|Written by Administrator|
|Sunday, 16 May 2010|
Descendants of Lawrence Toohill (1810-?)
Lawrence Toohill was born in Ireland; his family immigrated to America early in the 19th century; by 1850 he and his wife Mary were living on their farm near the McGinnis farm in southern in Patton Township.
The Toohills were to have numerous children who, across several generations, were to become farmers, railroad workers, and prominent residents of the emerging Borough of Pitcairn. Over the years the Toohills have served the community in many ways, as was the case of Dr. John Tohill who served on the Pitcairn Board of Education.
For a time, the family owned a Newspaper Store at Wall Avenue and Broadway, and later a clothing store on Broadway. The family home on Wall Avenue, which they called “the Mansion,” became a well-known landmark in Pitcairn.
The Toohills were Irish Catholics and in the 1890s, when the local Catholic community wanted to build a new church, it was one of the sons of Lawrence Toohill, Michael (b.1837), who donated the land on Wall Avenue. The church was built in 1895, and a grateful congregation named it St. Michael Roman Catholic Church in tribute to the donor.
The Toolhills were to continue to be strong supporters of their parish church, The first pastor, Father Hugh C. Boyle, (later to become Bishop of Pittsburgh) recalled hitching his horse and buggy at the corner of Broadway and Wall Avenue and making his way through the muddy roads for Sunday breakfast the Toohill residence.
For many years, the organist for St. Michael was Blanche Toohill, who became a well-known concert pianist in her own right.
Pitcairn, Pa, 1894-1944: 50th Anniversary Souvenir Book.
Interview with Kevin Tohill, April 2010
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 01 June 2010 )|