Franklin Ellis.

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

. (page 132 of 193)
Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 132 of 193)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

the Rev. Samuel Woodbridge, somewhere near 1790.
Mr. Woodbridge acted as pastor himself for many
years. Enoch David was also a in-eacher here; he j
died Nov. 28, 1798, and his remains were interred at
the graveyard near the church. Other preachers were

John Corbly, Stone, May berry, and Thomas

Hersey, who was chaplain of a regiment in the war
of 1812. William Brownfield preached there some-
times. It has long since gone to ruin. i


OnSept. l.'i, is:;;, William .^I.i>cr,i>f Georges town- |
ship, sold to S.iinucl AcIjo, Ephraini Walters, and j
Daniel Moscr, trustees for the Georges German Bap- ;
tist Association, fifteen and a half perches of land in
Georges townshij), for the purpose of erecting a
church. In 1838 this church (a log building) was
built. The families who constituted the membership
of this church were the Bakers, Gaus, Leathermans,
Mosers, Aches, Covers, and Longaneckers.

Tbe ministers presiding over this congregation |
have l)een Joseph Leatherman, Isaiah Custer, James
Kelsd, James Fouch, James t^uintcr, Jacob. Mack,
,losi'[>h I. Cover, A. J. Sterling, and John Johnson.
The two last miMitidiiid arc llir present pastors.
About IMII tlic old lui; >lniruiir w as toru dowH, and
the site uas ii-rd Inr the iieu lV:iiiie church which is
now li-cil by the church. About IStiO there was a
Salilpatli-srlidiil (>i-:;anized in connection with this
church, throu:;li the labors and under the superin-
tendency of William Moser. It remained in exist-
ence some three or four years.


There was a society at Walnut Hill as early as 1815, j
and shiirtly altri- tliat liii ISi^l ) they were successful
in building a chuivl,, whirl, tluy us,',l f,,r many years
and then convcrte.l it into a scIiik.I-Iihusc. Tlieliuild-
ing stood near the residence of Mr. William Trader.
George Watters was the chief mover in the organiza-
tion of this society. Others of the original members
were George Grifiith, Jlichaol Mink, Noble McCor-
mick, Jfrs. Mieliael Mink, Harriet McCormick, Mary
McCormick, Catherine » wimth, Sarah Grifiith, Elisha
Griffith, and Mrs. Elisha (iriffith. On the 17th of I
January, 1821, a deed for the lot of ground upon !
which the church was to be built was made by Thomas
Downard and Barbara, his wife, to George Grifiith, >
Michael Mink, and Noble McCormick, trustees of the
church, the consideration having been ten dollars, for
a certain lot from the tract of land called Thomas-
town, situate in Georges township, adjoining of James

Fouch and Joseph Hadden, containing fifty-eight
perches. When this building had become so much
dilapidated that it was no longer fitted for the pur-
pose for which it had been built, the society held
meetings at private houses and the school-house.
About the year 1850 the members concluded that it
was best to have a new house of worship. A sub-
scription paper was started, and with such able men
as John A. Sangston, John N. Freeman, Howard
Griflith, and Andrew McCIellan to aid in the prog-
ress of the work it soon took definite shape, and the
elegant new brick church building in which the con-
gregation now woisliips was built. John N. Freeman,
Jolm .\. Sangston, Howard Griffith, and Andrew
McClelland all aided with both means and influence
to the project. Since that time this church has been
very prosperous. The Sabbath-school, which was or-
ganized soon after 1850, has been kept up as a sum-
mer school. Mr. John N. Freeman bequeathed to
the Methodist Episcopal Church five hundred dollars
at his death. He was for a great many years actively
identified with this the church of his choice. Some
of the ministers have been L. R. Beacom, who was
pastor in charge wlien it was built; Joseph Hor-
ner, Henry Long, William K. Fouch, William C. P.
Hamilton, H. Sny.lcr, W. K. Brown, Isaac P.Sadler,
John McTntire, E. B. Gritfin, T. H. Wilkinson, Rich-
ard Jordan, A. R. Chapman, J. L. Stifly, Charles
McCaslin, J. Momyer, D. J. Davis, Sylvanus Lane,
M. D. Litchliter, r' J. White, John T. Stifly, and W.
L. McGrew, the present p.astor. It has belonged to
Fayette Circuit, and has been allotted the same pastors
the other charges have had. Sometimes John Water-
man, H. B. Bascom, John Fielding, Simon Lauck,
Thornton Fleming, and other prominent ministers of
the Methodist Episcopal Clmrch preached to this
congregation. Some of the officers in more recent
years have been : Stewards, John N. Freeman, James
Lewis, \\ illiani Trader, James Sessler, and Joseph
Sangston; Leader, James Lewis; Trustees, John N.
Freeman, James Lewis, William Trader, James Sess-
ler, Joseph Sangston.

Squire Hayden has been a local preacher, and is
connected with this church. In 1878, under the pas-
toral charge of Rev. John T. Stiff'y, this church was
remodeled and p:iinted and papered at an expense of
two hundred dollars.


Perhaps the very first Sabbath-school in the town-
ship, and certainly one of the earliest in the county,
was called the "Ore Bank Sabbath-school." Eliel
Freeman was the superintendent in 1825. It was a
Union school.

In 1842 a Sabbath-school was organized at Leather-
man's school-house. Solomon Smith, Esq., was super-
intendent. This was a Cumberland Presbyterian
school. For the past twenty years there has been a
Union school at the Leatherman school-house. Dur-


ing this time Solomon Sniitli, Reuben Hague, Hum-
phrey Humphreys, Esq., John C. Miller, and Lucien
Leech have acted as superintendents. This school is
in session about six months in the year.

The Tent Church Presbyterian school was organ-
ized about 1828, Eliel Freeman having been the first
superintendent. He has been succeeded by the fol-
lowing gentlemen : J. Kennedy Duncan, Alexander
Deyarmon, Alfred Stewart, William Custead, John
Smith, and John Oliphant. It is a summer school.

The Fairchance Presbyterian school was opened by
tlie eftbrts of Dr. Ashbel Fairchild, J. Kennedy Dun-
can, and Fidelio H. Oliphant. The superintendents
of this school have been Fidelio H. Oliphant, Wil-
liam Pastories, J. Kennedy Duncan, Samuel Duncan,
Joshua V. Gibbons, and Esquire Humphrey Humph-

The Mount Moriah Union school was one of the
first in the field. Previous to 1820 Mr. Basil Brown-
field attended Sabbath-school in the old " Log Meet-
ing-house" at Smithfield. At that time Phineas Stur-
gis was the superintendent. At that early day there
was some dissension as to the propriety of having the
school in the church; subsequently it was held for a
number of years at private residences. In 1852 the
Baptist Church organized a school, and held the ses-
sions in the "Brick Church." In 1838 the Mount
Moriah Church held Sabbath-school services in the
church for a while. Since the last organization, April
1, 1852, the school has been continued, and the place
of meeting has been the church. The school is in
session twelve months.

The Methodist Episcopal school was organized by
William McCleary about 1850. The next superin-
tendent was William P. Green, and since that time
Dr. Henry B. Mathiot and John Downey have pre-
sided over the school in the capacity of superintend-
ent. Under the superintendency of William Mc-
Cleary the school made wonderful progress. He
acted as its presiding oflScer until his removal from
Smithfield. In 1861 the numerical strength of this
school was one hundred and twenty-five. The num-
ber on the roll at present is in excess of one hundred.
The school is in session all of the year.

The Haydentown Union school was organized as
early as 1838, in the school-house, by F. H. Oliphant
and Thomas Faw. Since then the school has had for
its superintendents Rev. John McCarty and James D.

PauU's Union Sabbath-school has been in existence
for about twenty years as a summer school. Mr. George
T. Paull was instrumental in securing its organization.
The superintendents have been Phineas G. Sturgis,
John E. Patton, Joseph Hickle, Andrew J. Stewart,
George Miller, and Charles H. Mathiot.

For a number of years a Union Sabbath-school was
in existence at the Fairchance Methodist Protest^mt

The Walnut Hill Methodist Episcopal Sabbath-

school was organized about 1850. The superintend-
ents have been I'enjamin King, John ;\I. Frccnuui,
and Lucien Leech.


This was originally Mifflintown, named, we believe,

1 in honor of Governor Thomas Mifflin. It was then

i a town of some importance. Here John Hall, Joseph

Taylor, Aaron Joliff, and David Trystler kept tavern.

Col. Thomas Brownfield had a tannery soon after

1800; tliis t:iiinrry liiiill iind tni- ;i time operated

by Josi-|>li M(ni1(nli:ill. iHiii.iiiiiii I'aine had here a

carding-Jiuicliine bcfiu'o 1M"|. There was an old

school-house here. John Tedrick taught here, as also

Phineas G. Sturgis.

This place has grown with the increased prosperity
of the furnace, until at present it is a town of con-
siderable importance. In this town there are two
churches, viz., Presbyterian and Methodist Protestant,
and for a time there was a Cumberland Presbyterian.
The history of these churches will be found under
their respective titles. For a great many years F. H.
Oliphant and others who were engaged in the furnace
business have had a company store at this place. In
more recent years the Fairchance Iron Company's
store and those of Robert Goldsboro and James Shay
have been doing the mercantile trade.


This town was laid out by Barnabas Smith on the
13th day of June, 1799. The tract upon which it was
laid out was known as "Beautiful Meadows," and
was originally the property of Jonathan Reese, who
patented it Feb. 10, 1787. Barnabas Smith married
Elizabeth Reese, daughter of Jonathan Reese, and
through her received this tract of land. John Fisher
bought a lot in the town, which was then known as
Smithfield; his purchase was made on May 13, 1801.
Another lot was bought by Samuel D. Bowman, May
30, 1801. The consideration he paid was fourteen
dollars for No. 11 in the plan of Smithfield. Other
lot-buyers were Robert Brownfield, Benjamin Wheeler,
David Hartmau, Isaac Groover, and Samuel Ken-

From the very first the name of the town was Smith-
field. The Brownfields owned land nearly all around
the town. About the time of the war of 1812 it was
decided by the governmental authorities to open a
post-oflice in Smithfield," and then the question arose,
What should the office be named? Some were in
favor of Smithfield, while others favored Brownfield-
town. To settle the matter in dispute it was left to
the voters of the township to decide what the name
of the new post-office should be. Robert Brownfield
furnished whisky freely to one of the tavern-keepers,
and Barnabas Smith gave an equal quantity to an-
other tavern-keeper, and these gave the ardent freely
to the voters. The day was almost gone, and no vot-



ing had been done as yet, when Col. John Olijihant
]nit in an appearance on the scene, and seeing that
the voters were too driinlv to properly exercise their
right of suffrage he mounted a store-box, and calling
them to order he said, " We have met for the laud-
able purpose of giving a name to our new post-office,
but as the day is far spent and I see no chance of de-
ciding by ballot, now I propose to decide viva voce. I
would like to accommodate both of the gentlemen
with at least a part of the name. Mr. Smith's first
name is Barnabas, but we all call him 'Barney;'
Mr. Brownfield's given name is Robert, but we all
call him 'Bob.' Now I move you that the name of
this town hereafter be ' Barney Bobtown.' " The mo-
tion received a second, was put, and unanimously
adopted. But the name of the post-office always re-
mained Smithfield. The first postmaster was Andrew
Collins, who kept the mail in his store-room. Tliis during the war of 1812. The mail was received
once a week. David Campbell was mail-carrier, and
made the weekly trip on horseback. After Andrew
Collins James Caldwell was postmaster, and the office
has been maintained ever since its organization, a
period of nearly seventy years.

About the year 1800, Henry Whistler had an oil-
mill wliere W<iod's tannery now stands.

In anil before 1800, Thomas Wynn had an oil-mill
at Fairchance, and made flaxseed oil.

James Martin had a wagon-making shop on the
Morgantown road for alwut ten or fifteen years. He
bought from Edward Coombs, who erected it about
18.30, and operated it many years.

Isaiah Jones made powder for a number of years at
the works built by Jones & Sammons, about 1830,
near Woodbridgetown. Some of their powder was
used by tlie Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company
for blasting purposes.

An old blacksmith-shop was carried on at the
cross-roads near Deyarmon's, on the Morgantown
road, for many years. Henry Smith manufactured
powder on York's Run before 1800. Recently Jacob
Ruble has erected a blacksmith-shop near his mill.
It is in charge of Mr. Rhodes.

Israel and John Sheeler built a foundry, which
was afterwards owned and operated by Stephen Rich-
ards, G. G. Clemmer, John E. Patton, and John Mc-
<'ur(ly. The last named were the last operators as a
Ibundry, after which it passed into the hands of Isaac
Franks, who converted it int;o a grist-mill. He asso-
ciated Jacob Ruble with him in the business. Some
three years ago the mill was burned and never re-

John Semmes, Jere Archer, Lewis Grimes, John
Getzendiner, Elijah Sutton, William Utt, Samuel
Reese, Washington Reed, ,Iacoh Fordyce, Daniel
Fordyce, Johnston Divilbess, James Huhn, and Squire
Bradley have followed the trade of blacksmithing in
the township.

There have been two pottery establishments in the
town. One was built about 1800 by Robert Brown-
field. In 1803 he sold it to John Fisher. Another
came into existence afterwards. These were carried
on by Stephen Richards, Matthias Allensworth,
Charles Brownfield, Jr., and Dunn & Clemmer. Both
of them ceased operations long since.

The merchants of Smithfield have been Phillips,
George Traer, Richard Patton, Andrew Collins, John
Hagan, William Stewartson, Daniel Thomas, William
Gans, Joseph Victor, Hugh H. Gilmore, Albert West,
James Oliphant, Thomas Mitchell, Israel Painter,
James Caldwell, Samuel Sackett, Stephen Richards,
John Brownfield, F. H. Oliphant, Joseph Kyle,
Thomas Ocheltree, Robert Jones, Joseph Hyde, James
Schroyer, David Patton, William Walker, H. S.
Sparks, William McCleary, James Davenport, John
Worthington, Ignatius Feather, E. O. Ewing, Dunn
& Poundstone, Stnrgis & Burchinal, A. J. Stewart,
Eugene Brownfield, Feather & Jaco, Thomas Conn,
Mrs. E. T. Brownfield, Mrs. I. Feather, and Jacob

Drug-stores: D. Patton and William Brownfield,
E. A. Hastings, John M. Hustead, John Moore & Co.

Saddlers: Henry Rockafeller, Lockwood,

William Campbell, Lewis Clemmer, Abraham Rogers,
Allen Byers, John E. Patton, A. B. Crow.

Tin-shops: Eugene T. Brownfield, W. Woods.

Dr. James Todd was the first regular practitioner
of medicine to settle in this vicinity. He commenced
the practice of medicine in Smithfield in 182'2. Since
then tiiere have been Emanuel Showalter, Flem-
ing, Henry Matthews, George Gans, Brown Brown-
field, Henry B. Mathiot, U. L. Clemmer, D. Vowell,
Samuel Sacket, Jr., Frederick Patton, James T. Bea-
zell, James Holbert, Clayton Richards, William Long-

Drs. T. F. Farmer and Mr. Watson.

John Jackson, Thomas Gaddis, James Ocheltree,
and Samuel Sutton.

Lewis Sammons, John Downey.

Henry Huhn, Mr. Philli|)s, James Vance, John
Kramer, Luther W. Burchinal.

George Burris, Samuel Kendall, Orlanzo Lvtle,
Simeon Zearly, William Hannah.

I. 0. OF 0. F.
Gallatin Lodge, No. 517, I. O. of O. F., was organ-
ized under diarter granted by Sovereign Grand L:)dge
of Pennsvlvania, dated June 26, 1855, and instituted



under D. D. G. Master David L. Walker, of Con-
nellsville, Pa., with the following persona as charter
members : Dr. U. L. Clemmer, H. J. Diuglierty, Capt.
J. Hickman, J. E. Patten, J. D. Field, W. T. Good-
win, Capt. James Abraham, Maj. James M. Abraham,
Enos W. Field, Simeon Zearly, Gideon G. Clemmer,
G. R. Miller, W. T. Ellis, T. P. Burchinal, J. L.
Showalter, H. B. Mallaby. The first officers were as
follows: N. G., Dr. U. L. Clemmer; V. G., H. J.
Dougherty; Treas., Gideon G. Clemmer; Sec, G. R.
Miller; Trustees, H. J. Dougherty, L. W. Burchinal,
James Abraham.

Past Noble Grands: U. L. Clemmer, H. J. Dough-
erty, G. G. Clemmer, G. R. Miller, J. L. Showalter,
L. W. Burchinal, Enos W. Field, James Abraham,
H. B. Mallaby, James M. Abraham, W. R. Griffin,
B. F. Black, Simeon Zearly, W. T. Goodwin, J. E.
Patton, J. D. Field, W. T. Ellis, T. P. Burchinal, J.
L. Whetstone, J. M. D. Low, J. W. McCarty, W. H.
Heston, W. E. Reynolds, J. W. Hugh, P. T. Sturgis,
John Downey, John Martin, A. J. Miller, B. F. Mar-
tin, J. C. Miller, P. S. Ilaldeman, E. S. Hayden, E.
M. Martin, W. E. Moore, Joseph Ewlng, James

was organized in 1816, to do a general banking and
trading business in the town of Smithfield. The
movers in this enterprise were James Brownfield, B.
Stevens, A. McMasters, William Abraham, John Show-
alter, James Showalter, Basil Brownfield, and Richard
Patton. Of these James Brownfield was made the first
president. The clerk elected was Richard Patton, and
the directors or board of managers were B. Stevens,
A. McMasters, William Abraham, John Showalter,
James Showalter, and Basil Brownfield.

The officers of the company were to consist of a presi-
dent, clerk, and board of managers. Those first elec-
ted to these offices should retain their positions until
the last Monday in March, 1817, at which time a new
election was to be held. The capital stock was not to
exceed fifty thousand dollars. The shares were to be
twenty dollars each, payable in gold, silver, or current
bank-notes equivalent thereto.

The banking-room was in the brick building then
owned by Mr. Basil Brownfield, and now owned and
occupied by Mr. William Campbell as a hotel parlor.
This banking institution was in existence in 1819,
October 10th (see Mount Moriah Baptist Church
minutes, volume xi. page 22). In 1822, by action of
the stockholders, it was decided to dissolve the part-
nership and discontinue the buainess, accordingly
all the outstanding paper money of the concern was
called in, redeemed in coin, and burned.


The township was well represented in this office in

the days when the justices were appointed by the

Supreme Executive Council. The first occupants of

the office after the organization of Fayette County

were Philip Rogers and Robert Richey ; the latter
gentleman served in this capacity for more than
twenty years under appointment from the Governor.
Others holding this office have been Andrew Oliphant,
Enoch Abraham, Abraham Stewart, Richard Patton,
Daniel Thomas, Stephen Richards, Samuel Nixon (at
one time associate judge). Squire Ayers, William
Abraham, James Brownfield, Solomon Smith, Joel G.
Leatherman, George Hertzog, Thomas Trader, James
Beeson, Alexander Brownfield, Thomas Williams,
Humphrey Humphreys, Alfred Core, George Meason,
Jolm R. Means, Henry Hayden, Reuben Hague,
Isaac Peters, William Conn.

Hon. John Brownfield, son of James Brownfield,
was born near Smithfield, Dec. 28, 1808. (Jn the 10th
of .January, 1833, he married Belinda, daughter of
JohnHustead. Both are living. Mr. Brownfield has
twice had the honor of associate judge conferred upon
him, serving in that capacity from 1852 to 1SG2.

Dr. Emanuel Showalter commenced the practice of
physic in Smithfield some forty or fifty years ago, and
afterwards went South, where he became eminent in
his profession.

Alexander Clear was one of the early school-teach-
ers of Fayette County, and a very excellent one he is
said to have been. About the time of the war of
1812 he was engaged in his calling in the town of
Monroe. He afterwards settled in Georges township,
and taught for a number of years. He was a Chris-
tian gentleman, and was noted for his fine accomplish-
ments as a penman. He removed, with his son
Thomas, to Cumberland about 1845.

Dr. William Hampton McCormick, son of James
McCormick, was born near Smithfield in 1S2G. After
reading medicine with Dr. Smith Fuller, Uniontown,
he attended Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia,
where he graduated, after which he began the prac-
tice of his profession at Donegal, Westmoreland Co.,
Pa., where he practiced for a while, and then changed
his location to Grantsville, Md., and from there he
went to Cumberland, where he has been practicing
ever since. His practice has been a remunerative
one, and he has amassed a considerable fortu)ie.

Dr. James F. McCormick, son of James McCor-
mick, was born near Smithfield, July 6, 1839. He
received an academical education at Carmichaelstown,
Greene Co., Pa., and at Georges Creek Academy,
Smithfield, after which he read medicine under his
brother Hampton and attended Jefferson Medical
College. After completing his studies he located at
Petersburg, Somerset Co., Pa., but afterwards went
West, and commenced practicing at Quincy, 111., and
from there he went to Menden, 111., and from thence
changed to Fowler, where he built upagood practice,
but his health failed, and he died there in 1874.

Dr. Alcynus Young McCormick, son of James Mc-
Cormick, was born and raised near Smithfield. He
attended school at Carmlchael's, Greene Co., and



Georges Creek Academy with bis brotlier. He then
read medicine under his brother Hampton in Cum-
berland, attended Jefferson Medical College, where
he completed his studies, and then located in Fred-
erick City, Md., where he practiced during the latter

part of the Rebellion. AVhen his brother James be-
came sick he located at Fowler, 111., on the Quincy
and Burlington Railroad, and is still practicing there.

Rev. Samuel 'Woodbridge the founder of the
town which bears his name. He came to this com-
munity at a very early date. He was the pastor of
the Mount Moriah Baptist Church as early as 1785.
Almost contemporaneous with the erection of the
church ju-it spoken of he built in Woodbridgetown a
Seventh-Day Baptist Church.

Dr. James Brownfield, son of ex- Judge John Brown-
fit-kl, was boru and reared in the town of Smithfield,
studied medicine, and is at present practicing in Fair-
mount, West Va.

Dr. James Holbert was born in Georges. He taught
in the public schools for a nuniljer of yours, after i
which he attcn.kM.l lectures at Jcfll'ison .Alc-dical Col-
lege, and is at ]iresent practicing at Faircliaoce. ,

liev. W. W. Hickmau was licensed to preach by
Mount Moriah Baptist Church Xov. 11, 1S4!, since
which time he has presided over the Flatwoods,
Uniontown, and Waynesburg charge-i. He is a man
eminently fitted for the ministry, and exceedingly
popular and useful in his sacred calling.

Rev. George W. Hertzog was raised in this town- :
ship. In January, 1855, he was licensed to preach at i
Mount Moriah Baptist Church, and since then has |
been actively engaged in his ministerial duties. [

Phineas G. Sturgis was licensed by the Mount
Moriah Church to preach Oct. 7, 1854. For a num- I
ber of years past he has been engaged in merchan-
dising, and is at present following that business,
having as a partner Mr. Luther W. Burcliinal, who
has been for many years one ofthe most enterprising
business men in this township. His occupation orig-
inally was that of architect and builder. He had the !
contract for building the Georges Creek Academy ^
and the Mount Moriah Baptist Church.

Gideon G. Clemraer was prominently connected '
with the Georges Creek Academy and the organiza-
tion of Gallatin Lodge of Odd-Fellows. A number
of years since he went West, where he is now engaged
in the banking business.

Dr. U. L. Clemmer was raised near Smithfield,
practiced medicine in that town for several years,
after which he removed to Brownsville. For a num-
ber of years he was editor and publisher of the
Grreiibaet Banner and Labor Advocate. •

Dr. Clayton Richards was born in Smithfield, edu- j
cated at Jefferson Medical College, and is now prac- i
ticing in West Virginia. ,

Mr. A. J. Stewart has been one of the most enter- '

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 132 of 193)