The Quaill family is a prominent family in the West View/Ross area.
Robert Quaill and his wife Mary Roberts were both born in the county of Cavan, Ireland. In December 1798 they arrived in America, first settling in Washington County before moving to Ross Township in 1809. They lived there until 1816 when they finally settled on the Quaill farm, which bordered Bellevue.
Robert pursued higher education and became one of the first teachers in Allegheny County. He tutored the sons of wealthy planters in the south, where he contracted a fever and died in the winter of 1822. His wife Mary died on the farm in Ross Township in March 1854. Together they had six children, John, Eliza, George, Mary, Anna, and Robert. Eliza became Mrs. Thompson, and Mary married a man named Eakin. Anna died at the age of eight. Robert was taken prisoner during the Mexican-American War and was shot by order of General Santa Anna.
George Quaill was born on March 6, 1799. He received a good education from his father and was regarded as “one of the best-informed men of his day, being especially noted for his wonderful memory.” He had an interest in politics and was one of the first three Whigs to organize the party in Ross Township. He later became assessor of the township when it still included Allegheny City, Sharpsburg, and a large part of the county north of the river. He also held other local offices.
He was the first singing teacher in the area, and for many years led the singing at the Hiland Presbyterian church. He was described as very generous: “none were ever turned away hungry from his door or appealed to him in vain for aid in time of distress.”
On May 19, 1825, George Quaill married Elizabeth Reel, Casper Reel’s youngest daughter. The marriage ceremony was performed by Rev. Thomas Patterson, the first pastor of Hiland Presbyterian church, at Reel hall. George and Elizabeth Quaill lived to celebrate their golden wedding on May 19, 1875. Both George and Elizabeth lived long lives. George died on December 16, 1880. Elizabeth passed away on Nov. 20, 1891.
Members of the Quaill family have fought in most conflicts of the United States. William Roberts Quaill served in the Civil War in the 123rd Pennsylvania infantry, commanded by Colonel Clark. As previously mentioned, Robert Quaill, Jr. served in the Mexican-American War and was shot after being imprisoned by the enemy. After the Spanish-American War broke out in 1898, Theodore Thomas Quaill enlisted in the 8th Ohio Infantry Regiment in Canton, Ohio. The regiment was nicknamed “McKinley’s Own” because three companies were from President McKinley’s hometown of Canton.
Today, the Quaill Volunteer Fire Department in West View is named after the family.
The 8th Ohio Infantry Regiment