Franklin Ellis.

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

. (page 110 of 193)
Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 110 of 193)
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the Bridgeport organization has not been ascertained, I
but it is certain that it was as early as or prior to the
year 1833. Before that time, for many years, the
Bridgeport members of the Brownsville Church had !
been accustomed to hold meetings for religious wor- J
ship in the stone school-house on the hill in Bridge- \
port. In 1833 they purchased from Ruth Jones lot j
No. 54 of the Bridgeport plat, .situated on Second
Street, for $230, and that lot was accordingly con-
veyed by the grantor to Joseph Reynolds, Adolph j
Merchant. Charh-s MeKall,, Tliomas Gregg, and Ed-
mund |)r:i|ier. ini- ee- t)ie Second Methodist
Episcopal rhiin h of liiowiisville. On this lot in
1834 a church edifice was built, thirtv-five bv fiftv- •

five feet in dimensions, and costing about S2000.
Its location was opposite the site of the present

In that first church building the congregation wor-
shiped for thirty j'ears. Before the end of that time
it was thought necessary to build a new edifice, and
arrangements were made to erect one, but a consider-
ation of the high prices prevailing during the war of
the Rebellion caused it to be delayed. The new
house was, however, completed in 1866, at a cost of
about 812,000, and was dedicated by the Rev. William
Pershing of Pittsburgh. The Rev. Charles W. Smith
was at that time pastor of the church.

Among the preachers who have ministered to this
church during the past twenty-two years have been
the Revs. Artemus Ward (1859), J. W. Mclntyre,
Charles W. Smith, J. J. Hayes, J. R. Mills, S. W.
Horner, C. W. Scott, Homer Smith, John C. Castle,
T. N. Eaton, and Charles Cartwright, the present
(1881) pastor. The church now numbers two hun-
dred and seventy-five members. In connection with
it is a Sabbath -school, having an attendance of about
three hundred, under the superintendency of J. Well


This church was organized in Bridgeport in 1830
by the Rev. William Collins, who was its first preacher.
In the following year a stone building was erected as
a house of worship on lot No. 46, which was at that
time bargained to tlie trustees of this church, but was
not transferred by deed until Oct. 16, 1849. The
location was on the side of the hill, where the resi-
dence of James Kidnew now stands. This old church
edifice was used by the society until 1866, when the
building of the Wesleyan Methodists was purchased.
The old meeting-house was then sold, and the Wes-
leyan building has since that time been used as the
Methodist Protestant house of worship.

The Rev. William Collins, above mentioned as the
organizer of this church, was succeeded by the Rev.
John Lucas, since whose time there have been a great
number of preachers serving the congregation, among
whom are recollected John Wilson, George Hughes,
William B. Dunlevy, and Zachariah Ragan in the
old church, and the Revs. Stillwagon, Caruthers,
Mark Taylor, J. Simpson, and Henry Lucas since
the occupation of the house purchased from the Wes-
leyans. The Rev. Henry Lucas is the present preacher
in charge. The church now numbers fifty members.


The date of the organization of this church has not
been definitely ascertained, but it is known that it
was in existence some years prior to 1848, at which
time it had a membership of about seventy-five, and
in which year also its meeting-house (the same which
is now the Methodist Protestant house of worship)
was erected. During its existence the church was
served by the Revs. Smith, John P. Bcdker,



Lyell, Laughead, Tolgen, Planet, McBride, and A.
D. Carter, who was the last of its preachers. At
about the close of the war of the Rebellion the society
disintegrated, and their church edifice was sold to the
Protestant Methodists as before mentioned.

Concerning the African Methodist Episcopal and
the African Zion Wesleyan Methodist Churches of
Bridgeport little information has been obtained be-
yond the fact that the trustees of the former organi-
zation purchased, on the 13th of June, 1840, from
Robert Patterson, for the consideration of forty dol-
lars, lot No. 136, on Cadwallader Street, for church
purposes, and that the trustees of the Wesleyan
Church (which is not now in existence) purchased
lot No. 130 from Lucinda Tucker on the 4th of March,
1840. More extended sketches of these churches
were requested from, and promised by, the Rev. Ben-
jamin Wheeler, but they have not been received.


In February or March, 1832, two ministers of anew
denomination, known as the Cumberland Presby-
terian, came to the town of Brownsville. The names
of these preachers were Alfred M. Bryan and Milton
Bird. Both came from what was then the far South-
west. The church they represented had been organ-
ized in Tennessee about twenty years before, and had
already in the West grown into a denomination of
strength and influence. About the beginning of the
century a great religious revival had been kindled in
many of the Presbyterian Churches in Kentucky and
Tennessee, in the region then known as the Cumber-
land country. This revival continued for ten years,
and the whole aspect of society in that region was
affected by it. New life was imparted to the church,
and Christian truth acquired new power over the
hearts and lives of many. Growing out of this re-
vival certain questions sprung up which brought dis-
agreement, and out of these questions grew the hope-
less breach which caused the formation of a new and
independent Presbytery in February, 1810, and finally
of the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination.

In the spring of 1831 this new church held its Gen-
eral Assembly at Princeton, Ky. A communication
was laid before this body from certain ruling elders
of a Presbyterian Church in Washington County, Pa.,
asking information about Cumberland Presbyterians,
and requesting that ministers of the new church
should be sent to Western Pennsylvania. In answer
to this request several preachers had come to Wash-
ington County in the fall of 1831. Their preaching
everywhere was attended with surprising results.
Scores of anxious inquirers knelt at every service.
The revival influence spread rapidly. Several con-
gregations of the new denomination were organized in
Washington and Greene Counties.

I Bj Eev. J. M. Iluwa

The two preachers named above — Bryan and Bird
— had crossed the Monougahela, and were holding a
meeting at an old Methodist meeting-house four
miles from Brownsville, known as Hopewell. The
usual result had followed, and a great revival was in
progress. At the solicitation of friends of the new
movement, these two ministers came to Brownsville
to spend two days. Mr. Bird preached in the fore-
noon of the first day at the Methodist Episcopal
Church. Mr. Bryan preached in the evening. Crowds
of people left their work to attend. the services. A
large number of "seekers of religion" crowded the
altar. Next day and evening the services were held
in the Episcopal Church, and even greater results fol-
lowed than on the day before. Many of the leading
people in the town professed faith in Christ. Some
who are yet living and who still occupy prominent
places in society here were among the converts. The
meeting ended with these two days, and, strange to
say, no effort was made to organize a church, and the
fruits of the two days' revival was gathered by the
other churches of the town.

The Rev. John Morgan, who about this time be-
came pastor of the Cumberland Presbyterian Cliurch
at Uniontown, did not visit Brownsville till a good
while later, but he and others still preached here oc-
casionally. Among these early preachers the names
of Le Roy Woods, S. M. Sparks, I. N. Gary, John
Gary, S. E. Hudson, and W. E. Post are mentioned.
As early as the year 1840 the last-mentioned min-
ister began to hold meetings once or twice a month
in an old stone building on Front Street, Brownsville
(formerly the Black Horse tavern), standing on or
near the lot now known as the Sweitzer property.
Some time afterward the Baptists, who then had a
flourishing congregation here, finished their church,
which still stands on Church Struct, and moved out
of Masonic Hall, where they had worsliijied hith-
erto. The Cumberland Presbyterians now rented
this hall, and held services in it regularly every two

We are told that considerable success attended
tliese efforts, but we have no record of the work until
the spring of 1844. In April of that year a peti-
tion signed by a number of the citizens of Browns-
ville and vicinity was presented to Union Presby-
tery, asking that body to organize a church here.
The record informs us that after Presbytery duly con-
sidered the propriety of the petition it was granted,
and the Rev. S. E. Hudson was appointed to assist
Rev. W. E. Post in said organization. For some
reason this action was not carried out until five
months later, Sept. 10, 1844. The Rev. J. T. A.
Henderson was present and assisted at the organi-
zatit)n. There are thirty names on the original roll.
Josiah Waggoner and William Robbins were elected
and ordained ruling elders.

Mr. Post continued his labors with the congregation
thus organized until October, 1840. The growth of



the church was not rapid, the roll showing less than
forty names at that date. The services were still held
in Masonic Hall. From October, 1846, to April,
1847, "the congregation was furnished with preach-
ing by supplies." Rev. J. T. A. Henderson, Rev. A.
G. Osborn, Rev. A. M. Blackford, and Rev. Isaac
Hague visited and preached for the congregation in
this interval.

In April, 1847, Rev. Isaac Hague, now of Gales-
burg, 111., took charge of the work, continuing his
services till tlie fall of 1848. In the mean time the
place of meeting had been changed from the Masonic
Hall, Brownsville, to the Methodist Episcopal Church,

Mr. Hague's efforts were quite successful, and in
one revival meeting there were thirteen additions to
the church. Removals and deaths, however, left not
more than si.xty in communion when he closed his
labors. Mr. Hague lived in the country, and as his
visits were only semi-monthly, he could not look con-
stantly after the work as he might have done with a
home in the midst of the people.

On June 23, 1847, William H. Bennett and James
M. Abrann were elected ruling elders.

The Rev. A. B. Brice succeeded Rev. Isaac Hague
in the fall of 1848. He preached here one-half his
time till the fall of 1849. In January, 1850, he took
charge of the congregation, giving his entire time to
the work. Mr. Brice remained in charge of the work
for six years, and during his stay " there were fre-
quent outpourings of the divine spirit and many
were brought into the church."

About the year 1850, Oliver C. Cromlow was elected
ruling elder. Dr. Brice was editor of the Cumberland
Presbyterinn, the organ of the denomination in Penn-
sylvania and Ohio. This paper was for several years
published at Brownsville, having been moved here
from Uniontown.

About the close of Mr. Hague's labors it became
necessary to change the place of holding the meet-
ings, and the congregation moved to the old town
hall in West Brownsville. The necessity of building
a church began to be reco:nized, and subscriptions
for the purpose were started. In the spring of 1848
a lot was srriired in the upper part of Bridgeport, and
a neat briik structure, one story high, forty by sixty
feet, was erected. The plastering was finished in
December, 1848, and the church was dedicated in
February, 1849, Rev. Hiram Hunter, then pastor at
Uniontown, preaching the dedicatory sermon.

The Rev. A. B. Brice, D.D., continued in charge
of the church until April, 1855. His successor was
the Rev. William Campbell, D.D., who also succeeded
Dr. Brice as editor of the Cumberland Presbijterian.
He continued to labor as pastor and editor till April,
1857, when he resigned the charge of the church and
took the paper to Pittsburgh.

The Rev. A. J. Swain became pastor in April,
1857, continuing to labor in that capacity four years.

till April, 1861. The record shows about forty ac-
cessions in the six years following 1855. Rev. N. D.
Porter succeeded Rev. A. J. Swain. Tjis was the
memorable year which marked the beginning of the
great Rebellion. The work of the church was greatly
retarded at the time by the prevailing excitement,
but in January and February, 1862, there was an ex-
tensive revival, with one hundred and fourteen pro-
fessions and nearly seventy accessions to the church.
Mr. Porter was assisted in this meeting by the Rev.
Henry S. Bennett, of Brownsville, and Rev. G. F.
Wright, of White Hall, N. Y. The congregation
afterwards continued to enjoy a good degree of pros-
perity, though there was no other extensive revival
under Mr. Porter's ministry.

Freeman Wise had been made ruling elder in
March, 1859, and that office was conferred on J. D.
Arm.strong in March, 1862.

Mr. Porter ceased to labor with this church in
January, 1864. The congregation was without a
minister until the July following, when Rev. G. W.
McWherter was called as a supply, and continued in
that capacity until April, 1865. The congregation
was again without a pastor until July, 1865, when
" Rev. J. T. A. Henderson was called for six months,"
and in April, 1866, " he was called to supply the
church for an indefinite period." Mr. Henderson
divided his time between Brownsville and Hopewell.
There had been very few additions to the church
since the revival of 1862 until February, 1866, at
which time, under Mr. Henderson's ministry, about
thirty were added to the church.

At some time during the spring or summer of 1868
(the record does not show the exact date) Rev. J. T.
A. Henderson resigned, and the congregation was
again for a time without a minister. Rev. L. Axtell
was next called as a supply, and continued for some
months in that capacity.

About the 1st of November, 1870, Rev. J. H. Coulter
took charge of the work. During the time of these
frequent changes the church made little progress.
In October, 1871, Mr. Coulter, assisted by Rev. A. J.
Baird, D.D., of Nashville, Tenn., held a series of
meetings of the most succe.'ssful character. About
forty were added to the church, and the work for a
time received a new impetus. About the middle of
June, 1872, Rev. J. H. Coulter resigned, and the con-
gregation was without a minister until December of
the same year, when Rev. J. M. Howard, the present
pastor, was called. At this time there were many
things to dishearten and few to encourage the friends
of the struggling congregation. During the first two
years of Mr. Howard's ministry here not more than a
dozen joined the church, and this gain was balanced
by losses by removals, dismissions, and deaths.

On the morning of the 8th of October, 1874, the
church was entirely destroyed by fire, and there being
no insurance on the property the loss seemed fatal to
the congregation. Efforts were, however, immediately



set on foot to raise funds to rebuild, and in the spring
of 1875 work was begun on the jiresent building.
The congregation secured the use of what is known '
as "Templars' Hall," in that part of the town called
"The Neck," and the regular services were continued
there. The basement of the new building was ready
to occup)' Feb. 20, 1876. At that time an "opening
service" was held, Rev. A. B. Miller, D.D., president
of Waynesburg College, preaching an appropriate ser-
mon. Rev. Henry Melville, then pastor of the Cum-
berland Presbyterian Church in Uniontown, assisted
in the services and preached in the evening. The
new building and lot have so far cost about $7000.
The congregation still worship in the basement,
but the audience-room is to be finished this year
(1881). The building committee having the work in
charge consists of J. D. Armstrong, Seaburn Craw-
ford, and George L. Moore.

In February and March of 1876 an extensive re-
vival of religion prevailed in this church. Mr. How-
ard, the pastor, was assisted by Rev. A. J. Swain.
There were, growing out of this revival, about fifty
accessions to the church. The Sunday-school had
grown from about forty in 1872 to more than two

hundred, being at this time the banner .school in the

In October, 1877, there was another extensive re-
vival. At this time the p.astor was assisted by Rev.
W. S. Danley, of Carmichael's, Greene Co. More
than sixty members were added to the church. In
the spring of 1877 the " Murphy temperance work"
had begun in this church, and a large number who
had been reclaimed from intemperance joined the
church during the revival in October.

In February, 1881, the church enjoyed another re-
vival, which resulted in about one hundred professions
and about fifty accessions to the church. The Rev.
Samuel McBride, pastor of the Cumberland Presby-
terian Church of McKeesport, and Rev. A. W. White,
pastor of Hopewell Church, assisted the pastor.

In September, 1874, John S. Pringle, John Sjiringer,
and Geo. L. Moore were chosen ruling elders ; these,
with J. D. Armstrong, constitute the present board of

The number now on the church roll is about two
hundred. The Sunday-school has about two hundred,
with an average attendance of one hundred and thirty.
The present pastor has been here nearly nine years.


This township is on the northern border of the
county, the second from the east. Its general length
from north to south is about nine miles, or about
double its width. The eastern boundary is formed
by the Chestnut Ridge, which separates it from the
townships of Salt Lick and Springfield ; on the south
is Connellsville ; on the west are Tyrone, and West-
moreland County, Jacob's Creek separating the latter
from Bullskin ; and on the north is Westmoreland
County. The area embraced within these bounds is
about 24,320 acres of land, varying from rolling to
mountainous, the western half, in general, being till-
able. The township is drained south and west by
Mounts' Creek and its affluents. White's, Butler's,
Spruce, and Yellow vSprings Runs, Jacob's Creek,
and Green Lick Run. Most of these are constant
streams, and afford good mill-seats. Their valleys
vary from a quarter to half a mile in width, and are
fertile, while their hillsides are usually quite produc-
tive. The celebrated Connellsville coal-beds underlie
the western part of Bullskin, while in the eastern
part iron ore of excellent quality and almost unlim-
ited quantity abounds. Fire-clay also is found in
many localities. Much of the mineral wealth of the

township has been developed with rich returns to the
owners of the lands, whose agricultural value, too,
com])ares not unfavorably with other lands in the

The attractive appearance of many parts of Bull-
skin caused many claims to be made at an early day,
before the question to the proprietorship of the lands
was determined. Hence there was in the township
a patent issued by Thomas and Richard Penn, in the
belief that they had a right to the soil. It was
granted to William Robertson, Jan. 12, 1771, and
covered the valuable lands lying on both sides of
Jacob's Creek, between Lobengier's and Snyder's
mills. Ralph Cherry successfully disputed the va-
lidity of this patent, and the litigation which arose
therefrom covers many pages of the records of the
courts. Although Robertson failed to dispossess
Cherry, it sppears that the latter did not perfect his
claim until many years after his settlement. The
survey was not made until 1787, several years after
the warrant was issued. Ten surveys in the township
were made earlier.

In the list of original surveys in what was formerly
Bulltkin township appear the following-named per-



sons as the owners of tlie number of acres of '
set oi^posite their names :'

William A,T

.. 391

Casper Etiing

JUnry Aiiauis

.. 21

Joseiih Eieher

D. B. AJiVUis

... 55

Cliflord Elder


... .366

Eliza Elder....

Margaret Butler

... S3

Thomas Flemi

FiTd Bnnders

... 357

(ieorge Frame.

Convad Bi.tes

... 8!)

Charles Fo.-lei

F. BandiTs

... 399

John Foreman

Tllomas Brown

... SS

Jacob Farrv...

Joseph Bnii.ks


Ahel Faolk"., .



Philip Flack...

Frederick Birg

... 3:5

John Frember

Lavid B.rg ...!


Killiin liuerii

Oeorgc Batchelor

llo-h Cucrin-

I'eter Bucher

... l.'i-l

Kierliiirt (loll

AVilliiun Bo.vd

lleiniaii IIcIiIk

George Burton

... .".li-

\':ilei,iine i;ie

Samuel Black

AloMio liMllen

Charks Brewer

John liallowaN

Edmund Brewer

.^dain llatfiele

Philip Bool


llohc:! Hood..

Alexander Baile.v

... !■''

.!..:.,■ Il,ul..n..

Jesse Bracken

" • - Il"-g.

Ehenezer Branham

AVillinm Bovlc

... :.i.i

l;i.ii,u4 ll;ivi

John Brewer

... o7

I.eor-.- J. llil


... US

John Ih./.leloi

Henry E. Brown

... 119

I'rice Uig^ius

Adam Culler


Willi.nn ilarb

John Cu.npton

... 297

J,ih„ II;, lMn_

Ann Connell

... 307

Alexander Cummings..

... 150

Adam Cli].li>er

... til)

1 1 , • . . . !],■'.

Zichariah Connell

... CO"

.l"-i'|.,i [|..:: i,.

Raehel Clierrv

.loll,, 11", Ii..i4

Ann Cher, y

... |o.:

-i'ii,,':v lli^-ji

Abraham CoUadav

Thomas Cross '.

... :;u

Kob.rl l,uu;. Cvman

Jo.,c|,h J.nvi,-

llalph Cherrv

Zachariah Connell

'.'.'. 403

William Joile-s

... 147

Hichar.l John

William Craulord

... 300

John KioL'....

Ilivam Connell

... 404

Sohonon K.o,

John R. Connell

... 414

James .McK,.,

James Connell

... 405

K„.,..r .M.Ke,-

Thomas Connell

.. 3Sfl

Ji.lui F. Kn,il

John Ciirv

... 1S7

P.'ter Ke-lar

John Cn-t

... Ills

(.e,„-e Ke.^la

Isaac Ce - 1

... 21 9

I'.M,,,- K, ■•-'„,


... MS

.\n,lrew Ke,-1

Thoma- Cr:,ubod

... 4:12

Pl,il,p K:,!p. .

Wiirunn r,,;,.

... 117

.I,,l,n Kel.le ..

ll.nrv CM,,M„,n_.

... I'.r.l

.Marlii, Klipi.


Peter HiUv

'.'.'. 305

John k-.lhr,',V




John Da




George .T




John ].,


Israel 1),


James D


Peter Di


John Du


John Do



Simon D


John Meason

John Muir

John Miner

David Miller

Isauc Meason

William Norton, Jr

Robert Neil

James Neigh

William Newbold..,

William Nob

Ludwig Nogle

James iXob

John Nob

Job Nob

Samuel Nob

Jacob Nob

I^ampson Nob

Solomon Nob

David Nob

Frederick Nob

Joseph Nob

Joseph Ogden

William Orr

Richard Phillips...
Christian Perkey...

John Purdon

Eleazar Perkins ...

William Potter

Samuel Pritts

William Palmer....
William Robertson

Daniel Kesler

Thomas li'iston

<'l,M,-l,,tle l:u-l„n...
.M;i,v l;„-t,.i,


Reuben Skinner



.Samuel Skinner



Richard Skinner



William R.Solomon..



D.avidS. Spear



John Stephenson



William Stewart



James Stephen.von



Thomas Shields



Jacob Swink



William Smith



John Smith




William Smith....


Nicholas Smith..


Jacob .-trickier...


James Sonell


George Swink


Henry Sheets


Jacob Shce's


David Turner


.John Truby


Peter Truby


Simon Truby


James Truby


Andrew Trapp....


Cxeorge Trump....


Peter Tcderow....


Jacob Thorpe....




l;e,:l,.,i Thorpe..
\i, h, « T,app....

;M„.l.„el TagginT


Andrew Trapp....


Henry Ullrey


James M. Uljrey


Henry M. Ullrey


Daniel Wilt


David A. Wilt...


Jacob L. Wilson.


William Wood...


Benjamin Wolfe.


Rice Wolfe


William Wolfe...


Abraham Wortm


Isaac White




Adam White


Henry White


Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 110 of 193)