PAGE 950 MISSING
SOMERSET TOWNSHIP - 951
children, was born June 28, 1804. His lifetime home has been near the place of his birth. His judgment is excellent, and he has always borne an unsullied character for integrity. He has led the life of a farmer mainly, has been prosperous in his business, and is a man of wealth. He has been a lifelong Democrat, but not a politician. He is a gentleman of genial temperament, possessed of good social qualities, and is popular. He is an elder in the church, a despiser of all vices, and is noted for the purity of his life.
William Smith, Jr., was married Feb. 2, 1832, to Elizabeth Van Eman, who was a granddaughter of Nicholas Van Eman, a native of the town of Eman, Holland, who married Mary Wilson, of Wales. It is not known at what period they came to this country. They first settled near Wilmington, Del. They came to Washington County prior to 1781, and settled upon "Little Chartiers Creek," taking up a large tract of land under a "tomahawk improvement." The name was changed to Van Eman after their settlement here. The children of Nicholas and Mary Van Eman were George, Nicholas, Andrew, Garrett, Katie, Polly, Betsy, Susan, and Polly. After the death of their father, which occurred in 1781, his land was divided among his three sons, George, Nicholas, and Andrew, his son Garrett having gone to Kentucky several years before that date. George settled on the farm now owned by Joseph Clokey. Nicholas settled on the farm now owned by William Berry. Andrew settled on the farm now owned by his grandson, Andrew W. Smith. They all obtained patents for their land in 1786. Andrew Van Eman married Elizabeth Riddle in the year 1788. Their children were Catharine, who married John McCully. They resided in Washington County for a time, and then removed to Jefferson County, Ohio, where she died. William married Sarah Logan, and moved to Ohio, where he remained but a short time when he returned to Washington County, and settled upon a farm near Burgettstown, where he was engaged in farming until quite old, when he sold out and went to his daughter's home in Guernsey County, Ohio, where he died Oct. 10, 1874. Mary married James Wilson. She lived for some time after her husband's death, in 1856, with her son Thomas upon a farm now owned by Horner Donley, and afterwards lived with her daughter, Catharine Weirs, where she died March 25, 1872. Jane, who was born Oct. 28, 1794, married her cousin Andrew, son of George Van Eman. She died at the residence of her daughter, Harriet Walker, of Monroe County, Mo. John died Oct. 23, 1820, in the twenty-fourth year of his age. Margaret, born Feb. 10, 1799, married James McDowell, and resided for some years in Washington County, when she moved to Fairfield County, Ohio, when she died. David remained single, and lived for some years after the death of his parents upon the old homestead with his sister Hannah. He then sold out and went west, where he spent some time, when he returned to his native county, and spent several years with A. W. Smith. He died in Guernsey County, Ohio, Aug. 30, 1878, in the seventy-eighth year of his age. Andrew was born May 29, 1805. He married Elizabeth Taylor. He resided. for a while after marriage in Washington County, then went to Adams County, Ohio, thence to Kansas, and is now a resident of Colorado. Hannah was born Oct. 24, 1807. She resided with her brother David for a long time, and is now living near her old home. Elizabeth Van Eman, wife of William Smith, Jr., was born April 14, 1803, and died April 18, 1874. She was a worthy Christian woman, ready at all times to sacrifice her own comfort for the good of those around her. She was constant in her efforts to instill into the minds of her children the true principles of the Christian religion. Her husband's success in life was in a great measure due to her frugality, self-denial, and industry. To them were born seven children,—James, died in infancy; Andrew W., married Sarah A. Doak, and resides upon a farm once owned by his maternal grandfather. His children are Robert D., William A., Ollie Florence, and Elliott W.; Mary C., married Laken Whitely; Elizabeth, died when in her seventeenth year; Margaret, married John Davis; William J., married Jane McNary, their children are Thomas McNary, Elizabeth, William, and Ella ; Sarah J., married Andrew Hagerty, at present a student in the Theological Seminary of Allegheny City, Pa. William Smith, Jr., was married to his second wife, Eleanor Wall, Nov. 9, 1875.
SOUTH STRABANE TOWNSHIP.
THE old township of Strabane was one of the original townships of the county, and embraced the present territory of North and South Strabane, the township of Washington, and part of Canton township. The township of Washington was taken from it between 1785 and 1790, but the exact date has not been ascertained. At the March term of the Court of Quarter Sessions of 1790, there was presented a petition of " inhabitants of the townships of Strabane and Washington," praying for the division of Strabane into two townships by a division line running " along the Road leading from Redstone to the Town of Washington, and the Road from said Town to Wells' Mills, to cross Chartiers Creek at Pumphrey's Ford." The petition was granted, and this certificate sent to the Executive Council. From the boundary mentioned it cannot be determined where the new township was located, nor can any knowledge of its existence as a township be obtained from record or recollection.
In December, 1792, there was presented to the Court of Quarter Sessions the following:
"The petition of sundery of the Inhabitants of the lower end of Strabane and upper end of Nottingham townships: Whereas a number of the Inhabitants of Nottingham township are within Washington election district and frequently attend at Washington at the annual election, and often without an Inspector, and we conceive some doubts may arise respecting the validity of their votes, we scarcely hint at things, not doubting, if your Honours think fit to make any arrangement by adding that part of Nottingham to Strabane township."
The addition was made by order of the court, in accordance with the prayer of the petition, and from that time the territory of the township remained practically unchanged.
At the October term of court in 1831 a petition was presented to the court of Washington County asking that .the township be divided. Viewers were appointed, and returns made, and at the May term of court in 1831 the petition for division of the township was granted, and order issued erecting North and South Strabane as separate townships.
Following is a list of justices of the peace elected in South Strabane township from 1840¹ to the present time:
Dickerson Roberts, April 14, 1840.
Robert Colmery, April 14, 1840.
James Linn, April 13, 1841.
John Nesbitt, April 15, 1845.
John Nesbitt, April 9, 1850.
John Farley, April 17, 1851
Ebenezer McBirney, April 11,1854.
Jonathan Martin, April 17, 1846.
Jonathan Martin, April 10, 1855.
John Zediker, April 10, 1855.
Workman Hughe., April 10, 1860.
Isaac Vance, April 10, 1860.
D. L. Reynolds, April 17, 1866.
D. L. Reynolds, April 10, 1871.
John Zediker, April 19, 1872.
John Zediker, Feb. 7, 1874.
D. L. Reynolds, Feb. 7, 1874.
J. B. McBride, Jan. 28, 1874.
R. D. Henry, March 16, 1876.
Charles Schmidt, March 21, 1877.
Samuel Garber, April 9, 1881.
¹ The justices who held jurisdiction in the territory of this township prior to 184u are named in the list of justices given in the history of North Strabane.
Settlements.--Richard Yeates, a Virginian, received Virginia certificates for large tracts of land in what are now South Strabane and Franklin townships. An entry in the first survey book of Yohogania County of the year 1782 is as follows :
"In consequence of Three Certificates dated at Cox's Fort the 21st day of Feb'y, 1780, and Part of one other dated 9th day of Feb'y, 1780, granted by the Commissioners for Actual Settlements appointed to adjust Claim to unpatented lands in the Counties of Yoaghiogena, Monongahela, St Ohio. Richard Yeates, assignee of William Riely, is entitled to Nine Hundred and two acres of land lying in Youghegonia County aforesaid, ad. land lying on the Eastern branches of the Middle Fork of Shurters Creek. . . . In testimony whereof, 1 have hereunto set my hand this 26th Day of Feb'y, 1780.
"THOMAS BOND, D. S. Y C.
"W. CRAWFORD, S. Y C."
This land was adjoining lands of Capt. James Buchanan and Hercules Roney, both of whom received tracts of lands as assignees of Richard Yeates for one hundred and sixty-one acres of land. The entry in the survey book mentioned above; concerning the land of Capt. James Buchanan, is here given, and , that of Hercules Roney is similar :
"In consequence of a certificate dated at Cox's Fort, Feb. 9, 1780, Granted by the Coms. appointed to adjust claims to unpatented Lands in the counties of Yohogania, Monongalia, and Ohio. Capt. James Buchanan, assignee of Richard Yates, is Intitled to one hundred and sixty-one acres of land on the waters of the middle fork of Shustees Creek.
" Signed Feby 26, 1780.
THOMAS BOND, D. S. Y. C.
W. CRAWFORD, S. Y. C."
Richard Yeates was a zealous Virginia partisan. He resided for a time on what is now known as the Gabby farm in Franklin township. On this farm was built the jail of Augusta County, Va. It is supposed he removed to the lands in South Strabane. He commenced the sale of his land in this county in 1783, and continued until 1788, when they were all disposed of.
Before the fall of 1787, Richard Yeates had removed from the county and the State, and nothing has been ascertained of his subsequent life.
Henry Taylor came to this section of the country front Cecil County, Md., about the year 1770,
and settled on land he afterwards purchased. The first pur-
- 952 -
SOUTH STRABANE TOWNSHIP - 953
chase of which there is any record is of one hundred and fifty acres on the Middle Fork of Chartiers Creek, " Bounded on the northeast by Robert Howelton's land, and on the path leading from Catfish Camp to Pittsburgh including his improvement." This deed or patent is signed by John Penn, Feb. 1, 1771. Taylor afterwards purchased other tracts, amounting in the aggregate to about seventeen hundred acres, all in what is now South Strabane. He married Jane White, and settled on the portion of land which afterward became the farm of John Smith, and now owned by George Davis. On this he built a cabin which was occupied by him for several years. His sons were Matthew, Henry, John, Joseph, and George; the daughters were Jane, Eliza, and Mary.
Matthew Taylor, the oldest son, was born on the farm, married Nancy Hutchinson, and settled on a part of the tract. He died June 19, 1852. They had ten children, eight of whom are living. Thomas resides in West Finley. George lives in Buffalo township; Matthew on two hundred acres, a part of the old homestead. William lives in Washington. His son, J. Frank Taylor, is a member of the bar in Washington County. Henry, the second son of Henry, married Nelly Dagg; settled on a portion of the farm; later sold, and removed to Wheeling, where he died. The property is now owned by George Munce.
John, the third son, settled on a part of the estate now owned by William Berry. He married Mary Good, and after the sale removed to Tuscarawas County, Ohio. Joseph married, first, Ann Stewart, and, second, Mrs. White, a widow, and lived and died in the township. George W., the youngest son, settled on a portion of the farm, where he resided until his family had arrived at maturity and became scattered. He sold and removed to Pittsburgh, and later to Wheeling.
Of the daughters, Jane became the wife of Richard Dagg. They settled on the portion of the farm now owned by Joseph Miller. John W. Seaman, the present prothonotary of Washington County, is a grandson. Eliza married Dr. Layton. They removed to Waynesburg, Greene Co., and died there. Mary married Thomas Patton, who was a hatter. They settled in Washington, Pa., for several years, and emigrated to Ohio.
Henry Taylor was appointed a major of militia and a justice of the peace of Yohogania County; and upon the erection of Washington County, in 1781, was elected a justice of the peace, October 15th, and appointed by the Supreme Executive Council a justice of the peace and of the Court of Common Pleas and Quarter Sessions, and later made the presiding justice, a position he held until the office was abolished in 1791, and the Hon. Alexander Addison, a judge learned in the law, succeeded him. He died Oct. 8, 1801, sixty-three years of age.
William Huston was the first white man who settled in the immediate vicinity of where the borough of Washington now stands. In 1774, Michael Cresap stopped at the house of William Huston at Catfish Camp, when on his way from Wheeling to Redstone. Huston's land was taken up on a Virginia certificate, and was surveyed to him as " Huston's Pleasure." On this farm he lived until the latter part of 1802. His will was made December 7th of that year. He had three sons, James, Dixson, and Hamilton, and four daughters, Ann, Jane, Peggy, and Polly. The farm was divided before the death of their father, Hamilton receiving a deed for two hundred and thirty acres. Ann married John Bollen, who was a shoemaker, and settled in Washington, Pa., opposite Joseph Huston's (who was a cousin of William) tavern on Main Street. Here they lived until 1811, when they moved to Amwell township. Mrs. Jane B. Prall, of Washington, is their daughter. Hamilton settled on the home farm. He had a son William, and Mrs. Samuel McFarland is a daughter. ,Jane Huston, daughter of William, married John Smith. Peggy married John Paxton, and Polly married Archibald Kerr. The old homestead and spring is now owned by Mrs. Henry Swartz, and part of the farm is now owned by Mrs. Nicholas Wade and others. The Wade extension is on part of the farm, and Wade Avenue passes through it.
Josiah and Hugh Scott, brothers and sons of Abram Scott, came to this county about 1771 from Peach Bottom, near where the Susquehanna River passes from Pennsylvania into Maryland. Hugh Scott settled in what is now Nottingham township, and Josiah on a piece of land in what is now South Strabane. He was born in 1735, and about 1760 married Violet Foster. The warrant for his land was not taken out until Sept. 21, 1784, and was surveyed on the 10th of September the next year. It was named " Oakham," and contained two hundred and ninety-nine acres, adjoining lands of Dorsey Pentecost, Samuel Workman, and Matthew Steen. On this farm he lived till 1819, when he and his son John and his wife and several others died of cholera. His children were Sarah, Alexander, Abraham, Mary, Betsey, James, Jane, Josiah, Hugh, Robert, Samuel, and John. Alexander married Rachel, the daughter of John McDowell, and settled on the old McDowell farm in North Strabane township. A sketch of him and his family will be found in the history of that township in connection with the McDowells. Abraham married Rebecca, also a daughter of John McDowell. He became a Presbyterian clergyman, and was connected with Jefferson College. A sketch of this family will also be found in the history of the McDowell family. Mary, a daughter of Josiah, became the wife of William Cotton, and Betsey the wife of Robert Stephenson. John married Isabella, a daughter of Isaac Vance ; they settled on the homestead, and both died in 1819.
Isaac Vance was a son of John Vance, of Somerset
954 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
township, who died in 1796. Isaac was born Feb. 11, 1754, and came to this county with his father. On the 18th of November, 1803. he married Mary, daughter of Henry Cotton. He purchased two hundred and fifty acres of land in Strabane township of Hugh Cotton, his brother-in-law, April 23, 1810, on which he settled and raised a large family. His wife died Nov. 9, 1830, and he survived her until Nov. 5, 1837, when he too died at the age of eighty-three years, leaving fourteen children, John, Agnes, Henry, Hugh, Isabella, Samuel, Mary, Hannah, Martha, Isaac, Rachel, Joseph, Margaret, and Lydia. John and Henry Vance settled on Pigeon Creek, on land their father had located there, and where their descendants now reside. Mrs. John D. Scott is a daughter of Henry. Isabella Vance married John Scott, a son of Josiah Scott; they settled on the Scott farm, and both died of cholera in 1819. Martha married David Riddle, and settled on Pigeon Creek, where their son now lives. Isaac settled in Allegheny County, and died in February, 1873. His son John owns the property. Mary married Samuel Davis, and settled on Pigeon Creek.
Samuel, a son of Isaac, settled on the homestead in Strabane township, where he died. Of his children, John remained on the homestead, where he now lives; William settled on the Scott farm, and died there; Isaac located in Carlisle, where he now resides; Joseph became a Presbyterian minister and located at Carlisle, but on account of ill health returned to the homestead and died when still a young man.
Thomas Dill emigrated to this country from Ireland and purchased land in Strabane township, a part of which he afterwards sold to Henry Wilson, who married his daughter Jane. Matthew Dill, a son, married a daughter of Alexander Cunningham, of Washington, Pa., with whom he engaged in the mercantile business in that place.
Henry Wilson, a native of Ireland, came to this country about 1800, and married Jane, a daughter of Thomas Dill, and purchased a portion of his farm, on which their son, Matthew Dill Wilson, now resides. Jane, a daughter of Henry and Jane Wilson, married Lewis Guttery, and now lives at Moundsville, W. Va. Samuel J. Wilson, also a son of Henry Wilson, graduated at Washington College, became a Presbyterian minister, and for several years was located at Pittsburgh. He is now president of the Allegheny Theological Seminary at Allegheny City. Elizabeth, a daughter of Henry Wilson, became the wife of John Paxton, of Canonsburg. This son, the Rev. John Paxton, was for several years pastor of a Presbyterian Church in Washington, D. C., and now pastor of the Forty-second Street Church in New York City. Thomas B. Wilson, also a son of Henry, was a Presbyterian minister, and located in Xenia, Ohio, where he died, leaving a widow and two sons, both of whom are Presbyterian ministers, one located near Pittsburgh, the other near Downingtown, Pa.
On the 8th of April, 1786, Nicholas Little received a warrant for a tract of land in Strabane township, which was surveyed to him on the 10th of September, 1786. It contained three hundred and ninety acres, and was named " Littleton." Nicholas and his brother Moses, who were natives of Ireland, emigrated to this country and came to this county about 1781. The descendants of Nicholas are now living in Cecil township. Moses Little settled on land adjoining John and William Colmery, and now in possession of D. L. Reynolds. His children were David, John, Margaret, Nancy, Moses. David settled on the home firm, lived a bachelor, and died there. John learned the trade of a printer, and lived and died in Pittsburgh. Margaret became the wife of Zachariah Reynolds, and resided about two miles east in the township; their descendants are living on the farm. Nancy married — McMurtry, and settled in Pittsburgh. Moses married Nancy, daughter of Joseph Harris, of Amwell township. They settled on an adjoining farm, where he lived and died. They had six children,—Emeline is unmarried ; Margaret became the wife of Samuel Melvin, of Waynesburg, Greene Co.; John H., adjoining the home farm ; Leroy W. became an attorney-at-law, resided in Washington, Pa., and died in 1872; Dr. J. H. Little resides in Washington, and Moses owns the home farm, but resides in Washington, Pa.
Robert Doak came from Harrisburg before 1780 and settled on land which was surveyed June 2, 1785, containing four hundred acres, named " Doak's Plain." Patent for it was obtained Sept. 17, 1790. He died in 1803, and left two sons, Robert and William, and one daughter, Jean, who was the widow of John Boggs, and at this time the wife of James Neal. The heirs sold to Robert Henry one hundred and thirty-five acres, March 28, 1803, and the same date two hundred to William Doak, and to John McMillen seventy acres; later, and in 1805, Robert Doak sold other land to John McMillen and Robert Hazlett. William Doak lived on his farm till his death in 1857, aged ninety-four years. He came to this section of country with his father, and settled on the farm where he and his father lived and died. He used to relate that they were driven from the place several times by the Indians, and once remained away two years.
James Wilson purchased of Richard Yeates two hundred acres of land, Oct. 28, 1783, where he resided in his latter days. It descended to his son Hugh, who was long a resident of Washington, Pa., and retired to this farm near the borough of Washington, where his son, Hugh W. Wilson, was born. The latter married Frances M., daughter of Thomas Barlow, in 1817, and settled on the farm his grandfather had purchased. They had two sons,—Edward P. is now of Cincinnati, James W. resides on the home farm. Clara became the wife of A. Todd Baird, and resides in the borough of Washington.
After the death of his wife he married Sarah, the
SOUTH STRABANE TOWNSHIP - 955
granddaughter of Col. Presley Neville, by whom he had one son, Neville, now living in Cincinnati.
Robert Henry took up a tract of land on a Virginia certificate received in February, 1780. It was surveyed as " Redstone," containing three hundred and thirty-three acres. On the 21st of November, 1793, he purchased one hundred and eighty-nine acres of Craig Ritchie, and on the 3d of May, 1799, he purchased one hundred and seventy-nine acres of Thomas Kerr (who inherited the tract of three hundred and thirteen acres called " Witches' Haunt" of his father), and on the 28th of March, 1803, he purchased one hundred and thirty-five acres of the heirs of Robert Doak. These four purchases made an area of eight hundred and thirty-six acres. He married Ann, a daughter of Nicholas Little, and had two sons, Nicholas and Joseph, and two daughters, Isabella and Peggy. Joseph married a daughter of David Zediker, and emigrated to Richland County, Ohio. Nicholas married Margaret, a daughter of John Zediker; they settled on the Henry homestead, where he lived and died April 24, 1838, leaving four sons, Robert, John, Lewis, and Joseph, and one daughter, Mary. Robert remained on the homestead, where he still lives. John located on the William Gibson tract. Lewis was in the United States army, and was wounded at the battle of the Wilderness, and died a few days after, May 24, 1864. Joseph died when about twenty-one years of age. Mary, the daughter of Nicholas and sister of Robert and John, married Nathaniel White, and settled near Hickory, in Mount Pleasant township. Isabella, a daughter of Nicholas Henry, Sr., married Lewis Zediker, and settled in Beaver County. Peggy, the youngest daughter, married Benjamin Gray, and emigrated to Ohio.
Thomas Woodward settled in the county about 1785, and took out a warrant for land April 27, 1786. It was surveyed on the 22d of May following, and named Indian Camp," containing four hundred and five acres. A part of the tract afterwards came into the possession of Col. James Dunlap, who laid out a town upon it called Williamsburg, and opened a tavern, then, having for its sign "Mount Vernon." After 1818 this passed to Jonathan Martin, and was called Martinsburg, and still later to George Pancoke, and the place is now known as Martinsburg and " Pan-coke."
The name of Lodowyck Smith does not appear on the survey books, but he was located in this township, on land adjoining Alexander Kerr, in March, 1786. In 1796 he opened a tavern on the farm, which was kept by him till his death in 1817. His will bears date in 1816, by which he left his wife the mansion house and one hundred acres during her life, and to his children each a portion of the tract. He had seven daughters and two sons,—Catharine, Margaret, John, Susannah, Christina, Julia, Mary, Elizabeth, and Lewis.
Catharine married David Zediker; they came into possession of ninety acres, which was sold, and is now owned by B. B. Zediker, and removed to Ohio. Margaret married John Zediker, and settled on the Zediker farm, a portion of which was given to them by her father. John also lived on a portion of the farm. Susanna married Dickinson Roberts; they resided on part of the farm. He was sheriff of Washington County in 1817. Their children were Elizabeth, who married Thomas Fergus, and settled in South Strabane. Mary married Lewis Valentine. Leonard settled on the Little farm, and Lewis in Waynesburg. Christina Smith married Samuel Munce ; they settled on the homestead and had two children, of whom one married Adam Beck, whose heirs now own the property. Julia Smith married William Helms, and settled at Amity, in Amwell township. Mary Smith married James Guttery, and settled on part of the Smith farm, now owned by their son George. Elizabeth Smith married Jacob Koontz, a son of Michael Koontz, of Washington ; the portion of the farm they owned is now owned by Robert Zediker. Lewis Smith, a son of Lodowyck, settled on the portion left him and died there, leaving it to his son Lewis. It is now owned by the heirs of John Zediker, Jr.
John and David Zediker were Germans, who came to this township, where they both married daughters of Lodowyck Smith. John married Margaret, and David married Catharine. The latter received of her father forty-five acres of land, and Margaret ninety acres. David and Margaret soon after sold their land and removed to near Richland (now Mansfield), Ohio, where he took up a large tract of land, and raised four sons, each of whom he gave eighty acres.
John Zediker, his brother, purchased lands of Thomas Kerr, adjoining, and lived there many years, raised a large family of children, and finally went West, leaving his family here. Of these Lewis married Margaret, the daughter of Nicholas Henry, and lived on the Zediker homestead, where he died, leaving five sons and five daughters. His son John lives in the east portion of the township, and is a justice of the peace. Robert lives on the Jacob Koontz property. Nicholas lives in Martinsburg, and B. B. Zediker on the homestead, and also owns the portion left to David Zediker. John, a brother of Lewis, and son of John Zediker, lived on the portion of land his father bought of Thomas Kerr, and his heirs are still in possession.
William Smith, a native of Ireland, came to this county and settled for a time on Mingo Creek, and July 25, 1807, purchased one hundred and nine acres of land of Nicholas Vaneman, where he settled and died. His children were Ann, Sarah, Margaret, Maria, James, and William. Ann married Joseph Caldwell, of Hickory, where he was a merchant. Later he moved to Butler County, Pa. Sarah married Robert Hanna, and moved to Ohio. Margaret remained single, and died in the township. James settled near Washington, Pa., but' died soon after settlement.
956 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
William married Elizabeth, daughter of Andrew Vaneman, and settled first in Somerset township, where he remained eight years. He then bought the mill property in South Strabane township, which he still owns. He owns property adjoining in Somerset and South Strabane townships. He now lives near the line and in Somerset township, and his son Wylie in the old Andrew Vaneman homestead in this township.
Hugh, Samuel, and James Workman came to this country about 1781 and settled near Washington, Pa. They were all engaged at different times in the expeditions against the Indians. Hugh and Samuel were tanners. Hugh took up his residence in the borough of Washington, where he followed his occupation. Samuel took out a warrant for a tract of land dated Sept. 2, 1785, and which was surveyed May 13th the next year. It was called " Paphos," and contained three hundred and fifty-eight acres. He opened a tavern in 1796, and kept it till 1812. The load owned by James Workman is now owned by Huston Paull, and that owned by Samuel is now owned by Mrs. Templeton. James Workman also purchased of Henry Woods, July 22, 1796, eighteen acres (a part of the John McClure tract), and on the 20th of January, 1801, he purchased land of William Huston, a part of the tract called " Huston's Pleasure."
A Methodist Church or class was organized in this township about 1840. Their meetings were first held in the school-house. About five years later they erected a neat frame church, in which services were held until about 1867, when it was thought best to change the location, and a frame building was erected on the north side of the National road, about six and a half miles cast of Washington borough, outside of this township. The chapel, at first known as Providence Chapel, upon its removal to its present location became known as Davidson's Chapel, and is at present under the pastoral care of the Rev. R. S. Wolf. Upon the site of the Providence Chapel now stands the
Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church, under the care of the Rev. W. F. Hamilton. Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church.—This church was organized July 2, 1872. Its edifice is in South Strabane, five miles east of Washington. For the first few years of its existence it was supplied with preaching successively by Rev. W. Ewing and Rev. George Fraser, D.D. Since April, 1875, its pulpit has been filled by Rev. W. F. Hamilton. Its ruling elders have been Isaac Dager, William Pees, and Robert Munnell, ordained July 2, 1872, and John B. Herron and John Herron, ordained Feb. 11, 1877. The last named is now acting. Isaac Dager died Dec. 4, 1876. The others have removed out of the bounds. At its organization twenty-eight members were enrolled ; its present membership is forty-four. One of the active instruments in the establishment of this church was the venerable Mrs. Jane Dill Wilson, who died June 20,1877, at an advanced age. She was the mother of Rev. Thomas Wilson, deceased, and Rev. S. J. Wilson, D.D., LL.D., professor in Western Theological Seminary. Among her grandchildren are Rev. Maurice B. Wilson, Emsworth, Pa., and Rev. Calvin D. Wilson and Rev. John R. Paxton, D.D., both of Washington, D. C. She was a person of remarkable force of character and most devoted piety.
Schools were taught in the township in the early days by subscription, in the same manner as in other townships. At the time of the passage of the school law in 1834 there were living in the township 245 persons liable to school tax. The amount raised for school purposes in 1835 was $201.88. Unlike some of the other townships in the county, this township accepted the provisions of the law, and raised in 1836 $401, and received from the State $66.39. In 1837 the whole amount received was $404.47. The township was divided into seven districts, which remained as they were laid out until about 1875, when another district was made. In .1863 there were 237 pupils; in 1873, 221; and in 1880 the number was increased to 333. In 1863 the receipts for school purposes were $1035.20; expenditures, $993; in 1873, receipts, $1995.18 ; expenditures, $1723.92 ; in 1880, receipts, $4419.49; expenditures, $4120.97.
Prehistoric relics have been found in various places in South Strabane township. A cut is here given of a pipe made doubtless by a people whose occupancy preceded that of the Indians whom the first white settlers found here. It was found near the United
SOUTH STRABANE TOWNSHIP - 957
Presbyterian Church in this township by Joseph Brundige in the year 1840.
Enterprise Coal-Works.---On the 1st of April, 1873, operations were commenced for sinking a shaft seven by eleven feet in size, for the purpose of mining coal. After reaching a depth of one hundred and fifty feet they struck the Pittsburgh vein, which at that place was four feet in thickness. The land was owned by James Walter and Julius Le Moyne, and the sinking of the shaft and mining was under the management of the former. In December of that year mining commenced ; from ten to twenty-five men were employed, and entries were opened from both the east and west sides. After the several changes, the original proprietors retiring, the property came into possession of V. Harding, who now owns it. There is one main entry running northerly, and nine cross entries, five on the west side and four on the east, extending as follows: West side, No. 1, 1400 feet; No. 2, 1400 feet; No. 3, 700 feet; No. 4, 500 feet; No. 5, 250 feet. About 800 feet from the main entry is an air-shaft, six by six feet. East side : No. 1, 125 feet ; No. 2, 750 feet ; No. 3, 150 feet ;;No. 4, 175 feet. The entries on the east side and Nos. 3, 4, and 5 on the west side are not worked at present. About 12,000 tons were mined in 1881. A branch road runs from the works to connect with the Pittsburgh Southern Railroad.
Samuel Vance was born in Somerset township, Washington County, Pa., March 13, 1791. His father, Isaac Vance, was of Scotch-Irish parentage, and a native of the valley of Virginia. His mother, Mary Cotton, of Puritan ancestry, was born in Bedford County, Pa. Both families came to this country about the year 1780.
The life of Samuel was the uneventful one of a well-to-do Washington County farmer. He was a man of noble impulses, strict integrity, and high character. His reading and thinking made him one of the earliest and most pronounced temperance men, and an anti-slavery man when that movement was first begun. He was twice married, his wives being cousins, Martha and Mary Fife, of Allegheny County, Pa. He had eight children, four of whom survive him. In 1834 he was chosen a ruling elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Washington, in which relation he continued until the time of his death, Feb. 28, 1874. His good judgment, practical common sense, and unflinching honesty were often called into requisition in public local trusts and interests.
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William Paul, a native of Pennsylvania, and Hannah Slack, a native of New Jersey, were married in the beginning of the present century, and settled in Amwell township, Washington Co., Pa. They had twelve children, all of whom grew to manhood and womanhood and married: Huston Paul was their third child, and wits born Nov. 10, 1805. He enjoyed but meagre advantages of study in childhood, it being necessary for him very early in life to devote his time to manual labor. He was married Oct. 4, 1827, to Nancy, youngest daughter of Martin and Catharine Heckathorn, of Greene Co., Pa. For five years after his marriage he was engaged in milling. He then purchased the farm where he now resides. His life has been one of temperance, industry, and prudent economy. Although he has almost reached the age of fourscore years, he is still active, the result,, no doubt, of his even-tempered, abstemious life. He has four children,—Hannah married John C. Hastings, . a hardware merchant of Washington, Pa., where they reside. They have two children,—William, married to Sadie Ashbrook, and Annie G. Catharine is unmarried, and resides with her father. William married Martha Vance. He is a farmer, and resides in Franklin township, Washington Co. They have seven children,—Philo V., Samuel H., Cary B. Isaac E., Mary R., Nancy, and Martha.
Nancy is unmarried, and resides with her father.
William Davis was born in West Bethlehem township, Washington Co., Pa.; Oct. 6,1810, and is the son of Joshua and Mary Davis. His father was born in Pennsylvania, and his mother was a native of Ireland. William was the oldest of their children, and he and Mrs. Lucinda Smith, of Pittsburgh, are the only ones now living. Mr. Davis in his childhood attended the so-called subscription schools of the neighborhood in which his father resided. He engaged in farm labor early in life, and continued to work for different farmers, carefully husbanding his earnings, until 1847, when he purchased and moved to the farm where he now resides, and since that time he has devoted himself to agriculture and the growing of Saxony wool, in both of which he has been eminently successful. He was married Jan. 28, 1836, to Juliet Palmer, who died Oct. 11, 1841. They had three children. George married Elizabeth Martin, and is engaged in merchandising in Washington, Pa. John K. married Margaret Smith, and is a farmer in Somerset township. Mary Elizabeth died in infancy. Auk. 15,. 1844, Mr. Davis married Phebe E. Moore, who died July 8, 1852. His present wife's maiden name was Mary Kerr. They have one son, William H., who is a farmer and resides with his parents. Mr. Davis has held a number of important township offices,
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and was for nine years a member of the Poor Board of the county. He discharged the duties of these positions in a manner creditable to himself and his constituency. He is also a director of the First National Bank of Washington, Pa., which position he has held for a number of years. He has long been a member of the Presbyterian Church, and for a number of years has held the office of elder in that organization.
He is pleasant and unobtrusive in manner, of a kind and benevolent spirit, greatly attached to his home, and is much respected by his neighbors. His success in life is due to his integrity, his industry, his devotion, and his unselfishness.
GEORGE M. RAMSEY, M.D.
Of the early history of Dr. George M. Ramsey's family little is known. His great-grandfather came to this country at the age of twelve years. His grandfather, William Ramsey, was born in Bucks Co., Pa., in the year 1755. At the age of sixteen he took the colonial oath of allegiance, and enlisted early in the war of independence as captain. When reconnoitering one day he unexpectedly met two mounted British officers, one of whom he. captured, notwithstanding he was himself on foot. The government presented him with the sword of the officer he captured in recognition of his bravery and agility. After the surrender of Yorktown he started on foot for home, and becoming weary on the way he hung his cumbrous sabre on the limb of a tree and left his trophy there, which in after years he greatly. regretted. In 1780 he married Martha Allan, of Chester County, Pa. In 1800 he moved to Washington County, and purchased the tract of land now comprising the, farms of John S. Barr and S. B. Wier, in Somerset township. He built a mill and pottery near where the United Presbyterian Church now stands. William Ramsey with his family were attendants and communicants of Pigeon Creek Presbyterian Church. In 1815 he moved to Ohio, where he died at the age of eighty-six years. His remains were buried at Morristown, Ohio.
Josiah Ramsey, the doctor's father, was born Dec. 4, 1783, near Chambersburg, Pa. ; was seventeen years old when he came to Washington County. In 1804 he married Catharine McIlvaine, and had born unto him twelve children, nine daughters and three sons, William, George M., and Josiah Allan. A few years after his marriage he bought the farm in South Strabane where all of his children except three were born. He was a man of exemplary life, a Presbyterian of the Calvinistic type, industrious, and dextrous with the use of tools, but remained a farmer; He died at the age of fifty-three years, and his remains were buried at Pigeon Creek Cemetery.
His oldest son, William Ramsey, was born Jan. 16, 1812. He remained at home, was a steady-going far mer, and never married. He was an ardent Republican, a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church for about forty years, a ruling elder in the same for about twenty-five years. He died June 30, 1880, and a handsome monument marks the place of his burial in Pigeon Creek Cemetery.
Josiah Allan, the youngest son and the youngest of the family, was born March 31, 1828. He received a liberal education, graduating from Washington College in the class of 1850. He read medicine at McKeesport, Allegheny Co., Pa., and began practicing at Braddock Fields, the same county, where he married Mary West, daughter of Rev. Nathaniel West, D.D.
After a few years he moved to Philadelphia, where he practiced until the beginning of the Rebellion, and being surgeon of a volunteer regiment of Philadelphia, he entered the service with his regiment under the call for seventy-five thousand men to serve for three months. At the expiration of his three months' service he was appointed and commissioned surgeon of the One Hundred and Twenty-first Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and continued in service in the Army of the Potomac until it disbanded in 1865. He then returned to Philadelphia and resumed the practice of medicine. Jan. 1, 1870, his wife died, and in September, 1871, he married Emeline E. Ramalee, of Philadelphia, and to them was born one son, Paul Lemoyne Allan Ramsey. Dr. Josiah Allan Ramsey was a man of delicate constitution, of courteous and genial manner. He died Jan. 8, 1873, and his remains were buried in Mount Vernon Cemetery, Philadelphia.
Dr. George M. Ramsey was born April 19, 1820, in South Strabane township, Washington County. When fifteen years of age his father died; he remained at home two years after his death, and then went to the carpenter trade. In the autumn of 1846, his health failing, he was advised by his physician to go South. He first went to Louisiana, where he spent the winter; he then went to St. Louis, Mo., and in the midsummer to Mineral Point, Wis. His health not improving he again went South via New Orleans and Mobile to Selma, Ala. In the autumn of 1848 he taught school in Arkansas for two and a half months, when he was obliged to leave without compensation for his work because of his sympathy for, and supposed aid to, slaves escaping from their masters. He again went to St. Louis, thence to Alabama, where he spent the winter of 1848. In the summer of 1849 he returned to his home in Washington County, and in the autumn of the same year began the study of medicine in Canonsburg, Pa. He graduated at Jefferson Medical College in the crass of 1852, and in October of that year began practice in St. Louis, Mo. In June, 1853, he was appointed surgeon on a vessel bound for Australia, and went to New York City to embark, but finding the vessel not seaworthy he refused to accept the position.. He remained in New
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York City until the beginning of the civil war, when he was appointed surgeon of the soldiers' barracks in Pearl Street, and was examining surgeon until October, 1861, when, at his request, he was ordered to report to the Ninety-fifth Regiment New York Volunteers for duty. This regiment was ordered to Washington, and in March, 1862, entered Virginia, and was attached to the Army of the Potomac. Surgeon Ramsey was in all of the battles fought by the Army of the Potomac until February, 1863. At the battle of Gettysburg he had charge of a hospital containing over a thousand wounded Union and several hundred rebel soldiers. He performed all the operations required with a death-rate of only seven per thousand. In February, 1863, he was ordered to report to the Secretary of the Navy for detached service, but remained surgeon of the Ninety-fifth New York Volunteers, and, at his own request, was permitted to return to duty with his old regiment. Immediately upon his return he was ordered to duty as brigade-surgeon at brigade headquarters, and was finally mustered out of service with his regiment, July 18, 1865. He then returned to New York City and resumed the practice of medicine. In April, 1872, he married Anna Martha Gaffney, and in the autumn of 1876 he returned to the old homestead in Washington County, Pa., where he now resides.
Dr. Ramsey is especially fond of scientific studies, and for many years has been engaged upon the difficult problem of accounting for the diurnal motion of the earth. While residing in New York he delivered lectures upon the subject before scientific societies, and in 1869 he published a work of two hundred and sixty-four pages, entitled "Cosmology," in which his theories are propounded and discussed. These theories are certainly quite novel, and may not meet with approval, but to preserve them and invite discussion a summary is here made as nearly as possible in his own language :
The velocity and direction in which clouds move (even when affected by the earth's surface), when compared with the velocity and direction of the earth's rotation, "demonstrate that the wind always moves eastward, and in the aggregate has a greater velocity than the earth's surface over which it moves. Air-motion is always eastward, although it may diverge northward or southward, thereby resulting in a compound motion, yet its eastward motion is always the greatest." "Air-pressure upon the earth's surface is more than one ton to each square foot of surface." "Now considering the earth as virtually in a state of equilibrium in space, that gravity is not exerted upon it in a way to impede rotation, that this air-pressure in motion is exerted in the direction of rotation, and that its velocity is greater than the earth's velocity of rotation, it follows," in Dr. Ramsey's opinion, " that the earth's diurnal rotation is produced and perpetuated by atmospheric pressure in motion." "The atmosphere is, in fact, a great elastic belt, enveloping the earth from pole to pole, moving with a velocity greater than that of the earth's surface, and exerting its mighty power to rotate the earth with a leverage of four thousand miles." Hence is to be discovered another law of nature in operation, "whereby at long but undefined periods the earth is virtually capsized, causing geological and glacial periods and changes in the geographical position of the polar centres."
In the diagram to illustrate these views, S represents the sun; B the earth at her vernal equinox; C
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and D the earth at her solstices. " One law of atmospheric motion is that it always crosses the line of illumination at right angles, as is shown by the arrows. At B it is seen that the earth's line of rotation and air-motion coincide; while at the solstices, C and D, they diverge 45°. Now, the atmosphere being the cause of the earth's rotary motion, it is plainly seen," says the doctor, "if the divergence were greater the rotary power would be exerted with greater force upon the earth around her polar diameter, resulting in a change in the direction of rotation so as to coincide with the line of air-motion, and this change in the direction of rotation would produce a deluge that would submerge whole continents."
THE township of Union lies in the northeast cornet of Washington County, on the convex side of a sweeping bend of the Monongahela River, which forms it: entire eastern boundary. On the north and northeast he township is bounded by Allegheny County, or he west by Peters and Nottingham townships, and m the south by the township of Carroll. Beside he Monongahela River, which forms the eastern boundary of the township, as already mentioned, the only streams of sufficient size and importance to be worthy of mention are Mingo Creek in the southern end Peters Creek in the northern part of the township. Both these streams flow in an 'easterly course into the Monongahela. These, with a number of smaller creeks and runs, tributaries of the two principal creeks and of the Monongahela, comprise all thy waters of Union township. Along the margin of the river are bottom-lands, ranging from one-eighth to three-quarters of a mile in width. From the wester' and northwestern borders of these bottoms the land rises abruptly into a range of high "river hills," from the tops of which elevations there stretches away to wards the interior a succession of high rolling uplands everywhere tillable and admirably adapted for purposes of Agriculture and grazing. The hills are underlaid with a rich and heavy vein of coal, and above his vein is found an unlimited supply of stone of the most excellent and durable quality for purposes of building, to which use it has been successfully applied by the inhabitants of this locality almost from he time of the building of the homes of the earliest settlers.
The territory of which this township is composed was that part of Peters and that part of Nottingham townships lying along the Monongahela River The first action towards the erection of a township upon this territory was the presentation, at the Jan wry session of court in 1835, of a petition from sundry inhabitants of Peters and Nottingham townships for a new township out of part of said town hips." On the 26th of the same month the tour appointed viewers, who reported at the June term. review was granted, arid on the 3d of October a re-review was granted. On the 23d of December, 1835, the re-reviewers " reported in favor a new township." which' report was approved, and on the 31st of March, 1836, the court confirmed the report., and decreed the erection of a new township to be named " Union."
Dissatisfaction seems to have grown out of this procedure, and the inhabitants of the new township presented a petition at the June term of court, 1836, " for a view of said township, for the purpose of being annexed Co Carroll township, from the great inconvenience respecting schools." Commissioners were appointed on the 23d of June to examine the merits of the case.. It was in their hands for some time, and not until Nov. 15, 1839, was a final report made, which was " That there is no alteration necessary." This was approved, and on the 21st of February the action was confirmed.
Early Settlements and Settlers.—The following is a list of the names of persons assessed in Peters and Nottingham townships in 1788, on lands now within the limits of Union township, viz.: In Peters township, John Anderson, 80 acres; James Anderson, 30 acres; James Barclay, 250 acres; John Barr; John Cox, 300 acres; John Campbell, 160 acres; Edward Campbell, 50 acres; Robert Estep, 300 acres; John Finley, 125 acres ; James Gailey, 50 acres ; Widow Pyatt, 200 acres; Thomas Williams, 150 acres. In Nottingham township, John Barr, 140 acres ; Joseph Bentley, 115 acres ; Charles Bradford, 65 acres; Philip Dailey, 110 acres; Charles Dailey, 260 acres; Nathan Dailey, 300 acres; Jacob Fegley, 325 acres ; Zachariah Fegley ; Simeon Fegley; John Holcroft, 400 acres; John Happer, 300 acres; James Logan, 100 acres ; Robert Little, 400 acres.
Settlements had been made in many places along the Monongahela River before the land was ceded by the Indians to the Penns, but within the limits of Union township no evidence is found of such prior settlements. The earliest date brought to notice is discovered in a Virginia certificate that was issued to Gabriel Cox, Jan. 5, 1780.
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This tract of 400 acres was granted to Gabriel Cox as a settlement right, and was surveyed to him as 3151 acres, under the title of " Coxbury." It was located . adjoining the property of Robert Little, Robert Estep, and Samuel Irwin, and also adjoining another tract of land which Cox owned, and which was called " Cox's Addition." The last-named tract was granted to Mr. Cox under the pre-emption, and was surveyed as 262 acres. Gabriel Cox and his wife, Sarah, lived at this place until about the year 1790, but whether they had any family, or to what place they removed at that time, is not known. None of their descendants are in the county. The land occupied by Mr. Cox is now owned by Andrew McClure and Messrs. Morrison and Dennison. It is, however, authentic that Gabriel Cox was a major under the authority of Virginia from 1776 to 1781; also, that he was a participant in the various expeditions that went out from Washington County against the Indians from 1778 to 1782.
John Campbell and his son Edward were residents of this county as early as 1779, as the name of the father appears upon a recorded deed of that date. John Campbell took up a tract of land containing 311 acres, to which was given the name of " Campbellton," and he received a patent for it Sept. 9, 1788. On April 5, 1807, he purchased 226 acres of land adjoining the tracts of Abram Mellinger and Enoch Wright, on Peters Creek, on the Washington road. This tract was named "Partnership." Mr. Campbell held this property for several years, and Jan. 23, 1823, sold it to his son Edward. It is now occupied by Mrs. Freitchman and others. John Campbell was appointed justice of the peace Feb. 8, 1799, which office he held for many years.
Philip Dailey received Jan. 17, 1780, a Virginia certificate for a tract "adjoining lands of Gabriel Cox; and including his settlement made in the year of our Lord 1778." This tract was surveyed as two hundred and twenty-three acres under the name of " Dauphin." At his death Philip Dailey left this property by will to his sons, Philip, Charles, and Samuel Dailey.
Nathan Dailey, a brother of Philip, Sr., warranted a tract of land containing two hundred and eighty-nine acres, called "Falling Timber Bottom." The application for this land was dated May 23, 1769. The land was also secured by Mr. Dailey upon a Virginia certificate, and the warrant of acceptance was given Dec. 16, 1792. One hundred and twenty-seven acres of this property was conveyed by Nathan Dailey to his son Nathan in October, 1816, and one hundred and twenty-seven acres was sold by him, Jan. 13, 1818, to Joseph Bentley. The part given to Nathan Dailey, Jr., was in turn left by him to his son Isaac, who afterwards sold a portion of it to John Hindman. John Holcroft was a native of Fairfield County, Conn. The exact date of his arrival in Washington County is not known, but he was here prior to 1786, and at that time he was living on land belonging to Dorsey Pentecost. On Dec. 30, 1786, he leased of Dorsey Pentecost property described as " the lands now in possession of John Holcroft, Hugh and James Miller, James Patterson; John Spivey, Benjamin Johnston, John Williamson, William McCoy, and William Leaman, and one other tract on the west fork of Chartiers Creek." It appears that the lands had been leased prior to this date, but Pentecost relinquished all right and title to the rents, in consideration of which Holcroft was to pay him £200 in gold or silver coin. How long Holcroft retained possession of the lands under this lease is not known. During the Whiskey Insurrection Holcroft was living in what is now Union township, and was one of the foremost and most active of the insurgents. The land upon which he then lived is east of Gastonville, on the Finleyville and Elizabeth road. It has passed through many hands and is now owned by Joel Sickman and others, the old log house which he occupied standing near the present stone house of Mr. Sickman. In 1788, Holcroft was assessed upon a tract of four hundred acres of land called " Liberty Hall," that was taken up by Samuel Irwin upon a Virginia certificate. In January, 1795, Holcroft bought it. He lived in this township until 1818, when he died far advanced in years. His wife, Rachel Holcroft, survived him, as did his eight sons and eight daughters. The sons were John B., Seely, Richard, James, George, Nathaniel, Elijah, and William Holcroft. The daughters were Mrs. Elizabeth Lockwood, Mrs. Mary Scofield, Mrs. Deborah Donalson, Mrs. Rachel Applegate, Mrs. Sarah Gallagher, Mrs. Gerty Sprig, Mrs. Margaret Seely, and Mrs. Betsey Storer. The son William was the youngest of the family. The Holcroft property or a part of it is now owned by John Houston.
Richard James, of Upper Freehold, Monmouth Co., N. J., purchased of Gabriel Cox, April 20, 1786, five hundred and five acres of land in which was included the whole of the tract called " Coxbury," and a part " Cox's Addition." Again, on Oct. 28, 1793, Richard James, " in consideration of the love, good will, and natural affection which he hath and doth bear toward his son, and the farther consideration of ten shillings," conveyed to his son, Robert James, one-half of the land purchased of Gabriel Cox, which was two hundred and fifty-two and one-half acres. Also at the same time, and for the same reasons and consideration, he conveyed to his son William the other half,--two hundred and fifty-two and one-half acres, —the latter half containing houses, barns, stables, and all other buildings. Upon coming into possession of their property in 1793 the two brothers, Robert and William James, both single men, came to Washington County. Robert built a log house upon the lower part of his land, and soon after married Catherine, a daughter of Mr. Gallagher, who lived near in Allegheny County. About the year 1800, Robert James built the stone house how owned by Mrs. Gilmore,
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where he lived until his death, Nov. 30, 1834, at seventy-three years of age. His wife died March 7, 1842, aged seventy-six years. The two sons born to Robert and Catherine James both died in early life, but their six daughters all reached maturity. Elizabeth became the wife of Rev. John White, a Methodist minister, then on the circuit which included Union township, but who afterwards settled in Sewickley. Catherine James married Edward Smith, of Virginia, and Harriet. married Andrew McClure, who settled upon a part of the old homestead, and in 1849 built the stone house in which he now resides with his family. Martha James became Mrs. Samuel Gaston, and with her husband settled in Iowa. The daughters Emma and Rebecca never married, and lived together in the old home many years after their parents' death. Robert James was a prominent member in the Methodist Church, having much to do with its organization and in the erection of the building known as the "Stone Chapel." He donated one acre of land Sept. 13, 1817, providing only "that the trustees shall erect or cause to be erected or built thereon a house of worship for the use of the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church." He was extremely active in all good works, and yet soon after settling in this township a demand was made upon him for a certain amount of money ; his refusal resulted in the burning of his barns and all other outbuildings. Suspecting a man in the vicinity to be connected with the fire, Mr. James commenced measures to bring him to justice, when he suddenly fled to other parts. He was undoubtedly the leader of a band who had made a practice of extorting money from the better class of inhabitants of this section by sending threatening letters, as in Mr. James' case. With his departure the villainy ceased.
Among the early settlers who came to this territory with the idea that they were settling in Virginia was Robert Lytle, who came about the year 1776 and located on land lying partly on the Monongahela River and partly on Peters Creek, adjoining Gabriel Cox and Samuel Heath. This tract was granted to him on the 25th of February, 1780. It contained four hundred and eighty-six acres. On this farm he lived, raised a family of children, and died at an advanced age, leaving seven sons,—David, James, Abram, Joseph, Samuel, Isaac, and Robert. Of these, David settled in Mercer County, Pa. ; James emigrated to near St. Louis, Mo. ; Abram resided on the home farm, which was left upon his death to his son, John Lytle, who still resides upon it. He also left three daughters, one of whom, Mary (Mrs. Gilmore), resides in Elizabeth, Allegheny County. Two daughters married and moved West.
Joseph Lytle, son of Robert, settled in Beaver County, Pa., and later moved to Allegheny County, opposite Monongahela City, where he resided with his brother Isaac. Isaac and Benjamin Lytle, of Union township, are sons of Joseph. Samuel Lytle moved to near Bentleyville in this county, and lived there till his death, leaving descendants. Isaac settled in Allegheny County, opposite Monongahela City ; the farm on which he settled is now owned by his youngest son. Robert Lytle, when a young man, emigrated to Chillicothe, Ohio, and remained there.
In the year 1786, .Tacob Fegley took up two tracts of land in what is now Union township, and the assessment-roll of 1788 shows him to have been then the possessor of three hundred and twenty-five acres. One tract named " Fergus" was patented Feb. 22, 1789, but the date of the patent of the other, called ," High Germany," is not given. The land of Mr. Fegley was situated near Mingo Church, adjoining that of John Kennedy, and is still owned by his descendants.
John Happer was a native of Ireland, whence he emigrated, and coining to Washington County took up a tract of three hundred acres of land in this vicinity, the place where his grandson, John Happer, now lives. He received the patent upon his land May 19, 1787. John Happer's children were six, four sons and two daughters. Of the sons, Andrew and Baptist lived to manhood. Andrew went to Ohio, where he died ; Baptist remained upon the homestead all his life. The daughter Agnes married John Steele, who lived near Brownsville. Jane married John Storer, and settled in Allegheny County, but died in about a year afterwards. Baptist Happer had also four sons and two daughters. Samuel, the eldest, went West, and died there; John lives on the old homestead; James, the youngest, emigrated to Illinois; Andrew has been a missionary in China for thirty-eight years under the Presbyterian Board of Missions; Sarah married Rev. Thomas Gault, and removed to the West ; Margaret also married and settled in the West.
Robert Estep was a native of New Jersey who settled in this township in 1788, taking up three hundred acres of land on Peters Creek, one mile below Finleyville, upon which he lived and died. His land adjoined that of Gabriel Cox, which the latter sold to Robert James. Robert Estep left a family of thirteen children, most of them living in Union township for many years. Afterwards some of the family moved West. Dr. James Estep, one of the sons, was born in this township. He studied and practiced medicine in Westmoreland County, and later in his native township. He was also an ordained Baptist minister, and was the pastor of Peters Creek Baptist Church for several years. Nathan, the oldest son of Robert Estep, settled on the old homestead, and died leaving no descendants. William, another son, also lived on a part of' the home farm, which his son Joseph now owns. Ephraim, still another son, left the farm he inherited to his daughter Elmira, who now occupies it.
John Cox came to Washington County before the year 1788, and took out a warrant for a tract of land
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containing three hundred and six acres, which was surveyed to him as " Belmont," the patent being granted Sept. 9, 1790. Upon his farm he built a log house, which stood near the present brick house of Joseph S. Gaston. "Belmont" was sold by Cox to John Gaston the November following its patenting, and Cox removed to near Limetown, and remained there until .his death. A son, Enoch Cox, also died near Limetown.
John Gaston came from New Jersey to this county with his wife and family of four sons and two daughters, and, as already mentioned, purchased of John Cox, Nov. 30, 1790, the tract " Belmont," upon which Gastonville has been built. He also purchased land adjoining. He built a hewed log house a short distance south of the site of John Cox's old house, living in it until his death in 1825, at the age of eighty-seven years. Mr. Gaston gave to each of his sons, William and James, one hundred acres of his land. They eventually sold their shares of the property to Samuel, another son, and both removed to Ohio. Samuel remained upon the homestead. Joseph, the fourth son, went to South Carolina, where he married and subsequently removed to Ohio, where he died. Samuel Gaston married Margaret Penny, of Allegheny County, and their family of nine children all settled here. They are all dead except William, who lives on a part of the old tract of land at Gastonville. Joseph S. Gaston, Jr., now living in the brick house built by Samuel Gaston on the homestead tract, is a son of Joseph S. Gaston and a grandson of Samuel Gaston. Margaret, one of John Gaston's daughters, became the wife of Samuel McClean, of New Jersey. They settled in Nottingham township, at the head of Peters Creek, where they died and left no descendants.
Col. Joseph Barr, on Jan. 11, 1803, purchased two hundred acres of land of Samuel Meek, which adjoined the property of Abraham Mellinger in this township. It was a part of the " Rocky Ridge" tract, which was patented to Samuel Meek, Oct. 11, 1788. Col. Barr sold it again in April, 1854, to Dr. William B. Link, whose son, Dr. John Link, now owns it. Col. Joseph Barr had a family of six children,—two sons and four daughters. The sons were Robert and Joseph, and the daughters were Mary A., who became Mrs. John Berry, Deborah and Kate, who remained unmarried, and Caroline, who married Rev. Mr. McFarlane, a minister of the Seceder Church.
Charles Bradford was an early settler of Washington County, as it appears upon record that before 1788 he had purchased sixty-nine acres of land of John Cox, and had a saw-mill upon Peters Creek at that time, which was run for many years after. This sixty-nine acres was, on Aug. 29, 1791, conveyed by John Cox to Rev. David Philips and Gabriel Peterson in trust for Henry G., Andrew, Fielding, and Juliana Bradford, the four children of Charles Bradford. Henry G. and Andrew died before the year 1815, and in that year the remaining heirs, Fielding, Bradford; and Juliana, who had become Mrs. John Finley, sold the property to Enoch Wright. In August, 1807, the. saw-mill had been leased for ninety-nine years to Samuel Gaston. It was on land now owned by Isaac Lytle. Nothing of the mill remains.
Joseph Bentley came from Chester County, Pa., to this place with his father, who settled on Jacobs Creek, in Washington County. Joseph was then unmarried, and Mercy, daughter of Philip Dailey, Sr., afterwards became his wife. The Bentleys were early settlers. Joseph was assessed upon one hundred and fifteen acres of land in the year 1788. When he married, Joseph Bentley settled upon a part of the tract patented to Nathan Dailey as " Falling Timber Bottom," adjoining the property of Moses Halliday. On Jan. 13, 1818, Nathan Daily sold to him a mill privilege and one hundred and twenty-seven acres of land below his earlier purchase, as in 1801 he had purchased of James Logan the tract patented Dec. 8, 1800, as "Falling Tree Bottom," which adjoins the tract " Falling Timber Bottom." The Logan purchase is the land upon which Joseph Bentley built the stone house in which he passed his life. His son George is the only one of the eleven children now living, and he occupies the homestead. Benjamin, Levi, Eli, and Absalom, also remained upon the old place until their death. Jesse went West, and Mary, who married Thomas Wilson, removed, to Venango County, in this State. The old distillery which Joseph Bentley built is still standing up the Run, near where his stone house was built. The distillery was in operation until 1862'
" Widow" Pyatt's name appears on the assessment-roll of 1788. She lived in Union township, on the place where Mrs. Saulsbury now lives, on the road from Finleyville to Library.
" Froman's Mill Place" was the property which Paul Froman took up and afterwards sold to Robert McGee, and which was surveyed in 1786. Froman took up a great deal of land in this section, all of his purchases having especial reference to the water privileges upon them. He built a grist-mill upon his land in this township, and attempted to build a high dam and use an overshot wheel, but this was never accomplished, and the dam has always been called " Froman's Folly." The mill was located on Fro-man's Run at the falls, just below Happer's road. Froman made a trip down the river with produce and died there. The old mill place, containing seventy-six acres, passed into the hands of John Kennedy, and he also purchased eighty or ninety acres of land of John Barr, the property which William Kennedy now owns. These purchases were made in the years 1797-99. John Kennedy had nine children. Samuel, James, William, and John, are settled in this vicinity. The first two are dead, but the others are still living here. John Kennedy, Jr., purchased one hundred and fifty acres of land of Mrs. Polly Fegley, and adjoining his father's property. The spot where the
964 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
whiskey insurgents gathered is between the Mingo Church parsonage and Squire John Kennedy's place, where a distillery stood at that time.
The land embracing the site of Finleyville is a part of a tract that was warranted to John Wall, Dec. 3, 1787. The part called "Mount Pleasant," containing four hundred and five acres, was conveyed by deed May 3, 1788, to James Barclay, who in the same year was licensed to keep a tavern. James Barclay is said to have been a sea-captain ; he was a brother-in-law of John Finley, and he continued to live upon a part of this place until his death. His sons, Robert and James, also lived in this vicinity, put died leaving no descendants. James Barclay sold one hundred acres of his land, June 15, 1791, to Hugh Barclay, and in 1802 sold one hundred and thirty-three acres to John Finley for six hundred and eight dollars. He also sold a portion to David Mellinger. Both Finley and Mellinger lived in this section as early as 1794. John Finley lived and died here, leaving a family of eleven children, of whom Levi and Gen. Robert Finley settled at Finleyville. Levi Finley married and had five children who settled in and near Finleyville. James, a son of his, lived and died at Limetown. Barclay Finley, another son, is connected with the Monongahela Bank at Monongahela City. Dr. William Finley, a third son, lives at Finleyville. John and F. M. Finley, the other two sons of Levi, now own the one hundred acres of land that belonged to Hugh Barclay, of whom their father purchased it. Gen. Robert Finley was a bachelor, and lived and died at Finleyville.
John Hindman came from the eastern part of Maryland to this county about the. year 1796, and on April 16, 1798, purchased seventy-two acres of Thomas, Canon. This land was on the hills, a short distance below Limetown. Later, Mr. Hindman bought eighty acres of land of Isaac Dailey, a son of Nathan Dailey, which was a portion of the body called "Falling Timber Bottom." On Aug. 20, 1819, he became possessor of one hundred and three acres of the tract " Dauphin," which was taken up by Philip Dailey. This purchase he sold to his son William, Sept. 19, 1823. John Hindman lived and died upon the property he bought of Isaac Dailey. His family consisted of four sons and five daughters. Of these, John died while young ; Robert settled in Allegheny County; William remained in Union township, and some, if not all, of the daughters remained upon the homestead. Samuel, the youngest son, also remained there until 1864, when he purchased a small place in Gastonville, where he now lives.
Thomas McVey came from Pequea, in this State. He was a single man, and his sister, who came also, kept house, for him a year.$ He rented a farm of Mr. McAllister, at Ginger Hill, Nottingham township, in 1799, upon which he remained two years, and two years longer upon a farm two miles farther east. He married Hannah Kerr and lived for a while upon a place he rented of Squire John Campbell, in Finleyville, on Peters Creek. About the year 1805 he purchased of George Wilhelm ninety-seven acres of land which belonged to the Jacob Fegley property, upon which he lived and died. The farm is now in the possession of Benjamin McVey, a grandson of Thomas.
John Pollock came with his wife and three children from Gettysburg to this township, and bought a tract of one hundred and thirty-three acres of land, back from the river and adjoining the Hindman tract. His two sons, James and Samuel, settled upon the homestead. Samuel was a bachelor, but James married Miss Mary Patton, and their family numbered nine children. Their sons, John and Samuel, Jr., own the old place, the latter being unmarried. David, another son, served in the Union army in the war of the Rebellion, and is now in the West. Two daughters are living upon a part of their father's place.
William Patton came to this section with the Hindman and Pollock families about 1799. He settled on a farm of one hundred and eighty acres, a portion of Nathan Dailey's " Fallen Timber Bottom," which his son Robert now owns. The log house built and occupied by William Patton until his death is still standing, and is now the home of Harvey Biers. William Patton had six children, three sons and three daughters. William and Robert live in Union township, and John in Fallowfield. The daughter Sarah married Samuel. Kiddue and lives in Allegheny County; Mary married James Pollock, and her home adjoins her father's farm ; Matilda became the wife of Joseph Kiddue, and her home is in Monongahela City.
Jeremiah Ferree was a 'native of Lancaster County, Pa., and came to this section in 1800, immediately after his marriage. He bought land of Thomas McMillane, on Peters Creek, Jefferson township, Allegheny County, but eventually removed to this township and lived where. William Martin now resides. He lived there many years, but in his old age removed to Limetown, where his son William had settled and was operating coal-mines.
John and David Donaldson formerly owned the property adjoining John Cox's, and on the southeast David owned one hundred and fifty acres, and John had a part of the Welch property. David died in Union township, but left no descendants. John Donaldson removed to Butler County, in this State. A daughter of his, Mrs. Patterson, resides near Mingo Church, in Union township.
Physicians.—Of the members of the medical profession who have practiced in Union township, Dr. Johnston was one of the first. He came to this section about the year 1815, and remained until 1828 or 1830, when he removed to near Monongahela City and purchased a farm, but continued his practice until his death. While residing in Union township he lived on the farm which later became the property of George Forsyth, but is now owned by the Rankins.
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Dr. Joseph Pollock was a practicing physician here as early as 1820, and then lived near, Gastonville. His practice extended largely through the country, twelve or fourteen miles in each direction from his home. He afterwards removed to Lawrence County, in this State, and died there.
Dr. James Miller was a native of Fayette County, and studied medicine with Dr. Robert Thompson, of Canonsburg. He graduated at Jefferson College, Ind also at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia. He commenced his practice in Union township in 1881, his home being at Finleyville, upon the Mellinger farm. Dr. Miller married a daughter of Joseph Wright, of Peters township, and continued in his profession here until his death in 1842.
Dr. Thomas Storer was born in Illinois, and is the ;on of J. R. Storer, a native of this township. Dr. Storer graduated from Jefferson Medical College, at Philadelphia, in 1865, and began practicing at Hillsboro', Pa. In 1871 he came to this township, remaining here until 1876-77, when he returned to Hillsboro, where he is still in practice.
Dr. L. B. Welch is a native of Union township, a ;on of John L. Welch. In 1878 he graduated from :he University of Maryland, and soon after returned o Union township, where he is now engaged in the practice of his profession.
Dr. William B. Lank succeeded to the practice of Dr. Miller in 1842, the year in which the latter died. Dr. Lank was a graduate of Jefferson Medical College, but came here from Janesville, Ohio. He was an excellent physician, and had an extensive practice until his death in 1880. His son, Dr. John Lank, graduated from Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia, and succeeds his father's practice.
Finleyville.—This village derived its name from that of John Finley, one of its early settlers, although the first steps toward the laying out of the village were really taken by James Barclay, who had prior possession of the tract of four hundred and five acres called “Mt. Pleasant,” upon which Finleyville has been built. Mr. Barclay was licensed by the County Court in 1788 to keep a tavern, and again in the years 1796-98 his name is found among those to whom licenses were granted. It was during this, time that the incident occurred which gave to the village the name "Rogue Alley." Isaac Craig Pittsburgh, writes the following facts, which he obtained from his father, Judge Wilkins, Harman Denny, and Col. William Robinson, Jr. :
"In 1797 our affairs with the French Directory such a threatening aspect that Congress deemed it necessary to prepare for war, and authorized the building of two vessels at Pittsburgh. They were built under the superintendence of Maj. Craig the following year; and were called the Galley 'President Adams' and the Galley 'Senator Ross.' As these were the first vessels of the kind west of the mountains they caused a good deal of excitement, and the tavern-keeper where Finleyville now is ordered a sign to be painted with a galley on it. The painter made an old-fashioned row-galley, and the tavern became known as the sign of the 'Row-Galley,' and finally, after the sign disappeared, it was corrupted into.' Rogue Alley' by ignorant people."
In after-years the land upon which Finleyville is situated was in part owned by Abraham Mellinger and John Finley. The Mellinger portion was sold to Enoch Wright, and in January, 1857, it passed to West Frye. The John Finley property remained in the possession of the Finley family. In 1819, William Finley kept tavern in Finleyville village, as did also Levi Finley at a later time, when the line of stages between Pittsburgh and Brownsville was in full operation.
The first post-office was established at Finleyville in July, 1826. Gen. Robert Finley was the first postmaster appointed, and the persons who have served as postmasters since are and have been James Finley, J. L. Morris, James Finley, S. B. Kennedy, West Frye, T. R. Storer, F. M. Finley, — Bell, F. M. Finley, and John S. Collins, who is the present postmaster. The business places of the village are a hotel, post-office, two stores, a blacksmith-shop, an express-office, and the station of the Pittsburgh Southern Railroad.
Gastonville is a small village or hamlet, the site of which is upon the tract of land originally known as " Belmont," which was warranted and patented to John Cox, but soon passed into the hands of John Gaston. In 1854 a portion of it was in the possession of Joseph M. Curry, who laid out and sold the village lots. Gastonville is situated only half a mile from Finleyville, and contains one store, a school building, an Odd-Fellows' hall, and a few dwelling-houses.
Coal Bluff.—The settlement which was known in the early history of this section as Limetown, and later as Coal Bluff', extends along the bank of the Monongahela River for three miles, and owes its rise and growth entirely to the development of its coal. The bank along the river at this point is what is called river bottoms, which extend inland from one-fourth to one-half a mile, where the river hills rise quite abruptly and are very steep. The coal crops out of the hills on a level with the flats in nearly all places, which is a very favorable condition for drift-mining. The Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Charleston railroad passes through the settlement of Lime-town, or Coal Bluff, giving good opportunities for shipping by rail, in addition to its facilities for water transportation. A station is located at each mine along the railroad. Stores are connected with the mines to furnish provisions and goods to the miners.
The post-office was established about 1850. The postmasters have been Mark Borland, John Peterson, J. K. Logan, James Patton, and Isaac Yohe, the present incumbent.
At Coal Bluff station John F. Logan is agent for the Adams Express Company, and in April, 1880; he established the " Coal Bluff Steamship and Exchange Agency," which now does a business of three thou-. sand dollars per month in forwarding money and selling tickets to and from foreign countries for the I miners of the Monongahela Valley.
966 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
The several collieries of Coal Bluff and of this township are mentioned separately in the chapter on geology and mining, contributed by J. Sutton Wall, Civil and 'Mining Engineer, of Monongahela City.
The "Old White Mill," a grist- and flouring-mill, located on the Monongahela, in this township, was put in operation in 1842 by George Bentley, whose brother, Eli Bentley, had built a saw-mill at the same place ten years before. Both the saw-mill and the grist-mill, which was widely and favorably known as the Old White Mill, remained in operation for many years. In 1880 the property was rented to the American Facing Company of New York, and is now in use for the manufacture of foundry facings.
Peters Creek Lodge, No. 248, I. O. O. F., was instituted at Finleyville, May 17, 1847. When chartered the members were William Gaston, William B. Lank, William Van Wye, Samuel Morgan, Isaac Lytle, and William Gist. Following is a list of the Noble Grands of this lodge, viz.: William Gaston, Dr. W. B. Lank, William Gist, Isaac Lytle, James Angus, James Morrison, Joseph M. Curry, Samuel Atchison, R. R. Bell, James McAllister, W. M. Monck, John Huston, William Ferree, Michael Saunders, Joseph Conlin, John Barclay, Frederick Snell, A. P. Heath, Isaiah Brown, John Stofflle, Thomas —, A. Crouch, Josiah Estep, Abel Buckingham, Louis Welch, George W. Lyons, E. N. Wright, Samuel P. Hutchinson, R. Campbell, Robert Cowen, Samuel Messner, George Gibson, Frank B. Storer, J. M. Snell, George C. Miller. The meetings of the society were first held in a building between Gastonville and Finleyville, belonging to William Gaston. In 1855 the lodge erected a building at a cost of $1800, with a dwelling on the first floor and a hall in the second story. The lodge at present contains twenty-five members. The present officers are George C. Miller, Noble Grand ; P. A. Martin, Vice Grand; Isaac Lytle, Secretary.
Advance Lodge, No. 697, I. O. O. F.—On the 28th of January, 1870,a lodge named John F. Logan Lodge, No. 69T, I. O. O. F., was instituted at Coal Bluff. The officers were James Craig, Noble Grand; P. J. Dougherty, Vice Grand ; George Bentley, Treasurer ; J. F. Logan and Hugh Craig, Secretaries. In 1872 the name was changed to Advance Lodge, of which the officers at present (October, 1881) are James Stark, Noble Grand; Cyrus Gilmore, Vice Grand; William Wilson, Treasurer; Robert McLuckie, Secretary. The lodge now numbers fifty-nine members. The hall they own and occupy was built in 1875, and dedicated September 29th of the same year. The charter members of Advance Lodge were James Craig, Patrick Dougherty, John F. Logan, Hugh Craig, George Bentley, Hugh McKinney, Samuel Mesner, John Barclay, Albert. Fuller, William Wilson, Sr., R. H. McMasters, Henry Reitz, George Keistler, John T. Sutton, William Wible, R. S. Lowers, Alexander Ferree, William Brawdy, Sr., W. P. McMasters, William Price, John M. Wilson, Thomas Elliott, S. B. Kennedy, W. E. French, Benjamin French, William Bouston, William N. Jenkins, Daniel Lowers, Isaac Hodge.
Schools.—The first school in what is now Union township was taught about the year 1800. The building in which it was taught was built of logs, sixteen feet square, and stood on tilt bank of Peters Creek, about half a mile above Finleyville. The next school in the township was taught in a frame building, which is still standing below Finleyville. As early as 1808-9 there was a log school-house built in what is now the Lower Hodgkins District, the building standing on property that afterwards belonged to Mr. Jenkins. One mile north of that another log house was built in 1812. A frame building took the place of it in 1865.
Union township was erected in March, 1836, before the school law of 1834 was in full operation. In the following year the inhabitants petitioned to be annexed to Carroll township for school purposes. The name of the township does not appear upon the treasurer's report for the years 1835-37, and at what time the township was districted is not known.
In 1863 Union township had six school districts, employed nine teachers, had enrolled three hundred and ninety-seven scholars, and levied for school purposes $1359.82. The total receipts were $1387.30, and expenditures amounted to $1278.27. In 1873 the districts were seven, each having one school, and there was one independent school. Eight teachers were employed, three hundred and sixty-four scholars enrolled, the school fund was $2840.17, and the expenditures were $2323.91. The school superintendent's report for 1880 gives the number of districts in Union township as eight,—Upper Limetown, Middle Limetown, White Mill, Lower Hodgkins, Mingo, Boggs, Pollock, and Gaston. Nine schools were taught, one of which is independent. There were three male and six female teachers employed, and four hundred and fifty-eight pupils enrolled. The total receipts for school purposes from all sources amounted to $2787, and the expenditures to $2587.03. In Upper Limestone District the school building that was built on Huston's Run, just after the school law went into effect, is still standing and in use.
Justices of the Peace.—Union township, upon its organization in 1835, was attached to District No. 6, and the names of its justices are included in the justices' list of Peters township until 1838, when the office became elective and the township an independent district, in which the following-named justices have been elected, viz.:
Francis Reader, April 14, 1840.
John Kennedy, April 14, 1840.
Henry H. Finley, April 12,1842.
Joseph S. Gaston, April 11, 1843.
John Kennedy, April 15, 1845.
Joseph S. Gaston, April 11. 1848.
John Kennedy, April 9, 1850.
Joseph S. Gaston, April 13, 1833.
Michael Saunders, April 10, 1855.
Wilson Kerr, June 2, 1857.
Joseph S. Gaston, April 13,1838.
Isaac Lytle, May 12, 1862.
Joseph S. Gaston, April 25, 1863.
Milton B. Curry, June 3, 1865.
Joseph S. Gaston, Jan. 31, 1874.
William Ferree, April 17, 1874.
Joseph S. Gaston, April 17, 1874.
Joseph S. Gaston, March 16,1876.
William Ferree, March 27, 1879.
Frank R Storer, April 9, 1881.
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Churches in the Township.—The Mingo Creek Presbyterian Church was organized in August, 1786, at which time Mingo Creek, Pike Run, and Horseshoe Bottom applied to the Redstone Presbytery requesting the services Of a minister, which request was granted. Several ministers were sent out as supplies during the first ten years of the existence of this church, among them Rev. Mr. McClean, who administered the ordinance of baptism to children. Preaching was first held in barns and groves and under a tent near the spot which the sheds of the present church now occupy. A lady now living recollects listening to a sermon by the Rev. Samuel Ralston in those days, he standing on low ground between two trees, the stumps of which still mark the place, while the people were on the higher ground above and around him.
The first building erected for church purposes was one of logs, which stood on the bank not far from the site of the present edifice. It was fifty by fifty-five feet in size, with five by nine feet extensions from the middle on the north and south sides. The north extension was occupied by tip pulpit, and the south one was known as the bachelors' seats. At each end of the building was a door. This building must have been put up previous to 1794, as it was then a place of meeting for the whiskey insurgents, and the point from where they started on the occasion when Gen. Neville's house was burned and Maj. James McFarlane was killed. Both the church and Mingo Cemetery were located upon the land known as " Barrville," and first owned by John Barr, a member of the church. Although so early in use as stated, no direct conveyance of the property was made until the year 1807, when it was given by John Gibson, who in the mean time had purchased the property of John Barr. The deed upon record, given by James Gibson and wife for the consideration of $20, conveys " to John Hamilton, John Campbell, and William McMullen, in trust for the Mingo Creek Congregation, a piece of ground situate on Froman's Run, including the meeting-house, tent, spring, and graveyard, containing about two acres, dated April 11, 1807."
Rev. Samuel Ralston was one of the pastors early in charge of Mingo Creek Church. He was a native of Ireland, born in 1756, and was educated at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. In 1794 he emigrated to this country, and Nov. 30, 1796, having received and accepted a call to this church, was regularly installed as pastor of Mingo Creek and Parkinson's Ferry Churches. He remained in charge for forty years, until 1836, when he resigned the pastorate. He died Sept. 25, 1851, at the age of ninety-six years, and was buried in Mingo Cemetery. The clergymen who succeeded the Rev. Mr. Ralston were the Revs. Nathan Shotwell, John M. Smith, John R. Dundas, Abner O. Rockwell, William Greenough, John J. Beacon, William W. McKinney, and J. H. Nesbit. The church has now two hundred members, but at the present time (January, 1882) is without a pastor.
Prominent among the early elders of Mingo Church were Aaron Williams, Sr., and John Happer, Sr. The former was the grandfather of Rev. Aaron Williams, D.D., Prof. Samuel Williams (both deceased), and Rev. Moses Allen Williams, of Oregon. John Happer was the grandfather of the Rev. Andrew Happer, of Canton, China, and of the Hon. John A. Happer, now an elder of Mingo Church. On the second board of elders were Benjamin Williams (son of Aaron), — Potter, and — Senton. The names of those subsequently installed were Robert Galley, John Morrison, Sr., John Morrison, Jr., — Comison, Jamison Beatty, John Kennedy, Esq., James McVey, James Patterson, John Patton, Samuel Hindman, John A. Happer, Joseph Patterson, John Kennedy, John McVey, and Benjamin McVey.
The present house of worship of the Mingo Creek Church was built in 1832, in place of the old historic log building known as the Mingo Creek Meetinghouse in the days of the Whiskey Insurrection. In the old burial-ground of the Mingo Creek Church is t2 be seen the grave of Maj. James McFarlane, who was killed in the attack on Gen. Neville's house at Bower Hill in 1794. The grave is marked by a stone which bears this inscription :
"Here lies the body of Major James McFarlane, of Washington County, Pennsylvania, who departed this life July 17, 1794, aged forty-three years. he served during the war with undaunted courage in defense of American Independence against the lawless and despotic encroachments of Great Britain. He fell at last by the hands of an unprincipled villain, in support of what he supposed to be the rights of his country, much lamented by a numerous and respectable circle of acquaintances."
The Seceders' Church in this township was organized at a date which has not been ascertained, but it is found that those early settlers, Col. Joseph Barr, John Huston, John Fife, and the McNeals, were among its most prominent members. A frame church was erected on land donated by Col. Barr, situated opposite the present residence of Dr. John Lank, in this township. Services were held in this church for many years, but they had no regular pastor, and were dependent upon supplies. The society was never strong in numbers, and after the death of Col. Barr it ceased to exist as a church organization.
The Peters Creek Baptist Church is mentioned more fully in the history of Peters township. In the year 1788 a lot was purchased of John Cox, and worship was held by this society for several years in Union township before their removal to Peters township. The present church building is located in the village of Library, in Snowdon township, Allegheny County, but the majority of its members reside in Peters township. The land owned by the society in what is now Union township was sold to James Castor April 3,
968 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
1810, by the Rev. David Philips, Daniel Townsend, and Charles Dailey, trustees.
The Peters Creek Methodist Episcopal Church was organized almost three-fourths of a century ago. In the month of August, 1810, Robert James and wife, of what is now Union township, attended a Methodist camp-meeting on Pike Run, and while there Mrs. James persuaded Bishop McKendree, who presided at the gathering, to send a minister to Peters Creek. Robert James was then living in his stone house, which stands near the church, and is owned by Mrs. Gilmer. The upper part of this stone house was all in one room, and in this room the first services were held and attended by Methodist people and others from many miles around. Here the first Methodist class was organized, and among its members were Robert and William James and their wives. In 1817 or 1818, the stone church now in use was built, and was known as "James' Chapel," "Stone Chapel," or " Stone Church." Robert James gave the land upon which this was built, and also set apart an acre of land as a graveyard. By his deed, dated Sept, 13, 1817, Robert James conveys "to William Jones, Nathan Dailey, Jonathan -, Robert James, and John White, of Washington township, and Joseph Bentley, Philip Smith, Zedekiah Benham, and Lewis Peairs, of Allegheny County, one acre of land, provided that they shall erect or cause to be erected or built thereon a house of worship for the use of the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States." This proves conclusively that "Stone Chapel" was not erected either in 1810 or 1815, as many people assert. Robert James and wife and their six children were all buried in the graveyard given by Mr. James, as were Sampson Carter and wife, and many others who had lived in this vicinity and were workers in .the Methodist Church.
In 1859 the circuit known as Peters Creek Circuit was set off by itself, it having formerly been a portion of the Chartiers Circuit. At that time Peters Creek Church had a membership of thirty-six, and it has now increased to forty-four. The "chapel" when built was fifty by fifty-five feet in size. In 1876 it was entirely remodeled, and furnished with stained-glass windows.
During the more than seventy years of its existence this church has been served by a great number of preachers, among whom are and have been the Revs. Norval Wilson, Charles Cook, Thornton Fleming, Abner Jackson, Lemon Lock, Richard Johnson, Sheridan Baker, David McCready, Henry Snyder, M. B. Pugh, John Brown, Ezra Himley, John Wright, William Cooper, Artemas Ward, Dr. Wakefield, George Baker, F. C. McClure, D. A. Pearce, C. H. Edwards, M. M. Sweeney, F. F. Pershon, T. Patterson, and G. A. Sheets, who is the present pastor. The Sunday-school in connection numbers sixty scholars, and James M. Gaston is the superintendent.
A Methodist Episcopal Church was built at Limetown about 1840, chiefly through the liberality of Joseph Bentley. The society had been organized previous to this time by Rev. Charles Cook, when he was in charge of the Williamsport Church, services being held in private houses, groves, school-houses, and also in a mill which stood on the river-bank a short distance above the present church. In 1859 forty-five members of this church were reported, and it was then placed in Peters Creek Circuit. At that time it was one of eight appointments that had previously belonged to the Chartiers Circuit. In 1872 a new building for worship was erected, at a cost of $3000, on land donated by George Bentley. The church is now connected with the "Stone Chapel" charge, near Gastonville. Rev. G. A. Sheets is in charge here, as at Peters Creek Church.
The Methodist Protestant Church at Coal Bluff was organized in 1871, principally by the efforts and through the influence of the Rev. James Robinson, of Pittsburgh. The present pastor is Rev. Mr. Stillwagon. The preachers in charge before him were Revs. M. Lucas, James Robinson, Robert Hodgkinson, and Rev. Mr. Brindley. In 1871 a house of worship was erected by the Methodist and Presbyterian societies of Coal Bluff, upon land donated by James K. Logan, and is now used by both congregations upon alternate Sabbaths.
The Presbyterian society of Coal Bluff is a branch of the Mingo Creek Church: The pas or of Mingo Creek officiates here every alternate Sabbath.
Samuel Denniston was born in Allegheny County, Pa., Feb. 27, 1796, and died in Union township, Washington County, Pa., Sept: 7, 1879. His father was William Denniston, a native of Ireland, who emigrated to America a short time prior to the Revolutionary 'war, in which he served for a time as a soldier. He married Elizabeth Wilson, of Chester County, Pa., and settled in Allegheny County. They had eight children, four sons .and four daughters, all of whom are dead.
Samuel's life until the year 1827 was spent in Allegheny County. In that year he and two of his brothers, Joseph and William, purchased a farm near Thompsonville, Peters township, Washington Co. They worked this farm together for about twelve years, when Samuel disposed of his interest to his brothers, and purchased and moved to the farm in Union township now owned and occupied by his sons, William and Thomas Denniston, where he spent the remainder of his life, which was a record of strong
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self-reliance and unswerving allegiance to his business. By his own efforts he accumulated the valuable inheritance of his children. For them his labors were unceasing, and by them he is gratefully remembered.
He was twice married: His first wife was Elizabeth Caldwell, to whom he was married April 21, 1836. She died Nov. 25, 1851. One of her children, John Wilson, died in infancy; another, Sarah A.; died April 7,.863, aged twelve years and three months. Those living are William, Mary J., Elizabeth, and Thomas. His second wife, whom he married March 17, 1853, was Elizabeth Applegate. By her he had two children,-James A., dead, and Rachel N., living.
Prior to the war of the Revolution there came from England to this country one George Bentley, who settled in Chester County, Pa.; where he married and remained until the close of the war, when, with his wife and children, he. emigrated to the then wilderness of Western Pennsylvania. He first located on Jacob's Creek, where he remained until about the year 1787, when he bought of Charles Lipe the property now owned and occupied by his grandson, also named George. For the property he paid £100. His wife was a Miss Jane Carson, and was born in Ireland. To them was born a large family. Of these Sesch. B. built and operated the mill now owned by Mr. Harris. Among his brothers were Benjamin, Jeffrey, Abram, and Joseph, all of whom did their part towards making the wilderness blossom like the rose. On the land bought of Lipe he built ,the stone house which is still standing and occupied by his descendants. He also built a grist-mill, which, though a small affair, was much needed and duly appreciated. It was about the first one erected in this part of the county. In 1818 Mr. Bentley bought for $7650 the property lying between the farm above named and the farm now owned by the heirs of Moses B. Thompson. This was a large amount of money for those days, and paying for it was a long and arduous struggle, but was finally accomplished. In 1800, or about that time, Mr. Bentley died, Joseph, who was born in Chester County, Pa., in time came into the possession of the Bentley estate. He was married to Mercy Dally, by whom he had seven children, viz.: Benjamin, Mary, Levi, Eli, Jesse, Absalom, and George, all of whom are now dead except George. Of these only Mary, Jesse, and Absalom left heirs. Joseph's first venture in business was a grist-mill and linseed oil mill on Piney Creek Fork, which he operated five years, and then moved to the Nathan Dally farm, where he followed distilling. Afterwards he moved to the old homestead, where he died in 1842. In 1840 he deeded his estate to four of his sons, of whom George was one. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and died respected by all. His youngest child, George, was born March 5, 1809, and is now the last of the family, and on the old homestead where he was born is passing away the evening time of life, the possessor of the Bentley estate, which has become very valuable, and which came to him by purchase and by will. None of the broad acres left by his ancestors have grown less in value by his having owned them, and the honor and integrity of the family name has never been dimmed by act or deed of his. He is in politics a Republican, believing that party to be the exponent of honesty and advancement. For many years he has been an Odd-Fellow, and was a charter member of Advance Lodge, No. 697, in which he has held most of the offices. White Mills village was laid out by him on part of the old homestead. Mr. Bentley is a member of no church, a follower of no creed, his motto being to " live and let live."
WEST BETHLEHEM TOWNSHIP.
WEST BETHLEHEM is one of the southern tier of Washington County townships, its south boundary being formed by the county of Greene. On the west it is bounded by Amwell and South Strabane townships, on the north and northeast by Somerset, and on the east by East Bethlehem and West Pike Run townships. The surface is hilly, the ridges, which generally extend in a north-and-south direction, , being elevated and often steep, and divided by narrow valleys. The township has no streams of size," the largest being the North Fork of Ten-Mile Creek, which flows in a general easterly direction across the south part of the township, receiving the waters of Daniels' Run and a number of other inconsiderable streams from the northward in its course through West Bethlehem.
This township and East Bethlehem were embraced in the territory of the original township of Bethlehem from 1781 to 1790, when, the latter was divided. An account of the erection of the old township, and of
970 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
its division, forming the East and West townships, is given in the history of East Bethlehem.
Early Settlements —One of the earliest settlers in the territory of this township Was Joseph Hill, an Irishman, who, having emigrated to America, settled first in Maryland, and in 1774 came into Washington County and settled on Plum Run, in West Bethlehem township, where he took up a large body of land. Joseph Hill was twice married, first to Miss Ackley, and the second time to Margaret Joy. These two marriages resulted in a family of thirteen children, who married and settled in life as follows: Joseph Hill, Jr., married Mary Jameson; James Hill married Ann Hill ; Thomas married Rachel Speers; John's wife was Nancy Sergeant; Margaret became the wife of James Beatty; Elizabeth became Mrs. John Welsh ; Sarah was Mrs. John Sargeant; Benjamin's wife was Delilah Notestine ; William's wife was Narcissa Beatty; Atkinson Hill married a Miss Reemer, of Ohio; Rebecca became Mrs. William Freeman ; Eleanor married William Hawkins, and now lives in Kansas; and Henry, who remained single, removed to Ohio. From this family, especially the son James, the Hill descendants have become very numerous, although they are widely scattered. Dr. Hill, of Burgettstown, and a host of others in other parts of Western Pennsylvania are members of this Hill family. The property of James Hill consisted of a tract of one hundred and ninety-seven acres of land, which has become the property of Joseph Hill, Esq. By intermarriage they are connected with the old German family named Weaver, who were all people of prominence. Adam G. Weaver is a representative of this branch of the Hill family.
The Enoch family were of English descent. They came into Washington County before the commencement of the Revolution. David Enoch and Col. John Enoch were brothers. Col. John Enoch resided near where the village of Clarksville, in Greene County, has since been built. He was colonel of the militia, and built a block-house on his property for a refuge when threatened by the Indians. David Enoch had a son, David Enoch, Jr., who was born in this county some years before the declaration of independence. David Enoch, Jr., was twice married, and was the father of fourteen children. Of these, Elizabeth became the wife of James Anton, and resides near Gallipolis, Ohio. David Enoch, the representative of the third generation bearing that name, married Susan Bigler and removed to Richhill township, Greene County, where he died. Sarah Enoch married James Lowrie, and died in this county. These were the children of David Enoch's first marriage. His daughter Eunice became the wife of George Gardner, and removed to the West. Henry Enoch married Sarah Reese and emigrated to Ohio. Cynthia Enoch became the wife of Levi Sowers, a son of George Sowers, who came from Maryland to West Bethlehem township and married Miss Gardner. Mr. and Mrs. Levi Sowers still live in the township on the Enoch-Gardner homestead. Margaret Enoch is married and living in Greene County and Abner married Elizabeth Davis, who has since 'died. He is still living near the old family home. Catharine Enoch is still living in Greene County, whither she removed with her husband, Leonard Guthrie. Andrew, George, and William Enoch all died before they arrived at the age of manhood. Hiram Enoch is the youngest child, and is now forty-eight years of age. He studied medicine with Dr. Joseph W. Alexander. In 1863 he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and immediately entered the service of the United States in West Virginia as Assistant Surgeon of the First Regiment of Mounted Volunteers of that State Remaining one year in the service he resigned, and in 1864 located in Washington.
The homestead of Demas M. Letherman, who died in West Bethlehem Dec. 5,1878, has been in the possession of the Letherman family for more than one hundred years. The house in which he died is but a few rods from the site of the one in which 'he was born sixty-two years before. When twenty-one years of age Mr. Letherman graduated from the Hazzard Academy at Monongahela City, and was afterwards a very successful teacher in Washington County. In 1871 he was elected a member of the Pennsylvania State Legislature, and filled the office with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents.
In the year 1784, John James took up or purchased a two hundred and fifty acre tract of land in West Bethlehem township, situated in the extreme southern part. Later .he purchased a mill-site and tract on Ten-Mile Creek, on the line of Amwell and West Bethlehem townships. The mill property (adjoining his first purchase) had a mill upon it when it came into his possession, and is now owned by Morgan Martin, a grandson of James Martin.
"Rustick Defeat" was a tract of land of two hundred and fifteen acres which was warranted to Richard Hawkins, and the survey was made June 1.3, 1786. This property was partially bounded by that of Adam Weaver, Josiah Crawford, and George Myers, also early settlers in West Bethlehem township.
John and Henry Conkle came into this section as early as 1784, and both received Virginia certificates for large tracts of land, John taking three hundred and eighty acres called "Solitude," and Henry three hundred and ninety-two acres named " German." The entire Conkle property is now owned by William Conkle.
Col. Thomas Crooks came into the territory of West Bethlehem township, and on a Virginia certificate took up a tract of land on Pigeon creek, which was called " Richard's Valley." This property was surveyed to Mr. Crooks Feb. 25, 1785. Col. Crooks was a man prominent in all local and public affairs, and held many offices of importance and trust. He died
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Feb. 25, 1815, aged eighty years, and his widow, Mrs. Judith Crooks, died April 30, 1823, at the age of eighty-three years. The homestead upon which they lived and died is now owned by Jacob Swagler. At the death of Col. Crooks the Reporter, of Washington, published the following:
"RICHARD'S VALLEY, Feb. 25, 1815.
"Died.—This morning, at this place, in his old mansion, at half-past five o’clock, that worthy old patriot, Thomas Crooks, of West Bethlehem township, where he was among the first emigrants in the western country, and was early on the stage of public business. In the militia he was an officer of high rank at the beginning of the Revolution, was alert in routing the savages to the westward, was a zealous patriot throughout the Revolutionary war, and presided many years as a justice of the peace. Ile was a very warm friend and an implacable enemy. Ile bore a severe and lingering illness with resigned patience."
John, Adam, and Peter Weaver were brothers of German descent who came to this township at an early date. Two tracts of land were warranted to Adam. The first was " Long Green," containing three hundred and ninety-nine acres, situate on a branch of Daniels Run. The second tract adjoined the first, was warranted to him Sept. 25, 1789, and surveyed June 24, 1790, under the title of " Short Green." The property of Adam Weaver was left by him to his wife and children at his death, which occurred in 1820. The sons were Daniel and Abraham Weaver, and the daughters were Catharine and Ann Weaver. From their marriages numerous descendants have come, among whom are Adam G., Solomon, Jacob, and Daniel Weaver. Levi Matthews and Daniel Greenlee are also descendants of Adam Weaver, and they, with Adam G. Weaver, now own the original settler's property. John Weaver, who resides near Hillsborough, in this township, is also of the family. Adam G. Weaver is a prominent member of the " Fairview Methodist Episcopal Church," and is the class-leader of that society. He has been married twice. His present wife was Miss Hill.
Peter Drake received a Virginia certificate for three hundred and thirty-three and one-half acres of land in West Bethlehem township, which was surveyed to him Jan. 28, 1785, and was bounded by the tracts of Isaac Leonard, Henry Coonrad, Jacob White, and William Wallace.
Andrew Wise, who followed his sons into this township after they had located here, was a German, born at Hesse-Darmstadt in the year 1754. He died here in 1848, and was buried in the Wise graveyard. Peter and Adam Wise were brothers of Andrew. They came from east of the mountains, and both located large tracts of land. Peter Wise's tract was situated on the North Fork of Ten-Mile Creek. It contained three hundred and fifty-six acres, and was surveyed to him Jan. 26, 1785, under the title of " The Fishery." When Peter Wise secured this property he soon built a mill upon it, which he had completed before the survey was made. The mill was located in a bend of the creek, the race, which was about seventy rods in length, running from the lower part of the pond across the bend, and having a fall of about twelve feet. This mill was in operation for many years, and only divided the milling business after 1836 with the Ullery mill, which was built about one mile above the Wise Mill in that year. Previous to that date it had controlled the entire trade of all of West Bethlehem, and part of East Bethlehem and Amwell townships, and some of Greene County.
Peter Wise had several children, among whom were the sons, Andrew, Adam, and Peter, and a daughter named Hannah. Adam and Peter both removed to Ohio and settled near Canton. Hannah married Jacob Zollers, and to her Peter Wise, Sr., gave seventy-six acres of his land. To his son Andrew he gave one hundred acres, which Andrew afterwards disposed of. In 1818, Peter Wise sold the mill-site to his brother Adam, who bought it for his sons, Frederick and Joseph Wise, whose descendants still own it.
Adam Wise, one of the brothers who settled in this township at an early date, located his land adjoining that of his brother, and according to the present division lines it is in both Washington and Greene Counties. Adam Wise had six sons and two daughters,—George, Samuel, David, Frederick, Joseph, Solomon, Rebecca, and Elizabeth Wise. Rebecca became the wife of Peter Crumrine, and removed to Ohio. Elizabeth married Jacob Shidder, and settled in West Bethlehem, on the farm now occupied by John Wherry. Most of their children went to Ohio. One son, Joseph Shidder, became a physician, and practiced and died in this township. Jacob Shidder, Jr., another son, is living in Amwell township. George Wise, the oldest son of Adam Wise, settled on Ruff's Creek, in Greene County, but later moved to Marshall County, Ill., where he died. He was a member of the religious society called Dunkards. Samuel Wise, the second son, lived for a while near the village of Hillsborough, but subsequently removed to Knox County, Ohio. David Wise, the third son, located on a portion of the homestead property, and also purchased the Praker farm adjoining. David Wise lived and died upon this farm and left a large family of children, nearly all of whom went to the Western States. The son Henry remained in West Bethlehem and still resides here. Three of the sons of David Wise, as well as two of his grandsons, were preachers of the Dunkard faith. The fourth son, Frederick Wise, lived on the mill property which his father purchased of Peter Wise, Sr. He died on the place in 1876, and his son, Joseph B. Wise, now owns the property, as well as the seventy-six acres given by Peter Wise to his daughter, Mrs. Hannah Zollers. Joseph B. Wise is justice of the peace. Frederick Wise had two daughters; one of them, Margaret, married James C. Hawkins. Of their sons, Dr. A. W. Hawkins is a surgeon in the navy, and Col. A. Hawkins served as colonel of the Tenth Regiment of the ; State of Pennsylvania.
972 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
The fifth son of Adam Wise was Joseph. He came to be joint owner, with his brother Frederick, of the Peter Wise mill property, and lived upon it until his death. He left quite a large family of children. Of these, Samuel is ,in Kansas. Hon. Morgan R. Wise resides in Waynesburg, Greene Co., and is a representative in Congress from that district. Of the daughters of Joseph Wise, Elizabeth became Mrs. William. Stewart, of Greene County; Mary married J. M. Day, of Morris township; Rebecca married Eli Tombaugh ; Maria became the wife of Dr. J. P. Shields, of Pittsburgh ; and Barbara became Mrs. Albert Hill, and located in West Bethlehem township. The youngest son of Adam Wise was Solomon Wise. He inherited the greater part of the homestead. In 1854 he sold it to Dr. James Braden, and removed to Marshall County, Ill., where he died. None of his family reside in this township.
Eleazer Jenkins was living in this township previous to 1789, and in February of that year was holding the offices of justice of the peace and judge of the Court of Common Pleas. He had also served as captain in the Washington County militia.
Peter Mowl came from Germany, settling first in the State of Maryland, but afterwards removed to this township, where he purchased a part of the Shidder property. This came into the possession of his son, Abram Mowl, at the father's death, and he also died upon the place (in 1861). During his life Abram Mowl held the office of director of the poor. Solomon and Charles M. are sons of Abram Mowl, and are still living upon the old farm.
Henry Hildebrand came from Germany and settled in this township, purchasing the property where his son, M. Hildebrand, now lives.. This son was born in West Bethlehem and married Christine Harsh, daughter of Philip Harsh, also of West Bethlehem township. M. Hildebrand is now nearly ninety years of age. His sons, D. and H. J. Hildebrand, reside near their father and the homestead.
George and John Sowers were sons of Michael Sowers, who was a German. They all lived in West Bethlehem. George Sowers was married twice, his first wife being Miss Gardner, the mother of Levi Sowers. This son married Cynthia Enoch, daughter of David Enoch, Jr. They lived upon a farm in Greene County, about four miles west of Waynesburgh, but finally inherited and moved to the old Enoch homestead. John Sowers married three times. He removed to the oil regions in this State, where his family still reside.
Joseph Lawrence lived on Pigeon Creek, in West Bethlehem, on the section north of the National road. He was married twice, and the children were Joseph, Jr., George Vaneman, Samuel, and a daughter who became the wife of Andrew Moore. Joseph Lawrence, Sr., was a member of Congress, and died at the National capital in 1842. George V. Lawrence married Elizabeth Welsh and resides in Monongahela City, where he has held many public offices, including that of member of Congress and State senator.
The tract of land early settled by Erasmus Nichols adjoined the village of Hillsborough on the southwest. His family of ten children were five sons and five daughters. The son James married Nancy Kehoe ; Stephen married Margaret Wise; William married Rebecca Smith ; Atkinson married Sarah Hoover; Erasmus Nichols, Jr., died unmarried. The daughter Nancy became Mrs. Gabriel Trugo; Elizabeth married Jeremiah Coleman; Eleanor married David Phillips ; Margaret became Mrs. Joseph Sargeant; and Sarah Ann was the wife of John Barnes.
John Sargeant settled at an early day Upon a tract of land on Plum Run, south of Hillsborough, and the property is now owned and occupied by his grandson and namesake, John Sargeant. He had a family of nine children,—six sons and three daughters. The son James married Susan Crumrine ; Margaret became the wife of John W. Spohn ; Joseph married Margaret Nichols; John married Sarah Baker; Valentine married Susan Conaway; William's wife was Susan Garee ; Sarah Ann became Mrs. William. Baker; and Nancy and Thomas remained unmarried.
The exact date of the settlement of the Tombaugh family in the county was about the time of the closing of the Revolutionary war. George Tombaugh and his young brother, Matthias, were the only children of their parents, and, so far as known, were at the time of their parents' death the only representatives of the name in America. Previous to the date of their immigration they had lived at Georgetown, D. C. They were of German extraction, and were possessed of the industry, frugality, and patient endurance which are characteristic of that race. The young men, George and Matthias, had abundant reason for the exercise of their industry and frugality, for whatever may have been the pecuniary means of their parents at Georgetown, they came into this county without a penny. George, indeed, had a shilling in his pocket before crossing the Monongahela, but by some means lost it while crossing the river. With characteristic energy they went to work, and in time accumulated enough to purchase a tract of land on South Pigeon Creek, which since that time has been held in the family name.
The younger brother, Matthias, enlisted under Gen. Harmar, and participated in the defeat at Chillicothe. When the command was given to Gen. St. Clair, Matthias remained with the army, and was killed in the disastrous campaign that succeeded.
The older brother, George (who was born Aug. 8, 1768), was now the only living representative of the name in America. He took an active part in Indian wars which harassed the inhabitants of the Ohio border, and fought under Col. Crawford, who fell a victim to savage ferocity in 1782.
Some time after 1782, George Tombaugh was married to Elizabeth Gardener, who was born March 2,
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1758. To them were born seven children, as follows: Christina, born 1787, married George Swihart, and moved to Ohio ; Elizabeth, born 1788, married Daniel Wise, and moved to Ohio; Jacob, born 1790, married Susan Wise, and also moved to Ohio; Matthias, born 1792, married Rachel Spohn ; George, born 1796, married Susan Myers, and emigrated to Indiana ; Solomon, born 1798, married Catharine Horn, and moved to Ohio ; Sarah, born 1801, married George Myers, also moved to Ohio. Of these all are dead except Sarah, who still resides in Holmes County, Ohio.
The elder George Tombaugh lived on his farm on South Pigeon Creek till his death, which occurred Nov. 5, 1832. The Tombaughs now living in the county are all descendants of Matthias, who, as before mentioned, was born in 1792, and in 1822 was married to Rachel Spohn. To them were born ten children, eight sons and two daughters, viz.: Solomon, born in 1824, married Lydia Letherman ; John, born 1827, married Louise. Hosack ; Levina, born 1829, married Jacob Swagler ; George, born 1831, married Harriet Colvin; Mary, born 1833, married Andrew Hildebrand ; Matthias, born 1834, married Jane Letherman; Eli, born 1836, married Rebecca Wise; Isaac and Jacob (twins), born 1839 (Isaac lives at the homestead, and Jacob, who married Jennie Ostrander, lives in Illinois) ; Adam, born 1842, married Florence Letherman. Of these children of Matthias and Rachel Tombaugh, all are living except Mary and Levina, and of the survivors, all except George, Matthias, and Jacob, are living in Washington County. Matthias Tombaugh lived all his life on the farm of his father. He died in 1864.
The Buckingham family came originally from England and located near the city of Philadelphia. Soon after, they removed to Washington. County, and settled in West Bethlehem, where William and Enoch Buckingham, lineal descendants of the family, still reside and own the farms of the pioneers of the family. Isaac Buckingham lived on Ten-Mile Creek, upon the present farm of Mr. Overholt. He married Miss Eaton, and had a family of several children, of whom Col. John Buckingham was the oldest. The son Henry married Mary Morton, and settled in Morgan township, Greene Co. Mrs. Robert Morton was a daughter of Isaac Buckingham.
Stephen Hill, an early resident of West Bethlehem, was born in Ireland. He lived in Bradford County in this State, but finally came to this section, and settled on Plain Run, where he erected a distillery and a horse-mill. His wife was Mary Welsh, and their family consisted of five sons and four daughters. Of these, Eleanor, Mary, and Stephen Hill, Jr., died unmarried; George Hill married Nancy Speer ; Nancy married Bennett Morton; John married Susan Hawkins; William married Elizabeth Morton; Robert married Mary Merrell ; and Margaret died in child-. hood.
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Christopher Sunedecker came from Germany, and located in this township near Ten-Mile. In 1801 he purchased half of a four hundred acre tract, owned by one of the Shedder family. The wife of Christopher Sunedecker lived to the extreme old age of ninety-six years. Their son, George Sunedecker, was born in West Bethlehem, and also died in the township, leaving a son, Jacob Sunedecker, who now lives on the old homestead.
Dickinson Roberts took up a tract of land in West Bethlehem township at a very early date. His son, Leonard Roberts, was a prominent member of the Methodist Church in his day, and a stanch worker in the old Methodist Chapel near their home. Asa Roberts, a son of Leonard Roberts, was born on the homestead.
Peter Eller came to this township soon after 1800, and purchased seventy-five acres of land, which he soon after sold, and bought one hundred and sixty acres of Christian Ufford, on the south fork of Daniels' Run, above Christopher Cox's, and below Thomas Rees and Caspar Rickett, and also adjoining the lands of John Crumrine and Jacob Shedder. Henry Eller, son of the settler, Peter Eller, lives on the tract which his father purchased from Ufford.
Samuel Weir settled on Pigeon Creek, in West Bethlehem, on a farm now owned by his grandson of the same name. Samuel Weir married a Miss Robinson. They had seven children, whose names were as follows: Thomas, Adam, James, Samuel, William, Jane, and Lavina. Thomas married Nancy Whitehill, and remained on Pigeon Creek. Adam married Mary Hall, and resides near the old homestead. James married Miss Lawrence, an aunt of the Hon. George V. Lawrence; his second wife was a Miss Jenkins: he resides on Pigeon Creek. William married a Miss Jane Lawrence, sister to. James' wife. Samuel lived on the home farm. Jane (Mrs. James Robinson) is now living in Westmoreland County, Pa., near Ligonier. Lavina (Mrs. James Irwin) resides on Pigeon Creek, in West Bethlehem township.
On Nov. 9, 1802, Christopher Clouse bought one hundred acres of land of Noah and Thomas D. Summers, heirs of Benjamin Summers. This land was on Pigeon Creek, near the town of Hillsborough, where Mr. Clouse settled in 1812, when he came from Lancaster County to West Bethlehem township, and purchased more land of Stephen Hill. Christopher Clouse was a blacksmith, and when the National road was built he had a shop on the road, where he worked at his trade until 1824. From that place he removed to Martinsville, and lived there until 1835, then went to West Finley to reside with his son Daniel Clouse, where he died in 1854. Christopher Clouse had ten children, of whom Daniel was the eldest, being born the year his father came to this township. Two of his daughters are still living,—Mary Clouse, of Burnsville, West Finley township, and Mrs. Eli Horace, of Martinsville.
974 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
Valentine Kinder was the owner of the tract " Valentine ;" claim assigned to him by George Kinder, warranted to him Jan. 26, 1785, and surveyed to him April 8th of the same year. It contained 268 acres, adjoining James Crawford, Peter Lesley, Abraham Hartman, and David Ruble.
" Hyde Park" tract was warranted to Neal Gillespie Feb. 9, 1785 ; surveyed, December 6th, same year. Location on waters of Ten-Mile Creek ; contents, 412 acres; adjoining Adam Weaver, Ezekiel Barnes, and William Miller. Situation about one mile south of the site of the town of Hillsborough.
" White Oak Flat" tract was warranted to Thomas Lackey, and surveyed May 10, 1785. Contents, 387 acres, and located adjoining Richard Lackey, who, on the same date, had surveyed to him a tract of 488 acres, called in the survey " Black Oak Flat."
"The Ant" tract, on the north fork of Ten-Mile, was surveyed, Nov. 10, 1784, to Myles Hayden, and patented Sept. 29, 1788. The present owners of this tract are Adam Horn, James M. Horn, and S. G. Bane.
" German" tract, 416 acres, taken on Virginia certificate by Henry Conkle ; surveyed to him April 23, 1785; resurveyed on Pennsylvania warrant, Feb. 11, 1788 ; patented, June 13th, same year, as 392 acres. John Conkle (presumably a brother of Henry) took up on Virginia certificate the tract of 380 acres, which was surveyed to him March 4, 1784; warranted to him by Pennsylvania, Feb. 11, 1788, and resurveyed June 13, 1788.
Adam Simon warranted the tract of three hundred and forty-three and three-fourths acres, which was surveyed to him as two hundred and fifty-two and three thirty-seconds acres, and named in the survey " Despair" (whether the name given it had any reference to the "shortage" in area is not known). The tract is described as adjoining James Barnett, Ezekiel Breaden, George Dancer, Thomas Richardson, and Frederick Teague. Adam Simon died, and on April 18, 1797, the tract was sold to Nicholas Simon by the heirs, who were Michael Simon, Catherine Simon (Mrs. George Dancer), Andrew Simon, Jacob Simon, Agnes Simon (Mrs. Michael Beltz), Elizabeth Simon (Mrs. Philip Strong, of Huntingdon County), Margaret Simon (Mrs. George Wright, of Franklin County), and Mary Simon (Mrs. James Stall, of Franklin Co., Pa.). Except as indicated in the above mention of the heirs of Adam Simon, his children settled in Washington County in locations not far removed from the homestead of their father.
" Buck's Haunt" was the name of the tract of land granted to Daniel Letherman on a Virginia certificate, and surveyed to him May 2, 1785. It was located next the land of James Braden, and contained three hundred and ninety-three acres. Demas Letherman; his son, lived in this township and died here some three years ago at about sixty years of age, from what was supposed to be a paralytic stroke. He was an active politician, and served several years as Statemens senator. His farm is located on Pigeon Creek, northwest of Scenery Hill, upon which Mr. Letherman had erected a large and handsome stone mansion a few years before his death. He left a widow, one son, and several daughters, all of whom reside upon the homestead.
The first person known to have kept tavern in what is now West Bethlehem township was Isaiah Ball, his house being open to the public in 1782. In 1794, John Meeks had opened a house for public entertainment. He was followed a few years later by William Meeks and Absalom Hawkins, the first named having a tavern in operation in 1801, and the latter in 1803. The Hawkins tavern was upon the site of the residence of the heirs of Edward Taylor, east of Hillsborough.
Mr. William Robinson, now nearly eighty years of age, lives in Hillsborough, and from him can be learned many interesting anecdotes of the pioneer days of West Bethlehem township. He also relates many incidents of the staging days when the long lines of stages were passing over the National road between Wheeling and Cumberland, being himself one of the regular drivers. Addis Lynn, who worked for Stephen Hill, of Hillsborough, was a noted driver, and John Buck drove for Daniel Moore, of Washington, Pa., and L. W. Stockton, of Uniontown.
Churches.—In the year 1797 measures were taken by the earliest religious society known in West Bethlehem township toward erecting a house for worship. This was known as the " Redstone" church, and was built upon land purchased of Thomas Crooks for that purpose. The trustees of the society were Joshua Davis, Leonard Roberts, William Allen, John Welch, Thomas Richardson, and James Eaton, who, on July 11, 1797, purchased of Thomas Crooks a piece of land containing one rood and thirty-seven perches, "situate on the Redstone road," for which they paid a consideration of five shillings on that date. A proviso in the contract granted to those attending church the privilege of passing to and from a spring on other land of Mr. Crooks. This church was built under the charge and supervision of Rev. Joseph Doddridge, and was located about half a mile below time site of the village of Hillsborough. It was entirely abandoned many years ago, and by some it is thought to have been identical with the Episcopal Church which was pulled down some thirty years ago, the logs being used to construct the house now occupied by Edward Taylor. The graveyard in connection with this church is called the Crooks Graveyard. It was originally well laid out and cared for, but is now unfenced and neglected. In passing through it one sees that the first interments date back more than eighty years. Front the inscriptions it is seen that Judith Parr died in October, 1802, aged seventy-nine years; Col. Thomas Crooks died Feb. 25, 1815, past eighty years of age; Judith Crooks died April 30, 1823, nearly eighty-four
WEST BETHLEHEM TOWNSHIP - 975
years of age; Henry Huntsberry died Feb. 7, 1830, seventy years old; Robert Rigle died Oct. 1, 1848, aged ninety years; Lieut.-Col. Roger S. Dix, U.S.A., died Jan. 7, 1849; William Dickerson died Aug. 13, 1859, ninety-two years of age.
The German Baptist (or Dunkard) Church was first organized in West Bethlehem about 1800, with the Rev. Mr. Bruist as its pastor. The first place for holding meetings was at the brick church on Ten-Mile Creek, which house is still in the possession of the society, and is used for one of the several meeting places. About the year 1858 the frame edifice situated on Pigeon Creek was built, having dimensions of forty by sixty feet. Some time prior to 1838, Rev. Mr. Bruist was succeeded by Rev. Mr. Helft, and he in turn was succeeded by that clergyman known as Grandfather John Spohn, whose father came from east of the mountains into this section in the year 1785. Rev. Mr. Spohn, when a small child, was brought across the Alleghenies in a sack thrown across the back of a mule, and, together with a stone, balanced the weight of his sister, who occupied the other end of the sack. Upon arriving here the father of Rev. Mr. Spohn purchased the farm now occupied by Solomon Mathews, of West Bethlehem township, giving a gun for the land. During the ministry of Rev. Mr. Spohn the German Baptist (or Dunkard) Society began to assume definite shape as a church. The succeeding minister was Rev. George Wise, who eventually removed to Illinois, and was succeeded by Rev. John Wise, who remained as the minister for forty years. He then removed to Illinois, and Rev. A. J. Sterling, of Fayette County, preached for four years. The only minister of the German Baptist faith now officiating in Washington County is the Rev. J. M. Tombaugh. The following are the names of the members of this society prior to the year 1838, and after Rev. Mr. Helft had assumed the pastorate: Rev. Mr. Helft, pastor; Jacob Garber, Sr., elder; Daniel Spohn, Sally Spohn, Israel Bigler, Sr., Catharine Bigler, Andrew Wise, Samuel Thomas, Henry Tanner, Joseph Grable, Sr., Barbara Grable, Jacob Y. Spohn, John Spohn, John Miller, Sr., John Miller, Jr., John Miller, Nancy Miller, John Lane, Hannah Leasor, Robert Guttery, Peter, Joshua, Rebecca, Ezekiel, and Elizabeth Swihart.
On Feb. 19, 1803, there was organized at the residence of Joseph Hill, Jr., in West Bethlehem township, a Baptist society called the Lebanon Church, but was still better known as the Plum Run Old Side Baptist Church. This society was also of the Dunkard faith, and the trustees chosen to arrange for building a house of worship, and other business .affairs, were Hugh Jennings, Ross Nichols, Joseph Hill, Jr., James Beatty, and James Hill. They purchased of Joseph Hill, Sr., a lot containing one acre of land, the lot being partly from each of the two tracts called "Hillsborough" and " Absent Brother." Among the organizing members of this church were Joseph and Mary Hill, James Hill, Ross and Margaret Nichols, Daniel and Lucretia. Leonards, Rebecca Welsh, James and Margaret Beatty, Thomas and Rachel Hill, David Evans and wife, Mrs. Sarah Barnes, John Welsh, and James Burgan and fluidly. Mr. Burgan and his family afterwards left the Dunkard, and became members of the Campbellite Church. The house of worship first set up by the Plum Run Baptist Church was built of logs, but that has since been replaced by a substantial brick edifice. The ministers who have had charge of this society were Revs. Henry Speer, Francis Downey, Cephas McClelland, Adah Winnet, and the present incumbent, Rev. Philip McInturff, a native of Eastern Virginia.
The Ten-Mile Methodist Episcopal Church at Zollarsville originated in the formation of a class composed of Bennett Morton and wife, Samuel Gass and wife, William Bennington and wife, Samuel Garrett and wife, William Garrett and wife, Solomon Wise, Stephen Ulery, and several others. Their first services were held about 1840 by John Gregg and Hiram Winnet, local preachers, in the old log church building of the Lutherans, near the residence of Adam Horn ; but soon afterwards a brick house of worship was erected for the society by Stephen Ulery, located on a bluff of Ten-Mile Creek at Zollarsville. The first trustees of the church were Bennett Morton, Solomon Wise, and Stephen Ulery. The first preachers appointed to the charge were John Coyle and Ruter. The present pastor is the Rev. J. G. Gugley. The church is embraced in a charge with Millsborough, West Bend, Clarksville, and Valley Chapel.
The Winnet Chapel, in 'West Bethlehem township, was erected in 1866 to replace the frame building formerly occupied by the society which worships there, and which was burned in 1864. In the interval between the destruction of the old house and the erection of the new one services were held in the schoolhouse near by. Both edifices were built while Rev. Hiram Winnet, now of Pittsburgh, was the clergyman in charge. The membership has attained time number of one hundred and eleven, and the present class-leader is John I. Martin.
Fairview Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in this township in 1876, and the church edifice was erected in the same year, time church site being donated by William Sargent. The present pastor :s Rev. Charles McCaslin, who has officiated since 1879. Previous to that year, and from the time of the organization of the church, Rev. William Stewart was the preacher. The members of the society number eighteen. Adam G. Weaver is the class-leader.
The Town of Hillsborough is located within the territory of West Bethlehem township, about midway
976 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
between he boroughs of Washington and Brownsville, about twelve miles from either place. The town lies on both sides of the old National road, and it was one of the principal points at which the coaches of the different stage-lines made a stopping-place in the prosperous days of the great thoroughfare. The site of Hillsborough is a part of the tract called " Springtown," surveyed Feb. 23, 1785, to Isaac Bush, who sold to George Hill, June 18, 1796. On the 13th of February, 1800, George Hill conveyed the tract " Springtown" to his son, Stephen Hill, upon an agreement, from which is quoted the following: "Conditioned and covenanted by the said Stephen Hill to and with 'the said George Hill, his father, that he, the said Stephen Hill, doth promise, for himself, his heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns, and each and every of them, out of the above-described premises to keep him, the said George Hill, his father, and George Hill, his brother, in good and sufficient meat, drink, washing, lodging, and wearing apparel, in sickness and in health, during their natural lives; and if failures should arise in the fulfillment of the conditions, the same shall yearly and every year be settled by three reputable men." Whether any " failures in the fulfillment of the conditions" of this agreement arose or not does not appear. Probably there were none.
Nineteen years after the above-mentioned conveyance of the " Springtown" property by George Hill to his son, Stephen Hill, the latter, with Thomas McGiffin (to whom he had conveyed an interest in the land), laid out upon it the town bearing the name of the principal proprietor. The survey and plat was made in the early part of the summer of 1819, and an advertisement of the proprietors, dated July 19th of that year, appeared in the Washington Reporter of July 26th, as follows :
" The publick are informed that a town has been laid off to be called Hillsborough on the National road, adjoining Hill's Stone tavern, about equal distance from Washington and Brownsville, and that lots will be sold on the premises on Monday the 19th of August at publick auction. Sale to commence at ten o'clock A.M.
" The situation is healthy and pleasant and affords strong encouragement to the enterprise of the Merchant, the Mechanic, and Innkeeper. The surrounding country is fertile, well improved, and contains a numerous and enterprising population. There is no town or village within from ten to twelve miles distance which can rival it, nor is it presumed that any can be established short of that distance which can have that effect. The phut and terms of sale are liberal.
" STEPHEN HILL
" July 19,1819."
The plat of the town, recorded with the records of Washington County, is accompanied by the following remarks, viz.:
"The above is a plan of the town of Hillsborough, situate on the United States Road, nearly equidistant between Brownsville and Washington, Pa. The town contains 106 lots, as numbered on the plan. The streets and alleys are as represented in the plan. The main street is 60 feet wide, except the back street on each side of the town, which is 40 feet wide. Each alley is twenty feet wide. Every lot (Nos. 1, 17, 18, 49, 60, 82, 83, 96, and 97 excepted) is GO feet wide in front by 200 feet back, and right angles. Lot No. 1 is GO feet front by 120 feet back, lot No. 50 is 53 feet in front, and lot No. 49 is 50 feet in front and wider back so as to form Waynesburgh Street, with a bearing of S.1814° west, and 60 feet wide. Lots Nos. 17 and 18 are exactly opposite to the last-mentioned street, and lots 49 and 50 tapering back as in the plan, to make the angles of lots Nos 16 and 19 square. Lots Nos. 96 and 97 are 50 feet each in front, and widening back on the principle lots Nos. 49 and 50. And lots 82 and 83 are to be exactly opposite to these, and of such size as to make their adjacent hits square in their angles, and the street between them, S. 29¾ west and 60 feet wide.
"August 16, 1819."
The National road, as before mentioned, runs through the town, forming its main street. By the plan there was laid out, on the northerly side of the street, and near the centre, a plat of ground called " Hill's Reserve." On the same side of the street the lots, commencing at the west side of Hill's Reserve, numbered westwardly from No. 1 to No. 33, inclusive; then recommencing on the opposite side of the street, numbered back eastwardly from 34 to 89, inclusive. Opposite 89, on the north side of the street, was No. 90, from which the lots numbered westward to 106, which last was laid out adjoining the east side of a reserved plat of ground smaller than " Hill's Reserve," and separated from the latter by a road called on the plan Crooks Street.
Upon the site of Hillsborough a public-house had been kept by Thomas Hill as early as 1794, and it was continued by the Hill family for many years, "Hill's Stone Tavern" being mentioned in the advertisement of Hill and McGiffin's sale of Hillsborough lots in 1819.
The Hillsborough post-office was established immediately after the laying out of the town. It is found mentioned in the Washington Reporter of Oct. 3, 1819, that " a post-office has been established at Hillsborough, in Washington County, Pa.; Mr. Samuel Stanley is the postmaster." Mr. Stanley was a carpenter by trade, and settled on the site of Hillsborough ten or twelve years before the laying out of the town. During the period of half a century in which he was a resident of this place he enjoyed the highest esteem and confidence of his fellow-citizens. He died in or about 1860, his daughter succeeding him in the charge of the post-office at Hillsborough. It is now designated 'as " Scenery Hill" post-office.
The first merchant of Hillsborough was Jeremiah Coleman. The first two physicians of the place were Drs. McGougan and Henry Halleck. The present physicians are Drs. T. R. Sterer and C. T. Dodd.
The town now contains two churches (Methodist Episcopal and Lutheran), one school-house, accommodating two schools, three stores, two blacksmith-shops, one wagon-making establishment, two shoe-shops, one cabinet-maker's shop and undertaking establishment, and fifty dwellings.
Scenery Hill Lodge, No. 770, I. O. O. F., was chartered May 18, 1871, with the following-named charter members : John I. Cleaver, Philip Thornburg,
WEST BETHLEHEM TOWNSHIP - 977
James Dalrymple, Jacob Gayman, Andrew Horn, Mahlon Linton, Eli U. Myers, Norton M. Myers, Walter S. Myers, William Oller, John A. Paul, Joseph W. Ross, Jacob W. Shedler, Taylor Smith, Solomon Wansetter, John A. Yerty. Officers : L. M. Cleaver, N. G.; A. A. Hill, V. G. ; George M. Baker, Sec. ; B. F. Wise, Asst. Sec.; J. W. Ross, Treas. The lodge now numbers seventy-eight members.
Zollaraville, a little hamlet within the limits of West Bethlehem township, was founded by Jacob Zollar, and named for him. He was of German descent, and built the first house in the place. The house was afterwards used by Elijah Hawkins as a store-room. Daniel Zollar located on Ten-Mile Creek, owning a large farm there, and had a family of five sons and two daughters. Mrs. Stephen Ulery, of Zollarsville, and Demas Zollar, of Westmoreland County, are grandchildren of Daniel Zollar.
Zollarsville is located on Ten-Mile Creek, which stream makes a remarkable bend at this point and is here forty yards in width. It is spanned by a fine bridge at this place. The village of Zollarsville contains twelve dwelling-houses and the various places of business, which are quite widely separated from each other.
In 1835 a large grist-mill was built here by Jacob Ulery, which was run by water-power, and for years did a considerable business. Since it passed into the possession of Stephen Ulery, steam has been applied with successful results. The " White Pine" hotel is kept by W. H. Ulery, the store and post-office are kept by Messrs., Baker & Lewis. Jacob Nickerson is the wagon-maker, James Porter the blacksmith, and John A. Patterson the resident physician of the place. Dr. James Braden, born in Greene County, educated at Canonsburg, and graduated at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, settled in Zollarsville as the first resident physician of the village, and practiced here from 1850 until the later years of the war of the Rebellion, when he removed to Indianapolis,, Ind., where he is still in practice. .
Schools.—The earliest school-teachers of whom any account is found in West Bethlehem were Walter Thomson, John Donahoo, and Peter R. Hopkins. The name of the first mentioned is found marked as "schoolmaster" on the assessment-roll of the township for 1800, and the two others were teaching primitive schools here at about the same, time. Among the teachers of a little later date were Robert Jones, Jonathan Warner, and Peter Nonnasmith. The Donahoo above mentioned was also teaching in 1807. The oldest school-house that is remembered was a log building that stood near the site of the Lutheran and Presbyterian church, on land of the Simon family. In this old building German schools were taught in 1805, and prior to that time. Mr. Samuel Oiler recollects it in the year named, and he does not think there was any other school-house in the township at that time. It had a clapboard roof, and windows made of greased paper. English schools began to be taught in the township about 1809. Prior to that time they were taught in German. Among the first teachers in English was Walter Thomson, who had previously taught in German. Scholars came from a distance of four miles to attend his school. In 1823, in the east part of the township, there was a log school-house standing on Joseph Grable's farm, others on the David Coonrod and Spindler lands. Another, a log building with a cabin roof, was on John Friend's farm. In this last named schools were taught by William McCleary and a teacher named Gordon. Jacob Ragan taught a school in a vacant log building on Jonathan Garben's farm. Later, William McCleary taught a school in a log building on Amos Walton's farm. One of the ancient log schoolhouses of this township was used until 1863, and was said to have been the last of its kind used for school purposes in Washington County.
Upon the passage of the free school law of 1834 a meeting was held. at Washington borough, at which each township in the county was represented, the object being to take action in reference to the acceptance of the provisions of the law. At this meeting West Bethlehem was one of the five townships of the county that voted for non-acceptance. In 1835, however, the township had accepted the law, conformed to its requirements, and elected as school directors Mess. J. Eagy and J. Mikesell, and was reported in that year as having assessed and collected $336.19 for school purposes. At that time the number of persons liable to school tax in the township was four hundred and eight.
The school report for the year ending June 2,1863, shows the following school statistics for West Bethlehem : Number of schools in township, 14; number of teachers, 15 ; number of pupils enrolled, 659 ; receipts for school purposes for the year, $1397. The report for 1873 showed : Number of schools, 15 ; number of teachers, 16 ; number of pupils enrolled, 534 ; receipts for school purposes, $4205. In 1880 the school report for the township showed : Number of schools, 16; number of teachers, 18; number of pupils enrolled, 600 ; receipts for school purposes, $3743.89 ; expenditures for same, $2533.82.
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE OF WEST BETHLEHEM.¹
Robert Quail, April 14, 1840.
Andrew Cox, April 14, 1840.
Abraham Young, April 15, 1845.
Stephen Hill, April 10, 1849.
Andrew Alexander, April 10, 1849.
Abraham Young, April 9, 1850.
Atkinson Nichols, April 19, 1852.
Andrew Cox, April 13, 1853.
George Taylor, April 13, 1853.
William Hedge, May 18, 1858.
Samuel Barnett, May 18, 1858.
George Taylor, April 21,1862.
William Hedge, April 14, 1863.
Samuel Garrett, April 17, 1866.
Samuel Garrett, Nov. 30, 1870.
George Taylor, April 12,1872.
George Taylor, Jan. 21, 1874.
Samuel Garrett, Jan. 27, 1874.
Samuel Garrett, March 16, 1876.
Jacob Gayman, March 21, 1877.
George Taylor, March 27, 1879.
J. B. Wise, April 9,1881.
¹ Until 1838 East Bethlehem and West Bethlehem formed one district and the justices for both townships for that period are given in East Bethlehem township.
978 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
Samuel Barnard was born in West Bethlehem township, Washington County, Dec. 1, 1796, and died Jan. 26, 1881. After receiving such instruction as the district school afforded, he commenced the life of a farmer upon the old homestead, which he subsequently inherited. He cultivated his lands skillfully and profitably, uniting with this business that of general stock raising. He was a substantial citizen, and lived a quiet, unostentatious life, doing his duty as he understood it. He was married April 6, 1828, to Eleanor Barnes, who died Feb. 23, 1839, aged forty years. Their children were six in number,-John, their first-born, died in infancy ; their second, Demas, was a member of the Washington Cavalry, Capt. A. J. Greenfield commanding, in the late war, having gone of his own accord to Grafton, Va., a few weeks after the organization of the company, and there had his name placed upon the muster-roll. He was wounded by guerrillas while serving in Virginia, and died Feb. 12, 1863. His remains were interred in the Lutheran Cemetery near his home. His comrades bear testimony to his bravery and efficiency as a soldier, and his moral worth as a man. When informed by his physician that he had but a very short time to live, he said to Capt. Greenfield, who was by his side, " Captain, they say I must die! I would like to live a while longer to kill more traitors." The next two of Samuel Barnard's children, and the only ones now living, are twins,-Elizabeth and Samuel B. Elizabeth is the wife of George Gayman, a farmer of East Bethlehem township, and has two children,-Samuel and Emma. Samuel B. is a prosperous farmer, and resides at the old home. he was a soldier in the late war, enlisting in Capt. A. J. Barr's company Oct. 14, 1862, and serving until he was discharged, July 19, 1865.
The fifth child died in infancy, and the youngest, Eleanor, married Isaac H. Kinder, and died in 1868, aged twenty-nine years. March 12, 1843, Samuel Barnard married Elizabeth Drake, who died Aug. 10, 1860, aged sixty-four years. Mr. Barnard's father, Ignatius Barnard, was born in what is now ,West Bethlehem township, Oct. 25, 1762. He was a soldier, and married Elizabeth Lewis, of Virginia. Their children. were Mary, who married William Buckingham; James, who married Julia Bricker; Samuel, before mentioned ; Ignatius, who died in infancy ; Parmelia, who married Joseph Wise ; Elizabeth, who married Joseph Ross ; Catharine, unmarried; and Nathan, who married Hannah Zollars. Samuel Barnard's grandfather was a native of Scotland, from which country he emigrated settled in Washington County, Pa.
George Crumrine, of West Bethlehem township, was born Oct. 28, 1813, in the township where he now resides, and was one of sixteen children (all of whom arrived at maturity) of John Crumrine and his wife Barbara, who was a Fohrman. John Crumrine was born on Jan. 22, 1779, in what is now Carroll County, Md., near the present village of Melrose, and there married. His father was Abraham, who was the son of George L., who immigrated from the Palatinate, in Germany, in 1748. Three sons came from Maryland early in the century. George settled in East Bethlehem township, Peter went on into Knox County, Ohio, and John, the above named, who came later, about 1811, and settled and lived till his death, on Jan. 13, 1857, upon the farm near the mouth of Daniel's Run, now owned by one of his daughters, Mrs. Julia Ann Theakston. His children were Elizabeth, wife of David Horn ; Mary, wife of John Tinkey; Susan, wife of James Sargent ; Margaret, wife of G. W. Crabb; George ; John ; William ; Julia A., wife of Thomas Theakston ; Abraham; Judith, wife of D. W. Longdon ; Sarah ; Barbara ; Lucinda, wife of John Blackford; Valentine ; David ; Maria, wife of Dennis Drake.
The fifth named of this family, George Crumrine, had but little start in the way of pecuniary aid, but by means of industry and economy has succeeded in acquiring a competency, and is now a representative farmer of his township. In his youth he learned the carpenter's trade, and on Oct. 25, 1840, was married to Mahala, oldest daughter of James and Julia Ann (Bricker) Barnard, neighbors of his father. In 1847 he abandoned his trade and removed to the farm which he now occupies and owns near Hillsborough, the post-office at that place being called Scenery Hill. His children are James B., born April 27, 1842 (married first, Jennie Collins ; second, Gusta Harris), a physician at Pennsboro, W. Va., where he has been practicing for the last fourteen years. Taking an active interest in politics, he has been a Democratic member of the West Virginia Legislature during its last two sessions. His other children are Elizabeth A., born Dec. 26, 1847, wife of Jacob Gayman, a surveyor, residing at Hillsborough ; Julia Ann, born June 2, 1849, is unmarried; Cordelia, born May 13, 1851, wife of Robert Hornbake, miller, Frederick-town ; Emma Lucinda, born June 13, 1853, wife of Cephas Horn, of Hillsborough ; George Leroy, born Sept. 4, 1855, and John Elwood, born Aug. 22, 1865, are unmarried, and reside with their parents.
WEST FINLEY TOWNSHIP.
THIS is the extreme southwestern township of Washington County, it being bounded on the west by the State of West Virginia, and on the south by Greene County. East Finley joins it on the east, and its northern boundary is formed by the township of Donegal. The principal streams of West Finley are Hunter's Fork (of Wheeling Creek), which marks the southern boundary of the township, separating it from Greene County; Robinson's Fork, which flows diagonally through the township from its northeastern to its southwestern corner ; Templeton Run, which flows southwestwardly across the southeastern corner of the township; and the head and main streams of Middle Wheeling Creek, which flows in a westerly course through the north part of the township into West Virginia.
The territory of West Finley, together with that of East Finley township, was for a period of forty years preceding their separate organization included in the old township of Finley, which had itself formed a part of and was taken from the original township of Donegal. In the history of East Finley township will be found an account of the erection of old Finley township in May, 1788, and of subsequent changes in its boundaries and area down to and including the final division of its territory, and the formation from it of the townships of East Finley and West Finley, which were erected by order of the Court of Quarter Sessions Dec. 24, 1828, with boundaries which have not been materially changed from that time to the present.
Settlement of West Finley.—Henry Holmes, an Irishman by birth, came into this section and first located in what is now Donegal township, near the site of West Alexander. Afterwards he was granted a Virginia certificate, dated Feb. 24, 1780, for a tract of land called "Burnt Fields," situated on a branch of Robinson's Run, in this township, which was surveyed to him Jan. 21, 1785. William, a son of Henry Holmes, married Elizabeth Davidson, and afterwards died upon the homestead, which is now owned by his grandson, Robert Holmes. Mrs. Martin and Mrs. Davidson were daughters of William Holmes.
James Beham settled early in West Finley township, but the date of his settlement is not positively known. Enough, however, has been learned to place him among the first who came here. He lived on a farm, a part of which is now the property of Thomas Barnes. Among the children of Mr. Beham were two sons then old enough to be of great assistance to their father. According to the custom of the time, Mr. Beham put bells upon all of his stock, horses included, and turned them out with those of his neighbors to graze. One day Mr. Beham sent his two sons for his horses. The Indians had taken the bells off, and by ringing them led the boys far away from their homes, when they seized, tomahawked, and scalped them, and left them, as they supposed, dead. The eldest, however, was not dead, and after a time revived and went home, where he related the facts after his recovery. The event occurred upon the bank of a little stream which was called Beham's Run. The school-house near by and the site of the family home have always been called " Beham's school-house" and "Beham's Knob." About the time of the Beham tragedy another occurred in the family of Mr. Bennett, who lived not far away. Becoming frightened at the Indians, the whole Bennett family fled and left a bedridden old lady (a relative) alone. When they returned they found the lifeless body of the old lady in the bed. She was buried in the woods, her last resting-place marked by some rude stones set up near the place of—her death. And the thicket which in-closes the place has always been called " Bennett's Thicket."
Alexander Burns was born in Scotland in 1739, and when four years of age removed with his parents to Ireland. At the age of fourteen, while in the marketplace at Armagh with his mother, he was taken from her side and impressed on board a man-of-war, in which service he was retained for seven years. Finally the ship entered New York harbor and Alexander ran away into the country, where he hired out to a farmer, a German, with whom he remained seven years. He then revisited his home in Ireland and returned to this country about the close of the Revolutionary war. He came to this section and took out a warrant for a tract of land Oct. 29, 1784, which was surveyed to him as "Burns' Camp," Dec. 14, 1784. On this land he settled, and had a large piece of hind cleared before 1780. He was captured by the Indians and kept a prisoner for several years. During the season of his captivity Philip Sommers discovered the clearing Mr. Burns had made, and, finding no owner, he procured a warrant for it. Before it was surveyed to him Burns was released by the Indians and returned,
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980 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
and, proving his prior right to the land, Mr. Sommers relinquished all claim to it. The patent was granted to Burns Feb. 16, 1790. He lived upon this farm until his death, Jan. 12, 1826, at the age of eighty-seven years. The family of Alexander Burns was three sons,— James, John, and William. James settled in Rich Hill township, Greene County. He had several daughters, of whom Nancy (now Mrs. William Davis) lives in Donegal township, and Jane, who became Mrs. Johnston, resides in Ohio. John lived and died upon a portion of the home farm. His daughter Mary married Alexander Gunn, and resides upon the old homestead. William, the only surviving son of Alexander Burns, also lived upon the home farm until a few years ago, when he removed to the home of his son-in-law, Henry Blaney, near "Good Intent." A large number of the lineal descendants of Alexander Burns reside in and near West Finley township.
James and Thomas Byers were brothers, of Irish nationality, who came to West Finley township, and March 16, 1786, were granted a warrant for "Stone-coal," a four-hundred-acre tract of land adjoining the property of David Bradford, James Leeper, James Shaw, and Samuel Byers. James Byers was a bachelor, but Thomas had a large family. His eldest daughter was the wife of Dr. Wylie, a brother of the clergymen, William and Andrew Wylie. The second daughter married David Stewart, and the third married Andrew Yates, all removing to West Virginia. A fourth daughter, Nancy, was the wife of John Brice, a son of Rev. John Brice, pastor of the "Three Ridges" Church. They emigrated to Ohio. The youngest daughter of Thomas Byers was the wife of Mr. Wilson, a tailor by trade, and they also removed West. The sons of Thomas Byers were Thomas, Jr., who married Miss Hammitt, and died in the borough of Washington; John, who studied medicine with Dr. Warren, of Canonsburg. He married twice, Miss Boner first, and Miss Madden last, and went to the State of Ohio, where he died; Samuel and William, of whom no record is found ; and James, who was a farmer, and married Mary, daughter of Rev. Mr. Stephenson. The Stephensons all removed to Ohio, near Bellefontaine, where James Byers died. There are none of the Byers' descendants now remaining here.
John Sutherland was a Scotchman, who in 1772 emigrated to Bladensburg, Md. In 1786 he came into Washington County, locating upon land on the waters of Chartiers Creek. In 1800 he purchased one hundred and six acres of land of Shields and Hollingsworth, in this township, and located here. His son George, born in Scotland in the year 1769, remained on Chartiers Creek until 1790, and then followed his father to West Finley. In 1795 he married Charlotte McCoy. Their family were six sons and two daughters, of whom there is the following record : Eleanor, Christiana, and William died single. John was a blacksmith by trade, and married Eleanor Hough. He was a justice of the peace for several years in West Alexander, where he lived and died. Alexander Sutherland married Maria Boland in 1831, and removed to Mansfield, Ohio. He has been a practicing physician for half a century, and is now more than eighty years of age. Isaac, who married Ruth Fee in 1830, is a resident of West Finley township. David married for his first wife, Lydia Lucas, and for his second, Margaret Baird. His home is in Davis County, Iowa. Robert still lives in West Alexander,. and has been married three times,—to Jane Lucas, to Elizabeth Lossen, and to Annie Taylor.
Andrew Frazier was a Scotchman who crossed the ocean in the same vessel with John Sutherland, William McCoy, and others in 1772. He went to Bladensburg, Md., and from there came to this county in 1786. The records show that June 24, 1799, he purchased of Thomas Shields a four-hundred-acre tract of land called " Big Meadow," situated on. Robinson Run. It was patented to Mr. Shields, April 10, 17'98. Andrew Frazier spent his life upon this farm, and left a family of five children. David married Jane Ross, and lived and died in this county ; Alexander Frazier, who was married three times, died in 'Washington, Pa. ; Daniel, who was a roving character, was drowned at Wheeling, Va. The two daughters were Mrs. William McDonald, who lived in East Finley township, and Mrs. John Eckels, who went to Illinois and died there. The Fraziers, of West Alexander, in this county, are descendants of Andrew Frazier, the Scotch pioneer.
'William Rose, who was a native of Scotland, was a son-in-law of Alexander McCoy. He emigrated to this country in 1772, landing at Philadelphia, and until 1785 lived in the Susquehanna valley. He then came to Chartiers Creek, and in 1800 followed his father-in-law and the other friends from Scotland to their new home in West Finley township. William Ross bought two tracts of land here on June 24, 1799. The first comprised two hundred and ninety-eight acres, which was patented to Thomas Shields, April 10, 1795. The second tract was adjoining the first. It comprised one hundred and one acres, and it was patented to Henry Holmes, March 16, 1786. Holmes sold it to Shields, May 14, 1795, and he in turn sold the two tracts—four hundred acres in all—to William Ross. This early settler had a family of four sons and three daughters : Thomas, Alexander, and Kenneth all died unmarried; John married Elizabeth McDaniels, and lived and died in this township ; Jane Ross became the wife of David Frazier, and left numerous descendants; Charlotte became Mrs. James Templeton. She died in the city of Wheeling, and her husband in West Finley. Catharine was the wife of Alexander Sutherland. She died in this township, and left three sons and three daughters.
The Henderson family, born and reared in West Finley township, have always been persons of popu-
WEST FINLEY TOWNSHIP - 981
larity and influence. On the maternal side they descended from James Wherry, an emigrant from Scotland, who settled on Pigeon Creek. One of his daughters, Drusilla, married a man named Pyles, and resided in Buffalo township. Another daughter, Esther, who was born in West Finley township in 1787, became the wife of John Henderson. They remained here, and brought up a family of eight children,—John, James, Alexander, Cyrus, Oliver P., Francis M., Elizabeth, and Esther. James Henderson resides in Washington County. Alexander's wife was Miss Huston, and they lived in Buffalo township. Cyrus sever married. Francis M, has had three wives. His residence is in Ohio County, W. Va. Oliver P. Henderson, who married Miss Armstrong, was in the war of the Rebellion, and died in the service during the siege of Yorktown. The daughter Elizabeth became Mrs. George Carroll. She died in this township. John Henderson, son of John and Esther Henderson, was born in 1818. He received only a common-school education, owing to financial inability on the part of his father to give him better advantages. He evinced in early life strong pro-slavery ideas, but could never reconcile them to his sense of right, and finally himself and father, and all his brothers except James, became strongly avowed anti-slavery advocates.
Is 1844 and 1845, John Henderson, James, and Alexander Sprowls, Robert and Isaac Sutherland,. OA John and Kenneth McCoy organized an anti-slavery society, with headquarters at the residence of Kenneth McCoy. A line of stations for the refuge and protection of slaves was formed, and by it many refugees from far and near were secreted, cared for, and assisted in their flight to Canada. A great and efficient element in this work was the Quaker society, who in numerous instances were the salvation of the fugitives striving for freedom. Preceding the Rebellion the danger to anti-slavery people was very great, and often the lives of the members of this society were in jeopardy during their visits to Wheeling. In 1861, John Henderson entered the Union army as a captain. He remained in the service until 1864, when his company was mustered out. Mr. Henderson was early married to Margaret Trussell. They had six children, —Easter, Milton F., Sarah, Emma, Martha, and Oliver P. Henderson. All are still living. Milton F. served in the Army of the Potomac during the Rebellion as a member of the Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry. John Henderson is still following the pursuit of agriculture upon his fine farm in this township.
Lucy and Elizabeth Leeper came here and took up three tracts of land, each containing four hundred acres, in a body in this township, the warrants for which were dated Oct. 25, 1784, and the surveys made on the same date. These tracts were located on the waters of Wheeling Creek, and the names given were "Drayton," " Shipton," and " Iron Hill." James Leeper at one time owned the Connant land, now the property of the Sprowls family, but is not supposed to have been a resident of the township.
John Toland was the pioneer resident of Cooney Town, an area of territory three miles square, in the southwest corner of West Finley township. Mr. Toland's farm was the. first one cleared in the locality, and embraced two hundred acres. It is now owned by John Henderson and Flemming Trussell. Although Mr. Toland reared a large family, but a very few representatives are now found in this part of Washington County.
William Porter was an early settler of this township, locating upon land two miles south of West Alexander, and but half a mile from the Virginia line. He had a mill in operation which was situated nearly upon the State line. It has now fallen into decay. His family was four sons and several daughters, all quite advanced in years before they married. Mr. Porter was a member of the Seceder Church. While attending services he fell down and died immediately. William Porter, of this township, is a grandson of the pioneer William, and the old farm is now owned by Alexander McCleary, Esq., a justice of the peace.
The farm upon which George Davidson made his settlement is now the property of Robert Holmes, of West Finley township. Mrs. Alexander McCleary and Mrs. Thomas McCleary were his daughters. His sons Robert, William, and George were all physicians. Robert, the only survivor, is a resident of West Alexander.
Samuel Davis occupied and owned the farm of Samuel McNinch in 'this township. He had several daughters and four sons,—Joshua, Richard, Samuel, and William. Joshua was a tanner, Samuel emigrated to another State, and William, who married Nancy Burns, died upon the homestead, which he had never left. Isaac Davis, of this township is his son:
Alexander McCoy and his wife, Christiana McDonald, were early residents in this vicinity. Their four children were Alexander, Jane, Nancy, and Charlotte McCoy. Jane married William Ross, and Nancy became the wife of Daniel McCoy, who was, however, no relative. Charlotte was the wife of George Sutherland, and they had a number of children.. Dr. Alexander Sutherland, of Ohio, Robert Sutherland, of West Alexander, Daniel Sutherland, of Iowa, and Isaac Sutherland, of West Finley, are their sons.
Isaac Lucas was a Revolutionary soldier and an aide-de-camp to Gen. Washington. His property in this section was a four-hundred-acre tract of land called "Tragical," situated on Robinson Run. He bought it of Thomas Shields, April 23, 1806, to whom it had been patented June 20, 1798. The farm is now in the possession of Samuel McNay. Isaac Lucas had six sons,—John, .William, Daniel, David, Abijah, and Benjamin. John's wife was Jane Templeton ; William married Miss Bushfield, and went to Ohio; Daniel and David both went to Ohio, the former marrying and having a large family; Abijah and
982 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
his wife, Jane Lee, emigrated to Illinois; and Benjamin, who married Mary Lee, lived and died in this county. Thomas B. Lucas was a grandson of Isaac Lucas. He married Malinda Rockafellow. He entered the Union army, and was killed at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863. His only living son is John P. Lucas, of Burnsville. He too was in the army, a member of the Eighty-fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers.
William Gunn, a native of Aberdeen, Scotland, married a sister of Alexander Gunn (to whom, however, he was not related). About the year 1775 William Gunn, his wife and one son, and Alexander Gunn and two unmarried sisters emigrated to this country and landed in Philadelphia. After remaining in that city about a year they emigrated to this county and settled upon a tract of land now in Donegal township, owned by Gordon and Samuel Patterson. On this property they all lived a few years, and William moved with his family to what is now West Finley township. The land on which he settled proved to belong to those immense land proprietors, Shields and Hollingsworth. He then purchased four hundred and twenty-eight acres of Isaac Parkhurst, of Warren County, Ohio. This land was situated on Robinson Run. The land upon which he first located in Finley township is now owned by Arthur Sprowls and James Milliken. On the farm he purchased of Parkhurst he lived the remainder of his long life, and died in 1825, aged eighty years. He left ten children, who upon arriving at maturity all emigrated to the West, except John, the second son, who settled on the homestead and there lived till his death in 1848, leaving a family of eight children, of whom Alexander is the only one living in the township or the county. He married a daughter of John Burns, and now resides on the old Burns homestead.
Alexander Gunn; who remained on the farm in Donegal when William came to Finley, stayed there until about 1800, when he purchased three hundred acres of land in West Finley, which is now mostly owned by James Hunter, whose father, Matthew Hunter, purchased it of Mr. Gunn. He remained unmarried, and after the sale of the farm resided with his nephew, John Gunn, until his death. He was an elder in the Presbyterian Church of West Union, Va., for over forty years. One of his sisters married John Craig, and died without children. The other never married.
Hercules Roney and James Roney were of Scotch-Irish birth, and emigrated to America about 1775. They were early settlers in this county, and were both chain-men with Col. William Crawford, as surveyor of Yohogania County, Va., and assisted in many of the surveys of land granted on Virginia certificates, They settled in Finley township upon land which they afterwards obtained on Virginia certificates. Hercules Roney's certificate bears date Dec. 21, 1779; this was surveyed to him on the 20th of January, 1785, under the name of " Green Spring," and contains three hundred and seventy-six acres adjoining the land of James Roney.
The certificate of the tract obtained by James Roney bears date Feb. 24, 1780, and was surveyed Jan. 20, 1785, and named " Star Fort," containing four hundred acres. Hercules Roney built upon his land a large and strong block-house, which was known as " Roney's Block-House," or " Roney's Fort." To this place the neighbors repaired in times of danger. Hercules Roney lived on the " Green Spring" tract the remainder of his days, and died in 1812, leaving four children. To his two sons, James and William, he gave each one hundred find fifty acres of land, and to the two daughters, Mrs. Milliken and Mrs. Reed, each one hundred acres. James married Miss McWhirter and removed to Canonsburg. William married a Miss Lawrence and remained in the township.
The McIntosh family, who were of Scotch birth or descent, located in this township at an early but not precisely known date. During the harvest season of 1789 or 1790 the entire family, with the exception of one daughter, were massacred by Indians. They were out at some distance from their house engaged in stacking hay or grain, when the Indians fired on them, killing the father on the stack. The mother and six children fled towards the house, but were overtaken, tomahawked, and scalped. The daughter above mentioned had been sent to a distant pasture with a horse, and hearing the firing, and realizing the danger, fled to Roney's block-house and gave the alarm. Hercules Roney and a party of men started at once for the scene of the butchery. The Indians had gone, but the eight dead and mutilated bodies told the bloody tale. Roney and his party buried them on the farm that is now owned by Mr. Blaney.
On March 30, 1795, Robert Morris, of Philadelphia, sold to Edward Tighlman, also of Philadelphia, thirty thousand acres of land ; consideration, £10,200. This land was surveyed in seventy-five tracts, of four hundred acres each, for all of which, patents were granted in 1787. At that time the entire body of land was within the limits of Washington County, but now it lies partly in West Finley township and partly in Greene County. The seventy-five. tracts were patented under the following names :
King's Wood, Mill Creek, Bastian, Garden, White-Oak Level, Rumney, Eagles' Nest, Artillery, Ashhill, Stony Point, Buffalo Lick, Cranberry Marsh, Lion's Den, Forlorn Hope, Alps, Rush Run, Magazine, Whitehill Eminence, Beaver Dam, Mill-Stone Rock, Smithfield, Barrier Fairford, Owlhill, Eden, Alarm-Post, Spice Hill, Iron Hill, Tuolow, Bee-Tree, Slupton, Longhill, Hook Run, Silver Stream, Wolf's Den, Field Fort, Bear Camp, Otter Run, Shipton, Thorn, Felton, Blackberry Grove, Thistle, Plumb Hill, Chestnut Hill, Pike Run, Deer Hill, Sugar-Loaf, Darnel Camp, Burton, John's Bottom, Broad Valley, Winsor, Big Rock, Dunkard's Falls, Mack's Camp, Crab-
WEST FINLEY TOWNSHIP - 983
Tree, Nettle Hill, Mill-Seat, White Thorn, St. Clair's, Encampment, Yellow Spring, Green Spring, Forlorn, Club Law, Lutis Bean, Hempfield, Wolf-Path, Fox Point, Foxhill, and Drayton.
" Doctor's Hall" was a tract of four hundred acres situated " on a branch of Wheeling Creek," in what is now West Finley township, adjoining certain vacant lands and lands of Griffith Jones and Daniel McFarland & Co. . It was surveyed to James Hunter. Nov.13, 1785,," at the instance of Dr. Henry Moore." It was taken up on a Virginia certificate. Entry made in Ohio County (Va.) Book of Entry June 9, 1781.
Good Intent is the name bf a little village situated in the northeastern part of West Finley township, on a tributary of Wheeling Creek. It is located upon land formerly owned by Peter Wolf, a pioneer in that section. He built the mill at Good Intent, which he afterwards sold to Weaver Potter, and erected another farther up the creek. Both were called Wolf's mills; and the last one, which was sold to William Donnelly, has gone to decay. Peter Wolf removed to Washington and died there. Good Intent business interests are comprised in a water-power grist-mill, a tannery, store, harness- and saddlery-shop, two blacksmith-shops, the post-office, and public school-house. The post-office was established at Good Intent in 1837, with John Ensel as first postmaster, who was succeeded by Joseph Chase. The first person engaged in the business of general merchandising here was Thomas Frazier, who opened a store in .1845. He was followed by Hall & Frazier, James Ensel, Robert Chase, James Roney, Samuel Ambler, and John George. The present merchants are C. W. Blaney & Son. The tannery was carried on in earlier years by Charles Chase, Robert Chase, and James Roney, and is now under the management of William M. Sunderland. Drs. George Lucas and George Davidson were the resident physicians as early as 1850 ; Dr. John Buchanan until 1852 ; Dr. Samuel Potter until 1856; Dr. George B. Wood in 1874; Dr. John Smith in 1877, and Dr. Frank Blachly in 1881. Thirty or forty years ago Mrs. Elizabeth McWhirter, Mrs. Spillman, Mrs. Catharine Miller, and Mrs. Jane Lucas were famed as nurses in this vicinity, and were often employed in place of regular physicians, whose services could not always and readily be obtained.
Burnsville, or West Finley, as it is more properly called, is located in the southern part of the township. It was laid out by John Burns, who owned the land upon which it has been built. It is upon a portion of the tract taken up and improved by Alexander Burns, but which was occupied by Philip Sommers during the temporary captivity of Mr, Burns among the Indians. Upon Mr. Burns' release, however, Mr. Sommers relinquished all claims to the land, and the four hundred acres was patented to Mr. Burns Feb. 16, 1790. The situation is high and healthy, and altogether West Finley is a pleasant and attractive place. The first post-office of the place was established in 1832, and was called West Finley, by which name Burnsville has gradually come to be known. The first postmaster was William C. Burns, who kept the office at his residence, a half-mile southeast of the town proper, now the home of Alexander Gunn. Mr. Burns is still living, in excellent health and vigor, although approaching his eightieth year. Mr. Burns' successor was Joshua Ackley, ho removed the office to Greene County; where it remained until Mr. Ackley was succeeded by William C. 'Teagarden, who brought it back to Burnsville, its present location. Joshua Ackley, the second postmaster, died Sept. 30, 1881, at seventy-seven years of age. The postmasters who followed Mr. Teagarden were Wesley Cannon, Samuel Grim, and Jacob Rockefellow, the present incumbent.
At present West Finley contains twenty-seven dwelling-houses, two wagon-shops, two cabinet and undertaker establishments, two saddlery and harness-shops, the post-office, an Odd-Fellows' Hall, two stores, the hotels of J; P. Lucas and C. Burns, blacksmith-shops of Brady, Gray, and L. W. Fields, the shoe-store of John Hastings, and several carpenters and artisans of other trades. Just west of the town is the public school building ; the " Windy Gap" Cumberland Presbyterian Church is near the town. One of the earliest physicians of Burnsville was Dr. Roberts. In 1863, Dr. Richardson and Dr. Silas McCracken were practicing here, and at the present time the profession is represented in Burnsville by Drs. W. S. Grim, J. W. Teagarden, and I. N. Sprowls.
West Finley Lodge, No. 956, I. O. O. F., was instituted at Burnsville, March 27, 1878. The organization of the lodge was effected by Deputy Grand Master James Craig, assisted by Past Grands John Birch and J. M. Carson, of Hopewell Lodge, No. 504, Robert M. Luckie, of No. 607, R. W. McGlumpy, of No. 571, Greene County, William A. Irwin, N. G. of Hopewell Lodge, No. 504, and I. H. Taylor, N. G. of No. 571. 'The first officers chosen were Dr. W. L. Grim, N. G.; George T. Carroll, V. G. ; L. M. Sprowls, Sec. ; Albert Sampson, Treas. The other charter members were Louis Cooper, James Giles, Joseph Howell, Mandeville Earnest, J; M. Houston, Thomas Lawrence, John P. Lucas, G. W. Jenkins, James Marshall, J. J. Irey, A. S. Sprowls, Morgan Sprowls, Seaman Sprowls, J. W. Taylor, and Wilson Sprowls. The lodge has at present thirty-two members.
The Burnsville Christian Church.¹ —In 1839 a gentleman belonging to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church invited a Disciple preacher by the name of James, who resided near Bethany, W. Va., to preach at two different times in the Windy Gap Meetinghouse, He was followed in 1840 by John Henderson, Dr. George Lucy, and Chauncey Ward in frequent
¹ By Rev. W. L. Hayden.
984 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
appointments, and several persons were baptized. A church of what are known as Bible Christians once flourished in the vicinity, but had become depleted in membership. This people stood on the same ground with the Disciples in regard to the repudiation of unscriptural names and human creeds as bonds of union. Under the labors of John Henderson, Sr., most of the remnant of this church were brought into full harmony with the Disciples, and ten of them met with him at the house of Abraham Teagarden, and covenanted to enter into a church relation. As far as can be now ascertained, their names are Abraham Teagarden, Nancy Teagarden, Jacob Teagarden, Samuel Teagarden, Sr., Eliza Teagarden, Cynthia Teagarden, Robert Chase, Benjamin Potter, James Hill, and John Cummins. A short time thereafter an organization was effected, in the year 1841, by Dr. George Lucy, at a school-house near Benjamin Gunn's, in West Finley township.
The original members were the above-named ten persons, John Henderson and his wife, Hannah Templeton, Nimrod Longdon and his wife, Sarah Sutler, Sarah Ackels, Benjamin Gunn, Mary Gunn, Joseph Ryan, Sarah Ryan, John Batson, Walter L. Batson, James Henderson and his wife, twenty-five in all.
The first elders were Abraham Teagarden and Joseph Ryan. Benjamin Gunn and Nimrod Longdon were the first deacons. The infant church often enjoyed the public teaching of William Munnell.
Unhappily difficulties soon sprang up and scattered the little flock, and retarded the progress of the church. By the care and effort of John Henderson, Sr., the members rallied again, and met at Liberty school-house for public worship.
Several students of Bethany College visited the congregation and rendered valuable service. Among these were Charles L. Loos, John Lindsey, Moses E. Lord, and Robert Y. Henley, all of whom afterwards became distinguished preachers of the gospel. Thos. Hillock was regularly employed to preach for one or two years, and the church was edified.
But reverses, removals, and deaths thinned the ranks of the faithful, so that in 1849, with all the untiring fidelity of John Henderson, only about twelve or fifteen persons met regularly on the Lord's day.
In August of this year, S. B. Teagarden, who ten years before had invited preaching in the neighborhood, left the Cumberland Presbyterians and united with the Disciples, receiving the hand of fellowship from Moses E. Lard. About this time Randall Faurot labored a while for this church regularly.
In April, 1850, Prof. Robert Milligan, of Washington College, preached in an adjacent Baptist Church, and made a fine impression on the religions community. But Liberty school-house continued to be the place of meeting, and many precious seasons of prayer were there enjoyed. during this year, near the close of which the house was burned, and the Disciples met from house to house.
In October of this year L. P. Streator preached a few evenings very acceptably, and gained some additions. The following minute is from the record of the church of that year :
"Samuel B. Teagarden was chosen and set apart by the laying on e hands to the office of Evangelist by the congregation of Disciples in West Finley, Washington Co., Pa., and Walter L. Batson and John B. Longdon were chosen and set apart by the laying on of hands of the Presbytery to the office of elder of said congregation.
"Done at the Windy Gap' meeting-house. Dec. 29, 1850.
"JOHN M. LONGDON, Clerk."
L. P. Streator was present and officiated on this occasion.
At this time so much interest had been awakened that now professors began to urge the homeless church to build a meeting-house. The great difficulty was the want of funds. In January, 1851, the officers of the church authorized S. B. Teagarden to travel and solicit funds for this purpose. He spent five months at much personal sacrifice, and by a liberal contribution himself obtained about five hundred and seventy dollars, with which a modest frame building, twenty by thirty-six feet, was erected on the present site near Burnsville. On Dec. 10, 1851, Samuel McFarland made a deed of the lot to Joseph Templeton, Alexander Henderson, and John M. Longdon, trustees of the Disciples' Church in West Finley township, Washington Co., Pa., containing one-fourth of an acre more or less, for the consideration of one dollar, for the us of said church.
On the second day of the preceding October, James Darsie preached the first sermon in this house, though the dedication sermon was preached by B. F. Lobingier on the following Lord's day. In September of that year S. B. Teagarden was employed to preach half the time for one year.
The preachers who have labored with this church at different times during these forty years and more, in addition to those already named, either in meetings of days, in stated appointments for a specified time, or occasionally, are John Dodd, James Foster, James Hough, David Wallis, Thomas J. Melish, William Baxter, A. Campbell, J. D. Pickett, P. H. Jones, I. Baldwin, O. L. Matthews, David White, R. B. Chaplin, J. C. Howell, John Luke, A. E. Myers, and Campbell Jobes. Simon Huston was also a strong preacher and a good elder of the church for many years previous to his death, March 14, 1877. He was mighty in the Scriptures, and died lamented by all who knew him.
Brady Gray is now the leading elder of the church, which numbers, as reported, forty-three members. They have no other pastor at present, and are dependent on supplies for preaching. It is said the elders generally ruled well and the church has continued steadfastly in the faith and practice of the primitive church, though sometimes flourishing and sometimes not. With all its ups and downs, its depletions and opposition, it still stand's firmly "upon the founda-
WEST FINLEY TOWNSHIP - 985
tion of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone."
The Church of the United Brethren in Christ was organized in 1824 in Finley township, by the Revs. Jacob Ritter and Adolphus Harndon. Among the first members were George Early, Andrew Stellar, Samuel Featherly, Henry Sherrich, Isaac and Christina Earnest. The Rev. — Winters was the first regular preacher, and the Rev. C. Wortman was the last one who officiated. A log church was first built soon after the organization, which was replaced by another in 1850, and in 1874 this gave way to a good and tasteful frame edifice, in which the congregation still worship. The society has at present one hundred and ten members.
The “Salem'' Methodist Church, in the southwest part of West Finley township, was organized about the year 1830. The church edifice is a frame building, and was erected between 1850 and 1860. It stands near the point of intersection 4 Washington and Greene County lines with the West Virginia line. There is now a membership of one hundred, under the ministration of Rev. Mr. Boatman, who resides in .the town of Dallas, W. Va.
The North Wheeling Baptist Church was organized in 1850. The church is a frame building, built an land belonging to John Henderson, and is located nine miles south of West Alexander, at a place sometimes called " Coonie Town." The place gained this name from a local character, Benjamin Fairly, who from his remarkable success in trapping raccoons was given the sobriquet of " Coonie Ben." Before the late war the society was a strong one. Some of the members in 1856 were Washington and Mary Prosser, Lindley Larimore, Samuel and William Plauts, Andrew Hunt, Jacob Glassboner, George Carroll, Mary Hamilton, Mary McCann, Maria White, Harriet Glassboner, Lydia McKean, Hannah E. Toland, Mary Parker, Noah Hertzog, George Glassboner, Sarah A. Hertzog, Mary E. Hunt, Jeremiah Glassboner, Mahala, Mary, and John McGinnis, Jane, Nancy, and Martha King, Jane and John Day, Catharine Toland, and Lucinda J. Toland. Differences of opinion upon various points have nearly ruined the church, and at present it is small, the membership now comprising but thirty-two persons. The former pastors were Revs. William Scott and J. Y. Burwell. The present minister is Rev. John A. Simpson, with occasional preaching by Rev. John Henderson.
Windy Gap Church is a branch of the Concord Church, which was organized in 1855. The members of the "Concord" Church residing in the vicinity of Windy Gap petitioned the Presbytery at its previous fall session to organize them into a separate church, which, was done May 29, 1855. Their first business session was held in the June following, of which the record says, "The Windy Gap Congregation met in the church, and after prayer received one member by certificate. No further business was transacted." They started out with a membership of over thirty, with Alexander Sprowls, John Chase, Samuel Rockefellow, and Solomon Nickinson as ruling elders. In 1855, Rev. E. P. Henderson was the officiating clergyman, but from 1856 to 1857 the people were dependent upon supplies. From 1857 to the spring of 1863, Rev. P. Axtell had the charge. It was during his administration, in 1858, that they purchased a lot of Henry and Nelson Sprowls, —consideration, $600,—upon which they erected a handsome parsonage. The clergymen who followed Rev. Mr. Axtell in preaching at Windy Gap Church were Revs. A. W. White, who remained until 1870; J. D. Foster, who left in 1871; J. N. Cary, who stayed till the spring of 1875, at which time Rev. J. R. Morris assumed the charge. Rev. J. Reed is the present pastor. The burial-ground belonging to this society is called Windy Gap Churchyard. The first grave made in the ground was that of Amanda Connet, who died March 14, 1844, at the age of sixteen. Just below the highway stands a marble monument erected to the memory of ,two brothers who sacrificed their lives in the defense of their country. They were Griffith D. Taylor, who fell at the battle of Fredericksburg, Va., Dec. 13, 1862, and Henry M. Taylor, who died on Davis Island, N. Y., Feb. 5, 1864. A monument in this ground marks the grave of Dr. J. W. Hancher, who died March 22, 1876, in the fifty-first year of his age.
Schools.—The earliest teacher of whom there is any account as having taught school within the territory which is now West Finley township was John McDowell, a Scotchman. He was succeeded by David Frazier, a son of Andrew Frazier, who was an early settler, and by David Coventry, William Alms, Alexander Burns, and Jonathan Parkinson. These school-teachers were paid by subscription, as was the case everywhere in Western Pennsylvania at that time. In this section the subscriptions were generally paid in rye, which was disposed of to the distillers. The localities where early school-houses were placed in this part of Finley township were known as Kimmen's, Chase, Frazier's, McCoy's, Power's, Windy Gap, and Good Intent.
This township sent James Holmes to the county convention held in Washington Nov. 4, 1834, for the purpose of deciding whether the county of Washington should accept the provisions of the act passed April 4, 1834,. providing for a general system of education throughout the State. It was moved by William Patterson, of Cross Creek township, that a tai be levied to carry into operation the law. This motion was seconded by Thomas Ringland, of Morris township. It was carried, twenty-one votes being cast in favor and five against it, the delegate from Finley, James Holmes, voting yea. At this time there were in West Finley township two hundred and thirty-three persons liable to school tax, and the proportion of tax of the township was one hundred and ninety-one dollars and ninety-nine cents, which was
986 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
raised. The next year there was assessed, levied, and collected for school purposes two hundred and sixty-nine dollars and ninety-six cents. The township was divided into school districts under the charge of J. Henderson and A. Powers, the school directors elected at the first election held for that purpose on the 14th of October, 1834, at the house of John Dougherty (formerly John Sunderland's). School-houses were soon after erected in these districts, and though "the operation of the school law was a little cumbersome," still the work progressed, and time and experience modified its imperfections until the present successful methods were brought into practice.
The school report of 1863 showed that there were in the township ten districts, with ten schools, ten teachers, and 475 scholars. The amount of money. received for school purposes was $1262.12; amount expended, $1413. In 1873 there were eleven districts, eleven schools, and 419 scholars enrolled. Amount of money received for school purposes, $2628.17; amount expended, $2686.79. In 1880 there were eleven districts, eleven schools, and 379 scholars enrolled. Amount of money received for school purposes, $2284.09; amount expended, $2061.59.
Justices of the Peace.—The following is a list of the justices of the peace elected in West Finley from the year 1840,1 viz.:
John Burns, April 14, 1840.
Alexander Frazier, April 14, 1840.
Alexander Frazier, April 15, 1845.
John Burns, April 15, 1845.
Alexander Frazier, April 9, 1850.
John Burns, April 9, 1850.
John Burns, April 10, 1855.
Alexander Frazier, April 10, 1855.
Thomas Frazier, May 20, 1856.
John B. McGuire, April 10, 1860.
Thomas Frazier, April 9, 1861.
John B. McGuire, June 3,1886.
Alex. McCleary, April 17,1866.
John B. McGuire, April 17, 1870.
Alex. McCleary, April 1, 1871.
Alex. McCleary, April 9, 1871.
E. B. Gray, March 17, 1875.
Alex. McCleary, March 16,1878.
J. C. Baldwin, March 30,1880.
Alex. McCleary, April 9, 1881.
Prior to that time the territory of West Finley and East Finley was included in the Donegal district. See justices' list of East Finley.
WEST PIKE RUN TOWNSHIP.
THE territory of this township, together with that of East Pike Run, was embraced in the old township of Pike Run, and so remained for a period of almost half a century from the erection of the township last named. An account of the erection of Pike Run township in April, 1792, and its division on the 9th of March, 1839, forming East and West Pike Run townships, is given in the history of East Pike Run. The boundaries of West Pike Run are Fallowfield and Somerset on the north, East Pike Run on the east, East Bethlehem on the south, and Somerset and West Bethlehem on the west. The township is abundantly watered for agricultural purposes by small creeks and runs, but it has no river or other stream of sufficient importance to be mentioned among the principal water-courses of the county.
One of the earliest settlers (if not the first) within the territory that now forms the township of West Pike Run was Dr. Charles Wheeler, who came into this section of Washington County as early as the fall of 1774, and took up two tracts of land which were contiguous to each other, located on Falls Run, a branch of Pike Run, and which were warranted to him under .the title of " Winter's Choice." The entire area was about three hundred and forty-five acres, but it was granted to him as three hundred acres, strict measure. When the establishment of township lines took place Dr. Wheeler's land was in both East Bethlehem and West Pike Run townships. The Virginia certificate which he received entitling him to his land was dated Feb. 21, 1780.. ,In the survey the property was described thus :
"Situate chiefly on the north side of the main road leading front Redstone Ferry to Washington town in Washington County, called Winter's Choice,' containing three hundred acres of land, surveyed January 25,1785, in pursuance of a Certificate granted to Charles Wheeler front the Commissioners of Virginia for a settlement right as followeth, to wit;
"Surveyor's Office Yohogania County,
State of Virginia.
"Charles Wheeler produced a certificate from the Commissioners appointed to settle titles and grant unpatented lands in the counties of Yohogania, Monongalia, and Ohio, for three hundred acres of land in Yohogania County, to include his improvement made thereon in the year 1775, which was granted at Cox's Fort the 21st day of February, 1780, and duly entered in this office.
" B. JOHNSTON,
"Surveyor Yohogania County.
"January 12, 1785."
In 1796, Dr. Charles Wheeler was one of three persons who purchased a town lot in Brownsville for the use of a Protestant Episcopal Church. In his history of Christ Church, of Brownsville, Rev. Samuel Cowell says of him, " Dr. Charles Wheeler was an Englishman, and a surgeon by profession, who, after serving in Dunmore's war, settled on a farm about four miles west of Brownsville. He was warmly attached to the church, and when disposing of his worldly effects bequeathed to the same one hundred pounds, to be paid at the death of his wife. Mrs. Wheeler lived many
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years after her husband's death, having reached the advanced age of ninety-four years."
The wife of Dr. Wheeler was Miss Elizabeth Cresap, and she lived a quarter of a century after her husband had passed away. Her remains were interred in the Episcopalian churchyard at Brownsville. Dr. Wheeler was the owner of several slaves, all of whom he remembered in his will. Hannah Young was the latest survivor of these slaves, she living until after 1870. As Dr. and Mrs. Wheeler had no children, he, after naming various minor bequests, gave the bulk of his property to Charles Wheeler, his nephew. The following are some of the clauses in the will, which was executed May 26, 1808, viz.: "After my debts are discharged, which are very trifling, it is my further wish and pleasure that the little I have which is of my own acquiring shall be disposed of in the following manner: [After naming several sums for other persons he gave] £50 to black Samuel, £50 to black Benjamin, £50 to black Hannah, £25 to black Lydia, £50 to black Daniel, and £25 to black Rachel. The above named black people were raised under my roof. I therefore hope they will consider the intent of the small bounties bestowed them by an indulgent master and to apply the same discreetly to their interests. . . . As it was not my lot to have issue by my wife, I did not embark in this world's speculation in search of more than what would enable me to live decently comfortable to my family and friends. Therefore it must be considered that the little I possess at this present, the total value thereof cannot now be fully estimated for the time to come by several hundreds. When it arrives at that epoch it is my desire and request that my executors will, from any additional sum arising from the sale of my real and personal property, equally divide the same in addition to every legacy I have bequeathed."
Joseph Crawford and Robert Clarke, of Fayette County, and Thomas Johnson, of Washington County, were named executors of this will, which was proved Sept. 25, 1813. On March 29, 1839, they sold to Jonathan Knight one hundred and seventy-three acres of the tract" Winter's Choice." It now belongs to Oliver K. Taylor, cashier of the Bank of Brownsville.
Jonathan Knight, above mentioned as the purchaser of a part of the Wheeler lands, was a resident within the present limits of West Pike Run township for many years. He was one of the most widely-known and highly-esteemed men of Washington County or of Western Pennsylvania. He served with honor in both Houses of the State Legislature, and as a member of Congress from his district. He was the most famous surveyor in this section of country, and became one of the most eminent civil engineers of his day in the United States. The place where he lived and died is about one mile east of the town of Centreville, and now within the limits of West Pike Run township, though originally in East Bethlehem, the change being caused by a readjustment of the lines between the two townships to conform to the route of the old National road. His residence was but a very short distance north of the township line in West Pike Run, and apparently he always continued to regard himself as belonging to East Bethlehem, which was his post-office address. A very brief and modest (yet comprehensive) autobiographical sketch of Mr. Knight, prepared for Lanman's " Dictionary of Congress" in 1858, copied from the original manuscript, and furnished by his son, William Knight, now residing at or near Marysville, Marion} Co., Iowa, is here given :
"I was born of poor but respectable parents,¹ in Bucks County, Pa., on the 22d of November, 1787, and with them removed in 1801 to East Bethlehem, Washington Co., in the same State, where I yet reside, engaged in agriculture.
" In 1809 I married Ann Heston, in a meeting of the religious society of Friends, in accordance with their good order, and we still remain in religious fellowship with that society. The limited means at command did not permit of my education in any college, nor in any seminary of learning above the ordinary primary school then in the country. Nevertheless, an unquenchable thirst for knowledge impelled me to read and study at home, mostly at nights, by which means I acquired a pretty good American education and a competent store of mathematical learning, and became a teacher in schools and a surveyor of land and of roads.
"About the year 1816 I was appointed by the State government of Pennsylvania to make and report a map of Washington County, in order to facilitate the forming of Melish's map of the State. This duty involved much field labor, the instrumental surveys requiring an hundred days in their performance. That service having been satisfactorily performed, I served three years as county commissioner, to which office I was elected by the people. Soon I entered upon civil engineering, and after assisting in a subordinate station in the preliminary surveys for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and in those of the National or Cumberland road, between Cumberland and Wheeling, I was appointed in 1825, by the Federal government, a commissioner to extend that road, and accordingly did extend it from Wheeling through the States of Ohio and Indiana to the eastern line of the State of Illinois.
"In 1822 I was elected a member of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, and served in the House of Representatives and in the Senate six sessions. In 1828 I resigned my seat in that Senate and entered the service of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, and visited England to acquire knowledge in that then new department of civil engineering. Returning, I
¹ Jonathan Knight, the son of Abel and Ann S. Knight, was born in Bucks County, Pa., on the 225 day of November, 1787. His father was a weaver by trade, but could survey land and teach school.—Civil and Military Engineers of America, by Charles Stewart, C. E., 1871.
988 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
accepted the office of chief engineer for that company in 1830, which I held until 1842.¹ Retiring then to the farm, I continued the pursuit of agriculture, for which I was always partial, with only occasional times or absence from home on professional or other calls until 1854, when I was elected to the Thirty-fourth Congress in the Twentieth District of Pennsylvania, composed of Fayette, Greene, and Washington Counties. Having served through the three sessions of that Congress, and failing of a re-election in 1856, I again retired to a rural and private life on the farm at East Bethlehem.
"The leading characteristics of Mr. Knight as a professional man," says Mr. B. H. Latrobe,² who was Jonathan Knight's successor as chief engineer of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, " were strongly marked, and entitled him to a high rank in the roll of American civil engineers. His natural aptitude for the acquisition of knowledge in the exact sciences, and especially those which depend upon the skillful use of algebraic analyses, was unsurpassed. The habit of close thinking, into which he was led by the natural tendencies of his mind to mathematical investigation, made him reason rightly on all subjects, and gave a philosophical cast to his conversation upon almost every topic that he touched. Yet his remarks were not a series of dry abstractions, but were practical in their bearings and enriched by illustration and anecdote. In political economy he was well versed, and expressed enlightened and comprehensive views upon the subject of banking, trade, manufactures, and agriculture, of the last of which he possessed much practical knowledge, derived from experience and careful observation. Politics also was a favorite theme with him, and upon public measures, he always expressed broad and national views. He discussed the characters of public men with great spirit, and often with a sarcastic humor which marked his conversation on most subjects. The character of Henry Clay appeared to be his ideal of a statesman and orator. In private life he was distinguished by many excellent qualities. He raised a large family,—ten children,—fulfilling his domestic duties in the most exemplary manner, bringing up his children in the fear of God, providing for them with a judicious regard to their several capacities and dispositions. He left a comfortable estate, after having settled all his children
¹ On the 2d of March, 1842, on the occasion of the acceptance of Mr. Knight's resignation, the board of directors of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company took the following action :
"On motion of Gen. Marriott, seconded by Mr. S. J. Donaldson, the following resolutions were adopted, viz.: Resolved, unanimously, That in accepting the resignation of Jonathan Knight, Esq., as chief engineer, the board feel it to be a duty to express the high sense entertained of his worth atm man and merits as an officer; and also to acknowledge the value and importance of the services rendered by him in the responsible office which he has so long held with credit to himself and justice to the interests of the company. Resolved, That the president cause a copy of the above resolutions to be transmitted to Jonathan Knight, Esq."
² Stewart's "Civil and Military Engineers of America," pp. 240, 241.
during his own lifetime, and among his neighbor's and many friends a character of unsullied probity and consistent Christian kindness."
Jonathan Knight died at his residence in West Pike Run township, Nov. 22, 1858. The following account of the event, and of the fatal illness preceding it, is furnished by his eldest son, .William Knight, of Iowa: " He was taken suddenly ill with bilious colic in a very severe form at his home, on the 13th day of November, 1858. In a few hours inflamation had set in, causing a severe pain and a continual oppressive sensation in the chest. He died on the tenth day of his illness, being the seventy-first anniversary of his birthday (November 22d), During his last illness he was very patient and calm, conversed little, but always spoke pleasantly to those about him, recognizing them until the last moment, and with his last words said that he had made his peace with God, and had no matter to make up with any man, and that he was entering upon a state of rest and. happiness in the life to come."
Of the ten children of Jonathan Knight, William, the eldest, lived in East Bethlehem until 1864, when he emigrated to Mahaska County, Iowa, and resided there until the fall of 1881, when he removed to his present home at Marysville, Marion Co., in the same State. Oliver lived in East Bethlehem and West Pike Run townships till his death. Henry C. settled early in life in Detroit, Mich., and died there. David S. passed his life in East Bethlehem township, Washington County. Zephaniah B. migrated from Washington County to Oakland County, Mich., and remained there until a few years ago, when he removed to Omaha, Neb., and now resides there. Jonathan Knight, Jr., settled early in life in Mahaska County, Iowa, but soon afterwards removed to Tonganoxie, Kan., where he is now living. Abel was located for a. short time in West Pike Run township, then removed to Oakland County, Mich., and soon afterwards to Leavenworth County, Kan., where he remained but a short time, and removed to the State of California, where he remained till his death, in the fall of 1881. Three-other children of Jonathan Knight—Eber H., Elizabeth, and Ann—resided in West Pike Run township with their parents until their death.
Benjamin White was the owner of "Apple Green," a tract of land in West Pike Run township which contained four hundred and sixty-three acres, and was surveyed to him June 5, 1786. Mr. White was an excellent scholar ; he taught school and music, and practiced surveying. More than sixty years ago he taught school in the stone house which is now the mansion house of Amor Jeffreys. He was very badly crippled, and only able to move about with considerable difficulty. His wife was Jane Beall, a sister of Zephaniah Beall, who founded the town of Beallsville. Mr. and Mrs. White had but two children, both daughters, Tabitha and Keziah White. Tabitha died when very young, and Keziah became the wife
WEST PIKE RUN TOWNSHIP - 989
of Simon Johnson. She inherited the homestead, or rather her father gave it to her during his life, and lived with her. She afterwards sold the property, and the whole family removed to the State of Ohio.
William Griffith came from Wales to America before the year 1690, and settled in New Castle, Del. Although William Griffith had formerly been wealthy, he came to this country poor, and remained thus all his life, dying at the age of one hundred and five years. His son, William Griffith, Jr., was born in New Castle in December, 1714, and in 1735 crossed the Susquehanna River and settled on Beaver Creek, in York County, remaining there until his death, which occurred Sept. 21, 1778. Jacob Griffith, a son of William Griffith, Jr., came into Washington County in 1790, and located upon the land in West Pike Run township now owned and occupied by Elijah Hawkins. He was a member of the Society of Friends, and founded the Clover Hill Friends' Meeting in this township, of which he remained a supporter until his death. Israel Griffith was a son of Jacob Griffith, who located on the property near the site of Henry Hornbake's mill, and worked in the old Benjamin Vore mill, though he was also a cooper by trade. He married Letitia Shaw, by whom he had eight children. Of these but five are living,—Eli R., Israel L., Emmor H., and the two daughters, Anna and Eliza. Israel L. Griffith. resides in Marshall County, Iowa. .Emmor H. Griffith lives in Centreville, Washington Co. Eli R. Griffith lives one and one-half miles northeast of Centreville. Emmor H. has no children ; Eli R. has two,—the son Oliver R. Griffith, who lives near his father, and another son, who is a merchant in Minneapolis, Minn.
Joseph Jeffreys, who was born in Chester County, Pa., was a farmer, and emigrated to Washington County in 1795. He was a witness of the battle of Brandywine, which occurred Sept. 11, 1777, but was not old enough to be a participant in the engagement. His wife was Miss Elizabeth Robinson, of Loudoun County, Va., and they had a family of nine children, of whom only Pleasant, Amor, Job, and Mary lived to the age of men and women. Of these four but Job and Amor are now living. Job married Rebecca Coyle. Amor married Sarah Gregg, and they had a' family of eleven children, of whom only five are now alive,—Joseph, Anderson, Jacob, Eliza, and B. Franklin Jeffreys. Amor Jeffreys is a fuller by trade, and owns the old Benjamin White property. Mary Jeffreys, the daughter of the early settler, Joseph Jeffreys, became the wife of Samuel McCoy, and Pleasant Jeffreys married John Keys.
The present townships of Carroll, Allen, East Pike Run, West Pike Run, Fallowfield, and a part of Somerset were originally included in one township, Fallowfield. At that time all the residents of the territory mentioned gathered to vote at one point, which was usually at the residence of Edward West, the property in Fallowfield township now owned by
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Allen White and others. The paternal ancestors of Edward West were English, and those of his mother were Germans. Mr. West himself was born in Loudoun County, Va., and when he came to this section he purchased a tract of land containing three hundred and five acres, which is now owned by Edward West, Jr., Dixon Spahr, Allen White, and John Rider. Edward West, Sr., had quite a large family of children. Of the sons, the youngest died in infancy, and Edward, Jr., died leaving no heirs. The son Jonathan married Frances Nixon, and their sons —Thomas, Edward, Jr., Jonathan, Jr., and Robert West—are living in Washington County. Thomas West, son of the pioneer, Edward West, sr., had a son, Thomas West, Jr., who died near Pittsburgh. The sons, Joseph and Matthew West, had the old homestead. Joseph had a large family, who are now living in Southern Illinois. Edward West, Jr., the son of Jonathan, and grandson of Edward West, Sr., is the oldest representative of the family in this county. His sons are four,—Robert, Thomas, George, and Jonathan West. His daughter Anna married George Morrison, Esq., of Uniontown, Fayette Co. His daughter Mary became the wife of Robert Gregg. Jane West married Thomas Hondan.
Seaborn Crawford settled on a small tract of land in this township, located near the town of Beallsville, where he followed the trade of blacksmith, and lived upon the place until his death. He had two sons, Richard and Nathan Crawford. Nathan Crawford, Jr., of Somerset township, is a grandson of Seaborn Crawford, and Mrs. Susan Graves, of West Pike Run township, is his granddaughter.
Mr. Mahlon Riggs, now eighty-four years of age, and long a resident of this section, gives many names of persons who lived in West Pike Run township in the early part of the present century. Among them were Rezin Beall, Charles Dobbs, Mark Deems, George Fitzsimmons, Eleanor Hopkins, Thomas Hopkins, Alexander Hopkins, William Howe, Robert Hill, James Moffitt, James Mitchell, Abijah Riggs, and George Riggle. Information has been obtained of but few of this number, save the fact that their names belting in the list of early settlers. The land owned by Mark Deems was a tract located near Beallsville, which is still in possession of descendants of the family. He had four sons,—Mark, Jr., Jacob, John, and George Deems.. His daughter became Mrs. David Jenkins. Mark Deems, Jr., married Miss Baker. Jacob's wife was Miss Duvall. John died in Illinois. George Deems was married twice, first to Miss Baker, and after her death to Miss Sharp.
James Moffit was an Irishman, a good farmer, and a highly respected man. He owned a farm in West Pike Run, but followed the trade of a weaver and let his sons attend to the farm. The property is now owned by his grandson, John T. Moffit. James Moffit had quite a family of children. Thomas, the eldest
990 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
of the family, was a physician, and practiced his profession in the town of Carmichael's, Greene Co. The son James married Miss Bennett, and lived in West Brownsville. John Moffit became a farmer, and after he had reached old age married a Miss Wilson. William Moffit, another son of the elder James Moffit, married Mrs. West. The son Andrew, whose wife was Miss Vance, lives in this township. Of the daughters of James Moffit, Sr., Dorcas became a school-teacher and afterwards the wife of Ellis Johnson, removing to Ohio. Isabella became the wife of Judge James Hart; and Jane married John Hopkins.
John Baker was an early resident of this township. He was twice married, and reared two families of children. Of the first family, Nicholas Baker, the eldest child, lived and died on the homestead. Joshua, another son, married Miss Shaw, and died in the town of Beallsville. The daughter of this marriage became Mrs. Graham, and lived in Brownsville, Fayette Co. Lewis Baker was the oldest son and child of John Baker's second wife. He married a lady of the same name, and after her death married Miss Sowers. They lived for some time in the town of California, but he died in East Bethlehem township. John Baker, another son, married Miss Hill, and emigrated to Ohio, and Thomas also went to that State. George Baker married Miss Sharp, and settled in Greene County, but a short time before his death returned to this township. The son Wesley removed West, and never married. The daughter Sarah went West after her marriage, and Elizabeth, who never married, went to Ohio and died there.
William Almond was a farmer in this township, and had a family of children, many of whose descendants still reside here. The son Haman married Abigail Powell, and lived and died in this his native township. The son, Henry Almond, married a Miss Hopkins, and spent his whole life in Washington County.
Mr. Kelley was a resident of West Pike Run, who owned two fulling-mills, one situated on Pigeon Creek and the other on Ten-Mile Creek. He married Mrs. Cooper, a widow lady with two sons, Samuel and Moses Cooper. Mr. Kelley gave the mill on Ten-Mile Creek to his step-son Moses, and the one on Pigeon Creek to Lemuel Cooper. The last named is still living, having reached the age of eighty-five years.
James Riggle owned- a farm near Centreville, and also kept a tavern on the old Washington and Brownsville road before the National road was built. Zephaniah Riggle, a son of James Riggle, kept a public-house in Centreville, the same that is now kept as a hotel by Joseph Jeffreys. He is still living in West Virginia. His two sisters, daughters of James Riggle, were Mrs., Mary Thompson and Mrs. Samuel Smith.
Henry Hornbake's mill, located on Pike Run, in this township, was built in 1857 upon the site of a former mill, which was burped in 1855 or 1856. The Hornbake family, originally from Germany, came directly to Washington County, and kept a hotel on Maple Creek, near the Monongahela River. Henry Hornbake had two brothers, George and Jacob. Henry's sons are Robert, William H., Jesse B., and Charles S. Hornbake.
The first and only post-office that has been at Clover Hill is that called Garwood post-office, established in 1880. John B. Graves is postmaster, and has the office in connection with his store.
Schools.—All that is known of early schools within the territory now embraced in this township has been given in the history of East Pike Run, in connection with those of old Pike Run township, which included in its boundaries nearly all that now forms East and West Pike Run. This was the case until after the adoption of the public school law of 1834. Soon after the erection of East and West Pike Run, in 1839, they were redistricted for school purposes, and school boards elected, that for West Pike Run consisting of John S. Cooper, Samuel Taylor, W. F. Hopkins, B. Taylor, and Nathan Rogers. The amount of school money raised in that year does not appear. According to the school report for West Pike Run for the year ending June 1, 1863, the number of schools then in the township was seven ; number of teachers, seven; number of pupils enrolled, three hundred and forty-seven. Ten years later the report showed the number of schools, six ; teachers, six; pupils enrolled, two hundred and seventy-four; amount of school funds received for the year, $1461.06. In 1880 the school report gave the following: Number of schools, six; number of teachers, six ; number of pupils enrolled, two hundred and forty-nine; amount of school moneys for the year, $1848.65.
Churches.—The first Episcopal Church formed in Washington County was " St. Thomas' Church," which existed in West Pike Run township as early as 1777. In the year 1791 a building was erected for the use of the church, and as there were no other houses of worship in the neighborhood, this one was also used by other denominations, although the special property of the Episcopalians. It was built upon a lot of one acre of land, purchased of Edward' West for five shillings, Thomas Dowler, William Crawford, Henry Gregg, John Gregg, Frederick Cooper, Jacob Springer, James Ellis, Edward Morton, Robert Kerr, William Riggs, Jacob Crabs, and John Honsh, vestrymen and trustees of the church, making the purchase. The building erected was of logs, twenty-seven by thirty feet in size. It was fitted up with a pulpit and gallery, was weather-boarded upon the outside, had plastered walls, and was ceiled overhead. From being built upon land formerly owned by Mr. West it was called West's Church, although the name by which it was known among Episcopalians was St. Thomas' Church. In the gallery was a stone seventeen by twenty inches in size, upon which was the following
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inscription : "Surely the Lord is here. How dreadful is this place. This is no other but the house of God and gate of Heaven. A.D. 1791."
The first minister was Rev. Robert Ayers, who was preaching in St. Thomas' Church .in 1803. He was succeeded by the Revs. Davis, Temple, Ten Broeck, and others. In the memoirs of the Rev. Joseph Doddridge is found the following report concerning this parish :
"At e convention held in St. Thomas' Church, in Washington County, Pa., there were present Rev. Robert Ayers, Rev. Joseph Doddridge, and Rev. Francis Reno. After divine service, Rev. Robert Ayers was appointed chairman, and Stephen G. Francis secretary. Several resolutions were passed. The last one declared that the next convention should be held near Gen. Neville's old place on Chartiers Creek, Pa., to commence the Saturday before next Whitsunday, and that Rev. Robert Ayers preach the opening sermon.
"Done in convention, September 25, 1803.
"STEPHEN G. FRANCIS,
A convention of Protestant Episcopal clergymen again took place in St. Thomas' Church in the year 1810, when it was " Resolved, That the Rev. Dr. Doddridge open a correspondence with the Right Reverend Bishop White, of Philadelphia, for the purpose of obtaining, through him, permission of the General Convention to form a diocese in the Western country." The object was to unite the western counties of Pennsylvania, Western Virginia, and Ohio in one diocese. This appeal, as stated, was made in 1810, but no answer was made to it until 1818, eight years later, when it was incidentally noticed by Bishop White when replying to a letter pertaining to other matters of the church, in which letter the bishop gave sundry reasons for not responding to calls from the West. Beside the services held in this building by the Episcopalians, Rev. Boyd Mercer, an Old-School Presbyterian, preached in it for several years. About thirty years after its erection it fell into disuse, and the next to revive interest and attendance in services there were the Episcopalian clergymen, Revs. Roseman, Pfiffer, and Freeman. Under Rev. Mr. Freeman's rectorship the building was remodeled and new seats and a new pulpit put in it. After he left, however, there was but an occasional sermon by the minister at Brownsville, and finally Episcopalian services were entirely abandoned because the membership had died out. But Revs, James Samson and David Cross and Rev. Jacob Momyer, a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, all used the house. Rev. John Jordan, a Free-Will Baptist minister, also preached there two years. After Rev. Mr. Jordan came Rev. Mr. McKey, an Episcopalian minister of Monongahela City, and with several others tried to revive the membership and services, with but indifferent success. The last Episcopal members to worship within the walls of the house were Jonathan and Mary A., Ruth, Ann, Francis, Jemima, and Melissa West, Azariah Crow and wife, and their daughter. The old building, that is nearly a century old, is a complete wreck, and vandalism will soon destroy the last vestige of it. In the churchyard attached to St. Thomas' Church the following old residents have been buried : Ann Johnson, died Feb. 2, 1819, aged eighty-two years; Edward West, died in June, 1872, eighty-three years old ; James Kerr, died March 16, 1865, seventy-two years of age; John Stroud, Sr., died Feb. 6, 1820, aged fifty-one years ; Elizabeth Stroud, died Feb. 8, 1855, seventy-five years old ; Thomas Dowler, died April 1, 1824, eighty-five years old ; Rosanna Chamberlain, died March 9, 1859, in the seventy-seventh year of her age. The yard is in poor condition, surrounded by a dilapidated stone fence. The place is full of graves, many unmarked, uncared for, and overgrown..
The first Quakers in the vicinity of West Pike Run township were David and Ruth Graves, both ministers of that faith. Persons who become preachers among this people are never educated or ordained for the work. Their church in this section was known as the Westland Meeting-house, and was built upon land originally belonging to Michael Riggle. On March 5, 1785, the tract called "The Brewery," containing ninety-nine acres, and adjacent to the lands of Mark Deems, 'Herbert Wallace, and William Clouse, was warranted to Michael Riggle, and surveyed to him May 17, 1786. On April 9, 1794, he sold this land to John Samms, and of him David Grave, Jacob Griffith, John Heald, John Almond, Joseph Pennock, and Alexander Pedan, "trustees on behalf of the Society of the People called Quakers," appointed by Westland Monthly Meeting for this especial purpose, purchased four and one-half acres of land upon which to build their house of worship, the consideration being twenty dollars. The purchase was made on the 26th day of Sixth Month, 1797. Upon this land they built a frame house, twenty by thirty feet in size, and in it the regular meetings of the Friends were held, attended by all the persons of that faith in the vicinity, until the dissensions created by the preaching of Elias Hicks arose among them. Hicks taught "that the devil had no existence, and that if we did right our heaven was here." This was the rock upon which the society split into the "Hicksite" and "Orthodox" Quakers. The Orthodox Friends continued their services in the Westland Meeting-house, and had quite a large membership, among them Philip and Jeremiah Rodgers, Mary and Priscilla Rodgers, Richard and Priscilla Crawford, Nathan and Mary Crawford, Francis Crawford, and Amos and Edith Griffith. All children born to parents who were Quakers had a birthright in the church. At the time Elias Hicks' preaching divided the original Westland Meeting he was a man a little past the prime of life, tall and spare in appearance, and having no permanent residence, but traveling about from place to place, wherever he believed his work to call him. His followers were William McGerr, who was the leader of the Hicksites after Mr. Hicks left, Rebecca McGerr, Benjamin and Elizabeth
992 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
Taylor, Ann, Josiah, Alvinia, and John Graves, and many others whose names have been forgotten. To accommodate these people another house of worship was erected upon the same lot, a brick building of the same size, twenty by thirty feet, and fifty-two feet distant from the first building. In these two houses the Orthodox and Hicksite Friends worshiped until the members of both societies passed away from the place. Elias Hicks died in the East, not far from Boston. The only one of his followers left in this section is Mrs. Rebecca McGerr, a beloved and respected old lady, now more than ninety years old.
About the year 1851 the Orthodox Friends ceased to exist as a religious organization, all the members except Amos Griffith and his family having emigrated to other parts. From this township Amos Griffith went to Brownsville, Fayette Co., and from there removed to the Quaker settlement near Mount Pleasant, Harrison Co., Ohio. Some years after the Quaker services ceased to be held in West Pike Run township, and all prospect of their revival had died out, their property was sold by them under permission granted by the Legislature of the State of Pennsylvania, as follows:
"COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA TO SOCIETY OF FRIENDS.
An Act to authorize the sale of a certain lot of ground by the Society of Friends in the county of Washington.
"SEC. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in General Assembly met, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, that Peter Clever, Josiah Johns, E. R. Griffith, Ellis Dolly, and Joseph H. Miller, the representatives or committee of the two divisions of the Society of Friends, be and they are hereby authorized and empowered to sell and convey in fee simple and by a clear deed of transfer, at public or private sale, as they may determine, that tract or lot of ground situate in West Pike Run township, in the county of Washington, known as the West Pike Run Meeting-House lot, with the appurtenances appertaining or belonging thereto. Approved April 1, 1863."
This resulted in the sale of the property, which, after passing through several hands, came into the possession of Samuel Price. On Mardi 25, 1865, it was purchased by Mrs. Ann Gregg, a widow lady, who lives in the building used by the Orthodox society, and her son uses the brick building erected for the Hicksites for a wagon-shop. A graveyard for the common use of both churches was laid out by them, and although there are no tombstones at the graves, —their peculiar belief prohibiting the placing of them,—the yard is quite full of graves, and kept in a moderately good condition.
Taylor's Church, of the Methodist Episcopal denomination, is included in the Beallsville charge, and is under the care of the Rev. W. R. Spindler. The trustees of the church are C. B. Holland, Eli Greenfield, and James Hill. The present number of members is seventy-five. Their first house of worship was built of logs about the beginning of the present century ; this was replaced by one built of stone, which was in use till 1857, when it was torn down, and a brick structure built on the site. This was partially destroyed by fire, and a new brick edifice was erected upon the same site, and was dedicated by the Rev. Edward B. Griffin. In the Taylor's Church graveyard, located near the National road, are found the graves of the following-named persons: George Baker, died July 26, 1840, aged eighty-two years; William Jackman, died Sept. 5, 1830, eighty-eight years of age; William Taylor, a native of Ireland, who was born in 1754, came to America in 1789, and died Aug. 6, 1841, aged eighty-seven years; David Powell, died Jan. 5, 1854, aged eighty-five years.
Little Zion Methodist Episcopal Church, situated in West Pike Run township, was organized in 1844, under the ministration of Rev. Augustus R. Green, and with the following membership : Abraham and Rachel Lowdrake, William and Nancy Wallace, Mary and Rebecca Howard, Hannah Young, George and Patty Morris, Sabina and Cynthia McTerry, Samuel, Melissa, Permelia, and Clarissa Wheeler, and Elizabeth Kane. The religious services were held until 1850 at the house of Abraham Lowdrake. In that year the society purchased a building lot of Mrs. Mary Lewis and her son Charles, and upon it they erected a small log house and gave it the name of Little Zion Church. This effort on the part of the few members to secure a place for the worship of God seemed to receive its reward at once, and their numbers increased so rapidly that very soon the building had not seating capacity for the congregation. The school building near by, known as the Jenkins school-house, was abandoned for another one, and the society made a purchase of the building and converted it into a house of worship. This they continued to use until 1881, when they erected a good frame edifice, which was dedicated in September of that year, Rev. Benjamin Wheeler preaching the dedicatory sermon. The clergymen who have had charge of Little Zion Church from the first have been Revs. Augustus R. Green, Fayette Davis, George and James Coleman, William Newman, Mr. Hart, William Ralph, S. T. Jones, C. W. Herbert, William H. Brown, Charles Smith, L. Gross, William B. Lewis, and the present pastor, Rev. S. T. Jones. The present membership is divided into two classes. The first class, having Abraham H. Wallace for leader, has fourteen members. Class No. 2 has also fourteen members, with Noah West as class-leader.
The Clover Hill Methodist Episcopal Church is located near the centre of the township, and also near the sites of the old Westland and Hicksite Quaker Meeting-houses. After these were abandoned as places of worship, the Methodist people purchased land and built an edifice called Clover Hill Methodist Church. The church is embraced in the Bentleysville Circuit. The present preacher in charge is the Rev. Reimund C. Wolfe.
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Fairview Church is located-two miles south of the National road. The membership has not been ascertained. The preachers who have served this church are and have been the same as those serving the Bethesda and BeaIlville churches.
In the year 1774 Robert Thornton " seated himself upon a tract of land situated on the waters of Fish-pot and Plum Run, now in Washington County.¹ Whether he held it merely under a " tomahawk improvement" right at first, and afterwards under a Virginia certificate, is not known, but it is probable that such was the case, as he certainly did not hold under a Pennsylvania warrant. Whatever was the nature of his claim to the tract, it was sold by him to Zephaniah Beall before 1785. "'The said Zephaniah Beall obtained a warrant from the Land-Office of Pennsylvania for the said land, dated May the fourteenth in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five (1785), in pursuance of which warrant there was surveyed to and for the said Zephaniah Beall the thirtieth day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five, three hundred and forty-nine and one-half acres and allowance (349½ A.) called ' Clear Drinking.' " On the 24th of October, 1796, Zephaniah Beall conveyed one hundred and eighty-four acres of this tract to his son, Zephaniah Beall, Jr. Afterwards Christian Kreider and George Jackson became possessed of an interest in these lands, with the elder and younger Beall, and in August, 1819, these four proprietors laid out on their property (a part of the "Clear Drinking"² tract) the town of Beallsville ; the " charter" being dated on the 30th of that month. A few days prior to that date the proprietors had published the following advertisement, viz.:
"The public are informed that a town is laid off to be called Beallsville, on the National road, including the tavern stand now occupied by Christian Kreider, at the Cross-roads, about nine miles from Brownsville and fifteen from Washington. The lots will be sold on the premises an Monday, the 13th of September next, at public auction. Sale to commence at 10 o'clock A.M. Any further comments of the advantages of this site Is considered unnecessary, as those wishing to purchase will view the premises.
"The conditions will be made easy to purchasers.
" ZEPHA BEALL,
" GEORGE JACKSON,
" ZEPHA W. BEALL.,
"Aug. 23, 1819.
" The Tavern House will also be sold on said day."
The survey and plat of the town was made by the famed surveyor and engineer, Jonathan Knight, and
¹ This quotation (as also that which is given a few lines farther on) is from the preamble to the charter of the town of Beallsville, made in 1819 by Zephaniah Beall and the three other proprietors.
² There is no doubt that this name was given to the tract on account of the copious and perennial spring which supplies the never-failing fountain in the present borough of Beallsville.
dated Sept. 13, 1819. The lots from No. 2 to 110 inclusive (except Nos. 48, 49, 50, 71, 72, 73, 93, and 94) were laid out " right-angled, and sixty feet in front and one hundred and eighty feet back."
In the year 1821, two years after the laying out of Beallsville, there were residing in the town the following-named persons, most of whom were heads of families, viz.: Thomas Stewart, who kept tavern in a log house ; John Havlin, who lived in a frame house; Moses Bennington, who owned and occupied a brick residence; William McKinley, whose dwelling was a log cabin ; Peter Herford, who had a brick house ; and James Berry, whose house was built of logs. John and Bartley Curry were single men who kept a store ill the village, but still had their own house, employing a colored housekeeper. William Ogden had a blacksmith-shop there at that time. Dr. Thomas H. Fowler was one of the first physicians, and at that time was postmaster. Dr. William L. Wilson, Dr. Willis, and Dr. Alburson were also among the early physicians. Previous to the laying out of Beallsville, Dr. James Mitchell, Jr., resided at or near the location of the village, and on May 8, 1809, advertised over his name "that he has opened a medicinal shop near the Washington road, within half a mile of the tavern formerly known by the name of Cross-Keys, and now kept by Mr. Jackson, nine miles from Brownsville." It is not known whether Dr. Mitchell removed from Beallsville to Canonsburg, or to the State of Virginia, as the statements of old residents disagree. The first house built in Beallsville is said to have been put up by Joseph Mills. On July 2, 1821, Thomas G. Norfolk announced through an advertisement " that he has removed from Ginger Hill to the large brick house in Beallsville, and opened a house of public entertainment at the sign of the Beallsville Sun.'" These were the beginnings of the town, but its growth was very slow during the first quarter of a century of its existence.
On the 16th of February, 1852, the town was " erected into a borough, to be called the borough of Beallsville, bounded, limited, and described as follows, to wit: Beginning at a corner stone on the Pittsburgh and Morgantown road, between the farms of Thomas H. Fowler, Peter Flick, and John McJunkin ; thence, including the farms of John McJunkin, James Thompson, Nancy Campbell, Joseph -, Rezin Cramer, Joseph Weaver, and Thomas H. Fowler, to the place of beginning." . The first borough election was held May 17, 1852, Judge Archibald D. Scott, Morgan Hartman, and William Greenfield being the inspectors. The borough officers elected then and in succeeding years for the borough of Beallsville were and have been the following, viz. :
1852.—Burgess, Peter Flick ; Council, William Greenfield, J. W. Mitchell, Samuel Beall, Job Pyle, S. P. Grey.
1853.—Same us in preceding year.
1854.—Burgess, James Thompson ; Council, Samuel Beatty, Samuel Beall, John Ewart, John McJunkin, J. P. Morgan.
994 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
1855.—Burgess, Henry Page; Council, M. L. Wilson, Thomas Odburt, John McDonough, Rezin Cramer, and A. D. Scott.
1856.—Burgess, John McJunkin; Council, Job Pyle, James Thompson, Morgan A. Miller, Levi Buson, and Butler Huggins.
1857.—Burgess, John McMath ; Council, Job Pyle, Samuel Havlin, Gideon H. Hawkins, A. J. Buffington, and Thomas Sargent.
1858.—Burgess, A. G. Richardson; Council, Samuel Havlin, Charles Gattry, A. J. Buffington, David Mitchell, and Morgan Hartman.
1859.—Burgess, A. D. Scott; Council, David Butz, James C. Rogers, Charles Gattry, Job Pyle, and James M. Miller.
1860.—Burgess, John McJunkin; Council, John Butz, Job Pyle, Dr. John Keys, Morgan Hartman, and Charles Gattry.
1861.—Burgess, John McJunkin ; Council, Morgan Hartman, Job Pyle, Charles Gattry, David Butz, and Dr. John Keys.
1862.—Burgess, John Martan ; Council, Job 'Pyle, Morgan Hartman, Charles Gattry, James R. Rogers, and David Butz.
1863.—Burgess, John Marian; Council, Job Pyle, Moses Bennington, Milton McJunkin, Charles Gattry, and James M. Miller.
1864.—Burgess, David Butz; Council, Morgan Hartman, Job Pyle, J. M. Miller, Charles Gattry, and Thomas Robinson.
1865.—Burgess, David Butz; Council, P. C. Rogers, A. D. Scott, Charles Gattry, Morgan Hartman, and J. W. Irwin.
1866.—Burgess, S. B. Holland ; Council, Charles Gattry, George T. Binde, Thomas Hill, Milton McJunkin, and Henry McKee.
1867.—Burgess, William H. Crable; Council, J. M. Miller, Morgan Hartman, Peter Hickman, Hugh Keys, and Thomas Robinson.
1868.—Burgess, William H. Crable ; Council, Hiram Win nett, S. R. Boram, J. F. Irwin, Job Pyle, and Thomas Robinson.
1869.—Burgess, John Ewart; Council, James M. Miller, Lemoyne Snellen, Thomas Hill, Peter Hickman, and Job Pyle.
1870.—Burgess, Lemoyne Snellen; Council, James F. Irwin, James Hopkins, Thomas Robinson, and A. Odburt.
1871.—Burgess, James M. Miller; Council, Lemoyne Snellen, Morgan Hartman, and Job Pyle.
1872.—Burgess, Arthur Odburt; Council, Job Pyle, Morgan Hartman, and Samuel Bowen.
1873.—Burgess, A. Wilson ; Council, Job Pyle, Charles Guttry, E. G. Greenfield, Thomas Robinson, and Stephen Beatty.
1874.—Burgess, George M. Baker; Council, Thomas Robinson, A. C. Powell, S. P. Beatty, K. I. Dawson, and E. J. Greenfield.
1875.—Burgess, J. W. Ellwood; Council, S. B. Holland, S. P. Beatty, Thomas Hill, S. Floyd, and C. Guttry.
1876.—Burgess, J. I. Fitzimmions ; Council, J. A. Hopkins, W. W. Brown, J. I. Irwin, Thomas Floyd, and S. P. Beatty.
1877.—Burgess, John McMath ; Council, Thomas J. Floyd, Eli G. Greenfield, Henry McKee, and J. M. Miller.
1878.—Burgess, William C. Sargent; Council, E. R. McCready, J. I. Dawson, Thomas C. Sargent, and William B. Flick.
1879.—Burgess, S. B. Holland ; Council, Eli G. Greenfield, George W. Snyder, William Hazen, John Craven, and Caleb Zollens.
1880.—Burgess, Walter Craven; Council, Eli G. Greenfield, John S. Gray, Thomas Floyd, James Frey, John Deems, and George W. Snyder.
1881.—Burgess, S. B. Holland; Council, John Deems, James A. Hopkins, John Hadden, William C. Sargent, Thomas Floyd, and James Frey.
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE OF BEALLSVILLE.
Mark Mitchell, June 11, 1852.
A. D. Scott, June 11, 1852.
John Ewart, April 10 1855.
John McJunkin, May 30, 1857.
A. D. Scott, April 13, 1858.
David Butz, April 21, 1862.
A. D. Scott, April 14, 1863.
James M. Miller, March 29, 1870.
A. D. Scott, April 28, 1873.
James M. Miller, Jan. 13, 1874.
A. D. Scott, Jan. 19, 1874.
James M. Miller, Dec. 14, 1874.
A. D. Scott, March 25, 1878.
James M. Miller, March 30, 1880.
The growth of Beallsville, which was very slow during its existence as an unincorporated town, and for a decade or more after its erection as a borough, has been much more rapid in recent years, until it has become a place of considerable business and importance. Its location is fifteen miles east of Washington borough, and nine miles west of Brownsville, on the old National road, the town being built on both sides of that great thoroughfare. It contains seventy-nine dwelling-houses, one church, a good brick school-house, in which two schools are taught and two teachers employed, the post-office and telegraph-office, tile banking-house of James M. Miller (which business was commenced in 1872), three physicians (Drs. L. H. Tombaugh, James Sargent, and T. P. Hasson), one dentist (Dr. Hugh Keys), two dry-goods stores (Hawkins & Miller and Harvey Young), the general store of Boren & Ebert, the hardware-store of Stephen P. Beatty, drug-store of L. H. Tombaugh, two shoe-stores, of which Butz and Borem are respectively the proprietors, the millinery stores of Mrs. Ewart and Miss McKee, the harness-making and saddlery-shop of Morgan Hartman, the cabinet making and undertaker's establishment of James Frey, tile marble-works of J. F. Dawson, the wagon- and carriage-shop of John Gray, the blacksmith-shops of Thomas Floyd, John Deems, and Isaac Cox, the livery-stables of V. S. & W. Sargent, and Gussman & Lewis, two hotels, kept by Eli G. Greenfield and Valentine Sargent, and a number of mechanics and minor industries.
Beallsville Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1872, with two classes. The pastor over this charge in 1880 was the Rev. C. McCarlin ; class number one having sixty members, under S. W. Rodgers as class-leader, and class number two having a membership of sixty-nine, with Lemoyne Lewellen as class-leader. The pastors who have served this church will be found mentioned in the history of Centreville Church, in East Bethlehem township.
Beallsville Lodge, No. 832, I. O. O. F., was chartered March 4, 1873. The charter members were George M. Baker, Taylor Smith, William H. Crable, Thomas Robinson, W. H. H. Link, Johnson Hill, T. Regester, George W. Deems, J. A. Hopkins, H. J. Winnett, S. J. Lewellen, S. R. Hawkins, Thomas Martindale, Jackson L. Thompson, L. Jackson Baker, John A. Crawford, H. H. Young, George W. Eagey, S. P. Beatty, O. M. Hartley, A. C. Powell, William Baker, and S. B. Lacy. The officers are William Baker, N. G. ; William F. Guttry, V. G. ; S. P. Beatty, Sec. ; H. J. Winnett, Asst. Sec. ; Thomas Robinson, Treas.
Chandler Lodge, No. 237, F. and A. M., hold their sessions in the upper story of the public school building. This building was originally the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the school directors purchasing it of Rev. Mr. Kerr, the minister then in charge of the society. The school board added the upper story, by which they incurred some indebtedness, to liquidate which led to its subsequent use as a Masonic Hall.
The burial place of Beallsville is known as the Keys graveyard. This cemetery is in an excellent condition, being finely fenced and handsomely kept.