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Hugh B. Andrews has found a profitable field for his labors in Oil city, and as a well qualified builder and conscientious contractor has, while building up a thriving business, furthered the material improvements of the city to a notable degree. With many prosperous interests centered there, the demand for high-class services has afforded him desired opportunities for undertaking and executing substantial and attractive work, and there are many specimens of his handicraft in the city to testify to his ability and honorable fulfillment of contracts. As H. B. Andrews, general contractor, he has attained high standing among the men in his own line and those who have had occasion to avail themselves of his talents.

Mr. Andrews, in both paternal and maternal lines, belongs to old settled families of this part of Pennsylvania, his grandfather, Hugh B. Andrews, having lived and died in Mercer County, where he was engaged in farming. He was hardly middle-aged at the time of his death, and he is buried with his wife in the old U.P. Cemetery at Greenville, Mercer County. Her maiden name was Potter, and they had four sons, of whom Hugh and Thomas  went West when young men; John P. is mentioned below; Joseph  died near Sharon, Mercer County.

John P. Andrews, father of Hugh B. Andrews, was born in March, 1828, near Adamsville, Crawford Co., Pa., and spent most of his life in Mercer County. He learned the blacksmith’s trade and during his earlier life was also engaged for many years in boating on the Pittsburgh & Erie canal, living at Greenville, where he was engaged at his trade until ten years before his death, July 2, 1907. When he retired he removed into the country one and one-half miles east of Greenville, in West Salem Township, owning a small patch of ground on which he did gardening. He died there, and is buried with his wife in the new cemetery at Greenville. They attended the U.P. Church, and Mr. Andrews held to the principles of the Democratic party in politics. His wife was Elizabeth Sherbondy, who died April 21, 1886, aged forty-five years, five months, five days, the mother of eight children, namely: William of Greenville, Pa.; Hugh B.; David, deceased; Frank and John, both residents of Greenville; and Malissa, Rebecca and Laura, all three deceased.

David Sherbondy, Mr. Andrews’ great-great grandfather on the maternal side, was a pioneer of Mercer County, where he settled before the Indians had left the country. He received a grant of between seven hundred and eight hundred acres of land from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, all in the woods, and succeeded in clearing a large portion of it. Upon his death it was divided between two daughters and four sons, Mrs. Logan, Mrs. Mason, George, David, Philip and John. George lived on that part directly adjoining his brother David’s; Philip sold his interest and moved to Crawford County, where he bought another farm and resided until his death; John’s death was the result of an accident.

David Sherbondy, youngest son of David, received the old homestead with log house and log barn and 175 acres, which he cleared with the aid of his sons and improved greatly, building a new house and barn as prosperity enabled him to do so. He followed general farming all his life, living to the age of seventy-nine years, and his wife, Rebecca (Leininger), was about the same age at the time of her death. She was a daughter of David Leininger. Mr. and Mrs. Sherbondy favored the U.P. Church, and he was a Democrat in his political opinions. Of their children, Elizabeth married John P. Andrews; Henry received fifty acres of land north of the homestead; David J. obtained fifty acres and the homestead buildings; Mina, deceased, was the wife of James Loutzenhiser; Laura, deceased, was the wife of John Smith; two children died in infancy and were buried on the home farm. The parents are interred in the new cemetery at Greenville.

Hugh B. Andrews  was born Nov. 18, 1865, at Greenville, Mercer Co., Pa., where he attended school until ten years old. At that time he went to live in the home of his uncle, Henry Sherbondy, on a farm in Greene Township, same county, where he continued his education in the township schools and assisted on the farm, remaining there until nineteen years of age. Upon leaving the farm he served a three years’ apprenticeship to the carpenter’s trade, working for various contractors until he commended on his own account. He has had his share of important contracts in and around the city, the Henry I. Beers building, United Presbyterian Church and a number of very desirable residences being of his construction and comparing very favorable with the best work in this section. Mr. Andrews is well known in other relations, having taken an active part in city affairs, and he has the distinction of having been the first councilman ever elected there on the Prohibitionist ticket, representing the Ninth ward. He is a member of the First U.P. Church and a present trustee and fraternally he is an Odd Fellow, affiliated with Latonia Lodge, No. 1018, of Oil City, and the Encampment.

Mr. Andrews married Elizabeth Moreland, and they have one child, Ralph Moreland, born July 28, 1903, who is a junior in the Oil City high school.

Mrs. Andrews is a daughter of Robert Moreland, whose family has been established in Mercer County from the time of its earliest settlement. He engaged in farming during his young manhood, but while setting up the frame of a new barn in 1851 decided to go to California to try is fortune in the gold fields, starting the next day. He was absent nine years, during which time he was given up for dead by his family. His folks at home advertised for him all over the country, and were ready to sell out his property when he returned, a stranger visiting his camp in California having told him, upon learning his name, that the papers had notices regarding his disappearance. He left camp without delay and arrived home a day before the proposed sale. Continuing farming on his old property, which comprised 120 acres, he prospered, built a new house and band barn, and spent the rest of his life there, reaching the age of eighty-two years. Mr. Moreland married Mary Thompson, daughter of Hugh Thompson, of Greene Township, Mercer County, and she died many years before him, at the age of forty-five years. They are buried in Greenville cemetery. He was a Democrat and a member of the U.P. Church. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Moreland: Frank, who died when about three years old; Austie, of Cortland, Ohio; and Emma and Elizabeth (Mrs. Andrews), twins.

The following history  of the Moreland family was compiled for the Moreland family centennial, 1796-1896, the first family centennial celebration ever held in Greene Township, Mercer County, eight hundred and fifty people meeting in the picturesque grove on the farm of William and J. S. Moreland in honor of the occasion.

“In the North of Ireland, near the town of Coleraine, County Londonderry, lived John and Letitial Moreland. Their cottage and weaver’s sop stood on the bank of the Ban River. This honored couple were blessed with six sons, Isaac, William, Alexander, John, James and Robert, and two daughters, Margaret and Elizabeth. They were the direct descendants of the study Scotch Presbyterians, their forefathers having fled from Scotland to Ireland during King James’ persecution, and nearly all their descendants have been adherents of some branch of the same church.

“As their family grew to manhood and womanhood it became plain to all of them that their environment would seriously interfere with their desire to become independent men and women. ‘America, the land of the free and the home of the brave,’ caught and held their attention. Money to pay passage, however, was not easily obtained. Isaac, the eldest son, was apprenticed to a weaver in Scotland, with whom he served two years. He worked three years more before he could save enough money to pay passage for himself and his brother William to Philadelphia. In 1793 they took passage on the ship ‘Little Mary.’ Their captain loved strong drink and sacrificed the lives of many of his passengers by sailing is ship in the wrong direction. They voyage should have been made in about twelve weeks, but to the sore distress of all on board, it occupied twenty-one weeks. They were reduced to a half pint of flour and a pint of water each per day.

“After working for a time in Philadelphia, they came to Westmoreland County, where they were employed until 1796, when they came to that part of Mercer County where the centennial was held to honor our ancestors. They cleared a piece of land near the stone house during the first summer. In the fall of 1797 Isaac went to Philadelphia and made arrangements for the rest of the family to come to the new home. He started to return, but owing to heavy rainfalls the rivers were so swollen that he was compelled to remain until spring. All this long winter William lived alone, near this very place, with no companions save bears, wolves and Indians, the latter being the most unwelcome of all. In 1798 the whole family removed from Ireland, and after stopping for a short time in Westmoreland County, at the home of their uncle, Isaac McKissick, they came to this place. While in Westmoreland County a long dreaded sorrow befell them in the death of James.

 “Had not these pioneers heeded the Scriptural injunction, ‘It is not good for a man to be alone,’ we would not be here to-day enjoying the fruits of their labors. They were married as follows: Isaac to  Lillias Mossman; William to Jane Minto; Alexander to Nancy Wilson; John to Martha McGill; Robert to Martha Mahan; Margaret to  Thomas Smith, and Elizabeth to William Hanna. In this particular their descendants have not closely followed their good example.

“In 1797 Isaac and William Moreland each took up a tract of land containing eight hundred fifty acres, for which they paid two thousand dollars. Their father settled one hundred acres, and John and Alexander each the same amount. Robert bought one hundred and fifty acres east of Jamestown. A large portion of the land settled by our honored ancestors is still owned by their descendants. And so we think it fitting that we meet on this, the centennial of their advent, to do honor to their memory.”

Source: (Venango County  Pennsylvania, Her Pioneers and People,  Vol II,  Chicago, J.H. Beers & Co.,1919, pps. 1028 - 1030.  Submitted by Penny Kulbacki)

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