Himes/McIlvaine Families
transcribed by Danni Hopkins



Pages 284-285

Clinton Himes. Historical associations cluster about the home and the home-life of this influential and well-known resident of Salisbury township. His home, known as Ivy mansion, was built one hundred years ago, and was, before the railroad era, the old stage coach house and post office. Here Gen. Lafayette, while on his way to Lancaster in the year 1825, tarried a few hours and received public entertainment. Ivy mansion was then a center of commerce and travel, past which and through which the current of human events flowed ceaselessly.

Mr. Himes was born in Leacock township, May 9, 1831, son of Rees C. and Sarah (Eckert) Himes, and grandson of Thomas and Catherine (Clemens) Himes, of Chester county. The grandfather died at Honeybrook, and Rees C. came in his boyhood with his widowed mother to Lancaster county, settling in East Earl township. In his early manhood he engaged successfully in mercantile pursuits in Leacock township, later yielding its more active duties for the comparative quiet of an agricultural life, passed in Salisbury township. Here he died in the prime of life in May, 1849, aged forty-nine years. He had married Sarah Eckert, a native of Lancaster county, and a daughter of George Eckert. She survived him many years, passing away in August, 1899, at the ripe old age of eighty-seven years. Rees C. and Sarah Himes were active members of the Bellevue Presbyterian Church. The children born to them were as follows:” Clinton, subject of this sketch; George Clemens, a farmer who died in 1856; Cecelia, who married Rees C. Himes, a retired farmer of Shippensburg, Pa.; Anna C., who lives unmarried on the old homestead Spring Run Farm, in Salisbury township; Susan A. and Martha L., both residing unmarried on the old homestead; P. Timlow, who died young; and Rees L., justice of the peace at Kinzers, Pennsylvania.

Clinton Himes was a lad of eighteen years, the eldest of a family of eight children, when the household was bereft by the death of the father and husband. Responsibility thus came to him early in life. He took up its cares, and for many years conducted the affairs of his mother’s estate. He attained standing in public and religious affairs, and possessing the taste and the opportunities for a broad culture he ripened into a deep and influential thinker, attaining prominence in the constantly widening circle of his acquaintanceship.

Mr. Himes married Feb. 28, 1878, at Peoria, Ill. Sophia R. (McIlvaine) Megley, daughter of Rev. William B. and Elizabeth (Breading) McIlvaine. Her father was a well-known divine of the Presbyterian church, who for forty-one years was pastor of East Liberty Church at Pittsburg, Pa., but resigning that charge on account of ill health, he removed to Peoria, Ill., where he preached for twenty years.

The McIlvaine family has been prominently identified with the development of Lancaster county for several generations. It was founded here by Robert McIlvaine, who in 1729, came to the county from Philadelphia. He had been an elder in the old Pine Street Church at Philadelphia, and after his settlement in Lancaster he followed farming. His home consisted of a s00-acre tract lying in Salisbury and Paradise townships, which had been purchased from William Penn by his father-in-law, George Duffield. To Robert and Mary (Duffield) McIlvaine were born five children: Andrew, who removed to Butler county; William; Elizabeth (Mrs. Springer); George; and Robert.

George McIlvaine, son of Robert and Mary (Duffield) McIlvaine, was born about 1742. He was a lieutenant in the Continental army during the Revolutionary war, and served at Valley Forge. He was a man of superior intellectual attainments, and for forty years was an elder in the Leacock Presbyterian church. He married Jane Hamilton, and their family consisted of four children, namely: Robert; Mary, wife of William Dickson, editor of the Lancaster Intelligence; Jane, wife of Capt. John Slaymaker; and Elizabeth, wife of James Boyd, of Philadelphia. George McIlvaine, the father of these children, died in 1807, aged sixty-five years; his wife died in 1790, aged thirty-two years.

Robert McIlvaine, son of George and Jane McIlvaine, was, like his father, a farmer by occupation. He served as an ensign in the war of 1812, and was for twenty years an elder in the Pequea Church. He was twice married; by his first wife, Sarah Slemmons, who died in 1818, aged thirty-seven years, he had six children, namely: Thomas S., George D., William B., Jane (who married James Slaymaker) and John and Sarah (twins, the latter becoming the wife of Isaac Walker). By his second wife, Abigail Whitill, Robert McIlvaine had one child, Mary, who married James McHaffy. Mr. McIlvaine passed away in 1832, aged fifty-five years.

William B. McIlvaine was born in 1807. He was reared in Lancaster county and received a collegiate education at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., concluding his theological studies at Princeton Theological Seminary, from which institution he graduated. He was thrice married, his first wife being Sophia S. L. Duffield, daughter of Dr. William Duffield, who died at Pittsburg in 1830. His second wife, whom he married in 1832, was Elizabeth Breading, who was born in Fayette county, daughter of Nathaniel and Mary (Ewing) Breading, natives, respectively, of Lancaster county, Pa., and of Cecil county, Md. Nathaniel Breading served in the Continental army as commissary in 1777-78; he was principal of the academy at Newark when the Revolutionary war began, but the Continental troops took possession of his school, and his occupation thus gone, he found service in the army. He became judge of the courts in Fayette county, where he died at Tower Hill. The Breading and Ewing families came from Londonderry, Ireland, in 1725, the former settling in Little Britain, Lancaster Co., Pa., and the latter in Cecil county, Md. By his married to Elizabeth Breading Rev. William B. McIlvaine had four children: Mary E./, who died at the age of twelve years; George H., who for many years was cashier and later president of the Peoria National Bank, and who died Jan. 1, 1897; Sophia R., wife of our subject; and William D., who died at the age of ten years. The mother died in 1850, aged forty-one years. The third wife of Rev. William B. McIlvaine was Margaret McGiffin, daughter of Thomas McGiffin, of Washington, Pa., and to them was born a son, Thomas, now a physician at Peoria, Ill. Rev. McIlvaine died at Peoria in May, 1892, aged eighty-five years.

To Clinton and Sophia R. (McIlvaine) Himes was born one child, a daughter, Sarah Rees, who resides at home with her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Himes are prominent members of the Presbyterian Church, of which he has been trustee for the past forty years. In politics he is a Republican. With its ancestry of several generations, both paternal and maternal, prominent in the development of Lancaster county, men and women of superior mentality, possessing strong personal convictions and high principles, combined with business sagacity of a high order, it would be but natural to look to this family for a representative of the best life of Lancaster county. Nor would that expectation be disappointed. The home life of Mr. and Mrs. Himes is one in which may be found the charm of manner, the graces and accomplishments which blossom best in an environment of earnest purpose, of good will towards men, of interest in public and social affairs, of devotion and loyalty to causes espoused. It is a home from which radiate many strong influences for the happiness and the development of those whose good fortune it is to come within its beneficence.


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