Franklin Ellis.

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

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county. The present saw-mill was built in 1855.

On the John Miner place was formerly a distillery,
carried on by that family, and lately a steam saw-
mill, which has been removed.

Where is now Boyd's saw-mill Christian Reist had
a saw-mill in the early settlement of the country, and
later another mill was operated there by Thomas
Boyd. The present mill is owned by Wm. Boyd,
who also had a shingle-mill before 1857. The race-
way is 80 rods long, and there is a tradition that it
was dug for fifty cents per rod, much of the excava-
tion being solid rocks. On Butler Eun, George Hat-
field and others had small saw-mills, which have been
discontinued.

On White's Run, Henry White had saw- and grist-
mills soon after the settlement of the township, small
and rude at first, but giving place to better mills in
time, which had many owners. In the order of pos-
session were Boyd & Davidson, Thomas and Joseph
Boyd, Thomas E. Davidson, Dr. James C. Cummings,
and, later, the heirs of T. E. Davidson. For the past
four years the property has belonged to Nathan Gil-
more. The present mill was built about thirty years
ago. It is a fine building and has good machinery,
but the location is unfavorable for a successful milling
business. The saw-mill is more successfully operated.

A number of small tanneries have been carried on
in Bullskin, and several of greater proportions. In
1838, Levi Bradford built a good tannery at the Yel-
low Stone Springs, which had a capacity for working
up three thousand hides per year. After a few years
steam was supplied, and although the tannery has



been discontinued a score of years, the boiler was not
removed until recently. Fayette Tannery was oper-
ated nineteen years by Levi Bradford, and several
years more by John Taylor.

At Pennsville, Benjamin Shallenbarger had a tan-
nery about 1812, the yard being just above the barn'
of Jacob J. Stonecker. Samuel Newmeyer carried on
the business next. Tanning was also carried on by
the Shallenbargers on the A. H. Sherrick farm; but
some time about 1852 they put up a good tannery in
the western part of Pennsville, having a yard under
roof which contained thirty vats. Steam-power was
used, and a large amount of business was done by the
several firms, — the Shallenbarger Brothers, Levi Brad-
ford, Boyd & Overholt, and Boyd, Myers & Co. The
latter firm owned the tannery when it ceased to
operate, about 1873, Eli McCleUan being the man-
ager.

The abundance of fire-clay has made the manufac-
ture of brick a profitable industry in the township,
and several works have lately been established. The
"Southwest Fire-Brick Works" were built at Moyer
Station in 1871, by Sysson, Kilpatrick & Co., and are
yet operated by that firm. Employment is given to
seventeen hands, under the management of Anthony
Sourd. The works are well appointed, embracing
four ovens, having a capacity of eight thousand fire-
brick (for lining coke-ovens) per day, which find a
ready market in the county.

On the Narrow-Gauge Eailroad at Green Lick,
John W. Kinnear began the manufacture of fire-
brick in the summer of 1880, and after a successful
season the works were destroyed by fire, March 29,
1881. The mouldiug-roora was thirty-five by eighty
feet, with large engine-house attached. Four thou-
sand brick per day were made. It is the purpose of the
proprietor to rebuild the works.

The manufacture of iron constituted an important
industry in Bullskin half a century ago. Along the
base of Chestnut Eidge an excellent quality of ore is
found, which is easily fluxed, producing a metal which
is highly esteemed. Near one of these mineral de-
posits, on Mounts' Creek, north of the centre of the
township, "the Mount Vernon Furnace" was built
about 1807 or 1808, by Isaac Meason, for his son Isaac,
who operated it a number of years. It had but a
small stack, yet was so well managed that in all about
sixty men were employed. Before the furnace went
out of blast, in 1830, the second growth of timber was
cut over for the purpose of making the charcoal neces-
sary to carry it on. Considerable metal was cast into
kettles and other moulded work at the furnace, the
products being carried to Connellsville for shipment.
Among the managers were Jonathan Mayberry and
a young man named Taylor. The furnace was last
operated by David B. Long, and by him blown out of
blast. Nothing but the stack, a solid piece of ma-
sonry, remains to show the location, on land wliich



496



HISTORY OF FAYETTE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.



is now the property of George Hogg. Several years
after the furnace was abandoned, John Anderson
worked over a part of the cinders, having a small
stamping-machine for this purpose, his enterprise
being attended with considerable profit. In the
neighborhood of the old furnace ore is now mined by
the Charlotte Furnace Company of Scottdale, the
products of the mines being carried away by their
narrow-gauge railway, which has its eastern terminus
in these hills. Formerly the furnace-owners had
mills to cut their own lumber and to grind the feed
for their animals, but the powers in use have long
since been abandoned. In the southern part of the
township, on White's Run, the " Findley Furnace"
was erected in 1818. It was more widely known by
the name of Breakneck, a term wliich wu< applied to
it while being built on account of an accident which
one of the workmen sustained, falling from the stack
at the risk of bodily injury, which caused him to say
"that it was a regular breakneck affair." The enter-
prise was begun by Col. William L. Miller, but before
the furnace was completed Messrs. Rogers and Paull
became interested parties, although Col. Miller was
the nominal owner and manager. Later the furnace
was carried on by John Boyd and William Davidson
as lessees, and last by David B. Long, who blew it out
of blast in the fall of 1837. The furnace had a capa-
city of one hundred tons per month, but the product
usually did not exceed seventy tons. The water sup-
ply failing, steam was supplied several years before
the furnace was discontinued. In the foundry de-
partment from four to six moulders were employed.
Among the workmen at both of the foregoing fur-
naces was George Adams, now one of the most aged
citizens of Bullskin.

The mining of coal and manufacture of coke at
present constitutes the chief interest in the develop-
ment of the minerals in Bullskin. For some years
the "Pennsville Mines" property has been the most
productive. It was owned by A. H. Sherrick, and em-
braces all the privileges of one hundred and sixty-five
acres of land. Here coal was mined in a small way
fifty years ago by the Shallenbargers and others, but
it was not until 1872 that the product of the mines
was converted into coke. In that year Mr. Sherrick
began the construction of his coke-works, grading a
yard about a quarter of a mile from the line of the
Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad. Seventy ovens
were built, and most of them lighted in the summer
of 1873. Nearly all of these have been kept in fire
since that time, the daily product being from seven
to nine cars of forty-eight-hour coke. The shaft in
the mine has been sunk to the depth of one-third of
a mile, and the coal is taken from a nine-foot vein,
which is underlaid by a fine stratum' of limestone. ]
In connection with the mines are several shops and
seven dwellings. The hands employed number fifty, I
and are under the personal superintendence of A. H.



Sherrick. L. M. Smith is the yard boss, and Alex-
I ander Taylor the pit boss. These works now embrace
I seventy ovens, and are owned and operated by A. O.

Tinstman & Co.

The Eldorado Coke-Works at Moyer's antedate
; those at Pennsville by about one year. In 1871, John
I Moyer, of Mount Pleasant, secured the coal privilege
of a tract of land belonging to the Beidler farm, and
engaged to erect forty ovens adjoining the railroad-
track, having a sub-lease from Brunot & Detweiler.
After the coke-works were operated several years they
j became the property of Brunot & Detweiler, who
leased them to W. F. Zuck and Joseph B. Henry,
who were the operators till August, 1880, when the
' property passed into possession of the Cleveland Roll-
ing Mill Company. To the original forty ovens
I forty more had been added by Zuck & Henry, and
one hundred and forty-five more have since been
I added by W. J. Rainey & Co., the present owners.
The company controls the coal of three hundred and
four acres, owning the entire privileges of one hun-
dred and fifty acres thereof, and having a large capital
at command, will prosecute the work till the enter-
prise at this point will be one of the most important
in the county. In April, 1881, one hundred and
I twenty-five men were employed under the superin-
tendence of Frank R. Bradford. The yard boss was
.1. W. Brooks, and the mines were carried on under
I the direc ion of J. B. Henry. The coal is superior
I for coking, and lies in a vein nine feet in thickness.
On the 1st of March, 1881, a new shaft was sunk, from
which will be drawn the future supplies of the works.
In addition to the attendant buildings at the cokery,
the company carries on a store and owns seventy-five
neat residences which are occupied by the workmen.
At Moyer's is a flag-station of the Southwest Penn-
sylvania Railroad, and a post-office, which was estab-
lished Dec. 20, 1880, with John H. McAflee post-
master. It is kept in the store of David Loutz, and
two mails per day are provided. The mercantile bus-
iness at that point was established in the spring of
1880 by Zuck & Henry, passing from them to Lontz
in the fall of the same year.

PENNSVILLE.

This hamlet, the oldest in Bullskin township, is on
the Mount Pleasant road, four miles from Connells-
ville, and about a mile east from the Tyrone line.
It is a flag-station on the Southwest Pennsylvania
Railroad, contains a very fine school edifice, a church,
several stores, and about two dozen houses. The
lots were sold off from the Cochrane and Strickler
farms by George Newmeyer and W. P. Kelley, among
the first purchasers being Henry Shallenbarger and
Bushrod Washington, both putting up houses about
1848 in the vicinity of the Disciples' meeting-house.
The Pennsville post-office was established soon after,
and was first kept by David Shallenbarger. Thence



BULLSKIN TOWNSHIP.



497



came, as other postmasters, John J. Hurst, .1. M.
Kurtz, Loyd Shallenbarger. Rice Boyd, I^ F. Miller,
for one and a half years, and since Jan. 1, 1880, Dr.
Wra. Chalfant. The office has two mails per day.
The first store at Pennsville was kept by John S.
Strickler in the long building opposite the present
Miller stand. This was occupied by many firms,
among others by Christopher Stonecker, David Shal-
lenbarger, John J. Hurst, Franks & Overholt, Loyd
Shallenbarger, John McAdams, Joseph Newcomer,
Rice Boyd, Boyd & Overholt, Livingood & Miller,
and L. F. Miller. In 1872 the latter occupied his
present business house, where, in April, 1881, he
associated with A. H. Sherrick, under the firm-name
of Miller & Sherrick. Other merchants in the place
have been Christian Pool, Hosack & Bougher, Aus-
tin and John Campbell, and George Newmeyer, the
latter in the small brick building on the present Stoner
farm.

In former days Pennsville had several large me-
chanic shops, and since 1852 Wm. C. Lyon has car-
ried on wagon-making at this place. From 1850 to
1853 fanning-mills were here made by David Shallen-
barger and George Newmeyer & Co. From four to
eight men were employed in the shops, and three or
four men were kept engaged peddling the mills
throughout tlie country.

Alexander Frazer had the first public-house, keep-
ing it in the house now occupied by his widow, and
serving as landlord eight years, from 1850 till 1858.
At that time a line of stages ran through the place,
and the office was at the Frazer tavern. Near the
same time Stephen Mclntyre had an inn where is
now the residence of Eli McClellan, and when he
retired the house was kept by Samuel and John
Eicher, the last to keep a tavern at Pennsville, which
has not had a public-house for a score of years. At the
last-named place a stage-office was also kept. In the
period of the great Western immigration, from 1785
to 1812, many taverns were kept in Bullskin, but as
these were more of the nature of traveler's inns, and
the doors of nearly every house on the principal
thoroughfares were open to accommodate the home-
seekers, no account of them is taken here.

Country stores have been kept at various points in
Bullskin. At Detweiler's and Long's Mills, north of
Pennsville, a store was opened in 1865 by John T.
Staufler for the sale of dry-goods. It was sold to
AVilliam Lane, who changed it to a grocery-store,
and as such it has been continued the past fourteen
years by Nancy Stillwagon. The village of Bridge-
. port, on Jacob's Creek, is partly in Bullskin, but all
the business interests are in Westmoreland County.

Dr. Apollos Lohr was probably the first regular
physician to locate in Bullskin. He opened an office
at Pennsville in 1850, and had as a contemporary a
short time his brother. Dr. James Lohr. Both re-
moved to Ohio. Before they left Dr. John Lutz
came as a practitioner, and continued until his death,



about twenty years ago. Ne.xt came Dr. W. D. Riggs,
who was succeeded, in April, 1867, by the present
physician. Dr. W. B. Chalfant, who came to Penns-
ville from Brownsville. He graduated at the Cleve-
land Medical College in 1859. He enjoys the repu-
tation of being a successful practitioner.

EDUCATIONAL AND RELIGIOUS.

One of the first schools in the township was taught
in a building near the Baptist Church. It was simply
a log cabin, but the school was well attended, and
for those times was considered very good. Pupils
were in attendance from the Stonecker, Shank, New-
meyer, Stockman, Latta, Shallenbarger, Highlands,
Myers, Smutz, Garver, and other families. In the
northern part of the township the settlers first sent
their children to Westmoreland County. One of the
first schools in what is known as Mud District was
taught by Samuel Shupe, and later by George A.
Hollingsworth. The Lattas, Freeds, Shafers, Robert-
sons, and others were among the first attendants.

In what is known as the Gault District was one of
the pioneer school buildings, where David Lindsay
taught a number of years. He was a teacher the
greater part of his life, his death occurring some time
about 1840. Mrs. Lindsay yet lives, at the home of
her daughter, Mrs. C. Kelley, at the age of eighty
years. Her recollections of early school-days would
not encourage many to engage as teachers. The sal-
ary was small, and much of the pay consisted of farm
produce, or such things as the settlers could conve-
niently spare, at the rate of §1.50 per scholar for a
quarter's instruction.

Under the common-school system Bullskin was
divided in 1836 into districts, and the families re-
siding therein enumerated. District No. 1, an.swering
in general to the present Breakneck District, had
forty-seven families; District No. 2, or the southwest
part of the township, contaim^il forty faniilies; Dis-
trict No. 3, now about the Gault Di-li id, liml lorty-one
families; District No. 4, the northwest part of the
township, had thirty-nine families. The First Half-
District — the Pennsville settlement — had twenty-
one families ; the Second Half District — those living
at what is now Bridgeport — had nineteen families ;
and in the Mountain District lived John StaufTer,
Jacob Anderson, Washington Washabaugh, Amos
Butler, Christopher Butler, David Washabaugh, John
Hoffhans, Samuel Banders, Samuel White, Abraham
Co.x, and Samuel Coffman.

The board of directors was composed of Wni. An-
drews, president; D. B. Long, secretary ; Henry Det-
weiler, treasurer; Thomas Boyd, George Brothers,
Richard Gault, and Henry Freed. These voted, Aug.
13, 1836, to open schools at the Findley Furnace, at
Richard Gault's, and at Abraham Pershing's. James
Pemberton was the teacher at Findley ; David Lind-
sey at Gault's, and the following year taught at Per-
shing's. In 1837 the school-house in the ICell District



498



HISTORY OF FAYETTE COUNTY^ PENNSYLVANIA.



was erected by Wm. Boyd for S288. The same year
the Mountain District was allowed to build a school-
house at the expense of the citizens of that part of
the township. In May of the same year it was voted
to sign a contract for an octagon school-house in the
First Half-District. This house was on the Tyrone
line, west of Pennsville, and was a prominent land-
mark in its day. The teachers in 1837 and the fiw
years following were G. Buttermore, George W. New-
meyer, Robert Huey, Ann Parker, Anna C. Pershing,
John Strickler, Sarah UUrey, James W. Snow, James
A. Black, Randolj,!, Boyd, George Friek, Josiah StiU-
wugon, Jtjse])li D. Long, Wm. Hixon, Joseph Sechrist,
David Linil^cy, Jonathan Garver, John Edgar, Henry
SnivL'ly, Klijah Yuiikin, Henry Ullrey, Martha Mc-
Kown, John Harrold, John L. Jleans, James Pem-
bertoii, Sarah Kell, Wm. P. Baker, Nancy Robertson,
•John JI. Peoples, Otho Williams, Francis Andrews,
James Hunter, Austin Lane, Davis A. Hannum, Jacob
Berg, Jacob Lobengier, Andrew Kesslar, Sarah Lind-
sey, Jonathan Shallenliarger, Joseph Detweiler, Jo- \
seph A. :\Iarietta, James A. Martin, A. Stauffer, Wm.
Tli.,mas P.. Norris.

i|i ha-; lii-iu supplied with a good class
\\"~i in -cveral districts being commo-
whal i> L'cnerally found in the country,
ildingat Pennsville i> a twn-~t. TV biirk,
?n furnished throughout with iiiodrrn
ipparatus. The buildrr wa< P. C. Crim,
cfn- s:i:;i.-., and the liou-e was turned



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particular with the terms of the
ise took the place of a small brick
on its site, and which was the suc-
T.n lionsr. The Pennsville school
s" by 44 male and 38 female pupils,
r in-trurtion of J. M. Moore. The \

average daily attendance was just one-half the num-
ber enrolled. Other teachers of the sehoid were, in

1871, Lucy Enfield; 1872, H. R. Franas ; 187:!, D.

McClellan ; 1874, N. B. Tannehill ; 1875, J. S. Spiegel

and Jacob Auliley ; 1870, James S. Best ; 1877, John

H. Weddle; 1878, Lizzie Leonard ; 1879, Clark Fra-

zer and George Sherrick.

Since the records of the annual elections have been '

preserved the following have been school directors :

18J0.— Wm. Boyd and John B. Troxell.

1S41. — Joseph Ueidlci- and Jacob Kice.

1SJ2.— George Brolhurs and David Polling.

184:!.— John Miner and Thomas HoUe.

]844.— Samuel Johnson and S.imuel Rice.

1345. — Percival Hamilton and Jacob Freed.

1846.— David Shallenbarger and Bartholomew Yost.

1847.^Samuel White and Jonathan Newmeycr.

1848.— Andrew Walker and Joseph Beidler.

1849.— Bartholumew Yost and Solomon Eiling.

]SJO.— Christopher R. Stoneckor and Appolos Lohr.

lS.il.— John .Miner and George Shupe.

lS.i2.— John M. Coup and John K. Andrew?.

1 So.'!.— Samuel Detweiler and Christ"i.hcr R. Stonecker.



1S54.— James D. Overholt and Thomas McClean.

1855. — George Newmeyer and Isaac Palmer.

1856.- Christopher R. Stonecker and Joseph Beiiller.

1857.— William Litherwood, Christian Shank, and John F.

1858.- Richard Crossland, Jacob Reynolds, and Samuel Det-

185',).— Francis Andrews and Nathaniel Hurst.

1 Mill, -Henry Streak and Joseph Andrews.

ISfil,— Henry Etiing and Daniel F. Shupe.

I Sf,2.— Francis Andrews and David S. Spe.tr.

l.'^fi:;, —Horatio L. Sparks and Jacob Echard.

ISfil. — Jacob J. Stonecker and Jacob E. Brown.

1865. — Tiiomas Kefferand James Hoke.

isfie.— Ileniy F. Bowman and Abraham H. Sherrick.

]Sti7. — Jacob J, Stonecker and Jacob Mathias.

1S6S.— Daniel A. Pershing, John R. Johnstone, and Samuel

Detweiler.
1S69,— Daniel F. Shupe, Henry Huebenthal, J-acob E. Brown,

John R. Johnstone, and Samuel Detweiler.
1869, October.— Jacob Mathias, Jacob Horner, and James

Hurst.
1870.— George Huebenthal and Jacob Rice.
1872.- Daniel F. Shupe and James Hurst.
1873.- David Eslieloian and Wm, C. Lyon.
1871.- John Ricliey and Nathaniel Clair.

1SS5.— Samuel Detweiler, John R. Johnstone, and J. M. Creigh.
1876.- David Eshelman and Jacob J. Longauecker.
1877.— Nathaniel Clair and Jacob Ric;.
187S.— Jacob K. Shank and Henry S. Stouffer.
18711.— David Eshehuan and Wm. Leeper.
1880.- George Atkinson, Nathan Clair, and Wm. Adams.
1881. — Jacob K. Shank and David Coffman.

In 1880 the gross amount of tax levied for school
purposes was 83250.96, of which amount $1910 was
devoted to teachers' salaries. The number of schools
was thirteen, each having a male teacher. Five
months of school were maintained at an average sal-
ary of $29.38 per month. The number of male pupils
enrolled was 351 ; of females, 286. The average per
cent, of attendance was 77. The estimated value of
the school property was .S20,000. A small portion of
Bullskin is embraced within the Bridgeport Indepen-
dent District, whose territory is mainly in Westmore-
land Comity, 'Die district lia'* three school buildings,
one being in lUillskiu. It is a brick house of fine size,
and was built in 1875. The schools of this district
have a fine reputation for scholarship and attendance.

THE PENNSVILLE REGUL,\K BAPTIST CHURCH.

Soon after 1800 the settlers living in the western part
of Bullskin and in the eastern part of Tyrone united
to build a meeting-house, wliich should be conse-
crated to the worship of God by any and all, irrespec-
tive of denomination. It stood on land leased per- .
petually from the John Shank farm, a portion of
the lot being set apart for cemetery purpo.ses. The
house was of logs, with seats made of slabs, having
legs of saplings inserted in auger-holes. The pulpit
was simply a board nailed on two upright pieces
of lumber. In the course of years the house was
weatherboarded, provided with a ceiling, better seats,



BULLSKIN TOWNSHIP.



499



and a pulpit which was a very elaborate affair. It
was made of wild cherry, the different parts being
held together by wooden pins. It was elevated about
six feet above the floor, and had a huge sounding-
board. On either side were places for the reading-
and singing-clerks. The building was commonly
designated as the "White Meeting-House," and was
the regular place of service of the Baptists living
along Jacob's Creek. These first had their member-
ship with the church at Connellsville, and after 1828
with the Mount Pleasant Church. Among the mem-
bers of that period were Allen and John Pippett and
their wives, Sarah Walker, Christiana Highlands,
Mary Gault, Catharine Highlands, Ann, Rachel,
David, Jacob, and Jonathan Newmeyer, and Abraham
Shallenbarger, who was a deacon. One of the first
ministers was the Rev. James Estep, who may properly
be termed the father of the church at Pennsville.
Other ministers of the Mount Pleasant Church were
as follows: Rev. William Shadrach, from 1828 to
1836; Rev. John Rockefeller, 1836-38; Rev. Isaac
Winn, 1839; Rev. Simeon Seigfried, 1840-42; Rev.
Milton Sutton, 1843; Rev. John Parker, 1844r46 ;
Rev. Milton Sutton, 1847-52 ; Rev. W. A. Caldwell,
1854r-55; Rev. William Shadrach, 1856. The in-
crease of members at Mount Pleasant induced the
church to demand the entire ministerial services of
their pastor, the Rev. B. F. Woodburn, and in 1868
the Jacob's Creek Church became a separate organi-
zation. It was duly constituted August 10th, when
William C. Lyon was elected clerk, and Conrad Bow-
ers treasurer. Jonathan Newmeyer and Conrad Bow-
ers, deacons of the Mount Pleasant Church, were con-
tinued, and Jacob Overholt and Daniel Reese were
newly-elected deacons. The Rev. W. W. Hickman
became the first pastor, and on the 19th of August,
1868, the deacons were ordained to their office by the
Council convened at that time. The church was re-
ceived into the Monongahela Association Sept. 1,
1868, having at that time 90 members on its rolls.
The aggregate number of those who have belonged
was 139, and the present membership is 56. The
present deacons are William C. Lyon and Jacob H.
Echard. The former is also the church clerk.

In March, 1871, the Rev. David Williams was
called to the pastorate, and in the fall of 1872 a par-



Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 113 of 193)