J. Clay Mullin, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

Introduction: The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, & Somerset Counties" by Whisker and Yantz identifies John Clay Mullin of Harrison Township, Bedford County as a gunsmith based on two iron mounted guns with handmade locks that he made. One gun had a crude apple wood stock, and the other a crude cherry wood stock.

1849: The Whiskers' 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" indicates that J. Clay Mullin was born in 1850, and lived his entire life in Mullican's Cove of Harrison Township. Based on his tombstone (quoted below) he was born in 1849. I would need to see some evidence before I could agree that J. Clay Mullin spent his entire life in Milligan's Cove. The following excerpt from the 1861 Walker map of Bedford County shows the location of Milligan's Cove within Harrison Township and also shows the location of the town of Manns Choice.

1877: The image below is from the Manns Choice section of the 1877 book "County Atlas of Bedford Pennsylvania". I suspect that it shows the residence of J. Clay Mullin.

1888: The Whiskers' 1983 booklet indicates that John Clay Mullin is listed in the 1888 Farquar's Directory as a laborer, and is also listed as a blacksmith and tanner. The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" indicates that J. Clay Mullin is typically identified in the tax rolls as a tanner.

1899: The obituary of J. Clay Mullin's brother Samuel H. Mullen appears in the July 28, 1899 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper, and identifies other siblings: "Samuel H. Mullin died at his home, 533 Finley street, Pittsburg, on Sunday morning. The cause of his death was spinal meningitis. He was born near Mann's Choice forty-six years ago. About eighteen years ago he was united in marriage to Miss Martha C. Earnest, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David R. Earnest, of Bedford. A short time before his marriage he went to Altoona to accept a position in the Pennsylvania Railroad company's shops at that place. Seven years ago Mr. and Mrs. Mullin removed to Pittsburg. Here he was foreman in the cleaning department of the P. R. R. shops. He is survived by his wife and six children, namely, Clay, Charles, Edith, Pearl, Cloyd and Martha. Decedent was a nephew of Maj. D. W. Mullin, of Mann's Choice, and a brother of W. Scott Mullin, of Hyndman, J. Clay Mullin, of Mann's Choice, and George W. Mullin, of Fredericktown, O. Mrs. Samuel Shaffer, of Hyndman, a sister, also survives him. The remains were brought to Mann's Choice Tuesday and interred in the graveyard at Kinton's bridge, where his parents are buried. Mr. Mullin was a member of the Lutheran church. He was a faithful Christian, a sober, industrious man, with a high sense of honor and integrity, and was held in high esteem by the P. R. R. officials and his fellow-employees."

1899: Knowing from the above that W. Scott Mullin was a brother of J. Clay Mullin, we can learn about the ancestry of J. Clay Mullin from the following biography of W. Scott Mullin that is published in Volume XXXII of the 1899 book "Biographical Review Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Somerset and Bedford Counties".

1900: The following entry is from the 1900 directory of Bedford County:

1905: The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" indicates that J. Clay Mullin's will is dated May 31, 1905.

1906: J. Clay Mullin (said to be James) died on December 6, 1906 at age 57, and is buried in the Mount Olivet Cemetery near Manns Choice, Bedford County, Pennsylvania. His tombstone, which also memorializes his wife, states, "J. Clay Mullin died Dec. 6, 1906 aged 57 ys, 4 ms, 21 ds.---- at rest Mary Ellen his wife 1854--1928". The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" indicates that there is no inventory of the J. Clay Mullin estate.

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