John McKibben

John McKibben, Sr. (1728 – 1798) – John McKibben was born in Ireland in 1728.  The McKibben family origins were the lowlands of Scotland.   He immigrated to America sometime between 1745 and 1748 with his two brothers Joseph and Thomas.  John married Sarah Coburn about 1754.  They had eight children.  Three of their sons fought in the Revolutionary War.  Their daughter, Sarah, married Robert Doak.  John and Sarah McKibben were early settlers in western Pennsylvania[1].  John built a large log house with a stockade around it for protection from the Indians sometime between 1772 and 1774.  The McKibben home was often a refuge for families in the area.  Here is how one account of an August 1777 incident is described:  “The reapers in the oat field, when they were appraised of the presence of Indians, left to notify the people, taking their guns with them and going to the house of John McKibben, where several families had collected for safety in McKibben’s large log house.”[2]  The McKibben home became Fort Hand in 1777 and the stockade was fortified for the Revolutionary War.[3]  Fort Hand was burned in an attack in April 1779 and abandoned in the fall of 1779.  The first Presbyterian Church service west of the Alleghenies was held in John McKibben’s log house on the second Sunday of August 1775.  One history of Westmoreland County (later divided into Beaver, Washington and Allegheny Counties) states that “the town of New Salem was laid out by one John McKibben.”[4]  John died in Cross Creek Township on August 25, 1798.

[1] History of Washington County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men, Boyd Crumine, 1882

[2] Draper Manuscripts, State Historical Society of Wisconsin Archives

[3] The Report to Locate the Site of the Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania, V. 2, pages 225 - 336

[4] History of Westmoreland County, 1882





Birth*               __ ___ 1728                Tyrone County, Ireland.

Marriage*        __ ___ ____                Sarah Coburn (b. circa 1728, d. 09 Jun 1812)

Son:                16 Jun 1755                Thomas McKibben (b. 16 Jun 1755,          )

Son:                __ ___ 1759                Samuel McKibben (b. 1759,          )

Son:               02 Dec 1763                John Jr. McKibben (b. 02 Dec 1763,          )

Daughter:    cir __ ___ 1765                Sarah McKibben (b. circa 1765, d. 18 Jun 1838)

Son:               05 May 1768                William McKibben (b. 05 May 1768,          )

Daughter:                                          Mary McKibben

Son:                                                 Richard McKibben

Daughter:                                          Margaret McKibben

Death*           25 Aug 1798                Cross Creek Twp, Washington County, PA.


  Written by Bob Krepps  © 2001 all rights reserved.  Permission granted to copy for personal & non-commercial purposes only.

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