Biography of the McColly Family
Westmoreland County, PA Biographies

BALES McCOLLY, ex-prothonotary of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, as well as a prominent and venerable resident of Ligonier, was born near Youngstown, Pennsylvania, November 29, 1821, the youngest son of Zachariah and Rebecca (Fletcher) McColly.

(I) Zachariah McColly was born in 1754, whether in Scotland or America is not known; he came from Maryland to eastern Pennsylvania in the early part of his life. At the age of seventeen years he was married to Catherine Walker, aged fifteen; they had one child, Areanna, who lived to be over ninetytwo years of age. Upon his second marriage (wife's name unknown) he had three daughters and one son, Zachariah (II). Zachariah (I) was killed by the Indians while on a scouting expedition in what is now Lawrence county, but. lived long enough to shoot the Indian who gave him his death wound.

(II) Zachariah McColly was born in the eastern part of the state, but,. like his father left home when a youth and came to Westmoreland county, locating at Youngstown, then scarce a hamlet, and there worked at his trade of harness-making until within a few years of his death, in 1821. He was one of the hardy pioneers of his day and generation. He was an active Democratic politician, and a stirring business man. In 1806 he married Rebecca Fletcher, a devout Presbyterian, who died in 1843. Of this union five sons and one daughter were born: Fletcher B., Washington, David, Clayton, Caroline and Bales.

(III) Bales McColly, at thirteen years of age, worked at his father's trade, under his brother Clayton for three years, after which he went to Youngstown. where he followed the business of a harness-maker for seventeen years, at which time he was elected to the office of prothonotary of his county, the date being 1858. Prior to this he had filled many of the local offices, one of which was tax collector and as the collector at that time rode on horseback over his territory he can now relate many incidents which are of more than usual interest. After holding the office for three years he removed to Pleasant Unity, where he resumed his trade, continuing for eight years. At the same time he bought and sold a number of farms, one of which is the present site of the Frick Company Bessemer Coke Works. The excitement caused by the discovery of oil drew him to the celebrated "Pit Hole," where fortunes were made and lost in a single day. In 1870 Mr. McCollv removed to Ligonier, where he has since resided. Mr. McColly is one of the few typical pioneers of whom one reads much and sees so seldom; whose rugged strength and great honesty made him always ready to champion the right and defend the weak. He is a communicant of the First Presbyterian Church of Ligonier, and a member of Greensburg Lodge, No. 225, F. and A. M. In his politics he has ever been a Democrat and a forceful party worker. His native gift for telling a good story makes him an interesting character to meet and converse with. He is well posted on the general history of his state and the whole political history of the nation, with its wars and industrial developments. Mr. McColly married, January 12, 1847, Catherine Felgar, of Cook township, and their children were: Dr. Marston M., born 1847, died 1893; Eugene A., born 1850, now residing at Latrobe; Cicero M., born 1852, died 1863; Anna K., born 1856, wife of Frank Marker, of Ligonier; and Edward B., born 1959, of Greensburg. To be immediately followed by E. A. McColly.

EUGENE A. McCOLLY. In connection with industrial enterprises of marked scope and importance, Eugene A. McColly has attained a high degree of success and prominence in Westmoreland county, where he has lived from the time of his birth, and where he stands forth as a representative business man and public spirited citizen, while he is a scion of one of the honored old families of this attractive section of the Keystone state. He resides in Latrobe, where he is engaged in the marble and granite business, having what is undoubtedly the largest plant of the kind in the county, while he also conducts a branch establishment in Ligonier, this county. He was born in Pleasant Unity, April 17, 1850, and is a son of Bales and Catherine (Felgar) McGolly. The mother is deceased. The father is one of the prominent, influential and honored citizens of the town mentioned, and it living at this writing (1906), aged eighty four years.

Eugene A. McColly secured his early education in the district schools of his native town, and later continued his studies in the Sewickley Academy, Mount Pleasant township, until he had reached the age of eighteen years, having made the best use of the excellent advantages thus afforded him, while dis cipline well equipped him for the practical duties and responsibilities of the active business career which was to be his. After leaving school he learned the trade of harness-thaking, to which he devoted his attention for several years, during the greater portion of which he resided in Ligonier and Pleasant Unity, and then became a traveling manager for a large manufacturing concern, in whose service he continued for a number of years, making an excellent record in this connection. As traveling salesman, his territory was in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio and Maryland. Upon retiring from this position he engaged in the marble and granite business in Ligonier, this county, where he maintained his residence and business headquarters until 1898, when he came to Latrobe, where he has since continued operations in the same important line of enterprise, while he has built up a large and prosperous business, drawing his trade from a wide radius of country. He has recently made notewotthy additions to his Latrobe plant which is the most extensive of the kind in the county, while he still operates the well equipped plant in Ligonier. He is a man of progressive ideas and enterprising courage, and his indefatigable and well directed efforts have been the conservators of a success which is worthy of the name, and which redounds to his credit. In his political proclivities he is an uncompromising advocate of the cause of the Prohibition party, having the courage of his convijtions and exircising his franchise in support of the principles which he upholds. He and Mrs. McColly are valued members of the Methodist church in whieh work they take an active part, while the family is prominent and popular in the social life of the community. He is a member Of the Ligonier Lodge, F. and A. M., also the I. O. O. F.

Mr. McColly married December 24, 1872, Margerv M. Johnston, born August 4, 1852, in Westmoreland county. She is a daughter of James and Anna (Quayle) Johnston, the former having been born in the city of Belfast, Ireland, while the latter was a birthright member of the Society of Friends, and was born and reared in Pennsylvania. He is deceased and she is living, aged ninety-three years. Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. McGolly we record that Orphus R. was born August 3, 1874; Archie J., September 30, 1877 ; Anna K., April 5, 1880,; Charlotte Grace, September 6, 1882; Herbert M., September 27. 1886; and E. Chester, April 23, 1893. Orphus R. married Minnie Murdock, who was born in Ligonier, May 4, 1874, and they have one child, Jacob E. Orphus, a bookkeeper in the shipping department of the Latrobe Steel Works, and is also tax collector for Latrobe borough. Archie J. McColly is manager of his father's marble works in Latrobe, and is known as a talented musician. He married Gertrude Wilson, and they have two children, Carolyn W. and Margaret. Anna K., the elder daughter of Eugene A. McColly, is now the wife of Dr. Harvey J. Barkley who is engaged in the practice of his profession in Colorado. He formerly resided and practiced in Latrobe, but was a native of Michigan. Charlotte Grace remains at the parental home, as does E. Chester, who is attending the public schools, and Herbert died in infancy. To be followed immediately by E. B. McColly.

EDWARD B. McCOLLY, son of Bales and Catherine (Felger) McColly, was born December i6, 1858, in Pleasant Unity, and was educated in the common schools of his, native 'county. At the age of eighteen he engaged in the granite and marble business in Ligonier, where he remained until 1890. He then spent one year in Greensburg and in 1891 returned to Ligonier. The followIng year he moved to Latrobe and in 1902 settled in Greensburg, where he established the marble and granite works on Fourth street, near Euclid avenue, where he has since conducted a flourishing and extensive business. He is a Democrat in politics, and both he and his wife are earnest workers in the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. McCollv married, July 8, 1880, Catherine H.. daughter of John' and Mary E. (Slater) Murdock, and they have' two sons. The Murdock and Slater genealogy is found elsewhere in these volumes. The elder, Dark H., was born May 27, 1881, and is with his father in the marble and granite business in Greensburg. He married Agnes K., daughter of Hiram and Jennie (Loughery) Withrow. Willibard M., the second son, was born February 22, 1894.

ORPHUS R. McCOLLY was born August 3, 1874, in Pleasant Unity, son of E. A. and Margery M. (Johnson) McColly. He, acquired his early educational training, in the common schools of his native place and at the age of sixteen entered Dickenson Preparatory school, which he attended for two years. After he left this, institution he entered the employ of the Latrobe Steel Company, with which firm he still retains his connection, being one of the oldest employees of this company. 'He is also a collector of taxes in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and has been clerk of council for several terms. He is a member of W. of W., O. of M., Jr. A. M. and Grand Lodge F. and A. M. In 1895 Mr. McColly married Minnie M. Murdock, born May 12, 1874, daughter of Jacob H. and Mollie M. (Caven) Murdock. They have one child, Jacob Eugene, born July 12, 1904, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.


From:
History of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
Vol. 3
By: John N. Boucher
The Lewis Publishing Company
New York - Chicago, 1906

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