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

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other native of Chanceford, the late John-
son K. Duncan, brevet major-general of
the Confederate army. His record is as fol-
lows: Admitted as a cadet to the military

academy at West Point, July 1, 1845;
graduated No. 5 in a class of forty-three
members in June 1849; appointed brevet
second lieutenant. Second Artillery, July 1,.
1849; second lieutenant Third Artillery,Octo-
ber31, 1849; first lieutenant Third Artillery,
December 24, 1853; resigned January 31,.
1855; joined in the Rebellion against the
United States; died January 1868, at Knox-
ville, Tenn., aged thirty-six. While in the
Confederate service, he commanded the de-
fenses of New Orleans and the lower Missis-
sippi, and was regarded as the best artillery
officer in that service.

Agriculture is now the almost sole occupa-
tion of the people of Chanceford. The vast
improvement in machinery and in the man-
agement of the soil, that has marked the last
half century, have had their effect; and the-
township, from having had occasionally to»
import grain, is now a large exporter of
grain and many other agricultural products.
Agriculture has passed through several
phases before coming to its present condi-.
tion, which is thought to be far from perfec-
tion. At first the timber was cleared off and
the virgin soil cropped and recropped, until
it would produce no more; it was then turned
out, and was known as "old tield." Theu'
came the discover}' that lime would renovate-
the soil and make it again productive, and.
almost every farmer built a lime-kiln on his
place. Limestone was hauled from theriveiv
and wood used for burning it to quicklime.
It was soon found, however, that lime could
be procured at the river already btirned with
coal, much more cheaply than by hauling
the stone to the home kilns and burning it
there; so the home kilns passed into decay.
Now liming has given place, almost com-
pletely, to the use of artificial fertilizers^
such as guano, super- phosphate of lime, etc-.
Chanceford has three flouring-mills within
its borders; to wit: Samuel Warner's mill,.
A. S. Warner's mill and the mill belongings
to the heirs of William L. Shaw, deceased.
These mills are confined exclusively to local
custom work, and are the only manufactur-
ing establishments now in the township. In
the western part of the township Sai-ah Ann
Furnace, or Manor Furnace, was located. It
obtained ore from Chestnut Hill. The ore
found on the property proving of poor
quality, and having no means of getting it
but by wagons, it was soon found to be un-
profitable, and after sixteen years, in which
it was operated by different parties, it
"blowed out," never to be again relighted;,
and the stock and houses of the operatives
are passing into shapeless ruins. During


the early part of the present century, a
distillery was located in the northern part of
the township, owned by a Mr. Witmer.

New Bridgeville is located along the river,
by the canal. James P. Eobison, at pres-
ent a member of the legislature, conducts a
general store and keeps a hotel at this place.
Stony Island fishery, famous as a place to
catch shad, is near here.

At Lockport, a short distance below New
Bridgeville, there was formerly a dam across
the Susquehanna for transporting boats over
the stream to Conestoga navigation, which
extended from Safe Harbor to Lancaster.
An extensive business was done over this
route for many years.


The Guinston United Presbyterian Church.
— This congregation was first connected with
the Associate Presbyterian Church, which
was formed by a secession from the Estab-
lished Church of Scotland, in 1733. It
was organized either in the fall of 1758, or
early in 1754. Soon after a rude chui-ch
was constructed of small logs. Accomoda-
tions becoming insufficient, in 1773 a house
of stone was built, which still stands. Con-
cerning this church, the following was legal-
ly recorded: "To all Christian people to
whom these presents shall come, we, Thomas
Curry, James Wallace, Guin Allison, Andrew
Fulton, Alexander Moor of Hopewell, farm-
ers, John McClurg, John McNeary and
George Campbell of Chanceford, farmers,
John McCay and John Stewart of Windsor,
farmers, send greeting: whereas, in and by
a certain deed poll bearing date April 23,
1773, made between James Cooper of Chester
County, of the one part, and the before-named
trustees of the second part." By this act
James Cooper conveyed two acres of land, on
which the "Old Scotch PrasbyterianMeeting-
House stood; whereas there is now to be
erected a large building for public worship,
called and forever hereafter intended to be
called, the Scotch Presbyterian Church, who
are now under the pastoral care of Rev.
James Clarkson, and professing to adhere to
the whole doctrine, worship, discipline and
government of the Church of Scotland, as
the same was exhibited in her public stand-
ards; viz. : the Westminster confession of
faith, catechisms and propositions concern-
ing church government and ordination of
members, as these are received in the several
acts of Assembly, passed between the years
1644 and 1649." Concerning its further
history the present pastor furnishes the fol-
lowing: On August 25, 1773, Rev. James

Clarkson was placed in charge, by the Asso-
ciate Presbytery of Pennsylvania. He con-
tinued till 1808, when he was released.

After a period of ten years, during which
the congregation was vacant, Mr. Alexander
Gordon was ordained pastor, August 20,
1818. For many years his full time was de-
voted to this field. But in 1822 an arrange-
ment was to be made, by which a fourth of the
time was to be given to Lower Chanceford. On
the 20th of October, 1825, the relation of
Mr. Gordon to the congregations of Guins-
ton and Lower Chanceford was dissolved.

The services of a stated pastor were not
now enjoyed for eight years when Rev. John
Adams, through the action of the Presby-
tery, on the 11th of September, 1833, was set
apart as the person who should break to
these congregations the bread of life. He
continued to be pastor at Guinston and
Lower Chanceford till the 26th of April,
1855, when he tendered his resignation to
the Associate Presbytery of Philadelphia,
which was accepted.

On the 19th of August, 1856, Rev. Francis
McBurney was ordained and installed as pas-
tor at Guinston and Lower Chanceford. This
relation continued until after the union was
formed between the Associated and Associate
Reformed Churches, which was consumated
on the 26th of May, 1858, in Pittsbui-gh, con-
stituting the United Presbyterian Church;
Guinston congregation went heartily into
this union, and has been in it ever since.

The Associate Reformed Church was organ-
ized on the 31st of October, 1782, by virtue
of a uilion effected between a portion of the
Associate Church and the Reformed Presby-
terians or Covenanters. Messrs. Marshall,
minister, and Clarkson of Guinston and some
elders did not go into this union, and so kept
up the organization of the Associate Church.
After long years had passed, it was thought
that these two branches of Zion, so near to each
other in principle and practice, should be
united. The move made accordingly was
successful, and in 1858 the history of the
United Presbyterian Church had its begin-
ning. Rev. Jj'rancis McBurney remained in
Guinston till October 6, 1868.

From that time the congregation was de-
pendent upon supplies till 1870. A call was
made out in the autumn of that year, and pre-
sented to Rev. Samuel Jamison, which he ac-
cepted. He commenced to labor regularly
in this field on the first Sabbath of Decem-
ber. On the 25th of April, 1871, he
was installed by the Presbytery of Big
Spring. It was so arranged, that for a short
time he preached every Sabbath in Hope-


well. His whole time was then given to
Guinston, and so continued. The congrega-
tion has a membership of 192.

Space will not allow an extended history of
this church; sufBce it, that from a handful
of emigrants, who first met at the house of
Alexander Wallace, to renew their covenant
obligations to their God, they have been
blessed by Him in a most signal manner, for
although they sometimes passed through dark
days, which were necessary to their health,
for we are told that ' ' He loveth whom He ^
chasteheth," yet they were eventually brought (
forth into the sunshine of earthly prosperity;
for the desert in which they settled now i
blossoms as the rose, and their congregation
large, intelligent and influential, with all the
attributes that adorn the highest type of
Christian civilization, and whose membership
and influence are found and felt in the hun-
dreds of United Presbyterian congregations
scattered over the broad West, speaks in lan-
guage too plain to be misunderstood, that
God is indeed with them, and in blessing has
blessed them in a remarkable degree.

Lutheran and Reformed Church. — The
second church in point of age in Chanceford j
Township, is the one known as " Stahle's
Church," situated in the northern part of the
township, and founded by Jacob Stable and
George Souders in the year 1784. Two de-
nominations, the Lutheran and German Re-
formed, united in building the church, and
held services alternately therein. The first
building was a rude affair, but after being
somewhat enlarged and repaired served to ac-
commodate the congregations until the year \
1866, when their present handsome and com-
modious brick church was built; Peter Blouse,
Jacob Kohler and George Wise were the build-
ing committee. The following are the names
of the Lutheran pastors who have officiated '
here since 1784: Revs. Bentz, A. Gearnal,
Heisley, J. Harman, J. Kempfer, J. Cono-
way, P. Warner and E. Lenhart. The Re-
formed pastors were Revs. G. Hablinstein,
W. P. Vandersloot, H. Rynecka, Sr., R. Ra-
hauser. The Reformed congregation is now
without a pastor. The Lutheran member-
ship is about eighty-five and the Reformed
twenty. I

Netv Harmonij Pret^byterian Church. —
The Presbyterians of Chanceford Township
belonged to the Chanceford Presbyterian
Church situated in Lower Chanceford Town-
ship until 1847, when a meeting was called
and committees appointed to select ground
and prepare to build a house, which was
accomplished; and in the following year
(1848) the house was finished, and De- .

cember 3, 1848, was dedicated to the wor-
ship of God. Twenty-four persons presented
letters from the Chanceford Church, and
four from Hopewell or Round Hill. Hugh
Long, Esq., John A. Murphy, and James
Stewart were elected its first elders, and the
name adopted by the organization was ''New
Harmony Presbyterian Church.'' On the ISth
of October, 1853, Rev. J. J. Lane, then of
Wrightsville, was installed the first pastor
of the church. The next pastor was Rev. J. L.
Merrill, and the next and last was Rev. A. F.
Morrison. Since Mr. Morrison's death the
church has been served by supplies, the
last six years by Rev. J. J. Lane, its first
pastor. From its organization to the pres-
ent time, the growth of the church has
been constant and healthy. It was chartered
in 1881, and its future career, under the
blessing of God, has everything that is hope-
ful and promising. The number of commun-
icants at this time is 191.

Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church. —
This is located in Chanceford, near the vil-
lage of Grahamville. It was founded by
Rev. John McKinley and Mr. Daniel
Kline. The first church was erected here
in 1821, and was used by the congrega-
tion until 1870. It was during this year
the present fine appearing church was
built, at a cost of about $2,500. It is lo-
cated in a shady grove, with an adjoining
schoolhouse. There is also a large grave-
yard near by, neatly fenced and well taken
care of. The roof is of an excellent quality
of the famous Peach Bottom slate, which
lends attraction to the appearance of the

Trinity Church of the Evangelical Asso-
ciation. — This church was built in 1871, in
the western part of the township, and in the
Logansville Circuit of the Central Pennsyl-
vania Conference; its membership at present
is sixty five.

The Chapel in the northern part of the
township, built in 1872, with a membership
of about fifty, and Mount Pleasant Church
built in 1880, in the southern part of the
township, and having about forty members;
and both of the Evangelical Association,
are thriving churches, and are evidently do-
ing much good.

One more church and the list ends: St.
James, in the southwestern part of the town-
ship (sometimes known as the Fifth Ward),
was built in 1879, and is of the T;utheran per-
suasion, and under its present pastor. Rev.
Mr. Lenhart, is rapidly increasing in strength,
and is becoming a power for good in the
community in which it is located.




When the public school law first went into
operation, there were five schoolhouses in the
township. The schools were supported by-
subscription and such small aid as the State
afforded for the tuition of indigent pupils.
The number of schoolhouses now is sixteen;
well built and commodious, as a rule, and in
wbich all the children of the township can be
accommodated. Sabbath schools, well oifi-
cered and managed, are held in many of the
■schoolhouses, as well as in all the churches,
some of which are very large, and Sabbath
morning sees the children with their parents
wending their way to the house of God —
for the citizens of Chanceford, as a rule, are :
a church -going people. i


Hon. Valentine Trout, of Chanceford, was
•elected associate judge of York County, in
October, 1873. The bench then, the last
bench in York County in which there were .
.any associates, consisted of Hon. Robert J. I
Fisher, president judge; Hon. John Moore,
associate judge; and Hon. Valentine Trout,
associate judge.

By the constitution of 1873, the office of
associate judge, not learned in the law, was
abolished in counties forming separate dis-
tricts. The bench still retained its two-fold
scharacter for a time, as the constitution pro-
•vided that all associate judges in office at its
adoption should serve out their full terms.
Judge Moore's term expired in 1875; Judge
Trout's in 1878.

December 3, 1878, a large number of the
personal friends of Judge Trout assembled
at the Lafayette House, in York, to partici-
pate in a supper tendered him on his retire-
ment from the bench, and as the last of a
line of illustrious lay judges. He was pre-
sented with a pair of gold spectacles and a
^•silk hat The Daily of the 4th said : "Hon.
Valentine Trout, whose term of office expired
■on Monday, leaves the bench with a charac-
ter untainted and unblemished, and bears
■with him in his retirement the respect and
approval of all parties and of the bar."
Judge Trout was born in 1817.


THE name ' ' Chanceford " is a compound
word meaning a chance ford. The word
was first known to history in 1745, when, by the
division of Lower Hellam Township, the upper
section of it, upon petition to the court, was
called by the early Scotch-Irish settlers
"Chanceford," and the lower section "Fawn,"
after which event Lower Hellam disappears
as a name of a township west of the Susque-
hanna. It would seem that in neither his-
tory nor geography is the word Chanceford
elsewhere used to designate a place. Chance-
ford Township was organized under the au-
thority of the provincial court at Lancaster.
The following copy of an official document
contains some facts relating to the earfy local
history of this section, and is signed by the
first settlers:

To THE Worshipful Justices op the County op

The petitioa of the Inhabitants of Chanceford in
the County Shewith — That ye said Township to-
gether with ye Township of Faun was formerly In-
cluded in one Township under ye name of Lower
Hallam, But upon ye Unanimous Petition of ye In-
habitants of ye s'd Township in General, ye same
was by your Worships Divided into two Townships
by a Branch of Water CaUed Muddy Creeli, which
is and was to ye Satisfaction of ye Inhabitants in
General and of Equal Ease and Conveniency to all
Persons in Each Township that are Liable to Exe-
cute any Publick Office, &c. Yett notwithstanding,
a Certain number of ye Inhabitants of Faun at Last
May Sessions Petitioned your worships to allter ye
said Devision and allow of a Division of ye s'd
Township by a South West Line from Ashmore's
ferry which would make s'd Township of Chance-
ford to Consist only in about_ Eighteen or Twenty
Poor Families Liveing mostly four or five miles
asunder and some further amongst s'd Hilley and
Remote Parts of ye s'd Townships thereby making
ye same near Thirty miles Long and about six-
wide, which would Render ye same Insufficient for
a Township and be an Unreasonable Piece of Cru-
elty upon any of ye Inhabitants to Execute any
Office which of course according to their number
and ye Several Services Incumbent on them must
fall to Each Man's Lott, once in Three years, and if
any Poor to maintain it will be only one Poor
maintaining another, for which Reasons and many
others— we Humbly Pray your worships in your
wisdom to Consider and Prevent ye Unequalness
and disagreableness of such an attempt of makeing
a new Devision of ye s'd Township whereby one
will Consist only of some Poor Scattered familys
about one fourth of ye Inhabitants in ye whole and
ye other near Three fourths of ye Best in Substance
when ye tirst Division Equallj^ Detides ye Inhabit-
ants and ye s'd 111 conveniency, &c.

and your petitioners as in Duty Bound shall Pray

Chanceford, June 13, 1747.

Alx'r. McCall. John Campbell.

Hugh Ross. John Bokanan.

Moses Wallace. Robert Morton.

DA^^D McCarthy. James Smith.


Robert Howaed. David McKinly.

Wm. Smart'. Nathaniel Morgan.

Wm. Anderson. Thomas Johnson.

James Anderson. Charles Caldwell.

Charles Carson. Patrick McGee.

Adam McMachan. Wm. McCome.
FiNLET Gray.


The township of Lower Chanceford was
erected in 1805. A petition signed by a
large number of citizens of Chanceford, set

That your Petitioners have, for a long time,
labored under many disadvantages arising from the
great length and contracted breadth of our township
many of our citizens never attend our township
meetings. The supervisors can not examine into
the state of the roads. Our collectors also fail in
collecting the several taxes from transient persons
who slip off and leave them as soon as they hear of
the collectors being in the neighborhood. These,
with other reasons, have induced your Petitioners
that a division of Chanceford Township be made.

The court, Hon. John Joseph Henry, pre-
siding, appointed John Sample, Patrick
Purdy and James Gordon, commissioners, to
view and make the division.

The surveyor, Jesse Cornelius, wanted the
upper section called "Sharron" and the lower
part retain the name Chanceford. The view-
ers wanted the upper division named "Cen-
tre." The same difference of opinion pre-
vailed among the citizens, whereupon the
court decided on the names which these dis-
tricts now bear. According to the draft
when the division was made. Lower Chance-
ford contains fifty-two and one half square
miles or 33,600 acres. The southwest end
of the division line began at a chestnut tree
along Muddy Creek on the land of James
Gibson, and from thence extended in a direct
line northeast seven and four-fifth miles
to a point thirty rods above Burkholder's

The eastern part of the township, as at
present formed, is drained by Otter Creek,
Saw Mill Eun and other smaller tributaries
of the Susquehanna. The western part by
Orson's Eun, Tom's Eun and the other small
tributaries to the Muddy Creek, which stream
washes the entire southern and western
boundaries and separate this township from
Fawn, Peach Bottom and Hopewell. The
old York & Peach Bottom Ferry road, laid
out as early a? 1748, diagonally crosses Low-
er Chanceford on the watershed which sepa-
rates tributaries of the Susquehanna from
those of the Muddy Creek.

These streams furnish a plentiful irriga-
tion and excellent water-power for the nu-
merous mills. The cereals are now grown
with great success in Lower Chanceford.

More wheat is raised to the acre within the
past few years than was raised on ten acres
half a century ago. Since 1875 tobacco has
been cultivated. It is now one of the most
important farming products. The land
grows an excellent quality and yields abund-

The census of 1880 gave Lower Chanceford
a population 2.475. The real estate valuation
in 1884 was $570,139; number of taxables,


The following is a complete list of the
names of taxable inhabitants of Chanceford
and Lower Chanceford in 1783, together with
the number of persons in each family,
amount and valuation of property:


Thomas Allison, 60 acres, 2 horses, 7 persons. £50

John Arnold, 50 acres, 1 horse, 6 persons 40

William Adams, 2- horses, 3 persons 13

William Allcock, 160 acres, 3 horses, 4 persons 301

William Anderson, 38 acres, 1 horse, 4 persons 30

James Alexander, 70 acres 50

Hugh Adams, 80 acres, 3 horses, 5 persons. ... 49

Henry Adams, 3 horses, 5 persons 26

Martin Armstrong, 158 acres, 1 horse, 4 persons 10

Joseph Allison, 80 acres, 1 horse, 1 person 38

Henry Alexander, 2 horses, 8 persons 34

John Andrew, 250 acres, 4 horses, 11 persons. . 183

Mathew Adams, 175 acres, 2 horses, 9 persons. Ill

James Airs, 150 acres, 1 horse, 2 persons 89

William Adams, 573 acres, 3 horses, 11 persons 316
George Burgholder, 100 acres, 2 horses, 1 ferry,

3 persons 135

Fullodon Bridges, 6 persons 3

Wm. Buchanan, 233 acres, 3 horses, 7 persons. 150

.John Buchanan, 1 horse, 3 persons 10

Christian Burgholder, 70 acres, 1 horse, 4 per-

Joseph Burgess, 207 acres, 1 horse, 1 mill 138

John Buchanan, Sr., 150 acres, 2 horses, 9 per-
sons. 103

Robert Blain, 230 acres, 8 horses, 6 persons. . . 143
Christian Baker, 130 acres, 3 horses, 1 oil-miU,

4 persons 90

William Barnes, 1 horse, 4 persons 20

Charles Bradshaw, 150 acres, 3 horses, 12 per-
sons ■ 103

Abraham Burgholder, 113 acres, 3 horses, 6

persons 98

Robert Blain, heirs of Coopers, 300 acres 100

Adam Cunningham, 132 acres, 2 horses, 5 per-
sons 77

.John Conrad, 9 persons

Michael Cauif man, 60 acres 60

George Cross, 80 acres, 3 horses, 5 persons 136

Henry Crowell, 3 horses, 4 persons 25

Peter Crowell, 88 acres, 3 horses, 3 persons 48

Andrew Coon, 150 acres, 3 horses, 7 persons . . 134

Jacob Coon, 88 acres, 3 horses, 6 persons 60

Adams Coon, 60 acres, 3 horses, 7 persons 55

.John Cooster, 40 acres, 3 horses, 6 persons 45

George Christ, 150 acres, 1 horse, 3 persons. . . 90

Michael Coon, 100 acres, 3 horses, 8 persons. . 83

John Canady, 3 persons 3

Christian Crailly, 80 acres.-, 35

John Coon, 308 acres, 3 horses, 11 persons .... 131

Christian Coon, 1 horse, 3 persons 20

Widow Campbell, 160 acres, 2 horses, 4 persons 83
William Crarry, 60 acres, 1 horse, 1 ferry, 6

persons 293



Jas. Craigmiles, 325 acres, 3 horses, 10 persons £146

Wm. Kelley, 208 acres, 3 horses, 10 persons. . . 164

John Caldwell, 117 acres, 1 horse, 7 persons. . . 86

John Commons, 2 horses, 8 persons 25

Widow Cowley, 100 acres, 6 persons 55

John Cage, 2 horses, 8 persons 35

Rev. James Clarkson, 165 acres, 3 horses, 4

persons 118

John Cornelius, 1 horse, 9 persons 13

James Duncan, 250 acres, 8 horses, 9 persons. . 140
John Duncan (Smith) 133 acres, 3 horses, 6


James Douglas, 40 acres, 1 horse, 5 persons. . . 127
Wra. Donnelly, 60 acres, 1 horse, 3 persons. . . 136
Alexander Downing, 250 acres, 3 horses, 5 per-
sons :... 160

John Donnelly, 60 acres, 2 horses, 10 persons. 40
"William Dougherty, 336 acres, 3 horses, 4 per-
sons 313

Wm. Douglass, 300 acres, 3 horses, 10 persons 300

James Downing, 300 acres, 1 person 100

Phillip Elias, 4 persons 11

George Elias, 100 acres, 2 horses, 7 persons 76

Samuel Elder, 131 acres, 3 horses, 4 persons. . . 75

James Elder, 138 acres, 2 horses, 5 persons. . . . 115

Widow Evens, 30 acres, 1 horse, 3 persons 35

John Elder. 131 acres 86

Solomon Folk, 1 horse, 4 persons 13

John French, 40 acres, 3 horses, 6 persons, 1



Robert Fullerton, 100 acres, 3 horsts, 4 persons 71

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 150 of 218)