Silas H. Logan

Not much is known about my 2nd great grandfather, Silas H. Logan.  As I wrote on his son’s blog, James Lemuel Logan, from the History of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Memoirs – Illustrated – Vol. II 

“Silas Logan, father of James L. Logan, of Vandergrift, born about 1825, in Corry, Erie county, Pennsylvania, and as a young man went to Wisconsin, then situated on the frontier.  He settled among the Indians, but after a shore time returned to Pennsylvania, having made both the outward and homeward trips by wagon.  On his return he settled in Titusville, where he engaged in the oil business, later removing to Blairsville, where he did some oil prospecting.  Subsequently he took up his abode in Greensburg, and some time in the eighties went to Detroit, where he has since resided on a farm in the suburbs.  Mr. Logan married Elizabeth Rowan, and the following are their children:  James L., see forward: Henry, head bookkeeper for the American Harrow Company, of Detroit: Elsie, and Lena, both at home.”

Although the above article says he was born in Pennsylvania, five of the census records say he was born in New York, while his death record says Ohio.  Regardless, he was born to Lemuel H. Logan and Lois Louise Bean on 10 Mar 1833.  He was the second child of eight whole siblings and four half siblings.  By the age of four, they had moved to Pennsylvania from New York where five of his siblings were born by the time he was 16.

At the age of 17, his sister Mary Jane died.  She was only 4 yrs, 5 mos. and 18 days old.  Seven days later, his brother Herman died as well.  He was just 7 months old.  We don’t know why they died although there was an influenza epidemic during that year.

Two years later, his brother Ryland was born.  Silas was 19.  Just twenty four days later, his mother, Lois, dies.  We can only guess that she had difficulty recovering after the birth of Ryland.  This same year, 1852, there was a Yellow Fever epidemic.

In 1859, records show Silas married my 2nd great grandmother, Sarah Elizabeth Rowan, in Wisconsin when she was 16.  Here is where our great grandfather, Lemuel, was born.  Silas farmed land with his in-laws for about a year before moving to Pennsylvania to begin working for the railroad.  The 1870 census shows him as an engineer living in Oil Creek, Pennsylvania, his sister in law’s family’s land (John Bean married Clara Armitage and they owned Oil Creek).  His other brother, Stephen, is shown as an “Oil Producer” in the same area and same time period.

1872 General directory for the oil regions of Pennsylvania for 1872-73

In 1879, his daughter Birdie was born in New York.  And, a year later they are back in Pennsylvania.  The census shows he only works the railroad 6 months out of the year so he must have been doing the oil prospecting the other 6 months; traveling back and forth by wagon during this time.

By the 1900’s, Silas and his family are farming in Michigan and they remain in Michigan until his death in 1917 at age 84 of Bronchopneumonia.  He is buried at Union Corners Cemetery in Troy, Oakland County, Michigan.

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