History of Lawrence County Pennsylvania, 1770 - 1877, by S.W. and P.A. Durant.
[p. 77] Mahoning is one of the original townships of Lawrence county. It was erected when the territory was within the limits of Mercer county, sometime between the third Monday of November, 1805, and the third Monday of February, 1806. It originally comprised a part of the old Pymatuning township, erected in February, 1804, when the first court was held in Mercer county.
The township takes its name from the fine stream which flows through it, and which, in "olden times," was dotted with the craft of the savage, its banks resounding to the whoop of the dusky denizen of the forest or the love-song of the Indian maiden.
The Mahoning, and numerous smaller streams, afford abundant water facilities, and the scenery along them is beautiful. The music in the name Mahoning is aptly coupled with the scenery in the valley, and possibly the beauties of nature had something to do with the naming of the river, as it is a well-known fact that no appellation was ever given inaptly by the ancient inhabitants of the country.
The surface of the township is mostly a table-land, only those portions along the streams being broken to any considerable degree. The soil is rich and productive, and the improvements throughout the township are of a high order.
The area of the township is about twenty-six square miles, or sixteen thousand six hundred and forty acres. The old bed of the Cross-cut canal lies along the foot of the hills, on the north side of the river, and on the south side is built the Ashtabula, Youngstown and Pittsburgh division of the Pennsylvania railway.
Coal exists throughput the township, and is worked in numerous places. It compares favorably in quality with that mined in other parts of the county. At old Hillsville station it is taken out extensively.
Iron ore also exists in some places, but has never been worked to a great extent.
Limestone is quarried in a number of localities, and shipped principally to the furnaces at Youngstown, Ohio. It is also manufactured into lime in a few places. On the farm of Joseph Wright there are large kilns for burning it. The lime made is of a good quality. Along the south side of the Mahoning, at Hillsville station and vicinity, large quantities of the stone are quarried, the capital for working the quarries being furnished by parties owning furnaces in Youngstown.
A short distance below Hillsville station is an old fire-brick manufactory, which was run by Messrs. Phillips & Woodruff, of New Castle, for several years but the clay not proving of a satisfactory quality, the manufacture of the brick was suspended, about 1874-75. Near this the railway company has built a heavy dam across a small run which comes down a deep ravine, thus forming a fine reservoir for a watering-station.
The first actual white settlers, after the Moravians, brought their families into what is now Lawrence county, located in Mahoning township, as early as 1793. In June of that year a party of about forty-five persons left Allegheny city, and started for the valley of the Mahoning, intending to settle on the north side of the river. They brought a surveyor named Arthur Gardner with them, who considered himself competent to locate the lands on which they intended to settle. They came down the Ohio to the mouth of the Beaver, and then came up that stream on the east side. Somewhere about the mouth of Conoquenessing creek stood a block house, garrisoned by a small company of men commanded by a lieutenant. Here the travelers stopped and inquired about the region they were going into. The lieutenant told them he knew of considerable numbers of Indians that were prowling around, and if they went on it must be at their own risk, as he would not promise to help them out of any difficulty, because his force was small. They proceeded on their way and happily were not molested. About where the city of New Castle now stands, they forded the Shenango and went to the westward. In some manner they passed the State line, and brought up on the spot where Youngstown, Ohio, now stands. At this time many of the party became dissatisfied and returned to Allegheny. The rest, some seventeen in number, came back into Pennsylvania and finally settled on both sides of the Mahoning, instead of adhering to the plan of settling the north side only.
Among those forming this party were Francis McFarland, James, John and George McWilliams, John Small, Henry Robison, Alexander McCoy, Edward Wright and Arthur Gardner; the latter was the surveyor, and probably made no claim. They all settled (except Gardner) in what is now Mahoning township. In 1793 they made "deadenings," built cabins, planted apple and peach seeds, and made other arrangements necessary for their future comfort. After completing their improvements they returned to Pittsburgh, and in 1794 most of them brought out their families. Francis McFarlane afterward removed to what is now Pulaski township, and located on the farm where his son, J. C. McFarlane, now lives.
Michael Book was possibly one of the men who came out in 1793, together with his brother George. The two settled a four-hundred-acre tract, now partially owned by Michael Brook's[sic] son, Jacob. They came from Washington county, Pa., where Michael was married shortly before leaving. He brought his wife out with him, and in 1798 or '99 their first child, Margaret, was born. George Book was never married. Michael Book raised eight children, five of whom are now living.
The farm now owned by Mr. Hamilton, in the north part of the township, near J. K. Rowland's, was settled probably by a man named Stewart, who came in sometime previous to the war of 1812.
William Rowland came from Beaver county, Pennsylvania, and located on the farm now owned by his son, J. K. Rowland, about the lst of April, 1829. He made the first improvements on the place, and also built a sawmill on Coffee run. The old stone dam, built about 1831 to 1833, is still standing. Mr. Rowland carried on the saw-mill business for a number of years. The mill was afterwards removed to the top of the hill. The frame is still standing, although the mill has been remodeled several times. It is now run by steam.
Coffee run was so named from the fact that the families who settled along it were great coffee-drinkers.
William Morrison was born in Ireland in 1761, and came to America in 1777. He located afterwards in Washington county, Pennsylvania, and in 1796 came with his wife and either three or four children to what is now Mahoning township, Lawrence county, and settled on a four-hundred-acre tract belonging to Judge Alexander Wright, getting one hundred acres for settling. The old homestead is now owned by James Morrison, and Patterson and Alexander Wright. Mr. Morrison's son, William, is now living on the place, and he and his sister Ann are the only ones of the children now living. Another son, Hugh, was probably born on the place after his parents settled. His birth occurred the 30th of December, 1796. Mr. Morrison planted an orchard of apple, peach and pear trees soon after he came, and some of the old trees are yet standing. Mrs. Morrison, whose maiden name was Sherer, had two brothers killed by the Indians while living in Washington county. Her father was taken prisoner by the lndians, and taken to Sandusky, Ohio. At the time the two Sherers were killed, a man named Bailey, who was with them, was captured by the Indians, but was afterwards rescued by a party of whites.
Alexander Wright came originally from Ireland. About 1794-6, he came from Washington county, Pa., where he had been living, with his wife and five children, to what is now Mahoning township, and purchased several tracts of land, which is equal to any within its limits. Mr. Wright died in 1838, aged ninety-two years. Numbers of the family occupy farms in the neighborhood where their grandfather settled.
Samuel McBride came originally from Ireland, and settled in Washington county, Pa. He came to America previous to the Revolution, but did not serve in that war. He possibly visited Lawrence county with the party who came in 1793, but probably not till 1796, or in that neighborhood. He brought his wife and six children with him, and settled some six hundred acres. The old homestead is now owned by J. P. Cowden.
Joseph Ashton came to the township previous to the war of 1812, and settled on the farm lying just above Edenburg, now owned by the heirs of James Park. The farm is situated on both sides of the river. Mr. Ashton came from Manchester, Allegheny county, Pa., now a part of Allegheny city.
Andrew Patterson came early to the township and settled near the present site of the town of Hillsville.
About the year 1806 John McComb, from Washington county, Pa., settled one mile above Edenburg, where he lived for some ten years, afterwards removing to a farm in Union township, one mile below Edenburg, on which he resided until November, 1866, when he died, having reached the age of eighty-six years. The farm in Union township he traded for.
Arney Biddle came from near Salem city, New Jersey, in June, 1806, with his wife and three boys. He settled on the south side of the Mahoning, about a mile northwest of the present town of Edenburg, and afterwards bought land south of Edenburg, where his son, Arney Biddle, now lives. He raised a family of twelve children, six of whom are now living. His father was killed at the battle of Brandywine, September 11, 1777. Mr. Biddle died [p. 78] August 22, 1825, aged sixty-three years, and his wife lived until October 10, 1869, when she died at the age of ninety-eight.
William Park and family (three sons--John, James and William), from Berkeley county, Virginia, settled in the Fall of 1800, at "Parkstown," in what is now Union township. The Parks afterward became prominent men in the neighborhood of Edenburg.
Joseph Brown came with the Parks and settled with them at Parkstown, but afterwards removed to Mahoning township, and rented the old Ashton farm about 1816-17. He stayed an the Ashton farm a while and then removed to the Martin farm, on the north side of the river, where he lived four or five years, and again removed to the farm in Pulaski township, now owned by Messrs. Miller and Peyton. He finally came back to Mahoning township and located on the farm where his son William now lives.
In 1819 William Brown began learning the mason's trade with Joshua Chenowith, at Parkstown. In 1823 he went to Cumberland county and commenced business for himself. On his birthday, in the year 1832, he was married in Cumberland county to Miss Latsa Davidson. She was the daughter of Elder George Davidson, of Mount Rock Spring. Mr. D. was elder of the Presbyterian Church at Carlisle for some thirty years. After Mr. Brown was married he came back to Lawrence county, and located where he now lives. The farm originally contained three hundred and seventy-five acres, and Mr. B. now owns two hundred and fifty. He has held numerous township offices.
Among the other early settlers of Mahoning township were Wm. McFate and George Kelso, who came from Washington county, Pa., about 1801-2.
Thomas Mathews settled about 1800.
The Whitings--John, Adam and the Doctor--came as early as 1800, and possibly earlier.
John Onstott and Alexander Thompson also settled early. These persons were on the north side of Mahoning river principally, and most of them have descendants yet living in the township.
The first school in the township was probably kept near Quakertown, on the north side of the Mahoning. It is not known whether it was in a private house, or in a small log cabin built purposely for it.
Subsequent to this, about 1806-7, a school-house was built near the present site of the Mahoning United Presbyterian Church. The first teacher was a man named Ramsey. Probably other school-houses were built in the township, and schools were taught at an early day, also, where the villages of Edenburg, Hillsville and Quakertown now stand.
The number of schools in the township, in 1875, was eleven, with an enrolment of two hundred and thirty male, and one hundred and ninety-four female children of school age, making a total of four hundred and twenty- four. The average attendance for the same year was two hundred and eighty-nine. Thirteen teachers, six males and seven females, were employed, to whom was paid the sum of $1,973. The average number of months taught was six.
The school-buildings of the township are all substantial, warm and commodious. The schools themselves are well conducted, and reflect credit on the enterprise of the citizens and managers. The bulk of the attendance is of course at Edenburg and Hillsville. There is, probably, considerable increase in the attendance since the ending of the school-year of 1875.
The Cross-cut canal was finished in the Summer of 1838. J. J. Thornburg had contracts for building several bridges across the canal, and also the approaches to them. On one occasion he went to the office, at Youngstown, Ohio, to settle, and received in payment a fifty-dollar bill. With this bill he afterward went to New Castle to purchase some goods. After making various purchases he presented the bill in payment. The merchant could not change it, and neither was there a man in town who could, so Mr. Thornburg had to take it home with him, and pay for his goods afterwards. This incident shows that even as late as 1838 business was not extensive in New Castle. The canal was abandoned between Youngstown and the mouth of the Mahoning in 1872. The portion above Youngstown had been abandoned some time before. The old bridges are fallen down or taken away. The locks remain, and in very good condition generally, as they were built principally of stone. The power on the canal was utilized for manufacturing purposes, but after it was abandoned the mills became useless and were also abandoned or removed.
A large frame grist-mill was built on the canal, three-fourths of a mile above Edenburg, in 1844, by James and John Raney. The mill is yet standing, but has not been operated since the canal was abandoned.
John Angel built a grist-mill about 1825, on a small run which empties into the Mahoning, one-and-a-half miles above Edenburg. He also had a distillery a short distance above, on the same side of the river. William Walters afterwards owned the mill. Nothing now remains of either mill or distillery.
A grist-mill was built at a very early day by some of the McWilliams family, near the mouth of Coffee run. It was used till 1837, and was finally abandoned and torn away. Nothing is left to show where the "mill-wheel turned, the grain to grind."
The first settler on the land where Edenburg now stands was probably Jacob Cremer. He sold the land to James Park. Crawford White laid out the town in August, 1824, and sold the lots at auction.
There is some dispute over the name of the town, and we give both stories as they are told. One is that William McFate, who bought the first lot in the place, had the privilege, for so doing, of naming the town, and called it "Edinburgh," after his native city in Scotland. The other is that it was named "Edenburg" by Mr. White, when he laid it out, owing to its fancied resemblance to the "Garden of Eden," with its rich soil and beautiful location. The latter is by far the most probable reason, and was no doubt the origin of the name, as the man who laid it out would be most apt to give it a name. Therefore we write it "Edenburg."
James Park lived in a log house which stood just back of the spot occupied by the present brick house owned by Hiram Park.
In 1825 his brother, John Park, built a brick house on the spot where Hiram Park's house now stands. This was afterwards torn away, and the present residence erected.
John Park went to the State of Illinois. He lived for some time in Chicago, and, while there, he and another man invented a brick-machine. Park finally died at Joliet, Illinois, near which city he was living on a farm.
About 1830-32, James Park built a brush-and-stone dam, running diagonally across the Mahoning, the south end of it being nearly where the south end of the present dam is. He also built a small grist-mill, containing one run of stone. It stood on the spot where the saw-mill now stands, at the south end of the dam.
In 1849 Mr. Park's son-in-law, James Raney, purchased the mill and water-power. He built the dam now standing, also the saw-mill and grist-mill--the saw-mill where the old grist-mill stood, and the grist-mill at the north end of the dam. The grist-mill contained three run of stone. Mr. Raney built a warehouse on the canal, and also erected two dwellings. In 1852 he sold the whole property to Samuel and Matthew Park, who kept it till about 1858, and sold out to William and Samuel Burns. They sold to Cooper & Nesbit about 1863-4. In 1867 Henry Wolf purchased the property, and kept it until 1869, when he sold to Joseph McClelland. McClelland sold to his son, John McClelland and Taylor Robinson, about 1874, and they are the present proprietors. The mill does a large custom business.
Thomas Covert owned a foundry at one time in the village, but it was finally abandoned, and is fast falling to pieces.
Mr. Covert also opened the first store in the place. It stood near the corner of the "Diamond," and was a frame building, part of it being occupied by him as a dwelling. He afterwards built a fine brick residence, with a store in one part. This building and the old one were burned down, and the lot is now vacant, and still owned by Mr. Covert.
John Park started the first shoe-shop, working in the brick house which he built in 1825. He afterwards moved several times, and finally erected a large building, 80x30 feet, on the main street, in which he carried on quite an extensive business. This building was afterwards burned.
John Welch was the first blacksmith.
Coopering has been carried on at different times, but probably not before the Park mill was built.
G. McMullen probably kept the first hotel, in a one-story frame building, yet standing, forming a part of the present "German House." Like most of the early hotels, its principal source of profit was from its bar.
James Park started the first broom-factory. The business has been carried on by John D. Raney and others, and there are at present six shops in the place where brooms are manufactured, the oldest hand at the business being William Hoover, who has a shop in the west part of town.
Mr. Hoover's father, John Hoover, came from Franklin county, Pa., in 1817, and located a little southwest of what is now Edenburg. He lived there until 1868, when he removed to Sandusky county, Ohio, where he afterwards died.
[p. 79] The first school in Edenburg was taught by John Davis, in the Methodist Episcopal Church, about 1830. Before that, the nearest schools were at Mount Jackson, "Hill Town" and other places, several miles away. The present brick, one-story school building, is the third which has been erected in the place, and contains two rooms.
A post-office was established here about 1840. The first postmaster was Samuel Richards. Dr. Cotton held it next, and Arney Biddle, third. Mr. Biddle had opened a general store in the village, and when he was appointed (April 2d, 1844), he kept the post-office in his store. The postmasters since Mr. Biddle have been Louis Frankenberger, who had it a number of years, Dr. James Mitcheltree, Samuel Richards (second time appointed), George McWilliams, and the present incumbent, Gilmore Pitts.
At the outset of the oil excitement in Western Pennsylvania, a well was put down south of Edenburg by the Crawford brothers, of New Castle. The showing of oil was very light, but the supply of salt water was considerable, and it was worked as a salt-well for a while, and finally abandoned. Other wells were put down along the river, on both sides, but most of them never proved profitable. Two or three are now being worked, producing a limited supply.*
*See chapter "Geographical and Geological."
Among the physicians who have lived in Edenburg are the following: Drs. Amberson, Lane, Cotton, Applegate, Sturgeon (or Sturgen), two Wilcoxes (Edward and Edwin), E. S. Warner, David Ball. Between the dates at which the Wilcoxes and Warner came, Dr. James Mitcheltree located here. He is an allopath, and came from Middletown, Mahoning county, Ohio, in the Spring of 1851. He is the only physician now in the place. The doctor has a large practice, and keeps a drug and grocery store in town. The Wilcox brothers afterwards removed to Mount Jackson. An M.D. named Walker was in town about three months, during the Summer of 1876.
About 1825 two boats were built at Edenburg for the purpose of floating produce to New Orleans. One of them was built by James Park, and the other by William Lamb and Henry Zuver. They were constructed much on the same principle as the coal barges now in use on the Ohio and other streams. Park's boat was loaded with staves and chickens and the other with staves only. They finally "weighed anchor and set sail into the distance." The voyage was smooth enough until they arrived at Beaver Falls, where they encountered difficulties; the boats became unmanageable, and finally broke to pieces; the staves floated down the river, and the chickens flew away, and that was the end of the flat-boat business from Edenburg.
THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH of Edenburg was organized about 1822, and their first church, a brick edifice, built in 1826. This building was abandoned and torn away, and the present frame church built about 1868-69. The old church stood in the southern part of town, and the present one is located on a lot farther to the west.
The first Methodist class was composed of Henry Zuver and Peggy his wife, and his daughters Nancy, Katy and Betsey. Philip Lamb and Hannah his wife, William and John Lamb, his sons, and Maria and Susan, his daughters; Jane Biddle (wife of Arney Biddle), John Hoover and Polly his wife, and "Mother" Warner.
One of the first preachers was Bilious O. Plympton, who traveled the circuit, and preached only four or five times a year in a place. A man named Luccock also preached to them early, and was a prominent man among the Methodists.
A Sabbath-school was organized about 1825, and has been kept up most of the time since.
One of the early preachers was Rev. Mr. Patterson. One of the Presiding Elders was of the same name, but came in at a later day. The present pastor is Rev. A. M. Lockwood. The present frame church was commenced in 1868, but was not finished until some time in 1869. The cost, including the lots and the furnace by which the building is heated, was about three thousand dollars.
Among the members of the early congregation who became prominent in the church, and distinguished themselves as exhorters, local preachers, &c., are Jacob Bear, local preacher, George Green, afterwards local preacher, John Richard, Samuel Richard, and others. The old congregation was made up of members many of whom came a distance of five or six miles.
The first church was built by subscription, and we here present a copy of the original subscription-paper, now in the possession of George H. Park, Esq. Most of the early churches and schools and other public institutions were built in that way. The following is the form of the subscription:
"JUNE THE 12TH, 1826.
"We, the trustees appointed to take care of a lot we have a deed for in the town of Edenburgh, we wish to have a brick house built thereon, for the use of the Methodist Church for Divine worship, if we can raise a fund sufficient; but if we cannot we will raise a house according to our fund. Those who wish the prosperity of Zion--the good of souls--we would thank them for their liberality; so they have an opportunity to subscribe what they think proper for the trustees to collect. We will take brick, lime, shingles, rafters, sleepers, boards, nails, glass, sash, carpenter work, mason work, or other work, grain of any kind, store goods, stock of any kind, if you please, gentlemen, money; all to be delivered on the lot number sixty-one that will suit the building. The rest we will appoint some person to receive it in Edenburgh."SUBSCRIPTIONS.
Thomas Covert, worth of goods, $5.00
John Welsh, three dollars in grain, 3.00
James Park, five dollars in brick, 5.00
Abraham Stoner, three dollars' worth of work, 3.00
William Covert, carpenter work, 4.00
James Park, Jr., grain, 3.00
David Young, in hauling, 3.00
Jacob Cremer, one dollar in grain, 1.00
John Hoover, three dollars' worth of grain, 3.00
John McComb, in grain or stock, 2.00
Joshua Chenoweth, three dollars in mason work, 3.00
Philip Mathews, three dollars in boards, 3.00
George Ashton, 1.00
Merines King, two dollars in hauling, 2.00
J. B. Sankey, in work, 1.00
Alexander Alcorn, 15 lbs. nails, 1.50
Andrew Hoover, three dollars' worth of work, 3.00
David Cremer, fifty cents' worth of grain, .50
William Biddle, in work, 3.50
Samuel Monk, one bushel of wheat, .37½
Garret Covert, two dollars in grain, 2.00
William Park, 2.00
Jane Sankey, one bushel of wheat, .37½
William Park, Jr., in work, .50
James Welshone, one dollar in lime, 1.00
James McCoy, one dollar's worth of sash, 1.00
James McFate, rye, 1.00
John McFate, wheat, 1.00
Samuel Robison, one bushel of rye, --
William McFate, two bushels of rye, .50
William Cox, one bushel of wheat, .37½
Michael Book, two bushels of wheat, .75
George Book, two bushels of rye, .50
Jacob Book, Jr., one bushel of wheat, .37½
James McCoy, two bushels of rye, .50
"We, the trustees, sign over our right and title to the within to James Park and Adam Whiting.
"(Attest), WILLIAM COVERT."
The following receipt to William Biddle is also written on the subscription paper
"OCTOBER THE 11th, 1826. "Wm Biddle, Cr.
"To one dollar and fifty cents for hewing, and one dollar out of Thomas Covert's store; also one dollar in corn in full of his subscription."
The contract for doing the mason work of the church was given to James Park.
There are various opinions as to the location of this village. Some authorities locate it at the mouth of the Mahoning, on the Big Beaver, and others still farther down, between that and Moravia. But the evidence points strongly to the site of Edenburg as the location of this once famous Indian town. It is at least certain there was a village where Edenburg stands, which was divided into two parts, one a short distance farther up the river than the other, and in the memory of the "oldest inhabitants" the Indians who lived here were called "Kush-kush-kians." But compara- [p. 80] tively few years ago the old war-post stood near the village of Edenburg, or in the edge of it, with the marks of the tomahawks still upon it, looking almost as fresh as when the Indians first circled around it and performed their grotesque war-dance, their painted visages showing hideously in the fitful light of the fire. Then another reason for the location of their village here was the peculiar beauty of the place, and the richness of the soil, for the savage, let it be understood, was a connoisseur in choosing advantages, both of beauty and adaptability to cultivation. The place, also, was one calculated for easy defense, having, beside the river and hills, a swamp on either side, while the village itself was on higher ground than the marshy land around it--on an island as it were.
In the vicinity have been picked up gun-flints, oxydized bullets, flattened and battered; old gun-locks and gun-barrels, bayonets, etc., which would seem to indicate that severe fighting occurred here at some period. Many bones have also been found. Near the town was a burial ground, containing among other relics an interesting mound, originally some fifty feet in circumference, and about six feet high. This mound was examined some years since, and found to contain several layers of human skeletons. Flag-stones were placed in regular order around the bodies, and the whole covered with earth. Near by were quite a large number of bodies buried separately. Large numbers of flint chips and arrow-heads have been picked up in the vicinity. The location of the village was on the south side of the Mahoning, the principal part being below the present village of Edenburg, and close to the river.
Christian Frederick Post, the Moravian missionary, who visited this region in 1758, in advance of Forbes' army, says the town contained at that time ninety houses, and two hundred able warriors. Post persuaded the principal chief, Pak-an-ke, or King Beaver, to visit the "Forks," now Pittsburgh, where a great conference was held on the ground where Allegheny City now stands. Twelve years later, in 1770, at the request of Pak-an-ke, the Moravians removed from their settlement at Lanunak-hannuk, on the Allegheny river, and settled on the Big Beaver, five miles below New Castle, near the present site of Moravia station.
Here they remained for two years, instructing the Indians in the principles of the Christian religion, establishing schools, and introducing agricultural pursuits. During this time they had constant intercourse with the Indians at Kush-kush-kee, and converted many of them to Christianity, among the number a distinguished warrior and orator named Glik-kik-an, who belonged to one of the Delaware or Lenape tribes. They failed, however, to make any impression on the grey-haired old chief Pak-an-ke, though he scrupulously protected the missionaries from all harm by hostile Indians, and was their constant friend.
The Indians did not all leave their beautiful home until sometime after the country was settled by the whites, and the wonder is not great, because Kush-kush-kee, with its beautiful valley and silvery stream, together with the "hills piled on hills," and the grand old forest, had long been their abiding place.
A man named Donot was probably the first settler on the ground where Hillsville now stands. He sold the land to Peter or Abraham Hoover, and finally it became the property of John Hill, who laid out the town, October 15th, 1824, and called it Hillsburgh, which name has since been changed, by use or otherwise, to Hillsville. It is generally called "Hill Town." Mr. Hill was a tailor, and kept the first tailor-shop in the place.
The first physician was Dr. Davis; then came Dr. Brothers, and, following him, came Dr. Cassius Porter. These three are the only physicians who have ever located here.
The first house built on the new town plat was put up by one McGowan, and stood at the cross-roads in the southern part of the town, on the lot now owned by Joseph Edgar. It was a frame building. McGowan kept a store in his house, it being the first one in town. A man named Moss afterwards kept one in the same house, and his was the second.
Sometime before the town was laid out, a log school-house was built half a mile south.
The first blacksmith shop in the place was started by Christopher Rummel.
The first wagon shop was opened by George Sell, about 1830-32. Mr. Sell is still at work, although in a different building.
David Stevens was the first shoemaker.
A post-office was established soon after the town was laid out, and David Stevens was probably the first postmaster. After him came James Wallace and James Caldwell. Following them were David McBride, David McCreary, William Duff, William Mitchell, Chauncey Meeker (at that time keeping store with his father William Meeker), and the present incumbent, Jacob Burk.
The village has a two-story frame school-house, located in the southwest part of the town.
The Methodist Episcopal Society organized originally about 1820, and a church was built of logs about the time the town was laid out (1824). It stood on the same spot where the Methodist Episcopal Church now stands, the lot being given by John Zuver. The first preacher was probably Rev. Bilious O. Plympton, who preached also at Edenburg. The church was originally on the New Castle circuit, but in July, 1847, the Mahoning circuit was organized from the old New Castle circuit, and the church at Hillsville became a part of it. The preachers for the year were Revs. John W. Hill and John Lyon, and Wm. Hunter was the presiding elder.
The Mount Jackson circuit was organized in the Summer of 1849, and has since been continued, the Hillsville church being one of its appointments. Some of the appointments have been changed, some dropped, and some created since. The present appointments on the circuit are Mount Jackson, Mahoningtown and Hillsville. The preachers in charge of the Mount Jackson circuit during the first year were Revs. H. S. Winans and R. M. Bear, and the presiding elder was Wm. Patterson. There is a Sabbath-school in connection with the church at Hillsville.
About 1855, meetings under the old organization were suspended. May 19, 1867, a new class was organized by Rev. J. F. Hill, then in charge of the Mount Jackson circuit.
The present frame church was built in 1869. The pastors since the new organization have been Revs. J. F. Hill, Ebenezer Bennett, ____ Crowell, W. B. Branfield, Louis Wick and R. M. Bear, who is the present pastor. The membership is eighty-nine.
Hillsville is situated in the midst of a comparatively level country, covered with fine improvements, and populated by a wealthy, intelligent and progressive class of people. The town does considerable business for a place of its size, so far from a railroad. Around it are extensive quarries of limestone, from which the stone is taken and shipped by rail from Hillsville station to Youngstown, Ohio, where it is used in smelting iron.
Hillsville station has been moved from its original location to a point half a mile further west. It is about one mile northeast of the village.
Hillsville has a population of about two hundred, and is equal in the amount of business done and the enterprise of its citizens to any town of its size in the country. The timber around has been nearly all cut away, however, and the want of it will at no distant day be felt.
The Zoar Baptist Church of Hillsville, in Mahoning township, was organized January 17th, 1842, with thirteen members as follows:
John Faddis, Isaac Faddis, Sarah Faddis, Hannah Faddis, William Henderson, Sarah Henderson, Isabel Irwin, Rachel S. Kincaid, William Williams, Benjamin Williams, Mary Williams, Edward Wright, Abigail Wright.
Its first pastor was Rev. Rees Davis, who commenced his labors in 1842, and served until 1851. The second pastor was Rev. D. C. Clouse, who officiated from 1851 to 1857. Rev. John McConely succeeded him and served from 1857 to 1861, and was succeeded by Rev. A. G. Kirk, who served from 1862 to 1867, when Rev. John McConely again took charge and officiated for one year.
In 1868 Rev. A. H. Metler was installed and served about two years, and was succeeded by Rev. C. H. Johnson, who officiated from 1870 until 1872, and was succeeded by Rev. D. W. C. Hurvey, who served for four years, from 1872 until 1876, when the present pastor, Rev. O. M. Merrick succeeded him.
From its organization in 1842, the congregation worshiped for some three years in various places: in private houses, at one time in a barn, at another, in a wagon shop, in a school-house, and in an old church near Hillsville, as opportunity afforded or convenience dictated.
In 1845 the society erected the house they now occupy, at a cost of about two thousand dollars.
From the date of its organization down to the present time there have been three hundred and sixty-eight names enrolled upon its records. Like all other church organizations, it has been subject to many changes. In one year as many as thirty members were granted letters of dismissal for the purpose of emigrating West.
The present memberships is one hundred and nine. The church is in a flourishing condition, and under the lead of its worthy and popular pastor is daily growing in strength and Christian holiness and in the knowledge of the Lord.
[p. 81] The Harbor United Presbyterian Church was organized either in 1851 or 1852, probably 1852, in the Fall, by Rev. R. A. Browne, D.D. The original congregation had in the neighborhood of forty members. The frame building now standing was erected in 1854, on ground obtained John McFate, who gave a lease for twenty-five years. His heirs renewed the lease in 1876, to last as long as the land shall be used for church purposes. A part of the lot is occupied by the grave-yard. The first regular pastor was Rev. William G. Reed, who was installed about 1853, previous to the erection of the church, and preached in the school-house until the church was built. His pastorate continued for several years, and, after he left, the church was supplied by A. M. Black, of New Wilmington, and others. Rev. T. W. Winter was installed as second pastor about 1860, and remained till near the close of the war. Since his time there has been no regular pastor, but among the supplies have been Revs. Sumner, Imbrie, John Armstrong and others. The present supply is Rev. A. Y. Houston. The membership is about fifty. The first elders were John Dinsmore, Andrew B. Allen and James Robison.
The Christian Church was organized by Rev. Abraham Sanders sometime between 1828 and 1832. Their first meetings were held in John Park's house, at Edenburg. Their present frame church, standing on the hill north of Edenburg, was built in 1850-51, principally through the efforts of John D. Raney and David Stanley. After Rev. Mr. Sanders left, a minister named John Henry came from Youngstown, Ohio, and preached; also another one named Flick. Among the early pastors were Revs. Thomas Munnel, Finney, Applegate, Perkey, and others, and among the later ones were Revs. Harrison Jones, John Phillips, S. B. Teegarden, Henry Camp, O. Higgins, James Calvin, John C. Cushman, Thomas Winfield and David Heintzelman, the latter in 1876. The original congregation was made up of the Stanleys, Raneys, Parks, Baldwins, Carpenters, and others, and numbered from thirty to forty people altogether. At present the membership is about one hundred. There is now no regular pastor. The people mentioned as composing the original congregation were all early settlers. Until about 1870-71 the present congregation at Pulaski held its meetings with the congregation at Edenburg. George Thornburg, living a mile northwest of Edenburg, on the north side of the Mahoning, has furnished us with most of the items regarding this church, as well as other, items of general history pertaining to the Cross-cut canal and other points of interest.
This congregation, with their church, located about two miles northeast of Lowell, Ohio, and in Mahoning township, Lawrence county, Penn., was organized about 1799 (certainly not later than 1800).† The settlements out of which it sprung were made in the year 1793, and soon after. They were composed of both branches (Associate and Associate Reformed) of the Bible-Psalmody Presbyterians. For a number of years prior to the organization of the congregation, prayer-meetings were held from house to house throughout the community. The first sermon preached in the bounds of the congregation by an Associate minister was delivered on the old Captain Thompson farm. This was near the close of the last century.
*By Rev. W. T. McConnell.
†The early records of the church were burned by accident, and exact dates cannot be given for nearly thirty years of its history.
On the day fixed for the Presbyterian family to meet and organize and call a pastor, the Associates, mustering their forces from a greater distance than did their Associate Reformed brethren, and therefore outnumbering them, it was organized an Associate congregation, and an Associate minister was called. However, in or about the year 1808, the Associate members removed their place of worship to the present site of Deer Creek United Presbyterian Church, near New Bedford, Pa., when the Associate Reformed members took posession of Mahoning Church, and held it until the union of the two branches in 1858, since which time it has stood in the ranks of the United Presbyterians, in defence of the truth, under the Captain of our salvation.
As nearly as can be ascertained the original ruling elders were Messrs. James McConnell, Wm. Gaily, Samuel McBride (Clerk of Session), William Houston and Robert Walker (father of the late celebrated Abolitionist advocate). The first pastor was Rev. James Duncan, who was the second Associate minister of the gospel licensed to preach in the United States of America. Public worship was held in the grove in which the church is now located, for a number of years, with nothing to mark the place but a "tent" designed to shelter the minister and singing-clerk. In that still, beautiful grove of native trees, at least three-quarters of a century ago, the sweet songs of Zion were sung; and, thanks be to our God, who has graciously ordered it that these forest tree should waft the melody of grateful hearts heavenward ever since.
The original families of the congregation were mostly from Westmoreland and Washington counties, Pa., some of Scotch and Irish descent. Among them may be mentioned the McFarlanes, McWilliams', McBrides and Robisons. After the congregation became an Associate Reformed congregation the first ruling elders were Messrs. James McWilliams, John Dickson and ____ Buchanan.
The Minutes of session up to 1829 having been destroyed, we have no information as to who else served the congregation as ruling elders until after that date.
In 1833 Messrs. Walter Buchanan, Isaac Buchanan, Andrew Kelly and Joseph Carnahan were elders, but the date of their election is not known.
On May 11, 1846, Messrs. Isaac C. McFarlane and David Beggs were dismissed by certificate, and on July 1, 1847, Mr. Isaac C. McFarlane was elected session clerk. He is still a ruling elder of the congregation. About July 1st, 1847, Mr. John C. Book was ordained ruling elder and served the congregation until May 19, 1859, when he was dismissed by certificate. On April 14, 1856, James McWilliams Esq., was elected, and on May 2 was ordained ruling elder. On November 14, 1852, Mr. Thomas Alford was installed ruling elder, (received from the Associate Reformed congregation of New Castle, Pa.,) and on May 2, 1854, he was dismissed by certificate. On April 13, 1860, Messrs. David Houston, from Poland congregation, John Cowden, M. D., and Isaac P. Cowden from Deer Creek congregation, were received and installed ruling elders in Mahoning congregation. On September 29, 1860, Mr. Isaac C. McFarlane resigned the office of clerk of session, and Mr. I. P. Cowden was elected in his place, in which office he has very efficiently served the congregation ever since. On October 11, 1865, Messrs. James J. Lowry, Joseph C. Houston and Anderson McBride were elected ruling elders, and on October 29, 1865, Mr. Andrew McBride was ordained, and with the others, who were previonsly ruling elders in the Poland congregation, was installed. The above last-named five are the present ruling elders of Mahoning congregation. All these are important names in the history of the congregation. They, ruling under the Chief Captain, have had to pilot the congregation through some of those trials that shake Zion to her very center. They have had to stand at the helm and guide the ecclesiastical ship through a civil tempest that swept its waves of blood over our whole land. One of the present members of session--Mr. James J. Lowry--was by the session chosen superintendent of the Sabbath-school in June, 1867, and each succeeding year the session has conferred the same honor upon him, and he has faithfully, diligently and efficiently served the congregation to this time.
We now pass to the ministry of the congregation. As already stated, the first pastor was Rev. James Duncan, of the Associate Church, who was still pastor when the Associate brethren moved their place of worship to Deer Creek. The next pastor was Rev. David Norwood. He accepted the united call of Mt. Jackson, Slippery Rock (now Center) and Mahoning congregations, October 26th, 1825, and was ordained and installed their pastor April 5th, 1826. He resigned the charge about the first of October, 1833.
On May 23d, 1838, Rev. John Neil accepted a call from the united charges, and on August 22d, 1838, he was ordained and installed their pastor. For some five years he served the united congregations, when, about June 24th, 1843, he demitted his charge of the Mahoning Church to give all his time to the other congregations. The next pastor was Rev. Robert William Oliver. He preached for the congregations for some considerable time before he was called to be their pastor, which took place in the Summer of 1846, the call being from the united charges of Bethel, Beulah, and Mahoning. He accepted on August 14th, 1846, and, on October 10th of the same year, was installed.
The next pastor, Rev. Wm. G. Reed, was called to Mahoning and the Harbor Congregations--the latter congregation growing practically out of the former--which he accepted September 27th, 1853, and was ordained and installed March 28th, 1854. He resigned the charge in the Summer or Autumn of 1857. In 1858 the union was effected between the Associate and the Associate Reformed churches. The effect of this upon the Mahoning congregation was to greatly increase its membership; for many of the memhers of Poland congregation, (which, before the union, was an Associate congregation), who lived north of the Mahoning river, found it much more convenient to attend service at Mahoning Church, and accordingly they united there.
The next pastor called was Rev. S. W. Winter--Harbor joining them in the call for one-third (of his time, and Mahoning having one-half of it. This arrangement lasted from the time of his installment, October 17th, 1861, [p. 82] until some time in 1862, when Mahoning took him for two-thirds of his time. He resigned his charge of the congregations, and declared the pupit vacant February 25th, 1872. The next call made by the congregation was in conjunction with Poland congregation, July 7th, 1873, and for the present pastor Rev. W. T. McConnell, which he accepted, and began his pastorate labors on September lst, 1873, and was ordained and installed on November 18th, 1873. The members of the congregation at that time numbered one hundred and twelve. The present number is one hundred and forty-eight.
The same year an order of deacons was established in the congregation, and on December 30th, 1873, Messrs. David C. McBride, Jr., Morrison Dickson, Wm. S. Geddes and John Edgar were unanimously elected to fill said office, and on January 25th, 1874, they were ordained and installed. This office they are still efficiently and satisfactorily filling.
The first house of worship built by the congregation was of hewed logs, and stood a few rods east of the present house. It was built about 1808 or 1809. The next house erected was the one in which the congregation still worships. It was built in 1850-1. The pulpit was in the front end of the house, with the pews facing in that direction; but in 1862 the pulpit was changed to the rear of the house, and the pews re-adjusted accordingly. The house has been more or less improved at various times since, and is still a comfortable house of worship, though making no pretensions to modern style and elegance.
The congregation has one daughter, who sacrificed home comforts and friends that, with her husband, she might help spread the gospel among the heathen. We refer to Mrs. J. C. Nevin (since dead) of China, formerly Miss Beggs, daughter of Mr. James Beggs.
This congregation has always taken a deep interest in mission work, and has contributed liberally to help carry it on both at home and abroad. It has been a center of Bible-psalm-singing influence. At least five congregations around it owe much to its influence and encouragement, under God, for their existence. Its psalmody to-day is the prevailing psalmody within a large circumference, of which it might properly be recognized as the center. Its direct and indirect influence can never be known until the Head shall gather all the members into one grand body--until the Bridegroom shall summon His "love," His "fair one" into her eternal home, and call her to the throne, where she is to reign with Him and kings and priests unto his Father forever.
On the ground where Quakertown now stands, the first settler was probably Septimus Cadwallader, who came from near Brownsville, Pa., somewhere in the neighborhood of 1800, possibly not until 1804. He settled on a four-hundred-acre tract, and built a frame house very near where the present stone house stands on the old place, at the foot of the hill, on the bank of the river. The old homestead is now owned by a German living in Youngstown, Ohio. In 1805 Mr. Cadwallader built the present stone house. He had worked at the milling business at his old home, and when he arrived in Mahoning township he built a grist-mill on the Mahoning a short distance north of his house. The mill was a frame structure, and was afterwards moved away from the river and set on the stream which he called "Falling Spring" run, near the falls now known as Quakertown Falls. After moving the mill he put in a carding machine, and operated that for some time. Mr. Cadwallader, Benjamin Sharpless and Talbot Townsend, all three of whom settled here, were Quakers, and from this circumstance the place became known as Quakertown. Mr. Sharpless came in 1808, and Mr. Townsend probably shortly before.
John Shearer was also one of the early comers, and had a fulling-mill on the brow of the hill, on the run, and afterwards moved it to another location a little southeast. Mr. Cadwallader had a linseed-oil mill, and some other parties built a grist-mill on the run at the foot of the hill, and Mr. C. probably built a saw-mill also. An old grist-mill is now standing at the top of the hill, probably built by Cadwallander and his son-in-law, Sharpless. It is now abandoned and falling to pieces, as are all the others. The wheel in this mill is twenty-eight feet in diameter.
A mile up the stream one or two other grist-mills and saw-mills have been built, but a saw-mill is the only thing now running.
Mr. Cadwallader's son, Septimus, Jr. built a tannery early, and, about 1830, another one was started by Mifflin Cadwallader, who, after running it a year or two, took in George W. Jackson, of Pittsburgh, as a partner. These are the only tanneries ever located in the place. Nothing is now left of any of the mills or tanneries, except, in a few instances, old decaying frames.
A bridge was built across the Mahoning, nearly opposite the Cadwallader stone-house, about 1832, but it had too many piers, and the ice gorged and carried it away the next Winter. It has never been rebuilt.
In the war of 1812, the following residents of Mahoning township served: Stewart, Alexander Wright, out three months at Erie; John, and probably David and Nathaniel McBride; John was taken sick on the way to Erie, and was obliged to return; Joseph Ashton served as Major, Joseph Brown was Adjutant of Militia before the war, and, during it, went to Erie, as did also Joseph Cadwallader.
A volunteer rifle company was organized at Edenburg, about 1838-9. Alexander Miller, Thomas Covert and John D. Raney served at different times as captains of the company, which had at one time in the neighborhood of one hundred members. The uniform was white pants, red sash, red and white plume. Armed with common rifles.
Another rifle company was organized at Hillsville, and drilled under the militia law of the State for several years. Was organized about 1835 to 1840.
During the rebellion Mahoning township furnished her share of troops for the grand army which marched to the "sunny South," and left so many of its members in death's embrace, on gory fields where they fought and fell, that the curse of slavery in their country might be removed, and the Union they loved remain unbroken.
From the 1770 - 1877 History of Lawrence County by S. W. and P. A. DURANT.
Explanation and Caution | Abbreviations | Lawrence Co. Maps | 1877 Portraits
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Updated: 28 Dec 2000, 17:40