Boyd Crumrine.

History of Washington County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men online

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Online LibraryBoyd CrumrineHistory of Washington County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 1 of 255)
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"1/ I.,.'

L. H. E V E R T S & C O.

188 2.


Copyright, 1882, by BoTD CRTTiTRiNE.


An apologetic preface is not intended by what is liere written, for it is believed that in this
History i>f Wasliington County there are perhaps as few errors and imperfections as any reason-
able critic ought to expect in so comprehensive a work. "Whatever defects may appear (and
what work of man is free from defects ?), they are certainly not chargeable to a want of effort and
care to avoid them ; and those who have been engaged in the preparation of this work only ask the
favor that before it be subjected to unfavorable comment it be carefully examined, not in isolated
portions, but in its whole scope and character. Far from being unwilling to submit to honest and
intelligent criticism, they will be glad to have any substantial inaccuracies pointed out. By such
criticism alone can this work be affected ; captious fault-finding, often arising out of unworthy
jealousies, cannot prevail with intelligent men.

But it is rather desired here to make a remark or two as to the history of the book now de-
livered to those for whom it was written. And in this connection it may be premised that if
any one individual, on his own account, could have devoted the necessary time and industry
to the preparation of a full and accurate history of the county, covering the ground the writers
of this history have endeavored to cover, it is confidently believed that, there being but a
local demand for such a work, it would have been vain to hope that it could have been pub-
lished and sold so a.s to repay the author for the time, labor, and expenditure involvetl. To
those who wished to see something like an approach to a complete history of Washington
County, the proposals of the enterprising publishers to publish the work after a plan and method
of their own seemed to offer the only opportunity within reach, and hence it wa-s that the writer
of these lines, after the approval of good friends, on whose judgment he could rely, was led to
aid the enterprise, not only by a contribution to its pages, but, by way of general oversight and
direction of the whole. It was soon found, however, that, beyond the chapters contributed, there
was but little need of his assistance, for Major Franklin Ellis, of !N"ew York City, the gentleman
by whom much the larger part of the work was prepared, brought with him long experience and
great skill in historical investigation, an enviable facility of composition, together with laborious
industry and carefulness. And he was aided by gentlemen — one of whom, Austin X. Hunger-
ford, Esq., of Ithaca, N. Y., deserves special mention — who also were possessed of special fitness
for the gathering from all sorts of sources of the innumerable and disjointed details which have
gone to make uj) the history of localities; and, not only that, they have all along received con-
stant 'encouragement and valuable suggestions from leading men in the county, too manv in
number to acknowledge by name here. It may be unusual, but, as his associates came here as
strangers, the writer desires in this place to bear witness to all who may be interested in this


work that in the labor performed by the gentlemen named they have evinced at all times while
it progressed the most absolute good faith and painstaking desire for accuracy and completeness.

In explanation of the method adopted, more especially in the preparation of the chapters
upon the civil and legal history, the writer would state that the idea of presenting original docu-
ments, in full or by quotation, as they lay before him, rather than to paraphrase their contents
in his own language, was followed from deliberate choice as the best method of presenting local
history. Thus the actors speak for themselves, and the reader is not asked to take upon faith
the statements of another as to what is really contained in their communications. True, a sen-
tence often might have represented the substantial contents of a letter or paper of some length,
but the reader is supposed to desire rather to see and read the letter or paper for himself. This
will, no doubt, be appreciated by the thoughtful.

One word as to the matter of the portraits, other illustrations, and biographical sketches not
immediately connected with the historical character of the work, a feature, however, with which
those entjaged as investigators and writers have had nothing whatever to do, as being outside of
their employment. This feature sometimes is made the subject of thoughtless criticism. Let it here
be said the work is intended, to some extent, to indicate the present development of the county,
side by side with the history of its past. For obvious reasons, then, wait for twenty, thirty,
forty years of our future to elapse, when the present and its people shall have become more in-
teresting. Then, it is submitted, this very feature of the work in which there are present( d the
portraits and biographical sketches of a few of the representative men of each condition oij life,
as well as illustrations of their homes and their surroundings, showing the county of tovday,
will of itself have become of very great interest and importance. Time, indeed, will place this
feature of the work in its proper light.

This history, thus the work of many hands, is now with the reader, a record of our past,
for present and future instruction and entertainment. The longer it is possessed perhajjs tlie
more it may be prized. Not a i)age has been stereotyped, and only copies enough have been
printed to supply the subscribei'S and those who labored upon it; hence it cannot hereafter be
found in the market, and year by year it will become a possession more and more valuable to the



WA.SHINUTON, Sept. 20, 1882.



I. — Washington County in History — Looatiov,
Boundaries, and Topookai'iiy — The In-
dian Occupation

II. — The French and English Claims to the
Trans - Alleguenv Region — George
AVashingtox's Visit to the French Forts

IN 1753

III. — French Occupation at the Head op the

Ohio — Washington's Campaign of 1754 .

IV. — Braddock's Expedition in 1755 .

V. — Incursions and Ravages during the

French Occupation — Capture ok Fort

du quesne and expulsion op the

French— Expeditions under Bouquet

VI. — Dunmore's War ....

VII. — The Retolution ....

VIII.— The Revolution— ( CoiK/niierf) .

IX. — The Civil and Legal History .

X. — The Civil and Legal Histor


XI.— The Civil and


XII.— The Civil and

XIII.— The Civil and

XIV.— The Civil and

XV.— The Civil and

XVI.— The Civil and
XVII.— The Civil and
tinned) .

XVIII.— The Civil and
XIX.— The Civil and
XX. — The Whiskey Inschrec
XXI.— War of 181 2-15— Texan and Mexican Wars
XXII. — War of the Rebellion
XXIII. — War of the Rebellion — [Cnntinned)
XXIV. — War of the Rebellion — {^Continued)
XXV. — War of the Rebellion — (Continued)
XXVI. — War of the Rebellion — (Continued)
XXVII. — War of the Rebellion — (Caniinned)
XXVIIL— War of the Rebellion— (fo»(/n.(crf)
XXIX. — War of the Rebellion — (Continued)

Legal History —

Legal History —

Legal History —

Legal History —

Legal History^ —

Legal History —

Legal History —

Legal History —

Legal Histoiiy —

( Con




XXX. — M'au of the Rebellion — (6'(/i(((ii((
XXXr. — War of the Rebellion — (6'on(i'iin
XXXII. — Geology — Mining
XXXIII. — Internal Improvements
XXXIV. — Religious History

XXXV. — Religious History — (Continued) .
XXXVI. — Educational History .
XXXVII. — County Buildings — Civil List
Agricultural Societies — Popul.i











Washington Boiiough


Canonsburg Borough
California Borough
West Brownsville Boroi gii
Allen Township
Amwell Township .
Buffalo Township..
Canton Township
Carroll Township .
Cecil Township
Chartiers Township
Cross Creek Township .
Donegal Township .
East Bethlehem Township
East Finley Township .
East Pike Run Township
Fallowfi ELD Township .
Franklin Township
Hanover Township .
Hopewell Township
Independence Township.
Jefferson Township
Morris Township .
Mount Pleasant Township
North Strabane Township
Nottingham Township
Peters Township
Robinson Township . f.
Smith Township
Somerset Township
South Strabane Township
Union Township
West Bethlehem Township
West Finley Township .
West Pike Run Township


Alexander, J. W facing 627

Alexander, William J " 578

Allison, John 720

Autographs of Justices of Old Virginia Courts, facing 204

Baker, Enoch " 671

Barnard, Samuel " 978

Barr, John S "944

Bentley, George " 968

Blachly, S. L "848

Caldwell, A. B., Residence of ... . " 504

Court-House, Sheriff's Residence, and Jail . " 467

Craig, Walker "724

Craighead, James " 706

Crumrine, George " 976

Davis, William " 957

Denniston, Samuel " 964

Dickson, James G. ..... . " 614

Duoking-Stool 206

Ewing, John H facing 556

Farrar, John " 929

Frazier, Thomas " 760

Hall, John, Stock-Farm of ... . " 688

Hanna, Mrs. S. R "558

Hawkins, S. B " 948

Hazlett's Bank "528

Hazzard, T. R "598

Henderson, Joseph . . , . . . . . 503

Hopkins, James H facing 562

Hopkins, William "560

Howe, S. B " 635

Jefferson College at C.inonsburg in 1842 .... 445

Lawrence, G. V facing 574

Lee, William "732

Little, .Tames D., Residence of . . . . " 712

i. Draft of Surveys Virginia Settlement, between 192, 193
Map, Outline, Illustrating the Boundary Controversy be-
tween Pennsylvania and Virginia . . facing 191
Map showing District of West Augusta and Counties of

Ohio between 182, 183

M'ap showing French Occupation of the Ohio Valley, facing 138
Map of Washington County from 1781 to 1788 " 222

Map, Outline, of Washington County . . between 12, 13

Maxwell, George C, Residence of
Maxwell, John ....
McConncll, Alexander, Jr.
McConnell, Alexander, Sr.
McFarland, Samuel .

facing 646

" 820

between 718, 719

" 718, 719

facing 664


McKennan, W facing 249

McLain, William "762

McMillan's Log Cabin Academy ..... 440

McNary, James S between 714, 715

MeNary, William H " 714, 715

Murray's Block, West Alexander ..... 752

Noble, T. C facing 758

Part of Washington in 1842 .... "496

Patterson, James "727

Paul, Huston "954

Paxton, John G., Residence of ... . " 708

Plan of the town of Washington . . between 476, 477

Pees, Zachariah facing 880

Perrine, David "840

Prehistoric Pipe 956

Presbyterian Church, West Alexander . . facing 749

Pringle, J. S "642

Proudfit, J. L "930

Public School, Monongahela City ... " 595

Ramsey, George ...... " 959

Reed, Parker 822

Richard Yates' Survey ....... 193

Ritchie's Block facing 623

Ritchie, W. H. S " 624

Shirls, Harry, Residence of . . . between 542, 543
Sloan, Rev. James ...... facing 585

Smith, William "940

Soldiers' Monument 552

Southwestern State Normal School . . . facing 462

Speers, S. C "649

Sphar, Henry ....... " 651

Stephens, J. W "936

Stewart, Robert "838

Stocks and Pillory 222

Sw.igler, Jacob facing 950

Swart, Andrew J 672

Townsend, Elijah facing 899

Trinity Hall, from Playground. ... " 459

Trinity Hall Boarding-School .... "458

Trinity Hall, east view " 459

Vance, Samuel "952

Warne, James " 600

Walker, D. S facing 740

Walker, John N "736

Washington College in 1842 446

Wasson, L. J facing 886

Work, George T "816



B a









^Hiiirw^ CO.


c o









Washington County embraces in its annals much
tliat is of great historic interest, and in this respect
it is surpassed by but few counties in Pennsylvania,
though no great national events have ever occurred
within its boundaries, and it contains no spot of
world-wide fame like Valley Forge, Wyoming, or
Gettysburg. In the fierce conflict waged a century
and a quarter ago by the two great European rivals,
England and France, for dominion over the vast
region watered by the head-streams of the Ohio, the
contending armies never fought or marched within
the present limits of this county, but the routes and
the battle-grounds of Washington and Braddock were
so near these borders that the crunch and rumble of
their artillery-wheels among the crags of the Laurel
Hill and the rattle of the fusilades at Fort Necessity
and on the storied field of the Monongahela might
almost have been heard from the valleys and hills
that are now whitened and dotted by the harvests and
herds of Washington County farmers. Twenty years
afterwards, when a controversy scarcely less fierce
sprang up between the States of Pennsylvania and
Virginia, in which the Old Dominion insisted on ex-
tending her limits eastward to the mountains, while
Pennsylvania jieremptorily refused to yield to the
claim, and demanded the boundaries granted to Penn
by the royal charter, the country west of the Monon-
gahela, that was soon after embraced in the county of
AVashingtou, became the principal arena of a conflict
of jurisdiction that almost reached tlie extremity of
open war.

In the Revolutionary struggle this region saw noth-


ing of the movements of the Continental and royal I
armies ; but when the news of actual hostilities flew
south and west from Lexington Common, kindling in
all the colonies the flame of patriotism, it blazed
forth as promptly and burned as brightly on these
highlands and along these streams as it did on the
plain of Bennington or the banks of the Brandywine. 1

And while the smoke of battle still enveloped the
steep sides of Bunker Hill, armed men from the
valley of the Monongahela were already on tlieir
way across the mountains to join the provincial forces
encircling Boston. Later in the struggle, when Brit-
ain had secured the alliance of the Indian tribes of
the Northwest, and incited them to frequent and
bloody incursions into the settlements along the Ohio
border, the brave frontiersmen of this region were
mustered in arms again and again to repel invasion
and to march against the savages in the wilderne-ss,
as a means of protection to their own families and
homes. And through all the years of the great
struggle, devout ministers of the gospel in Washing-
ton County, some of them as eminent in their calling
as any in the land, prayed for the success of the pa-
triot cause; and when the fighting men went forth,
exhorted them to take as much care to fear and serve
God, as to pick their flints and kec]) tlieir jiowder dry.

The border hostilities, the Revolution, and the later
wars in which the people of Washington County 1
prominent part will be mentioned in
ceeding pages, with accounts of the
troversy, the Whiskey InsurreatittJfi7 internal
provements, including the conatruction of the old
National road, the railroads, tile navigation of the
Monongahela River, and numberless other historical
matters relating to this county, among which none
are of greater interest than those pertaining to that
religious and educational development and progre.<s
which has placed Washington among the very fore-
most of the counties of Pennsylvania.

Location, Boundaries, and Topography.— With
regard to its location and boundaries, Washington
may properly be described as one of the western-
most range of counties of Pennsylvania; and the
second one, reckoning northward, from the south-
west corner of the State. It is joined on the north
by Beaver County; on the northeast by Allegheny
County; on the east by Allegheny, Westmoreland,
and Fayette ; on the south by Greene County, and on
the west by the State of West Virginia.

The principal stream of the county is the Monon-
gahela River, which takes its rise in West Virginia,




crosses the State line into Pennsylvania at the ex-
treme southeast corner of Greene County, and flow-
ing thence in a meandering but generally northward
course, marks the entire eastern boundary of Greene
and Washington Counties against the counties of Fay-
ette, Westmoreland, and Allegheny. From the north-
eastern limit of Washington County the river flows
first in a northeasterly, and afterwards in a north-
westerly course through Allegheny County to its
confluence with the Allegheny River at Pittsburgh.

Besides the Monongahela, Washington County hasa
great number of smaller streams, but among these there
are few thatare of sufficient size and importance to de-
serve special mention. The North Fork of Ten-Mile
Creek takes its rise in the southern part of this county,
and flows in a general course a little south of east to its
junction with the South Fork, which rises in Greene
County. The North Fork marks the boundary line
between Washington and Greene for a short distance
above the confluence ; and the main stream of Ten-
Mile also marks the line between the two counties
from the confluence to its mouth, where its waters
join those of the Monongahela. North of Ten-Mile
Creek, Pike Run, Pigeon Creek, Mingo Creek, and
Peters Creek flow into the Monongahela from the
eastern part of the county.

The head-streams or forks of Chartiers Creek take
their rise in the central and southern parts of the
county, and joining their waters form the main stream,
which flows in a northeasterly course through the
north partof Washington into and through Allegheny
County to its junction with the Ohio a short distance
below Pittsburgh. Raccoon Creek, King's Creek, and
Harmon's Creek rise in the northwest part of the
county and flow into the Ohio, the first named in a
northerly, and the others in a general westerly course.
/"Several forks of Wheeling Creek (which flows into
I the Oliio) rise in the southwest corner of Washington
^ County, Hunter's Fork (of Wheeling) marking the
boundary for several miles between Washington and
Greene. Buffalo Creek and Cross Creek, which have
their sources in the western part of Washington
County, flow westward across Jhe State line into West
Virginia, and through the "Pan Handle" of that
State into the Ohio River.

Bordering the Monongahela River are narrow bot-
tom lands, seldom, if ever, over one-fourth of a mile
in width, and generally much less, through this
county. From these bottoms the " river hills" rise
abruptly to a height of from two hundred to three
hundred feet, and from their summits the country
stretches away westward in fine rolling uplands,
which in many parts may be called a succession of
hills. The creeks— Chartiers, Ten-Mile, Pike, Pigeon,
Mingo, Peters, Raccoon, King's, Harmon's, Cross,
and Buff'alo— all have nearly the same kind of country
bordering their margins, viz., bottom lands (gener-
ally very narrow, those of Chartiers' being wider
than any other), from which the country rises to the

rolling uplands or hills. In the southwest part of
the county there is very little bottom laud along the
creeks ; the hills rise more abruptly, and the high
lands are much more steep and rugged than elsewhere.
In general through the county the hills are tillable
to their tops. On them, as in the valleys, and river
and creek bottoms, the soil is excellent for the pro-
duction of grain and fruits. The county in general
is excellent for grazing, and well adapted for all the
requirements of agriculture.

A fine description of the natural features of Wash-
ington County is given below, being quoted from the
" Memoirs of Alexander Campbell," by Robert Rich-
ardson. His observations commence at the county-
seat, the site of which he describes as " near the
sources of several streams, which run in different di-
rections, as the Chartiers Creek, which flows towards
the north ; Ten-Mile Creek, which pursues an east-
ward course and falls into the Monongahela ten miles
above Brownsville, whence its name; Buffalo, which
directs a swift and clear current to the west-northwest
and empties into the Ohio at Wellsburg, about twenty-
eight miles distant. The town being thus near the
summit-level of the streams, the hills around it are
comparatively low, and the country gently undulat-
ing. As we follow the descending waters the hilla
and upland region, which in reality preserve pretty
much the same level, seem gradually to become higher,
so that by the time we approach the Ohio and Monon-
gahela Rivers their sides, growing more and more
precipitous, rise to a height of four or five hundred
feet. These steep declivities inclose the fertile val-
leys, through which the larger streams wind in grace-
ful curves. Into these wide valleys small rivulets
pour their limpid waters, issuing at short intervals
upon each side from deep ravines formed by steep hill-
sides, which closely approach each other, and down
which the waters of the springs, with which the up-
land is abundantly supplied, fall from rock to rock in
miniature cascades. Upon the upland not immedi-
ately bordering upon the streams, the country is
rolling, having the same general elevation, above
which, however, the summit of a hill occasionally
lifts itself, as though to afford to lovers of beautiful
landscapes most delightful views of a country covered
for many miles with rich pasturages, with grazing
herds or flocks, fruitful grain-fields or orchards, gar-
dens, and farm-houses, while upon the steeper sides
of the valleys still remain some of the ancient forest
growths of oak and ash, walnut, hickory, and maple.
Frequently as the traveler p.isses along the roads
upon the upland he .sees suddenly from some divid-
ing ridge charming valleys stretching away for miles
with their green meadows, rich fields of corn, and
sparkling streamlets. At other times, as he advances,
he admires with delight in the distance the ever-
varying line of the horizon, which on all sides is
formed by the summits of remote ridges and eleva-
tions, sometimes conical in form, but mostly defined



by various arcs of circles, as regularly drawn as if a
pair of compasses had traced the lines upon the sky.
Everywhere around him he sees lands abounding in
limestone and all the necessary elements of fertility,
and producing upon even the highest summits abund-
ant crops of all the cereal grains. To enhance the
natural resources of this picturesque country its hills
conceal immense deposits of bituminous coal, which
the descending streams here and there expose, and
which, along the sides of the valleys within five miles
of Washington and thence to the Ohio Eiver, are
conveniently reached by level adits. Such, for nearly
two hundred miles west of the Alleghenies, is the
general character of this region, especially of that
portion of it lying along the Monongahela and Ohio,
a region whose healthfulness is not surpassed by that
of any country in the world."

The Indian Occupation. — When the wilderness
region west of the Alleghenies in Pennsylvania was
first penetrated by English-speaking white men, they
found it partially occupied by roving bands of In-
dians, whdse principal permanent settlements were in
the vicinity of the confluence of the Monongahela
and Allegheny Rivers, and above and below that
point on the latter stream and the Ohio, but who
had, besides these, a few transient villages, or more
properly camps, located at different points in the in-
terior of the great hunting-ground. These Indian
occupants were principally of the Delaware and
Shawanese tribes or nations, but there were among
them several colonized bands of Iroquois, or " Miu-
goes," as they were called. These represented the

Online LibraryBoyd CrumrineHistory of Washington County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 1 of 255)