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Notes and queries: Chiefly relating to Interior Pennsylvania, Volume 2 online

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ered indispenable to the neighborhood.
He was not only singing master
of the vicinage, but was a finished me-
chanic—could make or mend anything.
Like most gifted men, Mr. Peck had a
violent temper, which sometimes carried

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Historical and Genealogical.

him to extremes, more or lets amusing to
the neighbors. The place has seemed
tame since his departure. In bis old age
be went to Michigan and shortly after-
wards died

The neat dwelling to the left is the
residence of Miss Margaret Rutherford,
a maiden lady much respected in the
valley. And here, juBt beside
it, on historic ground stands
the house of James Walker. It occupies
the site of the Mayes mansion, in which,
under the sign of "The Green Tree,"
Jacob Bhultz, the younger, opened the
first tavern in the Valley. The sign was
afterwards changed by John Bigger to
"Swatara Inn." In the days of stage
coaches and Conestoga wagons this was
the central point of interest in the local-
ity, and tradition tells of gatherings, so-
cial, political and convivial, held here.
80 sober, staid and quiet is the scene to-
day that the lines of Moore (although
upon another subject) involuntary force
themselves upon the mind:
"The harp that once through Tara's halls

The soul of music shed,
Now hangs as mute on Tara's walls

As if that soul were fled."

There to the left, beyond the creek, is
a nest of buildings all— modern — in the
midst of which Mr. Kuntsel, another son
of Vulcan, is hammering a way. Hereon
the hill are several others, the most con-
spicuous being the residence of J. E.
Horstick. The house is noteworthy as
having been the last dwelling place of the
late Captain John P. Rutherford, one of
PdXtang's foremost men and a soldier of
ihe War for the Union.

Now, we are directly in front of
Old Paxtang church with its an-
cient city of the dead sloping to
the morning sun. It is a beautiful spot
as seen from this point, and still more
beautiful is it when you enter the grove
and walk about its hallowed precincts.
With its history you are doubtless
already familiar. That stone mansion on
the extreme southeast corner of the
glebe, wedged in between the cemetery
and the public road, is the parsonage,
erected by the congregation about thirty
five years ago, now occupied by Rev. A.
B. Williamson.

All the buildings now in view before

us, both to the right and left of the road,
rtand on the tract upon which Thomas
Rutherford — the ancestor of all the Ruth
erfords hereabouts— located in 1756. The
site of his house was that of the white
cottage behind the orchard on the left.
More than a century ago— for Thomas
has been resting in yonder cemetery one
hundred and ten years— the property
was divided into two tracts, both of
which are held by his descendants of
the fifth generation. The owner of
the portion over which we are now trav-
eling, John A. Rutherford, lives in that
stone house to the right As we pass the
orchard and school house we enter upon
the other portion, now held by the heirs
of Samuel 8. Rutherford. The large
stone building on the bluff to the left is
the mansion house, erected by him about
the year 1860 and now occupied by one
of his sons. The brick house and yellow
barn on the right is another set of build
ings belonging to the same farm.

Here at the cross roads we enter upon
lands which a century ago belonged to
Parson Elder, a man prominent in
Church and State for half a century, and
preacher at Paxtang from 1788 until his
death in 1792. This property, like the
one we have Just passed, was divided
many years ago into two farms owned
respectively by Robert and Joshua Elder.
The stone house on the right was built by
Robert who inherited the eastern half-
no w owned by J. D. Cameron. The
white house farther along on the same
side of the road was the Mansion house
of the original farm. It was built by
Parson Elder and occupied by him during
the greater portion of his life. It tell to the
portion of Joshua Elder whose grand-
nephew John is the present owner. The
brick house to the left is modern and be-
longs to a brother of the latter.

Tou ask about that splendid struoture
away to the left? That is the Dauphin
County Almshouse, and that puffing and
hammering, Just beyond the railroad, is
caused by Col. McCormick's steam drill
in the quarry, from which the supply of
lime stone for his furnaces is obtained.

Ah I there is Harrisburg, and just here
below ub is Rudy's ice plant, and those
two houses on the opposite hill are Mr.
Rudy's residence and farm house. What

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Historical and Genealogical.


o'clock is it? Eleven fifty five. Is it
possible? This is a good road upon
which to try your horsemanship— apply
the spurs, tor we are due at the Lochiel
at 12 sharp. Good ! here we are with a
minute and a half to spare. Good time-
that last mile and a hall I Young man-
please take the horses. w. f. b.


Historic*), Biographical and Oonealoglcal.


Mm*.— William Mills, of Derry, died
in 1784, leaving a wife, Susan ns, and
children :

i. Mary.

U. Rebecca.

Hi. Phebe.

in. Bueanna.

He owned a farm and shad fisheries on
the Susquehanna. Where were the latter
situated ?

In the Revolution. —In November,
1775, there were eleven battalions of As-
sociators in Lancaster county, as follows:

First Battalion— George Ross.

Second Battalion— Curtis Grubb.

Third Battalion— Thomas Porter.

Fourth Battalion— James Burd.

Fifth Battalion — James Crawford.

Sixth Battalion— Bartrem Galbraith.

Seventh Battalion — Matthias Slough.

Eighth Battalion— Peter Grubb.

Ninth Battalion— Philip Greenawalt.

Tenth Battalion— Joel Feme.

Eleventh Battalion— Timothv Green.


I Of RttT.


[Several communications written ten
or twelve years ago have recently come
into our possession. The following re
lating to the last minister of that land-
mark in our bcotjh«Irish settlement, old
Hanover Presbyterian church, is worth
preserving in Notee and Queriie.'}

The Rev. James Snodgrass and the
Rev. Nathan Grier. uncle of the Rev.
John Hays Grier, of Jersey Shore Pa.,
both had invitations to preach as candi*
dates for the Hanover pulpit. As they

were acquaintances, and "in honor pre-
ferred one another," they could not de-
cide which one should be the first to re-
spond to the call. To relieve them from
embarrassment, Mr. John Grier, father of
the Rev. J. H. Grier, and an elder at
whose house the ministers of that region
(Chester county, Pa.,) were accustomed
to stop and receive entertainment, pro-
posed an appeal to the lot. To this they
agreed; whereupon Mr. Grier, the Elder
aforesaid, tossed up a penny, the fall of
which decided that Mr. Snodgrass should
be the first to visit the Hanover congre-
gation. It thus appears that a pastorate
of over fifty years' duration was deter-
mined by so trivial an occurrence as the
toss ot a penny. Nevertheless it was not
accidental. "The lot is eaet into the lap;
but the whole disposing thereof ie of the

In person, the Rev. Mr. Snodgrass
was about 5 feet 11 inches in height. His
frame was erect, strong and in all re-
spects well developed. His hair was
changed io an iron gray, though it never
became white even in his last years. He
was of a pleasant countenance and
amiable disposition, remarkably free from
anything calculated to incur the dislike
or displeasure of those with whom he
had intercourse, fond of society, animated
in conversation and in every way agree-
able to all around him. His bodily health
during the greater part of his life was
almost uninterrupted. He was temperate,
simple and regular in his mode of living;
and for years in succession, was not
absent from bis pulpit a single day on
account of sickness.

As a preacher, he had by nature the
advantage of a good voice. He spoke
distinctly, was animated and earnest, and
drew the matter of his discourses directly
from the Bible. During a considerable
portion of his ministry his Sabbath morn-
ing exercise was in the form of an expo-
sitTon or lecture. He selected a Book,
generally from the New Testament, and
commented upon it from beginning to
end, selecting larger or smaller passages
as his judgment dictated, and closing
with extended, practical remarks He
was clear, logical and forcible in his state-
ments of truth, and was regarded by his

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Historical and Genealogical.

ministerical brethren who knew him best
as an able, impressive and profitable

I remember Mr. 8 nod grass as an old
man, with silvery hair, and stooped with
age. He was ot medium height, and of
a little more than medium weight. His
complexion was light, his features regular,
except the end of the nose which was
somewhat prominent, and inclined up*
wards; with a mild and pleasant expres-
sion of countenance. The color of his
eyes I cannot with certainty recall, but I
think they were grey.

He always preached memoriter. His
sermons were written very compactly in
a kind of short hand in which the vowels
were omitted. When committing them
he paced the room. They were method-
ical, clear, Scriptural, spiritual and evan-
gelical. Father once remarked that he
"had never heard grandfather use an un-

Sammatical expression in the pulpit."
e was discriminating and accurate in his
statements, and in the delivery of his
discourses never hesitated or recalled a
word. His voice and enunciation were
good, though he used but a few notes of
the scale. There was not, therefore, as
much vaiiety in his tones as is desirable
in a public speaker. His manner was
solemn and impressive. His gestures, as
I remember them, were confined for the
most part to the hands, which peered out
of very long coat sleeves. They (the
gestures) were made with the forearm
resting upon the Bible or pulpit. His
''principal prayer" was long, systematic
and comprehensive. It embraced the
parts of prayer given in the Directions
for Worship, chapter v., and generally in
the order there observed. He believed
in the Divine control of nature's opera-
tions, and in time of drought prayed for
"seasonable and refreshing showers."
Nor did he omit to give thanks for the
same, when "the hopes of the husband*
man were filled."

I remember hearing him say that
" 'punctuality ought to have a place among
the cardinal virtues." He exemplified
this "virtue" by beginning the services
from 10 to 5 minutes before the appointed
time. That was his habit

He took a deep interest in public affairs,

and entered heartily into conversation
upon the topics of the day, but habitu-
ally interjected serious reflections, and
suggested a spiritual improvement of the
subject, without interrupting the flow of
thought or turning it into a channel die-
distinctively religious. He had a very
happy faculty of this kind. He used it
with effect in impressing the minds of the
young; and without giving offense to any
class of the thoughtless or indifferent.
In this respect his conversation came
nearer that of the ideal minister than that
of any I have ever known.


[In this week's issue of the Star and
Sentinel, of Gettysburg, Hon. Edward
McPherson contributes an article which
to us has great historical value, and there*
fore transfer the same to this
issue of Note* and Queries. It
will correct some errors in the local his
tory of the Cumberland Valley, and
therefore properly appreciated by all
lovers of the truth in history.]

Of the early public roads which were
laid out through the territory lying west
of the Susquehanna river, the most inter
esting, historically, is the road up the
Cumberland Valley from "Harris's ferry
towards Potomac." It is the most inter-
esting, because for a period of seventy
years, it was the great highway up and
down which passed the produce of that
large and fertile region; because in the
early Provincial wars to which the
Marsh Creek settlement gave many of
its fathets and sons, it was the way
by which they marched to meet the
enemy and by which they marched to
receive greetings from homes made safe
by their valor; and because it has the
unique disticction of having been the
first effort of our forefathers to connect
this wilderness with the civilization
which lay beyond. It swept by our
borders on the north and on the west;
and by reason of its location became
the highway from which radiated the
roads which ran southward from the
Conedoguinet region to Baltimore, and
eastward from the Conecocheague re-
gion to both Baltimore and Philadelphia.
And it was in this net work of roads and

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Historical and Genealogical.


the choice of markets thereby afforded,
our Manih creek fathers found their first
impulse to prosperity.

This was the pioneer road of Southern
Pennsylvania. It was laid out six years
before Cumberland county was created,
and while all the territory west of the
Susquehanna was within the jurisdiction
•of the Courts at Lancaster. Hence in the
archives at Lancaster is the only record
now attainable of the various steps by
which this road came into being. It was
in controversy for nine years.
The first trace of it is in 1785.
It was surveyed by courses and
distances and ordained as a lawful
road in 1744. I conjectured in my first
letter on "Early Public Roads" that the
date of its creation, undecipherable in an
old manuscript, was 1741. The conjec-
ture was based upon the fact that east
and west roads through the region south
of the South Mountain were petitioned
for as early as 1743 and it was not con-
sidered probable that these movements
ante-dated the actual laving out of the
great road through the Cumberland Val-
ley. But they did ante-date the laying of
it out, though they followed the agita-
tion and efforts to secure it.

I have said that the first trace of this
.pioneer road appears in 1786. It was in
November of that year, when a petition
was presented to the "Worshipful the
Justices of the Court of Quarter Sessions"
at Lancaster, from inhabitants on the west
side of the Susquehanna river, opposite
•to Paxtang, praying that a roadway be
laid out "from John Harris's ferry to**
wards Potomac" The petition was
favorably regarded, and Handle Cham*
hers, James Peat, James Silvers, Thomas
.Eastland, John Lawrence, and Abraham
JSndless were appointed the viewers,
with power in four of them to act.

They reported a route for the road at
the next sitting of the Court, but the
view had developed the usual result of
great neighborhood agitation. In the
winter of 1785, it is recorded that there
met at the house of Widow Piper in
Shippensburg a number of persons from
along the Conedoguinet and Middle
Spring to remonstrate against the road
<passing through "the barrens" and to
ask that it be made through the Conedo*

guinet settlement as more populous and
more suitable. When, therefore, the
viewers made their report in February,
1788, they were confronted with the peti-
tions of a "considerable number of inhab-
itants in those parts, ' ' who set forth that the
said road, as it is laid, is hurtful to many
of the plantations, is "further about, and
is more difficult to clear" than if it was laid
more to the southward. They, therefore*
prayed that a review of the same be made
by "persons living on the east side of the
Susquehanna." This conveys a delicate
suggestion that personal or other interests
had influenced the previous viewers, two
of whom lived on the line as laid out
The Court granted a review and appointed
William Rennick, Richard Hough, James
Armstrong,Thomas Mayes, Samuel Mont-
gomery aod Benjamin Chambers, to
"make such alterations in said road as
may seem to them necessary for the pub-
lic good." Some of these lived west of
the Susquehanna— others east of it. So
the Court did not fully share the suspi-
cions of the remonstrants, but conceded
something to the excitement of the mo-

In May of the same year these viewers
reported that they had altered "the east-
ernmost part of said road which they find
very crooked and hurtful to the inhabit-
ants. " They reported these changes:
"Prom the said ferry near to a S. W.
course about two miles; thence a west-
erly course to James Silvers'; thence
westward to a fording place on Letort's
Spring, a little to the northward of John
Davison's; thence west northerly to
the first marked road in a
certain hollow; thence about S. W. a
little to the southward by Robert Dun-
ning's to the former marked road; thence
along the same to the Great Spring head
— being as far as any review or alteration
to them appeared necessary"— which
road so altered as above said and altered
from the return to go by James Silvers'
house, was allowed to be recorded. So
says the record of the court. All the
authorities which I have seen fix 1786 as
the year, and this line as the line of the
road. But that is an error.

I do not find any other papers, or notes
of proceedings in the Court, by which to
trace the further progress of this contro-

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Historical and Genealogical.

versy. But I find among the Court pa-
pers of February, 1744, the "courses and
distances" as reported by five new view*
era from which I infer that the Court on
hearing both sides directed a re-view.
This report, made in February, 1744, was
confirmed in May ot that year and was
ordered to be recorded. 1 append these
"courses and distances" in detail for two
reasons: because one can judge from
them what variations were sought, and
because the record of these lines ought to
be in shape for permanent preservation
and for ready use.

From Harru' Ferry to the Temporary
Lint, May, 17U-
Beginning at marked White Oak on
Susq'a river and extending thenee 8. 66
W. 110, 8. 63 W. 120, 8. 78 W. 120, W.
164, N. 80 W. 126. W. 791, N. 57 W. 580
to James Silvers' Spring; thence S. 50 W.
117, S. 70 W. 254. 8. 78 W. 140 to Mr.
Hogg's Spring; thence W. three miles
and 218 p, N. 80 W. 270. N. 60 W. 112,
W. 90, S. 60, W. 66 to Handle
Chambers' Spring 210, 8. 66 W. five
miles and 210, 8. 80 W. 66, 8. 48 W. 48,
8. 60 W. (109 to Archibald McCallister's
ruo) 150, 8. 66 W. 620. 8. 57 W. 60, 8.
75 W. 128, W. 120. to Robert Dunning's
8pring;thence N. 66 W. 86, S. 40 W. 44.8.
64 W. 620,8. 58 W. 160, 8 60 W. 886. 8.50
W. 260, 8. 64 W. 220,8 58 W. 272,8.46 W.
140, 8. 55 W. 840, 8 64 W. 280, 8. 56 W.
64. 8. 68 W. 344. 8. 55 W. 280, 8. 48 W.
100, 8. 48 W. (200 to Shippensburg) 804,
8. 66 W. 80,8. 72 W. 46 to Mr. Reynolds'
Spring; thence 8. 60 W. 96, 8. 68 W 856,
8. 50 W. 180, 8. 85 W. 89. 8. W. 220, 8.
56 W. 112. 8. 67 W. 80, S. 50 W. three
miles and 90, 8. 84 W. 460. to Con-
ogochege creek. Thence 8. 40 W. 264,
S. 46 W. 290, 8. 23 W. 16 to the Falling
Spring, 8. 10 B. 24. S. 11 W. 220, 8. 21
W. three miles, 8. 29 W. 288, 8. 47 W.
444, to John Mushel's Spring. Thenee
8. 15 W. four miles and 55, 8. 40 W. two
miles and 256 te Thomas Armstrong's
Spring. Thence 8. 20 W. 564 to a
marked black oak in the temporary line-
being in the whole sixty miles and 109
perches. Rakdbll Chambers,

Robbbt Dunning,
Robert Chambers,
Benjamin Chambers,
John Mccormick.

Comparing the line as finally laid with*
the line recommended by the first re*
viewers, it will be observed that the

Soint of difference was at James Silvers'
pring. The road continues a southwest
course to Mr. Hogg's Spring, and thence
west and -northwest to Randell Cham-
bers' Spring, and by McCallister's run to
Dunning's Spring. While the reviewers
recommended that from Silvers' Spring
it should go westward to John Hays'
meadow, by Letort's Spring, and John
Davison's [also on the Letort near Mid-
dlesex], by a certain hollow to Dunning's
Spring. These reviewers failed, and the
• 'great road" took the other line and ran
north of the site of Carlisle, which was
not surveyed until 1751 or several years
after the location of this road. The re-
viewers were nearly all from the west
side of the Susquehanna.

No change was proposed by the re-
viewers west ot Dunning's Spring; and
that part of the road as finally laid out
may fairly be assumed to have been as
originally proposed by the first view. So
that alike the Conedoguinet and the
Middle Spring remonstrants all failed.
The course through 8hippensburg, it will
be noticed, was without variation. And
the road struck the "temporary line be-
tween Pennsylvania and Maryland, about
two miles southwest of Thomas Arm*
strong's Spring.

From these figures and data, it would
be easy to recover the old site ot the road,
with little difficulty.

The roid was not immediately opened
through its entire length of sixty miles.
For 1 find that in December, 1750, the
Court warned the inhabitants of West
Peonsboro township to "cut, clear and
bridge the Great Road leading from the
River Potomack to the River Basque-
hannah as far as the same extends
through their township." As this is the
region about Newville, it will be noticed
that there was a reason why it should
have been reported as late as 1755 that
there was only a "tolerable road" as far
up as Shippensburg. In time, however,
all difficulties were overcome, and the
road served abundantly its purposes.

The distance of the road from the site
of Carlisle was inconsiderable, and access
to the village was afforded by the cross

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Historical and Genealogical.


«oads laid out from the North to the South
Moan tain; and traffic became so active
that in 1762 the two streets— High and
Hanover — were laid oat by the court as
public roads— High 2,600 feet in length,
Hanover 2,200 feet. Thereafter they
were repaired at the general charge. In
1771 a farther enlargement took place,
when a public road was laid oat from
"Carlisle Commons (near where the road
f r om T »rk and the Trindle road meet)
thro' Pomfret street to the Great road
leading to bhippensburg."

From the southwestern part of this
"great road, " our two east and west roads
of 1747 and 1748, as stated in Letter No.
1, started. The Chambersburg and York
road, now Mummasburg and Hunters-
town, started at John Mushel's planta*
tion, which appears in the "courses and
distances;" and the Hagerstown road to-
ward York started "at the temporary
line," and ran northeast through Nichols'

My next letter will deal with the
roads which ran south from this "old
road," toward Baltimore, and gave the
Harsh creek settlement its first direct
connection with that town. b. mcp.

October 18, 1881.

JUttortoal, Biographical and Genaalotieal •


Wallace .— James Wallace, of Pax-
-tang, d. in 1784, leaving a wife Elizabeth
and a daughter Rachel, who married
Robert Elder.

Gray.— John Gray, of Paxtang, d. in
)1785. His children were:

i George.

U. Joseph

Hi. William.

h Hannah; m. — — Dixon.

e. John

ti Bobert.

John and Robert, who were probably
the eldest sons, were executors of the
-estate. To George and Joseph was di-
vided the farm south of the "great load."

Lahdis.— In Deny township, on the

road from Annville to Schellsville, to
the right of the road on the top of the
hill, is one of the Landis family burying
grounds, enclosed by a strong stone wall.
There are only two stones, although quite
a number of graves. The inscriptions
on the former are :

Hier rohet

Felix Lan&ie,

Bin Sohn des

He o rich Landis,

Er war Geboren den

81 May, 1794, und

Starb den 22 Septemb'r,

1821, Sein Alter war

27 Tar 8 Mooath und

22 Tage

Hier Rnhet
Slieaheth Landie

Ehr Frau Der

Abraham Landis

Er war Geboren den

19 December, 1802, und

Starb den 5 August,

1824, Thr Alt war 21

Tar 6 Mont und 17

Ta ge

la Presbjtarlaa Uravejard, Mlddiatowa*

[Some fifteen years ago, when making
certain researches, we clambered over
the fence of the old Presbyterian grave-
yard at Middletown, and notwithstand-
ing the briary weeds, we copied the fol-
lowing records from that then badly neg-
lected resting place of many of the early
dead of that prosperous town.]
Crabb, Henry, son of William and Jane,

b. Dec. 25, 1794; d. Oct. 4. 1795.
Elder, Mary, b. 1808; d. October 9, 1882.
Gibson, Alice, wf. of Isaac, b. May 20,

1771; d. Sept. 28, 1826
Job, Mary, wf. of Jeremiah, b. 1727; d.

June 11, 1798
McCammon, John, b. 1774; d. July 28,

McCammon, Mary, wf. of John, b.

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