Nathaniel George Plummer, born March 1, 1745 in Essex County, Massachusetts, was the son of Jonathan and Elizabeth Mehetable (Herriman) Plummer. Nathaniel’s great-great-great grandparents, Francis and Ruth Plummer, came to the colonies from England in 1633 and settled in Newbury, Massachusetts. His father, Johnathan Plummer-born 1724 in Newburyport, Massachusetts, participated in the French and Indian War. A teamster, Johnathan helped keep General Braddock supplied during the campaign against the French and their Indian allies during the Foret Duquesne expedition. After the war, Johnathan settled in Westmoreland County.
Nathaniel was a minuteman in Massachusetts. He was mustered in as a private under Captain Nathaniel Gage’s company of minutemen for the Lexington Alarm on April 19, 1775 and marched to the defense of Cape Ann on Nov. 30, 1775 under Captain John Savoy. Nathaniel subsequently joined two or three Continental regiments where he was promoted to lieutenant. His service ended in 1778. Some accounts claim he was an aide to George Washington-although no proof has been found to substantiate this last claim.
In the mid 1780s, when he was about 35 years old, Nathaniel moved from Massachusetts to Allegheny County with his wife, Hannah Walker (1745-1827) and their family (Hannah and Nathaniel were married Oct. 21, 1766). Hannah also was a native of Massachusetts; her father was a minister. Nathaniel and Hannah’s first three children were born in Massachusetts and the fourth, Nathaniel, was born in Pennsylvania.
The Plummers purchased 400 acres of land in what is now Dormont (where West Liberty and Pioneer avenues intersect). At this time, the region was still a wilderness, and Nathaniel and his sons cleared the land to farm. Their stone house, built from the stones gathered while the land was being cleared, was one of the first houses erected in what is now the Dormont area. The Plummers must have made whiskey, as Nathaniel;s will makes mention of “the grain, farming tools and utensils…in or belonging to the distillery.” Around 1805, when St. Clair Township was founded, Nathaniel was named commissioner along with John Henry and John Findlay. It was at Nathaniel’s home that the Associate Reformed Congregation of Saw Mill Run (later MLEP Church) was formed in 1804. Nathaniel died at home Jan. 29, 1821. His will made mention of a distillery on his property. His land was later purchased by Colonel William Espy and then John Anderson. Nathaniel’s house was razed during the 1940s.
Nathaniel and Hannah had seven children-Elizabeth (b. 1769); Mehitable “Hetty” (b. 1771); Samuel (1772-1810, possibly buried here); Nathaniel (b. 1775); Arnold (b. 1778, died in infancy); Walker (b. 1779, died at age 2); and Hannah (b. 1783). Mehitable married Jesse Pearson June 25, 1788 and they had 12 children, including Nathaniel Plummer Pearson. When Nathaniel died, he left his daughter Hannah 30 acres at the south-west corner of his land (abutting the property of John Henry Andrew McFarland). Hannah’s sons Washington and George received all Nathaniel’s books.
“Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain.
But a woman who fearth the Lord,
She shall be blessed.”