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Home  > Genealogy Biographies  > PA  > Centre & Clinton Co.  >  Gregg


GREGG, ANDREW

GREGG, HON. ANDREW, was born June 10, 1755, about two miles northwesterly of Carlisle, Pa., on a farm adjoining the meeting-house farm, in Middleton township. His father, Andrew, came from Londonderry, Ireland, and his grandfather's name was John. The family had emigrated from Scotland to Ireland, and an old-fashioned sword and espontoon, long in the garret of the old house on the Conodoguinet, were arms of the ancestor in the army of King William at the battle of the Boyne, July 1, 1690.

Of Mr. Gregg's grandfather's family, John remained in Ireland, David, Andrew, and their sister Rachel, who was married to Solomon Walker, came to America. David settled in New Hampshire, and raised a large family there. The Gregg families of Salem, Mass., Elmira, N.Y., and Indianapolis, Ind, are descendants of David. Andrew and Mrs. Walker settled on Christiana Creek, near Newark, Del., in 1732, where his first wife died, and Andrew married Jane Scott, daughter of Matthew Scott, who had emigrated from Armagh, Ireland, to Chestnut Level. Andrew Gregg, the elder, removed to the farm near Carlisle in 1750, where he died Nov. 18, 1789. Among his children were Matthew, who was a wagon-master in the army from Jan. 9, 1778, to Aug. 14, 1780, James, and John, who were also connected with the army. John Gregg was the father of Elizabeth (wife of George McKee), who died in Bellefonte, Oct. 11, 1801, and of the first Mrs. Roland Curtin, Sr.

Hon. Andrew Gregg received his early education at Rev. John Steel's Latin school, in Carlisle, and was then sent to Newark, Del., to complete his education. While thus engaged he turned out upon several occasions in the militia.

On the march of the British from Turkey Point to Philadelphia the academy at Newark was broken up, and Mr. Gregg returned to Carlisle to assist his father on the farm, his other brothers being in the army. In 1779 he went to Philadelphia, with the intention of going to France for his health, which had been in a declining state for some time; but changing his intention he accepted the appointment of tutor in the college (now university) there, and continued there under Drs. Smith and Ewing's administrations until 1783, when he removed to Middletown, Pa., where he resided four years, engaged in the mercantile business.

Jan. 29, 1787, Mr. Gregg was married to Martha, daughter of Maj.-Gen. James Potter, at the latter's old residence in Buffalo valley (Union County now). He then removed to Lewistown, then being laid out by Gen. Potter and Maj. Montgomery, where his daughter Mary, afterwards Mrs. McLanahan, of Greencastle, Pa., was born, Nov. 2, 1788. In 1789 he removed to Penn's valley, two miles east of the Old Fort.

His public services commenced Nov. 8, 1791, as member of the House of Representatives of the United States. He was continued in the House by successive elections for a period of sixteen years, and in 1807 he was chosen United States senator, which position he occupied until the 3d of March, 1813. He was twice elected president of the Senate, the highest distinction in the councils of the nation any Pennsylvanian had then attained.

In 1814 he removed from Penn's valley to Bellefonte for the purpose of better educating his family. He was the first president of the Centre Bank, which was organized under articles of association or partnership in 1813, and was re-elected in 1814.

On the 19th of December, 1820, Mr. Gregg was appointed Secretary of the Commonwealth by Governor Hiester, which office he held when nominated by a convention that met at Lewistown on the 15th of May, 1823, for Governor, in opposition to Mr. Shulze, who had been nominated by what was called a Legislative Convention at Harrisburg on the 5th of March.

After Mr. Gregg retired from the office of Secretary of the Commonwealth he resided in Bellefonte until his death, which occurred May 20, 1835.

Mr. Gregg had strong party predilections, but was remarkable for his independence of character, always acting according to the convictions of his own mind, though they sometimes differed from those of political friends. He was while in office, in fact, what he was elected to be, the representative of the interests of his constituents, not of their confined views of subjects of moment. He was always scrupulously tenacious of his oath to subserve the public good according to the best of his judgment and ability, never yielding his duty to the prejudices of party spirit or the views of interested politicians.

Mr. Gregg was an elegant classical scholar, and had acquired by reading extensive general information, which large experience and deep reflection had moulded into practical purposes. He was a man of sound health, athletic nerves, and vigorous constitution, preserved intact by a life of temperance and industry until he reached the age of fourscore years.

Mr. Gregg's children, ten in number, were: 1, Mrs. Mary McLanahan, of Greencastle, mother of Andrew, James, Isabella, and Mary. 2, Jane, wife of Roland Curtin, Sr., mother of ex-Governor A.G. Curtin. 3, Martha, who married Dr. Constans Curtin, and died Dec. 31, 1829. 4, Julia Ann, who married Gen. James Irvin, and died July 4, 1856. 5, Eliza Mitchell, widow of David Mitchell, of Bellefonte, now deceased Dec. 1882. 6, Hon. Andrew Gregg, who died May 13, 1869, father of Gen. John I. Gregg, late of United States army, of Andrew Gregg, Esq., county commissioner. 7, James P. Gregg, married Eliza Wilson, and died in Virginia, Sept. 8, 1845. 8, Matthew D., married Ellen McMurtrie, who also died in Virginia, July 26, 1845, the father of Gen. David McMurtrie Gregg, now of Reading, Pa., a distinguished cavalry officer of the United States army during the war of the Rebellion. 9, Sarah, who married Henry Kinney, and died March 28, 1836. 10, Mrs. Margery Tucker, of Lewisburg, Pa., widow of Rev. Charles Tucker, of the Baptist Church.



Source: History of Centre and Clinton Counties, Pennsylvania; John Blair Linn; Philadelphia; Louis H. Everts; 1883


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