Canonsburg Borough (pp. 601)

History of Washington County, Pennsylvania*

Canonsburg is situated on Chartiers Creek, and on the line of the Chartiers Valley Railroad, about seventeen miles from Pittsburgh and seven miles from Washington. The borough limits embrace only about one-half of the town proper, which is built on both sides of the creek, and contains three church edifices, –Chartiers United Presbyterian, Methodist Episcopal, and African Methodist Episcopal Church, –the college buildings, hotel, bank, post-­office, Odd-Fellows' Hall, Masonic Hall, library, public school building, depot of the Chartiers Valley Railroad, a great variety of business interests, and seven hundred and four inhabitants, according to the United States census of 1880.

Early Settlers. –John Canon, one of the earliest settlers in the Chartiers Valley, took up a large tract of land under Virginia authority, on which land he settled about 1773, his place of settlement being the site of the present town of Canonsburg. The first mention of his name found in any record is in that of the court of Westmoreland County, when at the January term of court in 1774, he was with others appointed one of the viewers of a road from Thomas Gist's, at Mount Braddock, to Paul Froman's mill on Chartiers Creek (now Linden, North Strabane township). in the same year he was appointed by Lord Dunmore as one of the justices of Augusta County (which as then claimed by Virginia embraced all the territory now Washington County). In 1776, after Augusta County was divided into the counties of Ohio, Yohogania, and Monongalia, John Canon was appointed one of the justices of Yohogania County. On the 20th of August, the same year, “David Shepherd and John Canon, gent., were appointed to Contract with some person or persons to build a house twenty-four by fourteen, with a Petition in the middle, to be used as a gaol, at Catfishes Camp, Augusta Town.”1 The next year he became colonel in the Washington County militia, and was always afterwards mentioned as Col. Canon. Holding that rank, he was of course somewhat prominent in military affairs, was made sub-lieutenant of the county under Col. James Marshel, and took part (though not as commander of a regiment) in some of the numerous Indian expeditions of that time, including that which marched under Col. Crawford against the Sandusky towns in 1782.

[1It is supposed that this old jail was eerected on the farm then owned by Richard Yeates, later purchased by John Gabby, and now known as the Gabby farm, in Franklin township.]

In this connection it is proper, and it is but just to the memory of Col. John Canon, to notice a statement which has been made in some accounts of the horrible butchery of peaceful Moravian Indians on the Muskingum by the men composing Col. David Williamson’s expedition in the spring of 1782, namely, that he (Col. Canon) was present at, and a ringleader in, that massacre, with in intimation, almost amounting to a positive assertion, that it was he who first used the murderous mallet, and when his arm became weary with the bloody work resigned it with a brutal remark to his successor. But the fact is that there is neither evidence to show nor any circumstance to indicate that Col. John Canon accompanied the Moravian expedition, but, on the contrary, it is stated on apparently excellent authority that at the time the dreadful work was being done by Williamson’s men at Gnadenhütten he was in Philadelphia, attending the sessions of the General Assembly, of which he was a member for Washington County. On the 9th of May, 1782 (only a few weeks after the massacre), Gen. Irvine, commandant at Fort Pitt, said in a letter addressed to the president of the Supreme Executive Council, “Sir, –Since my letter of the 3d instant to your Excellency, Mr. Pentecost and Mr. Canon have been with me. They and every intelligent person whom I have conversed with on the subject are of opinion that it will be almost impossible ever to obtain a just account of the conduct of the militia at Muskingum. No man can give any account, except some of the party themselves. If, therefore, an inquiry should appear serious, they are not obliged, nor will they give evidence." It is a matter of history that the atrocities committed at the Moravian town were regarded with horror and detestation by Gen. Irvine. That officer of course knew whether or not Col. Canon was a participant in them, and he would never have summoned a man red-handed from the butchery to hold consultation with him as to the practicability of bringing the murderers to justice.1

[Long footnote omitted.]

Col Canon received a Virginia certificate for his land in February, 1780, which was returned to him and recorded on the 12th of May in that year. This land lay along the Chartiers Valley, and embraces Canonsburg and vicinity on the north side of Chartiers Creek. One tract was surveyed Nov. 26, 1786, containing four hundred and six acres, and named “Canon Hill.” Another was surveyed Dec. 2, 1786, containing four hundred and twenty-three acres, named “Abbington.” Still another was surveyed Feb. 25, 1788, containing three hundred and sixty-three acres, and named "Sugar-Tree Grove," making an area of eleven hundred and ninety-two acres, with six per cent allowance for roads.

It is not known at what time he built the mill at Canonsburg, but probably in the summer of 1781, as at the first term of court held in Washington County, October 2d in that year, viewers were appointed to view a road “from John Canon, his mill, to Pittsburgh. About nine years later John Canon loaded two boats with flour from his mill, and sent them to New Orleans. Mrs. Jane C. Patterson, wife of the Rev. Robert Patterson, and daughter of Col. John Canon, often related the incident as coming within her recollection. The Pittsburgh Gazette of' May 15, 1790 contains an article on the navigation of Chartiers Creek, in which the incident is mentioned as follows: “About five or six days since, a number of men to the amount of thirteen left Canonsburg, on Chartiers Creek, and with the advantage of a rising flood conducted two boats from thence in about twelve hours to the Ohio River. One was large and heavy, built for the purpose of carrying flour to New Orleans, forty-seven feet in length and twelve in breadth, a small part of the cargo to the amount of forty barrels on board; the other a barge, twenty-­five feet in length, built for the genteel reception of passengers. The amazing facility with which these boats passed down the creek to the mouth, their safe crossing of two mill-dams, one of which was about twelve feet high, with the rudeness of the creek in its natural state, especially at the falls, sufficiently show what immense advantage might arise to thousands of people in the county of Washington were the Legislature to attend to the improvement of its navigation.” About the same time a load of flour was sent down the stream by David Bradford from his mill farther up the stream. These facts were brought to the notice of the Legislature and on the 8th of April, 1793 an act was passed declaring Chartiers Creek a public highway for boats and rafts from its mouth to David Bradford’s mill.

In 1791, Mr. Canon was interested in the organization of the Canonsburg Academy. He presented the lot on which the school-house now stands, and erected thereon a stone building for an academy, for which the trustees were to reimburse him. On the 1st of December, 1796, a deed was made by Mr. Canon and his wife to the trustees of the academy, conveying to them the lot and building. This lot contained two acres and thirty-two perches. One half an acre of it was reserved for the use of an English school.

He lived to see the academy well established, and died Nov. 6, 1798, in the fifty-eighth year of his age. In a notice of his death published at the time he was mentioned as “in private life a steady and disinterested friend, and in public an inflexible patriot; as he lived respected, so he died lamented.”

He had eight children, of whom four were by his first wife, viz., Abigail, William, Jane, Joshua, and John, Jr. He married for his second wife a Mrs. Mercer, by whom he had three children, –Samuel, Margaret, and Ann. Of the descendants of Col. John Canon but little is known; there are none, of his descendants bearing his name now living in this section of country. The last survivor of his children was Mrs. Jane C. Patterson, the wife of the Rev. Robert Patterson, who died March 15, 1858 in her eightieth year. She was born Dec. 20, 1778, and was the third child. She married Robert Patterson, a student at the Academy of Canonsburg. He afterwards became a minister in the Presbyterian Church. Ann, a daughter of Col. Canon by the second wife, married a student who became a minister. Samuel emigrated west. Margaret never married. Mrs. Canon survived her husband many years. In the latter part of her life she became quite poor, the quit-rents left for her support being worthless.

At the laying out of the town of Canonsburg it will be noticed by the plat that Dr. Thompson, Daniel McCoy, David Gault, Andrew Munroe, and Craig Ritchie were purchasers of lots. Dr. Hugh Thompson was an early settler in Peters township, where he owned a large tract of land, and practiced medicine over a large section of country. Daniel McCoy was a shoemaker; David Gault was a tanner. Andrew Munroe was in the county about 1780, and was with Col. Crawford in the Sandusky expedition. Soon after the purchase of his lot in 1787 he built upon it a log tavern, which he kept for several years, and also carried on the nailing business. The tavern was on the southwest corner of College and Main Streets, now owned by Mrs. John E. Black. A frame addition was afterwards made to it. In 1800 he was assessed on property to the amount of twelve hundred and five dollars. In 1814 he opened a book-store. His stock of books and stationery was supplied by William McCullough, bookseller, of Philadelphia, and was sold on commission. In the spring of 1816, Mr. McCullough died, and the stock in possession of Andrew Munroe was sold at auction by Mr. Munroe on an order from the executors of the estate of McCullough. On the 27th of May, the same year, Munroe opened a book-store on his own account in the same place, which he continued for many years. In 1815 he was appointed postmaster, and held the position till his death, about 1846. He was succeeded by his wife. John E. Black, well known by the older citizens, was the son of Mrs. Munroe by a first husband. A daughter of Andrew Munroe became the wife of the Rev. James Coon, a minister of the Associate Reformed Church.

Henry Westbay, a native of Ireland, emigrated to this country with his wife and two children, and settled for a time in Chambersburg, and removed to a high ridge known as the Knob, seven miles west, where he lived several years. About 1790 he came to Washington County, and lived three years on a farm that belonged to Thomas Hutchinson, in Chartiers township. In 1793 he moved to Canonsburg, and the next year opened a tavern known as the “Black Horse.” During this year the tavern became noted in the time of the Whiskey Insurrection, and on the 8th of September, 1795 he advertised in the Washington Telegraph that he carried on the “nailing business in Canonsburg at the sign of the ‘Black Horse.’ ” He continued the business and kept the tavern till 1814, when he removed to Washington with his daughter, Mrs. George Kuntz, and died there, aged over eighty years. His wife survived him a few years, and died in her ninety-fourth year. They had two daughters and five sons, –Henry, Thomas, James, Samuel, and Joseph. Of these James lived here a short time after his father removed, and kept the tavern. The rest of the family removed East and West. Elizabeth, one of the daughters, married George Kuntz, of Washington, where she removed, and where she still lives. Michael and James Kuntz, of Washington, are her sons.

Craig Ritchie, whose name also appears as a purchaser in 1787, was born in Glasgow, Dec. 29, 1758; emigrated to this country in 1772, and when thirty years of age married Mary Price. He came to this section of country before 1782, as he was with Col. William Crawford in the Sandusky expedition in that year. Immediately upon the purchase of the lot in Canonsburg he opened a store and carried on the mercantile business for many years. He was elected a justice of the peace in 1784, and served in the Legislature of the State in 1793-95. He was also one of the first trustees of Jefferson College, secretary of the board, and treasurer. He died at Canonsburg, June 13, 1833, aged seventy-five years, and left a large family. Rev. Andrew Wylie, president of Jefferson and Washington Colleges, married the eldest daughter. Rev. Samuel F. Leake also married a daughter. Elizabeth became the wife of Dr. Jonathan Leatherman, and settled in Canonsburg. Another daughter became the wife of Dr. George Herriot. Drs. Leatherman and Herriot both practiced in Canonsburg, and died there. Abigail and Jane, also daughters of Craig Ritchie, lived and died unmarried.

John, a son of Craig Ritchie, removed to New Orleans, and finally to Texas, where he died. David studied law, and practiced in Pittsburgh, and died there. He was at one time member of Congress from that district. William, another son, removed to Wheeling, where he died. Craig Ritchie, the youngest son, remained at Canonsburg, and carried on the mercantile business at the old place, where the Ritchie Block now stands. Later he went to Wheeling, Va., where he married Mrs. Chickering, and remained a number of years. He returned to Canonsburg, and lived there till his death. His widow still resides in Canonsburg, and his son, William H. S. Ritchie, is a merchant on the site where his father and grandfather kept store before him.

In the year 1790, John Todd, who was a cooper, settled in the town, and carried on his business for many years. The manufacture of flour and whiskey gave him plenty of employment. In August, 1795, Joseph Blakely informed the public in an advertisement “that he has set up the trade of coverlid and diaper weaving, with all kinds of flowered cottons, dimities, and stuffs.” There were others who were there prior to the erection of the borough, whose names and occupations will be found in the history of the town plats.

Among the names which appear on the first assessment of the borough (in 1802) are those of a firm known as Darr & Ogle, who were the largest property-owners in the town, and were assessed on two thousand four hundred dollars. Their names are found the next year (1803), and then disappear. No knowledge is obtained of their business or what became of them. The name of James Murdoch also appears. He had a son Austin, who moved to Sewickley and now resides there. John Speer, a son of Alexander Speer, resided here, as did Thomas, who was a merchant and the first clerk of the Council. John Watson was a blacksmith, and opened a shop where Stewart’s Block now stands. He was a member of the first Borough Council, burgess from 1830 to 1834, inclusive, and justice of the peace in District No. 5 from April 14, 1809, many years. Thomas Watson, an only son, settled in Montana, where he now lives. Mrs. Jane Martin and Mrs. Mary Miller are daughters. The Rev. John Watson, the first president of Jefferson College, is also assessed in 1802. He married a daughter of Rev. Dr. McMillan, and died in that year.

Joseph Pentecost, a son of Dorsey Pentecost, was a lawyer. He owned a lot in Canonsburg, on which he erected a brick house, adjoining the property of Henry Westbay and the market-house. On the 19th of December, 1806 he sold the property to Dr. Samuel Murdoch, and removed to the borough of Washington. William Clarke was a resident of the town some years before its erection as a borough, and in 1801 was postmaster, which position he held for several years. He was a member of the first Council. Francis Irwin, who kept tavern in 1794, was still a resident of the town in 1802. At that time the widow of John Canon resided on the lot now owned and occupied by John T. Roberts. William and Joshua Canon, sons of John Canon, and two daughters resided with her.

Thomas Briceland was assessed on property in the town in 1802, but his residence was a little way north of the borough. He was a member of the first Council and a resident of this vicinity many years previous. The following is a copy of an interesting and ancient paper found some twenty-five or thirty years ago in the old Briceland mansion, which formerly stood in Chartiers township, near where Thomas Archer now lives, by Mr. John Roberts, of this place. Mr. Roberts was engaged in removing the house when he discovered the paper between the flooring and a joist of the second floor, where it had doubtless been placed for safety many years previous and forgotten. It will be observed that many of the names are those of the ancestors of those still living in the community. Some of these names are, however, now spelled differently. A number of these names have a dash passed through them by the pen, which was the only means they had of indicating absentees. These are indicated by an asterisk. The writing is a beautiful, round, old-style script, and is remarkably well preserved for a document which has been in existence for so long a time:

A roll of Capt. Thos Brisland’s company of militia for the year 1788.

Saml Criswell. Andw Colhoon.
Jas Keasy Michael Broady.
Joseph Ross, Jno Glynn.
Willm Carson. Willm Taylor.
Jno Buchanon. Jas Hamilton.
Jno Henry. Hugh Wilson.
Thos Clerk. Thos M’Cord.
Hugh Johnston. Willm Hunter.
Benjamin Morrison. Willm M’Grenacham.*
Willm M’Cune. Jacob Weaver.
Melchor Hosser. Jas Allison.*
Joseph Divin.* David Johnston.
Jno Lowther.* Allex M’Colm.
Robt Skinner. Jas M’Feir.*
Laurence Pendergrass. Jno Arthurs.
Jacob Singer. Evin Mincher.
Jas Rooney. Col. Ferguson.
Abm Lochridge Patrik Boland.
George Smith. Thos Donley.
Archibald Kenedy. Jonathan Walker.
Patrick M’Gunagle. Jno Gooseman.*
Jno Crast. Jacob Petterman.
Hugh Neal. Moses foster.*
Richd Greenfeild.* Jas Kinkead.*
Enoch Bradly. Enoch Bradley.*
Jno Polly. Robt Thornbury.*
Jno Frough. Daniel Crossen.
Robt Haslett Thomas M’Cord.*
Jno Haslett. Hugh Wilson.*
Chas Pattison. Thos Duncan.
Jno Giffin.* Geo Knip.
Robt Giffin. Jno Montgomerey.
Robt Blain. Peter Sumnary.*
Jas Armour. Robt Mason.*
Willm Armour. Smith George.*
Thos Wallace. Jno Roadpauch.
Willm Barker. Willm Armstrong.
Robt Barclay. Jno Bryson.
Robt Gouger. Jas Scoby.
Saml Jackson. Jno Underwood.
Jno Turtle. Jno M’Hooney.
Willm Brown. Hamilton.
George Brown. Jno Chester.
Moses Foster. Francis M'Donald.

Thomas Briceland had two sons, John and James. James, the eldest, was mentioned in the assessment-roll of 1802. A few years later he removed to Hanover township, and built at what is now known as Florence. He opened a tavern at the cross-roads, and the place was known for many years as Briceland Cross-Roads. Later he removed to Washington, and finally to Steubenville, Ohio, where he died. John kept a hotel in Canonsburg many years, now the Sherman House. John, Garland, and Sarah Briceland, residents of Canonsburg, are children of John Briceland. Reynolds Neill was a merchant, and lived on the northwest corner of College and Main Streets, where he resided and kept store till about 1840.

In 1802, George McCook lived opposite the college on Main Street, and later moved to Ohio. He had two sons, Daniel and George. Daniel was the father of the famous “fighting family” of McCook. George became a physician, practiced here for a short time, and moved to New Lisbon, Ohio. John Murphy was a harness-maker, and lived on the west side of Main Street, where Mr. Algeo now lives. His son John taught school in the borough. A daughter became the wife of William Marshall, and lived and died in the town. Gilbert McAfee lived where John Briceland, his son-in-law, now resides. Henry McAfee, his son, was burgess and justice of the peace, and died in the borough.

William White, a member of the first Council, was a cabinet-­maker, and resided on the southeast corner of College and Green Streets, where Henry McPeak now resides. He left several children, of whom Dr. John White, long a physician of Hickory, in Mount Pleasant township, was one. George Land lived on Pitt Street, where his son George now resides.

Dr. Samuel Murdoch, a son of John Murdoch, of Strabane township, was the burgess of the borough from its organization till 1817. In 1806 he purchased the brick house of Joseph Pentecost, where he resided till his removal to the borough of Washington. He was prominent in the improvement and business interests of the town. He married a daughter of the Rev. Matthew Henderson. Alexander Murdoch, his brother, also married a daughter of the Rev. Matthew Henderson. He became the proprietor of the old Canon mill property, and resided there until his removal to Washington. He was elected justice of the peace April 2, 1804. More extended mention will be found of Dr. Samuel and Alexander Murdoch in the borough of Washington.

Daniel McGill, a native of Ireland, was married in 1765, and remained thirty years afterwards in that country, where his seven children were born. He emigrated to this country with his wife in the year 1796, and settled in Canonsburg, where he bought a lot containing three acres fronting on Pitt Street, now owned by George L. Scott. Here they lived till the close of their lives in 1819, with but a day’s difference between their deaths. They were buried in what is now Oak Spring Cemetery. The children of Daniel who came to this country with their parents were John, Jenny, Peggy, Eliza, and Hugh. They all settled near Canonsburg except Eliza, who married George Marshman. All were married and raised families of children except Jenny. John McGill, the eldest, emigrated to this country a short time before his father. He married Mary Taggart in Ireland. Her brother Samuel also came to this town, and settled here. John McGill was elected high constable of the borough. In 1805 he owned a horse-mill; in 1809 he kept a tavern. Later he moved to the Bowland farm in Chartiers township, and afterwards returned to Canonsburg, and resided where Mrs. Denny now lives, and where he died. His children were Mary, John, Nancy, Jane, Alexander F., and Hugh. John settled in Pittsburgh. He was a cabinet-maker, and later a druggist. Nancy became the wife of John Haft, of Chartiers township. Jane married Moses Walker.

Alexander T. McGill was born in Canonsburg about the year 1808. After his parents removed to Chartiers township he attended school at Plum Run. Later he attended Jefferson College, and graduated. He was elected tutor in the college in February, 1827, and served one year, when he resigned on account of ill health, and went to Milledgeville, Ga. While there he taught an academy one year. While in that State he was appointed chief of surveyors who surveyed the Cherokee lands. He returned to Canonsburg, and studied theology under the Rev. Dr. James Ramsey. At the close of his studies he married Ellen, daughter of George McCullough, whose mother was a sister of Thomas and David Acheson, of Washington. Soon after this he settled as pastor over a Seceder Church in Carlisle, and later went to the Presbyterian Church, and became pastor of a congregation in that city. In the year 1842 he was called to a professorship in the theological seminary at Allegheny City, where he remained about ten years, when his health failed, and he retired from active duty for a year, at the end of which time he was called to a professorship in Princeton Theological Seminary, which position he still holds. Hugh McGill, the brother of' John, married Agnes, daughter of Matthew Bowland, and settled in Canonsburg. He was a shoemaker, and carried on business where his son Hugh now lives and carries on the same business.

John Roberts emigrated to this country from Virginia. His name first appears in 1804 on the assessment-roll as owner of a house and field; the next year he was assessed on two houses and outlots. He went into the mercantile business in a building that stood where the brick part of the building first below the school-house now stands. He built the stone building as a residence in 1807. In 1810 he owned a brew-house, and also carried on distilling. In 1816 he sold his house and lot to Abraham Latimore, and moved to a place which is now occupied by Hiles’ shoe-store. He lived there until his death in 1821. Of his children, John, Jr., settled in Canonsburg, and was a teacher there in 1806. He was also Assistant Professor of Mathematics in Jefferson College for a short time. He died in Canonsburg. Abraham, who was also a teacher in 1816 and 1817, rented the rooms in Canonsburg, where he taught. He died in 1828. His son, John Roberts, of Canonsburg, is now (1882) county commissioner. William became a Covenanter preacher in Rochester, N. Y. Edmund, who was a physician, died in Harrisburg, Pa. James, also a physician, died in Ottawa, Ill., in 1832.

George Kirk was a native of Ireland. He came to this country with his wife, whom he married in Londonderry, in 1796. They settled east of the mountains for some time, and afterwards came to this county and made their home on the Pentecost lands. In 1811 he purchased a house and lot in Canonsburg, which Mr. Campbell now owns, situated opposite the college on Main Street. He lived there until his disappearance and death in 1813. In that year he went to the East with horses, in company with two young men of Canonsburg, Dr. McFarland and Dr. George McCook. When at the South Mountain House, where they remained overnight, the young men did see Mr. Kirk when they rose in the morning. An examination and inquiry developed the fact that some time during the night he had arisen from his bed and left the house. A search was instituted, but no clue whatever could be obtained, and the young men returned to Canonsburg with the sad news. After some time, John McFarland, father of the doctor, went out from Canonsburg, and made a wider search, and finally found the body in the mountains. It was never known whether his death was caused by accident or murder. The children were James, Samuel, George, Mary, and William. James left his home for the South; Samuel emigrated to Indiana; George was apprenticed to John McFarland as a tailor. He was engaged in other business in Canonsburg, and had accumulated considerable property. He was postmaster the last eight years of his life. He died in October, 1859, leaving a widow and seven children, of whom the widow and four children are now in Canonsburg. Mrs. Boyd Crumrine, of Washington, is a daughter. James, of Washington, is a son. William, the youngest son, is a physician in Philadelphia, Pa. Mary, a daughter of George Kirk, Sr., became the wife of Robert Stewart, of Little York, Ill.

There were many others located in the town in the early years of whom but little is known. The following were residents and business men of the town: John Roberts, a merchant; Robert McMillan, distiller. In 1807 John Weldon manufactured hats; Abraham Fee, Sr., was a tailor; Abraham Fee, Jr., was a shoemaker. In 1817 Robert Sinith was the owner of a tannery; John Sample in 1819, and Philip Cubbage also, were each carrying on the business of tanning. In 1808 James Smith was a saddler. Nathaniel White, Daniel Hartupee, and Joseph Pentecost in 1806 each owned brick houses.

Town Plats of Canonsburg. –The town of Canonsburg was laid out by the proprietor, Col. John Canon, in 1787. The following account of the laying out and of the plats of the town was written by R. V. Johnson, Esq., surveyor, and published in the Canonsburg Herald in March, 1875. Several dates of purchases have been added to the original account.

About the year 1786, John Canon (after whom the town was named) obtained patents from the State for three tracts of land adjoining each other, and containing in the aggregate twelve hundred and fortv-three acres. These patents were called “Mount Airy,” “Abbington,” and “Canon Hill.” The town is located on the “Mount Airy and Abbington” patents, and was originally laid out by John Canon, a plat of which is on record, and contains twenty lots fronting on Market (now Main) Street, fourteen on the west, and six on the east side of the street. These lots were numbered from the north side of the old road (between what is now called Pike Street and Chartiers Creek) toward the north. On the west side of Market Street–

No. 3 was sold to Dr. Thompson, March 15, 1787.
“ 4 “ ” Daniel McCoy, “ ” “
” 5 “ ” James Morrison, “ ” “
No. 6 was sold to David Gault, March 15, 1787.
“ 7 “ ” Donald Cameron, March 15, 1787.
Nos. 9 and 10 were sold to Andrew Monroe, March 15, 1787.
Nos. 11, 12, and 13 were sold to John Todd, June, 1, 1790.

On the east side of the street No. 2 was sold to Robert Bowland, on condition that no tavern or public-house should be built on it.

No. 3 was sold to Capt. Craig Ritchie, March 15, 1787.
“ 4 “ ” Col. Matt. Ritchie, “ ” “
” 5 “ ” William Marshall.
“ 6 “ ” Abraham Dehaven.

Attached to the plat is the following:

“The above is a Draught of a Town laid of as above upon Chartier Creek Washington county by the subscriber John Canon. Who hereby binds himself, his heirs, administrators and assigns to fulfill and perform the following articles viz.: agreeably to the conditions inserted on the above plan. To those who have all as those who may become purchasers to convey to them their heirs and assigns their respective lots of Ground in which their names is inserted. The inhabitants of the above town to have privilege of cutting and using underwood and taking coal for their own use forever gratis, the purchasers to pay the said Canon three pounds purchase and one Dollar annually forever afterwards, and to build a stone house, frame, or hewed log house at least twenty feet in front with a stone or brick chimney within two years from the date of their purchase; it is to be understood by underwood that it is only timber or wood that is laying down or laying upon the Ground and only on Land or Woods that is not Inclosed they shall not presume to go and take wood for fire within any inclosure without leave first asked and obtained; a convenient road to be allowed to the coal near * * John Laughlin’s the road to be only as laid off above * * * and the bank as Described above.

“In Testimony whereof I have hereunto sett my hand and seal this 15th April 1788.

            “John Canon     { seal }
“James McCready.”
“Robert Bowland.”

The only streets laid out on this plat are the present Main and College Streets. In addition to these are named the following roads:

“The Road to Pittsburgh.”
“To Gambles Mill.”
“To Devores ferry.”
“To McMillans Meeting-house.”
“To Washington.”
“To Mr. Smiths Meeting-house, on Buffalo.”
“to Hendersons M. house.”
“to the coal bank.”
“The road to Wells’ Mill.”

The coal-bank, mill, mill-race, Chartiers Creek, and mill-dam are also noted.

The next plat has no date upon it to definitely show when it was drafted, though it must have been between 1790 and 1800, probably about the year 1792 or 1793. The only street named is Market Street, now Main Street. The streets now known as Green, College, and Pitt Streets are laid out. On the east end of College Street is written “to Gambles,” and on the west “Road to the mouth of Buffaloe on the Ohio River.” On the east end of Pitt Street is written “Road to Pittsburgh,” and on the west end “Road to Hendersons meeting-house & Montgomery’s Mill.” On the south end of Main Street is written “Road to Devours and Redstone.” The writing on the north end is too illegible to be deciphered. On the east end of the road along the bank of Chartiers Creek is written “Road to Perrys and McKees Ferrys,” and on the west end “Road to Washington.”

Along the east side of the lots east of Green Street is laid out a street or alley running from the road along Chartiers Creek to the old Pittsburgh road, and east of this street are laid out sixteen lots not numbered or named. There are in all ninety-­eight lots laid out, of which seventy-eight are numbered and forty-two have the owners’ names inserted. The following are the names of the lot-owners in the order named.

Commencing on the west side of Market or Main Street, at Chartiers Creek, was first the mill and then the “Road to Washington.”

1. (Blank.)
2. Abraham Dehaven.
3. Doctor Hugh Thompson.
4. Daniel McCoy, shoemaker.
5. John McDowell, Esq.
6. David Gault, tanner.
7. Thomas Speers, merchant.
Road to north of Buffaloe on the Ohio River.
8. Doctor Thomas B. Creaghead.
9. Andrew Munroe, tavern-keeper.
10. Andrew Munroe.
11. The plat is torn at this lot and no name appears.
12. Academy.
13. John Todd Cooper.
14. John Todd.
15. Charles White, hatter.
16. William Webster.
17. James Foster, brewer.
Road to Henderson’s meeting-house and Montgomery’s Mill.
18. William Criswell, weaver.
19. Ann Cook.
20. Elizabeth Andrews.
21. Adam Johnson, weaver.
(This name is crossed out and the name of David Andrews written under it) On the margin is the following entry: “1792.
August the 31 If not improved in Six month forfited.”
22. (Blank.)
23. (Blank.)
On the east side of Market, or Main Street, commencing at Chartiers Creek, first “Road to Perry’s and McKee’s Ferrys:”
24. (Blank.)
25. Robert Bowland, miller.
26. Craig Ritchie, Esqr.
27. Matthew Ritchie, Esqr.
28. The first name written is erased, and the name or names of Henry Wisbey and B. Smith inserted. 29. William Thompsons, mason.
Road “to Gambler.”
30. John Canon, Esqr.
31, 32, and 33 are blank.
34. John McGill.
35. George McCooke.
36. James Witherspoon.
37. William Roberts.
38. William McCall.
Road to Pittsburgh.
On the north side of the present Pitt Street, numbering east from Main Street:
39. John Anderson, carpenter.
40. James Morrison, butcher.
41. Thomas Morrison, tailor.
42. J. Alex. Miller, cooper.
43. John Miller, schoolmaster.
Samuel Miller.
44. Dell Weaver mason.
45. David Ralston, stiller.

The lots on the west side, present Green Street, are numbered to the Pittsburgh road, or present Pitt Street, from 46 to 59 inclusive. As these lots are all blank, it is presumed that none of them had been sold at the time the plat was drafted.

On the east side of Green Street the lots are numbered, beginning at Pitt Street toward the south, from 60 to 73.

On lot No. 69, now owned by Henry McPeak, at the corner of Green and College Streets, is the following entry: “Moses Andrews, Sept. 10, 1793.”

Lots numbered 75 to 78 run north from the old road along the bank of Chartiers Creek, numbering from east to west.

75. Dina weaver.
76. John mercer.
77. James Chi—, carpenter.

On the south side of Pitt Street, about half-way between the present Main and Green Streets, is a lot not numbered ; the name of George Land, “wheelwright,” is inserted.

Borough Incorporation and List of Officers. –On the 22d day of February, 1802, an act of the Legislature of Pennsylvania was passed which provided and declared “that the town of Canonsburg, in the County of Washington, shall be, and the same is hereby erected into a borough, which shall be called the ‘Borough of Canonsburgh,’ and shall be comprised within the following bounds, to wit: Beginning at the mouth of Brush Run; thence up said run to the division line between Craig Ritchie’s land and Samuel Witherspoon’s lot; thence along the line of said lot, so as to include the same, to Thomas Briceland’s land; thence along the line of said land until it strikes Wells’ road; thence to the corner of Nathan Andrews’ lot; thence along the north side of the same to the lot attached to the old brew-house; thence along said lot, so as to include the same, to the west end of the town lots on the west side of the principal street; thence along the end of said lots to the Washington road; thence along said road southwest to a white-oak marked ‘G,’ at the southwest end of Miller’s improvement on Darr and Ogle’s land; thence a direct course to Chartiers Creek; thence down the same to the place of beginning.”

In 1815 the boundaries of the borough were contracted to the present limits by a supplemental act, approved Jan. 16, 1815, which declared and provided “That from and after the last day of January, one thousand eight hundred and fifteen, the limits of the borough of Canonsburg shall be as follows, viz.: Beginning at William Hartupee’s Corner; thence south seventy-five degrees west, eighty-six perches to a post near the mill-race; thence along the ends of the lots west of Market Street north twenty-three degrees west, one hundred and forty-one perches to the corner of Nathan Andrews’ lot; thence along said lot north seventy-five degrees east, forty-two perches to Mount Pleasant road; thence along said road south forty degrees east, twelve perches; thence along the ends of the town lots north of Pitt Street, north seventy-five degrees east, sixty perches to the corner of James Ballentine’s lot; thence along said lot, south fifteen degrees east, sixteen perches to the old Pittsburgh road; thence along said road, south seventy-five degrees west, five perches to William Donaldson’s lot; thence along the ends of the town lots east of Green Street south, fifteen degrees east, one hundred and eighteen perches to the place of beginning.”

The act of the Legislature incorporating the “Borough of Canonsburg,” passed Feb. 22, 1802, provided for the election of the following officers: “One reputable citizen residing therein who shall be styled the Burgess of the Borough, and five reputable citizens to be a Town Council, and shall also elect A High constable.” In pursuance of the above act an election was held in one of the rooms of the college on the 3d day of May, 1802, by William Clark, judge; A. Murdoch, inspector; and Samuel Miller, clerk. The following officers were declared duly elected: Samuel Murdoch, Esq., burgess; William Clarke, Thomas Briceland, William White, John Johnson, and John Wattson, Esq., members of Council; and John McGill, high constable.

The first meeting of Council was held May 6, 1802, when the following appointments were made:

Thomas Speers, town clerk; Samuel Murdoch, Esq., overseer of streets, lanes, alleys, and roads; William Clarke, Esq., treasurer; Thomas Briceland and William White, Esqs., to regulate partition walls and fences; Andrew Munroe (nailer), clerk of the market. On the 26th of May the following additional appointments were made: David Wilson and William Hartupee, overseers of the poor; Thomas Briceland, William White, and John Johnson, managers of the coal bank.

The following is the first list of taxables in the borough:

Darr & OgIe. Jas. Smith.
James Murdoch. Gilbert McAfee.
John Speer. Elis’a Andrews.
William Clarke. Dav’d Andrews.
John McDowell. Wm. Hays.
Henry Westbay. Rob’t McCuroy.
Benj’n Brown. Wm. Week.
Murdoch & Johnson. Thos. Speers.
Sam’l Murdoch. Wm. & Josh’a Canon.
And’w Munro. Alex’r Boyd.
Rev’d J. Wattson. John Lowery.
Joseph Pinticost. Nath’l White.
Jos. Pentecost. Wm. Hertupee.
Wm. McLaughlin. Jas. Smith.
H. & Witherspoon. Mary Hill.
Sam’l Taggert. Matt’w Hall.
John Murphy. Alex'r Cook.
Dan’l McGill. Geo. Potter.
Jas. Philops. Chas. Herron.
Ross McNeill. Jas. Briceland.
John Smith. Wm. McCawl.
Sam’l Murdoch. Nath’n Andrews.
Widow Donnel. John Steen.
Sam’l Miller. Jumet Brown.
Alex’r Ogle Geo. Land.
John Wattson. Mrs. Mercer.
Craig Ritchie. Jas. Donelson.
F. Irwin. John McFarland.
Isaac Hezlett. Wm. White.
Sam’l Neill. Wm. Irwin.
And’w Munro. Mary Whiteside.
John Johnson. Jas. Foster.
Reynolds Neill. Chris’t Musser.
Widow Canon. M. Miles.
Ja’s Cunningham. Ann Christy.
Marg’t McDonald. Jas. Pattison.
George McCook. Jas. Black.
Geo. Munro. T. Briceland.
Dav’d Wilson. Jno McGill.
Joshua Canon. Ed. Williams.
Eph’m Jones. J. W. Hillard.
Wm. Hays. Jas. Baalantine.
Wilson. Wid’w Murdock.
Wm. Greir.  

The valuation of the taxable property was $12,352. The amount of tax levied was $123.52.

The first mention of a market was at the meeting of the Council, June 25, 1802, at which time Andrew Munroe was appointed clerk of the market. The market-house stood on Main Street, below the college grounds. At this meeting it was ordered that stocks be erected for the use of the borough, as follows: “Be it enacted by the Town Council of the Borough of Canonsburgh, that for the better securing of the peace and happiness of said Borough, A pair of Stocks be made and placed near the market-house to confine offenders whose crimes may not merit a greater punishment, and the Burgess is hereby directed to carry the above resolution into effect without delay.” Confinement in the stocks was punishment for drunkenness, riots, insults, attempts to injure the market-house, or exposing dead animals in the street.

At the same date it was enacted, as there are persons who frequently “come to this Borough under the character of mountebanks, stage players, and exhibitors of puppet shows, Therefore be it enacted by the Town Council that if such mountebanks, play actors, or manager of a Puppet Show shall exhibit in their possession for money within the said Borough, that such person or persons shall be fined in the sum of fifty dollars with costs of suit.” On the l6th of April, 1808, it was “Resolved, That every person residing in the Borough shall be entitled to receive Coal from the Bank known by the name of Laughlin Bank.” This privilege, it will be remembered, was granted to all purchasers of lots by Col. Canon in 1788.

As there has been much discussion for many years past concerning an alley alleged to exist between Water Street and Pitt Street, the following quotation from T. M. Potts, of the Canonsburg Herald, is given with reference to it; it being a part of a series of valuable articles published in that paper in March and April, 1875, concerning the early history of Canonsburg:

“Probably as far back as the oldest can remember, something has been said every year about an alley which is supposed to extend from Water Street to Pitt Street, and located somewhere between Market or Main Street and Green Street. The propriety of having this alley opened has been discussed from year to year, and almost every Council notified, individually or collectively, that it was their duty to open it. It is asserted that the said alley was laid out in the original plat by Col. Canon in 1786, and that the several property owners neither had the right to close it nor keep it closed.

“We have been at some pains to investigate this subject, and now propose to give the result. We have copies of all the plats so far known to be in existence, the records at Washington have been examined, and we have made a very careful examination of the town records for the first twenty years after the incorporation. The town was laid out about the year 1786, and the first plat on record bears date of 1788. The original lots between Main and Green Streets were laid out and extended from street to street. Subsequently, but at what time or times we are unable to state, the lots were all divided by lines running north and south, making the divisions or smaller lots face severally Main, Green, Pike, College, and Pitt Streets.

“In none of the plats is there any alley whatever either laid out or mentioned. From several of our oldest citizens, who are descendants of the original purchasers of lots, we learn that as the lots in the upper or north end of the town were sold and improved, a provision was made to secure the free use of spring water to each citizen. This was effected by making alleys or lanes from the street to two springs as follows: One from Main Street to the Emery spring, on the lot now occupied by T. M. Potts; one from Pitt Street starting at a point near the residence of George Land to the Emery spring, meeting the first-named alley at right angles, and still another from Main Street to the College spring. This last alley was located just south of the property now occupied by John Moore, Esq. In the process of time the several lot owners made wells upon their own premises, and the alleys or lanes became no longer needed for their original purpose. The lane to the College spring was early closed. The lane from Main Street to the Emery spring was extended to Green Street, and became a public alley, and is referred to in the deeds of property adjoining it as Spring Alley.

“The alley leading from Pitt Street to the present Spring Alley was closed in 1838 by the mutual consent of all the parties owning land adjoining, in an agreement sealed, signed, and acknowledged before James McClelland, justice of the peace. We have examined the original article of agreement, the following being the principal substance of it:

“‘Whereas a certain alley situate in the Borough of Canonsburg and leading from Pitt street to an alley which leads front Green street to Main Street, has become useless, and is now an incumberance to those persons adjoining the same; Now this agreement made the 12 day of July 1838 by the persons who own property on said alley leading from Pitt street, to wit: George W. Lewis, Rachel Woods, George A. Kirk, and the heirs of George Land Witnesseth, That the said George W. Lewis, Rachel Woods, George A. Kirk, George Land, John Land, and Elizabeth Land have mutually agreed to close said alley so that there shall not be any thoroughfare through the same, etc.’

“This agreement is signed by all the parties above named, with James McClelland and H. B. Thompson as witnesses.

“On the 30th of March, 1803 the first burgess and Town Council of the borough passed the following ordinance.

“‘Resolved, That all the Inhabitants of this Borough, holding lots, within the Limits of the Town, (if the persons holding lots adjoining them see fit,) shall make and support their part of a good sufficient pailed fence, the whole length of a reasonable garden, and this length shall be determined by the length of the lots between the Main street & Green street below the Market house, or half the distance between the said street and where the ends of the lots join they shall be made sufficient and supported in like manner,’ etc.

“It will be seen that this act totally ignores either the existence or the knowledge of an alley cutting these lots in two. As this was the act of the first Council, within fifteen years of the original laying out of the town, with most of the original purchasers still occupying the lots, and possibly themselves very early settlers, it is reasonable to suppose that they were entirely familiar with the true state of the case.

“Since, therefore, there is no mention of the said alley either on the original or any other plat, nor in any records either of the town or referring to it in any way, it may be safely concluded that the alley is a myth, and we hope the publication of these facts will set the matter forever at rest. This alley or any other can only be opened by the due process of law provided for the laying out and opening of new streets and alleys.”

The following is a list of borough officers of Canonsburg since its incorporation, viz.:


1802-16. Dr. Samuel Murdoch. 1856. Samuel Smith.
1817-19. Craig Ritchie. 1857. John Chambers, John E. Black.
1820-21. Dr..Jonath. Leatherman.
1822-23. James Smith. 1858. Joseph Hunter, John E. Black
1824-25. Not found.
1826-27. Craig Ritchie. 1859. Robert Donaldson.
1828-29. Jeremiah Emory. 1860-61. Henry Annisansel.
1830-34. John Watson. 1862-63. James Crawford.
1835. James McClelland. 1864. Henrv Annisansel.
1836. Henry McAfee. 1865-67. James McCullough.
1837. David Templeton. 1868. John McCord.
1838-39. James McClelland. 1869. Daniel Day.
1840-41. James McCullough. 1870. John Moore.
1842. Henry McAfee. 1871-72. John Chambers.
1843-46. James McClelland. 1873-74. Joseph Thompson.
1847. William Mcdaniel. 1875-76. James Lutton.
1848. Hugh Riddle. 1877. Adam Harbison.
1849. William McClelland. 1878. James Espy.
1850. Craig Ritchie. 1879. William R. McConnell.
1851. George A. Kirk. 1880. Joseph Wilson.
1852. John Briceland. 1881. W. H. S. Ritchie.
1853-54. Joseph V. Brovrn. 1882. John B. Donaldson.
1855. William McDaniels.


1802. –William Clarke, Thomas Briceland, William White, John Johnson, John Watson.
1804-5. –Alexander Murdoch, Thomas Briceland, William White, John Watson, Craig Ritchie.
1806. –Alexander Murdoch, Thomas Briceland, William White, John Watson, John Roberts.
1807. –John Roberts, John Watson, Dr. James Cochran, William White, Craig Ritchie.
1808. –Thomas Briceland, John Roberts, William White, Reynolds C. Neill, Henry Westbay.
1809. –John Roberts, William White, William Hartupee, Henry Westbay, Samuel Taggert.
1810. –John Roberts, William White, Craig Ritchie, Henry Westbay, Samuel Taggert.
1811-12. –John Roberts, William White, Craig Ritchie, John Watson, Samuel Taggert.
1813. –Craig Ritchie, John Roberts, John Watson, William White, Dr. John Warren.
1814-15. Craig Ritchie, John Watson, John Roberts, William White, Andrew Munroe.
1816. –Craig Ritchie, John Watson, William White, Andrew Munroe, Abraham Latimore.
1817. –John Watson, John Roberts, William White, Abraham Latimore.
1818. –William White, John Roberts, Andrew Munroe, John Sample, Joshua Ledlie.
1819. –John Watson, William Donaldson, William White, Andrew Munroe, Joshua Ledlie.
1820. –William White, William Donaldson, Andrew Monroe, Joshua Ledlie, George McCook.
1821. –Craig Ritchie, William Donaldson, Jonathan Leatheman, John Sample, George McFarlane.
1822. –Abraham Latimore, William Donaldson, Robert Thompson, John Sample, Jeremiah Emory.
1823. –John Watson, John Sample, William Donaldson, Rev. William McMillan, Robert Thompson.
1824-25. –Not given.
1826-27. –John Watson, Joseph S. Vincent, James Smith, Andrew Munroe, Hector McFadden.
1828. –Dr. D. S. Stevenson, James Smith, Robert Thompson, Hector McFadden, John Watson.
1829. –James Smith, James McCullough, William McClelland, Dr. David S. Stephenson, Hector McFadden.
1830-31. –James McCullough, James Hanson, Jeremiah Emory, David Templeton. Dr. David S. Stephenson.
1832. –James McCullough, Moses Walker, Dr. David S. Stephenson, David Templeton, James McClelland.
1833. –David Templeton, Moses Walker, William McClelland, Hugh Riddle, John McFadden.
1834. –David Ternpleton, Moses Walker, William McClelland, John McFadden, Joseph McGinnis.
1835. –John McFadden, Dr. David S. Stephenson, George A. Kirk, George W. Lewis, William McDaniel.
1836. –James McClelland, George A. Kirk, John H. Buchanan, John McFadden, Adam Harbeson.
1837. –John H. Buchanan, George A. Kirk, William M. Bane, William McClelland, Hugh Sloan.
1838. –John H. Buchanan, William McClelland, William McDaniel, Hugh Riddle, Dell Weaver.
1839. –William McClelland, James McCullough, James Orr, Dell Weaver, Hugh Riddle.
1840. –John Burgess, John Briceland, Dell Weaver, Joseph Thompson, Samuel Smith.
1841. –John Chambers, Dell Weaver, Samuel Smith, William McClelland, George A. Kirk.
1842. –John Briceland, John Dickson, Dr. D. S. Stephenson, Hugh Riddle, John Paxton.
1843. –John Briceland, John Dickson, John Paxton, William McClelland, Hugh Riddle.
1844. –Samuel Stewart, Michael Wolf, John H. Buchanan, William S. Callahan.
1845-46. –W. B. Urie, John H. Buchanan, John E. Black, Alexander Hanna, John McCahan.
1847. –George A. Kirk, John V. Herriot, N. S. Potts, Adam Harbison, James McClelland.
1848. –John E. Bell, John Ramsey, John Murphy, Joseph L. McClelland, John E. Black.
1849. –John E. Bell, John E. Black, John Ramsey, Joseph Huston, Jackson McClelland.
1850. –John E. Black, George Land, John Ramsey, Samuel Smith, T. J. Munay.
1851. –Jackson McClelland, George Land, Samuel Stewart, Craig Ritchie, Reed B. Miller.
1852. –Jackson McClelland, Joseph Thompson, Benjamin South, John Chambers, Addison Winters.
1853. –Joseph Thompson, Sr., James Thompson, John E. Bell, John Chambers, Dell Weaver.
1854. –J. G. McIlvaine, J. M. McWilliams, George Land, Thomas Watson, G. A. Kirk.
1855. –William Potts, George Land, Andrew Hart, Jackson McClelland, A. G. McPherson.
1856. –William Hornish, E. K. Hodgins, James McEwen, Jackson McClelland, Craig Ritchie.
1857. –John Weaver, James Berry, Joseph Thompson, R. B. Miller, Jackson McClelland.
1858. –Joseph Thompson, Dell Weaver, Reed Miller, Henry McPeck, John Brown.
1859. –John Paxton, John E. Black, James E. Berry, James McEwen, Samuel Smith.
1860. –James McEwen, John Paxton, James Berry, Samuel Smith, John E. Black.
1861. –J. McEwen, John E. Black, James Berry, Samuel Smith, John Paxton.
1862. –John E. Black, James Berry, John Brown, William Marshall, Dell Weaver.
1863. –James Berry, William Marshall, John E. Black, Dell Weaver.
1864. –Samuel Chamberlin, A. G. McPherson, James G. Dickson, John Brown, John E. Black.
1865. –Andrew McPherson, John E. Black, Samuel Smith, Joseph Thompson, James Berry.
1866. –James G. Dickson, John E. Black, A. G. McPherson, Joseph Thompson, William Marshall.
1867. –Benjamin South, William Campbell, William Marshall, James G Dickson, A. G. McPherson.
1868. –Joseph Thompson, J. G. Dickson, Edward Dickerson, Joseph Roberts, John Moore.
1869. –B. South, R. B. Miller, James J. Lockhart, Levi Gamble, John Moore.
1870. (October).–Charles W. McDaniel, James Crawford, James Berry, Samuel Smith, William Campbell.
1872. –James Berry, William Campbell, Benjamin South, Samuel Smith, Matthew Cannon, Joseph Thompson.
1873. –James Berry, F. J. L. Enlow, Matthew Cannon, G. W. Dehaven, William Campbell, Mark D. McIlvaine.
1874. –S. Chamberlin, B. South, W. R. Connell, Matthew Cannon, James Berry, J. G. Dickson.
1875. –John Roberts, Samuel Chamberlin, Dr. J. G. Dixon, Benjamin South, George Perrit.
1876. –Dr. J. G. Dickson, George Perrit, John Roberts, John Brown, Samuel Chamberlin, Joseph Thompson.
1877. –Adam Harbison, James Adams, John Brown, John Roberts, T. M. Potts, John Chambers.
1878. –John Fife, M. D. McIlvaine, Charles Shecurt, James Adams, T. M. Potts.
1879. –Thomas Jackson, T. M. Potts, Joseph Thompson, W. Brown, William Caldwell, William H. Paxton, Daniel Day, John Chambers, Robert Govern, Samue1 B. McPeak.
1880. –Thomas Jackson, W. H. Paxton, Samuel Smith, Robert Govern, William Caldwell, T. M. Potts, William Campbell, William Donaldson, Mark D. McIlvaine.
1881. –S. B. Mcpeak, Joseph Thompson, Daniel Miller, G. L. Scott.
1882. –C. M. Greer, T. M. Potts, S. B.McPeak, W. H. S. Ritchie, John B. May.


James McClelland, April 14, 1840. John Moore, June 3, 1865.
James McCullough, April 14, 1840. R. B. Miller, Apri1 17, 1866.
Hugh Riddle, April 15, 1845. John Moore, April 13, 1870.
James McClelland, April 15, 1845. Reed B. Miller, April 1, 1871.
Joseph Brown, April 9, 1850. James McCullough, April 12, 1872;
James McClelland, April 9, 1850; Jan. 26, 1874.
April 10, l855. Adam Harbison, May 24, 1874.
Joseph Brown, April 10, 1855. Fulton Philips, March 16, 1876.
William Hornich, April 24, 1857. Jas. McCullough, March 14, 1877.
Henrv McAfee, April 10, 1860. James Espy, March 27, 1879.
William Hornish, April 21, 1862.

Market-House. —It is evident that before the first meeting of the Town Council, May 6, 1802, a market-house had already been erected, as at that meeting Andrew Munroe was appointed clerk of the market-house, and to have entire charge of it. It stood on the Main Street below the college grounds. Ordinances regulating the sales at the market-house were passed March 19, 1804. It was ordered by the Council June 4, 1808, that the stalls in the market-house be rented for one dollar and fifty cents per annum. No further reference is found in the records concerning the market-house till Aug. 25, 1820, when it was moved by the Council “that the old market-house be taken down, and that a site be fixed upon for building a new one; and the supervisor give notice to the citi­zens to meet at the market-house on Saturday, the 26th inst., to have their voice as respects the contemplated one.” This movement was held in abeyance until May 16, 1821, when the question of building was voted down. The old market­house remained some years later, and was taken down and not replaced.

Fire-Engine and Company. —About the year 1839 the Town Council purchased the “Hibernia,” a hand fire-engine that had been in use in the city of New York, and did duty at the great fire there in 1835. In February of the next year a volunteer fire company was organized, and it was resolved by the Council “that the balance of the citizens be classed in three classes, whose duty it shall be to meet once a month to supply the engine with water; each person to furnish a bucket.” Each person refusing to attend was subject to a fine of twenty-five cents. The Council also ordered two ladders and two fire-hooks purchased for the use of the department. The company existed for a few years, and was discontinued for lack of attendance, and the engine was finally sold for thirty-five dollars. It was found impracticable to haul the engine up the steep hills of the town in case of fire; the fire department became a thing of the past, and no movement has ever been made in that direction since.

Early Taverns. –On the l5th of March, 1787, Andrew Monroe purchased lot No. 9 in the town plat. He was licensed to keep a tavern at the October term of court in that year, and at once opened a house of entertainment on the lot now owned by Mrs. John E. Black, on the southwest corner of College and Main Streets. This tavern was kept by him till 1801, when Jennet Munroe was licensed and kept it till 1805. They lived here, however, many years later. William Dehaven was licensed in December, 1790, and Abraham Dehaven in 1791. He was one of the original purchasers of lots of John Canon, and owned lot No. 6, on the opposite side of the street from Munroe. He advertised in 1795 that he “makes copper stills and boilers, and wants a partner in the blacksmith business.” In June, 1793, Francis Irwin was licensed and kept tavern till 1801.

In January, 1794, Henry Westbay was licensed to keep a tavern, and opened a house on Main Street above Ritchie’s Block, where James Adams now lives. This was a prominent tavern during the Whiskey Insurrection, known as the “Black Horse Tavern.” This tavern was kept by him till 1814, when he removed to Washington with his daughter, Mrs. George Kuntz. His son James kept the tavern for several years thereafter. In the rear of the house was a large latticed arbor covered with vines and shaded by a large apple-tree. This was a favorite resort for convivialists.

In the same year, 1794, David Lock and Mary Hill were licensed to keep tavern. Nothing is known of them. In 1806 George Sellers was licensed, John Patterson in 1809, John Lowrey in 1810, and in that year also Joshua Emery opened a tavern on Main Street, opposite the college, where William Campbell now owns. In 1825 he moved down to the corner or Main and Pike Streets, where he continued till 1840, when he emigrated to the West. This was for many years the principal hotel of the town, and where the stage-coaches stopped and delivered and received the mails.

In 1819 William Finley was a tavern-keeper. His tavern was on the corner of Main and Pike, where he kept about ten years, and where he died. Thomas Ramsey about the same time had a tavern at the place now occupied by Hagan’s grocery and Campbell’s hardware-store.

Hector McFadden was licensed in November, 1822, and opened tavern on the corner of Main and Green Streets, where he continued till about 1835. The property belongs to Mrs. Herriot, and is occupied by Mrs. Ferguson.

The only hotel at present in Canonsburg is the Sherman House, kept by George Kirk.

Bridges. –A petition was presented to the Court of Quarter Sessions of Washington County at the March term in 1822 for a bridge over Chartiers Creek at Canonsburg. It was referred to the grand jury, who authorized the commissioners of the county to appropriate $400 of Bank of Washington paper towards the erection of a bridge. The court allowed the appropriation, and viewers were appointed, who reported favorably at the June term of that year. A contract was made with George Morgan, who immediately began the structure, and at the November term the same year called for viewers, who were appointed, examined the work, and reported that it was “built in a better manner than the contract called for, and that he ought to be paid forty dollars more than the contract.” The bridge was accepted and the recommendation of the viewers was approved by the court Jan. 27, 1823.

On the 27th of January, 1824, a petition for a bridge over Chartiers Creek below Canonsburg was presented to the court. Viewers were appointed, who reported the next day that the expenses would be too great for the township to bear, which report was approved by the grand jury. This action was not acceptable to the people, and the matter was again urged, and the bridge was built and accepted in January, 1825.

Post-Offices and Postmasters. –From a list of letters printed in the Herald of Liberty, a paper published at Washington in 1797, it is ascertained that a post-office was in existence in Canonsburg at that time. The name of the postmaster was not given. The first of whom any knowledge is obtained was William Clark, who held the position in 1801. His successors are here given in the order of their appointment : Henry Westbay, July 1, 1809; John Roberts, October, 1811; Andrew Monroe, before 1816; Mrs. Andrew Monroe, John Dickinson, D. R. Stevenson, James McCullough, Benjamin South, George A. Kirk, Mrs. E. M. McGinnis, Mrs. Jane Martin (who still holds the position). The post-office was authorized to issue and receive money orders in October, 1868. The first order was received October 17th of that year.

Newspapers of Canonsburg. –The first newspaper in Canonsburg was called the Luminary, and was published by William Appleton and William H. Cornwall in 1834. In the issue of the Examiner, of Washington, of July 27, 1833, William Appleton gives notice that he proposes to commence the publication of a paper at Canonsburg, to be called the Luminary, which is to be printed semi-monthly. Mr. Appleton seems to have associated with him William H. Cornwall (at one time recorder of deeds of Washington County), and to have published the paper as a weekly. The publication was probably commenced on the 1st of January, 1834, as No. 14 bears date of April 4th in that year. The paper was a five-column folio, nineteen by twenty-seven inches in size, At that time the office of the Luminary was “at No. 3, Walker’s Row, Front Street.” This was the west room on the first floor of the house on Pike Street now (1882) occupied by John Fife, and owned by Mrs. Huldah Greer. The pressman was a young man named James Scroggs. John McGill delivered the papers to the subscribers in the neighborhood. The venture did not prove successful. At the end of six months the publisher was overtaken by financial disaster, and the office was sold out by the sheriff. The writ was issued July 3, 1834, and returned on the 28th of the same month.

About the year 1852, William J. Hamill, a student of Jefferson College, from Baltimore, commenced the publication of a newspaper called the Student’s Enterprise. It was printed in a building on the north side of Pitt Street. On account of Mr. Hamill getting into trouble with the college faculty he left school, and the paper ceased to exist after having been published less than a year. Copies of this paper are exceedingly rare, if indeed there are any in existence.

In May, 1870, Th. Maxwell Potts and Aaron Miller, under the firm-name of T. M. Potts & Co., opened a job-printing office in the second story of the building on Pike Street, belonging to the estate of John E. Black, now occupied by A. M. Forsyth, merchant tailor, and A. L. Runion, druggist. On the 23d of August, 1872, they issued the first number of The Canonsburg Herald, a six-column folio, twenty by twenty-six inches. The venture was well received by the people, and a liberal patronage at once accorded. It was commenced and continued purely as a local family paper, and has taken no part in party politics.

On March 6,1874, it was enlarged to a seven-column folio, twenty-four by thirty-six inches, and at the first of January, 1879, it was again enlarged. Its form was then changed to a quarto, with five columns to the page, in size twenty-six by forty inches. With the beginning of 1879 was commenced the publication of an original story entitled “A Fair Sample; a Romance of Old Jefferson,” by Rev. William Weir. It was a story of Jefferson College in her palmiest days, and attracted considerable notice. It was copyrighted, and occupied a year and a half in its publication. Edward W. Monck was employed upon the paper as associate editor from September, 1875, until March, 1877. At the first of April, Aaron Miller withdrew from the firm, and retired to a farm in Chester County. Since then the paper has continued under the management of T. M. Potts, as editor and publisher, assisted by his son, R. Claude Potts. In the spring of 1877 the office was removed to the second story of the block on Pike Street owned by Craig Ritchie, where it still remains.

On the 7th of August, 1875, Fulton Phillips commenced the publication of a paper, which he at first called Notes by F. P. It was a three-column folio, eleven by sixteen inches in size, and published at twenty-five cents a year. It was first printed in a building belonging to Benjamin South, and just north of his residence on Main Street, in the north part of the town, but after a few weeks the publication office was removed to the southeast corner of Main and Pike Street. Afterwards the office was for some time in what is known as the old Dr. Weaver property, on Pike Street, from whence it was removed to W. H. S. Ritchie’s block, and in the spring of 1881 to the second story of the Canonsburg Bank building on Pike Street. Within one year the name of the paper was changed to Rural Notes, the size increased to a four-column folio, and the subscription price raised to fifty cents a year. The size of the paper has not been fixed. Since 1878 it has generally appeared as a five-column folio, though occasionally its size has been increased to a six-column folio.

Physicians of Canonshurg. –The name of Dr. Hugh Thompson is found upon the plat of Canonsburg when first laid out in 1787. He was an early settler on Chartiers Creek, in Peters township, near Thompsonville, and from him that village derived its name. He was a practitioner over a large extent of country. It is not probable that he ever resided in Canonsburg, as his life was mostly passed on his farm. He had a son Robert, who studied with him and succeeded him in practice. He was more familiarly known as Dr. Bob, and was famous for his horsemanship. He was for a long time one of the prominent physicians in this region of country. In the latter part of his life he removed to Allegheny County, where he died.

Dr. Thomas B. Craighead, a son of Col. George Craighead, was born east of the mountains, where he became a physician. He came to this section of country with his father, and settled in 1794 in Canonsburg, where he commenced practice. He married Rachel, daughter of Judge James Allison. After some years his health failed him, he retired from active practice, removed to a farm in Chartiers on a part of the Allison tract, and lived there till his death in January, 1827. His eldest daughter, Polly, who was born in Canonsburg in 1795, married David Watson, and settled in Cecil township, where Dr. McCloy formerly lived; later they removed to Dr. Thomas Craighead’s. Mrs. John Chambers, of Canonsburg, is a daughter; Nancy, also one of the daughters, married William Wilson, of Allegheny County, Upper St. Clair township.

Dr. Samuel Murdoch, a son of John Murdoch, of Chartiers township, studied medicine and commenced practice in Canonsburg about 1800. He remained here, in active practice till 1834, when he moved to the borough of Washington. A sketch of him will be found among the physicians of that borough.

Dr. James Cochran was a resident of the town a few years in the early part of the century. He was a member of the Council and treasurer in 1807.

In the year 1802 the name of Dr. J. W. Hilliard appears. His death occurred the next year.

Dr. John Warren was a prominent and skillful physician, who commenced practice in the borough of Canonsburg about 1807, and continued till 1830. He lived on the north side of Pitts Street, where Samuel McMillan now lives. He was a member of the Council in 1813.

“Dr. M. S. Pettit (late of the U. S. Army)” offered his professional services to the people of Canonsburg, December, 1816.

Dr. George McCook, a son of George McCook, of Canonsburg, was born June 15, 1795. He graduated at Jefferson College, Canonsburg, in 1811, at the early age of sixteen years. For two years he was a tutor of ancient languages in the University of Richmond, Va. He returned to Canonsburg, and studied medicine with Dr. Warren. In 1816 he was married to Margaret Latimer, of Washington, Pa., and commenced practice in Canonsburg, and later went to New Lisbon, Ohio. In 1844 he was elected to the professorship of obstetrics in the Lake Shore Medical College of Willoughby, and retained that position for three years. He declined a position as professor at Cincinnati, and accepted a professorship at Washington University, of Baltimore, Md. In 1847 he was transferred to the chair of surgery, where he remained for two years, and then removed to New Lisbon, Ohio. He went to Pittsburgh in 1849, where he became a successful physician, and had an extensive practice. He was appointed one of a board to examine those applying for appointments as surgeons in the volunteer service in 1863, and in 1865 he was pension examining surgeon. He died at New Lisbon, Ohio, June 23, 1873, at the age of seventy-eight years.

Dr. McFarland was a son of John McFarland, an old resident of Canonsburg. He studied medicine about 1813, and commenced practice here. Later he moved to Bentleysville, and died there in 1820.

Dr. Jonathan Leatherman came to Canonsburg about 1815. He married a daughter of Craig Ritchie, Sr., and lived for a time where Paxton Brothers now live. Many years later he moved three miles west of town, on the Washington turnpike, where John Moninger now lives, and where he died. He was burgess of Canonsburg in 1820-21.

Dr. George Herriot also married a daughter of Craig Ritchie, Sr., and settled in Canonsburg, and died there about 1830.

Dr. David S. Stephenson came here and opened an office about 1825. He was a skillful physician, and active in town affairs, being elected a member of the Council in 1828-31. After a residence of about ten years he died.

Dr. John Vowell, of Pigeon Creek, was a well-read physician, who came to this town about 1835, and remained some years, then moved to Washington, Pa., where he opened a drug-­store, which is still owned by his descendants.

Dr. John Vance Herriott came here in 1837. He became a pupil of Dr. J. Leatherman. Later he went to Philadelphia, where he remained several years. He is now in Valparaiso, Ind.

Dr. McFadden, a native of the town, and son of Hector McFadden, studied medicine and practiced here from 1830 to 1850. He lived in the brick house erected by his father.

Dr. Murray, a son of James Murray, who owned a portion of the Morganza tract, was a pupil of Dr. J. V. Herriot and practiced in the town from 1842 till his death. He resided in the house now owned by Mrs. Maginnis.

Dr. Nourse came to this town in 1832 from Washington D. C., and remained a few years, after which he went into the regular army as a physician. The Rev. Joseph Nourse, librarian of the Naval Observatory, was his brother.

Dr. John Weaver was a son of John Weaver, of Chartiers township. He studied medicine with Dr. J. V. Herriot, and afterwards graduated at Jefferson Medical College. He practiced here from 1842 to 1858.

Dr. John Weaver, a nephew of the Dr. John Weaver mentioned above, and son of Thomas Weaver, of Cecil township, was a graduate of Jefferson Medical College. He practiced in town from 1864 to 1872.

Dr. James G. Dixon, a graduate of Jefferson College, also of Jefferson Medical College, practiced for a time at Mount Jackson, Lawrence Co., Pa. In 1853 he moved to Canonsburg, where he is still in active practice.

Dr. Robert Thompson, although not a native of the town, came here when about seventeen years old with his father, Robert Thompson, where he remained till he went into active practice. He read medicine with Dr. George McCook, then of New Lisbon, Ohio. After he finished his studies he commenced practice in Washington, Ohio. In 1832 he was elected to the Senate of Ohio from Guernsey County, and in the following year removed to Columbus, Ohio, where he remained till the close of his life. He was a physician of the Deaf and Dumb Asylum of the State for eighteen years, and trustee of the same. He was one of the foremost in organizing a State Medical Convention prior to the organization of the State Medical Society, and became president of both. He was a member of the American Medical Association, and lastly one of the most able and eminent physicians in the State. He died at Columbus, Ohio, Aug. 18, 1865, in the sixty-eighth year of his age.

Dr. George H. Cook was a graduate of Jefferson Medical College. He commenced practice in Indianapolis, and about 1854 came to Canonsburg. He continued practicing until 1864, then practiced a year or two in Pittsburgh, and removed to McDonald, in this county.

Dr. William G. Barnett graduated at Jefferson College in 1837, and studied medicine with Dr. Thomas M. Taylor, of near Lexington, Ky. He commenced practice near Connellsville, Fayette Co., and continued there ten years, and in 1856 removed to Venice, Washington Co., where he remained nine years. In 1864 he removed to Canonsburg, where he has since resided. He served in the State Legislature in 1876.

Dr. J. W. Alexander, a pupil of Dr. J. Leatherman, commenced practice in Hillsborough about 1840, where be remained for twenty years. At the breaking out of the Rebellion he entered the army as surgeon of the Twenty­-sixth Pennsylvania Infantry. In 1865 he came to Canonsburg, where he still resides. For several years he was physician to the State Reform School.

Dr. Hugh Hanna, a pupil of Dr. John Weaver, Jr., and a graduate of the Jefferson Medical College, commenced practice here about 1870. Afterwards he sold out to Dr. John Donaldson, and now lives on a farm in Chartiers township.

Dr. John Donaldson, son of Dr. David Donaldson, of Bridgeville, came to Canonsburg after graduating at Cleveland Medical College. For a time he practiced in Pittsburgh. He came here in 1878 and bought out the business of Dr. Hanna.

Dr. W. Bane, a native of the county, came here about 1878. He also was a graduate of Jefferson Medical College, and a pupil of Dr. Kelly, of Washington.

Dr. Z. B. Stewart came from Marysville, Washington Co., to educate his children. He opened a drug-store about 1856, and died about 1863.

Dr. William Kirk, a native of Canonsburg, studied with Dr. John Herriott. He completed his studies there with Dr. W. G. Barnett. He was a graduate of the Jefferson Medical College; commenced practice here. He removed from Canonsburg, and is now at Fox Chase, near Philadelphia.

Banks.-Application was made to the Legislature of the State July 21, 1853, for the incorporation of the Canonsburg Savings-Fund Society, with a capital of $50,000. No action was taken until 1855, when it was incorporated by act approved April 20, 1855. It soon after went into operation, and was in existence for about fifteen years, closing in April, 1869. Its first cashier was Samuel R. Williams, who had previously been Professor of Natural Sciences in Jefferson College. This position was occupied for several years previous to the close of the institution by John E. Black, Esq.

The Farmers' Bank of Deposit was organized March, 1865. Its board of directors was constituted as follows: James Craighead, president; B. South, secretary and treasurer; R. C. Hamilton, John Chambers, and Adam Edgar. This institution opened an office on Pike Street, Canonsburg, and continued business till January, 1880, when it closed and was succeeded by the Canonsburg Savings-Bank, which opened for business Jan. 14, 1880, in the same office, where it continued till January, 1881, when it was removed to the new banking-office now occupied by the Canonsburg Bank (limited). The business was closed up by the stockholders, Feb. 9, 1882, and the property transferred to the Canonsburg Bank (limited). The last mentioned institution was organized with a capital of $60,000, and opened for business on the 9th of February, 1882, in the office previously occupied by the Canonsburg Savings-Bank. The present officers are: Directors, William Martin (president), J. C. McNary (secretary and treasurer), Adam Edgar, S. B. McPeak, W. R. McConnell. Assistant cashier, Henry Bennett.

The Canonsburg Library.-To give a complete history of the Canonsburg Library it is necessary to go back of the present organization a number of years. In the early summer of 1848 two literary societies were formed by the students of Olome Institute, a school for girls, under the charge of Mrs. 0. J. French. The Philalethian Society was organized June 22d, and the Philadelphian at or about the same time. The early minutes of the latter society are not to be found. Measures were at once taken to found a library for each society. At a meeting of the Philalethian Society, held on June 26th, a plan for securing subscriptions was adopted. In due time these libraries were built up and served the purpose intended. The institute closed in 1864, and the libraries remained in the old seminary building on Main Street until November, 1866, when the resident members of the two societies held a joint meeting and agreed to present the books to the Students' Christian Association of Washington and Jefferson College of Canonsburg. When it had been decided to remove the college to Washington, the members of the Students' Christian Association, at a regular meeting in May, 1869, formally returned these books to the donors. The books were removed from the college building to the residence of Mrs. Jane Martin, on Pike Street, where they remained until 1879.

On the evening of Feb. 7, 1879, a meeting of citizens which was largely attended was held in the public school-house, to consider the expediency of establishing a public library. It was resolved to go forward in the matter, and the following committee was appointed to prepare a constitution: Rev. J. M. Smith, T. M. Potts, Miss Mary Martin, and Miss Rachel J. Douds. At a meeting held on February 21st a constitution was reported and adopted, and the Canonsburg Library Association organized, with the following-named officers: President, Rev. John Speer; Vice-President, Miss Mary Martin; Secretary, Ed. W. Mouck; Treasurer, William H. Heagare; Auditors, Samuel Munnel, Miss Mary Watson, and Miss Alice Y. McGinnis. The offer of the northeast room in the second story of W. H. S. Ritchie's business block was accepted as a library room.

At a meeting of the resident members of the Philalethian and Philadelphian Societies, the books of their respective libraries were loaned to the Canonsburg Library Association, and these formed the nucleus of the present library. The first funds of the association were raised by voluntary subscription, and means for the purchase of new books from time to time have been mainly raised from the proceeds of public entertainments. The fee for regular membership is two dollars, and one dollar yearly dues, but any one can have the use of the library by the payment of one dollar a year.

The number of books received from the two literary societies was about five or six hundred. The number of books now catalogued is about twelve hundred, embracing a carefully selected list of books of poetry, travel, biography, history, science, fiction, religion, and miscellaneous. The number of books annually taken out by the readers is a little less than twenty-five hundred. Much of the success of the library has been due to the earnest and persevering efforts of a number of ladies of Canonsburg. During the first year Mrs. Nannie Bebout occupied the position of librarian, but since then that office has been filled by Miss Rachel J. Douds. The present officers are: President, T. M. Potts; Vice-President, Miss Lizzie Barnett; Secretary, William McEwen; Treasurer, William H. Heagan; Auditors, Samuel Munnel, Miss Kate Herriott, and William M. Roberts.

Schools.-The history of the Canonsburg Academy, Jefferson College, Theological Seminary, Olome Institute, and the present academy will be found in the general history of the county. This sketch refers entirely to what were known as the pay schools, and the public schools which succeeded them. The first mention of a teacher in the town not directly connected with the college is found in 1811. In January of that year the Rev. D. D. Graham advertised to open "a series of instructions on the study of rhetoric and belles-lettres, comprehending the science of philology." In the year 1816 a brick school-house (which is still standing) was erected on Water Street, and in July of that year application was made to the Council by a number of inhabitants for two or three feet off the side of Water Street for school purposes. It was "Resolved by the authority of the Town Council that forty feet in length and three feet in breadth off the south side of Water Street, anywhere opposite Alexander Murdoch, Esq.'s lotts on said street, be granted in perpetuity to Craig Ritchie, Esq., John Watson, Esq., Dr. Samuel Murdoch, and others, subscribers (and their successors) to a paper containing articles of association for building and maintaining a School-House in the borough of Canonsburg, dated the - day of August, 1816." It is evident from this that a board of trustees was at that time organized and in operation, and that this action was taken for the purpose of enlarging the school-house lot. But little is known of the school, except that it was in operation many years.

The history of the schools of Canonsburg after the passage of the school law in 1834 is identical with that of Chartiers township, of which the town formed a part of one of the districts. Upon a petition to the proper authorities the town of Canonsburg became erected into a separate and distinct school district, and the next fall and winter a portion of Chartiers township was added, and the whole erected into an independent school district, which it still continues. In the year 1844 the Town Council erected a two-story brick edifice on the ground donated by Col. John Canon for school purposes, which is the lot upon which the old stone college stood. In this building the two lower rooms and one upper room were devoted to school purposes, and the upper rooms were used for a town hall. The school board of Chartiers and later of Canonsburg had the privilege of the building for school purposes free of charge. The act of Assembly authorizing the erection of Canonsburg into a separate and independent school district was approved by the Governor April 1, 1857. A board of directors was elected April 24th, which was organized on the 2d of May the same year. The board consisted of Rev. William Smith, Benjamin South, J. L. Cochran, Dr. John Weaver, James McCullough, and Dr. J. G. Dixon. Rev. William Smith was chosen president; Benjamin South, treasurer; and J. L. Cochran, secretary. At this time there were two public schools in the borough. The schools were graded the year before the erection of the new district, and a third department added.

On the 17th of March, 1858, a portion of one of the Chartiers districts adjoining was added to the district. In 1863 a school was established for colored pupils. A house was erected for their use on the lot granted to the African Methodist Episcopal Society by the Legislature, and was used without change until 1870, when it was enlarged and improved and is now in use. In 1877 the board of directors decided to erect a new school-house with modern improvements. Plans and specifications were obtained, and contract made for its erection for the sum of five thousand two hundred dollars. The building was completed for the sum specified, and was furnished for three hundred dollars. It was first occupied Nov. 1, 1877.

The principals from the erection of the independent district have been as follows: William G. Fee; - Campbell; B. F. Lakin, 1865-66; J.. P. Taylor, 1867; William H. Garrett, 1868-69; T. A. Elliot, 1870; Miss Eliza Frazer, 1871; W. T. Slater, 1872; E. W. Mouck, 1873-74; William Braddock, 1875; William Whitely, 1876; E.W. Mouck, 1877-78; William M. Stoody, 1879-80; William M. Roberts, 1881. The present number of scholars is 147 males and 115 females, with four teachers in charge. The receipts for school purposes in 1881 were $2565.71, and expenses $2300.

Sabbath-Schools-The first Sabbath-school organized in Canonsburg was established Oct. 25, 1817, by the students of Jefferson College. A constitution was made and adopted and signed by the following persons: William C. Blair, Joshua Moore, A. McCandless, Alpheus Coles, John Moore, Richard Brown, and Alexander Williamson. The officers were William C. Blair, president; Joshua Moore, secretary; A. McCandless, treasurer. The school opened with sixty scholars, and continued until each of the churches in the town established a Sabbath-school, when it was discontinued. At present each of the local churches has a flourishing Sabbath-school connected with it.

Chartiers United Presbyterian Congregation.1 -The first action by the people in this section of country which resulted in the formation of the church now known as the Chartiers United Presbyterian Congregation was taken in the spring of 1774, at which time a petition was sent to Philadelphia asking for an election of elders. At what particular time this request was granted and the congregation of Chartiers formally organized is not known. The Rev. Matthew Henderson, who was the third missionary of the Associate Church who came to this country, was settled at Oxford, Chester Co., Pa., and it is believed that he soon after (in the next year) visited this place, and again in 1779. It was not, however, until 1781 or 1782 that he received a call from the congregations of Chartiers and Buffalo and was settled as pastor over these churches. In Sprague's Annals occurs the following in reference to Mr. Henderson: "It is probable that he commenced the removal of his family to the West in the year 1781, or it may be 1782." "After proceeding some distance," continues the biographer, " reports of the disturbances caused by the Indians reached them, and excited such an alarm that he left his family at Conagogeague, and proceeded alone to his new charge. The family remained here about a year, in a very uncomfortable situation, having no better dwelling than a rude cabin. Nor was their condition in this respect greatly improved when they were once more united by their removal to the scene of Mr. Henderson's labors. . . . For several years after Mr. Henderson's settlement in Chartiers in 1782 he was the only minister of the Associate Church west of the mountains. In consequence of this he had the care not only of his own widely-extended flock, but of several vacancies in the neighborhood."

[1 This history is prepared from a discourse entitled “Chartiers Congregation and its Pastors,” by Rev. J. T. Cooper, D. D., of the United Presbyterian Theological Seminary of Allegheny, Pa., and delivered Nov. 4, 1875.]

It is proper to say that Mr. Henderson, and it may be his congregations, acquiesced in the union of 1782, which resulted in the formation of the Associate Reformed Church. In the year 1789, however, they returned to the Associate Church. He continued to be their pastor until the sixtieth year of his age, and the thirty-seventh of his ministry, when, on the second day of October, 1795, he was killed by the falling of a tree. More extended mention will be made of the Rev. Matthew Henderson in the history of Chartiers township, where he was an early settler.

Mr. Henderson having been removed by Providence, in 1795, from the congregation, Rev. John Smith, as it appears from the minutes of the session, became its pastor about the 15th of November, in the year 1796. Mr. Smith, according to Miller's sketches, was sent to this country by the Associate Synod of Scotland, in the year 1770, in company with a Mr. John Roger. He appears to have taken an active part in the negotiations in relation to the union between the Associate and Reformed Presbyterian Churches, and, according to Miller's sketches, voted for it. At that time he was settled in Middle Octorara. How long he remained in this place we are unable to say. He continued the pastor of Chartiers only a few years, for it appears from the minutes of the Presbytery that he was released on the 21st of January, in the year 1802. He was also pastor at the same time of the congregation of Peters Creek, from which he was released. He is said to have been a man of superior intellectual powers and a very popular speaker. It is painful, however, to have to record the fact that Aug. 31,1803, be was suspended from the ministry by the Presbytery of Chartiers.

On the 14th of April, 1802, a call was moderated in Chartiers congregation by Mr. Henderson, which resulted in the choice of Mr. Hamilton. He was probably the father of Mr. William Hamilton, whom some of you will remember as a student at college and the theological seminary. This call was declined.

The congregation of Chartiers, on the 11th of April, 1805, passed the following resolutions, John Hay, chairman: "Resolved, That whatever candidate will have a majority of votes, the whole congregation will join in calling for him. Resolved, That whatever minister the congregation will call at this time they will pay him annually £120, Pennsylvania currency, and the commissioners are authorized to assure the Presbytery of this. Resolved, Unanimously, that the congregation will give a call to the Rev. Mr. Ramsey."

Accordingly, on the 4th of September, 1805, Mr. James Ramsey was ordained and installed pastor of this congregation. Mr. Allison preached on the occasion from 2 Cor. viii. 23 (part of the last clause). He also addressed a charge to the pastor, elders, and congregation, respectively. In the evening a sermon was preached by Mr. Anderson on Psalms cii. 16. This relationship, thus solemnly formed, was continued until June 12, 1849, when Dr. Ramsey was released at his own request. He departed this life in Frankfort, at the residence of his son-in-law, Dr. McElwee, on the 6th of March, 1855, within a few days of having completed his eighty-fourth year.

After the release of Dr. Ramsey, in June, 1849, the congregation remained vacant until the 12th of May, 1853, when Rev. John Barr Clark, D.D., was ordained and installed as its pastor. Dr. Clark was born near Cadiz, Harrison Co., Ohio, Oct. 9, 1827. After a suitable training by godly parents, he entered Franklin College, at New Athens, Ohio, when he was sixteen years of age, and attended its sessions without interruption until he graduated on the 15th of September, 1848. On the 14th of November, 1848, he entered the Associate Theological Seminary located in this place, and completed the prescribed course of study in March, 1851. He was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Muskingum in the same year, and sent as a missionary to the State of Michigan, where he continued preaching during the year, spending a considerable portion of his time in the city of Detroit, where, as the result of his labors, a congregation was organized which numbers at present nearly three hundred members. Having in the summer of 1852 received a unanimous call to become pastor of this congregation, he was, on the 15th of May, 1853, ordained and installed as its pastor. His able and successful ministry the people of this congregation continued to enjoy until Aug. 9, 1860, when he was released, at his own request, with the view of becoming the pastor of the Second United Presbyterian congregation of Allegheny, where he labored until his death, Jan. 13,1872.

His services as a pastor in Allegheny were for some time interrupted by the late war, in the interest of which his feelings were ardently enlisted. He was appointed colonel of the One Hundred and Twenty-third and One Hundred and Ninety-third Pennsylvania Regiments, in which capacity he served his country in the years 1862-64, commanding the love of his soldiers, the respect and confidence of his fellow-officers, and the gratitude of his country. It should be noted, that after the resignation of the chaplain of the regiment, Dr. Clark performed the duties of chaplain in addition to those of commanding officer.

Prior to its interment, his lifeless body was taken into the church in which he had so often proclaimed the gospel of the grace of God. Thousands crowded there to look for the last time upon his manly form now prostrate in death. From that place his body was conveyed by a large number of the members of his flock and personal friends to the cemetery near Cadiz. An imposing and handsome monument of granite, about twenty-six feet in height, the gift of a number of his personal friends and admirers, now marks the spot where repose the mouldering remains of one who so often thrilled by his eloquence and drew to himself, as the magnate draws the steel, the hearts of thousands. The monument was placed there, with appropriate ceremonies, on the 30th of June, 1875. On this occasion impressive addresses were delivered by Revs. Mr. Norcross and Mr. T. H. Hanna, and an extended and graphic sketch of the deceased, particularly while connected with the army was read by Mr. John S. Nichol.

Dr. Clark was in many respects a remarkable man. Possessing a commanding appearance, and a strong, clear, and resonant voice, and devoted to his work, he was very popular as a preacher. As a pastor he was greatly beloved by the members of his flock, both here and in the city of Allegheny. He possessed one power to a marvelous degree,-that of remembering the names of the members of his congregation. It has been said that there was scarcely a man, woman, or child in his congregation or Sabbath-school in Allegheny (both these were very large) whose surname and even Christian name he could not recall without any difficulty. Indeed, it was customary with him to familiarly address the members of his charge and his more intimate acquaintances by their Christian names. This, together with the fact that be was remarkably facetious, will account for the very strong hold which he had upon the hearts of his members, and of the deep regret that was felt by this congregation when, after a pastorate of seven years, be concluded to accept the call made to him by the Second United Presbyterian congregation of Allegheny.

Rev. D. H. French became pastor of the congregation May 2, 1861, and was released, at his own request, in June, 1866. During the vacancy of the congregation, in the year 1869, the present house of worship was erected.

On the 1st of December, 1870, the Rev. D. M. B. McLean formally took charge of the congregation, and in the spring of the same year this house was finished and occupied. Mr. McLean served the church acceptably, and died March 21, 1880, while still in charge. Since that time the pulpit has been filled by supplies only.

The following persons were elders at the time the call was extended to the Rev. Matthew Henderson, namely: James Scott, John White, Nicholas Little, and David Reed. In addition to the above the following is a list of those who have been, or still are, elders in this congregation:

Elders in 1799.-Joshua Anderson, John Hay, Nicholas Little, John McCall, Thomas McNary, Andrew Munroe, Jeremiah Simpson, John White, Samuel Murdoch, Samuel Agnew, David Reed.

Ordained April 17, 1811.-James McNary, John Roberts, Samuel Fergus, James Martin.

Ordained June 18, 1816.-Abraham Anderson, James Lee, John McNary, George Murray, Robert Henderson.

Ordained May 21,1825.-Alexander Reed, Matthew McNary.

Ordained May 10, 1832.- James Moore, Joseph McNary, James Wilson, Andrew Russel.

Ordained Feb. 25,1841.-W. H. McNary, David S. Stevenson.

Ordained Feb. 15, 1854.-Joseph Reid, Thomas Miller,. Samuel Ralston, William Martin, Samuel Pollock, James Ralston.

Ordained May 12,1864-R. H. Russel, John Campbell, Samuel McNary, Robert E. Wilson.

Ordained 1878.-John B. May, James R. McNary, J. W. Martin.

The present board of elders consists of John B. May, James R. McNary, J. W. Martin, Samuel Pollock, Thomas Miller, William Martin, R. H. Russell. The congregation has at present two hundred and seventy-four members.

The following named went out from Chartiers congregation and became ministers of the gospel: Revs. Ebenezer Henderson, Abram Anderson, D.D., Alex. T. McGill, D.D., James Adams, Thomas Wilson, James W. Logue, J. T. Cooper, D.D., James P. Ramsey, Abram Anderson, Hugh Sturgeon, James Ballentine, T. H. Beveridge, D. W. Carson, J. G. Carson, D.D., J. I. Frazer, A. R. Anderson, W. L. Wilson, William Ballentine, T. J. Wilson, J. W. McNary, W. P. McNary, S. B. McBride, George R. Murray, J. B. Whitten.

On the 26th of December, 1797, Nicholas Little, Samuel Agnew, Thomas McNary, David Reed, John Hays, John White, and Jeremiah Simpson, trustees of the associate congregation of Chartiers township, purchased four acres, two roods, and fifteen perches of land of John Canon, for which they paid £45. It was situated about one mile southwest of Canonsburg. On this land the congregation erected their first meeting-house and buried their dead. The house was built of round logs daubed with clay, some of the logs having been cut to give light. The seats were of round poles laid on blocks. It had no fireplace, stove, nor chimney. There the congregation would sit for two sermons, in cold winter days, without fire, and no glass in the windows. This house in time gave place to the second one, which was erected on the same lot. It was built of limestone, and was taken down about the year 1834 to give place for the erection of the brick church, which was soon after built.

While the stone house was standing it was customary on communion occasions to meet in the tent, as it was called. Here also preaching services were conducted when the day was pleasant. Four posts, about twelve feet high, were set in the ground under a grove of ash-trees. The preacher was elevated about four feet. His back and head were shielded from the rain and sun by boards attached to the posts. These posts were boarded about half-way up on the sides. In front there were no boards. The communion table was made of long, white ash logs, rough hewed on three sides. These logs rested on blocks. The seats were also blocks. The table was usually filled from five to seven times, and the services were sometimes continued until it was too dark to read the concluding psalm, which was usually the twenty-third. The Twenty-second Psalm, to the tune of Dublin, was invariably sung, line by line, in going to and returning from the table.

The brick church was used by the congregation until 1869, when it was torn down, the society having purchased a lot of land in Canonsburg, and during the fall of 1869 and winter of 1870 erected the present brick church edifice, fifty-six by eighty feet, at a cost of eighteen thousand dollars. It was dedicated in March, 1870, by the Rev. T. B. Hanna, now of Monmouth, III.

The Presbyterian Church of Canonsburg.1- In 1830 a petition was presented to the Presbytery of Ohio (now Pittsburgh) by the people of Canonsburg and vicinity, asking for the organization of a new church to be located in the village of Canonsburg. The subject, however, was deferred until the next meeting, in the hope that some arrangement might be made that would prevent a division of the Chartiers Church, then under the pastoral charge of Rev. John McMillan, D.D. This it seemed important to avoid, if possible, as neither of the parties could support the stated ministrations of the gospel separately. In the mean time an effort was made to unite the petitioners and congregation on some plan that would not imply a division. But as there seemed to be little or no prospect of accomplishing this, the following resolution was adopted by the Presbytery: "That the request of the people of Canonsburg be, and hereby is, granted, and that they be, and hereby are, erected into a distinct congregation, to be called the Presbyterian congregation of Canonsburg." Accordingly, on the 25th of October, 1880, a meeting was held in the college chapel in Canonsburg, at which the church was duly organized. An election was entered into, and Henry Bracken (formerly a member of the Chartiers Session), John Hutchinson, and James Hanson were chosen ruling elders. Messrs. Hutchinson and Hanson were subsequently ordained. In April, 1831, five months after the organization of the church, the number of members, according to the first roll that appears on the record, was seventy-nine. A prominent feature in the early government of the church was the faithful and judicious exercise of discipline. Various trials are recorded in the minutes of the session, arising from different offenses on the part of church members, but more frequently from the use and sale of intoxicating liquors. In either case the offender was promptly suspended from the communion of the church until he gave satisfactory evidence of repentance and reformation.

[1 By Rev. J. M. Smith]

On the 10th of December, 1832, the session held a special meeting at which they adopted the following resolution on the subject:

'"WHEREAS, intemperance is a vice that is fraught with incalculable evils, ruinous to soul and body and all the best Interests of man, utterly inconsistent with Christian character, and the more inexcusable in consequence of increased light and information on the subject; therefore,

" Resolved, by this session, that no person indulging in the use of intoxicating liquors, or engaged in vending the article for a beverage, shall be admitted to the communion of the church, and any persons who may have heretofore engaged in the practice, and are determined to continue in it, shall be considered as suspended, or liable to suspension, from the communion of the church." That this resolution was faithfully adhered to, the records abundantly show.

On the 28th of April, 1831, the board of trustees of Jefferson College adopted the following resolutions :

"Whereas, It is important that in the privileges enjoyed in this college, those of a religious character should be specially regarded, therefore, resolved:

"1. That it shall be considered the ex-officio duty of the president of this college to administer religious instruction, and the ordinances of the gospel to the students, as circumstances may justify or require.

"2. That for this purpose the college shall be under the direction and control of the Faculty, and subject to their use.

"3. That if the Presbyterian congregation of this place, or any other orderly denomination in the vicinity, should wish to occupy said hall, they shall pay at least one dollar and fifty cents rent for every Sabbath they shall enjoy the privilege, and the rent of the hall shall be allowed for the services above required."

This offer was accepted by the new congregation, and up to the present date (April, 1882) they have used for religious services so much of the college chapel as was not occupied by the students. Before the removal of the college to Washington the presidents from time to time exercised the ex-officio functions of pastor or stated supply. Since then they have had pastors of their own selection, the students of the academy occupying such portions of the hall as have been sufficient for their accommodation. The first stated supply was Rev. Matthew Brown, D.D., who had been called to the presidency of Jefferson College in 1822, and had occupied the pulpit of Chartiers Church in conjunction with Dr. McMillan from that time until he entered upon his duties in the college church. In 1845, having resigned the presidency of the college, he ceased his stated ministrations in the church after a service of fifteen years. The first regularly installed pastor was Rev. Robert I. Brackinridge, D.D., who, after entering upon the presidency of Jefferson College as the successor of Dr. M. Brown, was installed pastor of the church by the Presbytery of Ohio on the 12th of December, 1845. In these services, held in the college chapel, Rev. William C. Anderson preached the sermon, Rev. C. V. McKaig presided, and Rev. William Smith, D.D., delivered the charge both to the pastor and the congregation. The relationship of Dr. Brackinridge to the church of Canonsburg and Jefferson College was of short duration, embracing but one year and nine months. After the resignation of Dr. Brackinridge, in September, 1847, the pulpit was supplied by Rev. Matthew Brown, D.D., until the next meeting of Presbytery, when a call was presented for the ministerial services of Rev. Alexander B. Brown, D.D. The call being accepted, arrangements were made for his installation, which were carried out on the first Sabbath of February, 1848, by a committee of Presbytery consisting of Rev. M. Brown, D.D., Rev. William Smith, D.D., and Rev. B. Orr. Owing to increasing ill health, he resigned the pastorate of the church on the 7th of April, 1857, having also retired from the presidency of the college for the same reason. His resignation was accepted by the congregation, after adopting resolutions expressive of the warmest attachment and the deepest feelings of regret.

In September, 1853, Rev. Aaron Williams, D.D., became professor of Latin in Jefferson College, and was elected co-pastor of the church with Dr. A. B. Brown on the 80th of the same month. The installation took place in the college chapel on the 17th of November, 1853, Rev. William Hamilton preaching the sermon, Dr. William Smith presiding and delivering the charge to the people, and Rev. William Ewing the charge to the pastor. After a laborious service of five years he resigned the pastorate of the church in the autumn of 1858, and soon after retired from his professorship in the college.

On the 7th of April, 1857, Rev. Joseph Alden, D.D., having been elected to the presidency of Jefferson College, was invited to take part with Dr. Williams in the ministerial labors of the congregation. In this relationship be continued until 1862, when he retired from the presidency of the college.

The third pastor of the church was Rev. David H. Riddle, D.D., who, in the autumn of 1862, was called to the presidency of Jefferson College, and to the pastorate of the church, over which he was installed by the Presbytery of Ohio in the spring of 1863. He continued pastor of the church until May, 1868, a period of five years. During his pastorate in Canonsburg there was no special work of grace, but almost constant accessions from the congregation and from the students, many of whom are now in the ministry. A healthful growth and a delightful and harmonious people were features in the experience of those years to which he can look back with pleasure and satisfaction.

In June, 1868, Rev. Jonathan Edwards, D.D., after becoming president of Jefferson College, entered upon his ministrations to the church as stated supply. Some time between March and June, 1869, he retired from the college, and also his labors in the church. As the consolidation of the two colleges was perfected in the same year (1869), and the location was changed to Washington, the college presidents disappear from this time forward from the pastorates of the church. More might be said of their personal history, but it is omitted, as belonging more properly to their history in connection with Jefferson College. The fourth pastor of the church was Rev. William

F. Brown, son of Dr. A. B. and Elizabeth Finley (Nevin) Brown. He was a native of Canonsburg, and was graduated at Jefferson College in the summer of 1865. In 1870 he entered upon the pastorate of the church, in which he continued for a period of six years. He served the church of Charleston, W. Va., as a stated supply for a short time, and afterwards was pastor of the First Church of Newark, Ohio, for about a year. At present he is visiting in the Southern States, and is not in the stated work of the ministry. He was united in marriage to Miss Mary Houston, of Canonsburg.

The fifth and present pastor is Rev. John M. Smith, son of John Henry and Mary (Forner) Smith. He was born near Upper Buffalo Church, Washington Co., March 6, 1831, and had his early training under the ministry of the Rev. John Eagleson, D.D. He united with the church in 1854. Had his preparatory education partly under Dr. Eagleson, and partly at Franklin Academy, Pennsylvania. He entered Jefferson College in 1852, and remained till ready for the junior class. After spending a year in teaching, he returned to college and graduated in 1856. He entered the Western Theological Seminary in 1856, and graduated in 1859. Was licensed by the Presbytery of Ohio in 1858, and was ordained and installed pastor of the church of Wellsburg, Va., April 28, 1860. Was installed pastor of the church of Sharpsburg, Pa., in April, 1861, and remained nearly seven years. Accepted a call to the First Church of St. Charles, Mo., April, 1867, and remained three years. Was called to the church of Hiland, Presbytery of Allegheny, and remained three years. Received and accepted a call to the Central Church of Pittsburgh in 1874, and after a pleasant pastorate of two years, entered upon the work at Canonsburg in 1876, where he has continued up to the present, a period of upwards of six years. His installation took place on the 15th of February, 1876. In these services, before a large and appreciative audience in the college chapel, Rev. S. J. Wilson, D.D., LL.D., preached the sermon, Rev. William Ewing, Ph.D., delivered the charge to the people, and the venerable Dr. William Smith presided, and gave the charge to the pastor. In the spring of 1876 the church received very encouraging accessions, and up to the present has been favored with a steady and healthy progress. At the beginning of the present pastorate the membership numbered one hundred and twenty-five. At present the number is two hundred and ninety-one, or more than double, and the church appears to be in a more harmonious, hopeful, and flourishing state than in any other period of its history.

Methodist Episcopal Church.1-On the 7th of November, 1844, a young Methodist student matriculated in Jefferson College, who, daring several subsequent years, acted a prominent part in the history of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In the month of March, 1845, upon inquiry, he learned from a fellow-student that one John Haggerty, a tailor, who had been a resident of the town for several years, was a member of the same church. At this time there was no Methodist organization in Canonsburg. Some time during the summer of 1845, Rev. - Sutton, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was appointed a missionary to the region about Canonsburg, the town itself being one of his appointments. He preached on alternate Sabbaths in the town hall. The novelty of the matter usually attracted a fair audience. At the suggestion of Rev. T. M. Hudson, who was then presiding elder of the district, a class was organized consisting of seven or eight members, whose names as nearly as can be ascertained were as follows: John Haggerty, "Mother" Marsh, John Ramsey, Mr. Capron and wife, Mr. Potts, and Mr. Monroe. The young student referred to above was appointed leader. For some time this class met in the house of Mr. Haggerty. In a very short time a few others were added to their number, among whom was Mrs. Arnold, who at the present time is living and an acceptable member of the church.

[1By the Rev. d. J. Davis]

In the year 1847 the society built a one-story brick church fronting on Green Street, and which is still used as a place of worship by the Methodist Episcopal congregation. As soon as the church was dedicated, a Sunday-school was organized that has been in existence ever since. The indispensable student was elected superintendent, and continued to lead the class and superintend the school until 1850, when he graduated with a class numbering fifty-five as the valedictorian. At this time the school numbered one hundred and thirty scholars, and had a library of eight hundred volumes, including Bibles, Testaments, hymn-books, etc. In the year 1848, under the pastorate of Revs. H. Snyder and D. A. McCready, the church was favored with a revival of religion that added nearly an hundred converts. In five years after organization the class of eight numbered about one hundred and twenty-five. Not a little of the prosperity was due to the labors of Rev. N. Callander, a superannuated minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, who resided for a time in the town. About ten years after organization the church became self-supporting, was made a station, and was favored with the exclusive services of a pastor. It continued as a station until the breaking out of the war of the Rebellion, which greatly depleted the membership by the enlistment of many of its young men. Rev. L. Maguire, the pastor, also entered the army as chaplain.

For some years this society has been associated with Fawcett's Methodist Episcopal Church, both constituting a pastoral charge until 1878, when it was again formed into a station. This is its present status with a membership numbering one hundred, and a school having about seventy-five scholars, and an average attendance of fifty. The following ministers have served the church since 1845 from one to three years each: Revs. - Sutton, McCasky and Foster, H. Snyder and D. A. McCready, Cunningham and Jackson, Pugh and Baker, Brown, Peter F. Jones, Mansell, Alexander Scott, Richard Miller, L. Maguire, S. F. Jones, James F. Jones, M. S. Kendig, H. Neff, D. A. Pierce, J. C. Castle, J. F. Hudleston, C. M. Westlake, L. H. Eaton, W. F. Conner, D. M. Hoilister, and D. J. Davis, the present incumbent. The student who was prominent in the work of the church during the first five years of its existence has been known, during the past twenty years of its existence, as the efficient president of the Pittsburgh Female College, Rev. Dr. Pershing.

African Methodist Episcopal Church.-The colored people of Canonsburg and vicinity were first temporarily organized as a body of religious worshipers at Morganza. They at first met at private residences. As no records are known to exist, it is difficult to fix the date of this early organization with any degree of accuracy. It was probably about 1833 or within a year or so of that time. After worshiping thus for some years, they were regularly organized as a Methodist Episcopal Church, with Rev. S. Chingman as pastor. The following named persons were elected trustees: John Sluby, Sr., John Durham, Elias Prawl, George Wheeler, Isaac Albert, Boston Vactor. Revs. Thompson, Lewis, and Green were early pastors.

In 1858 or 1854 the congregation petitioned the Legislature to invest a body of trustees with the title to a piece of land lying west of town, which had been owned by a colored man named John Chase, and who had died intestate. The petition was granted and the property assigned them for the purpose of erecting a church, and as a place of sepulture. Rev. Solomon Thompson laid the corner-stone of a very neat brick structure erected by the colored people in the year 1856. It was dedicated by Rev. Jeremiah Lewis. In the year 1874 they remodeled and enlarged it, adding much to its appearance and comfort. The present pastor is the Rev. S. T. Jones, and the membership is seventy.

Oak Spring Cemetery.- On the 26th of December, 1797, John Canon sold for forty-five pounds to Nicholas Little, Samuel Agnew, Thomas McNary, David Reed, John Hays, John White, and Jeremiah Simpson, trustees of the Associate Congregation of Chartiers township, four acres, two roods, and fifteen perches of land, situated about one mile southwest of the town of Canonsburg, on which they erected a church, and the remaining portion was used as a burial-place by the people of Canonsburg and its vicinity. Upon the decision of the congregation, in 1869, to erect a church in the borough of Canonsburg, the brick church then on the grounds was torn down, and during the next summer a company was organized under the name of the Oak Spring Cemetery Association. They purchased the property of the Chartiers congregation, and also bought a little over an acre of ground additional, making the area of the cemetery about six acres. A macadamized carriage-way was built, paths were laid out, trees planted, grounds fenced, and sexton's house erected, all at an expense of about four thousand dollars. The present officers of the association are Samuel Pollock, president, and Robert Wilson, secretary and treasurer.

Chartiers Valley Agricultural Association.- The causes which led to the formation of the Chartiers Valley Agricultural Association date several months anterior to its organization. In 1871 or 1872 an effort was made to establish an annual agricultural fair at Canonsburg. A stock subscription list was started, but the enterprise met with obstacles which compelled its abandonment. About this time, or shortly after, farmers' clubs were organized in some of the adjoining townships. At a meeting of the Chartiers Farmers' club, held at the house of William A. McNutt, on the 7th of October, 1873, the following question was proposed for discussion at a future meeting: "Should we as a society make an effort to have an agricultural fair?" The question does not seem to have been reached at the next meeting in November. At the December meeting it was agreed to hold a special meeting at Fee's school-house (No. 5) on Tuesday evening, Dec. 30,1873, to discuss the subject, "To more thoroughly ventilate or agitate the fact that we need an agricultural fair somewhere in this valley, its use, abuse, etc." An invitation was extended to all persons interested to attend and participate in the discussion.

In the issue of the Canonsburg Herald of Jan. 24, 1874, the following appears: "We have several times called the attention of our readers to the importance of holding an annual fair at Canonsburg. A few years ago some effort was made in this direction, but was not carried to a successful issue. Since then several farmers' clubs have been organized in the adjoining townships. Now if a properly organized effort is made, with the combined influence of these clubs and our citizens, we see no reason why as large and successful a fair cannot be instituted at Canonsburg as in any other part of the county."

At a meeting held in school-house No. 5, in Chartiers township, this question was discussed, "Would an agricultural fair in the vicinity of Canonsburg be advantageous to the farmers in this part of the county?" After a free exchange of opinion it was unanimously agreed that it would be advantageous, and with that end in view it was resolved to make an effort to hold a fair. At this meeting John C. McNary, of Chartiers, Samuel Chamberlain, of Canonsburg, and James McClelland, of North Strabane, were appointed a committee to look after suitable grounds and ascertain the cost.

About the 31st of January, 1874, a meeting was held at the hotel (Keystone House) in Canonsburg for the purpose of organizing an agricultural society and establishing an annual fair in the vicinity of Canonsburg." Robert H. Russell presided, A. B. McCloy being secretary. The following committee was appointed to draft a constitution and by-laws: William S. White, Dr. J. W. Alexander, Wilson Arnold, William Martin, and John G. Paxton. At a meeting held at the same place February 14th the committee on fair grounds reported three locations. They were instructed to select the most suitable, and close a contract for the same. Measures were taken for raising funds needed for improving the grounds. Shares of stock were fixed at twenty-five dollars each, and a committee appointed to solicit subscriptions. The first minutes of the association bear date March 7th, at which time the Chartiers Valley Agricultural Association was formally organized and a board of officers elected. The officers for the first year, as finally agreed upon, were the following: President, James McClelland; Vice-President, J. B. Johnson; Secretary, William S. White; Treasurer, Dr. J. W. Martin; Managers, W. L. Archer, J. M. Berry, M. H. Borland, E. B. Boyles, Nevin Brown, M. B. Brown, Samuel Chamberlain, W. R. Craighead, S. H. Cook, John Espy, W. A. Herriott, N. S. Hopper, John M. Miller, J. C. McNary, John McDowell, H. McMurray, J. G. Paxton, E. K. Rodgers, James Taggart, Isaac Van Voorhis, T. P. Welch.

At a meeting held March 25th the committee on solicitation reported $3312.50 of stock subscribed. The stock of the association has since been increased to $3450. Measures were at once taken to have the association incorporated, and the charter was issued June 15th following. Grounds embracing about twenty-two acres, on the farm of Mrs. Sarah Curry, in North Strabane township, a short distance east of the Canonsburg United Presbyterian Church, and bordering on Chartiers Creek, were secured for a term of ten years. These were put into suitable condition, necessary stalls and buildings were erected, and a one-third-mile race-track made. The entire cost of buildings and improvements is estimated at six thousand dollars. The first fair was held October 13, 14, and 15, 1874. Since then an annual fair has been held during the last week of September, and in 1880 a spring fair in addition was held during the last week of May. The fairs in point of quality and number of exhibits have all been highly creditable. The exhibits of stock, especially in thoroughbreds, have been equal to those of the best country fairs. The exhibits of products and manufactures have always been large in number and excellent in quality. Steam-power and shafting are provided for showing farm machinery in operation. The number of visitors has always been very large. The largest attendance in one day was probably during the fair of 1875, when it reached about seven thousand persons. The total receipts from all sources for eight years has been something over twenty-six thousand dollars, while the disbursements for buildings, improvements, premiums, and running expenses have reached nearly twenty-seven thousand dollars.

The principal officers have been the following: Presidents, James McClelland, 1874-75; W. R. Craighead, 1876-77; John M. Miller, 1878; Dr. J. G. Dickson, 1879-80; William Martin, 1881-82. Vice-Presidents, J. B. Johnson, 1874; J. C. McNary, 1875; William Martin, 1876-77; Robert E. Wilson, 1878-79; Samuel Munnel, 1880; Robert Johnston, 1881-82. Secretaries, William S. White, 1874-75; B.V. Johnson, 1876-77; T. M. Potts, 1878-82. Treasurers, Dr. J. W. Martin, 1874-76; J. C. McNary, 1877-82.

The officers for 1882 are William Martin, president, Canonsburg; Robert Johnston, vice-president, Canonsburg; T. M. Potts, secretary, Canonsburg; J. C. McNary, treasurer, Canonsburg. Managers, H. H. Brown, Thompsonville; W. R. Craighead, Canonsburg; Dr. J. G. Dickson, Canonsburg; James Glass, Burgettstown; Hon. J. Gilfillan, Upper St. Clair; J. B. Johnson, Canonsburg; Gen. John Hall, Washington; W. C. Lee, Cross Creek Village; Dr. H. H. McDonough, Vanceville; W. R. McConnell, Canonsburg; James McClelland, Canonsburg: A. C. McCoy, Canonsburg; J. C. McNary, Esq., Canonsburg; John M. Miller, Esq., Hickory; Hon. M. McGiffin, Washington; Henry Murry, Upper St. Clair; Jerome A. Quay, Morganza; John Shanton, Monongahela City; John Van Voorhis, Monongahela City; S. C. Work, Buffalo; F. L. Wotring, Buffalo.

Chartiers Lodge, No. 297, A. Y. M.-This lodge was organized May 15, 1856. At this time the only Mason living here was Mr. H. C. Gleason. Upon the expressed desire of several persons in the town to form a lodge, a preliminary meeting was held at his house on Pike Street, now owned by J. V. H. Cook. A petition was drawn up, on which a charter was given and the lodge organized as above. Later meetings were held at the house of John Brown, on Main Street, for some time, and until he removed to the building now occupied by John Donaldson as a confectionery-store, when their meetings were held at his house until the society fitted up their present rooms is the Ritchie Block, on the corner of Main and Pike Streets. The present (1882) officers are W. R. McConnell, W. M.; John Holleran, S. W.; James McWilliams, J. W.; J. B. Donaldson, Sec.; James Morrison, Treas.

Canonsburg Lodge. No. 803, I. 0. of 0. F.-This lodge was instituted Jan. 15, 1875, by District Deputy Grand Master Ahira Jones, Jr. At its organization there were twenty charter members. The first officers were Allison De France, N. G.; Herman Hollander, V. G.; T. M. Potts, Sec.; W. P. Cherry, Asst. Sec.; William Patch, Treas.

Meetings were first held in a building now owned by W. P. Morgan. In 1878 the society leased for a term of years the rooms they fitted up and at present occupy. Since the organization there have been admitted by initiation and card sixty-one members. The present officers are John White, N. G.; Samuel Eberly, V. G.; T. M. Potts, Sec.; R. C. Neill, Asst. Sec.; William C. Campbell, Treas.

Thomas Paxton Post, No. 129, G. A. R.-This post was organized May 9, 1879, by Col. Chill Hazard, of Monongahela City. It was named in honor of Sergt. Thomas Paxton, a member of Company D, Pennsylvania Veteran Reserve Corps, who was killed at Spottsylvania, May 9,1864. The first officers of the post were Adam Harbison, Commander; Alexander Huston, Senior Vice-Commander; William Meiggs, Junior Vice-Commander; Dr. J. W. Alexander, Surgeon; David Hart, Quartermaster.

The first meetings were held in the Odd-Fellows' Hall, and in 1881 the post fitted up a room in W. H. S. Ritchie's block. The society has at present thirty-two members. The present officers are Alexander Houston, Commander; Charles Draper, Senior Vice-Commander; Robert Kaine, Junior Vice-Commander; John McCahan, Adjutant; James Speer, Quartermaster.

Chartiers Valley Railroad.-In December, 1870, the Chartiers Valley Railroad was finished through to this point, and the succeeding spring to Washington. Since the road has been opened it has done a large carrying trade, both in freight and passengers. Coal, limestone, and milk, besides much grain and produce, are shipped from this point, each of these interests employing many men and requiring considerable capital. The railroad company has here a commodious warehouse and comfortable waiting-rooms in their large depot building.

The Ice Industry of Canonsburg.- In 1874 Samuel Munnell, of Canonsburg, engaged in the ice business, which has since been increased from time to time until it has become quite an important industry. The ice is gathered from artificial lakes. The first lake was formed in the year named by constructing a dyke around the meadow just west of the railroad depot and north of the railroad. Water is turned into this at the proper time from the mill-race, and by the time it freezes all sediment and impurities have settled to the bottom. The first ice-house erected held about two thousand tons when first housed. Twenty per cent. is allowed for waste. The first crop was sold in 1876. In that year he erected an additional house and stored three thousand tons. In 1878 he built a third addition and stored four thousand tons. At these houses the ice is lifted by a screw-elevator driven by a ten horse-power engine. When in good working order this machine will elevate about forty blocks a minute, equal to two hundred tons an hour when the ice is from twelve to fifteen inches thick.

In 1880, Mr. Munnell associated with him Samuel Duff, of Pittsburgh, and purchased fourteen acres of meadow lying south of the railroad and directly opposite the old premises. This firm is known as the Canonsburg Ice Company. Eleven acres of this tract was surrounded with a dyke three-fifths of a mile in length, and ranging in height from two to five feet, with an average width of seventeen feet. In the centre of this dyke is an upright partition of plank two inches thick. The amount of plank required was twenty thousand feet, and to construct the embankment required the moving of one hundred and eighty thousand cubic feet of earth. The house used in storing the ice from this lake as first built was one hundred and fifty-five by eighty-four feet, with a height to the eaves of the roof of twenty-seven feet, and divided into five rooms. In 1882 two additional rooms were added, making the building two hundred and seventeen by eighty-four feet in size, with a storing capacity of nearly twelve thousand tons, or sixteen thousand for all the houses owned by the company and by Mr. Munnell himself. There are railroad sidings at all the houses, and the ice is easily loaded into the cars for shipment. The ice is sold at wholesale, and mainly finds a market in Pittsburgh. During the ice harvest fifty or sixty men are given employment. When the houses are filled, the water is let out of the ponds and the meadows used for cropping during the summer.

Rolling-Mill.- About the 1st of April, 1882, an offer was made to the people of Canonsburg by parties in Pittsburgh to locate and build a rolling-mill at that point provided the citizens would raise the sum of fifty thousand dollars. An effort was immediately made, which resulted in raising the amount necessary by the 3d of May. The parties in Pittsburgh were notified, and a meeting was called to be held in that city May 11th, at which meeting a company was organized with one hundred and fifty thousand dollars' capital, and the following-named officers: Directors, John Ewing (president), L. A. Meysen (secretary), Charles H. Taylor (treasurer), H. S. Duncan, and Samuel Munnell. A site was soon after purchased of eleven and a half acres of land of William Ewing and S. B. McPeak, situated on the north bank of Chartiers Creek, southwest of the town of Canonsburg and on the Chartiers Valley Railroad. A coal bank is within one hundred yards of the site. Operations were commenced and pushed with vigor in the expectation of having the mill completed and ready for work in September, 1882. The works will at first employ about two hundred men, which force it is expected will be increased as the business progresses.

Chartiers Woolen-Factory.-Some time previous to the war of the Rebellion a few of the leading capitalists and others of this vicinity agitated the question of building a mill for the manufacture of woolen goods. As near as can be learned the subject first took shape in the minds of Mr. John E. Black and William McDaniel, Esq., both men of enterprise and excellent business acquirements. Sufficient money was subscribed, a stock company formed (of which John Hays, Esq., was president), and the services of

Mr. H. C. Gleason, a practical wool-worker from Massachusetts, were secured. A brick building, forty by sixty feet, three stories high, was erected on the north bank of Chartiers Creek. The building awaited only the machinery when the war interposed, putting a stop to further operations. In 1866 an agreement was made with George Orth and William Layburn, of Connellsville, to take charge of the works with a view of purchasing. The company purchased one set of woolen machinery complete. Messrs. Orth and Layburn put on twelve hands and commenced work. They were successful for several years, and so continued until 1873, when the company went into litigation, and the works were finally sold to James Craighead, by whom it is still owned. Additional machinery was put in, and eleven hands are now employed. During the year 1881 sixteen hundred pairs of blankets, and six hundred pieces of flannel, thirty-five yards to the piece, were manufactured.



W. H. S. Ritchie was born in Canonsburg, Washington Co., Pa., June 9, 1850. His grandfather, Hon. Craig Ritchie,. was born in Glasgow, Scotland, Dec. 29,1758. He emigrated to this country in 1772. He early evinced extraordinary talents for business, and soon succeeded in working his way to the position of a successful merchant in Canonsburg. At the age of thirty he secured to himself the possession of a most estimable and valuable wife by marrying Miss Mary Price, a native of Maryland. She died at Canonsburg in 1836. This excellent lady, who became the mother of a large family (fourteen children), pre-eminently adorned her station, and greatly contributed to Mr. Ritchie's happiness and success in life. She sympathized with him in his toils and struggles to sustain Jefferson College through its early history; and her name ought ever to stand with those of Mrs. Canon, Mrs. McMillan, and other noble women who labored and prayed and made such sacrifices for this institution.

Mr. Ritchie's energy of character, business habits, integrity of principle, and general intelligence secured to him a widely extended reputation. He was early elected to the Legislature, and served his country for some years in this capacity. During the "Whiskey Insurrection" he took a decided stand on the side of law and order, and rendered himself so unpopular with some of the leaders of that unhappy affair that he was in danger of their vengeance. Indeed, nothing but his absence in attendance at the General Assembly of the State saved his property from the torch of the incendiaries at the time that Gen. Neville's house was burned to the ground, as some of the party told the family.

He enjoyed the confidence and especial friendship of Gen. Washington, who often visited him and corresponded with him, and availed himself of Mr. Ritchie's aid in the management of his landed interest in Washington County. He not only lodged with Mr. Ritchie, and often dined with him, hut took many a walk with him along the banks of Chartiers, conferring with him, not only about his own private interests, but the public concerns of the country. He also enjoyed the friendship and confidence of Dr. McMillan, who made Mr. Ritchie's house his home whenever he was in Canonsburg. For more than forty years there was an unbroken intimacy between these good men.

It would be hard to say how much Jefferson College is indebted to Mr. Ritchie for its successful struggles in its most perilous times. He was one of its first trustees, and secretary of the board for a long time. He also was appointed treasurer at various times, and managed the financial affairs of the college with great judgment and success, often paying large sums in advance from his own pocket. He was by far the best business man they had, and did more in devising ways and means to sustain the college than perhaps all the other trustees together, even including Dr. McMillan himself. He gave a large portion of his time and personal attention in superintending the progress of the new building (Providence Hall), and provided from his own resources whatever might be temporarily wanted by the workmen. When, in 1817, every other trustee seemed to despair of the further existence of the college, Mr. Ritchie was unmoved and immovable, and took such energetic steps as reanimated the friends of the institution and secured its continuance.

He died June 13,1833. He was a gentleman of the old school. His dignified and somewhat aristocratic manners and his fine personal appearance commanded respect wherever he might be found. For honesty of principle, goodness and charity, and for self-sacrificing efforts in behalf of Jefferson College, the church of his choice, and the country of his adoption, Mr. Ritchie had no superior in the men of his day. To have so long enjoyed the confidence and esteem of Gen. Washington and Dr. McMillan is a high honor to which few, living or dead, can lay claim. He left behind him a large family of uncommon intelligence and refinement. A number of them died in infancy. The Rev. Dr. Andrew Wylie, president first of Jefferson College, then of Washington College, and lastly of Indiana University, married his oldest daughter. The Rev. Joseph T. Smith, D.D., of Baltimore, married a granddaughter.

William married Miss S. Dorsey, of Philadelphia; left one son, Craig D. Ritchie, of Philadelphia. Died in Wheeling, 1838. John married a daughter of Parker Campbell, of Washington, Pa, and died in Texas, aged seventy years. Ann was wife of Dr. Jonathan Letherman. Mary married Dr. George Herriott, both of whom are deceased.

Catharine was wife of the Rev. Samuel F. Leake, the successor for some years of Dr. McMillan. Eliza was wife of Redick McKee, formerly of Wheeling. Hon. David Ritchie, the youngest son, died in Pittsburgh.

Craig Ritchie, father of W. H. S. Ritchie, was born in Canonsburg, Nov. 24, 1807, and was educated in her schools.

In the early years of his life he was employed in his father's store at Canonsburg, and foreshadowed in the boy the remarkable talent for business affairs which characterized him through life. In 1832 he moved to Wheeling, W. Va., where he engaged successfully in the manufacture of glass. He owned the land which for many years was called Ritchieville, but is now known as South Wheeling. Returning to Chambersburg in 1840, he continued to carry on merchandising there till 1875, when he sold out to his son, W. H. S. Ritchie, at which time he retired from active business.

He was for more than thirty years clerk and elder in the Chartiers Presbyterian Church, and at an earlier period its Sabbath-school superintendent. He was not only the thorough business man, but he took a deep interest in public affairs, and in all enterprises which looked to the betterment of his native place. He married Mary Ann Chickering, the only child of Lieut. Thomas Balch Chickering, U.S.A. Lieut. Chickering was a native of Dedham, Mass., and the seventh in direct descent from Thomas Balch, the first male child born in Massachusetts Bay colony, 1634. He married Susan (or Susannah), third child of David and Cynthia Swift, who was the sixth in direct descent from William Morse, who was born in 1608, emigrated and settled in Newbury, Mass., and died there Nov. 29, 1683. The line is as follows: (1) William Morse, (2) Jonathan, (3) Joshua, (4) Capt. Theodore, who was born Aug. 20, 1717; died July, 1762, at Falmouth, Mass., (5) Cynthia, twelfth child of Capt. Theodore Morse and Thankful Crocker, married David Swift, (6) Susan, third child of David and Cynthia Swift. Susan Chickering survived her husband sixty years. She died in Canonsburg in 1876.

In all the womanly qualities which mark the excellent wife and devoted mother, Mrs. Ritchie has fully sustained the reputation which has been a prominent characteristic of the distinguished families from which she descends. She survives her husband, and is living with her son, W. H. S. Ritchie.

Their children were Caroline, Frank, Virginia, Mary, Ellen, William Henry Swift, Henrietta, and Susan.

Caroline is wife of Rev. I. S. Hays, D.D., Professor of Theology in the seminary at Danville, Ky.

Virginia (deceased) was wife of the Rev. Robert Miller, a clergyman in the M. E. Church.

Frank died at Morris Island, November, 1863, during the war; a captain in the volunteer service.

Mary is wife of Leaman Carothers, a farmer, living near Taylorstown, Washington Co.

Ellen is wife of W. D. Butler, superintendent in the public schools of St. Louis, Mo.

Henrietta is an attendant of the School of Design in Philadelphia.

Susan Moore is wife of C. P. Waugh, a farmer, living near Independence, in West Virginia.

W. H. S. Ritchie received his education in the schools of Canonsburg.

When ten years of age, in 1860, he entered his father's store as clerk, and was for the next ten years thus employed except when attending school. From 1870 he became permanently connected with the business, and for three years prior to 1875 its principal management devolved on him. In 1875 he purchased the store of his father, since which time he has carried it on in his own name. In the latter part of 1877 and first of 1878 he built his present large store building, and occupied it in April of the latter year. (A. representation of this business block will be found on another page of this volume.) The building and occupancy of a store of its magnitude was the inauguration of a new era in the trade of Canonsburg, and though many of his neighbors prophesied it was too large for the place, the sequel has fully justified Mr. Ritchie's foresight and good judgment. His venture gave at once a marked impetus to the trade of the town. A large trade, which formerly went to other localities, has been drawn to Canonsburg by the increased inducements offered to customers. At the present time Mr. Ritchie is erecting still another brick block to accommodate his increasing business.

Mr. Ritchie is an ardent member of the Republican party, but an aspirant for no office.

He is a member of the Canonsburg Presbyterian Church; married, Nov. 23, 1872, Sarah J. Miller. Their children are Theodore Morse, Madeline, and William.


Dr. James Glenn Dickson was born in Fayette township, Allegheny Co., Pa., Feb. 15, 1825, the third in a family of five children of William and Margaret (Glenn) Dickson. After marriage, his grandfather, George Dickson, at an early day settled near what is now Greensburg, county-seat of Westmoreland County, but eventually moved to Fayette township, Allegheny County, then in the "backwoods." The family were several times driven by the Indians back to the settlement near Greensburg, and at one time their log cabin was burned and their crops destroyed. He had three sons and four daughters, all of whom were married and, with one exception, raised families. He and his wife died at the homestead in Fayette, and both are buried at the Robinson's Run Church.

William Dickson, father of the doctor, was the youngest of the seven children. He was born in Fayette in 1790, and fell heir to the homestead upon the death of his father. He was one of the heaviest and most successful farmers in the region, and one of the first in Western Pennsylvania to introduce fine-wool sheep. He took decided interest in church and political affairs. He was an elder for many years in the Associate and subsequently in the United Presbyterian Church.

He was twice married. His first wife was Margaret Glenn, whose family were among the earliest settlers of Allegheny County. She was born in 1791. Their children were Rachel, George, James G., Mary J., and William A. Rachel is wife of Robert Potter, surveyor and farmer, living in Noblestown, Allegheny Co. George is a resident of Pittsburgh, has followed farming, but at the present time follows surveying as a business. Mary J. is wife of James Clark, a retired farmer living in Canonsburg. William A. is a farmer living near Midway Station, on the Panhandle Railroad.

The doctor's mother died Nov. 18,1852, aged sixty-one. His father married for his second wife, in 1857, Susan Aikin, who died March 1, 1872, near Noblestown, Pa. He died March 18, 1872. He and both his wives are buried at the Robinson Run Church.

Dr. Dickson received his primary education in the district school of his neighborhood. He prepared for college under the instruction of the Rev. John M. French, pastor of the Associate Church of Noblestown; entered Jefferson College in 1843, and was graduated from that institution in 1847. His first two years in college were under the presidency of Dr. Matthew Brown; the last two of Dr. Robert J. Breckenridge. Among his classmates were the Rev. J. R. W. Sloan, D.D., Rev. Davis Carson, D.D., and Rev. A. G. Wallace, D.D. His class numbered sixty members. In 1858 he commenced the study of medicine with Dr. J. V. Herriott, of Canonsburg. He attended his first course of lectures at the Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, in the winter of 1849-50, his second course in the following winter, receiving his medical diploma from that institution in the spring of 1851.

In the summer of the same year he began the practice of medicine at Mount Jackson, Lawrence Co., Pa., where he remained about one year. In 1852, at the solicitation of his old preceptor, Dr. Herriott, he returned to Canonsburg, and entered into a partnership with him, which continued about two years, when Dr. Herriott removed to Philadelphia. Upon the return of Dr. Herriott, after an absence of a number of years, Dr. Dickson again became associated with him in practice, which arrangement continued about three years, when Dr. Herriott moved to Valparaiso, Ind., where he is still living.

Since that time Dr. Dickson has been alone in his profession, having now an unbroken practice in Canonsburg of thirty years, the longest period of any physician of the place. The only vacations taken daring the time were one week spent in the oil regions and one week at the Centennial. Few, if any, physicians in the county have a larger or wider range of practice, his ride averaging for many years twenty miles per day. Nature, as well as education, united with rare powers of physical endurance, have made him the successful physician. His cheerful, sympathetic manner, equally with his superior skill in administering remedies, at once command the respect and confidence of his patients.

The doctor united with the Associate Church of Noblestown in 1846. He has been a member of the Chartiers United Presbyterian Church since his residence in Canonsburg. In politics a Whig and Republican. He married, Sept. 4, 1857, Margaret H., daughter of Alexander and Mary (Miller) Buchanan. Mrs. Dickson was born Feb. 28, 1828, in North Strabane township.

Their children are Mary, Jeannette, and William Alexander. The former is a graduate of Washington Seminary; the latter is a student at Duff's Mercantile College.


Dr. J. W. Alexander was born in North Strabane township, Washington Co., Pa., April 15, 1815. His grandfather, Samuel Alexander, emigrated from Ireland in 1763, and settled in Chadd's Ford, Chester Co., Pa. He married a Miss Wilson, by whom he had three children, two sons and a daughter, all born at Chadd's Ford. In 1785 he moved his family to Allegheny County, where he patented three hundred and sixty acres of land, situated two miles from the present village of Bridgeville. Both he and his wife died and were buried in this place.

His son, Joseph Alexander, father of the doctor, married Elizabeth West in 1807, and in 1808 he purchased a farm in North Strabane township, Washington County, of one hundred and forty acres, partly improved. He lived on this place until his death, which occurred March 23, 1828, aged sixty-two. His wife survived him many years; she died in 1869, aged eighty-seven.

Their children were Mary, Samuel, Elizabeth, Joseph, West, and Susan. Mary was wife of James Mahood. Samuel married Mary Van Eman; has one child living, Elizabeth. Elizabeth was wife of John Dixon, living at Milan, Rock Island Co., III.; two children living, George and Emma. Susan was wife of William McA. Quail, a farmer in North Strabane township; three children, Huston, Elizabeth, and Annie. All the brothers and sisters are deceased.

Dr. Alexander passed his boyhood working on his father's farm. His primary education was received at the common school in Canonsburg. He prepared for college at the preparatory department of Jefferson College, which he entered in 1835. He remained three years in college, taking the full course, with the exception of the Greek language. In 1838 he entered as a medical student the office of Dr. J. V. Herriott, at Canonsburg, with whom he studied three years. He taught school, however, at Hollidaysburg nine months of that time. He attended a course of lectures at Jefferson Medical College in the winter of 1839-40. Commenced the practice of medicine in Hillsboro', Washington Co., in 1841, and continued there until 1861. He passed the examination of the State board, Aug. 6, 1861, and was commissioned as surgeon January, 1862. Received the appointment as surgeon of the Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. After the battles of Fair Oaks and Seven Pines, he was assigned to duty as surgeon of the Eighty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, which position he held three months. He was relieved from this position, and Oct. 20,1862, was appointed surgeon of the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, Col. William J. Palmer commanding, with which regiment he remained until the close of the war. He was mustered out of service at Nashville, Tenn., June 21, 1865.

With the exception of a slight flesh-wound, received at the battle of Seven Pines, the doctor came out of the war unscathed. The regiments in which he served were in many of the severest battles, and the duties of his position were often most arduous and exhaustive.

Prior to the war the doctor had removed to Canonsburg, and upon being mustered out he returned to that place, where, after a rest of about two years, he resumed the practice of his profession, and has ever since been one of its leading physicians.

He is a member of the State Medical Society, also of the Washington County Medical Society, at one time president of the latter.

At the present time (1882) he is physician to the Morganza Reform School.

In politics, first a Whig, and a Republican from the organization of that party. He was chairman of the first county convention of that party; was a member of the Legislature of 1853; has been a trustee of Jefferson Academy for ten years, a member of the Canonsburg Presbyterian Church nine years, and an elder for the last seven years.

In all matters affecting church or state the doctor has most decided opinions, and if the occasion requires is abundantly able to defend them. For his friends he always has a warm side; those who are not he is apt to let severely alone. He married, June 18, 1844, Mary Ann, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Morison) Horner. Mrs. Alexander was born in Hanover township, Washington County. Her father's was one of the old families of Northampton County, Pa. Their children are Mary Elizabeth, Joseph, Margaret, Laura, and William H.

Mary Elizabeth is the wife of Thomas Yates living in Washington, Pa.

*Boyd Crumrine, "History of Washington County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men" (Philadelphia: L. H. Leverts & Co., 1882).

Transcribed by Cherie Atkinson Clark of Charlott, NC in September 1999 and Neil Morton of [TBD] in February 2000. Published in February 2000 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at

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