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The "most interesting ancestor" in the preceding article was SERGEANT GEORGE FLETCHER SEDWICK of Company K, Sixth U.S. Cavalry. His home, the town of Bruin, PA, in the northeast corner of Parker Twp., Butler Co., played an important role in the story of the Sedwick family and was one of the stopping-places of an old Maryland family that has seen its descendants move throughout the United States as the country expanded to the west. George Fletcher Sedwick's grandfather, THOMAS MANNING SEDWICK (1778-1847),1 a Maryland native, had moved his family to Butler, Butler Co., PA from Bedford, Bedford Co., PA following the War of 1812.2 George's father, WILLIAM THOMAS SEDWICK, had continued the northward migration-settling in Bruin in the 1830s. According to the family Bible,3 GEORGE FLETCHER SEDWICK was born on Saturday, 23 Feb 1833 at 5 o'clock P. M.4 He was the eldest child of WILLIAM THOMAS SEDWICK (10 May 1810-28 April 1879) and ELIZABETH FLETCHER (7 June 1812-15 Nov 1881).5
As far as can be determined, George lived in Bruin (or Martinsburg, as it was originally called) until adulthood.6 Eventually he and his parents relocated, but the small rural town was
1 Dates taken from the tombstone at North Cemetery, Butler, Butler Co., PA. Note that the tombstone is usually misread as 1817.
2 The Reverend B. F. Sedwick, Semi-centennial Sermon (Nashville, TN: Southern Methodist Publishing House, 1884), 5, 7.
3 See Appendix A-The Family Bible of the William Thomas and Elizabeth (Fletcher) Sedwick Family hereafter cited as Appendix A.
4 Birth Record, Appendix A. The bible record indicates that he was born in Lawrenceburg, Armstrong Co. Whether or not W. T. and Eliza were living in Lawrenceburg at George's birth or merely went there to be with a midwife or family member is unknown. By 1835 when their second child was born, the family appears to have been living in Bruin for certain because the bible indicates that Thomas Benjamin Sedwick was born "on Bear Creak, Butler Co." Lawrenceburg, now part of the city of Parker, was a town about four miles northeast of Bruin. It was brought into existence by the Bear Creek furnace - a charcoal blast furnace for the reduction of iron ore. The furnace stood on the north side of Bear Creek about three-quarters of a mile from the mouth of the stream. (The same creek ran Fletcher's and, later, Sedwick's mills in Bruin.) The furnace ran more or less successfully from before 1820 until 1840. River travelers to Parker's Landing came to Lawrenceburg to do their trading, as there was no town at the Landing. The village died out between 1840 and the oil boom of 1865--when it quickly burgeoned with the coming to the oil industry. By 1873, Lawrenceburg had become the second ward of Parker City. Robert Walter Smith, "Lawrenceburg," in History of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: Waterman, Watkins and Co., 1883), 578.
5 Dates are taken from the tombstones of W. T. and Eliza Sedwick from cemetery located next to the site of the former Presbyterian Church in Callensburg, Clarion County.
6 The 1870 census for Parker Twp shows that the family was still there some eight years after George's death (U.S. Census, 1870, Parker Twp, Butler Co., PA, National Archives (hereafter cited as N.A.), roll 1316: 380, line 3, dwelling 7, family 7.). According to family legend, however, with the coming of the oil industry to Bruin, W. T. sold his farm at a good price and retired to nearby Callensburg, Clarion Co. where he was reputed to walk about with a gold-handled cane. William and Elizabeth also owned a home at Miller's Eddy, Perry Twp., Armstrong Co., (several miles east of Bruin on the west bank of the Allegheny River across from West Monterey) in 1874 (Armstrong County deed book 46:103-104) that they owned at their deaths. In 1880, a year after W.T.'s death, Elizabeth is found as the head of the household that included her daughter Amanda C. Payne and children, in Callensburg, Clarion, Co., PA. (U.S. Census, 1880, Callensburg, Clarion Co., Pa., N.A., rol1 35: 25, e.d. 70, sheet 29, line 38.)
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