The Tales of a Blair Family    

Nancy Blair was born March 5, 1834 in Raloo, County Antrim, northern Ireland.  She was the second child of  Patrick Blair and Mary Sloan Bell.  Nancy, sometimes known as Agnes, was just a baby when her family emigrated to America and settled in Woodcock Township, Crawford County, Pennsylvania.  She spent her childhood in Pennsylvania and then followed some of her siblings West to Illinois in the 1860's.  In Illinois she married John D. White, who was in the well digging business.  They lived in the town of Shannon, Carroll County, Illinois.  Shannon was just a few miles from Forreston and Adeline, Illinois where many of Nancy's Blair relatives lived.  John and Nancy's first child, Mary Hortense, was born July 25th, 1869.  Their second child, Sarah Eliza, was born December 8, 1870.  In the Fall of 1871, Nancy returned to Pennsyl-vania to visit her ailing brother-in-law, Henry Bole.  Henry passed away and following the funeral, Nancy was involved in a train accident which took her life and the life of her half-brother, Daniel Blair. The accident occurred October 14, 1871 and both Nancy and Daniel were laid to rest in Mt. Blair cemetery in Crawford County, Pennsylvania. 

After her death, her widower, John D. White, married Nancy's sister, Sarah Elizabeth, who was the widow of Henry Bole. Her daughter Mary Hortense and Sarah's daughter, Nina Bole, were raised by John and Sarah, but little Sarah Eliza White spent most of her growing up years with another of Nancy's sisters, Eliza and her husband, Francis H. Wilson.

The following newspaper clipping  about the deaths of Nancy Blair White and her half-brother, Daniel Blair was taken from the Forreston Journal, dated October 28, 1871.  It was a reprint from the Crawford Journal, Meadville, Pennsylvania.


Mr. Daniel Blair and Mrs. J.D. White while returning from the funeral of their brother-in-law, the late H. M. Bole, who was buried at Venango on Saturday afternoon, and while crossing the A. & G. W. R. R. track near the Broadford bridge in Woodcock township, were struck by a locomotive and instantly killed.

Mr. Blair was 52 years of age and formerly lived in Woodstock township, but in 1850 went to California, where, by industry and close attention to business, he had become quite wealthy--He was the son of Patrick Blair late of Woodcock township, was unmarried and had recently returned to visit relatives and friends in this county after an absence of 21 years. His untimely death is a painful illustration of the uncertainty of human affairs.

Mrs. White, his sister, was also visiting friends and relatives in Woodcock, and intended soon to leave for her home in Illinois, where an anxious husband was awaiting her return. Instead of news of her early coming the stricken husband received a telegram announcing her tragic death, and today, Thursday, reached Woodcock where he found his wife’s and her brother’s remains. The bodies were shockingly mutilated and will be buried at 11 o’clock on the morrow in Woodcock Cemetery.

Mrs. Bole, widow of the late H. M. Bole, is nearly distracted with grief over the almost simultaneous loss of husband, sister and brother, as is also Mr. White, over the shocking death of his wife and sudden departure of two brothers-in-law. The sympathies of the entire community are extended to the stricken families. The late H. M. Bole was a brother to W. R. Bole, Esq., of this city, and Mr. Blair and Mrs. White were brother and sister of F. S. L. Blair, also of Meadville.--Crawford (PA) Journal.

We will add to the above that Mr. Blair and Mrs. White are brother and sister to Capt. Blair of this place, and that the Captain is now East to pay the last tribute of respect to his deceased relatives. Forreston Journal.