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

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The Quaker Meeting House. — The historic
old building located near the village of
Wellsville, surrounded by a beautiful grove-
of native trees, is one of the landmarks ot
the county. For more than a century it was.
the central point of interest in the- township..
A cut of it will be found in the article out
' 'The Friends, or Quakers, " in the front part,
of this work. ,

Salem Church of the Evangelical Associa-
tion. — As early as 1820 religious services of
this denomination were held in Warringtoa
in private houses, and in a sehoolhouse. The
church with the above name was built ins
1849. The building committee were H^
Bierbower, J. M. Ettinger, E. Boring,. Georges
Glatfelter and M. Lentz. The eongregai.
tion was then in the Gettysburg Circuit. The-
membership is now twenty-one. Trustt^ea-
are Henry Wentz and Daniel Stickel. Iqi
1S61 the circuit was divided and the Cone».
wago Circuit formed. In 1872 the name was
changed to Lewisberry Circuit.

The names of the pastors in order of suc-
cession from 1849 to 1885 are as follows:

Daniel Kramer, B. F. Hall, J. C. Sungei-,
E. B. Wilson, S. W. Seibert, Henry Althous,
S. W. Seibert, S. Aurand, George Hunter^
^S\ C. Detwiler, W. Reeser, J. C. Farns-
worth, A. L. Reeser, H. A. Detrich, A. W.
Kramer, J. A. Irvine, H. N. Wallace, S. E.
Davis, B. F. Anthony, L. Dice and J. D.

Blue Ridge Bethel at Alpine was built in
1856 by the Evangelical Association. Services
were held first in a sehoolhouse for twentv
years before the church was built. The
church lot was surveyed by an erratic recluse
with considerable native intelligence, and
known to all the country around as "Sammy
Fettrow, the doctor, lawyer and surveyor. "
The building cost §1,000, and was dedicated
by Rev. Adam Ettinger. The building com-
mittee were William Ramsey, Daniel Shetter-


and Ezekiel Boring. The pastor for 1885
was L. Dise, of the Lewisberry Circuit, to
which the church belongs. Membership
about forty. A Sunday-school is held in the
audience room.

Mount Airy Church of the Evangelical
Association. — This church was built in 1883.
Micmi 1868 a class was formed in the vicinity,
a scboolhouse was purchased and first used as
a place of worship. The building committee
of the new church were Rev. L. Dise, pastor,
€. Bushey, John Ferrence, John Miller and
Morris Smith. There is a Sunday-school of
seventy pupils. L. C. Biishey is the super-
jintendent. The church membership is thirty.
Trastees, Frederick Myers, John Ferrence
and J. B. John. The church stands on ele-
vated ground. Fortney Postoffice was estab-
lished here in 1882. A store was kept at
this place by Daniel Bierbower for many

Church of God. — Religious services were
le-ld under the auspices of this denomination
ha Warrington as early as 1855, and con-
ducted at stated times by ministers who
served as supplies until April 1, 1884, when
Fi-ank L. Bardens became the regular pastor.
The church now owned by the congregation
was built through the energies of Elder R.
E. Reever at a cost of $1,000, and dedicated
May 21, 1883. Elder G. W. Seilhammer
j>reached the dedicatory sermon. David
Brillhart and H. Kapp have served as elders
ai this church, and "William Beitner, G.
;ipangler and Wesley Weigle as deacons.
Mount Zion Church of the United Breth-
3en in Christ in Warrington was built more
tlian a fourth of a century ago. It is now in
York Springs Circuit, and the pastor resides
st Franklintown. Pastors' names will be
found in history of the United Brethren
Church in Carroll. The membership of
Mount Zion Church is forty-nine. A Sunday-
school of sixty pupils is superintended by
William Morthland. The trustees for 1885
axB Millard J. Blackford, William Beitzel
amd. Philip Altland.


Eehoboth Meeting House was a place of
worship and schoolhouse located in the east-
ern part of Warrington. It accidentally
(jaught fire in 1835^ was burned, and never
after rebuilt. It was used principally by the
Methodists. During the winter of 1829-30
Daniel M. Ettinger, the well-known surveyor
and citizen of York, was teaching a school in
1!his building when the erratic yet world-
renowned evangelist, Lorenzo Dow, visited
Warrington and preached to a large audience

in Rehoboth Meeting House. His text was,
" The end of all things is at hand." In the
course of his sermon he related how he and
his brother had put an end to a robin's nest
on one of his father's apple trees, and for
the misdeed received such an application as
boys seldom relish or appreciate; but, he
said, "the end of that robin's nest was at
hand," and he destroyed no more. This
visit of Dow was made soon after his return
from England, when 5 shillings were paid
in that country to hear him preach or lecture.
The next evening he preached at Lewisberry.


Among the first immigrants to Warrington
was William Griffith, who "took up" land
now owned by his descendants above Ross-
ville. Another immigrant at same time in
1730, obtained a warrant for the land now
owned by Frank Elcock; a third located land
near the Conewago. They came from New-
castle County, Del.

James Lenox, the first surveyor of this
section, was an Englishman, and owned large
tracts of land which he disposed of to new
settlers, as they arrived.

Tradition says the first Quaker settlers
of this township crossed the Susquehanna
at Wright's Ferry, obtained permits for laud,
passed across the county, here and there
meeting an occasional settler. They came
either on foot, or on pack horses, camped out,
had with them rifles, and a few of the sim-
pler agricultural implements. They built
cabins, cleared small tracts of land, sowed
grain, went back to their former homes to
relate their experiences, and prepare to re-
turn the next summer, to reap the first har-
vest, some of them bringing with them young
wives to share their experiences of backwoods
life among the Indians who were their neigh-

William Griffith, great-grandfather of
James Griffith, of Warrington, died in the
township at the age of one hundred and
five, and his remains were interred in the
Friends' burying ground. He came to Amer-
ica with William Penn. He often related
the following interesting incident:

In 1736 and later, a party of Indians were
neighbors to the early settlers about the site
of Rossville. Among those who had their
wigwams near the site of Ross' Tannery,
was a very old Indian. One day Griflith
and his comrades saw the young Indians
build a large fire and went to inquire for
what purpose, as they were on friendly terms
with them. They were horrified with the
response, saying, "Burn old man, no hunt,



no fish, only eat, no longer good Indian."
The kindly intervention of the friendly
whites finally caused them to desist from
their cruel custom of burning the aged and
infirm, which was not uncommon among our

Many Indian darts and spears made of
native blue stone or quartz, have been found
in this locality.

A number of interesting Indian relics,
arrow heads, spear points and hatchets, all
of stone, have been found on the farm of
Levi Spangler, along the Warrington side of
the Gonewago, below the stone bridge. On
both sides of the stream here, from Emig's
Mill to Kunkel's Mill, is the fertile Gonewago
Valley, containing many beautiful and level
tracts on which the Indians frequently en-
camped, and pursued their vocation of hunt
ing and fishing.

William Griffith, son of the immigrant, was
once lost in the dense woods surrounding
Kound Top Mountain, remained out over
night, and died from the results of exposure
and excitement. His son, Abraham Griffith,
could read and shoot squirels at the age of
ninety-five years, and died aged ninety- six.

The property near the foot of the mount-
ain, now owned by John Krall, was once in
possession of Gen. Henry Miller, of Revo-
lutionary fame, whose biography appears
elsewhere. For half a century or more
it was the site of one of the old-time }
taverns in which was introduced a " Frank-
lin" stove, built in the tire-place, one of the
first in that section. Frederick Watt, father
of Judge Watt, of Carlisle, once owned it.

James Mitchell, one of the first congress-
men who represented York County, lived in
Warrington on the State road, six miles'
southeast of Dillsburg. He interested his
neighbors by bringing home relics from
Washington. David Cadwalader, of Warring-
ton, his nephew, owns the cane used by him
when a representative in Congress.

By an act of the General Assembly of
Pennsylvania in 1784, the Gonewago Creek
was made a public highway as far up the
stream as Emig's Mills. :

Street Hill is a singular geological forma- |
tion of dolerite, extending northeast and
southwest in Warrington, a short distance
north of the Gonewago. The name was
used as early as 1748 by a surveyor, who lo-
cated a road across it toward York. It is
now locally known as " Straight Hill.

A level course of two miles in length in
the east end of Warrington, on the road
leading from the Newberry Friends' Meeting
House to the Warrington Meeting House, for i

a century past has been called the "Quaker
Race-groixnd." The young members of the
society on the way back and forth from at-
tending their monthly meetings, used this in-
viting place to try tLe speed of their horses.

On theHobangh farm in Warrington, exists
a singular geological feature of great inter-
est, familiarly known in the vicinity as "Ship
Rocks. " They are dolerite rocks, about twelve
in number, some of them of immense propor-
tions. The largest ones bear a striking re-
semblance to a sailing vessel, from which
characteristic the name originated. They
lie entirely on the surface. One of them,
forty feet long, ten feet high and eight feet
thick, lies beside a near neighbor of similar
dimensions, from which it was evidently
separated by a convulsion of nature during
a remote period of the world's history. This
cluster of surface rocks covers an area ol
half an acre.

Portions of the wooded tracts in the eastern
part of Warrington are nearly covered with

Fine specimens of copper ore have been
found in Warrington, but not as j'et in suffi-
cient quantities to be profitably mined.

The cultivation of strawberries has become
a profitable business in the eastern part of
Warrington. In 1884 F. S. Myers raised 4,-
000 boxes on two acres, and 2,000 boses of
raspberries on the same number of acrea
Frederick Myers raised 6, 500 boxes of straw-
berries the same year; Benjamin Bailetta,
5,000; Jeremiah Boring, a short distance eastt
in Newberry, raised 8,000 boxes of strawber-
ries in 1884. The amount of 4,000 boxes of
berries to the acre can be raised in a good
season. This fruit is sold in York and Har

A court record directs the building of a
wooden bridge over the Gonewago Creek oil
the road to Carlisle from York in 1765. The
old stone bridge now there, was built betwees
1811 and 1814. It cost $4,000. The con-
tractor, tradition says, found he was going tu
lose money, hence he secured all the labor
and material he could on credit. When the
bridge was completed, he disappeared with
the money received from the county author-
ities, and did not pay his employes or any

A roof on the house of Levi Spangler near
this bridge is still in good condition. It was
placed on the house in 1822. The shingles
then cost $5 per 1.000, and boards S7 per 1,006
feet. The same year was the great drought,
when the Gonewago was without water, an(£
turnips were raised in its bed near the bridge.

The wooden bridge over the Gonewage



'Creek at Kunkle's Mill, at the northeast end i
•of the township, did not yield its honored po-
:sition to the flood of 1884. It rests on two
stone abutments, one at either end, and at a
■height of thirty feet above the water, spans
■the stream at a breadth of 100 yards. A glen,
south of this bridge in the Conewago Hills,
is a romantic spot and worthy of visitation
•on account of the natural curiosities. Down
the stream a distance from this place, was the
home of the noted "cancer doctors," Bull and
Anderson, who lived in Dover Township.
■"Witches" reigned supreme in this region
■once upon a time, which no one but the noted
doctor near York could drive away. It is not
tnown where they went, but they were driv-
en aAvay sure, and it is not many years since
^they were compelled to take their flight.
■"Pow-wowing" did it, and it requires noth-
ing but a strained conscience and blind faith
io believe in such a remedy or such a disease.
A short distance east of the base of Round
Top, at a spot affording a most enchaating
itandscape view far to the south and west, on
■one quiet evening of June, 1866, immedi-
ately after a thunder shower, was committed
the foulest murder known to the annals of
"¥ork County. The Squibb family, grand-
father, grandmother and grandchild, each and
all, were the victims. There was no one left
to t^ell the tale of that dreadful homicide.
The remains of the victims were interred in
one common grave in the southwest corner of
the historic burying ground adjoining the
Friends' Meeting House. A neat but unpre-
tentious head-stone marks the spot.

According to the religious principles of
'the Society of Friends, they were opposed to
any kind of military display. John Black-
burn and John Pope, and many other early
settlers of Warrington, were temporarily sus-
pended from meeting in 1758 for "appearing
in warlike manner, and going to fight the
■Indians" during the French and Indian war.
The militia law which compelled every voter
between the ages of twenty-one and forty-
■five, to muster regularly, pay a tine or go to
jail, was a cause of great annoyance to the
■ardent followers of the religion of the great
■founder of Pennsylvania. A few even
accepted the last remedy and went to jail, or
allowed some personal property to be sold to
pay the tine rather than submit to what they
considered an unjust law.

The militia muster grounds were at Ross-
ville. Joseph Wright and John Koch were
•captains of two of these companies.

The "Warrington Rangers" was a volunteer
■company, started in 1829, commanded at
different times by Capt. Black, Baijy, James

Griffith, Lesley Porter and Martin. It
existed for many years.

Hugh Morthland, of Warrington, a soldier
of the One Hundred and Fifty-second Penn-
sylvania Regiment, was accdentally killed at
Fortress Monroe in 1865, while tiring a
salute in honor of the fall of Richmond.

The township of Warrington in 1783,
including Washington, had 173 houses, 11
mills, and contained a population of 1170.
The population of Warrington alone in 1880,
was 1825. The number of taxable inhabi-
tants in 1883, was 610 ; valuation of real
estate, $630,295.


THE name of this township is very familiar.
It has been given to one territory in the
United States, thirty counties, the capitol
city, twenty-one post villages, and one hun-
dred and thirty -one townships. The cause
and signification of this is familiar to every

For sixty years, the area now included in
Washington was embraced in Warrington.
In 1803, a petition was presented to the
York court, asking for the formation of a
new township which was granted, and the
historic name given it.


This township is a bent rectangular figure,
Its length extending northwest and south
east, with Warrington to the east, the Cone
wago Creek, bordering on Dover and Para
dise to the south, Adams County to the wes'
and Franklin to the north. It is drained by
the Bermudian and Conewago Creeks and
their tributaries. That section of it north-
east of the Bermudian was settled by the
Quakers, and the portion southeast of the
same stream by the German Baptists as early
as 1735. Washington Township has a variety
of soil. A vein of black dolerite crosses it,
and also a small vein of copper ore. Iron
ore has been taken out at two or three places
in large quantities: Most of the land is now
fertile and productive, yielding abundant
crops. Improved modes of cultivation and
increased fertilization, have changed the agri-
cultural condition of this township very
materially within the past few years. There
are a number of gristmills along the streams.
In 188'4, there were in this township 432
taxable inhabitants, entire population, 1,457,
valuation of real estate, $710,159.



The Barrens is an area covering about
3.000 acres of pure red shale soil, lying
mostly in the northern part of Washington,
near the village of Franklintown. The name
originated with the early settlers, owing to a
lack of the fertility of the soil. Much of it
was found by the first white settlers to be a
barren waste, destitute of trees, and only
here and there covered with scrub oak, and a
sort of prairie grass. This land, by improved
methods of cultivation and proper fertili-
zation, is now productive. Tracts which fifty
years ago were nearly valueless, can now be
made to grow twenty-five bushels of wheat to
the acre.


This place was known for more than half a
century as "Raffensberger's Store." In 1824
Christian T. Rafifensberger began the mercan-
tile business, and continued it untill854, when
his son Amos succeeded until 1864, when an-
other son, Jacob, followed him for five years,
then Amos retiu-ned. J. G. Bower was his
Buecessor, then Mr. Harlacher, who now owns
the property and the adjoining farm. L. W.
Lichty began the store buiness in 1881.

In 1864, when application was made for a
postofiice at this place, a difficulty arose as to
its name. A large mulberry tree stood in
front of the store, and the venerable Chris-
tian Raifensberger, who is now living at the
age of fourscore and four years, asked "Uncle
Sam" to call the new postoffice " Mulberry, "
in honor of his tree. The old tree passed
away before its original owner, but a new
one has been planted on the same spot. The
large bridge over the Conewago near this
place was taken away by the flood of 1884,
after having served the public for nearly
fifty years.


Hall PostofSce is a hamlet near the center
of the township, and is the voting place. It
is fast growing into an attractively built vil-
lage, the local name of which is " Krall-
town. " A store was first opened here, by Jesse
Krall. The house, now used as a store and
hotel, was built in 1853. Stores have since
been kept by John Krall, Samuel Reed,
Henry B. Smith, John Straley, and at present
by Andrew Straley. The postofiice was estab-
lished near Bower's Church, and named"Hall."
Michael S. Bower, who had a store there,
was first postmaster. It was moved to Krall -
town, and Samuel Reed became postmaster.
The name remained unchanged. The village
now contains about twenty houses. There is

no hotel now in this township. A mail route
passes through from York Springs to York.

The Union Meeting House near Hall Post-
office, is now used by the Mennonites, Evan-
gelical Association and Lutherans, pincipally
by the first two denominations. The Men-
nonite preachers are Jacob Hersliey, Samuel
Roth and Isaac Kaufi'man. This building
was for a long time used as a schoolhouse.
A fine schoolhouse was built in 1881, at a
cost of $900. David Newcomer, once associate
judge of York County, was born near Krall-
town, in this township. When a young man
he drilled a militia company, and afterward
a volunteer company, in his native township.
He died in Hanover.

Jesse Krall's mill, on the Bermudian one
mile and a half from the village was built by
William Butt in 1782. Michael Myers run it
for twenty-six years. A mile farther south is
Absolom Trimmer's mill.

Some of the other industries of the town-
ship are Lewis Strayer's wool carding mill on
the Bermudian, Cornelius Strayer's tannery,
and Diehl's and Eisenhart's mills on the

H0U.SES or "worship.

Bermudian Meeting House. — The German
Baptists, or Dunkers, were among the first
persons who settled in Washington Town-
ship. In the history of that denomination,
found in a chapter in this work on that sub-
ject, it will be found that an organization
was effected near the Bermudian as early as
1738. Religious worship was conducted for
nearly a century in the houses of members.

In 1857 the present stone meeting-house
was built one-hali; mile from Mulberry Post-
ofiice at a cost of $1,500. This denomination
do not have dedicatory services. The con-
gregation has about seventy-five members.
The preachers are Daniel Altland, John
Rafi'ensberger, Peter Trimmer and William

The deacons are William Harbold, John
Wolf, Rolandus Altland, George Firestone
and Isaac King.

A deacon in this denomination is elected
for life. See page 388.

St. PaitVs Lutheran and Reformed Church.
— This church is familiarly known as the
"Red Run" or "Sower's" Church. The first
was given it from the small stream by that
name in the vicinity, which flows through
the red shale formation of that section. The
congregations that now worship in the build-
ing were formed in the year 1844; the
Lutheran by Rev. Peter Sheurer, and the
Reformed by Rev. John E. Albert. The



eorner-stone was laid April 21, 1844, and the
building consecrated October 5 and 6 of the
same year. The building committee con-
sisted of George Sower and John Shive,
from the Lutheran congregation, and John
H. Smith, from the Reformed congregation.
The iirst church council was composed of the
following-named members: Lutherans — John
Leib, elder; Jacob Emig and Solomon Gross,
deacons. Eeformed — Christian Guber, elder;
George Spangler and Peter River, deacons.
Samuel Sheaffer and John H. Smith have
since served as elders, and John Liebenstine
and Jacob March as deacons. Kev. Sheurer,
who organized the Lutheran congregation,
was succeeded by Rev. A. G. Deininger, who
continued until his death in 1879, when the
present pastor, Rev. D. Sell, was elected.
Rev. Mr. Riegle, of Dillsburg, has minis-
tered to the Reformed congregation almost
continuously since it organized. The Luther-
an membership is 225, Reformed about 150.
^ EmanueVs Church of the Evangelical
^Association, is known as "Bower's Church."
T>It was built about 1855. The building com-
jwmittee were Abraham Byers, Daniel Shelley
h and M. S. Bower. The membership at pres-
'^ent is small. John Anthony and W. Beau-
•fmont are the pastors. A Sunday-school is
|held in the church, of which Peter Better is
'^ superintendent.

Salem Lutheran and Reformed Church, one
of the landmarks of Washington, is what is
known over a wide extent of country as the
"Barren's Church." The date of its origin
was about 1800. It is located near the upper
end of the township. The Lutheran pastors
who officiated here, as far as could be ascer-
tained, were Revs. Conrad Reiman, in 1807,
John Weible, J. Garman, Samuel Henry,
Joseph R. Focht, Aaron Finfrock, Peter
Warner, Jacob Bricker, Emanuel Stude-
becker, and the present pastor, Henry Seiffert.
Membership about 150.

Of the Reformed pastors Rev. Jacob Lischy
conducted services in the community as early
as 1750. Rev. Edward Yandesloot officiated
for a time, and was succeeded, in 1830, by
Rev. Daniel Riegle, who still ministers to
the Reformed people here, having begun his
work forty- seven years ago. The member-
ship is 125. The old church was torn down
in 1863, and the present brick one built. A
ITnion Sunday-school is held in the church.


THIS township was erected before 1749.
Until the erection of Conewago, in
1818, the western two-thirds of that town-
ship was embraced in Dover. In 1783, there
were in this township 219 houses, 146 barns,
697 male and 670 female inhabitants, 4
slaves, 7 mills and 23,811 acres of land not
vacant. The form of Dover Township is
irregular, with the southwestern boundary as
a base resting upon Jackson and Paradise,
Washington and Warrington to the west and
north, and Conewago, Manchester and West
Manchester to the east. The Conewago
Hills begin in the western part of this town
ship and extend in a northeasterly direction
to York Haven.

From the first ridge of the Conewaga Hills,
near Mount Royal, along the public road to
Rossville, the observer is afforded a land-
scape view to the south, east and west, al-
most unrivaled in enchanting beauty. The

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 137 of 218)