Biography of John T. McLaughlin
Westmoreland County, PA Biographies

JOHN T. McLAUGHLIN, is a son of Charles McLaughlin and a grandson of John McLaughlin, the founder of the family in America. John was a native of Ireland, who, on coming to this country settled in Westmoreland county, where he raised a family of six daughters and two sons. He and his wife died in middle age.

Charles McLaughlin was born in Salem township. He came to Unity in 1831, and purchased a farm of two hundred and ten acres which is still in the family. Charles was an expert machinist and a skillful worker in steel and iron. Edged tools of his manufacture were noted for their excellence and the fame of his axes has descended to the present day. He made farm machines for various uses as well as all kinds of cutting tools. His farming operations were carried on at the same time, but by hired labor until his son John became old enough to manage them. He was a member of Unity Presbyterian church of which congregation he was an elder for thirty five years. In politics he was a Democrat until 1860 when he voted for Abraham Lincoln and thereafter acted with the Republican party. He married Mary Sloan, also of Salem township, a daughter of John Sloan, a sturdy Scotch Irish Presbyterian. The children of Charles and Mary were seven, three of whom died in infancy, the four who reached mature age were: 1. Elizabeth, unmarried, living at Latrobe. 2. Sarah, became a teacher and taught in several of the seminaries and academies of the state. She is deceased. 3. Mary, unmarried, living at Latrobe. 4. John, T., of whom later. Charles died in his seventieth year, and Mary in her sixtyfourth year. They are buried in the beautiful cemetery connected with Unity church.

John T. McLaughlin was born on the homestead farm in Unity township, February 1, 1835. He was educated in the township public schools, and at Elders' Ridge Academy. On leaving school he at once assumed the management of his father's farm, and here he passed his life as an active worker until 1890 when he retired in favor of his son Frank T. During this time he had bought the western half of the farm, one hundred and six acres, married, and erected in 1865 a substantial two story brick farm house and other modern improvements necessary to farming successfully. The eastern half of the farm, one hundred and four acres, is still owned by the McLaughlin heirs, and is operated by another son, Harry J. From 1890 until 1901, John T. remaineu on the farm, and during this period filled many positions of trust, settling satisfactorily twelve estates and acting as guardian for nineteen minor children. He retired completely from active business life in 1901, and at No. 622 Welden street, Latrobe, erected a comfortable and tasteful city home where he now resides. He became a member of Unity Presbyterian church at the age of twenty-one, and for thirty five years has been an elder, as was his father before him. He is now the senior elder of the church. Politically he is a Republican, and loves his party so well that he helps administer the rod of correction when the principles of the party are departed from. Was never an aspirant for public office, and takes no part in public political life.

Mr. McLaughlin was married, November 26, 1857, to Lavinia Bell, daughter of James and Anna (Culbertson) Bell, of Derry township. James Bell was a tanner by trade and a farmer. Lavinia was one of a family of five daughters and four sons. She was educated in the public schools and is a member of the Presbyterian church. Mr. and Mrs. McLaughlin had children: 1. Charles H., member of the dry goods firm of McLaughlin and Reed, Latrobe, sketch of whom appears elsewhere. 2. Harry J., a farmer of Unity, sketch of whom appears elsewhere. 3. Frank T., a farmer of Unity, sketch of whom appears elsewhere. 4. William A., died, aged six years. 5. Anna Bell, wife of John Baldridge, a prosperous cattle dealer, who also conducts a meat market at Latrobe. They are the parents of three children, Joseph, Thomas and Ray. 6. Mary Ella, wife of William Mellon, a well known real estate agent, of Pittsburg. Their children are: Mary B., Mabel. John, Eleanor, Wilbur S. and Robert S. 7. Emma Grace, a beautiful girl and devoted daughter who died May 10, 1901, in her twenty sixth year.

Mr. McLaughlin now past the Scriptural allotment of "three score years and ten," is erect and vigorous in body with undiminished powers of mind and memory. Although most comfortably situated in his beautiful city home with his delightful silvery haired wife, and neir his children and grandchildren, (of whom he has seventeen) his heart is in the country which he loves and where he says "Is the only place to live." Every Sunday he passes large and fine churches and walks two miles out to "Old Unity," there to worship in the church of his father. An interesting fact to he noted is that his father, himself and his son, Harry have been or are at present elders of this church. Another fact and one the opponents of heredity may ponder over, is that neither himself or either of his three sons have ever used intoxicants or tobacco.

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

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