Franklin Ellis.

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

. (page 142 of 193)
Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 142 of 193)
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aremnkins cveiy i.xei tn.n t tlie .-n,,.Irti.,n of their

Pa])cr.Mill, whirh tht-y ari^

eieeting mi lilg U.dstone, about

four miles from Browne illu,

n Fayeue County, a never-failing

stream. That they li^ivc f.

perienced Wurkmen engaged to

carry on the work, ;in(l h.i|.e

o bo able Ijefore ibe e.xpirat on of

tlie present year to fariiish

beir Fell.iw-Citizens with the dif-

ferent kinds of paper usuall.

in deninnd, of their own manu-

factiire, and of as good quaii

y a.- jny brought from below the

mountains. Tbey rer, t

leir fell.iiv-r,ti/,-ns generally to

promote tlieir undertaking 1.

• enL-ou::i_ - n.: Ih- .;ivin_' and eol-

lectingof rags, and inform M

l-ell.Uit- :n,.l >■.. r l,r.-|„.r- in |,;ir-

ticukar tliat lliey will give t

cm a gen. onus piir,. in Ca<ll lor

such clean Linen and Cotton

rags as they may collect.

•', May 19, 17aii.

The same paper of June 20, 1797, contains the fol-
lowing noti.o: ••The paper which yen n..w road was
manula.nnvd at l;.d-t,.ne, by Mt-^r~. .TarksMU .V
Sharplc-s and Ibrwanlcd with a iv.piu^t tn publish
thereon a number of tlir 7' /■./.■.//./(', that the public
might judge of their iMrlnnnanr.-."

In the Pittsburgh G<J:dtc of June 24, 1797, appeared
the Ibllowing :

"^ " This paper is made in the "Western country. It is
with great plea-^urc we i)roscnt to the iniblic the Pitts-

bural] On



Jackson & Sharpie-., -11 lird-tm,,. Creek, in Fayette
County. Writiiig-j.aper, all kinds and (lualities, as
well as printing-paper, will be made at tlie mill. This
is of great importance to the inhabitants of the coun-
try, not only because it will be cheaper tluin that
which is brought across the mountains, but it will
keep a large sum f)f iiK)ney in the country which is
yearly sent out for ihe article." ''-'

The tinstsheci of pa]M rwas dipped by Polly Given,
a young woman einoloyecl in Jonathan Sharpless'
family, to whom .-lie had come from Brownsville.
She married ("apt. James Patterson in 1801. When
Sharpless tound that U|nvards of §(5000 had been laid
out in the building of the paper-mill and attachments,
insteail of the s:;iioo reckoned upon, he was somewhat
nervous over the great outlay and feared a profitless
result, especially as Jackson hail furnished the bulk
of Jhe capital and hehl everything in his name, al-
though Sharpless was ostensibly a half-]iartner. The
situation worried Sharpies-, f.r not only all of his
money but moniy belonging to his wife had been put
into tile all'air without any writings to show that he
had any claim whatever. Added to that was the in-
formation that Mr. Jackson was a sharp one and
likely to ignore his partner's claims entirely, in
view of the fact that there wa,s no written evidence
to them. But Mr. Jackson was the soul of honor in
all his transactions with Sluirplcss, and iu 1798 gave

him a clear and unquestionable title to one-half of the
business, the property, and the profits. The earliest
manufacture of the mill was writing-paper, which
Sharpless himself carried to Pittsburgh in a two-horse
wagon, and there sold as he could find customers.
To find them was not difficult, for he placed his goods
far below the prices that had ruled before his advent,
and at his prices he made a very handsome profit. In
his record of the profits he stated that he paid four
cents a pound for rags, and sold his paper for one
I dollar per quire. He used often to tell that wdien
I peddling his paper in Pittsburgh he would find his
j pockets so overloaded witli silver that he would have
to stop his sales until he could hurry back to the
I tavern and deposit his coin with the landlord. Then,
his pockets being empty, be resumed traffic. In 1797
the mill made chiefly printing-paper, and employed
, as many as twenty or twenty-five hands.
j Samuel Jackson and Jonathan Sharpless carried on
the paper-mill together with much profit until 1810,
when Sharpless concluded to retire from active par-
tii'ipatioii. and accordingly leased his half-interest to
Samuel Jaekson for twelve hundred dollars per annum.
Jackson thereupon took in as a partner his son Jesse,
who had married Jonathan Sharpless' daughter Bet-
sey. Jonathan Sharpless moved to Franklin town-
ship, on Red.stone Creek, where he had purchased
the mill property owned by Jonathan Hill, and which
I is now owned by Samuel Smock. Mr. Sharpless
' called the place Salem Mill, built there also a sickle-
factory, fulling-mill, blacksmith-shop, etc., and con-
ducted for many years an extensive business. There
he died Jan. 20, 1860, at the age of ninety-two, and
was buried in the Quaker Cemetery in Centre school
district, Redstone township. Upon taking possession
with his son of the paper-mill Samuel Jackson re-
moved his residence from the mouth of the creek to
the paper-mill, and occupied the stone mansion built
by Jonathan Sharpless, near the mill, and yet in good
preservation. Upon the death of Samuel Jackson
in 1817, Jesse Jackson became the sole proprietor of
the paper-mill business, and shortly associated with
him Samuel, son of Jonathan Sharpless. In 1822,
Jesse Jackson removed to the mouth of Redstone to
take charge of the mill there, leaving the paper-mill
in the hands of Samuel Sharpless, William Sharpless,
and Job Harvey. The latter firm carried it on three
years. A time-book kept by them in 1823, still pre-
served, shows a list of the girls employed at the mill
that year. They were named Nellie Shaw, Nancy
Castler, Peggy Cochran, Eliza Maxon, Matilda Maxon,
Eliza Rose, Ann Shaw, Eliza Dunn, Ann Lyle, Mary
Reed, Mary BowHn, Lucinda Bowdin, and Sabia Rob-
inson. In 1825, William Sharpless and Jefferson
Carter succeeded to the business, and in 18.32 Samuel
Sharpless and his father Jonathan became the pro-
prietors, although the latter took no part in the active
management. The next succession was a firm com-
posed of Samuel Sharjdess, John Wallace (the latter


for many years previous having been the mill fore-
man), and Richard Huskins. While they were in
possession the mill burned, Oct. 28, 1842. The
loss was considerable, for the building contained a
stock of manufactured paper valued at twenty thou-
sand dollars. All of it was destroyed. That disaster
brought the paper business at that point to a close.
In 1843-44, Samuel Sharpless erected upon the site
the Redstone Flour-Mill, and carried it on until his
death in 1846. After that the successive proprietors
were James and John B. Patterson, Charles Foulk,
Sharpless, Patterson & Baird, Baird, Davidson e<t Co.,
Sharpless & Patterson, Linn & Parkhill, and J. P.
Parkhill. Mr. Parkhill conducted the business until
1875, since which time the property has lain idle.

At the September sessions of the court in 1830 a
petition for the division of the township of Washing-
ton was presented. George Craft, Dennis Springer,
and Thomas McMillen were appointed commissioners
to investigate and report upon the matter of dividing
said township. Their report, made at the June ses-
sion of court in 1840, was as follows:

"We report that we met pursuant to previous notice at the
house of Abrahivui Hough, on Monday, the 11th day of No-
vember, 18.39 ; we then proceeded to make a division of
said township of Washington as nearly agreeable to the said
order as practicable, mnliing natural boundaries the lines of said
new town-hip when the .same would arrive at the points men-
tioned in said order, commencing at a eoal-hank on the Mo-
nongahela Kiver about ten perches above the mouth (jf a small
run called Coal Run, on the lands of said Abraham Hough;
then eastwar.lly through the lands of said Hough and lands of
John lil.vthe to a point on the north branch of Little Kcd.-tone,
near a coal-bank on the lands of John lilyihe; thence by the
meanders of said north branch of the Little Redstone up to
Evan Cope's sickle shop; thence by a straight line, passing near
Hamilton's blacksmith-shop, to a point in the line between said
Stevens and Asa Chambers; thence by the same to a point in
Perry township line, near the residence of said Asa Chambers;
thence by Perry township line to the line between Franklin
and Washington townships, now proposed to be called Jeffer-
son township; thence by said line to Redstone Creek; thence
by Redstone Creek to its mouth, thence by the Monongahela
River to the place of beginning. The undersigned are of
opinion that from what is now called Washington township, and
the number of voters residing therein, that the foregoing divis-
ion is necessary, and they therefore recommend to the Honor-
able Court to authorize the erection of a new township to be
called Jefferson."

At the same sessions the commissioners' report, as
above given, was confirmed by tiie court.

At the Juue sessions of court, 1843, a petition was
presented " For altering a line between Jefferson and
Perry townships so as to include Martin Lutz within
Jefferson township." Commissioners were appointed,
and the following report was presented and ajjproved
March 14, 1845:

" To the Honorable the Judges above named.

" We the persons appointed by the annexed order of Court

duly sworn and affirmed according

placing so much of the hind of Ma

above Plot No. 2, viz., that the 1



16i, <

n Lutz as indicated in the
vnship lino bo so altereil

land, and run north 22J, east 22 jierchcs, theneo north
ast 76 perches, thence south 7(U, west 40 perches, to the
old line, and that iu our opinion there is a necessity for the
same. Given under our hands and seals this ISth day of Jun-
uary, a.d. 1S45. James Fuller, AVilliam Elliot, Daniel Sharp-

The court record continues :

"And now to wit, June 6th, 1845, the above report having
been read in the Court in the manner and at the tim.-s pre-
scribed by law, the Court approve and confirm the said altera-

The civil list of Jefferson from 1840 to ISSl is
given herewith :


for the

ag township lines,

1840. Alexander Blair.


John S. Goe.

Richard Huskins.


F. C. Herron.

1S45. John H. Tarr.

J. N. Dixon.

1848. William G. Patterson.


J. N. Dixon.

1860. John Miner.

F. C. Herron.

Abraham Pershing.


Gibson Binns.

1852. Ch.arles McCracken.


William P. Clifton.

John S. Goe.


Gibson Binns.

1853. John S. Goe.

Jacob Wolf.

Wm. G. Patterson.

James Essington.

1858. Wm. J. Stewart.



1840. John H. Tarr.


D. W. Blair.

IS41. William (J. Patterson.


William Johnston.

1842. Samuel 1'. Chalfant.


John A. Corder.

184:1. Thomas Miller.


Jonathan Sharpless.

1844. John Van Sickle.


Henry Wileman.

1845. Steel Samide.


Johnston For.^yth.

1846. Peter Miller.


William H. Wolfe.

1847. David L. Brackenridgc.


Robert Boyd.

1848. Asa Worley.


B. M. Chalfant.

1849. Nathan Morehead.


Lewis Cope.

1850. Martin Rechtel.


Joseph AV. Chalfant.

1851. James L. Craekenridge.


Taylor Clark.

1852. Jesse C. Strawn.


James S. Elliott.

lS5a-54. F. C. Ilerron.


David Browneller.

1855. John N. Dickson.


E. 0. Murphy.

1856. Abner Donaldson.


James Chalfant.

1S5-. J. H. Hutchiuson.


S. S. Patterson.

is;.^. S. K. Xiiii.


N. E. Murphy.

1-,VI. .I:,.,,. - K-HllL'ton.


Harvey Steele.

ISiiii. William i:iliott.


H. H. Trump.



1840. Joseph D. Wilgus.


James C.Elliott.

James Elliott.


John H. Andrew.

George Kirkpatrick.


David Shearer.

1841. Samuel Cpc.


William Elliott.

1842. William Sharpless.


William G. PattersoD

1843. John W. Chalfant.


William Forsyth.

1844. Isaac Umble.


Thomas Miller.

Jacob Kemp.


Levi B. Stephens.

1845. William G. Patterson.


James Coulson.

1846. John Byers.


Andrew Ford.

1847. Levi Calvin.

ArchibaM Boyd.

1S4S. William Forsyth.


John N. Dixon.



Willinm r. Wells.


Eli Forsvth.


II. B. Goe.


Gibson Burns.


Robert Elliott.


Stephen R. Nutt.


Thomas Lilley.


Eli S. Fors.vth.


William Hall.


Thomas Lilley.


^^'illiam Elliott.


Gibson Burns.


John Simpson.


J. N. Dixon.


William Hall.


William J. Townsend.

E. X. Stephens.


W. J. Forsvth.


Gibson Burns.


Hugh Laughlin.

Thomas W. Lilley.


Emmor Cope.

Hugh Laughlin.


William Stephens.


William Elliott.



Early school history in Jefferson is vngue,
for previous to 1835 there were no free public schools,
and consequently no school records. The first school
now recollected as having been taught in Laurel
Dale District was held by a Mr. O'Connor in 180.5.
In AVashington District school was taught in a log
cabin by Nathaniel Clark about the same time Na-
thaniel's father, Joshua, owned the land upon which
the school-house stood. The place is now included
in the P.oyd farm. In 1817 school was held in one
of the unfinished Imil. lings at Albany, intended by
Samu.l Jark-oii to be a portion of the Albany Glass-
AVorks. John SheMon. an Irishman, taught there
and in the ueigldjorhood a good many years. He was
a warm admirer of England's king, and kept the
king's portrait hung in his room, in which, it was
often his jileasure to gather a company and dilate in
eloquent manner upon the veneration witli which he I
regarded the royal George. .^heMon died in Browns-
ville, where his daughter, Airs. Joseph Gratf, now re-
sides. In Laurel Dale District, in ISK',, Monlecai
Johns taught in the old stone school-house. In the
same year a log school-house stood in Washington
District, near the present house, and in it that year
an old man of seventy, known as Hickory Quaker
Aliller, taught the youths of the period. In 1806 an
old Iri-^hman taught aii.l thra.shed in Cedar Hill Dis-
trict. He was accounted a severe task-master, and
beat the. boys right and left until they were black and
blue. Roused to a pitch of desperation, the pupils
took revenge on the pedagogue one day by throwing
red pepper upon the stove and then clearing out and
locking him in the school-room. He begged and
plead and sneezed until his ln'.id tlin-atencd to leave
his shoulders, but the boys rrlu^.d lo ixlease him
until he had promised to behav..- decently to them in
the future. Whether the promise was kept or not is

Following is a list of school directors of Jefferson
town.ship from 1841 to the present time :

1S4II.— .Josi.ah King, Joseph Xutt, William Sharpless, and Job

1S41.— .Abraham .Alfrec, Andrew C. Ford.
1^4-:.— .Miraham .•Vltree, David Puyarmon.
ISl:;. — Wi.liam Foisyth, Christian Krcpps.

1844.— William Show, Julias Kemp.

1845.— Abraham Alfree, David Pcop'es, Andrew C. Ford.

1846.— William Forsyth, William G. Patterson.

1847.— Francis C. Herron, John Patterson.

1848.- David Peoples, Thomas E. AVarner.

1S49.— Walter B. Chalfant, Eli J. Bailey, William C. Patterson.

1S50.— ApoUos Loar, Christopher R. Stonecker, Adam Culler.

1851.— Charles McCracken, Eli J. Baily, David Deyarmon.

1852.- William G. Patter.'ion, Walter B. Chalfant.

1853.- W. J. Stewart, F. C. Herron.

1S54.— N. C. Ford, H. B. Goe.

1855.- William G. Patterson, F. C. Herron.

1856.- Peter Miller, William J. Wells.

1857.- F. C. Herron, H. H. Connelly, William Thistlethwaite,

Samuel Brown.
185^8.- William Elliott, Thaddcus Chalfant.
185*9.— William Forsyth, David Deyarmon, A. C. Ford.
I860.— Thomas Miller, F. C. Herron, David Deyarmon.
1861.— F. C. Herron, William G. Patterson.
1862.— James Essington, William I. Wells.
1863.— Samuel Brown, William T. Goe.
1864.— John S. Goe, S. R. Nutt.
1865.- Levi Naicroze, J. M. Crouch.
1866.- A. C. Ford, James D. Miller.
1867.— F. C. Herron, David Deyarmon, John S. Elliott.
1868.— James M. Crouch, Joseph S. Elliot.
1869.— E. D. Stewart, D. M. Shearer.
1870.- Robert S. Goe, Francis S. Herron.
1871.- David Deyarmon, Mark Winnet.
1872.— Charles Stuckslager, Andrew C. Ford, Hugh Laughlin,

Israel Cope.
1873.— Robert Boyd, James Hutchinson.
1874.— Caleb Campbell, Jehu Luce, Mark Winnet.
1875.— David Deyarmon, A. C. Ford.
1876.- Robert Elliott, Israel Cope.
1877.— James Chalfant, Lewis Cope.
1878.— Robert S. Goe, Daniel Bortner.
I S7'.i.— Joseph Swartz, J. T. Elliott.
issii.— J. R. Luce, Frank Hough.
ISSl.-I. 0. Miller, J. Wehage.

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

Number of schools 8

Average number of months taught 5

Male teachers 5

Female " 6

Average monthly salaries of males .?3I)

females 30

Male scholars 105

Female " 144

Average attendance 221

Mills levir.l I,,,- .,-1 1 purposes'.'.'.'.'.'.''.!!!'.! ..'!..!!..

■• •■ ImuM.ii.' •• 01

Amount ■• •■ •■ and school pur-

li"S.s S9S3.60

Si;,t.- Mppinpnation 1B.'?.3.S7

Total receipts 1633.87

Cost of school-houses, — purchasing,

building, renting, etc

Teachers' wages S1200

Paid r..i fuel and Lcaiiigencies, fees of

lullv.'tois, ;,nd all c.iher expenses 159.82

Tulal e.xpenduurcs 1359.82

Resources 489.94





Little Redstone Church was organized by Eev.
Jacob Jennings in a log cabin that stood close to
where the town hall now stands. The year of the
organization is supposed to have been 1797, although
the loss of the early church records renders positive
evidence upon that point unobtainable. For the
same reason the names of the constituent members of
the organization cannot be given. The first elders
chosen were Joseph Lyon, John Blylhe, Sr., and
John Wells. Among those who served as elders in
the early history of the church may also be men-
tioned William Steele, John Steele, John McKinnon,
John Hazlip, Peter Humrickhouse, John Gorraly,
William Forsyth, Nicholas Baker, J. H. Duncan,
Henry Barkman, David Hough, William Hough, Jo-
seph Wells, James Cummings, J. V. Gibbard, and
William Parkhill. Little Redstone Church was sup-
plied with preaching by the pastors of Dunlap's
Creek Church, and when Rev. Mr. Jennings ended
his pastorate Rev. William Johnston took charge.
During his term of service the organization at Little
Redstone was discontinued and its members trans-
ferred to the Brownsville Church. In 1844 Little
Redstone was reorganized by the election of William
Steele, John Steele, John Wells, and John Blythe as
elders. A brick church was built in 1845, about a
half-mile north of the old location (William Elliott,
William Forsyth, and William G. Patterson being
the building committee), and a churchyard laid out.
Rev. Thomas Martin assumed the pastorate and re-
mained until 1848, when he was succeeded by Rev.
Robert M. Wallace. Mr. Wallace remained until
1860. His successors to the present time have been
Revs. Joseph H. Stevenson, George Scott, R. R.
Gailey, and C. C. B. Duncan. The latter was the
pastor in April, 1881. The present membership is
ninety. The trustees in April, 1881, were S. R. Nutt
and John N. Dixon.


Fairview was organized in 1828, with something
like forty or fifty members. Among those who took
a leading part in effecting the organization were
Samuel Goe, Robert Dunn, Stacy Hunt, William Ball,
Jacob Wolf, and William Condon. After using the
stone school-house a year for meetings the congrega-
tion built a irame church in 1829, and in 1849 built
the present brick edifice. The present pastor is Rev.
J. J. Mitchell, who preaches once in two weeks. The
membership is now about sixty. The class-leader is
Johnson Noble, who is also superintendent of the
Sunday-school, which has enjoyed a continuous and
prosperous existence since Sept. 18, 1830. The church
trustees are Playford Cook, George Krepps, Johnson
A. Noble, Joseph W. Jliller, J. D. Jliller, Alexander
W. Jordan, James Essington, John Stephens, and
Charles Stuckslagcr. Some of the early pastors of

Fairview were Revs. Thornton Fleming, Jacob Young,
James Wilson, William Monroe, Christopher Frye,
Joshua Monroe, Thomas Jemison, Asa Shinn, David
Sharp, John Spencer, Charles Elliott, Robert Boyd,

William Stephens, Bascom, J. G. Sanson, Johu

Erwin, Warner Long, and Samuel Wakefield.


Bellevue Church was organized in 1832, by Rev.
Mr. Dunlevy, of the Brownsville Circuit, in the church
building of the Fairview Methodist Episcopal con-
gregation. Among the prominent constituent mem-
bers were Thomas Burton and wife, Robert Islierwood
and family, Alexander Blair and wife, and Robert
Dunn and wife. The major portion of the organizing
members had been connected with Fairview, and at
Fairview as well as at the school-house meetings were
held until 1835, when Bellevue Church was erected.
The first trustees were H. B. Goe, Thomas Burton, and
Robert Duun. A Sunday-school was not organized
until 1856. Previous to that, Fairview had a Union
Sunday-school. Rev. Mr. Dunlevy was the first pas-
tor at Bellevue. After him some of the earliest pas-
tors were Revs. Cyrington, Palmer, Hull, Valentine
Lucas, Henry Lucas, Taylor, Colehour, Crowther, and
Stillwagon. Bellevue had at one time a membership
of seventy-five, but can boast now of but about forty
communicants. Among the early class-leaders were
Alexander Blair, Robert Dunn, Thomas Burton, T.
W. Dunn, and Jacob Wolf The present pastor is
Henry Lucas, and the leader, Thomas W. Duun. The
trustees are Jacob Wolf, S. W. Reed, and William


Mount Vernon was at one time a prosperous or-
ganization, but since 1S72 it has had a precarious ex-
istence, and at present may be considered as virtually
dissolved. No regular preaching has been enjoyed
there for some time. A church building was erected
in 1855. In 1872, Francis Herron, the mainstay of
the society, removed from the township, and being
soon followed by other members, the speedy decline
of the church followed. There was an organization
of Methodist Episoopals at Mount Vernon in 1849.
but it failed in a few years for want of support.

On the Boyd farm in Washington School District
an Episcopal Church stood in 1805. It was a log cabin,
minus doors or windows, and had for a pulpit a rough
desk, under which the rector's surplice was usually
kept. This looseness in hiding the priestly robes led
to their being abstracted by certain mischievous spirits,
and a consequent dismay when the rector next came
and searched for his garments that were non est. Joshua
Clark donated seven acres of land for the church and
churchyard. The property was for many years as-
sessed to the Church of England. It is thought the
church was built as early as 1800. In 1806 the Epis-
copalians gave up their meetings, and for a while


afterwards the German Lutherans used the house for


The coal deposits beneath the soil of Jefferson
t iwnship are said to extend beneath tlie entire area
of territory, except a small portion in the southeast.
The so-called Pittsburgh nine-foot vein prevails
liere, and the deposits are therefore of an exceedingly
valuable nature. Thus far, however, developments in
the way of important mining operations for shipment
have been confined to the river-front, for the reason that
only by means of the river has there been ready trans-
portation to coal-consuming centres. The contem-
plated completion of the Redstone Extension Rail-
road along the course of the Redstone Creek will
offer an outlet for the product of the creek coal region,
and the i}pening (jf the railway will of course be the
signal fur (lie opening on the Redstone in Jefferson
town-hiji nl' ixi.'ii-ive mining enterprises. Something
like foiir thoiHanil aires of coal lands lying along the
creek have long been owned by the Redstone Coal
Company, which has been waiting simply for the

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 142 of 193)