Hamilton Child.

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

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the dining rooms. A sm;ill framed house standing a short
distance from the main building is used as a laundry, and also
contains a bath room. In the second story is a carpenter shop,
in which a pauper, who is a carpenter by trade, makes himself
very useful. The liouse will accommodate 150 inmates. These
unfortunate recipients of public charity sleep on straw beds, but
have sufficient bed clothes, and the apartments are kept clean
and comfortable. They receive an abundant supply of whole-
some food. A physician visits the house once a week and of-
tener if required. Besides the superintendent and matron only
one man and two girls are employed, all the rest of the labor
on the farm and in the house being performed by the inmates.
Intemperance is regarded by the superintendent as the chief
cause of pauperism in the county. Fully one-third of the
inmates are foreigners. There is no special provision for the
accommodation of the insane, but all who are required to be
kept confined are sent to Dixmont Insane Asylum.

Crawford, Venango, Mercer and Clarion counties compose the
Twentieth Congressional District. Crawford county forms
the Thirtieth Judicial District, the Twenty-ninth Senatorial
District and elects two Senators, and has two Eepresentatives.

There are eight papers published in the county, viz : The
Coaneautville Courier.^ weekly, The Crawford Journal, weekly,
The Crawford Democrat, weekly. The Cambridge Index, weekly,
the Titusville Herald, daily and weekly, the Titusville Courier,
daily and weekly, the Meadville Republican, daily and weekly^
and The Sunday Press. The first paper published in the county,
and the first west of the AUeghanies, was the Crawford Weekly


Messenger, which was started at Meadville by Thomas Atkinson
and W. Brendle, in 1805, the first number being issued on the
second of January of that year. It was Eepublican in politics
and its columns were avowedly open to all. The only restric-
tion imposed required that discnssions should be conducted
with liberality, candor and decency. "This commendable
rule," says Huidekoper, in his Incidents in the Early History of
Crawford County, published in 1847, "seems to have been
observed for the first few numbers of the new paper, but shortly
after, when the contest began to increase in warmth between
the friends of Mr. Snyder and Governor McKean, we find the
political essays in the Messenger marked with the same bitter
personalities which mar and disfigure similar contests at the
present day," and the stricture is not less applicable after the
lapse of over half a century. Justice prompts the admission
that such, however, was not the character of the editorials.

The Cokneautville Courier was commenced Nov. 14,
1847, by A. J. Mead and George W. Brown, and has been issued
weekly continuously since that date. The following November
Mr. Mead sold his interest to his partner, who continued in
charge till May, 1854, when he sold to A. J. Mason and D.
Sinclair Brown. Such was the success which attended the labors
of these gentlemen that the subscriptions reached nearly 2000
in number, and obliged them to introduce steam power. Theirs
was the first steam power press in the State west of the Alle-
ghanies. In May, 1856, Mason purchased Sinclair's interest,
and in August, 1862, sold the establishment to R. 0. & J. H.
Frey, to accept the command of a volunteer company during
the war of the Rebellion. He was fatally wounded at Fred-
ericksburgh, Va. In February, 1864, the Frey Brothers sold to
J. E. & W. A. Rupert, by whom the paper was consolidated
with the Crawford County Record, under the title of the Record
and Courier. The Record was started in 1858, by John W.
Patton, as an advertising sheet for gratuitous distribution, but
meeting with great favor it developed into a regular weekly
paper and soon became a formidable rival of the Courier, both
being Republican in politics. At the breaking out of the
Rebellion Mr. Patton joined the army as a lieutenant, and was
subsequently promoted to the rank of major. At his death
from wounds received at Chancellorsville, Va., in May, 1863,
Fred. H. Broggins bought the establishment, which he iiad
previously leased from Miij. Patton, and in December, 1863, it
WHS purchased by J. E. & W. A. Rupert, the present proj)rietors,
who in December, 1870, changed the title to The Conneautville
Courier, on account of the age of that paper. It is strictly a
local newspaper, and is the home organ of a region composed


of the western part of Crawford county, the south-western
part of Erie and the north-western part of Mercer, in Pa., and
the eastern part of Ashtabula county, Ohio, embracing a pop-
ulation of fully 70,000, who are principally engaged in dairy
farming. It is Republican in politics and is ably conducted.

The first paper published in Conneautville was the Union,
which was started in October, 1846, by Piatt & Son, and dis-
continued the following May.

The Crawford Journal, published at Meadville, is the
successor of the Craioford Weelcly Messenger, before alluded to,
which in 1834, passed into the hands of Joseph C. C Kennedy,
(late Superintendent of U. S. Census Bureau,) who conducted it
for a year and a half, when Jos. C. Hays purchased the material,
and July 27, 1836, changed the name to Crawford Statesman,
which was Whig in politics. In 1841, Mr. Hays sold to a com-
pany, and the paper was successively edited by Samuel Magill,
A. P. Whitaker, H. B. Brooks, James Onslow and James
Burchfield, Democratic in politics. In 1848, the material was
purchased by Mr. Hays, who, on the 13th of January of that
year, commenced the publication of The Crawford Journal, as a
Whig paper. The Meadville Gazette, another Whig paper, started
by L. L. Lord, in 1845, was purchased by Mr. Hays and consol-
idated with the Journal in 1850. Mr. Hays conducted the
Journal as a Whig, American and Eepublican organ, until No-
vember, 1864, when it was purchased by John D. Nicholas. In
December, 1865, the office was entirely destroyed by fire. In
the spring of 1866, the Journal was re-issued by Edward Bliss
and John D. Nicholas. Since April, 1867, it has been successive-
ly under the editoral control of Thomas McKean, McKean &
Erey, Johnson & McKean, McKean & Andrews, Eobert
Andrews & Co., Hollister & Metcalf, Chalfant & Tyler,
C. W. Tyler and Thickstun & Hollister. In April, 1873,
it was purchased by Hempstead & Co., the present proprietors.

The Crawford Democrat was started at Meadville, in 1833,
by James E. McEarland, wh.o sold it, in 1859, to Wm. Wilson,
by whom it was sold, in 1861, to Thomas W. Grayson, the pres-
ent editor and proprietor. The paper has always been Demo-

The Crawford Ii?"DEX is the outgrowth of The Index, a
monthly advertising pamphlet, which was started at Cam-
bridgeboro, in 1869, by A. W. Howe, who issued a few
numbers at remote periods, until declining health and
financial embarrassments compelled him to relinquish
the project. At his death in February, 1872, D. P. Eobbins,
M. D., purchased the press and material, and in April, 1872,


issued the first number of the Weekly Index, which, by untir-
ing zeal, he established upon a paying basis. At the beginning
of the second volume he admitted B. T. Anderson as a partner,
enlarged the paper to its present size and changed its name to
the Cambridge Index, under which title it is now published. In
June, 1873, Mr. Anderson withdrew from the firm, leaving Mr.
Eobbins the sole proprietor, and by whom it is still published.
Evidences of settlement at a time long anterior to the advent
of the present race exist in various parts of the county,
but too little is known in regard to them to assign them to a
definite era. Among the nomadic Indians who occupied the
country when the present settlements were commenced a tradi-
tion was extant that these traces of civilized occupancy were the
works of a larger and more powerful race of people than they,
and their character precludes the idea that they were wrought
by the uncultured red men. In Gordon's Gazetteer of Pennsyl-
vania,!^ "the following notice of a curious mound in the
county," " taken from the N. Y. Jour, of Commerce, 1830."

*' On an extensive plain near Oil Creek, there is a vast mound of stones'
containing many hundred thousand cart loads. This pyramid has stood
through so many ages that it is now covered with soil, and from its top
rises a noble pine tree, the roots of which running down the sides, fasten
themselves in the earth below. The stones are many of them so large that
two men can scarce move them, and are unlike any in the neighborhood ;
nor are there quarries near, from which so large a quantity could be
taken. The stones were, perhaps, collected from the surface, and the
mound one of the many that have been raised by the ancient race which
preceded the Indians, whom the Europeans have known. These monu-
ments are numerous further north and east, and in the south and west are
far greater, more artificial and imposing."

We extract from Huidekoper's Incidents in the Early History
of Crawford County the following relative to the Indian occu-
pancy of the country embraced in this county :

" There were originally two circular forts about a mile below the present
village of Meadville. The one in the valley, on the farm of Mr. Taylor
Randolph, and the other a quarter of a mile below, on the bluff point of a
high knoll, where a small stream puts into the canal. The plough and
annual tillage of the soil, have now destroyed them. There was also a
mound to be seen a short distance above the fort, which stood in the
plain. It is now nothiuL'' but a smooth eminence, some two or three feet
liigh, and extending from north to south some fifteen or twenty feet, and
about twice as nmch from east to west. It is described, however, by 3lr.
Isaac Randolph, one of the oldest settlers, on whose farm it stands, as
having been composed originally of two mounds connected by a narrow
neck between them. The material of one of the mounds he repreM-nts
a.s having been of gravel, and the other of alluvial earth. The ground
around the mound is alluvial, without stone, and it is evident the material
was carried some distance to construct the mound, as there was no ditch or
excavation near it, from which it could have been taken. The mound
stands some thirty rods from the stream, where gravel is abundant.


" The fields in the neighborhood abound with small pieces of Indian
crockery, resembling common earthenware, except that it is not glazed, nor
so well burned.

" In ploughing in the neighborhood of the above mound some years ago
an Indian grave was discovered, covered with a large stone, under which,
among the bones, were found some interesting relics. Among the rest,
some sharp instruments of agate or other hard stone, shaped in the form
of the segment of a circle, from three to five inches long, and having one
edge, and the points very sharp ; they were probably used either for
surgical instruments, or for tattooing, &c. Indian arrow-heads of flint,
and axes of greenstone, are frequently found in the flats along the creek,
and occasionally the remains of pipes for smoking carved out of stone.
A small idol, carved in the form of an owl, of soapstone, was found a
few years since, and is now in the cabinet of Mr. Frederick Huidekoper,
in Meadville. A small turtle, either a petrifaction, or a relic of Indian
sculpture, has lately been discovered in excavating for a fiirnace on the
Big Sugar Creek ; it is now in the possession of Mr. J. Russell, at Russell-
ville, in Venango County. The fossil is a siliceous stone, and was un-
fortunately and wantonly broken by the laborers who exhumed it ; the
pieces, however, have been obtained and preserved by Mr. Russell. The
head and front part of the body are entire ; the head a little distorted, but
very distinct. From a hasty inspection I had of it in passing Mr. Russell's,
a f ^ w days since, I should be inclined to believe it a specimen of Indian
sculpture, and an idol of the Delaware, or some other tribe of Indians,
who regarded the turtle as sacred.

"The most perfect of the Indian fortifications in the county is a cir-
cular fort, still in a tolerable state of preservation, which stands on a point
of land projecting into the Pymatuning Swamp in North Shenango town-
ship. The area of the fort includes some two acres of ground, now
covered with large timber. The breastwork is about three feet high, and
the fosse from two to three feet deep ; there are from four to five places
of egress from the fort, where there are intervals in the ditch. The breast-
work has probably originally been fortified with a stockade, and the
portals occupied with gates. On the land side, or the side opposite to the
swamp, is another breastwork, some twenty or thirty yards from the fort,
and now less distinct.

" In the interior of the fort there are a great number of places where
there is a slight depression in the surface, as though a hole had been dug
some two feet in diameter. In excavating in these places the ground has a
burnt look, and among the earth are small pieces of charcoal, indicating
that these holes have been receptacles for fire, and were probably made
use of in cooking. On the top of the breastwork trees are now growing,
one of which, a white oak, measured more than ten feet in circumference.
In the neighborhood of the fort are Indian graves and remains, that have
not yet been explored."

At " Green Mount," upon the farm of Mr. Rufus Smith,
about two miles south of Meadville, have recently been ex-
humed human skeletons, which, from their position and other
circumstances connected with their burial, have induced in some
the belief that they are Indian remains. While the evidence
thus far adduced does not fully establish this as the fact, the
position is not rendered less tenable by the counter theory,
which seeks to show, upon the authority of Mr. Alexander
Shaw, of Shaws Landing, and other early settlers, that the


remains are those of early white settlers, and the locality a
burial ground which was laid out upon the farm when it was
the property of James Randolph. There is little doubt that
the spot was used as a place of burial by the early white settlers ;
and the irrefragable evidence which exists that this was once the
home of the red man, renders it highly probable that this
mound, so characteristic of the Indian sepulture, and yet, pos-
sibly, only a natural conformation of the ground, was used by
them for interring their dead. It is not impossible, therefore,
nor improbable, that the remains of both white and red men re-
pose there. The remains which have been disinterred are
placed in the Natural History Department of the Meadville
Theological School, and may prove to be interesting aboriginal

In Cussewago township and other localities numerous Indian
relics have, from time to time, been disclosed by the agency of
the plow and otherwise. Huidekoper relates that in 1834, while
engaged in surveying the extreme western part of the county,
near Sorrel Hill, he discovered trees which had been blazed
one hundred and twelve years before that time. On blocking
these trees the mark of the ax or edo^ed instrument w^as very
distinct. Very recently Mr. Eli Brown, while engaged in fell-
ing a large oak tree, upon his farm in Summit township, dis-
covered near its center a cut which was apparently made with
an ax or other sharp instrument of similar design. The num-
ber of rings marking each year's growth, from thecutoutward,
as counted by Mr. Brown, indicates that the incision was made
more than three centuries ago, as early as 1573, but by whom
can only be conjectured.

This section of country seems to have been considered by the
Indians as neutral ground, and was probably only the tempe-
rary home of nomadic tribes. It is not definitely known that
any permanent Indian village existed within the limits of the
county, though suppositions that such is the fact have been and
are still entertained. Their nearest village on the east, of
which we have any authentic record, was Cornplanter's, at Tin-
/ie.'ika.ntaffo,on the Allegheny River, and the nearest settlements
of the western Indians were at Cuyahoga and Sandusky.
Among the Indians who were living at the mouth of Connoaut
Creek was a chief, named Canadauyhta, to whom, and his three
sons, (Flying Cloud, Big Sun and Standing Stone,) the e»rly
white settlers were inde)}ted for many acts of kindness and
ft-iendly protection.

Settlement by the whites was commenced in 1787, by David
and John Mead, who, in Mie summer of that year, impelled by tlie
acrimonious disputes engimdered by conflicting claims betweeu


Connecticut and Pennsylvania, left their homes in Northum-
berland county to explore the valley of French Creek. "They
found the soil rich and productive, and many of the finest por-
tions of the valley covered with herbage and grass, the forest
trees having apparently been long previously removed, giving
the cleared portions, at this time, much the appearance of a
natural prairie." Their favorable report of the country induced
Joseph Mead, Thomas Martin, John Watson, James F. Ran-
dolph, Thomas Grant, Cornelius VanHorne and Christopher
Snyder to accompany them the following spring with a view to
making it their permanent home. They located upon French
Creek, in the vicinity of Meadville, some upon the east bank,
but principally upon the west side, at the mouth of Cusse-
wago Creek. Owing to the frequent outrages perpetrated by the
hostile Indians upon the settlements of this frontier, by which
these pioneers and the few who subsequently united their
fortunes with them were several times driven from their im-
provements and compelled to seek protection at Franklin, the
nearest fortified place, the settlements were much retarded dur-
ing the first" eight years, nearly every one of which was marked
by the brutal ferocity and vindictiveness of the Indians ; and
not until the consummation of the treaty of G-en. Wayne with
the western Indians, which was made Aug. 3, 1795, and ratified
Dec. 22, of the same year, and which brought tranquility and
security to them, did a rapid, healthy and enduring improve-
ment take place. Early in 1794 the settlers organized them-
selves into a military company, of which Cornelius VanHorne
was chosen captain, and a block house was built, in the upper
story of which a cannon was mounted. The blockhouse was a
rough log building, with the upper story projecting beyond the
lower one, and was provided with a centry box on the top. It
was situated east of Water street, in the city of Meadville, and
remained standing till the summer of 1828, when, in the pro-
gress of improvement, it was removed. The settlers worked
their farms as best they could, keeping together in small com-
panies, fearing the isolation which was sure to provoke attack
from a covert enemy, and ever on the alert to anticipate and
avert the danger with which they were constantly threatened.

Wishing to avoid repetition we refer the reader to the respec-
tive towns, where further details pertaining to the early settle-
ments will be found.




ATHENS, was formed in 1831. It is an interior town*
lying north-east of the center of the county and contains 17,113
square acres. The surface is pleasantly diversified by upland
and valley. The soil is of good quality, being well adapted to
the growth of grass, barley, rye, oats, corn and buckwheat, and
is well watered in the western and central parts by Muddy
Creek, its tributaries, and the numerous springs from which
they take their rise, and in the eastern part by Oil Creek, which
crosses the north-east corner of the township. It is populated
by a thrifty and intelligent people, who are engaged principally
in agriculture, lumbering and the various industries growing
out of the latter. Among the principal manufacturing interests
are Wright & Barter's cheese box factory and planing mill,
situated at Little Cooley, and giving employment to five men
in the manufacture of 200 boxes per day; Sam.uel Clement's
steam saw and shingle mill, located on road No. 11, which
employs two men and turns out 3000 feet of lumber and 20,000
shingles per day; J. M. Parker's shingle mill, located in the
suuth-east part, which employs eight men and is capable of pro-
ducing 20,000 shingles per day ; D. & J. Riggs' steam saw and.
shingle mill, located on road No. 35, which gives employment
to three men and is capable of cutting 2000 feet of lumber and
10,000 shingles per day; and the Athens Mills, located on road
No. 2f5, near the south line, consisting of steam saw, shingle
and lath mills, in which twenty-live men are emploved and
15,000 feet of lumber, 20,000 slimgles and 10,000 iatii can be
made per day.

The township is traversed by the Union & Titusville R. R.,
which crosses the north-east corner, and the Pennsylvania
Petroleum R. R., which crosses the south-west corner.

The population of the township in 1870 wad 1317, of whom
121)0 were native, 27, foreign and all, white.


During the year ending June 3, 1872, the township contained
nine schools and employed sixteen teachers. The number of
schohirs was 460 ; the average number attending school, 335 ;
and the amount expended for school purposes, $1,677.77.

Little Cooley, (p. v.) situated in the western part of the
township, on Muddy Creek, and on the line of the P. P. R.
E., is a promising village containing a church, (United Breth-
ren,) school house, hotel, six stores, a grist mill, cheese box fac-
tory and many comfortable dwellings.

Taylors Stand (p. o.) is situated on the State Road, in the
north part.

The settlement of the township was commenced about the lat-
ter part of the last century by a man named Smith, who lived in
lonely seclusion without neighbors or companionship save that
of the nomadic Indians who frequented his locality, and with
no better roads than the Indian paths afforded. Franklin was
the nearest reliable place from wliich he could obtain supplies,
and these were conveyed upon the backs of horses which were
eventually lost in the wilderness. His house stood upon tiie
Dr. Taylor farm and its ruins were discernible when the doctor
took possession. He finally abandoned his improvements, but
whether he reached the settlements in safety, or became a victim
to the treachery of his savage companions is not known.
Smith was followed by Elisha Root, Dr. Silas Taylor, Jonah
Edson, Wm. King, John Shawburger and Abraham Wheeler,
who battled heroically with the hardships incident to pioneer
life and effected permanent settlements. Taylor and Wheeler,
far advanced in years, have lived to see the wonderful transfor-
mations, by which a wilderness forbidding in aspect and habited
by wild beasts has given way to the fruitful farms of the pros-
perous husbandman and the busy hum of the mechanic arts,
and to enioy in sweet tranquility the fruits of their early ardu-
ous labors. The absence of roads of any kind was one of the
first difficulties which demanded the attention of these brave
and sturdy yeomen. By an act of the Legislature a State road
was authorized and had*^ been cut out, but the underwood had
obtained vigorous growth and obstructed its passage. Steep hills
needed leveling, deep morasses making passable and streams
bridging; while dense forests covering all the lands denied them
subsistence. Nothing daunted they set themselves to the task
of removing these obstacles. Dr. Taylor and John Brown (the
latter of Harpers Ferry notoriety, who settled at a later day in
the township of Richmond, which adjoins this on the west,)
were active in opening -the State road through their respective
townships, and soon had the satisfaction of seeing a serviceable


highway which answered well its purpose, and laid the founda-
tion f^r more permanent improvement. The settlement of the
township was retarded by the conflicting titles arising from
discrepancies iu the surveys made by Doe and Herrington.
Many who came purposing to take up and improve the lands
were deterred from doing so and sought homes in other locali-
ties where patrimony was less likely to be affected by legal con-
tention. Happily, however, all these clashing interests have
been harmonized by wise legislation, and the bitter controver-

Online LibraryHamilton ChildGazetteer and business directory of Crawford County, Pa., for 1874 → online text (page 4 of 48)