Franklin Ellis.

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

. (page 176 of 193)
Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 176 of 193)
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j except that his name appears on the assessment-roll
of the township in the year 1786. Of those who fol-
lowed him in practice in this township were Dr.
! Samuel Sacket, Dr. Seely, of Greene County, Dr.
j Todd, Dr. James C. Ramsey, and several others. But
j a great portion of Nicholson originally belonged to
I Springhill, including the town of New Geneva, where
i the greater number of physicians resided.


The first road laid out by the Fayette County Court

to pass through this township was one petitioned for

at the December session of 1783, viz. : " A public road

I from Uniontown to the southern boundary of this

county, or Mason and Dixon's line, to meet a road that

is laid out and cleared by order of the court of Mo-

j nongalia County, Va., to the said line near John Mc-

I Farland's ford on Cheat River." This road is the one

[ now passing through Morris' Cross-Roads, and is the

direct Uniontown and Morgantown road. Another

] road ordered by the court at the same session was " a

road from Miller's ferry, on the Monongahela River,

! across the Laurel Hill, by the way of George Wil-

; Hams', Jr., thence to the Widow Moore's, on Sandy

Creek, to join the Pennsylvania or Maryland road."

This road connected with the Washington, Ten-Mile,

and Muddy Creek road at the Monongahela River, or

Miller's ferry, now the New Geneva and Greensboro'

j ferry. The map of Pennsylvania published in London

August, 1792, has this road marked upon it. Starting

j at Washington, it has a course southeast, passing near

or through Carmichael's, Greene Co. ; from thence to

Minor's Mill, now Mapletown, Greene Co. ; thence

east-southeast to Greensboro', same county ; then by

the route prayed for as above to the Widow Mo(;re's,

on Sandy Creek, and thence across Laurel Hill.

Many of the so-called roads were nothing more
than paths through the woods, for at this ])fiiod
Western Pennsylvania was almost an unbroken lnrjst,
no fencing having as yet been introduced to bar the
traveler's way, which was generally a direct cmirse.
A century has wrought many changes in Springhill
in regard to highways. From one or two, aggreg:iiing
some twenty miles in length, many cross her terri-
tory in all directions, affording easy access to and
from every part of the township.

Quite a number of individuals had engaged in the
manufacture of flour and whisky as early as 1786 in
Springhill township. At that period John Hardin,
Sr., had a grist-mill assessed at £100, located near
Lewis Hunter's present residence ; Richard Robins a
grist-mill taxed at £120, and James Gray a grist-
mill assessed at £150 ; one saw-mill on tieorges Creek,
owned by John Hune (or Hoon), valued at £50.


Three years later (1789) two saw-mills were returned
by the assessor, owned by John Hune and George
and John Wilson. The saw-mill belonging to Hune
stood near the site of Crow's mill. George and John
Wilson's was fivrther down Georges Creek. John
Hardin's mill, in this assessment, passed to Heury
Hardin. The Willson grist-mill was on Georges
Creek, upon a tract of land called "Appendix," now
the property of Robert H. Ross. The James Gray
mill was the "River Mill," the remains of which
may still be seen on the Monongahela River, in New
Geneva. In 17S6 eighteen stills were assessed, and
three years afterwards twenty-two. The distillers
were Joseph Caldwell, Nicholas Crowshore, Richard
Evans, Hugh Evans, David Frame, Charles Griffin,
Jacob Gaunts, Albert Gallatin, Ezekiel Moore, Hugh
Marshal, John McFarland, Paul Larsh, John Linch,
Philip Pierce, Theophilus Phillips, Nicholas Pock,
James Robinson, Thomas Tobin, William Wells.
These were all returned as distillers in 1789.

The distillers were divided into three classes, and
each class taxed at a different rate per gallon made.
The tax rate on first class was -js. per gallon ; second
class, 3.?. 9d. per gallon ; third class, 2s. 6d. per gallon.
Those rated as first class were Thomas Ramsey, 100
gallons; Jacob Ghance, 70 gallons; Robert Hardin,
66 gallons; John Linch, 70 gallons; Abraham Har-
din, 74 gallons ; Joseph Caldwell, 75 gallons ; David
Frame, 35 gallons; John McFarland, 66 gallons;
Charles Grifiin, 105 gallons; and his partner, James
Neally, 49 gallons; Philip Pierce, 96 gallons; and
his partner, John Wade, 49 gallons. Second class :
Ezekiel Moore, 50 gallons; James Gray, 65 gallons;
John Hoon, 32 gallons. Third class: Dennis Nevil,
80 gallons; Nicholas Pock, 40 gallons; William
Wells, 80 gallons. Aggregating a daily yield of one
thousand two hundred and two gallons. To transport
this large amount of whisky to market induced sev-
eral enterprising individuals to engage in boat-build-
ing at the mouth of Georges Creek, which had re-
ceived the name of Wilson Port, in honor of Col.
George Wilson, whose sons, William, George, and
John, were citizens of Springfield for many years after
his death. The Port, as it was called, soon became
a noted shipping-point, not only of merchandise,
but also of emigrants for Kentucky and Ohio. The
boats were called keel-boats, flat-boats, and Kentucky
boats. This industry flourished until the advent of
steamboats, and for many years afterwards upon a
smaller scale. In addition to flour and whisky, iron
and glass were added in 1795 to the list. Hon. An-
drew Stewart, in his early life, shipped from this port.
The whisky business was the most general business
until after 1800. The next class of boats built at
Wilson Port were steamboats by Albin Mellier, in
1837. Of these there were two named " Albert Gal-
latin" and "Napoleon Bonaparte."

In 1794 glass and iron w^re manufactured, the first
by Albert Gallatin & Co.. the hitter by Robert Jones.

The establishment of the glass-factory, near w^here
New Geneva was soon after built, was due to Albert
Gallatin. Two stories are related concerning its es-
tablishment, one by grandchildren of the founders,
the other by neighbors. The first, being the most
credible, is as follows : Christian Kramer, Adolph
Eberhart, Lewis Reitz, John George Reppert, Balt-
zer Kramer, and John Christian Gabler, German
glass-blowers from Frederick Town, Frederick Co.,
Md., had left their home for the purpose of establish-
ing a glass-factory in Kentucky, near where Louis-
ville now stands. Having reached the Ohio River,
they embarked in a canoe, and had arrived near
Wheeling, when, stopping for the night, they were
joined by a stranger, who, speaking their language,
was soon on the best of terms with them. The stran-
ger was Albert Gallatin. Having been informed of
their journey and its object, he succeeded in persuad-
ing them to return to his farm on Georges Creek,
where the necessary facilities for manufacturing glass-
ware were to be had almost for nothing. After some
little talk he finally agreed to furnish everything and
they do the blowing. The terms were accepted, and
in 1794 the company began the manufacture of glass.
The other account is that the same Germans were
crossing the mountains in wagons, having their pro-
visions with them, and that they would stop at some
public-house and borrow cooking utensils to cook
their food. Having reached Tomlinson's stand,
they put up for the night. After supper they amused
themselves with music, several being excellent per-
formers. Being a great lover of music, Mr. Gallatin
(who was there) inquired of the landlord who they
were. Being informed, he introduced himself, and
the whole company spent the evening in drink and
music. Having discussed the g! question in all its
phases, he gave them a letter to his manager at Friend-
ship Hill, urging him to ofter better terms than he
himself had to induce them to stay. Three accepted
at once, but the others continued their journey . Upon
their arrival at Louisville they found the location
unfit, and returned and joined their companions.

The building erected for the glass-works was a
frame, forty by forty feet dimensions, three sides frame
and one stone. This interesting establishment was
situated a little over a mile above New Geneva, on
the south bank of Georges Creek, on land purchased
by Albert Gallatin of John Calhoun. It was an eight-
pot factory, used wood for melting, and ashes instead
of soda. The potash was manufactured by Patrick
Brawley. The clerk of the works was Andrew Hoo-
ver ; book-keeper, James W. Nicholson. There was
a difference of opinion in regard to the price at which
the glass was to be sold, Gallatin advocating a fair
price, fearing that a high one would bring a great
competition. The price agreed upon was fourteen
dollars per box. The style of the company was Gal-
latin & Co. In a few years it was changed to "New
Geneva Glass- Works." In 1807 the company erected


new and more commodious works in Greene County,
where success continued to reward their efTorts. They ''
still retained the name "New Geneva Glass." In .
1858, Christian Kramer died, at the age of eighty-five |
years. He was the last survivor of the original mem-
bers of the glass-works company, and was the father
of Allen Kramer, banker, of Pittsburgh.

The old glass-factory in Springhill has been de-
molished, but all the houses built by the company as
dwellings are still standing.

Not long after having established the glass-factory,
Albert Gallatin offered inducements to any one who
would engage in carding, spinning, and weaving.
The saw-mill he had built a short distance from the
glass-factory was fitted up in a suitable manner for
the intended industry, and the necessary machinery
bought. When all was completed a Mr. Collins was
employed, who for many years continued the business.
Several years afterwards, Ellis Stephenson erected
works higher up Georges Creek, and carried on the
manufacture of wool in all its branches, but the '
business finally languished and was abandoned. i

The old Springhill Furnace was built by Kobert t
Jones, who became a settler in Springhill in 1792, as i
already mentioned. In 1794 he and his brother Ben-
jamin commenced iron-making at this furnace. It was
afterwards sold to Jesse Evans (father of Col. Samuel
Evans, of North Union township), who ran it for more
than thirty years. This old furnace has been men-
tioned at length in the article on iron-works in the
general history of the county. The location is at the
foot of the mountain, some four miles eastward from
the cross-roads. Besides the furnace buildings, there
is a Presbyterian Church, post-office, and store.

Northwest of the Springhill Furnace site, on
Georges Creek, was the " Sylvan Forge," built in ■•
1796' by John and Andrew Oliphant. In connec- ,
tion with their iron-works, they built a large stone
grist-mill, now the property of Samuel Hunter, Esq.

The only manufacturing done in Springhill outside ;
of the iron business is the making of stoneware. Mr.
James Eneix has a small establishment south of
Friendship Hill, where a good article is made, but
little capital is invested. All the turning is done
by himself. The number of kilns burnt is eight an-
nually, yielding twelve thousand gallons of ware.
1794. Isaac Griffin. 1S07. Jesse Evans.

1802. James Robinson. Thomas Williams.'

1804. Andrew Oliphant. . 1823. Peter Stenlz.

1 In the September term of court of Fayette County, 1797, a commit-
tee which had been appointed in June previous made tliis report, that
"the committee met on Tuesday, tlie 12th inst., and having viewed the
ground from Springhill Furnace, by way of Sylvan Forge, to the Frame
meeting-house, are of opinion that a public road is necessary," etc.,
which shows that Ihe Sylvan Forge was then in cxisteuce.

2 It is stated that Thomas Williams, Esq., held the office of justice of
the peace from 1797 to the time of his death in 1837, a period of forty


Thoma,s Beatty.


Jonathan Monroe.


James C. Ramsey.

James Mustard.

Henry W. Core.


Lewis Hunter.

Philip Reitz.


William McCleary.


41.3 George Poundstone.


Thomas Morris.


Meredith Mallory.


Jonathan Monroe.


Thomas Morris.


Jonathan Monroe.

James Mustard.

Lewis F. Stentz.


James Mustard.


Lewis Hunter.

John Holmes.

Samuel H. Hunter.


Jonathan Monroe.


Jacob Conn.

Lewis Hunter.

Andrew Hertzog.


Jeremiah Burohinal.
John Stentz.


Jacob Conn.



William Newman.


George G. Hertzog.


John Holms.

186 1

Jasper N. Gans.



John S. Baker.


Richard Poundstone.


B. F. Morgan.

William F. Nicholson.


James Mustard.




George Baker.


Thomas Morris.


C. S. Emery.

John Keiser.


Jacob Bowers.

Jacob Gans.


James Brooks.


Abraham B. Hall.

George Baker.


Thomas Morris.


A. D. Frankiiibery.


George W. Litman.


Michael D. Baker.


Abraham B. Hall.




William Hardin.


G. D. Bowers.


George W. Litman.


Joseph Burchinal.


John L. Gans.


John A. Clark.


James Brooks.


G. D. Bowers.


David Evans.


.Sylvester Hertzog.


James Mustard.


John A. Clark.


Thomas Morris.


D. M. Baker.


David Evans.


A. J. Gans.


Lawrence L. Crawford.


Joseph L. Baker.

1841. George Neal.

1842. Thomas Board.

1843. John Keyser.

1844. Warwick Ross.

1845. Richard Poundstone.

1846. James Brooks.

1847. John Sergent.

1848. William Scott.

1849. John Keiser.
1860. Lewis Hunter.

1851. Samuel Frankinberry.

1852. Conrad S. Emery.

1853. Samuel M. Cagey.

1854. Michael Crow, Jr.

1855. Allen Neal.
1S56. Joseph Neal.

1857. Henry O'Neil.

1858. Samuel Frankinberry.

1859. Conrad S. Emery.

1860. James McCloy.

1861. John A. Lyons.

1862. William Baker.

1863. James Mustard.

1864. James Brooks.

1865. Daniel 0. Mustard.

1866. David Bowers.

1867. Thomas Batton.

1868. David Morgan.

1869. David Rutrick.

1870. Thomas C. Dunham.

1871. Constitution changed.
1873. George Board.
1S74. John T. Stewart.

1875. George J. Bowers.

1876. A. J. Giins.

1877. A. J. Emery.

1878. G. W. Ross.

1879. George Campbell.

1880. L. B. Clemmer.

1881. William P. Stewart.

Springhill has no towns or villages, Point Marion,
Morris' Cross-Koads, and Springhill Furnace are the
chief centres. Point Marion (named in honor of Gen.

3 Prior to this date the office had been held by appointment ; after
1840 the justices were elected by the people.



Francis Mai'ion) is located in the " Forks of Cheat,"
—that is, on the south side of that stream, at its junc-
tion with the Monongahela River. It dates back to
February, 1843. It contains forty -three dwellings, a
Methodist Episcopal Church (a branch of the Greens-
boro', Greene Co., Methodist Church), with a consid-
erable membership ; a town hall, school-house, two
stores, shoe-shop, two blacksmith-shops, cabinet-shop,
post-olHce, two planing-mills, two saw-mills, two sash
and building-furnishing firms. The first manufac-
turing company, Frankinlierry & Co., wa.s organized
in 1867. The most important now is Kei-er, Frank-
inberry & Co., organized 1880; capital, twelve thou-
sand dollars.

The other company is John A. Clark and Ira N.
Burchinal, established July 31, 1875, planing- and
saw-mill, and sash aud door manufacturers.

Morris' Cross-Roads was named for Absalom Morris,
who was an inn-keeper here for many years. It is
located where the New Geneva and Springhill Fur-
nace road intersects the Uniontown and Morgantown
roads. It is the polling-place of the township, and
has been since the year 1816. Prior to that time
Springhill, Georges, and German voted at the house
of Nicholas Riffle, but the inconvenience was so great
that the polling-places were changed. The last joint
election was at the time of the first election of James
Monroe as President, in the year named. Morris'
Cross-Roads contains a post-office, store, public-house,
and blacksmith-shop.

The first house built for school purposes in Spring-
hill was the one near Morris' Cross-Roads, erected near
the close of the eighteenth century. The Mount
Moriah church building, built in 1773, was also used
for school purposes. There were also school-houses
at Bear Wallow and Forks of Cheat. Another, near
the " old glass-works" on Georges Creek, was built at
a very early day. To give the names of alj the teachers
who taught in these old houses is now impossible.
Only a few have been ascertained, viz. : Alexander
Clare, Thomas Clare, Jeptha Curtis, John Lynch,

Samuel Kinkaid, McCarty, Salva Crosby, Esther

Gans, John Knox McGee, Thomas Couser, Henry
O'Neal, Coburn, and Singleton.

Since the introduction of the free school system the
following school buildings have been erected, num-
bered and named in the following order: Ross', Fal-
len Timber, Forks of Cheat, Lutheran, Sheets', Mor-
gan's, Bunker Hill, and Mountain. The school prop-
erty (houses, furniture, and sites) is valued at eight
thousand dollars. Following are the sclm,.] statistics
of Springhill for the school year endiii- Jiiiu-. l^s|,
viz.: Number of children on school-roll. :;71; daily
attendance, 237; tax levied in l^so, s] i:is,i)(j ; State
appropriation, i!369.60; balance IVom ix;;), .■<>;. §3.

On the 2d of .January, 183.',, the court of Fayette
County appointed Robert Brown and James ^V.

Nicholson school directors. On the 7th of June,

1837, they reported to the county treasurer as being

ready to comply with the requirements of the free

j school law of 1834. May 22, 1835, they received

; S123.65, and from the county $276.10, the first sum

being the State appropriation. From this period the

I free school system has had but little opposition in

Springhill. Following is a list of school directors

elected in Springhill from the time when the school

law went into full operation in the township until the

present time, viz. :

1841. — S.Tmucl Roderick, Jonathan Monroe, Adam .Stum.

1842.— James Brooks, Jacob Gans, William P. Griffin.
[ 1843.— James Tiiompson, George Beatty.

1844.— Jolin Schnatterly, Vincent Gray.

1845.- Lewis Hunter, John D. .■^cott.

1846.— John Sergent, Jasper Clemmer.

1847. — John Sowers, R. D. Merryman.
; 1848.- Samuel Hall, James Mustard, John Stentz.

1849.— John Stentz, John Morris, Thomas Morris, Allen Dun-
ham, Luther Burchinal.

ISSn.— John Kciser, Jacob Gans.

ISol. — Lewis Hun'er. James Reynolds, John Lyons.

1852.- Adam Stum. John Morris, John Baker.

1853.— Lee Tat", John Baker, Adam Stumm, John Morgan,
1 Washington Brown, Michael Crow, Meredith Mallory,

I Hiram Jones.

' 1854.— John A. Lyons, Henry Rutriok, J. M. Oliphant, Mere-
i dith Mallory.

, 1855.— David Morgan, Samuel Hall, David Bowan.

1856. — John Cagey, John Hertzog.

1857.- Henry Brownlield, Samuel Frankinberry.

1858.— John J. Morris, James M. Oliphant.

1859.— John Conn, Altha Gans.

1S60.— C. S. Emery, S. W. Cagy, Jesse E. Stentz.

ISiil — Ale.isander Ross, Conrad S. Emery.

1862.- Lewis Hunter, Joseph Bowers, Thomas W. Lyons.
I 186:^.— Joseph Gans, Jr., M. D. Baker.
I 1864.— Lewis Hunter, Adolph Eberhart.
I 1865.— Alexander Ross, Jesse B. Dunham, William McCleary.

1866. — Joseph Gans, Joseph Bowers.

1867.— William L. Morgan, George Bierer, Samuel Frankin-
berry, John A. Lyons.

1 868.— David Bowers, Michael Conn.
j 1869.— John H. Gans, M. D. Baker.

1870.— .Jonathan Monroe, W. B. Scott, George Baker.

1873.— John A. Lyons, Phineas West.

1874.- J. L. Baker, George Hertzog, Ira Reiser.

1875.- John L. Baker, Thomas J. Burchinal.

1S76.— William L. Morris, William B. Scott.

1877. — Joseph Lyons, John Davis, Ira Keiser.

1878.— Michael D. Baker, A. 6. Hall.

1879. — Joseph Bowers, Joseph Burchinal.

1S8I).— Calvin Hussart, Noah Darbey.

1881.-0. J. Stewart, Elmer Casey.

The Mount Moriah church edifice in Springhill
belongs to the Presbyterians, who purchased four acres
of ground upon which it stands of Joseph Caldwell.
According to the court records it was in process of
erection in July, 1793. The church was dedicated by
Rev. James Power, of New Castle Presbytery, in 1774.





In 1776 he brought his family and lived upon Georges
€reek for two years. The elders were McLain, Pol-
lock, Frame, Abram.s, Hill, Crow, Dils, Phillips, and
Riuii-ioy. In 1778 James Dunlap preached for this

This continued to he the chief Presbyterian Church
until the organization of the " Old Frame," as it is
generally called, in 1788. Its history from that time
is so completely blended with that of the younger
church that the reader is referred to the history of the
churches in Nicholson township.

The St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, lo-
cated near Morris' Cross-Roads, is a branch of the
" Old Dutch Church" of German township, organ-
ized by the Rev. John Stough, a Reformed Lutheran,
in the latter part of 1793. The mother-church made
arrangements in 1854-55 to provide a house of wor-
ship nearer the residences of certain members in
Springhill. The building was ready to be occupied
Jan. 4, 1856, and was then dedicated. Rev. J. K.
Melhorn was in charge of these congregations for
several years (before and after the building of the
new house), and to his efforts Springhill is largely in-
debted for the continuance and prosperity of this
church. The elders are Conrad Emery and Michael

In the Forks of Cheat the Methodists have a neat
frame church. Tlie congregation is under the charge
of Rev. McCurdy, of the Greensboro', Greene Co.,
Methodist Church, of which it is a branch.

The old " Free Church," near where the Church of
the Disciples now stands, was built about the year
1825 by a union of professed Christians. Freeman
Lewis, on his (1832) map of Fayette County, has it
named the " New Lights' Church." The history of
this church has been given by A. W. Scott, from
■which the following is taken. In 1820 a stranger reg-
istered himself at a tavern in Uniontown as Peter T.
Lashley, Christian minister. As soon as it was dis-
covered that he was a preacher he was invited to
preach in the court-house, which he did to the great
edification of the people. He next preached in Smith-
field, where his sermons created considerable excite-
ment. His doctrine took hold, and members from
nearly all denominations professed it. The Ganses,
who were Duukards, with many others, joined and
built the Free Church. The elders were AVilliam
Gans, William Saddler, and Joseph Bovvers. The
house burnt down in 1853. Near it the Disciples
have erected a frame house of worship. The only
surviving elder is A. W. Gans. The church was
erected in 1861.

In the war of 1812-15, Springhill sent a consider-
able number of soldiers to the army. Among these

were men who enlisted in Capt. John Phillips' com-
pany, which numbered one hundred and twenty-five
men when he marched them across the Monongahela
River on their way to Pittsburgh. Capt. Peter Hert-
zog was from Springhill. His company was styled a
" rifle company," and served in the Northwest under
Gen. Harrison. The names of the men who went from
Springhill in these companies have not been found.

In the war of the Rebellion a great number of men
from Springhill entered the army of the United
States, serving in various regiments of Pennsylvania
and West Virginia. Among them were those named
below, viz. : Ashbel G. Duncan, in Capt. George W.
Gilmore's company, mustered into the service of West
Virginia ; afterwards raised a company, and became
its captain, in a cavalry regiment. Fourteenth Penn-
sylvania. In the Eighty-fifth Pennsylvania Regi-
ment, Robert H. Ross, Martin Eberhart, William
Eberhart, Charles B. Eneix, David R. Sturgis,
Phineas Sturgis, George A. Burchinal, Thomas Moser,
Jesse Jones. In the One Hundred and Sixty-first
Pennsylvania Regiment, Richard Stephenson, Samuel
Le Clare, Jackson Dougherty. In the One Hundred
and Sixty-eighth Pennsylvania Regiment, John
Thompson. In regiments not known, Michael Clem-

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 176 of 193)