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Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 47 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Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the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 47 of 192)
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The religious denominations are Methodist
Episcopal, Disciple, Catholic and Congrega-
tional. The First Methodist Episcopal church
in this vicinity stood about three-fourths of a
mile west of Albion, and was built more than
sixty years ago. It was occupied until about
1855, when the society was disbanded and
the building removed. At Albion a society
had been formed previous to the dismember-
ment of the above class. It held services in
the academy until about 1855, when the pres-
ent church was built. It cost $2,000 and was
dedicated by the famous Calvin Kingsley.
The congregation decided, in November, 1894,
to enlarge and improve the building.

Catholic services have been held at Albion
for a long period. Forty years ago the society
was an old one. The membership includes
about twenty-five families. The charge has
generally been supplied by priests from Cross-
ingville and Conneautville. The congrega-
tion has no building.

A Disciple congregation was organized in
the spring of 1880 by Rev. Clarence J. Cush-



man. The class is small, but has a frame
church edifice partially finished.

A Congregational society was formed Jan-
uary 23, 1893, and has taken steps toward the
erection of a building.


The borough contains a good two-story
school building, a Masonic Hall and an Odd
Fellows' Hall.

The school building was erected in 186S
at a cost, inclusive of furniture and apparatus,
of $7,000. Previous to that the borough
schools were held in the academy, built in

Albion Lodge, No. 376, I. O. O. F., was
instituted September 14, 1849, with eight
charter members. A fire in 1851 destroyed
its hall, charter and books. A second hall
was erected, which also burned down on the
night of February 10, 1884, together with one
store. The hall was rebuilt about 1885.

Western Star Lodge, No. 804, F. & A. M.,
was chartered December 1, 1856. It owns
the second floor of the building, built in 1874,
in which the meetings are held.

Albion Lodge, No. 88, Ancient Order of
United Workmen, was instituted March 10,
1875, with about twenty members.

Albion Union, No. 101, Equitable Aid,
was chartered with thirty-one members May
27, 1880.

Mystic Circle, of the Protected Home Cir-
cle, was started in 1894.

Conneaut Grange commenced holding
meetings in Albion in the spring of 1893.

Camp 67 of the State Police was organ-
ized in 1893.


The water-power, once quite good, has
become unreliable since the clearing up of the
country. The flouring-mill was built in 1828

by Amos King and was purchased by Joshua
Thornton. It was destroyed by fire July 15,
1889, and rebuilt in the summer of 1890. The
woolen-mill was erected by W. H. Gray in
1840, burned in 1876 and rebuilt in 1880 by
Thomas Thornton. Michael Jackson built a
rake factory in 1846. It was overhauled and
much extended by George Van Riper & Co.,
and burned down in the fall of 1894. An oar
factory was built by Henry Salisbury and
Reuben McLallen in 1859. It burned down
on the 1st of March, 1868, was rebuilt by
Frank Wells the same year, and again fell a
victim to the flames. The creamery, hoop
and lumber-mill and a sawmill were started
in 1895.

The Erie County Enterprise was started
June 15, 1877, but failed in 1880 for want of
support. Its publishers were J. W^. Britton
and F. J. Dumars.

The Albion Blizzard, a weekly newspa-
per, was established by two of the young
business men of Albion borough — E. C. Pal-
mer and E. F. Davenport— May 25, 1882. It
is still in operation, under the vigorous man-
agement of Mr. Davenport.

The Sherman House was built in 1828 by
Benjamin Nois. It passed into the hands of
William Sherman some time after, who con-
fined as its proprietor about fifty years. The
house has long been managed by his son, Mott

Albion has furnished the following public
officials : Assembly, Orlando Logan, 1875-6 ;
Clerk to the Directors of the Poor, J. A. Rob-
ison, appointed January 1, 1888; Clerk to
the County Commissioners, J. A. Robison,
appointed January 1, 1890.

The borough has a cemetery for general
burial purposes, but it is hardly what would
be expected of the community. Steps were
taken in September, 1895, to secure a cem-
etery that will be more in accord with the




AMITY TOWNSHIP was created in
1825, being wholly taken from Union.
It had a population of 385 in 1830,
560 in 1840, 739 in 1850, 1,016 in
1860, 924 in 1870, 1,033 in 1880 and
912 in 1890, of whom all were whites and few
if any of foreign birth. The township lines
are straight on all sides. Its length from east
to west is about six and three-quarter miles,
and breadth from north to south about four
and one-fourth miles. The township is
bounded on the north by Venango, on the east
by Wayne, on the south by Union, and on the
west by Le BcEuf and Waterford. Its post-
offices are Hatch Hollow, Arbuckle (Mill-
town) and Teller. The township has no set-
tlements of any size, the only places that can
be called villages being Milltown and Hatch
Hollow. There is no railroad within the
township, and the nearest station is at
Union City. The main portion of Amity
was embraced within the Tenth Donation


The chief stream of Amity township is
French creek, of which all the others within
its limits are tributaries. The East and West
branches unite on the north line, just outside of
the borough limits of Wattsburg, and the joint
stream flows across the township in a south-
westerly course into Waterford, leaving a tri-
angular strip of territory on the upper side
known to the inhabitants as " Canada." Its
total length within the township is nearly
seven miles. The most important tributaries
on the north side are the Outlet of Lake Pleas-
ant, Jones' creek and Henry brook ; and on
the south side the Hubbell Alder run, the
Hatch Hollow Alder run, Deerlick run and
Duncombe run. The Outlet of Lake Pleasant
rises in the lake of that name, in the southwest
corner of Venango, has a length of about
three miles, and empties into French creek on

the Stow farm. Jones' creek heads near the
south line of Venango, and falls into the chief
stream on the Ashton place, having a course
of about four miles. Henry brook also takes
its rise in Venango, is about two miles long,
and joins French creek on the Northrop farm.
The Hubbell Alder run begins with two
branches, close to the W^ayne township line,
and ends near Wattsburg, after a course of
some five miles. On the Maynard farm it re-
ceives Lowe brook, a small stream which
rises in the northeast. The Hatch Hollow
Alder run heads in Union township, and be-
comes a part of French creek on the Bald-
win place, close to the mouth of the outlet of
Lake Pleasant. It has a length of about six
miles. Duncombe run takes its rise on the
McCullough place and falls into French creek
on the farm formerly owned by Eli Duncombe.
The head of Deer Lick run is on the north
edge of Union, and its length is not far from
four miles. It unites with the main stream
on the old Phillips farm.

The only bridge over French creek proper
within the township, is the iron one at Bald-
win's flats, which has a span of 100 feet and
cost $2,340. An iron bridge, with eighty feet
span, crosses one stem of the East branch
near Wattsburg. and another, the West
branch, making three iron bridges in all.


The mills and factories are as follows: On
the Hatch Hollow Aider run a sawmill; on
the outlet of Lake Pleasant, at Milltown, a
sawmill and shingle-mill, a gristmill, two
saw mills and a wagon shop ; on the McAllis-
ter road a sawmill and shingle-mill. There
is a creamery at Milltown, started in 1888 or
'89, and another at Hatch Hollow, built in

The first sawmill in Amity was put up
above Milltown, on the stream which runs
through the Hatch place, and empties into the


Outlet of Lake Pleasant. The second mill
was erected by Capt. James Donaldson on
the Outlet at Milltown in 1822 or 1823. It
was a grist and sawmill combined. The dam
of this mill remained till some five or six years

The main roads are the Waterford and
Wattsburg, along the south side of French
creek ; the Lake Pleasant and Wattsburg,
which is merged into the former on Baldwin's
flats; the Union and Wattsburg; the Beaver
Dam and Wattsburg ; the Corry and Watts-
burg ; the Lake Pleasant and Union ; and the
Lake Pleasant, Hatch Hollow and Union.
The Erie and Lake Pleasant road terminates
at the Stow bridge on French creek, and is
designated above that as the Lake Pleasant
and Wattsburg.


Of the early schools mention may be made
of a log schoolhouse that was built about the
year 1825, and stood probably one-half of the
distance between the residence of J. Chaffee
and the borough of Wattsburg. Some years
later, a school house was built at Hatch Hol-
low, which was replaced by the present build-
ing. There was a log schoolhouse on Bald-
win's flats, near Alder run, in 1835, which
burned down. Both the original and its suc-
cessor were built by private contributions.
The second building was also destroyed by
fire, and the present house is the third one on
the site.

The M. E. Church at Hatch Hollow was
built and dedicated in 1859, the congregation
having been organized about twenty-five years


Amity is in general a hilly township, but
there are some splendid flats along French
creek, the Outlet of Lake Pleasant, the Hatch
Hollow Alder run and Deer Lick run. The
valley of French creek ranges from half a mile
to two and a half miles in width, reaching its
greatest extent at the Outlet of Lake Pleasant.
The township as a whole is more suited for
grazing than anything else. Great quantities
of butter are made, and the raising of cattle is
an important industry. It is doubtful whether
as much wheat is reaped as the people con-
sume, but oats, corn and potatoes are produced

in excess of home needs. Apples thrive vig-
orously, but other fruits do not succeed as well.
Valley lands are held as high as fifty dollars
an acre, but some swampy spots are not valued
at more than twenty dollars. On the hills,
the price of land ranges from twenty dollars
to thirty dollars. Perhaps one-third of the
township is still covered with timber.

Milltown is a place of about thirty build-
ings, and nearly a hundred people, situated on
the Outlet, about a mile and a half below Lake
Pleasant, and fourteen and a half from Erie.
It got its name from the number of mills located
there. Its postoffice title is Arbuckle.

Hatch Hollow, on the Union and Watts-
burg road, derived its name from the numerous
Hatch family in the neighborhood. It is the
postoffice of the south part of the township.
Besides the church, creamery, etc., it numbers
probably fifteen houses.

The cemetery at Hatch Hollow embraces
about three acres. It has been in existence
some twenty-five years. There is a burying
ground of about an acre on the T. Ashton farm,
and a number of family graveyards are kept up
in various parts of the township.

Amity has had two members of Assembly,
viz.: William Sanborn, elected in 1846 and
1847, and Warren Chaffee, elected in 1886 ;
and one County Auditor, Francis F. Stow,
elected in 1867.


The first lands taken up in Amity township
were by William Miles, the founder of Watts-
burg, who located 1,200 acres on the outlet of
Lake Pleasant, in 1796; but made his home in
Concord. About the same time John Fagan
cleared up a piece of land near Hatch Hollow,
and a man named McGahan went in the same
year. Fagan remained until 1807, when he
changed to Mill Creek. Hazen Sheppard
and wife located in the township in 1812 ;
John Carron is said to have been the first per-
manant settler, but the year he went in is un-
known. In 1816, Benjamin Hinkston settled
in Greece township from Vermont, but
changed to Amity in 1818. In 1819, Charles
Capron moved in from New Hampshire, and
was joined the same year by Seth Shepardson
and Timothy Reed. Capron's father and
mother accompanied him. James McCullough
and Capt. James Donaldson became residents



of the township in 1820, the latter locating
near Lake Pleasant. Capt. Donaldson was
from Cumberland county. Other settlers went
in as follows : In 1829, Jabez G. Hubbell, of
Otsego county, N. Y., with his wife and sons,
Hiram and David, Royal D. Mason and Jacob

Rouse ; in 1830, the Duncombes, Pliny May-
nard and Elias Patterson; in 1831, William
B. Maynard, son of Plinj' ; in 1833, George
W. Baldwin; in 1847, John Allen, from Ot-
sego county, N. Y.



PREVIOUS to 1821, all of Erie county
from the eastern boundary of Union
and Amity to the Warren county line
was known as Brokenstraw township.
In that year, the name was changed
from Brokenstraw to Concord. This contin-
ued until 1826, when the township was
divided, the northern portion receiving the
name of Wayne and the southern retaining
the old title. The three names, Union, Amity
and Concord were suggested by William
Miles. As constituted in 1826, Concord con-
tains 25,590 acres, but its size has been re-
duced to 19,781 by the taking off of a slice for
Corry borough in 1863, of another in 1866,
when that place was incorporated as a city,
and of a third by the creation of Elgin
borough, in 1876.

Concord is the extreme southeastern town-
ship of the county. It is bounded on the
north by Wayne and Corry ; on the east by
Warren count)' ; on the south by Crawford
county ; and on the west by Union township.
The only settlement in the township that can
lay any claim to be styled a village, since
Elgin was made a borough, is the small col-
lection of buildings at Lovell's Station, which
is also the sole postotKce. The population of
Concord was eighty-three in 1820, 225 in 1830,
652 in 1840, 882 in 1850, 1,255 in i860, 1,112
in 1870, 1,171 in 1880 and 991 in 1890. Most
of the mail for the township is handled
through the postoffice at Corry, which city is
also the principal trading point.


The county officers from Concord have
been as follows : County Commissioner,
Simeon Stewart, elected in 1849; William R.
Wade in 1884 and 1887. County Auditors,
David Nash, 1858; Wm. H. Belknap, 1860.
Mercantile Appraiser for 1895, T. W. Pope.
Clerk to the Directors of the Poor, F. E.
Wade, appointed January 1, 1890. Mr.
Stewart was the Commissioner under whose
supervision the present courthouse at Erie was
planned and erected. While the township
has been treated so sparingly in the bestowal
of official honors, it has evened the matter up,
in a certain sense, by turning out more law-
yers, doctors and editors than any other in the
county. Hon. M. M. Estee, Republican can-
didate for Governor of California in 1894, was
a native of the township.


The pioneers of Concord township were
William Miles and his brother-in-law, William
Cook, who came from the Susquehanna val-
ley with their families in June, 1795. They
first located just north of the Crawford county
line, but changed to a short distance south of
the line, in Sparta tovv^nship. Mr. Miles
moved to Union in 1800, and Mr. Cook the
year after. No other permanent settlements
were made until 1800, when James and Robert
McCray, natives of Ireland, took up homes
for themselves in the township, and Joseph


Hall, a Virginian, who had gone to Beaver
Dam in 1797, moved over to the present site
of Elgin borough. From that date no evidence
exists of any additions to the colony until
1822 or 1823, about which time a brisk emi-
gration set in from New York. Among the
first of this class of settlers was Elder Jedu-
than Gray, a Baptist minister, with a family
of grown-up children. Deacon Graves went
in at the same time or shortly after, and was
followed between 1825 and 1835, by Ezekiel
Lewis, Jesse and Heman Heath, Simeon
Stewart, William Bugbee, Abner Lilly, John
B. Chase, James Crowell, Russell Darrow,
Hiram Cook, Paul Hammond, Stephen Hollis,
Buckingham Beebe, Elijah Pond, Oliver D .
Pier and others. G. J. Stranahan settled in
Concord in 1836, having formerly resided in
Herkimer county, New York. His sons, John
D. and P. G. Stranahan, moved to LeBoeuf,
the former in 1849 and the latter in 1850,
from which place P. G. changed to Union in


Concord is in general a hilly township,
but contains little waste land. Bordering
French creek, there is a good valley, ranging
from eighty rods to half a mile in width, south
of Corry, and spreading out to one and two
miles between that city and Union. The soil
of the valley is much better than that of the
high ground, but the farmers are more troubled
by the frosts. Corn and oats are produced in
all parts of the township, and most of the
farmers raise their own wheat. The great
industry, however, is dairying, for which the
country is better calculated than for grain.
All kinds of fruits are raised, except peaches.
The value of land varies from fifteen dollars to
$100 per acre, according to its situation and
quality. The loftiest elevation is on the Darius
Walton place, where a view is afforded into two
States and four counties, viz. : Erie, Crawford
and Warren, Pa., and Chautauqua, N. Y.


The chief stream is the South branch of
French creek, which rises in the southeast,
runs to the western edge of Corry, then turns
abruptly to the west, flows in a westerly
direction across the northern part of the town-
ship into Union, and joins the main stream a

few rods below the Philadelphia and Erie R.
R. bridge in LeBonif. It has a course of fully
twelve miles in the township, and a total
length of about twenty-five miles. Its valley
forms the route of no less than three railroads,
the W. N. Y. and Pa., the P. and E. and the
N. Y., P. and O. The tributaries of the South
branch in Concord township are Scotch run.
Slaughter run, Spencer run, Baskin run.
Spring brook, Lilly run and Beaver Dam run.
Scotch run rises on the Aiken place, and
unites on the Covell place, having a length of
over two miles. Spring brook is made by a
number of large springs on the line of Con-
cord and Wayne, and falls into the South
branch on the Palmer place, after a course of
perhaps a mile. The State Fish Hatchery,
west of Corry, is at the source of this stream.
The head of Lilly run is on the Hammond
place, and it terminates near Elgin, having a
course of four miles. Beaver Dam run takes
its rise in the south part of Amity, flows
through the southwestern corner of Wayne,
and combines with the .South branch near
Elgin borough, through which it passes. Its
lengtii is not far from five miles. Slaughter,
.Spencer and Baskin runs all come in from
Wayne, between Elgin and Corry. In addi-
tion to these streams, the township is the start-
ing place of several tributaries of Spring
creek and Oil creek, which rise on the high-
lands and flow to the east and south. The
headwaters of Oil creek, French creek and
Spring creek are all within a few rods of
each other, near the summit of the W. N. Y.
and Pa. R. R., in the southeast.

The township has no bridges of import-

A flood in June, 1892, did much dam-
age in Concord, especially along the valley of
the South branch.


The N. Y., p. and O. and the P. and E. R.R.
run through the northern section of the town-
ship from Corry to the Union line, following
the valley of the South branch. From Corry
to Loveli's, the tracks run side by side, but at
the latter place the)' diverge somewhat and
continue at a short distance apart to Union.
Below Union they separate entirely, the N. Y.,
p. and O. running to the west, and the P. and
E. to the lake at Erie. The old Oil Creek R.




R., now the W. N. Y. and Pa., follows the
upper channel of the South branch from Corry
to the summit, crossing the township into
Crawford county.

The railroad stations are Concord, on the
N. Y., P. and O., and Lovell's, on the P. and E.

Of the common roads, the main ones are
the Meadville and Columbus — the first opened
in the township — the Union and Corry, which
passes through Elgin, the Elgin and Sparta,
the Corry and Spring Creek, and the Corry
and Titusville.

Lovell's Station, 011 the N. Y. P. and O. and
P. and E. roads, is three miles west of Corry,
and thirty-four east of Erie. A water mill
was started at this point by James Crowell at
an early date, which ran down ; a machine
shop, a sawmill and a planing-mill were also
built and destroyed by fire. The sawmill of
D. J. Crowell, built in 1879, has been aban-
doned. The only business establishment at
the station now is a creamery.

Concord Station, on the "Nypano" road,
is the site of Caflish Bros.' sawmill.


The church buildings are the Wesleyan and
the Methodist Episcopal. The Wesleyan was
built about a mile south of Lovell's Station,
about 18-40. The class was organized several
years before by Rev. John Broadhead.

The Methodist Episcopal building was
dedicated in July, 1879. It stands near the
F. S. Heath place.

A graveyard is attached to the Wesleyan
Methodist Church, and the Stewart burial
place is on the Bowers farm. Most of the in-
terments take place in the cemeteries at Corry.

About 1823, a log schoolhouse, the first in
the township, stood on the site of the present
Cook School-building.

The township is without a gristmill since
the incorporation of Elgin borough. A cream-
ery has been in operation for fifteen or twentj'
years near the Crawford line. The one at
Lovell's station is of recent origin. Several
wells have been put down for oil, but the
fluid has never been discovered in a profitable


[see CONCORD.]

Elgin borough was incorporated in the
winter of 1876, with territory about a mile
square taken out of the western part of Con-
cord township. A grist and sawmill were
established by Joseph Hall, on Beaver Dam
Run, at an early day, and as the settlement
grew it became known as Halltown. A
grocery was started about 18-56, but the village
did not amount to much until the opening of
the Philadelphia and Erie R. R., when its
name was changed to Concord Station. The
title was again altered when it was made a
borough, and that of the postoffice was chang-
ed about the same time. Elgin had a popula-
tion of 154 in 1880, and 169 in 1890. Beaver
Dam run passes through the town, and the
south branch of French creek cuts through
one corner. Elgin has the advantage of two
railroads, the New York, Pennsylvania and
Ohio and the Philadelphia and Erie.

The borough possesses a neat cemetery.
Elgin gets considerable of its trade from west-
ern Wayne and Concord. It is thirty-two
miles east of Erie, five east of Union, and
five west of Corry, by railroad in each case.

The borough contains two church build-
ings, Methodist and Disciple.

The Disciple Church was erected in 1867,
largely through the efTorts of Mrs. Yost, of
Corry. A society of this denomination had
been organized a short time before, and attain-
ed a membership of about sixty. The con-
gregation give the use of the building to other
denominations when not required for their
own purposes.

The Methodist congregation was organized
in 1854 or '55 in the schoolhouse, one mile
south of Elgin. Tlie place of meeting was
changed to the Elgin school house in 1858,
and afterward to the Disciple Church. The
congregation purchased the Presbyterian
church building at Beaver Dam, moved it to
the borough, and have since used it as their
place of worship.

Catholic services are held both in Elgin
borough and in Concord township, which are
attended by priests from Corry.



ELI COLTON, the first settler in Elk
Creek township, moved in from
Granby, Conn., early in 1797. Dur-
ing the spring of 1798 or 1799 the
settlers were George Haybarger
and his brother-in-law, John Deitz, from
Maryland, who were followed by their fam-
ilies in the succeeding fall, in charge of
Arnestes Deitz, father of John. Mr. Haybar-
ger changed to Mill Creek in 1810, where his
descendants remain. In 1800 Elihu Crane
took up the tract on which Craneville stands,

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 47 of 192)