Franklin Ellis.

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

. (page 118 of 193)
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tinues in charge. The congregation includes now
(March, 1881) from three hundred to three hundred
and fifty families. Services are held every Sunday.


The Presbyterian Church of Dunbar was organ-
ized April 29, 1874, by the Presbytery of Redstone.
The constituent members numbered eighty-five, of
whom the greater portion had been members of
the Connellsville Presbyterian Church. Joseph
Puull, John Taylor, T. W. Watt, and James L.
PauU were chosen ruling elders. In 1874 a church
was built at a cost of five thousand five hundred
dollars. Nov. 9, 1874, it was dedicated. Services
were at first held in the Harper school-house by
Rev. J. M. Barnett, of Connellsville, who supplied
until December, 1874, when Rev. R. T. Price, of Alle-
gheny City, was engaged, and Mr. Price is still the
pastor. Since organization two hundred and eleven
members have been received. Of them one hundred
and fifty remained March 1, 1881. The Sunday-
school, in charge of J. L. Paull as superintendent, and
James Thompson and George T. Grifiin as assistants,
has an average attendance of one hundred and fif-
teen. The church elders are T. W. Watt, J. L. Paull,
Thomas Reiner, and W. H. Barnes. The deacons are
A. B. Hosack, James Thompson, W. H. Wilson, and
J. W. Guthrie.


Dunbar Methodist Episcopal class, attached to Red-
stone Circuit, has met at Dunbar village regularly
every fortnight in the Young Men's Christian Associa-
tion Building since the beginning of 1879. The
members number now about fifteen. The preacher in
charge is Rev. Mr. Husted. The class-leader is Wil-
liam Rodkey. A house of worship was to be built
during the summer of 1881.

A Protestant Episcopal chapel bearing this name
occupies a site near the Dunbar Furnace. It was j
consecrated March 8, 1881. The structure cost three
thousand dollars, and was projected and completed
mainly through the efforts of Mrs. A. B. De Saulles.
The rector at New Haven, Rev. Mr. Stonax, is also
rector of this church.


About the year 1852, St. Paul's Episcopal Church
was organized, and a house of worship erected in
Woodvale School District, on land owned by Mrs.
Mary Meason. Among the fiimilies prominent in the
organization were the Murphys, Puseys, Measons, and
Walkers. The congregation was snuill at the outset,
and thus remained until it disbanded about ten years
later. Pulpit supplies were obtained from Connells-
ville and Uniontown, but at no time were church
affairs sufficiently prosperous to warrant the engage-
ment of a resident rector. In a little while the re-
moval from the township of leading members of the
church began to weaken the organization, and in 18C2
meetings were abandoned.


Incidental reference to some of the early private
or "subscription" schools taught in Dunbar town-
ship will be found in the history of the township's
early settlement. The remote period at which the
settlement of Dunbar began makes the task of re-
citing early school history a vague and unsatisfactory
one at best. Every small settlement had its school
as soon as the most important matter of settlement
was thoroughly adjusted, and these humble school-
houses were scattered over the country, and mul-
tiplied rapidly as the country was peopled and de-
veloped. One of the most important schools of the
early era in Dunbar appears to have been opened by
the Rev. James Dunlap, pastor of the Laurel Hill
Presbyterian Church, and William Littell, Esq. An
old newspaper advertisement shows that the school
was opened in 1794, and that the preceptors were
ready to receive pupils, to whom would be taught
"elocution and the English language grammatically,
together with the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew lan-
guages, geometry and trigonometry, with their appli-
cation to mensuration, surveying, gauging, etc.; like-
wise geography and civil history, natural and moral
philosophy, logic, and rhetoric." They set forth,
moreover, that "boarding, washing, etc., may be had
at reputable houses in the neighborhood, at the low
rate often pounds per annum." The school building
is believed to have been located on the old Tanner
farm, formerly owned by Col. William Swearingen,
and later by Charles McLaughlin. It was probably
continued by Mr. Dunlap until 1803, when he was
called to the presidency of Jefferson College, at Can-
onsburg, Pa. Littell was subsequently well known
as a Kentucky lawyer and author.

The public school system was inaugurated in 18.35,
and May 22d of that year the school appropriation ap-
portioned to Dunbar was $113.33] from the State and
S226.66.> from the county. Dunbar's first report under
the law was made Oct. 16, 18.35.

The annual report for the school year ending June
7, 1880, gives details touching Dunbar's public schools
as follows :


Whole nuuibei- of school-i


" female "


Average salaries of males jier month

??.4 28
S:!! (in


Average percentage of attendance

Cost per month

SO Ii7

•' " buiUing "

Total amount of tax levied fur school and building

'Jt-lle 'mnronriation

101)7 2i

Receipts from taxes and all sources except State ap-

T.S'^e^i'pJl ■■'■■■■■■" 'zz ::::::::::"::::::


Cost of school-houses— purchasing, building, renting

634 01

raid fur .,.„ !,.,.■ u:,.-...

Paidl..rl: . :,,, u i.^.uccs, IVos,.fc:jlloctMrs. etc,

and :ill ' ■ : ■ : •> ■

Total c^|n hlitiin-


49'!.. i2


KING D.^VID LODGE, No. S2C, I. 0. 0. F.

This lodge of I. O. O. F. was organized at Dunbar,
in 1873, with twenty-three members. John Speer was
the N. G.; A. J. Bryson, V. G. ; and Samuel Wilson,
Treas. The membership now reaches one hundred.
The officers are Edward Potter, N. G. ; William Cal-
houn, V. G. ; John Staffiird, Fin. Sec. ; A.J. Bryson,
Treas. ; William Mitchell, Rec. Sec.

BRANCH No. 3, A. 0. H.,

was organized at Dunbar in 1875, with ten members.
In March, 1881, the membership was fifty. The offi-
cers were John Cain, President ; Michael Maylie,
Sec. ; Hugh Hagan, Treas.


was organized Oct. 10, 187.3, with twenty members.
Samuel Wilson was chosen C. M. ; C. H. Stetson, V.
C. M. : W. II. Speers, K. of R. and S. ; C. S. Beatty,
M. of F. Tlie membership, March, 1881, was one
hundred and twenty. Then the officers were Frank
Victor, C. M.; F. G. Sniitli, V. C. M. ; D. M. Moth-
erwell, Prelate ; Wesley Dcvan. K. of R. and S. ; John
Stafford, M. of F. ; Smith Wortman, M. of E. ; J. N.
Anderson, M. at A.

DU.XC.VN POST, No. 105, G. .V. H,,

was organized in the spring of 1880, with twenty-two
members. John Stafford was chosen the first com-
mander. The members now number fifty. The offi-
cers are D. A. Byers, Com.; AV. H. Martin, S. V. C;
John Waters, j". V. C. ; D. K. Cameron. Chap.; J.
N. Anderson, Adjt. ; James Eraser, O. D. ; John Staf-
ford, O. G. ; Henry Bunting, Q.M.

DUNBAR LODGE, No. 1230, I. 0. G. T.,

This lodge was chartered Aug. 3, 1877, with twenty
members. D. K. Cameron was chosen W. C. T. ; G.
B. Te.liM, W. V. T. ; James Thompson, Sec; J. C.
Rosborough, Treas. The officers March, 1881, were

Andrew Laughrey, W. C. T. ; Clara McDowell, W.
V. T. ; Charles Trew, Fin. Sec. ; J. N. Anderson, Rec.
Sec. ; Allie Ambroue, Treas. ; W. N. Rodkey, Chap-
lain ; Boyd Lemon, Marshal.


The Y. M. C. A. was organized in 1870, and in that
year a hall costing $1000 was erected upon a lot do-
nated by W. H. Speer. The officers are A. B. Hosack,
President ; W. H. Wilson, Sec. ; D. A. Byers, Treas.


The Dunbar Furnace Company was organized June
1, 187G, with a capital of §500,000, of which §200,000
was in preferred stock. April 29, 1880, the preferred
was increased to §300,000. Charles Parrish was
chosen president ; A. B. De Saulles, vice-president ;
Theodore P. Farrell, treasurer and secretary. The di-
rectors were Charles Parrish, A. B. De Saulle.s, Samuel
Dickson, Fisher Hazard, James Cox, and Henry
Brock. The company became possessed of the Dun-
bar Iron Company's works, together with coal and
iron lands covering about eight thousand acres in
Dunbar township. Edmund C. Pechin, superintend-
ent for the Dunbar Iron Company, was in.stalled in the
same position under the new organization, with A. B.
De Saulles as assistant superintendent. In 1877, Mr.
De Saulles was appointed to succeed Mr. Pechin as
superintendent, and at that time Mr. William Beeson
was chosen general manager. Since that time there
has been no change in either the directors or other
officers of the company. The furnace company found
one stone stack fifty-seven feet high and fifteen feet
" bosh," with a daily capacity of forty tons. The stack
was at once relmilt to a height of seventy-six feet
with twenty feet " bosh," capable of making seventy
tons of iron daily. The number of employes at the
furnace and mines was increased from two hundred
and fifty to five hundred. Three Whitwell hot-
blast stoves were put in (eighteen by forty each), a
new blowing-engine and four new boilers were added,
and ninety-eight coke-ovens erected.

In December, 1879, a second stack similar to the
first was built, and additions made of two hot-blast
stoves, two new blowing-engines, and four new boilers.
In February, 1880, the company purchased the Fer-
guson Coke- Works, and leased three hundred acres
of adjacent coal lands. This, with the Hill Farm
Coke-Works, bought in 1870, gave the company one
hundred and fifty-nine coke-ovens, and control of six
hundred acres of coal lands. The large tract of land
owned and controlled by the company, lying chiefly
in the mountainous region of Dunbar, east and south-
I east from Dunbar village, includes, besides coal, large
I deposits of iron ore and limestone. Thus almost at
I the very doors of the furnace, they find all the ma-
, terials necessary to the manufacture of iron. Immedi-
i ately under the coal-beds south of the Hill farm, to



the depth of from eighteen to twenty-four inches
below the coal, are found iron ore deposits.

This is likewise true of other localities in the town-
ship. The annual mining products of the company
include 9000 tons of coal, 15,000 tons of mountain
ore, 20,000 tons of coal ore, and 35,000 tons of lime-
stone. The annual field of manufactured iron reaches
44,000 tons. The employes engaged at the furnace
and mines number between six hundred and seven
hundred, of whom one hundred and seventy labor at
the furnace foundry and repair-shop. From $10,000
to $18,000 per month is paid out in wages. The prin-
cipal manufacture is " open gray forge" or mill iron.
A large majority of the company's furnace employes
live in the vicinity in tenement-houses owned or con-
trolled by the company, and make at the furnace a
village of six or seven hundred people.

The company owns twenty miles of single track,
four locomotives, and upwards of one hundred cars.
At the furnace settlement J. M. Hustead has a finely-
appointed store, at which the furnace employes ob-
tain their supplies. Tlie yearly business done by
Mr. Hustead is something very remarkable in amount
for a country store.


The first coke-burning in Dunbar in ovens is said
by Mr. A. J. Hill to have been by William Turner
and Richard Bookcns, who, between 1840 and 1845,
bought coal of Thomas Gregg, who had a piece of
fourteen acres of coal land on the Youghiogheny
River, near the present Fort Hill Coke -Works.
Turner & Bookens burned the coke on the ground
at first, but afterwards put up a few ovens, about
which time also Col. A. M. Hill built four coke-ovens
near them. These four Mr. Hill soon increased to
twelve. The first coke made by Turner & Bookens
was boated down the rivers to Cincinnati, and there
for some days Mr. Turner made fruitless efforts to sell
it. He had got about discouraged when a foundry-
man agreed to experiment with it, provided Turner
would cart it to the foundry. The experiment proved
so satisfactory that the foundryman bought the entire
cargo, and thus the coke trade being opened, Turner
found no future difficulty in marketing all he could
make. More important coke operations in Dunbar
were commenced in 1854 by Watt & Larmer, of the
Dunbar Furnace, who bought ten acres of coal lands on
the present site of the Mahoning Company's works,
and burned coke on the ground there for their furnace.
The first large nest of coke-ovens built in Dunbar
were sixty of those now used by Reid Brothers. They
were put up by Watt, Taylor & Co. in 1869. The
second lot were built by the Connellsville Gas and
Coke Company, the third by Ferguson & Scandred
in 1871, the fourth by Paull, Brown & Co. in 1872.
There are at present in operation in Dunbar township
upwards of fifteen hundred coke-ovens (including one
hundred and fifty-nine owned by the Dunbar Furnace

Company). There are in process of construction and
in contemplation upwards of fourteen hundred more.
Reference to the firms engaged in the business, to-
gether with details of their operations, will be found
following :


These works, located near Dunbar village (and
known until very recently as the Henderson Coke-
Works), are now carried on by Morgan, Layng &
Co. In June, 1878, H. C. Frick & Co. came into con-
trol of one hundred ovens, built here in 1870 by R.
Henderson & Co., and two hundred acres of adjacent
coal lands. Frick & Co. employed in their Dunbar
coke business about one hundred men, mined six
thousand bushels of daily, and for a similar pe-
riod produced one hundred and fifty tons of coke.

The main slope in this coal-mine extends fifteen
hundred feet. The investment in ovens and lands
represents over $200,000. Thomas Lynch has been
in charge of the works since June, 1878.


In 1872, Messrs. Paull, Brown & Co. bought the
coal right to one hundred acres of coal lands, and
built one hundred ovens just south of Dunbar vil-
lage. Their total investment aggreg.ated $8.3,000. In
1878 they were succeeded in the proprietorship by the
Mahoning Coke Company (Limited). The chartered
capital was $40,000. Tliey employ an average of sixty
men, mine two hundred tons of coal, and produce
one hundred and thirty -seven tons of coke daily. The
main slope is 1700 feet in length, and is at an angle
of about twenty-three degrees. The oflScers of the
compiiny are Charles L. Rhodes, chairman ; F. H.
Mathers, secretary and treasurer; N. F. Sanford,
manager and agent. Mr. Sanford has been in charge
of the works since 1875.


In April, 1880, Messrs. S. Colvin & Co., of Pitts-
burgh, acquired control of eighty-four acres of coal
lands (formerly a portion of the R. Henderson & Co.
tract), and erected eighty ovens. They liave but one
opening, which is a slope twelve hundred feet in length.
They employ sixty men, take out 4500 bushels of coal,
and manufacture 120 tons of coke daily. Their in-
vestment is about $45,000. W. A. BIythe is the super-

The Dunbar Furnace Coke- Works are noticed else-
where in the history of this township, in connection
with the account of the operations of the Dunbar
Furnace Company.


In 1869 Messrs. Watt, Taylor & Co. bought tjie
coal right to one hundred and five acres of coal lands
near Dunbar village, and built upon it forty coke-
ovens. Soon afterwards they added twenty ovens,
and were succeeded by ^Vatt, Byers & Co., who were
followed by T. W. Watt & Co. In 1878 Reid



Brothers bought the interests of Watt & Co., and
built sixteen additional ovens, making the present
complement seventy-six. Their main slope reaches
twelve hundred feet from the opening. They employ
usually seventy-five men, mine five thousand bushels
of coal daily, and produce each day one hundred and
twenty tons of coke. They have invested in the
busijiess about $100,000.


In 1880 the Cambria Iron Company, of Johnstown,
Pa., leased of the Connellsville Gas-Coal Company
a large tract of coal lands near New Haven, together
with one hundred (Dkc-ovcris and appurtenances, pre-
viously used by the la^t-nuuK'd company. The Cam-
bria Com ])any added four hundred ovens and other
appointments for meeting their immense require-
ments, at a total cost of $228,000. Their le.ase on the
property runs twenty years. They have two mine
openings, take out from nine hundred to one thou-
sand tons of coal, and ship about seven hundred tons
of coke daily. Their empluyi'- number about five
hundred. These live near the works, wiiere the com-
pany has provided a well-stockid store and one
hundred and fifty-six tenement-houses for their ac-
commodation. The office of the company is at No.
218 South Fourth Street, Philadelphia. E. Y. Town-
send is the president ; Charles S. Wurts, vice-presi-
dent; and John T. Kille, treasurer. The superin-
tendent of the coke-works is John McFadden. The
two works of the Cambria Company in Dunbar are
known as the " MorreH"and "Wheeler" Coke-Works.


This conipany, miw ]Hishing rapidly forward the
greatest sinjrlo coal-mining and coke-manufacturing
interest in Dunbar, was chartered in March, 1880,
with a capital of 11,000,000. Hon. John Leisenring,
of Mauch Chunk, is president; W. B. Whitney, of
Philadelphia, secretary and treasurer; and E. K.
Hynduiaii, of Cojinellsville, general manager. The
company owns eight thousand acres of coal lauds,
lying in the t.. unships of Dunbar, Franklin, and
North rnii)!!, the giealest portion being in Dunbar.
At the new town of Leisenriuir, three miles and a
half southwest from Connellsville, the company have
two huiiilred coke-ovens in 0])eration, and to that
numlier they are now adding two hundred more,
which are nearly ready to be put in operation. In
addition to tliese, the. building of three hundred
more is contemplated, making seven hundred in all.

At this place a shaft has been sunk three hundred
and seventy-five feet deej). The Pennsylvania Eail-
road Ciuiipuny has r(,nstructed a branch road, known
as the "(»|M,s.Mini Uuu liraiich," from New Haven
to Leisenrini;-, ami as the ((jal ciunpany develop their
lands, will lengthen it. The purpose of the coal com-
pany is to sink shafts and build coke-ovens at the
most available points, and to use the utmost energy
in utilizing the enormous supply of coal contained

within their possessions. They now mine about
seven hundred tons of coal daily, and employ up-
wards of four hundred people. They began to make,
coke for the first time in April, 1881. It is expected
that the company will erect extensive furnaces ou
their lands in the near future.


These coke-works, located within the township of
Dunbar, are owned and operated by the Connells-
ville Gas-Coal Company, which organized Aug.
9, 1864, under act of April 21, 1854. Letters patent
were issued Oct. 14, 1864. The capital stock of the
company is $500,000. Their property consists of about
three thousand one hundred acres of coal right and
about four hundred and fifty acres in fee, situ.ated in the
vicinity of Connellsville. There are three mining vil-
lages on the property, viz., Wheeler, Morrell, and Trot-
ter, named after Charles Wheeler, vice-president of the
Central National Bank of Philadelphia; Hon. Daniel
J. Morrell, general manager of the Cambria Iron
Company, Johnstown ; and Charles W. Trotter, Esq.,
of Philadelphia, respectively. The first two villages
consist of about one hundred and sixty tenement-
houses, a large store building, and suitable buildings
for coal-hoisting machinery, etc., all under the man-
agement of the Cambria Iron Company, which has
leased for a period of twenty years the five hundred
coke-ovens connected with the same, and wliich are
now in full blast.

The village of Trotter, recently laid out and built
under the management and direction of the company's
superintendent, Henry Wickham, has been desci'ibed
as follows : " A little more than a mile out the Opos-
sum Run Branch from New Haven junction is the
coke village of Trotter, where are located the exten-
sive works of the Connellsville Gas-Coal Company.
The town consists of about one hundred houses, of
which the company own eighty-four, and is laid out
with mathematical accuracy. The houses are neat
and clean, and to each is attached sufficient ground
for gardening purposes; the streets are wide and well
drained ; water-plugs are stationed along the streets
at convenient distances, and through these the village
is supplied with pure Youghiogheny River water,
furnished by a pipe line to that stream, over two miles
distant.' A school-house of modern design adorns
one of the thoroughfares ; a large store supplies the
employes with food and clothing; and, upon the whole,
Trotter will compare favorably with any mining vil-
lage in the region. The town is to be enlarged to the
extent of forty more tenement-houses. A portion of
the lumber for them is already on the ground, and
the contract for their erection has been made. In
addition to the modern improvements mentioned
above, a telephone line has been constructed connect-
ing the works with those of the Connellsville Coke

•iflngQs of Morrell and




AlA iitMivMttk^i'

L Liufc ui_ \all

ILSJgglWIflJira©, PI^,

C'HAS. W. TnoTTER, Pre)

SamL. \V. Weay, Htcrelunj uitd Treasure,. II. WlCKUAM, Manager.



and Iron Company at Leisenring, and with the resi-
dence of Manager Wickham in Connellsville.

" Tlie works at present consist of two hundred com-
pleted ovens, which are in active operation, turning
out eight thousand tons of first-class coke per month.
The entire plant contemplates four hundred ovens,
and already seventy more are under contract. The
ronuiining one hundred and thirty will be built in the
near future. One hundred and seventy-five men find
employment here, and from the bowels of the shaft,
three hundred and fifteen feet from the surface of the
ground, are hoisted eleven thousand tons of raw coal
])er month. The ovens are of the size now regarded
as the standard of the region, and known as the twelve-
foot oven. The coke turned out at these works is
of a superior quality, the coal of this company lying
near the centre of the basin, where it is best for coking
jnirposes." The coal vein found in the Trotter shaft
averages nine feet workable, and an analysis recently
made by Prof. Charles P. Williams, of Philadel-
phia, shows it to be about three per cent, higher in
fixed carbon and coke yield, and about two per cent,
lower in sulphur and ash than any coal yet found in
the Connellsville region, thus proving the generally
accepted theory that the Connellsville coking coal is
purest where it has most cover.

The works of the company embody the latest im-
provements. The cages are hoisted and lowered by a
one hundred and twenty horse-power engine, manu-
factured by Hayden, of Luzerne County. This en-
gine also runs a fan, which supplies the mine with a
constant current of fresh air. The main 'heading is
five hundred and seventy yards in length and nine
feet in width. The works are supplied with a black-
smith- and carpenter-shop in addition to the other
buildings. The whole is under the management of
Henry Wickham, well known as a coke man in this
region. His corps of assistants comprises the follow-
ing: John I. JIunson, assistant superintendent; Elijah
Parker, pit boss ; George Kelley, yard boss ; George
Whetzell, engineer ; Samuel Dinsmore, machinist in
charge of repair-shops. The store is in charge of
James C. Munson, senior member of the firm by whom
it is owned, Munson & Co. The mining engineer at
present in charge of the Trotter shaft is Mr. George C.
Hewitt, recently connected with the Westmoreland
Coal Company at Irwin Station.

The entire plant of this company, exclusive of the
coal, cost, in round numbers, $225,000. Their coal
lands embrace two thousand one hundred acres,
e.xclusive of a thousand acres leased to the Cambria
Iron Company, together with their old works on the
Fayette County Branch. The latter, both works and

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 118 of 193)