Franklin Ellis.

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

. (page 154 of 193)
Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 154 of 193)
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land is still called " Nealy's Moonlight Discovery."

Samuel McClean had two sons, William and John.
William removed to Butler County, Ohio, in 1808,
and died there in 1824. John lived for some years
on the farm which the Lemont Furnace now occu-
pies. In the war of 1812 he went out as captain
of a company of soldiers. After the war he lived
upon the farm now owned by George McClean, where
he died in 1831. All the daughters of Samuel
McClean, except Nancy and Sarah, removed West.
Nancy became the wife of Stephen McClean, her
cousin, and a son of Alexander McClean. Sarah
married George McRea, and lived upon the home-
stead until her death. Mrs. William Hankins is a
daughter of Stephen and Nancy McClean.



Robert and John Gaddis, sons of William Gaddis,
came from " Apple-Pie Ridge," near Winchester, Va.,
to North Union township some time in the year 1785.
At this time John was forty-five years of age. He
purchased 295] acres of land, with an allowance of
six per cent, for roads. The tract joined that of Rob-
ert Gaddis and John Patrick, and was called " Gad-
distown." The warrant for it was dated Feb. 7, 1785,
the patent being granted March 30, 178(i. Adjoining
this " Gaddistown" tract John Gaddis, in 1797, pur-
chased two other tracts, — one, called " Oxford," con-
taining 40J acres, and the other, called " Cambridge,"
of 16 J acres, — with the allowance of six per cent, for
roads, as before. The warrants for the last two were
dated March 6, 1794. During his life John Gaddis
was a prominent member and worker in the Great
Bethel Baptist Church of Uniontown. He died
April 12, 1827, aged eighty-seven years. His wife,
Sarah Gaddis, died a quarter of a century before, Jan.
7, 1802. Five sons and six daughters made up the
family of John and Sarah Gaddis. They were
Thomas, Jonathan, William, Jacob, John, Mary,
Anna, Elizabeth, Priscilla, Sarah, and Ruth. Jona-
than died in 1793, and Anna in 1799, six years later.
William and Sarah removed to the West; Mary be-
came Mrs. Allen and lived in Franklin township, and
Elizabeth and Ruth married and moved to Wilming-
ton, Del., and died there. Priscilla married Thomas
Barton and lived in Menallen township, where she
died during the winter of 1880-81, at the age of ninety-
five years. John and Jacob each took a part of the
old homestead. John married a daughter of his
cousin, John Gaddis (son of Robert), and she is now
living in Uniontown with her son Eli, her husband
having died in 1868. Oliver Gaddis, son of Jacob,
lives on the property formerly owned by his father.

Robert Gaddis came to this township with his
brother John in 1785, and purchased 237 acres of land
at that time about two and one-half miles northwest
of Uniontown, on the National road. This land
adjoined that of John Gaddis, and was surveyed to
Robert April 19, 1788. Of his large family of chil-
dren, all of the daughters and the sons Benjamin,
William, and Jesse removed West. John inherited a
part of the homestead, and some of his descendants
still live upon it. His wife was Rachel Davis, a
daughter of James Davis, an old settler of Union
township. Henry Gaddis, a brother of Robert and
John, came to North Union soon after their settle-
ment here. He purchased 252 acres of land (adjoin-
ing John's property), which was surveyed to him
March 15, 1788. Henry Gaddis, who now lives in
this to\vii-lii|i, is (iiic of his descendants.

John I'atiiik -ittlcd here in 1785. He received a
warrant for two hundred and ninety-six and one-
half acres, the warrant being dated Sept. 30, 1785.
The patent was issued May 12th of the following year.
This tract of land was named "Crooked Path," situate
on Redstone Creek opposite the Buflalo Lick, and ad-

joining the lands of Robert Gaddis, Nathan Springer,
! Josiah Springer, and Cornelius Conner. The property
has now passed out of the family.

Dec. 27, 1785, there was surveyed to Eleanor Daw-
son, wife of George Dawson, three hundred and twelve
acres of land in this vicinity, by virtue of a certifi-
cate from the surveyor of Yohogania County, Va., of
hich the following is an exact copy :

"ViRGixiA Surveyors' Office, Yohogania Cocxty.
" Eleanor Dawson produced a certificate from the Corn's for
adjusting Titles and settling claims to lands in the Counties of
Yohogania, Monongahela, and Ohio for four hundred acres of
land in this county on the waters of Redstone to include her
' settlement made in the year 1770 in right of herself during her
natural life; the remainder to Nicholas Dawson e.x'r of George
Dawson Dec'd to be distributed according to the will of s'd

" Jany. 21, 1780. " W. Crawforh, .S'. Y.C.

" The certf. mentioned in the within was granted by Francis

l^eyton, Phil. Pendleton, & Joseph Holms. Gentlemen Com'rs

when sitting at Redstone Old Fort the day & year within

i mentioned, of which the within appears on record in my office.

I (iiven under my hand and seal this 18th day March, 1785.

"B.Johnson, S.r.C."

A similar certificate was procured by Henry Daw-
son Jan. 21, 1780, while the commissioners were in
session at Cox's Fort, for which he was granted two
hundred and fifty acres of land " on the vjaters of
Redstone, to include his settlement thereon made in
the year 1771." This certificate and entry claim

! Henry Dawson assigned to Joseph Little, Feb. 23,
1786, and on March 23, 1811, Little sold it to Samuel
Musgrove and Robert Davis. The land in question
lies adjoining the Eleanor Dawson tract and William
Rankin's farm on the east, and joins the James Finley
jiroperty on the west. George Dawson's son Nicholas
removed to the Virginia Pan Handle and died there,
leaving two sons, John and George. The latter lived
at Brownsville. His son, John L. Dawson, became

i very prominent at the bar and in political life. His
last years were passed on "Friendship Hill," where
he died. John Dawson, the other son of Nicholas,
was quite a prominent lawyer, and well known in
public life. E. Bailey Dawson, of LTniontown, is his
son. Elizabeth M. Dawson, daughter of George and
Eleanor Dawson, married Col. William Swearingen.
Their great-grandson now lives on the original prop-
erty in North Union.

John Hankins, a native of North Carolina, came
with his wife and children to Beesontown in this
county in 1784. On June 11, 1786, in pursuance of
a warrant dated June 2d, there was surveyed to him
a tract of Jand in North Union township containing
one hundred and twelve acres, the same upon which
his grandson, William Hankins, now lives. On the
north side of his land was that of Richard Waller ;
on the east, that of Dennis Springer; south, that of
James Rankin ; and west, that of Uriah and William
.Alartiii. ilartin was then in [lossession of the tract.



and had built a cabin upon it, besides having cleared
a part of the land. These improvements Mr. Hanlcins
bought and moved into the cabin, while Martin took
up one hundred and eighty-three acres in the vicinity,
for which he received a warrant May 30, 1788. At
the same time Mr. Hankins purchased the one hun-
dred and twelve acres mentioned above he also bought
another tract of one hundred acres. This he after-
wards sold to Matthew Clark, and it now belongs to
Col. Samuel Evans. The sons of John Hankins
were James, William, Samuel, Eiehard, and Arthur.
They lived in this section until they reached man-
hood, when, with the exception of James, they all
removed to Tennessee.

When Mr. Hankins removed his family to this
county James was but four years old. He remained
upon his father's farm and died there, leaving two
sons, William and John. William still lives on the 1
homestead where he was born. His son. Dr. John I
Hankins, is practicing medicine in Uniontown.
John Hankins, the brother of William, and second |
son of James, lives on a farm that his father bought
of Benjamin Lincoln. I

Joseph Huston came to Union township in 1790, and [
in the same year was elected sheriff of the county. He ,
had previously lived with his father in Tyrone, and !
afterwards with Col. James Paull in Kentucky, and
for many years he led a roving life. On Oct. 5, i
1791, the year after his election to the sheriffalty, he
bought ninety-four and one-quarter acres of land on
Redstone Creek, in what is now North Union, it
being a part of the tract of land which had been pat-
ented to Samuel McCarty, under the name of " Union
Grove." On Feb. 20, 1792, he purchased of Henry
Beeson lot 39, in Uniontown, that where Mrs. Dr.
David Porter now lives. Subsequently he bought the
lot and built the brick house which adjoins the resi-
dence of E. Bailey Dawson upon the west, and which
he afterwards sold to Jonathan Rowland. For several
years Joseph Huston pursued a mercantile business. I
Becoming interested in the manufacture of iron, he,
in December, 1795, purchased of Dennis Springer a '
share in fifty-one acres of land in North Union, ad- j
joining that of John Patrick and Ephraim Douglass, !
which was patented to Jacob Knapp in May, 1788, and
a part of it sold to Dennis Springer in the same year. !
On this land Huston Springer built the " Huston Old
Forge." In 1803, Huston bought of Jeremiah Pears
the Redstone Furnace, in the present township of
South Union, and continued the business at these
places until near the time of his death. His wife was
Mary, daughter of John Smilie, and by her he had
two daughters, — Jane, who married Isaiah H. Mar-
shall (at one time manager of the Fairfield Furnace),
and Sarah, who became Mrs. Andrew Bryson, Jr.
Mrs. Huston died in 1709, and Mr. Huston in 1824,
aged sixty-one years. Of Joseph Huston's brothers,
William and John, the former lived in Tyrone
township until his death in 1S21, and his son Eli

still resides there. In 1783 John lived in Union-
town, where for two or three years he kept a tavern.
He purchased lands on tax titles until 1792, when he
went to Kentucky.

Some time previous to 1791, Benjamin Lincoln,
son of Mordecai Lincoln, left his home in Perry
township, Dauphin Co., and emigrated to the west
side of the mountains, and lived for a time on the
Rankin farm in Union township. While there his
father visited him, and was so well pleased with the
country and its prospects that on June 29, 1791, he
purchased of Isaac Pearce the tract of land called
" Discord," containing three hundred and twenty
acres. Mordecai Lincoln had four children, — Benja-
min, John, Ann, and Sarah. A few years later Ben-
jamin purchased a farm on Whitely Creek, in Greene
County. Afterwards he became the owner of the
farm now occupied by John Hankins, and lived
there until his death. John and Ann Lincoln went
to Virginia. Sarah was married before coming to
North Union to John Jones, a Philadelphian of
Welsh descent. Jones remained upon the old farm
until the death of Mordecai Lincoln, when he became
its purchaser. He lived there until 1802, when he
died, and was buried in the family burying-ground
where his father-in-law and other members of the
family had been laid. The children of John and
Sarah Jones were six in number, of whom William,
Ann, and John remained in this township, and the
other three went West. William li-ved a bachelor on
a part of the homestead, and died in 1872, aged
eighty-three years. Ann married Daniel Canon
(brother of Col. John Canon, of Washington County),
and resided in Uniontown. John is still living on
the homestead farm. This farm, like many others
in this section, is underlaid with a vein of coal, nine
feet in thickness. Tlic Youngstown Coke Company
have purchased the right to mine the coal under this
farm and some others adjoining. On this, which was
the Isaac Pearce tract, was one of the early "Set-
tlers' Forts," built for protection against the Indians.

In the year 1796, Jacob Lewis, accompanied by his
sons Freeman and John, came from Basking Ridge,
N. J., and settled in the vicinity of Uniontown (near
Hogsett's Station), at Minor's mill. Jacob came as a
miller for John Minor. At that time Freeman Lewis
was sixteen years of age. He studied surveying with
Col. McClean, and assisted him in many of his sur-
veys. He was also employed with Jonathan Knight,
when surveying the route of the Chesapeake and Ohio
Canal, as well as in most of the important works of
surveying in the western part of the State. He was
appointed county surveyor by Governor Wolf, and
held the oflice until the incoming of Governor Ritner.
Freeman Lewis was a fine musician, and published a
book on the " Beauties of Harmony." In December,
1809, he married Rebecca Crafts, daughter of David
Crafts, and for several years taught school at Union-
tmvn. From 1814 to 1>^29 he lived in Merrittstown,



after which he removed to Uniontown, staying there
until his death, Sept. 18, 1859. The map of Fayette
County, published by Freeman Lewis in 1832, is re-
produced in the pages of this history. His sons were
three, — Levi, Thomas, and John. The first two live
in Uniontown, and John is a civil engineer and sur-
veyor in Ohio.

John Lewis, the other son of Jacob Lewis, was a
saddler, and learned his trade of John Campbell. His
home was in Uniontown, and his sons, Samuel and
Marshall Lewis, are still living there, the former
having filled the office of justice of the peace for many

Andrew Bryson emigrated to this country from Ire-
land, and Oct. 29, 1799, purchased of Hugh Rankin
one hundred and seventy-three acres in this township.
He lived and died upon the place, and his son An-
drew is still living tliere, very far advanced in years.
The sons of Andrew Bryson, Jr., — John H., Andrew,
and Robert, — are also residents of North LTnion, occu-
pying the homestead and other lands adjoining.

Jesse Evans was a native of Wales, who having
emigrated to America, was for many years a resident
of Springhill township in this county. In 1831 he
removed from there to " Spring Grove" farm, a large
tract of land which his son Samuel had purchased
some ten years previous. His active business life was
passed in the supervision of Springhill Furnace, with
which he was connected from 1797 to 1831. He was I
also quite extensively engaged in mercantile pursuits, j
conducting branch stores in many different sections.
His official career as justice of the peace extended
over many years, and was throughout very honorable.
The last years of his life were passed upon his farm \
and in Uniontown, where he died in 1842 at an ad- \
vanced age. Samuel Evans, a son of Jesse Evans, was \
born June •>, 1800. Hisearliest education was acquired
at the academy at Dunlap's Creek, and in 1812 he en- 1
tered the academy at Uniontown, then in charge of
Dr. James Dunlap. When eighteen years of age he
entered the office of Judge John Kennedy as a stu-
dent of law ; remained there three years, when he
went to Pliiladelphia and studied witli Jonathan W.
Condy, a prominent lawyer of that city. Upon his
return to Uniontown he commenced the practice of
law, which he continued for two years, and then
served one term as member of the State Assembly.
In 1825, Col. Evans, Thomas Irwin, John Kennedy,
and James Todd were appointed a committee from
Fayette County to attend a convention at Harrisburg,
the object of which was the consideration of plans for
the development of public improvements. The result
was the adoption of a comprehensive system which
incluiled the roiistrnetion of the ranals of the State.
Of the one linndred and thirty delei^ates who attended
that convention. Col. Evans is the only one now living.
Soon after this he and Judge Irwin made a trip to
Buffalo, from thence to Albany and New York City,
for the purpose of examining the Erie Canal (then

just completed) and other public improvements. The
winters of Col. Evans' early life, after 1823, were
many of them passed by him at Baltimore, that he
might have opportunity for examining the old docu-
ments and maps pertaining to the early history of the
country. The fruits of his labors in this direction
were many and valuable, and were passed over to
Mr. Veech, in the preparation of his '' Monongahela
of Old." Among the old maps is one which shows
Redstone Creek under the French name " La Petite
Riviere." His intimate association with the promi-
nent men of the country in its early daj's, and his
thorough knowledge of the history of the county,
make him a cyclopsdia of interesting reminiscences
and information. He owns and lives upon a tract of
land of 1-500 acres about two miles from Uniontown,
in which is included Hugh Crawford's " Grant of
Preference" of .500 acres. This part is in the bottom-
lands below Col. Evans' house, wdiere Philip Shute
built the tub-mill, the ruins of which are still visible.

William Craig was a native of Ireland, who emi-
grated to this country in 1785, settling at East Lib-
erty, where in later years he started a store. In the
year 1798 he married Jane Smilie, a daughter of John
Smilie, and about 1811 removed to Union township
and commenced work in Huston's old forge, where he
was intrusted in the manufacture of nails. Mrs.
Craig died in 1835, and Mr. Craig in 1838. They left
one son, John S. Craig, who in 1817 commenced
work in Huston's old forge, and soon took the man-
agement of it. Three years later he went to Dunbar
Creek, where for a year he had the supervision of a
rolling-mill, also the property of Joseph Huston. As
Mr. Huston sold the rolling-mill to Isaac Meason,
John Craig returned to the old forge, and remained
until he was twenty-two years of age. He then
spent two years at Redstone Furnace, and in 1827
purchased the farm where Robert Huston now lives.
Leaving that, he spent a few years in Menallen town-
ship and in the West, after which he returned to
Union township, and in 1850 purchased the farm on
which he now resides in North Union.

Ephraim Douglass, although a settler in Uniontown,
purchased forty-one acres of land known as Douglass
Bottom, lying north of the fair-grounds, and another
tract of three hundred and thirty-nine acres. In his
later years he lived in what is now North Union town-
ship, and died there in July, 1833. But his earlier
life, after his settlement in Fayette County, was
passed in Uniontown, in the history of which bor-
ough he is more fully mentioned. His son Ephraim
died in 1839. His daughter Sarah was the wife of
Daniel Keller, a well-known iron-master of this
county. Another daughter, Eliza, was the wife of
Allen King, of Clark County, Ohio.

•lames Gallagher purchased and became a settler
upon a tract of land on the north bank of Redstone
Creek, adjoining Uniontown, now in North Union
township. To this property was given the name of


" James' Fancy." Mr. Gallagher's grandson still oc-
cupies a part of this farm.


The partition of old Union township into the pres-
ent divisions of North Union and South Union was
effected by an act of the Legislature of Pennsylvania,
approved March 11, 1851, which provided and de-
clared, " That hereafter the township of Union, in the
county of Fayette, shall be, and is hereby divided into
two separate election districts, to be called North and
South Union ; and that the Cumberland road be the
dividing line between the same ; and each township
shall have a separate window to vote at, in the court-
house in the borough of Uniontown."

The township of North Union then, under this
division, is bounded on the north by Franklin and
Dunbar townships, on the east by Dunbar and Whar-
ton, on the south and southwest by the borough of
Uniontown and the township of South Union (against
which last named the boundary is formed by the old
National road), and on the west by the township of
Menallen. The population of the township by the
census of 1880 was 3170.

The list of township officers' of North Union from
its formation until the present time is as follows:



Abraham Hayden. .


Asher M. Bailey.


Jonathan D. Springer.


J. D. Springer.


William Wallace.


William M. Shipley.

Abraham Hayden.


Enoch M. Abraham.


Elisha D. Emerson.


George Gearing.

George Yeagley.


John W. McDowell.


Asher M. Bailey.


William W. Clark.


Elisha D. Emerson.



Samuel W. Jones.


James H. Springer.


Robert Junk.


Thomas H. Fenn.


William W. Clark.


Dennis Springer.


Samuel Jones.


Henry Jeffries.

Samuel Beatty.


Thomas H. Fenn.


Thomas Junk.


William Bryson.


Moses Foster.


Isaac Jeffries.


William W. Clark.


60. Thomas H. Fenn.

Shermnn Frazee.


Andrew Bryson.


John Junk.


William W. Clark.


John B. Hogsett.


N. B. Jones.


B. V. Jones.


William Darlington.


S. W. Jones.


William Swan.


John H. Bryson.


John C. Johnston.


James Hankins.


52. John S. Craig.


Wilson Hutchinson.


54. James T. McClean.


John S. Craig.


Calvin Springer.


William Darlington.


John (;.allagher.


John S. Craig.


Emanuel Brown.


67. James McClean.


James McCIean.


Stephen Hawkins.


James McKean.


Mordecai Lincoln.

1869. Abraham Huslon.

1870. .lohn S. Craig.
1873-74. John Foster.
1875-76. Emmanuel Maust.

Moses A. Foster.

1879. M. A. Foster.
James Hanan.
i 1880. Fuller Carson.
1881. W. S. Jobes.


One of the earliest schools in what is now North
Union was taught, not long after the commencement
of the present century, by James Todd, afterwards
attorney-general of the State, in a house situated near
Mount Braddock, on land adjoining the Pearce tract.
There are few, if any, surviving of the scholars who
attended that school e.xcept Mr. John Jones, now
eighty years of age, who has still a vivid recollection
of attending there under the teaching of " School-
master" Todd.

In 1822 a school was taught in a log building stand-
ing on the Widow Murphy place, now owned by
Kobert Hogsett. This school was then under charge
of Hugh Ellerton, but the names of his predecessors
and successors, if there were any, have not been as-
certained. About 1826 the people of the vicinity
united to build a large log school-house on the site of
the present one near William Hankins'. In that
school-house Daniel Keller, who had been identified
with the early iron interests of this section, taught
from the time of its erection till the inauguration of
the free-school system under the law of 1834.

In 1857 the county superintendent reported for this
township nine schools, nine teachers, four hundred
and sixty-four scholars, and the sum of $1430 levied
for school purposes.

The township is now (1881) divided into seven
school districts. The report for the last year gives
five hundred and sixty-three pupils, eleven teachers ;
total expenditure, $2014.25 ; valuation of school prop-
erty in the township, $10,000.

Following is given a list of those who have served
as school directors in North Union from the division
of the old township to the present time:
1851.— Charles G. Turner, Abram Hayden.
1852.— Dennis Sutton. James McClean.
1853.— H.W. Beeson, Andrew Bryson, Henry Yeagley.
1854.- Andrew Bryson, J. D. Springer, Elisha D. Emerson.
1856.— William Robinson.
1857.— John Clark, J. D. Springer.
1858.— Parker C. Pusey, Adam Cannon.
1859.— Henry Yeagley, William H. Henshaw.
1861. — Adam Cannon, James Henshaw, Moses Farr.
1862.— Lacey Hibbs.
1863.— William Hawkins, Henry Foster.
1864. — James Henshaw, Charles Shriver, Lewis Stewart.
1865.— William Carson, Upton Spear, William Bryson, George

1866.— James Henshaw, William Hawkins, Jacob M. Lewellyn.
1867.— Thomas Junk, Henry Foster.
1868.— John Rankin, William Shipley.
1809.- James Henshaw, James Hannan.
1870.— William Shipley, Samuel Carter.
1873.— Robert Hogsett, Thomas Frost.
1874.— William Shipley. Samuel Carter, William Phillips.



1875.— William McShane, John Hankins.
1876.— Andrew Bryson, Jr., Robert Hogsett.

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 154 of 193)