My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

WILLLAM SCOTT COYLE. The subject of this biographical sketch is a descendant of James Coyle and Eliza Carson. James Coyle is said to have been of Irish and Eliza Carson of Scotch-Irish ancestry. They were married on Jan, 1, 1760, and at some unknown date came to America and settled in Pennsylvania. It is not definitely known where in Pennsylvania they located, but there is reason to believe that in their latter years they lived in the section that is now included within the bounds of Franklin county. James Coyle died Nov. 11, 1798.

James and Eliza (Carson) Coyle had a son named David, who was born on Dec. 22, 1777, in what is now Fulton county. At one time during his life he lived near the village of Burnt Cabins, Fulton county, but as early as 1808 was a resident of Tyrone township, in what is now Perry county, where he that year was assessed with land and personal property. Subsequently he lived near Ickesburg, in Saville township. He was a farmer all his lifetime. David Coyle married Martha Linn, whose parents were residents of Madison township, and by her he had the following children: James, Betsey, Andrew, Martha, Ann, John, Ellen, William, Jane, Scott, Samuel A. and Mary. James, on Oct. 17, 1822, married Mary Patterson, of Toboyne township, Perry county. Andrew, on Nov. 1,1827, married Eliza McCollough, of Newton township, Cumberland county. Betsey married David McCollough. Martha married John Fleming, of North Middleton township, Cumberland county, who was killed on the railroad on Main street, Carlisle, Aug. 12, 1839; his widow survived him until in January, 1873. Ann married James Clark, a farmer of Madison township, Perry county. Ellen married William Blair, who was for many years one of Carlisle’s leading business men; she died in March, 1868, in the fifty-first year of her age. Jane married McGinley Walker, and moved to Fountain Green, Ill. William died when quite young. Scott went into the mercantile business with his brother Andrew in Newville, later was in business by himself in Newville, and afterward purchased and ran Doubling Gap Springs hotel for several years. Subsequently he for several years kept what is now the “Lochiel Hotel,” in Harrisburg. He then relinquished hotel-keeping and went into the mercantile business with his nephew, James Coyle, in Philadelphia. On retiring, from business he removed to Newville. Samuel A. married Eliza Linn, and Mary married Thomas McCandlish.

David Coyle died Aug. 22, 1865; his wife, Martha Linn, died Nov. 19, 1831, and the remains of both are buried in the graveyard of the Center Presbyterian Church in Perry county. Mrs. Coyle’s ending was peaceful and singularly impressive. She had returned home from church at about half past eight o’clock in the evening. About nine the family were called together for devotion, and while they engaged in singing a hymn she leaned upon the knee of her husband, who was sitting by her side, and in this position expired without a struggle or a groan. Her death came when all her eleven surviving children, except a daughter of eight years, were in full communion with the church. Although for the greater portion of his life a resident of Saville township, Perry county, Mr. Coyle died at Newville, Cumberland county. He was a quiet, unobtrusive, efficient Christian, long a member of the Presbyterian Church and for more than fifty years a ruling elder. He took a warm interest in everything relating to the spread of evangelical truth and the advance of Godliness.

John Coyle, the sixth child of David and Martha (Linn) Coyle, was born Nov. 16, 1806, on the parental homestead in Saville township. He grew to manhood in that part of the country, and on Feb. 16, 1832, married Elizabeth T. McCord, of Madison township, who was born in Perry county in September, 1807. Upon beginning life for himself he engaged in the mercantile business in Newville with his brother Andrew, and continued there for five years. He then returned to Perry county, where for a short time he farmed his father-in-law’s place, which he afterward purchased. Next he and his brother Samuel opened a store in Landisburg where they continued in business several years. In search of a larger field, they in 1842 removed to Hogestown, Cumberland county, where under the firm name of J. & S. A. Coyle they for years did a flourishing business. Finally Samuel A. withdrew and went into business in Carlisle, and on Oct. 15, 1855, John died, and by reason of his death the business was chased out. John Coyle’s remains were first interred in the cemetery of the Silver Spring Church, but subsequently removed to the Center Presbyterian Church, in Perry county, and interred by the side of those of his wife, who died in 1840.

John and Elizabeth T. (McCord) Coyle had the following children: Samuel McCord, William Scott and David Linn.

Samuel M. Coyle, the eldest of these sons, began his business career as a salesman in Philadelphia. Afterward he and his brother W. Scott, for a few years, conducted a general store at Andersonburg, Perry county. W. Scott sold his interest to David L. and Samuel and David as a firm continued it for several years more. Wishing to make a change of locality they sold out and Samuel came to Carlisle, and for a while clerked in a store. On Dec. 16, 1858, he married Annie M. Campbell, of Carlisle, and began housekeeping in Andersonburg. Soon afterward he and his brother W. Scott began the wholesale notion business at Carlisle, and he then removed to a home on East Pomfret street, Carlisle, where he lived until his death, which occurred Aug. 23, 1879.

David Linn Coyle, the youngest of the three Coyle brothers, was born May 1, 1838, on the old McCord farm in Perry county. He received the principal part of his education in the public schools, and early in life turned his attention to mercantile pursuits. On the breaking out of the Civil war he enlisted in Company E, 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry, and for more than three years served his country as a soldier. After the war he was for several years a clerk in the commissary department of the army at Baltimore. From there he went to S. A. Coyle & Co., wholesale grocers of Philadelphia, as a salesman, became a member of the firm and eventually the head of the house. The name of the firm was afterward changed to Coyle, McCandlish & Co., and for a time was one of Philadelphia’s leading business houses, much of its prominence and success being due to David L. Coyle’s energy and good business tact. He died July 31, 1891, at Atlantic City, and was buried at Center Church. The following testimonial from the Philadelphia Grocers’ and Importers’ Exchange is an indication of the esteem in which he was held:

“Having received the sad intelligence of the death of our esteemed late fellow member, David L. Coyle, the Grocers’ and Importers’ Exchange, in memorial meeting assembled, do hereby give expression to their appreciation of the many estimable qualities of the deceased, notably his spotless integrity, his sense of mercantile honor, and his genial, kindly disposition, joined to an urbanity of deportment that won the confidence and respect of all who were brought in contact with him. As a former director and long time associate we shall miss him from our number, and herewith tender our sincere sympathies to his family in their affliction.”

William Scott Coyle, the second of these three Coyle brothers, and the especial subject of this biography, was born on July 20, 1836, on his father’s farm in Madison township, Perry county. Prior to his father’s ownership of the farm it belonged to and was the home of his McCord grandparents. His early days were passed upon the farm. By the time his father removed to Hogestown he had reached the school age and became a scholar in the Hogestown school. John Firoved, Thomas Hampton, Mr. Senseman, Eliza Thoalson and Miss Greathead were some of his teachers; and the Buchers, the Boslers, the Snowdens, the Capps, the Clendenins, the Firoveds, the Bells, the Ketterings, and other well known people of that vicinity, were along his schoolmates and associates. On leaving the public school he attended for a term and a half the famous academy of Prof. R. C. Burns, located at what was then known as Good Hope Station, on the Cumberland Valley Railroad, five miles west of Carlisle. Then for a while he attended the Cumberland Valley Institute, conducted at Mechanicsburg by Rev. Joseph Loose. In the summer of 1855 he was sent to his uncle, James Clark, in Perry county, for the benefit of his health, where he remained for some months. While there his father took sick and word was sent to him to come home. When the summons reached him he was suffering from a severe attack of fever and ague and was in a bad condition to travel, but started. He went by stage by wav of New Bloomfield to Newport, from which point he went by train to Harrisburg and from there by train to Mechanicsburg. At Mechanicsburg he happened to meet a friend in a conveyance who took him up and landed him at Hogestown, so weak that he could scarcely walk. After his father’s death he had his home with his uncle James Clark in Perry county. He also for a while attended the Mt. Dempsey Academy at Landisburg, of which Prof. Theodore Bucher, whose parents resided at Hogestown, was the principal. Next he taught a country school in Perry county, near the home of his uncle James Clark. He taught one term and then he and Robert Clark, a cousin, opened a general store in Andersonburg. In a short time Robert Clark sold his interest to Samuel M. Coyle and for a while the two brothers continued the business. Then William Scott sold his interest to David L., and in 1857 Samuel and David sold out their joint interest. In 1861 W. Scott came to Carlisle, where he invested in a horse and wagon and took to the road, wholesaling notions to the country stores. His trade increased rapidly, and at the end of the first six months had so enlarged that he needed a two-horse team. He and his brother Samuel then formed a partnership under the name of Coyle Brothers. At first they had their store in a room in the basement of Samuel’s residence, on East Pomfret street, but the business grew and soon more commodious quarters had to be provided, and they rented a large room in the Inhoft building, on South Hanover street. Inside of two years their business also outgrew these quarters and they rented the large room in the Good Will Hose Company’s building in South Hanover street. Here the business was continued until in 1893, when it was removed to the building that was formerly the Methodist Episcopal Church, at the corner of Main and Pitt streets.

After Samuel Coyle, the senior member of the firm, died, W. Scott Coyle associated with him as partners W. Linn McCullough and James G. Linn, but retained the old firm name until he nominally retired from the business. About 1893 the firm became McCullough & Linn, but Mr. Coyle continued to be a silent partner for several years afterward. After retiring from the notion business he became interested in the Letort Carpet Company, and later also a partner in the Indian Rug Company, of Carlisle, and between these two manufacturing industries, his farms, and his investment interests, he now divides his time.

In politics Mr. Coyle is a stanch Republican, and he cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln, but he is not a biased partisan nor a seeker after office. In religion he is a Presbyterian, to which church belonged his ancestors for generations past. He is a member of the Second Presbyterian Church of Carlisle, in which he holds the position of deacon. In his earlier years he was Also an active worker in the Sunday-school. To church and charitable causes he gives liberally, and in 1891 he built a parsonage and a sexton’s house at the Center Presbyterian Church, where members of his family for four generations lie buried. He has been a director of the Merchants’ National Bank of Carlisle; is the trustee for the Thorn Fund, devised by a member of that family to the church; is frequently selected to take charge of responsible business trusts, and were it not for the misfortune of defective hearing he would be yet more in demand for such duties. He is a highly esteemed and useful member of the community in which he lives. Through energy, good judgment, industry and close application he has succeeded in every laudable purpose save in that of getting a wife. At this writing he is still unmarried, for which many of his friends censure him.

* * * *

This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company. 

View additional Cumberland County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Biographies

View a historic 1911 map of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

View family biographies for other states and counties

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.