Tombstone of the Month

William and Eleanor (Archer) Neill

William and Eleanor (Archer) Neill were both born in Ireland in 1812, possibly in Benagh, Ulster Province, County Down.  Immigrating to Canada in 1835 with their infant daughter, Mary Ann, a second child, Thomas, was born in Canada in 1839.  The same year they immigrated to the U.S., via the Port of Erie, about May 1, 1839.  In 1842, William was among forty members who formed the Beaver Run United Presbyterian Church, and later became one of the Elders.  By 1860 William owned a 68-acre farm in Beaver Township.  He was one of the few farmers in the area still planting flax seed generally harvested for producing linen fabric and linseed oil.  William petitioned to become a U. S. Citizen on September 9, 1862.  By 1880 his farm had increased to 100 acres with 100 apple and 50 peach trees producing 700 bushels of fruit.  Ten children were born to William and Eleanor:  Mary Ann married William Houston Wiley; Thomas was a school teacher; John; William; Jane married John Alcorn; Joseph married Martha Jane Holt; Elizabeth; James married Elizabeth Plyler, Margaret married David McConnell and Robert Todd married Elizabeth Ann Martz.  Many of their descendants still live within the county, or close proximity to Jefferson County.  William died at the age of 82 years on October 15, 1894, and Eleanor died at the age of 86 years on April 14, 1898.  They are buried in Beaver Run Cemetery in Jefferson County.


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