Phineas and Samuel Compton, Somerset County, Pennsylvania gunsmiths

INFORMATION ON THE COMPTON FAMILY

The following biographical information is from Volume III of the 1906 book "History of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania" by Blackburn and Welfley. Compton's mill still survives in excellent condition, as shown by photos near the bottom of this web page.

Sellers' 2008 book "American Gunsmiths" mistakenly (in my opinion) locates Phineas and Samuel Compton in Berlin, Pennsylvania.

The following Compton genealogy was written by Samuel B. Compton and appears in the November 1967 issue of the Laurel Messenger.

The following item is from the November 1946 issue of the "Comptonology" newsletter.

The following composite image is from the February 1948 issue of the "Comptonology" newsletter.

The following composite image is from an article titled "Early Settlers of Salisbury" by Ross Compton Durst in the May, 1972 issue of the "Laurel Messenger".

INFORMATION ON PHINEAS COMPTON

1804: The 1953 edition of "American Gun Makers" indicates that Phineas M. Compton was born in the vicinity of Brunswick, New Jersey, on June 1, 1804, worked as both a gunsmith and a tinner, and was raised in Salisbury, Pennsylvania.

1813: The 1953 edition of "American Gun Makers" states that the grandparents of Phineas Compton immigrated from France, and his father moved to Berlin, Pennsylvania in 1813.

The following excerpt from the 1910 book "Supplement to the Casper Glattfelder Record..." references the marriage of Phineas and Adeline Compton.

1830: The following article is from the February 1962 issue of the "Laurel Messenger":

1830: The following composite image from the Elk Lick Township portion of the 1830 manuscript census documents of Somerset County, Pennsylvania shows the enumeration of the Phineas Compton household:

Phineas Compton in the 1830 census of Elk Lick Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

1837: According to the 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Somerset County, Pennsylvania", a rifle that is maked "Salisbury / 1837" is attributed to Phineas Compton.

1844: A survey in Elk Lick Township for a 34-1/2-acre tract of land was performed for Phineas Compton on November 26, 1844 (Somerset County survey C-33-204). The property was located west of the village of Salisbury, and adjoined properties of Joseph Gundy, George Folk, and Chistian Mast.

1850: Phineas and Samuel Compton are both listed as tinners in the 1850 census of Elk Lick Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

1858: The 1953 edition of "American Gun Makers" indicates that Phineas M. Compton died on July 4, 1858. Phineas Compton is buried at the Old Salisbury Cemetery (39.75240894, -79.07753553) along Ord Street on the east side of the town of Salisbury, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. His tombstone is dated 1858.

circa 1883: Phineas Compton's wife Adaline is also buried at the Old Salisbury Cemetery . Her tombstone states "Adaline Compton died Apr. 17, 1883 aged 72 ys. 3 ms. 10 ds." The 1883 isn't very clear, and might be 1893.

The following excerpt from Volume II of the 1906 book "History of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania" documents the marriage of Phineas Compton's daughter Lucretia to Isaiah Boucher. Isaiah Boucher was a tinsmithing and gunsmithing apprentice of Phineas Compton.

INFORMATION ON SAMUEL COMPTON

1825: Samuel Compton's tombstone indicates that he was born in 1825.

Circa 1837: The 1953 edition of "American Gun Makers" states that Samuel Compton began working in the shop of his father Phineas M. Compton when he was 13 years old.

1850: According to the 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, & Somerset Counties" by Whisker and Yantz, Samuel Compton, while still a young man, had accumulated property that was valued at $2,000.00 in 1850. This conflicts with the information in the 1850 census record included above, where it is Phineas whose property is valued at $2,000.00.

1860: The following excerpt from the Elk Lick Township portion of the 1860 Walker map of Somerset County, Pennsylvania shows the location of Samuel Compton's property.

1860: The following excerpt from the Elk Lick Township portion of the 1860 census of Somerset County, Pennsylvania identifies the members of the Samuel Compton household.

1863 & 1868: The 1884 book "History of Bedford, Somerset, and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania" indicates that Samuel Compton was a Justice of the Peace in Elk Lick Township 1863 and 1868:

1866: The following excerpt from Volume 3 of the 1906 book "History of Bedford and Somerset Counties, Pennsylvania" gives the 1866 birth date of one of Samuel Compton's children.

1870: The following excerpt from the 1870 census lists the members of the Samuel Compton household.

1876: The following image shows how Samuel Compton advertised himself in the 1876 Beers atlas of Somerset County, Pennsylvania:

1876: The following excerpt from the Elk Lick Township portion of the 1876 "County Atlas of Somerset, Pennsylvania" shows the location of Samuel Compton's mill and other property.

1880: The following excerpt is from the 1880 census. In this census, I can't really tell where the listing of Samuel Compton's household ends. It obviously includes his widowed mother Adaline.

1888: Samuel's wife Nancy Compton is buried in the Saint Paul Cemetery (39.77644500, -79.10552714) in the village of Saint Paul, in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Her tombstone states "Nancy wife of Samuel Compton 1829 -- 1888".

1896: The following excerpt is from the Salisbury section of the 1896 book "Brown's Miscellaneous Writings":

1900: The following excerpt is from the 1900 census records of Elk Lick Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

1902: The 1953 edition of "American Gun Makers" states that Samuel Compton died on November 27, 1902, and the 1906 book "History of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania" states that he died on November 7, 1902. He is buried in the Saint Paul Cemetery (39.77644500, -79.10552714) in the village of Saint Paul, in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. His tombstone is inscribed "Samuel Compton 1825 -- 1902".

2012: I took the following two photos of Samuel Compton's mill in 2012.

highlight arrow drawing atten. to muzzleloader gunsmith index link. See the Gunsmith Index for links to biographical material that pertains to other gunsmiths from Somerset and Bedford counties, and for links to pictures of muzzleloading firearms made in those counties.

Go to the Korns family genealogy home page

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