Biography of Richard F. Rutledge
Cambria County, PA Biographies





Richard F. Rutledge is among the prominent business men of Johnstown, where he is a member of the Johnstown Transfer & Storage Company. He was born at Livermore, Westmoreland County, Pa., Dec. 21, 1858, and is a son of Capt. George and Henrietta (Ferguson) Rutledge.

George Rutledge was born at Social Hall, Pa., May 20, 1829. He received a good common school education in those days, and was then employed on the Pennsylvania Canal which ran from Johnstown to Pittsburgh, Pa. He was with this company for 25 years as a teamster and later was captain of one of their boats. He was engaged in the mercantile business in Livermore, Pa., for the next ten years and then at Johnstown, Pa., with the Pennsylvania Railroad Company for five years as timekeeper and paymaster. He held a position with the Cambria Steel Company for ten years as foreman of tracks. He was the first street commissioner of Johnstown. He was then engaged in the general merchandise business for two years and later was with the National Biscuit Company.

On June 19, 1856, Mr. Rutledge was married to Henrietta Ferguson, a daughter of Samuel and Susan (King) Ferguson. To them were born the following children: Richard F., the subject of this sketch; Lillian, Manira, Annie, Albert, Samuel, James D., Belle M., Frank and Campbell.

George Rutledge was a Democrat and a stanch supporter of that party. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church.

George Rutledge was the son of George and Elizabeth (Shaw) Rutledge. Elizabeth Shaw was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Shaw. He was an agriculturist in Ireland. He and his wife died in the year 1806.

George Rutledge, the grandfather of Richard F. Rutledge, the subject of this sketch, was born in Enniskille, County Fermanagh, Ireland, May 1, 1790, and emigrated to the United States in 1817, and located in the city of Philadelphia. They lived in that city four years and removed to Murrysville, Pa., where they resided until 1829, when they moved again, this time to the General Doty farm on the Pittsburgh pike. He and his wife conducted a boarding house at this time, during the building of the pike. This was in the days before canals and railroads had penetrated to western Pennsylvania, and the stage coach was the only means of transportation. From the General Doty farm they removed to Social Hall, thence to the lock on the canal, and thence to Steubenville, Ohio. After 18 months in the latter place they returned to Pennsylvania, locating in Livermore, Pa. They spent the remainder of their days there. He died May 5, 1866. He married at Enniskillen, Ireland, March 12, 1812, Elizabeth Shaw. She died Dec. 7, 1872. To this union the following children were born: Jane, James, Elizabeth, John, William, Irwin and George, the father of the subject of this sketch. The Rutledge family traces its descent through a number of generations to an old and honored family of Ireland and has a most interesting history. Its members combine in a great degree a natural wit of the natives of Ireland with the energy and enterprise which characterizes those born and reared in this country, and have borne their full share in the development of various industries of their adopted country. They are widely scattered throughout the United States, and history tells us of Edward Rutledge, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and of the Rutledge who was governor of South Carolina in the early days of the United States of America.

Richard F. Rutledge reecived his early education in a little red school house on Market Street. He came to Johnstown in 1871. His first employment was with the Cambria Steel Company, then with the express company at the railway station. In 1889, several months after the Johnstown flood, he established the Johnstown Transfer Company. He continued this business until 1901, when the storing of goods was added to the line. The business was located on Railroad street at the Baltimore & Ohio railroad crossing. One of the big items of this business is the storing of all unclaimed freight for the Baltimore & Ohio and the Pennsylvania Railroad companies in this district. It was in 1902 that the old building, which was then on the present site, was wrecked when a freight car crashed into it. The building was razed and the present structure erected. The new building was occupied by Mr. Rutledge for the storage and distribution of freight of less than car load lots. The business has shown a rapid growth in the years since then; merchandise is shipped to the company from all parts of the country for distribution and delivery.

On July 1, 1924, a new member was taken into the firm, Malcolm A. Luse, who was formerly engaged in the grocery business on Railroad street, as a partner. The company employs seven men in the capacities of drivers and helpers, operates four auto trucks and two teams. Their offices are located at 642-644 Railroad street, and their garage and barns are located at 700-710 Robbe avenue.

In 1886 Mr. Rutledge was married to Miss Millie R. McClelland, a daughter of W. Duke and Elizabeth (Klinefelter) McClelland. Both are deceased and buried in Grand View cemetery. Mr. McClelland, who was a cabinet maker by trade, was one of the early settlers of Johnstown. To Mr. and Mrs. Rutledge three children were born: Henrietta, deceased; George McClelland Rutledge, deceased; Miriam, resides at home. She is a graduate of the Johnstown High School, and a member of the Eastern Star, Ladies Auxiliary of the Knight Templars, secretary of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Lee Homeopathic Hospital, secretary of the Ladies Aid of the First Presbyterian Church, and of Amaranth.

Mrs. Rutledge was, before her marriage, for 16 years a teacher in the Johnstown schools. She is a member of the Amaranth and the Ladies Auxiliary of the Knights Templar.

Mr. Rutledge is a Republican and a member of the First Presbyterian Church. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias of which he is past chancellor Miller Lodge No. 89; Woodmen of the World; for several years secretary of the American Specialty Stamping Company; Johnstown F. & A. M. Lodge 538; Royal Arch Chapter, Portage No. 195; Cambria Council R. & S. M. M.; Oriental Commandery, Knights Templar; Jaffa Temple of Altoona, Pa.; and the A. A. O. N. M. S. Shrine.


From:
History of Cambria County, Pennsylvania
By: John E. Gable
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis, 1926

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