Franklin Ellis.

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

. (page 174 of 193)
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Hiram C. Sipe engaged in a trade which passed into
the hands of the latter, and was continued by him
until his death in 1878. He was a very successful
merchant, and in the later years of his career also here
carried on a banking business, a small house being
erected for this purpose especially. It was supplied
with a large safe, which a party of burglars vainly
attempted to move, in an attempt to despoil Mr. Sipe
of his wealth, having been led to believe, doubtlessly,
that if the bank were small the safe must necessarily
be diminutive. The morning following the futile at-
tempt revealed the work of the miscreants, who in
their disgust had left their tools and tackle behind
them, scattered on the floor of the bank. The goods
of the Sipe store were sold to Augustus Stickle, who
had opened a store near the tannery in 1877. This
was destroyed by fire in June, 1880, but a new build-
ing was erected in its place, where Mr. Stickle carries
on a growing trade. Meantime, Evans Bigam opened
a store near the mill, which he yet carries on, and
lately the old Sipe stand has been filled with a stock
of goods by C. K. Brooks and Martin H. King.

The Mill Run post-office was established in 1866,
with Hiram C. Sipe as postmaster. He was suc-
I'ci'dud by Levi Bradford, and he in turn, in 1876, by
John A. Kooser, who keeps the office at his mill. The
mail service is daily from Stewarton to Jones' Mill.
Prior to 1871 it was from Farmington to the latter
place, several times per week.

Springfield, a hamlet approximating a village in
size, is on the clay pike, northwest of the centre of
the township. Originally the land belonged to the
Eicher family, and later to Samuel Long, who sold
three hundred acres to Jonathan Miller, of Somerset
County. On the lower part of this tract Levi and J.
H. Miller erected a large brick house in 1847, which
is the oldest house in that part of the hamlet. This
house and a number of acres of land became the
l)roperty of Charles King, who in 1852 laid out thirty-
six quarter-acre lots for village purposes, which con-
stitutes the plat of the lower part of Springfield. In
1,S5.'^ King erected his present residence on one of the
lots, and the same year James Gallentine built a house
iip]iosite the Campbell store, which is yet standing.
Passing over an unoccupied space one-fourth of a
mile westward, the upper end of the hamlet contains



a house which was built about 1835, by Joseph Scott,
and around which a dozen more buildings were erected
in subsequent years. Some of these are rather dilap-
idated, and the hamlet throughout, after the import-
ance of the clay pike declined, gave little promise of
continued or future prosperity. The population
diminished until the number maintaining their per-
manent homes in 1880 was only about one-half of
what it was several decades earlier. Lately, however,
there have been signs of renewed life, and the former
activity may again be restored. Springfield contains
two churches, a school-house, a large tannery (not in
operation), two good stores, a number of mechanic-
shops, and one hundred and twenty-five inhabitants.

The first goods were sold by Joseph Scott, about
1836, his trade being continued a few years. Henry
and John Brooks opened the next store in the build-
ing now occupied by Capt. James B. Morris, merchan-
dising from 1839 to 1847. Next came Levi and J. H.
Miller, who, in 1853, established their place of busi-
ness in the lower part of the village, where they con-
tinued until 1861. The present Campbell store room
was occupied in 1873 by J. F. Campbell; but the
business is at present carried on by George W. Camp-
bell, who has a large room well stocked with assorted
goods for a general trade. On the opposite corner a
new store has just been opened by Benton L. Miller.
Among other merchants in the hamlet have been
Lohr & Detweiler, John Brooks, J. W. Sherbondy,
Rogers & Campbell, John F. Murray, McBeth &
Morris, Reisinger & Cole, and William Aughen-

Samuel Long was the first to open a public-house
in the lower part of the village. This house has been
used for the entertainment of the public almost ever
since, among the keepers of the inn being Moses
Coughenour, Eli Gallentine, Samuel Kooser, Martin
Kring, and William H. Brooks. At the upper end of
the village J. W. C. Brooks kept an inn from 1871-72,
which was known as the " Utah House." J. H. Mil-
ler also entertained the public, and lately Benton L.
Miller has accommodated the traveling public, the
Brooks house also being continued.

A post-office was here established about 1851, with
the name of Springfield, Alfred Cooper being the
postmaster. In 1853 the name of the office was
changed to " Elm," which it yet bears, and J. H.
Miller appointed postmaster. In 1862 he was suc-
ceeded by Nathan B.. Long, and he in turn by John
W. Sherbondy, J. T. Coughenour, William Brooks, J.
F. Campbell, and since the spring of 1881 the present,
George W. Campbell. Two mails per day are sup-
plied by the route from Stewarton to Jones' Mill,
John Brooks, of Springfield, being the carrier. The
first mail service was from Ccinnellsville to Berlin, in
Somerset County, once a week ; thereafter from Farm-
ington, on the National road, three times a week.

The first physician in the township was Dr. J. B.
Phvthian, a son-in-law of Clift'c.rd Elder. He was a

native of Gloucestershire, England, but became a
resident of Pittsburgh in 1825. Several years later
he settled in Springfield, and remained until his death,
not many years thereafter. His remains were taken
to Somerset County. The next physician was Dr.
Joseph Rogers, son of Maj. James Rogers, the builder
of the mills, where Dr. Rogers had his home, and
where he died, March 20, 1876, at the age of seventy-
nine years. After graduating at the University of
Pennsylvania, he engaged in the practice of medi-
cine at Ligonier. In 1828 he became interested in
the Fayette Furnace, but did not wholly relinquish
his practice. In 1841 he settled permanently in
Springfield, and was for many years the sole physi-
cian of the township, practicing the healing art until
within a year of his death. His son, James K., after
graduating at Jefferson College, studied medicine,
and served in the Rebellion as a surgeon. For some
years he was connected with the hospital at St. Louis,
and contracted a disease which proved fatal to his life
a few years after the war. Another son, Alexander,
graduated from the same institution, and is now a
physician at Scottdale, Westmoreland Co.

The resident physicians of the township are Dr. A.
G. Grubb, at Mill Run, since 1877, and Dr. A. H.
McCoy, at Springfield, since 1861. The latter is a
well-known practitioner, liaving a ride which extends
many miles arouml, when' lie enjoys the reputation
of being a succes.-<lul pliysieian.

There have been a few others as physicians in the
township, whose residence did not have sufficient
duration to secure them a practice.


Among the early schools in Springfield was one
taught in a small house which stood where is now the
principal place of business in the hamlet of Spring-
field. It was kept up a few years, probably from 1810
to 1813. As this was an English school, many of the
children of the early settlers continued to attend the
schools in Salt Lick, where instruction was given in
the German language also. On the present McMillan
farm was a pioneer school-house, in which Daniel
Turner, a Revolutionary soldier, taught several years
more than half a century ago. While a good teacher,
his age caused him to be petulant and hard to please.
Other early teachers there were George Gregg, David
Barnes, Eli Smith, and Frederick Berg. The house
was destroyed by fire while occupied as a residence
by Jacob Ritenour.

On the old Sipe place wius a very primitive school
building, in which Jacob H. Rush taught one of the
early schools. Another pioneer school-house stood
on the Silas Prinkey farm. And near the Collins'
graveyard was what was called the Temperance
School-house, in which Martha McCune taught fifty
years ago. Later John Dixon, A. J. Mitchell, and
George M. Bigam were teachers there. The old Bigam
or Presbyterian meeting-house was also used for school



purposes, Peter Lohr being oue of the first teachers.
Other pioneer teachers were Jacob aud Henry Ullrey,
Clark 'I'ubbs, Leonard Harbaugh, Elizabeth Murray,
Catharine Ullrey, Sarah Bigam, Mary and David

Since the organization of the township the directors
of the public schools have been as follows :

1^48.— James Morrison, John Hall, Jacob Kern.

1S40.— Robert Workman, James Morris, Sylvester Skinner.

ISoO. — Abraham Skinner, Jnoob Sipe, Jonathan Sipe, and Syl-
vester Skinner.

1851. — James Morrison, George Harbaugh, Everhart Liston,
and David Ogg.

1852. — Tames Biird, Henry Collins.

1853.— Robert Workman, Abraham Skinner.

1S54.— Jiimes Morrison, David Ogg.

lS56.^I"lin :ilcBeth, Heory Grim, Coulson Coughenour,

1857.— John Kern, John Sherbondy, Aaron Hart.

1858.— John Kern, Henry Grim.

1859.— William Collins, J. A. H. Miller.

I860.— John R. Elder, John W, Sherbondy.

1861,— Robert Workman, James Smear.

1862.— William Collins, J. A. McBeth.

1863.— J. W. Sherbondy, H. J. Coughenour.

1864.- Daniel Shearer, Henry King, Robert Workman.

1865.— A. Doll, Samuel Murray, Abraham Gallentine,

1866.— Jolui A. Mci;.th, Josiah H. Miller, James B. Morris.

1867.- Henry Bungard, L, E, Miller, J. W. C. Brooks.

1868.- D. Kesslar, D. W. Dull, G. A. Yonkin.

1869.— Solomon Davis, Frederick C. Miller, Joseph K. Eicher,
William Rogers.

1870.- S. B. Toderow, J. F. Caiupbell.

1872.— A. H. M.-Cuy. Willi;un Ott, J. G. Phillipiii.

1873.— C. B, Sipe, .Messmore Carmer.

1874.— R. W. Workman, A. J. Case.

1875.— Joseph L, Baker, T. J. Burchinal.

1876.— Henry Bungard, Eli K. Harbaugh.

1877.— R. W. Workman, J. W, Lichleiter, E. S. Harbaugh.

1878.— S. P. Eicher, John Davis, George Yonkin.

1879.- J. W. Lichleiter, Ross Marietta.

18S0.— George Kern, Ross xMarietta.

In 1880 the number of schools maintained in the
township was twelve, nine of which had male teach-
ers and three Icmali- teachers. The average wages of
the former wiTr sj4.".n pn- munth, and of the latter
S22 per month, llu' total aiinuiiit raised for school
purposes was 81669.21 ; and the value of the school
buildings aggregated only $8000.


As early as 1825 the Rev. James G. Sansom occa-
sionally preached at the house of Solomon Kern,
while on his way from Bedford to Connellsville ; and
other Metliodist ministers in the years that followed
preached to those who gave their adherence to that
church, among the number being Michael B. Lohr,
David Resler, and the Elder ftimily. After a space
of time a class was formed and regular worship main-
tained, the preaching services iM'in;: hi'lil in school-
houses. About 1844 the members formed themselves
int(. a society to build a house of worsliiii. This was
built near the home of M. B. Lohr, the first class-

leader, on a lot of land deeded for this purpose by
Eliza Elder; and there the meetings were statedly held
until the fall of 1863, when it was consumed by a fire
lit by the hands of an incendiary, who thought in this
way he miglit reek his spite against the church which
refused to longer extend him the hand of fellowship,
owing to his failure to observe its ordinances. From
this blow the church slowly recovered, again being
dependent ujion the school-houses for a place of wor-
ship, where, and in the United Brethren Church, the
meetings continued to be held until the summer of
1881, when the new church edifice at Springfield was
completed. It has an eligible location on half an
acre of ground donated by Abraham Miller, and is a
Gothic frame, thirty-two by forty-two feet, surmounted
by a neat belfry. The movement to build tliis house
was begun in the spring of 1879, when the Rev. Zenas
M. Sillbaugh was the preacher in charge of the cir-
cuit of which Springfield is a part. A building com-
mittee was appointed, composed of Solomon Davis,
George Kern, N. B. Tannehill, George W, Campbell,
and Benton L. Miller, who, in spite of many difficul-
ties, carried the work to successful completion. The
church presents a fine appearance, and is a credit to
the society and the community. The Methodists
worshiping here form a class of forty-five members,
who have as a leader N. B. Tannehill. In 1876 the
society organized a Sabbath-school which had as its
superintendent John Kern, and which is continued
under the superintendency of Solomon Davis. It
has from forty to seventy members. Methodism in
Springfield towiiship embraces a small class at Mill
Run, whose preaching services are held at the school-
house ; and both the above appointments are a part of
Springfield Circuit, of the McKeesport District of
the Pittsburgh Conference. The preacher in charge
in 1881 was Rev. John J. Davis, and among the clergy-
inen preceding him were the Revs. Z. M. Sillbaugh,
M. D. Lichleiter, Sylvanus Lane, James E. Williams,
George A. Sheetz,"j. R. Mills, E. H. Baird, J. AV.
Kesslar, James Hollingshead, and J. F. Hill.


Half a century ago this denomination maintained
preaching at the homes of its adherents in the town-
ship, among them being Daniel Resler, Solomon Kern
Christian Senff, Joseph Gallentine, and George Dull
The pioneer preachers were the Revs. Worman, Stake.
Pershing, Troxel, Berger, Butsfield, and others. After
a lapse of time the membership became so large that
a larger place for worship was demanded, and in 1849
the brick meeting-house at Springfield was erected to
meet this want. It stands on a fine lot, used for
church and cemetery purposes, which was donated
by Solomon Kern, and although bearing the marks
of age, is yet a comfortable place for religious assem-
blage. When the house was consecrated it was stip-
ulated that the use of it might be enjoyed by other
bodies under pro|ier restrictions; or in the words of



the compact, "The power is in the trustees to grant
liberty to other societies to preach in the church, if
not occupied by the society." In compliance with
these terms various denominations have used the
brick meeting-house as their place of worsliip. In
1881 the trustees were John Brooks, J. W. C. Lich-
leiter, and Samuel Scott.

The members of the United Brethren Church num-
ber at present about sixty, forming a class, of which
John B. Tederovv is the leader. The Sunday-school ;
here maintained was organized about thirty years ago, '
and has for its present superintendent Winfield Tan- i
nehill. Others who have served in that capacity were
John B. Tederow and J. W. Lichleiter. The school '
was attended in 1880 by about one hundred persons.

At Mill Run a class of those giving their adherence
to the United Brethren was formed in 1840, George i
Dull being the leader and serving until his death in ]
1880. Among those who belonged at that early pe-
riod were Robert Bigam, Nicholas Romesburgh, Dan-
iel Harbaugh, David Bigam, John Bigam, George
Bigam, and in most instances their wives. The class
has at present twenty-five members, and John Dull
is the leader. Their regular meetings are held in the
Mill Run school-house. In that building a Union
Sabbath-school has been maintained the past fifteen '
years, George Dull being long the superintendent,
but Dr. A. G. Grubbs serving at' present in that ca-
pacity. There are fifty-four members.

The minister in charge of the above classes in 1881
was the Rev. John Buel, and others who have minis-
tered to them in holy things were the Revs. William ,
Beichtel, William K. Shimp, William Dick, Martin
Spangler, William Ragg, Jacob Resler, Benjamin
Noon, J. Medsgar, H. O. Lane, John Briggs, John L.
B.iker, and John Wert.


This body was ccinstituted June 24, 1843, in a log
building used for general meeting purposes, which
stood on the site of the present church edifice, three-
fourths of a mile from Mill Run post-ofllce. The Coun-
cil called for recognizing the church was composed of
Revs. Milton Sutton, R. E. F. Browning, B. Gault,
Hiram Hartzell, and John Patton. The members
consisted of John Williams, Sylvester C. Skinner,
Huldah Skinner, John Harbaugh, Rebecca Har-
baugh, Henry Collins, Elizabeth Collins, J. R. Bai-
ley, Mary Bailey, Martin Williams, Michael Bailey,
Frances Bailey, Mary Bailey, Margaret Bailejs, Sarah
Spangler, Martha Rowan, Thankful StuU, Rebecca !
Hess, Keziab Eicher, andMary J. Williams, — twenty-
one in all. The church has had an aggregate mem-
bership of 162, and the present enrollment numbers
116. John Harbaugh was chosen church clerk, and
John Williams and Sylvester C. Skinner deacons,
the latter being ordained the following day, June 25,

For a time the meetings were held in the log house,

but in 1844 a stone building took its place and served
for many years as the place of worship, being in turn
displaced by the present frame building, which stands
on the same foundations. It was erected in 1871, and
consecrated April 28, 1872, the sermon of consecra-
tion being preached by the Rev. William S. Wood,
his remarks being based on the third verse of the
twelfth chapter of Isaiah. He was assisted by the
Revs. Z. C. Rush, B. F. Woodburn, J. R. Brown, and
N. B. Crichfield. The house has a seating capacity
for three hundred and fifty persons, and stands on a
very fine lot, a portion of which is used for cemetery
purposes. Here are the graves of some of the oldest
settlers of the township. The lot was set aside for
its present uses by Willits Skinner. Tlie church edi-
fice is thirty-six by forty-six feet, and cost $2500.
The work was done under the direction of William
M. Kern, who, witii J. R. Bailey and John Har-
baugh, now deceased, has been one of the most active
members; but the church has had many who were
faithful to its ordinances.

Among those who have ministered to the church,
either as pastors or supplies, have been the Revs.
Levi Grifiith, Caleb Rosvvell, John Rockefeller, Mil-
ton Sutton (minister when the church was formed),
W. W. Hockman, in 1846; J. A. Pool, in 1851 ; G.
Lanham, in 1853 ; John Williams, in 1855 ; Courtland
Skinner, in 1860; S. C. Skinner, in 1861; J. R.
Brown, in 1867; N. B. Crichfield, F. M. Cunning-
ham, Z. C. Rush, J. E. Walter, and since June 19,
1877, the Rev. J. R. Brown.

Of the deacons of the church, John Williams and
S. C. Skinner were both ordained to the pastoral
office, Jolm Harbaugh died while filling that posi-
tion, and William R. Mountain, William M. Kern,
and E. S. Jackson yet hold the office of deacon. The
church clerkjs have been John Harbaugh, Abraham
Skinner, Samuel W. Bailey, Allen E. Harbaugh, Wil-
liam M. Kern, and George W. Bailey.

The Sabbath-school had its beginning nearly as
long ago as the church, having since been kept up
with varying interest. It usually has seventy-five
members, and its last superintendent was E. S. Jack-
son, John Harbaugh being one of the first.


At Mill Run, in what was known as the Bigam
meeting-house, a small log building near the house
of Robert Bigam, erected for the use of those who
chose to occupy it, the Rev. John Hawkins, of the
Connellsville Presbyterian Church, preached as early
as 1833. These services were held once a month for
the space of a few years by the Revs. Hawkins, Gray,
Stevenson, and others, sent to Springfield under the
direction of the Presbytery. These meetings were
not held in vain. About 1846 a congregation was
formed, which had as its ruling elder Dr. Joseph
Rogers, and among its members persons belonging to
the Cummings, McCune, Crichfield. Kern, Brooks,



and other families. Others were added in the course
of years, but Presbyterianism was never warmly ac-
cepted by the people of the township, and a few years
ago the congregation, which never had its own house
of worship, became disorganized. The Rev. Joseph
McKee preached for the members about twenty years,
and the last to hold meetings was the Rev. William
Bergen, of the Somerset Church, who preached in
1877. Dr. Rogers served as elder many years, and
for about six years Levi Bradford filled the same

In the southwestern part of the township was
formerly a Dunkard Church, which has been sold and
is now used as a school-house, having been purchased
for that purpose in 1872. Its use as a place of wor-
ship by the Dunkards was discontinued three or four
years earlier. The house was built more than twent\ -
five years ago, mainly by the Sipe family, who con-
stituted the chief membership of the Dunkards in tlie
township. At the house of Peter Sipe, Sr., the first
meetings were held, and the church occupied a coriicr
of his former farm. Among those who occasionally
preached there were Jacob Murry, James (Juinki,
and Martin Meyers. Many persons from Somerset
County attended the meetings, which were discon-
tinued after the death or removal of the Sipe and
Smith families.

became a proficient book-keeper and developed a fine
business character, continuing a clerk until 1876,
when he became a partner with his brother, remain-
ing such till 1880, and then bought out his brother's
interest, and has since carried on the business very



George AV. Campbell, of Springfield, is the son of
James Campbell, of the same place, and Rebecca Kil-
patrick, daughter of Esfjuire Thomas Kilpatrick, who
were married in 1840. George W., our subject, the
sixth son of James, was born May 18, 1853. His
grandparents on his paternal side came to America
from near Belfast, Ireland. Mr. Campbell attended
the comiiKJii scIkxiIs of his village until fourteen I
years of ai;c, wImh he entered as clerk the general
merchandise ^Un\- of his brother, John F., where he

He became assistant postmaster of Elm, in the
township of Springfield in September, 1869, and
acted as such till March 21, 1881, when he was com-
missioned postmaster by Postmaster-General James.
He is a stalwart Republican, and has been frequently
sent by his party as a delegate to county conventions.
On the 1st of January, 1882, Mr. Campbell established
a small monthly paper called The Mountaineer, he
being editor thereof as well as proprietor, and which
has attained a profitable circulation.

On the 11th of August, 1880, Mr. Campbell married
Miss Ida May Sparks, daughter of Horatio L. Sparks.


This is the extreme southwest township of the
county. It has Nicholson on the north, Georges
and Wharton east and northeast, West Virginia on
the south, and the Monongahela River on the west.
The surface is greatly diversified. In the east Lau-
rel Hill, with all the characteristics of a mountain.
From the foot of the mountain westward, as far as
Morris Cross-Roads, the land rises, attaining its
greatest height just before reaching the Uniontown
and Morgantown road ; thence still westward there
is a general decline in elevation until the river
bluffs are reached. The river hills are of consider-
able height, and in general crowd close upon the
stream. Some very fertile bottom land is found both
along the Cheat and Monongahela Rivers, but in gen-
eral they are narrow. The most important stream
next to the Monongahela is Cheat River, which flows
through the southwest corner of the township for a
distance of six or seven miles, entirely severing a
part of the township several miles in length at its
base, and two or more from base to apex. This is
called the " Forks of Cheat," or the " Neck." The
other streams are Grassy Run, Hardin's Run, Mc-
Collick's Run, McFarland's Run. These with their
tributaries reach almost every part of the township.

The soil" is not remarkably fertile except in a very
few localities, and is better adapted to grazing than
to tillage. Fruits of all kinds flourish, but grapes
especially. Large vineyards are planted from the
cross-roads towards the river. Iron and coal are
the chief minerals. Potters' clay and glass-sand

Springhill is one of the original townships of Fay-
ette County, having been erected as such by the Court
of Quarter Sessions of the county at the first term,
held in December, 1783. The name " Springhill"

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 174 of 193)