Franklin Ellis.

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

. (page 65 of 193)
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the tavern after her husband's death, in 1819.

William Merryman was the keeper of a tavern
near Margaret Allen's, east of the creek. His first
license for a house at that place was received by him
in 1802.

Jacob Harbaugh, ex-sheriff of the county, opened
a tavern in 1811 in a log house owned by Peter Hook,
which stood on the west part of the site of the late
Judge Nathaniel Ewing's residence. The stand was
kept by Harbaugh until 1813.

George Manypenny, first licensed in August, 1814,
was for a time the keeper of a public-house on the
south side of Main Street, near where is now Judge
Campbell's office. The time of his continuance there
is not known.

It would be hardly practicable to make mention of
all the ephemeral taverns which have existed in
Unioutown during the century which has passed
since John Collins opened the pioneer hostelry in the
incipient village. It was only intended to notice a
few of the most ancient ones, but enough have already
been mentioned to show that more than fifty years
ago the Main Street of the town had been thickly
studded with public-houses on both sides, and from
end to end.

At the extreme western end of the town, on "Ja-
cob's Second Addition," is located the oldest public-
house now in existence in the borough, — the " White
Swan," kept by Nathaniel Brownfield. The original
building is a long two-story log structure, the front of
which has in later years been covered with weather-
boarding. It was erected before the year 1800. In
1805 the .property was purchased by Thomas Brown-
field, a native of Frederick County, ,Va., who emi-
grated thence to Uniontown in that year. A tavern
license granted to him in 1806 for this house is now
in possession of his son Nathaniel.

A few years after he purchased the original log
building, Thomas Brownfield built upon the rear of
it a brick addition, which was used as a dining-room,
and in 1818 a larger addition (also of brick) was
built. Mr. Brownfield kept the house until his death,
when his widow and son, Nathaniel, assumed charge.
Later, — about 1834, — Nathaniel came into possession,
and has since been its landlord. The rooms in the
old house are not all on a common level, and access
from one to another is had by short flights of stairs.
The walls are formed by the hewed logs of the build-
ing, the interstices filled with clay or mortar, and the
whole covered with many coatings of whitewash.
The floors are of oak, but have several times been re-
newed. A commodious yard in the rear of the house
made it, in the palmy days of the old National road, a
convenient and popular stopping-place for wagoners.
In front there is an ancient sign-board, on the weather-
beaten surface of which is still visible the figure of a
swan, indicating the old-time name of the venerable
tavern, which has been the home of its proprietor,
Nathaniel Brownfield, from earliest infancy to the
age of threescore and ten jears.

The Eagle Hotel, on Main Street, west of Morgan-
town Street, was built about 1818, by Ewing McCleary,
on the lot which had previously been owned by Chris-
tian Tarr. McCleary was first licensed in 1819, and
kept it as a hotel until his death. It is still kept as a
public-house, and bears the original name of the
Eagle, but is also well known as the Wyatt House.

The National Hotel, at the corner of Morgantown



eral Assei
of May, i

and Fayette Streets, was built in 1817 by Judge
Thomas Irwin as a pivate residence, but was after-
wards adapted and opened as a hotel. It became fa-
mous as a stage-house in the days when the well-
equipped lines ran over the National road. It was
purchased by the notorious Dr. Braddee, and was the ^
l)'.ace where he planned and executed the mail rob-
bery which is mentioned more fully elsewhere in this
iiistory. In February, 1845, when James K. Polk,
then President-elect of the United States, was trav-
eling by stage over the National road to Washington,
D. C, accompanied by his wife, they stopped a night
at the National, where they held a reception in the
evening for the people of Uniontown. The landlord
of the house at that time was Joshua Marsh.

The hotel now known as the " Spottsylvania" was
first opened as a tavern in 1816 by Zadoc Walker,
who had been a resident of Uniontown for twenty
years, having settled here in 1796. It was in this
house that the Marquis de Lafayette was entertained
on the occasion of his memorable visit here in 1825.
Under different names the house has been constantly
kept as a hotel from its first opening to the present

The Jennings House, on the northwest corner of
Main and Arch Streets, was first opened as a hotel,
though not under its present name, by James C. Sea-
ton, who purchased the property nearly sixty years ^ ic,^^„,p„,,,,,„„ „, .„>= „„.„„s„ ,.„., __..„ ...
ago. Prior to the purchase Thomas Kibben had his ] ^ggg ^^ ,^^ ^^^^^ passed on the 2d of March in that

ily of this Commonwealth, shall on the first Monday
the year one thous.ind seven hundred and ninety-
seven, and upon the same day yearly thereafter, meet together
at some convenient place within the said borough, to be appointed
as hereinafter directed, and shall then and there choose by bal-
lot two reputable inhabitants of the said borough to be Bur-
gesses; one to be High Constable; one to be Town Clerk; and
two to advise, aid, and assist the said Burgesses in e.vecuting
the duties and authorities enjoined on and vested in them by
this act, all of which persons shall be duly qualified to elect aa
aforesaid; that the Burgess who shall have the greatest number
of votes shall be called the Chief Burgess ; and that until the
said first Monday of May in the year one thousand seven hun-
dred and ninety-seven, Ephraim Douglass and Alexander Mc-
McClean be the Burgesses of the said borough, of whom Eph-
raim Douglass shall be caKed Chief Burgess : that Jacob Knap
shall be High Constable; Samuel King, Town Clerk; and Jo-
seph Huston and Thomas Collins, Assistants to the said Bur-

It is rendered impossible to make the early history of
the borough complete, by the unfortunate destruction
by fire, in 1851,' of the Council rooms, with the records
of that body from 1796 to 1842. The action of Coun-
cil in reference to the laying out of streets ; the erec-
tion and regulation of the old market-house; the
first movement and subsequent action towards the or-
ganization of a fire department ; the list of borough
officers for nearly fifty years, and many other matters
of interest were thus lost beyond recovery.

A reincorporation of the borough was eflFected

residence on the lot. Since its opening by Seaton the
house has been kept as a hotel constantly till the
the present time.

The Clinton House, on Main Street next east of
the court-house grounds, was built as a private resi-
dence by the Hon. Andrew Stewart in 1835, as has
been mentioned. After Mr. Stewart removed from it
it was opened as a hotel by Andrew Byers, after whom
came successively as proprietors, Stephen Snyder,

Craycroft, Isaac Kerr, Jesse B. Gardner, Springer

& Renshaw, Calvin Springer, Bernard Winslow, Wil-
liam Springer, and Joseph Wright.

The Fulton House, on Main Street opposite the
Clinton, was built by Seth Howe, who owned and
kept it. He was succeeded by William Thorndell,
Calvin Springer, David Mahaney, Michael Carter,
and James Moran.

year, which after reciting that "Whereas the inhabi-
tants of the borough of Uniontown, in the county of
Fayette, have petitioned for an alteration in the law
incorporating said borough, stating that the existing
law has been found upon experiment not so conducive
to the good order, conveniency, and public utility of the
borough as was expected," proceeded to enact " That
Uniontown aforesaid shall still continue and forever
remain a borough under the name and title of ' The
Borough of Union Town' ; the extent and bounds of
which shall continue as heretofore," and provided that
in the future the qualified voters should elect as offi-
cers of the borough " One reputable citizen residing
therein, who shall be styled the burgess of the said bor-
ough ; and nine reputable citizens, to be a town Coun-


Uniontown was iiicor|]orated as a borough by an
;iit nf the Tji.'Liisl:itiirc nf Pennsylvania, approved
April t. 17:ii;, wlii.-li jTiivided and declared " That
Uniuutown, in the county of Fayette, shall be, and
the same is hereby, erected into a borough which
shall be called the borough of Uniontown, . . ." pro-
ceeding to define the boundaries. By the second sec-
tion of the same act it was provided, —

" That the freemen of the said borough, who shall have re-


ithin the
other resi

the space of one
itledto votefor Me


1 On the 2d of July, 1851, between one and two o'clock p.m., a Are broke
out in some of the rear buildings of the Eagle Hotel, which consumed
a warehouse, the upper etory of the market-house, and several buildings
on Morgantown Street. The following is from the minutes of the Coun-
cil in reference to the action of that body, at a meeting held on the day
following that of the fire :

"Special Meeting, . , July 3, 1851.

" A special meeting of the Council was called at nine o'clock, July 3d,
by the President, to take into cousideration the state of affairs in refer-
ence to the lire yesterday afternoon, which consumed the Town Hall,
Council Chamber, and all Eecords of the Borough on file," etc. The
clerk reported "that minutes of the Council from May 16th, 1842, to the
present have been saved from the fire." A committee was appointed to
examine and report wbat was necessary to be done to repair the damage
(lone to the building by the fire. Their report was adopted, and the re-
paii-E recommended were ordered. A contract for the same was awarded
oil the Stb of July following to Matthew Clark at $356.



cil ; and shall also elect, as aforesaid, one reputable
citi/en as high constable." Further, the act granted
a general extension of the powers and privileges of
the borough, and repealed the original act of incor-
poration. The powers and limits of the borough have
since been extended at different times by act of As-
sembly, the last of which having reference to Union-
town was passed in February, 1873.


Some matters relative to the business and other
history of Unioutown from 1806 to 1819 are given
below, as found in the columns of the Genius of Lib-
erfij, which was established in the borough in 1805.
Its issue of Dec. 3, 180(5, contains the following no-

"The Debating Society meets next Saturday even-
ing at Mr. John Stidger's. The question then to be
discussed is, ' Would it be good policy for the United
States at the present time to enter into an alliance,
offensive and defensive, with Great Britain.'

[Signed] "One of the Members."

In the Oenius of Oct. 7, 1809, appears the advertise-
ment of James Hutchinson, announcing that he kept
for sale " a general assortment of boots and shoes two
doors east of Dr. Robert McClure's Inn, opposite the

In April, 1812, Presley Miller advertised his busi-
ness as a tailor, " at the corner house on Elbow Street,
near the court-house, belonging to Gen. Meason." In
the same year John Haynes advertised as a " cabinet
and chair maker," and Moses Allen as a " Windsor
chair" maker.

In January, 1813, Roberts & Co. advertised as
tailors. Philip Creekbaum was a stone-cutter. Ben-
jamin Hellen was carrying on the hatting,
" opposite the [old] market-house." In September
of the next year he advertised that he kept a stock of
dry-goods and groceries ; and at the same time Ow-
iugs & Ebert announced that they had commenced
the hatting business " in the shop lately occupied by
Benjamin Hellen, opposite the market-house in Union-
town, Pa." The dwelling of Benjamin Hellen was
opposite the old Baptist Church. Peter Hook lived
on the Morgantovvn road, farther south. He had pre-
viously lived opposite the court-house. He gave a
dinner at his residence to Capt. Thomas Collins'
company on the eve of their departure for the war
in 1812. A drummer in that company was Feltie
Sunders, who lived in the log house where Mr. Clif-
ford now lives. Abner Greenland, the potter, lived
near the mill-race. Previously he had lived on the
hill. Gilbert Stites, a shoemaker, lived on the corner,
south of the present residence of E. Robinson. Next
north was the dwelling of Lewis Lewis, a Revolution-
ary soldier, whose wife kept a small bakery. His
daughter, Mrs. Mary Clemraer, still lives on the
property. John Hibben, Jr., a liatter. lived ndrth of

the last-named place, at or near the intersection of
Church and Morgantown Streets.

On the 31st of August, 1814, an advertisement in
the local newspaper announced that " Mr. Manisca,
late of Philadelphia, respectfully informs the ladies
and gentlemen of Uniontown and its vicinity that he
proposes teaching dancing and the French language
on the following terms : Dancing, $10 per quarter, S5
entrance ; French language, $15 per quarter. School
commences as soon as a sufficient number of Scholars
can be obtained."

The following items have been gathered from the
recollections of Mr. Ewing Brownfield concerning
the business and appearance of Uniontown from 1815
to 1818:

East of Brownfield's " White Swan" tavern was the
blacksmith-shop and scythe-manufactory of Nathaniel
Mitchell. Later he moved to where Beeson's flour-
ing-mill now stands, at the confluence of Redstone
Creek and Campbell's Run, and there he erected a
tilt-hammer, and continued in business for many

Next east of the blacksmith-shop above mentioned
was a shoe-shop belonging to Christian Keflfer (father
of John Keffer, now living in Uniontown). Next
was the residence of Nathaniel Mitchell, afterwards
the residence of Dr. Lewis Marchand, and now owned
by Mrs. E. B. Wood.

Maj. George Bentley carried on the saddlery busi-
ness at the place where Mrs. William Wood now lives.
John Stidgers carried on the hatting business in a
house which is still standing, and occupied by Mrs.
George Rutter. Stidgers was succeeded by John
Hendricks. East of Stidgers was David Moreland's
blacksmith-shop. Thomas McKibben lived next east.
His property was soon after purchased by James C.
Seaton, who opened the house as a tavern. It is now
the Jennings House. On the opposite side of the
alley from the tavern, and cast of it, was a large yard
used by wagoners. On the present site of the People's
Bank, Daniel B. McCarty had a shoe-shop, with his
dwelling in the rear. For many years he was the
leading shoemaker of the town. John Cupp, a bar-
ber, was located where Mr. Ewing Brownfield now
lives. The lot where the Eagle Hotel now stands was
then owned by Christian Tarr, who dug clay upon it
for use in his pottery business. He soon after sold to
Ewing McClary, who built the " Eagle" upon it. A
log house standing on the lot next east was occupied
by a Mr. Harrison as a bake-house and cake-shop.
I Passing on still eastward, the next establishment was
1 Benjamin Hellen's dry-goods store. Next was Ben-
I jamin Campbell's silversmith-shop, and on the corner
(where now is Moser's drug-store) was John Camp-
bell's place of business.
j On the north side of the street, where now is John
Wood's saddlery-shop, was a private residence. Next
was the dwelling of Milly Fossett. On the south-
west corner of Jlain iind Morgantown Streets lived



Mrs. Lynch, widow of Cornelius Lynch, and mother
of Daniel P. Lynch. She kept a cake and beer-shop
on the same spot where, prior to 1800, her husband
had a brewery.

Mr. Thomas Xesmith gives the following among his
recollections of Uuiontowu at about the period before
referred to :

The Genius of Llherfij office at that time was in a
frame building on the south side of Main Street, east
of the Collins tavern stand. Gen. Henry Beeson was
keeping a store where Isaac Beeson afterwards kept
for many years. East of it lived Benjamin Miller,
who afterwards kept a tavern in the east end of the
town. Eobert Skiles lived where now is Calvin
Springer's store. Skiles' store was at the place now
occupied by Hunt's jewelry-store.

At the time referred to (1815) Zadoc Walker's
tavern (now the Spottsylvania House) was in process
of erection. His son-in-law, Matthew Irwin, lived
west of the tavern stand, where he kept a store. He ,
was afterwards postmaster of LTuiontown. Where the j
Jacob Miller property now is, there was then a brick
bouse owned by the Springers. In that house a store
was kept by Richard Berry. The old Jonathan
Downer house stood on the corner, where in more
recent years Thomas Skiles erected the Concert Hall
Block. On the south side of the street, nearly mid-
way between Morgantown Street and Broadway, was
the saddlery-shop of John Lewis. Dr. Hugh Camp-
bell kept a drug-store in the house built by himself, j
and afterwards occupied by Robert Modisett. '

In 1815 there were two watch-houses in the borough,
— one in the vicinity nf tlir court-house, and one near
the Thomas Collins tavern stand, at Main and Mor-
gantown Streets.

A store was kept by Crane & Withrow on Main
Street, very near what is now the northeast corner of
that street and Broadway, — property later owned by
Samuel Harah. John Barr, confectioner, and John
Strayer, saddler, carried on their business at the old
John Collins tavern stand (now the site of Commer-
cial Block). Andrew Byers kept a public-house and
James Lindsey a store in part of this same building.
Lindsey's store was afterwards kept by his son-in-law,
Samuel Clevinger.

Near where Mrs. Dr. Porter now lives, there was
then a silversmith-shop, carried on by Hardesty
Walker, a son-in-law of Silas Bailey. Jonathan
Rowland, justice of the peace, occupied the brick
house east of Dr. Ewing's present residence. Facing
the court-house was a small shop kept by Nancy and
Mary McCaccan, and well patronized by the children
of the borough at that time.

On the south side of the main street above the
bank building (now the Southwest Railroad depot)
were the stores of George Ebbert, Hugh Thompson,
Jacob Beeson, and Reuben and Ellis Bailey, tlie
law-office of John Lvon, a succession of public-

houses, kept respectively by Mrs. Crawford, George
Manypenny, and Samuel Salter, and a store kept by
one " Doctor" Lickey. On the present Ewing prop-
erty stood a number of dilapidated buildings occupied
for various uses.

A number of items having reference to the business
of the borough during the five or six years succeeding
the close of the war of 1812-15 are given below, as
gleaned from newspapers of that period :
j In September, 1816, Thomas Young announced to
the public that he " continues to carry on the fulling
and dyeing and dressing of cloth at his former stand
in Uniontown, and having employed an assistant in
the business, who for the space of fifteen years past
has been employed in the different factories in Wales,"
believed that he could give good satisfaction to cus-

In 1819 is found the announcement that " Charles
Thirwell (recently from England) begs leave respect-
, fully to inform the inhabitants of Uniontown that
j he has commenced the business of joiner, house-car-
penter, house-painter, and cabinet-maker."

May 15, 1819, David Shriver gives notice that he
will attend at his office in Brownsville to receive pro-
posals in writing for constructing the whole or any
part of the road from Uniontown to Washington, Pa.
In the same year (June 1, 1819) Samuel Wolverton
advertised that he had erected a carding-machine in
the Uniontown mill, and would card all kinds of wool
j in the best manner and at short notice. On the same
I date Morgan A. Miller announced that he was carry-
iiii: <in tlic tailoring business " two doors west of Mr.
Mi( Irllaiids tavern," and George Manypenny adver-
ti>fil tor " a steady boy to ride post two days of every

The following list of tradesmen and those following
other occupations in Uniontown in 1819 is taken
from the county commissioqers' records for that year:

Merchants, J. and S. Y. Campbell.

Tanner, Jacob Miller.

Blacksmith, N. Mitchell.

Wagon-maker, H. Kerns.

Hatter, Samuel Brown.

Cabinet-maker, J. Philips.

Shoemaker, D. B. McCarty.

Saddler, George Bently.

Carpenter, Enos West.

Chair-maker, J. Vankirk.

Inn-keeper, C. Wiggins.

Attorney, Andrew Stewart.

Printers, Bouvier & Co.

Justice of the Peace, T. Hadden.

Prothonotary, J. St. Clair.

Register, Alexander McClean.

Sheriff, J. Withrow.
' Constable, James Winders.

Silversmiths, Walker & Wilson.

Nailer, Campbell Johnson.



Physicians, Campbell & Maroliaud.

Schoolmaster, John A. Doune.

Minister, William Wylie.

Stone-masons, Bugle & Ferner.

Iron-master, John Oliphant.

Manager, A. Derapsey.

Tailors, Manship & Black.

Tinner, Joseph Kibbler (Kibbler's place of busi-
ness was advertised as "opposite William McClel-
land's tavern." Another in the same business soon ■
afterwards was James A. Yerk, whose shop was " one I
door cast of Brownfield's tavern."

An advertisement, dated Oct. 2, 1821, is found in
the Genius of Liberty of that year, as follows :

" I Public notice hereby give,

In Union town where I do live,

I Grindstones keep, nnd them do sell;

The grit is good, I make them well.

With Whet Stones, also, I'll supply

All those that wish for to buy ;

Good money I will take in pay.

But paper trash, keep that away.

Good bargains I will let you have

If you good money to me give ;

I'll make them honest, good, and just.

But do not like too long to trust.

Old debts are often in dispute.

And likely to bring on lawsuits.

Therefore 'tis best take care in time,

The Grind Stone yours, the money mine.

The weather now gets very cold.

Bad tires make the women scold;

Therefore buy grindstones, and keep peace,

The women then will give you ease.

The time is now drawn very near

When you must kill your Hogs and Steers;

Therefore, buy whetstones right away.

Then you can butcher any day.

Take my advice, come on right quick,

And of my stones have the first pick,

For I the money want right bad.

So fa'-c you well, my honest lads.
"Oct. 2, 1S21. Philip Creekbaim, Jr.

" N.B. — All persons indebted to me are requested to make pay-
ment before the ne.\t FROST, and save costs. P. C."

Creekbaum's grindstone-quarry was seven miles
from Uniontown, on John Graham's plantation, two
miles from Laurel Hill meeting-house. Office in

In an old list of taxables of Union Borough town-
ship for the year 1824, now in possession of George
W. Rutter, are found these names of residents of
Uniontown at that time, with amount of tax, valua-
tion, and remarks :

John M. Austin, attorney; valuation, $3770: tax, §56.50.

Henry H. Beeson, gentleman ; valuation, $2500 : 1 dog.

Richard Barry, merchant; valuation, $500; tax, $5.10; 1

Milton Baily, tax. $1.50.

James Boyle, bricklayer ; valuation, $500 ; do. out-lot, 2 acres ;

Barney Boyle, single ; valuation, SI 20; tax, $1.20.

Jesse Beeson, farmer; valuation, $800; tax, $9.20.

Ellis Eaily, gentleman ; $4450, and dog, horse, and cow ;' tax,

Bank of Union, valuation $2500.

Thomas Brownfiild, inn-keeper ; valuation, $3000 ; 9 cattle,
1 dog; U acres outlot. at $150; tax, $.39.20.

Everhart Bierer, valuation, $700 ; 1 cow and two dogs; tax,

James Brinton, hatter; $00.

Henry Beeson, uuller, grain- and fulling-mill; valuation,

Isaac Beeson, merchant; valuation, $5780 ; tax, $55.70.

Richard Bierer, clerk, $300 ; tax, $3.

Hugh Campbell, doctor; SI740.

Thomas Collins, $2500, and 2 out-lots.

Samuel Y. Campbell, merchant; $2500.

Elijah Crossland, butcher.

William Crawford, laddler.

Philip S. Crickbaum, hatter.

Samuel Carroll, nig.; laborer; $60.

Ephraim Douglass, N. R. ; valuation, $4150.

John Dawson, attorney; tax, $35.10.

Jonathan Downer, N. R. ; tax, $20.

Ephraim Douglass, student; $120; tax, $3.

Nathaniel Ewing, attorney; valuation, $200.

George Ebbert, merchant.

William Ebbert, halter.

Thornton Flemming, minister ; $500.

Frederick, nig.

Robert Kinkead.

David Moorland, blacksmith.

John Miller, tanner; valuation, $750(1.

David Lewis, barber.

Thomas Lewis, tailor.

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 65 of 193)