Franklin Ellis.

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

. (page 169 of 193)
Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 169 of 193)
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which are thereby brought to light, Feb. 7, ISi;^, aged sixty-
nine. *And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me,
Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. Yea, saith the
Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do
follow them." "

A handsome shaft perpetuates the memory of Rev.
William Johnston, and bears this inscription :

if? /^.^^



" In memory of Rev. Willi. im Johnston, who departed this
life Deo. 31, 1841, in the. fifry-eighth year of his age and thir-
tieth of his ministry. In him talents, intelligence, and those
Christian virtues which adorn the relations of life were happily
united and blended. 'They that be wise shall shine as the
brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to right-
eousness as the stars for ever and ever.' "

Beneath the same stone lies Martha, his wife, who
(lied June 9, 1860. In the old churcliyard lies also
Ebenezer Finley, one of the fathers of Redstone, and
by his side lie the four worthy women who were his


Baptist worship was held in Redstone before 1847,
but until that time there was in the township neither
church organization nor meeting-house connected
with the Baptist denomination. Brownsville was the
point to which the Redstone Baptists journeyed to
church, although public services were sometimes held
in private houses and school-houses in the neighbor-
hood of the creek. In 1847 a meeting was held at
the house of William Colvin to discuss the subject of
building a church ; and a lot being offered for the
purpose as a donation from Levi and D. C. Colvin,
prompt action was taken by the appointment of Wil-
liam Sharpless, William Colvin, and Elias Hutchin-
son as a building committee to take charge of the
matter of erecting a house of worship. Assistance
being readily forthcoming, the house was built that
year near the junction of Colvin's Run and Redstone
Creek. An inscription upon the front of the structure
testifies that it is the " Regular Baptist Meeting-
House." At the dedication Rev. James Estep
preached the sermon.

Rev. E. M. Miles and William Penny were engaged
to supply the preaching, but no church organization
was effected until Mr. Penny came, when he and the
Rev. William Wood formed the church, with a con-
stituent membership of upwards of forty-five. Among
the pastors who served the church after the organiza-
tion may be named Revs. John Scott, William Hick-
man, Daniel Kelsey, and Smith. The last pas-
tor was Rev. O. O'Brien Strayer, who relinquished the
charge in November, 1880. April, 1881, the mem-
bership was thirty-eight. The deacons were D. E.
Whetzel and Earhart Grable ; the trustees, Benja-
min Phillips, Estep Colvin, and Alfred Cooper.

Feb. I, 1874, Alanson Wilcox, an evangelist of the
Church of Christ, met with a company of persons at
the Redstone school-house, and by the advice and
consent of Elder Wesley Lorimer, of Cookstown,
formed the Church of Christ in Redstone. The or-
ganizing members were Robert S. Goe, Hittie Goe,
Catharine Goe, Dora Goe, Lizzie A. Higinbotham,
Louisa Higinbotham, Stephen Phillips, Caroline
Phillips, D. R. Hazen, C. R. Hess, Emily R. Hess,
Otho Brasliears, Lizzie Brashears, Lucy Brashears,

I Anna Brashears, Emanuel Stewart, Rebecca Stewart,
Hester Hess, Maggie Simpson, Shook, W. G.

1 Hubbs, John Johnson, Levi Colley, Caroline Colley.
Those baptized at the first meeting were George Hig-
inbotham, Emma Higinbotham, Rachel Higin-
botham, Louise Higinbotham, Dilworth Craft, Mary
F. Craft, Hattie E. Craft, William Matthews, Mary A.
Matthews, Aaron Hess, Lizzie McHenry, Rockey Mc-
Cune, Mary E. Eagle, David Shook, John Wilgus,
Mrs. B. E. Wilgus. One hundred and twenty per-
sons have been received as members of the organiza-
tion to the present time (April, 1881), and of these
about sixty remain.

In 1875 the present house of'worship (called the
Christian Chapel) was erected at a cost of $3500.
The successive pastors have been Revs. S. F. Fowler,

J. W. Kemp, D. L. Kincaid, and Satterfield.

The pastorate is at present vacant. The elders are
Clark Hess and Solomon Crumrine. The deacons
are Robert Goe, John Colley, Otho Brashears, and
Levi Collev.


I Robert Finley was born April 4, 1809, in Redstone
township, and there died Oct. 7, 1874. He was of
' Scotch-Irish descent. His education was received in
the common schools, and was supplemented by exten-
sive reading. He was a man of keen observation,
* and was noted for the wonderful powers of his mem-
j ory. He was married to Catharine Caruthers, of
I Sewickley, Jan. 23, 1833. There were six children.
j Four died in infancy. Mary M. married Jeremiah
Baird ; Samuel E. Finley married Sarah Burchinal ;
; Catharine died June 9, 1842.

1 Robert was married again May 13, 1845, to Anne
I Hurford, of Luzerne township. They had five chil-
dren, two of whom are dead. The three living are
Thomas W., John E., married to Josephine Hazlett ;
Margaret A., married to James G. Wilson.

One who had known Mr. Robert Finley long and
j intimately thus wrote of him, " Seldom are we called
upon to record a death which makes so sensible a breach
i in the church and community as that of Mr. Robert
! Finley. For forty-five years he was a member, and
I for thirty-five an active and efiicient trustee, of the
Presbyterian Church of Dunlap's Creek. He was
the youngest son of Ebenezer Finley, Sr., deceased
who had been a ruling elder for some seventy years ; a
grandson of Rev. James Finley, one of the first min-
I isters of the gospel who crossed the Allegheny Moun-
I tains, and founder of Rehoboth, in the Presbytery of
Redstone, who was a brother to Rev. Dr. Samuel
Finley, president of Nassau Hall, New Jersey, an
ancestry in covenant with God. Mr. Finley pos-
sessed great vigor of constitution and energy of char-



acter, and marked success in business. He was a
judicious counselor, a genial friend and companion.
He enjoyed life in the best sense, and loved to see
others enjoy it in like manner. His example of strict
temperance, of industry, prudent economy, and gen-
erous hospitality and wise counsel was of great value
to young men. His benevolent spirit found pleasure
in seeing all embrace the gospel, and be temperate,
honest, industrious, peaceful, prosperous, and happy,
but had little patience with laggards, tipplers, and
spendthrifts. His charity was genuine and expan-
sive, embracing all classes and denominations ; a
lover of good men, whose society he greatly enjoyed,
being in cordial sympathy with them in the love of
Christ and his cause.

" He left a large circle of friends to lament his loss.
His place will not soon be filled. The church has
lost one of its pillars, the community one of its most
earnest, upright, and exemplary business men."

" Help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth !"

Hon. Griffith Koberts was born in Redstone town
sliip, Fayette Co., Pa., where he now resides, March !
7, 1807. He is of Welsh stock, and was educated in
the common schools. His early life was spent upon
his father's farm. He was married Dec. 14, 1826, to
Nancy Fought, of Redstone. He remained upon his
father's farm one year after marriage, and then moved to
a farm adjoining the one upon which he now lives, and
remained there twenty-five years, and then moved to
his present place of abode. He has had four children,
— Hannah, married to James M. Cook ; George, mar-
ried to Eliza Franks; Philip (now dead), married to
Eliza A. Balsinger ; Elizabeth, unmarried. The first
ofHci-' Mr. Roberts ever held was that of captain nf a

all thr (ilHces of the township, except tliat of constable.
He was nominated and elected associate judge of Fay-
ette County in 1876 by a flattering vote. He held the
office until it was abolished in 1881, discharging the
duties in a manner creditable to himself and satisfac-
tory to his constituents. He held the office of county
commissioner for three years, 1866, 1867, 1868. His
wife, Nancy, died Dec. 25, 1858.

His father, Abniham Roberts, was born in Chester
County, Pa.; came to Fayette County when a young
man, and married Elizabeth Morris, of this county.
Tliey had eight children, — -four sons and four daugh-
ters. Griffith was the second, and is the only one re-
siding in Fayette County. The others who are living
reside in the West. Aljraham died in 1819; Eliza-
beth died in 1845.

'Sir. Roberts' grandfatlier, Griffith Roberts, came
from Wales when a young man and settled in Ches-
ter County, Pa., where lie married Rachel Jeflries.
Thev had but one son, Aliraham, and came to Fav-

I ette County with him. They were all Quakers. Grif-
fith, Sr., died in 1823, his wife a few years afterwards.
Hon. Griffith Roberts has no membership in any
church, but has always been a liberal contributor to

g ^m^'

the various denominations. He rather leans to the
belief of his father. His morality is unquestioned.
He is well and favorably known in the county. He
is worthy of the confidence his friends have in him,
and is a genial gentleman of the old school.



The grandfather of James Madison Linn, Andrew
Linn, settled in Fayette County at a very early date.
He had his farm patented. He was a soldier in the
Revolutionary war, and was one of the first settlers
west ottlie AlleL'hi'iiies. They were driven back east

veral times by Indians.
, Capt. Isaac Linn, was born upon
son now resides in 1774. He was
1796, to Jemima Voorhes. They
James M. was the fifth. Isaac Linn

of the lunnntnin-

Jamr~.M. - l;illM
the farm wlinv hi
married on i lit. L'l
had eiglit cliildren.
was a soldier in the war of 1812. He was captain of
an infantry company, and served during the war,
going during his period of service into Canada.

James Madison Linn was born July 20, 1808, upon
the farm where he now resides, and was educated in
the common school, and studied the classics under a
private tutor. He was married May 1.3, 1841, to Mary








Linn, of Redstone township. They had eight chil-
dren, — William Voorhes, now dead; Isaac, married
to Emma Stewart ; Ayers, deceased ; Jemima A.,
married to John C. Hanna ; Samuel S. B., married to
Florence A. Holmes ; Charlotte L., married to S. A.
Phillips; Alcinda C, not married; Mary E., married
to 0. D. Porter.

In the early portion of his life Mr. Linn was occu-
pied as a clerk, and afterwards engaged in distilling.
For many years past he has followed farming and
milling, and has held important township offices. He
is a member of the Old Redstone Baptist Church, as is
also his wife. He started in life with nothing, and
gradually accumulated his considerable property,
which consists mostly of lands, but he has a good
share of money also.

The late David Hibbs, who died May 18, 1868, was
born in Redstone township, July 1.5, 1809. He was
of English descent, and was educated in the common
schools. He was m.arried April 18, 18.S9, to Hannah
Walters, daughter of Ephraim Walters, of Nicholson


township, and sister of E|i!iraiiii Walters, nf Mason- |
town, German township, :in-l of Dr. .IrtlVrson A. \
Walters, now living in Daytun, <Jhio, a gentleman of ■
prominence, and a considerable and careful contribu-
tor to genealogical literature. They have had nine
children. Two died in infancy. The seven living
are Jefferson W., who married Ellen Van Kirk ; Mary

Frances, who married Joseph Antram ; Elizabeth,
married to Dr. J. P. Sangston ; Harriet A., married
to John F. Hess ; Lucetta, George L., and John G.,

Mr. Hibbs held the usual township otBces intrusted
to a careful business man, and was for three years a
member of the almshouse board. In all these posi-
tions he conducted the public business in a satis-
factory manner. For many years he was a member
of the German Baptist Church, and held the office of
elder for a number of years. His pecuniary start was
.small. By industry and careful business management
he was able to leave his family in comfortable circum-
stances. His success was due to his integrity, his in-
dustry, his devotion, his unselfishness, and charity.
These made his character great, — "the virtues are
the forces and powers in life." He was a quiet man,
made but little show, and did his duty as nearly as
he was able, and was content. The best legacy he
left his family was a good name.

Samuel C. Hibbs was born in Redstone township,
Feb. 14, 1802. He is of English stock, was educated
in the common schools, and learned the of
farming, and has been engaged in it all of his life.
He was married in January, 1833, to Elizabeth Beal, of
Menallen township. They had six children, — Ma-

nda, married first to James Niccolls, again to Dr.
King, of Bloomington, 111. ; John, married to Hannah
Lackey; Aaron, married to Margaret Weltner; Ben-
jamin, who was a soldier in the late war, was wounded
at City Point and died there. His remains are buried
in the Presbyterian Cemetery at New Salem. Robert,
m.u lied Anna Davidson ; Elizabeth, married to James
Fiiiley. The sons are all farmers. Mr. Hibbs has

iig been a member of the Presbyterian Church.
His wife, Elizabeth, died in 1874. He had a small
start in the world in a pecuniary way. The fine
taims which he owns, or rather which he has given
his children, thus sensibly starting them well in life,
he made by his own industry. He is active for one
of his age, and is evidently contented and happy.
His moral status is excellent. Those who know him
respect him as a citizen and a man. His father. Lacy
Hibbs, was born east of the Alleghenies, and came to
Fajctte County early in life and settled upon the
farm where his grandson, Aaron, now resides. He
married Sarah Craft, of Fayette County. They had
eight children. Samuel was the sixth, and is the only
one living. His ancestors were Quakers.

Thomas Caufield is of Irish stock. His father,
Timothy Caufield, was born in County Galway, Ire-
land, in 1784, and migrated to America in 1810,
locating in Belmont County, Ohio. He married



Nancy Hynes, of that county, in ISi'C. Jlrs. Cau-
field died" in 1831, leaving three cliildren, John,
Thomas, and Daniel. John resides in Ohirke County,
Iowa. Daniel was merchandising in Kansas during
the struggle for supremacy there between the North-
ern and Southern political forces, and has not since
been heard of by his friends in Pennsylvania.

Timothy Can field moved from Belmont County,
Ohio, into Fayette County, Pa., in 1834. He was a
contractor on the National pike, and spent much of
his life in operating upon public works, Iniilding
roads, etc. He was married a second time in 1836.
The maiden name of his second wife Elizabeth
Detson, who died in 1872. Mr. Caufield died Dec.
30, 1873.

Thomas Caufield was born April 24, 1829, in Bel-
mont County, Ohio, and removed with his father to
Fayette County, Pa., in 1834. He was educated in
the common schools, and has spent nearly all his life
upon the farm where he now resides. He was mar-
ried July 1.5, 1874, to Maggie L. Lynn, of Millsboro',
Washington Co., Pa. Her great-grandfather, Wil-
liam Lynn, was one of the pioneers of Fayette
County, settling in Redstone township, on a farm ad-
joining her husband's, about the time the county was
organized. The farm remained in the name for three
generations. Mr. and Mrs. Caufield have had four
children, three of whom are living, — John Gibson,
Carrie Lynn, and Mary Edna.

Jlr. Thomas Caufield has never held or sought po-
litical office. He is a well-informed gentleman, hav-
ing read much, particularly of history, remembering
well what he reads, and applying the results of his
study to practical pur]ioses, much more than it is cus-
tomary for farmers to do. His neighbors esteem him
for his honesty and fair dealing.


James W. Craft's grandfivther, George Craft, came
from Germany, and lived in Maryland, near where
the battle of Antietam was fought, until the year
1771, when he removed with his family to Western
Pennsylvania, and settled on the farm on which his
descendants have ever since resided. David Craft,
the father of James W. Craft, was born in 1763, and
married, in 1788, Margaret Woodrow, who died in
1812, leaving him a family of thirteen children, only
two of whom are now living,— Elijah Craft, of this
county ; and Elizabeth Sproat, of Guernsey County,

David Craft approved of the cuHivntion i,f tlie
minds of his children. He with some nl' his neii^h-
bors engaged a graduate of the University ol' ( )xlnrd
to teach a select school, in whicli he placed his sons.

The old Craft homestead is one mile east of Mer-
rittstown, Fayette Co.. Pa.

The late .Tames W. Cratt. of Ke.lstone township,

was born Feb. 13, 1807, and died Feb. 20, 1880. He
was of German stock, and was married in 1847 to
his cousin, Caroline E. Craft, of Redstone township.
There were born to them nine children, seven of
whom are living, five daughters and two sons, —
Ellen L., married to Samuel Colvin ; Loretta, mar-
ried to Joseph O. Miller; Hester B., married to Dr.
H. W. Brashear; Richard N., married to Rebecca
Nutt; Hayden R., married to Laura Bell Colley ;
Annie M., married to John R. Carothers ; Jessie Ben-
ton, single.

Mr. Craft was a justice of the peace in his native
township for about thirty years, and was not only a
justice in every sense of the word, but was eminently
a man of peace, never failing, contrary to his own
pecuniary interest, to urge upon litigants a peaceful
settlement of their difficulties. As nearly as possible
he followed the golden rule. Under the preaching
of the pioneers of the Cumberland Presbyterian
Church, — Morgan, Bryan, Sparks, and others, — he
became a member of the Hopewell branch of that
communion. AVhen the final hour came he expressed
himself as ready and willing to die, "having full as-
surance of a blessed immortality."

Mr. Craft was educated in common and select
schools. He cultivated a taste for the higher grades
of literature, and had great admiration and love for
the English classics, a high appreciation for Camp-
bell, Gray, and others of the British poets, and was
able to quote many of their finest productions.

In early years he showed a proficiency in music.
While quite a boy he became the leader of the cele-
brated military band which discoursed music for Capt.
Geisey's company of Brownsville, and Capts. Trevor
and Beeson's companies of Uniontown. This band
made the music at the reception of Marquis de La-
fayette in Uniontown in 182.5, and was urged by him
and the celebrated Albert Gallatin to accompany
them to the home of the latter on the Monongahela
above New Geneva, and partake of the festivities of
his visit there, but were obliged to decline the flatter-
ing compliment.

This band, under the leadership of Mr. Craft, fur-
nished music for all the Masonic and military parades
of Uniontown, Washington, Brownsville, and many
other places from 1824 to about 1835. So good was
its music that Gen. Jackson said it surpassed any
martial music he had ever heard. So great was Mr.
Craft's fondness for music that he continued to play
on his two fiivorite instruments, the flute and the
clarionet, up to the hour of his last sickness. So
noble and gentle was Mr. Craft during his whole life
that it is safe to .say that no man in the wide region
throughout which he was known was ever more
mi.ssed after death than he, or his loss more sincerely

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<^:::=^^W<!C^ -t^ ,^,^. _

^L^^ma<^ X^^/i^^^^




Leonard Lenhart is of German descent. His father,
Micliael Lenhart, was a native of Carlisle, Pa. He
married Martha Kline, and soon after his marriage
located in Fayette City, Fayette Co. He was a wagon-
malcer by trade, and followed his vocation for some
time in Fayette City, and then removed to a farm in
Washington County, Pa., near Greenfield. He died
in 1823. His wife, ikartha, died in 1860, aged eighty-
three. They had twelve children. There are four of
them low living, — Philip, in his eighty-second year;
Mary Ferry, Sarah Kendall, and Leonard.

Leonard Lenhart was born in January, 1809, in
Fayette City, Fayette Co., and was educated in the
common schools. He was married April 23, 1828, to
Hannah Baldwin, of Fayette City. They had eleven
children, — Michael, married to Maggie Dodson ;
Martha, married to George W. Clarke; James S., un-
married ; George, married to Sarah Chatland ; Laura
J., married to William Guiker, Esq., who are living ;
William B., Maria, John E., Mary F., who was mar-
ried to William S. Hatfield; Catharine, and Philip,
are all dead.

Mrs. Hannah Lenhart died Aug. 2, 1858, and on
July 24, 1860, Mr. Lenhart married Mrs. Elma Nic-
colls, a daughter of William Eberhart, Esq., of Red-
stone township, who died Feb. 23, 1882, in the eighty-
second year of his age.

And here a few words concerning Mr. Eberhart
will not be out of place. He spent the last few years

of his life in the family of Mr. Lenhart, his son-in-
law. Mr. Eberhart was a man of great energy and
of enterprise as a business man ; was at one time an
extensive manufacturer of glass. In the days of his
thrift he was open and liberal with his means, ready
to assist others. But a reverse came to his good for-
tunes at last in tlie destruction by a devastating fire
at Cincinnati of several thousand boxes of glass which
belonged to him. From this misfortune he never
recovered, but his assistance was sought by other
manufacturers, and he was engaged actively in manu-
facturing until old age pushed him into retirement.
He was kind in spirit, jwssessed fine colloquial powers,
was very social, and, above all, honest in purpose.

Of his latter marriage Mr. Lenhart has three
children, — Lizzie Bell, Charles E., and Leonard H.
Mr. Lenhart began life as a boat-builder in Fayette
City. In 1831 he worked in John S. Pringle's yard
in Brownsville. Several years after he went there he
was made foreman of the yard. In 1846 he engaged
as a partner in the business with Mr. John Cock, and
continued with him until 1859. In 1860 he moved to
the farm where he now resides, and has been engaged
in farming ever since.

He had no pecuniary start. He has made all he
has by his own labor. He has held a number of im-
portant township ofiices. He enjoys the respect of
his neighbors, has a pleasant home, and is surrounded
by more comforts than farmers are usually supplied


Occupying the extreme northeast portion of the
county is the township of Salt Lick, which has for its
northern boundary Westmoreland County, for its
eastern Somerset County, from which it is separated
by Laurel Hill. On the south is the township of
Springfield, and on the west is the Chestnut Ridge,
which cuts it off from Bullskin. The surface is
mountainous. Rising above the general level are
high hills which constitute a plateau in the western
part. Along the streams are deep valleys, in some
localities possessing considerable width and noted for
fertility. In other parts of the township the soil is
thin and only fairly productive. Limestone is abun-
dant, and coal of a good quality crops out along the
streams. Iron ore and other minerals abound, but
have not yet been developed. Centrally, flowing
through the township from northeast to southwest, is
the chief stream, Indian Creek, which was known
in early times as the Great Salt Lick Creek. Being

fed by numerous springs it has considerable volume,
whose constancy, although affected by the summer
heat, bears favorable comparison with other water-
courses of like size in the western part of the State.
The larger tributaries are Back, Poplar, and Cham-
pion Runs, each having affluent brooks. The former
heads in the Laurel Hill range, and after flowing
southwest unites with Indian Creek a mile above the
Springfield line. Champion Run rises in the Chest-
nut Ridge, near the northwest corner, thence flowing
southeast till it loses its waters in the Indian Creek
north of the centre of the township. Poplar Run
also rises in the Chestnut Ridge, near the southwest
corner, which it drains, then flows out of the town-

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 169 of 193)