Francis Newton Thorpe.

History of Crawford County, Pennsylvania; containing a history of the county; its townships, towns, villages, schools, churches, industries, etc.; portraits of early settlers and prominent men; biographies; history of Pennsylvania; statistical and miscellaneous matter, etc., etc. Chicago, Warner, Be online

. (page 1 of 96)
Online LibraryFrancis Newton ThorpeHistory of Crawford County, Pennsylvania; containing a history of the county; its townships, towns, villages, schools, churches, industries, etc.; portraits of early settlers and prominent men; biographies; history of Pennsylvania; statistical and miscellaneous matter, etc., etc. Chicago, Warner, Be → online text (page 1 of 96)
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I 11] III iiiii II iii|i|ii iiiiiiiiii i|ii!|

3 1833 01145 0050





Containing A History of the County; its Townships, Towns.

Villages, Schools, Churches, Industries, etc.; Portraits of

Early Settlers and Prominent Men; Biographies;

History of Pennsylvania; Statistical and

Miscellaneous Matter, etc., etc.








Meadville 709

Athens Township 770

Beaver Township 7S8

liloonifield Township 791

CainhridKe Township 800

Conneaut Township 819

Cussewago Township 841

Kasl Fairfi. Id Township 857

East Kallowfleld Township. 8fi3

Fairfield Township 864

(ireenwood Township 869

Ilavlield Township „ 871

Mead Township 891

North Shenango Township 904

Oil Creek Township 913

I'ine Township 919

Rjindolph Township 92-5

Richmond Township 943

Rockdale Township 9G2

Rome Township 97(1

Sadsbury Township gg.'i

South Shenango Township 9flu

Sparta Township 999

Spring Township 1010

Steuben Township 1066

Suninierhill Township 105S

Summit Township 1080

Titusville 1088

Troy Township „ 1]0I

Union Township 1107

Venaugo Townsliip 1112

Vernon Township 112.S

AVayne Township U37

West Fallowlield Township li:!9

West Shenango Township 1141

Woodcock Township 114:!

.lanieslown, Mercer County 1184


Biographical Sketches,



S. J. AFFANTRANQEE, livery and sale stables, Meadville, is a native of
the Keystone State, and has seen as much of the globe as Gen. Grant, having
been in every State and most of the Territories of the Union, has made three
overland journeys to California, and has been in- most foreign countries; he
has been three times over the Atlantic Ocean, and has circumnavigated the
globe, settling down at last in his native State. He is a quiet man, attending
strictly to his business, in which he has been successful. He has been a fre-
quent contributor to the newspapers of Meadville. He makes it a rule never
to be in haste to be rich, great or wise. In politics he is a Democrat; is a
member of the Town Council. He was married first in Virginia, and again
after the death of his first wife in 1862, having lived a widower sixteen years.
Mr. and Mrs. Afi"antranger have four children — Celia, Virginia, May A. and
Edward J. Our subject is a son of John and Josephine (Earnest) AJBfantr an-
ger, natives of Switzerland, and who had to work three years to pay the man
who paid their passage to America. They had thirteen children, nine of whom
grew up, our subject being the sixth. He first learned blacksmithing, at which
he worked for several years. He then owned and conducted a carriage factory
in Indiana for eleven years. Since 1873 he has lived in Meadville. He was
born in this county, April 7, 1826, and here expects to stay until higher powers
call him away.

JOHN C. ANDERSON, stationer and bookseller, Meadville, was born in
Meadville, September 28, 1856, and is the son of Joseph D. and Jane (Carr)
Anderson, natives of this county. His father was born in 1819, and is now a
resident of Wisconsin. Of his four children, John C. is the youngest. Our
subject, who has been in a bookstore since thirteen years of age, went into
business for himself in Meadville in 1876, and has continued here ever since.
He is an active member of t"he fire department, being at one time Assistant
Engineer. He takes a deep interest in whatever will promote the general
prosperity of the citizens. In politics he is a Republican. He keeps, besides
a full stock of books and stationery, wall paper and school supplies, also school
furniture of all kinds.

FRED G. ANDREWS, hotel proprietor, Meadville, was bom in Ashland,
Ohio, December 12, 1853, son of Austin Andrews, who was also a hotel keeper,
and who raised a family of three children, of whom Fred G. is the youngest.
He received his education in the graded schools of Buffalo, N. Y., and early
commenced to learn printing, at which he continued seven years in Toledo,
Ohio. Having obtained a position on a vessel bound for Buenos Ayres, South
America, he was on the ocean one year, during which he visited many foreign
porta. Soon after landing in America he accepted a position in the Wheeler


Dramatic Cempany, with whom he remained three years, when he took a com-
pany himself on the road for a year, playing "Rip Van Winkle. " He then went
as clerk in Bonney's Hotel, Buffalo, N. Y. , for two years, and then acted for a
third year as manager. In 1883 he came to Meadville, and, in company with
his elder brother, took the Commercial Hotel and the depot dining hall and
lunch rooms. Fred Q. Andrews was married in Toledo, Ohio, in 1882, to
Gertrude Nelson, and they have one child — Grace Marie. Mrs. Andrews is a
member of the Presbyterian Church. In polities Mr. Andrews is a Republican.

J. S. AUSTIN, chief train dispatcher for New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio
Railroad, Meadville, was born in Canada, January 25, 1842, and is a son of
Horace and Barbara Austin, both of English descent, the father a native of
Mississippi, the rriother of Nova Scotia. Our subject, who is the second in a
family of seven children, received his education in the common schools of Port-
age County, Ohio. At the commencement of the war he enlisted in the First
Ohio Light Artillery. He was a non-commissioned officer, and served three
years. He learned telegraphy at Cleveland, Ohio, and in 1865 came to this
county, where he has held various positions on the railroad staff. His marriage
with Sylvia A. Lindsay took place in 1867. They have been residents of Mead-
ville since 1869. Politically Mr. Austin is a Republican.

CHARLES J. BARRETT, of the firm of Barrett & Bros., of the Craw-
ford County Iron Works, manufacturers of mill furnishing machinery, steam
engines, etc., was born in Minnesota, July 25, 1849, and is a son of Samuel
and Jeanet (Osbom) Barrett, natives of England, and who emigrated in 1834,
settling in Erie City, Penn., where they now are. His father was a cabinet-
maker. There are three brothers engaged in the Crawford County Iron Works
(of which they are making a success) — C. J., J. O., and W. N. One brother,
George, is a resident of Erie City, and all the brothers are practical mechanica

SAMUEL P. BATES, LL.D., the subject of this sketch, has been chiefly
noted as an author, though his life has been singularly devoted to active pur-
suits. His writings have been principally upon educational and military
themes. His histories of the battles of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville, two
of the most sanguinary and important, in a military view, of any during the
long years of fratricidal warfare, have made his name more widely l^nown than
any of his published works, having received elaborate notice in the English
press, and been highly commended by the leading Generals in both the
Union and Confederate Armies, as well as by eminent English and French
military critics. The first, however, of his literary ventures was a volume of
Lectures on Education, which has passed through several editions and has
attained a wide circulation.

Mr. Bates was born on the 29th of January, 1827, in Mendon, Mass., where
bis ancestors for several generations had resided. -His father, Laban Bates, and
his mother, Mary (Thayer) Bates, lived to celebrate their golden wedding,
and died at the verge of eighty years. He was educated in the Worcestei
Academy, and at Brown University under the Presidency of Dr. Francis Way-
land, graduating in the class of 1851. He was noted in his college days for
his proficiency in the mathematics and in philosophy, several premiums hav-
ing been awarded him in competitive examinations. The first year after leav-
ing college was devoted to the study of English literature, chiefly the writings
of Milton and Shakespeare. For five years subsequent he was employed in
teaching the ancient languages at Meadville, Penn. — which he has made his
home — and in the meantime gained a local reputation as a lecturer on educa-
tional topics and instructor at teachers' institutes. During the four years in
which he was at the head of the Meadville Academy, he organized teachers'


classes, before which he delivered, annually, courses of lectures on the science
and practice of teaching, which gave the first impulse toward establishing
normal schools in this section of the State. In 1857 Mr. Bates was elected
Superintendent of the schools of Crawford County for a term of three years.
This was one of the largest and most influential counties in the State, having
an area nearly equal to the entire arable surface of Ehode Island. Here was
presented a wide field for the exercise of his well-defined views of education,
and he soon acquired a State reputation for ability and efficiency in educa-
tional work. It was at this period that he collected together the lectures
which he had delivered before educational bodies, which were published by
Messrs. A. S. Barnes & Co., of New York, as one of the volumes of their popular
Teacher's Library, under the title of Lectures on Mental and Moral Cult-
ure. This was soon followed by a little work entitled Methods of Conduct-
ing Teachers' Institutes, which was also made one of the numbers of the
Teachers' Library, and which has had a large sale, having become the hand-
book for conducting these useful and popular institutions. At the end of his
first term, in 1860, he was re-elected Superintendent and commissioned for a
second term, but soon afterward resigned to accept the office of Deputy State
Superintendent of Schools, tendered him by Dr. Thomas H. Burrowes, under
the administration of William F. Packer. This position he held for a period
of six years, and devoted a large portion of his time to the holding of County
Institutes, on one occasion being in the four corner counties of the Common-
wealth on four successive weeks. During this period he became widely known
by his labors in the National Teachers' Association, before which body he
delivered his address on Liberal Education, at its meeting at Ogdensburg,
N. Y., in 1864, which was published in Barnard's American Journal of
Education, and also in pamphlet form, in which it had a wide circulation. It
was in this address that the diverse pronunciation of the ancient languages
was pointedly referred to, and the necessity of professional training for
instructors in the higher institutions strongly urged. His views produced a
deep impression in educational circles, and was the origin of the agitation
which soon followed upon the subject of founding a great national university,
where persons destined to become professors in colleges and universities might
obtain a thorough training in the science of education.

At this period, in recognition of his labors in the educational field, the
degree of LL. D. was conferred upon him, a compliment fairly earned, and
judiciously bestowed. In the last year of his first term as Deputy State Super-
intendent, he was designated by Gov. Curtin to visit the colleges of the Com-
monwealth and report upon their condition. This was a delicate duty, as the
authorities generally consider themselves independent of all outside super-
vision, and regard any intrusion with a jealous eye. But so judiciously was
the work performed, that the reports brought out a vast fund of information
respecting the history and condition of these institutions, and led, in several
instances, to radical improvements in their organizations and methods of
instruction. These reports were published, and widely circulated in the jour-
nals of the day, but never have been collected in book form, which their great
value richly merited. During the first year of his service in the office of
Superintendent he was employed by Edward F. James, of Westchester, to pre-
pare a digest and brief exposition of the school law of the State, for insertion
in his volume of Toumship and Local Laws. This proved an arduous under-
taking, as heretofore no systematic guide for the administration of the school
system had ever been given, and his work formed the basis of the full
exposition which was soon after issued from the School Department, and


which he himself revised and re-wrote in the subsequent administration.
The forms of report books now used by teachers throughout the State were
devised and prepared by him, monthly reports having previously been
made on loose sheets, liable to be lost or destroyed, and often never dis-
tributed nor used. His thorough acquaintance with the practice of teaching
enabled him to systematize the operations in the central oflSce, and many of
the forms and methods for the administration of the school system, even to its
minutest details, are due to his guiding hand. After pursuing a thorough
course in the Boston School of Physical Culture, he prepared a series of arti-
cles upon this subject profusely illustrated, which were published in the
School Journal of Pennsylvania. Each article was accompanied by copious
notes on the preservation of health, together forming a complete treatise,
though never issued in book form. Deeming him eminently fitted, both by
capacity and culture for the dfficult and delicate work, Andrew G. Curtin, who
was then in the Executive Chair, appointed him, in 1866, State Historian, an
office created by act of the Legislature for the purpose of gathering the mate-
rial and setting in an enduring form a complete account of the organizations
which went forth from the State to do battle for the Union when threatened
by a rebellion unparalleled in the world's annals. To write of events that
transpired ages ago, where the material is ample, is comparatively easy, but
to gather up the fragmentary annals of campaigns scarcely finished, and weave
from them veritable narratives which shall stand the criticism of the men who
were a part of the great transactions, is a far more difiScult and embarrassing
task, and requires for its accomplishment a degree of patience and painstak-
ing, of careful discrimination and wise judgment rarely possessed. For seven
weary years he was unceasingly employed, and the result was published by
the State, at an expense of nearly a quarter of a million of dollars, in five
super royal octavo volumes of over 1,400 pages each, entitled History of Penn-
sylvania Volunteers, and forms an enduring monument of the patriotism of
the State, and of the research and taste of its author.

Upon the completion of this labor, Mr. Bates was immediately engaged
to write the Lives of the Governors of Pennsylvania, a work of over 500 octavo
pages, and is one of the pleasantest, and most absorbingly interesting of his
many works. Closely following^this was a work entitled the Martial Deeds of
Pennsylvania, published in royal octavo form of some 1,100 pages, illustrated
with maps and charts and over eighty portraits of distinguished oflScers and
civilians made famous during the war. It was also published in quarto form
in red line edition at an expense of $50 per copy. The matter is divided
into three pai-ts: Part L, general history; Part II., biographical sketches
of officers; and Part III. lives of civilians eminent in State and national
service, and other miscellaneous matter. This work has formed the topic of
more favorable criticism and eulogistic comment than any ever issued
upon the history of the Commonwealth. The History of the Battle of Gettys-
burg, which followed hard upon, a book in royal octavo, embellished with por-
traits and maps, is the one which has won for its author a more than national
reputation, "and stamped him as a war critic and arbiter of military opera-
tions of the very first order." A History of the Battle of Chancellor sville,
similar in scope and form to that upon Gettysburg, was issued from the press
in 1882, and has proved scarcely less popular. A condensed History of the
State of Pennsylvania, which forms a part of this volume, completes the list
of his book publications, though numerous fugitive writings have been scat-
tered along his whole career, among which we may mention his contributions
to the new edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, now in process of publica-


In the summer of 1877 Mr. Bates made a tour of Europe, extending
through England, Scotland, France, Italy, Switzerland. Germany and Belgium,
and upon his return prepared a series of twelve lectures upon themes suggested
by his journeyings, which he generously delivered for the benefit of the Mead-
ville Public Library. Mr. Bates was married in 1856 to Sarah Josephine
Bates, and has a family of seven children: Edward T., in the music business,
Arthur L., a practicing attorney, both of Meadville, Alfred J., Walter I., Ger-
trude L., Josephine, and Florence.

L. C. BEACH, general agent subscription books, Meadville, was born in
Vernon Township, this county, September 15, 1837, and is a son of Isaac and
Nancy (Cooper) Beach, natives of Connecticut, of English origin. The
father, who was born in 1792, came to this county in 1816 and farmed in Ver-
non Township; he died in 1872. The mother was born in 1799, and died in
1858. They were married in 1822 and had a family of nine children, of whom
eight grew to maturity and six are now living, live of whom are in this county,
L. C. and four sisters. Our subject received his education in Meadville
schools and at Allegheny College. In 1855 he commenced teaching and for
six years followed that vocation, acting as Principal of the academy for two
years. For the last twenty-two years he has devoted his time to the book busi-
ness in Meadville, as agent for publishing houses. He was married in 1864
to Mary C. Bigoney, and they have had eight children, viz.: William E.,
Bertha E. (deceased), George Frederick, Gertrude, Harry, Mary, Lucy and an
infant (deceased). Mr. Beach is a member of the I. O. O. F. He is a promi-
nent member of the Republican party in Meadville, and is now a member of
the State Assembly from this county.

F. H. BEMIS, insurance agent, Meadville, was born in Sturbridge,
Worcester Co., Mass., November 29, 1823, son of Samuel and Betsy (Bigelow)
Bemis, of English descent, former a farmer by occupation. Our subject was
raised on the farm, received a common school education and when he reached
his majority entered the Qaaboag Seminary in Warren, Mass., where he
remained, teaching school at intervals till 1847, in which year he came to Mead-
ville and attended the theological school for three years. After this Mr. Bemis
taught school at intervals till 1860, when he left for Massachusetts, remained
in that State till 1866, then returning to Meadville entered the insurance busi-
ness, which he is at present engaged in. Our subject was married in 1851 to
Sarah E., daughter of Maj. John Clark, of Mead Township, and to this union
have been born eight children, five of whom are now living, viz. : John C,
Frank L., Ella S., Herman H. and George Herbert.

DR. DANIEL BEMUS (deceased), eldest son of William and Mary (Prender-
gast) Bemus, was born in the town of Pittstown, Rensselaer Co., N. Y., on the
4th of September, 1784. His paternal grandfather, William Bemus, was, at the
time of the battle of Saratoga, the owner of and resided upon the battle-field
known as Bemus Heights. His future profession was early decided upon, and
to fit him for it, extraordinary opportunities, for those times, were afibrded
him; in addition to the advantages of the public schools, he received the
instruction of a private tutor. When nineteen years of age he commenced the
study of medicine with his uncle, Jediah Prendergast, a physician in active
practice in Pittstown. In the spring of 1805, in company with his father's
and maternal grandfather's families, in all twenty-nine persons, he went to
Tennessee to search for a new home possessing the advantages of a mild cli-
mate and productive soil. They proceeded by wagon and flat-boats to Duck
River, near Nashville, Tenn. , their intended location. Being dissatisfied with
this country, the whole family turned northward, passing through Kentucky,


Ohio, and western Pennsylvania, arriving at Erie the end of September, 1805.
The following spring they removed to their permanent home, now known as
BemuB Point, Chautauqua Lake. In the fall of 1805 Daniel went to Phila-
delphia for the purpose of attending medical lectures at the University of
Pennsylvania, going the whole distance on horseback. The next spring he
returned to the home of his uncle, Thomas Prendergast, at Westfield, N. Y.,
remaining there practicing and reading during the summer. His practice
extended from Silver Creek, N. Y. , along the Lake Shore road to Erie, Penn.,
a distance of over fifty miles. He returned to Philadelphia in the fall of
1806; attended lectures during the winter, and graduated in the spring of
1807 with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Soon after his return to his
father's home, he was requested by Dr. Kennedy, a prominent physician of
Meadville, Penn., then temporarily at his mills near Jamestown, N. Y., to take
charge of his practice during his absence, and this resulted in Dr. Bemus
locating permanently at Meadville, Dr. Kennedy retiring in his favor. On
June 12, 1810, our subject was married to Jane, daughter of William Miles,
of Union, Penn., who died August 2, 1826. To them were born two daughters
— Mary, born March 21, 1814, who married J. Stewart Riddle, an attorney of
Meadville, and who died March 3, 1839, leaving one daughter, Arianna, mar-
ried to Thomas B. Kennedy, of Chambersburg, Penn., and Julianna W., born
February 26, 1816, died December 9, 1836. Dr. Bemus next married, June
19, 1835, Mrs. Jane Clark, widow of Conner Clark and daughter of Hon. John
Brooks. By this second marriage was born May 8, 1836, Julia Prendergast,
who married George H. Bemus, a lawyer of Jamestown, N. Y., now residing
in Meadville. Their children are — William Marvin, a physician residing at
Jamestown, N. Y. ; George Prendergast, also at Jamestown; Selden, who died
in infancy, and Dudley, residing with his parents. Dr. Bemus at once took a
prominent position at Meadville, and was the leading physician for many
years. He was one of the first Trustees of Allegheny College, doing much to
j)romote the interests of that institution. The old college building was con
structed upon a plan drawn by him. He was a member of the Episcopal
Church and one of the first Vestrymen of Christ Church, Meadville. In poli-
tics he was first a Whig and then a Republican. During the war of 1812 he
was Chief Surgeon of the division commanded by Ma j.- Gen. Mead. About
1828 he built extensive woolen, flour, lumber and oil mills on French Creek,
about two miles above Meadville. As a business man he was successful,
accumulating a handsome fortune, and at his death was possessed of consid-
erable property. He died February 21, 1866, at the advanced age of eighty-
throe years. Few men of his time were better kno^v^l or more highly esteemed
in the community in which he lived.

GEORGE BEJSTNINGHOFF, retired farmer and oil producer, Meadville.
was born in Clearfield County, Penn., April B, 1825, and is a son of John and
Elizabeth (Heist) Benninghoff, who were of German ancestry. His father was
first a hatter by trade, was in later life a farmer, and succeeded at one time in
accumulating a fortune of $300,000. He was a resident of Venango County,
Penn., fourteen years, and before his death lived in Greenville, Penn, where
he died in 1882. He had twelve children, who were all at their father's
funeral but one, who was sick at the time. The father and all his sons were
Republican in politics. George Benninghoff, the eldest of the family, received
a common school education in Venango County, Penn., was reared on the farm,
and for several years pursued agriculture with success, commencing on fifty
acres of unimproved land in Venango County, which he cleared up. In 1861 he
purchased a farm in Mead Township, and removed to Meadville in 1880.


From 1860 to 1883 he was engaged as an oil producer, since when he has beeD-
retired. He was married in 1848 to Julia A., daughter of John Baney, a.
prominent farmer of Venango County, Penn. They have five children : Almena

Online LibraryFrancis Newton ThorpeHistory of Crawford County, Pennsylvania; containing a history of the county; its townships, towns, villages, schools, churches, industries, etc.; portraits of early settlers and prominent men; biographies; history of Pennsylvania; statistical and miscellaneous matter, etc., etc. Chicago, Warner, Be → online text (page 1 of 96)