Hamilton Child.

Gazetteer and business directory of Crawford County, Pa., for 1874 online

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1855, Prof. Silliman of Yale College was employed to analyze
the oil, Messrs. Bissel & Eveleth furnishing the apparatus for
his experiments and paying the entire cost of the analysis.
Prof. Silliman's report, published in the fall of that year,
attracted attention in New Haven, and led to the re-organiza-
tion of The Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company with that gentleman
as its president.

The work of trenching the lands was continued until 1858,
when the question of boring an artesian well was discussed and
strongly advocated by Mr. Bissell, the idea having been sug-
gested by the fact that Mr. Kier of Pittsburgh had obtained a
small quantity of oil from one of his salt wells near that city, at
a depth of about 400 feet. A want of harmony was manifested
between the New York and New Haven stockholders, but after
much discussion and difficulty a contract was concluded between
. the company and some of its members, by which the latter
agreed to lease the lands for a term of years and pay to the com-
pany a royalty of twelve cents per gallon on all oil raised. A
new company was organized in New Haven, based on the afore-
said lease, and one of its members, Mr. E. L. Drake, was desig-
nated as superintendent and furnished with the necessary capi-
tal to carry out the projected idea, Mr. Drake proceeded to


Titusville and after encountering many delays and obstacles, on
the 28th of August, 1859, the first vein of oil was struck and
the first petroleum obtained from an artesian well, drilled on
Oil Creek, in the northern border of Venango county, under
the auspices of The Seneca Oil Company lessees of The Pennsyl-
vania Rock Oil Company, the organization of which, and the
first purchase and development of lands under it, were mainly
due to George H. Bissell ; and through this agency Titusville
was transformed from an uninviting back-woods village to a
beautiful and wealthy city.

The First Presbyterian Church of TitumXle was organized as the Congre-
gation of Oil Creek^ in 1815, by Rev. Amos Chase, its first pastor, who con-
tinued his ministrations to this Society until 1830. From 1815 to 1826,
Mr. Chase labored as a missionary, dividing his time between this and
other churches. May 24, 1826, he was installed pastor of this Church, to
which he devoted half his time till 1830, when the relation was dissolved.
He died at Centerville, Dec. 33, 1849, in the ninetieth year of his age,
and the sixty-third of his ministry. In 1838, the Society was incorporated
by the Supreme Court and its charter recorded in the office of the Secre-
taiy of the State under the name of The Preshytenan Congregation of Oil
Creek in the County of Crawford. In 1870 the name was changed by the
Court of Common Pleas of Crawford County to that it now bears. The
number of members at its organization is not known, but the regular at-
tendance numbered about 200, which is its present membership. Prior to
the organization religious services were conducted by the Presbyterians,
and Missionaries of that denomination were sent to this place, which was
then known as "Oil Creek" and sometimes as "Titus'es," in 1802 and
1803, and again in 1807. In 1809 it was reported to the Presbytery as
being able to furnish its own supplies, and in that year communion was
held in Mr. Titus' log barn, by two Presbyterian ministers, Samuel Tait
and Richard Stockton. About ten members were present. A church was
built of round logs in 1812, but was never entirely finished. In 1815, one
constructed of hewed logs was commenced and was finished about 1823.
A framed liouse was begun in 1833, completed in 1834-5, and sold in 1863.
In 1864 the building of the present edifice was commenced and was com-
pleted the following year, at a cost of about $17,000. It will seat com-
fortably 586 persons. Since its completion permanent improvements to
the vahie ^3,000 have been added. The present value of Church property,
including parsonage, is about $20,000. The present pastor is Rev. Alex-
ander Sinclair, who was installed in the fall of 1869. — [Infornuition fur-
nuihed by Mr. Samuel Minor.

St. Jaines Memorial Churchy (Protestant Episcopal,) at Titusville, was
organized with five meniber.s, in 1862, l)y Rev. Henry Purdon, tlie first
and ])resent i)astor. The building of tlie church edifice was begun in
1863 and finished in 1864. It cost |12,0(H) and will .seat 300 persons. The
S()ci<*ty niunhers 110 and its i^ropcrty is valued at $30,000.

"This Church was ereited to the nieuiory of the lit. Rev. Samuel
Bordman, I). D., Assist. IMshop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, who
died suddenly on his way to the Oil Regions at Freeport, on the A. V. li.
R., August 2, 1861."— [7/'/wm'//j>>// furnushed by lito. lltnry Purdon.

Tlie First Ba})tiM Church of TitunrUle wjus organized with eleven mem-
bers, in 1865, and erected its liou.se of worship, which will seat 400 per-
sons, in 1868, at a coat of $J0,()0(). Tlierc are 109 members who are under


the pastoral care of Rev. Andrew Murdoch, our informant. The first

pastor was Rev. > Gundy. The Church property is valued at

$25,000. The Sunday School connected with this Church has an average
attendance of 180 scholars.

The M. E. Church, at Titusville, has 150 members. The pastor is Rev.
A. Craft. The church edifice will seat 450 persons. The Church proper-
ty is vahied at $28,000. — [We have been unable to get fuller data rela-
tive to this Society.

PINE was formed in 1847. It is an interior township, ly-
ing near the center of the west border, and contains 6369 sqnare
acres. The surface is level, and inclines slightly toward the
south. It is well watered by Shenango Creek and several small
streams tributary to it. Only the northern portion is tillable,
well populated and cultivated, the whole southern part being
occupied by Pymatuning Swamp. Agriculture forms the chief
industry, though lumbering is carried on to a limited extent.
The soil is well adapted to dairying, which and stock raising
form the chief agricultural pursuits. The Erie & Pittsburgh
E. E. extends through the central part, in a southerly direction.

The population of the township in 1870 was 777, of whom
749 were native, 28, foreign, 772, white and five, colored.

During the year ending June 3, 1872, it contained four
schools and employed seven teachers. The number of scholars
was 93 ; the average number attending school, 71 ; and the
amount expended for school purposes, $747.69.

LixESYiLLE, (p. V.) situated on Mill Creek, near the line of
Couueaut, and on the E. & P. R. R., was incorporated as a
borough April 23, 1864, and derives its name from the Line
family, who were the first settlers there. It contains two
churches, two hotels, about a dozen stores of various kinds., two
harness shops, four blacksmith shops, three shoe shops^ a pho-
tograph gallery, a tannery, grist mill and two steam saw mills,
one of w^hich, (S. E. Bundy's) including a sash, door and blind
factory, gives employment to about ten men and annually cuts
about half a million feet of lumber, besides a large quantity of
lath, and manufactures several thousand dollars worth of sash,
doors and blinds. The population in 1870 was 434.

Pine Lodge A. Y. Masons No. 498, at Linesville, was instituted
Dec. 22, 1871. Its charter was granted Sept. 6, 1871, and its
first meeting was held Jan. 2, 1872. The first officers were G.
T. Rankin, W. M., 0. C. Minneley, S. W., and J. A. Crockett,
J. W.

On the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 12, 1873, a destructive
fire occurred in the principal jmrt of the village, involving a loss
of nearly $20,000.

PIXE. 83

Local authorities differ in regard to the date of first settle-
ment. Joseph Line, of Linesville, says that Samuel Glenn, a
native of Ireland, who located in the southern part of the
township, on a farm upon which he spent the remainder of his
days, was probably the first settler, and his house the first one
erected; and that Robert Graham, Martin Cunningham, Wm.
Burnside, a widow named Margaret Robison and another named
Patterson, settled in the southern part about the same time,
without assigning any date ; while George Graham states that
Wm. Burnside, a native of Ireland, settled in the northern part
in 1797 or '8, and after a few years residence removed to Mead-
ville, and that Robert Graham, of the same nationality, and a
miller by occupation, also located in the northern part, in 1802,
and after about two years removed to the farm on which he
resided till his death; and Thomas Glenn advises us that
Samuel Glenn, settled in 1811. Amos Line, the first settler at
Linesville, came from Plainfield, N. J., in 1818, and laid out
the bonmgh which perpetuates his name. Ke was a Quaker
and did most of the surveying for the Population Co. and the
people who came into this country. He built the first saw mill
in 1820; the first framed house, in Linesville, in 1825, though
the first framed house in the township was built the previous
year, by Joseph Allen ; he kept the first store in the northern
part of the township, nnd taught the first school in Linesville,
in a log building in 1835. His daughter, Rachel V. Line, was
probably the first child born in the township, in 1819. The
first grist mill in the township was built at Linesville, in 1800,
by Jabez Colt, and this was probably the first framed building
erected in the township. Smith Line kept the first store in
Linesville. The first hotel in Pine was kept at Linesville by
Horatio N. Mead. The first death is believetl to have been that
of Charles Waste, who was killed by the fall of a tree during
a thunder storm, in 1820. Tiie first school in Pine was taught
in a lug school house in the north-east part of the township, in
1824, by Joseph Line. The first tannery was built at Lines-
ville in 1833 or '4, by S. C. Stratton.

The early settlers were 8U})plied with salt by the Indians, and
the fact that it was warm wnen they received it led to the belief
that it was ol)fained \\\ tiie locality of Pymatuning swamp,
though the precise locality remains a secret to this day.

^riie firiit church, a log structure, was built in the north-east
part of the township, and the first sermon was probably
preached by Rev. Mr. McMullen, a l^aptist, in 1818.

Tho TAnefrriTle llapfint ChnrcJi wivs o - •.; ...(\ ^vith ei'^litooii im iu:)cis,
March 11, lHr)l, l)y Rev. E. M. AKicii, ti ; ami present pasfor, nud the

church editice, which will beat JiOU peiJ^Dns, was erecteil iu 1852, at a cost



of $2,500. The membership has increased to 112, and the Church property
is Tallied at $8,000. — \InformaUon furnished by the pastor.

St. Philip's Church, (Roman Catholic) at Linesville, was organized with
about forty-tive members, in 1870, by Bishop Mullen. The Society has
no house of worship. It consists of seventy members, who are under the
pastoral care of Rev. J. Donnelly. — {Information furnished by Mr. Patrick

JRANDOLPH was formed in 1824. It is an interior
township, situated a little south-east of the center of the county,
and contains 23,697 square acres. The surface is quite hil]}^
and is drained by Woodcock and Sugar creeks, the former flow-
ing in a northerly, and the latter in a southerly direction. The
eastern part of the township is comparatively new and but
thinly settled. The soil produces good crops and is well adapt-
ed to grazing. Dairying and stock raising are the chief pur-
suits of the inhabitants, though lumbering is carried on quite

The population of the township in 1870 was 1,732, of whom
1,566 were native, 166, foreign and all, except one, white.

During the year ending June 3, 1872, it contained thirteen
schools and employed twenty-one teachers. The number of
scholars was 442; the average number attending school, 350;
and the amount expended for school purposes, 83,268.15.

Hickory CorjsERS (p. o.) is situated in the north-west corner
and contains a church, store, blacksmith shop and about ten

Guts Mills, (p. o.) situated on Sugar Creek, a little west of
the center, contains three churches, one hotel, two stores, a saw
mill, blacksmith shop, wagon shop and twelve dwellings. It
derives its name from Jacol) Guy, the first settler there, who
built a mill there at an early da}^

Black Ash (p. o.) is a hamlet situated in the south-east part,
about one and three-fourths miles from the ea«t line.

The first settlement was made in 1795 by James Brawley,
who came from Lycoming county and located in the south-
western part of the township. He built a log house, the first
erected in the township, and having cleared a small piece of
land he planted it with potatoes, the seed for which he pro-
cured at Franklin, carrying them upon his back through the
woods, up French and Sugar creeks, guided by an Indian path.
He then joined a surveying party in Erie county, with which
he remained till fall, when he returned to dig his potatoes.
AVhen he reached his cabin it was occupied by Indians, who,
supposing him to be dead, had dug and eat his potatoes and
were preparing to leave. They opened their packages and each


generously shared with him their furs and dried meat. With
the proceeds of th^se he purchased wheat, which he sowed and
then returned to Lycoming county. The following spring he
returned to his new home in company with his mother and her
family, arriving June 6, 179G. They with great difficulty came
through the woods with an ox team and wagon, ddving before
them three or four cows, the milk from which was strained and
being put into a churn was converted into butter by the motion
of the wagon. The journey occupied six weeks, and when they
reached their destination they had just twenty-five cents in
money, with which they purchased a quart of salt. There were
no mills accessible and the family subsisted for some time on
frumenty, until Mr. Brawley heard, in the fall, of a mill at the
mouth of Oil Creek. He put four bushels of wheat upon an ox
and started for the mill through the trackless forest, with
naught save his pocket compass for a guide. He was six days
in performing the journey. At night he removed the load from
his ox and turned it out to browse, while he built a fire beside
which he camped, and by which the ox was accustomed to lie
when he had appeased his hunger. Mr. Brawley built the first
saw mill and the first framed house and barn in the township.
In 1800 Mr. Brawley married Mary Grlenn, and theirs was prob-
ably the first marriage contracted in the township. Wm. K.
Brawley, who was born Jan. 29, 1802, was doubtless the first
white child born in the township; and Mary A. Brawley, who
died in 1805, is believed to be the first* person who died in the
township. Mr. Brawley was followed in the settlement by
Amos Daniels, who located in the south-western part, on the
Oil Creek road, Alex. McFadden, who located in the southern
part, and both of whom settled soon after him, Archibald Stew-
art, who came from Lycoming county and settled on the Oil
Creek road, Alex. Johnson, who came from near Harrisburgh
and settled in the western part in 1799, Michael Radle, a native
of Germanv, who came frt^m Philadelphia in 180G and settled
in the northern part, and Dennis Kane, a Revolutionary soldier,
who located in the southern part, on land reserved for the sol-
diers, and who are believed to have settled in the order named.
Jacob Guy settled at Guys Mills in 1815. He came from
Whitehall, N. Y., in 1813 or '14, and located first at Meadville,
where he lived al)out two years, when he removed to Kandol})!).
He was a graduate of Yale College and interested himself in
surveys for himsi'lf and neighbors. The first house built there
was erected for him. It was constructed of })()le8 and covered
with liemlock brush. Tlu- saw mill l)uilt by him in I8in or '17
i was the first frami-d building erected at (luys Mills. He also
put up the first framed house there and was the first justice of

I ^ F


the peace in the township. It is said that the settlers kept him
busy during the winter examining wolves scalps, on which they
obtained a bounty. He kept the first store in the township at
Gruys Mills, and the first hotel was kept at the same place, by
James Foreman. Mr. Guy was prominently identified with the
interests of -the township, and lived on the place in which he
settled the remainder of his life. George and Jacob Cutshall
came from Cumberland county in 1814, and settled in the
northern part on the same farm, where they remained about
two years, when George removed to a farm one mile north of
his brother's. They came through the woods with a six horse
team, crossing the streams that were too deep to ford by using
their wagon box as a boat, in v/hich their goods were conveyed
a few at a time. On the way one of their horses died and a bull
which they drove was driven in the harness in its stead the
rest of the way. George had to go to Meadville to work out
his road tax, as there were no roads in his vicinity. In 1816
Wm. Waid, from New York State, settled a little north of Guys
Mills; John Oaks, from Massachusetts, settled in the southern
part, on the Oil Greek road, where he spent the remainder of
his days ; and Leonard Hall, from Vermont, located at Hickory
Corners, where he was the first settler. He walked all the way,
averaging, he says, the almost incredible distance of forty miles
per day. He was married in 1820, and his wedding tour con-
sisted of a visit to his then far distant Vermont home. The
journey was made with an ox sled, for which he was obliged to
cut a road some distance, while his father-in-law, who accom-
panied him a part of the way, drove the ox and sled bearing his
wife. What a contrast this with the expensive luxuries which
are frequently indulged on such occasions at the present day !
Moses Gilbert, from Fort Ann, N". Y., settled near a spring in
the central part in 1818, and remained there till his death.
Isaac Childs, also from Washington county, N. Y., settled in
the north-eastern part of the township in 1821, and there died.
The first school was taught by Miss Mary H. Guy, in the upper
story of a barn. The first school house is believed to have
been built in the south-western part. It was constructed of
logs and greased paper was substituted in the windows for glass.

Mount Hope M. E. Church, in the southern part of the township, on the
Oil Creek road, was organized with about fifty members, in 1858, by Rev.
J. Whitely, the first pastor, and the house of worship, which will seat
about 300 persons, was erected the same year, at a cost of about $900.
The Society consists of seventy members ; is under the pastoral care of
Rev. J. Eckels ; and its property is valued at about $2,000. — [Infonnation
furnished hy Mr. Smith Byham.

The M. E. Church of Guys Mills was organized with about fifty-five
members, in 1871, by Rev. John W. Blasdell, the first pastor, and their


house of worship, which will seat 350 persons, was erected the same year,
at a cost of $3,500, the present value of Church property. There are about
seventy-two members, who are ministered to by Rev. John Eckels. — \In-
formation furnished by Mr. Horace T. Sikes.

The Baptist Church of Randolph^ at Guys Mills, was organized with ten
members, in 1820, by a council of ministers from sister churches. The
first church edifice was erected in 1826 and was the first built in the town-
ship; the present one, which will seat about 250 persons, in 1868, at a cost
of $1,800, the present value of Church property. The first pastor was
Elder Oliver Alfred. At present the Church is without a pastor. The
number of members is twenty-three. — [^Information furnished hy Mr. Galxin

The First Congregational Church of Randolpli, at Guys Mills, was organ-
ized with twenty members, as a Presbyterian Church, Oct. 31, 1825, and
as a Congregational Church in 1839. The first church edifice was erected
in 1845 ; the present one, which has a seating capacity for 300 persons, in
1871, at a cost of $5,000, the present value of Church property. The first
pastor was Rev. Nathan Harned ; the present one is R. F. Markham, our
informant. There are 120 members.

The East Randolph M. E. Church was organized with about eight mem-
bers, about 1850, by Rev. Edwin Hull, the first pastor. The church edifice
was erected in 1866. It cost $1,275, and will seat about 200 persons. The
Church property is valued at $1,300. The number of members is twenty-
eight. — [Information furnishM by Mr. John Bogardis.

RICUMONB was formed in 1830. It is an interior
township, lying a little north-east of the center of the connty,
and contains 21,744 square acres. The principal streams are
Woodcock Creek, which crosses the south-west corner, Muddy
Creek, which crosses the north-east corner, and Mackey Creek,
which rises in the north-west part and flows in a north-easterly
direction to its confluence with Muddy Creek in the north-east
corner. The north branch of Woodcock Creek rises in the
north-west corner of the township. It is a rich dairy town-
ship, and that branch of industry forms the chief pursuit of
the inhabitants. The Keystone Creamery^ the largest one in the
township, gives employment to eight persons, uses the milk of
750 cows, and daily produces 300 pounds of butter and 1000
pounds of cheese. Lumbering is also an important industry,
and the steam saw mill owned by Grace &; Bachelor, and locat-
ed in the eastern part of the township, gives employment to
five persons and is capacitated to saw 10,000 feet of lumber
per clay.

The proposed Pennsylvania Petroleum K. R, crosses the north-
east corner of the to^yn-shij).

The population of the township in 1870 was 1,300, of whom
1,370 were native, 23, foreign and all, except one, white.

During the year ending June 3, 1872 the township contained
twelve schools and employed ten teachers. The number of


scholars was 436; the average number attending school, 358;
and the amount expended for school purposes, $1,973.41.

New Richmond (p. o.) is a hamlet situated near the center.

Lines Hollow (p. o.) ia a hamlet situated two miles south
of New Richmond.

We are unable to state definitely the date when settlement
was commenced, but Daniel and Lucas Winston and Horace
Hulbert from Cortland county, N. Y., and Horatio Winston
from Canandaigua, N. Y., were among the first to settle in this
township. Dean Swift moved in from New Haven, Conn., with
an ox team, in 1816, the journey occupying eight weeks.
Grould M. Lord from Conn., and Ebenezer Hunt from Vermont,
came in 1818. The nearest mill was then in Woodcock town-
ship and the nearest post office was Meadville. In 1830 Mr.
Lord built a log hog pen and corn crib, and in the upper part
of this rude structure school was taught for three months.
Russel Flint, from Chautauqua Co., N. Y., was an early settler.
Michael Bresee moved in from Ontario Co., N. Y., in 1819.
David Hunt moved in from Whitehall, N. Y., with an ox team
in 1820. Wm. Sanburn, from Canada, George Milles from New
Haven, and Chester Jones settled here about the same year.
Robert Townley emigrated from Ireland in 1795 and settled
first in Erie county. He removed thence to this township in
1821. He says he has carried butter to Meadville on foot and
sold it for six cents per pound in trade. Hollis Hull, from
Washington Co., N. Y., settled here in 1822. He says he has
been to Meadville afoot, trained all day and walked home again
at night. Ananias Phillips moved in from Washington county,
N. Y., in 1824. Jesse Wheelock, who was born in Cheshire
county, N. H.,'-in 1800, moved with his father, in 1806, to
Windsor county, Vt., in 1816, to Ontario county, N. Y., in 1822,
to Erie county and in 1824, to Richmond, where he has since
resided. In 1826, John Brown, whose singular devotion to the
interests of negro slaves in this country, and the folly displayed
by a rash and suicidal attempt at their liberation, gained him
so unenviable a notoriety — for however much we may sympa-
thize with his motives, every order loving citizen must depre-
cate the means by which he sought to consumate his purpose —
settled in this township. John Brown was born of poor but
respectable parents at Torrington, Conn., May 9, 1800. At the
age of five he removed with his father to Hudson, Ohio, where,
at the age of fifteen, without even a common school education,
for unhappily his time at school was not profitably employed,
he commenced working at the tanner and currier's trade,

Online LibraryHamilton ChildGazetteer and business directory of Crawford County, Pa., for 1874 → online text (page 10 of 48)