William Ferris Aull
From Pa. Senators in the Civil War
William Aull was born in Charlestown, Portage County, Ohio, April 9, 1848, the son of James and Phoebe (Ferris) Aull, a descendant of Philadelphia Revolutionary War veteran John Aull, and William Aull, chief construction contractor of the National Road. The Senator received his early education in the public schools of Allegheny City and Philadelphia. He ran away from home in 1863 (while living in Philadelphia) at age fifteen and enlisted with a regiment of “emergency men,” deployed to patrol the Cumberland Valley. After 20 days, he attempted to enlist in a Pa. Reserve unit but was denied because of his minor age and the refusal of his parents’ consent. He persuaded a stranger to pose as his legal guardian, enlisting in Dec. 1863, in the 89th Regt., PVI, 8th Pa. Cavalry for three years. His father convinced Philadelphia Congressman William Kelley to arrange his son’s honorable discharge by Special Order, March 30, 1864. His parents sent William to live with relatives in Ohio, hoping that his “war fever” would subside. He ran away again, enlisting with the 171st Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Co. K, mustered in May 2, 1864, Sandusky, Ohio, private, 100-day service. Private Aull initially served guard and fatigue duty on Johnson’s Island; was deployed to Covington, Kentucky; fought at Keller’s Bridge; was attacked by Morgan’s Raiders, survived the bloody skirmish but was captured and paroled, and returned to Johnson’s Island where he mustered out on Aug. 20, 1864. After the war, he graduated from Iron City Commercial College, Pittsburgh; pursued studies in civil engineering; was appointed Asst. City Engineer of Pittsburgh, 1867; “attorney in fact” and general agent representing the extensive Denny Estate; Pittsburgh City Council, 1873-1879; Lt. Col., Pa. National Guard, 1870; commanded the 18th Regt. National Guard during the 1877 anthracite riots; and served as a Republican in the state Senate, 1881-1884. He married Anna Martin of Chester County, 1868. Senator Aull died, September 10, 1923.
(Top Rt.) Portrait, Percy Smith, Notable Men of Pittsburgh and Vicinity (Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh Printing Co., 1901) 332; also: Biographical Review: containing life sketches of leading citizens of Pittsburgh and the vicinity (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Co., 1897) 210-212.