Maj. John Cessna

John Cessna (b. Jan. 26, 1726, Shippensburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania; d. Mar. 31, 1802, Bedford, Bedford County, Pennsylvania) served with General Forbes in his campaign against Fort Duquesne in 1758 during the French and Indian War. John and Sarah Rose Cessna (m. Jan. 26, 1760 in Shippensburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania) were among the first settlers in Friends Cove (formerly known as Garretts Cove), what became Colerain Township, having established a home there in 1763. The couple had four sons.

John Cessna served in the Revolutionary War with the Pennsylvania Continental Line at Bunker Hill and Valley Forge (among other locations) and was promoted to the rank of Major. He was also a member of the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention in 1774 and was a signatory to the Pennsylvania Constitution in 1776.

Cessna was sheriff of Bedford County and a member of the Frontier Safety Committee during the difficult years dealing with the problem of Indian raids. On Columbus Day, Oct 12, 1930, a bronze tablet cemented to a large mountain boulder commemorating Major John Cessna was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies. The memorial is located just outside the iron fence enclosing his grave on a farm on Cumberland Road three miles from Bedford, Pennsylvania (source: William Herbert Leonard).

--submitted by Doug Whitehouse NSSAR #203353



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