The following is my transcription of the biography of Reuben H. Meek, taken from pages 124 and 125 in the “Commemorative Biographical Record.“
COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD
[Last paragraphs of another unrelated biography]
REUBEN H. MEEK. Among the sturdy Scotch who came from Edinburgh, Scotland, to America before the Revolutionary war, was Rebert Meek and his family, who located in Maryland. From there six of his sons enlisted in the war of Independence, and three of them gave up their lives for their country. John and William were taken prisoners, and while their fate was never definitely known, it was generally supposed they were among the victims that were fed on lime bread. Jonathan Wales, their body servant, as he was called, watched the prison until he saw two boxes of unusual length carried out; then he was convinced they were dead, as the Meeks were remarkably tall, one being six feet seven inches, and the other six feet four inches high. A third brother, Robert, was killed in battle.
Capt. George Meek entered the service with his brothers. The father, Robert Meek, owned property in Cumberland county in 1761. The family of George Meek lived near Lewistown (now Miflin county) in 1780, and he came into Centre county with James Harris on a surveying expedition in 1784. On the 21st of January, 1790, he took up a tract of land in Ferguson township, which is still owned by the Meeks. His children were: Mary, John, Robert, David, William, Sarah, Isabella and Jane.
William married Elizabeth Breckinridge, whose family had settled in Huntingdon county about three miles southeast of McConnellstown, on the road leading from Huntingdon to Bedford, and where the father, eldest sister and younger brother had been murdered by the Indians. He settled on that part of his father’s tract now known as the David G. Meek farm, and died in 1806, leaving his wife and four sons and a daughter born three months after the father’s death. The children were: John B., born June 5, 1797, died in Washington, D. C., November 28, 1868; George W., born September 14, 1799, died May 27, 1877; Reuben H.; William.; and Harriet Jane, who married James McCartney, and died in Bolivar, Penn., in I881.
Reuben Heron, the third child of William and Elizabeth Breckinridge Meek, was born on the 6th of October, 1801, at his father’s home in Ferguson township. His mother, a woman of wonderful energy and ability, coveted for her children a good education, and gave them the best she could; John and Reuben were sent to Lewistown to school, but she compelled her boys, each one, except George, who looked after the farm, to learn a trade. Reuben she apprenticed to a blacksmith. Some time after learning his trade he went to Philipsburg where he taught school, and studied with his brother John, who lived there. He began the study of medicine in the office of Dr. Lorraine; but was obliged ﬁnally to give up his cherished plan of becoming a physician, on account of his health, broken by sickness. In 1832 he married Mary Ann Gray, youngest daughter of Peter Gray, one of the pioneers of Patton township, and settled on a part of the old Gray homestead, where he lived until his death, March 7, 1873.
Few men are endowed with a nature so affectionate and lovable, a mind so clear and bright, an exceptional memory, a personality pleasing and attractive, and so great a love of humor. Fond of books, he was a careful and a constant
COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
reader, an excellent talker, and his sweet voice and genial presence linger yet in the memory of those who “heard him sing at camp meetings, address an assembly, or relate a good story. As long as he lived he was genuinely kind to every one, and ever considerate of others. His home, ever a pleasant meeting place for his friends, was always open to the needy and distressed. In politics he was an ardent Democrat, and loved his party; but his devotion to its principles were actuated by honest conviction. He never aspired to an ofﬁce nor would he accept any. Converted at the age of seventeen, he was a thorough and loyal and lifelong Methodist, especially concerned about immortal things, holding both God and man near his heart, and giving himself out in the interest of both. He was instrumental in organizing the ﬁrst Sabbath-school in Half Moon Valley, and was devoted to the work always.
On April 14th, ﬁve weeks after his death, his wife died, in the ﬁfty-sixth year of her age. She was well known for her beauty in her younger days, and all through her life, hospitality, gentleness, unselfishness and devotion to duty distinguished her character.
[First paragraphs of another unrelated biography.]
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