March 2000

Jefferson College Historical Society

Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

The Jefferson College Times is published by the Jefferson College Historical Society; 220 North Central Avenue; Canonsburg, PA 15317. The Jefferson College Historical Society is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to advancing knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of local history. Members receive the Times by mail at least four times yearly. Articles of local historical interest are earnestly solicited. Correspondence should be addressed to

Editor, Jefferson College Times

117 S. Central Avenue, Canonsburg, PA 15317

What follows is the most recent issue of the Jefferson College Times, modified for the electronic medium.

Revised 4 March 2000

News and Comments

Next Meeting:

The Jefferson College Historical Society will next meet on March 15, 2000, at 8 p.m. in the rooms of the society, North Central Avenue, Canonsburg, located on the lower floor of the auditorium building. Guests are welcome. The board of directors will meet at 7:30.


John DeMay, a retired attorney from Bethel Park, will describe the life of settlers on the Western Pennsylvania frontier. Our speaker is the author, with retired history teacher Richard Gaetano, of The Settlers and Forts of Western Pennsylvania and is currently working on a book about women on the frontier.



Howard Taylor's photographs

The cover photograph of the print version of the Times is from a glass negative exposed by Howard M. Taylor on October 15, 1911, entitled "Road through Neill's Woods." It is one of several hundred negatives, mostly 4 by 5-inch glass, taken in the early decades of the 1900s. We are indeed grateful that Howard had such a sense of history that he preserved the negatives and identified most of them. In many cases he added description or observations; in this case, "Remarks-The watering trough that stood at the intersection where Fulton Road takes off is shown. A real horse and buggy days negative-and good too. Should make very good prints or enlargements. Of special interest to H. M. Taylor for memories and age."

We are indebted to Irene Taylor (Howard's daughter-in-law) and his grandson, Howard, for providing this rich collection of images. The Howard M. Taylor Photographic Collection will be a rich source of information for generations to come. Examples of the photographs and Howard's captions are in this issue. More will be published from time to time.



Following the Civil War, Jefferson College merged with Washington College and left town. Its replacement as Canonsburg's economic base, industry, required railroad service. This article recounts the building and early history of the Chartiers Valley Branch of the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, & St. Louis Railroad which was owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad.



We are closing in on the bicentennials of both Jefferson College and the Borough of Canonsburg (both were incorporated in 1802). There will be much to do in the next few years. At the March meeting we will be selecting the officers who will begin the preparations for the events.

1999 Officers: Paul Katrencik., president; Kathleen Kirr, vice- president; Lois Ahwesh, secretary; Joseph A. Solobay, treasurer; directors Mary Lou Underkoffler ('00), Wilburt Scott ('01), David Westwater ('02), and James T. Herron, Jr. (past president).


Back Cover:


The back cover of this issue features post card views of Strabane, many years ago.


  Are your dues in? Sure?


Membership in the Jefferson College Historical Society is open to all. An individual active membership is $8; student membership, $5; contributing membership, $15; business or institutional membership, $25; sustaining membership, $50; and life membership, $150. Correspondence concerning membership should be directed to

Joseph A. Solobay, 514 Craighead Street, Canonsburg, PA 15317


The Jefferson College Historical Society is grateful to Jean Suplick Matuson for undertaking the archiving of

past issues of the Jefferson College Times. They will be kept at: .


This Internet web site, Genealogy in Washington County Pennsylvania, is a gold mine of historical material for the local historian and genealogist.