CLAWSON. The Clawson Family of Indiana county has been settled here for over a century, and its members in every generation have been respected and useful citizens, a credit to the community and to the honored name they bear.
Benjamin Clawson, the first of the family in this part of the State, was born Aug. 27, 1781, in Huntingdon county, Pa., son Richard and Sarah (Mitchell) Clawson. He grew to manhood there, and came to western Pennsylvania when a young man, about the close of the eighteenth century, crossing the Alleghenies and making a settlement in what is now Blacklick township, Indiana county, then, however, a part of Westmoreland county. He became the owner of a large tract of land in what was a that time a wilderness, and experienced the various phases of pioneer life. He engaged in general farming and made what improvements he could upon his land, residing there until his death, which occurred when he was past eighty years of age. He is buried in Hopewell Church cemetery in Blacklick township. Mr. Clawson was twice married, the first time Feb. 21, 1811, to Mrs. Mary (Donahey) Lowers, widow of Robert Lowers, by which union there were six children, born as follows: Richard B., Dec. 15, 1811; Mary, Nov. 16, 1814 (married Samuel Bennett); Sarah, Sept. 10, 1816 (married John Clawson); William, Sept. 1, 1818 (died in infancy); William (2), Oct. 6, 1819 (also died young); Benjamin, Oct. 10, 1824. After the death of his first wife Mr. Clawson married, Dec. 1, 1838, Mary Huffman. There were no children by this marriage.
Richard B. Clawson, eldest son of Benjamin and Mary Clawson, was born Dec. 15,1811. What education he received was obtained in the subscription schools then conducted, but for only a few months in the year. He grew to manhood in the township of his birth, and like his father made farming his occupation, his industrious and frugal habits enabling him to add to his possessions until he was one of the largest land owners in this part of the county, having upward of a thousand acres, part of which was in Green township. There his daughters and sons-in-laws settled. He spent all his life in Blacklick township, dying there in June, 1896, and was buried in the family plot in Hopewell cemetery. He was a member of the Hopewell M. E. Church, and in political belief a Democrat. On Dec. 15, 1831, Mr. Clawson was married to Rachel Davis, whose ancestors were natives of New England. She died in July, 1897, in Blacklick township, and is buried in Hopewell cemetery. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Clawson: Benjamin, born July 11, 1833, is mentioned below; Eunice, born Aug. 16, 1835, died Feb. 27, 1838; Mary Ann, born March 31, 1838, married John Donahey and settled in Green township, where she died; Silas, born July 22, 1840, died March 2, 1858, Gere, born July 31, 1847, is mentioned below; Rebecca, born March 8,1852, married Benjamin Donahey and resided in Green township; Cynthia, born March 25,1860, died aged seventeen years.
Benjamin Clawson was born on the old Clawson homestead in Blacklick township and attended the local public schools. Working with his father, who owned and operated over six hundred acres at that time, he became thoroughly familiar with farm work and management, and after starting out for himself became the owner of a tract of ? acres. He followed stock raising as well as general farming, and made extensive improvements upon his property during hi active years, working hard and prospering deservedly. His well-directed labors and intelligent attention to all the details of his work placed him among the foremost farmers of his township, and few of its citizens have been more thoroughly respected for substantial worth and useful lives. In the last few years he ahs given up arduous work, enjoying the fruits of his early industry in comfortable retirement. He has never taken any part in the public affairs of his locality, supporting the Democratic party but not associating himself with any of its activities. However, he has been a leading member and worker of the Hopewell M. E. Church, at present serving as trustee and superintendent of the Sunday school.
On Oct. 12, 1897, Mr. Clawson was united in marriage with Caroline Ferguson, a native of Blacklick township, daughter of Elliott and Hulda (Clawson) Ferguson. They have had one child, Anna Mary, born July 16, 1898, who graduated from the township school in 1912, and is now, attending high school at Blairsville. Mrs. Clawson is also a member of the Hopewell M. E. Church. She is noted in the neighborhood for her generous disposition and whole-souled nature, her good deeds and kindliness making her generally beloved. Besides looking after her own family she cares for two children of her deceased sister.
Gere Clawson, younger brother of Benjamin Clawson, was born July 31, 1847 on the Clawson homestead, and received a public school education. He worked with his father until he reached manhood. And when he commenced farming on his who account settled on a 300-acre tract near Hopewell Church. Though he died in his early prime, Nov. 22. 1885, he had made remarkable progress and was a prosperous farmer and stock raiser. Besides the place already mentioned, he owned a second place of 150 acres on Steward's run, known as the Sutton farm, which he bought, and which is now owned and operated his son Boyd. Mr. Clawson is interred in Hopewell cemetery. He took no part in politics, though an interested member of the Democratic party, but he was an earnest member of the Hopewell M. E. Church and a leader in all its activities, serving as class leader and steward. He was a man of the highest moral character and strict integrity, temperate in all his habits, and noted for his fidelity to every obligation. He married Feb. 26, 1874 at Livermore, Pa., Margaret Ellen Long, daughter of Jesse M. and Sarah (Smith) Long, and they became the parents of six children, namely: Boyd is mentioned below; Benjamin Milton, born Nov. 14, 1876, is a farmer of Blacklick township; Jesse Knox, born Jan 10, 1879, is a farmer of Blacklick township; George, born March 3, 1881, is a farmer in that township; Cynthia Augusta, born Nov. 4, 1882, married Wesley Cover; Rachel, born Aug. 14, 1884, is the wife of David Creamer. After the death of Mr. Clawson his widow married Charles Creamer, son of Thompson Creamer, and by that marriage had four children, born as follows: Zora, Nov. 13, 1890; William Kebler, Feb. 5, 1892, Sarah Ann, April 16,1894: Mabel, Nov. 5, 1895.
Boyd Clawson, son of Gere and Margaret Ellen (long) Clawson, was born on the homestead Dec. 3, 1874, and attended public school in the home locality. When his father died he was but eleven years old, and he continued to live on the farm with his other until he reached the age of seventeen, when he went to the home of his uncle Benjamin Clawson, on Steward's run in Blacklick township, passing the next three years there. Then married and settled on the Sutton farm, tract of 10 acres which his father had bought and there he has had his home for the last eighteen years. In addition to general farming he has engaged in stock raiding to some extent, and since 1904 has been extensively interested in dairying, shipping his milk to Pittsburg. He built a silo and has other modern arrangements for giving his stock proper care, having a fine herd of Holstein which have proved very profitable. Mr. Clawson is up to date in his work, as the successful dairyman of today must be, and his thrift and careful detail of his surroundings. He is a good citizen, interesting himself in the general welfare, has served his township as school director for five years, and is a valued member of the Presbyterian Church in which he has served as trustee for fifteen years. In politics he is a Republican, present favoring Progressive principles.
On Dec. 20, 1894, Mr. Clawson married Mary Alice Fritz, a native of Blacklick township, daughter of Conrad Fritz, and they have two
children, Blair Fritz and Will Gere. Mrs. Clawson is a woman of high accomplishments, a talented musician and successful music teacher.