Buffalo Twp. (pp. 673-686)
History of Washington County, Pennsylvania*
THIS township is bounded on the north by Hopewell, on the east by Canton and Franklin, on the southeast, south, and southwest by Franklin and East Finley, and on the west by Donegal township, of which last named Buffalo originally formed a part. The waters of Buffalo are Buffalo Creek, which flows in a northwesterly course through the central part of the township, and Brush Run, which marks the northern boundary of Buffalo against the township of Hopewell.
Buffalo was formed from a part of the territory of the original township of Donegal, in accordance with the prayer of a petition of Samuel Taylor and twenty others, inhabitants of the last-named township, presented at the April session of the Court of Quarter Sessions of 1798, representing the great extent of the township, and its consequent inconvenience for the transaction of public business, and for that and other reasons asking for its division.
This petition was acted upon, viewers appointed, continued to January and February term, 1799, when report was made and approved, and action confirmed by the court May 8, 1799, and the upper division of Donegal township was erected into a separate township called Buffalo township.
Following is a list of justices of the peace of Buffalo township from its erection to the present time:William Clemens, Feb. 5, 1801. Hugh Craig, April 9, 1850. Adam Allison, Jan. 22, 1805. A. E. McClees, April 9, 1850. James Gelmore, Jan. 1, 1807. Abraham Williams, April 9, 1850. John McMillan, March 3, 1809. Abraham Williams, April 10, 1855. James Allison, Jan. 21, 1814. Oliver M. Wallace, April 10, 1855. William Reed, Jan. 21, 1814. A. E. McClees, April 10, 1860. James Smith, April 3, 1821. Thomas Buck, April 10, 1860. James Brownlee, July 24, 1821. R. L. Simpson, May 10, 1861. Joseph McKee, Nov. 18, 1835. Abraham Williams, Aug. 25, 1864. Isaac Hodgins, Oct. 13, 1835. John Clemens, June 3, 1865. James Logan, Dec. 31, 1838. John McMannis, June 3, 1865. Hugh Craig, April 14, 1840. 0. H. P. McCoy, May 18, 1869. Henry Bruce, April 14, 1840. D. M. Boyd, March 29, 1870. John Meloy, April 12, 1842. John Clemens, May 28, 1870. Isaac Hodgins, April 12, 1842. 0. H. P. McCoy, Jan. 30, 1874. Hugh Craig, April 15, 1845. John McMannis, March 24, 1874. Alexander McClees, April 15, 1845. James Hodgins, March 30, 1880. John Moore, April 11, 1848. John J. Allison, April 9, 1881.
Settlements.--James Allison, a native of Ireland, came to this country and settled in Eastern Pennsylvania. He was employed in the iron-works in that region, and in 1758 or 1759 married Sarah Rea. He and his wife continued there for several years, until several children were born to them, and in the spring of 1776 Mr. Allison brought his family into what is now Buffalo township. He took up a tract of land, containing three hundred and sixty-nine acres, located on the waters of Buffalo Creek. For this tract, which was named "Complaint," the Virginia commissioners, in session at Redstone Old Fort, Dec. 21, 1779, issued a certificate, in which it was recited that the tract then granted to Allison was "to include his actual Settlement made in the year of our Lord 1776." Before James Allison's settlement on this tract, a man named Taylor had located a claim upon it, and had made a little clearing. This improvement-right Mr. Allison purchased for a gallon of whiskey and a few yards of linen cloth. Taylor afterwards located land in Hopewell township, but later removed to Cross Creek township, where he died. Mr. Allison was a trustee of the Upper Buffalo Church, and himself and wife dying on their old farm, both were buried in Upper Buffalo churchyard. Their family of children numbered ten, six of whom were born in Eastern Pennsylvania, and the last four in this township. Margaret became the wife of Joseph Alexander, of West Alexander, in Donegal township. David Allison, the second son of James Allison, was born July 31, 1770. He purchased fifty acres of his father's farm, upon which he made his home, but was abroad much of the time. He followed flat-boating on the Ohio River for a while, was at various times in the scouting parties during the Indian troubles, and was in the war of 1812 under Gen. Harrison. All his life David Allison maintained a close and warm friendship for Col. David Williamson. His wife was Jane Horner, daughter of a property-holder adjoining his father. She and two of her children died within a few days of each other, leaving Mr. Allison a widower with one child, a daughter (Jane), who always resided in this township until 1879, when she removed to Ohio, dying there in 1881. David married again in 1814, taking for his second wife May Jarvis, of Virginia. The result of this marriage was three children, John J., Sarah E., and Eliza M. Allison. The two daughters married and found homes in the West. The son, John J. Allison, still resides in Taylorstown, in this township. John Allison, who was born Oct. 2, 1764, married Mary Herron, and settled on a part of the homestead. He was the oldest of the Allison sons, and was present at St. Clair's defeat. He lived and died upon his place in this township, and left a family of six children,--James, John, Andrew, Ann, Sarah, and Mary. James settled in Virginia, near the Greene County line, dying there a few years ago, and the rest all removed West. Of the children born to James and Sarah Allison after they emigrated to this county James was the oldest, born March 19, 1775. He lived on a portion of the homestead, and died in the old house. His first wife was Martha McConnaughey, and they had no children. By his second marriage (to Eliza Caldwell) he had two children,--J. K. Polk and Elizabeth Allison. The former lives in Hopewell township, and the latter married William Graves, and lives on her father's place. Adam Allison, another son of James Allison, Sr., lived and died in Taylorstown. He was born Jan. 19, 1798, and filled the office of justice of the peace for several years. Andrew, the next son, was born Oct. 19, 1780. He removed to Newark, Ohio, and was made sheriff of the county in which he resided. Sarah, the last child of James and Sarah Allison, was born Aug. 23, 1788. She became the wife of William Pogue, and lived near the old farm. Her son, John G. Pogue, who lives near West Alexander, in Donegal township, is her only living child. The original Allison property is now owned by Henry Keenan, John Sawhill, and Mrs. William Graves.
Walter Summers was an early settler in this township. He located land on a Virginia certificate issued to him Dec. 21, 1779, the land being situated on Summers' Run, a tributary of Buffalo Creek. It was given the name of "Raccoon's Haunt," and was adjoining property owned by Peter Wolfe, Samuel Rogers, Eleazer Williamson, and Joshua Russell. So extensive were the investments made by Mr. Summers that his lands were said to extend a distance of six miles. His children were five sons and two daughters. The daughter Jannette never married, but the other became Mrs. James Caldwell, and from her are the only lineal descendants of the family. None of the sons ever married, and the name no longer exists in this neighborhood.
Ezekiel Boggs was granted a Virginia certificate for a tract of land called "Jealousy," embracing one hundred and forty-three acres "in the county of Ohio, [Virginia], on the waters of Buffalo Creek, to include his settlement made in the year 1774." This certificate was issued from Redstone Old Fort, Nov. 22, 1779, but the survey was not made until Feb. 2, 1786. The tract "Jealousy" was bounded by the lands of Robert Taylor, Charles McRoberts, John Graham, and William Carson. Francis Boggs, a lineal descendant of Ezekiel Boggs, bought a farm of three hundred and eighteen acres of James Clelland, Oct. 13, 1794, situated one mile northwest of Taylorstown, which was afterwards owned by the Fleck family. Francis Boggs' daughter Lydia became quite famous for her courage in times of danger, as well as for her narrow escapes from death. During the siege at Wheeling she moulded bullets until her arms were blistered, and once when captured by the Indians and carried across the Ohio River she effected her escape by compelling her horse to swim the river. Lydia Boggs and Christiana Clemens were schoolmates in the old schoolhouse that once stood on the farm of Robert Cruthers, and studied together under the teaching of Mr. Hawthorn and Mr. Gibbons. Lydia Boggs married Col. Moses Shepherd for her first husband, and after his death became the wife of his partner, Mr. Koogle. She had no children by either marriage, and died a few years ago at the great age of one hundred and six years.
Basil Lee Williams came from the vicinity of Leesburgh, Va., in 1780, and settled upon the farm in this township which has since belonged to Alexander Summers, and is now the property of Robert Cruthers. Mr. Williams' wife was Arah Dorsey, and they had seven children,--Eleven, Garard, Ezekiel, Otho, Eli, Lawrence, and Arah. Ezekiel, Otho, Eli, and Lawrence all emigrated to the West, and all further trace of them has been lost. Garard married Ruth Clemens, and Arah became the wife of Dudley Evens, of Morgantown, and resided in West Virginia. Eleven Williams married Christiana Clemens. Squire Abraham Williams was their son, and Mrs. Ruth Alvy, who was the first child born in Taylorstown, is the only living representative of the Williams family.
Nathaniel McDowell emigrated from Scotland to, Ireland, and thence to America about 1758, and settled near Chambersburg, Pa. From there he removed about 1780 to the country west of the Monongahela, passing by way of Catfish Camp (where there was at that time but one house), and settled in the wilderness on land that is now the farm of Joseph Johnston, in Buffalo township. On the 6th of September, 1793, McDowell warranted the tract "Wolf Ridge," two hundred and two acres, which was surveyed to him October 4th of the same year. Its location was on Buffalo Creek, adjoining lands of Marshall, Elisha Heath, James McClean, and William English. Afterwards he warranted and patented other lands in the vicinity. He died in 1826, at the age of eighty-eight years. Of his sons, Nathaniel and John emigrated to Wayne County, Ohio; Robert and James removed to Stark County, Ohio, and settled on adjoining tracts, there being no settlement near them, and at that time not a dwelling erected on the site of the present town of Massillon. Joseph received the homestead (one hundred and sixty acres) by the will of his father, Nathaniel. The daughters of Nathaniel McDowell were Elizabeth, wife of William Erwin; Letitia, wife of Hamilton Brownlee; and Sarah, wife of Samuel Neely.
Joseph McDowell lived on the homestead farm until his death in 1854. He had ten children, of whom but four survived him, and they are still living, viz.: Sarah A., Mrs. Ebenezer Graham, of Mercer County, Ill.; John McDowell, living on the old Jacob Wolfe and Lawrence Strickler property (three hundred and forty-eight acres); Nathaniel McDowell, who taught the Science Hill School in 1840, now a clergyman of the United Presbyterian Church at Indianola, Iowa; and Robert McDowell, living in Madison County, Iowa. John, the only one of the children of Joseph McDowell who remains a resident of Washington County, is one of the leading agriculturists of the county. He is a member of the State Agricultural Society, and largely and actively interested in everything pertaining to the advancement of that noble industry.
Charles McRoberts, Jr., was born in this township in 1774. His father, Charles McRoberts, Sr., came from Scotland to this section and settled on Buffalo Creek. Two Virginia certificates were issued to him, dated June 6, 1780, upon which he located two tracts of land. The first tract, "Mount Ararat," contained three hundred and ninety-nine acres, was bounded by lands of Thomas Gilliland, Kenneth McClellan, James and William McRoberts, and was surveyed to him Oct. 22, 1786, by Robert Woods, surveyor of Ohio County, Va. The second tract, "Buffalo Point," embraced three hundred and six acres, adjoined the lands of David and Joseph Williamson, Kenneth McClellan, and his own other lands, and was surveyed to him Oct. 23, 1786. Charles McRoberts, Jr., was a man universally respected, and during his life was one of the most useful men of his county. He died May 29, 1857, in the eighty-fourth year of his age.
Nathaniel Templeton received a Virginia certificate Feb. 8, 1780, which gave him a body of land, "to include his settlement made in the year 1776." The name of the tract was "Independence." It was situated in Buffalo township, and after Nathaniel Templeton's death his widow, Isabella Templeton, rode to Harrisburg and obtained the patent upon it. They had no children, and Mrs. Templeton sold the property to John Lawrence. In 1811 he sold it to his son, John Lawrence, Jr., who held it in his possession until his death. He was a tanner, and conducted that business for more than sixty years. He was pronounced one of the most singular men of his day, and when he purchased the farm of his father, who removed from the place and left him in possession, he was still a bachelor. He afterwards married, but had no children. His property was divided among his relatives, and the original Lawrence tract is now owned by Samuel Woodburn.
Zachariah Cox came to this township from Berkeley County, Va., where his residence was near the mouth of Back Creek. He was married to Miss Fry before leaving Virginia, and upon arriving here settled upon seventy-five acres of land at the head-waters of Buffalo Creek, which was surveyed to him in 1822. The land adjoined the tracts of Governor Joseph Ritner, John De Garms, and George Andrews, and the survey-book shows the improvements to have been commenced upon it in October, 1784. The tract now belonging to Uriah Clarke. Zachariah Cox lived upon it until his death at eighty-five years of age. He had a family of twenty-one children. Benjamin, John, and Zachariah, Jr., removed to Washington County, Iowa, and died there. Henry married Hannah, a daughter of John Wolf, of Canton township. All the family removed to other parts.
James Clemmens, with his wife (who was Hannah Walton), and their servants and slaves, crossed the mountains in a wagon and settled in Buffalo township, on the waters of Buffalo Creek. The tract of land "Rural Swain," which was secured on a Virginia certificate, was surveyed to Mr. Clemmens June 13, 1785, and is still held in the family, William Clemmens, a great-grandson, owning it. The children of James Clemmens were twelve, six sons and six daughters. William married Polly and Abraham married Elizabeth Wolf, daughters of Jacob Wolf, and all lived in this township. Jeremiah, who was a surveyor, married Mary Hawkins, of Kentucky. Hannah, who went to attend school in that State, married there, and Ruth, who became Mrs. Garard Williams, also emigrated there. James and Pamelia went to St. Louis, Mo., where they both married and settled. John Clemmens married Polly Fleck, daughter of John Fleck. He was a general in the war of 1812, and his widow became the wife of Dr. John Steele. One of his sons, a second John Clemmens, married a Miss Ewing, of Ohio. Ezekiel removed West. Christiana became Mrs. Eleven Williams, of Taylorstown. Nancy was the wife of Thomas Craig, and died in this county, and Hester Clemmens was the wife of James Clelland. Dr. James Clemmens, a noted physician of Wheeling, W. Va., was a descendant of this family.
John McWilliams came from Ireland to this country, locating in this township on "Lion's Bush," a tract of land granted him on a Virginia certificate, and surveyed Sept. 19, 1785. His wife was Jane Taylor, a daughter of Robert Taylor, the founder of Taylorstown, and their family numbered seven children. Of these John married Elizabeth Clelland; Margaret married William Noble, and both emigrated to the State of Ohio; Hannah married John Reed; and Sarah married James Reed, the latter couple making their home in East Finley township; Jane became Mrs. Berkley McLain, and resided in this township, while Mary, who married Thomas Hemphill, removed to West Liberty, W. Va. Wallace McWilliams took for his wife Nancy Clelland, and they had four children. He was one of the foremost men of Buffalo township, and was greatly interested in the cause of education. He was a general in the old militia days, represented his district in the State Legislature, and held many county offices during his life. He owned the original McWilliams property, but it is now in the possession of William Knox. The McWilliams family from first to last were strong Presbyterians. Of Gen. Wallace McWilliams' children, John died single, Jonathan resides in Claysville, Mrs. John A. Fleck resides in this township, and the other daughter, Mrs. Stephen Caldwell, lives in Donegal township.
Col. David Williamson was one of the notable men of this vicinity, as his name is well known in connection with the "Williamson expedition," and in 1787 he was elected sheriff of Washington County. He located in Buffalo township at an early day, and took up several tracts of land, most of which seems to have been secured in the names of other persons, and all were taken upon Virginia certificates. "Neptune's Delight" contained three hundred and ninety-seven acres, was situate on a branch of Buffalo Creek, and was surveyed to Samuel Williamson June 14, 1785. "Williamson's Grove" had four hundred acres, was on Buffalo Creek, adjoining lands of John Smith, Walter Summers, and Thomas Irwin, and was surveyed to John Williamson, Sept. 19, 1785. "Wild-Cat's Den" was the tract of four hundred acres surveyed to Eleazer Williamson, June 17, 1785, and was also located on the waters of Buffalo Creek. A fourth tract, rightly named "Dispute," contained three hundred acres, and was surveyed to Col. David Williamson, Feb. 21, 1788. The title of the northern portion of this tract, involving one hundred and forty-seven acres, was disputed by Thomas Brownlee. Still another body of land was in the possession of Col. Williamson, a four-hundred-acre tract, which now lies within the limits of Independence township, upon which Col. Joseph Scott lives. The farm upon which Col. Williamson himself resided is located in this township, and was the one which was seized by George Hamilton and sold to James Glover. The patent for this tract was not granted for many years, but it was finally taken out by John McPherson, who now owns it. Upon this place Col. Williamson had a triple log cabin, each part twenty by twenty feet in size, and all three connected. The logs of one part of this old house are still standing, and are ten or twelve inches in diameter. The old spring-house built by the owner still stands under the shadow of a large oak, both that and the dwelling being constructed in the prevailing architectural style of the early settlers.
Col. David Williamson married Miss Polly Urie, a daughter of Thomas Urie, one of the earliest settlers of Hopewell township. Their family of four sons and four daughters were John, Samuel, Robert, David, Jane, Sarah, Mary, and Lavina, and all are now dead. John and David never married. Sarah married Hugh Stewart, of Marshall County, W. Va. Robert married Rachel Sharp, of Ashland County, Ohio, and Samuel Williamson married Mary McComb, daughter of Robert McComb, near West Middletown, in Hopewell township, and lived on the Youghiogheny River, near Buena Vista. Mary Williamson married John Smiley, and had two children, Addison and Emeline. The former has been county superintendent of schools in Cooper County, Mo., where he resides. Emeline Smiley became the wife of William Rose, who entered the Union army, where he was promoted to the rank of major. They also live in Missouri. Lavina was the youngest daughter of Col. David Williamson. She became the wife of Joseph McNulty, by whom she had three sons and three daughters, who married as follows: David W. married Caroline Trimble, of Cincinnati, Ohio; Caleb J. married Miss Smith, also of Ohio, and William W. married Mrs. Matilda C. Ranick, of Columbus, Ohio. She now resides in Sedalia, Mo. Lavina J. became the wife of Joseph Vincent, youngest son of Dr. Vincent, of Harrison County, Ohio. Annie M. married David M. Boyd, of West Middletown, in this county, and Harriet N. married John D. Vail, of Livingston County, Ohio, and now resides in Chicago. Jane Williamson, the eldest daughter of Col. David Williamson, married Caleb McNulty, and lived and died in West Middletown, Hopewell township. Her daughter Mary became the wife of Nathan Miller, and had one son, Julius P. Miller, who is an attorney, and has been prothonotary of Washington County for six years. He is a resident of Washington borough.
Mrs. Miller's husband dying, she was married to Hon. Thomas McKeever, who for ten years was associate judge of this county. He died in 1866, and his widow now lives in Bellaire, Ohio. The McKeevers were identified with the early settlement of Hopewell township. Caleb J. McNulty was the youngest son of Jane Williamson and Caleb McNulty, and while he was yet a young man he removed to the State of Ohio, where the Democratic party elected him to the State Legislature for several years. He entered the political field again as the Democratic candidate for Congress from Knox County, running against Columbus Delano, and was defeated by twelve votes. At the next session of Congress he was made clerk of the House of Representatives. He had previously married Miss Caroline converse in Columbus, Ohio, a lady of great beauty and accomplishments. Their only child was a son, Rob Roy McGregor McNulty, who was educated at Jefferson College, in Washington County. He studied and graduated in theology in Allegheny City, and is now rector of an Episcopal Church in Massachusetts.
Col. William McNulty was the eldest son of Jane and Caleb McNulty and grandson of Col. David Williamson. He lived for many years in West Middletown, where he was born, but some five years ago sold his property and went to Boonville, Cooper Co., Mo., where he died a year since. He had six sons and four daughters. Caleb, the eldest, is a physician, practicing in Midway, in this county. Patrick H. and Addison are living in Boonville, Mo. Thomas died in Allegheny City in 1880, and Frank is employed in a machine-shop in Allegheny City. Charles is a minister in the Presbyterian church at New Philadelphia, Ohio, and Jane, who married Dr. Isaac Horn, is a widow, living at Wicksville, Ohio. Mary C. McNulty married the eldest son of Rev. Samuel Tygart, and lives in Allegheny City, and Annie, her sister, resides with her.
Col. David Williamson died in 1814, and was buried in the old burial-ground in the borough of Washington.
Archibald Brownlee had four sons,--John, Archibald, Jr., William and James,--all of whom took up land in this section. Some of them had four-hundred-acre tracts and others larger ones. James warranted three hundred and ninety-nine acres March 1, 1785, under the title of "Squirrel Hill," which was next the lands of James Clemmens and John St. Clair. He built himself a hut, covered with earth, in which he lived while making a clearing upon his property. This hut was very near the spring in the vicinity of the South Buffalo Church. James Brownlee's first wife was Martha Shearer, and their children were three sons and three daughters, the son being the oldest. They are all dead save Martha Brownlee, the youngest daughter. She was married to James Brownlee and resides in Washington, her husband having died nine years ago. James Brownlee was left a widower, and married for his second wife Mr. Elizabeth Muncey. She was a daughter of Herman Greathouse, who, with his friends Holliday and Edgington, located very early just in the edge of West Virginia. Mrs. Brownlee remembered very well when the Virginia and Pennsylvania State line was surveyed. By this second marriage of James Brownlee there were four children, on son and three daughters. The son, William J. Brownlee, emigrated to Missouri, where some of his descendants now reside. Others of his family are in Steubenville, Ohio. Elizabeth Brownlee became Mrs. Henry Bruce, and resides on the National road near Claysville. Susan married Richard McClelland, and her descendants live in Franklin township. Rachel Brownlee married Dr. George Davidson, of West Alexander.
James Ross and John Wood warranted a four-hundred-and-fourteen-acre tract of land Sept. 30, 1785, which was surveyed November 22nd of the same year, as "Three Forks," and patented July 18, 1786. The land lies in both Buffalo and Donegal townships. It is bounded on the south by the lands formerly belonging to Col. David Williamson, on the east by the Brush Fork of Buffalo Creek, and the northern boundary is formed by Buffalo Creek, between the mouth of Brush Run and Buck Run. The main branch of Buffalo Creek runs through this property. The portion within the limits of Buffalo township is owned by James Kuntz, John J. Stewart, and D. S. Wilson and William Smith and Mr. Cunningham have possession of the part in Donegal township. The tract "Three Forks" passed from James Ross and John Woods to Andrew Moore, who, on the 22nd, October, 1799, conveyed to Perry McCoy two hundred and sixty-seven acres. Upon his death, in 1821, the on half of the farm was bequeathed to Daniel McCoy, on which he then lived, the other part (the homestead) was bequeathed to Joseph McCoy. He left the sons mentioned above and two daughters, Elizabeth (Mrs. Winters) and Mary (Mrs. Guy).
Daniel McCoy conveyed the one hundred and thirty-five acres left him by his father to William Garrett on the 17th of November, 1827. Joseph McCoy retained the one hundred and thirty-six acres (the home farm), and purchased also the Garrett farm, one hundred and thirty-five acres; the Bryant farm, of one hundred and forty acres, a part of which David Bryant had purchased of David Williamson in 1804; and the Noble or Buchanan farm, of eighty-four acres, containing in all four hundred and ninety-six acres. This property is now out of the family.
William Wolf came to Buffalo township at and early day and made a settlement, but seems to have been driven away by the Indians. On Feb. 27, 1786, he warranted a tract of land called "Wolf's Hollow," located on the waters of Buffalo Creek, containing three hundred and eighty-five acres. This land was surveyed later, and attached to the survey is an affidavit, showing that "the above William Wolf was driven from the above place through force or fear of the Indians, during the late war, and his place was left without inhabitants."
The property in question is that now owned by the heirs of William Price, and upon it William Wolf passed all but the very last part of his life. His children were five sons and three daughters,--William, Peter, Simon, Christopher, John, Mary, Elizabeth, and Susan. Mary Wolf married James Skiggins, and was killed by the Indians while living in a block-house in Ohio. Elizabeth never married, but passed her life in this township, and at Wheeling, Va., dying at the latter place. Susan became the wife of Leonard Dickinson, and removed to Ohio. William Wolf, Jr., was a cooper, and lived and died in Washington. Peter was a cabinet-maker, and lived in Washington. Simon Wolf, who was born May 23, 1793, was a cooper. He settled in Washington and died there, at the residence of his son-in-law, William F. Dickey, Oct. 9, 1879. Christopher Wolf settled in Buffalo township, about seven miles from Washington, on the Wheeling pike. The place was formerly owned by one Huffman, and a man named Wilson once kept tavern there. Christopher Wolf was a contractor of bridges on the National road from Washington to Cumberland, and later was stationed at Zanesville, Ohio. He is now in Missouri. John Wolf, who was present at Hull's surrender, in 1812, located at Wheeling, Va., and died there. William Wolf, Sr., for a short time before his death, lived in Washington. He died at the advanced age of ninety years, and was buried in Buffalo township, his funeral services being attended with all the honors due a brave soldier.
Jacob Wolf was a German, who followed the occupation of farmer, and was also a justice of the peace. He must have located in this township as early as 1785 or 1786, as documents of that date are on file bearing his signature. The records of his property, however, show it to have been warranted April 23, 1793, and surveyed eight months later. It was two hundred acres of land, called "Wolf's Grove," situated on Buffalo Creek, and is now owned by John McDowell. Jacob Wolf was a very eccentric man, and invariably, after performing a marriage ceremony in the capacity of justice of the peace, he would thrust his hands into the pockets of his gown with the interrogatory, "Now, where ish mine dollar?" He had a family of seven,--two sons and five daughters. John's wife was Mary Devore, and Jacob, Jr., married Priscilla Martin, and removed to Ohio. Mary and Elizabeth L. Wolf married two brothers named Clemmens; Rossannah became Mrs. Shearer and went West, and Margaret married John McGaw and removed to Ohio. The last-named couple took their wedding dinner, April 15, 1799, at the house of Eleven Williams, in Taylorstown. Servenia Wolf, Jacob Wolf's other daughter, became the wife of Hugh H. Brackenridge, whose name was familiar to all residents of Washington County, and who owned a large tract of land in Buffalo township at an early date, the same now in the possession of William Ely, David Clark, and the Gantz heirs.
Among the many forts or block-houses which dotted the wilderness in those uncertain times, Wolf's Fort was one of the first built. It stood about five miles west of the present borough of Washington, and inclosed the cabin of Jacob Wolf. To this fort Priscilla Peak or Peck crawled upon her hands and knees after being scalped. She was confined to her bed with a fever when the Indians broke in upon the family, and seeing the hopelessness of escaping, some one threw a quilt round her and told her to fly. She only had strength sufficient to reach a pig-sty, where she stopped for breath. While leaning over the fence an Indian discovered her and scalped her. Being hotly pursued by the whites he did not tomahawk her, and in this, condition she reached Wolf's Fort. She recovered, her head healed, but she always wore a black cap to conceal her loss. A Miss Christianna Clemmens and Lydia Boggs were chased into this fort, and only escaped capture by outrunning their pursuers. Miss Boggs was afterwards captured and carried across the Ohio River, but effected her escape and returned to her friends, having forced her horse to swim the river. Another incident relating to the history of this fort was recounted, in later years, by William Darby, who, when a child, came with his parents to this vicinity in December, 1781,--the elder Darby evidently intending permanent settlement here, but being driven away by Indian alarms. Mr. Darby in his narrative says, "We remained in Mr. Wolfe's house until February, 1782, while my father was preparing his cabin, into which we finally entered, but not to rest. In fifteen or twenty days after entering into our log cabin, Martin Jolly came running breathless to tell us that a savage murder had been committed but ten miles distant. In two hours we were in Wolfe's Fort. From the fort my parents removed to Catfish [Washington], and spent the remainder of 1782, and to April, 1783, on the farm of Alexander Reynolds, recently owned by Dr. F. J. Le Moyne."
Another fort was Taylor's Fort, near the site of Taylorstown. It stood on a knoll on the bank of Buffalo Creek, the property being now owned by James Hodgens, Esq.
Alexander Hunter came from Ireland in 1789 to Washington County, bringing his family with him. His son, William Hunter, was born in this township in 1803, and at this writing is seventy-eight years of age. Alexander Hunter was a carpenter by trade, and many years ago built a house in Brownsville, Fayette Co., for Col. Clark. About the time the house was finished Clark failed and could not pay for the work. He was running a woolen-factory at Clarksburg, and turned over some sheep to Hunter in lieu of the money he could not pay. Mr. Hunter bought out Col. Clark's business, bought and sold sheep, increased his flocks by purchases and the natural increase, and finally became quite largely engaged in the growing of wool. For many years Mr. William Hunter was engaged in the wool interests with his father, Alexander Hunter, and has continued it since the death of the latter. William Hunter is himself an old man now, having been in this business for more than sixty years, and of late much of the management of the business has devolved upon his son.
James and Isaac Carson were two brothers who came into this township and located land. On a Virginia certificate James Carson took up the tract called "Eagles Nest," for which the board of property granted him a warrant of acceptance Sept. 11, 1790, and the patent was received eleven days later. On Feb. 18, 1808, James sold one hundred acres of the land to his brother Isaac, and they continued to live together. It is the property now occupied by Neman and Samuel Carson. James Carson married Rebecca Hill, and they had several children. Their son Adam married Rebecca Wilson, a daughter of Charles Wilson, and now resides near Claysville, in Donegal township. The daughter, Mary, is Mrs. Peter Myers, of this township.
Joseph Hutchinson emigrated from Chester County, in this State, to Buffalo township in 1790, settling on the tract of land now owned by his grandson, Joseph Hutchinson. He married Hannah McCullough, of Chester County, and they had six children,--Martha, Jane, James, Nancy, Hannah, and John. Martha married John Graham, and their children were Robert, Joseph, John, Samuel, James, Thomas, Ebenezer, Martha, Hannah, and Matilda Graham, ten in all. Jane Hutchinson married William Knox, and they had five children,--William, Hannah, John, Thomas, and Joseph Knox. Nancy Hutchinson married George Knox, and reared a family of six children,-- Hannah, Thomas, James, Margaret, Martha, and Joseph Knox. John Hutchinson married Nancy Hutchinson, undoubtedly a relative, and their children were Eliza, Joseph, William, Martha, and Mary Ann Hutchinson. James Hutchinson married Mary A. Patterson, and Hannah remained single. James Graham, son of Martha Hutchinson and grandson of old Joseph Hutchinson, married and had a family of nine children. Samuel, the youngest was a minister in the United Presbyterian Church, and died in Ohio. Joseph Hutchinson, who resides on the old homestead, is the only living descendant in Washington County, the others all having removed to the States of Ohio and Indiana.
John Barr was a native of Ireland, who came to this country in 1793. and stopped first in Cumberland. He then settled in Buffalo township, went East, and purchased a still and engaged in distilling. He died leaving two sons and two daughters. Robert Barr, living on the old homestead, is the only surviving child.
John Fleck was an early emigrant to Buffalo township. His children were William, John, and Mary Fleck. John married a daughter of Rev. Mr. Anderson, and lived and died on the tract of land now owned by his sons, John and Wallace Fleck, which is the old homestead. Mary became the wife of John Clemmens. Being left a widow not long after her marriage, she married Dr. John Steel, who practiced in Taylorstown for several years.
John Woodburn came from Ireland in 1812, bringing his family, consisting of a wife and five children. He purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty-six acres of Joseph Pentecost, Nov. 19, 1811, which was a part of a tract patented to Col. David Williamson. He remained on this property until 1840, when he went to reside with his daughter, Mrs. Mary Gay, in Donegal township, and two years later died there aged eighty-three years. The only living children of this pioneer are John Woodburn, of Washington, and Mrs. John Garrett, residing in the same place.
James and Robert Garrett were brothers, of Irish birth, and both lived in Buffalo township. James owned and lived upon a farm on Brush Run, not far distant from Buffalo Creek, which is now the property of Robert Garrett, of Claysville. He married Miss Row, a relative of James Ross, of Pittsburgh, and they had a family of three sons and six daughters. Of the sons, James died single, Robert married Miss Maloy, and John married Martha Woodburn. Robert Garrett, Sr., the emigrant to this township, was married twice. His last wife was a wealthy lady of Baltimore, where their son, John W. Garrett, the president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, now resides.
Samuel McConoughey settled in Buffalo township and followed farming. He had but three children,--Samuel, James, and Martha. Samuel married Mary McLain, and had for his home a part of his father's farm. James McConoughey married Isabella Kerr, and also settled on the homestead. He had ten children,--Samuel, Hugh, William, Thompson, James, Margaret, Martha, Elizabeth, Jane, and Isabella McConoughey. William died in Ohio, Elizabeth lives in Kansas, Martha and James reside in this county, and all the others died in this county. The old McConoughey homestead is now owned by William Kerr and John Campbell. Margaret Hodgens, Robert, Caroline, and James Johnson, in this township, and James McConoughey, of Independence township, are all descendants of this family.
Andrew Rogers owned and lived upon the farm now the property of Robert Knox, in Buffalo township. Andrew was a soldier in the war of 1812. His wife was Miss Jane Cox, and their family was five daughters. Susan Rogers remained single and died in Washington County; Martha also remained single; Margaret became the wife of Joseph B. McConoughey, and lived and died in this township; Mary married John G. Allison, and resides in Canton township; and Jane, who married a man named Jackson, lived for a few years in West Bethlehem township, but died in Buffalo.
Governor Joseph Ritner was for some years a resident of Buffalo township, and owned a farm here upon which he built a handsome stone dwelling-house. He represented this district in the State Legislature, and was afterwards elected Governor of Pennsylvania. He was an honest and straightforward old German. Very many amusing anecdotes are told of him by the older citizens. At one time he was entertaining a clergyman, who congratulated him upon having gathered so many of the good things of this world about him. This pleased Mr. Ritner exceedingly, and he called the reverend gentleman's attention to a new wagon he had just purchased. "Well, Governor Ritner," said the minister, "I see you have everything but grace." "Grace, grease, vy, I does not use him, I use darr." The following personal notice of Governor Ritner, after he had laid aside his gubernatorial honors, is taken from the Chambersburg, Pa., Whig, of July 28, 1853:
quot;We noticed Governor Ritner in town last week, enjoying excellent health. He is now seventy-three years of age, but still superintends his farm in person, and until this season always drove his own team. He was born in Berks County, represented Washington County six years in the House of Representatives, commencing in 1851, and was twice Speaker of the House. He was the anti-Jackson nominee for Governor in 1826 and 1832, and defeated; and against Governor Wolf and Henry Muhlenberg in 1835, and elected; and against Governor Porter in 1838, and defeated. Since he retired from the gubernatorial chair he has resided on his farm in Cumberland County."
Taylorstown--Robert Taylor warranted the tract of land which was surveyed to him as "Beaver," three hundred and thirty-one acres, and patented to him March 15, 1788. It was sold by him to his son William in the spring of 1795, the deed bearing date September 9th of that year. Immediately upon the purchase William Taylor laid out a town plat, which was named "New Brunswick," on the 9th of February, 1795, David Heaton being the surveyor. The first lot sold in the new town was to David Craig, on the 9th of October, 1795, it being lot No. 3, now owned by Alexander Buchanan; on the same day lot No. 2 to Samuel Taylor. The names of the later purchasers are here given in the order of the date of the deeds:James Ralston, Oct.10,1795, lot No. 37; consideration, $3. John Heaton, Oct. 10, 1795, lot No. 18; consideration, $3. John Irwin, Oct. 24, 1795, lot No. 14; consideration, $3. Charles and John McRoberts, Dec. 12, 1795, lot No. 44; consideration, $3. John Anthony Weyer, April 23, 1796, lot No. 13; consideration, $3. John Fisher, April 27, 1796 lot No. 7; consideration, $3. Robert Russell, Dec. 10, 1796, lots Nos. 39, 40, 41; consideration, $21. John Anthony, Jan. 28, 1797, lot No. 54 and outlot; consideration, $12. Robert Russell, Oct. 23, 1798, lot No. 43; consideration, $3. John Dillon, Oct. 27, 1798, lots Nos. 55, 56, and outlot No. 5; consideration, $300. William Dimsey, Oct. 30, 1798, lots Nos. 42, 61, 62, 63; consideration, $20. William Clemmens, July 6, 1801, lot No. 1 and outlot; consideration, $300. John Young, March 2, 1802, lot No. 46; consideration, $3. John Young, March 1, 1803, lot No. 48; consideration, $100. Henry Dillon, March 19, 1803, lots Nos. 52, 53, 54; consideration, $24. Thomas Stokely, March 15, 1805, lot No. 8; consideration, $300. Charles McRoberts, March 18, 1805, lot No. 43; consideration, $9. Adam Allison, Sept. 20, 1806, lots Nos. 21, 22, 23, 24; consideration, $50. James Kerr, Oct. 20, 1807, lots Nos. 9, 10, 16, 48; consideration, $36. Daniel McKehan, Oct. 20, 1807, lots Nos. 65, 66, 67; consideration, $12.
Improvements soon commenced. Eleven Williams is said to have erected the first house in town, in which he kept tavern in 1800. The lot on which it stood is now owned by Mr. McHugh. John Dillon built a tannery on his lots Nos. 55, 56, which he carried on for some years. The property, is now owned by William Streight. Mrs. Alvay, now eighty-three years of age, daughter of Eleven Williams, says the first store was started by Galbraith, and in 1810, Frank Matthews kept a store there. The town, although laid out as New Brunswick, was never extensively known by that name, but received, for its proprietor, the name of Taylorstown, which soon came into general use.
William Richardson was an early settler in Taylorstown. He was a hatter by trade, and worked in that place seventy years ago. He had two sons, William and Jacob; the former emigrated to Steubenville, the latter was a shoemaker, and married a Miss Hitchcock, worked here for a time, and moved away. Jacob, a son of William, married Miss Ada M. Hutchinson, and resides near Taylorstown.
Robert Taylor, the father of William Taylor, left two sons and two daughters. William purchased the tracts "Richland" and "Beaver" of his father in 1795. He laid out the lands adjoining the town of Brunswick into outlots and sold them, and on the 21st of October, 1807, he sold two hundred and fourteen acres of land, parts of both tracts, to Thomas McKinstry for sixteen hundred dollars. From this time the name of New Brunswick was dropped, and the town became known as Taylorstown. Soon after this time William Taylor removed to Ohio. His sister Sarah married Robert Becket and settled in the Miami Valley. Jane married John McWilliams and settled on the McWilliams tract, where she lived and died.
Taylorstown is situated on the main branch of Buffalo Creek, and is built on both sides of the Washing and West Liberty road, in the valley of the creek. It at present contains twenty-one dwellings, one church (United Presbyterian), school-house, steam grist-mill, two stores, blacksmith-shop, wagon-shop, shoe-shop, and post-office.
The Taylorstown post-office was established June 1, 1831. Oliver Wallace was the first postmaster. He was succeeded by his widow, Christiana Wallace, Alexander Wilson, Alexander McCleer (appointed June 7, 1855), and the Rev. John Morrow, who is the present postmaster.
The tavern-keepers of Taylorstown have been John Galbraith, Eleven Williams, James Brownlee, William Noble, Joseph Heller, Charles Hellems, John Wolf, William Coxen, and Greer Hair.
Physicians.--Dr. John McCabe was a native of Allegheny County, Pa., and came to Taylorstown in 1840, and commenced the practice of medicine, which he continued till 1851, and removed to Allegheny County, and then to West Middletown, returning to Taylorstown in 1860, where he lived till his death, April 25, 1864. He left a widow and family; the former still resides at Taylorstown. A son, David, studied medicine with Dr. J. S. Crawford, and graduated at Cleveland. He practiced for several years at Kansas City, then returned to Cleveland, where he married and died.
Dr. J. S. Crawford, also a native of Allegheny County, is a graduate of Cleveland Medical College. He came to Taylorstown a few months prior to the decease of Dr. McCabe, and commenced a practice which he still continues. He is the only resident physician in the township.
Dr. Huffman about thirty years ago came to Taylorstown and opened an office. He remained about ten years, and moved to Washington, and finally to West Virginia.
Other physicians have practiced in the township, but only for a short time.
United Presbyterian Church--On the 15th day of August, 1872, the people of this vicinity who were in accord with the views of the above denomination met at this place and organized a church by the election of the following elders: Nathaniel Nealy, Edward Grimes, and Dr. J. S. Crawford. Services were held in the public school building until the erection of a church edifice. A lot was purchased on the north side of the street at a cost of six hundred dollars. A neat and commodious building was erected, and dedicated Aug. 15, 1874. The names of the ministers who served here were Revs. J. S. Dice, J. Dilsons, B. J. Forester, W. H. McCleary, J. R.. May, W. J. Cooper, M. B. Brownlee, W. T. McConnel, Thomas McCartney, R. M. Patterson, B. D. Bruce, A. D. McCarroll, Samuel Collins, and John Morrow, the present pastor. On the 10th of April, 1873, a call was extended to the Rev. John Morrow, which was accepted. He assumed charge June 1, 1873, and on the 30th of September the same year was ordained and regularly installed. The present session is composed of Dr. J. S. Crawford, Edward Grimes, R. W. Cruthers, and James Wilson. The church has a membership of one hundred and eleven.
North Buffalo United Presbyterian Church. (Taken principally from an address delivered by the Rev. W. H. French, D.D., of Cincinnati, Ohio, Nov. 4, 1875.)--The first pastor of this congregation, the Rev. Matthew Henderson, first preached in this neighborhood to the few settlers who were living in the vicinity in the year 1775. The place where he first held services was in a grove not far from the present house of worship, and in that grove in 1778, a congregation was organized, under the name of Buffalo, by the election of John Brownlee, James Brownlee, _____ Smiley, and Andrew Scott as elders. There the people gathered for worship, and they carried their trusty guns with them to defend themselves even while they worshiped, their creed and watchword "Trust in God and keep your powder dry." Buffalo and Chartiers were united in one charge and made a call for a pastor. The first call made by the congregations of Chartiers and Buffalo was in the Chartiers congregation. The meeting was held in the open air. The following is an extract from the minutes: "At Chartiers, October 18th, 1779, which day and place the Sessions of Chartiers and Buffalo being met in the presence of the congregation, and constituted with prayer by the moderator, Rev. John Murray; members sederunt, James Scott, John White, Nicholas Little, David Reed, belonging to Chartiers, and John Brownlee, James Brownlee, and Andrew Scott, belonging to Buffalo," etc. Two nominations were made, Mr. Henderson, of Oxford, and Mr. Smith, of Octorara. Mr. Henderson was declared elected, and it was agreed to give him a salary of one hundred pounds in hard money, or four hundred bushels of wheat. He accepted the call, left his family at Conecocheague, because of Indian hostilities, and came to his congregation to begin his labors in November, 1781, according to the "church register." His name does not appear on the roll of Presbytery at its next meeting, on the 10th of April, 1782, from which it appears he did not wait to supply at Conecocheague. He was installed pastor of his new charge in 1782. He was then about forty-seven years of age. About a year after his arrival his family followed him. They lived in a log cabin eight or nine miles from Buffalo meeting-house, and about four miles from Chartiers. The place of worship was changed at the beginning of his pastorate from the place where the congregation was first organized to the site of its present house of worship, because it was more convenient for the people and for the pastor. A log house was erected for the accommodation of the worshipers, into which the congregation was crowded in very inclement weather; when the weather permitted they worshiped out of doors, a sort of coop of a pulpit having been erected east of the present house. Mr. Henderson continued his labors until Oct. 2, 1795, when he was killed by the fall of a tree; a limb striking him killed him almost instantly, and he escaped a prolonged struggle with almost the only enemy he ever feared."
After the death of Mr. Henderson, the congregation soon secured the services of a second pastor, the Rev. Robert Laing. He was born in the south of Scotland in 1750, ordained in Dunse, in the same country, in 1785; came to America in 1795; began his labors in Buffalo in 1796, and was installed in 1797. And although he had been in the ministry only about half as long as Mr. Henderson when he came to Buffalo, he was about the same age, in his forty-seventh year, being thirty-five years of age when ordained. He was a man of great dignity of manner, and bad a sort of stiffness that lessened his acceptability to, the people, and consequently injured his usefulness. The custom in his day was to set out the bottle of whiskey when visitors came to the house. One was thought inhospitable if he neglected this courtesy, and if right and hospitable towards the people, why not toward the minister? he was not made an exception. The result was that disaffection arose in the congregation towards their pastor. It increased to such an extent that all the members of session resigned their offices and a new election was ordered. This only increased the difficulty. At a meeting of the Associate Synod of North America, which was held in Philadelphia, Nov. 24, 1805, this body having been organized in 1800, and composed of four Presbyteries, Mr. Laing was by a unanimous vote transported to Argyle, N. Y., and Rev. John Anderson appointed to declare his pulpit vacant.
After the removal of Mr. Laing the congregation was vacant until the year 1811. The Rev. David French was the next pastor of Buffalo. He was born in Vermont, Aug. 23, 1783, and removed to Washington County, N. Y., at an early age, and was raised in that county. He was educated at Union College, Schenectady, and studied theology at the First Western, Theological Seminary, in Beaver County, Pa., under Dr. John Anderson; was ordained by the Associate Presbytery of Chartiers by order of the Associate Synod, that he might be the better qualified for missionary work in the Presbytery of Kentucky. A new congregation was organized about this time and called South Buffalo. To distinguish these two, Buffalo was named North Buffalo, These two united in a call for his labors. The call was dated May 12, 1811, and accepted on the 21st of the same month. He was installed July 2d following. At this time there was erected a new house of worship. It was built of hewn logs and weatherboarded, and was neat and comfortable in contrast with the old. The remains of the old house stood until 1845, when they were taken away. The second house stood until 1848, when the present brick one was erected beside it and the old one removed.
Mr. French's pastorate was the longest that has been in the congregation, he having been pastor for forty-one years of the united charge, and forty-two years in this congregation. In the forty years of his pastorate he never -disappointed his people on a Sabbath-day because of sickness. Once he was prevented from reaching South Buffalo by high water, and once or twice by death in the family. In 1853 a paralytic stroke disabled him, and his speech was impaired. He resigned the charge of South Buffalo in 1852, and in 1853 North Buffalo. He died March 30, 1855, and his remains were laid in the graveyard by the North Buffalo Church, by the side of those of his first wife, two sons, and five daughters, two being daughters of his second wife.
The congregation remained vacant, after the resignation of Mr. French, for about two years. It had increased in numbers, wealth, and liberality; had erected the brick edifice in which it still worships in the summer of 1845, and desired a pastor's full time. The South Buffalo congregation also felt itself able to support a minister, hence the connection between them was dissolved. South Buffalo gave a call to Rev. J. G. Carson, and North Buffalo made out a call, in the summer of 1855, for Rev. William M. Gibson, a native of Washington County, Pa., raised under the pastorate of the Rev. Bankhead Boyd; graduated at Washington College and at Canonsburg Theological Seminary, and on the 29th of November in the same year he was ordained and installed. Thus began the fourth pastorate. He continued in this charge until the 12th of November, 1861, when his resignation was accepted by the Presbytery, and the pastoral relation dissolved.
After being vacant for about five years and six months, the congregation secured the pastoral labors of Rev. Robert Welch; a graduate of Jefferson College and of the theological seminary at Allegheny. He had served in the war of the great Rebellion as a lieutenant of Company C of the Twenty-second Pennsylvania Cavalry, and having laid down these carnal weapons when victory was achieved, he went forth with the sword of the Spirit, but soon to achieve his victory. He was called to the pastorate of this congregation, and, having accepted the call, began his stated labors April 1, 1867, and was ordained and installed the 14th of May of the same year. He labored with great acceptability, beloved by his people, until the 22d of December, 1868, when he died.
The congregation remained, after the death of Mr. Welch, for about three years without a pastor. On the 10th of April, 1871, a call was made out for the Rev. Josias Stevenson, a native of Ireland, a graduate of Franklin College, Ohio, and of the theological seminary at Xenia. He was installed in North Buffalo the 13th of June, 1871, after having been in the ministry about thirteen years, eleven of which were spent in efficient labors in the congregation of West Alexander. He was succeeded in the pastorate of this church by the Rev. Samuel J. Kyle, the present pastor.
The elders first chosen were John and James Brownlee, Andrew Scott, and Samuel Johnson. These were ordained and installed in 1778, and were contemporary with Mr. Henderson and Mr. Laing. John Brownlee died in 1802, and James in 1822. Of the other two, the date of their death is not given in the register of the congregation. In 1793, Messrs. Hugh Allison, Thomas Hanna, James Smiley, and John Buchanan were ordained and installed. Mr. Allison continued in his office until 1853. On the 3d day of September of that year he was called to his reward. Mr. Thomas Hanna left Buffalo in the spring of 1835, and died April 9, 1839.
In 1802 there was an election of elders, the session then ruling refusing to act because of the difficulty between the pastor and themselves. It resulted in the choice of Messrs. Alexander Patterson, Robert Wylie, David Clark, Jacob Donaldson, and Thomas Irvine, and they were ordained and installed. Alexander Patterson died in 1840, Robert Wylie in 1830, David Clark in 1821, Jacob Donaldson Aug. 2, 1850, and Thomas Irvine in 1829. How long these continued in the eldership in the congregation does not appear. In 1811, the year that Mr. French took charge, the session was strengthened by the choice and ordination to and installation in the eldership of Samuel Graham and James Patterson, the former continuing till his death on March 23, 1850. Mr. Patterson continued in office till his death, Jan. 4, 1869.
May 13, 1820, John Brownlee and John C. Hanna were ordained and installed. Mr. Brownlee died May 29, 1854. He was a member of the Washington congregation at the time of his death. Mr. Hanna continued in his office in the congregation until his death, Sept. 13, 1865. In February, 1837, Samuel Neely and Archibald Brownlee were ordained to the office of the eldership and installed in it in the congregation. Mr. Neely continued in his office until his death, which occurred on the 16th of July, 1865. Oct. 20, 1859, John Stewart and A. E. McClees were ordained and installed. Samuel E. Brownlee was installed at the same time, he having been ordained to the office in the Associate Reformed congregation of West Middletown, and uniting with this congregation after the consummation of the union of the Associate Reformed and Associate Churches. He died June 8, 1872. He was a man of great worth, and his death was very much lamented. Jan. 7, 1867, Dr. J. S. Crawford was installed, and J. H. Brownlee ordained and installed. It may not be uninteresting to observe that of these elders Andrew Scott's burial-place is not known; Samuel Johnson lies in the old Knox graveyard, and eighteen are buried in the North Buffalo graveyard. Of the nineteen whose ages are known, five died between the ages of sixty and seventy, six from seventy to eighty, six from eighty to ninety, and two from ninety to ninety-four years.
This congregation is still vigorous and flourishing. Many have gone to other places, to add strength to congregations or form nuclei around which to gather, and the outskirts have been trimmed to strengthen other organizations. Still there remains a membership of one hundred and four, and the whole community has been leavened with its influence. From this congregation not less ten have gone into the ministry, viz.: John M. French, D. W. French, James Sawhill, W. H. French, D. H. French, T. H. Hanna, Samuel J. McKee, William Donaldson, and John M. French, second. S. M. Hutchison, raised in this congregation, was received into, and licensed and ordained in the Associate Reformed. Church, and died in the ministry of the United Presbyterian Church in 1874.
South Buffalo United Presbyterian Church.(By Rev. A McLachlan.)--The United Presbyterian congregation of South Buffalo was organized A..D. 1811. The original members were from Buffalo (now North Buffalo) Associate Presbyterian congregation. The following are the names of some of the original members: John Milligan, John McMillen, Alexander Sawhill, John McNeal, James Mitchell, John Mitchell, Samuel Wright, Isaac Carson, John Graham, Robert Graham, William Gregg, John Grimes, James Brownlee, Hamilton Brownlee, Thomas Moore, William Sawhill, James Rallston, George Knox, James Crothers. The original members of the session were Alexander. Craig, James Carson, James Hutchison, and Thomas Whitehill.
The first church (log) was built about the year 1811. In the year 1834, having increased until the number of members was about one hundred and seventy, the congregation built a large substantial brick church, in which it still worships. The first pastor was the Rev. David French, whose time was divided between this congregation and North Buffalo. He was installed pastor at the organization, and continued to labor in it till 1852, when be was released because of the infirmities of age. He continued to preach at North Buffalo two years longer, when, having received a stroke of paralysis, he was compelled to refrain from preaching. He lingered a few months longer, and died March 30, 1855.
The second pastor was J. G. Carson (now Dr. Carson, of Xenia Theological Seminary). His pastorate extended over a period of ten years, being ordained and installed November, 1856, and released in the spring of 1867. He was a fearless advocate of truth, being pastor during the stirring time of the war of the Rebellion; he was unsparing in his denunciation of those who in any way sympathized with the enemies of our government.
The third pastor is Rev. Alexander McLachlan, who was installed pastor April 15, 1873, and continues in the congregation at the present time.
In connection with the church lot there is a graveyard, first used as such about the year 1811, and now crowded with graves.
East Buffalo Presbyterian Church.(By A. S. Eagleson.)--This church is located in Buffalo township, and about five miles west of Washington. The time when it was formally organized cannot now be definitely fixed. The earliest mention of East Buffalo ecclesiastically is in the minutes of the Synod of Pittsburgh, where the Presbytery of Ohio reports Rev. Thomas Hoge as stated supply at Upper Ten-Mile and East Buffalo, in the year 1818, one year previous to the formation of the Presbytery of Washington.
It, however, must have had some kind of existence prior to that time, and contemporary with a German Lutheran congregation that existed in the same place until perhaps near 1840, when by removals and deaths it ceased to exist. It was doubtless to accommodate both these elements that existed in the neighborhood that induced Hardman Horn, Laurence Streker, and Michael Ely to make a deed to the "German Societies" of this neighborhood being of the Presbyterian Church and persuasion, and also, "that for and in consideration of the sum of five shillings," conveying certain boundaries containing three acres (about one acre from each) "for the use of school-house, meeting-house, and burying-ground forever." The deed was made March 5, A.D. 1802. In the above-mentioned deed the word "Lutheran" must have been omitted by the person who wrote it, for we find in the deed of Laurence Streker's executors to William Brownlee, and dated June 12, A.D. 1820, the following: "Excepting and reserving at all times one acre of the said land for the Presbyterian and Lutheran meeting-house, best known by the name of Wolf's Meeting-House." This last name, no doubt, came from Wolf's Fort and people of that name which were in the immediate neighborhood of the church. The church was granted a charter of incorporation by the court on the 17th day of August, 1869, as "East Buffalo Presbyterian Church [Old School]."
The following are the dates and relations of the ministers who preached to this church: From records of the Synod of Pittsburgh, Presbytery of Ohio reports that on the 17th of April, 1816, Mr. Thomas Hoge was received as a licentiate from the Presbytery of Tyrone, Ireland; also that on 21st of January, 1817, he was ordained to the office of the ministry. In 1818, Rev. Thomas Hoge is reported as stated supply at Upper Ten-Mile and East Buffalo. By Presbytery of Washington, in 1819, he is reported as stated supply at East Buffalo alone; in 1820 stated supply at East Buffalo and Claysville.
From records of Presbytery of Washington, Presbytery met East Buffalo on June 26, 1821; on June 27th, Rev. Thomas Hoge was installed pastor of the united churches of East Buffalo and Claysville. According to the same records the pastoral relation continued until, Oct. 6, 1825, when Presbytery met in West Liberty, and Mr. Hoge asked a dissolution of the relationship, which was granted. At the same meeting he was dismissed to the Presbytery of Baltimore. He was again received into the Presbytery of Washington from the Presbytery. of Ohio, Dec. 8, 1829, and became stated supply at Claysville, and probably preached part of the time at East Buffalo, as there is no record of any one at East Buffalo until 1832. He was dismissed to the Presbytery of Philadelphia in 1835.
Rev. W. P. Alrich was the next stated minuter. He was received by the Presbytery of Washington from the Presbytery of New Castle, as a licentiate, Dec. 20, 1831, and was ordained April 17, 1832, and reported as stated supply at East Buffalo. The following is a copy of the report of the church to April meeting, 1832, signed by him, showing the condition of the church at that time: Number of communicants last reported, 26; received on examination, 1; died, 1; suspended, 1; total communicants at present 25.
Rev. W. P. Alrich continued as stated supply at East Buffalo until the early part of the summer of 1864. there is reported to have been quite a revival about the years 1856 and 1857.
Dr. Alrich was succeeded by the Rev. James Black, also a professor in Washington College, about the 1st of October, 1864, who continued as stated supply until Aug. 2, 1868, when he accepted the presidency of the Iowa State University.
The Rev. W. J. Alexander began his ministrations to this church about the 1st of October, 1868, and was elected pastor on the 12th of the same month, and labored faithfully, intending to accept the call, until his death Jan. 20, 1869. An interesting revival and an addition of sixteen to the church was a result of his three months' service.
On the 10th of April, 1869, a call was made for the Rev. R. S. Morton, who began his ministrations May 23d, and was installed pastor June 28, 1869. He continued pastor until January, 1871, when he resigned.
Rev. Henry Woods, then and now a professor in Washington and Jefferson College, succeeded the Rev. Morton in January, 1871, and still continues his labors as stated supply. In connection with his ministry a great revival of religion occurred in the winter of 1879 and 1880, when nearly seventy were added to the church, and during 1880 the third house of worship was erected. The present membership is one hundred and forty-two. The following are the present members of session: Elisha Ely, Joseph C. Johnson, Israel Weirich, and Andrew S. Eagleson. Present Board of Trustees, William A. Ely, William C. Ramsay, Simon Ashbrook, Adam Mounts, David Hagerty, and Isaac Calvin Mounts.
The following is a list of those who have been members of the session as far as they can be ascertained Joseph Donahey, Sr., Archibald Brownlee, Martin Ely, James Mitchel, James Thompson, Joseph Donahey, Jr., Joseph Clark, Joseph Vankirk, John G. Clark, and James Rankin.
The first house of worship (date of erection unknown) was a log building, and stood about in what is now the northeast corner of the graveyard. Within the recollection of some still living, it was used jointly by the Presbyterians and Lutherans during the ministry of Rev. Mr. Hoge, and for some years after the Rev. Mr. Alrich began to preach to this congregation. The logs yet form an old house owned by Leet Dye, in Canton township. The second house was built of brick, forty-five by fifty feet and erected about 1836, on ground adjoining original lot, and bought of William Brownlee. The deed for this ground was not made until April 9, 1849, when, for and in consideration of $13.28, Mr. Brownlee conveys to Joseph Clark and Oliver Wallace, trustees of East Buffalo Church, eighty-three perches of ground therein described. This church building was occupied for the last time on Sabbath, May 30, 1880. It was then torn down, and on the same ground the third building (also of brick) was erected that year and completed in February, 1881, and was occupied as a house of worship for the first time on March 4, 1881, and formally dedicated on the 27th, of the same month. The building is about forty by sixty feet, of rather a unique form, yet one of the most tasteful and convenient churches in the Presbytery. The entire cost was about $5600.
There has been a Sabbath-school in connection with the church for a great many years. It has now eleven classes with as many teachers and nearly one hundred pupils enrolled. Superintendent, A. S. Eagleson; Assistant, W. C. Ramsay; Librarian and Secretary, Walter Ely.
Buffalo Baptist Church--This church was organized June 1, 1861, at Buffalo Town, under the jurisdiction of the Wheeling Baptist Association, sixty members of the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church of East Finley having requested a letter for the purpose of forming the new organization. The first pastor was Rev. H. R. Craig, who remained till June 11, 1804, and has been succeeded by the following: Revs. G. W. Wharton, W. R. Mayberry, John S. Snodgrass, _____ Blaine, L.S. Colburn, William Ryan, J. R. Foulks, and the present pastor, Rev. J. S. Simpson. The present deacons are Lewis McKahan, Samuel Kelly, G. Y. Holmes, John S. Miller, and James Murray. The church has at present seventy members.
Schools.--One of the first schoolhouses in Buffalo was a primitive one, built in 1803, near the site of the North Buffalo Church. It was a rude log structure, chinked, but not "daubed," with clay in the interstices, and was without floor, other than the ground on which it stood. The first teacher in this house was a Mr. Anderson; who his successors were has not been ascertained. The Brownlee school-house, nearly as old as the one first named, stood on the Thomas Brownlee farm. In this house John Wolf taught, in 1808. He was succeeded as teacher by John Reed, after whom came John McMillan. Another early school-house of the same kind stood on the Donohoo farm, the first teacher in this being the John Reed before mentioned. Other school-houses of the same character and pretensions were built in other parts of the township, and in these subscription schools were maintained during a small part of each year down to the time of the adoption of the free school system under the law of 1834.
The provisions of the public school law were accepted by this township in 1835, and in that year the first school directors (Messrs. Ritner and Ely) were elected. There was but little change in the character of the schools until about the year 1840, when the idea of classification began to be adopted, especially in arithmetic. The adoption of the county superintendency marked an era in the development of our schools. John L. Gow, the first superintendent, insisted on more thorough scholarship in the schools, a truer idea of the teachers' work. From 1840 to 1846, in what is known as the Science Hill School, in Buffalo township, beside the common branches, algebra, geometry, natural philosophy, chemistry, physiology, rhetoric, logic, and intellectual philosophy were successfully taught. That school was established and was first taught by Nathaniel McDowell, who is now, or was recently, a clergyman of the United Presbyterian denomination, preaching in Iowa. After him the school was mainly taught by teachers from the ranks of its own pupils. The school continued in successful operation till 1846, and during the period of its existence the district sent out twelve or fifteen teachers, most of whom achieved success. Gen. Wallace McWilliams was president of the school board of Buffalo township for a number of years, and was a model school officer. There was no school in the township but what he visited often with words of cheer and encouragement for both teacher and scholars. He is remembered by those who knew him as an untiring, ardent, and successful worker in the cause of education. John McMannis became a member of the board in 1848, and served in that capacity in Buffalo township for more than twenty years, during fifteen years of which time he was president or secretary of the board.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.Thomas Irwin was a native of North Ireland, where he married Mary Scott. They emigrated to America in 1788, and settled in Buffalo township, Washington Co., Pa., upon a farm purchased from James Snodgrass. They lived upon this farm the rest of their lives. Thomas died in June, 1829, aged seventy-six years. His wife died in 1835. They were both buried in the cemetery of the North Buffalo United Presbyterian Church, of which they were members. Their children were John, Mary, William, Sarah, Elizabeth, Martha, and Jane.
John Irwin was born in Ireland about two years before his parents came to America. He spent nearly all of his life in Buffalo township, Washington Co., Pa., and his business was farming. He led a quiet and industrious life, and bore a good reputation. He lived and died in the faith of his parents, and was a consistent Christian. He was married in 1811 to Elizabeth Anderson. She also was a native of North Ireland, and came with her parents to America about the year 1790. They first settled in Cumberland County, Pa., but about two years afterward removed to Washington County, and settled in Buffalo township, near the Irwins.
John Irwin died in December, 1829. His wife, Elizabeth, died in April, 1857. Their children were Thomas S., Leviah, Mary Jane, Matthew A., Sarah M., and Elizabeth M.
Thomas S. Irwin was born in Buffalo township, Washington Co., Sept. 28, 1812. He attended the district schools, and worked upon his father's farm until nineteen years of age, when he left home to learn the carpenter trade with George Wilson, of his native township. After serving, an apprenticeship of three years, he began work for himself, and followed his trade, building houses, barns, etc., until 1855, when he and his brother built a steam saw-mill, which he operated for eight and one-half years, and since that time his principal employment has been farming.
During the late war he was enrolling officer of the Donegal district. From 1837 to 1845 he was major of the First Battalion, Tenth Regiment, of the State militia, and from 1846 to 1848 he was lieutenant-colonel of a regiment of volunteers of Claysville. In 1872 he was appointed postmaster of Claysville, which has been his home since 1834, and still occupies that position, having been reappointed as his commissions expired. In politics he is a Republican, and has been since the organization of the party. He began life at the bottom of the financial scale and by his own efforts has acquired his present possessions. In 1847 he united with the Presbyterian Church, and since 1863 has been an elder in the same. He is trusted and respected wherever he is known. His first wife wis Elizabeth Henderson, to whom he was married Feb. 24, 1842. She died May 26, 1846. By this marriage there were three children, all of whom died in infancy. He was married to his second wife, Mary Jane Frazier, June 1, 1848. By this marriage there are five children, all living,--William A., who is assistant postmaster of Claysville; Thomas F., who, after graduating at Washington College in 1880, read law in Keokuk, Iowa, where he was admitted to the bar soon before this writing; Catharine E., Daniel K., Jennie May.
Thomas S. is a clever, intelligent man, and very bright and active for one of seventy years. He is the oldest and only male representative of his family now living of his generation. His home is very comfortable. He came from Buffalo township to Claysville in 1834, and has been here ever since. He is respected by those who know him.
*Boyd Crumrine, "History of Washington County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men" (Philadelphia: L. H. Leverts & Co., 1882).
Transcribed by Clair John Thompson, Sr.in April 1998. Published in May 1998 onhttp://www.chartiers.com and associated sites.
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