The 1812 Immigrants from Ballyleese, Ireland, to Washington County, Pennsylvania

Biographies of Robert and David McIlravy, sons of Hugh (1791-1879), Robert Creighton, son-in-law of Hugh (1791-1879), and Dr. D.L. McIlravy, grandson of Hugh (1791-1879)

These particular biographies are reprinted here because they include information about Hugh (1791-1879) McIlravy and his first wife Eleanor Quigley that is not available elsewhere. Also, the biography of Dr. Dawson L. McIlravy provides information about his father, Dr. William Q. McIlravy, not documented elsewhere. Note that data in square brackets are clarifications and corrections to known errors in the original texts that I have added. GJF

Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Illinois", Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, 1886.

is one of Knox County's successful farmers, residing on Section 8, Victoria Township. He was born in Harrison County, Ohio, March 1, 1835, and is the son of Hugh and Ellen (Quigley) McIlravy. The father [Hugh] was a native of Ireland, and arrived in New York on June 17, 1812. The mother was a native of the Keystone State [Pennsylvania]. They were the parents of seven children, three of whom survive and who bear the names of David, Nancy and Robert. The mother [Ellen] of our subject died in Ohio in 1852 [1857]. The senior Mr. McIlravy [Hugh] came to Illinois June 11, 1866 [1867], and located at Victoria, where he purchased a half interest in 80 acres of fertile land. In 1877, he disposed of this property and made his home with his son, Robert, until his demise, which occurred March 20, 1878 [1879], at the venerable age of 88 years and 8 days.

The gentleman of whom this brief sketch is given remained at home with his parents until 26 years of age, in the interim assisting his father upon the farm and attending the common school. In the year 1863, our subject came to Illinois, settling in Piatt County, where, with his brother, David, he purchased 217 acres of good farm land, and engaged extensively in farming and stock-raising. After a stay of one year upon this, he disposed of it and came to Knox County, making his home in Victoria Township, where he had purchased 160 acres on section 8, in partnership with his brother David. Three years later, Mr. McIlravy bought his brother's interest in the property, of which he has since been the sole owner, and where he has since been occupied in the joint business of stock and grain raising. When our subject came to this county he was penniless, and what he has of this world's goods, and a goodly portion it is, he has attained through unflinching perseverance and by practicing the closest economy. As a result of these admirable traits of character, he has known no such word as fail, and may truly be called a self-made man. He erected the store in Victoria now occupied by Mr. Coleman, and put in the same a stock of goods valued at $3,500. This business he carried on about three months, when he sold out to Messrs. Coleman & Robinson.

Our subject was married on June 20, 1861 to Miss Sarah West, who died on the 20th of August, one year later and for his second wife he chose Miss Mary E. The accomplished daughter of John and Matilda (Robinson) Garrett, to whom he was married October 11, 1866. Her parents were natives of Indiana and came to the Prairie State in 1840, making settlement in this county. Mrs. Garrett died in 1870. She was the mother of ten children, four of whom are living, Fannie E., Mary E., Leah A., and Ora M. Four children have been born to Mr. McIlravy and are Jesse O., Chauncy D., Fannie M. and Fred.

Mr. McIlravy in politics votes with the Republican party. He has held the office of Township Assessor four terms, and also that of School Trustee, and is one of the respected and honored citizens of this county and a good representative of the agricultural class.

Biographical History of Montgomery and Adams Counties, Iowa. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1892.

was born in Harrison county, Ohio, February 1, 1829. His father, Hugh McIlravy, was a native of county Antrim, Ireland, and a son of Hugh C., also a native of that county. The family came to America in 1812 and settled in Washington county, Pennsylvania, where the grandfather of our subject died. Hugh McIlravy learned the trade of bricklayer, which he followed for a number of years. He married Ellen [Eleanor] Quigley, a native of Washington county, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of John Quigley. In 1868 [1867] he moved to Knox county, Illinois, where he died at the age of eighty-eight years and eight days. His education had been received in the schools of Ireland, and after his arrival in this country he was in politics a Whig and later a Republican; in religion, a Presbyterian, having served as elder of the church for more than forty years. His wife had preceded him to the other world, her death having occurred in Harrison county, Ohio, in 1863 [1857]. Their family consisted of six sons and one daughter, of whom two sons and the latter are now living, viz.: Robert, of Knox county, Illinois; David, our subject; and Nancy Jane Creighton, Carl township, this county.

David McIlravy was reared on a farm in Harrison county, Ohio, and educated in the public schools of the Buckeye State. He was married in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, June 27, 1865, to Miss Sarah Elizabeth True, daughter of Isaac and Mary (Masters) True. Her father was born in Delaware, a son of Thomas True, of Scotch ancestry, and her mother in Tuscarawas, Ohio, daughter of Isaac Masters. They had seven children, one son and six daughters. The mother died in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, when Mrs. McIlravy was ten years old, and her father still lives at that place, at this writing, aged seventy-five years. He is an honored citizen of Tuscarawas county, and a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Mr. McIlravy lived in Ohio, engaged in farming until 1865, when he moved to Knox county, Illinois, and settled near Victoria. In 1880 he came to Adams County, Iowa, and bought his present farm in section 4, Carl township. By the expenditure of much time and labor he has highly improved his farm until it is ranked among the best in the township. His dwelling, a story and a half cottage, with bay windows and porches, beautifully located and surrounded with fine lawn and shade trees, is one of the attractive places to be seen in this vicinity. A three-acre orchard, grove and 100 rods of Osage hedge are among the other improvements which enhance the value of this property.

Mr. and Mrs. McIlravy have six children, whose names are as follows: Mary E., wife of James Arnold of this county; William Q., Isaac Homer, John D., Chauncy R. and Olin Fremont. They lost one son, Charlie, who died in Knox county, Illinois, at the age of sixteen months. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in politics he affiliates with the Republican party.

Biographical History of Montgomery and Adams Counties, Iowa. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1892.

was born in Stark county, Ohio, April 2, 1835, son of James and Elizabeth (Sidle) [Seidel] Creighton, the former a native of Ireland [to Penn. in 1792], and the latter born in Pennsylvania, the daughter of German parents. Mr. Creighton was brought up to farm work in his native county, and received a limited education in the public schools. In 1855 he went to Stark County, Illinois, where he lived for some years. His father died in Ohio at the age of eighty-eight years [1866]. He was a farmer all his life. Politically he was a Whig, and religiously a Presbyterian, having served for many years as a deacon in the church. The mother died at Indianola, Warren county, Iowa, in 1885, aged seventy-six years. They reared a large family, and five of their sons served in the late war. Robert M. enlisted in August, 1862, in the One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois Infantry Volunteers, and served until he was honorably discharged, June 20, 1865. He was in the battles of Knoxville, Resaca, Atlanta, Franklin, Nashville, Wilmington (North Carolina), and the East Tennessee raid. For ten months he served as a cavalryman. At Knoxville, Tennessee, his horse falling, he received serious injury to his right leg, from the effects of which he has never recovered. He now receives a small pension.

After the war Mr. Creighton returned to Illinois and engaged in farming in Knox county. In 1881 he came to Adams county, Iowa, and bought the old Robinson farm, as it was called, and here he has since lived. This farm is located in section 12, Carl township, and comprises eighty acres of rich land. It has a nice grove and orchard and other improvements.

September 13, 1866, in Stark [Tuscarawas] county, Ohio, Mr. Creighton wedded Miss Nancy Jane McIlravy. Her father, Hugh McIlravy, was born in Ireland, came to America in 1812, and died at Victoria, Illinois, at the age of eighty-nine years [1879]. Her mother, nee Ellen [Eleanor] Quigley, a native of Pennsylvania, died March 28, 1857 [Harrison County, PA]. Mr. and Mrs. Creighton have three children: Elizabeth Ellen, William M. [Murray] and Ida K.[Katie] J. [Jane] Miss Elizabeth E. is a member of the Congregational Church.

Mr. Creighton affiliates with the Republican party, and is a member of the G. A. R., Post No. 35.

Portrait and Biographical Record, Stark County, Ohio. Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1892.


The medical profession is represented in this county by a number of men of widely extended knowledge of the principles of therapeutics, skill in their use and practical application, and a reputation for success in their chosen field of labor. Prominent among this class is Dr. McIlravy, who is residing in Magnolia, and was born in this county September 25, 1851. He is a son of Dr. William Q. McIlravy, a native of Pennsylvania, the year of his birth being 1823. Grandfather Hugh McIlravy was born in Scotland [Ireland], and came to America when a young man. he was a stone-mason by trade, and upon coming to this country located in Harrison County, this State, where he lived for a time, and then removed to Victoria, Knox County, Ill., where he spent his last days.

The father of our subject, who was a physician of the regular school, was engaged in practice as early as 1848 in Magnolia, where he at once began to build up a trade that grew with the growth in population, and ere long gave him plenty of work. He was only allowed to continue his labors for ten years, and died in 1858. He was very successful as a physician, and was ranked among the best in this county. he was a Republican in politics, and although a very busy man, always found time to devote to local affairs and was well liked by his fellow-townsmen.

The maiden name of our subject's mother was Rebecca Van Buskirk, and she was a native of Pennsylvania. She reared a family of two children, the sister of D. L. being Carrie B., he married W. S. Tidrich, and resides in Des Moines, Iowa. They have one son, Glen. Mrs. McIlravy [Rebecca] was a member of the Methodist Church and always active in all good works. She was sixty-five years of age when called hence. Our subject remained in his native county until six years of age, when he was taken to New Cumberland, Tuscarawas County, where he was given an excellent education, and later supplemented the knowledge gained there by a two years course at Scio College. He then taught school for five years, in the meantime carrying on his studies and reading medicine with Dr. E. P. Buell, of New Philadelphia. Later, he attended a course of lectures at the Ohio Medical College in Cincinnati, and in 1879 entered the University of the City of New York, from which institution he was graduated in the spring of 1880. During that year he took a special course in surgery, chemistry, and anatomy, and on receiving his diploma returned to Magnolia, where he established himself in the practice of his profession.

Dr. McIlravy in May, 1881, was married to Miss Cora B. Sherretts, who was born in New Cumberland, this State, January 3, 1861. They have one child, a daughter, Maude. The Doctor stands very high in the medical fraternity, and has been very successful in alleviating suffering and prolonging life, and has received the merited reward of a fair share of this world's goods. This he has invested in such a way as to prove his financial tact, and the result is that he has a handsome income. He is the owner of a quarter-section of valuable land in Boone County, Iowa, which he rents to a good tenant. In politics, he is a believer in the principles advocated by the Republican party, and socially he is a member of the Stark County Academy of Medicine. He occupies a comfortable residence, which is fitted up in a style suited to the means and tastes of its inmates. As has been seen by these brief notes, Dr. McIlravy has made his own way in life and is therefore more worthy of commendation.

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