Benjamin Whitman.

Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the county also portraits and biographies of the governor's since 1790, and of numerous r online

. (page 46 of 192)
Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the county also portraits and biographies of the governor's since 1790, and of numerous r → online text (page 46 of 192)
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1876 — James McCreary, Fairview.

1877 — D. W. Hutchinso)i.,G\\-irA Itorough.

1878— D. N. Patter-son, Wattsburg.

1879— Ora P. Gunnison, Mill Creek.

1880— William T. Brown, Corry.

1881—7?. H. Arbucklc, East Mill Creek.

1882— O. T- McAllister, Wattsburg.

1883-77. Z. Minimn, Mill Village.

1884— J. F. Love, Mill Creek.

1885— Geo. ]. Powell, Elk Creek.

1886— OZ/.v W. Irhh. Elk Creek.

1887— C. C. Holliday, Springfield.
1888— John C. McLean, Union City.
1889— John C. McLean, Union Citv.
1890— T- W. Leech, Corry.
1891— M. Z. Sherman, Springfield.
1892 — .y, D. Sa-cdcv, Conneaut.
1893— Chas. J. Eng'lehardt, Erie.
1884— J. M. Ball, Girard.
1895— r. W. Pope, Concord.


1873— A. S. Hubbard, Corry.
1887—.'!/. -1/. Moore, Erie.
1890— Wm. H. Sandusky, Erie.
1893— Wm. H. Sandusky, Erie.


1874 to 1877— Tohn B. Ruth, Erie.
1877 to 1880— Joseph Reischscheidt, Erie.
1880 to 1883— W. J. Robinson, Mill Vil-

1883— W. P. Butterfield, Edinboro.
[Office abolished April, 1883].


The salaries and fees paid to some of the
county officers in 1894, were as follows :

President Jud.ife (paid by the State) % 4,000.00

District Attorney (fees) 1,101.00

Assistant District Attorney (fees.) 120.00

County Commissioners

G. T. Churchill, Erie 1,057.00

T. H. Mohr, Mill Creek 1,120.96

C. B. Smith, Union township 1,247.15

Commissioner's Clerk (salary) 1,320.00

Commissioner's Counsel (salary) 100.00

County Treasurer (fees) 2,304.00

Jury Commissioners — pa)' allowed by

Count)' Commissioners

H. M. McLallen, Washington township 193.44

H. L. Spiesman, Corry 202.2!

Clerk 49.80

Auditors — pay allowed by County Com-

Georg-e Taylor. Waterford 215.40

W. C. Eaton, Fairview 195.84

S. D. Sawdey, Conneaut 221.64

Clerk 25.00

Coroner (fees) 252.11

Acting- Coroners 47.38

The sum of $125.00 was also paid for post mor-




Albion boroug-h Page 285 to Page 286

Amity township Page 287 to Page 289

Concord township Page 289 to Page 291

Conneaut township Page 281 to Page 285

East Springfield borough .... Page ... 350

Edinboro borough Page 367 to Page 369

Elgin borough Page 291

Elk Creek township Page 292 to Page 294

Fairview township Page 295 to Page 299

Fairview borough Page 299 to Page 300

Franklin township Page 300 to Page 302

Girard township Page 302 to Page 306

Girard borough Page 306 to Page 309

Greene township Page 310 to Page 312

Greenfield township Page 312 to Page 315

Harbor Creek township Page 315 to Page 319

Le Boeuf township Page 319 to Page 322

See Map for Villages, Postoffices and Railroad Stations.

See Alphabetical Index for Descriptive Matter, Special Features, Incident

Lockport borough Page

McKean township Page 323

Middleboro borough Page

Mill Creek township Page 327

Mill Village borough Page 322

North East township Page 336

North East borough Page 340

Springfield township Page 345

Summit township Page 350

Union township Page 352

Union City borough Page 355

Venango township Page 359

Washington township Page 365

Waterford township Page 369

Waterford borough Page 372

Wattsburg borough Page 363

Wayne township Page 379


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the original subdivisions of Erie coun-
ty. It is the extreme southwestern
township of the county, and contains
27,582 acres. The population was
631 in 1810; 1,324, in 1830; 1,746, in 1840;
1,942, in 1850; 2,118, in 1860; 1,538, in 1870;
1,546, in 1880; and 1,386, in 1890. The de-
crease between 1860 and 1870 was due to the
incorporation of Albion as a borough in 1861.
The township is bounded on the north b}'
Springfield and Girard, on the east by Elk
Creek, on the west by Ashtabula county, Ohio,
and on the south by Beaver and Spring
townships, Crawford county. Its greatest
length is about eight and three-fourths miles
from east to west, and its greatest width six
and one-fourth from north to south.

Conneaut contains five postoffices, viz. :
Pennside, Keepville, Tracy, Cherry Hill and
Wannetta (Albion station, on the E. & P.
R. R.). The township is divided, for election
purposes, into the East and West districts.

The township received its name from Con-
neaut creek, its principal stream. The word
Conneaut is of Indian origin, signifying" snow
place," from the fact that the snow used to
lie longer upon the ice of Conneaut lake,
Crawford county, than anywhere else the
country round.

The original line of Conneaut extended
westward parallel with the southern line of
Girard township to Ohio, taking in Conneaut
creek and more than a mile of country north
of that stream. This threw the whole burden
of building and maintaining bridges upon Con-
neaut, and about 1835 she ceded the territory
north of the creek to .Springfield, in consid-
eration of the latter township paying one half
of that item of expense. Springfield made a
considerable gain of land, and Conneaut re-
lieved herself from burdensome taxation.


The first settler within the bounds of the
township was Jonathan Spaulding,who reach-

ed there from New York in the year 1795. Two
years after the Population Company sent Col.
Dunning McNair on as agent, who establish-
ed his headquarters at what became known as
Lexington, and with a corps of assistants sur-
veyed the country, laid out roads, and made
preparations for disposing of the property.
In 1798, Abiather Crane and his brother
Elihu, from Connecticut, located near Col.
McNair, but neither remained long, the form-
er moving to Mill Creek in 1809, and the
latter to Elk Creek in the spring of 1800.
Abiather first went into Conneaut as a survey-
or in 1797, but did not locate there until the
ensuing year. The arrival of other
pioneers was as follows : In 1800, Matthew
Harrington, from Vermont ; George Grifley
and Andrew Cole, from Onondaga county,
N. Y., and Stephen Randall and his son
Sheffield, from Rensselaer county, N. Y.; in
1801, Robert McKee, from Cumberland
county. Pa. ; in 1802, Henry Ball, from Fred-
ericksburg, Va., Patrick Kennedy, his son
Royal, and William Payne, from Connecti-
cut ; in 1808, Marsena Keep and son Marsena,
from Montgomery county, N. Y.; in 1804,
Joel Bradish and brothers, from New York;
in 1806, Lyman Jackson, from Otsego county,
N. Y. ; in 1810, Michael Jackson, son of Ly-
man, who remained but a few months, return-
ed to New York and came back five years

The following persons settled in the town-
ship at a later date : In 1815, George Stuntz,
from Barclay county, Va., and his son, E.
W. Stuntz ; in 1816, Medad Pomeroy, from
Massachusetts, with his sons, Nathaniel,
Uriah, John, Lyman, James, George and
Horace, and three daughters, together with
James W. and G. Spicer, from New York; in
1817, Benjamin Sawdey and Isaac Pomeroy
from Massachusetts, in 1818, David Sawdey,
from Massachusetts, Abijah Barnes, from
Cayuga county, N. Y., and Samuel Brad-
ish ; in 1819, Noah Kidder and son
' Francis, Edward DeWolf and Daniel Ross-


iter, from New York, and Samuel Sawdey
(father of David nnd Benjamin), with his
sons John, Job and Daniel, from New Bed-
ford, Mass. ; in 1820, Rodolphus Loomis,
from Chautauqua county, N. Y. ; about 1824
or 1825, Harrison Parks; in 1829, Jonas
Lewis; in 1831, Thomas Bowman, wife and
family (including Ralph), from Oneida coun-
ty, N. Y. ; in 1882, William Cornell and John
Curtis; in 1883, Chester Morley and Andrew
and Silas Morrison ; in 1884, Christopher
Cross, Edward Dorrence and Hiram Griffis ;
in 1887, Andrew Swap, Daniel Waters and
Joseph Tubbs ; in 1838, Isaiah and Johnson
Pelton ; in 1889, Marcus A. Bumpus.

Among those who went in about the com-
mencement of the century, were Bartholomew
Forbes, Howard, John, Nathan, David and
Charles Salsbury, Thomas Sprague, James
Paul, James Whittington, Thomas Alexander,
John Stuntz, Giles Badger, Ichabod Baker and
Jacob Walker. A large portion of the set-
tlers whose former homes are not given were
from New York, principally from the central
counties. Henry Ball was a captain in the
war of 1812, and several of the others served
against the British as privates. Jonathan
Spaulding's sons, David, John and George,
were born in the township, the first in 1802,
the second in 1806, and the last in 1816.
William Harrington, the oldest son of Mat-
thew, was born in 1805. William Paul went
into Elk Creek with Mr. Colton in 1797;
returned to Connecticut, and came back about
1816. Noah Kidder and son went to vSpring-
field in 1817, but moved to Conneaut two
years after. Medad Pomeroy settled on Con-
neaut creek, about a mile north of Albion,
where he owned several hundred acres, ex-
tending into Elk Creek townshiu.

The first male child was Henry Wood,
born about 1798. The first female children
were Ruth, daughter of Elihu Crane and wife,
and Eliza, daughter of Abiather Crane and
wife, who were born in the same house near
Lexington, on the same day, April 20, 1799.
Ruth Crane married Isaac Pomeroy, and be-
came the mother of two sons — Alden and Je-
rome — and seven daughters. The first record-
ed death was that of Mrs. Thomas Alexander,
who expired in 1801. The oldest ladies who
ever lived in the township were Mrs. Thomas
Bowman, who died in the fall of 1862, aged
nearly 92 years, and Mrs. Elias Palmer, who

died in 1876, at the age of 94. Elias Palmer
was the oldest man. His death occurred in
1878, at which time he was 98 years of age.


The chief stream of the township is Con-
neaut creek, which rises below Conneautville,
in Crawford county, flows in a general north-
erly course to tlie Springfield line, then turns
abruptly westward, and continues into
Ohio. After changing its course, it forms the
boundary line between Conneaut and Spring-
field, the former lying on the south and the
latter on the north. In Ohio it continues west-
ward nine miles to Kingsville, then makes an-
other sudden bend to the east, and comes back
eight miles to Conneaut, where it turns again
to the north, and, after a further course of
about a mile, empties into the lake a mile and
a half from the boundaiy of Pennsylvania,
forming Conneaut harbor. It is the most
crooked of the lake shore streams, the length
from head to mouth by its windings being
from sevent}' to seventy-five miles, while the
distance by an air line is not more than twen-
ty-five miles. The valley of the creek forms
the route of the Erie and Pittsburg R. R.
through Conneaut township, and was utilized
for the same purpose in laying out the old
canal from Albion southward, the bed of
which is now occupied in the main by the
Pittsburg, Shenango and Lake Erie R R.
The length of Conneaut creek through the
township is fully twelve miles.

The West branch of Conneaut creek rises
in Crawford county, near the Ohio line, runs
in a general northeasterly direction through
the south part of the township, and unites
near Keepville, after a course of between nine
and ten miles. The East branch heads in
Crawford county, below the Elk Creek line,
runs past Wellsburg and Cranesville, and en-
ters Conneaut township a mile or so northeast
of Albion. It has a length of not far from ten
miles. At Wellsburg it is joined by Frazier's
run, and at Albion by Jackson's run. The
latter takes its rise on the Conneaut and Elk
Creek line, near Crawford county, flows north,
then northeast, and is from four to six miles
long. After receiving Jackson's run, the East
branch continues about half a mile further be-
fore merging with the main stream. Marsh
run heads in the west, flows eastward and
empties into the Conneaut about a mile from

^cc. //i-^^^o,^.



Albion depot, having a length of four or five

The dividing ridge between the waters of
the lake and the Allegheny turns to the south
in Fairview township, and follows nearly the
line of Conneaut creek into Crawford county.

The frequent streams and their unusual
crookedness are a source of heavy expense to the
tax-payers, the number of bridges and the cost
of keeping them up being greater than in any
other township of the county. Not to name
those on the branches, there are, on Conneaut
creek alone, the Law, Griffith, Porter, Perry
and Salsbury bridges, along the Springfield
lins ; and the Pomeroy, Kennedy, Harrington,
Silverthorn, Keepville and Spaulding within
the township proper. These include the pub-
lic bridges only. All of the township bridges,
with the exception of the Kennedy, which is
of iron, are built of timber.


The valley of Conneaut creek from Craw-
ford county to Springfield varies in width
from a third of a mile to a mile, and con-
sists of a sand}' loam, which is very fertile,
producing everything that can be raised along
the lake shore. West of Lexington, along the
Conneaut and Springfield line, there are oc-
casional small spots of bottom land, but gen-
erally speaking the hills run almost to the
water's edge. A large tract of country, in the
southwest, near the Ohio and Crawford coun-
ty line, was in forest until a comparatively re-
cent date, when large companies went in and
cut off most of the timber. Fruits of nearly
all kinds are grown readily. The price of
land varies greatly, being as low as fifteen
dollars an acre in some localities and as high
as fifty dollars in others.

John B. Wallace, of Philadelphia, located
in Meadville at an early day, as attorney for
the Holland Land Company. In that capacity
he took up tracts in various places, among
them being one of 10,000 acres in the
western part of Conneaut township. This
property was sold on an execution against
Mr. Wallace in 1825, and purchased by or in
behalf of Stephen Girard, of Philadelphia.
It was Mr. Girard's design to make extensive
improvements by erecting mills, opening
roads, etc., but while his agent was arranging
to carry out his plans, news came in January,
1832, of the millionaire's death. "By Mr.

Girard's will, the Conneaut lands, with a
large quantity of others, were left in trust to
the city of Philadelphia as a perpetual fund for
the maintenance of a college for orphans.
After the death of Mr. Wallace, in 1833, his
heirs claimed that the Conneaut lands had
been wrongfully sold, because the title was in
Mrs. Wallace instead of her husband. Suit
was brought in the name of the Wallace heirs
to recover the property and a verdict was
rendered against the Girard estate.

The Moravian grant embraced between
400 and 500 acres in the northwestern corner
of Conneaut, extending over from Springfield,
where the most of the " Hospitality tract " lay.


On the John Pomeroy place, upon the sec-
ond flat of Conneaut creek, are the traces of
an ancient circle, such as exist in Girard,
Springfield, Harbor Creek, Fairview, Wayne
and other townships of the county. It incloses
about three-fourths of an acre. The embank-
ment, when the country was cleared up, was
about three feet high by six feet thick at the
base, with large trees growing upon it. One
of these, a mammoth oak, when cut down, in-
dicated by its rings an age of five hundred
years. Beneath the tree the skeleton of a
human being was taken up which showed
that giants lived in those remote ages. The
bones measured eleven feet from head to foot,
the jawbone easily covered that of a man who
weighed over 200 pounds, and the lower bone
of the leg, being compared with that of a per-
son who was six feet four inches in height,
was found to be nearly a foot longer. Another
circle of a similar character existed on the
Taylor farm — later owned by J. L. Strong.
On the Pomeroy place is also a peculiar
mound, about 100 feet long, fifty wide and
twenty-five high. It stands on the south side
of a small stream, upon flat land, and is wholly
detached from the adjacent bluff.


The Pennsylvania-Erie canal, one of the
things of the past, entered Conneaut from
Elk Creek at a point between Cranesville and
Albion, and continued south by nearlv the
same route as the P., S. & L. E."R. R. " The
once noted Eleven-Mile Level, the longest on
its line, reached from near Lockport, through



Albion, to Spring Corners, Crawford county.
North of Albion, the canal crossed the East
branch by a culvert forty-one feet high, with
a span of between thirty and forty feet, which
still stands and is used as a roadway.

The Erie and Pittsburg R. R. runs through
the whole width of the township, from Girard
township on the north to Crawford county on
the south. The ridge between Crooked and
Conneaut creeks is overcome by a deep exca-
vation that is usually known as Sawdy's Cut.
After that the road follows the valley of the
latter stream through the township to its head
in Crawford county. The stations are Lex-
ington, Albion Depot and Pennside.

The Pittsburg, Shenango and Lake Erie R.
R. crosses the township from north to south,
branching at Cranesville, from which one line
extends to Erie and the other to Conneaut
Harbor. Its stations are Pennside, Keepville
and Albion. There is also a station at Cranes-
ville, just on the line between Conneaut and
Elk Creek townships.

The main common roads are the Lex-
ington, from the latter place to Girard, opened
about 1797 ; the State road across the north
part of the township, from Elk Creek to Ohio ;
the Meadville road, from Lexington into Craw-
ford county ; the Albion and Cranesville road ;
the Albion and Wellsburg road ; the road from
Albion due west to Conneaut Center; the Al-
bion and Keepville; "Porky street," from
Cherry Hill south; and the Creek road from
Pomeroy's bridge to Crawford county.


The mills and factories are : The Walnut
Shade cheese factory, on the State road, three
miles from Cherry Hill ; Kennedy's brick yard
and tile factory, near the Kennedy bridge, and
a large sawmill at Pennside.

No record is to be had of the earliest schools
in the township. A school was held in a
cabin on the farm of Nathaniel Pomeroy,
about one and a half miles northwest from
Albion about 1822. About 1823, a log school
house was built in that neighborhood. A
school was held at an early date near the site
of Thornton's gristmill, in Albion borough.
The building burned down about 1824.

There is an old graveyard at Saulsbury's
bridge, where a number of the early settlers
are buried, and others at Keepville and near

Kennedy's bridge. Most of the burials take
place at East Springfield.


Albion Depot (Wannetta P. O.) is on the
Erie and Pittsburg R. R., twenty-six miles
from Erie city, and about a mile west from
Albion borough. It embraces, besides the
depot building, a grocery and twelve or fifteen
houses, most of which are occupied by em-
ployes of the railroad.

Keepville consists of a postofKce, store,
church building, school house, and several resi-
dences, at the intersection of two roads, near
Conneaut creek, two and a half miles south-
west of Albion borough. It was named after
Marsena Keep, Sr., who settled there in 1803.
Keepville Wesleyan congregation was organ-
ized in 1854, Rev. John L. Moore being the
first pastor. The church building was erected
the same year, at a cost of $1,500.

A Methodist Episcopal Church, school
house, two stores, blacksmith shop and twenty
to thirty houses constitute the village of Cherry
Hill, on the State road, about half a mile south
of the Springfield line, and five miles west of
Albion. Porter's grist and sawmill, on Con-
neaut creek, in Springfield township, are a
little north of the village. The church was
organized with about fifteen members, by Rev.
J. W. Wilson, in 1858, and the building was
erected the same year at a cost of $1,250.

When Col. McNair established his agency
for the Population Company, in 1797, he laid
out a town plat of 1,600 acres, at the big bend
of Conneaut creek, near the present Spring-
field line, to which he gave the title of Lex-
ington. Roads were laid out, and, being the
center of the company's operations in the west,
Lexington in time became a village of no little
pretension. At one period it had a store,
schoolhouse, hotel, distillery, and several resi-
dences. A postoflice was established in 1828,
with David Sawdey as postmaster. The town
went down and the postoflice was abandoned.
All that exists to preserve the memory of the
place is a small railroad station on tiie Erie
and Pittsburg R. R.

Pennside, on both of the railroads, just
north of the Crawford county line, consists of
a station house, sawmill, two stores, a Meth-
odist Episcopal church building, a school-
house, blacksmith shop and some twenty
houses. The town was started by John Avery



Tracy, about ten years ago. The church was
built about 1890 and the congregation is at-
tached to Albion circuit.

Tracy, once a bustling little place, named
after the gentleman above referred to, has lost
its former glory. It consists now of nothing
but a schoolhouse, grocery and a few houses.

Following is a list of the citizens of Con-
neaut township who have been elected to
Legislative and county offices : Assembly —
David Sawdey, 1838; Humphrey A. Hills,
1853-54. Commissioner — Abiather Crane,
1803 to 1805; John Salsbury, 1825 to 1828;
David Sawdey, 1841 to 1844 ; Humphrey A.
Hills, 1847 to 1850; Garner Palmer, 1862 to
1865, and 1869 to 1872 ; Geo. C. Mills, elected
in 1877 and 1880. Jury Commissioner, H.
B. Brewster, elected in 1885. Mercantile Ap-
praiser, Liberty Salsbury, 1872; S. D. Saw-
dey, appointed for 1892. County Auditor,
W. J. Brockway, 1875 to 1878; S. D. Saw-
dey," elected in 1898. Hon. George H. Cut-
ler lived in Conneaut township for a time, and
taught school in Albion. He moved from
there to Girard, and served the county as
State Senator from 1878 to 1876, being Presi-
dent of the Senate one term. D. A. Sawdey,
Esq., the well-known Erie attorney, is a
native of the township.


[see conneaut.]
Albion borough occupies an elevated site
at the junction of Jackson's run with the East
branch, near the Elk Creek line, a mile east
of Albion depot, and twenty-five miles south-
west of Erie Isy the Shenango R. R. The first
settlers at Albion were Thomas Alexander,
Patrick Kennedy, William Paine, Ichabod
Baker and Lyman Jackson. Michael Jack-
son, son of Lyman, who built the first saw-
mill, did not become a permanent resident
until 1815. William Sherman settled at Al-
bion in 1827, coming from Herkimer county,
N. Y. Thomas Thornton came from Eng-
land at an early age, and settled in Albion
about 1857. Of other old residents, E. W.
Stuntz settled in 1815, coming from Kings-
ville, Ohio; Dr. J. S. Skeels, in 1848, from
Spring, Crawford county; Dr. P. D. Flower,
in 1855, from Harbor Creek; Dr. L. D,
Davenport, in 1850, from Ellington Center,

N. Y., and Jeduthan Wells, in 1857, from

Amos King built the first gristmill and
Lyman Jackson taught the first school. The
town was long known as Jackson's Cross
Roads, and the postoffice name has been suc-
cessively Jacksonville, Juliet and Albion. It
is one mile from Albion to Cranesville and
Wellsburg (the three ])laces forming the
points of an equilateral triangle), six to East
Springfield, eight to Girard, six to Spring and
nine to Conneautville. The canal passed
through the place, and to the business that
grew out of it Albion owed most of its
growth. The Denio fork and handle factory
was located at Albion until its destructioa by
fire in 1878, which resulted in the removal of
the business to Miles Grove.

Albion was incorporated as a borough in
1861, taking in a section of Conneaut town-
ship exactly a mile square. It then contained
448 inhabitants. The population in 1870 was
452, 438 in 1880, and 366 in 1890. The first
borough officers were elected in March, 1861,
Perry Kidder being chosen Burgess. Albion
is an important station of the P., S. & L. E.
R. R., which passes through the borough.


Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the county also portraits and biographies of the governor's since 1790, and of numerous r → online text (page 46 of 192)