Franklin Ellis.

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

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the overturning of a boat. Of his family, his daughter
married Henry Newcomer, of Tyrone township, and
moved to Jlissouri, where she now lives ; David lived

and died upon a portion of the old Matthew Gaut

I tract, in Lower Tyrone;' Samuel settled near Union-
town, where he lived for twenty years, and then went
West and now resides in Nebraska ; Jonathan lives
in German township, in this county ; Abram, the

\ youngest of the family, lives on a farm adjoining
Henry Galley, in Franklin township.

Alexander Long and his wife, as early as 1800,
lived on the land first patented by the Stevensons,
and now owned by the Tinstmans. Of their large
family of children only one, the daughter Mary, is
living at this time. She married James B. Hurst,
and after his death became the wife of James Cun-
ningham, a grandson of Barnett Cunningham. Ja-
cob, one of the sons, lived on Redstone Creek, near
Brownsville, but afterwards returned to his father's
place. David, another son, went to Clarion County
and died there.

Samuel Cochran was born in Chester County, Pa.,

j and lived until manhood in the eastern part of the
State. His profession was that of a surveyor, and he
served in the war of the Revolution. At the close of
the war he removed to Chanibersburg, Pa., where he
married Esther, a daughter of Daniel Johns.' When

j Samuel Cochran came to this section he lived for a
time on the Washington Bottoms, in Perry township.
After a while he purchased in Tyrone township, of
Capt. Joseph Huston, three hundred acres of land,
on which he built a log cabin, the usual style of a
home at that day. In 1811 he built the large stone

j house still standing upon the old place, where he
dwelt the remainder of his days. By will the property

' of Samuel Cochran passed to two of his sons, Mordecai
and James, the homestead part falling to Mordecai.
Upon it he built a large brick house, and was one of
the first to engage in the manufacture of coke, which
business has since increased to such magnitude. He
died Dec. 29, 1880, aged eighty-three years. The
other children of Samuel Cochran were James,
Samuel, Jr., John, Thomas, Isaac, and a daughter,
Esther, who married John Strickler. James was a
bachelor, who lived in Tyrone all his life, dying ia
August, 187o, at the great age of ninety-four years.
Samuel, Jr., went to Beaver County, in this State,

: where his family are now numerous. John settled

j on Jacob's Creek, in Westmoreland County, at Chain's
Mills, and many of his family are still there. Thomas-
married and remained in Tyrone, dying when about
forty years old. His immediate family have all
moved West. Isaac was a farmer in Tyrone, and his
sons were Samuel, Isaac, Jr., Sample, James, and
John M.

Mordecai Cochran, Jr., a son of Mordecai, Sr., and
grandson of old Samuel Cochran, is a lawyer in
Uniontown. James W., called " Big Jim," is an-
other son, who lives in Tyrone and is quite exten-



sively engaged in the manufacture of brick. James
Cochran, a son of Isaac, and familiarly termed " Little
Jim," married Kersey, a daughter of Joseph Huston.
He owns eleven hundred acres of valuable coal lands
on the west side of the Youghiogheny River, and for
seventeen years has been largely engaged in the de-
velopment of the coal and coke interests of this vi-
cinity. John M., his brother, made his home in
Mount Pleasant, where he died in May, 1880, leaving
a valuable coke property. i

Joseph Martin, now eighty-four years old, lives in j
Tyrone, about half a mile from the mouth of Laurel
Run. He came to this county when a young man,
locating for a time near East Liberty, and at that
time worked with Joseph McCoy in a sickle-factory.
In 1840 he purchased a farm in this town, where he
has since lived, and his family of children have all
settled near him.

Daniel McDonald was not one of the earliest settlers
in this township. His land was located on Smilie I
Run, adjoining the farm of Squire Joseph Cunning-
ham on the south. His children were Daniel, Mar- \
garet, and James. Tlie latter lived upon the farm of |
his father, and held the oiHce of justice of the peace I
for twenty-five years. In 1873 he was elected county
treasurer, but died during the first year of his incum-
bency. Daniel died young, and Margaret became
the wife of A. J. McGill, who owns a farm adjoining
the homestead. Malcolm McDonald, of Franklin
township, is a brother of Daniel McDonald, and
Mordecai and John K. McDonald, of Dawson, are
sons of Malcolm. In 1869, and again in 1872, John
K. McDonald was elected prothonotary of Fayette
County, serving both terms with credit and satisfac- ^
tion to the people.

The following list, taken from the assessment-rolls
of Tyrone for several years, — from 1787 to 179'.), in-
clusive, — gives some idea of the business enterprises
of the township in that period, viz. :
1T87. — J. Eager, grist-mill; Rebekah Hutchinson, distillery ;

William Huston, disiillery; Thomas Mounts, distillery;

Alexander McClintocU, grist- and saw-mill; J. Strickler,

I7SS.— Willliam Chain, Samuel Breden, Jasper Bredkour,
.John Eager, David Mitchell, and .T. Strickler were all
assessed on distilleries.

n89. - .T. Eager, distillery, grist- and saw-mill ; James White-
sides, William Gaut, James B. Co.xton, distilleries.

1791.— Jacob Snider and David Mitchell, distilleries ; Robert
Smith, grist- and saw-mill.

1799.— John Holker, furnace; Andrew Fernier, mill; Oliver
Montgomery, two mills; George Ruse, mill; Jacob Bow-
man, two mills; Jacob Strickler, mill (now Keister mill).

Immediately after the annexation of territory
northeast of the Youghiogheny to Fayette County,
in 1784, the Court of Quarter Sessions at the March

term of that year took the following action in refer-
ence to the erection of Tyrone as a township of Fay-
ette, viz. :

" In consequence of the late addition to this County
the Court divide the Township of Tyrone and part
of the Township of Donegal, annexed by' that ad-
dition, into two Townships, as follows : A Township
to begin at the Broad ford on Youghiogeni river, and
by the new road from thence to Hannastown, to the
crossing of Jacob's Creek ; thence by the said Creek
to the mouth thereof; thence by the River Youghio-
geni to the beginning. To be hereafter known by
the name of Tyrone Township."

In 1839 a part of the territory of Tyrone was taken
oflfand given to Perry in the formation of the latter
township (see particulars in history of Perry). Sub-
sequently (in 1845) a change was made in the boun-
dary line between Tyrone and Perry. At the Sep-
tember term of court in 1842 there was presented " a
petition of sundry inhabitants of Perry township for
an alteration of the line between said township and
the township of Tyrone." On this petition an order
was issued appointing " viewers," who made their
final report to the court at the June terra in 1845.
The cause of so long a delay does not appear on the
record, but the report is as follows :

"We, the undersigned viewers,
above order, met on the 8th day
being duly qualified according t^
line proposed


;ownships of Perry and T,
mbrace the whole of the
-e order, viz. : Begiuning i
rods above Tumbull's old

ted according to the
nary, 1845, and after
rcK:ceded to view the
the above-named line between
)ne as near as possible so as
hool district specified in the
I point in Jacob's Creek, about
11, on the land of Henry Sweit-

zer, running thence south five degrees east one hundred and
ninety perches to a point where the road from Robinson's old
mill intersects the road from Perryopolis to Connoll-ville : thence
south twenty-five degrees west three liiindr.d and twenty
perches to the margin of the Youghiogheny River at the Great
Falls of said river, near the foot of said falls, on the land of
Abraham Layton ; thence up the said river to the mouth of
Virgin's Run, said run being the present dividing line between
the townships of Perry and Franklin. In testimony whereof
we have hereunto set our hands the date above written.

'■ William Davidson.

"J..HN H. Ta

The record shows the following as the action of
upon the report; "And now. to wit, June 6, 1S4.3.
report having been read at the times and in the mi
scribed by law, the court approve and confirm the
order it to be entered of record."

the above
inner pre-

The list of township officers of Tyrone for 17^4 em-
braces the following : John Stewart, constable ; Ber-
nard Cunningham and Moses Smith, supervisors of
highways ; Samuel Glasgow and William Huston,
overseers of the poor.

The list of 1785 shows the following officers for
Tyrone and Bullskin, viz.: John White, constable;
Zachariah Connell and James Torrance, overseers of



the poor; Henry White and David Lindsey, super-
visors of roads ; Benjamin Wells and James Black-
stone, appraisers of damages.

For several years after 178.5 the jurisdiction of the
justices of the peace was Tyrone and Bullskin. The
earliest justices for Tyrone of whom any record is
found were Jacob Stewart (term commenced March
.■31, 1787) and James Blackstone, April 18, 1798.
After Blackstone's, the following names of justices
having jurisdiction in Tyrone prior to 1840 are gath-
ered from records in the recorder's office, viz. :

Stewart H. Whitehill, Bullskin and Tyrone, Aug.
12, 1823 ; Hugh Torrance, Bullskin, Tyrone, and Con-
nellsville, March 17, 1824; Herman Gebhart, Bull-
skin, Tyrone, and Connellsville, April 20, 1829;
Henry W. Lewis, Bullskin, Tyrone, and Connells-
ville, Aug. 1(5, 1831 ; Matthew Wray, Bullskin, Tyrone,
and Connellsville, May 4, 1837.

From the year 1840 the list is much more nearly
complete, but by no means entirely so, on account of
the obscurity of records and election returns. It is
as follows:


18-10. Matthew Wray.

Hugh Chain.
1845. Matthew Wray.

Joseph Cunninghai:
ISoO. James McDonald.

Matthew Wray.

1855. James McDonald.
John F. Hum.

1856. John X. Striokier.

1857. William Vance.
18fil. Isaac Covert.

Joshua .Meredith.
lSf.2. A. T. Hardy.

Cunningham Torranc
John .Strickler.
James X. McDonald.
Hugh Torrance.
Ashford T. Hardy.
W. W. Beam.
Samuel Heath.
Silas 6. White.
Elias Applehaugh.

David (iolley.
Robert P. Smiley.
Joseph Strickler.
Peter Xewmyer.
Ezekiel Sempler.
John H. Wade.
Arha Shiillenberger.
Samuel tiallatin.
Samuel Porter.
John Bassler.
Matthew Cooley.
William Vance.
Robert F. Gaut.
G. W. Sherrick.
Walker Laughey.

1865. James N. McDonald.

1866. George S. Griscom.

1867. John N. Stillwagon.
1872. W. H. Cotton.
1874. F. H. Miller.

1877. District Xo. 1, James

District No. 2, Lentellus

1878. District Xo. 1, Milton

District Xo. 2, Thomas
H. Squibb.


1865. H-. H. Cotton.

1866. William Huston.

1867. William Jones.

1868. Jacob McChain.

1869. Thomas Knight.

1870. Peter Newmyer.
1S73. Irwin Cotton.

1874. P. F. Hough.

1875. District Xo. 1, William

District No. 2, John

1876. District No. 1, G. W.

District No. 2. Samuel

1877. District Xo. 1, George

W. Strickler.
District No. 2, George
W. Strickler.

1878. District No. 1, John C.

District No. 2, Lyman


1789.— Benjamin Wells, Benjamin Whaley, James Torrance,
William Chain.

1792.— Samuel Glasgow, Absalom Kent, William Husion, Wil-
liam Espy.

1793. — Abs.^lom Kent, Samuel Glasgow, Matthew Gaut. Joseph

1794.— Matthew Gaut, Philip Lucas, AVilliam Chain, James

1795.— Matthew Gaut, James L. Trimlde, Basil Bowell, Thomas

1796.— William Chain, Samuel Cochran, Absalom Kent, James

1797.— Samuel Glasgow, James Torrance, James Sterrit, Wil-
liam Huston.

1798.— James L. Trimble, William Chain, James Sterrit, Henry

1800.— James L. Trimble, Absalom Kent, James Torrance,
James Blackstone.


I SO 1 . James Torrance.


H. Torrance.

James Sterrit.


Matthew Wray.

James Gondie.

Samuel Hubbs.

Jacob Strickler.

H. Torrance.

1802. Robert Key burn.

J. Newcomer.

Matthew Gaut.


James B. Hurst.

Alexiinder Long.

John Newcomer.

Jacob Strickler.

H. Torrance.

KS03-4. Moses Vance.


Peter Galley.

James Torrance.

Joseph Cunningham.

.Matthew Gaut.

Hugh Torrance.

Samuel GLasgow.

Abraham D. Stauffer.

Henry Strickler.


James B. Hurst.

James Torr.ance.


Jacob Newmeyer, Sr.

1805 James Cunningham.


Martin Sherrick.

Oliver Montgomery.


John F. Hurst.

John Reist.


James Wade.

William Espy.


Ira Hutchinson.

1806. James Torrance.


William Vance.

John Reist.


Moses Porter.

William Espy.


Jacob Vance.

Joseph Cunningham.


John Newcomer.

1807. James Torr.ance.


Moses Porter.

James Cunningham.


Hugh Chain.

William Espy.


Joseph Gaut.

Thomas Young.


A. T. Hardy.

Moses Vance.


Jacob Vance.

1821. John Newcomer.


Alexander Boyd.

Matthew Gaut.


E. Moore.

Henry Strickler.


John Reist.

Thomas Young.


S. P. L. Franks.

Jacob Newmeyer.


Joseph Cunningham.

1822. Matthew Gaut.


John Reist.

.Matlhew Wray.


Samuel Smead.

Moses Vance.

1 863.

Samuel Smouse.

Henry Strickler.


John Reist.

1823. Matthew Gaut.


J. W. Stellwagon.

Matthew Wray.

J. C. Stauffer.

J. Newmeyer.


G. W. An.lerson.

The duties of these officers were identical with those of the ■* Audi-
i of Accuiirits." which were elected after 1800. Until that time they
■d jointly for Tyrone and Biillekin. This list, which has been gath-
I from the elt^ction returns in the prothonotJiry'a office and from the
rt records, is much neiirer complete for the early years than those
he c.tlior township officei-s.


67. Joseph C. Stuuffer.
68-69. J. N. McDonald.
70. Matthew Wray.

1873. Noah M. Anderson.
1S74. Alexander Morehead.

District No. 2.-

Rice G. Strickler.

James Wiley.

P. G. Cochran.

Robert W. McGregor, Eu^t!

Harrison Co.\, Lavain Asj.i

Ham. Ellis.
Rice G. Strickler.
David P. Husband.
P. G. Cochran.
Albert Emerson.


The division of old Tyrone into the townships of
Upper and Lower Tyrone was effected in 1877 in the
manner detailed below.

At the September term of the court of Quarter
Sessions in 1876 the following petition was presented
to the court, viz. :

" The inhabitants of Tyrone township plead to have
the said township of Tyrone divided by a line com-
mencing at a point on the Youghiogheny Eiver at
the mouth of a small stream at the upper end of Brown
& Cochran's coke-ovens; thence north 1}° west 718
perches to a point on the top of a hill in Joseph
Strickler's field, northwest of his house; thence north
13° west 194 perches to a point on Jacob's Creek.
And therefore praying the court to appoint proper
persons to view the same, etc."

On the 16th of September* 1876, tiie court appointed
A. G. Gilmorp, Blair Francis, and Thomas J. Butter-
more commissioners to inquire into the propriety of
granting the prayer of the petitioners. An order was
issued to the commissioners Nov. 14, 1876, and returned
December 16th the same year with their report and
plat attached marking the proposed division of the
township as prayed for. On the 13th of March, 1877,
remonstrances were filed and continued until June
session of court 1877. At this session the commis-
sioners made a return of their proceedings to Decem-
ber session, 1876, at which time they were continued
to March session, 1877, and again continued to June
session, 1877. The return was favorable to the divi-
sion of the township of Tyrone, and the commis-
sioners reported that in their opinion it would be an
advantage and convenience to the inhabitants of the
township to divide it by the following lines, viz. :

"Beginning at a point on the Youghiogheny River at the
mouth of a small stream at the upper end of Brown A Coi-h-
ran's coke-works ; thence north U° west 7.32 perches to a locust-
tree on the top of a hill in Joseph Strickler's field, north of his
house; thence north 1.3° west 205 perches to a point on Jacob's
Creek, the last line running north 13» west, if continued into
Westmoreland County would run into a frame house owned and
occupied by John Cottem. The court orders a vote <.f the
qualified electors of said Tyrone township on the question of
the division of said township according to said line; and the
court further orders that the election officers of said township

shall hold an election for that purpose at the place fixed by law
for holding township elections in said township on the 17th day
of August, 1877, between the hours of 7 o'clock a.m. and 7
o'clock P.M., and make return of said election according to law."

In accordance with this order of the court an elec-
tion was held with the following result, viz. : For a
division of the township, two hundred and eighty-one
votes; against a division thereof, one hundred and
seventy-eight votes. Thereupon, on the 5th of Sep-
tember, 1877, the court ordered and decreed that said
township be divided agreeably to the line marked
and returned by the commissioners, and, further, " that
the name of the township lying in the east of said
division line shall be Upper Tyrone, and that the
name of the township lying in the west of said divis-
ion line shall be Lower Tyrone."

The following-named persons were and have been
elected to the offices indicated in the two townships
from their organization to the present time:

Upper Ti/roiie.—lS7Q. Assessor, Jesse Herbert;
Auditor, J. S. Newcomer. 1880. Assessor, Samuel
Eicher ; Auditor, J. C. Brownfield. 1881. Justice,
John W. Stillwagon; Judge, J. C. Marshall; In-
spectors, H. R. Francis, C. Keift'er ; School Directors,
J. D. Porter, D. L. Sherrick ; Assessor, A. S. Eite-
nour ; Supervisors, J. King, R. Wilson ; Constable,
E. M. Hadsworth ; Auditor, P. G. Cochran ; Town-
ship Clerk, Scott Hill.

Loiver Ti/roiie.—lS7d. Assessor, Peter Newmyer;
Auditor, Hiram Cottoni. 1880. Assessor, M. Cun-
ningham; Auditor, W. H. Morrow. 1881. Justice,
Hugh Best; Judge, N. A. Rist ; Inspectors, H. Cot-
torn, T. J. Cunningham ; Constable, James Moody ;
School Directors, P. Hough, W. Galley, A. Shallen-
berger ; Supervisors, I. Cottom, T. Sprout, H. Cun-
ningham ; Assessor, M. G. Cunningham ; Auditor, J.
H. Wurtz ; Town Clerk, John Burns.


Among the early settlers in this part of Western
Pennsylvania were many of the Scotch-Irish, a brave,
hardy, industrious, thrifty, independent people, with

' strong Presbyterian attachments. When Rev. James
Power first visited this region on his missionary tour
in 1774 he found the Smiths, the Vances,the Chains,
the Stewarts, and others. Among them were three

I sons and two daughters of one godly woman who was
married twice in Cumberland County, Pa., where she
died. Her oldest son, Barnett Cunningham, came
from Peach Bottom Valley, a.d. 1770, with his wife,
Anna Wilson, to whom he had then been married
ten years. He had been preceded a short time by his

I eldest sister, Margery, wife of Col. Joseph Huston,

j and the mother of a numerous family. About 1770
to 1772 their half-brother, James Torrance, followed

iThis history of the Tyrone Presbyterian Church is taken mainly
I from a hi-torical sermon delivered by its pastor, the Rev. J. H. Steven-
' son, Sept. S, 1876.



with his wife and one small child. Of the family,
William Cunningham and Ann, wife of Robert
Clark, probably came about the same time. The
tarms of a number of these were contiguous to each
other, and near where the church now stands, and
perhaps this fact, as much as any other, determined
the site of the first house of worship, if not the very
existence of Tyrone Church.

That Dr. Power jireached here on his missionary
tour there is little duuht, but the statement published
in the Pre»l,ii)n-;<i„ .{,ln„;,tfm October, 1854, that he
"then organized Tyrone Church, baptized Barnett
Cunningham's child, and ordained him and his half-
brother, James Torrance, elders," must be incorrect,
for Dr. Power himself was not ordained until August,

When Dr. Power removed his family " to the
western part of the province," ' in October, 1776, he
fixed his residence tor some time at Dunlai)'s Creek.
He occupied himself chiefly in missionary labors
among the sparse settlements, organizing a number
of churches, to all of which he was " a sort of mis-
sionary pastor." - Among these were Dunlap's Creek,
Laurel Hill, Mount Pleasant, Unity, Sewickly, and
Tyrone. " The extent and variety of his labors may
be inferred from one incident connected with the
Cross Creek Church, in the northwestern part of
Washington County, Pa. On his first visit there, on
the 14th of November, 1778, Dr. Power preached the
first gospel sermon ever heard there under an oak-
tree, just outside the gate at Vance's Fort, in the
presence of a military comjKiny about to go forth on
an expedition nj^ainst the Indians. After the sermon
he baptized tweuty-nne children, among whom was
Sarah, eldest daugliter of Mr. Thomas Marquis, who
was afterwards called to a ministry of holy baptism
in the same place. This child lived to become the
wife of Rev. .Tospph Stevenson, and mother of Rev.
John McMillan Stevenson, D.D., now senior secre-
tary of the American Tract Society," and grand-
mother of the [iresent pastor of Tyrone Church.

This incident, related by Dr. Brownson in his ad-
dress at the Mount Pleasant centennial reunion,
gives a key to the origin c,f a number of the oldest
Presbyterian ( 'Inirelie^ in Western Pennsylvania. Dr.
Power was aeeustouied during the three years he
lived and preached at Dunlap's Creek to visit fre-
quently the "settlements," preaching, "catechising,"
baptizing the children of such as were church-mem-
bers in the East, and (we may well suppose) admin-
istering the Lord's Supper to his people in the wil-
derness, admitting many to sealing ordinances upon
their profession of their faith in Jesus Christ and
ordaining elders in many places.

As Tyrone lies directly on the road from Dunlap's
Creek by Laurel Hill to Mount Pleasant and Se-
wickly, where it is known he was at this time estab-

lishing congregations, it is believed that he preached
here often, visiting and catechising as was his man-
ner, and thus gathered and established his congrega-

It is not probable that this church was ever formally
organized according to the present mode of proceed-
ing. Indeed it was not possible that it should be, for,
like " many of the oldest churches, it enjoyed the
pastoral labors and care of a minister years before
the erection of the mother Presbytery."

Tyrone was the first of all the churches to be
recognized iu Presbytery under the dignity of a
" congregation." In the records of the second meet-
ing of the Presbytery of Redstone, at " Delap's
Creek," Oct. 23, 1782, is the following minute: "A
supplication for supplies from Tyrone congregation
was brought in and read. Request was granted, and
Mr. Power was appointed to supply the second Sab-
bath in December, and Mr. Dunlap the third Sabbath
in March."

In February, 1784, according to the statement of a
woman in the congregration who was then married

- by him, Mr. Power was preaching one-fourth of his

I time at Tyrone. How long this continued cannot
now be ascertained, but in October, 1798, Tyrone ap-
pears again in Presbytery asking for supplies. A
Rev. Moore and Rev. Samuel Porter were each ap-
pointed one Sabbath. During the next eleven years
Tyrone appears in Presbytery, not regularly, but

Upon the organization of the Synod of Pittsburgh,
in the year 1802, Tyrone 'was reported in the list of

j churches " vacant and unable to support a pastor.'"
The only additional evidence found of stated ser-

[ vices in Tyrone at any time during eighteen years
preceding the above date was in a paper until very

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 181 of 193)