Boyd Crumrine, History of Washington County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men (Philadelphia: L. H. Leverts & Co., 1882).
The original owners of the site occupied by the borough of Washington were Abraham Hunter, Martha Hunter, and Joseph Hunter, Jr., who were among the host of applicants who thronged the land-office of the proprietaries immediately after its opening in the spring of 1769 for the sale of the lands which had been ceded by the Indians a few months previously by the treaty of Fort Stanwix. The warrants (one to each of the persons mentioned) were dated June 19, 1769, and were surveyed by James Hendricks on the 11th of November in the same year. The tract of Abraham Hunter (warrant No. 3517) was named "Catfish Camp,"1 and contained three hundred and thirty-one acres and twenty-one perches, lying on Catfish Run, a small tributary of Chartiers Creek. On the north of this tract was the land of Joseph Hunter, Jr. (warrant No. 3516), named in the survey "Grand Cairo," and containing three hundred and thirty-one acres and twenty-one perches. On the north of the last named, and adjoining it, was the tract of Martha Hunter (warrant No., 3518), named in the survey "Matha's Bottom," containing three hundred and thirty-nine acres, sixty-nine perches, but the borough, when it became such by incorporation, included no part of his tract.
1 This name, which was given not only to the tract but also the settlement which afterwards became the town of Washington (and clung to it for many years), was derived from an old Delaware Indian named Tingooqua – in English, Catfish – who lived there, and of whom mention is made in the history of the Indian occupation in this volume. His wigwam or “camp” was on the stream, northeast of Trinity Hall, but it is said that he occupied several different locations in the immediate vicinity at different times. He lived here for some years, but finally removed to the Scioto country and died there.
No information whatever can be obtained of these original purchasers beyond the facts already given. There is no evidence – and very little probability – that they ever resided upon these lands. William Huston was a resident on a tract of land adjoining “Catfish Camp,” and on the branch of Chartiers which flows near the original borough line. On that tract (at the place where Mrs. Swartz now resides) Huston lived as early as 1774, as is shown by his own affidavit (given in the account of Dunmore’s war in the general history of the county), in which he said that in April of the year named Capt. Michael Cresap and others stopped overnight at his house at Catfish Camp while traveling from the Ohio to Redstone Old Fort. He (Huston) was the earliest white inhabitant of the vicinity of whom any information can be gained.
On the 26th of April, 1771, Abraham, Martha, and Joseph Hunter sold their tracts, “Catfish Camp,” Martha’s Bottom, and “Grand Cairo” (in all about one thousand and sixty acres), to David Hoge, a native of Cumberland County. In 1780, when the erection of the new county of Washington was being agitated, Hoge determined to lay out a town on the lands purchased from the Hunters doubtless with the expectation that it would become the seat of justice of the proposed county, of which the site of the new town would be within a mile of the territorial centre. He built a log house (on the site of Strean’s hardware-store) in the early spring of 1781, and the act erecting Washington County, passed March 28, 1781, directed the courts to be held “at the house of David Hoge, Esq.,” and in his log house the first court was so held on the 2d of October in that year. On the 13th of the same month-a town-plat was laid out on a part of the tracts Catfish Camp and Grand Cairo by David Redick, surveyor, for David Hoge, and was named “Bassett Town.”
It will be noticed that among the names of the grand jury at the first court of the county not a name occurs of any person who was a resident of Catfish Camp or its vicinity. It is not known or believed that David Hoge ever resided here. All traditions unite in locating the cabin of David Hoge in the rear of what became the town-plat lot No. 58, which was sold soon after the town was laid out to Charles Dodd, on certificate No. 15, dated Bassett Town, October, 1781.
In this house Mr. Dodd evidently lived when the court was held here, for rent was paid him “for use of a room to hold court in.”
The original plat of Bassett Town was bounded by what are now Maiden and Walnut Streets, Lincoln Avenue, and Ruple’s Alley. The two principal streets were Monongahela (now Main) and Ohio (now Beau), each sixty-six feet wide, running through the centre of the town at right angles with each other. The other streets were sixty feet in width. The width of the alley is not given. The streets and alleys north from Maiden Street and running parallel with it were named as follows: Water Alley (now Strawberry), Gay Street (later Belle, now Wheeling), Johnson’s Alley (now Cherry), Ohio Street (now Beau), Middle Alley (now Pine), Race Street (now Chestnut), North Alley (now Spruce). Walnut Street was the north line and not then named. From what is now Lincoln Avenue (but not then named, what being the eastern boundary line) westward the streets were named as follows: Chartiers Street (now College), Monongahela Street (later Market, now Main), Beau Street (later Front, now Franklin).
Four lots marked A, forming a plot two hundred and forty feet square, and lying in the southwest angle of Ohio and Monongahela Streets, were donated by Mr. Hoge for a court-house and prison. Lots 43 and 102 were presented by Mr. Hoge to Gen. George Washington, and were on the corner of Chartiers and Gay Streets. No. 43 is now owned by the Presbyterian Society, and No. 102 forms a part of the college campus. Lots Nos. 171 and 172 were set apart for a place of public worship and a school-house. These lots were fronting on Race Street, and extended along Chartiers Street to Pine Alley, each being a corner lot. They were never used for the purpose designated. In addition to the plot a “Great Plain” was given by Mr. Hoge “for a common,” containing seventy or eighty acres. Later it was occupied by William Hoge, and on it he lived and died. It is now owned by a Harry Shirls, and his residence is upon it.
The new town was named Bassett Town, in honor of the Hon. Richard Bassett, who was a kinsman of Mr. Hoge. Mr. Bassett was a member of the convention which framed the Constitution of the United States in 1787, and was the first who voted to locate the capital of the nation on the Potomac. He was a member of the Delaware Convention which met at Dover on the 7th of December, 1787, and ratified the constitution of that State, of which he was Governor from 1798 to 1801. He was also United States district judge in 1801-1802. His death occurred in 1815.
After the laying out of the town Mr. Hoge immediately commenced the sale of lots by certificates which bore the number of the lot sold, and a proviso that a “house at least eighteen feet square with a stone or brick chimney shall be built thereon on or before the 13th day of October, 1784;” and also contained an amount specified to be paid annually as a quit-rent. These certificates passed from one to another, and in most cases deeds were not made till four or five years later. Forty-seven certificates were issued to purchasers of the lots dated at Bassett Town, and all were issued in the early part of October, 1781. The name of the town was changed to Washington in that month, as the following certificate shows:
“Washington Town, October, 1781.
“This will intitle Dorsey Pentecost to receive a sufficient title, subject to one dollar in specie rent per annum per Lott, for the lot marked in the Original plan of said Town 154, provided there shall be erected on each lott a house of eighteen feet square at least with a stone or brick chimney on or before the thirteenth day of October in the year One thousand seven hundred and eighty-four.
“Signed David Hoge.”
After the sale of the property by David Hoge to his sons, John and William, the quit-rents were paid to them. In the year 1803, John Hoge received on 120 quit-rents $1500, and in 1809 on 136 he received $2000. In the same year William Hoge received on 130 quit-rents the sum of $1600, and in 1809 on 147 he received $2180. These rents were bough off from time to time, and mostly ceased about 1860. Demands are still occasionally made, but no attention is paid to them.
The first property to which title by deed was given was the public square sold for a site for the courthouse and prison of Washington County. This deed describes the property as “lying in the town of Bassett Town,” and is the only one ever made containing such description. The next deed that appears of record was made by David Hoge to James Marshel, and conveyed lot No. 90 (now occupied by Morgan and Hargraves’ store). This lot was sold by Marshel to Hugh Wilson on the 4th of January, 1786. With the exception of the deed conveying the property to his sons, the two deeds above mentioned are the only ones given by David Hoge. The deeds for the certificates were given by John and William Hoge after their purchase Nov. 7, 1785.
In the year 1784 an incident occurred in the town, which is here related as given by one who was the leader of the party. The facts are given in the minutes of the Supreme Executive Council, of date Philadelphia, Oct. 29, 1790.
Cornplanter, chief of the Senecas, made a speech to the “Fathers of the Quaker State,” in which he referred to a treaty made at Fort Stanwix six years before, and also of a talk held between the “Fathers” and the “Thirteen Fires,” at Muskingum. After this last treaty Cornplanter was to conduct his people to Fort Pitt. The following is from his speech, and refers to the trip made through Catfish (Washington) in 1784, as follows:
“After I had separated from Mr. Nicholson and Morgan, I had under my charge one hundred and seventy persons of my nation, consisting of men, women, and children, to conduct through the wilderness, through heaps of briars, and having lost our way, we with great difficulty reached Wheelen. When arrived there, being out of provisions, I requested of a Mr. Zanes to furnish me and my people with bacon and flour to the amount of seventeen dollars, to be paid for out of the goods belonging to me and my people at Fort Pitt. Having obtained my request, I proceeded on my journey for Pittsburg, and about ten miles from Wheelen, my party were fired upon by three white people, and one of my people in the rear of my party received two shots through his blanket.
“Fathers,–It was a constant practice with me throughout the whole journey to take great care of my people, and not suffer them to commit any outrages or drink more than what their necessities required. During the whole of my journey only one accident happened, which was owing to the kindness of the people of the town called Catfish [Washington], in the Quaker State, who, while I was talking with the head men of the town, gave to my People more liquor than was proper, and some of them got drunk, which obliged me to continue there with my People all night, and in the night my People were robbed of three rifles and one shot-gun; and though every endeavour was used by the head men of the town upon complaint made to them to discover the perpetrators of the robbery, they could not be found; and on my Peoples complaining to me I told them it was their own faults by getting drunk.” It may be of interest to know the advantages the town of Washington had at that time for supplying men with the liquor “their necessities required”. The following are the names of those who kept tavern here in that year: James Wilson, John Adams, John Dodd, Charles Dodd, and John Colwell.
On the 7th of November, 1785, David Hoge conveyed to his sons, John and William Hoge, eight hundred acres of land, including the town of Washington, except the southeast quarter of the town, which he reserved for himself; but subsequently, on the 10th of March, 1787, he conveyed to them this quarter also. The names of the streets were changed from the plat of 1781 before the date of the deed. Shortly after this sale an addition was made to the town on the east and south sides, consisting of forty lots and several out-lots.
The town of Washington was originally in the township of Strabane, and the first election of the township was held at “the house of David Hoge, at Catfish Camp.” The town remained under the jurisdiction of Strabane until 1785. On the 25th of September, in that year, a petition signed by several of the citizens of the town was presented to the Court of Quarter Sessions, requesting to be formed into a separate election district. The petition was granted; a certificate was sent to the Supreme Executive Council, and was confirmed by that body on the 6th of February, 1786. A petition for the erection of the town of Washington into a separate township is on file in the records of the court, and is indorsed on the back as follows: “Petition of Inhabitants of the Town of Washington to be made a township. September Session. Granted by the Court.” The petition was signed by Alexander Addison, D. Bradford, James Ross, John Redick, John Hoge, and Reasin Beall.
This petition is without date, but the action of the court was evidently in September, 1788, as the first assessment-roll of Washington borough township that has been found was made April 20, 1789, and is probably the first one after its erection. The following names appear on the roll:
John Atchison, Robert Atchison, John Adams, Samuel Acklin, David Bradford, Reazon Bell, Samuel Beard, Absalom Beard, Esq., James Chambers, Edward Coulter, Samuel Clark, Alexander Cunningham, John Culbertson, Thomas Clark, Peyton Cooke, John Dodd, John Douglas, Samuel David, John Flaek, William Faulkner, Hardman Horn, John Hoge, Esq., John Hughes, Thomas Jeffries, William Johnston, Daniel Kerr, William Kerr, Alexander Little, James, Linn, William Meetkirk, John McQuiston, Robert McKinley, William Marshall, Hugh Means, Kennedy Morton, Daniel Moody, Alexander McCoy, William Marts, William McCalmont, George McCormick, John McMichael, Daniel McGlaughlin, Patrick McNight, James McCoy, Sr., Anthony McConoughy, David Parkinson, John Purviance, David Redick, Esq., John Redick, Widow Roberts, Thomas Stokely, Esq., Samuel Shannon, Thomas Scott, Esq., Adam Sneider, ––– Sneider, Andrew Swearingen, William Sherrod, Widow Thompson, Charles Valentine, James Wilson, Sr., Hugh Wilson, Matthew Winton, James Workman, Widow Walker, Daniel Welch, Joseph Wherry, Hugh Workman, James Wilson, Jr., Thomas Woodward. Single men: Gabriel Bleakney, John Black, Alexander Beer, Edward Browner, Sandars Darby, George Douglas, Thomas Davis, James Ewing, Thomas Goudy, Joseph Hunt, Daniel Johnston, John Kerns, James Langley, William Linn, James McDermott, Walton Meads, Alexander McCoy, James McCoy, John McCoy, Thomas McQuiston, James McCluney, Alexander Miller, William Mitchell, Archibald McDonald, James Read, Benjamin Read, James Ross, James Rony, John Stokely, Benjamin Stokely, John Stevenson, Elisha Fulkerson, James Woods.
In 1792, forty-seven inhabitants of Strabane and Canton townships petitioned the court that the township of Washington be enlarged. The petition was presented in March, 1792, and on the 27th of September the same year it was acted upon, and the following boundaries established: “Beginning at the mouth of Daniel Leets’ Run, thence up the said Run to the Head thereof, thence to the most easterly corner of the survey made for James Huston, thence along the easterly boundary of William Huston’s survey, thence along the Easterly Boundary of John Dodd’s Land to where the great road to Pittsburgh crosses the first Run, thence down the said Run to Chartiers Creek, thence up the said creek to the place of the Beginning.” Since that time the boundaries have not been materially changed.
Early Settlers of Washington. – David Hoge, of Cumberland County, was sheriff of that county from October, 1768, to Dec. 31, 1770, when he was succeeded by Ephraim Blaine. Soon after this time, as already mentioned, he purchased the Hunter tracts of land in the Chartiers Valley embracing what is now the town of Washington. He laid out the town in 1781, and in 1785 sold the most of it to his sons John and William, who removed to Washington and lived and died there, filling important positions of honor and trust. David Hoge, their father, never made Washington his permanent residence. Of his other children, Jonathan settled near Morgantown, where he lived and died, leaving two children, of Bushrod Hoge (well know to the people of Washington) is one. David Hoge, Jr., married Jane the daughter of Thomas Scott, and settled in Washington for a time, and finally removed to Steubenville, where he became agent of the Land-Office. He died there, leaving many descendants. A daughter became the wife of the Rev. Mr. Waugh, a Presbyterian clergyman. He died in Cumberland County and left two sons, William and John H., both of whom were admitted as attorneys in Washington County in 1818 and 1820. He also had three daughters, the youngest of whom became the wife of Dr. Irwin. Mrs. Daniel Kaine, of Uniontown, is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Irwin. John Hoge, the oldest son of David Hoge, Sr., was born at Hogestown, near Carlisle, Sept. 12, 1760, entered the Revolutionary army in 1776, when but sixteen years of age, and became a lieutenant. During the war he visited Washington, and in 1782 settled on the land his father had purchased. On the 7th of October, 1785, his father conveyed the greater portion of the large tract to him and his brother William. In 1789 he was elected a delegate to the State Constitutional Convention, and from 1790-1794 represented this district in the State Senate. He served part of a term in the Congress from 1803-5 to fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of his brother, William Hoge. He built a frame house on the south side of Maiden Street, opposite the old Presbyterian Church (now Hayes’carriage factory). He also kept tavern a few years about 1800. He married a daughter of William Quail. Later in life he retired to his farm, lying between Washington and Canonsburg, known as the “Meadow Land” (now owned by Maj. John H. Ewing), where he died Aug. 5, 1824. William Hoge, a younger brother of John, also settled in Washington, and owned a half interest in the property. His farm in the north part of the town is now owned by Harry Shirle. He was elected member of Congress, and served from 1801 to 1803, but resigned in 1804, and was again elected in 1806 and served from 1807 to 1809. He was also elected associated judge, and served from 1798 to 1802. He married Isabella, the daughter of Samuel Lyon, of Cumberland County. He died in 1813, and his widow became the second wife of Alexander Reed.
David Redick was a native of Ireland, who emigrated to this country and settled for several years in Lancaster County. He married the daughter of Jonathan Hoge, brother of David Hoge, Sr. He was a surveyor, and came to the Chartiers Valley with David Hoge, surveyed his lands, and laid out the town under the direction of Mr. Hoge. He remained here an purchased lot 273, on Main Street, where he built and lived till his death. The place is now owned by Alexander Murdoch. He was admitted to the bar in 1782. In 1786 he was elected a member of the Supreme Executive Council, and on the 14th of October, 1788, was chosen vice-president in place of Peter Muhlenberg, who resigned. He held the position until the election of George Ross, November 5th, the same year. Benjamin Franklin was president of the Council at the time he was vice-president. In October, 1787, he was appointed agent of the State for communicating to the Governor of New York intelligence respecting Connecticut claims. In 1791 he was appointed prothonotary of Washington County and clerk of the courts. He was appointed to survey the Ten Islands in the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers, and to divide the several tracts of land opposite Pittsburgh into building-lots. He was active and energetic in business, prominent in defense of law, order, and the constitution in the time of the Whiskey Insurrection, and was appointed with Mr. Findley to wait upon President Washington to assure him of the submission of those who had been insurgents. He died at Washington on the 28th of September, 1805, and was buried with Masonic honors. He had a son who became an attorney, but died when a young man. Nancy, a daughter of his, became the wife of Dr. James Stevens, of Washington. They inherited the Redick homestead, where they both lived and died. The present residence was built by Dr. Stevens. Another daughter of Mr. Redick became the wife of Capt. James Anderson, of the United States Army. They later settled in Louisville, Ky.
The ancestors of the Acheson family of Washington were natives of Scotland, and about 1604 removed to County Armagh, Ireland, when, in 1776, Sir Archibald Acheson (one of the descendants) became Baron Gosford, and later a viscount. The descendants of the family who came to this country were of a collateral branch, and settled upon the family estate at Glass Drummond. George, the father of the sons and daughters who came to this country, was born in 1724, and died in July, 1812, aged eighty-eight years. Elizabeth, his wife, was a daughter of David Wier, a Belfast merchant. She was born in 1728, and died July 29, 1808, aged eighty years. They left five sons, – George, John, Thomas, William, and David, and two daughters, – Hannah and Ellen. All the children came to this country except William, who remained on the homestead at Glass Drummond. The first to emigrate to America was John, who about the year 1784 came to Washington, Pa., where he commenced to trade, and soon after established other trading points at Cincinnati and Wheeling. He was also employed by the United States government in the furnishing supplied to the army for the Indian wars. His death by apoplexy occurred in 1790, while crossing the Allegheny Mountains on horseback on his way to Philadelphia. He left a widow and two daughters in Ireland. The eldest daughter died young, and Hannah, the youngest daughter, came to this country in 1807 in charge of the Rev. Thomas Campbell. She lived with her uncle David, and died in 1837, aged fifty years.
Thomas Acheson came to this country in 1786, and settled in Washington with his brother John, with whom he became associated in business. After the death of John, in 1791, he entered into partnership with David, his younger brother, and continued the mercantile business as long as he lived. In 1809 he erected the brick building on which the First National Bank building is now (1882) being erected, the old house having been demolished the latter part of May, 1882. In this house Gen. Acheson lived till his death in 1815. He was commissioned commissary-general of the army of the United States in 1812. He was a man of pleasing address, and wielded great influence in the town and county. He left six children, Elizabeth, George, James C., Hannah, Jane, and Thomas. Elizabeth became the wife of Benjamin Stewart, Esq.; they both died in 1838. George studied law and died in early life. James C. married and settled in Wheeling, where he died a few years ago, leaving a widow and children. Thomas is the only survivor. Hannah Acheson, a sister of John and Thomas, was married in Ireland to James Shields, and became the mother of four children before she came to the United States in 1800. Of these children William settled in Nashville, Tenn., and died in December, 1837, leaving two children, who were sent to the family of David Acheson, and both died before reaching maturity. Thomas Shields, a son of Hannah, came to Washington about 1820, and became a clerk in the store of his uncle and remained a few years, when his health failed and he went to South America, and later settled in Nashville, where he died a few years after his brother William. George Shields, a brother of William and Thomas, settled in Washington County, and had two children, Hannah and Thomas, both of whom are living. Ellen Acheson, the youngest daughter of George Acheson, and sister of John and Thomas, married Joseph McCullough in Ireland and settled there. They emigrated to this country about 1791, arriving about the time of the death of her brother John. They removed to Kentucky, where they died a few years later, leaving two children, George and Nancy, who were brought to Pennsylvania, George to Cumberland County, where he grew to manhood and died. His daughter, Ellen, became the wife of the Rev. Dr. A. McGill, of Princeton Theological Seminary. Nancy was placed with her uncles, Thomas and David, with whom she lived until her marriage with the Hon. Thomas H. Baird, with whom she lived many years and left many descendants.
David Acheson, the youngest of the family of brothers and sisters who came to this country, emigrated in the spring of 1788 to join his brothers. As a certificate of character, he brought with him from the pastor of his father’s church the following letter: “The bearer, David Acheson, intending to remove to North America, this therefore is to certify that he is a young man of sober, good conduct, and son of Mr. George Acheson, an elder of the Seceding Congregation of Market Hill, in the County of Armagh, Ireland. This is given under my hand this 30th of April, 1788. David Arnott, Minister.” He embarked for Philadelphia on the “Friendship,” Capt. Rue, from Belfast, May 14, 1788. A safe voyage was made, and he joined his brothers in Washington, and immediately became associated with his brother John in the contracts for furnishing supplied to the armies of the United States. These contracts continued until the death of John in 1791. Among the business papers of David Acheson were accounts of mercantile expeditions from Pittsburgh to New Orleans in 1790-91 by John and David Acheson, with a document written in the Spanish language given to David Acheson by the Spanish authorities permitting him to convey his merchandise within their territory. After the death of his brother John he turned his attention to the study of law for a time with James Ross, but soon abandoned it and became engaged in mercantile pursuits with his brother Thomas. In 1795 (when twenty-five years old) he was elected to represent Washington County in the State Legislature, and again in 1797 and 1804. He was married in the spring of 1799 to Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel Young, of Philadelphia, who died on the 27th of February, 1800. An infant daughter was left to him, who was placed with her grandmother in Philadelphia, by whom she was brought up. In November, 1802, he visited his parents and while abroad traveled through Ireland and England, spending about six months. He married as a second wife, Oct. 30, 1805, Mary, daughter of John Wilson, of Washington, and removed to Philadelphia, where he remained nine years, and in 1814 returned to Washington. While residing in Philadelphia four children were born to them, – John, Alexander W., Catharine, and David, who died young. Upon his return to Washington, Mr. Acheson erected the mansion-house now owned by the Rev. Dr. James I. Brownson. He entered into business in Washington, but later in life, by the depression in real estate, he became financially embarrassed and was not again engaged in active pursuits. In 1840, when seventy years of age, he revisited Ireland and remained until the spring of 1842, when he returned home and lived an uneventful life the remainder of his days. In 1848 he was stricken with paralysis, and with mind shattered and bodily powers impaired he lived until Dec. 1, 1851, when he died at home surrounded by his family, at the age of eighty-one years. The following is from an obituary notice of him: “He was an accurate and close observer of public and political affairs as connected not only with our own government, but also with the prominent nations of Europe, of the diplomacy of which, as well as of their policy, there were but few private men of his day, retiring and unobtrusive as he was, who better understood or could more accurately delineate. His judgement and conclusions, which were always deliberate and well matured by his deep-thinking, strong mind, were valuable and very highly esteemed by those acquainted with him whether in public or private life. Thus during the period of vigorous manhood he enjoyed a most extensive popularity and influence in the State of Pennsylvania particularly, and with many of her most distinguished individuals in her political party history and government he was on the closest terms of intimacy; hence his opinions and counsels were always much sought after and greatly valued. . . . As a private friend and in social life Mr. Acheson was a man of ardent and sincere attachments, and where personal effort or labor were needed he never faltered or shrunk by reason of apparent difficulty or threatened danger, ever ready and willing to serve his friends, at whatever responsibility or personal risk, by day or night, at home or abroad.”
Judge Alexander W. Acheson and Mrs. Dr. James I. Brownson, a son and daughter of David Acheson, are both well-known and life-long residents of Washington.
Alexander Reed came to this country from Donegal, Ireland, in 1794. His brother Thomas and his mother’s brother, Alexander Cunningham, had settled in the town of Washington some time before. His father, Robert Reed, graduated in Edinburgh, and was a minister of high standing in Scotland, but was called to Ireland to preach against the Arian heresy, then creeping into the Presbyterian Church. Unitarian theology is almost the same as that of Arius. All the books upon its doctrines are said to be lost. The church Robert Reed established at Manor Cunningham (Donegal County, Ireland) had at one time, it is said, a thousand communicants, and his children and granchildren have been the sole occupants of the pulpit for one hundred and fifty years. It is yet one of the most important churches in that county. Under the training of such a father the son imbibed those principles of morality and religion which formed his character and influenced his conduct through life. The death of his brother occurring soon after his arrival, he became the sole proprietor of the store now occupied by his son Colin, and grandsons, Alexander and Colin. He became much interested in developing the agricultural resources of the county, and purchased largely of real estate. In 1821 he bought a flock of imported Spanish merino sheep of Alexander Wilson, of Philadelphia, and began the business of fine-wool growing. He was the first to send wool to the Eastern market. He was also among the first to introduce best English horses and cattle. His father-in-law, Rev. Colin McFarquher, used to say while here on visits to his daughter that her children would see these hills white with sheep. Alexander Reed himself lived to see this prophecy literally fulfilled when Washington County had a million of sheep and was the finest wool-growing county in the United States. In 1826 he sent silk-worm eggs to George Rapp, the founder of the society at Economy, who gave to them to his granddaughter, Gertrude Rapp, as the seeds of an industry likely to furnish pleasant employment for women. It was not long before both Mr. Rapp and his granddaughter made their appearance here one fair day arrayed in suits of handsome black silk, the result o that gift of silk-worm eggs. This was the beginning of their silk factory, in operation thirty years. It has been idle since 1856. With the existing tariff it was never profitable. They exhibited their silks, satins, velvets, and brocades at fairs in New York and Boston, and Miss Rapp (who is yet a vigorous woman) still shows medals awarded her there. They demonstrated the practicability of silk-making in this country, and anticipated by more than half a century the work of the ladies who recently presented Mrs. Garfield with a silk dress-pattern, thinking it the first silk ever made in this country.
Mr. Reed was one of the original trustees in the charter of Washington College, as well as of the female seminary. He was president of the Franklin Bank from its foundation, and treasurer of the Presbyterian Church from its organization till his death. In all projects and enterprises to advance the interest of town or country, in all the institutions for promoting the cause of education, morals, or religion, he was prominent, active, and efficient. His regard for truth and honesty was the foundation of that universal confidence reposed in him. In all the varied and multiplied transactions of nearly fifty years his truth and integrity were never impeached, and he was never engaged in a lawsuit.
In 1799 he married Janette, daughter of Rev. Colin McFarquher, of Inverness, Scotland, who came to this country during the Revolutionary war. He preached thirty years in Donegal, Lancaster Co., Pa., in an old church which is yet standing. The children of Alexander Reed were George, Eliza, Colin, Robert R., Alexander, and Sarah. The last two died in infancy. George died at twenty-eight; many cherished hopes for a brilliant future were buried with him. Eliza died while on a visit to Philadelphia, just in bloom of womanhood. Colin is the only one now living, at the age of seventy-seven. In 1835 he married the widow of Lieut. Ritner, United States army, who died at the end of one year, leaving a daughter (Mary), who is now the wife of Henry Laughlin, of Pittsburgh, of the firm Jones & Laughlin. In 1842 he married Sarah E. Chapman, of Massachusetts, sister of Maj. William Chapman. The children of this marriage were Isabella, Laura, Helen, Alexander, Colin, Robert, Ethelind, and Alice. Isabella married William Copeland, of Pittsburgh, both of whom have been dead many years. Laura is the wife of James R. Clark, and is living now in the old home built by her grandfather Reed. Colin married Miss Ada Brownlee, and is in the business with his father and brother Alexander in the same location where, nearly one hundred years ago, it was first established by Alexander Reed. Alexander, Ethelind, and Alcie are unmarried. Robert and Helen died in early childhood.
In 1830, Robert Rantoul Reed married the oldest daughter of Judge Thomas H. Baird. The children of this marriage were Ann Eliza, Alexander, Thomas, Janette, George, Ellen, Isabella, Colin, William, Joseph, and Charles. Alexander was a man of mark in the pulpit, an earnest, eloquent, attractive preacher of the gospel. His first charge was the Octorara, one of the long established churches of the Presbytery of Chester. From there he went to Philadelphia; from thence to Brooklyn. In pastoral work he excelled, and in all the churches he served he is lovingly remembered to this day. After his return from Europe he was called to Denver, where he died, at the age of forty-seven, after a brief but effective work there. His widow (Mary Watson) and children, are here in Washington. Thomas is an eminent physician in Philadelphia. William is preaching in Helena, Montana. George, Colin, and Joseph are in business in Pittsburgh. All the daughters of this family died early. Robert died in the army of typhoid fever. George also was a soldier in the Federal army. Dr. Thomas was a surgeon in the Pennsylvania Reserves during the war. He married Miss Campbell, of Carlisle. George married Matilda McKennan, of this town; Colin, Miss Lord, of Mississippi; William, Miss McKnight, of Pittsburgh. The widow of Dr. R. R. Reed is now over seventy, and living among children and sisters.
Marcus Wilson came to American from Coleraine, County of Londonderry, Ireland. He had four children, – John, James, Alexander, and Isaac. John, the eldest, married Catherine, daughter of Christopher Cunningham, in June, 1785, and in June of the next year Marcus Wilson and his family, including the wife of John and an infant son, Nicholas, emigrated to this country. Alexander settled in Philadelphia. James came directly to the town of Washington, where he lived until his death, in 1828, aged seventy years. John, with his family and his father, settled in Philadelphia, where they remained three years, and in 1789 removed to Washington. They started in Philadelphia with all their goods in a cart; on reaching Bedford the cart was abandoned, as bridle-paths were the only roads west of the mountains, and pack-horses were used. John was a cabinetmaker, and at once commenced his business in Washington. He built a house and shop on the lot where A. T. Baird’s store now stands. He was elected justice of the peace Feb. 1, 1799, and held the office until the infirmities of age compelled him to retire. He died March 16, 1847, aged eighty-five years. His widow died in December, 1857, aged eighty-eight years. They had twelve children, of whom Nicholas went South when a young man, and settled in Iberville, La. The second child, Mary, was born in Philadelphia, Nov. 30, 1787, and came to this town with her parents. She married David Acheson, Oct. 30, 1805. She lived a long and useful live, and died Aug. 2, 1872, aged eighty-five years. Martha, the third child of John Wilson, was born in Washington, Feb. 18, 1790. She became the wife of Dr. John Wishart, of Washington, in October, 1827. They remained in Washington. She survived her husband seven years, and died in March, 1871, at the residence of her son Marcus, in Allegheny County. Margaret, another daughter of John Wilson, married William Wilson, of Philadelphia, and lived and died in that city. Jane also a daughter of John Wilson, married George Baird, of Washington, Oct. 25, 1811. For several years they resided in various places, and in 1844 returned to Washington, where she died in 1872. John and A. Todd Baird, of Washington, are her sons.
Marcus, a son of John Wilson, was born in Washington. When a young man he moved to Wheeling, where he died Aug. 1, 1837. Alexander Wilson, an attorney of Washington, is his son. John K. Wilson, also a son of John Wilson, and a native of Washington, married Maria, the only daughter of David Shields and granddaughter of Maj. Daniel Leet. He was for many years a prominent merchant in Washington, and lived in the house where he was born, on the east side of Main Street opposite the court-house. (The site is now occupied by Hastings’ hardware-store and the Washington Savings Bank.) About 1830 he removed to Allegheny City, where he still resides. David S. Wilson, a leading attorney of Washington, is a son. Catharine, a daughter of John Wilson, became the wife of Andrew Todd, of Washington. Their son, Alexander Todd, is now an attorney in Washington borough. James, the youngest son of John Wilson, was born in 1806, and when a lad of sixteen years was killed by the falling of the chimney at the burning of a house of Maiden Street, Feb. 23, 1822.
James Wilson came from Burnt Cabin, Bedford Co., Pa., in 1781, and purchased lot 291, where Smith’s store now is. On it he erected a log house, and on the 3rd of October, at the first term of court in Washington County, he was licensed to keep a tavern. Later, he bought lot 21 (where Charlton’s confectionery-store now is), on the east side of Main Street. This lot was purchased on a certificate. In 1792 he passed his title to his son Hugh. A deed had previously been made to Hugh (Aug, 15, 1786). A house was built on this lot, which at that time was the largest in the town, and in it the shows that visited the place and various amateur performances were held. Dr. J. Julius Le Moyne first opened his drug-store in this house. After his removal, Mrs. Baker’s Female Seminary was located there until her removal, in 1815, to a house on Maiden Street. James Wilson lived in the house he built on the corner of Main and Beau Streets until his death, and his widow lived there several years after. He died in 1792, and by his will left to his wife, Margaret, the use of two hundred acres of land adjoining the town until James, the youngest son, should be of age; then the farm was to be divided equally between James, Thomas, and John. Hugh, the oldest son, had been provided for by property set off to him previously, among which was the lot on Main Street near Maiden. The house and lot where James Wilson, Sr., lived and died was left to his youngest son, James, but it later came into the possession of Hugh Wilson, by whom it was owned many years. A daughter (Matty) of James Wilson became Mrs. Bryson. James, the youngest son, was a coppersmith, and lived in the town several years. Of the other sons, except Hugh, nothing is known.
Hugh Wilson, in addition to the property obtained from his father, purchased of James Marshel, in 1786, the lot of which now stands Morgan & Hargreaves’ store. He opened a store on lot 21 before 1795, and was a merchant many years. He married for this first wife Rachel (daughter of Isaac Leet and sister of Maj. Daniel Leet), by whom he had five children, – Rebecca, Margaret, Rachel, Hugh W., and Eliza.
Rebecca became the wife of James Blaine, who in 1809 opened a dry-goods store next door to Hugh Wilson. Later, he purchased the stone house built by David Bradford. In this house they both lived and died, leaving no children. He was elected justice of the peace in 1817, and served three terms. He was also county treasurer from 1815 to 1817. Margaret, the second daughter of Hugh Wilson, became the wife of John Marshel, the son of Col. James Marshel. He was sheriff of the county in 1835, and before the expiration of the term was appointed cashier of the Franklin Bank (now the First National). This position he retained till 1857, when he resigned, and returned to a farm near Washington, where he died. Mrs. Dr. Matthew H. Clark, of Washington, and Mrs. S. A. Clark, of Pittsburgh, are his daughters. Rachel, the third daughter of Hugh and Rachel Wilson, became the wife of Richard Harding, and settled first in Alabama and later at Wheeling. Mrs. Harding now resides at Philadelphia with her daughter, Mrs. Rebecca Harding Davis, well known to the public as an authoress. Mrs. John L. Gow, of Washington, is also a daughter of Mrs. Harding.
Hugh W. Wilson, the only son of Hugh and Rachel, settled in South Strabane, on the farm his grandfather purchased, and where his father built the residence in which James W. Wilson, the son of Hugh Wilson, now lives. Hugh Wilson, after the death of his first wife, married Margaret Fleming, a widow, with one daughter, who afterwards became the wife of the Rev. John McFadden, of Pittsburgh. By the second wife he had one daughter, Eliza, who became the wife of Rev. Thomas Swain, of Philadelphia, who was pastor of the Baptist Church at Washington, Pa., from 1846 to 1850. After his resignation as pastor of the church they returned to Philadelphia. After the death of Margaret, the second wife, Hugh Wilson married a Miss Spencer, an English lady, who survived him several years.
David Bradford was the son of James Bradford, who settled in North Strabane township. He was a native of Maryland, and came to this county in 1781; was admitted to the bar in 1782, and was appointed deputy attorney-general the next year. When the convention of the four western counties met at Pittsburgh, Sept. 7, 1791, he was one of the three representatives from Washington County. He was elected to the State Legislature in 1792. He was active in inciting the people to the Whiskey Insurrection. When the amnesty proclamation was issued, Bradford was one of the few excluded. He fled down the Ohio River and settled at Bayou Sara, La., where he remained till his death. He erected the stone house on Main Street, now owned by Mrs. R. Harding, and lived there during his residence in Washington. He was a brother-in-law of Judge John McDowell and Judge James Allison.
Van Swearingen was a resident of Fayette County from aobut 1774 to 1781, when he was chosen sheriff of Washington County, and for several years thereafter was identified with its interests. He purchased large tracts of land in all parts of the county. He was a resident of the town of Washington while he was acting in an official capacity, but it is not known that he owned any property in town. His only daughter Drusilla became the wife of Samuel Brady, the famous Indian fighter and scout. Later in life he removed to Brooke County, Va., where he died Dec. 2, 1793, in the fifty-first year of his age. He was a brother of Andrew Swearingen, of Chartiers township.
Matthew Ritchie’s first appearance in the county was under an appointment from the State of Virginia in the year 1777, to tender the oath of allegiance to the people in the counties of Yohogania, Monongalia, and Ohio. On the 24th of December, 1781, he was appointed sub-lieutenant of the county; elected representative in 1782, ’83, and ’84; justice of the Court of Common Pleas of the county in 1784; and on the 5th of December, 1789, was appointed with Presley Neville as deputy surveyor of a part of Washington County. He purchased of George Washington the tract of land known as “Washington’s lands,” in Mount Pleasant township. He resided in Washington, where he was engaged in merchandising, and so continued till his death. He was also engaged with his brother John, and David Bruce, in merchandising in Burgettstown. He died in 1798 at Washington, and left the property in Washington to his wife Isabella and to his brothers, Craig Ritchie, of Canonsburg, and John Ritchie, of Washington, and the lots and store in Burgettstown to his brother Craig. He owned the following lands in equal shares with Presley Neville: One tract on Saw-Mill Run, one hundred acres on Robinson Run near Gabriel Walker’s, one tract on King’s Creek, and one adjoining Old Blaziers of three hundred acres, and three tracts owned in equal shares by Neville, Ritchie, and Charles Morgan.
Alexander Cunningham was a native of Donegal, Ireland. He emigrated to this country about 1783, and in May of 1784 purchased on certificate lot No. 18 in Washington, on which later the Glove inn was built, and now occupied by John Allen’s confectionery-store. Later, he purchased lot 275, where A. B. Caldwell’s store now stands. On this lot he built a store-house and dwelling, and opened a store which he kept during the remainder of his life. He also bought the Yeates tract of land that is now in Franklin township. Later this tract of land came into possession of Alexander Reed, and it is now owned by William Paul and Hiram Warne. Mr. Cunningham married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Scott, and lived in the house on lot 275, where his death occurred in 1806. His children were all born here. Jane, the eldest, became the wife of Matthew Dill, son of Thomas Dill. He was engaged in business with his father-in-law from about 1803 till the death of Mr. Cunningham. Samuel, the second child, was born Oct. 8, 1788, and when twenty-one years of age married Maria, daughter of David Morris, on the 26th of March, 1811. She died a short time after marriage, and on the 23d of March, 1815, he married Sarah, daughter of the Rev. Lyman Potter, of Steubenville. After this marriage he removed to a farm now owned by Wilson McClean, where he lived six years and then returned to town. He had been a merchant in town before going to the country, and on his return entered the store of Alexander Reed as a clerk. He was county commissioner in 1830, and sheriff from 1832 to 1835. Upon the organization of the Franklin Bank in 1836 he was appointed teller, and remained as such till failing health compelled him to resign. He died on the 17th of May, 1875, leaving an adopted daughter, Miss Rebecca Cunningham, now a resident of Washington. The residence of Samuel Cunningham was the house now occupied by A. T. Baird on Maiden Street. Of the other children of Alexander Cunningham, Thomas F. studied law and was admitted to the bar in Washington County. He removed to Mercer County, Pa., where he became prominent as a lawyer, and was elected a member of the State Senate. He died many years ago, leaving numerous descendants. John Cunningham, a son of Alexander, studied medicine with Dr. James Stevens, of Washington; practiced at Florence, Hanover township, and is now living at an advanced age in Wooster, Ohio. Two daughters of Alexander Cunningham, Elizabeth and Sarah (twins), married and settled in Butler County, Pa. Alexander Cunningham, Jr., settled in Nashville, Tenn., where he became a banker, and is still living. William, the youngest son of Alexander, married Miss McClure, a niece of John Hoge, and settled in Butler County, Pa.
Hugh, Samuel, and James Workman came to this county about 1781. They all purchased lands outside the borough, but Hugh, about 1789, built a tannery on the lot now owned by William Smith and Mrs. Clark. His house was where the depot of the Hempfield Railroad now stands. He carried on the business many years, which was finally transferred to his son Samuel, who, in 1837, sold it to David Wolf. Hugh Workman died in 1843, aged eighty-four years. He had three sons, Hugh, James, and Samuel. Hugh started a tannery on the corner of College and Maiden Streets, but died early, and it passed to other hands. James also died when a young man. Samuel, in 1819, assumed the editorial management of the Reporter, while his brother-in-law, William Sample, was acting as prothonotary. He was treasurer of the county in 1822, sheriff from 1824 to 1827, member of Legislature from 1828 to 1830, and secretary of the land office under Governor Wolf. He died in 1841. William Workman, of Washington, is a son of Samuel. Margaret, a daughter of Hugh Workman, became the wife of William Sample, the owner and editor of the Reporter. They settled in Washington, where she died. Another daughter became the wife of Samuel Hughes. They settled in South Strabane, on the farm where John Little now lives.
Michael Kuntz emigrated from Germany to America, and settled in Lancaster County, where he lived several years. While living there his wife died, leaving a son John. He married a second wife, by whom he had two sons, George and Jacob. In the spring of 1788 he came to Washington, bought the lot on which Vowell’s drug-store now stands, and built a cabin upon it, and lived there that year, and in the fall returned to his home, where he remained during the year 1789. In the spring of the next year, when his son John was seven years old, he removed his family to Washington. In 1791 he was licensed to keep a tavern, and kept it one year. He was a member of a Lutheran Church in Lancaster County, and in 1792 rode to his old residence to be present at the dedication of a church at that place. He died the next year after his return, July 10, 1793, leaving three sons, John, George, and Jacob. John and George were both hatters, and opened shops in Washington. They were both in business in 1808, and were still in business in 1838. Henry Kuntz, a son of John, kept a book-store many years in Washington. The only descendant of John now living is Miss Sarah J. Kuntz. George opened a shop where Alexander McKinley now lives. In 1814 he bought the lot on Wheeling Street, and built the residence where his widow still lives. He married a daughter of Henry Westbay, of Canonsburg, and by her had five sons. Michael, James, and Stephen are now well-known residents of Washington borough. Jacob Kuntz, the youngest son of Michael, was a nailor, and worked in a shop where Sharps’ building now is. He married the daughter of Ludowyck Smith, and later in life he removed to the farm inherited by his wife. Mrs. John Zediker, of South Strabane township, is a daughter of Jacob Kuntz.
Thomas Stokely, who in 1781 was captain of a militia company in Westmoreland County, soon after came to this county, and purchased a large quantity of land, especially in the southwestern part of the county. He was frequently mentioned in the old records as “Thomas Stokely, Land Jobber.” He was elected a member of the House of Representatives in 1792, and State senator in 1794. He was in the war of 1812. During his residence in Washington he lived in a house on Wheeling Street, on the lot now occupied by the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He moved from Washington to Brownsville, and later to Coon Island, Washington County, where he died, and was buried with military honors, Col. James Ruple with his company from Washington attending. At his death he was in possession of all the lands he had bought, and was one of the largest land-owners in the country. His son Samuel was educated at Washington College, studied law, and settled in Steubenville, Ohio, where his descendants live and own the Wells’ property. His daughter also married and settled there.
Alexander Addison came from Ireland to the county in 1784 or 1785 as a licentiate of the Presbytery of Aberlow, Scotland. The Presbyterian Church of Washington extended to him a call on the 20th December, 1785, which he accepted, and he continued to reside here both as pastor and judge of the courts (to the latter of which he was appointed in 1791) for ten or twelve years. Later he resided in Pittsburgh. He purchased the “Washington lands” of Matthew Ritchie, and sold a portion, and the remainder was sold by his widow. Mrs. Addison lived in Washington after her husband’s death many years. He died Nov. 27, 1807. His son Alexander became an attorney of Washington County, and died from the results of an injury he received at the burning of Thomas M. T. McKennan’s office in February, 1822. More extended mention will be found of Judge Addison in connection with the bench and bar of the county.
Col. James Marshel, a settler in Cross Creek township, purchased lot No. 90 of David Hoge on a certificate, receiving his deed from Mr. Hoge in February, 1785. This lot was where Morgan & Hargreave’s store now stands. He sold it the next year to Hugh Wilson. He lived in the town during the terms of the various offices he held of county lieutenant, register, recorder, and sheriff. In 1794 the military headquarters were upon the lot he then lived on, and the United States forces were encamped on the college grounds.
James Langley and his brother, who settled in Erie County, Pa., came from Market Hill, Ireland, to this county and town about 1790, where the Achesons (with whom they were acquainted) had previously located. James purchased of the Hoges lot No. 93, on Main Street, just above the Valentine House, and where his grandson, John Lockhart, now lives. On this lot he built a log house, in which he lived and opened a store. Later this house was removed to the lot of Col. James Ruple, and a frame building was erected (on the site of Mr. Lockhart’s store), which he used as a store. In 1818 he built the brick house now the residence of Mr. Lockhart, which was used as a store and dwelling. In 1860 the frame building was removed and the present store erected. The counters now in Mr. Lockhart’s store have been used through four generations,--James Langley, his sons, Henry and James Langley; John Lockhart, his stepson, and now by John W. Lockhart and his son, James L. Lockhart. James Langley left two sons, James and Henry, who both lived bachelors and died here. The wife of James Langley, Sr., was the widow of William Lockhart, of Beaver County, Pa., having four children, one of whom, John, was in business with his stepfather from 1810 to 1820, when he removed to Illinois; James Langley died in 1830. James and Henry Langley succeeded their father in business. Henry was prominent in the Baptist Church, and later in the Church of the Disciples.
Isaiah Steen came to this town about 1794 and purchased a lot on East Beau Street of John Hoge, on which he afterwards erected a house that was known for many years as “Castle Crack,” now owned and occupied by Maj. John H. Ewing. He was for many years a “manufacturer of Windsor chairs.” His children were John and a daughter, both of whom were gifted in drawing and painting. For many years specimens of their skill were in the houses of the early families. Isaiah Steen lived here till his death, at an advanced age.
Joseph Huston, a cousin of William Huston, built the stone house long known as “The Buck” tavern, and commenced keeping public-house in 1796, and so continued till his death, in 1812. He left a widow and three sons—Cyrus, Joseph, and Hamilton—and four daughters—Sally, Isabella, Elizabeth, and Polly. Cyrus settled here, followed the trade of cabinet-maker, and died here. Joseph and Hamilton now reside in Ohio. Sally became the wife of James Meetkirke, son of William. He was a chair-maker, and lived and died here. Elizabeth married William Oliver, a hatter, who lived here many years, but while on a trip to the East disappeared, and was never again heard of. Polly became the wife of Zachariah Reynolds, who was for a time clerk in the prothonotary’s office, and finally settled on his father’s farm in South Strabane.
Capt. William McKennan was a son of the Rev. William McKennan, a Presbyterian clergyman of New Castle, Delaware, where William was born in 1758. He married Elizabeth, daughter of John Thompson and niece of Governor Thomas McKean. At the breaking out of the Revolution he was a merchant, which business he gave up and joined the Delaware line (“Blue Hen’s Chickens”) as captain of a company, and served during the war, receiving a wound at the battle of Brandywine. After the war he returned to his home and remained a number of years. In 1798 he removed to Charlestown (now Wellsburg, West Va.), and in 1800 to Washington County, Pa. He was appointed in 1801 prothonotary of the county by Governor McKean, and removed from West Middletown, where he resided, to the county-seat, where he lived the remainder of his days. He held the position of prothonotary during Governor McKean’s administration, which was till 1809. He was also a trustee of Washington Academy and Washington College. His death occurred in January, 1810, at the age of fifty-two years, leaving a widow (who died in 1839) and five sons and one daughter, viz.: William, John T., Thomas M. T., David, James W., and Ann E. William, the eldest son, was educated at Washington College, became a teacher, and emigrated to Ohio, where he died. John T. was educated at Washington Academy, became cashier of the Monongahela Bank of Brownsville, Pa., and died Sept. 18, 1830, while on a visit at Reading, Pa. Thomas M. T. McKennan was also educated at Washington College. He entered the office of Parker Campbell as a law student, and was admitted to the bar in the twenty-first year of his age, on the 7th of November, 1814. At the next June term of the court he succeeded Walter Forward as deputy attorney-general for the county, and acted until March, 1817, when William Baird commenced to act. His rise at the bar was rapid, and he was soon employed in all important cases, maintaining a front rank in the profession while he lived. In 1831 he was elected a member of Congress of the United States, and continued four terms at a sacrifice of personal interest, and declined a renomination. Upon the death of Joseph Lawrence, in 1842, he yielded to the urgent solicitations of the people and the demands of his party, and served during the remainder of the term. As “chairman of the committee of the whole,” for the space of two months, in the first session of that year, he rendered efficient aid to the paramount industrial interests of the country, and increased a reputation already national. He was chosen a Presidential elector in 1840, and was president of the Pennsylvania Electoral College of 1848. His influence with the incoming administration was potent, and the more appreciated because unselfish and disinterested in its exertion. Common consent assigned him a place in the cabinet of 1849; and when in the following year President Fillmore called him to the Secretaryship of the Interior, all parties hailed the appointment as one eminently merited. A reluctant acceptance of the office was granted, only to be recalled after a few days’ experience. Wearied by the ungenial details of official business, and disgusted with the importunities of the place-hunters attracted by his patronage, he resigned his position near the Executive and returned to his cherished home and the friends whom he loved. Soon afterwards he received and accepted the presidency of the Hempfield Railroad Company, and while engaged in the administration of its affairs died at Reading, Pa., on the 9th of July, 1852. Mr. McKennan’s connection with Washington College was longer and more intimate than that of any other individual. Entering the academy at a very early age, and matriculating as a member of the first Freshman class, he passed through the entire curriculum of studies with credit to himself and to his instructors. Such was his rank as a scholar that, in February, 1813, he was appointed tutor of ancient languages, and acted in that capacity for eighteen months. In April, 1818, he was chosen a member of the corporation, where he continued throughout his subsequent life—for thirty-four years—the able counselor and guardian of the college. Two of his sons, Judge William McKennan, of the class of 1833, and Dr. Thomas McKennan, of the class of 1842, have served in the board of trustees. His youngest son, John, graduated in 1851, and another son, Jacob B., was for a time a student in the college.
David McKennan, a son of Capt. William McKennan, was also educated at Washington College, after which he learned the trade of tanner, and resided at Brownsville, where he died comparatively young. James W. McKennan, the youngest son of Capt. William, graduated at Washington College, and became adjunct professor of languages; studied theology under the Rev. John Anderson, D.D., and entered the ministry of the Presbyterian Church. He was pastor of Lower Buffalo Church from 1829 to 1834, and later pastor of a church in Indianapolis. His health failed and he retired from duties, and removed to Wheeling (where his daughter resided), and died in that city in 1861. Ann E. McKennan, the only daughter of Capt. William McKennan, became the wife of the Hon. Thomas Gibbs Morgan, of Louisiana, (a native of this county), a prominent lawyer of Baton Rouge. She died young, leaving one son, Philip Hickey Morgan, who is the present minister of the United States to Mexico.
Obadiah Jennings was a native of New Jersey, and son of the Rev. Jacob Jennings. He was born Dec. 13, 1778, and came to Dunlap’s Creek, Fayette County, with his father, who became pastor of the Presbyterian Church at that place. He was educated at Canonsburg Academy; studied law with John Simonson, of Washington, and was admitted to the bar of Washington County in 1801. He opened an office in Steubenville, and in 1811 came to Washington and built a small one-story brick officer on Maiden Street, below John Baird’s. His residence was in the meadow at the south end of First Street. After a practice of a few years he studied for the ministry, and was licensed to preach in 1816. He became pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Steubenville, where he remained till 1823. On the 8th of October in that year he received a call from the First Presbyterian Church of Washington to become their pastor, which he accepted. He was installed the 23d of the same month, and remained pastor till 1828. During his residence here as pastor he resided where the public school building now stands, and later where J. W. Donnan now resides. He also taught a young ladies’ school in 1824-25. Upon his retirement from this church he accepted a call from a Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tenn., where he lived till his death, in 1832.
Robert Hazlett, a native of Ireland, was educated at Edinburgh University, and soon after married and settled there for a time. Soon after the close of the Revolutionary war he emigrated with his family to this country and settled near Chambersburg, leaving one son at home with his grandparents. At this place the most of his children were born. About 1795 he emigrated to Washington, Pa., and purchased of the Hoges, lot No. 92 on Main Street, where he erected a dwelling. He opened a store first near Hugh Wilson’s, on Main Street near Maiden, and late in 1797 moved to where William Arbuckle lived. Still later he moved the store into the house where he lived. He continued in business till his death in 1818 or 1819. Robert Hazlett left six children, all of whom went West except Samuel. Mary became the wife of a Mr. Cummins, and mother of Drs. R. H. and James Cummins, now of Wheeling. The rest settled in Zanesville, Ohio. Samuel, the youngest son of Robert Hazlett, was born in Washington in 1798, and after his father’s death continued the business with his mother for a short time, and purchased the rights of the heirs. He then continued as a merchant until the establishment of the bank on the 1st of April, 1837. From that time he continued in the banking business till his death in November, 1863. Samuel Hazlett and Mrs. Dr. Wray Grayson, of Washington, are children of Samuel Hazlett. One son lives in Pittsburgh and one in Wheeling.
Hugh Wylie came to this town before 1796, and on the 26th of July in that year he purchased of John and William Hoge lot 283 on Maiden Street, where J. Shan Margerum’s store now is. In 1803 he was appointed postmaster, and his office was located in his house. He was a merchant also, and kept the post-office till his death in 1828. His son David acted as deputy postmaster. After his father’s death he retired to his father’s farm in Chartiers township and lived there till his death. His sons now own the farm. Hugh Wylie was an elder in the Presbyterian Church of Washington. As postmaster he was frequently asked for letters by people from out of town who were at church Sundays. As a matter of accommodation this request was granted, until the hour of the service became a regular hour of distribution on Sundays. Attention was drawn to this after a time, and it was thought to be not right. The matter was brought before the church and decided adversely to the action of Mr. Wylie, and upon his persisting he was expelled. It was carried to the General Assembly that met at Pittsburgh in 1810, and the decision was affirmed. In 1812 a petition of citizens of Washington was presented to the General Assembly asking them to reopen the case and reconsider their action. The petition was not granted.
Robert Hamilton was a blacksmith and wool-carder. He was mentioned as a blacksmith in the assessment roll of 1799. In the year 1810 he owned three lots, “on which are a Smith Shop, Dwelling House, Machine House, and an unfinished brick house,” at the lower end of Maiden Street. He carried on the business of wool-carding till 1815, when he retired from personal attention of the business, but still retained an interest. He advertised May 10, 1816, that “he will run four wool-carding machines and one picker at Thomas H. Baird, Esqr.’s steam-mill opposite his old stand.” In 1815 he opened a store in the brick house where he lived, and kept it till his death in 1823, and his widow continued the business many years later. He married the daughter of ---- Mitchell of Washington. Mrs. Charles Sisson, a daughter of Robert Hamilton, lives in the brick residence where she was born in 1811. The old frame dwelling and other buildings are still standing below the brick house, and now used as dwellings.
Patrick Bryson emigrated from County Down, Ireland, and in 1796 settled at Washington, on Catfish Run. He bought a lot of Hugh Workman, and erected a horse-mill on the lot now owned by the Vankirks. It did the grinding for many miles around, but little was done with it after 1822, when it was sold to Thomas Jones, who erected it on Chestnut Street. Bryson lived at this place during his lifetime, and died in 1860, aged ninety-five years. His wife died at the same time at eighty-four years of age, and they were buried the same day. William Bryson, of Washington, is a son of Patrick Bryson.
James Shannon, Joseph and Thomas Reynolds came from Baltimore to Washington in 1803 with their families. They were all shoemakers. Shannon opened a shop where Vowell’s drug-store now is and kept a shop there many years, and the Reynolds’ worked for him. In 1812 he moved his shop to where Thomas McKean’s tobacco-store now is. He was prominent in connection with the Methodist Church, and active in all its work. He left four sons and three daughters. Robert settled in Cincinnati; William, James, and Frank remained in Washington, and still reside there. Mrs. Eliza Harter, Mrs. Dr. J. S. Reed, of Pittsburgh, and Mrs. Henrietta Beck, of New Orleans, are daughters of James Shannon.
Alexander Murdoch was the youngest son of John Murdoch, who settled in what is now North Strabane township in 1778. He was born near Carlisle, Pa., in 1770. When quite a young man, he purchased the Canonsburg mills, with a large tract of land extending from the present site of the mills up Chartiers Creek and embracing the land now occupied by the Hodgen’s tannery. From these mills, at an early period, he loaded two large flatboats with flour and saddlery, and landed them safely at New Orleans. He returned from this trip on horseback through and almost unbroken wilderness. In 1803 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Rev. Matthew Henderson, of Chartiers township. In 1809 he was appointed by the Governor prothonotary of the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, and held the office until 1819. Upon his acceptance of this office he sold the Canonsburg property and removed to Washington. Soon after, he built the brick house on the corner of Main Street and Pine Alley, now owned and occupied by his eldest daughter, Mrs. Mary M. Gow. Subsequently he purchased the lot on the corner of Main and Beau Streets, and built thereon what is now a part of the “Fulton House.” He moved to this building in 1822, and resided there until the spring of 1828, and was engaged during this period in the mercantile business. Having in the mean time purchased a part of the tract of land of over four hundred acres, known as “Morganza,” two miles below Canonsburg, on Chartiers Creek, he, with his family, took possession of the same in 1828, and remained there until his death, which occurred in 1836. His widow survived him twenty-seven years, and died in Canonsburg, March, 1863, aged eighty-three years.
The surviving children are Mrs. Mary M. Gow, of Washington; Mrs. Sarah B. Muller, of Nelsonville, Ohio; Mrs. E. M. Wilson and Anne, of Moberly, Mo.; and Alexander Murdoch, of Washington.
Esther, the daughter and youngest child of John Murdoch, Sr., was married in 1803 to Hugh Hagarty, a merchant, who subsequently came to Washington, and opened a store in the building now occupied by Mrs. Gow, Mr. Hagarty left Washington and located in Florence, Ala., where he soon after died.
Mr. And Mrs. Hagarty had two children, John and Samuel. John owned and commanded a number of steamboats on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, and had many warm friends in Washington, with whom he frequently visited. He died a few years since, in Cincinnati. Samuel died many years ago, in the State of Indiana. Mrs. Hagarty died soon after the birth of her second child.
John Grayson, who was for more than half a century a citizen of Washington, and for over forty years editor and publisher of the Washington Examiner, was a son of Robert Grayson who, with his sons William and John, aged respectively two years, and nine months, sailed from Ireland in the brig “William,” arriving at New Castle, Del., in June, 1784. The following sketch of John Grayson is from his diary:
“My father proceeded to Mifflin, where he made his lodgement for a short time, until after the death of my mother, then with brother William and myself removed to Carlisle. My inclination turned upon the printing business at quite an early age, as much perhaps as from anything else, and perhaps more from observing with very great interest and attention some printing-type among the sweepings of a printing-office. I went home resolving in my mind to learn the printing business and no other. Accordingly, at a suitable age, my father placed me with George Kline, of Carlisle, to learn the ‘art, trade, and occupation of a printer,’ himself providing clothing, etc. Although discouragements met me and induced relinquishing my intention; having determined upon the matter, I resolved to go through; and can say with all seriousness in my own heart, my duties were performed faithfully and honorably. In the winter of 1805 went to Philadelphia, obtaining a situation in the book printing-office of William Duane, editor of The Aurora, whose office was in Franklin Court. Continued to reside in Philadelphia until the summer of 1806, when, the yellow fever making its appearance there, went to Trenton, N. J. Worked with James Oram, book-printer, during the summer. Returned to Philadelphia; and between that city, New York, and the city of Baltimore, spent the remaining days of my journeyman-printer life.
“June 18, 1812.—The same day war declared by Congress (about noon the Declaration was received by express from Washington) against Great Britain. Being in the city of Baltimore, gave myself mind, heart, and body to be a soldier while the war lasted. The city was in extreme frenzied excitement; business almost suspended; the population in masses in the streets, and agitated as if a hostile army had invaded their homes. About simultaneously with the declaration of war, Congress had promptly passed a bill providing for accepting the services of fifty thousand volunteers, signed by President Madison. Under this act many young men volunteered, and we signed our names at a rendezvous immediately opened at a tavern in Pratt Street, east of the basin. Opposite, across the street, was a large building used for a riding-school. Before many days plenty of volunteers signed for filling the company, and many were excluded. We drilled daily in the above building, and became pretty fair soldiers at least in evolutions of the drill. . . .
“Went through several promotions and served until close of the war, thus completing three years on the Niagara and Northern frontier,--one as a volunteer in the Baltimore volunteers, and two in the regular army; obtained a furlough for three months from this date, Nov. 7, 1814; return to duty; no operations of this division of the army of any importance from date until the news of peace having been concluded at Ghent was received. Now that war has happily terminated, my anxieties are for private life and active business. A military one—in peace—affording very little pleasure to me. In the arranging of the peace establishment am retained and assigned to the corps of artillery in my present position as second lieutenant from the date of my commission as such in the infantry (2d June, 1814). Report to Adjt.-Gen. Parker at Washington City, who solicits me to remain in the service, offering some inducements to do so; that I should be stationed at Fort McHenry, near Baltimore, or any other post I should choose. Gen. Parker was particularly kind, but I had joined the army because there seemed to be a necessity,--my country engaged in war with a foreign nation. Now that an honorable peace was obtained, and our just claims granted, I felt as standing in the way of some worthy young man who wished to make arms his profession. I therefore preferred returning to private life and the printing business. Forthwith resigned my commission Sept. 7, 1815, Thus completing three years in the service on the Niagara and Northern frontier, one as a volunteer in the Baltimore volunteers, and two in the regular army.
“Return to the city of Baltimore; enter into the book and job printing as partner with James Kennedy; married to Martha, daughter of John and Mary Wray, by Rev. James Inglis, D.D., May 9th, 1816.” From Baltimore he removed to Philadelphia, and thence to Washington, Pa.
The causes that brought him to this town are related in the history of the Examiner and his connection with that paper. During his long residence in Washington he filled important offices of honor and trust, having been elected to the offices of register in 1830; prothonotary, in 1839; associate judge, in 1843. Served as trustee of Washington Female Seminary from its organization till his death, and pension agent from 1853 to1861. He died on the 11th of March, 1871, in his eighty-eighth year. Of his children, Thomas W. resides in Meadville, Pa., John in Pittsburgh, and Dr. Wray Grayson and Miss Martha Grayson are residents of Washington.
James McDermott, who came to this place at an early day and became identified as a printer with the Reporter, and has also served the town many years as postmaster, is now eighty-seven years of age and still a resident of the town. He was born about one and a half miles from Gettysburg, April 24, 1795, and resided at home till he was about fourteen years of age, when he was apprenticed to Robert Harper, then editing the Adams Sentinel at Gettysburg. In 1814 he was drafted into the United States army and placed under command of Capt. John McMillan. On the 1st of November the company marched to Erie, Pa. Later he was a participant in the battles of Chippewa and Lundy’s Lane, and other battles and skirmishes in Canada. After his return home he visited Gettysburg, Washington, D. C., and Martinsburg, Va., and worked a short time in each place. In the latter part of 1817 or the first part of 1818 he came to Washington, Pa., and entered the office of John Grayson on the Examiner, where he remained six or seven months. In the latter part of 1818 he entered the office of the Reporter, and remained with that paper through all its various changes for thirty-two years up to 1850. In March of that year he was appointed postmaster and served four years, and as deputy during the term of David Acheson, his successor. Upon the election of Mr. Lincoln as President in 1860 he was again appointed and served four years, after which he served in an official capacity for a short time in Harrisburg.
Col. James Ruple was born in Morris County, N. J., Feb. 18, 1788. His father was of German parentage, born in Philadelphia about the year 1740, and removed to New Jersey prior to the Revolution. In 1794 he removed to Washington County, and located about two miles north of Prosperity, near the line of Morris and Finley townships. He died the following year. Col. James Ruple spent his early life upon the farm, but before he reached his majority came to the town of Washington, and learned the carpenter and joiner trade with Samuel Hughes. Shortly after the declaration of war, in June, 1812, he volunteered his services, and was chosen first lieutenant of Capt. Sample’s company, and upon the formation of the regiment was made adjutant. The regiment was ordered to Black Rock; he remained in the service until the troops were discharged. In 1814, when Washington City was threatened, he again quit his business, uniformed his apprentices, and started with the company for the seat of war. They were, however, ordered to return before they reached the State line. Shortly after that time a volunteer regiment was formed, and he was chosen colonel. In 1817 he was elected coroner, and served three years. In 1828 he was appointed clerk of the courts of the county by Governor Shultz, and in 1830 was reappointed by Governor Wolf, and served six years. In January, 1839, he was again appointed to the same office by Governor Porter, and in October of the same year was elected, under the amended Constitution, for three years. His death occurred on Jan. 8, 1855.
Parker Campbell was admitted in 1794 to practice at the bar of Washington County. He resided where C. M. Reed now lives. He erected the building on the northeast corner of Main and Beau Streets, where he had his office.
Joseph Pentecost, son of Dorsey Pentecost, was admitted to the bar in September, 1782. He married a daughter of Thomas Scott, and lived in Washington and Canonsburg. He came into possession of the Pentecost lands in North Strabane township, and built the large house now owned by John Gamble. His residence in Washington was on Beau Street, west of the public ground. James Ashbrook, brother-in-law of Joseph Pentecost, and son-in-law of Dorsey Pentecost, was also an attorney, admitted to the bar in 1798. The three last mentioned were prominent attorneys in Washington, and are more fully noticed in the history of the bar of the county.
Early Business Interests.—The earliest reliable information of manufactures carried on in the town of Washington is contained in “The American Museum or Universal Magazine” of March, 1792, in which the towns of Washington, Pittsburgh, Bedford, and Huntington are compared, as follows:
“The towns of Washington, Pittsburgh, Bedford, and Huntington, in Pennsylvania (the nearest of which is 150 miles from a seaport), exhibit the strongest proofs that manufactures are the best support of the interior landed interests, and are necessary at once to the accommodation and prosperity of the cultivators of the middle and western country. The following table contains an account of the population of these villages, which is not exaggerated.” Only Washington and Pittsburgh are here given, viz.:
Clock and watch makers..........................................
Skin dressers and breeches makers...........................
Tanners and curriers.................................................
Spinning wheel makers..............................................
Maltsters and brewers..............................................
Total number of families............................................
The number of merchants is not given, and it is a matter of conjecture as to who they were. On the 17th of August, 1795, three years later, a newspaper called The Western Telegraphe and Washington Advertiser was established by Colerick, Hunter & Beaumont, and from its columns are obtained many of the earlier notices of business establishments. The first which appeared was that of Hugh Wilson, dated Aug. 13, 1795, in which he says he “has a large and general assortment of Dry-Goods.” On the 3d of October “The Master Saddlers of Washington County are requested to meet at the house of John Fisher, in Washington, on business of importance.” Samuel Clarke, on the 27th of the same month, advertised “a neat and general assortment of Dry-Goods.” On the 7th of December, the same year, James Neilson advertised that “he is going over the mountains for a new assortment of Goods against Christmas.” In the same month Matthew Ritchie & Co. offered a “General assortment of Goods.” Dr. A. Baird had just opened a drug-store “in the House lately occupied as a tavern by William Meetkirke.” John Reed “continues the Brewery business at his Brewery near Washington,” and Gabriel Blakeney, “having quit business,” advertised for settlement. Jedediah Post advertised as a watchmaker in the town of Washington, and James Buchanan, on the 20th of December, informed the public that “he has commenced the Blue-Dyeing Business at Mrs. Wilson’s, opposite the Court House,” where Smith’s store now stands. In February, 1796, Dr. Absalom Baird advertised a large assortment of cloths of all kinds, and that he had “left his Medical Books with William Meetkirke, Esqr., for collection of accounts.” Alexander Reed & Co., on the 8th of March, 1796, advertised as follows: “Have just received a quantity of Port, Sherry, Lisbon, and Teneriffe Wines of the best quality, which they will sell on Moderate Terms; also some good Jamaica Spirits.” April 18th, William Erskine advertised spinning-wheels, and that he had moved into Belle Street, next door to Mr. Moore, tailor. David Acheson, on the 29th of April, announced that he had on hand an assortment of Dry-Goods, Hardware, Queensware, & c.”
On the 17th of May, 1796, Alton Pemberton advertised “To Storekeepers and others” that “he will in a few days open a most elegant, extensive, and well-chosen assortment of Dry-Goods, &c., . . . as they were all imported immediately under his inspection from the first manufactories in Europe.” His store was in the house of Mr. Beaumont, near the market-house. The firm was changed to Bartholomew, Connelly & Co. on the 4th of October, 1796, and the business was removed to the house of John Colerick. On the 29th of June, the same year, Robert Adams, bootmaker, advertised that he had “commenced business in Town at the house of Patrick Moore.” Isaiah Steen announced Aug. 11, 1796, that “he has commenced the business of Windsor-Chair Making in Washington in the house lately occupied by John Fisher;” later he was in the yellow house opposite Mr. Acheson’s store, and was for many years in the old market-house. Thomas Wells was a watch- and clock-maker “at the house of Widow Wilson, near the Market-House,” in September, 1796. Daniel Thompson was a “Breeches-Maker, next door to James McCluney’s store.” Robert Hamilton was a whitesmith, and occupied a shop next door to Joseph Huston’s Tavern, ‘The Buck.’” Later he built the brick house now occupied by his daughter, Mrs. Charles Sisson, where he kept a store. James McCluney was a brother of John McCluney (at one time sheriff of the county). James advertised Dec. 10, 1796, to sell off all his dry-goods, hardware, etc., but that he would continue to carry on the nailing business and sell lumber of all kinds. He died at New Orleans Nov. 2, 1799. The following quotation was given after remarks upon his death in one of the village papers: “There cracked a noble heart.”
Hugh Workman’s tan-yard was mentioned in December, 1796. James Dougherty was a tailor, and in that month had “just opened at the house of Mrs. McMillon, on Market Street.” Alexander Reed & Co. offered (Jan. 4, 1797) “a large and elegant assortment of Goods,” cloth coatings, cassimeres, flannels, linens, etc. John Johnston at the same time was selling dry-goods, hardware, etc. Thomas Thompson, on the 6th of May in that year, “informs the public that he has removed from Hamilton’s saw-mill to Washington, next door to Mr. James McCluney’s, where he proposes to manufacture Umbrellas and Sword Canes.” He married a daughter of Thomas Scott, and later edited a paper in Washington. James McCammant was a gunsmith at this time, and opened a shop in the tavern of William McCammant. James Wilson was a coppersmith, and in June, 1797, announced that he had “opened a shop at the house of John Wilson, cabinet-maker,” now the site of A. T. Baird’s store. James Wilson was a son of James and a brother of Hugh Wilson. His mother lived on the corner where Smith’s store now stands. Robert Hazlett announced on the 22d of December, 1797, that he had “removed his store from the house adjoining Hugh Wilson to the house where William Arbuckle, Hatter, lives.” Isaiah Steen advertised in the Herald of Liberty, May 18, 1798, that he had removed his shop from John Scott, innkeeper, to the house of Dr. John Culbertson, and continued the business of Windsor chair making. On the 24th of April, David Acheson offered to exchange for property in this town a lot of ground “in the town of Cincinnatti, North Western Territory.” On the 8th of August, 1798, Robert Anderson and William Hutchinson opened a Shop three doors below Mr. Purviance’s tavern for conducting the “Clock and Watch-making business in all its branches.” At the same time Thomas Wells had removed his business of clock- and watch-making from the Widow Wilson to a house below Mr. Valentine’s tavern on Main Street. On the 11th of October, 1798, John Templeton commenced the tanning business at the tan-yard formerly occupied by James Brotherton, in the rear of Mr. Colerick’s printing-office, then on Main Street, just north of where the Fulton House now is. May 30, 1799, John Watts advertised a brick-yard to rent adjoining the town of Washington. He also offered brick for sale at six dollars per thousand.
At a meeting of the inhabitants of the town of Washington, assembled at the court-house at ring of bell on Wednesday, the 25th January, 1798, to consult whether it will be proper to introduce the smallpox into their families at this time, the following persons being present answered as follows, to wit:
Mr. Redick in the chair; Isaac Kerr, secretary.
Matthew Ritchie, no. John Mitchell, no.
Samuel Arbuccle, no. John Johnston, no.
Samuel Day, no. Isaiah Steen, no.
David Morton, no. Samuel Clarke, no.
Bruce Deckar, no. Robert Hamilton, no.
Alex. Cunningham, no. John Simonson, no.
Thomas Thomas, no. Alexander Addison, no.
William Kerr, no. John Ustick, no.
David Morris, no. William Marshal, no.
John McCammant, no. William Sharard, yes.
John Clark, no. Henry Tarr, no.
Charles Fox, no. John Dehuff, no.
John Wilson, no. David Redick, no.
Joseph Huston, no.
“Resolved, That it is agreed that no person here present shall introduce the inoculation into their family without first having given like public notice as at this time, so that the inhabitants may have an opportunity of remonstrating against it, or take such measures as may be necessary.
“ISAAC KERR, Sec.”
In the year 1798 George Henry Kepple was the assessor, and was instructed to assess every freeman not following any occupation or calling one dollar and fifty cents each; mechanic or tradesman, thirty-three cents each; broker, banker, lawyer, or physician, one dollar and fifty cents each; each tavern-keeper, shop-keeper, or persons retailing goods, wares, or merchandise, eight-three cents; persons holding slaves under forty-five years of age, one dollar each. He was also instructed to return all transfers of real estate made since the return of 1796. The following is the list of occupations given:
Retailers of Goods and Store-keepers: David Acheson, Gabriel Blakeney, Alexander Cunningham, John De Lille, James Langley, James McCluney, Hugh Wilson, Matthew Ritchie, William Arbuckle, Robert Hazlett, Daniel Moore, Samuel Clarke, Alexander Reed, John Ritchie, Henry Purviance, and Hugh Wylie.
Physicians: Absalom Baird, John Culbertson, and J. Julius Le Moyne.
Tradesmen: John Bollen, John Choleric (Colerick), Elias Crawford, James Chambers, Patrick Coveney, John Dehuff, Joseph Day, John Horderharder (Harter), Isaac Jones, Robert Anderson, Daniel Kehr, William Kehr, Michael McFall, William Aikins, Alexander Little, Jacob Lock man, John Leard, Daniel Leach, William Marshall, David Morris, Daniel Moody, William McCammant, James McGowen, Alexander Miller, Joseph McMootrey, James Reed, James Simms, Joseph Seaman, Jacob Shaffer, William Sherrard, Thomas Townsend, James Dougherty, David Updegraff, Henry Tarr, R. Curry, John Wilson, Hugh Workman, Samuel Woods, John Morrow, Samuel Arbuckle, Robert Hamilton, Peter Wagner, John McCammant, Isaiah Steen, Thomas Thompson, Daniel Thompson, Thomas Wells, J. Johnstone, and Andrew McClure.
Tavern-Keepers: John Scott, Thomas Officer, Michael Dolin, Joseph Huston, Thomas Jenny, Philip Milchsach, John Purviance, Samuel Shannon, Charles Valentine, Charles Fox, David Morris, and William Frazer.
Baker: Peter Sires.
Butchers: John Sellers and J. Clark
Attorneys: George Henry Keppele, John Simonson, Parker Campbell, James Allison, Joseph Pentecost.
Schoolmasters: William Porter and William Little.
No occupation given: Alexander Addison, William Meetkirke, David Redick, John Watt, David Hoge, Thomas Stokely, Hugh Means, William Hoge, and John Hoge.
Tailors: Archibald Carr (Kerr), James Dougherty, James Dunlap, William Lytle, William McCammant, and Patrick Moore.
Blacksmiths: Matthew Collins, Robert Hamilton, John Laird, William Marshall, Joseph Seaman, William Wilson, and William Ward.
Gunsmith: John Dehuff.
Clock and watchmakers: John De Lille, Thomas Hutchinson,1 and Thomas Wells. Thomas Hutchinson manufactured the tall Dutch clock, many of which are still in the area
Wheelmaker: William Erskine.
Stocking-weaver: John Harter.
Cabinet-makers: Archibald Homes, Alexander Lytle, John Wilson, and Stephen Way.
Turner: Christian Kieffer.
Mason: John Keady.
ClerkS: Isaac Kerr, Thomas Fletcher, John McCluney, and Thomas Thompson.
NailoR: Abraham Latimore.
Windsor chair makers: Isaiah Steen, and John Loge.
Weavers: John Martin, James Reed, and James Simms.
Coopers: Edward Nelson, and Joseph Huston.
Saddlers: Alexander Peoples, and James Smithers.
Coppersmiths: Archibald Thompson, David Updegraff, and James Wilson.
James McGowen was a reed-maker, Peter Wagner a baker, Robert Mulligan a brickmaker, and Joshua McCroskey and Henry Tarr were potters.
On the 3d of April, 1809, the Washington Theatrical Association advertised to "perform at Mr. Steen's New House the admirable comedy of 'The Rivals.'" The new house mentioned was known as "Castle Crack," and is the dwelling now owned by Maj. John H. Ewing.
Following is a list of taxables in Washington in 1800:
Attorneys James Allison, James Ashbrook, Parker Campbell, Thomas Johnston, Henry G. Keppele, Joseph Pentecost, and John Simonson.
Store-keepers, Thomas and David Acheson, Robert Hazlett, Alexander Cunningham, James Langley, Daniel Moore, John Ritchie, Alexander Reed, Robert Ritchie, Hugh Wilson, Hugh Wylie, and John Wallace.
Silversmiths, Robert Anderson, Jacob Schaffer, and James Stevenson.
Gentlemen, George Allison, Gabriel Blakeney, Samuel Clark, John Colerick, Sr., David Hoge, Andrew McClure, Thomas Swearingen, and Thomas Stokely.
Physicians, Isaiah Blair, Absalom Baird, and Frederick L. Conyngham.1
1 The name of Dr. J. Julius Le Moyne is given as innkeeper, but the name is crossed out.
Shoemakers, John Bollin, Abraham Cazeer, Gerard Greer, John Hanna, Daniel Kerr (formerly spelled Kehr), Samuel Kirkbride, Philip Milchsach, and William Marten.
Revenue Officer, James Brice.
Hatters, Joseph Climson, John Koontz, William Shannon, and Robert Thompson.
Tanners, Christian Branize, John Templeton, and Hugh Workman.
Butcher, John Clark.
Printers, John Colerick, John Israel, and John Speers.
Saddle-tree makers, James Chambers, Joseph Day, Henry Ewen, Jonathan Hook, John and Samuel Mitchell, Simon Panioste, William Sherrard, and Michael Cooke.
On the 3d day of April ,1809, George Bertie, "clock and watch-maker and mathematical instrument maker," announced that he had moved from the house "formerly occupied by Robert Anderson to the brick house adjoining." Robert Anderson, who opened a watchmaker shop in 1798, was elected sheriff of the county in October, 1808, and George Bertie succeeded to the business.
Of merchants not before mentioned, there appears, in 1809, James Brice, Cunningham & Dill, Samuel Cunningham, David Cooke, James Blaine, James Dunlap (also brigade inspector and tailor), Thomas S. Good (whose store was at the corner of Pine Alley, on the west side of Main Street; later he erected an oil-mill in the rear of the lot), Abraham Latimore, Thomas McFadden, and David Shields.
Attorneys mentioned in this year, not before noticed, were Sampson S. King, John Marshel, Thomas S. McGiffin, Jonathan Redick, Thomas Baird, John Tarr, and John White.
Clergymen, the Rev. Matthew Brown and the Rev. Thomas Campbell. The names of Dr. David G. Mitchell and Dr. Henry Stephenson appear for the first time. The printers were William Sample, editor of The Reporter, Thomas Thompson, editor of The Western Corrector, and Alexander Armstrong, editor of the Western Telegraphe.
In the year 1808, John Scott was contractor for carrying the mails, and in 1810 was a "stage-master." On the 5th of June, 1809, Hamilton, Mills & Gourly advertised "that their machines were in complete order, and that wool will be taken and carded at former prices."
On the 27th of November, 1809, James Blaine advertised that he had just opened in the stand between Hugh Wilson's and Acheson's a cheap assortment of dry-goods, groceries, hardware, china, glass, etc.
James Dunlap announced on the 28th of May, 1810, that he had just opened a general assortment of merchandise, and also that military uniforms were a specialty. At this time he was brigade inspector, and lived in the house now owned by ________ Keochline, at the southeast corner of Maiden and Main Streets, and is unchanged to this day. He remained in this place till 1816, then removed to a farm a few miles from Washington, and opened a tavern called "Mount Vernon Hotel," and on the 1st of April the next year laid out a town called Williamsburg. In 1825 he removed to Washington, and kept the "Jackson Inn." Williamsburg later became "Martinsburg," and is also known as "Pancake."
In the year 1810 the borough of Washington contained a population of 1292, and manufactured the following: flax linen, 2004 yards; value, $1307.10; tow, 601 yards; value $202.50; cotton, 1736 yards; value, $1724.35; linsey, 665 yards; value, $433.53. Total value, $3661.48.
There were in the town 153 spinning-wheels, 97 hand-cards, 8 looms, 179 horses, 222 neat cattle, 133 common sheep, and 8 of mixed breeds.
On the 2d of July, 1810, James Dougherty moved his store to the house formerly occupied by Mrs. Mary Dodd, nearly opposite the court-house, and next door to Cunningham & Dill. In 1811 the Rev. Thomas Campbell lived near the college, and Thomas Ledlie Birch (afterwards famous as a preacher) advertised drugs and medicines for sale. David Eckert was a saddler, and his dwelling and shop were in the brick house opposite the sign of the "Globe," and next to the bank. George Lockart, cabinet and chairmaker, "lately of Philadelphia," advertised that he had commenced business next door to James Langley's store. James Meetkirke, in May 1811, advertised that he "wants flaxseed in exchange for Windsor chairs, which he manufactures." Libes Hatman had a bakery opposite the "Rising Sun," on Market Street at the corner of Chestnut. Sampson S. King, captain United States infantry, advertised, May 11, 1812, that he had opened a recruiting-office at Washington, and offered a bounty of sixteen dollars, in addition of three months' pay and one hundred and sixty acres of land. On the 25th of May, 1812, Kline & Landis opened a "new saddler-shop" in the house of Joseph Patton, hatter, on Main Street, where David Eckert formerly had his saddler-shop.
On the 11th of April, 1814, William Hunter announced that he had commenced mercantile business "in the house lately occupied by Dr. Le Moyne, next store below Mr. John Lockhart's store," the site now occupied by Michael Koontz. Later Mr. Hunter purchased the property now occupied by Samuel Hazlett's bank, where he lived and was in business many years. Thomas Brice in April, 1814, moved from Amity to Washington, and opened a store next above the bank. In August the same year, Dubuisson advertises that he has arrived from Philadelphia, and "Cleans, separates, files, plugs, and extracts teeth; sets straight those inclined to any direction, and makes and places artificial ones." On the 1st of May, 1815, George Bertie, watchmaker, advertises that he has removed to the house adjoining Daniel Moore's store. Mrs. Bertie adds "that she continues to work at the millinery business in its various branches." Isaiah Steen in May, 1816, informs the public that in addition to his Windsor and fancy chair making "he has recently engaged an artist, by whom he will be enabled to carry on miniature, portrait, sign, and ornamental painting in a superior manner." On the 18th of April, the next year, G. Harrison advertises to "paint Portraits, Miniatures, Signs, etc., and to teach Drawing." On the 19th of May, 1817, William McMullin commenced the cut and wrought nail business in the blacksmith-shop on Wheeling Street, and in August following Joshua Monroe and William Campbell opened a nail-factory on Main Street, opposite Mr. Greggs. Robert Young was a book-binder in the town some years prior to 1819, and on the 18th of January in that year advertised that he "intends removing to Pittsburgh about the 1st of April next." A stone brewery was built on the property of Gen. Thomas Acheson, about 1819, and operated by Thomas & J. Cummings for many years. A large and extensive business was done. The building was eventually pulled down, and the stone used for foundations in the town. The property is now owned by Judge A. W. Acheson.
The following is a list of persons who were engaged in business in the town in the year 1838, as shown by the assessment roll of that year: Merchants, Chamberson Anderson, David Clark, Catharine Campbell, Henrietta Gregg, Elizabeth Garrett, Samuel Mount, Robert McElheney, James Orr, Alexander Reed, Colin M. Reed, James Stewart (also a tobacconist), George K. Scott, William Smith, Robert Tener, John K. Wilson, Marsh & McMichael, Daniel L. Shields, Henry Kuntz, Alexander Sweeney, James and Henry Langley.
Attorneys, Alexander W. Acheson, Daniel T. Baldwin, Joseph Henderson, Isaac Leet, John S. Brady, Thomas McGiffin, Thomas M. T. McKennan (deputy attorney-general), William Waugh, John L. Gow, and Zachariah S. Yarnall.
Physicians, J. Julius Le Moyne (also druggist), F. Julius Le Moyne, Samuel Murdoch (druggist), James Stevens, John Wishart, and William B. Lank.
Stage proprietors, Scott & Stone (also in the oyster business), Daniel Moore.
John Hutchinson, stage agent.
Early Taverns. – The tavern kept by William Huston in 1774 was located just beyond the limits of the town on property now owned by Mrs. Swartz. A part of the old Huston farm is now embraced in the present limits of the borough. The first person to keep a public-house within the limits of Washington was then defined was James Wilson. He purchased a lot of David Hoge on the northwest corner of Beau and Main Streets, and at the first term of court in Washington County, held in October, 1781, he was licensed "for keeping a public-house of entertainment at Catfish Camp." He erected a log house, in which he opened his tavern, which he kept until his death in 1792. At this house the Hon. William A. Atlee and the Hon. George Bryan, judges of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, were in the habit of stopping when holding Courts of Oyer and Terminer in Washington County. The house was kept as a tavern as late as 1840, and in later years was weatherboarded. It was finally torn down, and Smith's store was erected upon its site. The property was owned many years by Hugh Wilson, son of James.
John Dodd was one of the original proprietors of land adjoining the town of Washington. Very soon after the town was laid out he purchased lot 274, on the east side of Main Street, and in 1782 was licensed to keep a tavern. He built a log house on the site now occupied by Hastings' hardware-store and the Washington Savings-Bank. In this house he kept tavern till his death in 1795, which occurred when returning from New Orleans. The deed for this lot bears date July 27, 1786, but this with lot No. 58 were purchased on a certificate, as was the case in the early lots. Judge J. C. Chambers, of this county, is a descendant of John Dodd.
Charles Dodd, a brother of John Dodd, was licensed to keep a tavern in April, 1782. He kept a log house which stood on lot No. 58, now occupied by Strean's hardware-store. At this place the first courts were held, and in a log stable in the rear the prisoners of the county were confined. The deed of the lot was made to John Dodd May 30, 1789. On the 13th of August, 1792, John Dodd sold the house and lot to Daniel Kehr, who kept tavern a year or two, but later followed his trade of a shoemaker in the same house many years. His son, Isaac Kehr (afterwards spelled Kerr), succeeded to the property and lived there till his death.
At the September term of court (1783) John Adams was licensed and kept tavern till 1789. John Colwell was licensed in 1784. At the September term in 1785, Hugh Means, Samuel Acklin, and William Falconer were licensed. Acklin kept ill 1788, and Falconer till 1791. William Meetkirke, who was for many years a justice of the peace, kept tavern where Mrs. McFarland now lives from June, 1786, to 1793.
Maj. George McCormick, who purchased large tracts of land in the northern part of the county, was licensed to keep tavern in Washington in 1788. The following quotation from Col. John May's journal (page 99) refers to his house: "Thursday, Aug. 7, 1788, set out from the hotel at four o'clock, and at half-past eight arrived at Maj. George McCormick's in Washington, where we breakfasted. This is an excellent house, where our New England men put up."
Hugh Wilson (son of James) was licensed in September, 1789; John McMichael and John Purviance in 1790. The latter owned lot No. 278, where the Fulton House now stands. He kept tavern as late as 1808, but resided here till the summer of 1817, when he removed to Claysville and laid out the town in that year.
Charles Valentine purchased the lot on which the Valentine House now stands, and built upon it a log house, which he opened as a tavern upon receiving his license at the September term of court, 1791. This house, name "The White Goose," he kept till 1805, when he went into other business and died in 1809. It was kept by John Retteg from 1806 to 1810, and opened as "The Golden Swan." Juliana Valentine kept it from 1810 to 1819. In June, 1819, John Valentine advertised that he had just opened the house at the sign of "The Golden Swan." Later it was kept by Lewis Valentine, and in March, 1825, John Hays opened it. In March, 1827, it was kept by Isaac Sumny, with the sign of "Washington Hall." Its changes have been numerous, but it is the oldest tavern in the town. It is now known as the Valentine House, and is kept by William F. Dickey.
Michael Kuntz was licensed in September, 1791, and kept one year where Vowell's drug-store now stands. J. Neilson, John Fisher, Samuel McMillan, and John Ferguson were each licensed December, 1798; Daniel Kehr in 1795.
Joseph Huston, a cousin of William Huston, was licensed January, 1796, and opened a tavern in the stone house on the east side of Main Street below Maiden, at the sign of "The Buck." He kept there till 1812, and his widow Elizabeth succeeded him. She kept a short time there, rented the property to James Sargeant, who continued till April, 1815, when she again became the hostess, and kept it till after 1820.
James Workman was licensed in 1797. He opened a house of entertainment, which he kept till 1813, when he retired to a farm out of town. In April, 1816, he advertised that he had opened a public-house at the sign of "General Andrew Jackson," on the west side of Main Street, just below the sign of "The Globe."
Samul Thomas was licensed to keep tavern in September, 1797. He had purchased Lot No. 18, and in this year opened a tavern upon it. After a year he rented it to David Morris, who soon after purchased it, receiving his deed in 1804. From the time he took possession of the property till his death in 1834 the house was known as the "Globe" inn.
The lot No. 18 was first sold by David Hoge to Alexander Cunningham in May, 1784, who conveyed it to Samuel Shannon the 30th of August the same year. On the 25th of May, 1804, Shannon conveyed to David Morris all his right, title, and interest. The deed has not passed in all these years, and on the 2d of June in that year a deed was made from Mr. Hoge to David Morris. He was licensed first in 1798, and opened the "Globe" tavern, where John Allen now lives, on Main Street. After the house came into his possession it was enlarged and improved, and became known as one of the best hotels between Washington, D. C., and Wheeling. This famous hotel was kept by David Morris till his death, Jan. 1, 1854. It was then continued by his widow a short time, and the property was sold to Thomas Morgan, who kept the post-office there the latter part of his term. An account of the many famous dinners served in the "Globe Inn" would be tedious. The last incident of any moment in connection with the old tavern occurred in 1833. On the 16th of April in that year Lieut. T. W. Alexander, of the United States army, having in charge as prisoners of war the renowned Black Hawk and five other Indians of the Sac and Fox tribes, arrived in this place by one of the stages on the old National road, being on their way to the seat of government. They were all head men of their tribes, who were taken prisoners by Gen. Atkinson during the war of the summer previous. The names of the Indians were Ma-ka-tai-mesh-she-ka-kai, or Black Hawk; We-pe-kie-shich, or the Prophet; Nai-po-pe, or Broth; Mesh-she-was-kuck, son of Black Hawk; Pa-me-ho-its, brother of the Prophet; Pa-we-shich, son of the Prophet.
An accident occurred to the stage in coming down Market Street, in which Sergeant Greene, one of the party, had his arm broken above the elbow, and Black Hawk, his son, and the son of the Prophet were slightly hurt. The accident caused a delay of several days, and gave "our citizens an opportunity of gratifying their curiosity with a sight of these celebrated wild sons of the forest, who had so recently caused such terror and distress to a portion of our pioneer settlers in the Far West."
In October, 1797, John Scott opened a tavern (which was formerly occupied by John Fisher) at the sign of the "Spread Eagle." It was opposite David Acheson's store.
In February, 1801, William McCammant opened a tavern at the sign of the "Cross Keys," on the southeast corner of Main and Wheeling Streets, opposite the "White Goose" (now the Valentine House). He remained as landlord until his death, in 1813. His widow, Mrs. Mary McCammant, continued till April, 1815, when she rented the property and moved to the southeast corner of Market and Beau Street, nearly opposite the court-house, where she opened a public-house at the sign of "General Washington." She was at the old place at the sign of the "Cross Keys" as late as January, 1831, and advertised for that term of court the following prices: dinner and horse-feed, twenty-five cents; jurors and others attending court, two dollars per week.
Christian Kieffer kept tavern in February, 1805, at the sign of "Washington." John Rettig was licensed in 1806, and kept the stand formerly known as the "White Goose," at the corner of Market and Wheeling Streets, under the name of "The Golden Swan." Later he kept tavern in another part of the town, and was killed by falling down a well. His widow, Elizabeth Rettig, succeeded him in the business.
Matthew Ocheltree was licensed in February, 1807, and opened tavern at the old stand formerly kept by James Wilson, and where Smith's store now stands. He remained at this place till about 1812.
John McCluney in November, 1808, advertised that he had just opened a travelers' hotel opposite the court-house, at the sign of the "Indian Queen," where he kept for several years. In 1815 he opened a public-house formerly kept by Thomas Officer at the sign of the "Green Tree," at the north end of Market Street. Thomas Officer opened the "Green Tree" tavern in July ,1809. The house is yet standing.
John Kline in April, 1815, moved from the Cross-Roads, nine miles west of Brownsville, and opened a public-house (formerly kept by Michael Ocheltree) at the sign of "General Wayne."
James Garrett, in September, 1816, opened a public-house at the sign of the "Rising Sun," near the corner of Market and Chestnut Streets, where John and Andrew Best now reside. It was kept by Garrett till 1822, when James Briceland, from Briceland Cross-Roads, rented it and kept one year, when Garrett again took possession, and Briceland removed to "the Public-House and Stage-Office lately kept by Samuel Denniston." On the 1st of December, 1824, Gen. Andrew Jackson, family, and suite came to Washington and stopped at Briceland Inn. Several of the citizens of the town breakfasted with him, after which they escorted him as far as Hillsborough.
Richard Donaldson opened a public-house in the year 1805 on the southeast corner of Market and Beau Streets, where the "Fulton House" now stands, where he kept till 1815, when he moved to the old Workman stand opposite the seminary, and now occupied by Mrs. Sarah Hanna. This house had been kept prior to this time by _____ Surratt. In April, 1823, Richard Donaldson moved to the brick house at the east end of Maiden Street, at the sign of "Commodore Perry."
Dr. John Julius Le Moyne was licensed in August, 1798. He opened a tavern in his own house and kept till 1806.
James Sargeant soon after the death of Joseph Huston in 1812 rented the tavern known as "The Buck," and kept it till 1815, when he removed to the corner of Main and Wheeling Streets, at the sign of the "Cross-Keys," where he kept till 1818. The next year he opened a hotel where the Fulton House now stands. David Wilson opened a house of entertainment in 1802, and continued till 1818. William Wilson kept a tavern on Wheeling Street from 1801 to 1808.
John Fleming in April, 1820, opened a public-house opposite the market-house, "lately occupied by James Sergeant." The house was then known as the "Philadelphia and Kentucky Inn." During the month of January, 1821, on the occasion of the wedding of the daughter of Mr. Fleming, the house caught fire and was partially destroyed. A daughter, Mary, six years of age, was burned to death.
Samuel Denniston in May, 1821, informed the public that he had removed from Greensburg, Westmoreland Co., to Washington, Pa., and commenced keeping public-house in the new and eligible brick house at the corner of Main and Maiden Streets, opposite where the United States turnpike road enters Main Street from the east, at the sign of the "Travelers' Inn and stage office." In 1823, James Briceland was the proprietor, and in 1825 James Dunlap kept it with the sign of "Jackson Hotel." This was the present Auld House.
In 1822, John N. Dagg opened "The Rising Sun," formerly kept by James Garrett and James Briceland. On the 7th of April, 1827, he moved to the "Eagle Inn," opposite the Rising Sun, on Main Street, and later to what is now the Valentine House, after which he kept the Mansion House for several years. In 1836 John Irons opened it and occupied for a year or two, when Dagg again took possession and kept it many years.
In April, 1821, Enoch Miller opened a hotel in the west end of the borough, in a large brick house nearly opposite the (old) Methodist meeting-house, on the National road, at the sign of "General Brown." Soon after, he opened the "Fountain Inn," which was in a brick house on Chestnut Street. He was succeeded in March, 1823, by George Ringland, who kept it a year or two.
John Wilson, first licensed to keep a tavern Sept. 1, 1806, and kept till 1812. On the 7th of May, 1831, John Wilson opened a tavern opposite the court-house, called "John Wilson's Tavern." This was on the site of the old John Dodd tavern, and the present site of Hastings' hardware-store. Mr. Wilson kept there many years.
In September, 1832, William J. Brown opened a hotel on the east side of Main Street, between Maiden and Wheeling (where Jacob Miller's hardware-store now is), with the sign of the "Farmers' Inn." Later he changed the sign to "The Black Bear." It is related of him that at this time he made arrangements with a painter to paint the sign; and after beating him down on the price the painter finally agreed to paint it, and did so. The next rain storm washed it all off. Brown was angry, and the painter told him if he would pay his price, he would paint a bear that would stay and chain him to a post; which he did, and the bear remained there many years. There were many other taverns in the town besides the ones mentioned, but those were the principal ones.
The names given below are of those who kept the public-houses in the years given:
1826. – Robert Boyce, William P. Biles, Richard Donaldson, Philip Harton, John Wilson, Henry Koch, Robert Clokey, and James Fleming.
1836, – John Irons, John Bradfield, Daniel Valentine, Sarah Beck, John Flender, William J. Brown, and Sarah Hartzell.
1838. – William J. Brown kept the "Black Bear;" John N. Dagg, the Mansion House; Elizabeth Fleming kept "The Buck;" Joseph Hallam, where Smith's store now is; Sheldon B. Hays, the "Green House," now the Gow property; Otho Hartzell, the "Cross Keys," where Warrick's store now stands; William Paull, where Mrs. Sarah Hanna now resides; James Searight, where the Auld House now stands; Daniel Valentine, the Valentine House; and John Wilson, where Hastings' hardware-store stands.
1844. – The Mansion House was kept by S. B. Hays. This tavern was the headquarters mostly of the stageline "Good Intent." The "Green House" was then kept by Daniel Brown; "The American," was then kept by E. R. Lane, and was the stopping-place of the stage-line of which Mr. Lane was the agent; the Fulton was then kept by Henry Fulton; "The Washington," where Morgan & Hargreaves' store now is. The Valentine House and "The Buck" were still open. The present hotels of Washington are the Fulton House, kept by Thomas Hall; the Valentine House, by William F. Dickey; the Auld House, by A. Sargent.
Borough Incorporation and List of Officers. – The first movement having for its object the incorporation of the borough was made in 1796. The Western Telegraphe of date February 2d in that year (the paper then having been published about six months) contained the following article: "We must have a law of Incorporation, Besides regulating the streets; a corporation could do many other useful and necessary things. It could regulate the market-house, adjust weights and measures, keep the market-house clean, prevent (what will soon destroy our market) people from buying up provisions before they reach the market-house, and take care that the provisions be wholesome and good. It could make provision against a calamity which every reflecting man must dread – fire. In vain is our fire-engine if we want water, and it is well know that in a dry season there is not a tenth part of the water necessary in case of a fire breaking out, yet there is no authority to dig wells in the streets. I propose that the people of this town meet at the Market House on Saturday next, at three o'clock in the afternoon, to consult on a petition to the Assembly for Incorporating This Town.
"An Inhabitant of Washington."
Several articles were written in reply to the above. The meeting referred to in the article was held, but no action was taken, and the subject was not again seriously agitated until January, 1810, when a meeting was called, and a petition drawn up which was signed and sent to the Legislature, which resulted in the passage of an act granting a charter dated Feb. 13, 1810, with the powers usually conferred on boroughs. The first section provided and declared:
"That the town of Washington, in the county of Washington, shall be, and the same is hereby, erected into a borough, which shall be called the Borough of Washington, and shall be comprised within the following boundaries, viz., Beginning at a post on the land of James Ashbrook; thence by land of Robert Anderson, Thomas Officer, and others, south seventy-seven degrees, west one hundred and fifty-nine and one-half perches to a post; thence by land of Thomas Jones, William Hoge, and others, south fourteen and three-fourth degrees, east one hundred perches to a post; thence by land of James Ashbrook, William Sherrard, and others, south thirteen degrees, east sixty-three and one-half perches to a post; thence by land of John Hoge south fifty-one and one-half degrees, east twenty-nine perches to a post; thence by land late of John Simonson, Hugh Workman, and others, north seventy-seven degrees, east one hundred and twenty perches to a post; thence by land of Thomas McFadden, Daniel Kehr, and others, north four and one-half degrees, west eighty-four perches to a post; thence by land of Robert Hazlett, Isaiah Steen, and others, north ten degrees, west one hundred and two perches to the place of beginning."
The minutes of the burgess and Council of the borough from the incorporation in 1810 to the 28th day of March, 1864, covering a space of fifty-four years, are not to be found, although diligent search for them has been made in years past and at the present time. A few of the ordinances passed in the early years of the borough are gleaned from the newspapers of the time. The first of any interest was passed on the 17th of June, 1810, as follows: "Footways on Main Street shall be made twelve feet in width from the front of lots to curbstone, not less the depth than eighteen inches. Eight feet from curbstone on each side of Main Street shall be paved and residue turnpiked.
The ordinance was published in the Reporter, and in the next issue David Morris and Matthew Ocheltree, street commissioners, advertised that they were prepared to receive proposals for paving and turnpiking Main Street. The lines of the pavement then laid are yet to be seen, extending eight feet from the curbstone on Main Street.
On the 10th of February, 1812, Alexander Reed and John Wilson, burgesses, gave to Daniel Kehr a receipt for $46.25, which he advanced to the borough of Washington towards paving the Main Street, conformably to ordinance No. 15, passed July 13, 1810. This receipt implied that a later ordinance, supplemental thereto, was passed.
In 1811, the following ordinances were passed, viz.: Imposing a fine of one dollar "for galloping a horse within the bounds of the borough, or driving a waggon, cart, sled, or sleigh faster than a slow trot; for riding or leading a horse on foot-ways, .50; for violation of the Sabbath laws agreeably to State laws, $4.00." The Reporter of Aug. 17, 1812, contains an advertisement for proposals to lay sewers in Maiden, Belle (now Wheeling), Chestnut, and Beau Streets, six feet in breadth, eight feet high, and walls to be two feet thick, and not less than forty-two feet in length. These sewers were built, one on Chestnut Street, west of Main Street, near where Wiley's wool-house now stands; one on East Beau Street, near the Methodist Church; one on Belle Street (now East Wheeling), near Rogers' livery-stable; and one on East Maiden Street, east of the Le Moyne residence, and west of the residence of Mr. J. Chambers. The history of the market-house, fire department, and other matters pertaining to the borough will be found under separate heads, the facts having been gleaned from the newspapers, the public records, and other sources.
Application was made to the Court of Quarter Sessions in May, 1852, for a charter under the act of Assembly, April 3, 1851. Decree was made May 18th, and its privileges were extended in accordance therewith. The borough lines were extended northwest, west, and southwest by an ordinance passed May 30, 1854, to take effect June 10th the same year; and again to the southeast, east, and northeast of Main Street, by ordinance passed Dec. 22, 1854, to take effect Jan. 6, 1855.
The following additions have been made to the borough. On the 1st of December, 1849, twelve lots were added by William Hopkins, known as Hopkins' Addition. On the 20th of April, 1850, fifty-six lots were added by David Lang, known as East Washington. A street was laid through the centre known as Independence. By an act of Assembly, passed April 3, 1851, provision was made for the enlargement of the borough limits, and June 10, 1854, and Jan. 6, 1855, they were extended. On the 3d of September, 1873, Linn's extension was surveyed, containing one hundred and seventy-six lots, embraced within the limits of the old Pittsburgh road, Pine Street, and Front and Sixth Streets. On the 9th of April, 1874, an addition was made, containing thirty lots, by N. K. & R. L. Wade, known as Wade's Extension. Ritner's Extension, consisting of twelve lots, was surveyed in February, 1875, from Chestnut Street to the extension of Walnut. And in April, the same year, six lots were added called Hays' Extension. In December, 1881, Wolfe and Whittlesey's Addition was made to Wade Avenue, consisting of seven lots sixty by two hundred feet.
A list is here given of the borough officers of Washington from its incorporation to the present time, viz.:
1810-11. – Alexander Reed, John Wilson.
1812-13. – David Morris, Thomas Officer.
1814. – Daniel Moore, James Orr.
1815. – David Shields, John Wilson.
1816. – Alexander Murdoch, Alexander Reed.
1817. – John Wilson, David Morris.
1818. – James Blaine, James Shannon.
1819-22. – James Blaine, John Gregg.
1823. – James Orr, James Ruple.
1824-25. – James Ruple, Daniel Moore.
1826-28. – Samuel Workman, James Orr.
1829-30. – James Orr, John Kuntz.
1831. – George Kuntz, James Orr.
1832. – John S. Brady, John Wilson.
1833. – Archibald Kerr, John Wilson.
1834. – Archibald Kerr, James Ruple.
1835. – Archibald Kerr, James Ruple.
1836-37. – John R. Griffith, James Ruple.
1838. – John L. Gow, James Ruple.
1839. – James Blaine, John R. Griffith.
1840. – Robert Officer, John S. Brady.
1841-42. – Robert Officer, George W. Brice.
1843. – Robert Officer, Thomas McGiffin.
1844. – Isaac Leet, James Langley.
1845. – Matthew Giffin, Sample Sweeney.
1846. – L. P. Hitchcock, John L. Gow.
1847. – William McKennan, Alexander Murdoch.
1848. – James Ruple, James Langley.
1849. – Collin M. Reed, Alfred Creigh.
1850. – William Hopkins, Collin M. Reed.
1851. – Alexander W. Acheson, Peter Reimund.
1852. – Alexander W. Acheson, Hugh W. Reynolds.
1853. – William Workman, Charles W. Hays.
1854. – Charles W. Hays, James Spriggs.
1855. – Alexander Murdoch, Samuel Cunningham.
1856. – Jacob Slagle, James Brown.
1857. – James B. Ruple, William B. Hopkins.
1858-59. – James W. Kuntz, James Rush.
1860. – James W. Kuntz, Thomas J. Walker.
1861-62. – James W. Kuntz, James Rush.
1863. – James W. Kuntz, Alfred Creigh.
1864-65. – Andrew Brady, James Rush.
1866. – Charles Hays, William Smith.
1867. – H. J. Vankirk, John Hoon.
1868. – John D. Boyle, John McElroy.
1869. – John D. Boyle, Isaac Y. Hamilton.
1870. – John D. Boyle, Theodore F. Slater.
1871. – Samuel Hazlett, Theodore F. Slater.
1872-73. – Samuel Hazlett, J. H. Little.
1874. – Samuel Hazlett, J. C. Acheson.
1875. – J. L. Judson, J. C. Acheson.
1876. – J. L. Judson, William S. Bryson.
1877. – H. J. Vankirk, William S. Bryson.
1878. – H. J. Vankirk, Alexander Rankin.
1879. – Samuel Hazlett, Alexander Rankin.
1880. – Samuel Hazlett, John H. Murdoch.
1881. – J. Carter Judson, John H. Murdoch.
1882. – J. Carter Judson, J. Frank Taylor.
1810-11. – Hugh Wilson, Thomas Acheson, Hugh Workman, Robert Anderson, Parker Campbell.
1812. – John Scott, Matthew Dill, Hugh Workman, Parker Campbell, Thomas McGiffin.
1813 – Thomas McGiffin, Parker Campbell, Daniel Moore, James Orr, Hugh Workman.
1814. – Parker Campbell, Thomas Officer, Thomas McGiffin, Hugh Workman, David Morris.
1815. – James Orr, Parker Campbell, Hugh Workman, Thomas McGiffin, Daniel Moore.
1816. – Thomas McGiffin, James Lattimore, James Blaine, Parker Campbell, George Baird.
1817. – Alexander Reed, James Blaine, James Lattimore, James Orr, Thomas H. Baird.
1818. – Thomas M. T. McKennan, Hugh Workman, John Wilson, James Garrett, William Hunter.
1819-20. – Hugh Workman, John Wilson, William Hunter, Thomas M. T. McKennan, James Garrett.
1821-22. – Thomas M. T. McKennan, John Wilson, David Eckert, James Stevens, John Koontz.
1823. – Hugh Workman, Thomas M. T. McKennan, Jacob Slagle, John Wilson, James Stevens.
1824-25. – Archibald Kerr, Thomas Good, James Lattimore, Thomas M. T. McKennan, James Kerr.
1826. – Thomas M. T. McKennan, Thomas McGiffin, George Kuntz, John S. Brady, John Wilson.
1827. – Thomas M. T. McKennan, George Kuntz, John Wilson, Jacob Slagle, George L. Morrison.
1828. – Thomas M. T. McKennan, George Kuntz, Jacob Slagle, John K. Wilson, Samuel Hazlett.
1829. – George Kuntz, Jacob Slagle, Thomas M. T. McKennan, William Robinson, William Hunter.
1830. – Thomas M. T. McKennan, William Robinson, John K. Wilson, James Shannon, John Wilson.
1831-32. – William Robinson, John K. Wilson, John Wilson, James Shannon, William Baird.
1833. – Hugh Workman, Isaac Leet, George Kuntz, Thomas Officer, John Morrow.
1834. – Isaac Leet, John K. Wilson, Thomas Officer, George Kuntz, John Morrow.
1835. – John K. Wilson, Isaac Leet, James Shannon, John L. Gow, John Wilson.
1836. – Isaac Leet, John Morrow, John N. Dagg, Andrew Shearer, John Bradford.
1837. – John N. Dagg, Andrew Shearer, John Morrow, John L. Gow, George Black.
1838. – George Black, John Morrow, Andrew Shearer, John R. Griffith, Robert Officer.
1839. – Alexander W. Acheson, Henry Langley, John Bert, James Patterson, Peter Wolfe.
1840. – Peter Wolfe, Alexander W. Acheson, John Morrow, Oliver Lindsey, Adam Silvey.
1841-42. – Alexander W. Acheson, Oliver Lindsey, Peter Wolfe, Matthew Giffin, James Brown.
1843. – Alexander W. Acheson, George W. Brice, George Lonkert, John S. Brady, John Grayson.
1844. – Peter Wolfe, John R. Griffith, John Bert, Oliver Lindsey, Jacob Kissler.
1845. – Oliver Lindsey, John Bert, Peter Kennedy, William Smith, David Wolfe.
1846. – Joseph Henderson, George Lonkert, James Brown, John Morrow, Thomas Logan.
1847. – James M. Hutchinson, T. W. Grayson, James Brice, Robert Officer, Alfred Thirkfield.
1848. – John Morrow, William Hopkins, Charles W. Hays, Oliver Lindsey, Jacob Slagle.
1849. – William Hopkins, Charles W. Hays, Oliver Lindsey, Jacob Slagle, Peter Kennedy.
1850. – Jacob Kissler, John S. Brady, Philip Kuhn, John Bausman, Thomas B. Bryson.
1851. – Oliver Lindsey, Sample Sweeney, Collin M. Reed, Thomas W. Grayson, Freeman Brady, Sr.
1852. – Oliver Lindsey, Freeman Brady, Sr., John Wiley, James Brown, William McKennan.
1853. – John Wiley, John Morrow, William B. Oliver, James Rush, William T. Fleming.
1854. – Dr. M. H. Clarke, Collin M. Reed, Jacob Kessler, J. L. Judson, James D. Bert.
1855. – Thomas W. Grayson, H. W. Reynolds, A. R. Frisbie, John McClelland, T. S. McKinley.
1856. – Thomas B. Bryson, Dr. J. R. Wilson, Simon Cort, L. W. Stockton, John McElroy.
1857. – Charles W. Hays, Thomas R. Bryson, James W. Kuntz, S. R. Withrow, John McAllister.
1858. – Jacob Goldsmith, N. F. Brobst, John Prigg, W. H. Stoy, David Wolfe.
1859-60. – Charles W. Hays, James Walton, William T. Fleming, James W. Humphreys, Jackson Spriggs.
1861. – John Prigg, Freeman Brady, Jr., Andrew Brady, Charles W. Hays, Alexander Frazier.
1862. – John Prigg, Andrew Brady, Thomas D. O'Hara, Charles W. Hays, Samuel Beatty.
1863. – William T. Fleming, John Prigg, John Naughton, John W. Lockhart, James Walton.
1864. – Jacob Miller, Alpheus Murphy, A. J. Caton, Thomas Seaman, Patrick Waldron.
1865. – Ira Lacock, John Naughton, William Drury, G. J. Dagg, Adam H. Ecker.
1866. – Thomas J. Hodgins, Nelson Vankirk, Thomas Walker, David Aiken, William Fitzwilliams.
1867. – J. E. Acheson, Thomas McKean, C. V. Greer, Alexander Seaman, John Hallam.
1868. – John Templeton, William H. Taylor, R. W. Davis, George O. Jones, Samuel Hazlett.
1869. – Alfred Creigh, Adam C. Morrow, J. L. Judson, James Houston, A. B. Caldwell.
1870. – J. L. Judson, George S. Hart, Dr. A. Creigh, Martin Luther, James Huston.
1871. – George S. Hart, Martin Luther, F. J. Wiley, John V. Wilson, James Huston.
1872. – Enoch Dye, _____ Fulton, John V. Wilson, F. I. Wiley, John D. Braden, J. N. Haines.
1873. – Enoch Dye, John D. Braden, Joseph Spriggs, A. Rankin, J. N. Haines.
1874. – Joseph Spriggs, A. Rankin, A. T. Baird, Thomas Walker, George M. Warrick.
1875. – George M. Warrick, Thomas Walker, John Hoon, A. T. Baird, John S. Wilson.
1876. – Samuel Decker, M. L. A. McCracken, E. L. Christman, John Hoon, John S. Wilson.
1877. – Samuel Decker, D. L. Christman, Thomas M. Wiley, John McElroy, John Hoon (removed).
1878. – Thomas M. Wiley, Thomas Walker, John Baird, John S. Wilson, John McElroy.
1879. – John McGuffie, John Munn, John Baird, John S. Wilson, Thomas Walker.
1880. – James Hall, Jr., John M. Horn, Charles W. Scott, W. J. Doyle, John P. Linn, J. P. Miller, John Bane, Nelson Van Kirk, R. H. Baker, Isaac Sharp, John Munn, John McGuffie.
1881. – 1st Ward, J. R. Clark, John McGuffie, William Hutson; 2d Ward, C. W. Scott, F. Berthell, R. L. Thompson; 3d Ward, B. J. M. Brown, W. J. Doyle, J. H. Kennedy; 4th Ward, Nelson Van Kirk, J. W. Beck, Henry De Normandie.
1882. – 1st Ward, James C. Acheson, Jacob Cline, John M. Broden; 2d Ward, Dr. George A. Dougherty, Edward Little, Michael Ryan; 3d Ward, William Green, William A. Mickey, John H. Kennedy; 4th Ward, Nelson Van Kirk, Alexander Agnew, Jacob Beck.
1810-11. David Shields.
1812-14. Samuel Cunningham.
1815-16. John Cunningham.
1817-31. John Marshall.
1832-33. Samuel Doak.
1834. Henry Langley.
1835-40. George W. Brice.
1841-42. Robert K. Shannon.
1843-44. Henry M. Brister.
1845-46. James McKinley.
1847. David Wherry.
1848-50. William J. Wilson.
1851-54. Joseph O'Hara.
1855-62. William B. Rose.
1863. Ashford Engle.
1864. Henry Brown.1
1 Resigned April 18th, Thaddeus Stanton appointed to fill vacancy.
1865. Thaddeus Stanton.
1866. J. G. Ruple.
1867. John Aiken.
1868. Joseph A. McKee.
1869. John Waldron.
1870. Wesley Wolf.
1871. W. H. McEnrue.
1872-73. L. M. Marsh.
1874-80. Robert S. Winters.
1881-82. Samuel C. Clark.
1810-12. Daniel Moore.
1813-15. Alexander Reed.
1816. Daniel Moore.
1817-19. John Barrington.
1820-35. John Gregg.
1836-56. George Kuntz.
1857-62. George Baird.
1863-65. George Kuntz.
1866. David Aiken.
1867. John C. Hastings.
1868. John Aiken.
1869. L. R. W. Little.
1870-71. M. G. Kuntz.
1872. L. R. W. Little.
1873. D. M. Donahoo.
1874. L. M. Marsh.
1875. A. M. Todd.
1876. J. W. McDowell.
1877. George O. Jones.
1878. James Mitchell.
1879. James Kuntz, Jr.
1880. Clark Riggle.
1881. Finley B. Hallam.
1864-65. George S. Hart. 1874-75. John Aiken.
1866-67. D. S. Wilson. 1876. J. R. Braddock.
1868. H. J. Van Kirk. 1877-78. _______ ________
1869. D. F. Patterson. 1879. John W. Donnan.
1870-71. Braden and Miller. 1880. C. M. Ruple.
1872. George S. Hart. 1881. H. J. Van Kirk.
1873. J. L. Judson.
Justices of the Peace, Washington Township.2
John Hoge, Nov. 21, 1786.
Thomas Scott, Nov. 21, 1786.
Thomas Stokeley, Sept. 3, 1787.
Absalom Baird, March 3, 1789.
Gabriel Blakeney, Feb. 26, 1793.
William Meetkirke, Feb. 26, 1793.
Samuel Shannon, May 26, 1795. .
John Wilson, Feb. 9, 1799.
Absalom Baird, May 2, 1799.
William McKennan, Jan. 2, 1804.
Alexander Lyttle, April 6, 1805.
John Colmery, April 1, 1811.
James Orr, Feb. 8, 1812.
David Little, Dec. 11, 1813.
James Blaine, Jan. 1, 1817.
Joshua Monroe, March 12, 1819.
Richard Johnston, March 22, 1819.
Daniel Palmer, May 7, 1819.
Matthew McNary, Dec. 4, 1820 .
David Quall, Jan. 31, 1822.
John Marshall, May 20, 1822.
Thomas Morgan, Dec. 3, 1823.
Matthew Linn, Dec. 20, 1825.
Thomas Smith, Jan. 23, 1826.
James McDowell, May 19, 1830.
Dickerson Roberts, May 8, 1833.
Archibald Kerr, Nov. 14, 1835.
George W. Brice, April 14, 1840
James Blaine, April 14, 1840.
George W. Brice, April 15, 1845
James Blaine, April 15, 1845.
George Baird, April 11, 1848.
George W. Brice, April 9, 1850.
J. Lawrence Judson, April 13, 1853
George W. Brice, April 10, 1853.
J. L. Judson, April 13, 1858.
William Hughes, April 13, 1858.
John Grayson, Jr., April 14, 1863.
J. L. Judson, April 14, 1863.
John Grayson, Jr., April 14, 1868
William Hornish, April 14, 1868.
D. M. Donahoo, April 15, 1874.
Clark Riggle, Jan. 21, 1874
D. M. Donahoo, Jan. 26, 1874; March 25, 1878
Henry Kantz, March 25, 1878.
2 Washington township was an independent district from its erection in 1786 to 1803, when it was joined with Strabane as District No. 1, and so remained till 1838, when it again became a separate district.
Market-House. – In the spring of 1795 it was resolved by the citizens of the town of Washington in meeting assembled that a market-house was needed, and Alexander Addison and Dr. Absalom Baird were appointed to procure subscriptions for that purpose and make arrangements for its erection. The commissioners' records for that year show no account of a plat of ground granted to the borough, and yet tradition and later records indicate that the market-house of this date was erected on the northeast corner of the public square. It was nearly finished in August of that year, as the following notice, published in the Western Telegraphe of Aug. 24, 1795, will show:
"Washington, 5th August, 1795.
"A Market-House being finished in the town of Washington, the inhabitants of the town and its neighborhood were by public notice requested to meet at the Market-House on Wednesday, the 5th of August, at half-past six o'clock in the afternoon, to consult on what days it would be proper to hold a market for the sale of provisions in this Market-House.
"A very full meeting accordingly took place this evening, and it was agreed that the following notification should be published in the newspapers: The inhabitants of this town and of its neighborhood have hitherto suffered many inconveniences; the people of the town from the inconstancy and uncertainty of supply of provisions; the people of the country from being obliged to hawk their articles from door to door without the certainty of a demand or sale. Both these inconveniences may now be remedied, if the people of the country will bring in their different articles of provision at fixed periods, and sell them at the Market-house; and if the people of the town will buy only there at those periods. As the propriety of this is manifest, it is expected that both parties will contribute to carry it into effect. It is therefore proposed that hereafter there shall be two Market Days here each week, Wednesday and Saturday, and that provisions be brought to the Market-House as early as possible on the morning of those days and continued till sold or till ten o'clock forenoon.
"It was also agreed by all present that none of them would, after the first publications of this notice, buy any provisions in this town on the mornings of those Market days in any place but in the market until after ten o'clock forenoon.
"N. B. Those who have not paid their subscription for building the Market-House are desired to pay them immediately to Alexander Addison or Absalom Baird; otherwise the subscription will be put into the hands of a Justice of the Peace to collect."
On the 1st of September, 1795, the opening of the market-house was advertised as follows in the Telegraphe: "A market for produce or provisions will be opened at the Market House in the town of Washington, on every Wednesday or Saturday from early dawn till ten o'clock in the forenoon; and by agreement no produce or provisions of any kind shall be purchased in the town within the above periods, except at the market hours only."
Upon the incorporation of the borough in 1810 the Council passed additional laws regulating the markets. The growth of the town soon demanded larger accommodations, and on the 20th of February, 1812, a town-meeting was called at the court-house "to take into consideration the subject of changing the site of the market house," and on the 24th of February "A Citizen" makes the following inquiry in the Reporter: "By what authority do the Commissions of this County enter into any agreement for the absolute and permanent disposition of the public ground; By whom was that public square granted? To whom? and for what purpose? . . . The public square whereon the court house and gaol are erected was granted by David Hoge, the original proprietor of the town of Washington, to James Edgar, &c. . . . in trust for the citizens of Washington County for the purpose of erecting a court House and Gaol thereon." The subject was brought to the notice of the Council in November, 1813, and the Council authorized the burgess to call a meeting of the citizens on the 8th of November, which was done and its proceedings published in the Reporter, bearing date Nov. 8, 1813, as follows:
"At a meeting of the Burgesses and Council of the borough of Washington, on Saturday, the 6th instant, Resolved, That it is expedient for the chief burgess to give public notice, in one or more of the news papers of the borough, to the taxable inhabitants, to meet at the court house on Friday, the 12th instant, at 6 o'clock P.M., to take into consideration the subject of building a new market house in said borough. Now this is to give notice to said inhabitants to meet at said place and time for the above-mentioned purpose.
"Given under my hand this 8th day of November, 1813.
No account of the meeting mentioned above is found in the papers of the time. In January, 1815, when the agitation for a bank and location of a site was under discussion, a call was issued for a public meeting as follows:
"At a meeting of the citizens of this borough held at the court house this evening, Dr. David G. Mitchell was called to the chair, and John Barrington, secretary,. The following resolutions were adopted, viz.:
"Resolved, That it is expedient to change the site of the market house from the north to the south side of the public square for the purpose of erecting a banking house, on the northeast corner of said square and for the better accommodation of the citizens at large, provided, however, that no change or alteration in the present scite of the market house shall take place until the consent of the proper authority shall be first had and obtained to erect a banking house on the northeast corner of the public square and a market house on the southeast corner of said square, nor until arrangements be made and a contract entered into for the building of said banking house on that ground.
"Resolved, That Alexander Murdoch, Thomas Baird, and James Orr, Esquire, be a committee to procure the necessary authority and grant for said market and banking house, from the legislature and commissioners of the county.
"David G. Mitchell, Chairman.
"John Barrington, Secretary.
"Washington, 7th Jan'y, 1815."
This committee subsequently ascertained that the public square could not be diverted from public purposes, and the idea was abandoned.
On the 13th of June, 1815, about one hundred and twenty of the taxable inhabitants of the borough met at the court-house to take into consideration the propriety of erecting a new market-house. Hugh Workman was chosen chairman, and Thomas M. T. McKennan secretary. Resolutions were passed to the effect that a large and commodious market-house be erected on the northeast corner of the public square as soon as the consent of the commissioners of the county to enlarge the market-house be obtained. A committee waited on the commissioners and presented their request, and on the 21st of June following the commissioners granted permission to the inhabitants of the borough to erect a market-house on the east and north sides of the public square fifty-three feet, fronting on Main Street, and on a range with the public offices and parallel with Main Street.
After this grant from the commissioners it was thought advisable to make the market-house two stories in height, and a request was made of the commissioners for that purpose, which was granted on the 2d of November, with the proviso "That one room or apartment shall be made thereon of a convenient size for the accommodation of the Burgesses and Council of said Borough." The grant provided further that after the expiration of twenty-five years the borough should deliver the market-house to the commissioners of Washington County upon payment of the original cost of the building.
The building was erected under the supervision of Parker Campbell, Alexander Murdoch, and Thomas McGiffin, who were appointed by the Council a building committee, with authority to borrow money not to exceed two thousand dollars. The contract for its erection was given to Col. James Ruple. It was delivered to the burgess and Council on the 20th of October, 1817. The rooms were rented on the 25th to the following persons: Room No. 1 to Robert Estep; No. 2 to John Purviance; Nos. 3 and 5 to Thomas H. Baird; No. 4 to John McCloney; No. 6 to the Rev. Matthew Brown and James Williamson, who opened a school for young ladies on the 10th of November following. Isaiah Steen also rented one of the rear rooms on the upper floor for a chair-shop. On the 1st of April, 1818, John Grayson took possession of room No. 5, where he published the Washington Examiner till April 28, 1827. Andrew Gwinn taught school in room No. 2 above the market in July, 1822. Obadiah Jennings taught school for some time in the building, commencing in May, 1824. Philip Potter taught there in 1824-25, and Henry Williams in 1836. Others also taught in the old buildings whose names are not ascertained. A veranda was built on the second floor on Main and Beau Streets. The one on Main Street was the favorite resort of the old gentlemen of the place to relate their stores and pass away the time. It is particularly remembered as being the resort of Isaiah Steen, Squire John Wilson, and Robert Knox. A lean-to was built on the south side of the market-house, where the fire-engine was kept. This market-house was in use until the demands of the county required a new court-house, and in 1839 arrangements were made with the commissioners for an exchange of property, as will be found in the account of the town hall. A market-house was erected in the spring of 1840, on the north side of the public square fronting on Cherry Alley, and opened for business August 2d of that year. This market-house on Cherry Alley was used until the erection of the town hall in 1869, when it was torn down. Upon the erection of the new hall the rear of the lower story was used for market purposes until June 7, 1878, when the Council ordered the market-house to be fitted up for an engine-house and the old engine-room used as a market.1
1 The reason of the market-house being set back from the main street was that on the 3d of June, 1817, the commissioners laid off three lots on the public square, Nos. 1, 2, 3, twenty-two by twenty-four feet each, being sixty-six feet front on Main Street, and twenty-four feet on Cherry Alley. These lots were leased for twenty-five years, No. 1 to William Hunter, it being the north lot; No. 2, the centre one, to John Neal; No. 3, the south one, to David Shields. On these lots a brick building was to be erected one story in height, covering the whole area and under one roof, and to be built in range with the public offices. On the 20th of June, the commissioners thinking it would be better to have the building two stories in height, agreed with the lessees, Hunter, Neal, and Shields, in consideration of erecting the building two stories in height, to release them from the first five years' annual rent. The buildings were thus erected, and when the market-house was built the lease had not yet expired.
Fire Department. – The first fire which occurred in the town of Washington of which any account is obtained was the burning of the log court-house in the winter of 1790-91. The accounts of the commissioners of 1791 contain the following: "To pay James Marshel for the use of his engine, $25." What kind of an engine was owned by Col. Marshel, or for what purpose he obtained it, is not known, as no further reference to it is found.
In the history of the incorporation of the borough reference is made to an article signed "An Inhabitant of Washington," and dated Feb. 2, 1796, in which he says, speaking of the powers of a borough, "It could make provision against a calamity which every reflecting man must dread – fire. In vain is our fire-engine if we want water; and it is well known that in a dry season there is not one-tenth part of the water necessary in case of a fire breaking out, yet there is no authority to dig wells in the street." It is evident from the above that at that time a fire engine was owned and kept for public use by the town. And in a bill presented to the commissioners in the year 1797 "the Engine-House" is mentioned. In an article which was published in the Reporter of Jan. 13, 1817, "A Citizen," speaking of a recent fire and the existing fire system, says, "We have had more than twenty years' experience of the inefficiency of the present system." This implies that a fire company was organized about that time (1797), and was in possession of an engine. On the 18th of May, 1801, the "Washington Fire Company" was organized with a roll of eighty-two members. The engine was placed under the care of two directors and sixteen men. On the 15th of January, 1816, notice was given by Henry Yanaway, high constable, to the citizens of the borough to meet at the court-house on the 16th, "for the purpose of determining whether the taxes of the borough shall be so far increased as may be necessary for the purchase of a fire-engine." No account of this meeting is found. There was existing in that year a fire company called "The Franklin Fire Company," and John Cunningham, secretary, notified the company to meet at the court-house on the 16th of April. The Reporter, of February, 1822, gives an account of the meeting of the citizens of the borough of Washington, held at the court-house on the 18th of February of that year. The Rev. Thomas Hoge was called to the chair, and Joseph Henderson was chosen secretary. The object of the meeting was to direct the burgesses and Council of the borough to purchase "a new water-engine" out of the corporation funds. John Johnson, John Wilson, Alexander Reed, Daniel Moore, and William Sample were appointed a committee to wait upon the commissioners of the county at their next meeting and "ascertain how much they will subscribe for the purpose of purchasing a new engine and apparatus." The burgesses and Council were instructed to ascertain how much can be raised by subscription for the purpose of making reservoirs, the subscribers to have credit in their taxes; they were also requested to pass an ordinance requiring every person owning a house of the value of $400 to purchase two leather fire-buckets. The meeting adjourned to March 14th, the same year, at which time the "Hope Fire Company" was organized.
On Saturday night, Feb. 23, 1822, about twelve o'clock, the law-office of Thomas M. T. McKennan and a house adjoining took fire and were both destroyed. After the fire was nearly over and the citizens mostly dispersed, the double stack of chimneys in the two-story frame house fell and killed four persons and wounded five others. The names of those killed were Henry Taylor, son of Matthew Taylor, about seventeen years of age; James Wilson, the youngest son of John Wilson, Esq., who was about fifteen years of age, and a student in Washington College; Jeremiah Decker, a married man, and by trade a mason; and Joseph Decker, Jr., about twelve years of age, and a son of Joseph Decker. Of the wounded, Alexander Addison, a son of Judge Alexander Addison, and a promising attorney, died on the 28th of February following from injuries received. David Lingerfelter, a young man seventeen years of age, was wounded by the fire-engine as it was returning from the fire. Lockjaw set in, and he died on the 8th of March.
The following facts are found in the newspapers and records concerning the "Hope Fire Company:" It is first mentioned in1822. R. W. Harding was its secretary in May, 1824. An annual meeting was held May 29, 1824, and the following officers were elected: Chief Director, Hugh Wilson; Engineers, William Hunter, John Wilson; Directors of the Ladder Company, James Ruple, James Kerr; Director of the Property Guard, Samuel Murdoch; Directors of the Water Company, Thomas M. T. McKennan, George Baird, William Robinson, George Kuntz; Treasurer, Jacob Slagle; Secretary, John R. Murdoch.
In 1825, the annual meeting passed without an election of officers. In 1826, C. M. Reed was secretary of the company. On the 9th of January, 1829, the following-named officers were elected: Chief Director, George Baird; Engineer, Dr. Francis J. Le Moyne; Assistant Engineer, Colin M. Reed; Captains of the Ladder and Axe Companies, John Wilson and Henry Chess; Captains of Water Company, Thomas M. T. McKennan and Alexander Reed; Captains of Property Guard, Rev. John Graham, Dr. Samuel Murdoch; Secretary, Alexander Wilson. The company continued for a few years, and then disbanded.
On the 11th of February, 1837, the "Hope" and "Washington" Fire Companies were reorganized, and the following were elected officers of the Hope Fire Company: Director, John Marshel; Engineers, Oliver Witherow, Jacob Keisler; Captain of the Water Companies, Jacob Slagle; Captains of the Axe and Ladder Company, Peter Wolf and John Wilson; Property Guard, Alexander Sweeney, Alexander Reed, Daniel Moore; Secretary, Henry Langley. This company maintained an existence for about fifteen or twenty years, then disbanded.
About 1858 a company was organized and named the "Hope Fire Company," which held its organization for several years, but through many discouragements. The next year (1859) an engine was purchased. In February, 1866, the records of the Council mention the "New Hope Engine" and purchase of fifty feet of hose. In November, 1870, the minutes of the Council mention the "Hope Fire Company" as lately organized, and on the 11th of December a committee from the company came before the Council and submitted a constitution, which was approved, and the Hope Engine was given in their charge. The engine at that time had eight sections of hose, two branch-pipes, three nozzles, four spanners for suctions, and three sections of suctions. The company has held its organization to the present time. The engine is kept in the engine-room in the town hall. The present officers are John P. Charlton, captain; James Matthews, first lieutenant; A. B. Means, second lieutenant. The company has at present (1882) sixty-five members.
The Washington Fire Company, of which mention is first made in 1801, evidently retained its organization, as in September, 1831, the burgess and Council ordered that the engines then under charge of the companies be kept in different parts of the borough. On the 11th of February, 1837, when the "Washington" and "Hope" Companies were reorganized, the following officers were elected by the Washington Company, viz.: Directors, Dr. John Wishart, William Smith; Engineers, Henry Shearer, Oliver Lindsey; Captains of the Water Companies, John Dagg, David White; Captains of the Axe and Ladder Company, Gen. Andrew Shearer, Freeman Brady; Property Guards, Abijah Johnston, Samuel Mount, John Shaffer; Secretary, John K. Wilson. From this time nothing more is learned of the company.
Soon after the reorganization of the Hope and Washington Companies, another company was formed and named "Good Intent." A small engine was purchased for their use, and in December, 1844, the company petitioned the Council for an engine-house, which was granted, and a house was erected on Pine Alley, and in the next year a hose-cart was procured.
In 1847 an engine bearing the name "Eagle" was purchased at Pittsburgh for the sum of eight hundred dollars. It has not been ascertained that it was under the charge of any company until the organization of the "Eagle Fire Company" in January, 1857. The officers were O. R. McNary, president; Marshall Griffith, secretary; John McKay, treasurer; John S. Clohey, captain; H. W. Wiley, lieutenant; Robert H. Elliott, first engineer; John McFarland, second engineer; O. R. McNary, captain of hose. The company disbanded after a few years, and the engine was sold.
A company bearing the name of "Good Will," having an engine in their care, was in existence in 1866, and on the 11th of December, 1871, the company appeared before the Council and presented a constitution, which was accepted, and the Council ordered the "new suction-engine" to be placed in their charge. At that time the engine called "Good Will" was still owned by the borough. Nothing more is ascertained of this company. On the 5th of February, 1872, the fire committee were instructed to purchase a "Crane-Necker" from Button & Son, but this was not done.
On the 8th of November, 1872, the citizens petitioned the burgess and Council to purchase a steam fire-engine. A committee was appointed to confer with the manufacturers of steam fire-engines, and on the 2d of December in that year the agents of the Amoskeag and Seneca Falls Companies visited the Council and presented their respective claims. On the 20th of January, 1873, the Council contracted with the agent of the Seneca Falls Company for a steamer for six thousand dollars. The burgess was authorized to call the citizens of Washington together for the purpose of forming a company to take charge of the new steamer. About one hundred and fifty persons were formed into a company, called the Citizens' Fire Company. The steamer (the "Little Giant") was given in charge of the Citizens' Company, which lasted but a short time, and another company was organized, with twelve members, and officered as follows: Samuel Brady, captain; Peter Cunningham, first lieutenant; George Thompson, chief engineer; and S. L. Wilson, assistant engineer. The company remained with this number about two years, when the number was increased to twenty; and after about two years the Council reduced the number again to twelve, and allowed each member two hundred dollars annually. On the 1st of July, 1879, the pay was increased to three hundred dollars each, annually, provided the company would keep twelve active members. They have at present the Little Giant engine, two hose-reels, and fourteen hundred feet of hose. The present members of the Little Giant Fire Company are Samuel Brady, captain; Jacob Beck, first lieutenant; Jacob Cline, chief engineer; Patrick Curran, first assistant; Charles Scott, second assistant; Thomas Buckalow, James Curran, Isaac Hunter, James Kennedy, William Seaburn, G. W. Thompson, T. D. M. Wilson.
The first action taken by the Council to provide public cisterns for fire purposes was in 1822, when they appropriated money to build reservoirs in different parts of the town. These had been kept in use to some extent until February, 1866, when the Council resolved to build new cisterns and repair the old ones. On the 19th of March in that year Chief Burgess Brady reported that he had contracted for three new cisterns, – one of two hundred barrels near John Harter's, one of three hundred barrels on the corner of Beau and Main Streets, and one of two hundred barrels on the corner of Main and Maiden Streets. On the 19th of May, 1874, the commissioners of the county met with the Council of the borough, and offered them one thousand dollars for the purpose of building one or more cisterns near the county buildings, which offer was accepted. The cisterns were built and completed in May, 1875.
On the 30th of June, 1879, the Council ordered a cistern built near the seminary; and on the 16h of August, 1880, ordered two cisterns built, with a capacity of five hundred barrels each, one near the foundry, the other near the corner of Ruple Alley and West Beau Street.
The present engine-house in the rear of the town hall, on the public square, was built in 1870. The Council accepted plans May 27, 1870, and authorized the burgess to advertise for proposals, which were received June 1st of that year, and contract given to Andrew Brady for seventeen hundred and twenty-five dollars.
On the 20th of September, 1880, the Mechanics' Hook-and-Ladder Company was organized, and a new truck placed under their charge. The company consisted of seventeen members, and was officered as follows: Charles V. Harding, captain; James Curran, first lieutenant; William Blackhurst, second lieutenant. Their rooms are in the engine-house. The three engines, "Good Intent," "Good Will," and "Eagle," all hand-engines, were sold for old iron.
The present property of the Fire Department is the engine-house, steamer, "Little Giant," two hose-reels, fourteen hundred feet of hose; the "Hope" (hand engine), hose-reel, six hundred and fifty feet of hose, hook-and-ladder truck, six ladders, pikes, axes, and drags, the whole under the control of Fire-Marshal John McGuffie.
Town Hall. – The first reference to a town hall in Washington borough is found in a deed made in October, 1839, by the county commissioners to the borough of Washington, in which it is recited that whereas the commissioners of the county on the 21st of June, 1816, did grant to the inhabitants of the borough a certain part of the public square to be used as a market place, and whereas the (then) present commissioners "are about to cause to be erected new public buildings upon the said square, and are desirous of obtaining for the use of the County that part thereof so granted as aforesaid, and upon which the present market-house is built, and Whereas the Citizens of the said Borough in Town Meeting have signified their willingness to relinquish all their right and interest in and to the said ground provided the said Commissioners do grant and convey to the Burgesses and Inhabitants of the said Borough a part or portion of the opposite or southern end of the said square for the purpose of erecting thereon a new Market House and Town Hall;" for which reasons the commissioners "do give and grant unto the Borough and Inhabitants of the said Borough the following part or portion of the public square aforesaid viz – Beginning at a point on the northern edge of _________ alley on a line with the front of the new court house hereafter to be erected, thence north fifty feet, thence west _______ feet to the fence now enclosing the public ground in the rear of the brick building occupied by Samuel Surratt and others, thence South fifty feet to the Northern edge of the said alley and thence along said alley to the place of beginning for and in exchange of and for all the rights and interest of the said Borough in and to that part of the public square upon which the present market house is erected, and the said Burgesses and Inhabitants of the said Borough have likewise on their part given and granted and by these presents do fully freely and absolutely give and grant unto the said Commissioners for the use of the County all that part of portion of the public square now occupied as a market place and all their right and interest in the same by virtue of the within instrument aforementioned. To Have and to Hold the said parts or portions of the said public square so as aforesaid exchanged unto the said Burgesses and Inhabitants of the said Borough and unto the Commissioners and their successors forever. Provided always nevertheless that the said Burgesses and Inhabitants aforesaid are to use and enjoy the said ground hereby granted and exchanged for a market place and for the creation of a market house and Town Hall and for no other purpose whatsoever."
It will be seen by this deed that a part of the public square was leased to the borough on which to build a market-house in 1816, and this deed was an exchange of location on the public square by reason of the proposed erection of a new court-house. On this land so exchanged the borough erected a market fronting the alley, and the old one then standing where the sheriff's house now stands was sold. On the 3d of March, 1842, the borough of Washington purchased the old brick buildings on the public square for $360. Two days later the commissioner of the county resolved to deduct thirty-three per cent of the purchase money of above buildings "in consideration of erecting an engine-house on the public square, which was afterwards built in the rear of the market-house. On the 5th of May, 1842, the commissioners "granted, bargained, and sold" to the borough of Washington the lot on which the public offices stood, as is shown by the record of the commissioners of that date, viz.: "All the public ground on the public square lying south of a line commencing at the curbstone on Main Street, nine feet south of the new court-house, and running west until it strikes a lot of Mr. Smith, late the property of William Hunter, deceased. In consideration of said grant the burgesses and inhabitants aforesaid agree to erect a town hall on said ground, otherwise the conveyance to be inoperative and of no effect, . . . as per deed dated and concluded on May 5, 1842, and recorded."
The Council of the borough of Washington, on the 23d of March, 1843, appointed a committee, consisting of Robert Officer, John S. Brady, and Thomas McGriffin, to report a plan and probable cost of a town hall, which committee made a report which was accepted. A plan was presented by Mr. Erret and adopted by the Council. An article published in the Examiner two days later says, "About eight or ten months since at a meeting of citizens nineteen-twentieths of the people who acted declared in favor of the erection of a hall. A disagreement as to the mode of raising money had sprung up. One proposition was to procure the passage of an act to empower the Council to borrow money, the other was by direct taxation. The Council called another meeting of the citizens, but before the meeting was held the committee reported a plan to the Council which was adopted. At the meeting held the 6th of May, in response to the call mentioned above, the citizens refused to sanction any method of raising money, and the project for a town hall was laid over indefinitely."
No further effort towards the erection of a town hall was made until 1868. The commissioners of the county on the 4th of May in that year requested the Borough Council of Washington to remove the market-house and council chamber from the public square. On the 19th of May a committee of the Borough Council met with the commissioners to discuss the question of tearing down and removing the public buildings of the borough on the public square of the county, and the erection of a new engine building, with council chamber, town hall, etc. No definite conclusion was reached, and on the 16th of November, 1868, at a meeting of the Council, it was resolved that the citizens be called "to take into consideration the erection of a public building for a town hall and engine-house." On the 22d of December of the same year the generous offer of Dr. F. J. LeMoyne was made to donate "from five to ten thousand dollars for a public library, provided the borough put up suitable buildings." The question was then discussed as to the propriety of erecting a town hall with rooms for the above purpose. On the 5th of January, 1869, the commissioners conferred with a committee from the Council on the subject. The following is from their records:
"This evening was appointed for a meeting with a committee from the Borough Council to confer in regard to the erection of a town hall, engine-house, and council chamber on the public square. Committee from the Council, Messrs. John McElroy and Samuel Hazlett, D. S. Wilson, Esq., attorney for the commissioners, being present, stated that if the borough could satisfy the county the above erections would subserve a public benefit in the way of protecting the public buildings, then the commissioners might safely ask the Legislature to confer upon them the right to grant the ground for the purposes of the above buildings. And it was therefore agreed by the commissioners if the borough would erect such buildings as would meet their approval, they the commissioners would join with the Borough Council in a prayer to the Legislature to confer upon them (the commissioners) the power to grant or lease so much of the southeastern portion of the public square to the borough for the term of not less than fifty years for the purpose of erecting the said buildings."
At a meeting of citizens held at the court-house, Jan. 15, 1869, the subject was thoroughly discussed and considered favorably. On the 18th of January the Council ordered a special election to be held on the 2d of February, the result of which is shown by the following resolution of the Council on the 15th of February: "Whereas, an election of the citizens of Washington was held on Tuesday, the 2d day of February, 1869, to decide the erection of a town hall, said election resulted in a vote of eighty-nine majority to erect said building; therefore, resolved, a committee, consisting of three persons, viz., J. D. Boyle, John McElroy, and T. Hazlett, was appointed to meet and arrange with the commissioners of Washington County for a lease of sufficient ground on the public square upon which to erect said building."
On the 18th of January, J. D. Boyle, chief burgess, and Samuel Hazlett were appointed a committee to obtain plans and specifications for a town hall and submit them to the Council. This committee procured plans and specifications from Joseph Kerr, an architect, of Pittsburgh, which were approved. The committee appointed to meet the reported that it was decided to ask the Legislature for the passage of an act authorizing the commissioners to lease a portion of the public grounds to the borough of Washington on which to erect a town hall, to be used as a post-office, and for other purposes. A petition was so presented to the Legislature, and an act passed to that effect (approved Feb. 16, 1869). On the next day (February 17th) an act was passed "authorizing the borough of Washington to borrow a sum of money not to exceed thirty thousand dollars, to be applied to the erection of a town hall in said borough upon the ground leased by the commissioners of Washington County to said borough of Washington for that purpose." The lease was made, and on the 5th of May, 1869, the chief burgess was authorized to advertise for proposals to furnish four hundred thousand bricks, and to sell the old market-house at auction. On the 17th of February, 1869, Messrs. John Boyle, James McElroy, and Samuel Hazlett, committee on town hall building, reported that "it was agreed by the commissioners that the said building should be placed at the distance of twenty-six feet from the south side of the Court-House. . . . Agreed, that no Market-House, Rooms, or Stalls shall be connected with the said Town Hall building, or be erected upon any part of the Public Square. . . . It was also agreed that the county would lease to the borough fifty by one hundred feet for the term of fifty years for the purpose of erecting the said buildings, or so much less of the Southeastern part of the Public Square as may be occupied by said building. . . . It was further agreed that the commissioners would approve a Building which should cost from twenty to thirty thousand dollars, and be of modern style of architecture." The lease was made by the commissioners March 12, 1869.
The following action was taken by the commissioners on the 2d of March 1869:
"It was agreed by Commissioners McLean and Kerr to appropriate Eight Hundred dollars to the Borough for the purpose of putting a Slate roof on the Town Hall buildings. This appropriation is made in consideration of the said Town Hall building containing Engine Rooms in which Engines are to be kept, thereby affording protection to the Court-House and other County property, and for the further reason that the erection of said Town Hall Building the County will be saved the expense of erecting an iron fence upon that part of the public square occupied by said Buildings, which said fence is supposed to cost about the Eight Hundred Dollars appropriated, and, finally, for the reason that the erection of the Town Hall on the Public Square will save the County Room in wear and tear in the way of public meetings to the amount of some three hundred dollars annually."
The proposals were received by the Council and opened May 12th. The contract for the bricks was awarded to Andrew Ford. On the 9th of August, 1869, the contract for the brick- and stone-work was awarded to Andrew Brady, the carpenter-work to J. N. Porter, and the tin-work to Jesse Jordan. On the 18th of September, 1869, the corner-stone was laid by President Grant, with imposing Masonic ceremonies. In the corner-stone was deposited a box containing many articles of local and national interest. The work was carried forward from this time with rapidity, and on the 1st of April, 1870, the post-office was removed to the new quarters by William C. Wylie, postmaster. The Council met for the first time in the council chamber on the 5th of August, 1870. The funds for the erection of the building were disbursed by Samuel Hazlett, who paid out $31,518.51, that being the total cost. The building is fifty-six feet on Main Street, and extends back one hundred feet on Cherry Alley, with a basement under the whole building. An office in the southeast corner of the basement is occupied by the Western Union Telegraph Company. The first floor is occupied by the post-office, reading- and library-room, with a fire-proof vault and an engine-house. The second floor contains an audience-room (with a capacity for seating one thousand persons) and a council chamber.
Post-Office and Postmasters. – By the Postmaster-General's report of 1792 it is shown that there were then no post-offices in the county. A list of letters was advertised in the columns of the Western Telegraphe some time before the name of the postmaster who signed to it. It is ascertained from an assessment-roll of 1796 that Gabriel Blakeney was assessed in that year as store-keeper and postmaster. As far as is known, he has the honor of being the first postmaster of Washington. Mr. Blakeney retired from business in that year, having advertised to close business, and calling for settlement in December, 1795. He was succeeded by William Meetkirke, whose name as postmaster appears with the list of advertised letters, Oct. 2, 1797. It is evident that David Moore became his successor, but at what time is not known. The assessment-roll of 1803 contains the name of Daniel Moore as merchant and postmaster, and also Hugh Wylie, merchant and postmaster. It would seem from this that in the early part of the year Daniel Moore was in office, and Hugh Wylie the latter part; each one assessed the same. Hugh Wylie remained postmaster until 1828, keeping the office where J. Shan Margerum's store now is. He was succeeded by Joseph Henderson, who kept the office on the Round Corner, where James C. Acheson's store now is. He was succeeded the next year, 1829, by Thomas Morgan, who kept a store first in a house now occupied by Mrs. Swan, and later moved to the property long known as the Globe Inn, and in that part of it now occupied by Dr. Kaine's office. In 1839 he was succeeded by Samuel Workman, who kept the office where Patrick J. Finn now keeps a store. In 1840, Robert Colmery was appointed. During the first part of his term the office was kept in an old building where Smith's store now stands, and later was moved to the old log (weatherboarded) building which stood on the site of Washington Savings-Bank building. On the 1st of April, 1845, Jonathan D. Leet succeeded him, and held the position till March, 1850, when he was superseded by James McDermott, who moved the office to the house now occupied by Homer Seamon. At the close of his term David Acheson was appointed, and held the office four years. Feb. 17, 1857, George W. Aiken was appointed, and retained his position until Aug. 1, 1858, when Freeman Brady took possession. He remained until the spring of 1861, when James McDermott was again appointed.
During the terms of Acheson, Aiken, Brady, and a part of McDermott's the office was kept in the building where the savings-bank now is. The remainder of McDermott's term the office was kept on the spot where Samuel Templeton's residence now stands. Aug. 4, 1865, William C. Wylie was appointed postmaster, and still holds the position. During his term the office was first kept where Morgan & Hargreaves' store now is. The building was burned Feb. 2, 1866, and the office was removed to the building now occupied by Gen. John Hall, where it remained one year, and was again removed to a building of Mr. John Lockhart's, now occupied by H. M. Seaman as a jewelry-store, and on the 15th of April, 1870, was removed to the present office in the town hall.
The Press of Washington. – The Western Telegraphe and Washington Advertiser, an ultra-Federalist journal printed at Washington, was the first paper ever published in Washington County. The editors and proprietors were John Colerick, William Hunter, and W. H. Beaumont. The first number was issued on the 17th of August, 1795, having for its motto, "Free, but not licentious." The office was in a building nearly opposite the market-house, which then stood on the northeast corner of the public square. About the same time the firm opened a book-store, and on the 5th of January, 1796, advertised that they "have completed the necessary arrangements for carrying on the book-binding business, and that they are preparing to put a spelling-book to press." In the same month they published "Mrs. Barbauld's Lessons." The following are works the firm soon after published: June 28th, "a new Spelling-Book is this day published by Colerick, Hunter & Beaumont, Price, one quarter of a dollar; Dilworth's Spelling-Book Improved." October 8th, "The New England Primer." January, 1797, "Beveridge's Private Thoughts." May, 1797, "The Gentleman's Pocket Farrier, Price 20 cents." On the 17th of May, 1797, the firm dissolved, John Colerick continuing the publication. On the 6th of June William Hunter and W. H. Beaumont advertised in the columns of the Telegraphe and Advertiser that they had been invited to establish a newspaper in Washington, Ky., and that they intended to commence a newspaper "on a Royal Sheet in folio." The Telegraphe was continued by Colerick until about 1807-8. In the assessment-roll of 1808-9 the name of Alexander Armstrong appears assessed as a printer and editor of the Western Telegraphe. How much longer the paper existed is not known. The Reporter of Aug. 12, 1811, refers to "the piece over the signature of 'an Old seventy-sixer' published in the Federal paper of this town of Thursday last." It is evident that at this time the paper was still published. The only copies of this paper now known to exist are in possession of Judge A. W. Acheson, and extend from Aug. 24, 1795, to the latter part of 1797.
The Herald of Liberty, established by John Israel, was published in Washington, and the first issue of the paper appeared on the 6th of February, 1798, bearing the motto, "Man is man, and who is more?" The office was in a building opposite the court-house. The paper was a four-column folio, eleven by seventeen inches in size. It continued until the paper reached No. 45. That number and Nos. 46 and 47 were reduced in size to eight by thirteen inches, as the publishers stated, "by reason of the scarcity of paper;" with No. 48 the paper resumed its original size. On the 11th of February, 1799, Vol. II., No. 59, appeared with a new heading. On the 12th of February the same year there was published from the Herald of Liberty office "A Dose for Federalists, or the Letters of Curtius, together with a pill for Democrats vulgarly called the Alien and Sedition Laws. Price an eleven-penny-bit." There was also published, June 12, 1799, "A Defense of Believers' Baptism, with a reply to the arguments made use of against it in a public dispute held at Georges Creek, Fayette County, Sept. 29, 17978, between Rev. V. Cook, Methodist preacher, and John Corbley, pastor of the Baptist Church, Muddy Creek, Greene County." At the time of the change of heading in February, 1799, Mr. Israel gave his circulation as "now 1296 papers weekly and list increasing." On the 25th of November the same year there was published "A Touch at the Times, price 6 cents;" and April 4, 1800, "An Introduction to English Grammar designed for teh use of Schools." On the 7th of July, 1800, the editor, John Israel, made proposals "For publishing a weekly newspaper in the Borough of Pittsburgh entitled the Tree of Liberty by John Israel & Co. To commence the 16th of August." The Herald was to be continued under the same management. The Tree of Liberty was commenced as proposed. In February, 1801, the office was removed "to the house formerly occupied by Daniel Moore, Esq., at the corner of Market and Belle Streets" (now Main and Wheeling). It is not known how long the Herald was continued. The only known copies are in one volume now in possession of Judge A. W. Acheson. It commences May 14, 1798, No. 15, and is continuous to Vol. IV., No. 206, dated January 18, 1802.
The Washington Reporter. – It is stated that in the year 1808, when William Sample was passing through the town of Washington with the fixtures of a printing-office, intending to locate further west, he was persuaded to remain in Washington and establish a paper. An office was procured in "The Swan," corner of Market and Belle Streets (now the Valentine House), and on the 15th of August in that year the first number of the Washington Reporter, 11 ½ by 18 inches in size, was issued by William Sample and B. Brown (brothers-in-law). On the 10th of April, the next year, the office was removed from "The Swan" to the first door below the post-office in Main Street, and in April, 1810, moved to the northeast corner of Cherry Alley, on Main Street, near the court-house, it being "the mansion house of David Redick, deceased," and in April, 1811, again moved to the house "next door south of Samuel Shannon, Esq., and one door north of Hugh Workman's, on Main Street, third square south of the court-house." At this place the office remained until March, 1813, when it was moved to the fourth square south of the court-house, and on the 1st of January, 1816, was moved back to its previous quarters, where it remained till after 1823.
On the 9th of February, 1810, the firm of Brown & Sample was dissolved, Brown retiring, and Sample remaining editor till his appointment as prothonotary in 1819, when on the 31st of May in that year he was succeeded by Samuel Workman, who commenced a new series, Vol. I., No. 1. At the expiration of Mr. Sample's term as prothonotary in May, 1821, he again became the editor and assumed the management, which he retained till 1833, when he sold out to B. S. Stewart and George W. Acheson, and removed West.1 In 1835 the above firm closed out their interests to John Ramsey and S. B. Robinson, who published the paper until the 1st of November, 1836, when Uriah W. Wise became the proprietor. At this time the paper was a six-column folio, 17 by 22 inches in size. On the 6th of November, 1839, John Bausman purchased the paper and commenced its publication, changing it from six columns to seven. By him it was continued till April 22, 1848, when John W. F. White became associated with him. This partnership continued till Feb. 16, 1852, when Mr. White retired, and on the 16th of February, 1856, James G. and Robert Strean became the proprietors. The paper was continued two years under this management until 1858, when on the consolidation of the Commonwealth (then owned by William Moore and E. L. Christman) with this paper the firm-name was changed to Moore, Strean & Co. Mr. Christman retained his interest, but retired from its active duties. On the 28th of March, 1860, Robert F. Strean retired, and the Washington Tribune became consolidated with it (then owned by H. A. Purviance and James Armstrong). The firm was then known as Moore, Purviance & Armstrong.
1 William Sample in 1812 was captain of the Washington Light Infantry, and commanded a company in the war. He married Margaret, daughter of Hugh Workman, by whom he had four sons, – David, Workman, William, and Samuel. David emigrated South and died there. Workman married here and lived for a time, emigrated West, and later settled in Keokuk, Iowa, where he became mayor of the city, and died there. William emigrated to Natchez, Miss., where he lived and died. His wife, Margaret, died in Washington, after which he married Jane, daughter of James Blaine and sister of Ephraim L. Blaine, by whom he had two daughters. After the sale of the Reporter in 1833 he removed to Fort Madison, Iowa, taking with him his youngest son, Samuel, and his daughters, Sarah J. and Margaret. William Workman and Workman Hughes, of Washington, are his nephews.
In 1860 a campaign paper was published at the office, called The Maul and Wedge, which did active duty for Lincoln and Hamlin. During the war three of the proprietors – Col. H. A. Purviance, Col. James Armstrong, and Maj. E. L. Christman – were in the army. Upon the death of Col. Purviance, the paper was published by Moore & Armstrong from Nov. 11, 1863, to Nov. 20, 1867, when Col. James Armstrong retired, and James McWilliams succeeded to his interest and remained till Feb. 11, 1869, when his interest was purchased by James W. Kelly. On the 16th of April, 1873, E. L. Christman returned and took charge with Mr. Moore, the interest of Mr. Kelly being absorbed in the new arrangement. Under this firm The Daily Reporter was established, and issued, the first number Aug. 4, 1876, four columns folio, eleven by fifteen inches in size. Upon the retirement of Mr. Moore, Oct. 22, 1877, Alexander M. Gow purchased the interest, and the firm-name became Gow & Christman, by whom the business is still continued.
From 1852 to 1858 the office of the Reporter was in a building now occupied by Dr. James R. Kelly, opposite the Fulton House stables. In 1858, after the consolidation with the Commonwealth, the office was moved to the Mounts building, opposite the old Bradford stone house, and in 1861 it was removed to the present quarters in Strean's building.
The Western Missionary Magazine, published in Washington, Pa., was commenced in 1802, and continued till 1806. Nothing more is known of it.
The Western Corrector. No copies of this paper are known to be in existence. The first proof of its publication is that in the year 1809, Thomas Thompson was assessed as editor of The Western Corrector. In the year 1811 handbills were printed at the office of The Western Corrector, at Washington, Pa., for David Redick, advertising lands in Beaver County.
The Washingtonian, a weekly newspaper, was established at Washington, Pa., in 1812, the first number being issued Tuesday, December 15th, in that year, having for its motto, "The minority possess their equal rights which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppressive. Jefferson." It was a four-column folio, twelve by seventeen and a half inches in size, and published at two dollars per annum, by James A. Bayard, Jr., editor. The office was in Market Street, nearly opposite the recorder's office. One and a half columns of the first page were devoted to the prospectus, and the remainder was filled with a report of national legislative proceedings. It also contains the official report (dated Nov. 24, 1812) of Capt. James Jones, of the sloop-of-war "Wasp," of the capture of his vessel. There is no local news, and but one column is devoted to local advertisements. How long it continued is not known. The only copy known to be in existence is the one mentioned, and is in the possession of Alexander Hart, of the Washington Democrat.
The Mercury was published about 1812. No information is obtained of its history, and its existence is only known by mention in contemporary papers.
In the year 1811 an advertisement appeared in the local papers for proposals for publishing by subscription, at Washington, Pa., a literary periodical work, entitled "The Washington Museum," under the patronage of a society of gentlemen, sixteen pages octavo, weekly, price $3 per annum, under the management of William Baird, editor. No further notice of it is found.
The Western Register, a magazine, was published by Robert Fee, from the office of the Reporter, in the winter of 1816-17. A year or two later he removed to Fayette County and commenced the publication of the magazine in Uniontown, where he continued till after 1823.
The Washington Examiner, John Grayson editor and proprietor, was first issued (ten by eighteen and a quarter inches in size) May 28, 1817. The causes that operated to bring about the establishment of this paper in Washington are explained by Mr. Grayson, as follows: “My acquaintance in the city of Philadelphia among young men who espoused the Democratic-Republican cause being pretty extensive to some of them my desires were freely communicated as to my preference for a country residence. Hence, very early in the spring of 1817 (it was soon after the 4th of March, when William Findlay was nominated as the Democratic candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania at the ensuing election by the Democratic convention, which had just adjourned), a friend in that city wrote to me that a Democratic paper was about to be started in Washington, Pa, for the purpose of supporting Mr. Findlay’s election, and that an editor was wanted to take charge of it. From this information a correspondence commenced between George Baird and myself which led to the establishment of the Examiner; went immediately from Baltimore to the city of Philadelphia, where I purchased type, presses, and other materials on my own responsibility, with the endorsement of the late William Brown, of that city; forwarded them forthwith to Washington, Pa.; came myself by stage-coach, arriving on May 10, 1817, and issued the first number of the Examiner on the 28th of that month. One fact may be mentioned, that in issuing the first number of the Examiner my subscription amounted to 400.”
The paper was first printed in an old frame building on Maiden Street, which occupied the site on which the brick Masonic Hall was afterwards erected. Mr. Grayson remained sole proprietor until Nov. 18, 1833, when William Jack became interested with him, and remained until May 14, 1836 when he retired, and the paper was continued by Mr. Grayson until May 18, 1839, when he retired from the active duties, and his son, Thomas W. became associated with him, under the firm-name of Thomas W. Grayson & Co. This continued until June 25, 1842, when John Grayson sold out his interest to C. W. Kaine, who then owned Our Country, and in September of the same year James B. Ruple purchased the interest of Mr. Kaine. On the 18th November, 1848, Mr. Ruple retired, and Mr. Andrew Hopkins became the owner of his interest. Under this management the paper was changed to seven columns, and the size increased to nineteen and a half by twenty-five inches. Mr. Hopkins sold to George S. Hart, May 2, 1853, and he to Adam Ecker on the 20th of December, 1856. The firm remained Grayson & Ecker until Dec. 29, 2859, when Thomas W. Grayson, after twenty-one and a half years’ services as editor, sold his interest in the Examiner to John R. Donahoo, by whom it was continued with Mr. Ecker some time, and Donahoo sold to D. F. Patterson. On the 4th of October, 1865, the Examiner became consolidated with the Review, under the firm-name of Swan & Ecker, and the paper was published as Review and Examiner, and is still continued under that name.
Thomas W. Grayson, on the 28th of May, 1857, and the fortieth anniversary of the Examiner, says, “The paper was first printed in an old frame building on Maiden Street, in this place, and which occupied the site on which the first Masonic lodge was afterwards erected [now owned and occupied by Mrs. John Bausman]. The old frame building now stands on a lot belonging to the heirs of John Philips, deceased, near the west end of the same street [now owned by Chares Hays & Co.].” He further says, “For weeks in succession the then editor of the Examiner would collect a small amount, and with it repair to Redstone paper-mill, in Fayette County, purchase the necessary material, return home after making a forced journey during the whole of the night, go to work and help out with the paper the same week.” The paper did not remain long on Maiden Street, as the issue of July 9, 1817, says the office was removed into Main Street, second door below the sign of “The Buck.” On the 1st of April, 1818, it was removed to No. 5, over the market-house, second door fronting on Beau Street. Here the office remained till April 28, 1827, when it was removed to the Old Lodge building, a short distance below the “Buck” tavern on the east side of Main Street, and in the rear of the old Grayson House. For a period of forty-one years the Washington Examiner was published by John Grayson, succeeded by his son, Thomas W. Grayson.
Our Country was established in Washington by Thomas J. Morgan. The first number was issued on the 6th of June 1835. It was a six-column folio, fifteen and a half by twenty inches in size, Democratic in politics and hoisted in the first number of the name of Martin Van Buren for President and Henry A. Muhlenburg for Governor. Upon the breaking out of the Texan war, and on the 8th of September, 1836, Thomas J. Morgan, in an editorial, announced that during his absence on duty in the field, his brother, William D. Morgan, would have the editorial care of the paper. This arrangement continued for some time. In 1842 the paper was in possession of C. W. Kaine, by whom it was consolidated with the Examiner.
On the 23rd of May, 1835, T. W. Haynes advertised that he proposed “to publish a monthly in pamphlet form, a literary newspaper, monthly, at one dollar per annum, from the office of the Examiner, styled the Western Pennsylvanian.”
The Washington Patriot was established in 1843, by Dr. F. Julius Le Moyne, as an advocate of Abolition principles, under the editorial management of Russell Errett. It was successful for a few years, and afterwards died out and was discontinued.
The Commonwealth was established by Seth T. Hurd, May, 1848, in the interest of the Whig party. It was continued by him till 1851, when he sold a one-half interest to George C. Stough, of Berks County, and soon after the other half-interest. In November of the next year E. L. Christman, of Chester County, Pa., purchased a half-interest. This partnership continued until the death of Mr. Stough in December, 1855. His interest was then purchased by Joseph S. Clokey. Under this firm the paper espoused the cause of the Republican party, and continued till February, 1857, when the interest of Mr. Clokey was sold to the Hon. William S. Moore. The paper was continued by Moore & Christman until April 1, 1858, when it was consolidated with the Washington Reporter, and published by Strean, Moore & Co. as the Washington Reporter. The office of the paper was first in Oak Hall, a tavern stand where Smith’s store now stands. After 1857 it was removed to Mount’s building, and was there published, both as the Commonwealth and the Reporter, until the removal to the present Reporter office.
The Washington Weekly Review was first published Oct. 9, 1851, by William Swan and ---- Ritezel. It was an eight-column paper, twenty by twenty-six inches in size, and in the interest of the Democratic party. During the year 1853, while Mr. Swan was on a tour to California, Mr. Ritezel was assisted in the editorial management by Barnet W. Lacy. In June, 1854, Ritezel retired, and Mr. Swan became sole proprietor and editor, and so remained until the consolidation with the Washington Examiner, October 4, 1865, when Mr. Swan became one of the editors o the Review and Examiner, and continued till his death, in October, 1876.
The Tribune was established by John Bausman, in 1856, as an exponent of Republican principles, and afterwards passed to Col. H. A. Purviance and Col. James Armstrong, and by them was continued till the consolidation with the Reporter, March 28, 1860. It was printed first where George Driver now lives, near Templeton’s drug-store, and later near he present office of the Reporter.
The Review and Examiner was established by the consolidation of the Washington Review and the Washington Examiner, Oct. 4, 1865, and was published by William Swan and Adam H. Ecker. The paper retained the size of the Review, eight columns, twenty by twenty-six inches, and so continued till the 30th of September, 1868, when it was enlarged to nine columns and twenty-one by twenty-seven inches. The office was in the southeast corner of the public square directly opposite the post-office at that time, where Hastings’ hardware-store now is. The paper was continued by Swan & Ecker until the death of Mr. Swan, in October, 1876. It was continued by Mr. Ecker until Jan. 31, 1877, when it was purchased by Andrew Hopkins, who soon after sold a one-half interest to W. C. Lyne, who remained about a year and sold his interest to Mr. Hopkins, Jan. 31, 1878, and continued sole proprietor till his death, March 5, 1880. The management of the estate of Mr. Hopkins devolved upon James H. Hopkins of Pittsburgh. J. M. Cooper, of Chambersburg, assumed the editorial management of the paper for the heirs on the 7th of April, 1880, and continued in charge until the sale of the Review and Examiner, Feb. 1, 1881, to John M. Stockdale, by whom it is still owned and edited. The office is now on Beau Street, east of Main.
The Washington Observer.---In October, 1871, the Advance was started as a monthly by H. C. Durant and M. A. Cooper. On the 1st of January, 1872, it was changed to a weekly. Mr. Cooper soon after retired, Erasmus Wilson, of Barnesville, Ohio, purchasing his interest, and on the 25th of April, the same year, Mr. Wilson purchased the interest of Durant. It was continued by Mr. Wilson till Sept. 5, 1872, when M. A. Cooper, one of the original proprietors, purchased a half-interest. The paper continued in the hands of these parties until about Jan. 1, 1873, when Mr. Wilson retired, and Mr. Cooper continued till the 1st of October, the same year, when B. F. Hasson, of Washington, purchased a half-interest. About the 1st of January following, Mr. Hasson purchased Mr. Cooper’s interest and continued the publication under the name of the Advance until March 4, 1874, when the name was changed to the Washington Observer. April 21, 1876, Harry J. Shellman bought a half-interest and on 29th September, the same year, sold to C. M. Campbell. On the 17th of October, 1879, J. S. Stocking and E. T. Acheson purchased the paper, and have continued publication till the present.
The paper was first printed in the building owned by John A. Best, on the corner of Main and Walnut Streets, and in 1872 the office was removed to Boyle’s building, opposite the court-house. In 1874, it was removed to the Forrest building, on North Main Street, and in 1875 to its present office in Phoenix Row, on North Main Street.
The Washington Democrat.---This journal, as its name suggests, is a Democratic paper. It was established in the spring of 1878 by A. H. Ecker, Esq., the initial number being dated April 3, 1878. From the first it has been issued weekly (every Wednesday) from the office, on West Beau Street near Main, Washington, Pa. The size of the sheet is twenty-nine by forty-four inches. The Democrat was conducted by its founder until the death of that gentleman on the 28th of February, 1881, and then for the benefit of his family until the 11th of June, 1881, when it was purchased by Alexander Hart and John P. Charlton, associated as Hart & Charlton, who still own and issue the paper. Its present circulation is twenty-one hundred copies per week.
The First Presbyterian Church [1Contributed by the pastor, the Rev. James L. Brownson, D. D.]---Previous to the organization of the Presbyterian Church at Washington, Pa., 1793, the Presbyterians of the town and vicinity worshiped mainly with the church of Chartiers, near Canonsburg, which from 1775 until 1830 was under the pastoral care of the Rev. John McMillan, D. D., the first pastor west of the Alleghenies. The first notice of preaching in the town, found in the minutes of the old Presbytery of Redstone--itself also formed in 1781, and now known as the mother of Western churches and presbyteries,--is the application, Dec. 20, 1785, for the stated labors of Alexander Addison, then a licentiate of the Presbytery of Aberlow, Scotland, but afterwards a distinguished attorney, and the no less distinguished president judge of the district composed of the western counties of Pennsylvania, under the Constitution of 1790. The Presbytery of Ohio, embracing Washington, was organized out of a portion of Redstone in 1793, and in April following, “the congregation of Washington having represented to Presbytery that they had entered into an agreement with Mr. James Welsh, a licentiate under the care of the Presbytery of Transylvania, as stated supply for some time, the Presbytery heartily concurred therewith.” Mr. Welsh continued his services for about a year, after which, as before, only occasional preaching was enjoyed from members of Presbytery and from traveling ministers. The names of the Rev. Messrs. Dodd, Mercer, Anderson, and Potter have come down in this connection, besides that of the Rev. Thomas Leslie Birch, who was the occasion of strife and alienation.
Thus it is plain that there was some sort of organization as early as 1785, yet the joint testimony of surviving witnesses and of general tradition is adverse to the supposition that there was a regular church prior to the winter of 1793-94. Then, in connection with the procurement of Mr. Welsh’s services as stated supply, the following four ruling elders were, after election by the people, duly set apart to office under the sanction of the Presbytery, and became the original session of the church, viz.: Andrew Swearingen, Joseph Wherry, Robert Stockton, and William McCombs. Simultaneous with the formal organization in 1793, and amidst the throes of the great “Western Insurrection,” was the election of the “Stone Academy,” under a charter secured seven years before, which still stands as the central structure of the “old college,” and a monument of history. For twelve years, besides its chief use for thorough training in classical literature, its hall furnished a comfortable place of worship for the first congregation of the town whereof we now write.
The Rev. Matthew Brown, D. D., so well known afterwards as a distinguished minister and educator, was installed as the first pastor Oct. 16, 1805. He was a son of Dickinson College, and for several years had been pastor of the church of Mifflin, Pa. He was simultaneously called to be the principal of the Washington Academy. In the following year, 1806, he was a chief agent in procuring by special charter, the transformation of the academy into Washington College, and thereafter for ten years served with distinguished success as its first president. He continued as pastor of the church six years longer, until Sept. 25, 1822, when he accepted the presidency of Jefferson College at Canonsburg.
One of the first movements of this energetic pastor was the effort to secure a permanent house of worship. The building was begun in the autumn of 1805 upon two lots in the southwestern part of the town, one of which was purchased from William Sherrard for five pounds, and the other from Andrew Swearingen, executor of the estate of Van Swearingen, for twenty dollars, the titles being made to Joseph Wherry, John Simonson, Parker Campbell, Hugh Wilson, and Daniel Moore, as trustees. The last two named gentlemen were Baptists in their convictions, but acted with the Presbyterian Church until the time came for the establishment of one of their own. The walls of the church at the height of a few feet stood over winter, and were completed and covered the following summer. It was a brick building of seventy by fifty-five feet in dimension, capable of seating five hundred persons. It was used for several years with unflustered walls, and without either pulpit or pews or permanent floor, for the lack of funds to complete it. Its original cost was about three thousand dollars. The first administration of the Lord’s Supper in it took place in June, 1807. It was occupied for the last time as a sanctuary on Sabbath, Sept. 7, 1851, when a commemorative discourse was preached by the present pastor from Psalm xlviii. 9: “We have thought of thy loving kindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple.” That building, having since been occupied for manufacturing purposes by the enterprising firm of S. B. & C. Hayes for thirty years, still stands among the most solid structures in the town.
The ministry of Dr. Brown was able, evangelical, and earnest. Through his efforts the congregation was thoroughly organized and greatly enlarged. The average of additions from 1810, when regular reports began to be made to Presbytery, until the end of his pastorate was fifteen per annum. The number of communicants at the time of his resignation, subtracting deaths and removals, was two hundred. Several seasons of special grace crowned his labors. That of the year 1811 was marked with great power, and started hallowed influences whose streams still flow. During his term of service James Brice, Josiah Scott, William Sherrard, Hugh Wylie, Thomas Stockton, Thomas Officer, Robert Johnston, Thomas Fergus, Obadiah Jennings, James Orr, and Dr. John Wishart were added to the session.
The Rev. Obadiah Jennings, D. D., formerly, as just stated, a ruling elder in the church, as well as a distinguished lawyer, and afterwards, by holy consecration, a minister of the gospel and pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Steubenville, Ohio, succeeded Dr. Brown in the pastorate in October, 1823, by a unanimous election. After a faithful service of nearly five years, he resigned the charge in 1828, in order to accept a call from Nashville, Tenn., where he died in honor in 1832. He was greatly beloved both as a pastor and a man, and his fragrant memory still abides, to the honor of Christ and the gospel. He was also an accepted leader in the public affairs of the church, and a master in debate. During his incumbency Messrs. Charles Hawkins, Robert Colmery, Jacob Slagle, Robert Officer, Adam Wier, and Alexander Ramsey were ordained as ruling elders. A spirit of religious inquiry manifested itself in the congregation shortly after Dr. Jennings had announced his purpose to remove, and too late, as he thought, for its recall. It developed into a precious revival, which extended many months after his actual departure, and resulted in a large spiritual increase. At the very time of his dismissal thirty-five additions to the church of profession of faith were reported for the year then closed, and the next year added fifty more. Through these happy months the pulpit was supplied by a nephew of the late pastor, the Rev. Samuel C. Jennings, now the venerable Dr. Jennings, of the Pittsburgh Presbytery, who lingers beyond fourscore years, waiting for the crown so sure to follow a devoted and useful life.
In the summer of 1829, a call was tendered to the Rev. David Elliott, D. D., of Mercersburg, Pa., which was accepted. He entered with the zeal and force of his high character upon this charge , in the forty-second year of his age and eighteenth of his ministry. He remained in it with the strongest mutual confidence and affection until he was called away by election of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, in 1836, to the chair of theology in the Western Theological Seminary at Allegheny City. Peach, edification, and progress reigned in the congregation during his pastorate of seven years. An annual average of twenty members added on profession of faith and of sixteen on certificate is evidence of the seal of blessing put upon his labors. A powerful work of grace in 1835 brought fifty-one confessors of Christ to the Lord’s table at one time. With faculties wonderfully preserved, and in the exercise of a faith that brightened to the last, he departed this life March 18, 1874, in the eighty-eighth year of his age and sixty-third year of his ministry. He left the church at his resignation with three hundred communicants on its roll. Messrs. Hugh Fergus and Samuel Vance were set apart to the eldership by his hands.
The next period of twelve years following Dr. Elliott’s retirement from the congregation was marked with unusual frequency of change, and yet with the like tokens of stability and growth. Four vigorous, faithful, and honored watchmen stood in succession upon the walls of this Zion within this brief space, whilst during the intervals, making an aggregate of nearly one-third of it, the church was without a pastor. The lack was, however, well supplied, for the most part, by the able services of the Rev. David McConaughy, D. D., then president of Washington College. The pastoral service of the Rev. Daniel Dernelle extended from November, 1837, to October, 1840; that of the Rev. James Smith D. D., from December 1840 to April 1844; that of the Rev. William C. Anderson, D. D., from the early winter following to Jan. 9, 1846; and that of the Rev. John B. Pinney LL.D., from January, 1847, to April 1848. Differing widely in their respective gifts, each of these brethren did important work for Christ in his day, and not one of them was without tokens of a divine blessing upon his labors. Only the last of the four yet lingers on earth, and he is in life’s decline. The people whom they served so well in the gospel have also for the most part passed away. But held in the hands of a covenant-keeping God, the church still lives. It was under the last-named pastor that Messrs. George Baird, Joseph Henderson, James Boon, and Dr. Robert R. Reed were chosen and set apart as rulers in the Lord’s house. At the same time Messrs. John Wilson, Isaac Hewitt, John K. Wilson, and John Grayson, Jr., were made deacons.
The present pastoral relation, dating from Jan. 1, 1849, has at the present writing, January, 1882, completed a period of thirty-three years, or an average human generation. Great changes have occurred in these years. On the present roll of three hundred and ninety-five communicants, only twenty-five remain of the two hundred and seventy-seven who greeted me at my settlement. Of course, also, including the eleven hundred and eighty-eight since received,--six hundred and thirty-nine on profession of faith, and five hundred and forty-nine by certificate from other churches,--one thousand and seventy are embraced in the lists of the deceased and the dismissed for this one generation. In all, fourteen hundred and sixty-five members of the church have sat down at the communion supper under the ministrations of the present pastor. The eleven venerable elders who “ruled well” at the opening of this pastorate have all years ago gone to their glorious reward. Three others, since introduced, have followed them, viz.: Messrs. Isaac Hewitt, James Ewing, and John Wiley. Four more who came into office under the present pastor have removed to other localities or church connections, viz.: J. Wilson Wishart, M.D., Harvey H. Clark, Edward G. Cundall, Jr., and John Hoon. The following seven elders still remain in office, viz.: Thomas McKennan, M.D., James C. Acheson, Thomas McKean, William David, M. Wilson McClane, William Paul and John Vance. The present deacons are John Aiken, George Davis, John B. Miller, Samuel M. Charlton, and George F. McCombs. The trustees of the congregation are John H. Ewing, A. Todd Baird, Alexander M. Brown, James W. McDowell, and Colin M. Reed, Jr. In the past the following gentlemen have filled the office of trustee, not a few of whom have been distinguished in the history of Washington County, and some in that of the State and nation, viz.: Joseph Wherry, John Simonson, Parker Campbell, Hugh Wilson, Daniel Moore, William McKennan, Hugh Wylie, Matthew Dill, Thomas McGiffin, James Orr, George Baird, Dr. John Wishart, Robert Taylor, John Gregg, Thomas Brice, John Mitchell, Isaac Vance, Alexander Gordon, Jacob Slagle, Thomas M. T. McKennan, John Wilson, David Eckert, Isaac Hewitt, Isaac Leet, John Potter, John Grayson, Sr., James Boon, Joseph Henderson, William Hughes, John K. Wilson, John Grayson, Jr., Thomas McKennan, James G. Strean, Thomas McKean, Alexander W. Acheson, Colin M. Reed, Sr., George Morgan, and Alexander Wilson. Only the last nine of these survive. Alexander Reed served as treasurer of the congregation twenty-seven years from 1809; Robert Officer, two years; Henry M. Koontz, five years; Colin M. Reed, Sr., twenty-seven years; and the present occupant, A. Todd Baird, has been in this office since 1869.
Since the present pastorate commenced there have been, besides the ordinary work of the gospel, nine special seasons of grace, followed with ingatherings of new members into the church, varying in number from seventy down to twenty. The face is also recorded with peculiar thankfulness that forty-two young men have been here brought to Christ within the same period, who have since entered the ministry of the gospel, eighteen of whom were sons of this church by birth and training, and the rest students of the college from abroad. In the previous history of the church twenty-nine in like manner first sat down at the table of the Lord here and rose up to preach the unreachable riches of Christ, many in our own land and some on heathen shores. Sixty ministers of the gospel have found their wives in this congregation, thirty-two of them within the thirty-three years now under special review.
During this same period the contributions of the church to objects outside beneficence, through the organized methods, have amounted to $48,849, or $1480.27 per annum. This includes the gifts of the Sabbath-school, and also those of the associations of ladies and of children. For the last ten years the aggregate has been $18,221, and the annual average $1822.10, or about $5 per member. The average per annum, for the same decade, of church expenses, including the pastor’s salary, wages of sexton, repairs, fuel and light, and the support of the Sabbath-school has been $3620. Under the present pastorate there have also been two church elections, both of which have been provided for by special subscriptions; that of 1850-51 cost, in site, building, and furniture, $15,000. The reconstruction of 1868-69, embracing the whole building except the basement, cost $23,500, including furniture and organ. Within the same period, also, two strenuous efforts have been put forth in our midst for the endowment of our college, one in 1853 and the other in 1869, the aggregate amount realized from both being $60,000 or upwards, in which the members of this congregation bore a large proportion of the burden. Through the peculiar skill and energy of the treasurer, Mr. A. T. Baird, the church has for some years been entirely free from debt.
The influence of this church in the training of missionaries deserves fuller mention than our space will allow. Devoted laborers in the frontier destitutions of our own land, and in lands beyond the seas, can be counted by scores who have received there during their educational training at least part of the religious culture which prepared them for their work. More than forty years ago, the Rev. William Hamilton and his wife, Mrs. Julia McGiffin Hamilton, and the Rev. E. McKinney and his wife, carried the blessing of our church with them to the Indians beyond the Missouri, to be followed after a decade by Misses Mary H. McKeon and Flora Lee, who also counted not their lives dear to win souls. Mr. And Mrs. Cornes, who were sent into eternity in an instant by the explosion of a steamer in the harbor of Yokohama while in the prosecution of their work, will not be forgotten. Nor will the names of the sainted Clemens and his wife in Africa, or Dr. and Mrs. McFarland in Siam, or J. M. Alexander, the Newtons, Hull, Graham, and Mr. and Mrs. Ewing in India, Blachford in Brazil, Pitkin in Mexico, Miss Crouch in China, D. F. McFarland in New Mexico, Mrs. A. M. Darley in Southern Colorado, Miss Annie McKeon in Utah, and Misses Garrett and Bousman, formerly among the freedmen of the South, die out of memory. We knew them all here in the fellowship of Christ, and ten of the number, all females but one, were children of our church.
Having already, in compliance with the wishes of the gentleman who asked this paper at my hands, gone far beyond my own first conception as to its length, I am led further by request from the same source to add a sketch of the Sabbath-school connected with this church. This is all the more allowable, inasmuch as this school claims precedence in origin over all others west of the Alleghenies, and only defers in this respect to a few in the whole land. From its formal organization, June 15, 1816, it has come down in unbroken succession until now. The year of its origin stands out prominently in the history of the extensive and powerful revivals of religion, and the consequent large schemes of beneficence and Christian activity, which distinguished the first quarter of the present century. Sabbath-schools as they now exist in this country are generally traced to the labors of the Rev. Mr. May, a missionary from London, who came to Philadelphia in 1811, and organized a model school, giving it his care for a whole winter. Other schools soon followed, and in 1815, 1816, and 1817 they began to multiply in various parts of the country. The school of which we now write is older by eight years than the American Sunday-School Union, and only a month later in origin than the older of the two societies, out of which that Union was formed. But its conception even antedates its organization by more than two years.
A meeting was held in Washing, Feb. 11, 1814, with David Morris, Esq., for its chairman and Dr. John Wishart for its secretary. Its triple purpose was to “provide for the proper administration of the poor laws,” to “discourage the use of spirituous liquors, and to suppress all vice and immorality,” and to “establish and support a Sunday-school for the education of indigent children.” The Rev. Matthew Brown, pastor of the Presbyterian Church, and two of his elders, Obadiah Jennings, Esq., and Dr. John Wishart, were appointed a committee to prepare a constitution for the society. When it came to fulfillment, as we have seen, in 1816, its declared purpose, so far as the Sunday-school was concerned, was “to instruct the children of Washington and vicinity, during the vacant hours of the Sabbath, in reading the Scriptures and other appropriate exercise.” A published report of the “Washington Sunday-School Association” in 1818 speaks of the school as then having been in operation two years, and as having had an average of “one hundred and fifty pupils,” of whom “many have exhibited strong proofs of diligence and excellent capacity.” In form and name it was not at first strictly a denominational school, yet its sessions were held in the Presbyterian Church, and it was supported and managed by Presbyterians. And when, in 1825, the Methodist Episcopal school was established, and others, afterwards, it remained without change as the Presbyterian school.
It was eminently useful from the first, though some in the community thought it needless, and others a profanation of the Sabbath. On the 16th day of July, 1828, chiefly through the agency of this school, a Washington County Sunday-School Union, then only four years in existence, having for its object a general co-operation in this work, and the establishment of new schools throughout the county. It was reorganized in 1830, with the Hon. Thomas H. Baird as its president, and the Rev. Thomas Hoge as its secretary. The vice-presidents were the Revs. Messrs. David Elliott, D. D., Matthew Brown, D. D., Elisha McCurdy, John Brown, and David Limerick. The managers in behalf of the Presbyterian school of Washington were Messrs. Alexander Reed, Thomas M. T. McKennan, and John Wilson. Those for the Methodist school, the only other in town, were Messrs. Phillip Potter and James Ruple. The continuance and fruits of this association are beyond our knowledge.
The first two superintendents of the school were William C. Blair and James Williamson, both students in college. Then followed in succession Charles Hawkins, Peter De Haven, George Baird, Professor John W. Scott, Abner Leonard, Professor J. Holmes Agnew, William McCowles, John McClintock, Henry Williams, and James D. Mason. This brings us down to October 29,1838, when Dr. Robert R. Reed entered upon this charge with the trepidation so characteristic of his modest spirit, but with the fine intelligence, quick movement, genial manner, and Christian consecration which made him a centre of attraction and power alike to teachers and pupils through a service of twenty-six years. His activity ended with his sudden death Dec. 14, 1864, in the fifty-eighth year of his age,--an event followed with universal lamentation. The vacancy thus created was filled by the choice of James C. Acheson, another elder of the church, and for some time previous the assistant superintendent. After eighteen years of wise, kindly, and faithful service he still abides in strength, surrounded by an earnest band of co-workers, some of whom have come down with him through all these years.
The school has not been without the fluctuations incident to such work. But is has never failed to be a blessing of religious instruction and influence both to the children of the church and to very many beyond it. Better still is the fact that again and again, along the whole line of this progress, it has by divine grace been a birth-place of souls, not less than two hundred additions to the communion of the church having within the knowledge of the present writer come immediately from its classes. The infant department, organized in 1852, has continued with marked efficiency through the thirty intervening years, and now has an enrollment of one hundred “lambs” to be fed under the direction of the “Good Shepherd.” The main school numbers two hundred and twenty-five in all. The number of officers and teachers is thirty. The average cost of conducting the school per annum has been $198.52 for the last ten years. For the same period the yearly average of missionary contributions has been $307.63. The enterprise has been a source of blessing for sixty-six years. Long may its streams flow on to make glad the city of our God.
A fit conclusion of this imperfect sketch is our cordial brotherly recognition of the other churches of our town, devoted like ourselves to the extension of the Redeemer’s kingdom. This is especially due to the Second Presbyterian Church, which, to meet a pressing need, was organized in 1864 from a nucleus of two elders, a deacon, and fifty-two private members, dismissed from our ranks for this purpose. Under the divine blessing it has risen to strength and efficiency. Its vigorous Sabbath-school is also a living stream which flow forth from our own. Let the mother and daughter thank God and take courage together in view of the fact that, in the aggregate membership of both, our Presbyterianism has nearly trebled its strength in Washington in the compass of a generation.
Second Presbyterian Church. [1Taken principally from an address by the Rev. George P. Hays, D. D.]--The origin of the movement which resulted in the existence of this church was mainly with Mr. C. M. Reed, aided by others who were at once both members of the First Church and intimately connected with the college. The plan was to call a pastor to the church and a professor to the college, and, by combining the salary derived from the two sources, raise a sum larger than either could alone. This suggestion met with hearty favor from those connected with the college, notably from Rev. J. W. Scott, D. C., who was then its president. Many conferences were had on the subject, and it finally culminated in a meeting of the First Church Dec 9, 1860, to consider means for securing enlarged church accommodations. A committee was appointed to report on the subject, and at another meeting on Dec. 27, 1860, a majority then reported as follows:
“Believing it to be our duty to furnish the means of hearing to all who may desire, or can be constrained to listen to the preaching of the divine message; that said accommodation is not furnished in our present church, and that any increase of sittings is impracticable and inexpedient, and that the size of our congregation justifies the recommendation of the formation of a new congregation as the only effectual remedy in this present exigency; therefore,
“Resolved., That in the opinion of this congregation the interests of religion would be promoted by the organization of a second Presbyterian congregation in Washington; and whenever any number of persons will signify their willingness to engage in a new church enterprise, this congregation will lend them all the aid, comfort, and encouragement in its power, and to that end do now appoint a committee to co-operate with them in the accomplishment of this object.”
This committee consisted of C. M. Reed, Thomas McKean, John Grayson, Jr., H. H. Clark, and W. B. Cundall. On the 3d of February, 1861, they met with the session of the First Church, and that session unanimously passed these resolutions commending the project:
“Resolved, That as the committee requested the session; if in accordance with their views, to designate two of their number of go off, and the session having learned that the two members desired by the persons favorable to the movement are Dr. John W. Wishart and H. H. Clark; therefore, if these brethren should feel themselves assured that such is their duty, whilst retaining unabated and unqualified confidence and Christian affection for them as brethren, and also expressing our sorrow at the thought of their separation from our number, yet we cannot withhold our consent, and will follow them with our prayers for the blessing of the Master upon themselves individually and upon the enterprise with which they are connected.
“Resolved, That we recommend to the members of the church and congregation, so far as they may severally feel enabled and inclined to lend this movement all the aid, comfort, and encouragement in their power.”
With this encouragement from the mother-church, those interested in the enterprise pushed it vigorously forward, until they were ready for organization by the Presbytery. Of this organization the following, from the minutes of Presbytery, is perhaps the best history:
“WASHINGTON, Pa., March 12, 1861.
“The Presbytery of Washington held a pro re nata meeting in the lecture-room of the Presbyterian Church of Washington, at 11 o’clock A.M., pursuant to a call of the moderator upon the written request of two ministers and two elders, the latter being of different churches, and was opened with prayer.
“The following members were present, viz.: Messrs. John W. Scott, William P. Alrich, James W. McKennan, James I. Brownson, Alexander McCarrell, Williams B. Keeling, and N. B. Lyons, ministers, and Messrs. Joseph Henderson, John Hoon, and James Hughes, elders.
“The temporary clerk being absent, Mr. Keeling was appointed clerk pro tem. The moderator, Dr. Scott, stated the object of the meeting to be the organization of a second church in Washington, if the way be clear, and also the reception of the Rev. James Black, a professor in Washington College, as a member of Presbytery.
“The subject of the organization of a second church in Washington was now taken up. A memorial from sundry persons, members of the church and others, asking to be organized into a second church was read. Certificates of dismission of thirty-six members of the church of Washington and one from the church of Martinsville, Ohio were presented and read, and, being in order were approved. Dr. J. Wilson Wishart then appeared in behalf of the memorializes and made a full statement of the reasons which had induced the movement, all of which had grown solely out of the necessity for additional church accommodations. He bore decided testimony to the warm and unabated affection of all concerned for the pastor and other officers, as well as for the church itself. And he further presented and read the action of a meeting of the Washington congregation approving and recommending the movement by a vote of thirty nine to seven, and also the subsequent action of the session of the church acquiescing and concurring in the same. The pastor being called on approved the statement of Dr. Wishart as correct, and also fully reciprocated the kind expression of feeling for himself and the church which had been made, and further stated that whilst there had been some difference of opinion originally as to the expediency of this movement as compared with others suggested for the same end, there was now, since the decision of the question, no exception within his knowledge to the kindliest mutual good will and fraternal feeling without any suspicions of motives, and also an entire willingness to commit all the interests of the church in our midst to the future disposal of the Master himself.
“It was resolved unanimously that the prayer of the memorializes be granted.
“The persons whose certificates of dismission had been offered and approved then presented themselves, and, in response to the interrogation of the moderator, declared, by rising, their adherence to the doctrines and order of the Presbyterian Church, and their agreement and covenant together in a church relation.
“An election for officers was then held in the presence of the presbytery, the moderator presiding, when Dr. J. Wilson Wishart, Harvey H. Clark, John Grayson, Jr., and William B. Cundall were unanimously elected ruling elders, and David Aiken and William J. Matthews, deacons.
“Dr. Wishart and Mr. Clark having been elders in the mother-church and having now declared their acceptance of the same office in the new organization, were installed as such, the Rev. J. I. Brownson, at the request of the moderator, proposing the constitutional questions, and the Rev. J. W. McKennan leading the assembly in prayer. The ordination of the remaining elders and also the deacons and their installation were deferred to such a time as the church might appoint.
“It was then resolved that the church now organized be enrolled as the Second Church of Washington.
“The minutes were read and approved, and the presbytery adjourned, concluding with prayer.
“JAMES I. BROWNSON, Stated Clerk.”
The following is the certificate issued by the First Church to those going out to form the Second:
March 12, 1861, the following-named persons were dismissed to join the Second Church of Washington: C. M. Reed, Sarah E. Reed, John Grayson, Jr., Mrs. Sarah E. Grayson, Harvey H. Clark, Mrs. Margaret L. Clark, William B. Cundall, Mrs. Emily C. Cundall, Nancy Jane Cundall, Dr. J. Wilson Wishart, Mrs. Sarah H. McGiffin, Mrs. Eleanor Donehoo, Mrs. Phebe H. Scott, Mary Scott, Kate Scott, Jennie Scott, Mrs. Julia A. Black, Martha G. Black, Mrs. Eliza J. Blachley, William Blair, Mrs. Assena A. Blair, Mary Blair, David Aiken, Mrs. C. Aiken, Martha A. Aiken, William J. Matthews, Mrs. Fanny P. Mathew, Margaret S. Pyle, Margaret J. Pyle, Madeline Le Moyne, Jane Le Moyne, John Baird, Harriet S. Baird, James E. Smiley, Mrs. Hetty Smiley, Eliza Dare.
JOSEPH HENDERSON, Clerk.
The church having thus been organized by Presbytery, a meeting was held in the lecture-room of the First Church that same evening to complete the organization by electing trustees, etc., of which meeting the following is the minute:
“At a meeting of the congregation of the Second Presbyterian Church of Washington, Pa., held in the lecture-room of the Presbyterian Church, in Washington, Pa., on Tuesday evening, March 12, 1861, Rev. J. W. Scott, D. C., was called to the chair, and W. J. Mathews elected secretary.
“The object of the meeting was stated to be to complete the organization of said congregation by adopting a constitution and electing officers to manage the temporal affairs of the congregation, and the transacting of such other business of the congregation as may be brought before this meeting.
“A constitution having been read and submitted, . . . On motion to proceed to nominate trustees, C. M. Reed, Andrew Brady, John Baird, William Blair, and Norton McGiffin were nominated and unanimously elected. C. M. Reed was nominated and unanimously elected for treasurer.
“On motion that this congregation proceed to elect a pastor, the Rev. Richard V. Dodge, of Wheeling, Va., was nominated and unanimously elected. A motion to accompany the call to the pastor-elect with the promise to pay him a salary of not less than two hundred and fifty dollars was unanimously adopted. The motion that the call be signed by the elders, deacons, and trustees of the congregation was adopted.
“Mr. H. H. Clark and Dr. J. W. Wishart were elected commissioners to present the call to the presbytery of Washington at its next regular meeting.
“The motion of Mr. Smiley that the trustees be directed to fit up the College Hall as a place of worship was amended, and amendment accepted, that the trustees be directed to procure the College Hal for a place of worship for this congregation. This motion and amendment were, after full and free discussion, adopted unanimously.
“A motion that this congregation proceed to meet for worship, as a congregation, immediately was decided in the negative. A motion that a subscription paper be drawn up for the purpose of raising the necessary funds for the payment of the Pastor and other expenses of the congregation was adopted.
“On motion, Messrs. C. M. Reed, John Baird, A. C. Morrow, and Thomas M. Wiley were elected a committee to take charge of the subscription paper mentioned above.
“On motion, the Trustees were directed to apply to the Court for a charter for this congregation. After prayer by the Rev. James Black, on motion adjourned.”
The charter adopted at this meeting (March 12, 1861) provided:
“ARTICLE 3. That the Trustees of said congregation shall be five in number, and until others shall be appointed shall consist of the following-named persons, viz.: C. M. Reed, Andrew Brady, John Baird, William Blair, and Norton McGiffin, who shall continue in office until the first Monday of April, 1862, on which day, and on the same day yearly thereafter, the members of the congregation shall at a general meeting thereof elect by ballot or otherwise five persons to serve as Trustees, to continue in office one year and until their successors are duly qualified.”
Thus far everything seemed favorable. The war, however, came on that spring, and brought with it its fears of hard times and trouble in every way. Rev. Mr. Dodge declined both the call to the church and the college, which were tendered to him. Before long Dr. Wishart went into the army, and so from one cause and another the whole project was held in abeyance for some three years. During this time the people of the church worshiped with the First Church, between which and themselves the kindest relations subsisted.
From the first there had been those who half doubted the necessity of a second-church, and to make the way clear for their return the session of the First Church, on the 7th day of September, 1861, passed the following resolution:
“WHEREAS, On the 12th day of March, 1861, the Session dismissed a number of members of this church to be organized into a Presbyterian church; and whereas in the present disturbed state of the country and the depressed condition of money matters there would seem to be no possibility of such an organization being carried forward; and whereas the present church relations of the persons so dismissed are peculiar and embarrassing to all parties; therefore it is unanimously
“Resolved, That this Session do most cordially invite the persons thus dismissed to renew their former relation to this church, assuring them of a most hearty welcome to our fellowship, and to a participation to the cares and responsibilities of private and official membership, as heretofore.”
At a meeting of the congregation of the First Church in the spring of 1864 similar action was taken. This led to a meeting of the Second Church in the lecture-room of the First Church, April 17, 1864, at which meeting John Grayson, Jr., Esq., was called to the chair, and H. J. Vankirk appointed secretary, and the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:
“WHEREAS, At a late meeting of the First Presbyterian congregation an invitation was extended to us to resume our standing and connection with the same; and whereas we, the members of the Second Presbyterian congregation of Washington, believe that to a great extent the same causes exist that did at the time the movement was originated; therefore
“Resolved, That while we appreciate the kind motives which prompted our brethren of the First Presbyterian congregation to extend to us the invitation to return, we deem it to be our duty respectfully to decline accepting the proposition.
“Resolved, That, as the members of the Second Presbyterian congregation, we regard it as incumbent upon us to go forward immediately and carry out the object originally contemplated by our organization.
“On motion, the following committee on supplies was appointed, to wit: H. H. Clark, Andrew Brady, and William Blair.
“On motion, the Trustees were instructed to procure a suitable place of meeting by the first Sabbath in May next, provided the committee are able to procure a supply by that time.
“On motion, the committee on supplied were instructed to take up a subscription to defray the expenses and pay the supplies.
“On motion. H. H. Clark was appointed to represent this congregation at the coming Presbytery, and was instructed to ask leave to furnish a supply.”
As a result of this action, Smith’s Hall was procured as a place of worship, and on May 15, 1864, Rev. R. V. Dodge, then of Wheeling, preached for the new church; and so acceptable were his services that on the 30th of the same May, 1864, a call was made out for him, the salary being fixed at twelve hundred dollars, payable quarterly. He accepted the call, and was formally installed Oct. 4, 1864. He continued as pastor until May 3, 1868, when he preached his farewell sermon.
When he entered on his pastorate, which is the real beginning of the active history of the church, the elders were H. H. Clark, W. B. Cundall, and John Grayson, Jr., being ordained and installed June 19, 1864. At the same time H. J. Vankirk and William Blair were installed deacons. In April, 1867, F. Brady, Jr., and Morgan Hayes were added as deacons.
On the resignation of Mr. Dodge, in 1868, the church began to cast about for a successor, and on June 1, 1868, elected Rev. J. C. Caldwell, then pastor of the Mount Prospect Church, near Hickory. He accepted their call and was installed Aug. 2, 1868. During his pastorate (namely, on Feb. 14, 1869) Messrs. Robert Boyd, Hugh McClelland, Freeman Brady, Jr., and John B. Vowell were inducted into the office of the eldership, the last two being ordained, the first two installed. Mr. Caldwell’s ministry was also highly successful, as it had been in his previous charge, and has been in those he has had since. He resigned in December, 1869, to take charge of the church of Newberry, near Williamsport, Pa. From the beginning of the year 1870 until the August of that year the church was most of the time faithfully served by Rev. Henry Woods, a professor in the college.
In the winter of 1870 and 1871, Rev. George P. Hays removed to this place to take charge of the college, of which he had been inaugurated president. An offer of a call was informally made to him and explicitly declined, but he became the stated supply of this church, with an arrangement that so many of the students of the college as see fit to worship here shall have seats free, and that so much of the services as may be thought best shall be directed specially to them; and that the stated supply should not be held responsible for any pastoral work whatever, and should have liberty to be absent very frequently on the Sabbath.
For two years during the time covered by the ministry of the Rev. George P. Hays, the duties of the college required his absence, and the church was most faithfully and acceptably ministered to by Rev. George Fraser, D.D., then Professor of Mental and Moral Science in the college. He enjoyed and deserved the confidence of the people, and the church steadily prospered under his ministrations. Of this period he thus speaks in a letter: “My time commenced with the first Sabbath of September, 1872, and closed with the last Sabbath of August, 1874, making two full years, for which the church paid me in full to the last cent; and they were two years ever to be remembered as one of the most pleasant periods of my ministery.”
The Smith Hall becoming unsatisfactory as a place of worship, an arrangement was made to lease for a term of fifteen years the church belonging to the Methodist Protestant congregation. Accordingly, it was thoroughly repaired and refitted at a cost of $3437.41, and was reopened for service on the 5th day of January, 1874, since which time it has been the regular house of worship.
On the 14th day of April, 1872, Messrs. James Rankin, Morgan Hayes, and James Houston were inducted into office as elders, all but the first being ordained as well as installed. On the evening of the same day, April 14, 1872, Messrs. Robert S. Winters and Hiram Warne were installed as deacons.
Dr. George P. Hays sent in his resignation, to take effect the first Sabbath of September, 1881, having accepted a call from the First Presbyterian Church in Denver, Col. On the 30th of December, 1881, the Rev. J. G. Cowden, of Iowa, was called as a stated supply, which was accepted, and his services commenced Feb. 1, 1882. The church has a present membership of three hundred and sixty-seven.
The United Presbyterian Congregation of Washington—The Associate Presbyterian Congregation of Washington—which, when the union occurred between the Associate and Associate Reformed Church in 1858, became the United Presbyterian—was organized in the year 1815. It was small and was without a house of worship. There was at the time a small body of the Associate Reformed Presbyterians in the place, with a meeting-house partly constructed. As it was not prospering in its efforts, it agreed to sell its building, and the Associate congregation becoming the purchaser, it immediately proceeded to provide itself with all the means of regular worship.
It was not, however, till 1834 that it felt strong enough to ask the services of a settled pastor, but in July of that year it extended a call to the Rev. David Carson, who had recently been appointed to a professorship in the theological seminary in Canonsburg. Mr. Carson was a man of earnest piety, and great ability, but he was only permitted to preach a few times in Washington, and died Sept. 25, 1834. He was succeeded by the Rev. Thomas Beveridge, who was also a professor in the Canonsburg Seminary. He was installed in the pastorate in February, 1836. As pastor and friend he was universally respected, and as a preacher of the gospel he was esteemed as of more than ordinary ability. His influence was happy, not only in the congregation with which he was identified, but upon the entire community, and his name is still gratefully recalled by many of the older citizens. In September of the year 1849 he offered his resignation, which was accepted, and in November of the same year the Rev. Thomas Hanna, of Cadiz, Ohio, was called to fill his place. His labors extended over a period of thirteen years, at the end of which time he resigned because of failing health. Dr. Hanna was a genial gentleman, kindly in all his relations and faithful in the discharge of his pastoral duties. He died Feb. 9, 1864, in the sixty-fifth year of his age. His life and work are alluded to with great respect by all who knew him.
The Rev. J. R. Johnston is the present pastor. He was called in the winter of 1863, and ordained and installed in the following June. The old church building in which the congregation worshiped for many years occupied a lot on West Wheeling Street near Second. It was abandoned in 1865, when a new one was erected on the same street, a few doors from Main. It is one of the most substantial buildings of the place. The congregation numbers about three hundred communing members. The superintendent of the Sabbath-school is Mr. John H. Murdoch. The board of elders is composed of Messrs. William Gabby, John G. Clark, William Crosbie, Joseph D. McNary, John H. Murdoch, and A. M. McElroy.
The First Baptist Church.—The minutes of this church show that it was regularly constituted on Friday, Oct. 14, 1814. In response to letters missive the following churches were represented by their delegates: Ten-Mile, Rev. Matthias Luce; Peters Creek, Rev. David Phillips, Deacon Joseph Phillips, Charles Daily; Union Town, Rev. William Brownfield. The right hand of fellowship was given by Rev. David Phillips on October 15th.
“It was unanimously voted by the church that our brother, Charles Wheeler, be this day set apart by ordination to the work of the gospel ministry and to the performing of the ordinances of the gospel. Accordingly, after Brother Wheeler had given a satisfactory account of his views of the doctrine of the Scriptures, etc., he was ordained in the presence of this church and full assembly met, and received the imposition of hands by Elders D. Phillips, M. Luce, and W. Brownfield. This church held its first communion at the Lord’s Table on the Lord’s day following, viz., Oct. 16, 1814.”
The persons named below were the constituent members, seven of whom belonged to the Ten-Mile Church, viz.: Rebecca Dye, Rachel Wilson, Enoch Dye, Jr., Mary Dye, Jane Dye, Rebecca Blaine, Margaret Moore, Charles Wheeler, Charity A. Wheeler, Rachel Colloway, and Phillis Waller. A covenant and constitution was drawn up, signed by the constituent members, and is followed by the names of the members of the church to the year 1830, numbering one hundred and twenty-three persons.
On the 29th of May, 1815, Hugh Wilson, Daniel Moore, and David Shields were elected trustees for one year, and requested to procure a lot of ground whereon to build a house for public worship. Aug. 26, 1815, the church voted to request admission to the Redstone Association. This request was granted by that body Sept. 2, 1815. At a church meeting May 11, 1816, Hugh Wilson reported: “That they had procured a Lott of ground on Wheeling Street, No. Seventy-Seven, which had been granted by John Hoge, Esq., [June 20, 1805] to James Gilmore, Robert Anderson and Alexander Little, Esqs., as Trustees for the purpose of Building Thereon a School-house and place of public worship, Said James Gilmore and Robert Anderson, Esqs., Conveyed said Lot of ground to Hugh Wilson, Daniel Moore and David Shields Trustees for the first Baptist Church and their successors in office for ever, for the purpose aforesaid." Title to the lot was confirmed by act of Legislature March 25, 1877.
A notice was published in the Reporter of November, 1817, calling upon the members of the Baptist Church “to meet at the brick school-house to consider about building a house of worship.” The brick school-house mentioned was in the rear of the lot they had purchased. The meeting was held Nov. 19, 1817, when a subscription paper was opened and a committee appointed to solicit subscriptions. Their efforts were successful, and a building committee was appointed. On the 11th of July, 1818, James Ruple was added to the “Building Committee to build the Meeting-House.” The brick church edifice then built is the one still occupied. A meeting of the church was held Saturday, July 3, 1819, and the following quotation from the minutes shows the time when the church was first occupied: “Agreed to hold our communion to-morrow (it being a day appointed by the Association for a similar meeting being held at that place], and to meet in our new Meeting-House for the first time.” The first election of deacons took place Dec. 9, 1820, when R. B. Chaplin and Daniel Dye were elected. The Association met here with this church in the summer of 1822. At a meeting of the church on Saturday, Oct. 9, 1824, after an address from their pastor, the Rev. Charles Wheeler, “It was resolved that Brother Wheeler be requested to furnish the church with a copy of his address, and that it be published and distributed to the churches of the Redstone Association. Resolved that this church does not consider itself bound by the Philadelphia Confession of Faith, nor any other human confession, but by the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, as their only guide of faith and practice.” At a meeting Jan. 8, 1825, request was made by the Union congregation, afterwards the Associate Reformed (now the United Presbyterian), for the use of their church one-half of the time till they could build a church. After due consideration it was thought not advisable to continue the evening service through the winter, and they decided not to grant the request, but extended to them the privilege of its use for preaching or communion when it was not occupied by them. At this time, Sept. 11, 1825, a request was made for the services of Mr. Wheeler one Sabbath of the month for the Ten-Mile Church. This request was granted, and he was to commence the first Sabbath of November. In January, 1826, the church discussed the question whether it would be advisable to hold connection longer with the Redstone Association. Rev. Charles Wheeler, H. Wilson, Samuel Marshal, James Ruple, and R. B. Chaplin were appointed messengers to the Association in July of 1826.
The Association convened and refused to accept letters from all churches that did not mention the Philadelphia Confession of Faith as embodying their faith. This action brought about the rejection of fourteen churches, leaving but twelve to form the Association. The Washington Church was one of the fourteen, and non-fellowship was declared with it. The rejected messengers met at a house near by, and resolved to meet at Washington the Saturday before the second Sunday in November, and then to sit in council, and if agreeable to the majority form a new Association. Also that Brethren Matthias Luce, Charles Wheeler, and Ephraim Eslip be a committee to meet at Peters Creek Church and draft rules and regulations for the government of the new Association. Delegates from the following churches met as agreed, Nov. 11, 1826: Peters Creek, Maple Creek, Somerset, Connellsville, Big Redstone, Pigeon Creek, Ten-Mile, Bates’ Fork, Ruff’s Creek, Wheeling Creek, Cross Creek, Harmon’s Creek, Brush Run, and Washington. Matthias Luce was moderator. The articles of the Association were read by one of the committee and adopted. There were copies sent to all churches. It was resolved that the Association should meet at Washington in September of 1827. Entire harmony prevailed, and May 12, 1827, the articles of the Washington Baptist Association were read and adopted by the church.
The Rev. Charles Wheeler, who was ordained Oct. 15, 1814, remained pastor of the church from that time until 1839. For several years the church was supplied with pastors whose calls were only temporary. There was a call to the Rev. ----- Davis, who occupied the pulpit for four months. In January, 1841, there were given calls to the Revs. Bell and Collins. A call to the Rev. ---- Bell, to serve the church until a settled pastor could be secured, was given April 3, 1841. A protracted meeting, at which it was decided to form a Sunday-school, was held, conducted by the Revs. Bell and Collins. The Rev. ---- Collins was educated at Hamilton College, New York. He remained pastor until April 12th. During his pastorate one hundred and four were added to the church. The Revs. Charles F. Johnson, Billings, and Anderson each served a short time. The Rev. Charles T. Johnson served in the year 1842-43. B. W. Tisdale, who became pastor Sept. 9, 1843, held his position until Feb. 13, 1846, when he resigned, his resignation to take effect April 1, 1846. On the 20th of September, 1846, a call to the pastoral charge of this church was extended to the Rev. Thomas Swain, of New Jersey. He accepted the call, and assumed charge the first Sabbath in October of that year. He was ordained Nov. 10, 1846. At this ordination delegates were present from the churches of Peters Creek, Grant Street Church of Pittsburgh, Hollidaysburg Church, and Spruce Street Church, Philadelphia. The charge was given to the candidate by Rev. James Eslip. He resigned his position Sept. 8, 1850. A call given to the Rev. George Young, Oct. 28, 1850, was accepted, and his position assumed Dec. 19, 1850; also a resignation, Nov. 12, 1854. The church was repaired in April, 1856. It was also received into the Pittsburgh Association, June, 1858. Daniel Moore had purchased a lot of ground for a parsonage Jan. 12, 1850. It was resolved to erect a parsonage as soon as the fund could be raised. Thomas Swain, H. W. Wilson, and James Ruple were the committee for that purpose. The Rev. Malachi Taylor became a chosen pastor in October, 1855. He assumed his duties Dec. 1, 1856, and resigned July, 1857, his resignation to take effect Sept. 1, 1857. A call to Rev. John Boyd was tendered April, 1858, and in June he took charge. A resignation from him was received Dec. 2, 1859. In 1865, Rev. ---- Adams served for three months. R. Talford was called Jan. 31, 1866. He accepted in February, but resigned June 10, 1868. The resignation was not accepted until June 28th. J. A. Snodgrass supplied the pulpit from Oct. 29, 1871, until 1875. July 25, 1875, a call was sent to the Rev. Malcom C. Blaine. It was accepted, and he took charge August 8th. His resignation was made Sept. 15, 1878, to take effect October 1st. A call to the Rev. J. C. Tuttle was given April 27, 1879; he accepted and assumed the position July 1, 1879. His resignation was received July 9, 1882, which leaves the church at present without a pastor.
Following is an imperfect list of officers of this church, viz.: Trustees, Hugh Wilson, Daniel Moore, and David Shields, May 29, 1815; James Ruple, March 9, 1833; H. W. Wilson, Jan. 12, 1850; J. L. Dye, May 29, 1861; J. L. Dye, April 1, 1865; James Wilson, Henry Hull.
Clerks, Enoch Dye, March 1, 1815; Hugh Wilson, May 29, 1815; James Ruple, May 10, 1828; Henry Hull, Dec. 2, 1855 (still clerk).
Deacons, R. B. Chaplin and Daniel Dye, Dec. 9, 1820; Daniel Moore, July 9, 1829; Hugh Wilson (vice R. B. Chaplin, resigned), March 12, 1831; Henry Ritner (vice Wilson, deceased), May 9, 1836; Daniel Dye, May, 1842; James B. Riggs, ---- Little, November, 1851; ---- Jennings, ---- McDonough, Aug. 22, 1860; Samuel Kelley, Jan. 11, 1868; ---- Bane, G. G. Holmes, Feb. 17, 1872; W. L. McCleary, Jan. 13, 1877.
The church has at present fifty-nine members. The present trustees are W. H. Wilson, John L. Dye, and Henry Hull.
For a more extended history of the early Baptist Church in this county reference is made to the history of the Ten-Mile Baptist Church in Amwell township, which contains the first minutes of Redstone Association, constituted in 1776.
Trinity Church (Episcopal). – The first regular Episcopalian services were held in Washington in the year 1843, when the Rev. Enos Woodward, of Brownsville, notified the Episcopalians here that if a suitable place could be obtained he would preach to them occasionally. Through Prof. Richard H. Lee, the college chapel was procured and the services of the church were held on the fourth Sunday of each month. On the 12th of November in that year, by the Rev. Mr. Woodward, assisted by the Rev. Mr. Dyer, of Pittsburgh, the Lord’s Supper was administered for the first time in Washington, according to the ritual of this church. Services were also held by the Rev. K. J. Stewart, of Connellsville, in the courthouse and Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Under his advice the little congregation met at the house of Prof. R. H. Lee, and, after consultation, appointed a committee to solicit subscriptions for the purpose of erecting a church. The committee were Mrs. F. A. Barlow, Prof. R. H. Lee, R. P. Lane, M.D., and James R. Shannon. On the 22d of April, 1844, a meeting was held to effect a permanent organization. The following-named persons were organized into a society called “The Parish of Trinity Church:” Richard Henry Lee, Joseph Gray, Curtis P. Brown, Abigail M. Brown, Mary C. Brown, Daniel Brown, Seth T. Hurd, William Howe, Hugh M. Reynolds, R. P. Lane, Anna E. Lee, Eliza H. Hill, Francis H. Lee, Flora Lee, Eliza M. Crafts, Letitia Poole, James Shannon, John Bollen, Harriet Bollen, R. Foster, Samuel Potter, F. Anika Barlow, Rebecca Burton, Harriet Burton, J. Bowman Sweitzer, James McCorkle, and Leslie Carrons.
After the organization the following gentlemen were elected to constitute the vestry: R. H. Lee, R. P. Lane, Leslie Carrons, Joseph Gray, William Howe, James R. Shannon, and Hugh M. Reynolds. The Rev. Enos Reynolds was elected rector, and accepted the office, which he held till May, 1845, when he resigned. He was succeeded by the Rev. E. J. Messenger, who remained until August of that year, when he tendered his resignation to become a missionary to Africa. From this time to Dec. 1, 1850, the pulpit was filled by supplies, and Prof. R. H. Lee as a lay reader. On the 1st of December, 1850, the Rev. Samuel Clements became the rector, and remained until March 31, 1855, when he resigned. Prof. R. H. Lee was elected lay reader. In January, 1856, the Rev. George Hall became the rector, and served until December, 1856. In February, 1858, Prof. R. H. Lee was ordained a deacon by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Potter, and in October following was ordained a priest, and took charge of Trinity Church as its rector, and served till his death, Jan. 3, 1865. He was succeeded by the Rev. James A. Brown, Dec. 22, 1865, who served till Dec. 23, 1867. Jacob B. McKennan, who was appointed lay reader Jan. 1, 1868, supplied the pulpit until Oct. 17, 1869, when the Rev. J. K. Mendenhall became the rector, and was ordained Nov. 5, 1869. The Rev. Samuel Earp was rector for a short time, and resigned in the fall of 1881 to devote his time to Trinity Hall School, leaving the church at present without a rector.
After the organization of the church in 1844, services were held in the College Hall till August, 1845, when they removed to the Lutheran Church. In June, 1850, the society purchased lot 160 on the east end of Beau Street, opposite the college buildings. The church was built and opened for worship on the 15th of December, 1850. The entire cost of the lot and church edifice was $2725.15. The furniture of the church was donated by the churches of Pittsburgh, Brownsville, and Philadelphia. In the year 1862 the present Gothic church was erected, at a cost of $3697.20. It was consecrated by Bishop Potter Nov. 17, 1863. Services were held in the courthouse during the time of its erection.
Methodist Episcopal Church.—The date of the organization of the Methodist Church in Washington is unknown, beyond the fact that it was prior to 1801. In that year its trustees—Thomas Lackey, Abraham Cazier, Abraham Johnson, Titus Rigby, and John Cooper---purchased lot 194 (sixty by two hundred and forty feet) of John Hoge for ten dollars, on condition that a house of worship should be erected for the use of the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. This lot was on the southwest corner of Chestnut and Front (now Franklin) Street. The society through some unexplained mistake erected a log house (which is still standing), fronting on Chestnut Street, on lot 193, which is on the southeast corner of Chestnut and Franklin Streets. To effect a change in the title, a petition was made to the Legislature to give the trustees power to convey the title. An act was passed to this effect Jan. 5, 1811. On the 11th of January, 1812, a deed of lot 194 was given to Mr. Hoge by the trustees, and at the same time he conveyed to them the title to lot 193, on which their house was erected. The following, in reference to the trustees and the circumstances, is contained in the deed to Hoge: “Having by mistake erected and built their house for divine worship on lot numbered 193, the property of the said John Hoge, who has agreed to convey the same for the use of the said members of the Methodist Episcopal Church on receiving a conveyance for the within recited lot of ground. And as no legal authorized persons existed for that purpose, the Legislature of Pennsylvania, by a law duly enacted and passed the 5th day of January, 1811, did authorize and empower the within-named Trustees to convey the title and interest of the members of the said Methodist Episcopal Church in the lot of ground to the said John Hoge in fee simple.”
In the year 1809 the Rev. Bishops Asbury and McKendree visited the western settlements, which were even then the outposts of Methodism, and in the course of their travels among the congregations of their church reached this section of country in August of that year. The following notice was published in the Washington Reporter, the issue of August 7th:
“He that hath ears to hear,
Let him come and hear.
“The Rev. William McKendree, Junior Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, will preach in Washington on Thursday evening, the 17th; also, the Rev. Francis Asbury, Senior Bishop of said church, will preach in Washington on Wednesday, the 23rd inst., at 11 o’clock a.m.
“N.B. The camp-meeting will commence on Friday, the 11th inst., at Pike Run, in Washington County.”
The log church was used by the society until 1836, when the congregation had increased to such numbers that greater accommodations were required, and it was decided to build a larger and more commodious house of worship. In accordance with this decision the trustees, as a building committee, erected a church building on the same lot fronting on Franklin Street. The building was of brick, forty by fifty-five feet in size, with a gallery. The building was used many years as a house of worship, when a change was again felt to be needed and a different location selected. In November, 1847, a committee was appointed to procure subscriptions and select an appropriate location. In 1847, John R. Griffith obtained of Colin M. Reed an article of agreement for lot No. 85, on Belle Street (now Wheeling), fifty by two hundred and forty feet. Possession was to be given April 1, 1848. The deed was not given to Mr. Griffith until Aug. 21, 1852. Soon after this, by some arrangement, the lot No. 85 came into the possession of the church. A building committee was appointed, consisting of the Rev. Edward Birkett, John Harter, Samuel Hazlett, Samuel Mounts, Alexander Sweeney, and George Lonkert. Proposals were received, and the church now occupied by the African Methodist Society was built. It was dedicated Dec. 31, 1848, by Bishop Hamlin. The church society had not then been incorporated, and the trustees had no authority to convey property. On the 18th of May, 1848, an act of incorporation was procured, and Samuel Hazlett, Alexander Sweeney, John Harter, John Shaffer, Joseph Reynolds, William Wiley, Abraham B. Wolf, George Lonkert, and Samuel Mounts were mentioned as trustees. Mr. Abraham B. Wolf alone survives. The property on Chestnut and Franklin Streets, lot 193, had been sold to the Washington school district. It was conveyed to them by deed June 26, 1850.
Before the erection of the church Mrs. Sarah A. Abbott conveyed to J. F. White for the church lot No. 84, on which to build a parsonage. In the summer of 1849 the parsonage was erected. It was situated at the west of the church site. The deed was from F. J. Le Moyne to the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Jan. 18, 1853, of the lot on Belle Street (now Wheeling), “on which the parsonage of the M. E. Church has been erected,” bounded by Belle Street on the south, Methodist Episcopal Church lot on the east, Cumberland Presbyterian Church lot on the west. This parsonage lot was retained by them until 1879. On the 1st of September of that year they conveyed it to William Taylor, who still owns it.
As early as 1834 the church bought a house and lot at the west end of Beau Street, near the church now occupied by the Second Presbyterian Society. This they used as a parsonage. When they decided to build on Wheeling Street, they made an exchange with John R. Griffith. He took the house and lot on Beau Street, and they lot 85 (fifty by two hundred and forty feet) on Belle Street, adjoining the lot this society purchased later of Dr. F. J. Le Moyne for a parsonage lot. It was the lot owned and occupied by Dr. James I. Brownson. The deeds for these two pieces of property were not exchanged until 1864. They bear the date of April 13th of that year.
The church erected on Wheeling Street was used by the society until 1876. Oct. 1, 1875, the trustees purchased lots 100, 101, and a part of lot 99, fronting on Beau Street and extending north on College Street two hundred and forty feet. They sold the old church and church lot, April 1, 1876, to the trustees of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, who still own and occupy it. The present church was erected in 1875-76, and dedicated in June, 1876. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Bishop Foster. The cost of the church was about forty thousand dollars. A Sunday-school was opened in 1828, and has been continued to the present. It now consists of 260 pupils and 31 teachers. William H. Underwood is the superintendent. The church has a present membership of 375.
The following is a list1 of the pastors from 1801 to the present time: Revs. William Munroe, Archibald McElroy, William Lambdin, John Monroe, Jacob Dowell, Daniel Hitt, Jacob Young, Thornton Fleming, Daniel Hitt, James Reiley, William Brandiberry, John White, Jacob Gruder, Amos Barnes, John West, William Barnes, John Connolley, James Laws, Joshua Monroe (the latter of whom was a local preacher), Thorn Fleming. 1819, Rev. George Brown; 1820, Rev. John Bear; 1821, Rev. George Brown; 1822-23, Rev. Henry Furlong; 1824, Rev. Charles Cook; 1825, Rev. James G. Sansom; 1826-27, Rev. Asa Shinn; 1828, Rev. Alfred Brunson; 1829, Rev. Daniel Limerick; 1830-31, Rev. John Waterman; 1832, Rev. Daniel Limerick; 1833, Rev. James G. Sansom; 1834-35, Rev. Wesley Kenney; 1836-37, Rev. Robert Boyd; 1838, Rev. James Mills; 1839-40, Rev. George S. Holmes; 1841, Rev. Samuel R. Breckamer; 1842-43, Rev. Charles Thorn; 1844-45, Rev. Charles Cook; 1846, Rev. Thomas M. Hudson; 1847-48, Rev. Edward Birkett; 1849-50, Rev. Wesley Kenney; 1851-52, Rev. Franklin Moore; 1853, Rev. James Henderson; 1854, Rev. Edward Birkett; 1855-56, Rev. Charles A. Holmes; 1857, Rev. Albert G. Williams; 1858-59, Rev. William Cox; 1860-61, Rev. Hiram Sinsabaugh; 1862-63, Rev. Hiram Miller; 1864-65, Rev. James B. Bracken; 1866, Rev. H. C. Beacom; 1867, Rev. W. B. Watkins; 1868-70, Rev. W. A. Davidson; 1871-73, Rev. H. C. Beacom; 1874-75, Rev. H. L. Chapman; 1876, Rev. R. L. Miller; 1877-79, Rev. H. C. Beacom; 1880, Rev. Charles A. Holmes, 1881-82, Rev. J. A. Miller. 1From 1819 the list is taken from the church record in possession of the church and minutes of the Conference. The church in Washington became an independent station in 1818, when it became a part of a new district called Washington District of the Pittsburgh Conference. The Rev. Asa Shinn was appointed the presiding elder, and the Rev. Thornton Fleming the first minister on the charge.
The Christian Church of Washington.—The Christian Church at Washington is the natural outgrowth of the principles which were first declared in this borough in the year 1809, and boldly and successfully advocated by the Campbells in all this region for several years thereafter. Unexpectedly to themselves they became the leaders of a general reformatory movement, of whose magnitude and far-reaching results they at first had little conception.
The announcement and advocacy of these steadfast principles very naturally levened to some extent the Baptist churches within the boundaries of the old Redstone Association, with which these mighty men of God were connected. The regular Baptist Church in this borough, organized in 1814, contained some members who were in warm sympathy with the views of the Campbells. These persons, and perhaps others who were subsequently added to the church, kept along with the movement for a restoration of the primitive teaching and order of worship and discipline.
A few firmly believed the apostolic sermons and methods recorded in the New Testament should be our models in this century, and that the church of Christ should wear only scriptural names and continue steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, “and the fellowship, and in breaking bread, and in prayers.”
At a church meeting April 30, 1831, Rev. Charles Wheeler presiding, Samuel Marshall gave notice of his intention to withdraw from the church, briefly assigned his reasons for so doing, and requested that his name might be erased from the church-book with the approbation of the church. R. B. Chaplin, Sr., who had been an active deacon, made the same request for himself. After a discussion the church decided by vote to grant their request.
On the Lord’s day, May 8th, a few brethren met at the house of Samuel Marshall, and, after devotional services, it was proposed and agreed that they should meet at R. B. Chaplin’s house on the following Thursday evening for the purpose of taking into consideration the propriety of forming a church of Jesus Christ. Accordingly, this meeting was held May 12, 1831, and there were present R. B. Chaplin and his wife, Henry Langly, Frederick Huffman, Franklin Dunham, Samuel Marshall, Jane McDermott, Hannah Acheson, and Hannah Marshall. The purpose of the meeting previously announced was fully considered, and it was unanimously agreed to form themselves into a Church of Christ then and there, taking the Holy Scriptures for their only rule and faith and practice, and submitting themselves thereunto. R. B. Chaplin, Sr., and Samuel Marshall were appointed to preside at the meetings for worship and to administer the ordinances.
On May 15, 1831, as in the primitive church, “on the first day of the week,” these “disciples came together to break bread” at the house of R. B. Chaplin, Sr., and so they began their public worship. Of the original nine persons whose names appear on the record only one survives, Jane McDermott, now in her eighty-seventh year. Beside her, Franklin Nichol is the only survivor of those who surrounded the Lord’s table on that memorable day over fifty years ago, at the house of a humble disciple of Christ in this classic town.
This little band, calling no man master, and confessing no Lord but Jesus, the Christ, was as a “handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon.” Their number was soon doubled and trebled. They continued to meet in Washington, and at a school-house on Henry Vankirk’s farm, four miles south of the borough, for five years.
In the autumn of 1836 a comfortable brick meeting-house was completed in Williamsburg, on the National road two miles east of town. The lot on which it stood was purchased of Joshua Martin for the sum of $25. He gave a deed for the same, bearing date June 1, 1839, to Hamilton Vankirk, Jonathan Martin, Samuel Nichol, James McDermott, and Henry Langly and their successors, in trust for the Church of Disciples, or Christians, at Williamsburg, Washington Co., Pa. In this house meetings were commenced with renewed interest and zeal. In this building the church enjoyed great prosperity, and held up the lamp of life to bless the surrounding community for more than thirty years. Such was the joyfulness of those meetings to many that they cannot enjoy a meeting in any other place.
In 1867 it was determined to change the location and to meet in the borough, in the hope of reaching the people more readily with the plea for restoration of the old gospel. The building occupying the site of the present house, on West Wheeling Street, was rented of the Cumberland Presbyterians, and with J. B. Crane as pastor, a series of soul-refreshing meetings was held which resulted in many conversions. Subsequently the house and lot were purchased for the sum of $4560, and on Oct. 14, 1873, the board of trustees of the Cumberland Presbyterian Synod made a deed of the same to the Christian Church of Williamsburg. In 1875 the house was thoroughly repaired, wellnigh rebuilt, at a cost of nearly $5000.
The following extract is taken with little change from the “Semi-Centennial Sermon, delivered on May 15, 1881, by Elder L. P. Streator,” to which the writer is debtor for other facts, some of which are narrated in his words:
“In taking their stand upon the Bible alone, in the year 1831, the brethren were influenced by the sentiment that they must edify one another; that every brother ought to say a word for Jesus; and that the Scriptures furnished the man of God thoroughly, for every good word. Hence they found no place for the pastor, and would support only such men as would at great sacrifice and little pay go forth and preach the word. The names of brethren who have been elected to the office of overseers or elders, as far as has been ascertained, are Samuel Marshall, R. B. Chaplin, Sr., Henry Langly, Robert Tener, Daniel Carter, Hamilton Vankirk, Robert Milligan, L. P. Streator, Samuel Nichol, Jonathan Martin, John Hughes, Arthur Vankirk, J. C. Chambers, Franklin Nichol, R. B. Chaplin, Jr., T. A. Crenshaw, and David McClay.”
The deacons’ names do not appear on the church record until 1850, when we find a record of an election choosing Joshua Martin, James Langly, Franklin Nichol, and James Hamilton to the work of deacons.
March 2, 1851, thirty-one years ago last March, Benjamin Prall and John McElroy were elected; April 15, 1866, John Munce and Edward Vankirk were elected. About the same time J. C. Hastings, and subsequently R. G. McDonough and James Kuntz, Jr., were elected.
The present board of overseers includes John Hughes, J. C. Chambers, Franklin Nichol, and David McClay, Sr. The deacons at this time are J. C. Hastings, treasurer, John Munce, Robert G. McDonough, and James Kuntz, Jr., clerk.
There have been five brethren of this church set apart for the ministry of the word, viz., Robert Milligan, Henry Langly, Hamilton Vankirk, and Richard Williams, and after going to Illinois, Richard B. Chaplin. The preachers employed at a stated price, and for a given time, have been J. T. Smith, W. F. Pool, James Darsie, Chancey Ward, L. P. Streator, Robert Milligan, Dr. Lucy, John Whitaker, J. B. Piatt, T. J. Melish, M. E. Lard, Philip Galley, T. V. Berry, T. C. McKeever, J. B. Crane, F. D. Power, T. A. Crenshaw, E. B. Challener, W. T. Goodloe, L. S. Brown, W. L. Hayden, and S. W. Brown.
Of those who have held protracted meetings, Thomas Campbell, Alexander Campbell, Walter Scott, John Lindsey, Robert Graham, Wesley Lamphear, O. A. Burgess, W. T. Moore, Isaac Erret, J. F. Rowe, M. L. Streator, and A. E. Myers will be remembered by many of the members. Many others have spoken here the word of the Lord in occasional discourses, of whom the names are recalled of Thomas Munnell, C. L. Loos, Dr. W. A. Belding, Leroy R. Norton, J. R. Frame, W. S. Earl, J. M. Streator, Campbell Jobes, S. B. Teagarden, W. K. Pendleton, John L. Darsie, J. I. West, Joseph King, F. M. Green, J. H. Hendron, and H. K. Pendleton. The largest membership at any time has been three hundred. In removing from the village to the borough quite a number did not follow the meetings on the Lord’s day. The present number enrolled is about two hundred and twenty.
The Sunday-school work began in this church with the year 1844. The brothers Langly, Henry and James, especially Henry, were the active persons in the movement. They had charge of the school for five or six years, which at that time consisted of forty or fifty members. The highest number it ever reached was one hundred and sixteen. Following these noble men there have been called to the superintendency Dr. Cole, R. B. Chaplin, Franklin Nichol, William McGary, John Campbell, John Keeny, George Crall, J. B. Crane, Frank Langdon, Sr., Erasmus Wilson, and Prof. W. C. Lyne. Franklin Nichol is the present superintendent, and there are nine teachers and above ninety pupils. The school is regarded in a prosperous condition. It has contributed regularly and liberally to foreign missions, and is said to hold the proud position of the banner-school, having given more according to numbers than any other school in the whole Disciple brotherhood.
Methodist Protestant church.—This denomination grew out of dissensions in the Methodist Episcopal Church. All over the country new organizations sprang up under the name of Methodist Protestant. It was about 1828 when this division took place at the General Conference in session at Pittsburgh. The Rev. Asa Shinn was pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Washington at that time. He was here a year after, but was affected by the dissension, took part in it, and became one of the leaders. In the summer of 1830 a missionary of the new denomination visited Washington, and found a few persons ready to unite in the organization of a church. A society was formed in the court-house, composed of Charles E. Jones and wife, James L. Porter and wife, S. B. Robinson and wife, William Harter and wife, John Sands and wife, William Hutchinson and wife, and David Schultz and wife. Of these original members Charles E. Jones is the sole survivor. He is now eighty-three years of age and resides in Washington.
Services were held in the court-house until the spring of 1836. Lot 123 on Beau Street (now owned by William Braden) was donated to the society by William Hunter, and a considerable sum of money was given to them by Charles Avery, of Pittsburgh, towards the erection of a church edifice. A brick church, thirty-five by forty-five feet, with a basement for class-room and Sunday-school purposes, was proposed. The deed for the lot was not executed until after Mr. Hunter’s death. It was made to the trustees April 20, 1841, by his executor, Robert Officer. The trustees were at that time Charles E. Jones, John R. Griffith, W. J. Hutchinson, William Bushfield, and James L. Porter. The society was incorporated Jan. 5, 1850. The church edifice was destroyed by fire on the 8th of November, 1851, at the time of the destruction by fire of Hayes’ carriage-factory. In this calamity Mr. Charles Avery, of Pittsburgh, again came to their relief and donated to the society five thousand dollars. The lot was sold to George W. Brice, Nov. 19, 1851. On the 1st of December in the same year, lot 148 on the north side of Beau Street, nearly opposite the former, was purchased of Thomas H. Baird for seven hundred and twenty-five dollars, and a second edifice was erected under the supervision of the trustees. James T. Dagg, one of their number, was appointed as general superintendent. The present brick building is the one then erected. It is forty-eight by sixty-eight feet, with a floor divided into rooms for class and Sabbath-school purposes, and an upper floor for the audience-room. The church was completed in October of 1852. It took its name of Avery Chapel from Charles Avery, who very liberally assisted the society at its organization and afterwards. By a resolution of the board of trustees, June 27, 1852, a marble slab bearing his name was placed in the front wall of the church as a memorial.
The society flourished for several years, then began to decline, and from 1869 was without a pastor. In the year 1873 the church property was leased to the Second Presbyterian Church society for a term of fifteen years, and from that time the members became scattered to other denominations. A few, however, remained, and in the winter of 1881-82 they were visited by the Rev. James Robison, an agent of the Pittsburgh Conference. After consultation it was decided to make an effort to revive the society, and to have preaching regularly, the pulpit to be supplied from Pittsburgh. The first services were held in the court-house Jan. 8, 1882. Dr. Scott, of the Methodist Recorder, preached in the morning, and the Rev. James Robison in the evening. Services are still held in the court-house, and the Rev. James Robison continues to minister to them. A society of fifty members was organized March 12, 1882. The Rev. Mr. Robison will supply the pulpit until the meeting of Conference, when a pastor will be regularly appointed. The following trustees were chosen at the organization: A. J. Ford, James P. Sayer, Andrew McDaniel, R. R. Forest, and Frederick Marshall. Following is a list of pastors serving this church from its organization to 1870: 1833-34, Rev. William Russell; 1835, Rev. Enos Woodward; 1836, Rev. John Burns; 1837, Rev. James Woodruff; 1838, Rev. James Porter; 1839, Rev. G. Hughes; 1840, Rev. Nelson Burgess; 1842, Rev. J. B. Roberts; 1843, Rev. John Cowell; 1844, Rev. James Robison; 1845, Rev. Samuel Clawson; 1847, Rev. J. C. Hazlett; 1848, Rev. G. B. McElroy; 1850, Rev. F. A. Davis; 1852, Rev. V. Lucas; 1853, Rev. Noble Gillespie; 1854, Rev. S. J. Dorsey; 1855, Rev. John Scott; 1857, Rev. W. H. Phipps; 1859, Rev. J. D. Herr; 1860, Rev. William M. Smith; 1862, Rev. W. Wallace; 1863, Rev. Henry Palmer; 1865, Rev. D. I. K. Rine; 1867, Rev. J. D. Herr; 1868, Rev. W. Griffith; 1869, Rev. A. S. Woods.
German Lutheran Church.—It is not known at what time this church organization was effected, but on the 5th of May, 1812, “Jacob Weirich, Lewis Hewitt, David Sedicker, and Christian Hornish, Trustees and Managers of the German Lutheran and Presbyterian Church of the Borough of Washington,” purchased lots 264 and 265 of the town plat from Peter Snyder for fifty dollars. Thus trustees in September of that year contracted with James Chambers, a carpenter, to build the church for one hundred and seventy dollars, the trustees furnishing the material. It was not completed until 1816, and in that year another subscription was taken up to “finish the church.” In 1818 the trustees built a small log house (which is still standing) on the northwest corner of the ground for a school-house, which was occupied for that purpose until 1831, when they rented it to Jacob Kuffenburger in consideration of his taking charge of the church building. The lots were subject to a ground-rent of two dollars when purchased, which was continued until about 1870. Repairs were made upon the church from time to time, notably in 1843 and in 1868, the latter year at a cost of about nine hundred dollars.
The name of Monesmith is given as that of the first preacher. A subscription paper in the hands of Frederick Barthel shows that the Rev. D. Henry Weygandt was employed as their pastor in 1818. He remained with them until about 1829. The Rev. John Brown became their pastor on the 21st of February, 1829. He was succeeded by the Rev. Abraham Winters, of the United Brethren, and Rev. Charles Swissler, of the Reformed German. In 1841 the Rev. H. B. Miller appears at their pastor. He was succeeded by Abraham Weills, C. G. Fredericks, John Hardle (Jan. 1, 1858), ---- Weygandt, Abraham Weills, P. Sweigert (1867), L. H. Grubel, George C. Fredericks (1871) and J. W. Myers (March, 1881). The last two are the present pastors, the former preaching in German, the latter in English. The church has a membership of about thirty. The lots in the rear, for a year or two after the purchase, were rented, and later they were used by the congregation as a burial-place, and are now used for that purpose. The facts above are from papers in the hands of Mr. Frederick Barthel, one of the present trustees of the church.
Cumberland Presbyterian Church.—The history of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, found in the general history, will show the origin of that denomination in the county. It is there shown that the Revs. Alexander Chapman, Robert Donnell, Reuben Burrow, John Morgan, and Alfred M. Bryan were missionaries who visited the congregations in this county. The Revs. John Morgan and Alfred M. Bryan arrived in Washington, Pa., July 4, 1831, where Mr. Morgan preached several times in the Methodist Episcopal Church. On the 21st of July of that year the Revs. Alexander Chapman, John Morgan, and A. M. Bryan were in Washington. Services were held at different places in the town of Washington, and the pulpit was often supplied by one or two of the missionaries. On the 29th of September, 1831, the Revs. Robert Donnell, Reuben Burrow, and Alfred M. Bryan met in court-house at Washington with the following persons, who were then organized into a society called “The Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Washington:” Abel M. S. Gordon, William Fleming, Charles Andrew, J. Huper, Elizabeth Wiley, Mary and Ann Jordan, and Martha and Amelia Mahoffey.
Meetings were held at times in the court-house, Methodist Episcopal and Baptist Churches, and there were large additions made to the church. On the 24th of February, 1832, A. M. S. Gordon, Peter Wolfe, and Moses Little were elected ruling elders, and December 25th of the same year John Hewitt and Andrew Bell were added to the number. On the 25th of May 1832, the ministers of the denominations in the county and vicinity met in Washington and constituted the Washington Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The society purchased lot 83 on Belle Street (now Wheeling), and proceeded to erect a house of worship, which was dedicated on the 14th of June 1835, by the Rev. Alfred M. Bryan. The edifice was erected mainly through the untiring efforts of Samuel McFarland who, by his own subscriptions and those of a few others, carried it forward to completion. The board of trustees from the first were Samuel McFarland, Alexander Ramsay, John Wilson, and William Smith; March 24, 1832, William Smith, Matthew Griffin, Joseph Martin, and Ezekiel Thorp; March 24 1846 Hugh Munnel, John Guthrie, James McElree, and H. B. McCollum. The elders since those mentioned above were James McDowell, Sep. 21 1835; James Guthrie, Ezekiel Thorp and William Smith, March 1838; Odell Squier, March 1844; William Smith, September 1851. The ministers who were called to the pastorate of this church have been Revs S.M. Aston, J. Shook, J. Eddy, Milton Bird, A. T. Ruse, W.E. Post, S.E. Hudson, S. Murdock, Philip Axtel, Robert Martin, J. C. Thompson, A.S. Robertson, Frederick Wall, John R. Brown, ___ Weaver, and John Edmiston. These pastors served until about 1865, when from various causes the church declined, and being without a pastor, the members began to unite with other churches. In 1867 the church edifice was rented to the trustees of the Christian Church, and so on the 14th of October, 1873, the trustees of the Cumberland Society conveyed the property to them.
African Methodist Episcopal Church. This society was formed about the year 1818, with the following members: Benjamin Dorsey, George Bolden, John Clonby, Caleb Eddy, Hosk Lives, Margaret Cramer, Hannah Smith, Terry Robertson, Maria Conner, Betsy Philips, and Chloe Warfield. A lot was afterwards purchased in the east end of town, between Chestnut and Walnut Streets, and a church edifice erected, which was used by the society until 1876; and on the 1st of April in that year the trustees purchased the church building formerly used by the Methodist Church, in which they still worship. The Rev Mr. Ross is the present minister in charge. The old building is used as a school-house for colored children.
Wright's Chapel. The society who worship in this chapel was formed about 1843, under the Right Rev. Bishop J. J. Clinton and the Rev. Abram Cole. The chapel is situated near the old church of the African Methodist Society.
The Branch Bank of Philadelphia. The original Bank of Philadelphia was chartered on the 5th of March, 1805. By a supplement to the act of incorporation, passed on the 3d of March, 1809, the bank was allowed to establish eight branch banks throughout the State, by and with the consent and desire of the people in the place where they intended to locate. Upon an expressed desire on the part of the people of Washington and vicinity, they were authorized by the Bank of Philadelphia to choose directors, to be known as Directors of the Office of Discount and Deposit. The following persons were chosen: Parker Campbell, president; David Sheilds, Thomas Acheson, Robert Hazlett, Hugh Wilson, Alexander Reed, Daniel Moore, David Cook, Alexander Murdoch, Joseph Pentecost, John Hoge, James Allison, Thomas Patterson, William Hogg, James Stevenson, and Robert Rowland. The directors elected John Neal cashier.
A Lot was purchased on the corner of Main Street and Strawberry Alley, and the banking- office was opened in a house then standing upon it. On the 31st of July, 1809, the cashier advertised that "the bank has commenced its operations." The bank continued business at this place until 1825. On the 1st of August in that year John Neal, "late cashier," advertised, dated "Philadelphia Bank, Office of Discount and Deposit, Washington, Pa," that the office has finally closed, and its concerns removed to the parent bank at Philadelphia. Daniel Moore, Esq., and the Rev. Thomas Hoge were authorized to act for the bank in the settlement of its affairs. In this advertisement he also advertised the banking-house for sale.
On the 7th of March, 1818, a law was passed by the Legislature of the State to change the branch bank of Philadelphia at Washington into an original institution, part of which act is as follows:
"Whereas, Parker Campbell and Daniel Moore, for themselves, and on behalf of Thomas Patterson, Thomas H. Baird, David Sheilds, Thomas McGriffin, Thomas Hoge, and Alexancer Murdoch, all of the County of Washington, State of Pennsylvania, have entered into an agreement with the Philadelphia Bank for the sale and transfer by said bank of the debts and real property due and claimed at their office of Discount and Deposit at Washington, Pennsylvania, to the persons hereafter named, and such other persons as may associate or join with them for a bank at Washington. And, whereas, it is represented to the Legislature that by changing the said office or branch into an original bank, with a suitable capital, so as not to increase the present banking capital, or the number of banking institutions heretofore allowed in the State, more general accommodation to the citizens of that country and the adjacent counties would be afforded, and that individual ruin and distress, as well as general embarrassment, in that part of the State would be avoided, without any prejudice whatsoever to the interests of the State at large. Therefore, Be it enacted,.....That in the room and stead of the Branch Bank in Washington, Pennsylvania, a bank shall be established in said place with with a capital of not less than two hundred and twenty-six thousand dollars, on the conditions hereafter specified. That so soon as Thomas Patterson, Thomas H. Baird, David Sheilds, Thomas McGiffin, Daniel Moore, Thomas Hoge, Alexander Murdoch, Parker Campbell, and such other persons as may become shareholders, ... and they and their successors and assigns are hereby created and declared to be one body politic and corporate, by the name, style, and title of ' The Franklin Bank of Washington, Pennsylvania,' and by the same name shall so continue until this first day of May, A.D. one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five, and no longer...."
The act contains seven sections and twenty articles, Section five provides that the commisoners shall open books for subscriptions "three days successively, commencing on the first Monday in May next." Article second named the directors, as follows: Thomas Patterson, David Sheilds, Thomas McGiffin, Thomas Hoge, Alexander Murdoch, Daniel Moore, and Parker Campbell, who were to hold office until the third Monday in November, 1818. On the 6th day of April. 1818, the commissioners advertised the books open for subscription to commerce May 4th, and to be held open three days. No notice is made in the papers of the day, or in any record that has been found, of any further action taken by the stockholders or directors of the Franklin Bank, and from the fact that the Branch Bank of Philadelphia remained in business under the same style and title as at first, until finally closed in 1825 (as shown by the statement of the cashier), it is inferred that the Franklin Bank did not cmpley with the requirements of the law of March 7, 1818, changing the Branch Bank at Washington to the Franklin Bank, and the change was not made.
The Bank of Washington. - The meeting for taking into consideration the expendiency of establishing "an Original Bank" in the borough of Washington was held at the house of Richard Donaldson, in December, 1813. J. Lyle was called to the chair, and John Purviance was chosen secretary. The following resolutions were submitted and adopted:
"1st. resolved, that it is important and expedient to the interstate of the people of Washington County that an Original Bank be established in the Borough. 2d resolved, That we associate for the purpose, and that a committee be appointed to draft the articles of association to be reported forthwith for our approbations and signatures."
In pursuance whereof, T. Baird, R. Hamilton, and J. Purviance were nominated, who reported the following, which were unanimously adopted.
This is followed by seventeen articles of association.
A company was formed under the name of the "Bank of Washington;" the capital stock consisted of ten thousand shares of $50 each. Fifteen directors were chosen, who were to be the managers, and the bank was authorized to commence business when fifteen per cent of the capital stock was paid in. The directors appointed for the first year were Thomas Baird (president), Robert Hamilton, John Lyle, David Morris, Hugh Hagerty, Isaac Mayes, George Morgan, Eleazer Jenkins, William Vance, Dr. S. Murdoch, Hugh Workman, George Baird, John Watson, Daniel Leet, and John Purviance. The action of the company was presented to the grand jury at the December term then in session, who ernestly recommended it to the Legislature, and prayed that a charter of incorporation be granted. The board of directors of the Bank of Washington met at the house of David Morris, on Friday 25, 1814, and it was resolved to open books of subscription on the 21st of March in that year at twenty-eight places
which were designated, and commissioners were appointed to receive subscriptions. This action, however, was postponed, as it was ascertained that a general banking law was under consideration in the State Legislature. On the 21st of March following the meeting of the board of directors a general law was passed by the Legislature of Pennsylvania, dividing the State into twenty-seven districts, "in which banks may be established," and "the county of Washington shall be a district, and may establish one bank to be called the Bank of Washington." Under this law the Bank of Washington was organized, and thirteen directors elected. The following-named commissioners were appointed by the act to receive subscriptions in the Washington district;
Thomas Baird, Alexander Murdoch, David Craig, Isaac Mayes, Robert Bowland, Jr., John Watson, Eleazer Jenkins, John Clemens, and James Gordon. The amount of stock allowed for this county was ten thousand shares at $50 per share.
"At a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Bank of washington, held at the house of David Morris, is in the borough of Washington, on the 16th of August, 1814, Resolved, That a president be chosen. The board accordingly proceeded to ballot, and upon counting the votes Thomas Baird was declared duly elected, after which the following resolutions were moved and adopted:
"Resolved, That a house be rented. Resolved That the foregoing resolution be reconsidered; and further Resolved, That it is expedient to purchase Hugh Wilson's house for the sum of six thousand dollars with the privilege proposed. Resolved That Alexander Murdoch, Thomas Baird, and David Morris be a committee to make the above purchase. Resolved That James Orr, David Morris, and Robert Hamilton be a committee to build the vault and make the necessary repairs for opening the bank as soon as possible.
" Resolved That the candidate for the office of cashier shall come forward with security of thirty thousand dollars, and that one be elected at the next meeting. Resolved That A. Murdoch, Thomas Baird, and George Morgan be a committee to draft a code of by-laws for the government of the board. Resolved, That the board adjourn to meet on the 20th inst. at ten o'clock.
"August 20th. - The board met agreeable to adjournment. Mr. Baird, from the committee appointed to purchase the house of Hugh Wilson, report that they did not think proper to accede to the propositions of Hugh Wilson and therefore did not purchase. Resolved That Thomas Baird, A. Murdoch, and David Morris to be a committee to treat with the county commissioners for sufficient ground near the public building to build a banking house. Resolved, That Thomas Baird, A. Murdoch, and D. Morris be a committee to rent Mr. Hazlett's house... The board proceeded to ballott for a cashier, and upon counting the votes John Barrington was declared duly elected. A note was received from Thomas Baird, Esq., resigning his seat as president of the bank; whereupon, Resolved, That J. Barrington, D. Morris, and James Orr be a committee to make a vault and make the necessary arrangements for opening the bank." 1
1 John Barrington, of Philadelphia, offered as a candidate for cashier, and presented Daniel Moore, Robert Hazlett, Thomas Acheson, and John Hughes as sureties. At the same time Samuel Cunningham, of Washington, offered as a candidate for cashier, and presented Joseph Pentecost, Alexander Reed, David Morris, and Parker Campbell as sureties.
The Committee appointed to visit the county commissioners reported that the public square was to be used for public purposes only, and its diversion to other uses would cause it to revert to the original owners, and the project was abandoned. On the 17th of May, in 1815, the bank purchased of John Wilson a lot, twenty-five by two hundred and fourty feet, fronting on Market Street, for two thousand five hundred dollars, "for the purpose of erecting thereon a suitable banking-house." On the 31st of July following the cashier, J. Barrington, advertised for proposals for brick, stone, scanting, and other material. The building was erected on the site occupied by the present bank building of Samuel Hazlett.
In the general law of March, 1814, Section 10 provided that immediately after declaration of dividends on the first Monday of November in every year the bank "shall transmit eight per cent. on the whole amount of dividend which shall have been declared on said day and during the proceeding year to the State Treasurer for the use of the Commonwealth." In case this section was not complied with, the charter, "shall become null and void." This bank continued till November, 1818, when it failed to comply with this requirement and forfeited its charter, as did many others in the State for the same cause. The bank forwarded to the bank department proof that the neglect was by reason of accident, and the charter was restored by act of Legislature, Feb 2, 1819, and business was resumed; but troubles followed, and in the Reporter of July 31, 1819, was published the following advertisement:
"In consequence of contemplated arrangements with the Philadelphia Bank having failed, the stockholders of the Bank of Washington, Pa., are requested to meet at the banking-house on Monday, the 20th of Sept. next, to consider the propriety of closing the concerns of the institution as speedily as circumstances will permit.
"By order of the board of directors,
"J. BARRINGTON, Cashier
"Washington, July 31, 1819."
To this action a protest was made, signed by twenty-six stockholders, asking a delay of the meeting fifty days. At a meeting of the stockholders, August 7th, a call was issued for a meeting September 8th (by powers given them in the law of 1814, regulating banks).
The meeting was held the 8th, as called by the stockholders. On the lst of November the same year (1819) the stockholders again held a meeting, and after other business, appointed the following persons as a board of managers for the year; James Cummins, Samuel Murdoch, Thomas McCall, John Hoge, and David Sheilds. The managers called a meeting to be held on the 2d of December, to finally wind up and close the concerns of the institution. To this proceeding the directors objected, and called a meeting held by the managers, John Neal, of the Philadelphia Bank, was appointed their agent to close up the concerns of the bank. Later, the managers called a meeting of stockholders to be held on the 16th of February, 1820, at which time seventy-nine stockholders met at the banking-house either in person or by proxy. Craig Ritchie was chosen chairman, Thomas McCall and William Sample secretaries. Resolutions were passed sustaining the managers. On the 7th of March, 1821, an act of the Legislature was passed confirming the action of the stockholders in the appointment of five managers, and ratifying the action of the managers. The preamble of the act states that no dividend had been declared nor any election of officers held since the third Monday of November, 1818, and the charter of the bank has thereby become null and void, except as to the power and priviledge of enforcing prior contracts, and closing its concerns as provided by the act. Later, the property of the bank was conveyed by Thomas H. Baird to David Acheson, Alexander Murdoch, and John Marshall, trustees, who on the 4th of March, 1822, advertised the property for sale at public vendue, at the court-house in the borough of Washington, on the 25th of March following. A portion of the property of the bank was one brick house and lot on the southwest corner of Market and Maiden Streets; a frame house and lot on the southeast corner of the same street, and other lots, all in the borough of Washington, and fourteen hundred and fifty acres of land in the counties of Washington, Beaver, and Greene. On the 13th of October, 1823, John Neal, as agent, called the stockholders to attend a meeting at the office of Philadelphia Bank on Monday, November 17th, to elect five managers to direct the affairs of the Washington Bank the ensuing year. It is ascertained by the newspapers that the stockholders met year after year and elected managers until 1834. Soon after the close of the Philadelphia Bank in 1825, and the return of Mr. Neal to Philadelphia, Joseph Henderson, of Washington, was appointed agent of the managers of the Washington Bank, and so continued till the final closing of its affairs, in the spring of 1834.
First National Bank of Washington.- On the 9th of March 1836, the Legislature of Pennsylvania passed an act which provided and declared: "That Alexander Reed, Daniel Moore, William Hunter, Robert Officer, Thomas McGiffin, Dr. Francis J. LeMoyne, Henry Langley, John K. Wilson, Thomas McCall, David Eckert, Jacob Slagle, William Brownlee, George Wilson, Dr. Samuel Murdoch, Walter Craig, Samuel McFarland, James Stevens, Thomas Morgan, John Cook, Enoch Wright, William Smith, Joseph Henderson, Alexander Sweeny, Samuel Mount, Calvin M. Reed, Aaron Fenton, James Ruple, George Black, John Morgan, John Watson, John S. Brady, and Thomas M. T. McKennan be and they are hereby appointed commissioners, who, or a majority of whom, are authorized to carry into effect as soon as they may deem it expedient after the passage of this act the establishment of a bank, to be called and known by the name of the Franklin Bank of Washington, agreeably to acts passed March 21, 1814, March 25, 1824, and April 1, 1835, relative to banks." The bank was authorized to have a capital stock of three hundred thousand dollars, and to be managed by thirteen directors, the charter of the bank to continue in force until Nov 2, 1850.
The commissioners advrtised a meeting to be held Sep 15, 1836, for an election of officers, which was held, and the following named directors were elected: Alexander Reed (president), Daniel Moore, Daniel Huston, David Eckert, William Hunter, Samuel Murdoch, Nathan Pusey, William Brownlee, Thomas McCall, Robert Wylie, George Wilson, John S. Brady, and Aaron Fenton. John Marshal was afterwards appointed cashier.
At this meeting Daniel Moore, William Hunter, and John S. Brady were appointed "to make inquiry with regard to a suitable house to be occupied by the bank." On the 7th of October, 1836, Mr. Brady reported a three years' lease of the property owned by Richard N. Harding, now owned by Mrs. Maria Watson, and occupied by Morgan & Hargreaves' store. On the 7th of October 1836, it was ordered that the sum of thirty thousand sollards of the Franklin Bank of Washington notes be filed up, signed, and registered; that two-thirds of the amount be in five-dollar notes and one-third in ten-dollar notes. On the 20th of October, 1836, it was "Resolved, that the bank commence discounting on this day two weeks." In acordance with the resolution business opened and bills were discounted on the 3d of November, 1836. The statement of the condition of the bank at this time, November 3d, was as follows: capital stock paid in, $39,095; deposits, $8412; notes in circulation, $1535.
On the 20th of April, 1837, Samuel Cunningham was elected clerk, and retained the position till his death. The statement made by the bank Nov. 1, 1837, is as follows: capital stock paid in, $100,000; deposited, $53,000; notes in circulation, $27,000; due from other banks, $7,462.
During the year 1837 the bank passed through the trying period of general suspension without difficulty. On the 3d of January, 1839, a contract was entered into with J. and H. Langley for the present property of the bank for three thousand dollars, and after the necessary changes were made the bank was transfered to the new office, where it remained until May 10, 1882, when it was removed across the street to the office previously occupied by Samuel Hazlett's banking-office, where it will remain until the new bank building now being erected on the site of the old office is completed.
Alexander Reed remained president of the bank until his death in September, 1842. Daniel Huston was elected president on the 22d of September in the same year, and resigned the 14th of December 1843. Thomas M. T. McKennan was elected president on the 22d of the same month, and served until his death in July, 1852. Colin M. Reed was elected president on the 29th of July 1852, and is still in that office. On the 5th of March, 1857, John Marshel tendered his resignation as cashier on account of the infirmitives of age, which as accepted, and the following entered upon the books:
"March 12, 1857.
"After a service of more than twenty years as cashier of the Franklin Bank since its organization, John Marshel, Esq., has tendered his resignation of that office on account of impaired health and increasing infirmities. During this period the bank has sustained no losses compared with the operation of cotemporary institutions, all its liabilitites have in every emergency been punctually redeemed according to their tenor, it has secured and retained the confidence of the public, and it has yielded a fair remuneration to its stockholders. In the accomplishment of such results the cashier has had no secondary agency. Services thus faithful demand and deserve an appropriate acknowledgment," which was made in a series of resolutions adopted by the board.
On the 19th of March, 1857, Samuel Cunningham was elected cashier of the bank in place of John Marshel, resigned, but by reason of his advancing age and delicate health he declined, and on the 26th of the same month James McIivaine, the present cashier, was appointed. The latter part of this year was the famous "panic of '57," but on the 28th of September the Franklin Bank, by their directors, unanimously resolved "That this bank will not suspend the payment in specie of all its liabilities." Two days later the condition of the bank was made known in the following statement: Capital stock, $150,000; circulation, $184,695; deposits $67,049; due to other banks, dividends, etc. $32,525. The amount of available funds September 28th was $68,896. The drain on the bank was not great, as the resolution restored confidence, but the amount ran down slowly, reaching the lowest point in January, 1858, when it was $45,000.
At a meeting of stockholders held Sept. 24, 1864, it was decided to reorganize under the National Banking Law. On the 14th of October the cashier notified the board that two-thirds of the capital stock has signed the articles of association of the First National Bank of Washington, Pa. The organization was effected October 27th. The national bank went into operation with a capital stock of $150.000, in four thousand shares of $37.50 each, and with nine directors instead of thirteen as in the old bank. Officers; Colin M. Reed, president; James McIlvaine, cashier; Samule Cunningham, teller. In the spring of 1865 Mr. Cunningham, being then nearly severnty-seven years of age, resigned his position as teller, and was succeeded in that office by A.S. Ritchie on the 1st of May in that year. Mr. Cunningham died May 17, 1875, in his eighty-seventh year.
The circulating notes of the First National Bank bear date Dec. 2, 1864. The amount of notes of the old Franklin Bank yet outstanding is $2940. The condition of the bank as shown by the statement made Feb 14, 1882, was as follows: capital stock, $150,000; national notes, $75,000; outstanding, $126,200; individual deposits, $387,864; total resources, including other items, $750,640.96.
The subject of a new bank building was brought before the stockholders in the spring of 1882. After considerable delay and discussion it was decided to build. On the 11th of May the contract was awarded to Nelson Van Kirk, of Washington, for the erection and completion of the building, with the exception of the iron-work of the vault, for the sum of $15,000, the building to be completed Nov. 15, 1882. The building is to be twenty-eight feet three inches on Main Street, extending back sixty-two feet six inches, three stories in height, with vaults in the first and second stories. The lower floor to be entirely devoted to banking purposes. The second floor will contain two suites of rooms, fitted up for attorney's offices. The third floor will contain a large hall. The work of demolition of the old building commenced on the 15th of May, the bank having been removed to the office previously occupied by Samuel Hazlett's bank.
This bank has by good management and economy been enabled to declar a semi-annual dividend of six per cent, for many years. The last public sale of its stock was made at thirty per cent, premium. The present officers of the bank are: Directors, C. M. Reed (president), Alexander Murdoch, Thomas McKean, Lewis Baker, William Davis, S.M. Templeton, D.C. Houston, John McClay, John Vance; Cashier, James McIlvaine.
Samuel Hazlett's Bank -. This bank was established on the 1st of April, 1837, by Samuel Hazlett, the father of the present owner. The office was opened in his residence, on the site of the present brick dwelling known as the Hazlett mansion, which was built in 1851, and the office of the bank transferred to it. The business was conducted by Samuel Hazlett, Sr., till his death in November, 1863. After the settlement of the estate, Samuel Hazlett, Jr., reopened the bank Jan. 1, 1866, and continued the business in the same place until the erection of the present bank building on the west side of Main Street nearly opposite the old office. Possession was taken and business commenced in the new banking-house on the 29th of March, 1882.
Banking-House of Hopkins, Wright & Co. -In the fall of 1870, William Hopkins, Joshua Wright, and James H. Hopkins formed a partnership under the above name for the purpose of carrying on a banking business. An office was first opened in Lonkert's building, where the office of the Washington Savings-Bank now is, and in the spring of 1876 removed to their present quarters. The firm are now closing business and intend to retire.
The Washington Savings-Bank was organized in 1873 with a capital stock of $100,000 in 2000 shares of $50 each. This amount was soon after raised to 3000 shares. On this stock twenty per cent was apid, and the company commenced business. James W. Kuntz was elected president, Samuel Ruth cashier. The office last occupied is on the site of the old John Dodd tavern. The present board of the directors are W.S. Bryson, Lewis Barker, Workman Hughes, John V. Hanna, G.W. Moninger, Jr., D.S. Reynolds, Nelson Van Kirk, and John V. Lacock. The bank was successful for a number of years, when they became financially embarrassed, and on the 4th of May 1882, ex-United States Marshal John Hall was appointed receiver by the court, and its affairs are now being brought to a close.
Washington County Fire Insurance Company - This company was incorporated by act of Assembly approved April 1, 1837. The corporators were Saniel Moore, Alexander Reed, William Hunter, Robert Officer, Samuel Murdoch, John K. Wilson, Samuel Hazlett, James Stevens, William Smith, John Dagg, Thomas M. T. McKennan, Thomas McGiffin, Jacob Slagle, "and all other persons who may hereafter associate with them,....for the purpose of insuring their respective dwelling-houses, stores, shops, and other buildings, household furniture, merchandise, and other property against loss or damage by fire." The company was not organized and perfected until July 5, 1847, when Colin M. Reed was chosen president, and John K. Wilson secretary. The first policy was issued on the 1st of January, 1848, to James F. Brown, and was placed on the brick house opposite the court-house (now known as the Boyle building). The presidents from the first have been Colin M. Reed, July 5, 1847, Samuel Hazlett, Sept. 12, 1848, Colin M. Reed, Sept. 10,1859; William Hopkins, Nov. 26, 1859; Alexander W. Acheson, Sept. 12, 1863; Alexander Murdoch, April 8, 1864; William J. Matthews, April 23, 1869; Alexander Murdoch, Dec 28, 1874 (still in office).
The secretaries from the first have been John K. Wilson, July 5, 1847; John Grayson, Sept. 1, 1850; John Grayson, Jr., Sept. 9, 1854; David Aiken, Sept. 7, 1863; S.M. Marsh, April 14, 1870 (still in office).
The losses from April 1870, to December, 1873, were about $9000; from Dec. 28, 1873 to Jan. 1, 1882, $4337.82. There were 305 policies written in 1881; 1060 policies outstanding Jan. 1, 1882. The expenses of conducting business and losses, 1881, thirty-four per cent of premiums. The company have $25,000 accumulations since 1874. Its office has been in the Young Building. By an act of Assembly passed March 27, 1852, the charter was extended twenty years. After this time the charter expired by limitation, and a new one was obtained Decx. 28, 1873, under the geneal act of April 2, 1856, by the name of the "Washington Fire Insurance Company." The following were the corporators: W. J. Matthews, John C. Hastings, W.W. Warrick, V. Harding, Lewis Barker, James D. Ruple, John McElroy, T.J. Hodgins, John D. Chambers, William Siran, Samuel Hazlett, Alexander Murdoch, and L. M. Marsh.
The business has been conducted under the same management and plan as before. The present officers are: Prsident, Alexander Murdoch; Vice-President, Samuel Hazlett; Secretary, L. M. Marsh; Directors, Alexander Murdoch, Samuel Hazlett, John C. Hastings, John Hall, James B. Ruple, John McElroy, Vachel Harding, S. M. Warrick, Lewis Barker, L. M. Marsh, W.W. Smith, J.W. Lockhart; Agent; Agent, W. R. Wonsettler.
Assessment of Mutual Life Association. – Under the provisions of a supplement to an act to establish an insurance department, approved March 1, 1876, the Assessment Mutual Life Association, located at Washington, Pa., was incorporated on the 7th of February, 1880. The following officers were elected: Samuel Hazlett, president; W. R. McConnell, vice-president; J. W. Woods, secretary; T. C. Noble, treasurer; Frederick Whittlesey, M.D., medical director; Adam Harbison, J. W. McDowell, Samuel Hazlett, W. R. McConnell, J. W. Woods, T. C. Noble, and Frederick Whittlesey, directors. This action was certified to the insurance department at Harrisburg, and approved by J. W. Forster, insurance commissioner, and by Henry W. Palmer, attorney-general, Feb. 9, 1880, and by Henry M. Hoyt, Governor, and J. R. McAfee, Secretary of State, on the 14th of February the same year. An office was opened in Smith's Iron Front. The first policy was issued Feb. 20, 1880, to Samuel Hazlett. The office remained in the same place until July 6, 1881, when rooms were fitted up in Bryson Block, Wheeling Street. After a successful business of two years the company was suddenly brought to a close by a decision of the Supreme Court which led the commissioners of the insurance department to call upon all assessment companies to show cause why they should not cease business. The notice was issued on the 11th of April, 1882. Two hundred and thirteen companies were included in the list. This company, having complied with the law in every respect and been accepted by the proper authorities, were working in good faith. Their first loss occurred March 8, 1881, in the death of Mrs. Elizabeth Legler, of Finleyville. Since that time four others have occurred; after the two first the company were in condition to pay losses in full, on which but two assessments had been made. The number of policies that had been written was eleven hundred and twenty-one. A meeting of the company was held, and after due consideration and in view of the uncertainty of legal decisions it was decided to discontinue business on the 1st of May, 1882. On the 11th of May following, T. C. Noble was appointed receiver by the court of Washington County, and the affairs of the company are now being closed.
Schools. – It is not known that a school was taught in Washington prior to the establishment of the academy in 1787. In the summer of that year the leading men of the county united in petitioning the Legislature of the State for a charter for an academy to be located at the county-seat, and known as the Washington Academy. The petition was granted, and the institution was incorporated on the 24th of September, 1787. The trustees named in the act were the Rev. John McMillan, Rev. Joseph Smith, Rev. Thaddeus Dodd, Rev. John Clark, Rev. Matthew Henderson, Rev. John Corbley, Judge James Allison, John McDowell, Col. James Marshel, and Thomas Scott. A room was engaged in the upper story of the log court-house that then stood on the public square fronting on Cherry Alley. The school was opened in 1789 with twenty students under the charge of the Rev. Thaddeus Dodd, who was the first principal. He remained with the school until the winter of 1790, and was succeeded by David Johnson, who continued until the spring of 1791, when he resigned, and soon after became the principal of the Canonsburg Academy. The log court-house was destroyed by fire in the winter of 1790-91, and for a few months the school was taught in another room. Mordecai Hoge, who died in 1870, was born in Washington, Jan. 22, 1784. In conversation with Prof. John Messenger, many years ago, he said that when about six years old he attended the school in Washington. It was held in a hewed log cabin with low windows and corresponding writing-desks, and benches made of long slabs. The court-house and jail at that time were on the first floor and under the same roof. The room in the second story was used for the academy, it being the origin of Washington College.
It has been found a difficult task to obtain information concerning the early schools in Washington, and much of the following has been gleaned from the newspapers. The earliest mention is an advertisement in the Western Telegraphe of Sept. 8, 1795, as follows:
"Nicholas Charles Visinier, a Frenchman, educated in Paris, has for some time past taught the French language in the town of Washington; from the encouragement received he is led to solicit from the generous citizens of the said town and country a continuation of their patronage in support of his future exertions. . . . He waits on Ladies and Gentlemen at their own homes at stated hours; subscriptions will be received at his house in Washington, near the Academy, at the low price of $4.00 per Quarter."
He remained in the town two years after this time and sold his house and lot to R. Curry.
On the 29th of November, 1796, William Porter advertised to open an evening school at the school-house on Wheeling Street. The school-house here mentioned was the Old Red School-house, then standing on the spot where the south wing of the old college building now stands; later it was moved to the lot now occupied by the First Presbyterian Church. On this lot the house stood many years (being still well remembered by the old citizens), until the sale of the lot to the Presbyterian Society, when it was torn down. William Porter, without doubt, taught the day school then also. He was the only school-teacher whose name appears on the assessment roll of 1798. On the 3d of January, 1797, the following advertisement was published in the Telegraphe:
"For the benefit of the Academy. – On Tuesday, Jan'y 10 will be performed at the Academy in the Town of Washington a Comedy called 'Trick upon Trick or the Vintner in the Suds.' To begin at 6 o'clock. Admittance one quarter of a dollar."
On the 28th of December, 1799, M. C. Staes advertised in the Herald of Liberty that "a subscription is this day opened at the office of the Herald for a French school to be kept in this town on the following terms, viz.: each subscriber to pay $6.00 per quarter. The school will commence as soon as there are twelve subscribers. . . . P.S. – I am at present teaching at Williamsport [Monongahela City]." It has not been ascertained whether the requisite number of subscribers were obtained, or whether the school was opened. Miss Good was teaching school in the town in November, 1800. On the 16th of November she advertised that she intended to leave the town the following spring. She, however, returned not long afterwards and opened a "Ladies' school," and advertised, Feb. 3, 1809, that she "intends opening a school on the first of April next for the tuition of young ladies in the following branches, viz.: Tambouring and Embroidery, Open Work, Painting, and Drawing, together with Plain Sewing and Reading."
On the 20th of June, 1805, John Hoge sold to Alexander Little, James Gilmore, and Robert Anderson lot No. 77, on Belle Street (now Wheeling), to be "made use of for a school-house, and for no other purpose, unless it be for building a house or place of public worship." On the rear of this lot a brick school-house was erected. In the year 1807, Michael Law and William O'Hara were assessed as teachers, and probably taught in this house and the Red School-house. The school-house and lot were sold to the trustees of the Baptist Church, and the title was later confirmed by the Legislature. A school, called the Washington Classical Academy, was soon after opened by the Rev. Charles Wheeler, pastor of the Baptist Church. On the 26th of October, 1818, he, in an advertisement, returns his grateful acknowledgements to the patrons of the seminary, and further states that he intends to employ an assistant teacher. On the 3d of December, 1821, he advertised that he "has opened a seminary for the tuition of young ladies," with Miss G. Cairns as assistant.
David Johnson, who was an assistant teacher with the Rev. Thaddeus Dodd in the academy, and was the principal in 1790-91, returned from Canonsburg in 1812 and opened a school in Washington. The cost of tuition was three pounds twelve shillings and five pence per pupil. An account is found that contains a list of subscribers from Jan. 1, 1813, to April 1, viz.: Parker Campbell, Alexander Murdoch, Hugh Workman, Matthew Ocheltree, Mrs. Cunningham, Mrs. Huston, Gen. Thomas Acheson, Joseph Huston, John Hughes, John Hoge, Mrs. Mary Waugh, Thomas H. Baird, Dr. David Mitchell, David Morris, James Workman, Samuel Hughes, Capt. King, J. Neal, D. Cook, Alexander Reed, J. Shaffer, John Wilson, Obadiah Jennings, D. White, Mrs. Dunlap, A. Kerr, William McCammant, Mrs. Price. Alexander Reed and Obadiah Jennings were trustees. The aggregate income as paid by the trustees as $453.10.
About 1811, Mrs. Baker opened a young ladies' seminary in the house owned by Hugh Wilson, on Main Street near Maiden, and formerly occupied by Dr. John Julius Le Moyne as a drug-store. A semi-annual exhibition was held on the 12th of November, 1812. An appropriate address was made by Miss Scott, of Gettysburg, to which reply was made by Miss Collins, of Pittsburgh. Premiums were received by Miss Collins, of Pittsburgh; Miss Clark of Clarksville; Miss Buchanan, of Canonsburg; and Miss McKennan, of Washington, of the first class; and by Miss Campbell, Miss Cooke, and Miss Neal, of Washington, of the second class. The exercises closed with a dance. The school continued in the same place till the spring of 1815. On the 14th of April, 1814, Mrs. Baker advertised that she would reopen the school May 7th, and that arrangements had been made "for boarding all foreign pupils." On the 24th of April, 1815, she informed the public that the May term would commence in "a new and elegant house on Maiden Street, capable of accommodating forty young lady boarders." The school continued several years afterwards.
The following advertisement of Robert Fee's school appeared in the Reporter of June 17, 1816:
"Robert Fee respectfully informs the citizens of the borough of Washington that he purposes continuing his school, and will on the 8th of July next remove to the house of Mr. J. Greer, on Main Street, occupied by Mr. ________ Brentlinger. The following are the terms of his article:
"We, the subscribers, do hereby agree
And bind ourselves to pay to Robert Fee,
Or to his heirs, his order or assigns
(Unchangeably and firmly by these lines),
The sum of nine-fourths of a dollar each
For ev'ry scholar which he's bound to teach;
If they attend, or if they stay away
That sum we still do bind ourselves to pay;
And the said Fee doth bind himself to teach,
(As far as his abilities will reach),
For three months' term, to read and write, and through
The common rules of arithmetic too;
And by these presents he himself doth bind
Accommodations and a room to find.
If, on subscribing, payment's made in hand,
Two dollars only will be the demand.
Those who don't subscribe must pay per scholar,
For all they send, an extra quarter-dollar,
And non-subscribers, who may send one day,
For the whole quarter will be made to pay.
"Washington, June 17, 1816."
The Robert Fee here mentioned afterwards edited the Western Magazine in Washington, and later removed to Brownsville, and edited a newspaper there.
In the Reporter, Nov. 10, 1817, the following notice was published:
"An Academy for Young Ladies will be opened in the public buildings, lately erected near the court-house, under the superintendence of the Rev. Matthew Brown and Mr. James Williamson, to commence on the 10th of November next. In this academy will be taught Grammar, Composition, Belles-Lettres, Geography, and other branches of a liberal education that may be required. The terms of tuition, eight dollars per quarter. Young ladies can be accommodated with boarding in reputable families on reasonable terms.
"Washington, Nov. 3, 1817."
This school was in the second story of the market-house, which had been erected the previous year on the corner of Main and Beau Streets, where the sheriff's house now stands.
In the Reporter of Oct. 18, 1819, a card was inserted by a "lady and gentleman" to the effect that they intended to commence a school. Satisfactory testimonials given. Application to be left at D. H. Blaine's tavern.
A "Franklin" school was in operation in 1821, with a board of superintendence, of whom Mrs. Katharine Duane Morgan was one. Examinations were held and premiums awarded. The house in which this school was kept was situated on East Chestnut Street. Mrs. Whitehouse was the principal. It was considered an admirable school, and continued several years.
Samuel Marshall taught a school in 1822 in the Pine Alley school-house. Alexander Murdoch was one of the pupils in that year. Andrew Gwinn advertised to open a school on the first Monday of July 1822, in room No. 2 above the market-house. John Kerr advertised May 5, 1823, that he had commenced an "English School" on Main Street, nearly opposite to the office of the Reporter, at the south end of Main Street.
Obadiah Jennings advertised a school for young ladies to open May 1, 1824. This school was taught in a room above the Marshel house. The next year he advertised that he had engaged Samuel Marshall as assistant. Term to commence Oct. 3, 1825. Samuel Marshall advertised April 8, 1826, that he "opened an English school in the Pine Alley school-house in this borough." Mrs. Harriet Lafoucherie informed the public July 24, 1824, that she "will open a school in Washington at $1.50 per quarter." In this year Philip Potter was teaching an English school in the second story of the market-house, under the management of trustees, two of whom were John Gregg and John Shaffer. Public examinations were held. Potter taught in the market-house at various times and as late as 1832. George K. Scott also opened a school here about 1824, moved to a building opposite Wheeling Street, and in November, 1826, was teaching in the Old Red School-house near the college. Stephen Woods also taught a school in one of the rooms over the market-house about 1827. Mrs. Spencer opened a school for young ladies over Judge Baird's office (in the market-house) Nov. 5, 1825. G. R. Lilliebridge advertised Dec. 24, 1825, a reading-school in twenty-four lectures. Applicants to apply to David Morris at the Globe Hotel. School to commence on the 1st of January, 1826. James Ruggles advertised Jan. 20, 1827, a school to commence the 22d "in the house lately occupied by Cyrus Huston;" also to open a night-school. Mrs. Ruggles, at the same time and in the same place, was to open a female school.
Samuel Witherow, still living and himself an old school-teacher, says he attended school first about 1814 in the old stone Masonic building (still standing) in the rear of the old Grayson residence on Main Street. This school was taught by William O'Hara. He attended next a school taught by John Irwin in the log school-house (still standing) on the lot owned by the German Lutheran Society. It then stood in the rear of the church. About 1823 he attended school in the brick school-house on the Baptist Church lot, then kept by Stephen Woods. In 1828 he attended at the Old Red School-house. Charles De Hass was the teacher. He then lived in the old college building. William O'Hara was a teacher in this building long prior to this time.
On the 23d day of December, 1830, a large meeting of citizens of the town and county of Washington met at the court-house for the purpose of taking into consideration the subject of general education, and particularly common-school education, and to adopt suitable measures for calling the attention of the Legislature of the State to the subject. Alexander Reed was called to the chair. James Gordon was chosen vice-president, and Ephraim L. Blaine and William Baird were appointed secretaries. The object of the meeting having been stated a committee was appointed, consisting of Thomas Officer, Esq., Rev. Thomas Hoge, Hon. Thomas H. Baird, Aaron Kerr, Esq., and the Rev. David Elliott, to draft a petition to the Legislature expressive of their views and wishes on the subject. The committee reported a petition, which was read and adopted. The Hon. Thomas H. Baird, Rev. David Elliott, Rev. Thomas Hoge, Rev. John Waterman, and John L. Gow, Esq., were then appointed a committee to prepare and report a plan suggesting some mode by which a general system of education might be carried into effect, and to report the next evening. This committee reported and presented a plan which at that time was in practice in some of the Eastern States. Alexander Reed, William Baird, Thomas McGiffin, Joseph Henderson, Thomas M. T. McKennan, Esq., and William Hunter were appointed to prepare copies of the petition and obtain signatures to be forwarded to the Legislature. At this time the subject of a general school law was in consideration by the Legislature, but nothing was accomplished until four years later.
On the 24th of April, 1832, George K. Scott, Philip Potter, Warner Long, and Alexander G. Marshman, teachers in the borough of Washington, published a letter in the papers of the day endeavoring to regulate the school system. They agreed not to receive any pupil for less time than one quarter after April 1st, and other rules and regulations were adopted. The letter had the effect to awaken the citizens to the matter, and several meetings were held, at one of which John L. Gow, Alexander Reed, Rev. D. Elliott, Samuel Marshall, and William K. McDonald were appointed "for the purpose of devising some measure in reference to the better regulation of the Common Schools of the Borough." The committee reported, recommending co-operation by the citizens with the teachers of the common schools "in their efforts to dispense with the instruction of pupils by the day," and the appointment of a school committee "to supervise the common schools, to assist and encourage the teachers in a faithful and impartial discharge of their duties; to visit the schools from time to time, making such suggestions as they may think proper to the teachers, and to make an annual public report of the state of the schools." The report was adopted, and the measures recommended carried out with some success.
In addition to the teachers mentioned in 1832, Miss Jane Potter was teaching a young ladies' school. On the 10th of March in that year she "returns grateful acknowledgement for past support," and further states that she "will open the school the first Wednesday in April next, in a room now occupied by William Baird as an office."
In the latter part of 1832 the Washington Female Institute was established, under the superintendence of William Orr. The following gentlemen were named as references: Rev. D. Elliott, Rev. Thomas Hoge, Alexander Reed, J. Marshall, J. K. Wilson, Thomas McGiffin, John H. Ewing, Esq., Drs. Wishart and Le Moyne, and the Hon. Thomas M. T. McKennan.
Samuel Wetherow commenced teaching school in 1833 in the building first below where Mrs. Doak at present resides, and where the office of the Reporter then was located. On the 5th of July, 1836, Henry Williams opened a school for boys in the room over the market-house. He gave as one of his reasons for opening the school at that time "as the district schools are about closing for the year." On the same day Daniel Baldwin, Jr., opened a common "English School" in a building on Chestnut Street, near the Methodist Episcopal Church.
After the public school law of 1834 went into operation, the borough of Washington became regularly organized into a district. In 1835 the number of inhabitants in the town liable to taxation for school purposes was 389. The tax raised was $$320.53. In 1836 the county tax raised in the town was $626.43. There was received from the State $122.94. In 1837, $630.90 was received. The directors elected for the year 1835 were Dr. John Wishart and James Ruple. John L. Gow was appointed secretary of the board. On the 31st of October, 1835, the directors made the following report to the Secretary of the Commonwealth:
"Sir, – In the fulfillment of our duty as School Directors of the Borough of Washington, we proceed to report to you the state and condition of the Public Schools under our care since the beginning of July last, at which time our schools went into operation. A census was taken of the number of pupils attending all the Schools in the Borough some years since, and again immediately preceding the opening of the schools under the present system. In both instances the number fell something short of 200. We have now in operation three public schools, viz.: One for white male children, one for white female children, and one for colored children of both sexes. In these three have been entered as follows: Male, white, 167; female, white, 147; colored, 40. Total, 354. Making in all about 160 more than were found upon the rolls of all the schools under the old system. . . . All the schools have been kept open since the early part of July, and will be continued during the whole year, with the exception of the colored school, which is designed to be suspended for the present year, after the first of November, until the ensuing April.
"The Directors have not erected School-Houses, but have rented for the Female School a large and commodious building at $32 per annum, and for the Male School a number of rooms over the Market-House. The Colored School has been taught in the African Meeting-House, for which no rent has been charged. The aggregate amount paid for fitting up the buildings and purchasing stoves is $131.63. The amount of salaries paid for teachers and assistant in the Female School per annum is $450. In the Male School per annum is $640. Colored School, $240. For taking care of the school-room for females, $30. Total, estimated at $1395.
"The experience of the present year has satisfied the Directors of the truth of the objection often urged against the old system, viz.: That it did not really provide for the instruction of all whose parents were unable to pay for their tuition, or, in other words, that a spirit of independence (perhaps in a great degree praiseworthy) prevented many poor parents from accepting that instruction for their children which was coupled with the implication of pauperism. It is but fair to infer that a large portion of the difference in number between the rolls of the old system and the new was debarred on this account from the instruction of the schools. This number is fairly estimated at 160, but is we count it at 130, and add 50 for the number actually instructed as poor children under the former law, we shall have 180 pupils the instruction of whom, at the rates formerly paid, would amount to a sum nearly equal to the whole year's expenditure of the Borough under the present system of our schools.
(Signed) "John Wishart, Pres't."
"John L. Gow, Secretary."
After this time, for several years, little is known of the condition of the schools of the borough. In 1838 the district was assessed on two school-houses and one lot of ground, forty by one hundred and twenty feet. The teachers in that year were Edward J. Morgan and Henry Williams. For the period commencing five years later, and extending to the present time, the history of the public schools of Washington is contributed by one who is probably better qualified than any other person to furnish it, A. M. Gow, Esq., and is here given.
The school history of the borough prior to May 2, 1843, is derived from tradition, and from fragments of information gleaned from the oldest inhabitants, the newspapers, and from such records as chiefly concern the purchase and use of school property. From the above date the minutes of the school corporation have been kept with considerable accuracy to the present time, embracing a period of thirty-nine years.
The first school board of which mention is made in the minutes consisted of John Grayson, president; George Morrison, secretary; Colin M. Reed, Henry Langley, John Hart, and Professor Robert Milligan. At this period there were rarely more than two meetings of the board in a year, April or May and October. The public schools were continued for about five months, and the school-rooms were then rented to the teachers, who received tuition from subscription pupils for the rest of the year. The amount of tax levied for the public schools for the year of 1844 was $582.30. The first corps of teachers of whom mention is made consisted of Edward J. Morgan, George Freeby, Miss Sarah Hull, Thomas Officer, Samuel R. Withrow, Miss Martha Smith, Miss Mary A. Morgan, and Philip Potter, the last the teacher of the colored school. With the exception of the colored school and those for the very small children, the sexes were taught in separate buildings, in accordance with the prevalent idea that it was not in the interests of morality that boys and girls should be trained in the same school.
The school-houses in use at this period were, first, the basement of the Protestant Methodist Church, containing two rooms, located on West Beau Street, on the lot in the rear of the jail; second, a brick house in the rear of the Baptist Church, consisting of one room, which was reached by Cherry Alley; third, a one-story brick house of two rooms on the corner of Franklin Street and Cherry Alley; fourth, "The Lodge" on West Maiden Street, originally owned by the Masons, containing two rooms; fifth, A house erected for the colored school, on the lot in the rear of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, corner of East Chestnut and Lincoln Streets.
The highest salary paid the teachers per month was twenty-eight dollars, the lowest fourteen dollars, the average nineteen dollars.
There was some attempt made at classification in the schools, but no effort to make a system of gradation. The government of the schools was rude and harsh. Everything in and about the school building was rough and unattractive, so that it was not strange that after each vacation a committee was appointed by the board to repair damages to the windows, doors, and to the premises generally.
In April, 1846, a public meeting was called by order of the board to ascertain whether the people would favor an increase of the school tax for the extension of the school term. The appeal was not successful, and it was not until 1848 that the school term covered ten months of the year.
On March 3, 1848, a committee was appointed by the board to confer with the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church concerning the purchase of a lot on Franklin Street, near the corner of Chestnut. On the 11th the bargain was made, and the treasurer was authorized to borrow $402.33, with which to make the first payment. The trustees of the church, from whom the purchase was made, were Alexander Sweney, Samuel Mount, George Lonkert, Jacob Schaffer, and William T. Fleming. The brick church building in the centre of the lot was remodeled to furnish four school-rooms. The school for the large boys occupied the upper story, which was formed by throwing a floor across from the gallery, which occupied three sides of the original audience-room. The purchase of this building gave an impetus to the school system which was exhibited in the effort to increase the tax levy and also to grade the schools.
The school board that entered upon the duty April 11, 1855, deserves a special mention for the inauguration of a new era in school affairs. It consisted of Dr. Alfred Creigh, Adam Silvey, William Mills, George W. Brice, O. B. McFadden, and R. H. Koontz. The last two were the new members, and they entered upon the work with such enthusiasm and energy that the entire board was inspired with the desire of making a revolution in school management.
On the 1st of May, after an examination of candidates by the college professors, Milligan and Alrich, in the presence of the board, Alexander M. Gow was selected as teacher of the school for the big boys; Mrs. S. B. Musser, of the school for the big girls; Horace B. Durant and A. J. Teagarden were appointed to teach boys; Miss Mary Jones and Miss Sarah Hull were appointed to the girls' schools; Mrs. Williams, Miss M. Smith, and Miss Mary Kaine were to teach the mixed primary; and N. B. Griffith the mixed colored school. The highest salary paid was $250, the lowest $130, while the average amounted to $174 per annum.
Each school was independent of all the rest. There was no similarity in teaching, discipline, or management. When a pupil was dissatisfied with one school, the door of another was easily opened. There was no order or method in any part of the work. In each building there was a serious and constant conflict of jurisdiction and authority among the teachers, and of rights and duties among the children. One of the first efforts to reduce this chaos to order was to bring the teachers into proper relations to each other. It was no easy task, for it involved the idea of subordination, and it was quite as difficult for the teachers to relinquish their ideas of independence as for the children. In order to effect some systematic government the Rev. Wesley Kenney, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was elected superintendent at a salary of fifty dollars per annum.
As the board was greatly in debt, everything in and about the school property was dilapidated, windows were broken, dirt abounded, fences were down and gates were awry, the coal-houses were open and the fuel was exposed. Efforts were made to correct these abuses, the property was put in good order, and the teachers were held responsible for its preservation. These changes were not effected without considerable friction, but the persistent determination of the board and the teachers overcame the obstacles and a great revolution was effected. The teachers of 1851 had largely increased salaries. John L. Gow, Esq., was invited to serve as superintendent at a salary of fifty dollars per annum. During this year vital change were made in the administration, so that the union graded school may be dated from this period.
Few persons can understand how a community can be convulsed when a radical change is attempted in its school system. The traditions of the school are very dear to everybody. The old methods have a peculiar sanctity that it is dangerous to disturb.
One day the teacher of the school for big girls was taken ill; her charge fell into incompetent hands, and the question arose what should be done with the school in order to save it from anarchy. The superintendent, John L. Gow, suggested to the board that, as the second story of the old church was sufficiently large to accommodate both schools, they should unite the two. It happened about this time that the only male teacher in the corps, besides the principal of the high school, had been discharged for incompetency, so that his pupils had to be cared for by some new arrangement. It was no sooner suggested than done. The two boys' schools and the girls' school were incorporated in one. By this change, effected in a single day, the old church was made into a union graded school, with a principal and three lady assistants, two down-stairs and one above, in charge of about two hundred pupils. Here was a shocking change, big boys and girls united in the same school, and many of them to be taught and governed by a lady! A union school was an entirely new thing to the community, and the doubts and fears of its success were neither few nor small. The board was reconciled to the plan because it saved the salary of a male teacher, and because they had confidence in the superintendent and the principal, who had been its advocates. The lady teachers favored it, because it would relieve them of some of the responsibility of government. But there were many who could not be reconciled to a change that put boys and girls under the same teacher, and others who would not be convinced that big boys could be brought to submit to the teaching and government of a woman. These topics were discussed, of course, at home, and the views of the pupils partook of the sentiments of the households. If the father and mother did not think a boy should be taught by a woman, of course their son was of their opinion, and an issue must be made in school to test the question. There were many such issues invented, and the ingenuity and persistence of those who made them showed that the inspiration came from older minds.
Fortunately the school board was composed of men of nerve and sense, who could see that after the storm of clamor and objection arising from ignorance and prejudice should subside, the success of the experiment would be assured. They supported the superintendent, the principal, and the teachers with rare fidelity, and the result was that order prevailed, discipline triumphed, prejudices were overcome, and the school became an established fact.
Such a change attracted attention, not only at home but abroad. Large numbers of visitors came to see its operations. On two occasions the grand jury of the county visited the school and reported upon its condition. They approved of the new methods of teaching and management, and advocated similar improvements in the schools of the county.
Public examinations were held during the year and at its close, which were well attended by the people. The effect of these was very beneficial, as they awakened a new interest among parents, teachers, and children. On the 23d of March, after such an examination, which occupied the two preceding days, the superintendent, John L. Gow, Esq., made a report to a large public meeting held in the court-house of the changes effected during the year and upon the condition of the schools. In the spring of 1852, John L. Gow., Esq., was again elected superintendent, and Alexander M. Gow was again chosen principal of the boys' and girls' high school at an increased salary.
In 1853, Alexander M. Gow was elected superintendent of schools, when the expediency of building a new school-house large enough to accommodate all the white children of the town began to be discussed, and a committee was appointed to make inquiry for a suitable location. The idea was not well defined in the mind of any one as to the size or cost of the proposed building. The board
Resolved, "That William W. Smith and Samuel Patton be a committee to ascertain how much money can be raised by voluntary subscription for the purpose of erecting a new school-house."
Another reason assigned for a new school building was the increasing number of children who began to be attracted to the borough school from the country. The admission of such children occasioned a great deal of trouble and no small annoyance to the schools of the town.
At the session of May 2, 1853, it was unanimously Resolved, "That it is expedient to erect a new school building this season." R. H. Koontz, president, William S. Moore, secretary, Jacob Slagle, O. B. McFadden, Alexander W. Acheson, and George W. Brice were members of the board.
The lots selected were upon the northwest corner of East Beau and Lincoln Streets. Alexander M. Gow, the principal, was sent by the board to Pittsburgh to secure the services of an architect to furnish plans and specifications for the building. Mr. John Chislett was employed, and submitted a sketch of a school building, which was adopted. It had been supposed that a suitable house could be erected for about nine or ten thousand dollars, but the ideas of the board enlarged the more that they examined the subject until they made contracts for the new house which amounted to about twenty thousand dollars. It required considerable faith and courage for the board to assume such a responsibility, especially as they were largely in debt for the purchase of the old church. The old lodge was disposed of to Mr. Andrew Brady, a contractor of the new building, for the sum of eight hundred and seventy-five dollars.
In order to enable the board to secure funds to carry on the work, an act was passed by the Legislature authorizing them to borrow money for the purpose, not exceeding twelve thousand dollars.
In order to afford complete protection to the school property, it was determined in the spring of 1855 to build a janitor's dwelling on the northeast corner of the school lot.
Upon the 3d of July, 1865, the new school-house was dedicated, and an address was delivered by Prof. E. C. Wines, D.D., to a large and appreciative audience assembled for the first time in the new school hall. The occasion was one of great public interest.
An amendment to the act of Assembly of Jan. 25, 1854, was asked by the board, whereby they "might be enabled to borrow a sum sufficient to pay for the grounds purchased, and the school edifice and janitor's house thereon erected, provided that the amount borrowed shall not exceed the sum of $20,000." At that time special legislation could be granted by the General Assembly.
On April 20, 1856, the board finally disposed of the balance of the old school property. They sold the house on the corner of Cherry Alley and First Street (now Franklin) for the sum of $480, and the old Methodist Church for $800; both properties were purchased by Col. Wm. Hopkins.
In order to supplement the salary of Alex. M. Gow, who had been superintendent for four years, he was elected treasurer of the school board May 2, 1856, and gave bonds in the sum of $10,000 for the faithful performance of the trust.
On May 2, 1856, the board adopted the following resolution:
"Resolved, That, for the purpose of completing an educational system and furnishing to such of our scholars as desire an opportunity for acquiring the rudiments of a classical education, it is the sense of the Board that another and higher department be established, provided the same can be done without additional expense to the district. This department is erected as an experiment. If tuition raised from non-residents shall be found sufficient to sustain the said department then the same shall be continued, otherwise it shall be dispensed with, but on no account shall the outstanding fund of the district be appropriated to its support. The said department is to be established on the 1st of September next."
Under the above resolution James M. Gow, then a student in the senior class of the college, was appointed the teacher of the academic division, and taught it during the next school year. He then resigned to accept a position in an institution in Illinois, and on June 11, 1857, John W. Acheson was appointed in his stead, serving also one year. At the expiration of the second year the academic division was abandoned, much to the regret of many friends, both of the school and of the college.
June 26, 1857, the official relation of Alex. M. Gow, the third superintendent of the union school, was terminated, he having resigned with the intention of moving to Illinois. His connection with the schools had continued for a period of seven years, during four years of which he had been the superintendent of the schools, and for the last year the treasurer of the board.
Mr. Gow was succeeded by Mr. D. P. Lowary, who on the 4th of May, 1857, was elected the fourth superintendent of the school. During his administration a brick school-house was erected for the colored children upon the end of the lot belonging to the African Methodist Episcopal Church, on the corner of College (now Lincoln) Street and Spruce Alley, sixty by forty-five feet. The lot was purchased from the trustees of the church for the sum of twenty-five dollars and the old building.
In 1858 the Young Men's Christian Association, at its dissolution, donated its library to the school. Rules and regulations were therefore made for the preservation and use of the books.
On the 15th of August, 1859, Mr. Lowary gave notice to the board that, owing to impaired health, he was obliged to resign his position, the resignation to take place at the end of the school year. His term of service was over two years.
Upon the 19th of August, 1859, Mr. Alex. Wishart was elected the fifth superintendent of the schools, at a salary of six hundred dollars per annum.
May 1, 1861, Mr. Wishart, having raised a military company to assist in the maintenance of the Union, offered his resignation to the board. The resignation was accepted, and a resolution was adopted expressive of the good wishes of the board. Capt. Wishart served as superintendent for two years less one month. The schools were closed at the end of the week succeeding the resignation of the superintendent.
July 15, 1861, the Rev. L. P. Streator was elected the sixth superintendent, with nine assistants. July 22d, Orland Baglin was elected janitor of the school, and with the exception of a brief interval he has occupied the position to the date of the present writing, 1882.
Aug. 9, 1862, Capt. Alex. Wishart was re-elected superintendent, and occupied the position until the fall of 1866, when he was succeeded by D. F. Patterson, Esq., the seventh superintendent. Capt. Wishart's services were highly appreciated by the board, having raised his salary twice during his term of service. He was superintendent in all nearly six years.
In the fall of 1863, Col. H. Anisansal was authorized to teach instrumental music in the school, and also French and German, but no compensation was to be paid him by the board. Whatever he received for his services was to be paid by the pupils who were instructed by him. Two pianos were rented by the board for the use of the pupils for the sum of $95 per annum, and one was purchased for the sum of $350. Miss Jennie McAuley was elected music-teacher in the fall of 1864 at a salary of $150, to be paid by the board. She was authorized to charge one dollar per month or $10 per annum, and to collect it from each pupil receiving instruction. Jan. 27, 1865, another piano was taken on trial, and an assistant piano-teacher was employed. It soon became evident that such an experiment could not be successful: it was too costly, and its benefits were limited to so few that it soon fell into disrepute, and the three pianos were finally disposed of at public auction for much less than their cost. The effort to compete with private institutions in this department of education proved a signal failure. It was not the province of a public school to teach instrumental music.
As graduation was one of the elements that served to stimulate the pupils to increased diligence, so the diploma, the evidence of this distinction, should belong to the school; a lithograph plate was accordingly provided at a cost of $85. The high school was established, and on May 16, 1867, the first class of graduates, consisting of five girls, received the diploma.
Aug. 5, 1868, Rev. W. J. Wilson, the eighth superintendent, succeeded Mr. Patterson, who had served the board for two years. Mr. Wilson's salary was fixed at $1200 per annum. The salaries of the teachers were placed uniformly, without reference to experience or length of service, at $330 per annum.
The graduates of the school in 1870 consisted of four boys and five girls.
This year the salaries of the teachers were raised to $350, the superintendent's pay remaining the same as before.
In February, 1872, Mr. Wilson received a severe injury by a pistol-shot from the hands of a boy in the school-house yard, by which for a time he was disabled. The occurrence arose from a matter of discipline connected with the school. During the time that Mr. Wilson was disabled Mr. Henry Hull took his place as superintendent.
Mr. Wilson had served as superintendent for four years, when he was superseded by the election of W. C. Lyne, the ninth superintendent.
In June, 1874, six boys and nine girls were graduated; in June, 1875, there were eight graduates, two boys and six girls.
A new room was needed to accommodate the increasing number of pupils, when the hall of the school was divided by a partition. This change prevented the graduating class from occupying it, and the exercises accordingly took place for the first time in the town hall.
Some preparation was made to exhibit the results of the school work at the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia. The board contributed ten dollars to assist in making the educational display. Mr. Lyne exhibited to the board two bound volumes of examination papers for the years 1874-75, to be forwarded to the Exposition. They were approved by the board, and Mr. Lyne was directed to forward them to Philadelphia, on condition that they should be returned again to the school library. The last condition was not fulfilled. Twenty-five graduates left the school in June, 1876; if these five were boys, The exercises were held in the town hall, which was crowded with an interested and admiring audience.
W. C. Lyne, desirous of entering the field of journalism, offered his resignation, which was accepted, to take place in June, 1877. He occupied the position for five years, and was succeeded by J. W. Gibbons, the tenth superintendent.
The experiment of introducing vocal music was made in the fall of 1876 by electing Prof. M. H. McCabe musical instructor, at a salary of fifteen dollars per month. Whether it was the quality of the instruction or the want of appreciation on part of the board, the effort does not appear to have been a success. It was resumed, however, in the fall of 1878. by the appointment of Mr. M. H. Kellar, of New York, at the more appreciative salary of twenty-five dollars per month. The board, in order to insure the success of this department of instruction, made the study compulsory upon every pupil, allowing no one to be excused except for cause. While the results of the teaching were satisfactory, the board did not think it desirable to continue the employment of a music-teacher until the fall of 1881, when W. K. Stiffey was engaged at a salary of six hundred dollars per annum. Mr. Stiffey has served one year and is now engaged for a second. From the success attending some public concerts given by the children, it may safely be assumed the instruction in this department is at last proving successful, and that vocal music will be a permanent study in the schools.
In May, 1877, the board purchased from the trustees of the African Methodist Episcopal Church the beautiful lot on which their church had stood, on the corner of East Chestnut and Lincoln Streets, for the sum of thirteen hundred dollars cash.
Mr. Gibbons presented to the board the names of eighteen pupils, four boys and fourteen girls, for graduation in June, 1878.
Having served as superintendent one year, Mr. Gibbons gave place to W. L. Welsh, an alumnus of the normal school, Oswego, N. Y., September, 1878.
In order to assist more completely in the management of the school, and also to systematize the business, the board agreed to meet in monthly sessions. One of the first improvements made this year was the organization of a new division to accommodate the little children in the lower school, who had only been permitted come for half the day. While the classes in the higher rooms were too small, the lower rooms were crowded beyond all reason. The organization of a new school served in part to remedy the disadvantage to the smaller children, and to permit them to attend all day.
During Mr. Welch's administration epidemics of measles and of smallpox prevailed in the community. A good deal of fear was felt by timid persons lest the children, by their association together, might be more liable to spread disease, and therefore a great pressure of public opinion was brought to bear upon the board to dismiss the school until the danger should be passed. It was felt, on the other hand, that so many children turned loose without anything to do, without the assistance of the systematic government of the school, would be more likely to take disease and to spread it. The board therefore decided not to dismiss the schools, but to require the evidence of vaccination in every case, and to prevent those from infected families from attending school until such time as by the judgment of physicians it was deemed prudent for them to return. By this firm and discreet course panic was allayed and danger prevented.
For forty years the improvements in the schools of the town have been greater, and the term of attendance has been longer, than in the country adjacent. There has been therefore a constant struggle by those living outside the borough limits to secure for their children the advantage of the town schools. Scarcely a year has passed that a new schedule of tuition fees has not been framed, and new rules have not been adopted for their collection. At times there have been agreements made between the school directors of the borough and the townships adjoining, but they were of transient operation. The amount of money paid for tuition has rarely if ever been sufficient to justify the arrangement, since the town schools have been so crowded that in many cases the teachers, however competent and willing, have been overtasked by numbers, and have not been able to do justice to their pupils. One of the advantages of residing in the town is the benefit derived from the schools, and a disadvantage is in being compelled to pay the town school tax. To get the advantage without being compelled to bear a corresponding burden is an injustice to the citizens of the town.
The growth of the educational spirit of the town my be illustrated by a brief review of the statistics as they refer to taxation. As has already been shown, the tax levy or 1843 for school purposes for the borough was five hundred and eighty-two dollars and thirty cents. In the spring of 1845 a levy of one and one-half mills on the dollar was laid for school purposes. As the schools were less than five months in session, and the pay-roll amounted to one hundred and forty-four dollars per month, the sum paid the teachers was six hundred and eighty-four dollars. In 1849 it was agreed that a tax of three mills be levied for school purposes. The duplicate for that year amounted to four hundred and sixty-nine dollars and twenty-four cents, less the exonerations and commissions, so that the sum realized for school purposes was only three hundred and eighty-five dollars and forty-two cents. This with what was received from the State appropriation was the educational fund for the common schools. In 1853 the levy was five mills on the dollar. A growing interest was manifested by the board and the people. The term had increased to ten months, and better salaries were beginning to be paid the teachers. When the subject of building the new school-house was first agitated it was estimated that its cost would not be more than nine thousand dollars, but the more the subject was discussed the more its necessity became apparent, until the board, fully sustained by public sentiment, contracted for a property worth not less than twenty thousand dollars.
In 1855 the rate of taxation was raised to five mills for school purposes and five mills for building, or a tax of ten mills in all for educational purposes; but, in order to facilitate its collection, it was agreed that one-half should be paid in July and the rest at the end of six months. During the year 1856, in addition to the levy of ten mills, it was agreed by the board to "levy a tax on watches, etc., at the same rate of the State levy." The amount collected on the duplicate of this year was $6012.68. Probably in consideration of the financial disturbances occasioned by the war, the tax levy of the year 1862 was reduced to five mills for school purposes and three mills for a building fund. One of the noticeable effects of the building of the new school-house was to prevent a just and reasonable increase of salaries to the teachers. When in war times the price of living greatly increased and the salaries of other officials generally were augmented, the board refused the petition to add ten per cent. to the salaries of the teachers. It was found in this case, as in many others, that the teachers were taxed more heavily for the erection of a new school building than any other class of citizens in proportion to their means. In 1864 the tax levy was eight mills for school purposes and two mills for building fund. The intention of the board was evidently to postpone the payments on the principal of the school debt until more auspicious days. Under the circumstances of the country this was wise, and accounts for the fact that the principal of the school debt was removed until a lapse of about twenty-five years. In 1865 the tax levy was authorized of thirteen mills on the dollar, a higher sum by three mills than had yet been imposed. This rate continued until 1877, when the valuation of property was readjusted on a cash basis. The taxable property of the borough was estimated that year at $1,792,135. The levy for school purposes was accordingly made three and a quarter mills for school purposes and one mill for building, the entire levy amounting in full to $8064.59. In the following year the levy was increased one mill for building purposes in the expectation of erecting a new janitor's house in place of the present one, which the Borough Council had ordered to be removed because it encroached on the street.
The salaries of teachers for the year 1881 amounted to six thousand three hundred and fifty dollars, including that of the superintendent, which was eleven hundred and fifty dollars. The lowest sum paid to any teacher in the corps was three hundred and fifty dollars, or twenty dollars more than was paid to any one in the corps except the superintendent during the years of the war.
The Washington union school was one of the first union graded schools established in the State. The building, at the time of its erection, was esteemed so highly that it was considered worthy of special mention in the "Pennsylvania School Architecture," a book edited by the Hon. Thomas H. Burrows, State superintendent, and published by the State. In this work may be found a sketch of the building, a plan and specifications of its construction. It was visited by a great many persons, some of whom came from long distances to see the house as well as to study the organization of the school. Nearly thirty years have elapsed since it was built, and during that time school architecture has made great progress and improvements. But it still may be a question whether the severe simplicity of the Washington school building is not preferable for its purpose than the more elaborate and expensively ornamented structures of the present day, especially when it is considered that the money unnecessarily spent upon the house is just so much taken from teachers of at least one or two generations of school children. Elaborate and costly school buildings do not necessarily make good schools.
After the erection of the building, and the grading of the lot, the superintendent enlisted the whole school in the improvement and adornment of the property. Boys and girls vied with each other in furnishing trees and shrubbery and vines. The lot was laid out by the superintendent and worked by the pupils. The school-yard became noted for its beauty, and for the elegance of its roses and other flowers.
Most of the beautiful trees that adorn the school-yard to-day are of the planting of nearly thirty years ago. The influence of that teaching is still seen and felt not only in and about the school, but throughout the community.
In summing up the results of the school work, so far as they may be ascertained from the history of the graduates of the classes of the high school, Superintendent Welsh furnished the following statements: of thirty males six are clerks, three marble dealers, four in college, one teacher, three farmers, one agent, one hat merchant, one carpenter, one carriage-maker, one grocer, two ministers, one a missionary to India, one reporter, one physician, one lawyer and chief burgess of Washington, one dead, and two unaccounted for.
Of one hundred and thirteen female graduates, thirty are at their homes, seven in school, twenty-three married, twenty-four teachers, six compositors in printing-offices, six clerks, two milliners, one seamstress, four dead, ten unaccounted for.
It will be seen by the foregoing that the graduates generally are following useful occupations and doing credit to themselves and the institution at which they graduated.
In concluding this sketch injustice would be done were we to omit the mention of some who were no less distinguished for the parts they played in the organization and management of the union school than the superintendents and school directors who have already been named. Miss Martha Smith, Miss Sarah Hull, Miss Mary Kaine, Miss Mary Jones, now Mrs. Workman, Mrs. Martha H. Morgan, Miss Ellen Acheson, now Mrs. Brownson, and Mrs. Catherine Sisson were all earnest, efficient teachers, who, in the most trying times in the history of the school, gave valuable assistance in its reorganization. Whatever of honor there is in being one of the founders of a useful institution is theirs as one of the compensations for their painstaking and laborious service. There were besides these four others who were pupils at the time of the union of the school, and who were very soon pressed into the service as teachers. The following memorandum is taken from the minutes of the board of Oct. 21, 1853: "On motion, Misses Elizabeth Warrick and Mary Lindsay, who are now pupils in the high school, are employed as assistants pro tem, to supply the place of first assistant in said school, at five dollars per month each."
This was an experiment, but it proved a signal success; it furnished a temporary relief to the superintendent, it was a cheap expedient for the board, and it started two girls upon a path which enabled them to be helpful to themselves and others. Miss Warrick afterwards became Mrs. Long, and Miss Lindsay Mrs. Scott.
In September, 1855, the board "Resolved, That another division of the school be organized, and that Miss Rebecca Turner be employed as teacher at a salary of ten dollars per month."
Miss Turner was a classmate with Misses Warrick and Lindsay. This experiment was also a success, as it inaugurated the course of one of the most useful and successful teachers in the county. Miss Turner is in charge of the high school at the present time.
Miss Ellen Wiley, now Mrs. Donaldson, was also a member of the same class, and was for some time engaged as a successful primary teacher in the school.
There have been other teacher and school directors of rare excellence, but we have mentioned only those who were connected with the early history of union school.
At a public school examination held at the Franklin school-house on the 21st of December, 1821, Mrs. Katharine Duane Morgan, one of the board of superintendence, delivered an address, after which she offered the preamble and resolutions for the encouragement of domestic manufactures, which were adopted and subscribed to by Mrs. Morgan and one hundred and fifteen other ladies:
"Convinced that the encouragement of Domestic Manufactures is indispensable to the substantial interests, the permanent welfare, and the real independence of the United States, and believing that a single act will conduce more towards the accomplishment of those invaluable objects than ten thousand inconclusive professions,
"Therefore, Resolved, That we, the undersigned, will henceforward confine our purchases for the apparel of ourselves and families to articles manufactured within the United States. And not doubting that these all-important ends may be further promoted, a check given to the destructive extravagance which reigns even in the very poorest of our cabins, and multitudes withheld or converted from vice by the encouragement of learning and by an extension of support to American manufactures beyond the walls of our immediate households,
"Therefore, Resolved, That we will employ only such persons to spin, sew, knit, and weave as will clothe themselves and families exclusively in homespun, and appropriate a portion of the money arising from those labors to the education of their children or other relatives."
Mrs. Morgan, in a card dated Jan. 30, 1822, stated that she sent seven quires of the circular containing the above resolutions to different parts of the county, with the request that they be returned to her with as many signatures as possible by the 1st of March, 1822, and for the encouragement of others she states "that Mrs. Ritner, the wife of one of our members of Assembly, this day returned me the circular addressed to her with the names of one hundred and thirteen females subscribed to the resolutions, an evidence at once of their patriotism and her active and laudable zeal in the great cause of our country." Mrs. Morgan sent a copy of the resolutions to ex-President Thomas Jefferson (with whom she was personally acquainted) with an account of the movement in this section, to which he sent the following reply:
"Monticello, Jan.26, '22.
"I have duly received, dear Madam, your favor of the 10th, with the eloquent Circular and Address to your patriotic and fair companions in good works. I well recollect our acquaintance with yourself personally in Washington, valued for your own merit as well as for that of your esteemed father. Your connection too with the family of the late Cols. Morgan is an additional title to my grateful recollections. He first gave us notice of the mad project of that day, which, if suffered to proceed, might have brought afflicting consequences on persons whose subsequent lives have proved their integrity and loyalty to their country.
"The effort which is the subject of your letter is truly laudable, and, if generally followed as an example, or practised as a duty, will change very advantageously the condition of our fellow citizens, & do just honor to those who shall have taken the lead in it. No one has been more sensible than myself of the advantage of placing the consumer by the side of the producer, nor more disposed to promote it by example, but these are among the matters which I must now leave to others. Time, which wears all things, does not spare the energies either of body or mind of a presque Octogenaire. While I could, I did what I could, and now acquiesce cheerfully in the laws of nature, which, by unfitting us for action, warns us to retire, and leave to the generation of the day the direction of its own affairs. The prayers of an old man are the only contributions left in his power. Mine are offered sincerely for the success of your patriotic efforts and particularly for your own individual happiness and prosperity.
"Mrs. Katharine Duane Morgan."
Libraries.--The first public library in Washington of which any information is obtained is mentioned by Thomas H. Baird in an advertisement bearing date July 15, 1811, in which he says that he has been induced to establish a circulating library. He "will lend his books to subscribers at a rate of five dollars per annum or three dollars for six months. . . . The library will be open at the home of the subscriber in the borough of Washington every day in the week except Sunday." How long it continued is not known. It is quite possible the books that were sold in may have been the library of Mr. Baird. On the 20th of December in that year the following advertisement, without signature, appeared in the columns of the Washington Reporter: "During the Court week there will be sold a valuable collection of Books. Persons of literary taste from the county will have an opportunity of furnishing themselves at a very low rate. The sale will commence on Monday, the 27th and continue from day to day until they are disposed of."
On the 19th of February, 1813, the Washington Library Company was organized. John Barrington was chosen treasurer, and Matthew Semple librarian. On the 13th of May, 1816, stockholders were informed that "books will be ready for delivery on Wednesday and Saturday of each week, from half-past three o'clock till half-past five. The Library-room is in the house of Mr. Matthew Semple (librarian) on Main Street, east side, between Beaux and Chestnut Streets." It is not known how long this library continued or what became of it. In the years 1832 and 1833, Archibald Kerr, who lived on Main Street, next below the law-office of Freeman Brady, kept a circulating library. In 1846 a Mechanics' Library was established; Col. William Hopkins was prominent in its organization. The library was kept for a time in the building below Dr. Whittlesey's drug-store, and in the next year was moved to the old Methodist Church parsonage on Beau Street. After a few years it was discontinued, and the last of the books were presented to the Washington Library Association. This last-mentioned society was organized in November, 1867. A meeting was held at the house of Mr. D. T. Morgan, and the following officers were elected: A. Wilson, president; Rev. W.B. Watkins, secretary; Mrs. V. Harding, treasurer; Miss Martha Grayson, librarian. A committee was appointed to canvass the town for membership, which was placed at three dollars; this committee reported at the next meeting fifty members and several donations. A room was secured for the library in the Grayson house. On the 7th of December in that year an exhibition of tableaux and music was given under the auspices of the association, from which one hundred and nine dollars was realized. The first purchase of books was made Jan. 20, 1868, and on the 22d the library was opened with about one hundred and fifty volumes. A second exhibition was give Feb. 18, 1868, and the sum of $69.92 was realized. At a meeting of the executive committee, held June 6, 1868, three hundred and sixteen volumes were reported, a number having been donated. During the year of 1868, Mr. J. T. Edgar, at various times, donated to the association over three hundred and fifty volumes. Anniversary exercises were held Jan. 1, 1869. A report by the secretary exhibited the following facts: Amount of money received during the year, $524.38; amount expended, $497.58; balance on hand, $26.80; number of volumes, over seven hundred; number of subscribers, eight-five.
On the 6th of July, 1869, J. T. Edgar donated one hundred and one volumes to the association, and on the 11th of September, the same year, a donation of books was received from John Gregg, which were a part of the books of the old Mechanics' Library. Additions were made to the library from time to time, and in 1871 there were on the shelves sixteen hundred volumes. The opening of the Citizens' Library in 1871 caused a decline in the association, and it ceased to be an active institution. The books are still in their possession, but are not now let out.
When the erection of a new town hall was first projected, Dr. F. J. Le Moyne, of Washington, offered to donate the sum of ten thousand dollars to found a public library, provided a room or rooms in the building were given for the purpose. The subject was brought before the people, and it was declared by ballot that a new town hall should be erected and the offer and terms of Dr. Le Moyne be accepted. The first record in the minutes of the Council concerning the offer of Dr. Le Moyne for the founding of a public library is of a meeting held April 21, 1869, at which Dr. Alfred Creigh, J. Y. Hamilton, and A.C. Morrow were appointed a committee to wait on Dr. Le Moyne and procure from him a written statement of his offer, and the terms on which he would make the donation. At a meeting held April 19. 1869, the committee reported, and presented the following communication from Dr. Le Moyne:
"Washington, Pa., April 19, 1869.
"Messers. Alfred Creigh, J. Y. Hamilton, and A. C. Morrow, Committee:
"Gentlemen,--In compliance with the request in your communication, dated the 13th inst., I make this formal reply. For many years I have been convinced that this establishment of a Public Library and Reading Room in our Borough would conduce largely to the best interests of our Citizens, especially to our youth. Such a place of resort would afford rational amusement, promote a genial social intercourse, and educate our whole people to a higher standard of useful knowledge. It would tend to withdraw our young men and boys from questionable places of resort during their unoccupied hours, and remove many temptations in the formation of injurious and degrading habits.
"Several years ago, when the erection of a Town Hall was agitated, I made a proposition to donate a sufficient sum of money to lay the foundation for such an Institution. The revival of that erection, which has been authorized and directed by a very large vote of citizens, offers a present opportunity to consummate that cherished ides, which if not now embraced may not soon occur under such favorable circumstances. I therefore now renew that proposition to agree to donate the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) to the Borough of Washing, Washington county, Pennsylvania, on the following terms and conditions, viz: "1st The Borough shall without delay erect a Town Hall, and on the principal or first floor erect and finish and furnish in an appropriate and suitable manner a fire-proof room sufficiently large to contain the first purchase of books, etc, and leave abundant room for a gradual increase for a long time to come. Also a Reading-Room, adjacent the Library Room, of sufficient size to fully accommodate those who may wish to occupy it, well fitted up with desks, seats, etc.
"2d. To admit to the uses, privileges, and benefits of the library and reading-room every citizen of the Borough on equal terms without any distinction whatever, except that every person will be held to decorous and orderly conduct and personal cleanliness.
"3. That an act of incorporation shall be obtained from our courts placing the government and control of the institution in the hands of five Curators or Trustees. Three of them to be elected by the citizens of the Borough at the corporate Election to serve three years, one to be selected each year: one to be appointed by the judges of the Court of Common Pleas for this County to serve three years, and the other to be appointed by the Trustees of Washington and Jefferson College if located here. If not located here, then the fifth curator or Trustee to be elected by the Pastors of the several religious congregations worshiping in the Borough to a joint meeting held by them for that purpose, to serve three years. Vacancies occurring in the board by death, resignation, removal, or otherwise to be filled by the several departments to which said Curators or Trustees previously belong.
"4. The Curators or Trustees to appoint a Librarian to serve one year, to have charge of the Library and Reading Room, under such rules and regulations as the board shall from time to time adopt.
"5. The Ten Thousand Dollars donated shall be devoted thus: Six thousand dollars to the expended in the purchase of books as by Dr. F. Julius LeMoyne, the donor, and such other person or persons as he may call to assist him in the selection, to be ready to place in the Library Room when it is furnished and ready for use and occupancy. The other four thousand dollars to be invested in some safe and profitable manner, the interest or proceeds of the fund to be used sacred and exclusively for the gradual increase of the Library, by the purchase at stated and regular times of such new and necessary works as will be required to keep up the standard of the Institution to the advancement of Literature, Science, and the arts from year to year. This four thousand dollars to be paid over to the curators or Trustees when they are organized under the proposed charter, and when the Library and Reading Room are finished and furnished and ready for use.
F. Julius Le Moyne."
Dr. Le Moyne being present made some explanations and withdrew, when the subject was postponed until the 23d of April. At a meeting of the Council held on that day the matter of Dr. Le Moyne's communication, offer, and terms was fully discussed, and the Council resolved:
"1st. That it is our duty to carry out the wishes of the people by the erection of a suitable town hall as soon as the necessary arrangements can be made.
"2d. That the town Council will accept, in trust for the people of the borough of Washington, the ten thousand dollars donation of Dr. F. J. Le Moyne, $4000 of which shall remain as a sacred and permanent fund, the interest of which shall be applied annually to the purchase of books on literature, science, and the arts.
"3d. That the remaining $6000 shall be expended for books under the direction of trustees appointed under a charter in the manner proposed by Dr. Le Moyne in his communication of April 19, 1869, and that the said trustees shall call to their assistance Dr. Le Moyne in the selection of said library.
"4th. That the Council will furnish, for this purpose, suitable rooms in the contemplated town hall, and have a perpetual insurance placed upon the library to cover all losses which might occur.
"5th. That the trustees shall make all necessary arrangements for the regulation of the library."
The committee on town hall, consisting of Messrs. Creigh, Hamilton, and Morrow, were instructed to present a copy of the foregoing resolutions to Dr. Le Moyne for his approval or rejection and report at next meeting. This committee reported May 4, 1869, as follows:
"That they presented to Dr. F. J. Le Moyne the resolutions unanimously adopted by the council April 23, 1869, that they had several interviews since presenting them, and that he refused to accede to the propositions. The report was accepted, and the following preamble and resolutions were then, after a free expression of opinion, unanimously adopted.
"Whereas, The proposition of Dr. F. J. Le Moyne is so trammeled with restrictions and conditions as to render it impracticable and useless to the people, therefore resolved that we cannot accede to the same."
No further action was taken until Jan. 17, 1870, when
"The following preamble and resolutions were read, and on motion adopted:
"Whereas, Dr. F. J. Le Moyne tendered to the borough of Washington $10,000 (ten thousand dollars) for the purpose of founding a public library for the benefit of the people, which proposition was rejected by the town Council on account of the expenses which would be necessarily involved in the reception of said library, and an extra building of a fire-proof vault, and whereas Dr. Le Moyne now wishes to establish said library by expending the sum of ten thousand dollars ($10,000), and incurring the necessary expenses.
"Therefore Resolved, That the town Council, appreciating the generous donation and intention of said Dr. Le Moyne, hereby agree to proffer to Dr. Le Moyne the two rooms in the rear of the post-office, and also twenty-five feet of the rear of the engine-house, for the purposes contemplated, and a committee to be appointed to correspond with Dr. Le Moyne and finally settle and adjust the matter to the satisfaction of both parties."
On the 21st of February, 1870, the committee appointed to confer with Dr. Le Moyne reported that they had completed all arrangements, and the agreement was signed by Dr. Le Moyne of one part and the committee appointed by the borough of the other part. On the same day the court of Washington County granted a charter to the Citizens' Library Association.
The town hall was erected and completed in 1871. The library-rooms were also fitted up with fire-proof vaults; books were purchased, and the library opened. Books have been added from time to time until it has reached its present numbers. The following are the curators who have been appointed and elected as provided by Dr. Le Moyne:
Appointed by the court: Davis S. Wilson, Aug. 15, 1870. On the 27th of February, 1872, D. S. Wilson resigned, and C. M. Reed was appointed. He remained curator until Aug. 2, 1875, when he resigned, and Dr. Alfred Creigh was appointed, and served the remainder of the term, and was reappointed Aug. 19, 1878, and again March 21, 1882.
Dr. F. J. Le Moyne was appointed, on the part of Washington and Jefferson College, as curator in 1870. After his death, in October, 1879, his daughter, Miss Jane Le Moyne, was appointed, and is still acting in that capacity.
Elected by the borough of Washington: Henry J. Van Kirk, 1873; Henry Woods, 1874; Boyd Crumrine, 1875; H. E. Martin, 1876; T. D. M. Wilson (three years), 1877; John Aiken (two years), 1877; Alonzo Linn, 1878; D. J. McAdam, 1879; Charles V. Harding, 1880; Alonzo Linn, 1881; George A Jones, 1882.
Physicians.--Dr. Absalom Baird was of Scotch ancestry. His father, John Baird, was born in Scotland about the year 1730, and came to America with Gen. Braddock in 1755, and was with that general at the defeat on the Monongahela. After the defeat he retired with the troops into winter-quarters in Philadelphia, where, in the winter of 1756-57, he married a Quaker lady. In 1758 he was in one of the Highland regiments sent out under Forbes to attack Fort Du Quesne, and was said to have been killed in the battle of Grant's Hill, Pittsburgh, September, 1758. He left a widow with the infant son Absalom, who was born in Chester County, Pa., in 1758. His mother was left with small means, and to support and educate her son taught school for several years. After imparting to him all the instruction she was able he was sent to school at Pequa, Lancaster Co., then under the charge of Robert Smith.
After leaving school he studied medicine under Dr. Gardiner Scott, of Chester County. He had just left his studies at the outbreak of the revolution. Dr. Scott raised a company of volunteers, and Baird enlisted and was made ensign. Soon afterwards he was appointed assistant surgeon in a Pennsylvania regiment. He was present at the storming of Stony Point, N. Y., by the forces of Gen. Wayne on the night of July 15, 1779, when Wayne was wounded in his head by a musket-ball and the wound was dressed by Dr. Baird.
On the 20th of March, 1780, he was commissioned surgeon in Col. Jedutha Baldwin's regiment, where he remained until the regiment was disbanded by act of Congress, March 29, 1781, when his military services in the Revolution terminated. On leaving the army in 1781 he entered upon the duties of his profession in Kennett Square, Chester Co. On the 14th of July, 1783, he married Susanna Brown, and July 26, 1784, their first child, John, was born. In November, 1786, he moved with his family to Washington, Pa and commenced the practice of his profession. In July, 1788, he purchased of John Hoge lots 12, 13, 14, on the north side of Maiden Street, between Main and Franklin. On these lots he built a residence, in which he lived until his death. The homestead afterward was in possession of Thomas H. and George Baird, and in 1832 was owned by William Baird. They are now owned by Mrs. C. H. Scott.
Dr. Baird was commissioned justice of the peace and of the Court of Common Pleas on the 3d of March, 1789, and remained in office till the justices of the courts were abolished in 1791.
Under the constitution of 1790, Dr. Baird succeeded Col James Marshel as county lieutenant. Letters are in the hands of the family addressed to Col. Absalom Baird, lieutenant of the county of Washington, from Maj. Gen. H. Know, Secretary of War, dated Feb. 25, 1792; from Thomas Mifflin, Governor of Pennsylvania, dated Aug. 9, 1792; and from Anthony Wayne, major-general and commander-in-chief of the troops of the United States, dated "Headquarters, Pittsburgh, Jan. 23, 1792." In 1793 a change was made in the military system, and under this change the office of county lieutenant was abolished and the duties performed by brigade inspectors. Absalom Baird was appointed brigade inspector. This position he held till his death. He was succeeded by Col. James Dunlap. In October, 1794, he was elected with Thomas Stokely to represent Allegheny and Washington Counties in the Stat Senate. They were refused admission on the ground that the counties had been in a state of insurrection when the elections were held, for which reason they were unconstitutional and void. A new election was held, and they were returned and took their seats. Dr. Baird was a member of the Senate till October, 1796. In 1798 he was elected with John McDowell and Aaron Lyle member of the House of Representatives of Pennsylvania, and served one term. He was elected sheriff of Washington County in October, 1799. He was one of the original trustees of Washington Academy upon its charter in September, 1787. His wife Susanna died Nov. 16, 1802, and twelve days later his mother died, aged sixty-nine years. In 1804 he was married to Margaret Darragh, whose family had moved to Washington about the same time he came. Absalom Baird died Oct. 27, 1805, in consequence of a fall from his horse. He was buried with Masonic and military honors in the old graveyard at the north part of the town. He left four sons---John, George, Thomas H., and William. John was educated at Washington Academy. He studied medicine with his father, and later moved to Chillicothe, Ohio, where he married and settled. He lived there many years, and late in life returned to Washington, where he died in 1836, aged fifty-two years.
George Baird was born in Kennett Square, Pa., Oct. 28, 1785. he was educated at Washington Academy, and was for a time a tutor. He entered into merchandising, and opened a store where now stands the residence of Samuel Templeton on Main Street. He removed to Ripley, Ohio, and later to Wheeling, Va., where he passed a few years, and in 1844 returned to Washington, where he opened a store on the old John Wilson property, and where his son, A. T. Baird, is now in business. He continued in business till his death, Nov. 1, 1860. Of his children, John, Susan, Jane W., and A. Todd Baird reside in Washington, and Dr. George W. Baird is a resident of Wheeling.
Thomas Harlan Baird, a son of Absalom, was born in Washington, Nov. 15, 1787. He was educated at Washington Academy, after which he entered the law-office of Joseph Pentecost; after the completion of his studies he was admitted to the bar, in March, 1808. He married Nancy McCullough, the niece of George, Thomas, and David Acheson. He was engaged for several years in the management of the Washington Steam Flouring-Mill, which he owned till its destruction by fire in 1832. He was a contractor on the National road with Parker Campbell and Thomas McGiffin. On the 19th of October, 1818, he was chosen president judge of Washington, Fayette, Greene, and Somerset Counties, and continued till 1838. His children who are living are Mrs. George Morgan, of Washington; Thomas H. Baird, of Monongahela City; Mrs. Dr. Reed, of Pittsburgh; Mrs. Eliza Patterson, Mrs. Jennie McKnight, and Miss Margaret and Harriet Baird, of Sewickley.
William Baird, the youngest son of Absalom, was educated at Washington College, married Nancy Mitchell, studied law in Washington, and was admitted to practice June 18, 1812; appointed deputy attorney-general July 23, 1819, and served till 1824. He followed the practice of law in Washington till his death in 1834. Of his children, Gen. Absalom Baird, of the United States army, resides in Washington, D.C.; William resides near Cumberland; Jane became the wife of Governor Jacobs, of West Virginia; and Maria is living with Mrs. Jacobs. Sarah, a daughter of Absalom Baird, was born in Washington March 11, 1793. She was married in 1826 to William Hodge, of Kenutcky; she died in 1833. Their son, Gen. George B. Hodge, was a colonel in the Confederate service, and a member of the Confederate Congress, and now resides at Newport, Ky., where he is a successful practitioner of law.
Susan Baird, the youngest daughter of Absalom, was born in 1796; she became the wife of Dr. Hugh Campbell, of Uniontown, in 1823, and died July 9, 1824.
Dr. John Culbertson came to this town about 1794, and about 1798 moved to Hopewell township (now Independence). A more extended sketch of him will be found in the history of that township.
Dr. Isaiah Blair was a native Carlisle; his name appears first on the assessment-roll in Washington in the year 1800 as a physician. He was a graduate of the first class at Dickinson College in 1787. He became a trustee of Washington Academy, and was appointed the first secretary of the board of trustees, and to the honorary professorship of medicine, at the organization of Washington College. His office was opposite Morris Tavern. He died Sept. 15, 1808.
Dr. Frederick L. Conyngham, after a course of study in Europe and an extensive practice in the western country, settled here in February, 1800, and practiced. He also opened a drug-store near the market-house at Mrs. Wilson's. On Jan. 24, 1801, he bought of John and Isabella Ritchie at No. 186 on Market Street, corner of Pine Alley. The lot is now owned by Dr. R. Davis. He had left here before 1810.
Dr. Francis Bean came to Washington in the latter part of 1803, and advertised as an Indian doctor. On the 7th of June, 1804, he bought of Charles Valentine, on an article of agreement, one house and three lots "on Belle Street, opposite the Academy" (now the college), and on the 17th of August, 1807, he purchased of John Hoge lot 140, on Beau Street, which he sold to George Darns in 1810. On the 6th of February of the year he sold the lots opposite the academy to Silas Pruden, the brick-maker. On these lots Charles De Hass lived, and later had a white-lead works. About 1830 the lots and houses were occupied by Dr. Robert McClure, who live there for several years. These lots are now owned by Mr. A.B. Caldwell.
Dr. William Barr came to this town from Cumberland County in 1808. He advertised on the 3d of August of that year that he had opened a drug-store next door to William Sherrard's store, and offered his services to the public in practice of physic and surgery. A notice of his death occurs in the Reporter of October 15th, the same year.
Dr. Henry Stephenson came to Washington from Carlisle in 1809. He advertised, March 1st of that year, that he had opened a drug-store opposite the court-house. He left Washington for Pittsburgh within a year after, gave up the practice of medicine, and died a few years since.
Dr. John Julius Le Moyne de Villiers was a native of a suburb of Paris, where he was born in 1760. His father was a physician, and had charge of the Botanic Gardens. John Julius studied medicine with is father, and enjoyed the best opportunities Paris afforded, going through a course of seven years' study, including a practice of several years in the hospital. He became a successful practicing physician in Paris. He was present at the storming and demolition of the Bastile, though he went involuntarily, being borne along with the great crowd against his will.
Great inducements were held out to emigrants to come to America, and he joined a party, many of whom were oh high families, fleeing from the terrors of the French Revolution. The vessel in which he embarked was shipwrecked, but all were landed at New York safely, he having lost all his clothing and a fine collection of books and instruments. After the French emigrants received a grant of land in Southern Ohio, he accompanied the part to Gallipolis, Ohio, where he remained four year and practiced his profession. He came to Washington about 1797, and married in that year Nancy, the daughter of Francis McCully, then lately arrived from Ireland. The made their home in a two-story log house above Chestnut Street on Main, lately torn down by Mr. Lytle, where his son, Francis Julius Le Moyne, was born. In 1800 he removed to a log house at the lower end of Main Street, on the side of the hill. A large piece of ground was attached to this place, which was planted with many trees, shrubs, and herbs. Later he moved to the house of Hugh Wilson, on Main Street, where now stand Charlton's confectionery-store, and opened a drug-store. As was the custom of the time, he entertained strangers, especially French people, who made his house their home while passing from east to west. He took out a license to keep a house of entertainment from the years 1798 to 1806, after which time his drug-store and practice demanded so much attention that it was given up.
Having been unaccustomed to riding on horseback he was an awkward rider, and objected to country practice and gradually gave it up. He was very fond of music and drawing, and was proficient in both. His performances on the violin and clarionet are well remembered by Mr. C.M. Reed when he was keeping the drug-store in 1813, where Michael Kuntz's hat-store now is, in the Valentine House, and also his relating the taking of the Bastile. He accumulated many books, especially on chemistry and botany, the latter of which he was particularly fond of. The cultivation of flowers and gardening was a favorite pastime. He gave up practice when about sixty years of age, and continued his drug-store till his death in 1849, at the advanced age of eighty-seven years, retaining all his faculties perfectly. The stone house known as the LeMoyne mansion was built by him in 1813, and in that year he moved into the "New Stone House on Maiden Street," where he resided until financially embarrassed, and moved to the house across the street, where he died.
Francis Julius Le Moyne, only child of Dr. John J. Le Moyne, was born of the 4th of September, 1798, in Washington. His school-days were passed in his native town, where graduated from Washington College in the class of 1815 at the age of seventeen. He commenced the study of medicine with his father, and finished his studies at the medical college in Philadelphia. He commenced the practice of medicine in 1822, and continued practice till he was about fifty years of age, when he relinquished the arduous duties of his profession. Shortly after his return from Philadelphia at the close of his medical studies he met at his father's house Miss Madeleine Romaine Bureau, who had accompanied her sister from Gallipolis in order to receive medical treatment. This acquaintance ripened into a marriage, which occurred in May, 1823. He settled in Washington, and entered upon the practice of his profession with great zeal and energy. By his father's embarrassment about this time the old homestead was sold, and by the aid of friends he was enabled to purchase it. By hard work, economical living, and persistent energy he succeeded in clearing his own and his father's debts. On April 2, 1830, he was elected a trustee to Washington College, in which position he remained, a prominent and useful member, until the union of Washington and Jefferson Colleges, which occurred in 1865. He was one of the earliest friends of the Washington Female Seminary, and was elected one of the original trustee in 1836. About that time he became interested in the abolition movement that was just beginning to sweep over the land, and was induced to join that party. From then till the successful accomplishment of the object for which the movement was started he was a champion of the down-trodden race, and one of the most aggressive workers in the field. A sound, logical thinker, independent, forcible, he brought to the work the best powers of his mind, regardless of personal and private interests. He was a candidate of the Abolition party for Governor of Pennsylvania in 1841, again in 1844, and in 1847. The Citizens’ Library, of which he was the founder, is mentioned at length in this work. He founded a colored normal school under the care of the American Missionary Society. A donation of $20,000 was made for this purpose, a portion of which was to be expended in the erection of buildings, and the remainder in the endowment of the institution. The site selected was on a bluff in the vicinity of the city of Memphis, Tenn. The school proved successful, and an additional sum of $5000 was donated for its support. Feeling the deepest interest in his alma mater, he endowed a professorship with $20,000 in 1872, to be entitled “The Le Moyne Professorship of Agriculture and Correlative Branches,” and in July, 1879, made an additional endowment of $20,000 for a chair of applied mathematics.
He was an enthusiast on the subject of cremation, and believing it to be the only proper means of disposing of the dead, he built a crematory a short distance southeast of the town. The first body cremated was that of Baron de Palm, a German – nobleman. The cremation took place on the 6th of December, 1876, under the charge of a society called the Theosophists. The transaction attracted great attention; reports of it were published in nearly all the newspapers of the country, and Dr. Le Moyne, the cremationist, became widely known and famed. There have been fourteen cremations in the furnace, he himself being the third subject. It is not looked upon with much favor by the people of Washington.
Dr. F. J. Le Moyne died Oct. 14, 1879, his wife having died six years earlier (July, 1873). They had eight children, all of whom are living, viz.: Hon. John V. B. Le Moyne, ex-member of Congress, Chicago; Frank Le Moyne, M.D., of Pittsburgh; Mrs. N. K. Wade, of Columbus, Ohio; Mrs. B. Harding; Mrs. John A. Wills; Julius Le Moyne; Miss Jane and Miss Madeline Le Moyne, of Washington.
Dr. Alexander Blair, a son of Dr. Isaiah Blair, was born in Carlisle, Pa., May 22, 1789. He moved with his father to this town, and entered Washington College, where he graduated in the first class in 1808. On receiving his diploma, Alexander returned to Carlisle, and entered upon the study of medicine with Dr. Samuel Allan McCoskey, who had been his father’s medical preceptor. After a preliminary course of reading he went to Philadelphia and attended lectures in the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania for one term and part of a second. After this course of study he returned to Washington, and his advertisement in the Reporter of date March 9, 1812, says he had then opened an office and drug-store on the northeast corner of Market and Maiden Streets. Soon after this, upon the breaking out of the war of 1812, he applied for a military position, and received a commission as surgeon’s mate in the regular army, dated July 6, 1812. He remained until the close of the war, having been promoted to surgeon in March, 1814. On the 21st of August, 1815, “Dr. Blair (late of the United States army) tenders his professional services to his friends and the public, and has just opened a neat assortment of Drugs and Medicines opposite the Branch Bank on Main Street, Washington.”
At a meeting of the alumni of Washington College in 1856, one of the speakers said of him, “That distinguished anatomical teacher and operating surgeon, the late Prof. William E. Horner, who was associated with him in the army, never failed, when speaking of his youthful companion, to eulogize his professional character in the strongest terms. And if proof to the truthfulness of that eulogy be needed, it is found in the fact that Dr. Blair was one of twenty medical officers retained on ‘the military peace establishment’ of the United States in 1815. This offer, however, he declined, and settled in this place. Here he continued the practice of his profession until his death, May 26, 1830. Careless of reputation, he has left no written record of his surgical operations or medical experience; and now, twenty-six years afterwards, the slab in the old graveyard which tables his age and death tells all that is known of his history to the younger generations in this the scene of his life; but a few older citizens, while they faintly recall a defect of his character, vividly remember Alexander Blair, the kindly gentleman and skillful physician.”
Dr. John Wishart, a son of Dr. David Wishart, was born in Thornhill Parish, Perthshire, Scotland. In his youth he pursued a course of study in Latin and English, and later was placed under the care of Dr. Hill, of the University of Edinburgh. His maternal grandfather had emigrated to America, and Dr. David Wishart followed in July, 1796. After a tedious and dangerous voyage, being shipwrecked off Little Egg Harbor, he at last arrived safely. He was for a short time at Hagerstown, Md., and upon the purchase of lands in Huntingdon County by Dr. David Wishart, the family removed to that place, and later to Bedford County where Dr. David Wishart had an extensive practice. His son John worked on the farm, and studied medicine with his father. In 1806 he entered the University of Philadelphia, and after a full course graduated in the spring of 1808. He married Mary, a daughter of Robert Tate, Esq., and removed to Washington, and opened an office October 3d of that year, “at the house of Mrs. Dodd, nearly opposite the court-house,” now the site of Hastings’ hardware store and the Washington Savings-Bank. His second wife was Martha, daughter of John Wilson, Esq., of Washington. He died June 19, 1864, in the eighty-fourth year of his age, leaving ten children, five by each marriage. He stood in the front rank of his profession, both as practitioner of medicine and surgery, and was called in consultation from great distances. He was a man of strong convictions, resolute purpose, and took a leading part in all public affairs.
He was one of the foremost in the promotion of educational affairs, and took an active part in the establishment of the system of public schools in 1835. He became one of the first directors of the schools, and also one of the trustees of the Washington Female Seminary throughout most of its history until his death, and was a part of the time president of the board of trustees. His daughter Jane became the wife of Judge A. W. Acheson. David Wishart was born in Washington, studied medicine with his father, practiced there and in Greene County until 1862, when he went into the army as lieutenant in the Twenty-second Pennsylvania Cavalry. After the war he settled in Washington, where he has since resided. Nancy resided in Washington; Robert T. resides in North Strabane; Mary married the Rev. David Lowrie, of Beaver County, Pa.; Marguerite married Alfred Carter, an attorney of Cincinnati; Dr. John W. Wishart studied with his father, graduated in the Pennsylvania University, and entered the army as surgeon of the One Hundred and Fortieth Regiment. After the war he settled in Pittsburgh, where he still resided and practices. The Rev. Marcus W. Wishart, of Erie, is also a son; Ellen married Lucius W. Stockton, now of Philadelphia; Alexander, who is no in Mexico, is an engineer.
Dr. David G. Mitchell came to Washington in April, 1810, and advertised that for some years he had lived sixteen miles from Washington, on the road to Brownsville; that he had removed to Washington, and commenced the practice of “physic, surgery, surgery, and midwifery,” the second door below McCammant’s inn. He remained here many years, and died here. He was favorably known as a physician. He was elected president of the Western Medical Society in 1813-15. His wife was a daughter of Jacob Jennings, who was also a physician.
Dr. James Stevens, a native of Connecticut, studied medicine with Dr. Cox, of New York. He came here about 1816, and opened an office where William Sherrard lived, now owned by Jacob Miller. He married a daughter of David Redick as his first wife; a daughter of Nathaniel Breading, of Fayette County, as his second wife, and Mrs. Sarah Carrons, of Amwell township, as his third. He had no children who reached maturity. His office in later years was on the ground where now stands the residence of Alexander Murdoch. He built the present residence of Mr. Murdoch, and lived there until his death, about 1863, at the age of eighty-four years. He was in active practive until seventy-nine years of age. He was plain, unassuming, of sterling integrity, firm, unwavering adherence to truth, cautious, intuitive, and yet heroic in his treatment of cases. His practice was extensive through nearly all the county, Dr. LeMoyne and Dr. Wishart being the only other physicians in that early day. Drs. King Finley, and Biddle, of Monogahela City, Dr. Halleck, of Pittsburgh, Dr. Joseph Conelly, of Pittsburgh, Dr. Alexander Hamilton, West Middleton, Dr. Matthew Clark, Dr. Wray Grayson, of Washington, and several others were students under him.
Dr. Robert Lane, a nephew of Dr. John Wishart, came from Bedford County about 1842, when a young man, and studied medicine with his uncle, and later opened an office in the building where Hughes’ grocery-store now is, on Market Street near Chestnut. He married a daughter of Col. James Brice. He had a large practice and a number of pupils, among whom were Thomas Marshman, Samuel Ackleson, Samuel Potter, and J. R. Wilson. He sold his practice in this section in 1853, and removed to Rockford, Ill., where he is now a banker.
John R. Wilson, son of John Wilson, was a native of his town. He graduated in 1842 at Washington College, and studied medicine with Dr. Robert Lane. He attended one course at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, then practiced a year in Claysville; attended a second course, graduated in 1849, and opened an office in Washington and practiced until his death in March 1873. He gained a wide practice and was highly esteemed by his professional brethren, as well as the community in which he lived.
Dr. Samuel Murdoch was the second son of John Murdoch, who settled in what is now North Strabane township in 1788. He was a graduate of Dickinson College, Pa. He studied theology under the direction of Rev. John Anderson, D.D., of the Associate Presbyterian (now United Presbyterian) Church, and was the contemporary of Rev. Thomas Allison, Rev. Dr. Ramsay, and others. His voice failing him, he turned his attention to the study of medicine, and having fitted himself for that profession he was soon engaged in a large and successful practice in the borough of Canonsburg. In the year 1817 he removed to Washington and continued in active practice until about the year 1830, when he was admonished by advancing years that rest and relaxation had become necessary. He then established a drug-store in the building where he resided, and which he erected on the lot now occupied by S. M. Templeton as a drug-store on Main Street.
Dr. Murdoch was twice married. He died in Washington in 1845, in the eighty-first year of his age. He has a daughter now living in Washington, the widow of the late Dr. Joseph Templeton. His only son, John S. Murdoch, a young man of great promise, a graduate of Washington College and the Jefferson Medical School of Philadelphia, died suddenly before entering upon the duties of his profession.
Dr. Matthew Henderson Clark was a son of James Clark, of Brush Run, Hopewell township, and a grandson of the Rev. Matthew Henderson. His father died when he was but a lad, and left a widow and six children. His mother was a woman of strong character, and by her frugality and energy was enabled to keep the farm and educate her children. The influences thrown around him in his early home, as well as the struggles connected with the maintenance of the family, had much to do in developing in Dr. Clark those traits of character that led not only to success in his profession, but to his high standing in the community where he resided for thirty-eight years. He was educated at Jefferson College, Canonsburg, and entered the office of Dr. James Stevens, of Washington, as a student of medicine, after which he entered the University of Pennsylvania, but did not complete the course at that institution. About 1839 he settled at Elizabeth, Allegheny Co., and practiced about a year. He then married a daughter of John Marshel, of Washington, and came to Washington and opened an office and practiced till his death in 1878, at which time he was the oldest practitioner in the town.
Dr. Clark was a physician of the highest integrity, of the most genial manners, assiduous in his attentions upon all, rich or poor, who called for his professional services. He pursued his profession with zeal and earnestness. Taking an active part in all public improvement, he stood in the front rank as a citizen. He was an active member of the board of trustees of Washington Female Seminary, a member of the board of directors of the first National Bank for ten or fifteen years, president of the Washington Cemetery for eighteen years, an elder in the United Presbyterian Church, and for many years its treasurer. He died June 3, 1878, aged sixty-five years. His widow is still living. James R. Clark, of Washington, is a son.
Dr. John S. B. Koontz was a native of Washington, and a son of George Koontz. He studied medicine with Dr. F. J. Le Moyne, and commenced practice about 1850, which he continued till his death, March 26, 1863.
The following is a list of resident physicians in Washington at the present time, 1882: Thomas McKennan, Wray Grayson, J. W. Sackville, G. A. Doughtery, F. A. Whittlesey, A. S. McElree, J. A. McKean, H. S. McKennan, W. R. Thompson, H. Enoch, John Kelly, George Kelly, Joseph H. Little, J. W. Stockton, and J. M. Maurer. The last named is the only representative of the homoepathic school. He is a native of Pottsville, Schuylkill Co.; received his education at Baltimore; studied medicine under Dr. Malcolm McFarland, Professor of Clinical Surgery in Hahnemann Medical College, Philadelphia, from which he graduated in 1874. He commenced practice in Baltimore, and soon after settled in Pottsville. In 1877 he located at Washington, Pa. Although the practice of homoepathy in Washington County was almost unknown, yet Dr. Maurer has met with good success, and his practice is steadily on the increase.
Societies.—“The Moral Society” of Washington borough was formed on the 4th of April, 1815, by a number of citizens assembled at the Presbyterian Church in pursuance of previous notice. James Brien was appointed president, and Obadiah Jennings Secretary. It was resolved to form “an association for the suppression of vice and immorality.” A constitution was adopted, which among other things provided that stated meetings should be held on the first Monday of May, August, November, and February in each year at the Presbyterian meeting-house in the borough of Washington. A tent-meeting was held on the 1st of May in that year, at which time officers were elected as follows: Alexander Reed, president; Thomas H. Baird, secretary; John Neal, treasurer; and Obadiah Jennings, councilor. Five resolutions were passed, the second of which is as follows:
“Resolved, That the tavern-keepers on the different leading roads, to a distance not exceeding ten miles, be notified that this society are resolved to have the laws vigorously enforced against wagoners and others who violate the Sabbath, and that they be requested to give this information to all wagoners coming to or from Washington.”
Similar societies were formed at West Middletown, Cross Creek, and other places in the county. They were kept in force a few years and then discontinued.
The Western Abolition Society was organized Jan. 26, 1823, at the court-house in Washington, by a number of citizens of Washington County, who by common sympathy were united in the idea that the holding of any part of the human race in bondage was a crime, and that Negro slavery was a blot upon the fair fame of the republic. At the meeting held at the time named, for the purpose of organization, the Rev. Obadiah Jennings was called to the chair, and the Rev. J. Graham was chosen secretary. An address was delivered by the Rev. Andrew Wylie, after which a constitution was adopted. It was “Resolved, That Messrs. Freeman Brady, James Burgin, John Vance, John McCoy, William Lindley, William McGinn, John Cleaver, Samuel England, Walter Maxwell, Andrew Sutton, Thomas McKeever, Thomas McCall, Dr. Jonathan Leatherman, John Reed, Ephraim Estep, Joseph Kerr, and Joseph Stevenson be a committee to secure copies of the constitution and obtain signatures.” Fifty names were enrolled at this meeting. No further account of the society is obtained. The ideas that were then expressed took deep hold on a portion of the community, and the principles enunciated were also moving the people in different parts of the country, and societies were being formed for the same purpose.
The Washington Anti-Slavery Society was formed on the 4th of July, 1834, of which society Joseph Henderson was elected president. Of the organization of the society and the action taken no further mention is made. On the 4th of July, 1835, the first anniversary was held in the Methodist Episcopal church, and the officers elected for the year were Dr. F. J. Le Moyne, president; Dr. J. Templeton, vice-president; Samuel McFarland, secretary; George K. Scott, treasurer; Rev. William Kenney, Patterson Scott, Samuel Hazlettt, James Reed, Robert Latimore, and Samuel Mount, managers. At this meeting Alexander Sweeney, Dr. Joseph Templeton, and Dr. F. Julius Le Moyne were appointed a committee to prepare and address for the next meeting. This meeting was held in August, the same year, and the address was delivered. It was ordered published in Our Country, in which paper it appeared on the 13th of August, and occupied five columns. The first proposition defines the object of the society, viz.: “The entire abolition of slavery throughout the whole of the slave-holding portions of the United States.”
The formation of this society, and the attempt to disseminate its principles, roused a violent opposition, which showed itself first in the holding of public meetings in Washington, at which resolutions were passed denouncing the abolition movement and those engaged in it, and afterwards in an evident determination to suppress free speech in Washington, at least so far as concerned the enunciation of anti-slavery doctrines. This determination broke into open violence in June, 1836, the facts of which are as follows: the Rev. Samuel Gould, who was traveling through the country speaking upon the subject, was advertised to address the people of Washington. A meeting was called to be held in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church (now the Disciples’), on West Wheeling Street. Warning had been given before the meeting that the Rev. Mr. Gould would not be allowed to speak on the subject of the abolition of slavery as proposed. Upon this knowledge Dr. F. J. Le Moyne procured two or three stalwart friends, who though not in sympathy with the speaker were in favor of free speech. These men took their station at the steps of the pulpit. After the speech had commenced a young man, one of the leaders of the mob, came up the aisle with a paper in his hand. Dr. Le Moyne stepped out to meet him, and demanded to know what he wanted. He replied, “That man must cease speaking, and the paper in my hand is a notice to that effect.” He insisted upon delivering it, and Dr. Le Moyne informed him that he could not do so. He still insisted, and the doctor told him he should pass over him first; he then turned and went out amid hooting, howling, and shuffling of feet. After he retired an attack was made upon the building. Stones, bricks, and eggs were thrown through the windows. The ladies who were in the room were placed close to the wall. No one was hurt, however, and the speaker proceeded with his address to the close amid great uproar. At the conclusion a hollow square was formed of the friends of the lecturer and those in favor of free speech, with the speaker in the center. In this way they marched, the mob swaying back and forth around them, as far as the building now occupied by William S. Bryson, when the square became broken by the rushing mob. A door was kindly opened in that building on the north side and the friends went in, when they reformed and came out of the store door on Main Street (leaving the mob for the time at the other entrance), and passed down on the west side of Main Street, and down Maiden Street to Dr. Le Moyne’s residence, which they reached in safety, and the speaker passed in. Much loud talk and riotous disturbance ensued on the outside before the mob dispersed. On the next day Dr. Le Moyne commenced proceedings against several of the parties, but they were finally dropped.
On the 24th of the same month succeeding the action of the mob, a meeting was held, John R. Griffith, chief burgess, in the chair. After speeches by the Hon. Thomas H. Baird and Thomas McGiffin, a committee composed of Judge Baird, Thomas McGiffin, and John G. Brady, Esqs., were appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting. They reported the following, which were adopted:
“Whereas, The late violence and irregular consequences which have resulted from the attempt of certain abolition agents in intruding their opinions upon the public in this place are calculated to alarm our citizens for the peace and order of our community and the supremacy of the laws, and whereas it is necessary to vindicate our society from injurious imputations in relation to the past, and also to provide means of prevention for the future, therefore
“Resolved, That in the opinion of this meeting it is unwise and highly inexpedient to intrude upon the people of this country, and particularly of this borough, by public addresses the peculiar and offensive doctrines maintained and urged by the agents of the Abolition Society.
“Resolved, That any further movements of the kind will be received with disapprobation, as calculated to disturb the peace of our society without presenting the least hope of probable or even possible good.
“Resolved, That this meeting express the most decided reprobation of all tumultuous and disorderly acts in endeavoring to prevent the abolition movements that are evidently so offensive to the great mass of our population.”
Three days after this meeting the citizens of West Middletown called a meeting “for the purpose of taking into consideration the disorderly and disgraceful acts which were done in the borough of Washington.” Thomas McCall was called to the chair, and James McFadden was made secretary. On a motion of Thomas McKeever, Esq., a committee composed of Thomas McCall, John C. Hanna, Dr. John Ramsey, Col. D. McGugin, and James Thompson were appointed to draft resolutions and report at the next meeting. Pursuant to adjournment the meeting assembled the next ady, and passed resolutions condemnatory of the violence committed in Washington, and of the action of the subsequent meeting at the county-seat. Among the resolutions were the following:
“Resolved, That this meeting, in consideration of the high reputation of our fellow-citizens of Washington for morality and order, view with regret and regard with decided disapprobation the late riot in that place.
“Resolved, That this meeting view mobs and riots (be the pretext what it may) as a strong evidence of the degeneracy of morals and patriotism, subversive of order, of law, and of liberty, and tending to anarchy and confusion.
“Resolved, That in the opinion of this meeting the preamble and resolutions, taken in the aggregate, introduced into and adopted at a late meeting of some of the citizens of Washington subsequent to the late riot as proscriptive in their nature, disorderly in their tendency, and by no means calculated to correct morbid moral sensibility, the first part of the third resolution to the contrary notwithstanding, and are disapproved by this meeting.
“Resolved, That this meeting highly approve of the resolution introduced by Mr. Reed and adopted by the Colonization Society of Washington County at one of these late meetings, as in our opinion breathing the sentiments of every true philanthropist.”
The accounts of the two meetings were given in the columns of Our County of date June 30, 1836, and were followed by a notice of the annual meeting of the Anti-Slavery Society, to be held at the home of Dr. F. J. Le Moyne, at which time an election of officers would be held and “addresses my be expected.”
The annual meeting was held, and was “composed of ladies and gentlemen of the highest respectability.” The following resolution was offered by the Rev. Samuel Gould: “Resolved, That because slavery is an outrage upon humanity, disgraceful and dangerous to the county, and diametrically opposed to the letter and spirit of the Bible, every philanthropist and patriot and Christian is called upon to aid in its extermination.” Mr. Gould addressed the audience for about an hour in support of the resolution, after which it was passed unanimously. Other resolutions and speeches were made, and the resolutions of the meeting at West Middletown were read and adopted. The officers elected at this meeting were Dr. F. J. Le Moyne, president; Samuel McFarland, corresponding secretary; William Cornwell, recording secretary; George K. Scott, treasurer; Col. Daniel McGugin, Henry Enlow, Esq., Alexander Sweeney, Joseph McDowell, Col. John McCoy, Dr. John White, Samuel Hazlett, Stephen Parcell, Rev. Alexander Donnan, Thomas J. Odenbaugh, Esq., Samuel Vance, and Dr. Stephen Smith, managers; James Reed, Thomas McKeever, Esq., Alexander Gordon, Esq., Samuel Mount, and Robert Latimore, executive committee.
Trouble was expected from the opposition at this meeting, and Dr. Le Moyne had prepared about a dozen hickory clubs, which were placed conveniently, and men who were advocates of free speech were determined to use them if necessary. The meeting was held in the yard east of Dr. Le Moyne’s house, and the feeling in the assemblage was intense and serious, but during the reading of the Declaration of Independence by Dr. Luther Day, a man who was in the crowd and a leader among the opposition, but who could neither read nor write, and thinking abolition doctrine was being read, burt out with “Stop that: we don’t want to hear any more of that d—d stuff!” This completely broke down the seriousness of the opposition, and the better part from this time took no part in any violent demonstration.
On the 15th of July, 1836, Mr. Gould was at Williamsport, and after meeting went to the house of a respectable citizen to pass the night, at which time the house was mobbed because of his presence there. The people of the town were indignant at this outrage, and called a meeting the next day to take action in the matter, and while not coinciding with the views of the speaker, they reprobated the principles that assailed the liberty of speech.
Dr. Le Moyne “became one of the most aggressive of the Anti-Slavery party, and at the same time an opponent of the American Colonization Society, which he believed was established in the interests of American slavery. He became so prominent a partisan that in 1841 he was the candidate of the Abolition party for Governor of Pennsylvania. Of course he had no expectation of being elected, the object of the campaign being to create a political balance of power that would ultimately control the other parties. At the next election, in 1844, he was again a candidate, and also in 1847.
“During the early discussion, both public and private, upon this exciting subject, there was sometimes manifested an intolerance towards him and his party that was painful and often oppressive. He was a man, however, that was not to be daunted by and show of force. Such was his peculiar mental constitution that majorities had no influence upon his judgment and actions. He was an original, independent thinker, and nothing apparently gave him so much satisfaction as the opportunity to maintain his views by discussion with a champion whom he considered a worthy opponent. After years spent in advocating the cause of liberty, he had the satisfaction and happiness of seeing the object of his greatest hopes accomplished in the emancipation of the slaves of the United States and indeed in almost the whole world.”1 1Alexander M. Gow, Esq
Freemasonry in Washington.2---Shortly after the organization of the county of Washington and the location of the county-seat, a number of the citizens in and about Washington proceeded to organize a Masonic Lodge. 2 By J. W. McDowell
Application was made to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania for a charter, which was granted, James Chambers, Absalom Baird, and Cyrus Beckwith being designated as the principal officers.
The lodge (No. 54) was constituted June 25, 1792. Its meetings were held regularly until June 22, 1801, when they were suspended for a time. In 1805 the operations of the lodge were revived, and meetings were held until about the year 1812, when, owing to the excitement produced by the war with Great Britain, the ceased entirely, and this lodge passed out of existence.
Among its members we find such men as John Hoge, David Hoge, William Meetkirke, George H. Keppelle, Joseph Pentecost, Alexander Reed, and many others who were prominently identified with the early history of the county.
The lodge during its existence met in various parts of the town, but finally erected a stone building on the rear of the lot now occupied by Dr. Grayson.
From 1812 to 1819 there was no lodge in Washington, but Masonry beginning to revive a second charter was granted by the Grand Lodge on the 1st of March, 1819. On Jan. 21, 1820, the new lodge, under the name of “Washington Lodge, No. 164,” was duly constituted, with George Jackson as Worshipful Master, Robert Estep Senior Warden, and Daniel Thompson Junior Warden. These ceremonies took place at the house of Thomas Patton. In connection there with we take the following from the preface of a pamphlet, containing an address by the Hon. Thomas H. Baird, and which was also published in the Reporter of Feb. 14, 1820:
“For the consecration and installation of Washington Lodge, No. 164, of Ancient York Masons, a Grand Lodge was formed at the place on Friday, the 21st of January, A.D. 1820 (A.L. 5820). The ceremony took place under the superintendence of the Honorable Jonathan H. Walker, who presided as Worshipful Grand Master, assisted by a number of brethren from the adjacent lodges.
“The lodge met at an early hour of the day, when after the necessary arrangements it proceeded in regular order to the Presbyterian meeting-house. The service was commenced by the Rev. Matthew Brown, assisted by the Rev. Thomas Hoge, by prayer and praise to the Great Architect of the universe; and excellent sermon from 1st John iii. 10, was then delivered by the Rev. Matthew Brown, succeeded by prayer, after which the Hon. Thomas H. Baird delivered an appropriate address, which forms the subject matter of this pamphlet.
“The lodge then returned in the same order to the lodge-room, and closed the day in harmony.”
The next public demonstration of the lodge of which we have record was on June 24, 1824, when the brethren, after a parade through the town, proceeded to the Presbyterian Church, and after introductory services by Rev. Obadiah Jennings, and address was again delivered by Hon. Thomas H. Baird. The meetings of the lodge were kept up regularly until Dec. 12, 1832, when, on account of the great anti-Masonic excitement at that time agitating the whole country, the lodge, by resolution, suspended operations. On April 14, 1845, it was revived by a dispensation of Grand Lodge, the first meeting being held in the house although near thirteen years had passed since the resolution suspending its meetings, yet all the old officers took their several stations, death not having thinned the ranks of the craft.
Since 1845 the lodge had had no interruptions in its meetings, and continues down to the present time in successful operation.
There have been several public demonstrations of the lodge, the most noted being on June 24, 1847, which was attended by a large number of Masons from Pittsburgh, Wheeling, Brownsville, Steubenville, and other places. After a parade through the principal streets of the town, they proceeded to the college campus, where an address was delivered by Rev. George S. Holmes.
This lodge first held its meetings in the building formerly occupied by Lodge No. 54, in the rear of the Grayson lot on South Main Street, in which the Masons claimed a title, and which they afterwards sold to Hon. John Grayson. In 1826 they moved to a building on West Maiden Street, then owned by W. L. Oliver, but now occupied by Mrs. Bausman, widow of John Bausman, deceased. In 1830 the lodge returned to the old stone building. About the year 1846 rooms on the corner of Main and Beau Streets were leased from Wm. Smith, to which the lodge removed. The next removal was to the building at present occupied by the Review and Examiner printing-office, where the new quarters were formally dedicated on October 27th. The next removal was to the large and commodious rooms in the third story of Smith’s Iron Hall, on the northwest corner of Main and Beau Streets, the first meeting being held Oct. 6, 1862. On Dec. 27, 1878, the lodge held its first meetings in what is known as Young’s Building, corner of Main Street and ----- Alley: and in July, 1881, the last remove was to the third story of Bryson’s Building, corner of Main and Wheeling Streets, where in magnificently furnished rooms the brethren are provided with every facility for performing the secret rites and ceremonies pertaining to the craft.
This is the oldest Masonic organization in the county, the next in age being Lodge No. 237, which first organized and met in Washington, and was afterwards removed to Beallsville; and following in the order named are Nos. 297, at Canonsburg; 337, at Monongahela City; 454, at Burnettstown; and 488, at Independence.
Washington Chapter, No. 150, Royal Arch Masons, was constituted Feb. 4, 1828, a charter having been granted on June 19, 1828, to the following-named persons as officers: David Acheson, M. W. High Priest; Chester Bidwell, King; and John M. Davis, Scribe.
As Royal Arch Masons are also Blue Lodge Masons, the history of this chapter is to a certain extent identical with that of Lodge No. 164, their meetings being held in the same rooms, and a majority of the members of the one order being also members of the other.
As the Masons were desirous of advancing in the higher degrees of Freemasonry, Washington Council, No. 1, of Royal, Superexcellent, and Select Masters was constituted Nov. 16, 1847; but after an existence of about thirty-three years the warrant was vacated, and the charter, books, etc., returned to the Grand Council, Feb. 10, 1880.
Jacques de Molay Commandery, No. 3, Knight Templar, stationed at Washington, is the only organization of the kind in the county. It was instituted Nov. 1, 1849, under a charter issued by the General Grand Encampment of the United States, and was first numerically designated as No. 2; but after the reunion of all the commanderies of the State, on June 1, 1857, it was changed to No. 3.
It is well equipped with the paraphernalia necessary for the conferring of the orders of Christian knighthood. It has always met in the same rooms with Lodge No. 164.
In August, 1880, the members made a pilgrimage to Chicago, and participated in the triennial grand encampment of Knights Templar held in that city.
On Oct. 20, 1881, the new asylum in Bryson’s Building was consecrated by the Grand Commandery of the State with imposing ceremonies, Sir Charles W. Batchelor, of Pittsburgh, acting as Grand Commander. Quite a large number of the Sir Knights from Pittsburgh, Wheeling, and other places were present and participated with the commandery on this occasion.
The membership is composed generally of men of character and influence in all parts of the county.
National Lodge, No. 81, I. O. O. F.—Established in the borough of Washington, Pa., on Monday, Feb. 13, 1843, by M. W. G. M. Joseph Brown and Grand Sec. William Curtis, of Philadelphia. The charter members of the lodge were George Morrison, William Garrety, James W. Smith, D. M. Boyd, James McGugan.
The lodge was established in the loft of a stable rented to them by William Allen, Sr., one lot below the Round Corner. In this room they held meetings for a short time, then removed to the building on the Round Corner, where they remained about ten years, and again removed to Smith’s Building, corner of Beau and Main Streets. In 1870 a lodge-room was fitted up in the third story of the Young Building, which they occupied till 1880, when they leased the room opposite on the same floor, which they at present occupy.
The first officers of the lodge were George Morrison, N. G.; William Garrety, V. G.; James W. Smith, Sec.; D. M. Boyd, Treas.; James McGugan, Asst. Sec. The following is a list of the names of the first members: Alfred Creigh, Alfred Galt, Thomas McKinley, James M. Hutcheson, H. M. Brister, Thomas Logan, Joseph Cooper, William K. Shannon, Michael G. Kuntz, William Wolfe, John Allen, and Edward Johnson. Six of them are still living.
The lodge has a present membership of fifty. William Marshall is the present Noble Grand, and William Shannon, Secretary.
Shakespeare Encampment, No. 20, I. O. of O. F.—This was chartered on the 5th of November, 1845, the following-named persons being designated as charter members: James B. Ruple, William Smith, William Garrity, Thomas S. McKinley, S. B. Hayes, and William Garton. Meetings were held in the rooms of National Lodge, No. 81, I. O. of O. F. The war of the Rebellion caused a suspension of the meetings from Feb. 24, 1863, to Feb. 25, 1870, at which latter date it was revived. The encampment has at present thirty-nine members and the following officers: T. M. Potts, C. P.; M. Minton, S. W.; John Cooke, J. W.; William K. Shannon, Scribe.
William F. Templeton Post, No. 120, G.A.R., Dept. Pa.-This post was organized on the 28th of March, 1879, with twenty-eight charter members and the following officers: C., F. H. Dyer; S. V. C., James B. Kennedy; J. V. C., Alexander Hart; Q. M., George o. Jones; Adjt.; William H. Underwood; Surg., E. L. Christman; O. D., S. L. Wilson. The meetings were held during the first year in Odd-Fellows’ Hall, and in 1880 th eport fitted up the room at an expense of twenty-two hundred dollars, and now occupy it as a Grand Army Memorial Hall. The organization from its conception has been very successful, and has always taken a leading part in matters of public interest in the bourgh of Washington. Under its auspices, during the past two years, courses of public lectures which have been delivered in the town hall by distinguished men, these being the only successful courses of lectures which have been held in Washington in a period of eight years. The post has been honored by the selection of department and national officers from its comrades, viz.: 1979-8, F. H. Dyer, A. D. C. to Commander-in-Chief; 1881, F. H. Dyer, Senior Vice Department Commander; 1882, William H. Underwood, A. D. C. to Department Commander. The position of the post has been and is a commanding one by reason of its energy and influence, and its growth has been steady, it having at present (1882) a membership of one hundred and eight. The officers for 1882 are as follows: George O. Jones, C.; James B, Kennedy, S. V. C.; W. H. Shaw, J. V. C.; Thomas m. Horter, Adjt.; J. Hamilton Stewart, Q. M.; S. G. Rogers, Chap.; John Templeton, Surg.; J. William Greer, O. D.; Thomas L Dagg, O. G.
Washington Cemetery- In the early years the dead of the town of Washington were buried I in what is known as the old burying-ground, in the northwest quarter of town, lying between North Alley (now Spruce) and Walnut Street, embracing lots Nos. 268, 269, 270,271,272. It is impossible to ascertain how the first of these lots came into possession of the borough, as no record seems to have been made. They were in use long prior to incorporation. Additions were made of adjoining lots, to which the borough obtained title. The following history of the Washington Cemetery was written and published in 1859. A few facts are added bringing its history to the present time:
The project of establishing a rural cemetery in the vicinity of Washington was suggested years ago. Many considerations prompted the suggestion. The want of system in the original plan of the old graveyard, and the absence of taste in all its internal arrangements,-the crowded state of its graves, its unsightly appearance and neglected condition,-above all, its close proximity to the town and consequent desecration, particularly on the Sabbath, had long been subjects of mournful observation. But the time had not come for the desired change. The necessity for a new burial-place had not impressed itself on the public mind. The natural and instinctive veneration for the old graveyard, coeval with the town’s existence, where reposed a generation of the unforgotten dead, forbade its serious contemplation. So the matter rested until 1846, when the town was startled by an attempt to open public thoroughfares through the old graveyard. It was claimed that, according to the original plan of the borough, Walnut Street ran westwardly until it was intersected at right angles by an avenue passing northwardly from Chestnut Street, and that these thoroughfares came together in the heart of the old burial-ground. Accordingly, an application to open them was made to the court. This was strenuously resisted by a majority of the citizens. The application was dropped, doubtless out of respect for the feelings of survivors, as well as due regard for the repose of the departed. But although this effort was not persisted in (and, if it had, perhaps might have been successfully resisted), yet it engendered feelings of insecurity touching the permanency of the old graveyard.
It was not, however, until the year 1852 that any concerted action was taken to provide a more secure and attractive repository for the dead. It is due to the principal of the Washington Female Seminary (Mrs. Hanna) to say that the Washington Cemetery is indebted for its origin to her happily-conceived and well-directed efforts. In the summer of 1852 a number of citizens of the town and vicinity, upon the invitation of Mrs. Hanna, met at the Washington Female Seminary, to take into consideration the propriety of establishing a new cemetery. The result of that meeting was the organization of the present company, and the purchase of the ground upon which the new cemetery is located.
On the 3d day of March, 1853, the Washington Cemetery Company was incorporated, and the first board of managers was organized by the election of the following: Rev. Thomas Hanna, D.D., president; Hon. Jacob Slagle, treasurer; Dr. Matthew H. Clark, John Bausman, Sample Sweney, Alexander Murdoch, David S. Wilson, secretary.
Immediate steps were taken to procure an eligible site for the contemplated improvement. To aid in this important duty, the board availed itself of the large practical experience of John Chislett, Esq., superintendent of the Allegheny Cemetery. Mr. Chislett visited Washington, spent several days in explorations, and having expressed a decided preference for the site covered by lands of Alexander Sweney, James G. Strean, and John McClelland, the board, fully concurring in the selection, proceeded at once to purchase the said lands.
The first purchase consisted of 10 acres 86 perches from Alexander Sweney, for $843; 9 acres 28 perches from J. G. Strean, for $688.12; 6 acres 19 perches from J. McClelland, for $745.34. Subsequently an additional purchase was made from Alexander Sweney, of 10 acres and 142 perches, for $1088.75. An addition of 30 acres and 127 perches was made Aug. 31, 1859, by purchase of Joseph Huston, and subsequently, April 23, 1862, by purchase of William B. Huston. In November, 1862, February, 1864, and January, 1869, sales were made of parcels that embraced in all an area of about eight acres. The whole cemetery area at present (1882) comprises 68 acres and 130 perches.
The company was very fortunate in the location thus secured. Situate upon the Upper Ten-Mile plank-road, about half a mile from Washington, it is easy of access from town and country. The view from the cemetery grounds is very attractive. From this elevated position the visitor looks down on the town of Washington, spread out upon the beautiful basin formed by Catfish Run, one of the head-waters of Chartiers Creek, and far beyond over a large expanse of rich and variegated scenery.
After the purchase of the grounds, the board proceeded forthwith to inclose them with a high, substantial fence, and to erect a suitable building for the accommodation of their superintendent. They afterwards erected an iron gate supported by permanent stone columns at the main entrance. On the 1st of November, 1853, was made the first interment, that of an infant child of Morgan Hayes.
The clearing and improvement of the grounds, cutting out avenues, etc., necessarily involved a heavy expense. But the board did not falter, believing that the enterprise had its origin in a great public necessity, and that eventually it would overcome all prejudice and find favor with the entire community. Among the reasons why it should and most be so are the following:
First. The absence from this undertaking of any purpose of private speculation. The entire fund arising from the sale of burial lots is specifically dedicated to the purchase and improvement of the grounds. No part of these funds can under any circumstances inure to the benefit of the members of the corporation. Each purchaser of a lot is thus assured that the sum of money which he contributes is expended in improving and beautifying the place, is in the midst of which he has consecrated a spot for the repose of his own dead.
Second. The security furnished by the act of incorporation, making the grant of a burial lot not only perpetual, but exempting it forever from every process of law by which the same could be forcibly sold, providing also for the perpetual succession of the board of corporators, thus furnishing the strongest guarantee that the dead shall remain here in undisturbed repose.
Third. The selection of the site with special reference to security from any disturbing causes growing out of the extension of the town and suburbs and the improvements consequent thereupon, the position being retired, elevated, and at the same time in as close proximity to the town as possible consistent with the great ends already indicated.
Fourth. The fact that it is not for the town only this cemetery has been provided. The object of the company has been to furnish a lasting depository for the dead of the surrounding country. It is needless to say that churchyards or private burial-grounds on farms do not furnish adequate security against change and obliteration. In this country lands are constantly shifting hands. The location of churches must be changed to meet the popular wants. There is no sure guarantee that the sanctity of any such burial-place will be respected after they are gone who are interested in its preservation.
Fifth. The most admirable feature of the present enterprise is the provision made for perpetual care and watchfulness, the entire funds being devoted to present and future expenditures for the progressive improvement of the grounds. Thus the dead not only repose securely here but their place of sepulture will be made more and more attractive through all succeeding time.
The success of the enterprise is manifested by the steady increase of patronage and favor which has marked its progress. There have been interred within its consecrated grounds the remains of many whose memory will ever be fragrant while worth and virtue are prized. Of such it is eminently proper to mention the Rev. David McConaughy, D.D., fourth president of Washington College, “for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith;" and to say that the grave of the Hon. Thomas M.T. McKennan may be found here on the spot he so much admired long before there was any thought of devoting it to its present purpose. The body of his father, Col. William McKennan, the companion in arms of the immortal Washington, rests by his side within the same enclosure. Here also were brought from the old graveyard for more secure repose, after upwards of forty years’ interment, the remains of Gen. Thomas Acheson, who occupied a large place in the hearts of a generation now fast disappearing. Some of his contemporaries, who long stood as landmarks of that fleeting throng, have here found their final resting-place. Of such were Thomas Stockton, Daniel Moore, Thomas Morgan, John H. Koontz, David Acheson, Joseph Clark. Hundreds of other tablets within the consecrated enclosure bear the names of old and honored citizens and families of Washington.
In the eastern part of Washington Cemetery stands a monument erected to perpetuate the memory of the sons of Washington County who lost their lives by wounds received or disease contracted in the service of the Union during the war of the Rebellion. Its position is a commanding one, being visible from any place in the town, as well as from the approaches to the county-seat from any direction. The first impulse toward its erection was just after the battle Gettysburg, which carried off so many of the Washington County soldiers. At the first the plan adopted was to receive only subscriptions of one dollar each, and a large part of its cost was defrayed by such subscriptions, although toward the end larger contributions were accepted; but nevertheless the whole people of the county, in all sections, have the honor of aiding in the building of this beautiful structure.
The monument was erected in the summer of 1871, by Joseph Howarth, of Washington, after designs made by E. Morgenroth, of Pittsburgh. The lower base is fourteen feet square, the second ten feet square and three-eighths feet high. The die is nine feet six inches high, enriched in front by a military trophy of cannons, muskets, swords, drums, flags, etc. On the die is an enriched entablature of architrave, frieze, and cornice, nine feet six inches square and three feet six inches high. On each angle of this cornice is a mortar, and in front between the two mortars is an eagle with wings extended. On the cornice is an octagonal shaft or column, which with its base and capital if fifteen feet high and three feet in diameter, representing an infantry soldier standing at rest, making the total height of the monument forty-one feet. The material is a beautiful sandstone from Massillon, Ohio. Though the entire cost of the monument was but a little over six thousand dollars, it is worthy of a critical examination. Four large cannon, which saw service in the war, stand at its four corners.
The following is a list of the presidents, secretaries and treasurers of the association from its organization to the present time:
Presidents, Rev. Thomas Hanna, 1853; Jacob Slagle, 1854 to 1860; Dr. Matthew Clark, 1860 to 1878; Colin M. Reed, 1878 to the present.
Secretaries, David S. Wilson, 1853 to1855; Alexander Murdoch, 1855 to 1861; Dr. Thomas McKennan, 1861 to the present.
Treasurers, Jacob Slagle, 1853; John S. Slagle, 1854 to 1856; Alexander Murdoch, 1856 to 1861; D. T. Morgan, 1861 to 1878; James R. Clark, 1878 to the present.
The present (1882) board of managers is composed of Colin M. Reed (president), D. T. Morgan, J. D. Chambers, A. W. Acheson, Boyd Crumrine, Dr. Thomas McKennan, James R. Clark.
Washington Gas-Works.—A meeting of a number of citizens was held on the 26th of August, 1856, to consult upon the propriety of establishing gasworks for the borough of Washington. A charter was procured which designated as managers Colin M. Reed, Joseph Henderson, Simon Cort, Jacob Slagle, Charles W. Hays, Freeman Brady, Jr., J. L. Judson, James W. Kuntz, and Alexander Seaman. A new board of managers was elected Jan. 18, 1857, consisting of Samuel Hazlett, Colin M. Reed, Dr. Francis J. Le Moyne, William Smith, Jacob Miller, Alexander Wilson, and Joseph Henderson. Colin M. Reed was elected president and William McKennan secretary. F. J. Le Moyne, Samuel Hazlett, and Jacob Miller were appointed to secure a lot of ground for their uses. The necessary buildings were erected, and pipes laid through the streets of the town. Gas was let into the pipes the first time on Saturday, the 21st of February, 1857, and on the evening of the Tuesday following (February 24th) the streets, stores, and dwellings of the borough were successfully lighted. The pipes were found to have been badly put together; changes were found to be necessary, and in the following year the works were rebuilt and enlarged. The original cost and the repairs to this time amounted to about thirty-one thousand dollars. In 1868 the pipes in the streets were replaced by larger ones, and clay retorts replaced the metallic ones previously in use. The price of gas in 1857 was placed at four dollars per thousand feet. It has steadily declined since then, and in this year (1882) it is furnished at one dollar and eighty cents per thousand. The amount of gas furnished the past years is four million five hundred and thirteen thousand cubic feet. The officers from the first have been: Presidents, C. M. Reed, 1857 to 1865; F. J. Le Moyne, 1865 to 1867; C. M. Reed, 1867 to 1882. Secretaries, William McKennan, 1857; John C. Hastings, 1858 to 1882. Treasurers, Samuel Hazlett, 1857 to 1858;Alexander Wilson, 1859 to 1861; John D. Chambers, 1862, John C. Hastings, 1863 to 1882. Managers for 1882, Colin M. Reed, John C. Hastings, D. T. Morgan, A. T. Baird, John D. Chambers, Lewis Barker, Alexander Wilson.
Washington Coal Company.—On the 24th of August, 1864, Messrs. Parkin, Marshall & Co. purchased eight acres of land of Harry Shirls and commenced to sink a shaft for coal. After one year’s work they reached a vein of coal five feet in thickness. The shaft was sunk bearing to the southwest at an angle of forty-five degrees to the distance of five hundred feet, being about three hundred feet perpendicular. Side drifts were made, one to the northeast, towards the residence of Mr. Shirls, and one to the northwest towards Shirls’ Grove. These drifts were from one-quarter to one-half mile in extent. The company employed thirty miners, and mined one thousand bushels per day. The act of Legislature passed in 1870, requiring coal companies to construct other ventilation and means of escape than by the mail shaft alone, caused this company to cease work, as their shaft was so deep that great expense would be incurred. An effort was made to induce the Council of the borough of Washington to become a partner in the company.
On the 21st of June, 1871, the Council met to take into consideration the propriety of lending assistance to Parkin, Marshall & Co., who proposed to furnish eight thousand dollars if the borough would furnish seven thousand, the sum necessary to sink another shaft. The burgess was authorized to call a public meeting to obtain the views of the citizens on the subject. The meeting was held and the subject discussed. Col. William Hopkins read to the meeting the act of Legislature forbidding boroughs to subscribe money for any such purpose, after which it was decided to take no further action in the matter. This refusal discouraged the proprietors, and they abandoned the works. On the 17th of May, 1880, the property was sold to Edward Little, and was soon after vested in the Washington White-Lead Works Company, who now own it.
The Washington Steam-Mill and Manufacturing Company was organized early in January, 1814, for the purpose of making flour and manufacturing other articles. On the 14th of January in that year, David Shields, secretary, issued proposals for the erection of a mill-house forty-seven by fifty feet, four stories high. He also notified stockholders to pay their installments monthly, commencing in February. An act of Assembly was passed Jan. 31, 1814, incorporating the company for thirty years from the passage of the act, and with capital stock not to exceed fifty thousand dollars. The names of the directors mentioned in the act were Alexander Reed, Robert Hamilton, Obadiah Jennings, Thomas Acheson, David Morris, Hugh Workman, and Thomas H. Baird. The company purchased a lot at the foot of Main Street, and erected a large four-story building with a hip roof, forming a large attic. In this building a steam flouring-mill was put in operation. The water for the mill was brought in wooden pipes from a spring a short distance from it, and which is marked on the original plat of the town. In 1816 the property came into possession of Thomas H. Baird. In the next year he added to the business wool-carding and the fulling of cloth, and on June 4th of that year John Brown, agent for Thomas H. Baird, advertised in the Examiner that he would “run this season at the steam-mill in Washington” a new double machine with five cards and two common machines, and June 15th next year (1818) he advertised “warm and cold baths at the Washington Steam-Mill every day in the week, Sundays excepted.” In the month of November, 1819, Mr. Baird rented the mill to Abraham Nye and John Unckles, who also carried on the business of fulling and dyeing cloth. In December following Nye retired, and Unckles continued for several years. In 1822 the property was advertised for sale, but was not sold, and in May, 1823, Thomas Copeland advertised that he had rented and refitted it. In 1826, Augustus M. Hazlip rented the property, and continued business for a short time. The property had been rented to various parties from 1819, and during that time fulling and dyeing cloth and the carding wool was carried on with the manufacture of flour. It had also been advertised for sale several times, but found no purchaser. On the night of the 19th of May 1831, the building was destroyed by fire. The Mount Hope and Washington Companies with their engines were there and protected the surrounding property, but the mill building could not be saved. The papers of the time complained of the confusion, disorder, and inefficiency of the fire companies. The engines that were in the mill-house were removed by Thomas H. Baird to Monongahela City and placed in a mill in that city owned by him where they were used many years.
Woolen-Factory.—In the Washington Reporter of August, 1815, is a call for wool-growers and owners of sheep to meet at the house of John McCluney on the 15th of that month. At that meeting (of which Robert Anderson was president, and John Alban secretary) it was resolved “That a general invitation be given to the wool-growers of Washington and adjacent counties to meet at the house of John McCluney, in the borough of Washington, on Wednesday, the 25th of October next (court week), at one o’clock to consider the propriety of establishing a woolen manufactory to be vested in stock held by individuals in common.”
Ziba Lindley, Thomas Vaneman, and John Alban were appointed a committee to concert with wool-growers and farmers on the propriety, utility, and most eligible method of carrying into effect the above resolutions. The papers of the time have no account of the next meeting, or of subsequent meetings, in reference to the subject.
In 1827, David Acheson erected a woolen-factory, and on the 9th of December in that year offered it for sale, describing it as “a new building, two-story brick house, thirty by sixty feet, and frame adjoining and a dye-house.” It was not sold, and on the 11th of September, 1830 Michael Kaine was operating “Acheson’s woolen-factory,” and in 1832 William Maltby was running it. On the 28th of April, 1836, James Darling & Co. advertised that “having lately purchased the Washington Woolen-factory, they intend introducing new machines for wool-carding;” and they further state that “orders may be left at the store of Samuel Hazlett, who will attend to all orders.” The building was later owned by Samuel Hazlett, and run, as a woolen-factory for a time, then, used for pork-packing, and still later as a swelling-house. In 1867 it was again opened as a woolen-factory by John Hoon, who placed therein a single hand-loom and one hundred and twelve spindles. On the 1st of April, 1869, John McClean became associated with him. In 1875 a power-loom and carpet-weaving machine were added. In August, 1876, Hoon retired, since which time Mr. McClean has continued the business. In 1877 another carpet-weaver was added. The establishment at present turns out about two hundred and fifty pairs of blankets annually, three thousand yards of flannel, and five thousand pounds of stocking yarn.
S. B. & C. Hayes’ Carriage-Factory.—In the fall of 1841 Sheldon B., Charles, and Morgan Hayes, natives of Connecticut, erected a carriage-shop thirty by fifty feet, and two stories in height, on the south part of the lot in the rear of the public square, and commenced the manufacture of carriages. The business increasing, a brick, building was added with steam-power. In 1845, Morgan Hayes retired from the firm and became the foreman. Soon after a third story was added to the main building, and thirty feet to the first floor. On the 8th of November, 1851, the entire building was consumed by fire. On the Monday following the firm purchased of the trustees of the Presbyterian Church the two lots on First and Maiden Streets, with the brick church building (they having recently removed to a new edifice). On the next day after the purchase the hands were all again at work. To this brick building they added a smith shop thirty by seventy feet. In 1852 a machine-shop was added with an engine of fifteen horse-power. The machinery necessary for the manufacture of doors, blinds, and sash was then added. A boarding-house was built in 1861, and a salesroom in 1862. About this time a seventy horse-power engine was put in. On the 1st of January, 1867, the firm was changed by the admission of Morgan Hayes and Martin Luther. In 1875 the firm was again changed by the retirement of Morgan Hayes and Martin Luther, since which time the firm has been S. B. & C. Hayes. The present salesroom was built in 1875. Water to supply the works is brought from the Lacock quarry through two thousand feet of pipe. The firm have at present about thirty-five hands employed, and produce annually about one hundred and seventy-five new carriages.
Washington Steam Flouring-Mill.—In 1844, Samuel Hazlett and Daniel Dye erected on the west end of Belle Street (now Wheeling) a four-story mill, forty by sixty feet, with three run of stones, and commenced operations in the fall of that year. Mr. Hazlett retired after a short time, and Mr. Dye continued till the latter part of 1849, when the property was sold to John McElroy, who took possession in February 1850. It was operated by him till 1858, and was sold to A. J. Caton. On the 15th of February, 1865, J. M. Wilson and G. M. Warrick became the purchasers, by whom it was remodeled and much enlarged and improved, and by whom it is still operated.
Brewery.—About 1845, Jacob Zelt came to Washington and commenced brewing. Four years later he removed to the west end of Belle Street, and purchased the property he at present owns, and started the brewing in a small way, and by degrees it has been brought to its present capacity. In 1873 the business was placed in charge of his sons, Louis and Adam, who now conduct it. They manufacture about three hundred barrels of beer annually.
Washington Foundry.—In the spring of 1846, Brice, Frisbie & Hitchcock built a brick building, and in it opened the foundry business, on the corner of College and Chestnut Streets. It was continued by them until about the close of the war. By the death of Brice and Frisbie Mr. Hitchcock became the only remaining member of the firm, and the business was sold to______Becker, by whom it was sold to ______Linn, and about 1872 it was in possession of James H. Hopkins, of Pittsburgh, by whom the property is still owned. It is now operated under a lease by Edward Bartlett.
Washington Tannery.—The two-story brick tannery at the west end of Wheeling Street was built in 1862 by Thomas Hodgins and John McElroy, and was operated by them till 1874, when Mr. Hodgins retired, since which time it has been entirely under the control of Mr. McElroy. The power is obtained from a twelve horse-power engine. The tannery contains forty-two vats, with a capacity of tanning one hundred sides of harness leather per week. Six hands are steadily employed.
Steam Planing-Mill.—In 1867, Thomas Walker and William Fitzwilliam purchased a lot of ground on Wheeling Street of the United Presbyterian congregation, and on which the brick church edifice then stood. It was torn down, and the present two-story frame building was erected and supplied with the necessary power and machinery for manufacturing sash, doors, and blinds. The business is now carried on by Walker & Klieves.
Hayes & Wilson Carriage-Factory.—In 1871, Morgan Hayes and John S. Wilson started a carriage-factory in the old Methodist Church, near the corner of Chestnut and Franklin Streets. About twenty men are employed, and one hundred carriages are turned out annually.
Washington Lead-Works (Limited).—In the spring of 1880, Edward Little purchased the property of the Washington Coal-Works and organized the Washington Lead-Works Company, which was composed of Edward Little, W. W. Smith, John A. Best, and Frederick King. The company purchased the land of Mr. Little and erected the present brick buildings. Manufacturing commenced in the last part of February, 1882. Mr. Little retired in about six months, and W. R. Sweitzer took his place. The capacity of the works is one thousand tons per year. This firm manufactures white lead by the American process.
Crown Broom-Factory.—A broom-factory was started Jan. 1, 1881, by John McClean in connection with his woolen-factory. Nine men are employed, and one hundred and twenty-five dozen brooms per week are manufactured, which are supplied to the local and Pittsburgh trade.
Washington County Centennial.—On the 7th and 8th of September, 1881, Washington County celebrated its centennial, under the auspices of the Washington County Historical Society, in Washington borough. Invitations had been extended to former citizens in various parts of the country. The public buildings, stores, and private residences were decked with flowers and evergreens. The columns of the court-house were twined with bands of evergreen and white, on the latter of which were the names of many of the county’s honored dead, while on the façade were banners with the inscription, “Washington formed from Westmoreland, 1781. Ceded Greene, 1796. Contributed to Allegheny, 1788; to Beaver, 1800.” Three finely ornamented arches spanned Main Street, one at the intersection of Chestnut, one at Maiden and one at the court-house, the last of which was divided into blocks set in evergreen containing the names of the townships and boroughs of the county, Washington forming the keystone. Surmounting the arch was the word CENTENNIAL and the figures 1781-1881 in gas-jets, while above all was a large star, also in gas-jets, which when lighted at night produced a brilliant effect.
The days were fine. The exercises commenced at 12 m. on the 7th by a salute and the ringing of the bells of the town. A meeting of the citizens was held at the town hall at 2:30 p.m., and an address of welcome was delivered by Judge George S. Hart. Letters were read from many former citizens of the county, among which was one from the Hon. James G. Blaine. On the morning of the 8th procession formed on College Street, under the direction of Chief Marshal the Hon. John H. Ewing (a citizen who has been a resident of the county since 1810), and embraced one hundred and fifty members of the Washington County Veteran Association, Union soldiers of the war of the Rebellion, under command of Col. Chill. W. Hazzard. At 9:30 a.m. the procession moved by way of Maiden, Main, and Chestnut Streets to Shirls’ Grove, near the northwestern boundary of the town, where a platform had been erected for speakers and seats made for the audience. “Music was furnished by the Washington Choral Society, Washington Cornet Band, Fourteenth Regiment Band of Pittsburgh, Amity Band, Monongahela City Cornet Band, and Voss’ Wheeling Band. Organization was effected by the appointment of the Rev. John T. Brownlee, chairman. After the usual exercises addresses were delivered as follows: Rev. J. I. Brownson, D.D., on the general history; Boyd Crumrine, Esq., on the civil and legal history; Hon. D. Agnew, on Alexander Addison; John McDowell, on agriculture; Rev. I.N. Hays, on the religious history; and Dr. G. W. Barnett, on the medical history of the county. After the delivery of these addresses the meeting adjourned and the audience dispersed. On the evening of the 8th the town was brilliantly illuminated with Chinese lanterns, fire-works, and gas-jets, and from every available point floated flags, streamers, and bunting. The evening passed in festivity, and the Washington County centennial celebration passed into history.
MAJ. JOHN H. EWING.
Hon. John Hoge Ewing, of Washington, Pa., was born in Fayette County on Oct. 5, 1796. Though his years in number are almost fourscore and six, he yet lives an honored citizen, enjoying excellent health and wonderful activity of body and mind. Not only does his private business receive his personal attention as if he were of but little more than middle age, but the claims of society and whatever affects the public interest are also not without his personal recognition and support.
Mr. Ewing’s father was William Ewing, who was the son of George Ewing, of Peach Bottom township, York County, lying on the Susquehanna and the Maryland line. George Ewing was the cousin of the celebrated Dr. John Ewing, the scholar and divine, who became pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia in 1759, provost of the University of Pennsylvania in 1779, and was one of the Baltimore commissi0oners to determine the boundary controversy between Pennsylvania and Virginia, and one of the commissioners to extend Mason and Dixon’s line in 1784. The Ewings were of Scotch lineage, and their ancestors emigrated from the north of Ireland to East Nottingham, Md., early in the last century. George Ewing never removed from the East, but his son William, who received his education under his distinguished relative’s direction, about 1790, came west as a surveyor and settled near Heistersburg, in Luzerne township, Fayette County, where, in the next year, he married Mary, the daughter of John Conwell, who had settled in that neighborhood probably as early as 1768 or 1769. Of this marriage the children were Hon. George Ewing, who early went to Texas under Gen. Sam. Houston, was there appointed a judge, and there his family remain; Hon. Nathaniel Ewing, late of Uniontown, Pa., deceased, long the president judge of the courts of Washington, Fayette, and Greene Counties; John H. of whom this sketch is written; James Ewing, late of Dunlap’s Creek, Pa., deceased; Elizabeth, widow of James E. Breading; Maria, widow of Hon. James Veech; Ellen, wife of John H. Wallace; Louisa, wife of William Wilson; Mary Ann, wife of George Mason. of Muscatine, Iowa; and Caroline, who died in infancy.
John H. Ewing, of this family, came to Washington College at the beginning of the college year in 1810, and made his home with his father’s friend, Hon. John Hoge, after whom he had been named. There was no relationship between them, but Mr. Hoge and Mr. William Ewing had been surveyors together in early days, and under Col. Thomas Stokely laid out large tracts of land of the purchase of 1784, north and west of the Allegheny River. After four years at college he graduated in 1814, under the presidency of Dr. M. Brown, and soon afterward beginning the study of the law in the office of Hon. Thomas McGiffin, was admitted to the bar in June, 1818. There were giants at the bar in those days, well remembered by Mr. Ewing, among whom were Parker Campbell, Joseph Pentecost, John Purviance, Phil. Doddridge, Thomas H. Baird, James Ross, James Mountain, and John Kennedy, some of whom resided in adjoining counties, but regularly practiced at the Washington bar. Hon. Samuel Roberts was president judge while Mr. Ewing was a student under Mr. McGiffin. For a year or two after his admission he was a partner with his preceptor; but Mr. McGiffin, with Parker Campbell and Thomas H. Baird, having taken the contract to construct the road-bed of the National road from Washington to Wheeling, Mr. Ewing assumed charge of the outside business for them, until after a while he and his father, William Ewing, obtained the contract for the road-bed of that improvement from Brownsville to Hillsborough, and in the business connected with that employment he remained until the contract was completed late in the fall of 1820
Mr. Ewing never went back to the bar, but having been successful in the contract referred to, he soon afterwards purchased the tract called “Meadow Lanes,” on the Chartiers, about three and a half miles north of Washington, through which the Chartiers Railway passes. Here he resided with his family until he removed to his present residence on East Beau Street in 1840; for on Nov. 2, 1820, he had married Ellen, a daughter of James Blaine, and sister of Ephraim L. Blaine, and the family consisted of the following children of that marriage in the order of their birth: Margaret B., the widow of Dr. William A. Hallock; Rev. Wm. Ewing, Ph.D., now in charge of the Miller’s Run Presbyterian Church, and of the Canonsburg Academy; James Blaine (1), died in early years; Elizabeth B., wife of Rev. William Spear, D.D., for several years a missionary in China, and afterwards with the Chinese at San Francisco; Dr. George Ewing, now in the Department of the Interior at Washington, D.C.; Nathaniel died in his youth; Col. John Ewing, in the iron business at Pittsburgh, and interested in the new iron-works being erected at Canonsburg; Mary L., wife of Rev. Henry Woods, D.D., Professor of Latin in Washington and Jefferson College; Ann Ellen, died young; James Blaine (2), who also died in early years; Samuel Blaine, now farming upon the “Meadow Lands.” But soon after the birth of the last-named son, to wit, on Aug. 26, 1840, the mother of this family died at the new residence in Washington.
On Aug. 12, 1845, Mr. Ewing again married. His second wife was Margaret C., daughter of Richard Brown, who (her father dying in her infancy) was reared and educated in the family of the celebrated minister, Bishop H. B. Bascom, of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Of this union there have been two children,--Clara Bascom, born June 20, 1846, and died about ten years of age; and Florence Bell, born May 25, 1858, now a bright young lady. And at this time, the sons and daughters of the former marriage all having pleasant homes and families of their own, Mr. Ewing, his present wife, and his daughter Florence form a cheerful and happy circle at the homestead.
Mr. Ewing in earlier years was much in public life. In 1835-36, with Joseph Lawrence and Edward McDonald, he was a member from this county of the House of Representatives at Harrisburg; he was for four years a State senator, from 1838 to 1842; and for two sessions, 1844-45 and 1845-46, represented the then congressional district of Washington and Beaver Counties in the United States House of Representatives, and again was he brought into contact with the great men of the land, Clay, Webster, Calhoun, and others.
Besides the building of the National road (generally called the Cumberland road), Mr. Ewing has been prominently identified with another public enterprise of great importance to Washington County. As early as 18311 he was associated with Hon. Thomas H. Baird in the contemplated construction of a railroad up the Chartiers Valley; the latter gentleman taking the leading part, and chiefly at his own expense procuring a survey to be made by Charles De Hass, a civil engineer of that day. The people were not then ready to support the undertaking, and it was abandoned, to be renewed again thirty years afterwards, when, after the road-bed was partly graded, a failure again followed. Not until 1869 was a successful effort made and the road constructed by the Chartiers Valley Railway Company. From the very beginning of these enterprises Mr. Ewing has been a prominent actor, and chiefly to his efforts and personal sacrifice is the final success to be attributed. 1The corporators of this, among the earliest railroads projected, and called the Washington and Pittsburgh Railroad Company, were Thomas H. Baird, T. M. T. McKennan, James Ruple, John K. Wilson, Isaac Leet, John Watson, and John H. Ewing, of Washington County; and Christopher Cowan, William Lea, James Herriot, John McKee, Francis Bailey, and Ross Wilkins, of Allegheny County. (See Charter, Penn. L. 1821, p. 145.)
After declining a renomination for Congress in 1846, Mr. Ewing did not again enter public life, but, outside of the public enterprises in which he was engaged, has devoted himself to his private business, which has been somewhat extensive. His farm on the Chartiers, comprising about six hundred acres, is underlaid much of it with the best quality of bituminous coal, the mining and sale of which he personally superintends. He also owns a large tract of land near Burton Station, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, in West Virginia, which is devoted to sheep-and wool-growing.
He has been especially interested in the educational institutions of the county. For many years, perhaps almost since its organization, he has been a member of the board of trustees of the Washington Female Seminary, and since 1834 a member of the like board of Washington, now Washington and Jefferson College. At the annual meeting of the board of trustees of the college in 1879, that body addressed a letter to Mr. Ewing, which was printed in the public press and is here copied:
“Washington, Pa., July 1, 1879
“Hon. John H. Ewing:
“Dear Sir:--Your fellow-members of the board of trustees of Washington and Jefferson College desire you to accept their congratulations on this occasion. Your membership in the corporation of Washington College, extending from the annual commencement in 1834 to the union of the colleges in 1865, and thence coming down by unbroken continuance in the board of Washington and Jefferson to the present time, has completed a period of forty-five years. An active and influential connection with collegiate education, surpassing in length all precedent to the history of this institution, and seldom equaled by that of any other in our country, deserves emphatic recognition, both for its tokens of providential goodness to yourself and for the great service which it has enabled you to render.
“Your brethren of the board rejoice with you in your continued health, in the signal preservation of your bodily and mental faculties, and in the multiplied mercies which gladden your age. You have by reason of strength been carried beyond the limits of fourscore years, yet by a seeming suspension of nature’s decline your strength has not turned to labor and sorrow. The companions of your early manhood have been called away, or else have sunk into decrepitude, whilst your eye is not dim nor your natural force abated. We joyfully recognize as still abiding the same clear judgment, firm purpose, inflexible rectitude, and generous kindness from which the institution of our common care, as well as all other interests intrusted to your management, have through past vicissitudes so largely profited. And whilst we record our thanks in our own behalf, as well as in the behalf of our community and country, for the educational and other benefits secured in part by your vigilant energy, we cannot but hope also that for years to come you may be kept for like usefulness by the same heavenly care.
“We trust, honored sir, that you will accept this joint expression of personal regard and official recognition, the offering of which affords us so much pleasure. Years of intercourse, under the struggles and solicitudes incident to the guardianship of a college, great at once in its history and prospects, have led us more and more to appreciate the practical justness of your views, and the characteristic urbanity with which they have been maintained. The college and community, as well as ourselves, owe you a large debt of gratitude. Your earthly reward must come largely in the self-approval of conscious duty, and in the grateful remembrance of the rising generation. Long may you live to fulfill the trust of your high position with the energy which your juniors have both admired and envied, and may your life’s evening be illuminated with a cloudless sunset.
“With high regard, we remain as ever your friends and well-wishers,
“Charles C. Beatty, President;
Jas. I. Brownson, Vice-President;
Thomas McKennan, Secretary;
A.T. Baird, Treasurer;
D.S. Wilson, Solicitor and Trustee.
James Allison; John N. McDonald; Samuel J. Wilson, A. W. Acheson; Robert Alexander; R. Sherrard, Jr.;
A. S. Richie; Alexander Wilson; Alexander M. Gow; W.W. Smith;
T.D. Ewing; John C. Hervey;
D. C. Houston; V. Harding;
C. M. Reed, Sr."
Since 1852 Mr. Ewing has been a trustee of the First Presbyterian Church of Washington, enjoying the most pleasant relations with its pastor, Rev. J. I. Brownson, D.D., and the congregation: indeed, in all relations of life he has been peculiarly fortunate and happy. One feature of his personal history is worthy of special mention. In old colonial times, by the authority of law, “Peace-makers” were regularly appointed to compose the differences of litigants, though not thus specially commissioned under any legal appointment; perhaps no other individual has so often and so successfully intervened between parties in legal contests and brought about satisfactorily the compromise of their controversies. Called in for the purpose by the friends of the parties, his excellent judgment and good sense and good humor have always made his intervention acceptable. May his worth as a friend and his usefulness as a citizen remain with us yet for years to come.
MRS. SARAH R. HANNA.
Among the persons connected with public life of Washington County that enters into its proper history is Mrs. Sarah R. Hanna. Besides being prominent because of her strong force of character, she was for many years conspicuous as the principal of the Washington Seminary for young ladies, which under her management grew into an institution of far more than local interest. It is proper, therefore, that in a history of the county there should be some account of her life and work.
Mrs. Hanna, whose maiden name was Sarah R. Foster, was born in Hebron, Washington Co., N. Y., Nov. 10, 1892. Her parents belonged to the class known as Scotch-Irish, a class that so largely predominated in the settlement of this part of western Pennsylvania. Their life was a plain one, but was marked by sound practical sense and thorough integrity. It was also adorned by earnest piety. Mrs. Hanna refers but sparingly to her home and friends, but if she does speak of them it is to mention their Christian influence and the part it had in fashioning and determining her life.
When quite young she engaged in teaching in the country schools. The work was hard and the compensation slight; it awakened in her a wish, however, to gain a better education. When this was suggested to her parents they did not agree to it. It was at a time when the education of girls was not so common as it is now. Her father thought she knew enough for the work she was then doing, and could not foresee that she would ever do anything better. Some time later, however, when the death of her mother had changed the home life, and softened perhaps the disposition of the father, he made no objection to her proposals, and she therefore, in 1833, entered the ladies’ seminary at Troy, N. Y.
This institution was under the care of Mrs. Emma Willard, who was one of the foremost educators of girls in the country. Miss Foster conceived a great admiration for her, and yielding herself implicitly to her care, felt the power of her strong nature in all her intellectual and moral life. In her later years she spoke affectionately of her, and ranking her among the best women who had ever done a public service, was ready to pay her the tribute of a pupil’s gratitude.
Having spent two years in Troy she sought a situation as teacher, and was recommended by Mrs. Willard to the trustees at Washington. They, however, had made an engagement with another lady, Mrs. Biddle, who is mentioned in the history of the seminary as one of its principals. Though thus interrupted, she persevered and came West, and stopping at Cadiz, Ohio, she there opened a school and offered her services to the public. They were to some extent appreciated. Her school grew in size and interest. Acting upon the impulse that guided her in so much of her subsequent life, she, at her own expense, added rooms to the school building, and still increasing the strength of the school, challenged the citizens to establish a seminary; they hesitated, and finally declined.
Just then she received an invitation from the trustees of Washington Seminary to become its principal. This she accepted, and entered upon her duties in the spring of 1840. The school was not then prospering. It was in that condition of half hope and half despair that required unusual effort not only to make it successful, but to save it from utter failure. With characteristic energy she began her work. The conservative spirit of the community and trustees was strong, but she resolutely, yet with a woman’s adroitness, began to oppose it. “Just let me try,” she would say when some of her innovating plans were presented, and the result would be that her point was gained and her wisdom justified.
As the excellence of the school increased its popularity extended. It grew to be known as one of the foremost institutions in the West. The names of Mrs. Hanna and the Washington Seminary were among the most respectable in connection with the cause of education. Though the town was a secluded one and difficult of access, pupils came from a great distance and from many directions, attracted by the reputation of the school and the character of the principal. Business in the town was slow; its life was not energetic. The college did a good work, but it gathered little strength. No commercial enterprises attracted the eye of the public. The surrounding country, through picturesque in a varied scenery, was destitute of objects and places of interest such as excite local pride and the curiosity of strangers. But there were the seminary and Mrs. Hanna; they were always interesting. Governors, senators, Presidents, and all other visitors of distinction were taken to see them. It has been related of one of these guests, a then President of the United States, that he said Mrs. Hanna was the only woman whose strength of personality made him lose his presence of mind.
In 1848, Miss Foster was married to the Rev. Thomas Hanna, pastor of the Associate Church at Cadiz, Ohio. He, subsequent to the marriage, changed his residence to Washington, bringing with him his five children, where he was chosen pastor of a congregation in the Associate Church, of which church also Mrs. Hanna was a member. The girls of the family enjoyed the advantages of the school, some of them growing into useful teachers afterwards, while Mr. Hanna, by appointment of the trustees, officiated as superintendent. The motherly relation thus established was of the pleasantest kind, and was marked, as respected the conduct of Mrs. Hanna, by many acts of special generosity.
In connection with her school in Washington she established and tried to manage two others of a similar kind, one in Xenia, Ohio, the other in Wheeling, Va. She devoted money and energy to the effort of making them successful, but they were failures. The money was lost and her expenditure was without return. In giving advice to her pupils after she had been taught by that experience, she warned them against attempting more than one school at a time.
Mrs. Hanna was a large woman, of unusual physical strength and of commanding presence. When in her prime she moved and acted like a queen. Her walk on the street indicated the strength of character that appeared in her conduct of the school. Earnest, resolute, energetic, noble, she bore herself as if she felt the worth of her womanhood and the importance of her mission. Kind to all, she yet demanded the respect due her character. For herself as a woman she asked nothing, but for herself as a person and as one doing the world’s work, she required all proper acknowledgment.
Intellectually she was strong, though her mind was not of that finer mould that shows itself at its best in work strictly literary. She did indeed publish a book, but it was a compilation from the Scriptures rather than a product of her own. Several pamphlets printed under her name were of the same general character. She was not widely read, and in no department of study could she have been claimed as an authority. Her life was not given to effort in that direction. It is hardly possible, perhaps, to tell what she might have done in literature, for her life was so greatly occupied with matters of administration that she had little time for other pursuits to which she might have been adapted. As she was her strength was not in the more graceful accomplishment, literary or any other, but rather in that firmness of purpose, that strength of will, that determination, skill, sagacity, and consecration to a single aim that characterized her in all her work. She was less contemplative than active and enterprising. Her mind was of the heroic cast, and a gentleman who knew her intimately was accustomed to say that he often thought her admirable fitted for commanding an army and conducting a campaign.
In religious character Mrs. Hanna was strong in her convictions and devout in her observances. Having been reared in the Associate Church, she remained a member of it till it became the United Presbyterian through union with the Associate Reformed. She is still in the same communion. It was a maxim with her that her charity to other churches was best exhibited by loyalty to her own. While, therefore, strictly true to her profession, she sacredly respected the convictions of all others, and in private life and in her public capacity she gained the respect of all who knew her for intelligent fidelity to her faith.
Mrs. Hanna’s influence in the community was greater perhaps than that of any other citizen. This was due not solely or chiefly to her position, but to her character and strong personal force. She made herself felt upon the people. She made her home in the seminary a place of social power as well as of mental instruction. It was the centre of advanced social influences. Her hospitality was generous and dignified. She understood the moral and practical benefits of an attractive table, and how to make her guests feel amidst liberal festive enjoyments the infinitely greater pleasure of cultivated social intercourse and wee-bred courtesy. It was only natural that having such a character as she possessed she should surround herself with teachers sharing her spirit, and thus increase the influence that made the seminary for may years a place of social power for all the community.
But her life was felt in other ways. In all her dealings she was fair and open, up to the point of magnanimity. Nothing so excited her disgust as personal meanness. In her business transactions she sought to teach a lesson in good morals. She wished people to learn how to be both honest and generous. Her whole life was protest against pettiness. A gentleman who knew her habits in this respect always failed in language when he came to speak of them, but looking off to the horizon and with a full sweep of his arms expressed his admiration. It was by putting this disposition into her work that she succeeded in accomplishing so many things in a community that responded but slowly to appeals in behalf of enterprise. When she advised street-crossings, she set the example of putting down some herself. When the congregation of which she was a member hesitated about building a new house of worship, she urged it on and was foremost with her contributions. Few people perhaps, realize the extent to which her influence was given in the earlier days of the town to its improvement; fewer still appreciate the practical and she gave to all its enterprises.
Mrs. Hanna's graduates are living in all parts of the country, and many of them are missionaries in foreign lands, but no matter where they reside they remember her with the affection of children. Upon all of them she left the impression of her noble life.
As time went on the infirmities of age gathered upon her, and though very strongly attached to her school and its work, on the 28th of March, 1874, she resigned her position as principal. When released from her duties she retired to private life. The rest to which she was so well entitled came almost too late, for broken health has caused her much suffering. Without being burdened by its care she has interested herself in establishing missionary societies in the church in which she has her membership, and has thus been instrumental in beginning a work that promises to be widely useful. Taken all in all she has been one of the most useful and conspicuous Washington County's citizens, and the undimmed honor with which her age is crowned is a becoming tribute to a well-spent life.
HON. WILLIAM HOPKINS
The history of Washington County would not be at all complete without a sketch of the life of William Hopkins.
It was well said by the Rev. Dr. Brownson that "in sympathy, purpose, activity, and achievement he belonged to Washington County. Few, if any, of her sons have commenced in an earlier or continued to a later age in her public service. No one of her citizens, it is believed, has given more years to the service of his native State."
The grandfather or our subject, John Hopkins, with his bother Richard, came from Scotland and settled in Maryland. John married Ellen Wallace, daughter of Howard Wallace, of his adopted State. From this union sprung eleven children One of the sons, Thomas Hopkins, was a major in the Revolutionary army. Subsequently he removed to Washington County, PA. He was a member of the legislature when it met in Lancaster.
Maj. Thomas Hopkins married Catherine Hurd, who was born near Londonderry, Ireland. Catherine was brought to America by her father when she was about fifteen years of age, and she was married to Thomas Hopkins about a year afterwards. She was a woman of strong character, of good education, of great amiability, and of renowned piety. For many years she was an active and zealous member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
To this couple were born ten children. The fifth, William Hopkins, was born in Washington County on Sept. 17, A.D. 1804. Although he received only such education as the schools of that day afforded, he was a reader, an observer, and a thinker, as his career fully showed. After leaving school he learned the trade of a tanner, and carried on that business for some years successfully.
Col. Hopkins' public career commenced at the early age of twenty-three. In 1827 he was commissioned by Governor Shultze as justice of the peace for Pike Run township. "Is that comparatively humble office his capacity for public employment soon attracted the attention of his fellow-citizens."
In 1824 he was elected county auditor.
In 1834 he was elected to the State Legislature, and was re-elected in 1836, 1837, 1838. and 1839. He was Speaker of the House in 1838, 1839, and 1840. He was first chosen Speaker of the House at a time of the greatest public excitement, known as the Buckshot war. Military surrounded the State-house, and a bloody collision was imminent. Referring to Col. Hopkins in this connection, Hon. George W. Woodward., in the constitutional convention, said, "You, sir, and most of the members of the Convention, will refer to a period in or civil and political history of great interest, when but for the wisdom and firmness of this man, our Commonwealth might easily have been involved in the horrors of civil war. I have always felt that the public owed more to those qualities of that individual man for averting those calamities than to all other influences which were in operation at the time."
In 1840, Col. Hopkins was appointed commissioner of the Cumberland road by Governor Porter, which office he filled until 1842, when he was called into Governor Porter's cabinet as Secretary of the Land-office.
Subsequently Col. Hopkins held the office of commissioner of the Cumberland road for five years.
In 1844, and again in 1848, Col. Hopkins was a candidate for Congress. Although there was a large Whig majority in the district, Col. Hopkins was so popular that he came within fifty-eight votes of being elected in 1848.
In 1852 he was elected Canal Commissioner, and served in that capacity for three years with that ability and integrity for which he was distinguished.
When not employed in more enlarged spheres of usefulness, Col. Hopkins was always interested and active in local affairs, and never refused his services t his friends and neighbors. In 1849 he served as a member of the Borough Council of Washington. In 1850 he served as assistant burgess. In his later years he was engaged in the banking business. He was deeply interested in the public school system, and served as school director.
In 1861 he was again elected to the House of Representative, and was re-elected in 1862. In 1863 he was elected t the State Senate, and for three years was recognized as a leader in that body. He was through life an ardent Democrat.
In 1872 , Col. Hopkins was elected a member of the convention to revise and report amendments to the declaration of rights. It was he who penned the preamble, which was unanimously adopted, in these words: "We, the people of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, recognizing the sovereignty of god and humbly invoking His guidance in our future destiny, ordain and establish the Constitution for its government."
While a member of the Constitutional Convention, Col. Hopkins started for a short visit to his home. On the cars he contracted a severe cold, which settled upon his lungs in the form of pneumonia, of which he died on March 5, 1873, after only a few days' illness.
When but eighteen years of age Mr. Hopkins was married to Rachel Herron, the only daughter and the youngest of ten children of James Herron, who when a mere lad came from Ireland with his father, Charles Herron. The mother of Mrs. Hopkins was Rachel Reed, of Lancaster, Pa. Honor, integrity, and independence were characteristics of the Herrons.
The marriage of Mr. Hopkins at so early an age proved an exceedingly happy one. No household was ever presided over by a more affectionate wife and d4evted mother. Much of Col. Hopkins' success in life was due to the fact that he had a wife "whose price was above rubies."
There were three children born to this couple. Andrew, the eldest, for many years was an able and prominent journalist, having edited at different times papers in Washington, Pa., in Pittsburgh, Erie, Williamsport, and Harrisburg.
The only daughter, Kate M., is at home, the solace of her aged mother. James Herron, the youngest son, is sketched elsewhere in this volume.
The most marked traits of the character of Col. Hopkins are this grouped by Rev. J.I. Brownson, D.D.:"Such a man could not but be extensively known and respected. In fact his mental force, discriminating judgment, urbanity, integrity, and kindness, joined with his facility as a writer and speaker, rising above the defects of early education, were a continual pledge of public favor and success. He was very firm in adhering to his own views, but considerate also of the opinions and feelings of others. In co-operation or in opposition he commanded respect. In private life, also, it was impossible not to realize the power of his politeness and his delicate regard to the sensibilities of all about him. His fondness for children seemed to increase with his hears, showing itself both in a desire for their enjoyment and for their good. His fine business capacity was often taxed for the benefit of others, especially widows and orphans. In the hallowed circle of home he was the central object of uncommon reverence and affection, answering to his own peculiar love and tenderness within his domestic relations. But better than all is the witness he leaves behind him in his confession and life as a disciple of Christ, and in the repose of his heart upon the divine promises when called down into the valley and shadow of death."
Another said of him, "His judgment was remarkably sound and accurate, and, with his inflexible honest, made him in public a leader of men, and in private life a trusted and confidential adviser and counselor. Few men in this county, or indeed in the State, have managed so may trusts, public and private, as were committed to him during his long eventful life, and still fewer have discharged so many trusts so skillfully, so judiciously, and so successfully."
In the Constitutional Convention Judge Black, referring t the death of Mr. Hopkins said, --
" I do not underestimate the very high qualities of my surviving associates in this body. I do not think, indeed, that any man here appreciates their various abilities and virtues more than I do; but I devoutly believe that there is no man in this convention that we could not have spared better than him who has gone.
"I do not propose to five an analysis of his character, and it is not necessary to repeat his history, I may say for I know it, that he was in all respects the best balanced man that it was ever my good fortune to know. His moral and personal courage were often tested; he was one of the most fearless men that ever lived, yet all his measures were in favor of peace, and every one who knew him testifies to the gentleness and kindness of his manner."
Mr. Biddle said,"I well recollect being struck with the commanding figure and strongly-marked countenance, in the l9ineaments of which were unmistakably written simplicity and directness of purpose, integrity, and unswerving firmness. . . .He has rounded off a life of great moral beauty of great usefulness, of great dignity by fitting end, and he has fallen before decay had begun to impair his faculties."
The high appreciation of Col. Hopkins by the community in which he lived so long was strikingly marked at his funeral.
"During the day, while the body lay at the late residence of the deceased, it was looked upon by a large number of people, and as the hour for the services drew near the crowd in and around the house grew to immense proportions. The sorrow of the community was demonstrated by the closing of the public schools, and in many instances by all cessation from business. Everywhere there were evidences of the grief in the community, and the earnest sympathy felt for the bereaved friends of the deceased.
The funeral services were conducted by Rev. C. A. Holmes, D.D., of Allegheny City.; Rev. H.C. Beacom, both of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Prof. Frazier, of the Second Presbyterian Church, Rev. George P. Hays, D.D., president of Washington and Jefferson College, all of whom had been warm personal friends of the deceased. An affecting feature of the display was the attendance of all the school children with their teachers. Then there was a long line of carriages, wagons, and other vehicles, and a large company who walked to the cemetery.
Col. Hopkins was buried in the Washington Cemetery, in the county which had always been his home, which had always honored him, and to which he was so strongly attached.
HON. JAMES HERRON HOPKINS.1
1By Dr. Wood
Among the eminent names connected with Washington county no one is more respected than that of Hopkins. The family is descended form Maj. Thomas Hopkins, a soldier of the army of the Revolution, who after the close of the war cam from Maryland and settled in Washington county. Distinguished among the members of that family stands James Herron Hopkins, the subject of this sketch, a gentleman who is as well and favorably known throughout the State and nation as he is in his native county.
He was born on Nov. 3, 1831. His father was the late Col. William Hopkins, whose life and works are inseparably connected with the history of Washington county and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Immediately after graduating with honor at Washington college he went to Pittsburgh, where he read law with the late Hon. Wilson McCandless, a judge of the United States Court, and while yet in his minority he was admitted to the Allegheny County bar in 1852. From that time Mr. Hopkins has made his home in Pittsburgh. His success was a lawyer was immediate, and continued uninterrupted for twenty years, when failing health compelled him to relinquish it for a more healthful pursuit.
Mr. Hopkins was married at Frederick City, Md., on Oct 19, 1871, to miss A. Margaret Schissler, a lady whose beauty, refinement, and hospitality eminently fits her to bless and adorn the elegant home at "Willowby." The union has been blessed with three bright and lovely children.
The Democratic party, of which Mr. Hopkins an earnest member, has for many years been in a hopeless minority in Allegheny County. Notwithstanding this discouraging circumstance he has steadfastly and actively maintained his connection with its fortunes, and has led more forlorn hopes than any other Democrat in the State. This latter fact might seem to imply that he has been an office-seeker, but such implication wrongs him and the party that has often against his will placed him at the front as the most popular standard-bearer. When a candidate he has always run ahead of his party vote. In 1864, he ran for Congress against Gen. Moorhead, and again in 1870 against Gen. Negley. In 1872 he was the Democratic candidate for Congress from the State at large. In 1874 he once more ran for Congress against his old opponent, Gen. Negley, whom he defeated by two thousand three hundred and fourteen votes. He was a candidate for Governor in the Democratic convention of 1852, but was defeated after a close contest by six votes by Mr. Pattison, of Philadelphia.
Mr. Hopkins is one of the most prominent Masons in America, and has filled its highest offices. He was elected Grand Master of Knights Templar at New Orleans in 1874. Since quitting the practice of the law he has been engaged in the banking business; is president of the Penn Bank of Pittsburgh, also of the Real Estate Savings-Bank. He is also president of the Union Insurance company, and of a life insurance company. Mr. Hopkins is an enterprising and useful citizen, always taking a deep interest in public improvements and industrial enterprises. He is vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce and prominent in its councils.
Mr. Hopkins is tall and slight in figure, but has a compact build, which gives one the impression agility with endurance. He possesses a pleasant face, a most affable manner, a precisely that suavity of address which provokes confidence and cordiality. Such men shine most where they are most trusted and loved, and that place is the office, the social circle, the fireside of home. Those who best know Mr. Hopkins are often puzzled to know why he, so quiet and unassuming, should forego the endearments of comfort and independence for the turmoil and drudgery of a public career. But Peter the Hermit led the first deadly crusade, Cromwell bivouacked with swearing troopers, the gentle Washington waded through blood to freedom, and Hopkins has stood in the eminently dirty breach of politics!
It is worthy of mention that none of the dirt every fastened to his garments.
During this arduous services as a lawyer he managed to find time for travel during brief holidays and for the cultivation of literature. His communications to newspapers and magazines are marked with vigor and scholarship. His letter descriptive of his journey among the Rocky Mountains and his travels abroad are among the best ever written on those themes.
But is as a politician, a politician in its worthiest sense, that Mr. Hopkins is best known, and wherein his sterling qualities most shine. The writer is guarded against exposing the subject of this sketch to invidious comparison or jealous distinction, but candor guides the pen to write that while a few politicians are shinning examples of candor, patriotism, and integrity, Mr. Hopkins stand abreast with the foremost of them all. His career has demonstrated what, in the light of modern political methods, sounds like a paradox, - that a man my be loyal to party without dishonor, that he may dispute with an opponent without sacrificing the amenities of life, and that he can discharge the trust of his office without venality. The standard of his character has ever and still stands so high that no one has ever assailed it, and even in heated political controversies his opponents have ever complimented him on his spotless life.
Mr. Hopkins, while not possessing that dash and magnetism essential to the great leader, possess qualities, as candor, earnestness, discretion, and a single-hearted desire to see his county and county-men prosperous, - qualities far safer than the dazzling dash of reckless and ambitious demagogues. James H. Hopkins belongs to the class of men who Thomas Jefferson would have trusted with place and power.
As a public speaker, Mr. Hopkins is earnest, graceful, and eloquent, being one of the most popular of platform orators.
Although not a resident of Washington County, Mr. Hopkins owns considerable property there, and takes a great interest in all that concern s the prosperity of his native county.
Joseph Henderson was born in Accomack County, Va. Sept. 28, 1797, and died in Washington, PA. Sept. 19, 1872. He was the last of ten children of Samuel Henderson, of Scotch-Irish lineage, who was born Jan. 8, 1743, and landed at New Castle, Del. Sept 17, 1764. While Joseph Henderson was a child his father died, leaving a widowed mother and ten children. Having acquired a fair education, together with a good moral and religious training at the hands of pious parents, he was stirred with the honorable ambition to carve his own fortune in the world. Accordingly, in the absence of other opportunities, he set out in the autumn of 1815 for Philadelphia, with the purpose of going to sea as a sailor. There, however, he met with a gentleman from his own State and county, through whom he unexpectedly formed the acquaintance of a relative in Steubenville, Ohio, who persuaded him to change his plans and accompany him to his home, with the expectation of safer and surer employment. His limited supply of money barely sufficed to carry him to Steubenville, but on his arrival there he engaged himself for the winter in the well-known woolen-factory of the Messrs. Larimer. Accompanying one of the proprietors the following June, 1816, upon a visit to Joseph Wherry, Esq., near Washington, Pa., he was introduced by that gentleman to Alexander Murdoch Esq. (the father of Hon. Alexander Murdoch, of Washington), who was then prothonotary and clerk of the courts of Washington County. From him he obtained employment as a clerk in his office. He continued in the office in the employ of Mr. Murdoch's successor, Mr. William Sample, and Dec 30, 1826, and held the office until succeeded by Col. James Ruple in 1828. He also held the office of postmaster in Washington, PA., under the administration of John Quincy Adams. In 1829 he was elected sheriff of Washington county, and held that office until 1832. He was subsequently selected a member of the House of Representatives at Harrisburg. He was once the candidate of the Whig party for canal commissioner, but like his colleagues on the ticket, was defeated. Under the administration of Governor Ritner he served as deputy secretary of the land office, and for a short time was adjutant-general.
During his residence at the State capital, ending in 1839, he studied law with George W. Harris, Esq., and was admitted to the bar. Returning to Washington, he opened an office and successfully pursued his profession the remainder of his life. He appeared but seldom as an advocate, but in general office business and in the Orphans' Court he had a large practice. He made a profession of religion by uniting with the Presbyterian Church of Washington in 1828, and from 1847 to the time of his death was a ruling elder in the same church, now the First Presbyterian, under the pastoral care of Rev. Dr. Brownson. His Christian life was marked with great consistency as well as fidelity to all his obligations. The decided honesty and constancy of his former life was thus brought under the operation of religious principle. He was trusted and loved as a friend, and was honored with the warm fellowship of his brethren and fellow-officers in the church. No one of all who knew him doubted either his integrity in business or the sincerity of his professions as a Christian. His unspotted truthfulness and integrity, his social affection, his kindly and cordial intercourse with all classes in society, his benevolence, charitableness, and hospitality, his patient industry, his unswerving morality, his strict practice and advocacy of temperance, and above all his consistent piety, all combine to furnish an example which it is safe to follow. April 18, 1820, he married Rachel, daughter of John McCammant, with whom, though blessed with no children, he lived a happy and peaceful life, Mrs. Henderson will survives, occupying the old homestead.
MAJ. SAMUEL McFARLAND
Maj. Samuel McFarland was morn in Washington County, on Ten-Mile Creek, in 1795. His father was William McFarland, who was the first coroner of Washington County, and from 1788 an associate justice of her courts. His grandfather was Col. Daniel McFarland, a Revolutionary soldier. After leaving Washington College, in which institution he had completed his literary studies, he entered the office of Thomas McFarland McKennan, Esq., under whose direction he studied law until December, 1927, when he was admitted to the bar. Probably the most important case in which Maj. McFarland was counsel, during the few years which he devoted to his profession,, was that of a colored man (a slave) by the name of Christian Sharp (commonly called "Kit"), who was tried, convicted and executed for the murder of his master, Robert Carlisle, of Woodford, Ky. He had associated with him for the defense in this case William Baird and John Kennedy, Esqrs. In 1829 he was appointed treasurer of Washington County, and fulfilled the duties of that office until 1832. After retiring from office he purchased the farm now owned by Mr. Harry Shirls, near the town of Washington, and the remainder of his active business life he devoted mainly to sheep-raising and wool-buying.. He was married May 9 1849, to Mary, youngest daughter of Hamilton and Mary (Miller) Huston, of Washington County. He died Feb. 17, 1868, leaving no children. He was for many years a member, one of the chief supporter, of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Washington, Pa., and after the breaking up of that organization he united with the United Presbyterian Church, of which he was a member until his death. Maj. McFarland was prominent for many years as one of the leading temperance and ant-slavery men of Washington County. He was a strong-willed, outspoken, straightforward, aggressive man, -impolitic, it may be as some have averred that his espousal of a cause injured it, - but, however much his methods may have been questioned, none ever doubted his sincerity of purpose, He possessed great vigor of constitution, energy of character, and marked success in business. He was a large-hearted, generous man, and liberally aided all causes which he regarded as worthy of assistance. To all agencies having for their object the improvement of the colored race he was especially munificent. He is named by whose who knew him as of one Washington County's first and most fearless foes of human slavery in the days when that institution was popular, and when it was abolished he gave freely of his means for the education and encouragement of the disenthralled race. During the war of the Rebellion he was thought too old to go into the field; one of the most ardent of patriots, giving all of his moral influence and much of his time and money to the furtherance of the cause of the Union.
Transcribers for Washington Borough:
Cindy Burchell, Simi Valley, CA
Jeanette French, Kemah, TX
Linda Robbins Dixon, Laytonsville, MD
Marion Stewart Sarantha, Buffalo, WY
Faith Keahey , Sheridan, WY
Janice Ramsey Lear, Lompoc, CA
Dorien Bee Lear Lompoc, CA,
Burnis Argo, Edmond, OK
Kathleen Gregg, Coal Center, PA
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© www.irishgenealogy.com Georgeann Malowney 1996-2008