Friday, November 27, 2009

John and Agnes Childs, my paternal Gr Grandparents

John Worrell Marshall Childs entered this world January 1, 1838 in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, second son of Lorenzo and Ann Caroline (Marshall) Childs. He was given his maternal gandfather’s full name, John Worrell Marshall, to honor Ann Caroline’s recently deceased father (d. 1833). Brooklyn remained Lorenzo’s home for the next few years until the family moved to Pittsburgh and then to Fallston, Beaver County, Pennsylvania.

Agnes Baxter Ecoff was born 28 January 1848 in Rochester, Beaver County, Pennsylvania to Margaret (Alman) and Ralph Ecoff, both long time Pennsylvanians. I have no knowledge of Agnes’s childhood. As an aside, my sister Miriam’s casket lies immediately on top of Margaret (Alman) Ecoff’s casket. The plan was to move Miriam when the family purchased a burial plot. Three months later, Grandmother Holt died, a plot was purchased and here we are, 88 years later, and Miriam is still with Gr-Gr-Grandmother Ecoff. May they both rest in eternal peace.

On the 30th of September, 1869 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, John and Agnes married. Why Pittsburgh, I’m really not sure. John joined his father, Lorenzo, in the machinery business in Smith’s Ferry, Beaver County, Pennsylvania. One year later, 30 September 1870, John Worrell Marshall Childs, Jr. arrived on the scene followed by daughter Grace in January, 1875, Agnes Gertrude, my Grandmother, 6 December 1879, and finally, Blanche in July, 1883. The family was now complete

The business prospered and John built a lovely home there for his family on the banks of the beautiful Ohio River. This was before all the dams were built on the river and each spring during run-off the river could be very treacherous as witnessed by this picture of John’s and Agnes’s home after one of those rambunctious spring floods.

John, working closely with his father, Lorenzo, over the few short years before Lorenzo's untimely death in 1864, acquired Lorenzo's highly developed entrepreneurial bent. The business grew exponentially during the years of his stewardship. The business exists to this day, although much diminished in scope. John died February 5, 1920 and his beloved wife, Agnes, survived him living until June 25, 1931. They are buried in the Childs plot in Beaver Cemetery, Beaver, Pennsylvania.

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