Franklin Ellis.

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

. (page 171 of 193)
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opened, cut, cleared, and bridged, twenty-five feet
wide." The road was run with the assistance of
Alexander Moreland, and has always been one of
the chief highways of the township, whose import-
ance has only been exceeded by the State road across
the mountains, which was also opened about this
time. In December, 1800, the CMurt was petitiiuied
for a bridge across Salt Lick (Iii.liaiH » 'n-ik at the
crossing of the State road. The (iraud .Iiiiy recdiii-
mended that the bridge be built, and the court at the
March session in 1801 directed the commissioners to
have it built in accordance with the plans presented.
The road from Andrew Trapp's to the west of tlie
Laurel Hills was ordered in April, 1806, while the
road from Trapp's to Perkey's and thence to Loben-
gier's was ordered in April, isos, Aliraluuu Kiimear,
Henry Adams, Abraham Dumliauld, .luhii (Jriiidle,
George Batchelor, and James I'atten being the view-
ers. The road from John Grindle's to the bridge on
Indian Creek was ordered by the same court, and was
viewed by Andrew Trapp, Abraham Kern, John
Robinson, Peter Dumbauld, Daniel Perkey, and John
Muir. The township is well provided with highways,
which are usually kept in a passable condition.


Although agriculture has always been the leading
pursuit of the people of Salt Lick, considerable im-
portance has always been attached to its manufactur-
ing interests. The first was ]irobably the mill built
by Christian Perkey, on the waters of Indian Creek,
near the nortli line of the township. It was put in
operation some time about 1780, and was at first a
very small affair. Later a better mill was built of
logs on a good stone foundation, which was allowed
to remain wlien James Muir took down the old mill
and built in its jilaee a one-story frame mill, with
im|iroved gearing and a pair of French burrs in ])lace
of the ordinary mountain stone which previously did
service. That mill in turn gave place to the present
structure, which was erected in 1878 by William Ne-
will, under the direction of James Leeper as mill-
wright. It is a three-story frame of large size, lias
three runs of stones and modern niaehinery, being
in all its appointments one of the best mills in the
county. The motive-power is Inrnished by a Leffel j
turbine-wheel, and the mill is rated at $10,000. The i
present owners are William Newill and his son, A. M. |
Newill, the latter operating the mills. The property I
has had many owners, passing from Christian Perkey
to his son Daniel ; thence to Frederick Fleck, who
had the grist-, saw-, and an oil-mill in operation in
1823, the latter being continued about ten years ;
thence to William Murray, thence to James Muir,
and from him to James Muir, Jr., who owned it until
his death, when Mr. Newill became the proprietor of
both the grist- and the saw-mill, continuinL; Uotli, a>
above stated. The oil-mill was long since disron-

Passing down Indian Creek to a point above Cham-
pion Run, the next power was improved, about 1820,
by Peter Dumbauld to operate a saw-mill, which
after a number of 3'ears became the property of
George Bitner. On the same place was a fruit and
grain distillery, which was discontinued about 1836.

On Champion Run are several water-powers, one
of which was improved by William W. Robinson
about 18.52, and made to operate a saw-mill, which is
at present the property of Jacob Bruner. Farther up
the stream, John Spear had a linseed-oil mill about
1846, which had also as owners John Piper and
Henry J. Ritner, but has not been operated the past
twenty years. On the south branch of the run a
saw-mill was put in operation about 1840 by Wil-
liam Kessler, which passed into the hands of John
W. Kinnear, and thence to others, a new mill being
erected on the site by James Coffman, which is yet
profitably operated.

On the main branch of Indian Creek, at the ham-
let of Davistown, Abraham Davis built a saw-mill
about 1830, and not long after, a carding-machine
and fulling-mill. Ten years later he built a small
grist-mill, which was displaced by the present mill
in 1872, which was built by John Davis. After his
death in 1873 the mill became the property of Lem-
uel Mathews. The mill-house is three stories high,
and contains three runs of stones. A new saw-mill
has also recently been built at this point, and while
the carding-machine is still kept in operation, the
fulling-mill has long since been discontinued.

On Back Run, a mile above its mouth, the power
was first improved about 1790 by Peter Bucher, to op-
erate a saw-mill, which was a great convenience to the
settlers of this part of the township. A saw-mill is
yet maintained at that point by Joseph Berg. A
short distance above, Henry White, a resident of
Bullskin, built a log-mill about 1796, which is yet in
use, and is in a well-preserved condition. The stone
basement appears perfect, and there is little to show
the age of the mill, as the internal arrangements
have been changed from time to time. At present
there are two runs of stones, which are run by the
power of an overshot water-wheel, fed by a long race.
Among the early operators of the mill were Daniel
Perkey, George Huey, and Adam Leppert. The mill
was sold by White to the Berg family, and still re-
mains in their possession, the present owner being
David Berg. The saw mill at this point has become
practically useless, although the mill still remains.
A short distance above, Daniel Witt has had a saw-
mill in successful operation the past fourteen years.
Yet farther up the stream David Dumbauld built a
saw-mill about 1840, which passed from him to Dan-
iel Eisenian, thence to Jonathan Ash, and to David
t^aylor, the present owner. Another mill was oper-
ated on r.ack Run, above the latter, by James H.
Miller, l>iit the power has been abandoned, the water
supjily being too small to be advantageously em-



ployed. On Poplar Ruu a small saw-mill is owned
and operated by Manasseh Burkholder.

At the mouth of Back Run, Andrew Trapp built a
saw-mill about 1800, obtaining power by means of a
long raceway from the run to a point near the Indian
Creek. Trapp operated the mill a number of years,
and was thereafter succeeded by his son Andrew. The
subsequent owners of this power have been John and
Gabriel Christner, Daniel and John Senff, Abraham
Gallentine, Alfred Cooper, and the present, H. L.
Sparks. Alfred Cooper established the tannery busi-
ness at this point in 1855. His yard contained thirty-
eight vats, and the building was a story and a half
high. In 1863, Mr. Sparks became the owner of the
property, and after ten years he remodeled the tan-
nery and the mill. The power was increased by the
substitution of water-wheels of the Leffel pattern,
whose capacity aggregates thirty-nine horse-power.
The old tannery was displaced by the present build-
ing, which is 50 x 80 feet, two and a half stories high.
Although supplied with a boiler, steam has not yet
been used, the proprietor preferring to finish his work
in cold water, thus securing for his products a most
enviable reputation in Eastern markets. From two
thousand to three thousand hides per year are tanned
into harness- and skirting-leather, about one-third of
which is finished at the currying establishment of th-e
firm at Connellsville. The saw-mill was rebuilt in
the fall of 1879, the capacity being increased to fifteen
hundred feet per day. In the spring of 1881 a plauing-
mill was attached to the same power, and the manu-
facture of builders' materials of all kinds begun. The
products of the mill are mainly oak, chestnut, and
poplar, chiefly the latter two, the woods yet abound-
ing with trees from which first-class lumber may be
cut. In 1875, H. L. Sparks associated with him his
son S. H.,and the firm has since been known as H. L.
Sparks & Son.

In former times there were a number of small dis-
tilleries in the township, which were employed to a
large extent in working up the fruit which grew so
abundantly on many farms. Among the principal
distillers were John Dull and David Berg on Back
Hun, and the Dumbaulds and Andrew Trapp on
Indian Creek ; but all of them have been discontinued
more than thirty years since. George Rees made hats
in a small shop on the old State road, and had the
reputation of being a very skillful workman. Powder
was made in a small way at Davistown by Joshua
Davis ; and in the southwestern part of the township,
J. Yoder had in operation, after 1826, a loom of ingeni-
ous construction for weaving woolen, cotton, and
linen goods. He wove linen sheets of such fineness
and texture that they were in great demand and highly
prized by the housekeepers of Eastern Fayette.

A good quality of mountain coal abounds on nearly
every farm, and has been developed in many localities
to supply the home demand, there being yet no facil-
ities for shipping to outside markets. At Sparks'

Mill appear two layers of coal, in veins four feet
thick and about one hundred feet apart, and in many
other localities similar strata manifest themselves,
some of the chief mines being on the old Henry
Adams place, and on the Brooks, Lohr, Robison, and

' Berg farms.

Within the past twenty years limestone of a supe-

I rior quality has been found in many accessible places,
and has been quarried to a considerable extent for
fertilizing purposes, to the manifest benefit of the

j lands to which it has been applied. One of the finest
strata thus far discovered is on the old George Poe

'■ place, now owned by Henry Bungard. It is nearly

I sixty feet in thickness and very easily developed. In
the northern part of the township iron ore was for-
merly mined to supply the Mount Hope Furnace,
which was in that locality, in Westmoreland County.
But since it has gone out of blast no further develop-
ment of that mineral has been made. Mount Hope
Furnace was built in 1808, and blew out about 1820.

Before the clay pike was opened through Spring-

I field, in 1810, the old State road was the great

' thoroughfare from Somerset County to Connellsville,

i and many taverns consequently were kept on that
route to accommodate the numerous teams toiling up
and down its course. Three of these were licensed
as early as 1795, viz. : George Batchelor, on the pres-
ent Peter Sleasman place ; Benjamin Davis, on the
Joseph Gallentine place ; and Melchior Entling, the

I latter being in the present township of Springfield.

! These were continued a number of years, and at the

i Davis stand was afterwards Peter Feike. Eastward
were the taverns of Andrew Trapp, David Berg,
George Batchelor, George Rees, and Frederick Mur-
ray, the latter being at the foot of Laurel Hill.
Nearly half a century has elapsed since Salt Lick has
had a licensed tavern.

j It is probable that Andrew Trapp was the first to
engage in mercantile pursuits, having a small store

i near the site of Sparks' tannery as early as 1799. His
original account-book, to which the writer has had
access, contains the names of nearly all the pioneers,
and shows that he must have carried on quite a flour-
ishing business. The chief articles of traflic were
liquor, lumber, flour, tallow, and salt. In addition,

I Trapp was the keeper of a public-house and justice
of the peace, making his transactions numerous and
multiform. In 1800, Adam Bungard was debited to

; "one bushel of salt, for which he promised to deliver
me eight bushels of corn." December, 1800, George
and Andrew Poe were made debtor to writing " Two
Bonds of Performance and other writings, at Is. 6d.
per paper." Christian Senff, 1801, was credited by
one heifer, £3, and charged with ten bushels of wheat,
at 6s. per bushel ; one gallon of whisky, os. ; three
gallons of apple brandy, at 48. per gallon. Abraham
Workman, 1804, " Dr. by wife to five quarts of whisky,



for which she promised two bushels of rye, to be de-
livered in two weeks." The grain was delivered at
the proper time, as is indicated by a credit to that
efl'ect. "Black Benjamin," owned by the Bucher
family, had many debits for whisky, which were paid
by working on the mill-race. In 1802, George Poe,
Jr., was made debtor " By balance on the digging of
twenty rods of my ' dale' race, £1 li3s. llrf." In 1802,
George Burkholder was debited " To cash lent to pay
the lawer, 15s.," and in 1804, " for marrying his son Wil- ■
liara, 15.S." John Woodruff, in 1802, " To horse feed '
and victuals, 3s. (3(/.' For solemnizing him with the ^
bonds of matrimony to his present wife, 7s. 6d. To
my trouble in going thither, 7s. 6rf." David Barnes,
1802. "To one pint of salt, od." Frederick Dum-
li;tuia. ism. '• By fifteen pounds of 'Hetzeled Flax.'" ,
Mflchor Entling, 1807, "By balance he overpaid on |
■A letter, 2.<. Sd." " To one barrel of boiled cider, £1
10s." Benjamin Harris, 1802, "To one order for a
wolf's head. Is. 6rf." John Wibel, the teacher,
July, 1807, " By two days' raking hay by wife and '
Betsey, 3s." George Wolf is mentioned in 1805 as
the shoemaker, Jacob Earned as the blacksmith, and
John Holliday as the wagon-maker.

Upon tln' (lialli of .\ndrewTrapp, in 1824, the busi-
ness passcil intu tlir hands of his son Andrew, who
carried it 'in liuht or ten years longer, when Gabriel
and John I'hristnrr nigaged in the mercantile trade
at that stand a lew years longer. About 1827, Robert
Moorehead had a store in the same neighborhood,
but at a different stand. Thenceforth a store was
kept at Davistown by the Davis family, which was
discontinued in 1873.

For ten or twelve years prior to 1868 a store was
carried on in the Gallentine House, in the southern
part of the township. The first in trade were John
Gallentine and John F. Murray, and after a few years
the latter conducted the store until it was discontinued,
when H. L. Sparks opened his store at the tannery,
and where he has been engaged in merchandising the
last twelve years.

In 1871, John Miller opened a store at his residence,
a mile east of Sparks', and later a business house
was erected for their increasing trade near by, where
J. H. and P. H. Miller were profitably engaged in
business until April, 1881, when the latter retired, his
place in the firm being taken by James Worrick.

The third of the business places at present contin-
ued was established in 1873, on the farm of D. W. C.
Dum'oauld, by H. L. Sparks, and two years later be-
came the property of Judge Dumbauld, who is carry-
ing on a general store, stocked with a full line of
goods. At this place is kept the Champion post-
ofiice, which was established in September, 1875,
D. W. C. Dumbauld as postmaster. He held that '
position until February, 1877, when Mary E. Dum-
bauld was appointed postmaster, and still has charge
of the office. It is on the Jones' Mill route, and has
two mails per day. '

At Sparks' store is kept the Indian Head post-office,
the oldest office in the township. It was established
with the name of Dawson, but later took the name
of Indian Greek, and in October, 1875, was given its
present appellation, the other names causing confu-
sion on account of titles nearly similar which are
borne by other offices in the State. In 1873 the office
was removed from Davistown to the present place,
H. L. Sparks being appointed postmaster vice John
Davis, decea,sed. He has since continued to serve in
that capacity. The office has two mails per day, the
service being by the route from Stewarton Station, in
Springfield, to Jones' Mill, in Westmoreland County.

There is properly no hamlet in Salt Lick, the only
approach to one being Davistown, where are a few
houses and a church clustered around the mills at
that point. Whatever other interests were here have
been diverted to the places named above as being
more suitable trading points.

The first denominational services in the township
were maintained by the Lutheran and German Re-
formed settlers, who belonged to those churches in
the eastern part of the State. These meetings, held
first at the house of Peter Bucher and otiier places,
resulted in a purpose to have a house of worship
where both sects might hold their meetings, and the
increasing congregations might be better accommo-
dated than in the limited rooms theretofore available.
To this end Peter Bucher and Andrew Trapp deeded
a tract of land on a gentle hill-slope near the west
bank of Back Run, where the present


was erected about 1800. It is of logs, but has been
weather-boarded, and in general appearance resembles
a frame house. Originally it was provided with side
and end galleries and a high pulpit; but these have
been removed and the internal arrangements made to
conform to modern architecture. The house was re-
modeled in the summer of 1851, and on the 29th of
November of that year the " Lutheran Congregation
of Good Hope" was organized. At this time there
were ninety-one members, and the church council •
was composed of Rev. J. R. Focht, pastor ; John
Snyder and Peter Snyder, elders ; A. C. Dumbauld
and Frederick Miller, deacons.

The time when the congregation was first organized
is involved in obscurity. In the first church-book
appear the names of children baptized as early as
1788; but it is possible that some of them may have
been transcribed from the record of other churches,
since no other idea but that of baptism is conveyed.
The first date of any authentic moment is Aug. 23,
1795, when a list of communicants is given, which
embraces the names of Mathias Kern, Peter Bucher,
Sr., Frederick Herman, Ludwig Banse, Anna Maria
Banse, Catherine Senflf, Christopher Loser, Christian
Senff', Frederick Meator, Peter Strayer, Catherine



Strayer, Abraham Craft, Jacob Staucli, Catherine
Stauch, George Rees, Jacob Morrix, George Wolf,
Anna Maria Wolf, Conrad Eoeshenberger, Anna Ma-
ria Roeshenberger, Dorothea Shaefer, Catherine Her-
man, Philip Brickman, Elizabeth Brickman, Cather-
ine Rees, Christian Ausman, Abraham Hay, Christi-
ana Dumbauld, Simon Schneider, Ludwig Hay,
Jacob Hentz, Eva Elizabeth Lo-ser, Sally Ehrenfried,
Anna Barbara Loser, Elizabeth Hay, Anna Margaret
Ehrenfried, Barbara Herman, Susanna SenfF, G. Van
Cassell, John Crist, Barbara Harbaugh, Henry Har-
baugh, and Conrad Lutz.

In February, 1796, the names of the Reformed
members of the " Good Hope" are given as follows :
Frederick Smith, George HofFhance, Andrew Weil,
Adam Shafer, John Robison, Christian Perkey, Henry
Schlater, Barabara Schneider, Elizabeth Weil, Bar-
bara Robison, Catherine Meator, Elizabeth Macken-
dorfer, Frederick Dumbauld, Adam Hoff hance, Wil-
liam Smith, Frederick Crist, James Mitchel, Anna
Maria Dumbauld, Betsey Robison, Elizabeth Crist,
Catherine Crist, Elizabeth Smith, Elizabeth Weil,
Elizabeth Hoffhance, and Julia Ann Meator.

The members of the two congregations were first
under the ministerial care of the Revs. Long and
All, but some time prior to 1822 the Lutherans had
as their pastor the Rey. Smucker, and the German
Reformed minister was Rev. KiefFer. The latter was
succeeded by the Rev. Voigt, whose connection with
the congregation was not terminated until 1856. He
appear.s to have been the last regular minister, for the
congregation became too feeble to maintain its or-
ganization, which was suffered to go down about that

In 1827 the Rev. Jonas Mackling succeeded the
Rev. Smucker as the pastor of the Lutheran congre-
gation, and ministered to them in holy things until
1849, when the Rev. J. J. Suttre entered upon a short
pastorate. In 1851 he was succeeded by the Rev. J.
R. Focht, who was the spiritual teacher until 1856,
when the Rev. J. Gaumer entered upon a pastorate
which was terminated in 1868. In connection with
the Donegal and Franklin congregations, the Rev.
John Welfley assumed the pastoral relation in 1869,
which continued until 1875. The following year the
Rev. D. Erhard became the pastor, and yet fills that

The congregation had in 1880 about fifty commu-
nicants, and the following church officers : Elder, A.
C. Dumbauld; Deacon, Ludwig C. Miller; Trustees,
Jacob Styer, Henry Bungard, and John H. Snyder.
Among the elders and deacons since the organization
of the church have been Frederick Miller, John
Snyder, Peter Snyder, Ludwig Hort, Henry Kemp,
Jacob Imel, Ludwig C. Miller, and Abraham C. Dum-
bauld. The latter was for many years at the head of
a Sunday-school which was maintained in tlie church,
but which has not been kept up the past ten years.

On the 13th of December, 1879, the Lutheran con-

gregation of Good Hope appointed Ludwig C. Miller,
Jacob Imel, and George A. Dumbauld a building
committee for the purpose of erecting a new church
' edifice, but no material progress to this end has yet
been made. In connection with the old church is a
graveyard, where lie interred many of the old citizens
of Salt Lick and the surrounding country who were
formerly members of either the Lutheran or Reformed
congregations worshiping in the modest old build-
! ing, which is now one of the oldest landmarks in

Northeastern Fayette.
1 The Evangelical Association was the next denomi-
j nation to maintain regular preaching. Their mis-
sionaries, entering the township fifty years ago, found
willing hearers and hearts that quickly responded to
the gospel call as proclaimed by these plain but earn-
est men. Among those who accepted their doctrines
j were Jacob Earned and his son-in-law, Abraham Davis,
! whose homes thereafter became the places of worship
[ until a church building could be provided. Barned
died in the faith, while attending a pioneer camp-
meeting, many years ago, but he had lived long
enough to see the church of his adoption flourish
and become firmly established in Salt Lick. Others
who .shared the burdens of pioneer membership were
the younger Davises, several persons by the name of
j Resler, Kesslar, and the Senff family.

In 1846 the membership had become strong enough
to assume the building of a church edifice, and that
1 year was erected at Davistown the Bethlehem Evan-
gelical Church, which is yet used as a place of wor-
ship. It is a frame of modest proportions, but the
society whose spiritual home it is has been parent to
! a number of other flourishing classes in Salt Lick and
I Bullskin. The trustees in 1881 were William Moody,
Samuel Eicher, and George W. Kern, and the twenty
members constituting the class here were under the
leadership of George W. Kern. Jacob M. Davis is
I the superintendent of a Sunday-school which has
j about forty attendants.

The Mount Olivet Evangelical Church edifice was
built in 1872, in the iKirtlierii part of the township, on
land donated fur cliiirrh and cemetery purposes by
Elijah Lyons. The Imildiiig committee was composed
of Jacob Davis and George W. Gloss, and the church
was consecrated in the early part of the winter of
j 1872 by the Rev. William Houpt. The house is a
1 plain but neatly painted frame, thirty by forty feet,
1 and in 1881 was under the trusteeship of Jacob Davis,
George W. Gloss, and D. W. C. Dumbauld. The
class which has this house as its place of worship
sprung from the Bethlehem Church, and numbers at
present about seventy members, who are under the
leadership of D. W. C. Dumbauld. The Sunday-
school, which is maintained here in the summer sea-
son, has :in eiHipIliiient of seventy-five members, and
William lluiidurl' tor superintendent.

Both the Idi-.^iiing churches belong to the Indian
Creek Circuit of the Somerset District of the Pitta-



burgh Conference of the Evangelical Association.
The circuit embraces also, as other appointments, the :
McClellan school-house class; Poplar Run, in Spring- |
field ; Mount Pisgah and StaufFer, in Bullskin, the \
stewards of the several appointments being Jacob M. j
Davis, George W. Gloss, John Mull, Daniel Staufler,
and Levi M. White. The preacher in charge in 1881
was the Eev. George W. White; Eev. William
Moodey was a local preacher.

It is impossible to give a complete list of the min-
isters who served what is now Indian Creek Circuit,
as no records of such appointments, made very often
as frequently as once a year, have been preserved.
But among others who were itinerants in Salt Lick '
were the Revs. Abraham Dreisbach, Henry Niebel,
John De Hoft", Moses De Hoflf, Walter, Rid-
dle, Wilt, Barber, Starabaugh, George

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 171 of 193)