Franklin Ellis.

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

. (page 155 of 193)
Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 155 of 193)
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1877.— Samuel Carter.
1S78.— William Piiillips, H. McLaughlin.
1879.— John F. Hogsett, Andrew Bryson, Jr.
1880.— Samuel Carter, Henry Thomas.
1881.— John Hankins, Ening B. Hare.


The following sketch of the Soldiers' Orphans'
School, located at Dunbar's Camp, in North Union,
is taken from an account of its establishment furnished
by James Paull, and published in "Pennsylvania
Soldiers' Orphans' Schools."

On the 7th of May, 1866, the Hon. Thomas H.
Burrowes, ex-superintendent of common schools, and
to whom the labor and responsibility of organizing a
system of soldiers' orphan schools had been intrusted,
wrote the Rev. A. H. Waters, who had just retired
from the school superintendency of ButlerCounty, Pa.,
earnestly requesting him to look out a suitable loca-
tion for a soldiers' orphan school somewhere in the
western counties of the State not already furnished
with a school. After considerable inquiry and search
without success the efforts were about to be abandoned,
when circumstances rendered it necessary for him to
visit this county in the discharge of another duty.
While here his attention was called to the Madison
College buildings, then used only for a small day-
school, and owned by the Hon. Andrew Stewart.
Having found Mr. Stewart very desirous to have the
property used for that purpose, and Dr. Burrowes
warmly approving of the location, the buildings were
secured and arrangements made for opening tlie
school. On the 19th of September, 1866, the first
scholar was admitted, and in a few days large acces-
sions were made on order ami liy transfers from other
schools. The first year nt the school's history was
attended with many diiraiiltics and discouragements.
The want of ada]itation in the buildings, and the great
uncertainty of the ccjntiuuance of the system, made
it hazardous to incur any great expense in the erec-
tion of additiiiiial liuildings. After a year of struggle
the system was made permanent, and by the erection
of new buildings and changes in the old the school
was placed upon a solid footing, and started on a
career of gratifying prosperity. Credit was due to
Mr. Stewart for his devotion to the interests of the
school, which was shown by his willingness to con-
tribute to the necessary changes, and his generous
contribution of six hundred dollars annually — being
one-half of the annual lease — as rewards to merito-
rious ])upils.

After nearly eiglit years of encouraging success,
and wlicn from the nature of the case this, as well as
all the other schools, must sikju begin to ilecline, for
various reasons itwas lhiuiL:ht advisalile to chaiiL'c its
location. After giviiii: the mailii- due enn^id.ial ion,
and with the consent of the Stat( ~upeiiiiteiideiit, it
was determined to move to Dunbar's Camii, four miles

and a half east of Uniontown, on Laurel Hill. This
point was selected on account of location, command-
ing one of the finest natural scenes to be found in the
country ; and, also, because it was sufficiently re-
moved from the influence of a large town. Accord-
ingly, in the fall of 1874 work was begun, and in
April, 1875, large and convenient buildings were so
far completed as to enable the school to move into
them. The 8th of April in that year was memorable
in its history, as on that day it was transferred from
the old home in Uniontown to the new one at Dun-
bar's Camp.

The change has been demonstrated to be a wise
one. The children are healthier, have more freedom,
and are happier. They breathe the pure air of an
altitude of two thousand five hundred feet, and drink
the pure mountain water. It is claimed that there is
no finer location for a school in the State, and it is
hoped that when this school shall have finished its
noble work an educational institution may still be
continued in this charming spot.

The school has continued in a very prosperous con-
dition, containing at present (July, 1881) one hundred
and eighty pupils. It is still under the efficient man-
agement of the Rev. A. H. Waters.

Tlie Bethel Presbyterian Chapel congregation in
North Union is a branch of the Laurel Hill Presby-
terian Church in Dunbar township. A small chapel
was built for its use near the Y'oungstown Station in

The congregation of the Methodist Episcopal Chapel
in this township is a branch of the Uniontown Meth-
odist Episcopal Church. The society in North Union
built a chapel in 1877 near the Youngstown Station
and adjoining the Presbyterian Chapel.


In pursuance of an arrangement made early in the
spring of 1875 between Ewiug, Boyd & Co. and the
Lcmont Furnace Company, Lemont Furnace was
begun and hastened to completion as rapidly as labor
ami material could secure that end. It was started
(III the 1st of January, 1S;76, and has been in blast
continuously ever since, except a few months during
which its lining -was renewed and its power repaired.
The stack is sixty feet high, with a maximum diame-
ter of twenty-two feet, it is sixteen feet in the bosh,
and has a capacity of fifty tons per day, running
mostly on native ores. It has two hot-blasts, two
large blowing-engines, four boilers sixty feet long by
three and a half feet in diameter, also stock- and
casting-houses of adequate capacity to meet the wants
of I lie furnace.

The tramways to the mountain and coal ore mines,
as well as to the limestone-quarries, and switches to
the coke-ovens, furnish every facility for cheap and

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expeditious delivery of all material iu the stock-
house. As both the Baltimore and Ohio, and South-
west Pennsylvania Railroads pass within a short dis-
tance on either side of the furnace, it has ample
connections to secure for it the fullest advantages of
competitive freight rates.

The furnace property consists of two thousand
acres, all underlaid with several veins of ore yielding
from thirty-five to forty-two per cent, of iron. Its
fine limestone-quarries and large coal-fields, on which
one hundred and fifty coke-ovens are now in opera-
tion, supplying fuel to the furnace, together with its
other advantages, assure Lemont Furnace an inde-
pendence which but few such establishments enjoy.

The present owners of Lemont Furnace are Roliert
Hogsett (one-half interest), James P. Hanna, and
Thomas H. Kabe.


This company, who have iron furnaces at Sharon,
Mercer Co., Pa., as well as in other parts of the country,
began the manufacture of coke in North Union for
the purpose only of supplying those furnaces. On
the 8th of November, 1880, they purchased here one
hundred and seventy-one acres of coal land of the heirs
of Gen. H. W. Beeson, and commenced work in the
opening of the slope and the erection of one hundred
and twenty ovens, which are completed and now in
operation. The slope has been extended to six hun-
dred feet, with two flat headings, one of three hundred
and one of five hundred feet.


A company, composed of Robert Plogsett, T. W.
Watt, W. H. Bailey, John Taylor, and Hugh L. Ran-
kin, commenced these works in 1871 on four hundred
acres of land purchased of Robert Hogsett. One hun-
dred and twenty-seven ovens were built, and all the
coal mined manufactured into coke. For the first
two years their coke was sold to Dewey, Vance & Co.,
of Wheeling, West Virginia, but afterwards was dis-
posed of in open market.

In the spring of 1881 the works were sold to A. O.
Tinstman, of Pittsburgh. The product of the ovens
at the present time is fifteen car-loads per day. The
works are located on the extreme northeastern border
of the township, on the line of the Southwest Penn-
sylvania, and Baltimore and Ohio Railroads.


This company was organized Sept. 29, 1879, the
corporators being John Stambaugh, Henry 0. Bon-
nell, Augustus B. Cornell, and Thomas W. Kennedy,
who constitute the board of managers. Operations
on their lands in North Union were commenced very
soon after the organization of the company. They
now own five hundred and four acres of coal and one
hundred and forty-eight acres of surface, their coal-
right extending under lands of John Jones, B. V.
Jones, Samuel McClean, George Swearingen, and

Elizabeth Canon. They have now in operation two
hundred and forty coke-ovens, with all the necessary
machinery and appliances, and have also erected
twenty-four double dwelling-houses aud a large store-
house. The main slope of the mine is 12.50 feet, with
six flat headings varying from 300 to 500 feet. The
daily production of coal is about 500 net tons, making
about 380 tons of coke. John Shipley is the mining

John Stambaugh is president of the Briar Hill
Iron and Coal Company; Augustus B. Cornell, man-
ager of the Himrod Furnace Company ; and Henry
O. Bonnell, manager of the Mahoning Valley Iron
Company, all of Youngstown, Ohio. Thomas W.
Kennedy is also manager of an iron company's works .
in the same place. And it was for the purpose of
supplying these several furnaces and iron-works with
fuel that the Youngstown Coke Company effected its
organization and established its works in this town-


In the spring of 1879 this company, composed of
A. W. Bliss, G. C. Marshall, A. B. De Saulles, and
Maurice Healy purchased one hundred and forty-two
acres of coal-land in North Union, and commenced
the mining of coal and ore, and the manufacture of
coke. They have now sixty-nine ovens in operation,
and from thirty to fifty tons of ore is mined daily.
Their coal, coke, and ore are shipped by rail and sold
in open market.

The Lemont Furnace Company have one hundred
and fifty coke-ovens in blast, as is mentioned in the
account of their iron-works.

The fire-brick works in this townshij) are under
lease to Messrs. Bliss and Marshall, of the Percy
Mining Company. These works, which were first
put in operation in 1874, now produce daily from four
thousand to ten thousand fire-bricks, which are prin-
cipally used in the construction of coke-ovens in this
part of the county.


According to tradition Wendell Brown aud his
sons' were the earliest settlers in South Union town-

1 Veech gives the foUowing in reference to the Browns: " It 18 well
known that while the Indians held undivided sway in the region they

they guarded with inviolable secrecy. The discovery of these by the
Browns would have been an invaluable acquisition to their venatorial
pursuits. Many efforts did they make to find them, and many sly at-
tempts to follow the Indians in their resorts to the mines, but aU in vain.
And more than once did they narrowly escape detection, and consequent
death, by their eagerness to share the forbidden treasure. Abraham
Brown [grandson of Wendell] used to relate of liis uncle Thomas that,
having offended the Indians by some tricks plajed upon them (peihaps
in contrivances to discover their lead-mmes, and b> rei il Ih e ir ng
from them when taken prisoner), he once escaped 1 i I i I 1 1 v
the timely interposition of a friendly chief but 11 i I il v

caught him when no such intercessor was nigh, in I k I .11 I la

teeth witli a piece of iron and a tomihawk This w ih sn i„f nieltv
Now fur savage honesty. In a season of 8Laii-it\ s nie Indians Lame to


ship. Judge Veech, in his " Monongahela of Old,"
says, " When Washington's little army was at the Great
Meadows, or Fort Necessity, the Browns packed pro-
visions, corn, and beef to him ; and when he surren-
dered to the French and Indians, July 4, 1754, they
retired with the retreating colonial troops across the
mountains, returning to their lands after the rein-
statement of the English dominion by Forbes' army
in 1758." The Browns had originally located on
Provance's Bottom, on the Monongahela, but after
their return settled in what is now South Union and
Georges townshiiis. Upon finally making permanent
settlement here, Adam Brown located on three hun-
dred and twenty-seven acres of land which was war-
ranted to him June 14, 1769. Maunus Brown had
three hundred and .six acres warranted to him the
same day. Adam Brown was in his earlier life a
lieutenant under the king, and served with the Vir-
ginia provincials in the French and Indian wars.
He induced many of the former acquaintances of the
family to come to this section, and they located lands
now lying in both Georges and South Union town-
ships, as is shown by the records, which give tlie titles
of the tracts, number of acres contained therein, and
the date upon which they were warranted. Of these
settlers one was William Downard, who took up two
hundred and ninety-three acres of land on the waters
of Brown's Run, adjoining the tracts of Adam and
Maunus Brown. This property was warranted to
him June 14, 1769, under the name of " Walnut Hill."
David Jennings came to this section in 1768, se-
lected a desirable tract of land, and then returned to
his home in the eastern part of the State to persuade
others to come here and settle with him. John and
James Henthorn, two brothers of his wife, came back
with Mr. Jennings, and all three of the men entered

the Browns for provisions. Tlie old man sold them eiglit roi
nd they had taken just eight rows, and :

" Adam Brown — ' old Adam,' as he was called — boasted of having been
a king's lieutenant in his early days, having probably served with the
Virginia provincials in tlie French and Indian wars. For his services
he clainieil tn have Iiad a royal grant of hind uf nine miles square, ex-
tending from iiiMr M..nnt Bra.hl... k along the faoeof Laurel Hill south-
ward, and westward as far us New Suleni I have seen a large stone,
standing a little southwest of tlie residence of Daniel (or William)
Moser, in George township, which the late John McClelland said was a
corner of .Vdam's claim. The old lieutenant, it was said, induced many
acquaintances to settle around him on his grant,— the Downards, Greens,
McDonalds, McCartys, Brownfields, Henlliorus, Kindells, Scotts, Jen-
niogses, Higginsons, etc.,andout of abundant caution he and his brother
Maunus and tliey entered applications for ttieir lands in the Pennsyl-
vania Land-Office on the 14th of June, 1769, and hail th^ni «nrvpve<l
soon after. They seem to have been quiescei
versy. But it was said that early in 1775, Ad

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applications at the land-office for tracts they had
chosen. David Jennings' tract, named " Fear Fax,"

I contained 3081 acres. It was given him by warrant
No. 3459, dated June 14, 1769, and surveyed Septem-
ber 26th of the same year. He lived upon this prop-
erty until his death, March 29, 1824, at eighty-three
years of age, when his two sons, David and Benja-
min, inherited it. David Jennings, Jr., who died

I May 23, 1851, aged seventy-seven years, sold his
share to Samuel Moxley, who again disposed of it to
Jasper M. Thompson. This gentleman also became
possessor of the other part of the Jennings farm
through Johnston Van Kirk, to whom Benjamin
had sold it. The stream that crosses this property is
called Jennings' Run.

John and James Henthorn were brothers-in-law of
David Jennings, and settled here when he did. John's

I land was a body of 363 acres called " Choice Tract,"

I directly east of " Fear Fax," which he took up under
warrant No. 3485, dated June 14, 1769, and which
was surveyed Sept. 27, 1769. The property east of
his belonged to his brother James, David Jennings
was on the west side, Richard Parr on the north, and
the farm on the south was at one time owned by Col.

' Thomas Collins. John Henthorn spent his life upon
this farm, and died in April, 1784. aged forty-three
years. Another John Henthorn died in 1799, aged
sixty-six years. They, with David Jennings and his
son David, were buried in a family cemetery on John
Henthorn's farm, which now belongs to Jasper M.
Thompson. James Henthorn had 346 acres adjoin-
ing the farms of his brother and Adam McCartney,
which was surveyed Sept. 28, 1769. At a later day it
was owned by James Veech, and at the present time

' belongs to William E. Caruthers and John C. Bread-

Thomas Gaddis was one of those pioneers who had
applications for land in the land-office awaiting the
first issue of warrants, which were dated April 3,
1769. The warrant issued to Mr. Gaddis was No.

i 1690, which shows the great number of applications
that had been filed before that date. He had been in
this section several times in previous years, but was

j frightened away by the Indians, and did not make a

' permanent settlement until 1769. The land which
he located was described as being in the " Redstone
Settlement, Cumberland County, the new purchase,"
and was surveyed Sept. 25, 1769, under the name of
" Hundred Acre Spring." In 1789, Mr. Gaddis was
carrying on a distillery upon his place. In the early
days a Settler's Fort was built upon the tract, and the
portion of it still standing was the residence of the
late Basil Brownfield. The farms adjoining the one

j in question were owned in the pioneer time by Isaac

I Sutton, Edward Brownfield, and James Hamilton.
From his first appearance in this vicinity Thomas
Gaddis was active and prominent in the expeditions
against the Indians, and in all civil and military
county affairs. He second field-major in the



Crawford expedition, and was a prominent leader in
the Whiskey Insurrection of 1794. In 1816 he sold
the farm upon which he had lived for nearly half a
century to John Miller and John Kennedy, and emi-
grated to the " Miami country," Ohio.

Charles Brownfield was a native of Scotland, who,
with his brother James, emigrated to this country and
lived for a time near Winchester. His wife was Bet-
sey, the sister of Col. James Burd, and when they
came to this township they located a tract of land
containing 300 acres, which, in a deed of later years,
is described as " near Laurel Hill, on one of the
head branches of the Redstone, including my im-
provement made in the year 1769." Warrant No.
3456, dated June 14, 1769, was given for this land,
and the survey was made in September of that year.
In 1783, Mr. Brownfield sold this property and re-
moved to Kentucky. Alexander McClean made a
second survey of it at this time, and one entry upon
the records says, " Said Brownfield removed to the
Kentucky country, having sold the above part to
Benjamin Brownfield, his son, and the residue to
Moses Sutton and George Troutman." In the same
connection lie further says of this survey, that he
" resurveyed the same as by the different purchas-

Charles Brownfield had eight sons, — Edward,
Charles, Robert, Thomas, Erapson, Richard, Wil-
liam, and Benjamin. There was but one daughter,
Sally, who married Raphael Naylor, of Philadel-
phia, whither she went to reside, and where she died.
Edward Brownfield settled upon a tract of land at
the same time his father did, and adjoining that of
his father, which contained 250 acres, and was called
" Mount Pleasant." Several years later, when the
general exodus from this section to Kentucky took
place, he removed with his family to the place called
" Bear Grass," where John Brownfield, a son of his
brother Benjamin, now lives. Empson Brownfield
took up 295 acres of land on the waters of Georges
Creek, but near the waters of Redstone Creek, partly
on the dividing ridge and on the road leading from
the gap of the mountain to Cheat River, in Georges
township. This land was surveyed Dec. 23, 1785,
" by virtue of certificate from the Commissioners of
Monongalia, Yohogania, and Ohio Counties for 400
acres of land on the waters of Redstone Creek, to in-
clude his settlement made in 1770."

In the year 1776, Emjison Brownfield's name ap-
pears in the list of purchasers of lots in Uniontown,
or Beesontown. In 1784 he purchased a lot in Union-
town, upon which he later built and kept a tavern.
It is said that he was the first to start a store in
Uniontown, for which he brought the goods over the
mountains on pack-horses. After a few years he, too,
removed with his family to Kentucky. Charles and
Robert Brownfield both settled at Sniithfield. The
descendants of Charles are all dead. Robert was
with Crawford's expedition. His son Basil settled

on the old Gaddis place in 1820, and lived there
until his death, Aug. 21, 1881.'

Thomas Brownfield settled uijon a farm between
Monroe and Uniontown, and his grandson, Isaac
Brownfield, now occupies the place. Richard Brown-
field lived near Morgantown for a few years, and
then emigrated to Kentucky. William also removed
early to Kentucky. Benjamin, the son to whom
Charles Brownfield sold his pioneer home on his re-
moval to Kentucky in 1783, always remained upon
the farm and died there. His son, Col. Benjamin
Brownfield, died there March 28, 1880, at the remark-
able old age of one hundred and one years. The
property is now owned and occupied by a grandson,
Marion Brownfield.

James McCoy settled in South Union in 1769,
when, with many others, he madje application for a
tract of land in the valley east of Uniontown. He
was a native of Ireland, and when about fifteen years
of age ran away from home and came to America.
He had been attending the races with his father, who
had entered a favorite colt, and which, at the close
of the races, James had been sent home with. On the
way he and some other boys ran the horses, when by
some mishap the colt stumbled and fell, breaking
one of its legs. This so frightened him that instead
of going home he started for the coast, where he
shipped on board a vessel and worked his passage to
America. He remained in the East until twenty-
four years of age, when he came to this county, as
stated. The warrant for Mr. McCoy's land bears date
June 14, 1769, and the order of survey was made Sept.
23, 1769. The property was named "Flint Hill,"
comprised 305 acres, and an allowance of six percent,
was made for roads. This tract of land is recorded as
adjoining those of Thomas Brownfield and Isaac
Sutton. Another tract of 221 acres adjoining was
surveyed to him the same date, Sept. 23, 1769.

Before leaving the East, Mr. McCoy had married
Ann Bruce, who was like himself born in Ireland,
and who came to this country when but twelve years
old. Upon locating here he built a log cabin, which
was situated at the foot of the Bailey orchard. Very
soon, however, this cabin was reconstructed and made
into " McCoy Fort," which was the rendezvous for
all the immediate neighbors in times of danger, the
" Col. Thomas Gaddis Fort" being two miles away to
the southwest. Mr. McCoy then built for his own
residence a house of hewn logs, which stood upon the
site of the brick house afterwards built by Eli Bailey.

1 An obituary nQtice of Basil Brownfield, published at tlie time of hia
death, contained the following: "Mr. BrownfieM was born near Smith-
field, this county, in 1795. His ancestors came here from Apple-pie
Kiilge, Shenandoah Valley, Va. He was a man of strong will and ag-
gressive disposition, as the result of which he was well known, and had
acquired a large amount of valuable estate. His connections by blood
and marriage are very extensive. He leaves four sons and four daugh-
ters living, two of these being in Texas, one of the latter being Mrs.
William Core. Mr. Brownfield's wife was Sarah Collins, daughter of
Joseph Collins, one of the original settlers of Uniontown."


The original property, which was quite extensive, has
been divided and sold at different times, until but
comparatively little of it remains in the hands of Mr.
McCoy's descendants. A tract of nine or ten acres
was leased by himself to Thomas Brownfield for
ninety-nine years for a mill-site. A large portion of
the land is now the property of the Chicago Coke and
Coal Company, sold to them by Eli Bailey, who
bought it of the heirs of McCoy after his death. His
death occurred in 1803, and he was buried in the
churchyard of the South Union Baptist Church, of
which he was long a worthy and consistent member.
The children of James and Ann McCoy were Wil-
liam, George, Isaac, John, Rachel, Ann, Sarah, and

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 155 of 193)