Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
JOHN KERR is one of the later
comers to Lincoln county, yet is not one whit behind the old pioneers in
his devotion to this section, in his enthusiasm and energy in building
up the country and making for himself a choice home. He landed here
with very little means but has been very prosperous in his labors and is
now possessed of a comfortable home besides other property.
John Kerr was born in the county of Down,
Ireland, July 22, 1839, the son of John and Mary Kerr, natives of Ireland,
where they also died. The mother's death occurred when she was aged
ninety-three. They were the parents of nine children, three of whom
are living, Margaret, who remained with her mother until her death and
is now living with our subject; Thomas, residing near Harrington.
John grew up to manhood on the old home place in Ireland and received his
education from the public schools. When arrived at manhood's estate, he
sailed from Londonderry, Ireland, landing in New York, then he came to
Pittsburg in 1870 and worked for the Pittsburg transfer company.
He was in the noted Pittsburg riots and escaped uninjured. In 1878,
he journeyed west to Sac county, Iowa, and bought a small farm, which,
however he sold later and returned to Pittsburg. In 1895, he went
thence to Wheeling, West Virginia, and engaged in the wholesale grocery
business but owing to reverses, lost his entire fortune. Returning
to Pittsburg, he engaged as watchman in the Farmers National Bank and served
two years at watch at fifty dollars per month. He thus accumulated
a little start and in March, 1898, came to Harrington. For two years,
he remained with his brother and then purchased a quarter section of land
just north from Harrington. It is one of the finest pieces of wheat
land to be found in the country and every foot is under cultivation.
He has gained steadily in worldly goods since coming here and is now in
very comfortable circumstances. He has a good house, outbuildings
and so forth, while the farm is well supplied with plenty of pure water.
Mr. Kerr is a member of the Lloyd Orange Society Number Twenty of Pittsburg
and was also in the Order in Ireland. He belongs to the Presbyterian
On February 13, 1879, in Pittsburg, Mr. Kerr
married Miss Lizzie Clark, a native of Lawrence county, Pennsylvania.
In 1886, he was called to mourn her death. She left one child, Mary
A., who is now the wife of John T. Ruth. She is handling a dressmaking
parlor in Allegheny while her husband is instructor in music. She and her
husband are both members of the Presbyterian church and he is an elder
in that denomination. Mr. Kerr has traveled over the United States
considerable and gives as his testimony that no section that he has ever
visited is equal to the Big Bend country for honest working men.
He is one of the highly esteemed citizens of this section and has conducted
himself so that he is worthy of the confidence of his fellows.