Franklin Ellis.

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

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Thomas D. Bise.


Andrew J. Gilmore.


Isaac P. Kendall.


Cyrus L. Conner.


James W. French.


Isaac P. Kendall.


71. Melanclhon J. Crow


William Parshull.


David Gilmore.



1872. James H. Campliell.
John H. Pounilstone
lS-3. Thomas A. McKcan.
1S74. Joseph Campbell.
1875-76. Jacob Provance.

1877. Jesse P. Brown.

1878. Isaac W. Coldren.

1879. Cyrus W. Porter.

1880. Charles .S. Lnngley.

1881. Samuel Campbell.


Masontown, formerly Germantown, was laid out by
John Mason on a tract of land called East Abing-
ton. By deed dated the 29tli of May, 1798, he con-
veyed to the inhabitants the streets and alleys, with
the usual privileges and franchises conveyed in town

For picturesqueness of location that of Masontown
is unsurpassed. It is just far enough removed from
the mountains to give to them that dark steel blue
color which " lends enchantment to the view."
The town, although built upon a hill, is surrounded
by a higher chain of hills, except upon the west, or
side next to the Monongabela River, from which it
is distant one and one-half miles. Tlie distance from
the county-seat by the shortest route is ten miles.
A daily mail to and from Uniontown puts the town in
communication with more important places. There
are some seventy dwellings in the town, many of
which are large and of modern architecture. Popu-
lation, four hundred.

The following branches of industry are to be found
here: three chair-factories, four wagon- and buggy-
shops, two saddle- and harness-shops, three smith-
shops, tin-sliii[i, tannery, one cabinet-maker, a large
flouring-niill, four stores, two milliner-shops, two
eating-houses, two undertakers, post-office, large
school Iniilding, two churches ; one physician. Dr.
George \V. Xetf, who is a graduate of Philadelphia
Medical College, March 12, 1870.

At March sessions, 187G, the court granted the town
the rights and privileges of a borough. The execu-
tive officers from that period to the present are and
have been the following-named persons:

lS7fi. Hon. .laoob Provins. I 1870. S. F. Altraan.
1877. M. F. II. Fanner. 1880. Josiah S. Allebaugh.

187S. 8. F. Altman. I 1881. Stephen F. Altman.

1870.— Alexander Muck/Christian C. Sterling, Rczin L. Dcbolt,

James Uwcllcn, Allen I), Smiih, Josi.ih S. Allebaugh.
1877.— AbsaL.m Longaneckcr, James Lewellen. Isaac N. Hague,

Josiah A. Bowman, Alcxaniler Mack, Johu M. Deffen-

1878.— James Lewellen, Myers M. Altman, I. X. Hague, James

A. Bowman, Josiah S. Allebaugh, Aaron Walters.
1879.— Adam J. Willyards, James Lewellon, I. N. Hague, Jo-
siah S. Allebaugh, Richard Webber, Ejihraim F. Walters.
1876.— Abram Mosier, Ephraim Sterling, three years; James

R. A. Ahman, William J. Sangston, two years; Sylvanus

S. Gray. James JI. llowarJ, one year.
1877.— WilliaTu J. Sangston, J. R. A. Altman, three years;

Robert M. S. Temple, two years.

1S7S. — Josiah S. Allebaugh, Josiah A. Bowman, Absalom Lc

1879.— Andrew J. Sterling, Isaac X. Hague.
1880.— John F. Bowman, James R. A. Altman.
ISSl. — James Lewellen, Josiah >S. Allebaugh.


1876. James M. Howard. 1 1879. John F. Bowman.

1877. Christian T. Rhodes. 1880. Benjamin Herriugtc

1878. Andrew J. Sterling. I 1881. Thomas J. Walters.

1876.— Theophilus K. Higinbolham

Walters, two years; Solomon J. Honsakt
1S77.— John C. Lewellen.
1878.— Lucius M. Speers.
1879. — James A. Ferren.
1880.— Miles F. H. Farmer, C. N. Franks.
1881.— Lucius M. Speers, three years; Willia

years; Hugh J. Gilmove, one year.

years ; Thomas J.



Stephen F. Altma

Miles F. H. Farm


Colfax Lodge, M. 565, Independent Order of Odd-
/'e«ows.— Organized May 18, 1860.

Valleij Lodge, A. Y. M., No. 459.— Organized Dec.
27, 1869. Andrew Long was the first Mason known
in German township.

Grange Society, No. 41.3. — Organized Dee. 15, 1874.

In 1801, John Mason and Apalonia, his wife, deeded
to the citizens of Germantown " A house and lot on
Water iSlreet for school purposes," enumerating the
objects intended, viz. : "An education — German and
English — in the Arts and Sciences, Morality and Ee-
ligion." The tru.stees were Lawrence Rider, Solo-
mon Overturf. This is the first provision made for
the purpose of establishing a system of public in-
struction in Masontown.

Some historical incidents connected with the his-
tory of Masontown are worthy of narration. " Fort
Mason" was just below or east of the town, to the
north of the spring in the field now belonging to
Messrs. Gray. It was built by John Mason near
1780, and was resorted to for safety by the early set-
tlers during the Indian troubles. It was threatened
with destruction by the Tories and Indians, but
was warned by Mr, Carmichael, founder of Carmi-
chael's, Greene Co., in time to prepare for the enemy,
which when they perceived they passed by and at-
tempted to capture Fort Burd. In 1823 it was given
by Ephraim Walter to Mr. John Debolt, his son-
in-law, who had it removed and re-erected on the
Main Street, where it still remains, the dwelling-
house of Isaac N. Hague, Esq. The Whiskey Boys of
'94 had a liberty pole here, around which they rallied
during the days of the insurrection. Seth Ely, a
famous musician, resided here for many years.

The population of Masontown by the United States
census of 1880 was 376.



McClellandtown was founded by a family of that
name, who lived there many years ago. William
McClelland, the founder, died here July 12, 1815, in
the eighty-second year of his age. The town is some
eight miles southwest of Uniontown, and two and
one-half miles east of the Monongahela Kiver. It is
pleasantly situated in the midst of a moral and in-
dustrious people, and in a rich country. It has pro-
duced many men who have won distinction in their
spheres of life. Hon. Andrew Stewart and Hon.
Henry Clay Dean were born and raised here. The
population is one hundred. It contains a post-office,
two stores, three blacksmith-shops, two wagon-makers,
two saddlers, a buggy-shop, and several shoemakers,
carpenters, and millwrights. Several fine residences
have been erected in the past few years, and several
more will be added the coming year.

High House, a hamlet of six or seven houses, is in
the extreme east of the township. It contains a post-
office, two stores, and a blacksmith-shop. It is five
miles from the county-seat, and commands a full view
of the Laurel Hill.

The following-named persons were soldiers in the
war for independence, and at the time of their death
were citizens of German : Joseph Sproat, Ephraim
Woodruii, Nicholas Helmick, Robert Ross, Roger
Lander. In the Indian war of 1790-91 : Nicholas
Helmick, Abram Franks, Robert Ross. These fought
under " Mad Anthony Wayne." Following is the
list of German township soldiers in the war of 1812-
15, viz. :

David McCann, Sr. David McCann, Jr.

Jacob Riffle (lieutenant; Edin Clary.


William Boise (Rise).

Solomon Debolt.

Reziu Debolt.

Solomon Getty.

James Antil (substitute).

Simon Yandes.

Daniel Yandes.

Henry Black.

Hugh Gilmore.

David Gilmore (these last
two in Capt. McClel-
land's cavalry).

James Sangston.

Nathaniel Parshall.

William Sangston.

Joseph McClain (substi-

Benjamin Provance.

Thomas Bise.

Jacob Harrison.

Isaac Harrison.

Jacob Owl.

George Haught.

Robert Ross, Jr.

William Graves.

Thomas Ham.

Thomas McClain.

Philip Lawrence.

Abraham Franks.

Hugh McCann (substi-
tute for E. Walter).

William Hazel (captain,
P. D.).

Jeremiah Hill.

John Jackson.

Christopher Balsinger.
George Martin.

These soldiers mustered in two places on the day of
starting, — first squad at McClellandtown ; second,
from the old school-house near the Secedors' Church,
on the Brownsville and Morgantown road.

A large number of these men were members of
Capt. James A. McClelland's company (cavalry).
They served in the Northwest under Gen. Harrison,
Just before the campaign against the Indians on the
Missinnewa, the entire company deserted except
six, including the captain. Those who remained
were Hugh and David Gilmore, two of the Aljrams,
and a Mr. Porter.

The soldiers from this township in the war with
Mexico were Cyrus L. Conner (returned), Jesse
Smith (died), Josiah Winders (killed).

In the war of the Rebellion the following men of
German township served in diffi;rent regiments and
companies in the LTuited States service.

In Capt. Stacy's company :

William King.

Ephraim W. Barber.

David Grove.

Sebastian Cragu.

Jackson McCann.

AVilliam Keener.

Lewis L. Knotts.

John Guc.

Jacob RiJer.

John lloflctler.

Samuel Bise.

Isiiac Connor.

James A. Bowman.

Rczin Whitchill.

George M. Woolsey.

Solomon Riffle.

Jefferson Walters.

Daniel Ilostetler, 154

Americus L. Ra.Ier.

Tliom:is Bhiik,

George Fr;inks.

William lJI:„-k, '•

Isaiah Frost.

Cliri.-loTilier Core.

James A. Weltner.

David llonsacker.

Tliomas A. MeKean (


John McCann.

Emimuel Turk (vol.).

Willi HannHny.

AVilliam Reed (as a


- Jacob Whuolcry.


Janus T. Black.

Harvey Baleinger.

Henry Black.

Braden Christopher.

Henry Cunningham.

Ewing Christopher.

Benjamin J. C.nley.

Aaroj Yowler.

Jolin W. Conley.

James Barber (vol.).

John Dean.

Charley Yawger (vol.).

Andrew J. Farrier (sub.).

Joseph (vol.).

Luther L. Linton (capt. of

John Cunningham (voh).

colored company, Florida).

Capt. A. S. Fuller's company

James Porter..

James S. Darrall (2d lieut.).

John Wilson.

Rezin L. Debolt (0. S.).

Harrison Ingraham.

George A. Provance.

James Bodlcy, Jr.

Thos. L. W. Miller.

J.din W. Williams.

David Miller.

David Wilson.

William H. Poundftone.

WMliam Funk.

James R. A. Altman.

John Core.

John P. Altman.

James Rosscl.

Andrew J. Todd.

George W. Balsinger.

James E. Alton.

Jacob Deflenbaugh.

William B. Alton.

Capt. George W. Gilmore enlisted a company partly
in German, and mustered into the service of West


Virginia in July, 1861 (for which German was never
credited), as follows:

George W. Gilmore


Joseph Brooks.

Andrew J. Cunningham.

Moses Sangston.

William Ingraham.

Thomas N. Weltner.

Harvey Grove.

Thomas B. Phillips.

Hamilton Bixler.

James P. Grove.

George R. Walters.

Menasseh Sedgwick.

James Walters.

In Capt. John Harper's company of cavalry (Com-
pany K, 1st Regt. P. V. C.) from Greene County :

Jesse Hughs. Baltzer K. Higinbotham.

In companies and regiments unknown :

John W. E.lington (1

eut. in

David Malone.

an Ohio company).

John Keener (vol.).

John McLaio.

George Cruse (vol.).

Robert J. Linton (adjt. in

Joseph Hostetler (vol.).

Virginia 7th).

Andrew B. Watson.

Lewis Walters.

Samuel Rotharmel.

Henry Brooks.

Clark Dearth.

Hiram Shafer.

Samuel Newcomer.

Thomas Jackson.

C. W. Porter (vol.).

Levi Vantussne.

James Kline (vol. in cavalry).

Aaron Hosteller.

James S. Rhorer (vol., Cupt.

Joseph Sese.

C. L. Conner's company

James Colvin.

Penna. Reserves).

Joseph King.

Ashbel F. Hill (vol., Capt. C.

James Provance (sub.)

L. Conner's company Penna.

Jackson Jluglis (Sth




Thomas Grooms (vol., Capt.

David Hughs (Xth Pen

na. Re-

C. L. Conner's company
Penna. Reserves).

Hugh TownsenJ (sub.)

John Kendall.

James Cain (sub.).

Neil Hostetler fvol.).

John Strickler.

Abraham Listen (vol.).

James iMalone.

John Sisler (vol.).

Aaron Malone.

William Turner (vol.).

Thomas W. .Malone.

Stewart Christopher.

According to the report of the United States en-
rolling officer there were in German in the year 1863
one hundred and ninety-nine persons between the
ages of eighteen and forty-five liable to military
duty. At an examination held by the authority of
the United States twenty-seven were declared dis-
qualified and twenty-seven drafted for nine months.
About this time a very great number volunteered.
The Legislature having passed an act authorizing
school directors to levy a tax, the German township
school board levied the requisite amount to hire an
equal number of substitutes for those whom the gov-
ernment had drafted. The following are the names
of the t&s. collectors and the amount of their dupli-
cates: Isaac Crow, $10,190.75; Jacob Newcomer,
$5428.47; Jacob Newcomer, $7285.82; Thomas D.
Bise, $2094.25. Amount of bounty tax levied,


Value of taxable property in 1784, as returned by

Jacob Rich, Aug. 10, 17S5 $54,495.00

Valuation per property roll for 1881, in commis-
sioner's office, Unioutown 1,011,454.00

Amount of State and county tax for year 1881.... 2,725.83

Amount levied for schools, 1881 2,025.76

Amount received from State, 1881 412.44

From JIasontoivn, 1S81 390.00

Number of pupils enrolled 490

With no public works in the township, German
exhibits her resources. In her limits are the Waynes-
burg seam of coal, tive feet; two smaller veins, three
feet each ; and the nine-feet vein. These may be
seen cropping out of the creek and river bluffs in
nearly every part of her area. The Waynesburg
seam is six feet in thickness, and but few, even of coal
men, know of its existence in German. An excellent
quality of oil was obtained at a depth of six hundred
feet on Catt's Run, on Gray's land.

The population of German by the United States
census of 1880 was 1834, including 90 in the village
of McClellandtown.

By actual canvass the following were found to be
the production of farms and live-stock in the year
1878 of and in the township :

Wheat raised and thr.ashed .32,235 bushels.

Corn " " cribbed 89,099 "

Oats " " thrashed 45,451 "

Rve " " " 100 "

Hay 2,023 tons.

Maple sugar 2,000 pounds.

molasses 5U0 gallons.

Sorghum " 2,500 "



John Sterling, of Masontown, a farmer of distinc-
tion, was born on the farm where he now lives, Aug.
12, 1822. He is of English descent. His father, also
.lohn Sterling, was born and reared in Fayette County,
and was a farmer, and resided on the farm which
John, Jr., now occupies. He married Catharine Knife.
They had three sons and three daughters. Three or
their children are still living, of whom our subject is
one, and was educated in the common scliools. When
starting in life his father gave him a small farm, but
his possessions, which are large, consisting of lands
town properties, and bank stock, are mostly the accu-
mulations of his own industry and business tact.

Feb. 6, 1842, he married Elizabeth Debolt, a daugh-
ter of John and Charity Walters Debolt, of Nichol-
son township, by whom he has had eight children,
seven of whom are living: Ephraim Walters, a gen-
eral busine-ss man ; Amy J., wife of Hon. Jacob Pro-
vins ; A. J., a mini.ster of tlie German Baptist Church ;
Charity A., Mary M., and Rebecca B., all now (Febru-
ary, 1882) attending Monongahela College ; Jonathan
(dead) ; and John B., a nurseryman. Mr. Sterling has

Y^^^^^L ^^^U^t^^




been for many years a member of the German Baptist
Church, and Mrs. Sterling is a zealous church-mem-
ber as well as excellent woman, a good wife and kind
friend. Mr. Sterling has held important local offices,
the duties of which he always performed in a satis-
factory manner. He and nearly all his male relatives
are "sterling" Democrats. If Mr. Sterling's life has
been marked by one peculiarity more striking than
another it is to be found in the fact that he has not
labored hard merely through a sense of duty, but be-
cause he likes to work, — cannot be idle and happy too.
Men like him are apt to thrive, and they ought to be,
like him, prosperous.

Mr. Sterling and his son, E. W., are the owners of
a large saw-mill and planing-mills located on the
Monongahela Eiver, and thoroughly equipped with
all machinery necessary for carrying on the manufac-
turing of " worked" lumber. Mr. Sterling and his
son's extensive tracts of land are all underlaid with
the nine-feet vein of the Conuellsville coking coal,
and supplied abundantly with iron ore and limestone.
In fact, Mr. Sterling claims to hold, in his own right
and that of his sons, one of the best tracts of coal and
ore lands in Fayette County. He, with his sons. Rev.
A. J. and J. B., own a large nursery, with extensive
green-houses, adjoining his home-farm, where they
raise all kinds of fruit and ornamental stocks.

The late Jonathan Sterling, of German township,
was born March 29, 1820. He was the son of John
Sterling, deceased, of wJiom we have made notice in
the accompanying biography of John Sterling (Jr.).
Mr. Jonathan Sterling died Aug. 8, 1881. He was
all his active business life a farmer, and in childhood
attended the common schools. On March 31, 1840,
he married Mary Ann Hart, of Nicholson township.
They had ten children, of whom five sons and three
daughters are living. Mr. Sterling was a prosperous
man, and was at one time wealthy, in the local sense.
He gave his children good educational advantages,
and left them in prosperous circumstances at his
death. John, his eldest son, residing in German
township, is an excellent farmer, and through his in-
dustry and thrift has accumulated a large estate for
a young man. Christian C, the second son, owns the
most valuable piece of real estate in Masontown
borough, the " Sterling House," and is also the owner
of a very valuable farm about a half-mile from the
borough. The third son, Andrew J., Jr., is an active
lousiness young man, alert and expert of calcula-
tion. He is an enthusiastic politician of the Demo-
cratic school, married and has three children, and re-
sides in German township, where he owns a farm of
a hundred acres, besides valuable real estate in Ma-
sontown borough. James B., the fourth son, is an
active and industrious farmer, and has gathered
together quite a property. The fifth and last son

living, William M., owns a valuable farm near Mason-
town, and is noted as one of the most skillful scribes
region. The daughters are all well married

of the

and in comfortable circumstances. Mr


a very industrious and good man. He never held
any but township offices, but fulfilled the duties of
these well. He and his wife were members of the
German Baptist Church. He was a Democrat, and
attended the polls faithfully. The Sterlings are said
not to be fighting men, have no soldiers in the family,
but are good voters. The principal recreation in
which Mr. Jonathan Sterling allowed himself to in-
dulge was voting and hurrahing for the Democratic
ticket. To his family, party, and God he was ever

Joseph Woodward, of German township, a farmer,
is derived from Irish Quaker stock. His father,
Joseph Woodward (Sr.), was born in Chester County,
Pa., April 11, 176G, and some time after coming to
Fayette County was married therein to Hope Shot-
well, a native of New Jersey. He was a farmer.
They had eight children, of whom Joseph, Jr., was
the third, and was born Nov. 10, 1810, in Menallen
township. June 7, 1832, Joseph (Jr. ) married Eleanor
Buchanan, of German township. They had thirteen
children, of whom nine are living. Mrs. Woodward
died Feb. 9, 1853, and June 29, 1854, Mr. Woodward
married Sarah Ann Bunker, who died Aug. 6, 1872.
He again married March 11, 1875, his third wife's
maiden name being Sarah Black. Mr. Woodward



settled in his present home early in life, before his
first marriage. His children are widely scattered,
some living iu Illinois, others in Kansas, and some in
Pennsylvania, and all are married and prosperous.
Mr. Woodward has been a member of the Cumber-
land Presbyterian Church for nearly half a cen-
tury, and an elder in the church fur many years. His
property consists of lands principally. He enjoys
the respect and confidence of his neighbors, always
having been noted for excellent good sense, upright-
ness, and kindlv deeds.

The late David Johnson, of German township, was
born in Rockingham County, Va., ilarch 5, 17SG, and
came with his father, Peter Johnson, and the family
into Fayette County when David, who was the oldest
son, was quite young. They settled in German town-
ship. He was educated in the subscription schools
of the times, worked on his father's fiirm, and learned
the art of weaving, and remained at home till the
time of his marriage to Mary Magdalena Bixler, of
German township, June 27, 1809, whereafter he took
up his residence with his father-in-law for one year,
and then purchased a farm, still in the hands of rela-
tives of his, near Uniontown, wliereon he resided for
six years, and selling the farm to his brutlier Jacnli,
bought the " Yanders farm" near Masontowii, upon
whicli lie lived the rest of his days. He was the father
of nine cliildren, eight of whom were living at the time
of his dcatli, whirli occurred May 24, 1860. All the
eight children, ^ix l.uvs an.l two uirls, iv,. re also married
at the tiiiir of till- IlilliMr's dratli. Mrs. .lohnson ,lied
some thiee years luiore her husband, and Imth were
buried in the private burying-gronnd on tiie New-
comer farm, adjoining Mr. Johnson's original farm,
and which he owned at the time of his deatli, and
Avhich his daughter Frances, Mrs. John Young, now

Mr, Jcihnson and his wife were members of the
Mennonite Cliurch. Mr. Johnson was in early lile a
■\\'liig in ipolitics, but became a Repuliliean. lie was

is said of him that "If Havid Johnson was not an
honest man then there are no honest men."

Mr. Johnson ow)H-d about sixteen hundred acres of
land, the most of whi,-li i,> underlaid with the iiine-

cliildreu a farm of ab(/tit two hnn.heil acres of land,
with house and outlniildings thereon, upon which
severally the surviving children are still living in
prosperous circumstances.

ilr. Jacob Johnson, the son of David, and the next
to the last born of his children, and who, perhaps,
more es|ieeially than the rest supplies the place of his
father in the world, left the old homestead tarni,
whereon for a long number of years he had wrought,
just prior to his father's death, and moved U]ion "the

Middle Eun farm," in the same township, to which
I he has made many additions by purchase until his
I present landed estate covers about a thousand excel-
lent acres. He married in 1862 Elizabeth Knotts, a
native of Virginia. They have had five sons and two
daughters. Four sons and two daughters are now
living and residing with their father, and being in-
dustrious and faithful children are adding to the worth
of the already valuable homestead farm. Mr. and
Mrs. Johnson are members of the Mennonite Church.


Capt. Isaac Phillips Kendall, a worthy farmer and
citizen of Masontown, and a gentleman of individ-
ual characteristics and varied talents, was born in
German township, April 7, 1822. His grandfather,
Jeremiah Kendall, of English descent, was born in
Virginia, and was a soldier of the Revolution, and at
one time private secretary of Gen. Washington. He
was wounded at the battle of Brandywine. He mar-
ried Ehoda Mclntyre, of Virginia, a lady of Scotch
lineage, and, nearly a hundred years ago, settled in
Fayette County, and had " jiatented" to him at that
time the farm ujion which ('apt. Kendall's father and
himself were born, and on which the father always
lived, and the ca|itain has resided until March, 1881.
( 'apt. Kendall's father was Jeremiah. He was a sol-
dier of the war of 1S12. His wife was Sarah Phillips,
of Nicholson township. Capt. Kendall received his
education in the common schools and at Rector Col-
lege, Pruntytown, Va. Nov. 7, 1844, he married Nancy
J. Allebaugh, the oldest daughter of Samuel and
Elizabeth Allebaugh. The latter (referred to in the

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 137 of 193)