Franklin Ellis.

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

. (page 172 of 193)
Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 172 of 193)
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Brickley, Daniel Brickley, Samuel Mottinger, Henry
Rohlaud, Henry Bucks, Thomas Buck, Abraham
Baker, M. J. Carothers, J. M. W. Seibert, George
Kopp, John Lutz, A. Frey, Uriah Everhart, Levi

Everhart, S. W. McKesson, Craig, Einsel,

Daniel Long, Samuel Kring, Conrad Kring, ,

Anstein, Hempie, Miller, Strayer,

Poling, Boyer, Ross, James Dunlap,

L. H. Hettriok, D. K. Levan, William Reininger, and
G. W. White. In addition to the foregoing, the now
eminent Chicago divine. Dr. Thomas, began his min-
isterial career as a youthful preacher in the Evan- j
gelical Association, serving as an itinerant in Salt Lick.
Some of the older members recollect that he even
then was remarkable for his profound discourses, — a
bent of mind which has given him a national repu-
tation as a preacher in the Methodist Episcopal
Church.

The Hopewell Methodist Protestant Church is a <
small frame house of worship northwest of Davis-
town, which was built about the same time as the
Bethlehem Church. One of the chief promoters of
the enterprise was Abraham Gallentine, who was also
one of the first members. Others associated with him
were William Moodey, Joseph Gallentine, Harriet
Kesslar, Mary Bundorf, and a few others. For a
time the church flourished under the preaching of
the Revs. Francis, Betts, Bolton, Stillings, and Scott;
but the removal of some of the members so weakened
the liody that after a time no regular services were
maintained, and the remaining members connected
themselves with other religious bodies. The last
preacher was a man named Colclough. The Baptists
and other denominations sometimes preached in the
old Hopewell Church, but as far as has been ascer-
tained no organization was attempted. The house
has been little used lately for religious meetings, and
is in a somewhat dilapidated condition.

In the northeastern part of the township is a small
church, in which Winebrenuarian meetings were
formerly held, but which is now seldom used for any
purpose. The house was built largely through tlie



efforts of John Foust, one of the leading Winebren-
narians. Others of that faith in that neighborhood
were David A. C. S. Hostetler, Gideon Hostetler, and
their families.

The Union Church house of worship is in the
Miller neighborhood, in the southeast part of the
township. It is a log building of fair size, erected by
the united efforts of the community soon after 1850.
The lot on which it stands was set aside for church
and cemetery purposes by Jacob H. and Peter H. Mil-
ler. The graveyard is one of the finest in Salt Lick, and
is the general placeof interment for the people of south-
east Salt Lick and northeast Springfield. The title to
the property has been vested in the Church of God, the
present local controlling committeemen being Jacob
H. Miller, Jr., and James H. Miller. Although open
for the use of other denominations, the Church of
God (Winebrenuarian) has been the principal body
to occupy the building with any regularity for the
purposes of stated worship, and at present their or-
ganization numbers about fifty members. Among the
early Winebrenuarian members were the Pritts, Wor-
rick, Gallentine, Ridenour, and a few other families,
the first meetings being held at the house of the for-
mer by the Rev. John Dobson. Other ministers were
the Revs. Hickernell, Plowman, Wurtz, Stevens,
Bloyd, Lucas, Gallentine, and the present, George A.
Barklebaugh.

The Dunkard meeting-house, in the northern part
of Salt Lick, near the Westmoreland County line, was
built in 1852, on a lot of land donated for this purpose
by John Fleck. It is a large and substantial frame,
built after the manner of the plain people who wor-
ship in it, and has accommodations for about six
hundred people. The Fleck and Hess families were
among the first Dunkards in Salt Lick ; but the present
large membership is almost entirely from Westmore-
land County, and the history of the church conse-
quently has but little interest for the people of Fay-
ette County.

Schools were taught in the township as early as
1803, John Wibel, a German, being the teacher. It
is probable that most of the instruction was in the
German language, although it is said that Wibel was
also an English teacher. In the winter of 1802-3 he
taught a three-months' term near Trapp's Mill, his
charges for instruction being ten shillings per pupil.
As teachers became more numerous the rate of in-
struction was reduced to nine shillings per quarter.
Wibel removed from the township some time about
1808. Some of his schools were taught in a log build-
ing erected for school purposes in the spring of 1804
by the Lutheran and German Reformed congrega-
tions, and which stood near their meeting-house.
Andrew Trapp seems to have had the building in
charge, furnishing what lumber and nails were used,
the latter being brought from Connellsville by Peter
Strayer. George Poe laid the floor, and Jacob Grindle



SPKINGFIELD TOWNSHIP.



751



made the door, tlio Iiiiifrcs siiul bolt for tlie suiiie
having been made by Jacob Earned. These also sent
their children to the school, while other pupils came
from the Bruner, Wolf, Norrix, Bungard, and Dum-
bauld ftimilies.

At this period Christian Mensersmith and Henry
Kush were also teachers in the township, their schools
being taught in houses occupied in part by ftimilies.
About 1807 another school-house was built on the old
Ludwig Miller farm, where Peter Frick taught the
first school. Later William Arthur and James Mc-
Cloy taught in that house. The latter was an Irish-
man, a good teacher, but thoroughly detested the cus-
tom of barring out at Christmas, a custom to which
the German teachers graciously conformed. This
school-house and the one near the " Good Hope"
Church were abandoned about the same time, but
when cannot be positively determined. On the Jacob
Lohr farm George Bucher, Jr., taught an early school,
which was attended by Abraham C. Dumbauld, John
and Adam Kalp, Mary Tederow, and the Sehlaters,
of Mount Hope Furnace.

In due time the township accepted the provisions
of the common school law, but the records pertaining
to the organization of the schools, as well as the records
for many subsequent years, have not been preserved,
so that no authentic account of them can be given.

In 1881 the township was divided into districts, which
bore the names of Kesslar, Washington, Black Creek,
Trout Run, Longwood, Franklin, McClellan, Centre,
Clinton, and Buchanan, in most of which good
schools were maintained.

The school directors of Salt Lick since 1840 have
been as named below :

1S4II.— Dnniel White, Peter Duinbuuld, William Kesslar.
1841.— Jacob H. .Miller, Robert Workman.



1842.— Jacob Kern, Robert Bignin, John Brooks.

184.3.— Sylvester Skinner, Daniel Livingood.

1844.— Samuel Sorichfield, Samuel Murray, Jacob H. Miller.

1845.— G.abriel Christner, Josiah C. Moore, Adam Deitz.

1846.— Jacob H. Miller, David Rugg, Peter Meater.

1847. — Peter Meater, Samuel Murray.

1848.— John B. Miller, Frederick Miller, Jacob Robison.

1849.— William Stoll, James White, Jacob 11. Miller, Gideon

Hosteller.
1850. — John Echard, Abraham Gallentine.
1851.- D. W. C. Dumbaukl, John Shultz.
1852. — Jacob H. Miller, Joseph Gallentine.
1853 — Abram G.alleutine, Peter Dumbauld.
1854.— John Shultz, A. C. Dumbauld.
1855.— John Lohr, William Robison.
1856.— A. Gallentine, Frederick Miller.
1857. — Jacob L. Snyder, John Foust.
1858.- Henry I. Bitner, William Senff.
1859.- Jacob H. Miller, Daniel Kesslar.
I860.— Jacob Bungard, D. W. S. C.avenaugh.
1861.- D. W. C. Dumbauld, D. M. Foust.
1862.— Jacob H. Miller, George Kalji.
1S63 — D.aniel Kramer, John Davis.

1864.— Philip Fleck, Jesse L. Beal, D. W. C. Dumbauld.
1865.— H. L. Sparks, G. W. Kern.
1866.— Jacob H. Miller, James AVhite.

1867.— D.W. C. Dumbauld, Solomon Kennell, Jeremiah Miller.
1868.— Henry Adams, Samuel Kesslar.
1869.— Fred. H. Mcdler, George L. Snyder, Henry Pletcher,

John Echard, Jacob Lohr.
1870.— David Ayres, A. C. Dumbauld.
1872.— David K. Cramer, William L. Beal.
1873.— John B. Lyons, Adam M. Bungard.
1874.— Isaac White, D. A. C. Hosteller.
1876.— John B. Lyons, George M. Yothers, William Newill.
1877.— Jacob Kennell, G. M. Yothers.
1878.— David Ay res, Isaac White.
1879.- E. Matthews. William Nickel, Joseph Berg.
1880.— Jacob Kennell, George M. Yothers, Daniel Pletchir.
1881.- P. H. Miller, M. Berger.



SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP.



Aloxg the Somerset County line, between the town-
ships of Salt Lick on the north and Stewart on tlic
south, is Springfield township. From the former it
was set off in 1847, and to constitute the latter it con-
tributed of its territory in 1855. The Youghiogheny
River forms the southwestern bounds, and on the
west are the townships of Connellsville and Bullskin.
Springfield is traversed by the Chestnut Ridge and
the Laurel Hills, which give its surface an elevated
and mountainous appearance, and cause a large por-
tion of it to be unfit for cultivation.

In many places along the streams the hills are
almost precipitous, while in other localities they slope



•rently to the water's side. Originally they were
covered with fine forest growths, of the hard woods
cliicfiy. On the tops of the sinaller hills the lands
appear level, and have generally been reduced to cul-
tivation. The hills themselves are the depositories
of great mineral wealth, coal and iron being most
abundant, although fire-clay and limestone have been
profitably developed in several localities. The drain-
age of the township is good, there being numerous
springs, brooks, and creeks. Indian Creek, the prin-
cipal stream, flows almost centrally through the town-
ship from the northeast, emptying into the Youghio-
gheny about a mile above the Connellsville line. Its



HISTORY OF FAYETTE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.



northern and western affluents are Poplar, Stony, and
Resler's Runs. The opposite tributaries are the North
Fork, Buck and Mill Runs, the latter in point of size
being the second stream in the township. It is some-
times called Skinner's Mill Run, after one of the
early settlers on its waters. Above its mouth, along
the Indian Creek, were natural meadows of consider-
able size, where were the celebrated " Bullock Pens,"
which have caused a historical interest to attach to
that locality.

These pens were used by Capt. Harris to confine a
herd of cattle which were destined for the troops
under Gen. Forbes. It is said that Cajit. Harris with
a small detachment of men left Fort Cumberland
with a herd of cattle in 1758, intending to reach the
line of march of Gen. Forbes by Braddock's road.
At Turkey Foot he was met by Oliver Drake and
other frontiersmon, wlin warned him of the Indians
lying in anil.n-h .m ilir Laiirrl Hills, and offered to
conduct him t>> a phur ,,\' safety until he could com-
municate witli tlie comiijancliiig olEcer of the British
forces. Their services being accepted, Drake and
Rush led the way over tlie Laurel Hills, east of the
Youghio.-ihuiiy, dmvii tin- wat.r. of Mill Run to the
above iiicailows, wbiTc tin- caillr might be pastured
and the soMins ciiidv Ihr dc^ijLMl seclusion. In the
daytime the i-,at\r wiro allowed to graze, but at night
they well.' coufnie'l in pens made of rails, which re-
mained until the township was settled, when the
pioneers applied the name of " Bullock Pens" to the
locality, and when the land was surveyed the name
was employed to designate that tract, thus perpetu-
ating it. After remaining at the " Pens" about a
month, Capt. Harris was ordered to drive the cattle
up Indian Creek to Fort Ligonier, where Geu. Forbes-
forces were stationed.

On their march up the stream they passed throuLili
a deserted Indian village, and saw so many evidences
to indicate tliat the red iiu'ii lVci|Ucnted the waters of
this strram lor tlir piujiorie of hunting and fishing
that they called it ihu Indians' Creek, from which
the name was derived. In early times tlic prrsence of
many salt licks was noted along this stream, wliicli
led to operations for discovering the .source of tliese

In IS.'iC, Christian Painter began boring for salt
near Rogers' Mills, and after attaining a depth of
three hundred feet the drill stuck fast, causing the
abandonment of the -enterprise. But while there
was a failure to find a stream of salt water, he struck
a heavy vein of water strongly charged with sulphur,
which overflowed the well and rose several feet aliove
the surface, forming a large and supurior siil|iliur
spring. An analysis of the water shows ihr |ii, -. nc,
of many medicinal qualities, which \>\:>rr ilns spiin^
upon the same plane as some of tli.' most noted sul-
phur springs of the country. Mineral springs are
found in other parts of Springlleld. making the selec-
tion of that name for the township very appropriate.



Since Springfield has been so recently organized,
its pioneer history is to a large extent inseparable
from the histories of Bullskin and Salt Lick, in
which lists of surveys and settlements covering what
is now Springfield are given. In a general sense this
township was not settled near as early as other parts
of Fayette County, very probably not until the close
of the Revolution, although a few may have lived
here prior to that event; but as they removed so
many years ago, the traditionary accounts pertaining
thereto are vague and conflicting.

Reuben Skinner, a native of New Jersey, after
living in the Turkey Foot settlement a few years,
located on Mill Run, on the Elijah Kooser place,
where he built mills and made other substantial im-
jirovements. After his death, about 1821, his family
emigrated farther west, the mills becoming the prop-
erty of Jacob Ketchum, and subsequently of the
Kooser family. It was from Reuben Skinner that
Mill Run took its additional name.

Several other Skinners were pioneers in Springfield.
James B. Leonard's place was the former home of
James Skinner, a Baptist clergyman, who removed to
Perry County, Ohio. Willits Skinner came at a later
day and remained until his death, living on the farm
now occupied by his son, A. Skinner. The latter,
now an aged man, has resided there since he was six
years of age. The farm was first occupied by men
named Packer, Williams, and Rush, although the
land was warranted to Isaac Meason. Richard Skin-
ner, of another family, settled on the Silas Prinkey
farm, where he reared a large family, which removed
from the township half a century ago. Moses Collins
was the pioneer on the Jacob Saylor place. After his
death his son Henry owned the farm, and after-
wanls the latter's son Henry, who was the last re-
maining member of the family, which has become ex-
tinct in Springfield.

Another well-known pioneer was Alexander Cum-
mings, a Scotchman, who lived on the George Kern
farm, on the old Turkey Foot road. His settlement
was one of the first in the township. Cummiugs was
a man of considerable ability, and possessed many
fine traits of character, which gave him prominence
among the early settlers. He died about 1842, and
was interred on his old farm. The Collins family
also were all interred in a burial-plat on their old
farm. Another of that class of settlers was the
McCune family. James McCune (in early times
McKeown), the grandfather of the James McCune
yet a resident of the township, was the flrst of that
name in Springfield. He was the father of Samuel
Mel 'inir, wlio lost his life in a coal-bank about thirty-

Maj. Alirahum Workman came to the township
about the same period. He rendered military service
under Col. Morgan, who owned several tracts of land
in the township, three hundred acres of which became
the [iroperty of Maj. Workman. This he improved,



SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP.



753



and lived upon the farm until his death, about 1836.
His wife and son Smith moved to Perry County,
Ohio, several years later, the former dying in that
county at the age of one hundred and two years. The
homestead passed into the hands of Kobert Workman,
who was born on it in 1799, and lived there until his
death in 1878, since when his son, Robert W., is the
occupant of the farm, which is on the river hills in
the southwestern part of the township.

Henry Trump came from Germany and settled in
what is now Springfield township, on Indian Creek,
near its mouth, about 1780. He patented a tract of
about four hundred acres, now owned by the heirs of
Henry Walters. He erected a saw-mill some distance
up the creek, and the lumber sawed in it he, with the
aid of his sons, John and Michael, floated down the
Youghiogheny to the Pittsburgh market. The saw-
mill was said to be the first erected in that part of
the county. He had also a small grist-mill on the
creek, propelled by a " tub" water-wheel. Henry
Trump, howevei;, was less famous as a sawyer and
mill-owner than as a hunter. For many years his
chief employment was hunting deer and bears, and
he derived considerable profit from the sale of the
skins of these animals and bear's oil. At his home
on Indian Creek he had several deer and bears which
he tamed and kept as pets. He lived to a great age,
said to be over one hundred years. His son John
settled in what is now Connellsville township, near
the line of Springfield. Michael Trump, son of
Henry, settled in Connellsville borough.

Daniel Resler, a native of Berks County, Pa., set-
tled on the stream of water which bears his name
about 1787, and died in that locality before 1817.
He had three sons and three daughters, the latter
becoming the wives of Solomon Kern, Christian
Senff, and John Murphy. Daniel and David Resler,
two of the sons, moved to Ohio many years ago.
John, the other son, married a daughter of Peter
Bruner, and lived on Resler's Run until his death in
1856. His widow yet lives in the township at the age
of eighty-four years. She was born in Stewart, but
since she has been three years of age has been a resi-
dent of Springfield. The children of John Resler
were Daniel, deceased ; David and Jacob, removed to
the West; Mary, the wife of David Earned; Eliza-
beth, of John Brooks ; and Susan, of Samuel Scott.

Peter Bruner settled in what is now Stewart town-
ship some time during the Revolution, but in 1798
settled on the Rogers farm, on Indian Creek. His
son Daniel moved from the township. At that time
Indians yet roved along the stream, but did not dis- j
turb the family. '

Conrad Senff, a German, was one of the earliest j
settlers in Eastern Fayette, living in what is now the j
township of Salt Lick, on the Shaeffer farm. After !
the marriage of his son Christian the latter became I
a resident of Springfield. He lived on the old Resler
farm a number of years, then moved to Ohio. One I



of his sons, eighty-one years of age, yet resides in the
eastern part of Springfield. He was the only son
who remained in the county. His sons are Jacob,
yet living in Springfield ; Henry, in Westmoreland
County ; Wesley and Daniel, in Illinois.

Melchior Entling was a pioneer in the northwestern
part of the township, on the old State road, where he
kept a public-house as early as 1796. The farm at
present belongs to John Ifurt. Joseph Brooks was
a member of Entling's family, coming with them
from the East. After attaining manhood he married
a daughter of Michael Beasinger, a pioneer on the
present Daniel Brooks farm. All the members of the
Beasinger family moved to the West, except Jacob,
who died in Springfield about 1865. Joseph Brooks
died about 1863. He had reared a large family, his
sons being John, Henry, Jacob, William, George,
Erwin, and Daniel, whose descendants are very nu-
merous in Springfield.

On the Fulton farm Jacob Minerd settled about
1791. He was a native of Washington County, Md.
Twenty years after his settlement he died, and was
buried in what is now the Baptist graveyard at Mill
Run. Of his twefve children, nearly all removed
from the township, Jacob settling in Somerset
County, and Henry in Dunbar township. One of the
daughters married Leonard Harbaugh, father of the
Leonard Harbaugh at present living in Springfield.
The former became a resident of the township about
1825, but before his death returned to Somerset
County. Another of Minerd's daughters married
John Ream, the founder of Ursina village, in the
latter county. Among Minerd's early neighbors were
William Jones, living on the Dickey farm, and a
man named Clipliner, on the Imcl farm. Where
Henry Imel now lives, at the age of eighty-five years,
first lived his father, Henry. The former is yet hale
and able to do manual labor on the farm. In the
harvest of 1880 he and his son John, a man sixty-
four years of age, cradled, bound, and shocked up
forty dozen bundles of heavy rye in a single day,
working from sunrise to sunset, a heavy job even for
men in the prime of life.

On the Elm farm, now the site of Springfield vil-
lage, Daniel Eicher, a native of Lancaster County,
settled about 1790. Joseph Eicher, his last remaining
son, died Aug. 4, 1876, aged ninety-two years. Other
sons were Peter, Henry, and Daniel. His daughters
married Jacob Long, John Harbaugh, and John
Rowan. The sons of Joseph Eicher were Samuel,
William, John, Daniel, Joseph, Plenry, Abraham, and
Isaac. His daughters married Thomas McCloy, Wil-
liam Justice, and Leonard Harbaugh. The descend-
ants of this family have become very numerous in the
eastern part of the county.

The Krin f:iiiiily emigrated from Holland to Eastern
Penns\lvaiii;i :il.oiit 1700. From thence some of the
fiimily mnviil u< W'r-tmoreland County, settling in the
neighborhood of Jones' Mills. There one of the



754



HISTORY OP FAYETTE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.



family was killed by the Indians, while returning
home from a visit to a neighbor, several of those who
had accompanied him escaping. Among the sons of
the above family were Micliaul, William, George, and
Peter. The latter di<'d in \\'rstiHoreIand County,
George becoming a resident of Washington County.
William Kern served in the Revolution, and after the
war married Catherine Hoover. He moved to Spring-
field, buying out the claim of a man who held a toma-
hawk right to a tract of land in the present Murray
district. On this land he died about 18.37, at the age
of ninety-one years. He reared sons named Solomon,
Abraham, William, Jacob, Jonathan, and Joshua, and
daughters who married Joseph Eicher and George
Nicholson.

Solomon Kern was born in the township, and died
in 1862, at the age of eighty-one years, his father
being prolialily one of the very first settlers, and he
one of till' fust Ih.iii in Sprini^lield. Soloinon Kern
was a ear]ieiiter l>y trade, and made many nf the early
carding-]iiaeliiiies. He also had in operation wood-
carding niarjiincix in ditferent parts of the State. For
a time lie was eniiaueil in the Baldwin machine-shops
a; Connellsville, but finally settled on a farm west of
Springfield village, which is at present the home of
his son. Judge John Kern. Other sons were Josiah,
Solomon, and Simon. His daughters married Samuel
Davis, Henry Gebhart, Henry GriflSn, and Aaron
Hart.

Abraham, the second son of William Kern, re-
moved to Ohio; William, the third son, married
Nancy White, and lived and died on the Kooser
place. Jacob lived a little south of Springfield vil-
lage, where he died about twenty-eight years ago.
He was the father of (ieorge Keni and William Kern,
Uotholtlie towi.,liip. His sons, Abraham and David,
died in the lleliellion. Jonathan, the fifth son of
William K'ern, lieeame a resident of Greene County,
and Joslina, tin- yoiin-est and tli ilv survivor, livi's

has sons named William M. and George yet living in
the township ; and John and James died in tfie war
for the Union. The Kerns have become one of the
largest and best-known families in Springfield.

Abraham Gallentine, a German, who had served in
the Revolution, came from Cliamhersburg in ISdl,
settling in the northern part of the township, near the
Salt Lick line, but subsequently live.l at tlie Fayette
Furnace. He was by trade a eo(, per, and died about
1830, ujiwards oi' eighty years of age. He had sons
named Daniel, Jacob, Abraham, and Joseph. The
former was married to a daughter of Christian Senff'.
and ilied in Salt Lick. Jacob removed to McKces-
port. Abraham lived near the central part of Salt
l.iek. He served in the Legislature, and subsequently
removed to Ohio. Joseph married Sophia Worrick,'
and also lived in Salt Lick, where he died in 1875, at
the age of eighty-five years. He was the father of



Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 172 of 193)