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Joshua Turner Currie    

CURRIE, JOSHUA TURNER, was born in Stanbridge, county of Missisquoi, P. Q. [Providence of Quebec], on the 6th day of September, 1815. His father, Francis Currie, was a captain of militia in Stanbridge at that time, when the title was a term of positive and complimentary distinction. Francis Currie, whose parents were from Scotland, was born near Albany, N.Y., on the 1st of August, 1785, passed his life as a farmer, and died at Stanbridge on the 7th of October, 1846. His wife, Polly Turner, was born in Vermont on the 23d of June, 1788, and died at Stanbridge in June, 1872. They reared a family of seven sons and one daughter, of whom Joshua Turner is the second son. Only three of these children are now living, the other two being H. M. Currie, who resides in Michigan, and George Earl; whose home is in Dayton, Ky., but who is engaged in business in Cincinnati and Louisville. He was a colonel in the last war.

The subject of this sketch was reared on the farm on which he was born in Stanbridge, Province of Quebec, until May, 1837, when he removed to Russellburg, Warren county, Pa., and for some six months assisted his elder brother and uncle in the manufacture of lumber. In the winter of 1837—38, deeming his education unfinished, he attended the academy at Warren, when Hon. Rasselas Brown was principal, and in the fall of 1838 returned to the place of his birth. At the end of one year he came back to Russellburg, engaging as clerk in the store of A.G. Lane. From the fall of 1840 to the fall of 1842 he was Mr. Lane’s partner, but at the latter date disposed of his interest in the business, ,and removed to Youngsville, where he began the work of mill building. He had never served his time as a mechanic, but was naturally gifted with mechanical ingenuity, and performed his contracts with such scrupulous punctuality and accuracy, that he soon had more work than he was able to do. He introduced a patented water wheel of superior construction, which brought him in generous returns. He followed this business for thirty years, putting power in nearly all the mills in the vicinity, and entirely rebuilding many of them— sixty-three in number. One prominent secret of his success is his remarkable executive ability. He has always depended on himself as much as possible, leaving little to be done by his subordinates that required responsible duties or skill. He has ever been willing to accommodate his patrons, also, and for years previous to the war received his payment more in interest bearing notes than in cash, and was always paid. In 1864 and 1865 he made considerable in investments in real estate, since which time he has also been active in brokerage, purchasing notes, etc. In this way he has by industry and sagacity, by perseverance and economy, by honesty and fidelity, amassed a competence, although at the beginning he had nothing for capital but his character and determination. His landed property now consists of sixteen and a half acres in Youngsville borough, and fifty-six acres in Brokenstraw township, in another lot. Its principal value is in its location.

Mr. Currie is a lifelong Democrat. Although he has taken an active and keen interest in political matters, he has never sought, and seldom held office. In his religious views he is independent. He is at the same time advanced and conservative. His opinions do not coincide wholly with any religious creed, but he gives much time and thought to the conflicting theories respecting man’s origin and destiny, and finds his ideas becoming clearer with advancing years. His faith is bottomed on no metaphysical hypothesis, but on upright conduct.

He married Jane, daughter of Samuel Irwin, of Venango county, on the 4th of February, 1846, who through all the wasting years has blessed his life with the consolations of an intimate and self-sacrificing companionship. At the time of his marriage he first settled on the place which is still his home. The members of his household in the past have been, in addition to himself and his wife, Martha McDowell, who came to live with them when she was seven years of age, and is now the wife of Nelson Mead, of Corydon; and John L. Currie, who lived with them from the time he was five years of age until his marriage at the age of twenty-three years. He now lives on a farm in Brokenstraw township.

History of Warren County: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers, J. S. Schenck, Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co., 1887.  More Warren County History Books  Search Hundreds of 1880s-1890s Pennsylvania County History Books for biographies and historical information on your ancestors.  View the book page images on line and print them out for your genealogy file!  Free Access to the old history books - plus birth & death records, census images and ALL other records at ancestry.com.

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