Saturday, January 28, 2017

Will and Westminster College

William R. Harshaw graduated from Westminister college. For some reason I have operated with the belief that it was located south and west of Pittsburgh, but not so.  It's a few miles west of Grove City, which is the general area where Will's grandmother Sarah and sons Andrew, William, and David settled upon emigrating from Ireland.   One branch of Sarah's descendants moved into Grove City and lived there until recently.  The Grove City Bank is where cousin Marjorie found the Harshaw Diaries.

There are gaps in our knowledge of Will's early life.  He started writing his memoirs but stopped.  He was born in 1855, presumably started college in 1878, which would have been at age 23.  His father died in 1874. The census shows him in Cutler in 1880.  From somewhere I've the impression that he, or older brother Andrew, went to high school in Sparta.  That would make sense as it was large enough to support such a school, which almost certainly was not a public school.  Was money tight in the early 70's, was Michael sick before his death?  I don't know when Michael and Margaret became real estate developers--early 70's when the railroad came through--and they probably didn't get much money for the lots they sold or the land the railroad got.  I vaguely recall a reference to their "giving the land" for the town of Cutler but I think there were sales.

Andrew is 7 years older than Will.  He graduates from Westminster in 1874 when he is 26, perhaps meaning he started college at 22.  He remains for one year as an instructor at Westminster.  So he's free of the farm before his father dies but for some reason Will has to remain on the farm until 1878 or 9.