Franklin Twp. (pp. 796-802)

History of Washington County, Pennsylvania*

The territory now embraced in Franklin township was originally a part of Amwell. Morris township, erected from Amwell in September, 1788, embraced the northern part of the present township of Franklin, and Canton township, erected April 23, 1792, embraced the northern portion. The territory remained within these two townships without any effort to form a new township until the year 1852, when a petition was presented to the Court of Quarter Sessions praying that Morris township be divided. Viewers were appointed who asked further time. Re-viewers were appointed, and the matter continued from term to term until the 13th of August, 1855, when the township of Franklin was erected from Canton and Morris townships by decree of court. The following-named persons were and have been elected to the office of justice of the peace for Franklin township from the time of its erection to the present, viz.:

John Brownlee, April 16, 1856.John Brownlee, April 10, 1871.
John V. Wilson, April 10, 1860. John Brownlee, Jan. 21, 1874.
John Brownlee, May 10, 1861. H. M. Keeny, March 21, 1878.
John Brownlee, April 17, 1866. Andrew Horn, April 20, 1880.

Early Settlements and Settlers. —John Beard took out a warrant for a tract of land on the 19th of February, 1785. It was surveyed to him as "Strawberry" on the 11th of September the same year, and contained two hundred and ninety-three acres. James Huston, Daniel Leet, John Gabby, and David Hoge were owners of adjoining tracts. On the 14th of February, 1793, Beard sold all of this tract to James Gilmore, of Bedford County, Pa., who then moved here and located upon this land. In November of this year he bought ten acres of William Faulkner of the Forbes patent, and on the 28th of October, 1794, ten acres of William Forbes, adjoining the Faulkner land. On the 15th of July, 1794, he purchased lots 216 and 183 on Market Street, and August 20th lot 221, also on Market Street, and on the 13th of August, 1799, lot 397, all in the borough of Washington. On the 22d of January, 1807, James Gilmore was appointed by Governor McKean justice of the peace of District No. 2, composed of Canton and Hopewell. In 1805 he was a school director in the borough of Washington, with Alexander Little and Robert Anderson. On the 20th of January of that year they purchased lot No. 77, on Belle Street (now Wheeling), to be made use of for a school-house and for no other purpose. Mr. Gilmore lived on the tract "Strawberry" till his death in 1833. On the 27th of December, 1817, he sold one hundred and nine acres of the tract to his son, Andrew Gilmore, who, Nov. 22, 1824, conveyed it to Thomas Morgan. He left two sons, John and Andrew, and three daughters, Lavinia (Mrs. James G. Strean), Margaret (Mrs. James Smith), and Jane (Mrs. William Campbell). On the 1st of April, 1835, the executors of James Gilmore sold two hundred and ninety-nine acres of land to James G. Strean, where he still lives. Mr. Strean has been on of the most successful wool-growers in Washington County, and in 1851 took the prize for the finest wool at the World's Fair in London.

Reason Virgin, of Fayette County, located a tract of land, for which he received a Virginia certificate June 22, 1780, which was surveyed November 13th the same year as "Virgin Dove," containing four hundred acres, adjoining lands of Daniel Leet and John Brownlee. Patent was issued March 2, 1786. The tract was divided into two tracts; the one on the north side, containing one hundred and fifty-seven acres, was sold June 20, 1786, to David Adams, who three years later sold to James Ross, who had purchased the south part, containing two hundred and forty-three acres, June 25, 1787. Brice Virgin resided in 1784 on a tact which he had taken up, and for which he had received a Virginia certificate. On the 7th of August, 1784, he sold two hundred acres of it to James Wilson, and on the 12th of July the next year sold the remainder, viz., "all that tract whereon I now live," to Reason Virgin. This land is now mostly owned by the Brownlees and Ramseys.

On the 7th of May, 1791, Richard Yeates sold to David Bradford two hundred and eighty acres of land, adjoining Isaac Leet, John Gabby, and Enoch Dye, on which he built a mill. This mill has been known as Bradford's, Reed's, Gabby's, and is now owned by William Paull.

Daniel Leet was born in Bordentown, N.J., on the 6th of November, 1748. He early moved with his father to Virginia, and was a student at William and Mary College. He received a commission as surveyor of the county of Augusta, April 17, 1776. He came to this county at that time, and when the county of Augusta was divided into the counties of Yohogania, Monongalia, and Ohio, and given in charge of surveyors, Daniel Leet was assigned to the territory from King's Creek to Tomlinson's Run. He served in the Revolutionary war as quartermaster, paymaster, and brigade major in the Virginia line. He located a tract of land "on the waters of Chartiers Creek," which was granted to him on Virginia certificate Jan. 2, 1780, and surveyed June 10, 1785, as "Brinton," containing four hundred acres. This tract adjoined lands of Reason Virgin, John Beard, James McCombs, James Huston, and Jonathan Leet. Daniel Leet lived on this tract of land till 1829, when he removed to Sewickly Bottoms, where his daughter, Mrs. David Shields, resided, and where he died June 18, 1830. He had but one daughter, Maria, who became the wife of David Shields, many years a merchant of Washington. They inherited the estate of eight hundred acres, now lying in Franklin township, which is still owned by descendants of the family. A daughter of David and Maria Shields married John K. Wilson, and for many years resided in Washington. He now resides in Allegheny City. David S. Wilson, now of Allegheny, is their son.

Isaac Leet, the father of David Leet, came to this county from Prince William County, Va., in 1779, a few years after his son Daniel. He settled upon a tract of land granted on a Virginia certificate, and surveyed Jan. 6, 1807, as "Leet's Fancy," containing three hundred and fifty-one acres, adjoining David Hoge, Alexander Cunningham, and David Clark. He lived and died on this farm (which is now owned by Jacob Weirick), and was buried in what is now known as the Weirick graveyard. His wife, Rebecca, and many of the family are also buried there. His other children were Jonathan, who settled in South Strabane and died there; a son, Isaac, who resided in Canton township, where he lived and died; a daughter Elizabeth; and a daughter, Rebecca, who married Enoch Dye, and settled in Canton township.

Henry Woods, of Beaver County, married a daughter of Thomas Scott. He purchased 306 acres of land for 405 of James Huston on the 11th of August, 1787, and on the 17th of April, 1793, purchased of William Huston 233 acres. These lands were adjoining Hugh Means, James Workman, and Thomas Nichols. On the 18th of October, 1803, he sold 224 acres to George Nixon. He lived and died in Beaver County. His widow married Alexander McKinley; their son, Alexander McKinley, is now a resident of Washington, Pa.

The family of Dille, who settled in this section, were numerous. They took up lands in what is now Franklin township. Caleb Dille warranted a tract of land on the middle fork of Ten-Mile on the 10th of February, 1785, which was surveyed Jan. 27, 1786, as "Pleasant Harbor," and contained 189 acres. David Dille's warrant was dated Feb. 10, 1785. His land was surveyed Nov. 7, 1785, contained 400 acres, and was named "Fair Plain." Isaac Dille's land was warranted the same date, surveyed Jan. 17, 1785, and was named "Rabbit's Burrow." Price Dille located a tract, which was warranted March 30, 1786, and surveyed June 19th, the same year; this tract contained 400 acres, and was called "Mendicum." These tracts were adjoining each other. Ezra Dille took out a warrant Dec. 3, 1811. It was surveyed to him by the name of "Peace," and contained 55 acres. It had long been occupied by him, and he continued to live there many years after. On the 4th of April, 1814, he conveyed 50 acres to Isaac Dille. David Dille conveyed to Isaac Dille 161 acres on the 21st of March, 1793. Some of the land purchased and settled on by the Dilles is still in possession of their descendants.

Richard Finley was an Irishman who came to this county before 1800, and on the 15th of November, 1799, purchased a small tract of land of William Mitchell, and Nov. 1, 1803, bought 225 acres of Henry Dickerson, a part of "Potatoe Hollow." He married Jane Anderson, by whom he had one daughter, Mary, who became the wife of John McClelland. His lands are now owned by Richard McClelland, a son of John and Mary McClelland. The children of John McClelland were Nelly, Francis Jane, Richard, and Margaret. Nelly became the wife of James Wallace, of Beaver County, Pa. Francis married Margaret Brownlee, Jane married William Wallace, Richard married Jane House, and Margaret became the wife of William Gabby.

William and John Gabby were brothers, and emigrated from Scotland to this country. William settled in York County, Pa., and John settled for a time in Washington County, Md. In 1784, John Gabby came to Washington County, Pa., and on the 5th of June of that year purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land of Daniel Leet, and soon after purchased one hundred and sixty acres of Richard Yeates. James Gabby was a son of John, and a brother-in-law of James Burns, who had married his sister Jane. Burns was a sickle- and scythe-maker, and lived on this place for several years, and worked at his trade. He emigrated to Ohio, and located on the site of the present city of Cincinnati, there being at that time but three log cabins in the river at the place. Mr. Burns lived here many years, and bought a farm on the Miami River, and lived there till his death. James Gabby married Jeannette Gabby, a cousin, and settled on the farm his father purchased, and where he lived and died. His children were Mary, Jane, Ann, William, James, John, Joseph, Margaret, and Emily. Mary became the wife of Robert Smiley, and settled in Mount Pleasant township; Jane married Hugh Allison, and settled in Chartiers; Ann and Joseph lived single; Margaret became the wife of Alexander Templeton, and emigrated to Wilmington, Lawrence Co., Pa.; Emily married Joseph Thompson; William married Margaret, daughter of John McClelland, and settled on the old homestead, where he still resides, far advanced in life. It is on this farm that the jail of Augusta County was said to have been built, and James Gabby used to say he tore it down and used the logs to build a kitchen. Some of the logs are now in the ice-house. William Gabby had thirteen children, nine of whom are living, Mary, James, Margaret, William, Francis, Jane, Hugh, Robert, and Ella. Mary became the wife of James G. Allison, and resides in Nebraska; James married Nora Cane, and settled in Washington; Margaret married Jonathan Allison, and settled in Chartiers township; William married Ada Wilson, and settled in Franklin township; Francis married Sarah Wier, and resides in Morris; Jane married Dr. E. H. Cary, of Prosperity, Morris township; Hugh married Mattie Brownlee, and resides in Franklin township.

Henry Dickerson was one of the earliest settlers in the limits of this township. In a deed that bears date Oct. 21, 1773, he describes the property conveyed as "containing my old improvement," which would indicate that he had been a resident some years. The land conveyed by the deed mentioned above was sold to Robert Doak, and embraced three hundred and thirty acres. It later passed to John Ralston, John McMullen, Robert Henry, William Doak, and Robert Hazlett. Mr. Dickerson took up large quantities of lands which later were warranted and surveyed in his own name and in the names of his sons. A tract of three hundred and seventy-four acres was warranted Feb. 26, 1786, surveyed as "Bare Hollow," adjoining lands of William Atkinson, John Sailor, and Asa Dickerson. This tract was patented June 16, 1789.

A tract of land called "Squirrel," on the head-waters of Ten-Mile Creek, was patented Aug. 20, 1790, and one hundred and twenty acres of it was sold to George Harsh, April 27, 1795, and fifty acres to Robert Cunningham, Feb. 11, 1797. A tract called "Cool Run" was warranted and surveyed to Gideon Dickerson, but patented to Henry Dickerson, April 13, 1790. One hundred and twenty acres of it was sold to Andrew Beck, June 12, 1802. John Dickerson took out a warrant for a tract of land March 4, 1785, situated on the head-waters of Ten-Mile Creek. There seems to have been some dispute in reference to the title to this land, as the matter was brought to the notice of the board of property, who issued a warrant of acceptance May 18, 1789. The survey of one hundred and ninety-three acres was made July 20, 1770, in which the name "Difficulty" was given to the tract. John Dickerson, Jr., received a warrant March 30, 1798, for a small parcel of land which was surveyed Aug. 20, 1804, and named "Escape." Asa Dickerson warranted a tract, Nov. 1, 1788, which was surveyed July 29, 1790, as "Dickerson's Claim." Gideon Dickerson received a land warrant April 20, 1786. It was surveyed as "Coal Hill;" the patent, however, was made out to his father, April 13, 1790. Other tracts were warranted to John, Pontius, and Joshua Dickerson. Henry Dickerson died in the fall of 1823, and left six sons,—Joshua, George, Gideon, Asa (all of whom had large farms), Henry, and Leonard.

George followed the business of boating. Henry married Catharine Beck, lived for some years in this county, and then went to Illinois. Gideon married Eliza Gunn, and settled in Ohio, as did also Leonard, whose wife was Susan Wolf. Joshua married Margaret McPherson and remained on his father's farm, and died in 1853. He served several years in the State Legislature. His daughters were Lydia, who became Mrs. Trusell; Jennie, who married Samuel Waters; Ruth, who became Mrs. Barker, and Mary and Matilda Dickerson. Of the two sons, Alexander died in Harrisburg, Pa.; and John died in this county.

William Fitz William emigrated from Ireland with his wife and family, and settled in York Co., Pa. In 1794 he volunteered as a soldier, and came West with the troops when they were sent out to suppress the Whiskey Insurrection.

He returned with them, but soon after removed to Washington with his family, and settled on Gallows Hill, where he followed the profession of a weaver for a few years, and removed to Mercer County, Pa., and later to Ross County, Ohio. Francis, a son, who was born on Gallows Hill in 1800, returned from Ohio, where he was with his father's family, learned the trade of a blacksmith, and worked in Washington borough, and in the spring of 1832 purchased the farm now owned by his eldest son, R. M. Fitz William, which was part of the Walnut Hill tract, and lived upon it till his death, in 1874, at the age of seventy-four years. He left three children, two of whom are living,—R. M., on the homestead, and Jane, who became the wife of Dr. Henry Wheeler, and settled in Iowa.

Baltus Ruple came from the city of Philadelphia about the year 1792, and bought the tract of land that was surveyed under the name of Bear Wallow. He lived and died upon the farm, and left four sons,—John, Samuel, James, and David. John and Samuel settled in Cuyahoga County, Ohio; David, in Knox County, Ohio; and James, in the borough of Washington, where he lived and died, leaving three sons,—James B., Joseph C., and John. Charles M. Ruple, of Washington, is a descendant.

Thomas Nichle, or Nichols, came to this county and took out a warrant, Feb. 14, 1785, for a tract of land now owned by John Hughes, whose wife is a granddaughter of Thomas Nichols. This tract of land was surveyed on the 13th of May, 1785, and was named in the survey "Crystal," containing two hundred and eighty-one acres, adjoining lands of James Huston, James Workman, John McCombs, Joseph Leacock, and others. His son Samuel settled on the home- stead, and died there. Of his other children, Franklin settled in the borough of Washington, James removed to Columbiana County, Ohio, Thomas purchased a farm and settled in South Strabane. The daughters were Mary and Elizabeth. Mary became the wife of Oliver Leacock, and settled at Scenery Hill, and Elizabeth married John Hughes. They settled on the old homestead, the "Crystal" tract, their grandfather took up in 1785.

Dr. Henry Moore lived in Buffalo township, and in addition to lands taken up on Virginia certificates in that township, located others lying in what is now Franklin. A tract containing three hundred and ninety-eight acres was surveyed to him, Nov. 18, 1786, as "Battle-field." This was adjoining lands of James Ridgeway, Robert Stockton, and William Brownlee. He died about 1824. His later years were passed in Washington with his son Daniel. Of his three daughters, Ann became Mrs. Carter, Mary Mrs. Leet, and Elizabeth Mrs. Bentley.

George Atkinson took out a warrant for a tract of land, March 1, 1785, which was surveyed as two hundred and eighty-seven acres, and named "Pheasants' Resort." It was located on the north fork of Ten-Mile Creek, adjoining lands of John and Thomas Atkinson and Charles Cracroft. On the 11th of October, 1793, George Atkinson sold the whole tract for five hundred and fifty pounds to Zebulon Cooper. He was a native of New Jersey, and came to this county about the close of the Revolutionary war, and settled in this neighborhood, where he raised a large family. The first of the family who came to this country was John Cooper, who emigrated from Buckinghamshire, England, in 1635, and settled in Lynn, Mass., and four years later removed to Southampton, L. I., from whence the family spread into other states of the Union. The father Zebulon Cooper went to New Jersey, where Zebulon was born. He emigrated West, and bought the Atkinson land as mentioned, and his name appears on the assessment list of 1784. He had several children,—John, Sylvanus, Stephen, Hannah, Jerusha, and one other, name not known. Sylvanus was born on the homestead on the 27th of December, 1789. In 1812 he married Mary Bryant, by whom he had twelve children, one of whom, Charles, became a Presbyterian clergyman, and is now pastor of a church in Marlborough, N. Y. Several of his sons and daughters emigrated to Iowa and Missouri, and his later years were spent with them. He died at the house of his son, Zebulon, at Winfield, Iowa, on the 10th of April, 1873, in his eighty-fourth year. Stephen Cooper, a son of Zebulon, settled in this township. He married Hannah Boner, by whom he had six sons—James, William, Josiah, Lewis, Stephen, and David—and three daughters,—Ellen, Sophia, and Charlotte. Ellen married a Mr. Vandyke; Sophia became the wife of the Rev. Ellis Weaver, of Hamilton, Ohio; Charlotte married Israel Breese. John Cooper, also a son of Zebulon, had two sons—Thomas and Ephraim—and five daughters,—Harriet, Nancy, Martha, Parmelia, and Sarah.

Charles Cracroft owned land in this township as early as 1785. In that year his land is mentioned as adjoining land of George Atkinson. He had three sons,—Joseph, Charles, and William. Joseph settled in Buffalo township, where he built a mill on Buffalo Creek that was known many years as Cracroft's mill. William settled on the old homestead, where he lived and died, and left a numerous family. Three of the sons became physicians. Archibald, a son, now owns the Cracroft farm.

Samuel and Adam Weir, who were of Scotch-Irish descent, settled on the head-waters of Ten-Mile and Chartiers Creeks. Adam, on the 13th of May, 1785, bought seventy acres of land of Joseph Johnston adjoining land of David Dille and other lands of Weir. On the 14th of July, 1798, he purchased one hundred and four acres of land of Daniel Dille, adjoining land of John Dodd. The land of Adam Weir was on the head-waters of Chartiers, and Samuel's on Ten-Mile; the head springs of each creek being not over half a mile apart. Adam Weir lived and died on the farm, leaving three sons,—Robert, Thomas, and Adam. The two first emigrated to Iowa. Samuel Weir, the brother of Adam, who came at the same time, did not purchase until 1813. On the 6th of September in that year he bought two hundred acres of land of John Sargent. On the 14th of April the next year he bought one hundred and fifty acres of Isaac Dille, and ten days later thirty acres of John Croll. This last was part of a tract patented May 17, 1804, by Nicholas Rigley. Samuel left three sons,—Adam, Thomas, and Joseph. Adam settled near where he was born, and left two sons,—John N., and Adam, and one daughter, Sarah, who became the wife of Charles Redick, and settled in Amwell township, where they still reside. Joseph settled near Van Buren. He was largely engaged in buying and selling stock, and interested in the introduction of fine-wool sheep with Joseph Clark, William Gabby, and James G. Strean. John B. Weir, a son of Joseph, lives near the old homestead.

Robert Stockton, of Scotch-Irish parentage, was married in the eastern part of the State near Chambersburg, where the most of his children were born. He removed to Washington County in 1784, and on the 2d of July purchased three hundred and fourteen acres of land of Peter Jolly, named in the survey "Beaver Dam." Mr. Stockton was chosen an elder in the Presbyterian Church, and held the position till his death in 1821. He had eight children,—Margaret (Mrs. Colton), Frances (Mrs. Charles Stewart), Robert, Joseph, Elizabeth (Mrs. Cunningham), Thomas, and John. Joseph, soon after his father's removal to this county, entered Canonsburg Academy and studied theology under Dr. John McMillan. He was licensed to preach June 26, 1799. He became one of the constituent members of the Presbytery of Erie. He was pastor of the church at Meadville in its infancy, and had charge of the academy at that place. Later he was principal of the Pittsburgh Academy for about ten years till 1820. In 1827 he was one of the instructors in the Western Theological Seminary. The last three years of his life were spent with the church of Pine Creek (Sharpsburg). He died at Baltimore Oct. 29, 1832, in his fifty-fourth year, having been called to visit a son who was sick in that city.

Thomas Stockton settled on the homestead of his father, where he lived till his death. Of his children Mary became the wife of David Slack, and settled in Marshall County, W. Va.; Thomas settled in Licking County, Ohio; Sarah became the wife of— Vance, and later Alexander Gordon, and is now living at Washington, Pa.; Robert settled on the homestead, which is now owned by his son, Dr. John W. Stockton, a practicing physician in Washington, Pa.

The Rev. Dr. John Stockton was born on the homestead on the 18th of November, 1803, and entered Washington College, where he graduated on the 3d of October, 1820. He studied theology with the Rev. Dr. John Anderson, of Upper Buffalo, and on the 25th of April, 1825, was licensed by the Presbytery of Washington to preach the gospel, and afterwards spent a year at Princeton College. He received a call through the Presbytery from the Cross Creek Presbyterian Church, which he accepted, and remained as their pastor half a century, when, on account of declining health, he resigned March 29, 1877, to take effect in June. He remained at Cross Creek, the scene of his lifelong labor, and died May 5, 1882. His son Thomas is a physician at Cross Creek, his native place.

James Brownlee emigrated to this country from Scotland, and settled east of the mountains in Pennsylvania. He was a millwright by trade, and came to this county with several others. After staying through the winter they returned to the East, concluding that they were too far beyond the bounds of civilization. He returned a year or two later, and purchased land near Sugar Hill of Hugh Wiley on the 2d of January, 1792. He married Jane, a daughter of John Leman, and settled on the farm, where they raised a large family of children, many of whom settled in the township and county. The old homestead has been in the family many years, and occupied until recently by the heirs of Samuel Brownlee.

William Brownlee, a brother of James, took up a tract of land, the warrant for which bears date March, 1785. It was surveyed November 19th of the same year, and named "Virtue," containing three hundred acres adjoining John Virgin, William McCombs, and Dr. Henry Moore. He married Margaret, a daughter of John Leman, by whom he had a large family.

Thomas Ringland was a prominent man in the township for many years. An ardent Democrat, twice elected to Congress, and in 1835 was one of the leaders in the support of the public school law. He emigrated West before the Rebellion, and died about 1870.

Van Buren. —The land on which this hamlet is located was the early home of Gobles. The old homestead and tavern stand (the latter kept many years by Daniel L. Goble) is now the property of Adam Weir, whose father, Adam Weir, purchased the property now Van Buren April 18, 1818, and opened a store, and became the postmaster at the office soon after established at that place. He was postmaster many years, and was succeeded by Stephen Pipe, who was succeeded by Adam Weir, Jr., the present incumbent. A store was kept a short time previous to the purchase of Adam Weir, Sr., near the Goble tavern by Sample Sweeny. The town is situated on the plank road that leads from Washington to Prosperity. The Bethel Church is near the settlement.

Toledo is a small hamlet situated on Chartiers Creek about three miles from Washington, and on the plank-road leading from Washington to Waynesburg. It contains a grist-mill, blacksmith-shop, shoe-shop, post-office, a toll-gate, and a few dwellings. The post-office was established Sept. 22, 1875. Christiana Miller was appointed the first postmaster, and was succeeded by S. D Harshman, the present incumbent.

Presbyterian Church.—From the history of Lower Ten-Mile Presbyterian Church the following account of this branch of that church is taken. This society erected a brick edifice not far from Van Buren, on the road from that place to Lone Pine. "In 1825 the congregation of Lower Ten-Mile built of brick a house of worship on the farm of Mr. Jonas Condit, about five miles northwest from Amity. It was long known as the 'brick meeting-house.' After Nov. 10, 1825, by request of the congregation, Mr. Dodd preached one-half of his time in this house until 1844, when a resolution was adopted by the congregation that two-thirds of his time be occupied in Amity and one-third in this house. In 1852, Dr. McKennan was requested that one-half of his services be in this house. In 1871 this house was sold for $213.70." It was removed soon after. In the little graveyard on the lot where the church once stood rest several of the early settlers, among whom are Jonas Condit, died July 17, 1850, aged eighty-one years; Luther Axtell, died Feb. 7, 1868, aged eight-five years; and James McFarland, aged eighty-two years.

Bethel Cumberland Presbyterian Church. —This society was organized on the 30th of March, 1832, by the Rev. John Morgan, as the Upper Ten-Mile Cumberland Presbyterian Congregation. It was composed in part of Presbyterians from the Upper Ten-Mile Presbyterian Congregation. The causes that led to its organization will be found in an article on Cumberland Presbyterian churches in the general history. The following is from the minutes of the church:

            "At a meeting of the Upper Ten-Mile Congregation, held at the house of Stephen Dille, on Tuesday, the 2d day of August, 1832, for the purpose of taking into consideration the propriety or impropriety of erecting a house of worship in that vicinity for the Cumberland Presbyterian order, Abraham Vanvoorhis was appointed Moderator, and Luther Day Clerk, when, after much deliberation, the following resolution was adopted:
            "Resolved, That for the express purposed of forever putting to rest all grounds for hard thought from the minority of Upper Ten-Mile Congregation, that we adjourn this meeting until the 6th day of September, that the minority may have another and sufficient opportunity to meet the Committee previously appointed for the purpose of effecting a compromise with regard to the time each occupy our present meeting-house, and that a copy of the proceedings of this meeting, so far as they relate to the above object, be communicated by the Secretary of this meeting to the elders of the minority of the Upper Ten-Mile Congregation.
              "Luther Day.                     Abraham Vanvoorhis."

The congregation met on the 6th of September according to adjournment, and the committee made the following report:

"That they, the committee of Upper Ten-Mile Congregation and the committee of the minority, met on the 5th of this inst., and all the committee of the minority were instructed to do was to allow the majority the privilege of occupying the present meeting-house1 one-half the time until the first of April next, provided, however, that the majority make no movement towards building a new house of worship. On motion, Resolved unanimously, that we will not accede to the above proposition. On motion, Resolved, That we build a meeting-house on lands of Joseph Weir, of brick, sixty feet long and fifty-one feet wide, without galleries. Resolved, That Samuel Weir, Thomas Axtell, Jeduthan Sanders, and Joseph Weir be a committee to circulate subscription to raise funds to build said house. Resolved, That Sylvanus Cooper, John Wolf, and Thomas Axtell be the building-committee, and Samuel Weir, Ephraim Cooper, Stephen Dille, and Jeremiah Post be a committee of council. Resolved, That Thomas Axtell be our delegate to Presbytery, to be held in Uniontown, Fayette Co., on the 20th of this inst.
                    "Abraham Vanvoorhis.                     "Luther Day."

[1The brick church near Van Buren.]

At a meeting of the congregation on the 14th of January, 1833, it was "Resolved, That we apply to the Presbytery for the labors of the Rev. John Morgan as our stated pastor for one year half of his time." At a meeting of the congregation on the 6th of April the same year, it was "Resolved, That we change the name of this congregation from Upper Ten-Mile to that of Bethel." The church was built as stated, not on the land designated, but on a lot containing one acre and one hundred and three perches, which was purchased by Samuel Weir and Isaac Condit, trustees of Bethel Congregation, of Daniel L. Goble on the 28th of July, 1833. The Rev. John Morgan became their pastor for a time. Ephraim Cooper, Sylvanus Cooper, Thomas Axtell, John Wolf, and Samuel Day having been elders in the Presbyterian Church, were elected elders in this organization. Later, Samuel Weir, Isaac Condit, and Archibald McCracken were added to the number.

This is the largest society of this denomination in the county, having a membership of over one hundred and seventy-five. The present pastor is the Rev. P. H. Crider. The society owns a parsonage near the church.

Liberty Chapel.—The church known as Liberty Chapel is situated about four miles from Washington, and nearly on the township line between Franklin and Amwell townships. It is one of four stations in this section of the Methodist denomination, and is in charge of the Rev. Thomas Patterson. It has at present forty-nine members. The church edifice is a neat and commodious frame building.

Schools.—The territory now comprising the township of Franklin was in 1835 embraced in Canton and Morris. In District No. 5 Henry Dickerson sold a lot on the 18th of April, 1837, to the school directors of the township for a nominal sum, to be used for no other purpose than schools. In 1853, when the township was erected, it was divided into seven school districts. In the year 1863 twelve teachers were employed in the seven districts, three hundred and twelve scholars were enrolled, and the amount of money raised for school purposes was $1301.80. The amount of money expended was $1419. In 1873, with the same number of districts, seven teachers were employed, $2422.36 was received, and $2269.80 was expended; in 1880 there were three hundred and seventy-nine scholars, $1807.75 was received, and $1861.11 expended for school purposes.


*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 Janet Uber of Belleville, IL in September 1998. Published in October 1998 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com.


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Copyright © 1998 Jean Suplick Matuson. All rights reserved.