John Gibson.

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

. (page 135 of 218)
Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 135 of 218)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

of Postmaster A. N. Eslinger, were soldiers of j
the war of 1812, who lived to an advanced
age. Mr. Eslinger was wounded in the bat-
tle of Lundy's Lane, by a buckshot which
struck his forehead and lodged in the crown
of his head, where it remained until his
death. Probably the most noted military
character of Dillsburg was Edward Cave-.
naugh, an Irishman, and a brave soldier of
the Revolution, who died about 1843 at an
advanced age. In 1775 he enlisted in Capt.
Matthew Smith's company, and joined Gen.
Arnold's army in the march from Boston
through Maine to Quebec. While on the
way thither by a miraculous circumstance,
Cavenaugh, or "Honest Ned," as he was al-
ways termecJ, saved the lives of John Joseph
Henry, one of his comrades, who afterward
became president judge of the Lancaster and
York courts, and of Gen. Michael Simpson,
whose biography will be found in the history
of Fairview Township. The men attempted
to swim the Dead River, when both, being
overcome with exhaustion, were rescued by
Cavenaugh, who himself was captured by
the British in front of Quebec, and being a
native foreigner, was compelled to enter the
British service for a time; a few months
later, when he was supposed to be true to En-
gland, he and a British soldier were put on
guard by the palace gate at the outer walls of
the city, when Conner, one of Cavenaugh's
old comrades, who was also compelled to
enter the English army, came and gave the
British soldier a drink of rum. At that in-
stant Cavenaugh struck him with the butt of

his gun, which so stunned him that he and
his friend Conner escaped to the American
lines, after making a leap of twenty five
feet from the wall into a pile of snow, and
being fired upon by a relief guard. He af-
terward became a great hero with his com-
rades, and Congress granted him a special
pension. The above incident was related
by Judge Henry, who was an eyewitness to
it. In 1810 Judge Henry visited him, when
he lived at Dillsburg, but found him very
poor, and with great sympathy gave him
some money. At the military parades at
Dillsburg "Ned" Cavenaugh was the great
hero. In 1842 he was taken to an encamp-
ment near town in a carriage drawn by four
black horses.

The semi-centennial of American inde-
pendence was celebrated at Dillsburg, Ju-
ly 4, 1826, with imposing ceremonies.
The citizens assembled at the house of
George Howard. "The Dillsburg Guards,"
Capt. Bradley, attended the celebration, fol-
lowed by citizens with two Revolutionary sol-
diers at their heads, and went to the spring
on lands of Col. Eichelberger. A meeting
was organized and William Diven was chosen
president and Col. Eichelberger vice-pres-
ident. The Declaration of Independence
was read by Dr. G. L. Shearer, after which
they sat down to a repast provided by George
W. Howard. The following were among
the regular toasts:

The signers of the Declaration of Independeace.

The soldiers of the Revolution.

The memory of Gen. Washington.

Thomas Jeiferson, author of tlie Declaration of

The day we celebrate.

The Union.

John Quincy Adams, President.

The memory and virtues of our late Gov. Snyder.

J. Indrew Shultze, Governor of Pennsylvania.


May the voice of the people be heard and skulk-
ers tremble at the next presidential election.

The following volunteer toasts were given:

B}' Sergt. John Cavanaugh, of the Revolution:
There is a health to the United States,
Likewise to General Gates,
Who in the year of seventy-seven,
Through the assistance of Heaven,
Did conquer the valiant Burgoyne.
By Edward Cavanaugh, a soldier of the Revo-

The memory of Gen. George Washington and
his brothers in arms, who assisted in gaining the
independence we this day celebrate. May It be
handed down to the last ages of time.

Toasts were also given by Capt. J. Brad-
ley, Lieut. Henry Sidel, Dr. Jacob Sawyer,
Washington H. Lewis, Samuel Henry, Jacob
Sawyer, John Livingsberger, George Dare,


Peter Leibner, William R. Gilleland, John
Galitin, Martin Carl, Dr. Jacob Weaver,
John Cannon, Daniel Brawlej, John Vanest,
Thomas Methran, G. L. Shearer and Col. F.


The present State treasurer of Pennsyl-
vania was born in Dillsburg in 1833 in the
oldest house in town, now owned by A. N.
Eslinger. He is a son of Rev. Anderson B.
Quay, who was pastor of Dillsburg Presby-
terian Church from 1830 to 1839. He was
admitted to the bar in Beaver County in 1854,
and elected prothonotary in 1855, and re-
elected twice. He enlisted as a lieutenant
in the Pennsylvania Reserves in 1861, but
soon became assistant commissary general of
the State, and afterward private secretary to
Gov. Curtin. He next took command of the
One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Regiment
of Pennsylvania Volunteers and commanded
it at the battle of Fredericksburg, and then
was selected by Gov. Curtin, State agent and
military secretary, which position he resigned
to enter Pennsylvania Legislatui-e from
Beaver County. He has since shown great
power and influence as a legislator and poli-


Matthew Dill was one of the first settlers
of the vicinity of Dillsburg, locating there
about 1740. He came from county of Mon-
agahan, Ireland. The name "Dill" is Dan-
ish. The ancestors moved to England and
some of them from thence to Scotland, during
the time of the Commonwealth under Oliver
Cromwell. Matthew Dill, the immigrant, in
1749 became one of the court justices of York
County, but before this had commanded a
company against the Indians. He died
October 13. 1750, aged fifty-two years. His
remains were interred in the Presbyterian
graveyard, a ghort distance west of Dill-
burg, and the spot is marked by a marble
slab. He had several sons, but none of his
descendants by the same name now live in
the village. Dr. A. B. Dill, of York Springs,
is a descendant. Col. Matthew Dill, sod of
the settler, was very prominent in York
County during the Revolution. Col. Richard
McAllister, founder of Hanover, was chosen
lieutenant of York County, an office created
by the government, to organize all the militia
of the county during the Revolution. He was
mai-ried to a sister of Col. Dill whom he had \
appointed sub- lieu tenant of York County.
Col. Dill served in that office from January,
1781, to April, 1783, during which time he [

paid to various captains of companies $2,136
in government money. The names of those
persons, most of whom lived in the upper
end of York County, according to his account,
paid by the government July 1, 1788, were
William Dodds, Alexander Nesbitt, John
O'Bleanes, Andrew Wilson, Thomas Gould,
John McMaster, William Coulson, Francis
Bonner, William Ashton, Daniel Williams,
Peter Spese.

Col. Dill commanded the Fifth Battalion
of York County for three years, and was one
of the framers of the constitution of 1790.
For his services in the army he obtained a
free patent for a tract of land three leagues
square, on part of which Dillsburg is built,
and on another part is a valuable ore bank.
He was also granted a tract of land in Wash-
ington County, Penn., now known as "Dill-
wood." He married a second time. Late in
life he moved to Fairfield, Adams County,
where he died and was buried. He left
seven sons. Col. Matthew Dill, Jr., Maj.
James Dill, Col. John Dill, Capt. Thomas
Dill, who was a student at Princeton College,
entered the army and was wounded at the
battle of Brandywine. He was afterward
presented by his father the tract called
"Dillwood," where he moved. His daughter
Jane Dill married Henry Wilson, from whom
descended Rev. Thomas B. Wilson, and whose
children are Rev. Maurice Wilson, of Balti-
more, and Rev. Calvin D. Wilson, of Harford
County, Md. A second son of Jane Dill
Wilson, was Rev. Samuel J. Wilson, D. D.
LL. D. , late of Alleghany, Penn. , whose son
Robert D. Wilson is a prominent lawyer of

A daughter of Jane Dill Wilson viz. Eliz-
abeth, was married to John Paxton, whose
sons are Rev. John R. Paxton, a clergyman
in New York City, and Capt. Wilson A. Paxton,
of Washington, D. C.

Dr. Armstrong Dill, a graduate of Prince-
ton College, was a son of Col. Matthew Dill.
He died at the age of twenty-seven years,
December 31, 1788. His widow married Dr.
Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of
Independence. The following paragraph is
copied from the United States Gazette, pub-
lished in Philadelphia, and appeared June,

WITHERSPOON-DILL.-Married, at Philadel-
pbia, Penn., on Monday evening, the 30tli ult.. by
Rev. Dr. Nesbit. President of Dickinson College,
the Rev. Dr. Johk Witherspoon, President of
Princeton College, to Mrs. Ann Dill, widow of Dr.
Armstrong Dill, of York County, Penn., a lady of
great beauty and merit.

On Wednesday after the President's return to
Princeton with his amiable wife, a deputation of



the students waited upon him to congi-atulate him
upon the joyful occasion, and he politely gave
them two days' holiday. In the evening, in regard
to their worthy President, and to testify their joy
on this happy marriage, the students illuminated
the college, which afforded a grand and beautiful
sight to the numerous spectators, who had assem-
bled upon the occasion. There were 600 can-
dles in the front of the college, which were
lighted almost instantly on a signal given by the dis-
charge of a cannon, and on a like signal they were
all immediately extinguished. During the illumi-
nation, which lasted about an hour, a number of
students in the belfry entertained the great con-
course of people who attended, with a most agreea-
ble and delightful concert of music from different
kinds of instruments. The whole was conducted
with elegance and taste.

Joy sparkled in every eye,

And every heart was glad.

A short distance above Dillsburg, about a
half a century ago, a widow named Rebecca
Beavernour kept a little confectionary store,
and sold ''cakes and beer," which, on account
of the excellent quality, were very much
coveted by the boys and girls of that day.
Gradually a number of houses were built,
until at present there are about thirty-five,
owned mostly by workmen in the ore mines,
and other laborers. The hamlet has had
many names, but "Beavertown," using a part
of the name of the founder, has been decided
upon by the mayor and select council. John
Hoffman conducts a store here. About 1876
the Evangelical Association built a church
here. The congregation now has about thirty
members. Revs. Schleh, Davis, Wallace,
Jarrett and Anthony have ministered to the


This house of worship is situated about
seven-eighths of a mile from Dillsburg. In
1856 Micah Arnold, at his own expense, put
up a small brick building on the same site,
as a place of Union worship. On a marble
tablet above the door, he placed the following


About this time Rev. Fohl and others be-
gan preaching the doctrines of the United
Brethren Church, and soon after Mr. Arnold
presented his building to that denomination.
In 1862, while Rev. Daniel Eberly was
preaching on the circuit, an organization was

effected. The pastors since then have been
•J. Clem, John H.Young, J. O. Farrell, John
Fohl, Samuel Young, J. Neidig, S. Bradford,
L. A. Wickey, George W. Bingham, John O.
Klippinger, William Quigley, and Samuel
I Wallace.

In 1880 the present red brick church was
built at a cost of $2,800. It is eclesiastically
known as "Arnold's Church," after the
I founder. The trustees were John Hoffman,
' Henry Kinter, Henry Bender, Dr. George P.
I Arnold and A. N. Eslinger. Membership is
j sixty. A Sunday-school is held in the
j church. William H. Weavers i superintend-
j ent.

Pleasant View Chapel, near the Cumber-
land line, is now used by the Dunkers and
River Brethren. The first named denomina-
tion have a house of worship in township
called Walgemuth's Meeting House.


The schools of Carroll for the year 1885
were under the control of the following
named board of directors: Dr. George P.
Arnold, president; John Underwood, secre-
tary; Lewis Burtnet, William R. Cuok, John
W. Wireman and Jacob Peterman, Sr. The
names of the school buildings are North-
ern, Western, O'HaiJ's, Stony Run, Ham-
ma's and Chronister's. The houses are in a
very fair condition, and a healthy sentiment
favorable to public education, prevails.


THIS township was originally included in
Monaghan. In 1808 a petition was pre-
sented to the court asking for the erection of a
new township, whereupon Henry Gentzler,
Michael Spangler and George Julius were
appointed viewers. They presented their re-
port of the survey to the court, which was
confirmed in 1809, Judge John Joseph Henry
presiding. On the original draft "Dill
Township" appears as the name, which was
crossed and the present name written. Stony,
or Fisher's Run, was made the eastern boun-
dary of Franklin. In 1810 there were 175
taxable inhabitants in Franklin. The prop-
erty valuation was $97,^21. This is less
than the present assessed valuation of Dills-
burg, which then was a collection of but half
a dozen houses. Michael Mumper, the larg-
est land owner in the district, was assessed
with 790 acres, valued at $7,740. Francis



CouJson was justice of the peace; William
Butt, constable; Peter G. Ai-nold, Jarries
Kennedy and Samuel Smith, inn-keepers.
William Wireman, who also owned a tan-
nery, and Solomon Marteemie were physi-
cians; Peter Wolford owned a grist-mill,
saw-mill and one slave; John Lease, a saw-
mill; Jacob Knoop, a saw-mill and grist-mill;
Adam Ehrhart, a distillery, saw-mill and
grist mill; Peter Kline, Michael Mumper and
David Myers, each owned a distillery; Thom-
as Furgeson was "the village schoolmaster :"
Henry Deardorff, Jacob Dollheimer, John
Deardorff, Abraham Frederick, William
Heikes, Lemuel Heikes, William Heikes,
William Kerr, Michael Kneisly, Jaob Lerew
and Jacob Muntweiler were weavers.


Franklin was reduced to its present quad-
rangular shape by the erection of Carroll out
of parts of it and of Monaghan, in 1831. It
is the extreme northwestern part of the county,
with Cumberland County on the northern
boundary, Adams County on the western, Car-
roll on the eastern, and Washington on the
southern. The South Mountains, which still
contain wild turkeys, wild cats, and an occa-
sional deer, extend across the northern part
of the township, at an elevation of 1,000 feet
above sea level. The township is drained by
small tributaries of the Yellow Breeches and
the north branch of the Bermndian. It lies
within the Mesozoic sandstone belt, and con-
tains much fertile and valuable farming land.

In 188-1 the number of taxable inhabitants
was 390; valuation of real estate, $421,003;
county tax, Sl,6l0; State tax, $116; popula-
tion in 1880, including the borough, was 1,186.

There are eighty- two townships in the
United States, and thirty-one counties, which
bear the honored name of Franklin.


This village is delightfully situated in the
eastern corner of Franklin Township, with a
commanding view of four townships: War-
rington, Carroll, Washington and Franklin,
all of which meet at a point, a short distance
east of the town. Early in the present cen-
tury, William Butt and Jacob Schultz con-
ducted a store here, and kept a tavern on the
site of the town. In the year 1813 a tract of
land was surveyed and laid out in streets,
and 186 lots. It being located on the road
leading from Harrisburg to Baltimore, the
main highway, sixty-one feet wide, was
called Baltimore Street. The two running
north and south parallel with it, were named

Water and Church Streets. The three facing
at right- angles to these were denominated
North, Spring and South Streets. The town
of Dillsburg, two miles north of this point,
had already become a business center. The
two villages were likely to become rivals. In
order to sell the lots off rapidly, the founil-
ers of the town, Butt & Schultz, instituted a
lottery, and sold the tickets at $30. ThiTo
were no blanks; each one drew a lot. A
ticket for the score, valued at $1,000, and
building in which it was kept, was inclu(l('<l
in the number. The "wheel of fortnin-"'
turned to the original owners the much cuv
eted prize, and they continued the mercantile
business in the same house. Probably owiii;;'
to this incident, the town did not at lirst
prosper. The original name given was
Franklin, but the disappointed persons who
purchased tickets for $30, which was a con-
siderable sum in those days for a small plat
of ground, called it "Buttstown." This ap-
pellation is not entirely forgotten.

In 1849, which was thirty-six years after
the town was laid out, there were only a
dozen houses. About that time Capt. John
Klugh purchased a number of vacant lots
which had been drawn at the time of the
lottery. He built some houses, sold some
lots and encouraged building. The town
then continued to grow.


In the year 1826, Martin Carl succeeded
Butt & Schultz in the mercantile business,
and secured the establishment of a postofSce.
He was followed in the same stand by Henry
Ritter, David Leidig and Capt. John Klugh.
The last-named gentleman who has done
much for the interests of the village, was
postmaster from 1861 to 1885. In the year
1882- he disposed of his store to his son-in-
law, George Lehmer, who has recently fur-
nished a new room with a large supply of
goods, and succeeded as postmaster.

A store has been kept in the northern end of
the village in order of succession by Ritter &
Leidig, Albert Crowl, and for several years
past by William Heiges.


The town was incorporated in 1869, Dan-
iel Hershey was the first chief burgess. A
re-survey of the town plot was made by Joseph
Ritner, civil engineer of Mechanicsburg, son
of Gov. Ritner. The streets were graded and
paved the same year. Population is 270.
There is no hotel in the borough. The town
council in 1885 was as follows: chief bur-
gess, Jacob Lau; secretary, William Straley;




J^7^r2^ A^^^Ci^yfL^


Capt. John Klugh, George Byers, William
Heiges, Luther D. Gettys and M. Burtner,


The Frankliutown Guards was the name
of a uniformed military company of fifty
volunteer members, organized many years
ago by Capt. John Hursh. His successors
-were Capts. George Klugh, George Harbold,
and John Klugh. The last-named gentle-
man is now a prominent citizen of the com-
munity, and during the civil war raised a
company that entered the Two Hundred and
Seventh Regiment of Pensylvania Volunteers,
and participated in the battles of Hatcher's
Run, Fort Steadman and Nottoway River in

The old Frankliutown Guards was a well
drilled company of infantry, which existed
.for fifteen years.


United Brethren Church was built in 1849
at a cost of $1,000, Capt. John Klugh was
the contractor. The building committee
were David Heiges, Joseph Brenneman, and
Valentine Elieker. The Sunday-school is
superintended by Israel Heiges. This church
belongs to York Springs Circuit, the pastor
residing in the village.

Evangelical Lutheran Church was built in
1884. The Lutherans of the village pre-
viously worshiped with the congregation at
the Franklin Church two miles distant. The
pastor of the congregation is Rev. Henry
Seiifert. The building committee under
whose direction it was built were Capt.
John Klugh, Jacob Lau, Frederick Murray,
William Straley and P. R. Lehmer. A Sun-
day-school of 100 pupils meets in it; George
Evans is superintendent.


For the past few years a graded system has
been adopted. During the last session Wil-
liam H. Weaver and William H. Lehmer
were the teachers. An annual appropriation
of 165 is received from the State. The
school board for 1885 is as follows: Peter
Heiges, president; Capt. John Klugb, secre-
tary; George Lehmer, treasurer; Jesse Wag-
ner, A. B. Elieker and William Heiges.


St. Johii'ft Reformed and Lutheran
Church. — This historic house of worship,
better known as "The Franklin Church," is
situated near the state road, a short distance
south of the center of the township. Neither
existing records nor tradition seem to es-

tablish the date of the origin of the con-
gregation that now worship here, nor the
time when the first log, weather -boarded
church was built, except that "it was more
than a hundred years ago." The adjoining
burying ground contains tombs that are a
century old. Near the old church, for half
a century, stood a building in which a school
was kept that was supported by the congre-

The present two-story brick church was
built in 1847, at a cost of $3,000. The
building committee were Peter Wolford,
George Dick and Jacob Stickel. The Re-
formed pastors who preached here, as far
back as they could be traced were Charles
Helfenstein, Frederick W. Vandersloot and
Edward Vandersloot. Since 1839 the vener-
able Rev. Daniel Riegle has served the Re-
formed congregation, whose membership is
now 150. The Lutheran pastors were A. G.
Deiuinger, Gotwald, Weil, Peter Sheurer, A.
G. Deininger (second time), John Ulrich,
Samuel Henry, J. Williams, Joseph R.
Focht, Aaron Finfrock, Peter Warner, Jacob
K. Bricker, E. Studebecker and Henry Seif-
fert. The Lutheran membership is 120. A
Union Sunday-school of about seventy pu-
pils, is held in the church. Samuel Heiges is

South Mountain Union CliurcJi was built
in 1867, and dedicated by Revs. Warner,
Fohl, and Hunter. Rev. Samuel Diller su-
perintended the building of the church,
which cost $1,500. There is no church or-
ganization here, but services are held in the
building by clergymen of the Evangelical
Association United Brethren in Christ, Ger-
man Baptist and Church of God. John Ar-
nold is church superintendent; Jacob Brandt,
George P. Weaver, Abraham Flemming, Sam-
uel John and J. M. Sollenberger are the
trustees. A Sunday-school was organized in
1868. Its membership is sixty- five. G. W.
Brandt is superintendent.

Harmony Bethel. — This church belongs to
the Church of God, an order of Baptists.
The house was built in 1877, Abraham Flem-
ming being the chief contributor toward pay-
ing for the church, whose cost was $800.
The pastors who have ministered to the con-
gregation are O. H. Betts, William Sanborn,
Daniel Mumma, and Frank Bardeens.


There are six school buildings in Frank-
lin, in good condition, bearing the following
names: Locust Grove, Central, Chestnut
Hill, Bender's, Glenwood, and Mountain.
For 1885 David Carl was president of school


board; Cornelius Murray, secretary; Will-
iam Weaver, treasurer; J. Gasswent, Abra-
ham Flemming and George Spahr, directors.
The State appropriation to this township for
1884, was $322.


IN 1744 Thomas Cookson, deputy surveyor
of Lancaster County assisted by William
Kichardson laid ofi' the township of War-
rington. The original shape of this town-
ship was that of an irregular pentagon, ex-
tending northeast and southeast, and includ-
ed the present township of Washington and
a small portion of what is now Adams County,
with the Conewago Greet as its southeastern
boundary, Newberry to the east and Mona-
ghan to the north. The names of many first
settlers of this and adjoining townships will
be found in the article in this work on "The
Friends or Quakers." Warrington, like the
names of nearly all the original townships
of York County, is English. There is a town
and township by that name along the Mersey
River, in Lancashire, England. Many ac-
tions between the royal and parliamentary
forces took place on its soil during the civil
wars of England. The Friends of Bucks
County, Penn., gave a township the same
name, and two or three post villages in the
United States also bear it.


Previous to 1770 a small section of War-
rington extended south of the Conewago, and
gave rise to disputes and inconvenience. The
Conewago and the Bermudian formed the
dividing line between the early settlements
of the Quakers and the Germans, conse-
quently a petition, dated the fourth
month, twenty-fourth day. 1770. asked the
court to establish a definite boundary, con-

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 135 of 218)