A Brief Biography of Thomas Jarrett

Thomas Morris Jarrett (1824-1911) & his wife Ellen W. McShane (1830-1882) were married Nov.7, 1846, in the Cheat Neck area of Monongalia County, WV. They had seven sons & five daughters.

The Family of Thomas Morris Jarrett
Standing, left to right:
Oliver M. (11/29/1869-12/30/1935), Walter Chess (8/3/1867-5/28/1956), Cornelius McShane (6/29/1862 -12/12/1931),
John (Jack) M. (2/26/1858-6/30/1935), Henry D. (6/4/ 1853-3/17/1939), Judge Ewing (3/11/1851-5/28/1917)

Sitting, left to right:
Laurena B. (Lynch) (1/29/1865-5/16/1929), Frances Ann (Rist) (1/14/1856-12/26/1941)
Thomas Morris Jarrett (7/23/1824-4/12/1911)
Mary Lamb (Jones) (8/1/1847-10/31/1922), Emma C. (Jenewine) (2/17/1849-6/1/1933)

Photo courtesy of Al Jarrett, a descendant of Thomas Jarrett.

Thomas is listed as a nail cutter in the 1850 census. He continued in this occupation until 1859 when he became superintendent of the Laurel Iron Works at Cheat Neck, the biggest and most important iron company in the area. Laurel Iron Works was orignially founded by Samuel Jackson of Brownsville, PA.and known as the Old Cheat Iron Works In 1809 Jackson expaned the iron works by purchasing 274 acres of woods on the west side of the Cheat River above Iceís Ferry, and enlarging the operation to include a gristmill, a nail factory, wagon shop and a large store. At itís peak nealy 1,200 workers were employed at the Old Cheat Iron Works and perhaps 3,00 lived at Cheat Neck. A combination of factors including cheap & plentiful railroad transportation, the opening of the Sault Sou Canal, and cheaper western iorn ore made the Cheat Iron Works unprofitable. The business went through several owners and name changes, and by 1868 the last owners stopped making iron. The town gradually moved north to PA and the iron works gradually succumbed to the hands of time. In 1925 the ruined Cheat Iron Works were covered by the waters of a power comany dam which created Lake Lynn.

In addition to woking at the Iron Works, Thomas operated Iceís Ferry in partnership with Thomas Hawkins form 1855-1857 It ws the earliest ferry across the Cheat River and lay on one of the main roads in the county. Thomas was also a farmer. He is listed in the 1860 census as a farmer with $400.00 in personal property. He became a full time farmer after 1866. Thomas Jarrett was also active in the community, serving as a school commissioner in 1865 & 1869, as well as inspector of elections for Union District, Monongalia Cnty, WV. Thomas was a successful individual and by 1870 he had accumulated $1000.00 in personal property. In 1873 he moved north to Tyrone Township, Fayette Cnty PA and farmed until 1886. He was an active Republican and worshipped at the Methodist-Episcopal Church of Scottdale.

His wife, Ellen Jarrett died in 1882 and Thomas moved from Fayette County to Scottdale,PA where he died on April 12, 1911 at the home of his daughter Emma Jennewine. He is buried in Scottdale Cemetery along with his wife Ellen and is survived by eighty-one descendants.

Biography courtesy of Dave Farner, a descendant of Thomas Jarrett

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