township, Indiana county, Pennsylvania, April 6, 1840. Robert Elder (great grandfather) was the first settler on Elderís ridge, which was named after him. He was of Scotch-Irish descent, and his grandparents, Robert and Eleanor Elder, came about 1780, from Drummore, county Down, Ireland, to a tract of land five miles north of Harrisburg. Robert Elder (peat-grandfather) left the home of his grandparents about 1786 and became the first settler on Elderís ridge, where he died about 1791. He married and his wife died and left him one son, who remained in Dauphin county. After the death of his wife he married Mary Taylor who died April 15, 1813, and sleeps beside her husband in Ebenezer grave yard. By his second marriage be had four children: James., who was an elder of Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, married Martha Robinson and resided on the first improved part of his fatherís farm until his death, in 1813; David, born in 1764, who married Ann Nesbit and removed in 1816 to Ohio; Robert, Jr., born 1767, married Mary Smith and died in 1813, some thirty four years before his wife's death; and Ann, wife of Archibald Marshall, an early settler of Conema ugh township. The children of Robert, Jr., and Mary (Smith) Elder (paternal grandparents) were; Margaret, Joshua, Mary Ann, Hannah and Robert. The last-named son, Robert (father), was born in 1809, and died in March 26, 1890. He owned over five hundred acres of land, which he kept in a good state of cultivation. He was a member of the Presbyterian church and a republican in politics. He was a man of energy and will, who always took an active part in whatever would benefit his cornmnnity. He married Nancy W. Douglass, who was born in this county in 1814, and is a member of the Presbyterian church. They were the parents of nine children: Maria, Lieut. John D., killed at Malvern Hills; Robert Y., Cordelia, widow of Dr. RobertS Barr; Julia, Lyde A., Josephine, Agnes V., and Lizzie E.

Robert Y. Elder was reared on his fatherís farm and received his education in the common schools and Elderís ridge academy. Leaving school, he was engaged in farming until he was twenty-eight years years of age, when be embarked at Elderís ridge, in the general mercantile business, which he followed successfully for eleven years. He then (1879) disposed of his store and resumed farming on the homestead farm, where he has resided ever since,

April 29, 1869, he married Mary E. Spaulding, a daughter of Geo. Spauldiug. They are the parents of five children, two sons and three daughters: Maud W., Robert R., George P., Alice M., and Helen D.

August 3, 1864, Mr. Elder enlisted in Co. C, Fourth Pa. Cavalry, for one year, served until the close of the war, and was mustered out of the service at Arlington Mills, May 15, 1865. He is a Republican in polities and a member of Elder's Ridge Presbyterian church, of whose Sunday school he is superintendent. Robert Y. Elder is one of the must substantial business men and reliable citizens of his township.


From:
Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia
of Indiana and Armstrong Counties, Pennsylvania
Samuel T. Wiley, Historian & Editor
John M. Greshan & Co.
Philadelphia, 1891

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