THIS township is the eleventh in the original thirteen townships formed by the trustees appointed under the act erecting the county of Washington. It began its legal existence on the 15th of July, 1781. The territory comprised in the original township of Robinson was bounded as follows : " Beginning at the head-waters of the North Fork of Raccoon Creek; thence down the creek to its mouth ; thence up the Ohio River to the mouth of Chartiers Creek; thence up the creek to the mouth of Robinson's Run.; thence up the main branch thereof to the head-waters; from thence in a straight line to the head-waters of the North Fork of Raccoon Creek, the place of beginning." The erection of Allegheny County in 1788 cut off that portion of the township from the mouth of Flaherty's Run on the Ohio to the mouth of Miller's Run on Chartiers Creek, then in Cecil township. In 1786, when Allegheny County was enlarged by territory from Washington County, this township was again reduced, and with slight change in 1836 was brought to its present territory- The township as it now exists is bounded on the west by Hanover ; on the northeast by the county of Allegheny ; and on the southeast, south, and southwest by the townships of Cecil, Mount Pleasant, and Smith. The boundary between Robinson and the last-mentioned three townships is Raccoon Creek; and this stream and Robinson's Run, which is the principal southeastern boundary of the township, are its principal waters. Small tributaries enter these streams from the east through the township, which is in general well watered, undulating in surface, of good soil, and excellently adapted to the purposes of agriculture.
From the erection of the township in 1781 it was an independent and separate district till May 4, 1803, when it became a part (with Smith township) of District No. 4, and so continued until 1838, when it again became a separate and independent district. The names of justices of the peace having jurisdiction in Robinson during the time it was a part of District No. 4 (1803 to 1838) will be found in the list for Smith township. The names of the justices prior to 1803 and after 1838 are here given, viz. :
James Irvine, April 15, 1782.
Alexander Wright, April 15, 1782.
Joseph Scott, Sept. 25, 1787.
Samuel Scott, Feb. 8, 1799.
Richard Donaldson, April 2, 1803.
Richard Donaldson, April 14,1840.
James Pollock, April 14, 1840.
James Pollock, April 15,1845.
Richard Donaldson, April 15,1845.
Robert McBirney, Aug. 14, 1846.
James Pollock, April 9, 1850.
James M. Clark, April 15, 1851.
James McCalmont, April 11,1854.
James Pollock, April 10,1855.
James McCalmont, April 12,1859.
James Pollock, April 10, 1860.
Joseph McNeil, April 14, 1863.
James Pollock, June 3, 1865.
Thomas Donaldson, July12, 1865.
Thomas Donaldson, March 29,1870.
James Pollock, March 29, 1870.
Thomas Donaldsen, Jan. 29, 1874.
James Donaldson, May 24, 1874.
Thomas Donaldson, March 17,1875.
James Donaldson, March 27,1879.
Thomas Donaldson, March 30,1880.
Settlements.—Capt. Samuel Beelor and his son Samuel were settled in 1774 upon land where the village of Candor now stands, as is recited in a Virginia certificate granted in February, 1780. An additional tract of land of four hundred acres adjoining this was granted to Samuel Beelor July 17, 1782, "to satisfie the said grain right." On the survey accompanying this statement is shown a house two stories high and situated on a road from Dillo's Fort to Turner's Fort. Dillo's Fort was in Hanover township, on the farm of Matthew Dillo, on Fort Dillo Run. The road from, there ran southeasterly to Beelor's, and from thence east to Turner's Fort.
What was known as Beelor's Fort was his own house, two stories high, made large and strong. The survey of 1782 shows no other. Capt. Samuel Beelor and his family, and Samuel Beelor, Jr., and his family lived on the place until 1789, when they sold and removed. The lands are now owned by J. M. Clark, trustee, John G. Smith, Mrs. Cully, Samuel Neill, the Raccoon Church, and embrace the site of the village of Candor.
The fort is said to have been erected about a hundred yards southwest of the Raccoon Church. It must have been some years after Mr. Beelor's settlement before the Baileys, McCandlesses, Shearers, and others came to this section. Beelor's house was the rendezvous for all the people of the vicinity in time of danger.
On the 21st of March, 1789, James Clark, of Mercersburg, Franklin Co., Pa., came to this county and purchased the tract of land in Robinson township known as "Big Levels;" containing four hundred acres, and other lands in Canton township, in this county. David, a son of James, settled in Canton township on the lands purchased there, and which are now owned by Samuel Weirick. Another son, John, came to this township and settled upon the "Big Levels." Thomas, a brother of John, purchased the lands of him and settled here. His son William inherited them, and lived here until his death, Jan. 31, 1881. His son Thomas also lived and died on the farm. William Clark, who came into this county at
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an early day, always insisted that the Beelor Fort was on the ",Homeside Farm" below the spring, and not by the church, as is the general impression. The property owned by William Clark was conveyed by him to Kate E. Clark, a daughter of J. M. Clark, Esq., who conveyed it to the Clark Trust Fund, by which it is now held. J. M. Clark was for many years a justice of the peace in this township.
Robert Shearer, with his brother Hugh, came to this county from Lancaster with the Baileys, and settled upon lands now owned by John Christy, William Dornan, and William Russell. Robert lived here a short time with his family, and was killed by Indians in the summer of 1780, about two miles northwest of Capt. Beelor's Fort. Robert Shearer left a widow, Elizabeth, and two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth. Mary became the wife of Richard Johnston, and settled on a part of the- land now owned by William Dornan. Their children all moved West. Johnston died, and the widow married Samuel Christy, a brother of James Christy. They bad one son, James, who now resides in Cleveland. Elizabeth, the other daughter of Robert Shearer, married James Christy, and settled on the part of the Shearer tract now owned by their son, John Christy. Mrs. John Andrews and Mrs. Samuel Neal, both of Smith township, are their daughters. A son of John and Elizabeth Christy is a physician in Florence, Hanover township.
Robert Shearer, Sr., the father of Robert Shearer who was killed by the Indians in 1780, came out soon after his sons, and lived with Robert. Some time after Robert's death he was taken prisoner by the Indians one Sabbath morning while in his own cabin, and was taken down the Ohio River to Mehickon. He was kept eleven weeks, and then escaped. After many trials and hardships he reached the fort at Wheeling, and from there came home.
Hugh Shearer was unmarried, and lived with his brother Robert. Some time after Robert's death he too was killed by Indians while working in a cornfield.
William McCandless was the first of his family to come to this section of the country. He came with the Baileys and the Shearers, and took up two hundred acres of land north of Robert Shearer. At that • time his land was the northernmost tract on which settlers were living in this section. He lived and died on-the place. Two of his sons were killed at the same time with Hugh Shearer. A son, Hugh, lived on the farm many years, and died there. He left a son, Hugh, who inherited the property, and after his death the heirs sold to James McBride, who now owns it.
Alexander Bailey was a native of Scotland, and in early life went to Ireland, where he married. Jane Brown. After the birth of Matthew, their oldest son, in June, 1749, they emigrated to America, and settled in Emmettsburg, Md. Here they remained till about 1785, and there all the children were born, who afterwards became early settlers in this township. the year 1784, Matthew Bailey, the oldest son, came to this township, and settled upon the tract of land now owned by William Bailey. After building a cabin in 1784, and clearing up more land, he returned to his father's house. In the spring following, Alexander (his father) and brothers, William and James, came out to the new settlement. Alexander took out a warrant for one hundred and sixty-two acres of land, which was surveyed to him as " Disappointment." Matthew Bailey never married. He died on his father's tract about 1830, and was buried in Raccoon churchyard. Alexander, the father, settled with his family on the tract " Disappointment," and lived there many years. His wife lived to be one hundred and six years of age. The farm was left to 4ohn, the youngest son of Alexander, who died there in 1850, at eighty-five years of age. He had ten children. Jane, the eldest,(Mrs. William Galbraith), now lives at Candor, eighty years of age ; Matthew, a son of John, settled on the tract which his uncle Matthew first settled ; John, his oldest son, became a minister of the United Presbyterian Church, and is now preaching at Wellsville, Ohio; Samuel is also a minister of the same denomination, and is pastor of a church at Cadiz, Ohio; James is an architect living at Pittsburgh ; William S., Alexander, and Carlisle, also sons of Matthew, reside on the homestead ; Sarah, a daughter of Matthew, became the wife of Jerry Andrews, and now resides in Hanover township.
Nancy, a daughter of John (youngest son of Alexander), married George Morrison, and settled in Indiana County, Pa. Alexander and Peggy, children of John, died young. James settled on a part of Matthew's tract, " Plenty Without Care," and sold to Matthew (2d), and went West. Mary became the wife of Silas Ewing, and now lives in Mount Pleasant township. John and William, also sons of John, inherited the land of their father. William still retains his portion ; John lived upon his farm until 1880, when he sold to John M. Bailey, a son of James. Ann, a daughter of John, and sister of John and William, resides on the homestead with the. latter.
William Bailey, born May 2, 1752, and a son of Alexander (1st), purchased a part of the tract of his brother Matthew. His house was where William S. Bailey's house now stands. He died on the farm, and left three sons—Joseph, Alexander, and Andrew—and two daughters,—Jenny and Margaret. Alexander and Joseph settled on part of the homestead. It now belongs to Joseph (a grandson of Joseph) and William S. Bailey.
Thomas Biggert (now written Bigger), his wife, mother, and sister emigrated to America from Ireland in 1773. After remaining in the East a short time, they came to what is now Robinson township, and settled upon land now owned by Matthew Bigger. Here a cabin was built, and improvements commenced, but the Indians were so troublesome that they removed down to the Washington lands, and
902 = HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
with twelve others located, being induced to do so by Col. George Croghan, who insisted Washington had no rights there. He lived here until 1784, when he became dispossessed by the success of Washington in the ejectment suits. After being thus summarily turned from the fruits of his eight years' labor, he went back to the first stopping-place, and took out the warrant for a tract, on which he settled, and lived the remainder of his days. This was surveyed to him as "Horse Neck," containing four hundred and twenty-three acres. Other large tracts were purchased later, and by his industry and energy he had accumulated over a thousand acres at the time of his death, which occurred in 1829, at the age of eighty-nine years. His sons have added to these lands, and now are in possession of two thousand five hundred acres of land in the neighborhood of the homestead, and considerable landed -property in the West.
Thomas Biggert left six sons,—Matthew, James, Samuel, Thomas, Andrew, and John. Matthew lived on a portion of the farm and died unmarried. James married and settled p Beaver County near Frankfort Springs. Daniel lived and died on the homestead part of the farm. A portion of it was left to his youngest son, Andrew, who exchanged for a portion north, on which his son, Thomas M. Biggert, now resides. Mary, a daughter of Andrew, married Richard Donaldson, and Martha married John Donaldson. Both settled in Robinson township. Matthew, a son of Samuel, lives on part of the homestead, and James, also a son of Samuel, lives on a farm his father purchased of the Chestnut heirs.
Thomas Biggert, Jr., son of Thomas, lived and died unmarried. On the property now owned by Thomas Biggert, Sr., he built a tan-yard, which was situated between the stone house of Thomas Biggert and the residence of Thomas M. Biggert. It was continued in operation -as late as 1850. Mr. Biggert was a practical tanner, and brought up many young men to the business, and did much to promote their prosperity. Among those who worked and for a time carried on the tannery were John Ewing, James Hood, David Strours, and William Hall. Of the property of Thomas Biggert, Matthew Biggert now owns the homestead and central portion, Thomas Biggert the upper or southern part, and Thomas M. Biggert the northern portion.
Josiah Scott obtained a warrant for a tract of land on Raccoon Creek Aug. 6, 1784, which was surveyed to him in March the next year as " Dispute," containing three hundred and forty-seven acres. On the 1st of June, 1791, he sold this tract to his sons, Samuel and Abraham Scott. Abraham owned two hundred and forty-seven acres, the land on which his son Holland now resides. On the stream he had a grist-. mill and a horse-mill. Finley Scott, a son of Abraham, married Margaret Stevenson, and became wealthy. They lived on the old Judge James Edgar farm in Smith township. Their sons Samuel and John now own the property. Robert K., another son, lives on one of the original tracts taken up by Sebastian Burgett, near Burgettstown. Josiah Scott, Jr., owned sixty acres, now owned by the Widow White. He was shot by the Indians and died about a year afterwards. His daughter Peggy became the wife of Andrew McFall.
John Donaldson, a native of Chester County, came to this region of country in 1781, and purchased a tract of land called " Ross's Patent," containing four hundred acres, which Richard Donaldson and the heirs of James Donaldson now own. He built a cabin on the farm, and died there unmarried. The property came to his brother, Capt. Richard Donaldson. He lived with his brother, being also unmarried. He was a member of Assembly from this district in 1811, and died about 1813. The property was inherited by two nephews, John and Richard, sons of James. John inherited the north part and settled upon it and spent his days there, leaving the property to his son James, who also died there. The property now belongs to his heirs. Richard settled upon his portion, and spent a long and useful life. He was a member of Assembly in 1845-46, and justice of the peace many years. He died in 1879, in his eighty-first year. Of his children, Richard now owns the homestead; James and Andrew settled in Rock Island, Ill., in 1852; Mary (Mrs. David Walker) settled first in Allegheny township, and now lives in Robinson township.
James Donaldson, brother of John and Richard, the first settler, and father of John and Richard, who inherited the property of their uncle Richard, came to this county about six years after his brothers, and purchased one hundred acres of Josiah Scott, and later purchased one hundred and fifty more; lived upon his homestead and died there. Thomas, a son, lived unmarried, and died upon the farm. Andrew settled on the Steubenville pike in this township, where his son now owns. Thomas, another son of Andrew, lives on the old James Donaldson homestead. John McDonald emigrated to America from Scotland, and came to this territory about 1780. He was living here when the county was organized in 1781. He took up in different warrants sixteen hundred acres of land, which in due course of time were patented. Upon the division of Washington County in 1788 and 1789, a part of these lands were thrown in Allegheny County. In addition to this large body of land he owned a tract of four hundred acres in what is now Union township, eight hundred acres in West Virginia, and two thousand acres in Allegheny County. He lived upon the home tract in Robinson township till his death, leaving six sons,—Andrew and William (twins), John, James, Alexander, and Edward. Andrew and William settled on land in Beaver County, where they lived and died. John studied law, settled in Pittsburgh, and died about 1832. James settled on the west part of the home farm, where his sons, John J. and Noble K., now reside. Alexander settled in Pitts-
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burgh and died in Beaver County. He left no family. Edward, the youngest son, settled on the homestead part of the farm where his father lived and died. Of his children, John N. lives on the old mansion farm, and has been for many years successfully engaged as a prominent breeder of Shorthorn cattle. Dr. Nesbit McDonald resides in the city of Pittsburgh, and Margaret N. resides in the town of McDonald. Edward died in Kentucky in 1858, in the twenty-third year of his age.
James McBirney and his son John, natives of Ireland, emigrated to this country at the close of the Revolution, and settled east of the mountains. It was not until 1814 they came to this county, and on the 15th of February of that year James purchased one hundred and forty-three-acres of land of William McClain. James McBirney sold this place to his son John, who lived and died upon the place. He had three sons,—James, John, and Robert. James resided on the homestead, and left it to his son, John R. McBirney, who still owns it. A part of the Robbins Block Coal Company's works are on his lands. John now lives in Hickory. Robert lived on the tract, "Blackberry Plains," his grandfather, James McBirney bought later (and where he passed the remainder of his days). It is now owned by Mrs. Robert McBirney, and occupied by William Dixon, a son-in-law.
John Witherspoon, from Maryland, came to this county with his wife and one son, Jonathan, and lived on land of Thomas Biggert, near the site of the Robinson Church, for a period of five years. Afterwards they made several removals. About 1824 he rented the Hollingsworth improvement, now owned by Samuel Witherspoon, grandson of John Witherspoon. Within a short time after their removal to this place the father died, leaving a widow and four sons,—Jonathan, John, Azariah, and Joshua. They united in the purchase of two hundred acres of the tract, including the improvement, which tract was all sold at this time, the Witherspoons, Andrew, Samuel, and Thomas Biggert and Isaac Donaldson purchasing the whole tract. Jonathan had no children, and later sold to Joshua, whose son Samuel now owns the property. John Witherspoon, the oldest son of Joshua, has resided at Bavington since 1855. Rev. James W. Witherspoon, also a son of Joshua, is a minister of the Fifth United Presbyterian Church in Allegheny City. William H., also a son, is a merchant in Burgettstown:
James McBride took up a tract of land, now owned by Alexander and James K. McBride. He built his cabin and lived there many years; later erected the house his grandson, James K., now occupies. He-had ten sons. All are dead except Alexander, the youngest, now over eighty years of age, and who still occupies a part of the homestead. The farm was divided between Alexander and William, whose son, James K., owns the land of his father. Nathaniel, the eldest son of James, lived on a farm adjoining his father's, but in Allegheny County. Samuel, Isaac, David, and John all settled near their father's place. Matthew moved to Canonsburg. James lived to be eighty-four years of age, and was buried at Robinson Church.
Samuel Pollock took out a warrant for one hundred and forty-eight acres of land March 16, 1786. This tract was on Chartiers Creek. He had two sons, James and John ; the former married a daughter of Hugh McCoy, and for a second wife married a daughter of Nathaniel McCoy, of Hanover township. He was a surveyor and justice of the peace, and lived on the Hugh McCoy farm, in Robinson township, many years and died there. His brother John was a practicing physician in Clinton for nearly forty years.
Peter, Alexander, and William Kidd, three brothers, came from Dauphin County about 1781. Alexander Kidd lived unmarried, and about 1818 went to New Orleans in a produce boat, and was never afterwards heard from. William Kidd took up a tract near Midway. He married a Miss Hull. After her death he went West and married again. Alexander, a son of 'William, moved to Burgettstown, where he was justice of the peace for many years. Two of his daughters reside in Burgettstown. William A. Kidd, a son, also many years a justice of the peace and clerk of the courts of Washington County from 1863 to 1869, is a son of Alexander. Peter, brother of Alexander and William Kidd, remained some years in this township, then removed West.
Christopher Smith purchased forty acres of the Beelor lands of Thomas Clark. On this farm Mr. Smith kept tavern many years at the sign of the "Green Tree." His son John now owns the property. William Duncan owned fifty acres in the southeast part of the township, where his daughter Polly and granddaughter, Eleanor Connolly, now reside.
William Aten about 1800 purchased a farm of one hundred and twenty-six acres of James Bailey. It was part of a tract taken up by Seth Greer about 1785. William Aten lived here all his days, and reared a family of three sons—Aaron, William, and Henry—and four daughters. Aaron bought the property of the heirs and lived there till his death ; the property is now owned by his children. William settled in Smith township, where John Stevenson now lives. Henry is teaching school in Midway. Of the daughters, Martha became the wife of Robert Stevenson, and lives in the township ; Jane married Ephraim Boyle; they reside in Mount Pleasant township.
Midway.—This town is on the line between Robinson and Smith townships, and situated in both. The tracts of land on which it is located were taken up by William and David Elder. The land was sold by the Elders to Samuel McFarlane, who sold to Thomas Mitchell & Co., by whom the village was laid out. The plat was surveyed Nov. 20, 1865, and was divided into fifty-three lots and four outlots. James Bell bought the first lot and erected a saw-mill, now owned by Samuel F. Bell, The first hotel was built by.
904 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
George Campbell in 1869, and is still owned and occupied by him. John Kennedy was the first postmaster, about the time the railroad was opened and this place became a station. The town at present contains ten stores, Methodist Church, Odd-Fellows' Hail, drug-store, school-house, hotel, millinery-store, railroad station, express- and telegraph-office, post- office, two coal-works, and two physicians. Years ago the place was called Egypt, and a store was kept here as early as 1844 by William Smith.
Methodist Episcopal Church.—Services of the society were first held in the mill of George W. Peacher, and the organization was perfected in 1874 under the charge of the Rev. J. E. Wright. He has been succeeded by the Revs. M. S. Kendig, S. W. McCurdy, D. K. Stevenson, J. F. Murray, J. H. Hickman, and W. Johnson, the present pastor. The society has a present membership of thirty. An edifice was erected soon after the organization. The church is included in the charge with Burgettstown and Noblestown.
Baptist Church.—John Moses, a Baptist minister of Sharon, Pa., came to Midway in 1873. There being no Baptist society here at that time, he commenced preaching in the school-house. A Bible class was organized in his house, which was well attended. A hall was rented, and a Sabbath-school organized with one hundred and thirty scholars. On the 17th of July, 1877, a church was organized with nine members; the Rev. John Moser was called to the pastorate, and accepted. He remained as pastor until April 30, 1881, at which time he resigned. It was accepted June 4th the same year. The church is at present without a pastor, and has a membership of eighteen. Services are held in the school-house.
Societies.—Midway Valley Lodge, No. 888, I. O. O. F., was chartered with the following officers : Hector Cochran, N, G. ; William Higley, V. G.; William J. Riggs, Sec. Meetings were first held in a building owned by Thomas Woods. In 1877 the society erected a three-story building at a cost of about two thousand five hundred dollars, with rooms for a store in the first story, a public hall on the second floor, and lodge-room on the third floor. Present number of members, sixty.
McDonald.—The land on which this village is located was originally a part of the McDonald lands. The plat for the town was laid out in November, 1871, by. M. O'Hara, under direction of Mrs. F. A. O'Hara, W. A. Edelbum being the surveyor. It contained four hundred and thirty-eight lots, each twenty-five by one hundred and twenty feet. An addition of forty lots was made to the plat July 7, 1873, by Michael and Francis O'Hara, and of one hundred and nine lots July 11, 1873.
Before the town was platted, Henry C. McEwen (about 1860) built a saw-mill and " chopper" at the place, and two years later a grist-mill was added. About the time of the grading of the railroad through this section William Johnson built the first house in the town, and started the first hotel. The post-office was established at this place first under the name of Havelock, and later changed to McDonald. Henry C. McEwen was the first postmaster appointed. He was succeeded by William Johnson, James Ewert, Jerry Fife, John Larimer, Theodore McD. McCloy, and J. D. Sawters, who is the present postmaster. William Johnson opened the first store. The town at present contains three stores, post-office, church (Episcopal), express- and telegraph-office, depot, grist-mill, and academy.
McDonald United Presbyterian Church.—About twenty-five persons gathered at the school-house in McDonald, Nov. 1, 1875, and united in a petition asking the Presbytery, who were to meet Dec.1,1875, to grant them an organization. The application and petition was granted. Application for a supply had been made to the Presbytery in September, previous to the above action, and S. W. Cook was sent as a commissioner. This request was granted, and the Rev. W. G. Nevins was sent. The society was organized in February, 1876, by the Rev. Dr. Greer, of Robinson's Run Congregation. Rev. W. G. Nevins acted as a supply about one year and a half after organization. Rev. John McArthur then acted as a supply for nine months ; he was called to the pastorate, and remained one year and four months. Except with a supply, the pulpit was vacant for seven months. On the 1st of January, 1880, the Rev. W. D. Irons received and accepted a call, and is still the pastor. The church contains at present one hundred and eight members. A neat church edifice, thirty-five by sixty-five feet, was erected in 1876 at a cost of four thousand one hundred and fifty dollars. R was finished in the fall of 1877, and dedicated in December of that year by Dr. W. J. Reed, of Pittsburgh. A Sabbath-school of sixty pupils is connected with the church, of which the pastor is superintendent.
Engleside Academy.—On the 2d of January,1877, an academy was opened by Edward Haws in the basement of the United Presbyterian Church. Fourteen pupils were in attendance. Mr. Haws was succeeded by G. R. Anderson, George W. Slater, and the Rev. W. D. Irons, who is now the principal. The school contains at present forty pupils.
Village of Candor.—The land on which this village is located was part of a tract taken up by Col. Samuel Beelor on a Virginia certificate in 1780, he having settled there in 1774. The cause of the settlement of people at this place was that the Raccoon Church was located here. But few habitations were erected here before 1817. At that time the Rev. Moses Allen became the pastor of the church, and it was by him the village was begun. His son, Watson Allen, started the first store. It is related of him that while buying goods in Philadelphia he was asked the address to send them to. After a little thought he replied "Candor, Washington' Co." The goods were
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sent, and the name became generally adopted. A post-office was established, and the following have been postmasters : Samuel Scroggs, W. Bigham, Hamilton J. Cook, Benjamin Kelso, Dr. B. F. Hill, and Samuel Wasson, who is the present postmaster, and is also the merchant of the place.
The Presbyterian Church of Raccoon¹ is located in Robinson township, in the northern part of Washington County. It derives its name from a creek called " the Raccoon," the congregation being situated on the head-waters of that stream. The origin of this church dates back towards the earliest era of the history of this county. No records can now be found, either in the archives of the session or the Presbytery, that reach back to the very first beginnings. The Atens, Baileys, Crooks, Dunbars, Dunlaps, Donaldsons, Kerdecks, Montgomerys, McFarlands, McDonalds, and Scotts were among the first members and the first settlers of the neighborhood, and their third and fourth generations are among the names now on the church roll. Among these there is a vast amount of family tradition current that is curious and interesting enough to live, but generally that precision of date and circumstances is wanting which is necessary before it could be considered reliable and valuable history.
From the records of the old Presbytery of Redstone, under whose jurisdiction most of the early churches in this region came into existence, it appears that on April 19, 1785, there was "a supplication for supplies for Raccoon." This is the first mention of the name Raccoon on those records. One year previous to that date, April 13, 1784, there was "a supplication for supplies for a vacant congregation near Robinson's Run," and on April 18, 1786, Rev. Mr. Clark was appointed to supply Potato Garden on the fourth Sabbath of May. These three names, Raccoon, Robinson's Run, and Potato Garden, seem to be interchangeable. No two of them ever obtain supplies at the same time. Sometimes the application is from one, and the supplies are sent to the other. When Raccoon obtains a pastor, the other names disappear from the record. Robin-son's Run rises two miles east of this church, Potato Garden is four miles north, and the Raccoon has one branch three miles south, and another one-half mile north, and the main stream is three miles west. In early times any of these names would designate this locality. At that time the outside limits of this congregation approached Hickory on the south and Clinton on the north, and included Burgettstown on the west and Noblestown on the east. According to these records the first sermon preached here was by Rev. Joseph Smith, pastor of Cross Creek and Buffalo, on the first Sabbath of May, 1784.
But the diary or journal of Dr. John McMillan, now in the hands of Mr. M. R. Allen, of Burgetts-
¹ By the Rev. G. N. Kerr.
town, his great-grandson, reaches farther back than the records of Presbytery. There the following memoranda are found :
"The first Sabbath of Dec., 1778, preached at Raccoon, from Rom. 8, 6, and received £7 10s. 6d.
" 1779, Tues. after 3d sab. June at Mr. Bailies place on Raccoon & Received £13 17s. 3d.
" 1780, 3rd sab. of June at Raccoon. Reed £47 118. 6d.
" 1780, 4th sab. July at Mr. McDonalds place on Robinson Run & Recd £22 12s. 6d. 1782, Oct., 2nd Sab. at Raccoon," etc.
The first leaves of this private journal, like the first leaves of the Presbyterial records, are worn out or torn off. But from this we know Raccoon Church was in existence and able to " take up a collection" (thirty-five dollars in amount) at least as early as December, 1778.
Of the first house of worship, its size, dimensions, and date of erection, nothing is known. It gave place to a large and commodious hewed log structure, built in 1786. On each of the longer sides of this building was a recess of considerable size—an architect's device —to furnish a corner to support the ends of the timbers, two lengths being necessary. The pulpit was in one of these recesses, and the one on the opposite side was appropriated to the use of a few colored slaves then owned in this neighborhood. This house continued in use until 1830, forty-four years.
Rev. Joseph Patterson was the first pastor. He received the call on April 21, 1789, and was ordained and installed Tuesday, Nov. 10, 1789. Mr. Patterson was in many respects a remarkable man. He was born in the north of Ireland in 1752. At the age of twenty-five years he married and emigrated to America. After a short stay in Pennsylvania he settled in Saratoga County, N. Y. In 1774 his parents arrived in Pennsylvania, and he returned to this State. He is spoken of as a weaver, farmer, and school-teacher. In 1776 he was teaching near Philadelphia, and was present at the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. He left his school and volunteered in the American army. After leaving the army he resided a short time in York County, Pa. In 1779, through the influence of Judge Edgar, he came to Cross Creek, Washington Co. He was then a Seceder, with strong prejudice against the use of hymns in the worship of God. His neighbor, Squire Graham, succeeded in changing his views on that subject, and he became very fond of singing hymns. At Cross Creek he became an active leader of social prayer-meetings. In 1783 he was appointed an elder of the church there, and in the fall of 1785 was received by Presbytery as a candidate for the ministry at the age of thirty-three years. He studied three years under his pastor, Rev. Joseph Smith, was licensed to preach Aug. 12, 1788, at the age of thirty-six, and eight months afterwards he was installed pas. for of Raccoon and Montour's Churches. In 1798 he
906 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
resigned Montour's, but remained pastor of Raccoon till 1816, twenty-seven years and six months in all. He soon after removed to Pittsburgh, where his two sons lived, and fourteen years after died there at the age of eighty years. He was pre-eminently a man of faith and prayer. There is no register of the names of members and officers during this. long pastorate.
The deed for the church grounds shows that in 1793 the trustees were William Rankin, Peter Kidd, William McCandless, Matthew Bailey, John Dunlap, and Alexander Wright. Records of Presbytery show that Samuel Riddle was an elder in 1793, and at the close of this pastorate the session consisted of William McCandless, 'Thomas Hays, John Riddle, Thomas Miller, Benjamin Chestnut, William Moore, and Archibald McCandless.
On the 27th of May, 1817, Rev. Moses Allen was installed second pastor of Raccoon. He continued in that office twenty-two years. He was born in Westmoreland County Sept. •5, 1780. In his youth he obtained a knowledge of the millwright business, which he pursued diligently and successfully some years. He received his classical education at Jefferson College, and studied theology with Dr. John McMillan. In 1805 he was united in marriage with Catharine, youngest daughter of Dr. McMillan. He was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Ohio, June 23, 1807. In November of the same year he was ordained and installed pastor of the united churches of Providence and Jefferson, in Greene County, Pa. In 1838 he left Raccoon, and was afterwards pastor at Crab Apple Church in Ohio for nine years, where he died Jan. 16, 1847, aged sixty-six. From memoranda made by his own hand it appears that his labors were abundant. He writes : " I was pastor of Raccoon twenty-two years, during which I preached 2685 times, administered the Lord's Supper 75 times, admitted to the communion of the church 324, baptized 15 adults and 558 children, and solemnized 190 marriages."
Mr. Allen was a man of decided and positive character, of strong mental ability. He was a sound theologian, and is always spoken of as a very logical, instructive, and forcible preacher. And the records of session show that he regarded discipline as an ordinance of God and a means of grace.
During his pastorate a new house of worship was built. It was a large brick edifice sixty-six by seventy-six feet, capable of seating six hundred adults. Some of its peculiarities were a very high pulpit on the side, instead of at the end of the building; an outside door at the right and left of the pulpit and three others at the opposite side ; a very broad transverse aisle in front of the pulpit, in which the communion table was spread; a roof of four similar sides, all tapering towards the centre, upon which stood a modest belfry. This building continued in use forty-two years.
In 1830, Robert Wallace, Garret Vaneman, and Edward McDonald were elected and ordained elders, and in 1836, John Sturgeon, David Miller, Robert Smith, and Richard Donaldson were added. Under this administration the church grew in numbers and strength, and at its close was regarded as among the largest and most important country charges in the Synod.
The third pastor of Raccoon was the Rev. C. V. McKaig. He was installed in June, 1841, and continued in .charge until December, 1865. This was another pastorate of prosperity and usefulness for this church.
On account of an obstinate and protracted affection of the throat, Mr. McKaig felt constrained first to take a vacation, with hope of restoration and recovery, but finally requested a dissolution of the pastoral relation. At a meeting of the congregation; Dec. 18, 1865, a paper was adopted containing a very beautiful and touching testimonial of their regard and affection for him, and signifying to Presbytery their acquiescence in his request to have the pastoral relation dissolved.
In a thanksgiving sermon preached a short time before his resignation, Mr. McKaig said, "During my labors here four hundred and thirty have been added to the church, three hundred and twelve of these on examination. The average increase has been twenty per year. The highest number received any one year was thirty-three. Four hundred and sixty-five children have been baptized. Contributions to benevolent objects have amounted to six thousand one hundred and twenty-six dollars. In our meetings of session differences of opinion have been freely expressed, but no unkind or offensive word has been uttered. This session has always been a peacemaker, while living at peace among themselves, no vain eulogy. `Blessed are the peacemakers!'"
Since his resignation of this charge Mr. McKaig has been for several years pastor of Bloomfield, a small suburban church in the city of Pittsburgh, but that same trouble with his throat and voice has obliged him to demit that charge. At present he resides in East Liberty, Pa. During his pastorate there was but one election of elders. In 1857, John Simonton, Thomas Wilson, John S. Russell, J. L. Moore, and Joseph Wallace were elected to that office. After this, this church was without a pastor for almost six years, but there was no intermission of the regular services. Regular and orderly calls were made out and sent to the Presbytery for the pastoral services of Rev. John Kerr, of Pittsburgh, Pa., Rev. J. J. Beacom, of Forest Grove, Pa., Rev. J. B. Dickey of Steubenville, Ohio, and Rev. R. K. Campbell, of South Salem, Ohio. Rev. Mr. Dickey and Rev. Mr. Kerr both came and labored here for a time, but for various reasons none of these calls were accepted. There was one election of elders during this time, June 26, 1869. John Farrar, I. M. Stevenson, and John Kennedy were duly inducted into that office.
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The present pastor is Rev. Greer McIlvain Kerr. He is a native of Washington County, but his parents removed to Mercer County, Pa., when he was very young, and have lived there ever since. He received his collegiate education at Westminster College, Lawrence Co., Pa., where he graduated in 1867, and his theological education at the Western Theological Seminary, Allegheny, Pa. On March 27, 1871, while he was a member of the senior class in the seminary, having been licensed by the Presbytery of Chenange at Beaver Falls on the 28th of April of the year before, he received a call to this pastorate. He was ordained and installed by the Presbytery of Pittsburgh, June 14, 1871. S. J. Wilson, D.D., presided; Rev. John Gillespie preached a sermon ; Rev. W. W. McKinney delivered the charge to the pastor, and Rev. S. M. Henderson the charge to the people. During this pastorate there have been two elections of elders. On March 26, 1875, James Meloney and W. S. Russell were made ruling elders, and Sept. 20,1879, George C. Smith, S. C. Farrar, and Dr. B. F. Hill.
The present house of worship was built in 1872. It is built of brick, is fifty-two by eighty feet, with a basement story eleven feet, and the main room twenty-two feet to the square, with combed ceiling seven feet high in the centre. It is tastefully frescoed, carpeted throughout, and all the seats are cushioned: It was dedicated Nov. 26; 1873. Its total cost was $14,093, including furniture.
This people surely have been highly favored. They have enjoyed the ordinances of the gospel for more than one hundred years without interruption. They have had exemplary leaders. No pastor, elder, or trustee has ever betrayed his trust, or been involved in any scandal, so as to become a reproach to the cause of religion or a stumbling-block in the way of the weak. The people have always been unusually intelligent, upright, industrious, and moral. May worthy sons of noble sires still continue to hand down to those after them an ecclesiastical record unsullied, a spiritual inheritance without mortgage or incumbrance.
On the 24th of August, 1882, the centennial of Raccoon was held in the church, a great concourse of people being present from all the surrounding country, and the exercises of the day (which were intensely interesting) being conducted by the pastor, the Rev. Greer M. Kerr, the Rev. John M. Barnett, D.D., Rev. Richard Lea, D.D., Rev. S. C. Jennings, Rev. C. V. McKaig, Rev. J. D. Moffit, D.D., Rev. John Kerr, and others, and among those present were Revs. Fredericks, W. H. McCaughey, Ross Stevenson, Alexander, Rockwell, Bruce, D. W. Carson, James Campbell, Hutchinson, McKnight, Fulton, Irons, and Rev. Robert Patterson (a grandson of Rev. Joseph Patterson), two children, three grand-, and several great-grandchildren of the Rev. Moses Allen. An excellent report of the proceedings of the day was published in the Burgettstown Call of Aug. 29, 1882.
United Presbyterian Congregation of Robinson. —The people of this section of country were for many years members of the Associate congregation of Montour's Run (now the United Presbyterian congregation of Clinton) and the Associate congregation of Burgettstown (now United Presbyterian). But feeling it an unnecessary burden to travel so far every Sabbath, and realizing the importance of having ordinances dispensed in their own midst, they met in the fall of 1830, around a log-heap fire, on or near the site of this building, and then and there resolved to build a " meeting-house," raised considerable money on the spot, and appointed a committee to solicit subscriptions from others. From the nature of this action, and also from their expectation of receiving aid from Montour's Run in return for aid afforded by them in building a house of worship in Clinton, it evidently was not their design, then at least, to seek a separate organization, but simply to erect a second house of worship in the congregation and secure a part of the pastor's labors. Several informal meetings were held at the house of Samuel Bigger, which finally resulted in a petition which was presented to the Presbytery of Chartiers, April 6, 1831, for an "organization, and liberty to build a church." Against this petition the congregation of Montour's Run remonstrated, and Presbytery by an almost unanimous vote denied their request. Again, in March, 1832, we find them before Presbytery with a similar petition. At this time Burgettstown congregation joined Montour's in their remonstrance. This petition occupied the attention of Presbytery for three consecutive meetings, when it was again refused. With all these discouragements in the way they continued, as they were able, to press forward the work on their church building, which was completed in the spring of 1833 at a cost of $1374. We find them again before Presbytery in August, 1832, with a petition for a supply of preaching. This petition Presbytery seems to have regarded as a contempt, and handed it back to the commissioners. But still they were not discouraged; but, with evident faith in importunity, they again asked Presbytery in March, 1833, for " disjunction from Montour's Run." This was subsequently changed to a petition asking for liberty to build a church in their own neighborhood, for a part of Mr. Wilson's time, and also asking Presbytery to take measures to heal the division in Montour's Run congregation. This petition the Presbytery referred to a commission chosen from sister Presbyteries, consisting of Revs. John Walker and Thomas Hanna, from the Presbytery of Muskingum, and the Rev. — Murray, with two elders from the Presbytery of Ohio. This commission, after a careful hearing of the case, recommended to Presbytery that Mr. Wilson be directed to organize the congregation ,under the name of Robinson, and that he take charge of it as a part of his pastoral charge. This report was unanimously approved by Presbytery, Aug. 27, 1833. At the suggestion of the commissioners Mr. Wilson
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entered on his pastoral duties here before the meeting of Presbytery, and shortly afterwards proceeded with the formal organization of the congregation, and continued to labor in it as its pastor until his death, though he had never been formally called by the people or installed by the Presbytery. At the organization the following ruling elders were elected : Thomas Bigger, Esq., Samuel Wallace, William Donaldson, James Pollock, Benjamin Bubbet, Esq., Richard Donaldson, Sr., Andrew Donaldson, Alexander McBride, and James Smith.
The connection of Montour's Run and Robinson remained until Sept. 21, 1847, when it was dissolved by Presbytery. Since that time Montour's Run has been known as Clinton. The land on which the church was erected was donated by Alexander McBride, Matthew Bigger, and William McBride. The land for the cemetery was donated by Matthew Bigger. The first burial was Maria, the daughter of John and Sarah Wilson, May 22, 1833. The contract for building the church was given to John Lowry. The first sermon was preached by the Rev. Joseph Banks, from the carpenter's bench, before the house was completed.
The Presbytery of Chartiers held a meeting in the church July 1, 1834. Rev. William Nilson took charge of this congregation in June, 1833, some months before its formal organization, and continued his labors here as fixed pastor until his death took place, April 30, 1842. He was a native of Ireland, born in 1772, educated at Glasgow University, where he graduated ; was licensed to preach in 1793, emigrated to this country, and preached for forty-seven years.
In June, 1843, Rev. John Scott, D.D., began his labors as pastor of the congregation. The relation was dissolved in July, 1845, in consequence of his appointment by the Associated Synod as missionary to the Island of Trinidad.
Rev. Mr. Scott was a native of Jedborough, Scotland, and was born on the 7th February, 1807. In 1818, with his father's family, he emigrated to America, entered Franklin College at New Athens, Ohio, after which he entered the theological seminary at Canonsburg in 1838, under Dr. Ramsey. He was licensed to preach in June, 1842, and soon after received a call from the united congregations of Montour's Run and Robinson's Run.
Rev. James G. Rankin took charge of the congregation in April, 1849. His relation as pastor continued till his death, which occurred Nov. 6, 1868. He was born in 1821 at Warren, Ohio. Educated at Washington College, Pa., from which institution he graduated in 1842, he entered the theological seminary at Canonsburg, and after graduation was licensed in 1847 by the Presbytery of Chartiers. He accepted the call from this church in 1848, and commenced his labors the next spring.
The present pastor, the Rev. W. R. McKee, commenced his labors with this congregation on the of August, 1869, and is a faithful and acceptable pastor. The elders since the first are as follows : May, 1849, Samuel Bigger, William Smillie, Joshua Witherspoon ; May 18, 1854, John W. Stewart, Matthew Bailey ; April 25, 1860, James Ackleson, James McNall, James Gilliland, William Witherspoon; Oct. 25, 1867, James Donaldson, John M. Donaldson, John Witherspoon ; Feb. 3, 1872, Thomas Bigger, John Ackleson, Samuel Witherspoon, William Donaldson.
The church has at present one hundred and ninety-two members, and a Sunday-school containing one hundred and ninety pupils, of which William Donaldson is the superintendent. The present church edifice was erected in 1874. The information for this sketch was obtained from John Witherspoon and from a sermon preached by the pastor March 7, 1875, the Sabbath before leaving the old church building.
Schools in Robinson Township.-The first schoolhouse in the township was a log building, built about 1800 on land of Richard Donaldson, near the spring, on the farm next to James Close. The school was taught by John Elliott, an Irishman, and continued for more than ten years. From 1810 to 1813 a school was taught in a log house that stood on the Morland farm, now the land of James Maloney. The first teachers in this place were Thomas Crawford and William Geary. Douglass Geary, who was born near the township line in 1800, recollects attending this school at the period mentioned. He (Douglass Geary) himself taught a school in 1830 in a schoolhouse that stood on the McNall farm. John Donagho, John P. Ewing, and others taught at the same place. Another school-house was in Smith township, on the John Stevenson farm.. In this one of the teachers was Henry Robinson, father of Finley Robinson, of Midway.
After the enactment of the school law of 1834, the township was divided into districts, as follows: Bigger District, No. 1; Pike, No: 2; Beech Hollow, No. 3 ; McAdam, No. 4 ; McDonald, No. 5. One of the school-houses previously mentioned (Beech Hollow) was used for schools under the new system. The McAdam and McDonald houses were built anew. The Bigger house was used till it was destroyed by fire some time afterwards, then built anew. Its location was changed three-fourths of a mile south, to its present site, where it is now called Robinson. Douglass Geary was one of the first teachers under the operation of the law of 1834. Under that law the township of Robinson, having accepted the requirements of the statute (in 1835), reported two hundred and ten persons liable to taxation for school purposes. Amount collected in that year for that purpose, $173.04, as returned by Josiah Chestnut, treasurer. In 1836, $36.86 was received from the State, and $386.81 was collected on taxes levied in the township for school purposes. In 1837, $375.95 was collected
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in the township for the same purpose. Matthew Bailey was treasurer in this and the previous year.
In 1868 the school report shows school-houses in Districts Nos. 1, 4, and 5 "small, unventilated, and poorly seated." The number of districts reported five, with five teachers and one hundred and ten scholars. Total amount levied in township for school purposes, $463.87; State appropriation, $93.20 ; received from other sources, $390; total expenditures, $460.
In the year 1873 the township had six districts, six teachers, and two hundred and forty-six scholars.-Amount of tax levied for all purposes, $2352.98 ; State appropriation,$155.36 ; expenditure for school-houses, building, purchasing, etc., $1004.50.
In 1880 the township contained seven districts ; number of scholars, two hundred and thirteen ; amount of tax levied for school and building purposes, $1488.43. Total receipts, $2049.94; total expenditures, $2008.34. The present school districts of the township are :
Robinson, No. 1, near Robinson Church.
Pike, No. 2, near John Donaldson's.
Beech Hollow, No. 3, near Candor.
McAdam, No. 4, near McAdam farm.
McDonald, No. 5, at McDonald.
Nos. 6 and 7, at Midway ; two (graded) schools in one house.
Physicians.—Dr. John Martin, of Beaver County, was a practicing physician in the township from 1830 to 1847. He lived with Squire Miller. After his death he married his widow, and lived in the house now occupied by Dr. B. F. Hill.
Drs. Matthews, John Clendenning, — Patterson, and John Coburn all lived in the township, the latter about 1848: He lived' in the house now occupied by Dr. B. F. Hill, and remained till about 1863, and removed to Beaver County Dr. Goshorn came here before Dr. Coburn, and died in Candor. A Dr. Weaver was a resident at Candor a short time, and moved away about 1860. Dr. George Shillitos practiced a year or two. Dr. W. V. Riddle came here in the spring of 1869, but did not remain long. Dr. B. F. Hill studied medicine with Dr. Bradley, of Burgettststown, attended lectures at Sterling Medical College, Columbus, Ohio, in the spring of 1856, and commenced practice at Candor in the fall of that year. Upon the breaking out of the Rebellion he joined the One Hundred and Fortieth Regiment of Pennsylvania volunteers as assistant surgeon, and remained in that capacity till the close of the war. He returned to Candor, and still continues in practice.
Dr. Caleb McNulty, of West Middletown, studied medicine with Dr. John M. Wilson ; graduated at Cleveland Medical College in the winter of 1868-69, and commenced practice at-Bethany, Va.; practiced. there a year, then spent a year in the West, and came to Midway in October, 1870, and opened an office and commenced a practice in which he still continues.
Dr. A. C. Stevenson, of Cross Creek township, came
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to Midway in the spring of 1871, and practiced about five years, and removed to Oakdale, Allegheny Co. He sold out his practice to Dr. George W. Miller, who remained two years and removed to Mansfield, Allegheny Co., Pa. Dr. David McMasters, of Pittsburgh, a regular physician, came to Midway from Pittsburgh in January, 1881, and is in practice at the present time.
Pittsburgh and Walnut Hill Coal Company.—In 1869, E. A. Wheeler, of Sharon, Pa., and Rapalye & Gulick, of New York, purchased six hundred acres of the Johnston, Elder, and McBirney tracts. An opening was made in Smith township, on the Johnston tract. The tipple and tracts are in Robinson township. The main entry extends (1881) half a mile in a southerly direction. Nine side entries, averaging a quarter of a mile each, extend east and west. Coal at first was shipped east, but at the present time it is all shipped west. From fifty to one hundred and sixty men are employed. The works are at the east end of the village of Midway, and the tract connects With the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St. Louis Railroad tracks. A company store is in operation at the offices. In 1873, John Arnot, of Elmira, and T. Burr Robbins purchased the entire interest of the company, and still own and conduct it.
Midway Coal Company.—In 1870, John and Thomas Taylor purchased the coal rights of two hundred acres of land, parts of the Elder tract and the Peter Kidd tract. A main drift was opened, and now extends about half a mile in a southerly direction. The works are now owned by Joseph Crawford. The vein of coal worked at• this mine is four and a half feet thick. An average of one hundred men are employed. These mines are located at the west end of Midway village,.and are also connected with the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St. Louis Railroad by tracks.
Robbins Block Coal Company.—In 1873, T. Burr Robbins purchased two hundred acres of the Jacob George and Cochran farms, and that portion of the John McBirney farm lying south of the railroad. Operations commenced in 1874, and a main entry opened in 1875 that extends at present (1881) about one-third of a mile southerly. Five side drifts extend east and five west. In 1881, Mr. Robbins purchased two hundred acres of coal right from the Kelso farm. Most of the land used is in Mount Pleasant township, but the delivery station is in Robinson township. Every, engine that passes over the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St. Louis Railroad is coaled at the chutes of this company. From Saturday night to Monday morning it is not uncommon to use two hundred and sixty tons for that purpose. About one hundred and forty tons per day on an average are used. A store is maintained at Primrose for Robbins Block, and another at Willow Grove. The Willow Grove Mines are in Allegheny County, below the Laurel Hill Mines, and are also owned by. T. B. Robbins. From
910 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
the three mines, Walnut Hill, Robbins Block, and Willow Grove, from six to seven hundred tons of coal are mined per day.
Briar Hill Coal Company.—These works are situated at McDonald Station, on the south side of the railroad, and east of the station. They were started in 1869 by Dougherty and Richardson, and are at present operated under a lease by J. D. Sawters and Alexander Patterson. The main drift extends southeasterly about half a mile; two sides extend about one-quarter of a mile southwesterly. About one hundred and twenty men are employed, and an average of two hundred tons per day are mined. Coal-banks used only for private purposes are in all parts of the township.
BY a provision in the act erecting Washington County, passed March 28, 1781, the trustees appointed to lay off the county into townships were required to have them laid out before July 1st of that year. This was accomplished, and the, township of Smith was the last one set off of the original thirteen. It was so named at the suggestion of Judge James Edgar (one of the trustees), inhonor of the Rev. Joseph Smith.
The original township was bounded on the north by the Ohio River, on the east by the townships of Robinson and Cecil, on the south by Hopewell township, and on the west by the State of Virginia. It retained this large extent of territory for five years only. On the 5th of January, 1786, the inhabitants presented to the Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace held at Washington an application for a division of Smith township. This application was favorably considered, and a certificate was sent to the Supreme Executive Council, and read before that body March 8, 1786. No action was taken upon the subject until the 2d of September of the same year, when it was again brought before the Council and confirmed. By this action that portion of the territory north of Harmon's Creek and north of Brush Run to the Ohio River was set off and named Hanover township. The original line dividing these townships ran "up Harmon's Creek to the source near Steven Smith's [the old McCurdy farm], thence across the ridge to the head of Brush Run, and down the run to Raccoon Creek." On the 11th of March, 1830, by order of court, the territory north of the present line between Smith and Hanover, not included in above, was set off front Smith township and attached to Hanover. Upon the erection of Mount Pleasant township, May 12, 1806, a portion of Smith was set off to form its I territory. The eastern line of Smith at that time extended from near the present north point of Mount Pleasant township southward along the west line of Chartiers township, passing through Hickory, to the north line of Cross Creek, about one mile and a half south of that town.
The present boundaries of the township are Hanover township on the west, north, and northwest, Robinson on the northeast, Mount Pleasant on the southeast, and Cross Creek and Jefferson townships on the southwest.
Following is a list of justices of the peace for Smith township¹ from its erection to the present time, viz.:
Samuel Johnston, July 15, 1781.
James Edgar, July 15, 1781.
James Edgar, Sept. 30, 1788.
John Riddle, March 4, 1796.
John Wilkins; May 31, 1803.
James Proudfit, March 11,1809.
Robert Bowland, March 13, 1810.
Matthew Provines, Dec. 9, 1811.
William McCreery, Dec. 10, 1816.
James Keys, May 16, 1818.
James Leech, Dec. 5, 1818.
Robert Polkerson, Dec. 5, 1818.
James McFarren, Aug. 29, 1821.
Moses Stephenson, March 12, 1822.
Thomas Biggart, June 12, 1822.
Edward McDonald, Aug. 15, 1822.
Benjamin T. Bubbett, Dec. 8, 1823.
David Miller, March 4, 1824.
John Buchanan, Dec. 1:3, 1824.
Archibald Hunter, Feb. 14, 1825.
Ebenezer Boyce Oct. 4, 1828.
Alexander Kidd, Nov. 18, 1835.
William L. Robb, April 3, 1835.
William M. Moore, June 7, 1836.
John Smith, Dec. 17, 1836.
Ebenezer Robb, March 28, 1837.
Joseph Campbell, April 14, 1840.
Alexander Kidd, April 14,1840.
William Galbraith, April 15,1845.
John Ferguson, April 9,1850.
John Stephenson, April 9, 1850.
John L. Proudfit, April 16,1805.
John Ferguson, April 10,1855.
Samuel P. Riddle, April 10, 1860.
John B. Bays, April 10,1860.
Samuel P. Riddle, June 3, 1865.
J. L. Patterson, June 3,1865.
Alex. E. Walker, April 21, 1869.
Samuel P. Riddle, March 29,1870.
James L. Patterson, Nov.30, 1870.
James L. Patterson, Jan. 19, 1874.
Samuel P. Riddle, Jan. 27, 1874.
Samuel P. Riddle, March 17, 1875.
George M. Tenan, March 16, 1876.
John P. Wood, March 30,1880.
Thomas W. Pedicord, April 9, 1881.
Settlements.—One of the earliest settlers of Smith township, but one of whom but little is known, was Henry Rankin. He was in nowise related to the Rankins who settled in the valley of Mount Pleasant. On the 15th of June, 1778, Henry Rankin and Alexander
¹ From 1781 to 1787 the township of Smith was an independent elec. 'lion district. At that time the county was divided into six election districts, and this township became part of the Sixth District; another change was made in 1803 Changes in the boundaries were frequent, and it has been impossible to follow them by township. Since the change in the constitution in 1838, the township has been nu independent district.
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McBride purchased of George McCormick five hundred and sixty-four acres of land adjoining Nathaniel Patton, Boston Burgett, and Joseph Phillis. He took out a Virginia certificate for the land, which was surveyed to him as "Chance" on the 23d of February, 1785, and patented Feb. 15, 1786. A small portion of this tract was sold by Henry Rankin to Thomas Miller Aug. 9, 1805.
The earliest record of a land title in Smith township is dated May 10, 1776, of one hundred and eighty-six acres of land which was sold by William Crawford and Henry Houghland to Joseph Phillis, located on Raccoon Creek, "which lands the said William Crawford and Henry Houghland are entitled to by improvement, according to the custom of the country."
Arthur Campbell was a native of Ireland, who emigrated to America and settled near Winchester, Va. After remaining there a year or two he removed to Redstone Old Fort (Brownsville), and in looking over the country for land on which to settle he selected the tract in Smith township on which his grandson, John Campbell, now lives. It was owned by Andrew and Adam Poe, who both lived on the place at the time. Upon the purchase of the land of the Poes Mr. Campbell moved into the house occupied by them, which was built of hewed logs, one and a half stories in height. Arthur Campbell lived and died on the homestead, leaving five sons, William, John, Arthur, Robert, and Joseph, and three, daughters, Nancy, Margaret, and Elizabeth. William, the eldest son, settled in. Jefferson County, Ohio, where his descendants still live. After the death of Arthur Campbell, Sr., the farm was left by will to John and Robert Campbell, the latter a son of Arthur, by whom it was divided, John retaining the homestead, it being the north part, and is now owned by his son John. Arthur, another son of John, resides in Wisconsin, and a daughter, Margaret, is the wife of Allison Vance. Robert inherited the south side of the farm, and left three sons. Arthur and Ebenezer B. still live on the farm, and William, a third son, resides in California.
Arthur Campbell, Jr., had two sons,—Arthur, who settled in Jefferson township, on the Cassidy farm, and died there; Joseph studied medicine with Dr. McClean, of Florence, married his daughter, practiced medicine in Pughtown, and died in Eldersville. Nancy, a daughter of Arthur, died unmarried. Elizabeth married James Gibson, of Hanover township, and settled there. Margaret married Thomas Elder, the founder of Eldersville. Robert, son of Arthur Campbell, Sr., left three daughters. Ellen married John L. Proudfit, Esq., of Burgettstown. Elizabeth died unmarried. Margaret married Samuel P. 'Wilson, and settled in Virginia. A James and a William Campbell lived where George and N. B. Campbell now reside, in Smith and Cross Creek townships, but were not related to the family of Arthur Campbell.
James Leech emigrated to this country from Ireland with his wife and three children, and settled first in Northampton County, Pa., and was in the Revolutionary war. At the close of the war he purchased land of Robert Walker, of Cecil township, under date of Feb. 11, 1782. A part of the deed is as follows :
" Unto James Leech, of the county and township aforesaid, lying and binding on the waters of Raccoon Creek, adjoining William Renkins on the one side and Redefords [Rutherfords] on the other, James Stephenson and Henry Hoglan and William Bashford, containing Three Hundred Eachers of land."
On the 22d day of February, 1786, he took out a warrant for a tract of land, which was surveyed June 30, 1786, under the name of "Litchfield," containing two hundred acres. This land is now occupied by his grandsons, Robert and Joseph P. Leech. On the 30th of November, 1802, he purchased the mill property on Raccoon Creek, containing one hundred and five acres, of John Wishart, with liberty to construct a dam farther up the creek and race-way to the mill through Wishart's land. In 1811 a road was ordered laid out from James Leech's mill to John Marshall's, in Cross Creek township. On the Litchfield tract he built a cabin, barns, and still-houses, about half-way between William Rankin's and where Robert's house now stands, and later built a larger house of hewed logs near the spring. He died in 1823, and was buried at Burgettstown. His sons were John, William, Thomas, Samuel, Robert, and James. John went to Ohio, and later to Putnam County, Ill. The rest removed to Coshocton. Ohio, except James, who remained on the homestead for a time. He married a daughter of John Wishart, purchased the property on the creek, where he lived and died. He served in the war of 1812, and was a justice of the peace of the township from Dec. 5, 1818, many years. He was the father of Joseph P. and Presley Leech. The property is now owned by Joel Case.
George McCullough with his wife and family emigrated from Little Britain township, Lancaster County. Pa., to Smith's township, and took out a warrant for a tract of land, which was surveyed to him by the name of " Gretna Green," a patent for which he obtained in April, 1785. He died in February, 1811, and left seven daughters and one son, the latter of whom died young. The name became extinct. The daughters married as follows: Christinia married James Wilson, and emigrated to Trumbull County, Ohio, near the town of Poland (now Mahoning County) ; Betsey married Thomas McCullough, and went to the same locality ; Jane married Joseph McNall, who resides in Finley township, Allegheny County, Pa.; Mary married James Brown ; Margaret married James Tenan, of Smith township. They settled on the " Gretna Green" tract, having bought out the heirs. Sons of this union were George M. Tenan, Esq., and James B. Tenan, both residents of
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Burgettstown. James Tenan, Sr., emigrated from Londonderry, Ireland, to Washington County ; married here and settled in Smith township, on land now owned by Andrew Proudfoot. His son, James Tenan, married Margaret McCullough, as mentioned above.
A tract of land was warranted to Abram Scott Sept. 23, 1784, situated on the waters of Raccoon Creek, adjoining Joseph Pillis, Henry Rankin, and William Thompson. It was surveyed on the 21st of February,1787, to John Smith, as the assignee of Abram Scott, under the name of "Shady Grove," and contained four hundred and ten acres.
Mr. Smith purchased two hundred and ninety-nine acres, a part of a tract of land which was patented by Jacob Neusly March 21, 1787, containing three hundred and ten acres. This was also on the waters of Raccoon Creek, adjoining William Thompson and Cornelius Murphy. On the 18th of February, 1794, Mr. Smith sold the two hundred and ninety-nine acres of the Neusly tract, and twenty-five of the "Shady Grove" patent to Andrew McClean. James McClean, the son of Andrew, was a bachelor; studied theology, and preached in the Presbyterian denomination, and lived on the homestead several years. The place is now owned by James Simpson. A part of the Smith tract was sold in 1792 to John Bell and John Patton. Bell sold to Thomas Miller Dec. 24, 1804.
Cornelius Murphy owned land adjoining John Smith. He had but one daughter; who married a. man of the name of Dodd, and removed to South Carolina. Squire John Riddle became the executor of Mr. Murphy after his death, and suits were pending for several years, the heirs of Mrs. Dodd claiming the property.
Among the officers who received grants of land for their services in the Dunmore war was Lund Washington, a distant relative of George Washington. A patent of the State of Virginia, dated Nov. 20, 1779, was granted him by which two thousand acres of land were conveyed. This tract lay on the head-waters of the middle branch of Raccoon Creek, and in the townships of Smith and Mount Pleasant.
On the 8th of June, 1791, Washington sold three hundred acres to John McKibben. This tract is now owned by Charles Provines, the heirs of Ebenezer Smith, and the heirs of Robert Smith. On the 20th of January, 1792, Washington conveyed all of the remainder of the tract to George McCormick. In the deed to McCormick a statement is made concerning the large tract granted by the Virginia patent as follows : "Said to contain two thousand acres, but in fact contains only one thousand acres, and is bounded," etc. A part of this tract was sold by George McCormick, Feb. 7, 1792, to David Hays, who left it by will to his son, Joseph Hays. The latter conveyed it to Josiah Allen on the 3d of February, 1795, and two years later, May 4, 1797, Allen conveyed it to Robert Glass. Upon his death this portion of his estate fell to his son, Thomas Glass. He retained it till
April 6, 1804, when he sold one hundred and fifty-nine acres of land to Samuel McFarlane. In this deed it is recited that it is part of the tract conveyed by the Virginia patent to Lund Washington. A small portion of the tract conveyed to McFarlane formed parts of two other tracts, one of which was patented to Thomas Edwards April 3, 1797, the other to Andrew Swearingen Aug. 15, 1787.
Samuel McFarlane emigrated from Ireland to this country about 1800, and in 1804 made the purchase above mentioned, and on the 3d of September in the same year purchased one hundred and two acres of Ephraim Chidester. This tract was part of a tract patented to George McCormick Aug. 15,1787. It was called " Hayes' Bottom," and contained three hundred and fifty-nine act es. McCormick sold it to David Hays September 13th the same year, and in June, 1797, the one hundred and two acres was sold to Ephraim Chidester. Samuel McFarlane settled upon the tract purchased of Thomas Glass, and where his youngest son, Thomas McFarlane, now owns. He lived here many years, and died at an advanced age at the residence of his daughter in Cross Creek.
Of his children, William settled on a farm near his father's, and adjoining the Judge John Farrar farm, where he died. David studied theology, and became a Presbyterian minister. He settled first in Peoria, Ill., and later went to Santa Fe, New Mexico, San Diego, Cal., and finally to Iowa, where he served as a missionary among the Indians, and died there. Joseph went to California when the gold excitement was at its height, in 1849, and has not since been heard from. John removed to Ohio. Andrew settled at Cross Creek, and later moved to Burgettstown, where he still resides. Samuel located on a farm left him by his, father in Robinson township, near the town of Candor, and now lives in Burgettstown. His son, J. F. McFarlane, is an attorney in Washington, Pa. A daughter of Samuel McFarlane, Sr., married Thomas Farrar, lived in Cross Creek many years, and moved to Peoria, Ill., and died at the residence of her daughter in that city in 1880.
James Edgar was one among the earliest settlers in what afterwards became the township of Smith, and he was for a period of thirty-five years one of the most respected citizens of Washington County. He was born in York County, Pa., on the "Slate Ridge," Nov. 15, 1744. His father's family emigrated from Pennsylvania to North Carolina, but he was never in the latter State, except on a visit to his relatives. He represented' his native county in the Constitutional Convention of 1776. In the summer of 1779 he migrated west of the mountains and settled in what is now Smith township, Washington County. July 10, 1784, he warranted a tract of two hundred and seventy acres " on the waters of Raccoon Creek," surveyed to him Feb. 22, 1785. And on the 6th of September, 1787, he warranted another tract of one hundred and forty-two acres, surveyed to him Oct.
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17,1787, as "Nineveh." In November, 1781, he was elected with Col. John Canon to represent the county in the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, and in the same year was elected to the Council of Censors. In 1788 he was appointed associate judge, which position he held till disabled by infirmities which compelled his resignation. Dr. Carnahan says of Judge Edgar,—
"This truly great and good man, little known beyond the precincts of Washington County, had a good English education, had improved his mind by reading and reflection, so that in theological and political knowledge he was superior to. many professional men. . . . He lived in retirement on his farm except when the voice of his neighbors called him forth to serve the Church or the State. He was a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church, and on one occasion addressed a congregation of at least two thousand people on the subject of the insurrection, with a clearness of argument and a solemnity of manner and a tenderness of Christian eloquence which reached the understanding and penetrated the heart of every hearer. The consequence was that few, if any, in his neighborhood were concerned in that affair."
Judge H. H. Brackenridge mentions Judge Edgar as follows : " He was an associate judge of Washington County, and a kind of rabbi in the Presbyterian Church in the Western country. His head was prematurely hoary with prayers and fastings and religious exercises ; his face thin and puritanical, like the figures of the old Republicans in the Long Parliament of England." He died June 8, 1814. The Reporter (of Washington, Pa.), in its issue of August 22d of that year, published the following obituary notice of him.:
"Departed this life on the 8th day of June last James Edgar, of Washington County, Pa., in the seventy-first year of his age. The character of this eminent and respected patriot and father in the church is extensively known in our county and in the churches. He was a native of this State; in his early youth he hopefully became a subject of true religion; while young was chosen and ordained a ruling elder in the church, which office he continued to fill with good effect while able to act. In the year 1876 he was called into public life as a statesman, being chosen to the convention which formed the constitution of the State, after which time he was repeatedly chosen a representative in the Legislature from the counties of York and Washington. In later life he several years filled the office of associate judge of Washington County, until disabled by infirmity he resigned. Till his last he continued to manifest himself a sincere friend of the cause of Christ and of his country; was much engaged to promote the interests of the church and the good of the State. In his last long illness he bore his affliction with Christian patience, breathing the spirit of Christianity. His end was peaceful and quiet. The evening before his departure he, with considerable confidence, informed his family that he hoped to get Isis dismission from the body that night; accordingly about three o'clock in the morning he resigned his last breath without a struggle or any indication of pain."
In the numerous list of distinguished men who have been residents of Washington County, there are found none who bore a higher character or were more universally beloved and trusted than was Judge James Edgar.
On the 10th of May, 1776, a tract of land on Raccoon Creek adjoining George McCormick, containing one hundred and eighty-six acres, was conveyed to Joseph Philles, in consideration of twenty pounds, by William Crawford and Henry Houghland, "which lands the said William Crawford and Henry Houghland are entitled to by improvement, according to the custom of the country."
On this land Joseph Philles lived and died, and his descendants still occupy the property. John Riddle came from Pigeon Creek to this township about 1790, and settled near the Raccoon Railroad bridge, on the farm now owned by J. L. Patterson, Esq. Mr. Riddle was appointed justice of the peace March 4, 1796, and acted in that capacity till his death. His family consisted of six sons and four daughters. Samuel, a son of John Riddle, settled in this township ; John settled in Jefferson ; Samuel P., in Smith ; Scott, in Muskingum County, Ohio; James, in Virginia City, Nev. ; Robert, at Hanlan's Station, Hanover township ; Dr. William V., in Burgettstown. Catharine became the wife of William Proud fit, and Sarah the wife of James S. Hays, both of Smith township.
David Hayes was a native of York County, Pa., and came out to this region of country about 1783, and took up several- large tracts of land on the West Branch of Raccoon Creek. On the 13th of September, 1787, he purchased a tract of land which George McCormick patented the August previous as " Hayes' Bottom," containing three hundred and fifty-nine acres. A part of this Mr. Hayes sold to Ephraim Chidester in June, 1797.
David Hayes built his log cabin on the farm now owned by the heirs of James Stephenson, and where George Robb now lives. On this farm he lived and died. When he came to this country he had a large family, of whom several of the sons had taken part in the Revolutionary war, and a son, John, was killed in battle. The sons who came here were Moses, Thomas, David, Joseph, William, and James. Moses settled on one hundred acres of the home tract, and died there. Joseph Hayes, a son of Moses, inherited a part of the estate left by his father, and lived upon it during a long life, and died of paralysis Feb. 7, 1882, aged eighty-one years, and the farm purchased by David Hayes, Sept. 13, 1787, now passes into possession of the fourth generation. David Hayes, also a son of Moses Hayes, and brother of Joseph, married Martha Fulton, and now resides in the township. Alexander Hayes married Ann, a daughter of James Stephenson. Their sons. John B. and James B., live on part of the Long Bottom" tract James Stephen' son bought of Thomas Bay and left to his daughter Ann. Thomas, a son of David Hayes. Sr., removed . to Jackson County, Ohio. William died in 1830, from an accident while mowing. James settled in Allegheny County. Eleanor, the only daughter of David, married James Todd, and settled in Allegheny County.
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Joseph Vance came to Smith township from Winchester, Va., in 1774, and commenced to improve land where Presley Leach now lives, but William Crawford and Henry Houghland had a prior claim, and he abandoned it and took up the land now owned by Allison, Thomas P., and John S. Vance. He was prominent in all the various expeditions against the Indians, and built the stockade fort known for many years as Vance's Fort by the early settlers. He was prominent in the Presbyterian Church at Cross Creek, a member of the Legislature in 1802-3. He lived to eighty-two years of age, and died March 6, 1832, and was buried at Cross Creek. He left six children. William, who inherited the homestead, was a captain in the war of 1812, a member of the Legislature of Pennsylvanian 1815-16. He married Rachel, a daughter of William Patterson, the first of that family to settle in the county. She was born June 3, 1778, and died Jan. 9, 1817, leaving five sons, Joseph, James, William P., Allison, and David, and four daughters, Cynthia, Elizabeth, Anna, and Rachel. On the 12th of June, 1818, William Vance married Hannah, the sister of his first wife, by whom he had two sons, Thomas and John Stockton, and three daughters, Mary, Caroline, and Celesta. His marriage to his deceased wife's sister gave rise to lengthy proceedings in the assemblies of the Presbyterian Church, which finally adjudged the marriage to be " Contra legem ecclesioe." William Vance died April 8, 1856, aged eighty years. His widow Hannah died in 1880, aged ninety-four years. His descendants still occupy the homestead.
Col. John Vance was the second son of Joseph Vance. He was colonel in command of the regiment that went to New Lisbon in 1819. He lived in this township all his life, and died Nov. 24, 1841, aged sixty-two years, and was buried at Cross Creek. His son Joseph was colonel of an Ohio regiment under Gen. Banks in the Rebellion, and was killed in the Red River campaign. Joseph, a third son of Joseph Vance, Sr., went to New Orleans, and was never heard from. Hannah Vance, a daughter of Joseph Vance, married — Patterson. Maj. William Vance came to this section of country soon after his son Joseph settled here. He located on land where John Easton now lives, on the valley road from Cross Creek to Burgettstown. A warrant was obtained later, and on the 4th of March, 1785, it was surveyed to him as the "Oat-Field," containing three hundred and seventy-eight acres. He was prominent in the organization of the Presbyterian Church at Cross Creek, a man of wide range of information and well-balanced mind. He died April 18, 1788, aged seventy years. Governor Joseph Vance, who was long a member of Congress from Urbana district, Ohio, and Governor of that State in 1836-38, was a grandson of Maj. William Vance. David Vance, a brother of Col. Joseph Vance and a son of Maj. William Vance, took out a Virginia certificate for land in 1780. This was surveyed to him as "the Cornfield," containing three hundred and ninety-two acres, Dec. 10, 1786, adjoining John Marshall and William Campbell.
David Wilkin came to this county about 1786, and lived with his son John in this township. He died Oct. 2, 1793, aged sixty-two years. He left three sons,—John, William, and Thomas. John married for his first wife a lady of the name of Armitage, by whom he had one son, David. He settled first in Burgettstown, and kept store there ; then moved to Cross Creek, and built the first brick building in that town, now owned and occupied by Dr. John Stockton. Later he moved to Allegehany County, Pa., and died there. John Wilkin, after the death of his first wife, married Catharine, daughter of Judge James Edgar, by whom he had several children. James, one of the sons, was a blacksmith, and lived at Burgettstown a few years, and removed to Wayne County, Ohio, where he died. A daughter, Mary Ann Wilkin, now resides in Burgettstown, and the only one living of six children. Stephen, a son of John and Catharine Wilkin, became a physician, and practiced in the township, living on the farm owned by Clark and John Farrar: He married Sarah Van Emen, of the family who settled near Washington. Thomas, William, and John, also sons of John Wilkin, settled in the township, and died unmarried. Thomas was an elder in Cross Creek Church, and died in 1853, and John in 1858. Archibald married Jemima McElroy. He was a tanner, and lived in the township. Martha, a daughter of John, married Samuel Merchant, and settled in Buffalo township, where she died. John Wilkin, who married Catharine Edgar, after the death of Judge Edgar purchased of the heirs the landed estate. Here he lived till his death, Jan. 8, 1818, aged sixty-two years, and left it to his sons, John and Thomas, who later sold it to Finley Scott, by whom 'it is now owned. William and Thomas Wilkin, sons of David and brothers of John, settled with their families at Sewickley.
Thomas Whittaker was a resident of this township before 1786. On the 21st of February of that year he took out a warrant for four hundred acres of land, which was surveyed to him by the name of "Slow and Easy." It was adjoining the " West Boston" tract, on which Burgettstown was laid out. On this farm he lived till his death in July, 1794. He left a widow, Elizabeth, and sons, Samuel, Eli, and Dacon, and daughters, Ann (Mrs. Holmes), Mary (Mrs. Hall), Elizabeth (Mrs. Chamberlain), Sarah, Rachel, and Esther Whittaker. In the year 1806 two hundred acres of the farm was sold to Josiah Patterson, and upon the death of Mr. Whittaker the remainder of the farm was left to Samuel Whittaker, who in later years conveyed it to his son Dacon. It was inherited by his daughter, Mrs. G. N. Tenan, who now owns and occupies it.
Josiah Patterson emigrated from Path Valley, Cumberland Co., in 1806, with his wife and three children, Robert, Mary, and Elizabeth. He purchased
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two hundred acres of land of the estate of Thomas Whittaker, north of and adjoining Burgettstown. On this farm he settled and lived till his death in 1823, aged seventy years. His son Robert succeeded to the farm, and lived upon it till his death in 1861, aged seventy-six years. He was a surveyor by profession ; a justice of the peace from Dec. 5, 1818, to 1834 ; an elder in the Presbyterian Church at Cross-Roads (Florence), and was active in the organization of the Presbyterian Church at Burgettstown, of which he continued a member during the remainder of his life. At his death the farm was left to his son, James L. Patterson, who lives in Burgettstown, and is prominent in the banking business. The children of Robert Patterson were James L., Mary (the wife of the Rev. Jam es T. Fredericks, of Burgettstown ), Jane, the eldest child, who married Watson Allen, and as his widow married James Ewing, of Washington, Pa. Mary, daughter of Josiah Patterson, remained unmarried, and died in Guernsey County; Ohio, about 1876, aged eighty-four years. Elizabeth, another (laughter, married Ebenezer Smith, and lived for a time in Burgettstown. She later removed to Guernsey County, Ohio.
John Wishart was a native of Ireland, who emigrated to this country, and settled in Waynesburg, east of .the mountains. At the close of the Whiskey Insurrection he came to this section of country, meeting some of the soldiers on their return east. On the 16th of May, 1795, he purchased one hundred and five acres of land for three hundred and fifty pounds of Humphrey Montgomery, containing the mill built by Samuel Johnston, situated on what was known as the ".Milltown" tract. Three' days later, Mr. Wishart purchased of Gabriel Blakeney one hundred and seventy-three acres of land for three hundred and forty-six pounds, "situate and lying on the waters of Raccoon Creek, adjoining lands of John McKibbin and lands formerly of John McCormick." This last tract was part of the land granted by Virginia patent to Lund Washington, Nov. 24, 1779, who sold to George McCormick, Jan. 20, 1792, and who, February 27th of the same year, sold to Gabriel Blakeney. On this tract had been an old fort, known as Hoagland's Fort, which the Rankins, Buxtons, and others used as a place of protection. A school-house was erected on the hillside west of the fort. One William Loughrey was the teacher. John Wishart lived here till his death. A daughter of his married James Leach, who remained on the homestead. Other daughters married, and removed to Kentucky and Ohio. John, the only son, emigrated to Kentucky.
James Stephenson was the son of John Stephenson, who was a native of England, emigrated to this country in 1750, and settled near Chadd's Ford, on the Brandywine. At this place James Stephenson was born in 1773. Seven years later his father with his family removed to Pigeon Creek (now Chartiers township), and settled and lived there till his death, in 1808. When James arrived at maturity he came to Smith township, and in the course of a few years purchased several tracts of land in different parts of the township. On the east branch of Raccoon Creek he erected a mill and built a house, where he lived, which became known as the Mansion House. He was a member of the House of Representatives of Pennsylvania in 1805-7. He married Jane Vance, a native of the township, by whom he had, eight children, to whom he gave good farms. In 1802 he purchased two hundred acres of land of Thomas Bay. This tract was warranted by Mr. Bay, Feb. 25, 1785, and surveyed to him by the name of " Long Bottom," four hundred and fourteen acres. This farm was given to his daughter Ann, who married Alexander Hays; their sons, John B. and James S. Hays, now own the property. Another tract of eighty-four acres, now owned by Matthew Welsh, was left to a daughter Mary, who married W. P. Vance. Of two other tracts now owned by Samuel Ghrist, one of one hundred acres was left to Elizabeth, who married Samuel Ghrist; the other, also of one hundred acres, was left to a son, Joseph Stephenson. Later he sold to his brother-in-law, Ghrist, and emigrated to Illinois. The mill property, containing sixty acres, was left to his son, John Stephenson, who sold to John. Armstrong, and it is now owned by John Keyes. After the sale of the mill John moved to Burgettstown, where he died. His widow still resides there.
Another tract in Mount Pleasant township was left to his daughter Martha, who became the wife of James Rankin, Esq., and is still in her possession. Mr. Stephenson was a man of fine executive ability, and commanded the respect and confidence of all with whom he came in contact. In 1805 he was elected State senator, with Isaac Weaver, of Greene County, to represent the district, then composed of Washington and Greene Counties, and served in the years 1806-7, and was returned and served 1808-9. He lived many years after, and died at his mansion house in 1846, aged seventy-three years.
Matthew Welch emigrated from Ireland to this country about 1802, with his wife and a daughter Isabella, then an infant. He lived a short time at Lancaster, and in the spring of 1803 removed to this county. On the 26th of July in that year he purchased one hundred acres of land of Hugh Lee, it being part of one of the tracts patented by Samuel Johnston. Mr. Welch lived on this place the remainder of his life, and died there at the age of eighty-four years. His widow lived a few years later, and died at ninety-two years. They left eight children. Isabella, the oldest daughter, married William Galbraith. They settled on the farm where a son, William R. Galbraith, now lives. Mrs. Galbraith is still living, at the age of eighty-two years. Nancy married Mark Stephenson, and settled in the township, where he still lives. Polly married William Campbell, and moved to Ohio. Margaret married Thomas McCorkle,
916 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
of Cross Creek township. Eliza married Robert McBirney, of Robinson township. Rachel married Robert K. Scott. They now live on the tract of land patented for the heirs of Sebastian Burgett and named " Radius." Hannah married Matthew Welch, and they now live on a farm bought of William P. Vance, which was originally part of the James Stephenson lands. M. R. Welch, the only son of Matthew Welch, inherited the home farm, and still owns and occupies it.
A fort known as Allen's Fort was located near the line between Smith and Robinson townships, which the Baileys, Shearers, and others used as a place of security before the Beelor Fort was erected. It is possible that John Allen settled there prior to that time, but his name does not appear on a Virginia certificate as having lands under that title. He took a Pennsylvania warrant Nov. 5, 1784, which was surveyed to him by the 'name of " Derry," Feb. 25, 1785. He lived to an old age, and died there; married, but childless. The farm was left to it nephew, Moses Allen, who was not a thrifty man, and the farm passed to other hands. He moved to near Pittsburgh, where be kept a tavern, and there died.
John Ferguson, a native of Ireland, emigrated to this country in 1795, and settled in Lancaster County; married in the city of Philadelphia, and 1798 came to Smith township and purchased ninety acres of John Bavington and settled upon it. On the 29th of December, 1813, he purchased eighty-nine acres of the administrators of John Bavington, adjoining William Brummer and Alexander Duncan, and on the 7th of February, 1818, he purchased of John Duncan one hundred and forty-four acres adjoining Jeremiah Andrews, James Moore, William Ferguson, and James Brown. This land was part of a tract which was patented by George Deed April 4, 1793, one-fourth of which was sold in 1797 to Abraham Crow, who sold to John Duncan March 7, 1816. John Ferguson died on the homestead in 1842, aged seventy-six years. His wife lived eight years later, and died in 1850, leaving three. daughters and one son, John, who by purchase and inheritance obtained possession of the farm, and still owns it. Elizabeth married James Smith, and settled on an adjoining farm, now owned by John Culley. They lived there many years, and moved to Frankfort. After the death of Mr. Smith, his widow lived at the old homestead with her brother till her death. John Ferguson, the son of John, was a ruling elder in the United Presbyterian Church. many years, and held the offices of school director and justice of the peace. He died at his residence Jan. 31, 1881, aged seventy-four years.
In the assessment-roll of the township for the year 1788, John Cook, Sr., is assessed on fifty acres, and John Cook, Jr., is assessed on personal estate. These two men were evidently married and settled. In the list of single men that follows is the name of James Cook, who is assessed on six hundred and forty-nine acres of land. A part of this tract, two hundred a fifteen acres, was a portion of a large tract of twenty-five hundred acres of land granted by Virginia patent to Robert Rutherford, and sold by him to Samuel and Robert Purviance on the 25th of April, 1782, and they by their attorney conveyed it to James Cook on the 8th of September, 1786. On the 7th of May, 1792, James Cook sold a portion to John Cook. James Cook died on the home farm and left three sons, David, Samuel, and Perry. David married, and his daughter married William K. Lyle. They live on the homestead. Samuel was a bachelor, and died November, 1879, aged seventy-seven years, and William K. Lyle purchased his farm. Perry also married and lived on part of the farm. James Cook had four daughters. Julia married Col. James McDonald, of McDonald Station; Jane married Joseph Vance, and lived on the Vance farm, now owned by John Hemphill; Dorcas married Moses Lyle, of Mount Pleasant township ; Matilda married David Gault, of Cross Creek township.
John Proudfit emigrated to this county from York County, near Stewartstown, and settled in Smith township in 1806 ; married Elizabeth Lyle in 1809; remained in the township till 1815, when he returned to York County. In 1826 he again returned to the township, and settled adjoining the John Dinsmore farm. John L. Proudfit, of Burgettstown, is his son.
William McConnell was of Irish descent, and emigrated to this county when Burgettstown contained but the mill and the settlers' fort, known for a short time only as Burgett's Fort, He bought a farm, now the property of McCalmont. John McConnell was his son. William, a son, died at college. Three sons died in Ohio and Texas. Mrs. Blair, a daughter of William McConnell, is living in Hanover township at the age of ninety-two years. Asenath Blair is the only representative in South township.
On the 9th of February, 1787, William Kidd warranted a tract which was surveyed to him as " Plenty," and contained two hundred acres. He conveyed it by deed to John Elder, July 9, 1791, by whom it was' patented Aug. 21, 1793. Upon the death of John Elder it was left to two daughters (one of whom married James Chamberlain). They sold the south half to Joseph Gladden, Jan. 26, 1829, and he to William Gladden in March, 1844. That part of the estate is now owned by William Campbell. The other portion passed through many hands, and is now part of the town of Midway, and part of the lands of the Walnut Hill Coal Company.
Burgettstown.—The land on which Burgettstown is situated was located by Sebastian Burgett, a native of Germany, who emigrated to this country with his wife and three children, and settled in Berks County, Pa. While living there his wife died, and left to his care two sons, George and Philip, and a daughter Agnes. He removed to near Robbstown (West Newton), Westmoreland Co., before 1773, where he soon
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after married Roxanna Markle. He came to this part of the country and located upon a large tract of land, which later was secured to his heirs. His name is mentioned as early as 1780 in connection with the Virginia certificate of George McCormick, Henry Rankin, and others whose lands he joined. At this time also his own lands were taken up on a Virginia certificate, as mention is made of the warrants being based on the certificate, but the copy of the certificate is not found. One of the tracts that later was surveyed and patented was known as " West Boston," containing three hundred and twenty-nine acres, warranted Sept. 20, 1785, and surveyed Oct. 29, 1785. On this tract Sebastian Burgett built a mill on Raccoon Creek, where the present mill stands. In repairing or enlarging the mill about the year 1789, he became in need of castings with which to complete his work, and went to Pittsburgh for them. While returning through the woods and over the rough roads, and when within about two miles of home, the wagon upset in crossing over a log, and he fell beneath the iron castings and was killed.
The Burgett house stood near the Robert Scott house, and the old fort, as it was called, was near it. This last stood many years, and later was partially covered with clapboards. Several years ago, when Mr. Boston Burgett built a new house, the old log structure was removed across the street, and was used RS a cow-house. The tomahawk and bullet-marks were visible. It was finally struck by lightning and destroyed. The widow of Sebastian Burgett lived on this place many years with her children after her husband's death.
On the 28th of September, 1789, George Burgett, in behalf of himself, Philip, his brother, and Agnes, his sister, entered into an article of agreement with Roxanna, the second wife of Boston Burgett, for herself and her children, John, Andrew, Mary, Isaac, Elizabeth, Sarah, and Boston Burgett, that four hundred acres of the estate of Boston [Sebastian] Burgett be set off to her. The mill property is retained by George. The tract on which the widow of Mr. Burgett resided was known as "Radius," containing two hundred and ninety-seven acres, and for which warrant was not obtained until July 17, 1800, and patent December 10th the same year. It is recorded on a slab in the Burgett family burying-ground that Boston Burgett departed this life Sept. 4, 1789, in the fiftieth year of his age. His widow lived to be eighty-three years of age, and died Feb. 3, 1839. Mrs. Burgett sold ninety-two acres of the tract "Radius" to Benjamin Shipley Nov. 21, 1804. The remainder was divided between the children by the second wife,—Isaac, Andrew, Elizabeth, Mary, and Boston. Isaac was a hatter by trade, and. emigrated to Natchez, where he lived and died. Andrew kept his share, and purchased the rights of other heirs. His son, Boston Burgett, Robert Scott, and Mr. Morgan, now own it. Elizabeth (Mrs. Zachariah Linn) sold her portion to Freegift Crawford, whose daughter, Mrs. Dr. George W. Bell, inherited it. Boston Burgett studied medicine with Dr. S. J. Perry, of Burgettstown ; removed from the township. Elizabeth (Mrs. Lynn), after the sale, removed to Millersburg, Holmes Co., Ohio. Mary married John Smith, and settled in Liverpool, Columbiana Co., Ohio.
The patent for the " West Boston" tract recites the fact that letters of administration were granted to George Burgett, in trust for the heirs of the deceased Boston Burgett, and bear date March 28, 1797. On this tract George Burgett laid out a town, with Peter Kidd as the surveyor. The following is a copy of the writing that accompanies the plan :
"Raccoon Creek. The above is a draught of a Town laid off for Mr. George Burgett, called West Boston, on the west fork of Raccoon Creek, in Smith Township, Washington County, each lot containing one Rood being eighty-two and one-half feet in front, and one hundred and thirty-two feet back, the course of the Main Street North 73 east.
"Laid off the 27th day of January, 1793.
The draught contains fifty-six lots, No. 1 being on the north side of Main Street, west of the covered bridge (now owned by William Melvin), running west eleven lots, commencing opposite on Main Street with No. 12, running east to the creek to No. 22, inclusive. The remainder are in different parts of the town. At this time the only business place on the town plat was the grist-mill. David Bruce was the first to purchase a lot in the new town. He had lived for some time previous at Bavington, where he had a store. The first authentic account of his removal from Bavington to the new town is contained in an advertisement which appeared in the columns of the Washington Telegraphe, bearing date Dec. 22, 1795, and is as follows: "That he has moved his store from John Baventon's mill, upon Raccoon, to George Burgett's new town upon said creek. He is now opening at the above place a large assortment of dry-goods, etc."
David Bruce was a native of Scotland, and emigrated to near Bladensburg, Md., with his father, William Bruce, in 1784.. The latter was associated with Matthew Ritchie as assignee of Barton Lucas for the sale of thirteen hundred and seven acres of land granted on a military warrant, and situated in what is now Mount Pleasant township. This land was partly sold by William Bruce and Matthew Ritchie, and the remainder by John Ritchie, son of Matthew, and his executor, and David Bruce, attorney for his father.
It is not known at what time he came to Bavington and opened a store, but in 1795 he moved to Burgett's Town, where he lived till his death. He was a bachelor, short in stature and thick set, with but one eye. In his leisure hours he was given to rhyming, and wrote many poems, which were published in the Western Telegraphe, over the signature of " The Scots Irishman." They were afterwards gathered together and published in a volume by John Colerick, of Washington. Mr. Bruce was administrator and executor of several estate, postmaster of the town. He
918 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
died in 1830, and was buried in the churchyard of the United Presbyterian Church. Mr. Bruce had accumulated considerable village property, in addition to that hereafter mentioned as purchased of Mr. Burgett. One lot No. 49, out jot No. 1, fifty-five acres on the " West Radius" tract, sold by Mr. Burgett to George Maxwell. This property is now mostly owned by M. M. Brockman, the Rev. John Hood, and the United Presbyterian society. Another tract of eighteen acres he purchased May 24, 1806. His books, manuscripts, and papers were placed in possession of a Mrs. Smith, who later moved into Beaver County.
On the 17th of May, 1797, George Burgett advertised to the purchasers of lots in the town of West Boston to " come forward for their deeds," and in the same advertisement he advertised the saw- and grist-mill for sale. Three days later, May 19th, the deed of Mr. Bruce was executed. The following is a list of lots sold by George Burgett, with the date of the deeds, to 1802. They were all subject to ground-rents : May 19, 1797, David Bruce, lot No. 1, £45 5s.; Sept. 12, 1797, John Black, lot No. 5, $5 ; Jan. 27, 1798, George Day, Jr., lots Nos. 28, 29, $8 ; Feb. 21, 1798, James McConnell, lot No. 31, $2; May 20, 1799, David Bruce, lots Nos. 25, 26, 27, $15 ; lot No. 49, $5 ; out-lot No. 1, two acres, $13.80 ; Aug. 21, 1801, Thomas Ross, lots Nos. 4, 50, $11; lots Nos. 42, 44, 45, $12, each one-quarter of an acre; Aug. 19, 1801, James G. Ward, -lot No. 20, $50 ; Jan. 13, 1802, Robert McClelland, lots Nos. 39, 40, 41, $10.
In March, 1801, Peter Kidd, surveyor, laid out another portion of West Boston into lots, the addition being beyond Water Street in lots from fifty-seven to eighty-two, and out-lots from the village from No. 1 to 12. Nos. 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, each contained two acres, Nos. 5, 9, 10, 11, each three acres, No. 4 two and a half acres, and No.. 12 half an acre. The flowing names are of purchasers of lots of George Burgett, and are given in order of purchase: Daniel Gorman, Ezekiel Shipley, Richard Donaldson, Jacob Myers, Robert Bowland, Benjamin Shipley, Thomas Thompson, James Leech, George Maxwell, Andrew Stephenson, John Fulton, Margaret McDonald, John Yeamer, Samuel Hines, trustees of Burgettstown School, Rowland Rogers, James Wiley, William Lindsey, Robert Bowland, Jr., Roxanne Burgett, Allen Huston, John Rankin, Joseph Caldwell, Mary Sanderson, James Stephenson, James Brooks, George Hamilton, Moses Stephenson, Robert Ritchie, John Vance, and Joseph Caldwell. The last lots sold by him were on the 4th and 5th of June, 1810, to Joseph Caldwell, and consisted of lots 11, 12, 15, 38, and No. 12 of out-lots. About this time Mr. Burgett removed to Jefferson County, Ohio, and later to Richland County of the same State. George Day, who received his deed for a lot in 1798, was a tanner, and on his lot he had erected a tannery before 1793, as it was assessed to him that year, which was kept in operation many years, and in 1796 he kept a tavern. Robert McClelland, who bought a lot in 1802, was also a tanner. On the 21st of January, 1808, Rowland Rogers bought lots 2.3, and eleven acres of land, including the mill property and privileges; this he ran till the sale to Freegift Crawford. He was licensed to keep a tavern in 1803, and continued till 1815. Rowland Rogers was licensed to keep a tavern in 1863, and opened one at this place, which he continued to keep till 1815. On the 21st of January, 1808, he purchased of George Burgett lots Nos. 2, 3, and eleven acres of land, including the mill property and' privileges, and became the miller for the town from that time till the sale of the mill property to Freegift Crawford. Caleb Russell, who owned land adjoining the town, bought lots in the town, and in 1804 opened a tavern, which he kept till his death in 1809. Margaret McDonald, on the 16th of August, 1806, purchased lots 34 and 35, built thereon a house, took out a tavern license, and opened a public-house in September of that year, which she kept till 1809. The next year she bought lots 36, 7, and 17. Joseph Caldwell also opened a tavern in 1806, which was continued till 1815. George McKeag was a schoolteacher, and lived here before 1799 and bought lot No. 19 of some of the citizens, and on the 15th of October of that year sold it to Peter Kidd. Thomas Thompson, also a lot-owner from, Mr. Burgett, was following the occupation of tailor in 1800. In 1807, Robert Rowland, David Bruce, Robert Ritchie, St. Clair Sutherland, and James. Briceland were merchants. James Alexander, David Wigley, and Allen Huston were saddlers. Thomas Huston, Charles Henry, and Thomas Thompson were tailors. About 1808, Jesse Spencer and John Maxwell came to the town ; they were hatters. Spencer lived where his daughter Cornelia now resides; Maxwell in a house by the coal bank. The tannery of George Day was later carried on by Elijah Ramsey, ---Standish, and last by Milo Laflin, under whom it was discontinued. He also carried on a shoe-shop. Alexander McCready was a shoemaker, and traveled around the country with his stock and tools and worked among the farmers. He also had a shop in town, where the wagon-shop now stands, south of John Nichols' house. Ebenezer Boyce before 1828 kept a cabinet-shop.
Thomas Miller, son of Samuel Miller, of Hickory, was in the town before 1810, where he kept a tavern, and on the 1st of January, 1811, became the first postmaster of Burgettstown. He was a drover, and later bought a farm out of town. In the year 1819, when returning home from Philadelphia, where he had been with a drove of cattle, he was taken sick and died. He 'had resided for a time in Hickory, and kept a tavern in that place, and was captain of a company organized there for the war of 1812. They, however, saw no service. Mrs. John P. Woods, of Burgettstown, is a daughter of Thomas Miller.
About 1820 a pottery was owned by John Franks, later by Hunter, who sold to Robert Brown, who in 1838 sold to John P. Woods, by whom it was oper-
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ated till 1859, when it was discontinued and dismantled. About 1828 a woolen-mill was erected opposite Dr. Donnan's present residence. It was owned by George Graham, and was burned a short time after its erection. In 1838 a second one was built near where David Pry's store now stands. It is owned and was operated by the Parkers many years, but is now idle.
In April, 1810, David Jones was a blacksmith, and advertised "to give six cents and one box of cinders for the apprehension of his apprentice, Samuel Fisher. He has blue eyes, gallows' look, and evil disposed." It is not shown that the reward was ever claimed.
A public well from an early time had been in use in the town in the centre of the street at the four corners. For some reason complaint was made concerning it to such an extent that the matter was made a subject of legislation, and on the 26th of April, 1826, an act passed the General Assembly of Pennsylvania "that the public well at Burgettstown, in Washington County, in the public square, shall not be held a nuisance, but to remain the property of the inhabitants. On a petition of a majority of the taxable inhabitants to the Quarter Sessions for Washington County, setting forth that the same has become a nuisance, the judges may direct the supervisors of the town or of the township to remove the same." This well was filled up about 1830.
Alexander Kidd, a son of William Kidd; of Robinson township, lived in Burgettstown, on Lot No. 19, opposite the " Cross Keys" tavern. He learned the trade of carpenter, married Mary, the daughter of James Pyle, and settled in Burgettstown. In 1823 he was captain of the Burgettstown Volunteer Rifle Company. In 1835 he was elected justice of the peace and served several terms. He was active in the interests of the town and all public movements. He died Nov. 19, 1853. Mrs. A. J. Link and Miss Margaret Kidd, residents of Burgettstown, are his daughters.
The brick house now owned and occupied by Joseph Robinson was erected by the townspeople about 1834 for church and school purposes. The school directors of Smith township were under obligation to keep it in repairs. It was on ground donated for that purpose by Dr. Stephen Smith. Services were held therein by the different denominations until their respective churches were built, since which time and the building of the public schools it had been disused and was sold.
Dr. Donnan, one of the oldest residents of Burgettstown, gives the following description of the place as it appeared in 1837: A hotel was kept by Robert Bowlan where the building now stands on the corner of Main and Washington Streets, south of D. M. Pry's store. A store kept by Thomas Gormley was in the old Bowlan House. George and Thomas Shipley also had a store in the Brydges House. John and Andrew Provines kept a blacksmith-shop where James Carnahan now keeps. The post-office was at Jesse Spencer's hat-store, where his daughter, Miss Cornelia Spencer, now lives. Mails were received twice a week by the mail carrier from Washington to Georgetown.
The house of Andrew Burgett, where Robert K. Scott now lives, was a noted resort for travelers through that section. School was taught in the brick house now owned by Joseph Robinson. The woolen-factory (the second one) was then operated by Isaac Parker, and later by his son Benjamin. The pottery located above the present residence of Dr. Donnan was then run by Robert Brown. He sold it the next year, and opened a hotel at the Brydges House. Ebenezer Boyce was a justice of the peace (first elected in 1828); had his office in his house above Carnahan's blacksmith-shop. Denny Irons kept a hotel where Russell's store now stands. Lewis Leopold was a stone-mason, and is yet living. The grist-mill was then run by Thomas Crawford. Irwin Ackleson kept a tailor-shop in the Parker house, and John Stephenson in a house opposite Harper's dentist office. John Dougherty made and repaired wagons in the house now occupied by Mr. Morgan. Isaac Parker lived in the hewed log house south of Mr. Hood's hotel, and which was torn down in November, 1881.
The Burgettstown post-office was established April 25, 1810, to take effect Jan. 1, 1811. Thomas Miller was the first postmaster appointed. His successors were and have been M. S. Stephenson, 1820 ; S. J. Perry, 1821; David Bruce, July 1, 1822, to July 1, 1830; Dr. Stephen Smith, July 1, 1830, to 1834; Jesse Spencer, 1834 to 1864; Leander Robb ; Samuel Wilson, 1866 to 1874 ; David M. Pry ; John W. Pry, the present incumbent.
Old Burgettstown contains at the. present time three stores, one hotel, three churches, town hall, public school, post-office, printing-office, steam gristmill, steam saw- and planing-mill, photograph gallery, two blacksmiths, livery-stable, wagon-maker, 'shoemaker, two market-houses, three dress-makers and milliners, one dentist, and three physicians.
The new town which has sprung up (chiefly within the past fifteen years) on the line of the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St. Louis Railroad, about one mile north of Old Burgettstown, and which, together with the old town, has recently been formed and incorporated into the borough of Burgettstown, was started in 1854, as a result of the then recently projected construction of the Pittsburgh and Steubenville Railroad, the route of which was here identical with that of the present Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St. Louis line, above mentioned. The project for building the road began to be strongly agitated and urged in 1852-53, and in 1854 the new town north of Old Burgettstown was laid out and called " Abeline." It was located on land owned by Deacon Whittaker. Except the survey of the town, nothing was done until near the completion of the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St.
920 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
Louis Railway in 1865. In the latter part of 1864, A. S. Berryhill started a store, and in the following spring a station and depot was opened. J. L. Patterson was appointed station and express agent. A post-office was established in this year, 1865, designated as Cardville. The first postmaster appointed was John D. McCabe, who was succeeded by John C. Ralston and George M. Miller, the present postmaster. Business increased rapidly, and at present three large warehouses are carried on, and the place is rapidly increasing as a stock, wool, and grain market, and is now equal to any shipping point between Pittsburgh and Columbus. The new town contains at present four general stores, a drug-store, two hardware-stores, a jewelry-store, two merchant tailors, boot- and shoe-store, variety store, furniture establishment, two blacksmith-shops, tin-shop, market, three wool- and grain-warehouses, a carriage-factory, harness-shop, livery-stable, lumber-yard, two hotels, a bank, railroad depot, express- and telegraph-office, post-office, printing-office, insurance-office, three millinery-stores, two sewing-machine agencies, two music dealers, two physicians, and one dentist.
The Burgettstown National Bank was organized on the 2d of March, 1872, under the name of the Burgettstown Savings-Bank, with the following named directors: J. L. Proudfit, J. L. Patterson, A. S. Berry-hill, T. W. Bradley, and Robert Scott. J. L. Proudfit was elected president, and J. L. Patterson, secretary and treasurer. The bank had a capital stock of $10,000, which was increased from time to time until it reached $50,000, its deposits having reached $100,000. The banking-office was in the grocery-store of A. S. Berryhill until the completion of the present banking-office in the summer of 1874. In the winter of 187879 the bank closed business for the purpose of reorganizing under the National Banking Law. This was accomplished Jan. 23, 1879. The property of the savings-bank was purchased, and the national bank was organized by the election of Directors J. L. Proudfit, W. L. Archer, C. Campbell, Samuel Scott, A. H. Kerr, J. C. Ralston, .and J. P. Leech. The directors elected J. L. Proudfit president; W. L. Archer, vice-president; J. L. Patterson, cashier; and J. P. Kelso, clerk. The capital stock was $50,000, which was increased in 1880 to $80,000. The first discount day of the national bank was Feb. 20, 1879. The present amount of deposits is $160,000. The present officers are J. L. Proudfit, president; W. L. Archer, vice-president; J. L. Patterson, cashier; J. P. Kelso, clerk; directors, J. L. Proudfit, A. H. Kerr, C. Campbell, J. D. Leech, J. J. Carruthers, Samuel Scott, W. L. Archer.
Borough of Burgettstown.—At a meeting of the citizens of Burgettstown, held pursuant to notice at the town hall in March, 1877, for the purpose of taking measures for the erection of the borough of Burgettstown, to be composed- of Old Burgettstown and Cardville, D. S. Walker was chosen chairman and F. McFarland secretary.. After discussion, Finley Patterson, J. L. Patterson, and M. W. Murray were appointed a committee to take the initiatory steps to procure the incorporation of the proposed borough. This committee never reported, no meeting was called, and the subject was held in abeyance till July, 1880, when another meeting was called, and J. L. Patterson, J. L. Proudfit, S. J. Ghrist, William Melvin, J. P. Donnan, H. B. McMurray, and M. R. Allen were appointed to secure a survey and present the proper petition to the court. This committee performed their duties, and on the 8th December, 1880, gave notice that application would be made to the Court of Quarter Sessions of Washington County at the January term, 1881, " to incorporate the village of Burgettstown, including that portion thereof which lies at and around Burgettstown Station." The grand jury passed favorably upon the petition on the 12th January, 1881, and the court confirmed the action on the 23d of March following, and further provided that a special election be held at the town hall, April 5, 1881, for the election of borough officers, at which time the following were elected : Burgess, C. M. Elder; Councilmen, Dr. W. W. Riddle, B. F. McClure, S. J. Ghrist, W. H. Witherspoon, J. P. Don-nan, and W. S. Fulton ; School Directors, R. T. C. Stephenson, W. P. Vance, William Melvin, James Carnahan, and William Blair ; Auditor, T. L. McClelland; Assessor and Constable, M. W. McMurray. Upon the organization of the Council, J. P. Donnan was chosen president, and the following appointments were made : M. R. Allen, clerk ; J. L. Patterson, treasurer; John Hemphill, street commissioner; M. W. McMurray, collector.
Physicians.—The first practitioner of medicine in this section of the county of whom anything is known was Dr. Ebenezer Jennings, a son of the Rev. Jacob Jennings. He was a descendant of the Pilgrims, but a native of New Jersey, where his father lived and practiced as a physician until he was licensed by the Reformed Dutch Church and received by the Presbytery of Redstone April 17, 1792, at which time the Rev. Jacob Jennings removed to Dunlap's Creek, Fayette Co.: his two sons, Obadiah Jennings (later known both as a lawyer and divine) and Ebenezer, the one above mentioned, coming with him. He studied and practiced medicine in the East, and soon after coming to this county settled in Smith township, and resided at the house of Judge James Edgar for some years. Upon his marriage be purchased a small farm about two miles east of Burgettstown, from where he continued to practice till his death. He was elected a member of the General Assembly in 1806-7, and during the first year of his residence at the capital he became interested in the treatise of Dr. Jenner on vaccination, and at the close of the term visited Philadelphia, obtained some virus, ,and on his return vaccinated his own children and' others. On his return to
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the Legislature the next session, by arduous labors, he procured the passage of a bill providing for the vaccination of the poor. His health became impaired by his exertions, and although renominated for another term he declined, and on the 21st November, 1808, he died, aged thirty-three years, beloved and respected by all. He left property consisting of five hundred acres of land in Beaver County, eighty acres of land where he resided until a short time before his death, and one house and two lots in Burgettstown. His executors were Thomas Smith, Robert Bowland, and Obadiah Jennings. The property was left in trust with them for his three children,—Maria, Samuel C., and Jacob, and provided for their education ; and in case one or both of the sons desired a classical education, a sufficient amount to meet the circumstances was to be taken from the estate. Rev. Samuel C. Jennings, one of the sons, is now pastor of a Presbyterian Church in Allegheny County.
Dr. Thomas Hersey advertised in the Reporter (Washington) under date Feb. 10, 1812, that he "offers his professional services to the people of Burgettstown." He delivered an oration on the 4th of July the same year, at a celebration held in the town. How long he remained here is not known.
Dr. Samuel J. Perry was a resident of the town before 1821, as in that year he was postmaster, but little is known of him. At one time he lived where Dr. Harper lives, and later where Dr. Donnan resides. He died about 1830.
Dr. Stephen Smith came to Burgettstown about 1826. He succeeded David Bruce as postmaster in 1830. About 1832 he went to Florence, remained there till about 1840, and moved to Virginia. As a physician he was well and favorably known, and had a wide practice in the vicinity.
Dr. Mossman was a resident of the town five years prior to 1837, and in the spring of that year removed to Peoria, Ill., where he lived for several years.
Dr. Joseph Campbell kept a drug-store in the old Bruce House, now William Melvin.
Dr. William Donnan, a son of the Rev. Alexander Donnan, born in Scotland, came to this country with his father in 1818, and in the next year settled at Hickory. He studied medicine with Dr. Stephenson in Canonsburg, and Dr. Hewitson, of St. Clairsville, Ohio ; attended lectures at Jefferson Medical College, under Profs. McClelland, Pattison, Woods, and Reeves ; commenced practice at Burgettstown in 1837, and has been actively engaged in the duties of his profession here from that time to the present.
Dr. T. W. Bradley studied medicine with Dr. P. H. McCullough, of Rumley, Ohio; graduated at Sterling Medical College, Ohio, in 1851.; commenced practice in Florence in 1844, before graduation ; came to Burgettstown in 1856, and has been in practice here from that time until the present.
Dr. G. W. Bell studied medicine with Dr. W. L. Wilson, of Beallsville; attended lectures in 1853 at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia; graduated in March, 1858 ; commenced practice in Burgettstown in 1854, and has remained there in practice to the present.
Dr. W. V. Riddle studied medicine with Dr. T. W. Bradley. In the winter of 1863-64 he attended lectures at Ann Arbor, Mich. ; commenced practice at Candor in 1864 ; remained there about five years, and in 1869 removed to Pittsburgh. About one year later he removed to Burgettstown, where he commenced practice April 1, 1870, and has since remained there as one of the physicians of the town.
Dr. W. T. Miller was a medical student with Dr. M. R. Banks, at Livermore, Westmoreland Co., Pa., graduated at Cleveland, Ohio, in 1881, and in that year commenced practice in Burgettstown, where he is now located in the business of his profession.
The Burgettstown Call, a five-column folio, fourteen by twenty inches, was. established by M. R. Allen, as an independent journal. The first number was issued on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 1881, and was the first paper ever printed at Burgettstown. It now (February, 1882) has a circulation of seven hundred.
The Burgettstown Enterprise was started as a monthly journal in March, 1878, by C. Knepper, proprietor and business manager, and J. P. Donnan, local editor. It remained as a monthly until March 1. 1881, at which time it was changed to a weekly. At the time of the change, J. P. Donnan retired from the editorship and was succeeded by M. R. Allen. This paper was printed at Mansfield, Allegheny Co., from its commencement until Aug. 10, 1881, when it was printed at Burgettstown Station, as at the present time. It is now under the management of the Enterprise Publishing Company, J. H. Cramer, business manager. Its circulation is about six hundred and twenty-five.
Richard Vaux Lodge, No. 454, F. and A. M.—A charter having been granted to this society Dec. 1, 1869, the persons designated therein met on the 21st of January, 1870, and were regularly constituted as above named, and with the following officers : G. T. McCord, W. M. ; J. B. Hays, S. W.; R. T. C. Stephenson, J. W. The meetings of the society are now held in the town hall building. The membership is at present fifty-one. J. L. Scott, W. M. ; William Melvin, Sec.
Cardville Lodge, No. 407, I. O. of O. F.—The date of organization has not been ascertained. J. Z. McBride is the present Noble Grand, and A. J. Smith the secretary. The meetings of the society are held in the town hall building.
Burgettstown Grange, No. 480, P. of H.—Organized December, 1874. J. B. Hays, W. 31. ; W. K. Lyle, Overseer; O. R. Cook, Lecturer; R. C. T. Stephen. son, Sec. ; Members, J. C. Shipley, R. Campbell, John Russell, William Proudfit, Robert Vance, M. L. Cook, Andrew Boyd, John Vance, J. 31. Stephenson, W. T.
922 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
Shipley, A. J. Link, W. O. Stephenson, J. B. Hawley, Ladus C. W. Stephenson, E. A. Proudfit, Mary Hugo, O. A. Stephenson, Mrs. W. K. Lyle, E. V. Shipley, Kate E. Cook, E. B. Russell, M. H. Shipley, M. J. Vance, Andrew Proudfit, John Dimmet, Samuel Pyle, William Dunbar.
Presbyterian Church of Burgettstown.—The people of this vicinity in sympathy with the Presbyterian faith were members f the Cross-Roads Presbyterian Church (now Florence). The first action taken in reference to the organization of a society at this place is found on record in the minutes of the Washington Presbytery hearing date Dec. 30, 1828, as follows:
"A memorial was presented by the inhabitants of Burgettstown and vicinity, praying the appointment of a committee of this Presbytery to confer with a committee of the Ohio Presbytery respecting the propriety of forming a congregation near the aforesaid village. On motion resolved that the petition in the memorial be not granted. Dr. A. Wylie and Mr. McCluskey were appointed to embody the reasons which influenced the Presbytery in passing the above resolution and to transmit them to the people."
No further effort seems to have been made for many years towards the permanent establishment of a Presbyterian Church in this immediate locality. In the year 1845 a Presbyterian church edifice was erected on the hill where the cemetery now is, in connection with the congregation of Florence, then under the pastorale of the Rev. Joel Stoneroad. Agreeably to a resolution of the citizens of Burgettstown and vicinity, an application was made to the Presbytery of Washington at its meeting at the Forks of Wheeling on the first Tuesday of October, 1849, praying for an organization of a congregation at Burgettstown, which petition was not granted. A complaint against which action was taken by Robert Patterson and others to the Synod of Wheeling, which met at Steubenville on the third Tuesday of October, 1849, at which time and place an order for organization was granted. The Rev. Joel Stoneroad was appointed by the Presbytery of Washington to organize the congregation. Having assembled for that purpose on the 18th of October, 1849, an organization was effected by the reception of sixty members, all of whom were members of the congregation of Cross-Roads (Florence). The following were elected elders: Thomas Thompson, Robert Patterson, John S. Lamb, William Cunningham, and John Moore. On the 4th of April, 1850, a call was extended to the Rev. James P. Fulton, of the Presbytery of Ohio, which was accepted. The Presbytery of Washington met at Burgettstown on the 1st of October, 1850, and on the next day the Rev. James P.. Fulton was ordained and installed pastor of this congregation. He remained in charge until the spring of 1857, when he sent in his resignation, which was accepted.
The Rev. James T. Fredericks preached his first sermon at this place on the second Sabbath of February,,1858. On the 28th of April he received and accepted their call. He was ordained and installed on the 26th of October following, and from that time to the present has been the pastor. The first church edifice was enlarged in 1860, and again about 1868. In 1873 the present brick structure was erected, sixty by ninety, with a seating capacity of eight hundred, and at a cost of $25,000. The highest membership at any one time has been four hundred and forty-five; its present membership is three hundred.
A Sunday-school was established before 1840, and the church was the outgrowth of it. Robert Patter, son, an elder in the Cross-Roads Church, was for many years superintendent, and others were connected with him. D. M. Pry, elder in the Burgettstown Church, was a very successful superintendent for ten or twelve years. J. L. Patterson now presides over the school. It contains at present two hundred pupils.. The elders since the first have been S. P. Riddle, Josiah Scott, W. W. Van Emen, Finley Scott, John L. Proudfit, J. L. Patterson, John L. Rankin, D. M. Pry, W. W. Riddle, W. McFarland, A. E. Walker. The present elders are J. T. Patterson, J. L. Rankin, and D. M. Pry.
This church has been one of the most successful in Western Pennsylvania. There have been but two communions under the pastorate of the Rev. J. T. Fredericks in which some accessions have not been received. Within the last ten years four hundred and forty have been received into the church.
Burgettstown United Presbyterian Church.—The congregation now known as the United Presbyterian Church of Burgettstown, Pa., belonged originally to the Associate Presbyterian branch of that church. It is now impossible to fix the date of its organization, if indeed it was ever formally organized. But it first appears as a congregation about the year 1800, at which time it was supplied with preaching, in connection with the congregation of Hickory, by the Associate Presbytery of Char-tiers. The Rev. (afterward Dr.) William C. Brownlee took charge of it in connection with Hickory about the year 1809. This pastorate continued about three and one-half years, when he left for Philadelphia, and afterwards removed to New York, where he united with the Dutch Reformed Church. The next pastor was Rev. Alexander Donnan, from Ireland, who had charge of it in connection with the congregation of 'Hickory at a salary of $500 from June 1, 1818, to June 6, 1840. He relinquished at that time the charge of Burgettstown to give his whole time to Hickory. The congregation continued without a pastor until 1845, when 'the Rev. Robert J. Hammond, who had been settled in Albany, N. Y., became their pastor, at a salary of $350, which was afterwards increased to $400. He resigned and was released in the year 1857. The Rev. S. H. Graham, the next pastor, commenced his labors among them in April, 1862, and was ordained and installed their pastor August 12th of that year. In 1868, Mr: Graham accepted a call from a congregation in New York and
SMITH TOWNSHIP - 923
was released. In the same year the Rev. John Hood accepted their call and became their pastor. The pastorate continued until April, 1878, when he resigned and was released. The present pastor, D. W. Carson, was installed in October of that year.
The first elders whose names appear on the roll of the session (though without record of the time of their election or installation) are John Coventry, William Bally, from York County, Pa., Joseph Philles, William Donaldson, from Ireland, Nathan Porter, William Smith, James Brown, James Leech, and James Keys. In 1819, John McBurney, A. Hunter, and Robert Harvey were ordained as elders. In 1837, Joseph McNary, William Wilson, Samuel Livingston, and Joshua Pyles. In 1839, William Galbraith, Sr., William Caldwell, and James McCalmont. In 1851, Samuel B. Shillito and John Ferguson. In 1863, Robert Scott and James NcNary, who were received from the congregation of Mount Vernon at its dissolution, were chosen and installed, together with John Keys, William H. Witherspoon, M. R. Welsh, and W. R. Galbraith, who were also ordained at the same time. The session at present consists of John Ferguson (died February, 1882), Robert Scott, W. R. Galbraith, W. H. Witherspoon, and M. R. Welsh; Mr. John Keys, who is still a member, having resigned on account of bodily infirmities.
The earliest roll of members extant, though it is without date, numbers sixty-two members, with the following family names : Andrews, Brown, Cavert, Coventry, Donaldson, Ferguson, Keys, Leech, Nelson, Philles, and Smith. The roll of members in 1876 numbered two hundred and twenty. In consequence of some difficulties in which the congregation became involved through a heavy debt contracted in building a new house of worship, quite a number f members left about that time. These difficulties were also the occasion of the resignation and release of Mr. Hood in 1878. The present membership is two hundred and fifteen. The first house of worship, like that of all the churches in the same region at the same time, was a cabin of unhewed logs seated with slabs. During the summer season the congregation usually worshipped in the open air, a wooden tent serving as a pulpit for the minister. On the 13th of October, 1826, Robert Coventry, Robert Tenan, and Thomas Philles, trustees of Associate Congregation of Burgettstown, purchased one acre and one hundred and twelve perches of land of James Miller, it being "a lot of land on which a church is erected." In 1845, the date of Mr. Hammond's settlement, a neat and substantial frame building, fifty-four by forty-four feet, and sixteen feet in height, was erected at a cost of $1040 in money, besides the lumber from the old building. This building was located about half a mile east of the village. It was afterwards moved into the village. In 1873 the present house was erected, at a cost of about $27,000.
Methodist Episcopal Church,—For many years the people of this place who inclined to the Methodist belief were dependent upon occasional visits from the preachers of the Florence Circuit. At first services were held in the old woolen-factory. After the brick school-house was built services were held with more frequency, and in later years with regularity. In the summer f 1872 the society erected a, church edifice at a cost f fifteen hundred dollars. They now have forty members, and are connected with the Midway and Noblestown charge. A list of the pastors who have served in this connection will be found in the history of the Methodist Church of Midway, Robinson township.
Centre United Presbyterian Church. — This church edifice is situated in the southeastern corner of Smith township. It was organized in May, 1859, by Rev. J. C. Campbell, who was appointed for the purpose by Chartiers Presbytery. The elders elected at the organization were Jacob George, Thomas Stevenson, John Campbell, and John D. Reed. The first trustees were Robert McBurney, Jacob George, and John Campbell. At the organization there were fifty-eight members, fifty-three being received on certificate and five on examination. They held their services for a time in Mr. John Campbell's barn, but soon prepared for building a church. At a cost of two thousand five hundred dollars they built a frame church forty-six by sixty feet, which was finished and occupied the first time on the third Sabbath f February, 1860. On the 28th of January, 1862, they called Mr. D. S. Kennedy to become their pastor. He was installed and ordained on the 4th of September, 1862. This relationship continued ten years and six months, closing on the 13th of October, 1872. On the 10th of June, 1861, Mr. Robert McBurney and William Keys were ordained and installed as ruling elders. Mr. James McCalmont was added to the eldership Jan. 23, 1863. Fourteen persons in all have been elders here. At present there are six, viz., William Berry, James McCalmont, W. C. Aiken, J. G. Wilson, William A. Dickson, and J. S. Espey. The present pastor, J. B. Waddell, is the second whom the congregation has had. He preached his first sermon at Centre on the first Sabbath of January, 1873. He was called on the 30th of January, 1873, and took charge of the congregation, May 1, 1873, and still continues pastor. The congregation now numbers one hundred and fifty-three members ; has a Sabbath-school of over one hundred scholars, and owns a parsonage with ten acres of land, worth four thousand dollars.
The original ground for church and graveyard was donated by Mr. John Campbell. His son, William C. Campbell, afterward gave some additional ground for the graveyard, but this too is now filled with graves, and the trustees have recently bought more land from Mr. W. C. Campbell.
Mount Vernon Associate Reformed Church.—A society formed of people of this denomination was organized in 1829 in the southwestern part of the
924 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
township, on the line between Smith and Mount Pleasant. In 1832 a brick edifice fifty by fifty-six feet was erected on land of James Leech. The society worshiped here under the ministrations of the Rev. S. Taggart until the formation of the United Presbyterian denomination, when the society went down and the church building was sold in-1859 to J. P. Leech, who now owns it.
Schools of the Township.¹—The earliest school taught in the township was at the close of the Revolutionary war by William Lowrie, a surveyor and a soldier of that war, on that part of the Rankin tract owned by the estate of Andrew McFarland, within the present limits of No. 7 District. Mr. Lowrie died in Beaver County, Pa.
A surveyor named Sinclair taught some time before 1800 within the limits of No. 3, as it stood previous to June, 1881. Mr. Sinclair's name is found in the early land records. The names of James Cresswell, Robert Colvill, and Nathaniel Jenkins appear on the assessment-roll of the township in 1796 as teachers. Where they taught is not known.
A school was taught in Burgettstown in 1798-99 by George McKaig. He afterwards taught (in 1803) in a house standing on land now owned by Prof. S. C. and John Farrar. John Burnett taught in No. 4 in 1806, on land owned by John Ferguson, Esq. John Smith taught in 1806. In 1807 the teachers were William Grant, James Lee, George McKaig, Henry Robinson, and John Smith. Mr. Smith taught on the Rankin tract.
In 1808, Henry Robinson taught on land of Jesse. Campbell, now owned by Pressley Leech in No. 8. Dr. Joseph Campbell taught in 1808 on land of Capt. John B. Hays in No. 2. He also taught in the same place in 1812. John Crooks and John Vas-binder were teachers in Burgettstown before the school law f 1834 went into operation. The schools and their teachers previous to the time that the free school system went into operation were as follows : Burgettstown, Henry Robinson, Robert Patterson, Anthony Gallagher (1817), Mr. Hatch, Mr. Tellfair, Dr. Joseph Campbell, Rev. Joseph McLain, Rev. Forster, Samuel Douthett and his sister, and Mr. Brakeman ; Miss Potter, afterwards the wife of Dr. Marshall. Hamilton, Washington Carter, Sallie Taylor, Miss Sibella Galbraith (afterwards the wife of the Rev. Middleton), Dr. Sweeney, Houston Walker, and Joseph Buchanan. Two schools were frequently in operation at the same time. Henry Robinson taught fourteen years in all in Burgettstown.
At the house on Capt. J. B. Hays' farm, besides Dr. Campbell, were William Conyngham (1817) and Anthony Gallagher. At the Kerr school, on land of James Kerr, now owned by John Dinsmore, George Cunningham (supposed to be the first or among the first), Samuel Douthett, Sr., Aaron Aten, William
¹ By William Melvin.
Haney, Levi Hays, Samuel Dickey, Solomon Spindler, and the late Rev. Alexander McCarrell, D.D., of Claysville, Pa. A house stood on land now owned by John Vance in No. 3. John Matthews is the only teacher reported, and he was among the early teachers; he taught Latin and other higher branches.
In No. 10, on land now owned by Isaac Simpson, John McCreary taught in 1825. Other teachers were Reuben Rich, James Hays, Thomas Clelland, and John Hoge. At the Cross-Roads, near the same place, Henry Robinson and Adam Rankin are reported. In No. 7, in addition to those reported, was Mr. Shellcock, who taught before 1812. The late William Galbraith, Esq., began to teach in 1817, and quit about 1840. Most of his teaching was in No. 7. He was reported as one of the best in his time. He was one of the examiners after the school law went into operation.
In the house that was built in 1825 on land of Joseph Vance, now Samuel G. Scott's, in No. 9, John Stevenson, John Crooks, Nathaniel Wilson, T. T. Camby, John Hartry, and Dr. Joseph Campbell. In a house that was on a farm now owned by John L. Proudfit, Esq., near. school No. 10, John Stewart, Nancy Bert, C. Shepherd, Tillie White, William Pyles, Ann .Pyles, and Sylvester Robb. Other teachers, whose places of teaching are not mentioned, are David Hays, Robert Lee, David Galbraith, Hugh Barton, James Geary, and James Hays. Henry Robinson's teaching extends from 1807 until some time in 1842. In 1841 he taught in No. 8. His last term was in the Rankin district, Mount Pleasant township. Dr. Joseph Campbell's teaching extends through a period not quite so long, being from 1807 until 1837. He practiced medicine part of the time. William Galbraith's extended from 1817 until about 1840.
There are many. teachers, no doubt, who deserve honorable mention, but they do not appear to be remembered to be handed down to succeeding generations.
The first land leased for school purposes was by George Burgett to David Bruce, Robert Boland, and James Wiley, trustees of the Burgettstown school, and their successors for the use of said school a lot of ground No. 45, in the town of West Boston, bounded by Liberty Street and lot of Joseph Caldwell, dated April 23, 1807. The house is now occupied by Mr. John Divitt. A lot of ground was leased by Dr. Stephen Smith in Burgettstown, on Washington Street (now Main), for church and school purposes. The house is brick, built in 1834 by Edward Downing, of Hickory. School closed when the house was needed for preaching. When the county commissioners were holding their triennial assessment appeals they were asked to contribute for the building; they did so, and gave their days' wages. The house is now owned and occupied by Mr. Joseph Robinson, a nephew of Henry Robinson, the teacher.
Much interest was manifested in the cause of edu-
SMITH TOWNSHIP - 925
cation, and when the location of school buildings is asked for, you are told that one stood here, and one there, etc., all over the different portions of the township. If buildings used for school purposes were restored, Smith township would be thickly dotted with school-houses.
Smith township accepted the school law in the year of its passage, though there was considerable opposition to accepting its provisions. A part of the opposition was by men who were in favor of education, but were opposed to the policy of the immediate construction of new houses. On the day appointed to vote on its adoption the voters assembled in Burgettstown. The day being wet, and no room in the town large enough to hold them, they went to the covered bridge at the foot of Pittsburgh Street, near the steam-mill ; all favorable to the law went to one end of the bridge, those opposed went to the other. Robert Patterson, Esq., the leading spirit in the movement, and one of the early teachers heretofore mentioned, was the first president of the new board, and Nathaniel Hunter the first secretary. Mr. Hunter was the last survivor of the original board, dying in 1879 in Jefferson County, Ohio.
Directors previous to 1843 were Robert Patterson, Esq., Nathaniel Hunter, Hon. James Keys, Jesse Spencer, Alexander Kidd, John Neal, Garrett Van Eman, Thomas Bavington, David Cook, Alexander Hays, Joseph McNary, James Dunbar, and Isaac Morgan. No others are reported. Robert Patterson, Esq., was president in 1840; Garrett Van Eman was treasurer• in 1837 ; John L. Proudfit, Esq., collector, and Alexander S. Berryhill, treasurer, in 1840. Isaac Morgan was treasurer at one time.
The township was divided into nine sub-districts. The log edifices then in use gave way to neat frame buildings, excepting in Nos. 1 and 7, where brick houses were built. From the school reports it appears that the free-school system did not go into effect immediately upon its adoption. In the State superintendent's report for the year ending Dec. 31, 1836, Smith township is credited with eight schools, and having received from the State appropriation $209.76 for 1836-37, and $99.48 for former years, but nothing from the county or district, and the schools not reported in operation. The $99.48 received must have been a part of the first State appropriation, distributed Jan. 12, 1835.
In the report for Dec. 31, 1837, eight schools are reported and one required. Three months taught; teachers, seven male and one female ; salary of males, $20 per month ; females, $14 per month ; scholars, male, 152 ; female, 136 ; cost of instruction, 54 cents. Receipts, district tax, $459 ; State appropriation, $732.97 ; county, $355 ; $462 spent for instruction ; three houses unfinished and six required ; average cost of houses, $225. In the report for the year ending Dec. 31, 1838, the report for Smith township is not complete. Four schools are reported, seven houses in use, and two re-
- 59 -
quired. Receipts, for buildings, $644.70; from State appropriation, $322.19; county, $117.41; district, $185.10. The nine houses were all built previous to 1840. No. 1, Burgettstown, was built, as before stated, in 1834. Houston. Walker, afterwards a minister in the Secession Church, taught the first school (a select) in it. The house was conveyed to the directors, they keeping it in repair, but the prior right to occupy it for church purposes was retained. James Logan taught two public terms in it in 1838 and 1839, and is probably the first of the public school teachers in Burgettstown. In 1865 the school was graded. Mr. and Mrs. Van B. Baker were the teachers. But one teacher was employed in 1866.
In 1868 a two-story frame of four rooms was built, and the school was permanently graded, George T. McCord, principal, and Miss Kate Ghrist (now Mrs. J. R. McNary, of Smith township), assistant. In 1869 another department was added, H. S. Phillips, principal, and Miss Carrie A. Brockman (now Mrs. Robert E. Hill, of East Liverpool, Ohio) and Miss Sarah Hays, assistants. The fourth department was added in 1875, William Melvin, principal, and Misses Mary Bingham, Eva Simmons, and Mattie Fleming (now Mrs. D. F. Enoch, of .Pittsburgh, Pa.), assistants.
No 2 school-house was built in 1836 by George Miller, on land of John Proudfit, now owned by his son, Robert F. Proudfit. It was generally known as Hays school-house. The house previously used was the Kerr school-house. James Fulton was the first teacher. About the year 1852 the house was moved to a location on the Burgettstown and Eldersville road, on a farm of Robert Campbell, now owned by his son, Arthur Campbell. Miss Eliza Ann Pyles was about• the first teacher at the new location. 'In 1864 the location was .again changed and a new house built on the same farm a few rods west of the old house. Van B. Baker taught the first term in the new house.
No. 3, now known as Cinder Hill, was built in 1837, on land of William Wilson, now owned by his son, William E. Wilson. The house used until it was ready was on land of James Rankin, now owned by John Vance. Andrew Vance taught the first term in the new house. His son John taught one term in it shortly before the civil war. A new house was built by James Seawright on the original location in• 1868. It is the only house standing on the original location.
No. 4 was built by James Dunbar on a twenty-one-year lease, on land of Thomas Bavington, now owned by D. S. McBride. A new house was built in 1863, on land of Robert Coventry, now owned by Dr. William Donnan, of Burgettstown.
No. 5 was built by James Dunbar, on land of John S. Russell, now owned by his son, D. A. Russell. The house used until it was ready was on land of John Stevenson, now owned by William S. Russell. The first teacher, or among the first, in the new house
926 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
was John H. McCombs, now practicing law in Ashland, Ohio. In 1866 a new house was built on the same farm near the old one. In 1873 a larger house was built near Bulger, on land of Lockhart and Frew. William T. Slater taught the first two years in the new house.
No. 6 was built on land now owned by William C. Campbell. The house previously used until it was ready is not reported to the writer. (In fact he failed altogether to get any information on the early schools and teachers in that locality.) In 1873 the location was changed, and a new house built in Midway, on a lot obtained from Mr. Stephen Arnot. In 1878 an additional room was built, and the school graded. James C.. Wilson, principal, and Miss McClure, daughter of Robert McClure, deceased, assistant.
No. 7, a brick house, was built by Andrew Bruce, on land of Samuel Farrar, now owned by Wiley Stevenson. The house used was on the site on which the brick was built. William Galbraith was the first teacher. After teaching one month he was obliged to quit, the scholars becoming sick. It is supposed the house was occupied too soon. The bricks were burnt in 1866, and a new house built on land of the late Judge John Farrar, now owned by his sons, Prof. S. C. and John Farrar. Mr. L. McCarrell taught the first term in the new house.
No. 8 was built by George Miller, on a lease obtained from William Stephenson, now owned by his grandson, Robert T. C. Stephenson, of Burgettstown. William Thompson taught the first term in No. 8. It is now used as a dwelling-house. The house used until No. 8 was ready was on land of Samuel Cook, now owned by William K. Lyle. The old house is used as a tenant-house. The location was changed and a new house built in 1860 on land of John Sturgeon, now owned by his heirs. Miss Sarah K. Lyle taught the first term in it. The house is now known as Cook's school-house.
No. 9 was built in 1837 by James Dunbar, on land owned by James Stevenson (miller), now owned by Matthew Welch. It was known as Russell's schoolhouse. John Galbraith taught the first term in No. 9. Before No. 9 was built a house heretofore mentioned as being built in 1825 on land of Joseph Vance, now Samuel G. Scott, was used. The house of 1825 was bought by Mrs. Jane Perry (colored) and removed to her lot adjacent to Burgettstown, and is now occupied
as a dwelling by her. The location of No. 9 was changed in 1862, and a new one built on land of
Joseph Vance, now owned by his brother, John S. Vance. M. R. Allen, now editor of the Call, taught the first school in the new house. The old No. 9 school building was brought to Burgettstown, and is now owned and occupied as a dwelling by John Pry.
The 10th District was organized by act of Legislature by reason of opposition to a new district. The township board immediately resigned, and the court appointed six new directors, who levied and collected the tax. The act was afterwards repealed. The new school district, organized about the year 1849 as No. 10, was formed of parts of 2 and 3. Matthew W. Galbraith taught the first term in the old Kerr schoolhouse; the next year a new one was built a few rods from the old one on land of Thomas C. Arnold, now owned by Finley Scott. George M. Tenan taught the first- term in the new house. By resolution of the board May 29, 1858, it was resolved not to open No. 10 the coming year. The records do not show that a school was ever again conducted in that house under the control of the Smith township board.
No. 11 was formed by resolution of the board Sept. 17, 1853, from parts of Nos. 1, 5, 7, and 9. A house was built on land of James Fulton in 1854. Samuel G. McFarland taught the first term in the new house. It was known as No. 11 until No. 10 was disbanded. In 1869 the location was changed and the house moved to land of Thomas Houston, now William and Samuel Pyles, near the old mill-dam. It was-known then as the Mud Hollow school-house. In 1876 the location was again changed and a new house built on land of John L. Proudfit, Esq., a few rods north of Raccoon Station. R. P. Stevenson was, the first teacher in the new house.
After the incorporation of Burgettstown as a borough, New No. 1 was formed from parts of Nos. 1, 2, and 3, June, 1881, and a new house was built on land of George M. and James B. Tenan. Miss Bessie, daughter of James M. Stevenson, is teaching the first term.
James Fulton, a native of New York, taught in Nos. 1, 2, and 7. He was the most successful teacher of his time, commanding fifty per cent. more wages than any other teacher. 'His methods were far in advance of the times. His reputation a teacher spread far and wide, many patronizing him from a distance. He was the first to introduce the "object method." Many of his old pupils still remain in the township, and give him the credit of being their best teacher. Like all leaders of reform, he had his enemies. He was called a Yankee, and his .methods " new-fangled." He died on his farm near Wabash, Ind., after 1837. Other teachers were James Logan, Abel T. Richards, Miss Mary Ann Vincent (now the relict of John S. Russell), Ann McDermont, Miss Nancy Jane Cunningham (now the wife of A. H. Duncan, of Smith township, was in charge of Burgettstown school in 1846-47), John Stevenson, Esq., Samuel Shillits, George M. Tenan, Esq., Hon. Joseph Hays, George Jardine, M. W. Galbraith, John B. Phillis, William W. Van Eman, William H. Hammond, James E. Stevenson, ex-County Superintendent Dickson, 0g Allegheny County, taught four years in No. 4; Miss Christiana Johnson (now the wife of H. Elliott McBride, of Allegheny County, Pa.), William P. Montgomery, Samuel L. Farrar, R. P. Allen, Miss Nancy McNary, afterwards the wife of Eli Marques, of Cross Creek township (Mrs. Marques died a
SMITH TOWNSHIP - 927
few years ago), Misses Mary and Maria Raybuck; John H. Johnson, who taught twelve years at Cook's, beginning 1861 and ending 1875 ; Miss Jane Ann Cook.(now the wife of W. K. Lyle, of Smith township), William S. "Fullton, R. P. Stevenson, S. E. Provines, S. C. Farrar, Miss Carrie A. Brockman, Misses Agnes and Clara Keys, William Melvin had charge of the Burgettstown school five years, a period longer than that of any other since the adoption of the school law. Misses. Eva Simmons and Mattie Fleming each were assistants five years in the Burgettstown Union school.
Among the native teachers of Smith who became prominent abroad, James E. Stevenson was principal of Second Ward school, Allegheny City, some eighteen or twenty years ago. Rev. Samuel G. McFarland, D.D., now minister of education in Siam ; Hon. Joseph Hays, for several years principal of the Temperanceville schools, now South Side, Pittsburgh. William P. Montgomery has for the last fifteen years been teaching in Allegheny County, Pa. He is now in his thirteenth year as principal of the Knox School, Pittsburgh. S. Clarke Farrar was principal of the Eighth Ward school, Allegheny City, from April, 1873, until July, 1874. In July, 1874, he was elected principal of Irwin Avenue school, Second Ward, Allegheny City, which position he still holds (January, 1882).
Miss Carrie A. Brockman was for seven years one of the assistants in the East Liverpool, Ohio, schools ; about five years of that time she was second assistant. She resigned her position in 1881, and married Robert E. Hill, of that place. Alexander White is noted as an academic teacher. Robert P. Stevenson for the last four years has been teaching in Robinson township, Allegheny Co., Pa.
Since the great light of education first shone in No. 7 it is but just to say that she has produced more prominent educators than any other district in the township. Of those mentioned as becoming prominent abroad, James E. Stevenson, Rev. Samuel G. McFarland, S. Clarke Farrar, and Alexander White were born within her limits. William P. Montgomery received a part of his education in No. 7. Robert Curry, since deputy State superintendent of public instruction of this State, and now principal of the Nebraska State Normal School at Peru, spent a part of his youthful days within her borders, his parents residing on the farm on which the first school was taught.
Three of the Burgettstown principals went "up higher." George T. McCord was afterwards principal of .the Second Ward schools of Allegheny City for several years. W. C. Lyne, after leaving Burgettstown, went to Washington, Pa., and from thence to the Sixteenth Ward, Pittsburgh. Thomas B. McCain is now in - Ward, Wheeling, W. Va.
The first teachers' institute in the township was held Dec. 4, 1858. The directors by resolution, Nov. 27, 1858, agreed to allow teachers two days in each month for township institute. Members of the board at that meeting were John L. Proudfit, Esq., president; John P. Wood, Esq., O. P. Cook, M. I. Montgomery, and James L. Patterson, secretary. Messrs. Proudfit, Wood, and Patterson are still living.
In 1864 the school board issued bonds and sold them, to provide money to pay volunteers to fill the township's quota of troops. These bonds were signed by John Ferguson, Esq., president, and James L. Patterson, Esq., secretary.
The present teachers of Smith township are, in No. 1, Miss Bessie Stevenson; No. 2, Miss Ella Riddile; No. 3, Miss M. Ethie Brimner; No. 4, Wm. F. Morgan; No. 5, Miss Kate Hammond; No. 6, Henry Aten, principal, and Miss Willa Cook, assistant; No. 7, Miss Mattie Campbell ; No. 8, Frank M. Magill ; No. 9, Wm. Melvin; No. 10, J. B. Lyle.
The following is the rank of Smith as regards wages: For the year ending June, 1872, Smith stood third ; in 1873, second ; in 1874, third ; in 1875, first; in 1876, second; in 1877, first. A chilling blizzard swept over the school finances of Smith in June, 1877, and the thermometer placed her No. 10 for the year ending June, 1878. Boroughs are excluded in making out the above rank. The wages have been advanced the last two years. It is just to say that the names of but few teachers appear on the records until 1869. The records are very imperfect from 1853 to 1869. No records found previous to 1853.
By act of incorporation, March 23, 1881, Burgettstown became a separate school district. At an election held in town hall, April 5, 1881, Wm. Melvin, Wm. P. Vance, Robert T. C. Stephenson, and James Carnahan were elected. Four were ties, viz.: C. C. Campbell, Wm. Brimner, Wm. Blair, and Joseph A. Rogers. On June 6, 1881, the four who were elected met in the Union school building and effected an organization by electing Robert T. C. Stephenson president, and Wm. Melvin secretary. Messrs. Campbell and Brimner not appearing to draw lots, as the law provides, the board appointed Wm. Blair and Joseph A. Rogers, who were present, members to fill the vacancy. The teachers for the first term in the borough are C. J. Vance, principal, and Misses Agnes Keys, Libbie McCarrell, and Alice Stevenson, assistants.
Bavington.-The town of Bavington is situated in the northeast part of Smith township, near the mouth f the east branch of Raccoon Creek. It is located on a tract of land which was warranted to John Bavington on the 22d of February, 1786, and surveyed to him Dec. 3, 1787, as " Mill Town," containing four hundred and four acres. Soon after the purchase he built a grist- and saw-mill, which did the grinding for many miles around. He built a cabin on the hillside, about one quarter of a mile east f the village. Later he built the house now owned by D. S. McBride, where he lived until his death in 1810.
928 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
David Bruce opened a store at the mill before 1795, as in December of that year he advertised in the Western Telegraphe that he had removed his store from Bavington to George Burgett's " new town." He was succeeded by others. John Bavington, on the 10th of June, 1810, left his home for Steubenville, I Ohio, with a four-horse-wagon load of whiskey and flour. When crossing the Ohio River at Kelly's Ferry, near the mouth of Haman's Creek, the stamping of the horses loosened the planking of the bottom of the boat, which then filled with water and sank. Capt. Bavington and the ferryman were both drowned. His body was recovered, brought home and buried at the Cross-Roads (now Florence). He left a widow, Ruth, and five sons, Daniel, Charles, Henry, Thomas, and John, and several daughters. His widow and eldest son Daniel were administrators of the estate, and the property was divided ; Daniel obtained the homestead and mill property. Later he sold the mill property to James Clark, and went to Illinois. Charles was assisted to the purchase of mill property near Murdocksville, lived there for a time and emigrated to Ohio. Henry lived and died here comparatively young. Thomas received the cast portion of the home farm, now owned by D. S. McBride.. In later years he kept a public-house at Bavington, and died there. John received his portion of the estate in money, and emigrated to Oregon. Of the daughters, Polly married Matthew McBride and settled at Canonsburg; Nancy married Matthew Hartford, a millwright, who built the Bavington mill ; Betsey married Harvey Peterson ; they settled at Bavington, and both died there. One daughter married a Mr. Burns, another a Mr. Backhouse ; both removed to Allegheny County, where they lived and died. On the 21st of August, 1812, Daniel Bavington, as the administrator of the estate of John Bavington, took out a warrant for a tract of land, which was surveyed to him as " Pine Bush," and contained two hundred and seventy-six acres. It was adjoining the " Milltown" tract. One hundred and sixty-four acres of "Pine Bush" was conveyed to Nathan Kimble by Daniel and Ruth Bavington on the 30th of October, 1813. In December, 1812, Daniel Bavington was licensed to keep a tavern. He continued about three years, when, upon his removal to Illinois, his mother, Ruth Bavington, opened the tavern. She was succeeded by her son Thomas. The family of Bayington are now entirely extinct in the township.
James Donnan, about the year 1812, kept store in the house now occupied by John Witherspoon. At the time the Pittsburgh and Steubenville pike was built, about 1819 or 1820, William Moody kept a store in the town, and was the first postmaster. He was succeeded by John White, David McBride, John McElroy, Robert McAyeal, Charles McElroy, John McBride, Dr. James McCarroll, John Witherspoon, Joseph Hunter, James McBride. In 1856 the office was removed to Abijah Smith's store, west of the creek, and in Hanover township adjoining the town. It remained there but one year, and was restored to the town. John Witherspoon became the postmaster. He was succeeded by Dr. James K. White, and later by William Donaldson, who is the present incumbent. The Bavington mill passed from James Clark to William Clark, who sold it to D. G. McBride. It is now owned by Edward Hindman, by whom it is run as a grist- and saw-mill.
Dinsmore.—On the completion of the Pittsburgh and Steubenville Railroad through the township in 1865, this place was made a station and given the name Dinsmore. A depot, telegraph-office, post-office, and store were soon established. The postmasters who have held office from the first are as follows: John Pry, John M. Smith, J. W. Ralston, J. P. Cline, and William Provines, the present incumbent.
Bulger.--This settlement is a station on the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St. Louis Railway, about three miles east from Burgettstown, and was made a station on the completion of the Pittsburgh and Steubenville Railroad in 1865. It was laid out on the Alexander Dorman tract, but at the time belonged to John Woodburn. It contains a depot, store, cheese-factory, and several dwellings. The store is kept by A. J. Russell. The cheese-factory is controlled by a company under the name of "The Cheese and Butter Association," with the following officers : Thomas H. Ackleson, president; George Hoffman, secretary; and A. J. Russell, treasurer. Substantial buildings were erected, and business commenced July 1, 1881. About one thousand cheeses of the average weight of thirty-three pounds were manufactured in the first four months. Milk is shipped from this station to Pittsburgh.
The mines of the Whitestone Coal-Works are located about half-way between Bulger and Burgettstown. A few dwellings are erected in the vicinity. A post-office was established a few years since at Cherry Valley, on the line between Smith and Mount Pleasant townships. Ebenezer Smith was the postmaster, and the office was kept at his store. Upon his death the office was discontinued.
Union Agricultural Association.—At the expressed desire of many agriculturists in this portion of the county and adjoining townships in Allegheny and Beaver Counties, and in the northern part of West Virginia, it was decided to organize an agricultural society. Prominent in the movement were Thomas Vance, of Cross Creek ; W. P. Vance, now of near Elizabethtown, Hardin Co., Ky.; and John B. nines, merchant, of Burgettstown (recently deceased at Cairo, Ill.). To this end a meeting was held in Burgettstown in the month of February, 1856, at which time an organization was effected by the election of the following officers : President, Joseph Vance, of Smith township ; Vice-Presidents, William M. Lee, Cross Creek ; James Rankin, Mount Pleasant; Holland Scott, Robinson ;. Thomas C. Hunter, Hanover; and
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William P. Vance, Smith ; Directors, J. N. Scott, Jefferson; David Gault, Lysander Patterson, J. S. Duncan, Thomas Vance, Cross Creek ; O. P. Cook, J. L. Proudfit, Smith; James Hughes, John Symington, Mount Pleasant; Milton Miller, James Walker, William Van Ostrand, Jefferson; and James McCalmont, Robinson; Recording Secretary, Samuel G. Scott, Smith; Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer, John B. Philles, Smith.
At a meeting of the association held March 23, 1856, it was resolved to hold an exhibition in the month of October following. A committee was "appointed to select a suitable site for the purpose, another to solicit subscriptions in the different townships, and another to frame a constitution and by-laws. On the 26th of April one hundred and sixty-seven names were reported as members of the society, and at a meeting in May two hundred and ninety-eight additional names were reported. On the 3d of June the same year the committee on site made a report, which was accepted, and they were discharged. Another committee was appointed. On the 24th of June the committee on the time for holding the fair reported Wednesday and Thursday, October 8th and 9th, as the most suitable time for holding the exhibition, which report was accepted and adopted. Two days later at a meeting of the society the constitution and by-laws were read, amended, and adopted. On the 12th of August the committee on site reported that Mrs. Freegift Crawford offered the society a site free of charge, provided the fence the society erected should be left on the ground when they should cease to hold their fairs on the site, which arrangement was accepted and con-, eluded on the 23d of August, 1856. A fence and temporary buildings were erected, and the first exhibition of the society was held at the time and place appointed: The receipts of. this exhibition were $620.40; premiums paid out, $340.
Exhibitions were held on these grounds until 1860, and on June 2d of that year nine and a half acres of land were leased for ten years of B. G. Burgett, at the expiration of which time additional ground was added, and it was released for ten years, and again, Feb. 11, 1780, was leased for ten years. At the present time the company have inclosed seventeen acres. The grounds were fenced and permanent buildings erected the first year the society came into possession of 'the grounds, and fairs have been held there continuously. No account was kept of the amount of voluntary contributions for erecting fences, grading the tract, and other work.
The cost of rent of fair grounds from the first year (1856) to the present time has been $3350; repairing grounds, $2500 ; music, $2140 ; buildings, halls, stalls, etc., $9690; printing, $2187 ; amount of money paid for premiums from the first, $24,000. Receipts from entries and tickets, $49,832.34. The receipts from the fair held Oct. 4, 5, and 6, 1881, was $2165.10.
The territory that is now included in the limits of the association from which officers are elected are the townships of Smith, Hanover, Robinson, Cecil, Mount Pleasant, Chartiers, North Strabane, Cross Creek, Buffalo, Hopewell, Independence, and Jefferson of Washington County; the „west part of Allegheny County, the south part of Beaver County, and Brooke and Hancock Counties, W. Va.
The following is a list of the officers of the society :
Presidents.—Joseph Vance, 1856-57 ; James Mc-Calmont, 1858; John N. McDonald, 1859-60; William M. Lee, 1861 ; James Donaldson, 1862 ; William M. Lee, 1863 ; D. S. Walker, 1864 ; Samuel McGill, 1865 ; A. D. Burns, 1866 ; Thomas McCorkle, 1867 ; James Donaldson, 1868 ; S. B. Campbell, 1869 ; J. B. Hays, 1870; William L. Archer, 1871 ; M. H. Borland, 1.872 ; R. S. Cook, 1873-74 ; James Donaldson, 1875; A. E. Walker, 1876; W. B. Moorhead, 187778; William L. Archer, 1879-80; William C. McFarland, 1881.
Secretaries.—Samuel G. Scott, 1856; John P. Woods, 1857 ; James L. Patterson, 1838 ; John Stephenson, 1859-60; John P. Woods, 1861; William Melvin, 1862 ; John P. Woods, 1863-80, inclusive ; William Melvin, 1881.
Present officers : President, Wm. C. McFarland ; Vice-Presidents : R. H. Brown, W. S. Bailey, A. H. Walker, D. S. Fulton, S. H. Cook ; Managers, R. S. Cook, John S. Lee, Symington Farrar, R. Y. Meloy, John A. McCalmont, Hon. G. Y. McKee, D. S. Taylor, Jr., David McNary, Wm. McBurney, S. S. Campbell, Matthew Berry, Samuel Bigger, R. K. Scott, S. W. Lee, Wm. Hanlan, S. G. Cunningham, R. S. Caldwell, S. C. Gist, W. H. McKee, David Bradford ; Secretary, Wm. Melvin ; Treasurer, C. J. Vance; Chief Marshal, W. L. Archer.
JUDGE JOHN FARRAR.
Judge John Farrar was born in Mount Pleasant township, Washington Co., Pa., Jan. 7, 1818, and died at his residence near Burgettstown, Pa., Jan. 6, 1875. He was the eldest son of ¹ Samuel Farrar and Jane Simanton.
His early education consisted of that afforded by the common schools of that day, but he was possessed of a taste for literature and a thirst for higher education so strong that some years after arriving at maturity he studied the Latin and Greek classics, higher mathematics, and some of the natural sciences. In 1840 he was married to Miss Phebe White. For several years after this he engaged in farming, teaching school during the winter. Farming was a very discouraging business during those years famous for
¹ The lineage of these families is given elsewhere in this volume.
930 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
"hard times," so the young farmer, having a knowledge of the mercantile business, obtained while employed as a clerk previous to his marriage, forsook the fields and embarked in the store business, which he continued for a decade. During the first part of this period he strongly contemplated studying a profession,¹ and at one time took initiatory steps to this end, but the claims of a wife and young children depending upon him for support caused the final abandoning of this intention.
Young Farrar's attention was attracted to politics by the famous Campaign of 1840, when he cast his first Presidential vote for William Henry Harrison. In the great political questions that agitated the country after the Mexican war he took a deep interest, and from that time henceforth was a close student of national questions.
He removed with his family to Rock Island County, Ill., in 1853.
During the Presidential campaign of 1856 political excitement ran high in that land of Lincoln and Douglas, the champions of the opposing parties. Although a quiet farmer at the time, Farrar's zeal overcame his native modesty, and he mounted the stump in his own county for John C. Fremont and anti-slavery. Returning to his native county in 1857, he engaged in mercantile business in Burgettstown for several years.
At the breaking out of the Rebellion party hostility in this region became so bitter as to rupture society, churches, and families. Men engaged in business depending on the patronage of a community generally either kept their lips sealed or exercised great caution in expressing themselves on the questions that were distracting the country, lest their business should suffer. Contrary to this rule, and in opposition to the advice of his warmest friends, John Farrar, eminently a man of strong convictions and fearless of consequences when duty directed, was outspoken in his zeal for the cause of the Union, as well as in his denunciation of its enemies North and South.
In 1866 he was elected to the office of associate judge for a term f five years. When he entered upon the duties of this office a system of granting licenses to sell intoxicating liquors existed, under which it was a very easy matter to obtain a license, and as a consequence almost every village and hamlet in the county was afflicted with drinking-houses. Always having been a warm advocate of the temperance cause, he immediately went to work with his characteristic zeal to correct the evil, taking a firm and resolute stand against all licenses applied for under the then existing laws. Ere the close of his term of office, with perhaps two exceptions, not a drinking-saloon or bar-room remained. It was thus largely through his in fluence that Washington County was elevated to her present honorable and noble position on this question.
Notwithstanding the frequent and perhaps true assertion that ardent temperance men invariably suffer at the polls, he was elected a member of the State Legislature in 1874, when a number of other and honorable candidates of the same 'party from the same county were defeated. But death came, and he was carried to his grave the same week that he was to have taken the oath of office. His cherished wife died nearly five years previous to this.
It was, however, as a Christian gentleman that Judge Farrar was best known and most esteemed. In early manhood he became a member of the Presbyterian Church of Raccoon, next a teacher in the Sabbath-school, and then its superintendent, and ever afterwards connected with and working in the Sabbath-school in some way.
Soon after settling in Illinois he gathered together and established a flourishing Sabbath-school, from which soon resulted the organization of Beulah Church of the Presbytery of Rock River. In this church he was a ruling elder until his return to Pennsylvania, after which he served in this capacity in the church of Burgettstown, Pa., and in Raccoon Church until the close of his life.
Socially, he was gifted with a rare combination of qualities, easy, graceful manners, fine conversational powers, and a warm, generous, and sympathizing nature. Regarding no one, however poor and ignorant, as beneath his notice, nor looking up to any, however wealthy and aristocratic, as above him, he was claimed alike by the high and lowly as a friend.
The universal esteem in which he was held is manifest from the positions he occupied at the time of his death. Filling honorable and responsible offices both in the Church and in the State; chosen to the one by the voice of the members of the church of his childhood, and to the other by the voice of the citizens of the county of his nativity, are facts that make an eulogy of words superfluous.
His family consisted of a daughter and five sons, viz., Mary L., now Mrs. Billingsly Morgan, of Canons. burg, Pa. ; S. Clark, for many years principal of the Second Ward schools, Allegheny, Pa.; Preston W., physician in Nevada City, Iowa; John, a farmer, residing at the old family homestead; Watson W., a clerk in the Treasury Department at Washington, D. C.; and George W., merchant, at Braddock's, Pa.
J. L. PROUDFIT.
David Proudfit and his brother Robert, natives of Scotland, emigrated to America about the year 1759, and settled in York County, Pa. Two of their brothers, Andrew and James, had preceded them to this country. Andrew, who was a shoemaker, had settled in York County, and James, who was a minister in the Associate Reformed Church, had settled in Lancaster County. David and Robert were far-
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mers. The former married Nancy Livingston, by whom he had eight children,—John, Robert, Andrew, James, Elizabeth, Nancy, Mary, and Jane.
John Proudfit was born in York County, Pa., in 1776. He settled in Smith township: Washington Co., Pa., in 1806, where, in 1809, he married Elizabeth Lyle. They lived in Washington County until 1813, when they removed to York County, where they lived fourteen years, when they returned to Washington County, and again settled in Smith township, where they died. Their children were David, John L., James K., Eliza J., Nancy, Robert F., Cinderella, William, Andrew, and Eleanor K., all of whom are living except David, James K., and Nancy.
John L. Proudfit was born in Smith township, Washington Co., Sept. 3, 1812, and the following spring went with his parents to York County, Pa., where he remained until he was fifteen years of age, when he returned with them to his native township. He received a district school education, and labored with his father upon the farm until after he was twenty-one years of age. He married Eleanor Campbell, of Smith township, June 9, 1841. She died Aug. 4, 1866, leaving three children,—Elizabeth, the wife of W. A. P. Linn, of Shippensburg, Cumberland Co., Pa. ; Jane A., the wife of Dr. W. P. Taylor, of Noblestown, Allegheny Co., Pa. ; and Martha E., the wife of John Moore, of Smith township, Washington Co., Pa.
John L. Proudfit was married to his second wife, Mrs. Nancy Byers, whose maiden name was Duncan, Dec. 24, 1867. In the spring of 1867 he removed from his farm in Smith township to Burgettstown, where he now has his residence. He still superintends the work upon his farms lying near the town. Since the organization of the National Bank of Burgettstown he has been its president. He was at one time captain of the Burgettstown militia ; has held the office of justice of the peace and other important local offices. He was for many years a member of the Presbyterian Church, an elder in the same, but is now a communicant of the United Presbyterian Church. In his youthful days he underwent all the trials and hard knocks of poverty, and from them he can turn his eyes to his present prosperity with the reflection that to himself and his own exertions he owes it all.
SOMERSET was erected in 1782, to comprise territory taken from the townships of Fallowfield, Nottingham, Strabane, and Bethlehem. No account of its erection, however, is found in the records of the court, but they show that at the April term of that year the first business done after organization was the appointment of "Christian Leatherman supervisor of the highways for the township of Summersett." Following this appointment is the "order that a new township be struck off," which, though not named in the record, is evidently, by the description of its boundaries, the township of Greene (now the southeast corner of Greene County). From the records above quoted it is evident that Somerset township was erected by the previous court held in January, 1782, and the second term after the organization f the county. This also is evident from the fact that on the 3d of April, 1782, there was read before the Supreme Executive Council, then 'in session at Philadelphia, "A return of justices for the township of Somerset in the county of Washington, . . . by which it appears that William Parker and John Stephenson were duly elected justices for the said township." Its territory has not been materially changed since its organization.
The township has been a separate election district from its organization to the present time. Upon the erection of districts in 1803 it became District No. 8, but the boundaries of the district and of the township were the same. Following is a list of persons who were and have been elected to the office of justice of the peace in Somerset during the century of its existence:
William Parker, April 3, 1782.
John Stephenson, April 3, 1782.
William Wallace, April 30, 1788.
Robert Mahon, April 7, 1801.
Henry McDonough, Feb. 23, 1801.
Isaac Leonard, April 2, 1802.
William Wallace, Oct. 24, 1807.
Robert Mahon, March 24, 1809.
James Rainey, Jan. 18, 1813.
Shesbaz. Bentley, Sr., Feb. 8, 1819.
James Smith, Dec. 13, 1820.
David Hart, June 10, 1822.
George Hippie, May 30, 1831.
John Caldwell, April 14, 1840.
Daniel Burgan, April 14, 1840.
John Caldwell, April 15, 1845.
Henry McDonough, April 15,1845.
John Barr, April 10, 1849.
Henry McDonough, April 9, 1850.
John Scott, April 11, 1854.
Henry McDonough, April 10, 1855.
John Scott, May 6, 1859.
Henry McDonough, April 10,1860.
John Scott, April 12, 1864.
David Mitchell, June 3, 1865.
John A. Barr, Jan. 28, 1874.
John A. Barr, May 24, 1874.
S. B. McIlvaine, May 24, 1874.
S. B. McIlvaine, March 27, 1879.
John A. Barr, March 27, 1879.
Early Settlements.—The first persons to make their way into the wilderness of Somerset township were the Newkirk family and William Colvin and family. The Newkirks came from Maryland or Virginia prior to 1777. William Colvin was one of the earliest actual settlers in Fayette County, and located on land adjoining Brownsville, which he had obtained under a
932 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
military permit in 1763 and which he afterwards sold to Thomas Brown. Descendants of William Colvin are still living in Redstone, Luzerne, and Brownsville. Several large tracts of land were located in this section by the different members of the Newkirk family, amounting to nearly nine hundred acres, which lay along Pigeon Creek and north of the present village of Bentleyville. One tract called "Agriculture" contained three hundred and eighty-six acres, and was situated on both sides of the north fork of Pigeon Creek adjoining lands of Vincent Colvin, John Wallace, and James Craven. The date of the application for this land is not given, but the survey was made April 6, 1786. It seems there was a controversy as to the ownership of this tract, as appears by the following extract from the survey report: "To this tract of land there are two claimants, each of whom has taken out a warrant for the same land, though differently described, viz. : NV William Colvin, a warrant for three hundred and sixty-four acres, dated Feb. 13, 1786; Isaac Newkirk, a warrant for three hundred acres, dated Feb. 27, 1786. Each has evidence to support their pretensions and submit to the honorable the Board of Property, on whose warrant the return will be received." The warrant was returned Nov. 3, 1807, to Isaac Newkirk as the rightful owner.
"The Legacy" was a tract which Henry Newkirk was granted upon a Virginia certificate, and the survey was made Feb. 25, 1786. This tract contained four hundred and thirteen acres. Close upon the line between Somerset and Fallowfield townships and in the division of townships the lands of Graybill and Colvin came within the limits of Fallowfield, while Henry Newkirk became a resident of Somerset. Besides there were other farms taken up and improved by the Newkirks. Three of them are in Fallowfield, and are owned by Richard Richardson, Noah Jones, and Thomas Elwood. As early as 1777 the Newkirks erected what was considered a large dwelling-house for those times. It wits built of hewed logs, and on a stone in the chimney was cut the date of the erection of the house. The dwelling was pulled down in 1838, but the stone mentioned is still preserved in the family. A part of this old homestead comes within the limits of the borough of Bentleyville. The place is now owned by Jacob Spahr, and the old water-mill, known as the Newkirk grist-mill, is also in his possession. It was one of the famous mills of its day, but is now but a relic of the olden time. Many members of the Newkirk family have lived and died in Somerset township, and many others emigrated to other parts. Joseph A. Newkirk is the only male representative of the descendants at present residing here. James S. and Isaac Newkirk reside in Kansas. City, Mo.
George Kutner and his wife, Susan Kutner, were in Somerset township as early as 1780, and became possessed of two tracts of land containing together five hundred acres. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Kutner were twelve, four sons and eight daughters.
The sons were Andrew, Jacob, Christian, and Abraham Kutner. The daughters were Elizabeth, Catharine, Susanna, Christina, Barbara, Sarah, Mary, and Magdalene.
The Leonard family came from New Jersey to Somerset township, and as early as 1780 were in possession of land here. There must have been a number of brothers, for the record of property transfers shows that a tract of one hundred and fifty-four acres was owned by several of these. It was first owned by Isaac Leonard, sold by him to Abner Leonard, by Abner to Caleb Leonard, and from him was purchased by John Hawkins. Caleb Leonard married Sarah Burt, and their family numbered seven 'children,—Daniel, Joseph, Zenas, Phebe, Rhoda, Mary, and Sarah Leonard. The sons Joseph and Zenas died in Ohio, and Daniel died in this county. The daughters all married and died leaving families. Edmond Leonard, living in Fayette County, and Isaac Leonard, of Washington borough, are descendants of these early settlers.
The land of Daniel Swickard adjoined the tract of John Study, and Burnt Run divided the tract nearly in the centre. In 1788, Daniel Swickard was assessed upon two hundred acres of land.
Daniel Swickard's family consisted of four children, —the sons Martin and David, Jr., the daughter Elizabeth, who became Mrs. Saltzman, and Eve, who was Mrs. Lash.
James Wherry came from England to this country, and eventually settled in Somerset township. He purchased a farm adjoining those of Nathaniel Reed and Joseph Huffman, where he lived and reared his family of eleven children, the oldest of whom, John Wherry, came from England with his father. In 1783, James Wherry was elected to the office of justice of the peace, serving in that capacity for many years, and was also an elder in the Pigeon Creek Church. He died in 1800. His son David had his own share of the Wherry property and also purchased that of his brother, James Wherry, Jr., who removed to Adams County, Ohio. Eli and William Wherry, grandsons of the pioneer, together with Ira Huffman, now own the old homestead. Miss Elizabeth Wherry, another descendant, became the wife of Adam G. Weaver, and resides in West Bethlehem township. John W. Wherry, also of the family, lives in the same township.
George Myers, who purchased the " Woodstock" tract of Christian Letherman in 1783, was a German, and beside the Letherman purchase bought other lands. He had some seven hundred acres altogether, part of which was in Nottingham township, north of Somerset, and lying along the North Branch of Pigeon Creek. The family of George Myers numbered eight or ten children, none of whom are now living. David, Henry, Andrew, Jesse, Samuel, Levi, Jacob, Hiram,
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Jeremiah, Abner, William, John, and Anderson Myers, all living in this section, are said to be lineal descendants of George Myers. Most of his land is still owned by the family.
On May 13, 1785, Adam Wier purchased of James Johnston seventy acres of land adjoining land of David Delley, Jr., "including a certain spring now used by David Johnston, Sr." Some of the descendants of Adam Wier still own the place, probably those of his daughter Mary, who married Thomas Hall.
On the 8th day of May, 1777, Sheshbazzar Bentley, of New Castle, Del., purchased of Baltzer Shillins, of Redstone Settlement, in consideration of four hundred pounds, " one tract of land containing three improvements and ten hundred and fifty acres, except what was cut off by arbitration for Matthew Laughlin, supposed not to exceed three acres with all the improvements thereon, situated and lying upon Pigeon Creek." A portion of this tract he received a warrant for March 4, 1785. It was surveyed to him December 21st the same year, and was named "The Review," containing four hundred and thirty-two acres. House Bentley, a brother of Sheshbazzar, warranted a tract adjoining the same date, containing four hundred and thirteen acres, and named " House's Grove." It was his son, Sheshbazzar Bentley, who lived at Monongahela City, and was elected sheriff of Washington County in 1840.
Sheshbazzar Bentley, Sr., was a farmer, and also owned and operated a mill on Pigeon Creek before 1787. The first election in the Second District was held at his house in 1787. His son George moved to the mouth of Mingo Creek, but Sheshbazzar Bentley, Jr., remained in Somerset, and laid out the village of Bentleyville, March 4, 1816. Some members of his family still remain in that place.
Henry McDonough was a farmer, a distiller, and also served honorably as a justice of the peace. His family comprised five sons and one daughter. The sons were John, Joseph, James, Henry, and David. John, the oldest son, lived and died on a farm on Chartiers Creek. Joseph and James both died young. Henry married and settled in this township, and his son, also named Henry, lives on his father's farm. David McDonough was the youngest of the five sons of Henry McDonough, and lived on the home farm. His son, Dr. Henry McDonough, now owns and occupies the old homestead. The only daughter of Henry McDonough, Sr., became the wife of Mr. Pangborn, of Westmoreland County, and went to reside in Cincinnati.
About the year 1785, Frederick Ault erected a mill on the North Branch of Pigeon Creek, in this township, which was owned and operated by him until 1817, when it passed into the hands of Hon. James Gordon. In 1837, Mr. Gordon disposed f the property to — Newkirk. In 1837 the dam was swept away, and has never been repaired. It is now owned by Jackson Huffman.
Thomas Hall came into Somerset township in 1788, and purchased of Neil Gillespie three hundred and twenty acres of land situate on Pigeon Creek. He was a native of Tyrone County, Ireland, married and had three children when he came to Washington County. Thomas Hall, Jr., was born in this township on the farm bought of Gillespie, and is the only son living.
In July, 1808, Thomas Hall, Sr., bought one hundred and sixty-eight acres of land of William Ramsey, a part of the two-hundred-acre tract warranted by John Stevenson, and sold by him to William Cochran in 1796. While the property was in his possession, Mr. Ramsey had built a flouring-mill upon it on Little Chartiers Creek. The United Presbyterian Church is also built on land belonging to this last purchase of Thomas Hall, Sr., but which was donated to the society in 1817 by Thomas Hall, Jr., his father having died in 1814. By will of Thomas Hall, Sr., James Hall, one of the sons born in Ireland, came into possession of part of the original property in this township, and the daughters—Mary, who married Adam Wier, and Jane, who married Henry Vance—inherited the remainder. Mrs. Henry Vance now lives on the property early owned by Joshua Davis. The children and descendants of James Hall are in the West. Thomas Hall, Jr., is living, and also his five sons. He lives with the youngest, Adam Weir Hall, in South Strabane township. The sons—James, John, and Thomas (3d)—all live in Washington borough. The other son, Rev. Austin W. Hall, a minister f the Baptist Church, is living at Big Prairie, Wayne Co., Ohio.
William Wallace lived in Somerset township as early as 1786, and during his residence here owned several tracts of land. One tract, called " Wallace's Bargain," was warranted by him March 25, 1788, and the survey completed April 10th following. He also became the owner of several other tracts of land here. Much of the land formerly owned by William Wallace now comes within the borough of Bentleysville. Some of it is owned by Hamilton and Henry Myers; Richard Richardson owns a portion, and still more is in the possession of Messrs. Jones and Stephens. During his residence in Somerset Mr. Wallace served several terms as a justice of the peace. He finally removed to Monongahela City, and died there. B. L Bentley, of that city, is a grandson of his.
On April 20, 1789, John Wallace sold to Joshua Davis seventy-five acres of land, a part of the tract called " Tempest," situated on the North Fork of Pigeon Creek. Joshua Davis was a member of the Episcopal Church near Scenery Hill, in West Bethlehem township. He had five sons, but the only representatives of the family left in the county are William Davis, a grandson, who resides in South Strabane township, and George Davis, a son of William, and great-grandson of Joshua Davis, who lives in Washington borough.
934 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
In the earlier days of Somerset township James Wherry owned the farm on Pigeon Creek that now belongs to Ira Huffman. In the family of James Wherry were three sons, John, David, and William. No knowledge is gained of the last two, but John Wherry married Elizabeth Welch, and his children, five in number, reside in this township.
The Huffman family was one of the most prominent in Somerset township. Rudolph Huffman patented a tract of land here on May 22, 1787, and reared a family of ten children,—Daniel, Dorothy, David, Martin, Jonathan, Jacob, Solomon, Joseph, Sophia, and Sevela. The daughter Sophia married Jacob Swagler, and Sevela became Mrs. Wallace. Rudolph Huffman's land was on Pigeon Creek, and he followed the business of farmer and distiller. He died before 1806. The property is now owned hy Joseph Huffman, a great-grandson of Rudolph Huffman. John Huffman was a nephew of Rudolph Huffman, and lived on the farm adjoining that of his uncle. His property is now owned by Joseph Huffman, Andrew McIlvaine, and John Berger, his family having all emigrated to Columbus, Ohio. Richard Huffman, who resides in Bentleyville, in this township, is a descendant of Rudolph Huffman. He is the author of " Pilgrim's Poem."
James Cochran was a farmer who lived on Cochran Run, a branch of Chartiers Creek. His farm is now owned by the heirs of Peter Whitely and Samuel Weir.
Of the early settlers of Somerset township there were two families of the name of Stevenson, but they were not related. The name of the father in each family was John Stevenson. The head of the first family of that name that settled in Somerset township was born in England in 1735, came to this country in 1750, and settled near the Brandywine battleground. He was married about the year 1765 to Mary McCowan. In 1780 he came to this county and settled in Somerset township, on the farm on which Thomas McCorkle now lives. He had a family of eleven children, nine of whom lived to mature years. He was elected a justice of the peace in Somerset township, and he also represented this county two terms as a member of the Supreme Executive Council of the State. On his way home, at the close of his second term, he was taken with smallpox, and died at Hagerstown, Md., in March, 1795. Mary McCowan Stevenson, his widow, some years after his death, married Judge James Edgar, of Cross Creek township.
The second family named Stevenson that settled in Somerset township was of Irish extraction. John Stevenson, the father of this family, was born in the year 1729, and he removed from Cumberland County, Pa., to Washington County, Pa., in 1781, and settled on a tract of land in Somerset township which they bought from Philip Whitten, containing three hundred and ninety-two acres. He lived on the part of this tract which now composes the farm of Samuel R. Weir. His first wife was — Mitchell. By this marriage he had two sons, named Joseph and George. His second wife was Jean McCombs, and their children were Robert, John, James, Mary, Margaret, Elizabeth, Jean, and Anne. All his sons, with the exception of James, who was too young, served as soldiers in the Revolutionary war. He sold his farm in Somerset township, and purchased and lived on the farm now owned by Andrew McCarrell and the heirs of Hon. Thomas McCarrell. He afterwards divided this land among his children, and moved to a farm he owned near Cross Creek village, and now comprising the farms of John Lee and H. L. Duncan. He died there at the age of ninety years, and is buried in Cross Creek Cemetery. His wife, Jean McCombs, died at the age of eighty-six years.
Joseph Stevenson, the eldest son of this family, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and served under Gen. Washington, and fought at the battle of Trenton. He came to this county, married Mary Espy, and had five children,--John, Joseph, Maria, Mary Anne, and Josiah Espy,—which latter son was a physician, and lived and died at Kittanning, Pa. Another of his descendants is the Rev. Loyal Young Graham, of Mount Olivet Church, Philadelphia. Joseph Stevenson afterwards lived in Canonsburg, and died there, and is buried in the cemetery at Chartiers Church.
George Stevenson, the second son by the first wife, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and served under Gen. Washington. He came to this county, and was afterwards taken prisoner by the Indians near West Liberty, now in West Virginia. He was compelled by them to carry a heavy iron kettle lashed on his bare back all the way to Canada. He was also at the same time suffering from a severe gash in his forehead, made by an Indian striking him with a tomahawk at the time of his capture. In Canada he was sold, and remained there for three years and five months, when he was exchanged as a prisoner f war. He married Catharine McCombs, and lived for a time at what is now known as Hunter's Mill on Harmon's Creek, Hanover township. He afterwards removed to Knox County, Ohio, where he died. He had a family of four children, named John, George, Martha, and a daughter whose name is not known to the writer. The Rev. George Graham, of Clarksville, Iowa, is his grandson.
Capt. Robert Stevenson, the eldest son of John Stevenson, by his wife, Jean McCombs, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and belonged to a company commanded by. Capt. McConnell, of Cumberland County, Pa. He was also in the war of 1812, and was captain of a company. He assisted in the building of "Fort Stevenson," near Sandusky, Ohio, and the fort was named in his honor. He settled in this county about the close of the Revolutionary war, and married Mary Teeters. He afterwards moved to near
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Salem, Columbiana Co., Ohio, where he died. He was elected a member of the Legislature of that State. He had a large family, but the only name known to the writer is that of his son, Robert.
John Stevenson, son of John Stevenson and Jean McCombs, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war and a member of a company commanded by Capt. McConnell. He settled first in this county in Somerset township on the farm now owned by the Whitely heirs. He afterwards owned and lived on the farm now owned by James Buchanan, Esq., in Mount Pleasant township, and lastly in Cross Creek township on a farm now owned by H. L. Duncan. He packed on horseback over the mountains to the first store in Washington its first lot f goods. John Stevenson died Junc 13, 1847, and is buried in Cross Creek Cemetery. His wife was Mary McCombs, and their children were John, Margaret, Jean, Mary, and Malcolm McCombs. They all died unmarried, except Mary, who married Robert Marques, and leaves to survive her two sons, Rev. J. S. Marques, pastor of Pigeon Creek Presbyterian Church, and Robert Marques, of Missouri, these with their families being all of his descendants now living. James Stevenson, son of John Stevenson and Jean McCombs, died when quite a young man, unmarried, and is buried in Pigeon Creek Cemetery.
Mary Stevenson, eldest daughter of John Stevenson and Jean McCombs, married first Joseph Nelson, who died, leaving her with two children, James and John. She afterwards married Rev. John McPherrin, many years pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Butler, Pa. The names of their children are not all known to the writer, but some of them are Jane, William, Clark, and Ebenezer. Jane was married to the Hon. Walter Lowrie, for many years secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church, and the Rev. John C. Lowrie, D.D., senior secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church, and Rev. Walter M. Lowrie and Rev. Reuben Post Lowrie, both missionaries to China, now deceased, were her sons.
Margaret Stevenson, daughter of John Stevenson and Jean McCombs, married John Cratty, and she had one son—John Stevenson Cratty, of Bellaire, Ohio—and one daughter. Robert Curry, the founder of Curry Institute, Pittsburgh, and at one time assistant superintendent of schools in Pennsylvania, was her grandson.
Elizabeth Stevenson, daughter of John Stevenson and Jean McCombs, married John Stevenson, a son of John Stevenson and Mary McCowan, who were the first family of Stevensons to settle in Somerset township. She and her husband lived and died on the farm taken up by his father, and on which Thomas McCorkle now lives. The Rev. James Edgar Stevenson was her son; her other children are Joseph, Jane, John, Maria, Elizabeth, Mary, Margaret, Emily, and Frances. Jane Stevenson, daughter of John Stevenson and Jean McCombs, married John Graham, of Cross Creek village. Her children were Henry, Robert, John, Mary, Jane, Rev. Ebenezer S., Margery, Elizabeth, Joseph, Thomas Smith, and Anne. Rev. Ebenezer S. Graham, her son, wag one of the pastors of Pigeon Creek Presbyterian Church. Her daughter Anne was wife of Dr. Boyd Emery, of Somerset township. Anne Stevenson, daughter of John Stcvenson and Jean' McCombs, married Col. John Vance, and her children were Jane, David, John, Anne, Joseph, and Julia A. Her son Joseph was a lawyer by profession, and lived at Mount Vernon, Ohio. In the late war he was colonel of an Ohio regiment in the army of Gen. Banks, and he was killed in battle on Red River, La.
William Jones, whose history is given below, on March 21, 1793, purchased two hundred and fifty-eight acres of land adjoining the farms of John Study, John Graybill, and James Innis. This property was a portion of the three hundred and eighty-eight acres patented by Robert Morrison, Sept. 14, 1789, under the title of " Toft." Mr. Jones, whose life extended over the period f a century, was closely identified with the early settlement and progress f Somerset township. The sketch f his life given below is from Dr. J. S. Van Voorhis.
"He was born at Ellicott's Mills, in the State of Maryland, May, 1763, and came to the neighborhood of Ginger Hill a few years before the Whiskey Insurrection, and located on the farm now owned by his son William, and on which he died March, 1862, being ninety-nine years and eleven months old. He was a blacksmith by trade. When the United States troops were sent out to disperse the insurgents they halted near his farm, and were ordered to return, as the insurrection was over. While in camp he shod some of the government horses. He was loyal to the government, and took no part in the insurrection: By his first wife he had eleven children, five sons and six daughters, viz.: John, Elijah, Jesse, Samuel, and John, Rebecca, Delilah, Polly, Ruth, Rosa, and Ann.
"John was the founder of Jonestown, and lived there, keeping store nearly all his life. He died in 1874 at a very advanced age. His peculiar sign ' Entertanement' will be remembered by many. Elijah lived in the brick house on the hill above Jonestown, where he died some fifteen years ago. Among his children were Isaac Jones, who built the McGrigor Row on Main Street, and now a successful wool-buyer in Washington, Pa., and James Jones, deceased, who married Caroline Van Voorhis, daughter of the late Abram Van Voorhis. Jesse is still living on part of the old homestead in a brick house near his brother William, who owns and lives in the old homestead. Samuel Jones, the remaining son, was born at the Jones homestead in 1800. He went to the Forks in 1824, and located on the farm purchased by his father for him from Peter Shepler. Samuel resided on this
936 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
farm until his death in June, 1867. He was killed by the rolling of a log over him. In 1826 he was married to Jane Fell, daughter of Benjamin Fell, in Rostraver township, Westmoreland County. The wedding took place at the Fell mansion, which consisted of a log cabin of primitive style. Mr. Fell was very positive that at this cabin was organized the first Methodist class west of the mountains. Through his influence was erected the old log church which formerly stood where the present stone church, known as Fell's Church, is situated, about two miles from Webster.
"Samuel Jones had by his first wife flair children. Mary married 1)r. J. P. Watson, and has been dead some years. William on the 6th of February, 1850, married Sarah, daughter of the well-known Capt. Joseph Shepler, by whom he has three children. His father gave William the old Fell farm,, which was purchased at Orphans' Court sale. On this farm he lived until he removed to Belle Vernon, where he is at this time as a member of the banking-house of S. F. Jones & Co. His brother, S. F. Jones, in 1861 married Miss Sallie Thomas. His father gave him the farm near Belle Vernon, in Rostraver township, known as the farm on which Rev. David Smith lived while pastor of the Rehoboth Church, and died in 1803. The old house has given place to a fine brick, erected by S. F. Jones. Jones sold this farm to Michael F. Cook, grandson f Col. Edward Cook, and removed to Belle Vernon, where he is a member of the banking-house of S. F. Jones & Co., formed in 1872. James, the remaining son of Samuel Jones, married Miss Ann Finley, daughter of the late William Finley, and granddaughter of the Rev. James Finley, first pastor of Rehoboth, having come to the Forks in 1768. James, like his brother, S. F. Jones, has no children. He served through the late war, and now lives in retirement in Monongahela City. Mr. Samuel Jones' second wife was Miss Mary, daughter of the late Benjamin Thomas, of the vicinity of Webster. Her mother was a sister of the late Joseph Alexander. By her he had eight children; Elizabeth, married to J. M. Bake, deceased, and now to Thomas Hagerty ; Malissa married Lowry Venable and is living in Kansas; Rettie married Jonathan Rhodes, she died a few years ago in Ohio ; Amanda, married to T. C. Douglass, and living on part of the homestead ; Homer, married to Jennie McAlpin, and residing in Kansas; Luther, married to Sally Venable, and living near Belle Vernon ; John and Celia are single, and living with their other on the homestead. Samuel Jones was a large landholder, and the distribution of his estate gave each of his children a fair patrimony. He was a man of warm feeling and ardent sympathies. Energetic in his business, he was no less so in his church. He was long a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and held his membership at Fell's, in the graveyard of which church his remains were buried. He gave largely of his means and labor in erecting the church in Webster. William Jones' (the elder) daughter Rosa married Hudson Williams, who lived for many years in the neighborhood of the Dutch meeting-house. They are both dead. Rebecca married Andrew Mills; both are deceased. Ann married John Hess, who lived and died near what is now called Edwards' Chapel, on the turnpike above Ginger Hill. Ruth was never married, is now eighty-five years old, and resides with her brother William on the homestead. Delilah married James Mills, brother of the above-mentioned Andrew Mills. James Mills was a well-known local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church and a business man generally. He lived in the town of Williamsport as early as 1828 ; in Washington, Pa., on a farm near lock No. 4, where Joseph Ryan now lives, and on which he laid out a town called Lockport, which town was a failure. For years before his death he carried on business in Pittsburgh, where he died a few years since. He was a man of more than ordinary mind ; his sermons were scriptural, and delivered in a plain though fervent manner. He attended church for many years on the bank of the river, where he often preached. His wife still lives in Pittsburgh.
" Mary, the remaining daughter, married Joseph Alexander, a sketch of whose life will be given. She died Aug. 15, 1856.
" Mr. William Jones was one of the committee on the part of the Methodist Episcopal Church who purchased the dwelling-house (converted into a church) on the river-bank in 1826. The house was built by a man named Simon Hailman. It was originally three stories high, the lower one being brick. Mr. Hailman sold it to Mr. Bentley; he dying shortly afterwards, Dr. Pollock was appointed administrator of his estate. He sold it at Orphans' Court sale, the committee —consisting of William Jones, Æneas Graham, Robert Bebee, and others—be-coming the purchasers for the Methodist Episcopal Church. The house was lowered one story by inserting heavy timbers beneath the framework and so holding it up that the brick story could be taken away. It was thus reduced to a two-story frame church, to which in after-years were added two wings, one of which, I think, still remains.
" What reflections are suggested to the mind when contemplating the time covered by so long a life as Mr. Jones passed! He was born six years before the great Napoleon, yet he survived him over forty years. He was born six years before the Duke of Wellington, who died at a very advanced age, yet Father Jones survived him eleven years. He was thirteen years old when independence was declared, thirty years old at the time of the Whiskey Insurrection, fifty years old during the last war with Great Britain, and ninety-eight years old at the commencement of the great Rebellion. He was strictly temperate in all things, of a quiet disposition, calm in judgment,
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never in a hurry, firm in principle, inflexible in the performance of all his duties to God and to man as it was given him to see right. He was beloved by his children and children's children, and respected by all who knew him. He was buried in the family burying-ground, on the farm on which he had lived seventy years. His second wife was Mrs. Phillips, the mother of David and John Phillips (deceased), of Robert (still living), of Mrs. Nancy Wickerham (deceased), and the mother of Mrs. Jane Van Voorhis, wife of the late Abraham Van Voorhis."
Michael Moyers, or Myers, took up a tract of land which was surveyed to him as" The Hill," containing three hundred and ninety-eight acres. It was patented in 1788. He was a resident on the land probably before 1780. His death occurred about 1784, as in that year the land was devised by him to his son George, who, on the 18th of May, 1803, sold it to his son, George Myers, Jr. George Myers, son of Michael, took up land on a Virginia certificate, dated Feb. 21, 1780, which was surveyed Sept. 10, 1786, called " The Morass." This land was adjoining his father's and Benjamin Parkinson and George Miller. It is now owned by David Myers, a descendant. Another tract, containing two hundred and seventy-five acres, was patented to Michael Myers (a son of George), Dec. 30, 1808, adjoining Benjamin .Parkinson and George Myers. This was sold to George Miller, April 27, 1810, who, June 20th the same year, sold to Robert Moore. George Myers, the son of Michael, died in 1803, and left two hundred and ninety acres, the home place, to his son Jacob, and ,one hundred acres to his son Michael (on which he formerly lived), and to his son Christopher one hundred acres adjoining Martin Swickard. He also had a daughter Caty and a daughter who married a Mr. Mushrush. The descendants of this family are numerous, and reside in the township. The lands of the Myers were in both Somerset and Nottingham townships.
Robert McCombs received a warrant for land on the 1st of November, 1787, and was surveyed to him as three hundred and eighty-two acres. He sold the tract to William McCombs, of Canton township, of whom he bought it April 12, 1792. He lived and died on the farm, leaving one daughter, Mary, who married John Stephenson, Jr., and settled on the Stephenson tract, now owned by the heirs of Peter Whitely. There were also four sons,—Thomas, Malcolm, William, and John. Thomas was actively engaged in the Whiskey Insurrection, and fled to Cincinnati, where he lived a number of years, and returned to his brother William, and stayed a few days, and while going to his mother's on the old homestead in Somerset township was taken sick on the road, and stopped at the house of Hugh Cotton (now John Vance), where he died. Malcolm went to Mercer County, Pa., and William settled in Canton township, where his descendants are still living.
Greer McIlvaine and his brother George came to this county from the eastern part of the State. Greer took out a warrant for a tract of land (which was later divided between him and his brother) May 20, 1788, which was surveyed to him Feb. 11, 1789, as " Calydon," containing four hundred and seven acres. On this farm he lived and died. He had a family of fourteen children. Greer, the eldest, is still living in the township at the age of eighty-eight years. John lived and died at Canonsburg. Guion settled in Hickory, and died there. George remained at home, where he died. William settled on a farm adjoining the homestead, where he still lives. J. Addison McIlvaine, an attorney of Washington, Pa., is a son of William. Andrew settled on the home farm. Margaret (Mrs. William Denniston) settled in Mercer County, Pa. Mary (Mrs. James Greenlee) settled in Greene County, Pa. Ruth (Mrs. Joseph Moreton) located in Virginia. Catharine (Mrs. Samuel Smith) settled in Bentleysville. Elizabeth (Mrs. William Campbell) settled in Mercer County, Pa. Esther (Mrs. Thomas Carson) settled on Pike Run. Ann (Mrs. Joseph Scott) lived for a time in the West, and upon the death of her husband returned home. Eleanor (Mrs. David Scott) settled on Pigeon Creek.
George McIlvaine, a. brother of Greer, and who came to this country with him, settled upon a portion of the tract " Calydon." It was not until June 21, 1815, that he received a deed for the property. On this he settled and raised a large family. He died in 1842 or 1843. His will bears date July 2, 1842. His son John emigrated to Ohio. George settled on a farm adjoining his father's and died there, leaving a family that are now scattered. Robert settled on the home farm, where he died. Judge George McIlvaine, of Ohio, and Mrs. William Drury, of Washington, are children of Robert. Greer, also a son of George, removed to Ohio. There were also five daughters, of whom were Catharine (Mrs. Ramsey), Ruth (Mrs. Stringer), Eleanor (Mrs. Kerr), two daughters married respectively John and William Crouch, and both died before their father. The farm was sold to David McDonough, and is now owned by his son, Thomas McDonough.
Bentleysville.—Sheshbazzar Bentley (son of Sheshbazzar, who first purchased lands in what is now Somerset township in 1777) conceived the plan of laying out a town, and inserted the following notice in the Washington Reporter of date March 4, 1816:
" The subscriber informs the public that he has laid out a town on the waters of Pigeon Creek, Somerset township, Washington County, 25 miles from Pittsburgh, 9 from Williamsport, 10 from Brownsville, 9 from Fredericktown, and 15 from Washington, on the Cross Roads leading from the above towns, and In a beautiful situation, and surrounded by rich country. There is three wool machines, one grist-mill, one sawmill adjacent thereto. Also, great abundance of building-stone, limestone, and stone coal, which will be given gratis for the use of building for live years. Also, four springs of good water running through this town. The lots will be sold at public sale on Saturday, the 16th of March, 1816. The sale to begin at 9 o'clk on said day, and the conditions made known by the proprietor.
" March 4, 1816.
938 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
A number of sales of lots were made on the day-above mentioned, and on the 31st of August, 1816, deeds were given to the following persons :
At the time of the laying out of the plat there was standing on the premises the old Bentley mansion, where now Robert L. Jones resides, around which (soon after the sale of lots began) dwellings and places of business began to cluster. A meeting of the citizens was held in June, 1817, to provide for a place of public worship. The following is the agreement then drawn up :
" We, the subscribers appointed Trustees for the purpose of Building a House for Public Worship in the Town of Bentleysville, Do unanimously agree and resolve to conduct the same in the following manner, agreeable to an Article and Subscription taken for that purpose and to prevent any disputes which might arise hereafter respecting the same, To wit: 1st, we do Resolve that before we proceed to building we obtain a clear deed for the lot of ground to be made to the Trustees, or a majority of them, and to their successors forever for the use of the Presbyterians, Baptist, Methodist Societys; 2d, That the said three Societies shall have equal privelidge to make their appointments, particularly on the three first Sunday in each Month, but not knowingly to make two appointments in one day, but should it so happen, then they are to Devide the day so as to give each an opportunity of Preaching, and the fourth or fifth Sunday, for the use of any other regular society, with the approbation and consent of at least one of the then acting trustees; 3d, when the Said house is at any time occupied for the use of a stand, those who occupy it for that purpose shall le obligated to repair any damage which may be occasioned by the school ; 4th, the number of the trustees to be five, to be chosen by the joint vote of the then acting trustees, those to succeed the present trusted, to be chosen in the mouth of April next ... and every two years afterwards any vacancies which may happen at any time to be supply'd by the then existing Trustees upon their being duly notified of time and place to meet for that purpose ; 5th, if any dissatisfaction should at any time arise by any Irregular preachers being admitted on the fourth or fifth Sundays before mentioned, the then acting Trustees shall endeavour to settle and have power to regulate the same; 6th, any one of the Trustees may call a meeting of the whole, provided they notify the whole and a majority so met shall transact any necessary business; 7th, Resolved, that the foregoing resolutions and agreements be put on record, Together with the deed for the said lott, in the Recorder's Office in and for the County of Washington, given under our hands this 21st day of Juno, 1817.
"H. W. Donogh.
"Acknowledged December 24th, 1817.
"Recorded 25th December, 1817."
Under this agreement a church was built and occupied as a place of public worship till its destruction by fire in 1828.
It has not been thought of sufficient importance by those connected with the churches of Bentleysville Circuit to furnish any information concerning their early history, and but little has been gleaned concerning them. Much will be learned front an article written by Mr. Rothwell, to be found in the history of the borough of Greenfield, on the rise and progress of Methodism in the eastern part of the county. This congregation was formed prior to 1852, and services were held in the school-house. On the 29th day of December of that year the trustees—Robert N. West, S. Richardson, Harrison Richardson, and John Holland—purchased a half-acre of land of Sheshbazzar Bentley and erected a brick edifice, forty by fifty feet, at a cost of twelve hundred and fifty dollars. It was dedicated by the Rev. James Sansone and Samuel Wakefield. Among the pastors who have served this church and circuit are John Spencer, James Sansom, Samuel Wakefield, David Cross, James B. Yarnall.
Time Bentleysville Circuit embraces four churches,— Davidson's Chapel, seven miles from Washington, on the National road ; Scenery Hill, at Hillsborough ; Bentleysville, and Clover Hill Church, at Garwood Post-Office, in Fallowfield township. There are in the charge 349 members. The value of the church property is estimated at $6800. There are also four Sunday-schools, having 272 pupils. The Rev. Belmont C. Wolfe is the present pastor. A camp-meeting ground containing about twenty acres was leased of John W. Stephens about 1866, for the use of the circuit. About forty cottages are erected on the grounds.
Vanceville, a small village, located near the centre of Somerset township, is upon land owned by the Vance family, and front them it received its name. Isaac and John Vance were two brothers who made early settlements in this section. Isaac received a Virginia certificate dated Dec. 3, 1779, entitling him to two hundred and thirteen acres of land situate on a fork of Pigeon Creek. This land adjoined the lands of Patrick McCullough and Joshua Davis, and was surveyed to him March 10, 1786, under the title of " Edge Hill." John Vance also received a Virginia certificate, granting him three hundred and forty-three acres of land, which was located on Pigeon Creek, and surveyed to him March 9, 1786, as "Edge Comb." When the death of John Vance occurred, some years later, he left by will the undivided half of " Edge Comb" to his brother Isaac. As stated, Vanceville is situated near the centre of this township, while the surrounding country is well adapted to farming. The soil is made up of clay and sand, and considerable limestone is found ill the vicinity. The Middle Branch of Pigeon Creek, flowing through the hamlet, affords the necessary water privileges conducive to business advancement. The village has one store, one blacksmith-shop, a steam saw-mill, a school building, and two churches, of the Baptist and Disciple persuasion. Thirteen dwellings afford residences for the inhabitants, and a post-office was established here some years ago. It is now under the charge of Dr. Henry McDonough, present postmaster. The Disciple Church is a frame building, thirty-eight by forty-six feet in size, and was erected on land purchased from or donated by Joseph McDonough.
The religious society known as the Pigeon Creek Baptist congregation was organized on Saturday, Aug. 27, 1803, in Somerset township, by Brethren David
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Phillips, Benjamin Stone, Henry Speers, and Thomas McDonough. A church meeting was held at the residence of henry McDonough on the Saturday before the fourth Lord's day in October. According to adjournment, the church met on Oct. 22, 1803, and after public worship proceeded to arrange the business necessary to the completion of the organization. After the appointment of Henry McDonough as elder, other persons were chosen to the offices of moderator and clerk. Benjamin Lyon and Jonathan Williams were chosen deacons, and a resolution was adopted to hold the future meetings at the house of Henry McDonough the Saturday before the fourth Lord's day in each month if necessary. " The first observance of the ordinance of baptism by this society occurred in 1805, at which time Henry McDonough and wife, James Wherry and wife, and Miss Wallace, a daughter of Nathaniel Wallace, were baptized by immersion. The ceremony took place on the property of Nathaniel Wallace, near where the preaching was held, upon a platform erected for that purpose. At the close of the sermon the minister, candidates for baptism, and the audience repaired to the water, not far away. During the rite of immersion a severe thunder-storm arose, and a tree sheltering the platform mentioned was struck by lightning and two horses near by were killed during the storm. For many years after the formation of the Pigeon Creek Baptist Church its members worshiped in a tent pitched upon the farm of Henry McDonough. On March 27, 1830, Joseph Huffman, David McDonough, and John Pangborn, trustees of the church, received a portion of the Rudolph Huffman tract, donated by Salomon Huffman, upon which the present house, a brick building thirty-seven by forty-seven feet in size, was erected. Revs. Estep, Speers, Luce, Higbee, Kendall, and Charles Wheeler are the names of some of the ministers who have officiated in this church. In 1828, during the administration of Rev. Charles Wheeler, the members were David McDonough, Daniel Burgan, Cassandra Burgan, Elizabeth Huffman, Susanna Clouse, John and Mary Pangborn, Solomon Huffman, Samuel Black and wife, Henry Underwood, Margaret Patton, Martha Brown, Margaret Berk, John Burgan, Dr. Sharp, Lydia Clouse, Ann Huffman, Cynthia N ichols, James Burgan, Jesse Underwood, Arthur Devore, John Wherry and wile, Sidney and Margaret Ames, Noah Clouse, Isaiah Burgan, Elizabeth Ames, Lydia Devore, Michael Huffman, Nancy Underwood, Nancy Nichols, Jabez Ames, Susanna Huffman, Matilda Paden, Julia Underwood, Elizabeth Nichols, Hannah Underwood, William Underwood, Margaret Reed, and Bershen Nichols. The present pastor of the Pigeon Creek Baptist congregation is Rev. Robert Miller.
Pigeon Creek Presbyterian Church.¹— The con-
¹ The substance of an address delivered at the centennial anniversary of Pigeon Creek Presbyterian Church, Aug. 24,1875, together with
gregational records of this church commence with the year 1812, and of the doings of the session nothing can be found prior to the year 1831 (the former sessional records having been, in some unexplained way, lost), hence the only fragments of its early history available have been gathered from other reliable sources. The first settlers in the bounds of this congregation were mostly of Scotch-Irish descent, and came principally from Eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and from near Winchester, Va.
As a class, they are described as being " intelligent, virtuous, and courageous," and having enjoyed religious privileges in the various places from which they had emigrated, they early made efforts to secure the same privileges for themselves and their families in the home of their adoption.
The first sermon ever preached within the bounds of this congregation was on the Tuesday following the fourth Sabbath of August, 1775. Rev. John McMillan was the preacher, and the place was the house of Mr. Arthur Forbes, where Mr. Frederick Whitely now 'lives.
In a short time after this Mr. McMillan returned to his home at Fagg's Manor, Chester Co., Pa. Near the beginning of the year 1776 he again visited this region, and preached at Pigeon Creek on the fourth Sabbath of January, and on the following Sabbath at Chartiers, and continued to preach alternately in these congregations until the last of March, when he returned to his home. Soon after his return a call was made out by the congregations of Pigeon Creek and Chartiers, was presented to him and accepted by him at a meeting of the Presbytery of New Castle, April 22, 1776. The Indians at this time being troublesome, he did not remove his family to the West until November, 1778, yet he visited these churches as frequently as he could, ordaining elders, baptizing their children, and taking such care of them as the circumstances would permit.
The date of the organization of this church cannot be definitely ascertained, but from the best information we have it must have taken place some time near the beginning of the year 1776, and from the testimony of Hon. James Veech (now deceased), and of Rev. John Stockton, D.D., of Cross Creek village, Pa., it antedates by a short time the organization of the church of Chartiers, and is the oldest organization of the Presbyterian order in the county of Washington.
The date of the dissolution of the pastoral relation between Dr. McMillan and the church of Pigeon Creek is not certainly known, but it is most likely that it took place in 1793, for in a book which he kept in which he recorded the names of all persons who were supporters of the church and the amounts subscribed, there is a subscription for the year 1793 (this
some additional particulars of a later date, by Rev. John S. Marquis pastor.
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book is now the property of Dr. Boyd Emery, Sr., of this church). In April, 1794, another pastor was called to this church. Taking the above facts in connection, it will appear that Dr. McMillan's: connection with this church continued near nineteen years.
So much has been written and already published respecting Dr. McMillan, his life and work, that it is not necessary to dwell on it at length here, and will only add that he was born at Fagg's Manor, Chester Co., Pa., Nov. 11, 1752; received his preparatory education partly at an academy at Fagg's Manor, under the direction of Rev. John Blair, and partly at a grammar school at Pequea, Lancaster Co., Pa., which was under the superintendence of Rev. Robert Smith, and was graduated at Princeton College in the fall of 1772 ; studied theology at Pequea, under the direction of Rev. Robert Smith, D.D. ; was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of New Castle, at East Nottingham, Pa., ()et. 26, 1774 ; was ordained to the full work of the. ministry June 19, 1776, at Chambersburg, by the Presbytery of Donegal, to which he had been dismissed by the Presbytery of New Castle, and on the 6th of August taming was united in marriage with Miss Catharine Brown.
He died Nov. 16, 1833, after a short illness, at the house of Dr. Letherman, in Canonsburg, Pa., aged eighty-one years and five days, and his mortal remains are interred in the cemetery at Chartiers Church.
The second pastor of this church was Rev. Boyd Mercer. Of his early history but little is known, except that he was born at or near Winchester, Va., in the year 1766, and was there brought up. He received a classical education, at least in part, at the academy at Pequea, Lancaster Co., Pa., which was then under the superintendence of Rev. Robert Smith, D.D., but whether he afterwards attended any college or was graduated is not known, nor under whose direction he studied theology. Neither can it he ascertained when he removed to the bounds of this church. In the records of the Presbytery of Redstone, which met at Chartiers, June 26, 1792, it is stated that he was taken under the care of the Presbytery with a view to his licensure, and he was licensed by the same Presbytery at Rehoboth Church, April 16, 1793.
He was called to the pastorate of this church April 22, 1794, and the relation was dissolved in 1798. His home was on the farm now owned by his grandson, Mr. Ebenezer Crouch. He and his wife deeded, March 10, 1826, for the sum of one dollar, ten acres of land for the use of Pigeon Creek Church. These ten acres had been surveyed and given for the use of the church by one Peter Swartz (alias Black), but he never gave a deed to the congregation, and when he afterwards sold his farm to Mr. Mercer he made no reservation of this tract.
Mr. Mercer is described as being under medium height, of an active temperament, and a good preacher. He died Feb. 5, 1841, aged seventy-five years. His dust sleeps with kindred dust in the cemetery of this church, and is the only one of its pastors buried here.
Mr. Mercer's successor was Rev. Andrew Gain, who was, called to the pastorate in 1799, installed in Ism, and was released from the charge in April, 1517, a period of seventeen years.
He was an Irishman by birth, but nothing can be learned of the time when he came to this country, nor where educated. By those who remember him he is described as being a man of about medium height, of symmetrical proportions, a fluent and eloquent speaker, and a preacher of great power. This was his last charge. He spent his last .days near Wellsburg:, Brooke Co., W. Va.
At the close of this pastorate there was a great dissension and alienation of feeling among the members of the congregation, and for a time the church was almost closed. This state of affairs continued to some extent until the beginning of the year 1822; when, by invitation, Rev. Andrew Wylie, D.D., took charge of the church as a stated supply, and continued to serve the church in this capacity until September, 1829, a period of seven years and eight months. During this entire period he was president of Washington College, consequently was only with the people of the church on Sabbath day. He was very successful in healing the divisions made in the congregation at the close of the former pastorate, and sowed the seed to a great extent from which so rich a harvest was gathered in the next succeeding years. Dr. Wylie was a native of this county ; commenced a course of classical study at an academy at Washington, then under the care of the late Judge Mills, of Kentucky ; was graduated at Jefferson College, Canonsburg, Pa., in 1812, with the highest honors of his class ; united with the church in his seventeenth year; studied theology under the direction of his brother William and Dr. McMillan ; was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Ohio Oct. 21, 1812, ordained by the same Presbytery, and installed pastor at Miller's Run June 23, 1813 ; was elected president of Jefferson College at the age of twenty-three years ; served in this capacity for the period of four years, when he resigned and was elected president of Washington College, sustaining this relation for several years. In 1825 he received the degree of D.D. from Union College, New York. In 1828 was elected to the presidency of Indiana State University, where he continued until the time of his death, which took place at Indianapolis, Nov. 11, 1851 in the sixty-third year of his age. Rev. Robert Baird, D.D., describes Dr. Wylie as being "a strongly-built man, not much above middle size, of rather light complexion and blue eyes, with a countenance indicating intelligence and thought rather than remarkable benignity. It cannot be questioned that he was one of the best educated men in the part of the country in which he lived."
Rev. William P. Alrich, D.D., succeeded Dr. Wylie as stated supply, sustaining this relation for one year,
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when a call was made out by the congregation for his services as pastor. This call Mr. Alrich declined. Near the same time he was elected to a professorship a Washington College, which he accepted, and abored in this capacity till near the close of his life.
In April, 1831, Rev. William C. Anderson, D.D., began to supply this church, and on September 26th of the same year was called as pastor. He was ordained and installed pastor April 17, 1832. Resigned she charge July 15, 1836. His labors were greatly blessed, and at the close of his labors here he records hat there were " two hundred and thirty-two persons added to the church on profession of their faith during the period of his connection with it." Dr. Anderson was the son of Rev. John Anderson, D.D., of Upper Buffalo Congregation in this county. He was educated in Washington College, Pennsylvania, where he was graduated September, 1824. Studied theology under the direction of his father, and was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Washington. A'fter he left this church he was pastor of the Fourth Church, Pittsburgh, Pa., one of the churches in Cincinnati, Ohio, at New Albany, Ind., First Church, Washington, Pa., and at San Francisco, Cal. He was also for some years president of Miami University, at Oxford, Ohio. He died at the house of his son, Rev. John A. Anderson, of Junction City, Kan., Aug. 28, 1870. Of him, Dr. Stockton, who was his intimate friend and companion, writes : " He was a delightful companion, an eloquent preacher, and labored with great zeal and success. After leaving Pigeon Creek Church, amidst the deep regrets of the people, he traveled far and wide, and has filled with honor many important positions in the church." He twice visited Europe, and on the last trip, in company with his brother John, extended it as far as Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Dr. Anderson's successor was Rev. Ebenezer Stevenson Graham. Mr. Graham was the son of John and Jane (Stevenson) Graham, of Cross Creek township, this county. His mother in her early years lived in the bounds of this church, and here first united with the church. He commenced his classical course of study in an academy at Cross Creek village, Pa., which was then under the direction of Mr. George Marshall, afterwards Rev. Dr. Marshall, of the church of Bethel, in the bounds of the Presbytery of Pittsburgh ; was graduated at Washington College, Sep-temTer, 1834; studied theology under the direction of Rev. John Stockton, D.D., and was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of. Washington. He was called to this church Sept. 30, 1837 ; was ordained and installed October, 1837, and the congregation concurred in his request for the dissolution of the pastoral relation, Oct. 3, 1842, and he was dismissed at the next meeting of the Presbytery of Washington.
Dr. Stockton, who was his pastor and spiritual father, in a letter addressed to the writer, says, " He became a professor of religion in the church of Cross Creek during a powerful revival of religion in that
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church in 1828. He was a man of talents, of scholarly attainments, of eminent piety, and labored in Pigeon Creek Church with great fidelity, acceptance, and success. In the midst of his career of usefulness he preached on a certain night in a close, heated school-room, and afterwards riding home through the chilly air, he contracted a cold, which brought on bronchitis. This disease increased upon him till, after repeated requests on his part, his congregation agreed to the dissolution of the Pastoral relation. He traveled South in quest of a restoration of health, and died far away from home and from friends at Tampa Bay, Fla. ; but whilst his flesh sleeps in that far-off land, his memory is still fresh and green in many a loving heart.
The next pastor of this church was Rev. James Sloan, D.D., who was born and brought up in the bounds of Upper Buffalo Congregation, in this county. He was educated at Jefferson College, Canonsburg, Pa., where he was graduated in September, 1830, studied theology under the direction of Rev. John Anderson, D.D., was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of Washington at Cross Creek, Pa., in Apri1,1834. His first charge was at Frankfort, Beaver Co., Pa., where he was ordained and installed, and his connection with that church continued for a period of nine years. He was called to this church April 8, 1844, was installed in December, 1844, and the relation was dissolved in October, 1862, a period of eighteen years and six months. After this he for a time supplied the church of Waynesburg, Greene Co., Pa., but was compelled by disease of the heart to cease from the active work of the ministry, when he removed to Monongahela City, this county, where he died March 11, 1871, aged sixty-three years, and his body rests in the cemetery at that place. Dr. Sloan was a man of about medium height, of florid complexion. In his younger years he was slender in form, but as he advanced in years he grew corpulent. By his brethren in the ministry he was esteemed as a good scholar, an able preacher, and a good parliamentarian in the church courts. He was for many years a member of the board of trustees of Jefferson College, and the degree of D.D. was conferred upon him by that institution. His ministry here was a very successful one; about three hundred and ninety-one additions were made to the church during his connection with it.
Rev. Samuel McFarren Henderson was next called as pastor. The place of his nativity was New Hagerstown, Carroll Co., Ohio. He was graduated at Washington College in September, 1859; pursued his theological studies at the Western Theological Seminary, Allegheny City, Pa.; was licensed to preach. the gospel by the Presbytery of Steubenville at the church of Corinth, April, 1862; was called to this church June 5, 1863, and was ordained and installed November 4th of the same year. This relation was dissolved. April 21, 1867. He was afterwards settled
942 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
in the church at Wilkinsburg, Presbytery of Pittsburgh, and has since deceased.
The present pastor is Rev. John Stevenson Marquis. The place of his nativity is Cross Creek township, this county. His grandparents, John and Sarah Marquis, were of the first settlers of that township, and on his mother's side his great-grandfather and great-grandmother, John and Jean Stevenson, and his grandfather and grandmother, John and Mary (McCombs) Stevenson, were among the early settlers of this congregation, and were members of this church in its early history. He was educated in part first at an " academy in Cross Creek village, under the superintendence of Rev. John Marquis, now of Anaheim, Cal.," afterwards attended an academy at West Alexander, Pa., Rev. John McCluskey, D.D., principal, and was graduated at Washington College Sept. 27, 1848 ; studied theology, first under the direction of Rev. John Stockton, D.D., and afterwards at the Western Theological Seminary, Allegheny City, Pa. ; was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of Washington, April, 1853, at Moundsville, W. Va.; was ordained by the same Presbytery, April, 1855 ; was first stationed for four years at Sistersville, Tyler Co., W. Va., afterwards, in the bounds of the Presbytery of Steubenville for seven years, and from failing health was compelled to cease from the active work of the ministry for more than three years. He first preached in this church in November, 1867; was called to the pastorate March 2, 1868; was installed June 5th, same year. At the installation services Dr. Brownson presided and preached the sermon, Dr. Stockton charged the pastor, and Rev. S. M. Henderson (the former pastor) the people.
The first bench of elders was composed of the following persons, viz.: Patrick McCullough, Patrick Scott, Hugh Cotton, Hugh Scott.
Dr. McMillan, in his journal, says that on "the third Sabbath of November preached again at Pigeon Creek from Luke iv. 12, ordained five elders and baptized five children." This was in 1776, and most likely the date of the ordination and installation of the first bench of elders. After this and before the close of the pastorate of Mr. Gwin the following-named persons were elected and ordained ruling elders, viz:: James Smith, John Hosack, James Kerr, Joseph Vaughn, John Stevenson, Jr., William Ferguson, Aaron Kerr, Robert Moore, and John Atkinson. It is not likely that the above-named persons were all elected and ordained at the same time, but from the absence of any records the date of election and ordination cannot be fixed.
During the period of Dr. Anderson's labors here the following-named persons were chosen and ordained elders, viz.: John Vance, Samuel Gamble, Samuel Ritchey, Dr. Boyd Emery, William Kerr, and David Riddle. This addition was made July 17, 1836. Afterwards during Dr. Sloan's labors here there were additions made at three different times: 1st, Andrew Smith, James Vance, John Leyda, Greer McIlvain, and John Scott were elected Feb. 13, 1849, and ordained April 8, 1849; 2d, William Smith, William Ramsey, and Edward Paden were elected March 3, 1856, and ordained April 14th, same year ; 3d, Alexander Hamilton, Zachariah Peese, James Rankin, and John C. Messenger were elected March 5, 1860, and ordained April 8, 1860.
The present session consists of Greer Mcilvain, William Smith, Zachariah Peese, Alexander Hamilton, Edward Paden, and John C. Messenger.
Deacons.-William Barkley, William Davis, James Jones, and Isaac V. Riddle were elected deacons, and were ordained March 7, 1864.
Revivals.—The first revival in this. church commenced near the close of the year 1781, and continued with but little interruption for near six years. The work was one of great power, and many were added to the church, but in the absence of records the number will not be known until the revelations of the last great day.
The second revival was during the ministry of Mr. Gwin, and is known as the " Falling Work," commencing near the close of the year 1799 or the beginning of 1800, and continuing on through the year 1802. This was a work of a most remarkable nature. Often strong men would come to the religious services to scoff, but would be among the first to fall down and plead for mercy, their groanings and pleadings baffling description. Of the numbers added during this period we have no record.
From the commencement of Dr. Anderson's ministry until its close there appeared to be one continued revival, many being added to the church at every communion season. At the beginning of the year 1857 God again blessed this church with a season of reviving, and at the communion on the first Sabbath of March seventy-eight were added to the church, and the whole number during that year was one hundred and two. This was under the ministrations of Dr. Sloan, and at other times whilst he was pastor there were added eleven, twelve, sixteen.
The next season of the special reviving work of God's spirit commenced about the 1st of November, 1867. This was during the vacancy which occurred after Mr. Henderson's release from his connection with this church. The religious services were conducted by Mr. J: P. Irwin, a licentiate of time Presbytery of Pittsburgh, Rev. R. V. Dodge, of the Second Church of Washington, and Rev. William Hanna, of the church of Fairview: On the first Sabbath of December sixty-eight were received into the communion of the church. Rev. J. K. Andrews administered the sacrament at that time.
The last season of revival was at the commencement of the year 1877, when large numbers were inquiring " what they should do to be saved," and at the communion on the first Sabbath of March eighty-one persons stood up in the presence of the congregation and
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publicly professed their faith in Christ. Six additional members were added at the same time, being received by letter. from other churches.
Church Edifices.—The first building was of round logs, with a clapboard roof and door, and was occupied the first winter after its erection without being " chunked and daubed," and without fire. The writer heard one who worshiped here at that time repeatedly make this statement.
It is claimed also that there was a building here afterwards of hewed logs, and yet it is also maintained that the present building is the third edifice; but. if there vas a hewed log building the present building must be the fourth one erected. There was a stone building erected near the site of the first (the year is not known). In consequence of some imperfection in the construction, on a certain Sabbath, whilst the pastor was preaching, the floor gave way, carrying down with it the entire audience. The congregation supposing that the house was falling, the scene ensuing can be more readily imagined than described. Providentially, no one was seriously injured. After this the floor was taken out and replaced under the pews with earthen aisles. As, each family made or caused their own pews to he made, the variety in style was almost as great as the number of the pews. The site of these buildings was within the limits of the cemetery.
The present church building was erected in 1829; is built of brick, and is in size seventy by fifty-six feet, with four doors, two in the end looking southwest and one on each side. The present building stands on the brow of the hill, lying a little north of east of the cemetery, and outside of its limits.
In the early history of the church, in the summer season, religious services were held in a grove near the church, where a tent was erected for the accommodation of the minister, and was west of the church building, in what is now the lower part of the cemetery. The following is a copy of a letter addressed to the writer, and is the recollection of one who came to this church when a small boy, Hon. Isaac Shane, of Jefferson County, Ohio :
"BACON RIDGE, JEFFERSON COUNTY, OHIO, March 15, 1875.
Rev. J. S. MARQUIS:
"Dear sir;—Fora long while I have neglected answering your letter, and for which I owe you an apology; yet I hope this will be in time for your Centennial. My Bret recollection of being at Pigeon Creek Church was about the year 1789 or 1790, at a communion with my father and mother, in the month of October. I recollect distinctly about the tent where the services were held. It was standing in a grove of tall white-oak trees, and the trees were full of wild pigeons, and I paid more attention to the pigeons than to the preacher. I was then about eight years old. I recollect Dr. McMillan when he rose and read the Psalm, gave out one line, and then handed the book to an oldish man to lead called Billy McCombs. The house of worship was of logs, and my impression now is that they were round and the roof clapboards. There was no inclosure either about the house or graveyard. What graves were there were on a piece of ground about eight or ten rods east of the church, and each grave inclosed with a fence of poles or logs, or Whatever could be got hold of easiest. All was open to the wide world. The tent stood about ten rods west of the church on lower ground. I think two of the elders were Patrick Scott and — McCullough, although I am not certain which of them was called Patrick. Now, my dear friend, perhaps you hail better not place too much reliance on the foregoing statements, although I think they are substantially correct, but they are made from memory, and they occurred nearly eighty-five years ago, when a little barefooted boy, eight years old, gazed carelessly on the surrounding scenes, and that same little boy is now well on in his ninety-third year. And now may God bless you and yours, and your labors in winning souls to Christ, and that your life may long be spared is the prayer of your friend,
The first meeting of the Presbytery of Redstone, and the first meeting of any Presbytery west of the Allegheny Mountains, was held here. It met Sept. 19, 1781. The sessions of this Presbytery were held principally at the house of Mr. John Stevenson, Sr., where Mr. Thomas McCorkle now lives, about three-fourths of a mile from the church.
Thirteen young men who were connected with this church have entered the ministry, and three more are pursuing a preparatory course of studies with the ministry. in view.
During the present pastorate this congregation erected a parsonage, with such other buildings as are necessary, at an estimated cost of four thousand dollars. This building is a frame of two stories, thirty-six by thirty-two feet, and was built in 1871, and first occupied near the last of October of the same year. The building committee consisted of Messrs. William Smith, Dr. Boyd Emery, William Barkley, Robert Moore, and I. V. Riddle.
New Congregations.—While Dr. Sloan, was pastor of this church the church at Fairview was organized, at Munntown, and was composed largely of families and members connected with this church, thereby reducing materially both the membership and territory of this congregation. And the church of Mount Pleasant was organized in the last few years, and it .was also composed largely of members from this church.
First Sabbath-School.---The first Sabbath-school was organized in 1822. Hon. Joseph Lawrence brought the subject before the congregation, and Elder James Smith and Dr. Boyd Emery were among the early superintendents. Elder David Riddle was for many years the superintendent; also Hon. J. C. Messenger and James Jones have acted in this capacity. Mr. Messenger is the present superintendent.
The first educational meeting for the advancement of common school education ever held in this State was in this church while Dr. Sloan was pastor. From this originated a county convention, and as a result county superintendents and county institutes.
Centennial Celebration.—On the 24th of August, 1875, the one hundredth anniversary of the preaching of the first sermon within the bounds of the congregation by Dr. McMillan was celebrated here.
Rev. D. H. Junkin, D.D., of New Castle, Pa., was invited to deliver an historical address on the life and times of Dr. McMillan. He was on the ground at the time with an elaborate address, but being taken, suddenly ill was unable to deliver it, and it
944 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
was read by the Rev. Boyd Mercer Kerr, a son of this church.
Rev. J. S. Marquis read the history of the congregation.
Hon. J. C. Messenger gave a brief history of the Sabbath-school connected with the church.
Mr. William Kerr, an aged member of the church and for many years an elder, related many interesting reminiscences connected with the history of the church. The assemblage was immense, coming from every direction and from great distances. The number was variously estimated at from three thousand to five thousand persons. In the opinion of the writer
the last number was the nearest correct. There was a large number of ministers present on this occasion. After the exercises of the day, at night Rev. George P. Hays, D.D., president of Washington and Jefferson College, delivered a lecture in the church, which was largely attended and greatly applauded.
The Church of Christ at Vanceville, formerly designated "The Congregation of the Disciples of Christ at Pigeon Creek," had its distinctive and separate organization in 1832, fifty years ago. This organization was the result of long-cherished principles rather than of a definite design of any number of individuals. The Bible was the daily companion of those who sought information of things sacred and revealed, or diversion from the weariness of hard daily labor. Pious fathers and mothers felt it incumbent upon them to teach and train up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
The oft-repeated saying of a godly father was, "Let us hear what God says;" and taking up "the old family Bible that lay on the stand," he would read a portion, and 'calling upon each member of the family that could read to read a passage or recite from memory a verse or more which 'he had learned, and then singing " Before Jehovah's awful throne," or some other appropriate hymn, he would pray, and then send every one to his appointed work. All were happy, and went forth in the fear if not the love of God. Such teaching, although not universal, was found dispersed in a sufficient number of families to leaven every community of the early settlers west of the Allegheny Mountains. In 1804 five Baptist preachers assembled on Pigeon Creek to organize a number of immersed believers into a church. They cast about for a name that would be both distinctive and representative, and they designated it " The Gospel Church at Pigeon Creek," seeking to teach and to practice the teachings of Christ and his apostles. This organization continued until about 1832, when some of the Baptist preachers introduced a creed which they thought was necessary to be added to the 'Bible to shut out heresy. Those adopting this creed were designated the "Regular Baptist Church at Pigeon Creek." Those refusing to take the creed were content to stand by the name "Gospel Church," and take only such titles as were used by the New Testament writers by which to designate the followers of Christ. A more careful study of this book taught them that the followers of Jesus Christ were called "His disciples," "brethren," "saints," "Christians," etc.; that the corporate body united for the public worship of God was called " the church, churches of God, and the church of Christ." They also concluded that sinners can and should be converted now as they were in the apostolic age; that the church in any given locality should be placed under the care of overseers and served by deacons, and " follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord."
This church continued to meet and worship the Lord in the same house, held in common with the Baptists, until 1859, when the old house was disposed of. On Jan. 16, 1858, David McDonough made a deed to Isaac Mitchell, James Morton, and John Burgan, trustees of the Christian Church, or Disciples of Christ, on Pigeon Creek, in Somerset township, " for and in the consideration of the sum of Fifty Dollars," of one acre and twenty-two perches of land, on which the present meeting-house stands, on Pigeon Creek.
On this lot, near Vanceville, the Disciples built themselves a new house, which was opened for worship in 1860, and a reorganization of the congregation was effected.
Those who served the congregation as elders while meeting in the old house were James Burgan and David McDonough. Since the reorganization in 1860, William Hill, John Burgan, Thomas W. Beatty, and Joseph McDonough have served as elders; the three latter are now the ruling officers of the congregation.
Among these, James Burgan was for a long time a prominent and a very active member. He was a man of great physical and intellectual force. He served his country in the capacity of first lieutenant of volunteers under Gen. Harrison, in the war with England, from 1812 to 1814. In those days but few men were found that equaled him in courage or prowess. At thirty years of age he commenced to learn written language, and such was the proficiency made under the teachings of his heroic and godly wife that he soon learned to read any common English, but the New Testament was his delight, much of which he committed to memory.
The evangelists or preachers of the word who have labored in word and doctrine in this church were J. T. Smith, James Darsie, W. F. Pool, Robert Milligan, Norman Lamphear, Wesley Lamphear, Chauncy Ward, Marcus Bosworth, Henry Langly, L. P. Streator, Dr. George Lucy, Hiram Vankirk, John Whitaker, J. B. Ryatt, William S. Lloyd, Samuel F. Fowler, C. Jobes, and J. H. Hendron.
Of these, L. P. Streator labored longer than any other one, commencing in November, 1840. The
whole number of members of this church has not exceeded two hundred. The number of the original members was twelve. The present number is fifty.
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The present condition of this congregation is encouraging. It consists of a body of intelligent men and women, who are distinguished for their piety and zeal. They are intelligent in the word of the Lord, and willing to make sacrifices in the interest of truth, and to wait the Lord's own good time to confer the reward pledged to the faithful.
United Presbyterian Church of Pigeon Creek.—The records of this congregation before the year 1836 are lost. They are thought to have been destroyed in the burning of Mr. Samuel Weir's house. Our dependence for the earlier history of the church is on the records of Chartiers Presbytery of the Associate Presbyterian Church and the memory of aged survivors of those earlier days. Among the latter the name of Mr. Thomas Hall is mentioned in the records of Presbytery as the commissioner of certain members of the Associate Church applying to Presbytery for supplies of preaching. Mr. Hall is still living, and is a member of Pigeon Creek Church.
According to the records of Presbytery, applications for preaching were made and granted in the year 1816. During that and the following year public worship was held in Mr. Hall's house. Wb do not know the date of the erection of "Hall's Tent," a roofed platform occupied by the minister during public worship, but as Mr. Hall's recollection is that preaching was held in his house for about two years, we may fix the date of this the first building near the beginning of 1818. The petition for the election of elders, which corresponds with the organization, according to our more modern expression, was presented to Presbytery Nov. 11, 1817. The minutes of Presbytery do not show any action as being taken on this petition. The.. presumption is that an unrecorded appointment was made or that the petitioners accepted the Presbytery's silence as consent, for at the April meeting following, April 7, 1818, a petition was presented for the ordination of elders. This implies that they had been previously elected. The unrecorded tradition is that Mr. Hall and Mr. Adam Weir were elected to the eldership and did not accept the office. William Pollock and Peter Martin were ordained as elders, and thus the church was organized not long after April 7, 1818. The congregation being thus organized, the next thing was to procure a house for worship. They desired to locate it at a point convenient to the membership. The place selected was that where the church was afterwards built. It was on a part of Mr. Hall's farm, on ground now inclosed in the graveyard of Pigeon Creek Church. But they needed the consent of. Presbytery for their location, and there were difficulties in the way.
Chartiers Church, with the venerable Dr. Ramsey as pastor, was only nine miles away, and members of the Associate Presbyterian Church living in Washington were desirous of obtaining an organization in that town. In those days of sparse population it was thought that three congregations in such small territory would be "too thick to thrive." In the meetings of Presbytery following the organization, April, 1818, petitions and remonstrances were acted on from the congregation of Chartiers and from members in Washington opposing the location at "Hall's" as being too near those places. A commission of Presbytery met with representatives of Washington and "Hall's," to enable them to agree on a location at some convenient point between the two places for the location of a church that would accommodate both. They could not compromise, and Pigeon Creek renewed their petition for the privilege of building their church at the selected place. The contest for and against the granting of the petition was a close one. The vote in Presbytery was a tie. It was decided in favor of granting the petition by the casting vote of the moderator of Presbytery. And it is a cherished tradition of the people of Pigeon Creek, showing how an unselfish deed retains its fragrance, even in the musty pages of history and tradition, that the moderator whose vote decided in their 'favor was the Rev. James Ramsey, D.D., whose interests were, according to the opinion of the times, chiefly thought to be unfavorably affected by the decision.
But even this did not end the contest. An appeal from the decision of Presbytery was taken to the Associate Synod by a representative of the Washington people. Synod did not sustain the appeal, and the organization about the beginning of the year 1819 had, by ecclesiastical authority, a " local habitation." About that time they built the first house of worship, a log house. But the church in some way got a wrong name. The situation was about three miles from Pigeon Creek waters. But local names were scarce then, and probably they chose the nearest local name, or perhaps called the young church after her more venerable relative, Pigeon Creek Presbyterian Church. Mr. Hall, who did so much to secure the existence of the congregation, had selected for it the name, “Concord," but he being absent when it first received recognition in Presbytery, the present name was given to it, and is now becoming venerable with age. It will probably remain. The first log house, built probably in 1819, continued in use, with one enlargement to accommodate a growing congregation, till 1838. Then a brick church, sixty by fifty feet in size, was build at a cost of $2500. This becoming insecure by the sinking of the walls, in 1869 the present house of worship was begun. It was completed and opened for worship in May, 1871. Cost, when furnished, $18,000. A parsonage was added in 1873, at a cost of about $4000.
Pastors.—The first pastor of the congregation was Rev. Alexander Wilson. He was pastor of Peters Creek. On joint petition of Peters Creek and Pigeon Creek, one-third of his time was given to Pigeon Creek July 4, 1820. This arrangement continued till June 10, 1834. September 24th, the same year, Rev. Bankhead Boyd was ordained to the ministry, and installed as pastor of the congregation. This re-
946 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
lation continued with great usefulness till the time of his death, Feb. 3, 1860. The present pastor, Rev. D. S. Littell, was called July 25, 1861, began preaching the third Sabbath of September following, and was installed as pastor Oct. 17, 1861.
Since 1875 the congregation has given up pew-rents, subscriptions, etc., and secured all funds for benevolent purposes, salaries, and congregational expenses by a contribution taken up each time the congregation meets for public worship, which contribution is considered as one of the acts of worship. Their dependence is on the providence of God to give the ability, and the-grace of God to give the willingness, and in both respects the Lord has not disappointed them. Thus, in the sixty-two years since its first pastoral settlement, the congregation has had three pastors, aggregating more than fifty-nine years, and been vacant less than three years. By last year's report, the membership is one hundred and seventy-eight. Increase for the year, eleven; decrease, four; net increase, seven. Contribution. for all religious and benevolent purposes, $2158.
German Lutheran Church.—It is not known at what time the church was organized, but a warrant for sixteen acres and twenty-five perches of land was obtained on the 15th of January, 1816, by Jacob Kintner, John Oustott, and George Miller, trustees, " for the use of German Lutheran and Calvinistic Congregations of Somerset township." This land was patented Feb. 27, 1833. A log church was erected soon after the warrant was. obtained. A portion of the ground was used for a burial-place. The old church was taken down many years ago, and a new one erected of brick on the site.
The Rev. George Myers is the present pastor.
Schools. —The first school taught in Somerset which can be remembered by any of the present residents of the township was that held in an old log dwelling-house situated on the farm of John Vance, on the Middle Branch of Pigeon Creek. It was taught for one year, about 1798, by Samuel Lawrence. Following this venture a school was opened in another log dwelling-house, a half-mile east of the Vance school, on the farm now owned by Joseph. McDonough. Leonard Blaine, an Irishman, taught here at different times, and later John Knox McGee taught a three-months' term of school in the Vance schoolhouse. Another school was taught in the beginning of 1800 in a building which, if standing, would be on Thomas Richardson's farm. In 1801 short terms of school were held in the lower part of the township, all of them being paid for by individual subscriptions. After 1803 buildings for the express purpose of schools began to be erected throughout the township. They were generally built of logs and furnished with puncheon seats without backs. The fireplace occupied one end of the building, and light was obtained through openings cut the whole length of the other end, and both sides made about ten inches wide, and covered with oiled paper. About the year 1804 a school-house was erected on the South Branch of Pigeon Creek, very near the Carey Mill. Mr. David Johnson, who was a fine classical scholar, taught at this place. In 1814 a school-house was built on the farm of Greer McIlvaine, which was in the centre of the township, and the first teacher employed was John McIlvaine. He was succeeded by Jesse Woodruff, and the building continued in use, the schools being maintained on the old plan of subscription, until the adoption of the public school system. In 1814 Alexander Walker taught school in the Quaker Church at Clover Hill. This was before the townships of Somerset and Fallowfield were divided.
On Aug. 6, 1810, William Morrow advertised that he was about to open a military school at the tavern of John Wilson, nine miles from Washington, on the Williamsport road. No information is gained of the success of this institution. In those early days only reading, writing, and arithmetic were taught, and all of these branches only to boys, as it was considered useless to teach girls to write ; all of the schools' sessions were held irregularly up to 1834, when the public school law was enacted.
In 1827, Mordecai Hoge, who had taught since 1814 in that section, commenced to teach a school at what is now known as Hoge's Summit, where he taught for six years, and teaching near Pees' Mill and in a log school-house on the site of the Hardy school-house two years, he returned to Hoge's Summit, and taught almost without intermission for twenty-three years, when his labors ceased. Prof. John Messenger later commenced a school at that Place, and in 1860 erected and built a small building, which was named Hoge's Summit Academy, and was intended for the benefit of those who wished to obtain a classical education. The school, which has been moderately successful, is still in operation and yet remains under the management of Prof. Messenger, who is a fine classical scholar.
In the year 1835, after the passage of the school law, there were in the township three hundred and eight taxables liable for school purposes, and in that year there was raised $253.79.
The next year the school directors, John Vance and Henry McDonough, laid out the township into ten school districts. In this year, 1836, the township did not accept the provisions of the school act, and only the State tax of $88.21 was raised. In 1837 the act was complied with and $500.03 was assessed and collected. Ten school buildings were erected and are still in use, the one at Bentleysville having been enlarged and converted into a Union school. In Somerset in 1863 there were reported eleven schools, eleven teachers, four hundred and five pupils in attendance, and a school fund of $1111.16. In 1873 the schools had been reduced to the number of eight; eight teachers were employed, two hundred and twenty-five pupils were enrolled, and the school fund
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amounted to $2097.30. In 1880 eight teachers were employed in the eight schools, two hundred and twenty scholars were in attendance, and the school fund aggregated $2036.16, with an expenditure of $1854.63.
Physicians.—The first physician to settle in Somerset was Dr. Ephraim Estep, who located in the centre of the township, where Ira Huffman now lives. This was in 1807, and after he had studied medicine and fitted himself for practice in Allegheny City, then but a small settlement. He remained in Somerset township about three years, and then returned to Allegheny City. Beside studying medicine, Dr. Estep had been regularly ordained as a Baptist minister, and was the first pastor of the Baptist Church here. After his return to Allegheny City he followed both professions of medicine and the ministry until his death.
Dr. Crawford succeeded Dr. Estep in the medical practice in this township. He also came from Allegheny City, and lived at the home of his brother-in-law, Isaac McCullough. His sojourn here lasted but three years, when' he sold out and removed to Allegheny City.
Dr. Robert Mercer was a son of Rev. Boyd Mercer, and a native of Somerset. He studied medicine with Dr. David Mitchell, of Washington borough, and began his practice here at his old home, living in his father's house. He remained here until 1828 or 1830, when he removed to the West.
Dr. Bishop came into Somerset township in 1830, and at once secured the practice previously held by Dr. Mercer. He remained two years, and also removed to the West.
In 1831, Dr. Boyd Emory came to this section, and commenced the practice of medicine. .He was born in Canonsburg, but has resided in this township for more than fifty years. He has been eminently successful in his profession, in which he is still actively engaged, and is now assisted by his son and partner, Dr. Boyd Emory, Jr.
Dr. John Keyes came into Somerset in 1855 and opened an office in the village of Bentleysville, securing at once a large and lucrative practice. At the beginning of the Rebellion he entered the army as a captain of the Ringgold Cavalry, and died in the service. Dr. Robert Keyes, a younger brother of Dr. John Keyes, practiced his profession in this township for many years, but finally removed to other parts. He was succeeded by Dr. Harvey Leyda, who after some years removed to Monongahela City.
Dr. Jefferson Scott came next in order of the Somerset physicians, and is still attending to a most successful business here.
Dr. Stephen E. Hill, son of 'William Hill, is a native of Somerset. After fitting himself for the duties•of a physician he opened an office here, where he has attained and holds an excellent practice.
Dr. Henry McDonough is a grandson of Henry McDonough, who settled in Somerset township prior to 1785. Dr. McDonough lives on the land taken up and improved by his grandfather.
Dr. David Mitchell, who practiced in Washington borough, is still remembered by many residents of this township. He had a brother, Dr. Hiram Mitchell. He lived in the neighborhood of the pike, and afterward removed to the vicinity of Canonsburg.
Among some of the earliest physicians in this section was Dr. Wheeler. He was an English surgeon, but was efficient in all other phases of a medical practice. Others were Dr. Milton Allen, who died here, Dr. Joseph Shidder, and Dr. Joseph Leatherman. Dr. E. R. De Normandie is at present the dentist of the township, and the first regularly educated one to come here.
Incorporation of Bentleysville.—On the 2d of May, 1868, on petition of citizens, the court of Washington County granted a charter to the borough of Bentleysville. The names of the burgesses, council, and justices of the peace are here given:
1868.—Burgess, Hiram Mitchell; Council, B. Crouch, Henry Newkirk, John Denormandie, Dana Mitchell, Emory Leyda.
1869 (March;.—Burgess, D. H. Mitchell ; Council, Edward Sprowls, Henry Newkirk, R. L. Jones, John Denormandie, Henry Hamilton.
1869 (October).—Burgess, O. L. McElheny ; Council, Edward Sprowls, H. Miller, S. B. Richardson, Thomas Johnston, R. W. West, R. Tucker.
1870.—Burgess, Henry Newkirk; Council, R. W. West, D. H. Mitchell, Samuel Fry, David Howell, Abraham Finley, Richard Luker.
1872.—Burgess, Willison Kerr; Council, Thomas Richardson, A. J. Buffington, Harrison Richardson, Noah Morton.
1873.—Burgess, tie vote; Council, A. J. Buffington, H. Richardson, John White, John Crouch, Isaac Newkirk, J. A. Newkirk, Joseph Jennings.
1874.—Burgess, A. J. Buffington; Council, John White, Jacob Grable, James Jones, Thomas Richardson, Edward Sprowls, A. J. Newkirk.
1875.—Burgess, Jeremiah Sprowls; Council, Edward Sprowls, James Jones, John Crouch, Joseph Jennings, J. H. Leyda, William Kerr, R. S. Jones.
1876.—Burgess, James Jones; Council, W. H. Cleaver, H. Richardson, Edward Sprowls, J. H. Leyda, David Mitchell, J. M. Grable.
1877.—Burgess, James Jones ; Council, E. Sprowls, Thomas Richardson, L. Beadsworth, A. Finley, J. H. Leyda, R. L. Jones.
1878.—Burgess, James Jones; Council, E. Sprowls, F. J. Richardson, L. Beadsworth, Jacob Grable, A. Finley, W. H. Cleaver.
1879.—Burgess, D. L. Howell; Assistant Burgess, Daniel Kerr; Council, Richard Hoffman, Isaac Morris, Jacob Grable, D. Kerr, mom Richardson, R. L. Jones.
1880.—Burgess, A. J. McCormick; Council, Benjamin Crouch, David Mitchell, W. F. Richardson, John Salters.
1881.—Burgess, James Jones; Council, M. Morton, J. T. Scott, E. Sprowls, D. Mitchell, K. L. Jones. E. Leyda.
1882.—Burgess, A. J. McCormick; Council, J. F. White, E. Sprowls, R. L. Jones, Hudson Crouch, Noah Norton, Henry Scott.
The justices of the peace have been as follows :
John W. Stephens, April 15, 1873.
John W. Stephens, Jan. 21, 1874.
Wilson Kerr, March 24, 1874.
David Mitchell, March 17, 1876.
J. F. White, March 28, 1879.
Jeremiah Sprowls. April 9, 1881.
William Smith was born on Mingo Creek, Nottingham township, Washington Co., Pa., June 28, 1804, She youngest in a family of six children of William and Mary (Caldwell) Smith. His father was born in
948 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
County Tyrone, Ireland, was married there, and emigrated to America in 1798. He first settled on Mingo Creek, Nottingham township. In 1807 he purchased a farm of one hundred and six acres, situated on East Chartiers Creek, on the southern limit of North Strabane township. It was mostly woods. Both he and his wife were members of the Pigeon Creek Church. He was an honest, hard-working man, a devoted husband, a kind father, and a good citizen. He died July 20, 1840, aged eighty-two. His wife died Aug. 10, 1844, aged eighty-live. Both are buried at Pigeon Creek. Their children were Sarah, James, Margaret, Ann, Maria, and William. All were born on 'Mingo Creek, except Sarah, who was born in Ireland. The latter was the wife of Robert Hanna, moved to Harrison County, Ohio, where her husband died. She then returned to Washington County, and lived with her brother William until her death.
James married Prudence Hanna, sister of Robert. He settled on a farm about three miles above Washington, and died there in about six months.
Margaret lived and died at the residence of her brother William. Neither Sarah nor James had children. Sarah, James, and Margaret are buried at Pigeon Creek Church.
Ann was the wile of Dr. Joseph Caldwell, who died in Butler County. She had children as follows : William, Mary, James, Bell, Margaret, Samuel, Sarah, and Joseph, all of whom except Margaret married and raised families. Samuel Caldwell has been for many years one of the officers of Dixmont Hospital. Mrs. Caldwell died in Allegheny City and is buried there.
Maria was the wife of Robert McCaskey. She lived and died in Allegheny County. They had one son, Joseph. All deceased. .
William Smith lived at the homestead until twenty-eight years of age. His schooling was limited to attendance at the old log school-house in the neighborhood. The management of the home farm devolved upon him after reaching his majority, his father withdrawing from its oversight. He married, Feb. 2, 1832, Elizabeth, daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth (Riddle) Van Eman. Mrs. Smith was born April 14, 1803, on the place now occupied by her son, Andrew Wylie Smith.
From savings during his stay on the home farm Mr. Smith purchased a farm of seventy acres in
Somerset township, and after marriage moved to it, continuing, however, the management of the home farm, which came into his possession upon the death of his father.
In 1854 he purchased of James McDowell the grist-and saw-mills on the East Branch of Chartiers Creek, rebuilt and remodeled them, and has carried them on ever since. But farming has been the principal business of his life, and his success has been exceptional. He has dealt extensively in Spanish merino sheep and in Durham cattle. He has added from time to
time to his original purchase of seventy acres until he has, nearly in one body, slit hundred acres of land.
In politics a lifelong Democrat, but no seeker of office. he united with the Pigeon Creek Church in 1832, and has been an elder,. also a trustee, in the same for many years.
His first wife died April 18, 1874, and is buried at Pigeon Creek. By her he had children as follows:
James, born May 9, 1834, died Oct. 29, 1834.
Andrew Wylie, born Nov. 5, 1835, married Sarah Ann Doak. Residing and carrying on one of his father's farms in Somerset township. Children are Robert D., William A., 011ie F., and Elliott Wylie.
Mary C., born Jan. 1, 1839, widow of L. L. Whitely, living at Vanceville, Somerset township. Children are William S., Annie M., Frank, Sarah H., David, Margaret, and Laken L.
Elizabeth R., born Dec. 10, 1841, died April 2,1859.
Margaret, born May 3, 1843, wife of John Davis, farmer, living in Somerset township. Children, William D., Wylie W., Lizzie May, John Marcus, Van Eman D., and an infant daughter.
William James, born June 17, 1845. Married Jane, daughter of Thomas McNary. Living upon and carrying on the homestead farm. Children, Thomas McNary, Lizzie, William, and Ella.
Sarah Jane, born June 20, 1847. Wife of Andrew N. Haggerty, a theological student at the Allegheny Seminary.
Mr. Smith married again Nov. 9, 1875, Eleanor, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Boyd, and widow of Isaac Wall.
Since his last marriage Mr. Smith has settled on a place in Somerset township, near his mill property, and has withdrawn from active business.
He was among the earliest advocates of the temperance cause, and has been a leading man in church affairs. Enjoying in the fullest measure the love and affection of a large family circle and the best esteem of his fellow-men, his declining years may be well. made bright by the consciousness of a life well spent.
JOHN S. BARR.
William Barr, a gentleman of Scotch-Irish parentage, a native of Londonderry, Ireland, emigrated to America, and settled in Somerset township, Washington Co., in 1818. From the same county and wish came his future wife, Mary Boyd, in 1824, and settled in the adjoining township of Nottingham. They were married soon after her arrival, and the number of their children was eight. The oldest of them, John Scott Barr, was born Jan. 26, 1827. His father died when he was twelve years of age, and the management of the farm, upon which there was a payment soon due, devolved upon him. He devoted himself assiduously to the work of freeing their home from debt, and was so successful in his labor that he soon found himself " out of debt and out of danger."
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The careful and attentive business habits of his youth have attended his maturer years, and have secured for him an elegant home, in which he is surrounded by the comforts and even luxuries of life. His instinctive uprightness in his dealings with his fellow-men charity for the worthy poor, and generous support of all measures tending to promote the interests of Church and State mark him as a man worthy of the esteem in which he is held by his neighbors.
Nov. 25, 1852, Mr. Barr married his first wife, Mary Gibson, who died March 12, 1855, leading one daughter, who bears her mother's maiden name, and resides with her father. After Mr. Barr's first marriage he lived upon the farm where he was born until his wife's death, when he removed to his mother's home upon an adjoining farm, where he remained about eight years, and then moved to his present residence.
Jan. 26, 1865, he married Mary S. Pattison, of Indiana County, Pa. By this marriage there were three children ; Mary J. is the only one living. William W., the oldest, and John A. S., the youngest, both died in infancy.
In politics Mr. Barr was in early life a Whig, and afterwards a Republican. He has held various township offices, and in 1872 was elected commissioner of Washington County, which position he held for three years. He has discharged all public trusts with fidelity. He responded to Governor Curtin's call for men to repel Gen. Lee's invasion of Maryland, and served in a Canonsburg company until the Confederate army retreated into Virginia. When sixteen years of age he united with the United Presbyterian Church, in which he has held all the offices imposed upon laymen by that denomination. He now holds the position of elder in the church, as did also his father and grandfather.
Jacob Swagler is of the third generation of his family in Washington County, and was born Feb. 11, 1830, upon the farm where he now resides. He is the son of Jonathan and Sarah (Horn) Swagler, who were married May 4, 1815. They had ten children, seven of whom are living. Of those living, Solomon, Elizabeth, Eliza J., and Susanna reside in Ohio. Delilah., John, and Jacob are residents of Washington County. Jonathan learned the business of farming, which he followed all his life. He was noted for his industry and sobriety. He died in 1876, in the eighty-third year of his age, and his grave is in the family burial-ground upon the farm, beside that of his wife, who died in 1872, aged seventy-five years. Jonathan's father, Jacob Swagler, Sr., was a native of Germany, from which country he emigrated when a young man, and settled in Eastern Pennsylvania. He remained there but a short time, and then came to Washington County, Pa., where he purchased the farm now owned by his grandson Jacob. The deed given him by the State for this farm bears the signature of Governor Thomas Mifflin, the date Feb. 15, 1798, and is known as " Swagler's Delight." He' married Christina Huffman, a woman of German descent, and raised a family of six children, but one of whom, Jonathan, made his home in Washington County. Jacob Swagler, the present owner of the farm, deeded to his grandfather in 1798, and upon which he was born and has spent his entire life, was married Nov. 25, 1858, to Levina Tombaugh, by whom he has one child, who bears her mother's name, and is married to John S. McDonough, a farmer of Somerset township, Washington County. Levina (Tombaugh) Swagler died Feb. 25, 1860, and Sept. 12, 1863, Jacob married Julia A. Voorhes, who died Sept. 19, 1872. By this marriage there are three children, all of whom reside with their father. They are Annie M., A. J. C., and Lizzie. Jacob married his present wife, whose maiden name was Mary Morris, Sept. 26, 1874. They have one child, Bertha Cecelia. Mr. Swagler inherited valuable possessions from his ancestors, a respected name, lands, etc. His aim has been to keep the name unsullied, and the testimony of those who know him best is that he has succeeded. His well-directed labor has also added largely to his landed inheritance. In politics he is a Republican, having been a member of that party since its organization, and in religion a communicant of the regular Baptist Church.
JOHN W. STEPHENS.
The first of the Stephens family of whom there is any special record was one John Stephens, who emigrated from Wales when seventeen years of age, and settled in Eastern Pennsylvania, probably in Bucks County. He had a son Levi, who came to Fayette County, Pa., when about eighteen years of age, as official surveyor. He took land as a remuneration for his services, and at one time owned all of the land now in possession of his numerous offspring, residing in Washington township, Fayette County. He married Elizabeth Brown, of Chester County, Pa., and to them were born nine children, two of whom died in infancy. The children who grew to manhood and womanhood and married were Nathaniel, Sarah, John, Levi, Nancy, Elizabeth, and Thomas.
The eldest of the children, Nathaniel, married for his first wife Elizabeth Dodson, by whom he had nine children. His second wife was Mrs. - Houseman Shepler, and by this marriage there was one child. Nathaniel was a farmer, and spent his life upon the Stephens homestead in Fayette County. His oldest son, John D., married Mary Nutt, of Chester County, Pa. Their children, all of whom are living, are Lee P. and Hannah, John W., Nathaniel and Mary, and Ezra N. John D. Stephens spent the early part of his married life in Allegheny County, Pa. He then removed to Fayette County, where he engaged in farm-