Riggs, Rev. Cyrus

described by Rev. Johnathan R. Coulter as one who “seems to have been wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove”.

1774 – Oct 15 born Morris Co, NJ, s/o Joseph & Hannah Cook Riggs
1774 – Dec 18 baptised at First Presbyterian Church, Morristown, NJ.

1794 – When Cyrus was about 20, moved w/parents into bounds of Lower Ten Mile congregation, Washington Co, PA in the bounds of the Lower Ten Mile congregation
1797 – Married Mary Ross

1803 – graduated from Jefferson College, Cannonsburg, PA; pursued theological study under Dr. John McMillan
1803 – 1806 – licensed & ordained in Presbytery of Ohio where he served congregations
1807 – to Presbytery of Erie; installed pastor at Fairfield & Mill Creek, Adams Co, PA
1810 – Census Sandy Creek Tp, Mercer Co, PA

1812 – moved to Scrubgrass (Venago Co, PA) & West Unity (now Harrisville)

1821 – founding member of Presbytery of Allegheny

1830 – Census – Scrubgrass, Venango, PA; 8 people in household
1834  – Scrubgrass & West Unity pastorate dissolved by Presbytery of Allegheny
1835 – (or Fall 1836) to Macomb, McDonough Co, IL; he labored for two years “among the destitutions of Schuyler Presbytery”

The second religious services in the township (Walnut Grove Twp, McDonough County, Illinois) were conducted by the Rev. Griggs (sic; probably Riggs), a Presbyterian minister, who was passing through the county during the spring of 1836. He preached in a small log cabin erected and deserted by some of the early settlers who did not remain long in the township. Among those who attended were Gilmer Walker and wife, Quintus Walker, and wife and daughter Mary, Alexander Campbell and wife, and John S., David, Samuel, Mary A. and Margaret, their children. The services were to have been held at the residence of Gilmer Walker, but owing to the sickness of some of the children, with whooping cough, the place of meeting was changed to the cabin, as above mentioned. (History of McDonough County, Illinois, 1885)

1835 – 25 June. appointed by Presbytery of Schuyler to, with Rev. Robert B. Dobbins, to organize Bennington Presbyterian Church, Fulton County, Illinois (Bernadotte Twp, perhaps Ipava) (records of Bennington Church, as referenced at http://bobbydobbybloggy.blogspot.com/2009/01/three-generational-treat.html

1836 – Rev. Cyrus Riggs officiated at organization of church in Warren County, acting under appointment of Schuyler presbytery (reported at Sept meeting)
1837 – May 3 – indicted in McDonough Co, IL for harboring Negroes; Bail set at $600;  (McDonough Co. Circuit Court Book A, Oct 1830-Oct 1840, p. 224)
1837 – Oct – O. H. Browning & Settles, attorneys for Riggs had indictment quashed (McDonough Co. Circuit Court Book A, Oct 1830-Oct 1840, pp. 241-2)
1837 – Nov 15 – dau. Mary marries James Blackman in McDonough Co, IL; marriage bond lists her brother Samuel T. rather than her father as giving permission; officiated by Rev. William K. Stewart
1838 – to Elkhorn (Elkton) and Mud Creek at Nashville, Washington Co, IL; later  organized church at Galum Perry County, Illinois (stated supply at Galum in 1847 GA Minutes)

1840 – Census of Washington Co, IL; one free colored person aged 10-23 living w/family
1845 – Wife Mary died.
1849 – Died and buried at Washington Co, IL


  1. Daniel Cook Riggs (b. 1806)
  2. Rev. Cyrus Carpenter Riggs (b. 1810, ordained 1840 Presbytery of Kaskaskia, spent most of life in PA, O.S. Presbyterian)
  3. Samuel T Riggs
  4. Mary m. 1837 to James Blackman
  5. others


Ray, A. ()  http://www.alvyray.com/Riggs/vol7/GideonRiggs7_v3.1.pdf


Wallace, J. H. (1901). Genealogy of the Riggs family….  http://books.google.com/books?id=0LxOAAAAMAAJ

Norton, ().  History of the Presbyterian Church in the state of Illinois.  http://books.google.com/books?id=ts4NlwBrkuEC

Biographical and historical catalogue of Washington and Jefferson college http://books.google.com/books?id=-ahBAAAAIAAJ


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