Jefferson Twp. (pp. 836-842)

History of Washington County, Pennsylvania*

JEFFERSON township is bounded on the north by Hanover, on the east by Smith and Cross Creek, on the south by Independence, and on the west by the State of West Virginia. The township is watered by Cross Creek (which forms its southern boundary against Independence) and its branches, and by the waters of Harmon's Creek on the north.

The territory now within the limits of Jefferson township was included in Hopewell, one of the thirteen original townships formed in 1781. On the 1st of September, 1789, the township of Cross Creek was formed by action of the Court of Quarter Sessions, confirmed by the Supreme Executive Council, and then embraced the territory that is now Cross Creek, Jefferson, and part of Mount Pleasant. The territory now Jefferson remained within the jurisdiction of Cross Creek until 1853. During the winter of 1852-53 a petition of citizens of Cross Creek township was presented to the Court of Quarter Sessions praying that the western portion of Cross Creek be formed into a separate township. Viewers were appointed who made an examination, and at the June term of court of 1853 they made a report, which was confirmed, and on the 16th of June of that year the court ordered the territory mentioned in the petition to be formed into "a township to be called Jefferson township."

Settlements. - The following list, gathered from the assessment-roll of Cross Creek township for the year 1791, embraces the names of property-holders at that time in that part of Cross Creek which afterwards became and is now the township of Jefferson, viz:

                          Acres.                                  Acres.
Edward Brown.................260  |  Ann Levens......................200
John Brown...................200  |  Samuel Leeper...................300
Caleb Brown.................. 84  |  William McGarragh...............   
Joshua Brown.................180  |  Robert McCready.................300
James Cresswell..............100  |  John Morrison, Sr...............150
John Crist...................340  |  Joseph Morrison..................58
Nicholas Crist...............     |  Hugh Newell.....................316
James Clark..................200  |  John Pough or Pogue.............275
William Clark.................25  |  Robert Robb.....................300
David Davis..................200  |  Elisha Robinson.................125
James Dunbar.................     |  Thomas Robinson.................100
John Gardner..................50  |  James Watson....................250
John Leeper...................50                                        

Robert McCready, whose name appears on the preceding list of property-holders in 1791, and who was one of the earliest settlers within the limits of the present township of Jefferson, was a native of Scotland, who came to this country in 1772, and after working for a time in New Jersey, went to York County, Pa., where he became a school-teacher. On the opening of the Revolution he entered the service with a York County battalion, and with it joined the body known as the "Flying Camp," under Washington. He served several months, then returned to York County, and in 1776 came to Western Pennsylvania, and made location on a tract of land of three hundred and thirty-two acres, called "Good Will," situated on Scott's Run, a branch of Cross Creek, about one mile east of the State line, in what is now Jefferson township, it being the same that is now owned and occupied by his grandson, Robert William McCready.

Mr. McCready was married soon after making his location on the tract mentioned, and he became a school-teacher here, as he had been in York County. He taught school in Richard Wells' fort, which was one of the earliest schools in all the region west of the Monongahela. He was present when the first sermon was preached at that fort by the Rev. J. Powers in September, 1778. He was the first person who signed the "religious agreement" originated by Judge Edgar, and he selected the site of the edifice of the Cross Creek Church, of which he was elected an elder in 1792. He was elected county commissioner in 1797; was adjutant in the militia for many years, and served in that capacity under Col. John Vance, in what was called the "Lisbon campaign," in 1812. He was a large, fine-looking officer, with an unusually powerful voice, well adapted for military command. In politics he was a Federalist, and a leading spirit in that party in his section. He died Aug. 10, 1846, at the age of ninety-four years, his death being immediately caused by a cancer on his right hand. He was buried in the Cross Creek graveyard, where his resting-place is marked by a modest monument. His son David settled in the vicinity of his father's farm. The homestead came into possession of his son William, who occupied it till his death, which occurred on the day of the first election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, Nov. 6, 1860. His son, Robert W. McCready, is, as before mentioned, the owner and occupant of the farm on which his grandfather settled in 1777.

John Criss and Nicholas Criss, brothers, were early settlers, both taking up land on Virginia certificates. That held by Nicholas was dated Nov. 3, 1779, and described the tract granted as "in Yohogania County, on Harmon's Creek, to include his settlement made in ye year 1775, and also a right in pre-emption to one thousand acres adjoining thereto." This land was adjoining that of James Barr, Joseph Fawcett, and others. Nicholas Criss also owned land on the Monongahela River. John Criss had a tract of three hundred and forty-nine acres of land called "Hermitage," which he willed to his son William. It was afterwards sold, and became the property of Charles and Grant Havelin, and they now own it. John Criss had a family of six sons, - William, Jacob, Henry, Nicholas, Jr., John, Jr., and George. William Criss, son of John, settled first where John Melvin now lives, but some years after his father's death bought the homestead and removed to it. Jacob Criss bought one hundred and twenty acres of his father's land, on which he settled, and where he died in 1845 at the age of sixty-eight years. His son Rittenhouse now occupies the same farm. Henry, third son of John Criss, lived on a farm adjoining the homestead, but died at the house of his nephew, Levi Criss, a son of William. Nicholas and John Criss, sons of John, emigrated to Carroll County, Ohio. Their brother George settled on Yellow Creek, and died there.

Edward Brown came here and took up two hundred and seventy-six acres of land on a Virginia treasury warrant, dated March 23, 1780, the title given to the tract being "Fair Hill." This property he sold again, April 1, 1796, to Daniel Henderson, who in turn sold it, April 1, 1798, to David Walker. It is located east of Eldersville and adjoining the Cross Creek line. Creigh Walker, a grandson of David, lives on the "Fair Hill" farm. Of the other descendants, James lives in Cross Creek village, Norris in Cross Creek township, Samuel in Jefferson township, adjoining the homestead, and David is dead. Joshua Brown took up three hundred and sixty-nine acres of land in this section, which was warranted to him Jan. 9, 1788, as "Brownfields." A part of this tract is now owned by William Jackson, who lives in Hanover township, and the remainder by his son, James Jackson, and John Anderson, his son-in-law.

John Stephenson came into possession of four hundred and two acres of land in this section on a Virginia certificate, dated June 24, 1780. The tract was called "Wild Roe," was situated on Cross Creek, and was surveyed as "Stephenson's Choice." This property is in Jefferson, near Hanlon Station, and it belongs to Cyrus and Samuel Stephenson, sons of Robert and grandsons of John Stephenson. John Stephenson died in 1825, near Eldersville, leaving three sons, - Andrew, Thomas, and Robert. Andrew was at one time postmaster at Burgettstown, and afterwards lived in this township. Thomas lived and died upon the homestead, and Robert also had a portion of the old farm.

James Clarke came from Maryland, and took up land on a Virginia certificate dated June 24, 1780. The tract was three hundred and fifty-one acres, located near Eldersville, and was patented to Mr. Clarke Sept, 16, 1786. His daughter Rachel married William Wells, of Wellsville. Mr. Wells owned a large tract of land at that place, upon which they went to live, and both died there. The daughter Nancy married Samuel Leeper, who settled upon a tract of land about two miles from Eldersville, in Jefferson township. Robert Pogue now lives upon the property. Elizabeth Clarke became the wife of John Gardner, who came from Maryland and bought four hundred acres of land near Eldersville. Some of it he purchased of James Clarke, his father-in-law, and the rest included the property called "Greathouse Castle." John and Elizabeth Gardner had five sons, - William, John, James, Samuel, and David. William made his home near New Lisbon, and John settled in Virginia. James went to West Virginia in 1820, and still resides there. David's farm adjoins the home-farm. Samuel remained upon the homestead, which has now been divided, and is occupied by his five sons. His five daughters all removed to other States. The old homestead and the farm of David Gardner are underlaid with coal, which is mined by the Keystone Coal Company.

Hugh Newell, a native of Connecticut, came to the county and settled before 1781 on the farm where William Archer now lives. He was an elder in the Cross Creek Church, and during his life a noted and active laborer in all that advanced its interests. He married a relative of Shesbazzer Bentley, of Somerset township, and they reared a large family of children. Hugh Newell died in 1810, and the home farm passed to the son George, who remained upon it until his death, in 1840. George Newell married a daughter of Rev. Thomas Marques. They had two sons, - Thomas Bentley and George Bentley Newell, - who both became ministers. The older members of the family of Hugh Newell were widely scattered, several of them removing to Virginia and Ohio.

Robert Stewart was a native of Ireland. He came to this country and served in the Revolutionary war, after which he came to this county, settling on the property now occupied by James Stewart, Sr. He had a family of six children. James lives on the home farm, Robert on the Robinson tract, and John has the David Brown property, in Smith township. Eliza married David Kidd, and lives on the Kelley farm, near Eldersville.

George Miller came from Donegal, Ireland, to this country in 1792. For two years he lived with Robert Wiley, near Washington, and the next year with Samuel Taylor, of Taylorstown. In 1795 he came and settled in Jefferson township. His children all moved to Ohio and died there save George, who is still living on his father's place.

John Pogue came from Ireland to this section and lived on a tract of eighty-seven acres which he bought of Thomas Marshall, Oct. 5, 1791. It was a part of "Happy Retreat," which was patented to

James Marshall, Sept. 26, 1786. John Pogue lived upon this land until his death, about thirty years ago. He had six children, - Robert, David, Samuel, James, George, and Sarah. The daughter married John Curry, and settled with him near Claysville, where both died. Robert bought the portion of the "Leepersburg" tract, upon which he lived and died. David passed his life upon the homestead. Samuel died here, as did James, who was a school-teacher and only lived to middle age. George went to Ohio. The name Pogue was changed to that of Pollock in after-years by some of the family.

William Boyd purchased of James Fulton, Oct. 26, 1793, eighty acres of land, which was a part of the four hundred and twenty-two acres called "Raccoon Den," which was patented to Charles Stewart, July 10, 1788. On March 18, 1801, this land was conveyed by William Boyd to his son, John Boyd, who lived on the north side of Cross Creek.

The property purchased in this section by Harmonius Cole embraced three tracts - "Fallowfield," containing two hundred and twenty-three acres, "Sugar Tree Run," having three hundred and ninety-six acres, and "Black Walnut Thicket." three hundred and sixty-eight acres. The last-named piece of land was sold by Mr. Cole to his son Samuel, Oct. 7, 1809. The other sons were Peter, Harmon, and John. Peter and Harmon went West, and John remained here on a part of his father's property. Mrs. Ann Cole, wife of Samuel Cole, is yet living.

Benjamin Bebout came here from New Jersey in 1795, and bought of Ulrich Huffstater one hundred and forty-six acres of land, which was a portion of "Nancy's Fancy," patented to William Wells, Nov. 29, 1794. Mr. Bebout lived upon this farm fifty years, then removed to Paris, and there passed the rest of his life. He died at the age of one hundred years. His family of children was quite large, several of whom, after their marriage, settled in Ohio. Israel, Mary, and Nancy all live in Paris. Hannah and Rizpah both settled in Paris and died there.

John Sharp came here from New Jersey, buying the two hundred acres of land now occupied by James Jackson, and near the lands belonging to Isaac Van Ostran and Benjamin Bebout. He lived upon the farm for many years, and died there. John Sharp's family numbered eight children, - John, Levi, Edward, Polly, Ruth, Hannah, Nancy, and another daughter. John settled and still lives in Jefferson township; Edward went to Indiana; Levi was killed in a railroad disaster at Steubenville, Ohio; Polly married James Gardner, and settled in Paris; Ruth married Samuel Gardner, and lived upon the Gardner homestead; Hannah married John Steen; and Nancy became Mrs. Wheeler, her home being upon the place now owned by her son. The other daughter married Alexander Walker, and lived upon the father's farm, which has now passed into other hands.

Nathan Gillespie was a native of Ireland who came to what is now Jefferson township about the year 1801. He purchased the tract of land known as "Black Walnut Thicket," containing upwards of three hundred acres, of Harmonius Cole, the transfer being made May 6, 1813. He lived and died here, and the property is now in the hands of Nathaniel and William Gillespie, his grandsons. In the year 1827, two nephews of Nathan Gillespie came here from Hopewell township, where their father had lived and died. They each bought a piece of property, - Nathaniel, of his Uncle Nathaniel, and John, of James Carmichael, - and are still living here.

Samuel and William Melvin, brothers, came from Ireland in 1790, settling first in Cecil County, Md. In 1803, Samuel came to Irish Ridge, in what is now Jefferson township, and purchased land next to that of Steen and Cassidy. He lived there until his death in 1821. He left six children, - four sons and two daughters. William lives on the home farm, Henry died in Wellsburg, Va., James in Pughtown, and John at home at about the same time his father died.

William Melvin followed his brother to this township in 1808, and lived for a few years near him, then he went to Brooke County, Va. In 1846 moved to Burgettstown, where he worked at his trade of cooper until his death in 1856. John Melvin, a son of William, moved to Burgettstown in 1833, and worked in the woolen-factory until 1869. In January, 1877, he went to Wellsville, Ohio, and died there two years later. His son William was born in Burgettstown, and lived for years in the old David Bruce house. He has taught school since 1855, and is now teaching in Smith township.

Elisha Robinson came from Ireland to Washington County, and on June 3, 1809, was granted a patent upon the tract of land called "Remainder." He had three sons, - Elisha, Abel, and Samuel. Elisha went to Virginia, Abel became a Methodist minister and went to Ohio, and Samuel settled upon his father's farm. This farm was afterwards sold to Robert Irwin, and his son now occupies it. Elisha Robinson was an active member of the Methodist Church. He lived to a very advanced age, and at his death was buried in the Bethel churchyard.

Thomas McCarroll, a native of County Down, Ireland, emigrated to York County, Pa. About 1790 he came to this county with his wife and children, and settled on a tract of land abjoining Abraham Barber, of whom he purchased, and where he lived till his death in 1835. He left two sons. Samuel, the eldest, settled in Hanover township, lived there all his days, and died in June, 1881. His children were the Rev. Alexander McCarroll, for many years pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Claysville, and who died in May, 1881; Samuel M., who settled at Ryerson's Station, in Greene County, and died in 1852; Dr. J. F. McCarroll, a resident physician of Jefferson township, living in Eldersville; and L. F. McCarroll, the youngest son, who occupies the homestead of his father in Hanover Township. Elizabeth, a daughter, is living with her brother at the homestead. Another daughter, Mary E., lived to maturity, graduated at the Washington Seminary, and died in 1862. Thomas McCarroll, the second son of Thomas McCarroll, Sr., settled in Jefferson township, on the homestead of his father, where his widow and children still live.

In 1819, Charles Scott, a lay preacher who came from Ireland, was living on Scott's Run, in this township, about one mile from the mouth of the stream, at which point he had a mill. He died there, and his son Charles inherited the mill property. He sold it to Samuel Criswell, and went to Ohio. After that the property passed through several hands. An oil company from the East purchased it from one proprietor and sunk a well eight hundred feet deep, but that proving unsuccessful they sold it to Nathaniel Gillespie, who sold it to George Chalmers Miller, the present owner.

The "Pleasant Hill" tract originally contained three hundred and ninety-eight acres of land. James Steen, who came from Ireland, bought a portion of it. At the death of James Steen the property was divided between his sons, William E. and John. William afterwards purchased John's share, and now owns the whole.

Churches.- The Bethel Church (Methodist Episcopal) was the first religious society of Jefferson township, and was organized early in the present century, but the building of a house of worship was impracticable until the year 1813, when by voluntary subscriptions a building fund was secured.1 A lot was donated by Stephen Perrine, and upon it in 1814 a frame building was put up, in which for more than sixty years the members of the Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church gathered for religious services. During that time it was once or twice remodeled, and is still standing, but in 1875 it passed into disuse, and most of the members now attend services in Independence township. Some of the clergymen who had charge of this society in its long term of existence were Revs. George Brown, ___ Jamison, Archibald McElroy, Andrew Coleman, and George W. Robinson. Rev. George Hudson was the last regular minister.

[1 The subscription paper, dated Oct. 16, 1813, and signed by Elisha Robinson, John Patterson, Richard Wells, and ninety-one others, was headed with this agreement: "For the sole purpose of erecting a Methodist Episcopal Chapel near John Elliott, we promise to pay unto Charles Scott, Alexander Leslie, James Patterson, John Patterson, and John Elliott, trustees of the same, or to their successors in office, the sums set opposite our names as annexed." The sum raised was $379.75.]

In 1829 a church of the Methodist Protestant denomination was organized in Jefferson township, the services being held in the Methodist Episcopal house until 1834. In that year they built a stone church, and at the time the society numbered among its members Charles Scott, James Patterson, John Patterson, John Cassidy, Robert Cassidy, and Andrew Johnston. The first pastor in 1829 was Rev. Josiah Foster. He was followed by Revs. John Wilson, John Clark, Enos Woodward, James Porter, William College, William Dunlap, George Hughes, Cornelius Woodruff, William Miller, John Huntsman, John Beatty, George Brown, William Ross, John Herbert, John Cowl, A. W. Porter, R. Simontown, John Scott, J. B. Roberts, J. W. Bischer, William Reeves, John Cowl, William H. Doe, Samuel Dorsey, R. H. Sutton, J. W. Rutlege, James Robinson, D. I. K. Ryan, Henry Lucas, William Ragg, James Lucas, William T. Wilson, and William Wallace, who is the present pastor. The stone church was replaced by a new frame building, put up on the same site in 1874, which was dedicated in the following winter, Dr. J. J. Murray, of Pittsburgh, preaching the dedicatory sermon. The society now numbers about seventy members. A graveyard is in the same lot with the Methodist Episcopal and Methodist Protestant Churches, wherein lie the remains of many of Jefferson's early settlers.

Pine Grove Presbyterian Church, Jefferson township, was organized in 1852 with twelve or fifteen members, among the number being John Leeper, Enoch Hays, John Barber, and George Miller. This society, which belongs to the Washington Presbytery, erected a house of worship on a rise of ground on Scott's Run, not far below Miller's Mill, at a cost of eight hundred dollars. Among the pastors who have presided over this charge are Revs. David Hervey, James Fleming, Joseph Pomeroy, and W. I. Brugh, D. D. The present membership is fifteen.

A society of the Methodist Protestant denomination was organized in 1829 at the village of Eldersville. A church was built the same year, but was replaced in 1849 by a new brick edifice on the same site, and the old one was removed and remodeled into a dwelling-house. The society was organized by Rev. Josiah Foster, the pastor of the Bethel Methodist Protestant Church, and he continued to officiate upon both charges. In 1875 the brick building was remodeled, at a cost of two thousand five hundred dollars, and was rededicated in 1876, Revs. William Collyer, of Sharpsburg, and Alexander Clark officiating. A parsonage was built many years ago for the use of the pastor of this church.

In 1844 about twenty members seceded from the Methodist Protestant Church, formed themselves into a society, and built a frame church in Eldersville in which to hold their services. The first pastor was Rev. Mr. Selby. The church is still standing; the society has a membership of fifteen or twenty of the residents of Jefferson township who adhere to that faith, and the pulpit is supplied by Rev. Mr. Magee, of Carroll County, Ohio.

Schools.- The history of the early schools of the territory now within the limits of Jefferson township is largely embodied in that of Cross Creek township, of which Jefferson was at one time a portion. A Mrs. Laird, in 1795 or 1796, taught a school in her own house on what was then known as the Robb farm, now owned by the estate of John Lee. There was a Mr. Creighton who about that time followed teaching. A school was taught in 1811 in an old log cabin in the Miller district, and situated on the waters of Cross Creek, down on the bottom by the creek, on the site of the log house afterwards built by Frederick Cline, now standing there unoccupied. The teachers were John Neager, Richard Freeborn, and Andrew McCullough. Later a school was taught on the McCrea Hill, the property now owned by George Cunningham. The first frame school building was built in the township in 1813, on the west side of a branch of Cross Creek, upon the land now owned by Hampton Walker, but then the property of Mrs. Jane Smith, a widow. This house remained in use until the enactment of the school law in 1834, and in the first year of its occupancy (1813) Mr. Israel Bebout, at present a resident of Cross Creek township, was a student within its walls. Among the teachers in this school were Andrew McCullough, who taught three years, Elder McDermott, who taught two years, and Cornelius Barber, who also was an instructor for two years. James Campbell, son of Launcelot Campbell, of Smith township, taught several terms in Lee's school-house, beginning in 1820. He was considered a good teacher, but teaching and study brought him to an early grave. Among the first terms taught by ex-superintendent Douthett, of Allegheny County, was one at the same place. The Hon. Robert Curry, of the Nebraska State Normal School, taught his first term in Jefferson township.

The first school buildings in Jefferson township erected under the school law of 1834 were at Eldersville and in the Melvin district. School districts were then formed throughout the township and numbered as follows: Miller District, No. 1; Melvin, No. 2; Eldersville, No. 3; Coles', No. 4; Lee, No. 5; Gardner, No. 6. In the year 1863 the schools in the township numbered six, the teachers employed were six, with an aggregate enrollment of two hundred and fifty-six pupils. The amount of tax levied for school purposes was $885.42; State appropriation, $92.80; amount received from other sources, $885.42; and the expenditures for the year, $887.18. In 1873 there were six schools in the township, six teachers were employed, and two hundred and ten scholars in attendance. The amount of tax levied was $1439.57; State appropriation, $155.62; amount received from other sources, $1533.82; and the amount expended during the year, $1493.38. In 1880 the districts in Jefferson township were six, the number of teachers six, and two hundred and ten pupil's names were enrolled. School tax levied was $1167.31; amount received from the State, $208.32; from all other sources $1663.03; and the total expenditures for the year were $1410.85.

Physicians.1 - Concerning the early practice of medicine within the limits of what now comprises Jefferson township but little is known at the present time. Tradition, however, informs us that the first settlers were principally of Irish and New England extraction, and that they carried with them to their new homes in this township many of the peculiar and superstitious ideas of their ancestors. Probably owing to the sparseness of population and consequent difficulty of obtaining qualified medical aid, they relied to a great extent on their own efforts for treatment, and this treatment was generally administered by the most illiterate portion of the community, such as old ladies and men who were considered incompetent to pursue any other vocation. Many of those ancient pretenders of medical knowledge claimed supernatural powers to overcome disease. Witchcraft and enchantment entered largely into their practice. The seventh son or daughter was considered qualified by nature for medical practice. Laying on of hands, uttering senseless words to the sun, blowing breaths on sick persons, and many other foolish thoughts were called into action in this dreadful fight of our ancestors with disease. Others relied on what were supposed to be more potent remedies, - poultices made from black cat-skins, brains of black chickens, dried and pulverized snakes, potatoes carried in the breeches pocket, liquefied fishing-worms, oil of white dogs, etc., covered themselves with glory by discomfiting the enemy disease, and, strange to relate, tradition has handed down from father to son those superstitious vagaries, and many of them retain a strong foothold among a very few of our most illiterate population at this late day. The onward march of knowledge was not long in expelling those foolish ideas of our fathers, and as early as 1790 or 1792 they began to realize the necessity of medical aid based on the higher plane of educational qualification, but as there was no resident physician prior to 1810, they were compelled to look abroad for that aid. Amongst those non-resident physicians, eminent in their day, who are entitled to honorable notice, and who labored in this region between 1790 and 1810, are the following, viz.: Dr. John Cuthbertson, of Hopewell; Rev. Joseph Doddridge, M. D., of Wellsburg, Va.: Edward Smith, M. D., of Franklin, Va.; ___ Adams, M. D., of West Middletown, Pa.; Dr. Perry, of Burgettstown, Pa.; and Drs. McClain and Pittszer, of Florence, Pa.

[1 By Dr. J. F. McCarroll.]

In the year 1810 two physicians located in or near the present site of Eldersville and opened offices here, but time has erased their names from the memory of the oldest inhabitants, at least so far as the writer can discover, and almost their memory; the only trace left is the recollection of our older inhabitants hearing their parents refer to the year 1810 as the year when the doctors first settled in Eldersville.

In the year 1817, Dr. David Pierce opened an office and practice here. In 1819 he removed three miles west of town, purchased the property now owned by W. Wells, and continued the practice of medicine with honor and distinction until death called him from the field in the year 1842. His remains rest in the village cemetery, and a plain marble slab perpetuates his vocation and the date of death.

Dr. W. English in 1826, but only remained a few years, hence little is known concerning him at the present day.

Dr. McCabe settled here in 1837, and remained a short time, and has been lost sight of since his removal.

Dr. H. K. McClelland commenced the practice of medicine in Eldersville in the year 1842, and was eminently successful. As a practitioner he was bold and fearless, and always expressed his convictions plainly, regardless of feelings or results. He succeeded in amassing considerable wealth. His qualifications were of the highest order, and he made himself felt in the affairs of both State and church. He died in September, 1860, and his remains rest in the cemetery at Cross Creek village, this county.

Dr. Chalmers settled here A. D. 1848, and remained a number of years, but failed to secure a very large practice, and has long since removed to some other field of labor.

Dr. J. K. McCurdy settled here in 1855. He afterwards removed, but returned at the close of the war, and continued practice until 1872. He is now a resident of Cardville, this county.

Dr. J. L. Ray settled in Eldersville A. D. 1861, entered the army as assistant surgeon in 1863, returned to Eldersville and resumed practice in 1865. He removed to Cross Creek village in 1869, where he died in 1872.

Dr. A. C. McCollough commenced practice here in 1861, removed from here to Wellsburg, W. Va., in 1868, and from there to Newark, Ohio, in 1874, where he continued practice until his death in 1879.

Dr. J. W. Donan located here in 1872, and practiced until 1875, and then removed to South Pittsburgh, where he is now pursuing the vocation of his profession.

Dr. J. F. McCarrell located in the village of Eldersville A. D. 1865, and has continued the practice of medicine until the present time, and is at this time (Feb, 22, 1882) the only resident physician within the limits of Jefferson township.

Coal-Mining.- The Keystone Coal Company, of Pittsburgh, now owns about two thousand acres of coal rights in this section, leased of William Boles, Alexander Smith, Thompson Crise, David Stephenson, John Anderson, James Jackson, William Wort, George Crise, and others, as well as of some parties in West Virginia. They also own about fifty acres of land at Hanlon Station, which gives them shipping and storage advantages. They have already sixty men in constant employ, have a large company store for supplying the wants of their help, and are rapidly increasing their operations.

Village of Eldersville.- The land in this township upon which Eldersville has been built was originally owned by Thomas Ward. He took up a tract of four hundred acres, which was surveyed Sept. 15, 1784, and again March 7, 1785, and a patent granted April 6, 1792, under the title of "Ward's Ward." In September, 1814, the plat of the village was laid out and surveyed by James Henry for Thomas Ward, and the name first given to the place was Wardsville. Fifty-three lots were laid out, and the first store was built in the year the village was platted, John Miller being the proprietor. The tavern was kept by Thomas Elder, who purchased two acres of land of Ward. The old tavern building has but recently been torn down. Thomas Elder's tavern licenses extended from 1809 to 1818, and through him the name of the village was changed from Wardsville to Eldersville.

The place now contains two churches, three stores, a hotel, a post-office, two blacksmith-shops, and a hall.

A post-office was first established at Eldersville during the administration of President Jackson, George Elliott receiving the appointment of postmaster. He was followed by Andrew Cassidy and James Patterson. Hugh Patterson was appointed during the presidency of Harrison, John Ellingham served under James K. Polk, and Hugh Patterson again under Zachariah Taylor. Then came George Hopkins, William Cosgrove, Thomas Cosgrove, Margaret Moore, and Robert Osborne, who have officiated as postmasters in the order given, Mr. Osborne at present holding the office. For the space of three years the office at Eldersville was discontinued, but upon the completion of the Panhandle Railroad it was re-established, and for the last four years a daily mail has been run. The merchants in Eldersville at the present time are J. and H. C. Cooper, R. C. Osburn, and George Ellingham.

Societies and Orders. - On May 24, 1872, a lodge of Odd-Fellows was instituted at Eldersville, in Jefferson township, called Cynosure Lodge, No. 805, with Dr. J. S. McCarroll as Noble Grand. In 1876 this society, in cunjunction with the society of Grangers and a few private individuals who took shares in the project, built a town hall at Eldersville, at a cost of one thousand dollars. The upper rooms were fitted up for the use of the orders, and the first floor was converted into a large hall for public purposes. The present officers of the Odd-Fellows' lodge are James Martin, N. G.; G. C. Miller, V. G.; Albert Elliott, Secretary; David Martin, Jr., Treasurer. The lodge now comprises forty-five members, and is in a very flourishing condition.

The Patrons of Husbandry are represented in Jefferson township, owning a part interest in the town hall at Eldersville. Under a dispensation granted Aug. 13, 1874, Jefferson Grange, No. 314, was instituted, the charter being received Nov. 24, 1874, William L. Archer, Master.

Justices of the Peace. - The following is a list of justices of the peace of the township since its organization. The justices who held jurisdiction prior to that time will be found in the history of Cross Creek:

Robert Smith, April 11, 1854        |  James A. Stewart, March 24, 1870
Josiah N. Scott, April 10, 1855     |  Samuel McGough, April 25, 1873  
William Kidd, April 12, 1859        |  William Cassidy, Sept 15, 1873; 
James A. Stewart, April 12, 1860    |      Jan. 30, 1874               
David Gardner, April 20, 1864       |  Samuel McGough, Jan 30, 1874;   
James A. Stewart, June 3, 1865      |      March 25, 1878              
Samuel McGough, April 21, 1869      |  A. E. Walker, March 27, 1879    



Robert Stewart was born in Ireland in 1795. He was the son of James and Elizabeth (Hemphill) Stewart, who came to America in 1812, and settled in Mount Pleasant township, near the village of Hickory, in Washington County, Pa. They had four sons and two daughters. The sons were John, James, Robert, and Thomas. Robert married Anne McGough. They had six children, - John, married to Tamar McClurg, died Aug. 10, 1881; Eliza J., the widow of David Kidd, of Guernsey County, Ohio; Robert, who has had three wives, Sarah J. Elliott, Eliza Orr, and Rebecca H. Provines; Sarah, who died when a young woman; James, married to Susanna Andrews; Andrew, who died in infancy. Robert died April 25, 1875. His wife, Anne McGough, died about the year 1858. Robert was a member of the Seceder Church, and a Democrat in politics. He left a handsome fortune, the result of his own labors. Hundreds of acres of the finest agricultural lands are pointed to as testimonials of his industry, progress, and great business capacity. His successful career was the result of his unwavering faith in the ultimate triumph of industry, energy, prudence, and probity.


David Perrine, farmer, was born upon the farm where he now resides, of which he became the owner in 1847. His father, Stephen Perrine, a Revolutionary soldier, who served during the entire struggle for independence, was the son of Peter Perrine, an Englishman by birth, and was born April 14, 1759, in New Jersey, where he married, in 1793, Anne M. Wortman, a native of the same State, born April 25, 1773. They settled in Washington County, Pa., about the year 1793. Stephen died in 1847. His wife died in 1861. Their children were Peter, born Aug. 26, 1794; Lydia, born June 2, 1796; Margaret, born Dec. 15, 1798; Anne, born Dec. 27, 1800; Stephen, born April 14, 1803; William, born Feb. 22, 1805; David, born April 4, 1807; Sarah, born Nov. 12, 1809; Catharine, born April 26, 1812; Mary, born Nov. 6, 1814. But two of the above-named children, Anne, the widow of Samuel Cole, and David, are now living.

David's life has been chiefly occupied in quietly tilling the soil of the farm where he now resides, and the management of the stock which good farming has enabled him to prepare for the market. His parents were Presbyterians, and he, although not a member, attends the same church. He has been a man of frugal, steady, and industrious habits, has traced out his own course, and owes his success to his own efforts.

*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 John E. Mellick of Merritt Island, FL in June 1998. Published in June 1998 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at

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Copyright © 1998 Jean Suplick Matuson. All rights reserved.