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 Archibald Stitt

Archibald Stitt

Birth
County Down, Northern Ireland
Death 12 Oct 1867 (aged 65)
Wabash, Wabash County, Indiana, USA
Burial Wabash, Wabash County, Indiana, USA
Plot Sec OP, lot 51, sp 5
Memorial ID 47477323 · View Source
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(From "History of Wabash County, Indiana" by Clarkson Weesner, pub. 1914, pp 477-478)

A special honor should be paid to the name of Archibald Stitt as one of the early contractors in the construction of the old Wabash and Erie Canal through Wabash county. That work places him in a relation of peculiar interest in the early history of this county, and the fact that from about 1840 until his death he was a resident at or near Wabash, fortifies his claim to mention among the pioneers. In many other ways he was a man of distinction, but by character and by his work.

A native of County Down, Ireland, he came to the United States in 1809 when about seven or eight years of age. His parents located at Huntington, Pennsylvania, where Archibald grew up and learned the trade of shoemaker. For a time he was also employed in an iron foundry at Huntington. But his career was destined to occupy a much larger field and range of activities than was afforded by either of these mechanical trades. In Huntington he married Catherine Simpson.

In 1832, leaving his family in the east, he came west to Indiana, and became one of the contractors in the construction of the Wabash and Erie Canal, a waterway which was then being built as one link in a great scheme of internal improvements, only a few years later to be succeeded and rendered obsolete by the rapid progress of railway construction. His first work was in Tippecanoe county, then in Carroll, then in Miami county, and finally in Wabash county. His coming to Wabash county was in 1839 or 1840, and here he became superintendent of the division from Fort Wayne to Logansport, a position which he held until 1850. In the meantime the purchase of a tract of land south of Rich Valley in Noble township gave him a still more permanent connnection with Wabash county which was ever thereafater his home. His land was situated between the canal and the river. It was originally covered with a heavy growth of walnut, hard maple, and other wood, and most of that timber was cleared away, some of it converted into rails and fire wood, but great quantities and many noble specimens of the forest were piled into heaps and burned, without regard to their future value. If those trees were standing today, they would be worth a fortune.

Archibald Stitt in 1834 brought his family to Indiana and it then consisted of his wife and one son, Alexander. After their location in this state, several more children were born, four of them reaching maturity, namely: Jane, who married Thomas W. King, James E., William S. and Archibald N.

Archibald Stitt was a man rather under the average size, inclined to be quick in action and in decision, was generous to a fault, and on the monument erected to h is memory after his death, a friend engraved an inscription which expressed one of the finest facts of his character -- "A friend to the friendless." He was a man of but ordinary education, so far as books were concerned, but possessed an unusual fund of good, practical sense, and had the intelligence and quickness which made him a big factor in days when conditions of living required just those qualities. He was a Democrat in politics up to the nomination of James Buchanan for the presidency, and thereafter adhered to the Republican cause.

In 1850 he was elected treasurer of Wabash county, and to discharge the duties of that office moved into the city of Wabash, and had his home there until his death. Such was his place of esteem among the citizens that he was re-elected county treasurer, and served two terms. Soon after retiring from the treasurer's office in 1856, he bought the old Indiana House, and conducted that old hostelry as a popular center of entertainment for the public until his death. During all his life in Indiana, he was more or less engaged in contracting for bridge and road work. Archibald Stitt was an Odd Fellow, and one of the most popular men of his time. His death on October 13, 1867, was caused by sunstroke, while acting in the office of street commissioner. He was the first appointee to that position under the city government of Wabash. His wife survived him until November 1893.

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(From "History of Wabash County, Indiana" pub. 1884, pg 260)
ARCHIBALD STITT was born in County Down, Ireland in December 1800. He came to America in 1809. He at one time ran a blast furnace in Pennsylvania. He was a contractor upon various public works, among them the Wabash & Erie Canal. After its completion, he became Superintendent of the Fort Wayne & Logansport Division of the Canal, which he held until 1850, when he was elected Treasurer of Wabash County. For a number of years after his retirement from office, he kept a hotel in Wabash. He died October 14, 1867.

He was through life noted for his liberality, and during the Civil War his liberality and friendship toward the soldiers were especially marked, as from their hands he would never accept compensation for board or lodging furnished them.

Mr. Stitt's wife, Catherine Stitt, nee Simpson, was born in Huntington County, Penn., in October 1811 and is yet living. She is of Scotch-Irish descent.


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  • Created by: Friends of Falls Cemetery
  • Added: 2 Feb 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 47477323
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Archibald Stitt (Dec 1801–12 Oct 1867), Find A Grave Memorial no. 47477323, citing Falls Cemetery, Wabash, Wabash County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by Friends of Falls Cemetery (contributor 47178769) .