Watchman, May 1, 1931
FOUR SOLDIERS OF 1776
MEMORIALIZED BY D.A.R.
GEORGE MEEK — In War and in Peace. From a paper prepared by Elizabeth Meek, of Bellefonte, Pa.
Robert Meek came from Edinburgh, Scotland to Maryland with his sons and lived there near Hagerstown until 1755 when they moved to Cumberland County, Pa. He served in the French-Indian war and died in Hopewell township, Cumberland county, 1777. Letters of Administration were granted May 20, 1777 to his brothers Hugh and John Meek. He gave six sons to his country who served in the Revolutionary War in Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Regiments. One son, Robert, was killed in action: Two others, John and William, made prisoners, had fed lime bread which killed them.
The fourth son of Robert of Robert is the George Meek whose name appears on this monument. George Meek served in the Fifth Pennsylvania Battalion under Captain Thomas Alexander, March 1778, to 1781. In 1780 he was sent to Potters Fort, Penns Valley, under Lieutenant James McClure to aid in suppressing the Indians. He served also in the militia of Cumberland county in 1780-1782 and his name is on the list of those receiving Depreciation Pay: He has always been called Captain George Meek and to distinguish him from the other George Meeks named in this record, this title will be used to designate him wherever necessary.
In 1784 he came into Centre county with James Harris in his early surveying expeditions. On January 21, 1790 he took up a tract of land, surveyed June 5, 1790, in Ferguson township, part of which still belongs to his descendants, the George W. Meek farm, later known as the D. G. Meek farm and now owned by George W. Meek’s grandchildren.
He married Rachel Herron in 1770, who was the daughter of David Herron, Newton township, Cumberland county, and whose will probated March 18, 1778, in Carlisle, says: “To my daughter Rachael’s children, she being now wife to George Meek, I do give and bequeath forty pounds which is all I allow her.” That she survived her husband is proven because, in his will, made November 23, 1801, proven January 19, 1802, he says: “give and bequeath unto my dear wife, Rachael, the farm that I now live on, dwelling house and buildings erected on same with all the clear land, orchard and meadow on said premises” and various other belongings. The will further states, “I nominate, constitute and appoint my ssaid wife and my well beloved friend, Thomas Ferguson, Esq., of the Township of Ferguson, to be executors of this my last will and testament.”
As to the character of George Meek — To quote from Linn’s Center County History, as follows: –
“Captain George Meek, a Revolutionary soldier, was a member of a remarkable family, remarkable not only for valor displayed in war, but also for unusaul stature which they attained in manhood. Two of them, John and William, brothers of George, stood six feet seven inches and sex fee four inches respectively. They entered the service together. John and William were taken prisoners and died as such.” While it is his war record that we are commemorating today, and the sword he carried through the Revolutionary War a prize possession of his descendants — evidence of his valor and loyalty in defense of his country’s ideals — it is his last will that discloses the traits of the man in Peace.
“His loyalty and fidelity to God appear in the opening paragraph, “In the name of God, Amen. I’ George Meek, of the township of Ferguson, Centre county and State of Pennsylvania, farmer, being very sick and weak in body but of sound mind, memory and understanding (Blessed be God for the same.) But considering the transitoriness of life, do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner following, to witness: Principally first of all I commend my immortal soul into the hands of God who gave it and my body to the earth to be buried in a decent christian-like manner at the discretion of my executors hereinafter named, and as to such worldy estate wherein it hath pleased God to bless me in the life I give and dispose of the same in the following manner:”
The Revolutionary War record of George Meek and his brothers shows that he is worthy of a place on this marker. The quotations from the last wills and testaments indicate the private character of himself, his brother and his wife’s family and names of his descendants have been cited to show they have preserved, honored and carried on those qualities of honor and love to God, honor to country, honor to wife and womanhood, honor and love for friend, that become a part of all who inherit from good ancestry.
In closing, [all] the living desecndants of George.Meed, wish to express our appreciation to the Bellefonte Chapter for the honor it has, this day and for all days to come so long as this beautiful marker shall endure, given him and of which we have tried to show he was not unworthy.
May coming generations, truthfully, find in us of the present generation, as many fine qualities to respect and emulate as we have found in this man and his wife, Rachel Herron, who no doubt could say as did King Alfonso, when leaving Spain: “Believe me, it takes more courage to act as I have than to charge at the head of a squadron!”
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