Thomas C. Piper, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

1772: Here's the signature of Thomas Piper's father Colonel John Piper, written to my ancestor John Markley in 1772.

1794: The memorial for Thomas C. Piper on findagrave.com indicates that he was born on December 1, 1794.

1825: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" puts Thomas Piper in Hopewell Township in 1825.

1825-1835: The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, & Somerset Counties" identifies Thomas Piper of Hopewell Township, Bedford County as a gunsmith based on tax records, puts him in Hopewell Township in the 1825 to 1835 timeframe, and states that the tax rolls identify him with various occupations, including gunsmith, watchmaker, farmer, and surveyor. The 2017 book also describes Thomas Piper as a cabinetmaker, but doesn't say that occupation is identified on a tax roll.

1829: The 1983 booklet indicates that Thomas Piper is recorded in 1829 with a value of $250.00, with no occupation listed.

1830: The 1983 booklet indicates that Thomas Piper served as a juror on the Court of Common Pleas in November of 1830.

1833: The 1983 booklet indicates that Thomas Piper is recorded in 1833 as a single freeman.

1835: The 1983 booklet indicates that Thomas Piper is recorded in 1835 as a surveyor.

1841: The 1983 booklet indicates that Thomas Piper is recorded in 1841 as a watch maker.

1843: The 1983 booklet reports that Thomas Piper served as a Petit Juror in November of 1843.

1853: The 2001 book indicates that Thomas Piper died on November 9, 1853.

1853: Thomas C. Piper, who died at age 58 on November 9, 1853, is buried in the Piper Cemetery (40.099952, -78.344426), Bedford County, Pennsylvania, near the Fort Piper memorial. The unbroken part of his tombstone states "Thomas C. Piper died Nov. 6, 1853 aged..."

The following image from the Hopewell Township portion of the 1877 book "County Atlas of Bedford Pennsylvania" identifies the location of Fort Piper:

1853-1860: The 2017 book indicates that John and James Piper were the administrators of Thomas Piper's estate, but had not yet provided an accounting of the estate to the court in 1860.

The 2001 book states that the father of Thomas Piper was Colonel John Piper, a hero of the Revolutionary War. The 2017 book indicates that Thomas Piper was Colonel John Piper's youngest son. The following excerpt from the 1906 book "History of Bedford and Somerset Counties, Pennsylvania" provides background information on John Piper and his fort.

John Piper appears on the following undated Colerain Township tax list. The tax list would have to be from before 1774, because John Doddridge is on it (not shown here) and his son said he left the area in the spring of 1773. For reasons I can't explain, Henry Rhoades is also on the list, as you can see here.

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