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History of Huntingdon and Blair counties, Pennsylvania online

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HISTORY

OP

HUNTINGDON AND BLAIR

COUNTIES,



J. SIMPSON AFRICA, b.l^ol-



ILLUST RATED.



PHILADELPHIA:
LOUIS H. EVERTS.

18 8 3.

?RESS OF J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO., PHILADELPHI






\^



PREFACE.



This handsomely-printed and illustrated volume is the result of the efforts of Major Louis
H. Everts to prepare and publish a history of the counties of Huntingdon and Blair. The
material for the histories of the several sub-divisions of these counties was chiefly collated and
the sketches prepared by writers detailed for that purpose by the publisher, as follows: J. L.
Rockey for Barree, Brady, Franklin, Henderson, Jackson, Juniata, Logan, Miller, Morris,
Oneida, Porter, Walker, Warrior's Mark, and West townships of Huntingdon County, and
Snyder and Tyrone of Blair County; Dr. Thomas Cushing for Carbon, Cass, Hopewell, Lincoln,
Tod, and Union; William H. Shaw for Clay, Cromwell, Dublin, Shirley, Springfield, and Tell
townships of Huntingdon; and J. H. Schenck for the other townships of Blair County. The
sketcli of the city of Altoona was commenced by J. P. Snell, and completed, after his death,
by Dr. Thomas Cushing and others, and that of Penn township was written by Dr. John H.
Wintrode. Chapter XVII., the " Bench and Bar," was prepared by Theodore H. Cremer, Esq.,
and the narratives of the numerous military organizations that participated in the great conflict
for the maintenance of the integrity of our national Union were written by Capt. Franklin
Ellis. Additional information, drawn from various reliable sources, was incorporated with these
sketches.

It is not claimed tliat this work is free from error. It treats of a region whose history
began nearly a century and a half ago, and which has within that period developed from an
-almost ti-ackless wilderness to become the happy home of ninety thousand people. It requires
great care to separate truth from error in the numerous cherished traditions of past events. This
duty has been as faithfully performed as possible under the attending circumstances. Much
valuable information will be found in the following pages that never before appeared in print or
was accessible to the public.

Very many of the citizens of the two counties cheerfully responded to requests for informa-
tion, or kindly tendered it, and they thereby contributed much to the thoroughness of details of
the work. To all such respectful acknowledgment is made. Some localities have been more
minutely described than others. A reason for this will be found in the fact that the residents
of such districts manifested an interest in the work, and assisted in procuring valuable data
pertaining to their respective neighborhoods.

J. SIMPSON AFRICA.
HxTNTiNaDON, Pa., March 15, 1883.



CONTENTS OF HUNTINGDON COUNTY.



CHAPTER I. r/

The English Claim to rennsylvania— SwediBh and Dutch Poseeseion



-Final acknowlpdgn



tit uf the EngliBh Claim..
CHAPTER II.



CHAPTER III.
Erection of Lancaster, Cumberland, and Bedford Counties — Pur-
chase of the Indian Titles — Erection of Townships and Election
Districts— Local Officers



CHAPTER IV.
1 Occupation — Lenni Lenape — Iroquois— Complaiu
s by the Whites on Unpurchased Lands



CHAPTER V.
The Murder of John Armstrong, an Indian Trade



and his Com-



CHAPTER VI.
The Original Inhabitants of the Juniata Valley— Unlawful Intru-
sions upon their Lands — Efforts of the Government to restrain the



CHAPTER VII.

The Indian and French War of 1755— Erection of Forts Shirley,
Standing Stone, Fetter's, Holliday's, Lowry's,Hartsock'8, Ly tie's,
Anderson's, McAlevy's, and Roberdeau — Troubles with the In-
dians during the Revolutionary War — Tory Expedition to Kit-



CHAPTER VIII.
Highways— Indian Paths- Public Roads— The River— Turnpike
Roads— Canals— Railroads

CHAPTER IX.
Early Settlements— Names of Pioneers

CHAPTER X.

Huntingdon— The Warm Springs— Jack's Narrows— Fort Shirley-
Black Log Valley— The Clugage Family, and the Shades of Death
in 1776

CHAPTER XI.
Confiscation of the Estates of Traitors

CHAPTER XII.
Formation of Huntingdon County — Erection of County Buildings...

CHAPTER XIII.
The Constitutional Conventions of 1776,1790, 1838, and 187.3

CHAPTER XIV.

Iron Manufacture

CHAPTER XV.
List of Marriages by Rev. John Johnston, 1787 to l82:i, 34'.l couples..

CHAPTER XVI.
The Press of Huntingdon County

CHAPTER XVII.



CHAPTER XIX. p

Military— War of the Rebellion— The Three Yeani' Troops— The

Twenty-fifth Regiment

CHAPTER XX.
Military— The Forty-ninth and Fifty-third Regiments



CHAPTER XXI
-The Sixty-second Regiment



CHAPTER XXII,
Military- The Seventy-sixth and Seventy-seventh Regiments

CHAPTER XXIII.

Military — Eighty-fuurth Regiment

CHAPTER XXIV.
Military — Ninety-second Regiment— One Hundred and Tenth Regi-
ment—The Twelfth Cavalry

CHAPTER XXV.
Military— War of the Rebellion continued— One Hundred and
Twenty-fifth Regiment

CHAPTER XXVI.

One Hundred and
nth Regiments

CHAPTER XXVir.
Military— War of the Rebellion continued— Nineteenth and Twen-
tieth Cavalry, and One Hundred and Ninety-second Hegiment...-

CHAPTER XXVIII.
Military— War of the Rebellion continued— Two Hundred ?id Sec-
ond, Two Hundred and Fifth, Two Hundred and Eighth Regi-
ments— Huntingdon and Blair Men in other regiments

CHAPTER XXIX.
Representatives in Congress and the Stale Legislature

CHAPTER XXX.
Judicial Officers

CHAPTER XXXI.
County Officers



CHAPTER XXXIII.

CHAPTER XXXIV.

CHAPTER XXXV.

CHAPTER XXXVI.
CHAPTER XXXVII.
CHAPTER XXXVIII.
CHAPTER XXXIX.



Cass Township
Clav Towxshh



Bench and Bar..



CHAPTER XVIII.



65 1 Dublin Town



Franklin Townsh



CHAPTER XL.



CONTKXTS OF lirXTIXiiDOX COUXTY.

CllAI'TKK .\I,1. "a.u: CHAPTER LII.

i||.U'Ti:i{ XUr. CHAPTER I.III.



CHAl'TER XLIV. CHAPTER LV.

JuxiAIA TowNSIIII- :!U1 Ti:i.l, Township ^

ClIAl'TEK XLV. I CHAPTER LVI.

LlNCOI-N- TciWNSIlll- "'Oil T"I1 ToWNKllIP

CHAPTKU XLVr. ' CHAPTER LVII

I..«.VN TnwNsn.n 307 Umhn Tuknsiiii.

CIIAI'I i:i; XI, VII. CHAPTER LA'TP



IIAPTER EX.



CHAPTER LXI.



HAPTI'i; LI. CHAPTER LXI



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HISTORY

OF

HUNTINGDON AND BLAIR COUNTIES,

PENNSYLVANIA.



HUNTINGDO]:^ COUNTY.



CHAPTER I.

The English Claim to Pennsylvania— Swedish and Dutch Possession-
Final acknowledgment of the English Claim.

Christopher Columbus, to whose enterprise and
courage the world is indebted Cor the discoveries that
resulted in opening the western continent as a home
for the oppressed people of Europe, was born in the city
of Genoa, Italy, about the year 1435. At this time a
large and profitable trade was carried on between the
European countries and India. Convinced by his de-
ductions from the experience of preceding and con-
temi)oraneous travelers and navigators, of the magni-
tude and globular form of the earth, he wns assured
that a new rnule to this rich rcgiun W(juld Iw found
by sailing wcstu ardly. For eighteen years he labored
to the end tliat \\r aiiLiht fit out an expedition to ]irac-
tically test his scientific opinions. After many rebuffs
and disappointments that would have crushed the am-
bition of ordinary men, he gained the confidence and
secured the encouragement and support of Ferdinand
and Isabella, the reigning sovereigns of Spain, by
whose liberality three small vessels were fitted out and



himbus



ittle



ards ascertained to be an
verence, he named San



placed under his command.

tieet set sail from the mads

tlie 3d day of August, 1VJ2

October touched land, aftcrv

island, wdiich, in devout n

Salvador, one of the Bahama group, situated in N.

hit. 24° SO', and longitude 1° 30' E. from Washington.

He also discovered Cnba, Hayti, and other islands^

and, returning, he reached the harbor of Palos on the

15th day of March, 1493.

The intelligence of Columbus' discoveries stimu-
lated the fitting out of other expeditions by the mari-
time nations of Europe. Henry VII. of England
eagerly accepted the offer of John Cabot, a merchant
of Bristol (but supposed to a Venetian by birth), to fit



out a fleet of vessels for a voyage of discovery by a
more northern route than the one ]iiirsiiiMl by Colum-
bus. On the 5th day of March, 14'.m;, the king, by
patent signed at Westminster, authorized Cabot and
his three sons, Lewis, Sebastian, and Sancius, "to
saile to all parts, countreys, and seas of the East, of
the West, and of the North, under our banners and
ensigns, witli five ships, of what burden or quantitie
soever they may lie, and as many mariners and men
as they will have with them in the said ships, u|H,n
their own proper cost and charges, to seeke out, dis-
cover, and find wdiatsoever isles, countreys, regions, (ir
provinces of the heathen and infidels, whatsoever they
may be, and in what i>art of the world soever they
may be, wdiich before this time have been unknoun to
all Cliris'tians."'

Under this charter, in May, 1497, an expedition
under the command of Sebastian set out, and on the
24th day of June land was descried, wdiich proved
to be the coast of Labrador. He sailed along the
coast three hundred leagues, and planted on the soil
the banners of England and Venice.- The next year
he again touched the continent in high latitudes, and
turning southward, followed the coast as far as the
mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

As many European governments were from time to
time sending out expeditions for discovery and con-
quest, it became necessary to avoid conflicts with and
war upon each other, to settle a principle which all
should acknowledge as the law by which the right of
acquisition which they all asserted should be regu-
lated between themselves. This principle was, that
discovery gave title to the government by whose sub-
jects or by whose authority it was made against all
other European governments, which title might be



IlISTOllY OF IIUNTINCIioX COrXTV. I'KXXSYLVANIA.



consiiiiini:in-a i>y posses
the Cabots rested the
nieiit to dominion in tl



Upon tlie discoveries .
of the English froveri
tliern part of tliis coin



llrnry Iluds an i-aiL'li-h navi,u'at..r, set ont Ironi

Texel, Holland, April 'J, lUn'j,' in the ship " Half-
Moon," to seek u jiassajre to China by the iiurth.a~t.
lie was then in tlie service of the Dutch Ka-t India
Company. Encountering great fields of ice, In- \va-
compelled to change his course, and thm mailed l.>r
Davis Strait. He touched land in latitu.l.' H I.'.'.
and sailed thence southwestwardly a- far as latiliidr
37° 15'. Heturninir. he entered the ni..nth ..f the
Delaware Bay on I'li.lav, Au-n-t i^Mli,-^ but encun-

New'Vork liay, discovered the river that bears bis
name September lltli,-' and explored it above tlie

The liiLili and mighty States-General of Holland
in 1(11 I i - ur.I an edict granting to [lersons who had
or should thereafter discover " any new courses,
havens, countries, or places" the exclusive privilege
of resorting to and frequenting the same for four
voyages. Under this edict the merchants of Amster-
dam fitted out several vessels for the purpose of ex-
ploration. One of these was commanded by Ca])t.
Cornelius Jacobsen Mey, who entered the Delaware
Bay. He gave his own name to tlie northern cape,
now called Cape May, and to the southern the name
Cape Cornelius, now known as Henlopen.

Xo settlement was made on the Delaware until
1023, wdien under the auspices of the West India
Coni]>any, chartered in 1621, Capt. Mey ascended the
Delaware, and on the eastern side, about Gloucester
Point, commenced the erection of Fort Nassau, in-
tended for a trading-post, as well as for security
against the Indians. This effort was not successful.
The fort was soon abandoned, for we are informed by
De Vn,-. who visiud it in l(;:',;i, that it was then ill
the pu - ,>M ■ the Indians.

I'eier Minuii, in b;:;7, under lb.' |.atn.nage of
Christiana, l^i.ni of Sweden, with two vessels and
a nund.rr ..f M'ttlrr-. rro~-.d ibr Allanlir, ami alter
tourbing at .lanie^lowii, Va., reached the D.daware

abniil May, lir.s. He pu.vba-ed Ir tbr Indians

thes.,il on lb.' uvMern M.I 'the bav and river truni

Cape Henlopen lo Santirkan i Ibe tall, at Trenton,,
and erected tli,' tort and lonn.lrd the lown of Chris-
tiana, on the n..rlh bank -.1 Min.pias Creek, a Ira-ue
abov,. ,t>,„„nll,. From tbi> be^^ininng. Suedi>b set-

ern side nt tlir l),-laware to and above the site of
I'hila.lelphia. In hi.-it, I'etrr LindMn.,,,, a Suedid,
engineer, snrvey,d and mapped tin- river iVo,,, its

fleet nmler the eoni.nand ol ( i,,vern..r V.irr Sinvv, -



sant. entered the river and I'aptured one by one the
Sweili-li forts and took possession of the colony, and
thus ended the Swedish government. Both nation-
alities continued to dwell along the banks of the
stream, the Dutch being the rulers.

The F^nglish continued to claim dominion over
that portion of the continent along which Cabot had
eoa-t.d, and Charles 11., with the view of wresting
p.—e^-iori from the Dutch, on the 12th of March,
liiii4, by iKitent granted to liis brother James, Duke
of York, the territory now embraced in the States of
Xew York and New Jersey. An expedition was sent
from England for the purpose of reducing the Dutch
fortresses, and on the 8th of September the fort and
town of Manhattan, now Xew York, were surren-
dereil. On the 1st of October following, the .settle-
ments on the Delaware yielded, and thus ended
Dutch dominion over the soil of Peunsvlvania.



C H A P T E R II.



nuilk.n uf till- Tliree Orisiuiil Couhlics.

Drinxi; the interval between the end of Dutch
occupation of Pennsylvania and the grantinfr of the
charter to William Penn, the English (iovernors of
X'ew York issued a large number of land grants, and
under their administration settlements multiplied
along the Delaware. But as these relate wholly to
that portion of the province, they do not directly con-
cern residents in the interior.

William Penn, in 1674, became oi>e of three trus-
tees chosen to manage the affairs of West Jersey.
In the execution of this trust he had good oppor-
tunity to become acquainted with the valuable tract
of land lying on tlie opposite side of the river. At
the death of his father, Admiral William Penn, it
was found that the British government was indebted
to bini for money loaned and services rendered about
sixteen thousand pounds. In-tead of money, Wil-
liam suiTL'e-ted that he would prefer a grant (d' land
on the western side of the Delaware north of Mary-
land. .\ forin.al i)etition was pre-eiited to I 'liarbs II.
in .lunr, Idso, aiul after many conlerrnei ~ with adja-
cent proprietors, on the 4th day of March, 1()M, the
king granted a charter. The boundaries were de-
scribed, but serious differences occurred, and many
years passed before they were settled and defined.
reiin. bis heirs and assigns, were made and ordained
trih' ami absolute proprietaries of all the lands
within the bounds described in the charter, and
upon bini and bis heirs, their deputies ami lieuten-
ants, ua- .-onrerred the executive authority of the
pro\iii,r. William Markluun was commissioned
DepiiiN (oi\(riior, and sent over from England
elotbiil with lull authority to inaugurate the new
goveriimeiil, and in the tall of the vear, at Upland,



ERECTION OF LANCASTER, CUMBERLAND, AND BEDFORD COUNTIES.



now Chester, he took charge of the executive affiiirs.'
In October, 1682, Penn arrived in the "Welcome,"
and soon thereafter the lands of the province were
divided into three counties, to wit, Chester, Phila-
delphia, and Bucks. The precise date of the erec-
tion of these counties does not appear, but it must
have been before the 18th day of November, 1682, as
on that day the proprietary issued his writs to the
sheriffs of the respective counties, requiring them "to
summon all freeholders to meet on the 20th instant,
and elect out of themselves seven persons of most
note for wisdom, sobriety, and integrity, to serve as
their deputies and representatives in General As-
sembhj, to be held at Upland, in Pennsylvania, De-
cember 6th (4th ?) next." In this assembly there were
re])resentatives from each of the counties named, as
well as from the three "lower counties" of Kent,
New Castle, and Sussex. Representatives were
chosen, and met in General Assembly at Chester on
the 4th day of December. Among the most notable
acts of this legislative body was the passage on the
7th of the same month of the "great law." The
broad declaration of religious liberty contained in
the first section of this law, incorporated in substance
in each of the constitutions since adopted by the
people of the commonwealth, indicated the liberal
opinions of our ancestors as inculcated by the founder,
and contributed to the rapid peopling and subsequent j
prosperity of the colony. It is in these words :

"Almighty God being the only Lord of conscience, father of lights
and spirits, and the author as well as object of all divine knowledge,
faith, and worsliilt, who only can enlighten the mind and peisiiaiie and
convince the understanding of I'euple in '\w- !■ \ i.i. . i . Ki- -over- j
eignty over the souls of mankind, it is enai t.' i i i , .tlnrL -

said that no person now or at any titne lieri-:iti i ; ; ixiiice

who fihall coufessaud aclinowledge one Alnii-liiv '.-i i I' ih ri.Mtur,
upholder, and ruler of the world, and that [nnti-xMii iiim .u herself



pelle






fjcely



nlly enjoy



reflection ; and if any person shall abuse or deride any other for his or
her different persuasion and practice in matter of religion, such sliall
be looked upon as a disturber of the peace and be punished accordingly.



Pent], in a letter dated 5th of 1st mo. (corresi)ondil
le present style), 1C81,* addressed to Kobert Turner, t



* It miiBt be borne in mind that for many years after the (
Penn the inhabitants of the province began the year on the
of JIarch, hence in many old documents the dates are writ
1st day of 1st month, 10S,= j.



CHAPTER III.

Erection of Lancaster, Cumberland, and Bedford Counties— Purchases
of the Indian Title—Erection of Townships and Election Districts-
Local Officers.

Laxcaster,- the fourth county of the province, was
erected from Chester by an act of the General Assem-
bly passed the 10th day of May, 172!», and ciiihraced
all the lands of the province to the iiortlnvanl of Oc-
torara Creek, and to the westward of a line nf marked
trees running from the north branch ol' said creek to
the river Schuylkill. The sixth county, Cuinl)erland,^
was erected by the act of the 27th day of .lanuary,
1750, and took from Lancaster all the lands lying
within the province to the westward of Susquehanna
and northward and westward of the county of York.*

The proprietaries, having due regard to the rights of
the Indians, would not permit any occupation of lands,
either by settlement or grant from the hind office,
until after the Indian title had become vested in
them. At the time of the organization of Cumber-
land County the natives were yet in possession of all
the territory northwest of the Kittatinny Mountain (the
northern barrier of the Cumberland Valley) and the
Susquehanna River. At a treaty held by order of the
king at Albany in the summer of 1754, negotiations
for the purchase of the Indian title resulted in the
execution, on the 6th day of July in that year, of a
deed from the chiefs of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onon-
daga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora nations, consti-
tuting the confederacy known as the Six Nations, con-
veying, for the consideration of four hundred pounds
lawful money of New York, to Thomas and Richard
Penn, "all the lands lying within the said province
of Pennsylvania, bounded and limited as follows,
namely: Beginning at the Kittochtinny or Blue
Hills, on the west branch of Susquehanna River,
and thence by the said, a mile above the mouth of a
certain creek called Kayarondinhagh ; thence north-
west and by west as far as the said province of Penn-
sylvania extends to its western lines or boundaries;
thence along the said western line to the south line or
boundary of said province ; thence by the said south
line or boundary to the south side of the said Kit-
tochtinny hills; thence by the south side of said hills
to the place of beginning."

Although a few warrants were issued during the



HISTORY OF HUNTINGDON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.



year IT'w tor himls in the Ujipcr part of tlic valley
of the Juniata, aii<l some surveys and improvements
were made, there does not seem to have been any di-
vision of this territory into touii-hip^ for some yi'ars
thereafter. .\t July sessions in 17i;7 the Cumher-
land eourt fixed the boundaries „( Dkiikv town~hi]i
as follows: " lU'ginninp; at the middle of the Lon-
Narrows; tlienee up the north side of Juniata as far
as .laek's Narrows: thenre to ini-lude the valley of
Kishaeokulu- and Ja^ks ('.■.•ek.- These Inmndaries
included a pari of ihe pre>enl touiiship of Brady.

At Oetoher sessi.ms of llie same year lour addi-
tional townships were erected, and were naniid and
bounded as follows :

DfUl.lN-.— " Hounded by Mr ami Fannet townships
on the one side, and Coleraine and Barre townships
on the top of Sideling Hill on the other side.''

CoLlcitAINE.— "Bounded by Dublin township, as
above, by the provincial line, and the to|) of Dun- |
ning's .Mountain (so as to join Cumberland and Bed- '
ford townships) to the gap of M.UTi.-on's Cove, from
thenee to the mouth of Yellow Creek (joining Barre
township i to strike Sidling Hill.-'

Cl".MUi:i'.l..\Nl). — "Bounded liy ( 'i Inain.' lowii-hip
(as above), the provincial line to tlir Allr-nn \M,,iin-
tain, and along the top of the All.^. ii,y .Mi.iintuiii
to the top of the ridge that divid,- ihe wal.rs of
Wills Creek; from thence ..f .Imiiata t,. sirike Dun-
ning's Mountain through LuuV (oi]i."

BEin-'ouii. — " I'jounded by the above-mentioned
east line and Dunning's Mountain to the gap of Mor-
rison's Cove, and from thence to the top of Tussee's
Srountain (joining Barre township) so as t<. inrlu.le
Morrison's Cove, and from the end of .Morrison's
Cove cross by Fraid;stoun to tlie .\llegheny."

B.\I!lir.. - Bounded by Dublin, Coleraine, and
Bedlord lown-bips. as already mentioned, and along
the .\llegaiiy uniil a line struck from thence to
Jack's Mountain so as l., include the waters of Little
Juniata ;nid Shaver's and Siamling Stone Creeks."

These townships of Derry, Dublin. Coleraine, Cum-
berland, ISedford, and Bmrrc included all -.1 tl..- area
of Bedford, Blair, and Huntingd<,n, a lar-c pari of
Fulton and Milllin, an.l a part of Centre ('Minnies.
It is probable that a~ the .a-tern linots of H.d.lin
were not clearlv defined, a pari ..f ubat i- now Tell
township, Huntingdon Co., may have been inehided
inthepreviou>lyerectedtown.hipof Lack.



■om a part of Derry. and included all
flhat township n.n-tbwe~t of Jack's .Ml
.flicers of the.se townships were as foil,



EUi.jt, Che: - C vl,. ]iu Ihl I, Mverseers of Ilie iwor; James Little,
Chiul.-' Ice. , M,.»t-r9uf feijccs.

177IJ.— .1,1,11. ■- w . Ic h:i . .r.ilm Wilson (Barro), Wini;im Brown

(.\rm,:;l. , i i.n-; - cmiel Thomi'Son, Dauid Kf.w (Barre),
.TuiM.-> Ml lAiini,;;!, , «ii|.f.rvisi.r3; ZoLulon Mooro, KoU-rt Cald-

l.illl,-, Cliail.- C.,l,lvn-ll I Band, viow.-rs of fi-nccs.



Online LibraryJ Simpson AfricaHistory of Huntingdon and Blair counties, Pennsylvania → online text (page 1 of 169)