Somerset Twp. (pp. 931-951)
History of Washington County, Pennsylvania*
Somerset was erected in 1782, to comprise territory taken from the townships of Fallowfield, Nottingham, Strabane, and Bethlehem. No account of its erection, however, is found in the records of the court, but they show that at the April term of that year the first business done after organization was the appointment of "Christian Leatherman supervisor of the highways for the township of Summersett." Following this appointment is the "order that a new township be struck off," which, though not named in the record, is evidently, by the description of its boundaries, the township of Greene (now the southeast corner of Greene County). From the records above quoted it is evident that Somerset township was erected by the previous court held in January, 1782, and the second term after the organization of the county. This also is evident from the fact that on the 3rd of April, 1782, there was read before the Supreme Executive Council, then in session at Philadelphia, "A return of justices for the township of Somerset in the couny of Washington, . . . by which it appears that William parker and John Stephenson were duly elected justices for the said township." Its territory has not been materially changed since its organization.
The township has been a separate election district from its organization to the present time. Upon the erection of districts in 1803 it became District No. 8, but the boundaries of the district and of the township were the same. Following is a list of persons who were and have been elected to the office of justice of the peace in Somerset during the century of its existence:
William Parkor, April 3, 1782.
John Stephenson, April 3, 1782.
William Wallace, April 30, 1788.
Robert Mahon, April 7, 1801.
Henry McDonough, Feb.23, 1801.
Isaac Leonard, April 2, 1802.
William Wallace, Oct. 24, 1807.
Robert Mahon, March 24, 1809.
James Rainey, Jan. 18, 1813.
Shesbaz. Bentley, Sr., Feb. 8, 1819.
James Smith, Dec. 13, 1820.
David hart, June 10, 1822.
George Hipple, May 30, 1831.
John Caldwell, April 14, 1840.
Daniel Burgan, April 14, 1840.
John Caldwell, April 15, 1845.
Henry McDonough, April 15, 1845.
John Barr, April 10, 1840.
Henry McDonough, April 9, 1850.
John Scott, April 11, 1854.
Henry McDonough, April 10, 1855.
John Scott, May 6, 1859.
Henry McDonough, April 10, 1860.
John Scott, April 12, 1864.
David Mitchell, June 3, 1865.
John A. Barr, Jan. 28, 1874.
John A. Barr, may 24, 1874.
S.B. McIlvaine, May 24, 1874.
S.B. McIlvaine, March 27, 1879.
John A. Barr, March 27, 1879.
Early Settlements.-The first persons to make their way into the wilderness of Somerset township were the Newkirk family and William colvin and family. The Newkirks came from Maryland or Virginia prior to 1777. William Colvin was one of the earliest actual settlers in Fayette County, and located on land adjoining Brownsville, which he had obtained under a military permit in 1763 and which he afterwards sold to Thomas Brown. Descendants of William Colvin are still living in Redstone, Luzerne, and Brownsville. Several large tracts of land were located in this section by the different members of the Newkirk family, amounting to nearly nine hundred acres, which lay along Pigeon Creek and north of present village of Bentleyville. One tract called "Agriculture" contained three hundred and eighty-six acres, and was situated on both sides of the north fork of Pigeon Creek adjoining lands of Vincent Colvin, John Wallace, and James Craven. The date of the application for this land is not given, but the survey was made April 6, 1786. It seems there was a controversy as to the ownership of this tract, as appears by the following extract from the survey report: "To this tract of land there are two claimants, each of whom has taken out a warrant for the same land, though differently described, viz: William Colvin, a warrant for three hundred and sixty-four acres, dated Feb. 13, 1786; Isaac Newkirk, a warrant for three hundred acres, dated Feb. 27, 1786. Each has evidence to support their pretensions and submit to the honorable the Board of Property, on whose warrant the return will be received." The warrant was returned Nov. 3, 1807, to Isaac Newkirk as the rightful owner.
"The Legacy" was a tract which Henry Newkirk was granted upon a Virginia certificate, and the survey was made Feb. 25, 1786. This tract contained four hundred and thirteen acres. Close upon the line between Somerset and Fallowfield townships and in the division of townships the lands of Graybill and Colvin came within the limits of Fallowfield, while henry newkirk became a resident of Somerset. Besides there were other farms taken up and improved by the Newkirks. Three of them are in Fallowfield, and are owned by Richard Richardson, Noah Jones, and Thomas Elwood. As early as 1777 the Newkirks erected what was considered a large dwelling-house for those times. It was built of hewed logs, and on a stone in the chimney was cut the date of the erection of the house. The dwelling was pulled down in 1838, but the stone mentioned is still preserved in the family. A part of this old homestead comes within the limits of the borough of Bentleyville. The place is now owned by Jacob Spahr, and the old water-mill, known as the Newkirk grist-mill, is also in his possession. It was one of the famous mills of its day, but is now but a relic of the olden time. Many members of the Newkirk family have lived and died in Somerset township, and many others emigrated to other parts. Joseph A. Newkirk is the only male representative of the descendants at present residing here. James S. and Isaac Newkirk reside in kansas City, Mo.
George Kutner and his wife, Susan Kutner, were in Somerset township as early as 1780, and became possessed of two tracts of land containing together five hundred acres. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Kutner were twelve, four sons and eight daughters. The sons were Andrew, Jacob, Christian, and Abraham Kutner. The daughters were Elizabeth, Catharine, Susanna, Christina, Barbara, Sarah, Mary, and Magdalene.
The Leondard family came from new Jersey to Somerset township, and as early as 1780 were in possession of land here. There must have been a number of brothers, for the record of property transfers shows that a tract of one hundred and fifty-four acres was owned by several of these. It was first owned by Isaac Leonard, sold by him to Abner Leonard, by Abner to Caleb Leonard, and from him was purchased by John Hawkins. Caleb Leonard married Sarah Burt, and their family numbered seven children,-Daniel, Joseph, Zenas, Phebe, Rhoda, mary, and Sarah Leonard. The sons Joseph and Zenas died in Ohio, and Daniel died in this county. The daughters all married and died leaving families. Edmond Leonard, living in Fayette County, and Isaac Leonard, of Washington borough, are descendants of these early settlers.
The land of Daniel Swichard adjoined the tract of John Study, and Burnt Run divided the tract nearly in the centre. In 1788, Daniel Swickard was assessed upon two hundred acres of land.
Daniel Swickard's family consisted of four children, ---the sons Martin and David, Jr., the daughter Elizabeth, who became Mrs. Saltzman, and Eve, who was Mrs. Lash.
James Wherry came from England to this country, and eventually settled in Somerset township. He purchased a farm adjoining those of Nathaniel Reed and Joseph Huffman, where he lived and reared his family of eleven children, the oldest of whom, John Wherry, came from England with his father. In 1783, James Wherry was elected to the office of justice of the peace, serving in that capacity for many years and was also an elder in the Pigeon Creek Church. He died in 1800. His son David had his own share of the Wherry property and also purchased that of his brother, James Wherry, Jr., who removed to Adams County, Ohio. Eli and William Wherry, grandsons of the pioneer, together with Ira Huffman, now own the old homestead. Miss Elizabeth Wherry, another descendant, became the wife of Adam G. Weaver, and resides in West Bethlehem township. John W. Wherry, also of the family, lives in same township.
George Myers, who purchased the "Woodstock" tract of Christian Letherman in 1785, was a German, and beside the Letherman purchase bought other lands. He had some seven hundred acres altogether, part of which was in Nottingham township, north of Somerset, and lying along the North Branch of Pigeon Creek. The family of George Myers numbered eight or ten children, none of whom are now living. David, Henry, Andrew, Jesse, Samuel, Levi, Jacob, Hiram, Jeremiah, Abner, William, John, and Anderson Myers, all living in this section, are said to be lineal descendants of George Myers. Most of his land is still owned by the family.
On May 13, 1785, Adam Wier purchased of James Johnston seventy acres of land adjoining land of David Delley, Jr., "including a certain spring now used by David Johnston, Sr." Some of the descendants of Adam Wier still own the place, probably those of his daughter Mary, who married Thomas Hall.
On the 8th day of May, 1777, Sheshbazzar Bentley, of New Castle, Del., purchased of Balzer Shillins, of Redstone Settlement, in consideration of four hundred pounds, "one tract of land containing three improvements and ten hundred and fifty acres, except what was cut off by arbitration for Matthew Laughlin, supposed not to exceed three acres with all the improvements thereon, situated and lying upon Pigeon Creek." A portion of this tract he received a warrant for March 4, 1785. It was surveyed to him December 21st the same year, and was named "The Review," containing four hundred and thirty-two acres. House Bentley, a brother of Sheshbazzar, warranted a tract adjoining the same date, containing four hundred and thirteen acres, and named "House's Grove." It was his son Sheshbazzar Bentley, who lived at Monongahela City, and was elected sheriff of Washington County in 1840.
Sheshbazzar Bentley, Sr., was a farmer, and also owned and operated a mill on Pigeon Creek before 1787. The first election in the Second District was held at his house in 1787. His son George moved to the mouth of Mingo Creek, but Sheshbazzar Bentley, Jr., remained in Somerset, and laid out the village of Bentleyville, March 4, 1816. Some members of his family still remain in that place.
Henry McDonough was a farmer, a distiller, and also served honorably as a justice of the peace. His family comprised five sons and one daughter. The sons were John, Joseph, James, Henry, and David. John, the oldest son, lived and died on a farm on Chartiers Creek. Joseph and James both died young. Henry married and settled in this township, and his son, also named Henry, lives on his father's farm. David McDonough was the youngest of the five sons of Henry McDonough, and lived on the home farm. His son, Dr. Henry McDonough, now owns and occupies the old homestead. The only daughter of Henry McDonough, Sr., became the wife of Mr. Pangorn, of Westmoreland County, and went to reside in Cincinnati.
About the year 1785, Frederick Ault erected a mill on the North Branch of Pigeon Creek, in this township, which was owned and operated by him until 1817, when it passed into the hands of Hon. James Gordon. In 1837, Mr. Gordon disposed of the property to ---Newkirk. In 1837 the dam was swept away, and has never been repaired. It is now owned by Jackson Huffman.
Thomas Hall came into Somerset township in 1788, and purchased of Neil Gillespie three hundred and twenty acres of land situate on Pigeon Creek. He was a native of Tyrone County, Ireland, married and had three children when he came to Washington County. Thomas Hall, Jr., was born in this township on the farm bought of Gillespie, and is the only son living.
In July, 1808, Thomas Hall, Sr., bought one hundred and sixty-eight acres of land of William Ramsey, a part of the two-hundred-acre tract warranted by John Stevenson, and son by him to William Cochran in 1796. While the property was in his possession, Mr. Ramsey had built a flouring-mill upon it on Little Chartiers Creek. The United Presbyterian Church is also built on land belonging to this last purchase of Thomas Hall, Sr., but which was donated to the society in 1817 by Thomas Hall, Jr., his father having died in 1814. By will of Thomas Hall, Sr., James Hall, one of the sons born in Ireland, came into possession of part of the original property in this township, and the daughters-Mary, who married Adam Wier, and Jane, who married Henry Vance-inherited the remainder. Mrs. Henry Vance now lives on the property early owned by Joshua Davis. The children and descendants of James Hall are in the West. Thomas Hall, Jr., is living, and also his five sons. He lives with the youngest, Adam Weir Hall, in South Strabane township. The sons-James, John, and Thomas (3d)--all live in Washington borough. The other son, Rev. Austin W. Hall, a minister of the Baptist Church, is living at Big Prairie, Wayne Co., Ohio.
William Wallace lived in Somerset township as early as 1786, and during his residence here, owned several tracts of land. One tract, called "Wallace's Bargain," was warranted by him March 25, 1788, and the survey completed April 10th following. He also became the owner of several other tracts of land here. Much of the land formerly owned by William Wallace now comes within the borough of Bentleysville. Some of it is owned by Hamilton and Henry Myers; Richard Richardson owns a portion, and still more is in the possession of Messrs. Jones and Stephens. During his residence in Somerset Mr. Wallace served several terms as a justice of the peace. He finally removed to Monongahela City, and died there. B.I. Bentley, of that city, is a grandson of his.
On April 20, 1789, John Wallace sold to Joshua Davis seventy-five acres of land, a part of the tract called "Tempest," situated on the North Fork of Pigeon Creek. Joshua Davis was a member of the Episcopal Church near Scenery Hill, in West Bethlehem township. He had five sons, but the only representatives of the family left in the county are William Davis, a grandson, who resides in South Strabane township, and George Davis, a son of William, and great-grandson of Joshua Davis, who lives in Washington borough.
In the earlier days of Somerset township James Wherry owned the farm on Pigeon Creek that now belongs to Ira Huffman. In the family of James Wherry were three sons, John, David, and William. No knowledge is gained of the last two, but John Wherry married Elizabeth Welch, and his children , five in number, reside in this township.
The Huffman family was one of the most prominent in Somerset township. Rudolph Huffman patented a tract of land here on may 22, 1787, and reared a family of ten children, --Daniel, Dorothy, David, Martin, Jonathan, Jacob, Solomon, Joseph, Sophia, and Sevela. The daughter Sophia married Jacob Swagler, and Sevela became Mrs. Wallace. Rudolph Huffman's land was on Pigeon Creek, and he followed the business of farmer and distiller. He died before 1806. The property is now owned by Joseph Huffman, a great-grandson of Rudolph Huffman. John Huffman was a nephew of Rudolph Huffman, and lived on the farm adjoining that of his uncle. His property is now owned by Joseph Huffman, Andrew McIlvaine, and John Berger, hsi family having all emigrated to Columbus, Ohio. Richard Huffman, who resides in Bentleyville, in this township, is a descendant of Rudolph Huffman. He is the author of "Pilgrim's Poem."
James Cochran was a farmer who lived on Cochran run, a branch of Chartiers Creek. His farm is now owned by the heirs of Peter Whitely and Samuel Weir.
Of the early settlers of Somerset township there were two families of the name of Stevenson, but they were not related. The name of the father in each family was John Stevenson. The head of the first family of that name that settled in Somerset township was born in England in 1735, came to this country in 1750, and settled near the Brandywine battle-ground. He was married about the year 1765 to Mary McCowan. In 1780 he came to this county and settled in Somerset township, on the farm on which Thomas McCorkle now lives. He had a family of eleven children, nine of whom lived to mature years. He was elected a justice of the peace in Somerset township, and he also represented this county two terms as a member of the Supreme Executive Council of the State. On his way home, at the close of his second term, he was taken with smallpox, and died at Hagerstown, Md., in March, 1795. Mary McCowan Stevenson, his widow, some years after his death, married Judge James Edgar, of Cross Creek township.
The second family named Stevenson that settled in Somerset township was of Irish extraction. John Stevenson, the father of this family, was born in the year 1729, and he removed from Cumberland County, Pa., to Washington County, Pa., in 1781, and settled on a tract of land in Somerset township which they bought from Philip Whitten, containing three hundred and ninety-two acres. He lived on the part of this tract which now composes the farm of Samuel B. Weir. His first wife was -----Mitchell. By this marriage he had two sons, named Joseph and George. His second wife was Jean McCombs, and their children were Robert, John, James, Mary, Margaret, Elizabeth, Jean, and Anne. All his sons, with the exception of James, who was too young, served as soldiers in the Revolutionary war. He sold his farm in Somerset township, and purchased and lived on the farm now owned by Andrew McCarrell and the heirs of Hon. Thomas McCarrell. He afterwards divided this land among his children, and moved to a farm he owned near Cross Creek village, and now comprising the farms of John Lee and H.L. Duncan. He died there at the age of ninety years, and is buried in Cross Creek Cemetery. His wife, Jean McCombs, died at the age of eighty-six years.
Joseph Stevenson, the eldest son of this family, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and served under Gen. Washington, and fought at the battle of Trenton. He came to this county, married Mary Espy, and had five children, -John, Joseph, Maria, Mary Anne, and Josiah Espy,--which latter son was a physician, and lived and died at Kittanning, Pa. Another of his descendants is the Rev. Loyal Young Graham, of Mount Olivet Church, Philadelphia. Joseph Stevenson afterwards lived in Canonsburg, and died there, and is buried in the cemetery at Chartiers Church.
George Stevenson, the second son by the first wife, was soldier in the Revolutionary war, and served under Gen. Washington. He came to this county, was afterwards taken prisoner by the Indians near West Liberty, now in West Virginia. He was compelled by them to carry a heavy iron kettle lashed on his bare back all the way to Canada. He was also at the same time suffering from a severe gash in his forehead, made by an Indian striking him with a tomahawk at the time of his capture. In Canada he was sold, and remained there for three years and five months, when he was exchanged as a prisoner of war. He married Catharine McCombs, and lived for a time at what is now known as Hunter's Mill on Harmon's Creek, Hanover township. He afterwards removed to Knox County, Ohio, where he died. He had a family of four children, named John, George, Martha, and daughter whose name is not know to the writer. The Rev. George Graham, of Clarksville, Iowa, is his grandson.
Capt. Robert Stevenson, the eldest son of John Stevenson, by his wife, Jean McCombs, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and belonged to a company commanded by Capt. McConnell, of Cumberland County, Pa. He was also in the war of 1812, and was captain of a company. He assisted in the building of "Fort Stevenson," near Sandusky, Ohio, and the fort was named in his honor. He settled in this county about the close of the Revolutionary war, and married Mary Teeters. He afterwards move to near Salem, Columbiana Co., Ohio, where he died. He was elected a member of the Legislature of that State. He had a large family, but the only name known to the writer is that of his son, Robert.
John Stevenson, son of John Stevenson and Jean McCombs, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war and a member of a company commanded by Capt. McConnell. He settled first in this county in Somerset township on the farm now owned by the Whitely heirs. He afterwards owned and lived on the farm now owned by James Buchanan, Esq., in Mount Pleasant township, and lastly in Cross Creek township on a farm now owned by H.L. Duncan. He packed on horseback over the mountains to the first store in Washington its first lot of goods. John Stevenson died June 13, 1847, and is buried in Cross Creek Cemetery. His wife was Mary McCombs, and their children were John, Margaret, Jean, Mary, and Malcolm McCombs. They all died unmarried, except Mary, who married Robert Marques, and leaves to survive her two sons, Rev. J. S. marques, pastor of Pigeon Creek Presbyterian Church, and Robert Marques, of Missouri, these with their families being all of his descendants now living. James Stevenson, son of John Stevenson and Jean McCombs, died when quite a young man, unmarried, and is buried in Pigeon Creek Cemetery.
Mary Stevenson, eldest daughter of John Stevenson and Jean McCombs, married first Joseph Nelson, who died, leaving her with two children, James and John. She afterwards married Rev. John McPherrin, many years pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Butler, Pa. The names of their children are not all known to the writer, but some of them are Jane, William, Clark, and Ebenezer. Jane was married to the Hon. Walter Lowrie, for many years secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church, and the Rev. John C. Lowrie, D.D., senior secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church, and Rev. Walter M. Lowrie and Rev. Reuben Post Lowrie, both missionaries to China, now deceased, were her sons.
Margaret Stevenson, daughter of John Stevenson and Jean McCombs, married John Cratty, and she had one son--John Stevenson Cratty, of Bellaire, Ohio--and one daughter. Robert Curry, the founder of Curry Institute, Pittsburgh, and at one time assistant superintendent of schools in Pennsylvania, was her grandson.
Elizabeth Stevenson, daughter of John Stevenson and Jean McCombs, married John Stevenson, a son of John Stevenson and Mary McCowan, who were the first family of Stevensons to settle in Somerset township. She and her husband lived and died on the farm taken up by his father, and on which Thomas McCorkle now lives. The Rev. James Edgar Stevenson was her son; her other children are Joseph, Jane, John, Maria, Elizabeth, Mary, Margaret, Emily, and Frances. Jane Stevenson, daughter of John Stevenson and jean McCombs, married John Graham of Cross Creek village. Her children were Henry, Robert, John, Mary, Jane, Rev. Ebenezer S., Margery, Elizabeth, Joseph, Thomas Smith, and Anne. Rev. Ebenezer S. Graham, her son, was one of the pastors of Pigeon Creek Presbyterian Church. Her daughter Anne was wife of Dr. Boyd Emery, of Somerset township. Anne Stevenson, daughter of John Stevenson and Jean McCombs, married Col. John Vance, and her children were Jane, David, John, Anne, Joseph, and Julia A. Her son Joseph was a lawyer by profession, and lived at Mount Vernon, Ohio. In the late war he was colonel of an Ohio regiment in the army of Gen. Banks, and he was killed in battle on Red River, La.
William Jones, whose history is given below, on March 21, 1793, purchased two hundred and fifty-eight acres of land adjoining the farms of John Study, John Graybill, and James Innis. This property was a portion of the three hundred and eighty-eight acres patented by Robert Morrison, Sept. 14, 1789, under the title of "Toft." Mr. Jones, whose life extended over the period of a century, was closely identified with the early settlement and progress of Somerset township. The sketch of his life given below is from Dr. J. S. Van Voorhis.
"He was born at Ellicott's Mills, in the State of Maryland, May, 1763, and came to the neighborhood of Ginger Hill a few years before the Whiskey Insurrection, and located on the farm now owned by his son William, and on which he died march, 1862, being ninety-nine years and eleven months old. He was a blacksmith by trade. When the United States troops were sent out to disperse the insurgents they halted near his farm, and were ordered to return, as the insurrection was over. While in camp he shod some of the government horses. He was loyal to the government, and took no part in the insurrection. By his first wife he had eleven children, five sons, and six daughters, viz: John, Elijah, Jesse, Samuel, and John, Rebecca, Delilah, Polly, ruth, Rosa, and Ann.
"John was the founder of Jonestown, and lived there, keeping store nearly all his life. He died in 1874 at a very advanced age. His peculiar sign 'Entertanement' will be remembered by many. Elijah lived in the brick house on the hill above Jonestown, where he died some fifteen years ago. Among his children were Isaac Jones, who built the McGrigor Row on Main Street, and now a successful wool-buyer in Washington, Pa., and James Jones, deceased, who married Caroline Van Voorhis, daughter of the late Abram Van Voorhis. Jesse is still living on part of the old homestead in a brick house near his brother William, who owns and lives in the old homestead. Samuel Jones, the remaining son, was born at the Jones homestead in 1800. He went to the Forks in 1824, and located on the farm purchased by his father for him from Peter Shepler. Samuel resided on this farm until his death in June, 1867. He was killed by the rolling of a log over him. In 1826 he was married to Jane Fell, daughter of Benjamin Fell, in Rostraver township, Westmoreland County. The wedding took place at the Fell mansion, which consisted of a logh cabin of primitive style. Mr Fell was very positive that at this cabin was organized the first Methodist class west of the mountains. Through his influence was erected the old log church which formerly stood where the present stone church, known as Fell's Church, is situated, about two miles from Webster.
"Samuel Jones had by his first wife four children. Mary married Dr. J. P. Watson, and has been dead some years. William on the 6th of February, 1850, married Sarah, daughter of the well-known Capt. Joseph Shepler, by whom he has three children. His father gave William the old Fell farm, which was purchased at orphans' Court sale. On this farm he lived until he removed to Belle Vernon, where he is at this time as a member of the banking-house of S. F. Jones & Co. His brother, S. F. Jones, in 1861 married Miss Sallie Thomas. His father gave him the farm near Belle Vernon, in Rostraver township, known as the farm on which Rev. David Smith lived while pastor of the Rehoboth Church, and died in 1803. The old house has given place to a fine brick, erected by S. F. Jones. Jones sold this farm to Michael F. Cook, grandson of Col. Edward Cook, and removed to Belle Vernon, where he is a member of the banking-house of S. F. Jones & Co., formed in 1872. James, the remaining son of Samuel Jones, married Miss Ann Finley, daughter of the late William Finley, and granddaughter of the Rev. James Finley, first pastor of Rehoboth, having come to the Forks, in 1768. James, like his brother, S. F. Jones, has no children. He served through the late war, and now lives in retirement in Monongahela City. Mr. Samuel Jones' second wife was Miss Mary, daughter of the late Benjamin Thomas, of the vicinity of Webster. Her mother was a sister of the late Joseph Alexander. By her he had eight children, --Elizabeth, married to J. M. Bake, deceased, and now to Thomas Hagerty; Malissa married Lowry Venable and is living in Kansas; Rettie married Jonathan Rhodes, she died a few years ago in Ohio; Amanda, married to T. C. Douglass, and living on part of the homestead; Homer, married to Jennie McAlpin, and residing in Kansas; Luther, married to Sally Venable, and living near Belle Vernon; John and Celia are single, and living with their mother on the homestead. Samuel Jones was a large landholder, and the distribution of his estate gave each of his children a fair patrimony. He was a man of warm feeling and ardent sympathies. Energetic in his business, he was no less so in his church. He was long a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and held his membership at Fell's, in the graveyard of which church his remains were buried. He gave largely of his means and labor in erecting the church in Webster. William Jones' (the elder) daughter Rosa married Hudson Williams, who lived for many years in the neighborhood of the Dutch meeting-house. They are both dead. Rebecca married Andrew Mills; both are deceased. Ann married John Hess, who lived and died near what is no called Edwards' Chapel, on the turnpike above Ginger Hill. Ruth was never married, is now eighty-five years old, and resides with her brother William on the homestead. Delilah married James Mills, brother of the above-mentioned Andrew Mills. James Mills was a well-known local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church and a business man generally. He lived in the town of Williamsport as early as 1828; in Washington, Pa., on a farm near lock No. 4, where Joseph Ryan now lives, and on which he laid out a town called Lockport, which town was a failure. For years before his death he carried on business in Pittsburgh, where he died a few years since. He was a man of more than ordinary mind; his sermons were scriptural, and delivered in a plain though fervent manner. He attended church for many years on the bank of the river, where he often preached. His wife still lives in Pittsburgh.
"Mary, the remaining daughter, married Joseph Alexander, a sketch of whose life will be given. She died Aug. 15, 1856.
"Mr. William Jones was one of the committee on the part of the Methodist Episcopal Church who purchased the dwelling-house (converted into a church) on the river-bank in 1826. The house was built by a man named Simon Hailman. It was originally three stories high, the lower one being brick. Mr. Hailman sold it to Mr. Bentley; he dying shortly afterwards, Dr. Pollock was appointed administrator of his estate. He sold it at Orphans' Court sale, the committee--consisting of William Jones, Aeneas Graham, Robert Bebee, and others--becoming the purchasers for the Methodist Episcopal Church. The house was lowered one story by inserting heavy timers beneath the framework and so holding it up that the brick story could be taken away. It was thus reduced to a two-story frame church, to which in after-years were added two wings, one of which, I think, still remains.
"What reflections are suggested to the mind when contemplating the time covered by so long a life as Mr. Jones passed! He was born six years before the great Napoleon, yet he survived him over forty years. He was born six years before the Duke of Wellington, who died at a very advanced age, yet Father Jones survived him eleven years. He was thirteen yeas old when independence was declared, thirty years old at the time of the Whiskey Insurrection, fifty years old during the last war with Great Britain, and ninety-eight years old at the commencement of the great Rebellion. He was strictly temperate in all things, of a quiet disposition, calm in judgment, never in a hurry, firm in principle, inflexible in the performance of all his duties to God and to man as it was given him to see right. He was beloved by his children and children's children, and respected by all who knew him. He was buried in the family burying-ground, on the farm on which he had lived seventy years. His second wife was Mrs. Phillips, the mother of David and John Phillips (deceased), of Robert (still living), of Mrs. Nancy Wickerham (deceased), and the mother of Mrs. Jan Van Voorhis, wife of the late Abraham Van Voorhis."
Michael Moyers, or Myers, took up a tract of land which was surveyed to him as "The Hill," containing three hundred and ninety-eight acres. It was patented in 1788. He was a resident on the land probably before 1780. His death occurred about 1784, as in that year the land was devised by him to his son George, who, on the 18th of May, 1803, sold it to his son, George Myers, Jr. George Myers, son of Michael, took up land on a Virginia certificate, dated Feb. 21, 1780, which was surveyed Sept. 10, 1786, called "The Morass." This land was adjoining his father's and Benjamin Parkinson and George Miller. It is now owned by David Myers, a descendant. Another tract, containing two hundred and seventy-five acres, was patented to Michael Myers (a son of George), Dec. 30, 1908, adjoining Benjamin Parkinson and George Myers. This was sold to George Miller, April 27, 1810, who, June 20th the same year, sold to Robert Moore. George Myers, the son of Michael, died in 1803, and left two hundred and ninety acres, the home place, to his son Jacob, and one hundred acres to his son Michael (on which he formerly lived), and to his son Christopher one hundred acres adjoining Martin Swickard. He also had a daughter Caty and a daughter who married a Mr. Mushrush. The descendants of this family are numerous, and reside in the township. The lands of the Myers were in both Somerset and Nottingham townships.
Robert McCombs received a warrant for land on the 1st of November, 1787, and was surveyed to him as three hundred and eighty-two acres. He sold the tract to William McCombs, of Canton township, of whom he bought it April 12, 1792. He lived and died on the farm, leaving one daughter, Mary, who married John Stephenson, Jr., and settled on the Stephenson tract, now owned by heirs of Peter Whitely. There were also four sons,--Thomas, Malcolm, William, and John. Thomas was actively engaged in the Whiskey Insurrection, and fled to Cincinnati, where he lived a number of years, and returned to his brother William, and stayed a few days, and while going to his mother's on the old homestead in Somerset township was taken sick on the road, and stopped at the house of Hugh Cotton (Now John Vance), where he died. Malcolm went to Mercer County, Pa., and William settled in Canton township, where his descendants are still living.
Greer McIlvaine and his brother George came to this county from the eastern part of the State. Greer took out a warrant for a tract of land (which was later divided between him and his brother) May 20, 1788, which was surveyed to him Feb. 11, 1789, as "Calydon," containing four hundred and seven acres. On this farm he lived and died. He had a family of fourteen children. Greer, the eldest, is still living in the township at the age of eighty-eight years. John lived and died at Cannonsburg. Guion settled in Hickory, and died there. George remained at home, where he died. William settled on a farm adjoining the homestead, where he still lives. J. Addison McIlvaine, an attorney of Washington, Pa., is a son of William. Andrew settled on the home farm. Margaret (Mrs. William Denniston) settled in Mercer County, Pa. Mary (Mrs. James Greenlee) settled in Greene County, Pa. Ruth (Mrs. Joseph Moreton) located in Virginia. Catharine (Mrs. Samuel Smith) settled in Bentleysville. Elizabeth (Mrs. William Campbell) settled in Mercer County, Pa. Esther (Mrs. Joseph Scott) lived for a time in the West, and upon the death of her husband returned home. Eleanor (Mrs. David Scott) settled on Pigeon Creek.
George McIlvaine, a brother of Greer, and who came to this country with him, settled upon a portion of the tract "Calydon." It was not until June 21, 1815, that he received a deed for the property. On this he settled and raised a large family. He died in 1842 or 1843. His will bears date July 2, 1842. His son John emigrated to Ohio. George settled on a farm adjoining his father's and died there, leaving a family that are now scattered. Robert settled on the home farm, where he died. Judge George McIlvaine, of Ohio, and Mrs. William Drury, of Washington, are children of Robert. Greer, also a son of George, removed to Ohio. There were also five daughters, of whom were Catharine (Mrs. Ramsey), Ruth (Mrs. Stringer), Eleanor (Mrs. Kerr), two daughters married respectively John and William Crouch, and both died before their father. The farm sold to David McDonough, and is now owned by his son, Thomas McDonough.
Bentleysville.--Shesbazzar Bentley (son of Shesbazzar, who first purchased lands in what is now Somerset township in 1777) conceived the plan of laying out a town, and inserted the following notice in the Washington Reporter of date March 4, 1816:
"The subscriber informs the public that he has laid out a town on the waters of Pigeon Creek, Somerset township, Washington County, 25 miles from Pittsburgh, 9 from Williamsport, 10 from Brownsville, 9 from Fredericktown, and 15 from Washington, on the Cross Roads leading from the above towns, and in a beautiful situation, and surrounded by rich country. There is three wool machines, one grist-mill, one sawmill adjacent thereto. Also, great abundance of building-stone, limestone, and stone coal, which will be given grutis for the use of building for five years. Also, four springs of good water running through this town. The lots will be sold at public sale on Saturday, the 16 of March, 1816. The sale to begin at 8 o'clk on said day, and the conditions made known by the proprietor.
"March 4, 1816 -- SHESH BENTLY."
A number of sales of lots were made on the day above mentioned, and on the 31st of August, 1816, deeds were given to the following persons:
Daniel Mitchell, lot 15...................$45.00
John Mitchell, lots, 26, 50...............60.25
Benedict Reynolds, lots, 2,3 , 44......55.50
William Thompson, lot 1..................55.50
Joseph Morton, lot 40.......................57.00
David Mitchell, lots, 52, 53...............93.00
David Lash, lots 10, 11, 12...............84.25
At the time of the laying out of the plat there was standing on the premises the old Bentley mansion, where now Robert L. Jones resides, around which (soon after the sale of lots began)dwellings and places of business began to cluster. A meeting of the citizens was held in June, 1817, to provide for a place of public worship. The following is the agreement then drawn up:
"We the subscribers appointed Trustees for the purpose of Building a House for Public Worship in the Town of Bentleysville, do unanimously agree and resolve to conduct the same in the following manner, agreeable to an Article and Subscription taken for that purpose and to prevent any disputes which might arise hereafter respecting the same, To wit: 1st, We do Resolve that before we proceed to building we obtain a clear deed for the lot of ground to be made to the Trustees, or a majority of them, and to their successors forever for the use of the Presbyterians, Baptist, Methodist Society's; 2d, That the said three Societies shall have equal privelidge to made their apointments, perticularly on the three first Sundays in each Month, but not knowingly to make two apointments in one day, but should it so happen, then they are to Devide the day so as to give each an oportunity of Preaching, and the fourth or fifth Sundays for the use of any other regular society, with the aprobation and consent of at least one of the then acting trustees; 3d, when the Said house is at any time ocupied for the use of a scool, those who occupy it for that purpose shall be obligated to repair any damage which may be ocasioned by the scool; 4th, the number of the trustees to be five, to be chosen by the joint vote of the ten acting trustees, those to succeed the present trustees to be chosen in the month of Apr. .le next...and every two years afterwards any vacancies which may happen at any time to be supply'd by the then existing Trustees upon their being duly notified of time and place to meet for that purpose; 5th, if any dissatisfaction should at any time arise by any Irregular preachers being admitted on the fourth or fifth Sundays before mentioned, the ten acting Trustees shall endeavour to settle and have power to regulate the same; 6th, any one of the Trustees may call a meeting of the whole, provided they notify the whole and a majority to met shall transact any necessary business; 7th, Resolved, that the foregoing resolutions and agreements be put on record, Together with the deed for the said lott, in the Recorder's Office in and for the County of Washington, given under our hands this 21st day of June 1817.
"H. W. DONOGH..
"Acknowledge December 24, 1817.
"Recorded 25th December, 1817."
Under this agreement a church was built and occupied as a place of public worship till its destruction by fire in 1828.
It has not been thought of sufficient importance by those connected with the churches of Bentleysville Circuit to furnish any information concerning their early history, and but little has been gleaned concerning them. Much will be learned from an article written by Mr. Rothwell, to be found in the history of the borough of Greenfield, on the rise and progress of Methodism in the eastern part of the county. This congregation was formed prior to 1852, and services were held in the school-house. On the 28th day of December of that year the trustees--Robert N. West, S. Richardson, Harrison Richardson, and John Holland--purchased a half-acre of land of Sheshbazzar Bentley and erected a brick edifice, forty by fifty feet, at a cost of twelve hundred and fifty dollars. It was dedicated by the Rev. James Sansom and Samuel Wakefield. Among the pastors who have served this church and circuit are John Spencer, James Sansom, Samuel Wakefield, David Cross, James B. Yarnall.
The Bentleysville Circuit embraces four churches,--Davidson's Chapel, seven miles from Washington, on the National road; Scenery Hill, at Hillsborough; Bentleysville, and Clover Hill Church, at Garwood Post-Office, in Fallowfield township. There are in the charge 349 members. The value of the church property is estimated at $6800. There are also four Sunday-schools, having 272 pupils. The Rev. Reimund C. Wolfe is the present pastor. A camp-meeting ground containing about twenty acres was leased of John W. Stephens about 1866, for the use of the circuit. About forty cottages are erected on the grounds.
Vanceville, a small village, located near the centre of Somerset township, is upon land owned by the Vance family, and from them it received its name. Isaac and John Vance were two brothers who made early settlements in this section. Isaac received a Virginia certificate dated Dec. 3, 1779, entitling him to two hundred and thirteen acres of land situate on a fork of Pigeon Creek. This land adjoined the lands of Patrick McCullough and Joshua Davis, and was surveyed to him march 10, 1786, under the title of "Edge Hill." John Vance also received a Virginia certificate, granting him three hundred and forty-three acres of land, which was located on Pigeon Creek, and surveyed to him March 9, 1786, as "Edge Comb." When the death of John Vance occurred, some years later, he left by will the undivided half of "Edge Comb" to his brother Isaac. As stated, Vanceville is situated near the centre of this township, while the surrounding country is well adapted to farming. The soil is made up of clay and sand, and considerable limestone is found in the vicinity. The Middle Branch of Pigeon Creek, flowing through the hamlet, affords the necessary water privileges conducive to business advancement. The village has one store, one blacksmith-shop, a steam saw-mill, a school building, and two churches, of the Baptist and Disciple persuasion. Thirteen dwellings afford residences for inhabitants, and a post-office was established here some years ago. It is now under the charge of Dr. Henry McDonough, present postmaster. The Disciple Church is a frame building, thirty-eight by forty-six feet in size, and was erected on land purchased from or donated by Joseph McDonough.
The religious society known as the Pigeon Creek Baptist congregation was organized on Saturday, Aug. 27, 1803, in Somerset township, by Brethren David Phillips, Benjamin Stone, Henry Speers, and Thomas McDonough. A church meeting was held at the residence of Henry McDonough on the Saturday before the fourth Lord's day in October. According to adjournment, the church met on Oct. 22, 1803, and after public worship proceeded to arrange the business necessary to the completion of the organization. After the appointment of Henry McDonough as elder, other persons were chosen to the offices of moderator and clerk. Benjamin Lyon and Jonathan Williams were chosen deacons, and a resolution was adopted to hold the future meetings at the house of Henry McDonough the Saturday before the fourth Lord's day in each month if necessary. The first observance of the ordinance of baptism by this society occurred in 1805, at which time Henry McDonough and wife, James Wherry and wife, and Miss Wallace, a daughter of Nathaniel Wallace, were baptized by immersion. The ceremony took place on the property of Nathaniel Wallace, near where the preaching was held, upon a platform erected for that purpose. At the close of the sermon the minister, candidates for baptism, and the audience repaired to the water, not far away. During the rite of immersion a severe thunder-storm arose, and a tree sheltering the platform mentioned was struck by lightning and two horses near by were killed during the storm. For many years after the formation of the Pigeon Creek Baptist Church its members worshiped in a tent pitched upon the farm of Henry McDonough. On March 27, 1830, Joseph Huffman, David McDonough, and John Pangborn, trustees of the church, received a portion of the Rudolph Huffman tract, donated by Solomon Huffman, upon which the present house, a brick building thirty-seven by forty-seven feet in size, was erected. Revs. Estep, Speers, Luce, Higbee, Kendall, and Charles Wheeler are the names of some of the ministers who have officiated in this church. In 1828, during the administration of Rev. Charles Wheeler, the members were David McDonough, Daniel Burgan, Cassandra Burgan, Elizabeth Huffman, Susanna Clouse, John and Mary Pangborn, Solomon Huffman, Samuel Black and wife, Henry Underwood, Margaret Patton, Martha Brown, Margaret Berk, John Burgan, Dr. Sharp, Lydia Clouse, Ann Huffman, Cynthia Nichols, James Burgan, Jesse Underwood, Arthur Devore, John Wherry and wife, Sidney and Margaret Ames, Noah Clouse, Isaiah Burgan, Elizabeth Ames, Lydia Devore, Michael Huffman, Nancy Underwood, Nancy Nichols, Jabez Ames, Susanna Huffman, Matilda Paden, Julia Underwood, Elizabeth Nichols, Hannah Underwood, William Underwood, Margaret Reed, and Bershen Nichols. The present pastor of the Pigeon Creek Baptist congregation is Rev. Robert Miller.
Pigeon Creek Presbyterian Church.1---The congregational records of this church commence with the year 1812, and of the doings of the session nothing can be found prior to the year 1831 (the former sessional records having been, in some unexplained way, lost), hence the only fragments of its early history available have been gathered from other reliable sources. The first settlers in the bounds of this congregation were mostly of Scotch-Irish descent, and came principally from Eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and from near Winchester, Va.
[1. The substance of an address delivered at the centennial anniversary of Pigeon Creek Presbyterian Church, Aug. 24, 1875, together with some additional particulars of a later date, by Rev. John S,. Marquis, pastor.]
As a class, they are described as being "intelligent, virtuous, and courageous," and having enjoyed religious privileges in the various places from which they had emigrated, they early made efforts to secure the same privileges for themselves and their families in the home of their adoption.
The first sermon ever preached within the bounds of this congregation was on the Tuesday following the fourth Sabbath of August, 1775. Rev. John McMillan was the preacher, and the place was the house of Mr. Arthur Forbes, where Mr. Frederick Whitely now lives.
In a short time after this Mr. McMillan returned to his home at Fagg's Manor, Chester., Pa. Near the beginning of the year 1776 he again visited this region, and preached at Pigeion Creek on the fourth Sabbath of January, and on the following Sabbath at Chartiers, and continued to preach alternately in these congregations until the last of march, when he returned to his home. Soon after his return a call was made out by the congregations of Pigeon Creek and Chartiers, was presented to him and accepted by him at the meeting of the Presbytery of New Castle, April 22, 1776. The Indians at this time being troublesome, he did not remove his family to the West until November, 1778, yet he visited these churches as frequently as he could, ordaining elders, baptizing their children, and taking such care of them as the circumstances would permit
The date of the organization of this church cannot be definitely ascertained, but from the best information we have it must have taken place sometime near the beginning of the year 1776, and from the testimony of Hon. James Veech (now deceased), and of Rev. John Stockton, D.D., of Cross Creek village, Pa., it antedates by a short time the organization of the church of Chartiers, and is the oldest organization of the Presbyterian order in the county of Washington.
The date of the dissolution of the pastoral relation between Dr. McMillan and the church of Pigeon Creek is not certainly known, but it is most likely that it took place in 1793, for in a book which he help in which he recorded the names of all persons who were supporters of the church and the amounts subscribed, there is a subscription for the year 1793 (this book is now the property of Dr. Boyd Emery, Sr., of this church). In April, 1794, another pastor was called to this church. Taking the above facts in connection, it will appear that Dr. McMillan's connection with this church continued near nineteen years.
So much has been written and already published respecting Dr. McMillan, his life and work, that it is not necessary to dwell on it at length here, and will only add that he was born at Fagg's Manor, Chester Co., Pa., Nov. 11, 1752; received his preparatory education partly at an academy at Fagg's Manor, under the direction of Rev. John Blair, and partly at a grammar school at Pequea, Lancaster Co., Pa., which was under the superintendence of Rev. Robert Smith, and was graduated at Princeton College in the fall of 1772; studied theology at Pequea, under the direction of Rev. Robert Smith, D.D.; was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbtery of New Castle, at East Nottingham, Pa., Oct 26, 1774; was ordained to the full work of the ministry June 19, 1776, at Chambersburg, by the Presbytery of Donegal, to which he had been dismissed by the Presbytery of New Castle, and on the 6th of August following was united in marriage with Miss Catharine Brown.
He died Nov. 16, 1833, after a short illness, at the house of Dr. letherman, in Canonsburg, Pa., aged eighty-one years and five days, and his mortal remains are interred in the cemetery at Chartiers Church.
The second pastor of this church was Rev. Boyd Mercer. Of his early history but little is know, except that he was born at or near Winchester, Va., in the year 1766, and was there brought up. He received a classical education, at least in part, at the academy at Pequea, Lancaster Co., Pa., which was then under the superintendence of Rev. Robert Smith, D.D., but whether he afterwards attended any college or was graduated is not know, nor under whose direction he studied theology. Neither can it be ascertained when he removed to the bounds of this church. In the records of the Presbytery of Redstone, which met at Chartiers, June 26, 1792, it is stated that he was taken under the care of the Presbytery with a view to his licensure, and he was licensed by the same Presbytery at Rehoboth Church, April 16, 1793.
He was called to the pastorate of this church April 22, 1794, and the relation was dissolved in 1798. His home was on the farm now owned by his grandson, Mr. Ebenezer Crouch. He and his wife deeded, March 10, 1826, for the sum of one dollar, ten acres of land for the use of Pigeon Creek Church. These ten acres had been surveyed and given for the sue of the church by on Peter Swartz (alias Black), but he never gave a deed to the congregation, and when he afterwards sold his farm to Mr. Mercer he made no reservation of this tract.
Mr. Mercer is described as being under medium height, of an active temperament, and a good preacher. He died Feb. 5, 1841, aged seventy-five years. His dust sleeps with kindred dust in the cemetery of this church, and is the only one of its pastors buried here.
Mr. Mercer's successor was Rev. Andrew Gwin, who was called to the pastorate in 1799, installed in 1800, and was released from the charge in April, 1817, a period of seventeen years.
He was an Irishman by birth, but nothing can be learned of the time when he came to this country, nor where educated. By those who remember him he is described as being a man of about medium height, of symmetrical proportions, a fluent and eloquent speaker, and a preacher of great power. This was his last charge. He spent his last days near Wellsburg, Brooke Co., W. Va.
At the close of this pastorate there was a great dissension and alienation of feeling among the members of the congregation, and for a time the church was almost closed. This state of affairs continued to some extent until the beginning of the year 1822, when , by invitation, Rev. Andrew Wylie, D.D., took charge of the church as a stated supply, and continued to serve the church in this capacity until September, 1829, a period of seven years and eight months. During this entire period he was president of Washington College, consequently was only with the people of the church on Sabbath day. He was very successful in healing the divisions made in the congregation at the close of the former pastorate, and sowed the seed to a great extent from which so rich a harvest was gathered in the next succeeding years. Dr. Wylie was a native of this county; commenced a course of classical study at an academy at Washington, then under the care of the late Judge Mills, of Kentucky; was graduated at Jefferson College, Canonsburg, Pa., in 1812, with the highest honors of his class; untied with the church in his seventeenth year; studied theology under the direction of his brother William and Dr. McMillan; was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Ohio Oct. 21, 1812, ordained by the same Presbytery, and installed pastor at Miller's Run June 23, 1813; as elected president of Jefferson College at the age of twenty-three years; served in this capacity for the period of four years, when he resigned and was elected president of Washington College, sustaining this relation for several years. In 1825 he received the degree of D.D. from Union College, New York. In 1828 was elected to the presidency of Indiana State University, where he continued until the time of his death, which took place at Indianapolis, Nov. 11, 1851, in the sixty-third year of his age. Rev. Robert Baird, D.D., describes Dr. Wylie as being "a strongly-built man, not much above middle size, of rather light complexion and blue eyes, with a countenance indicating intelligence and thought rather than remarkable benignity. It cannot be questioned that he was one of the best educated men in the part of the country in which he lived."
Rev. William P. Alrich, D.D., succeeded Dr. Wylie as stated supply, sustaining this relation for one year, when a call was made out by the congregation for his services as pastor. This call Mr. Alrich declined. Near the same time he was elected to a professorship in Washington College, which he accepted, and labored in this capacity till near the close of his life.
In April, 1831, Rev. William C. Anderson, D.D., began to supply this church, and on September 26th of the same year was called as pastor. He was ordained and installed pastor April 17, 1831. Resigned the charge July 15, 1836. His labors were greatly blessed, and at the close of his labors here he records that there were "two hundred and thirty-two persons added to the church on profession of their faith during the period of his connection with it." Dr. Anderson was the son of Rev. John Anderson, D.D., of Upper Buffalo Congregation in this county. He was educated in Washington College, Pennsylvania, where he was graduated September, 1824. Studied theology under the direction of his father, and was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Washington. After he left this church he was pastor of the Fourth Church, Pittsburgh, Pa., one of the churches in Cincinnati, Ohio, at New Albany, Ind., First Church, Washington, Pa., and at San Francisco, Cal. He was also for some years president of Miami University, at Oxford, Ohio. He died at the house of his son, Rev. John A. Anderson, of Junction City, Kan., Aug. 28, 1870. Of him, Dr. Stockton, who was his intimate friend and companion, writes: "He was a delightful companion, an eloquent preacher, and labored with great zeal and success. After leaving Pigeon Creek Church, amidst the deep regrets of the people, he traveled far and wide, and has filled with honor many important positions in the church." He twice visited Europe, and on the last trip, in company with his brother John, extended it as far as Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Dr. Anderson's successor was Rev. Ebenezer Stevenson Graham. Mr. Graham was the son of John and Jane (Stevenson) Graham, of Cross Creek township, this county. His mother in her early years lived in the bounds of this church, and here first united with the church. He commenced his classical course of study in an academy at Cross Creek village, Pa., which was then under the direction of Mr. George Marshall, afterwards Rev. Dr. Marshall, of the church of Bethel, in the bounds of the Presbytery of Pittsburgh; was graduated at Washington College, September, 1834; studied theology under the direction of Rev. John Stockton, D.D., and was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of Washington. He was called to this church Sept. 30, 1837; was ordained and installed October, 1837, and the congregation concurred in his request for the dissolution of the patoral relation, Oct. 3, 1842, and he was dismissed at the next meeting of the Presbytery of Washington.
Dr. Stockton, who was his pastor and spiritual father, in a letter addressed to the writer, says, "He became a professor of religion in the church of Cross Creek during a powerful revival of religion in that church in 1828. He was a man of talents, of scholarly attainments, of eminent piety, and labored in Pigeon Creek Church with great fidelity, acceptance, and success. In the midst of his career of usefulness he preached on a certain night in a close, heated school-room, and afterwards riding home through the chilly air, he contracted a cold, which brought on bronchitis. This disease increased upon him till, after repeated requests on his part, his congregation agreed to the dissolution of the pastoral relation. He traveled South in quest of a restoration of health, and died far away from home and from friends at Tampa Bay, Fla.; but whilst his flesh sleeps in that far-off land, his memory is still fresh and green in many a loving heart.
The next pastor of this church was Rev. James Sloan, D.D., who was born and brought up in the bounds of Upper Buffalo Congregation, in this county. He was educated at Jefferson College, Canonsburg, Pa., where he was graduated in September, 1830, studied theology under the direction of Rev. John Anderson, D.D., was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of Washington at Cross Creek, Pa., in April, 1834. His first charge was at Frankfort, Beaver Co, Pa., where he was ordained and installed, and his connection with that church continued for a period of nine years. He was called to this church April 8, 1844, was installed in December, 1844, and the relation was dissolved in October 1862, a period of eighteen years and six months. After this he for a time supplied the church of Waynesburg, Greene Co., Pa., but was compelled by disease of the heart to cease from the active work of the ministry, when he removed to Monongahela City, this county, where he died march 11, 1871, aged sixty-three years, and his body rests in the cemetery at that place. Dr. Sloan was a man of about medium height, of florid complexion. In his younger years he was slender in form, but as he advanced in years he grew corpulent. By his brethren in the ministry he was esteemed as a good scholar, an able preacher, and a good parliamentarian in the church courts. He was for many years a member of the board of trustees of Jefferson College, and the degree of D.D. was conferred upon him by that institution. His ministry here was a very successful one; about three hundred and ninety-one additions were made to the church during his connection with it.
Rev. Samuel McFarren Henderson was next called as pastor. The place of his nativity was new Hagerstown, Carroll Co., Ohio. He was graduated at Washington College in September, 1859; pursued his theological studies at the Western Theological Seminary, Allegheny City, Pa.; was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of Steubenville at the church of Corinth, April, 1862; was called to this church June 5, 1863, and was ordained and installed November 4th of the same year. This relation was dissolved April 24, 1867. He was afterwards settled in the church at Wilkinsburg, Presbytery of Pittsburgh, and has since deceased.
The present pastor is Rev. John Stevenson Marquis. The place of his nativity is Cross Creek township, this county. His grandparents, John and Sarah Marquis, were of the first settlers of that township, and on his mother's side his great-grandfather and great-grandmother , John and Mary (McCombs) Stevenson, were among the early settlers of this congregation, and were members of this church in its early history. He was educated in part first at an "academy in Cross Creek village, under the superintendence of Rev. John Marquis, now of Anaheim, Cal.," afterwards attended an academy at West Alexander, Pa., Rev. John McCluskey, D.D., principal, and was graduated at Washington College Sept. 27, 1848; studied theology, first under the direction of Rev. John Stockton, D.D., and Afterwards at the Western Theological Seminary, Allegheny City, Pa.; was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of Washington, April, 1853, at Moundsville, W. Va.; was ordained by the same Presbytery, April, 1855; was first stationed for four years at Sistersville, Tyler Co., W.Va., afterwards in the bounds of the Presbytery of Steubenville for seven years, and from failing health was compelled to cease from the active work of the ministry for more than three years. He first preached in this church in November, 1867; was called to the pastorate March 2, 1868; was installed June 5th , same year. At the installation services Dr. Brownson presided and preached the sermon, Dr. Stockton charged the pastor, and Rev. S. M. Henderson (the former pastor) the people.
The first bench of elders was composed of the following person, viz.: Patrick McCullough, Patrick Scott, Hugh Cotton, Hugh Scott.
Dr. McMillan, in his journal, says that on "the third Sabbath of November preached again at Pigeon Creek from Luke iv.12, ordained five elders and baptized five children." This was in 1776, and most likely the date of the ordination and isntallation of the first bench of elders. After this and before the close of the pastorate of Mr. Gwin the following-named persons were elected and ordained ruling elders, viz.: James Smith, John Hosack, James Kerr, Joseph Vaughn, John Stevenson, Jr., William Ferguson, Aaron Kerr, Robert Moore, and John Atkinson. It is not likely that the above-named persons were all elected and ordained at the same time, but from the absence of any records the date of election and ordination cannot be fixed.
During the period of Dr. Anderson's labors here the following-named persons were chosen and ordained elders, viz: John Vance, Samuel Gamble, Samuel Ritchey, Dr. Boyd Emery, William Kerr, and David Riddle. This addition was made July 17, 1836. Afterwards during Dr. Sloan's labors here there were additions made at three different times: 1st, Andrew Smith, James Vance, John Leyda, Greer McIlvain, and John Scott were elected Feb. 13, 1849, and ordained April 8, 1840; 2d, William Smith, William Ramsey, and Edward Paden were elected march 3, 1856, and ordained April 14th, same year; 3d, Alexander Hamilton, Zachariah Peese, James Ranklin, and John C. Messenger were elected March 5, 1860, and ordained April 8, 1860.
The present session consists of Greer McIlvain, William Smith, Zachaiah Peese, Alexander Hamilton, Edward Paden, and John C. Messenger.
Deacons.--William Barkley, William Davis, James Jones, and Isaac V. Riddle were elected deacons, and were ordained March 7, 1864.
Revivals.--The first revival in this church commenced near the close of the year 1781, and continued with but little interruption for near six years. The work was one of great power, and many were added to the church, but in the absence of records the number will not be known until the revelations of the last great day.
The second revival was during the ministry of Mr. Gwin, and is known as the "Falling Work," commencing near the close of the year 1799 or the beginning of 1800, and continuing on through the year 1802. This was a work of a most remarkable nature. Often strong men would come to the religious services to scoff, but would be among the first to fall down and plead for mercy, their groanings and pleadings baffling description. Of the numbers added during this period we have no record.
From the commencement of Dr. Anderson's ministry until its close there appeared to be one continued revival, many being added to the church at every communion season. At the beginning of the year 1857 God again blessed this church with a season of reviving, and at the communion on the first Sabbath of March seventy-eight were added to the church, and the whole number during that year was one hundred and two. This was under the ministrations of Dr. Sloan, and at other times whilst he was pastor there were added eleven, twelve, sixteen.
The next season of the special reviving work of God's spirit commenced about the 1st of November, 1867. This was during the vacancy which occurred after Mr. Henderson's release from his connection with this church. The religious services were conducted by Mr. J. P. Irwin, a licentiate of the Presbytery of Pittsburgh, Rev. R. V. Dodge, of the Second Church of Washington, and Rev. William Hanna, of the church of Fairview. On the first Sabbath of December sixty-eight were received into the communion of the church. Rev. J. K. Andrews administered the sacrament at that time.
The last season of revival was at the commencement of the year 1877, when large numbers werre inquiring "what they should do to be saved," and at the communion on the first Sabbath of March eighty-one persons stood up in the presence of the congregation and publicly professed their faith in Christ. Six additional members were added at the same time, being received by letter from other churches.
Church Edifices.--The first building was of round logs, with a clapboard roof and door, and was occupied the first winter after its erection without being "chunked and daubed," and without fire. The writer heard one who worshiped here at that time repeatedly make this statement.
It is claimed also that there was a building here afterwards of hewed logs, and yet it is also maintained that the present building is the third edifice; but if there was a hewed log building the present building must be the fourth one erected. There was a stone building erected near the site of the first (the years is not known). In consequence of some imperfection in the construction, on a certain Sabbath, whilst the pastor was preaching, the floor gave way, carrying down with it the entire audience. The congregation supposing that the house was falling, the scene ensuing can be more readily imagined than described. Providentially, no one was seriously injured. After this the floor was taken out and replaced under the pews with earthen aisle. As each family made or caused their own pews to be made, the variety in style was almost as great as the number of the pews. The site of these buildings was within the limits of the cemetery.
The present church building was erected in 1829; is built of brick, and is in size seventy by fifty-six feet, with four doors, two in the end looking south-west and on each side. The present building stands on the brow of the hill, lying a little north of east of the cemetery, and outside of its limits.
In the early history of the church, in the summer season, religious services were held in a grove near the church, where a tent was erected for the accommodation of the minister, and was west of the church building, in what is now the lower part of the cemetery. The following is a copy of a letter addressed to the writer, and is the recollection of who came to this church when a small boy, Hon. Isaac Shane, of Jefferson County, Ohio:
"BACON RIDGE, JEFFERSON COUNTY, OHIO, MARCH 15, 1875. "REV. J. S. MARQUIS:
"Dear Sir,--For a long while I have neglected answering your letter, and for which I owe you an apology; yet I hope this will be in time for your Centennial. My first recollection of being at Pigeon Creek Church was about the year 1789 or 1790, at a communion with my father and mother, in the month of October. I recollect distinctly about the tent where the services were held. It was standing in a grove of tall white-oak trees, and the trees were full of wild pigeons, and I paid more attention to the pigeons than to the preacher. I was then about eight years old. I recollect Dr. McMillan when he rose and read the Psalm, gave out one line, and then handed the book to an oldish man to lead called Billy McCombs. The house of worship was of logs, and my impression now is that they were round and the roof clapboards. There was no inclosure either about the house or graveyard. What graves were there were on a piece of ground about eight or ten rods east of the church, and each grave inclosed with a fence of poles or logs, or whatever could be got hold of easiest. All was open to the wide world. The tent stood about ten rods west of the church on lower ground. I think two of the elders were Patrick Scott and ----McCullough, although I am not certain which of them was called Patrick. Now, my dear friend, perhaps you had better not place too much reliance on foregoing statements, although I think they are substantially correct, but they are made from memory, and they occurred nearly eighty-five years ago, when a little barefooted boy, eight years old, gazed carelessly on the surrounding scenes, and that same little boy is now well on in this ninety-third year. And now may God bless you and yours, and your labors in winning souls to Christ, and that your life may long be spared is the prayer of your friend,
The first meeting of the Presbytery of Redstone, and the first meeting of any Presbytery west of the Allegheny Mountains, was held here. It met Sept. 19, 1781. The sessions of this Presbytery were held principally at the house of Mr. John Stevenson, Sr., where Mr. Thomas McCorkle now lives, about three-fourths of a mile from the church.
Thirteen young men who were connected with this church have entered the ministry, and three more are pursuing a preparatory course of studies with the ministry in view.
During the present pastorate this congregation erected a parsonage, with such other buildings as are necessary, at an estimated cost of four thousand dollars. This building is a fame of two stories, thirty-six by thirty-two feet, and was built in 1871, and first occupied near the last of October of the same year. The building committee consisted of Messrs. William Smith, Dr. Boyd Emery, William Barkley, Robert Moore, and I. V. Riddle.
New Congregations.-- While Dr. Sloan was pastor of this church the church at Fairview was organized at Muntown, and was composed largely of families and members connected with this church, thereby reducing materially both the membership and territory of this congregation. And the church of Mount Pleasant was organized in the last few years, and it was also composed largely of members from this church.
First Sabbath-School.--The first Sabbath-school was organized in 1822. Hon. Joseph Lawrence brought the subject before the congregation, and Elder James Smith and Dr. Boyd Emery were among the early superintendents. Elder David Riddle was for many years the superintendent; also Hon. J. C. Messenger and James Jones have acted in this capacity. Mr. Messenger is the present superintendent.
The first educational meeting for the advancement of common school education ever held in this State was in this church while Dr. Sloan was pastor. From this originated a county convention, and as a result county superintendents and county institutes.
Centennial Celebration.--On the 24th of August, 1875, the one hundredth anniversary of the preaching of the first sermon within the bounds of the congregation by Dr. McMillan was celebrated here.
Rev. D. H. Junkin, D. D., of New Castle, Pa., was invited to deliver an historical address on the life and times of Dr. McMillan. He was on the ground at the time with an elaborate address, but being taken suddenly ill was unable to deliver it, and it was read by the Rev. Boyd Mercer Kerr, a son of this church.
Rev. J.S. Marquis read the history of the congregation.
Hon. J. C. Messenger gave a brief history of the Sabbath-school connected with the church.
Mr. William Kerr, an aged member of the church and for many years an elder, related many interesting reminiscences connected with the history of the church. The assemblage was immense, coming from every direction and from great distances. The number was variously estimated at from three thousand to five thousand persons. In the opinion of the writer the last number was the nearest correct. There was a large number of ministers present on this occasion. After the exercises of the day, at night Rev. George P. Hays, D.D., president of Washington and Jefferson College, delivered a lecture in the church, which was largely attended and greatly applauded.
The Church of Christ at Vanceville, formerly designated "The Congregation of the Disciples of Christ at Pigeon Creek," had its distinctive and separate organization in 1832, fifty years ago. This organization was the result of long-cherished principles rather than of a definite design of any number of individuals. The Bible was the daily companion of those who sought information of things sacred and revealed, or diversion from the weariness of hard daily labor. Pious fathers and mothers felt it incumbent upon them to teach and train up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
The oft-repeated saying of a godly father was, "Let us hear what God says;" and taking up "the old family Bible that lay on the stand," he would read a portion, and calling upon each member of the family that could read to read a passage or recite from memory a verse or more which he had learned, and then singing "Before Jehovah's awful throne," or some other appropriate hymn, he would pray, and then send every one to his appointed work. All were happy, and went forth in the fear if not the love of God. Such teaching, although not universal, was found dispersed in a sufficient number of families to leaven every community of the early settlers west of the Allegheny Mountains. In 1804 five Baptist preachers assembled on Pigeon Creek to organize a number of immersed believers into a church. They cast about for a name that would be both distinctive and representative, and they designated it "The Gospel Church at Pigeon Creek," seeking to teach and to practice the teachings of Christ and his apostles. This organization continued until about 1832, when some of the Baptist preachers introduced a creed which they thought was necessary to be added to the Bible to shut out hersy. Those adopting this creed were designated the "Regular Baptist Church at Pigeon Creek." Those refusing to take the creed were content to stand by the name "Gospel Church," and take only such titles as were used by the New Testament writers by which to designate the followers of Christ. A more careful study of this book taught them that the followers of Jesus Christ were called "His disciples," "brethren," "saints," "Christians," etc.; that the corporate body united for the public worship of God was called "the church, churches of God, and the church of Christ." They also concluded that sinners can and should be converted now as they were in the apostolic age; that the church in any given locality should be placed under the care of overseers and served by deacons, and "follow peace with all men, and holiness, with out which no man shall see the Lord."
This church continued to meet and worship the Lord in the same house, held in common with the Baptists, until 1859, when the old house was disposed of. On Jan. 16, 1858, David McDonough made a deed to Isaac Mitchell, James Morton, and John Burgan, trustees of the Christian Church, or Disciples of Christ, on Pigeon Creek, in Somerset township, "for and in the consideration of the sum of Fifty Dollars," of one acre and twenty-two perches of land, on which the present meeting-house stands, on Pigeon Creek.
On this lot, near Vanceville, the Disciples built themselves a new house, which was opened for worship in 1860, and a reorganization of the congregation was effected.
Those who served the congregation as elders while meeting in the old house were James Burgan and David McDonough. Since the reorganization in 1860, William Hill, John Burgan, Thomas W. Beatty, and Joseph McDonough have served as elders; the three latter are now the ruling officers of the congregation.
Among these, James Burgan was for a long time a prominent and a very active member. He was a man of great physical and intellectual force. He served his country in the capacity of first lieutenant of volunteers under Gen. Harrison, in the war with England, from 1812-1814. In those days but few men were found that equaled him in courage or prowess. At thirty years of age he commenced to learn written language, and such was the proficiency made under the teachings of his heroic and godly wife that he soon learned to read any common English, but the New Testament was his delight, much of which he committed to memory.
The evangelist or preachers of the word who have labored in word and doctrine in this church were J. T. Smith, James Darsie, W.F. Pool, Robert Milligan, Norman Lamphear, Wesley Lamphear, Chauncy Ward, Marcus Bosworth, Henry Langly, L.P. Streator, Dr. George Lucy, Hiram Vankirk, John Whitaker, J.B.Ryatt, William S. Lloyd, Samuel F. Fowler, C. Jobes, and J.H. Hendron.
Of these, L.P. Streator labored longer than any other one, commencing in November, 1840. The whole number of members of this church has not exceeded two hundred. The number of the original members was twelve. The present number is fifty.
The present condition of this congregation is encouraging. It consists of a body of intelligent men and women, who are distinguished for their piety and zeal. They are intelligent in the word of the Lord, and willing to make sacrifices in the interest of truth, and to wait the Lord's own good time to confer the reward pledged to the faithful.
Untied Presbyterian Church of Pigeon Creek.--The records of this congregation before the year 1836 are lost. They are thought to have been destroyed in the burning of Mr. Samuel Weir's house. Our dependence for the earlier history of the church is on the records of Chartiers Presbytery of the Associate Presbyterian Church and the memory of aged survivors of those earlier days. Among the latter the name of Mr. Thomas Hall is mentioned in the records of Presbytery as the commissioner of certain members of the Associate Church applying to Presbytery for supplies of preaching. Mr. Hall is still living, and is a member of Pigeon Creek Church.
According to the records of Presbytery, applications for preaching were made and granted in the year 1816. During that and the following year public worship was held in Mr. Hall's house. We do not know the date of the erection of "Hall's tent," a roofed platform occupied by the minister during public worship, but as Mr. Hall's recollection is that preaching was held in his house for about two years, we may fix the date of this the first building near the beginning of 1818. The petition for the election of elders, which corresponds with the organization, according to our more modern expression, was presented to presbytery Nov. 11, 1817. The minutes of Presbytery do not show any action as being taken on this petition. The presumption is that an unrecorded appointment was made or that the petitioners accepted the Presbyter's silence as consent, for at the April meeting following, April 7, 1818, a petition was presented for the ordination of elders. This implies that they had been previously elected. The unrecorded tradition is that Mr. Hall and Mr. Adam Weir were elected to the eldership and did not accept the office. William Pollock and Peter Martin were ordained as elders, and thus the church was organized not long after April 7, 1818. The congregation being thus organized, the next thing was to procure a house for worship. They desired to locate it at a point convenient to the membership. The place selected was that where the church was afterwards built. It was on a part of Mr. Hall's farm, on ground now inclosed in the graveyard of Pigeon Creek Church. But they needed the consent of Presbytery for their location, and there were difficulties in the way.
Chartiers Church, with the venerable Dr. Ramsey as pastor, was only nine miles away, and members of the Associate presbyterian Church living in Washington were desirous of obtaining an organization in that town. In those days of sparse population it as thought that three congregations in such small territory would be "too thick to thrive." In the meetings of Presbytery following the organization, April, 1818, petitions and remonstrances were acted on from the congregation of Chartiers and from members in Washington opposing the location at "Hall's" as being too near those places. A commission of Presbytery met with representatives of Washington and "Hall's," to enable them to agree on a location at some convenient point between the two places for the location of a church that would accommodate both. They could not compromise, and Pigeon Creek renewed their petition for the privilege of building their church at the selected place. The contest for and against the granting of the petition was a close one. The vote in Presbytery was a tie. It was decided in favor of granting the petition by the casting vote of the moderator of Presbytery. And it is a cherished tradition of the people of Pigeon Creek, showing how an unselfish deed retains its fragrance, even in the musty pages of history and tradition, that the moderator whose vote decided in their favor was the Rev. James Ramsey, D.D., whose interests were, according to the opinion of the times, chiefly though to be unfavorably affected by the decision.
But even this did not end the contest. An appeal from the decision of Presbytery was taken to the Associate Synod by a representative of the Washington people. Synod did not sustain the appeal, and thus the organization about the beginning of the year 1819 had, by ecclesiastical authority, a "local habitation." About that time they built the first house of worship, a log house. But the church in some way got a wrong name. The situation was about three miles from Pigeon Creek waters. But local names were scarce then, and probably they chose the nearest local name, or perhaps called the young church after her more venerable relative, Pigeon Creek Presbyterian Church. Mr. Hall, who did so much to secure the existence of the congregation, had selected for it the name, "Concord," but he being absent when it first received recognition in Presbytery, the present name was given to it, and is now becoming venerable with age. It will probably remain. The first log house, built probably in 1819, continued in use, with one enlargement to accommodate a growing congregation, till 1838. Then a brick church, sixty by fifty feet in size, was built at a cost of $2500. This becoming insecure by the sinking of the walls, in 1869 the present house of worship was begun. It was completed and opened for worship in May, 1871. Cost, when furnished, $18,000. A parsonage was added in 1873, at a cost of about $4000.
Pastors.--The first pastor of the congregation was Rev. Alexander Wilson. He was pastor of Peters Creek. On joint petition of Peters Creek and Pigeon Creek, one-third of his time was given to Pigeon Creek July 4, 1820. This arrangement continued till June 10, 1834. September 24th , the same year, Rev. Bankhead Boyd was ordained to the ministry, and installed as pastor of the congregation. This relation continued with great usefulness till the time of his death, Feb. 3, 1860. The present pastor, Rev. D. S. Littell, was called July 25, 1861, began preaching the third Sabbath of September following, and was installed as pastor Oct. 17, 1861.
Since 1875 the congregation has given up pew-rents, subscriptions, etc., and secured all funds for benevolent purposes, salaries, and congregational expenses by a contribution taken up each time the congregation meets for public worship, which contribution is considered as one of the acts of worship. Their dependence is on the providence of God to give the ability, and the grace of God to give the willingness, and in both respects the Lord has not disappointed them. Thus, in the sixty-two years since it s first pastoral settlement, the congregation has had three pastors, aggregating more than fifty-nine years, and been vacant less than three years. By last year's report, the membership is one hundred and seventy-eight. Increase for the year, eleven; decrease, four; net increase, seven. Contributions for all religious and benevolent purposes, $2158.
German Lutheran Church.-- It is not known at what time the church was organized, but a warrant for sixteen acres and twenty-five perches of land was obtained on 15th of January, 1816, by Jacob Kintner, John Oustott, and George Miller, trustees, "for the use of German Lutheran and Calvinistic Congregations of Somerset township." This land was patented Feb. 27, 1833. A log church was erected soon after the warrant was obtained. A portion of the ground was used for a burial-place. The old church was taken down many years ago, and a new one erected ob brick on the site.
The Rev. George Myers is the present pastor.
Schools.-- The first taught in Somerset which can be remembered by any of the present residents of the township was that held in an old log dwelling-house situated on the farm of John Vance, on the Middle Branch of Pigeon Creek. It was taught for one year, about 1798, by Samuel Lawrence. Following this venture a school was opened in another log dwelling-house, a half-mile east of the Vance school, on the farm now owned by Joseph McDonough. Leonard Blaine, an Irishman, taught here at different times, and later John Knox McGee taught a three-months' term of school in the Vance school-house. Another school was taught in the beginning of 1800 in a building which, if standing, would be on Thomas Richardson's farm. In 1801 short terms of school were held in the lower part of the township, all of the, being paid for by individual subscriptions. After 1803 buildings for the express purpose of schools began to be erected throughout the township. They were generally built of logs and furnished with puncheon seats without backs. The fireplace occupied one end of the building, and light was obtained through openings cut the whole length of the other end, and both sides made about ten inches wide, and covered with oiled paper. About the year 1804 a school-house was erected on the South Branch of Pigeon Creek, very near the Carey Mill. Mr. David Johnson, who was a fine classical scholar, taught at this place. In 1814, a school-house was built on the farm of Greer McIlvaine, which was in the centre of the township, and the first teacher employed was John McIlvaine. He was succeeded by Jesse Woodruff, and the building continued in use, the schools being maintained on the old plan of subscription, until the adoption of the public school system. In 1814 Alexander Walker taught school in the Quaker Church at Clover Hill. This was before the townships of Somerset and Fallowfield were divided.
On Aug. 6, 1810, William Morrow advertised that he was about to open a military school at the tavern of John Wilson, nine miles from Washington, on the Williamsport road. No information is gained of the success of this institution. In those early days only reading, writing, and arithmetic were taught, and all of these branches only to boys, as it was considered useless to teach girls to write; all of the schools' sessions were held irregularly up to 1834, when the public school law was enacted.
In 1827, Mordecai Hoge, who had taught since 1814 in that section, commenced to teach a school at what is now known as Hoge's Summit, where he taught for six years, and teaching near Pees' Mill and in a log school-house on the site of the Hardy school-house two years, he returned to Hoge's Summit, and taught almost without intermission for twenty-three years, when his labors ceased. Prof. John Messenger later commenced a school at that place, and in 1860 erected and built a small building, which was named Hoge's Summit Academy, and was intended for the benefit of those who wished to obtain a classical education. The school, which has been moderately successful, is still in operation and yet remains under the management of prof. Messenger, who is a fine classical scholar.
In the year 1835, after the passage of the school law, there were in the township three hundred and eight taxables liable for school purposes, and in that year there was raised $253.79.
The next year the school directors, John Vance and Henry McDonough, laid out the township into ten school districts. In this year, 1836, the township did not accept the provisions of the school act, and only the State tax of $88.21 was raised. In 1837 the act was complied with and $500.03 was assessed and collected. Ten school buildings were erected and are still in use, the one at Bentleysville having been enlarged and converted into a Union school. In Somerset in 1863 there were reported eleven schools, eleven teachers, four hundred and five pupils in attendance, and a school fund of $1111.16. In 1873 the schools had been reduced to the number of eight; eight teachers were employed, two hundred and twenty-five pupils were enrolled, and the school fund amounted to $2097.30. In 1880 eight teachers were employed in the eight schools, two hundred and twenty scholars were in attendance, and the school fund aggregated $2036.16, with an expenditure of $1854.63.
Physicians.--The first physician to settle in Somerset was Dr. Ephraim Estep, who located in the centre of the township, where Ira Huffman now lives. This was in 1807, and after he had studied medicine and fitted himself for practice in Allegheny City, then but a small settlement. He remained in Somerset township about three years, and then returned to Allegheny City. Beside studying medicine, Dr. Estep had been regularly ordained as a Baptist minister, and was the first pastor of the Baptist Church here. After his return to Allegheny City he followed both professions of medicine and ministry until his death.
Dr. Crawford succeeded Dr. Estep in the medical practice in this township. He also came from Allegheny City, and lived at the home of his brother-in-law, Isaac McCullough. His sojourn here lasted but three years, when he sold out and removed to Allegheny City.
Dr. Robert Mercer was a son of Rev. Boyd Mercer, and a native of Somerset. He studied medicine with Dr. David Mitchell, of Washington borough, and began his practice here at his old home, living in his father's house. He remained here until 1828 or 1830, when he removed to the West.
Dr. Bishop came into Somerset township in 1830, and at once secured the practice previously held by Dr. Mercer. He remained two years, and also removed to the West.
In 1831, Dr. Boyd Emory came to this section, and commenced the practice of medicine. He was born in Canonsburg, but has resided in this township for more than fifty years. He has been eminently successful in his profession, in which he is still actively engaged, and is now assisted by his son and partner, Dr. Boyd Emory, Jr.
Dr. John Keyes came into Somerset in 1855 and opened an office in the village of Bentleysville, securing at once a large and lucrative practice. At the beginning of the Rebellion he entered the army as a captain of the Ringgold Cavalry, and died in the service. Dr. Robert Keyes, a younger brother of Dr. John Keyes, practiced his profession in this township for many years, but finally removed to other parts. He was succeeded by Dr. Harvey Leyda, who after some years removed to Monongahela City.
Dr. Jefferson Scott came next in order of the Somerset physicians, and is still attending to a most successful business here.
Dr. Stephen E. Hill, son of William Hill, is a native of Somerset. After fitting himself for the duties of a physician he opened an office here, where he has attained and holds an excellent practice.
Dr. Henry McDonough is a grandson of Henry McDonough, who settled in Somerset township prior to 1785. Dr. McDonough lives on the land taken up and improved by his grandfather.
Dr. David Mitchell, who practiced in Washington borough, is still remembered by many residents of this township. He had a brother, Dr. Hiram Mitchell. He lived in the neighborhood of the pike, and afterward removed to the vicinity of Canonsburg.
Among some of the earliest physicians in this section was Dr. Wheeler. He was an English surgeon, but was efficient in all other phases of a medical practice. Others were Dr. Milton Allen, who died here, Dr. Joseph Shidder, and Dr. Joseph Leatherman. Dr. E. R. De Normandie is a present the dentist of the township, and the first regularly educated one to come here.
Incorporation of Bentleysville.--On the 2d of May, 1868, on petition of citizens, the court of Washington County granted a charter to the borough of Bentleysville. The names of the burgesses, council and justices of the peace are here given:
1868.--Burgess, Hiram Mitchell; Council, B. Crouch, Henry Newkirk, John Denormandie, Dana Mitchel, Emory Leyda.
1869. (March).--Burgess, D. H. Mitchell; Council, Edward Sprowls, Henry Newkirkk, R. L. Jones, John Denormandie, Henry Hamilton.
1869 (October).--Burgess, O. L. McElheny; Council, Edward Sprowls, H. Miller, S. B. Richardson, Thomas Johnston, R. W. West, R. Tucker.
1870.--Burgess, Henry Newkirk; Council, R. W. West, D. H. Mitchell, Samuel Fry, David Howell, Abraham Finley, Richard Luker.
1872.--Burgess, Willison Kerr; Council, Thomas Richardson, A. J. Buffington, Harrison Richardson, Noah Morton.
1873.--Burgess, tie vote; Council, A. J. Buffington, H. Richardson, John White, John Crouch, Isaac Newkirk, J. A. Newkirk, Joseph Jennings.
1874.--Burgess, A. J. Buffington; Council, John White, Jacob Grable, James Jones, Thomas Richardson, Edward Sprowls, A. J. Newkirk.
1875.--Burgess, Jeremiah Sprowls; Council, Edward Sprowls, James Jones, John Crouch, Joseph Jennings, J. H. Leyda, William Kerr, R. S. Jones.
1876.--Burgess, James Jones; Council, W. H. Cleaver, H. Richardson, Edward Sprowls, J. H. Leyda, David Mitchell, J. M. Grable.
1877.--Burgess, James Jones; Council, E. Sprowls, Thomas Richardson, L. Beadsworth, A. Finley, J. H. Leyda, R. L. Jones.
1878.--Burgess, James Jones; Council, E. Sprowls, F. J. Richardson, L. Beadsworth, Jacob Grable, A. Finley, W. H. Cleaver.
1879.--Burgess, D. L. Howell; Assistant Burgess, Daniel Kerr; Council, Richard Huffman, Isaac Morris, Jacob Grable, D. Kerr, Mort. Richardson, R. L. Jones.
1880.--Burgess, A. J. McCormick; Council, Benjamin Crouch, David Mitchell, W. F. Richardson, John Salters.
1881.--Burgess, James Jones; Council, M. Morton, J. T. Scott, E. Sprowls, D. Mitchell, R. L. Jones, E. Leyda.
1882.--Burgess, A. J. McCormick; Council, J. F. White, E. Sprowls, R. L. Jones, Hudson Crouch, Noah Norton, Henry Scott.
The justices of the peace have been as follows:
John W. Stephens, April 15, 1873.
John W. Stephens, Jan. 21, 1874.
Wilson Kerr, March 24, 1874.
David Mitchell, March 17, 1876.
J. F. White, March 28, 1879.
Jeremiah Sprowls, April 9, 1881.
B I O G R A P H I C A L S K E T C H E S
William Smith was born on Mingo Creek, Nottingham township, Washington Co., Pa., June 28, 1804, the youngest in a family of six children of William and Mary (Caldwell) Smith. His father was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, was married there, and emigrated to America in 1798. He first settled on Mingo Creek, Nottingham township. In 1807 he purchased a farm of one hundred and six acres, situated on East Chartiers Creek, on the southern limit of North Strabane township. It was mostly woods. Both he and his wife were members of the Pigeon Creek Church. He was an honest, hard-working man, a devoted husband, a kind father, and a good citizen. He died July 20, 1840, age eighty-two. His wife died Aug. 10, 1844, aged eighty-five. Both are buried at Pigeon Creek. Their children were Sarah, James, Margaret, Ann, Maria, and William. All were born in Ireland. The latter was the wife of Robert Hanna, moved to Harrison County, Ohio, where her husband died. She then returned to Washington County, and lived with her brother William until her death.
James married Prudence Hanna, sister of Robert. He settled on a farm about three miles above Washington, and died there in about six months.
Margaret lived and died at the residence of her brother William. Neither Sarah nor James had children. Sarah, James, and Margaret are buried at Pigeon Creek Church.
Ann was the wife of Dr. Joseph Caldwell, who died in Butler County. She had children as follows: William, Mary James, Bell, Margaret, Samuel, Sarah, and Joseph, all of whom except Margaret married and raised families. Samuel Caldwell has been for many years one of the officers of Dixmont Hospital. Mrs. Caldwell died in Allegheny City and is buried there.
Maria was the wife of Robert McCaskey. She lived and died in Allegheny County. They had one son, Joseph. All deceased.
William Smith lived at the homestead until twenty-eight years of age. His schooling was limited to attendance at the old log school-house in the neighborhood. The management of the home farm devolved upon him after reaching his majority, his father with-drawing from its oversight. He married, Feb. 2, 1832, Elizabeth, daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth (Riddle) Van Eman. Mrs. Smith was born April 14, 1803, on the place now occupied by her son, Andrew Wylie Smith.
From savings during his stay on the home farm Mr. Smith purchased a farm of seventy acres in Somerset township, and after marriage moved to it, continuing, however, the management of the home farm, which came into his possession upon the death of his father.
In 1854 he purchased of James McDowell the grist-and saw-mills on the East Branch of Chartiers Creek, rebuilt and remodeled them, and has carried them on ever since. But farming has been the principal business of his life, and his success has been exceptional. He has dealt extensively in Spanish merino sheep and in Durham cattle. He has added from time to time to his original purchase of seventy acres until he has, nearly in one body, six hundred acres of land.
In politics a lifelong Democrat, but no seeker of office. He untied with the Pigeon Creek Church in 1832, and has been an elder, also a trustee, in the same for many years.
His first wife died April 18, 1874, and is buried at Pigeon Creek. By her he had children as follows:
James, born May 8, 1834, died Oct. 29, 1834.
Andrew Wylie, born Nov. 5, 1835, married Sarah Ann Doak. Residing and carrying on one of his father's farms in Somerset township. Children are Robert D., William A., Ollie F., and Elliott Wylie.
Mary C., born Jan. 1, 1839, widow of L. L. Whitely, living at Vanceville, Somerset township. Children are William S., Annie M., Frank, Sarah H., David, Margaret, and Laken L.
Elizabeth R., born Dec. 10, 1841, died April 2, 1859.
Margaret, born May 3, 1843, wife of John Davis, farmer, living in Somerset township. Children, William D., Wylie W., Lizzie May, John Marcus, Van Eman D., and an infant daughter.
William James, born June 17, 1845. Married Jan, daughter of Thomas McNary. Living upon and carrying on the homestead farm. Children, Thomas McNary, Lizzie, William, and Ella.
Sarah Jane, born June 20, 1847. Wife of Andrew N. Haggerty, a theological student at the Allegheny Seminary.
Mr. Smith married again Nov. 9, 1875, Eleanor, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Boyd, and widow of Isaac Wall.
Since his last marriage Mr. Smith has settled on a place in Somerset township, near his mill property, and his withdrawn from active business.
He was among the earliest advocates of the temperance cause, and has been a leading man in church affairs. Enjoying the fullest measure the love and affection of a large family circle and the best esteem of his fellow-men, his declining years may be well made bright by the consciousness of a life well spent.
JOHN S. BARR
William Barr, a gentleman of Scotch-Irish parentage, a native of Londonderry, Ireland, emigrated to America, and settled in Somerset township, Washington Co., in 1818. From the same county and parish came his future wife, Mary Boyd, in 1824, and settled in the adjoining township of Nottingham. They were married soon after her arrival, and the number of their children was eight. The oldest of them, John Scott Barr, was born Jan. 26, 1827. His father died when he was twelve years of age, and the management of the farm, upon which there was a payment soon due, devolved upon him. He devoted himself assiduously to the work of freeing their home from debt, and was so successful in his labor that he soon found himself "out of debt and out of danger."
The careful and attentive business habits of his youth have attended his maturer years, and have secured for him an elegant home, in which he is surrounded by the comforts and even luxuries of life. His instinctive uprightness in his dealings with his fellow-men, charity for the worthy poor, and generous support of all Church and State mark him as a man worthy of the esteem in which he is held by his neighbors.
Nov. 25, 1852, Mr. Barr married his first wife, Mary Gibson, who died Mar 12, 1855, leaving one daughter, who bears her mother's maiden name, and resides with her father. After Mr. Barr's first marriage he lived upon the farm where he was born until his wife's death, when he removed to his mother's home upon an adjoining farm, where he remained about eight years, and then moved to his present residence.
Jan. 26, 1865, he married Mary S. Pattison, of Indiana County, Pa. By this marriage there were three children; Mary J. is the only one living. William W., the oldest, and John A. S., the youngest, both died in infancy.
In politics Mr. Barr was in early life a Whig, and afterwards a Republican. He has held various township offices, and in 1872 was elected commissioner of Washington County, which position he held for three years. He has discharged all public trusts with fidelity. He responded to Governor Curtin's call for men to repel Gen. Lee's invasion of Maryland, and served in a Canonsburg company until the Confederate army retreated into Virginia. When sixteen years of age he untied with the United Presbyterian Church, in which he has held all the offices imposed upon laymen by the denomination. He now holds the position of elder in the church, as did also his father and grandfather.
Jacob Swagler is one of the third generation of his family in Washington County, and was born Feb. 11, 1830, upon the farm where he now resides. He is the son of Jonathan and Sarah (Horn) Swagler, who were married May 4, 1815. They had ten children, seven of who are living. Of those living, Solomon, Elizabeth, Eliza J., and Susanna reside in Ohio. Delilah, John, and Jacob are residents of Washington County. Jonathan learned the business of farming, which he followed all his life. He was noted for his industry and sobriety. He died in 1876, in the eighty-third of his age, and his grave is in the family burial-ground upon the farm beside that of his wife, who died in 1872, aged seventy-five years. Jonathan's father, Jacob Swagler, Sr., was a native of Germany, from which country he emigrated when a young man, and settled in Eastern Pennsylvania. He remained there but a short time, and then came to Washington County, Pa., where he purchased the farm now owned by his grandson Jacob. The deed given him by the State for this farm bears the signature of Governor Thomas Mifflin, the date Feb. 15, 1798, and is known as "Swagler's Delight." He married Christina Huffman, a woman of German descent, and raised a family of six children, but one of whom, Jonathan, made his home in Washington County. Jacob Swagler, the present owner of the farm, deeded to his grandfather in 1798, and upon which he was born and has spent his entire life, was married Nov. 25, 1858, to Levina Tombough, by whom he has one child, who bears her mother's name, and is married to John S. McDonough, a farmer of Somerset township, Washington County. Levina (Tombaugh) Swagler died Feb. 25, 1860, and Sept. 12, 1863, Jacob married Julia A. Voorhes, who died Sept. 19, 1872. By this marriage there are three children, all of whom reside with their father. They are Annie M., A. J. C., and Lizzie. Jacob married his present wife, whose maiden name was Mary Morris, Sept. 26, 1874. They have one child, Bertha Cecelia. Mr. Swagler inherited valuable possessions from his ancestors, a respected name, lands, etc. His aim has been to keep the name unsullied, and the testimony of those who know him best is that he has succeeded. His well-directed labor has also added largely to his landed inheritance. In politics he is a Republican, having been a member of that party since its organization, and in religion a communicant of the regular Baptist Church.
JOHN W. STEPHENS
The first of the Stephens family of whom there is any special record was one John Stephens, who emigrated from Wales when seventeen years of age, and settled in Eastern Pennsylvania, probably in Bucks County. He had a son Levi, who came to Fayette County, Pa., when about eighteen years of age, as official surveyor. He took land as a remuneration for his services, and at one time owned all of the land now in possession of his numerous offspring, residing in Washington township, Fayette County. He married Elizabeth Brown, of Chester County, Pa., and to them were born nine children, two of whom died in infancy. The children who grew to manhood and womanhood and married were Nathaniel, Sarah, John, Levi, Nancy, Elizabeth, and Thomas.
The eldest of the children, Nathaniel, married for his first wife Elizabeth Dodson, by who he had nine children. His second wife was Mrs. ---- Houseman, nee Shepler, and by this marriage there was one child. Nathaniel was a farmer, and spent his life upon the Stephens homestead in Fayette County. His oldest son, John D., married Mary Nutt, of Chester County, Pa. Their children, all of whom are living, are Lee P. and Hannah, John W., Nathaniel and Mary, and Ezra N. John D Stephens spent the early part of his married life in Allegheny County, Pa. He then removed to Fayette County, where he engaged in farming and also established a nursery, being one of the pioneers of that business in his section of the country. His son, John W. Stephens, whose name appears at the beginning of this sketch, was born Dec. 14, 1823, upon the bank of the Monongahela River, in a house built by the men sent out to suppress the "Whiskey Insurrection," now the property of James G. Blaine. John W. Stephens spent his early years in work upon his father's farm. He received his education in the district schools and Allegheny College. After leaving college he remained with his father for a short time, and then went to Uniontown, Fayette Co., Pa., where he engaged in the foundry business with his uncle, Richard Miller.
Jan. 7, 1851, he was married to Margaret J. Bentley, daughter of Sheshbazzar and Hannah K. Bentley, of Bentleysville, Washington Co., Pa. By this marriage there were six children: Amanda Edmonia, died Aug. 23, 1856, age four years, two months, and nineteen days; Franklin M., who was educated in the common schools, Mount Union College, Ohio, and Washington College, Pennsylvania, is now a student of medicine with Dr. J. Y. Scott; William P. married Elizabeth White, and is a merchant in Bentleysville; Charles Edgar is now in the employ of Neil, Blythe & Co., of Monongahela City, learning his trade; Henry B. resides at home, and is a farmer; Sheshbazzar, the youngest, died Oct. 18, 1867, aged two years, one month, and twenty days. In 1851, soon after his marriage, Mr. Stephens removed to Bentleysville, and engaged in farming, in which business he has been interested ever since. Here his residence has been since the date above named, with the exception of two years spent upon a farm which he purchased in Allegheny County, Pa. During his residence in Bentleysville he has also been engaged in the business of merchandising. In politics he was in his early manhood a Whig. Upon the organization of the Republican party he united with it, and has since labored to promote its principles,. He attended the first convention of the Republican party in Pittsburgh in 1856. During the civil war he was "draft commissioner" for Washington County. In 1878 he was elected a member of the State House of Representatives by a flattering vote, his colleagues from the county being Hon. Findley Paterson and Hon. John C. Messenger, both Democrats. While he has been earnest in his efforts to promote the interests of the party of which he is an honored member, he has not been a place-seeker, his inclination being for the work of his early years, that of farming. In business he has been successful. While he has not amassed a large fortune, he has accumulated a competence, and enjoys it. For forty years he has been an active member of the Methodist Church. Modest, frank, and manly, a self-respecting gentleman, he has the confidence of a large acquaintance.
S. R. HAWKINS
S. R. Hawkins, late commissioner of Washington County, was born and reared in Somerset township, upon the farm where he now resides. His grandfather, William Hawkins, one of the most prosperous of Washington County's early-day farmers, married Nancy Mozier. They had but one son who grew to manhood, John Hawkins, father of S. R. Hawkins. John was twice married, first to Sarah A. Young, by whom he had three children, --William, S. R., and Henry, all living. After the death of his first wife John Hawkins married Susan Farmer, by whom he had six children, four of whom are living. He died April 17, 1880. His second wife died a few years previous to that date. S. R. Hawkins, who is a thrifty farmer in the prime of life, obtained his education in the common schools, and learned the business of farming with his father. When he became of age he settled upon a farm not far from his present home, and which he still owns, and where he and his wife, whose maiden name was Josephine Richardson, lived until his father's death, when they moved to the old homestead. They have no children. Mr. Hawkins is a member of the Methodist Church of Beallsville. In politics he and the numerous Hawkins family are distinctively Republican. He has been elected to important township offices by his party, and was one of the Republican county commissioners for three years, his term expiring with the year 1881.
WILLIAM SMITH, Jr.
William Smith, Sr., and his wife, whose maiden name was Mary Caldwell, were natives of County Tyrone, Ireland. In the year 1798, after their marriage, they emigrated to America and settled in Mingo Creek, Nottingham township, Pa., where they remained about eight years, when they removed to a farm now owned by their son William. Here William Smith, Sr., died July 20, 1840. His wife, Mary (Caldwell) Smith, died Aug. 10, 1844. Their children were Sarah, who was born before her parents left Ireland. She married Robert Hanna, and lived in Harrison County, Ohio, until her husband's death, when she returned to Pennsylvania and made her home with her brother William until her death in 1876. One child, an unnamed infant, died while they were crossing the ocean. James married Prudence Hanna, and resided in Washington County until his death in 1840. Margaret never married. She made her home with her brother William. She died about ten years ago. Ann married Dr. Joseph Caldwell. She died at her home in Pittsburgh several years ago, leaving a family of eight children, all married. Maria married Robert McCasky. She died soon after marriage, leaving one son, who is also dead.
William, the youngest, and the only one living of the children, was born June 28, 1804. His lifetime home has been near the place of his birth. His judgment is excellent, and he has always borne an unsullied character for integrity. He has led the life of a farmer mainly, has been prosperous in his business, and is a man of wealth. He has been a lifelong Democrat, but not a politician. He is a gentleman of genial temperament, possessed of good social qualities, and is popular. He is an elder in the church, a despiser of all vices, and is noted for the purity of his life.
William Smith, Jr., was married Feb. 2, 1832, to Elizabeth Van Eman, who was a granddaughter of Nicholas Van Eman, a native of the town of Eman, Holland, who married Mary Wilson, of Wales. It is not known at what period they came to this country. They first settled near Wilmington, De.. They came to Washington County prior to 1781, and settled upon "Little Chartiers Creek," taking up a large tract of land under a "tomahawk improvement." The name was changed to Van Eman after their settlement here. The children of Nicholas and Mary Van Eman were George, Nicholas, Andrew, Garrett, Katie, Polly, Betsy, Susan, and Polly. After the death of their father, which occurred in 1781, his land was divided among his three sons, George, Nicholas, and Andrew, his son Garrett having gone to Kentucky several years before that date. George settled on the farm now owned by Joseph Clokey. Nicholas settled on the farm now owned by William Berry. Andrew settled on the farm now owned by his grandson, Andrew W. Smith. They all obtained patents for their land in 1786. Andrew Van Eman married Elizabeth Riddle in the year 1788. Their children were Catharine, who married John McCully. They resided in Washington County for a time, and then removed to Jefferson County, Ohio, where she died. William married Sarah Logan, and moved to Ohio, where he remained but a short time when he returned to Washington County, and settled upon a farm near Burgettstown, where he was engaged in farming until quite old, when he sold out and went to his daughter's home in Guernsey County, Ohio, where he died Oct. 10, 1874. Mary married James Wilson. She lived for some time after her husband's death, in 1856, with her son Thomas upon a farm now owned by Horner Donley, and afterwards lived with her daughter, Catharine Weirs, where she died March 25, 1872. Jane, who was born Oct. 28, 1794, married her cousin Andrew, so of George Van Eman. She died at the residence of her daughter, Harriet Walker, of Monroe County, Mo. John died Oct. 23, 1820, in the twenty-fourth year of his age. Margaret, born Feb. 10, 1799, married James McDowell, and resided for some years in Washington County, when she moved to Fairfield County, Ohio, when she died. David remained single, and lived for some years after the death of his parents upon the old homestead with his sister Hannah. He then sold out and went West, where he spent some time, when he returned to his native county, and spent several years with A. W. Smith. He died in Guernsey County, Ohio, Aug. 30, 1878, in the seventy-eight year of his age. Andrew was born May 29, 1805. He married Elizabeth Taylor. He resided for a while after marriage in Washington County, then went to Adams County, Ohio, thence to Kansas, and is now a resident of Colorado. Hannah was born Oct. 24, 1807. She resided with her brother David for a long time, and is now living near her old home. Elizabeth Van Eman, wife of William Smith, Jr., was born April 14, 1803, and died April 18, 1874. She was a worth Christian woman, ready at all times to sacrifice her own comfort for the good of those around her. She was constant in her efforts o instill into the minds of her children the true principles of the Christian religion. Her husband's success in life was in a great measure due to her frugality, self-denial, and industry. To them were born seven children,--James, died in infancy; Andrew W., married Sarah A. Doak, and resides upon a farm once owned by his maternal grandfather. His children are Robert D., William A., Ollie Florence, and Elliott W.; Mary C., married Laken Whitely; Elizabeth, died when in her seventeenth year; Margaret, married John Davis; William J., married Jane McNary, their children are Thomas McNary, Elizabeth, William, and Ella; Sarah J., married Andrew Hagerty, at present a student in the Theological Seminary of Allegheny City, Pa. William Smith, Jr., was married to his second wife, Eleanor Wall, Nov. 9, 1875.
*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 Dorothy Duperaultof [TBD] in April 1998. Published in May 1998 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com.
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