Boyd Crumrine.

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

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the same month a town-plat was laid out on a part of
the tracts Catfish Camp and Grand Cairo by David
Redick, surveyor, for David Hoge, and was named
" Bassett Town."

It will be noticed that among the names of the
grand jury at the first court of the county not a name
occurs of any person who was a resident of Catfish
Camp or its vicinity. It is not known or believed
that David Hoge ever resided here. All traditions
unite in locating the cabin of David Hoge in the rear
of what became in the town-plat lot No. 58, which
was sold soon aftei' the town was laid out to Charles
Dodd, on certificate No. 15, dated Bassett Town, Oc-

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tober, 1781. In this house Mr. Dodd evidently lived
when the court was held here, for rent was paid him
"for use of a room to hold court in."'

The original plat of Bassett Town was bounded by
what are now Maiden and Walnut Streets, Lincoln
Avenue, and Ruple's Alley. The two principal
streets were Monongaliela (now Main) and Ohio (now
Beau), each sixty-six feet wide, running through the
centre of the town at right angles with each other.
The other streets were sixty feet in width. The width
of the alley is not given. The streets and alleys
north from Maiden St^reet and running parallel with
it were named as follows: Water Alley (now Straw-
berry), Gay Street (later Belle, now Wheeling),
Johnson's Alley (now Cherry), Ohio Street (now
Beau), Middle Alley (now Pine), Race Street (now
Chestnut), North Alley (now Spruce). Walnut
Street was the north line and not then named. From
what is now Lincoln Avenue (but not then named,
that being the eastern boundary line) westward the
streets were named as follows: Chartiers Street (now
College), Monongahela Street (later Market, now
Main), Beau Street (later Front, now Franklin).

Four lots marked A, forming a plot two hundred
and forty feet square, and lying in the southwest angle
of Ohio and Monongahela Streets, were donated by
Mr. Hoge for a court-house and prison. Lots 43 and
102 were presented by Mr. Hoge to Gen. George
Washington, and were on the corner of Chartiers and
Gay Streets. No. 43 is now owned by the Presbyte-
rian Society, and No. 102 forms a part of the college
campus. Lots Nos. 171 and 172 were set apart for a
place of public worship and a school-house. These
lots were fronting on Race Street, and extended along
Chartiers Street to Pine Alley, each being a corner
lot. They were never used for the purpose designated.
In addition to the plot a " Great Plain" was given by
Mr. Hoge "for a common," containing seventy or
eighty acres. Later it was occupied by William Hoge,
and on it he lived and died. It is now owned by
Harry Shirls, and his residence is upon it.

The new town was named Bassett Town, in honor of
the Hon. Richard Bassett, who was a kinsman of Mr.
Hoge. Mr. Bassett was a member of the convention
which framed the Constitution of the United States
in 1787, and was the first who voted to locate the
capital of the nation on the Potomac. He was a
member of the Delaware Convention which met at
Dover on the 7th of December, 1787, and ratified the
constitution of that State, of which he was Governor
from 1798 to 1801. He was also United States dis-
trict judge in 1801-2. His death occurred in 1815.

After the laying out of the town Mr. Hoge imme-
diately commenced the sale of lots by certificates
which bore the number of the lot sold, and a proviso
that a " house at least eighteen feet square with a
stone or brick chimney shall be built thereon on or
before the 13th day of October, 1784 ;" and also con-
tained an amount specified to be paid annually as

a quit-rent. These certificates pa.ssed from one ta
another, and in most cases deeds were not made tiil
four or five years later. Forty -seven certificates were
issued to purchasers of lots dated at Bassett Town, and
all were issued in the early part of October, 1781.
The name of the town was changed to Washington
in that month, as the following certificate shows :

" Washinoton Tow.n, October, 1781.
"This will intitleDorsey Pentecost to reculve a sufflcient title, suhject
to one dollar in Hpecie rent per annum per Lott, for the lot marked in the
Original plan of said Town 15-1, provided there bIiuII be erected on each
lott a house of eighteen feet square at least with a stone or brick chim-
ney on or before the thirteenth day of October in the year One thousand
seven hundred and eighty-fuur.

"Signed David Hobe."

After the sale of the property by David Hoge to
his sons, John and William, the quit- rents were paid
to them. In the year 1803, John Hoge received on
120 quit-rents $1500, and in 1809 on 136 he received
$2000. In the same year William Hoge received on
130 quit-rents the sum of $1600, and in 1809 on 147
he received $2180. These rents were bought off from
time to time, and mostly ceased about 1860. Demands
are still occasionally made, but no attention is paid to

The first property to which title by deed was given
was the public square sold for a site for the court-
house and prison of Washington County. This deed
describes the property as "lying in the town of Bassett
Town," and is the only one ever made containing such
description. The next deed that appears of record
was made by David Hoge to James Marshel, and con-
veyed lot No. 90 (now ocaupicd by Morgan and Har-
graves' store). This lot was sold by Marshel to Hugh
Wilson on the 4th of January', 1786. With the ex-
ception of the deed conveying the property to his sons,
the two deeds above mentioned are the only ones given
by David Hoge. The deeds for the certificates were
given by John and William Hoge after their purchase
Nov. 7, 1785.

In the year 1784 an incident occurred in the town,
which is here related as given by one who was the
leader of the party. The facts are given in the min-
utes of the Supreme Executive Council, of date Phila-
delphia, Oct. 29, 1790.

Cornplanter, chief of the Senecas, made a speech
to the " Fathers of the Quaker State," in which he
referred to a treaty made at Fort Stanwix six years
before, and also of a talk held between the " Fathers"
and the " Thirteen Fires," at Muskingum. After this
Last treaty Cornplanter was to conduct his people to
Fort Pitt. The following is from his speech, and re-
fers to the trip made through Catfish (Washington)
in 1784, as follows:

" After I had separated from Mr. Nicholson and Morgan, I had under
my charge one hundred and seventy persons of my own nation, consist-
ing of men, women, and children, to conduct through the wilderness,
througli heaps of briars, and having lost our way, we with great diffi-
culty reached Wheelen. When arrived there, being out of provisions,
I requested of a Mr. Zanes to furnish me and my people with bacop and
flour to the amount of seventeen dollars, to be paid for out of the goods



belonging to me and my people at Fort Pitt. Having obtained my re-
quest, I proceeded on my journey for Pittsburg, and about ten miles
from Wlieelen, my party weie fired upon by tliree white people, and
one of my people in the rear of my party received two shots through
his blanket.

"Fathers,— It was a constant practice with me throughout the whole
journey to take great care of my people, and not suffer them to commit
any outrages or drink more tlian what their necessities required. During
the whole of my journey only one accident happened, which was owing
to the kindness of the Jieople of the town called Catfish [Washington],
in the Quaker State, who, while I was talking with the head men of
the town, gave to my People more liquor than was proper, and some of
them got drunk, which obliged me to continue there with my People
all night, and in the night my People were robbed of three rifles and
one shot-gun ; and though every endeavour was used by the head men
of the town upon complaint made to them to discover the perpetrators
of the robbery, they could not be found ; and on my Peoples complain-
ing to me I told them it was their own faults by getting drunk." It may
be of interest to know the advantages the town of Washington had at
that time for supplying men with the liquor "their necessities required ''
The following are the names of those who kept tavern here io that
year: James Wilson, John Adams, John Dodd, Charles Dodd, and John

On the 7th of November, 1785, David Hoge con-
veyed to his sons, John and William Hoge, eight
hundred acres of land, including the town of Wash-
ington, except the southeast quarter of the town,
which he reserved for himself; but subsequently, on,
the 10th of March, 1787, he conveyed to them this
quarter also. The names of the streets were changed
from the plat of 1781 before the date of the deed.
Shortly after this sale an addition was made to the
town on the east and south sides, consisting of forty
lots and several out-lots.

The town of Washington was originally in the
township of Strabane, and the first election of the
township was held at " the house of David Hoge, at
Catfish Camp." The town remained under the juris-
diction of Strabane until 1785. On the 25th of Sep-
tember, in that year, a petition signed by several of
the citizens of the town was presented to the Court
of Quarter Sessions, requesting to be formed into a
separate election district. The petition was granted ;
a certificate was sent to the Supreme Executive
Council, and was confirmed by that body on the 6th
of February, 1786. A petition for the erection of the
town of Washington into a separate township is on
file in the records of the court, and is indorsed on
the back as follows: " Petition of Inhabitants of the
Town of Washington to be made a township. Sep-
tember Session. Granted by the Court." The peti-
tion was signed by Alexander Addison, D. Bradford,
James Ross, John Redick, John Hoge, and Reasin

This petition is without date, but the action of the
court was evidently in September, 1788, as the first
a.ssessment-roll of Washington borough township that
has been found was made April 20, 1789, and is prob-
ably the first one after its erection. The following
names appear on the roll :

John Atchison, Robert Atchison, John Adams, Samuel Acklin, David
Bradford, Reazon Bell, Samuel Beard, Absalom Beard, Esq., James
Chambera^Edward Coulter, Samuel Clark, Alexander Cunningham, John

Culbertson, Thomas Clark, Peyton Cooke, John Dodd, John Douglas, Sam-
uel David, Johu Flaek, William Faulkner, Hardman Horn, John Hoge,
Esq., John Hughes, Thomas Jeffries, William Johnston, Daniel Kerr, Wil-
liam Kerr, Alexander Little, James Linn, William Meetkirk, John Mc-
Quiston, Robert WcKinley, William Marshall, Hugh Means, Kennedy
Morton, Daniel Moody, Alexander McCoy, William Marts, William Mc-
Calmont, George SlcCormick, John McMichael, Daniel McGlaughlin,
Patrick McNight, James McCoy, Sr., Anthony McConoughy, David
Parkinson, John Purviance, David Redick, Esq., John Redick, Widow
Roberts, Thomas Stokely, Esq., Samuel Shannon, Thomas Scott, E^iq.,

Adam Sneider, Sneider, Andrew Swearingen, William Sherrod,

Widow Tlionipson, Chailes Valentine, James Wilson, Sr., Hugh Wilson,
Matthew Winton, James Workman, Widow Walker, Daniel Welch,
Joseph Wherry, Hugh Workman, James Wilson, Jr., Thomas Woodward.
Single men ; Gabriel Bleakney, John Black, Alexander Beer, Edward
Browner, Sandars Darby, George Douglas, Thomas Davis, James Ewing,
Thomas Gundy, Joseph Hunt, Daniel Johnston, John Kerns, James
Langley, William Linn, James McDermott, Walton Meads, Alexander
McCoy, James McCoy. John McCoy, Thomas McQuiston, James Mc-
Cluney, Alexander Miller, William Mitchell, Archibald McDonald,
James Read, Benjamin Read, James Ross, James Bony, John Stokely
Benjamin Stokely, John Stevenson, Elisha Fulkerson, James Woods.

In 1792 forty-seven inhabitants of Strabane and
Canton townships petitioned the court that the town-
ship of Washington be enlarged. The petition was
presented in March, 1792, and on the 27th of Septem-
ber the same year it was acted upon, and the follow-
ing boundaries established : " Beginning at the mouth
of Daniel Leets' Run, thence up the said Run to the
Head thereof, thence to the most easterly corner of
the survey made for James Huston, thence along the
easterly boundary of William Huston's survey, thence
along the Easterly Boundary of John Dodd's Land
to where the great road to Pittsburgh crosses the first
Run, thence down the said Run to Chartiers Creek,
thence up the said creek to the place of Beginning."
Since that time the boundaries have not been materi-
ally changed.

Early Settlers of Washington,— David Hoge, of
Cumberland County, was sheriff of that county from
October, 1768, to Dec. 31, 1770, when he was suc-
ceeded by Ephraim Blaine. Soon after this time, as
already mentioned, he purchased the Hunter tracts
of land in the Chartiers Valley embracing what is
now the town of Washington. He laid out the towif
in 1781, and in 1785 sold the most of it to his sons
John and William, who removed to Washington and
lived and died there, filling important positions of
honor and trust. David Hoge, their father, never
made Washington his permanent residence. Of his
other children, Jonathan settled near Morgantown,
where he lived and died, leaving two children, of
whom Bushrod Hoge (well known to the people of
Washington) is one. David Hoge, Jr., married Jane
the daughter of Thomas Scott, and settled in Wash-
ington for a time, and finally removed to Steuben-
ville, where he became agent of the Land-OfBce. He
died there, leaving many descendants. A daughter
became the wife of the Rev. Mr. Waugh, a Presbyte-
rian clergyman. He died in Cumberland County and
left two sons, William and John H., both of whom
were admitted as attorneys in Washington County
in 1818 and 1820. He also had three daughters, the



youngest of whom became the wife of Dr. Irwin.
Mrs. Daniel Kaine, of Uniontown, is a daughter of
Mr. and Mrs. Irwin. John Hoge, the oldest son of
David Hoge, Sr., was born at Hogestown, near Car-
lisle, Sept. 12, 1760, entered the Revolutionary army
in 1776, when but sixteen years of age, and became a
lieutenant. During the war he visited Washington,
and in 1782 settled on the land his father had pur-
chased. On the 7th October, 1785, his father con-
veyed the greater portion of the large tract to him
and his brother William. In 1789 he was elected a
delegate to the State Constitutional Convention, and
from 1790-94 represented this district in the State
Senate. He served part of a term in Congress from
1803-5 to fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of
his brother, William Hoge. He built a frame house
on the south side of Maiden Street, opposite the old
Presbyterian Church (now Hayes' carriage factory).
He also kept tavern a few years about 1800. He mar-
ried a daughter of William Quail. Later in life he
retired to his farm, lying between Washington and
Canonsburg, known as the " Meadow Land" (now
owned by Maj. John H. Ewing), where he died Aug.
5, 1824.

William Hoge, a younger brother of John, also set-
tled in Washington, and owned a half interest in the
property. His farm in the north part of the town is
now owned by Harry Shirle. He was elected mem-
ber of Congress, and served from 1801 to 1803, but
resigned in 1804, and was again elected in 1806 and
served from 1807 to 1809. He was also elected asso-
ciate judge, and served from 1798 to 1802. He mar-
ried Isabella, the daughter of Samuel Lyon, of Cum-
berland County. He died in 1813, and his widow
became the second wife of Alexander Reed.

David Redick was a native of Ireland, who emi-
grated to this country and settled for several years iu
Lancaster County. He married the daughter of Jona-
than Hoge, brother of David Hoge, Sr. He was a
surveyor, and came to the Chartiers Valley with Da-
vid Hoge, surveyed his lands, and laid out the town
under the direction of Mr. Hoge. He remained here
and purchased lot 273, on Main Street, where he built
and lived till his death. The place is now owned by
Alexander Murdoch. He was admitted to the bar in
1782. In 1786 he was elected a member of the Su-
preme Executive Council, and on the 14th of October,
1788, was chosen vice-president in place of Peter
Muhlenberg, who resigned. He held the position
until the election of George Ross, November 5th, the
same year. Benjamin Franklin was president of the
Council at the time he was vice-president. In Octo-
ber, 1787, he was appointed agent of the State for
communicating to the Governor of New York intelli-
gence respecting Connecticut claims. In 1791 he was
appointed prothonotary of Washington County and
clerk of the courts. He was appointed to survey the
Ten Islands in the Ohio ^nd Allegheny Rivers, and
to divide the several tracts of land opposite Pittsburgh

into building-lots. He was active and energetic in
business, prominent in defense of law, order, and the
constitution in the time of the Whiskey Insurrection,
and was appointed with Mr. Findley to wait upon
President Washington to assure him of the submission
of those who had been insurgents. He died at Wash-
ington on the 28th of September, 1805, and was buried
with Masonic honors. He had a son who became an
attorney, but died when a young man. Nancy, a
daughter of his, became the wife of Dr. James Ste-
vens, of Washington. They inherited the Redick
homestead, where they both lived and died. The
present residence was built by Dr. Stevens. Another
daughter of Mr. Redick became the wife of Capt.
James Anderson, of the United States Army. They
later settled in Louisville, Ky.

The ancestors of the Acheson family of Washing-
ton were natives of Scotland, and about 1604 removed
to County Armagh, Ireland, when, in 1776, Sir Archi-
bald Acheson (one of the descendants) became Baron
Gosford, and later a viscount. The descendants of the
family who came to this country were of a collateral
branch, and settled upon the family estate at Glass
Drummond. George, the father of the sons and
daughters who came to this country, was born in 1724,
and died in July, 1812, aged eighty-eight years.
Elizabeth, his wife, was a daughter of David Wier, a
Belfast merchant. She was born in 1728, and died
July 29, 1808, aged eighty years. They left five sons,
— George, John, Thomas, William, and David, and
two daughters, — Hannah and Ellen. All the children
came to this country except William, who remained
on the homestead at Glass Drummond. The first to'
emigrate to America was John, who about the year
1784 came to Washington, Pa., where he commenced
to trade, and soon after established other trading
points at Cincinnati and Wheeling. He was also em-
ployed by the United States government in furnishing
supplies to the army for the Indian wars. His death
by apoplexy occurred in 1790, while crossing the Al-
legheny Mountains on horseback on his way to Phila-
delphia. He left a widow and two daughters in Ire-
land. The eldest daughter died young, and Hannah,
the youngest daughter, came to this country in 1807
in charge of the Rev. Thomas Campbell. She lived
with her uncle David, and died in 1837, aged fifty

Thomas Acheson came to this country in 1786, and
settled in Washington with his brother John, with
whom he became associated in business. After the
death of John, in 1791, he entered into partnership
with David, his younger brother, and continued the
mercantile business as long as he lived. In 1809
he erected the brick building on which the First
National Bank building is now (1882) being erected,
the old house having been demolished the latter part
of May, 1882. In this house Gen. Acheson lived till
his death in 1815. He was commissioned commissary-
general of the army of the United States in 1812.



He was a man of pleasing address, and wielded great
influence in town and county. He left six children,
Elizabeth, George, James C, Hannah, Jane, and
Thomas. Elizabeth became the wife of Benjamin
Stewart, Esq.; they both died in 1838. George
studied law and died in early life. James C. mar-
ried and settled in Wheeling, where he died a few
years ago, leaving a widow and children. Thomas is
the only survivor. Hannah Acheson, a sister of
John and Thomas, was married in Ireland to James
Shields, and became the mother of four children be-
fore she came to the United States in 1800. Of these
children William settled in Nashville, Tenn., and
died in December, 1837, leaving two children, who
were sent to the family of David Acheson, and both
died before reaching maturity. Thomas Shields, a
son of Hannah, came to Washington about 1820,
and became a clerk in the store of his uncle, and re-
mained a few years, when his health failed and he
went to South America, and later settled in Nash-
ville, where he died a few years after his brother
William. George Shields, a brother of William and
Thomas, settled in Washington County, and had two
children, Hannah and Thomas, both of whom are
living. Ellen Acheson, the youngest daughter of
George Acheson, and sister of John and Thomas,
married Joseph McCullough in Ireland and settled
there. They emigrated to this country about 1791,
arriving about the time of the death of her brother
John. They removed to Kentucky, where they died
a few years later, leaving two children, George and
Nancy, who were brought to Pennsylvania, George
to Cumberland County, where be grew to manhood
and died. His daughter, Ellen, became the wife of
the Eev. Dr. A. McGill, of Princeton Theological
Seminary. Nancy was placed with her uncles,
Thomas and David, with whom she lived until her
marriage with the Hon. Thomas H. Baird, with whom
she lived* many years and left many descendants.

David Acheson, the youngest of the family of
brothers and sisters who came to this country, emi-
grated in the spring of 1788 to join his brothers. As
a certificate of character, he brought with him from
the pastor of his father's church the following letter :
" The bearer, David Acheson, intending to remove to
North America, this therefore is to certify that he is a
young man of a sober, good conduct, and son of Mr.
George Acheson, an elder of the Seceding Congrega-
tion of Market Hill, in the County of Armagh, Ire-
land. This is given under my hand this 30th of
April, 1788. Davici Arnott, Minister." He embarked
for Philadelphia on the " Friendship," Capt. Rue,
from Belfast, May 14, 1788. A safe voyage was made,
and he joined his brothers in Washington, and im-
mediately became associated with his brother John in
the contracts for furnishing supplies to the armies of
the United States. These contracts continued until
the death of John in 1791. Among the business
papers of David Acheson were accounts of mercantile

expeditions from Pittsburgh to New Orleans in 1790
-91 by John and David Acheson, with a document
written in the Spanish language given to David Ache-
son by the Spanish authorities permitting him to
convey his merchandise within their territory. After
the death of his brother John he turned his attention
to the study of law for a time with James Ross, but

Online LibraryBoyd CrumrineHistory of Washington County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 127 of 255)