John C Plumer
Portrait and Bio: Albert, History of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, 1888, 662-665
Born on November 28, 1788, Puckety, Westmoreland County, the son of George and Margaret (Lowrey) Plumer, John’s parents relocated near Sewickley Creek, Forks of the Youghioheny in 1791, constructing the “Plumer Homstead.” John was self educated and pursued the frontier trading business, traveling the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, eventually leasing a schooner to sail out of New Orleans for Havana, trading for coffee cargo, bound for Philadelphia. In December 1812, he enlisted as an orderly sergeant under Captain Joseph Markley, participating in the Battle of Mississinewa and the Siege of Fort Miegs. He mustered out in August 1813, returning to Westmoreland County, settling in Robbstown about 1815, with his first wife Elizabeth Pearis of Allegheny County. He purchased a gristmill and sawmill from his brothers, building a successful trade; aided the commercial navigation of the Youghioheny by spearheading a dam construction project; and is otherwise credited as the force behind construction of the Robbstown Bridge. He was appointed justice of the peace in 1819; served as a federal inspector at West Point; served in the state House of Representatives, 1830; and in the state Senate, 1839-1842. In the Senate, he distinguished himself as a pioneer of the public school system. The Senator was a “hard-money, Jackson Democrat,” earning the epithet, “Old Hickory of Westmoreland.” About 1830, he married second, Maria Elliott of Fayette County. The Hon. John C. Plumer died in Westmoreland County on July 18, 1873.