McConaughy, David

Life Span
Dickinson Connection
Class of 1795
    Full name
    David McConaughy
    Place of Birth
    Birth Date Certainty
    Death Date Certainty
    Free State
    No. of Spouses
    No. of Children
    Mary Mahon (wife)
    Dickinson (Carlisle College)
    Relation to Slavery
    White non-slaveholder
    Church or Religious Denomination
    Other Affiliations
    Temperance (Prohibition)

    David McConaughy (Dickinson Chronicles)

    David McConaughy was born on September 29, 1775 in Menallen, Pennsylvania, six miles from Gettysburg in what was then York County.  He was tutored locally and attended the Rev. Alexander Dobbin's classical School in Gettysburg.  He attended Dickinson College in nearby Carlisle. He was elected to the Union Philosophical Society and graduated in September 1795 with the honor of being assigned the Latin Salutary.  He continued his studies in theology under Rev. Nathan Grier and on October 5, 1797, the New Castle presbytery licensed him to preach.

    After a time as a traveling preacher, he became the head of the congregation at Upper Marsh Creek in October 1800.  When in 1813 the new Adams County seat was inaugurated in nearby Gettysburg, the church moved into town.  In the ensuing two decades, McConaughy became an active figure in Gettysburg, founding a grammar school in 1807, which the county took over in 1812, as well as founding and serving as first president of the first Temperance Society in Adams County.  His reputation as a teacher led Washington College to offer him the post of president in March 1830.  Although he did not accept initially due to family difficulties, he accepted the trustees' second offer in December 1831.  Installed in May 1832, he served Washington College through difficult times for more than sixteen years until his retirement at age 74 in 1849.

    He married Mary Mahon of Shippensburg in the spring of 1802.  She lived to survive him after fifty years of marriage, though they had no children.  David McConaughy died at his home in Washington, Pennsylvania on January 29, 1852.
    John Osborne and James W. Gerencser, eds., “David McConaughy,” Dickinson Chronicles,
    How to Cite This Page: "McConaughy, David," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,