Subject: [ALL] Why no Lairds in Laird Cemetery? Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2000 13:47:33 EDT From: Jonsnowden@aol.com To: PAALLEGH-L@rootsweb.com Surname: Laird
A while back I had posted concerns that there are no Lairds in Laird Cemetery. It seemed to me that they should be there, he pastored the Church for thirty years and it, as well as the cemetery, are named for Francis Laird. I have found out why. After leaving Plum Creek, Francis Laird moved to Murrysville where he pastored another Presbyterian congregation for 19 years.
Here is the story for all that are interested, it is taken from "Historic Pittsburgh" site; Sept., 2000
Author: Walkinshaw, Lewis Clark. Title: Annals of southwestern Pennsylvania, by Lewis Clark Walkinshaw ... Vol. 4. Imprint: New York : Lewis historical publishing company, inc., [c1939]. Physical Extent: 4 v., fronts. : ill., ports. 28 cm.
JUDGE RICHARD DRUM LAIRD-In his forty years of activity at the Westmoreland County bar, Judge Richard Drum Laird has risen to prominence both In his profession and in public life. He is now serving his first elective term on the bench of the Tenth Judicial District of Pennsylvania.
Judge Laird was born in Greensburg on June 30, 1872,a son of Francis Van Buren Laird and Hetty Drum (Welty) Laird, both members of old Westworeland County families. In the direct paternal line his first American ancestor was John Laird, an Ulsterite from County Donegal, Ireland. He lived at Marsh Creek, in York County (afterward Adams County), Pennsylvania, where he had a farm After his death in 1766. his son William Laird, took charge of the farm with his wife residing an the old homestead from 1768 onward. Their son, Francis Laird. became a prominent Presbyterian divine In Western Pennsylvania and the founder of Laird Institute at Murraysville. He was born in 1768, was graduated from Dickinson College in 1794, and after a three-year course in theology was licensed to preach by the Donagal Presbytery. At that time he came west to serve the Poke Run and Plum Creek churches as pastor, taking up his ministery on October 22, 1800 and continuing for thirty-one years.
Later, he was for nineteen years minister of the Presbyterian Church in Murraysville, and was buried in tht old churchyard there following his death on April 6, 1854. The Rev. Francis Laird was the great-grandfather of Judge Richard Drum Laird. He married Mary Moore and through this connection Judge Laird enjoys the distinction of descent from one of the early president judges of the courts of Wesmoreland County. Mary Moore was the daughter of John Moore, who first held court in the old log structure at Hannastown, and later in the first court house in Greensburg erected during the year 1786 and first used at the January term, 1787. He built a stone house on a small branch off Crabtree Run and was a prominent member of the old Congruity Presbyterian congregation. Judge Moore was a son of William Moore, was born in 1738 and died in 1811. He was buried in Congruity Cemetery.
During the Revolutionary War, he was a Frontier Ranger in the company of Captain Jeremiah Lochry. He married a daughter of Isaac Parr, a pioneer neighbor of the Dennistans at New Alexandria, Of Judge Moore's own daughters, one married John M. Snowden, a Pittsburgh editor; another, Major John Kirkpatrick, who was Greenburg's second postmaster in 1793; and a third, the Rev. Francis Laird.
Francis and Mary (Moore) Laird were the parents of nine children, eight of whom lived to reach maturity John Moore, of whom further; William. Robert, Francis, Harrison P., Jane, Eliza, and Mary.
John Moore Laird, grandfather of Judge Laird was born near Sardis in 1802 and died on January 25,1887. As a youth he served an apprenticeship in the newspaper field under his uncle, John M. Snowden, and subsequently became editor of a paper at Steubenville, Ohio. Afterward he settled at Congruity, where he operated a general store on the Northern Turnpike, and some years later moved to Murrysville, where he was engaged In a similar business. In Murrysville he also purchased the celebrated "Pennsylvania Argus," a weekly newspaper widely circulated in Westmorland County, which he edited with his two sons, Major James M. Laird and Francis Van Buren Laird. A Jeffersonian Democrat, he exercised vigorous and wholesome influence in the public life of Westmoreland County through the columns of his paper, adopting a strong policy which was continued after his death by his sons, John Moore Laird married (first) at Steubenville, Ohio, Ellen May Mortan, who died not long afterward, leaving one child, a daughter, who was raised by Rev. Francis Laird and who later married George W. Hankey. John Moore Laird married (second) at Congruity, Rebecca Moore daughter of James Moore, but no relation to Judge Moore.
Francis Van Buren Laird, father of Judge Laird, was born at Murraysville, Westmoreland County, on December 30, 1840. As a young man he entered his father's printing office and while he was still in his twenties, took charge of "The Huntingdon Monitor:" published at Huntington. Pennsylvania. When his eye sight began to fail, however, he was obliged to relinquish his connection and for some time was employed as a member of the engineering corps on the old Panhandle West Penn and Baltimore and Ohio railroad.
Later he returned to his father's newspaper and served as business manager until his death. In his earlier years he was for a time deputy United States Martial and in later life served as a member and president of the Greensburg Borough Council.
He was always influential in the civic affairs of his community and frequently his support was a decisive factor in the success of those measures designed to advance the cause of civic progress. Francis Van Buren Laird married, on April 18, 1871, Hetty Drum Welty. daughter of Daniel and Mary Ann Drum Welty.
Her father merchant, and from 1866 to 1869 served as postmaster of Greensburg. Her mother was a granddaughter os Simon Drum Greensburg's first innkeeper, whose hotel was located at the southwest corner of West Pittsburgh and Main streets. A grandson of Simon Drum, General Richard C. Drum, served in the Mexican War and later became adjuntant-general of The United States Army.
Judge Richard Drum Laird named for his great uncle, General Drum, spent his entire boyhood in Greensburg, attending the local public schools, and after his graduation fron high school in 1891, he entered Grove City College. From this institution he was graduated in the class of 1894. Judge Laird studied law in the office of his uncle, Senator Harrison Perry Laird, who was associated in the fim of Laird and Keenan with Captain John B. Keenan. Both were eminent practitioners in their day. Under their expert guidance, Judge Laird qualified for the bar and was duly admitted to practice in 1898. Meanwhile, through a natural interest arising from the military tradition of the family, he enlisted as a private in Company 1, 10th Regiment National Guard, of Pennsylvania, an organization with a very distinguished military history, and later to become 10th Regiment Pennsylvania Volenteer Infantry in the Spanish American War. His uncle Major James Moore Laird, was its head for more than twenty years, He was not permitted to take the company to the Philippines during the Spanish American War but Judge Laird, then first lieutmant of company 1, accompanied his regiment across the Pacific and upon his return to the United States with his command, planned to enter the regular army as first lieutenant. This commission had tendred him, but at the request of his parents he declined the honor and began the practice of law.
Judge Laird quickly established his reputation at the bar and saw his practice grow steadily with passing years. He became an authority on banking and corporation law which, together with municipal law, constituted his prinapal field of practice. In these branches of law he was very successful.
Judge Laird served for twenty years as solicitor for Greensburg and other boroughs in the county. He was also for a considerable period a member of the Greensburg School Board In 1933 he entered the sphere of public service more actively, standing for election as district attorney. Successful at the polls, he took office for a four-year term and met his responsibilities with such distinction that he was marked for advancement.
Upon the death of Hon. Charles D. Copeland, late president judge of the Tenth Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Governor George H. Earle designated Judge Laird to fill the vacancy untill the next regular election. A few months later in 1937, he was elected for the full term. He was accorded the unusual tribute of nomination by both Democratic and Republian parties and recieved the largest vote ever cast for a judicial candidate in Westmoreland County. This evidence of high esteem and personal regard in which he was held by the people of the county was a natural consequence of his standing at the bar, his exemplary citizenship and the value placed upon his intellectual attainments and public spirit. It has been abundantly justified by his faithful administration of his judicial duties. An administration marked by impartial fairness a full consideration of the public interest and broad legal scholarship. Judge Laird continues on the bench, subordinating all other connections to the responsibilities of his office.
On November 15, 1904, Judge Richard Drum Laird married (first) Clara Dalbey, of Greensburg, who died on May 18, 1922. They were the parents of four children; 1. Rachel Dalbey, 2. Richard Drum, Jr. 3. Emily Drum, who married Nevin A Court Jr. 4. John Keenan. On June 6, 1936, Judge Laird married (second) Martha Elizabeth Ericson, of Greensburg.
As Always, John L. Snowden ==========================================================================