Biography of John W. Neal
Indiana County, PA Biographies

JOHN W. NEAL, one of the popular merchants and prominent citizens of South Mahoning township, is the eldest son of Cortez and Rachel (Crissman) Neal, and was born in North Mahoning township, Indiana county, Pennsylvania, May 31, 1844. His paternal great grandparents, William and Catherine Neal, were of Scotch irish origin. They emigrated from the north of Ireland to Hagerstown, Maryland, about 1760 and at the close of the Revolutionary war removed to what is now Young township, where William Neal died in 1812, aged eighty years, and where his widow passed away shortly afterwards, having reached her four score years. They had five sons: John, Thomas, Samuel, James and William, Jr. The youngest son, William Neal, Jr. (grandfather), was born in Hagerstown, Maryland, and removed, in 1806, to North Mahoning township, where he followed farming. He died in 1867, aged ninety two years. He married Mary Cnnningham and reared a respectable family of children, One of his sons, Cortez Neal (father), was born in 1821 and is now a prosperous farmer of Jefferson county. He married Rachel Crissman and owns the farm of one hundred and twenty three acres, in North Mahoning township, which her father, Enoch Crissman, purchased when he settled there in the early part of the present century.

John W. Neal was reared on his father's Jefferson county farm and attended the common schools. He was engaged in farm work after leaving school, until June 17, 1863, when he enlisted in Co. C, 2d battalion, Pa. Vols., and served six months. On August 25, 1864, he reenlisted in the United States service, and served as a member of Co. B, 206th Pennsylvania Volunteers until August 26, 1865, when he was honorably discharged at Richmond, Va. After the close of the war he returned home and was steadily and continuously employed in farming and lumbering for twenty years in North and West Mahoning townships. In 1886 he embarked in his present general mercantile business at Ambrose, which is situated in a good section of country in the southeastern part of South Mahoniug township. February 22, 1866, he married Margaret Bedding, of Wood county, West Virginia. They have five children: Lula M., Maud I., Grace A., Books and Clyde.

John W. Neal is a republican in politics, but no extremist, and served as justice of the peace in West Mahoning township, from 1879 to 1886. He is a member of John Pollock Post, No. 219, Grand Army of the Republic, at Marion. He is in the general mercantile business at Ambrose. His room is well stocked with everything to be found in a first class general mercantile establishment. He has a large trade and conducts a very successful business. John W. Neal is an active and successful business man and one of the energetic and enterprising citizens of his township. He served for six years as a member and secretary of the school board of South Mahoning township, and on May 3, 1886, was commissioned as postmaster at Ambrose. In 1890 he accepted the appointment and commission of census enumerator for South Mahoning township whose edumeration he completed in 14 days. in 1889 Mr. Neal was elected by the republicans of Indiana county and served as a delçgate to the Republican State convention of that year.


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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