East Pike Run Twp. (pp. 782-789)
History of Washington County, Pennsylvania*
The township of East Pike Run lies in the eastern part of Washington County, on the Monongahela River, which forms its eastern boundary, except for a short distance on the northern part of that boundary, where it is joined by Allen township. The other boundaries of East Pike Run are: on the north, Fallowfield and a small part of Allen; n the west, West Pike Run township; and on the south, the township of East Bethlehem.
The territory of the townships of East and West Pike Run were for almost half a century included in the old township of Pike Run were for almost half a century included in the old township of Pike Run, which was formed in 1792 in accordance with the prayer of a petition signed by Daniel Depue, Vincent Colvin, Joseph Parkison, John Read, Robert Scott, Benjamin Parkison, Isaac Laider, George Ringul, and Joseph Hall, inhabitants of the township of Fallowfield, setting forth:
“That the said Township is too large for the convenience and ease of the inhabitants, they therefore pray the Court to erect a Township to be called Pike Run Township by a division in manner following to wit: where the line between Somerset Township and Fallowfield Township crosses Van Swearingen road, beginning at Col. Parker’s old plantation, thence by Vans Road to the Widow Crow’s lane and thence to Chesters Ferry, by his Ferry Road, thence up Monongahela River to Neal Gillespies, thence by the Washington Road to Summerset township and with said Township line to the place of beginning, which said division is agreeable to the people of said township.”
This petition was presented to the Court of Quarter Sessions at the January term of 1792. Thereupon commissioners were appointed, who made a favorable report at the April term of the same year, which report was accepted and confirmed by the court, and a decree issued on the 23rd of that month ordering the erection of Pike Run township. In 1839, at the January term of court, a petition was presented asking for the division of Pike Run township, which was granted March 9th in the same year, and the territory of the old township erected into the new townships of East and West Pike Run.
Early Settlements. — In 1769, Thomas Swearingen, Jr., a son of Thomas Swearingen, of Montgomery County, MD., entered application for a certain tract of land lying along the Monongahela River, in what is now East Pike Run township. A warrant for the tract was issued April 5, 1769, and it was surveyed under the name of “Turkey Bottom.” The land which adjoined this tract on the north was that warranted to William Peters, who was familiarly known to the early settlers as “Indian Peter.” This land of Indian Peter was afterwards purchased by Neal Gillespie, and is the site of the village of West Brownsville. Thomas Swearingen, Jr., had a family of twenty-four children; but there is no information to be obtained concerning the greater number of them. One daughter, after her marriage, settled in Beaver County, in this State, and two other daughters and two sons settled in Brooke County, Va. It is not known to whom the land located by Mr. Swearingen more than one hundred years ago was sold. The property passed to John Pottinger, Zachariah Brown, and David Peters in 1792, and in 1802 to John Krepps.
On June 13, 1769, Adam Young was granted a warrant for a tract of land in East Pike Run township. It afterwards came into the possession of John R. Sowers, and Oct. 11, 1819, was sold at sheriff’s sale to Alexander C. Donaldson.
Neal Gillespie, a native of Ireland, emigrated to this country, and after a short time in the eastern part of the State came to Washington County with his family. In 1784 he purchased a tract of land know as “Indian Hill” of the widow and son of William Peters, better known as Indian Peter. This tract embraced what is now West Brownsville and part of East Pike Run township adjoining. His large estate was partially divided before his death, which occurred in 1815. A ferry, which had been established in 1775, was continued by him until his death, and by others until the completion of the Monongahela bridge in 1833, when it was abandoned. His children were two sons — Neal and James — and four daughters, Mary, Elizabeth, Susanna, and Nelly. Neal Gillespie, Jr., came into possession of a portion of the Indian Hill tract, on which he settled and died. His daughter Maria became the wife of Ephraim L. Blaine, and the mother of the Hon. James G. Blaine.
James lived in the stone house on the old homestead place, now owned by Samuel W. Krepps. Mary, the eldest daughter, became the wife of John Krepps; they settled on a portion of the original farm, where they lived and died. Elizabeth became the wife of ------ Irwin. Susanna married ------ Beecher, and Nelly married a Mr. Boyle. Maria, one of their daughters, became the wife of Thomas Ewing, of Ohio, and the mother of Mrs. Gen. William T. Sherman.
John Krepps was a native of Philadelphia, and emigrated to Washington County about 1790. He married Mary, a daughter of Neal Gillespie, by whom he received a portion of the Indian Hill tract, which her father had given her. Later he purchased other lands adjoining. The hill known as Krepps’ Knob was a part of his farm. About the year 1794 he established a ferry across the Monongahela River, as the court records of Fayette County show that in that year a petition was presented for ‘a road from Krepps’ ferry to the bridge at the mouth of Dunlap’s Creek.” The ferry landing on the Bridgeport side of the river was near the foot of Spring Street, and at the present residence of Solomon G. Krepps, his grandson. John Krepps lived and died upon the farm which is now owned by Joseph T. Rodgers and James Slocum. His children were Samuel J., Solomon G., John, Christian, and one daughter, Helen.
Samuel settled on the east side of the river in Bridgeport in 1823, where Eli Leonard now lives, and carried on the saw-mill at the Jonah Cadwallader dam on Dunlap’s Creek, also operating the coal banks on that property.
In 1832 he built a residence in Brownsville (the same which is now kept as the “Monongahela House” by the widow of his son, John B. Krepps) and removed to it. In 1834 he built the Valley Mills in Bridgeport. He was a prominent and public-spirited citizen, and identified with the business interests of both boroughs. About 1846 he removed to the old Krepps homestead in East Pike Run township, and soon afterwards to the Neal Gillespie farm, where he died, March 6, 1866. In 1854 he was elected to the Legislature from this county. His children were John B., Mrs. M. A. Cox, Clement D., Dr. Charles W., Ann Eliza, Samuel W., C. C., and Solomon G. Samuel W. resides on the farm where his father died, and which is the old Gillespie homestead. John B. was an attorney, lived at Brownsville, and died in January, 1881. He was an officer in the Union army n the late Rebellion. Solomon G., the youngest son, lives at Bridgeport.
Solomon G., the second son of John and Mary Krepps, settled on the east side of the river at Bridgeport, as early as 1813, where he built the brick house at the old Krepps’ ferry landing, which is now the residence of his nephew, Solomon G. Krepps. He (Solomon G., the elder) was a merchant in Bridgeport in 1816, and for many years was one of the prominent citizens of the borough. In 1832 he, with Zephaniah Carter, built the “Friendship Paper-Mill” at Bridgeport, but died soon after, and before the mill was in successful operation. He served one term in the State Legislature, and was several times elected burgess of Bridgeport, also served as a member of the borough council. He had two sons — Bolivar and John S. — and four daughters — Mary, Nancy, Rebecca, and Ellen. Bolivar went to California in 1849 and died there; John S. lived on a farm adjoining Bridgeport, went out in the last war as a major in the First Virginia Cavalry, and rose to the rank of colonel; Mary (Mrs. Bailey) died on the homestead; Nancy (Mrs. John Walker) is living at Elizabethtown, Allegheny Co.; Rebecca (Mrs. Strouse) is now living at Cincinnati; Ellen became the wife of William H. Playford, of Uniontown.
John, also a son of John Krepps, kept tavern in the upper end of West Brownsville many years, and died there. Christian, the youngest son, emigrated to the West, and his subsequent history is not known. Helen, the only daughter of John Krepps, became the wife of Judge Eli Miller, of Mount Vernon, Ohio, where she died. Their son, John Krepps Miller, represented that district in Congress in 1857-58, and died in 1860.
Conrad Weaver warranted a tract of land on Pike Run, in Pike Run township, on May 14, 1785, the survey being made to him May 21, 1786. The tract contained two hundred and sixty-nine acres, was given the name of “Weaver’s Purchase,” and was adjacent to the lands of Herbert Wallace, Andrew Swearingen, Beatty, and Biggert. In 1792, Conrad Weaver sold a portion of his land to Herbert Wallace, and another to Mark Deems in 1811. The remainder he left in 1816, by will, to his sons, Leonard and Conrad Weaver, Jr. Descendants of the Weaver family still own and occupy the land.
Nathan Heald was one of the earliest settlers who made their way to the Monongahela valley, he having removed here with his family from Loudoun County, Va., in 1771. The property which Nathan Heald owned in Pike Run township was a tract of four hundred and twenty-eight acres called “Mill Place,” which was warranted to Thomas Miller on Feb. 18, 1785, and assigned to Heald, to whom it was surveyed June 12, 1786. On April 12, 1792, Nathan Heald bought of John Townsend the tract of land called “Spicewood Valley,” and Sept. 24, 1796, he purchased of Benjamin Townsend the property known as “Mason’s Bower.” Nathan Heald was the father of William Heald, who celebrated his one hundredth birthday in 1866. Mr. Heald lived five years after his one hundredth birthday. At that time his living descendants numbered on hundred and sixty persons. Of that number the only one now living in Washington County is Mrs. Emmer H. Griffith, whose home is in Centerville.
Henry, William, and John Gregg were three members of a family who came from Ireland to this country, and settled in East Pike Run township, where they were among the earliest settlers. Henry Gregg took up a tract of land containing three hundred and forty-nine acres called “Burning Mine” tract. It was sold by Henry Gregg to Joshua Gregg, July 31, 1817, and is now the property of Mr. Duvall. In the year 1796, Henry Gregg was elected to the office of justice of the peace. He was married and had several children, all of whom are dead, most of them dying while very young. John Gregg, one of them, left two sons, William H. and Thomas M. Gregg. The former is a merchant in Greenfield, in this county, and the latter resides in West Virginia, near Morgantown. Henry Gregg, Jr., was another son of Henry Gregg, the early settler. Several of his children are at present residing in East and West Pike Run townships, two of them, William and John, being farmers. Thomas, third son of Henry Gregg, Sr., left three daughters, Nancy, Emily, and Almy, all of whom are single. Edward Gregg, a fourth son of Henry Gregg, left two daughters, both of whom are widows, — Mrs. Malinda West and Mrs. Mary J. Baker. John Gregg, one of the three early settlers, was married twice. His sons John and Henry, by the first wife, both died with consumption. He also had quite a large family of children by his second marriage, all of whom eventually went to the West.
William Gregg, one of the three who came from Ireland, married and had a family of four sons and one daughter, the latter being Mrs. Margaret Crow. The son Henry married Jane Dowler; John married Nancy Gregg, Robert married Ann Robinson, and Andrew married Dorcas Nichols. They all left families. An old-time advertisement is found which shows that Daniel Gregg, probably a member of one of the three original families, was engaged in the raising of fruit-trees. Under date of March 20, 1809, he advertised “that he has a nursery in Washington County, adjoining the Monongahela River, three and one-half miles below Brownsville, a variety of the best and most approved kinds of fruit-trees, the grafts being selected from some of the best nurseries in Chester and Bucks Counties.... Among them are Romanite, Red Vanderveers, Green Vanderveers, Winesops, Pennock Apples, Newtown Pippins, Green Pippins, Hughes’ Crab, Queen Apples, June Apples, Ashmore’s Early Red Streak, and sundry other kinds of summer fruits.”
The tract of one hundred and thirty-three acres of land in East Pike Run township owned at an early day by John Almond or Allman is situated on the waters of East Pike Run, and is now the property of John White, Esq. There are still many descendants and relatives of the Allman family living in this vicinity.
Jacob Springer, a pioneer of this township, took for his wife Miss Peggy Gregg, a native of Ireland, and a sister of the early residents, John William, and Henry Gregg. They owned the farm now belonging to Mr. Snyder. Their children were seven, — three sons and four daughters. The daughter Peggy became the wife of John Neblick, Betsey married John Carson, Nancy was the wife of John Carroll, and Polly died unmarried. The son, John Springer, married Jane Newkirk, James married Polly Carroll, and William married Susan Johnson.
Like many others of the early settlers of the territory along the Monongahela River, Amos Ayles came from Chester County, Pa. Soon after coming here he was so unfortunate as to lose an arm. His family was quite large, and four of his sons, Stephen, Isaac, John, and another one, were engaged in boating and trading upon the river. Stephen married Mary Nixon, and they lived and died in Washington County. Isaac’s wife was Mary Coleman, and their son still owns the homestead. James Ayles married Betsey Nixon. He formerly owned the mill near Greenfield now owned by the Greggs.
John and Seth Buffington were both brothers, who came into this section with the first settlers. Seth Buffington married Sarah Millison. In his day he was a prominent man, greatly esteemed by his neighbors. His family was three sons and one daughter, — John, Seth, Joseph, and Orphie Buffington. The daughter became the wife of Robert Lilley. The son John married Paulina Reynolds, and resides in Brownsville. Joseph married a daughter of John Thompson, and resides in East Bethlehem. Seth Buffington, Sr.,became involved in financial difficulties and emigrated West, where he died soon after. The son Seth Jr., also went West, where he followed his trade, blacksmithing.
James Dorsey emigrated from the vicinity of Baltimore, Md., and was one of those settlers who came very early into East Pike Run township. He took up a large body of land, brought it to a fruitful state, lived upon it until his death, and a portion of it is now occupied by his grandson and namesake, James Dorsey. James Dorsey, Sr., had ten children, three sons and seven daughters, two of whom died in infancy. The son Edward married Matilda Brashears; John remained single, and James Jr., married Elizabeth Elder, of Maryland. The three sons are dead, but the widow of James Dorsey is still living and past eighty-two years of age. The sons of James Jr., and Elizabeth Dorsey are James and George. James married Grace Devenning, of Ohio, and George married Martha Phillips, of Fayette County. These sons of James Dorsey, Jr., jointly own the old Dorsey homestead.
Samuel Bailey was a Quaker, and one of the founders of the Quaker Church in this vicinity. His property was a large tract of land adjoining the Robert Jackman lands. A daughter of Samuel Bailey became the wife of John Murphy, and his sons, Thomas and Isaac Bailey, reside on the home farm in this township.
Greenfield Borough — As early as the year 1784, Robert Jackman came into possession of a body of land in this county to the amount of several hundred acres. This land was comprised in two tracts, located along the Monongahela River, on opposite sides of Pike Run, and at the mouth of the last-named stream. The tract “Ararat,” containing two hundred and twenty-two acres, was granted to Nathan Lynn on order No. 1939, and surveyed Dec. 16, 1784. The other tract, directly across the stream Pike Run, had an area of three hundred and twenty-two acres, and was warranted by Adam Youngs, the survey of it being made Dec. 15, 1784, under the title of “Mill Place.” At the dates mentioned all right and title to this land was made over to Robert Jackman, and it included the sites of California and Greenfield, the present Gregg mill property and homestead, and the estates of James and John McCrary as well. The Gregg mill was formerly known as the Jackman mill, but having passed through many hands, has come into the possession of A. J. Gregg. Mr. Jackman was a native of Ireland. He married a Miss Dixon, and they had quite a large family of children. The daughter Ruth became the wife of William Gregg, and lived near Greenfield, and a son, Dixon Jackman, married Ruth Phillips. The sons James and William were fond of horse-racing and had a racecourse fitted up near Greenfield. These two sons inherited from their father the greater part of the land which is now the site of the borough of California. Robert Jackman inherited the lands on which was laid out the village of Greenfield. He died leaving no children. There were two other sons of Robert Jackman, Sr., viz., John and Henry.
In 1814, Robert Jackman laid out the town of Greenfield on land inherited from his father. An article of agreement made June 11th in that year between the proprietor, Robert Jackman, and the purchasers of certain lots in the new town, specifying conditions on which they were sold, privileges of streets, alleys, timber, quarries of freestone and limestone, coal in the vein, etc., and reservations of growing crops, ferry and other rights, shows the names of purchasers, and the prices paid by them for lots,1 as follows:
“Elizabeth How, No.11, southwest side of Water Street, $71; Rensin Smith, No.12, southwest side of Water Street, $52; Henry Smith, Nos. 1 and 2, northwest side of Spring Street, and No.20, southwest side of Water Street, and one half of No.3, northeast side of Third Street, $219; Jacob Resinger, Esq., Nos.3 and 4, northwest side of Spring Street, and No.6, northeast side of Water Street, and No.3, northeast side of Third Street, $257; John Mitchell, No.5, northwest side of Spring Street, $44.50; Isaac Powell, No.6 Spring Street, $50; Lewis Merchant, Nos.1, 2 and 5 Spring Street, $182; John Kerr, Nos.3 and 4 Spring Street, $111; William Huggens, No.8 Water Street, $34; John Hurry, No.7 Water Street, $52; Robert Greggs, No. 6 Water Street, and one-half of No. 3 Federal Street, $84' Amos Ayles, Nos. 3 and 4 Water Street, $123; William Jackman, No. 1 Water Street, $44; William Steel, No. 4 Water Street, $67; Jacob Duvall, No. 13 Water Street, and one-half of No. 3 Federal Street, $86.50; James Springer, No. 14 Water Street, $65; John Peterman, No. 2 Green Street, and No. 9 Federal Street, $125; Joseph Roveson, No. 4 Short Street, judgment, $73; Mary Wilkins, No. 3 Water Street, $78; Samuel Smith, No. 17 Water Street, $66; James Moffet, No. 18 Water Street, $70; William Cady, No. 19 Water Street, $52; Henry Peterman, No. 1 Green Street, and No. 3 Short Street, $117; Andrew Kerr, Nos. 7 and 8 Federal Street, $95; John Gregg, No. 6 Federal Street, $41; William Thatcher, No. 6 Spring Street, $66; John Springer, No. 7 Spring Street, $61; Henry Reisinger, No. 3 Short Street, and No. 1 Third Street, $118; Patrick Coil, No. 2 Third Street, $40; Jacob Bennet, No. 3 Federal Street, $48; Robert Relitie, No. 5 Water Street, $61; Ely Devue, No. 2 Federal Street, $50; Silvester Smith, No. 16 Water Street, $57.50; James Lilley, No. 2 Federal Street, $42; John Jackson, No. 2 Water Street, $12.50; total, $2915.”
[1 The numbering of the lots is difficult to understand, but it is given as found, without attempt at explanation.]
On July 18, 1814, before Greenfield had become a town, except on paper, a co-operative association was organized in the place, called the “Farmers’ and Mechanics’ Commercial Store,” having a nominal capital stock of twenty thousand dollars, divided into shares of ten dollars each. The association was under the control and management of a president and nine directors, who were authorized to erect a storehouse, and to purchase keel-boats to convey their produce to Pittsburgh; the principal object for which the association was formed being to afford an easy and cheap means of transporting the agricultural products of members and others in the vicinity to a market where good prices could be realized and goods purchased on favorable terms, and delivered to consumers without the addition of intermediate commissions and profits. This association, however, like most others of its kind, failed to accomplish in any considerable degree the results for which, ostensibly, it was organized.
The first general store was started in the place by John Carr, who also built the first house. It was a log cabin, and was built at the south end of Water Street, near the saw-mill on the river. Mr. John Buffington remembers when this house stood entirely alone upon the site of Greenfield. Van Reeves was another of the pioneer merchants, and there was also a resident named Miller who manufactured beaver caps. Henry Smith was the first hotel-keeper, and he was succeeded by Bolen Taylor, Joseph Lutz, Hiram Holmes, Jacob Qualk, Mrs. Newkirk, and others. Henry Smith was also a school-teacher in the township. One of the earliest physicians was Dr. Mollison. Those who have followed him in the practice of medicine in Greenfield are Drs. Eagan, Scott, Isaac Jackson, H.S. Chalfant, and Jacob Shelper. The present resident physician is Dr. Robert Miller. Very early in the history of this place two distilleries were in operation here, and a considerable amount of coopering business was carried on.
The incorporation of Greenfield as a borough was effected by act of the Legislature, passed April 9, 1834. The first burgess elected was Andrew Gregg. No complete list of succeeding borough officers can be given, for the reason that the records covering the period of a quarter of a century from the incorporation were destroyed by fire in 1875. The list of justices of the peace elected for Greenfield since the office became elective have been gleaned, and is given below, viz:
James Dondalson, April 14, 1840.
William Wells, April 13, 1841.
Francis Reader, June 11, 1844.
Robert T. McIlvaine, April 15, 1845.
Francis Reader, April 10, 1849.
Lewis E. Smith, April 9, 1850.
Francis Reader, April 11, 1854.
Lewis E. Smith, April 10, 1855.
Francis Reader, April 10, 1860.
Mark Winnet, April 20, 1864.
Augustus Wells, June 3, 1865.
L. J. Baker, April 17, 1866.
Francis Reader, April 9, 1867.
Francis Reader, April 2, 1872.
John Wilkins, April 28, 1873.
Francis Reader, Jan. 19, 1874.
D. O. Lambert, March 13, 1875.
Lewis E. Smith, March 16, 1875.
Albert Wilson, March 25, 1878.
D. O. Lambert, March 30, 1880.
At a meeting of the council, held March 21, 1874, the borough limits of Greenfield were, by an ordinance of that body, extended so as to included a considerable additional area on the north and on the southwest sides, according to a plat made by Francis Reader, Esq., which was adopted by the board.
By a decree of court granted Jan. 19, 1881, the borough of Greenfield was made subject to the provisions of the act of Assembly regulating boroughs, which was passed April 3, 1851.
The borough now contains one hundred and twelve private dwelling-houses, two hotels, and three churches. The hotels are at present conducted by W. C. Smith and Jacob Qualk. The other business interests of the place are represented by two drugstores, three stores carrying stocks of dry-goods and groceries, three stores dealing especially in groceries and provisions, two bakeries, on confectionery-store, several restaurants, two blacksmith-shops, saw- and planing-mills, two shoe-stores, one clothing-store, two millinery and dress-making establishments, and a cabinet and undertaker’s establishment. All the churches are of brick, the graded school occupies a frame building having three rooms, and the town hall, which is also a frame structure, has rooms where the Odd-Fellows, Masons, Knights of Pythias, and Knight of Labor all hold the regular meetings of their orders. The lodge of Odd-Fellows is apparently the strongest of the several secret orders represented in Greenfield. In the original plat of the village they owned a lot, and the large town hall is their property. The Benevolent Association of Greenfield is also an institution of this order, and is exclusively under its supervision. Pike Run Lodge, No. 491, I.O.O.F., was in existence here in 1866, and on July 28th of that year the trustees of the order purchased of Jesse Bailey lot No. 10 in the borough. This lodge continued to meet in Greenfield for some time, but eventually removed to the borough of California.
Vesta Lodge, No. 696, I.O.O.F., was chartered Jan. 3, 1870. The first officers of the organization were Thomas Young, N.G.; J. E. Wilsons, V. G.; John Baker, Sec.; Oliver Hornbake, Asst. Sec.; Thomas D. Moffitt, Treas. The lodge has now seventy-two members.
Monongahela Valley Lodge, No. 361, F. A. M., was organized some twelve years ago, the date of charter being Feb. 4, 1870. The charter officers were Nicholas S. Veatch, W. M.; Thomas S. Daly, S. W.; James S. Newkirk, J.W.
A charter for Pike Run Lodge, No. 1687, Knights of Pythias, was granted Sept. 8, 1881, at which time the members of the order numbered twenty persons, –John S. Dales, Daniel J. Frantz, Louis M. Sibbet, John Hupp, Isaac B. Frantz, Henry C. Shaffer, Joseph W. Kellions, Frederick Kellions, Thomas J. Reece, Albert E. Freeman, James Gainer, James Summerville, John W. Moore, James Jobes, John Moore, Robert Woods, and George H. Griffin.
Methodist Episcopal Church.1–Greenfield Circuit was in the Baltimore Conference, and was traveled by Rev. James Quinn as early as 1799. The circuit covered a large territory, and embraced parts of Greene, Fayette, and Washington Counties. There were perhaps no Methodists in Greenfield at this early day. There were some two or three Methodist families a few miles distant, among them the Hows and Riggs. William Riggs (father of Mahlon Riggs, now living, but a very old man) was a local preacher. Preaching was established at his house. In those days there were no church buildings in this end of the county. Some time afterwards, early in the present century, a log meeting-house was built, called How’s Church, and it became one of the regular appointments or preaching-places on Greenfield Circuit. In 1824 the Pittsburgh Conference was formed, and Greenfield Circuit was in the Monongahela District, and contained one colored and six hundred and sixty-two white members. This year (1826) the Monongahela District was presided over by Rev. George Brown. Greenfield Circuit was traveled by P. G. Buckingham and Richard Armstrong. Buckingham was a very able and popular preacher for many years, but unfortunately fell from his high position and was expelled from the church. He afterwards manifested deep repentance and humiliation, and was restored to the church. But his influence as a minister was gone. He moved West and died there many years ago.
[1 By S. S. Rothwell.]
In 1827, Monongahela District had for presiding elder Rev. William Stephens, and P. G. Buckingham and John Tackaberry were the traveling preachers. In 1828, William Stephens, presiding elder, and H. Furlong and J. E. Maffit, preachers. In 1829 the district was changed and called Pittsburgh District, with David Sharp presiding elder (a very able and acceptable preacher). On Greenfield Circuit were Simon Lauck and Thomas Taylor. In 1830, D. Sharp, presiding elder, and on the circuit were Simon Lauck and Thomas Jameson. In 1831, D. Sharp, presiding elder, and John White on circuit. In 1833, Charles Elliot was presiding elder (a mighty man), and Samuel E. Babcock and S. Worthington on the circuit. Babcock was a very able minister, a workman that had no need to be ashamed. In the year 1834 the district was changed and called Uniontown District. Greenfield Circuit was also changed and called Beallsville Circuit. William Stephens was presiding elder, and on the circuit was S. R. Brockunier. During the years 1834 and ‘35 the first Methodist church building was erected in the town of Greenfield. It was built on lot No. 7 according to plan of town, and was rather small and unpretentious brick building, and cost something like one thousand dollars. Previous to this time, however, there had been a society formed into a class, according to Methodist usage, and Fisher White was leader. There had been preaching in the town (but in private houses) prior to the erection of the church building. The trustees were Van Reeves, Fisher White, Nathan Jackman, Allen Stockdale, and W. D. Veatch. The members were — Van Reeves and wife, Nathan Jackman and wife, A. Stockdale and wife, Fisher White and family, Mrs. How, Elizabeth How, Ellen Wells, Elizabeth Furlong, Mary Fenton, S.S. Rothwell and wife, Elizabeth Beazell, L.G. Beazell, Henry Jameson, William D. Veatch and wife, Elizabeth Jackman, William Veatch and wife, and Sheba Wilkins. These are all that are now remembered as members in 1834, –some twenty-five or thirty in all.
In the year 1835, Robert Boyd was presiding elder and S.E. Babcock on the circuit. It is due to Robert Boyd to say in this connection that he was one of God’s chosen men, mighty in word and doctrine, an example to the flock or church over whom God had made him overseer. “He rests from his labors and his works follow him.” In 1836, Robert Hopkins was presiding elder, and William Tipton on circuit. In the year 1837, T.M. Hudson was presiding elder, and William Tipton was on the circuit. Rev. T.M. Hudson was among the ablest preachers in the Pittsburgh Conference. He commenced preaching when quite young. He was a member of the Baltimore Conference, and continued his effective labors till within a few years. He lived to a good old age (eighty-three), and died in December, 1881.
In 1838, T.M. Hudson was presiding elder, and John Spencer and B.F. Sawhill on circuit. During this year a most remarkable revival of religion spread all over the circuit. Hundreds were converted, mostly middle-aged and heads of families. Many have passed away, but many are still living and laboring to build up the cause of God in the earth.
In 1839, Samuel Wakefield was presiding elder, and Thomas Stinchcomb and Isaac McClosky on the circuit. In 1840, S. Wakefield, presiding elder, and on the circuit were D. Sharp and Richard Armstrong. In 1841, the district was changed and called Wheeling District, T.M. Hudson, presiding elder, and Abner Jackson and Jerry Knox on the circuit. In 1842 the same as 1841. In 1843, S. E. Babcock was presiding elder, and John White and George McCaseky traveled the circuit. In 1844, S.E. Babcock presiding elder, and on the circuit were George McCaskey and Heaton Hill. In 1845, S.E. Babcock presiding elder, and Heaton Hill and Josiah Adams on circuit.
During the years 1843, ‘44, and ‘45 the subject of slavery was agitated in the church, the anti-slavery men in the church maintaining that slaveholding was incompatible with Christianity, and the other party assuming that it was a political institution, and the church had no right to interfere. The controversy was carried on for a long time, with a great deal of bitterness on both sides, and finally resulted in a division, the anti-slavery members withdrawing from the church and forming themselves into an organization styled “Wesleyan Methodist.” The leading ministers seceding were Orange Scott, Leroy Sunderland, Luther Lee, Cyrus Prindle, L.C. Matlack, Edward Smith, and quite a number of lesser lights. An organization was effected and a society formed in Greenfield, and a circuit established called Bridgeport Circuit. The first preacher who traveled the circuit was John P. Betker. He was a clear-headed man, considerable of a preacher, and few men dared discuss with him the issues involved between the Wesleyans and the Methodist Episcopal Church.
The members constituting the Greenfield Society were Job Johnson and wife, W.D. Veatch, S.S. Rothwell, Elizabeth Rothwell, Henry Dowler and wife, James L.Wells and wife, George Hornbake and wife, Henry Hornbake and wife, Albert Wilson, some fifteen in all, and during the years of their existence as a society quite a number were added. The circuit contained four preaching-places,–Greenfield, Bridgeport, Theaxton’s, and one other. They never built a church at Greenfield, but had good churches at the other points. The organization continued in this county until the downfall of slavery, and then went down, the most of the members going back into the Methodist Episcopal Church.
In 1847 the district was changed to Morgantown District, Simon Elliott presiding elder. John Spencer and J.L. Irwin were on circuit. In 1854 and ‘55. T.M. Hudson was presiding elder, and A. Jackson on circuit.
In the years 1858 and 1859 the old church building in Greenfield was torn down, and a larger one erected on the site. In the year 1859, C.A. Holms was presiding elder; in 1861, D.L. Dempsy presiding elder, William McCracken on circuit; 1863, Greenfield and California became a station. Dempsy presiding elder, and J.J. Hayes on charge; 1864, William Cox presiding elder, and D.B. Campbell on charge. In 1865, William Cox presiding elder, and T.S. Hodson on charge. In 1866, W.A. Davidson presiding elder, and M.B. Pugh on charge. In 1867, Davidson presiding elder, and M.B. Pugh to December, from December to March, S.S. Rothwell on charge. In 1868, L.R. Beacom presiding elder, and D.A. Pierce on charge. In 1869, same as 1868. 1870, L.R. Beacom presiding elder, and J.G. Gogueley on charge. In 1871, same. 1872, H. Miller presiding elder, and William Johnson on charge. 1873, same. 1874, same. 1875, H. Miller presiding elder, and Rev. Batchtell on charge. In 1876, T.N. Boyle presiding elder, and Hollingshead on charge. 1876, S. H. Nesbit presiding elder, and W.F. Lauck on charge. 1877, same. In 1878, J. Baker presiding elder, and Lauck on charge. In 1879, J. Baker presiding elder, and Swan on charge. In 1880 and 1881, same. The membership in the two churches of the charge is three hundred and eighty.
Some time during the year 1873 the church in Greenfield was burned down, and soon the present one was erected on the same site, costing about three thousand dollars. California Church is valued at four thousand dollars. There are two Sabbath-schools in the charge. Number of scholars, three hundred. Greenfield superintendent, Frank Shutterly; California, L.W. Morgan.
Cumberland Presbyterian Church. – This congregation was organized on the 28th of March, 1836, by the Rev. S.M. Sparks. A church edifice was erected in 1839, and a larger one about 1870. The present pastor is the Rev. I.N. Cary, who is also pastor of the Millsboro’ Church. For more extended information concerning this denomination the reader is referred to the article in the general history contributed by the Rev. Azel Freeman.
Catholic Church. – Catholic services have been held in Greenfield borough only for the last six or seven years. Their first mass was celebrated by Rev. Father Arthur Develin in a frame house situated on the mill property on Water Street, and which is now occupied by George S. Hornbake and family. Prior to that date Catholic services had been held in the village of Granville, at the residence of Barney Sloan, Rev. Father Herman being first in charge of the parish, and was succeeded by Rev. Father Ryan. Since the beginning of the Catholic services in Greenfield they have rented for their use the Jackman Hall save for one year, when they worshiped in the house of Daniel O’Connell Lambert. Rev. Father Develin was succeeded by Rev. P.H. Connery; then came Rev. C.A. McDermott, and he was followed by Rev. P.H. Connery. Two town lots, Nos. 22 and 23, have been purchased, upon which a church edifice is to be erected. The lots were bought of John R. Gregg. The history of the Catholic Church would be incomplete should the name of Joseph A. Lambert be omitted from the sketch. In the strict sense of the term he is not a practical Catholic, but has always been looked upon as one of the number, and has always sustained the church here pecuniarily as well as otherwise.
Schools. - The earliest teacher in this section of whom any knowledge has been gained was Robert Quail, who is mentioned as a “schoolmaster” in the assessment-roll of Pike Run township for the year 1807. The schools taught here during the half-century next succeeding the organization of the county were, like all others that existed during that period in Western Pennsylvania, of low grade, and taught in log houses or cabins for short terms, mostly in the winter season. When the common-school law of Pennsylvania was passed (in 1834) old Pike Run township still remained undivided, embracing the territory now forming East and West Pike Run. The township accepted the provisions of the law in 1835, and raised in that year for school purposes the sum of $341.96, the number of persons in the township liable to taxation for that purpose at that time being 415. In 1836 the total amount of school money received for the township was $505.02, including amount from the State. In that year several school-houses were built, some of them being brick. Upon the division of old Pike Run, and the formation of the townships of East and West Pike Run in 1839, the new townships were redistricted, and the character of the schools materially improved.
In 1863 the school-houses of Districts Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 in East Pike Run were declared insufficient for the uses of the schools, and new ones were soon after erected in their stead, and from about that time the schools of this township gradually improved, until they became, as at present, equal in grade to those of any other township of the county. The school report of 1863 showed the following statistics of schools in East Pike Run, viz : Number of schools, 5; number of teachers 5; number of scholars enrolled, 208; receipts for school purposes, $497.64; expenditures for the same, $544.46. The report for the year ending June, 1873, showed the same number of schools and teachers as that of 1863, while the number of enrolled scholars had decreased to 162. In 1880 the number of schools reported was 6; number of teachers, 6; scholars enrolled, 262; receipts for school purposes, $1464.08; expenditures, $1336.02.
Justices of the Peace. – Following is a list of persons elected as justices in East Pike Run township :
Isaac Allen, April 14, 1840.
Simeon Jackman, April 14, 1840.
Morrison Chester, April 15, 1845.
Isaac Allen, April 15, 1845.
Azariah Crow, April 9, 1850.
Andrew Gregg, April 9, 1850.
Theodore H. Dowler, April 13, 1853.
Andrew Gregg, April 10, 1855.
Andrew Gregg, April 10, 1860.
C.J. Springer, April 24, 1862.
Augustus Wells, April 14, 1863.
H.S. Chalfant, July 12, 1865.
C.J. Springer, April 10, 1866.
H.S. Chalfant, April 11, 1870.
C.J. Springer, April 19, 1872.
H.S. Chalfant, Jan. 26, 1874.
C.J. Springer, Jan. 11, 1874.
H.S. Chalfant, April 26, 1875.
C.J. Springer, March 14, 1877.
James Boyle, March 30, 1880.
Granville is a small village in East Pike Run township, situated on both sides of the stream Pike Run and its tributary, Gorby’s Fork. The portion of the village east of Gorby’s Fork was laid out by Henry Dowler, and is called Minersville. It contains nine dwellings, one store, and one blacksmith-shop. Granville proper is on the opposite side of the fork on Pike Run, and was laid out by James Gregg, who built the first house there, a log cabin, which is yet standing. It now has thirty-nine dwellings and one store. Nearly all the inhabitants belong to the mining class. The name of Granville was given to the place by its founder, James Gregg, who also kept the first store in place. The merchants at the present time are James Knight, of Granville, and A.W. Bane, of Minersville. The first house erected in the latter place was of brick, built by Moses Billingsby, and now belongs to the heirs of Henry Dowler. The Gregg school-house is also located in Minersville. William Winfield formerly manufactured pottery at this point, and the stock and turning-house of the factory are still standing.
Coal-Works and other Industries. – Just outside the borough limits of Greenfield are the extensive works of Jordan S. Neal & Co., consisting of coal-mines and works, coal-boats, barges, and yard, a saw-mill, store, and two blacksmith-shops. One mile below on the river this firm have other mines, and all necessary appurtenances for mining and transporting coal. The mines at Greenfield yield annually one million bushels of coal, to mine which one hundred and twenty-five hands are employed, and paid three and one-half cents per bushel for digging. At the lower coal-works, called the Eclipse Mines, eight hundred thousand bushels of coal are taken out annually by eighty miners. In 1881, Messrs. J.S. Neal & Co., built forty coal-boats and sixteen flat-boats. Their saw-mill cuts five thousand feet of lumber per day, and six men are employed to operate the mill. Sixteen men are employed upon the coal-boats and flats, at wages averaging two and a quarter each per day. There coal-works were established by J.S. Neal & Co., in 1875, and each year finds the firm extending their operations, while they already rank among the most important dealers in the Monongahela Valley. The Globe Coal-Works in this township are owned and operated by Messrs. Crowthers, Musgrove & Co. During 1881 they employed eighty hands for digging the coal, and shipped one million two hundred thousand bushels of coal. The Monongahela Distillery is situated near the centre of East Pike Run township, on the branch of Pike Run called Gorby’s Run. It was started several years ago by a man named Mess, who sold to Zephaniah M. and John Boyle. They began the business in 1876, and still continue in it. They occupy a frame building, which is 36 by 50 feet and a warehouse 50 by 100 feet in size. They have a capacity for mashing and distilling fifty bushels of grain daily.
A steam- and water-power grist-mill is owned and operated by the Gregg brothers, under the firm-name of J.R. and A.J. Gregg. Some two or three mills have been built upon this site, the present one having been erected by James Ailes, who purchased the property of Robert Jackman. Two miles from the Gregg mill are a grist-mill and a saw-mill, which are now owned by Washington Smallwood. They have previously been owned and conducted by many different persons. William Forsyth also had a still-house at or near this point at one time.
*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 Susan Crayne of Morgantown, WV in February 2000. Published in February 2000 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com.
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