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History of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present online

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low tree. The words "York Haven Com-
pany" surrounded these. Such was the
••paper city" of York Haven, which, if it had
not been for the invention of railroads and
construction of canals, might have become
an important city.

Business Industry and other Facts. —
There was considerable business enterprise
at York Haven for many years. Some of the
business men at difierent times were the fol-
lowing: Charles M. Poor, who for a time
managed the company's store and the large
hotel. Samuel Inloes kept a dry goods store
and had two or three large cooper shops to
make flour barrels, and employed twenty or
more workmen, he also owned a distillery.
Charles Bishop, Jesse McConkey, owned
hardware stores, and the last-named at one
time kept a large hotel. A Quaker named
Rummel owned a nail factory. It was run
by water- power. He employed a number of
workmen. John T. Ubil who was manager
of the company for a time, was a "slave
catcher." He afterward moved to Pottsville,
became very poor, and turned out a teamster.
There were two large saw-mills built on
leased lands. One was owned by Andrew
Lightner and the other bv Elijah Webb;
Henry Small, father of David E. Small, of
York, ^bought the first-named mill. Lewis
Harlan managed the cooper shops belonging
to the company. Keel-boats with immense
quantities of wheat came down the Susque-
hanna; these were run in the canal and un-
loaded near the mills. Some of these boats
carried 1,000 bushels of grain. Wagoning
to Baltimore, to haul the flour to market, be-
came an important business. In 1820 80
cents a barrel was paid to haul it to Baltimore.
Thirty or forty teams were present at one
time. The horses had bells and the turnpike
'was alive with interest when these teams
started off on their journey. The turnpike


■was completed to York Haven in 1812,
and the large bridge over the Conewago
Creek was built below York Haven the same
year, by A. Miller. It was taken away by
the flood of 1817, and rebuilt soon after by H.
Slaymaker. The "ferry and tavern house"
was kept by Philip Etter for many years, to
March, 1816, when Peter Veal became the
lessee. Christian Pensel was for a long time
postmaster. The "Canal Road" to Abbotts-
town was opened about 1814. The large, fine
building owned by the company, for many
years known as "Waters' Hotel," was a very
creditable building. During the summer
season there were many city boarders at it.

General LaPayette, when on his way to
Harrisburg, in January, 1825, stopped here
for a short time. Joseph Major, an intelli-
gent gentleman, now living near this place,
remembers seeing him come out on the
balcony of the hotel. In 183-4 Gen. Lewis
Cass, while being taken across the Susque-
hanna, below the falls, was caught in a dense
fog and his ferryman got lost in the stream.
They wandered around in the stream for
hours, and were finally saved during the night
by some people who lived at Eib's Landing.
He was then secretary of war under Andrew
Jackson, and when he got back to York
Haven again, made himself known. He was
on his way to visit Simon Cameron.

The old time fairs were held here, and ac-
cording to the stories of old people, they were
days of great hilarity. The love of gam-
bling became a mania, especially at the "big
hotel," but Rev. John Fohl, an earnest evan-
gelist of the United Brethren Church, quelled
it in part by starting an enthusiastic revival
in the ball room of the hotel. The whole
community was aroused Friday, December
15, 1815, John, a thirteen year old son of
Joseph Sturges, of Baltimore, while riding
along the canal at York Haven, fell with his
horse down the embankment and both were

The business interests at York Haven, after
the completion of the canal along the river,
gradually declined, and when the railroads
were built it entirely ceased. Thomas C.
Hambley, of York, was manager of the estate
which finally passed into the hands of the
Glenns, of Baltimore, who in the spring of
1885, sold it to the Conewingo Paper Com-


At 10 o'clock on the night of August 16,
1826, the large mill which was built about ten
years before was destroyed by fire. Its origi-
nal cost was $40,000, and when burned con-

tained 1,200 bushels of wheat and considera-
ble flour. The total loss was 150,000. Says a
newspaper of the day, "It was one of the very-
largest mills in Pennsylvania, and was capa-
ble of manufacturiog 150 barrels of flour a
day." The mills did not run the entire year,
and at the time of the fire, this one was not
going. Mr. Hyson, then the manager, was at
his home in Baltimore. The flames broke
through the roof, before it was seen in any
other part of the mill. No fire was used in
the mill that day, hence many thought it
was the work of an incendiary. Yet there
always was a mystery about this fire. A mill:
owned by the same company located at Port
Deposit, Md. , burned on the same night;
both were insured. Daniel Jackson, the good-
natured mulatto watchman did not stay at
York Haven after this event. "But I'll tell
you, boss, it was a big fire," is all ho could
say about it. This mill had six pairs of
buhrs. It was never rebuilt.


The fifth story of the large hotel was an
immense ball and card playing room. On
the night of September 12, 1819, Thomas
Frelich, of Washington, D. C, killed Bar-
ney Hand, an Irishman. For nearly half a
century afterward the blood-stained marks
on the floor were shown to the visitor. They
were playing at cards, and the stakes were
heavy. A large crowd of lookers-on were
breathlessly awaiting the result. Hand be-
came enraged, seized the stakes and cards,
threw them to the far end of the room, and
kicked over the table. The excited crowd
rushed down stairs, the lights were put out,
and the two men engaged in a deadly strug-
gle. In the center of the room was left a
pool of blood. Frelich had gotten the bet-
ter of Hand and threw him out of the win-
dow, and his mangled body was found in a
ditch near the house. In the meantime, the
victor went down stairs, washed his hands,
asked for his own horse, and drove away un-
molested. He was afterward captured and
brought back to York, tried for man slaugh-
ter, but acquitted. And, "as certain as York
Haven was once a prosperous place, and we
hope will be again, that house was always
haunted after that event," says an old resi-


The history of these mills, destined to be
one of the most important manufacturing en-
terprises in York County, has just begun. The
site of the flouring-mills and the right of,


water-power, was purchased from the Glenn
estate for $30,000 during the spring of this
year (1885). About 200 men, for months,
have been constantly employed, opening and
widening the canal. The water-power, when
completed, will be 3,000 horse-power. The
fall of water in canal one mile in length,
is twenty-nine feet. Extensive mills will
be erected here during the present year
at a cost of $400,000. When these are com-
pleted the town of York Haven will again
become a prominent business center.

York Haven Quarnet-,oijpnre dolerite, are
owned by the Northern Central Railway Com-
pany, and were worked by that company for
many years, to obtain building stones for
bridge piers and public buildings. A vein
of this stone crosses Newberry, Warrington,
and northern part of Washington Townships,
into Adams County, and fine quarries are
worked near Gettysburg. F. T. Scott & Co. ,
of Yoi-k, leased the York Haven quarries in
1882. The following year the firm received
a contract to furnish this valuable stone for
a decorative wall around the Capitol at
Washington, and another order was received
for a similar purpose in 1884.

The piers of the new railroad bridge at
Harrisburg were built of the York Haven
granite. About thirty men are regularly
employed at these quarries.


n^HE name first designated by the petition-
JL ers for the formation of this township
out of Newberry was "'Franklin." The town-
ship now bearing that name had not then been
formed. The viewers in crossing the ridge
dividing the Fishing Creek Valley from the
Redland Valley, with delight and admiration
began to "view the landscape o'er." The
fertile valleys mostly within the limits of the
proposed new township, and the broad ex-
panse of Cumberland, Dauphin and Lancas-
ter Counties were presented within the ex-
tended horizon that bounded their field of
vision. The name "Fairview" was then
suggested as more appropriate. It was
accepted and so confirmed by the court.

The original settlers here were English
and English Quakers, who commenced to
locate in the township as early as 1730; by
the year 1735 the most valuable lands were
occupied. The English language has always
been used by citizens of this township.


The shape of this township is very irreg-
ular. The southern boundary is an artificial
line nearly in the form of a bow, separating
it from Newberry. The remainder of the
boundary is natural, with the Stony Run
separating it on the southwest from Warring-
ton, forming a winding line of about four
miles. A portion of the western division is
a small stream which divides it from Mou-
aghan, a distance of four and one-half miles,
and empties into the Yellow Breeches, whose
remarkably winding current washes the re-
mainder of its western and northwestern
boundary and separates Fairview from Cum-
berland County. The river, here over one
mile wide, for a distance of six miles passes
along the north and northeast, separating it
from Daaphin County.

A ridge of hills crosses the center of the
township, and, extending in almost a due
north and south direction, illustrates a singu-
lar geological feature. It is the only ex-
ample in the county of a ridge extending in
that direction. The local name given is the
"Pinch Mountain," a name, if it ever was
appropriate, is not very poetical and not
especially noted for its beauty of sound. It
was named by early settlers as the "Free
Mountain," from the fact that the original
occupants of the land along its slopes were
squatters, occupying the land for a consider-
able time without legal titles.

The "River Mountain,"' a ridge of wooded
hills, containing much valuable timber, ex-
tends from the Middletown Ferry, skirting
almost the entire northeastern boundary.
The Northern Central Railway passes along
here on the north side of them. One of the
characteristic geological features is the
abundance of huge bowlders of basaltic rocks.
A part of the extreme eastern section is of
trap formation. The large crevices in the
rocks yet afibrd a convenient lurking place for
the fox, and the large hollow trees for the
raccoon and opossum. The wolf once had
his haunts in these forests and much later
wild turkeys in the thickets. The township
is drained by the Yellow Breeches Creek,
Miller's Run, Bennett's Run, Fishing Creek
and other smaller tributaries of the Susque-
hanna. The soil is generally very fertile
and productive, growing all the cereals com-
mon to this latitude with equal success.
The northwestern or Marsh Creek section is
the lower end of the rich limestone region,
which extends into Fairview from Cumberland
County. The Fishing Creek apd Redland
Valleys are of mostlj^ red sandstone forma-
tion, frequently passing into the red shale



soil. These valleys are in a high state of
cultivation, as is the alluvial soil along the
Yellow Breeches Creek.


Much of the land now embraced in Fair-
view was part of Pennsborough Township
which was laid out pursuant to an act of the
Provincial Assembly in 1739, and then in-
cluded nearly the whole of the present limits
of Cumberland County. When first formed
it was a portion of Lancaster County. York
County, when separated from Lancaster Coun-
ty in 1749, had no definitely established
northern boundary. Many disputes arose,
and these were attempted to be settled by
commissioners from York and Cumberland
Counties. They met along Yellow Breeches
Creek. This occurred in 1751, one year
after the formation of Cumberland from Lan-
caster County. The Cumberland County
commissioners claimed the original boun-
dary line which was from a point oppo-
site the Swatara Creek through the Fishing
Creek Valley, nearly in the same direction
of the present dividing line between Fair-
view and Newberry. The dispute was final-
ly decided by a special act of the Provincial
Assembly in 1751, which made the Yellow
Breeches Creek the boundary between the
counties, and placed the whole of the pres-
ent territory of Fairview in York County and
annexed it to Newberry Township, of which
it remained a part until 1803.


In the years 1801 and 1802 several peti-
tions, signed by a large number of citizens,
were presented to the court at York, asking
for the formation of a new township out of
" the upper end of Newberry," stating fur-
ther that "said township was too large for
the convenience of the inhabitants."

The court appointed on the third Monday
of November, 1802, as viewers : John Heck-
ert, John Forsythe, Valentine Emig, Col.
Henry Reisinger, Rudolph Spangler, Esq.,
and Peter Hoke, Sr. The surveyor's draft,
made by Gen. Jacob Spangler, represents
the dividing line to begin "opposite the
mouth of the Swatara at Joseph Clancy's fer-
ry, through lands of John Nicholas (now Silas
Prowell's), nearly in a direct course to Lewis-
berry; thence in a southwesterly direction to
Leeche'a Fording on Stony Run. The report
of these viewers was confirmed at February
term of the court of quarter session in the
year 1803.

The following significant paragraph was

published in the columns of many papers a
year ago:

Fairview, one of the most flourisliing townships
in York County, is peculiar in many respects. There
is not a postoffice or a hotel within its borders. It
has one distillery, but persons who wish to imbibe
spirituous liquors must go to some other place to be
accommodated. It has thirteen school districts, '
and eight churches belonging to various religious
denominations, but no preachers, and no physicians
who reside in the township. The justices of the
peace and constables have not enough business to
keep a record, and are compelled to make a living
at some other business. It is very seldom the sheriff
has any official business in Fairview, except it is to
make an appraisement in the settlement of an estate.
It is pronounced the "Eden" of York County.

In 1884 the township had 631 taxable
inhabitants, with a property valuation of
$1,045,381. Population, 1880, was 2,164;
State tax, $267; county tax, $3,651. There
are postoffices around its borders at New
Cumberland, Lisburn, Lewisberry, Yocum-
town and Goldsboro. The business interests
of this township largely center at Harrisburg,
being near that city.


The land along the Susquehanna from New
Cumberland down to the Haldeman farm,
was first owned by John Harris, father of the
founder of Harrisburg. He was an Indian
trader, and at the mouth of the Yellow
Breeches was a considerable Indian village,
when the first settlements were made. David
Priest settled in the vicinity in 1737. Dr.
Benjamin Mosser located in the vicinity,
coming from Lancaster County about 1775,
and became a prominent physician of the
neighborhood. This section was then densely
populated. He had three sons — John, who
also became a j)hysician, and died in 1826;
Christian and Henry. Each of these sons in-
herited a farm, one of which is now owned by
H. R. Mosser, a descendant, another by Dr. E.
H. Coover, and the third by Martin Kauff-

The second son, Henry Mosser, and Will-
iam Culbertson, in 1807 laid out the village
of New Market in 120 lots. Isaac Kirk
made the survey. William Culbertson died
July 8, 1824. In 1840, the town had
170 inhabitants; twenty-five dwellings and
one store. The York & Harrisburg Turn-
pike, then much used, passed through it,
over which line the Northern Central Rail-
way now extends. Washington Kirk for
many years owned a store. A considerable
btisiness has been done by various parties
since. The Pennsylvania Steel Works are
located on the opposite side of the river.
Within the past few years a number of the



employes of those works reside in New Mar-
ket, which has caused a considerable increase
to its population, now numbering nearly 400.

A Lutheran Church was built within the
village in 1858. The pastor was Cyrus Write-
myer, and trustees H. Mosser, John Row, John
Horn and Jacob Grissinger. There are two
schools, which are graded. A short distance
up the creek is Hake's Distillery, at which a
large business is done. Eichinger's distillery
in the "Marsh" was a considerable industry.
A fine farm near by, now owned by Owen
James, was deeded to his grandfather by same
name in 1774. The name of its owner has
never since changed. The Susquehanna
Mills near by were built in 1785.

Jacob Haldeman, Sr., started a forge at
the mottth of the Yellow Breeches in 1806,
and used up a large amount of timber from
York County. He laid out the town of I^ew
Cumberland in 1814. Much of what is now
fertile land below New Market, was at one
time a swamp, with the Marsh Eun passing
through it. Farther down is a small stream
called Rattling Run, named after " Jim
Rattler," a colored man, who had a cabin
along it many years ago.


Gen. Simpson was a son of Thomas
Simpson, an early Scotch-Irish settler, at
Paxtang, below Harrisburg, in 1720. Mi-
chael was born in 1740. When the Indian
forays, following the defeat of Gen. Brad-
dock, below Pittsburgh, in 1755, occurred,
although yet very young, he became an
ensign to a company that marched to the
frontier with Gen. Forbes' expedition. In
1775, he became lieutenant in Capt. Mat-
thew Smith's company, which marched to
Boston, and there soon after joined Gen.
Arnold's expedition against Quebec, on that
dreary march through the forests of Maine
to Canada. After returning, he was made a
first lieutenant under Gen. Hand, of the First
Pennsylvania Line, and commanded the com-
pany at the battle of Long Island. De-
cember 1, 1776, he was commissioned cap-
tain, and afterward showed great bravery as
a commander in the battles of Princeton,
Brandywine, Trenton. Germantown and
White Plains. He served in the American
army six years, during the Revolution. In
1784, soon after the death of William Ches-
ney, who also was a patriot of the Revolu-
tion, he purchased of the heirs of Chesney,
the farm and ferry rights across the Susque-
hanna, below New Market, and now known
as the Haldeman property, and in 1797 was
appointed a justice of the peace, under the

constitution of 1790. He was a man of dig-
nified bearing, and somewhat haughty in
spirit. He won localdistinction as a briga
dier-general of the militia of York County,
and was highly esteemed as a commander.
He built an elegant stone mansion on his
farm, and in 1794 had the honor of enter-
taining President Washington in it, when
on his return from the Whisky Insurrection.

He died on his farm, June 1, 1813. His
property was valued at $12,900. a consider-
able sum for those days. Jacob Haldeman
lived on this farm for a number of years.
During the civil war be was appointed as
minister to Norway and Sweden, by Presi-
dent Lincoln.

His large mansion, that cost several thous
and dollars, was burned a few years ago.


In the afternoon of October 3, 1794, Presi-
dent Washington, accompanied by a portion of
his cabinet, arrived in Harrisburg on his way
to quell the Whisky Insurrection in the
western part of Pennsylvania. In the even-
ing he was presented with the address of the
burgesses, and to which he replied the next
morning. On the 4th he went to Carlisle,
and reviewed the troops there. He passed
on through Shippensburg and Hagerstown,
Md. At Fort Cumberland he reviewed the
Virginia and Maryland troops, arrived at
Bedford, Penn., and remained until October
21. By that time the trouble had ended
without bloodshed, and he returned. Coming
down the Cumberland Valley, he remained
over night, October 24, at Shippensburg,
and on the night of the 25th, which was
Saturday, he was the guest of Gen. Michael
Simpson, who then owned what is now known
as the Haldeman property. This place was
chronologically known in 'early days as
Chambers', Chesney's, and Simpson's ferry
property, and was on the route of much
travel from Philadelphia and Lancaster to
Carlisle and points south and west. Whether
Washington spent a quiet Sunday there, can-
not be definitely stated. It is very probable
that he did, as he arrived in Philadelphia on
the following Tuesday afternoon. There is
no record that he spent Sunday at any inter-
vening point between the ferry and Philadel-
phia, which was then the capital of the
United States.

Salem Church. — This church, familiarly
known to the community as the "Stone
Church," stands near the center of Fishing
Creek Valley. It was originally erected as



a Union Church, but is used almost exclus-
ively by the denomination of United Breth-
ren in Christ. The doctrines of this sect
were first preached in the valley by Rev.
John Fohl, who was then stationed at the
village of Shiremanstown, Cumberland Coun-
ty. David Fisher, Sr. , who recently died,
and others, having made the acquaintance of
Rev. Fohl, invited him to visit Fishing Creek
Valley in 1842. Fulfilling their request he be-
gan a protracted meeting in the sehoolhouse,
which was located one-half mile above the
present site of the church. The result of
his labors being successful, he effected an
organization. The congregation continued to
worship in the school for a number of years.

At a meeting of the quarterly conference
held in this valley April 22, 1844, John S.
Prowell, Henry B. Kauffman and Jacob Miller
were appointed trustees of the congregation
already formed. Mr. Prowell who has served
in that capacity forty-one years is still a

On the 4th of October, 1852, the trustees
purchased of David Fisher one-half acre of
land as a church lot and graveyard. The
survey was made by Jacob Kirk, Esq.

A convenient stone church was built at a
cost of $1,000. Much of the hauling and
work was done gratuitously by the people of
the vicinity.

Rev. J. C Smith, now of York, Rev.
Kessler, Bishop John Dickson and Rev.
Daniel Eberly were some of the more promi-
nent pastors who have ministered to this
congregation. Rev. Wagner for the past
few years has officiated. A few years ago
the building was much improved, being re-
painted, calcimined, and received a new roof.
New seats and an organ were also purchased.

The present trustees are John S. Prowell,
James L. Reed, John W. Prowell, David
Kauifman and David M. Fisher. A Sunday-
school regularly meets in the church. i

Mount Olivet Church, known as the "Marsh
Church," is located near New Market.

Shortly after the Revolutionary war, land
was obtained here from one of the Mosser
farms, on which was built a union meeting
house and sehoolhouse. No services were to
be held "during candle light."

The oldest citizens remember School-
masters Couples and Allison who reigned
supreme in this building as early as 1820.
Abraham Hursh taught in 1832 and Jacob
Ketterman in 1835, first under the common
school system.

This historic old building, after being used
three-fourths of a century, was torn down in

That year Rev. J. Dickson, now one of the
bishops of the United Brethren in Christ,
increased the membership of the congrega-
tion here by a series of revival meetings. In
the language of the venerable clergyman,
"to hold the ground a church was needed,"
as the old sehoolhouse had become dilapi-
dated. The historic old graveyard adjoin-
ing it, was the burying place for the inhabit-
ants of the surrounding neighborhood, hence
others besides members of the United Breth-
ren Church contributed liberally, and the
present brick church was built in 1860, at a
cost of $1,600. The building committee were
A. B. Hursh, Francis Hollar and Rev. Dick-
son. It was dedicated the same year by
Bishop Glossbrenner; Rev. D. Eberly, J. C.
Smith, J. X. Quigley. B. G. Huber, J.
Snoke, S. Proffit and Thomas Garland, were
some of the succeeding pastors.

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 131 of 218)