|Written by Administrator|
|Wednesday, 12 May 2010|
Descendants of John McGinnis (1798-1847).
The McGinnis family came from Ireland and originally settled in Baltimore, where John McGinnis was born in 1798. In time the family moved to the Pittsburgh area where John was to become a farmer and eventually a successful tobacco merchant. In 1835 he bought some 300 acres of farm land east of Pittsburgh in the Turtle Creek Valley, and later married Eleanor Ramsey (1807-1890). In 1841 he began selling lots at the crossroads of Tilbrook and the Great State Road (today’s Route 130); a place he was to (modestly) name: “McGinnisville.” By 1844 the McGinnises were one of a small handful of families (including the Barrs, Nasers, Glews, and Walls) that resided within the borders of present-day Pitcairn
Many of the McGinnis children went on to make their own contributions to the developing community. His son, John C. McGinnis (1833-1917), would become a prominent businessman, lawyer, and borough solicitor; John’s brother, William Ramsey McGinnis (1833- 1874) became a successful famer and trader who would own several farms including one near Stewarts Station. In 1850, in what would become a prophetic event, John McGinnis sold a tract of land as a right-of-way to The Pennsylvania Railroad
The McGinnis homestead at 318 Wall Avenue, built by John C. McGinnis in 1899, became a well-known local landmark. With the advent of television in 1952, a cable was installed from an antenna on a hill overlooking the town to the McGinnis house which was then opened to the public so they might witness the miracle of improved television reception.
John C. McGinnis was one of the first trustees of the local Presbyterian Congregation; and when, in 1893, the family donated the land for a new town church it was christened the McGinnis Presbyterian Church after Eleanor McGinnis a devout Presbyterian. Pitcairn’s McGinnis Avenue also bears the name of the man who may well be named the town’s “Founding Father.”
History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (1889) Chicago: A. Warner & Company.
Pitcairn, Pa.: 75th Anniversary (1894-1969) Souvenir Book.
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 15 August 2010 )|