Hamilton Child.

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

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sies which threatened the peace of the whole community have
long since ceased and their memory is partially obliterated by
the lapse of time.

Robert Cage, a native of Harpers Ferry, Va., who died in
August, 18C9, settled in April, 1824, on the 200 acre tract, " No.
1718," on which his son John now lives.

The first improvement on the site of the village of Little
Cooley was made by Isaac A. Cummings, in 1848, and for some
time his was the only habitation in that locality.

The " Church of OocV^ (Advent,) was organized with three
members, in 1855, by Elder Charles Crawford, the first pas-tor.
The Society is without a house of worship, meetings being held
in the grove during the summer and in the school house during
the winter. There are seventy members. To certain inquiries
propounded relative to this church, Elder C. N. Burrell, the
present pastor, facetiously replies that the house of worship was
erected " when God made the world," and will seat " all that will
come." Its cost, he says, " God only kLOWs " as " the trees are
his first temple."
'A beautiful and conspicuous church edifice graces the village
of Little Cooley. It is under the supervision of the United
Brethren, though it was built with funds contributed by all
denominations and its doors are open to all orthodox sects and
to moral entertainments.

BEAVER was formed in 1811. It lies in the north-west
corner of the county, bordering upon Ohio on the west and
Erie county on. the north, and contains 21,G08 square acres.
The surface is level and watered by several small streams tribu-
tary to Conneaut Cref'k, which have their rise in the south })art
of the townshi]) and flow north, parallel to each other, through
it. In the south-western part is a salt t-pring, which has yielded
considerable quantities of salt. The waters were not stronglv
impregnated with saline matter and as it was believed that by
boring deeper a stronger brine would be obtained, a well was
sunk an additional de])th of 200 to 300 feet, but instead of yield-

iiiga stronger brine oil was obtained, not, however, in sufhcient

38 ^^^ ^ER.

quantity to render it profitable. The oil mixing witii the salt
water rendered the latter valueless for commercial purposes.
An effort was made to restore the salt spring to its former pur-
ity by filling the well to its former depth, but that proving
futile it was abandoned. The soil is well adapted to grazing,
and dairying and stock raising form the chief pursuits of the
agriculturist as well as the principal occupation of the inhabit-
ants. Lumbering is carried on to some extent. The lands in
the northern part of the township, having been in the hands of
speculators, evince but slight improvement, though they are
now being rapidly brought under cultivation.

The population of the township in 1870 was 1177, of whom
1101 were native, 7G, foreign and all, white.

During the year ending June 3, 1872, the township contained
eleven schools and employed twenty-two teachers. The num-
ber of scholars was 373 ; the average number attending school,
307; and the amount expended for school purposes, $1,834,07.

Beaver C-EisTER (p. o.) is located in the center of the town-
ship, four miles from the Erie & Pittsburg R. R., and contains
two churches, (both recently built,) two stores, two saw mills,
(one oj^erated by steam and the other by water,) a manufactory
of hand-rakes, bent fellies, spokes and wagon neaps, a cheese
factory, two blacksmith shops and about twenty-five dwellings.

J. W. Wood & Co.'s manufacturing establishment, located
here, gives employment to about eight persons and annually
produces about 12,000 to 15,000 hand rakes, 5,000 sets of fellies
and wagon shafts, 2,000 wagon poles and 1,500 sets of spokes^

The settlement of the township was commenced about the
beginning of the i^resent century. George and William Fos-
ter are believed to be the first who located within its limits.
They came from the eastern part of the State about the year
1800 and settled near the center. William preceded his father
a few months. He brought with him upon a hand sled a barrel
of flour and superintended his own cuisine, which, it is fair to
presume, was of a most primitive character. His meat was
supplied by the game which was then abundant. About the
same time the Fosters can;e settlements were made by a Mr,
McGtiire in the southern part of the township, by two families
named Silverthorn, in the south-east part, on Silverthorn Eun,
and by a Mr. Thompson, in the south-western part. A Mr.
Durham, settled south of Beaver Center near the same time.

The Gateses, Hollenbecks, Browns and Larkins came in a
little later. Lotan Reid, a native of Massachusetts, located in
the south-western part in 1831, having previously resided in
Canada. At that late day there were no roads in the locality



in which he settled, and the blazed trees of that period were
the only guide the traveler had in traversing the dense forests.
The first store in the township was probably kept at Beaver
Center, by Lester Griswold. The first grist mill was built at
the same place, by Robert Foster, it contained a single run of
stones, which were obtained from rocks found in the vicinity.
The first saw mill is believed to have been built by Wm. Plymat,
about a mile west of the center.

The Church of the United Brethren at Reeds Corners, was organized with
ten members in 1850, by Rev. Willis Lamson, the first pastor. Their house
of worship was erected in 1861, at a cost of $800, and will seat 350 per-
sons. It is free to all orthodox denominations. The present pastor is Rev.
J. Denis; and the number of members, thirty one. The Church property
is valued ot $600. — [Information furnuhed by Mr. W. W. Lamson.

The Christian Church, at Beaver Center, was organized with twenty
members in 1870, by Rev. I. R. Spencer, the first pastor, and the church
edifice, which will seat 200 persons, was erected in 1871, at a cost of
$2,400. There are at present thirty-two members, who are under the min-
istration of Rev. J. J. Summerbell. The Church property is valued at
$2,600. An organization of the Christian denomination existed in this
place about 1840, continuing eight or ten years, with Elder J. E. Church
as its pastor. — [Information furnished by Mr. Luther Gates.

BL003IFIELD was formed in 1811. It lies upon the
north border of the county, east of the center, and contains
39,4G5 square acres. The surface is broken by the valley of
Oil Creek, (which extends diagonally through the central part
of the township,) and its numerous tributaries, the principal of
which are Wv.^st Gate Creek and Streve and Mosey runs. The
east and west branches of Federal Run irrigate the surface of
the western part of the township and contribute their waters to
Muddy Creek, a tributary of French Creek. Oil Creek Lake
lies about the center of the township.

Dairying is an important industry of this township, and
manufacturing is carried on to a limited extent. The staple
j)roductions of the manufactories are lumber and cheese.
Among the industries which engage the attention of the people,
are W7n. Porter db Son^s butter and cheese factory^ situated at
Chapinville, whicli was completed in May, 1873, gives employ-
ment to four persons, receives the milk of 275 cows and pro-
duces fifty pounds of butter and eight to ten cheeses per day;
Dawson H. Fisher^ s cheese factory^ located on road 17, which em-
])loys two persons and ])r()duccs eiglit choeses per day; Euqene
C. Wood''8 shinyle 7nill, situated on road A'l, which emj)loys two
men and is cai)al)le of cutting 0,000 shingles per day ; W. Z>.
Brunstvtter\H saw and lath mill, located on mad 1, which employs
eleven men and is ca])able of sawing 7,000 feet of lumber and
3,000 lath per day; Samuel 11. Wallace's saw mjV/, sitiuited on


Mosey run and on road 4^, which has facilities for sawing 2,000
feet of lumber per day ; Wm. W. Woodward's saio and grist mill,
situated on Mosey Kun and on road 20, with one run of stones
and a capacity for sawing 2,000 feet of lumber per day ; Perry
Shreve's saw mill, situated on a branch of West Gate Greek and
on road 46; Dobben d' Wise's saw fnill, situated at the junction
of roads 17 and 19, which employs five men and has facilities for
sawing 10,000 feet of lumber per day; Henri/ M. Batchelder's
saio mill, situated at Lincolnville, employing five men and pro-
ducing 8,000 feet of lumber per day ; and Davenport <& Son's
saw mill, located at Riceville, which employs four men and is
capacitated to saw 2,500 feet of lumber per day.

The Union & Titusville R. R. extends diagonally through the
township, following the course of Oil Creek.

The population of the township in 1870 was 1,262, of whom
1,238 were native, 24, foreign and all, white.

During the year ending June 8, 1872, the township contained
"ten and one-half schools," and employed nineteen teachers.
The number of scholars was 377; the average number attend-
ing school, 274; and the amount expended for school purposes,

RiCEYiLLE, (p. V.) situated on the south line, near the south-
east corner, and upon Oil Creek, is a station on the U. & T.
R. R. In 1870 it had a population of 301. It contains a church
school house, hotel, four stores, two saw, one grist, and two
shingle mills, one cabinet, two wagon, and two blacksmith
shops, a foundry and agricultural implement manufactory, a
sash, door and blind factory and about seventy-five dwellings.

Lincolnville (p. o.) is situated on Oil Creek and on the U.
& T. R. R., a little south of the center of the township.

Chapinyille (p. o.) is situated on the line of Rockdale.

Bloomfield (p. 0.) is situated north-east of thecenter, at the
head waters of West Gate Creek.

The first settlement of which we have knowledge, was
made by a man named Cunningham, who is believed to
have located in 1795, on land subsequently purchased by James
and Elkanah Blakeslee. In 1798, James Hamilton came into
the township, as the agent of John Fields, of Philadelphia, and
with his advent commenced the first substantial improvement.
He built the first grist mill in 1800, near Oil Creek Lake. It
was rebuilt in 1821. Mr. Hamilton removed to Meadville in
in 1808. Between 1798 and 1800 settlements were made by the

Bloomfields, Xegus, Piper, James Bryan and Joseph

Kirk. Richard Shreve, a son of Gen. Wm. Shreve of Borden-
town, N. J., who served seven years under Washington, was


born Sept. 22, 1760, and came to Bloomfield in 1798, from Red
Srone, where for eight years previous he was in charge of the
Washington Mills, built by George Washington. He had thir-
teen children, nine sons and four daughters, of whom Charles
and Margaret are the only survivors. Charles is now living
on road IG, and has raised a large family. Wm. and Barzillai
Shreve brought a carding machine, which they run two seasons.
It was the third brought into Allegheny county, of which
Crawford county was then a part, the other two being owned
by Lot Lewis, of Meadville, and E. Hewes, of Erie. James
Blakeslee came to this township from Genesee county, N. Y.,
in May, 1819, followed in June of the same year by his son El-
kanah, who was born August 23, 1796, in Washington county,
N. Y., and removed thence with his father to Genesee
cr»unty, in 1799. The Blakeslees located on the Cunning-
ham place, which they purchased of some Swedes, who suc-
ceeded Cunningham in the settlement thereon. James died
at the age of 87 years. The first house built on the site of
Riceville was erected by Samuel Rice. It was constructed of
logs. The first saw mill at that village was built in 1830. Seth
Lincoln, a native of Massachusetts, came from Fabius, N. Y.,
in December, 1837, and took up a tract of 400 acres on the site
of Lincolnville, where he cut the first tree and erected the first
saw and grist mills. The saw mill is still in operation, but the
grist mill relapsed into disuse about two years ago. While passing
a chute with a raft, on his way to Pittsburgh, in 1847, Mr. Lin-
coln received a blow on the head from a scantling, which caused
his death. Salmon N. Sturdevant, also from Fabius, joined
Mr. Lincoln the year following that of his settlement. He
purchased ten acres from a gentleman living in Meadville, and
subaequently fifty acres from Mr. Liiicoln, on which he is still
living at the age of 74 years, and filling the ofiSce of town

The BloomfieM Baptist Churchy at Shreve Corners, was organized with
eighteen menil)ers, Dec. 24, ISoO, by Rev. R D. Hays, the first pastor, and
and their cluirfh edifice, wiiich will seat 250 persons, was erected in 18o4.
The Cliurch now has eighty-five members. During its existence 107 i>cr-
8ons have been added by baptism, letter, experience, and former baptism;
71 have been dismissed by letter; and 22 have been excluded and their
names erased from the Churfh membership. It has liad seven diflerent
pastors, the present incumbent, liev. C. Shreve, our infornumt, now bring
on the twelfth year of his pastorate. The Church property is valued at

CAMBBIDGE was formed from Vcnanrro in 1852. It
lies al)<>ut the center of the north border of the county, and
containfl 11,102 square acres. It 18 drained by I'Vench Creek
and its tributaric^s, the principal of which are Conneautte and


Little Conneaut CreekwS. French Creek enters the township
near the center of the east border and flows in a westerly direc-
tion to its confluence with Oonneautte Creek, on the west
border, when it deflects to the south. These two streams form
the west boundary of the township, separating it from V(?nango.
The soil throughout the township is a rich loam, w^ell adapted
to dairying, which forms the chief pursuit of the inhabitants.

The Atlantic & Great Western R. R extends through the
township, following the course of French Creek, and the Penn-
sylvania Petroleum R. R. crosses the central part, from west to
east, nearly.

The population of the township in 1870, was 747, all of whom
were white, and all, except 47, native born.

During the year ending, June 3, 1872, the township contained
six schools and employed eleven teachers. The number of schol-
ars was 207 ; tlie average number attending school, 150 ; and
the amount expended for school purposes, $792.01.

Cambridge (p. v.) is centrally located, on French Creek and
the A. & G. W. R. R., and is distant fourteen miles north of
Meadville, the county seat. It is a thriving village, containing
five churches, three hotels, a bank, (organized in 1872,) eleven
stores, a saw mill, tannery, shovel-handle factory, two planing
mills, three carriage and two shoe shops, three liveries, and had
in 1870, 452 inhabitants. It was incorporated as a borough in
1867. The tannery is owned by F. W. Winchester and is capa-
ble of tanning 1,200 hides per annum. The handle factory is
operated by B. M. Sherwood & Son. In it fifteen men are em-
ployed and one hundred dozens of handles made per day.
These gentlemen have a saw mill, capable of sawing 10,000 feet
of lumber per day, and a shingle mill, capable of cutting 10,000
shingles per day. They are also engaged in the manufacture of
cheese boxes. One mile north of Cambridge is H. N. Rock-
well's lath mill, containing one drag and five circular saws, em-
ploying six men and capable of cutting 15,000 lath per day.

The Cambridge Masonic Lodge was organized with eight char-
ter members, in July, 1870, with Prof. H. D. Persons as first W.
M. The lodge has a good hall, well furnished, and is in a pros-
perous condition. The present (June, 1873,) number of mem-
bers is oyer fifty, including many of the best citizens in the com-
munity. Regular meetings are held the second and fourth
Fridays of each month.

Drakes Mills (p. o.) is situated in the north part of the

Settlement was commenced the latter part of the last century^
Robert Humes, a native of Ireland, came here in 1797 and ig


said to have settled the first farm in the townfhip, on lot 141,
on which his son David now resides. He helped to raise the
first cabin built in Meadville. Archibald Humes and Michael
Sherred, from Susquehanna county, came about the same time.
The former built the first grist mill in this part of the county.
Other early settlersat this or a little later date were John I., Thos.
and Archibald (Jr.) Humes, John Sherer and Henry Allen, the
latter a native of England. Henry Baugher, from the vicinity
of Harrisburg, came in about 1800. Leonard Docter came from
Susquehanna county in 1801, and located on lot 128. Isaac Kelly,
Thos. Fullerton, Edward Hicks, James Durham, James Weston,
John Sinclearand Alex. Anderson settled here in 1811, and John
Langley, a native of Ireland, in 1812. James Birchard, from
Berkshire county, Mass., and Amos Ames, from the same State,
came in 1813; and Charles T. Cummings and Dr. Perkins, who
also settled here the latter year, purchased a large tract of land
wiiich was settled by emigrants from Massachusetts, and is at
present known as "Yankee Hill" Daniel and Sylvester Root,
brothers, from Hampshire Co., Mass., settled in the township in
1819. These early settlers were accustomed to go to Erie for
salt and other necessaries, which were conveyed on forked poles,
drawn by a yoke of oxen. This w^as a rude conveyance — one
which the descendants of these worthy pioneers could scarcely
be induced to adopt at the present day — but one which was
adapted to the times and the condition of the country through
which they passed.

The first- religious meetings held in the township, when this
was a part of Venango, were held on the bank of French Creek,
near the cemetery. The worshipers assembled under heaven's
blue canopy, sheltered by the forest trees. A stump cut down
the center, one-half left a few feet higher than the other, served
as a pulpit, while the congregation sat upon logs and such other
conveniences as the location afforded.

The Cnmbridfjehoro Baptist Church, (formerly known as the RoeJcdale, but
oriicinully as the Jxiuuion BiqitUt Church,^\<^'A organized witli twelve mem-
bers, Oct. 31, 1812, by Revs. Wm. West and Thomas Kiirdon. The
Society has erected tliree church edifices. We are not advised of tiie
year in which the first was built, but the second one was constructed in
1S;{5, and the j)resent one, which will Sf-at 380 persons, in 1870, at a cost
of !^(i,OUO. The first pastor was litv. George Miller, the present one is
Rev. Ross Ward, our informant. Tiie Society numbers ninety-five mem-
])ers, and its property is valued at .$0,800.

From the minutes of the Vortn-yinth Annual Sesm'on of t?ir F^-enrh
Crerk liaptint Association we learn that the members at its orgnnizalion
were "(r'w. MilUn\ A ex. Amhrmni,, laimc luUy, John Lanalry. Jan. Aiulvr-
fion, Sally Clark, liarhar Miller, Hannah Kelly, Elizaheth Daniel, Chri.stina
}filler and, Lydia A)uler»son ;" and the following relative to the discipline
of the Church : —


'* In the early history of the church every member was required to at-
tend eveiy meeting ; if any one but once failed to do so, he was required
to give an excuse ; if he failed twice, he was visited by brethren appointed
by the church, who reported at the next meeting. Brethren appointed on
any committee were required faithfully to perform their duty ; if any one
committed a misdemeanor which came to the knowledge of the church,
some judicious brother was appointed to admonish him. A yearly meet- '
ing was held which all were expected and were glad to attend, and which
was ever attended by members of sister churches, commencing Saturday
P. M. and continuing over the Sabbath. Their greetings on those occasions
were hearty. Their evening meetings often extended far into the
night. When they voted to hold a special or protracted meeting, they
gave themselves to prayer and fasting, arranged their business so that all
could attend from the first, and gave word to their friends near and far.
Neighboring pastors would attend. These meetings were short, but fre-
quently from the first, sinners would ask for the prayers of Christians."

The First Presbyterian Church of Cambridge, at Cambridge borough, was
organized with twenty -three members, April 22, 1852, by Revs. R. Craig-
head, E. W. Beebe and Elder Kerr. Their house of worship was

erected the same year, at a cost of $1,500. It will seat H50 persons. Rev.
G. W. Hampson was the first pastor, and Rev. W. A. McCarrell, our im-
formant, is the present one. ' There are one hundred members. The
Church property is valued at $2,500.

CONNEAUT "ivsiS formed in 1811, and derives its name
from the lake of the same name. It lies upon the west border
of the county, north of the center, bordering upon the State of
Ohio, and contains 23,896 square acres. The surface is quite
level or gently rolling, and is watered in the western part by
Paden Greek and other small streams and in the eastern part
by Mill Creek. The soil, which is a gravelly loam, produces
good grass and grain, and dairying and stock raising form the
chief vocations of the people. The Erie & Pittsburgh R. R.
passes through the eastern part of the township.

The population of the township in 1870 was 1729, all of
whom were white, 1G67, native and 62, foreign.

During the year ending June 3, 1872, the township contained
sixteen schools and employed thirty-two teachers. The num-
ber of scholars was 560; the average number attending school,
505; and the amount expended for school purposes purposes,

Pe^stn Lii^rE, (p. V.) situated in the western part of the town-
ship, and distant about half a mile from the Ohio line, is sur-
rounded by a tolerably good farming and dairy country, and
contains two stores, one hotel, one tannery, two blacksmith and
two shoe shops and about sixteen dwellings.

Steamburg, (p. 0.) situated on Paden Creek, in the north
part of the township, contains a church, steam saw mill, cheese
factory, blacksmith shop and about ten dwellings.


Summit Statioit, located in the eastern part, on the E. & P.
R. R., derives its name from the fiict that the summit of the
road is a short distance north of this locality.

Settlement of the township was commenced near the close
of the last century, but of the precise year we are not advised.
Wm. Shotwell, one of the first settlers, if not the first, located
near the center, but remained only a short time. Several settle-
ments were made in 1798, or about that year. Among those
who settled at that time were Wm. and Thos. Rankin, Obed
Garwood, Isaac Paden, Samuel Patterson, Robert Martin, Jas.
Martin and Wm. Latta. The Rankin's were natives of Ireland.
Wm. located at Penn Line, where he cleared a large farm on
which he resided till his death ; and Thomas, about one and
one-half miles south-east of that place, where he cleared some
land and built a saw mill, and eventually removed to Indiana
where he died. Garwood came from Red Stone, Pa., and settled
in the southern part and cleared a large farm, on which he
remained till his death, and on which some of his children
now reside. Paden, who came from the same place as Gar-
wood, located in the south-wpst part, where he probably built
the first grist and saw mills, and where he remained until his
death. Patterson was from N. J. and settled on the site of
Steamburg, where he cleared a large farm and spent the re-
mainder of his days. The Martin's and Latta were natives of
the Emerald Isle. Robert Martin located at Steamburg, and
resided there till his earthly labors were ended by death ; while
James Martin and Latta settled at Penn Line. Latta built the
first framed building — a barn — erected in the township.
Many others settled in the township about this time, but soon
left in consequence of the alleged breach of faith of the Hol-
land Land Co., who offered to settlers 400 acres of land in con-
sideration of eight years settlement and the projection of cer-
tain improvements. Samuel Potter settled in the northern
part in 17'J9. He came from Elizabethtown, X. J., with an ox
team, part of his journey lying through the woods, in wliich
his only guide was blazed trees. He took up land, put in some
cro})s and built a log house, and at the end of a year he returned
to N. J., where he remained another year, when he retraced liis
steps to his new home, where he dit-d at the age of 93 years.
He was drafted during the war of 1812 and served three months
at Erie. Henry Frey came from York county in 1800, and

Online LibraryHamilton ChildGazetteer and business directory of Crawford County, Pa., for 1874 → online text (page 5 of 48)