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Appendix III: Newspaper Account of MacMillan Family Reunion

Transcribed from the Bellaire Ohio Democrat approximately 1924

          The sixth annual reunion of the MacMillans will be held at Epworth Park, Bethesda, Wednesday, August 21, and all of the name or blood are invited. Dr. James B. MacMillen of Somerton is President of clan and P.A. Wise of Rock Hill, secretary. In telling some of the history of the MacMillan’s, Mr. Wise writes:

          According to Scottish authorities the MacMillan name appears first in the extreme north of Scotland about the end of the 10th century, from that place they drifted south to Perthshire on the eastern coast. Malcolm the 4th King of Scotland, moved them across the country to the western coast. Part of them were settled on Lake Arvaid, and were dependent on the great Cameron Clan. A part were settled in Knapdale in the western part of Argyleshire, where their chief married the heiress of the MacNiels and through her obtained the Sween Castle on the west coast, one tower is still called MacMillan Tower. They also built the beautiful Kilmery Chapel, now only a shapeless ivy grown ruin. In the Chapel graveyard is the great stone cross of Alexander MacMillan, it is 12 feet high and is except one, the finest cross in all of Scotland.

          The Knapdale MacMillans had two lines of chiefs, called MacMillans of Knap and MacMillans of Dunmore. As both lines became extinct the Clan lands in Knapdale were sold in 1775 to Sir Archibald Campbell. At an early date for various causes families of MacMillans emigrated south to the Island of Arran and to the Galloway County in the south or low lands of Scotland and here most of the noted men of the name came from, and they were very many.

          The most noted man of the name was Rev. John MacMillan, the famous Coveanter Preacher, who preached 30 years against the things that the English church and Kings tried to force on the old Presbyterian church of Scotland. In our own country one whom all should like to honor, was another, Rev. John MacMillan, who founded the first college for higher education west of the Allegheny Mountains, the so-called Log Cabin College at Canonsburg PA. All over our land we find Ministers, Doctors, Builders Statesmen who carry the ancestral name MacMillan. In the old time and land one ancestor chose as a motto, “I learn to succor the miserable,” and it still is as new and as good as ever. Our ancestors by their fierce struggle with Highland hardships have transmitted to us later folks these characteristics. A study of the achievements of the MacMillans in both Scotland and America should interest any one with a drop of MacMillan blood in his veins to emulate their virtues and feel the urge of their qualities of character, their frugality, their love of truth loyalty of purpose and spiritual vision that in this broad land of opportunity will enable each to obtain a place of honor among his fellows in the service of humanity.

          Our branch of the family descends from James MacMillan who was born at the ancestral estate of Dun Ragget, in the year 1728. He emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1763. The first MacMillan to come to Pultney township was Jane MacMillan, who came with her husband John Wise, and settled on a farm of government land on the top of the hill back of West Wheeling in 1810. She was the ancestress of William A. Wise and Mrs. George O. Robinson of Bellaire, Ohio. In about 1820 George MacMillan and family followed and settled on a farm just west of the present city of Bellaire, on the edge of Rock Hill, with him came two sons, James, was the ancestor of the Bethesda and Somerton MacMillans and Robert was the ancestor of most of the Bellaire and Shadyside MacMillans. The third emigrant was my grandfather, John MacMillan, who settled on High Ridge on lands now owned by John Greenlee. He was a Doctor by profession and said to be a very successful one. He was thrown from a horse and killed at an oak tree that stood a short distance west of the spot where Alex McCloy now lives. The spot is under the present road. He came in 1837 and was killed in 1843. He is an ancestor of most of the Rock Hill Wises. One thing noticeable about this family is that of two sons and five daughters who came west they lived an average of 85 years. But we don’t claim to be pioneers of the community as some who have been here half as long are doing.

[There are some photographs from this reunion in the Photo section of this web site which can be reached by clicking on this link:  Belmont County Photos  ]