Lorenzo Franklin Mahan

HANCOCK COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA – BIOS: MAHAN, Lorenzo Franklin (published 1923)
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Submitted by
Valerie Crook
vfcrook@trellis.net
September 12, 1999
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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 231
Hancock County

LORENZO FRANKLIN MAHAN is one of the venerable native
sons of Hancock County, a representative of a sterling
pioneer family whose name has been one of prominence
in the history of this part of West Virginia, and he has
individually contributed his share to the civic and material
development and progress of the county that has repre-
sented his home from the time of his birth to the present.
This sterling citizen of the Arroyo neighborhood in Han-
cock County was born at Mahan’s Mills, on King’s Creek,
this county, November 17, 1838, and is the only surviving
son of John Mahan, the latter a son of William and Nancy
(Jones) Mahan. William Mahan had operated a line of
stage coaches out from the City of Baltimore, Maryland,
and upon coming to what is now the State of West Vir-
ginia he settled at Follansbee in Brooke County, his sons
John and Thomas later having established a grist mill on
King’s Creek in the present Hancock County. In 1842
John Mahan established his residence on the farm now
owned and occupied by his son Lorenzo P., of this review,
near the Village of Arroyo, and the saw and grist mill
which he here erected and operated was later used as a
vinegar manufactory. His landed estate here comprised
576 acres. He became one of the owners also of a line
of river boats, including barges and the steamboats “Oil
City” and “Iron City,” which were built in Hancock
County. Later he became one of the owners of the navi-
gation business conducted under the title of the Cumber-
land Tow Boat Company. He was one of the vigorous
and resourceful business men of his day and did much to
further the advancement of his home community and county.
He and his sons eventually converted the saw and planing
mill into a vinegar factory, which they operated suc-
cessfully. In 1852 Lorenzo F. Mahan assisted in setting
out the first orchard in a county that has since become
one of the foremost in the apple-growing industry of West
Virginia. Lorenzo F. Mahan married Mary H. Lowry,
whose father was mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, Penn-
sylvania, during the Civil war, and their ideal companion-
ship continued for thirty years, the gracious bonds being
severed by the death of the devoted wife and mother, who
is survived by two children, Grace and Frank Earl, the
latter of whom resides at Chester, this county, and is in
the employ of the Homer Laughlin China Company at
Newell. He is a republican in politics, as is also his ven-
erable father, who has been unfaltering in his allegiance
to the party during virtually the entire period of its exis-
tence. In 1897 was solemnized the marriage of Miss Grace
Mahan to William V. Powell, who is engaged in the gen-
eral insurance business in the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsyl-
vania. Mrs. Powell owns a part of the old homestead
estate, and after remaining eight years in Pittsburgh she
returned home to care for her venerable parents. She is
according to her father the utmost filial love and solicitude,
and resides with him in the fine old home-house which he
erected fully half a century ago and which, situated on a
slight elevation above the Ohio River, commands a fine
view of the valley for a distance of many miles, while
directly opposite, on the Ohio shore, is the beautiful Chil-
dren’s Home in Jefferson County, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs.
Powell became the parents of five children. Franklin,
eldest of the five, is now engaged in the insurance busi-
ness in Pittsburgh, and in connection with the World war
he was in the nation’s military service in France for a
period of eighteen months. The younger children are Ed-
ward Hewitt, Mary Elizabeth, William Thomas and Bar-
bara Brenneman.

Other personal sketches in this publication offer much
additional data concerning the Mahan family, and the
general history of the county likewise makes proper recogni-
tion of the splendid part this family has played in con-
nection with the development and progress of Hancock
County.

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