Thursday, September 15, 2011

EmigranThursday - William Chisholm

Welcome to this week’s EmigranThursday featuring William Chisholm of Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Biographical information about him appeared on page 338 in the History of Cuyahoga County published by D.W. Ensign & Co in 1879.

Last week's emigrant was Henry Chisholm. Now read William Chisholm's sketch. Now only using the two biographies from the county history, what do you notice about these two men? Post your thoughts in the comments sections. Or if you're shy (and if I weren't the blogger, I would definitely fall in this category), just note your thoughts on a piece of paper.  Next week I will post your thoughts, mine and what I have found on and FamilySearch. I've not looked yet...

William Chisholm: The subject of this sketch was born on the 12th of August, 1825, in the village of Lochgelly, Fifeshire, Scotland. His father, who was in moderate circumstances, died when he was about seven years of age. His educational advantages were limited, but of a practical character, and consisted of such knowledge as he would be most likely to need in making his way in the world. When twelve and a half years of age he was apprenticed to learn the dry-goods business with a merchant in Kirkaldy, a seaport town on the Firth of Forth. Finding this occupation unsuited to his tastes and having an ardent desire to see something of the world, he, after two years or more spent in Kirkaldy, engaged his services to a ship owner as a sailor. He left his native land in September, 1840, and joined the ship "Burley," of Glasgow, at Antwerp, Holland. He sailed in this vessel for a period of four and a half years, making voyages from England, Scotland and Ireland to South America, the East Indies, Australia, the West Indies and the coasts of Nicaragua and Central America. Subsequently he was engaged on different vessels, stopping at the principal American Atlantic ports between the mouth of the Mississippi river and the gulf of St. Lawrence.

Becoming weary of this life he, in September, 1847, abandoned the sea, after just seven years of active service, during which he had filled the various positions on a ship, from that of cabin boy to that of chief officer. He then settled in Montreal, Canada, where he remained five years, carrying on the business of a builder and contractor. At the expiration of that time he removed to Cleveland, Ohio, and thence to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Returning to Cleveland in 1857, he has since then been engaged there as a contractor in building railroads, bridges, docks, etc.

In 1860 he built works and commenced the manufacture of spikes, bolts, rivets, horseshoes, etc., and in 1871 organized what is known as the Union Steel Screw Company, now in operation. He has also recently engaged, in connection with his sons, in the manufacture of steel shovels, spades, scoops and forks. For the last quarter of a century he has been largely interested and actively engaged in coal and iron mines, and in the manufacture of the products of the latter.

In 1876 and '77 Mr. Chisholm traveled extensively in Europe, revisiting his native town in Scotland after an absence of thirty-seven years. His life has been distinguished by a varied experience such as is allotted to but few, and from early youth he has been compelled to depend upon his own exertions, to which, with the aid of a kind Providence, he owes his success. He has not been entirely absorbed in the care of his extensive business, but has ever been ready to lend a helping hand to the needy and suffering, and, as a member of the Baptist Church, has contributed liberally to the support of that society, as well as to other religious institutions and to charitable objects. He was married in 1848 to Catharine Allan, a native of Dumferline, Scotland, daughter of Wilson B. Allan. By this union he has had seven children. Of this family only four are now living, three sons and one daughter.

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