Franklin Ellis.

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

. (page 157 of 193)
Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 157 of 193)
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town, for the period of ten years from the date of their
respective purchases. The terms of .sale required
the purchaser to pay an annual ground -rent of one-
half a Spanish milled dollar (ir a bushel of wheat.
The founder of the town further stipulated that un-
less the purchasers of these lots or their heirs or as-
signs should improve their lots by building thereon a
good dwelling-house at least twenty-four feet front
and sixteen feet in depth, with siilticient stone or
brick chimney thereto, at or lirfort- the ixpirnlion of
five years from the date of the piirclKWc, tlan tiie >aid
lot or lots should be forfeited to the grantor.

John Hopwood was a thorough scholar, and desir-
ing that the inhabitants of the town might have fa-
cilities for acquiring education, he set apart for the
building and furnisliing of an "Academy of Learn-
ing" all ground-rent which sh<mld become due and
be paid on the lots for the period of twenty years from
the date of the charter, together with all the moneys
arising from the sale of any lot or hits forfeited as
aforesaid for the space nt twiiity years. als<i one-fifth
part of the first purcli:i-e money of all lot- in -aid
town for the same |.eriod, ami to further the oliject
Alexander McClean, Dennis Springer, and Joseph
Huston, Esqs., or their successors in oflSce, were to
act as trustees, to collect, receive, and hold the fund
for building and cmlowiiiL' the "Academy of Learn-
ing" in the said town, to be built whenever a ma-
jority of the inhabitants residing in and holding lots
in fee simple in the town, and proprietors of improved

lots although non-residents, should think the said fund
sufficiently large to warrant the undertaking of erect-
ing such buildings as would be proper for an academy.
As a suitable location for the academy, he deeded
lots Nos. 1 and 2 to the inhabitants of the town and
their heirs and assigns forever, to be used for this and
for no other intent or purpose whatever. This acad-
emy was afterwards built, and in the minutes of the
Great Bethel Baptist Church are found resolutions
looking to their patronizing the " Union Academy of
Woodstock" as a denomination. This was July 19,
1794, and was doubtless one of the first academies in
this part of the State.

In the general plan of his town, lots Nos. 80 and 81
were reserved for a market-house, and " for the erec-
tion of said Academy and Market-House" the inhab-
itants were to have the privilege of using all the stone
and timber from the aforementioned three-hundred-
acre tract, free. The proprietor of the town had
granted so many privileges that the town grew rap-
idly. Among the earliest settlers and citizens of the
town were Nicholas Sperry, Moses Hunter, John
Haymaker, Nathaniel Wills, Edward Slater, John
Sockman, Joseph Chambers, Philip Koontz, Adam
Albert, Frederick Snyder, Richard Holliday, Luke
D. Reddecoard, John Morrow, John Fessler, Richard
Bowen, Peter Lauch, Caleb Hall, Patrick Byrne, Ann
Barnholdt, Simon Lauck, John Formwalt, William
Tyler, William Thorn, Jacob Storm, George Tilley,
Johnston Smith, John Rhea, John Shietz, Jacob
Clowser, John Schley,, Alexander Smith, Alexander
Doyle, Joseph Semmes, Henry Walker, William
Deakins, Jr., George Gilpin, Robert Peters, John
Leese, John C. Sneider, John Ritchie, Josiah Star-
berry, Isaac Sutton, Sr., Peter Deast, Sr., Zacheus
Morgan, Christian Street, Archibald McClean, Mar-
garet Reynolds, Isaac Sutton, Jr., Daniel Roberdean,
David Russell, William M, Lemmon, William Lem-
mon, Sr., Samuel Sutton, Christopher Sowers, and
AVilliam Lucas.

In 1793 the occupations of some of the lot-owners
and residents of the town were as follows, viz. : Pat-
rick Byrn, merchant ; George Tilley, merchant ; Chris-
tian Street, minister ; Isaac Sutton, Sr., minister ;
John C. Sneider, physician ; Hanson & Bond, prin-
ters; Richard Bowen, printer; Nathaniel Willis,
printer; Simon Lauck, gunsmith ; John Foornwalt,
baker; William Tyler, bookbinder; John Shietz,
gunsmith; John Clowser, blacksmith; John Schley,
coppersmith ; John Haymaker, blacksmith ; Edward
Slater, cabinet-maker; Adam Albert, blacksmith;
John Fessler, clock-maker ; Joseph Chambers, black-
smith* Peter Lauck, tavern-keeper; Caleb Hall, cab-
inet-maker; Philip Koontz, butcher.

Thus the town grew and prospered. In 1802, John
Hopwood, the proprietor, died. In 1816, Moses Hop-
wood, the only son of the founder, who by will had
inherited all the wealth of his father, decided to lay
out an addition to the town. At that time the Na-



tional road was rapidly approacliiiig Monroe, and as
it was completed from point to point supplanted the ^
old " Braddock road." During the Presidential cam- I
paign of 1816, James Monroe came through here on
his trip westward, and was the guest of Moses Hop- ,
wood, who informed the Presidential candidate of his
intention to enlarge and rename the town, and asked ■
Mr. Monroe what he should call it. The future Presi-
dent requested that it be named for him, and accord-
ingly when the town had been completed in plan in
May, 1818, it was so named, — Monroe. Prior to this
(in 1817) he had christened one of his sons for the
President. Tlie new town was laid out so as to con-
form to the original Woodstock plat. It consisted of
eighty-eight lots. The front or main street received ,
the name of Franklin, and afterwards became the
National road. The other principal streets were
Perry, Findlay, Washington, Jefferson, and Madison.

Among the iirst lot-owners may be mentioned Wil-
liam Hart, Isaac Beeson, James Watkins, Jesse
Barnes, John Farr, John Farr, Jr., James Barnes,
Rachel Bebout, Robert Cooper, Reuben Mockabee,
Rebecca Allen, John Custead, William Morris, Julian
Wood, Hannah M. Wood, Samuel Hall, Zachariah
White, Patrick Bradley, Thomas Hopwood, James
Hopwood, Gaddis Hopwood, Elisha Hyatt, James
McLucas, Jacob Harbaugh, Henry Barber, Hiram
Miller, David Davis, William Hopwood, Enoch W.
Clement, Rice G. Hopwood, William Beattie, and
Joseph Fisher.

From 1818 until the opening of the railway system
the National road was the great thoroughfare of travel
between the East and West, and during all this pe-
riod of more than thirty years this town enjoyed a
prosperity that few towns of equal size participated
in to such an extent. To illustrate the business which
was done in the town during its prosperous years, it
need but be mentioned that acres of covered wagons
could be seen every night in the week in Monroe, and
from five to ten thousand head of hogs and cattle
were centred at this point every evening, so that the
drovers might get an early start over the mountains
before daylight in the morning. Then, in addition to
these caravans and trains of covered wagons, there
were numerous gangs of slaves on their way from
Virginia to Kentucky. The town of Monroe was the
place which all travelers aimed to reach at night, so
that they might be fresh for the task of passing over
the mountains in the early morning. As further in-
dicative of the prominence and importance of the
town, the proposition to change the county-seat from
Uniontown to Monroe was at one time considered.
Gaddis Hopwood, Esq., made the argument in favor
of the change, but the larger town continued the


One of tlie first requisites in a town is accommoda-
tion for the traveling public ; this necessity brings
public-houses into existence. Soon after the found- ■

ing of W^oodstock, in 1791, tavern-houses were opened
there by John De Ford, James McLucas, Jesse Barnes,
Lewis Williams, and Benjamin Minton. At that time
it was considered a good day's travel to drive from
Woodstock to John Slack's, only four miles distant,
but that was prior to the existence of the National
road, when the old Braddock road was too rough for
vehicles. When the addition had been made other
tavern stands sprung up in rapid succession on the
new Main Street.

The John De Ford tavern was the first in the new
town. His stone building was erected in 1818. The
persons who did the stone-work were John Sutton,
Matthias Chipps, and his son, David Chipps; the
carpenter-work was done by Gabriel Getzendiner,
John Farr, and Elias Freeman. Mr. John De Ford
kept it as a hotel for a number of years, and then re-
moved to CarroUton, Ohio. Matthias Frey succeeded
him in the business, and then Henry Fisher. It is
now used as " residence.

The German D. Hair tavern-house was built in
1818, by William Morris. He sold it to Thomas
Brownfield, March 13, 1822, after whicli it was com-
pleted, the stone-work being done by Benjamin
Goodin, Robert Cooper, John Sutton, and John Har-
vey, Sr., and the carpenter-work by Gabriel Getzendi-
ner and Enos West. After William Morris retired
from it, Joseph Noble, Andrew McMasters, and Ger-
man D. Hair occupied it as a tavern.

The Morris tavern was built by William Morris in
1823, on an elevated site west of the town. This
building was of brick. The mason-work was done
by Benjamin Goodin and Matthias Chipps, and the
carpenter-work by Elias Freeman, Gabriel Getzen-
diner, and John Farr. William Morris kept this,
his second public-house, for a number of years, and
was succeeded by Calvin Morris and Matthias Frey.
May 22, 1846, it was sold to Moses Hopwood, James
Hopwood, Gaddis Hopwood, and John N. Freeman.
Since that time the house has been occupied as a res-
idence by the person operating the coal farm, which
was sold with the house.

The Andrew McMiisters tavern was built in 1825.
The stone-work was done by Abraham Beagle, John
Harvey, and William Harvey. The carpenters were
James Thirlwell, Enos West, Gabriel Getzendiner,
and Lawrence Griffith. The following persons occu-
pied it as a public-house : Andrew McMasters, Lott
Clawson, Enos W. Clement, Thomas Acklin, Matthias
Frey, James Shaffer, and John Worthington, after
which it passed into the possession of Benjamin
Haj'den, and has since been used as a residence.

The Clement House, since known as the Shipley
Hotel, was erected by Enoch Wilson Clement in
1839. John Harvev, Jr., did the stone-work. Mr.


Clement kept it five years, at the expiration of which
time it was sold to Col. Benjamin Brownfield, whose
son, Elijah Brownfield, kept it as a tavern two years.
It then went into the following hands successively:
Benjamin Brownfield, Jr., Archibald Skiles, John
Worthington, John Wallace, Matthias Frey. Aaron
Wyatt then bought the property, and after keeping
hotel one year sold it in 1858 to Samuel Shipley,
who sold it to his son Julius, after which it was
rented to Ezra Burke, Eedding Bunting, and Lindsay
Messmore. The property is at present in the posses-
sion of A. C. Brant, and is by him used as a dwelling-

The Miller Hotel, a large stone building, was
erected by Moses Hopwood, Jr., as a residence. He
disposed of it to Elisha Hyatt, who in a few years
resold it to Hiram Miller. The latter gentleman
kept a public-house for some twenty years. Since
then it has been used as a private residence by Mrs.
M. M. Beeson.

The Frame Tavern building was originally in-
tended as a dwelling-house when erected by William
Ellis. He afterwards disposed of it to Matthias
Frey, and that gentleman enlarged it and converted
it into a tavern. He was succeeded in business by
James Dennison and Thomas Acklin.

The first store in the town was opened by Reuben
Mockabee. In it was kept a general assortment of
dry-goods and groceries. He kept in Woodstock,
and when Monroe was laid out removed to Franklin
Street, and built a store and residence where the
dwelling of Mrs. Elizabeth Hays is at present. Mr.
Mockabee afterwards removed to Brownsville. Ben-
jamin Hayden was the next to follow the mercantile
business in the town, and he was soon followed by
Gaddis Hopwood, Thomas ]1(.|.w<"hI, James Hop-
wood, and Monroe Hopwood. TIm -, l.ioilni- were not
in partnership, but kei)t the stoii' in >ii( ression. The
last one, Monroe Hopwood, carried on the business
for twenty-five years. Coming on down through the
history of the town, the following persons are found
engaged in store-keeping, viz. : James ( "aiiaii. Joscjih
Peach, William Shipley (who in iscr, !„,„oi,t tiie
store of Benjamin Hayden), Jacob Llewellyu, and
A. S. Ingles,' who in 1868 sold out to Frank M. Se-
mans, but in 1870 embarked in the business again.
In thirteen years Jlr. Ingles sold one hundred thou-
sand dollars' worth of u.hhK in :\I.iMr..e. F. M. Semaus
has carried on the busimss ^uroossfully for thirteen
years ]iast in the old >toie occupied by the Hopwood
brothers in fiiriiirr ilays, < Itlier jnerchants have been
James E. Cdli; N. Jl. Hhuk, W. H. Cottom, Morgan
Canan, A. Shipley, and Benjamin Kissinger.


As early as 1810, David Wilcox made shoes, boots,

and moccasins in this towji, and Ilezekiah Reiiiier

and Thomas Barnes tanned and dressed deerskins
for leather breeches, which were at that time consid-
ered necessary to an aristocratic dress.

Among the earliest industries of the town was that
of wagon-making. The needs of the times when all
the travel was overland brought these shops into ex-
istence. John Farr and John Hannah were the first
wagon-makers in the town. They carried on the busi-
ness for a number of years, and were succeeded in 1830
by Lott Clawson, who has carried on the business
for fifty years. In the mean time others have estab-
lished themselves here, among whom were Horatio
Griffith, who carried on the business some ten years,
and then John Custead, who is yet engaged in it.

The first to engage in blacksmithing in the town
were Dennis Bryan and Lewis Williams. These were
followed by Zachariah AVhite, John Johnson, Philip
Horner, Fogg Jenkins, William Amos, Jonas Pratt,
Joseph and David Fisher, William Wallace, Bryson
Devan, Samuel Hickle, and O. Devan.

At one time there was an extensive comb manu-
factory in jNIonroe, the business being carried on by
Thomas Nesmith. From 1828 until 1855 he con-
ducted the business, and most of the time had ped-
dlers on the road selling the product of his horn-comb

About 1840, William Graham opened a chair- and
wheelwright-factory, and this remained in operation
until 1847, at which time the works were removed to
Waynesburg, Pa.

In 1832-33, Thomas Hopwood, now of Oregon, had
built the Monroe Flouring-Mill, which has been suc-
cessfully carried on ever since, Jacob Dutton was
the contractor and millwright.

For the past twenty years John Ingles has been
carrying on the business of broom-making in the

Isaac Barkley has followed the harness- and saddle-
making business a great number of years, and thou-
sands of specimens oi' his workmanship are in the

A carding-machine was put in operation here about
1820 by George Gregg and William Stumph. They
carried on the business for a number of years.

Soon after 1800 there was a trip-hammer forge
constructed in the town of Monroe (then Woodstock)
by the Hopwoods. This was called Vulcan Forge,
and in 1800 John Hopwood had all of the materials
in readiness for its construction. Soon after (in
1802) he died, and his son Moses completed the
work. This forge and trip-hammer was in operation
some fifteen years. It is said that Nathaniel Mitch-
ell had charge of it for a time, and in 1815 Lewis
Williams bought it from Moses Hopwood, and the
consideration was payable in a good assortment of
hoes, axes, mattocks, plow-irons, and shovels be-
fore April 1, 1818. The cupola and trij)-haniraer


were operated by the stream of water wliich flows
through " Lick Hollow."

There was a distillery in the southern limits of
Monroe. It was owned by Joseph Frazier, and then
by James Calhoun. Long since it was removed from
the stream of water where it was located, and a resi-
dence was made of it on the front street in Monroe.

These have been well represented from Monroe.
Among the lawyers of the place we have Rice G.
Hopwood, for many years one of the foremost mem-
bers of the Fayette County bar, and Albert Hayden,
an active practitioner at Fairmount, W. Va.

Among the physicians of Monroe may be men-
tioned Jordan Morris, son of William Morris, who
is now practicing in the West; Thomas Hudson Hop-
wood, son of William Hopwood, Esq., who was a
promising young physician at the breaking out of
the Rebellion, and allowing his patriotism to over-
come his other desires, he enlisted, passed through
the war, and came home in 1867 a major in the
United States army, to die from injuries and wounds
received on the battle-field.

Moses Hopwood, son of Rev. James Hopwood, re-
moved to Iowa, where he practiced medicine a
number of years, and finally yielded to that fell de-
stroyer consumption.

Dr. Alonzo Hopwood, now of Vinton, Iowa, was
born in this town, and removed to his new home in

Dr. William H. Hopwood, son of William Hop-
wood, Esq., now located at Upper Middletown, Fay-
ette Co., is a graduate of Jefferson Medical College,
Philadelphia, Pa., class of 1876.

Among the clergymen who have labored in Monroe
may be mentioned the following:

James Hopwood, son of Moses Hopwood, !^r., be-
gan his ministerial career in 1827, and was for many
years an efficient preacher in the Methodist Church.
He died March 4, 1881, at his home in Vinton, Iowa.

William Ellis commenced preaching at the same
time James Hopwood did. Subsequently he united
with the Baptist Church, but has now ceased labor on
account of age.

James Brown, pastor of the Baptist CJuirch at Con-
fluence, Pa., commenced his ministry in the Monroe
Methodist Protestant Church.

William Wallace was formerly a blacksmith in the
town. Having been converted, he left the forge and
anvil to preach the glad tidings to the world of sinners.
He is now a successful preacher in the Pittsburgh
Conference, Methodist Protestant Church.

Moses Hopwood, Sr., Gaddis Hapwood, and Thomas
Nesmith were all useful as local ministers.


The earliest church organization in the town was
the Methodist Episcopal. This society was formed as
early as 1825, at which time, and for several subse-
quent years, they had preaching at the residence of
Moses Hopwood, Sr., when such eloquent divines as
John H. Fielding, Charles Elliot, Henry B. Bascom,
John A. Waterman, James G. Sansom, and Thomas
M. Hudson preached to this society. In 1830 the
Methodist Protestant Church was organized, and
many seceded from the Methodist Episcopal Church
and united with the new organization. The early
members of the church prior to the formation of the
new society were Joseph Frazier, Stephen Brown,
Hannah Hopwood, Moses Hopwood, Gaddis Hop-
wood, Thomas Farr, Lucy Farr, Mrs. Brown, John
De Ford, Lydia De Ford, James Hopwood, William
Hopwood, Thomas J. Nesmith, and William Ellis.

In 18.33 the Methodist Episcopal Church, under
the pastorate of Rev. J. K. Miller, built the stone
church in which they still worship. The succeeding
ministers who have cared for the spiritual welfare of
this society and congregation are as follows, viz.
Revs. John White, David L. Dempsey, David Hess
William Tipton, Hamilton Cree, Warner Long, Eben
ezer Hays, Henry Kerns, Richard Jordan, John L
Irwin, Samuel Wakefield, R. Gordon, Martin Stew

art, Ruter, McClaig, John S. Lemon, L

R. Beacom, Joseph Horner, Henry Long, William K
Foutch, William C. P. Hamilton, Walter K. Brown
H. Snyder, S. Show, Isaac P. Sadler, John Mclntire
E. B. Griffin, T. H. Wilkinson, Homer J. Smith, W
D. Stevens, H. L. Chapman, J. L. Stiffy, Charles Mc-
Caslin, J. Momeyer, D. J. Davis, Sylvanus Lane, M
D. Lichliter, R. J. White, John T. Stiffy, and the
present pastor. Rev. W. L. McGrew.

When this circuit was first organized the charge
was in the Uniontown Circuit, afterwards changed
to Fayette Circuit. It has since received the name
of Smithfield Circuit. Since its organization this
society has had the following persons as class-leaders,
viz. : Moses Hopwood, Gaddis Hopwood, Jesse Sacket
Perry G. White, Monroe Hopwood, George Hopwood,
Jesse Reed.

In 1828 and 1829, under Charles Elliot, there was a
great revival, which lasted through the summer and
winter, and there were about one hundred and fifty
accessions to the church. This revival, under the
same preacher, swept all Uniontown and Madison
College, and hundreds were there converted. This is
said to have been the most remarkable revival of re-
ligion ever known in this part of the country.


As has been previously stated, there was a division
in the church in 1829. In 1833, soon after the Meth-
odist Episcopal Church had succeeded in building a
house of worship, the Methodist Protestant Church
also erected a church edifice. Their first class con-


sisted of the following persons, viz. : Joseph Frazier,
John De Ford, Sr. (who afterwards removed to Ohio
and died there, aged one hundred and four years),
Samuel Littell, Stephen Brown, Sr., James Hopwood,
Louisa Hopwood, Thomas Hopwood, Elizabeth Hop-
wood, Thomas Brownfield, Obadiah Ellis, Thomas
Nesmith, Lydia De Ford, Harriet De Ford, William
De Ford, Elizabeth De Ford, Hannah Brownfield,
Margaret Eankin, Margaret Frazier, William Ellis,
Margaret Devan, and Moses Farr. James Hopwood
was the first class-leader. His successors in that
office were Thomas J. Nesmith, William De Ford,
Moses Farr, Stephen K. Brown, John Bennington, Sr.

The first preacher for this church was Moses Scott,
who was followed by the following-named ministers :
Thomas Stynchicum (who afterwards intermarried
with the family of "Stonewall" Jackson), John Hunts-
man, James Robinson, John Burrs, William College,
Porter, Piper, D. B. Dorsey, James Hop-
wood, John Scott (now editor of the MefhodM Re-
rorder), John Woodruff, Valentine Lucas, Joseph

Burns, Boss, John Stillion, Denton Hughes, P.

T. Laishley, Amos Hutton, William Betts, F. H.

Davis, Isaac Francis, Boulton, Henry Palmer,

Joel Woods, Jesse Hull, James Phipps, John Tygert,
John Patton, John Rutledge, M. Stillwell, P. T. Con-
away, Henry Lucas, Geo. G. Conaway, William Wal-
lace, and E. A. Brindley.

Prior to 1833 this church held their services in an
old log house which had been fitted up as a school-


For a great many years the Methodist Episcopal
aud Methodist Protestant congregations have had
Sabbath-schools here in connection with the churches.
The Methodist Episcopal Sabbath-school has been
very prosperous during the term of its existence. The
present superintendent is Mr. George Hopwood, under
whose management it has taken front rank among the
live schools of the county ; and from the report made
at the late county convention of Sabbath-school
workers we glean the fact that there were sixty con-
versions in this school during the year 1880. At
present the number of officers, teachers, and scholars
on the roll is about two hundred and ninety. Other
superintendents and prominent workers have been
John Custead, N. H. Black, John S. Dawson, James
Reed, O. Devan, J. E. Goff, Monroe Hopwood, Simon
Matson, James Williams, A. Hayden, A. Shipley,
Daniel Crawford, M. Silbaugh.


is at present in excellent condition, and in the past
it has done good work. Among the superintendents
may be mentioned William Barnes, Thoraiis G. Barnes,
Jacob D. Moore, and Abram Hayden. Prominent
among the workers have been Moses Farr, Rhinaldo
Farr, Mrs. L. W. Clawson, Mrs. W. N. Canan, and

Mrs. Priscilla White. This school has the names of
about one hundred and fifty teachers, officers, and
scholars upon its roll.


After the death of John Hopwood his academy
was discontinued, yet the desire for knowledge had
received such an impetus that it never cea.sed to exist,
and to the teachers and the schools the town owes'
much of its prosperity. One of the earliest teachers
was Alexander Clear, a lame man, who had some
thirty pupils, and boarded at the home of Moses
Hopwood, Sr. Following him were William Downer,
J. Muckadoo, Samuel Lathropi Mr. Rolin, William
Hart (a surveyor and teacher), Mr. Sproul, Mr.
Canby, John I. Dorsey, Benjamin Hayden, William
Ellis, Calvin Watson, Abram Hayden, Messrs. Van-

dingburg, and • Morton. After this time the

common school law of Pennsylvania came into effect,
and a stone school-house was built on the site of the

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 157 of 193)